Wednesday, 8 December 2010


November was a pretty awesome month for me on the cash game side, finishing up $1,200 plus rakeback. This basically erased all my losses from my incredibly awful October. In December I’m down $300 or so over 3k hands. My horse has delivered some nice scores of late as well, although I need to speak to him regarding what to do if this whole legislation thing blows up.

In other poker news:
1). Betfair are absolute cunts. This may not be poker, but this is absolutely not on. Take the mistake on the chin, pay it out and shut the fuck up.
2) The whole US legislation shit makes me really sad. I’m not really going to comment on the ins and outs, I don’t even know if it is going to happen. It’s just such unbelievable bullshit that in “the land of the free” someone is suggesting you can’t play poker on the internet, all over a few tax dollars and to let the big casino operators have a crack. It may even work out well, but I can imagine that rake rates are going to be horrendous and I think a lot of people may just pack it in now. I have met a lot of good people from all over the world through poker and a lot of them are going to lose their hobby and a source of income if this shit happens.

I was up in Edinburgh last week. It’s an awesome city, I would recommend a trip to anyone. The train took ages because of the snow, but I was surprised I got there at all given that a lot of the country was over a foot deep in the stuff. It was fucking cold though, I’m pretty sure I saw a penguin walking down George St at one point. It does provide a good opportunity to roll out this picture though.

West Ham beat a terrible Wigan side in the league and then, with a weakened side. I met celebrated fish Amatay for a quick beer beforehand, I could tell that he was in awe of my presence (joking, obv). Obviously it was good to put a face to a name, I’m pretty sure the next time we go out he’ll be getting his credit card behind the bar. We then trounced the Man Utd stiffs 4-0 in the Carling Cup (I had a ticket but also had a stinking cold, it was freezing outside so I opted to watch it in front of the telly). I thought we were absolutely excellent, with Jon Spector appearing to have turned into Scott Parker in midfield. We lost 1-0 at Sunderland on Sunday. I thought we defended way better than we have, so the acquisition of Wally Downes appears to be an astute one (James Tomkins has gone from fourth choice centre back to playing really well in the space of a week) although we didn’t create a great deal.

We take on Man City on Saturday. I think we have improved but am now of the opinion that we are going to go down. I just don’t think we have the quality in what is basically a much tougher league this year.

Good luck at the tables.

PS I read an issue of Viz on the train. The letters page was brilliant. My favourite was “I watched the Simply Red last ever performance on TV the other day. I’m not a fan, but I wanted to be sure.”

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Backed Up

I have been suffering from some back problems recently (a worsening of a long term thing). Last Thursday I woke up in absolute agony, and barely made it into work. I had a session of physio booked that day, who sent me back to the doctor, who has referred me to a specialist (next Monday). The result of all this was that I couldn’t make it away this weekend, so her indoors went with her friends, and I sat at home and played INTERNET POKERS.

My back is slightly better, I can walk without much pain, although getting out of bed can be excruciating. I hope this doctor can help me out, he fucking wants to as he was formerly a club doctor for Millwall and I don’t want to have to put him in line.

So far this month I’m up approximately $700 playing cash over around 10,000. I played an epic match later on Saturday against Fuentalbilla, who plays the weirdest style I have seen from any winning player. He is a winner at $1/$2, and by the end I thought I had the best of him (I finished up around $200 over 1,000 hands). I played some tournaments on Friday, taking 5th in the Party $30r to approximately break even on the day.

More important than any of this, fuck the Durrrr challenge, the Gary_Neville vs. chemzstry HU4ROLLZ match has pissed all over it. Sick action (mandatory 100% button opens and chemz’s 30% three bet ratio have meant lots of massive pots) and lots of side bets, plus a willingness from both players to play whenever possible has lead to this being one of the best things in online poker for a while. The smack talk has now started and I highly recommend tuning in the next time these two get it on, it has been awesome.

Slightly less epic, but more fun, is the North vs South HUSNG challenge. Doubtless us southerners will win, shag their women and drink their beer, because we are massively superior.

West Ham were lucky to lose 3-0 at Liverpool at the weekend. We were absolutely pathetic. There are rumours of Avram’s no. 2 departing, him moving upstairs and Wally Downes, Steve Lomas and *spit* Di Canio coming in to coach. Not sure whether this is good or not, but the first thing someone needs to do is sort our fucking left back out, who has been beyond pathetic and is probably the worst player in the division. Wigan at home on Saturday, which I expect us not to win.

Good luck at the tables.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Those who can... Those who can't, like me, have a horse that can do it for them. I played some tournaments on Monday, ran like absolute shit due to various mouthbreathers doing retarded stuff and getting there, despite playing pretty well. I woke up the next morning thoroughly fucked off, and saw that my horse had shipped a donkament, clearing all of his make-up and delivering us both $1k profit. Nice.

I have played almost 6k hands of HU this month, currently I am up $150 (my AIEV, which is a partly spurious number when it comes to measuring luck, but whatever, is $650), so I don't think I have had the rewards that my play has deserved. I'm going to keep plugging away and probably subscribe to CardRunners for some of MasterLJ and CPar's videos.

In other poker news:
1) A quite big poker tournament finished in Las Vegas. After an epic Cheong spaz out 3 handed, the Canadian bloke won.
2) Joe Sebok, UB, etc.
3) WPT Barcelona winner disqualified.

West Ham threw away a two nil lead at Birmigham to draw 2-2. We scored two excellent goals and conceeded two shit ones. We had a clear penalty turned down late on, but that counts for fuck all and if we weren't so fragile it wouldn't matter. We have West Brom tonight and Blackpool on Saturday. West Brom have a couple of suspensions and this is our opportunity to get our season going and stop the hard luck stories. If we don't take it, we'll be staring relegation in the face. I'm hoping to meet well-known fish and wank-blogger Amatay for a beer prior to the Blackpool game. He will be buying, obv.

I read a book about the whole Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme scandal. It's amazing how so many wealthy people were so niave. If I knew any rich people, I might be tempted to open one up myself.

I hope to play some more tournaments and HU cash over the weekend. GL at the tables bishes.

Monday, 1 November 2010

I Shit 'Em

Having been over $2,200 down at one point, I staged something of a fightback, finishing $1,300 down for the month (excluding rakeback) after around 11k hands. I was reading some comments from a guy on twoplustwo, who was saying that we have a default response of when our play sucks to go “well, I was kind of tilted, and definitely not playing my A game, so that sort of doesn’t count”. And he’s right, and that mentality is of course bollocks – your lifetime results are not from only when you play your A game – they are from when you are playing your best and your worst.

I’ve been slowly getting bits of my life in order – I hate dealing with form filling and general admin, but have made some progress of late. Work remains up in the air – I don’t think I’m going to get fired, but you never know. I think we’re going to sell the flat in the new year and rent a small house down in Kent, with a view to buying somewhere after my employment situation becomes clearer and (hopefully) after house prices drop.

West Ham lost in lame fashion at home to Newcastle last weekend, beat Stoke in the Carling Cup in midweek to earn a quarter-final at home to Manchester United, and then went to Arsenal on Saturday. As I have probably made clear before, I fucking hate Arsenal – they are the lowest of the low. Every time I go there, I wonder if I am being too hard on them, but then I see them, and I realise that they are exactly the cunts that I thought they were.

I turned up at the Echodome to witness some laughable attempts to create at atmosphere. Our lot made a decent job of making some noise, the Arsenal fans largely sat in shiny new red and white scarves in silence. It is more like going to the cinema than a trip to football. I realised that there were 57,000 other people in the ground (every one of them a smug twat) on the 88th minute when West Ham’s resistance was broken by an Alex Song header. They probably just about deserved all three points, although I was very pleased with our performance.
Arsenal’s midfield saw a good performance from Nasri. Fabregas was off colour and spent most of his time convincing Mike Jones that football is a non-contact sport. Since the days of Elbows and Ljungberg, I have found this their most unappealing trait – they spend the entire game in the referee’s ear. Two years ago at our place it was so bad that Wiley might as well just have given Fabregas and Flamini the whistle, because they were effectively running the game.

In summary: not a bad game, we were maybe a little unlucky not to come away with a point. Fuck Arsenal, fuck Arsene Wenger, fuck your new stadium that might bring in the zillions but is no sort of football ground and fuck your lame, limp-wristed bunch of noveau football fans that probably love nipping off for a cappuccino at half-time.

We have played well enough at times but after ten games have just one win. We have Birmingham, West Brom and Blackpool coming up – we need to start winning games here. Six points is the minimum requirement.

