Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January round-up

January was a fucking epic month on the poker front. I ran super hot and got in a record 31,000 hands for $2,400 profit (plus bonuses etc.). Unquestionably I ran like Usain Bolt, but I thought that towards the end of the month I played my best poker, experimenting with the fold button with a fair degree of success. Even fucking Wonderflop won some money towards the end of the month, that's how good it was (fu if you're reading, obv).

There seems to be some movement at Full Tilt, with Rico charges being dismissed and a forfeiture agreement ready to be executed. They're taking their time but it would be nice to see the cash I have on there again, I'd basically written it off.

West Ham got a 5-1 spanking at Ipswich tonight. Obviously I'm not happy but the scum come to town on Saturday and we need to put those cunts in their place. Talented 'orrible cunt Ravel Morrison has arrived from Manchester United, and it appears Vaz Te and probably Nicky Maynard will sign before the night is out. Jim White is getting excited over not that much on my TV right now, so I should probably turn over.

There is some talk of a www.raisetheriver.com meet-up/No Cash poker stag do later in the year. With the baby on the way I'm not sure if I will make it, but I'll try and sneak away for one night if I can to, er, lend moral support.

We had a bit of trauma with the baby waiting on some test results. Without going into details it was probably the worst few days of my life, anyway it turns out everything is fine so there's no need to worry. Thank fuck for that.


Monday, 16 January 2012

New Year Swongs

Since the start of the year I have continued to grind hard. I am currently at around $800 of profit for the month and have endured some pretty big swongs (down $800 on Saturday, up $1k the next day). I have been quite tilty at times but not unhappy with my play. I managed to pick up a free $700 in milestone bonuses for 2011 (I didn’t realise I actually had to claim them, I thought they were automatically deposited to my account, duh)
The changes Stars have made from dealt to WC “rakeback” haven’t affected me that much, but longer term I’m really looking for a new site to play on. There’s talk of some new IPoker software being released over the next week or two, which I’m sure will do what all of its predecessors have done and disappoint hugely. Failing that surprising me and actually making the site useable, it is basically a case of sucking it up with Stars and waiting for GBT Poker to emerge (fingers crossed).
Hood, xPeru, Krmont and a couple of others from 2+2 are going to visit Stars in a week or so to discuss rake/VIP programme changes, but I can’t see Stars being incentivised to do much in the absence of some proper competition. Basically the micros and (to a lesser extent) small stakes poker (PLO in particular) are raked so heavily where it basically stops a lot of people having a shot at moving up. I’m not impressed by a couple of the people that are going (who basically seem to want to protect the SNEs), but Hood seems very smart and xPeru has a pretty good understanding of rake at the micros – basically some sort of rake reduction, even a modest one, at the lower limits would be nice and would do the whole poker ecosystem good.
I’m hoping to do some sort of Teamviewer sweat with Gorvacofin/Wonderflop tomorrow. Wonderflop has been on a sick downswing (although I think things have turned for him over the weekend), Gorv hasn’t run so well of late and I find myself in so many spot where I am without a clue that I wonder how I have ever made any money at this game, so I’m hoping it’ll do us all good.
West Ham won (ugly) 1-0 at Portsmouth on Saturday. Those who went said it was a pretty grim performance, but three points against a team that doesn’t lose too often at home is always welcome. A lot of other results went our way (Boro lost and Cardiff drew), plus there were plenty of other enjoyable scorelines (Millwall getting trounced 6-0, Arsenal lost, Spurs failed to beat Wolves). We have some very winnable games coming up and need to put some pressure on Southampton.
The transfer window is now open and West Ham have signed an American defender. I know nothing about him so shan’t comment further. Otherwise I’m sure it’ll be the usual Gold/Sullivan deal – link us with a lot of relatively exciting players (Rhodes, Sordell), fail to get a deal done for them and end up with a couple of loan signings or cheap foreigners to hold the fort. There is some talk of offloading Piquionne to Wolves – shifting him from the wage bill would be a major result given that we probably pay him a couple of million quid each year and he has far too many poor games to be pulling down that kind of money.
Last but not least, my wife is pregnant. We went for the 12 week scan at the back end of last week, and all appears to be in order. We’re delighted (obviously), partly because we had to go through IVF (which hasn’t been as challenging for us as it has for many, so in that sense we have been lucky). As my Dad said “don’t worry son, hopefully the next six months of pregnancy will be fine – after that it’s just 20 years or so of wiping it’s arse, cleaning up puke, acting as a taxi service and an endless supply of money and whatever else, which should be easy”).


