Saturday, February 27, 2010

If You Want to Sing Out,Sing Out!

Started physio yesterday and it went well.I've got a load of exercises to do and have been given some good advice on controlling the pain and reducing the lump on my back.I've got the Docs on Monday,more physio on Thursday and the small matter of a Rangers v celtc game at Ibrox before that at lunchtime tomorrow.

The hype has been building all week for the worlds biggest football derby and as is usually the case when celtc are behind in the league, they have been blaming the referee's.Unbelievably celtc fc have never been fairly beaten since they were formed back in 1888.Sarcasm aside, their permanent victim mentality when the majority of the Scottish media pander to their every whimper is quite pathetic and I hope we crush them tomorrow.For anyone wondering why I refer to them as celtc, it's in tribute to the celtic fans who made a banner in support of their team and were too thick to spell their own club's name correctly.

I caught up with Al Eleven ( aka the Miami Trout/San Jose Salmon/Connecticut Cod) late last night and hats off to both him and his Mrs for planning to get up to watch the game at 6am in the US.We also played a couple of games of poker and Al was on top form ,taking down the $16 ,18 player game.He's also back in Glasgow in a couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to catching up properly.

I also finally got round to watching "Harold and Maude" ( a cult classic film from 1971) and although the pace was a little slow at times,I stuck with it and I'm glad I did as it has some of the funniest and most poignant scenes I've seen in a long time.I've still got "Oldboy" and "Sexy Beast" to watch on dvd and I've a feeling they might be a slightly different kettle of fish.

There was a story in my local paper about a drugs bust which made me smile this week at the defence agents comments.The police raided a house at 8am and a man and his girlfriend were arrested.The man was done for supplying drugs and his lady for resisting arrest.Her "agent" said in court that she was a first offender."When the officers entered the house she was sleeping on the couch partially clothed.She was very surprised and upset and had behaved inappropriately by struggling with officers.She conceded she could have dealt with the situation in a better manner".Of course her agent is obviously going to imply that the poor girl leapt up in shock,clasped her hands together and declared "Oh my,this is a surprise".

Reading on though, it transpires that as a result of her struggle a woman police officer fell through a glass coffee table.I'd venture that the truth is that our poor surprised female defendant went completely ballistic,shouting,screaming and hitting out as she fought with the police and injured the lady officer.

Her man got 32 months and the Sheriff only fined the girlfriend £450 as he "accepted what had been said on her behalf and that she was a first offender"! She's pictured in the paper actually wearing a police hat too.Perhaps they should go back and do her for impersonating a police officer...

Back soon...

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monkey Business

Congrats to Juice for taking down The Bloggerment on Sunday and and congrats to the double glazing company Mr Cloud may have to employ to re glaze his home after he knocked Rosie out with Ace rag!

My short term memory is terrible, but I'm pretty sure I crashed out first and will have to spend the rest of the week trying to stop Nacho from eating the monkey!

Once again I've played far more Modern Warfare 2 than poker over the last few days and it was great to hook up with Everton Yorkie and kick some ass.( though I got mine handed to me when he was in the other team!)

The poker I have played has gone reasonably well despite the usual suckouts.It's funny how I write sensible stuff about variance,know that it's a game of small edges and yet still have to fight the nagging feeling that nobody else has my bad luck at the felt.Fight it I do because one of the secrets to winning at poker having a realistic view of luck and how it works.

I played just three sng's the other night and banked a 1st, a 2nd and a 3rd place finish, giving me a profit of about $140 for 1/2 hours work.Three games at a decent 10% roi would be a profit of nearer $7 and yet I was still thinking about how that 3rd place could have been a win if I'd won with my AJ v 52 o/s and what could have happened if my Aces hadn't been cracked by 77 in the 2nd place game.I suppose I just hate losing and part of the secret to keeping your sanity in poker is appreciating just how often you will lose hands/sessions even if you are winning overall.

I've deleted a few blogs I used to link to as they have been dead for a while.If I've removed yours by mistake or you make a comeback then let me know and I'll be happy to add your blog to my roll again.I'm also happy to swap links with any genuine blog so drop me a comment or email if you want to take me up on that.

