Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Days 1 and 2

So my poker week started on Sunday with a trip to the Circus in Liverpool with a mate from my old work, Phil.

I introduced Phil to poker and he has been playing a little bit online and learning from a few books and magazines I have Lent him.

Yesterday was his first live game and luckily we were sat on the same table so I was able to talk him though a few things.

However, things were soon to get a bit messy.

Blinds were 50/100 and I raised in middle position to 300 with 77 which was called by the seat next to me.

Phil then reraised to 500 (although this was increased to 600 because this casino thinks that the raise has to be doubled as opposed to the normal rules)

Anyway I called and so did the other player.

The flop came a lovely A 7 5 with 2 spades and I checked, next player goes all in for 3300 with a 8s2s and Phil had to call with his AK as of course did I. Turn and river bricked to give me a big treble up.

Phil's exit hand was interesting as he called a raise with 2 others holding AT and when the flop came QT4 the raiser immediately asked Phil how many chips he had left. Phil then called the bet from the raiser with the other 2 folding.

On the turn raiser bets and when Phil went all in (with a very tight image) the guy who has been easily folding top pair top kicker and better to action like this calls after announcing that Phil had something like AT - his exact holding.

Based on the way he played other hands to raises on the turn I'm convinced he must have seen Phil's hand, especially because of the way he immediately asked Phil how many chips he had on the flop despite there being 2 others involved in the hand as well.

Anyway, I went pretty deep in the tournament but ended up losing with AK v AQ and KQ all in pre flop and then after I doubled back up to average I picked up aces after a short stack had gone all in blind UTG for 5500 (1500/3000 blinds) and another player had raised to pick up the chips with QT. He was committed to calling when I went all in and runner runner straight sent me out to chants of Hell Yair from the muppet who stands up and shouts his catch phrase whenever he outdraws people yet berated some student one week when the poor lads best hand held up and he dared to utter a muted yes.

Anyway I came home and played 7 sit and goes for a buy in of $243.5 and profit of $124.5 so not a bad start.

Today went pretty similarly to the live game last night. I went very deep in 2 MTT's with prize pools of $5k and $8k but every time I had someone dominated the ended up hitting their 3 outer.

I ended up recovering by taking down a $50 STT for $250 to give me results of

21 tournaments played split as follows:

Played Buy In Profit

Double Up 5 275 25
Freezeout 2 33 -33
Jackpot SNG 1 23.5 12.5
Rebuy 3 71.8 -71.8
STT 10 275 155
Total 21 678.3 87.7

So I can't complain given the way it ran tonight!

Anyway, can't keep my eyes open so bed for me.

I'll update tomorrow.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The beginning of a new era

Well, I've just come in from a few drinks cos today was my last day at work.

Well, sort of cos I am going back a week on Monday to finish the final account but most of the people will have transferred to the new contractors (Kinetics) and I will be working in a different location.

So when I left today after emptying my desk I had a bit of a big brother moment where all the lights get turned off (I was last one out).

It will be strange going to work without any of the friends and colleagues I gave worked with for the last 13 years. Not bad though considering I started there as a temporary clerk and worked my way up.

So as of Monday I have a week off where technically I am unemployed.

Because I took voluntary redundancy I have 12 weeks pay plus another 22 weeks pay off, tax free and the relative security that two or three months temporary work gives me to find another job.

It's not exactly the best moment in time to be looking for work but I have the added security that I am a qualified teacher so I could also fall back on supply teaching to keep me going until I get a permanent job.

It's quite a crossroads really. I turned 40 a few weeks ago and I'm looking at changing jobs.

So next week I will be working as a professional poker player. I'm hoping to put in 40 - 50 hours, probably STT's and maybe a few MTT's thrown in the mix too and see where it takes me.

Can't say the idea of playing for a living would fill me with too much joy. You only have to read the blogs of a few full timers like Amatay to see that it is easy to lose the love of the game when you are relying on it to provide your living.

A week should be ok though.

I'm toying with the idea of posting every day for the week showing my P&L, no of games played etc. Might be a good way of making sure I get into a routine rather than sleeping in and wasting the week.

