Thursday, 29 December 2011

Green and Pleasant Land

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

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

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


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

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

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

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Vote Garden

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

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

http://www.raisetheriver.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=13692

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

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

Godspeed.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Shine On

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


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

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

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

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

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7S6nKahDlo&feature=related

Godspeed.

Monday, 24 October 2011

One in the Eye

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

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

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


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

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

Godspeed.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

September wrap


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

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

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

Godspeed.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Furst among wankers

Some of you may have seen an open letter from Rafe Furst. To be honest I was astounded that someone could be such a cunt and write this without any hint of an apology to all the people that he has caused severe financial distress to. I won't comment any further, I'm sure you are able to form your own opinions.

I listened to Subject Poker's interview with durrrr earlier. Having listened to this, my view is probably quite different to that of many. Paragraphs are hard, so I'll use bullet points instead.

  • Tom comes across as having been really naive and appears to have taken people's word for things too often. That's no crime, he's a young guy and probably hasn't dealt with distressed businesses or simply businesses run by cunts and liars, which I have (and I am hugely suspicious of everything as a result).
  • For any stick that he gets, the bloke has already agreed to pay back c. $1m that FTP paid him. He wasn't a shareholder and yet has probably done more communicating on this than everyone at Full Tilt put together.
  • He seems to duck a lot of questions, but given the NDA that he signed and that he lives in the most litigious country in the world, he probably should be choosing his words fairly carefully.

Greg Raymer does a pretty good job on CNN of talking about poker here.

Godspeed.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Poker Gods giveth, The Poker Gods taketh away (a.k.a. FU FTP)


Given that I am currently in the office for only a few hours each day I have been grinding hard. Currently for September I'm at 17k hands/$1k profit, and I am hoping to make Platinum this month and next and (hopefully) trouser the $650 Platinum bonus.  Beyond that I'm not really sure where I'm going to play - I'm tempted to go to IPoker and take the rakeback that's on offer and because I'll never make SN once my new job starts, but my volume would drop by 25% if I played there. The new Stars "Beta" themes make playing a lot easier (thanks to Daleroxxu for pointing that out). Does anyone know if Minimaxmod now runs on the "new" (i.e. 18 months old) IPoker software?

After dropping 8 buy-ins on a pretty bad Monday, I sat in yesterday and played one session with the intent of being more solid and less spewy. It seemed to work out, I think I focussed better and made a lot less mistakes and thought through most decisions. I am going to try and do that for every session in future.

The whole Full Tilt saga is starting to unravel. I wrote my money off a while ago, and now I really want to see Lederer, Bitar, Furst, Ivey and everyone else face having to repay funds. Every penny that they have needs to go back to Full Tilt and be distributed to creditors. They should also probably face fraud charges. I know Ivey wasn't a director, but he owned the best part of 10% of the company. Are we really meant to believe he didn't know what was going on? What a mess, and an example of both sheer greed and the stupidity of people prepared to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. If they had any smarts they could have left the US market and continued with a smaller company that remained profitable, albeit that a lot of the player endorsements would have had to stop. They are filth.

West Ham drew 0-0 at Millwall last week. For my own safety I didn't attend, Bermondsey is horrible anyway. It looks like we had enough chances to win it but a point is probably a decent result. We have two home games in a few days against Peterborough and Ipswich coming up. Six point is a necessity, but realistically I think we may only get four at best. Still, we're unbeaten in the league since the opening game, so I can't grumble.

Godspeed, and be sure to drop by www.raisetheriver.com for the Jared Tendler Q&A.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Q&A with Jared Tendler - all you bishes can participate.

I'm not going to fuck about - the excellent www.raisetheriver.com has pulled of a huge coup by finding pictures of mental game coach, author and all-round good guy Jared Tendler in compromising positions, and as a result he has agreed to do a Q&A for any of you bastards that suffer from tilt or other mental game issues (that's all of you) to prevent these from being broadcast on 2+2 and causing embarrassment to his family.*

The thread is here:
http://www.raisetheriver.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=13384

Signing up takes 30 seconds, so no fucking excuses.

A full blog post on how ace I am will follow shortly, until then you can ask Jared to pick around inside your twisted brains (I shudder to think what he'll find in there) and see if he can stop you going on steaming monkey tilt so often.

