Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breaking Even....

I didn't intend to post anything today however I had a reasonable night at the felt last night and after whinging my way through most of the month I thought it would be nice to post some good news! I'm finally back to breaking even for the month on Stars after winning $160 over six $16's last night.Those six games even include one single table $16 turbo which I took down.

Here's my sng graph for the month.It looks very like last months and although variance has bitten hard recently I wonder if there's also some boredom and complacency with the $16's that means I don't really focus and play my best game at all times.

I actually started last night by playing about ten $22 single table turbos on Party and ran horribly in them.I was only two tabling but at one point I was crashing out of one when my AQ was beaten by KQ and having A9 beaten by A3 on the other table.That happened a few times and I could only shake my head and curse my luck.

I decided to finish on Party with a $33 and a $55 turb.I think I played quite well in both,managing to come third in the $33 ( AJ beaten by KQ)and winning the $55 after making a comeback from near busto after having my Aces cracked.

After all that sng fun I opened Ladbrokes and looked for a wild cash table.I found one ( $100nl) with a $44 average pot.Preflop raises of $6.50 were routinely being called by 3-4 players.My cash game is probably a bit rusty but I enjoyed my 1/2 hour of play before hitting the sack.

Today I'm watching Rangers,walking Nacho and playing me some poker! As well as the Britbloggerment and RTR league game I may also play the $1m turbo takedown on Stars for 5000 fpp's.

I've mentioned before I don't generally believe in staking other players.I've made an exception to buy a 2% stake in Amatay as he takes on a few of the bigger buy-in Mtt's.With his fine sng/cash record I'm surprised he's not just buying in himself for the full amount but I suppose these buy-ins do add up and Mtt variance is real biatch.

I've not played another $55 mtt since cashing back in the only one I've ever played back in July.My biggest cash by far this month was the $1500 Britblogger Mtt.Perhaps I need to think about giving them a real go.

Ok,thanks for reading.Back during the week at some point....

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tilt Control + Confidence

The ex Mrs A popped round last night to clean the flat.After grabbing a pizza and dropping her off I headed home to hit the virtual felt.Thankfully my man flu is getting better and only a nasty chesty cough remains.

I ended up messing around reading forums and watching poker clips before eventually firing up a couple of $16's just as the US presidential debate started at 2am.I don't follow US politics closely.Obama reminds a bit of Blair in '97 although I'd probably favour him over another Bush clone.In the debate itself I felt McCain came across as the stronger more sure footed candidate but I didn't find either man very inspiring.

At the tables I crashed out of the first $16 when my AK fell to A8.In my other game I had about 1200 chips and looked down to Qc6c.Someone limped and for a brief second I considered shoving before realising my tilty inclination and folding.Obviously an all in and a call followed my fold and although I would have been dominated preflop ( KK and 1010)I would have rivered a flush and my Q6 would have won me a huge pot.Folding hands which turn into monsters has always been a tilt trigger I need to keep an eye on and before I knew it just a couple of hands later I found myself calling all in with AJ soooted v Mr/Mrs Tightest Nittiest tight nit in nitland.I was up against QQ and didn't spike my Ace.Stupid tilty donk call.Served me right!

I took a ten minute break before coming back and taking a 4th and 2nd place in my last two games before bed.It gave me food for thought though.I was annoyed at myself for making a tilty call and the old saying about a mans character being reflected at the poker table came to mind.

I'm certainly nowhere near being manically depressed or anything like that but I do sometimes seem to be full of zest,outgoing confidence and energy one minute and lethargic,bored and introverted at other times.At the poker tables when I'm doing well I feel I could happily take on any of the regulars at my levels and ( cards willing!) win.I feel in the zone and able to make instant correct decisions and yet at other times I'll move sites to avoid the regulars at my usual $16's and when I look down at a hand I feel like it's the first one I've ever played.I suppose I've only really been at the sngs for about a year and although more and more of my decisions are quick and are based on previous experience and pattern recognition,there are always going to be marginal situations where there's no easy set path.

Ok,I've got Nacho until Tuesday.Time to go and walk him before the rain gets any heavier...

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Man Flu and Stars letter

What started as a sniffle on Monday escalated into full blown man-flu by Tuesday morning and for a moment I even considered cancelling my Dam trip.I did learn how to silence an over chatty taxi driver up.Simply forgettting my passport on the way to the airport and having him double back for it seemed to do the job.Taxi tilt.Nice!

Not a great deal to report from the Dam.I spent a couple of hours on Tuesday night at the Rokerij 2 coffeeshop before heading back to the hotel and on Wednesday again I only managed a short coffee shop session before heading back to bed.I smoked my bollocks off,sneezed,spluttered and used the hotels wireless connection to play poker on my old laptop.End of trip report!

The poker actually went quite well.I finished with two $16 ( 18 player) wins in a row on Tuesday night.I've mentioned using weed to tune into the game.I was well beyond that ( bouncing off walls on my way to the bathroom)and if my opponents could have seen the state of me they'd be wondering how I managed to move my finger over the mouse pad let alone play poker!

Wednesday nights session went ok too and this time finished off with a win and a 2nd place.Once again the later it got and the more wasted I became,the better I seemed to play.Obviously this is a sign I should quit work,move to the Dam and spend my time smoking only the strongest weed and playing poker....

