Saturday, September 30, 2006

View from the afternoon

I really enjoyed Juice's latest post re steals and making plays from position.I agree entirely with his thoughts on how those kind of plays often don't work at the micro limits.Paying attention to the players involved is the key because with so many poor players, playing trash from late position to steal is simply a waste of time as they'll call a hand down with anything.That's why keeping it simple and sticking to abc poker works well at those micro limits.

I was annoyed at myself for losing $100 earlier in the week with top pair top kicker and thought back to my post where I went against the grain and advocated playing tptk hard at micro limits.Late on last night I played for 20 mins at a micro limits laddys table where bpck ( bottom pair crap kicker) was a premium hand.Players were all in preflop with j8 soooted,QJ,k10 etc.I hate corporate bullshit but the old assume makes an ass out of u and me ( ass-u-me) plays a big part in poker and I think the lesson is to know your table before going broke with tptk or meekly surrendering it.Won a whopping $6 at that table btw...

Mrs A was out with her friend last night and I nearly cancelled my home game due to lack of numbers but in the endI'm glad I didn't as my Mum,me and two cousins had a great wee night playing a cash game in my kitchen.Originally we'd planned onit being a £10 sng but decided to change the £10 into chips and obviously anyone that busted could rebuy in.It was my Mums first ever live game and I think she enjoyed the experience.I'd said to my cousin ( the one I've been to the poker club with) that we should be checking each other for tells and it didn't take long to notice that everytime he had a big hand the pulse in his neck would throb like a big throbbing thing.He then tried to cover it up everytime he got a big hand which made it even more obvious.Looks like he'll be wanting a scarf for Xmas!

I won £5 overall and after they left I joined Miami Mark and the S-man for a few sng's at Pokerroom,needing a 3rd in a 20 man turbo to come out slightly up for the night.

It's nearly 3pm so it's time for a quick shower then Mrs A and I are taking Nacho to the local country park for a walk.

Will there be pokery fun later? Who knows but it's not todays number 1 priority.Tomorrow I'm back at Ibrox for Rangers game v the sheep ( Aberdeen).It's looking like I'm going to be just short of last years total profit figure. ( anniversary on Oct 31st and away on hols from 19th).I do want to make sure I've made at least $4k though and if I achieve that then I'll be happy especially as the last couple of months have been quite tough at the tables.

Like Juice before I go I'd like to say a big well done to Victoria Coren,who won a cool half million at the European Poker Championships.I've read her excellent articles and watched her play on tv before and that girl knows her poker.Not just a pretty face that's for sure!

Ok,enjoy the rest of the weekend...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Onwards n Upwards...

First off a big thanks to everyone who took time out their busy lives to comment or email me after my last post.May the poker gods reward you all.

The weeks been a bit of a blur but Mrs A and I finally got around to talking last night.However unsure I’ve been feeling about things since Sunday I’d decided that I wouldn’t want to give up on a near 7 year relationship without trying harder to make it work first.I wont bore everyone with the details but I will be playing a little less poker and chatting a little less whilst Mrs A will be going back to the Docs for a change of prescription and will be seeking bereavement counselling to try and help her cope better with her Mums death.( I’ll also be buying evening primrose and b6 for her as per yorkie puds suggestion).

We spend almost all of our spare cash on holidays abroad and may change that next year for less holidays and more nights out.We went to the theatre quite a bit when we first went out and last summer toured Scotlands castles and we’re going to make more of an effort to do little things like that more often.Having said that sunny Sharm is less than 3 weeks away and a fortnight of sunshine and relexation may just be what we both need right now.

Personally I’m feeling a lot better than I was last Sunday and I intend to stay in better mental shape by getting to bed earlier during the week and by starting to get more exercise.Until early this year I was running up and down the stairs at work and intend get back to that even if my legs feel a little heavier afterwards these days.

On the poker front I played a little on Wednesday night and lost $30 at Party through bad luck more than bad play.My QQ was looking good until the board read 2 3 4 5 and I had to fold to a bet on the turn.There were two possible flush draws out there so when my bet was reraised I had to believe the villain had the Ace and folded to fight another day.

Last night I worked late and went to Ibrox to cheer the Gers on to a 2-0 win v Molde in the Uefa cup.We played some decent stuff with Buffell and Fergie getting the goals.The draw for the group stage is on Tuesday.Got home,played no poker ,chatted to Mrs A and went to bed.

Tonights home game looks like being a shorthanded affair but even if there’s only 4-6 of us it should be a laugh if nothing else and I’m looking forward to check raising my Mum out of pots with huge bluffs!

It’s raining but if it dries up Mrs A and I are going to head out tomorrow ( the showpark to watch EK Thistle would be great but somehow I don’t think she’d go for it) and on Sunday I’m back at Ibrox for Rangers home game against Aberdeen .

Have a good one….

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Little Fluffy Clouds

I hate whiney posts but this is my space and if I’m feeling like crap then this is where I’m going to let it out.Actually I’ve not been feeling great for a while.I think I get cycles where every 6-8 weeks I’m on a real downer for a while.Most of the time I’m my usual self but I can’t deny the darkness does occasionally descend.Probably due to stress and lack of sleep and hopefully next months holiday will go some way to recharging my batteries.I mentioned I hate whining and I do.There’s plenty of people suffering real hardships and from terrible diseases and I think that makes me more even more annoyed at myself for not being happier with my lot.

After Rangers lost on Sat I fell out bigtime with Mrs A on Sunday, after she had a few beers and started telling me I play too much poker ,and that when I’m sat with her on the settee I’m not really with her because I’m chatting to friends on IM.As mature reasonable adults we immediately initiated a sensible discussion on the matter and all is now well.( err ok we’ve hardly spoken since!).

Not sure how I feel about all this to be honest.I certainly wasn’t going to discuss it anymore on Sunday night as I hate the way Mrs A gets after a few drinks.She has alcoholism in her family and drink just seems to bring out her nasty side.After her Mum died at the end of April I tried hard to be there for her but ( understandably) she mostly wanted to be alone to deal with it.She’s been on prozac now for a couple of months and at first I was pleased because it seemed to lift her mood and helped restore her sleeping patterns to normality ,however now it seems she is either on a fake speed type high or is in an even lower mood than before with not much inbetween.

