Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2011 in Review, Looking Forward to 2012

2011 was a big year for me. For starters, it was my first full calender year playing MTTs professionally and it was a great year. According to sharkscope I played around 6,000 tournaments online and managed to come out with $119k profit for the year which I'm very happy with. My best scores for the year came in a WCOOP final table coming 6th in one of the $320 tournaments, winning a Sunday $50r for $14k and on the live front getting a majority chop in a $500 venetian deepstack for just over $25k :)







On the non-poker front the year has been absolutely amazing, and quite possibly the most exciting year so far to date of my life.


Rajasthan, India.


I kicked off the year partying hard in Goa in India and in the end extending my 2 week holiday to over 6 weeks. India really is an amazing country and I'd love to try and take another trip over there this year at some point. It's honestly not for everyone. In fact I think a lot of people I know probably wouldn't like it all. It's dirty, there's obvious poverty and you're almost guaranteed to get the shits if you are over there. But for those that enjoy travelling, especially more adventurous do-it-yourself kind of travelling it's probably hard to rival. It's like a different world, the weather's amazing, the food is incredible, culturally it's so different and the people are really kind and helpful. Memories for life :)


Me, Pillow100 in Seville, Spain.


After Goa I came back to England for a few weeks and got back on the grind rebuilding pretty quickly. Always nice to start the year off on a heater (repeat please!). One massive motivation for the grind was to build up a roll for Vegas in the summer. I played a few live tournaments in England and a trip to Seville, Spain for a GSOP with little financial success but plenty of good times off the felt.


Luckboxing at the Venetian, Las Vegas, USA.


Then came Vegas. Another 6 weeks in the Sun in Sin City. This year I hired a car, stayed in a house off the strip with some of my best mates in Poker and had the time of my life. I just love Vegas!! I had a rough start to the trip pretty much bricking everything I played but finally got something going in a Venetian side event putting my first official win on the hendon mob page. More of that to come in 2012 I hope! I feel like I had a great balance in Vegas this year. A good mix of grinding tournaments, chilling, eating out, going to shows and having a great time. It was an amazing trip.


Home again and despite the bink I was hardly up for the series (getting sucked out on in $10ks for the lose!). I kind of got screwed over a little after winning a main event package on AP pre-black friday which never materialised after the site went broke. Just like a business, you've got to write these off as bad-debts and move on. Shame tho as that extra $10k I put up for the main event really bit into the profits of the trip despite selling action. Regardless of that, I'm definately giving the WSOP Main Event another shot next summer hopefully satelitting in again and this time hopefully actually getting the seat I won :p (oh and then binking the tourn obv!)


The Online Grind in Nottingham, England.


After spending far too much money in Vegas it was back to the online grind for the rebuild. I'd just moved into my new flat in Nottingham which I'm really happy about. A little more money that my previous place but a lot nicer in a much nicer location. I was living in a highrise block of flats right in the city center. I'm now living in a much smaller building and can even see trees from my windows! I also bought a car after my Summer trip, a big shiny VW Passat 2.0 estate. A curious purchase perhaps, but I love it. After spending 3 months in the past couple of years in Vegas and seeing the massive cars people drive over there I just couldn't bring myself to buy some a small hatchback and didn't have near enough the roll to buy a massive land-rover or sports car. So estate it is!


David Vamplew, Jon Spinks, Me in San Remo, Italy.


I decided to play my first ever EPT in Autumn heading over to Italy for San Remo. I bricked the whole series and was still taking a pretty big % of myself which hurt a little but the trip itself was incredible. Being the fat shit I am, I literally went on calorie-overload. Every meal was amazing and I had a great time socially meeting up with a lot of people on the EPT stop. Everyone was friendly and there was a really good vibe about the whole scene. Definately big motivation to start binking and playing satelittes again to EPTs in 2012.


So that was my year scrawled out in a few paragraphs. It was certainly action-packed and I'm hoping 2012 is just as prosperous and exciting.




2011 Goals


1) [x] Ship a major
- I'm kind of half ticking this box. I did in fact manage to ship a major, being the Everest Poker weekly $50r big tournament. I managed to bink it later on in the year for $14k. Hardly a "major" bink but seeing as it is the weekly big tournament on the site I think it counts. I had a few other close calls in other majors throughout the year. I managed to get an 8th in the iPoker major, a 6th in a $320 WCOOP on Stars and 6 seperate final table bubbles of majors.


2) [x] Health and Fitness
-Pretty happy on this one. I'm not quite at the stage of being a Men's Health cover model just yet but I'm heading in the right direction. I've had a gym membership at Virgin Active for a few months now and seeing improvements in my fitness and lifting. I also got into a really good habit this year of cooking a lot more and I don't think I ordered a single takeaway when grinding by myself throughout the year. My diet is still kind of an issue as I do love my food and in large quantities but I've learnt a lot more about food and the do's and don'ts so hoping I can apply that a little more in 2012 and keep striving towards a well balanced healthy lifestyle.


3) [ ] Improving my game
-My games moved forward a lot this year but I still feel like I could have put more effort into the theoretical side of the grind. I still try to note interesting hands down mid-session to review later but have been doing this less in the past few months and watching less training videos too. It's so important to keep ahead of the curve playing professional poker and far too easy to fall back and watch the game pass you by. More effort needed in 2012!


4) [x] Grinding hard live
-Again I'm half ticking this box. I've played a good amount live this year and I'm down a fair chunk despite a small bink in the Summer. Luckily I've not been too degenerate and have either been satelitting in a fair bit or selling action but still. As I've mentioned in previous blog entries, I seem to be on a constant pattern of building up a good roll online and then playing live, having crap results, spending too much and having to drop down in stakes again. Rinse and repeat! Less buying into live tournaments and more satelitting in. I guess I just need to get it into my head that missing certain live tournaments won't be the end of the world and I shouldn't feel guilty for missing out on so called "value" tournaments.


5) [x] Travel less, save more
-I've calmed down my travel a little but it is a big hobby. Other than my Indian trip at the start of the year most of my trips had some sort of poker orientation to them. I'm always happy to take a little time off while travelling on poker trips to enjoy life wherever I end up so I'm happy with this. I'm also happy with not always ballin out and roughing it up a bit too to save money. More of this to come :)


6) [x] Vegas
Had a great trip, played a big schedule, rented a car and had a great time. Not a tough goal to achieve but it was one anyway!




2012 Goals!


1) Less Live Shot Taking
-Travelling to play live is expensive, holds a big opportunity cost and going off past records not as profitable as it seems. I need to get out of the cycle of building a big roll online and spunking it off taking shots in live tournaments. More satelittes and then selling action if I get in.


2) $400k in online buyins for the year.
-This year I had about $340k in online buy-ins for the year whilst taking off the whole of January while in India, 6 weeks whilst in Vegas and most of December. I'd also like to try for a 50% ROI over this sample. Much much easier said than done though.


3) Bink a major
-Has to be done. I don't plan on taking many Sundays off this year. Let's go heater!


4) Improving my game
-More hand analysis, more watching training videos, more talking strat with fellow grinders! Time is the only issue. It is boring but it's an investment. Got to be done.