Back soon...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bloggerment open for reg...

As the s-man is coming over tonight I got stuck into the poker last night and managed four wins and several cashes from 12 sng's.

I really needed a good night at the felt after attending the hospital for my 4pm physio appointment, only to be told they had me down for 2pm and couldn't fit me in again until next Friday.I had stayed off the painkillers for the appointment and was close to tears of frustration afterwards.I'm hoping they'll call me if there are any cancellations and I can start working on getting fully fit again.

I wish I had more to say about running well and having a very profitable evening of poker.There always seems to be far more to witter on about after a bad night.I suppose I can say that whilst it brightened my mood a bit, it's probably better not to be too emotional either way after a big winning or losing session.

Ahh well todays post was mainly just an excuse to pimp the Bloggerment.Back soon...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Full Mookie Report!

I was still awake at 3am last night and decided to play in The Mookie.For anyone unfamiliar, The Mookie is the main weekly US/Canadian blogger tourney.I thought I'd use this blog post to give a fascinating insight into every hand I played in it including my reasoning,thoughts and feelings.Settle back,grab a very small amount of popcorn and read on...

First hand: I'm dealt the hammer and reraise from the blinds,lead out on the flop.....and have to fold to a reraise.

Second hand: Same player raises preflop and this time I have JJ.I make the same reraise as before,another player still to act shoves all in ( 3000 chips),the original bettor folds,I call and lose a flip to AQ.Nite all,gg!

More like "Both Hands Revealed" rather than Gus Hansen's excellent "Every Hand Revealed".Mine would be more of a leaflet than a book...

It was probably for the best as winning that flip and playing a standard non turbo game with 20 bloggers could have lasted until after the sun had come up.

Greg ( seo1990) left a comment on my last post which got me thinking.He wrote that he gets too easily distracted when only playing 2-3 tables and prefers around 8.I realised that perhaps I mainly only play 3 tables at a time in order that I can also be watching tv or be surfing the net.With the help of my HUD and knowledge of who the regulars are,it's only really the latter part of sng's I give my full attention.

I did also try to download an autohotkey script thing again and once again I got completely lost with it and gave up.Thanks to Burnley Mik for offering to help with that.I'll be in touch soon!

Righty,back to Modern Warfare 2 and perhaps some poker....

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sweet Lemonade

There doesn't seem much to write about at the moment.I've been trying to step up my poker grinding over the last few days and haven't really made much progress as far as profits go.I'm still up at Rush poker on Full Tilt, but have taken a beating there recently too.I've had Aces 49 times now ( 12k hands) and although I've won 87% of the time,I've still managed to lose $4.79 overall with 'em.The exact opposite of my "lose small,win big" plan!

I've been thinking about my poor multi-tabling skills and part of the problem I have is getting into a funk when I have a tough decision at one table and the rest are demanding action too.Do any of my well informed readers know if Table Ninja or the Party equivalent can be easily programmed to start the timebank automatically? I've never looked too closely at that kind of software as even setting up hotkeys looks beyond my very basic computing abilities.If the people behind these hot key sites offered to remotely set it up ( even for a small fee)I think more pc illiterate donks like me would jump at the chance to give it a go.

I've just finished my phone interview with a level 2 manager at work.She was very nice and not heavy handed at all.I know I was lucky not to get killed in the accident, but the constant back/leg pain is grinding me down a bit and I'm hoping the physio on Friday can help.

Of course once I'm better physically I can then see about therapy for my growing getonmyhorse addiction.Sweet lemonade,Oooh sweet lemonade!

Thanks for reading.Back soon...

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thoughts on Burnley Mik's post+sng's

Rather than fill Burnley Mik's
comment box with my late night rambling reply to his latest post, I thought I'd stick it here.You can tell me where else to stick it in the comments box. Call it a bonus post or call it Jeremy.I don't mind. Obviously I'm writing mainly from a low( $33 and below) sit n go players angle rather than cash.And yeah I noticed that BM's article was based on cash just before posting this..