Last night I went 0/6 without cashing at my $16's and only taking 2nd at a Full Tilt $22 and winning a $7.50 super turbo helped stem the losses.Over the last couple of weeks I've been thinking that the $16's seem to have many more solid regulars during the week and perhaps aren't as juicy.Watching villains snap call shoves with hands like 76 ,K4 etc has restored a little of my faith.

Ok,that's about all I have for now.I have copied/pasted a Pokerstars letter ( verified by Scott at Stars on the Pocket Fives thread)I thought was damn funny.The first comment is from the original poster on the thread.Enjoy....

wtf you can't vent anymore?
I thought stars was #1, now not so sure, just ignore them if they bother you!

I really have to ask you to stop sending these emails.

What exactly are you hoping to accomplish with these complaints? We have
told you repeatedly that the games are completely fair and random, and
that answer will never change. We have sent you plenty of stats to back
that up. Do you *really* believe our games are unfair? Really? If you
do, then you should cash out *immediately* and play somewhere else. There
is no excuse for playing even one hand in a game you think is unfair. I

Or are you just venting? Then please stop. It's insulting to everyone
who works here that you can accuse us of fraudulent dealing, over and over
and over again.

This didn't start in the last few months, either. You've been
complaining, pretty much non-stop, since late 2006. You complained here,
earlier today, that you haven't won in months, and then when you make a
final table, you complain that you lost.

Do I need to remind you that you haven't made a deposit on PokerStars
since 12/25/2006? That you've cashed out multiple times since then?

How about your recent history? You cashed out your entire balance on
3/10/2006, leaving yourself with no money, just FPPs. Since then, you've
turned those FPPs into a balance of $108.60. How can you say, with a
straight face, that you haven't won lately? Your balance has moved
steadily up and up and up.

I know it's frustrating when you take a beat. But that's just how poker
tournaments work -- you play and play until you either make a mistake or
take a beat. Did you really say, in that later email, "I finally made a
final table?" Since you resumed playing cash Sit & Go's March 15 (afer
winning T$55 in FPP events), you've played 313 multi-table Sit & Go's, and
you've made the final table in 93 of them. You won 7, and cashed in 70.
You're ahead $57.30 in those events.

You play well, and you make money, because your hands *do* hold up most of
the time when you're ahead. You *do* win your share of coin flips.
Everything is as it should be; the only problem here is that you *think*
it's not, and that you think it's OK to harass our staff about it, despite
all of the evidence. That's an ROI of about 15%.

If you're unhappy on PokerStars, nobody is forcing you to play here. But
if you actually like playing on PokerStars, as I expect that you do,
please spare us these emails. You already know you're not being cheated;
constantly complaining is simply irrational, and it's insulting to the
people who work here. They have done nothing to you, and do not deserve
to read these sorts of things. They are *people*, with feelings, and it's
not right to insult their integrity like this, over and over again. I
really don't want to have to say this, but if you continue to question the
integrity of our games, I may be forced to close your account. I hope
that doesn't happen.


PokerStars Poker Room Management Team

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Trip Report

My mouth hung open a little, "Durrr" style, when I checked out the cashier page shortly after winning an all expenses paid trip to London to see the Full Tilt Million Dollar cash game.Full Tilt had been more than generous and I resolved to pop in and see the Queen about making Sir Alcanthang's knighthood an official one after all the hard work he had done to ensure two British players made it to London.

The Britblogger challenge game had been run over the last ten weeks and finishing in the top two had won Bullmeister and me our trips to the big smoke.I only knew Bully through playing the Brit Blogger games but it didn't take us long to get in touch regarding our plans for London.The Big man started the wind-ups right off the bat by telling me he'd been credited with nearly twice the amount I had received as prize money!

I was up early to catch the train from Glasgow to London on Wednesday morning and when the 6ft 5' Bullmeister joined me a couple of hours into the journey at Preston, I managed to quickly squeeze in my opinion that players shouldn't take $5 blogger games too seriously and thankfully this seemed to stick in his mind as we got around to discussing an outrageous bluff I'd pulled on him during the last game! Bully turned out to be a top bloke and I thoroughly enjoyed his company over our two day stay.

After checking in at our hotel it was straight to the Hellenic Centre for the big game.The atmosphere seemed relaxed and after ordering a couple of beers from the free bar it was time to settle down and watch some of the worlds very best players do battle at the felt.

The tone was set when Patrik Antonious and Phil Ivey were both in blind for $100k each on the first hand! Ivey's 73 spiked a 3 against K6 and a small ripple of applause broke out.I can imagine how I would feel if I lost a big pot at low stakes I play at and people started applauding.One of the floor guys was quick to ensure there was no more clapping at moments like that.

The audience itself was small and and most had no clue about poker as they were paid extras.Both Bully and I felt it was a shame that real poker fans couldn't have been used, but for the sake of the production we could understand it as everyone turned up on time,the players were pretty much left alone when milling around on breaks and there were no interruptions to play at the tables.( despite Bullys threat to streak naked and my temptation to step forward and flick Durrrs ears or push his gaping mouth closed!)

