Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Euro Deepstack


Was really up for last weekends Euro deepstack tornie in Dublin and so was really down when i went from chipleader to busto hours before the bubble. A disturbing reoccurence which has now happened in back to back major tornies (http://midnitekowby.blogspot.com/2010_12_19_archive.html).

Am obviously doing alot right when amassing these stacks but as i mentioned in my last blog, im still at times trying to hammer the ball 300 yards with a freckin putter in my hand!!

Day1 started great with a sweet table draw and some nice cards i chipped up fairly handy from the starting stax of 50k to 90k, got moved tables to find myself between 2 time deepstax final tablist and irish eyes pro Jason Tompkins and Noel Clarke from Mayo, have great respect for both of these lads games so there were definataly easier spots out there. Leaked chips a bit when i first arrived here, felt things going against me, so slowed it down til i got my barrings.

I remember a great piece of advice Andy Black gave me out at the WSOP, think it was after day3 in the 09 main event, when i had amassed a large stack. He talked about tornies being such a long road and that whilst i was flying high now, feeling invincible, there would be times where things would turn against me, where nothing i do would go well, moves would fail, hands wouldnt hold. His advice was that during these times, to take your stack into a cave, dig a hole 10 feet down, bury it, eat the bloody map and just wait....

Wait for the change, maybe its a dealer, maybe its a simple abc hand played well, maybe your AAs take down a nice pot but wait for that winning confidence to come back and once you got it again, then dig em all back up and bring em out to harvest...It was kks that snapped me outta this Andy Black induced trance, i cold 4bet joz's button 3bet with em and he musta been zoned into some form of zen himself at the time as he mucked his aq, simple pot but got me back into the zone and managed to take a few more wee ones after this and got back to my 90k by the time the table broke.

The Rush

Found myself seated to the left of Noel McMahon, i keep bumping into Noel at these things and he seems a very solid player and alround gent of a man. Was definatly glad to be on his left hand side at the table. Started out fairly aggro here, getting in plenty of 3bets and openin alot, i had chipped up to over 120k when a young aggro scandi looking kid opens from ep, theres a flat around the co/hj area and im on the button with the ladies, so i bump it up to 10/11kish hoping it looks like a classic button sqeeze, laggy scandi nutjob falls right into my trap and 4bets his atc to 33k, without much taught i put him in for his 100k stack, he thinks for a while, looking pretty sick with himself he calls it off with the Kings!! But i must say i played the flop beautifully, nailing the Q to send him packing. Noel told me afterwards that they were on the same table all day and it was only the second hand he'd opened, so much for that read!!

On the second to last hand of the night i was on the right side of aas v kks to end the day 3rd in chips after both day1s with a stack of 334k coming back the next day. Had a cheeky brandy at the bar afterwards to help me sleep, no such luck, heads buzzing with pots i didnt get to sleep til 5.30 in the a.m.

The Rise

Day2 started well, the other 300k+ stack at my table opened, i flatted the button with k10cc and saw a beautiful 9jqcc flop, called his cbet and raised the brick turn hoping to play for staxs, no such joy but a nice start to the day, hand 2 was even nicer when i 3bet kks from the cutoff to 12k, utg opener shipped in 90k with his jjs, j on turn for the drama but once again i outplayed him on the river when the k came roaring down! Still in this first orbit i raise up 10s to 5kish in early pos, get flatted in the middle and a young 3bettor,did what young 3bettors do and 3 bet from the blinds to 25k.....

He was playing 160k, so staxs were really awkward here, cant raise fold, but a shove feels way too much and will only get called by better hands, seriously contemplated folding but just felt way to weak versus this guy in this spot, so i flicked it in, and suprisingly the flatter came along to the flop of 10jqcc, which was kinda great and kinda horrible at the same time... So the Aggressor leads for 25k into the 75k, which could easily be inducing the shove, i decided to thread cautiously, flat this lead and see what the man in the middle did, when he shoved for 108k more and the aggressor folded, i had an easy decision, calling off the 83k to win 220k, he turns over ajcc and once again i play the turn and river like a true master and ship myself up to 670k!

