Thursday, January 31, 2008

Monthly Stats Update

We won 2-0 last night to reach the League Cup final.Hampden park was dang cold though!

I popped over to the ex's afterwards and enjoyed looking after Step A until midnight.I did play one $6 turb but ran Tens into Aces to go out 7th.

When I arrived home it was getting late and I didn't feel like sitting down to play a tourney for an hour so I decided to hit a cash table...

It's been a couple of months since I last played a decent cash session and I felt quite rusty at first.It was only $50nl on Stars but it just seemed like one of those nights.I was card dead until I raised JJ and was reraised preflop.I had to fold that on a Queen high flop.

After more rubbish cards I finally began to get into the swing of it and when my 99 flopped a set I could see the $$ signs in front of my eyes.Sadly the villain had flopped a set of queens and it was bye bye buy-in.

I've written before about enjoying a wee smoke ( of da herb) when at the virtual tables and I came across an interesting article from the Metro today.It said that solving problems is really down to keeping an open mind.Brain scans show that volunteers who hit a mental block during verbal tests gave off strong gamma rays,which are linked with being focused and alert.However,those with high alpha rhythms - which are linked to a relaxed brain - were more likely to hit on the correct solution.

I think I'm heading out tomorrow night so I may not make the RTR league game.I will be hitting the tables tonight for a while as I only require 15 vpp's to hit silver status on Stars.When I played cash I never really made much in bonuses because I always chose table selection across a few sites ahead of earning player points at one site only.I'm not sure exactly what being a silver vip entails but the chance to double the speed I earn player points sounds good to me.

Stats are as follows: Pokerstars $2742 ( + $1001) ,Bet 365 $580 ( + 30),Party $1584 ( - $30),Full Tilt $467 ( + $43),Pokerroom $36 ( =),Ladbrokes $1593 ( - $7).
Total is $7002. ( + $1037 since Dec 31st).

After making almost exactly $4k per year for the last three years,I've now made $2192 in my first quarter of this year.( my real money anniversary is Oct 31st)
I don't want to get carried away after a good month but I really hope to hit the $4k profit mark within 6 months this time.I didn't ever think sng's could be as profitable as they are currently proving and for now I'll probably stick with them for the most part.

Ok,thanks for reading and thanks also to the 325 people so far, who have taken the time to view the poker video I made.

Back soon...

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cmon the Gers...

I've not played too much poker over the last couple of evenings,preferring to watch football and some cardrunners videos.

I'm a bit disapointed Rangers have sold Alan Hutton to Mr Clouds team,Spurs.I just hope our chairman gives the manager the £9m to spend on new players and we can add some quailty to the side.I'm off to Hampden tonight for the league cup semi v Hammerheids team,Hearts.I'm still hoping for a last minute Glasgow heatwave ( unlikely in January) as my seat is quite near the front in the Rangers end and totally exposed to the wind and rain.

I haven't had too much joy in the pokey games I have played in.Tuesday's donk of the night called my c-bet bluff ( 6bb preflop raise and 3/4 pot size bet on flop)with K4 on an 8 5 5 rainbow flop,hitting a 4 on the river to beat my AQ.Sure he had outs, but what the heck was he doing in the pot in the first place?! Donating Sklansky Dollars I suppose...

Rosie and I played a few $6 turbs last night before trying some HU sngs for a change.I won my first wee $2.20 game before losing a $6 and then winning a 4 person $6 for a small profit.It was strange starting a HU game with low blinds but I quite enjoyed the experience and my opponents were hopeless players.

Righty I'm off to the game...

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Bloggament Donkaments

I warmed up yesterday by crashing out of a couple of $6 turbs before joining my fellow donks for the Bloggerment at 9pm on Stars.Sadly Rosie couldn't repeat last weeks win and was first out after running JJ into AA.

I doubled up after a slightly rash push with AQ soooted against JJ and battled to stay within touching distance at a tough table after that.Congrats to Amatay for taking it down.He was a tough opponent as usual and I had to make a few moves to stay afloat and combat his aggression.I ended up shoving KJ when three handed and ran into his A7.I've no problem with the call as I'm sure he expected me to be shoving light as I was the shortstack with three left and he had me well covered.

Next I hit up a set of four $16 turb's and crashed out of them all,bubbling in the last two.It seems like there is an unwritten rule which says the shortstack in these situations will always double up unless it's feckin' me! I realise AQ v 64 o/s is not exactly 95% favourite but watching the shorty river a 6 after a donkey call wasn't pleasant.

I joined Rosie for a few $6 ,18 player turbos and made the money a couple of times.Rosie played well and won two back to back ,beating me HU for one of them.

I removed my blindfold after that HU game (hehe)and hit up two more $16's before bed and took one down to leave me ahead for the night.I think I went to bed trying to work out how many turbs I'd need to play at $3 profit per game to be able to quit my job or job share at least! ( usual Sunday night thoughts before the dreaded Monday morning)

I seem to be able to 3-4 table now without too much difficulty but I'd really need to step that up to at least 6 at once to make decent dough.

I'll be updating my monthly stats soon and for the first time in a few years ( look away now variance gods) it feels like I'm heading towards making more than the my usual $4k per year.Perhaps my belief in tourneys for show and cash for dough may be mistaken.I used to hate sng's and used them as a distraction from my usual cash games, but over the last year I've found myself playing them far more often.

Right picking Nacho up tonight,off to Hampden on Wed night to watch the Gers and no doubt I'll find time to hit the tables too...

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bloggerment 44 Open

I still wasn't feeling great yesterday evening and if I'd been sensible I'd probably have been in bed for 10pm.I'm not guilty of being sensible too often though and last night was no exception!

