Saturday, 31 January 2009

January P&L

Shit last session yesterday (lost $500 in about 2 hours) put a downer on what looked a really good month, but overall I'm still pretty happy. Obviously this is the first chance that I have had to play a LOT of hours as haven't had to worry about work (awesome :-)) and I hope to put a few hours in next month to see if current win rate is sustainable (or can be improved).

Cash: $1200
Bonus / Rakeback: $540
STT: -$5

Total: $1735

(hours played 66.5)

Turns out that the bonus / rakeback deal that I thought we would be getting is not actually the value that I was paid - therefore final figures are now shown above.... annoying as could have done with that extra $270!!!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Going OK.....

Just played another 3 hour session, made a couple of mistakes but overall playing OK. I've also managed to keep poker gods happy somehow because I also still run well, meaning I made another $400 in that session.

Will play some more over the weekend but poker results before rakeback / bonus this month is +$1700, something I would have been more than happy with at the beginning of the month. I still have tonnes to learn but I do think I'm making progress - more videos and shadowing Brennan will help.

Thursday, 29 January 2009


Since my last post I have played another 2.5k hands and pulled back the losses from the last post, but not played anywhere near the same volume in the past week as I had previously. It's definitely a lot easier to get yourself motivated when you are on a hot streak versus when you are in a losing run - something I did not really appreciate when I used to berate Brennan for not playing when I was stuck in the office. Not as easy as it looks this playing poker mallarky....

That is not to say I've given up for the month. Friday night to Sunday night will include a lot of hours and hands in order to catch the weaker weekend poker player traffic and to try and release as much of the deposit bonus as possible. I'm definitely finding the games easier in the evenings and early mornings here (against the European evening players) rather than playing against the professional Scandies during the day. This is having a knock on effect on to my sleep patterns though, as staying in to the early hours often means a long lie in - I didn't arise until 2pm today! I'll get this sorted after the weekend though in order to get out and abouot on some day treks - I'm still desparate to get to Phi Phi island (plus a few more) but not quite got round to it yet. I guess we do have another 2 months in the sunshine to get everything completed.

It's a tough life :-)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Pain pain and more pain

Been a while since I posted, but not played much poker (until this morning) and have been busy getting out and about here.

Did make it out in to town for Saturday night to watch the football, but as we are 7 hours ahead here, by the time we made it to the Man Utd Spurs game we were already pretty hammered - our mood helped by the fact that we managed to beat a couple of Aussies at pool. Karon is a lot quieter than Patong, so there were not that many bars showing the live game, which we only realised after I'd walked past an Irish pub, seen that Spurs had taken an early lead, and shouted at the top of my voice 'Yiiiiiiid Aaaaaaarmy!!!' straight at Brennan (glory seeking Man Utd fan from Co Durham). This did not go down well with the largely silent audience sitting outside, probably due to the fact that they were also all glory supporting the 2nd worst red scum - even though most of them have probably been to more live Man Utd games than Brennan.

After we walked past, and didn't see any pubs close with the football playing, we decided to head back to the Irish bar, tails semi between legs and immersed ourselves in the crowd. Cue lots of evil looks, mutterings under breath about how they hate loud English tourists, etc etc etc. I was starting to feel a little guilty, when Man Utd scored twice in 2 minutes and the whole pub erupted. Hypocritical bastards!!! 2nd half was then mostly spent sinking Singha's praying for a miracle equaliser, which obviously never materialised. We didn't deserve anything, but if we were as lucky as Everton we'd have scored 2 in last minute.. not that I'm bitter....

Anyway, the 4 of us then proceeded to get wasted (in Briggs language) and meandered through some less than idyllic late night bars. They're not the kind you can take your parents too, if you know what I mean.... After about 4 more rounds, a very notable effort from me and Katrina on the Kareoke, Briggs pole dancing and Brennan chatting up a 50 year old bar 'girl' along with her 15 year old midget granddaughter, I decided to let Katrina walk me home at about 3:30 a.m. Wise move, as Brennan and Briggs stopped out until 7:30 in the morning - crazy fools. We all suffered on Sunday, meaning no poker and indeed very little movement all round.

Yesterday was a another painful day. We haven't actually made it to many places in Phuket so far, due to poker and the fact our apartment is so swanky, so we decided yesterday to hire some motorbikes and head out exploring. The idea was to get up early and head to a waterfall about 20 minutes away for a light dip, then check out the National Park in the north. What actually happened was a 4 hour epic ride across the highways and lowways of the island - not great for your legs / arse or back. I felt even worse for Katrina as she was on the back of my bike and stuck in an even more uncomfortable pose. After nearly making it to the mainland (that's a LONG way if you've never been), we realised the error of our ways - we thought the Phuket territory lines on the map we main roads!! No wonder we couldn't find anything!!

