I’ve worked at SIG for 8 years, currently as the Head of Quantitative Research here at our Dublin office. I only began playing poker when I joined SIG, and I’d describe my style as tight and rational. I always have an eye on my opponents and can adapt to their style of play accordingly. Outside of the office, I’m an avid skier, and my handball team has been crowned national Irish champs 6 times!

After a bit of a roller-coaster first round, where I only survived my first big hand on account of the right card coming up on the river, and a bit later won most of my stack by coming out on top of a three-way all-in, it is now time for Round 2. I had been at this stage a few times already in years past, but never had managed to make it through to the final round of the tournament. This year, though, starting the night on a pretty decent stack of 11,000 chips (more than 50 big blinds), I am hopeful that one of the three final-round berths at stake might be mine.

There is a big difference between 1st and 2nd round play. You are facing stronger opposition, which tends to lead to more defensive play. In fact, there is very little action on our table for the first 25-30 hands, and I am playing ultra-defensively myself. So defensively, in fact, that I am even throwing away a flush (which turns out to be the right choice). No surprise then that my first win of the night is simply an uncontested big blind.

When I am back in the big blind position one round later, I am dealt Ad5d. When the flop falls as 5c3d2d, I decide to go for it by pushing in 1500 chips. I get called on this by the player with the shortest stack of chips on our table, and with 3c hitting us on the turn, I take him all-in by raising another 2,000 chips. He flips over pocket Queens, and my remote hopes for a flush or full house are shattered when 8c comes up on the river.

My night doesn’t last much longer. Soon after this, I am being dealt A10. When AKJ appear on the flop, I decide to bet aggressively. Once again, I am being called, and with J and 5 on turn and river, I am all-in. My opponent shows pocket Kings and knocks me out with a full house.

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