Saturday, 31 January 2009

January review

So a month of Thailand comes to an end. I've really enjoyed things so far, especially the weather. This is the first time I've been away in the winter and I must say it's pretty awesome. I've lost a fair bit of weight, I'm just under 14 stone now and was 15.5 at the end of December. I put pay to wasting away though by having a pretty special fillet steak for tea tonight. This was to celebrate my recent heater at poker, I won a smidge over $3k in the last three days to put me nicely in profit for the month. I'll get to that later though...

Plans for the next couple of weeks are going to pretty hectic, especially considering what I've been used to. We are going to island hop off the southern coast of Phuket, which has some amazing deserted beaches and snorkelling spots apparantly. The four of us can pay for a boat for the day and create our own schedule which is pretty sweet, and it'll be dirt cheap too once we split the cost. I'd also like to have a days fishing if possible too, have a few beers chill out on deck, but make sure to get mega excited when I land a whopping great sail fish as big as me! We'll also do a day trip to Koh Phi Phi (where 'The Beach' was filmed) before we fly off to Cambodia to see Ankgor Wat. After hopefully avoiding malaria and a host of other horrible diseases, dodge a few landmines and avoid emotional blackmail to adopt an orphan, we will probably head to Malaysia. We are currently toying with making a quick stop in Vietnam but that's not certain yet.

We've had a few pretty epic nights out in the last couple of weeks too. The sessions have been monsterous, staying out after evening meal and still be drinking at 8am, some 12 hours later. It's fun playing the locals at pool, connect four and some Thai dice game where you have to notch off numbers 1-9 by rolling them with two dice. You can choose which spots on the die to take so there's some strategy in taking the high and low numbers first and giving yourself a chance at completing, but it's still a huge variance fest. Weird how I analyse game strategy now!

Anyway what is certainly true is that I get totally shit at everything at around beer number 8. I'm actually really good at pool too, I'd play anyone sober for money here, but I remember certain occasions later on where I'd be missing the cueball! I also get really happy a lot and 'ring the bell' which means you're buying the whole bar a drink. I made the mistake of doing this in the bussiest bar in town, at peak time, but thankfully the bill only came to £50. I've since picked quieter spots, but can't stop doing it, going hell for leather on the bell making the whole bar happy is so much fun! I'm such a big kid!

We're starting to get to know the area and had our first trip to 'Safali' (not a spelling mistake) which is an 'Ibiza like' superclub away from the main towns and bar strips. And when I say 'Ibiza like' what I really mean is 'nothing at all like Ibiza', it's just miles away. Last weekend we were took there by a few locals after the bar we were in shut at 2am. I sensibly opted for the passenger seat on the back of one motorbike, allowing my sober new friend to drive. But Briggsy somehow negotiated the driver's seat after double figure Singha's. Oh My God. The roads and terrain around here are rediculously steap and bendy, and Briggsy reliably informs me that he had the throttle floored the whole way. I believe him too. The speed at which he pulled away from us was Starship Enterprise-like! I wasn't expecting him to see him at the club after hearing the poor girl's shriek on the back. But credit where credit's due he was there with a beer waiting for me on arrival! Details were pretty hazy but I remember the club being pretty cool, with outdoor fountains and a club upstairs, which I'm informed I actually never made it to! Good times!

We probably should have sporadically done a few things in the last couple of weeks, as now we're having to cram a bit activity wise and poker volume will suffer. I really want to get playing too, I'm loving the higher level thinking and challenge of NL200. My graph for this month is quite rediculous, I'm still -$1000 in EV, but 5 buyins over the course of a month isn't that much really, especially with the higher aggression and stacking off frequency. Anyway having spent in the region of £1.5k already it's nice to be able to make a decent withdrawal from poker, especially after it was looking like I wouldn't be able to :-)

I'll check back with some photos of trips soon, and we're definitely taking the camera out tomorrow night. It's the Tyne Wear derby (come on Sunderland!), followed by Liverpool vs Chelsea, and then at 6am our time it's the NFL Superbowl. We're reliably informed it'll be screened on the sly in a local Irish Bar, where the plan is to have a full english breakfast before crashing out after the game. We must get some photos of this night as it's sure to be pretty crazy!

Good luck for February, especially Soap, hope both the poker and shares pick up mate! :-)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Poker Gods aren't well...

They've got the runs and it's all landing on me!

Yes so this is a whinge post, [but read on, I lighten up]. Today has been incredible. I raced upto $800 this afternoon, but still below EV I must stress. Then later this evening, fuck me. Pots where I lost 90bb+ (Street):

(F)Overpair vs Set
(F)Flopped Str vs Flush
(R)Flopped King Flush vs Ace Flush
(F)OESFD vs Overcards
(F)Set vs Set
(T)Str Fl semibluff vs Top pair
(P)AK vs JJ
(T)Floped King Flush vs Ace Flush
(F)Set vs Set
(P)AA vs AJ (oh yes) 89TJ.....J for ultimate sweat
(F)NFD+Overs vs Top pair
(F)Top pair+FD vs Overpair
(T)AA vs JJ

So the EV of these situations means very little, as the money is going in when I have a set on a dry board pretty much regardless of action with effective stacks of less than 150bb. I'm also really good at flopping second best flushes and whiffing mahoosive draws. Incidentally I didn't mention a few days ago, but AA lost to 58ss all in pre. This month I've got AA in pre three times, once for 30bb versus a shortie which I won, and twice for >100bb vs AJ and 58 and I've lost.