Focussing on short-term results is just human nature and hard to fight.The same as positive confirmation bias.Surely we've all called out the villains one outer in our heads just before it hits on the river? On a bad run,or if you're me or you it seems possible on almost every hand.Of course that's our psychic secret.Those happy go lucky bigstack donks at every table aren't blessed with our abilities, that's for sure...

Of course it is possible to be one-outered on every hand which is what helps make poker such a tough game.We also look for patterns and logic/reason when there's only the next card.

I keep wanting to blank out the lobby on Party to avoid looking at my balance between games, but I still like to know where I stand.In the back of my mind I also worry that I'm more likely to tilt if I'm not constantly aware of my "real money" balance.( if that makes sense)

I suppose it forces me to look harder at my game and be honest with myself over my frame of mind too.If I do that and I know it's just one of those constant nasty streaks that are totally standard for turbo sngs, I can keep to my A game,ride it out, and make a decent profit overall.

I'm so used to runs of 9-10 sngs without cashing ( over thousands of games ) that it doesn't bother me to see my balance drop by a couple of hundred.Over 10 buy-ins down and I'm usually pissed at all the beats and lost flips.Again that's just human nature and I can't help that feeling.It's how you deal with it that matters and hopefully if I don't get sharked playing higher,I can certainly up my "gulp limit" over time.

I think you also have to have the confidence to know that it only takes a couple of wins to turn a bad session into a "lose small" one,which in itself can be seen a success.A seemingly rare hot streak may see a whole sessions result change over the space of a few games.Break even for over 50 games one night, and win a quick 2 from 3the next night during a grabbed half hour.It's the nature of the game.

On reflection even most of this post so far has been about negative variance.Did I mention positive confirmation bais...Anyway,with a positive roi over a decent sample ( at least 1000+ games)there should still be plenty of sessions where you come out a ton of buy-ins ahead.Great when it happens, and disheartening when you feel you're playing well and you hit a wall of beats/lost flips again and again.It's always worth remembering that a 10% roi at $15 games is only $1.50 per game profit,the beats are standard and only playing your "A" game + volume will bring long term profit.

For me,if I hit a 15-20 buy-in downswing,which thankfully doesn't happen as often as I think,I can still go to bed and not dwell on it, although I will go over the session in Pokertracker before my next game.I actually find it reassuring when I see repeated bad beats and coolers.I can still look for spots where I possibly stacked off too lightly or missed a shove, but I prefer seeing bad luck rather than a ton of mistakes.

I can also genuinely laugh at my own bad luck when reviewing an ugly session the next day.It is a cruel game sometimes.I have no interest in Mr "I Called with K2 and busted your Aces", other than being safe in the knowledge that as long as donks are willing to stack off with rags, every game won't see 9 evenly stacked players at level 7 blinds.You may not have taken a bad beat yet in the lev 7 blind game, but your edge is diminishing rapidly with each hand.You're forced to push and call lighter just to stay ahead of the blinds and retain fold equity.

Don't get shortstacked and blinded off you say? Not so easy when card dead with 8 other players around to shove all in before or after you.I may get upset sometimes with my own bad luck at being outdrawn in a big pot,however I'm never angry at the lucky,jammy,donk tard,fishy fucker.The reality is of course that our Aces hold v his raggy King more often than not.He won't be a winning player overall.His hobby costs him money that you're directly or indirectly taking, so he's welcome to his day in the sun if he's getting lucky against me in a game or two.

On the rare occasion I monkey tilt spew off a few buy-ins, I'm aware enough to simply stop playing for the night.I also cut short my next session when I do play if I still don't feel mentally strong enough to play my usual winning game*.I'll go and do something else and come back to the game again another day.It's an easy option when it's only a hobby.

* As of writing at least.I know it would be far more interesting then this pish, but hopefully there's no "The Party donks ate my roll" post after I go mad at $1k sngs.It's scary that I've even just thought about how to blow it.Damn blog.

