Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Smiley Face

Wahay I'm really happy. Just won over £1k in under 2k hands 6 tabling NL100 6max. Ship the 50p a hand!

My plan was to grind the 6max for a few hours this evening, to make sure I get the $1500 bracket in the rake race. But obviously winning 10 buyins in no time changed that. There's a slim chance I could still make it but even if I don't I will be posting a £3.5k month for June. After April and May's horror shows, I'm delighted to get back to winning ways. That's a few times now I've ran up a couple of hundred to a couple of grand at the micro cash games, without bagging a big tourney score or anything to help along the way. I think that's actually quite an achievement, but one I'd rather not have had to make!

Basically I am now square one - back end of last year, before I went off galavanting around Asia, spending far too much money, then coming back home and running like shit for two months. I'll leave £2.5k as the poker bankroll and bank the rest. As I've previously mentioned I anticipate expenditure on my shitheap of a car soon, and I need to save up plenty for Vegas. I'd really like to splash around a bit out there and do everything I want to do. Stratosphere rides not included in that bracket.
Anyway fingers crossed the run continues. And I really hope it's sunny tomorrow cos I am going to do absolutely fuck all! :-)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

HU 4 rooolllzzzzz?!?!?!1

I qualified for a Laddies VIP freeroll and a RTR English Open freeroll on Sunday evening. I had forgotten all about them however, spending the afternoon at Father's house. Got a text 30 mins in from Ben so made my excuses and left, but didn't drive home very quickly. My car is fucked again, engine warning light on and it juddering at low revs. If I have to spend another grand on that shitheap I am going to be incredibly displeased. Might drive it up to Appleby in the hope there are still some gypos around, park it up and have a few beers and stay at a B&B in the hopes that it gets nicked/burned out. Insurance job ftw.

Anyway, got home and settled in for a 'tourney evening'. Fired up the two freerolls, and reg'd for a couple of others on Full Tilt, and the $5k GTD on Laddies. I bust out of the Full Tilt ones in splendid tournament fashion. A $2 double chance I lost one race and then AK vs AQ no good. The $10 freezout was LOLAWESOME though. I 3bet 99 in position and flopped top set on super dry 349 flop. I bet a retard amount to induce shoving from air cos I'm already getting paid by overpairs. So he shoves with the mighty no pair no draw A7 off suit and backdoors the flush. NB - it was the 7h that made the flush, so it wasn't even half thought through. Levels go up fast in the freerolls and I soon have 7BBs so I enter monkey mode to attempt to double up. FAIL. I do better in the $5k getting to final 50/300ish, bubble at 42 iirc. Shortie shoves EP, medium stack in MP flats for a quarter of his stack, I have AK on the button. I decide I'm either in awesome shape or flipping so blast em in, with MP just covering me. He calls. Up against AJ shortie and AQ big stack and the Q pops up for me to lose a massive pot to go top 5.

I decide that I'm not in the mood for a grind, so fire up some HU cash action on Laddies. No one wants to play at NL50 so sit with the only guy free at NL100 €. I am severley underolled for this game but figure what the hell I'll give it a one buyin shot. An hour or so later, ship the €500 :-) I've since set up a HU HUD on HEM (LOL) and although I knew at the time my opponent was super tight and I could run him over, my HEM stats confirm that he is infact waayyy too tight. I bossed the small pots, and won all four 200BB big spots. Set vs Two pair holds. Make two flushes on the turn versus decent top pair hands, and finally when he was tilting make top pair with flush redraw on turn and induce him to shove with a gutshot. Nice to get it in really good (90% minimum equity when money went in in all spots) and even nicer to have those setup spots with you on the good side :-)

I lost a bit of it back yesterday, again against a super tight opponent where I stuck to my game plan of winning the small pots and only playing a big pot if I am super strong. So I lose Jacks full Vs quads, flush under flush and set under set. Cheers GG. This was only a 3 buyin loss at NL$100 though as opposed to €Euros, so not quite as bad. I'd play this guy again for sure though.

