Tuesday, 21 July 2009

APAT part 2....

Before I go on I would like to talk about another hand which I forgot about during the first level!Simon opened from second to act to 150, small blind called so I over peel with 95cc The flop comes 8h7c6h So I've flopped the second nuts. weeeeeeeeeee mbsfn! However the board is very dangerous.

Before I can decide whether to lead the flop or not (I was leaning towards betting out) the sb to my surprise bets 300.Now I knew he had something but I was fairly confident I had the best hand. I don't think he'd lead with the nut straight here so I just flatted because:
1) Although I'm winning I'm not looking to get my chips in on this flop. Villian could have a very good combo draw and I'd have very little equity against his hand.
2) Simon may re raise us both with an overpair which will help build the pot for me and also help define the sb's hand
3) It's level one! let's not go crazy just yet!

So I call and Simon folds. The turn card brings the 10d Great. If I am winning my chances of getting some value from this hand might be stuffed! The sb leads once more this time for 600. Now I could raise for value here- however I'm likely only to get action from hands that tie with me and the villian will certainly shut down the river if I raise now. I'm thinking he either has a 9 too, or maybe two pair or a set. Flatting also could mean I'm on the flush draw and the villian may have to pay me off if he checks to me. Continuing with my small ball style I just call once more hoping for a safe river so I can take sb to value town

Unfortunately the ugliest card in the deck falls the 7h Puke! Now villian tank/leads for 1k. I am beating nothing on this board and only tying with a 9. I reluctantly fold my straight and later he tells me he had a boat which I fully believe!

Sometimes poker can be such an easy game. You raise with QQ you get a Q1010 and before you can think about extracting value your opponent had bet into you! Sometimes however it can be the sickest of the sickest games in the world! This APAT was beginning to have a familiar feel about it......

Back to second level 4kness. I tighten up a little bit but continue to limp in position- playing flops and trying not to get too bogged down with my stack- after all I still have 40 bigs. I managed to run my stack back up to 6k and go on break to discuss my sick hands with Kev and tuck into the "buffet"

Unfortunately Kev is also on a similar stack after getting his money with 10 10 on a 9 high flop against A9 only for the turn AND the river to be an ace. However we still now there's plenty of play left and time to rebuild our stacks. I must say- I give Kev a lot of ribbing about his game but it has improved no end over the last 12 months and his results locally have been much better than mine. However he still has the tendency to do Mike matasow blow ups with huge stacks!!!

After an early dinner I'm ready to get back in the saddle and continue small balling it up! I decided however I needed to play a little more aggressive in position. After a couple rounds of the button I've noticed that the gentleman to my right keeps limp/folding so I decide I'm going to try and hoover up his chips. I had Val gray and Simon on my left but they hadn't shown any tendencies to go crazy and 3 bet so I felt that with position I could either take down the dead money or play a flop in position. So said gentleman limps in cut off- I look down at J2 and make it 750 to go. Unfortunately Val colds calls from the small and said gentleman, as predicted folds. Val then leads on an 8 high board and I fold, cursing my timing and back down to 5k. Marvelous!

Next hand a player to my 2 to my left makes it 525 to play. I look down at A9 and 3 bet to 1550 for a few reasons:

1) GTFO small ball poker
2) I sensed some weakness from said player
3) A teensy bit of tiltage

Number 2) was the main reason I 3 bet. I thought I could take control of the pot but also that Mr player was weak.My player calls (somewhat unexpectedly) and we're heads up to the flop. I am probably shoving most flops he checks to me, whether I hit or not so when the board comes it's a shock when he bets 2.5k! I only have about 3.5 back!Now I start to run through his hand range. What could he have on such a dry board?

1) He could have slow played JJ-AA. I'm pretty sure that he doesn't have QQ or JJ as my stack size would probably have meant he stuck me all in pre. However I do think he might have slow played the two best pre flop hands in poker. However if you're going to take this line wouldn't you check on such a dry board? Maybe if it comes down or your putting me but surely not this board? So I discount those. For the same reasons I discount a set.

2) Much more likely is a weaker 9 or even a draw like I look over at him and he really doesn't look comfortable. Live poker FTW. I stick my chips in and when he asks how much more it is I do cartwheels (metaphorically of course) My opponent has to call the 1k or so extra and flips See how easy poker can be? I still get the sick sweat when the comes down but a on the river sees me double up to around 11k. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee..............

Monday, 20 July 2009

It's been a while- APAT Scotland Part 1....

OK so where to start- I hadn't even bothered to look at the click fest for Scotland but decided last minute that I fancied a crack at the Scottish event. Why?

