Monday, 28 December 2009

The Sunday Results

Well that day went weird haha.

As for the schedule, it all kind of went tits-up if you will. But it will make me more prepared for future grind sessions I'm sure. And I'm not even talking about how I ran here...

The slight hiccups which disrupted my night:

-getting the hour difference the wrong way round on the Boss network, thinking their €150 major started at 7pm, rather it started 5pm and I missed it. Woops!

-The friend I was planning on playing at completely forgot and made other plans (other plans on a Sunday, what is this?!?!), luckily another mate that also plays poker invited me over last minute. And he had a reliable internet. Win!

-I found out that all my recent computer slowness/lag issues is to do with my poker tracker 3. Thinking about it, my database must be HUGE by now, and this little laptop just can't handle it with 8 other poker sites up. So I went a good portion of the night without a hud, then turned it on later again.

-I deposited money on BlueSquare Poker to play their £150 GUKPT satellite with 1 seat guaranteed. Well I guess to iPoker that doesn't mean much as there was an overlay and the tournament got cancelled as we were short of 1 person. Lame!

-For some reason UKIPT Manchester 8000 FPP tournament didn't actually have any satellites going to it and that was the only UKIPT Manchester tournament running. Weird :S

-Full Tilt Poker servers went down. Yup, at about 12:30am all of the servers went down. They went down for over 3 hours and all of the tournaments got voided. This meant players get their money back with a chip-chop for the rest of the chips. Very lame, but at least I got my buyin back and a small bit higher than the rake :( For instance I was closing onto the bubble in the double-deuce with well above average chip stack and would expect to get much more than $90 on my average run in the tournament. Oh well!

So that all kind of went tits-up!

On the plus side, I did manage to cash in the party poker major for $600ish, I won 3 seats to the Sunday Warmup valued at $645 from about $100 worth of sats but then bubbled my satellite to the Stars 500. I also managed a good run in the iPoker major coming in the top 100, but failing to get the drive needed to propel me to the final table.

I have a few interesting hands saved I'm going to chat over with friends about different lines. Other than that, was pretty happy with how I played and a side from all of the little upsets had a pretty good night!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Big Sunday Planned


After eating too much, playing lots of board games with the family and chilling its about time to play some poker again I think!

Today being Sunday is undoubtedly going to be a huge day. I have planned on going to a mates house who will also be grinding (unfortunately not the same stakes though) which should be fun and probably insightful too!

So here is the schedule, I'll update at the end of the night with how I do. Here's to running good to finish off 2010 in style:

Sunday Tournament Schedule
-- = satelitte in (spend $100 max)
~~ = Depending on LAG

~~5:00pm: $200/$250k gtd (OnGame)
5:00pm: Play turbo sats to the Warmup
--5:15pm: 8000fpp/UKIPT Manchester (Stars)
5:45pm: $215/$300k gtd (Party)

6:00pm: $109/$40k gtd (Stars)
6:00pm: $215/$750k gtd (warmup - Stars)

7:00pm: €150/€100k gtd (Boss)
7:00pm: $256/$400k gtd (Brawl - Full Tilt)
7:00pm: $320/$250k gtd (BlueSquare)
7:00pm: €50r/€100k gtd (Ladbrokes)

~~8:00pm: $100+$100/$100k gtd (OnGame)
8:00pm: $163/$150k gtd (Full Tilt)
--8:00pm: €200/€50k gtd (B2B)
8:00pm: $55/$200k gtd (80k special - Stars)
8:30pm: £162/GUKPT Satelitte (BlueSquare)
8:30pm: 3000fpp/$1m gtd (Turbo Takedown - Stars)
8:45pm: $109/$30k gtd (BlueSquare)

9:20pm: $22/$200k gtd (Double Deuce - Full Tilt)
9:30pm: $215/$1.5m gtd (million - Stars)
9:40pm: 2 $51 hyper turbo sats to Sunday 500

--10:30pm: $500/$500k gtd (Sunday 500 - Stars)

11:00pm: $216/$750k gtd (Full Tilt)
11:30pm: $215/$200k gtd (2nd chance - Stars)
11:35pm: $59/$32k gtd (Super Turbo - Full Tilt)

12:00am: $109/$80k gtd (Stars)
12:00am: $75/$40k gtd (Full Tilt)
12:05am: $216/$200k gtd (Mulligan - Full Tilt Poker)

1:30am: $109/$15k gtd (Turbo - Stars)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Back to what I'm meant to be


After a bit of a chilled day on Saturday and a brief pop at the wild £1/£2 games at DTD I am back down in the (not so) sunny south. It's not yet snowed down here but I have high hopes for a white christmas!

Anyway onto the poker. Well we got back at about 6:30pm. Unfortunately due to my current situation with the internet suffering massively at peak times I didn't even want to try to load up any tournaments having seen my MSN connection constantly disconnect which ofcourse tilted me massively when trying to have a conversation only to find half the messages hadn't been sent. Not the best of starts if your then going to buy into $1000's worth of tournaments!

So I skipped almost all of the majors and started at around 9 o clock playing the Sunday Million and steering clear of Full Tilt due to last weeks Sunday night crisis. You would not believe how much I am looking forward to getting a stable connection and a good computer lol. There is no point at the moment as I'm likely to only be here for a further 4-5 weeks in the next 52 and thankfully some of my close friends here also like to grind poker so I can play round theres when I need to.

But tonight I opted to stay in, partly to get an earlyish night and partly as I'de been staying with them the last few days in Nottingham and felt like a little time apart would do some good!

So back to the poker, well I stuck to the smaller euro sites today on the whole and had some good success!

I got a little bit unlucky on the final table of the €25 rebuy on ladbrokes but ran pretty hot to get to the final table, so I definitely can't complain. It's a nice little payday kind of needed after degening it this weekend buying directly into the DTD £1k which I'm obviously quite under-rolled for (infact using my bankroll management I'de need £200,000 to be comfortable playing that tournament, but whatever :P).

The couple of cashes aren't going to explode my roll to dizzying new heights, but they will keep me afloat before that beautiful 5 figure score rolls along again.

So a bit of an annoying start to the Sunday turning out quite nicely in the end!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Busto first day


Well unfortunately the DTD Grandslam didn't go my way. It was a very very sick tournament though. These super-deepstack tournaments are very fun, and with a good level of patience the rewards can be very decent as well. Yet unfortunately I didn't make day two, busting late into day one after beating 1/3 of the field.

There were a couple of interesting hands I played other than the usual small-pot poker that kept me afloat throughout the tournament.

At 200/400/50 I raise in middle position with AQo to 1100 and get 5 callers (told you there would still be a lot of dead money in the tournament ;) ). At this point I'm pretty much giving up on most flops and will be playing with a slight level of caution even if I hit either my ace or queen.

The flop came down a harmless J22 rainbow. Pretty dry board, but with 2 people checked before me and 3 to act behind, I checked, as it got checked round to deliver a queen on the turn. The queen gave two to spades putting straight and flush draws out there.

The big blind, who was quite an active young player led in from the small blind for roughly 1/3 pot. This didn't send too many warning bells as I had played with him for a few hours and he liked doing an Ivey and taking lots of shots at pots with mediocre holdings. Regardless with the action behind me, and the fact that a raise wouldn't invite in any worse holdings and only get called by hands that beat me, I smooth called the raise.

It folded to the button who was a young guy, yet I had only played about 4-5 hands with the guy. Without knowing much about how he played, seeing as he was young you could infer he is pretty good at poker to be able to afford the buyin for such a tournament, and I had yet to see him around before so its likely he travelled up especially for the tournament meaning he could be quite decent. Anyway, he then raises it up 4x the original bet to around 6000. It folds back round to the original better who quickly mucks and the action returns on me.

At this point, I have to put this guy on a range. I don't believe he has a hand like QJ here as any jack would likely bet the flop in position. JJ is an unlikely holding as he would have undoubtedly squeezed in position, particularly if he was any good. I beat all the other queens, and there just can't be many, if any 2's in his preflop flatting range. However, I could see him squeezing with a combination of drawing hands such as K10, possibly A10 and a variety of spades such as 9, 10 suited and stuff. He had a further 13-14k behind him, about half my stack, so after thinking for a brief moment I set him all in figuring that drawing hands raising on the semi-bluff compromised the majority of his range. Unfortunately this time he snap called me after flopping quads. Woops...

This left me at roughly the 50bb stack, a dented chip stack, but still plenty of room to manoeuvre and no need to panick. Over the course of the next 2-3 hours whilst being pretty card dead, I managed to add an extra 25% to my stack without showing down a hand. We reached level 8 and the blinds had escalated to 400/800/75.

I was dealt AA in middle position and opened it with my 21,000 stack to 2000. It folded to the button, a young girl who 3bet me to 5800. She had been playing pretty tight, solid poker without getting out of line. I doubt she was creative enough here to be 3betting me light, yet still I am concerned that she might do something stupid like 3bet/fold 99/10 10/AK/AQ with the 23bb stack effective. I elected to disguise my hand and smooth call the raise. To a good player with this stack size, this would look very strong, yet I didn't believe she would pick up on this. And so the trap was set.

The board came down as 2s, 4d, 9d. I had the AcAh but checked over to her. She bet almost full pot, and after I check/raised the remainder of my stack in she stated she was priced in and called with AhKd. So the trap worked, and I doubt she would have folded pre to my 4bet shove anyhow. Happy days right? Well unfortunately the turn and river gave running diamonds to see my 95% chance of doubling through and having an above-average stack diminish as I was forced to hit the rail. Big sigh..

