Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2011 roundup, 2012 plans!

Soooo the end of the year. A time to look back, reflect, ruminate, and to look ahead, plan, imagine.


Or to change the background colour of your blog, either's good. Anyway, first lets look at the pokers.

-> Online results:

So no complaints at all there, other than at myself for being such a lazy bastard. I obviously don't get to see anywhere near all of that given that I was backed for most of the year and had to clear Vegas live makeup, but pretty pleased I can pretend I won 6-figures! Some pretty silly swings in there, but the upswing is the most noticeable which is the way it should be :) Other notables include two triple crowns, (one of which I won in a single session!) and cold 4bet/calling off with K9o in a $5k. Wups.

-> 2011 was definitely the year I started playing live tho so a quick breakdown:

- Bricked 20-25 $1k+ events in a row including vegas and about 8 ept/wpt tours
- Online cleared vegas MU and then won a €1k side event in Prague which cleared the euro makeup
- Won money in vegas cash games
- Got backed for live cash, lost money in euro cash games

So fairly meh, lost money overall but some deep runs towards the end of the year which is a much needed confidence boost. Definitely looking forward to more live next year, when you're playing well it's just so immediate and fun. Nothing like stacking piles of chips to make you smile!

All in all, I think poker can be counted as a moderate, lazy success.

Outside of poker things get a bit more murky.
-> Didn't get to any festivals this year which I'm very disappointed about, been very lax with music and writing. Did a little travelling around Europe and America which was great. Creative and cultural stuff a mild fail.

-> Diet, exercise and sleep have all been very varied, 'lived' in about 6 different friends' or parents' houses for a few weeks/months at a time, and haven't even slightly settled or made clear ties anywhere. Attempts to have some sort of routine or stability also a fail.

-> I was actually debating whether to include this due to the typical reception of the subject but I firmly believe mental health should be regarded in the same way as physical health in terms of how it's discussed and perceived, and if I'd been in a car crash I'd write about it so fuck it. If I'm judged or avoided or whatever because of it at least then I'll have a legitimate reason to label someone a twat rather than just vaguely assume they are like I usually do. So:

Worst has been the continuing deterioration of my mental health despite concerted efforts to improve. It's heading towards being unmanageable at this point and am pretty apprehensive about this for next year, especially since I've decided to spend the whole winter (which is always when I'm at my worst) in the UK, something I've not done in a few years. Spent half the winter here early this year and it was staggeringly unpleasant, so might not be the best idea... Having said this I'm a lot more aware of what's going on now, and have the next 6 months fairly well planned which should be good for general stability. Looking into various options regarding treatment, none of which are particularly encouraging, but going to try anything I can obviously - don't really have much choice.

The year to come:

-> Moving into a flat in Leeds for the first six months of next year with Monsieurs Dan Morgan and Luke Fields. Really looking forward to this, going to put in a lot more volume hopefully, since both Dan and Luke are very well-behaved grinders and encouragement and shame are a powerful combination! Also going to sort out some kind of part time job or volunteering position, something completely separate from poker that will help me unwind. Dan and I are pretty evenly matched at badminton so I foresee/will enforce lots of playing (also saw in lildave's blog him and Perrins plan to play - badminton league?!) and have friends in Leeds and Sheffield, so generally feeling very positive about it all.

Pretty funny sweat as to whether Luke would have the money to pay for the rent, was looking like we might need to find a new third person - always knew the sweat would end in some ridiculous way and sure enough he just gets third in the Sunday Million for $110k on the first sunday in months he had 100% of his action about a week before he has to send the rent money. Standard LF. You'd better be buying the milkybars Mr Magic!

-> Heading to Vegas after Leeds and cashing in a WSOP event is definitely a goal. Plan to do a bit more rambling around America too, but nothing nailed down.

-> My bank balance violently disagrees with the graph at the top, and whilst I've enjoyed living my life in an extremely unsustainable way I've decided I need to be less of an idiot. With that in mind I'm aiming to spend slightly less in general life expenses, and certainly going to spend a lot less in Vegas (despite being there longer).

