Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wings of a dove

I've added ( or will be after posting this) Straight Flush,United 113 ( just won a big score!)and a 88%concentration to my blog roll.I found 88% after following a link from Tan's blog and it's been a captivating read.The lad is totally fearless and copes with huge swings in his roll whilst always looking to play in the highest stakes nl games on the net.

Back to the dreary old micro limits and I'm finally showing a profit at Full tilt's $11 turbos sng's after winning one and coming 3rd in another.Came 2nd in a wee laddys sng too before my QQ was busted by a 2 outer for $15 at a cash table at FT.Something very odd has happened though.I checked my email tonight and I have a $25 deposit into my FT account which is news to me!I've only ever made my original $400 deposit there by credit card a few weeks ago and the $20 bonus I've cleared had been paid in.Ahhhhhh it's come to me!I nearly joined FT via a rakeback site but instead used Miami Marks sign up email which promised an extra $25.That must be it.Doh!

My poker mindset seems to have improved a lot over the last few days.Playing $11 sngs instead of $5 seems to focus my game a lot more.I detest arrogant people but I think my wee run of good results at $5 meant I was expecting to win or get ITM ( in the money) even if I was watching tv and surfing at the same time.I have the stats to say I'm a winner at that level therefore the $ would follow.Whilst cryptos $5 standard speed games probably are that easy, even there it's obviously a lot easier when fully focussed.I think I was also letting the emotions that come with a downswing and badbeats eat me up too much.

I was beginning to imagine two guys sitting in the Full Tilt card control room having a laugh at my expense."Give him the hammer,he's down $10 and won't play it.Oh and make the pot huge,the turn a 7 and the river a 2 meaning he's folded a winner". "Ok done,now give him it again on the very next hand and see if he plays it,hehe". "Ok he's gonna actually suckout on AQ with his A6"."We're allowing that?" "Oh sure,wait till the bubble and he goes all in with his AQ and his opponent shows A6.Ace on the flop but save the 6 for the river". "Done boss,hehe".

A load of bollocks ( seemed quite amusing after a few smokes before I went to bed last night!) but it certainly feels that way sometimes!

Ok,Mark's called off our Half-life 2 night as he'd forgotten it's his anniversary.Mr Edge asked if I play Counter-strike ( it's rigged) and the truth is that I'm a terrible gamer.I only play once a week when Mark is over and even then we can make one game last months and months before we get stuck and try another.I fancy an X-box 360 or even a PS3 when it comes out but I don't play anywhere near often enough to justify that.Besides it's hard enough keeping Mrs A happy with my poker habbit!

Ok,Pink tomorrow night at the SECC.Step A's first ever gig.Should be fun....
I reckon I'm going to treat Mrs A and I to Madness tickets.We saw them a couple of years ago and they were class.The place was bouncing.My favourite track "Nightboat to Cairo" was the encore.Just superb.

Thanks for reading and check out those about to be added new blog links when they appear....

Monday, November 27, 2006

Uber Donkey

Donked out of the FT $15k mtt last night after one of the major leaks in my game made an appearance.I folded nearly everything for the first hour and then decided to steal from the button with A9 when it was folded round to me.One caller ,flop of 10 10 9 ,I make the continuation bet,get raised ,reraise big and get insta-called by j10.Heeeehawwww!

I did manage to place 2nd in an $11 sng and my record at $11 sng's is slowly recovering.I'm now only down $12 after 25 games at $11 and $95 down overall after 61 games.They have all been turbos and I hope I'm adapting better to these sng's and can keep on the right road.

I also played a chunk of $100 nl 6 max over the weekend,breaking even for the most part after losing at Ladbrokes and winning at Party.All good pokery fun.

Just back after taking the family to Macdonalds.I reckon Mrs A probably had a point about me being on the laptop too often so I'm trying to make it up to her.Most of the time I'm not even playing poker but just writing/surfing blogs and football sites.Mind you I'd rather she'd actually discussed it with me rather than writing a note and just disappearing but things do seem a bit better since her return.It's dinner at my folks place tomorrow night and the cinema to see Borat on Friday.Wednesday night she's working and Half-life 2 shall be played and Thursday night is Step A's first concert.( Pink)

My poker and blog do seem a bit repetitive to me at the moment and apologies for the doom and gloom nature of the poker posts recently.Partly this has been because of my poor recent run and partly I blame posting to my blog as soon as I arrive home every night when I'm tired,hungry and feeling just slightly irratable.( ahem!) I try and write my post ( on a break of course) at work and email it home to myself and that seems to work ok but I've been too busy for breaks recently.I've also given in to the nicotine beast and have been having a cig in the morning on the way to work.I hate damn cigs and used to only smoke da herb in the evenings but smoking at night and then going the whole day without nicotine just meant I was probably going through withdrawl symptoms daily and that was no fun.

