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Monday, 19 October 2009

Boylepoker.com IPO 2009

I had never actually got to play the IPO before. Last year we were in England as Rob was playing a GUKPT event & we called in to play some cash. My brief taste of the atmosphere last year was enough to make me want to play it this year, so I arranged the time off work & made sure I registered in advance as recommended by the tourney organisers. Well was I glad I made the effort in advance, as predicted it sold out & my preferred day was snapped up pretty quickly!

With hindsight working the night before day 1B was a bad idea, but I managed to drag myself out of bed just in time to make it to the Regency for 1pm or thereabouts. I got loads of low-middle pocket pairs early on but couldn't hit a set to save my life. I was also rivered in a couple of pots by fishy callers hitting their gutshots which pleased me no end & I went from maintaining close to starting stack to drifting back dangerously low. My lowest point was approximately 3.5k which was scary low given the size of the field & the pace the tourney was moving at. I decided to take a stand & started shipping any opportunity I got which paid off no end. Then I finally managed to get a few hands which got paid due to my stepped up aggressive image. To be honest I was always happy with my starting table, I thought the standard was ridic bad & was probably one of the best in the room in terms of value. That was what frustrated me more, I felt like I should have been flying from the off, but it seemed like I couldn't catch a break early on. Still once I got going I went on a flyer & reached a high point of about 112k an hour or so before the end of play. It then went a bit wrong. I lost a couple of flips. thankfully both pots were all in shoves from shorties & it didn't kill me completely, but it do damage to the nice stack I had scraped together. I finished the day on 61.5k which I was quite disappointed with in the end, was hoping to clear 80-90k to ensure I was at least average, but like Killarney the week before I knew a double up within a few laps would see me right on day 2.

I got a rough enough table draw for day 2, with the overnight chip leader (Rupinder Bedi) sitting 2 seats to my right, his button my big blind, this was going to go very right or very wrong very quickly! I folded for a lap then picked up KK. Rupinder duly raised, as he did pretty much every other hand & why not he had the chips to do it. His raise pot committed him & thankfully he had to call my ship even if he had raised with 6h4h! Poker is never easy even when you get it in miles ahead & by the turn he had picked up a flush draw & a gutshot! Paul Spillane was behind me shouting "ah, don't do it!". The 6d on the river was too close for comfort & it took a split second for me to breathe a sigh of relief. Within a few laps I made a few steals & got myself comfortably above average, however that wasn't to last for long. I drifted back again a little bit, which was the case for most people with the blinds getting up & people just hanging on longer than they were expected to. Even average stack at this point was starting to look short. Rupinder was decent enough to double me up once again when my TT held up against his overcards. I was starting to flip well, something I had been pathetically bad at for the last 4-5 months, well hopefully my good flipping was a sign I was to run better.

The guy to the right of Rupinder who was at the time & remains completely unknown to me, became incredibly aggressive. He was showing good hands often enough but was just too aggressive & it looked like only a matter of time before he raised one hand too many. We went on a break & this unknown guy was the new chipleader with 600k. He won a lot of his chips off Rupinder when he went out of his way to clash with him. To be honest they were both happy to take each other on which seemed madness given their stacks but in a contest of ability there was only ever going to be one winner. Within one lap & two consecutive hands Rupinder had knocked his arch enemy out & regained his chipleader title with a massive stack of just over 800k! He was way out in front & had an absolute mountain of chips in front of him. With his now even bigger stack he was completely running over the table & I went through an utter card dead period meaning I could only hang on until they broke our table, which looked like it would be happening soon.

By the time the table broke I was short, which became even shorter after I got a positional raise snapped off by a Frenchman with a big stack, so I folded my 33 knowing I wouldn't be folding the next time whether I liked it or not. A lap later the same Frenchman opened in late position, and I look down at J2 on the BB. I don't have a choice in this one as the BB was just over a third of my stack so I reluctantly called hoping to have 2 live cards which thankfully I did. So my J2 vs his AQ, J on the flop & it held. That was the first time I'd been all-in with the worst hand & it didn't feel good, time to get a stack together & not let myself get that short again, regardless of big stacks playing aggressively. That J2 was a huge turning point for me. Just before it I had told Rob not to bother registering for the PLO side event as I was likely to bust fairly soon & couldn't be bothered hanging about all night after a long session the night before too. Luckily enough after that J2 hand I managed to work my way up to 270k which was my new high point. Now I wouldn't say that 270k was anyway big, but felt like it was a super stack at the time & I hoped the forward momentum would continue.

Down to 2 tables, I discovered I was the last remaining bounty. I have to admit this definitely felt good. So many well known pros were bounties & when Paul approached me with the jersey the first thing I thought of was, ah I'm gonna make a fool of myself here, I'm likely to be the first bounty out. The likes of Marty Smyth, Andy Black, Neil Channing, Padraig Parkinson as well as Rob were all bounties . . . I was out of my league here. I admit it did feel good firstly to not show myself up & secondly to outlast them all, I do realise how pathetic that sounds but no point writing a blog if I'm not honest right?