Good luck at the tables.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Great Depression

This month has been utterly devastating. I was down $2.5k at one point, after two horrendous sessions where I don't think I have played great but have run like absolute shit. I clawed back $400 or so on Sunday (clawed back - what the fuck is that about? It isn't even my money to claw back, it is gone) after having someone played spewy aggressive and running really well and finally working out just how mental he was and completely owning him after that. I should be able to play tonight, Friday and Saturday with any luck, which will probably be expensive.

I got an accounted sorted on Ongame last week. I have yet to play a hand on there, the software is legendarily awful and there is no auto top-up, but the deal I am on is good (thank you Chris, much appreciated) and it does add an additional place to play MTTs too.

Regarding my bad run, it might be the kick up the arse I need. I don't really work hard enough at my game, despite some of the excellent resources available. If anyone can recommend a training site beyond Deuces Cracked for HU cash games, I'd be most grateful. I was impressed with some of AEmotherfuckingJones's stuff on Leggo for a while but I'm probably looking for something more basic and aimed at lower limits.

Elsewhere in Poker:
1) You cannot be Cereus! It’s another UB cheating scandal.
2) I'd give the keno a miss there as well.
3) WPT Festa Al Lago is down to a final table featuring Randall Flowers, Andy Frankeberger, Noah Schwartz, Andrew Frankenberger and Michael Benvenuti. Celebrated nit Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler bubbled the six-handed televised final table.

West Ham drew 1-1 at Wolves, having a last minute winner wrongly ruled out by Mark Clattenburg (I can't blame him, it took me four replays to make my mind up and by all accounts he had an excellent game otherwise). It is a shame really, it would have lifted us off the bottom - supposedly we stank the place out in the first half but were excellent in the second. We have Newcastle at home (5:30 kick off, thanks Sky/ESPN) on Saturday. They look to be playing well enough right now but these are the games we need to win.

Following Liverpool's takeover and subsequent derby defeat, the other big story has been Tabloid Wayne's explanation to The Imperial Lord Ferg that he won't be signing a new contract. The Mancs are all up in arms about it, I'm not sure what they expected given that he did exactly the same to his boyhood club and that all is clearly not well at the "Theatre of Dreams" (my fucking arse) right now and given that money clearly now prevents them from buying players at the top of the market, it isn't unfair to suggest that they are now no longer going to be right at the top of club football for the next couple of years. I can't see him going abroad unless they now have chip shops in Madrid and apparently his missus is keen to stay in the North-West, so it looks like their nearest and dearest is the obvious destination.

What his fee ends up being will be interesting. I'm told there is a "gentleman's agreement" between Europe's top clubs to not invoke the Wilson ruling to enable players to buy their contract out, which would enable Rooney to depart for £5m and change at the end of the season.

On this matter I would suggest three things:
1) City weren't part of that elite group of clubs, to my knowledge.
2) I tend to agree with Harry Vaisey's definition of a gentlemen's agreement. “A gentleman’s agreement is an agreement which is not an agreement, made between two persons neither of whom is a gentleman, whereby each expects the other to be strictly bound without himself being bound at all.”
3) I wouldn't class people like David Gill or Florentino Perez as gentlemen.

Anyway, interesting times. Ferg looked fairly upset during all the press stuff yesterday. I wonder whether he might bow out at the end of the season, given the current financial constraints, his age etc.

I booked a weekend to Edinburgh with her indoors in early December. I've always wanted to go, although I dare say it will be fucking cold up there. There seems to be loads of stuff to do there and I hope to quaff a good few pints over the course of the weekend. First class train tickets were £105 each, which is pretty good value in my opinion, and prevents all the hassle of flying. If anyone has been and recommends anything to do or to avoid there (beyond announcing what a top bloke Oliver Cromwell was) then I'd be glad to hear them.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Tilt Is Expensive

As you can probably guess from the title, I lost a shit load of cash (in excess of $1k) at the HU tables over the weekend. I have no excuses – I got Godmoded but at least half of the losses were my fault. Overall – no excuses, I felt that I was due a bloody nose at some point. It’s the nature of the game that you get them from time to time – it is those that deal with it best that do better at poker IMO.

Fortunately for me (and everyone else), Barry Clark has written an epic post which has come at exactly the right time. I shan’t offer any comment beyond that, his post on its own says everything.

On the plus side, the weekend saw some glorious weather. I was out in the countryside with my wife’s parents – we went for a couple of walks and ate some excellent food, all of which helped to take my mind off the losses. For a part of the weekend they kind of weighed me down – they really shouldn’t as they aren’t a significant financial burden in the context of my overall bankroll size, so I should just man up and move on.

Elsewhere, ChiliPoker continue to mess around with cashouts. I’ve had my fill with these guys already and said my bit in earlier posts here, but if any of you guys have material sums on Chili I’d seriously consider whether you want to keep them there.

In sport, Europe won a thrilling Ryder Cup, everyone at the Commonwealth games has the shits and West Ham drew 1-1 with Fulham, which was probably a fair result, despite the best efforts of Andre Marriner to be the new Mike Dean and confuse the shit out of players, fans and coaching staff by blowing his whistle at random intervals.

England play someone (Montenegro or Moldova, I don’t know which) away on Tuesday. I shall probably watch the game in order to spite the wife and prevent her watching some other pish on TV that I have no interest in.

I watched Mullholland Drive last night, which we got free with the paper last week. This got rave reviews, I thought it was unmitigated David Lynch pish, although I did get to see Naomi Watts’ tits, which was a bonus. I also watched Full Metal Jacket, which was considerably more awesome than Mullholland Drive, but didn’t contain any tits.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Kick Start

I played a reasonable number of tournaments last week, redeeming some poor results with fifth in the Party $109 for $930, which meant I pretty much broke even. I played some HU cash yesterday, with a measly 6,500 hands on the board for Semptember I am up around $850. This featured a session against a reg that claimed he was formerly a $2k NL player that got his roll busted by Isildur (yeah, right). I finished down to him before he quit me when he claimed I was running good (I wasn't) and talked a load more shit.

I turned 35 on Friday and enjoyed a pretty good Italian meal at 500, an Italian Restaurant at the top of Holloway Road near Archway tube station. It's kind of an odd location for a good restaurant as most of the places around there are Irish pubs with alcoholics propping up the bar. One of my friends tells an amusing story about some bloke in one of them having shat himself in the toilets and walking out through the pub naked apart from his shoes, clutching his soiled trousers. Nice place. The meal was good though.

The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday when West Ham produced an excellent 90 minutes to deservedly beat Spurs 1-0. Not a single player had a poor game for us, Rob Green made a world-class save from Luka Modric, and Frederic Piquionne in particular was excellent up front and deserved his goal. We played exactly how I want a West Ham side to play - everyone gave everything and we passed the ball nicely but didn't shirk the physical stuff. This resulted in a rousing atmosphere - credit to both sides, they came out to win the game and there was barely a bad tackle in the game. I thought we outmatched them all over the park and overall we have had a nice seven days after our draw at Stoke and win in the Carling Cup at Sunderland.

The Sunderland win coincided with the birth of Leo, my friend's son. His father is a West Ham fan, so I think the least he could do is get the date and result tattooed on his little boy's forehead. Overall it has made a mockery of some early suggestions that Grant should leave (I'm looking at you, Steve Stammers at The Mirror, you fucking wanker - I look forward to your admission that you were wrong and that your paper is a shitrag).

Good luck at the tables.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

A Satisfying Weekend

With her indoors out on both Friday and Sunday I have played some tournament poker. I won two freezeouts on Party for $1,400 and $600, giving me a solid profit for donkaments for the weekend. I defintely prefer smaller fields, I get extremely frustrated playing big field tournaments and definitely play below my A game in longer sessions. Thanks to the crew for their support during both tourneys.

In cash I played (and won) my biggest ever cash pot (getting all in 300bb deep at GBP 100nl vs. a mentalist when I rivered a set vs his two pair on a dry board, sadly most of the money in his stack was from my bankroll). Cash has been kind to me, I played a session this morning against a guy that I don't rate but has run well against me before. He was majorly tilted and made a couple of absurd river overbet bluffs - I only know that they were bluffs as I thought they were good spots to hero call. Overall I'm well down on volume playing cash (just 5k hands for the month so far), but I have been playing a mixture of fish and regs. The previous two months I have been playing almost exclusively regs, the problem being that the rake just kills your profit. Whilst it's harder to get good volume in playing fish, it's certainly more profitable and I'll endeavour to do more of it from now on. Overall I'm up almost $1k for the month playing cash.

I'm off work on Tuesday as the wife is away, so I hope to play a mixture of cash and tournaments on those two days.

