Monday, 16 August 2010

A hard weeks grind...

...And £74 profit to show for it. Oh dear oh dear lol. Well I guess profit is profit, but that's hardly ballin' out of control now is it.

This week I really tried hard to get into a good grinding pattern. My computer has yet to arrive, despite being promised 3 dates prior to this, so I'm still stuck on my little old laptop with a broken screen. Not that that's stopped me anyway!

I tried to copy who I consider to be some of the best MTTers and sickest grinders in the industry this week. From Thursday through to Sunday I registered tournaments from 5pm-2:30am and finishing with some hyper-turbos at 4:30am. The hours were long but things were looking up. I don't believe I ran too well during the time period.

I did manage a few scores though, most notably a 6th place finish in the stars $50/$40k gtd for just over $2k despite entering the final table as 2/9 where $8k was up for first place. But the cards weren't too friendly with me on this occasion.

I also managed to get 4 final table bubbles, 2 in the fifty-fifty, one in the $50 6-max on stars and one in a $5r (with a 20th place in the same tournament as well). I also managed to get a 6th in the $14 6-max hyper-turbo for a few pennies.

Regardless, I think I ran pretty bad at some crucial times pretty consistently this week where a flip or two could have left me up around $10k. For that reason, I'm pretty happy I effectively broke even for the week. Although I wouldn't have minded a breakthrough score!

Despite all this, you might ask how I'm not rolling in profits. Well in 4 simple letters, F-T-O-Ps. Or as I like to phrase it F-O-A-D (fuck off and die). Haha, Ok that's a little harsh. I really enjoyed the series on a whole. I got off to a good start in FTOPs 1 but that was my only cash. I build some monster stacks in other events including the $640 main event where I managed to grind my stack up from 7500 starting stack to 56,000 but bust slightly before the money when my JJ was no match for the monstrous A7. To be fair, I kind of like how the guy played his hand given our dynamic, but whatever, it sucks to get so deep and see no return especially when there is $513,000 for first place!

...What I'd do with that kind of money...hookers...coke...hahah I kidddd!

I think despite all this, and probably tonight where I ran like the crap a piece of shit would crap out, I really enjoyed the grind. It's pretty fun playing long hours and going deep lot's. Final table bubbling isn't as bad as it is when you play casually as you know that there will be another opportunity just round the corner anyway. I also think my games improving quite a bit too which I'm happy about and generally feel quite content with life.

Onto this upcoming week. Well I'm heading up to Scotland to play UKIPT Edinburgh which should be fun. Since Vegas I really love playing live deepstack events. I'm playing day 1b which is on Friday with a few friends including Chud (house-mate from Vegas) and Ledders (online pal). But I'm heading up on Tuesday to chill with my dad who lives there, get some drinks in and enjoy the fringe festival.

I'll be staying up there from Tuesday night through to Monday morning where I'll be getting a train down to London and flying off to Turkey for a week on an all-you-drink holiday package with some friends from school. Should be fun...

If anyone is remotely interested in how I do in UKIPT Edinbugh, I will be updating my twitter with my stack size periodically.

Until next time, good luck at the tables all!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Good News for Online Poker in Europe..


As a lot of regular MTT grinders from Europe will know, over the past few months the European sites have been slowly losing traffic which has been reflected in the tournament guarantees. Whilst this has been happening, the two big dogs in the industry, Pokerstars and Full Tilt, have seen ever increasing field sizes resulting in larger than ever prizepools for it's customers.

There are a few reasons that I believe this has been the case:

-Vastly superior software. The pokerboom in Europe has been around a good couple of years now and even the most casual of players are starting to realise that there are better options than just playing poker through their local sportsbook.

-Advertising. Pokerstars and Full Tilt have both had an increasing presense in European mainstream media such as TV advertising in the past couple of years which is inevitably directing traffic their way.

-Superior support. We're in a recession and quite rightly people are holding onto their pennies a little more than they were say 5 years ago. People want to put money into software where they know they will have good customer support and can rely on their money still being their in 6 months time (with the assumption being they haven't lost it in the meantime!). Too many smaller skins on the iPoker and OnGame network have gone under in recent years.