Ok,time to switch off and watch crap tv with the Mrs......

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday Stats

Thanks to all who commented on my last post.Mrs A ended up coming back on Friday night and so far so good.

This will be a short post as I'm playing an $11k gtd at Full tilt with my $26 token soon and I need to get to the chippy to get dinner for Step A and I.

To the stats... Full Tilt $234,Party $310,Ladbrokes $1592,Inter $86,Pokerroom $820.Total $3042 ( - $205 since Nov 12th).

Nearly freaked out at FT when another player at a turbo token game asked if I was Scottish.There's no location shown at FT so I wondered what was going on until Poker Jones said hello! Nice playing with you sir.I just wish my hammer had won though and not sent me to the rail!It's not supposed to get beaten when playing with fellow bloggers.Hmmmm!

Righty gotta run....

Friday, November 24, 2006

Trouble n Strife

More strife on the domestic front meant I've not really felt like posting much this week.Mrs A aint happy at the time I spend on my laptop and went to stay with her Dad for a few days.No talking it over,just a short note and offski.That really pissed me off and though I rushed round to her Dads for a short chat ,I came away thinking it was time to check when my tennants lease runs out on my flat as maybe it was time to move on.

For my part I pointed out that I'm sick of her prozac pills causing her to act like she's had 3 grams of speed complete with the comedowns and dark moods that go with ye old go faster powder.

We spoke on the phone earlier though and the air seems to have cleared a little.She now says she needs to find new hobbies/interests and ( after denying it the other night) admits the pills are causing major moods swings.I agreed I do still spend too much time on the net and will cut back.Since our last little chat I still play poker most nights but have cut down on the IM chat big time so that she doesn't feel as if I'm in the same room but not really there.( her previous complaint)

She's coming back in around an hour instead of Sunday and hopefully we can smooth things over.( quickly I hope,I've poker to play..hehe)

The poker continues to tease,taunt and generally grind down my sense that this downswing will one day come to an end.I'm well aware that for losing players the game is one big downswing but I'm still convinced that for the most part, my game is good enough to turn things around.Losing with 1010 to KK on a K 6 10 flop in the first hand of my first sng the other night did affect my game though and I must have tilted my way ( subtle tilt ,not full blown) out of at least three sng's after that before my wireless connection froze again mid game ,leading to an even worse state of mind to be playing the game in.

Having blown yet another $11 turbo on FT I decided to hit a $50 nl 6 max cash table.Most of my poker profits have probably come from trapping maniacs at loose tables and I found a $26 ave pot table with one maniac and one aspiring maniac and took my seat.My luck hasn't changed much.I get JdJs and maniac 1 and I call manaic 2's $5 preflop bet.The flop comes 8d 9d 10d,maniac 1 leads out for $16.50 with Ad5c,maniac 2 calls and I reraise all in with my overpair and straight flush draw.Maniac 1 calls whilst the original preflop raiser folds.Turn is a Qs and river is a Jc and we split the pot.Not a bad beat by any means but another frustrating hand.

A few hands later I got maniac 1 all in on the turn with a set v his gutshot which he hit on the river but that one honestly didn't bother me too much as I knew I'd outplayed the villian and over the long run will come out well on top in hands like that.

On a brighter note I've really enjoyed reading through Lucko's blog and I hope I've learned a lot from it.Reading his postings certainly helped inspire me a bit this week and between the cooler I'm on and the trouble with Mrs A ,all inspiration is welcome!

I'm reluctant but nearly ready to admit defeat at Full Tilts $11 turbos.My record is still terrible at them even though I was holding my own at Pokerroom.I said nearly because I'm hoping with more work on my game and an even break that I can still conquer the bassas.They do seem far tighter than the sng's I've played previously but I need to adjust accordingly and start raising more from postion to steal and respecting the really tight players bets when in a pot with them.Two things annoy me about FT.All my work in copy/pasting Sharkscope stats into the player notes seems to be wasted.I noticed that after my disconnection last night when I had to reboot the whole pc and my notes ( along with most of my chips) had vanished.I also like to know where the other players are based and I don't think FT gives that information.

I'll probably do a stats post on Sunday.I'm dealing with more clean slates than your average roofer recently but another one is due! I did pull back some cash at a Party table and if I was at all superstitious I'd probably cash out of FT right now as just being a site I can't seem to win on but I'm also a stubborn determined bassa and I'm keen to turn it round and get back to profit there after losing just over $200 in two weeks.

I'm not that stubborn though and if the losses continue there then I will either stick to cash games/standard speed sngs or throw my laptop through a window...

To finish on a happier note Rangers have qualified for the last 32 of the Uefa cup with a game to spare and I did at least win a £26 sat token at FT which I've still to use.Let's hope it's a winner....

Monday, November 20, 2006

The lights are on...