She said she reckoned I would be happier on my own and the way things are going I’m beginning to wonder if she has a point.Even if we do work through this we can probably never have kids and though I love Step A to bits it’s scary to think that Mrs A could just finish with me anytime and I may not see much of the wee one afterwards.( though I ‘d demand weekend custody of Nacho!).

We’ll probably talk it over and compromise which is afterall what relationships are all about but as we approach 7 years together I’m wondering if we’re gonna make 8.

To the poker and playing a few turbo sng’s with Miami Mark was a welcome distraction even though I bubbled in one and suffered a few suckouts in others.I did double my $25 buy in on my first hand at a cash table to cover my costs at Pokerroom which helped.

Late last night though I was stung badly at a full ring $50 nl table.I don’t usually play full ring but decided that as I was very tired I’d play some before bed.I had AK in the bb and called a 2bb raise from a tight player along with another player who’d already played quite a few pots in my short time at the table.Bottom line was I hit my K on the flop and bet out first ,the original raiser folded and the other looser player took my buy in with a flopped set.There was a flush draw on the flop which missed and I put him on that draw or a weak K.( QK,JK etc).

I rebought and was just about to log off when I get AhQh in the cut off ( same orbit as AK hand).There were a couple of limpers and I was initially tempted to limp too, after being badly stung moments earlier,but it’s all about playing correctly, so I made a 5bb raise which was only called by the same Mr Set who’d taken my last stack.Flop was an A 9 2 rainbow and I ( trying not to let the last hand affect me) bet $7 into a $9 pot,representing the Ace I had and looking to take it down without any fuss.Mr Set called, which worried me, and I started to think he had another set but was more likely to have the Ace and had maybe hit his kicker on the flop .A queen on the turn convinced me I was ahead and once again I got my money in the pot thinking I was ahead only to fall to his second flopped set ( two’s this time) against me in a matter of minutes.

Afterwards I felt I had a good read on what he had and had simply been unlucky but after some thought I realised I’d only been at the table 5 mins, and it wasn’t a read I had at all but an optimistic guess at his cards, especially on the AK hand where I needed more information on the villain to have any idea where I stood.Can’t complain at all about the way the villain played the hand as I’d have done exactly the same.

The second one was perhaps just bad timing and hard to get away from after the turn but after a nice winning week last week I’m a bit annoyed at finding myself over $100 in the hole already this week.

Switched off ,dropped my favourite glass ashtray ( smashed!) and went off to bed.Between all that and my car overheating again on motorway runs, so far it’s not the best of months in Acorn land.

I am looking forward to Rangers playing Molde at Ibrox on Thursday night though.The authorities are trying to sanatize football and take all the swearing etc out of the game but I’ve always been fairly vocal ( “ref ,I’ve pointed out your mistake twice now,I don’t think your listening” etc) but I’m looking forward to a much improved Gers performance and a chance to let off some steam.( and probably get arrested the way my week has gone so far!).

Just had a long chat with my sister and I'm feeling a bit chirpier after it.

If you made it through all that twaddle then congrats! Back with more later in the week...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ryde on

Apart from the Gers losing 2-0 to Satans 11 on Sat it was quite a good weekend.I managed to combine chatting with Miami Mark and the S-man with a few ITM finishes at Pokeroom on Friday night,mainly just $5 and $5 turbo sng's.

Big congrats to Tan Orpheus ( ROW team member!) for taking down $5.7k for winning a $20k rebuy tourney.Very well played Sir!

After the football on Sat I caught up on a couple of hours sleep and hit the tables for a short game before switching off and watching "The Pink Panther" with Mrs A.( I managed to talk her out of Big Mammas House 2 ).

Logged back on and played some more 6 max into the wee sma' hours,having a little success and actually having a few hands hold up for a change.I also played at Inter poker for a short while but my curse there continues and I left $20 down.

Played a live £5 rebuy with my cousin at the Wabash club in Glasgow today and came 12th from 36.I'm still learning how to play rebuys and once again found myself folding a few hands which would have won big pots.I had A3 and folded on a K Q 3 flop and would have beaten the other guys 53 ( 3 on turn!).Twice I would have flopped a club flush but my 108 and k8 were in the muck before the flop.I had just under the average stack when the rebuy period ( 1 hr 45) finished and 1/2 hr of poor cards and a huge stack on my left ate into my chips before I got a move to the final table.( ok so it wasn't THE final table but it was the final one for me!).

We were 8 handed and the blinds were biting so I had to try and make a move at some point.Raised with 55 from LP and had to lay it down when bet into on scary flop before getting away with a couple of all ins which took the blinds and kept me in.With an M of less than 4 I pushed from the cut off when all folded to me with A2,got a call from A9 and no help on the board saw me wishing my cousin the best of luck and heading home.One rebuy and one add one plus my entry fee was well worth a really enjoyable afternoons play.

I did get Aces once and flat called a raise from a loose player,checked to him on a lowish rainbow flop and got a call when I reraised him all in.( he had an unimproved AQ) but that was it as far as picking up on anything and trying to use it to my advantage.

I also enjoyed watching Europe make it 3 in a row when they horsed the USA at the golf today.Here's hoping for the same result when the US bloggers play the ROW at poker..

To the stats....Inter $208, Ladbrokes $1643, Party $205 and Pokerroom $1097.Total $3153 ( + $168 for week).

I now require $274 by Oct 19th to match last years profits.

Klopzi's comment about setting new goals has got me thinking again about where I'm going with my poker game.I'm tempted to use my dwindling Inter roll for sng's only and maybe try a run of £5 or even £10 ones.I'm not sure what else my 3rd year of real money poker will bring.Needs some more thought.

Thanks for reading as always.Back during the week...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Weekend has landed..

My sister called me today to ask me to let my poker friends know she has updated her site to thank everyone for their kind donations.

