Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Witterings

Another quick session last night resulted in aprox $50 profit.In the same way I like to have my bedroom clock running ten minutes fast I’m going to say I made aprox $50 when it was nearer $60 that way I won’t feel immediately under pressure should I start my next session a few $$ down.Sundays figures update will be accurate.

Began by bombing out a 30 player $5 turbo sng on Pokerroom.I’d been playing a tight game.So tight in fact that I crashed out on the first hand I’d played and yes when my chips went in I was ahead only to get suckered on the river.

Moved to an Interpoker 6 max £.15-.30 table where I called a min raise from late postion with that premium hand K4.Its easy to get suckered into calling with lots of garbage hands when in late postion or the small blind and everyone else has called as the pot odds are good.I did ask myself what kind of flop I was actually looking for in when limping here.At 6 max a high card that hits can be valuable if played cautiously so I suppose that was my justification.Flop came a lovely Kh 4d 5d.

It was a loose table with an £8 average pot and although I hadn’t been there long I gambled that someone would open the betting and checked.I was right.A villan bet just over the pot ( £4.50).Looking at the board only trips worried me.I felt it more likely he had a King and wanted to protect his hand.As it was unlikely he’d read me for my K4 I raised it to £12 to try and make it look like a semi-bluff ( either straight or flush draw).He reraised me all in and I insta called and smashed his big slick to pieces.

I did wonder afterwards how this write up would have looked if he had made his set.It also got me to thinking about this here poker blog and the endless introspection of my game.While overall it has to be valuable to look in depth at my own game and individual hands I do wonder if sometimes that very introspection that’s supposed to help and improve my play actually prevents me from saying “that’s poker” and moving on to the next hand.

It was actually Juice who got me thinking along these lines.He said in a comment that “the introspection that comes with defeat can make anyones game look pretty ugly.” He wrote this after a small downswing at Interpoker despite also posting the stats for the 3k hands he played there that showed off some fine figures.”Losing streaks”,”Inter Hell” “and now losing comes home” were amongst his post titles during his excellent run.

Perhaps poker blogging and too much introspection does result in mountains being made out of molehills on occasion.I still feel I’ve learned enough from looking at my own game to make it a worthwhile exercise though I have to say I’ve probably learned a lot more from reading other players blogs.There really is some great stuff out there.

Taking Mrs A out for dinner tonight as its pay day today then its home to chill and hopefully play some poker.3am limit on my poker tonight! Unless I’m winning at a juicy table or losing and need to recoup some losses….

Thursday, March 30, 2006

And but of course

No poker last night.I think I've mentioned I've 14 hours of flexi to make up at work so after Mark left last night and I'd sat with Mrs A for a while I went to bed without even being tempted to get in a hand or two.

Grinder posted about his great new system of playing less hands to win more and I think he has a point.While I can play for 12 hours with barely a break I'm not playing my "A" game for 12 hours and I'd be kidding myself if I said otherwise.I noticed the other night that after about 40 minutes my mind was wandering and I was surfing blogs and forums whilst still playing a 6 max game.Nobody likes to leave a juicy table but I think I need to be better at recognising when my "A" game starts to slip and taking a break. Better to play 45 minutes of my best poker than 12 hours of going through the motions.Even better would be to play my best game for 12 hours and also take sufficent breaks to keep me at my best.

Mark was good company last night.Jordan's post about only talking poker with his friends me me laugh as I'd intended posting a similar tale today.Mark and I played "Black" on the PS2 and talked a bit about holidays,football and him finding a monster dildo in a shoebox whilst helping his mother-in-law move house but after he's driven off into the night my phone rang and the caller id showed it was him calling.I was quickly checking to see if he left his smokes or lighter when he says "forgot to mention that the Mrs is pregnant and I'm going to be a Dad again". Pales into insignificance v the monster dildo story imo.....

Not sure if this will work in print but one of his best stories was of a mate of his who was driving a long when a cop started making the wanker sign at him, giving it big licks.His mate ignored it for a while before getting angry and giving the cop the finger back for his cheek.Next thing the siren flashes and the cop pulls him over to ask what the hell he's playing at flipping him the bird."You started it by making wanker gestures at me" says his mate. "I was telling you to get your seatbelt on.Your nicked!"

Juice will be happy to know that I'm getting right behind Arsenals bid to win the Champions league this season.I heard today that due to the co-efficent system if Arsenal win it then this years one season wonders ( Scottish Champions) will have to play a qualifier instead of getting into the group stages automatically.Seeing as that lot from across the city are going to borrow our title for a season that would mean no automatic route in for them and after they were humiliated 5-0 in this seasons qualifier they could be facing no European football after July yet again.Go on you Gunners!

On the subject of qualifiers I'm tempted to set aside $100-$200 to take a shot at qualifying for the WSOP main event.Most of the qualifiers ( incl blogger tourneys) are on at terrible times for me though if its a 3am start on a Fri/Sat I'd give it a go.Pokerroom has an entry level qualifier for only a few hundred player points so that'll be my first port of call.Its obviously a total long shot especially if I aim to play 6 or 7 of the lowest rung on the ladder type qualifiers but I'm definitely going to give it some serious thought.

Some great posts out there by other bloggers.Scurvydog's post on being a poker hobbyist really struck a chord with me even though I'm at a far lower level then him and Garyc has an interesting post on blog ads.

My personal take on that is that anyone with their own blog should ( and are) perfectly free to decide for themselves whether thats a road they wish to go down.If you don't like it then go blog off! I don't have any ads more down to barely being able to add blogger links let alone too much else to my template thing plus I'm a lazy sod who hasn't bothered to reply to most ( like I've got all the big corporates queuing up) emails of that sort.

Maybe deep down I like the idea of not having ads and therfore not feeling I have to edit the 9 zillion "buts" , "of courses" and "ands" I use in every post.But of course its my blog and I'll write it anyway I please!

Ok its 10.15pm and I aint had a smoke or played any poker.Time to get that sorted....

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pow...Zagga Wins Again

Off to a decent start at the tables since my return.Began by winning a $5 sng at Pokerroom.Decided I was King of the $5 sng and I'd play a few more.I did and I never placed higher than 6th in my next four so back to the cash games I toddled.

I've been watching the Champions league coverage on tv so I've only played a couple of hours for a $70 profit.Arsenal played well to beat Juventus last night and the team Rangers new manager built ( Lyon) is currently holding its own V A C Milan.