Is the weekend over already? Saw 2 was great on Sat night though when Mrs A went to bed not long after I don’t think she appreciated hearing my dulcet tones on Skype as I chatted it up with Miami Mark and the s-man.She banged on the floor so loudly poor Nacho hid in the cupboard.He was nearly back in the cupboard yesterday when I jumped out my seat to celebrate Nacho Novo’s winning goal for Rangers v Hearts.Go on the Nacho man!

To the poker and I’ve been using Scurvydogs excellent tip to copy and paste Sharky stats into the player notes at FT as I try and scrape my way back to even after my 0/12 starting run there.I’ve now won three $11 turbos but unfortunately my overall losses at FT still amount to about $80 so not much overall progress.FT sng’s do seem far tighter than the ones at Pokerroom or Crypto sites and the standard appears to be higher too.So far there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the $5 and $11 level although I do have turbo action fever and haven’t played a standard speed sng for a long while.

I’m not sure how long I’ll continue to focus on Sng’s but profit will have a large bearing on it.Variance is so high that it will require at least a 100 or so sng’s to have anything approaching meaningful stats on whether I can beat the $11 and upwards games.

I did venture to a Pokerroom full ring game to pass a little time and managed to pull back from the brink of losing another buy-in with QK.It was sooted this time ( can’t fold if soooted afterall) and I was in the cutoff and had limped.The button raised to $2 and I had almost persuaded myself to fold when a mid position player called the raise and I was getting 4-1 to call.I asked myself what kind of flop I was hoping for even at odds of 4-1 and to be honest the answer was a miracle one with 2 pairs ,trips etc so on reflection next time I’m laying it down.The flop came K 7 6 and instead of checking to the raiser,I bet half the pot ( $3) hoping to get him to lay down any pair under KK.He called and after a blank turn I led out for $5 and folded to his large reraise fearing mainly AA or AK,KK.Thankfully I did have the good sense to bail out as I had only been at the table a few minutes and had no reads but it shows how quickly a poor initial call can lead to losing a big pot.

I’ve mentioned hardly playing any cash games over the last few weeks and that may be about to change.I played a little 6 max $50 nl late on last night and it felt like I was back where I belonged.They say there are great cash game players and great tourney players but rarely do players excel at both.I’m not great at either but cash is where I’ve made my profits over the last two years and it maybe that is where my miniscule poker talents lie.

Tonight will be quiet,tomorrow night I hope to watch Miasdads team ,Manchester Utd , soundly thrash cel*ic in the Champions league,Wed night is Halo night ,Thursday it’s over to my see my old folks and Friday will take care of itself.

Just like last night it's about 4c in Glasgow and the wind is howling and the rain lashing down.It didn't stop 17000 mad Glaswegians from making their way to George Square just to see the Xmas lights getting switched on.17000 out in that horrendous weather? Aye,the lights are on but nobodys home.....

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's Ofishal

Acornman is a fish! Played 21,Ave stake $6,Lost $83.Still at least I know now that FT is rigged and it aint down to poor plays and good old variance.I googled "full tilt is rigged" for a bit of fun and found a FT forum thread where from 224 polled,32% ( 73 folk) say that it is rigged and some of the posts would make you wet youself.Here's some anon quotes...

"Its so ridiculously rigged its not even funny. I guess just watching hand after **** hand is proof enough for me.
I guess there is not anything you can say that would make me disagree with myself. I know its rigged. Thats it. End of story."

Errr usually you simply change your mind rather than disagree with yourself!

"Rigged isn't even the word for it.

It's SO rigged in SUCH a blatant way, it's almost comical.

The bottom line is, if you play poker off-line, you know. Follow your trends... starting cards, wins, wins.losses on the river, etc.

I'll say this, it takes balls to rig a site to this extent. I'm sure they'll blackball my account after this post. Oh well, I'm moving on to hopefully a legitimate site.

Pros being PAID to endorse a site doens't equal legitimacy, folks. They're getting away with murder, here."

Translated as " I lose so much money at online poker that it's not even funny.I've played live three times and won twice which means I'm probably one of the finest players of my generation and would be wining zillions online if it wasn't so blatantly rigged.I'm moving to a new site to lose there so look for an identical post at the new sites forum shortly"

I only managed to read the first six pages of the thread before shaking my head and giving up and googling "poker doom switch".Top of the search is a site with this quote " The other people that don't complain are the people that aren't being targeted by the Doom Switch (which is rare). Why is it so hard to find a legit poker site to play at?".

Apparently bad players are the only people who don't complain because they hit river cards! Jeeeeeeeeeez!!

Ok,enough of that nonsense.If you get your money in with the best of it then your going to see more bad beats and suckout less often.I'm hoping my luck has turned a bit after winning my first sng at FT last night and also winning a hand by sucking out bigtime and hitting a 3 outer on the river.