I began my pokery fun by crashing out of a couple of $16 turbos before doing the same at a $25 mtt on Littlewoods where I have a little cash for the Raisetheriver games.

Oh, I also crashed out of Fridays RTR league game, when, just for a change,I ran into AA ,as it appears I'm destined to do in most Blogger/forum games!

I took a break to watch Match of the Day and thoroughly enjoyed watching the highlights of Havant & Waterlooville's game with Liverpool in the FA Cup.When I was at the Gers game yesterday there were whispers going around Ibrox that the part-timers, Havant, had taken the lead and for Liverpool to equalize, only to see Havant retake the lead was almost unbelievable.5-2 in the end to the Premiership side but hats off to Havant for putting up such a fine showing.That is what football is all about.

Back to the poker and despite more endless suckouts I managed to make over $300 from 28 games in total to help wipe out Friday nights deficit.As always, I feel it should have been a lot more.I stuck to playing four tables at a time and found it easier as I had some reads on the villains to go with.My last set of games was particularly frustrating as I had big stacks at 3/4 tables but only managed to win one.According to Startracker I get in the money in 26% of the 18 player turbos I play in. I suppose cashing in 2/8 ( from two sets of four games)is actually ok despite how it feels.It's hard to keep the faith in your game when it's 0/8 and the next 4 start badly but there's no point in whining about it.If you can't stand the heat,get out of the kitchen eh.

I think I can be quite tough mentally most of the time when it comes to poker, but I seem to need to be warmed up first by playing a few games to get myself to the stage where I can just accept the wave of nausea that comes after a bad beat, and move on the the next hand/game without dwelling on it.

Unless I get off to a great start, I never seem to enjoy the first few games I play most nights, as I find it takes me a bit of time to get into the flow of it and play my best game.I make most decisions almost on auto-pilot a lot of the time, but it's those games at the beginning of the night where I'm most hesitant.Perhaps if I worked off some kind of fixed starting hand chart it would be easier, but that's not my style and poker is so situational that it never will be the way I play.

It's the "it depends" reason which probably stops me being more active on forums re discussing hand histories.For example when written down,a hand may look like an ICM auto-shove in a bubble situation, but if the villain is a donk calling any two cards with a huge range then perhaps the "right play" becomes more questionable.I've mentioned before I'd to to war preflop with Tens or better in my 18 player turbos preflop and most of the time that serves me well.Last night though I lost with Tens and Jacks after preflop all in's against bigger pairs.At first glance that's just one of these things which happens,however a deeper look revealed the two reraisers in both cases (I'd made a 5bb preflop raise)were both solid regular players and my auto-shoves should have been more carefully thought through against them.

Ok,that's enough witterings for a Sunday!

Don't forget to register for tonights Bloggerment on Stars at 9pm gmt/4 pm est.It's only $5.50,open to all bloggers and the password is donkament as usual....

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Back on the wheel

Thanks to Mr Cloud and Dudley for the feedback on the poker video.According to screencast stats nearly 120 people have watched it so far, which I certainly didn't expect.

Maybe I should have renamed it the Hamsters poker video.That's what one of my colleagues at work compared me to, as I'm always looking as if I'm about to fall asleep during the day! I also nearly crashed my car the other morning due to feeling half asleep.Some early nights ahead this week...

Just back from Ibrox where Rangers beat St Mirren 4-0 to go seven points clear at the top of the league.( our rivals play tomorrow)

George Burley was appointed Scotland manager last week and there have been a few dissenting voices on the phone-ins over his choice of ex England captain,Terry Butcher,as his assistant.There's talk of a friendly with England at the end of May and although it would be strange seeing Butcher in a Scotland tracksuit,I don't doubt he's a great motivator who knows all about Scottish football and I'm 100% behind him getting the number two job.

Sticking with sport,I believe there's a small US football game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants on Feb 3rd.I've never really understood or enjoyed the stop/start nature of US football, but apparently a Scotsman, Lawrence Tynes,took the winning kick for the Giants to get them to the Superbowl final.I read last week that he's a big fan of celtc and dreamt of playing for them as a boy.As a neutral that makes my choice to win easy...Come on the Pats!!

I had a poor night at the tables last night.I have a touch of man-flu and and I should probably have rested my aching bones instead of playing until past 5am.The chair glue that seems to keep me playing had bonded fast though and after a terrible start ,I was determined to recoup some losses before bed.I wasn't in a good mood to begin with and illness,tiredness and being cheesed off are not factors usually associated with winning money at poker.

Rosie and I played an $11 mtt at Stars which didn't go well for either of us, before I began multi-tabling the $16's,playing six and sometimes eight at the same time.Some of the beats I took were almost laughable.My bad mood meant I was feeling too emotional about my game which I think I let affect my play a little.I've never muttered "unbefuckinglievable" so often as yet another premium pair was two outered by the time the river card arrived.

In the end I only lost $130 over 30 sng's and did manage a reasonable last hour with a couple of 2nd place $27 turbo finishes ensuring my roll didn't take too big a hit.I must have finished on the bubble at least three or four times last night and had plenty of 6th and 7th place nightmares too.

Although I felt I ran quite badly, it was the first time I'd eight tabled at $16 and I suppose there's always going to be a drop in roi and an adjustment period required.Having a high roi is always good for confidence reasons, but it's playing as many as possible that makes money in sng's and I'm trying to switch my focus slightly at times to reflect that.

Still,it may have seemed like a bad night however I'll bet I slept better than Jerome Kerviel did last night!

How many bb/hour is he down after trading his way to a £3.7 Billion deficit on the stock market?