Last nights was most satisfying.I was at a £.15-.30 6 max nl game and while I only won £15 I really felt on top of my game,keeping it tight but aggressive and also bluffing a decent player out of a pot when I detected weakness.( not hard when his river bet was .25 into a £6 pot!).

I think the only pot I lost was the last one I played when I made a weak call with bottom pair.A bit of the old last hand syndrome creeping in again which I'll have to keep an eye on.The best part of losing that hand though was that just before the showdown one of the other players wrote "Pow...Zagga wins again" in the chat.I didn't of course but it was a real boost for my confidence that the one of the other players recognised I was dominating the table.

I appreciate that to the online poker pro I'm way down the food chain however when my friend Sandy was over the other week and I was talking him through some of my thinking in a cash game I realised that maybe I know a little more than I give myself credit for sometimes.He said he'd read that only 15% of players win at online poker.I thought it was nearer a 60/40 split.Nice to be in that 15% and while I'm no superstar whizzkid I have been a consistent low stakes winner since I started playing for real money.

I do think I may be brain damaged though! A section in "Blink" mentions damage to the ventromedial part of the brain which affects judgement.Gladwell mentions a card game and gives and example of how a patient may know intellectually what is the right way to play it but that knowledge didn't change the way they played the game.

Actually although I was joking about the brain damage I feel I was so tired and jaded before my week off that I could recognise me knowing what move I should make yet not actually following through and clicking the right option at the tables.Almost like a few losses had made me weak/tight and afraid to feel the hurt of losing a pot.

This time round I'm going to try and be more disciplined.If I feel tired or jaded with the game then I will take a break.The game and the blog almost seem like a combined addiction at times.One follows the other and the circle continues until all else is shut out and that can't be right.I suppose I use my weeks break ( no internet at all) to convince myself that as I'm not craving the game and coming out in a rash then I'm not addicted but reading some other great blog posts ( see Tripjax's blogger spotlight ) symptoms like playing at 5am on weekends did seem to hit home.

Anyway this wasn't a post about poker addiction! Hell I'm back,feeling fresh, winning money and loving the way my heart thumps and the adrenalaine flows when there's a big pot at stake!

Also finally got to see some main event WSOP '05 coverage.Mr Hachem is certainly one cool customer.Loved Mike Matusow's verbals.First time I'd seen him play.Great tv.

Mrs A has given up work on a Monday so Mark will be up mostly on Wednesdays from now on for our Playstation fest.He's due up soon so thats all for now....

Other quick thoughts.Burnout Legends on the PSP is amazing.EK Thistle are top of the league with 4 games to go.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Arrived back in Glasgow around midnight last night.Being a tightass I made sure Mrs A and I were nicely sunburned on the last day to help save on the heating bill now we are home...

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Reef Oasis Hotel in Sharm.The food wasn't great but everything else from the weather to the rooms was just fine.We only left the hotel a few times to go for a walk.We'd been to Namma Bay and Old Sharm last time and just wanted a week to relax in the sunshine.

The snorkelling was one of the highlights of the trip.Until the new hotels were built and it was rebadged as the "RedSea Riveria" Sharm was mainly visited by divers for the incredible coral reefs and fish.

Most of the week was spent lazing on the beach,drinking beer and rubbing cream into my mozzy bites.Those wee fuckers are evil! Drifting off to sleep only to hear a loud buzz in my ear then waking up covered in big red lumps wasn't so nice.In Scotland we have the midge to contend with in the summer.I'm glad we don't get mozzys.I mentioned to Mrs A how surprised I was that the mozzy I splatted on the wall was full of bright red blood until I realised it was probably mine...

Sharm airport was chaotic.No organisation at all.Cost $20 for 2 cheese rolls and 2 cans of juice.I asked the wee guy serving if he had a mask he could wear whilst robbing me.That got a big "no idea what your on about" smile.

Outside the airport prices are very cheap.I'd brought some Egyptian pounds and US Dollars.At least my online poker experiences meant I could instantly convert $ to £ in my head when required.

The Egyptian people were very friendly although pushy when it came to selling their wares.When the average monthly wage is £25 I can understand it but it did get a little tiresome when out and about.

Amongst others I read Matt Matros book "The Making of a Poker player".One of the best poker books I've read in a long time.So good in fact that I'm going to read it again to hopefully absorb some more of it into my pea like acorn brain.Reading the thinking behind some of his plays gave me a lot of food for thought especially where multi table tourneys are concerned.( not that I play many). Picking on medium stacks when blind stealing seems a sensible tip but I think the main lesson learned is that when the time is right I need to open up and have a bit more gamble in me.

I also read "Blink" by Malcom Gladwell and it has to be one of the most fascinating books I've ever read.As the back cover says its "all about those moments when we "know" something without knowing why".On reflection part of the problem I have in trusting my first poker instinct is that when I first started my instincts were flawed in the extreme as I basically only considered my own hand and nothing else.I may start to trust my instinct just a little more after reading the book.

Thanks to Poker Jones and Grinder for the comments left on my last post.I have played full ring games at Ladbrokes but only at .10-.20nl.( lowest available) .Very Juicy indeed but can't comment on the higher levels.

Caught a bit of the LSUV Texas basketball game on tv late last night.Can't say I like US football or baseball but I reckon if I'd grown up across the pond basketball would have been my game of choice.( too little an acorn to play though!).Exciting stuff to watch and if I hadn't been so dog tired after a long flight I'd have watched it to its conclusion.29-28 to LSU v Texas when I left it and if I've got the right game ( googled it) they won 58-57 in the end.Forget the superbowl.Give me March Madness anytime.

Not caught up with many other blogs yet.Looking forward to some fine reading and of course hitting the tables for the first time in a week.

Off work today but apparently I only had 5 days annual leave left and not 7 so if I stay off tomorrow too I'll have 14 hours of flexi-time to make up.I may go in tomorrow afternoon.Crap really as I like a couple of days to adjust when coming home after being abroad.

Still Mrs A and I are hoping to go away for a week with Step A at the end of May or first week in June.Bulgaria or Majorca/Ibiza are favourite options just now.

Got those post holiday blues and can't wait to book up and start the countdown....

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Goodnight and Good luck

Thanks to Rosie for the support during last nights $3k gtd on Interpoker.I finished 26th from 300 for a $21 payout.I really enjoyed the change of pace from the 6 max tables though I should probably have pushed harder on a couple of occasions and stolen the blinds more often too.I folded AK to a push and would have split a big pot.Also folded A10 sooted UTG when it was probably at least worth trying to steal.