Elsewhere in the poker world, Jeff Lisandro beat Joe "Floes" Serock heads-up in the £5k WSOP Europe PLO. The field looked ridiculously strong - well done to Jeff for winning his first non-stud bracelet and not knocking his opponents block off, and better luck next time to Joe, who is ridiculously good at poker and should ship a bracelet at some point fairly soon. Congrats also to Phil Laak for winning his first bracelet in the first event.

West Ham drew 1-1 away at Stoke in the televised game early on Saturday. I was heartened by our performance, we were absolutely excellent in the first half and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for a clear handball and play against ten men for most of the match after Ryan "he's not that kind of player" Shawcross elbowed Cole off the ball, but the ref's back was turned. I fucking hate Stoke, it's bad enough having Blackburn in the division without having a carbon copy of them as well. More importantly, we showed enough guts and determination that we should be able to move off the bottom of the table soon if we keep playing like that. Arsene Wenger should also be up in front of the beak after pushing the fourth official when they played Sunderland, but being Arsenal manager I'd imagine he'll get away with it.

I'm 35 next Friday (gulp_. You cunts can feel free to send hookers, champagne and fine items of clothing to me, just leave your email at the bottom and I'll get you my address.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Signs of Life

I’ll get the boring stuff out of the way first – poker. I played a set of tournaments on Wednesday, managing only a min-cash in the FTP $109. On the cash side things have gone surprisingly well, I’m up $450 or so over 3,000 hands and I hope to play some more tonight. I did a bit of bumhunting yesterday (I was kind of knackered after doing a lot of domestic stuff so couldn’t be arsed getting snap sat out by some regs) and I had kind of forgotten how ridiculously profitable it can be. I still find it somewhat tilting though.

After the tournament session I played I managed to get a guy to three table me. He had all the momentum at first, but after a while I managed to turn the tables and I think I had him fairly well figured out by the end of the match and executed a pretty awesome triple barrel bluff in a three bet pot, which made my willy grow. We played six tables for about ten minutes (he suggested it and he had been both very game and polite so I found it hard to refuse) – it was absolutely mental. My wrist was aching through all the mouse clicking and my retina bleeding from IPoker’s software (although it is much improved after a recent upgrade).

I sat last night and read through some of the Microgaming scandal stuff on 2+2. I’d been aware of it previously but never looked into the details. I always find these things interesting and to say that Microgaming’s image comes out of it tarnished to say the least. It’s not quite up there with the UB/AP scandals but it is getting close – whilst your money is almost certainly safe on somewhere like Ladbrokes, I wouldn’t be giving these guys a bean. It also illustrates a lot of the problem with rakeback and under the counter deals that get done and kind of back up the guy from William Hill saying that this business model is pretty much unsustainable.

I went to see West Ham vs. Chelsea on Saturday. We conceded two cheap (well, they were pretty much fucking free) early goals and Chelsea pretty much cruised through the rest of the game, but I thought there were a reasonable number of positives. Our new right back actually looked like a right-back (this is awesome as we haven’t had one at West Ham for over a year) and Victor Obinna looked a genuine threat. We also scored a nice goal, but we really need to tighten up at the back.

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of going to a restaurant called Inamo in Soho. It is a Japanese place with an interesting twist, for anyone that is interested I’d suggest checking out the website for details. On Saturday I was shattered after a few pints and the football (and a total of four and a half miles walking, thanks London Underground) and watched Un Prophète, a French film set in side a prison. It’s quite long and brutal at times, but incredibly well put together and acted and well worth two and a bit hours of your time – be warned, it is in French and has subtitles, so if foreign language flicks aren’t your thing…

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 6 September 2010

First Amongst The Losers

With the wife at a wedding on Saturday, I chose to get all retro and spend the day donkamenting. I decided to try and cap the number of higher buy-ins that I played (nothing higher than two $109s). I cashed in three, all on Stars (which isn’t particularly hard given that they seem to pay around half the field these days) which included a 2nd place for $2.1k in the $44 6-max. I went pretty deep in two of the early Stars rebuys but ran out of cards/lost flips at crucial moments.
The 6 max was pretty epic, and railed by the crew and some of the 2+2 guys I felt I played as well as I could have, and busted HU with top pair second kicker vs. bottom set in a three bet pot, which was a pretty standard cooler (although villain’s call pre-flop was probably pretty bad). It was nice to go deep for a change and end an $8k MTT downswing. Thanks to Joppa, Burnley Mik, Snake_Eyes et al for immense railage, although obviously I was disappointed not to pop my cherry on Stars and win a tournament there.

I generally really enjoyed the chance to play some tournaments on Saturday and felt that my HU cash game play has benefitted my tournament game enormously. There were so many times that I have busted in tournaments previously where I just couldn’t find a fold ever. Whilst I’m not particularly an advocate of huge folds in tournaments, so often when your opponent is repping a massive hand it is simply because he has a massive hand and folding is basically the only thing you can do. I also think I use my position much better these days.

Following on from this, hand of the day in the 6 max when HU:
***** Hand History for Game 49131941616 ***** (Poker Stars)Tourney Hand

NL Texas Hold'em - Saturday, September 04, 04:16:23 ET 2010

Table 328010356 19 (Real Money)

Seat 5 is the button

Seat 1: FBorges ( $597389.00 USD )

Seat 5: Hoopie1 ( $371611.00 USD )

FBorges posts ante of [$500.00 USD].

Hoopie1 posts ante of [$500.00 USD].

Hoopie1 posts small blind [$2500.00 USD].

FBorges posts big blind [$5000.00 USD].

** Dealing down cards **

Dealt to Hoopie1 [ 8d 9s ]

Hoopie1 raises [$7500.00 USD]

FBorges calls [$5000.00 USD]

** Dealing Flop ** [ Ah, Qs, 4d ]

FBorges checks

Hoopie1 bets [$10500.00 USD]

FBorges raises [$23000.00 USD]

Hoopie1 raises [$44500.00 USD]

FBorges folds

Hoopie1 wins $32000.00 USD

Hoopie1 wins $67000.00 USD from main pot

Basically, villain’s value range is 44 and A4 and his FOS range is huge, hence three-betting the flop is definitely in order. J

I’ve played very little in the way of cash this week, but did watch a fairly interesting bosoxx video on DC where he talked about some stuff that got me thinking. He was talking about barrelling, and saying that in a situation where you are planning on firing three barrels, you can get the same (or more) fold equity by overbetting the turn and then shutting down on the river if called, which gives you the effect of a cheap three barrel. It’s an interesting idea which I’ll experiment with, almost certainly with rather expensive consequences.

Some fairly interesting news on the poker front of late includes:
1) Shaun Fucking Deeb is out of retirement on the MTT front, so everyone's equity just reduced a little.
2) WCOOP is underway.
3) Some really shady stuff going on in the Partouche Poker Tour. As an aside this absolutely makes me puke, I can’t imagine how the people that got bumped or angled must have felt.
4) Someone thinks that a $250k 6 max event is a good idea and 2+2 thinks it is a good idea to stake someone. I am keen to buy a piece of the 2+2 stake if they get one going, with Gus, Fitoussi, Deeb and Chan there I find it hard to imagine that someone like charder, jovialgent, mastr, Bakes, DJK, LuckyChewy, Jason Mercier or whoever wouldn’t be +EV.
5) Jake Cody runs quite well. The kid must play pretty well too – well done Jake.

After my second place in the six-max, I settled down in front of the TV with a couple of beers and a Jamaican Woodbine to watch some boxing. Scotland’s unfancied Ricky Burns took on undefeated champion Roman Martinez in what turned out to be an absolutely thrilling tear up in Glasgow. Burns won on points after a cracking fight that was full of drama. He seems like a nice guy as well, I was delighted to see him win – I think he probably lacks the power to hang onto his belt for long and I’d fancy Nicky Cook to beat him (who Martinez beat previously) but I hope he gets a big pay day out of it.

Otherwise this weekend I did some stuff around the house, coating the recently-installed decking that we have on the roof terrace and defrosting the freezer. I hate doing stuff like this, but I felt better having done it. I’m pretty sure the block of ice that developed at the top of the freezer could have sunk the fucking Titanic, which is no surprise given that it hasn’t been defrosted in five years.

I also watched Four Lions, the Chris Morris comedy on Sunday. I wasn’t particularly impressed, despite some very amusing moments it never really decided if it wanted to be a comedy or something more than that (making some sort of sociological point). Probably worth a watch though.

