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.