Friday, 19 December 2008

Blogger championships update

Up until last night my best finish has been the 3am tournament that I registered for but didn't play. 138th is not bad considering I was asleep but it is sad that I can't finish higher by playing!
Anyway, thought I was going to qualify last night when I sucked out on someone early with 77 against 99.
Then got KQ on the button and so limped as I thought the big bilnd might play back at me if I raised.

Anyway he did raise and so I called.
Flop came J55 and he lead out. I didn't figure him as being strong and so flat called with 2 overs and possibly even the lead.

Turn was a K and when he bets again I opresume he does have the J, I reraised he went all in for a handful more chips and I call to see his aces. Even the Q turn doesn't help and I finish 123rd.

To be honest, if I raise pre flop and he reraises I am still expecting to have the best hand given the table dynamic at the time.

Could probably have folded into the final maybe but the added money (that's right I did notice the extra payouts, unlike some!) made me want to win.

Anyway, looking forward to having a dabble at the mixed games tonight.

Good luck to everyone playing.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Wow, 2 posts in one day!

... well almost, since it's now Saturday.

Decided to play live tonight since Andrew's football is off in the morning.

Busted out of the tournament relatively early when my AK on A 9 6 flop was behind to A6.

Was pursuaded to stay for the cash game by Ted and ended up having a very interesting few duels with a good player called Karl.

I doubled up my £70 starting stack with AK against Karl's AT (and he knew he shouldn't have been involved with that hand but got caught up in it by circumstance.

Then trebled up with 5h7h on an all heart flop against 3 players where the betting on the flop was pot (£68) call and I had to make the decision of going with the 7 high flush facing that action. I did consider the fold but in the end decided that the pot sized initial bet had more non flush possibilities then flushes and the call was more likely a big heart so I went with it partly because I felt that if I get involved with suited connectors I can't really fold when the flush comes on the flop.

In the end my 7 high flopped flush was better than the 3h4h held by the first guy and the AhAd from the caller didn't improve.

Then I got involved in some hands with Karl.

Firstly when I called his was on the button with AdDd and the flop came ten high. He bet the pot (almost all in) and, after asking him if the ten was good got a read that it was, called and unfortunately his 88 rivered a set.

Then, 2 handed before I had to leave I call his raise with KQ and see a king high flop with 2 spades. he check calls my continuation bet and when the Qs comes on the turn he check raises me from 20 to 60. Now I take him to be good enough to represent the flush and consider before calling hoping to fill up or get a check on the river. He goes all in for £168 into the pot of near £200 and after questioning him felt I had to fold and was more than likely behind.

Especially since I had called his bluff earlier and also he was different this time.

He wouldn't tell me later whether he had it but I'm pretty confident he did.

Anyway, bed for me.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Mixed emotions

Well, good and bad news.
Played 30-40 tournaments last night and didn't suffer the losses of last week but I also didn't win either. I ended up losing about $50 on the night which will be offest by $60 odd rakeback so a miniscule win for the night.

I am wondering whether the fact that I had a bad start on Big Slick is affecting the way others see me and consequently how they are playing against me.

When I was playing on PaddyPower I had played about 5000 tournaments with a ROI of 6%-9% ($4000-$5000 profit) and at one stage I had a little shark swimming next to my name just before I moved to Bog Slick.

On Big slick, I have played 300 odd games with a ROI of -6% (-$3500 profit).

I don't know whether that is affecting the way others play against me and so affecting my results or was 500 games not a big enough sample, or have I changed the way I am playong because of the big downswing I suffered. I need to go back and have a look at some of the hands I played on Paddy and compare that with what I am doing now just to make sure.

Another thing I have been looking at is how I am doing at different times of the day and I am in profit even on Bigslick between the hours of 8 and 12 but losing after 12 on Bigslick. I haven't yet done the same analysis for Paddy which I will do over the weekend. Obviously there are more regulars playing after 12 and more of the casual players before so I will have to take that into account and maybe I do need an even bigger sample before I draw final conclusion.

Anyway, let's see how we do tonight.

I registered for the blogger World Championships on Pokerstars last night so will finish that registration off this weekend and look forward to running into a couple of players when that happens.

Let's see what happens tonight on party night

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Back on the grind

Well, I have to admit that when I returned to the tables last night it was with a mixture of both excitement and trepidation.

I think the rest did me some good, cleared my head and got rid of the fear of the runner runner, 85-15 outdraws.

I played two sessions last night, the first hour I played 5 tournaments at 1 $100 and 4 $50 winning the $100 and 2 of the $50 for a profit of £50.

This had me bouncing with excitement, not so much because of the amount won but more that it was a winning session.

Before I then played my main session I had a couple fo calls from a mate who has played pretty regularly in the GUKPT and GCBPT tours.

I could tell that the call was all about how he was getting fed up with the outdraws and I could see that his enthusiasm was waning.

Hopefully I gave him some encouragement and even suggested he have a couple of days break just to get his enthusiasm back.

Anyway, back to my second session and everything was going swimmingly. I started off the night with a balance of £531 on Big Slick and I had run that up to £486 plus the 3 $100 and 1 $50 tournaments that I was in, so winning just one of them would cement seal a profit for the night and any more was a bonus with the possibility of £300 profit for the night.

Anyway, I was ahead in all four at this point and I would confidently expect to win at least 2 usually.

The first one I got knocked out on was unfortunate but I was victim to the rising blinds when someone went all on on my big blind of 600 for 210 more when I had a big ace but he out flopped me, next hand was a similar story and I was out. Relatively standard stuff and just part of the normal variance.

The second one ended up with me running into Kings on my button push so that was 2 down 2 to go.

The third one (the $50) I think I made a mistake in hindsight.

I generally try to avoid calling all in in these tournaments if I have above average chips and I got AK when someone went all in with slightly more chips than me when we were on the bubble. I had 1900 chips after the blind was posted of 400. Two others had less chips than me so I folded. I know I was miles ahead of his range but he could easily have had a pair or any 2 live cards and I find it is better to let the two short stacks go against each other then I can't lose.

Anyway, I ended up losing that one once the blinds went round a couple more times without me having an opportunity to push and so I was out regretting not calling ther AK hand. I'm not totally convinced what the best action is in the situation. I can happily fold with say 2500 - 3000 in that spot and its an obvious call with more.

Anyway I was still in the last $100 and the good thing here was when we were 5 handed there were 2 short stacks, one with only 600 chips and the other sitting out on the big blind to my small blind. I was sitting pretty with 2500 chips.

Anyway, to cut a long story short the short stack went out leaving us with the sit out to be blinded away.... at least that was the plan. Unfortunately every time he was all in he won, and won and won and won.

I ended up with 930 chips when he was all in for 150 odd in the bb on my sb (blinds at 300/600). I make up the small blind with KQ or something and we check it down 3 or 4 handed and he wins giving him 615 chips and leaving me only 330 and having to go through the blinds before him!

I'm now down to having to win a confrontation so I go all in with my A6 and get the other 2 calling and someone hits one of their rag cards and I'm beaten by someone who wasn't even there!!!!!!

Oh well, that's life.

Let's hope tonight goes better because I usually play 4 or 5 hours on a Thursday night as Julie works till 2am.

Please let me beat the sit outs tonight!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Been having a couple of days off since a terrible run on Thursday and Friday that saw my bankroll shrink by 50%.

I've been playing the $100 and $200 tournaments almost exclusively and I played something like 35 tournaments on Thursday with a pitiful return of less than 30% (ie losing $70 for every $100 entry. Not had anywhere near as bad a run as that and I have to admit that it was very demoralising.

I have now played over 700 tournaments in this format and overall my return is 104% (ie 4% profit) but it is currently standing at 98% for $200 and 5% for $100 tournaments so I've decided to do 2 things about it.

1. Have a lay off for a few days - I last played on Friday and I'm not playing again until tomorrow night.

2. Stay away from the $200 tournaments.

In terms of the $200 tournaments, because of the great loyalty deal I have with Bigslick (contact me if you are interested in a similar deal) I am still making a profit when I add the rakeback into my calculations but it will be more profitable for me to play the $100 tournaments in terms of hourly rate.

Looking at the stats of some of the regulars I am encountering it seems that some of these guys may be in a similar situation as a few of them have negative profit on Sharkscope but are there many hours a day which suggests that they are playing for a living and so cannot be losing overall.

So I decided to play the Semi freezeout in Circus on Sunday. That was interesting.
To cut a short story even shorter I lost my first 4000 chips with AA after raising to 300, being reraised to 800, I reraised to 2300 and he put me all in with a monster 77. The A 6 10 on the flop made it even more difficult for him to win, all I needed was to avoid running 7s or 9 then 8.........

So after rebuying and losing 1000 on a couple of raises that were out flopped I decided to check raise a 500 bet that had already been called to 2400 all in when in the big blind on a limped flop of Ad 9h 4d flop with Kd6d. Anyway A5 couldn't fold and my flush draw missed to send me home.
So, spending a couple of days catching up on a few poker million shows and I'll be back refreshed tomorrow night!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Profit at last!

Went back to Leos tonight for the £30 double chance.
Took my extra chips straight away after seeing a few hands so that when involved I would be able to extract maximum profit.

There were 3 really notable hands that stood out.