Kind of lame, but I was very happy with how I played. I think my live game is improving a lot and I was very happy with how patient I played in the tournament, not stressing about trying to play too many hands but just biding my time and letting the right spots open themselves up to me. It was a great tournament and I'm glad I played it. It's just a shame I couldn't get much deeper in it.

Today is a £300 side event. As of 11am there are only 14 registered for it and it starts at 2am. So I doubt I'll play it to be honest. I think instead I'll hit the cash tables, probably a deepstacked £1/£2 game and see if I can get into the grind and work some stacks up.

Oh well, another day another dollar. Bring on 2010: the year of me winning a live donkament!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Not a good start...


Today is the day of the Monte Carlo £1k at DTD. I have been looking forward to this for ages, but things don't seem to be going my way!

Yesterday I must have eaten a dodgy sandwich from Subway, which made the journey from home up to Nottingham a nightmare. Not only was the traffic ridiculously slow due to the snow and grit trucks, but on the way up I started to feel pretty ill and had to stop halfway up the M1 to be sick. Not a good start at all.

luckily I made it up, but didn't feel well enough to play the £50r satellite as I intended to see if I could blag a cheap seat. Instead, feeling like complete death, I went to catch a couple of hours sleep at 5pm only to wake up at 5am this morning, feeling refreshed but completely out-of-sync sleepwise. I think it's going to be a struggle today if play goes onto 2pm, but all I can hope is that I make it that long, play my A-game and don't start to feel too unwell again. So fingers crossed for that.

Other than that, had a pretty frustrating session on Wednesday night where I final table bubbled two big-ish tournaments and spewed hard in the $50r on ongame. I was 1/55 with 50 paid, but the bubble abuse didn't go well and ended busting in 45th place. Woops.

So now it's turn around time. Come on Monte Carlo... one time!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The 15th December


Yesterday was in fact my 21st birthday, meaning I am now able to go to Vegas and ship me some bracelets! I'de already done most of my celebrations with friends before this in terms of partying in Nottingham and a quad biking session is Sherwood forest. The quad biking was too fun mainly due to the fact that the tracks were literally mud-baths, allowing one to slide round the corners at full speed spraying mud everything.

(I'm the guy to on the left)

So I was pretty busy yesterday with friends and family all day so I didn't play any poker. But then again, doubt I would have wanted to. Running bad on your birthday would be pretty lame!

The night before I played however and had partial success coming 3rd in a €75 with 1 rebuy tournament on one of the euro networks.

The tournament is the only one on my 'schedule' that doesn't have antes, so it plays very different, and in my opinion much worse as it turns into such a crap-shoot by the end. I was 1/3 with like double second, but there wasn't much in it as my 15bb's 3 handed wouldn't last long losing a couple of flips. I also managed to do well in a $26 heads-up tournament coming in the final 20 out of several hundred people. Not sure why I entered it, but had a bit of a craving for some HU action and it paid off to a respectable $180. Can't complain there!

I'm going to do one last session tonight at the tables before heading up to Nottingham on Thursday for the DTD MonteCarlo. I'll play the last €30r satellite tonight to see if I can nab myself one of the seats, but won't be too disheartened if I don't. In a way, I see the £1k as being a birthday present to myself. So for the love of christ, please let me run good in it one time!! I hope I manage as despite my best efforts my sleeping schedule still seems to be pretty fucked with me waking naturally at really weird times in the day/night. Yesterday I woke naturally at 11am, today 5am. Weird, but whatever. I'll try to stay up the whole day today rather than taking a nap so that tomorrow I can sleep in until like 11am before the drive up North.

Hope everyone else is doing well lately. See ya soon!

Rap freestyle featuring Phil Helmuth. Doubt I've ever laughed as much when he tried rapping. Please tell me he's drunk!

Monday, 14 December 2009

The start of the xmas grind


Well Sunday in a nutshell was epic fail. I started later than usual at about 7ish after having a really nice roast dinner with the family. Chris and Marlow came round too to grind. Well my parents have decided to change our internet package to one of these cheap bundle things with talktalk or some shit ISP. Nice choice, now the internet is about as reliable as Garry Glitter looking after your children. It disconnected a ton which tilted me. Not only that, but full tilt decided to have 3 mini-FTOPS which attracted almost a million runners (ok, exaggerations exaggerations :P) which caused the software to crash blinding me out in all the tournies I was in forcing me to unreg for the rest too. I emailed FTP complaining and hope to get my buy-in back for a few. For instance I didnt play a single hand in the Sunday Brawl as the software was just crashing left-right and centre. I tried loading up FTP on chris' and Marlows laptop using my account and they had the same problem. Yet when they loaded up on their laptops without entering one of these FTOPS 10,000 runner tournaments it worked fine (other than the internet blips and disconnects!).

Anyway by 11:30 having bricked every single tournament getting some horrific beats, I was too stressed and annoyed with the whole thing, unregistered the rest and watched "Taken". A pretty good decision I'm sure. Such a good movie, totally relaxed me and I went to bed at about 2am with a smile on my face.

Now, for some reason my body clock is still mega-fucked up. I woke naturally at 4:30am, wide awake lol. Probably not the best of things to do. With little else to do I thought, fuck it, and loaded up a load more tournaments. This time I ran a little better and managed to final table the $30 1r1ao on full tilt coming 2nd for $2k. I'm not sure if it's a Sunday saver, but it certainly helps me undig the hole I buried myself in from the previous nights grind.

I think I could have shipped this tournament quite easily but the guy that won it ran like god winning AA to A7, JJ to AK and KQ to 66 all in preflop. I'm still pretty happy I turned this around and it's definitely a confidence boost.

I have no idea what to do about this internet problem. It's literally so stressful having the internet disconnect continuously every 30mins-1 hour at peak times especially when a lot of the poker software really spazzes out when it gets disconnected then leading to crashing my laptop. I think it's probably worth getting a better ISP, but I'm probably only going to be at home playing, including this month, for 2 months in the next year. So it's not worth buying a full package and I know my parents won't go ahead and buy a second internet line just for me as they don't use the internet at home anyway.

I want to get a wireless router internet card thingy as a backup as well. From doing a little research I think you can use an iPhone as a wireless router, but because I live in the sticks a bit my mobile reception is pretty bad here, so I don't even know how efficient that would be. I wish I knew how to hack my neighbours wireless ;)

If anyone who's living in the UK knows of a good ISP that is reliable with good speeds at peak times, could you leave a comment. I would be very grateful, or if you know of any alternates I could use as a backup just in case my connection goes down for whatever reason.

Hope all is good. Peaceee!

ps. for humour, check this link. I was crying with laughter:

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The year in review


Well I've almost been blogging for a full year now and it's getting to that time when I want to be thinking about looking back at my 2009 goals and projecting achievable aims for 2010.

(click image to expand - shows my main sites I play on. Also played a lot of volume on the old cryptologic (RIP :( ) and Ladbrokes which sharkscope doesn't track. But I'm up a fair bit on both (particularly crypto).

This year on the online front I've had a series of nice smallish scores, my biggest totally ~$12k which has propelled my bankroll way above my financial target for the year. I've won quite a bit of money in live cash too and a small 4-figure number in online cash, despite not playing it much at all. I have however, bled a lot of money at live tournaments over a smallish sample. I aim to rectify this next year in a big way. It kind of sucks the way that I'm break even on stars after several hundred games this year despite being up over $10k at some points. But having a 100-200 buyin downswing is supposedly pretty common especially due to the ridiculous field sizes of these tournaments and the top-heavy pay-out structures. I've historically ran bad on that site with 18 players left, so here's to 2010 turning that around!

2009 goals:

[x] Be properly rolled for $215 tournaments
-Success, yet to make a big score yet though. Had 3 top 18 finishes in smaller majors though.

[x] Play a big live event
-Playing a £1000 (DTD montecarlo in a week, one time?!), €1000 and $5000 tournament (won the sat for, not played yet!). So it's not huge, but it's pretty big for a guy that used to grind £5rebuys and £10 freezeouts at my local gala.

[x] Play more deepstack tournaments at Dusk Til Dawn (local card-room)
-I should have written play more deepstacks and turn a profit at them. I did achieve this goal, but went 0/10 this year. Sigh.

[x] $25,000 profit online
-Crushed this to a healthy $50k

2010 Goals:

[ ] Get a big live final table cash. Get there by keeping up the volume and supporting the buy-ins through winning online

[ ] Play more live £1k's on the UK poker circuit

[ ] Final table a major

[ ] Get my bankroll up to $150,000 by the end of the year

[ ] Turning 21 in a few days so, have great fun in Vegas over the summer, meet 2p2'ers and win money!

So poker-wise I'm very happy about achieving all of my goals. I'm going to keep playing a balance between the Euro sites and the US sites, sticking to game-selection and keep working on my game in the mean-time. I've got a busy year ahead, what with me graduating and plans on travelling afterwards. I didn't put in a ridiculous volume this year apart from during the Summer, so if I can get a similar volume in during 2010 I will be happy. It would be nice to crush live, but the variance is huge. Regardless, I do find live donkaments fun, so bring it on.

Overall, a very solid 2009, and here's to a great and successful 2010. Bring it on!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas is coming, that means time to grind!


After two of the most stressful weeks of my life, I can finally put my feet up in my nice clean room and enjoy some of the peace and quiet that comes with going home in the holidays.

