Thursday, 31 December 2009

Silver medal

Not done much recently because of Christmas and everything but I did get the pleasure of a couple of hours cash poker in Manchester whilst Emma was at the Miley Cyrus concert.

Unfortunately lady luck decided that I wasn't coming home with any profit after a couple of hands of interest.

The first one involved effective stacks of £175 in the £1/£2 game that involved a lot of pre flop limping with multiple players seeing the flop.

I got to see a cheap flop in the big blind with J9 and about 6 checked the Th9d3s flop. When the 9h came I checked and it was folded to the button who bet £12 into the pot of about £16 I raised slightly less than I wanted to because I didn't pick up enough chips in my hand so the raise was to £25 and everyone folded except the big blind who went all in. I studied before calling expecting at worst that he would have something like 89. He turned over Ah2h for the turned flush draw and the dealer turned over the 6h to give him the flush.

I wonder if everyone else thinks along these lines?

I quite liked his bet on the turn with the flush draw but when I raised with 5 others still to act he must I must have either a nine of at worst a flush draw. By raising he is chasing away the flush draw that would get him paid and almost always getting a call from a 9.

The other hand involved what I now think was a bad play by me.

After limping I called a late position raise of £16 with QsTh, 3 of us see the flop.

The flop came KsJs2s to which two of us checked to the raiser who went all in for £50 holding what I thought was likely to be top pair maybe with a spade then the first player announced that he thought the raiser had a big pair and then called the £50. At this point I felt certain that the first player had a poor 2 pair because of what he said and so if I raised now he would "know" that I had him beat and I had the up and down draw with also the second nut flush draw so I went all in for an extra £70. He called with his K2 and the dealer dealt the 2d to give him a full house.

Afterwards K2 man told me that he knew he was behind when I went all in (even though he wasn't)

My thinking at the time was flawed because the play might have been right if there was extra money in the pot that the raiser couldn't have won, giving me a side pot and a free shot at the main pot. The other flaw is whether my raise was big enough for him to fold 2 pair to my reraise. I'm not sure how big the reraise would have to be in that spot to make him fold. I know that I am representing the flush but as he has outs/ I'm liking my play less and less now the more I think about it...

Feel free to criticise me here!

Another hand that comes to mind is where I was UTG and raised to £12 with AA only to be reraised to £35 all in by UTG+1 and then called in late position by a guy who was playing 80%+ hands. I reraised another £40 and he folded having another £100 behind. I lost the race against 99 but thinking now, I possibly should have called pre flop in the hope of getting some more money from the late position player post flop? He did seem to be playing all these hands but then playing carefully post flop with top pair type hands so maybe reraising was right considering the strength he showed pre by calling the rereraise.

Two other things I saw also made me laugh. One was a guy straddling his own big blind!!!! The second was overhearing a local who was thinking about playing the £30 freezeout tournamant saying that there was no value, but if it had been a double chance tournament he might have played for the value! I think he was totally missing the point of what value represents in poker!

The only other thing to mention is that I came second in the APAT online WCOAP stud tournament to win a silver medal and entry into the next live APAT tournament. I haven't played many stud tournaments but I really enjoyed it and I am thinking of playing a few more as even a novice like me could see loads of mistakes being made by players who I know to be competent at holdem.

Anyway, bed for now.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

It's a squad game

There have been a few instances in recent years where football teams have sent out sub strength sides in various situations.

Arsenal and the other big teams in the League and FA cups,

Bolton fielding a weakened team against Sporting Lisbon in the Uefa Cup

Everton and Celtic in the Europa League tonight

However, one of the most controversial decisions was made by Mick McCarthy on Tuesday when he made 10 changes for his match at Old Trafford against the champions Manchester United.

McCarthy has been widely criticised by many for, amongst other things, letting down the away fans, devaluing/cheating the Premier League, giving away points.

But was he wrong to do this?

Let's look at this problem from an expected value perspective.

Wolves were 18-1 to win and 6-1 for the draw with their first team. If we assume that the bookies are usually right then their chances of winning were around 6% and drawing they were 16%. With 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw that would give them an expected value of 0.18 + 0.16 = 0.34 points for the fixture.

Even if we go to the extreme and say that the reserve team's chances of winning or drawing are halved. That means this decision has cost Wolves 0.17 points.

Now the chances of Wolves winning their next fixture against Burnley are evens - 50% and the odds on the draw are 3-1 - 33% giving an expected value of 1.83 points.

The question is how much more chance do they have of winning given the fact that Burnley played a difficult game in midweek and Wolves were able to rest their injury ravaged squad.

Clearly they only need to increase their chances of winning by 5% in order to break even. On top of that is the fact that the match against Burnley is a 6 pointer since they are both likely to be near the relegation zone in May.

My view is that this was a very brave and sensible decision by Mick McCarthy.

Similarly I can understand when the bigger teams use squad players in the Carling and FA Cups. Based on the premise that the players being used should still be good enough to win the games.

What I disagree with is when teams field weakened teams that have no chance of winning the match in these cup competitions. In particular the Bolton decision in the Uefa cup last year.

Bolton had fought all season long the year before to gain entry to this competition only to then give away their chances at the business end of the tournament when anything could happen to give their fans an opportunity to get to a semi final, final or even with the tournament - look at what happened to Greece in Euro 2004.

It's fine when there is nothing to play for, as is the case with Everton and Celtic tonight.
Poker wise I had a good night on Tuesday winning 1 and final tabling 2 of the other 3 MTT's I played for $800 profit. Didn't fare so well last night when I tried the deepstack in Bolton that was a nice little tournament which I will be trying again in the near future.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Under Pressure...

On Wednesday night Liverpool take on Fiorentina in what is predominantly a dead rubber. All that rests on the outcome is a mere £600,000 prize money since Liverpool have now qualified for the Europa League and Fiorentina are through to the group stages of the champions League.

The atmosphere is likely to be strange, compared to what would ordinarily be another special European night at Anfield.

There is, however, one other factor that will make Wednesday very interesting. That of the full home debut for Alberto Aquilani.

There has been a lot said over the last month or two relating to Liverpool's lack of form and the loss of Xavi Alonso (a fantastic player and one of the best passers in the world.)

There is an incredible amount of expectation being placed on the shoulders of Aquilani before he has even played 30 minutes of football for the reds, due to his delayed introduction to the team through injury and then lack of match fitness.

Liverpool clearly have a very good set up with the two holding midfielders Mascherano and Lucas, when they play the top teams. However, when they play teams who are happy to sit back, Liverpool suffer because Lucas and Mascherano are generally dropping off to receive the ball from the central defenders when Agger, in particular, is more than capable of bringing the ball out ala Alan Hansen in his prime.

Aquilani is seen as the answer to all these problems, but you only have to look at the problems Newcastle United have when relying on a new messiah to save the club (Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer)

I am very concerned that the weight of all this expectation is going to be very difficult for Aquilani to bear. He is coming into a team that is struggling, without having had a proper pre-season, lacking in match fitness, and, depending on how Rafa plays him, potentially a new formation.

I only hope that our very knowledgeable fans bear this in mind and do not expect miracles immediately.

Poker wise, things have been going well in the last couple of weeks. I've started playing cash live again, and, apart from losing a pot with AA when I was reraised all in by Q9 (the reraise was less than a quarter of the actual raise) I've won some nice pots including the quad pot previously mentioned and another healthy pot with set over set.

What is more pleasing is that I have finally made a final table after a long run of missing out. Along the way I survived a huge limp reraise with QQ against AA when the flop brought 3 diamonds and his Ace of diamonds left me drawing to the only remaining queen which duly came. It makes a nice change when the odd hand like this comes out in my favour rather than against and even more pleasing because the guy slammed the table in celebration when I called his reraise as he turned over his aces.