The first was at the 50/100 level with about 6000 chips and the villain had 2400.

Villain has been involved in 60% of hands usually limping and calling raises if one comes.

Villain limps and I raised to 400 from the small blind with KQ - not normally a great hand but a monster on this table.

Villain calls.

Flop comes 933 I check and villain bets 800 I ask him if he hits get the response I need and put him all in for the extra 1000 and he snap calls with QT turn Q river ten. - The river doesn't like me at the moment in liver tournaments!

A little while later after I've lost a couple of thousand when the river paired middle pair to give the other player trips, I've got 2400 and the blinds are 200/400. Cut off goes all in for 2200 and immediately stands up. I call with 66 and he shows A2. Flop comes down QQ6 he starts walking away whilst the turn card Q is being dealt. I tell him to stop because it's not over yet half expecting the other queen to give him the pot but instead an ace comes giving him a bigger boat and leaving me with 200 chips!

I don't want this to sound like a bad beat story because it's not meant to be one and I never get upset when I get out drawn as it's got to happen and so I just accept it as part of poker. I did feel really good though and the two reads I made were both correct which is the main point.

Last hand I've quintupled up to 1000 chips and I'm in the big blind of 600 and after 2 limpers I raise to 1000 with AKo and the flop comes 89T to give Mr JQ UTG limper a flopped straight and I'm on my way home early.

I did manage to play a couple of hours though when I got home and I'm finally in profit on Big Slick to the tune of a mighty £40!

I have, however, earned about $800 of loyalty payments (rakeback equivalent) already this month so at least that is going in the right direction again.

On the work front we are expecting letters to be issued tomorrow offering voluntary severance. There is a very high likelihood that I could be made redundant by the end of March.

However, it's not that bad because I should be due a good payment plus notice pay which should tide things over and then I have the options of getting another job, working for an agency as either an accountant or a teacher with the back up that I am earning more money per hour playing poker than I could earn working at the moment.

I'm not sure if I would want to play for a living but I am currently getting a 6% ROI yet I only need to break even in poker to maintain my current income through rakeback alone. If I were to maintain a 6% return I could multiply my current salary by 5 or more.

Having kids and a mortgage means I would never leave my job to try this but if it were forced on me and I had the backup of 6 months pay sitting in the bank it is very tempting to try it on a month by month basis with the backup of going back to work if I ever drop behind by months salary. Lots for me to think about....

I'm not sure if there is a tax implication if I were to play poker for a living, obviously it is not taxed as it stands but I am hoping to speak to a couple of people about this when I next run into them.

Anyway, that's it for now...

Bed time, I've got to be in work by 9!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The doom switch

There is a lot of rubbish talked about on poker forums etc about the doom switch.

What players are talking about is a belief that when you withdraw money from a poker website someone at the cardroom flicks a switch that means that the player will suddenly start losing and therefore have to re-deposit money which in turn means that the poker site will make more money.

Well I don't believe all that crap but the last couple of days since I withdrew my money from PaddyPower and moved some of it to Big Slick Poker have certainly felt like it.

I played 10 tournaments last night and lost 8 of them.

Total loss was $1000 and this was by far my biggest losing day since I started on this trail.

If it wasn't for the fact that I am playing on the same network (ipoker) against a lot of the same names I would have started wondering whether I was being scammed.

For example I came third in a race with AA against JJ and A4 when the flop came down J44, Aces were bust by smaller pairs, Kings by 83 etc and time after time if runner runner was needed on the flop then sure enough the turn provided the first card and I didn't even have to wait for the river.

It even came to one point where I had 5100 out of the possible 9000 chips with 4 left and I still felt like I wouldn't cash.

Anyway, I know that this is all variance and I keep reminding myself that when I have the $600, $700, $800 winning days that it is only contributing to days like yesterday.

Sure is frustrating though and I can understand why days like this have been the death knell for many a laptop!

The reason I switched to Big Slick is that their loyalty program is probably the best available on the ipoker network with the added potential of some staking for GUKPT events if the relationship works out.

Anyone who is interested in moving to the ipoker network or switching from their current ipoker skin can leave me a comment and I can put you in touch with someone who can sort you out with the best deal available.

I also played in the GUKPT $100 rebuy in Blackpool on Saturday.

The structures in these tournaments are much better than your normal casino crapshoot.

We started with 130 odd players and my starting table had Ali Mallu sat immediately to my left which could have been expensive for me but I managed to reach the end of the re-buys with re-buying and about 11,000 chips from a starting stack of 3000 and so didn't bother with he add on either.

Ali did get away with it in one hand holding the second nut flush draw to my nut flush draw which could have cost him his entire stack had the third club arrived.

Anyway, we played down to the last 40 at 4am on Sunday morning. This was a little bit of a drag since it meant coming back on Sunday with no guarantee of a payout but a double up late on Saturday night at least brought me back with average chips of about 28,000 and the blinds and antes at 500/1000/100.

Unfortunately Sunday didn't work out when my pocket tens were reraised by a player who was looking super strong leaving me with 12000 chips and the blinds at 600/1200/100 meaning that stealing the blinds would increase my stack by 25% so when the small blind had his cards taken from him because he was on the phone I decided that any two would do and went all in holding 52 with 3 behind me. Unfortunately the player on my left made a reluctant call with his pocket queens.

The flop of AJ5 brought some hope and the turn 2 took me into the lead but a rivered Ace counterfeited my 2 pair and I was gone in 26th place with 13th paying £350 and 1st prize being £11k.

I won't be playing during the week as they are all 2 day events apart from Thursday when Julie is working and Friday when I have a sportsman's dinner to raise money for Andrew's football team.

So it's back to the cyber tables for me to see if this doom switch has been switched back off!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


How about this for a hand...


On the bubble of a $200 double up

All in pre flop

Flop comes down KJJ

I'm playing 4 tables and first think crap, then realise Oh I've won that one then the Jack comes lol

I laughed most at my thinking in the hand.

Oh well, back to the tables...

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Grand Prix Crash

Well, a staggering 59 players yesterday in the Grand Prix playing for a prize pool of £79k of which Blue Sq added £25k. Can't see them putting this one on again although I hope they do having finished 12th last year and 17th yesterday.

We started out at 3pm with 59 players and a ridiculous 45 getting paid. - What's the point? Pay everyone or pay out as normal.

After about 3 1/2 hours we were on the bubble with 5 tables and hand for hand. So the last 20 minutes of the level involved about 7 hands being played!

Luckily the bubble burst 2 hands after the break and everyone was guaranteed £188.

I lost a few thousand early on when I flopped a set of 5s and didn't believe Ash Hussain when he bet the pot on the 3rd diamond arriving.

I then last another couple of thousand when I had aces and got 1 called who flat called my continuation bet on a J high board. He raised me on the turn Q which I called but when the river queen arrived and he bet the pot I had to lay them down.

I then played few hands until I was moved tables onto a table with the mad Turk who plays any two cards and duly doubled up with a flopped 2 pair with Q7 in the blinds against him.

Another double up later on with TT against AJ had me at average chips and then I played another flopped 2 pair eith TJ badly to allow him to catch up on the river when a king visibly made his hand giving him either a straight or higher 2 pair.

My exit hand was interesting. I raised in early position from 1200 to 3500 and a late postion player the other side of the dealer didnt see so when it came to him he announced raise only to be told that there had already been a raise. A ruling was called for when he didn't want to reraise and so when he was told that he had to raise at least the minimum, I put my remaining chips in for a total of 13,000 which he can't really fold to and he shows AQ.

The flop was JJQ and of course the turn was a Q leaving me only the case A to win on the river which obviously didn't arrive and I leave in 17th with £560 to show.

Oh well, that's poker!

I enjoyed my first GUKPT event of the year and I'm planning on playing Blackpool if I qualify or do well enough in the double ups over the next couple of weeks.

Let's hope Lewis Hamilton has better luck than me and wins the title today.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Target 1 achieved

Well, I've just reached my first target in this new double up schedule by reaching the $4000 mark and so, as promised we've got a nice new 42" Plasma and home cinema system coming next Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to that and it's nice to have something to show for it. I've still got $1000 + rakeback due at the end of the month so I'm pretty pleased at the moment and I'm just hoping this doesn't tail off.

It's funny how things work out. Up until this year live poker has always been most successful for me with my online poker providing a lot of satellite entries and a couple of direct buy ins to festival events and the cruise tournament buy ins but no regular withdrawals.

However, this year the live poker, whilst less regular due mainly to the bankroll issues with a large chunk of my live poker winnings having been put into the extension and overdraft, has resulted in a loss - again due to the cruise entries.

I'm just keeping everything crossed that I can maintain this current return from the double up tournaments and take it from there.

Anyway, with the first goal achieved it's time for a relatively early night to keep me fresh for tomorrow.

Not sure how many have qualified so far as the website is out of date showing 41 qualifiers and £52k prize pool but I'm not on the list so I am guessing that when Bluesq ut in a few players to try to recoup some of the £25k they are adding then could will be up to 100 runners.

Ok, so bed now.

Here's my double up bankroll graph from my spreadsheet:

Friday, 24 October 2008

Grand Prix

While Lewis Hamilton is hopefully winning the final grand prix of the season and the World Championship on Saturday week, I will be trying to take down the Grosvenor Grand Prix in Walsall.

