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.