I went on to come third in the tournament after having taken advantage of the short stacks on the bubble even though everyone had agreed to put £5 each into a saver for the person who bubbled. I was against this because I am not scared of busting out on the bubble and it is the time when people play really tight and real poker can be played.

I was also pleased with a couple of folds I made on the final table.

The first one came when a relatively short stack raised half his stack and I had AQ with plenty of chips behind. I had a think about it and asked him how many chips he had which he answered whilst staring at me. I was pretty sure he wanted me to call so I folded and told everyone what I folded to a couple of people saying I was stupid before the short stack showed his AK.

The second time we were 5 handed when a guy limped in early position which he had been doing all night with KQ type hands. I was in the small blind with K2 and 3 of us saw the flop of 665. I checked, as did the big blind and limper made a bet that I was certain was nothing but as I was contemplating the raise or out of position float, the big blind leaned back in his chair acting very uninterested so I folded and he called. When the K came on the turn Mr limp inevitably went all in and lost to the trip sixes!

Anyway, in typical fashion I busted out when all in pre flop with AK against A2 for £425 when second paid £650 and first was £1200 but as I've said many times, that's the way it goes in poker!

Finally, I have finished with badbeat after 9 months.

There were two reasons why I started with badbeat, firstly because I had run my bankroll down playing on the cruise, and secondly because I wanted to take advantage of their mentoring scheme.

My mentor was (I think) mainly a single table tournament (STT) player and we started out having sessions every week or two where he would watch me play a couple of STT tournaments. During this period he would watch my hands by using a screen capturing program.

As the weeks went on the gap between sessions grew a little bigger mainly because there were never any sessions in his diary during the evenings for me to book a session. I would book one whenever there was a spot free and I did e-mail him a couple of times to say that there were no sessions available for me to book a session on the online diary system.

In all the 9 months of this I never once had a single comment said to me about how I could have played a hand differently. The only comments that were ever said to me were along the lines of "Oh that was a really good move!"

When I went on holiday in August I was moved to a different skin on ipoker. My ROI on the original skin was around 10% over 1000 games with a profit of $4000 (and I don't think that included the 2 jackpot consolation prizes and a MTT win of about $2,000 in total.

For some strange reason, on the new skin I couldn’t win an argument and over the course of 500 games I lost all of the profit I had made over the previous 7 months. I wasn't doing anything differently and so I don't know whether it was down to having a different image on the new skin, whether it was just variance or because I was playing a lot more double or nothing tournaments. Anyway, about a week ago, I got an e-mail saying that my daily loss limit was being reduced from $750 to $500. At this point I e-mailed my mentor saying that I had got the message and was half expecting and talking about the point above regarding different skins, but I didn't get a reply.

The next thing I heard, was about 5 days later when I got an e-mail from the admin team saying that on the direction of my mentor they were dropping me from the trader scheme and I was more disappointed that my mentor didn't even contact me to let me know!

To be honest, I had already e-mailed a contact on another ipoker skin enquiring about rakeback deals because I was considering making the break anyway since I felt that the mentoring side of badbeat was as good as a chocolate fireguard and I had a big enough bankroll to play the levels I was playing at anyway.

However, that doesn't take away from the fact that the way things were handled were unprofessional.

After all, although my combined profits for bad beat were -$500, I had still generated over $2000 in rake and so they were still in profit from my stint there. The other factor is that, by dropping me they were, in effect, saying that I had become a worse player since joining, which says all I need to say about the mentoring system.

I was considering leaving before the holiday in August but they announced a series of online sessions where strategy would be discussed (I had previously suggested that they hold some live seminars similar to the ones held by Blackbelt poker during their audition process) but the one I attended was held online and was unsuccessful because of issues with connections and so got cancelled part way through.

Anyway, I'm not concerned but disappointed that, what should be a good concept, was unsuccessful.

The APAT online championship is on Sunday so I might have a run at that and some other MTTs because, since I joined bad beat I've not really played many MTTs which I think are my best format. I've also not played any satellites to the GUKPT or other tournaments either so I'll go down that route and see where it takes me over the coming months.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Good Beat

There are quite a lot of poker stories online that relate to bad beats and I try not to put any that I have on here.

Memory is very selective and there is a psychological term called highlighting that is used to demonstrate that we tend to only remember the things that have significance to us.

People always think it is uncanny how you might talk about something that you have not seen in a while and then you see a load of them in a short space of time.

Well the reality is that you probably have seen them but not noticed them.

You can try this yourself for example if you ask yourself when was the last time I saw a red mini. Chances are you will say it was ages ago. I bet you see more than one in the very near future and you will probably keep saying to yourself, 'there's another one.'

This is the reason why people always moan that they always lose with AA of their favourite hand is 45 sooooted. In reality what happens is that they only remember the times when they lost with aces and forget every time they win with them because there is no reason to remember the things that go right.

Well, last night I had a 'good beat' where it turned out I got very luck in a hand.

I was playing cash in the circus in Liverpool and I had about £250 in front of me in the £1/£2 pot limit game that has a lot of callers pre flop and a standard raise does little to thin the field.

I limped in with a pair of 3s in late position. The flop came down 873 rainbow and I can't remember who lead out for about £10 into the pot of £10, I called with the cut off and button behind me who all called and 4 of us saw the turn which was an off suit J. There was then a pot sized bet of about £30 which was also called and I was about to raise when I had second thoughts. Because of the number of people in the hand I felt that 9 10 was a very conceivable holding and I didn't want to get all in when someone was sitting the with the straight so I flat called again and the other two folded.

At this point I was now more confident that I was ahead.

The river was a lovely 3 giving me quad 3s and the nuts (the best possible hand)
The player who had bet the turn (I've only played against him a couple of times but he looks a good solid player) then lead out for £100 and I pushed all in which with his pair of 8s in his hand giving him a full house and a real cooler of a hand.

I actually felt bad even though I won a huge pot because I had gotten so lucky on the river, although the majority of the money didn't go in until I was ahead I know how sickening I would have felt had I lost in his position.

So the moral of the story is to remember that we don't always received bad beats but we all give them out as well, whether you are Phil Ivery or Phil 'Aquaboy' Benton – sorry phil if you are reading this – I couldn't resist!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Out of Hand

I watched the Ireland game last night and have to say that if FIFA don't sort themselves out soon we might as well stop watching football.

Thierry Henry has been a fantastic player and a great ambassador to the game but what he did last night will probably undo all that good work and will be the only thing he is remembered for.

He strikes me as the sort of person who would never do something like that in the cold light of day, but in the heat of a match it happened instinctively.

He has now come out and admitted it hit his hand but that it was accidental. Well the first touch probably was accidental but for the second touch he was almost placing it into the right spot and I have absolutely no doubt that it was intentional.

I noticed that straight after the game he was sat down consoling Richard Dunne and I think it was only then that the enormity of what he had done sank in. When he got up he had the look on his face of someone who had just lost or made a big mistake and I think that he was probably regretting what he had done.

However, we all know that there is nothing that FIFA will do about it. They insist that they will never bring in TV replays because there are no replays available at grass roots level. Well if that is the reason then they had better get rid of the assistant referees, 4th and 5th officials because we never have them either at grass roots levels.

The must bring in TV replays for incidents like this. We don't need every throw in and corner challenges, even if they give each team 2 challenges. It works everywhere else so there is no excuse.