England beat Bulgaria 4-0 as they got their Euro 2012 qualifying underway. The sterner test will come away in Switzerland this week, but there were some encouraging signs. I couldn’t really give a fuck about the whole Wayne Rooney thing, I’m sure that Best, Marsh and just about every other footballer from days gone by was at it as well. I guess it is more of a comment of people’s obsession with celebrity, Facebook and other such pish that makes stories like this keep coming out (and I understand that the tabloids have more on Crouch and a couple of others lined up in the following weeks).

Good luck at the tables.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Law of the Jungle(man)

I played very little poker over the last week, choosing to busy myself with all manner of other shite. I will end up down for August by around $200 pre-rakeback, which is no distaster, having played around 11,000 hands. The wife is at a wedding on Saturday so I will try and play a fair number of donkaments.

I have been having some work done on my flat during the last week, which has been needed in advance of me attempting to sell it next year. It hasn’t been too expensive but I could have done without shelling out the cash all the same. I managed to complete my tax return as well, so HMRC is due to be shipping me £7k in the forthcoming weeks, which is a reasonable bonus (well, it’s my money, but I’ll be glad to have it back).

There have been a few reasonably interesting stories in the poker world of late:
1) WSOP Europe and EPT London begin soon.
2) Shady allegations about Sorel Mizzi surfaced, I don’t think anyone is that surprised.
3) The durrrr challenge part duex got underway, and plucky challenger Jungleman12 has been bringing the smack so far.
4) Shit is getting wierd with UB.

West Ham took a 3-0 beating at the hands of the Mancs, who barely broke sweat. I didn’t think we did too badly, but Spector showed (again) that he isn’t up to it and was at fault for two of the goals. We never got any support to Carlton Cole, and one of the few bright spots was another decent performance from Dyer, who hit the post for the second game on the trot. Hopefully he will find the net next time.

With several people sustaining injuries and requiring minor operations from various clubs, you can tell that the international break is coming up. England are (I think) playing on Friday night, I’m sure the wankers that attend will get on the team’s back, it’ll be just like a home game at West Ham.

It is transfer deadline day today, which is possibly the date I hate most in the football calendar. Last year Sky said that West Ham could be concluding a deal with someone as the lights were still on at The Boleyn, which turned out to be the cleaners. Fuck them and their self-generating hype machine. If somebody can wake me up at the end of it (as long as I haven’t killed myself first), that would be good.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 23 August 2010

They're One Thing

HU has seen some sick swings for me in the last couple of days. The good news is that I have made my 10,000 hand target for August, which I am pleased about. On Saturday morning I managed to stack of 7 BI to a massive fish at £50nl, and then proceeded to win most of it back at $100nl last night. I’ve made a couple of pretty big errors in deep pots recently, which are expensive and I need to work on. Overall I’m down around $300 for the month.

Reading through 2+2 last week I picked up on a couple of poker truisms that I hadn’t heard before – the first one is truer than almost anything I have ever heard before and the second underlines the mentality of pretty much any HU poker player, myself included.
1) The more I learn about poker, the harder it gets.
2) A bumhunter is anyone that table selects more than you do.

I watched an “Ansky vs. Durrrr” video on 2+2 last week. I generally don’t watch the very high stakes videos, there is generally too much going on in them, but Ansky always explains himself very well and isn’t afraid to be critical of his own play. A lot of the stuff in there was pretty enlightening; I’d recommend it to any HU player.

After stacking off all those buy-ins to the fish on Saturday morning, things didn’t get any better at West Ham. The complete disaster area that is the tube meant that it is essentially a two mile walk to the ground from any station. West Ham played well for 45 minutes, missed a penalty, hit the post, came out at half time, got rolled over by two goals from long balls and another from a nice cross and that was that. I was fairly encouraged by the performance - Piquionne, Dyer and Barrera provided plenty of reasons for optimism, but we need to sort ourselves out defensively and sharpish. We play Oxford in the Carling Cup tomorrow, I’m sure we will struggle, as we always do against lower division opposition.

Young Boys produced a thrilling display against Spurs last week. Tottenham played badly and were clearly hampered by the plastic pitch, but with Berne missing a couple of great chances to make it 4-1 and the subsequent late Spurs goal, I can’t see anything beyond Tottenham progressing to the next round. Booo.

Good luck at the tables.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

L’il Zé

August has been up and down (mainly down) so far on the HU front. I’m down over $400, which isn’t such a disaster given the stakes I have been playing. It just seems like a real drag when you are getting ROFLstomped by someone that is a lot worse than you or hit and run by the worst players that just can fold anything. Anyway, enough bitching, I hate hearing about “OMG I run so bad” (particularly when I am probably not) so I’m sure you do too. On the plus side, midway through the month I have played 8,000 hands, which at least puts me ahead of schedule for my targeted 10k this month. MasterLJ made a pretty awesome post about variance a while ago here, which is worth a read.

Over the last two nights I have played 2,000 hands against a Vamo. Honours are approximately even – he won Tuesday’s session and I won Wednesday’s, despite being down about four buy-ins inside the first 200 hands. He plays quite an odd style (being Brazilian, I would expect no less) and basically three bets pretty much every hand that he plays from the big blind (c. 35%) and seems to struggle to put down a hand (any hand) at times (we played a massive three bet pot deep on a clusterfuck of a board where he had J2o for top pair having three bet pre and bet flop and turn he called a fairly substantial river bet). I made some adjustments in yesterday’s session (min-raising pre to try and keep pots smaller and make more use of my positional advantage being one) and definitely ran better.

Fair play to the guy, he’s one of the few game opponents on IPoker at the stakes I play, and has been courteous enough. I think he’s keen to play again, and much like me probably just wants to get some action and not be snap sat-out by some idiot reg nitfish.

Elsewhere on the poker front, congratulations to MTT superstar and all-around nice guy Mement Mori for becoming the latest CardRunners instructor. I don’t know Mement particularly well but has always been helpful and pleasant around the forums, and it seems well deserved so good luck to him.

West Ham started the season badly with a 3-0 drubbing at Villa. Given that they had no manger it was a terrible result, but it is just one game so hopefully we can put it behind us against Bolton on Saturday. Except that we always lose to Bolton, so we probably won’t.

Good luck at the tables bishes.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Weird Fishes

Poker has been somewhat meh of late. I am down around $400, mainly at $100/£100/€100nl, which isn’t a disaster. I managed to stack of $600 to a lolbad guy on Friday, only to win a lot of it back from him on Sunday. Fair play, he’s keen to give action and hopefully will do again. I also 4 tabled one guy at €100nl for 800 hands, when I told him I was quitting in a few minutes he typed “scared?” in chat. This was funny for three reasons:
1) I had played him at 50nl before, when he had quit me after 50 hands as I was “too good”.
2) FWIW I felt I clearly had an edge over him, but some regs seem to think it is unfair to quit when ahead, which is retarded, as neither party would ever quit.
3) Yes, obviously I’m scared you moron, that’s why I’ve sat here for 800 fucking hands over four tables, and now I’m suddenly crapping it. Clown.

I played some donkaments last night, I played good but didn’t run good, including getting KK in vs. AQs for the chip lead on the exact money bubble of the FTP $163 against someone that seems to have a track record of sucking out against me and losing, and busting soon after for a min-cash. Fuck that guy.

There has been some relatively interesting/amusing/shocking poker stuff around of late.
1) Things don't look good at Cake Poker.
2) Bachelor Frog tells us about his life.
3) Jungleman is playing the durrrr challenge, which has the potential to be really good if durrrr and Patrick ever finish up.
4) Barewire speaks the truth.

Martin O’Neill has quit the Villa job in a huff over transfer funds. I’m not going to go into my views on him here, I can’t be arsed, but this is good news ahead of our opening fixture at Villa Park on Saturday. I’m sure they will rattle off a routine 2-0 win all the same. Roll on the new season anyway, this one has the potential to be interesting.

England have a friendly against Hungary this week. I’m not one for having a pop at Capello, given the resources he has available, but to drop various players that went to the World Cup but stick with the senior members of the side that let him down the most (Lampard, Terry, Barry, Rooney) seems ridiculous. I thought Barry had a shocker, Terry and Lampard were poor and Rooney looked like a different player. At least Rooney and Barry had the excuse of coming off the back of some injuries. The retirements of Robinson (which I entirely understand given the treatment he got and that he should have gone to this World Cup) and Brow plus the situation with Cole and Carrick at the Charity Shield (which was a fairly entertaining game) don’t bode well and I wonder how long it will be before England are looking for another manager. Whether he is the right man I don’t know, but changing the manager won’t be a solution to England’s problems, which run a lot deeper than that.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 2 August 2010

July Wrap

July finished with me grinding 14k hands for a loss of one dollar and twenty seven cents, which made it feel really not that worthwhile. I’m not that unhappy given that I probably didn’t run particularly well over the course of the month and probably didn’t play my best overall. I’d like to get in another solid month of volume and try and mix in some more $100nl over the course of August.