Perhaps my thinking is too short-term and that's a failing of mine that also prevents me from moving up a bit in stakes and testing my own gulp limit.To take it to the extreme, ( why not,it's late!)I just can't even imagine how hard Tom Dwan gulped,regardless of his overall wealth, after losing $6.7 million to Isildur1 back in Nov '09.Did he awake the next morning and bound down the street thinking to himself, "Hey the sun's out,I'm still going for my Happy Meal"? Maybe he was looking at strangers thinking, "they don't know I..JUST LOST $6.7 MILLION FUCKIN' DOLLARS".I reckon it was the former and he's probably still playing with the toy as he rebuilds his roll.

I could also go into full witter mode about how the top players have more controlled gamble about them.I certainly admire the sng pro's who wouldn't blink too hard at a 40-50 buy-in downswing over a short period of time.That's the kind of gulp limit I want to have!

Ok, that's enough herbally induced, late night spraffing of bollocks for now...

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Bloggerment on Sunday

You're Mum's so fat that when she fell down the stairs people thought Eastenders had finished.

Your Mums house is so dirty the vacuum cleaner has mudflaps.

Enough of the "Your Mum" jokes..

I went out for dinner last night before coming home to play some MW2 and a few games of poker.A second place finish in the last of just three games played helped make up for the mistakes I made which saw me dumped out of the first two games.

In the first game I called a tight players shove with 88 as I reckoned the blinds were high enough for him to start opening up his shoving ranges.He showed JJ. For my second piece of donkery I shoved my 1700 stack in the middle with 89s over two limpers at 100/200, hoping to either pick up the dead money if they folded or at worst have two live cards and the chance of adding a decent chunk of chips to my stack.I had not played one hand previously and had hoped that would give me some fold equity.It would be easy to blame the loose fish for snap calling with A10 given the circumstances, but he had a vpip of 67%, a high cold calling % and if the fish don't do what I expect of them then it's my fault for not reading them correctly.

I did see a few minimum raises in those games and that got me thinking about how the meaning of the min raise has changed as the game moves on.When I first began playing over 5 yrs ago a min raise was the move of the donkey.It's developed into more of a trappy move these days to try and look weak and induce a shove.To move it on further I'm sure there are other players like myself who try and throw in the occasional min raise as a strong looking blind steal when I don't actually have a decent hand at all.

Staying ahead of the curve and mixing things up is important if you don't want to make your game completely transparent to other sng regs.There is a kind of perceived wisdom that if someone shoves a 10bb stack or more then they can't have AA/KK because they would make a smaller raise seeking to get action.As the blinds get high I quite like insta-blasting AA/KK ( mixed in with some min-raises,2.5bb raises and even occasional limps) as it helps balance up the occasions where I'm shoving with rags too.

Back soon..

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rangers lead the way

Congrats to Bullmeister on taking down The Bloggerment last Sunday.With only a four registered at 8.45pm I was worried it was going to be a washout, but we got 14 runners in the end and it was good to see a few old faces in the game too.

I've played far more Modern Warfare 2 than poker over the last few months ( k/d now at .87!) At Party I'm up about $700 over 532 games since the end of October and I'm still up a few hundred at Rush poker on FT.When I signed up for FT it was on the refer a friend deal which meant my mate Al Eleven got a $25 bonus.I don't get rakeback and it's quite tilting to see I've paid over $300 in rake so far without getting a penny ( or a dime!) back.For that reason I've been mainly hitting up the Party sngs, although I was annoyed at myself for missing out on clearing a $50 bonus by just a few points when I didn't realise the bonus clearance time was due to expire.

Away from the poker and MW2 I've been keeping myself busy reading books and watching football.I was a bit disappointed with Tony Parsons latest offering as it was nowhere near as good as "Man and Boy","Man and Wife" or "One for my Baby".I'm currently enjoying Alexandra Horiwitz's "Inside of a dog" although I'm no nearer discovering why Nacho doesn't get bored of chasing the same old ball,day after day!

I've also ordered "Sexy Beast","Oldboy" and "Harold and Maude" from Amazon and still have most of "Prison Break" and all of series one of "The Wire" to watch.Of course first of all I'll need to tear myself away from spending 10 hours per day on the getonmyhorse website!

