Sunday, 29 November 2009

Donkament win

Feels great to take down such a large field tourney. After 99% cash poker for over a year now I forget the enourmous sense of achievement you can get from winning one of these. Ok so it's just a little $5 tourney but I'm chuffed to bits! There's $15 of bounties to add on too ;-)

Really happy with how I played it. Totally crushed from about 90 players left just playing the stack size game, and only racing for less than 50% of my chips, with it being nice to win on the two occasions that I did flip. Also helped to have two very weak players on the FT and as the field thinned and I remained chip leader it was just a matter of time in my mind.

Not all good news however in that I had a bad day at the cash tables yesterday, made a hero call that was not good (grrrr!) and lost a big flip, but the tourney score does help things somewhat. Hopefully I'm not done for Novemeber either as I'm going to log some serious tourney time early in the week when I can play longer sessions, whereas Weds-Fri I'm always out.

Good luck all :-)

Friday, 27 November 2009


Last 5 days shortstacking cash. Pretty happy to be running well but mainly pretty happy with my strategy as EV adjusted that's still 7bb/100. I'm maxing out Laddies at 10 tables which makes for a nice hourly. I'm still -£1.5k for the month though but hopefully I can keep plugging on the SSing cash and low level SnGs to finish strong for a fresh start in December.

Incidentally if you want to set yourself a challenge in December like I do, head over to here. Gl all :-)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Turbos

Back in my retarded days I used to play 10 man "normal speed" sit-n-gos on the old Crypto network. After initally losing, I read HOH and got to grips with the structure and started crushing. I then learned I could make more $$$ playing cash so I made the gradual switch. The Full Tilt standard "normal speed" 9 man sit-n-gos are remarkably similar to the old crypto ones, so I started playing those this month. I'm a winner at those, but today I decided to have a pop at the turbos...

Just a quick hour and fourty five mins after my tea before I go out for pool. Ran hot obviously finishing ITM in exactly half of the tournies played. The $6.50s are "Turbos" with 3 min blind levels, and the $7.50s are "Super Turbos" where you only start with 10bbs on 3 min levels. So it's pretty mental action. I only decided to 9 table as I wasn't sure on how hard it would be, but I reckon I can do 12 next time. I reg'd for another super turbo if I bust in the first 3 levels so I got a few more of those in.

I'm going to stick to grinding the STTs for two reasons:

1) I'm 15 buyins below EV after only 6k hands shortstacking
2) I'm enjoying the tournies believe it or not!

I've also been playing the 90 and 180 manners on an evening and am +ROI there too, but no big scores yet, just consistent small cashes. I'll win some key hands late on soon for a nice return I'm sure. I'll post some more results and graphs when I've got a more meaningful sample :-)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Lack of updates = Shit times

So since I drunkedly pissed away £1.5k a couple of weeks ago, I haven't had a winning session since. Nice timing.

There's obviously a slight psychological contribution to the downswing, but the poker side of things has been quite horrific. I have been super happy getting my money in, but not at all happy with the outcome. A session a couple of days ago really took the biscuit. For the second time in my life I flopped quads and lost. I also flopped a full house and lost, and had two set under sets. I tried to play through it pushing a couple of big draws which of course didn't get there. If you read those last couple of sentences carefully you might spot a trend. I've been trying to slow down with my big hands a lot this month, and obviously still push big draws/observed weakness for fold equity. I may be playing Devil's Advocate with myself but it could be being picked up on. At least the results make it feel that way. As I can't win a big pot taking either passive or aggressive lines at all this month, I've decided to take that out of the equation and play braindead poker... Sit n Gos and shortstacking!

I played a 'tourney night' on Sunday with poor results, but a positive mindset to show for it. I was a couple of hours into 8 tournies accross two sites, and was above average in every single one. Then in the space of about 2 minutes I bust five of them in pretty standard setup spots. Then I make what I considered a standard call in the BB for 80% of my stack with KJs after a BTN push. I realised in horror after clicking 'call' though that this was the satellite to the Aussie Millions weekly final and I was 8/16 with 12 seats. FUCK! I obviously lose to Q3o.