We settled for a 90 minute stop in Bai Thon beach on the west coast, with snorkelling and sand castle building, before heading home for the evening. Brennan managed to flat his tyre which needed fixing, but the worst part of the day was definitely the drive over Karon Hill at dusk time. Somehow we managed to find the world's largest congregation of flies / mosquitos and flying worms, which also naturally happened to be fascinated by our beaming lights at the front of our bikes. We were all subsequently attacked on dangerous bends by these flying monsters, and no word of a lie I must have swallowed 5 of them! They also lodged themselves in our cycle helmets and clothes, so when we did get back to the flat and unclothe, loads dropped out on the floor for us to examine. I thought I was going to be sick. Luckily I held it in and, despite Katrina laughing at me and reminding me of how disgusting they were (she was safely hiding behind me on the bike, using me as a shield), we managed to have a decent night.

Last part of pain is poker. I ran badly this morning (happens to all of us I know) and lost $500. I think I lost one buy in through a steal move (AQ in big pre pot, flop JT2, called by queens) but I lost two buy ins with sets to over sets, one with AK all in vs AA pre flop and another with AA on a K42 board - him catching a T on turn. Not good for my bankroll or my confidence - down to a meagre $680 profit for the month now - down from $1.5k last week. Not good. Lucking I should be collecting a tonne of rakeback and I'm still clearing a chunky bonus, but really REALLY want to start winning at the tables again. Hopefully my luck will turn back in my favour again soon.

This has been a really long post so will sign off for now - good luck to all that are playing.

Friday, 23 January 2009


Just played my longest ever continuous session of cash poker. In total I played for 521 minutes (just under 9 hours) and rattled through 4277 hands. I ended up having to set a cut off of 11 am to stop (otherwise I might have played all day!), and after 4276 hands I was about $20 up. The I made a 3 street bluff against someone that it turns out I shouldn't and ended $140 down. With the bonus that I cleared and rakeback (hopefully - any news Mark?) then I will have ended the session a little bit up. Not exactly the way I wanted to do it though!!

Off out tonight for the Man Utd / Spurs thrashing (we are playing all our reserves to save our 'best players' for the relegation dogfight) so don't think I'll be playing poker again for a couple of days. Goo luck to all playing this weekend, especially Azzinhio who has vowed to make a comeback :-)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Quick Update

Despite my horrific session this afternoon, got straight back on it tonight to try and start to recoup the losses. Although not exactly back to where I was, I have made a big dent, picking up $440 tonight. Sweet - poker isn't all bad after all.

More to be played tomorrow, after a sun bathe, haircut and Thai massage. From someone without the adams apple before you ask Soap!!

Ouch :-(

Guess it had to happen sometime, but just had worst day of online poker (cash wise) since started playing. Dropped $800 in less than 24 hours, and annoying thing is I actually thought I was playing better than when I was winning all my money! Poker is a frustrating game at times....

Anyway, pretty much all the luck that was going for me at the beginning of the month turned against me. Draws hit against me, my pairs were beaten by overcards pre flop, overcards were beaten by pairs when all in pre, KK ran in to aces.... you get the picture. Basically my EV for this session was - $200, so my winnings are now back to 'expected' levels. Boo hiss. I'm not going to give up just yet though, will hit tables again tonight and hope the poker gods turn back in my favour again.

Luckily for me, Spurs kept up their good form and the mighty yids are off to Wembley - again. I didn't see the game last night as it didn't start until 3 am Thailand time, but looking at the final aggregate score of 6-4 it seems like we coasted it in the end. I always thought Burnley were overrated and got lucky in earlier rounds against Arsenal / Chelsea. COYS!!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


I continue to run like a god. I'm up to 6 tables on NL100 now, and just finished a 2 hour session $450 up. As stated, I'm still ahead of EV and winning more than my share of 50 / 50's, but I've also ran cowboys in to bullets and sets in to oversets, which on Holdem Manager EV it looks like bad play when in fact I'm miles ahead of their ranges when I get the money in. I can analyse the data to the cows come home about what I 'should' be winning but luckily for me facts are I'm currently $1500 up in January - so as Brennan says you can take the Sklansky $ and I'll take the real one :-)

Ignoring the fact I am running well, I am also playing a lot better. I'm 6 tabling now and don't feel uncomfortable at the limits. I still find a couple of spots that are tricky - especially 3bet pots where I am out of position - but that is to be expected I guess. I'll learn which regulars are playing back at me in these spots and look to hammer them back soon....

