Friday, 29 May 2009

Sad News

I received some sad news this week, as my nan passed away on Tuesday morning, aged 80. She'd been frail for a while but it was a bit of a shock as she only went in to hospital feeling poorly on the Saturday, and by Tuesday morning she had died. We are still awaiting final confirmation but it looks like pneumonia.

I have been telling everyone that it's probably a good thing that she didn't suffer through years of cancer, or lose her marbles through Alzheimers, but when I think about it now I'm wondering whether it's just families who are left behind that think that - i.e. I'm pretty certain that Nan would have liked to have lived on longer even if it meant being in a worse condition! We weren't particularly close and didn't see each other much since I've moved to Newcastle (she lives 400+ miles away), but I will obviously be going to the funeral to support my mum etc and to pay my respects. RIP nan....

When things like this happen it certainly makes you think about the life you lead and whether you are making the most out of it - something I've been doing a lot of since I returned from Thailand. Watch this space but likely to be some big changes in Holmes circumstances soon!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Weekend Review - Mixed Emotions

I can't quite believe it myself, and even though I chortled throughout the season at their performances, I actually find myself a bit gutted that The Toon have gone. I won't miss them hammering us at St James Park every year (there will never be a bigger home banker than Newcastle vs Tottenham) but there are some things I will miss.

No more lunchtime banter about Toon's push for Europe / 'this is our year' for the cup for me to shoot down, no more tickets for premier league games in the directors box. I just hope now that my mate's job there is safe (or he gets a good one afterwards) and that they make a decent fist of returning next year.

Other than watching the football, my weekend has been pretty decent. I went out for a meal and drinks with K on Saturday, then at an all day B&Q at Azz's house on Sunday. I was undone in the poker with 2 hands before buy ins finished, with my JhQh getting all in on a flop of As Th 8h with Brenos - certain that I was 50 50 or big favourite. Alas he had the one hand that crippled me - Ah xh for top pair and flush draw, negating most of my outs. I thought I had hit a Ks on the river to double me up to chip leader, but it turned out to be dealt from the magic bottom card of the deck, so was replaced by a useless 2s - leaving me very short stacked. I got lucky spiking a Q when all in with QQ vs KK, but bubbled when I tried to outplay Brenos and got stung on a 664T7 board. Luckily for me I won 2 out of 3 sweepstakes while watching the football so ended £1 up for the day on gambling - I'm the big winner me! (I obviously forget about the £17 spent on food and alcohol :-) )

Today has consisted of sweating out the hangover and recovering from eating 3 cows and 2 pigs worth of hamburgers / steaks / sausages. My stomach has taken a battering and I just hope that everything was cooked properly - if I'm still feeling ropey tonight / tomorrow then I'll know it wasn't just the alcohol!

I have managed to play a few hundred hands this afternoon and logged a £150 profit - although still getting caned on the EV. I'm now missing £800 worth of value in May, so although my P&L is just over £100 up, I should be closer to 1k. We all have these spells I guess and not too downhearted - I'm just looking forward to the upswing that should be coming my way soon :-)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Survival Sunday

After 9 months of torture, the Geordies wake up this morning knowing that this could be their last as a premiership club. I've laughed numerous times at their ineptitude, but right now I'm really having mixed feelings - I will never say that I support the Toon, but it would make next season a little less interesting if they weren't there. I will therefore be watching today with interest....

Poker front has been up and down a lot this month, but currently sitting on -£36 for the month. Rakeback will obviously kick in at the end of the month and I'll end up a few hundred quid in profit, but I'm not entirely happy with a few aspects of my game - namely:
  1. I'm playing poker at shit times - 2 of my biggest losing sessions have been after 11:30 at night, trying to play in bed while tired....
  2. ... and while I am also chasing losses! I have had about 13 winning sessions this month versus 5 losing ones, but 2 of these have been while logging back on after a losing session to chase. I don't think it would be too bad to log back on after losing, but combined with the time I play, it hasn't worked.
  3. I haven't been concentrating 100% this month. One of the basics of poker is to contemplate the strength of your hand and put the opponent on a range of hands to work out your best decision. Unfortunately, I've been lazy this month and only considered the first part of this equation too often, therefore getting my money in too lightly when obviously (in hindsight) crushed.

I'll work on all of these to make next month by storm.

One last point before my laptop battery dies - will be off to my mate Azz's for a BBQ, football and home game poker later, which I'm really looking forward to. The poker games between us always turn in to a bluff / rebluff .... 'rebuy!' .... game and hoping I get the cards / luck to put one over the Jackal and Brenos. Shuffle up and deal Azzinhio!!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Horse Shit!!!!

This month is turning in to a proper roller-coaster - and not of the joyous 'I'm on top of Stratosphere tower relaxing with a cocktail watching Brennan and John shit themselves on X-Scream' kind of roller-coaster. This is more of a Mouse Trap at Blackpool pleasure beach kind of roller-coaster..... the one where you know a gruesome horrible death is just around the corner, but you just can't stop yourself from going on it anyway.

I just lost £450 tonight, most of it in a 30 minute spell when I should have been sleeping. I misplayed one hand getting it in with AQ on a QT44 board - when I tried to check raise a guy out of flush draw, only for him to turn over TT - ouch. The losses were mostly down to some sick set ups and bad beats - here's the main ones:

me KK vs KQs - board Q4286 - all but 40BB in by turn, he hits flush after i slow play KK to his c/r on flop.

me 89 vs 88 - board 89T -
me A3 vs AQ - board 33Q4 - he hits magic 2 outer on river

Those 4 hands were 4 buys ins gone in under an hour, and it really hurts. I'm now £270 down before rakeback, even though my EV says I should be +500. I just hope this shitty swing doesn't last much longer as I could really do with some cash for a house deposit!!