I final table a $5 800 runner jobbie after totally pwning the field from 90 left. I am chipleader at the final table but I do a 'Phillip Hilm' and am first out in 9th. I opened tons of hands but chose well when to call off against re-pushes. I lose AK vs AJ, TT vs 88 and AQ vs 44. I am now short and push KQ in the SB into the BB's AA. GG. Pretty soul destroying.

Anyhow the small roll at Full Tilt I mentioned earlier in the month is now a little less small, growing to $350 after that monsterous $60 score taking 9th from 800 :-/ and some $5 STT grindage. I'm at 30% ROI atm playing batches of 12. I'm going to continue that this month. I'd normally consider it a waste of my time but I actually need to do it this month things are so bad. I cleared off all my credit in one lump last month so my life roll is short, and now my poker roll is short too! I'm going to shorstack the same cash games on Laddies as there isn't enough STT traffic for my multitabling abilities. I'll get some chat abuse from the regs but it's all a good lesson in humility imo. I've fucked up but I'm going to get out of it.

Gogogogo small stakes grindage!

Friday, 6 November 2009

The Butterfly effect

If I could make it so that one day in my life didn`t actually take place, yesterday would be it.

Was out with the lads in the local pool league, playing away out in the sticks somewhere and its not my turn to drive so I plan on having a few drinks. I sit down in one of those old deep window ledge seats with my first pint as we`re racking up for practise. I lean my shoulder blade against the window frame just gently and POP I feel it go. I half fall through the window as the whole room hears the glass break on the tarmac outside. I was lucky not to cut myself as it was an awkward break on obviously old glass, where there was some hefty shards still in the frame. Still quite embarassing to have to fetch the landlord and apologise. He didn`t believe my story one bit.

So this mishap makes me intent on getting even more drunk. But the next catastrophe would happen whilst still sober. My round, I walk through the rabbit warren of corridors out of the pool room and into the bar, and make my way back with a tray of 6 drinks. A couple of our lads were running late but had arrived whilst I was at the bar. I say hello to Steve as I walk into the room, and he turns excitedly to greet me not realising I have a tray of drinks. Too late. They go everywhere, half down him half down me and soak the floor in the pokey pool room. Landlord present. Sarcastic "double thumbs up".

We whitewash the pool, thomping home with a 9-0 away win. I wash down a nice supper with a few more whiskey and lemonades. As I`ve been in a horrible 7am-2pm sleep routine for a while now, I obviously can`t just go to sleep. I`m also past the point of wanting to sober up too, so I crack open a bottle of wine in the house.

Cock, cock, cock, cock, COCK!

I stupidly decide to play some poker. I was up over £1k for Novemeber. Was.

I`m now down £500. So I effectively lost £1500 yesterday. £300 of that was legitimately on the afternoon, but still. This was pretty much all HU NL50 which is just a totally stupendous amount of buyins. I mean really! One opponent was truly terrible and I ran horri-bad against him, but the other few were capable and once they figured out I was hammered just entered lock up mode and only played TPGK or better poker. Thing is, I even knew they were doing this, but drunken mentality rules and "I must play on to bust him". Didn`t happen.

I hadn`t played drunk online in aaaages too. I really thought I`d cracked it. And last night I really was beyond drunk. I`ve woken up to quite a few "buddy list" invites in my inbox! Flip side there though in that I`ve got some good rematches when I play again, but it won`t be for a while yet.

Punishing myself with a low stakes grind. I`ve got $200 in Full Tilt which will be at $500 by the end of the weekend, and $1500 by the end of the month. Plan is to return to usual stakes next week and then just part time grind FT after that.