So after a high point of +$1500 for the month, I am back down to +$300. But the volume is looking good. I can nine table pretty well with all my software gismos on the go, and I aim to log another few k hands before a big night out on Saturday.

For those of you who don't know, the mighty Manchester United take on Premiership minnows and relegation bound Tottenham Hotspurs in the FA Cup, a taster for the League Cup final, which has been renamed to 'Manchester United versus "How the fuck did they get past Burnely?!"'

I might buy a cheap knock off Man Utd 'Berbatov' top to wear on the night. Whenever I see someone in a footy top on a night out he instantly gets tarnished with the 'dick head' label. But I suppose it's a bit different out here and certainly different as an 'in-joke' amongst mates. If it's around a tenner I'll snap it up.

Tomorrow we are going for a 'Gay-off' at the local massage/beauty parlour. I'm going for a haircut, manicure, pedicure and full body oil massage (no more of that thai torture for me thanks). Briggsy may brave a back wax, aswell as the haircut, mani & pedi and massage, so he could well be the winner here. Either way Ben is definitely coming last as he is just getting a haircut and a massage. This is in no way proving his masculinity as he's not had a proper night out here yet. So in spectacular fashion he is going to lose the 'Gay-off' yet still be the most gay person here. And he's a cockney. And he's not going to like this when he gets up...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Some poker

Specifically ~1500 hands 9 tabling NL200 on Big Slick.

I won $300 but Sklanksy can go fuck himself cos I got screwed in his own magical little made up currency. Here is a pretty epic graph for you...

I am so happy in how I played. That non showdown line is incredibly pleasing but I obviously got crapped on at showdown. Nevertheless positive thinking must prevail as if I continue to play the way I have and get my money in like this then I'm going to own souls and make gillions of dollars.

Good night and good luck all :-)

Monday, 19 January 2009

It's been a while...

Yeah so I've not updated the blog in a while. It's not like I've even been very busy. Lots of lazing in the sun, football in the pool, snooker, head first dives off the diving board, a few hands of poker and a smidge of the gym.

As you can see, our new place is pretty nice. There is an upper pool next to the gym that runs down via a waterfall into the lower pool. You might be able to make out the snooker table behind the diving board. The peaked roofed outbuilding is the gym and our appartment is directly above that on the left.

We've had completely free use of everything so far. There's been no one in the gym, and no one around the pool. It could be said that perhaps we are putting people off coming down when we let off a bit of steam throwing a ball around, and attempting stupid dives off the diving board (which have left my ears perma filled with water) but I think on the most part we are very good neighbours.

Here's my first bit of video editing for your entertainment :-)

Aside from that we've not done much. We haven't even had a proper day at the beach yet. It looks really nice, I can't wait to go for a dip in the sea. We shall be arranging some island tours, snorkelling, scuba and other activities very shortly.

Going out for food on an evening has been an absolute pleasure. I'm eating some fruit for breakfast, and then having a two course meal on an evening. The heat and sun are really effecting my appetite, but when I do! This evening I had spring rolls to start. Forget any spring rolls you've had at home, they are amazing out here. Then for my main course I had my first Thai Green Chicken Curry. I ordered some vegetable fried rice to go with it and wowowowomgomg I think this might have been the nicest meal I have ever had. The curry is spicy but not overly so you struggle at the end, and the veg with the fried rice was out of this world. I washed this all down with a couple of glasses of freshly squeezed lemon juice (mmmm) and had a few bits of watermelon and pineapple from the complimentary fruit plate. All this for a smidge over a fiver. Unbelievable.

The fruit out here is incredible too. We bought quite a lot in bulk last week and it's just soo good. We've still got a quater of a huuuuge watermelon left which I will help to finish off for breakfast in the morning.

Pokerwise I have played a bit more, totalling 5.5k hands but unfortunately have had a couple of losing sessions so am only a 2bb/100 winner for just over $250. I think my lack of blogging, emailing the folks and friends back home, and logging poker hands has been down to me drinking too much. Not like going out getting battered every night, but having a few with my evening meal, then maybe a couple more when the footy is on. A 3pm kick off is 11pm here so it's very easy to stay out for a few after eating and watch the game. I'm quite strict on myself for not playing when tired/drunk, and the blogging/emailing I put off just out of laziness really :-p I'm not going to drink at all this week though and save myself for a good Saturday night out here, which again we've not done yet, and it's the busiest night of the week by far. I wonder if I can make the Merseyside derby tonight at 3am, those dive bombs took it out of me today!