Godspeed.

* there aren't really any compromising pictures of Jared, he's just doing it because he's a good guy and because Buster has been cyber-stalking him for such a long time and he hopes doing this will get him to knock it off.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Back!


I finished August on around 10k hands and down around $500. After 4k hands in September, I'm up around $500. This is clearly a case of swings and roundabouts, although I'm not sure which I prefer. I'm a good deal happier with my play, having a break, playing only 6 tables and taking a look at the Baluga e-book again certainly haven't done me any harm.

I came back from last weeks after two weeks in Malta with the wife. It's a strange island, very busy and in a lot of ways unlike much of the Mediterranean. The people are very nice, the food is good and it isn't overly expensive if you are careful about it. On the minus side, if you are into long, sandy beaches it probably isn't for you, and the Maltese are utterly unable to drive. It's probably a better place to go in October or May, when it's quieter and slightly less hot. I had a quality break though, I slept a ton and didn't really do too much ("what's new?" I hear you cry), which was what I was looking for. This weekend I'm off to Amsterdam with a couple of mates for a slightly different kind of holiday.

I quit my job just before I went away. My new company is a start-up which is run by people that I have worked for previously. It is not without risks, but could potentially be rewarding if it goes well, plus I am bored out of my mind here. I should be in the office around half the time before I join, so hopefully I can chill out, play some poker and maybe get to the odd West Ham midweek away before I start there.

West Ham have started the season well enough. We have a 100% away record and have let ourselves down at home conceding late goals in three games. I'm not unhappy, we look like we're going to be a good deal more ruthless this year and we seem to have signed well enough at the end of the transfer window. I'm not a David Bentley fan and I would have liked to get shot of Ilunga, but we are going to have some decent players that won't get in the match day 16 that other sides in the division would love to have. Parker's departure was inevitable and I think him leaving will enable Allardyce to make some tactical changes that he wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

Otherwise that's it, I promise to update with another poorly written and uninspiring post soonish.

Godspeed.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Trouble


July finished around $300 down - I had one horrendous days where I played three sessions and finished over $800 down (basically I lost a ton of flips and AA vs. KK) - the graph can be seen below. It wasn't pretty but I have run like a God for ages so I probably deserved it and the end result for July wasn't so bad. Having made Platinum in August thanks to Star's generous deal that they have on (and collected the $650 bonus) it isn't so bad and I'm down around $200 in 4k hands during August. I'd like to get close to 10k hands before I go on holiday on the 19th.


The Full Tilt/Alderney meeting was a total wash out. I can't see them returning to business, so it is gg $3k I guess. I'm mainly grateful that it wasn't more and I was fortunate enough to have shipped five figures off there post Black Friday.


The football season opened for us on Sunday. We had far the better of Cardiff and managed to lose 1-0 due to a shocking error from Ilunga and Green failing to save a shot from the otherwise shocking Miller. I thought that on another day we would win that game, we hit the post and had a shot cleared off the line and were beaten by an old fashioned smash and grab. Nolan looked way out of condition and Parker looked like he wanted to be somewhere else. On the plus side I thought Matt Taylor was excellent, as was Joey O'Brien and the two central defenders. We are lacking a bit of pace throughout the side (John Carew certainly isn't going to provide that) but I think we're going to concede a lot less silly goals this season. We have Aldershot in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, which is a good opportunity to get a result under our belt.


The sky appears to be falling in on the financial markets. For anyone under any illusions about just how bad things are right now, I'd highly recommend Tim Morgan's excellent paper (linky). You might not agree with what he says, but it is well researched and has a lot of numbers and facts to back up what he is saying. He also (rightly) points out exactly what got us here - not the banking crisis, but the previous government's choice to spend their way through a boom time.