1) 130 runners to get past instead of the usual 150-18
02) All those Scottish players??? Valoooooooooo (or so I thought)

I applied on seat exchange and managed to get a couple of seats. One for me and one for Kev "the bagman" Smith. Unfortunately Neil couldn't make this one and may not to be able to participate in future events now he's a "pro"

So we set about booking flights/hotel/ etc etc. I booked the flights whilst Kev took care of the hotel. He knew a bloke who get us a "discount" at the holiday inn- more about that later......Ideally we would have flew up Friday for the night out but unfortunately my poker passes for the year are expiring fast. So we got the 10am flight from EMA to land at 12pm. We went for brekkie (I lost the flip) got a cab (I lost the flip) had some lunch (I lost the flip) and then made our way to the venue.

Running hot on flips, Kev queued up to pay (cos of the card payment errors) with me thinking that I had paid for my seat having shipped the money to the person I bought the seat off. Des then informed me that JBworldwide hadn't been charged so I would have to pay. FML!!!! 150 quid for an APAT seat- knowing James I'm sure this was a genuine mistake and we're currently sorting out my money back

I caught up with a few faces both old and new- Jim Lang, Neil Dawson, Leigh and of course Boshi. I also bumped into Micky P whom chided me for only making Day 2 once. I think I've played 7 APAT events up to this point and made day 2 once- not the greatest record. We chatted about my playing style early and I whole heartedly agreed that I was trying to "outplay" everyone early doors. A ridiculous strategy. Yes I'm probably better than most of the field and I hope people don't think I'm arrogant in saying that but Phil Ivey I'm not.

This is easily the most focussed I've been for an APAT event. I deiced that I would play a lot of flops early and keep pots as small as possible. Punishing limpers, even in position wasn't working because:

1) People tend to limp a lot stronger in APAT events
2) People tend to raise a lot tighter in APAT events
3) So because they open and limp a lot stronger- they fold less to raises which means all I'm doing is inflating pots pre.

With this in mind I was limping a lot more in position, playing flops and generally winning a lot more pots. I was mixing my play up between opening and limping and the strategy seemed to be working quite well- I wasn't accumulating but I wasn't panicking. I was fairly card dead but using position to keep myself around starting stack.My opening table didn't have too many familiar faces. I only really knew Simon Auckland but only by reputation- I had never played him before so treaded carefully trying to get reads. Like most APAT tables it was extremely tight early which is why I think APAT tourneys get so crap shooty later on- people don't exit so stacks are naturally shallow.

Anyway some hands! As I've said I'm playing mainly small pots not getting involved too much when I look down KJhh at 3rd to act. I open for 275 at blinds 50/100 playing a stack of around 9k and the sb calls. I later find out the sb is Alan Horburgh (I think). He was constantly making comments about my "celebrity" which is always nice to hear. Getting approached by players and shaking hand and meeting people is very flattering!Anyway the flop comes 963 rainbow one heart and Alan checks. I c-bet for 350 and Alan calls.

I'm not sure what range to assign him but it's a pretty dry board so I'm putting him on a mid pair, maybe 78 for the up and down or 45. He could perhaps be slow playing a big pair but unlikely given his line. I'm looking to barrel most turns if he checks.The turn falls jc Alan checks again. I continue with my plan as I'm fairly confident I have the best hand now and he may get stubborn with his pair so I want to get some value from my hand. I could check the turn and then value bet the river if he checks to me but if he does have a medium pair there's so many river cards which he'll check/fold to that I want to get some value now if possible.

I bet 750 and Alan calls quite quickly. Heading into the river I'm sure I'm winning. The river falls the Kc

BINGO! How much to value bet? I like to value bet between 3/4 to full pot as people often think I'm bluffing so they'll pay the maximum to "catch" me. Alans knuckles it for the 3rd time and after dwelling up I bet 1875. Alan chucks in a 5k chip and at first I think he's just called. But the dealer tells me he's made it 4k total. WOW!

WTF was going on? I go back through the hand and replay it. Has he got a set? Did he flop it? Is he bluffing me on the river? Whichever it is I have to pay the min raise on the river with such a strong hand on such a dry board. I really don't like it but reluctantly call and he turns over Ks Kd !!!!! WP sir! Sick hand and suddenly my small balling has me down to 4k!!!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Usually drink, usually dance, usually BUBBLE!!!

It's been a tough week due to one reason or the other. I had Monday off from work (thanksfully- SM Final finished for me at 7.30 and a day's work would have been tough after that!). Me and Shelley went to lunch and had the inevitable conversation every man has with his wife:

Me: Babe...
Shell: What do you want?
Me: Why would I want anything?
Shell: No point in buttering me up- just tell me what you want it's easier!
Me: I really wanna go Vegas this year.....


After much tooing and froing Shelley agreed that I could go Vegas on the proviso I qualify online. I'll be budgeting obviously but really not sure what to play. Might take a crack at a full tilt package this weekend but may also see if I can try some of the softer sites on Boss, ipoker and other networks rather than the major sites.