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Green and Pleasant Land

Well, where the fuck did that year go? I started it struggling at heads-up, moved to 6 max, ran very hot at $50nl and moved up to $100nl, where I'm winning (but not at the most impressive rate). I'm happy with that, my game needs some work but that's something I need to do in the New Year. I have played a whopping 25k hands in January, for a very modest profit (c. $400 at the time of going to press).

The big chatter in poker right now is the Pokerstars VIP system changes. Their handling of this has been a disgrace. I think the change from dealt to contributed is the right thing to do, but the net result of what is proposed is basically Stars making more money and players making less. The "proposing" (i.e. ramming it down people's throats on the 28th December, making a crap change on the 29th) of this has been handled in the worst possible way. I'm not sure what the end result will be, and it doesn't affect me anywhere near as badly as many others, but I think that if and when GBT Poker arrives that players will remember this and they will have assisted GBT with what will likely be an initial push for market share.

I'm planning on having a quiet new year. I hate New Year's Eve, I'll try and get out with some mates on the 30th instead, I think.

West Ham's form has been patchy and we have a boatload of injuries and suspensions. These should ease early in January, but with games coming thick and fast they could have been better timed. Still, it's a squad game and we should be better placed to deal with it than most. The Birmingham performance was, to use a Sacchism, "shit on a stick", and we (again) kicked the ball away like a rugby team. We need to do better, as such an approach simply invites pressure.

I went to see Jerusalem at the theatre the other day. Obv I'm not a massive culture vulture. It is about to come to the end of it's run, but was completely awesome and well worth the ticket price. I have no idea how the main character does it once a day (twice on some days), he is basically on stage for three hours with a couple of short breaks. I'd be fucking knackered.

Godspeed to all readers/fish and their families, may you deliver many one-outers in 2012, particularly on any 24 tabling nits that slow games up and scare fish away. *glances in the direction of Russia*

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Vote Garden

Internet pokers is being kind to me right now. I finished November around $1,200 up, and December is going so well I want to stop for the month now, up $700 in 7,000 hands. I have been playing at the Euro tables quite a lot - there is one guy that is a regular and an 8.5BB/100 loser that seems to play a lot when I play. When he's playing it makes the games good, and the tables are often weaker anyway. It helps to rack up the FPPs and VPPs too, which can't be bad.

In troubled times, with our current political figureheads failing to offer any leadership, here is your chance to elect a man of the people. This fish runs hot, and whilst he can't turn water into wine, he can turn small amounts of cash into large amounts of cash in Donkaments. He is Dave Garden, and you can vote for him in the APAT awards - see below.


The new job has gone well. We're still in the process of setting the place up and it is quite a lot of hard work - it isn't like a "normal" job in that we lack many of the normal policies and procedures because the company is less than a year old. The atmosphere in the office is good, although we'll have to start making some money at some point next year.

West Ham's unbeaten run ended at home to Burnley. We let in a couple of shit set pieces (they scored from their only corner) and hit the post twice. We'll play worse than that and win this season, and now need to pick ourselves up and move on.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Shine On

Having started a new job I haven’t played much poker of late. That and some other stuff outside of poker have been taking up a lot of time. I have been running super-hot to compensate though, I have played around 10k hands and am up $1,500 (AIEV: $500). LOL. I won’t be playing much in the next few days, we’re away this weekend with some friends but I might play a little this evening. I feel like I’m playing better than ever at the moment, which is no bad thing.

The news on Full Tilt seems positive right now. I had essentially written off the cash I had on there, so getting any of it back would be a major boost. I saw a Skallagrim post on 2+2 that suggested that even if the deal goes through, criminal charges against Full Tilt/its executives will remain. This is the right thing – Full Tilt basically defrauded its customer base, and it will be more through luck than judgement if punters are repaid.

Many people had substantial sums locked up on there and many lives have been damaged through a combination of recklessness and greed. It could all have been stopped when the payment processor issues began – all they had to do with withdraw from the US market and accept the considerably lower profits that would come with it. They still would have had a viable business that ran at a profit, albeit that they may have had to ease back on the lobster in the canteen.