Godspeed.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The World Series of Ben Lamb

The wife was baby sitting her two nieces on Saturday, which let me get in a good few hands of poker and cross the 10,000 hands mark for the month. I don't feel that I have played that well of late, and have tried to open up my game and play a little more aggressively (I'm currently 22/19ish) and I have also added a couple more tables (to eight at a time), which I don't think has been detrimental to any significant degree. I played last night and when I woke up this morning I was having a think about the things that I thought I was doing right when I started playing six max. I think a lot of it was playing absurdly tight in a lot of spots when I just thought I was never getting bluffed. I have stopped doing this, and I think it is costing me money. Having been reading through some of the Baluga e-book, he does mention that you just aren't getting bluffed/three bet as often as you might think. With that, I have vowed to try and fix a couple of things (I probably need to do some study as well) and see how that goes.


The World Series Main Event is getting down to the business end. It is amazing that as I write this, Ben Lamb is still in with just over 20 players remaining. He has had such a sick series - I guess when you put being a great player, running hot and being full of confidence together, that's what happens. Personally I'd love to see Eoghan O'Dea (Donnacha's son) win it - a friend of mine that knows Donnacha always speaks of him in the most complimentary manner, so it would be good to see his boy ship all the gold.


I watched the John Murray vs. Kevin Mitchell fight on Saturday. The two fights on the undercard were a bit of a damp squib, but the main event was genuinely sensational. I like Mitchell, and not just because he's a West Ham fan. From the second round onwards I wondered if he had it in him - Murray was walking through his punches and threw a considerable volume himself, which didn't give Mitchell any room to breathe. Credit to him, he completely turned the fight in the seventh and Murray looked to have shot his bolt, finishing him off in the eighth. Both fighters were extremely complimentary about each other afterwards and seemed to be reasonably good mates. Hopefully Mitchell will get his career back on track, I think he was extremely brave to take this fight on as it could easily have been the end of his career had he lost to a dangerous and unbeaten opponent.


I booked a holiday with the wife over the weekend. We decided on 12 nights in Malta, basically sitting on our fat arses doing nothing. We looked at New York/Boston/Cape Cod, which would have been an awesome trip we felt that we really needed to put our feet up as we haven't had a week long break in over a year.


The football seasons starts in around two and a half weeks. Whilst our activity in the transfer market (inbound) has been limited, I'm still looking forward to it. The word is that the manager likes some of the kids that he has in the squad, but doubts their ability to do it for a full season. I think we'll do a good deal of business at the close of the window (there is some talk of Ryan Bertrand coming in on loan as part of a deal to take Parker to Chelsea, who can't be any worse than our current left back).


West Ham concluded a sponsorship deal for the West Stand (or Rio Stand, or Dr. Marten's Stand). Whilst it is small news, and the thing has been sponsored before, it does lead on nicely to last night's documentary on Channel 4 on how to buy a football club (and the prostitution of football in general). I was saddened to see Robson involved in this - he was a genuinely great England captain and shouldn't be short of a few bob. I did agree with what he said when he mentioned that football is no longer about sport, it's about business - and he's correct, as much as I don't like it. And when it became about business first and sport second, the people that genuinely care about the game suffer and a few people get rich. The Thai bloke was bigging up his contact with Ferguson, but is obviously mates with him and (as we saw with the Preston loan players thing), it's a grubby business where being mates with the right people count for a lot.


Speaking of grubby cunts in football, I think Redknapp is meant to be back up in court this week. If the judge is reading, I'm indifferent to either death by firing squad or lethal injection. Thanks.


I should probably take a moment to mention the whole phone hacking thing. The developments in the last two weeks have been incredible, and it wouldn't surprise me if the PM ended up going over this. I am glad to see that people now have the bit between their teeth, and this needs to be taken right to the bitter end. I saw some of the news last night about the murder of Daniel Morgan and subsequent stalking of two detectives (who were at the time married, one of whom went on to present Crimewatch) by the NOTW. The case has collapsed five times due to police corruption.


I read an article by Chris Bryant (who has done a fine job throughout the whole phone hacking thing) last week. He said a lot of things that I agreed with - that basically we need to be looking at whether Murdoch is a fit and proper person to own any UK media (including the 40% stake in Sky). He also spoke about Sky's monopoly position and that this needs to be challenged. I agree wholeheartedly - the idea that selling one of the three football packages to ESPN in some way represents competition is bollocks. You need to have different broadcasters with access to the same games. With any luck the recent EU ruling on TV rights could make a huge difference - EU regulations are not about protecting monopoly positions but about encouraging fair and free trade within the block of countries. Anything that might deflate the football bubble can't come soon enough.