He's gonna need a few first place finishes in $16 turbo's to get out of that one....

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Acornman $6.50 turbo,9 player, poker video

I was bored last week when I was off sick and decided to make a poker video.Of course being a tight git I used free trial software so thankfully my attempt should self-destruct within 30-60 days!

Credentials: I don't claim to be a great turbo sng player but I do beat the $16 and under game.


1)This was a $6.50,9 player turbo on Full Tilt and is fairly standard stuff with nothing new for anybody but sng/turbo newbies so don't expect much! Maybe this is why I used the word "obviously" dozens of times.

2)I thought Buddhabob had raised when I had KK.He actually only limped!

3) Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.I'm aware for example that Sheets on pxf strongly advocates raising 3bb + 1 for any limpers in sngs, but I find at turbo donkfests below $16,I need to raise more to narrow the field.I didn't talk much about bet sizes but I do like to mix it up to keep the villains guessing.

4) I talk about not stealing because the blinds were not very high at one point and then steal on next hand.This was simply because I felt my image and the situation justified it.There's nothing set in stone in poker.

5) The betting isn't clear on the Jc10c hand I held because someone popped up on my IM and I had to edit that out! For the record I shoved and he called with his A9.

Ok,see it here or below.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Long and short of it..

I've no problem with naming the donkey involved here as he had the good grace to give it the big FU in the chatbox after this suckout..

Short term variance:

PokerStars Game #14751779761: Tournament #74782866, $15+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2008/01/22 - 19:21:57 (ET)
Table '74782866 2' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: Chritan (3100 in chips)
Seat 2: headgame62 (1480 in chips)
Seat 3: joti 50 (1480 in chips)
Seat 5: kostas86 (1480 in chips)
Seat 6: WXLM1023 (1480 in chips)
Seat 7: zagga (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: Jobber2001 (1480 in chips)
Seat 9: kevinlud (1500 in chips)
joti 50: posts small blind 10
kostas86: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zagga [Ts 9h]
WXLM1023: raises 40 to 60
zagga: folds
Jobber2001: folds
kevinlud: folds
Chritan: raises 140 to 200
headgame62: calls 200
joti 50: raises 1280 to 1480 and is all-in
kostas86: folds
WXLM1023: calls 1420 and is all-in
Chritan: calls 1280
headgame62: calls 1280 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [Qd Qs 4h]
*** TURN *** [Qd Qs 4h] [8h]
*** RIVER *** [Qd Qs 4h 8h] [Jh]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
joti 50: shows [9s 9d] (two pair, Queens and Nines)
WXLM1023: shows [Kc Kh] (two pair, Kings and Queens)
Chritan: shows [Ac Ad] (two pair, Aces and Queens)
headgame62: shows [Qc 8c] (a full house, Queens full of Eights)
headgame62 collected 5940 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 5940 | Rake 0
Board [Qd Qs 4h 8h Jh]
Seat 1: Chritan showed [Ac Ad] and lost with two pair, Aces and Queens
Seat 2: headgame62 (button) showed [Qc 8c] and won (5940) with a full house, Queens full of Eights
Seat 3: joti 50 (small blind) showed [9s 9d] and lost with two pair, Queens and Nines
Seat 5: kostas86 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: WXLM1023 showed [Kc Kh] and lost with two pair, Kings and Queens
Seat 7: zagga folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Jobber2001 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: kevinlud folded before Flop (didn't bet)

The long run:

headgame62 1,081 -$4 $7 -47% -$3,996 Tilt

I didn't have much fun at the tables on Monday night.I managed to go 0/8 ( super tilt form according to sharkscope)and only one scraped second place finish meant it wasn't a total disaster.I won't bore you with the beats but they just came one after another and I felt as if my luck would never change.

I was determined to get back on the horse last night but seemed to run into the same wall of bad beats and better hands.I managed to run JJ into KK three times and into QQ once, before headgame62 ( huge donkey) beat my JJ yet again ,this time with his A2.

I was then looking good to win my next game when a shortstack got lucky about five times in a row and before I know it I'd crashed out horribly yet again.( scraped 4th at least to break my duck)

By this time I was extremely hacked off with my luck ,very tired and feeling like I would never win another hand.

My cousin popped over to pick up a ticket for tonights Rangers game and thankfully I managed to win my last game of the night.I actually got lucky after making a slightly tilty call.I'd raised with AQ soooted and a solid regular shoved.I'd just crashed out another game to a sick one and called off my stack with that AQc v the solid players QQ... and hit my flush.It felt like I was due that one but of course poker doesn't work that way.

Tonight I'm off to see Rangers play East Stirling in a league cup tie at Ibrox and will be heading over to look after Step A afterwards until the ex gets home from work around 12am.The ex does now have a net connection and I may get a wee game there, but a night off from the relentless nature of the turbs may be a better idea....

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Rosie takes the Bloggerment down

Congrats to Rosie for taking down the bloggerment last night after a fine display of poker! Maybe I’m biased but I thought it was a very well deserved win! Well done sweetheart!

I crashed out in 9th after shoving the hammer ( 72) and having it badly sucked out on by Cogs and his AQ.I didn’t play too many significant hands, but I did make a tough laydown to Cell preflop for the 2nd week in a row.Next week I shove….

Great to see Surflexus and Katitude make the game too.Rosie and I were just chatting the other day about how good Surf’s latest post was ( the one with the excellent Gary Player quote) and although I’m sure he outplayed me a couple of times, I enjoyed the learning experience!