Reading back over some of my posts since I got back from Sharm and I think my skills have been a little rusty but my poker emotions even more so.It is always far easier to not focus too much on results when things are going well but to dwell on not much else when on a poor run.This time last year I was bouncing back from losing a couple of buyins at $100nl to come out on top and now I'm fretting about losing some $5 sngs.

I'm not fretting too much though.I was in bed for 3.30am last night and after waking at 1.45pm today I'm feeling fresh and ready to rock.I've worked out how to get my laptop stuff to display on my 17" monitor so I may make the occasional move back to my poker cupboard where I'm less distracted by the tv blaring and can focus more on my game.Mrs A doesn't fancy going to see Borat ( I reckon it looks great) so tonight will probably be a curry followed by a dvd.I did mention to the s-man ( who won 3 sng's last night!) and Miami Mark that I would be staying off the poker tonight but for some reason I don't think they believed me....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Donkery do dah

Broke my FT duck on Wednesday night by finally making it into the money in a $5 turbo sng on my 13th attempt.I’ve had a few more bubble finishes since then at $5 and also played one $11 sng which was going well until I made a donkey move with JJ.I’d raised preflop and bet out on an Ace high flop only to get a caller from a fairly loose player whom I immediately put on an Ace rag type of hand.I then proceeded to ignore my read and dumped the rest of my chips to the villain on the turn and river.( he showed A4 to win).

After some adsl problems which meant I went from 1500 to 700 in chips at a Pokerroom ($11 turbo sng) before getting reconnected and going out with barely a whimper. I then logged onto Party and hit up a $50 nl table.I’d only played a few hands when I decided to limp with Ak sooted and end up calling a standard 4bb raise.The flop came K high and I checkraised the original raiser thinking my hand was good.Maybe I was still in sng turbo mode,maybe it was frustration at my earlier donkery behaviour,maybe the planets were unaligned but the upshot was that I donked off a buy in to the raiser and his rockets.

It was 12.30am by this time and tempted as I was I resisted the urge to try and get back my losses in double quick time and I went to bed and slept soundly.

There's no doubt in my mind that I'm running quite badly just now and that has led to some rash decisions and poor play.I don't mind being all in with TPTK after the flop if I have a read on the villian which says my hand is likely to be good but blasting away at the pot may be h+ ( hope positive) but it's certainly not ev+ ( expected value).Making rash ill thought out plays,losing and then blaming bad luck is not a road I want to be stuck going down.

Time to show some fighting spirit,some character and some gonads.Now all I need is a rush of cards....

Oh before I go congrats to Iakaris for taking down over $12k in a FTOP event.Always great to see another blogger do well and Iakris's blog is damn entertaining too.

Ok time to hit the tables...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Is it a bird?

It's been a busy week so far and I can't believe it's Thursday tomorrow already.I've still not made it into the money at Full Tilt though,the latest debacles coming when I flopped a set of two's on a 2s 3d 6s board and there were only small bets before it got to me so with the flush draw out there I raised big and was reraised all in.I thought "oh no he/she's got 45" but made the crying call and was proved right.In my next sng there I went out with my AK V AK sooted when the villian made a flush by the river.

Moved to Pokerroom and managed 3rd place ( itm whoooohooo) from 20 in a $5 turbo which must mean that FT is rigged...hehe.I've now switched off the avatars and gone for the plain background in order to minimize distractions.Does anyone know if there's anyway of displaying the other players locations at FT? I like as much info as I can get on my opponents.

I was sorry to read that Iggy at the legendary Guinnessandpoker has decided to take a long nap.Let's hope someone snores loud enough to wake him from his slumber in the not too distant future, as there are not many better sites on the net to get the best and latest of what's happening in the poker world.Iggy was never huge on strategy posts but even throwaway lines contained gems of wisdom which I used to help improve my game.Thanks for all your hard work and haste ye back!

Mark will be over soon for our weekly Halo fest so not much more to add just now.I was very proud of Step A this week for getting a great 1st report card from High School.Cost me a Mcdonalds,a couple of magazines and the usual £5 but it's worth every penny to know she is settling in well at Secondary school.

Had a laugh today at the article in the paper about the twitchers ( bird spotters fancy name) who spotted a rare red-rumped swallow and called excited friends to tell them the news only to look on in horror as a sparrowhawk swooped down and ate it.Now that was a bad beat with nae outs for the poor red-rump and the twitchers.

Ok,saw a man about a dog last night so I'm off to roll something large n smelly....

Monday, November 13, 2006


I hate reading bad beat stories because I always think that well that's poker and if the person writing about 'em is getting that worked up then they shouldn't be playing.Besides let's face they happen to everyone all the time and nobody has a monopoly on them.( I just feel like I do just now!).Last night it wasn't even a bad beat which pissed me off the most,it was two things.