The last month or so in general has in fact been manic. With being a final year at university, the work rate has increased dramatically from the previous two years resulting me getting on average 2-6 hours sleep a night and sleeping at the most random of times. I swear I must be permanently jet-lagged at the moment due to the strains I've put on my body clock. Looking in the mirror, I do feel worn out. Not looking too healthy or fit.

I guess that can all be attributed to excessive takeaways, all-nighters every night, work-related stress, binge drinking to the max, smoking wayyyy too much and to sustain this lifestyle; large quantities of caffeine in various forms.

So, the plan now is detox. I'm back home, I can get in a good sleeping pattern, get good volume in poker-wise, start eating properly again and working out. I'm at home just over a month, so it will be interesting to see if I can stick to this before the onslaught of my last semester at uni will recommence in January. Which will be messy. Guaranteed :).

On the one hand, I am by far having the most fun I think I've ever had at uni, but on the other hand, I don't think this lifestyle is sustainable unless I plan on an early death lol.

So over the course of the next month, I plan on:

-Regular sleep times
-Eating healthy again with lots of vegetables and no takeaways
-Cut down on drinking
-No smoking at home of any form
-Gym pretty much every day
-Try to run in the mornings when I wake up (unless it's raining - yup I'm a wimp)
-Try to study pretty much everyday to prepare myself for my January exams

I'll probably try to follow a day-plan similar to this:

10:00am: go for a run
11:00am-2:00pm: start work
2:00pm-3:00pm: break for an hour
3:00pm-5:00pm: work
5:00pm-7:00pm: Gym
8:00pm-11:00pm: register tournaments online
2:00am: sleep

This will obviously be disrupted quite a bit due to social outings, family get-togethers etc., but on your typical holiday-day, I will try to follow this outline to lead me back towards a healthy lifestyle. To be honest it would be naive if I was going to think I could go cold-turkey on say the drinking etc. at this time of year, but a bit of moderation will get me far I'm sure :)

I'll also be putting in a ton more volume that I have been as of late, so expect more regular blog updates!

Merry xmas all!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Live Tournament Leaks

As regular readers of the blog will realise, whereas I have had great success this year with online MTTs over 1000+ games averaging 100%+ roi on multiple sites, I have been struggling a lot with live poker MTTs. Now I can attribute some of this to running bad in races and what have you. But it would be totally naive to believe that my game is perfect and everyone else is just a bunch of massive luckbox fish.

As such, after my monthly donation to the DTD £300 this month, I have done a lot of thinking, going through the hands I played and thinking about various alternate options I could have taken in all the significant hands I've played. This month I managed to do pretty well, getting down to the final 90/275 runners but losing a race with AK to 99. As I said, I could just blame this on bad luck, think everyone else is crap and I just run bad. But instead, I am taking this recent bad run of cards to reflect particularly on my live game.

Here are 5 key areas where I think I can improve. And I will try really hard to improve upon for my next live tournament; the £1090 DTD Monte Carlo later on this month.

1) play more solid, dont get involved with mediocre holdings out of position in tournaments where u cant reload ur stack. It's too easy in live tournaments to see yourself slowly being ante'd away and not playing a hand in 2 orbits makes a8suited under the gun look like a very playable hand. Nope, nope, nope. Muck it and smile.

2) dont limp behind speculative hands like 8 10o 100bb deep in late position, will just get me in trouble and i wont flop 2 pair/straight and get paid off enough to make it worthwhile

3) keep hand reading and putting people on ranges when not in the hand (i do this quite well)

4) patience, dont raise marginal hands from early position as much as unlike online more people like to see the flop with hands they should be folding so its not as effective (like raising kjs UTG+1 with antes)

5) If limping behind with say with Q10s on the button to 3-4 limpers, then some guy in the blinds raises it up but everyone calls. I think there is much less value in calling with such a dominated hand the majority of the time despite the preflop value.

Basically, most of these points come down to patience, and not rushing to get into lots of pots with big post-flop decisions. The live tournaments Im playing these days are all deep-stacks with good structures. There is no need for me to be getting myself involved in super-marginal decisions when I can wait for more optimal spots and exploit the leaks that a lot of live recreational players seem to have).

I think a fair bit of this comes in the little ways I play. Such as when the cards are dealt, I look at one as soon as it is dealt then look at the other. I don't agree at the moment with looking at my cards when its my turn to act as I'm scared of giving information away from timing tells, and like to think about how I'm going to play my particular hand as the action before me unfolds. I do however think that looking at each card individually as its dealt (as I currently do) is also pretty bad. I think it leads to further impatience live when you get dealt an ace to receive a rag kicker and I start to get annoyed how every hand I'm dealt seems to be pretty shit.

I'm very happy with my short-stack play, and if I incorporate some of the other points I mentioned above, I see no reason why I can't have great success in the live arena.

Anyway! It's Sunday so that's online grinding day. I watched a video of TravestyFund last night, who is a very very sick grinder whose game I have a lot of respect for. His thought process is so decent, so I hope some of it runs off into my game tonight and I ship something big. I'm not playing as many tournaments as I usually would on a Sunday and am instead focusing on quality rather than quantity. Bring it on.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Up up up we go


I'm still a slight way off the $50k peak I reached in the Summer but its all coming back slowly but surely.

After a pretty disappointing night, getting 1-outered in the DTD sat and generally running a bit shit, I managed to pull something together in the iPoker $30rebuy/$20k gtd. I came in to the final table after some heavy abuse with a 2:1 chip lead over second place at the time. By headsup he was leading, but I drew him back to evens. It was a pretty epic headsup game with the chip lead swapping several times, but as we both were down to 20big blinds, I couldn't find a fold on a Q highflop, unfortunately this time he had me out-kicked to claim the victory.

Still, a pretty nice score and the moneys all going back in the right direction.

This weekend I'm playing the DTD £330, and on Sunday I'm debating playing the ECOOP main event which is a $1500 buyin. Obviously I would have to sell at least 60% of my action, but it would be pretty fun regardless. Not sure yet, but if I do decide in the next couple of days, I'll update the blog in case any readers fancy buying a % of me to see if I can make you rich if I bink something big :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A change of luck?

I feel that lately I've been having a pretty sour run both online and live, so it's nice to finally be able to put some scores together to help work my way out of this downswing I seem to have found myself in! Which, may I add is kind of expected due to the heater of a summer I had!

Anyway, this is just a little brag post, as I haven't hit a big $5k+ score in a while so happy days here. I'm still not out of this downswing but I'm full of confidence and ready to kick ass, especially over christmas break.

This weekend I'll be doing my monthly donation to Dusk Til Dawn at their £330 weekend. I really feel like I'm due something big soon, I can't keep getting fucked over at live poker, so bring on the weekend. I've got high hopes.

Hope everyone else has been running good lately, speak soon!

Monday, 23 November 2009

GUKPT London, Online Sundays!


Well my GUKPT London attempts were a bit fail. I'm not going to go into it, but I doubt I've ever ran as bad before playing poker. Of course its kind of inevitable to come some time as I figure I've played well over 1million hands by now so you've got to have some moments where you lose every flip, every 80/20 etc. To not go into a bad-beat post, over the weekend I lost 4/4 times with my flopped sets, 2/2 times with AAs, 2/2 times with KK's and 1/1 time with Queens. I literally didn't win a showdown sigh.

Thankfully I was playing £2/£5 with over 50 buy-ins and somehow didn't lose more than I did given the run of cards I seemed to get fucked over with. One day I will hit big live. It's due!

Other than that, the weekend was actually a whole lot of fun. It was really fun chilling with Andi in London and Edgeware Road never dissapoints. Doubt I'll ever get sick of Lebonise food, just a shame they don't seem to have any restaurants near my house or at uni! The shisha was also great. London is an amazing town, and I do aim to live there sometime in the next 10 years. What I would do however, is not have a car. I made the epic mistake on the Saturday of driving into town from Sutton (Andi's house who I was crashing at). It took 3 hours in the afternoon to drive the 15 miles. FML haha. It was probably a sign from the poker gods that the day wasn't going to go well as I lost close to £1.5k once I did finally arrive. Woops :p.

I think the important thing though is to be decision orientated not results orientated. After hands, particularly live as they come around so much less, I always try to think of many other possible lines I could have taken in the hand. Such as check/raising rather than leading, different bet sizes and how I feel my opponents would have reacted given their range not just their specific holdings.

I think live cash will also be really beneficial as when I'm out of hands, rather than zoning out, I try to improve my hand reading game. You can learn a lot about how people play if you put them on hand ranges and if the pot does get to showdown (which is seems to more so than online) you can get a great deal of satisfaction by pin-pointing down the participants almost exact holdings.

My future plans remain to focus on my MTT game, and this will inevitably lead me to the live arena where tournaments are often much deeper and hand analysis plays a much greater role than online where stacks are often shallower and having a close to flawless preflop game is of much greater importance. If I do see myself playing higher stakes in the future, such as $100r and $1k freezeouts, I will need to define an edge and due to so many of the top MTT'ers having very accurate preflop MTT games, I think that practicing live on hand reading and developing a more solid post-flop game can only lead to benefits. You often find many top cash game players doing well on the tournament circuit due to the deeper level of play where they can fully exploit their opponents 100bb+ deep whilst having a relatively optimal preflop game with 30bbs and less. I would like to be in the situation where I would not be ran over 200BB deep or something against an aggressive opponent who has position on me if such an event did occur.

OK, enough of the ramblings!

Sunday was pretty cool. Got back from London about 6ish and suprising not disheartened from being fucked over all weekend, decided to load up some tournaments. Nothing special, but I did get a few deep runs and knocked out another pro on full tilt. GG chad, thanks for the t-shirt :). The best was in the $30 rebuy which I final table bubbled AK to AQ. Kind of summed up the weekend, but whatever, this shizz happens!