West Ham continue to win ugly on the road. Having gone a goal down we fought back to beat Coventry 2-1 at the Ricoh, with an impressive 6,800 fans there. I will be missing the Derby home game this weekend (I would have missed it anyway but there is no need for games like this to be on at 5:30, thank you Sky), but they aren’t in the greatest of form so we should be looking to continue our good run (four wins and a draw from the last five games). Matt Taylor (our most important player) should return from injury and Guy Demel might make his debut at right back. We certainly aren’t pretty but with Southampton continuing to crush we need to try and keep up the pressure, especially with a tricky midweek game at Boro coming up.

At the weekend the wife and I are heading off to a place in Norfolk with some friends. We have hired a big house, it is something we do every year – basically get a load of food and drink, go for a nice walk during the daytime and sit around in the warm troughing and getting pissed for the rest of it.

I was going through my IPod the other day and stumbled across this classic piece of British hip-hop. Well worth five minutes of anyone’s time.



Monday, 24 October 2011

One in the Eye

Being between jobs right now (i.e. scratching my balls at home whilst getting paid by my former employer and awaiting my new job starting in early November) I have been grinding fairly hard. I am at 22kish hands for October, about to hit Platinum, up around $600 and with almost enough FPPs for the $600 FPP bonus on Stars. I have endured quite a few swingy sessions/days, which has toughened me up a bit and I am finding it far easier to cope with a 4 BI down session right now.

I have also been getting reacquainted with something called the fold button. It sits just to the left of call, and is apparently used when you want to muck your hand and not put further money into the pot. I have found it very useful at times when I think "he's really not raising worse ever here" and would previously have clicked the "call" button, to see exactly how much better his hand was than mine. After a while that got quite expensive and I heard about this fold thing.

Congratulations to Chris Moorman on his second place in the WSOPE main event. It was good to see Chris finally book a big live score, after 187 blow-ups close to or at final tables, the changing of 9 Prime Ministers and several aeons passing.

West Ham have been unable to string results together. We are away at Brighton tonight, which is a big game. After picking up a few injuries, El Hadj Diouf (gobbing at Celtic fans, above) began training with West Ham last week. There are obviously a lot of scrotes in football, however this particular piece of vermin once spat at our fans at Anfield (hilariously denied by both Liverpool and the Merseyside Old Bill until Liverpool climbed down and admitted he spat in front of us, which was as close to an apology as we were going to get).

I can't think of a single player I want to see play for us less than this horrible shit (I tolerated Bowyer twice and I could have coped with Barton), and this may well be the straw that broke the camel's back for my support if he does arrive. He's not even a good player any more, not that this makes any difference. I really hope that he doesn't join, he isn't fit to wear the shirt, and Allardyce should be prepared to steer clear on the advice of the board, who are well aware of the supporter's feelings.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

September wrap

I have racked up around 23k hands in September, for winnings of around $1k. I'm not unhappy, I had one horrible day when I ran 7 BI below AIEV, but I thought that my play was generally good. I dabbled with a hundred or so hands on IPoker - the software tilted me beyond all belief, it seems to take ages to even open a table and it looks like the minimaxmod for the current software is still in development. This is kind of tilting but I will play October on Stars before making any decision.

Full Tilt failed to get their situation sorted, but the Ponzi scheme press release from the DOJ should have ruffled a few feathers. I would like to see the mooted French investor deal go through, purely for the sake of my bankroll (and those of others), however if it doesn't it will fully reveal the utter disaster that was FTP management. If what has been said to have been going on is in fact what did happen, then criminal charges need to follow. Jesse May wrote quite a good piece (I don't have a link) which is worth digging out.

I went to see West Ham lose at home to Ipswich last night. Having seen us turn in a dire performance at home to Peterborough, we did the same again and got the defeat we deserved. We lacked any movement or pace and Ipswich played some really good stuff. I have to reserve a special comment for David Bentley. I have never liked him. When he joined Spurs I thought he was ideal for them - flash and lacking in substance, with the hair gel and the crap tattoos he could easily be a Spurs season ticket holder. All I have seen from Bentley thus far is good reasons why he is playing in The Championship - a lack of pace, an inability to get his head up and play a simple pass and a couple of bottled challenges. We have some big games coming up and it is time for both the players and the manager to raise their game - no goals in open play in three games isn't very good.