I cashed in this event last year finishing 12th for £3000 and I will be hoping to improve this year.

It all happened tonight when the final table of the Grand Prix satellite was taken over by people from the Northwest with me, Jimmy Morgan, Charlie Denton, Terry Owens and Mick Fletcher plus also maybe Rob Sherwood (I'm not certain on him as he was getting called Rob and I think he was from Manchester) joining Mick McCool and a couple others. There were two seats to be won and luckily enough Charlie and I got them.

I did survive a couple of spots near the end and on one occasion when I semi bluffed into a set of five but the flush draw arrived to save me but that only made up for a couple of spots early when I had two big outdraws that made me need a couple of rebuys.

Anyway, elsewhere I have been off for a couple of days and decided to have a couple of hours on the tables during the daytime to see what the competition is like.

In all I played 29 double up tournaments this afternoon and tonight, winning 21 out of 28 for a profit of $1,043 so I was really happy with that and the new TV I promised my wife if I could make £500 whilst off looks like it's going to become a reality.

Off to bed for now....

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Reality Check

I've had a bit of a reality check over the last couple of days.

As you can see from the table below I was up to $2958 last week but a couple of bad days has seen that drop drastically.

Date ROI Bankroll
16/09/2008 182% 27
22/09/2008 182% 72
25/09/2008 182% 180
26/09/2008 6% 19.5
28/09/2008 144% 251.5
29/09/2008 117% 382.5
30/09/2008 133% 579.5
01/10/2008 107% 737.5
02/10/2008 143% 1280.5
04/10/2008 86% 1056.5
06/10/2008 127% 1329.5
08/10/2008 108% 1454.5
09/10/2008 107% 1702.5
10/10/2008 122% 1738.5
13/10/2008 101% 1747.5
15/10/2008 97% 1578.5
16/10/2008 113% 2099.5
17/10/2008 144% 2958.5
18/10/2008 76% 2248.5
19/10/2008 85% 1654.5
20/10/2008 106% 1866.5

The reason for this, I think is that with my new found confidence I've been playing $100 and $200 tourneys and my ROI has dropped into the 5% range over all tournaments as you can see below.

6 Seat 10 seat All tables No of tournaments
$30 182% 182% 182% 6
$50 117% 112% 115% 68
$100 109% 112% 110% 120
$200 97% 109% 99% 92
Total 102% 112% 105% 286

I don't know whether it is a blip that was caused by me losing quite a few $200 tournaments in a row yesterday when either people were getting lucky at the right time or I was getting KK beaten by A rag or I was getting AK when someone else had AA at the bubble end of the tournaments.

Anyway, I decided to listen to the numbers yesterday and the last 11 tournaments I played were all $100 affairs and I won 8 so I'm going to stick to the $100 tournaments until my bankroll is over $4000 (assuming it gets there!)

I'm not maybe some of the regulars at the $200 level have sussed out what I'm up to or not but we'll see hopefully.

The good news is I've now reached General status on Paddy Power which gives me $500 bonus at the end of the month and if I can keep that up each month by the middle of the month I might even look at trying to get 2 ipoker skins up to the same level so that I can get two of these bonuses a month rather than having to cash in the points to get the extra few $100 worth of loyalty bonuses.

Anyway, I'm going to try to keep recording my progress here so that I can see in future months where I have been going.

Going to Leos tonight for a change since I'm off for the rest of the week whilst the kids are off.

I haven't been for a while and judging by Cashbiatch's post about a cash game, it hasn't changed much.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Nearly there

Just finished 3rd in the GUKPT satellite on blue square, 2 seats and $1100 for third.
Thought it was about time to get back on the satellite trail and came very close.
A couple of double ups after they add on break and I got through to the final table relatively untroubled. Then picked off a couple of bluffs to become chip leader with 3 to go.
My demise came up through this hand:

difficult to get away from that one I suppose.

Never mind, another little boost to the bankroll, and more importantly it is on Bluesq so I can play a few more satellites for Blackpool so here's hoping.

Monday, 6 October 2008


At last a significant win in a live tourney!

I got a bit of help along the way a couple of times when I picked up AA and KK after there had been 2 all ins before.

Unfortunately the casino closes at 4 and we were still 4 handed so we they did a chip count but I still got slightly more than 2nd place even though I was 3rd in chips!

So, in the hope of making it a streak I played again last night and got as far as 17th with £1500 for the winner but unfortunately when i raised to 11000 (blinds were 1500/3000) with QQ in early position I got reraised all in for another 18000 by someone holding AA.

I did have to think about this one since the same guy had folded JJ to a reraise a few hands earlier but in the end almost half my stack was already in and he must have had a wide range than QQ.

Anyway, back to the double up tourneys tonight. I played a few on Friday and made $130 loss on the session after playing some $200 games so I'm still hopeful this will continue to work out.

I also identified a new buddy on the $200 table when I sharkscoped one of the players on the table after a couple of plays he made and sharkscope told me he has lost $35,000 playing $50, $100 and $200 tournaments. So needless to say I kept my eye out for where he was playing.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

So far so good...

I thought I might have hit a reality check last night after I had played another 10 double ups, after I only won 5 of them for a small loss whilst watching Liverpool.

Although I did make a huge mistake in a $100 6 seater when there was 4 left with the blinds at 100/200. Stacks were roughly CL 4000 on the button, me on 2300 in the SB, BB with 1800 and the small stack on 800 I made up the small blind for 100 with A3 after CL limped.

Flop came down A 2 3 rainbow and I checked, SB bet 200 and CL called, I raised the pot to 1700.

Turn was a 7 or some other brick, CL checked and I put my last 200 in which he called with AA.

I really should not have been involved in the pot with the chip leader in this sort of tournament when the small stack only had 4 bb left.

If I had cashed in that tournament I would have still been on track for 16% return.

I supposed that's what happens when you are watching football and playing 4 tables, poor concentration and bad decisions.

I played another 17 or so games later and up until the last 4 I had won exactly half of them for a small loss until the final 4 all came good and I ended up $260 ish up for the night.

I'm closely monitoring these games to work out what sort of return I am getting and I've now played 70 (including 1 PLO version that I played by mistake - but still cashed)

So far I have won 45 and lost 25 for a total buy in of $4532.5 and winnings of $5270 for a profit of $737.5 which equates to a ROI of 16%.

What i haven't got time to do is to record how long each one is taking but they seem to be averaging 30-40 mins so I am putting 40 mins for each one. On that basis I am making £10 per table per hour at the moment which would be lovely to maintain long term.

What I don't know is how many I need to play before I can be statistically sure of my return.

I know if this was a normal tournament I would need a much larger sample size but because these are either win or lose the sample size doesn't need to be as big.

Anyway, I'm going to keep recording my results on here so I can chart my progess.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Double Up

Since I went on the cruise and used a large chunk of my bankroll on the tournaments on board without cashing I've been suffering with some bankroll problems.

This, combined with not having a single live cash higher than 7th all year has lead to me not really having the bankroll to play the games I want to and not having the motivation to play at the lower limits that my bankroll requires.

This has certainly reduced my enthusiasm for poker in recent months and has probably affected the way I have been playing.

I've tried playing a couple of sessions at $.25/$.50 and $.50/$1 but just yoyo'd up or down a couple of buy ins and I also had the PKR experiment which started off horribly and didn't go anywhere.

However, I may have just found a game that my bankroll can stand and I have the motivation to play.

These are the double up tournaments on iPoker - Single table tournaments where half the field cashes for double their stake.

So far I've played 34 $50 double up tournaments in the last week or two and I'm currently running at 26% ROI. Because of the nature of them I'm playing them really tight and am able to play 4 at a time.

If I can win 13/20 for a 18% ROI I can start to build the bankroll up to a comfortable situation again.

Playing 4 at a time I reckon I can play 6-7 per hour which would work out at an hourly rate of $60-$70 plus bonuses/rakeback and it won't take too long.

So that's my focus and at the moment and I've really got the enthusiasm back.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Friday, 26 September 2008


Can anyone help and tell me how to embed a video on here.
I posted the link below but want the video to be on the blog so people can just click it.
I've got the code to embed the video from the video website.



Just seen this catch on a website.
What a catch!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Lessons learned.

Played Circus Liverpool last night in the £30 semi freezeout.

Starting chips were 4000 with blinds at 50/100
Had what could have been a fantastic start in about the third hand when there had been an 1100 UTG all in bet from a player who had already lost 2900 of his chips with middle pair calling all three streets.

His all in was called by the next 2 players and I look down to see a pair of aces.

So I raised all in to 4000 to which the first caller folded and the second caller called.

I was up against A 10 from UTG and Jacks from the second player.

The flop came down something like 548 rainbow, turn was a 7 and the river was a 6 giving a straight to all 3 of us and instead of sitting with a lovely stack of 10,000 I had a meagre 400 chip profit from the hand!

During the next hour I didn't play too many hands other than reraising with JJ and losing the race against AK leaving me with 2000 so I took my rebuy.

About an hour later I did find myself in a sport where I had raised to 500 in late position with AJ and got 2 callers including a local player, Lee Birchall, fresh from his chop in the GCBPT event at Leos where he picked up a nice £15k, in the big blind.

The flop came down J96 rainbow and when he checked I lead out 800 which he called.