That's about it, nothing else planned. 2012's going to be an interesting one... let's see what happens. Typed 'lets see' into google images to finish with some stupid picture about THE FUTURE but the first that came up is a stupid picture about PANDAS and is much better:

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Hilariously delayed Californian rambles

No, not dead. Just lazy. However I've finally found the energy to move my fingers a little bit and click things, so here goes!

Towards the end of my stay in Vegas I get an email from Tyler, who some of you may remember from some of my India blogs, for example when I thought he'd been eaten by bears. It was a long, ranty, persuasive email full lists of amazing things to do and see, and waving off my excuses by saying things like 'I see here a bad case of the "next time i travel across the world to the place that im already at" mentality'. I decide he's totally right and not at least seeing a bit of the actual USA whilst I'm there is pretty stupid. So, I cancel my flight and Tyler makes the casual 2,000km drive from Michigan to Vegas to meet me at The Bellagio. It's bizarre seeing someone again that you link in your mind to one particular time and place but in a totally different setting - India and Vegas are pretty much polar opposites - but also really nice. Tyler's very easy to get along with (even if I'm not!) so we're off straight away, talking crap and playing cards. We plan to spend a little time in Vegas to build up a roadtrip roll, which doesn't entirely go to plan, but we need to head to San Francisco to meet his friend Caspian (best name ever) and his cousin Garrett. As the valet brings round his dilapidated but completely indestructible Volvo estate to the front of the Vdara, stuffed to overflowing with seemingly everything he owns, I get that tingle - you just know what's going to happen is totally unpredictable and new; that sense of adventure is undeniable!

Tyler points to one of the many dents and yells to the valet 'What the hell did you do to my car!?' and then cracks up. It's going to be a gooood ride - time to hit the road.

Since I can't drive (much to his amusement) Tyler is on driving duties for the whole trip - which is an impressive feat since we end up travelling for thousands of miles more - and is a great driver, although being in his car can be... exciting! Shall we say. He has a habit of ignoring traffic laws he disagrees with ('look at all these stupid-ass people waiting for an opening! pfft'), is usually seen rolling a joint on the map that he's also using to navigate whilst choosing the music on his ipod and cruising at 75, and occasionally drifts onto the hard-shoulder if he needs to complete a particularly awesome air-mandolin solo.

Multiple complaints about the mixture of my feet, sandals and infrequent washing - out they go!

On one memorable occasion, we're driving along, and we see smoke. Lots of forest fires in these parts, so we look around for it. Gets steadily worse to the point that my eyes are watering and we can't see very well, so we wind up the windows. That makes it worse. It starts to dawn on us...
'Dude, I think my car's on fire.'
'You need to pull over. Right now.'
We swerve to the hard shoulder and jump out, realising how bad the smoke is - both of us half-expecting the car to explode. After a few minutes of smouldering, Tyler approaches is cautiously and then starts laughing - a butt has landed on some paper and caught fire, no engine explosions for us.

So, we manage to get to San Francisco in one piece! Caspian is the perfect host - kind and generous and shows us great places in San Francisco, introduces us to lovely people, and gets us free booze. What more could you wish for?

She's also the daughter of the owners of California's biggest family-run winery up in Sonoma - the quintessential small and beautiful American town, exactly how I'd imagined it. The farmer's market, where I try my first corn dog:

(seriously what the hell america?! weirdest food ever)

We meet up with Garrett who's flown in from Indiana. He's 19, smart and eager to see all he can - he'd been to one big city before San Francisco. His sense of wonderment is infectious! We see a bit more of the city before we go, including The Castro (the gay district - go watch 'Milk') and Haight-Ashbury (birth of the 60's!) where we talk bollocks with people at the International cafe, I'm sold a Ben and Jerry's by a red-eyed, sleepy pair of ice cream experts, and see this lady:

Haight-Ashbury is actually a little depressing and corporate, lots of trinket shops selling tie-dye headbands and t-shirts with pot leaves on them. Still, was obviously still a fun place to hang around!