Anyway, lots of poker shall be played this week, hope to bring you good news on that front soon :-)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Thailand update

Ok so since my last post I have...

* Been extremely drunk in Bangkok a few (!) times
* Seen a ping pong show (no, not table tennis)
* Been to the world's biggest crocodile farm, fed crocs, touched a tiger and played with monkeys
* Flown up north to Chiang Mai (traditional Thailand)
* Been bamboo rafting and elephant trekking
* Had probably the nicest meal you can get anywhere for 90p
* Had an interesting massage experience
* Flown south to Phuket
* Stayed in a hotel with no windows
* Drank lots in touristy Patong
* Moved into an awesome place just off Karon beach

I'll post some pics of my place soon. It's pretty awesome. It's a brand new appartment block minutes from the beach, but it has it's own pool with diving board, sun deck, snooker table and as there is no-one here yet we basically have free run of the place. Wireless internet is up and running so I'm going to be hitting the tables nice and hard for the next month. I've really missed playing, and our internet in most places has been horribly unreliable.

I've certainly enjoyed the trip so far. Photos are up on facebook so check them out there. I'll get round to posting a few choice ones on here shortly.

My good friend Ben who is out here with me has decided to start up a poker blog too, you can have a read at Holmes' Big Deal which is now also linked on the right.

I played 1k hands of poker tonight which is the longest I've played in one sitting for ages. That makes 2k hands for the month (!) for $600 profit. Now that I have decent internet I'm going to be playing loads, so I'll have more to say on that front soon too. Meanwhile here's a cross post of my massage experience...

Chaing Mai is lovely. It's sooooo much different to Bangkok. You don't get any hassle whatsoever, and people seem genuinely helpful, rather than $$$ driven. We had the signature northern Thai dish for lunch today, called Khao Saoy (Cow Soy) which is chicken with soft and crispy noodles. And boy is it nice! We finished off with water chestnuts in coconut milk for dessert, has anyone had these?? They are quite nice but such a weird texture, like very doughy on the outside, but sweet to the taste. The centre 'nut' almost tasted like a mini digestive biscuit, and the coconut milk was amazing. A two course meal with unlimited top ups of bottled water all for 90p a head!!

I had my first Thai massage experience last night. We decided to wait until outside of Bangkok so as to be more certain of the establishment's authenticity. This went pretty badly wrong, but not how you'd immediately think! We walked past the hotel reccommended 1kBH/hour (£20/hr) place to find a much cheaper option. We saw a sign which we followed to a very nice looking place where we could get 1 hour for 200BH (£4). That'll do very nicely!

We were greeted by a tiny local who was very openly, gay. No problem I thought, bet there's the odd gay masseur knocking around (!) When a few more of them swarmed in however the alarm bells started to ring. Katrina was obviously delighted with this, as she was here with her boyfriend and with the stigma that comes with these places this was basically her dream non-threatening outcome. Before we had fully worked it out, K&B were whisked away to their own private room and me a Briggs were left wondering whether to bail. We were brought some magazines to read as we would have to wait 10 minutes for the next room to be available. I immediately flicked to the back to see if I could find some adverts for this place. I did...under the 'Massage for Men, by Men' section. So I try not to sound too impolite and asked the front of house fruitcake if they have any female masseuses working here. He was actually really nice, "Oh yes we do! Would you prefer a lady massage?" So I nod and say yes please. I don't know if I did over react a bit, the place was really really nice, but it was on the same page as adverts for a parlour called "You-2-Come Massage for Men" with a topless adolescent thai male wrapped in a towel as it's poster child, so maybe it was well founded.

So anyway we did get 'lady massage' but I'm not entirely sure mine qualified. After I got changed into thin cotton pants and shirt for the massage (which have since given me a rash), she started by kneading my calves and thighs with the strength of a thousand tigers. I think she and Arnie were seperated at birth. Actually just like in that film Twins, only Arnie got all the shit genes and she got all the super strong ones. Oh my God it hurt. I bet it was really good for me but to be honest I didn't feel revitalised afterwards. I think I'll opt for a more relaxing one next time!

Friday, 2 January 2009


You've all probably heard about the fire. Pretty terrible news.

Had a good new year at the plush Bed Supper Club where thankfully they didn't let off firecrackers indoors. Have enjoyed the start of the trip and especially the food so far. Our hotel isn't half bad either, with cracking pool, gym and spa facilities.

I've only played about an hour of poker on Big Slick (ipoker network) at $1/2 and was unlucky not to win more than just $200. Still a nice start to poker in Thailand. I can't get into my Ladbrokes account here. Don't know yet if it's just the hotel wireless or if it's entirely restricted in Thailand. Guess we'll see soon. I was quite surprised that I was able to deposit £1500 into my Big Slick account though. I guess my bank fraud team work GMT hours ;-) Message me if you want an account there as I can get you locked in on the highest VIP bonus level, meaning you get ~35% rakeback as well as other loyalty offers.

I'm off to see some sights now so will write a proper update soon.

Happy New Year :-)