First after a crap night ( see yesterdays post)I decided on one last sng at FT before bed.I get Aces for the first time at FT and get 'em busted by Mr K10 flopping a straight and then on the very next hand I get 85 off,make a disciplined fold and then watch the flop fall 8 5 5 and three players go all in.Forget skilled moves and excellent reads.For me the biggest "skill" in poker is being able to deal with crap like the above and keep playing my usual game.

The second thing that pissed me was the fact I even got pissed off about the first thing.( Aces cracked and the 85).How the heck can I ever hope of moving up and dealing with the variance at higher levels when I get so hacked off at a couple of minor hands in a $5 sng.I did actually smile another bitter smile at the above and wasn't exactly raging but I can't deny it pissed me off.

Forget worrying if I'm skilled enough to play 'em.Could I cope with playing ten $22 sng's in a row without making the money or am I just cut out to forever languish at the micro-limits?

Poker eh!Great fun when I'm winning and not so much fun when I'm playing tighter than gnats chuff in these turbos then getting busted on the decent hands I am playing.

Ok variance biatch...bring it!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday stats

Juice was right,The Da Vinci code wasn't that great a movie.I'm not sure if that's because I'd read the book but it didn't do too much for me.

Joined Full Tilt last night so I can still get the occasional game with Miami Mark now that Pokerroom has given American players the heave ho.I withdrew $400 from Pokerroom and deposited the same at FT.I played three $1 turbo sng's just to get used to the software and I have to say I quite like it.The emotions feature was fun for about half a game before I got bored telling my opponents I was "happy" to their "angry" when I sucked out on 'em.I used Miami Marks sign up for a $25 bonus rather than a rakeback deal as I'm not sure I'l be doing much more than playing the odd tourney at FT.

I still haven't put in more than an hour or so at the cash tables since I returned from my hols.I'm not sure if it's so much falling out of love with the game, as much as wanting to move up to $100 nl more often and start playing $22 sngs, but not wanting to do so whilst I don't feel I'm running very well.Perhaps playing a load of $5 sngs and a little $50nl until I feel the poker gods are on my side is the best idea, although in some ways that flies in the face of my logical belief that running bad, and suffering continued bad luck can be made much worse by admitting it and adjusting the way I play by not pushing edges as hard or even pushing them too hard.

Ok to the stats....Full Tilt $376 ,Pokerroom $822 ,Party $274,Inter $96,Ladbrokes $1659 . Total $3247 ( -$61 since Oct 31st or -$51 incl $10 pokerroom gift voucher sent to friend).

Edit: Jeez I wasn't kidding about my luck.One bubble n two major suckouts in my first three $5 sng's at FT.Right clear head...bring it fishies!

Considering the amount of whinging from me about bad runs etc I suppose dropping $61 isn't so bad.Time to go and start winning not whining....

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scotland the Brave ( or stupid)

Not long back from Ibrox where Rangers beat Dunfermline 2-0 with goals from Boyd and Smith.It was a decent performance at the end of a terrible week for the club and will hopefully give the team a confidence boost for the game against Hearts next Sunday.EK Thistle also managed a decent 1-1 result away at Beith so all that's required is for Falkirk to demolish celt*c tomorrow to make it a good weekend of results.

On the poker front things continue to trundle along with no great gains being made.Last night I began by bubbling out of two $10 turbos and was a bit annoyed at myself for pushing just a little too hard again on the bubble.I still believe it's better to play for 1st,rather than just to try and scrape into the money.I did manage to win a $5 ,20 player turbo a bit later knocking the s-man out on the bubble.( sorry mate!).Two more failed sng's after that and I hit the Party cash tables for 20 minutes (-$10 there) before heading to bed for an early night at 2.30am.

The plan for tonight is to enjoy a nice ruby murray ( curry) with the Mrs before watching The Da Vinci Code on dvd and possibly ( very possibly!) sneaking in some pokery fun later.We have bought a Euro Millions ticket and it is a rollover so with a bit of luck my next post will be from Vegas where I'm just about to live blog the big game as I take my seat next to Doyle n co.

One of ( well I've had two so far) my anon commenters dD suggested a tourney for any UK players interested ( all welcome but start times will be suited more to UK players) and I reckon that's a fine idea.Not sure on the site ,format or entry fee but I hope there would be enough interest to get at least a 10 player sng on the go.By all means leave a comment on this post or email dD at the address given in his comment on my last post.Don't expect an instant email reply though as his Missus has just given birth to their 3rd child.Congrats again on that dD.

Not much else going on today.I did follow a link from Fuel55's blog to a Jung Typology test which
I found quite interesting.Apparently I'm an ESTP( Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving) type personality and a lot of the information on ESTP's does seem quite accurate.