With some reluctance we decide we should hit the road, Garrett's time is limited and he wants to see some trees! Well we all do. We set off up the coast towards the Redwood National Park, stopping off in Sonoma to watch The Big Lebowski on a big screen at the winery. Perfect.

One more stop along the way is a hot-springs retreat, with pools, yoga and meditation classes, music shows, etc. The pools are clothing-optional(!), so I do the whole take-your-clothes-off-and-bathe-with-a-bunch-of-strangers thing, which is ok I guess. Seems to be more about the nudity than the hot springs... also the creepy 50yr old men that stretch and sigh and whisper sweet nothings as they float past really aren't conducive to the relaxing the pools are supposed to be good for, so not sold on the whole deal personally! Still, the place itself is beautiful; I'm camped in a totally secluded spot next to a stream, tons of wildlife and peace.

My memory of exactly where we went and which forest was which is a little hazy by now, so it'll just be general impressions and pictures. Our daily routine when going from place to place would usually be: get woken up by a campsite owner (or police officer) at 6am telling us to move, pile our stuff into the car and drive with frequent stops and detours for exploring and mini-hikes during the day.

Mild confusion and increasing frustration follows as we realise we don't know where we're going or will sleep, we drive for hours into the night trying to find a campsite with a space until Tyler snaps and parks off the edge of a dual carriageway next to a blind corner and we set up camp - and repeat. It's all good fun and I do enjoy it, but it does result in very little sleep and as anyone who knows me is aware: I need lots. I think Tyler gets a little frustrated at my apparent lack of enthousiasm, but it really is just a lack of energy - I can't keep up with his endless reserves! Looking back I definitely regret not making the most of it, but when I get into one of my exhausted states there really isn't much I can do, I become zombified. My brain is replaced by cotton wool and I just float with the clouds - usually when I get like this I just cancel everything and hole myself up in my room for a week/month but obviously this isn't really an option here. As I say, I do have a great time, I just hope Tyler doesn't think me ungrateful!

We do find some nice campsites along the way too where I can recuperate:

Our own stream:

We end up in Yosemite National Park, Caspian joins us and we do our first proper walk. This was just before Tyler nearly stepped on a lethal snake:

Tons of stuff happened on the way, met enumerable interesting people and saw dozens of amazing places, but far too many to recount, so I think I'll just leave you with some pictures of the trees. There is a true sense of awe walking around the forests here, such stillness and a deep silence with these natural towers all around. Most striking to me were the fallen trees; you could see where they had snapped and broken, see how they'd fallen - it was like each one told a little story. Anyway, enough rambles - they speak for themselves.

I shall be coming back.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I did not win the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Well it wouldn't be the Series without the obligatory post-Vegas roundup.

The place:

Head asplode. Seriously what the hell is this place and who dreamt it up? Maybe nightmared it up. It's a huge, sinister, adult Disneyland with more neon, degeneracy and strippers than you can imagine. It's vile. Occasionally it was so weirdly, wildly surreal that it appealed to my sense of humour (enormous singing frog at the Wynn, canal complete with gondolas and men in stripey tops on the 2nd floor of the Venetian, etc).

From the drunken frat boys to the dozen mexicans per block soliciting prostitutes, though, it really wasn't me at all. It's a place that really brings out the worst in people, and for someone who pretty much only sees the worst in people anyway, it's not ideal.

Right! After that somber start here's the good stuff:

The poker:

Went 0 for 9 in tournaments, and lasted a disappointing 5 hours in the Main Event. Bleh. Every event I played was soft though with the exception of the $5k 6max, and I felt like I held my own, and the other events just blew my mind. Think $5 mtt on ipoker. This was definitely the most live poker I've played and I was fairly happy, but I do need to watch the occasional blowup hand. Basically I need to remember that everyone always has it.

Cash went great, winning about $19k mostly at 5/10. During the series there's loads of games going and very few of them were tough - I think I only requested two table changes the whole time. I ran well for sure, and was experimenting with an extremely laggy style which was a lot of fun, but it really felt like printing money. You can definitely play a hilarious number of hands in most live games, although perhaps a few less than I did, I indulged in a little spewing...