An Ace came on the turn giving me 2 pairs and I could almost visibly see Lee planning his move, then he bet 1200 with 2600 behind.

Now I will often raise in this spot but I was pretty certain that he would fold if I raised but if I flat called he would go all in on the river.

I also had a specific tell on Lee when he is strong and he wasn't displaying it in this hand.

So anyway the river was a brick and after a bit of thought he went all in with his K9 and I doubled up to 10,000 chips.

The next hand of note I was in the big blind for 3000 and there was a raise to 6000 from UTG which was called by the tight button so I called too with 33 and another 10000 behind.

The flop came AA5 and I decided that I could have a chance of representing here if the raiser and button show weakness so we all checked it round and the turn was a J.

I decided to make a bet of 3000 to make it look like I was trying to milk the players and UTG thought for a while after sighing and made a resigned call whilst the button folded.

Here I felt that the UTG player had a big pair and this is where I made my mistake.

The river was a King and I gave it some thought before deciding that he would have great difficulty laying his big pair down for my last 6000 (he didn't have much more himself) or he had KK and would be calling with his full house anyway.

So I checked, he actually bet 5000 and I folded before he showed me 88 thinking that he had just bluffed me!

I have learned a good lesson there though, one that I should have learned before and that is to trust your instincts and follow my actions through, something I've failed to do before.

What I did was really, really weak and I'm really annoyed at myself.

But we live and learn!

I ended up doubling up to 15000 shortly after with K4 in the big blind on a KdTs5s Ks board when my 4000 all in was called by the nut flush but the 5 river gave me the full house.

However, with the blinds at 1500 3000 I pushed in the small blind with J8 against the big blinds "favourite hand" KT. A 9T4 flop gave me a shout and would have ended up with all the chips in on the flop anyway but no help saw me exit 12th with the top 10 paying.

Anyway, 3 updates in as many days, what's going on....!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The misery continues...

Yet another near miss online last night.

Playing the $35k guaranteed on ipoker $10 rebuy, $7500 first prize, 1100+ runners.

I got into the money (150 paid) running for quite a while at 8-10bb when I was fortunate enough to get QQ after 2 all ins for about 6 - 7 bbs. The queens hold and I was up to 100,000 chips.

A couple more good hands and I was chip leader with 25 to go.

At this point I checked my stats and to show how few hands I was getting I was seeing 11% of hands and this included a few late position steals!

Anyway, by this time the blinds were 15000/30000 and the average chip stack was 7-8 big blinds and it was folded to the small blind who went all in for 190k. Bearing in mind he had limped a couple of times in the same spot with big hands I was pretty sure he wasn't strong and so I called with A4o feeling that the money was all at the top end and I would end up having to open my range a hell of a lot more pretty soon.

Turns out he had KQ and a queen on the flop was good enough.

This left me with 100,000 chips and when it was folded to me in the small blind I had Kd7d and so felt that the bib blind would call with a lot of hands worse than that. True enough he did, with K6o and a flop of 569 gave me a lot of problems but a gutshot, the 6 turn left the 4 8s as the only chance and I missed the river, going out in 13th for $260.

Pretty disappointing again and it continues the trend of cashing in the lower end of the scale.
I just need to convert one or two of these cashes into big wins and I'll be back on track but it really frustrates you this game of poker!!!!

Going to play in the Circus Liverpool tonight since their Wednesday night freezeout is apparently very popular.

I don't like the venue very much because of their stupid rule that even if you put in an obvious raise with multiple chips or even your whole stack, if you don't say raise it counts only as a call.

Why cardrooms have to change the simplest of rules that are commonly played everywhere I don't know. They should, at the very least, advertise the fact but I won't get on my soap box over this.

Hopefully this new initiative to try to get standardised rules and approved cardrooms will make the difference. Especially when some dealers enforce the rule and others don't.

It took me 45 minutes of making those raises without objection last time to find out about their stupid rule!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

To rebuy or not to rebuy...

I was in a bit of a dilemma the other week in a £30 single rebuy tournament, with 5000 starting chips. The blinds were due to go to 100/200 at the end of the rebuy period and I had a stack of 18000.

The question I was asking myself was should I rebuy, take an extra 5000 chips and half any potential return on investment or stay as I was.

I once read a forum post where some cretin said that not rebuying was always negative expected value but I wonder if there is a formula that people use when trying to decide.

I ended up leaving it as only 1 person at my table had more chips than me so my decision was made a bit easier but yhought I would ask the question here and see what people's views are.

Played a couple of freerolls in the last week for GUKPT seats. Came nowhere last night but did get down to the last 18 out of 600+ last week when I encountered a few fellow bloggers at my table including the Jester who I had a good converasation with.

As for the comment poet, I've narrowed my list down and have a fairly good idea who it is.....

I don't mind the funny posts but I'm blocking any that are abusive, whether they are jokey or not.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Sick, sick, sick... and fevers

I didn't play Leo's last night as there was only 20 odd runners last week after all so decided to venture east to Manchester G to play the £30 second chance event.

I started off pretty quiet for an hour with JJ in the bb as my only decent hand and there had been 6 limpers so decided to raise large so that I dont get 6 callers.

Anyway, the blinds were 25/50 with 5000 starting chips so I raised to 500 hoping for only 1 caller or to just take the limps out of position and I slightly misunderestimated the players as all 6 people called!

Anyway, with a KQ flop that ended my interest in that hand.

Just before the end of the send level a new player arrived from the higher stakes cash table he had been playing whilst waiting for a seat and I got QQ in seat 7.

The blinds were 50/100 now and I raised to 500 as there had already been 2 limps. The new player called on the button as did the 2 limpers and the flop came down A 9 3 rainbow. The first 2 players checked as did I and the button fires out 1400 into the 2000 pot with 2600 behind.

The first 2 limpers folded so it was left to me and, knowing that the other guy could play I was pretty sure this guy could easily be betting to take this orphan pot down using his position.

So I looked him over and asked him how much he had left and when he told me he put his chips towards the line as if to say I'mm calling if you raise which I've often found to be untrue when people do that.

Coupled with the fact that when he answered me there was a very distinct swallow and his voice was very muted I felt 85% sure he didn't have the ace and said "go on then" whilst puitting my 5000 chip into the pot meaning to put him all in.

I realised straight away that this could only be a call and so took my chips out without asking and just placed the 1400 in.

Then when the turn blanked I threw in the 5000 chip and sure enough he folded.

It is not often that I get a tell like that and act on it and I have felt I was ahead a few times but bottled the call in situations like that only to be shown the bluff so I've decided to follow my read from now on and I'm really pleased it worked out last night.

I showed him the QQ after he mucked and said "I was ahead wasn't I" to which he replied "I put you on something like that!"

Anyway, the rest of the night didn't go too well as my wife phoned with 40 players left cos she had been throwing up all night and was really bad so I ended up having to go home leading me to throw in a bluff reraise with 94o that was called by Billy Ngo with QT who told me that he was behind but wanted to gamble. I told him he might not be and promptly saw a 4 and 9 hit the flop and turn but a 7d river gave him the flush which didn't really bother me as I would have had to keep doing that till I went out or won the tournament in record time and record numbers of outdraws!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

GCBPT Liverpool

The GCBPT comes to what I still consider my home casino - Leo's in Liverpool - next week so I'm currently trying to satellite in.

I played a couple on Coral on Tuesday night and went out pretty early in both, running KK into QQ in one and bluffing away my chips in the other.

So I'm probably going to Leo's tonight for a live satellite.

Not sure how many will be there but I hear they had 4 seats last week.

I've managed a small cash in the Leeds event last year busting out just 2 before the tv table after winning my seat at Leos so I'm hoping this will can change my luck since I've not had a significant live cash for a long time now.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Jealous, jealous, jealous

The GUKPT rolls into Bolton this week and I'm unhappy that I won't be playing the main event.

I've been lucky enough to satellite into almost every big event in the North West in the last couple of years but unfortunately through one thing and another (holidays and bankroll limitations)

I've not played any for Bolton and so won't be there. I am playing on Friday in one of the side events but I'm still really jealous of everyone who will be there.

So instead I had to make do with playing the £10 rebuy in the Liverpool Circus on Monday.

There was only 44 runners and I did manage to cash but again it was only for one of the bottom places.

I really must get myself a decent finish soon.

There was one very interesting hand that came up and I couldn't decide how best to describe it.

We were down to the last 6 with the prize structure something like this:

6th £115
5th £135
4th £190
3rd £290
2nd £420
1st £750

The blinds were 2000 - 4000 and I had average chips of 25000.

I guy in early position limped which he wouldn't do with a big Ace so it was either a premium pair or something he would fold to a raise and I had AJ. As I was considering whether to raise or fold the short stack to my right started to put all his chips (7000) in. I stopped him before they crossed the line and someone said that I would have to fold my junk now to which I replied, "I think I might have to limp!" which I did.

Anyway, the short stack did put his chips in and the blinds and limper folded (much to the limper's annoyance and I called the extra 3000 to see the short stack's AA.

I would be interested to hear what everyone thinks about the play.

I've got what I think are some good reasons for my actions but would be intersted to hear what others think.

Anyway, I'll update after Friday with my reasons.

Good luck to the North West lads playing tomorrow and Friday (Andy, Jimmy, Charlie etc.)