The best thing I saw on the forums this month was this thread by that_pope. Everything about it is fucking hilarious and I highly recommend going through the whole thing.

We are creeping towards the beginning of the football season and West Ham have won all of their pre-season games (I’m not sure that this is a good thing, two of the best seasons that we have had have followed us losing every single pre-season game). It appears that Scott Parker will be moved on, which is probably unsurprising in the grand scheme of things – Grant supposedly thinks Hitzelsperger is a better player (and has done well so far) and Parker probably deserves better than playing for us. Whilst I find the Spunk Brothers constantly being in the press somewhat annoying, we’ve done pretty well in the transfer market thus far in the transfer window so far so I can’t grumble.

Liverpool might be being bought by some Chinese blokes, according to the BBC. I’m sure the Scousers will be delighted to see the back of Hicks and Gillett, although I’m always suspicious about buyers from the Far East where the background and identities of people aren’t always clear and you wonder if they will have the best interests of the club at heart. I guess it can’t get much worse than how things are currently.

I went to see Inception the other day. It was good, although my feeble mind was somewhat confused at times. It’s worth a watch if you get the time.

Good luck at the tables.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Scared Money

I have had a mixed month so far, with some more disastrous attempts at 100nl and a brutal day where I played 3,000 hands and dropped $700. Overall I have played a satisfying 9.5k hands and am down around $400, which isn’t an utter disaster. I’m kind of annoyed as some of my losses are undoubtedly tilt related, but I played a lot better in my last session.

I’m glad to have finally removed the last of my money from Chili. Withdrawls taking two weeks is at best incompetent and at worst shady, and I feel a lot better for having that portion of my roll on Hills.

Note to IPoker $100nl regs: you are, almost without exception, the biggest group of pussies I have ever seen in my entire life. The HU $100/£100/€100 tables nearly always have at least one person sitting at them, yet there are relatively few games going on. Try sitting a reg at three tables and you’ll get snap sat-out. The $20nl guys have more balls than you do, why not try playing someone that isn’t drooling on themselves, you might actually get to play some poker and even learn something. Wankers.

Elsewhere in poker, the November Nine are now all set. Matt Affleck must be absolutely sick about his bust out hand, but that’s tournament poker I guess. Elsewhere, PokerStars seems to have made proper refunds for the DoN collusion that was going on, but not actually fixed the collusion itself.

I had a shitty cold at the back end of last week. Although I have recovered, I am still absolutely knackered all the time and it is starting to piss me off. We spent last weekend looking at potential areas to live, which was relatively successful and we have a good idea, but I was absolutely exhausted by the time we got back.

West Ham completed the signings of Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne. Both will definitely improve the squad, so I can’t grumble. The whole Loic Remy thing is becoming very boring, I’m pretty sure I’d be better off sleeping in until the season starts. Bar Man City, nobody is really doing much business so right now (Bolton have made a couple of decent acquisitions but I don’t see anyone down the bottom moving heaven and earth) I’m relatively optimistic for a finish of somewhere towards the top end of the bottom half of the league.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Strike Action

I finished July a thoroughly satisfactory $1,400 up, which I am very pleased with. I thought I played well throughout. June has thus far seen me play 3,500 hands, and after some epic run good against a bad reg yesterday evening I am up $200. Volume would have been higher, but for… IPoker.

Basically, IPoker suffered an enormous software failure which saw their games largely out of commission for over 48 hours. The support from the various skins handled it in their usual fashion – badly. I got a text from a mate who works at one of the skins who said it was all IPoker’s fault after a back office software upgrade. There were a lot of very unhappy regulars on 2+2, I think I’d be exactly the same if I only had money on one site and played poker for a living.

Having built up a reasonable roll on my old IPoker skin and after some bad publicity for them (Chili Poker), I decided I’d do much better by shifting my roll to William Hill, where I secured a rakeback deal and started to do just that. Chili have been very slow allowing me to make withdrawls – the last one took the best part of two weeks. I spoke to a couple of guys on 2+2, one said he had problems also and it wouldn’t surprise me if they had a few issues. The way their support handled it didn’t encourage me either (taking ages to reply when they are normally very quick, failing to meet deadlines that they had imposed to pay my money, then refusing afterwards to set a new deadline). Whilst their bonuses are good, I’d urge anyone wanting to deposit on there to exercise a little caution – there is no reason why a cash out onto Neteller should take two weeks, and I’m not moving what they should consider to be large amounts of money off the network.

The World Cup concluded last night, I won’t go on too much about the game as you probably saw it. I lumped a load of money on Spain before the semis to leave me around even for the tournament. I’m not sure whether Webb lost his bottle or was under orders from FIFA, but he failed to send people off when the decisions were obvious, and the fucker normally can’t wait to get his red card out in the Premiership.

West Ham appear to have signed Pablo Barrera, the Mexican winger and self-styled “Mexican Cristiano Ronaldo”. The bloke looks quick, but if he does join and whether he settles remains to be seen. We also seem to be moving towards signing Loic Remy, but I can see us being beaten to the punch when a good side come in and offer him a deal. Roll on the football season.
My company got bought out last week, so we’re going through an integration process with our new owner. The new owner appears to be excellent and very switched on, however redundancies are inevitable and I think it’s 50/50 if I stay or not. Whilst the job market isn’t great right now there is some stuff out there in my field and the terms of the pay-offs being talked about don’t sound awful, so it might not be the worst thing in the world.

This weekend the wife and I are hiring a car to drive around various areas that we might want to go and live in. Taking on a massive mortgage in the current climate doesn’t exactly fill me with joy, but needs must and I’m starting to get pissed off with the noise, dirt and great unwashed of Hackney.

Good luck at the tables.

Closing gag: A bloke goes into Rothbury police station and says "I heard ya was looking for a Geordie nutter like. I'm here to hand meself in."

The copper looks up and says, "Fuck off Gazza."

Monday, 28 June 2010

Existential Angst

I played a long and rather unpleasant session of HU on Friday at $100nl, stacking off the best part of $1k. I don’t think I played great but I unquestionably ran like absolute shit ($600 below AIEV). However, I’m now at 9k hands for the month, hoping to hit 10k with any luck and still up $1,200, which can’t be bad. Every time I move up I seem to run like shit and I also seem to get affected by losing money – which is ridiculous, I’m over-rolled for $100nl by around 100 times by most people’s definition, yet when I lose a stack, often in totally standard spots, I seem to get affected by it, when this rarely happens to me at £50nl or lower these days.

England got predictably dumped out of the World Cup by a tidy German side yesterday. Debate about the ball being over the line and replay technology aside, England were absolute shit from start to finish and a lot of senior players need to have a long, hard look at themselves. I didn’t agree with some of Capello’s decisions, however (like every other England manager) has basically a limited pool of quality talent to choose from. Somebody at the FA needs to start paying attention to Sir Trevor Brooking and somebody else needs to break the Premiership’s grip on power and also restructure the FA, because at present it’s archaic and a bit of a paper tiger.

As usual, instead of a considered response we’ll get a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, some requests to sack the manager and not a great deal else. I’m now looking forward to the rest of this without the usual nonsense being spouted by the press.

I have little else to say but am off on a stag to Newquay this weekend. Run good in the interim peeps.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Great Cock and Goals Swindle

I’ve been away this weekend and played little poker. That said, when you can’t, it pays to have someone that can on your behalf, so I was delighted to return on Sunday evening to find that my horse had shipped a $3k score and duly transferred me half. By doing fuck all I’ve had my most profitable week in quite a while – thank you horse!

We were at a wedding this weekend down in Cornwall. Whilst I drank too much and felt like shit yesterday, we had a cracking time and it was great to catch up with some old faces. Whilst on the train on the way back, via the RTR forum Amatay pointed me in the direction of a massive scam that Neil “Blatch” Blatchley has been running. The 2+2 link, which contains a link to the original (enormous) thread on Blonde Poker, can be found here.