5) Pursuing other business opportunities
-I'm pretty lazy when it comes to doing "work" outside of Poker. I put in long hours and often feel like I can't be bothered to research in my spare time. But I think it'd be great if in a years time I could have other forms of income coming in besides poker. After all, you can get rich from poker, but can only really earn true wealth from business.


6) Health and Fitness
-Keep at the gym, keeping eating healthily and keep learning more about health and fitness. I'm a firm believer that leading a healthy life outside of poker helps to keep focus and give results on the felt.




So that about sums up this epicly long blog post. For those that made it to the end, congrats and best of luck in 2012.


See you at the tables!

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Chilly December Games and Heading Somewhere Slightly Warmer

So the year's coming to a close and I've pretty much finished the poker-grind for the year. And I'm happy to report it's been a good one :) I'll go into more detailed specifics in a blog post nearer the new year reviewing my goals of 2011 and collaborating some New Years resolutions and goals for 2012. A little more thought is needed on that front in the meanwhile.

December's been a pretty low-volume month on the whole. What with a lot of visiting of family and friends, drinking and pretty much enjoying life I've hardly played any sessions. I'm fine with that after a really heavy volume month in November. I've been playing on the new modern warfare game on the PS3 this month which I'm loving grinding online, especially in domination mode. I've also been catching up and finishing off some really good TV series lately. I would thoroughly recommend people that haven't tried the following series to give them a try, TV really is amazing these days.

-Breaking Bad
-Homeland
-Board Walk Empire
-The Wire

In terms of actual poker in the few online sessions I did play I (finally) binked a seat to UKIPT Galway. It's a €770 seat and I'm sure I'm in for about €600-€900 in the sats so it's not really a massive discount but it'll be a fun tournament. I love the UKIPTs. I think they're great tournaments with great value and it's really fun meeting up with all the UK circuit regs on these stops. Drunken times ahead I'm sure.

Other than that I had a few smaller final tables and a second in a $100/$25k gtd for just over $4k which was nice and pretty much saved the month :)

Oh, and then I had a little Sunday bink!

I logged in as usual to Pokerstars on Sunday and for whatever reason I decided not to auto-click close to the welcome message that pops up. This past weekend it was a big PCA qualifier promotions on Stars. I decided to flick in my last 25k FPPs on Stars into a qualifier to a 125k FPP qualifier to the PCA in January. Without also realising that 125k FPP is ~$2k I managed to bink one of the 10 packages guaranteed. There was a nice little overlay in the sat and a massive sweat on my side when I was sitting 11/11 with 10 packages available. Got to love Zackattack for running like god and getting there versus another shorty. Gonna have to find that guy and buy him a beer I reckon.


So new year's looking pretty epic! I have 9 days accomodation at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, $1000 food expenditures and a $10,300 tournament to win! I decided to sell 50% of my action to the tournament which will give me a little pocket-money for some side events if I fancy playing them. I then decided, well now I'm over this side of the world I might as well flick in a trip to Vegas to catch up with my US mates that I stayed with over the Summer. I'm hiring a Ford Mustang for the 8 days I'm out there and cannot wait. I genuinely love Vegas. No idea what I'm going to do out there but expect it will be something a long the lines of drinking lots, eating at some amazing restaurants and possibly playing a bit of Poker! I don't think I'll be treating this short trip to Vegas as a "business" holiday but I'll probably grind a little in cash games when I'm there. Caesers is also hosting a WSOP circuit event while I'm there so I might donate to the prizepool of an event or two.

So exciting!

After that I've got to dash back to the UK so I can play the latter part of the TCOOP which is going to be very fun. Thanks Stars for listening to what your customers want! Then a big family meet-up party for my Granddads 90th birthday rounding off the month with watching the Scotland v England rugby match in Edinburgh later on in the month.

I'm not sure if this will leave much time for online grinding but it certainly looks like 2012 is going to start off in an awesome way :)

GL at the tables all

ps. I've found this awesome blog the last few days. It's pretty much the ultimate degeneracy story of some guy trying to grind it out in Vegas in the small stake cash games whilst borderline being homeless and living off comped rooms and comped food. An entertaining read nonetheless, check it out here.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Grinding in November, Slacking December

Hey!

Since my last post when I was just leaving San Remo after a somewhat disappointing stretch of live poker I've been back and on the online grind. And I'm very pleased to report that I had a great month in November.

I managed to play over 1000 games this month, which for me playing across multiple sites, is a lot. In fact I think it's the most I've ever played in a month. I normally end up averaging around 600 games. And with great thanks to a $50r bink and a $50 cubed final table I can report a solid +$24k month :)


After coming back from my Italy/Ireland trip I was a little pissed with myself. I felt that I played some spots live really quite sub-optimally and wanted to go over some spots. I've worked on my game a fair bit this month a long side the pretty heavy volume and feel like I've ironed some leaks and feel a bit more comfortable in a few spots I might have been struggling in before.

As far as live poker goes. I've not really played at all this month. I've just been cutting out expenses, grinding hard and hitting the gym. December though I'll try my hand at a couple more tournaments but just local ones. I seem to get into a bit of a habit of building a pretty solid roll online, taking some shots at some bigger live events, bricking, spending too much money IRL then having to drop down stakes again and rebuild online. It seems to be a bit of a pattern forming, so there's certainly something I'll be putting on my new years resolutions this year.

To bring that resolution forward a little, I've managed to blag 2 seats to the DTD £300 freezeout this coming weekend and 2 seats to the DTD £1k monte carlo in 3 weeks time. Both tournaments are re-entry tournaments where if you bust day 1a, you can re-enter and try your luck again on day 1b. I fully intend to fire every bullet I have to make a run in either of these comps!






As for the rest of December, I'll be heading back down South to spend christmas and the preceding days leading to it with friends from home in Dorset. I'll then be spending the xmas->new year period visiting various family members around the country. Oh and I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze in a session or two of online pokers at some point as well :)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My EPT Debut and how little I know!

Hey,

My EPT debut is coming to a close now and it's been a really fun trip. I was totally ready to get away from England for a bit despite not actually being in the country for that long since my Vegas trip. But the joys of blue skies, great food and some live tournaments to donate some money in is always something I'm up for.

Unfortunately on the trip I don't have anything to report on the poker side of things. The talk of the Italians being really bad and offering a lot of value is true but alas I didn't get much going in any of the 5 tournaments I played.

My main event table at the start of the trip was really really soft. Much softer than I thought it would be for a €5k tournament. I probably ran good on getting a great table draw despite not actually get much going. You start with 30k chips at 25/50 but that still didn't stop some of my table mates trying to get all 400bb in with top pair no kicker and getting far too attached to underpairs to the board. From my (somewhat limited) experience of playing with the Italians, they are the kind of players who cannot stand ever being bluffed off a pot but at the same time love to run really illogical bluffs themselves. I found the best strategy versus these players is to just try to make hands and take them all to value town. In the end I busted the main event in a slightly frustrating spot running my KK into AA for just over 100bb which was made slightly more annoying given at the time the big blind and the button was sat out. But c'est la vie!