I did make one glaring error which annoyed me.Dudley had limped in along with Kat in the small blind and I checked in the bb with K5.The flop was a 456 rainbow and I decided Dudley would probably bet from the button with a wide range, and that a check raise would probably take it down.Dudley did bet,Kat folded and I check called my 2nd pair to the river where Dudleys 89 caught a 9 to win.Poorly played by me on every street…

I didn’t really batter the turbo’s at the weekend.On Sat night I paid $25+$2 on Littlewoods ( I have a little cash there to play rtr games) to play in their $5k gtd mtt with Rosie.I’ve never been an mtt fan and this experience did nothing to change that. I did prefer paying a slightly higher entry fee than I would usually though, as it meant the field was only 237 and my chances were a bit better.I came 17th for $59 after about 27 days non-stop play ( maybe just seemed that way) after going out when my 33 was insta-called by K8.Nh sir!

Last night after the bloggerment I decided to play a few $16 turbos.Don’t tell anyone but the $16,18 player games are populated by so many bad players you would be hard pushed to realise it’s a real money game at times.That’s the good news.The bad news is that they have to be the most vicious ,cruel ,soul sucking form of poker ever invented, and sometimes the beats just seem to be relentless and never ending.

I don’t steam or tilt often in these games though, because I’m just so stubbornly determined that I will not allow fish getting lucky to put me off my game, and stop me making the good decisions which lead to profit.Sure, I feel utterly sick for about 5 minutes after a suckout, but I wont waste energy getting too upset at dealing with something which has happened and I can’t change.

Anyway the bottom line was that I bombed out of five $16’s and scraped a win in my last one of the night.I also joined Rosie at a couple of $50 nl full ring tables and lost about $30 before heading to bed at 3am.( silly on a work night as I start the week exhausted).I read Doubleas latest excellent post where he writes about getting 5 hours sleep per night and catching up with 12-14 hours of sleep every couple of weeks.I know that feeling!

Ok,thanks for reading.Back later in the week..

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Going to bed = +ev

Last nights poker began with an early exit from the RTR league game when Burnley Mik cracked my Aces with his 66.( 6 on flop,I didn't get away from it)

I was extremely tired and didn't feel like launching into $16 multi-tabling mode, so I joined Rosie for a few wee £3 standard speed games at Littlewoods where the play was even worse than the Stars $6.50 and $16 games.

I managed a win,two seconds and a crashout from four games, but the slow speed of the games was beginning to grind me down, so I hit the $16's afterwards where I managed to win one and crash out of five for a small profit overall.I didn't play well in the last two games.It was now 4am and I didn't feel I had much pokery fight left in me.Usually I can rally myself and play the next game with a determined to make the right choices attitude, but my eyes were almost shut and my motivation had gone, so I hit the sack instead.

I suppose winning poker is sometimes about knowing when not to play.I played a ton last weekend but not very much during the evenings over the last week.Tiredness and lack of motivation were the main reasons.Too often in the past I've fired up tables just because ..well probably because I'm a poker degenerate.The point is I've not fired them up because I was in the mood to play good poker.I can play most of the low limit turbo games almost on auto-pilot, but in poker every edge is vital and giving up part of that edge by mindless surfing etc while playing, or by just being too tired to make good decisions ,is like leaving money on the table and I hate leaving my money anywhere, apart from my moth filled wallet.

Ok,I've had a wee lie in today and I'm off to pick Nacho up before coming home and hitting the tabs...

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Raising Air

Not much to report from yesterdays poker after I played for a couple of hours last night and broke even.I dabbled back at the cash tables for a while before joining Juice for a couple of $16 turbs.In the first one I picked up the Nolan sisters ( QQ) very early on and after a raise and call before me,I shoved and faced 99 and AK ,with the Ace on the river sending me out.

I was 6th in the next one and came 3rd in the last one I played in.Actually the last one had an amusing moment when one of the better regulars ( A void in me) had pushed with q6 when it had folded to him and unfortunately for him, he was called by a better hand.Some muppet typed “q6?” in the chat as if a mistake had been made when in reality Mr Void was the short-stack,the blinds were high and it had been folded to him.I’d been lucky enough to get a couple of my fresh air steals through, but I was still tempted to write “q6?,yeah what a donk” in the chat to deflect from the fact I was playing in a similar way!

It was actually quite reassuring to see a solid regular push with nothing as doing so seems to be one of the secrets of winning in these games.It’s certainly better to shove with nothing while you still have fold equity, rather than wait and simply be blinded down.It was probably an ICM ( independent chip model) decision from Mr Void.

Although I’ve read some excellent ICM articles, ( see planet gong for more) I’m not a maths person at all and make most of my plays based on the situation,instinct and experience.Certainly on occasion I wish I did know ICM inside out as I’m left timing out on a crucial decision, but most of the time ( certainly at $16) I feel quite comfortable just applying the basic principles.

Tonights plan is maybe steal a wee ½ hour nap before playing in the raisetheriver league game at 9pm.I’m looking forward to a nice chilled out weekend.

Don’t forget Sunday is Bloggerment day on Stars and the tourney is now open for registration.It’s under the private tourney tab,password is donkament and it’s open to all bloggers and readers as always.( $5.50 entry fee)

Enjoy the weekend....

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'd love it if we beat them...

I stayed off work on Tuesday but didn’t actually play very much poker at all.I won a wee $6 turbo on Full Tilt before bubbling an $11 game there.Stars followed and I bombed a $6 and came 2nd in a $16 turb, before spending the rest of my day reading forums and watching cardrunners videos.

