Friday, June 30, 2006

Monthly/yearly stats update

My cashout has complicated things but on May 30th I had a total of $4620. $4620-$2147 June 11th cashout = $2473.

Current stats as of June 30th are Ladbrokes $1204 ,Pokerroom $1073,Inter $152. Total $2429.

-$44 for month from May 30th -June 30th.

19.5 hrs at Laddys and 23 hrs at Inter.Total hours played ( cash tables) 42.5 hrs

Total profit since Oct 31st '05 = $3238

Total profit in 1st yr Oct31st '04 -Oct 31st '05 = $4239

Total profit since I started playing for real on Oct31st '04 = $7477.

I had a bad start after returning from my holiday on June 3rd and lost $245 between then and my cashout on June 11th.I'm quite pleased to have made up most of that loss especially as I've been experimenting with $5 Sngs recently and have also cut my poker hours played due to watching the World Cup. Most of my hands at Inter cash tables have also been at $25nl instead of my usual $50 in order to play within my Inter bankroll and compete in the $50 challenge without busting.

Bring on July!

Friday fun

Wednesday night was a Halo fest with not much poker to report other than a $10 loss at a cash table.Rosie asked me if I limp with Ace rag at 6 max cash tables from the button .Hmm.I did that time and lost my $10 to someone limping with AK but the answer is the usual “it depends”.At a tight table I may raise from the button to try and take blinds which also helps disguise future raises with premium hands.

At a loose table I may limp and bet if I hit and try and judge if I’m beaten by a better Ace if I get called.( judgement made based on reads on villan and betting pattern in hand)

I read somewhere that Ace Rag is the biggest losing hand in poker and at a full ring game I can believe that.At 6 max though high cards gain in value although need to be played cautiously with poor kickers.

I mentioned the old poker adage “It depends” and I think that applies to my starting hand selection and how I play them.I don’t think I could write a starting hands chart for 6 max if I tried because I play hands differently according to position,opponents and table image.KQ may be worth an UTG raise at 6 max if I have a tight image and the table is passive but at a loose/aggressive table I may well limp and try and trap if I hit and fold quickly if I don’t.

Played three sng’s last night and bombed out of one,came 3rd and won another for a $25 profit for the night.I did get a little lucky with the game I won but I’ve just finished reading Matt Matros’s book for the second time and now I really crank up the aggression levels when it gets shorthanded.When the blinds are high I think the fold equity gained by opponents possibly folding helps make up for being slight behind ( QJ sooted V a6 etc) when I do get called.I’d recommend his book to anyone looking to improve their game as it’s given me a new way of looking at hands and how they play out.Took me a while to “get it” though as I read some of his analysis and my first thought was “I’d never put my money in there” but once I’d read why ,it made perfect sense.

Interesting that Matt says his default mode used to be to simply to raise and step up the aggression whereas mine is probably to tighten up and fold more.I’m not sure I’ll ever have the total disregard for money or gamble in me that’s required to be a top player but books like Matts certainly help open my eyes to new ideas and ways of playing.

My wee cousin ( well he’s 24 on Monday ) popped round for a while last night too and we have arranged to play some live poker on Sunday at Glasgows’ Wabash club.It’s a £5 nl rebuy which really needs a budget of £25-£30 to try and build a chipstack before the 1 hr 45 minute rebuy period ends.I’m not sure rebuy tourneys suit my style but I’ve really enjoyed my previous live experiences and look on my £30 as money already spent and any win as a bonusI’ve never played there but I was glad to hear the Cincinatti poker club in Glasgow which was raided the other week is open for business and as yet no charges have been brought.I read they kept the players hanging around for 6 hours to question them and wouldn’t let them go the toilet alone!( this included the 4 off duty policemen who were playing at the time of the raid!)

Been for lunch with Mrs A,Step A and Mother Acorn ( who is $40 up today at the tables).The cold sweat is over as the World Cup kicks off again today with Germany V Argentina first ,followed by Italy V Ukraine.I can see the first game going to extra time and Italy winning the other but what do I know!

England v Portugal and Brazil v France on tomorrow.Tasty games indeed.I reckon England and Brazil will go through to semis but just hope the games live up to the billing.There’s an awful lot of garbage being written in the media in Scotland and England about Scots not supporting England and wanting their opponents to win.English papers reporting gleefully that Scots die younger than English people and daft Scottish shops selling “grow dope: plant an Englishman” t-shirts.( they’ve sold 20 apparently yet it’s caused a huge fuss).

I will be cheering on Portugal tomorrow for sure but even if England did somehow win the World Cup I’m not going to be devastated by it and will be the first to congratulate my English friends.( more chance of me taking up Limit Holdem though than it happening though!).

It would be nice if the British Broadcasting Corp’s/ITV commentary remembered they cover the whole of the UK and not just England .They're supposed to be professional commentators not fans with microphones.

Ok rant over!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fishy play

Why do I post about forgiving myself for mistakes then lie awake replaying the hands in my head and getting more and more steamed at my poor play?! I may have to change my blog title to “Confessions of a Donkey”. Dropped $45 last night at Inter and most of it came during my 10 minute spell at a cash table just before bed.A combination of “last hand syndrome”,lack of focus and a wrong assumption.

Before I rip into last nights dreadful plays I’m going write about what I see as my greatest attribute at the table and possibly the reason I was a damn fine salesman for ten years and that attribute is empathy.

From Wikipedia :“Empathy is one's ability to recognize and understand the emotion of another. As the states of mind, beliefs, and desires of others are intertwined with their emotions, one with empathy for another may often be able to more effectively divide another's modes of thought and mood. Empathy is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes", or experiencing the outlook or emotions of another being within oneself, a sort of emotional resonance

I try and achieve a close emotional resonance with everyone at my table in order to try and work out what current psychological state they are operating in and how this will affect their play.As I read on another blog today ,poker is a game of people and people do not ( esp at my levels) simply play according to the Maths.

Letting egos and emotions affect play is probably a far more prevalent issue at the micro-stakes I play and possibly won’t be such a large factor at higher levels.In fact even from my limited experience at $200 nl I know this to be the case as someone trying a bluff and failing will usually fold far more quickly ( as if accepting that trying to bluff and fail is no big deal) whereas a micro-stakes player will delay their fold because they are annoyed at having their bluff snapped off and want the table to think they’ve at least represented some kind of hand.

In the 6 max hand I called a raise with 34 sooted from a player who had won 5/6 of the last hands played and who’d obviously been on a wee rush ,showing down AA and KK and taking another pot after the table folded to his continuation bet.The flop came A high and he bet out again,I felt I sensed weakness as his continuation bet was about ¼ of the pot so I raised him the size of the pot to put him to the test.I’d also been at the table for about ten minutes and had maybe limped twice and folded everything else so felt my reraise had a good chance of working.

He called and when the turn brought a second club he bet out enough to put me all in which felt strange to me as I was sure if he’d hit at all, it was on the flop and probably not the Ace judging by the size of his bet.( on a previous hand his continuation bet was pot sized).I had been intending on pushing all in myself if he’d checked the turn and at this point I should have folded….but I called ( for the rest of my stack) ,hoping to hit a club and win the pot on the river.Of course no club came and his k8 beat my 4 high!

I misjudged his mood badly,thinking that his previous bets meant he was a “good enough” player to fold a hand like KQ ( KQ or a mid pair were the post flop range I put him on) after hitting a K on an Ace high flop, when actually he was a bad enough player that he thought winning a few hands in a row meant he could win with any two.

The other two costly plays were in Sng’s where I relied on a tight image to try a large preflop bluff with the Hammer which ended up knocking me out ( called by A10) and another where I overplayed KQ postflop and was called down by 88.

For the first time in weeks there’s no football to watch tonight.Mark will be over for our usual Halo fest on the xbox,Mrs A is working and Step A will be up later now that she has finished with school until after the summer.

Thanks to Miasdad for the comment on getting a DADI team together but I'm going to leave the decision to play until tomorrow night and see how tired I feel first.

Ok thanks fo reading...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The S-man was over last night and we hit up Pokeroom for a couple of turbo tourneys to get warmed up.Came 2nd in one and 5th in the other for a small profit.Great to see S-man again and looking forward to catching up again when he’s back from his summer holidays.