I`m not done. Took another life beat today at Halfords. I bought a new car stereo earlier in the week, a fancy one that can take my iphone and that I`d hoped would hook up to my steering wheel controls. I fitted it myself the other day no bother, but couldn`t get the steering wheel controls going no matter what I tried. I`d bought the extra wiring and patch leads but it just didn`t work. Not a huge problem I thought, I`ll just pay Halfords £20 to do it, as they`ve got advertised. Managed to drag myself up and drive there for 2pm. The guy faffed on for an hour, consulted the largest book I`ve ever seen, eventually concluding that my particular model controls would only work with the stock Vauxhall radio. Cack. He fits it anyway and we go inside to checkout, "That`s £39.99 please sir". "Err, no it isn`t". I point to the sign. He belatedly explains that the offer is for basic models and mine is a super awesome complicated one. I try to string a sentence together telling him that he hasn`t done that though, it was a very basic fitting as none of the extras work. It`s all electronically linked though and it he can`t ring it through for any less. I feel like shite so just give up and pay. £40 on something I not just "could do" but actually already had done!

Anyway that`s the ramble over with. Going to enjoy a weekend off with mates :-) Also pretty impossible to feel bad about the world after you watch this. Go on, don`t laugh!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

NPF Weekend

I've had a majorly hectic and tiring weekend, but a thoroughly enjoyable one at that. So much so that this is the first time I have saved a blog draft and come back to it to add more. This could be a biggie...

Thursday I went out Student style with Rogers and the footy lads, ending up in Digital till chucking out time. Then moving onto Circus for some some early morning donking after an absolute skinful of beer. I dump £80. Friday I am mostly hungover all day at Ben's, but play some HU cash later for a nice £200.

Saturday saw the start of the 2nd Annual Newcastle Poker Forum Championships at Circus again, which I knew would be a good event, but I really underestimated what a great structure it was, how awesomely ran it was, and how much great craic everyone would have. On the Thursday after Ben had got us both registered, I had visions of running awesomely in a live tournament for once. I'd cooler the hell out of everyone early on, and win every flip and 60/40 late game and finally take something down worth winning. So in my sweep stake choice for final table I proudly had myself as the #1 pick, along with TeamDobbs and a few other solid players I knew about, but omitting Ben as a bit of a rib at him. Mistake.

I've not much to talk about my tournament really. Peaked at 14k from 10k starting stack. TD mentions on his blog but I don't remember, a hand where I win with 53o from the BB vs his AK. Must have made 2 pair in a multi way pot or something, because I know I wouldn't play TD heads up out of position with such a weak holding. They'd have to be at least suited ;-)

I remember flatting an EP raise MP call with AJdd, flop QxTdTx and it being checked to me. I fire half pot and only the BB comes along. I'm weighting him here to 90% weak Ts and occasionally a weak Q, hadn't quite figured him out yet. Turn is 9d giving me gillions of outs. I decide to fire again half pot knowing that I am unlikely to be 4x raised and priced off my draw if he does have a T, fold out a Q, and I have a very disguised hand should I hit the river. I am min-raised :-) So I make the trivial 600 into 3k call. Another diamond hits the river and I value bet nicely and get paid off by T5.

My opening table really did play very well. I was seated with Ben, TD and Jimmy Chipmunk who I already knew about, but also sat next to Rachel and had Scotty & Steve Brennan other side of table all of whom didn't take me long to figure out were capable players. Infact it was a hand with Scotty that decided my tournament.

He'd been quite active for the last two orbits and open raised the button on my BB. I flat with 78cc and see a JxJc7x flop. A fairly obvious way ahead/way behind flop, but I think I'm way ahead and can win a bet here. I check, he checks. Turn is a Kc which although giving me outs, isn't a card I wanted to fire as I didn't feel I could rep much. He checks behind. River is 6c giving me the backdoor flush. I act really strong and bang out a 2k bet hoping to get called by whatever pair he may have, or induce a raise from air. He makes a healthy raise and I umm and ahh and decide to call, as I'd kind of levelled myself into it how I played the hand. He really does have to have 66 here and the rest are bluffs. Yup he has 66. Had a lengthy discussion with Ben on this hand, specifically my turn play. Agreed with him later that a turn bet is best, and that I'm too used to playing 100bb+ deep. I later found out about an aggressive re-shove by Scotty with KJ vs TeamDobbs which made me happier about my call. That would have put me double average which is where I want to be and would have put my net worth on me making the final 20 from there. Instead I'm short and the worst thing to happen when you're short is get moved. With no image I raise 44 in LP, there's a flat out the blinds and see a K high flop where I cbet and am check raised, so I fold leaving myself only a shove. Orbit later I shove 89ss from LP but find AKo in the SB and lose the 60/40. GG.