On the poker front I’ve not played an awful lot this week and reckon after a reasonable start I’m about $50 up.Began last night by coming 2nd in a £5 sng.I was put off a little by my 0/10 run at £5 sng’s a few weeks back but I’m thinking of giving them more of a shot again.

After donking out Inters $3k the other night I felt a lot more focussed last night, though I was a bit disappointed I didn’t push harder nearer the bubble. To be fair to myself it was a very aggressive table and the calling stations were out in force.I only played ( and won ) with AA and KK by level 4 and could count the total number of hands played on errrr one hand! My ducks were beaten by A10 to finally send my shortstack to the rail just 6 places out of the money.

I’m usually happy to get In the Money but after reading Ari’s blog and Tans recent post I can see the merits of pushing far harder around this time.Last night for example 31st-40th paid just less than the buy-in as prize money.Sure an “ITM” finish feels good and eases the brain pain of playing for hours in an MTT,but I’d rather be strong enough to accept finishing out of the money more often, if it meant more final table finishes, and more chance to actually make some real money.This is a concept I feel Rosie has grasped very well.I’ve been on the rail occasionally when she’ll make raises with hands like A10 late on in mtt’s that I would maybe shy away from due to being to keen to hold my position rather than push on and really go for it.Rosie also has a great sense of when to tighten up when required too, but I do like the fact she aint scared to make moves.( watch out USA!).

I think I’ve asked almost everyone if a $10 entry would be ok for the match v the USA and as most folk are fine with it I think we should go with it.It makes it a lot easier to set up a private tourney and of course without breaking the bank,it will increase the prize pool.Not sure on numbers yet but it will probably be either 9 aside or simply an open mtt with an even number ( to be confirmed) on each side.
Hopefully looking at 10pm UK time on Sun Oct 8th but I’ll confirm that after further consultation with Jordan.I notice when I logged into Ladbrokes last night that they are running a UK V Row mtt.I had to do a double take.Great idea Laddys!

I’ve also arranged a home game for next Friday night.( all bloggers n readers welcome!).My Mum,cousins and a few friends are coming round for a £10 freezeout sng.I’m also playing a live game with my cousin on Sunday at the Wabash club in Glasgow.It’s a £5 rebuy and hopefully I’ve adjusted to the structure a little better after playing in a it a couple of times now.I just made it into the money before but the really decent payouts start from 3rd upwards so I think I’ll take a few more chances this time.

I’ve enjoyed reading other bloggers views on where their poker blogging is heading.Scurvydogs post on the subject was great and really got me thinking.I’m currently rereading my 1989 diary ( "too much time wasted in private chat and attempts at flippancy" from my school reportthat year ) and really began my blog as my own record of my play and thoughts.Over a year and a ton of posts later, I can honestly say that it’s been well worth it on several fronts.Virtually meeting/chatting and playing with fellow bloggers has been great,the contributions to my sisters charity appeal bowled me over and recording my poker results in this space continues to keep my accountable to myself and anyone reading.

I agree entirely with Klopzi that the record keeping part wouldn’t work unless I was completely honest and I hope anyone reading would know by now that I tell it straight.After the end of my 2nd year(Oct 31st)of real money poker I'm considering posting my stats every two weeks to put less emphasis on the immediate short term and more focus on decisions.

As to where my poker is going I'm not very sure at all.I've been enjoying chatting it up recently with friends old and new but it's far more of a social proposition than an ev+ poker move.It is nice to share the bad beats though and as I've previously mentioned if I was purely driven by money I could double my salary doing overtime.( I am in on holiday Mon for 5 hrs at double time n half).

Looking forward to the weekend.Rangers go to the meccano dome for the first Old Firm game of the season tomorrow.Rangers haven’t had the best of starts under our new manager as he tries to make his mark on the team but a win tomorrow against the Orcs would be just what’s needed to kick start our season.It’s a 12.30 Kick off and the nerves are starting to build already.Just do it Rangers!

Have a good one...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mums knows best!

I had good news for a change when my car overheating turned out to be down to a dodgy hose clip and only cost £10 to fix.I’m sure I now have months/years of trouble free motoring ahead….

To the poker and Juice mentioned getting a lot of stick for a hand he posted on a forum.I like to read over poker forums and articles though I don’t pay a great deal of attention to hand history analysis as most of it seems fairly uninformed.If you didn’t have Aces or Kings you should have folded preflop and with hindsight you should always have spotted the monsters under the bed.I should add at this point, that reading back hand histories from blogger tourneys is different because the players usually do know each others styles and the analysis is partly based on that added information.

I found the hand I posted on Monday interesting because there were so many factors to take into account when playing it.It’s hard to convey all of them in a post.I read back my analysis and the glaring error seems to be not reraising by a decent amount to find out where I was but although I’d only been at the table a short time it was obvious Chilled 06 was calling everything and as I knew Boxer liked his hand I didn’t think I’d gain much information by reraising as I would be called anyway.

If I had stayed in to the end and Boxer had shown down KQ or 2 pairs then I would have felt I’d overplayed a weak hand ( KJ) and had probably played like a donkey by staying in the hand and calling.

If I’d been at the table longer and knew that Boxer played weak kickers as if they were golden ( especially against calling station/maniacs like Chilled06) then maybe with that information I could have made a reraise with more confidence and stayed in the hand till the end.

What this has brought home to me is the need to focus on the game I’m playing.Sites like Laddys and Inter are very fishy , but if I want to win more I need to pay more attention to who is doing what at the table.It’s probably not a huge revelation that focussing is good at the poker table ( doh) but I think I need a wee reminder myself to ensure I do less surfing and chatting whilst playing.

I’m about even for my play over the last two nights.Went out of a £5 sng with AK v QQ ( I bet first) so no complaints there and also weakly bombed out of the Inter $3k last night when I didn’t lay down my AK to AQ on a Q high flop.My excuse is that Miami Mark was waiting for me to join him in a turbo sng but it was a weak play regardless.

Meantime I had fun on Monday night playing a “sng” at Laddies in which everyone starts with one chip and your always all in on the blinds.Almost no skill at all required but I won in about 3 minutes for an $8 profit and I reckon these wee games are a nice wee break from the usual grind.

