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!