Monday, 21 February 2011

A bad start to 2011 turned great. + UKIPT fun


It's been a swongy start to the year so far. Pretty much coming back from India what with expenses from my trip and then seemingly forgetting how to win at MTTs I hit a rather harsh $7k drop to my bankroll forcing me to move down stakes. This resulted in me taking a lot more of my spare time number-crunching and going over hands/watching training videos to get me back into my winning ways. It was kind of sick in fact, I managed to final table bubble about 8 $100fo's/big field tournaments in the space of a week whilst upping my volume and without making a single final table.

Luckily things seem to have taken a turn for the better and I'm running hawwwwwt again! I managed to take down the OnGame $20rebuy for $3.5k, €50 6max for €1.4k, 3rd in a big $100 freezeout for $5.7k and blagged a seat in the GSOP final securing myself a $5k package! All in the space of 3 days.

MTTs can be the cruelest most soul-destroying things at times, but when you go on these little runs, it is honestly getting up there with the best feelings in the world. MBN right?

So since being back from India I've literally spent every minute I'm not with my girlfriend and friends thinking of poker and grinding my socks off. I'm still so focused on getting a big enough roll for Vegas so that I can take a few shots at the series and grind some Venetian tournaments.

Last weekend was UKIPT Nottingham. Living in Nottingham and having a load of superstar Online kids coming to town I felt it was my duty to put some of my mates up. So I had Michael "Ledders11" Leedham, Chud "Rje" Ellis and Ant "Anupreturns" Gaughan staying over at my place from Thursday through Sunday night. Without trying to sound gay, it was a lot of fun.

On the first night, a large get-together was organised with various degens travelling from around Europe to play the UKIPT Nottingham the following few days. We met at a curry house in Nottingham and then proceded to hit the town going all out with tripple-shots and skittlebombs. Whatever the hell they are. By the way, I think everyone has to thank Chud for not only recommending the bar "BZR" that we went to, but also kindly paying for everyones meal at the curryhouse. Learn to run better at credit card roulette next time mate ;)

I didn't last too long in the tournament getting my stack in with Js9s on a KxQsTs board but running into a loose aggressive young players AJ which sent me home rather earlier than I expected. I didn't even make the dinner break! I also had % of a few other people there but everyone pretty much failed and no-one who I had a % of even made day-2. Them internet kids pfftt...over-rated I tells ya!

Fortunately, Tim "BakinCookies" Bettingen (pictured far left next to me) managed to final table the tournament coming in 4th I do believe. So well done to him.

I was really impressed with the tournament on the whole and although I said I didn't want to play much live before Vegas the atmosphere and build-up to this tournament has actually got me really excited for my next trip to the live-arena. Just no live-cash then I should be fine.

But yes, UKIPT Nottingham was pretty incredible. For one, first prize rocketed above £100,000 with over 1000 people stumping up the £500 to play with alternatives who apparently couldn't get seated. Let's make this clear now, this tournament was held at Dusk Til Dawn, Europe's largest poker room over a 2 day period. And every side event and the main event fully sold out. Poker is heading places in England. It's exciting.

So I'm now pretty excited about my next big live tournament. Perhaps it will be a DTD£300 deepstack if I manage to satellite my way in or it could be the €3000 GSOP main event held in Seville, Spain sometime in Mid-August. The side event structure looks pretty good there too so hopefully it will be a nice little break. Who knows, by April south Spain may even have a little sunshine so that's definately something to look forward to in these bleak February days in England!

Other than that, I've booked my flights to Vegas. I'll be going over for the full series again flying out on the 3rd June and returning to England on the 17th July hopefully a significantly richer man. If not, I'm sure I'll have had an amazing time regardless!

I've got a lot of grinding to be getting back on with now, but until then, good luck at the tables guys!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

India, 2011 and Future Plans


For those unaware, I have recently returned from an extended 5 week holiday in India. The trip was amazing, and it was really nice to zone-out from poker and be immersed in a completely different culture and lifestyle. It definitely helps to put everything into perspective at any rate. Although I won't detail too much about the trip, I'll add some photos at the end of the post for those interested.

So now my new year has finally started. After a few withdrawals and a bad first Sunday back online, my roll is floating just above $20k at the moment. This is plenty for my schedule at the moment which is focusing primarily on midstake euro comps up to $100 freezeout. I'm really putting in a driving effort to have $10k worth of buyins a week online and maintaining a 50% roi. Although I am finding it increasingly difficult given my current bankroll to get in $2000 worth of buyins per night.

I'm kind of at a cross-junction with this. On the one hand you get the sickos like Mement_Mori which have $10k+ buyins on any particular day and can mass multi-table (like 30 tables+) at once with a relatively high average buy-in. This is obviously brilliant as he gets in amazing volume and seems to consistently do very well. However, I simply don't think I'm capable of playing that many tables profitably. I much prefer having a mix between 6-9 and really focusing on every decision I make trying to decipher, given the information available, the best play. I just feel that if I start upping the table numbers any more, I'll go further into auto-pilot mode and my ROI will drop. I'm sure I'll inevitably tighten up a bit which is also never a good thing in MTTs...

So I think I should start putting in some longer sessions to try and reach this $2k buyin per day. I'll try a 4pm-midnight registering time period and see how that suits me for a while.

In terms of live tournaments, to be honest I'm pretty fed up with them. It's probably because other than a UKIPT score a year back I've really not ever had a really deep run in the money of a big event. I kind of feel like although the buyins are higher yet the standard of play is lower, they are extremely time-consuming especially considering opportunity cost of playing online at the same time, you have to factor in a lot of expenses (travel, accommodation, food), and they aren't that great especially when you seem to get semi-deep but miss the money in every comp you play :p

So I think I might just stay local in Nottingham for the first part of the year especially up until Vegas and really limit the amount I play live. Then when I hit Vegas in the Summer, I'll be dying for some live action and really get my A-game back on and hopefully win big money!

Until then, I'll just enjoy the online grind and really try to get in decent volume and hope that the poker gods bless me by pushing a little run good this way too. Only a few months until Vegas now and I'd love to have a solid bankroll for when I go over there...