How I won the Irish Open (Part 2 of 4)

Saturday Day 2

So I make day 2. I’m starting below average but I’m in a better mindset. My plan is to pick the best spots possible to get all my chips in and double up. I know this sounds like very  general poker lingo but basically it meant for me identifying my opponents and getting my chips in versus weak tight players or aggressive players using position.

My first table breaks early and we get the redraw cards. I picked 2nd last and the ticket nearest to me; the last ticket gets moved to the TV table. I breathe a sigh of relief and smile and say ‘Good luck’. Then I move to my nice quiet outer table with Andy Black sitting two to my right…

These 3 and a half hours stick in my memory so much as they seemed by far the longest time in the tournament. I’m trying to nurse a short stack mainly by pushing over raises most of the time. I’m moving between 20 and 40k consistently. For example a young aggressive, German guy opens UTG+1. I look at A3SS with 30 bbs, I shove and he folds.  Was my read right, was my position right, was my table image right or did I just get lucky this one time? I don’t know but it worked for me this time and a few others. Most of my losses at this time were steals and then re-raises to get me off or raises pre-flop with a fold afterwards.
Then it happened, the hand which turned my tournament. I’m sitting on about 40k or well below average when it’s folded to me on the cut-off. I open to between 2.5-3 times the BB. After about a minute’s debate the sb shoves all in for 40k+. The bb looks at his cards and insta-calls his 38kish stack. As cool as I’ve ever been I beat both their chips and cards into the middle and table my AA. I’m against the sb’s A8 and bb’s KK and I hold. My chipstack moves to above average and I am now truly alive and kicking in this tournament.

Another important hand I played that day was AJ versus Andy Black from the button. Andy opens from the hi-jack; I plan to reraise 2.5 times his open. Oops, dealer says that’s not twice the raise, ‘Make up the rest’, which I duly do. Andy calls. Flop comes Q74, I bet and he insta calls. If there was ever a time I felt truly inferior at a poker table this was it. I felt like my hand was face up and the whole table could see my cards (Oh and to boost, I was naked). Weird what your mind can do to you at anyone time. Turn is just a blank such a blank I can’t even remember it,honestly. Then it goes check and check. River is gin for me, I hit an ace. Now before I tell you my bet, I looked at Andy’s face, he looked mad like he knew it was a bad card.  After a minute or two’s debate with myself I decide to table my top pair to his flopped 7. Most of you will say bad check on river and maybe it was. Andy did tell me later he wasn’t calling but might have reraised if he felt it would get through. Truth or maybe some talk to get weaker hands checked down in future who knows? All I know is it didn’t feel right for me at the time.
Anyway, there are two levels left but we are on break soon. A contract is put in front of me to sign, which I do. My worst fears come true; I’m to be on the TV table after the break. On the break I’m chatting with my girlfriend; by chatting I mean freaking out. She relaxes me. She tells me it’s still the same as before it’s still just cards. BOOM. I’m not totally calm but I am in a far better frame of mind.My first thought when I sit down is ‘let’s go’.When I looked at everyone else across the table I could see how nervous they were. I knew I could take advantage of this.

It turned out that I ran really good on the TV table; better than Usain Bolt you could say. There were too many hands to think back on but there were three QQs and 2 a AKs at least. The biggest pot I played was when I had J8 of hearts in the bb. A German guy raises 2.5 the bb. Now this guy is a great player and I really don’t want to play him oop, but the sb calls so I join the action. It would be a sin not to in my mind. So I pray a little to the poker gods. BOOM!  Prayers answered, the flop comes 10, 9, 7 with 2 diamonds. Honestly I’d love to say the play after that mattered and I skilfully got his chips in the middle, but it didn’t.  After a check raise by me on the turn he pushed and I called he had K7 of diamonds and he had also flopped a monster. I faded his diamonds on the river and I’m up to top 5 in the tournament.

Come back tomorrow for day 3!

This entry was posted in Niall Smyth, Paddy's Pros, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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