I also played all of the freezeout side events. On the whole the fields were pretty polarised between having tournament pros who had traveled over from around the world for WSOPe which was just down the road in Cannes, France the previous week and a lot of very bad and spazzy Italian players. However, I did get the feeling there were some circuit grinders who had been out travelling in London doing EPT London, then Cannes and now playing this who were obviously getting really frustrated with the live tournament grind and punting stacks off in really unnecessary spots. In the end the best run I got was in the €2k side event on a pretty tough table when I managed to run my stack up to 42k before eventually making the second best hand in a few close spots and busting in a pretty big flip.

You'll just have to believe me when I say there are worse places in the world to brick a tournament series; San Remo is really an amazing place. Although there's not too much to do in terms of night life, the whole area is very scenically beautiful and the food is incredible. Mmmm...lobster spaghetti..

Socially this trip was really nice as well. I met and talked to a ton of poker players with far more experience in these events and with far better results than I have. It was really interesting especially in talking strategically about hands that people had played. I feel like it really goes to show how deep this game can go and how much better some people are at poker which on the surface might not be obvious. I've got a really long way to go to becoming anywhere near one of the best in Europe.

What I've found that really differentiates the greatest professionals from the mediocre professionals is their ability to just constantly put you in tough spots. In good structured live tournaments especially when the average stack is often pretty deep, good players have such an edge in the way that they can just constantly apply the pressure in spots that make it really really tough for you to play back against them. I think this was highlighted as I was speaking to a few people who had played with Erik Seidel a fair bit and I was inquiring with them what made him excel so much in the super deepstack formats that he plays. Of course he's bound to have ran pretty good, but to assign all of his success in the past 1-2 years down to this alone is just being naive. They pointed out that while he's not a really laggy 3-4bet monkey like a lot of younger internet style pros he really puts the pressure on a ton post-flop where inevitably he has the biggest edge. For instance, one thing that he seems to do well by putting people in horrible spots really deep is his relentless check-raising on flops. He can check-raise really thin and then apply a lot of pressure on turns/rivers after he picks up the initiative in the hand. Similarly, because he doesn't open as many buttons as say a typical player might do when folded to them on the button his %s when 3bet for either 4betting or flatting the 3bet in position are significantly higher than most peoples would be in that spot and as such is going to put a ton of pressure on you and just put you in some horrible spots post-flop. Someone else mentioned that if he is 3betting he's doing so to 5bet a lot of the time which is just a great adjustment to the games he plays and working off his image.

That was all a pretty round-about way of getting to the point that although it's probably a bit unnecessary in the current games I play online, if I do want to start playing higher and more high-stake live MTTs against some of the best in the world it's a skill worth acquiring. Being able to analyse someones range and put that range on different board textures in a lot of spots that aren't easy to play back against. It's not a particularly easy skill to develop and requires a good amount of thought and work away from the tables as well as a lot of practice at the tables. But it is really what differentiates the great regs from the mediocre regs.

Anyway, that was all pretty long winded. Today I'm going to just relax in the sunshine in San Remo, have some nice food and maybe a BBQ with some drinks later. Then tomorrow I'm crossing the border into France and flying from Nice to Dublin for the Irish Winter Festival. Hopefully I can do a little better on the poker-front out there than I have here, but anyway I'm sure it'll be a fun trip.

GL at the tables guys!

Friday, 21 October 2011

First half of October and Arriving in San Remo


Hello,

Well the start of October hasn't gone too great online. I've been playing mainly live so far this month and as such have missed quite a few of the mid-week sessions I might put in online. As a result most of my sessions have come on Sundays in the higher-variance and higher-buyin majors all of which I've managed to brick. Oh well, can't win 'em all! I did have a bit of a saviour session though yesterday when I put in a solid 16 hour mid-week grind coming out on top almost $3k which was a nice confidence booster and means I'm not down too much on the month anymore.

I have had a few deep runs lately, I got a 9th in the Sunday $8r on stars for $650 which kind of sucks besting the $2k+ field when first is $10k, but hey, at least it's not a final table bubble! I did manage a few other deepish runs which unfortunately did result in me final table bubbling including in the Sunday big $100 fo on iPoker getting $300 for my efforts when first is $9k and a couple of other $100 fos on different networks. Again, not going to whine too much about these as theoretically for every final table, you're most likely to be making an equal amount of final 2 tables especially if you're willing to put you're money on the line to build a top 3 stack and put pressure on those slightly more nervous about making the final table.

I've also had a relatively good start to the month playing live. I managed to win a seat on the online Wednesday qualifier to the GUKPT Coventry, a £1070 buyin tournament, for £250. I went down on the Tuesday and Thursday to play their midweek prelim tournaments with little joy, but on the plus side after busting the £200 6max turbo on the thursday I jumped straight into a £50 with 1 rebuy satelitte to the main event and managed to blag another seat. I'll probably transfer this one across to GUKPT Blackpool in a month or so's time. As it happens I fear that I used up all my run good in the satelitte as I didn't get much going in the actual main event eventually busting on a flip with a lot of deadmoney in the pot nearing the end of day 1. Regardless, I really enjoyed the tournament and I'm kind of pissed off with myself that I've not put more effort in the past to play the GUKPTs. They offer great value with a great structure and maybe just because the WSOPe was going on in Cannes, but the field was suprisingly soft. I also think they have a good side event structure and I'm looking forward to playing Blackpool later on in November :)

In other live news, I finally managed to beat my long-spree of not cashing in the DTD £300 deepstack. I think I'll be making an increasing number of deep runs in this now that the tournament is multi-entry and I'll be firing 2 bullets almost every month aiming for that top £30,000 prize. Unfortunately this time I managed a still (for me) somewhat respectable 12th out of ~360ish runners but just missed out on the big money. It was quite funny actually. As soon as I busted both tables tried to organise an equal money chop for the remaining players. Thankfully (as thats so boring not even having a final table!), the tournament director disallowed this but they still did a pretty much even chop 9 handed on the final table. How boring!

I got another deep run in the £150 6max "highroller" at DTD last Saturday too but fell just shy of the final table. As you can tell, I've been playing a lot live lately. Partly because I'm desperate to get as much experience and practice in before my EPT San Remo debut and also because, embarrassingly enough, I'm genuinely enjoying it. I do like the slower pace and trying to think through every hand and build reads up on opponents based on game flow and history. It is slow and at times can definately be tedius but at the same time getting deep runs in live MTTs is really exciting. Bring on San Remo!

I'm just at the airport now waiting for my flight to France where I'll board a train across to Italy. I'll update the blog again when I'm back with a trip report and hopefully, internet permitting, be updating about my tournaments/experiences via twitter in the meantime.

Until then, ciao and gl at the tables!

Friday, 7 October 2011

October and a WCOOP final table!

Hey!

Wow, I have really been getting slack at updating this blog, I've been really busy lately but I guess that's still no excuse.

September in the end turned out to be a great month for me. The highlight by far being I actually managed to final table a major tournament on pokerstars! I didn't play many of the WCOOPs as I didn't fancy putting a package together and I can't justify playing any of the non-NLHE tournaments as well, let's face it, I suck at mixed games.  So the tournaments I did play were a few of the $200 NLHE freezeouts and a couple of the $300 freezeouts. Somehow I managed to run like Jesus himself and final tabled event 52, a $320/$400k gtd freezeout eventually coming in 5th for $25k.