Time for a quick whinge about the latest forum speak trend.If the thread is asking peoples favourite colour it now seems mandatory to add the word "though" after your reply for no apparent reason.If I see another reply like "blue,though" I'll...tut very loudly!The comma after "blue" just tilts me even more! This is despite my own poor comma placement in most posts.( and my overuse of annoying brackets)

The Gers are on tv tonight and the s-man is also popping over for some MW2 action.My team are still 10 points clear at the top of the league and hopefully having Boyd back in the team can drive us on to the title.

Ok,I have to go.The enemy UAV is online...

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Fools game

I've now played over 7 days worth of Modern Warfare 2 and my kill/death ratio is still only .84! My finger trigger may not be the quickest, but I do enjoy setting a claymore ( a type of landmine),firing off a few shots which show up on the mini-map as a red dot and then waiting for some snotty nosed teen to come looking for me.There's not much more satisfying than hearing the loud bang when they bite the dust!

The s-man is coming over tonight so I got stuck into the poker last night,beginning with a nasty 0/9 cashes at the Party $22's.As a taster my Aces fell to Kings,AK to A2,AK to K3.I'll save you from the other six horror stories! To anyone not familiar with sng variance those beats would probably seem unreal, however I've been playing them long enough to be reasonably happy to "lose small" when running like crap.As long as I "win big" when hands do hold up..

I hit the Rush cash tables on Full Tilt and couldn't seem to get going at all.I got it in with 1010 V K8 on an 8 high flop only for the villain to river the King.I don't often tilt but I managed to spew off $40 before moving to $100 nl.I was quickly down to $82 before reality kicked in and I reminded myself it was real money I was throwing away.I tightened up my game and with the help of a couple of flopped sets I was soon nearly 2 buy-ins up.

I should have gone to bed at that point.Instead I left the game and re bought for the min buy-in ( I didn't fancy losing my big stack in one hand) of $100.A couple of hands later I call a raise with a A8 clubs in a multi-way pot and can't believe my luck when the flop comes all clubs.The three of us in the hand get all our money in on that flop with the original preflop raiser hitting trips and the other villain drawing almost dead with top pair and a Jack flush draw.I'll admit I let out a yell of frustration when the board paired on the river.Grrrr!

I re bought and a few minutes later got completely coolered in a KK vv AA situation.In that one the money didn't all go in until the river and the board should have been too scary for us both to commit our stacks, but we did and I lost my second big pot within a few minutes.

Overall I was only down about $40 and after another fine herbal refreshment I went to bed and slept soundly, albeit with the Bonnie Tyler song below running round my head.Actually that's not a bad thing as I've had feckin' Getonmyhorse going round my head for the last few days.Click on the link to experience the same.Shut up woman,get on my horse!

Meantime here's Bonnie..

Checking the papers this morning it looks like the Pound has plummeted further v the Dollar which means I actually made money on my $5k roll overnight without playing a hand! Sweet!

If you're in the same situation ( or even if you're not!) get over to Mair's Race for life page and make a donation to a very worthy cause.

On the Step A front she stayed with her Mum for a few days last week and told me last night she's moving down South this summer.She also said she's leaving school in March ( age 15) to go to college and do her exams.The s-man knows someone who's kid did the same and these college classes are full of ned/chav kids who were kicked out their school etc.I told her this and tried to encourage her to stick at school only to be met with a barrage of swear words.I let an F word or two go without comment but drew the line at her use of the c word and she hung up on me.As I know from experience, going slightly off the rails in your teens doesn't always mean your life is screwed.I do hope though that she finds some inner peace soon amongst all the recent turmoil in her life and gets back on the rails.

Ok,thanks for reading.I'm off to set up The Bloggerment and to sing "Some poor monkey's got a Tony Mowbray heid" ( Yellow Submarine tune!).It's not entirely inaccurate jibe....

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Feel the Rush.

After all the pathetic hype in the Scottish media when Keane signed on loan for celtc the other night, the vermin lost their game in hand 1-0 and are now 10 points behind the Champions.Mowbray's record is worse than John Barnes and that's saying something.Loved this website set up in Monkeyheids honour.