Now I need to prepare myself for a 9 am meeting tomorrow morning on Team Effectiveness. I hate corporate jargon with a passion but need to try and make a good impression - going to be hard going when I'm in this mood!

Monday, 18 May 2009

What a difference a day makes!

After my depressing Thursday I took a day off on Friday to wallow in my poker despair, but hit the tables with renewed enthusiasm on Saturday to try and claw back my losses. After 2 90 minute sessions I posted a healthy £300 profit for the day and felt a whole lot better about myself! I followed this up yesterday with another winning day (£150) to put me back in profit for the month - just - but with some tasty rakeback to come my way.

I also decided to check out my stats on HEM and ran through my losing hands to see if there were any major leaks. I noticed a few hands that I just couldn't let go when I should have done, but all in all I think I'm playing as well as I ever have. I'm about £500 behind EV and my red line is almost positive for the month - take that Brenos!! Gay red line days are over my friend!!

Saturday was also a happy day for me on 2 other fronts:

1 - I went to see some good friends of mine to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of their baby boy - can't believe how much he's grown!

2 - The Toon lost again!! They might actually manage to pull off the impossible and get themselves relegated from the shittest premier league I can remember. Has there ever been so many bad teams in the bottom half of the table?? I sometimes get the impression that the bottom 6 actually WANT to be relegated the way they've been losing their games. (I still think they will get out of it but as I have said before - it's great fun to see them sweat :-) )

No poker for me today but will be hitting the tables again tomorrow - hoping to run like a Kenyan / Azzinhio at PLO.

Good luck at tables everyone!!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Bad Night

It's official - this has been one of my worst nights in a long long time. Probably since my moped was nicked. It's now 2am, I'm shattered and have work tomorrow. Balls.

It started when we got whopped at 5 a side, losing 10-2. Which is shit because we are 2nd in the league and they should have been beaten. Instead, they just went on to show how unfit I am so that I vow to get fit in next few weeks.

Poker has also been a disaster. I've lost over £500 tonight and feel thoroughly sick. I did tilt off / loosely call a couple of buy ins but mostly I just ran in to the biggest fucking luckboxes of all time. Who the fuck raises, then calls a squeeze then a massive pot bet on flop with a J6 flush draw? I know it's high variance playing against 85/35 players but tonight hurt.

Only thing I can do now is try and get some sleep then get back on it over the weekend - hopefully with a bit more luck.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Busy busy busy

I have seriously no time now that I'm working full time again and trying to get fit playing football - not to mention spending time with K and looking to buy a house. All of which has left me limited free time, so I'm spending all of it on playing rather than posting on here! For anyone that is still dropping by my blog, here is what's happened in first 2 weeks of May.....

Job front

I now have a real one after spending 3 weeks pretending to have one. I've been switched in to a new department and been busying myself trying to learn a gazillion accounting rules and processes over the past 10 days. I'm not going to lie and pretend it is more interesting than learning the pre flop odds of hitting a set or working our your EV with JJ vs a 20/18 TAG all in 4 bet, but it is betterthan sitting around doing nothing all day in the office. I'll see how I feel though when we get to month end and I'm working til 8pm plus again.....

Football front

I've just come back from 3 nights in Brussels where our work 11 a side team played in a tournament against 31 other mens teams from around Europe - all of which work for the same company. As it's half sponsored, we got a lot for our money, including a free night out (unlimited booze) on the Saturday. As we are also an impatient bunch, we also chose to get wasted on the Friday too, meaning the actual football aspect of the trip took a back seat. Which turned out to be a good job as we managed to get knocked out in the group stages - despite being probably the best team in our group. I was considering not naming and shaming the person who's fault it was but in the interest of an honest write up I can't stop myself - it was definitely Adam King's fault for ordering thats mall beer!

Weekend was also notable for an arrest, a sighting of the rare ginger squirrel face, the unfunniest funny joke in the world - ever (let's mix things up....) and the rebranding of our team to The SGP's next year. Can't wait for Croatia.

K front

No sordid details on here (im not Amatay!) but all going well. K has booked us up for a weekend in Paris for my 30th later this year so even though i'll finally be leaving my mid 20's I will have something good to look forward to / remember when I'm older...

Poker front

Going OK as well, although still could do with putting in some more hours. I've played 4k hands of NL100, have a win rate of 7.4 bb/100 (= £270 real money) but missing out on about £300 in EV that I should have won. I'm not even considering being depressed though after reading Brennan's horror stories!! Target this month is to make 1k with rakeback included to put toward the house deposit - something I think I'll be able to do.

Right - this blog entry is long enough. I'm off to watch some Family Guy S07 - it's freakin awesome!! Giggity Giggity. Giggitty Goo.

Monday, 4 May 2009

April P&L

Happy with the way I played last month, and with the rake race winnings. My win rate was actually higher than last month and I feel that I'm playing better now than ever. Hopefully I can put a few more months like this together...

NL Cash: 640
MTT Freeroll 420
Bonus and Rakeback 773
Total Profit: 1833

(Total hours played 43.7 hours)