Tuesday, 26 May 2009

End of season bash, Prem final day, BBQ, Poker and Reflections

Not blogged for a while, partly because I've been busy working, partly because it would have been negative whiny crap, and partly because I've been waiting till after the bank holiday weekend for stuff to write about. Well now I have, this could be a long one.

Saturday was the end of season footy team afternoon of drinking, bar games, steak dinner, more drinking, piss taking and general fun and laughter. Unfortunately this once-a-year-pre-planned-months-in-advance event co-incided with a normal, standard Saturday for Ben and he was unable to attend. We started the day in the Punch Bowl at Jesmond, with Iggy winning a 501 darts match against a completely spannered local. At 2pm. After the game he stumbled over to our group and accused us of foul play and lack of respect, claiming that Iggy is a pro. Iggy is not a pro. Anyway this drones on and on and escalates into life lessons from this wise old man, with several high profile celebrity friends apparently. Myself, John and Briggsy chat in the corner chuckling at him going on and trying to work out if we'd run into this character before. Gav argues back and forth with him for a bit, asking if there's any fooking need for his behaviour. John unfortunately mistimes a laugh and glance at the Crazy and gets a snappy response of, 'at least I've got some hair left!'. Shot down! Anyway turns out that this is the infamous 'John 2' from a couple of seasons ago at the Christmas do in the Lonsdale. He tagged onto our Killer Pool game (after John in the list, hence John 2) and talked utter shite all through that too. Also turned out he wasn't a regular and had already pissed off a group over the other side of the pub, and when it became apparent to the bar staff that he was annoying us lot too, he was kindly asked to leave, being pointed in the general direction of Osbourne Road.

The afternoon got a whole lot funnier when Adam King turned up half an hour later, exclaiming as he entered, 'Have one of you guys just played an absolute mentalist at darts?!' Adam had endured a 15 minute ramble along the same lines of what we'd just had, but had been stopped in the street, on his own. A testament to his character indeed that he didn't just tell him to fuck off and carry on walking! We then played a few games of killer darts, with my name on the board being 'Retard'. Which was a little harsh at first but fully justified when I failed to grasp the scoring system on several future occasions. I took down the two games of killer pool before we moved next door to an Italian restaurant for some grub.

We were seated and served by Paulie from 'The Sopranos' and shortly after we got our three-quarter full pints, he took our order. Several times. He was rubbish. Really rubbish. I went for the fillet steak with peppercorn sauce and chips, and for just over a tenner, was pretty decent. Our table got a mix of steak and pizzas as mains, however Gav opted for a calzone with extra pepperoni/no mushrooms/extra mushroom/no pepperoni/unfolded/with a little umbrella/god-knows-what-else which they obviously got wrong. After a slightly longer than planned meal, it was off into town for a crawl along the central station bars, ending up in Linekar's (old Bar 55) which is surprisingly nice and had some hot dancers on stage, which ensured we stayed away from a much more expensive final destination. An extra hot meatball sarnie from Subway before the taxi home ended my day out quite nicely.

Sunday late morning we awoke and waited for Briggs to get back with Ager, then we went hungover meat/beer shopping at Tescos for Azz's 'four years in the making' home BBQ afternoon. Being four blokes we obviously went waaay overboard on the meat shopping, buying loads of burgers, chicken breasts, wings and several hundred beef 'shoulder steaks' just to take the piss out of Cranny. Anyway turned out he said "No" to the invite so plenty of food to be had.