I'm starting Monday cos I'm off to see Rob Brydon in Blackburn on Saturday night and going to the Circus in Liverpool with a mate from work for his first live game on Sunday afternoon. Before that Andrew has a cup quarter final on Sunday morning where they have a pretty good chance of progressing all the way to the final so looking forward to that too.

Anyway, that's it for now, I'll post again on Monday or Tuesday.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Laydowns, reraises and profit at last

Since I last posted I played Circus last Wednesday and had one very interesting hand against a good older player (Frank Kenny) who has an image of playing tight as a rock but can bluff off the back of that image, especially against the right sort of player.

The blinds were 50/100 and he had limped in early position which was called by one other player, me on the button and the 2 blinds making the flop 5 handed. Effective stacks were 5500

The flop came down Qc9d7c and he lead out for 400 into the 500 pot which i called with TJ as did the small blind.

The turn was Kd giving me the nut straight and putting a second flush draw out there.

Frank lead out again for 1600 this time giving me a decision.

Normally I would raise in this spot but we have had some interesting chess type encounters recently and I wanted to play the hand slightly differently. Also the small blind was considering calling.

I am pretty confident that Frank has no kind of flush draw and his most likely holding is a set of some kind (he has been known to limp with big pairs in early position and would certainly lead out on the flop with his set)

So I decided to flat call for a little bit of disguise and in the hope that the other player calls too.

The small blind eventually folded and I'm hoping that the board doesn't pair, so naturally the river is a non flushing King and Frank puts me all in.

I have a think about it and Frank is talking to me a bit trying to get me to call I think and I fold my ten jack face up.

Others at the table can't believe I folded but Frank told me later that he did have a set of sevens on the flop although he has been known to lie.

He also told me that he bet 1600 on the turn to commit himself to the pot if it was raised and so the call also saved me 3500 chips.

I ended up going out 17th but can't remember how.

I also played live in Leos on Friday and got to the final table with 25000 chips when the blinds were 2000/4000. Managed a double up with AK giving me 35000.

However, I went out in 8th after under raising to 11000 when the blinds had just gone up to 3000/6000 so my raise was completed to 12000 - with 23000 behind.

A good lag player who had earlier told me that he hates doubling me up reraised all in holding a big chip lead.

I eventually called being pretty much committed to the pot and he turned over Jd6d. The flop came A high with 2 diamonds and the river was 7d and that was that.

Turning to online poker.

After my good start, I've been sitting on a few hundred dollars loss on Badbeat for a couple of weeks and was starting to get a bit worried that they might call it a day.

During that period I've not played a huge load of MTT's but when I have I've cashed quite regularly but only for some minor places.

With yesterday being Mother's day Julie (my wife) and Emma (daughter) went out so Andrew and I had the day to ourselves which is not bad when Liverpool were due on at 4. So we had a couple of games of Fifa and watched football icon 2 that we had recorded and whilst the match was on I fired up a couple of MTT's on the laptop to play whilst we were watching the matches.

Went out early in 2 and not far off the money in a third but got a nice early double up in the $3.5k guaranteed $10 rebuy. As the Liverpool were notching up the goals I was in the money before I realised and made the final table as one of the chip leaders.

I picked up a big pot in the big blind when I flopped an 8 high flush when the big blind had limped with AA and made a big all in overbet with his set of aces and he didn't get any help.

We were soon 3 handed and with 900,000 chips in play and blinds at 5,000/10,000/1000 I was min raising most pots and finding little resistance unless they had good hands.

Once we got heads up the other guy was either folding or going all in for 300k or 400k at the 10000/20000/2000 level and I just knew that I would eventually catch him and I'd be able to take the blinds liberally in the mean time. The first time I had him he had limped when I had 93 in the big blind and when the flop came 9 high with 2 clubs. His all in bet was obviously behind but the club on the river gave him 750k to my 150k but aces on the next hand against his A7 doubled me up and more blind stealing got me level again.

I passed up one opportunity to call when almost certainly ahead when I had A7 to his all in shove but decided to wait for a better opportunity as he was still passing me his blinds 7 out of 10 times.

Eventually I decided that a pair of 8s was good enough when I had 130k extra in case he out drew me and his Q6 got no help to give me a well overdue win.

So I'm finally sitting on something like $800 profit at the moment so hopefully I can take it on from there.