Not sure if anyone else will find this half as amusing as me ( I did say I’d be sharing it with a few friends) but my Mums email about an Omaha hi/lo sng she won by mistake cracked me up.Two years ago I was getting lectures about the dangers of gambling and now she’s winning
Omaha sngs!

"I just went in for a single table 5 person tourney. God. It turned out to be 5 card hands!!! No idea what I was doing but played as if it was 2 card poker. Lots of things happened that I didn’t understand.:low straights with numbers missing winning for example!! But I sort of got the gist and I had this bizarre head to head for 15 minutes with this guy who didn’t know I had no idea. I was really rash cos I didn’t know the rules and didn’t care and I WON!! $17.50 Think I’ll retire while I’m ahead at $147!!

Love Mum xxx "

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Micro reads

Apologies for the whiney nature of yesterdays post.Lack of sleep combined with another losing week at the tables,Rangers losing and car woes meant I was in a stinking mood.All just trivial stuff in the grand scheme of life but I don't do tired very well I'm afraid.Read a nice cheery article last week about people in their 30's falling ill because they don't realise they can't play as hard as they did 10 years ago.Maybe all my late nights and very late weekend finishes just caught up on me a bit.

Anyway last nights poker began well and I'd made $125 in profit before joining Rosie for a wee sng ( came 3rd).It was a strange night though because a couple of suckouts ( yet again) saw my profit slip to $55 before bed and I logged off feeling kind of weird,happy I'd won but still gobsmacked at the beats I'd taken.

The point of this post ( there is one coming) is regarding getting reads on opponents.I folded the hand below ( a winner) because I was fairly new to the table and reckoned at the very least I was outkicked and at worst facing at least 2 pairs or trips.It's part of the reason I don't usually comment on hands posted in blogs because what's a good call or raise in one hand can be wrong on another.

After the hand below I folded 77 to two all ins before me and would have beaten 44 in a huge pot( I assume the other guy had AK /Aq and missed board).Eventually patience paid off and I left this table with a healthy profit but if you read poker books/forums and refuse to bet big with top pair,top kicker then this wasn't the table for you.What I'm trying to say is that so much in poker is dependent on the players at the table.I folded here because I just felt I was behind and nobody would play it this way if they didn't have my hand beaten.Learning how much credit and respect to give opponents at each table are what makes the difference between winning and losing.

- Acornman sitting in seat 1 with $48.85
- chikadee sitting in seat 2 with $35.58
- CHILLED06 sitting in seat 3 with $53.65 [Dealer]
- BOXER2 sitting in seat 4 with $43.46
- meekeen sitting in seat 5 with $34.55
- RychBoy87 sitting in seat 6 with $31.89 [Sitting out]

BOXER2 posted the small blind - $0.25
meekeen posted the big blind - $0.50

** Dealing card to Acornman: King of Clubs, Jack of Clubs

5 handed this is not a bad hand

Acornman called - $0.50
chikadee called - $0.50
CHILLED06 called - $0.50
BOXER2 called - $0.50
meekeen checked

No action,lets see a flop

** Dealing the flop: King of Diamonds, 3 of Spades, 4 of Diamonds

Hmmm I like.

BOXER2 bet - $0.50
meekeen called - $0.50
Acornman called - $0.50

This was a $21 ave pot table ( $50nl) so while I could have reraised I felt my hand was good unless another diamond fell.

chikadee called - $0.50
CHILLED06 raised - $1.00

Hmmm a raise from the maniac.

BOXER2 raised - $1.50

hmmmmm a reraise from the orignal raiser

meekeen called - $1.50
Acornman called - $1.50

Hmmm the plot thickens,what's going on?

chikadee called - $1.50
CHILLED06 raised - $2.00
BOXER2 raised - $2.50
meekeen called - $2.50

Now at this point I was tempted to reraise big but I was starting to lose further trackof just where the hell I was in the hand.

Acornman called - $2.50
chikadee called - $2.50
CHILLED06 raised - $3.00
BOXER2 raised - $8.50
meekeen called - $8.50

Ok,Boxer obviously likes his hand a lot and I reckon my KJ is no good.Probably behind to 2 pair,trips or at least KQ.Time to cut and run.

Acornman folded
chikadee called - $8.50
CHILLED06 called - $8.50

** Dealing the turn: 7 of Clubs
BOXER2 went all-in - $34.71

I'm thinking how happy I am to have stepped out the way..

meekeen folded
chikadee folded
CHILLED06 called - $34.71

** Dealing the river: 3 of Hearts

BOXER2 shows: King of Spades, 5 of Hearts

Vnh sir!

CHILLED06 mucks:
BOXER2 wins $106.42 from the main pot

I'd love to expand a little more( not my waistline) but I've promised Mrs A n Step A a KFC and the S-man will be over in an hour.

Back later in the week..

Sis completes walk+ Sun stats

Congrats to my sister who completed her 17 mile charity walk at 5.30am late on Friday night.She was texting me updates and at one point with 12 miles gone and her hips killing her ,I wasn't sure she would make it, but despite no training for it at all ,her determination got her through and I'm very proud of her!

The poker continues to be a struggle just now.I actually made a small profit on Friday night playing Sng's at Pokerroom with S-man and Miami Mark.

Inter continues to slap me down at every opportunity.I realise I should welcome getting a tilty fish all in preflop with my AA v J8 off suit but when J8 makes a straight and I watch £50 slide over to the villian ,I couldn't help but feel it was time to get the hell outta Dodge! I did stay a while and pulled a little back but enough was enough at Inter and I decided to leave enough there to play sng's but withdraw the rest and give my Party account a healthy boost.

According to Pokertracker I've only played 6 hours of cash play at Inter during September and only 8 hours at Laddys which surprised me a little but serious cash poker has taken a bit of a backseat to sng's and chat with friends recently.That's no bad thing as friends are a lot more important than money but it does leave me edging further and further away from my immediate goal of matching last years profits.( now require $442)

Ladbrokes $1495,Pokerroom $1067,Inter $228 and Party $195.Total $2985 ( -$34 for week)

On a further cheery note my car seems to be overheating.I only replaced the radiator about a year ago but I've been topping up the water all week after motorway runs into work.It'll probably have to go in again.At this rate I'll need to sell the dog or hope he grows a bit ,sell the car and buy a feckin saddle!

