Monday, 19 April 2010

Hyper Turboooooooooos


I'm persistent on winning a WSOP seat online. So the quest continues! I'm giving some of these FTP steps programmes a go these days. It works like this on full tilt:

-step 1: $3.30
-step 2: $8.70
-step 3: $26
-step 4: $75
-step 5: $216
-step 6: $640
-step 7: $2100

With the winner of step 7 gaining a $12,000 package to the main event. Exciting stuff!

So I decided to start at step 4, playing 9 man super turbo, turbo and regular qualifiers. I played 30 to get me on the go and so far here are the results:

-11 step 5 tickets
-11 step 4 tickets
-2 step 3 tickets
-3 step 2 tickets

So hopefully now I can spin this up and luckbox one all the way to step 7 and ship all the gold! So over the next few days I'll keep grinding and maybe make something of this. I'm not too sure which to play for the higher levels, but I know I'm going to have to game select quite a bit at the step 6 and 7 stage, sharkscoping all the players before I register trying to stay away from the high stake regs who will undoubtably have a big edge on me due to knowing next to perfect ICM in these things. I think I'll stick to turbos and hypers for added gamble as from the $75s I've played people seem to suck a lot at these! But I might not have too much choice depending on what loads on the higher levels.

Other than that, revision has been going slow for exams but I'm trying to keep my focus up and getting on with it. Which is about all I can do! Only a couple of months to go! At the weekend I went down to London to this ridiculous baller nightclub called "Luxx" for my friends 22nd birthday. It's in the middle of Mayfair, with a very strict dress-code and very expensive drinks. I was lucky enough to get freerolled by my friend all night who was buying everyone £400 bottles of vodka. One day I hope to balla enough to do all this stuff.

Other than the great tunes, it made for some amazing people watching. I'm never normally in these kind of environments, so whilst I was still sober enough to do so, i found it really interesting to see who all the other punters in the joint were. On the table next to us, some 20-30 year old blokes who to be honest weren't that good looking but had THE hottest girlfriends. I just wondered what they did as jobs, especially after ordering the 4-5th bottle of £2k champaigne... Probably investment bankers. There were also tons of toffs which was pretty funny to watch, doubt I've ever seen so many people with combed back hair in one place before. Anyway, what really interested me was how this place did so well from a business perspective. The club was infact tiny. Although I didn't ask my friend, I'm pretty sure it cost over £100 per person entry especially with a reserved table. The music was good, and the drinks were nice. But it was all VERY expensive. They must have made so much money on the place. I can't imagine how impressive the marketing must have been, literally all the women in the place were stunning. If I was single and had the money, I'd definitely be back every weekend ;) And it is way way too easy to spend over £1k in there. I mean there was one bottle of champaign costing £35,000. WTF! I was impressed anyway!

Perhaps that's motivation for the future. Anyway back to the study-grind :( gl all!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

UKIPT Coventry Final Table


As some of you may well know, I managed to final table the third leg of the Pokerstars UKIPT Coventry leg finishing in 8th place out of the 328-man field. Finally a live score!!

It may not be massively impressive coming in 8th and stuff, but you'll just have to trust me. It's a huge burden off my shoulders. Not in the monetary form. But all the hours I've put in at the live-felt to pay-off and finally get a deep run in a big tournament.

I started play on day 1A on the Thursday and battled hard through day 2 to reach the money bubble whereby I had about 3.5x average chips. The bubble was beautiful. People were just so scared of finishing just shy of the money and there was so many chips to be had. The structure in these tournaments are great; 15,000 starting chips with a 1 hour clock. The structure in the late game is also really impressive with the average chip count staying around 50bbs until we reached the final table and it dropped to a still very decent 30bb.

I was picking up chips easily with surprisingly soft table draws. That was until we reached in the money. Then things changed. I think it's fair to say, I'm a way off being a gboro780 or moorman1 just yet...