So as you can imagine I was beyond happy with this score. This is actually my biggest online score so far and my biggest score overall given the % I had of myself. I did sell 30% to a mate as online $300s are still a slight strain on the bankroll and I'm a nit but adding a juicy $19k to the roll is something I can't ever imagine myself growing tired of.

I actually had a pretty big volume month (for me) putting in 700 games in the month making a further $8k on the side which was nice and with the WCOOP bink resulting in my best month yet as well. Thinks are certainly looking up :)

Despite the boost to my roll I'm still going to stick to roughly the same stakes especially during the week. It's all about the bread-n-butter games. I will be able to take a few more Sunday shots though which is nice and if October goes half as well as September I might try adding a few more tournaments to my roster such as nightly $50 rebuys and a few of the bigger high variance turbos like the Stars $200 turbo. I enjoy playing them, but edges are small and they are swingy as fuck so I'd like to be comfortably over-rolled to them before they become a regular part of the schedule.

Onto this month and the OnGame GSOP series has arrived and is pretty much drawing to a close. I've had no success yet in the higher buyins but have had several deep runs in the lower part of the series. I somehow managed to build 2x average stacks pretty deep in both the $50r and the $5r 6max. It was pretty funny and kind of lame though as within 5 minutes I managed to win QQ to AA for a monster stack in the $5r but busted just before the money AA to qq in the $50r. Ooops, better selective run-good needed I think! This Sunday there is a big $500 freezeout to pretty much mark the end of the series which I'm going to take a shot in, so hoping for a good run there. It'll get a lot of runners and hopefully be a softish field with a great structure so should be a fun tournament regardless of how I finish up.

Other than that, I'm starting to get a bit of post-Vegas blues and I'm itching to play live and get another good score to add to my somewhat lacking Hendon Mob page. So I'm going to be getting my live-pro/donations on this month. First off this weekend is the DTD £330 re-entry tournament. I've managed to win 2 seats online for this so I'll be giving both day 1a and if necessary day 1b a shot to make a deep run in this comp. The guarantees up to £100k now for the tournament and with it only being a 5 minute walk from my apartment it would be a crime for me to miss this one.

Next week the GUKPT is hitting Coventry. I love this casino, it's probably my favourite (other than DTD) in the country. Of course it doesn't compare to the US counterparts, but for British standards it's pretty much the cream of the crop. I'll likely play the £200 6max on Thursday and the main event £1070 on Friday. I don't think there will be that many runners what with all the action going on in Cannes at the moment. But perhaps it will be a softer and smaller field and maybe that will give me a great chance to get a deep run in and earn some moolah! I might play the £330 side event on Tuesday too but that'll depend on how I feel.

After that, and probably the highlight of the month, I'll be flying out to San Remo, Italy to play my first ever EPT. I'm really excited for this one and I've wanted to visit Italy for a long time. I hear the games are good over there and if there's one time to save and use that run-good up it'll be for this one. I'm playing a healthy schedule over there so it could get pretty expensive. I assumed like most Pokerstars events you could buy-in via the client for the tournaments but alas apparently this isn't a possibly for San Remo. So I'm in a bit of a dilemna trying to work out the best way to get my money off the sites, to my bank and register for the events without getting too royally fucked by exchange rates. Hmm, might need to think this one over. Any suggestions are welcome!

To finish what will surely be a very hectic month I'll be heading to Dublin, Ireland for a nice cold pint of Guinness. Oh, and do my best in the Irish Winter Festival of course! I won a package to this on iPoker a month or so ago in one of the first qualifiers (run good!). I'm sure even if the poker on this trip doesn't go to plan it'll be a fun boozy weekend. But hopes are I won't be drinking too many pints as I'll still be building castles of chips in the main up to day 3.

So that's whats happening for me in the next month. Plenty going on and I'll try to keep up with good exercise and grinding online in-between events if I can.

Until next time, run good people!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Hello September

Hey!

August was a weird month for me. Outside of poker it was incredible; I went to Amsterdam with a few friends for a few days, managed a great trip up to Scotland and went hiking in the highlands and spent some really good time outside and chilling with friends.

But, on the poker front, things weren't so great. In fact it was probably the worst month I've had since going pro last year. I've had a pretty solid start so I guess the inevitable downswing of doom was due. Kind of frustratingly I'd actually been making pretty deep runs in a lot of tournaments but getting repetitively screwed over late can grind you down. I had 6 big final tables with between $10k-$25k this month which I bubbled. So it could have been great! But this time round it wasn't.

So as far as I'm concerned bring on September! The downswing probably wasn't helped by the fact I spent an absolute ton this month what with buyin a new car and getting my flat sorted. So this month it's going to be a big month of getting my head down and getting my grind on and fingers crossed winning money!

I'm starting the month off at DTD for the monthly £300 deepstack. Without trying to make this post sound even more pessimistic I've still yet to cash in a live £300 comp despite playing them semi-regularly for a couple of years now. It has to come this weekend right? Let's just hope :p

Other than that the WCOOP is starting this weekend, I'll dabble in a few of them but won't be getting too carried away this year with making a big package. I'll be sticking to the $200-$300 NLHE events mainly and as always going in with a naieve optimism. One time!?

But yup, the Summer's over. I'm settled in my new place, now it's grind time. Time to get back on track and start crushing some MTTs.

Gl guys..

Friday, 12 August 2011

Scotland for the UKIPT

Hey!


To say the least, things have been a little slack lately. My last week I've put in pretty poor volume on the whole with limited results. Highlights (or lowlights as they might be) being a few biggish FT bubbles including the Party $100 nightly and Stars $100fo and bubbling a $14k WPT Paris package. What to do though, for every big top 3 finish and package won you're also going to have those times when you brick or bubble hard. It's what we signed up for, best not to whine about it but keep on registering and grind through the variance.


Anyhoo, that's not been the main reason why my volume has slipped a bit. I've finally managed to actually be affected by putting in long hours at the computer screen with minimal breaks. Annoyingly I seem to have found myself with eye-strain making grinding online a bit of a pain, to say the least! In fact it's really annoying. From my research the best way to fix this is to take a break from any form of screens. Oh crap, after having a little think I realised if I'm not grinding online, watching TV, looking at my phone I'm not actually doing a lot. I guess I could read a book...Oh wait...


Sooo this confirmed for sure my trip up to Scotland for the UKIPT Edinburgh. I didn't manage to bink a seat, but other than giving my eyes a break from monitors of various forms, it was also a perfect excuse to test-drive my new car on a long journey up north. And I have to say it performed well :)






Unfortunately their isn't much to report still on the live poker front, I played and busted the UKIPT main event up here eventually losing AK to AA button to SB (so rigged obv!) but got my wannabe live-pro grind on and insta-regged for the £55 turbo starting 5 minutes after I busted. Fortunately for me I managed to flip well in one tournament eventually getting 2nd in it for over £400 helping to pay off most of the UKIPT buyin. Just a shame I couldn't have saved the run-good for the main, but maybe next time!
On the live poker front, I also spent the previous weekend grinding the DTD £300. It's a great tournament, although I wish they'd change the structures a little. It's totally pointless starting 300bb deep and turn crap-shooty 10 hours later, but that's a rant for another time.
So onto the next week, I'm going to mess around at the Fringe festival tonight and tomorrow, seeing Ed Bryne tonight which should be a good laugh. I'll probably donate a bit more to the live poker front on Saturday night playing the £300 side event here. I think I'm 0/20 lifetime on live £300s so the compulsary whine/bink incoming I think! Haha...I wish ;)

After that it's off up to the highlands in Scotland for a few days hiking with my Dad before heading back down south midweek to Nottingham, when hopefully my eyes will have recovered and I can start putting some proper volume in online again.