The iPoker ECOOP (European Cup of Online Poker) has started this week. I'm 1 tabling the $215/$250k gtd. I don't plan on playing many of the events, partially due to my recent downswing putting some monetary pressures but also I'm getting a load of deadlines coming up soon. That and 3 weeks til the end of term, so I plan on partying it hard with my friends before I become too isolated back home in Dorset away from the hustle and bustle of uni life.

Hope all is good for everyone, keep up the grind and keep smiling :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

WSOP 2010 Schedule Leaked

The events are all subject to change, and I'm sure many of them will be. But this seems to be the rough-draft so far.

Fri, May 28th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #1: Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $500

Fri, May 28th
12:00 PM
2-Day Event Event #2: The Player’s World Championship
No Rebuy/Add-ons $50,000

Sat, May 29th
12:00 PM
2-Day Event Event #3: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Sun, May 30th
12:00 PM
2-Day Event Event #4: Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Mon, May 31st
12:00 PM
-149-Day Event Event #5: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Tue, Jun 1st
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #7: 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Tue, Jun 1st
12:00 PM
2-Day Event Event #6: No-Limit Hold’em Shootout
No Rebuy/Add-ons $5,000

Wed, Jun 2nd
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #8: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Thu, Jun 3rd
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #9 Pot-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Thu, Jun 3rd
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #10: World Championship Seven Card Stud
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Fri, Jun 4th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #11: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Fri, Jun 4th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #12 Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Sat, Jun 5th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #13: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Sat, Jun 5th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #14: 2-7 Draw Lowball
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Sun, Jun 6th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #15: World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Mon, Jun 7th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #16: No-Limit Hold’em/Six Handed
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Tue, Jun 8th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #17: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $5,000

Wed, Jun 9th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #18: Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,000

Wed, Jun 9th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #19: World Championship 2-7 Draw Lowball
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Thu, Jun 10th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #20: Pot-Limit Omaha
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Thu, Jun 10th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #21: Seven Card Stud
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Fri, Jun 11th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #22: Ladies No-Limit Hold’em World Championship
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Fri, Jun 11th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #23: Limit Hold’em/Six Handed
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Sat, Jun 12th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #24: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Sat, Jun 12th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #25: World Championship Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Mon, Jun 14th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #26: No-Limit Hold’em/Six Handed
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Mon, Jun 14th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #27: Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Tues, Jun 15th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #28: Pot-Limit Omaha
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Tues, Jun 15th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #29: World Championship Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Weds, Jun 16th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #30: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Weds, Jun 16th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #31: H.O.R.S.E
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Thu, Jun 17th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #32: No-Limit Hold’em / Six Handed
No Rebuy/Add-ons $5,000

Thu, Jun 17th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #33: Pot-Limit Hold’em / Omaha
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Fri, Jun 18th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #34: Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Fri, Jun 18th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #35: World Championship Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Sat, Jun 19th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #36: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Sat, Jun 19th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #37: H.O.R.S.E.
No Rebuy/Add-ons $3,000

Sun, Jun 20th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #38: World Championship Pot-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Mon, Jun 21st
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #39: No-Limit Hold’em Shootout
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Mon, Jun 21st
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #40: Seven Card Razz
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Tues, Jun 22nd
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #41: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Wed, Jun 23rd
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #42: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Wed, Jun 23rd
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #43: World Championship H.O.R.S.E.
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Thu, Jun 24th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #44: Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No-Limit)
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Fri, Jun 25th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #45: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Fri, Jun 25th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #46: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better
No Rebuy/Add-ons $5,000

Sat, Jun 26th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #47: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Sat, Jun 26th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #48: Mixed Event
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Mon, Jun 28th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #49: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Mon, Jun 28th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #50: Pot-Limit Omaha
No Rebuy/Add-ons $5,000

Tue, Jun 29th
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #51: Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $3,000

Wed, Jun 30th
12:00 AM
3-Day Event Event #52: No-Limit Hold’em/Six Handed
No Rebuy/Add-ons $25,000

Wed, Jun 30th
12:00 AM
13-Day Event Event #53: Limit Hold’em Shootout
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,500

Thu, Jul 1st
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #54: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $1,000

Thu, Jul 1st
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #55: World Championship Pot-Limit Omaha
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Fri, Jul 2nd
12:00 AM
2-Day Event Event #56: No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $2,500

Mon, Jul 5th
12:00 AM
11-Day Event Event #57: World Championship No-Limit Hold’em
No Rebuy/Add-ons $10,000

Interesting parts include the players world championship $50,000 buy-in which will surely create a truly epic final table worth watching. Details of this massive buy-in aren't clear yet, but after the success of the $40k NLHE freezeout last year there are chances of this. Other rumours include that this could be an EPIC mixed game tournament in the form of 8-game out-dating the pretty boring limit-based HORSE tournaments of the past.

Of course I hope the main event is going to be sick, and that I manage to satellite in to play it. Kind of been my goal in poker ever since I first started watching it on TV. I bet I'de lose AA v AA first hand or something but still, the atmosphere would be insane.

I don't get my uni exam dates for a while, but I will indefinately have to miss a good proportion of this due to my exams being placed at the start of the series. How convenient. Meh, I guess they don't figure too many UK students can afford to be jetting off to America to gamble for $1000's anyway. Fair enough..

Anyway, from now until then I'm going to really hope I bink something big tournament-wise so that I feel much more comfortable playing a few of the $1k events and possibly $2k buyins. There are so many good ones to choose from I can't wait. You definately get more value for your £ in English tournaments, but it's the whole feeling of Vegas that is drawing me in. VEGAS BABY. Can't wait. After the new year, I'm going to try and sort out some sort of accommodation over there when I can get my rough exam dates, but it looks like I'll try to be over there from roughly the 19th June to the 9th of July.

I'de be interested about what people thought who have been to vegas before for the WSOP. Do you get heavily burnt out after a couple of weeks and just want to get the hell out or for my first time should I just try to go mental and play as much as I can throughout the series. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Tomorrow I'm off down to London for the GUKPT £300 prelim, then cash games for the rest of the weekend. Hotels booked and bags are packed. Bring it on. Tonight I'll just chill in the flat with the flat mates and bust some headshots on the new call of duty game. Life is good :)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Going back to Ireland!

I had a pretty good Sunday in the end. It was the first proper long sunday session in a while and it felt pretty good! I started playing at 5pm registering and finished registering at 2am. Highlights include:

-Winning a satellite into the FTOPs main event for $550 and then cashing in that for ~$1300.

-Final table $50 turbo on ongame, 7th for $500ish

-Final table bubble €50r ladbrokes, $100 turbo Ongame

-Winning a $7300 package back to Ireland.

So you could sum it up as quite a decent Sunday! I have yet to have that big score, but I'm working on it and think I played really well yesterday. Checking through a few of my hand histories, some of my reshoves were slightly marginal but overall I was quite happy and sort of wanting to play again tonight. But due to staying up in the FTOPs to 7:30am, then sleeping through my lectures today I think it's time to put poker to the side and get some work done.

The Ireland package is going to be so fun. I had a blast last time I went. I really feel like I'm due something big live as I just haven't managed to piece anything together let alone a min cash all year on the live felt. Is it worth asking for my one-time now?

Saying that, later this week on Thursday there is a good chance I'll be going down to London for the GUKPT final and to hopefully play a couple of their prelims.

I would like to play the £330 starting on Thursday night and running through to Friday with a 7000 starting stack. I'm not sure how tough the field will be as it's on a weekday but I hope it gets a few runners and makes the trip worthwhile. I'll also grind out a lot of hands in cash and maybe try my luck satellite into the £1000+£60 NLHE tournament at the weekend. I hope there are some good £2/£5 games running this weekend, I feel like raping the cash games hard.

After the recent downswing things are looking up a bit, I'm still like $10kish from my highest point, but if you count the Irish Open package to the bankroll (which I don't) I'm only $2.5k down from my highest which is definately good news.

Hope everyone has been playing/running good. Speak soon!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

November, November


It's been a while since I last updated the blog on here, but that has mainly been down to me not really playing too much poker. I had originally intended to put in quite a lot of volume at the cash game tables to undertake in the DTD promotion in which you have to generate 10,000FPP's in which DTD would give you a free seat to their Monte Carlo £1090 tournament in December. I roughly worked out with my play-style it would take around 22,000 hands at €1/€2 with 5 weeks to achieve the deadline. Now this is probably no biggie for me as in the average tournament night I estimate I play around 3000-6000 hands a night. Yet there is something with the monotony of online cash games where I just cannot seem to maintain my focus and actually play.

Unlike tournament poker which I really enjoy due to the constant changing dynamics at the table and the thrill of a big final table, I just find cash games repetitive and boring. That and the fact that DTDpoker software looks like it was designed by a failing GCSE computer student. So after a week and I had only put in a somewhat lowsy 750 hands, I thought the goal was a bit unachievable with my current work ethic.

Live cash on the other hand is a completely different animal altogether. I really enjoy it especially playing deepstacked and watching as the flow of the table fluctuates throughout the night. I've played more live than online as of lately but unfortunately having got much in the way of big profits going. I did blog a couple of weeks ago about a big £5/£10 game that I was invited to play in with a somewhat juicy line-up. Well the first week it didn't go too well, yet didn't go too badly either in fact with me making a loss of £900. I attributed this down to playing slightly too loose out of position and mixing it up with the other good players at the table when I should have instead been focusing more on getting involved in more pots with the weaker players at the table. As they are, afterall, where I expect to make most of my money from.

