Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Losing session

Bah - lost £150 tonight. Couple of really reckless / foolish bluffs means I lost a fair few buy ins. I also lost a couple of pots I was favourite in and also slow played KK pre to get in to trouble versus a 37 monster. Idiot. I vow never to not 3bet KK again for a long time....

Live and learn I suppose, live and learn

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Addicted to Poker!

It's official - I just want to play all the time. Luckily for me I'm still in stage 10 and 11 of the gambling addiction chart 'bragging about wins' and 'thinking only about gambling' - as I just posted another winning session of £370 and can't wait to play again!

I must admit I ran like a god today, getting there on the river in 3 big pots (paid for full buy ins in 2) when I should either never have been in the pot or just got plain lucky. Obviously I'm not complaining as I know bad times will likely be just around the corner - I just jave to read Brenos or Soap poker to know that much!!

When stage 12 of the gambling addiction cycle hits 'prolonged losing episodes' I'll make sure I take it all in perspective :-)

Sunday, 26 April 2009

I finally cashed in a tournament!

This is a bit of a shock for me, as I can't remember the last time I finished in the money. Anyway, somehow my weak-tight folds got me through to the final table of a freeroll tonight, where I finished 3rd for a nice $600. I cruised in to the money and FT after being in the top 10 from pretty early on, but got short and had to play push poker from 7 onwards. There were 210 registered for the tournament but a fair few regulars / pros clearly couldn't be arsed as there must only have been about 100 actually playing. As I stated in the earlier post, my hangover meant I wasn't capable of any standard cash play so I took opportunity - and glad I did now.

Shame it's work again tomorrow - you poker playing skivers don't know how lucky you have it....

Home Truths

Here are some things that I knew before this weekend, but I have had them confirmed to me again - more or less in this order:

Spurs can be class
I am a lightweight
Spurs are the most infuriating team in the world to support
£30 freeze outs are full of poker retards
Drinking 9 pints before food is not a good idea
Brennan is shit at poker when he's drunk - but will tell you he is 'awesome'
I run bad in tournaments (QQ bust by K9 calling my all in shove pre flop)
Ad King runs like god on cash tables
Brigs is a drinking animal.
Mood is a shithole
Briggs is also a dirty dog.
I do not do hangovers very well

Currently dying on the sofa watching the Arsenal scum play Boro (come on Boro!!!). I have a freeroll later but determined not to play any cash poker while this ropey as have lost a lot of money doing that in the past. Arsenal just scored and if they go on to win by a few I won't feel like watching it so might load up a few cheap STT's to keep me entertained....

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Rake me up!!

Just finished for the evening here at 1:30 am, having played just over 3 hours worth of poker tonight. First 90 minutes broke even but then came good late on to win £200 for the evening. Just as importantly though I'm building points for the rake race as would love to climb in to the top 300 and make a bit more spondoolees. Last month I finished in the top 90 but now that I'm back at work there was no chance I could get through the same volume. I know there's a tonne of people that have lost jobs in the recssion, so I won't bitch and moan too much - but having to go to work each day is so GAY!!!

Thankfully their start times are flexible so I'm predicting a 9:59 am start time for me tomorrow to get maximum sleepage :-) In fact, I better go now before the zzzzz's get me....

Is it ever right to fold KK pre flop?

Apart from the obvious scenario of being medium to high stacked in the WSOP and playing the bubble, I think there are spots where it’s right to fold. I’ve done it twice, and been slated by my mates for one of them, but I’m standing my ground and can say at the time I thought it was the ‘right’ decision.

1st occasion
About 2 years ago when I first started playing cash tables, I was a nit. A proper 12/9 nit. I only raised with big hands, and I think everyone I played with on the crypto network at the NL25 games knew this. Therefore when an under the gun (UTG) raiser opened, was min raised by mid position and I RAISED from BB, it meant I was strong. When the initial UTG raiser shoved for 80BB and the min raiser insta shoved for 120BB – who I both covered – I thought it was pretty much a given that one or both had aces, so I turbo mucked my kings talking a small loss of 11BB. Sure enough it was KK UTG and AA min raiser, so I felt fully vindicated in my read and actions.

2nd occasion
This is the one that I got all the stick for, and I must admit I was a complete pussy, but I’m kind of pleased I did it. It was a live deep stack tournament (12k chips, BB of 50), first orbit, and I pick up KK in mid position. UTG opens to 300 and I call, looking to slow play. 2 more callers behind and then button repops to 2k. UTG folds and I think for a bit then fold, along with the other limpers leaving the button to take it down uncontested. Naturally he doesn’t show.