Godspeed.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


I have been fairly quiet on the poker front, although with this in mind July has gone pretty well. I'm currently up c. $500 after around 4,700 hands, which is not to be sniffed at. I have developed something of a worrying habit of winning a buy-in or two (what's not to like?) and wanting to quit and lock up a win. This whole way of thinking is of course nonsense, and I need to nip it in the bud. I managed to played around 1,000 hands last night over the course of a couple of sessions, and should play at least one more session tonight.



Whilst I was playing Kysus appeared at my table. For those that don't know him, he is a winning MSNL player and (despite being an Arsenal fan) a good guy. He said he was slumming it at $100NL because he doesn't keep much money online right now. I hope not to see him at my tables again, as his Nasri avatar makes me want to spite three bet him and he's really good at poker.



I am going to see Dylan Moran on Thursday. I have always quite liked him, it'll make a change from seeing Michael fucking McIntyre on TV every other day. Other than that we're looking at taking a couple of weeks holiday - we are considering Malta, as I'm not sure we can be arsed with a long flight and the pain that goes with it to go somewhere more exotic. Plus the hotel that we are looking at has a casino in it - don't tell the wife. When I'm there I will be sporting the Dad on holiday look, as modelled by Mr S. Allardyce, below.




West Ham's pre-season kicked off yesterday, with a mainly youthful side losing 2-1 to Young Boys (snigger) in Switzerland. We have lost a lot of players and signed two (two pretty good ones, I admit). The season starts in less than a month and we really need to get our skates on. I think it is going to be mainly a side of has beens and never will bes, which is what The Championship is all about. Leicester have signed well and should start as favourites. Our squad is very thin and with Cole having turned his nose up at a move to Leicester, we are supposedly reliant on flogging two from three of Cole/Parker/Green to get funds freed up.


These are interesting times, and we will be placing an awful lot on the shoulders of some young or unproven players and need to keep people fit. In Sam we trust, I guess. There is no need to panic as the window is yet to close, but I think we have five or six games before the end of August - that's a lot of points, and we face a few of the better sides in that time. I shan't comment on The Premiership as we're keepin' it real, down and dirty in The Championship here yo.


Godspeed.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Halcyon and on and on

I managed to grind out 16,000 hands during July, finishing up with a profit of around $600. I found myself auto-piloting a lot and probably playing some of my worst poker since I converted to six max. This disappointed me, and reminded me that I haven't really done any study of the game worth speaking of for the last six weeks. I have vowed to concentrate more at the tables and try and make some time to put in some more study.



It has been a while since I last updated here. The big news is obviously the shut down at Full Tilt (and gg $3k, possibly). Whilst there is the possibility of a new investor (as confirmed by their regulator), the longer they remain closed, the less valuable the business becomes. I hope they work something out, but my head tells me that this might be beyond them. Fingers crossed.



I haven't paid much attention to what has been going on at the WSOP, but I was delighted that Hellmuth didn't win his 12th bracelet, was disappointed that Chris Moorman didn't win his, and am impressed at how well Ben Lamb runs.



I went to Edinburgh over the weekend with a few friends. We had an awesome time, drank a lot, ate a lot and didn't get much sleep. It's a fine city, wasted on the Scottish ;) .




I am now into season three of The Wire, which seems to get more awesome as it goes along. I went with Lucy to see Butley at The Theatre (really, I did) with Dominic West and Paul McCann. I have never been to the theatre before (I don't think panto counts) and really enjoyed it.



I am meeting my old boss this week. He works for a new company that has just started up - it is a bit of a risk, but I'm interested in seeing what he has to say. It has the potential to be fairly lucrative and a lot more fun than my current job. I lose my messenger and 2+2 access at work this week (boo hiss), so I will see how that pans out.