I've bubbled in 3 major comps this week which is very frustrating. I played qualifiers for GUKPT's and the Irish Open. I'm not too bothered about London to be honest but REALLY wanna try and win a seat to the Irish open. I think there's a decent package on Laddies and a few more on ipoker so I'll certainly be giving them a go! I may put a staking thread on blonde but I think the size of the buy in is too much to garner any interest so probably will leave it. Even though I've won a big score I don't want to waste the money chasing a big win- I'm mangaing my bankroll better than ever and want to keep it that way.

I woke up Weds morning to hear the sound of Shelley being sick in the toilet. Nice! She had caught some sort of virus- maybe the novo bug but the upshot of it was she was having the day in bed and I get to stay at home with the kids. Easy life! Fire up some poker whilst playing with the kids! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee...........

Or not. I ended up having Thurs off as well and if there's one thing I've learnt it's I'm NEVER being a house husband. Looking after 4 kids was tough enough- Ace needs constant attention. He's in between stages (wants to crawl but can't) and get frustrated easily and cries. You literally have to keep him amused all day. Rio was at his whingy best- school really tires him out and if he doesn't get his own way he'll let you know what he thinks about it in no uncertain terms!

Esme and Kieran have their moments but overall they were a great help. I have never been so tired in my life and actuaklly bounced out of bed for work on Friday. All that I didn't do any housework!!! It certainly makes me appreciate the job Shelley does. I jokingly refer to her job at home as a permananet holiday but not no more. Give me the 9-5 grind anyday!!!

Poker Ambitions

I thought I'd document a few of my poker aims for 2009. In no particular order:

Win a GUKPT title (and become the first to win a GUKPT and GCBPT crown)
Win an APAT tourney (Live or online)
Play in a matchroom 6 seater on TV (UK poker open etc etc)
Play in the WSOP Main Event in 2009

All very lofty goals but all attainable I think.

Anyway that's all from me. No more bubbling please!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Grimmed, Karma and Sunday Million final table.................

Few bits to catch up on.... I'll come to my tourney report on the Sunday Million but a few bits first!

Ginger Watch

A fun segment which I'll be updating on a ad hoc basis. Shelley treated herself to a cut and colour on Saturday so not much ginger in sight atm.

Rest of the family are good. Ace has had a bit of a bug and a cold but he's getting better thankfully. Still not sleeping through and he's gonna be 9 months this Friday (incidentally the 13th- Ace was born on Friday the 13th!) It's been really tough on us, especially Shelley. The first 3 all slept through from six weeks so it's quite a culture shock!

Rio is behaving better though which is a Godsend! Something which I believed has helped is banning him from all video games. Yes we were probably naive letting him play them as young as 4- I really thought it was some sort of fable/old wives tale that computer games can have an effect on a childs behaviour! But it isn't! They turn into little terrors! Lock away your Nintendo Ds's!!! Instead have been taking him and the kids to do more outdoor activities- swimming, running, the park, footie. Poker can sometimes consume your life- I have to remember why I'm making money- for my family. What's the point of doing that if I'm not enjoying them? That's why Shelley's so good for me- she keeps me grounded when I get carried sometimes......

Kieran has his first girlfriend! At the tender age of 11 he asked out a girl called Ellie in his class. I'm dead proud of him cos this is something I never had the courage to do until I was 19 lol! I was a little different back then. Very shy and not confident at all- at some point I'll put up some piccies.


Sunday was quite an eventful day for me in more ways than one. I'd qualified for the ipoker 2.5mill guaranteed for 200 bucks (1700$ buy in) which started at 7pm so had to miss the DTD 300 which was a bit annoying. I'll also be missing it in April due to APAT Cardiff which myself Neil (Blatchley) and Kev Smith (bag man) will be attending.

I decided to approach the tournament seriously as it was a huge pay day and the field wasn't too huge to conquer considering the pay day (500k for first, 1300 runners). I woke up with the kids Sunday and then went back to bed at 11am. I decided that for the first time in ages I'd use a significant portion of my roll to take a shot and play a big Sunday schedule which included:

Sunday Warm Up 215$
Sunday Million 215$
Sunday Second Chance 215$
Couple of 100$ f/outs

Full Tilt:
750k guarantee 215$
Mulligan 215$
Brawl 256$
50k guaranree 163$


Skalie Deepstack 109$
Dream Team Vegas Satty 100$ with EIGHT 5k Vegas packages ADDED!

One problem- I had no dough on full tilt. There's an official person to person transfer thread on blonde and I had about 3k on stars so I put up a message asking for 600$ on tilt for stars then went to sleep......

I wake up at 3.30 (Skalie deepstack starts at 4pm) getting ready for a big day- log onto blonde and have received the following message from what I believe to be Le Knave (Dave Jones):

Hi mate, its Le Knave I can sort you out $200 on tiltShip to THE_KING_JEW on stars and ill ship once received, lets win it allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

Now I want to blame the fact that I'd just woken up on the fact that I shipped it without too much thinking. I did wonder why Dave would play under the name as THE KING JEW as I'm sure he played as Le Knave pretty much everywhere but I dismissed this and just shipped the dough. Many little things pointed to the fact this was not Dave:

1) His name was Le Knave. Dave is LeKnave no spaces.