-Ability to take poker skills to a higher level. As the people that are just getting going a few years ago and have hung around are inevitably going to be looking at ways to take their poker-game forward and to become more profitable. They seek better structures and software that can allow them to multitable more effectively even if they are only playing on a laptop. Quite simply many European sites simply fail at this. Whether is be iPoker's clumsy software which means you can't resize the tables or Party Pokers terrible tournament structure resulting in every final table being a complete crap-shoot. People simply want better.

So it would seem all hope is lost right? Well no, you will be pleased to hear that the European sites are fighting back...

First of all, there is large rumours in the industry at the moment of a $1.8billion merger between Party Gaming (Partypoker) and BWin (OnGame)which, if correctly managed could result in a serious rival for Pokerstars and Partypoker in the European market. This would be the largest merger the gaming industry has ever seen. At the moment I play regularly on neither Partypoker due to their terrible structures or OnGame due to the abismal software. I would expect in a merger that the good OnGame structures (with them being the majority shareholders in the merger 52%) and I would also hope to have a complete over-haul of the software to get in-line with industry leaders. This could potentially be very very exciting news for the industry. For many that aren't aware, it was only about 5 years ago that PartyPoker was the global leaders in online poker before the American UIGEA act came into place preventing US players from gambling on the site. Since then Party has done little to expand their client-base and has in fact seen a significant decline in recent years. I'm more than sure that this merger would be in an effort to resecure market sure in the industry. Afterall they are a publicly traded company and I'm sure the shareholders are routing for something along these lines.

Similarly outside of this, I have recently been offered to Beta-Test some of William Hill's new software. Currently residing on the iPoker network which I believe to be the third biggest player in the game they too have seen large numbers of their clients migrate away from their pre-dated software onto Full Tilt and Pokerstars. I will give updates after Beta-Testing but what I will recommend to them is:

-Smoother software that allows for easier multitabling
-Better satellites into live European events such as GUKPT
-Better structures for their rebuy tournaments
-Timebank and resizing of the tables

More good news, slightly off the topic is the passing of the UIGEA in America. Very briefly this bill was put into place that made it very difficult and practically illegal for American citizens to get money online and gamble on poker-websites with it. Even sites such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt. So you can imagine a typical American fish who puts x% of his weekly pay-check in to gamble with every week is much more likely to give up and spend his money elsewhere is his debit card is constantly being refused access on the sites. Particularly if he isn't too good and has to keep topping up his roll every other week too!

Well this UIGEA bill is in the process now of making online poker legal in all states (unless they specifically opt-out which looks like it will only be Utah and Hawaii anyway) which theoretically should massively increase the number of casual American players on the sites. Afterall, 40 million people play on facebook poker every month. If only 5% of these people realise that playing for money online is legal and decide to put $100 on each, that is a huge amount of extra money being injected into the system. It also looks unlikely that the Americans will get to play on the European sites if the bill is passed. Rather have Full Tilt, Pokerstars and possibly Cereus network regulated by official bodies (rather than the current off-shore gaming that they are). This would mean more money to US-taxes but would most likely not effect us European players too much other than provide a lot more dead-money into the poker economy. Who knows, if the sites get regulated it might also spark some more deposits from this side of the pond from people who were skeptical of using their debit or credit cards for online gambling in the first place.

Regardless of all this, I think the main aim of this post is to say that things are looking up for Poker in the forthcoming 12 months. I think the industry will see a big improvement and if this bill gets passed a large surplus in additional players. It may all go tits-up but for the meanwhile I'm pretty optimistic...

Monday, 9 August 2010

A profitable week


Somehow managed to luck-box my way to a tidy little profit this week. This is most likely due to a semi-bink in a $1 turbo-rebuy I played a couple of nights ago. I was 2-tabling $5r near the money at about 2am getting near the money in both with big stacks. Well this is good and all but the min-cash is only ~$25 in each and I didn't really feel like concentrating on these given they both had over 1000 runners left in them. So I loaded a few turbo's up starting around that time. 4 hours later and besting a field of 4800 I managed to bink a second in the $1r-turbo for just shy of $2000.

I admit, this is the first and quite possibly the last time I'll play this tournament but it was actually really good fun when we got so deep. I ended up raising about 80% of hands from the final 27-down and managed to build my stack from 1mm-16mm pretty much without showdown. People just kept limp-folding 5bb stacks. It was great! I ran pretty well on the final table but unfortunately AQ couldn't hold vs. A6 for the $2700 first place, shortly losing with 66<33 for the rest. Ahh well it was a good ride anyway!