There was plenty going on away from the tables too with players playing roshambo for huge money right beside us and Chinese poker for even bigger stakes going on too.There was gambol in the air as well as the cards,that's for sure!

Bully became close friends with one of the actor extras he was sure had starred in Last of the Mohican's!Upon receiving his actor friends business card before leaving on Friday it became clear that Bully's Oscar winning buddy had mainly been starring as a clown/magician at children's parties!

Other interesting highlights were the change in young Tom "Durrr" Dwan between day one and day two.I realise the boy will take a coinflip for $100k without blinking, but at one point he lost his $150k stack and watching him sitting waiting on a reload ,he looked like a wee boy who had won a competition to play with the seasoned pros who were all chatting away like old buddies.From what I could see his play was still fearless during day one, but he was very quiet and just didn't seem to fit in at the table.By day two he was still playing almost every pot ,his confidence around the other pro's seemed to have grown and he was a lot more chatty and outgoing.

Mike Matusow arriving at the table and not caring who was winning but just wanting to know who the loosest players were was quite funny, as was his $5k promise to anyone who could drag Hellmuth back to the table after the Eleven time bracelet winner stormed out.The Hellmuth blow-up came after the tournament director casually touched his shoulder to get his attention and had more to do with him being down over 200k and him playing up to his poker brat image than anything else it seemed to me.

Without hole card cameras it was hard to follow every hand in great detail.Ivey's set of threes beating Ferguson's Aces for over $500k stuck in my head and a couple of spectacular Ivey bluffs also caught my eye.I'm looking forward to catching more on the Sky sports coverage during January.

Overall it was a fantastic trip.Henry from Full Tilt made us very welcome and it was an honour and a privilege to get within touching distance of guys playing poker for nosebleed stakes.Bully and I didn't like to bother many of the pro's during their breaks but Chris Ferguson was a pleasure to chat to and Gus Hansen was kind enough to sign an autograph for his number one fan ( my Mum!) after the game had ended.

I've missed out winning at roulette,avoiding sniffer spaniels ,the fine Indian meal Bully and I enjoyed on Thursday night,me sitting down next to Bully at a fast food outlet and offering him the barbecue sauce he'd requested only to find it wasn't Bully at all,the sexy secretary at the window across the road from the Hellenic Centre and the receptionist losing our room key. (Bully wound me up that we'd probably been robbed!)

Thanks again Full Tilt.It was a blast!

I haven't played much since I arrived home although I'm looking forward to tonights Bloggerment and RTR league games.I did manage to catch up with Al Eleven last night for the first time in ages and I hope next time it won't be so long!

Tomorrow I'm chilling out and then on Tuesday I'm off to Amsterdam for a couple of days.Back soon....

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Run like hell

RIP Richard Wright of The Pink Floyd.

Appropriate title and song to describe my recent ventures at the virtual felt.The usual Aces busted all over the place,Ace flushes beaten by straight flushes and no doubt some tilty decisions along the way.

I blame smoking too much....weak herb! Seriously I don't usually punch walls during my sessions but last night had to be one of my most frustrating nights ever at the tables.Thumbs down to being mentally alert whilst playing! I'm actually only half joking.I like to smoke good weed when at the tables.It helps me tune into the game and brush off the beats more easily.Without it I find I'm too eager to make plays and get my money in the pot.

I lost nearly $400 over 46 games last night and only the $1500 credited to my Full Tilt account as a result of winning the Brit Blogger challenge put a smile on my face.I nearly fell off my seat when I happened to check the Full Tilt cashier.Ship it!

Edit:Played four $16's tonight,won two and took third in one.Played two $22's on Party and took one down and came third in the other.Ahhhh that's better!

Huge thanks again to SirAlcanthang and the generous folks at Full Tilt for putting up such an amazing prize.

I've been in touch with Bullmeist and we're sorting out the final details for the trip to London where we're going to get to watch the Full Tilt pro's playing the $1m cash game!

Ok,thanks for reading.Back with a London trip report in a few days...

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Monday, September 15, 2008

"Wow,you found the fold button..."

Third time lucky! First ever PLO cash :-)

Quote was from my HU opponent just before he sucked out to win.How can I fold when they deal me so many pretty cards! Poker is fun again.

Ivey and co better make good while they can!

( Took the Bloggerment doon too.Time to go and get skelped at the turbos....)

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

London Bound!

I took 2nd place in the final Britblogger Full Tilt challenge game last night.This kept me in the top two overall and means that I'll be off to London on a Travel/Accomodation expenses paid trip next week to watch the Full Tilt pro's $1m cash game!Bully also won the same deal and all things being well,I'm looking forward to meeting up with him.

Huge thanks again to Sir Alcanthang for all his hard work to make the whole series possible and congrats to Dr Pauly on completely running me over HU to win last nights game.It's funny how life works.I only booked up my Dam trip ( Tues 23rd to Thus 25th) at the last minute because I wasn't sure about making the trip by myself.Dr Paulys solo trip reports clinched the deal for me and now I'm hoping to meet up with Dr P when he arrives on the 24th.Roll on!