2) Le Knave had 0 posts. Dave has 3524.

3) He had no contact details MSN etc and no tag line (www.weregettingpaid.com) although he had cunningly copied Le Knave's pic

4) He said in his message- "Hi it's Le Knave." COURSE IT'S LE KNAVE- it's a pm from him! Actually it's NOT! Hence why he' saying "Hi it's Le Knave!"

5) The most active thread on blonde that day was titled "Grimmer?"

Anyway I'm waiting and waiting.... and waiting and waiting. Keep checking my full tilt account- no 200$. I finally get around to reading the thread on blonde and own up to being the dullard I am- get some rightful abuse and some not justified from Richard Kellet and one of his minnions.

Now I have nothing against Richard Kellet. I have actually never shared a poker table with the guy and I'm sure he has a fairly decent game as he gets a lot of backing. He tried to angle shoot Neil in a big pot at DTD which is not on imo if you have an ounce of integrity but it happens, people do it, poker's about a game of edge's and he tried to use one.

Me and Kellet clashed when I made I comment at an omaha table where he was playing (and getting owned) by Dave Penly. I made a comment about Kellett knowing when he's beat= no malice intended but I just didn't understand why he would want to play someone heads up where he has little/no edge when there must be TONS of bad omaha players out there. It's like me asking Tom Dwan if he wants a quick heads up session! Kellet then made a racist comment whcih obv shows his age- I seriously hope that he said this in the heat of the moment cos he was losing $$$. If he wants to apologise I will gladly accept- anyone who knows me knows I don't hold grudges and I'm basically a nice guy.

ANYWAY, I'm digressing but there is a purpose. Kellett and his minnion (can't remember his name, not important enough) start talking to me about karma and the fact that I DESERVED my grimming for accusing Kellet of the same (big thread on blonde, won't go into it lol)- I said if there's any karma hopefully it'll be delievered tonight by the poker Gods.

Back to Sunday, I'm playing a few tourneys- get a couple of mini cashes but nothing massive. My attention soon turns to the Vegas package on Laddies. I'm deep and not really concentrating as well as I should on other tourneys including at this point the Sunday Million (I was card dead and was blinding away something cronic- think my stats at 200/400 were somethings like 5/2/NA lol!). There's 8 packages up for grabs and nine of us left. Folds to me in small blind. Me and the smaller stack we both have around 14k and the blinds are a hefty 2000/4000 and I shove Q5, he obv wakes up with AK and holds. I bubble the sat (although win 1500$) and am sick. Maybe that's karma after all......

I then bust the 50k deep with QQ vs KK. BS!!!! Im one tabling the Sunday million with hardly any chips. FML!!! Another shitty (and costly) Sunday. UM WRONG! I actually FINALLED the million and won 26k- my biggest online pay day. I have posted some hands and comments below. I have very mixed feelings about the final and think I played scared in one pot in particular- waiting to see the reply but I'm sure if I had the opportunity again I would re shove. Please see hands below for more.

Big Bink:

*********** # 91 **************PokerStars Game #25752970094: Tournament #144032321, $200+$15 Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (300/600) - 2009/03/08 18:58:40 ETTable '144032321 169' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: dirkyNL (37713 in chips)
Seat 2: Desert Horse (12515 in chips)
Seat 3: Tommy2tyme (10760 in chips)
Seat 4: Guerrouij (15537 in chips)
Seat 5: Tschan19 (7850 in chips)
Seat 6: George2Loose (6275 in chips)
Seat 7: jwalk007678 (16525 in chips)
Seat 8: jamal p (7175 in chips)
Seat 9: Bicman777 (65233 in chips)
George2Loose: posts small blind 300
jwalk007678: posts big blind 600
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to George2Loose [Qc Td]
jamal p: calls 600
Bicman777: folds
dirkyNL: folds
Desert Horse: folds
Tommy2tyme: folds
Guerrouij: folds
Tschan19: folds
George2Loose: raises 5675 to 6275 and is all-in
jwalk007678: folds jamal p: calls 5675
*** FLOP *** [9h Kc Js]
*** TURN *** [9h Kc Js] [5d]
*** RIVER *** [9h Kc Js 5d] [2d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***George2Loose: shows [Qc Td] (a straight, Nine to King)jamal p: shows [Qd Qs] (a pair of Queens)George2Loose collected 13150 from pot*** SUMMARY ***Total pot 13150 Rake 0 Board [9h Kc Js 5d 2d]Seat 1: dirkyNL folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 2: Desert Horse folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 3: Tommy2tyme folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 4: Guerrouij folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 5: Tschan19 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 6: George2Loose (small blind) showed [Qc Td] and won (13150) with a straight, Nine to KingSeat 7: jwalk007678 (big blind) folded before FlopSeat 8: jamal p showed [Qd Qs] and lost with a pair of QueensSeat 9: Bicman777 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Now this might seem like a donkey move- and it pretty much is. But this is where multi tabling and having a HUD can fuck you up. I had the table minimised cos I was concentrating on Laddies tourney and the HUD covered up the UTG call so I thought I was shoving small to big. Yes- I'm a LUCKBOX!!!