I hit the Interpoker 6 max cash tables afterwards and managed a decent winning session.One big difference was that my man cold has just about cleared up and my 3 days off sick have allowed me to catch up on missed sleep.

Sure all the books say not to play when tired or unwell but how many of actually stick to it? I certainly will be from now on.I felt like a completely different player last night.My best ever poker run came after my 2 week break last September and while a rush is a rush I'm fairly sure having a fresh patient attitude contributed big time.

In future after 12 hour overnight sessions I'll take a few days away to give me a chance to recover mentally and physically.I remember writing here that just before I left for my last holiday I had big puffy bags under my eyes and looked like a man who spent too much time in a cupboard playing poker.Thanks to the last few days thats not the case this time round but I'm going to try and be more relaxed about the game when I return.

The old battle in my head between just playing for a fun hobby and itching to reach and overtake last years profit total will be continued!

Sandy is popping up tonight and the rest of our packing has to be done.Taxi for the airport is booked for 7.45am Sunday so no mega late poker sessions for me.I'll post the weekly figures just now and edit later if required.

Interpoker $867 ,Ladbrokes $1423,Party $149 ( $100 dep now withdrawn) and Pokerroom $763. Total $3202 ( + $120 for week).

Edit: Nice wee night at the tables tonight.Bubbled in a $5 sng then made $100 in 2 hours.Gotta love Laddys and Interpoker 6 max nl at the weekends.( esp from 11pm onwards). 1.36am. Goodnight...

Ok thats it for now and until Mon 27th.Looking forward to a week chilling out in the sunshine.I went to see EK Thistle go down 4-2 in the cup to Superleague champions Pollock and I'm just starting to get the feeling back in my feet.( damn cold)

Good luck to Juice with his challenge.Sorry I'm going to miss out on the blogger games coming up.

Thanks to all who take the time to stop by here to read/comment.Very much appreciated.

Good luck to all at the tables over the next week while I'm away.Happy fishing!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Once piece at a time

Felt slightly better today than I have for the last few days.

Our heating system broke down a few days ago and waking up with the bedroom at 54f hasn't been much fun.

Had some good news last night when the workmate I mentioned being in trouble for taking an unauthorised day off called me to say he'd been downgraded for 18 months.The main thing is that he gets to keep his job but a £7.5k penalty is bad beat and a half.I'm pleased for him as he's been going through hell for the last two months.

The post title refers to the fact I managed to stop the rot last night at the tables.

Won $25 at Interpoker's cash tables then headed off to Pokerroom and came 9th and 6th in a couple of $5 sng's.In the first one I had 33 on a board of 3 A A 8 J and was beaten by A8.Left Pokerroom and joined a Party $25 nl 6 max table.

It was a wee bit frustrating as there was an obvious donation station I'd lost $12 to and wanted to destack before leaving but never got the opportunity.I could have hung around longer but the heating engineer was due out first thing this morning and I knew a lie-in was out the question.

Only a $3 profit but no horrendous suckouts.Hopefully a return to normality.

Treated myself today to "Burnout Legends" and "Fightnight rd 3" for my PSP aswell as another book.Should help the 5 3/4 hour flight to sunny Sharm pass by a bit more quickly.

My mate Sandy is just off the phone and popping over for a couple of hours tomorrow night.He was keen to try and get a couple of Dave Gilmour tickets from Ebay for his May Gig in Glasgow.They are aprox £150- £200 per ticket.If he was just doing The Floyd stuff I'd pay up but its a lot of dough to hear most of his new album with a few Floyd classics thrown in.Easy for me to say when I've seen The Floyd live and Sandy hasn't but I'm keener on attending Hyde Park in London for Roger Waters "Dark Side of the Moon" in July.

Ok I'd better go and make the most of my last two pokery nights.I intend taking a full and proper break from online poker ( and the blog) during my week away.Thoughts of joining Veneno's head up challenge are very tempting but the first leg is while I'm away.I don't see Mrs A appreciating me spending one of our holiday nights in a net cafe playing holdem.

Sorted out some pokery stuff today.Withdrew my $100 initial Party deposit and also withdrew $100 from Interpoker and then redeposited it to get the $100 matched monthly bonus.I keep missing out on it because E-Cashier will let me deposit with my credit card but only cashout via cheque which is a pain.Still their bonuses are excellent.I've done 25% of another $90 bonus and this new $100 will stack on top of it.

Ok back to Interpoker to rebuild my poor depleted roll piece at a time!

Missed Monsters

Still off work today and still feeling like I've been run over by a truck!

Hit the tables late last night after a day in bed.Didn't feel much like playing and probably shouldn't have as my streak of bad play and bad luck continued.

Sat down with Juice at an Interpoker $.25-$.50 6 max table.Within a couple of hands I'd folded KQ to a raise only to miss out on a big pot after a flopped straight.I then raise $1.50 with AJ and Juice reraises me by three times that.( aprox). I respect his play and fold. My decision was right as he held KK however when the flop came A J J and another big pot missed me I was wondering which shops accept "correct decisions" as payment.

My logic for thinking I made the correct fold was that when I considered the range of hands Juice would reraise me with I was behind every one.On the KQ hand I'd just been watching internet poker on the poker channel and they were discussing what KQ could be ahead of when considering calling a raise with it.In future to hell with the books and experts.In my game at 6 max those hands are probably worth seeing a flop with so long as I can get away from them if they don't hit especially as it was a fairly loose game.

This prompted me to make a bad decision and limp with AQ.Not much action until the turn and river came with first one Queen then another.I bet heavily and was reraised all in.The full house crossed my mind but I made the crying call to see that the villans Q2 had me beaten.( He had the boat).

Juice was kind enough to say "unlucky" and perhaps runner runnering ( hmm is that a phrase?)
two Queens whilst holding AQ and losing is a touch unfortunate but if I'd raised preflop Mr Q2 would probably have folded.

Rebought and won back $10.Juice headed off about 1am and I moved to £.15-.25 6max. I only include the two hands below in this post as a reminder to myself that sometimes thats just the way the game goes and the players who won these two hands are the kind of players who've helped build my bankroll to where it is today.Also the kind of players I felt like skewering on a shitty stick last night but hey I've chilled since then.

Maybe it was my fault for forgetting that J9 is the number one hand in Holdem.