As our table broke after the money bubble burst, I got put onto an incredibly tough table in comparison to the remaining field. I had EPT winner Jake Cody, online player David 'LeKnave' Jones and Daniel Carter on the same table with me. And to be honest, they all ran over the table, putting immense pressure on all the other players, themselves included. Coming from tables where I felt I had a significant skill edge and could pick up chips easily, these guys just would not let a raise go through. There were constant 3bets, 4bets, bluff raises, double floats. You name it, no pot was going down uncontested. This made picking chips up not only much more difficult but with much higher variance as everyone's ranges weren't nearly as polarised as had been on previous tables.

I think it just goes to show how good some of the top young grinders are these days. I have a lot to learn. But I feel I'm capable of getting there. They were all very loose aggressive picking up a lot of chips and I felt I learnt a lot from playing vs. them at the same time. It was a challenge and fun and it's sometimes hard not to level yourself into making ridiculous post-flop plays.

As reported by Pokerstars, this hand kind of sums up my table quite a bit:

1.25am: Dobson dodges diamonds to double
Sam Grafton opened to 25,000 in early position, next to act Ben Dobson flat called, it folded to Dan Carter on the button who three-bet to 85,000. Grafton responded by four-bet jamming for around 400,000. Dobson called to put his tournament at risk and Carter folded.

Grafton: 3♦9♦
Dobson K♠K♦

The board was A♠J♠T♦7♠2♥. Dobson doubled to 600,000 and Grafton slipped to 150,000. --NW

See what I mean about the high variance comment ;)

I don't think I ran too hot on the final table but whatever. I'm really happy I made it and can't wait to start grinding more of the UK tournament scene next year. Such good fun!

From now on though, it's work work work. Exams are looming just round the corner and I've been slacking all year on the work front. So catch up time is required. That does mean unfortunately I won't really be putting in proper sessions until Vegas now in June. That also means no UKIPT Nottingham. Bit annoyed about this one, but it's placed slap bang in the middle of my exams. So no can do! Got to get my priorities straight on this one.

Gl at the tables all!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Shenanigans in Ireland

Ahh, so that's what the city looks like!


Well this has actually got to be one of the funnest weekends of the year and I'm sure I'll remember it as being one of the best of my life. It was none other than the Irish Open festival, held in Dublin. I flew over with Ryanair on the Friday after doing an all nighter. I was pretty nackered and couldn't sleep on the plane so crashed when I got to the hotel for a few hours. After only a few hours sleep I woke in the early afternoon and so it began. A weekend of hardcore poker, drinking and banter.

Despite Dublin quite possibly being one of the most expensive places I've been, I still love it. The peoples attitudes are great and really playing poker is so much more fun at lively tables where everyone is having a good time and gambling. It really was a lot of fun and I hope vegas is like this in the Summer.

As far as the tournaments go, as usual I bricked. I got deep and built stacks playing solid poker in both. I came about 90/720 with 72 paid in the main event with 72 paid running my queens into Aces of the guy raising every hand near the bubble. Coooooool! I still can't believe how soft both the tournaments were. My bustout hand for the €1650 sort of sums it up:

UTG limps (limping every hand), UTG+1 limps (also limping every hand and about the worst player ever), I iso the cut-off with AcKs and the blinds fold.

UTG whines about how he hates folding and folds. UTG+1 flats me with Js6s. We are like 50BB effective.

Flop As9c4s. He check/calls my cbet. The turn brings the 2s completeing the flush. I've got about 1.5x pot size bet. Decide to value bet my top pair with NFD commiting myself. Kind of frustrated I ran into the flush but from how he's played seriously I double up for sure if he has a random Ace rag or even just a nine on the river. Oh well.

Just a bit frustrating after the hand and he scoops the pot he goes "that serves you right for keep raising me, I thought you had nothing". I felt like saying, well ofcourse I'm going to isolate you, you're the biggest donk I've ever played with and even if you put me on nothing, why would you call with J6! Decided against it and said GG and walked off. Still pretty annoying how people like that manage to build stacks in these things.

