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!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Dream Team V

I finally managed to get 8 players for the dream team league and the first event was Monday night with a $1000 added freeroll and $5 rebuys.

It took quite a bit of messing about.

I actually had 13 people interested at one point or another but a couple never got back to me with their details, one dropped out because he thought the 'Bellagio' package was for Vegas instead of 'Dusk till Dawn' but fair enough, he told me and we had a couple of late entries including Daz, my mentor at Badbeat and Alex Conroy, son of Badbeat MD John 'Punkfloyd' Conroy.

With the other recruits that Andy Massey, a good local player I know, I think we should have a pretty strong team.

After way, way too much thinking about what team name I should use (including a lot thought about getting something to do with sport science into the team name since both Andy and I studied sport science in Liverpool) I finally decided to just call the team 'One Time' after the call most people shout out every time they are all in at an important stage of a tournament - Much to the chagrin of my wife, Julie who was adamant that her suggestion 'Riversports' was a much better name (sorry Julie but it isn't!)

I managed to get a nice early double up when my set was easily best against someone who had rebought first hand and obviously wanted to get some chips early.

Only 6 players from our team entered the first tournament and only 2 of us got into the points with me finishing 52nd for 150 team points and Tom finishing just outside the money in 23rd for 600 points.

One of the teams managed to have a fantastic start with 3 players on the final table including a 1 - 2 giving them a huge lead at this early stage. I'm not sure whether there are any rules about team play in this event, something that is not normally allowed but might be in this format.

Other than that I have not played much in the last week what with one thing and another.

Managed a couple of hours last night but it was one of those nights when runner runner was definitely the way to play your hands, especially on the bubble. A loss of $170 is not bad considering a couple of those hands going my way would have seen me make a huge profit on the night.

There is a festival on in Leos this week but the poker bankroll is not healthy enough at the moment to stand me playing in any of the events.

I will have to start playing some satellites a bit more.

Trouble is they are normally on at about 8 in the evening and I don't normally start till after 11.

Pity really because my record in satellites is very good and I've got a pretty good record in the bigger tournaments too.

Since I'm going to be playing earlier on a Monday that would be ideal to play in some of these satellites but because Grandslam Poker is on ipoker, I can't play Blue square at the same time so I will have to look at some of the other sites.

Might look into something like betfair to see if there are any WSOPE satellites running on a Monday.

Anyway, I've just made that one of my goals from now on, on a Monday night.

On the mouse front, the traps are still in place but there has been no sign of any of mickey's siblings so fingers crossed and that is the end of our visitors.

On a totally different tack, I've just sold a few things on E-bay and have to say that the whole E-bay operation is incredibly slick with one click invoicing and even one click postage being sorted by links to Royal Mail, Parcel2go and Paypal websites, meaning you don't even have to type in the address of the buyer, with it all being downloaded automatically.

Absolutely excellent and very well done to all partners.

Glad to see the best team managed to get through tonight, even though they didn't play as well as last week. Managed to put a few pounds on Barca to win the Champions League before the match tonight since I was sure Barca had the advantage. People often underestimate the value of a 0-0 draw at home in the first leg of these 2 legged ties because it gives the team playing away in the second leg the advantage that almost any draw puts them through.

Barca left it late though.

As for the display by Drogba throughout the tie falling over like he's been shot countless times only to be back running the second the ball comes near him. This guy is either the biggest actor going or he has an incredibly low pain threshold - and I'm talking about the level of 5 year old girl!

As for his antics after the final whistle. These matches are watched by millions of kids who copy the antics of their heros and what he and Ballack did to the referee should be taken up by Uefa and result in a severe ban, more than the normal 3 matches that are given for this sort of thing.

As for the conspiracy theories, how can that possibly be the case when Abidal was rightly sent off for a marginal decision?

What Uefa also need to do is look at situations like Darren Fletcher's who will miss the final because the referee made a mistake and that mistake could easily be rectified.

Not that I'm complaining as I don't want United to win but it's not right on the lad.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Humans 1 Mice 0

After a few sneaky lunches at my expense and 2 new state of the art traps, the old traditional trap finally caught our new friend. Hopefully that is the only one we have but I won't be putting the traps away just yet.

It's half time in the Liverpool match and at 2-0 I can't see Newcastle mustering a shot on target let alone scoring a goal. Unfortunately Middlesborough played yesterday as though they had no chance although, to be fair I did miss the first half when they supposedly played with a bit more heart. I have a bit of a soft spot for Newcastle but they do have a false illusion of themselves as being a big club and the way they change managers at the drop of a hat is their own fault. I know Sam Allardyce doesn't play the prettiest style of football, but if he were still in charge Newcastle would have been regular challengers for a European spot every year and once he had secured that sort of security the football will have come later.

It was good to see Arshavin telling the referee that it wasn't a penalty yesterday.

Just a shame the referee thought he knew better just like the Robbie Fowler incident all those years ago.

Why the referee is too scared to change his decision I don't know.

Got the kids a 10ft trampoline from Asda yesterday and they are bouncing away now enjoying the peak of our summer since it is unlikely to last for more than a week or so.

Going to Stoke tonight for a £1500 added tournament, hopefully I can do something there.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Mickey Mouse

Well, we've got ourselves a new pet. I say pet but no-one bought our new friend and no-one even wants him. He comes out at night and has perfected the are of taking food from mouse traps without setting them off. So I had to go to B&Q to get a couple of new traps, one that is a tunnel and traps the mouse when it goes through and the other trap allows the mouse to enter the box but then closes up behind it trapping him in there.

I had a job interview yesterday for a company in Whiston which is 15 minutes away. They have a big finance team there and I got on really well with the interviewer. Unfortunately they have decided to change the role that they are recruiting for but the good news is they have a 9 month role that the other interviewer is recruiting for and he was apparently very impressed with me so I am really hopeful that one works out because there will be opportunities once I am in there and I would be pretty confident of securing something permanent if I can get in there.

Poker wise, tonight was just th night from hell. After playing on my own account the other night when badbeat was down and winning two out of 4 stts for a $470 profit tonight I lost $250 when if it could go wrong it did. Losing runner runner almost every time and in one Multi table tournament losing to the table donkey in 6 out of 6 hands every single time being well ahead all in pre flop against hands like K6, 57, J2 etc etc etc. But hey, that's poker and I always say that I want to go up against hands like that and if I lose chips then that's variance.

I've seen the discussion on Steve Holden's blog and on Blonde regarding folding KK v Ax pre flop and I've commented that you just have to take those chances because it's not very often you can be that far ahead when you're playing poker! Also, if you are folding hands like that you will also get run over a lot more too.

On the football front Manchester United travel to Middlesborough looking for a win that will pretty much guarantee them the title.

They do it though, without Ferdinand, and in between two tough games against Arsenal.

All the indications are that Ferguson will play a much weakened team against Middlesborough who will be fighting for their premiership lives.

I've won some money on Man Utd over the last couple of games including a nice £80 just after Tottenham scored their second goal.

However, I won't be backing them tomorrow and I think that 6-1 onMiddlesborough winning at home, especially since they've had a couple of good results against them in past seasons, is well worth a look.

I can't make the bet though because I really want them to lose anyway and betting on them losing just doubles the pain if they don't.

Anyway, come on borough!