Finished watching the turgid Swiss V Ukraine game and opened up the Inter tables for more sng fun.Won my first $5 sng and came 2nd in the other.Up until last week the only $5 sngs I’ve played recently have been $5 turbos and I wonder if they have actually stood me in good stead for my shot at the 10 hands per level games on Inter.Turbos force players to be selective and aggressive and bringing a little of that to standard $5 sng’s has worked so far.90% Return on investment over a tiny sample of 35 games played and a wee shark symbol according to Sharkscope.That'll do me!

Had a little fun with the hammer last night at one of my sng’s.With 1000 starting chips I raised to 200 ,got a caller on a K board who called my continuation bet on the flop and turn before folding to my all in on the river.Enjoyed showing that one.I actually respected the player in the hand as at least being capable of laying down K with a poor kicker simply due to the fact he had checkraised me in a previous hand and that’s probably the first checkraise I’ve seen at these $5 sng’s all week.

Dadi tomorrow night and though I love playing in it and justify the late timing as a one off every now and then, I have a dilemma because I need to leave work early on Friday to be back home for Germany v Argentina clash at 4pm and a late start with an early finish will knock my flexi-time back even further.I was hoping to get a UK team of three together to challenge Jordan n co but looks like the 2am is just a bit on the late side.Maybe next time.

Just watched Brazil cruise through to the Quarter finals without really getting out of first gear.Hoping for a cracker tonight between France and Spain.I predict a Brazil v Spain Q final and along with the Germany vArgentina game on Friday it is the game of the next round.

Viva Espana!

Monday, June 26, 2006

McEnroe wins by three sets to one..

Continued my sng fest with two more last night after the football.Shame the ref ruined the Holland v Portugal game by dishing out a record number of yellow/red cards and I hope that's his last game in charge of game at this World Cup.Sadly that's one of my tips out ( sorry Jordan) but hopefully Brazil can go on and do the business.The early games kick off at 4pm UK time and I'll need to get to bed a helluva lot earlier than last nights 1.30am if I'm going to get away from work in time to watch them.

Ghana have been exciting to watch and the Brazilians just seem to be warming up after a slow but winning start to the WC.That's tomorrow's 4pm game and with France V Spain at 8pm its going to be a great day for football.

Wimbledon also started today and it's the one tennis tournament I love watching.Makes me laugh when football managers talk about players being tired because they've played two 90 minute games in a week when tennis players can play 5 hour games and come back for the next round a day later.Caught the end of the classic '81 final on Sky last night ,when McEnroe got revenge for '80 , beat Borg and stopped him making it 6 in a row.What a game that was.

I mention tennis because I read an interview with retiring umpire,Alan Mills, where he mentions when McEnroe destroyed Connors and says "I told McEnroe I thought he'd played superb tennis and had only made four mistakes all match.He looked at me and replied he believed it was just two mistakes and a couple of bad bounces".

Great wee anecdote but it struck me that although he played superb tennis and destroyed his opponent he still made mistakes even if only once or twice.Poker and tennis are very different ( see it's an education reading this blog) but I think I need to realise that even if I play my best game I can't expect to be completely error free. I think I need to take it a little easier on myself sometimes when I make a poor play at the tables and move on a little more easily from it.I don't mean I play poker as well as Super Brat played tennis btw!( if only).

Mistakes,bad moves and slips in concentration happen to all players I suppose in most sports/games but in poker it's especially tough as you can be losing in a session without making any mistakes at all and one or two added to some nasty variance can really damage a roll.The answer is obviously just to play perfect poker all the time...

Back to the Sngs and I bubbled in the first one and won the £5 second one.The £5 ( $9 aprox) was certainly tighter than the $5 I've been playing recently but there were still more than a few fish too.One guy calling a raise with 96 sticks in my mind.I was at that table with Miasdad and we both had a laugh speculating when the same fish finally made his first preflop fold as to his holding.

$45 up last night. I was reading Kronsdats blog and was pleased to read he has joined the $50 Inter "race to $1k challenge".Welcome aboard! I'll try and get some latest standings posted soon though I think Miasdad is way out in front just now with over $400. I'm on $157.

Back tomorrow...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday stats

Enjoyed the fine game between Argentina and Mexico last night before hitting the tables,starting with a few sng's at Inter.I won two and crashed out the other when my 99 crashed to 44 when a 4 fell on river.Quite pleased though as I've won 10 sngs' from about 16 or 17 played this week.I'd never considered sng's before as a way to make $$ at this game as I've always played ring games for the money and sng's for fun but if I can continue to be in the money as often I may need to think again.

I had an interesting chat with Rosie about running badly and dealing with it.I lost most of my sng profit in one hand at Inter and then lost $145 at Ladbrokes after losing with big pairs to flopped monsters.I moved to $200nl and won back $45 to leave my stats as follows : Ladbrokes $1190,Inter $112,Pokerroom $1067. Total $2369 ( -$96 for week).

I seemed to run badly at the 6 max cash games and run well at the sng's.Just checked out my username and a few others at . If I do keep at the sng's I think it would be useful to sign up there.

I mentioned to Rosie that I cope with the downward swings in a couple of ways and as I don't have much else to witter about today,I thought I'd mention 'em here.

Firstly I try and see my bankroll total as being fluid and in my mind it sits at between $2-$3k rather than being fixed at $2369.Sure I'd rather have won last week than lost $96 but my roll total is about the same in my mind so I don't feel I have to chase to pull it back.I also find the simple act of posting my stats on a Sunday helps me as I then have a fresh slate to start with every week after I post.

It also helps of course when I can look at last weeks profit or if I have two losing weeks then I can look at last months profit and so on.I've read a lot on bankroll sizes for nl and my own feeling is that for 6 max nl I want at least 40 buy-ins.That may seem conservative but it gives me the security of knowing that it would take a run of nightmare proportions to bust me and I like that feeling! That doesn't mean I wont play $100 or $200 nl until I reach $4k and $8k but I wouldn't do any more than take shots at those levels until properly rolled.

I've earned 9.2bb/100 over 11k hands at Laddys since I got PT working again ( thx Juice) on Dec 2oth last year.( $8.85 per 100 hands).Even if I moved up successfully to $200 nl and won 3bb/100 I wouldn't be making as much as just now.This is why despite the lack of reload bonuses and decent incentives,Ladbrokes is still my favourite site.I've 70% of a $100 bonus at Inter done and I'm tempted to take a shot at $50nl or $100 nl to try and work off the bonus more quickly but I may go the other way and just play sng's to try and build that roll.

I'm still waiting on my Inter cashout cheque arriving.I hate the e-cash system Inter uses as I can only cashout by cheque and they take forever.For reload bonuses at Pokeroom I can simply cashout to my debit card and cash straight back in.I must have missed a ton of bonuses at Inter due to this rubbish system.

Ok off to watch the rest of England v Equador.Not a great game so far after 32 mins.Tonights match between Portugal and Holland is a mouth watering prospect though.Roll on...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Go Bruno!

This really will be a short post.In bed for 4am and up at 10.30am when our new tv arrived.I've got it set up and it looks the dogs cajones.All lcd'd up man!

Last nights poker turned out ok in the end though my Inter challenge total sits at a mere $96 after a couple of unsuccesful sngs and some card dead play at a cash table.When da bloggers left I moved to Laddys $50 nl 6 max for the first time this week.No boring bad beat details but I was caught twice by fish hitting 2 outers and took it on the chin and bounced back.The first player apologised and said he was "v v lucky". "np.nh.we all need a little luck",I replied,hoping he would commit his stack in a simliar situation again.I wont say it wasn't a head shaker but I don't seem to let genuine bad beats affect me anywhere near as much as when I make a mistake or misjudgement and get annoyed at myself.

Being competitve and a perfectionist ( at the tables anyway) can be good and bad for my game at times.Learning to accept that I've laid the trap,the villans fallen head first into it and yet I have no divine right to see the chips come my way ,is all part of the game.

Left $50 up from my 4 hours of 6 max play.Could have been $20 more but I seem to get braver as the night goes on and played 1/2 hour of $300 nl just before bed and ended up playing a little scared and folding too much despite seeing obvious postions to steal.I did wonder just how much better the $300 nl players are when a $460 pot was won with 107 who went all in on a 7 5 5 rainbow flop.It held up and I did fleetingly think of what might have been ( I'd folded Q7) but unless I'd been on tilt or at the table longer for a decent read,I don't think I could have called an all in on a board like that with 2 players in.Of course had I stayed in the hand would probably have played out differently anyway.

