Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Keep Believing...

The Play Station Network is still down ( no Black Ops online Multi-player for me) so I hit the poker tables on Saturday and Sunday,six tabling the $16's on Stars and playing more of the $22's on Party.After another awful run of luck on Sat night at Stars I was wondering how I could possibly write yet another blog post about how badly I've been running recently.Even belief in my own game has been harder to come by as I start to think there will never be an end to the seemingly constant beating being dished out to me on the felt.Farce9 asked recently in the comments about poker blogging tips and one of the hardest to stick to is the no bad beats rule.

We all suffer them and nobody cares about anyone else's bad luck.It's that simple.It becomes tempting to post them because when you harp on about running badly all the time adding the repeated nasty hand histories seems to sooth the poker ego and shout "Look I'm telling the truth,I really am just unlucky at the moment".It's easy to bleat on about the huge swings that are possible over small sample sizes ( even 1000 sngs is considered relatively small ) but it's harder dealing with them.

Thankfully for my bruised poker ego I managed to run a bit better last night and reduced my recent Stars losses to only a few buy-ins.I say "thankfully" but good short-term results over one night are just as meaningless as the same kind of bad run.Perhaps they're not completely meaningless though as it's very hard to just remain focused on volume and resist feeling bad after a losing session or feeling good after winning money.

I did read at the weekend that the greatest snooker player of all time,seven time World Champion,Stephen Hendry,is questioning his own self-belief after crashing out of the World Championships so perhaps there is hope for the rest of us!

Away from the poker I was at Ibrox on Sunday for the final Old Firm game of the season which finished 0-0 despite Rangers being by far the better side for the vast majority of the game.We're now a point ahead of them but they have a game in hand and we have only four games left to play so retaining our title is now out of our own hands.I'm not optimistic but I felt the same way back in '05 when the helicopter ( carrying the league trophy on the final day of the season) famously changed direction so it's not impossible.

I don't write much about the bitter rivalry between Rangers and Celtic fans but it was brought home to me again a few weeks ago when I was taken into an office at work and warned that someone had complained that I had been spending too much time looking a Rangers fans web forum.I get on well with my workmates and this was a total shock to me until I realised I'd obviously got under the skin of one particularly bitter Celtic fan who sits behind me.My boss couldn't officially confirm who it was but said enough without saying anything for me to be 100% certain.

I work too hard to spend much time surfing the net but I stopped looking at the Gers forum to cover my backside after my managers first chat with me and it's just as well because the same guy made the same accusation again last week.I was furious and pointed out his blatant lies and the sectarian reasons behind them.I haven't confronted the tosser because I think I'd end up losing the plot and I'm not throwing a good job away for anyone.Grrrrrrrr!

Thanks for reading.Back soon...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stars Cashout Received

The good news is that my Stars cashout made into my bank account and from reading some of the 2+2 threads it looks like all players will get their money without any long delays.The weekly 2+2 pokercast was excellent as usual and listening to the experts interviewed helped set my mind at ease regarding the short to medium term future of companies like Stars and Full Tilt.I'll probably take advantage of Stars deposit bonus and put $200 online but I won't ever be keeping more than a few hundred on there just in case.

I only played three sng's on Stars during the week and managed to double my last $19.77 with a couple of cashes in $6.50 games.If it was weird playing with no Americans at the table it was even stranger playing without my customary herbal assistance! Someone questioned a call I made when we were three handed and instead of my usual silence I had a go back in the chatbox and probably typed more words in a few minutes than I have in six years of playing.( excluding Blogger games obviously)

I did have a laugh during a particularly fishy $6.50 game.People were spewing chips all over the place in the first level of play and someone typed "This is power play,this is what I like" in the chatbox.Aye,keep up the power plays Sunshine!

It's the Easter Holiday weekend and although I had to work on Friday ( we get the Glasgow Fair Monday in July off) I'm off on Monday and my workplace is closed next Friday for the Royal Wedding.The Play Station Network is still down so last night I rolled up and hit the poker tables.I was trying to play within my tiny roll on Stars and the soft competition and a bit of run good saw my Stars roll hit $57 before I got bored,threw in a couple of $16's and finished the night with $28.I'll probably redeposit $200 of the $940 I withdrew last Friday and hit the $16's later tonight.

This afternoon I went to the Alea in Glasgow for some live action and played in the £22 turbo tourney.( 15 min blinds,10k starting stack) There isn't much room for making moves with such a quick structure and when I had to fold AKs to a flop reraise I was nearly out early.In the end I came 24th from 68 starters when my A8 shove was called by Q10 in the big blind and Queen flopped.After that I popped in to see Step A to give her an Easter Egg and I'm now waiting on a nice healthy pizza and chips being delivered!

Tomorrow is the last Old Firm game of the season at Ibrox and I'll be there with Two Pies for the 12.30 kick off.If this was a football blog I could write pages about all the goings on in Scottish football this season but my guess is that most of my readers couldn't care less so I'll save my rants for my friends ears.