On the poker front nothing significant has happened but I did have to laugh last night in an 18 player $30 SNG. I was chip leader after this one player had gone all in for 14000 chips into a pot of 2000 with a flush draw when I was holding top set. We were down to the bubble (there were 4 players left with only 3 getting paid) and the 3rd place prize money was $109 and one of the players was sitting out due to a connection problem.

The blinds were 300/600 and I had 17000 chips with everyone else having between 2000 and 4000 so I was able to raise every hand safe in the knowledge that the other two players would have to fold almost everything they had.

The funny thing was that, once we were heads up the same guy said in the chat box that I was "very loose!" not really understanding what I had been doing!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Call or fold

Went to Blackpool again yesterday and played the bounty tournament.

Unfortunately there is not much to report since I played one hand badly and that eventually lead to my demise.

The hand in question involved me limping on the button with Q3 after a couple of early limps, something I've been experimenting with lately trying to use position to my advantage.

In this hand the flop came down Qs 7s 5d. The other players all checked and I bet 700 into the pot of 1000. Everyone folded until the last player who thought for ages and then decided to call.

My thoughts here were that he didn't have much at all but thought I was stealing the pot with position. The turn was an 5s and here he checked and I felt that if I checked I might get something on the river so I checked too. The river was a 9s or something similar putting 4 spades on the board. He then bet 600 into the pot of 2400 which I felt was probably screaming for a call with a flush but I thought there was a chance he was trying to buy the pot knowing that I would need a spade to call. Rather reluctantly I called and he showed JcTs for the flush and showing that he had indeed called with nothing.
Looking back I suppose I was being greedy trying to get more chips on the turn rather than looking to take the pot down there and then.

Anyway this left me with 2200 chips as the blinds rose to 150/300 and so after there had been 3 limps on my big blind I shoved with 89 and I got 2 callers. The K82 flop lead to a check and a bet with the bettor having K6 who called with the aim of getting my bounty pre flop and succeeded.

I then went over to the £0.50/£1cash table and had an even quicker experience.

The first hand involved 3 limpers when I had AJ on the button so I raised to 5 and was called in 2 spots and then the villain pushed all in for £180+ which we all folded to.

Next I was involved with the villain in a 3 way pot where he checked called the flop with AdQd in an unraised pot. He then lead out for £10 into a pot of £20 when a second diamond came on the turn and then he bet £6 into the £50 pot on the river when the flush came and reraised when raised holding the nuts.

A few hands later he raised to £5 again from the small blind and I called with 2 of the limpers holding As Jh in the big blind. Now when he raised he was shaking like he did when he bet the AQ on the turn before and I had him down as having a big hand here and called with the aim of stacking him on the right sort of flop.

The flop came down AhQhTh and he went all in for £200. I had £112 in front of me and I've got the ace, straight draw, second nut flush draw and the Kh would give me the royal flush.

This put me in a really difficult spot and after a think I decided that I couldn't fold.

The question is should I have?

What hands would he do this with?

I felt that KK holding the Kh was a fairly good chance as was AK, AQ and AT but AQ and AT less likely given his percieved strenght pre flop.

I didn't think a flush was at all possible.

So I felt I was probably behind but with the best possible draw and no chance of drawing dead.

AK and the Kh was my worst case scenario.

Any opinions would be welcome here.

Needless to say I left straight after although, given the overbetting in the short space of time I was there I regretted that 10 before I even got to the door.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Four King Hell!!!!

I went to Blackpool last night to play the GUKPT side event. I went straight from work so got there at 5.30 and went to buy in to this 90 runner event only to find that there was already 16 people on the alternate list.
By 6pm that numbered over 40!
Luckily they squeezed an extra table in and I managed to start from the beginning.
After a brief appearance from Ali Mallu who went out in shocking fashion, probably on tilt from earlier, Steve Holden sat down 3 to my left.
My first of only 2 significant hands involved Steve.
After dropping to about 2900 from his original 5000 I raised from 100 to 300 in early position with KK and Steve reraised to 1200. He called my shove with AQ and the door card A was good enough to take half of my chips.
A short while later I got kings again and there was a raise from UTG to 300 which I reraised to 1050. He tanked for ages and then called.
I can't remember the exact flop but it was something like 863 and he checked, I bet 1000 and he called. The turn was a 4 and he checked again with me putting my last 450 in for him to call and announce straight showing 57 and leaving me out before the end of the second level.
Oh well, that's the nature poker.
So I went to Leos to play some cash which started off really well going from 50 to 200 in quick fashion before bluffing off some chips with air.
I finished that session only £50 up but enjoyed the session and with the new dealer dealt game much more comfortable than the games that used to be there and stopped me from playing so I'll be there a lot more regularly from now on.
That's it for now, footy then a few drinks.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The boy who cried wolf

The funniest thing I've seen in a long time happened yesterday when Drogba was booked for assaulting Johnny Evans' studs with his chest.

I think I've said before that one day that girl is going to get seriously injured and everyone will carry on playing around him. I thought that had happened on Sunday when he got those studs right in the chest and he was shaking on the floor like someone who had just received a horrific injury. My thinking was still the same as he tried to stand up and then nearly collapsed as though he had snapped about 3 ribs.

Fortunately the referee came over administered a miracle cure that must have been developed somewhere in the Ivory coast, namely the brandishing of a yellow card. As soon as the yellow card was shown Drogba instantly forgot about his catastrophic injury and started jumping up and down complaining about the card.

What the referee can possibly think he was booking him for I don't know unless it was for simulating a casualty from a war film.

For me he got exactly what was coming to him and the sooner he gets this out of his game the better, until then I hope he gets booked time and time again.
Interesting that it wasn't difficult getting a photo of Drogba injured!
It was also funny when I heard a Man Utd caller on the Talksport phone in saying that they haven't have any decisions given to them since Fergie's rant.
He must have been looking the other way when Drogba got his yellow.
It was a nice change seeing a decision go against them yesterday though!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

This is it!

Wednesday is crunch time for Liverpool in the Champions League. Whilst a defeat does not spell the end of the line, it would make things very difficult and we would be relying on results elsewhere going our way.

On the positive side though, when the chips are down we do play at our best, with or without Gerrard and/or Torres.

A win tonight, though, and I would expect us to qualify.

There has been a lot said recently about Liverpool and Benitez, including a lot of people coming out of the woodwork saying that Benitez has lost the plot.

Funny how these people can change their minds in such a short space of time, coming on the back of a very good campaign last season.

Teams just do not become bad overnight.

Liverpool are currently suffering from a combination of problems.

1. The squad players are just not performing. People like Babel are woefully underachieving and that means that when Gerrard/Torres are out we are struggling to replace them.
2. We are not going on the front foot soon enough. Keeping the ball and having 75% of the possession is no good if that possession is all in our own half with Mascherano and Lucas dropping back to the halfway line, picking the ball up from one centre half and then giving it to the other. We need these guys finding space behind the opposition midfield, creating space for the forward players. I don't mind us doing that when we are already in the lead but I'm afraid that we have fallen back into the bad habits of last season. Only when we go a goal down do we suddenly spring into life and we need this attitude from the off, playing as though we are behind.
3. Alonso is sorely missed and whilst we may well have replaced him with a quality player in Aquilani, until he is fit and playing we will struggle with both Lucas and Mascherano in midfield.

It must be said that we need to learn to perform from the offset and also to grind out the 1-0 wins when we are not playing well – something that the other lot down the East Lancs are masterful at doing.

One thing I will say is that this blip will end shortly and we will then go on a run where we will get 40+ points out of 45 and I am very confident that we will finish easily in the top 4 at the end of the season. I also wouldn't rule us out of winning another trophy this year. If we do fail to reach the knockout stages of the champions league then we will challenge very strongly in the Europa League.

