Wednesday, 4 September 2013

I'm Back!


After a long hiatus I've decided to return to the blogging  circle to document the swings and swongs in my life as I  continue to try and make a living playing tournament poker!

It's been over a year now since I last posted and I can't  promise that the updates will be regular but I'd like to try  and do at least one blog post a month.

So what's been happening in my life in the last 12 months?  Well, a lot. Here's a some-what scaled down version.

I made it out to Vegas for the 2012 WSOP - did not return home  with a gold bracelet, but had a great time. Played my first  non-NL hold'em event; $1500 PLO 8 or better and it was the  most fun I had playing a live tournament for a long time. I  was also shocked at how soft the field was in comparison to  the NLH events.I made it my goal over the next year to learn  mixed games and get better at them for next years WSOP.

Came back to England post-Vegas, got back on the MTT grind,  studied mixed games on the side. Had a few personal issues  with the girlfriend and was becoming increasing burnt out from  just grinding tournament poker so snapped up a chance when a  good friend of mine living in Guangzhou, China invited me to  come out and live with him for a few months.

I left England in October, headed to Hong Kong, Macau and then  finally mainland China with not much of a plan other than a 6 -month visa.

Still feeling burnt-out from poker and wanting to develop  myself in other ways I started to live a polar-opposite  lifestyle for a few months from my previous poker playing  ways. My childhood friend, Atti, a sereal-entrepreneur owns a  successful English teaching agency and was interested in  starting up another project on the side with me. We decided to  venture into the (soon to be found out) topsy-turvy world of  real-estate in a communist country. And I thought there was a  lot of variance in tournament poker...

I was going out every night, meeting lot's of people, learning  Mandarin and a bit of Cantonese, eating amazing food and  working on our ideas and start-ups in my friends office in  downtown Guangzhou all week. Often we'd then end up heading  over to Macau to go partying and gambling at the weekends.

After a couple of months of living a more "normal" lifestyle,  the poker itch started to come back. Due to the time-zone, my  social commitments and the office work, MTT's were pretty much  out of the question. So I spent most of my free-time studying  and playing small stake mixed games trying to improve and  become a better player.

Come March, my visa was coming to an end. I really had the  most amazing 6 months out there and felt like I developed some  really strong friendships with the ex-pat community living out  there scraping by a living one way or the other. One of the  highlights definately being a big group of us going to  Cambodia over Chinese New Year and then road-tripping up to  Bangkok afterwards. Unfortunately the multi-million £ business  idea was starting to show some serious flaws and we were  having some real legal issues being foreigners trying to  establish a business in a country that prides itself on  keeping as much money within it's borders as it can.

I had a lot of time to reflect on where I wanted to head in  life, where I see myself in the next year and what I wanted to  achieve. Although in many ways it pained me to leave China and  my friends that I developed over the past 6 months, I decided  to come back and stay in England for a little while, refocus  on poker and really give the game another shot. Afterall it  was and still truly is a huge passion of mine and without  trying to sound too much like a cliche I am blessed to be  doing something that I love for a living.

I returned to England and with all of my stuff being in  storage and no place to live, spent the next month or two with  friends. I'm especially grateful for Jon Spinks who I stayed  with during SCOOP (Pokerstars Spring Cup of Online Poker);  he's had such a huge impact on my game and I really feel has  helped progress me a lot as a player.

Although SCOOP itself didn't treat me too kindly, I was loving  being back in the tournament scene again, grinding hard  everyday. As soon as 2 weeks of SCOOP was up, the very next  day I was off to Vegas for the full 6 weeks of fun in the sun.

Feeling ever-more confident in my mixed game ability I put a  much greater focus on the WSOP and the mixed games offered  there. I found myself getting deep-runs in a lot of events  including the $2500 OE (limit o8/stud8), $5k HORSE, $2.5k 8- game but falling short before the money. Fortunately, I ran a  little better in the $2500 10-game tournament placing 22nd  from the 372 entrants that started. I have to say, other than  winning a tournament, it was the most fun I think I've ever  had playing live poker. I felt so zoned in and comfortable  that even though it's only September, I can't wait for next  years world series to have another crack at some of these  events.

I also managed to get a deep run in a couple of the NL events  out there coming in a slightly frustrating 14th from 1819 in a  $1500 event but again feeling very happy to get a decent 5- figure score under my belt ensuring a small, but profitable  trip out to the states.

So now I'm back in England, I've moved into a new place in  Nottingham and I'm getting set up and ready to re-commence the  grind. I feel like I've come along way in the past 12 months  not only as a poker player but also as a person. It'll be  interesting to see what the next 12 months bring...


  1. it sound great journey and great experience....

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