It could be worse.I could be Bruno the bear. Gaun yersel Bruno son.Don't let the bassa's take ye alive!

Down to the last 16 in the World Cup and most of the 2nd round matches look straight forward.I expect Germany to beat Sweden and Argentina to win against Mexico today.It's been a good world cup so far and hopefully now there's no meaningless games ,it should get even better.

Wimbledon starts on Monday and although I'm not a huge tennis fan I do enjoy this tournament.I used to batter a ball off a wall with my racket for hours pretending to be Borg and McEnroe slugging it out.Boris Beckers win as a 17 year old in 1985 was pretty awsome too.It would be nice to see Andy Murray do well this year.Not sure if he has the fitness levels or game required but he certainly seems to have enough fire in his belly and having that kind of drive and determination can take him far.

Back tomorrow with quick stats update.Enjoy the weekend...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Here comes the weekend

Watched a much improved Brazil beat Japan 4-1 whilst flicking over to the Croatia v Australia game for updates.
Looks like Brazil could finally be finding their samba rhythm as they played much more like the usual Brazil last night.

After the game I logged on to a 6 max cash game ( $25nl) at Inter and was completely card dead for an hour and left $5 down before going against my bankroll preservation ( I’m treating my $50 Inter challenge as a separate roll) and joinng rosie and miasdad at a £25 full ring table.

As anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not a fan of full ring games and started badly,getting involved in too many hands and not hitting anything when I did.I raised to £1.50 with QQ from early postion,called a £5 reraise and folded to a bet on a K high flop.That was just after I had sat down and had no read or clue about the villan and their likely holdings.

My next big hand was when I called a small raise ( from bb I think) with A2 and raised the original bettor when he bet out on an A 2 5 rainbow flop,only to run into his AA.

I tightened up and after topping up my stack twice I felt like I was starting to settle at the table but overall apart from the blogger chat it was a poor night overall and I went to bed $39 down for the night,leaving my Inter challenge balance sitting at a miserly $126.

I’m not sure playing full ring games with fellow bloggers is very ev+ for me but in my constant drive to win more money at this game it’s sometimes nice to remember that it’s just a game and not an extension of my working day. I don’t mean I can’t win money at a full ring whilst chatting.It’s more that the social aspect makes it more tempting to join games ( like full ring £25nl) I wouldn’t normally play which doesn’t do my overall bankroll much good.

Just read in the paper that Dave Colcloughs Cincinnati poker club in Glasgow has been raided by the police and closed down.I’ve never played there before but can’t help feeling that the police should be out catching real criminals instead of wasting mine and other taxpayers money on raids such as this.Still “targets” and “stats” rule all large organisations these days so I suppose the chance for a figures boosting easy hit was too much to pass up.

Edit: checked a thread at and it's not clear that club has actually been shutdown.

On the subject of the police,I managed to avoid a speeding ticket this morning.I usually detest black hackney taxis as their drivers seem to think driving a taxi means they actually own the road but when a black hack is driving downhill at 5 mph less than the 30mph speed limit you have to suspect the call has gone out that there’s a polis man with a radar gun nearby and in this case my suspicions were confirmed.I enjoyed cruising past at 29mph with a big smile on my face and a shake of the head at the good officers.No they didn’t choose an accident blackspot but the foot of a steep hill where anything but hard braking will see most cars hit well above 30mph.More quick hits to boost their stats.

Ok the weekend awaits.Have a good one…

Thursday, June 22, 2006

McMaradona day

His first goal in that game wasn't bad either....

This weeks sng fest continued over the last couple of nights with a win and two losses in $5 sng’s.Also played a $10 mtt but to no avail.Rosie reckons the £5 sng’s at Inter are as juicy as the $5 ones so that could be worth a shot.

I played 5 mins of break even 6 max late on last night and it’s really given me the itch for more.Since the World Cup started my I’ve watched the 8pm game and then logged on to play sng’s with the UK blogger posse which has been great fun but not left much time for my usual 6 max ring play and has left me trailing in the $50 challenge I set.( $165 latest)

Breaking up the 6 max grind by playing Sng’s has been a welcome diversion but I’ve never considered Sng’s as a way of making money and more as a bit of fun.I’ve had a good run in my last ten played but only due to the sheer fishyness of the tables and a little luck.

Last nights Argentina V Holland game was quite a tame affair,which was a shame as it had been much anticipated but I suppose as both teams had already qualified and had rested players ,it was no surprise.

Looking forward to watching big Dado in action again for Croatia V the Aussies tonight though its mince that I’m at work and going to miss the USA v Ghanna and the Czechs v Italy.Finally bought a new tv yesterday.( managed to get free delivery but nae discount!). Our 37” Techwood LCD gets delivered on Saturday and it wont be a moment too soon as our current 28” set is on it’s last legs.

While I'm in the mood to post pictures here's a reminder about the new Dadi tourney which takes place one week from tonight at 'Stars.

One last piece of nonsense before I go .Use link below to find out how your name translates into Brazilian.This is Littlandro signing off....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tues latest

Another night at the tables where all I played was Sng’s and ten minutes of break even 6 max nl.

The $5 sng’s are quite soft at Inter but as the one who set the $50 Inter challenge I really need to be putting in some hours at the 6 max tables.To be honest I started the challenge as a way of motivating myself to play within my roll with my $50 and build it back up past $1k but the truth is I really don’t have much enthusiasm for the $25 buy in 6 max tables anymore and the thought of a 2-3 hour session at that level has no appeal at all.Despite that I refuse to move to $50 or $100 nl at Inter until my $172 roll can stand it so looks like some grinding will have to be done and soon if I’m to have any chance of catching Mias Dad $ 336, Rosie $192 and Juice on $180.

Played four sng’s last night and was bubble boy in the first mainly due to playing weak poker when down to four as I was too keen to be In The Money for the eighth game in a row.Got my game together and won the next one but didn’t do much in the last two and went to bed far too late at 1.30am.

Stopped off to buy the new Techwood 37” I mentioned yesterday but I drive a hard bargain and told the salesman I would only buy it if he threw in "Outrun" for the PSP for free.The manager said I could get the game for half the £35 price but not free so I walked.I'm not too bothered about the game and may go back and just let them waive the £22 delivery charge instead.I wasn't folding today though!

I nearly bought a car a few years back but the private seller and I were just £50 apart on a £5k deal.He refused to back down so I told him to forget it and walked away then too.Ended up buying a Volvo 480 Turbo instead and its solid build probably saved my life in a car crash a couple of years later.What's for you,wont go by you as my Granny used to say.

Still waiting on my cashout cheque from Inter but at least my new 17” monitor arrived today.I’ve seen a wireless enabled laptop for £349 at the same online retailer ( and the first thing I did was find an online currency converter to see how many $ I need to make to be able to afford it( $642).Time to grind!

One good thing about being a Step Dad is that I get to behave like a big kid sometimes.( not that I didn’t before). I read in the paper that pouring a packet of mentos mints into a 2.5 litre of diet coke caused a reaction that created a 15 foot high fountain of cola.Well I bought two bottles of Coke,10 packs of mentos,drew a gathering of local kids and……nothing happened at all! ( well it did fizz up bit).Not one to waste anything at least I was able to charge the kids for a glass of new Minty Cola….

I was trying to be kind of neutral about tonights Sweden V England game but I made the mistake of listening to Talk Sport on the way home and their presenters have England playing Brazil in the final already before the final group game is even finished so for once in my life I'll actually be wanting ex Semtex FC striker,Larsson,to score a few goals.

Mrs A ( sporting new boots and watch courtesy of poker cashout) has just put out the home made macaronni so that's all for today....

Monday, June 19, 2006

7 up

After watching a few poor games ( inc Brazil again) I was ready to play in the ‘Stars blogger tourney.Logged in and crashed out after 3 hands when my KK ran into AA.Right after that I had a woman at the door claiming Step A was bullying her girl.I detest bullying of any sort and started to lecture Step A and offered to bring her round to apologise to the womans kid.Then I asked her kids name and recognised it as the same kid Step A has said has given her abuse and sworn at her in the past.The woman is the local hard woman junkie so when I realised this I told her to go home and it was just kiddie squabbles.She then started threatening Mrs A and saying she was bringing her brothers round.Mrs A called the police who came round and were great about it and went round to have a word with said crazed junkie woman.