10 mins to go and Rangers are 2-1 down to Hibs and playing as poorly as I've seen them play all season.

Thankyou for reading the world cheeriest poker blog..

Friday, September 15, 2006

There for the taking....!

Good news first and it looks like despite last years spirit crushing,soul destroying,moral sapping,heavy defeat,Jordan and the US crew are coming back for more!

Understandably Jordan is delaying the inevitable as long as possible so it looks like an October date rather than Ryder Cup weekend.( we’ll be too busy watching the Euro’s make it three in a row anyway!) Watch this space for more details…

Although Wednesday was Halo night , I managed to squeeze in a few hands afterwards at Inter, but soon switched off after my King Flush was beaten.I was sure the only card that could beat me was the Ace of the suit until the villain showed a full house and I realised the board had paired.Definitely too tired to play.

My sister does her 17 mile walk across London tonight for her cancer charity.Huge thanks to all who have donated at her web page.I was hoping for some kind of response but the generosity of bloggers and readers has been more than I could have hoped for.Of course if you haven’t yet donated, her page will still be open for a week or two before closing ;-)

First up last night was a visit to Mother Acorns for a look at why my poor Mum had lost her latest deposit.Too many pathetic 2 bb raises ,information bets which yielded information which was then ignored and heavily betting the river when only a better hand would call ( they did!) were the main problems.Not reading the board and asking “if the villain has just called my raise,what range of hands would I do the same with in their position” was another issue.

I’m not advocating only playing the nuts but the motto “don’t go nuts without the nuts” has been passed on ,in the hope it improves MA’s play.The wonder that is pokertracker means my poor Mum had no escape as we played back hand after hand of poker donkery! I’ve also seen my Mums PT after building her deposit to $250 with good solid play so I know she can play well and hopefully she’ll get back on form now.

On the subject of form I did wonder last night if players can be on or off form like footballers when it comes to poker.Factors from tiredness to burn out obviously affect play but all things being equal is it possible to simply be on great form or be in poor form ?( regardless of the cards).

I usually cash out the small amount I make from my fine sponsor on the right, but last night for a change of scenery I hit up Party and managed to lose $20 at a cash table fairly quickly.Ok,it’s not my bankroll so I wasn’t too bothered and hit up a $22 speed sng just for the hell of it.( wild eh!)

As it was $22 I assumed that was the reason for the cautious play and smallish preflop, raises until I finally realised that I’d jumped into a fixed limit sng by mistake.I’ve probably only played two fixed limit sngs’s in my life ( the other one was a similar mistake) so it felt good to take 2nd place and make a nice wee profit.The truth is I actually enjoyed the limited liability on each hand and sticking fairly rigidly to a raise or fold mantra ( with the occasional trap) seemed to work.

Mrs A went off to bed and I joined the troops for a chat afterwards and managed to win a $5 laddys sng before bed.

At least if I’m having a bad night at the tables I can remember the phrase “there’s always someone worse off than yourself” and this weeks poor downtrodden character is footballer Ashley Cole.I’ve been having a good laugh reading his story in The Times this week.Here’s my favourite quote ( Barnett is his agent)

"One telephone call changed everything about how I viewed and felt about Arsenal," Cole writes. " ‘Ash! Are you listening?’ said a virtually hyperventilating Barnett. ‘I’m here in the office and David Dein is saying they aren’t going to give you £60k a week. They’ve agreed £55k and this is their best and final offer. Are you happy with that?’ I nearly swerved off the road. ‘He is taking the piss, Jonathan!’ I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed, I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard’. "

Aye,it’s a hard life right enough….

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thankyou Commenters

Firstly thanks to all the sympathetic commenters on my last post."Easy mistake to make","could happen to anyone" were just some of the kind comments I DIDN’T receive!! Ya bassas!

I was playing badly in a Laddys sng with Rottie when Tan said hello in the chat box.He joined us for the next sng and sent me packing after about 3 hands when I couldn’t lay down my tptk to his flopped straight.I had AJ and Tan had q10 and we’d both called another villains min raise.Of course if I’d reraised to see where I was it could all have been different but as it was I thought my kicker was good and hit the rails.

Just missed getting ITM at Inters $3k gtd but no complaints as though I was fairly card dead I had made a fairly donkish call and got lucky with KQ V Ak. It was just after I’d made a big pf raise with the hammer and laid it down to an all in from a short stack.As Tan pointed out even if I’d lost ( I’d have been down to 1k from 1.5) I would probably have got more action from future premium hands but in my defence it was still early in the mtt and I reckoned I could find better spots to try and gain chips.On the KQ hand I’d raised from the sb to steal the bb and been reraised all in.Having previously folded the hammer after a preflop raise and reraise I felt the bb could be trying to push me out hence the donkey call.

Incidentally I’ve noticed a lot of people using the chat box to “lol” whenever anyone raises preflop and then folds to a reraise.Whilst it doesn’t always look clever ( especially if pot odds are good) if you raise with a hand and get reraised by a tight player who you think has your hand beaten ,it seems some donkeys have never heard of laying down a hand.( that includes me and my tptk sometimes postflop!).I wouldn’t say it’s something I do often ( raise then fold to a reraise) but if I bet with a hand like tens or Jacks and get raised bigtime by a rock I’d like to think I’m capable of folding.

After my two fruitless sngs and failed mtt I hit up a $21 ave pot ,$50 nl table at Laddys and for the first time in a couple of weeks I actually enjoyed the game I was in.There was a maniac with 72% vpip/30% preflop raise stats , a loose 65% vpip 18% pfr and a rock who made his first preflop raise after 69 hands.I didn’t get particularly lucky but I did get away with most of my continuation bets ( on missed and nasty flops) and left $36 up.

Fitba',Halo 2 and maybe a little poker are tonights plan..