Everything else:

The quality of life I had here was incredible. Swishy hotels, lounging by various pools, icy cocktails.

Margaritas and blackjack in the pool!

Inside the hotels and casinos were pretty amazing too, lots of extravagance and luxury. Or ridiculousness.

And the food! Ah, the food. Best meals were Alize's at the top of the palms (amazing view, michelin star food), the Stratosphere (revolving restaurant approximately 27 miles in the sky) and Prime at Bellagio, excellent food with a view of the Bellagio fountains. Of course it all cost an absolute fortune, and with the trip afterwards (blog to come) I probably ended up breaking about even on the trip, but the things I spent money on were all things I like. I think I only ended up paying for about 4 meals in the end - sounds like I was lucky at credit card roulette given that we ate out at least once a night, but one of the meals I paid for was $2.2k (!) so I think I paid my share in the end... thanks to Dan for paying for most of my others though :)

Helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon was amazing, first time in a helicopter - definitely a fun way to travel!

Despite my moan at the beginning it was a really fun trip. If it weren't for the poker I doubt I'd go there again, but as it is I'll almost certainly be back next year. And to be honest, whilst there are definitely a lot of things I'm not looking forward to, a month of decadence and easy poker actually sounds pretty good.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Vegas Update

Still a pile of bricks on the tournament front. Made my first day 2, and in the $5k triple chance too, but sadly bust about 20 mins in after QQ < KT. Probably just flop 3 tens, why not.

Thankfully cash has been going very well, I'm up about $8k at 2/5 and 5/10 over 8 sessions. The games are mostly very good I've been running well too - hoping it continues.

In non-poker news I went to Electric Daisy Carnival, the world's biggest dance festival, which was suitably electric. A hundred thousand people dancing they're socks off, very good fun. Also went for a meal at the rotating Top of the World restaurant at the Stratosphere with Dan, Luke and Gavin, and Dave and Becca who'd just flown in, which was excellent. Lovely food and an incredible view.

Off for a meal/night out for Gavz' birthday now, day off tomorrow. A few small events next week and then The Main Event begins! Haven't decided which day I'm playing yet, but looking forward to a long, long tournament grind...

Saturday, 25 June 2011


So a few days into June I carried on my good run winning the Party Highroller for $27k and change, and then last week I won a $12k Main Event package. I was planning on heading to Vegas anyway for the series, but it's always nice to have the seat locked up before going.

Barely played apart from those two sessions, mainly doing things like packing and spending time with uni friends who've finished their exams. Went on a lovely holiday to a cottage my grandparents own in Wales with some chums

where we did lots of this

ate a fair amount of this

and I did this

which was shortly followed by this

(thanks to ali for the pics!)

I arrived in Vegas on wednesday, jet lagged and mightily confused by how bizarre this place is. I'll do a full Vegas blog after I get back, but it's pretty mental.

I managed to mess up the bank wire to the Rio, so I'm here with basically no money, a tiiiny tactical error there. Managed to borrow some/had a bit of my own. So far I've played the $5k 6max series event which was pretty tough, played pretty well but couldn't win the flips and lost TT < AQ on 9TJ to bust. Yesterday was a $1.6k in the Venetian Deepstack series, which I played less well in (mainly just fudged one big hand, but it was pretty bad). The taxi queue at the Venetian was huge so I decided to play some cash with my last $600 and managed to spin it up to $2.4k meaning I could play the $1.5k series event today, though sadly just bust running kings into aces for heaps.

Probably will play some cash now and try to win enough for the $1k tomorrow...basically hoping a bank wire can get through soon - or I'll just have to hang on until Dave arrives with money.

Anyways, to the tables!

Monday, 30 May 2011


Ireland was fun, although kinda frustrating. Bust the main pretty quickly, won a bunch playing cash, lost a bunch playing cash (to Luke), had half the chips 4-handed in the Highroller event - came 4th, lost a bunch playing acey deucey (to Luke) and lost a bunch playing whist (also to Luke. BASTARD!)