Then I logged back on to play some poker and chill the feck out! Ended up railbirding Rosie’s fine efforts in the blogger tourney for a while and playing a little 25c full ring at Pokerroom.

The $50 Inter challenge postions are as follows…Mias Dad $236 ,Juice $180,Acornman $172 and Rosie $ errr refused to say!! I’ll up date with Mr Edges stats when I get ‘em.

I only played one Sng last night, my run continued and I won it after a heads-up battle with Rosie who got a little unlucky in the last hand when I flopped 2 pair with Q3 v her A2 soooted for 5 wins from my last 7 sng’s.( in the money in the other two).I also sucked out big time to knock out the 3rd placed player when I rivered a flush.

Not much else happening in poker land today.Ordered my new 17” Tft monitor and will probably buy our new 37” Techwood 3711 tv from Comet tomorrow.

Dropped the wee one off at her new high school this morning.She is there for two days this week to get used to it before moving up from Primary school in August. I made sure she took her sandwiches in a bag instead of her usual Bratz dolls lunchbox and ensured she knew to call her breaks “breaktime” and not “playtime” so hopefully she wont lose her street cred before she even starts!

Off to my folks this evening to give Dad his fathers day beers and show my Mum more on how to work Pokertracker…..

Edit:checked Pokerstars and looks like the winner of the big freeroll (Daleroxxu) is a young guy from Scotland.Couldn't find his blog,just a reply on a forum that confirmed he's a Rangers man and no fan of Semtex Fc across the city. Well done that man!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Six appeal

First off well done to the USA for a fine battling 1-1 draw with the Italians last night especially as it was 10 men v 9 for a good part of the game.I thought all the sendings off were deserved though the Italian,De Rossi,should get a long ban for his nasty use of the elbow.The commentator mentioned football possibly not taking off in America due to lack of goals and excitement but sometimes football drama is more subtle than just goals, and watching nine exhausted Americans give their all and more to keep the Italians out ( after the USA started the better team when 11 v11) made for dramatic viewing.With Ghanna ( who were a joy to watch v the Czechs) having two players suspended I feel the USA can beat them and it's anyones guess who will progress from that group now.U-S-A!

The title was Sng rush and I'll get to that in a second but bad news first and I managed to blow $30 on a daft "last hand syndrome" hand when I raised 10bb preflop with A6 ( 6 max as always) and bet the pot on a J J 10 flop and was called by QK who hit a K on the turn and called my all in.The villan had nae odds postflop but I can see that he wouldn't put me on J as I'd bet out postflop so possibly put me on a pp 22-99.AA had to be another possibilty with the way I'd played it but he'd stayed in to hit his Q/K or straight and wasn't going away at that point.I mentioned before being in the wrong frame of mind and after six sng's I was in the wrong game mode for 6 max.The villans last £10 was not his tournamenent life.In an SNG he may have folded.Lesson learned..again!

Anyway this is a happy post not a whine because my SNG luck finally changed and from six played last night I won four and came second and third in the others.Only $5 sng's and not exactly the Wsop but felt good that most of my moves worked and I even sucked out successfully on a few occasions.One difference was that apart frm the chat with Juice ( happy birthday btw) ,Rosie and MiasDad,I was really focussed on the table and who was doing what instead of reading blogs etc! Rosie also won one and placed too so a good night at the tables all round.I wish I could remember more about individual hands played but I just remember being very tight early ,making a few good folds and being ultra-aggressive when very shorthanded.

Sunday stats are Inter $50 challenge account $ 153, Ladbrokes $1245,Pokerroom $1067. Total $2465 ( + $237 for week).

Over to Maw and Paw's with Fathers day card/beers before returning to see if Brazil go up a few gears for the game with the Aussies.Argentina look unstoppable on all the evidence so far though my outside tip,the Dutch,are looking good to qualfiy after a winning start.We've had drama,small nations getting historical results and Argentina scoring a beautiful goal.It would be magic to see Brazil really get it together and create the football poetry we know they are capable of.

See you at the Pokerstars blogger tourney tonight.9.30pm Uk time...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sat update

Had fun at the tables last night after watching little Angola hold out for a 0-0 draw with Mexico.Check Juice's latest post for a clip of Cambiasso's goal for Argentina which was a thing of beauty but for me the other beautiful thing about football ( and most sports) is the unpredictabilty of it.It may have been 0-0 but the chants of A-N-G-L-O-A as they headed towards the final whistle gave me goosebumps.For a country at civil war only 4 years ago and where the average annual wage is £1k ,it was great to see the joy on their faces at snatching a draw.Looking forward to the Czech V Ghanna game aswell as the USA v Italy later on tonight.Can't see past the Czechs and Italians in those game though the Czechs do have a few injury problems.

The Portugal V Iran game is on just now.2-0 to Portgugal after 80 mins.If Iran lose I think they'll beheading home...

Rangers have signed a new goalkeeper from PSG on a free.Welcome to Scotlands best supported team,Lionel.I've heard he's the French equaivalent of celt*cs ex keeper Rab Douglas which is a bit worrying as big Rab flapped at everything but I'll wait to judge him for myself.

To the tables and not much joy at the sng I played with Juice,Rosie and Mr Edge.I think I was rivered but I'm sure I sucked out before then so no complaints.Had a frustrating time at the Inter cash tables after with nothing holding up though I have claimed $10 from Inters pocket Kings weekend promo.Balance at $70 ( with $10 to come) .

Played in a $10 + $1 ,$1k gtd with 117 others and managed 12th which just about covered my entry fee.I was annoyed at myself as I was in 6th and pushed all in for 13k chips with KJ sooted in the sb but the BB ( had me covered) woke up with AQ , called and knocked me out.If I'd just raised to 4k ,I could have folded if he came over the top but Ifs don't win poker games.

Decided that despite setting the challenge and only playing about an hour of cash table poker all week,that I would move back to $50 nl 6 max at Laddys and see if the weekend late night loonies were out and about.Left $45 up after a couple of hours play and a few wee swings.I was playing the Inter mtt at the same time so I think my Vpip stat hit around 14% whilst the table average was nearer 50%.

Loved the article in The Sun today,"Net Losers",about the horrors of Internet gambling and how it's a ticking time bomb.The Sun loves to dramatise and always brings young children into the equation to add shock value. "And rocketing numbers of young people-including children as young as 11-are blowing thousands in marthon cyber-betting sessions". Obviously getting too much pocket money....

Mrs A is home after having a fine time in Millport.Not much to update tomorrow as I've not played much poker over the last week but I'll probably post the stats anyway.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend....

Friday, June 16, 2006

Cat still away

Mrs A won’t be back until Sat now so I have my Mum popping round about lunchtime to walk the wee man as I’m working until 6pm.A bit frustrating as the 2 World Cup games this afternoon should be great especially the Dutch V Ivory Coast.The Mexicans impressed me in their first game v Iran and I’m looking forward to watching them play Angola at 8pm whilst tucking into my Chicken tika masala.

It’s been a slow week on the poker front.Only played one sng on Wed night but managed to squeeze in about an ½ hour of ring play aswell as 4 or 5 failed sng’s last night.I did win Wednesdays sng but they are really more of a fun distraction than any kind of big money winner for me.

I’m probably playing a dangerous game with my tiny Inter bankroll but after the late night sng’s with Juice and Rosie ,I couldn’t face anymore of the $.15-$.30 nl and made the slight jump to £.15-£.30 and won enough in a short time to bring my Inter challenge balance to $100.71.

I read somewhere that it’s hard to go back down the levels and while $50 nl is only a small step up I’d forgotten just how dreadful some of the play is at Inters lowest nl micro stakes.One or two fish at a table are great but dealing with a whole table of them ( 6 max) where somone’s bound to suckout and hit a hand ( when they all call) makes it a profitable but dangerous pursuit as it’s often very hard to get a read on the villans as they are so unpredictable.There’s also so much ego and personal pride on display at these tables that it gets almost funny at times.

My Mum seems to be coping well with the newbies table at Laddys and it gives me great amusement to take calls from her like last nights requesting I visit and explain a bit more about how Pokertracker works.She even has gametime plus working and is probably the only player at the $.5-.10 tables with an active HUD.