TY Donkey:

*********** # 175 **************PokerStars Game #25755958806: Tournament #144032321, $200+$15 Hold'em No Limit - Level XI (750/1500) - 2009/03/08 20:21:34 ETTable '144032321 169' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: dirkyNL (12375 in chips)
Seat 2: Rightcurver (91939 in chips)
Seat 3: Tommy2tyme (44034 in chips)
Seat 4: Guerrouij (11952 in chips)
Seat 5: dp112 (35488 in chips)
Seat 6: George2Loose (27046 in chips)
Seat 7: jwalk007678 (31052 in chips)
Seat 8: kylmac85 (45335 in chips)
Seat 9: rotiv azar (29045 in chips)
dirkyNL: posts the ante 150
Rightcurver: posts the ante 150
Tommy2tyme: posts the ante 150
Guerrouij: posts the ante 150
dp112: posts the ante 150
George2Loose: posts the ante 150
jwalk007678: posts the ante 150
kylmac85: posts the ante 150
rotiv azar: posts the ante 150
Tommy2tyme: posts small blind 750
Guerrouij: posts big blind 1500
*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to George2Loose [Ad Qh]
dp112: raises 3000 to 4500
George2Loose: calls 4500
*** FLOP *** [As 9s 7c]
dp112: checks
George2Loose: bets 4500
dp112: calls 4500
*** TURN *** [As 9s 7c] [8h]
dp112: checks
George2Loose: bets 17896 and is all-in
dp112: calls 17896*** RIVER *** [As 9s 7c 8h] [6s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***dp112: shows [Ah 3h] (a pair of Aces)
George2Loose: shows [Ad Qh] (a pair of Aces - Queen kicker)George2Loose collected 57392 from pot

Do most call with AQ here 2nd to act? Is it too nitty to fold? He snapped the turn so obv I thought he had trapped me a treat- nope. He obv put me on A2

It's late and will post some more up later- pls leave some comments and I'll respond back

Thanks to everyone for the rail on stars, facebook, blonde. Threads on blonde, punters lounge and APAT. Oh and thanks to Dave Mfkin Jones for the grim. Karma indeed.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Big catch including GUKPT Walsall

Introducing the wife and kids......

Probably should have done this ages ago but for those of you who don't know I'm married with 4 kids! Yes I'm a sicko and get to play way too much poker- what can I say? I have THE most understanding wife in the world! Here she is:

Despite what it looks like- I promise you she is not ginger! She also plays poker online and has head some sick results in the 35k 10r on ipoker coming 4th for 4k (her biggest score) and 8th last week for 500$. Was a shoot toward the end and had cards run better we'd be looking at 8k easy! She has yet to make the plunge live- finds the whole set up intimidating which is why I've changed my view on women only tourneys. When Ace (our youngest- I'll introduce him later!) is older I'm hoping to persuade Shelley to play on the Betfred tour to help her find her feet live or perhaps the Sky Poker Tour.

My eldest are twins- Esme and Kieran. They're both 11 and without a doubt the best behaved kids you could meet. No really! Here they both are:

Both know the basic rules of poker after asking and often play for fun money online. Esme is a complete fish and will not fold if she has a picture card or if they're suited! Kieran is quite aggressive and will bring it in for a raise. Both have potential but in all honestly I don't know how I'd feel if any of my kids wanted to play full time and as sexist as this might sound, especially Esme.

Next up we have Rio. Yes I'm a Man United fan and that was some inspiration for his name! He;s 4 years old and going through he tantrum stage! Not all kids can be well behaved right?

Rio thinks I play poker for a living often referring it to work. Maybe one day when I have a huge roll but with 4 kids, I need a steady income. Whenever I take a beat in a tourney it hurts- can't imagine what it must be like if you're relying on that money for an income!

Finally we have Ace. Obviously his name is related to poker but it was his Auntie Andrea who actually came up with his name and I'm glad she did. He's just 9 months old and a bit of a handful!