On to Rush poker.Disclaimer: I've only played sngs over last 2 yrs and have no recent cash game experience to compare to Rush poker.With less than 10k Rush hands played it's more just a few thoughts on my playing style so far and not any kind of proven strategy guide.

Anyway ,I used to crush $50nl on Ladbrokes ,although to be fair I was the biggest bumhunter in town ,waiting for huge average pot tables late on Friday/Sat nights and taking money from drunk fish.I'm sure I have screenshots posted way back showing some of those $50 nl cash tables with $46 average pots!

The sheer number of hands I can now play at Rush tables still astounds me.I feel like I've hardly played at all over the last couple of nights, yet I've clocked up over 700 hands.It's a poor multi-tablers dream!

Sets are gold.

Most of the poker generation span have a short attention span, therefore delaying for a second or two before raising marginal hands may get them to fold holdings they may play otherwise.(they know the next hand is just a click away) Errrm I've just folded A6s on the button.They were taking too long!

As I mentioned in a previous Rush post it's worth checking the lobby before starting to play to check which players are four tabling.Generally if these guys play back at you it's time to fold.

The play at $25nl and $50nl is soft.I'm strict with bankroll management, but I believe you have to take a few chances with a small roll to be able to play at stakes where you can make enough money to make suffering all the beats worth it,even if it's just enough to pay a few bills. $25nl , a $25 buy-in cash game with .10c and 25c blinds was the lowest available level on Pokerroom over 5 yrs ago when I began playing and I won't be playing any lower unless I hit a really bad run.( famous last words probably!)

From reading figures on forums etc I'd estimate 70-90% of players lose money at $25 and $50nl 6 max and as far as reads go it's usually safe to assume they're a donk unless they prove otherwise.(the skill of being able to hit their 2 outer on the river doesn't count) Many of these players are so weak they can easily be outplayed preflop and on every street thereafter.I feel the advantage of cash poker being more of a postflop game evens up the edge of having no prior reads in a hand when compared to turbo sng poker, which is basically correctly shoving/folding late in the game, and grinding out a very small edge over plenty of volume to make a profit.I'm certainly finding so far that the average $22 Party turb player has more of a clue than most of these low stakes rush donks.

I have been ratholing, but I was 4 buy-ins up at $25 tonight ( obv brag to show I should be playing nosebleed stakes with Ivey and co) and found I could open more widely and seemed get more respect when I had a big stack.It was also easier to build momentum and I seemed to get more big blind walks.Playing better when winning is a definite influence too, but it's not an overriding factor.

Sets are gold.

I also find they play a bit like turbo sngs.Wait for big hand,hope to get it in preflop and pray to the poker gods that it holds.Raise all pairs pre or call if there's only one raise behind or if they're deepstacked and it's not too expensive.Raising helps disguise sets and if reraised pre you can almost certainly be sure of getting paid if you hit and be able to get away cheaply when you miss.I like calling 3bb raises in multi-way pots with suited connectors,gapped sooted conns,sooted Aces and small pairs.

There's no pride on the line as any players in a hand quickly move on to a new table after folding or their current hand plays out.In bigger pots that effect seems to make players more likely to make nonsense bluffs which don't make sense, as they don't look silly for long if called down.It also makes players more likely to try and sniff out bluffs in big pots for the same reason.

Smaller pots are the polar opposite.The pride/ego factor being absent makes it easier for your opponent to fold to a c-bet if he/she's missed the flop and in general they seem less likely to make a move without a hand.Players with big stacks though are more likely to be better players, and as they probably think they're dealing with a random donk, they can often be easier to re steal from or bluff.Obviously only bluffing with a believable line depending on board texture and preflop action.

Like turbo sngs the big hands and general confrontations come thick and fast and you have to be prepared for the beats ( brutal at times as ever) and take breaks if you feel yourself tilting.Don't be to keen to get into the action when you start playing.Be patient,wait for big hands and the look hard for the right opportunities to crack their monsters and get suitably paid off.

Sets are gold.

Back soon..

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