One thing that won't happen though, is we won't get rid of Benitez.

Another tip for you, Wayne Rooney will be player of the season. Sportsmen who become fathers very often hit a good vein of form and I am predicting this will happen to Wayne and hopefully this will also end with England doing well at the World Cup next year.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

"Do you speak English?"

Dream Team Final

So the dream team final was held in Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday with a big starting stack and loads of play. We had a team of 5 players who had played enough tournaments to qualify for the final and we started with 13000 chips, blinds at 25/50 and a 45 minute clock.

Teams played for points, with the winning team being the team which had the highest number of points from their top 4 finishers.

Unfortunately nobody told Andy who must have assumed that going out 1st in 110th place would give our team a huge advantage!
Anyway, at least he won a free monkey (pictured above) - Andy is the one in the white t-shirt!
As for the poker, it started off really well.
I started off winning a few small pots and quickly got up to 15000 chips before losing a few reraising a serial raiser (who had shown down k9 etc) with AQ only for him to reraise again before showing AA after I had folded.
By the time the blinds were at 150/300 I was sitting on 7500 chips and so when I raised with AK and was reraise I took the race against QQ and hit an ace on the flop.
Shortly after there was a string raise from early position which was classed as a call so I took the opportunity to see a cheap flop against someone who could easily get attached to his good starting cards. The flop came down T 9 4 and the player who had wanted to raise bet 1300 into the 1050 pot and when I questioned him I decided to set him all in with my Q9 which he called showing AK and my pair of nines held.
The next pot was my the biggest of the tournament.
A girl on my right raised to 1000 which I flat called with two tens looking to use position to my advantage.
Everyone else got out of the way and we saw a real action flop of Ac Td 5d. The raiser lead out for 1500 which was great news as she clearly had an ace so I raised to 6000 to which she responded by pushing with her AdKd giving her top pair and the flush draw against my set if tens. The turn and river were both black and I was not sitting on 35000 chips.
I did make a couple of bad reads in the tournament, one in which I held AK and was reraised by the tightest player at the table. I should have just folded there and then but decided to see what came on the flop.
The flop came Q high, I checked and he bet his remaining 5000 into the 5000 pot and after asking him if he had AK he looked like he subconsciously nodded so I called be he actually had KK and I didn't outdraw him.
For a large part of the tournament I was sat on the right of Nicklas 'ymermeddrys' Hindsberg who's style I like, especially the bit where he raised blind in seat 4 and then when he was reraised look to find that he had QQ which held against JJ.
Anyway, we had a fair few battles throughout the day which I really enjoyed. One of those came after I had had a fair few hands and had raised about 8 times in 20 hands. On this occaision I raised to 1200 with QQ and he reraised to 3000.
After another player had a good think about calling I dediced to flat call and see what came on the flop since there was a fair chance that the guy who tanked could have had one of his aces.
Also, we both had 25000 behind and I felt that was too much to push and I didn't want to play a huge pot for a race if he had AK.
Anyway the flop came down K high, I checked and he bet out 5000 I folded and he showed AK.
Eventually the table was broken and I moved to the right of a guy called Terry from Liverpool who was telling me that the rest of his team was out and so he didn't want to sit around for another day and a half to try to win the tournament so he was going to go all in all the time.
He didn't actually do this but he did call a raise and reraise with AT.
Anyway, I was in the small blind of 800/1600 100 ante when the UTG , who had lost most of his chips 2 hands before went all in for 3500 before he even got his second card. I then decided that if it was folded round to me I was going to push my remaining 17000 in with the intention of going heads up against a random hand regardless of my cards.
As it turned out I had A2, but the plan went badly wrong when Terry called and turned over AK with the UTG having A7.
The flop came down a hopeful QJQ giving the possibility of a split pot, the turn was a 7 and the river was a lovely J.
A couple of hands later there was a raise in early position and I looked down to see AQ. At this point I knew that there was a fair chance that Terry could reraise a huge range of hands so I flat called with the intention of calling a shove if the original raiser folded. However Terry just called and we saw a flop of A 4 7. The original raise checked and I decided that I was almost always ahead here but that if I checked Terry would almosty certainly bet.
As I hoped he then went all in for 30000 into the pot of 10000, the raiser folded and I snap called with AQ to see his 34 well behind. The turn was a ten and the river was a pretty horrible 3 giving him 2 pairs and sending me out just before the end off the day.
So that was the end of the Dream Team.
I lasted longest of our team after Darren had gone out with JJ against TT amd AK but I really enjoyed the event and will definitely be getting a team together for the next one, although I will be looking to make sure that there is more committment from the other team members as there was only 5 of us that played enough tournaments to qualify. Why people say that they are going to play and then don't is a mystery to me, but thanks to the lads that did take part, Andy, Chris, Tim and Darren.
The highlight of the day though was when I overheard Neil Banks asking a member of one of the danish teams where he was from. When he duly answered Neil then went on to ask him if he spoke English, to howls of laughter from the rest of his table and then a few moments of head scratching whilst Neil tried to work out what he had said!
I'm off for a week now and playing the side event at the Circus tomorrow so hopefully better luck will come there.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


After 20+ weeks I've finally finished my FA Level 2 course which culminated in our assessments this weekend gone. There were three groups of 16 at the outset each meeting on a different day. 8 of the potential coaches came from our club The Mags and each group was coached by a different coach educator.

Our coach educator was a guy call Bill Prendergast who I found to be really helpful and, on the evidence of the assessments I saw from the people in the other groups, by far the better coach educator.

The course involves planning and preparing 12 or more coaching sessions using a format of technique, skill then small sided game where the coach is expected to demonstrate that he/she can identify errors and coach the player to correct those errors.

The culmination was a 2 day assessment day where each coach had to coach a 35 minute session that was assessed by an independant assessor.

I've got to say that the course was the first one run in this format over the course of 20 weeks and there were some teething troubles, but on the whole it was well run.

What I will say though, and I am glad I passed so it can't be called sour grapes is that the standard of assessment was poor.

I'm fortunate in that I did the FA Prelim course 20 years ago and also used to be a PE teacher but the standard of tsome of the coaching from some of the people that passed was not very high and yet I saw a couple of people who failed that did much better sessions.

Our Mags club did very well with 7 of the 8 coaches passing the course and I am quite keen to go on to the next level 3 course.

The other long running committment that I had has norw also finished - the Dream Team.

I ended up playing 18 of the events, and after a poor start I began to get some results towards the end including a 2nd in event 13 for $588, 10th in event 18 for $59.9 and 1st in event 20 for $1027.5.

The final result for me was played 18, cashed 3, total buy ins of $899 and total winnings of $1675.45 for a total profit of $776.45 and a ROI of 86% which is not bad considering that half the prize money was held back for the live final on Saturday and the vast majority of players are also sponsored players meaning there is not as much dead money as you would normally have.

Obviously this is only a small sample but it has highlighted to me that MTT's are my best format and that is also backed up by my return in the 18 player stts on ipoker.

Anyway, I'm looking forward the live final on Saturday in Birmingham.

On the football front I'm surprised there has not been more made of the fact that Premiership referees don't know the rules of the game, as demonstrated by the Sunderland goal at the weekend! I don't actually think it made a huge deal of difference since we were never going to score in a month of Sundays.

It was good to see Button with the F1 title on Sunday. I've heard some rubbish, mainly on Talksport, questioning whether he is a worthy champion given the way he has limped home but what they fail to realise is that the whole grid is currently separated by as little as half a second, showing how competitive the grid is at the moment. So I say congratulations to him, especially given the difficulties the team has faced over the last few years.