Azz was a quality host, slaving away under a hot BBQ on an absolutely gorgeous day. After lunch we headed in for the giant survival last day to watch the Villa Vs Newcastle showdown. With Ager and Blackaz being big Toon fans in our group it was easy to get drawn into the tension. Ben drew up a sweepstake, where it was £2 in, and we each drew a 15 minute period for first goal, and three potential first goal scorers. Nice and fair. Except that Ben totally rigged it so that he got added on time, and along with two potential scorers, he also got all own-goals (28 players in total) and also no-scorers at all! This massive edge meant he took down half the pot for Duff's o.g. We reloaded at half time and again with the huge edge he created for himself, he won the whole pot second half when it finished with no change to the score. A minor point anyway considering Newcastle had just been relegated. They were absolute rubbish too. You wouldn't think that they needed a goal to stay in the Premiership! Felt bad for my mates who had just witnessed that shambles, and at the time felt bad for Shearer who conducted himself really well in that post match interview. I'm all healed now though as he is back to being a cheating miserable twat in my eyes, and I'm obviously happy that all the overly arrogant 'we're a big club' geordie retards get to wallow in the Championship for the next few years. Yes, the next few years. No way are they bouncing straight back up. They need to make wholesale changes in not just the playing staff, but the whole infrastructure of the club. Then they need to avoid becoming a yo-yo team but that will be difficult as they can no longer attract any decent calibre of player (mercenaries a la Jenas, Dyer, Robert et al) with Man City's money floating around. On a sidenote well done to Burnley. Enjoyed a lot of banter with a school mates dad growing up as he was from Burnley and a huge fan. He had a double garage, and had painted one claret and one blue, what an absolute eyesore that was. A couple of years later after the paint faded he decided to change them to the 'Brazil colours' of one yellow and one... blue. Upon arriving back from school the afernoon after he did it, I told him that the Brazil home colours are infact yellow and green. Adamant they weren't he finished off and went inside to look it up. He was quite redfaced the next day! I guess that story tells you all you need to know about Burnley fans! Cusworth.

After the football we set up the £5 rebuys which promised to be good, with bloggers Brenos, Ben and Carl all particularly gunning for each other, with the ultimate goal being to slag each other off in each others blog reports of the game. I'll try not to disappoint...

Seven of us sat down, myself, Carl and Ben as mentioned, Azz our host, Briggs, Blackaz and Ager. The rebuy period promised to be exciting/retarded as I know that myself and Carl were looking to play a lot of pots. The same cannot be said for Ben however, who is always content with folding to third. I can remember a few tasty hands but missed quite a few biggies as I had seriously broken the seal at this point. I won a few pots early, including a cruel two-outer to Ager when we both have A,X on an ace high flop, but he outkicks me and has a flush draw to boot. I bink the river though to have roughly a 3x stack when Ben decides to play a hand. He isolates (lol never happening) for 5BBs from MP after Carl and Azz had limped. I look down at Jh6h in the SB but this really wasn't important as I obviously make the call OOP. Carl and Azz come along and we see a Js 8h 4h flop. About as good as they get for me, so I donk out. Carl calls (he probably has a four at best here) and Azz folds. Ben raises which is at least an overpair (NIT NIT NIT) but I'm clearly getting it in. Unfortunately I am totally crushed in that he has 88 for middle set. I continue the run bad and he holds, my stack lowered somewhat.

Carl builds about a 4-5x stack with total junk and I luckbox a good sized double up to cover him when I get AA in on a 7,5,3 flop versus Briggsy's set of 7s for the turn and river to run out 4, 2 to make a wheel. Then the inevitable 200BB clash happens. I open 4x 10,6 in late position, Carl re-pops something ridiculously huge to like 20x from the BB and I decide to lay a sneaky trap and just call, my hand being well ahead of his range. I think the flop was K,Q,9 and he leads out for near pot. I 3x raise him here for value and to my surprise he ships his whole stack in. I do some rough sums and am clearly not getting any sort of price to call. But LOL gutshot LOL massive pot LOL potential suckout LOL potential massive chip lead LOL I call! Turn bricks and the river is a beautiful J for my straight to get there against Carl's (omg a hand) AK.

