I flew in on the 21st and met up with Theos, was great to catch up, even though i wasnt sure it was the same man as he'd shed some serious pounds over the past year. Played my 1st event on the 23rd, a 1.5k no limit tournie. After a shakey start i managed to get myself up to 16k when a crazy italian shoved his 13k allin into a pot of 3k out of turn on a 358 rainbow board, i got a ruling just to be sure and checked snap called with my kks, he turned over 77s and i was rockin around 30k. Still great value in these 1.5k sides out here, very important to get off to a good start though.
Carter Phillips, a very impressive 21 yr old, with an ept and a wsop braclet already to his name came and sat down to my immediate right. He played fantastic small ball poker, and created such a maniac image that he actually induced a young internet player to 6 bet shove a 60bb stack with no fold equity with 55s, Phillips snapped with qqs. I noticed that everytime a new player came to the table, he would 3bet there open without fail, just to put them to the test and also let them know that if they were opening they have to get by him. Its not often i can say i learned a lot from a 21yr old, but playing with Carter Phillips certainly has helped improve my mtt game.
Well when the next man to sit to Philipps right was none other then our own Jude Ainsworth bringing with him a well above average 50k stack, i knew there would be fireworks. We had a bit of a laugh about the fact that even though we were both west of Ireland men, this was the 1st time we played against each other and it was at the wsop!!
Sure enough the two lads went at it, blow for blow and it was setting itself up for a major confrontation before Jude got coolered bvb for most of his stack. He's certainly not a man who'll hang around for the bubble to burst and ended up shoving his 10bbs into my aq to bust late in the day. You gotta respect the way Jude doesnt shy away from the big pots, he plays every hand to win the tournament, which is right way to play these things, he might not get as many cashes as alot of players but guarenteed when he does make the money he's got a monster stack and up their with the leaders.
So even though i had great position on Philipps, i literally had very few spots to abuse this, the cards were telling me not to play back at him. Which didnt bother me too much as the rest of the table were gifting chips. I had a great image and at one point, Phillips had me pegged for a nit saying "man i dont get it, you never play a pot and your somehow on 40k?" So since the last level of these things is closing in on the bubble, i decided to exploit my image and position and managed to rock up to 50k by days end.
Day 2, we started 7 off the bubble, I leaked a little pre bubble and then lost when my a10 got rivered by a8s allin pre for a big pot, couple of hands later i shoved my 10bbs from the c/o with aj and lost a race v 66s. Was nice to cash in my first event and keep my 100% wsop record intact, but i just made 1 pay jump over the min payout and i certainly ain't out here for those kinda scores.
That night i indulged in my one blow out of the series, The Irish Party...Paul Lucey of the Atlantis casino in Carlow laid on a serious bash in a villa of the Mirage hotel. Major commercial online sites would do well to match what this man laid out of his own pocket, hats off to Paul, only met him the night i landed here and he couldnt have been more welcoming.
Was great to meet guys from round the country, that you hear off and follow online; the Carlow lads Jason Tomkins + Aidan Coonan, the Dublin crew of Rory brown, Dave Callaghan, Donal o Conner, Nick Heather, John O Shea, Albert Kenny, Rob Taylor. Marty Smith, Nicky Power, Mick Mc Closkey,Paddy O Conner,the Mighty Doke, Tom Finneran, Wally Mc Cormack, Paul Carr, Mick Foley, Jude + Derek, Dermot Blaine..the list goes on, thats some crew of top quality players and alround great folk around this year, between all of us we gotta get Amhrán na bhFiann belted out from the bracelet ceremony by the end of this thing. Funnily enough, Doke told me whilst we were standing up after a level 2 break to the usual airing of the star spangled banner that it was his grandfathers cousin, Peader Kearney,who composed our own anthem.
Needless to say a couple of days off were needed after the party before serious action was resumed. Lost a flip early in a 1k, to shatter my perfect vegas record, bound to happen this year, as it was the first year i played more then one event!! Came back that night to ship a $325 sng, clean with no deal, really is great value in these sng sats, but as ever a bit of run good is always needed when down to the final 4.
The next day, i played a 1.5k, the Irish contignent is growing as a Dublin lad called James who just landed in town ended up moving to my table early in the day, and Sean Prendiville was busy amassing a monster stack a couple of tables away, I got myself up to over 13k before i got moved tables. Found myself 2 to the right of the most ridiculously hyper spewy sometimes passive/sometimes aggro in wrong spots scandi i come across yet. Taking a leaf outta Judes book, the very first time he 3bet, i 4 bet him and he put it down. He had over 20k when i sat down, and the rest of the table were of typical 1.5k standard, so i knew id have to go to war with the scandi before i could accumalate pre bubble.
So I chipped myself up to 21k and got the scandi chipped down to 12k as since the 3bet didnt work he kept trying to flat me in position and take it off me post. which wasnt happening, through either my stubborness or my having showdown value. I could see he was getting very frustrated and ready to crack, i flatted a mp raise with 77s at the 150/300 lvl and he shoved 12k, 40bbs from the button, the opener folded and i seriously considered making a call i normally would instantly fold, i really felt he was full of it but in the end decided to wait for a better spot as he was destined to spew again. I reluctantly laid it down and he showed 85o!!!
He spewed down to 6k and in the hand b4 the break he doubled when he called a 6k utg shove blind with a6 v ak and binked an ace. After the break @ 200/400, he told the guy b4 the cards were dealt "come on lets gamble, this hand...blind lets do it" i look down at kjs in the hj, i told myself that if i open here i cannot fold to the scnadis inevitable shove, or else i may aswell have 72o, same thing. so i opened 2.5x and sure enough scandi shoved 30bbs, i snapped and he turned over the top of his range in this spot 77s, he binked quads and i was crippled. lost aqs v kks to bust soon after. My only regret is not following my gut and making the call with the 77s earlier, i place a huge importance on being the table captain pre bubble and you can mulitply the benifits of this massivly in a live wsop event.
Theos had a great day, bagging over 60k in chips and just off the plane Sean Prendiville found himself on 110k, just met Sean for the first time that night, seems a real decent lad and obviously a seriously talented player of the game. Theos got a horrible beat post bubble day2 but as i write this Sean is 6th in chips going into the final day with 23 left, heres hoping the Kearney family will be getting a royalty cheque from Harrahs tommorrow!!
I played the 3k triple chance yesterday, raised ajs, got called from bb, flop came j6x, two of my suit, he had 66s, so it goes...
So my 100% record is shot, am 1/4 so far this year, but feeling and playing well; hitting the gym/spa in the mornings, eating my porridge and salads, saying my prayers and taking my vitamins!! Am taking days off in between events, I tend to leave a lot out on the tables and get really drained after a days play so its important for me to remove myself from the poker in between events. Been to the palms cinema, the past couple of nights with Paddy and Theos and gonna hit the gun store later and get back in time to rail Sean to the bracelet.