Railing was tons of fun, especially as I now could have a few beers and crack on with a few of the people I know, and say hello to more that I didn't. I played some Blackjack for a nice £120 profit before following the final few tables in earnest. DreamDobb made a comedy appearance as Mr Flushy. Only pictures can do that justice! Phlmc drunkenly crashed off his chair, but managed to save his beer from what seemed like certain ruin.

Ben cruised it really, and retired for an early night leaving me to play some cash. Was a fun table with Rob who I met earlier (don't know his forum name)
Roscopiko and Chipmunk who I already knew, and a couple of other crisps and recognisable forum contributors. My stack yoyos all over the place, losing a big pot to Rosco with trips to a bigger trips, winning it back in a 3bet pot with 94cc, losing more with AK, winning it back with a flopped wheel with 24 getting paid off 3 streets by what I assume was a sole top pair :-) Moved onto the main casino floor with my large stack but lost most of it with 77 on JJ7 vs AJ for the board to run out Q, Q. Won a large but strange pot with AK, where I had 4 bet massive preflop after a 3bet and two calls, flopped nothing but was committed with a cbet versus his stack. I flop nothing (can't remember exactly, think it was 762 flop) and bet £35 into the huge pot (around £150) He tanks for 2 minutes with £50 behind then eventually folds KQ face up. LOL. I then lose a hefty one with AK vs QQ all in pre, and finish the night £40 up :-/

Next day I follow Ben's progress at the final table, then enter the £20 bounty game last minute. I had held off as guessed it would be a 20bb shove fest, but turns out there was a decent amount of play. I also really wanted to follow Ben as a) I have a share and b) I was his only supporter. I was seated with Stumpy who knew my name from TD and Soap at the CPC, and was a pleasure to meet. I think he told everyone I knew what I was doing though! Also had a chat with Pads who seemed like a very good player. I lost my first pot with AKss after flopping a royal flush draw but gave up the river. Thankfully I managed to double up shortly after otherwise I would have given up this game pretty quickly. Pot is opened from MP, two flats, I flat the button with 53dd. Flop is 4dJx8x. It's checked round to Buzz (from Walker's Sensations) next to me who fires at the pot. I decide to float for a couple of combined reasons. Firstly, the 4d is out there! Secondly, he's in a team and I've seen him deal really well, so I assume he's decent and will play me fairly well. Also by flatting I think I can rep any hand on the turn, any turned straight card, any small card I can rep protect a Q etc etc. Unfortunately he checks the turn to me but fortunately it's the 2d. I fire a little over half the pot planning to bet value-ish if I miss and bomb it if I hit. River is an offsuit 6 giving me the 2nd nuts, he checks again and I insta ship in that Mike Caro "he's weak" way and I do get looked up by a sole J. He called pretty quickly so I guess maybe my turn thinking was bad about folding him out on the river should I miss, but hey it worked out.

I then raise quite a bit picking up some blinds and win a couple of 60/40s. With my big stack I continue the raising game in this massively aggressive structure hoping to accumulate. At this point K turns up (Ben's GF) and Ben has about 30% of chips in play at the final table, and I have similar in the bounty tournament. As we are the only two people she knows in the whole casino, she sits with him and then me when he's on a break. She gets a bit of ribbing about sitting with blokes with big chip stacks, all in good fun :-) My raising doesn't work out as I lose about five 60/40s on the bounce with my stack at an all time low of ~5bbs.

Fortunately I win a key three way all in for once in my life with JJ vs AT and AQ and never look back. I double again in another strange hand. There's a shove, Pads flats in the SB and I flat A6cc in the BB. Flop 542, check check. Turn 3 and Pads bets, I shove. He tanks. CGK on the mic announces that Ben is all in so I stand up and half go over. My table asks in amazement if I'm going to leave the table, I double check with the dealer that I am all in and it stands, and ask if she can manage the pot while I'm gone. I'd won a few bounties at this stage so I just had to go over. Ben wins the all in and I return to see a much larger stack next to my seat. Turns out Pads had trapped with 55 and made a strong fold on the turn, and I dodged a four flush for the side pot also.