Anyway, I returned on the second week, not too disheartened from my previous weeks work to find a much tougher table. Regardless, I stuck at it and played a much tighter more solid game and despite losing a £4000 pot with JcQc on a 9c10c4s board (getting it all in on the flop) I still managed to make a pretty impressive £1200 profit. Not bad considering I was stuck £1500 after the first hour. Sometimes patience and not tilting really are a virtue in this game.

Dusk til Dawn also had their £300 weekend. I really love this tournament, but have historically ran horrifically in it. Sticking with tradition I lost 5/5 flips busting out. It really does feel like I'm cursed when I know whenever I see I'm racing/ahead/behind in a live tournament for a lot of chips that I'm just going to lose the pot. Gahhh, I know it's variance but this is getting onto 40 tournaments now I haven't cashed in live! It will be my day soon. Maybe the big comeback will be at the DTD montecarlo £1k buy-in with a £250k gtd prizepool. Yeh, I'll save all my run good for that...if I can satelitte in.

I might play a couple of online sessions and keep watching some cardrunner videos, but the work rate is piling on and now that I've recovered from my cold, I'm working out and playing squash again. That and partying like a madman leaves little time for poker, but I'm fine with that and plan to make a big comeback in the christmas holidays when there will be fewer distractions around.

Hope everyone has been running good, if you have, share some of the love ;)

edit: played a session tonight, cashed in $300 shootout for $700ish on full tilt and also:

pretty good night in the end!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

GUKPT Grand Final


The GUKPT Grand Final is coming up in a few weeks time and myself and Andi have decided to head down there to play a couple of tournaments and lots of cash games.

I'll be hopefully playing the £300 freezeout on Thursday the 19th and then the plan being to hardcore the cash tables. If I run sick-hot, reinvest into the weekend £1k 2-day freezeout which will no doubt be a pretty sick tournament with a good amount of dead money. I feel as though it would be too irresponsible now to buy-in to that directly given my current bankroll.

On the horizon there is also two DTD deepstack events in both November and December as well as the DTD poker Monte Carlo special. A £1000+£90 tournament which I will try my very best to satellite into. There is a whopping £250k gtd prizepool and the structure looks insanely good. I really hope I can get an early christmas present with this one!

Other than that, I played a session last night to little success, yet where I fail my horse succeeds. Big congratulations to Jon who I'm backing for the second consecutive month and who managed to come 2nd in a €10rebuy on Boss for ~$2.2k. 2 months of profit in a row. Turning out to be a very good investment now so well done to him!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

£5/£10 NLHE live...exciting stuff


Well since the win last week at Full Tilt, there seems to be a somewhat common occurrence on the felt for me. Losing. I never had the intention with this blog about whining about bad beats and being unlucky as I understand it's a two way thing and no-one wants to read about it anyway as it happens to all of us. But to put it blunty, I may have been in some unfortunate circumstances as of late.

Thankfully I've been playing well rolled even for the Sunday tournaments meaning that % wise my bankroll has taken only a minimal effect but still it sucks to play a ton and show you've lost a load of money. Thankfully I'm quite happy to say my game isn't negatively affected these days, probably due to playing pretty over-rolled and I still have a lot of confidence in my abilities to beat the games I play.

It started on Friday losing £1000 at Dusk Til Dawn playing £5/£5, near bubbling a £100 deepstack freezeout where I went from a monster stack then losing 4 all-in pots where I was ahead everytime (not flipping). But I guess live poker must be rigged. I almost came back after the tournament and posted about how bad I run live, but who the hell am I to talk about running bad. Sure I've not cashed in like 25-40 live tournaments now and was very close in this one, but I'm not going to try and blind into a min-cash, I was happy with how I played and one of these days I will cash in one of these fuckers!

Of-course then Sunday didn't go as well as expected either :) but that's Sunday aka. variance fest, so it can't be helped. Plus I doubt I will ever stop loving the Sunday Majors as long as I have the bankroll to keep playing them!

Anyway onto exciting news. On Friday I was looking around which games I want to burn my money in, and there was a quite tough £1/£2 holdem game going as well as a very soft £5/£5 dealers choice game going. I put myself on the list and was very happy to have position not only on the "I can't fold preflop" team but also I had position on most of the table in Paduki games which is arguably the most position-orientated game in the dealers choice mix. Don't get me wrong PLO etc. is very useful to have position with, but due to the lack of information available in the drawing games I feel as if position has an even greater benefit.

I was settling into the game flow and was even winning a good chunk at the start until the deck decided we were arch enemies. I looked around and saw three massive whales I remember playing against at a previous Deepstack weekend at cash games. To my shock, there was a pre-arranged £5/£10 game held, with some decent players in the mix but definately some VERY VERY weak spots. I insta-put my name on the wait-list. Unfortunately, the game was a private game set up by Simon Trumper so I spoke to him and he said he would in all likelihood invite me to the next game on Friday. This week the min-sitdown was £3000 which although bankroll wise is really stretching it (like ~10% of my roll), I was informed that next week there would likely be a £1,000 minimum and I would much prefer to have 3x£1000 shots rather than have to sit down with the full £3000. I also figured, if times do keep getting worse on the monetary front I could try to sell some % of myself although unlike a tournament I would imagine this to be a much tougher task.

Anyway, this is going to be a pretty big stretch of the bankroll, but if it all goes tits up I can move down and regrind it back up. Soft £5/£10 games don't come about too often so I hope I can seize the moment and make some real money before this game dies out.

Other than that, having Jon over tomorrow night to play a smallish MTT session with. I want to see what's up with his game as he seems to be bubbling quite a bit lately which may be taking the aggro-on-the-bubble to a slight extreme. Yet this is hard to justify by just seeing single cold-deck style hands. He could be running bad, but I hope at the end we both learn something and maybe if we're lucky earn a bit of $ along the way!

Other than that, been chilling alot lately with friends and not been working. Which is going to change tomorrow before the grind! So i better get some kip in now. Gl at the felt all!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Winter is Coming!


Well it's really starting to dawn on me now that the winter is arriving. For starters, my annual cold has come around turning me into some snivveling dribbly mess. I guess it also didn't help that last night I was pub-crawling around Nottingham in the cold with just a t-shirt on most of the night, but that's another story :). Anyway I'm cool with getting the occasional cold as it gives me the excuse to slack around the house and play some online poker!

So that's what I've been doing. I put in a longish session today registering from 2pm-9pm and after a couple of final table bubbles I managed to get a decent cash in the $25r on iPoker coming 7th and more importantly a second in a $109 freezeout on full tilt for just over a $4k payday. I would show a screenshot but for some reason its not uploading on blogspot. Meh, you'll have to just trust me on this one!

But it's not all good news. Since being back at uni I've put in a few sessions and really not pulled anything together, resulting in quite a substantial downswing of about $8k. The bankroll has dipped below the $50k mark again, so I'm going to move down slightly and drop the $50r's from the schedule. I think partially why I've not done as well since being back is from playing so much more infrequently and perhaps losing touch slightly with the flow of MTTs, but who knows, the variance in these things are ridiculous.

Whilst playing today I was listening to the 2p2 podcast which this week was actually really interesting featuring top MTT backer Sheets as well as some entertaining stories by Neil Channing. Anyway, as Sheets was discussing about the live tournaments in America doing so badly with getting field numbers and a massive lack of fish resulting in the $5k side events just being filled with regs, it got me thinking a lot more about game selection.

Game selection can be applied to MTT's but rarely is by many people. This is basically trying to find the softest fields to play in to maximise $/hourly rate. For instance, the weekly sunday million on pokerstars is going to be a lot softer than say a weekday $100 rebuy which is filled with the top MTT regulars in the world who apart from a select few seem to just pass money between each other on a sick variance rollercoaster. Then again you do get the sickos like Gboro and Moorman who seem to consistently crush these $100r's despite the lack of evidential dead money.

Now I do game select a bit. For instance, when I had the bankroll for the $50rebuy I would exclusively play the euro sites but wouldn't touch the Stars/Full Tilt $50rebuy due to the much tougher fields found there. Yet it also concerns me that leaving out tougher field tournaments that I am rolled for may well hurt my long-term $ as it can be a very good learning tool to see what the better regs are doing in these higher buy-in tournaments and implement the better parts of their game into my own overall tournament strategy. There is of-course also the lure of being one of the "regs" of the high stake scene.

In reality though from a strictly monetary point of view, for the meanwhile I don't yet have enough money and can find enough softer tournaments to settle my craving without having to play in reg-infested tournaments. Yet due to my approach to the game of wanting to be the best and striving for this I think I will eventually start playing some of these tougher tournaments. On the other hand, reading about some of the better high-stake regs swings they have is also mind-blowing with $100k+ swings placing quite a strain on even the most solid of players.

Anyway, I guess I don't yet have to worry about this just yet. Just got to keep focusing on the softer tournaments available for my buy-in range of up to $200 freezeout and $30 rebuys and if I do manage to be lucky enough to earn a lot more money at this game, I will take shots in the future at some of the tougher fields but try to keep playing the lower-variance and softer fields which are available out there on the internet. If I can keep my ego under control I believe I can go a long way in this game.