Godspeed.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Warming Up

Poker has been slow of late. I was away for a few days (see below) and came back demotivated and didn't really feel like playing. However I have finally got my finger out and my luckbox seems to be working again, and am at 4,300 hands/+$600ish for the month so far. I was sat at the tables the other day with Gorvacofin (a very god player and great guy), who 4 bet shoved over my squeeze with 66. The button had set a tarp (obviously knowing that Hoopie1 in the big blind was an aggro mega-fish) with QQ. Gorv did what good players do and spiked a 6 on the river and apologised to the guy that had QQ, who is obviously someone that he knows as he said something about "I know you have been running bad". The guy replied that he was only 7 buy-ins off being 100BI below his AIEV number for the year. Imagine that? I think I'd kill myself. I made a note to shove crap on this guy more often, I'll probably win given that I run hot and he runs like shit.

Congratulations to Sadan Turker (the_snail03) for his second place in the $1k shoveament at the WSOP. Being smart he made a deal that guaranteed him $500k when it got to HU. Sadan is a rare creature in that he is an Arsenal fan that I actually like. Well done him, I'm just about to send him a begging PM on 2+2.

Not quite as good as this is what happens when you put Bill Chen, 2+2 and Photoshop together:
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/bill-chen-photoshop-potential-1049364/

I spent a few days in Cyprus with the wife for a friend's wedding. It was a decent do and I needed some time away, I haven't had a break for a long time.

I went to see the Senna documentary film on Sunday. I hate F1 but it was awesome, even her indoors liked it. The director did a Q&A afterwards and said some interesting stuff, despite some fuckwitted questions from the Hackney trendies.

Godspeed.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Downtime

I finished June up $1,700 or so, which is an amazing result (although I lost a good few BI towards the end of the month). Since then I haven’t played any poker – I was away for a few days at a wedding and haven’t really got back on the horse.

I came back from my break to see another non-statement from Full Tilt on returning funds. I have some funds on there, I’m sort of tempted to pull them out, but the games are soft so I might let them ride for a while. The whole Phil Ivey thing obviously has more to it than meets the eye. As far as I am concerned, Ivey is a cunt for pretending he is doing this for any other reason than his own interests, and Full Tilt are cunts for making out that this might delay the return of player funds.

It is becoming clear that Full Tilt are something of a cowboy outfit. Whilst Rainey’s claims on QuadJacks may have been somewhat overblown, and he is a little shit that loves the limelight too much, there is clearly something up at the company (the deposits that people played with that were never withdrawn is very worrying) and they are blatantly short of cash. I think they’ll try and keep the non-US players raking whilst attempting to get an equity injection from somewhere.

I was away in Cyprus at a friend’s wedding over the weekend. I don’t really like Cyprus, it is a long way away, quite expensive, the food isn’t great and the island isn’t so nice to look at. However it was good to catch up with some old faces and I haven’t really had anything approaching a proper holiday since the honeymoon last year.

The wedding was attending by the Crown Prince of Jordan (complete with security guards and entourage) - Samy’s family are fairly wealthy, I (obviously) don’t normally mix in those circles. His great uncle also attended – aged 91 and having been told not to fly by his doctors, Samy, and his daughter, he booked himself some flights and went on his own. What a legend.

I’m quietly reasonably happy with the appointment of Sam Allardyce. I think he’s a miserable northern cunt, but probably the best of the realistically available candidates – much like Craig Bellamy, I’d rather have him inside the tent pissing out than the other way around. He’d better not bring Diouf with him though, the spitting at our fans at Anfield will never be forgotten and he’s a waste of oxygen. I’m hoping that his desire for the England job will be enough to make him play a bit more football – as some pikey pointed out to me, he won’t let us get rolled at The Den in the way we did on our last two visits. We have also bought probably the best fake twitter account in football: http://twitter.com/#!/TheBig_Sam

I have just completed the first series of The Wire. What a totally amazing programme – probably the best thing I have ever seen on TV. The second series seems somewhat slower paced, but fascinating all the same. We’re going to see Dominc West in Butley later this month, which should be good (I have never been to see a play before, which will not surprise regular readers). If you haven’t seen The Wire, buy the box set, send the wife to her parents and book the week off work. Thank me later.

Godspeed.

Monday, 16 May 2011

If you can’t be good…

I remember looking back a couple of years ago at a post on Clarkatroid’s blog that said that when people convert from tournaments to cash (as many do), it is important that they run well, as many run bad, will simply think that they suck at cash games and quit them, without ever having the opportunity to discover whether they were winning or not.