Not good news that Juice has worked out her screen name but he’s been warned.Shark my mother and there will be hell to pay!
I do feel a bit guilty about not telling her about my blog afterall there’s no state secrets here but like my personal diaries when I was younger,it just doesn’t feel right to think your parents are reading.Do any other bloggers give out their blog addy to their families? Am I just being silly?

Interesting reading Jordans latest post on buy-in sizes.Due to leaving myself only $50 at Inter I’ve bought in for just under the maximium ( $20 or £20 instead of $25/£25) but I usually always buy in for the maximum as to do otherwise shows fear and would also leave me unable to protect a made hand or bluff enough to force a fold from a marginal hand.I’m sure some people play shortstacks very well but in the majority of cases I would say shortstacks are generally fishier players as they don’t usually buy in short to play patient poker.Each to his/her own I suppose.Whatever works.

Ooops Im in trouble.Mrs A called to ask me to put a tenner on Argentina to beat Serbia + Montenegro this afternoon.Her brother said to put it on at a certain bookmaker who offered to add £25 to the first bet made but he forgot to give me the promo code so they wouldn’t accept it.Halftime score? 3-0 to Argentina….

Curry,football and poker on the menu tonight with more of the same prescribed for the weekend.
Here’s a quick funny before I go….

STOKER John McAndrew, working on the renovated River Clyde passenger ferry unveiled yesterday, reminded us of the legendary story from the boat's past about the Old Firm fan, chased by rival supporters intent on doing him harm, who spotted the little ferry 10 feet away from the dock, and, fearing for his health, made a prodigious leap to land on the boat's deck.Cheerily standing up and making obscene gestures at his pursuers, he then heard the skipper behind him: "That's brave. We're just coming in to dock."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Led Astray

I didn't play too much poker yesterday until being led astray by those poker degenerates Juice,Mr Edge and Rosie who kept insisting on "just one more Sng" and kept me up till past 1.30am on a school night.

Crashed out the first Sng and won the 2nd to leave my $50 challenge account at Inter sitting at $71.The three amigos above,Mias Dad and myself are competing in the challenge so far.It may have helped if I'd actually given it some thought first but it's really just an idea to help keep us all focussed on growing our bankrolls.I'm not sure for example whether if/when a player hits $1k that Pokertracker should be used to determine the number of hours played, as obviously the hours spent on the challenge will be crucial.Is it restricted to one site? I think it should be if only because Mias dad has already increased his Ladbrokes account to $250 from $50 and is way too far ahead already :-)) He also thinks he's cursed at Inter which seems like another good reason to insist we all play there ;-) Seriously though I'm open to any thoughts/ideas to make the challenge work better and personally don't mind if it's not Inter.

I've played a few Sng's this week and chatted it up with bloggers at the tables and managed to bring a bit more fun back into my game.I enjoy winning and building my roll, ( who doesn't?) but it's easy to forget that however serious I am about improving my game and win rate ,that it is only a hobby.Part of the reason I started doing Sunday stats updates was to keep me motivated.If I get to Thursday and haven't played much or I'm down I like to pressure myself into pulling it back for the Sunday pot.

After a bad week last week I'm just having fun and not worrying too much about how much I'm up/down for the week.Doesn't mean I don't care but it's nice not to feel the pressure and expectation I usually pile on myself to drive me on.It may not feel that way on Sunday though!

Getting closer to buying my new tv.Back to the Samsung LE32R41BD I think.It's only a 32" LCD screen and I considered a larger Plasma but while I could afford a 37" or 42" the ones in my price range have low resolution,crap reviews and aren't HD ready.While I'm the boss in this house ( and can say stuff like that cos Mrs A's doesnae read this!) I think I'll wait till Mrs A gets back and take her to a shop to let her see it before deciding for sure.Definitely ordering my new 17" tft monitor tomorrow.Yes my Ladbrokes debit card cashout has landed! Just waiting on teh cheque from the good people at Inter now....

After Brazil's slow start to their campaign last night I'm hoping the Germany v Poland game is better this evening at 8pm.Mark is coming over for our weekly ps2 games fest later on but hopefully I'll get the chance to squeeze in a little poker later.

Mrs A is home tomorrow so I'm off to make sure dirty dishes and washing are piled up ready for her return.. ( he jokes!)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A lock in

Yes Mrs A goes off on Monday evening and on Tues morning the lock on the front door goes wonky.It was failing before but just my luck that I have to take a days annual leave to wait in for the locksmith.Got a blister on my finger from trying to sort the damn thing.

Still I'm going to use it to catch up on some sleep soon after another late night last night playing poker with Juice and Rosie.

The s-man came over and we had a good laugh reading through a few of my old dairy entries from my teens before hitting the tables.Found what was probably the fishiest table ever at Interpoker $.15-.30 but sadly was fish slapped for a buyin by a fishy calling with nae odds and catching a runner runner flush. Players all in with Q8 soooted,33,82sooted etc almost every hand made for a crazy game.I suppose these players are either very new or just playing for kicks as there certainly wasn't much poker thinking involved.Managed to pull back a tiny biy later to leave my Inter $50 challenge account sitting at $58.

The s-man and I also played a few $5 turbo's at Pokerroom and he did well to place 2nd in one
after making some good decisions.I emailed the s-man a gift cert ( his winnings) to get him started for real at Pokeroom.He'd actually made 54th from a couple of thousand on Laddys rebuy freeroll without ever rebuying which is good going and I reckon now he's seen just how fishy the land of $.15-.30 can be that maybe the real money option doesn't seem so scary now.( hope so anyway).

So its the locksmith this afternoon and then over to my Mum and Dads for dinner and some poker before getting back for 8pm and the start of the Brazil V Croatia game.Dado Prso is the main man for Croatia ( and Rangers) and I'm looking forward to seeing him in action though I reckon Brazil with Ronaldinho,Kaka,Ronaldo and Adriano up front will have too much for the Croats in the end.Sorry to see the USA get beaten yesterday ( though by a fine Czech team) as I don't think the game will ever really take off in the States until they get to a semi or final.( they will win it one day I'm sure).

Funny how the US starts trends and the UK follows.I see the regulator has not punished Radio Ones Chris Moyles for calling a ringtone "gay" as it is now also used as meaning lame or rubbish and nothing to do with homosexuals.So now we've cleared that up I'm quite happy to admit having gay poker blog!

I'm ahead of the game and have picked up on the latest trend and I'm.Not.Afraid.To.Use.It!
Ahh one word sentences for emphasis.Can't.Be.Beaten!

Righty I'm off for an hours kip before the locksmith arrives....

Monday, June 12, 2006

$50 to $1k Race

Rushed home from work to watch the USA v Czech Republic and see Mrs A off as she's away for a wee break with her folks until Thursday.This is a quick half-time post.

2-0 to the Czechs at h/t and probably no way back for the US.I'm hoping Rangers new signing,Sionko,will come on for the Czechs at some point too.Looking forward to Italy V Ghana later.

Deciding on a new tv isn't so easy.I've only got around £900 of poker cashout dough to spend on it and I was going for a 32" LCD but I'm tempted now by a 37" or 42" Plasma screen now.I used to work in a large electrical store and was in charge ( whooopeee) of the biggest tv section in the UK ( at the time) but I haven't kept up and have no idea which is the best option.( got to be HD ready though).

On the poker front I've managed to increase my $50 to $76 at Interpoker as part of my challenge to myself to get it to $1k asap.I've challenged Juice too and if anyone else would be interested in depositing/starting with $50 and racing to $1k please give me a shout.I suppose the inspiration is Chris "Jesus" Ferguson turning $1 into $20k. Winning and using good bankroll management are probably the keys to success.

The $.15-.30 6 max tables at Inter are very fishy but also dangerous from a variance point of view.Came 2nd and 6th in two $5 sng's at Pokerroom too for a $5 profit.

Righty 2nd half starting soon.....

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Stats + Cashout

After another tough night at the tables and a lot of thought I've decided to abandon my $5k goal for just now and enjoy some of the poker profits I've made online.My last cashout was last November for $1500 and this time round the money will go on a new 32" Lcd tv ( £800) ,£100 to Mrs A and £115 for a new tft 17" monitor.

Last night just seemed to be one slap in the face after another.Here are the very brief highlights...

My A10 v AQ and all the money in on an A 10 Q flop....

My k10 V j6 ( maniac) Flop 10 k 6 turn 6.....