Anyway, that's it for now.

I'll update either after or during the Dream Team Final.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The September Three...

Can't believe that three of the November nine made it to the final table of the WSOPE.


Just goes to show that form is an important factor.

Well done to all involved, especially Praz and James, the two Hitsquad lads.

Good luck tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Dollars for sale

Just a quick note.

I've come back from Florida with somewhere between $1000 and $2000 so if anyone is going in the near future I'll sell them at the current spot rate (we both save on commission and the spread.

Let me know if anyone is interested.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Back in the groove

Ever since I came back from holiday I've been struggling with tiredness. I don't know if it is just that I'm not in the habit of staying up later or if it is something to do with the extra driving. I used to work 10 minutes away from home but now I have to drive 45 minutes but, I actually enjoy the drive and so don't think that is it.

I did have an infected bite in my leg last week which needed antibiotics and some antihistamines that had drowsiness as a side effect but I finished that course on Monday.

Anyway, whatever the reason, I have been getting very tired around 11.30 and so, since I came back I've hardly played much poker at all and so this blog post, which wrote out on Monday has also been delayed.

Catching up, I didn't manage to achieve the required number of games to play in the GUKPT freeroll before I went away but I was hoping to finish it off whilst in the villa at night but unfortunately I didn't allow for the ipoker restriction that stops you playing if you are located in the USA.

The holiday was fantastic and even though it was the hurricane season, we were very lucky with the weather – only having rain in the daytime once towards the end of the holiday.

It was good to see England win the ashes before I went away, just a shame that normal service was resumed when it came to their dismal performance in the one day series.

Can't see them doing anything in the champions trophy!

On the football front there's been a few controversial moments recently.

It's disappointing that UEFA bottled their decision over Eduardo's dive in the Champions League. I actually heard his agent talking on Talksport saying that there was the "faintest of touches" and so it wasn't a dive which pretty much misses the point. A dive is a dive, if a feather hits you on the back and you go down, you are cheating. Simple as that.

Then there was Adebayor and his charge up the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. Now, whilst inciting the crowd should be prevented that doesn't mean that a player celebrating on front of you gives you the fans an excuse to go mad and knock a steward unconscious. Footballers are not the most intelligent of people, maybe he forgot he had been transferred from Arsenal!

Then we had the 'keep playing until United are ahead' show at Old Trafford. I know that match of the day did an analysis showing that the time was only a second out but compare the match to the Chelsea match later in the day. In that game Bassong went down injured for 6 and a half minutes, Drogba was on the floor for 2 minutes making 8 and a half minutes before you even count King's injury, substitutions, goal celebrations and the like that normally add up to at least 2 minutes. So how long did they play? 8 minutes! Less than the time of the 2 major incidents. There needs to be something done to stop this and the only way it will happen is if they take the matter out of the hands of the referee and give it to the 4th or 5th official who have very little else to do. Then, the referee could call time on and time off like they do in the Rugby and then there can be no complaints.

Elsewhere, I'm nearing the end of my Level 2 coaching course and so getting ready for the final assessment of that on October 17th. It's been a good course but I feel that there has not been enough time out on the field coaching, or being given coaching points. It has definitely helped though as there is a huge difference between level 1 and 2 so even if I don't pass it, it has been a very good course to do.

That's it for now, hoping to get some hours in over the weekend.

Until next time….

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Semi Jackpot again

So, a few more days and not fantastic results.

Wednesday I played 18 tournaments and lost $90

Thursday I played 9 and lost $343

Friday I played 10 and won $132

Giving me a net loss of $121

which is covered by my rake during that period is $161

However, I have been playing the Jackpot Single table tournaments and I managed to finish first or second in 6 in a row which gives me $750 consolation prize.

I actually finished in 1st in 3 of them which is a shame because 6 1st places is worth $90,000 at the moment - although it has been as high as $150,000.

As a result I have decided that I am going to be playing a lot more of these with the aim of winning the jackpot in the next 6 months if I can.

I went out to Manchester G casino on Thursday night playing from 7pm until 5am.

I started out pretty well and was quickly $100 up but that was slowly eroded through the night after a couple of nuggets joined the table where our game of $1-$1 had straddles (blind raises) of $128 on 2 occasions The $128 straddle almost had the guy all in pre flop before he had even looked at his cards. I was on the cut off seat 6 handed when I had K3 in the $128 straddle hand but wasn't prepared to gamble that my better than average hand would win against the two guys who were either all in or committed. It turns out that I would have been a big underdog as the straddle guy had KQ but my K3 would have actually won!

I had my first game of golf in 18 months on Wednesday.

The weather was great and I was able to play more consistantly than the other two guys I know from poker who are both in the Dream Team (Andy Massey and Tim Hickling). Shame I don't get to play more but it was a really enjoyable day and something I must do more of!

Andrew has a friendly tomorrow morning and I'm playing the afternoon so a busy day tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Days 1-3

Well the poker week really didn't start well at all.

I get a daily limit of $750 from badbeat to play poker with which gets refreshed at the end of each day regardless of the balance

(ie if I lose $150 today my balance will be $600 1st thing in the morning. Badbeat then top up the account to $750. Similarly they withdraw whatever is in there over $750.)

At the end of the month they then pay out half of the profits plus rakeback (which is approximately 50% of the rake that the online casino charge for playing poker on their site.)

On Sunday, after about 2 hours, I was down to $100 in my account after running really badly in the $50 double up tournaments and so I had to fill that hole before I could even start making some money to pay for this week's enforced, unpaid, holiday!

Fortunately, since then I have made $80 yesterday after only managing to play a small number of tournaments because I was playing the dream team tournament for a good few hours before busting out in 52nd place.

Today I have made $300 after managing to put in a good 5 hours or so which is much better.

I've also paid for a license for Holdem Manager (a poker program that tracks all of the hands I play and the hands of everyone else I play against.) I've managed to get it up and running and I'm having a session with my poker mentor on Thursday where I am looking to get it set up well and look at some of the statistical information it holds to analyse my play.

Got my first game of golf in nearly 2 years tomorrow having been injured last year and really busy trying to get a job this year which has stopped me playing in the society I am a member of.

Liverpool didn't play well on Sunday - they looked exactly like they did last year at the start of the season - desperately in need of games to get match fit. Hopefully they can turn that around quickly as there is not much room for bad spells in the league.

I notice Arsenal have started well but watching them tonight there was a few times that Celtic had overload situations on the counter attack that showed one of Arsenal's weaknesses. I do like the look of Vermaelen though!

Anyway, that's it for now.

If you are new to poker or online casinos feel free to click one of the links but remember to gamble responsibly!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Pro for a week....

I finished at KHT today so I am now officially unemployed for a week then I'm on holiday until I start my new job on September 9th.

Looking forward to both of them but in the mean time I've got to earn £500 next week to make up for my lack of work.

I've been playing a load of double up Sit and go tournaments with the aim of playing 400 by the end of the month as Badbeat have a promotion on at the moment where everyone who plays 400 tournaments and remains in profit gets to play a freeroll for a seat in a £1000 entry GUKPT main event. Having a week off where I can play for 40 hours will at least give me the chance to do that before I fly off on holiday.

I finally managed to cash in the Dream Team event on Monday. Had quite a good start as the table was playing pretty tight and there were a couple of players sat out so I was able to raise a lot in position with junk hands without getting played back at.

Ended up finishing second for $590 but more importantly a load of points for the team and 9 final table points to give me a chance of getting into the freeroll for entry into the Bellagio event at Dusk till Dawn early next year. I'll need another top two finish I think to get into that but at least it gives me a chance.