On non-poker front I have promised Katrina that I'll go with her to the beach tomorrow. She's been absolutely awesome this whole trip, despite the endless poker and football discussions I've had with the lads, and not complained once. Taking a leaf out of Team Dobbs blogg post, I'm going to take this opportunity to say thank you to K and also to say I'm a lucky SOB!!!

Good luck to all those grafting away at the tables... I'll be back on it tomorrow night.

Monday, 19 January 2009


It's 1:45 a.m here and I've just finished a 4 hour poker session for a huge loss of $3 - less than a pre flop raise. Other than when you lose big, I guess these are the sessions that make people wonder why we play poker, but to be honest I found it a really tough but enjoyable experience. I'm building up the number of tables I'm playing on and still clearing bonus / hopefully getting rakeback so not completely wasted.

Brennan has pointed out a few times that I do get too emotional during online games, and that I need to get more detached from the hands and rationalise decisions - both made by me and others. This is good advice, and one that I will try and take on board, but sometimes when a wan### calls with sh~t and then f'in hits his one outer it does stil P me off! My rants are always the same..... 'I feel sick', 'WTF was that you R-Tard!!', 'Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay'........ and is usually followed by a slammed fist on the table. From now on I vow not to get so engrossed and act more professional. We shall see how this progresses.

I didn't make it to the beach today but I did hit the pool and took a day off (until the evening) to catch some rays. This has led to the inevitable burn following lack of multiple applications of sun cream (I'm nails - who needs to reapply?!?), but I think I managed to save myself from completely burning up and don't quite look like a lobster. Unlike Briggs, who looks like a hairy version of Dr Zoidberg from Futurama. Awesome. If you get a moment and haven't yet read Brenos' blog then take a look as he has pic's of our pool, and has created a video of our poolside exploits - gotta love the sunshine.

Anyways, time for some sleep....

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Come on Spurs..... F Off Spurs

I hate being a Spurs fan. We create a million chances and take one, they run up the other end get a deflected 25 yarder in to the bottom corner and rag a 1-1 draw. I should count my blessings because we usually lose those games, at least we got a point. Not going to stop every Geordie / Everton / Man Utd fan taking p though. Thank god Toon are going to be relegated with us or this season would be awful!

On poker front, had a low volume day. Played for about 3 hours total but picked up a nice $300 profit. I'm still running faster than Adam King at a home game (can't lose a race at the moment) so expecting tide to turn soon, but right now I'm about $1200 up for January, which is $400 above EV. Think I'll still be taking day off tomorrow for beach and sunshine, but might try and sneak a couple of hours online in the evening when Katrina isn't looking :-)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

A lot of play for minimal pay....

Poker is a strange game. I play for 3 hours straight on Big Slick and end up about $100 down, making a few bad decisions and calling down too cheaply. I tried to move up to 4 tables and it backfired a bit, meaning my decisions were rushed - not helped by the fact I logged on to a couple of 'Turbo' tables by accident. I was just working my way back from a $200+ hole on Big Slick when the site decided to crash on me, leaving me in two minds whether to stop playing and watch the rest of the Hull / Arsenal game (we're 7 hours ahead here) or log on to another site to try my luck there.

Luckily for me I signed in to Ladbrokes, and 30 minutes later I hit a couple of awesome turn flushes and get paid off to make a $200 profit on the site, $100 overall for the evening. I am learning loads each time I play but I did make some bad decisions yesterday which I need to eradicate if I am to make any real progress. I'm planning on watching a couple more training videos today before hitting the tables for another long session tonight.

As you can tell from the above, I've not done much in the last few days other than play poker, with a couple of hours reserved for sunshine and eating out cheap. I think I'll take a break tomorrow and hit the beach with Katrina (and the lads), as I do think I'm abandoning her at times for the laptop. No point making a few hundred dollars if I make my girlfriend unhappy in the process!!!

Good luck to all, and hope the downswing for Soap and Carl ends soon... have every faith it will.

Friday, 16 January 2009

So far so good.....