Having run pretty hot and been winning at a decent clip at $50nl over 35k hands, I threw the “should I move up?” question out on www.raisetheriver.com. I wanted to get some feedback from people that I respected and that knew their stuff, and some of the RTR guys too. HONK! Joking, obv. Anyway, the general feedback was that the games don’t play too differently, the player pool between $50nl and $100nl overlaps and that if you are rolled, go for it. So I took a shot, and so far it has gone splendidly, I’m winning comfortably over 5k hands or so. I cleared the Stars SCOOP bonus and am hoping to try and clear some more of the Full Tilt bonus that I have before it expires at the end of the week.

Full Tilt provided another update on the current situation there. This really doesn’t bode well – I have no idea what the fuck is going on there, but they need to sort their shit out. If they have the cash, they have no reason not to pay it back, and given that they are taking a while to pay non-US players, I wonder if all is well. I’m going to leave the balance I have on there for now – it isn’t an earth shattering sum of money and the games are quite soft there.

West Ham confirmed their relegation yesterday by bottling a 2-0 lead at Wigan. I genuinely wasn’t that bothered when I found out, I will be glad to see the back of a lot of the players that were there and we have been living on borrowed time in the division for three seasons. Someone mentioned that we have dropped 21 points from winning positions this season, which explains a lot.

With Grant gone, there is a lot of debate over the next manager. A lot of people seem keen on Fat Sam. I think he would be the best choice to get us up at the first attempt, but I’d rather not have someone come in and fill the squad with guys on big wages in the event that we do go up. Allardyce isn’t exactly Mr Popular with some fans, and I think people would be quick to get on his back if it wasn’t going well. The last time we came up we did it with a young squad on a modest budget, had a cracking first season back and then fucked it when the Icelandics started bringing in big reputations on massive wages. I don’t want to repeat the second part again. Given that Paul Lambert is probably too smart to want to take a step down after promotion, I would like to see us go for either Malky Mackay, Gus Poyet or (rank outsider) Paul Tisdale.

I keep hearing about “the West Ham way” and stuff about tradition. The West Ham way is nonsense, we have played no more or less good football than any other mediocre top flight (most of the time) sides over the last 20 years. What the club needs is a kick up the arse and some strong characters to come in and shake the place up. The club’s scale and reputation should give us the pick of The Championship’s better players – I’d like to see us have a good look at the Swansea squad if we don’t go up, but I think Ashley Williams will be destined for the top flight either way.

Next week’s game at home to Sunderland should be fun. My prediction is for a lot of the more established names to pick up minor “injuries” in training this week and rule themselves out of the grief they will get from the crowd.

Godspeed.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Boomswitch

My plod along at $50nl was just that until Saturday, when someone at PokerStars must have accidentally flicked my boomswitch, and I won $500 in around 500 hands. LOL. Overall the six max is going well, I’m still running hot and my win rate is well above the expected number. I am currently at around 8,000 hands for May (34,000 overall) and will hopefully press on towards 50,000 hands, which I hope to read by the middle or end of June.

Full Tilt looks to have made some improvement to its pay out situation, although their PR is still piss poor. I hope they sort themselves out, Stars needs a competitor and Full Tilt has the edge in some respects, but lags badly in many areas where it counts (customer support, for example).

You can read various accounts of the Cereus situation at many places (I’d recommend Dr Pauly’s blog as a decent start). However, I’d also like to bring Joe Sebok’s blog to everyone’s attention, after Cereus apparantley ditched all of its pros.

http://www.pokerroad.com/blog/joesebok/129

The best description I have seen of Joe being dropped is “sinking ship deserts rat”. Joe – you really are a disgusting piece of shit. Your conduct since you joined Cereus has been nothing short of a fucking disgrace, and your defence so full of holes that it doesn’t even warrant being pulled apart, although many others have already done a better job than me.

The “I’m in the same situation as you guys” line makes my stomach churn. This is because you aren’t – you were pulling down (supposedly) $30k a month for churning out your bullshit and failing to answer any questions in a satisfactory manner. You said you would quit if you didn’t get the answers or meet your goals – you didn’t, you just kept on taking the money. In some ways, if you had just gone there as a site pro and taken what they were offering you like Devo, Roothlus or BaseBaldy, then I could understand. But when you started talking the talk, you opened yourself up to all the shit that is going to come your way over the next few years.