------HAND 5------
Game #1893858963: Hold'em NL (£0.15/£0.25) - 2006/03/15 - 20:32:52 (ET)
Table "Scarlatti" Seat 4 is the button.
Seat 2: Nielsen (£46 in chips)
Seat 3: Zagga (£44.20 in chips)
Seat 4: Hippoman (£20.18 in chips)
Seat 5: JATO (£43.38 in chips)
Seat 6: Gazoline_ (£17.76 in chips)
JATO: posts small blind £0.15
Gazoline_: posts big blind £0.25
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Zagga [Ts Td]
Nielsen: folds
Zagga: raises to £1
Hippoman: folds
JATO: calls £0.85
Gazoline_: calls £0.75
----- FLOP ----- [2h 9s 5s]
JATO: checks
Gazoline_: checks
Zagga: bets £1.80
JATO: calls £1.80
Gazoline_: raises to £5
Zagga: raises to £8.20
JATO: folds
Gazoline_: raises to £16.76 and is all-in
Zagga: calls £8.56
----- TURN ----- [2h 9s 5s][4s]
----- RIVER ----- [2h 9s 5s 4s][9c]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Gazoline_: shows [9d Jd] (Three of a kind, Nines, Jack high)
Zagga: shows [Ts Td] (Two Pairs, Tens and Nines, Five high)
Gazoline_ collects £36.42 from Main pot
----- SUMMARY -----
Total pot £38.32 Main pot £36.42 Rake £1.90
Board [2h 9s 5s 4s 9c]
Seat 2: Nielsen folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: Zagga showed [Ts Td] and lost
Seat 4: Hippoman (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: JATO (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 6: Gazoline_ (big blind) showed [9d Jd] and won (£36.42) with Three of a kind, Nines, Jack high

------HAND 5------
Game #1894123603: Hold'em NL (£0.15/£0.25) - 2006/03/15 - 21:11:21 (ET)
Table "Lilian" Seat 5 is the button.
Seat 1: Kkmagic (£37.63 in chips)
Seat 2: atoullis9 (£12.10 in chips)
Seat 3: slimj (£25.70 in chips)
Seat 5: Zagga (£32.25 in chips)
Kkmagic: posts small blind £0.15
atoullis9: posts big blind £0.25
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Zagga [Kc 3h]
slimj: folds
Zagga: raises to £1.50
Kkmagic: folds
atoullis9: calls £1.25
----- FLOP ----- [Ks 5h 9h]
atoullis9: checks
Zagga: bets £3
atoullis9: calls £3
----- TURN ----- [Ks 5h 9h][6c]
atoullis9: checks
Zagga: bets £8
atoullis9: is all-in £7.60
Returned uncalled bets £0.40 to Zagga
----- RIVER ----- [Ks 5h 9h 6c][Jc]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Zagga: shows [Kc 3h] (A Pair of Kings, Jack high)
atoullis9: shows [Js 9d] (Two Pairs, Jacks and Nines, King high)
atoullis9 collects £23.15 from Main pot
----- SUMMARY -----
Total pot £24.35 Main pot £23.15 Rake £1.20
Board [Ks 5h 9h 6c Jc]
Seat 1: Kkmagic (small blind) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: atoullis9 (big blind) showed [Js 9d] and won (£23.15) with Two Pairs, Jacks and Nines, King high
Seat 3: slimj folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: Zagga (button) showed [Kc 3h] and lost

My Interpoker account is sitting at a poorly $675 from around $1300 just a short time ago.Not the most pleasant run in the world but as I've said previously thats why I have the bankroll I do.

Off work until a week next Wednesday.We leave on Sunday morning for Sharm El Sheikh.I just hope this flu type virus thing clears up by then.I've explained to Mrs A and Step A that I have a man cold and that its far far more serious then any mild cold symptoms females suffer from! The sympathy they both extended me was well simply....non existent!

Here's a snippet from the paper before I go..

Turnberry Hotel will be celebrating its centenary this year with a series of events, including the publication of a book of staff reminiscences. It will include the tale of millionaire former owner Jim Sherwood, American saviour of the Orient Express, who, during one Turnberry visit, phoned reception, politely inquiring: "Can I have dinner in my room? Would that be possible?"The story goes that he was told in frank Ayrshire tones: "You own the company, so you can have what you f***in' well want."

Don't miss a monster.Flop one...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spluttering along

Made it into work today despite feeling like shit.I have a man cold.My nose is blocked,my body aches and I've had so little sleep recently I'm nearly falling asleep writing this.

I wanted to play the Dadi event and with hindsight I wish I'd stayed up for it then stayed in bed all day today.Only 3 more working days to go before my week off but if I feel like this tomorrow I'm staying at home.

Not been in the best of moods either over the last few days.More down to tiredness than any badbeat hangover.On the subject of bad beats I've looked at some hands on Pokertracker and while there were some dreadful beats in there I also think I loosened up just a touch too much at times.Trying to overplay and outplay too often when ABC poker would have done the job.Aiming to play a tight and aggressive game just doesn't seem sexy sometimes!

It's too easy to be seduced by the "I play the player not the cards" idea when it comes to online poker and then screw that round in your head to mean any two will do as long as you play them the right way v the right people.

I've only played organised live poker twice.In a live game when I can see that 2 of the 3 players to act after me aren't interested in their hands and are ready to fold then playing the player and raising to steal is fine and to a certain extent I do play the player online.For example I had no read but was still annoyed at myself for losing my buy-in with KK v AA the other night.In an £80 buy-in game with little knowledge of the other players going all in with KK after I'd raised twice before being put all in has to be Aces 90% of the time.

What's the point in playing thousands of hands if I'm not going to learn from it? I think I let myself off too easily over that particular hand at the time.If I want ( and I do) to excel at this game then I'm not going to do it without being brutally honest with myself.If 99% of players would say "ah well it was KK v AA.Best hand v second best hand.Unavoidable"then I want to be in the 1% thats willing to look more closely and say that yes on this occasion it was avoidable.

I've won back $25 since that KK v AA debacle and this time was all in with QQ which was a decent play on my part because I was fairly sure that due to the frequency and size of the villans previous bets that my Queens would be leading when the virtual cards were flipped.( which they were)

In poker it really does depend.The lesson from the KK vAA hand is that when you've only just sat down and have no idea upon what basis to make a decision and only a gut instinct screaming "He's got Aces" then trust that instinct.

Bought a book for my holiday called "Blink" by Martin Galdwell.I'm sure I've seen other bloggers mention it before.Its about snap judgements and "those moments we "know" something without knowing why". May even help improve my game.

