Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back in Black....

My broadband was playing up on Friday night which left me playing poker using a pay as you go usb dongle.I only played $7 6 max hypers as the connection was slow,I've got a bit of a cold and I was pretty exhausted after a long week at work.

Yesterday after getting back from watching Rangers beat Hibs 4-0 I had a hot curry for dinner ,confirmed my broadband was working again and watched an episode of "Banged up Abroad" on my laptop.I hit the tables around 10pm and registered for most of the Turbo/Hyper turbo tourneys in the lobby with a buy in of $51 and under.

I played 11 in total and apart from one terrible donkey play with 55 ( which saw me knocked out of a $16 mtt) I felt I was playing quite well although I was still losing key flips and running into bigger hands at vital times. I was also really enjoying the games and the challenge of adjusting to Mtt's.Even with my Stars roll down $1100 for the month at one point I still made plans to move $600 on Party ( not played there for months) over to Stars and to keep grinding Mtt's until I only had $3k left at which point I'd start grinding sngs again.

That was assuming I didn't cash in any Mtt's and that was looking more and more likely after crashing out of most of the ones I was playing in.( including my third TCOOP event) I was still in the $10,$10k Gtd but with over 2600 entrants and the decent money only starting at the final table I wasn't getting too excited about finally winning some flips and having some hands hold up.

With around 20 left I was quite short stacked and fairly card dead and only a few wee steals kept me afloat.I ducked and dived and even raise/folded AK to a reraise and shove at one point.( would have been against another AK and JJ which won the hand)

I made the final table as the second shortest stack but despite that I was really pumped up for it and remember thinking it's just as well I don't play much live poker if I'm going to shake like a leaf and get that excited.Rolling another and taking a few deep breaths calmed me down as did realising I'd really need to focus and battle hard if I didn't want to get blinded out in 9th.

Apart from my 44 holding v J10 I hung around without catching any cards or winning any huge pots as one after another crashed out until we were five handed.Not long after that I shoved A10 from Utg and ran into the other short stacks AJ.5th place for $1177 and back in profit for the month!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pick that out!

Before I bought Jared Tendlers book "The Mental Game of Poker" for my kindle I genuinely thought I'd probably be wasting my money as I didn't think I had any problems with that side of my game.In fact I've always considered it one of my poker strengths.I've never blown through a bankroll on monkey tilt , I don't berate fish at the table and if I do feel my game slipping due to repeated bad beats I used to simply stop playing.

Having finished the book I'm happy to admit I had more mental game leaks than I first thought.The good news is that I also realised that just writing down poker thoughts in the form of this blog has probably helped my game far more than I ever thought possible too.

For years I've also had a problem with just getting down and playing whenever I plan a poker session.I'd surf the net,watch training vids and do everything bar actually firing up the tables.The book helped me realise that I was delaying my sessions due to the accumulated negative emotions I'd built up due to all the previous downswings and bad beats I'd experienced in the past.

These days I'll warm up with a heads up game or a few micro stakes sngs and then happily dive straight into playing 6-8 tables.I may still take a breather when running very badly, but I'm also jumping back on the horse far more quickly than I did previously and the increase in games played can only help increase my overall profit.

Reading the book also helped me take last weekends downswing pretty much in my stride and I actually surprised myself at how accepting I was of such a nasty run of cards and the bankroll hit that came with it.That's not to say I wasn't muttering stuff like "You've got to be joking" as the beats were coming thick and fast but after each beat I'd immediately inject some logic into my thinking and get myself back on track without the need to take a long break or stop playing altogether.

I've been lucky with the poker books I've read.I began with "Killer Poker" by John Vorhaus and his "bet big or go home" philosophy was ideal for the micro/low stakes cash games I started out playing.I liked his views on the mindgames side of poker too and that was one of the reasons I chose the anonymous give nothing away name of Zagga as my Stars username.The fact the name is also a dyslexic anagram of Gazza ( one of the best footballers I've seen play for Rangers) also played a part.I wish I'd been thinking along similar lines before coming up with the stupid Acornman name I use on this blog!

I remember taking a lot from the Matt Matros book "The Making of a Poker Player" and other books like Double A's "Pressure Poker" too.In short if I was to give one piece of advice to any of my poker playing readers it would be to buy Jared Tendlers book.( and this is not a paid ad even if it probably looks that way!)

I'm not sure what games I'll be playing this weekend.I reckon I'll go down the Mtt route again although I may give the extremely high variance $51 hyper mtt's a miss despite getting so close to a decent cash in one last week.As well as enjoying the change of pace in Mtt's I also got to play with some of the big names in the Mtt world.I'm not up on who all the latest "ill sickos" are but I did resteal from Pearljammer ( a gutsy move with AK!) and locked horns with Busto_Soon,Thay3r and Rooney_Dives who I recognised from Pocket Fives forum threads.