The Britbloggerment game is back on Stars for now, although that's not set in stone as I fancy running it as a turbo ( wheee!) in a few weeks time and only Full Tilt seem to have that flexibility for private games.I'm looking forward to running the RTR league game alongside the Bloggy tonight.Not another bubble finish though please!

After the Britblogger challenge fun last night,I fired up a couple of $22's on Party and took 2nd in one.I would have won it if the villain hadn't sucked out donkey style on nearly every hand when we were HU.

Next up I hit up Stars and ( whisper it!) decided to have a go at a couple of PL Omaha games ( 6 max $3.75 sngs) for a change.I googled for the rules and this time they made sense! I didn't realise previously that you had to use 2 hole cards ( from 4) and three from the board.The penny dropped when I read that if the board was all spades after the river card,you only have flush if you have two spades.The board doesn't play.

I played like a newbie fish and donked out the first one and bubbled the second.I did enjoy the change however and it was good to get an insight into why fish are fish! The main reason is simply having no idea about hand values and how strong or weak my holdings were.I imagine the fish that call off their stacks with rag Aces in my turbo holdem sngs are doing so because they haven't the experience or knowledge to gauge just how strong their cards and have no clue how to work out the same about an opponent.

For example I lost to quads ( 666 flop) holding QQ on one hand.In Holdem it's hard to give a villain credit for holding a 6 if raised preflop, but I now realise in Omaha it's highly likely with 5 villains calling and all holding 4 hole cards!I think I need some lessons from King Dudley of the Omaha before playing many more of these strange games though!Maybe I'll change my "2 cards good,4 cards bad" theory one day!

I ended my night with a few sets of four $16 games and ran horribly,only managing to pull my losses back to just $43 after a couple of cashes in the last two games I played.

I consoled myself by checking my overall profit for this poker year ( since Oct 31st '07) and discovering I've made more already than I did over the last 3 years in total.I think I'm probably about breaking even for August so far and sng variance has kicked my backside over the last few months.Very frustrating.

I'm going to try and be less results focused on this blog.I feel as if I'm cheating somehow if I don't mentioned every single result from every game.If anyone really cares it's all there on Sharkscope or in my monthly stats.I think I worry that if I don't stay focused on the short term,I'll let the nasty nature of sng variance get the better of me and I'll end up boarding the runaway train destined for Tiltsville.

Ok,enough witterings for today.I expect I'll be posting a bit less frequently over the next couple of weeks as I'm on a break from work and now have two midweek jaunts to look forward to.....

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Obvious Read

My wee boy is 4 today.I'm not sure he's old enough yet to appreciate the occasion.Last year he ripped his present open without a word of thanks and greedily devoured his sweets.He's still a messy eater and that must be a character trait as he always seems to drag some mud back inside with him when he's been playing outside.Dogs will be dogs eh. Happy Birthday Nacho! Perhaps I should start a collection envelope at my work for him! ( I loved Oneangrykid's rant on those envelopes)

After arriving back from a lovely dinner with my Mum and Dad last night I watched another sngicons vid and fired up a couple of $22's on Party.I bubbled in one and took the other one down for a $60 profit.Later I played three $16's and took a second place in one of them for a $17 overall profit.

I did save the very first hand from the Party game I bubbled.I was able to put the winning villain on one of exactly three hands post flop and I thought the fairly simple logic which led me to that conclusion may be of interest.If it's not of interest then that's too bad as I've heehaw else to post about today!

As I mentioned I played two Party tables and at the other table it was just DoktorBet and me until it filled up.I had sat down directly on his left and on checking the lobby I discovered he was also the only player sitting waiting for a few more $22's to fill up.There don't seem to be as many multi-table grinders on Party and for that reason those who do play a few tables tend to stick out more.The vast majority of these players are solid players who play a straight forward game until the push/shove fest late on when they become harder to pin on a hand.

As a wee aside the multi-tablers are fairly easy to spot on Stars if I'm firing up a few games.Their auto register scripts ( software which automatically registers them for the next new tourney) mean that they are usually amongst the first to register for a new game.The first 4-5 names ( 18 player games)to appear on the lobby list on Stars are usually the regular grinders.

To the hand in question and despite holding the monster that is A9 I managed to find a fold in the face of a couple of limps before me.Multi-tablers tend to limp quite rarely and when "DoktorBet" called the initial limp I reckoned he could have an AJ/AQ/KQ/ or 22-99 type hand.It was then raised and called by two players before the action was on him again.He flat called and that allowed me to narrow his range to a small to medium pair as I didn't see him just flat calling here with an easily dominated hand like the AJ/AQ/KQ with three others already in a raised pot.Playing so many tables also made it a lot less likely that he was trying to be sneaky with an AA/KK type hand.

When the flop came and he shoved over a continuation bet and a call, he could only have 66,22 or 88.He would know he wouldn't have had enough fold equity to semi-bluff a flush draw here as the other villains had shown too much strength with their actions.That strength also meant he would be more likely to get paid off here by keeping it simple and just shoving here. The chances of him limp/calling with two random hearts seemed quite slim. My guess is he would have reraised AKh preflop and folded JQh/9h10h etc to the preflop raise which doesn't leave many playable two card heart combinations.

Perhaps that's all a load of bollocks, but that's how I read it and for once I was right! Here's the hand...