Soon after this the table sadly broke and i found myself seated to the left of fellow Sligo man, Fergal Cawley from Enniscrone. I've honestly never seen a man to have a whole poker table, dealers included in knots laughing like Fergal, he's a great character at any poker table and really lightens the mood of whatever game your in. I wasnt there too long but really liked the looks of the table, when the dealer was about to riffle the deck in my bb, Toby gave me a tap on the shoulder to move tables.

When i said gl to Fergal he was hovering around 150k and at that point if someone told me a 32 year old Fergal from Sligo would be on the final table that weekend i'd have been surly getting my hopes up, but it was the other Fergal who went on to storm through to the final table and a fine,well deserved 6th place finish, some result for a man who sat down 4 hours late for the tornament,he was to meet his pal in the hotel lobby before they headed down to play together, but he ended up in the Burlington, home of the Irish open a very confused man, unable to find his friend or a poker tornament. When he eventually sat down at his table on day1, he got AAs first hand, doubled up and didnt look back from there til he was last Irish man standing.

The Fall

My new table a little bit tougher by comparison. Here i made a couple of silly basic errors, one in which i overvalued kj in a bvb spot and this was compounded by another when i went to flat call 88s from the bb, but ended up misclicking in a reraise and pricing myself into calling the 4bet shove and somehow finding myself in a 160k pot up against kks, got owned here on all streets as the 8 failed to show:)

At one low point i found myself down to 350k, only 20k up on where i started the day,i rallied to 420k b4 dinner. During the break, i remember noticing a huge jump in the cost per level, think it jumped 6k to 29k in each pot to be played for between blinds and antes and we were 30 players off the bubble, So with everyone still ladened down with carvery in their bellies, i decided it would be a good time to go for gold and put the foot on the pedal.

I think i took down 5 pots uncontested in this 1st orbit of the table, to rock upto 550k, easy game. A solid Lithuanian player, called Marius
was seated directly to my left, he had been talking about playing all the ukipts, been up on their leaderboard etc, i felt if anyone was capable of playing back at me light it would be this guy. And it would be when i raised into his blinds, so when i min raised the button, still on this after dinner roll, i was expecting him to put up some form of a fight. Sure enough he repops it to 60k, playing 310kish. Situationally it was the perfect stax size for a 4bet shove here, not only were staxs right but he could easily be light given my very aggro image post break and it was over a button min raise, on top of this we're 30 off the bubble and he has a stax size comfortable enough to make it into the cash if he folds.

So i start eyeballing him and get a repeat of a very strong live tell i picked up on earlier that he isn't comfortable with his hand. I figure there's heaps of small pps, raggy aas and kq/qj hands i can get to fold out here and if called i wont be crushed for the most part..

So with everything i know about this game telling me to shove, i do....He goes into the tank, and is about to fold, when he changes his mind and makes a great call with a9o. I table 107o and we race for a 880k pot at the 5/10 lvl. I play the turn majestically, hitting my 10 but a complacent fistpump sees the A bink the river and Marius deservedly scoops the pot. After he told me, he knew i picked up that he was weak and had pushed on that. He also said he had a tell on me, which i'll be better keeping off this blog i reckon!! anyhow that hit reduced me to 200k and i ended up shoving my j9s for 18bbs from the sb and Marius finished me off when he found the ak and he held.

He ended up finishing 10th, getting crippled when Sligo came looking for revenge, his aas were cracked by Fergal Cawleys qqs in a pot which would've seen him with a commanding lead entering the final table. He deserved better but if he keeps making correct decisions and playing with balls when needed am sure he'll be hitting big scores soon

The Aftermath

The 107o shove provoked some great debate over the course of the weekend, am lucky enough to be able to discuss these hands with some top players, most agreed that given the situ and my read it was a fine and infact a great spot to get it in. Next day i met Doke and he pointed out the fact that i was hoovering up soo many chips uncontested at such a soft table, so why should i be risking so much of my stack on this high varience play, given my edge. Uggghhh, trust Doke to not give me the answer i was looking for, but thats why he's a great man to chat strategy with.