Monday, 25 August 2008

Ladbrokes Poker Two runs again

August 19th, 2008.

Ladbrokes Poker Two, the horse I have a share in via the Ladbrokes Poker site, has finally overcome her injury problems and had a run at Newmarket the other week.

I was fortunate to finish in the top 20 of the 80 runner qualifying tournament to go and see her race.

I managed to get to the hotel in about 3 1/2 hours and so a quick hour in the gym and I was all ready to go.

After a 30 minute wait for the leading shareholder to arrive due to traffic on the motorway, we were off.

The champagne was flowing and the food was lovely with LPT due to run in the last race.

Unfortunately it took until the 4th race for me to get my only winner so I was a couple of punds down on the betting but that more than paid for the free food and drink.

It was then time for Jeremy Noseda (the trainer) to come in and brief us all on the horse.

His view was that she should come in the top 4 but was only about 85% fit.

She ended up running 6 out of the 7 furlongs really easily and only got out done in the last few strides to finish 3rd.

Next race is in September at Doncaster where I expect her to win.

It was then back to the hotel where we had our poker game with a festival package to the Ladbrokes Irish Festival.

I ended up going out in 6th but not before picking up the $50 bounty for knocking Kate out of the tournament.

All in all it was a very good day and good to meet a few other Ladbrokes regulars like Shambaloo, MickJagger1, Kev100, Plymlegend, Breastknight etc.

Here is the write up on the Ladbrokes website.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Rollercoaster Ride

I recently signed up to PKR in the hope that the nice graphics and adverts will attract some casual players.

Add to that 30% rakeback and $600 of first deposit match bonus and I was hoping to build from there.

The software is quite good to look at but the action can be a bit slower than othersites and I've found that playing more than one table is very difficult as the cards are hidden until you look at them so I'm only playing 1 table at a time.

Anyway, last night I had a couple of hours playing $1/$2 no limit full table starting with a full buy in.

To say I had some wild swings is an understatment of massive proportions.

The first noteable hand I had was holding KK v AA, he raised in late position to $12, I reraised to $40, he made it $120 and I went all in for $160 which he called.

Then he called me a donkey when the flop came KTK.

I've read a few articles by people who think that in this sort of situation folding to the reraise is -ev.

Next came a hand where I raised to $8 in late position with Kh9s. With 2 callers the flop came down QhJhTh flopping me a straight and up and down straight flush draw.

I lead out for $16 and was called and reraised to $50 I raised all in and was called by both players, the check raiser with AQ for the flopped higher straight and the button with AhKs for top pair and nut flush draw.

So now I've gone from thinking I've probably got the best hand or best draw to needng the 9h for the straight flush as my only out!

Should I have been thinking about folding in that spot?

I know I'm not drawing dead whatever scenario and I presume it's just one of those hands I can't get away from.

I would be interested to hear whether others think I played it wrongly.

Next came another pair of kings in the small blind after a button raise.

I flat called the $12 as did one other.

The flop came down AQ9 rainbow and I'm cursing the A knowing I'm now behind so I checked and the button bet $12 but I decided to call in the hope that a K would allow me to stack a big Ace.

- this is where, in hindsight, I know I should have folded.

Anyway the king came on the turn and now I bet $50 which was called by the limper and raised by the button.

I called thinking, you can't have TJ and so did the limper who had TJ, and the button had AA, so I'm drawing dead to the case K!

I also got a pair of tens in the session with a T4T flop, but, of the 2 other players that also checked the flop, the small stack of $31 bet £20 on the third heart turn card which I called hoping the button had a flush.

He folded and then, to cap it all, a 4th heart came on the river and small stack check folded for his last $11 obviosuly not having a heart!

Another hand involved a flop of 568 when I held 56, the turn 5 giving me a full house that lost to the pocket eights of my opponent and my session went from $200 to $0, reload, down to $130 up to $530, and back down to $100 finishing at $150.

Then tonight, withing 10 minutes I've got 66 in the big blind and call the $4 raise from the UTG which was called by the sb.

The flop came K65, I checked, utg bets $12 I raised to $48 and utg is all in for $130 and its 666 v KKK. I've never known so many big hands to come up against each other in such a short space of time.

Damn variance!!!

I hope it's not the way i'm playing it!!!

Monday, 30 June 2008


When these Euro championships were starting, at first I wasn't too bothered cos England weren't playing but I got a sudden realisation just before the start that half the Liverpool team would be in the Spanish squad, so why not follow as though they were England.

So I did and had a few quid on them and all of a sudden I had found my enthusiasm for the tournament again.

Add to that the fact that Spain had by far the best squad and, for once, the team I am following wins the things!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Come on you Spain!

.......Fernando Torres,
Liverpool's number nine!!!!!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Lazy lazy lazy

There just aren't enough hours in the day......

either that or I'm just too lazy!

I just never seem to get around to updating this and when I do I can't remember any specific hands as it is a while since I played them.

So I'm toying with the idea of changing the tack of this slightly and paying a little less attention to specific hands.

I don't know, I'll see how it develops.

Since I last updated I've played a couple of times coming 8th for something like £120 and busting out the hand before the rebuys ended and not bothering to rebuy, especially after passing on 2 occasions with suited connector type hands with only 1000 chips and blinds at 100/200 only to see the flop give me a full house if I had played!

However, the biggest event in the last couple of weeks was courtesy of Ladbrokes.

I won a share in their horse last year and because it didn't run due to injury it was carried over to this year too.

Well they had a shareholders event at Windsor a week last Monday and I qualified for that in the freeroll which gave me the night's accommodation in the Copthorne Hotel in Windor and hospitality at the racecourse with free food and drink and a poker game afterwards in the hotel - along with $150 expenses.

I had a really good time, meeting the other 19 players who won their way through.

we ended up having a little STT after the event between 4 of us in one of the players' rooms, the highlight being me calling an all in bet when a flush card hit the turn when it was heads up for the other player to show his flush that he had mis read as the Ace of spades he thought he had was the ace of clubs!

Great read by me then (not) - as he thought he had the flush even though he didn't!

However the best part of the night was one of the horses called Finnegan McCool, an 8-1 shot who romped home in an 8 horse race where I used all my sport betting skills by using the theory that "we're on a Ladbrokes poker event and there is a horse called McCool running. I read his blog every time it's updated so I've got to put some money on it!!!!"

So thanks to Mick for a nice little earner!

Anyway, I'll try to keep this up a bit more regularly.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Pokerplayer Championships

Haven't played live this week because I'm playing today in the Pokerplayer Championships in Bolton. I'll be setting off in a few minutes.
I did play a couple of tournaments on Ladbrokes where I won a very well structured $5 event for $600 odd but the best thing about the tournament was that when we got to heads up there was still a lot of play left. The heads up battlle went on for a good half hour or more with the chip lead swinging quite a bit. But I managed to overcome a 671k to 178k chip disadvantage to win.

However, more exciting was the opportunity I had in the Ladbrokes main event added tournament on Thursday where I was chip leader with about 20 players left. Unfortunately the average blinds in this event was on 7 big blinds at this point and I ended up going out in 12th with 44 against QQ after having got away with quite a few steals.

I could have been a lot luckier though as one hand I had raised about 3 times in a row and then I picked up 77 under the gun. Because I had been raising quite a bit at this point including 4 of the previous 6 hands (with good hands I might add - but they hadn't been shown down) so I felt that if I raised again I would be leaving myself open to a reraise with a much wider range so I folded. It did end up getting raised and called by 88 and AK-unfortunately, had I played I would have made a full house and won. That would have given me 3 times the 2nd place's chips but that's the way it goes and I don't like to say "I would have made xx" when I'm in a hand.

I'll update today's tournament tomorrow hopefully.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Cracks in the foundations

Where do I start, it's been a while since I updated about live poker and whilst I've only been playing once a week, it's sometimes difficult to keep the motivation each time you go out with jacks against J9 all in pre flop.

I suppose part of it is because the tournaments i'm playing become quite fast when it becomes all in or foldin the latter middle stages unless you have a very big stack.

But I won't go on, if someone could let the poker gods know it's about time I cashed that would do!

I'm actually writing this with my wrist strapped up pending getting it put into a cast on Monday. When I played that charity match last week I was tackled and fell onto my wrist.

It's been getting worse over the last 10 days and when I saw the doctor today he sent me for an xray where I was not only told that I had probably fractured my scaphoid bone in my wrist but he also showed me an old break on the other side of my wrist.

So as from Monday I'll have my wrist on a cast for 6 weeks.

As for tonight, well I've touched on my exit hand but the whole night went like that from the moment my AA wasn't good enough for QJ on a J high flop.

I did get one hand of luck when my 22 all in pre flop beat QQ to double me up.

Anyway, I registered for the Pokerplayer event next week in Bolton tonight so I'm looking forward to that next week and I'll take it from there.

It's back to the drawing board, re-read a couple of books and try to get back on track!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Chip and a chair

I haven't updated this for a while and I have 2 unfinished posts (well unstarted actually - but I have some notes)

However, I've just finished 2nd in the midnight Ladbrokes tournament and I'm absolutely over the moon.

It's not something that would normally get me excited as it's a $75 freezeout and the prize money of $642, whilst a welcome boost at the moment, is not one of my biggest wins but the nature of the win is what is most pleasing.
The reason is because 3rd hand of the tournament the following happened:

So this left me with 20 chips in the big blind.