Monday, September 11, 2006

E-tard of the Year

Just a short post today as last nights poker was a breakeven not a lot to talk about kind of affair.

This piece of etardiness is so bad I'm almost hoping I'm wrong as nobody should be as thick as this! I was complaining last night on the chat that my 7 key was sticking and though it was annoying, I decided I'd see if it was still a problem today before getting really hacked off and taking it back to the shop.Well I switched on my laptop today and was overrun by 777777.I even renamed my explorer icon "7777777777" and managed to leave my 7 key looking lopsided after prising it out with a knife and messing around enough to break the wee plastic bit.

Eventually I decided to dig out the instructions from my poker cupboard, which was when I noticed the cordless keyboard I bought lying facedown in the corner on top of a pile of junk.Yes it was facedown and that pile of junk was clever enough to be depressing the 7 key and nearly causing me to turn purple with laptop rage.Doh!

Ok I'm off to the tables for a wee game.It'll be nice to be able to vary my betting tonight and not have to bet in units of feckin' 7...

( btw if I'm wrong and 7-itis returns this post gets deleted!)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday Stats

Not my finest week at the tables but I suppose only losing $55 after enduring a fairly horrendous run of beats and 2nd best hands is not the end of the world.Last nights kick in the baws was running my QJ into JJ on a J Q 4 flop which cost a buy-in.I'd only been at the table about 10 mins and despite having no real read on the villian there was just no way I could put him on JJ.( 6 max in case anyones wondering why I was playing QJ!)

I nearly spewed after entering a Laddys HU 16 player $5 sng.I won my first match in only a few hands and sat back and waited on my 2nd victim.He duly arrived and I'd built a solid 1400-600 lead when my connection failed.I was only gone 5 mins but by the time I got back I had 75 chips left and lost my all in with QJ to 84 off.( and yeah the fact it was QJ did register).In fact sometimes it seems as though the poker gods are making it personal and then I have to take a step back and realise just how silly a thought that is.Apologies if my posts have seemed too whiney over the last week or so and reflect that pathetic "poor me,it's not my fault,it's the cards" kind of attitude.It's a blame culture we live in these days and it's all to easy to apply that to poker and point the blame at any other reason other than simply a bad run combined with some poor plays.

For a change whilst my laddys hands weren't pleasant I won a bit at Inter playing $200 nl 6 max ( to try and clear bonus).One of those nights where 2 pairs were well beaten at one site and top pair,top kicker were good on on another.

The good news is that the charity challenge money is back on track after dipping as low as $50 during the week.I won a £5 sng at Sun which leaves the total sitting at $96.I may play a couple more sng's but as this week will be the final week,I don't want to take too many chances with it.In an ideal world I'd have hit a rush and run it into hundreds but as Mr JR Cash would say "This ain't the movies so forget about that".I did call my sister and asked her how the training was going for the 17 miles walk next Saturday."I'm just going to blag it.Red Bull and Lucozade will get me through".We shall see!

Inter $534 Ladbrokes $1425 Pokerroom $1057 ( actual PR total $1127 incl $70 I need to withdraw to cover charity dep at Sun). Total $3019 ( -$55 for week)

I now require $408 by Oct 19th ( away from 19th to Nov 2nd) to match my first years profits.

Good result for Rangers yesterday when we beat Falkirk 4-0.Boyd,Buffel,Bardsley and Prso were the scorers.We play Molde in the Uefa cup on Thursday night whilst the IRA's athletic wing ( celt*c) go to Manchester on Wed night to play Miasdads team,Man Utd.( go on you reds!).

Mrs A is working tonight so I'm going to download some tunes and maybe play some poker later....

Friday, September 08, 2006


Discussions are ongoing at a high ( on poker) level re the USA V ROW sng I mentioned previously.Choosing a date,time,site and format to suit are all open to suggestion though I tend to favour Matts idea of a 9 aside $5 18 player sng with points for the top 3 ( or top 5) with a HU cross the pond challenge to follow once we get an sng or two up and running.( prob at 'Stars on a Sunday TBA around 10pm UK time)

Matt,Cadmunkey,Rosie the Rottie,Miasdad and hopefully the S-man,Miami Mark ( fae Glasgow so on our team!),Juice,The Edge,Derbywhite,
Butroz ,
Tan Orpheus,
Klopzi .

Anyone else from outside the USA that I've missed is more than welcome.( including any non blogger readers).If all of the above are up for it that would give us a decent pool to get 9 ( if thats the way we go) players from.Watch this space and please leave me a comment or fire me an email( if not already ) if you fancy it.

My poker nightmare continued last night.I'll spare you the beats but I dropped $48 at Laddys 6 max and finished OTM ( outta the money!) in two more sng's.It's kinda hard to remain postive when lady luck does a runner but I'm doing my best and will hopefully get back to some kind of normality soon.

I did suffer a bus beat on the way home.Trying to turn right at a roundabout,I found the 2 lane road blocked by 2 single decker buses.I'm usually in a foul mood when I'm tired and hungry but it is Friday today, so I sat patiently for 30 seconds, then got out to find out what the problem was.The bus on the inside lane had broken down,so I suggested to the bus driver blocking the right hand lane, that he may want to reverse behind the first bus and let all the traffic through."I can't get through either" he said! "I don't care,just reverse yer fuckin' bus into the space and let us all through" was my calm collected reply.I then got the other cars behind to reverse back more to give him room,he reversed behind the other bus and we all got home before Xmas.Stupid thick bus driving numpty!

Ok,dinner,relaxation and poker await...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Scotland are World Champions!

And not just at Elephant polo! Lithuania drew with world cup winners Italy on Saturday,we beat Lithuaina 2-1 last night therefore we are awaiting news of the date the Italians will be handing over the World Cup they won less than two months ago... Great result for Northern Ireland ( I’m a quarter Northern Irish) beating Spain 3-2.