I did feel I played a far better game last night.When I got the villan to commit too many chips on a flush draw V my JJ I was able to fold when the danger card hit and he went all in instead of losing chips.I also folded.A lot. Not much choice as I never picked up a hand but I kept my composure,folded for about an hour after that JJ hand and went to be down a bit but happy I'd played 'em right.

Before I go here's a link to BBC Radio 2 which has Dave Gilmour in concert under the "listen again" banner down the right side. Just about to roll one up and do just that!

Ok I just can't resist.Anyone who hates bad beat hand histories ( almost as boring as hearing about someones dreams I know !) please move on promptly to the links on the right otherwise read on....

Game #1846896843: Hold'em NL (£0.25/£0.50) - 2006/03/11 - 19:37:16 (ET)Table "Toccata"

Seat 2 is the button

. Seat 1: Zagga (£40 in chips) Seat 2: Martty (£103.21 in chips) Seat 3: MoEoM (£45.50 in chips) Seat 4: Harde0509 (£78.58 in chips) Seat 5: jimmyjim (£39.46 in chips) Seat 6: tabel (£49.45 in chips)

MoEoM: posts small blind £0.25 Harde0509: posts big blind £0.50-----

HOLE CARDS -----dealt to Zagga [Kh Ks]

jimmyjim: folds tabel: calls £0.50 Zagga: raises to £2.50 Martty: calls £2.50 MoEoM: folds Harde0509: folds tabel: calls £2-----

FLOP ----- [2d 9d 6c]

tabel: bets £8

Zagga: raises to £16

Martty: folds tabel: calls £8----- T

URN ----- [2d 9d 6c][5c]

tabel: bets £13

Zagga: raises to £21.50 and is all-in

tabel: calls £8.50

----- RIVER ----- [2d 9d 6c 5c][7c]

----- SHOW DOWN -----Zagga: shows [Kh Ks] (A Pair of Kings, Nine high)

tabel: shows [9c 3c] (A Flush, Nine high)tabel collects £80.25 from Main pot-----

SUMMARY -----Total pot £83.25
Main pot £80.25 Rake £3 Board [2d 9d 6c 5c 7c]Seat 1: Zagga showed [Kh Ks] and lost Seat 2: Martty (button) folded on the FlopSeat 3: MoEoM (small blind) folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 4: Harde0509 (big blind) folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 5: jimmyjim folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 6: tabel showed [9c 3c] and won (£80.25) with A Flush, Nine high

Tried to reply to Poker Jones comment ( just to say your spot on and thanks) but system froze and blogspot message said an engineer will be informed!

Better run.That may be the engineer at the door already....

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Royally Flushed...

First off congrats to Rosie on coming 57th from 1333 to win $412 at the Laddys weekly hands freeroll.( I was 903rd).She played some great poker and I hope I learned something just by watching.

Had a shocker of a night at the tables personally.Lost $470 at Interpoker as I entered pure poker hell for a few hours.I'm not going to harp on about how unlucky I was.I did have a kind of lightbulb moment when I realised that unless I'm on a rush then this game will always be about taking two steps forward then one back.You can get your money in as an 80% favourite every time but that one time in five I lose is exactly as expected and if it should happen that I lose 4/5 then I should be storing up some positive variance for the future.

I think as a competitive person the hard part about poker is that its not like Virtua Tennis on the PSP.I've been playing that tennis game for weeks and have finally won the tourney final.Now that I've played a lot and learned all the moves I can win every time and even relax a little on the early rounds knowing I don't need my best game to win.

Poker requires me to play my "A" game every time.Even if I am better than the other five at my table its still only a small edge .

All that doesn't mean I'm not hacked off about last nights suckout nightmares only that I accept that poker is a game of swings and so long as things are swinging my way over the long term I should stick to my gameplan.

I didn't lose $470 playing $25nl. I'd stepped up to £200 and £400 nl so I suppose a swing of $470 either way is not way out of line for 6 max nl at these levels.

The good news is that I've only 3 more raked hands to play to clear a $100 bonus at Interpoker.A most welcome wee boost.

The other good news is that I scored my first ever Royal Flush last night.I had my fingers crossed the villan had A10 but I wasn't that lucky.

----HAND 21------
Game #1848686013: Hold'em NL (£0.50/£1) - 2006/03/11 - 23:51:21 (ET)
Table "Elmtree" Seat 4 is the button.
Seat 1: Gamer26 (£86.50 in chips)
Seat 2: shinwell (£51.50 in chips)
Seat 3: Zagga (£97.25 in chips)
Seat 4: Ace_bich (£363.41 in chips)
Seat 5: Fakenip (£31.75 in chips)
Fakenip: posts small blind £0.50
almamala joins the table at seat #6
Gamer26: posts big blind £1
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Zagga [Qc Kc]
shinwell: folds
Zagga: calls £1
Ace_bich: calls £1
Fakenip: calls £0.50
Gamer26: checks
----- FLOP ----- [Ac Tc Jc]
Fakenip: checks
Gamer26: checks
Zagga: checks
Ace_bich: bets £1
Fakenip: folds
Gamer26: folds
Zagga: calls £1
----- TURN ----- [Ac Tc Jc][4c]
Zagga: checks
Ace_bich: checks
----- RIVER ----- [Ac Tc Jc 4c][Ts]
Zagga: bets £12
Ace_bich: folds
Returned uncalled bets £12 to Zagga
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Zagga: shows [Qc Kc] (Royal Flush)
Zagga collects £5.75 from Main pot
----- SUMMARY -----
Total pot £6 Main pot £5.75 Rake £0.25
Board [Ac Tc Jc 4c Ts]
Seat 1: Gamer26 (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 2: shinwell folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: Zagga showed [Qc Kc] and won (£5.75) with Royal Flush
Seat 4: Ace_bich (button) folded on the River
Seat 5: Fakenip (small blind) folded on the Flop

Watched Rangers cruise past Kilmarnock 4-0 at Ibrox yesterday.Paul Le Guen has finally been confirmed as new manager which is fantastic news.

Played until 8am again this morning.Still feeling very tired after getting up at 2pm.I plan on making the Dadi tourney but it will depend on how I'm feeling tomorrow.

Sunday figures are ... Interpoker $810 ,Ladbrokes $1332 ,Party $261,Pokerroom $779. Total $3082 ( - $461 for week).

I'm off to work off those raked hands and give myself a $100 head start for my last week of work and poker.This time next week I'll be in sunny Egypt.

Vive La Revolution!