Onto the future. This weekend it looks like I'll be playing this new tournament series at Dusk Til Dawn. 20/20 or something like that. It's basically a 1-day £100 freezeout on both the Saturday and the Sunday. I expect I'll just hardcore out on Saturday playing the tournament followed by cash and leave Sunday to the online grind as my hourly has to be greater there (see game selecting already!). I'm not sure how the structure will be but I'm almost 100% sure the field will be soft. I'de much prefer if the buy-in was higher but whatever, maybe this way the field will be a bit bigger and a bit softer than the DTD Monthly £300 deepstack which I love to play.

A good poker friend Ant also won a package to a tournament series in Slovenia during late November which would be good fun to go to for a long weekend, but from what I gather the buyin for the main event is €1k, which is still a bit of a strain on the bankroll to be honest. So we shall see, maybe if I win a lot at cash in the next few days I can take a shot but we shall see indeed.

Hope everyone has been keeping well and running good!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Mixed games


As the work load has been increasing, my time playing poker has been decreasing quite a bit. I've still managed to put in a few sessions and these have mainly been with other players around where we have discussed hands a lot with different lines. So although, I haven't put in a lot of volume I do feel that my game is improving still somewhat.

The most notable session I put in was yesterday on Sunday where I played pretty much every major on every site making the total buy-in quite high for the day. Despite cashing for over $2k I was still down on the day so that sums it up a little :). The best run I got was in the $109/$40k gtd on stars which I came 13th out of roughly 2000 runners for $1400. Other than that I min-cashed the iPoker $500/$1m gtd for $800 and cashed in a $30r for $160 on stars. I also managed a small cash in B2B in a €100 freezeout for €250ish. Despite not doing particularly well in anything, I enjoyed the session and played pretty well.

After Ireland my thirst for deep-stack live tournaments has only really grown. The new season of GUKPT starts soon with their £1000 buyin tournaments. There are satellite on iPoker on wednesday $100r, Friday $50r and Sunday $150fo. I think I will slap some money on the Blue Square skin and try to base my online sessions around these days when I am free. That will leave plenty of time during the week to get work done/go out partying and also hopefully win me a seat or two some of these GUKPT events whilst my bankroll is still too low to buy-in directly to the tournaments. I could buy-in direct if there was one conveniently near and sell say 50% of my action which is a definite possibility worth bearing in mind too.

For the rest of the year, the following GUKPT tournaments are going on:

Leg 8
October 12th - 18th
October 15th - 18th

Leg 9
November 7th - 15th
November 12th - 15th

Grand Final (£3000 main event)
November 19th - 29th
November 26th - 29th

Realistically though it does seem that Blackpool might be the only one I would play this year as I just realised now that Thanet is at the end of this week and the Grand Final is a £3k buyin!

Other than that, the DTD will continue with their £300 monthly deepstack which I'll hopefully play every month and as of next weekend they are starting a 20/20 weekend. Whereby on both the Saturday and Sunday afternoons there will be a £100 deepstack 1 day tournament on both days. I may give it a shot on Saturday but Sunday is a going to be a maybe as the buy-in is pretty small and if I got deep I'de miss out on all of the Sunday tournaments online which would have more value in playing than min-cashing a £100 freezeout for £60 profit or whatever. On the other hand I could just go a bit mad on the Sunday tournament playing very loose aggressive trying to either build a big stack at the start or busting allowing me to be back in time to play the Sunday tournies. I'll think about that nearer the time!

On the subject of Dusk Til Dawn, I've been doing pretty well lately on their cash tables. In particular playing the somewhat swingy £5/£5 dealers choice game. I'm doing quite well playing a patient and selectively aggressive game with a lot of limping pre and playing off the other players at the table. Sometimes you get very passive games where its more nut-peddly and everyone limps every pot. Other times you get very aggressive tables where there are multiple raises and re-raises pre which change the dynamic of the game postflop significantly too. What I am unsure about however, is how to improve my game a lot. I guess I should practice online a bit more on some games like Paduki and watch very carefully at how the better players at the table play their holdings. But for games like super-stud which there isnt as much of an online variety I think it will be very difficult to improve and I think it would be all too easy to create leaks in my game and stick with them for a long time. Perhaps the best option would be to really trying mixing up my play.

I like in hold'em when I'm thinking about hands to go through all the possibilities and try to establish reasoning behind them. For instance, I c-bet the flop for value, I check-raise as his range can't handle it or I check/fold as his range is very isolated to strong holdings. I need to get to a similar level in the dealers choice game where I can start putting people on hand ranges and then carefully thinking through the various options available to me on how to win.

Regardless of how I choose to improve on my mixed game action, it will take a long time playing exclusively live due to the hands/hour being so small. I'll keep at it, and might mix in some omaha hi/lo low stakes online to work on that game for a bit too as being quartered sucks!

Hope all is good, gl on the felt!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Back from Ireland, a little online play


It's been a while since I posted so I figured I might as well update you all with what's been happening. For starters, I've just come back from the Ladbrokes Irish Poker Festival which was ridiculously fun. Aside from drinking way too much guinness I managed to also play a ton of poker which was really quite refreshing having not really played at all since coming back to uni. Despite the constant bad beat stories and people telling others how to play their hands badly, I really did enjoy all of the live poker over the weekend.

On the tournament front I seem to be maintaining the moorman1/shaundeeb style of epic failering. I managed to beat 2/3-3/4 of the field in both the €600 and €300 freezeouts but busted both tournaments less than 100 people shy of the money. Pretty standard bust outs on the whole losing flips and cold decks it's just a bit of a shame I couldn't really get anything going in either tournament deep. Meh, I'm probably a massive tell-box or something :P.

The €600 tournament was really epic and I wish I could play that every weekend. It's a 3 day event and attracted almost 800 runners with a juicy €100k for the win. It had a ridiculously good structure too with a 1 hour clock starting off at 25/25 with a 15,000 starting stack. In the first 4 hours I managed to grind my way up to 20,000 but from then on couldn't really get anything going, eventually busting on day 2 after playing about 14-15 hours. Woops :P. Still it was really fun and the quality of play was so bad. I think this is mainly due to the amount of satelitte winners who were playing. It still made me laugh the people that busted in the first level 600BB's deep complaining how their aces got cracked then hearing how they made it 200 pre, got 3 calls and then spazzed out and got it in on the flop. Or this other guy who my room mate was playing cash with who busted the first level 600BB's deep when he had a straight run into a made full house complaining how unlucky he was. Are you joking? Getting it in 600 BB with a straight on a paired board is just beyond bad! Anyway yeh, it was an amazing tournament and I was really gutted when I busted at level 600/1200/100 as I was building a really good history and had a good read on the other players and felt I was qutie image aware. I think this will definately spur me on to try and qualify for more live events in the future.

Plus the fact that the banter on these poker weekends is too good. I was lucky enough that my poker playing friend from Uni decided to come a long too which made for some great drinking and generally funny banter. I doubt it would have been as fun otherwise, so for future trips I think I'll have to take poker mates with me to ensure the good times keep on rolling by!

On the online front, I have put in a couple of sessions online without much to brag about. I final tabled a €75rebuy yesterday but came 6th for about €500ish which isn't overly impressive.

Due to work and time commitments at uni I will be playing a slightly different schedule than that that I played over the summer. I'm still not sure how often I'll play but it will generally be when not much else is going on with friends and I just want a quiet one in I guess!

-7:00pm: $108/$15k gtd (Ongame)
-7:30pm: $22r/$19.5k gtd (Full Tilt)
-7:30pm: €25r/€20k gtd (Ladbrokes)
-7:45pm: $50r/$45k gtd (iPoker)

-8:00pm: €75/€10k gtd (B2B)
-8:00pm: $50r/$50k gtd (OnGame)
-8:00pm: $165/$50k gtd (Full Tilt)
-8:00pm: €50r/€25k gtd (Boss)

-9:00pm: $165/$50k gtd (Stars)
-9:00pm: $108/$10k gtd (OnGame)
-9:25pm: $109/$12.5k gtd (iPoker)

-10:15pm: $108/$18l gtd turbo (OnGame)
-11:00pm: $200 turbo (Full Tilt) - Depends if I have a few other stacks, if not I'll skip this last one.

I'll also try to mix in at least one live satellite per day as I'm not hooked on wanting to get involved in the circuit!

The issue with this schedule though is because I'm only registering for a much smaller time period, the tournies I do register all have a much higher average buy-in than that of the schedule I was playing over the summer. For instance, I have dropped out most of the $50 freezeouts and $10 rebuys which do help lower variance. On the other hand, these lower buyin tournaments do have larger field sizes which increases variance. Despite that the fields in the lower events are softer so I can expect my ROI to be higher. If only I could 20 table my A game, but thats just not an option. No way. So I'll stick to this for the meanwhile. If I go on a $10k downswing (which is way too easy with the average buyin being around $180), I'll re-evaluate, probably drop some of the 50 rebuys and get some more $20r's and $50fo's back in the mix.

I'll try to update with how I do when I do play. But until then, good luck at the tables all!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Back on the live scene a bit


Having settled back to uni in Nottingham for a few days, I figured it wouldn't be long before I'de need my next poker fix to keep me ticking over. And what better way to get it when Andi text me asking if I fancied a trip down to Dusk Til Dawn to play some of the cash games.

We headed down last night on Thursday at about 10ish to find a few tables of £1/£2 running and some £2/£2plo which quickly filled. I won't go into too many details with the hands but it was a very good evening for me spinning my initial £300 up to £1300 on both the holdem and the omaha tables.