Grinded the 6max tables again this afternoon but my hand strength radar needed some recalibration after the HU play and I was a bit too showdown happy losing half a buyin. Made up for that this evening at the HU tables though, posting a £200+ win all at NL50 $/€ levels. Feel like I've been fully in control of the matches so far, with a couple of regs not wanting to play me already, which can only be a good sign. Had some trouble with one guy though, he limped all his hands and checked a lot of flops even with strong top pair hands. LOL Hellmuth in disguise. Just as I was getting to grips with a counter strategy (make hands and bet the shit out of them) he quit me. This is a whole new experience I'm going to have to take on board and learn to control better than I have been. Getting hit and run, and quit on when you have just turned momentum around is incredibly tilting at HU. The same thing at a 6max table doesn't even register for me anymore, but it's so different when it's mano-a-mano. Don't get me wrong I've not been going ape shit smashing my monitor up or anything, but a deep breath is required here and there!

I'm now rolled for NL100 6max but think I'm going to continue playing some HU, at least while winning and enjoying it. Not sure if I'll be changing direction permanently, but I definitely want to give this a decent go. I feel my aggro-bordering-on-retardo game is perhaps more suited to the HU dynamic. Gogogogogo!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Knee Update

Oh yes folks, it's that time again :-)

Good news! I have a confirmed date of the 10th July for my knee arthroscopy. Kudos to the NHS for me not having to wait yonks for this. It's minimally invasive surgery (two keyholes either side of the knee apparently) so I'm hoping I can just have a local anaesthetic and watch the whole thing! Have a pre-op examination next week but can't see that being a problem. I'm dead excited and can't wait to get onto a proper road to recovery. Great North Run in sub 90 mins again in 2011 I reckon ;-)

Bad news pokerwise however, I played really badly today. I had won another £200 odd yesterday, but today was very poor. Autopiloted too much and lacked the clarity of thought process that I've had so far this month. Still in a good position with the roll, but that's not important. I could have been moving up again with a good session today. I'm quite angry with myself as I raced up a few buyins at the start of the session, then it all just dribbled away slowly (and then a bit more) by the time I was ready for food. Going to see to it that I don't play this 'D' game again. Let's get back in the 'A' zone :-)


LOL. Happy with how I played so I guess all I can do is laugh. Had an horrific session of run bad where I did pretty much everything right, but lost a lot of money. Finished just over 5 buyins down, with EV saying I should have won €4. Those are the spots where money goes in before a showdown too. Add to that in standard showdown spots I won only 42% (avg ~52%) and I'm going to lose money. One table was pretty sick. I was in the Jesus seat to a super donk 85/17, but he binked off 3-6 outers on me each time for three stacks (€150) which he gave away to the other players at the table before leaving. Now this month is only looking 'decent' whereas before it was looking very good. Still a 7bb/100 winner after this bad patch but I hope to improve that number. Gonna take a break tomorrow daytime and do some jobs and other stuff. Roll on the weekend :-)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Won another ~€300 at NL50 to take the bankroll close to £2k. Played a bit of NL100 yesterday for a small win, this afternoon for a small win, but this evening disaster struck and I'm going to have to drop back down. I lost €700 taking the bankroll back to £1.4k (sorry for the mixed currencies!).

Just had a quick look at my big pots and I won one flip preflop AK vs QQ for stacks, and won another 100BBs with a full house vs trips. On the other side of the coin I lost seven pots over 100BBs. Set under set. KK vs AA. TPTK & 2nd flush draw in 3b pot vs small flush. JJ vs AK BvB. Another set under set. Overs + nut flush draw vs TPTK. This was a strange one, he stacked off very light (either crushed or is 45% at best, as here) and I think I can get a lot of money in good against this villain in future. I also checkraise bluffed the river all in (different villain) on K42JT in a 3b pot and got called by AK when he'd only put 30% of his stack in. Again this is light and I am playing my value hands the same. Oh well things don't always go your way, I certainly had my fair share of bad luck running hands into hands, and people not folding tonight.