Until then, gl at the tables guys!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Settling back in

Hey!

Well I'm back in the UK now and have successfully moved into my new apartment. I'm still living in Nottingham, but a bit further out from the city center in a bit more of a chilled environment. I'll miss my balcony in my old flat, but so far I'm enjoying seeing a bit of greenery and not hearing sirens outside my window every night (lol shottingham!). I've also made a pretty big purchase since being back, that is buying a 5 year old VW Passat! After driving in Vegas and moving slightly out of the city, I decided it was definitely time to buy a car again. I really enjoy driving and without trying to sound like a snob, public transport is so tilting. I get my new wheels tomorrow and am eagerly awaiting the incoming freedom :)


I've also got my net set back up again and my set-ups looking pretty good. If I can be bothered I'll take photos of the flat to put on the blog but at a later date. I've been back playing for a week now and I have to say, I'm really enjoying it!

Other than an epic fail of a Sunday yesterday, it's been a good week back with good volume. Highlights include shipping the Stars midnight $100 6max for $4.5k and a couple of turbo binks including a €20 hyper for €2k :)

This forthcoming week I'll be playing online a couple of days before getting ready for my first live tournament back on UK soil. This weekend it's the DTD £330/£100k gtd multientry that I'll be playing from Friday. Suprisingly looking forward to it and hoping for my first DTD deepstack cash ever. Will it ever come? :p

Anyway, gl on the felt everyone, til next time..

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Vegas Part 2, Brick Brick Brick!

Hey!

Well unfortunately the Vegas trip is coming to a close. I'm flying back to the UK shores on Thursday. I'm kind of meh about flying back, sure it will be cool to play some online poker again and I'm missing my girlfriend, but damn this is Vegas. I love this place!

The lifestyle out here is really awesome and something I'll definately miss. Bar the past couple of days, every day has been bright sunshine, the food out here is incredible and not too pricey and it's just a lot of fun hanging around with the house mates drinking, gambling or doing whatever. Shame it's not sustainable, but hey, I guess that's what holidays are for!



So far on this trip since the last blog post we've been helicopter riding over the Grand Canyon, seeing Cirque Du Soleil, out for some incredible meals including some of the best fast food in the world. Nom nom nom, fat times. God bless America :p


It's also just been nice chilling and relaxing with others as normally at home I have little time to just put my feet back and relax. This might seem surprising to most readers given my current line of work. But normally I'm grinding for 12+hours a day 5 days a week and my off-days are usually spent away from the house with friends/girlfriend or doing chores. So to sit back and watch episodes of Arrested Development without feeling guilty about slacking feels pretty nice too :)



But it's not all good news. The main event has arrived and for me has gone way way faster that I would have liked. Just so you guys have slightly longer to think of burns, I busted in the second level! Fail!

I made it to the first break just above average grinding my 30,000 starting stack at 50/100 up to around 32k. Then things went tits up. Big time! I ended up putting my money ahead in a couple of spots with 2 pair vs one pair hands including with AQ on an AQx board vs some old guys AK who then managed to bink his king on the river after all in on the flop.

The rest went in when I was dealt AA , opened with 3 calls, got squeezed from the small blind and I just 4bet shipped it. He couldn't snap me off any faster with QQ, which turned out to be a fantastic call after the first card on the flop was a queen.

Moral of the story, never trust the ladies in Vegas ;)

So now after a very disappointingly short run in the main, I've got two tournaments left to work my way into some more profits for the trip. After my bink in the Venetian $500 I'm not back to around even (frickin main event, fastest $10k I've ever spent :p). So it would be nice to get going and have one final score before heading back home.

But if I can't get anything going in the two remaining tournaments, I won't mind too much. This summer has been amazing and I'm definately going to miss the Vegas lifestyle.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Vegas Part 1, bink bink bink!

Hey!

We're over half way through the Vegas trip now and I've played 14 out of my 24 tournaments. So far so good as I've managed to luckbox my way to finally getting a live score getting the majority chop in a $500 Venetian tournament for $25,500. Although the score itself somewhat embarrassingly doesn't pay off my trip in itself, it's my first live tournament win in a very very long 0time and as you can imagine I've been over-the-moon since :)

Other than that, I got a deepish run in a WSOP $1500 coming 91st/3kish runner something for $4300 and a few near cashes. I feel like my live game has improved a lot since I've been here and I'm actually enjoying the live grind quite a lot. Surprisingly I haven't even thought about playing online again while I've been here.

 When I'm not grinding tournaments I've either been chilling by the pool, various adventures up mountains, eating way too much nice food and generally just having good times. I really like the lifestyle out here and having a car with the freedom it brings here is really good.

This coming week I'm playing more of the same in terms of tournaments. I wouldn't mind next year learning some of the mixed games though just to break up the constant no-limit holdem grind but the fields seem really soft this year especially at the world series and I think I would feel bad missing out on some of the juicy fields.

So this coming week I'm kicking it off with a $500 caesers heads-up tournament that the majority of our house is playing then a few more NLH tourns spread between the Venetian and at the Rio. Then the build up to the main event will start which from what I've heard will be the ultimate grind and a great way to finish the summer off....especially if I can run good enough to cash!

Hopefully the run good continues and I can manage to get another really good run before the trip ends.

GL at the tables all!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Helllooo Vegas!

Hey!

Well a lot has happened the last week. I've arrived in Vegas, got a car out here and settled into the house we're renting for the Summer. It's really nice with a big pool, big living area and I've even got a 4-poster bed. Balla!

I haven't got much time but I'll give you all a quick update:

Tournaments:

I'm so far 0/5 bricking every event pretty hard. In each event so far I've gone semi-deep in everything but yet to make a cash. Many more to come though!

One time?


Food

This is Vegas, you got to talk about food! Well I've had some incredible meals already since being here including some amazing Sushi, Steaks, Burgers. They really do good food over this side of the pond. Probably why everyone's a tad bit larger over here too! One of the highlight meals has to be going to one of the local breakfast-diners which serve so much good food like omelettes, pancakes and eggs. Mmmm, I wish they had diners like this in England in Nottingham. I'd probably go every day.


Fun Times

We've also been doing quite a lot of fun activities outside of gambling which is awesome out here. It's far too easy to over engross yourself in gambling or poker in this town, yet it has so much more to offer. Highlights have to include driving over to Nevadas adjacent city an hour away. The place is called Boulder City and is host to Lake Mead. A huge lake in the Nevada Desert apparently bordering 4 states. We hired a powerboat for Chud's birthday and one of those tube things on the back and spent the day drinking on the lake and throwing each other into the lake at top speeds. Highly recommended tilt-buster :p

I met up with a couple of other friends as well and after a somewhat disappointing start to the tournament schedule without a cash yet, I went around the massive shark aquarium at Mandalay Bay with a couple of friends. Not only does it bring back memories of nightmares I had when I was a kid, I was actually really impressed. Normally at aquariums they have a bunch of boring fish or colourful little things no one actually cares about. This place just has the biggest and the best, pirhannas,  giant snakes, jelly fish, alligators, and of course a huge shark reef.