I also played with a dutch teampoker stars player called Fatima Moreira De Melo and after googling her name I found it quite amusing that a hot looking top Dutch hockey player and TV presenter could be sat on the virtual right of a stoned Scotsman playing poker in his boxer shorts.

Away from the poker I enjoyed watching the second leg of the Copa Del Rey cup game between Barcelona and Real Madrid last night.What a peach of a goal from Danny Alves.Pick that out son!( love the Spanish commentary on this clip too)

I've been reading about the upcoming Superbowl final on a few US blogs and I won't be staying up to watch it as I've never been able to get into American football.I did read the other day that a Scottish born bloke called Tynes plays for the New York Giants.So does that mean I'll be supporting the Giants v the Patriots? Nah,he's a Celtic fan apparently so in the time honoured sports fan tradition of being childish and petty I'd just like to say f*ck the Giants and come on the Pats!

Ok,more than enough wittering for one post.Back soon...

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Nasty Poker Weekend

The poker lesson from the weekend was that if Dudley stops by your table and promises some run good expect the opposite! A few minutes after he had said hello my KK fell to JJ in a $27 Mtt and that was only the beginning of an almost surreal downswing that lasted all weekend.I played a load of Mtt's ranging from $5 to $55,some $7 and $30 hypers and overall lost over $900.Despite that awful run I made the money in one of the $25 hyper mtt's last night and when I got my 49k stack in the middle preflop with AKs v AJ for the world I'll admit my thoughts jumped ahead to finally making a decent cash and wiping out my losses.The Jack on the flop ended that idea!

I lost count of the number of times villains hit their crappy kicker,rivered me with the most unlikely of runner runner combinations and hit sets v my premium hands.It wasn't even just my hands that couldn't win.When three of us were all even stacked on the bubble of a $30 hyper the other two got it all in with AA v 1010.Of course they split the pot when the board came all spades and I was out shoving JJ into QQ on the next hand.

All that really matters is how I was playing and for the most part I felt I kept my head and played quite well.One mistake I did make was shoving Q6s from mid position with just under 10bb near the bubble of a $44 Mtt.I don't like just playing to cash in Mtt's but if I'd held on a for a bit longer I was pretty certain to make the money at least.

The positives are that I kept plugging away and didn't let the fear of losing stop me from loading up more tables and I certainly didn't lose any sleep either.Afterall if I'm going to step up and play $30 hypers and higher buy-in Mtt's there's no point getting upset at a pretty standard downswing.I'm hoping to have enough savings this year to pay the big bills ( council tax,Rangers season ticket and car insurance) without having to cash out any of my poker roll so I'll just have to take it on the chin,keep playing well and see where that takes me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Going Downhill Fast ( or not so fast probably)

My cousin Two Pies and I travelled up to Perth on Saturday morning to watch Rangers beat St Johnstone 2-1 with Jelavic scoring both our goals.My mid-life crisis must be starting early as Two Pies is a qualified Ski instructor and I'm sure I heard myself agreeing to go along to the dry ski centre he where he works this Sunday for my first lesson.Watch out Eddie the Eagle....

That of course is if I'm still around for that first lesson and my sis hasn't killed me first.I was over visiting my parents as usual last Thursday and helped entertain my wee nephew by ripping up a newspaper.Simple but fun! On Sunday my sis sent me an email with a pic attached of her living room floor covered in bits of newspaper with the suggestion that Uncle Acorn may be to blame!

Two disappointments today.I went into Waterstones book shop on my lunch hour to finish reading the Devilfish book and some f*cker has bought it.Next time I'm hiding it behind Fly Fishing by JR Hartley.( one for my older UK readers)

The other letdown today is protected tweets.I liked being able to read a twitter page without signing up or having my own account and now the only twitter page I actually read is protected.Maybe I will sign up just to follow one or two folk( the Big Sam one is great) but I certainly wont be tweeting.

I can just imagine todays effort."Nearly late for work after being unable to leave until I saw Big Chris safely land that helicopter in the latest Roary the Racing Car episode".There would be no beginning to the excitement of reading my tweets.And besides apparently my Roary tweet is 141 characters and that's not allowed!

To the poker and last weekend was almost a repeat of the previous one when I played some Mtt's without cashing and made a profit playing the hyper sngs.Overall I'm only about $50 up this month but I've played 643 games and I'll hopefully break the 1k volume mark by the end of the month.