To the poker and it was interesting to read cadmunk n yorkie both decrying $5 sngs as a lottery/bingo and advising to step up to $10 for some real poker.I’ve not even made the money in about my last 5 sng’s and ( see Tuesdays post) know full well how annoying it is to have your superior hands sucked out on but over the long term ( at least 100 sngs) I’m still convinced that playing a very tight ( till late on in game) but bet big type of game can take home the money at this level without too much trouble.I think the bet big part is especially relevant if I get a premium hands in the first few orbits as the donks are out in force and ready to call anything.I agree there seems to be a major step up in class even at $10 sng’s where the games seem much tighter but I have to say I wish the $10 and up sngs’s played liked the $5 ones!

The only slight problem with the Crypto sngs is that you start with only 1000 chips so there’s not much room to see many cheap flops.It’s basically a case of playing a very tight game and betting big when I do get the cards.The $5 donks don’t tend to notice that it’s the first time I’ve played a hand since the sng began but that tight image can pay off later in game and allow more steals and resteals.They do pay more attention at $10 and up and this is partly what makes these games tougher imo.

Having admitted to myself I’m in the middle of a variance nightmare I need to be careful not to make it any worse with my play.On Tuesday night I lost £7 to a shortstack who had AA v my 88.On another hand at Laddys I lost ( after being $20 up, hence breakeven) a big hand when my QJ was outkickered by a player with KQ.

Would I normally play 88/QJ like that or was I seeking to actually lose money and therefore confirm to myself that I am running badly when in fact I just played it badly? Combine plays like that with a bad run of luck and it’s a recipe for major bankroll disaster.Tiredness and feeling slightly bored with the game don’t help but it’s easy to be full of the joys when running well and despondent when it’s not going well.Less whining and more backbone required I think after all it’s not as if I’m losing buy-in after buy-in.

I do worry that if my poker psyche can take such a knock after running bad at micro-levels ,what hope have I ever got of moving up and absorbing much bigger losses.I don’t mean I plan to lose obviously, but the nature of playing 6 max means the swings are always going to be huge.Just a few suckouts can mean being a few buyins down and I still don’t think my game is mentally strong enough for that yet.Having said that this time last year I’d go from a balance of $850 to $250 and up to $1k all in one night and I almost revelled in the mental challenge of keeping to my best game when the cards were’t falling.It only took a few nights of bad suckouts ( when I lost and never recovered) followed by a little tilt to send me scurrying back to the micro-limits.

Ok,tonights plan is to try and rescue the charity fund from impending disaster starting with a fresh attitude and more of the $5 sngs I was killing a week ago.

On the subject of charity big thanks go out to Butroz for being the latest fine poker blogger to make a donation to my sisters cancer charity as part of the 17 mile walk across London she will be taking part in on Sat 15th.

Thanks for reading...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Burn baby burn

I've finally joined the digital age and have "ripped" my first albums off the net and "burned" them onto cd.Thanks to Juice and S-man for the pointers.The site I'm using is so cheap I can hardly believe it.Burned the "Artic Monkeys" album and having only listened to the first 6 tracks on the way to work this morning ,I have to say I'm quite impressed.They do sound like a cross between Oasis and Pulp but that's no bad thing imo.Picked 10 classic Stones tracks too and I'm currently burning some "Pink" for Step A.

Sadly I'm still getting burned on the Crypto network.The S-man was over and we played a couple of £3 Sng's with the charity fund,going out of the first when AQ was beaten all in by A8 ( 8 on flop) and the second when I knew the villian had missed the flop and was all in with 44 v K9 only for a 9 on the turn to do the damage.

Meantime the PC Whisperer ( S-man) managed to get my pc working again by using some deep dark IT trick ( he switched it on) and has somehow got my pokertracker database moved on to my laptop...which is nice.

Spent too long gazing in amazement at the whole burning cd thing to play much more poker but did win $15 at a 6 max Laddys table before bed mainly after my bluff detector sniffed out a dodgy betting pattern and I called and won with 2nd top pair.

Thanks to The US President and Mattastic for showing some early enthusiasm for a USA V ROW matchup.I was really just thinking out loud but it's something I would love to happen and this time round I reckon we'd get more than just me and Colin .More on this soon...

Ok time to burn some more then hit the tables...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Mon update

Last nights poker wasn’t too pleasant.I started with the charity fund and lost my first sng at Sun to a suckout and that seemed to set the tone for the evening.In my second sng I was chip leader on the bubble but went out after losing four in a row hands in a row when I had my chips in as favourite.I was almost in that cynical "I just know he’s going to hit on the river,ahh he did ,theres a shock" kind of mood but I tried to brush it off and hit the cash tables ( my money now).

I played $50nl and had Kings busted twice.The first one was a sickener but the second one I’m not so sure about.It was a very loose £25 6 max table with a £11 ave pot.I’d only been at the table for an orbit when it’s raised to £.75 before me.I’m out of position v the raiser and I pop it to £3 as I want to be heads up or at least cut callers to two.I get my wish and I’m first to act on an As Js 6d flop.I bet 2/3 of the pot and get a call so having represented the Ace and been played back at I slow down and check as a third spade falls on the turn.I folded to the villains £5 bet but with Inter tables being so fishy and unpredictable he could have had anything from 2 connected spades to AK-A2 aswell as possibly any pocket pair.

That hand cost me $15 on top of the $25 I’d already lost so I closed down Inter and moved to Laddys 6 max $50 nl and won a quick $10 before bedtime.

I’m going to amend yesterdays weekly stats to include that $30 loss and give me a fesh start from today but I’m considering posting my stats on a fortnightly basis from now on instead of weekly as I feel I’m putting too much pressure on myself to keep turning a profit and I’m chasing a little if it doesn’t look likely by Thursday or Friday.

I hate writing that I’m not running well as it seems to set it in stone and I don’t want to play with that kind of downer mentality but I think I have to accept that it’s true especially at Interpoker at the moment.

It will turn of that I'm sure and besides I still managed to post a winning month despite the variance downturn in the last couple of weeks.S-man is visiting tonight,Mark on Wednesday night and I'll over to see my folks too.

I've also added a few new links recently and replaced a few blogs which have not been updated for months or have sadly ( Lady Falcon comes to mind) been terminated by their owners.Check out my sidebar for some good reads.If I have replaced your blog and you make a comeback just let me know and I'll add you again.In fact if any genuine bloggers at all wish to swap links ,just ask.

