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FREE entry Thomas Rolfe was celebrating after coming through a mammoth five and a half hour final table to land the Irish Poker €100,000 first prize, last weekend. The Nottingham-based player (alias ‘r0lfus’) plans to invest his biggest ever win in property after capturing the six-figure sum when his AQ vs. AK hit the flush to consign local favourite Emmet Gough to the runners-up spot.- The four day festival attracted over 750 players. Rolfe said: “I’m really pleased to have won this event. It’s a big stepping stone and a chance to invest in a new house.” The 22-year-old, who won his place at Killarney in a rake race on the firm’s site, added to his joy by securing the first Ladbrokes Poker Cruise IV package. Thomas is a regular at Ladbrokes Poker and a member of the VIP Club. He can often be found playing NLHE €3/6 and €5/10 games. Satellites for the cruise are due to start in December, exclusively online at Ladbrokes Poker. Kate McLennan, Head of Poker, said “This tournament has once again been a huge success and is a fitting place to launch the Poker Cruise. It’s nice to see familiar faces and also welcome some first-timers.
For all details visit Ladbrokes’ website.

The Ladbrokes Poker Cruise IV, will be one of the first voyages for the ‘Oasis of the Seas’ and is scheduled to depart on January 22nd, 2011 for nine days around the Caribbean taking in popular holiday destinations including Jamaica and Cozumel.
Cabin securing satellites will run exclusively on Ladbrokes Poker from €4.
All details to follow in the next few weeks!

Pro Players Blog

Jonas Danielsson says…Bust
Sunday 4 Oct 2009

I just have to press “b” and the word “Bust” comes up. It saves me a little time, lol.

I am fairly happy with how I played. Big pot which made me lose my stack was when the button limped, I completed with Qs-5s in the small blind and big blind checked. Blinds were 500-1000 with a 100 ante. The flop came Ah-Js-2s, giving me a flushdraw. I bet 2500, BB folded and the button raised to 7k. The button is a really loose player (looser than me actually) and even though I could see him limping an ace I still thought it was rather unlikely. This makes this flop a really good flop to be aggressive on since its unlikely he would limp any strong hands like A-A, J-J, A-J. He would probably raise 2-2 as well just to take the blinds. J-2 I consider is to weak to limp there. So there are not really many combos that can stand a push from me. A-2 is probably the only one and maybe he would raise that from the button as well. In short, I thought that he himself could have a flushdraw or just a pure bluff most of the time. My range from the SB is a little bit wider than his limping range since I get really good pott odds preflop with anything. Also I have seen him raise alot of top pairs with weak kickers on the flop just to take the initative so any type of weak ace I also put in his range but I thought I had fold equity over those.

I pushed for 35k into 13 500 basically repping only J-2, 2-2 and A-2 but I still kind of liked the play since in a tournament people are not that range conscious. He called with A-10 and I am not really sure about his play here. I would not push a flushdraw lower than a ten-high (because of the risk in bumping in a higher flushdraw) and that actually makes my range a slight favorite in this spot. There was however enough money in the pot for him to call but considering I had been playing pretty tight I think he could find a fold because he also has to consider that I might call with a good flushdraw instead of pushing. I guess its a pretty close spot all in all.

Now I am going to have a few guiness and tomorrow I will try to see some of those green litlle leprechauns the Americans come here to look for 😉

I heard that at the end of the rainbow is a good place to start.

Andreas Hoivold says…The fun that would not last
Saturday 3 Oct 2009

We asked the driver to go to Killarney instead of the train station. He said that was no problem, but he seemed a bit insecure. He said he had to turn around to get there, which for us seemed fair. After driving for about 45 minutes on really small roads we started wondering where the driver was taking us. He then asked us to show where we should go on his map (!). He also now for the first time used his GPS. Wasn’t that a bit late for that? Of course it was! The GPS told the driver to drive right on every crossing. He didn’t obey and the GPS was “recalculating” quite a few times.

Finally he ended up obeying. Only to get on a road that became smaller and smaller. A dirt road that looked as it was taken from a bad horror movie of the 80’s. I started joking to Vibeke about dying in the forests in Ireland. I don’t know why, but for one reason or another she didn’t like it.