I won that hand with 75 on 5 10 8 7 4 board winning 90 chips.

Then I'm dealt A5 faced with a raise and call but decide to gamble all or nothing, the 5678 10 board now gives me 360 and I have some play (starting stacks are 2000) 36 players, top 5 paid.

a few hands later and I'm dealt 44 in the cut off after a limp from the cut off (A2) and I raise all in and get reraised by the button (QQ) who is also called by the cut off. A 4 on the flop gives me the pot and I'm back in business with 980 chips and half the starting stack.

2 hours later and I've come second.

So as they say, all you need is a chip and a chair.... and a little bit of luck.

On a non poker front I'm playing in a charity match for the Football aid charity on Tuesday against the HollyOaks Team - something my neice and daughter are really looking forward to.

You can see the details of the charity here:

I have to raise £600 in sponsorship for this so if anyone is feeling charitable, all donations are gladly accepted through pokerstars or paypal.

I've had a lot of problems with injuries recently so I'm just hoping to survive the match intact!!!

Friday, 18 April 2008

More bubbles in Manchester

£50 rebuy satellite to GUKPT Manchester
42 runners 6 seats
4000 starting chips

I decided on taking another shot at the Manchester GUKPT event last night despite my diminishing bankroll.

Afterall, Bolton is still my favourite card room and the chances are I'm going to be playing in Birkenhead tonight as well since I can't play 5 a-side at the moment.

My first table was very interesting as Nick Slade was there doing his best to make sure there were a lot of chips on our table by having 9 rebuys.

It was really good fun though although it didn't start off too well.

Third hand in and I have kd9d on the button after about 6 limpers as there usually is in this sort of rebuy event so I called the 100 and the big blind raised to 500 which was called by two others before it got back to me.

So I called along with the small blind meaning there were 5 to the flop which was K96 rainbow.

The bid blind lead out for 2000 leaving him 1500 behind and it was folded to me with the small blind to act.

I felt that in this spot a flat call was the best option as it lets the small blind call with a wider range of hands and the big blind was probably committed to the pot if I raise now anyway and is likely to still call on the turn.

Unfortunately the small blind folded and then the turn was an ace giving AK a better 2 pair.

Big blind bets and I call expecting to be behind a lot of the time but resigned to the fact that this would have happened regardless of how I played it.

He did have 2 pair and no miracle on the river meant I was rebuying hand no 3.

Anyway, things got a lot better from there on as I started to get a few hands and with Nick on the table there was always going to be action.

He had a bluff at me when I was holding top 2 pair on one board after betting flop and turn and checking the river and I also managed to get him to raise what I made look like a blocker bet on the river when a 3rd club arrived but I actually had the nut flush.

It was good fun though and I decided to have a bit of a laugh with Nick who was calling most raises in the hope of building up a big stack.

Since he was trying to size his bets so that would be left with 2000 chips post flop and then be able to rebuy (For the non players who read this - you can only rebuy when you have less that half the 4000 starting stack)

I decided that next time I raised it would be to 1900 - leaving him 2100 chips and so not able to rebuy.

Anyway I got AJ on his big blind and, as expected he did, call cursing me, but then he bet 200 on the flop so that he had only 1900 left and could rebuy and let me raise to take the pot down.

I had 22000 chips at one point and was down to 14000 at the end of the rebuy period.

So I topped up and then the serious poker started.

After that things went along well with me staying at or above average chips for a long while until we got to the last 2 tables.

There was then a big hand involving KK v AA where the player to my right doubled up to 40,000.

The very next hand and he raised again to 5000 (blinds were 600/1200) and I looked down at KK so I reraised all in to 22000 which was folded back to the raiser.

He dwelled up and asked me a couple of questions which I ignored and eventually said to me that he was going to pass these for the first time before folding.

I showed him KK and he retreived his QQ and was very happy with himself.

Thinking back on it maybe I shouldn't have showed him as he was very relieved that he made the right decision but my plan was to use this later on whenever it came to sb v bb as I know that he passed AK earlier to a solitary raise so I knew that if he limped against me I would be able to raise with any two cards safe in the knowledge that he would almost certainly pass.

Unfortunately I got moved tables almost immediately.

I did get some nice cards on the next table including KK twice in 3 hands as well as AA and TT in a short space of time but the only time I got any action was when I raised with AK and had one caller who said that he was calling because I had raised his blind every time (with the good cards I might add) and when the flop came 9T4 he went all in meaning I had to pass, only for him to tell me he had KQ - if you believe him!

By now we were down to 11 players with 6 seats available and I raised from 4,000 to 10,000 with AQ on the enormous chip leaders big blind - he had 120,000 of the 460,000 chips in play.

After an age he decided to raise it again to 30,000 setting me all in.

Given his chip lead and that even though he had been betting almost all of the flops that he saw, he hadn't been raising much and there was no need for him to get involved withough a good hand so I folded my AQ face up and he showed his AK meaning I would have been dominated and almost certainly out - good decision.

Anyway I survised as the small stack until there were 9 left and after stealing a couple of blinds I was eventually all in for 13,000 on the button with the blinds at 3000 - 6000 with K9 which was better than average and the big blind called the extra 7000 without looking and turned over 5d4d which inevitably spiked a 5 on the turn to put me out just short again.

So, off to Birkenhead, I've got to cash soon.....

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Warning, Ice can seriously damage your health

Played 5 a-side last Friday and pulled my calf muscle, so, as suggested I put an ice pack on my calf to reduce bleeding in the area and aid a quicker recovery since I am due to play in a football aid charity match on May 20th against the Hollyoaks football team.
Anyway, I left the ice pack on until it defrosted which was about 25 minutes and my calf was a bit sore after from the cold.
Saturday morning and I wake up to still feel the pain, look down and there is a huge blister the size of my fist. It seems that you shouldn't leave the ice on for more than 10-15 minutes at most otherwise you can get an ice burn which is apparently worse than a normal heat burn.
The picture was taken today, 6 days after the event. You can see where the walk in centre have removed the top of the blister.
So be warned!!!
Maybe some warnings needed on the ice packs!
Bloody sore!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

More Satellite fun

Thursday April 3rd
Bolton £150 f/o
70 runners

I like the Bolton cardroom, it is the venue for my first cash in a ranked event and it only takes me 30 – 40 minutes to get there.

They’ve also started a couple of good tournaments including this one on the first Thursday of the month and they are even starting a monthly Omaha tournament which I might try out next month for something different.

This tournament starts off with 7000 chips and you get another 7000 any time within the first 90 minutes.

My first hand of significance was when I was in the big blind (50/100) with A4 which was limped around to me making 4 to the flop which came A J 6.

I checked and there was a small bet of 200 which I called.

The turn was another ace which I checked again and he bet 600 which I raised to 2600 and he called.

The river was an 8 and we both checked, me hoping for a split pot but his 9 kicker was good enough.

So with 3500 chips left I took my second chance.

I then got AA on the button after 2 limps, a raise to 600 and a call before me so I reraised to 2600 which was called by two players.

The flop came down a pretty safe Q62 which was checked by the original raiser, the caller went all in for his last 1600 which I flat called and the raiser folded.

Cards on their back and he’s got 22 for a set of 2s!

A lovely ace on the turn though and I’ve doubled up to 16000.

Unfortunately that’s where it ends though because, as has been the pattern this year, everything went downhill from there.

Whenever I raised I missed the flop and if I continuation bet they've hit.

Eventually I’m ending up all in with 4 or 5 big blinds left and if I’m ahead I get overtaken or I’m behind and stay there.

So I’ve been experimenting the last few days online, trying to open up my range a bit in the latter parts of the middle of the tournaments to try to avoid getting small stacked.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

I did play another WSOP satellite on pokerstars on Saturday.

I qualified for it on Thursday using 40 FPP to play in the 4000 FPP satellite with 3 seats available.

There were 500 + players and I got down to 31 players at 3.30 am when I was really struggling to keep my eyes open after a week of very late nights.

Anyway I played this hand really poorly starting off with 100,000 chips and the blinds were something like 1000 2000 ante 100.

I had AhKd in late position and there was a raise to 6000 which I reraised to 18000 and he called. The flop came down 7h 5h 2h so when he lead out for 20 odd thousand and I decided that I would play it as though I had flopped the flush so I called.

The turn was a 5 and he bet again and I considered raising but again thought that if I had the flush I wouldn’t raise here and so flat called again.

The River was another 7.

At this point he bet 30000 of his 50000 into a pot of 80000 and I’m thinking, if he’s calling my reraise with a pair then how could he have been betting like that with a 7, surely he would have slowed down on the turn.

Anyway he had 10 7 and I had thrown away 80000 chips!

I'm not 100% sure about the betting numbers above but i'll check them tonight and update them if they are way out.

I know I should have raised his flop bet and stopped the action there and then but it's all very good saying that in the fresh light of day!!

Needless to say I went out soon after.

So that's it, I've not played much this week as I have been catching up on some sleep but I'll be playing tonight and probably goingto Manchester tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Satellite near misses

Well, doing the updates more regularly didn’t last very long.

Played Thursday 27th in Manchester Circus in a £30 rebuy with the winner getting a seat in the GSNPC.