"ESTPs are spontaneous, active folks. Like the other SPs, ESTPs get great satisfaction from acting on their impulses. Activities involving great power, speed, thrill and risk are attractive to the ESTP. Chronic stifling of these impulses makes the ESTP feel "dead inside."

Gamesmanship is the calling card of the ESTP. Persons of this type have a natural drive to best the competition. Some of the most successful salespersons are ESTPs. P.T. Barnum ("Never give a sucker an even break") illustrates the unscrupulous contingent of this type.

Almost unconsciously the ESTP looks for nonverbal, nearly subliminal cues as to what makes her quarry "tick." Once she knows, she waits for just the right time to trump the unsuspecting victim's ace and glory in her conquest. Oddly enough, the ESTP seems to admire and respect anyone who can beat her at her own game.

"If I was any better, I couldn't stand it!" To an ESTP, admission of weakness feels like failure. He admires strength in himself and in others.

"Shock effect" is a favored technique of this type to get the attention of his audience. ESTPs love to be at center stage, demonstrating feats of wonder and daring. "

I liked the part about trumping the unsuspecting victims Ace though it doesn't mention doing it with the hammer...

I don't usually like chain emails and the lame so called jokes in them but I got one on Friday I thought I'd share a little of as it made me smile...

Being Scottish is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.

And the most Scottish thing of all? Suspicion of all things foreign!

We injure and die in style too...

3 Scots die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.

142 Scots were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts.

58 Scots are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of

31 Scots have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in.

Scottish Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after Xmas cracker-pulling accidents.

18 Scots had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth.

A massive 543 Scots were admitted to A&E in the last two years after trying to open bottles of beer with their teeth. ( errr I do that!)

5 Scots were injured last year in accidents involving out-of-control
Scalextric cars.

and finally...

In 2000 eight Scots were admitted to hospital with fractured skulls
incurred whilst throwing up into the toilet.

>>Makes me proud to be a Scot!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Small steps in the right direction

Big thanks to Klopzi for the comment/advice left on my last post.He suggested taking a little of my roll and moving up to put some fire back in my belly and I have to say that it is something I have to give serious consideration to doing.Why play $5 sng's all night whilst watching tv/surfing etc when I could play a couple of $22 sng's and really focus on them.I'm not even really sure what the sng equivalent of $50 nl 6 max is.I do know that even by making $2 profit for every $6 spent,I'm going to have to play 1/2 million games to become a dollar millionaire!

Tuesday night turned out much better than I could have hoped for at the tables after a poor start.I crashed out of my first $5 turbo sng and in the 2nd one we were down to the bubble with blinds of 400/800 when it folded round to me in the small blind.I had As9s,was in 3rd place and had quite a tight image.The 4th place player had 700 chips and would have been all in within the next two hands.Anyway I pondered for a moment and decided that it was worth a bet as the big blind had been fairly tight too and I didn't think he'd call unless he had a monster.He had KQ,called and hit which left me wondering why I didn't just fold into the money.

I moved to a Party 6 max $50nl cash table( $18 ave pot) and after getting blinded down to $47 ,I was dealt KhQc and called a $2 bet from the big stack ( $179) whom I'd seen win some big pots with some quite marginal hands.We both saw a flop of Jd Qs Ah, and as I was in the small blind I acted first and checked.He checked behind me and when a 4h came on the turn I decided to bet $3 with my nut flush draw and 2nd top pair.He only called and allowed me to make my flush on the river when the 8h fell.I bet $9 as a value bet and was amazed that the villian then chose to raise my bet to $40.I stared hard at the board,trying to work out what I'd missed.I've grumbled about my luck recently and a part ofmy brain had forgotten how good it feels to have someone raise my bet when I have the nuts.Nope the board wasn't paired and there was no straight flush so I reraised for his last $2 and he called with a horribly played set of queens.( he did have Qh though).

Last night I endured another awful Rangers performance at Ibrox as we went down 2-0 to a 1st division team in the cup.Only 31,000 ( better than TGU 18000 the night before ) turned up and I was one of only about 10000 left at the end.I never leave a game early and can't stand people who do go home before the games over but last night for once I really couldn't blame them.Where we go from here I'm not sure but the results and performances had better improve fast.

I began by bombing out of a 30 player $5 turbo sng before coming 3rd in a 10 seat turbo.I moved to a Party 6 max cash game and won a quick $15 before bed.Most of that $15 came from an odd hand where I called a small raise with 66,the flop was a 4 4 7 rainbow and when the villian made a weak bet post flop I called and when then checked and I'd checked behind after a blank turn card,I decided he probably just had a big Ace and when he checked to me on the river I bet out $7 and he called with his AJ!

After a poor run at the sng's it's the cash tables which have saved my bacon over the last week since I returned from Sunny Sharm and started my 3rd year of real money online poker.Without getting too precise I reckon I'm probably still down about $25 for the week but I'm at least feeling a bit better about the game.