Not all doom and gloom though, still in profit, still playing well and still confident about more crushing at NL50 tomorrow. More good news in that my little stint at NL100 accounts for 20% of my rake this month, at only 3k hands vs 18k hands, it will surely have bumped me a few points in the rake race. It's just really disappointing that I couldn't log a decent winner tonight, as then with a ~£2.3k bankroll I could withstand a few extra swings and stay at NL100. Bugger. Ah well things worth doing are never easy, get motivated and get moved back up sharpish!!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Poker Update

Rebuilding going very well. 16k hands of NL50 for €880, crushing at 10bb/100 winrate, playing 24/21 and 3betting 10% which is tons of fun. I was actually £200 missing in EV most of the month, but I caught that up today. I've only played 9 days this month which is basically €100 per day of play. Crazy to think that I could actually be on for an awesome month just at the micros. I'll be on for at least $2k in the rake race too. Career NL50 grinder anyone?

10 out of my 12 sessions have been winners, all for over €60 which is pretty much perfect and certainly can't continue at NL100+. In my first week I raced up to win over €700, then lost €450 in one two hour session! LOL at yet another of one of my epic losing sessions. Wasn't even that bad really, just coolers. Anyway just a marker for me to say bankroll now at £1.6k, when I reach £2k it's back up to NL100 where'll I'll either play for the rest of the month or if I drop back to £1.5k, will move back to NL50 and build up again. All my rake race winnings will be withdrawn to pay mounting bills I have and go towards Vegas fund. All of the lads are all booked up, it's just me hanging on to make sure I'm financially OK (has been a nightmare since returning from Thailand). Now it's pretty much a cert I'm going so am hugely excited for that! Also John definitely has to go on all the Stratosphere rides, which will be great entertainment as he's completely terrified of heights. I, however, didn't agree to anything (I remember) ;-)

Monday, 8 June 2009

Derby VIP Day

I spent the last weekend in London for the Epsom Derby with Ladbrokes VIP Poker Club. This was an absolutely class event, many thanks to Joe and Sam the VIP managers on the day, and the rest of the staff for keeping my champagne glass topped up, and saved my life on many occasion getting me to sit down on the top deck of the bus on the way back to the hotel. More on that later...

Fortunately a couple of mates also got packages, so I was down with Soap & his wife, Ben and K, and as my guest I took Briggsy as it was a bit of a classy do and he's the best behaved lad I know. The blokes were nicely suited and booted, Jean looked lovely and Katrina took a break from wearing the trousers in her relationship and also looked lovely in her dress. You can check out Soap and Holmes' blogs on the weekend also, links on the right. I'm last so I get to be lazy.

The buses left at about 9.30 and no exaggeration, I was smashed by 10.15. I had a full English in the hotel restaurant, but bacon butties were also served on the bus. No worries there, Ben 'dustbin' Holmes finished mine. There was a Jazz group playing for our entertainment, though you couldn't hear past the midway point of the bus. So they just serenaded Ben and K at the front the whole way. We were also waited on hand and foot by staff pulling champagne bottles from a Mary Poppins style never ending ice bucket. A band and bar staff on a bus, who'd have thunk it?!

Once we got parked up in the enclosure at Epsom, lunch was served in a covered area. Lobster cocktail, roast beef and finally strawberries and cream was a real 9/10 three course meal. I didn't leave a thing. A constant stream of staff also made sure my champagne glass never got under a quarter full.