Online Variance

I'm sure many people say this but I can honestly say I'm playing the best poker I've ever played at the moment and had variance/poker Gods been nice to me I'm sure I'd have another 5 figure sum to report on. I've made it deep in tourneys on stars/ipoker but lost big flips late on. I may switch to playing more regularly on ipoker although the tourney schedule sucks. The best tourney on there is the 35k 10 rebuy. Unfort it doesn't start until 8.30 and usually finishes at around 2-3am which during the week is far too late! The players on there are so much worse then stars. You'll get people 4 betting AJ suited with no fold equity! Or calling all in with Q10 suited with about 150 big blinds during the first level.
GUKPT Walsall
I played Day 1B after selling 70% on the staking board on blonde. I played good solid poker making the odd bluff and couldn't have really asked for a softer seond table. However the cards didn't run for me in crucial pots- tourney report below:
Sat down and had a tough table with Neil Channing and Mark Goodwin. They were both to my right and after playing a few rounds I was quite pleased with the draw. Most players were pretty straightforward- and the table was quite solid early.I splashed around a little early- playing some suited connectors etc and set mining. I went down to just over 8 before returning to my starting stack.
First significant hand I played I managed to win a big pot. David La Ronde who cam second in Luton to Sam Trickett opened to my right for 450 out of a stack of 8k from the hijack+1 at 75/150. He has been doing this quite a lot and it was starting to frustrate me as I wasn't able to play too many pots. I look down at 45 decide to make it 1200 out of a stack of 12 in a hope of slowing him down. I hadn't played many pots and knew I had a very solid image. A tight player by the name of Wass flats for 1200 on the button with around 6800 behind. I put him on quite a tight range. 99-JJ. AK, maybe AQ. Possibly even QQ. La Ronde decides to join the party so we're 3 way to the flop. It comes down 653, 2 clubs. La Ronde now leads into me for 1500. I think this a fairly straightforward weak lead- he never leads with a set here imo and if he does he would bet more to protect his hand. I'm happy to get it in with either opponent here. I'd still have 4.5-5k left if I lost and am a slight fave against an overpair so I make it 4800.Wass on the button tanks for an age so I know he hasn't got 99-10 10. Maybe he has AK clubs here but I think with his style he'd have mucked by now so I'm putting him on QQ. He eventually puts his stack in- La Ronde gets out of the way and I call the 2k extra, shaking my head when he asks me if I have aces. He flips KK and I bink a 2 on the turn. I then start using my stack- playing quite a few puts, pushing my opponents about and keeping out of the way of Channing and Goodwin.
The table breaks and I leave it with a healthy 27k.I then get moved to what I can only describe as a dream table. Very soft, only trouble is I have a guy who likes to see a lot of flops two to my left and another fish two to his left so opening in late position was tricky. However, there was very little 3 betting and no less than 3 rocks. I even had the value of having Neil (Blatch) on the table.After playing quite solid and not getting anything in the way of cards I decide to make a move when UTG (FISH!) opens for 800 at 150/300, 3 to his left calls for 800 and I make it 3200 on the button with 63hh looking to pick up the dead money. They both call! The flop however comes a nutastic 245 rainbow. Action on the flop is check check check. I'm not sure if I should lead here and build a pot? The turn comes down a 7 and fishy fisherson bets 1800 utg, the guy to his left calls and now its down to me.I think one of them has some sort of middish pair so decide to raise for value confident one of them will call so I make it a massive 5400. As expected utg flats, other guy folds. Now UTG checks in the dark and the river is a 4. I'm not worried about a set as I'm sure the money would be in on the flop. He has about 20k left and with about 18k in the middle I decide to shove. He folds pretty much straightaway and I'm a little annoying I didn't bet around the 12k mark which I'm sure a player like him calls cos he has chips behind. I think I need to learn not to keep value shoving as it's much less effective live than online.
I lose 6k when the sb shoves A10 and I call with AJ. Flop JQK. MBN.I sit around the 50k mark for a while. Open a couple of pots light and get re raised on the flop when I c-bet so decide to tighten up my range. Next significant hand I play I get dealt aces. I open to 1625 at 300/600/25 in the hijack+1. The cut off, button and small blind decide to join the party which isn't what I had in mind!The flop comes an ugly 7,8,10 two diamonds. sb and cutoff have around 30k each and button is short so after the sb checks I decide I'm going to either check raise or peel a turn card (again should I lead this flop?) off for free. The button decides to shove for 7k- I call. He shows A7. Bink- 7 on the turn. My stack takes a hit back down to 35k instead of reaching the heights of 70.
Playing a little bit tilty I lose a significant pot to the legend Wernick. This is the worst pot I played all tournament. I'm in the big blind and 5 people limp. I check with Q2ss in bb. Flop comes Q, 10, 3. Everyone Checks. K on turn and after it's checked to Mickey on the button who bets 3.6k. With 316 players begind me I decide middle pair bottom kicker is good and call. Everyone else gets out of the way and I check/tank/call another bet of 6900 as Mickey obv shows the straight- J9. Well played George.I'm now on around 25k. Player who has just sat down opens for a massive 3800 at 400/800/50 from 3rd to act and I look at 10,10 in cutoff. Should I be shoving here? folding? Calling? I really didnt know but decided to call. SB also calls and we see a threeway flop of JJ9. I bet 6500 after both check and am relieved to rake in a nice pot.
I kick things up last level of the night as people clam up and try to fold to day 2. I'm back up to around 45k when I find 10,10 again in hijack. Mick McCool is in the big blind and I open for 2650 at 500/1000/75. In hindsight I'm gonna open to closer to 3k cos I was getting a few cold callers when I was 2.5xing at this level. Mick flats out of the big blind with about 12k back. Flop is J65. I c-bet 4800, he shoves I call. He has K6, bink a 6 on the turn. I could not believe how bad I was running and was now down to 26k. Fine- that was average stack.UTG then opens for 4k out of a stack of 16k and I set him in with AK from the big blind. He calls and shows tens. Flop is Ace high. Turn 10. TURN CARD WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO!!!!!
So came back to day 2 with 13k. Blinds go thru me as I can't find a spot to shove. Folds to me in the cut off, button has literally just turned up and sat down when I shove 43 off, he calls and shows AK. MBSFN!!! No binkage and I've hit the rail.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