After being on this road for a while the driver decided that this was the wrong way. And he turned around. He told us that the GPS wasn’t working. This was of course rubbish. But anyway, we continued on the same road for a while before Marios called me again. We had a few minutes before passed a sign that told us it was still 82 kilometers to Killarney and I told Marios that it would take another hour before we arrived. The taxi driver said “No, no, no, it will not take that long”. Little did I know at the time that he was right. It should not take an hour, it should take two!

We had in fact taken the southern way to get there via Bandon, Bantry and Kenmare. So we ended up using three and some hours to get from Cork to Killarney. I spoke to some others that said they used exactly one hour. The taximeter ended in the 330’s but we “only” paid 150. In my opinion he should pay us!

Well, enough about travelling. On to poker!

The day started with a huge field of 752 players. I was really ready to play and I so much looked forward to playing. I started on a really good table with a lot of limpers and a couple of calling stations. It was mostly Irish players and only one other Nordic player, a Swede with nick “Polarbear” on Ladbrokes. I was not going to bluff much at this table. That was for sure! But I was going to see quite a few flops since I felt my post flop game was better than average on this table.

I played well from the start, and I got a lot of good cards as well. I wish poker always was as easy as this. I got a lot of medium and low pocket pairs. Normally they are quite hard to play, but I played them quite carefully and risked little.

On level 2 (25/50) I got a pair of 3’s. I limped in as the second player and the big blind, a female player that was the most aggressive player at the table, raised to 350.

Normally I would have folded at this point since 300 more is way too much to hit a two outer. But I knew that I could get paid very well if I hit, so I ended up calling. The flop was the very beautiful A-K-3. She bet 550, which I only flat called planning to raise on the turn. The turn was a ten. Not a bad card, but it could be a bit dangerous. She now bet another 550. I raised to 1550 and she called. On the river, an eight, she checked. I bet out 2800. She took some time but ended up calling in the end. When I showed here my hand she only showed an ace. A very nice pot for me and a very good start as well.

I lost a few pots after this one. Among them a hand with pocket jacks against 2-3 off suit! On a 10-6-4 board I was called only for a five to come giving the opponent a straight. I also had to fold 9’s on a low flop once. This time the opponent showed pocket queens, so it was a good fold.

On level 4 (50/100) I was on the cut off with an absent big blind. I raised to 300 with 8-5 offsuit and got called from the button and the small blind. The flop was K-8-4. It was check to me and I bet out 600. The button folded and the Swede in the small blind raised to 1200. At this point I felt weakness from him. I put him on K-J or maybe K-10. I thought I could take the pot by reraising here, but why reraise now if I can wait a bit and take down a bigger pot? So I called with plans of stealing the pot on any turn card. The turn was a queen. The Swede bet out 1500. I followed my plan and raised to 4100. He folded quite fast. Well played, Andreas!

Soon after this hand it was dinner break. I had 38.550 in chips and was really happy about that. I had dinner with fellow Norwegian Tobias Holmeide and tournament specialist James Browning from UK. We talked about a lot on things, including the very bad tax system in Norway for poker players. Both Tobias and James had come back from a rough start to now be well above average. Just as expected from these two players that really are among the better players down here.

Very soon after the dinner break my table was broken. I didn’t like this, of course, but that is a part of playing tournament poker. My new table was a harder one. And I got no cards at all. It took one full hour before I won my first pot! And another 40 minutes before I won the next. I was bleeding!

I ended up bluffing away 12k in one bad played pot, and nothing seemed to go my way. Poker was not as fun anymore.

I had about 20k left in my stack when it was 15 minutes left of the day. The blind was 200/400 with 25 in running ante. The cut off, a new guy at the table, raised to 1000. I had 9-8 of spades and wanted to win the pot. He could very easily just try to steal the pot. So I raised to 2800. He called. The flop was K-K-Q, with to spades. He checked. I would bet out here nine out of ten times, but I suddenly felt some strength from the other guy. I don’t know why, but I ended up checking behind. The next card was the seven of spades. Nice one! He checked again and I bet out 5000. He raised to 15000 and I moved all-in. He showed aces with the ace of spades. I asked if he did call my all-in before I showed my cards. He didn’t realize that the 15000 bet was not enough to put me all-in. He of course called. The river card was a king. His full house crushed my flush and I was out of the tournament. Damn it, I hate to bust on the last level!

(As released by Ladbrokes.)