Things are a bit busy just now but now there seem to be more than a few UK/Canadian bloggers out there I'd be quite keen to have another go at a USA V ROW bloggers sng.
Due to the time difference I can't remember the last time I was at a table with Gcox,Jordan,Trip,Veneno etc and it would be great to get it together again sometime.Hopefully this time the ROW could actually muster at least 5-10 players for it.Something to ponder on for now anyways.

Ok I'm off to edit yesterdays stats post and add a link or two...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Stats,Royal Flush,Charity Latest

Good news first and I finally withdrew $70 from Pokerroom and deposited it in Sun poker to begin the S-mans's charity challenge.My sister is walking 17 miles across London on Sept 15th for the cancer charity "Maggies Centres".

" Maggie's Centres help people adjust to living with cancer. Its pioneering support programme has been developed for patients, their carers, family and friends. Each centre is located close to an NHS hospital and they have been designed carefully and imaginatively to make sure people feel at home. "

Big thanks to all who have made a donation so far.There's still time to give and for anyone that does, remember I'll be sending names to the poker gods who've promised to tone down the bad beats and even throw in a couple of winning 2 outers for those involved.( please read non-existent small print for terms,conditions and getout clause!)

Edit: Pokerroom are driving me nuts.I tried to cash out $70 to my debit card ( to cover the $70 I deposited at Sun) but although it went through ok yesterday they have credited the $70 back to my account because they say my card had expired.The expiry date is 01/09 and apparently their US system thinks thats Sept 1st and not January 2009.Despite them knowing this is the problem they still want a fax with both sides of my card as proof.I was even told to double check expiry date with my bank!Have they never come across this before? Incompetent mo fo's. rant over.

I tried to start last weekend with my existing Inter fund but after going 0 for 10 in sngs decided a fresh start was required.Began by going out of a £5 sng when my 2 pairs ran into a straight but a set of fours v 2 pair saw me strike back and my charity bankroll now
stands $22 up at $92.I'll probably hit the $5 sngs and try and build it that that way.

Not much to post in a poker blog when I don't play hence the lack of posts for a few days.Friday night was great for chat but poor for poker as Miami Mark,S-man and myself got on that Skype thing and tore through a few Pokerroom turbos whilst chewin' the fat.I did place 2nd in a 20 player sng and that helped offset a couple more bubble finishes.

The truth is the poker was a distant second to a great night of chat and nonsense.It's been a long time since we all ( including Mrs MM) got together for a sesh and with the S-mans wild elephant beer persona emerging ( yes, somehow him projectile vommiting a fountain over the inside of my car and side of my head were now my fault for not pulling over in time! ) and Mrs MM trying to get us all singing The Floyds "Wish you were here" it felt like I'd stepped back almost 20 years.The memory of MM swinging a 2 bar electric fire round his head to see if we could "see the tracers" during another mad session just came to mind but that's another story!

Watched Scotland knock six ( two for Boyd) past the Faroe Islands in the first Euro 2008 qualifer.A good result but still an impossible group to qualify from.

Later Mrs A was out so I hit the tables and played a few sng's and some 6 max nl at Laddys.I had been doing ok until I made one daft call around 4am which left me slightly down for the week overall.

Interpoker $475 ,Ladbrokes $1555 ,Pokeroom $1015. Total $3074 ( - $45 for week).

Sunpoker Charity Challenge $92 ( $70 starting amount)

After joining Sunpoker I realised I'd forgotten how easy it was to open a new account and I reckon I'll be looking at trying a few more new sites soon especially if they are skins of sites I already like.I now have 2 accounts on Crypto network and I wonder if there's much of an edge to be gained by occasionally leaving a table where I have good reads etc and rejoining it via the other skin using a different name.One to ponder...

After my moan about the new Crypto bonus rake rules it looks as though the player points are still being gained at the same rate as before at the micro-stakes tables.I'm not sure if this is a blip or not but at least so far I wont need to go to $1-$2 to clear bonuses.After Matts comment I nearly considered trying some fixed limit $1-$2 to clear my remaining Inter bonus but I have so little FL experience I'd probably end up losing more than the bonus.The fact that I detest fixed limit poker also comes into it...

Righty before I go here's my second ever Royal Flush hand history and my first ever in a tourney.I was hoping the villian had the boat but no such luck.It all happened so fast I had to use Pokerooms session browser to check I wasn't dreaming!It probably cost me money ( I bubbled) as I spent so much time after the hand hunting it down!

Thanks for reading.Back soon...

Hand 942948216, Started at 03/09/2006 01:00
Table 'Malibu': 20-20 No Limit HE (TournamentChips)
Seat 0: Zagga (3,860 in chips)
Seat 1: steve5758 (2,620 in chips)
Seat 2: crzybil (4,325 in chips)
Seat 5: Magicalman3 (3,430 in chips)
Seat 6: Gad30 (7,650 in chips)
Seat 7: O I C (4,475 in chips) (on the button)
Seat 9: Vale Rossi (3,640 in chips)
*** Blind Bet Round *** :
Dealt to Zagga: Jh
Dealt to Zagga: 10h
Vale Rossi : Post Blind (300)
Zagga : Post Blind (600)
*** Pre-Flop *** :
steve5758 : Fold
crzybil : Call (600)
Magicalman3 : Fold
Gad30 : Fold
O I C : Fold
Vale Rossi : Fold
Zagga : Check
*** Flop *** : Qh 5c 5d
Zagga : Check
crzybil : Check
*** Turn *** : [ Qh 5c 5d ] Ah
Zagga : Check
crzybil : Bet (1,200)
Zagga : Call (1,200)
*** River *** : [ Qh 5c 5d Ah ] Kh
Zagga : Bet (1,200)
crzybil : Fold
*** SUMMARY ***
Pot: 5,100 | Rake: 0
Board: [ Qh 5c 5d Ah Kh ]
Zagga bet 3,000, collected 5,100, net 2,100
steve5758 lost 0
crzybil lost 1,800
Magicalman3 lost 0

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