Edit: Just cleared my $100 bonus.Bought in for £80 at a £.5-£1 nl 6 max table.My fourth hand was KK.Ended up all in preflop V AA. Down £80 in record time and feeling like I'm never going to win a pot again.

Most of the time I enjoy playing poker but last night and tonight have been fucking miserable.I still have $3k online and I'm tempted to withdraw the lot and be done with this crap.

Either that or cut the self pitying garbage ,get my head together and hit the tables ready to make good decisions on every hand.

Deal me in!

Friday, March 10, 2006

One step forward...two back

Still can't seem to get much going on the poker front this week.Came 4th from 6 in the Gers fans $3 sng before dropping $45 when my AQ ran into QJ and the villan hit both for 2 pairs to beat me.

The only plus point was that I kept my head and over the next hour managed to grind back $30.....only to lose $10 in my last hand of the night with a donkey move.

This has been my week of donkey plays and probably shows why I'm not ready for the next levels.

Work night out postponed until the start of next month and Mrs A working tomorrow night so I should be able to squeeze in more than a few hands.I'm going to try and start earlier though as last Saturdays 8pm-8am session really took it out of me.

You know what pisses me off in life? I was driving onto the motorway from the town when a bus came right up the hard shoulder so I flashed my lights and waved him in.He never waved,flashed his hazards or did anything to say thanks.I think I'm going to buy an old wreck of a car and when I let someone in ahead of me and don't get any thanks I'll just cruise on in to the back of them then abandon ship.I've mentioned the lazy bassa's who don't indicate before but the "I'm in now,FU "mob piss me off just as much.

Someone not as calm or laidback as me may have switched lanes a few times in order to draw level then yell abuse at the culprit but not me...

Strange because usually I'm quite chilled.I don't smoke during the day so I blame nicotine withdrawl though I'm also a total maniac when I'm tired or hungry.I think I'm turning into a grumpy old man!

Shouldn't complain when I only have 5 working days left before my week in the sun.Seeing as I'll be in holiday mode next week I may even play in the Dadi event at 'Stars on Monday night.I'm not really a tourney player.Shorthanded cash games are my main bag but the Dadi events are always great to play in and as this ones 6 max I have no excuses ( other than only getting 3-4 hours sleep that night!). 2am gmt start.Password:Blogsaregay

Rented "The Business" which is the sequel to "The Football factory" we saw last weekend.Looking forward to watching that then hitting the tables.

Listening to my Dave Gilmour cd and after not being so sure on my first listen its growing on me.Still mostly playing Johnny Cash on my cd player these days.

Ok thats all for now.I'm off to shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Power of Poison

I had just logged on last night and had been flicking through a few of my favourite blogs.I was reading Veneno 's latest post and having a laugh at her suckout goddess antics when my opponent in a Party Poker $50nl full ring table felt the power! My game popped up and there were two Kings staring back at me.

I had $45 of my $50 buy in left and ended up all in preflop.After writing about giving my opponents more respect I put the villan on anything from JJ-AA or AK/AQ.At Party it doesn't show the hands until all the board cards are out.Four sweet diamonds to add to my Kd gave me the flush and a sweet wee pot. I was half expecting the villan to show an Ad but his AA contained no diamonds and the pot came my way.

I wore a big goofy grin and shouted "I won,I won!". ( see Felicia's think like a fish post!).

Donked off $8 at Interpoker before hitting the sack for the night but that wee $28 score at least puts me in profit for the week.( break out the cigars )

Apologies to any regular readers for the lack of decent or even semi-decent posts recently.Some weeks I feeling like I'm bursting full of pokery nonsense and I make wee notes to myself to include this or that in that days post and other weeks like this one I just seem to churn out writing not much further advanced than the diarys I wrote when still at school.

In my defence I much preferred posting during the day.The ideas seemed to flow more easily than they do after a long hard day is over and I just want to relax rather than commit thoughts to my blog.

Possibly after 240 posts and nearly a year ( end of May) of this I just feel its gotten a bit stale and repetitive.I try not to but I can see why other bloggers leave week long gaps between post sometimes rather than lower their standards.I've cut down slightly on my posts recently though I have such short attention span I'm amazed I've actually stuck with poker/blogging for so long without moving on to something else.

Ok now for something else. ...( from the paper )

So, what's the most annoying thing you've ever been sent in an e-mail? We reckon it's the following instruction: "While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it."Now, while doing this, draw the number six in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction."Yes, no matter how often we try, it works every time. Blast.

Time to persuade Mrs A to turn the tv down so I can give my new Dave Gilmour cd another listen.I love The Floyd and have most of Gilmour and Waters solo stuff aswell as the bands albums.

Going to play in a Rangers fans sng at Laddys shortly.Our chairman announced a £48 million retail deal today which should give Le Guen ( assuming its him) money to spend in the summer on new players.Roll on.

Good luck and remember... there were Arabs with knives at the foot of the bed,right at the foot of the bed.Oh my god how did they get in here....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pain in Spain

So near yet so far last night.15000 Rangers fans travelled to Spain and filled most of Villareals stadium but a 1-1 draw after a fine performance means it was 3-3 on overall and they go through to the Quarter final on the away goals rule.( 2-2 in 1st leg in Glasgow meant although the scores are level away goals count double when score tied at end of both games).Its especially hard to take that we were never actually beaten by Villareal and still go out but I'm proud of the teams efforts.Hope to hear confirmation any day now that Paul Le Guen will be Rangers 12th manager since we formed in 1873.

I was really down after the game and resisted poker in that mood and watched "Open Water" with Mrs A.She'd had a few beers during the game whilst I was smokin' and her happy pissed chatter during the film just darkened my mood further despite me nodding and smiling at all the right times.

I don't mind a drink but we just weren't on the same wave length so after the film I escaped to my poker cupboard and fired up a Party $25 nl 6 max table.I was $5 up after the first hand when I flop a straight in my second hand only to lose $20 to a rivered flush.I'd been leading into the villan and had position.I should have taken more time to think about it as it was fairly obvious in hindsight that he'd made his flush.

I also need to remember that while there are plenty of fish at the low levels its best to treat all players with some respect until they give me a reason to think otherwise rather than assuming they are all terrible just because I've seen a lot of poor play.Keep playing like that and I'll be getting myself added to a few "buddy" lists!

On the subject of buddies ( or mates as we call them in the UK) the workmate I mentioned being in trouble a while ago over the jury duty absence had his hearing on Monday and will hopefully find out whats happening this week.About time.He's been stewing on this for about 2 months.