I may not have picked anything up from the sharks in the tank, but it really was a great trip and I'd highly recommend it to people visiting Vegas.

Anyway, I've got another $1k WSOP event in an hour so got to get ready to crush it, or get crushed, as the case may be :p



Best of luck at the tables all.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

It's almost time for VEGAS

Hey!

It’s been a while since I last updated the blog. So what has happened with me. Well unfortunately the month thus far hasn’t treated me spectacularly well, but I’m not actually down money so I really can’t complain. I’ve put in a lot of volume online this month which has kept me afloat after so far being 0/9 in SCOOP M’s and 0/4 in Live MTTs this month. Don’t worry though, saving all that run good for next month in Vegas! :)





So I’ve had a few binks in some of my regular tournaments and a few final tables that has kept me a float. The win in the €15r/€25k was a real personal victory. I've FT bubbled that tournament 5 times lifetime and it was turning into a bit of a nemesis tournament for me. Thankfully my first time final tabling it after playing it for the best part of 2 1/2 years and I win it. I’m really enjoying my online schedule at the moment and I’ve found a nice amount of tournaments to grind each night without being overwhelmed with too many tables. Which would be fine if the euro sites had timebanks or had clean and simple layouts like Stars. But alas! I’ve always been under the impression that it’s much better to play less tables, possible sacrificing short-term hourly whilst having longer to think through situations and make better decisions so as to actually improve as a player. After all, in todays mid-high stake tournaments, playing a nitty ABC style just won’t suffice. Unless of course you run like pillow100 ;)

Now that it seems very probable that I’ll finish in the top 20 in the iPoker $5k WSOP deal I’ll probably cut down my volume for the rest of the month. I’ve played a lot this year pretty much without taking too much time off. I also know that this year in Vegas I plan on playing far more live poker than I did last year too so I’d like to be mentally ready for this and not feel too burnt out. This has the potential to be an epic Summer. I’ve also got to move out my flat at the end of this month and I’m moving into another place just out of Nottingham center. Change of scenery and all that. What a fucking hassle though lol.

I’m hitting Vegas on June 3rd and plan on playing pretty high. Here's my schedule. I’ve sold off 50% of my action but it’s still quite a big monetary risk. Get rich or die tryin’ right? For anyone that is interested in following my progress to root me on or laugh at me going busto, I’ll be updating this year pretty frequently on twitter, and you can follow me here!

Anyway, just under 2 weeks left before it all kicks off. And I am pumped. Vegas baby!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

April Showers, onward and upwards to May

Hey,

In the end April turned out to be pretty fail on the poker front. Check it out below:

 (dark red line not the lighter pink one at the top)

As you can see it was a pretty swingy month. I missed by target buyins of $30k by about $1.8k but I'm not too fussed about that as I played a fair bit live going to Spain, DTD and Walsall for tournaments. Unfortunately I have nothing whatsoever, not even a deep run to brag about. But so it goes. Saving all that run good for Vegas, I hope ;)

Online the month was pretty rough and my lowest profit month in a while. I'm cool with it though. I had more than my fair share of biggish FT bubbles this month in the larger buyins on my schedule. What probably is noticeable though is that my ROI for the month is still pretty solid. I know sharkscope ROIs have a tendency to be pretty inaccurate but I think this shows I ran good in my small stuff and bad in my big-buyin stuff. Afterall, that's why you play the smaller stuff too, to help off-set the bigger buyin MTTs. Let's hope in May I run horrific in all my $20 freezes and ship all the loot in the $100s this month then!

One other pretty catastrophic bad beat that has affected me pretty badly this month is the dealings of Black Friday. When I say pretty badly, let me just point out that I am in no way as badly affected by this as most, but still it kind of sucks. I won't go into the specifics of what happened on April 20th as most people reading this blog will probably be pretty clued up about it. But basically my WSOP $10k package that I won with AP looks like it's gone for good. I guess that's karma for depositing on the crooked site in the first place!

After the Americans have been kicked off the site for good, AP which focused heavily on the US market has pretty much become a ghost town. Not only has the site got pretty much no traffic whatsoever now, but with rumors and articles circling the internet about it's shareholders having disputes as well as the fact that even Europeans are having trouble withdrawing $250 every 2 weeks I think it's fair to say that there is a pretty good chance the site will go bankrupt. And I don't think you even need a top-notch Economics degree to figure that one out. I've got a lot of US friends with a lot of money locked up on these sites, so fingers crossed for everyone. As for me, most likely losing $10k sucks pretty bad, but c'est la vie. Treating poker like a business it's one of those things you have to cross-off as a bad debt and change your plans accordingly.

So despite the amazing weather we've had this month, April to me would have seemed more fitting with black clouds and thunderstorms! But hey, I made profit on the month so I can't complain!

Onto May and it's a long month of online grinding ahead of me. I've won a seat to the DTD Deepstack for my monthly £300 donation this coming weekend before SCOOP starts on PokerStars. The schedule is pretty damn awesome and I wonder how badly the SCOOP-high events will be affected by the lack of US players now. On a good note though, the times for a lot of the SCOOP events have been moved to more euro-friendly time patterns so we don't all have to stay up til 11am if we get a deep run. It's nice to be considered sometimes ;)

I'm not sure exactly how much SCOOP I'll play as I do like to steer clear of large field MTTs like the plague. But they don't come round too often and a sucker does win the lottery every week. So who's to say I can't be next weeks winning sucker? In reality I'll probably play most of the low events and take some shots in the medium events, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Other than that I'll be grinding a lot on iPoker this month trying to maintain myself in the top 20 in the tournament leaderboard to win a $1k seat in Vegas next month as well as playing the PKR £750 main event in London much later on in the month.

This is also the last month before I head to Vegas for the Summer, so a good one to get my hopes high would be nice. I wouldn't mind getting $40ks worth of buyins for the month under my belt, but at the same time I think with so much stuff to sort as I'll be moving out of my flat at the end of the month too as well as getting everything ready for Vegas, my volume might suffer a little as a result. We shall see. I hope this is a good month....

Gl at the tables all!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Spain and the rest of the month

Hey people,

Since my last post, my online suck seems to have turned a little and I've managed to get myself unstuck from the whole I got myself in at the start of the month. Since returning from Spain I've put in a lot of volume and have managed to luckbox my way to 6 wins in just over a week which I'm really happy about. Most notably winning the iPoker $100fo, iPoker $30r and OnGame $10r :)




As for Spain itself, the trip was amazing. I was really impressed by Seville itself. The weather was amazing and the town itself is really architecturally stunning. On top of that San Miguel on tap was cheap and the food was surprisingly good for Spanish standards! Overall an amazing trip. I made day 2 in the $3k main event but didn't last long reshoving my QQ into AA. I then proceeded to donk out both side events with QQ too. Them damn bitches. To tell the truth though, a tiny part of me was happy when I did bust the events as I knew I could then spend the rest of the holiday grinding on the sun-tan and hustling fish like pillow100 at Chinese whilst drinking plenty of San Miguel.