***** Hand History for Game 7367187266 *****
20/40 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (STT Tournament 41945012) - Thu Sep 11 17:55:28 EDT 2008
Table Speed 1330287 (Real Money) -- Seat 9 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Astinishing (2000)
Seat 2: mhatz (2000)
Seat 3: Malschik (2000)
Seat 4: afroshopper (2000)
Seat 5: Gload737 (2000)
Seat 6: DoktorBet (2000)
Seat 7: Acornmn (2000)
Seat 8: JetnDiesel (2000)
Seat 9: The_Slipper (2000)
Seat 10: rasaez22 (2000)
rasaez22 posts small blind (20)
Astinishing posts big blind (40)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Acornmn [ Ac, 9d ]
mhatz folds
Malschik calls (40)
afroshopper folds
Gload737 folds
DoktorBet calls (40)
Acornmn folds
JetnDiesel raises (160) to 160
The_Slipper folds
rasaez22 calls (140)
Astinishing folds
Malschik calls (120)
DoktorBet calls (120)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 6c, 2h, 8h ]
rasaez22 checks
Malschik checks
DoktorBet checks
JetnDiesel bets (360)
rasaez22 calls (360)
Malschik folds
DoktorBet raises (1840) to 1840
DoktorBet is all-In.
JetnDiesel folds
rasaez22 calls (1480)
rasaez22 is all-In.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 9s ]
** Dealing River ** : [ Kc ]
Creating Main Pot with $4720 with DoktorBet,rasaez22
** Summary **
Main Pot: 4720
Board: [ 6c 2h 8h 9s Kc ]
DoktorBet balance 4720, bet 2000, collected 4720, net +2720 [ 2s 2c ] [ three of a kind, Twos -- Kc,9s,2s,2c,2h ]
JetnDiesel balance 1480, lost 520 (folded)
rasaez22 balance 0, lost 2000 [ 4c 8c ] [ a pair of Eights -- Kc,9s,8c,8h,6c ]

On an entirely unrelated note a colleague was telling me about a customer she dealt with a few years back.The engineer who called out to the customer had done some extra work free of charge as a favour and my colleague commented that the customer "had certainly won a watch there".

A few weeks later the customer called back to say he still hadn't received the watch he had won.....

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Deep Fried Puffins...

Burnout? Lost the bug? Lazy? I'm not sure however once again I was happy to read forums,watch a couple of training vids and not play a lot of poker.
I suppose compared to the average hobby player I continue to play a ton and to be as obsessed as ever by the game.Perhaps being over-rolled means I know I don't really have to push hard to make $500-$1000 this month because I have plenty in reserve.Maybe that's no bad thing.I take my poker very seriously most of the time and it's nice to be able to relax a bit and enjoy surfing the net and watching a bit of tele.

I plan to cashout around $2.5k shortly ( £1415) to cover my Amsterdam flights/hotel/spending,ten cartons of cigs ( half the price they are in the UK),pay off the remainder of this years Council tax and also give myself a few hundered extra to treat myself.If my tele can't be repaired then another $1k should buy a decent 42" set and I also plan to raid my poker accounts for $400 to pay for a years road tax at the end of November.

I mentioned the other week that I'd won a few buy-ins messing around at $10nl on Bodog.After reading about peoples cashout problems there I have no intention of making it my regular site.I had $41 on there and after recalling Blinders posts about how soft the beginners sngs are ,I decided I'd try one and if I blew most of my tiny roll I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.The format of these 10 seater sngs pays out the top five with 5th place getting the buy-in returned.( less the rake) Blinders said they were soft and he wasn't joking.I played a $32+$3 ( slow speed which was the only downside for me) and after half an hour of folding I'd made the money!

The standard was dreadful and it was obvious that the other players had no idea of the value of their chips in relation to the rest of the table.Of course I went out 5th after shoving AJ and being snap called by the bigstack and his K10.

I only hit the tables after watching Scotland get our World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a 2-1 away win over Iceland."You only sing when you're whaling" and "We're gonna deep fry your puffins" were my favourite chants from the Scotland fans.

I'm over at my Mum and Dads for dinner tonight and tomorrow night I'm taking my Dark Knight dvd over to the s-mans.I'm looking forward to leaving work tomorrow as I'm off for 2 weeks! No plans other than catching up on my sleep,going to the Dam and playing some poker.

Ok,back soon...

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A few hands..

No joy for Murray the other night against the sublime Federer.At least the result ensured I was in my bed at a decent hour.I only played one $22 at Party and came second for $60.That result may be decent, but the truth is that I had a large chip lead and blew it with a couple of silly calls.

Last night was the Brit Blogger challenge game,I didn't play that well and donked out early.The last game in this series of ten games will be played on Saturday at 9pm on Full Tilt.It's only $5.50 to enter and open to all bloggers and readers.If you're at a loose end this weekend please come and join the donkfest!

To be honest I've not really felt like playing much this week.I did fire up three $16's ( 18 player) after watching a sngicons video and managed a 3rd and a 4th place for a $33 profit.I should have cashed in all three but made a donk shove with JJ over someones KK in the one I crashed out of.