I thought I'd post this wee hand just to show that even in the push/fold 6 max hyper world of 500 chip starting stacks and 2 minute blind levels there's still occasionally room to mix it up.I don't recall my exact reasoning but I do remember (and this is always important) having a plan.Perhaps he'd been min raising a lot or the fact he should have shoved with his stack size prompted it.Anyway in this case the plan was to cold call the villains preflop min raise and check raise all in on any flop.Of course the perfect flop and the fact it was easy to represent the Ace the villain didn't have on this occasion certainly helped.

Thanks for reading.Back soon...

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Take me to your Dealer

I was sad to see on a tv news item about falling newspaper sales that it's only an urban myth that the day after the Titanic sank the Aberdeen Press and Journal paper ran with the headline "North East Man Lost at Sea".That story always made me smile.

It's not been too bad a week considering it was my first full week back at work after the Xmas holidays.I caught up with Step A on Wednesday night and last night I was over seeing my folks and wee nephew before getting a call asking if I'd like to see a man about a dog.( score some weed)

As usual it wasn't straightforward and after driving to one dodgy housing estate my mate/dealer went in for a cup of tea and I had to drive some stranger to an even dodgier area to collect the goods.At least he was a better class of stranger than the one I met the last time I scored.We went to pick up this loser who was supposed to be waiting for us and had to go and kill time for an hour because he wouldn't come with us until a football game on tv finished.

This salt of the earth guy then spent the car journey to yet another dodgy place telling tales of how he had ripped off this guy and that guy and even the charming story of him heading home drunk one night and deciding to break a jewellers window to steal some watches.He was half cut too and as he staggered off with my money I did wonder if I'd ever see him again.Thankfully he did return and all was good.For anyone wondering,my dealer said he has known this excuse for a human being for over 20 years and that made me feel it would probably be ok.

I'm sure I've told this tale on my blog before but I've searched and can't find it so apologies if I'm repeating myself.When my friends and I were in our late teens I used to drive us to the obligitory dodgy housing estate to score small bits of weed.As I drove us there I sat in the car whenever we arrived and let my friends visit the dealer "Jimmy Snipe" to get the goods.One day I decided I wanted to go in with them in case I wanted to go up myself one day and without giving much thought to Jimmy's nickname I warmly shook the dealers hand and said "Ah you must be Jimmy Snipe,nice to meet you".

It was probably only the fact that we were such good customers that saved me from getting a kicking as Mr Snipe's nickname was only used behind his back because he used to snipe ( cut) bits off the weed he was selling and nobody ever got the weight they paid for.

Ok,after another week of non smoking it's time to take Nacho out before coming back to spark up and hit the tables....


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Staying Calm and Carrying On...

After losing about $100 on Friday night at the felt I was around $200 down on my end of December Stars bankroll figure and opted to get away from the hypers and play a night of turbo/hyper Mtt's.I watched "Knocked Up" as I played and could have made my own version of the movie called "Knocked Out" as I couldn't seem to win a hand and was getting screwed on the river more times than Tarka the otter wearing his new aftershave.

I suppose it would make for a more interesting blog post if I wrote about how gutted I was to be nearly $500 down for the month and how I had to try and dig deep to get back on track but in truth it just didn't play out that way.I've played thousands of hyper sng's and a bad run of 9 Mtt's didn't dent my confidence at all.Besides I'm well aware that I can't expect to cash everytime I play a Mtt session.

Anyway after the Mtt's were over I hit the hyper sng's,starting with some $7's and moving on to the $30's.I was only four tabling the $30's as they're still new to me ( only 200 played) and after buying in for the first four I realised if I didn't cash I would be over $600 in the hole for the month.That wasn't a nice prospect but I was really quite calm about it and kept telling myself that it's only possible to control my play and not the cards.

I played 32 hyper sng's before hitting the sack just after 3am and managed to go on a wee run in the last couple of sets, winning four in a row to leave me down just over $100 for the month.I'll never know, but even without that boost I still think I'd have slept like a baby last night as I knew I was playing well enough and that nasty runs happen all the time.

Back soon...

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

145 Game Hyper Turbo Session

"I didn't text you Happy New Years,cos to be truthful and be blunt,I didn't like you last year and this year you're still a c....."

Is it just me or does anyone else hate those generic spam texts from friends/family sent a few hours before the bells at New Year that contain pish about "snuggling in your inbox" or "avoiding the midnight texting hell"?

I managed to break my sng record on Jan 1st and played 145 Hyper turbo games ( 6 max $7) over one session.I didn't run too well towards the end and finished down for the night, but I was more pleased at being able to eight table for most of the night and for getting so many games under my belt.

It was a bit of a late one though and yesterday after getting back from watching Rangers win 3-0 against Motherwell,I was too exhausted to play very much.My poor run at the $7's continued and at one point I was over $300 down on my end of December Stars balance.Finishing last nights session by winning a couple of $30's certainly helped make a dent in that.

Back soon...

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