In retrospect I did play this hand terribly, but I did have some mitigating factors. The tournament was the Caribbean Poker Classic 18 months ago, a $6k buy in, and as a small stakes grinder (fish) / local casino tournament my previous largest buy in had been the £20 rebuy at Grosvenor and the £25 freeze out Xmas special at Soapy’s house – needless to say I was a bit nervous! I’d won my place in the Caribbean by winning an 80 man weekly freeroll and then won in to the main event by playing a live satellite ($660 tokens provided in to a $220 rebuy game), which finished at 4 am the night before the main event. I then stayed awake through adrenaline until 6, and got up at 10 to register and start at 11 am. The KK hand came at 11:10 ish, so along with everything else, my brain hadn’t quite woken up yet either…

If I were to play the hand again now, I’d obviously reraise the UTG open and play straight up from there. If the button 4bets me on the first orbit, he’s pretty much telling me he has AA, KK (v unlikely) or if he’s ultra loose QQ. Even with QQ though I think he’d slow down against an unknown and just cold call, as he would with AK. I could then call the raise looking to spike a K to break his obvious aces, or cbet any low flop if he flat calls.

As I played it though, I think I have to fold when button reraises me. I could have called and look to hit the king, but if a low flop came and he did have aces then I was likely to lose a much bigger portion of my stack – if not all. Could I get away from this on a 552 flop? Or a T63 board? Very hard. If I bet out, he’ll raise with all of his hands as he figures I’ll be weak to not reraise pre flop – forcing me to a decision for my tournament life on my 5th hand- something I don’t want to do. If the flop comes down QT9, I have overpair and gutshot, but he’ll also be betting strong QQ, AA and TT – all hands he’s likely to squeeze with. I don’t think I like the reraise much either. If I reraise the squeeze I’d need to make it about 5k to even have a chance to get him to fold – which would be telling him I have an absolute monster. If he pushes, do I fold ‘knowing’ he has aces, therefore losing over 1/3rd of my stack without seeing a flop? If he calls – what does that mean? I guess it would more likely be QQ than AA but could I completely rule out slow played AA or even a fishing AK?

As it turned out, I folded, then proceeded not to win a hand in the next 6 hours, never seeing a hand bigger than JJ which I correctly folded after raising and being 3 and 4 bet pre flop. I stole one hand with 56s from SB when I pushed versus BB and he folded, but then lost a coin flip of AK vs 77 to be knocked out in 90th of 180 runners. I think the experience of those 7 hours though, playing with some really good players and hearing their poker and life stories – they travel so much – really made me want to go poker pro. Although I’m a long way off of that, this motivation made me read a tonne of poker articles and watch 100’s of videos so I’m now a million miles better than I was in the Caribbean. Just hoping that one day I’ll get to play a big tournament again and play the hand a bit better…..

Anyway – why did I choose today to write up about this now? Well last night I think should have been the 3rd time I folded pre flop with KK, however I could not bring myself to do it. I raised UTG and was then 3bet all in for his entire stack of 110BB. I only had 95BB at the time and as I was 6 tabling I thought for a milli second but then just clicked all in out of instinct. When I looked up at his stats though on Holdem Manager, he was a 23/0 with an Aggression Factor of 0 and a 3bet of 0 having played 170 hands. These stats were available for me to see via the Heads Up Display when I made the decision, so I should really have taken the time to look and the decision I came to may have been different. He proceeded to duly flipped over AA and scooped the pot after I failed to improve.

Luckily I ran OK on my other tables and recorded a £220 win for the night, halving Tuesday nights disaster. K is away at an AC/DC concert tonight so I’ll be logging a gazillion hands after 5 a side football, hopefully staying in profit for the month!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

April all gone wrong

Just lost £500 tonight on poker, with every spot going wrong. Trying to stay positive but really depressing. Now back to break even for the month but will be playing some more in next week or so to try and get back in profit and help out with the rake race. Balls.

Work is also shit.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Weekend Results

Spurs 1 Hapless Toon 0 :-)

Went to the pub to watch it with the lads - including a few too many Geordies - so was more than relieved to hang on and win, especially when we should have been about 3 up by the time Shearer put on the danger men of Viduka and Smith...... ha ha ha..... I mean Viduka and Martins. Smudger is absolutely hopeless, summed up by his 'shot' from the edge of the area that nearly hit the corner flag. How can a centre forward / centre midfielder play 52 games without scoring and still get £60k a week?!?!? You've got to laugh - and be thankful it's not your club. I still think they'll get raggy and stay up with a win on the last day of the season, but it's fun right now watching them shit themselves.