Usually I am happy to go with JJ at the $16's preflop as the ranges people are willing to stack off with are so wide.In this case though there was a raise and then a reraise made by Mr KK.It was such an obvious "I have a monster" bet that I should have folded.( It was raised to 300,he reraised to 900 and I shoved)

I'm also unsure about my exit hand in the game I came 3rd in.The two others were both excellent regulars ( as opposed to random donks!).The big stack had around 13k and myself and the other villain had around 7k.The bigstack shoved and I felt I had to make the call with AJ.I lost a flip to 33.If I'd won I'd have been the bigstack and I reckon I could have gone on to take it down.The secret in these games is usually to always be the person raising,not calling but I felt his shoving range was so wide I had to call.Hmmmm.

Oh before I forget,the answer to the guess the villains hand competition I posted about the other week was J10! Ahhh the donkery!

I've finally worked out ( I'm so techy eh) how to use the notepad thing to copy/paste any of the more interesting hands I play so here are a few from last night...

PokerStars Game #20280290755: Tournament #107252454, $15+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2008/09/09 18:43:08 ET
Table '107252454 2' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: frizbeeboy (1420 in chips)
Seat 2: tkavv (2060 in chips)
Seat 3: oli1970s (1140 in chips)
Seat 4: dasman13 (1470 in chips)
Seat 5: Benno300 (1320 in chips)
Seat 6: zagga (1480 in chips)
Seat 7: mac7156 (1620 in chips)
Seat 8: Puckbomb (1590 in chips)
Seat 9: MarkeyMark79 (1400 in chips)
zagga: posts small blind 10
mac7156: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zagga [Kc As]
Puckbomb: calls 20
MarkeyMark79: calls 20
frizbeeboy: folds
tkavv has timed out
tkavv: folds
tkavv is sitting out
oli1970s: folds
tkavv has returned
dasman13: folds
Benno300: folds
zagga: raises 100 to 120 >> My usual 4bb + 1bb for each limper
mac7156: folds
Puckbomb: calls 100
MarkeyMark79: calls 100
*** FLOP *** [4d 4h Kd] > Perfect flop,although I don't think I'm going to get paid .What kind of hand would call a c-bet on that board? QK and 22-QQ maybe.

zagga: bets 160>> I'll try and make my c-bet look like I've missed.Something I've learned from training videos is not to always fear a flush draw if the flop comes with two of one sooot.The chances of either villain holding two diamonds is actually quite slim.

Puckbomb: raises 160 to 320>> If he has the 4 or has limped Aces then good luck to him.I aint folding here.I now have him on QK or a bluff.

MarkeyMark79: folds

zagga: raises 180 to 500>> Building the pot.

Puckbomb: calls 180
*** TURN *** [4d 4h Kd] [4s] >> Damn,if he has KQ we're now splitting it.

zagga: checks >> Look weak and hope villain takes bait...

Puckbomb: bets 970 and is all-in>>He does have a King.....

zagga: calls 860 and is all-in>> snap call

Uncalled bet (110) returned to Puckbomb

*** RIVER *** [4d 4h Kd 4s] [Jd]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
zagga: shows [Kc As] (a full house, Fours full of Kings)
Puckbomb: shows [Ah 9c] (three of a kind, Fours) >> I was wrong.He's been reading the RTR forum and overplayed his monsta A9!

zagga collected 3100 from pot

Here's one I was happy to get away from...

PokerStars Game #20280370065: Tournament #107252311, $15+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30) - 2008/09/09 18:46:31 ET
Table '107252311 2' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: daz-malwin (555 in chips)
Seat 2: gmm1987 (1680 in chips)
Seat 4: Angell0250 (1410 in chips)
Seat 5: emilyjoe (3250 in chips)
Seat 6: 999JOE999 (1515 in chips)
Seat 7: zagga (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: KFBG (1580 in chips)
Seat 9: nalla3 (2010 in chips)
emilyjoe: posts small blind 15
999JOE999: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zagga [Kh Ad]
zagga: raises 90 to 120 >> Standard 4bb raise especially as the table seems loose and fishy.
KFBG: calls 120
nalla3: calls 120
daz-malwin: folds
gmm1987: folds
Angell0250: folds
emilyjoe: folds
999JOE999: calls 90
*** FLOP *** [Qh 3c Jc] >> Horrible flop for me.

999JOE999: checks

zagga: checks >>> I'm not c-betting on this board with so many callers.
KFBG: checks
nalla3: checks

*** TURN *** [Qh 3c Jc] [Ah] >> Hmmm there's my Ace but I still hate the board.

999JOE999: bets 120
zagga: calls 120>>>> Something smells fishy hence no reraise.Hoping to get to a cheap showdown.
KFBG: calls 120
nalla3: folds
*** RIVER *** [Qh 3c Jc Ah] [7h]
999JOE999: bets 330 >>> The river card seems like a blank.I didn't put the villain on a flush draw.It felt like at least two pair though.
zagga: folds
KFBG: calls 330
*** SHOW DOWN ***
999JOE999: shows [Js Jh] (three of a kind, Jacks)
KFBG: mucks hand >> He had AK too!
999JOE999 collected 1515 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1515 | Rake 0
Board [Qh 3c Jc Ah 7h]
Seat 6: 999JOE999 (big blind) showed [Js Jh] and won (1515) with three of a kind, Jacks
Seat 7: zagga folded on the River
Seat 8: KFBG mucked [Ks Ac]
Seat 9: nalla3 folded on the Turn

>>Maybe my cut/pasting isn't so great.We were 7 handed at this point.

