Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Las Vegas & Killarney Trip Report

Killarney Trip Report
I'll start at Killarney, I went down to play the Ladbrokes €550 game there a couple of weeks ago. I had bought in myself after trying 1 online satellite with no success. It was the biggest tournament that I have ever bought into before. My father bought 10% in me for the fun and I usually do well in any games that he has a small stake in me so it was a good luck omen as well which did work.

So I got down there on the Friday after driving down from Dublin, I was feeling a bit wrecked when I got down there so by the end of the night I was really just waiting for the clock to finish on Day 1. I was never used to playing for such a long time in a poker game and it was pretty tiring both mentally and physically. I was lucky enough on my first table down there, it was a soft enough table and not 1 person was really playing back at me at all. I was liberally raising every pot I entered and throwing in a few 3b with air as well which were quite successful, especially one with 8d4d which made a straight on a 8765 board where I won a decent sized pot.

My second day was a hell of a lot tougher where I encountered several good players over the course of the day including last year’s winner and also this year’s winner. I came into the day with 3 times the average chip stack and finished the day just below average. I had quite a few interesting hands over the course of the day but I had tightened up considerably since the day before as my antics from the previous day just would not fly on these tables. I probably was too tight around the bubble but I actually really wanted to go home with at least €1k considering I had bought in myself.

My third day was a real non starter, I think 39 players or so made it back and I ended up coming in 29th, the very first hand I made a push with Q4o in the CO after it was folded to me and I got the button to fold AQ which was a good result, 2 hands later I pushed again with KQo and got through which was brought me up to just over the average stack. After that I really saw no cards at all, I seen ATo when I was UTG but I folded it as I only had 11bb so it was basically push or fold for me. My main demise was when I pushed the button with Q6s to run into a smaller stacks TT, first card out was a Q but 2 more Ts really crushed me!. Very next hand I had 3.5bb left and I had A6o and I pushed only to run into TT again which only made a set this time!

So that was a brief report on Killarney, it was a great tournament, really well run with a good blind structure, even though it did turn into a bit of a crapshoot for me at the end but that’s the way these things go I guess. It was my biggest tournament cash to date which I was happy with, would have loved to have got near the real money but it wasn't to be. I did get a Hendon Mob profile though so I can now consider myself a true poker great!! :)

Las Vegas Trip Report
I was on holidays last week in the US, I flew out to San Fran last Saturday for 3 days before I my stay in Las Vegas. This was my second time in Las Vegas, was there on a J1 a couple of years ago when I was pure broke. This time I had some money with me so it was going to a different story. I had booked into the MGM Signature which is a complex of to the side of the MGM hotel and casino. It was just a stunning hotel which really was above my expectations. I booked a suite which had a fully fitted kitchen (which I never used!) and a living room with HD LCD and then the bedroom with another LCD and even one in the bathroom as well which was the size of my bedroom at home.

I had booked a helicopter trip to the Canyon before we went out, my girlfriend, my friend John and his girlfriend Ciara all went out in what was just an amazing experience. I had never been in a helicopter before so that was an experience in itself, but it was so cool to fly over the Hoover damn, Lake Mead and then finally fly through the middle of the Canyon and land at the bottom of it and have a champagne picnic at the bottom. We flew back into the Sunset on our way back to Las Vegas for another night out on the beer.

The next day we had booked tickets to see Cirque du Soleil in the Bellagio. We went to see "O" which really is an amazing show for anyone to go and see. It is basically several gymnasts doing acrobatics over a swimming pool which will leave you in awe the entire show. We had great seats up near the front of the theatre, there was so much going on, at times it was hard to know what to focus on.

I played a few hours of poker while I was over there. I had put some of my online roll onto my credit card so I could play some while out there but in the end only played 2 days while there for about 4-5 hours in total which is very little for live poker. I ran pretty well while over there, the first day I played some 1/2NL in the MGM while the standard was just shocking and I got paid off pretty easy by bottom pair and the like. The second day I played a bit in the $2/$5NL game in the MGM. The standard was a small bit better but more comparable to 25c/50cNL online. I ran really well in this game getting paid of for pots over 1.2k with both AK and AA, I finished up this session with $1.9k on the table from a starting stack of $500 which would go down in my top 5 best poker sesisons ever which was sweet.

I played a little blackjack over there as well in which I done ok in, I don't know much about this game so I was definitely a fish as far as the Bellagio and the Venetian were concerned. I won about $100 or so playing this and another $250 playing roulette. I only played roulette when drunk. Me and John both decided to put down $50 each on black for one spin while we were on the way to a club. We won and it bought a few drinks. Next night I took one $50 spin on black again and won, following night me and John gave it another go while enroute to Ghostbar in the Palms, out luck was lasting and again we won.

On my final night I went for a meal in Craftsteak with my girlfriend. I had decided before I went over that I wanted to have a Kobi steak while I was in Vegas. This restaurant specialized in steaks so it seemed to be the place to get it. Before I went out I had said I was going to spend no more than $200 on a piece of meat but I seen the "8 oz Japanese wagyu beef grade 12 A5 filet mignon all the way from Kagoshima in Japan" I had to try it out, $240 of the finest steak I have ever had. It really was just a melt in your mouth steak, so tender and juicy and delicious flavors helped by the sauce that it was sitting on. I would recommend anyone to try on of these once.

On the last day I missed my flight from Vegas to San Fran and was in great danger of missing my flight from San Fran to Dublin which would have been a real disaster. I slept in to 9:30am when my flight had departed at 9:28am!! We rushed to the airport hoping to catch another flight ASAP but the next one was not until 12:10pm while out flight back to Ireland was at 2:35pm. In fairness to US airways they done every single thing the could have to make sure we made our connection back home. They put our luggage through from one plane to the other which was a huge help, gave us seats at the front of the plane and asked the other passengers to wait for us while we departed the plane first at San Fran and didn't even charge us for the flight!! We rushed through the terminals at San Fran, running to the Aer Lingus checkout desk to print of out boarding passes so we could get through security and make our flight home. We eventually did, I was really thinking that my poker winnings were going to have to go on a flight back to Ireland as I am pretty sure Aer Lingus would not waive the costs of the flight these days.

Online Poker Update
Poker has been going really well this month, I had a short session at 2/4 last night which was good to get back into it. I have spread my bankroll over a 4 sites while I try to look for the best games going. My Irish Open ticket is about 59.6% done at the moment so hopefully I can get it close to 75% by the end of the month. I have only played about 6k hands online this month so far but have been doing pretty well, about $3k in winnings which is nice and total winnings of the month from live and online are about $7k, so hopefully I am on course for my best month ever.

That’s it for now, hopefully I will get another update of how online is going at the end of the month with a better recap on online poker.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vegas in the morning

That is all...........