We watched all the races from the top deck of the bus, as the rain was holding off nicely by now and I had no need for my umbrella (sensible me) at all. There was a huge screen next to our space in the enclosure. Huge, as in, as big as your house. This was great for the close up bits and figuring out how your nag is doing (it's doing shit Brenos, don't fret) but unfortunately spoiled our view of the home straight, as you could really hear the horses thundering down and then just appear from behind the huge screen. A minor point anyway. I did in the end manage a few e/w winners for a small loss on the day.

The free drinks continued all day, thanks to our sponsors, Pommery. I have since priced up that I had well over a hundred quids worth of champagne, and well over a million quids worth of the jam and creme scones that came round just before we left. Thanks to Boisdale restaurant for those. The proprietor of which was actually present. We had a bit of a chuckle at a stereotypical old english gent earlier at lunch as we all had name tags on, he was called Ronald MacDonald. Turned out he was the owner, I bet he was used to catering for a slightly different class of clientele altogether!

The bus journey on the way back was truly awesome. My memory is now well dodgy, but basically there was a 1920s Jazz band playing on the top deck to a bunch of rather merry 20 somethings. Yeah that didn't last. We took over, belting out a few Oasis classics, then upon finding out that there was a group of Arsenal fans at the back of the bus (we were at the front) the football songs started. Ben is a Spurs fan, and I just plain hate Arsenal. We also sang a few anti-Liverpool songs, and one about Ben's dog who he really likes to look after. I looked for my umbrella to Jedi light saber the Arsenal fans with, but alas it was long gone.

Back in the hotel bar I have no idea what went on at all. Apparently some knob head called check el-oh-el was spouting about how great he is at poker, and challenging random Yorkshire nits to heads up for rollzzzzzz. I passed out around 10pm.

The hangover wasn't that bad actually considering it was champagne I'd been drinking since 9.30, and not beer. So a surprisingly nausea free end to an absolutely awesome weekend. Thanks again to Ladbrokes, Boisdale and Pomerry.

Poker wise for me this month is OMG OMG OMG awesome as I am £600 up which feels great. I hope to continue the rebuilding this week. In the meantime though...

He's half a girl, he's half a boy, Torres, Torres...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Poker, music & mood

I'm sure the vast majority of us have something else on the go whilst playing poker. I know some like to stick a DVD on, some watch the telly, some try to have no distractions at all and immerse themselves in the game. I like to listen to music. Easy listening, happy music. I'm very partial to the odd bit of rock and heavy metal, but it's no good thrashing about getting aggressive when making calculated non-emotional decisions at the poker table. Especially when you are in a huge downswing.

On my old computer, I took the time to create some playlists especially for poker purposes. Since my new laptop arrived literally hours before I flew to Thailand, I simply whacked all my mp3s over and have used the 'Genius' feature in iTunes to create playlists. Don't get me wrong, this is quite brilliant. You pick a song, and it suggests 25/50/100 similar songs of that particular genre that you might like. It can't get it spot on everytime though and there are inevitably a few songs that I have to skip whilst playing. I do have quite ridiculous taste in music though. Read on...

The benchmark session for the last two months was just well under way. Double barrel KK in a 3bet pot 200BB deep on 467 8 board, and check fold to a 9 river. Lose a flip. Bet/fold a million spots and be about three buyins down in total.

Then some stupid arse song comes on and I flick the iTunes up to change it. After an awesome day out on Saturday to the Lake District, I got a bit cidered up and we enjoyed a good sing along to The Backstreet Boys in the car on the way home (I wasn't driving!). So I click on their Greatest Hits album and queue it up, hoping to rekindle the positive frame of mind, enjoy some tunes and maybe, just maybe win some money back.


I go on a ridiculous-sick-heater-card-rack-super-awesome-run-good period of about 20 minutes enjoying such classics as 'Everybody', 'Show me the meaning', 'I want it that way', 'Incomplete' and the hugely underrated 'Drowning'.

So two things for the rest of this month:

a) 3bet QQ in the BB
b) Listen to the Backstreet Boys

and I should obviously sustain this 190bb/100 winrate :-)