As for Spurs, we've got some rock hard fixtures (Man Utd, Everton and Liverpool all away) in last 5 games so think we'll just miss out on the Europa league. Not that this would be the end of the world as it'll be a pile of poo anyway, but I suppose you need something to aim for. We've been class since Xmas and with a 3 signings (centre half cover for King, big centre forward, left winger cover for Modric) I think we'll be very strong next season. Champions League will - as for everyone outside big 4 - will be out of the question, but think we'll be scrapping for 5th with Villa, Everton and Man City. All depends who we sign....

No cash poker as Katrina's parents were up for the weekend and spent a lot of time with them - including a night out on the town on Friday night. I've met them a fair few times now and the 'need to impress them' nerves have pretty much gone - which I think contributed to me letting my guard down and accidentally getting hammered. I'm not exactly a heavyweight at the best of times, but as I have only been drunk about 5 times this year due to my Thailand poker exploits, the beer hit me a lot harder than I expected. The Saturday morning hangover and the stories Katrina was telling me of the taxi ride home had me worried how bad I was as we all met up again on Saturday afternoon, but I think I managed to get away with it. They didn't tell me to leave their daughter alone so I think I'm still in their good books :-)

I did play a WSOP freeroll on Sunday evening but the 2 hands I played went against me. First I raised and cbet with QQ from SB on AT3 board, before giving up, checking through against BB to show A8. Fair enough on his part, no complaints, just a shit board. Stole a couple of blinds but got short (1.1k - BB 150) and shoved over a CO raise to 600 all in from the button making his call obligatory. He shos A5 and low and behold the dreaded ace flops. Shame as there were only 74 runners and top prize was all expenses paid trip to vegas for the WSOP (entry included), but my tournament run of bad luck continues. Think I have been bad beated or coin flipped out in all of my last 7 tournaments, without even making a dent in to the prize pools. I grew up as a SNG and MTT regular - cashing a lot - in the (g)olden days of Crypto but right now I hate them with a pasison usually only reserved only Arsene Wenger and his under 15 loves he calls the Arsenal first team. I'm sure I'll play tournaments again in the future, but not for a while.

All this blogging is keeping me from the tables so I'm going to stop writing and get playing. Adios amigos.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Quick Update

Been plodding along at work the last few days, taking a few more tea breaks than I did before my holiday and generally easing my way back in. I've been given a couple of tiny projects and to be honest I have no idea if there is any real work involved in either of them - I'm just going to put my head down, stay out of the way of the big bosses and leave the office at 5 each day to come home and see K / play poker / do a bit of exercise.

Poker itself has gone OK past 2 days, only played a total of 600 hands but won about £300 - can't complain. Don't think I'll get to play much now until Sunday so expecting a fall down the rake race leaderboard, but plan to make it up in the past couple of weeks of April for a good finish there.

Good luck to those playing out there - hope my mates Mark and and Brenos get some better luck soon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

First day back at work.....

.... was as expected a very easy day - with the hardest bit being getting out of bed at 7:15 in the morning. The rest of the day was spent getting myself set up on my laptop and chatting to everyone who would listen (thereby forcing me not to work) about my holiday. I suspect it will only get worse, but as I still have no official job title or real responsibility I'm expecting the rest of this week to be a bit of a breeze as well. We'll see.

Poker was again uneventful. Short stacked for 15 minutes on NL200 but lost 50 euros very quickly and got annoyed so quit to concentrate on normal NL100. Won back 45 of those euros slowly over the next 3 hours, leaving me net 5 euros down for the night. As I always tell Brenos - I have got to be happy when I consider the rake!!

I'm about £200 up for the month so far which is obviously below where I'd hope to be at this stage, but I am on for a half decent size bonus on the rake race leaderboard. I'm currently on for $600 which will be matched by RTR and I'm hoping to climb a bit more to give me £1k overall by the end of the month. My goal for this month is to grind out another £500 in poker profit that will still give me a £1.7k ish return for April- time will tell if I can do that in next couple of weeks.....

Monday, 13 April 2009

:-( :-( :-(

Work tomorrow - not good. Shirts ironed, alarm set - thoroughly depressing!!

On plus side I did win some money today for first time in a while, mostly while short stacking on NL200. I like this limited brain poker and can see how some of the big rake race winners rack up the points - you can play a gazillion tables and never feel as though you are risking that much money. If I ever start to really suck at full buy in poker then I definitely might consider this as an option - especially as I know Brennan hates people like this!