Tomorrow I'm off to Egbaston with Andrew for the Twenty20 finals day which we are both looking forward to

Since the demise of Setanta we've now obviously for ESPN which is pretty good since it also has baseball on almost every night which is quite good to watch when playing poker because of the breaks between each pitch. The added bonus being that it is shown in HD also which makes a change since virgin only had one channel of HD before ESPN arrived. I think the WSOP final table might also be shown on ESPN too.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Permanent Job

Well, after about 10 interviews I've finally got a permanent job secured with Lancashire County Council.

Based in Bamber Bridge it means a 45 minute commute each day but it's all motorway and it can take that long getting to town by bus.

Salary is not too bad either, almost as much as I was on before and the role looks quite meaty.

Because of the interviews I've not been playing much so hope to get that back on track now that I have sorted the job.

Training starts for the new football season on Sunday and, after 3 months of playing 5 a side every week, now that training is starting I've pulled the muscle at the top on my left leg. It's the one that you use to lift your thigh up and so it wasn't easy driving home.

Going down to Southampton on Thursday to go on one of those gift experiences sailing a yacht. Then it's over to Bridgwater on Friday for my Mum's 60th party. Hope the weather is good.

Going to watch Brick up the Mersey Tunnel tomorrow night which is supposed to be very funny.

Anyway, bed for me now as I have to go bag packing for a couple of hours tomorrow with Andrew's football team to raise some money.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Call or fold against chip leader bullying the bubble?

Right, bubble of an 18 man $30 STT.

Prizes are
1st $270
2nd $162
3rd $108

Stack sizes and sharkscope stats (which I didn't have at the time) are:

Player - Chips - Played - Av Profit - Ave Stake - ROI - Profit - Ability /100
Me (BB) - 5860 - 608 - 4 - 36 - 16% - $2530 - 79
seat 2 (UTG) - 16470 - 57 - 3 - 10 - 59% - $189 - 71
seat 3 (button)- 860 - 451 - 0 - 13 - 1% - -$173 - 54
seat 4 (SB) - 3810 - 13 - -13 - 30 - -40% - -$171 - 58

Chip leader has been going all in every hand since we got to the bubble including reraising seat 4.

Blinds are 300/600 and I'm in the big blind with AcQc. Chip leader is all in for 16470.

Fold or call?

I actually folded in this spot

Next hand seat 3 is all in for 860 and the chip leader in the big blind folds for an extra 260 chips - he's obviously trying to prolong the bubble

Following hand chip leader is all in after it is folded to him

Blinds up to 400/800

Following hand chip leader is all in with K3o which is called by seat 3 for 560 on top of his small blind of 400 with KQ and he doubles up to 2720 leaving the situation as

Me (BB) 4960
seat 2 (UTG) 16610
seat 3 (button) 2720
seat 4 (SB) 2710

Chip leader goes in again UTG with his obvious any two looking to bully the bubble.

What do you need to call?

I called with Ks6h and got some criticism, was I wrong?

Thursday, 2 July 2009

New Job

Well, after weeks of applications (fortunately online via cv which doesn't take too much time), numerous phone calls and 7 interviews I managed to get a job today.

It's only temporary for 2 - 3 months covering for a long term sick person but there is the potential for it becoming permanent and, whilst it is not quite as much as I was looking for, it is very local and I can start Monday which means I have no gap in employment (although I was sort of looking forward to a week or two off given the current weather - I quite fancied the idea of playing poker in the garden)

Sounds like it might be interesting anyway.

Just received an email from Delta airlines today telling me about a change to our itinerary for when we go to Florida in August.

After 10 minutes of looking I couldn't work out what had changed so I dug out the original itinerary and checked all the dates of departure, take off times etc, nothing has changed! Until I checked the landing times and yes, there it is! Our flight from New York to Orlando will be landing 2 minutes earlier!

2 minutes... They must have recruited a faster pilot!

Would you be bothered to tell anyone?

It looks like my limit has been upped on bad beat too since I logged on today and there is a bit more in my account. So I played a quick couple of STT's and picked up a nice quick couple of hundred $$ which is not bad for the P&L despite what I said the other day lol.

Anyway, bed for me now.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Grinding away

After a spell of not playing very much at all I have managed to fit in a few sessions. Still not a huge volume but that could very well change in the next few weeks.

I now have a finish date of July 11th after which I will be (temporarily I hope) between jobs.

I've got an interview tomorrow for a short term job filling in for someone who is off on long term sick doing a job that is very similar to my current role so that is hopeful. Other than that all of my interviews have been unsuccessful so far so I could end up with a few weeks "holiday" until I get myself sorted.

If I am off work for a few weeks, at least I'll have the time to put in a few more hours to try and see what I can do on the STT front.

Oh for a run like I was having last Autumn...

Still got the ant problem.

It's not huge but whenever I put the ant powder down where they have been depositing their crap, they just move further down the wall or, since I put it down along the whole length of the wall, they then moved to the other side of the room. They must be under the floorboards somewhere.

I bought some ant bait that they are supposed to take back to their nest and then it allegedly causes them to hallucinate and attack each other before dying but there doesn't seem to be much difference.

I did notice quite a few out in the back garden last night, I don't know whether these ants are the foragers and maybe the ants inside are the workers.

So I have bought a different version of the bait and put it outside where the other ants are and hopefully they can take it home to the queen!

We bought the new Grandslam Tennis for the Wii on Sunday. It uses a new motion controller for more accurate interpretations of your movements. So far I've played about 8 games online and I have lost 7 out of 8, probably against 10 year olds!

There is a ranking system and you start with 500 points. I have something like 250 at the moment and I am being paired with people who have a ranking of 1000+ points!

I suppose practice will help.

At least I can beat Andrew and Julie!

Emma is at the stage where she isn't playing games like this at the moment, I don't think it is cool enough for her!

No doubt Andrew will be beating me in a couple of weeks!

Julie's got no chance lol - now there's a challenge for her!

After a good couple of weeks on the tables, I started to get a few of the old KK v AA or QQ v 77 on T72 boards etc. I'm getting used to these runs and checking my P&L it is becoming a habit where I will get a good run where the graph spikes and then it runs level for a week or two before another step jump so I am going to be wary of a probable tailing off over the next couple of weeks.

Also thinking that it is time to start playing a few more satellites for some bigger events since i haven't played any since I started with badbeat.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Michael Jackson RIP

Michael Jackson has died in LA, aged 50.

Michael suffered a cardiac arrest at 7.30 GMT Thursday June 25th at his Holmby Hills home.

Paramedics were unable to revive him.

When they arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back.

A cardiologist at UCLA reports Jackson died of cardiac arrest.

Michael was due to perform a series of concerts in London starting July 13th.

Celebrity website TMZ reports:

"If the reports are accurate, this development will almost certainly have an impact on the singer's 50 scheduled concerts in London, which are scheduled to begin on July 13."

Bit of an understatement there.

He was dogged with problems, particularly relating to allegations of child abuse, but one thing people will not be able to dispute is his undoubted genius as a singer and dancer.


Saturday, 20 June 2009

Jackpot Consolation

Well I played the jackpot game for my shot at the $300 consolation prize and the tournament went pretty well with me managing to avoid anyone racing against me. When I was faced with a couple of big reraises post flop I had either an over pair or better and luckily he didn't have any big draws.

So I finished up winning it and now I am due $300 from the guys at Mansion.

I played 5 a side tonight but we only had 8 so with 4 a side the gym is huge and it's hard work. Enjoyed it though.

Andrew has another presentation day tomorrow this time for the whole Mags club which consists of 20 teams.