The whole thing is absolutely disgusting, but here is my two penneth:
1) I am astounded that up until earlier today, there were still a couple of people still supporting Blatchley. The evidence has been overwhelming for a while – you might have thought he was your mate, he was in fact a liar and a turd, and should be treated as such. Given that a few people have always regarded him is a cock, I find it even more surprising.
2) Well done to the guy that outed this. Obviously other people suspected, but it took someone to be pushy and get it into the open, despite being rounded on by everyone else on the forum.
3) People have every right to complain about losing money. However, those that have lost a substantial sum that means something to them need to have a look at themselves – you are punting money here, and you clearly haven’t done your best to look after your investment. It probably wouldn’t have made much difference, but I know if I am sticking money into something like this, I am doing it as a punt, and I’m certainly not doing it with a significant portion of my net worth.
4) The money is gone and you’ll never see it again. Get the police involved and hope that justice is done, because it is likely that this fucker is going to do a bunk to somewhere sunny and cheap as his life here is over. The world is a small place however, and I dare say he’ll get his at some point.

“Be careful out there” is I guess the moral to this story. That, and if something seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is.

I’ll leave the obvious England World Cup stuff out, as I could write loads and everyone has their own opinion. The one thing I will say is that the fans are cunts for booing the team (I understand that they have paid their money, but booing your own isn’t what being a supporter is about) and Rooney is a cunt for having a pop back.

More importantly than anything else, what a great competition so far. Lots of surprises, the USA game on Friday was absolutely thrilling, and whilst I didn’t see it, well done to New Zealand for their draw against Italy and leaving themselves in with a chance of qualifying for the next stage going into the last game.

Good luck at the tables.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

From The Back Of The Pack

Poker has been good to me of late. I have chalked up 5.5k hands so far in June and am up $1,800. I had my first donkament session in months last night, making a couple of deep runs and cashing twice but not getting there in various flips to turn a min cash into a monster stack capable of dominating the tournament with.

However, all was not lost when I logged into MSN at work this morning to receive a message from my horse. He’s a top guy and a very good player at the stakes he plays and has had a terrible run of late. He was in $6,000 of make-up, which is a lot at the $20-$50 buy-in level, and was starting to question his game. Anyway, he informs me that he is at the final table of the $70k with the chip lead. He proceeded to ROFLstomp the field and ship a first prize of over $12k, clearing his make-up and delivering us both a nice profit. Obviously the money is nice but I’m also delighted for him, he’s a very cool guy and the make-up was stressing him out.

Elsewhere in poker:
1) It couldn't have happened to someone more deserving.
2) Russ Hamilton isn't a very nice man.
3) HSNL players get scammed. I’m still astounded that these guys are clicking on links sent to them from people that they don’t know, but whatever. Scary stuff though.

The World Cup is underway, with a lot of teams appearing to be fairly cautious in their early games. Rob Green’s error for England has obviously provided something of a talking point, to me it was just a freak error. England generally were pretty poor and Carragher’s lack of pace when he came on as sub was worrying. New Zealand’s late equaliser yesterday and North Korea’s performance against Brazil provided some good entertainment, I’m hoping some of the teams will open up a little in the second round of matches.

West Ham, following the signing of Thomas Hitzelsperger, have been linked with various players. The latest one is Juan Roman Riquelme – a wonderful footballer but I can’t think of anyone less suited to this league. Someone on one of the forums said “I saw him play for Boca in April, he did fuck all for the whole game until he got sent off in the 90th minute – he’ll fit right in.” As far as I can tell it is an elaborate plan to get more money out of Boca, but you never know. Everton seem to want a lot of money for Yakubu, and Julio Baptista from Roma is another name mentioned, as is Chris Samba from Blackburn (I think David Wheater would be a reasonable alternative and we do need a no-nonsense central defender).

As regular readers will know, I fucking hate Harry Redknapp. I also hate Terry Venables. So when I saw this advert, featuring the two cretins, I was astounded. Do the pair of them need the money that much that they need to give up whatever dignity that they have left in return for a few extra quid? I guess the answer is yes. A pair of shitcunts advertising a rag of a newspaper – they’re welcome to each other.

I’m away this weekend for the final wedding that I am going to be attending this year. I’m looking forward to it, he’s an old friend that I have known since I was five, but it’s down in Cornwall, which makes it a four and a half hour train ride, which has the potential to suck a lot of balls. Luckily we’re in first class (we booked the tickets months ago so they were very cheap) and we get to watch the second England game in the place that we are staying with a load of friends on the Friday.

Good luck at the tables.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Back In The Groove

Normal service will be resumed, with less stuff about weddings and more stuff about poker, football and other items that should appeal more to you.

I have come absolutely flying out of the traps this month playing HU, running like a God and crushing all in my path. Even a poor spell on Saturday afternoon got rectified afterwards with a winning session to offset some of the losses. Thus far I am up $1,500 in 3,500 hands, the poker community will be welcome when I dump these back. For the majority of this period I feel that I have played very well (probably better than ever) and am looking to move my Ipoker roll over to William Hill in the next week (I don’t feel all too secure with it on Chili and my contact at Hills has put me on their rakeback programme), having sorted an issue with Neteller.

The World Cup starts in less than a week. I think England have close to zero chance of winning it, despite having got a fantastic draw, but a month of football is not to be sniffed at. I’m pleased Capello left Walcott out – I would personally have found room for Adam Johnson, but Capello has got most things right in his reign thus far. Besides, he doesn’t come across as the kind of man that gives a shit what the pea-brained hacks think.

West Ham signed Thomas “Der Hammer” Hitzelsperger on a free transfer after a brief and unsuccessful stint with Lazio. I haven’t seen him play since he was at Villa, but from what I can gather he retains his powerful left foot and also has something of a never say die attitude, which we could do with. He captained Stuttgart to the title not that long ago, so it can’t be all bad. We managed to sign him completely under the radar of the press, which also makes a change. We are supposedly interested in Chris Samba from Blackburn – we could do with a no-nonsense centre-half, so this one would get my thumbs-up, although I doubt he would come cheap.

The WSOP is in full swing, with Durrrr finishing second in one of the $1.5k NLHE events. Supposedly he had a ton of action booked on him winning with a lot of the high stakes players and winning would have made him very wealthy indeed. Hellmuth (who you can hear talking about his mad mixed game skillz here, as well as some less rare footage of him acting like a cunt) went deep in one of the $1.5k events and made the money in the stud 8 donkament. Men The Cheater won a bracelet in one of the $10k stud events, and Wicked Chops has posted some excellent pictures of sluts on the rail.

GL at the tables, I hope you can all run like I have during the first week of June.

P.S. The boy Wonderflop is also doing well and playing some really good poker. Hopefully the cunt will update his blog soon to, so he can tell you about it himself.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Before I start – this post will consist of content that is largely irrelevant to everyone. No change there then, I hear you cry. Overall I'll try and keep lame pictures to a minimum.

To my lasting surprise, I rather enjoyed the wedding day. I don’t like being the centre of attention, I don’t like formality and getting dressed up, and I don’t like having to be at certain places at certain times and getting told what to do by photographers, priests and fuck knows who else. Despite all this, it was actually a quality day. I surprised myself by suffering from no nerves at any time (apart from when I initially woke up) and managing to get a reasonable amount of booze down me after the first dance bit was over.
From four of my friends (all men), their responses to my speech were:
“That brought a tear to my eye.”
“I almost cried, but that was probably due to me drinking until 4 a.m. yesterday.”
“I almost cried during your speech, but then I remembered what a cunt you are.”
“Your speech was a bit gay.”

Still, everyone managed to have a good time, one of my friends never actually saw the inside of his hotel room, another fell into a stream that runs along the side of the hotel and then had a drink induced panic attack in the small hours back in his room, and had to wake his missus up to help him get it together. Someone also did the caterpillar on the dance floor, although she can’t recall doing so.

The honeymoon was a blast. The flight was four hours late taking off and took two hours longer than expected due to volcanic ash, but I was relatively unbothered by this as we got there, and that’s all that counts given the circumstances.

We arrived in San Francisco, which is a fucking amazing city. Great food, great people, lots of interesting stuff to do. We largely did touristy stuff – went to the Museum of Modern Art, went on a (fascinating) tour of Alcatraz, rode bikes over the Golden Gate Bridge, rode the cable cars, went to the Castro and saw Harvey Milk's shop, and went to the Top of the Mark cocktail bar, which was superb. It’s a wonderful city; I’d recommend it to anyone. We also went to Millenium Restaurant, a vegetarian place to please the wife. The food was genuinely superb, it could almost make me vegetarian, and apart from that I’d need to eat a juicy steak fairly regularly as well.

