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.