New surroundings and Malta life!

Since I left Hungary about two months ago, I have basically been living out of my suitcase. As much as I love traveling, seeing new places and meeting new people, I am now super happy about finally getting to unpack my bags and stay in one place for a bit more than two weeks. Since I left Budapest I have spent 1 week in London, 2 weeks in Steinkjer/Trondheim, 1 week in Brighton, 1 week in Belgium, 2 weeks in Dublin and now I have finally arrived at my destination. I have now been in Malta for one week, and I am already in love with Malta life.

My accommodation for the first couple of weeks.

Temporary housing solution

Arriving in Malta I did not yet have my own place to live. I figured the best way to find one was to get down here, and then go to house viewings etc in person. This way I could get a better feel for the different areas on the island and the apartments themselves. I spoke to Marco and Stubbe from the Unibet Community about my plan, and they were kind enough to offer me shelter until I got settled in my own place here. So for the past week, I have been staying at their crib (which is basically the perfect bachelor lounge). It has a backyard swimming pool and BBQ, a poker table, a dart board, some gaming consoles and a sweet projector set-up to watch movies/sports/play games on.

Marco crushing me at some darts.

First few days

I arrived late on Sunday evening and spent the night just getting settled in, unpacking a bit and relaxing. The next couple of days was mostly spent sightseeing Malta, hanging by the pool, playing darts and enjoying some cold ones with the guys. I obviously managed to get sunburned the second day, convincing myself that the sun was not that strong early in the day, and it’s only April, right? Well, I spent the next two days looking like a lobster. Next time I plan on spending a full day in the sun, I might just apply some sunscreen.

No need for sunscreen, right?

Saturday home game

On my first Saturday here we hosted a home game, with me, Marco, Stubbe, Søren (who lives with Marco and Stubbe) and Jami aka ReCorpH from the Unibet community/Twitch. We only had two webcams available, and not the best upload speed of the internet, so the production value was not as great as we had planned. The stream was super fun though, and the feedback from chat/forums was great. We played a €25 rebuy turbo SNG first, and some small stakes cash games after. I ended up winning the SNG after rebuying with 2.5BB’s at 2000/4000/500. SeemsGood. We had different extra rules, to literally spice the game up. I.e. “whoever loses this Omaha flip gets to choose between eating a raw chili or taking two shots of this horrible pepper candy liqueur”. Other examples included that if you got bluffed on the river, you had to wear a poop-hat until the next time someone got bluffed on the river. And if you got bluffed by 72 on the river, you had to jump in the pool. Or whoever folds preflop next hand needs to drink, and so on and so on… We sure had a lot of fun, and I am sure we will do a similar stream in the near future. Hopefully with some hole card webcams and some better lighting!

Very high tech streaming setup.

In an attempt to make these blog posts a bit shorter, I will cut it here and throw in some random pics from Malta to compensate. Next blog is probably gonna be in a week or two when I’ve (hopefully) settled in to my own place!

Sightseeing Sliema.
Sightseeing some more.
Strike a pose.
Awkward smile is the best smile.

Irish Open + Norwegian Championship of Poker 2017

Alright, a slightly delayed blog post coming up! I just spent two weeks in Dublin, playing the Irish Open and the Norwegian Championship. I was planning to write this in two parts, with the first part getting posted during my first week in Dublin. The schedule in Dublin was however so packed, that I simply did not find the time. The first week especially I was going hard on the tourney grind, basically registering for a new tournament as soon as I busted the previous one.

Citywest Hotel outside of Dublin. Host of the Irish Open and the Norwegian Championship of Poker.

Arriving in Dublin

I arrived in Dublin on Thursday the 27th of March, and took a taxi to fellow ambassador Dara O’Kearneys crib. He was naturally out on his weekly 52 km run, but I was kindly greeted and let in by his lovely wife Mireille. I had never met her before, but after talking to her for 15 minutes I felt like I had known her for ages. I stayed at their place for the first night only, as I had a hotel room booked at the Citywest hotel for the rest of my stay, courtesy of Unibet (thanks)! I shared that hotel room with Bulgarian pro Daniel Chutrov, who I met back in 2015 at Unibet Open Glasgow (an event he ended up winning, the luckbox ;-)).

Well, thank you!

I had two amazing two weeks in Dublin, meeting many many people I have known through poker for 10 years+, as well as making some new acquaintances. I have been attending the Norwegian Championship most years since I turned 18 (in 2006), and it’s grown alot since then. For the main event this year there was 1250 people entering, which is amazing! It’s always a very friendly atmosphere, and I think most of the Norwegians who go there treat it more like a social vacation, than strictly a poker event.

Playing some cards

Since we played 7 events, I can’t really go through all of them in detail. I will however spare a few lines of the blog, to sum up the results we had in the tournaments. We had a lot of deep runs in te Irish Open events and came close to pretty big scores a couple of times. We played the following events:

Irish Open 6-max €350 – finished 23rd with 17 paid
Irish Open HU €350 – finished 2nd for €1750 (but no trophy FeelsBadMan)
Irish Open main event €1150 – finished 160th with 135 paid
Irish Open JP masters €550 – finished 13th for €1800 (€27k up top)
Irish Open high roller €2000 – finished 13th with 7 paid (€35k uptop)
Irish Open 8-max €350 – finished 27th with 25 paid

Besides the Irish Open tournaments, I only managed to play 1 event at the Norwegian Championship this year, and that was the main event. I was planning on playing the main and the HU event, but the HU collided with day 2 of the Irish Open main event. The main event of the Norwegian Championship was basically the only tournament of the trip where I didn’t make a good run for it.