I also bought into the APAT European Championships of Amateur Poker to be held at Dusk till Dawn on August 28th - 30th. I'm playing day 2 - so will hopefully see a few people there.

On the work front, I've been accepted for the redundancy and my finish date is this Friday but I will be staying on for a couple of months in a temporary role to finish the final accounts and P&L. There is also a job going at head office that I have applied for. I've lost count of the number of recruitment agencies I've registered with but they all seem to think my CV is strong so so things could work out well if i can secure a permanent job in the next month or two.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Near misses and shambolic service from Virgin

Still sitting on a negative P&L on badbeat at the moment.

Could have been vary different though a couple of times.

My mentor suggested playing more normal single table tournaments (STT) and some Multi table tournaments (MTT)

So I've had a go and whilst the P&L has remained pretty level, I missed out on the money 3 times in some of the big field tournaments where a cash would have put me well into profit with the first prizes that I have just missed out on being between 3 and 5k.

So pretty happy with how I am playing and just waiting now for a decent cash to hopefully get me into the black before too long.

Unfortunately I couldn't play last night because of a combination of muppet virgin engineers.

The first problem I had was when I tried to install my new virgin media modem and wireless router.

I followed the instructions and couldn't get the Internet working so I called Virgin's helpline which sounds like it is based in India.

I started off explaining that I had a new modem and router.

The girl took me through a whole process trying to sort out the wireless router and couldn't work out the problem so I reminded her that I had a new modem and router and she then exclaimed that the modem needed to be linked to my account.

I had a feeling that it might be possible that this would need to happen when I first called which is why I was very specific in explaining that I had installed the new router and modem but as usual the girl at the other end didn't listen properly. Eventually I was sorted out and the Internet was fixed.

The second problem related to the television.

Now, I've had to call Virgin an incredible number of times of over the last 18 months, so much so that I don't need to listen to the instructions about which numbers to press as i know them off by heart.

The problems have normally been related to the V+ service which have mostly now been sorted

out (after only 18 months of trying) but we now have a problem with the signal on Sky1, Bravo and catch up tv on demand.

So, a network engineer (apparently more highly skilled than your average engineer they send) was sent out to look at the problem. He replaced all the cables outside but that didn't solve the problem so he checked the box out in his van and established that the problem was coming from either the box in the street or from their transmission head end in Knowsley.

So he told me he would arrange for some other engineers to look into the problem and left.

What he failed to tell me was that he had pulled down the trunking over our window that the cable was attached to as you can see in the photo.

About 20 minutes after he left I tried the Internet and now that wasn't working so I phoned India again only to be told that the modem wasn't getting a signal and I can only assume that it is because of what our demolition man had done!

So there is a guy at our house at the moment looking into the problem. Let's hope the front door is still on when I get home!

Anyway, with a bit of luck I will be back online again tonight.


Apparently the Sky1 is now fixed as is the internet! We'll see how long that lasts.

As for the trunking "it was an accident!"

Ok, thanks for telling us... now fix it!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Not such a great start

Well, after a fantastic first day (5 out of 5 in the double up tournaments on ipoker) things went downhill.

Down to -$456 as of yesterday and the double ups just don't seem to be going my way at the moment ($500 daily limit).

So much so that I've started adding in a few normal STT's and been getting more success on them.

In total I've played 149 double ups between $20 and $50, winning 75 which isn't good enough to beat the rake whereas I've played 14 STT's winning 2 and cashing 4 more for a profit of £96 against a buy in of £287.

I'll have to see where it goes as I had most of my success recently at the double ups but who knows where it's going.

As for the live tournament yesterday suffice it to say that I didn't raise once in the first 2 hours as I got nothing whatsoever and to sum the way live poker is going for me.

The first pot I raise involved a limp of 400 from a woman who had folded to a couple of raises after limping earlier (sh had 2800 behind), an all in of 600 from guy who had just "gambled" with KQ after an UTG raise played, so I went all in for 3800 when I saw AJ on the button.

Lady player thought for a while before calling with Ac9c and all in guy has J2o leaving me dominating both players.

Flop came 2c8b4h turn blank, river 9 and I finished the hand 3rd!

Enough said...

Anyway, at least I'm up $148 on the night to start clawing back into the black.