Yesterday I struggled back to work and later I watched Rangers beat Gretna 2-1 to go four points clear at the top of the league.We didn’t play well but it’s winning those type of games which can make the difference at the end of the season.On the subject of football I couldn’t believe the news that Keegan has gone back to Newcastle.I don’t see it working out, but best of luck to the Geordies.If he can reproduce the style of football they played under him previously ,they will be at least be entertained.Those 4-3 games with Liverpool from a decade ago still stick out in my mind as a couple of the best I’ve seen.

I remember watching his famous rant ( below) live on Sky sports after wily old Alex Ferguson had wound him up by claiming teams didn't try as hard against Newcastle as they did against Fergies' Manchester United team.

After the football I popped over to the ex’s place to look after Step A.She has been quite cheeky with me recently but last night we had a good long chat on everything from films to the boy she fancies in her class.My advice was to get her friends to speak to his friends to ensure there’s no embarrassing KB.( although apparently kids don’t use the term “knockback” anymore).I’d rather my advice had been to focus on working hard and to forget about boys until she’s at least 30 but I have to be realistic I suppose!

I intended on a quick chat on the IM when I got home and then bed but I ended up railing Rosie in an MTT until 3am and it’s left me feeling just a little tired today.

Tonight I’m picking Nacho up after work and cooking up one of my exotic M n S ready made meals.After that I may just hit the tables and I'd love it if I won....

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Leaderboard:Top Ten

It's probably not a lot to shout about considering the poor quality of much of the opposition, ( what was that quote about "even if you win a race at the Special're still retarded"?)but as a cash game player who began on Stars with $15 about a year ago ,I'm quite please that ( however temporarily) I've made the top 10 on the Sharkscope leader board for the $6-$16 turbo two table games I play in.

I began a post for today with the two bad beats which knocked me out of my first two turbo's last night, but I went on to bag a few seconds and a win so I'm not going to whine.I expect as is the law of sod ,that I'll be back complaining about a long barren run in these turbo's soon enough, so I'm going to enjoy being on the leaderboard while it lasts.

I also played a little $50nl ( broke even)too last night and as much as I currently prefer sng's,I'm don't want to stay away from the 6 max cash tables altogether, as those have been my main source of profit since I began playing.I still believe its "tourneys for show,cash for dough"!

Something I have taken from recent turbo games is that it really is possible to come back from the proverbial chip and a chair.When I used to get low on chips ( under 200 for example)I'd pretty much throw them away and prepare for the next game, but twice recently I've come back from 85 and 145 chips to make the money and although I had to get lucky initially,once I'd doubled through to around 200-300 chips ,I suddenly had a tiny bit of fold equity against starting stacks and could build from there.It won't work every time but even if you can comeback 1 time from 5,it will increase that all important bottom line figure.

Ok,I'm off to get my Aces cracked 19 times in a row....

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Monday, January 14, 2008


Yesterday I took Nacho a long walk,picked Step A up,hit the supermarket and had dinner with the ex and Step A before having a laugh looking up talking dogs on youtube with the wee one.

I may call her the "wee one" but she is growing up fast now and everything and everyone is currently gay and life is just so unfair.The ex and I also played her a wee clip of Harry Enfields "Kevin the teenager" as she seems to have turned into Kevina over the last few months...

I played the Bloggerment with a fairly carefree attitude this week as the Sun Million began half an hour into it and I wanted to give it as much focus and attention as possible.Congrats to Cogsgoine who won it from Juice in 2nd place.( I bubbled in 4th)

I arrived at my Sun Mill table and noticed one pro,Noah Boeken ( screenname:EXCLUSIVE)and decided I wouldn't be donking off my chips to him later...

My first hand under the gun ( first to act) was AK and I nearly shat a brick.I kept telling myself it had only cost me $2 to get into the game but the fact was that I had no idea of the kind of bet sizes etc to expect at that kind of level and had no real feel anyway for how to play the various stages of a big buy-in Mtt.I raised 4bb and they all folded.Ressssssult!

I then went completely card dead almost until the 1st break where I raised with KJ from mid to late and also raised AQ uncontested.I did play A5c from the blinds and was too scared to go with my instinct to check raise the pro who made a position bet when checked to him on an AQ10 board ( 2 hearts).I just didn't want to crash out with an Ace rag type hand!

After the break I wanted to use my tight (probably only one at table not to have seen a flop) image to my advantage and try and loosen myself and my game up a little.I was enjoying the buzz of playing in such a big game and was just hoping to actually catch a card or two to allow me to try and make an impact.

Finally I'm dealt 1010 in the big blind.It all seems a bit hazy now but I think there were a couple of limpers ( including the pro) and I made a decent sized bet.The newly arrived big stack at the table called and the pro made a big reraise.Now in my defence the pro had been very active at the table and had shown down 33 v a much higher pair earlier on but his limp/reraise screamed monster and yet a sudden rush of "newbie caught in the headlights" blood saw me call and crash out to his KK.I was hoping for 22-99 or at worst a flip with AJ-AK and instead was bounced out by someone who played me perfectly.Why would he limp and then reraise the tables tightest player? Doh!

It was good experience though and despite my poor showing I would certainly like another go at it at some point and have already checked out the satellites.

I wasn't in the greatest of moods afterwards and hit up the turbo's winning a wee $6 I played with Juice and crashing out of the other.Juice headed off and I decided to get back to my comfort zone and play some $16 turbs.

Something I picked up from a Jackal69 video on cardrunners is that when the blinds are med-high in turbo's ( and the table is not all donks calling with any two cards) I can steal blinds with marginal hands by making smaller bets and can still fold if someone comes over the top of my bet.At really fishy tables I'll stick to betting big to get the message across but I've found that 2-3 bb bet sizes ( and doing the same with monsters) can quite often get the job done.