Unfortunately near the end of the night I took a pretty big pot off Andi my friend on the £1/£2 table when I raised 8s9s from mid position and got a few callers. It was checked round on a Ah9h4s board. The turn gave the 8d giving me two pair. UTG led out £30 which got 2 callers and I squeezed it up to £150 or something. Andi made the call with a gutshot and flush draw then led at me for his last £60 on the river, which I had to snap-call scooping a pretty big pot. Never good taking money off your mates but its bound to happen if you are playing at the same tables, and the levelling wars can always be fun ;)

Inspired by Andi I thought I'de play a little more PLO this afternoon online at the measly 25c/50c blinds. Having had a good run on stars as of late but due to the shitty internet connection which seems to have blocked the ports stars uses, I decided to play on iPoker today. No idea why but I must seriously be down like 30 buyins on that network. I cannot get a hand to hold or win a flip. I'm not really the superstitious type who prefers to play on one network more than another because I have more luck on one, but really, william hill please give me a break! I still want to get 10,000 hands of winning poker at each level before moving up and hope I'm not stuck at 25c/50c for too long! I can't really whine I guess, its just maybe theres something subconsciously in me which insta-tilts from the shit software or something. Might try full tilt again despite the players being noticeably better. Not sure really!

Hope all is good for everyone, gl at the tables

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The end of the summer


I'm back from holiday in Tunisia which was really fun. It involved lots of sun, sea, quad biking, jet skiing, drink and nice food. I arrived back last night, unpacked a bit and played a little PLO winning 5 buyins a $0.25/$0.50 in a short 250 hands, but I'm still stuck over $1k lifetime at this level so it's nothing to be impressed about!

Tonight will be the last proper online MTT grind session in the foreseeable couple of weeks as I will be driving up north to Nottingham tomorrow during the day and will in all likelihood be spending a lot of time relaxing and catching up with friends who I haven't seen all summer. On the horizon is the OnGame Grand Series of Poker starting on the 27th September which I'll try to play a bit of, but other than that it looks like my volume will decline quite heavily in the forthcoming month.

The summer itself has been a really good experiment. Quite a few of my friends were working throughout the summer and I took the time to see what it would be like playing poker as a professional to see if primarily I could make a profit in it putting in decent volume and secondly if the lifestyle suited me.

I successfully reached all the monetary goals I set both at the start of the summer and at the start of the year whilst putting in a lot of volume and simultaneously working on my game throughout. Since the start of June I made over $40,000 net profit which in itself is pretty impressive although with tournament poker it can be so difficult to see what is the effects of positive variance.

The lifestyle however gave me a few calls for concern. The game itself remained really fun (although I did win a lot which might have swayed my view) and I loved playing all the same nightly tournaments and trying to out-level other regs. I also managed to keep a good level of fitness up frequenting the gym quite a lot.

However, what struck me as some of the more challenging aspects of poker in the future is the lack of social life and meeting new people that comes with the job. It really struck me, other than going to clubs and dancing with drunk girls I really wasn't meeting any new women which would make future relationships hard. Not only that but the hours that are required to grind online MTTs living in the UK registering from 7pm-2:30am rarely sleeping before 6am are also really unsocial resulting in me sleeping in most of the day then getting ready for the nights session once again.

I'm a social person at heart and it was way too easy to just stay inside for 3-4 days in a row almost losing track of time. I would say then that for those that are interested in pursuing professional poker careers when you are single and young is to move out and find a grind-pad with other players who are like-minded out-going type that also want to put in good volume. I'de recommend looking at other hobbies and classes giving you the opportunity to meet other people where you can talk about other stuff than poker.

It's way too easy in this line of work to become a sort of social recluse.

That was online. I played a fair bit at my local gala casino too in the cash games. Live games you can meet more people, but really they aren't the type of people I want to be meeting. First of, it's mainly older drunk business-men, many degenerates and big mouths. I'm much more interested in meeting attractive women and interesting people of my own age. Don't get me wrong, I still do really enjoy live poker but at times it can be painfully slow. I'm not sure how people like Phil Ivey manage when he used to play 80 hour+ weeks just grinding out the cash tables.

So looking to the future.

I want to finish this year at university and get a good grade for my three years work. What I don't want is to spend night after night grinding it out online but instead I want to spend my evenings chilling with friends, meeting new people and having fun away from the computer. I love online grinding, but over the summer it made me realise that I can be sat in front of a computer almost any time later on in my life and due to the social structure of university it would be a great shame to let it pass me by without fully taking advantage of what it has to offer. Not only that, but I have a hell of a lot of work to do next year which will probably occupy a lot of my time anyway. I will however, hopefully be playing a few more live tournaments such as the DTD deepstack, Irish Poker festival and perhaps a few GUKPT's as they are very fun and can be easily offered as a break from reality. Plus, I don't want to lose some of my poker talent that I've worked hard to build on over the past couple of years.

After my final exams next summer I hope to head of to vegas over the summer and just go mad. Play a ton of poker, party like theres no tomorrow and enjoy life being young with a bit of change in my pocket. After that I'll either be heading to North Europe (London, France etc.) to live and possibly play poker/work somewhere or even explore the USA a bit more. The winter time I'de like to be skiing and the Spring would be fun to spend in Asia living somewhere like Thailand, Cambodia, Japan etc. I Think the best option is to leave my options open on this one as the various opportunities may just present themselves and I'de like to have some flexibility in my planning.

After that I suspect, although it's hard to tell now, I'll head back to England and look for some line of work that interests me whilst keeping my bankroll (assuming I'm not busto!) in some sort of savings account that I can then reinvest in the future into setting my own business up.

Although the future does seem a bit hazy right now, I want to maximise my time. Already I'm seeing some of my friends from school that have really done nothing with their lives since leaving school, still working in the factory that we had part-time jobs in at sixth form or part-timing at Tesco watching the years go by. It it quite saddening and I just hope I maximise my time and you do only get one shot!

I think to summarise this pretty long mind-spew this old quote has quite a lot of relevance: "Poker is a hard way to make an easy living". And I do believe now that there is a lot of truth in it.

I'm looking forward to the grind tonight that starts in 3 hours time. I'll be playing the majors on stars, B2B, Full Tilt, OnGame, Boss, Ladbrokes so it's going to be pretty hectic and maybe I can just bink something nice to finish off a great summer!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Time to chill


Off on holiday in a few hours. I did a really long session today playing a ton of stuff on stars and full tilt and not cashing a single one other than a min cash in $20r, but unfortunately that's the reality of MTTs! Today was a bit degen too. I took a shot at the $200 rebuy despite saying to myself before hand I wasn't going to due to being under rolled for $100 rebuys as it is. However one of my poker friends sort of reminded me that the field would be a lot softer than your usual $200 rebuy as well as the fact there would be a ton of dead money from the fish like me taking their one buyin shots and leaving after. That and the structure is sick. So in for a quite reasonable $400 I managed to get pretty deep but busted before the money in the usual cold-deck/flip/running into the top of their range style. As you do..

But before you think this is a big miserable post! It's not. I did have some success on the euro network today specifically in the €30rebuy on DTD (boss):

I'm pretty sure this puts me up for the day by a bit but I'm not too sure as I registered for so long and had a really high ABI today (lots of $100 fo+,$50 rebuy and $400 in sats etc.). Woops!

So off to catch some sun, eat some good food, chill with the family and relax after a pretty hardcore summer which has paid off pretty nicely with lots of fun on the way! Then onto the uni grind with a year of work :(

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The good run continues!

Tonight was meant to be an early night, and I even finished registering at 10pm as I've got to be up really early tomorrow. But that all kind of changed when I went deep in a couple of tournies :)

Namely being this $55/$80k gtd. A big relief on this one as I've played this tourny a ton and had several top 100 finishes but never made that final table. Until now! I ran ridic good on the final table and leading up to it, so its annoying I didn't ship the lot but you can't win them all! I'm still very pleased with this and I think the bankroll is heading over $60k now :D

I also played two WCOOP events. One being the $530 double shootout which was a lot of fun. For those that don't know, a shootout is like a SNG format, whereby 1000 of us are placed on 100 tables and the winner progresses through to the next round. I somehow managed to win my first table putting me through to the second round with $2k profit to go with it. The second table was tough. And I mean really tough. I had Halfrek giving me so much trouble that I busted the second shooutout table in about 6th place I think. Still happy I cashed in the tournament!

I played the 8-game too. 8-game is always fun as I like the mixed games and got a pretty deep run in this too but busted out just before the money. I'm sure that I'm pretty terrible at all the games (NLHE included :p) but I do find it a lot of fun and from watching the table there are a few that are somehow worse than me still.

I'm going on holiday with the family at the weekend so I'll only have two more days of the WCOOP to enjoy. I think I'll try to satellite into the $320 tripple draw 2-7 tomorrow and the $530 FL Omaha hi/lo on friday. In all honesty I think I would be burning money buying into these direct. There's also a $320 turbo style tournament late on Friday with a $300k gtd which I think I'll give a shot to as well as turbos are always fun.

Other than that Thorpe Park tomorrow at 8am so another night with next to no sleep. Yipeee... -,- lol who am I kidding, it was well worth it ;)

Gl at the tables all!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Mentally and physically drained with a big smile on my face

It's 10am now and I started the grind almost 15 hours ago. But to success I managed to clinch a win in the $50/$50k gtd netting just over $12k. And I'm very happy, and tired. :) It's been the first win in a good while and a really good start to September.

Tonight I also played my highest buy-in I've ever played so far. The WCOOP $1000/$500k gtd. I won a satellite to this a while back and despite landing myself with a fairly soft table to begin with I was one of the first people to bust. I was quite happy with my bust out hand as I got it in way ahead of his range in a cooler fashion, but its still a shame not to have played more than 30-40 hands in the highest buyin of my life so far! Just from looking at whos left in, EMSbas and Hitthehole, both UK grinders are still raking in the chips so good luck to them for shipping the lot.