Seat 4: Angell0250 (1360 in chips)
Seat 5: emilyjoe (3085 in chips)
Seat 7: zagga (1335 in chips)
Seat 8: KFBG (1105 in chips)
Seat 9: nalla3 (1715 in chips)
zagga: posts small blind 50
KFBG: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zagga [Th Tc]
nalla3: raises 200 to 300
daz-malwin: folds
gmm1987: calls 300
Angell0250: folds
emilyjoe: folds
zagga: raises 1035 to 1335 and is all-in >> I wasn't exactly delighted with shoving here but with a tight image and the dead money in the pot I felt it was a profitable move.
KFBG: folds
nalla3: folds >> Original raiser folded which is great.

gmm1987: calls 980 and is all-in: Hmmm.What kind of a rangeis the villain on if he flat calls a preflop raise and then calls a shove? Go on,take a guess,run it through Poker Stove and then prepare to chortle!

Uncalled bet (55) returned to zagga
*** FLOP *** [4c 8d 2c]
*** TURN *** [4c 8d 2c] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [4c 8d 2c 5h] [3c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
zagga: shows [Th Tc] (a pair of Tens)
gmm1987: shows [5s 7s] (a pair of Fives) >> Heeeeehaw!
zagga collected 2960 from pot

Tonight I'm looking after Nacho and watching the Scotland game.Back soon...

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Come on Andy!

Alcanthang,Mr Cloud and I are looking for 8 players from Europe and 8 from the US to play a heads up mini Ryder cup event on Full Tilt.The entry fee is $20 ( + game fees) and once the draw has been made you will need to arrange a time to play your opponent.All applications for the European team are welcome!Please leave a comment or contact me by email at the addy on at the top of this blog.

I didn't play much poker yesterday.The s-man came over about 8-ish and in between chatting, watching a bit of Braveheart and the tennis,I played in the Brit Blogger game and the RTR league game.I managed to win the Brit Blogger game again ( this time with a more respectable 18 entrants)and bubbled the RTR game for the second week in a row,this time after my 88 proved no good v QJsooooted.

I have to admit that I'm not much of a poker player fan boy.The first time I read someone call a top player "sick" on the Pocket Fives forum I hoped the player in question would make a swift recovery from his illness!

I have great respect for the top players both online and live, but apart from watching their training vids I don't particularly care who is top of which MTT ranking table or how "sick" they are running this week.Later on though, after the s-man had left and I'd finished playing,I did watch some of the WCCOP $10K tables and enjoyed watching some of the bigger named players doing battle.

This was of course after I'd watched Scotlands Andy Murray play brilliantly to finish off Nadal in the US Open semi-final.The Five Live phone-in this morning was full of middle Englanders asking why Murray should expect their support.(A couple of years ago Murray had the cheek to joke he'd cheer any team playing England at football).I'm sure the truth is that Murray couldn't give a toss if they support him or not."Who cares" I was shouting at my radio.The Scottish people will be behind him and if he's not clean cut enough or is too honest for the English public/media to accept then I doubt he will lose any sleep over it.GL against The Fed young man!

Until my next 100mph serve....

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wax on,Wax off..

I always seem to start the month poorly these days.I don't know if it's because I become a little bored and complacent,my game slips and I can then get my teeth into turning the situation around.I'm only $100 down over 61 games at Stars which is down to being on the wrong side of a few coin flips and some bad play by me.On Friday night I even let myself slide into the tilt zone for a couple of games.Calling off my stack ( I had 860 left from 1500 starting chips) with Q5 soooted at least rang an alarm bell with me and I took a wee break to get my head together before resuming.

I've been mainly 2-3 tabling to try and get more reads and focus more.The strange thing is that I've not been running well when doing that and yet when I start 6-8 tabling ( cascade style) in the wee small hours,I've managed to cash a lot more.Again I wonder if there's some odd psychology at work whereby I'm not playing my "A" game until I'm left with no choice due to the hole I've dug myself.Perhaps being overrolled for the games I'm playing in has something to do with it too.More focus required,hopefully starting with tonights Brit Blogger and RTR league games...which I'll be playing aswell as watching the rest of Andy Murrays US Open Semi-final against Nadal.Come on Andy!

I watched Scotland go down 1-0 to Macedonia yesterday.I'd been telling everyone at work on Friday that the Macedonia were a great bet at 9/5 but I couldn't bring myself to back against my country.Baaaaa!

I'm certainly glad I didn't fork out £14.99 to watch Britains next great boxing hope,Amir Khan,get knocked out in under a minute!I loved watching guys like Nigel Benn,Naseem Hamed,Ricky Hatton and co over the years and I was hoping Khan could follow in their footsteps.Although he can still bounce back from his defeat, having a glass chin is not the best trait a boxer can have!

Ok,thanks for reading.Back soon...