Two tables out it was time to get down to business. I was now seated to the left of a young Frenchman who had quickly become known as the guy who called 2 all-ins with KQ & got extremely lucky. The one consistentcy of the tournament to note - aggression! We had a couple of blind on blind hands where straight from the off he showed he was happy to bully when he thought he could so I had to start playing back. One pot I remember well is when I bet him off a J9x flop with K4os. Had that move gone wrong I would have looked very silly & done nearly half my stack. After that point he seemed happy to leave me be which to be honest didn't last that long as the blinds were accelerating things & it wasn't too long after we were down to 9 & final table.

There was a huge deal made of the final table. There was a large set assembled late that afternoon complete with ample lights & at least 4 or 5 cameras. Things were a fair bit behind schedule with the field scraping by a lot longer than expected. We'd had a rushed dinner break with about 15 left, involving us all eating whilst at the table playing & then managed a quick 10 minute break before starting the final table.

From memory I was 4th in chips which would normally seem comfortable, however by this stage the blinds were huge & even the chip leader wouldn't have been overly deep stacked. First couple of laps I was completely card dead & when in late position I never got the opportunity bar one time when I raised in late position with complete junk & had to fold when it was snapped off. Of course I did the prolonged dwell making it look like I had a hand however my cards were that bad I had to ensure that I folded them safely when the time came so as not to expose the complete junk I had just raised with.

The next hand I was involved in was vomit material! UTG+1 open ships. He had been completely nit-like since the final table started but I was confident he could have any 2 cards pulling that move. He had been caught out a couple of times doing that when there were 3 tables left & I was pretty sure I had a tell on him. It would appear that when he looks at his card for a split second, ie. literally flicks them up just enough time to catch a glimpse then immediately shoved his chips in, I took it as a sign of weakness. To me it was like he was shoving before he bottled out of it. Because of this I had him on any raggy A or the like, possibly even worse. When I looked down at JJ I knew it was going in straight behind him & so it did. I wasn't hugely liking the call from the blinds though as I had to assume they either had a pair or even more likely to have 2 overcards, so it was most likely a race imo, however it was a race for a huge % of the chips in play which is obviously always an anxious spot. To my delight with cards on their backs it's my JJ vs inital shove with 63 vs BB with AJ. The guy to my right who I'd been chatting with, a nice guy from Portadown, offered some words of comfort in "you're in great shape, good luck" to which I replied, "I'm not sure I fancy this one!". Well call me psychic . . . I had a real bad feeling I was losing the hand alright, just didn't expect to be drawing dead after the flop!

I get it in, as a fairly substantial favourite in a treble up opportunity only to lose out big time. I can deal with the A hitting, in fact I could even deal with the AAx flop, the over celebrations on the other hand were quite hard to swallow. It was at that moment I suddenly felt the presence of the crowd & how the crowd was dominated by supporters of the 2 foreign players. The roar was deafening, the heat & light coming from the stage lights was intense & swallowing hard whilst a guy jumped up & down after sucking out was hard to take. I don't blame him calling, he had to know he was almost definitely behind, but he had about a quarter of his stack in already on the BB. So calling I could live with, sucking out I would deal with, however the lack of ettiquette was very sickening for me.

A few seconds later I looked around expecting to see Rob on the floor with a crowd around him, cardiac arrest or the like, however Taylor was nowhere to be seen. In fact I couldn't find Rob anywhere in the crowd, nor was he there after I open shipped the very next hand. Thankfully I woke up with TT & quadrupled up. A few laps later I have outlasted a couple of people & wake up with AA on the button. I need a caller here, but a limp would be too sus, so I opt for the nervy shove & hope the Frenchman on the BB who had proved to have a wide calling range previously would look down to find something he reckons he's ahead with. As it turned out he had AT & called me. My AA did stand up, although he flopped a flush draw & a gutshot reminding me of how cruel poker can be. The T on the turn gave him even more outs & really did stop my heart beating for a second. But still, a double up was exactly what I needed & not long after we went on break & I felt like I still had a lifeline. During the break the Frenchman told me of how surprised he was to see I had AA. I guess in poker timing is everything & he was vul I had such a big hand as I know I was shipping any 2 in that spot. At this point I still can't find Rob & only discovered afterwards he was round the corner doing commentary with Parky.

Down to 4 & there wasn't a great deal in it. I had asked at the break would there be any chance of pausing or rolling back the clock & was told it wasn't an option. This is the one criticism I have of the tournament itself. Yes the room was too warm, the food was horrible and very restrictive, but for a 2 day tournament there was a fair bit of play on offer, until we got to the stage that mattered where the money jumps were decided like bingo. The prize pool was very juicy especially for the buy in, so it's a shame the serious money end was settled when average stack was a mere 4M.

I think my exit hand was fairly standard, folded around to me in the SB I open shipped QJ. I think I was unlucky the BB woke up with AJ & made a standard call. I did however flop an open ender but it missed along with my Q & I finished in 4th place.

Jaye Renehan played an absolute blinder yet again. The man is a machine, you just can't question his consistency. He's an absolute legend on the Irish poker scene & was unlucky not to win it in the end.