Hand discussions

As I try to do in all of the live event blogs, I will discuss a few interesting hands from the Irish Open and Norwegian Championship main events here. Feel free to let me know in the comments what you think about these segments. I realize that some of my readers don’t care too much about poker, while the bulk of my readers probably are poker players themselves.

Hand #1 (Irish Open main event):

I open AJs from the HJ to 925 at 200/400/50. An aggressive good player 3bets me from the SB to 2800, and I call. Effective stacks being around 25k, with me covering him. Flop is J85r with a backdoor flush draw for us. He bets 2400 and I call. Turn is a 4, which gives us a flush draw to go with our TPTK. He bets again, this time for 6k. I call. The river is another 4 and he jams for 14500. Pretty messed up spot, where I think his value range is something like QQ/KK/AA/67s/possibly AJ. His bluffing range is probably 9Ts/QTs/Q9s/some turned flush draws which we block. He could also possibly be just firing 3 barrels with a hand like AK/AQ here trying to fold out Jx/TT/99 etc. I ended up folding my hand, figuring there would be better spots to pick up chips in a tournament like this. I asked him in a cash game the day after what he had, and he said KK. He seemed like an honest guy, so that gives me some comfort!

Norwegian Championship main event table.

Hand #2 (Norwegian Championship main event): 

I had a pretty soft table, with one guy being very drunk (at 13:00 in the afternoon, SeemsGood). The drunk guy opens UTG for 300 at BB100. MP calls and I call QJss on the button. 3-ways to a flop of Q83ss. Amazing flop for us, flopping top pair and a flush draw vs the soft spot at the table. He cbets for 375, and we have a choice to make. Do we flatcall to keep variance as low as possible, or do we go for value against someone drunk and spewy? Probably in a soft tournament like this, I should just have got for the low variance route of calling, but I decided to raise and made it 925. He thinks for about 1 second and throws in 3500. I now kinda hate my life, as I really don’t wanna bust this early in this super soft tournament. If this was a re-entry I would be super happy getting it in here, but in a freezeout I think it’s not amazing. We can’t fold however, holding top pair and FD. So I make the call, and the turn is the 3c, pretty bad card for us… He bets 4500, and again I think we need to make a call here. We still have a decent holding, given that he could be drunk spewing with any two cards, and we still got 11 outs against aces or kings. So I call again and river is 7h. He checks quickly and I figure that he gave up, and that I could be winning. I check back and he flips over KK. Mehhh.

Hand #3 (Norwegian Championship main event):

This hand I open 99 to 275 from the HJ, still at 50/100 blinds. Both blinds call (drunk guy in SB). Flop comes 36Kss, and they both check. I throw out a small cbet of 300 and they both call. Turn is the 9 of spades, giving me trips but also completing a possible flush. They both check again, and I think we have a pretty close spot. I thought it was fairly likely for one of them to have a flush now, as they both called flop, so I decided to check back. The river is an offsuit 5, and the drunk guys leads for 625, a fairly small bet. As in the previous hand, I get greedy, figuring he is probably just making a small value bet with a king here. I raise to 1825 and he snap-3bets to 3600. I hate life and put my cards in the muck. He told me he had a small flush.
I feel like the two last hands here was slight misplays. I should probably try to take the lowest variance route possible in tournaments as soft as this one, at least when there is no re-entry.

Action packed poker room.

Making a straight flush in the cash games

I will also include a hand from the cash game tables, which was pretty interesting/enjoyable. We are playing €2/€5 hold’em and we are 8 handed. UTG who is a good Romanian player opens UTG for 15, and MP calls. I look down at 9Thh in the BB and I defend. I am sitting at around €1200 and the UTG player covers me. Flop brings 5x7h8h, aka the dream. As I think the UTG player is gonna check back a flop like this a fair bit, I decide to lead out. So I lead for €40 and the UTG makes it €150. At this point I believe he is pretty strong, either holding an overpair, a set or a big flush draw. He could also just be bullying sometimes, as many players perceive leads (donkbets) to be weak. MP folds and I think for a while. I’m certainly not afraid of getting it in here, as the only hands we really don’t wanna see are hands like AJhh. I also believe that by 3betting the flop we can fold out overpairs very successfully. So I make it €380 and he tank-calls. When he calls on this board I believe his range is pretty much only big flush draws or combo draws like 67s/56s. I’m not sure he would raise those on the flop though. Turn brings the Jh, giving us the straight-flush and locking up the hand. As I think most of his hands at this point are big flushes, I decided to go for a check-raise. It doesn’t really matter what we do if he has a big flush, as the money is going in anyways. But at least this way we give him a chance to bluff if he for some reason doesn’t have the flush. So I check and he bets small, like €280. I put him in for the rest and he snap calls. I tell him he is drawing dead and he just gives me a funny look, like I am joking. I flip over my hand, and he turns over his A2hh in disbelief over what just happened. Shipppp ittttttttt!

I approve of this turn card.

As I will try to keep these blog posts fairly short, I will wrap it up here. Next blog post will be from Malta, where I just moved. I am currently staying at Unibet Community guys Marco and Stubbe, until I find my own place down here. Having an amazing time so far, and I am sure the next year is gonna bring a lot of excitement and fun!

See you next year, Citywest!