Played another 3 sessions, totalling about 6 hours and 1000 hands (up to 3 tabling now) and pulled in another $240. Must admit I am running REALLY well at moment (currently $230 up on EV at the moment) but when I think back to the number of times that 'I felt sick' at bad beat after bad beat, I'm not going to complain. It does mean that I'm not going to get carried away though, as won't run this well forever, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Good to hear that Carl (Day of the Jackal) has promised to start writing up his blog again - a good read and he's won a fair few quid so I'm looking forward to picking up some tips. Any advice definitely welcome mate!!

Our Apartment

I mentioned our pad in a previous post, but here is a link to the (professionally filmed) apartment that we are staying in.

Couple of points to clarify:
- All the windows are one way mirrors, therefore nobody can see in while you are doing your business or having a bath / shower
- The gym has been used by all - at least once by each person so far.
- Me and Katrina are in the ensuite bedroom with double bed - Brennan and Briggs lost this on a coin flip - and they are still bitter :-)

No poker yet today, will be logging on shortly though.....

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Oh yeah

After getting a bit crushed yesterday when 4 tabling, I decided to take a step back and play 2 tables at a time to get my bearings at NL100 - especially bet sizes which are completely different to my normal game of NL50. There's also tonnes more pre and post flop action so more decisions are needed and I found myself a bit rushed, so thought it might be a wise move.

As it turns out, I was partially right - although running good also helps. Played for a total of 4 hours today and picked up a nice $210 win, putting me $500 up so far in Thailand. Lots more poker to be played in the rest of the week, with the plan being to get up early tomorrow to catch the late night Europeans on the tables.

In other Thailand news, it's still scorching here. I managed to squeeze 3 hours in at the pool and go out for a meal for less than £6 (starter, main course and 2 drinks). This country is awesome!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Day 2 - Not so good

Played nearly a thousand hands yesterday at NL100 and lost just over $100. At the time I thought I had been outplayed in a few too many pots with a couple of bad beats - but looking through the stats now it shows that I was actually very unlucky..... my EV was actually +$100 so poker in effect owes me $200. Can't wait to have the poker gods smiling on my side today!

I haven't mentioned it on this blog yet, but the place we are staying in here is absolutely awesome. We have a 2 bedroom luxury apartment (1 en suite with shower and bath) situated in a new complex. The best thing is that the place is so new that hardly anyone is here, meaning we have the gym, 2 swimming pools and outdoor snooker table virtually to ourselves! Cue lots of swimming pool football, stupid dives off the diving board and the odd 'Shallow Hal' bombs by Briggsy :-)

Briggs is actually using the gym at the moment and surviving (just) on 2 meals a day - he's also threatening to grow his hair to emulate his favourite Everton player - expect a new player on the football pitch next season, our very own Felliani....

Right - poker time.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Good Start

Just finished first session of NL100, and despite losing first hand for complete stack of $100 with iffy squeeze, cbet then turn call, I came back to end night $178 up. Add that to the two sessions of NL50 that I played in Chang Mai / BKK and I'm currently $400 up for the month.

Roll on tomorrow!!

Initial Aims

As everyone who has been in earshot of me for the past 6 months knows, I've managed to wangle 3 months out of work to travel to SE Asia, with the plan to see some sights, catch some sun and play shedloads of poker. I'm here with Brenos, Briggs and my awesome girlfriend Katrina - hopefully she won't leave me after listening to me talk about poker non stop for 10 weeks!!

Here are my poker aims for the next 3 months:
1. Play poker or be studying poker for at least 37.5 hours per week
Although I'm here to have a good time, I really want to get better at poker and give it 'a proper go'. This means putting as much time in to this as I would to my normal work at home.

2. Step up from beating NL50 game to beating NL100 - potentially having a look at NL200 before I return to UK in April

3. Study some videos on MTT strategy and play some of the bigger tournaments (£50 buy ins etc) rather than waste time on the smaller $20 STT's that I know I can beat already.

4. Win some money!!!

Non poker aims:
1. Keep Katrina happy :-)

2. Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia

3. Attend the Full Moon party in Kho Phangan

4. Island hop for 1 week or so in Thailand

OK - now time for poker :-)


Right - first ever post.

Some basic background:
29 years young
Job: Qualified accountant
Dream job: Poker professional
Permanent residence: Newcastle, UK
Temporary residence: Phuket, Thailand

I've been meaning to do this for a while, especially seeing as though 2 of my friends (Brenos and Soap) have been keeping a blog for a while now and I think it really has helped them keep focus on their poker results. This blog will (hopefully) track my successful progress through the various ups and downs of poker, but I will also throw in some snippets of my personal life too.

All comments - both constructive and critical! - are welcome