After that we drove to Lake Tahoe. The drive down there wasn’t much fun, as an inexperienced driver (i.e. I’ve pretty much never driven a car unaccompanied by an instructor) the torrential downpour that accompanied us on the windy climb up there wasn’t exactly welcome. Having got through that, the South Lake Tahoe area is slightly cheesy, but the surroundings are incredible. We went on a boat trip across the lake and took a walk up somewhere called Eagle Falls. We had both forgotten that it was at 6,000 feet, and couldn’t work out why we were both shit-faced after two beers and a glass of wine each. Alcohol and altitude are a fun combination.

From there we took the long drive to Monterey. This section of the trip saw us go down Highway One to Pismo (the drive was fantastic) and onto Santa Barbara. The time in Tahoe and San Francisco had largely been sunshine, but this part saw a lot of cloud, which put a bit of a dampener on things. Monterey is a pleasant enough place, with a sensational aquarium being the main plus point. Pismo was somewhere I could easily have given a miss, but Santa Barbara had plenty going for it. The town itself has a nice, easy pace of life to it and provided a nice break after being constantly on the move. We also managed to catch a pretty cool BMX exhibition in the street with some chap called Joey Cordova – I’ve got no idea if he’s any good or not, but I was impressed.

From there we drove onto Palm Springs, which is an odd sort of place in the desert. It is basically a load of luxury hotels that do a lot of golf and spa treatments. I spent the majority of the time sitting on my fat ass by the pool, drinking and reading books. It was bliss. The Palm Springs town centre is a bit too much neon and tat shops, but the resort we stayed in was lovely.
The final leg of the trip was to Vegas. We took a route that wasn’t on the interstate, west from Twentyninepalms past the Joshua Tree National Park, along the historic Route 66 and through the Mojave National Preserve. This was, by a long way, the most fun and interesting journey of the whole trip – there was little traffic on the road and lots of interesting stuff to see.
The speed limit on most of it was 55 mph, but obviously with nobody around you can take the piss and drive at 80 mph. At one point we got stuck behind some bikers, who were doing exactly the speed limit. I wondered what they were playing at; as if I had a big fucking Harley I would be thrashing the life out of it. We pulled in behind them at some silicate deposits which are a bit of a tourist spot, and then I understood why – they were Germans, who are of course keen on sticking to the rules.

Vegas was, well, Vegas. I played a couple of hours of poker at a $1/$2 table – which featured a lot of limping in and calling of raises, the occasional tarp with aces (why the fuck you wouldn’t raise AA pre-flop in a game where nobody ever folds is beyond me), nobody ever folding to a pre-flop three bet and one check in the dark. Everyone was terrible but I still managed to lose $60 to a table of cunts that must have been schooled by Hellmuth, luckily Lucy made the money back playing roulette.
We took the helicopter tour into the Grand Canyon (I’ve done it before) – it was fucking windy and pretty scary with the chopper being buffeted about, I was shitting it so much I couldn’t bring myself to photograph the Hoover Dam. Not even the Top Gun Anthem being played over the headphones could ease my fears. It was fine once you got used to it, although the pilot’s choice of haircut didn’t inspire much confidence (see photo). If he can’t get that right how can he be guaranteed to get it right flying a helicopter? We did a bit of shopping, a bit of sunbathing and also went to see Jersey Boys, a musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. I’m not normally into this sort of thing, but it was fucking superb. They also upgraded us from the cheap seats to about a dozen rows from the front, right in the middle, which was a result. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so if you bird is trying to get you to go and see such pish, I’d go for this one (it also runs in London, New York and other places) instead of something else based on Abba or some other shite. The Bellagio was awesome - the staff were great and they upgraded us to a quality room.

Overall, it was fucking sensational, although the driving was a bit of a chore at times. Being back at work isn’t much fun.

In my absence in the poker world has seen the following developments:
1) Chinese colluders have taken $750k out of the DON SNGs on Stars.
2) The WSOP is underway, with Michael Mizrachi emerging from bankruptcy to win the $50k showpiece event.
3) Mark Seif doesn't know who Isaac Haxton is and gets owned.
4) More UB shenanigans.

West Ham have announced Avram Grant as manager. Guillermo Franco has been released L along with Mido and Ilan. I’m pleased to see Luis Boa-Morte has been offered a new contract, he isn’t without his failings but we could have done with him last season. It also looks like Benitez is out at Liverpool; I wonder what the owners are planning as financially things don’t look great.

That’s it for now; if you’re still awake then you have probably been snorting amphetamines. Good luck at the tables!

P.S. Keep an eye on Haley's excellent blog (linked on the right) on the right for more stuff on UB. Wicked Chops claimed they were going to name additional names this week as well.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Signing Off

I managed to just about squeeze in 10k hands of HU during April, finishing up c. $600, plus around half of that again in rakeback. With the wedding preparations in full swing, Lucy was out all day on Saturday and Sunday, so instead of helping with wedding preparations, I decided to make up for some of the poker I’ll miss when we’re on the honeymoon and managed to squeeze in 5k hands and $500 of profit over the bank holiday weekend. I feel like I have taken a reasonably big step forward with my game in recent weeks – I have come out on top playing a lot of regs and feel that I understand the game a whole lot better than I did before, and have fixed some big leaks (as opposed to just knowing that I had big leaks). Some of the jsnipes/bosoxx34 videos have been pretty useful for this. I dare say I’ll be back to setting money on fire fairly soon, however.

I was reading 2+2 the other day, and found a this. “A lot of poker players go through that degenerate phase in their life, all they want to do and think about is poker, and often you are happy doing that. However, once you've been in this game for a bit you realise that all this spills over to other factors in your life.” This is very true, and hopefully it is a phase that I am over, as the game can tend to be all-consuming.

The end of the football season is crawling into view. West Ham lost at Fulham, with the lads having amassed an enormous tally of 35 points they clearly feel they have earned their break this summer. In response, The Spunk Brothers have announced that everyone bar Parker is effectively for sale at the right price – which is probably fair enough, but might not do much for squad morale.With Liverpool losing to Chelsea, the title looks to be going to Stamford Bridge. This is clearly sickening, but nothing can be done. I’m looking forward to the City vs. Tottenham game on Wednesday, which has the potential to be awesome.

The election is this Thursday. We can all be glad, as the politicians can end their week of harassing normal people and go back to their ivory towers afterwards. The list of parties is fairly unappealing, but I’m fucked if I’m voting for Diane Abbott, Nu-Lab thundercunt and world-class hypocrite.

My wedding is this Saturday, and we’re off on the honeymoon on Monday. I’m looking forward to it, but with a reasonable amount of apprehension. I’m looking forward to getting the first dance out of the way and getting on the sauce, but don’t tell that to the missus. We depart for the honeymoon on Monday, which should be fucking awesome and I’m really excited about, but all this volcano nonsense (which shut airports in Ireland earlier today) needs to be nipped firmly in the bud before we’re due to fly.

The blog won’t be updated for the best part of four weeks, so run good whilst I’m away.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Superman wears Scott Parker pyjamas

Once again I played very little poker this weekend – when I did play I was pretty happy with my game, although I finished down a reasonable amount after a couple of tough breaks.

West Ham somehow sealed their place in the top flight next, despite a pretty weak performance at home to Wigan. We went 1-0 down after four minutes via an own goal following a Wigan corner, Rob Green tipped a screamer from 25 yards onto the bar, we scored twice to go 2-1 up, we then conceded another goal to a Wigan corner to make it 2-2 and the Scott Parker smashed a dipping effort in from outside the box to secure our safety. All this said, the atmosphere was cracking and I got to see a win and five goals, so I shouldn’t grumble.

I’m pretty sure we will be the worst side to not get relegated since the Premiership began and the season has been pretty grim. I can only imagine that Zola and Clarke will be on their way this summer – I think there are a few reasonable candidates around to replace them, I’d be quite happy with one of the guys from the lower divisions (Paul Lambert, Sean O’Driscoll, Roberto Di Matteo) although it appears that Gold and Sullivan have their eyes on someone slightly higher profile. The exit door is unlocked and pretty much anyone is welcome to use it - I’d probably cry if Parker went, although he deserves to play for a better side.

Roberto Martinez was on Goals on Sunday the next morning. He handled himself very well; I hope he goes a long way in the game. I hope he moves soon as otherwise some of Dave Whelan’s cuntishness might rub off on him. He has some decent players in that side, although their defence needs looking at - the two wingers looked particularly dangerous.

Commiserations to Hull and Burnley. Burnley look well placed to have a shot at going back up next year, having not over-extended themselves. The same can’t be said for Hull, a club I have a lot of time for, who look to be in trouble financially, with a lot of mediocre players on big contracts.