I've played exactly once since coming back and that was yesterday; managed to finally do a win after months of near misses. Two wins actually, won the stars $8r 2x turbo for 7.8k (2nd time I've won it this year!) and then...

Bink! So that gets me out of makeup and pads the liferoll. May I think has been my best month ever in terms of results, although I don't get to see all of it by any means with the staking. Still, pretty fun to have a $50k month!

Dan Dave and Luke have been pestering me to go to vegas this year which I've been resisting until now mainly because of money issues, but I feel like I can head to the series for a few weeks and have enough left over for the rest of the year and winter travels if the series goes badly. Haven't 100% decided or looked at flights or anything, but the vague plan would be flying out on the ~20-25th, there's a dozen or so $1-3k events between the World Series and the Venetian Deepstack series, then play the MAIN EVENT, then fly back. Then head back in November for the final table...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Mayday mayday mayday!!

So I had a pretty terrible stretch a few weeks back, taking shots at the new euro-only 100rs and things on stars which went horribly despite numerous near misses and ended up losing about 3/4 of my roll (bankroll management ftw!) so decided to get backed again by Dave.

Like what happened last time Dave started backing me I instantly had some nice results; 5th in 2 $162s on tilt and managed to bink a 4th in the $1.6k ante up SCOOP event which I satellited into, so those netted Dave and I about $12k each which was very welcome. Think I'm going to continue being backed for the foreseeable, I'm liking the idea of not worrying about having any money online at all, and just cashing out whenever I get above zero makeup! Of course it sucks when deep in makeup and I might change my mind, but now that I've got spending money to keep me ticking over (and enough for travelling this winter) I think it's best like this for now. Less pressure is good.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Cork with Luke and Dan for the UKIPT which will be great - events in Ireland are always great fun, lots of drinking and soft games. Got the live itch too so hoping I can do some work at the tables, although some big SCOOP events are overlapping, especially on the sunday for me so that will limit the amount of live games I play. Also big congrats to Luke for winning the FTOPS multi-entry brawl, and then degening it up at 25/50 HU PLO and just winning all the money. Just saw him finish a ~$120k+ session, so there should be some fun rails in Ireland too.

Anyways, next post will clearly be me detailing my UKIPT win and the SCOOP main event win that immediately followed. Please?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Monte Carlo and April

So I'd meant to do a trip report of the 1k Monte Carlo event at DTD, but kinda didn't feel like writing it up after I bust... I'll put a few of the key hands for fun anyways.

200/400/50, tight lady opens UTG to 1k, UTG+1 flats, aggro young guy flats button, I flat SB with JJh, BB calls.

Flops: 3h 7h 9h,

checks around.

Turn 5o, I bet 3200, UTG+1 calls, button calls.

River 7. Check, check, button bets 10k, I call, UTG+1 calls.

I called the river pretty quickly, I'd planned to c/c almost always on blank rivers and c/reevaluate on less blank rivers. I'm not sure if this is spew though, button showed 55 and utg+1 showed AQhh, so I felt pretty silly. Might be one of those spots where I convince myself of all the draws button can have but he actually just always checks them behind because it's live and no one folds and he knows this.

1200/2400/300, 90k effec.
EP limps, MP limps, I limp T6dd in the CO, button limps, SB completes, BB checks.

Flop: 6h 8d Jd

Checks to me, I bet 8500. Button raises to 21 (and covers). Everyone folds, I make it 65, button tanks and shoves, I call.

Pre is definitely debateable... but I was bored and it's live and I can 'do stuff' post. Or just flop the world. Button was a fairly tight lady who I'd spent a lot of the 2 days playing with, she knew I was active but she could also mix it up a bit herself and I'd seen here make a multi-barrel bluff. She was also maybe the type to raise AJ here 'for info' and then fold to the shove so I was happy getting it in here. Of course I was fairly surprised when she opened...7h9h.

Turn Ah for the sweat...

River Ac.

1500/3000/300, 240k effec.

MP opens 7500, button flats, I make it 27000 from the BB with AKo and a very laggy image. MP flats, button folds.