More football to watch tonight and some pungent new herb to try out too.May hit the tables later..Enjoy the rest of Hump day!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mini tilt

Only 25 minutes until the Rangers game kicks off so another short post today.

Mark was over last night for a session playing the excellent PS2 shooter "Black". Thankfully "easy" actually means "easy" and we romped through a few levels unlike Call of Duty where I'm still stuck..

After Mark left I hit the tables for a wee while.Won $4 at Ladbrokes and $4 at Party then moved to Interpoker where I let my tiredness and all round brain frazzlement cost me $25.I had Jd9d in the bb ( 1st hand) and checked as there were no raises.Flop came 6s 2h Js.This was 6 max ( £.15-.25) so when it was checked to me I expected to take it down with my £1 bet.Got one caller.Turn came a blank ( no help for flush draw) so I bet £3.River was a 4c and the villan bet £1.50 which I called only to lose to 64 o/s.

I laughed out loud at the fishy stupidity of the villan then promptly let it tilt me into making a poor decision in the next hand.

I'm dealt Ah7h and limp in.Two hearts on the flop.I check,villan goes all in for £7.5 and I decide that if the fish are getting lucky tonight I'm going to make a fishy call and get lucky too.No flush for me but did at least leave the table and was in bed for 0.30am which is an early night for me.

Ok nearly time for Rangers date with destiny.Good luck to all the British teams tonight...

Monday, March 06, 2006


Just a short post today.My brain is still hurting from my marathon Sat night poker session.I was reading today that people who do crosswords,Suduko etc will be less prone to Alzheimers disease when they are older because they have been using their brains.I wonder if the same applies to poker.

After posting here last night Mrs A and I watched a bit of tv.She even let me watch a little of the Full Tilt invatational tourney which Phil Ivey eventually won.Devilfish was 3rd.Not sure if it was recent.I've still to catch the 2005 main event final table.The UK poker channels are great for watching internet poker ( with all hole cards seen) but not much else.

Later Mrs A went to bed and I played a little poker at Laddys with Juice and Rosie.Paid $11 to play in the late night crapshoot but didn't last long.

$12 down in total from my Laddys session I moved to Party's $25 nl 6 max tables and won $25 after 20 mins of supertight play was rewarded by a big hand holding up.

Mark may be up later tonight.Tomorrow night is the big game and I'm out on Friday night so for once poker may take a back seat.

Main French newspaper "LeQuipe" says Le Guen has signed a 2 year deal at Rangers.Please please let this be true! Hope to find out more after the 2nd leg of our Champions league game tomorrow.

Looking to book our May/June holiday soon.There was a deal in the paper at the weekend which was only £600 for 3 of us to go all inclusive for a week to Majorca.The only hitch is that the rooms don't have air-con.I'm a bad sleeper at the best of times and hate hot stuffy rooms.I need complete silence and a cool room ( plus my own well travelled pillow!).Still its a great deal and great deals appeal to tightasses like me!

Ok thats all for now...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sun update

Finally crawled into bed at 7.50am this morning after a long night at the virtual felt.I started at Laddys .25-.50 6 max nl and finished by playing an hour of $2-$4 nl 6max.

Strange kind of night.I lost money at the .25-.50 tables and won over $100 at the $2-$4.My concentration slipped a couple of times which is my excuse for making a couple of donkeys plays.The worst was calling a raise with 9d10d from late postion.Flop came Jd Qs 9h.Wow what a shiney board!Just the reason required to call a $21 all in which had already been called by another villan.6c on the turn and this time I call the $26 all in move from the 2nd villan.River was another J and the first player shows J9 for two pair while the second had KQ for top pair.

Two other factors contributed to that donkey play.I'd called a $16 bet about 10 minutes earlier when I clicked the wrong button which combined by being cold decked had me desparately trying to keep a lid on my frustration.I was involved in a hand at another table at the same time but really that is no excuse for being a drawing donkey.

476 hands last night and never saw AA or QQ once.At least KK held up twice I suppose.

I hope this doesn't all sound too negative.I was in the hole for about $200 at one point and pulled $196 back in my last 70 hands.The comeback was at $200 and $400 nl which was especially satisfying.I even felt as if I was getting used to the large bets at $400 nl though it felt easier when $124 up than it did when I was down to $350 a short time after I sat down!

I also played in Laddys late night crap shoot and Interpokers $3k gtd for $22 in fees but no joy.

I did take one extended break at abot 2.45am to watch Joe Calzaghe give Jeff Lacy an absolute boxing masterclass to become the Unified World Super-Middleweight Champion.Lacy was the favourite but the Welsh boxer made a mockery of that with his sheer handspeed and movement.Best boxing match I've seen in a long time.

Figures for the week: Interpoker $1415,Ladbrokes $1234,Pokerroom $779 and Party $215 ( inc $100 dep) . Total $3543 ( + $26 for week).

Only 10 more working days to go until its holiday time.Roll on.....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Saturday musings

Its been a fairly quiet week on the poker front.Only 7 hours play so far.

Listened to Jordan and Tripjax make an excellent job of their slot on the you follow the link they are on around 35 mins into the show.

Added another couple of fine poker blogs to my link list.The Poker Enthusiast and the Closet Poker player.Both well worth a visit.

Mrs A and I rented "The Football Factory" on dvd for last nights entertainment and a fine film it turned out to be.

Mrs A was tired and went to bed after it and I hit the tables at Interpoker.Won about £45 then headed to Ladbrokes where I lost $40.Strange how I don't recall my big winning hands but the flopped King flush which ended up beaten by a villan with the Ace flush and my set of Jacks from the BB being beaten by a higher kicker stick in my brain.

Overall then aprox $40 profit for a few hours play but went to bed feeling it should have been more.

Cutting down my poker hours this week meant when I did play last night I was really up for it and I think thats partly what worries me about moving up.I can get away with "going through the motions" at the lowest nl 6 max tables.I can listen to my JR Cash,read blogs and chat to Mrs A and still do ok.I know that if my concentration is not 100% at $200 nl 6 max then I will lose money fast if/when I move up.

Last nights session at Inter was the most fun I've had for a while at the tables.I read Scurvy Dogs brilliant writings most days and his post today about needing a break really struck home.I felt better playing even after just cutting down on my play.I'm going out with the boys from work next Friday then going out for dinner on the Sat night with friends before leaving for a week in Egypt on Sun 19th.Hopefully that break should help sustain my enthusiasm for this fine game.