I also had my first run out of 5 a side football today in 4 months, and I am really really unfit. My chest kills, my legs ache and I'm shattered tonight, but I feel better for it. A couple more weeks and I'll start to get my fitness back I reckon. We'll see.....

No Progress

Lost about 100 euros yesterday after a long 3 hour session, but I have to say it was one of the most boring sessions of play I have ever experienced. I 6 tabled for a total of 1400 hands, and only had 2 hands where I either won or lost more than 50 buy ins. Snore snore. I think I'm turning in to an action junkie like Suddes...

The one thing that kep me playing longer than normal in that mood was the appearance of the jackal on my table. Luckily for me he sat 2 seats to my left, which meant I could steal the big blind whenever I was on the button at will as I know he is an absolute rock and fears me!! :-) Only joking Carl - I always had monsters :-)

Might get some hands in later, but I am now about £30 down for the month so at the moment my April results are not looking fantastic.... still a long way to go though.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Sat Night At Grosvenor

My online form has been patchy at best this month, and despite me logging a fair few hours I'm currently only just above break even. I played a few times when my mind was not really on it (i.e. taking work phone calls, playing when ill) so I'm not 100% downhearted about my game - just need to keep playing and sure the pots will start coming my way.

Decided to take a break from online and went to the casino with Rich and Azz last night for some old fashioned live play. I've not been for a while but the same old faces were there and as I sat next to Mr Cusworth for most of the night I had a good laugh, without much success on the card front. I don't think I helped myself much when I showed a steal with 36 off suit from early position with around 18 players left, as this put a target on my back! I sensibly calmed down my raising after this for a couple of orbits, but got AI pre flop with AK against a guy who wanted to go home and had shoved the last 3 hands (including 37 suited, A8 and J7 I think). Obviously the time he goes all in with me he has a reasonable hand (77) but it looks good for me when I see a King on the first card of the flop, only for a 7 to bink off as the 2nd card. Sayonara amigo!

I left Azz and Rich still there with about 14 left and I would be very very surprised if neither of them took down a sizeable chunk of the prize pool. I know I shouldn't be surprised at the standard of a £25 + £5.50 freeze out but it really was poor. I think I'm going to limit my casino visits to when I go with friends and drink a few beers as a social occasion rather than a serious attempt to win money - the top prize was only £280 and there's far juicier games online on a Saturday night. As I said though, I still enjoyed myself so can't complain too much.

Will log a few more hands in the next couple of days before work again on Tuesday- grim prospect.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Bad Day All Round

Alas, the good variance from my last post has ended abruptly, with Murphy's law deciding to use me as a practical example yesterday.

Work Hell
I know I have coplained on here loads about having to return to work next week after 3.5 months off, but I did actually have a decent job lined up for when I returned. Until yesterday. I get a phone call from my one of the bosses telling me that they have made some organisational changes and the job they had lined up for me is no longer available. They also say that they know I'm returning to work next week but at the moment they don't know where I'll be working - and that maybe I'll just have some menial office work to do next week until they get something sorted. It looks like I could be the best paid, most qualified photocopier in the whole of Newcastle next week!

I know there is a bit of a recession on and that jobs are hard to come by at the moment, and I know the decisions that effect me in big companies like the one I work for is not taken by my direct managers, but it is still a bit of a let down. I think I'll now end up in a department I hate in a job I don't want with limited career progression opportunites. I'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks but I might need to start taking serious stock of where I'm heading work wise.... something that was not on the agenda after all my time off.

Car Tax Hell
This one is kind of my fault. It's not that I hate cars - I mean, some of them really do look good and it's a pleasure to drive a fast one - but I do hate the amouont of time and money the SOB's cost. If there was decent cheap public trasnport then I think I'd seriously consider jacking them in, but as the UK is a hell-hole with shit weather (who want's to wait in the rain / wind for 30mins every day for a bus that costs £2 for 5 mins??), I guess I'm stuck with my beat up Peugeot 306 for a bit longer.

The down side of not caring about cars or car related things is that I'm very care-free with my 'important' car related documents. Which I have found is not the cleverest thing to be when it comes round to taxing the bitch. I usually tax it online as they have a record of your MOT etc, but this time the renewal form you need for this got sent to an old address and I've been unable to get it back in time. Queue frantic searching through all my old bank statements, phone records, gas / electric bills and old Xmas cards that I haven't thrown away in order to try and find the car information I need - all to no avail. I am missing a log book and a valid MOT certificate, and no idea where they are. My filing system is definitely going to get an overhaul.