I checked outta the hotel, put the bags in the car and went into say good luck to some of the lads i knew in the money. Also had the back leg of a horse still in the running so I found myself with Tom Kitt railing our 10%'s of the one man poker phenom that is Sean Prendiville

Sean was down to 17k after the first level and managed to rally back to finish the day with 200k+, he treaded water a lot of day2 but got a rush towards the end to finish up over the mill. Having one of the larger stacks at the business end of the tornie and a proven finsher Sean was everyones tip for the win. His stack climbed to 4 million with 12 left, unfortunatly he fell short at the final hurdle, running into some hands.

Writing this, i couldnt even tell you these hands, cause Sean never mulls over them or beats himself up about it, compared to myself who ends up discussing my 107o hand at 7am the next morning with a Dublin Taxi driver! Sean just doesnt give a dam, has no emotional attachments to his exits, which is what makes him so bloody dangerous at the table, how do you strike fear into a man that just doesnt give a monkeys!

Still, another great run, from a guy who has to be the best pound for pound Irish player out there at the moment

After a side event non event for me, which was crushed by Gerard Harraghy, i decided to unwind with my first few beers of the weekend, but quickly found out that in the company of Kitt/Prendiville/the blogging lads and some of jps crew theres no such thing as just a few. The craic was deadly, real belly achingly funny shit goin on, with bottle walking, shoebombs and lemons been stuck in eyeballs for 25 euros, savage night, good times.

Anyway, was obviously in a world of pain, denial and industrial espionage the next day when i woke up with the horrors...Less said bout that the better.


Great weekend alround, even though i'm personally disappointed at failing to convert antoher big stack into a solid result, definatly feel im close to a big one. Fair play to the D4 events lads, Brain and Mike and Jp, Toby and his crew of dealers for a well run show, still shocked at how many foreigners theyve managed to get over for these events. Was great catching up with all the usual faces and meeting new heads as well. There's a great spirit of cameradiere on the local poker scene which is more evident at these bigger field smaller buyin events.

Once again, a top class job was done by Danny, Kev, Carl and Ailbe from irishpokerboards. They're really forming a tight blogging machine and hopefully every Irish event will see the need for local knowledge and enthuasism in the reporting.

So I hit the road for home, with some good memories,some regrets and a banging head..Tom had given me a gift of his cd "Kitt Happens" for the road home, had it on the loop and it did the trick nicely, real raw gritty honest tunes bout love n life n poker, chk him out here-http://www.myspace.com/thomaskitt

Its off to Paris morrow with Shaun Craig for the Pokerstars French Poker Series Grand Final, its a 2k buyin in a fairly swanky Parisian Casino, playing day1c, so fingers crossed i can convert this one.....

Pictures courtesy of Danny and Ailbe, Irishpokerboards.


  1. one hell of a read!!

  2. Nice read Fergal. Really good run and the big one is coming soon. Hopefully at an event we are covering!

  3. Woow great reading! Good luck in Paris! /C4Q

  4. A very easy, enjoyable read yet again dude. Keep up the hard work and best of luck in Paris.

  5. Hi,
    I was the blond guy in your table at FPS. Enjoying playing with you, was great fun. sounds like setup AQ-AJ less than 15bb, like QQ-55, next time will be ok. Just finished the day with 65k, did some crazy bluff when you leave..! enjoy your stay in Paris, btw if you want to make a restaurant with some friends, it will be great, call on me : 06 09 98 15 43, or on facebook : Alban JUEN, or skype : alban.juen

    c u at next EPT ;)

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