Ok that's it for today...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Smile ,it's only a poker game

Juice left a comment on my last post that mentioned boredom and burning out and it worries me a bit that even after a complete two week break from the game I still don't have much zest or drive to play.It hasn't stopped me from playing although it's mainly been turbo sng's and not my usual cash games.I was hoping that the cold cards and beats would have dried up a little after taking a break but ( no boring details) they seem to continue with no let up.I need to be careful not to let it affect my mindset too much.

At one point last night in an sng the only card that would have saved the villian on the river was a 3 to give them a runner runner gutshot and I just "knew" it would come and I would lose.In reality of course I didn't "know" anything but when times have been tough at the tables it'd easy to fall into the trap of constantly predicting doom and when the miracle nightmare card does fall it "proves" that the poker gods really are against me and I'm never going on a decent winning run again.

10 minutes at a Party cash table where my straight fell to a higher straight just brought a bitter smile.Nothing to do other than sook it up,deal with it and move on to the next hand.

I don't mean this to be a whiney poor me type of post or have anyone think I'm seeking sympathy because that aint how I roll ( to steal a turn of phrase from our US friends)but if I can vent some of my frustrations here and that means I can keep my game on track then I will.

Something I am trying to avoid is letting my poker results cloud my mood the next day.When Rangers lose I'm always on a downer for a few days and I'd noticed before I went my holidays that I was letting poker results affect me in a similar way.( on the otherhand when celt*c crash out the cup like they just have then that has the opposite effect hehe) That's partly why I've stopped updating stats every Sunday as it means I can try and keep my focus on ensuring my decisions are correct even if the results aren't currently reflecting that.

Actually reading the above back makes it seem like I'm losing hundreds and my roll is in danger and that's not the case.I suppose after earning the same $4k last year that I made the year before ,I really really want to push on and improve on that but poker profits cannot be forced and require the long run,a lot of grinding and a ton of resilience.

I see the bold Juicester is still giving me a hard time about my musical tastes!Pink was for Step A! I downloaded an ACDC compilation last night and I'm quite liking the Snow Patrol album and Paulo Nuntini one.See me? See street cred? Oh Yes!

Righty it's 10.30pm and I've not had a smoke or had my Aces cracked.Time to change all that....

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday update

Feeling a little tired today after staying up late last night to watch Floyd Mayweather win easily on points against Carlos Baldomir to take his record to 37 unbeaten although he says he will retire after his next fight,hopefully v De La Hoya.

Before the fight I was in my own battles with the variance gods at the poker tables.The bottom line is that the turbos were a struggle again and I got a bit lucky at a cash table.The luck came at a Party $50nl 6 max table when I reraised a $1 bet to $5 with QQ and was surprised to get 4 callers including the original bettor.The flop came 10 10 5 and I was first to act with the pot aprox $20 ish I thought that unless anyone had the 10 then my hand was good so I bet $24 only to face a masive reraise all in from the original raiser.Apart from JJ/99/88 and hands like AK/AQ there wasn't much I could beat but I made the call,the villian showed A10 and I was rather pleased to see a Queen fall on the river to give me a rather juicy pot.

The $10 turbos weren't as kind to me though as I ran JJ into KK ,QQ into AA and had my AJ snapped off by A7 and my AK murdered by 76 sooted.I did manage to wind up one clown who reckoned that Pokerroom has been rigged since the US laws changed.He started his latest bad beat tale in the chat box and didn't like my "yawn" reply.Mind you I haven't had a great run at the $10 turbos over the last week so maybe he has a point.(hehe).

I checked my Sharky stats for $10 sngs and although it's only a small sample ,I'm still slightly ahead ( 47 games,$108 profit) which I didn't expect but does give me some confidence after a fairly poor run.

No weekly stats but overall I reckon I'm down about $25 overall since Thursday night.I'm probably still a little rusty after my break but I may also be guilty of pushing a bit too hard at times.Past profits do not mean there's any kind of entitlement to make money every time I sit down.It's obviously not wrong to be confident and have a reasonable expectation but poker isn't a game where determination and force of will are enough.It's far more subtle than that.

Just watched Rangers go down 2-1 to Dundee Utd after blowing a 1-0 lead.It's a pity team didn't show the determination and will to win I mentioned in my last paragraph.Yeah my team lose and it's back to work for me tomorrow.Aint life a cher of bowlies...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Turbo Troubles

Thanks for the comments on yesterdays post.Not much to report from our holiday really.Lots lazy days lying around the beach and pool reading books and enjoying the sunshine.Evenings were spent drinking beer,cheating Mrs A at Gin Rummy,gazing at the stars, watching the occasional Champions league game complete with Arabic commentary and playing Football manager/Ridge Racer 2 on my psp.The tv had very few English speaking channels but I did find myself enjoying an American football game between USC and OSU even though I thought I was cheering on GCox's Oaklahoma team for most of the first half before realising it was Oregon!( and the commentary wasn't Arabic.)The last time I watched US football The Fridge was top dog and I've never bothered to learn the rules but it finished 33-31 and was quite an exciting spectacle.