Flop: Ac 5h 2h

I bet 33, MP goes 70, I shove, MP calls.

Villain is Wadey, a familiar face in the UK live poker scene, and though I don't have many hands against him I'm told that my line is absolutely fine/standard here , especially given my image at the time. Super sigh when he opens 55, then, and rockets to a huge chiplead with 40 left.

I sigh and wish everyone good luck, etc, and then go get drunk.

Online, April has been fairly similar to the last few months. Lots and lots of near misses (I'm restraining myself from a very prolonged rant here!), although not a great deal of volume. Stayed pretty well clear of the cash tables, though did do a post-sunday spinup from a loose $200 on ipoker to $7.2k in about 20 minutes... frankly I was due.

I'm now thinking of relearning sngs to reduce variance a bit and so I can put in shorter sessions, but my enthousiasm for them might easily disappear once I remember what grinding sngs is like...

Monday, 28 March 2011

March is the third month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, and one of the seven months which are 31 days long.

Sooo March was a weird one. Put in about the same volume as February (ie I was lazy), didn't play great, had an absolute shedload of 10-18ths in tournaments with $15k+ to 1st, and tilted off $4k playing cash games. That last one is by far the worst; haven't touched online cash games in maybe 2 years (for very good and self-apparent reasons!) and pretty much promised myself I wouldn't ever again, unless it was in some learning to play properly/grinding out lowstakes/etc capacity. So a disappointing lapse.

Despite all of the above I managed to win a fair amount - not entirely sure how much as there's some discrepancies in my spreadsheet and real-life balances but pretty sure I made back roughly what I lost in February - about $9k, maybe a little less. So yeah, I feel like I had a pretty terrible month but clearly I didn't!

Still, not feeling particularly motivated at the moment. Wish there was something I was motivated by - time is crawling at the moment, each day feels like a week and I'm just permanently exhausted.

Guess I've been doing quite a lot of JuJitsu recently which has been good and meant I've stayed active, and I got my orange belt a week or two back. Also I've just uploaded 50 of the 130GB of music I got from Neil who I met in Diu. Was frankly a bit intimidated by that much new music but finally gotten around to it so for the foreseeable I'll be busy discovering gems!

Anyways I'm rambling, so instead here is a video of a pigeon on a train.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Cheesies Recession - February Roundup

Sooo a less good month. If I could work out how to create reliable graphs on HEM 2011 would look something like this:

Dropped about $9k online which sucks, didn't put in enough volume (about 2/3 of January) and lots of the sessions were short or tilty, often both. I did end the month up a few £k live though, so not too disastrous.

More worrying is that I've just generally been feeling sporadically awful recently, winter's starting to get to me I think. Felt fine all of January but had some pretty rough days last month, and they definitely affected at least some of the sessions I played. Hopefully the start of Spring will help and I'll get back into a decent routine, not really feeling it at the moment though. Doing better than previous winters in some ways which is a positive I guess, although drinking/smoking quite a lot. Self-medication for the lose? I think coming back from travelling for Christmas might be something I have to reconsider this year.

Anyways, here's to a sunny March!

(yes I know it's green, but its also an ace picture)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

UKIPT Nottingham trip report

Well I was planning to note down interesting hands throughout the tournament and give a little analysis on them and things, but frankly it was a dull, dull 7 hours of slow, steady declination before getting coolered. Bah.

However, I ended up playing a fair amount of £2/5 cash where there were some fun hands and I did pretty well, so cash hands it is! First a pretty standard one:

Hand 1: Effective stacks ~£1k.
I raise to 15 in MP2 with AxKd
1 call
CO 3bets to 55
I 4bet to ~155
1 fold
CO calls

Pot ~325, Flop 2d 8d 9d

I bet 215, CO tankshoves for ~800, I call.

Turn As, River 3h.

A pretty standard hand all round - would've sucked to get freerolled by AdKx, but he has queens and jacks lots here. Occasionally I have less outs when he has AA/KK but he seemed genuinely nervous throughout the hand and I didn't feel like he was trapping.

CO opens QQ no diamond. Always nice to win £2k flips!