I played another WCOOP tonight, which was sort of a last minute decision, being the $320/$500k gtd mixed holdem event. This consisted of limit hold'em and no limit hold'em alternating every few rounds. Such an awesome event and thankfully I ran a little better finishing 50ish for about $1.4k. I ran good to get there including a sick sick hold vs Ylon Schwartz in this hand which set me up for the money. I was really quite surprised how bad so many people were at limit holdem. I myself am an absolute champ limit player. Ok, that's a complete lie, I was probably the biggest fish at most of my tables at limit hold'em, with this being my first limit holdem tourny ever. Probably not the best diving in at the deep end but whatever.

For instance, spots like this I don't know if I'm bluffing with the best hand or not. Seemingly the guy folded something good after telling me how lucky I was in chat after, but maybe I was lucky he didn't just sighcall like I expected a lot of people would.

Here was a bit of a hero-ish call which I guess was game flow dependant but it's always nice to pick them off. The other times you just look like some calling station fish who hasn't got a clue. But I'm fine with that image too ;)

So yeh, it was a pretty successful night.

Dusk Til Dawn at the weekend was standardish. I bricked both the £330 and £165 as usual and I won't go into details as posting bad beat stories is something I definitely try to avoid due to there being enough pessimism in poker as it is. But on the whole it was pretty bad and I'm still shocked at how some of the DTD regs play so bad, but there ya go :p. I lost a load on £1/£2 holdem and won a load on £2/£2 PLO which was much more fun as I was hitting decks and winning flips. Always nice! In the end was down about £200 on the trip which is a bit fail but I was stuck close to £1k without the £330 buyin included so I was pretty happy that my 14 hour marathon session on Sunday paid off.

Anyway, I'm really tired and there is a high probability that none of the above makes sense. But sleep beckons.

Gl at the tables all!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Jack Ury - What a legend

This is by far the funniest thing I've ever seen on TV Poker before. I was literally cracking up, the best slowroll I've ever seen haha:

What makes this even more funny is that the guy who got completely slowrolled later that day wrote a blog entry about the ordeal. Here's a snippet:

About 15 min into level 6 at 200/400-50 I get into the hand with Jack Ury that is reported on Pokernews and should be on ESPN. I raise EP with 67hh to 1100. Jack doesn't really know what is going on- he can't seem to hear, he can't seem to see, and he can't follow the action. How he got to day 2 I don't know. After I raise he throws out 4 black chips, as if he is limping. The dealer informs him (several times) that the pots been raised and he can't limp. He then says "well, I just go all-in" Obviously he can't do that either, so he ends up calling.

Before the hand started I think he had about 8-9k and I was sitting around 27k or so. The flop comes 6-6-7 and now I have mixed feelings cause I'm gonna be the bad guy who busts the old man. Oh well, his chips will really look good in my stack. He fires out 1k, and then I say "Hey Jack- lets just go all in- you wanted to go all in before the flop right?" Now, I'm not sure how this really came off. I assume that if I did this to any of you that you would take it in stride and fold most holdings. I felt like I was really taking advantage of him. Not respecting my elders. So, I shove, and then he takes a few seconds and gets his chips together to call. As soon as I see he's actually committed I table my cards and the table gasps. Wow. Flopped the boat on the old dude- Seat nine looks at me and says "You had to be the one"

Now I'm not even paying attention to Jack's cards because as far as I'm concerned, I'm a total lock. But I hear him mutter under his 96 year old breath-- "I think your in trouble" as he table pocket 7's for a bigger boat. OMG. The table explodes and I just have to laugh to myself eventually because a spot this sick just doesn't come around very often. At least he didn't stack me!

I think if I was actually there in person I would never have recovered.

I've had a couple of days playing poker. Last night was a bit uneventful but the previous night I finally broke through in the Ladbrokes €20r! I must have been in the final 2 tables of that tournament so many times but just couldn't reach the final table. Well in the end I got there!

I still think it's funny there lobby looks like an old calculator screen from the 1980's. Anyway, I played a good game and when we got heads up I was a 3:1 under-dog. My opponent was pretty terrible though, like some manic aggro fish. Bet pot every hand, min re-raise pre. Yeh, thats right I open the button and he min reraised every hand. How the fuck I didn't take this down I don't know, especially given we were like 40 big blinds deep+. Oh yeh, the reason I didn't take it down as because I spewed hard involving 4betting ace rag. Patience is a virtue, so I hear...

Other than that I came 7th in another $20rebuy on full tilt hardly worth mentioning and final table bubbled that $109 turbo again. Man, I love that $109 turbo, I think I just run pretty good in it and I like the fast pace of trying to assign ranges to people, making sick calls, running into the top of their ranges then sucking out. Hehe, it's how I roll.

Well anyway, I was supposed to be going up to Nottingham tonight to get the keys to my new flat which should have been issued on the 1st September. I just rang up to check before I made the 3 1/2 hour drive up and apparently they can't give me my keys now anyway. Mofos! One of my flat mates hasn't paid the rent or some bullshit. Now I'm stuck lol. I'm playing the £330 DTD deepstack this weekend with no where to stay thanks to this dodgy student accommodation I got myself involved with. Goddamn. So I'm trying to find out if there is any floor space at a friend of a friends house that I can camp in over the weekend. If not I'll just have to book in to a hotel I guess which will bump the price of the trip up a fair bit I expect. Oh well, suppose it doesn't matter as I'm shipping the £330 this weekend anyway.

Next year I'm unsure what I'm going to do poker-wise. I think I might just really cut out online during term time. There just seems to be too much happening and I'de love to spend more time chilling with my friends in the last year of uni. The problem with online grinding is that it really is solitary and I don't think I can waste good drinking/chill times on the regular grinding online despite the attractions of the money/fun/sense of achievement. I need to get my head down and study (which I epically failed at last year) and more importantly spend lots of time chilling with my uni mates in the last year of term. Don't worry I'm not fully quitting, just cutting down time online from October onwards and probably play some more live when I get that tingle for action. Good ol' Dusk Til Dawn! Long may you live!

Just before I go, I've been reading this online pros blog and he linked this song:

Such a tune! There was one a vid on youtube with much better quality than this one, but they seem to get taken off everyday. So if its not on there search "Drake Feat.Eminem, Lil' Wayne, Kanye West-Forever" if your into your hiphop/rap you'll love it.

If you're also interested, this is such an epic story from the old days on playing poker in the deep south. It's probably not real, but so well written I just thought it had to be included:

It was a hot and dry day in El Paso when I played that hand in 1849. I'm not sure why I decided to return to the saloon, and once more risk losing it all; maybe it was boredom, days on end of seeing nothing from my porch besides hot, dry sand and desert lizards reflected in the rising steam. God knows where that steam came from. There wasn't water for miles.

I burst through the doors of The Broken Spoke holding all that i had earned from my 3 long months working on the ranch of Dallas Bill, one hundred and two dollars. I looked down back to my usual table: the usual suspects were at it again: Switchblade Joe, Tumbleweed Tim, Vegas Black, and Double Dee. Me? They call me Six-Shooter Sam.

I took my seat. The name of the game was $100 NL, the highest stakes in town. I shouted at the bartender. "Hey Lady, bring me some goddamn whiskey." Luckily, she had it. I would have taken horse piss. Anything to rid myself of the grit on the back of my throat.

First hand I'm on the big blind, and I look down to find the king of hearts and the ten of spades. Folds all around to me, except for Vegas Black who makes it three to go. I eyed him over carefully. He was a smooth one, that Vegas Black; unpredictable, like a cross-breed between a rattlesnake and a scorpion: you never quite could tell which way he was slithering, but one sting from him and men were pushing up daisies. Vegas Black was known in Texas to raise pots with any old hand, he could be sitting on anything from 2 7 offsuit to a pair of bullets. I saw a drop of sweat roll down my forehead and hit the felt. Vegas gave me a sinister grin. "Call." He urged. "I dare ya."

I called his raise. The flop comes 10 clubs, 7 clubs, A spades. Vegas bets out strong, $6, clearly trying to bluff me out.

"It'll take a lot more than that to get me out of this pot, partner," I said to Vegas in a raspy voice, my throat raw from the sand and the whiskey. "$20 to go."

Vegas lit a cigarette and sucked the smoke through the gap where his left front tooth used to be before he lost it taming Memphis, the wild black stallion that townsfolk rumored Vegas found at the gates of hell after getting shot by Kentucky Jack on the longest day December. "$50."

"I call."

The turn comes up, the Ace of diamonds. Vegas checks. Now I'm in for it. My pair of tens is looking worse by the minute. I check behind.

The river comes, the ten of hearts. Vegas checks again, settting his trap, except this time I can fight back. "I'm all-in."

Vegas looks at me and gives another wicked grin. He stands up from the table, pulls his pistol out from his holster, and pointing it at his own head says to me, "I raise you your life."

A lot of things went through my mind at that moment. My wife, my children, my future goals of saving enough money to move out west to california and strike it rich, but for some reason, I knew Vegas Black wasn't holding an ace.

"Vegas," I said, with shaky hands, pulling out my six-shooter from its brown leather holster, "you're a dead man." I pointed my six-shooter at my own head with my right hand, and flipped over K10 with the other. Vegas flipped over 88 and shot himself dead, in the middle of The Broken Spoke, on that hot and dry 1849 day in El Paso, when I made the biggest gamble of my life.