10 rebuy win

Woke up Friday morning and left Brighton around 12pm- home by 2pm and the whole family were pretty tired. The mrs could see how disappointed I was so gave the green light for some online poker. I had around 1k on stars having cashed our 5k the week before (afetr coming forth in the daily 80k) Busto on tilt so just played stars.

I played:

50$ daily 80k
22$ heads up (a tourney I hadn't played for a while)
10rebuy on stars

I think I also played a few low buy in freezeouts. At about 11pm I was only left in the 10r and was one tabling. It can be a grind sometimes but I do think that playing too many games can hinder my game. Obv I use a hud but working with just those stats can be misleading.

I play rebuys quite often and like the fact it gives you time to play and build a stack. Dependant on what mood Im in will determine how much I spend on buy ins! My mates will know I have a tendency of approaching rebuys the same way:

- Set myself a spending limit
- Spending at least 3 times that amount after losing one pot

I remember one time going to play the 20 rebuy at broadway, I was speaking to my mate Sat and we decided to limit ourselves to 60 quid. Maybe 80 max. £180 quid later at the break I have the minimum chipstack tilting off my money after getting outdrawn. All's end that ends well as I ended up splitting it and taking 1200. Gamble FTW!

Back to the 10r, I had 43k at the break and only in for 30$ Obv very happy- I had some big hands in the rebuy period- crucially they held up. I ended up winning for 14k and change. My biggest ever cash online in a normal buy in MTT and also the biggest field I've bested- 2592 runners!

Obviously you need your fair share of luck in these fields and I sucked out in one cruicial pot against an aggro cl who had opened with AK- I shoved with AQ and spiked a Q on the turn to take the chip lead with 65 left..

On the final I played a more conservative game than I would usually employ. I think obv aggression is important in hold em but sometimes you can get obsessed with playing for the win. This has resulted me in being TOO aggro and busting out 4th, 5th, 7th etc etc etc. I think changing gears in poker is more important than out and out aggression and I did this particularly well. Cranking it up 4 handed. I went into heads up with a 2/1 deficit but played really well (I usually suck heads up) I got lucky in one spot where I flatted with AA pre the money going all in on a 10 2 8 flop. Wasn't until the Jack on the turn that I realised I didnt have the best hand- my opp had opened the button with 10 2. Fist pumping was order of the day when another Jack hit the river.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Back from Brighton [ ] I will update my blog more often....

Just got back from Brighton where I played my first two events on the grosvenor poker tour. For anyone who doesn't know I put up a staking thread on blonde and managed to get backing for the main event and Flushy put me into the £300. I was feeling very confident having just finished 4th in the daily 80k on stars for $6000- my biggest score for a while. Travelled down with the family and it was nice having them around while I travelled for a change. It's not always easy playing these events with a wife and 4 (yes FOUR) kids but my wife is thankfully very supportive of my chosen path (and the money it can sometimes bring!) We check into 8 Bright Apartments- 2 bed for £75 a night- can't be bad! Very enjoyable stay and had fun on the beach and looking at the many sights Brighton has to offer with wife and kids in tow (nice to spend some of the trip outside a casino for a change)

As mentioned previously this was my first experience of the Grosvenor poker tour. I've played 5 gala events so will try and make some comparisons:

Staff: The grosvenor dealers are very competent on the whole and jovial enough but I find the ones on the gala to be better. This is probably due to the fact that I've won an event and obviously know Mark, Robin and his team very well.

Atmosphere: I don't whether it's the venue or because there's more UK pro's playing the GUKPT but the armos was very stilted and much more business like. They call gala the people's poker tour and there are a lot more amateurs playing the GCBPT which always creates a good atmosphere.

Standard: tbh the standard of both tours is pretty poor imo. My table (yes I only got to play one in the main event!) was very soft with only Tony Phillips and Micky Wernick providing any meaningful opposition.