Anyway,I had an awful start.After going out the Sun Mill with 1010 they seemed to haunt me.My KK was beaten by 1010 before I hit a 10 on the flop v KK ( I had the tens this time) ,only for a rivered K to knock me out of that one too.I couldn't win a race to save myself and was losing to such poor hands at times that the villains were discussing them in the chatboxes!

I should probably have gone to bed but I'm a stubborn git and knew I was just running badly and that if I kept making the right decisions I could at least recover some losses.I won a couple and scraped a 3rd and 4th before going to bed $175 up from 25 games.

Now it may not last, and it is only over 966 games, but I'm quite pleased that my sng expolits have finally earned me a wee shark symobol next to my name on Sharkscope.I've read that you need 2000-5000 games ( with 1k a min starting point) to have any real idea of a realistic roi figure and I expect if I keep 4 tabling the shark will go, but it's certainly a nice wee boost to my poker confidence.

I'm still feeling the last of that bug and have stayed off work today.Off to pick Nacho up just now and have a nice chilled day.

Oh and if you were the person who found my blog yesterday after googling "jokerstars repeated suckout bad beats" I hope your luck has turned.....

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bring on the Sunday Million!

Maybe it is just ...

Maybe this is my head....

Perhaps this will happen when I shove all in with the hammer ( 72 ) preflop on the first hand...

However I still reckon I'm going to take a shot at tonights Sunday Million Multi-table tournament with my $2.20 winning satellite ticket.I've checked today and when I unregister for the Million I get a refund in "tourney $$" which means whenever I go to log on for my usual $16 ,18 player game,the $16 comes off my $216 tourney $$ and not from my Stars bankroll.

I have enough to play $16's already at Stars and although seven $27 turbos is a tempting way to spend it,I know from experience I could quite easily go on a 0/7 run and be left wishing I'd taken my shot at the big one.

I also very rarely takes shots at anything in poker,preferring to be over bankrolled for all of my games, because I like the psychological cushion I have through knowing even a very very bad run at my level wont hurt too much.

The downside to me playing in the big one today is that despite Tan and Mr Clouds kind words and encouragement,I have very little Multi-table standard speed game experience.In my 3 1/4 years of real money play I would guess that I've probably played in less than one hundred.I've had a few small cashes previously mainly in player point games I've qualified for through my cash game play, but this would be a huge step up and I'm not sure my mtt game is anywhere near being good enough to have a chance of cashing.

The bottom line is though that it's costing me $2.20 and I'm going to keep that at the forefront of my mind no matter how I donk out!

To last nights poker and I managed to squeeze in 25 games by the time I went to bed at 5am.I began by hitting a wall of bad beats and nasty suckouts, but I scraped a couple of 3rd places ( usual $16 ,18 player turbos) to keep me afloat.I took a wee break and came 2nd ( Mr Edge 3rd) in a standard speed $10 sng before heading back to soul sucking turbo land.After about 22 games I was just about breaking even, although I felt that I was right in the zone and playing good poker.Thankfully a few hands held up and I managed to win my last two $16's for a decent overall profit for the night.

I'm also feeling a bit better today, although I reckon I'll probably stay off work tomorrow as I'm only just eating properly again and this nurovirus is supposed to be highly contagious for aprox 48 hours after symptoms vanish.

The Rangers game was called off today due to a water-logged pitch which means the Old Firm game ( Rangers v celtc )will probably be delayed until March now.

I've also been discussing my Mums home game with her and I reckon Feb would be a better month for it, as a week this Friday isn't really enough notice and I've been too unorganised to round up most of the usual suspects.

Ok,don't forget tonights really big game on Pokerstars is the Bloggerment at 9pm gmt/4pm est.Password is donkament as usual and everyone is welcome to play in it...

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Zagga's excellent adventure

I make a point of not posting after my taking my herbal medicine but I'm gonna make an exception tonight :-)

My stomach is still killing me and I've hardly eaten a thing, but I decided to hit the tables this afternoon.I won my first $11 turb at Full Tilt before getting my 99 rivered by 88 in the next game.

Feeling slighlty pissed off with that, I hit up a wee Stars $2.20 ,216 player qualifier (73379130,top two qualify) for the Sunday Million,thinking it would a quick way to blow off some steam.A decent start and and my favourite railbird being around soon brightened me up.

I won the first game,and the second, and soon arrived at the fishiest final table it's ever been my pleasure to donk at.Even at the low blind levels the 6 max table was weak with lots of min raises and limping.I was short stack for a while, before 99 held v QK ,and finally when we were down to the bubble once again,my 99 beat the donkey short-stack and his a6.

I'm delighted with my Sun Mill entry but unsure if I should take my shot or use it for sng's.( A wise person told me I can cash it in for tourney tokens).Still ,whatever I decide it looks dang fine seeing my name registered for it on Sunday.

Ok,10 past eight and still feelin' crappy.Time to attempt to keep down some dinner and hit the Raisetheriver league forum league game.( see banner on right for rtr link)

May the flop be with you,unless yer in a pot with me....

Oh and don't forget to register for Sundays Bloggerment on Stars at 9pm gmt/4pm est.It's only $5.50 and the password is donkament.Find it under the private tourney tab.All bloggers and readers ( you!) welcome....

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Thursday, January 10, 2008


Didn't sleep at all last night and I seem to have caught the winter vomit bug that's been going about.Jeez,I thought man flu was bad!

Obviously phoned in sick this morning and I'll be spending tomorrow in bed too.

All that lovely Marks n Spencer grub in the fridge and I can barely keep down half a piece of toast.

Still,at least I'm not feeling sorry for myself...!