Anyway, I need to get all these sorted before the 14th in order to avoid a hefty fine from the government's fancy computerised missing car Tax chaser - the one they show on TV all the time crushing your car etc etc. I've therefore booked my car in for an MOT now, 2 months before it's due one, and hoping to get the certificate back soon so I can get the car taxed at the beginning of next week. Easter holidays have come at a bad time though as everyone is shutting up shop for the weekend, so not sure if I'm going to get it back in time or not. My car also died on me the other day so I'm hoping there's nothing seriously wrong with it as I could do without a major expense fixing it. The new log book is also going to cost me £25 minimum to get sorted. Grrr

Poker Hell
To top things, I also dropped £500 at the cash tables yesterday - all within one 90 minute session. This also coincided with the time I was playing while taking the above discussed work phone call, so I guess I should have known a bit better than to play while distracted. To put it all down to a lack of concentration though would not be fair, as I was £300+ in the hole before I took the call! At my stakes (NL100), I think that to lose that amount of money over a 90 minute session not only requires bad luck but also some bad / misstimed plays. This session was no exception, and for every KK I ran in to AA, I also check raised bluff someone who can't fold with air.

This is still an area I need drastic work on - i.e. to keep my head right when a few situations go against me and I lose a buy in or two. I'm still a bit too results orientated and start chasing my losses straight away rather than have a losing session, which is not logical as this usually only compounds the problem. I'm going to make a conscious effort to take a step back next time I lose a few buy ins and make sure my head is right before carrying on playing that session - otherwise log off and start again at another time. Easier said than done but it's something I'm going to seriously promise to try and do this time (unlike Briggs' diet promise....)

I've just scrolled over this post and it's a long one so I'll cut this short now. My last gripe though is that I still have man flu <> <>. When it rains, it pours......

As they say, today is a new day though so here's hoping the sun shines on me a little brighter than it did yesterday.
Good luck to all and congrats to Mr Pud on his new arrival.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Minimal Play, Maximum Pay

Still off work this week in order to ease myself back in to the UK lifestyle, and had the intention of playing a fair bit of poker in order to boost myself up the rake race. Unfortunately I've picked up the killer man flu virus so struggling to concentrate on anything other than where the next Lemsip is coming from, therefore making 6 tabling a bit too much of an ordeal.

I did manage to log 600 hands yesterday though for a profit of nearly £500 thanks to some awesome set up hands in my favour - including my flopped flush versus trips, my flopped straight with 56 after someone slow played KK against me pre flop and flop before unwisely check raising me all in on turn (board 347T - sweet!!). I think the fact I also played slightly more hands than nomal (21/19 vs normal 18/15) meant I was paid off with mosters too.

Same again today would obviously be nice :-)

Saturday, 4 April 2009

March P&L

Despite not being able to play for the last week of March due to alcohol / suit then most frustratingly internet connection problems, I managed to hang on for a decent finish in the Rake Race on Ladbrokes to boost my profit nicely for the month.

6max: £2130
Heads Up: £400
STT: -£50
MTT: -£160
PLO: -£20
All: £2300

Rake Race: £1100
RTR Bonus: £700

March Grand Total: £4100
(125 hours played)

Obviously I'm more than happy with the return, and pleased with how my game has improved since I have been away. I feel confident that I can beat NL100 now and looking forward to getting back playing again soon. Unfortunately I need to withdraw some of my winnings in order to pay for some unexpected expenses (old council tax bills, stolen motorbikes) so I won't be able to move up in limits just yet....

Work on the horizon so my bonus / rakeback is going to be less this month. Just hope my (hopefully) improved poker skills can make up the shortfall!!

Thailand Adventure Is Over

Well, the time finally came and I've returned home. I've seen some amazing sights - Angkor Watt, Bali, Thailand Islands etc etc - enjoyed the weather (sun and thunerstorms alike) - and had 3 months I'll never forget. Not working all week in the office has also been great!!

If anyone this reading and never been to Thailand then I could not recommend it highly enough. Ignoring the amazing weather and awesome scenery, everyone over there (males / females / shemales) are so friendly, the food is class.... and everything is dirt cheap! I don't think I could have chosen a better country for my sabattical.

Sadly. it's now all over and I'm contemplating my return to work next week. I can honestly say it's a miserable prospect! At least I'm home with K again (no posts this time Soap) so my mood has been lifted, but we'll see for how long with work approaching... I will stay optimistic though!

Results to be posted next....