West Ham took a big step towards The Championship on Saturday by failing to beat Blackburn. We were crap, and despite Keane missing from inside the six yard box going into injury time, we don’t deserve to stay up. I won’t be sorry to never see most of our players in a West Ham shirt again.

David Gold was on Football Focus on Saturday and gave a pretty decent and frank interview. On Monday, Sullivan made a tit of himself in the press by pleading poverty and thoroughly fucked me off, saying relegation was going to cost him £20m personally. Perhaps if he had spent some of that £20m at the start of the season on a left back and a couple of other players, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Godspeed.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Lights out?

Firstly - a quick update: I received my Full Tilt withdrawl yesterday. This has left me feeling a lot more relaxed, a lot of the FTP withdrawls seem to be flowing through now. I am currently looking into opening a USD bank account to house poker funds - the best account seems to be Citigroup, although I'm slightly reluctant to have gambling funds housed with a US bank, even though I'm sure it won't be a problem as it is all legal here. If anyone

More interestingly - it looks like Cereus could be drawing dead:
http://deadmoneybook.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/the-twin-memos/#more-3881

I have mixed feelings on this - firstly, I don't want to see anyone lose their money. However, I don't see how any non-Americans, who have a wealth of sites to choose from, would ever have any money deposited there. If they go, then I'll be delighted to see the back of them - they're scum, and online poker could do without them - but I do hope people recover their funds, although things look very bleak at the moment.

I'm sure there will be some more developments in the coming days and weeks.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Nose to the grindstone

April saw me finish with around 24,000 hands under my belt, for a profit of around $450. I’m pleased to have got a large number of hands in, and with around 30,000 already registered at six max, I’m hoping to get a 50,000 hand sample together at $50nl and then review my play (or have someone else review my play) with a view to ironing out some leaks and possibly moving up. My current win rate is around 8bb/100 (EV adjusted is c. 6.5bb/100, because I run good), which I am more than happy with.

I already have 3,000 hands played in May and am hoping to try and clear the majority of the $200 SCOOP reload bonus and $300 Full Tilt bonus that I have. I have found the games softer and the software faster on Full Tilt, but I don’t have rakeback there, so I’ll probably continue to mix up my play between the two sites and see how it goes.

I’m still yet to receive my cash out from Full Tilt that was requested on the 16th. In your own time chaps, it isn’t like it is a large sum of money or anything. Cunts.

The Black Friday fall out continues. If you are at all interest in any of the legal ramblings, then take a look at Karak’s excellent blog: http://www.lawdonk.com/

More importantly, good luck to Rupert Elder and Max Heinzelmann in today’s EPT San Remo final table. http://www.pokernews.com/live-reporting/2011-european-poker-tour-san-remo/main-event/ For those that haven’t had any dealings with them, they’re both incredibly nice people and fine players, and either of them would be a deserving winner.I can’t bring myself to talk about West Ham, so I won’t.

Godspeed.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bat Chan

It has been an interesting few weeks in poker, to say the least. I have tried to cash out a large portion of my bankroll from the two main sites. Pokerstars, after what appears to have been a genuine technical issue, got me my money inside a week. Well done Stars – your reputation as the best in the business is well deserved (particularly with the news that they are now paying out US players). I am still waiting on a substantial cash out from Full Tilt. They have been fucking useless, which is par for the course – other people that have attempted to cash out after me have (using the same method) have had their funds processed. To say that I am a little annoyed is an understatement.

Cereus, where I have no funds, have taken a different approach by only letting people cash out $250 at a time. That’s fucking disgusting, but pretty much what I expected. I’m actually somewhat surprised that they haven’t cut and run, particularly when the DoJ documents indicate that Scott Tom and his gang are still running the show over there. Meanwhile, Sebok continues to make a prize cunt of himself by not knowing what is going on and telling people to sit tight, whilst not acknowledging anything about Scott Tom’s continued involvement. Good work Joe, you fucking moron.