Other than that I've managed a few scores in turbo SNG's such as winning a $12/180, $24/90 and coming 5th in a $52/90. Nice little variance reducers definately help push the profit bar along.

A few near misses this week including a 20th in the $5r out of 3011 runners and also a 20th in the fifty-fifty on ($50/$50k gtd) on full tilt last night. Just shy of the big money. Saying this, I'm really happy with my late-game at the moment and can see a huge bink incoming! Watch this space...

I'm getting pretty screwed over with my computer at the moment. I rang up on Thursday and they said they were delivering it early this week. I rang up this afternoon and apparently the graphics card still hasn't arrived despite Mesh Computers confirming that the computer was already being assembled last week. They probably broke the graphics card putting it in the machine or something, clumsy fuckers. I just hope it get's here soon. Don't know how long I can put up with this dodgy laptop any more. Or more to the point, how long this laptop can put up with me for!

At the moment I'm down south in Dorset, visiting family for the weekend. I'm heading back up to Nottingham on the Tuesday night most likely. Hoping for a huge grind next weekend as it's the FTOPs final and I'm playing both a $200 6-max, $256 KO bounty and the $640 main event. Run good time please!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Live 6max, Moving places, Edinburgh, FTOPS


It's been a little while since I've last blogged as I've been so busy. A lot has happened the past couple of weeks so I'll try to be pretty brief on it all.

First off, after my laptop spectacularly failed on me in the final stretch of Vegas, to earn any sort of income through poker I was forced into the live arena. Luckily, living in Nottingham and with DTD just down the road this is hardly mission-impossible.

I ventured to the club and played the new £100+£12 6-max tournament. After a Summer in Vegas playing quite a lot of live poker, I didn't think much would top it. But 6-max live tournaments are just the best. People bust much faster in 6max and are put into many more marginal spots than in full-ring games. This makes for some very exciting poker. Added to the fact that people bust much faster, even lousier £100 structures end-up being pretty deep rather than the usual crapshoots these tournaments turn into in the late-game. So a definate thumbs-up from me.

Oh, and I final tabled it. Not that that would influence my thoughts on the tournament though ;-)

Other than that, I've moved out of my old flat and am currently in a bit of a transitional period. I'm staying in a flat with a few non-poker mates for a couple of weeks now. Then have plans to visit family up north and a drinking-holiday with friends from school to Turkey at the end of the month.

Then I'll be moving into my new grind-pad, Litmus building in Nottingham. I can't wait to get settled in with my new computer and grind some serious hands out. Although this month so far is turning out to be a real good laugh. Shame I seem to just have so much on I'm struggling to fit in the hours with the poker.

That didn't stop me today though. I played a few SNG's and won my first ever $12/180man (fishhh) on stars as well as a $26/90man on full tilt. That made for a pretty good winning day scooping over $500 in each. To finish the session I played one of those £8r 3x-turbo satelittes to UKIPT-Edinburgh and managed to luckbox a seat to that too.

So that's something to keep me entertained later in the month too. More to come on that I'm sure.

FTOPS is starting tomorrow night and I plan on playing a few of the events:

-Event 1 (Wed 4th), $216 NL

-Event 10 (Sat 7th), $216 NL Turbo

-Event 11 (Sun 8th), $129 NL KO

-Event 13 (Sun 8th), $322 NL

-Event 26 (Fri 13th), $216 NL 6max

-Event 32 (Sun 15th), $256 NL KO 6max

-Main Event (Sun 15th), $640 NL

Sold some action in the tournaments. Ideally this time next year I'll have the roll to play much more of the series on my own-roll without needing to sell action. But at the moment the $100r and $200 1r1ao are a fair bit out of my league. I guess only time, and hours of it at that in front of the computer, will dictate whether I'll be at that level this time next year!

Other than that, went to Sonosphere camping over the weekend which was ridiculously fun. Loads of top bands playing including Iron Maiden, Pendulum, Rammstein, Good Charlotte, Slayer, Alice Cooper and Skindred. I came back battered and bruised after much moshing but it's so worth it. Funnily enough I hardly ever listen to this kind of music especially when I'm grinding, but just love to hear it live.

Here are a couple of songs to finish the blog with from the weekend. Gl at the tables all!

Oh yeh and follow me on twitter, links in top-right!