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 Proph├Ęte, 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.