My AK v A2 Flop A A 2....

My Q7.Two pairs on the flop.Fish goes all in with K flush draw and hits on turn.

My A9 v AA ( No pf raise) Flop 9 4 6 Turn A

Dropped about $230 at Ladbrokes thanks to the above hands and won $38 at a Pokerroom full ring $200 nl table.

The Sunday stats before cashout are Pokerroom $1078 ,Party $155, Interpoker $866,Ladbrokes $2276. Total $4375 . ( - $245 since 26th May at last update) .

I intend to cashout out $155 from Party , $816 from Inter and $1176 from Ladbrokes for a total of $2147 or aprox £1165.

This will still leave me $2228 online ( $1100 Ladbrokes,$1078 Pokerroom,$50 Inter) which I think is enough to keep playing $50 nl ( I'm 9 bb/100 at $50nl 6 max at Laddys) and still take shots at $100 nl.I hope to challenge myself to build my remaining $50 at Inter into $1k and will use my Pokerroom money for tourneys and full ring $100 and $200 nl to provide a bit of variety.

Mrs A is delighted with the idea of a new tv and was pleased with her £100 too and from my point of view watching the rest of the World Cup on a decent tv set and playing my poker on a 17" tft will be an absolute joy.

Mrs A is working tonight and away to Millport with her Dad and sister until Thursday. I've got the S-man visiting tomorrow night ,up to my Mum and Dads on Tues and Mark over for our usual PS2/psp fest on Wednesday aswell as plenty of top class world cup football to feast on.

Righty I'm off to hit that withdrawl button!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Back in black

Watched Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2 in the opening game of the world cup and later Equador beat Poland 2-0 ( quite happy about that as two celt*c players play for Poland).

The Equador game was quite dull so I logged onto Ladbrokes,found myself a $50 nl table and shortly afterwards MiasDads joined the table and went on a wee run doubling his money and hardly putting a foot wrong for the 1/2 hour we played.On the other hand I got lucky with a set of fours over a set of twos on a scary 2 3 4 rainbow board and managed to more than double my buy in too.We both played but didn't place in an Sng after that.Thanks for the game Sir and well played!

I sat back after the Sng and reflected that I must be playing some of the worst poker I've played in a long time.Since my return from holiday my Spidey senses just don't seem to be working well at all and even when they have been I've been ignoring them and playing like a donkey.I mentioned moving round the low limits distorting my perception of the standard of player at my table and I think playing with maniacs where TPTK is a great hand has probably influenced me too.

The good news for me is that I moved to Inter,opened a $100 nl buy in table and left over $220 up after finally finding my rhythm. Most of it was at that $100 6 max table and some of it was from a £25 nl table.

The title may be back in black ( fine ACDC album) but I'm probably about $10 short of being in profit for the week.Considering my tilty nightmare and poor plays this week I'm really pleased I managed to keep the heid and pull it back.Playing with MiasDad certainly helped get me focussed though strangely I don't feel I often play well when I sit with players I know.Its almost like when I'm playing well I can't put into words what I'm doing but the game flows and I seem to be able to push and pull at the right times.I couldn't say how I play a particular hand from a certain postition when in that zone as it depends totally on the table but it's a great feelin when the Spidey senses are switched on and the cards are co-operating.

Now my Interpoker account is back over $900 I'm reconsidering my withdrawl plan.Sure the credit card could still use a $700 boost but I felt quite settled at $100 nl 6 max last night and will probably get back to my aim of hitting $5k and cashing out anything above that.

Ok the Paraquay vEngland game starts soon so I'm off to watch that.Todays match of the day has to be Argentina v Ivory Coast at 8 pm bst tonight.Argentina have a great team and the Ivory Coast are on of Africa's top sides.Mouth watering prospect.

Back tomorrow with an exciting stats update....

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Fever

A mixed night at the tables last night and ended down $20 overall.Began by finishing 3rd in a $5 sng with Juice at Laddys before booking a small win at $50 nl 6 max and then joining my Mum at a $10, 6 max beginners table on Laddys.It was the first time we had ever sat at the same real money table together.

Not much happened there until I looked down and saw the magic rockets from early position.Hmm I wonder if anyone will raise before me I thought and watched as my Mum made a pot size bet.I raised that to $2 which my Mum called.Flop was a 6 7 9 rainbow and I led out with a $2 bet thinking my bet would take it down if my Mum had AK/AQ.When she raised it again I smiled imagining her face when her KK or QQ gets slapped down by my AA.When I’d finished smiling I pushed all in for my last $5 and my Mum called with…..AA.I think I’ve only seen AA v AA once before at 6 max and nearly fell off my seat laughing.

Mum left and I moved to the home of my recent nightmares….Interpoker. I bought in at a 6 max £50 nl ( aprox $100 ) and lost almost a full buy in when I’d raised with AJ and called a reraise from the 2nd loosest player at the table.The flop was a J high rainbow and I bet out and the villan raised it by just over the pot total.It was then fairly obvious he had an overpair to the board but obvious as it should have been I convinced myself the villan had midpair and decided to put him under pressure by reraising all in,which he dutifully called with KK.

An arghhhhh moment and I couldn’t believe that I’d been such an idiot.On reflection I think part of the reason for me making such a poor play was that I’ve been skipping round the micro-levels recently.I realise anyone playing $5-$10 nl and above probably sees all $10,$25 ,$50 and even $100 players as all cut from the same cloth but in my experience there can be vast differences in the standard of player and what is considered a “good” hand.At $25 nl depending on the player I wouldn’t be so upset at calling a player down with AJ on a J high board because more often than not the villan will turn over KJ,J10 or a mid pair but I need to learn to give more respect as I move up and also to trust my first instinct more often.

The good news is that I moved to a $100 6 max buy in table and played well,managing to extract almost a full stack from a player with 77 when I made a full house and just knew he had trip jacks and would call my all in.Strength:extracting maximum chips from opponent,Weakness: Not laying down a beaten hand.

Looking forward to playing later tonight but from now until July 9th poker will be taking a backseat. 1.5 billion people are expected to watch the opening ceremony and game shortly and I’m really looking forward to it.Three games per day means fitba heaven for me.

In a daft,half asleep moment I actually promised Mrs A a meal out and a trip to see The Da Vinci Code until I suddenly remembered the World Cup started today.Thankfully Mrs A is happy for us to order in an Indian carryout tonight and save the cinema for another time.I bought her a perfume from the duty free at the Airport on the way back from Majorca last Saturday but it must have fallen out the bag and both the taxi driver and airline said there was no sign of it.Well I ordered her a new one from and it arrived yesterday so I’m currently in the good books.

Not sure if that will still be the case after she’s put up with wall to wall fitba for a month……

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Mrs A was working last night so after helping Step A with her homework I hit the tables and began by coming 2nd in a $5 sng with Juice.One player was taking it all far too seriously and I managed to pull a reverse hoy on him when I raised enough with KK to mean he would be left with one chip if he called which he did.( he lost)

Juice and I played another sng after that and I got a bit frisky with AK soooted early doors and along with another villan with AK lost my stack to QQ.All good fun and after Juice went to bed I was looking to scratch my 6 max itch but the only tables available at Laddys seemed to be full of fairly solid players so it was off to Party for me.I’ve only got $160 at Party so decided to venture down to the $25 nl buy in 6 max tables.Never managed to get much together at my first table and left $9 down.

Left my second table $3 up and much more in tune with the $25nl way of playing.I did have a bit of fun making an $8 ( pot size) bluff with nothing on a scary looking board against the only player at the table I reckoned would be able to actually fold a hand.(not always a guide but the villan did have nearly 3 times the buyin so I assumed he wasn’t a total donkey).He said he had JJ ( Q high board) but that too many cards beat him.I wanted to type “that was the reason I bluffed” but was just happy to pull it off even if it was only for a few $.

That bluff was a result of a bit of floating.I’d never heard of the term until I read a recent post by Doubleas which basically explained that it’s the act of calling a raise with nothing and then trying to take down the pot.Usually check calling all the way before a large river reraise. I’m not a big floater ( hmmm a floater is a term used in Glasgow to describe a wee jobbie that wont flush away) but against the right opponents ( very rare at $25nl) I can see it being a useful tool.