I then start raising pretty much every hand. With two tables left I was sat with Pads, Koyte and Mrs CGK where I had basically the best stealing seat in the world ever, and Pads definitely knew this! I raised four hands on the bouce and was obviously priced in to call shoves by marginally better hands. I showed down such monsters as K4o, and Q6ss but the image was obviously a bit shot. I did laugh next hand as I was UTG and before the deal announced I must have a monster if I raise this hand. Sure enough I have JQcc and do raise to groans from the entire table, them all thinking who is this total monkey?!?! I get a couple of flats and check fold a KKx flop. I continue my aggression especially in LP and accumulate more, eventually taking out Mrs CGK all in pre with 78ss vs KJo. Only a 60/40 but ran out in sick fashion as she pairs her J, but I backdoor the straight. There are then a few comedy gold moments with Koyte all in a lot and seemingly the whole place on his back, he takes it so well though and was another character who it was a pleasure to meet.

Three players left (Pads, Koyte, myself) and I enter God mode. I am the bigstack so I'm looking to bully. I shove KT in the SB into Koyte's AK in the BB. He flops broadway QJT, but it runs out Q, T and I backdoor the house. Heads up Pads is at a huge disadvantage, but shows his nouse keeping things small. He traps me with Kx on KxxT for me to shove the turn with T7, he snaps but I find a 6 outer on the river for the game. Nice to run well. The hand against Koyte was the worst I ever got it in in the whole tourney, and I still win that one a quarter of the time. I think a few people think I luckboxed the whole thing but it's just that I was so aggressive (which is key in such a structure) and made correct pot odds calls with marginal holdings and got there a few times. Hope there's no hard feelings! :-) Myself and Ben are 33% shares in each other for tournaments, and 50% cash tables, so I know I owe him some money at this stage but hope that is about to turn as he's going really well at the final table.

Ben does awesomely well and gets to HU vs TD at a huge chip disadvantage. If he could double though he certainly has the ability to take it from there. He would however have been the most unwanted winner of anything, ever. TeamDobbs has done so much for the Poker scene in Newcastle, let alone the running of the forum and connected events. Everyone wanted him to win. I even half wanted him to win. I wished him well at the start of HU, which I hope didn't come across as sarky, I truly meant it. Ask me at the start of day one who you'd like to see win and he'd have been my answer, and 99% of everyone else's. A true gent and a great poker player.

TD takes it down with his KJ spiking a J vs Ben's A3, and I think I feel worse than Ben about it. Weird how I think I am more emotionally involved in poker with a friend playing, than I would be had I actually been playing myself. There has never been a more deserving winner than TeamDobbs though, well done mate :-) Was nice to support Ben going deep into a tourney, even if his fan club was rather small. I've since received a few comments and PMs (you know who you are) about how good looking I am though, sorry K ;-)

Overall an absolutely fantastic weekend. Very well ran, but taking nothing away from Circus (who were awesome poker-wise, valet-wise and craic-wise) you could have had a 7 year old officiate the thing. The spirit everyone played the game in was truly exemplary. I'd be surprised if there's ever been a better atmosphere in any poker room anywhere. S2c obviously did another quietly brilliant job behind the scenes. CardGuard was simply amazing as our compere for the weekend. The guy has talent. Also I didn't meet him, but Looseman made a great contribution with the cup, bracelet and final table medals. A big three cheers from me for that one, very classy. Was great to meet people and put some faces to names. I've also since learnt that UKGatsby of blogging fame was there on the Sunday, and I didn't say hello. Next time :-)

October for me finished really well, I'm looking at just shy of £2.9k profit, and that's (correctly) not including (Ben) my winnings from NOVEMBER at the weekend. I've also won over £300 HU already this month, so I'm looking at nearly £1k already for November, more if I do a Ben and botch my figures so I can include my Blackjack winnings ;-)

Fantastic weekend guys, thanks to everyone involved :-)