Anyway, enough about me being bitter about variance in live tournaments and onto the funner stuff! After busting the main just before the money, I went to the bar and met up with a couple of the other iPoker qualifiers who I had been chilling with on the first night. I then met Tom Rutter who was heading out of the bar and heading into central Dublin who invited me and the other guys to come clubbing in town. We ended up partying with him, Moorman, and a few other top online HSMTT pro's. It was a completely crazy night. Drinks left, right and center. After arriving in town and trying to unsuccessfully bribe the bouncer to get in the club which was straight up rejected and resulted in us all not being allowed to enter the club despite afterwards waiting in the queue! Onto the next place and the drinks started flowing some very bizarre stuff happened...

Here's a photo with a blanked out face for his own embarassment. But haha, yes they kissed. No there was not any money involved. And it was apparently with tongues for several seconds. Oh dear hahaha!

Other than that Ireland was really fun. I'm a big TV-poker fan. In fact I pretty much watch everything going and really like all the gossip about the pro's. With this being my first big live tournament and me effectively being a poker version of one of those middle-aged overweight women who reads OK and Hello every week. So these are my run in with the pro's!

-Kara Scott was at the table next to mine. She's even hotter in real life than on the TV. Brian Townsend is a lucky lucky guy!
-Shared a lift with Richard "CHUFTY" Ashby and Dan Harrington.
-Drinking with moorman
-Bumped into Jesse May walking around the corner in the hotel. Was so so tempted to mock his pretty unique voice haha.
-Bluffed Marty Smith in a big pot in the main event

Damn, I'm such a fish lol!

Anyway, I was a bit disapointed with the tournament failings too. I sold quite a lot of myself in both events, but still it left a deepish hole in my pockets and this was the reason I was here anyway. But it may suprise you all that I made a profit on the trip!

-I swapped 5% on day 2 with Cos when we were both pretty short-stacked 30 off the money. I ran my QQ's into AA's and didn't improve, whilst he managed to run a bit better and built his 25k stack up to 280k before busting for €13,500, good for about €650 for me, I was happy, from what I can tell he played very well too and deserves the success.

-I ground cash games on the last day for a 12 hour session and netted €400 at €1/€2 which was a nice bonus. Not huge, but certainly helps along the way.

-After busting the €1650 I was pretty annoyed and frustrated as the same shit seems to happen every live event I play. So I came to my room and luckily I can still win online. I decided to register for a tourney wasn't chilling and watching southpark fitting in a few of the later Sunday tournaments on Full Tilt. I then thought fuck it, and registered about 10 in total from 10pm-1am. By 8:30am I was at the final table of this $26 freezeout on Full Tilt and managed to ship the lot :D

That was a really nice boost to the roll and sets me straight for Vegas.

Pretty funny story with this too. I was sure that my flight back was on Monday at 8am. Well after final tabling the $26 freezeout and with $9k for the win, I thought ahh screw it, I've missed this one. I'll just book another one tomorrow and stay an extra day thinking I had to leave the hotel too. Well after the tournament finished around 9am, I went down to reception and was happy to find out that I still had one more day left with the room. Ahh that makes it easy, I can even get a good sleep in too! After the 16 hour, pretty much non-stop poker session, I just went online and bought another flight home for the following day. When I woke up at about 6:30pm the following day, I just realised, my original flight was on Tuesday morning anyway. So I bought two tickets for the same flight, under the same name. Haha such an idiot! I do kind of run good though, I was so sure my flight was on Monday and that I missed it, I would probably have just left the hotel, checked out, got a bus to the airport and found out then. I guess I prefer to waste €70 on rebooking the flight than doing all that again and trying to get a room back again at the hotel :P

Anyway, I really enjoyed the weekend. UKIPT Coventry main event is the following weekend. I've won a seat online for it already, so I'll probably go add to the dead money then head back to Nottingham to chill and see my girlfriend.

After that the real grind begins. Exam revision. Urghhh. Can't wait for vegas. What a great insight this trip has been. I really can't wait to do more of this stuff next year.

Happy days...