There are quite a few high buy-in live events going on at the moment such as the Irish Open, EPT San Remo, Everest Poker The One. I was very very close to pack up my bags and do a circuit of the events. After much disheartening persuasion from my sensible side I realized it probably wouldn't be the best to risk such high proportions of my roll chasing the dream when Vegas is so near anyway. So maybe next year guys :(




Instead I think to get my live-fix I'll head to Walsall this weekend for the GUKPT. I expect to go on the Thursday to play the £200 6max side event and then play the main event on Friday. After that I'll be playing the DTD £300 deepstack in Nottingham the week after. My sharkscope subscription has died on me a little but I'm fairly sure with the Spain trip and the sunny weather outside I've slacked a bit on volume this month, but I'm hoping to pick it up for the last few days to push this month into good profits :)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Such a downswinging luckbox

Hey!

Well the month of April has left me feeling somewhat of a fool (OK, last bad joke I promise). The month had a promising start but I've proceeded to lose $6k+ in my last 3-4 sessions which isn't too great as I've practically not cashed a tournament for a whole week. Yikes!

I think it's probably borderline karma due to my insane month in March and was well due. One good thing about downswings though is that for me anyway if I have a couple of really horrific sessions in a row it motivates me even harder to study my game. Especially playing as a professional as I start to almost panic that everyones got sick good and I suck! Confidence is a big thing in poker and it's probably why some of the top players are often such cocky douche bags. It definitely helps to go over hands and spots with friends and in poker forums just to get yourself back on track and to help identify any leaks that might be emerging.

Anyway enough of the downswing dribble. So I was having a really crap week and a crap Sunday. I swapped 20% in the euro majors with my friend Pillow100 who I was grinding with last night. Obviously he went and spewed his way to the final table of the OnGame $200/$200k gtd with a huge chip lead. He then proceeded to knock out 2 players on the final table with QQ>KK>AA but couldn't find a close. Regardless, he picked up $24k for finishing runner-up which banked me a solid $4800 and wiped off a lot last weeks losses. Sick Sunday saver too as despite building a few stacks nothing seemed to materialise.

So after a pretty horrific week on the tables, I'm really looking forward to a break from online poker. Which coincides pretty well with the fact that in a few hours I'll be heading to the airport to fly to sunny Spain for GSOP Seville, $3200 buy-in tournament. It's the biggest buy-in I've played for about a year and I'm really looking forward to it. I also can't wait to just get some Sangria and Paella down my throat and relax as well. It's been a pretty hardcore past couple of months. I'm not too sure of what to expect from the town, the hotel, the tournament or anything. But it should be fun regardless.

I've also pretty much finalised my schedule for Vegas in the Summer. I'll be playing a ton of the $1k and $1.5k WSOP events as well as some bigger Venetian tournaments. It should be really fun. For those interested, here's a link:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkaN5CySIIj9dC1xQW9aUmoxV0ZrQzhvejRZcnVsVHc&hl=en#gid=0

On that note, after I return from Spain hopefully feeling refreshed and significantly wealthier (well the last part would be nice anyway :p ) I'm really going to get my head down and grind hard for the last few weeks Pre-Vegas. Although I'm playing a lot of tournaments, I'll be chilling a lot too in the evenings and if there's one place where having a lot of money buys a lot of happiness it's this city. That is some motivation right there. I'll also be really pushing myself hard on the health and fitness front too. I know I won't be some Men's Health cover model by the time I get there, but it would be nice to be a little leaner and fitter for the Summer season.

Anyway, I'm leaving in a couple of hours and need to get packing. Best of luck at the tables everyone!

Friday, 1 April 2011

March Review, WSOP and onto April!

Hey!

I think it's best to start of by saying March has been very kind to me. This was one of the big months before Vegas where I can really get my head down and grind, especially whilst the weather outside remains relatively poor and everyone else seems busy with University etc. So that's what I did! I don't keep track exactly how many days I did but it was a fair few which resulted in me buying into around $47k worth of tournaments this month smashing my $40k target I set at the start of the month. I also managed a small cash in the UKIPT Manchester making me go 1 for 2 in live tournament cashes on the month. Woo Woo!



So as you can see I ran pretty hot this month which is always really nice and just what's needed pre-Vegas. Now I just need to keep this run going for a while longer!

You may notice a pretty significant blip in the graph at the end of the month. Well I managed to luckbox a main event package last night in a $500 sat! I'm pretty much over the moon with happiness at the moment. I tried really hard to sat in last year whilst spunking off around $5k in sats with no luck. Literally since I first started playing home-games with friends for £2 I've really wanted to play in the main event. I know it's pretty cliche and a fishy attitude but words can't describe how excited I am for Vegas now!

One issue which is kind of in the back of my mind is that I qualified through AP (boo, hiss!). I don't regularly play on the site and I guess from an ethical standpoint I probably shouldn't at all based on their history. Similarly I haven't really given a lot of thought in depth to how I would feel representing the site if I did get a deep run in the main event. The thing with satellites on AP, Stars and FTP is that due to some legal reason they can't actually buy you into the tournament. Instead they credit your account with the money expecting you to go a long and play the tournament. As added incentive to actually get the punters to come down to the main event and play the give a $1k bonus for showing up, cash in hand. Then they give $1k per day and a $10k bonus if you reach the money. Which is pretty damn sick all things considered. Now you've got a soft $10k tournament with a mincash effectively of ~$30,000. This is a pretty similar deal on AP and FTP at the moment, and I guess Stars will join the crew too or maybe even offer something better.

On the other hand the European sites are starting to offer satellites. But sites like 888 and party poker are must-play seats without any extra monetary incentives for turning up or cashing. Similarly these packages are about $3k-$4k more including hotels and random parties (lol nice markup guys) making them even less attractive. I mean I think the satelittes on party for instance will be softer, and there's a fairly good chance if I grind the sats hard I could win another seat via Party and then keep my $12k from AP as cash but the added incentive of playing with them is a lot.

I think what I'll probably end up doing is try to grind the WSOP sats a fair bit as they do seem to be fairly soft and try to also qualify on Full Tilt or Stars (whenever they eventually run them) and go from there.

Anyway, enough of that jibber-jabber. So I've noted a pretty mammoth schedule for Vegas which I expect I'll sell action to in the next couple of months. I'm really not sure how many 'shots' I should take this Summer with my own money. A good part of me wants to do bi-weekly packages whereby I'd put up a package for the first 2 weeks I'm there. Then a separate package for the next two weeks etc.  This would then allow me to alter the % of action that I sell as my bankroll fluctuates. I mean say for instance I had a really lucky start and managed to bink pretty early but then was tied into still selling 50% for say the main event 6 weeks later, that would suck a little. I'll have a good think about it. I'll also blog about my schedule before I post it incase any readers want to buy a % or two for a bit of a sweat this Summer. It should be fun :)

I just googled "April" and this pic came up which I thought was pretty funny so thought I'd add it!