I've not seen my hot neighbour ( apart from a few waves at the window) so no update there but I will do something about it soon because if she's not interested I need to move on.Stopping smoking ye old herb during the week and going for long walks every lunchtime has me feeling a lot more motivated to get my arse in gear and I'm not going to be content to sit and play poker/Call of Duty for the rest of my life anymore.

Ok,thanks for reading.Back soon...

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Framing Who?

My Stars cashout hasn't hit my bank account yet but I'm feeling far more confident about it than I was when the brown stuff first hit the online poker fan on Friday evening.I left $16 on the site and played a few wee $6.50's over the weekend.It was weird playing there with no American players at all and although the games should be softer without the US pro-grinders I'm reluctant to re-deposit and play the $16's just in case the site vanishes with my funds.Stars themselves say it's business as usual for players outside the USA but I think I'll let the dust settle a bit before entrusting them with my money again.

With online poker under threat I did feel more of an urge than ever to play the game and 4-6 tabled the $22's on Party over the rest of the weekend.I feel like I've run really badly on Party recently although a quick Sharkscope check shows I'm still a couple of hundred dollars up over a small sample size of less than 200 games.( since Jan)

The sngs I did play on Stars filled quite slowly and the current situation makes me glad I didn't ever take the plunge and try to play fulltime when the company I work for was offering a years salary to leave.I went from being quite keen on the idea a few years ago to realising it was no more than quite a lonely data entry job with no guarantees about the future.

Away from the poker I was at the Gers game on Saturday before watching a disappointing 1-1 draw between Real Madrid and Barcelona.My hot neighbour cleaned the flat when I was out watching my team and when I popped in to pick up my key we ended up having a few smokes and cups of tea.I would have finally asked her out... but this weeks excuse is that I was completely wasted by the time I went back up stairs a few hours later and was in no state to say anything coherent!

I met up with Step A last Thursday and had a fun night.We had our usual Mcd's,went back to walk Nacho and ended up playing Call of Duty and swearing at the tv.( she's nearly 17 so I don't mind a few swear words) She hasn't seen her Mum since January and says she gets so angry sometimes she wants to smash things up.She's worried she's bi-polar but I think it's more likely just deep rooted anger at the situation with her Mum and the lack of contact.I like to think I'm a decent judge of character and can't believe I spend nearly a decade with a woman so selfish and uncaring in her nature.

The good news is that Step A is going to college in September and hopefully that will give her a bit of stability and direction in her life.After I split from the ex Mrs A I was quite bitter about wasting some of my best years with her but thinking about my continued relationship with Step A,the mutt I inherited and the good times we did have together ( mainly the three sunshine holidays per year) has changed that and there are no regrets anymore.

Tonight I'm popping over to see Step A again to give her tickets for a Framing Hanley gig I bought as a reward for getting into college.I should be home in time for the Gers game away at Dundee Utd and I'll probably play some Black Ops or poker after that.

Thanks for reading.Back soon..

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stars,Full Tilt and Absolute Charged by FBI!

I had a wee look at the NVG section of 2+2 a short while ago and I was stunned to see that the FBI have seized the domain names of Stars,Full Tilt and Absolute poker and filed the charges written about below.

Here's the link to the US Department of Justice press release.I've copied the first part below and highlighted the scary part for anyone with funds on those sites.

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and JANICE FEDARCYK, the
Assistant-Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced the unsealing
of an Indictment today charging eleven defendants, including the
founders of the three largest Internet poker companies doing
business in the United States - PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and
Absolute Poker (the "Poker Companies")- with bank fraud, money
laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. The United States
also filed a civil money laundering and in rem forfeiture
complaint (the "Civil Complaint") against the Poker Companies,
their assets, and the assets of several payment processors for
the Poker Companies. In addition, restraining orders were issued
against more than 75 bank accounts utilized by the Poker
Companies and their payment processors, and five Internet domain
names used by the Poker Companies to host their illegal poker
games were seized.

I've cashed out just under $1k from Stars and have no idea if it will go through without any problems or if I'm just being over cautious.Even if this somehow doesn't affect cashouts and the poker playing software client I don't see casual fishy players still being happy to deposit and play online poker as freely as before.Looks like it's a very bad day for online poker players and perhaps a good day to buy shares in Party Poker!

Late Edit:Looks like it's a very sad day for online poker,epecially if you live in the US.No doubt the online game will rise again in the longer term, but that won't help the folk making a living from it just now.

Apologies for not crediting them, but the 2+2 server hamster is working overtime on his wheel and I can't find the orignal quotes! ( nothing to do with having my first smoke of the week...)

Anyway here are some of the posts from the 2+2 thread that made me smile admidst the gloom...

Doyles Room is now 8 by 4.

Phil Galfond: "Anyone want to buy a slide"?

"I wonder if the standard of play will go up in the play money tournaments".

"Does this mean the durrrr challenge is gonna slow down from its current pace?"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Every One's a Winner...