Anyway for decent poker content check out the fine blogs on the right.

Back to bed for me...

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No flight...still jet lagged!

Thanks to all who turned out to play in the Bloggerment on Sunday and congrats to Splunk1, who took it down.

I scraped into the money with a 3rd place finish, although by the time were three-handed I was quite short-stacked and was eventually forced to shove unsuccessfully with 104 sooted before I ran completely out of fold equity.

I did play a couple of interesting hands along the way.See High on Poker for Jordans excellent analysis of one of them.The other interesting one was where I made a pot odds call ( getting 3-1 from memory) with 910 and got lucky against Wee Gems dominating hand.

I haven’t had much luck in blogger tourneys recently and although 3rd place was in the money I had a good think about why I didn’t go on and take it down.The conclusion I came to is that I didn’t take enough risks to build further when I had a big stack at one point, and instead stuck to my usual 18 player turbo type gameplan where I always aim to make the money first.That plan seems to work as I’ve more first place finishes than any other position in these 18 player games ( mostly $16).Next time though,I play to win!

I played a wee $6.50 ,18 player turbo with Juice afterwards and took it down to make it three wins in a row in these wee turbos.It may only be a $6.50 game but I don’t think I’ve ever won 3 sng’s in a row.( sometimes feels like I can’t win 3 hands in a row!)

After my first day back at work yesterday I was feeling almost jet-lagged with tiredness and didn’t feel like playing any poker at all last night.I wasn’t completely sick of of the game and did enjoy watching the huge cash game on Sky sports featuring a table of top pro’s.I enjoyed Phil Ivey being interviewed not long after losing big pot and being asked “what the problem was” only for him to reply that there was no problem and that fluctuations were to be expected over a four hour session.Poker isn’t like many other pursuits where if you lose it’s always because you played badly.I reckon that’s what makes it so mentally taxing.

Tonight I’ll be watching the Rangers game and will only be playing poker afterwards if I feel motivated.I will be downloading a few cardrunners videos for tomorrow night as I’m heading to the ex’s to look after Step A for the evening.

Ok,thanks for reading.Back later in the week..

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Eat my raise

The s-man was over last night,although this time without his Play Station 3 and Call of Duty 4.You can't beat getting called a "pussy faggot" online by some 12yr old kid as he merrily walks past and cuts your throat, as you're frantically spinning around wildly, trying to fire some rocket launcher which takes 1/2hr to load...

On the subject of wild kids, I did witness one funny moment in Sainsburys the other day when a wee girl aged around three suddenly piped up with "well if he does that again, I'm just going to stab him in the neck".Cue the shocked Mother asking where that came from and when told,"Jackie",assured the young kid in not very convincing tones that "Jackie" ( whoever she was) would never utter such a terrible phrase.I left the kid adamantly advocating the case that "Jackie" did indeed utter such words!

Grrr, my mobile phone is doing my nut in.Texts are sometimes taking ages to get through and although I'm not one of those 1000 text messages per day maniacs,if someone sends one, I do like to actually know about it and be able to read it!Sometimes it matters more than others.One that was sent at 4.15am last night finally got here at 4.25pm today! Be quicker to stick a stamp on it...

To the poker and after showing the s-man a little of Dauts 20 table video from cardrunners,I fired up a record ( for me) seven tables of $1.75 ,18 player turbs to see if I could handle the pace.I made about $15 from the seven games and quite enjoyed the experience even if the play at that level is barely a step up from play money.

After the s-man left, I joined Rosie and Juice for a few wee turbo sng's and I managed to win two $6.50,18 player games back to back and beat Juice heads up in one of them.The heads up battle was fun but didn't last long as I was lucky enough to be dealt some big hands at the right times.( makes a feckin' change it seems!)

By 3am I was on my own and decided it had been too long since I played a cash game session and promptly lost a $50nl buy-in at Party to a flush chaser.I moved to Bet365 and fired up a $100nl 6 max table where I made the mistake of calling a shortstacks shove after I'd raised with AJ from the button.It only cost me $20 ( he had AK) but I was aware I was still in turbo mode and needed to re-adjust fast or face losing my stack.

I reloaded ( I never sit with 10% less than the max buy-in at cash tables) and won $110 for a $90 overall profit.The cardrunners videos have improved my game and made me far more confident in my reads and less fearful of monsters.( it's ok to be fearful if anyone under 5yrs is reading this!)

GAME #786484227: Texas Hold'em NL $0.50/$1.00 2008-01-06 03:43:11
Table Quorn
Seat 1: HumitoOOo ($215.83 in chips)
Seat 3: Goodnightwaltz ($169.90 in chips) DEALER
Seat 5: hopefullyimprove ($163.50 in chips)
Seat 6: Mendacity ($105.30 in chips)
Seat 8: Barelyl3gal ($100.00 in chips)
Seat 10: kallo1 ($188.45 in chips)
hopefullyimprove: Post SB $0.50
Mendacity: Post BB $1.00
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mendacity [DA S10]
Barelyl3gal: Fold
kallo1: Fold
HumitoOOo: Raise $4.00
Goodnightwaltz: Call $4.00
hopefullyimprove: Fold

>>>Only A10 but Humito has been raising a huge range of hands and I'd like to see a flop.

Mendacity: Call $3.00
*** FLOP *** [H4 C10 C3]
Mendacity: Check
>> As soon as I checked I thought I should actually have made a bet to see where I was in the hand.The problem was that if I bet and was raised he would representing a bigger pair than my TPTK ( Top pair,top kicker) and I would probably have to fold.

HumitoOOo: Bet $10.00

>>fairly standard continuation bet from him and didn't necessarily mean an overpair to the board.