Hand 2: Effective stacks £1k.
Habitual limper in MP limps, I make it 25 OTB with J9hh.
SB makes it 75, I peel.

Pot ~160, flop 8h Th 2x.

He leads 50, I raise to 125, he quickly shoves, I call.

Turn 5x.

River 9x.

He'd been eyeing me up for the last hour or so; the deck had been smashing me in the face so I'd been doing lots of raising/getting involved a lot and I think he expected me to get out of line a decent amount. Having said that, he was middle-aged and pretty snug - I don't think he was going to get out of line himself much, so I expected his 3bet to be fairly strong. Still, I have position with a hand that flops well and we're deep, and the timing of his 3bet suggested weighting towards AK/AQ. Not sure if the peel is spewy though... When he leads the flop tiny I really felt like he was trying to induce a raise from me. Although I'm never folding, I still want to get the last bet in if I can, and with these stacks I never have fold equity if I raise normally and he 3bets the flop (he's usually shoving if I make it like 200 anyway), which is why I went for the tiny raise. I was expecting him to 3bet, and was hoping I could get him to make it 300 or something, and then talk himself into folding queens when I shove. When he just jams it's kinda sigh, but mainly because I want to avoid another 2k flip. I can't fold though.

'One pair' I say.

He pauses for a few seconds. 'One pair?'

Another 5 second pause. I start to get annoyed thinking he's nitrolling me with queens/trying to get me to show my hand. 'One pair is good'.

I blink and table my hand, and he sighs and leaves his seat. Think I see the Kh as he mucks his cards.

Assuming he had AKhh I was in the worst shape possible and I'm still 42%, and flipping vs overpairs so a standard call.

Hand 3: Effective stacks ~£1.2k
I open QcKo in MP to 20
Folds to tilting old guy who defends his BB.

Pot ~40, Flop Qd 8c 2c

BB checks, I bet 35, BB checkraises to 85, I call.

Pot ~210, Turn Kd.

BB checks, I bet 155, BB calls.

Pot ~520, River As.

BB checks, I think for a bit and bet 325. He quickly calls.

I think the closest street is the river as he can have A8/A2/AQ/JTcc but given my image and that he was tilty going for value is definitely best; he didn't seem in the mood to fold pairs to me in general, and AcXc turns up quite a lot. Also I'm assuming he leads the river with lots of the hands that beat me.

He mucks when I show my hand.

Hand 4: Effective stacks £1.5k.
Young aggressive guy opens CO to 15, I defend my BB with KcJc.

Pot ~30, Flop Ad Ks Ts.

I check, CO bets 25, I call.

Pot ~80, Turn Kd.

I check, CO bets 65, I call.

Pot ~210, River 5h.

I bet 155, he raises to 425, I tank and call.

Leading the river is pretty horrible by me. Standard is to check/call 3 streets vs this villain and I don't know why I didn't really, I vaguely thought that I can rep a lot of missed draws, but there really isn't anything in his range that can hero the river when I bet. Once he raised I came to my senses and realised he either folds or raises the river with nearly 100% of his range. I'd played with him for a long time the day before and he'd been very aggressive so I talked myself into thinking he can be bluffraising the river enough. Pretty sure he's not though, and although it's closer than it seems on paper (he's definitely bluffraising the river some %) the river's a fold. River was one big fail.

I lose to AK.

They're all the big hands I can remember. Don't think I played all that great, not well-versed at cash (and certainly not live cash) and there were a few spots where the money got to me - e.g nice light 4betting spots that I passed up because... well, betting TWO HUNDRED POUNDS or whatever is scary. But as long as I don't make any stupid mistakes other people tend to make me the money without me really needing to do anything fancy - there are a lot of soft spots in live cash games and I was definitely profitable whilst being full of leaks. Plus I ran good!

I ended up about £3k which is nice, although less after the tournament and expenses. I also had a TERRIBLE sunday online where I just went nuts and spewed everything. It was weird, the most severely tilted session I've had in years. So that's less good.