It looks like I'll be able to quit work and making a living from gambling after the women in my team at work came up with a foolproof way to make money on last Saturdays Grand National.It's the only horse race all year I bet on and instead of the usual sweep stake the clever ladies in my team decided to collect money from everyone and place a bet on every single horse in the race.After I stopped laughing I tried to explain why that wouldn't be a good idea and eventually organised a traditional sweep stake with me drawing a couple three-legged donkeys as usual.

At the weekend I hit the poker tables and six tabled the $16's for most of Friday and Saturday nights.Set of six then roll another.Rinse and repeat! I don't have a sub to Sharkscope anymore but I would guess I played at least 60 games and the cashier shows I finished down nearly $200.I felt like I was running horrendously and checking my exit hands on Pokertracker confirmed that was the case.A post on sng variance from NoahSD's blog that Yorkie Pud linked to helped put it in perspective a bit and it really is just a case of grinding on through it.I've been back on the non herb smoking wagon during the week again so I'm not sure if I'll hit the tables again until next weekend.

On the hot neighbour front I haven't actually grown a set and asked her out yet but we were chatting in the sunshine on Sunday and I did ask if she fancied a barbecue next weekend if the sun is still out.( we have a communal garden at the back of our block of flats) The plan is for me to buy the disposable barby and she will buy in the food.It's hardly a candle lit dinner but it's a start! It may be a slow start because the rain started on Monday and it doesn't look like easing off anytime soon.

Back soon....

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The New Van Gogh?

After posting the worst monthly stats I can remember the other day, I played a wee set of four $22's on Party and won nearly $100 on Sunday evening.I was very tempted to edit the stats on my last post, but there's no point in harping on about sngs being all about volume and then adjusting stats after just four games.

Wildcat mentioned it might be worth giving the 50/50 sngs, ( a normal sit and go where 5 from 10 starters get paid based on the finishing chip stacks) and I did give them a wee go when they were first launched.I played a set of four and cashed in them all but was disappointed that the payout structure meant I didn't make much of a profit.

Not a lot else going on this week.I did give my hot neighbour a lift into Glasgow again last Friday but early in the morning doesn't seem the best time to ask someone out.I don't fancy my chances much anyway for a couple of reasons.She warned me she was having a party a couple of months back ( as good neighbours do) but never asked if I wanted to go.I did also text her to ask if she wanted to come up and watch a film a while back after she had cleaned my flat earlier and said I would understand if she was too zonked.( as we'd shared few incredibly strong joints before she left) She replied to say thanks but she was too cabbaged to move!

Anyway I will get round to it as I've has more winks and emails from women on the dating site and I don't feel like replying until I get this out my system!

Good news on the football front as it looks like Rangers financial woes may be over if the proposed takeover goes ahead.It's dragged on for months now, but apparently talks are at an advanced stage and a deal is nearly done.I still love my football, however I hate the fact that the fans are treated more as customers than supporters these days.I was shouting at my radio the other morning when it was announced that the Radio 5 live phone-in subject was "Can football grounds be made swearing free?" Swearing free? It's not the ballet and if you're an easily offended football "customer" who goes to the game to sit quietly for 90 mins then you can fck right off as far as I'm concerned.The "think of the children" mob can do likewise! It's a passionate game and I don't want to see it sanitised any further.

Not that I'll have any money left to go to the football if I keep having to buy replacement Ipod headphones.Yesterday I managed to slice off another earpiece thingy after getting it caught outside the drivers door of my car yet again.Being a tight git, I've decided if it happens again then one of my ears will just have to go!

Back soon...

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Stats Post

Party $845 ( 73 sngs played) Pokerstars $1122 ( 142 sngs played) Total $1967 ( - $347)

After running well over a tiny sample in Feb,I hit a bad downswing in March ( over another small sample size) and had one of those months where I just couldn't win a flip or get a hand to hold.I've cheated slightly and included this weekends crappy stats in my March stats to hopefully try and give myself a fresh start for the rest of April.I'm actually quite pleased that compared to February's 72 sngs I managed to get 215 in last month as volume is the only way to ride out the massive short-term swings incurred when playing sit and go's.

Most of my downswing has come on Party as I swapped $150 on Stars for $150 on Party with another blogger midway through March.Last night I had another horrible session of six tabling sng's on Party and fired up Stars to play in the wee small hours.I ended up winning $70 at a $50 nl 6 max cash game and then decided to try something new to me and played some Heads up $25nl cash against a German donkey.( took him for a massive $15 before going to bed)

As I was back at work last week I didn't smoke any weed at all between last Saturday night and Friday and felt all the better for it.The only problem was that I didn't play a hand of poker either as I'm used to having a smoke before I play.I'll be sticking to the no weed before work rule again next week and will try and get a few sets of sit and go's in too.Perhaps I'll turn into a raging chatbox monster after every bad beat or maybe not having to skin up between sets will allow me to get more volume in.

Not much else going on really.I've been switching the tv off and listening to music during my poker sessions to try and focus more on the game.I bought Adele's album "21" and it's well worth a listen if you haven't already.Ok,thanks for reading.Back soon...

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