A few more rebuys happen when again Azz limps, Ben raises it up, I flat Ah2h on the button, and Carl obviously comes along in the BB. Flop is As 10h 8h it's checked round to me and I try not to wet myself as I bet, Carl calls, Azz folds and Ben checkraises the entire field a large amount. I insta-ship, Carl folds and Ben snap announces call as soon as Carl releases his hand! He loved that flop too with his QhJh but (un)fortunately I have him completely crushed. Turn bricks and the first river of Ks would have beat me but it was sneakily dealt from the bottom of the pack, as had been done a few times previously. Infact the four of the five times it had been done, it would have produced a suckout and drew a decent reaction each time! I was happy to win this one though after the true river bricked off. I just about finished the job crippling Ben in a blind battle where it went Ben raise, me flat. Bet, call. Check, check. Ben bet small river, I ship, Ben folds. Just checked his blog and he mentions it was a 664T7 board, so he clearly wants to know what I had. Let's just say this... I was value shoving ;-)

On my umpteenth piss break I miss Ben spiking a Q with QQ Vs KK and another exit hand, although details are now hazy. What I do remember though is that three handed between myself, Carl and Briggs took absolutely ages. Carl was fortunate enough to have position on me when my bravado took over and I called every one of raises out of position. Briggs also managed to play absolutely perfect in every spot, folding top pair for like 5BBs when I had top and bottom. Crazy. Eventually Carl knocks him out and we are heads up super deep which is torture as I can smell the mountains of food being cooked up metres away on the BBQ. First hand of HU Carl completes the SB to 2k. I raise to 10k, Carl obviously expecting this and also potentially trapping, insta ships all in. I snap call as with A,10 I am crushing his range for making this move. He does indeed flip over A,3 and we don't bother with a count until after we run the board out. A,4,5 on the flop. Not great. I turn over a horrific 2 on the turn leaving me dead to a river 3 for a split. I'm not saved and when we do finish counting I had 85k and Carl had 80k. So it turned out to be a quite horrific overshove but in his defence it was hard to tell how deep we were and it was also against me! I win one and then lose the final all in, where I was in with any two. Make money on the day but would have been nice to book the win I can't lie :-D

Wow this blog is long. I started after lunch and have been coming back and adding a sentence here and there between phonecalls to Dell, browsing a million websites pricing up the best quote, and phonecalls to a local newspaper who's office I am upgrading with a completely new computer network. I've worked harder this last week than I have in years! Enjoying the break too as I'll be making some money from 'proper work' which has lifted the reliance from poker, which has been going horrible. I think a couple of weeks ago my head had completely gone. I was pushing myself too much to get out of the horrible hole I've been in since getting back to the UK. I was fucking up the simplest of tasks in general life and even a casual phonecall to a mate Ben said I sounded zonked and was talking at a hundred miles a minute. Good to get some perspective and although you don't realise it as much at the time, my head wasn't right and I've definitely been miserable. I'm sure you can tell just from my writing style that I am now super happy. I'm done for the day too having just chucked a few £k at Dell for some new computers.

Pokerwise next month will see me back on my own and unfortunately in the position of needing to rebuild. I think we were a bit too aggressive in the payback structure, then a bad month left me slightly underolled and the recovery never materialised. I undoubtedly ran bad, played bad, played too many tables, played too many hours, got stuck in a rut and things multiplied from there into what totals two horrific months. Thankfully Soap has agreed to end things a little early, and let me keep a larger portion of the bonus and rakeback this month than initially agreed upon, which will help in the rebuilding, thanks mate. I've gained so much perspective this month it's uncanny. This is not to say that the bad run has ended, it could yet continue, and I'll certainly have more in the future. But what has ended is my frankly terribly depressing frame of mind over the last month. I'm booked up for the Laddies VIP Epsom Derby day, which I'm sure will be awesome. Can't wait to unleash the new tailored suit and hot shoes amongst the well dressed female Epsom crowd ;-) Vegas plans are getting finalised, I'm back in the gym feeling strong again and I've got my appointment soon with the Orthopaedic Surgeon where fingers crossed we can get something in motion for a proper recovery for my shot knee! If I could go for a five mile run now on this gorgeous evening it would really round things off, I would feel amazing. That'll have to wait for a while though!

I think I'll log some poker this evening, continuing a recent mini-recovery I've put together only 6 tabling. I'm just waiting on computer stuff to arrive before my next stint of work, so that leaves a couple of days to turn my positive frame of mind to the poker tables, and hopefully turn out some positive results. Hope you all had a great bank holiday and (new found perspective alert) good luck OFF the tables! :-)

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