Stucture: This is where grosvenor is streets ahead of gala. Their side event and main event structures are a million miles ahead of gala, also with lower antes. However you are paying DOUBLE the price. I think people forget this when looking at the gala tour- you're paying £500 quid for a pretty good structure!

Now onto the tourney's themselves. First the £300- not to put too fine a detail on it but I should have cruised to day 2 but a mixture of luck and spewage saw me bust out 6 mins before the end shoving my short stack straight into's Dominic Kay's AK. I had 40k before the final 3 levels of the day (300/600, 400/800, 600/1200) with average being around 18k. I had to laydown QQ twice post flop. The first laydown to James Sudworth on a J323J board. I think I made the right laydown but played the hand pretty badly- not c-betting and getting too trappy.

Anyway onto the main event- my tournament report is as follows- please comment on my play- I'll always take constructive criticism!

Sat down at table 5 seat 5- very cold but overall please with my table. Micky Wernick sat to my right but apart from that no names at my table. Im going to try and post as much detail I can up to my bust out.Don't play a hand for a round or two. Very standard table. Not too aggressive but was a fair amount of action mainly due to people hitting the flop hard (saw at least 4 flopped sets in first half hour)I limp utg for 50 with 87ss (sorry for not raising flushy!). 5 to the flop which comes down 853 one spade. I lead for 150, big fish at the table repops to 450 so I decide to peel 7 clubs hits the turn putting two clubs on board and I check call a 1200 bet. 6 clubs on river so the board is 85376 with 3 clubs. check check on river so I think my hand is good but no, my opponenet has checked the 53 clubs behind for the flush. Down to 8k- great first hand!

I pick up a couple of pots and get back up to around 9k and open utg with tens to 175. SB re pops to 600 and I peel off a flop which comes down J92 rainbow. He continue bets for just 650 so I flat. The turn comes Kc - and now he pots it. 2200. I fold.Next significant hand I play, 2 people limp and I look down at AQcc on button so raise to 500. I get the sb plus the two limpers call. Flop comes 766, two spades. checked to cut off who bets 300- obv very weak bet so I make it 1200- perhaps should have folded on a wet board with two opponents behind me but felt like a good spot to put the pressure on. SB cold calls behind. check check 10d turn and check check on Js river. He turns over the 98ss for the turned straight and rivered flush!So down to 6k I'm feeling a little aggreived!

I open in the hijack at 50/100 with A3dd for 300. Fishy button flats.Flop comes A35 two spades. Lovely! I c-bet for 400 and he insta calls. J on turn. I bet 1500 this time and he calls quite quickly again. 2 spades on river so we check check and he shows AQ. I scoop but am annoyed at not being able to value bet river.Reach first break with 9300 which Im very pleased with considering. I'm still happy with my table but a little annoyed that the cards aren't being kinder- I seem to be playing multi way pots even when I'm the aggressor and my c bet success frequency is very low.

Back after the break player to my right makes it 450 at 75/150 and I peel with KQhh. Flop comes 10, 7, 3 diamonds. check check. He then lead for 600 on turn when 9 hits. I don't put him on much but decide to peel off a card instead of raising. If a blank hits the river I plan on betting. An offsuit jack hits giving me the nuts! He then leads into me for 1800. I make it 4600. He flats so obv ship! NO- he has flatted me with KQ. WTF??? Chop it up anyway.Tony Phillips moves to my table. Never played him before but he immed starts to run the table. 3 limpers to my button for 150 and I make it 700 with JJ. Everyone calls me! Am I getting my bet sizing wrong??? Flop comes AQ2 checked to me and I bet 1600. Thankfully everyone folds and I'm at my peak chip count of 11k.

Next significant pot I play I get two limpers from seat 1 (nothing to worry about limping a lot ep) and seat to my right. I make it 800 with AJ. Colder caller from button (fishy fisherson). UTG and limper fold. Heads up and the flop comes 866 two spades. I lead for 1300 into 2k. He flats. 4 hearts on the turn. I decide not to double barrel as I'm unsure whether he has a draw or a pair ( and I know he isn't folding a pair) so check it to him. He bets 1500 which immed tells me he has it. I fold AGAIN and he shows me 88. MBN

Down to around 8k and again two limpers in pot. Notice the theme??? I don't know whether I should be limping along here or what cos my raising pre and c betting post flop didnt seem to be having much success but I make it 1k with KQdd from the cut off. SB (fishy fisherson believe it or not) calls and one limper calls. Flop comes a very helpful 854 all clubs. check check check. even more helpful on turn. check check check and finally a jack on the river. fishy bets 1k which limper calls. Fishy shows 10 9cc. MBSFN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Down to about 6.5k now and I open to 600 with AKcc. Tony Phillips asks me for a count before repopping to 2k from sb. I shove he calls with JJFlop comes BRICK BRICK BRICK.