Goodnightwaltz: Call $10.00

>> quick call made me think he was probably drawing.

Mendacity: Raise $28.00

>>>I decided there was a very good chance I had the best hand but it was vunerable and hoped my bet would force 'em to fold.I also like check raising hands like tptk as check raising really big hands ( sets,flopped straights etc) often looks too much like you have the big hand you are representing.

HumitoOOo: Fold
Goodnightwaltz: Fold
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $58.40 Rake $2.10
Mendacity: wins $58.40

This was the other one I took down just before going to bed.

GAME #786493169: Texas Hold'em NL $0.50/$1.00 2008-01-06 03:58:36
Table Quorn
Seat 1: HumitoOOo ($197.18 in chips)
Seat 3: Goodnightwaltz ($140.90 in chips)
Seat 5: 0ne0ut ($100.00 in chips) DEALER
Seat 6: Mendacity ($149.80 in chips)
Seat 8: Barelyl3gal ($102.60 in chips)
Seat 10: kallo1 ($183.75 in chips)
Mendacity: Post SB $0.50
Barelyl3gal: Post BB $1.00
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mendacity [SK HK]
kallo1: Fold
HumitoOOo: Raise $4.00

>> No surprise to see Humito raising again preflop.

Goodnightwaltz: Fold
0ne0ut: Fold

Mendacity: Call $3.50

>>> Out of position against many players I'd be happy to reraise here, but this villain seemed a bit fishy and was almost guaranteed to continuation bet on any flop.

Barelyl3gal: Fold
*** FLOP *** [H4 D9 HJ]
Mendacity: Check
HumitoOOo: Bet $7.00

>> standard c-bet as expected.

Mendacity: Raise $18.00

>> Happy to take it down now or build the pot as I'm fairly sure my hand is good.

HumitoOOo: Call $11.00

*** TURN *** [H10]
Mendacity: Bet $40.00

>> I've no reason to put Humito on the flush draw but I could quite easily have been checkraising such a draw myself and as I now have an overpair to the board and the King high flush draw,I'm betting to take it down now.

HumitoOOo: Call $40.00
*** RIVER *** [H7]
Mendacity: Allin $87.80

>> Was unsure of this shove afterwards, but I reckoned he was bad enough to call with many lower flushes than my King highone.I was happy when he folded and the chips came my way.

HumitoOOo: Fold
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $209.80 Rake $3.00
Mendacity: wins $209.80

After that hand I even managed to resist my "last hand/orbit syndrome" leak and went straight to bed!

Ok,off to drop Nacho off,get my dinner in and play the Bloggerment....

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bloggerment 42...

Happy New Year to all.Time to shake off the blogging rust and get back to it eh!
As per the banner, ( feel free to steal) Bloggerment 42 is now open under the "private tourney" tab at Pokerstars.Hmm I forgot to mention the game is on Sun 6th!Looking forward to the usual friendly chat and banter....

My New Year has revolved around family,friends,poker,football and late night/early morning IM chats.I've no idea how I'm going to get up for work on Monday morning as my bodyclock has got used to me going to bed at 5am and getting up around 2-ish.I even needed to hit the snooze button three times today to get up just after 1pm for the football.I'm glad I did though, as the Gers won 2-0 and we are now sitting at the top of the league with a game in hand over our rivals.

To the poker and it's felt a bit strange taking a blogging break when I've probably played more poker than ever before over the last couple of weeks.152 games over the last week,most of them my favourite $16,18 player turbos at Pokerstars.They say poker is an easy way to make a hard living and though it's not my main income,the phrase strikes me as being deadly accurate.

What could be easier than being able to get your money in the pot when statistically ahead on an almost continual basis? What could be tougher than dealing with one beat after another when those statistical probabilities seemingly fail to deliver from one game to the next.

Edit: On rereading it may look like I'm trying to make exuses for a losing week.It wasn't too bad actually! zagga 152 $2 $12 20% $273

The answer I think is to keep in mind that poker deals in tiny edges overall.You are not favourite to win five 80/20 ( say AA V 22) confrontations in a row.The muppet who called with 89 off against your AK will actually win nearly 4 times out of ten.Not 5 % of the time.Not even 10%, but nearly 40%.Over the long term your AK still has a huge edge, but on a game to game basis ,losing there is not a bad beat of any kind.

Of course this short-termism is probably what helps keep the fish at the tables and why any amateur can beat a pro on any given day if the cards fall his/her way.

Back to small edges.Here are the stats from probably the best Turbo player around at the moment:
Total games Ave profit per game Ave stake Roi Total Profit
spacegravy 29,052 $3 $38 12% $87,873 -

Now at $38 level ( his average stake) the prizes are 1st) $252 2nd) $189 3rd) $126 4th)$63 and yet the best player out there is only making $3 per game.This is because he gets the same bad beats/long runs without cashing that everyone goes through when playing turbos.There is no magic wand.Making money is never easy.You are not especially unlucky!

Now granted spacegravy has played more games than probably anyone, but does anyone think he was put off by going 0/8 games without cashing a mere ninety four times? Did he stop and question himself and his game after going 0/17 without cashing just the four times? My guess is he has enough confidence in his game to just load up some more sngs without worrying in the slightest.

My own graph is obviously over just a fraction of the number of games that spacegravy has played and shows my single runs of 12,17,21 and ( jeeez that was a nightmare) 22 games without making the money in a single sng.

My point? Hmmm does there have to be one?! I suppose it's to be resilient in the face of the repeated beats in these games.They are normal.It won't ever change, but if you keep getting your chips in the middle as favourite then profit will follow...

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