Anyway, onto April. A fresh month and a fresh start to bink some tournaments. I won't be putting as much volume in online this month as I have the previous two months. After the SCOOP draws to a close there isn't a whole lot more happening online-wise other than FTOPs which I've pretty much given up on after Full Tilts persistance in trying to make their fields as tough and annoying as possible by adding all the crap like multi-entry, rush and cashout. Whatever happened to good old fashioned 9 man NLH tourns eh!? 

So instead I'll be turning a lot of my focus to the live arena this month. Partly to have a break from the computer and partly as a bit of practice for Vegas. I'm increasingly becoming more eager to play live tournaments these days and feel much more confident playing them. Yes, they are a grind, but with the right mindset they can also be a lot of fun. Plus the social side surrounding the live poker environment is always fun as I'm starting to get to know more and more players on the scene.

So first off this weekend I'll be playing the DTD £300 monthly deepstack, followed by the $3000 GSOP Seville in Spain. Then hopefully the Irish Open (satellite luckboxing dependent) followed finally by GUKPT Walsal. It looks to be a busy month ahead. I'll also supplement the live grind with some online play and hope to get around $30,000 in tournament entries online this month. It should be a lot of fun.

Best of luck to everyone in April!

Cliff Notes:
-Ran hot this month
-Binked a WSOP package!
-Planning on playing a lot more live in April

Monday, 28 March 2011

A pretty decent week with a few small binks

Progress on the bankroll front!

I've started adding in the OnGame $50r and having success with it already cashing twice this week. I'm yet to get a final table on it despite the two deep runs but I hope it's only just round the corner. My best score of the week came in a second place in a €30 rebuy for €3.3k. I also managed to win the following 4 tournaments:





So a really good week :). I played pretty much every day and put in a lot of work outside of poker in the gym, eating healthily and working on my game so I feel pretty pleased with the progress.

This Sunday was probably my biggest Sunday ever. My rolls hovering about $40k at the moment so I'm taking shots at the majors on my own. Today the total buy-ins were just over $5k in the end. GULP. I lost a bit of money on the day but it was much closer thanks to a proper Sunday saver binking 4th in a $16 hyper for just over $2k :)

I didn't really have any deep runs in majors this week other than a 19th in a €150/€35k gtd and a 14th in iPoker $109/$25k gtd. I did though manage to FT a small €50r but crashed out in 4th. Still not bad!

Anyway, it's another no-lifer week of grinding coming up. Should be pretty fun as I'm really enjoying playing a higher stake schedule these days due to my increased roll. There is some serious money on the tables every night and to tell you the truth, it's quite exciting! This coming weekend I'll be playing the monthly DTD £330 deepstack and looking for a deep run. It would be nice to finally cash in that tournament anyway!

Until later, gl guys!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Success at the UKIPT!

Hey!

I finally managed to cash in a live tournament after again another very dry stint! I managed to get 27th in the 4-day UKIPT Manchester tournament making a solid deep-run into the third day before losing my only flip of the whole tournament A8s beaten by the deuces. A bit anti-climatic, but with £1450 in my pocket from the £500 buy-in and a bucket-load of confidence I now cannot actually wait for Vegas.

In fact, I'm so stoked with this deep run I've actually planned a few other live tournaments that I'd like to play prior to my Vegas trip. So so stoked I've even pretty much planned my entire live schedule over Vegas. It will include lot's of $300 and $500 venetian NLHE tournaments, a few WSOP shots at their $1ks and $1.5ks and some random $200 8-game comps and 6-max omaha hi/lo at binions/golden nugget just for fun. This could very well be an expensive Summer coming up.

The OnGame GSOP is now over. I didn't do too great in the series cashing in just one of the $200 freezeouts and the $100r. Then again, due to playing in Manchester I didn't manage to get too much volume in nearer the end of the series. I almost played the $500/$300k gtd whilst staying in Manchester borrowing a friend, Neil's, laptop for the evening. Thank god someone in the hotel had already registered for it as Neil's laptop turned out to be the biggest pile of shit ever and would have not had a chance trying to load the stodgy ongame software. In fact it couldn't even handle full tilt. Somehow I managed to final table the $50 rush turbo thingy they have on Sundays with $7k up top. Neil's laptop obv crashed again when I was 5/7 and after 10 minutes trying to reboot the damn thing I realised I had blinded out. In 4th place though! No idea what the others guys at the final table must have been doing but it had to involve some epic ICM-spew given I was sat out! To be honest, I'm not sure if that's even a beat or a brag.

Other than that I've won a small €50 turbo this week for €1.1k and had a bunch of 2nd-5ths which has got to be a good thing! I mean it would have been nicer to close, especially on Sunday when the top prizes are often higher, but I cannot complain. I just ticked off another winning Sunday coming 4th in the 888.com $75 freezeout for $3.3k. From last year pretty much not having a single winning Sunday, this year is starting out pretty damn well in terms of Sunday performance. Still no huge Sunday bink but it has to only be a matter of time!

Onto this coming week. Well after playing an absurd amount of weekend poker I pretty much slept in all of Monday and just chilling with friends today and tonight. I'll be grinding my pants off for the rest of the week as my online volume this month has slacked a bit and I'm thus far pretty behind on my projected monthly buyins. Also my fitness/diet has sucked since Manchester so definitely getting back on that hard for the rest of the week.

GL at the tables everyone, I'll update with any big scores that I get or deep runs after next Sundays grind!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Crazy Sunday Grinding and a Small Brag!

Hey,

I have just finished quite possibly my longest ever session of online poker before. I started registering tournaments at 1pm and finished registering at 1:30am with some turbos eventually playing my last hand at around 4am. To be honest, I have no idea how I'm even remotely capable of writing this message as I feel truly knackered. But that's some dedication to the blog isn't it!

Anyway, I am extremely happy as I have now reached the 6-figure club on Sharkscope! I don't follow the statistics too religiously as they tend to be a little inaccurate and have missed out a lot of the tournaments I used to play back in the day on networks like crypto etc. But after today Sharkscope officially has me up over $100k lifetime on my main sites :D



Back to the results of tonight. Well, it was quite a fun night in the end. I got deep in quite a few tournaments including a 2nd in a $15 hyper-turbo on Full Tilt for $2.6k, 4th in a $100 6max turbo for $2k and 3rd in the Everest $100/$50k gtd for $5.3k. Coincidently I also managed to final table this a few weeks ago coming in 3rd then as well. I think I need lessons on closing tbh..

Anyhow, profitable Sundays are always nice and a bit of a rarity so I'm enjoying every moment.

This past weekend I played the dtd £300 deepstack which was rather uneventful and another live tournament to add to the ever-growing list of live-bricks. It will come one day, it will come one day, it will come one day.... ;)

Maybe even next weekend in fact? I managed to blag myself a seat to the UKIPT Manchester in one of those gamble-fest £5 3x-turbo rebuys on Stars which I always seem to end up in for like £60 in. Anyway I got the seat and after the banter at the last stop of the UKIPT in Nottingham I'm pretty much looking forward to the social side as much as the event itself. There's something about the UKIPT I can't put my fingers on. It just seems to generate some hype and I just generally enjoy and look forward to the buzz surrounding the event.

Anyway, I'm extremely tired now and hope some of the above is remotely readable. GL at the tables guys..