Nothing much planned for the rest of the month poker-wise. Going to carry on grinding online, aiming for jujitsu twice a week, hopefully some fun social things to make time go more quickly.

Sigh valentine's day. Beautiful, intelligent, tolerant, understanding girl to enter my life please?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Amsterdam/January roundup

So after a good start to 2011 I ended up heading to Amsterdam for a few days at the end of the month with Dan and Luke. Had a great time and it seems like an amazing capital city - definitely want to come back. We were staying at a very swish place called the 'Fashion Hotel'. You know when the first thing you see as you walk in are manikins with lampshades on their heads that its going to be arty! Really nice rooms, probably the nicest hotel I've stayed at.

I did pretty well out of the trip, winning ~€800 crushing the fishies dan and luke in various silly bets and card games (paaay!), won far more than my fair share of restaurant bill/cab fare flips and came 3rd in a live 100 euro 2nd chance tournament we played at the big Holland Casino in the centre for about 1600 euros. Highlight of the tournament was me live-misclick 3betting for like 10x pot for 1/2 my stack with 78s, siiiigh calling it off vs 2 shoves and getting there vs AJ and AT :D I also ran real good online, winnning an $82 hyperturbo for $4.5k and then...

ending up in a 5-figure trip win. weeeee! Didn't actually spend much time playing though, was cool just relaxing/going on the brewery tour/eating great (and usually free!) food. Dan also had a pretty huge sweat as he had 5% of British sicko James Keys in the Aussie Millions who ended up coming second for ~$1.2million, winning the luckbox nearly $60k for doing absolutely nothing. Aside from polishing his golden halo occasionally.

I managed a pretty impressive fail regarding the flights - booked my first return to come back 3 days late (I thought it was february. And so only 28 days long. And so I then booked my flight to come back ON FEBRUARY THE FIRST. ...I know, I know). Second flight I booked was in the morning. Two alarms? No good. Woke an hour before my plane was leaving, sigh.

It resulted in me playing the session in which that win ^^^ happened though, so maybe it was a good thing.

Anyways, January as a whole ended up being pretty huge for me considering where I was at the beginning of the year: +$23k, minus the money to dave to get out of makeup, but the rest goes to padding the roll. Pleased with my online volume; put in over 800 mtts with a $48 average buyin at a 51% roi which is pretty sweet, if I can keep those figures anything like that next month I'll be happy! Still playing kinda rusty but hoping to plug some leaks over the next month, and hopefully withdrawing some money for bills...

UKIPT nottingham starting on the 11th, looking forward to some live silliness!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Good beginnings...

Soooo a good start to the year. Dropping down to low-midstakes has began well, the play is hilarious and I am 100% sure I can grind out a decent winrate. I'm out of makeup thanks to my first 3 sessions which ended up +1.8, +800 and +4k, and had my first session on my own coin tonight...

chooo chooooo!

So that doubles my online roll which is an EXTREMELY timely addition. Not too worried about having to drop down further now, though will probably continue playing daytime sessions which tends to mean an average buyin of ~$50 but I'm happy playing smaller stuff, for now anyways. Dave, my backer previously, has agreed to stake me in some of the sunday majors so I'll get my weekly fill of high stakes action! :)

Was at DTD in nottingham for their monthly £336 deepstack this weekend - probably made it as far as I ever have, busting a few levels before the end of day 1 with QQ into KK for a large number of chips. Pleased with my play though, was down to 3k early on and ground it up well to over 40 with few showdowns. Still, bored with losing tons of money playing live; also managed to lose £250 in 6 hands on the cash tables (all standard, nothing interesting) and whilst my online roll is looking healthier, since looking at my real-life finances I've realised I can't really afford to spend nearly £700 on a speculative weekend so this will be my last live event until I'm a bit more robusto or I win a seat to something.

...I say this but I'm definitely playing the Nottingham leg of the UKIPT tour at
the beginning of next month. It'll be the first Team Superbink (me, Luke Fields, Dave Burn (Mrblond blog) and Dan Morgan (Captain Calldown blog)) outing in a while - pretty sure we're all going to final table.

Anyhoo, lets hope the rungood continues!