I didn't have too much joy last night in my first proper night of pokery fun since got back.Enjoyed the skype chat with the S-man,Miami Mark and Scott and Fiona who I hadn't spoken to in a while.I even emailed Scot n Fee a $10 Pokerroom voucher to get them started at PR so at least that can account for a tiny part of last nights poor run.

Turbo sng's are high variance at the best of times and when the cards don't fall they can be quick bankroll killers.I made the money only once all night and after saying cheerio to my friends in the chat moved up and played several fruitless $10 and even one $22 game.Actually the $22 sng was frustrating because I built a large stack early but then pushed into the other big stack with QK on a K high board only to lose to his AK.It had been folded round to me in the cut-off and I'd raised preflop with my QK as a steal but couldn't let it go when the board came K high.I suppose it was a little unlucky that the button woke up with AK but that's poker...

After that I suffered from a dodgy connection ( I switched my adsl off for 2 weeks while I was away and I think I've annoyed it) which decimated my stack in one sng and then some fish hit a 3 outer on the river in my last game.( welcome back indeed).
I did have a little joy at a Party cash table before going to bed at 4am but my Pokerroom account has now sneaked under the $1300 mark so I reckon I lost about $20 overall for my nights play.

No weekly update on Sundays as from now on I'll be updating every two weeks because although the updates keep me focussed I think I was always pushing too hard to pull it back if I started the week badly.I may even go for monthly updates only.Watch this space...

It's funny how some of the best poker advice can lead me astray.I find if I don't think of my chips as money it becomes a lot easier to give them away and I also reckon the advice to play the player not the cards just prompts me to try and make moves that just end in tears at the limit I play at.

Ok that's almost enough wittering for one day.I've spent most of the afternoon at burning cd's.I tend to be quite inflexible when it comes to my music but I've downloaded Snow Patrol,The Killers,Evanescence and a couple more of the more modern rock bands to see what they are like.It's cheap enough that if they're all crap then I can go back to my Floyd,Dylan and J Cash without having spent too much.

Time for a curry and maybe a wee pokery game or too after I've walked Nacho.He doesn't seem too bothered by all the fireworks going off round here thankfully.

Thanks for reading....

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Joy of Poker?

Made it home safely but man it's cold here.From sitting out on the balcony enjoying tempartures of 80f at night to scraping ice off the car in the morning.At least I'm off work today and not back until Monday and Rangers beat Maccabi Hafia 2-0 last night in the Uefa Cup too with Nacho scoring the first one.

To the poker and Chipper asked about how I use Sharkscope and if I pay for the full version.I do indeed pay the sub and use it to keep an eye on my own progress and also to check out the competition.At Crypto sites where the sng's fill more slowly I use it to get a flavour of the table before I join but mainly I use it to get the whole tables stats ( after an orbit or two).It's also great for shutting up the table big mouth as they are usually losers according to Sharky and at least twice now said big mouth has admitted they lose and even starting wittering on about their other gambling habits and generally behaving like it's a GA meeting.It's also good for determining which players can be bluffed and are capable of laying down a hand ( usually not the big fishy losers) and overall I find it well worth the money.

I titled the post "The Joy of Poker" because it's a subject I gave a lot of thought to whilst I was away sunning myself in Sharm.I've now completed two years of real money online poker and find myself wondering how much fun I actually have playing poker.There certainly are one or two hands most nights where I feel happy that I've outplayed the villian and used my poker knowledge and experience to triumph but in general ( at 6 max $50 nl) it's fairly basic predictable poker that seems to win the money.I suppose too that success can equal fun at poker and the last few months have been fairly lean and tough at times and we all know repeated beats and nasty variance just aint no fun at all.

The answer to the fun quest may simply be to play more sngs and Mtt's as they ( esp sng's) seem so much less of a grind than 6 max cash games.Maybe it's the knockout factor or the escalating blinds but there's something about tourneys I enjoy a lot more than I'd have thought possible when I used to play them simply to get a break from the cash game grind.Still it's cash for dough and sng's for show so the saying goes and I wont be leaving the cash tables behind as I move into my 3rd year of real money poker.

We arrived back home late on last night and after a long flight Mrs A went to bed and I fired up Pokerroom to see how rusty I was.In my first $5 turbo I went out on the first hand when my 96 soooted didn't make a flush and the villian didn't fold to my "move".I launched into another and made the bubble this time again crashing after failed "move".By this time I was so tired I could hardly focus and went to bed for a long long sleep.

Ok,that'll do for now...

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