Only 1 more day to go until the World Cup finally kicks off in Germany at 5pm Uk time.Obviously I’m disappointed Scotland are not there and haven’t qualified for a major tourney since France ’98 but the Scottish team is improving fast and while Euro 2008 may be out of reach ,the next World Cup in South Africa has to be the aim.

It should be a cracking tournament and my tips to win it are the favourites Brazil,simply because they ooze class with Holland as my outside bet.

I’d like to see USA ( ex Ranger Claudio Reyna plays for them) , Trinidad and Tobago ( big Marv plays for them) or Brazil ( just because they are poetry in motion) win it.I drew Togo in the work sweep but they’re gonna have to suckout big time and hit some 1 outers to have any chance.

Of course I’ll also be cheering on whoever England are playing at every opportunity mainly due to Scotlands fierce football rivalry with the Auld Enemy but also because the English commentators and media are so damn arrogant.Last nights discussion was whether Rooney ( out injured if your livving on Mars) would get back in team at the Semi final stage if his replacement ( Crouch) has scored 10 goals by then and that’s before even the first match has kicked off. Germany to beat them on penalties again…..please!

Auf Wiedersehen!

The Omen

Ok it’s probably not an omen at all but after a tough start last night I checked my Laddys account before logging off and found I made a $66 profit on 6/6/06.

My pokery fun began with some full ring play with Juice at .15-.30 and that was where a few pennies dropped about why I’ve had such a poor week up until now.My last post before my weeks break was “out on a high” after a nice winning week and I think part of my problem was that I came back “on a high” and simply expected my winning run to continue without taking into account the fact that nobody wins every hand no matter how much of a favourite they are when the money goes in.Three steps forward,one back is just the nature of the game and while the number of steps forward and back in one session depend greatly on short term luck we all know that its only playing well which keeps us moving forward in the long run.

Played a $5 turbo mtt to no avail before crashing out early from a $5 sng with Juice and Mr Edge.I had managed to lose $40 at a 6 max table just after that sng and wasn’t looking forward to posting about another losing session today.Jordan mentioned he hates posting if he loses and I hate it too.I think that’s why bad beat stories are so tempting to post.It’s almost like you want to shout “hey I’ve lost but it wasnae ma fault”.

Anyways when Mr Edge and Juice left I was only a few $ up.Apart from the chat with Juice I was actually quite bored at the full ring table and moved straight to a $50 nl 6max table where I have to say I caught lucky to make my profit for the night.

The result of my poor/tilty play has been that I’ve loosened up too much and simply played too many hands and not played them well.I could probably count the number of times I’ve sucked out on someone on one hand over recent months.Ok slight exaggeration but it doesn’t happen very often as I prefer to be the one with the made hand, but last night I donned the drawing donkey ears and called a preflop raise with Q2 sooted,hit trip two’s on the flop and took the stack of Mr Premium Pair who probably still hasn’t stopped cursing.

To top it off I got all in with JJ v KK and AK and hit a Jack on the turn to win another nice pot.I managed to tighten up after these wins and went to bed happy to book a profit and hopefully back to playing a more solid game.( no calling raises with Q2 soooted tonight!).

Something I’ve been meaning to post about since my return is the concept of tight aggressive play.I’m wondering if the parameters for being “tight” are changing or perhaps the 6 max auto rate rules I use ( on Pokertracker) are designed with much higher stakes in mind.I say this because my Vpip % ( Voluntarily put in pot) is usually around 29%-34% at 6 max nl and I’m rated as “Slightly loose” when the table average is usually nearer 45%.Hence the jokes from the other players about “Acorn waking up” when I played hand the other day.

I realise the formula is not just based on Vpip% but my general guide for 6 max $50 nl at Laddys would be as follows :
Rock: Vpip under 25% ,Tight: 26% -35 %,Average : 36%-48%,Slightly loose : 49%-65% , Very loose:65%-80%
Extremely loose ( usually fishy or tilty) : Above 80%.

These figures are just based on my experience.There are plenty of good books and forums around but I’m not sure how many are entirely relevant to $50 6 max nl. I mentioned players folding to my first 6 raises in the $50 sng I played,well that was totally alien to me but I can see how raise or fold poker ( which I keep reading is how I should be aiming to play) works at that level but won’t work at a micro-stakes cash game.

It also strikes me as a bit strange that to be a Tight Aggressive is considered the most profitable poker style yet it doesn’t seem to be the style many players aspire to.I answered Tripjax’s quiz question about who my own favourite player is by answering “Devilfish”,and there’s no way he could be classed as TA.

TA may be a winning style but it's just not very sexy.To be a winning Loose Aggressive player who bets players out of pots by taking them out of their comfort zones,who raises randomly with nothing and who is very hard to put on hand is a far more exciting sounding propostion.We all want to be the instinctual ,feel type player who just “knows” what move to make in every situation and the LA type seems far more like that than the TA.

At the 6 max tables I frequent I would say I am a tight player compared to the table but I’m not such a rock that I wont play drawing hands from good position or even call a raise with not a lot if I feel I will either get the villans stack if I hit or push him off if he doesn’t.I suppose like so many things in poker it “depends” on the situation.

Back tomorrow with a shorter post!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Intering Hell

My tilty nightmare returned again last night combined with a dose of nasty variance.I lost a $50 buy-in at Laddys through a dreadful play then moved to Inter and moved up to £100 buy in 6 max as I thought moving up would force me to get back to my best game.I'm quite used to moving up a level after getting stuck and I don't usually take my tilty attitude with me.

Made a decent start before losing a big pot with an Ace flush against the villans straight flush.That was for nearly $200 on top of the $50 I'd lost at Laddys and I have to confess I let it get to me and tilted off another $150 before being disconnected with AK on an Ace high board and having just made a £10 continuation bet.I've emailed Inter the hand history to request at least a refund as I had been booted several times and had no problem with my adsl connection.It did kind of sum up my night and I sat in front of my frozen screen feeling quite sick at my own tilty play.

It didn't help before I started when I checked my Inter account and found only $1046.Previously I thought I'd made an error and really had $1146 but I obviously can't read a simple page as it states that my although my balance is $1146 ,my withdrawl balance is $1046 as I have 25% of a $100 bonus left to clear.

Gave myself a mental slap round the chops,shut Inter down and moved back to Laddys $50 nl 6 max determined to play patiently and well.I won about $25 at my table and then lost it with KK v AQ.Money in on Q high flop,Ace on turn and bye bye pot.I was at least proud of myself that I kept it together after that but my stack wasn't moving much.I constantly post about table selection and spotted a $100 buyin 6 max table with only 3 players and huge pots.Almost every hand saw someone all in and I decided to take my chance and sat down.

It was late and luckily for me I had found a table with an even tiltier player than me at it and over the course of about 25 crazy minutes we played for some very juciy pots.I won a nice sidepot when three of us got all in ( 77 v my AK sooted v ?) and the shortstack made his set of 7's and my Ace paired before splitting a $300 pot with the tilter when we both held K8 on a board with two kings and a possible flush.

The crucial hand that meant I left the table $193 up overall was when we were three handed and I was dealt 6d7d in the small blind,called and saw a flop of 5s 8d 3s.My fellow tilter and I both had $144 and the shortstack $44.

Turn was a 9d giving me the straight and an open ended straight flush draw so when tilty friend bet $3 I knew I had him and raised him to $24.He reraised to $69 and I reraised again to $114.He went all in for another $75 and I called for my last $30.River was a 4s and when he showed 8s 3h for a flopped 2 pair I smiled as the pot came my way.I actually wrote "ty" in the chat box and felt quite shitty about it almost as soon as I'd typed for two reasons,firstly because I hate the kind of eejits who can't win a pot without a smart comment and also because despite previosuly reloading ,my tilty friend left.

Overall then a disaster of a night rescued slightly with that big pot at laddys.I've decided I'm going to await my reply/refund from Inter and then cash out my remaining $687.My credit card total has been creeping up lately and a cashout boost would help reduce the debt.Inter has been good to me in the past but I'll probably concentrate on Ladbrokes now despite the lack of reload bonuses and the fact they've withdrawn their weekly $100k raked hands mtt.( and the daily $2.5k mtt freeroll).

I started my first play money account at Pokerroom almost exactly 2 years ago and I feel a bit disgusted with myself that even after many many hours of play I still haven't mastered my steam control.Looking back over the months I've not tilted very often and I suppose there aren't many players completely tilt free, but before I left for my holiday I took pride in the fact I seemed to be devloping a thicker skin when it came to bad beats and dealing with my own annoyance at myself after a bad play.