A quick mention for the other Irish on the final table. Mark Troy, who finished third, qualified for the IPO in a pub sat for €40, classic fairytale story, wp to him. As to the other Irishmen that made it, with so many 'professionals' & serious foreign players in the field it was nice to see an Irish tourney final table being dominated with Irish players.

The winner did get lucky along the way, but anyone who wins a tournament with a field as large as this had to get lucky & in the end it was just his day. He obviously sucked out with his AJ against me, but as far as I'm concerned he played very well on the final table, fair play to him.

The JJ hand was one of the sickest I've ever had at a final table, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to outlast over 1400 players to make it to the final table. $24.7k is my biggest cash by a mile & I'm so chuffed with it. I'm no professional poker player, I play for the buzz with the intention of staying ahead so the poker pays for itself. I do like to be good at any hobby I take up & certainly poker is no exception. I feel I'm improving every time I play & can only hope to continue to improve. I'm lucky to have Rob to school me, as obviously he has taught me pretty much everything I know about poker although he tells me he reckons I have a natural knack for the game. Hopefully the results will continue & I'll actually manage to win something biggish outright at some point in the next year or two.

A huge thank you required to all involved in the IPO, it was a super tourney which ran like clockwork. Stephen from Poker Ireland was clearly well organised as it showed & paid off dividends. The Boyle Team of Paul, Lisa, Ciaran, Padraig etc were very supportive & top notch as always. The TDs were on the money with John, Toby, Oscar, JP, Richard etc on hand whenever required. The dealing standard was second to none as expected, with special thanks to Kasia who I managed to bump into in the toilets repeatedly. She always had words of enccouragement for me which I appreciated greatly. There are too many people & I'm sure I'm bound to have left someone out, but everyone involved with that event should be proud of themselves as the atmosphere & level of professionalism was superb.

It would appear I had supporters everywhere following the live stream, should it have been folk on boards, people from work, or those that were railing the event live, thanks loads for all the well wishes and congratulatory messages via text, on facebook & the Boyles blog.

Special comiserations to Mick McCloskey who revealed when a bit tipsy afterwards he was gutted to be the 2nd remaining bounty 2 years running. Perhaps 3rd time lucky Mick?

Last year I managed 2 Hendon Mob entries & set a goal of achieving more in 2009. After a disappointing Vegas I figured I had no chance, however the side event in Killarney & the IPO have given me a total of 3 for this year so I really can't complain, really didn't expect to make that target a couple of months ago. I also have the Irish Winter Festival next weekend which I'm really looking forward to.

Enough babbling from me I think, time to do some new car research. I had been toying with the idea of buying a new car for a few weeks, I'm taking my IPO cash as a sign I am destined to get it after all :)
It may look like a bit of a beast, that's because it is & I'm sure my golf clubs will love it!


Thomas Maguire said...

Well done Cat. Superb & deserved result.

one ill cat said...

Cheers Thomas, thrilled with it :)

AdMMM said...

Well done Cat, played a blinder the whole weekend and great to see someone known in the community to do so well :). Long may it last :)

smurph said...

Absolutely delighted for you Cat, the composure you showed after the JJ hand and the French guy jumping up and down was unreal.

You didn't let if phase you, which alot of people would have maybe gone on tilt. Absolutely delighted to see 3 players I knew at the final table. Loads of people were coming up to me and saying "Isn't it great to see a woman at the final table" to which I replied, it's great to see a good poker player with a real shot at the final table. I was nearly going to buy rob a whiskey after the hand when you tangled with the Chip leader to your right, he went white as a ghost.

Good luck in the car searching... See you soon

Thomas Maguire said...

"But for a 2 day tournament there was a fair bit of play on offer, until we got to the stage that mattered where the money jumps were decided like bingo. The prize pool was very juicy especially for the buy in, so it's a shame the serious money end was settled when average stack was a mere 4M"

I find this happens often and it's extremely annoying and I can never make sense of it.

one ill cat said...

Cheers Adam, excellent blogging as usual from yourself & Sam :)

Thanks Smurph. That JJ was sick alright, particularly for the reason you mention. Happy to report car searching is over & I'm picking it up next week :)

Yeah Thomas, it seems silly that it's allowed to happen when it can easily be avoided alright. Hopefully feedback given will tweak things to at least reduce the effect of the jumping blinds next year.

QueenJ said...

Well done Cat! A deep run in the IPO, never mind the 4th place finish, is still bloody impressive considering the field you played in! We were all proud of you at that final table, so let the Frenchies dance any way they like!

Had you pegged to go all the way, am sorry I never got around to putting a bet on you reaching final table! Couldn't believe you had K4o in that hand, I was on my break watching you... your composure was so confident and sure, my eyes popped when you told me afterwards! Had you nailed for a J9s, 99s or bottom set, slow played QQ/KK/AA... LOL!

Enjoy the new car!

one ill cat said...

Cheers missus, delighted with the run obviously. The K4 hand was a bit sick alright, Frenchie told me he folded 66 which I'm not sure if I believe. One thing I am sure of is he was definitely ahead of me :P

Thanks for all your support down there, was much appreciated.

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