Up at the top, the battle for the Big Cup places remains wide open. The Man City vs. Spurs game a week on Wednesday is going to be massive, I can see Redknapp twitching himself into a fit with the stress. I can only see Chelsea winning their remaining games now, I’d like to see Liverpool steal the points instead of car stereos against them and the Mancs winning the league, but it looks unlikely.

Wedding preparations are almost at an end, thank fuck. I have to write my speech, which I aim to do at work this week. I’m aiming to keep it fairly snappy as I’m keen to get the first dance over so I can get a few beers down me.

I used to read a lot of books. Now that I ride my bike to work pretty much every day, I rarely do so. I took the chance this weekend to start reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis. This is the third book I have read by this author, along with Liar's Poker and Moneyball. If you have any interest in the financial markets, or even just on how the current clusterfuck happened, I highly recommend either Liar’s Poker or The Big Short. If you like sport, then I’d go for Moneyball – I’m no baseball fan, but it is a fine book. I’m aiming to get through some serious reading on the honeymoon and catch up on some of what I have missed out on over the last year.

I will try and get one more post in prior to the wedding, after that you’ll have to go elsewhere for a month to find badly written and opinionated bullshit. The Sun website is a decent start.
Good luck at the tables.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Road Trip

FU Iceland, that’s all I can say. Not content with ruining my football club, your shitty volcano then tried to ruin my stag. The proposed group of 25 people to Amsterdam ended up being just 7, due to the cancellation of all flights. However, Jim and Kieran caught the train from Munich and Zurich respectively, and my best man did the business by booking us on a ferry from Dover to Calais and driving us to Amsterdam. We got up at 4 a.m. on the Friday, were smoking spliffs just outside over Dover by 5:30 a.m. and arrived in Amsterdam by lunchtime.

I’m actually glad we did it – it was actually a reasonably civilised weekend, with a lot of drinking, eating and pot smoking, and limited efforts to destroy me as most of the wilder elements of the group were left at home and I wasn’t forced to walk around in a gimp costume or similar. One afternoon we spent stationed in a bar in the red light district, betting on how long the next punter would take to bang one of the hookers in the doorway over the road. One fella managed a brisk and efficient nine minutes – good work Sir, no point in foreplay when you’re paying for it. There was also a fat hooker in the next doorway, who was eating a family-sized packet of crisps in the window. Surprisingly, she didn’t do much trade.

Back in Blighty I’ve run pretty hot at the poker, which is nice. I’m up about $700 for the month after 7k hands. There’s a lot to be said for remaining calm and patient and not being tilty. My buddy Wonderflop is also back on the horse and playing again, let’s hope the lazy cunt keeps it up.

West Ham did what they always do and rolled over at Anfield for Liverpool. We play Wigan at home this weekend – it is a huge game and could, with other results going our way, possibly see us stay up if we win. We will need to put in a better showing than on Monday night however.

The wedding is now two weeks away (eek). Her indoors is nervous about everything, particularly the flight situation, which seems to have eased in recent days. I am nervous about my first bit of driving in the US being half a mile through San Francisco and then straight onto one of the busiest sections of freeway in the country.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Fun Times

With her indoors departing for her hen weekend on Friday, the weekend consisted largely of poker, football and some glorious sunshine. I played tournaments on Friday and didn’t manage a single cash, plus some HU on Friday and Saturday, when I ran hot to put me up a reasonable amount for the month after 4.6k hands. In other poker news, Faraz Jaka is a sick man.

It was also a huge weekend of sport – I had a series of football bets, that worked out well, and Black Apalachi came second in the Grand National, so I pretty much washed my face there. Phil Mickelson won The Masters and Tiger Woods managed to avoid fucking anyone during the four days in Augusta, if golf is your thing.

West Ham beat Sunderland 1-0 at home, a victory that we just about deserved. Despite some nervy defending, Rob Green only had one save to make. Mike “beach ball” Jones somehow failed to send off Craig Gordon, despite his best efforts, and Steve Bruce made a tit of himself by complaining about the referee, who (perfectly reasonably and in accordance with the laws of the game) delayed the restart whilst our players celebrated a goal that was ruled out in injury time. Lee Cattermole was excellent for them – I think he’s a thug but was probably the best player on the park on Saturday, along with Malbranque, who Bruce charitably substituted, despite being their major threat. I like Sunderland as a club and their fans, but I find Bruce a nauseating turd, and hope they get rid of him – he doesn’t conduct himself in a manner that the club deserves.

Elsewhere, Hull lost 4-1 at home to Burnely, leaving West Ham four points clear of the drop zone and with a far superior goal difference. The FA Cup saw Villa lose to Chelsea after a crude challenge from John Terry and some shocking refereeing from Webb. Story of the weekend was Portsmouth’s win against Spurs in extra time. Alan Wiley was (again) terrible – but credit must go to Portsmouth, who were absolutely superb and defended resiliently. I couldn’t give a shit about Spurs, but the whole event was made sweeter by the look on Redknapp’s face at the end. All that money spent by him and there will be no Cup final or Big Cup for ‘Arry. What a shame.

With the election being recently announced, I have been having a think about who I would vote for, and, more importantly, what I want from a political party. So, what I want from a political party:
1) Economy - the current government has seen a massive increase in the number of civil servants. Police, doctors, the army – fine, these are people who do things and earn their keep. However, the public sector is full of rampant inefficiency. This needs to be clamped down on and costs cut.
2) Economy - an aggressive approach to tackling the enormous debt that the country has taken on. This follows on from the point above, about cost cutting – I have no objection to an increase in tax/NI for higher earners at present, but only to pay back debt – not to piss away through inefficiencies. To follow on from this, I’d like to see NI scrapped and rolled into tax (since this is effectively what it is) and serious consideration given to a flat rate tax system at some point (with a reasonably generous threshold below which people pay no income tax).
3) Economy - an attempt to restructure our economy so that we actually start to make stuff and not really entirely on imports for everything.
4) Education – University education needs to be slimmed down. Those that should be going (i.e. the brightest) should be encouraged to do so. It isn’t for everyone and we now have a ton of degree qualified people, to the point where degrees are becoming meaningless. There should be more vocational training for those aged 16-21. Also, someone needs to sort the business out with the Scottish getting tuition fees paid for where the English don’t – WTF?
5) Environment - someone needs to have a good look at the whole global warming business. I would incentivise the new building of nuclear power stations in this country, which will reduce our reliance on imported gas and coal, and also cut carbon emissions (whether they turn out to be harmful or not).
6) Anti-social behaviour etc. – it is clear to me that we have created for ourselves a large underclass in this country. I would like to see this underclass encouraged to find work (there are plenty of low paid jobs out there, people seem to think they’re above doing them) and benefits cut off if they aren’t deemed to be trying hard enough. They should also be offered training in certain areas to equip them with skills to make finding work easier. The family unit (the traditional way of looking after people in this country up until recently) should be encouraged and incentivised – people have children in this country without any thought as to who exactly is going to look after the child and pay for its upbringing, and the poor fuckers don’t stand a chance. 7) Immigration – we need to revise our policy on who is let in and what the criteria is. I would suggest only those that demonstrate a good grasp of the English language would be a reasonable start. Those seeking asylum should be capped at a certain number to ensure the UK doesn’t take more than its fair share. I have no problem with people coming here to work – people that were born here could learn a thing or two from most of them.
8) Pensions – again, something needs to be looked at here. A lot of people have paid taxes and NI all their lives, to find that there now isn’t enough to go around. Those who have paid for it and those that need and deserve it should be placed at the front of the queue.
9) Crime – knife etc. crime, violent crime and crimes against the person should be treated more seriously. The guy that got killed in Matalan in Hackney was killed by a group of people including someone on bail for a murder charge. How the fuck do you get bail for murder? A lot of the issues with crime come back to the society we have created for ourselves and poor upbringing for children, and will take years to wash through.
10) Overall, what do I want – a very different country from the way this one has gone. Socially fair, aspirational, libertarian, independent, innovative, entrepreneurial, pragmatically and efficiently run, much more power to sit more locally, and where the right behaviours (working, saving, taking responsibility for your blood relatives - young and old) are conspicuously endorsed and supported - while irresponsible, selfish behaviour isn't.

Apologies for this, I just felt I had to get it off my chest. I can’t find a party that offers me close to much of that, but the Liberal Democrats seem to have taken a better stab at convincing me that they might be able to offer some improvements than anyone else. I think I’m turning into a Daily Mail reader though, is this what happens when you get old?

I’m off on my stag to Amsterdam on Thursday, so I could well end up dead and not posting again.

If any of you cunts are still awake after reading the Hooperian manifesto, good luck at the tables.