With my impending Inter withdrawl I'm not sure where that leaves my $5k challenge.( about $1.3k short!).I need to forget about moving up for now and concentrate on getting back to my best at $50 nl for just now.Hopefully the $$$ will follow...

Ok enough whining!

It was great to hear from my old friend the S-man last night.He mentioned occasionally reading my blog so hello hello if your reading this mate.Been friends with him since high school despite his incredible projectile vommiting all over me whilst driving around my wasted friends when we were 18! He has a young family but is slowly catching the poker bug and I'm looking forward to catching up with him next Mon night.

Last day off work today and the sun is shining.Off to make the most of it while it lasts....

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fool Tilt

No early signs of the monster were detected.Played with Juice at a full ring .15-.30 table before making 3rd in a $5 sng and chatting to Rosie too.Said cheerio to both and headed to a 6 max $50 nl table where I promptly lost a $13 pot.Ok just a wee dunt and nothing to fret about.

Then I get AsKh and call a $3 raise from early position.Flop came 8 s 8h 5s and when the villan makes a $4 continuation bet I simply called.Although I'd not been at the table long the villan seemed a loose aggressive type and I was actually fairly sure I was ahead of a weaker ace or kq type hand.That was when I should have applied the pressure and made a large reraise based on my read.I weakly called instead and as 93% favourite on the turn and still quite confident I was ahead I check called a $7.50 bet.When a 3rd spade fell on the river I decided I was still ahead and even if he did have a pair I would represent the flush and went all in for $23 which he insta-called with his Ks9s.( King flush).80% ahead on the flop,90% ahead on the turn but in no way was that a bad beat.

A fishy play and my own poor moves have always been my worst tilt trigger.My steam control is fairly good these days thanks to more experience,feeling accountable to myself in this blog and realising that dealing with downward swings is all part of the game but I certainly haven't become immune to the dreaded money eater.

Moved to Party and basically threw away $90 with careless silly plays.Most of it was caused after calling a $3.50 raise at a $100 nl table with KQ and then putting the preflop raiser all in when he bet out $18 on a King high flop with a flush draw on board.It was obvious he had AK but despite "knowing" this I still made my move.Been interesting reading all the posts on luck on various blogs recently and in simple terms perhaps the villans AK v my QK on a K high flop seems unlucky but luck had nothing to do with it as I very rarely play KQ for a raise in the first place.I wonder why!

Oh I also played a $5 pokerroom qualifier for a $30 sng and went out all in preflop with 1010 v KK and QQ.(QQ won with Q on turn).

It was 3am after my Party nightmare and thankfully I saw sense and went to bed $140 down for the night.

Any other reasons for tilting aside from being annoyed at myself for fishy plays? Nothing that stands up to scrutiny.Time to simply put down to a bad night at the tables and move on.

Looking forward to the Pokerstars blogger tourney on June 18th.Nice start time too .9pm on a Sunday will do just fine! I nearly considered playing the last Dadi from the hotel lobby last Mon night but a 4am start and the 2 Euro per 10 mins charge were just a couple of factors which meant it was a bridge too far.( not sure Mrs A would have managed her usual laidback approach to my poker play if I'd pulled that one either).

No names were mentioned but another blogger mentioned to me that members of an online poker forum have poker blogs running simply to allow them to enter blogger tourneys.Seemed a bit unlikely to me but I suppose with WSOP seats up for grabs and human nature being as it is I shouldn't be too shocked.I think blatantly starting an infrequently updated blog simply to get access to blogger only games is very wrong but the lines are so blurred in cyberspace I can see that it would be hard to police. Do the bloggers just find the forums involved and register so we can play their private forum games? Where does it end?!

This post on the other hand ends here.

Online Poker

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Registration code: 9318919

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Good to be back...

Arrived back from Majorca at 1am last night after an enjoyable weeks break.It didn't start well though thanks to the useless incompetents at ResortHoppa who managed to keep us waiting for the transfer coach for nearly two hours.I spend all year round dealing with complaints and the first thing I have to do when we get off the plane in Spain is complain! Glad I did as everyone else just seemed to stand around accepting the situation.

The holiday itself was just what was needed.The Hotel Duva was well worth the money and apart from a couple of cloudy days the weather was great.It did get a bit chilly at night ( 55f-63f most nights) but that didn't stop me enjoying a few beers and a smoke on the balcony whilst contemplating the world and playing pro-evo soccer 5 on my Psp.Next break will probably a two week holiday in the Canary Islands in September.Time to get saving...

To the poker and a couple of observations from the $50 SNG I won before my holiday.I played the turbo sng after deciding that would be where I could best reduce the advantage that regular $50 sng type players would have over me.I was feeling a bit aprehensive when I sat down and was worried about being totally outplayed until I watched the first player bomb out with a horrendous play and realised that as I couldn't do any worse,I may aswell enjoy the ride.

The first thing I noticed was that people actually folded to my pre-flop bets! My first was with AJ from late position after a couple of orbits and as I was trying to compose myself to deal with a caller or two and the flop,I realised they'd all folded.I'd changed my game and dropped my lethal limping micro-stakes cash game strategy for much more of a raise or fold philisophy.I don't think anyone played back at me until about my 6th raise!

After a few players had dropped out and I'd won a few hands ,the penny dropped with me that while most of these players may be ahead of me as far as skills go, they would still only enjoy the same small edge over me that I have over the weakest players at the micro-stakes.The stakes may have been higher but it was still the same game.Looking forward to playing more qualifiers and taking more shots at that level of sng in the future.

One topic ( yes just the one) that came to mind whilst playing at a 6 max table recently is that of the mindset of the micro-stakes player.Some may simply say "blank" and leave it at that but it struck me that for someone like myself playing at such low stakes,I really do take the game seriously and I began to wonder if that's the way I should be looking at it.

Actually my personality dictates it's the only way I can play but it came to mind after I'd been sat at a particularly chatty table.I was playing my usual aprox 30% of hands ( 6 max nl) and began getting comments like "Acorn has woken up",when I played a hand and after doubling my buy-in "he must be the Flying Scotsman" etc.Funny stuff but I only replied with the occasional "thx" or "nh" as I usually do and I wondered to myself if I have it all wrong.I'm sure some players can mix both the light hearted chat and play their best game but I like to be in a certain frame of mind to play well and that doesn't include being friendly with the other players.

Juice sometimes says I seem angry at the tables ( in the im chat) but I don't see it that way.I don't think having a healthy contempt for the rest of the table is a bad thing.Helps me deal with bad beats too as I expect to be outdrawn by some fish with no pot odds some of the time.Afterall that's what wins me money in the long term.

I said a few posts back that I play poker for the money and I do but really if I was motivated by money so much I could probably earn quadruple last years poker profits by working overtime in my 9-5 job.Money won is twice as sweet as money earned and that's probably what keeps me focussed along with pride and ambition.For a nano-second I thought about withdrawing my bankroll,cutting right down on my play and simply depositing $20-$50 every weekend and having fun with it at the tables until its gone,chattting it up big style,making crazy moves and never worrying about bb's per hour,whether pockets pairs should always be played in a raised pot due to implied odds etc.Just for a nano-second though...

All the above does not mean that everytime I sit down to play I'm 100% focussed on playing my best game.Obviously that should be the correct approach but my mindset at my 6 max bread and butter money earner is usually different to the more leisurely approach I take when moving down to play a full ring game at .15-.30 whilst chatting it up with Juice and co.I'm not sure I want to change that either as we all need an outlet to make some wilder plays and take some gambles sometimes without putting very much of my roll at risk.

Ok that's enough of a ramble to start back with.Only played one $10 turbo sng last night to get back into the swing of da game and came a poor 5th and that was after my A2 had sucked out a straight v QQ.I was exhausted after a long day and called the game a bogey after that.

Going over to my old folks with the family for Sunday dinner shortly and hope to hit the tables later.My post holiday blues are lifting,after a real downer of a last day.We all had a great time and Step A made a few wee friends too after being pushed a little into making the effort.This Step Dad lark is not always the easiest deal in the world it has to be said.Big thanks again to Rosie for a comment she left sometime ago in a previous post on the subject.Nuff said!

Time to end with a Bill Hicks quote .."Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don't know one child with a full time job and children."

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