Started well and built up a healthy stack without the need for any rebuys.

This kept me going along with a healthy stack until we got near the bubble.

By then I was down to 23000 chips with the blinds at 2000 4000 and I went all in with 9T in the cut off which was called by the big blind with A7.

A 9 on the flop was enough to give me a timely double up.

Got to the final table with about 40000 chips and after a couple of rounds, we're down to 8 players with the blinds at 3000 6000 and I'm in the big blind with 24o.

It is folded to the small blind who looks like he is going to pass but then decides to call.

As he's considering changing his mind about folding I'm thinking, lovely, you'd be silly to call now cos I'm going to raise you.

Anyway, he does call and I raise to 18000.

He calls and the flop comes 335, he checks so I go all in for my last 22000 chips and he called with A8 so were 50:50 - any A, 2, 4, 6 and I still win but nothing and I'm out for £200.

Not too concerned about this, all the money was in the top places with the prize money doubling from 2nd to 1st place which I think is way too big a gap but I suppose they often get chopped near the last few anyway.

Then I played a satellite to the GSNPC for £50.

This was one hell of a crapshoot but everything seemed to go my way and I got good hands at the right time until I was heads up against a young lad (Martyn Robinson) who I now know quite well (we ended up taking 10% of each other in the tournament and he ended up going out one before the bubble - who got a signed chipset).

Anyway, heads up I had a 3-1 chip lead and decided (wrongly) that I had an edge over him and so started to play a lot of pots with him, whenever I had a good hand he had nothing and whenever I bluffed at him he had the nuts.

Granted I didn't play well heads up and he took the seat.

I then played day 1a in the GSNPC and made what I understand now to be a bad read in the pivotal hand of my tournament.

Level 2 (blinds at 50 100) and I limped UTG with KK - something I very rarely do but decided to give it a whirl after I had talked to Jasmes Ackenhead about it when I was on the cruise.

Anyway, that is when the action started as there was a raise in seat 5 to 300 which was called in seat 6 and then reraised by the small blind to 600. I decided to 4 bet 1600 which was called by the small blind.

The flop came 7c6c4d and the small blind checked and I bet a hopefully weak looking 2000 which he flat called.

The turn was 8c and he went all in for his last 6000 odd - marginally covering me.

I stared him down as I do and asked him a couple of questions, telling him that I thought he had queens on the flop but he didn't really give me a great deal of reaction to this.

I ran through the possibilities and didn't think the set was very likely but maybe a possibility, maybe a pair of 5s if he was hoping to hit a set on the flop but flopped an open ended draw but thought that would be a check raise on the flop, maybe a flush draw but again ditto and then maybe queens or Aces.

After all this, and his lack of any nervousness when I virtually tild him I had kings, I felt he had to have aces and folded.

I've posted this hand on AWOP and Blonde and the majority of people have this down as an instant call saying he has 99-QQ although I still think he would have played aces the same way.

Anyway, it turned out that later he told Martyn who was also on our table that he had queens so again I probably made a bad fold, something I'm going to have to stop doing.

Maybe I'm looking for too many monsters under the bed when I get involved and I need to just accept that if he has aces in that spot then I'm losing my chips

Anyway, lesson learned I hope and I ended up going to the G in Manchester to play the £30 single rebuy and again I didn't need the rebuy as I had 22000 chips at the break (starting at 5000).

However, once again, the rising blinds as the tournament became a bit of a crapshoot meant I was out in about 20th.

I also bubbled in Friday's GUKPT satellite after having a pot checked down when I was all in by a "friend" who was a big chip leader with 55000 on the bubble.

I actually won that hand to get back up to average stack but then after a min raise from 3000 to 6000 by the UTG I reraised all in for 33000 on the big blinds with AhKh which was called by UTG with 77.

Not the greatest play by him but he won the seat and I got $0.

Thanks to Teambooth who I immediately deleted from all my contacts and buddy lists.

I know Mark from Leo's and I was not impressed at all.

Anyway, rant over…

Update, just played my first WSOP satellite on Pokerstars ($33 rebuy - 1 seat) and I ended up finishing 4th when my 110000 button all in with Q8 when the blinds were 10000 20000 was called by the big stack (400000 chips) with - wait for it ... 7c4c! - I had a really tight image too. 74! Oh well I'm going to have to play that tournament again, hardly had to do a thing to get people to donate chips to me - even accounting for the runner runner straight taking my first 4000 chips after I had doubled up early!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Body language, tells and a list of fish

I've been wanting to make a post about this topic for a long time and finally have some time to do it so here goes.

Since I got into playing poker live I have become a bit of a student of body language and trying to read people.

This is something that I find fascinating and have read a few books, some on body language, others on neurolinguistic programming and others more directly associated with poker like Hellmuth's Read 'em and reap and of course Caro's book of tells.

I find some of the techniques, even with my limited experience of reading people at the poker table, very helpful.

I have mentioned before that I have noticed some very specific tells on people that, given the right situation, could be very profitable.

A couple of the more significant tells I have picked up on include:

One player who used to blink whenever his cards hit on the flop

A few players (including one who played on the original series of late night poker) who have specific ways of putting their chips in when he is bluffing

Another couple of players who bet with one hand when strong and the other when bluffing

That very thin lipped smile when someone is bluffing

One tell that I even noticed myself doing once when holding a big pair pre flop that involved betting then immediately taking a drink.

What I find very surprising is that, of all the people I have played against live, I have only ever come across 3 or 4 people who have looked at me when the flop is being dealt.

There is a huge amount of information given off when the flop is being dealt that most people do not see.

I've lost count of the number of times I have seen someone visibly flinch or twitch when they have hit a set on the flop and I only play once a week live.

So there is a lot of information available for an astute reader of body language (which I am only scratching at the surface of)

I've been a fan of Derren Brown for a long time and one of the most interesting parts of his act centres on his ability to read body language and other unconscious behaviour.

So this Christmas I received a copy of Derren Brown's book "trick of the mind" which I have just read.

It has it's moments of uninteresting sections and at the same time there are some quite funny parts too including a very funny observation regarding the Braille signs he saw next to each fish tank describing the fish in the London Aquarium.

This made him wonder what blind people would get out of visiting an aquarium other than the opportunity to read a "list of fish".

However, he also has a very interesting section about body language.

In one of his shows a couple of years ago "Trick or Treat" that you can see here

he teaches a Granny about reading body language and, from what they show on the program, she makes some good reads - although they wouldn't show her making bad reads - and she actually cashes in a 6 player SNG that had Neil Channing, Paul Parker, Anthony Holden, and a couple of other players.

So it all confirms to me how important being able to read people's body language.

I think it is a very important part of the game that I intend to keep focussing on in order to try to improve.

I just wish I could have been a fly on the wall during that documentary to hear more about the techniques that he mentions in the book.

I do think that practice/experience is also very important and unfortunately they don't sell them on Amazon!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Catch Up

I've had this half written for over a week and just now getting around to finishing it so here goes.

Monday March 10th

I was planning on going out last night to play in Stockport but a last minute hitch meant I would have been last so I decided to leave it. So I ended up playing the $75 late night freezeout on ladbrokes that starts at midnight.

I've been having a good run in this tournament over the last 6 months and with a two double ups with sets early on I ended up winning the tournament for a much needed $1020 addition to my bankroll.

There was one hand of particular interest that I can't decide whether he played it incredibly well played or very badly.

The play involved a limper on the button, me completing the small blind with something like 6h7h and the big blind checking when the blinds were something like 150 300.

The flop came down Q74 rainbow or similar and I checked, the big blind then went all in for 3400 into a pot of 900 and the button folded.

To be honest, I had just over 3000 chips but if I only had 1000 chips I would have been seriously tempted to call.

Anyone care to take a guess at his hand and what your calling requirements would be?

Anyway, I eventually played in Manchester G on Thursday in a £35 freezeout. 60+ runners and it's been too long for m to remember anything significant so I am going to be more diligent in updating this a bit sooner.

I ended up going out when short stacked with KQ against kings and that was that.

I then played the Ladbrokes Cruise Reunion tournament on Tuesday.

The tournament was a bounty tournament with 15 bounties ranging from $12 satellites for the first few bounties up to a WSOP package for the 15th.

This went pretty well for the first half without any bounties being at my table and then I got involved in a 3 way pot after raising with AA with Skalie (John Kalmar) and A N other.

The flop came down T J 7 with 2 clubs which was checked by the other two and I bet out 2/3 of the pot and was raised by the first player who was reraised all in by Skalie.

To be honest I thought that there was more than a 50/50 chance I could be behind but since there was a lot in the pot and half of my stack was in there too I made a crying call and to my surprise I was way ahead of a Q high flush draw and Skalie's A high flush draw.

That put me on 15000 chips and into 5th place.

By this time the bounties were up to $1000 worth of satellite entries and one of them appeared at our table, 2 to my left which was a bonus.

She was playing pretty tight but had 5000 chips and the blinds were 400/800.

I was then on the big blind when Daddymac (one of the top Ladbrokes players sitting on 22000) raised to about 2500 in early position which was reraised to 5000 virtually all in by the bounty.