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Update

It's not been an easy week.Most of the time I feel ok and then I'm hit by an empty feeling and can hardly raise the enthusiasm to respond to an email or get things done around the flat.

My Grans funeral was yesterday.My Dad delivered a moving eulogy and although it was a sad occasion,it was nice to be able to remember my Gran in better times before the dementia took hold.Like my tears at the football last weekend,I found myself crying when I least expected it.My Dad mentioning my Grans neat hand writing compared to his intelligible scrawls ( and mine) reminded me of the countless beautiful thankyou letters my Gran used to send.Not one-liners, but letters which had obviously been written with a great deal of care and thought.

I made it through the hard House techno version ( ok,it was the original!) of the Lord is my Shepherd, but found the more upbeat "One more step along the world I go" with it's "Give me courage when the world is rough,
keep me loving though the world is tough" lines brought tears to my eyes again.I would never claim to have had a tough upbringing, but our family has had it's moments and my Gran was always there for me.I think I'll leave it at that.

On the poker front I won the last Brit Blogger on Wednesday night ( small turnout) after a few hands held up.I stayed up to watch Andy Murray make it through to the US Open semi and bombed out of a few Party $22's before taking one down.

Last night I was glad to have Nacho for company and didn't really feel like playing poker.I played two $22's,bubbling one when my 55 lost to AK and winning the other one to leave me $20 down for the week so far at Party.

On another note, apologies to anyone I contacted re a Bodog blogger tourney for Brits/Euro players.I never heard back from them after their initial enthusiasm and I assume it has something to do with googles purge on poker blogs with ads and also the recent press stuff on Bodogs struggles in the market.

I mention Bodog because I still have the software loaded and had £10 in my account ready for any blogger games.I've never played $10nl and hit up a Bodog cash table to mess about for a while before bed last night.The standard of play was woeful and I left after 1/2hr having tripled my buy-in.If $10nl is that juicy I don't think I ever need to worry about going broke!

Even through a crap week,Dr Pauly still managed to raise a smile with his quote about how playing poker is like using a cheese grater on your nuts at times.In turbos it seems the grating action is constant.The upside being that there's still plenty of money to be made.It brought to mind another quote about how every poker player loses.Not all the time obviously, but even winning players cannot escape the fact that they will lose and lose often.

Too many times recently I think I've sat down expecting to win and I've not been realistic enough about the swings and short-term variance.If I can cash in 1/4 of the turbos I play in ( my ITM % was 28% last time I checked for 18 player games) that still leaves me crashing out of 3/4 of the games I play to either bad beats,lost races or after running into monsters.

Ok,I've finally booked up two night break in the Dam,leaving on Sept 23rd.I may as well use some of my winnings to enjoy myself and to remind me why having my balls grated on a regular basis is actually worth it.

I'm still a wee bit unsure about going myself, but I've enjoyed reading about Dr Paulys solo trips and his reports are defintely my inspiration.I have a few books I'd like to take and may even consider taking my lappy.Hmmmm!

Just time for the Catchphrase version of the celtc goalkeepers big blunder last weekend in the Old Firm game.Say what you see....

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Brit Blogger Game Tonight

Sorry the Brit Blogger game wasn't set up for last night.It will be on tonight on Full Tilt at 8.30pm BST.

Playing and writing the same old stuff about a game of cards seems a little pointless just now, but I am grateful people choose to spend their valuable time to stop by and read my nonsense so here's an update...

On Sunday evening the S-man came round and we watched the superb "Glen Garry Glen Ross".It's always been quite a poignant film for me.When I worked in quite a high pressure sales job a few years ago, management brought a life support machine to one conference to emphasise how serious our situation was.We entered the hall to the sound of beep,beep,beeeeeeeep.The girl who sat next to me in the office found it very hard to cope with the stress of the job ( and no doubt had other life issues).One Friday night she lent me a copy of the film,I watched it,loved it and when I went in on the Monday to thank her ,I was told she had committed suicide that weekend.

The film itself is fantastic and I'd highly recommend it.I played in the Brit Blogger and RTR league games whilst enjoying the movie and chatting to the s-man.I managed to go out on the bubble in both games.In the Britblogger I shoved over the bigstacks raise with JJ,was called by QJ and of course the Queen came on the flop and that was that.

A minute later at the RTR game the sb limped,I checked the big blind with Q7 ( I was one of two shorties)and bet out over half my stack when a Queen hit on the turn.Perhaps it was my own fault for overthinking and I should have a) shoved preflop b) shoved the turn for 400 more.The sb had 63 and after catching a three on the flop,the six fell on the river to give him two pair and knock me out.I did manage a "lol" in the chatbox which was at my own bad luck/bad play rather than any dig at the way my opponent played his hand.

On Monday night I fired up four $6.50 turbs and scraped one 4th place money finish.I've written that I'm comfortable four tabling and although that's true to some extent,I still prefer three and need to work a little on my four tabling.After two cashless $16's I finished the night by cashing in two wee $7.50 super turbs on Full Tilt.

Last night I bubbled a $22 when my AQ fell to A8 and then moved to Stars where I played six $16's and couldn't seem to win a hand.Frustrating but that's the way it goes.I blame Peter for last nights losing session!

Ok,thanks for reading...

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