I've had about 6 interviews over the ast month or so but still not got meyself sorted. I think I've got a couple more weeks until I am finished with Enterprise. I've got one more interview lined up on Tuesday for the job that I want most. Working for the HSE pretty close to home. A few more in the pipeline too but hopefully I can get to second interview on Tuesday.

Anyway, bed for me now.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Jackpot hunting

Still really busy with applications and I've still got a presentation to prepare for my next interview but I hope to finish the dream team update soon! - promises, promises....

I have managed to play a couple of STT's and I've been playing a few Jackpot STT's where anyone who wins 6 in a row wins $45000 in the $20 version (it's $110,000 in the $50 version!)

They also have a consolation bonus of $300 if you come 1st or 2nd in 6 in a row (only 6 players in each)

Well I'm on the bubble, having finished top 2 for 5 in a row so I'm going to pick my moment to play the last one and make sure there are no interruptions. I might even sharkscope a couple of players before I enter the tournament to try to be a bit selective.

Job front I have 2 interviews lined up. So far I've had 6 and all of the feedback has been really good but that's no good if I still haven't got a job by the time my temporary work finishes in a few weeks time.

I'm pretty hopeful for the one on Wednesday as the IT director is someone who used to work with and has given me a very good reference so much that they have slotted me into the process as they were already well down the second interview stage before I was mentioned.

I'm still not doing anything live, after Friday when I was knocked out by AJ v TT all in pre flop when a 2 on the river gave him a straight but that's the way it goes.

It's good to see a few Brits winning some bracelets over the water (Vegas not Birkenhead!)

Let's hope it continues.

I spent a good half hour yesterday reading up all the results from the WSOP on Blonde only to realise when I got to the Main event that I was reading 2007 results!

Anyway, off to bed, got coaching course tomorrow.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Pot odds answer

Right, you remember the scenario, you have 88 UTG and limped for 200, BB raised to 600 and you called but he turned his J3 over.

He is allowed to call but cannot bet.

The flop comes 246 so he has a gutshot and an over card, what is the best bet?

Here's my view on the matter and my calculations, I am happy for anyone to shoot me down if I have made a mistake in my calculations.

There are 45 cards left in the deck and 7 of them will improve his hand, 38 are safe.

So the chances of him going ahead on the turn are calculated as follows:


So I currently have 1600 chips in the pot which will be mine if I go all in assuming he folds and my equity is 1600 chips.

If I bet nothing then I will win the 1600 chips 84% of the time giving me 1600*84%=1351 equity

Clearly I need to bet somewhere in between, so what is the break even number.

Taking the turn bet in isolation a little goal seek in excel tells me that if I bet 162 chips and he calls then I will have built the pot to 1924 which I will win 84% of the time. My equity is therefore

16% * -162 = -25


84% * 1924 = 1625

= 1600

and so my equity remains at 1600 meaning that my bet should be as much as possible over 162 chips that I think he will call.

Obviously there is a small factor relating to the turn bet as well and also the possibility that he could improve on the turn but I improve on the river but in essence I think this is somewhere near where I should have bet rather than the 500 I actually bet.

I was quite surprised when I worked out how small the bet should be and would love to hear if anyone thinks I have missed anything.

5-a-side in a minute so I'll have to go soon.

9 going on 14...

I'm going to leave another day before I post my view on the question yesterday. Suffice to say it is quite interesting to see what the break even bet is. I've also added a news feed on the right showing the top stories which is quite a good little addition.

Watched England really struggle against a good South African Team tonight. Good watching though.

Andrew got his new Liverpool kit today so obviously he was wearing it as soon as he got home from school. 9 years old and he's wearing a shirt meant for a 14 year old and size 7 shoes! Don't know when he's going to stop growing.

He scored a goal from the half way line in our first 9 - a - side game last night. We lost 3-1 against a good team. We had 15 of our 22 strong team that will be 2 teams next year.

Quite a few things that we can work on coaching wise that the level 2 coaching course will be really helpful with.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

What's your call?

I'm half way through a catch up post regarding the last few dream team events but a very interesting hand cam up the other night. I was UTG with 88 and limped for 200. Everyone folded to the SB who also completed the blind and then the big blind raised to 600. I called the 400 and SB folded but the big blind didn't realise I had called and flipped his J3 over. So the standard ruling that he could only call any bets I made happened and the dealer dealt the flop of 246.

So the big blind has a gutshot plus 3 overcards. So what is the optimum bet here that gives a +ev?

I've done what I believe are the maths but I would be interested to see what others think (doing the maths or just what they would do.

I will post again my views tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Illegal Aliens and the great escape

I've been really busy for the last couple of weeks with application forms and interview preparations as well as organising Julie's 40th birthday party so I haven't posted my summary for the last couple of Dream team events. I will get to them soon, hopefully by the weekend.

To add to the hectic life though we've got some new visitors.

Firstly I think we have sons/daughters of Mickey mouse who seem to have learnt a lesson regarding the traps since they have not been taking anything from them. All had been quiet for a couple of weeks and I was even contemplating removing the traps until last Friday when Julie went into the kitchen, only to return very quickly telling me that a mouse was in there.

Unfortunately that time it had disappeared by the time I got there.

However, I was playing the never ending late night $5k guaranteed on ipoker on Sunday night, desperately trying to stay awake at 4.30 am (luckily no work the next morning!) so decided I would get a drink to try to keep me awake when I got the perfect antidote to tiredness when son of Mickey started running towards me.

A quick jolt of adrenaline later I got my slippers and started to slowly move the bin that he was hiding behind.

With the mouse catching device (not a trap but a kind of maze that it can't get out of) strategically placed I was hoping that it would run into the trap but instead it ran underneath some cardboard.

By this time the tournament break had ended so I'm doing all this whilst trying to work out how to play Jacks under the gun on a 9 handed table!

Eventually I decided that Son of Mickey wasn't going to fall for the trap and so

(don't read the next 3 paragraphs if you get upset by rodent death!!!)

I stamped on him.

As I was putting the bins back I noticed a quick movement out of the corner of my eye and after I had folded my pair of twos in the small blind to a cut off raise I found daughter of Mickey cowering in the corner.

This time, as I was moving the trap, she started to run towards me aiming for the safety of the back of the fridge, so another quick stamp and she was gone too.

A quick ceremonial toss into the wheelie bin and I was back to my pair of kings which naturally got crushed by AQ and it was goodnight from him!

Now some background to our next visitors.

We have been seeing some ants over the last few months, not many, the odd one or three appearing every other day or so which we have been killing, but not a major problem.

Because of the time of year though we think we must have a nest in the house somewhere.

Whilst this mouse saga has been going on we have noticed some debris on the floor in the sitting room that looks a little bit like plaster that has been rubbed off a wall.

After clearing it up a couple of times I had a look to see where it was coming from and there was no possible source as everything above it was painted and there was no damage at all to the walls or ceiling.

So the next night I inspected the debris closer and noticed some ant body parts!

A little ant head here, a couple of ant limbs there.

Seriously, I am not joking about this!

Anyway I have a theory about this.

I reckon the ants must be clearing out their nests and burrowing deeper, building the nest and they are bringing up the debris to the surface much like Steve McQueen did in the Great escape!

My theory seems to be good because I have put some ant powder down in the area and the debris hasn't returned... Strangely enough a wooden gymnastics horse has turned up though!!!

Anyway, this post has gone on far longer than I envisaged.

I will post again soon once these interviews are out of the way - I've got 2 tomorrow

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Manchester G

I went out to Manchester G last night for a change.

They have a pretty good structure in the tournament although it does finish late but I don’t mind that if I’ve got to the money.

Starting with 5000 chips and blinds at 25/50, my first hand of not involved me limping with JQ in early position.