The small blind (with 10000 ish) called and I considered reraising all in with Qd9d, because the bounty was the majority of the prize pool and this was a chance to take her out. Obviously, in a normal tournament Daddymac would need a huge hand to call that but I felt that he would feel like me in this case and probably call along with the small blind and so I called, mistakenly thinking that the bounty's raise was an underraise - meaning daddymac couldn't reraise.

Unfortunately I either calculated wrongly or Ladbrokes' system allows someone to reraise an underraise (which I know it used to but I did think it had been fixed)

Anyway, Daddymac did reraise and after the small blind called I decided that I was going to call in the hope that I got lucky and had live cards and take my chance at the prize.

Also knowing that if I did win I would have 50000 chips and be in a very strong position to take the main prize.

For the record I was really in a bad spot as Daddymac had QQ and the bounty had JJ. Anyway no diamonds came and although a nine did hit the flop, despite my chanting, another didn't come to give me the win.

I've had a think about whether I should have just played it normally and let any bounties come my way naturally but I still think that playing for the bounty was the best course of action.

Comments welcome.

Wednesday March 19th

Won a lovely $1200 pot last night at $1/2 on Ladbrokes with A 10 in a 6 way minimum raised pot against an overplayed AK and 10 5 saw a lovely A 10 5 rainbow flop.

So with that $900 profit, along with another cash in the midnight tournament for $400 I'm going to play the GSNPL event in Manchester next week.

Hopefully see a couple of people there.

I'll also be more diligent in future with the postings.

Until then…

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Back to the grindstone

Thursday March 6th
£150 f/o
75 runners

After a couple of weeks off with the back problem I decided to try a game on Thursday.

I was told about the tournament by a mate an it really is good value with quite a number of players having qualified through satellites.

They have the tournament every month and it's one I plan on playing every month.

So, on to the tournament.

Plenty of limping and plenty of tells, particularly one player who had a habit of tapping his folded arms when he had a good hand which saved me a couple of times from tptk which would normally have cost me fair chunks of my stack. Even better was he was showing his hands, confirming what I already thought.

Didn't do me any good though because whilst it did save me from losing chips when I was behind it did help that I was always behind when I was involved in a pot with him.

I did last 4 hours and I eventually went out with a stack of 8500 when the blinds were 500/1000. I open raised all in with AK from mid position and was called by 77 in the next seat.

Don't mind the call as that is why there is value in the tournament.

Had a bit of trouble with the back and had to do plenty of stretching in between hands, as well as lying down during the break but it ws good to be back playing live since it has been quite frustrating.

Also still having trouble opening Mick McCool's blog. For the last couple of weeks it has been saying that I am not authorised to view it. This did happen a few weeks before so don't know whether he has taken it down or not. I hope not because it is one I really enjoy reading and since Snoopy has stopped updating every day and Amatay is away on holiday I'm not getting my daily read!

So if you read this Mick, hope you are still posting and if you have restricted access hope you'll add me.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Gentlemans club

Wednesday February 20th
Casino 36
£50 rebuy - 3000 starting chips
61 runners.

I decided that it was about time I tried out the new casino in Stockport that apparently caters for the rich stockbroker belt.

So off I went and I wasn't to be disappointed.

The casino is set in what looks very much like a gentleman's club.

All the walls were wood panelled, free drinks for everyone playing in the tournament including red bull and possibly alcohol although I'm not certain of that as I don't drink when I'm playing.

Anyway, the tournament started quite slowly for me with not many hands of note.

I got to the end of the rebuy period having had one rebuy and taking the add on.

So I've got 7000 chips and the blinds are 200/400 and I've not played many hands as the general play is quite loose and I tend to find that playing tight in those circumstances plays well in the long run as I don't need many rebuys and there is usually a good prize pool at the end.

Anyway, after all this great image building I get moved tables and as I am bemoaning my luck under my breath I am approaching my table when the dealer is starting to deal. The tournament director tells the dealer to deal me in and I just get to my seat in time to see a pair of aces staring at me. So I raise to 1100 and am called in two spots.

The flop comes down K high with 2 spades, I continuation bet 2000 and get raised all in which is called y the other person too I call and triple up!

Next hand and the table is broken and I walk back to my original seat with 3 times as many chips, much to everyone's surprise!

Not much of interest happens until I get to the final table.

Here I am sat in a slightly difficult situation since the two players to my left are loose fish who will call with a wide range especially if they are in the blinds so there is no point in trying to steal, I just need to wait for hands.

Unfortunately no told the dealer this.

Anyway, my exit hand involved me making a mistake.

It was folded to me on the button with A6o when the blinds were 2000 4000 and I had 26000

Now in any usual situation I would raise a standard 3 times the big blind in this spot but because I know I'm going to get called in this situation regardless I decided to raise the minimum so that I would be indicating that I had a hand but to minimise the amount I put in in case I missed and he hit as he would still call any continuation bet if he hits even bottom pair.

So the big blind called and the flop came 763 he checked and I bet 6000, he reraises to put me all in for another 11000.

And this is where I made the call thinking that if he had hit the 7 he would have bet out and so thinking that he either had a 6 with a lower kicker or a lower pair I called to see his 72o and I was out for £420, a profit of 250 when you consider the £20 we each gave to the bubble.

I did notice that the way he bet was quite exaggerated and I had seen him do that once before with KK and so at least I now have a baseline for him and I'm pretty sure that is a sign that he thinks he is ahead which will be useful given his propensity to be involved in a lot of pots and bluff regularly.

Anyway, I'm actually writing this from my sickbed since I injured one of the disks in my back on Saturday, so I've got plenty of time to catch up on my reading with this month's pokerplayer and inside poker magazines plus 2 thirds of TJ Cloutier's book still to read although what I read today from Cloutier didn't totally convince me but more of that later in the week.

Until then...

Friday, 15 February 2008

Bankroll rebuilding...

Monday February 11th 2008
Leos Casino
£10 rebuy

A bit of a drop down from the last few tournaments but since I put a lot of my bankroll into the cruise I need to build it back up again.

That and the fact that I can't play in the 2 day event in Walsall because the final table will be when I am in work so it was Leos £10 rebuy for me tonight.

Once again I started off well as I quite often do in these tournaments. A few people I know complain about them saying that they can't be bothered with them but for me there is so much value in them if you play tight during the rebuy, people are more than willing to give you their chips.

So with this in mind I build up a stack from 1000 to 3600 pretty early.

Then, despite what I said above the following hand occurred.

Blinds were 50/100 and a couple of the habitual limpers limped in seats 3 and 4 so I limped in position for 200 with Kh9h on the button (there tends to be a lot of limping in these games).

The big blind then raised all in for 500 which was called by the 2 other limpers so I decided that, since they weren't raising the two limpers couldn't call a reraise of 3500 (they both had just over 3400 chips).

But boy, was I wrong, not only did one call, they both did.

So what hands did they have I hear you ask?

A huge 10d6d from the first limper and the equally massive 2s5c from the second who announced that she knew everyone was playing rubbish onmce the hands were turned over.

Obviously the board came with 3 diamonds to give limper no 1 the pot.

Oh well, chips please!

So, after 5 rebuys, the break is here and I have about 5000 chips.

We get to the last 27 and I am moved to a new table where I have just under 4000 chips and the blinds are 300/600.

I then get a run of cards including AK twice, AJ, QQ where I raise all in 4 times in about 6 hands showing them each time because I know I will be raising later with poor hands if short stacked.

I then get AJ near the button after a limper, a regular I know called Phil "Aquaboy" Benton who would not slow play a big hand in that position so I go all in again. He says to me that I've been very active but I think you have a big hand this time, but I feel like gambling. Eventually he calls the all in with KQ and spikes a king or queen to leave me down to 1600. I then get another couple of good hands and take the blinds until my exit hand.

After a limper I get KK in late position and go all in again for 3000 odd chips which is called by the BB and limper. The flop comes all middle cards, I'm not certain the exact cards and there is a bet and a call, the turn is checked and the river gives the limpers pair of nines a straight and I am out again.

I could do with a couple of tournaments where the hands hold up and I get come cashes to revitalise the bankroll.

I'm sure one of those winning streaks will copme along sonner or later and I just need to take advantage when it does.

I knew when I entered the tournaments on the cruise that I was using a large portion of my bankroll and I needed to cash in one of them to keep my bankroll healthy enough.

I have about $3500 in various online rooms and my poker account has £1500 so I'll have to stick to the £100 f/o and maybe the £100 rebuy events as my biggest events until the bankroll is large enough again.

I was planning to play all of the Gala (GCBPT) events this year (5 x £500 entry) and enter as many GUKPT events that I could satellite into but I can't justify it on my current bankroll so I'll just have to enter stick to the satellites to try to win my way into them.

I actually played a GUKPT satellite on Bluesq on Wednesday and was chip leader for quite a while until my pair of tens were reraised.

Then on a J High flop I check raised what I thought was AK only to find out it was KK when he went all in but I was priced in and my 15000 chip leading stack was reduced to a 5000 below average stack. The only consolation being that a mate (Charlie Denton) who was also chip leader with me at the time went on to qualify for the event at the Vic next month.

Anyway, I'm off to Walsall tonight for the £100 f/o and I know snoopy and Flashbadger are there in the main event today so I'm hoping to say hello as I've been reading their blogs since they inspired me to start my own and I've not spoken to them in person yet.

So good luck me.