Easy to just say I felt better and had fun.I mean I was enjoying reading the other players and betting accordingly.I think I have a kind of inner self doubt that says I only do ok because I profit from the mistakes of others and not due to much I do myself.I see myself as some kind of tight rock who only bets with the nuts and who is going to get found out bigtime at higher levels.

Poker is such a grey area game.Not much is black and white.The best tip I remember from "Zen and the Art of Poker" is that the one thing you have to remember to do when moving up a level is to simply fold more.

My 6 max VPIP% ( Voluntarily put in pot) is 34% and my pfr ( preflop raise) is between 6 and 7% over nearly 20 k hands so I'm maybe not quite the rock I see myself as.

All about striking a balance between simply playing good starting hands and opening up when opportunities present themselves.Bringing a fresh enthusiastic outlook to the table means I can do both whereas in lazy poker mode its much more about just playing the cards.

It also sums up the multi-table dilemma.I can't claim to be a great multi-tabler.I tend to forget about reads to a great extent and hope that simply seeing more hands means seeing better hands and that in itself will be enough.Sometimes it is but when your doing this as a fun hobby its much more enjoyable to play one table and use your poker experience to outplay the villans on occasion.

I can play two full ring tables or even one 6 max and one full table without too much trouble but reading some players stories of 10-15 tabling quite frankly makes my head spin!

Just finished listening to Rangers beat Falkirk 2-1 away from home today.The big game v Villareal is on Tues night in Spain.We only have a slim chance of beating them and getting through to the Champions league quarter finals but its not entirely impossible.

Thanks to Veneno for the invite to Waffles birthday tourney.I'd love to play but as its a 1.30am start on Sunday night I'm not going to make.For anyone who can though its at Full Tilt at 8.30pm EST $10 +$1 and the password is Wafflesrocks.

Nice to see Juice update his blog today.He must finally be getting over the exciting news that his favourite UK male vocalist is Numero Uno in the American singles chart! I wonder if US workplaces will now be full of James Blunts singing "Your Beautiful" in annoying high squeaky voices.Apologies to any US readers if this is the case...

Ok Mrs A is out shopping so time to fire on my new PS 2 game ( Black) and start blasting some nasties...

Good luck at the tables.Back tomorrow with Sunday stats update.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bankroll thoughts

Congrats to Rosie on outlasting 430 others to win a Laddys mtt for $125.Hope you'll be doing some strategy posts soon!

Only played a little poker last night after watching Scotland get beaten by the Swiss ( who were on a roll) 3-1 at Hampden.

Watched a bit of The Apprentice after that and couldn't believe how inept these so called high fliers are.One girl making her sales pitch made me cringe she was so bad.I'm sure she can talk the talk just fine at job interviews and knows all the right corporate bullshit speak but when it comes to walking the walk she couldn't even crawl let alone walk.The boys team were just as bad.

Won $12 for my efforts last night.I also won $6 at Party and lost $6 in a Pokerroom $5.50 turbo sng.Managed to get a fish all in with his Q9 v my AQ but he spiked a 9 and my stack never recovered.

I was amazed I made any money last night as my play and decision making was as poor as its been in a while.

The trigger may have been when I folded QcJc post flop to two all in's and watched Mr Flopped straight take out Mr AA.I would have hit my runner runner flush to scoop that one and there's almost nothing in poker I find more frustrating.

Cc asked what my thoughts are on my current bankroll and where I'm headed.The answer is I really don't know.I play mostly $25 and $50 nl with some $100 nl thrown in and make enough to make this game a worthwhile hobby.Already though it does sometimes feel like a part time job I'm almost obliged to do because I'll miss out on $$ if I don't play.

I'm also lazy and scared of blowing my roll.Its over a year since I blew $700 on tilt at Pokerroom and it was an experience that will live with me for a long long time.I pulled it back and was even able to cash out by April however the fear of moving to $200 nl and somehow losing my whole roll seems a valid one even though I've never repeated my all out tilt nightmare of last Feb.

I'm also well aware that the competition at the low stakes nl I play at is for the most part incredibly poor and that my so called skills would probably be ripped apart at much higher levels.Sure I've held my own during long overnight sessions at $2-$5 nl 6 max on the odd occasion but I do question whether its worth trying to eke out 2 bb per hour at that level when I'm making roughly the same hourly profit at the lower fishier easier levels.

I mentioned having a $5k roll before moving up to $200 nl 6 max but that in itself is another issue as in my opinion 6 max is the real test of a players skill and I may be better off trying to bide my time learning at full ring $200 nl.

I would also like to take a shot at some point.I'd love a $7k roll.$5 k for my usual games and $2k or at least $1k to sit with at a 6 max nl table and see how quickly I bust or double/treble through.

I also need to toughen up mentally aswell if I want to move to higher stakes.I won around $1600 in Nov/Dec seeking out crazy games and making a killing but when variance kicked my butt over a few days at Xmas it seemed to take me weeks to regain my poker confidence and self belief when I should accepted that if your going to win $500 in a night then you have to be prepared to lose it and deal with it when one bad night become a bad run.

I don't know if I could handle a really bad run at say $200 or $400 nl whereas in the little old 70 buyin comfort zone ( $50nl) I'm in just now even a nightmare run of bad variance wouldn't cripple my roll.

I want to keep my credit card balance near zero and with this year proving expensive so far another cashout of $1 k or so may just ease that situation.

On balance I think I will try and aim for $5k and higher stakes.Hell I may even actually be able to hold my own over time at $200/$400 or $600 nl but I'm not kidding myself that I could do that without making huge strides in my game.

I suppose I'll never know until I try.I'm also slightly cautious by nature which can sometimes be a useful trait in cash games but may also stop me pushing myself out of my comfort zone to try out new experiences.

OK Enough is enough!

All my usual well thought out ramblings...

Don't expect me to stick to any of it.I'll probably change my mind tomorrow....

As reward for reading/skimming through the above here's a couple of funnies.Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment on any of the above nonsense!

Down to earth: A Glasgow couple on holiday in New York were impressed by the legendary world-weariness of a New Yorker when they were in the lift in their hotel. As a local joined them in the elevator, a member of the hotel staff at the controls brightly asked: "Going down?" only to be told: "Well, we ain't gonna go sideways."

Head start: Nashville veteran Don Williams, bringing his farewell tour to Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall next month, once revealed to Saga 105.2fm country music expert Bill Black what he did with any new stetson hat that he bought."I like 'em comfortable," drawled Don, "so I give each new one to my dog to play with first."

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