Not something I would do against good players but in these tables you tend to have at least 3 or 4 top a flop whether it is raised or not. Also there are a lot of players who will give you chips with weak holdings post flop.

Anyway, in this hand the flop came 9 10 K rainbow, an ideal flop against the 6 players involved and I know I will get chips here if I don’t get outdrawn.

The small blind lead out for 200 into the 300 pot and, with 3 players behind me I decided to call rather than raise even though it was a wet flop as I was hoping that someone behind had a good enough hand to raise. 2 other players called and the turn came a 9. Now at this point any set on the flop has just made the full house and I’m drawing dead. So I bet 1500 into the 1500 pot and decided to fold if raised. In hindsight I should have check called here and re-evaluated on the river as there were not many cards left to improve someone who I was beating. Anyway the player on the button raised all in and, because I felt that he would have raised a flop like that with a set I called and he showed me 9 10 for the full house. I hate the way I played this and if I was going to bet the turn I should have bet less and then I should have stuck to my initial decision and folded when raised.

The next hand of significance involved me making a small raise pre with 77 and flopping a set on a Kc 7c 2c flop. I lead out for 400 into the 700 pot and this was called. I check called a 1000 bet on a Qh turn and when the river came with 6c I check folded to his 1500 bet where any club had me beat.

I did get someone talking about what a crap bet I made when I was on the button in a limped pot that had 5 players and was checked around to me 3 times on a board of 667 6 7 so on the river I made a bet of 700 into the pot of 500 knowing that anyone who was beating the board would have bet. I got 1 out of the 4 players who called and so instead of getting my 100 back I got 250. He was talking to the player who called saying that it was a stupid bet but my thoughts were that we were all splitting the pot so anyone that folded meant I was getting more than I put in. For me it is also a way of giving off an image that I will bluff more than I actually do and if I ever do that in a pot where I have the 6 or 7 or even an overpair someone will pay me off.

Next up was a hand where I was on the big blind with AT against a loose player’s button raise of 3600. I reraised all in for 9000 and he called with 23 and the ace on the turn doubled me up.

Then, with the blinds at 800/1600 I raised to 4200 with A8 in mid position when 7 handed and the same player called. The flop came 44T and I checked to let him make his inevitable bet but he checked behind. Turn was another T and I checked again, he bet 7000 and I raised all in to which he passed saying that if he had an ace it would be a split pot to which I agreed, telling him that I did indeed have the best hand.

But then came the pivotal hand of the night. In the big blind of 4000 a player UTG+1 went all in for 37000 as he had done a couple of times all night with tens telling everyone that he didn’t want to see a flop. So I know that he has anything from 88 to JJ with almost certainty. Then Mr 23 called for 25000 all in and I have a look to see KK in the hole.

I call and am up against the TT as predicted and AA from Mr 23. This is not so bad since the side pot between me and Mr TT is 22000 meaning I will have 48000 left if I only win that and 26000 if I lose both.

The flop came A 9 J leaving us both drawing thin but the turn 7 and river 8 gave Mr TT a huge pot of 100,000 and a cruel outdraw for Mr 23. Mr TT did get a bit excited when the 8 came and did apologise to me after for celebrating which he didn’t need to do since it was pure excitement and not like some of the muppets who are not very nice at the table and gloat in that sort of situation.

My eventual downfall came when I reraised a button raise in the BB with AJ v KT but the QQK flop out flopped me and no Ace or ten came to save me and I was off home at 2am with nothing. But hey, that’s poker. I don’t really get upset by the outdraws as it is a long term game and we all suffer from them and all benefit by them too. All you can do is hope that you suffer more than you give as that means you are playing better poker.

On the Family front, Emma, my daughter of 13, was celebrating this week when her audition to get onto the LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) development programme which involves some sessions in her school and then potentially going to the institute. I’m not sure of all the details yet but she works hard at her dance (3-4 times a week) and it is well deserved.

We’re going to see Star Trek at the weekend, which I wouldn’t normally mention on here, but we have decided to try out the iMAX version at the Manchester Odeon. iMAX is basically the same but on a much bigger screen. With it being a space based movie we thought we would give it a go and see what it is like on the huge screen.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Dream Team V Event 2

Event 2 of the dream team was held on Monday night.

The start time is 7pm so I made sure I was logged in at 6.30 and opened Grandslam to register, only to find that I was already registered.

Thinking that I must have registered last week, I thought nothing more and so started a game of monopoly with Andrew, my son, whilst waiting for the tournament to start.

By 7.05 the tournament table still hasn’t opened and so I have a look to see what has gone wrong and find that I am not registered!

Wondering if I am going insane I had a look around the lobby and see that in the ‘my tournaments’ section, the Dream Team tournament that I had been looking at at 6.30 was in fact the grand final.

Obviously now it’s too late to play so at least Andrew was made up that he had my full attention.

Anyway, we had 5 players in the tournament with best place going to Darren in 9th for 1250 points.

Then came Andy in 38th for 400, Alex 57th for 150, Dan 76th for 80 and Chris 90th for 40.

Overall the team is now sitting in 16th place out of 20 with 2630 points. This gives us $5438 chips so far in the final with the leading team having $8210 but there is a long way to go yet.

On the football front Manchester City just didn’t put up a fight and if the league manages to continue until the last day of the season, we’ll be lucky.

At the start of the season my main goal for Liverpool was to take the season to the wire and still be in with a shout at the business end of the season and so progress has been made again and I am expecting a very strong challenge next year.

One thing that I did find surprising when watching the Manchester derby was that City had maybe 10 free kicks inside the United half out in wide areas and every time they took a quick free kick that ended up going back though the centre halves.

Now I can understand that if a short free kick is taken that leads to an attacking situation in the final third of the field then that is better than playing a ball into the box where Vidic will win a lot of the ball but surely it is better to send up the big boys and try to create a chance than playing the ball back to the centre halves which is only where the ball would end up if Vidic headed it anyway.

So I think they missed opportunities to give united a chance to make a mistake there.

At least Wigan put up a great fight tonight, although they did score too early again.

I stated my FA level 2 caching course last night. It is a 20 week course that I am really looking forward to. First day was in the classroom but can't wait to get coaching.

Friday, 8 May 2009


I was looking at my visitor statistics today after a question I was asked and noticed that the number of hits on Sunday was 3 times as high as the highest ever day.
Intrigued, I decided to find out why, looking for the source of the additional hits on the assumption that my blog was being promoted somewhere that was having a profound effect.
I also had a look to see if there was a reason in the content of what I posted and when I looked I noticed the picture of a mouse caught in the trap and thought that I had unearthed a bit of a morbid trend among the people who had visited.
After a bit of digging though I looking at the IP addresses and what the source was I discovered that it was coming from Canada from Yahoo.
It turns out that some my blog must have been reported for abuse because of the picture.
I did have a second thought when I originally selected the picture from the Internet but decided that there was no blood and posted the photo anyway. After all the blog is poker related and is aimed at adults so I thought it would be OK.
I've had no contact regarding the photo but just in case I start to get animal rights activists banging down my door and so that I don't get a knock from anyone wanting to take me somewhere like Guantanamo Bay I've decided to change the photo.
On a serious note though, if I have offended anyone then I apologies, and if I've offended anyone by taking the photo down, then I apologise to you too, but I'm sure you can find some worse pictures on the net somewhere! - No doubt Amatay could give you some help in that direction!
Anyway, off to footy now and a couple of drinks later.
Oh, and any resemblance in the picture to anyone living or not that might or might not have been taken to Guantanamo Bay or anywhere similar is purely coincidental!