Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lifting Las Vegas blues

A week back from my first losing Vegas, and like most of the Irish contingent i'm taking stock and making plans.


Had a frustrating WSOP; played six side events and the main, cashing in the first and bombing out in the rest. One of those runs where i didnt get any breaks, particualrly in the main, where i busted out late in day2, never getting above 45k, i grinded it out and anytime i threatened to break through towards a decent stack id get knocked back down to the 20s again, seemed an endless cycle of building back to the 40s and getting my flopped 2 pair conterfited or my set 4 flushed and right back down again. Never got going. I did end up on the same table as Bruce Buffer the UFC announcer, and yes i did annouce "lets get ready to rumble" when i button raised his mid pos limp, worth a chuckle, not quite 10k though.

At that same table was Alex Kostrisian, a very impressive young Russian poker wiz, who won the 08 Aussie millions and has 4/5 WSOP final tables to his name. Playing a large number of hands in position, i noticed his tendancy to over pot scary rivers. Mixing these bets as both bluffs and as value bets, it made his bluffs tougher to call and gained max value from his winning hands. Being very focussed on the table, he seemed to know exactly where he was at in every hand. Not being one to back down, even though a world class soul reader had position on me, we went at it, using his postion + skills he ground me down and he ended up crippling me when i hero called one of his river overbets with kks on an ace high board and that was pretty much that. Well played Feargal, could do better...


What im most annoyed about though was my condition during day 1 of the main, at the start of the day i was absolutly shattered, overcome with tiredness, i told myself to play mainly abc and was delighted to finish the day above starting stax. I heard this complaint from a few of the other Irish players particualrly towards the end of the series. Having hit a similar wall last year, i reckon its a problem with living in a completly air conditioned environment for such a long period of time, combined with the stress/pressure involved in playing.

I dont think its any conincidence that my best results here have come straight off the plane, the same can be said for Sean Prendiville who had a remarkale first week ever in Vegas, being very unlucky not to make a final table with a 15th and 17th in 4k plus fields, this after he spent 3 weeks cycling round France. Nick Heather's and Denis Murphys final tables occured early in the series and the Irish results gradually seemed to decline throughout the series. Next year, i'll definatly sacrifice some sides events and get outta the desert for a week before the main event.

Taking Stock

I did notice a definate improvement in the overall standards of play, with alot more players mixing in light 3/4/5 bets to their game and its no suprise that the two players i came across that impressed me the most; Carter Phillips and Alex Kostritsyn are 21 and 23 years of age respectivly. There is still undoubtably great value to be had out at the series but with every year bringing another wave of young guns to the tables, its definatly getting thinner every year.

Even though it was finacially a losing Vegas, i think in the long run it was a great investment. Spending three weeks surrounded by the worlds best players, just has to improve your game.I was lucky to have some great companions on this trip and gained alot from discussing hands/startegies with some great poker minds and good friends.

Ept on the Horizon

Once i busted the main, i was of course sick to my teeth of poker, wrecked tired and longing for home, reminded me of the lyrics in Bob Dylans Tom Thumbs Blues "He looked so fine at first but left looking like a ghost".

Since arriving back the only game ive been fit for is my old favourite flipping addiction the stars 3xturbo sats. Check out this epic run good to bink a Ept vilamora package

6 players finished itm which was 500$ and then 1st gets the 7.3k package, my roll on stars being low post seires i did something i rarly do in these and nitted it up to get the cash and having 1.5bb once the bubble bursts- Hand #132,my vegas run good came 3 weeks too late and i won every race, even when they had big head starts to claim top prize.

A big live score is my main motivation at the moment in poker and winning this package was a great way to lift those Vegas blues and dangle another golden carrot out ahead to chase.


  1. Great blog as ever Feargal. The physical conditioning thing is definitely something that needs a lot of thought

  2. ya,big time, taught i did evrything right this year re gyming/diet, just finished reading positively 5th street, great read, makes you think how did they manage it back in the day, with no rest days, 15 hr days, smoke riddled rooms???...suppose they didnt have 5 bettin scandi monkeys melting their heads ;)

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  4. Wow just watched your PXF Hand Replayer....You Sir run good :-) Was epic watchin some of those holds & miracle flops... Great win Fergal very enjoyable video...Do you have any videos from other big MTT's you shipped or ran deep in?


  5. ya, ran well there alright, dont know if u ever played them but their nuts games and great fun, ive been on receiving end of these runs plenty o times, massive bubble too.

    cant get my ipoker wins into the pokerxfactor replayer casue the handhistories are in a weird format but heres a stars 70k win-

    and dunno if itll work but heres a list of otehrs ive posted-

  6. ok wont link but just copy and paste that text and ull get in there

  7. Great stuff, really enjoyed the tourney replays. Followed your WSOP on twitter and blog.
    Thoght I would say hello .
    I see your a Sligo man!!!, wont wish you luck for Sat evening.

    C'mon the Down,lol.

  8. thanks Paul, ya we're fairly crushed after last weekend down here,the lads have plenty to prove again this weekend,pity for ye ye'll feel the brunt of it ;)
    shame its not on the tele,

    cheers for support anyways, will try to keep this + the torny repalyer updated

  9. I think the key as far as physical preparation is to be in top shape before you get there. Any training you do while there will have very little effect on your fitness once the ME starts. It may even be slightly detrimental. All serious distance runners taper for 2-3 weeks before a big race in recognition of this (meaning they train very little in that period). I suspect the same is true for poker marathons: train hard in the months before getting there, and switch the emphasis to quality rest once you get there.