I have continued to plug away at six max. I continue to run very well and not play too badly. I think I have around 16,000 hands under my belt this month now, which is good, and I took advantage of the SCOOP reload bonus that Stars have offered.

From the twoplustwo MSPaint before and after Black Friday thread, here is a light amongst the gloom:

The last bank holiday was bliss. These three days at work look like being as quiet as fuck, and the next four days off from Friday seem awesome as well. I’m hoping to take some exercise and get a few hands of poker in, whilst doing a good amount of relaxing.

West Ham lost 3-0 at Chelsea. I didn’t see the game, supposedly we played alright (especially given the side we had out), however the main upside was that I won a few quid on my Torres to score bet. It was inevitable it would be against us, stuff like this always is. The other teams around us picked up no more than a point, which is excellent news, but we need at least seven points from the last four games and I’m not sure we have it in us. We have Man City away on Sunday – I expect another defeat.

Godspeed.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Cack Friday


I’m not really sure where to begin regarding what has happened over the last few days. I came home from work on Friday and saw some of the stuff on 2+2 and sat there with my mouth open, completely dumbfounded. The first thing that I can say is that I think what has happened is a real shame for a lot of the good people that I have met from America through poker. I have a good few friends that I have known for a number of year, and it makes me a little sad that I won’t chat to them like I used to and that they won’t be able to spend their spare time enjoying what is (in most cases) their hobby, or, worse than that, aren’t going to be able to earn any money (not to mention whatever funds have been frozen). I hope things get worked out and that they get their money back and a place to play. Hopefully they won’t have to move to another country with a less oppressive regime where they can play, like China or Russia.


From a personal perspective, I’m down around $4k from unpaid make-up from my horse, who is based in the US. There isn’t a great deal that can be done there, so I’ll write it off and move on.


I have a substantial amount on Full Tilt and Stars – I have a cash out pending from Full Tilt, I dare say it’ll take forever as they’re useless. There is some sort of technical issue with my account at Stars, but I hope that will get resolved. I’m planning on leaving a couple of thousand on each so I can play there when I want and take the rest off. I should have done this ages ago but have been bone idle.

There has been a lot of discussion on whether your funds are at risk on these sites. My thoughts are as follows:


1. Whilst my gut instinct is that there is nothing to be gained by keeping substantial amounts that you don’t need to play on these sites. You have no upside to retaining them on the site - they can always be moved back there.

2. I know our funds are meant to be kept segregated, but I have dealt with enough bankrupt companies to know that things aren’t always done as they should be.

3. People seem to think that because this is lead from the US, non-US players won’t be affected. Well, if Stars and Tilt can’t pay the fines, then they will be bankrupt and you could be waiting a while for your funds (at best). I don’t want to take that chance.


It looks like the games are reasonably soft at the moment and that player liquidity on Stars seems reasonably good. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop regarding traffic at IPoker and Party.


My results at 6 max continue to be good. I’m running way above expectation, but long may that continue. I should make gold star this month fairly comfortably. Basically I am grinding my ass off to try and get a reasonable sample together (50k hands? 30k? Any input on what is reasonable is welcome) to see whether I am beating this games (and if so by how much) and then reassess where I am at and maybe have a think about moving up (or down).


West Ham were terrible this weekend and deserved to get beaten. With that result I think we’re down, so I’ll say no more.


It has been a really fucked up weekend and I’m still a bit shellshocked by what has happened. I’m probably in for a nervy few weeks with respect to recovering my funds, as are many others, so fingers crossed – I hope everyone makes out whole.


Godspeed (I love that word).


PS the best joke I heard to come out of all this was “we should spare a thought for those in Full Tilt customer services, as if things are as serious as they seem, both of them could lose their jobs.”

Monday, 11 April 2011

Man cannot exist on FPPs alone


So, this six max thing - what's all the fuss about? Having taken Friday off and played a ton of over the weekend, I have now clocked up 10,000 hands of six max at $50nl. I have managed to do what I do best, which is run a long way above expectation (see garph, above). Probably for this reason, I have rather enjoyed the my switch to a new game. It certainly has a ton of benefits over heads up games - the variance is lower, I seem to tilt less (probably due to the whole game being a lot less personal), there is no hit and running, you can start and end sessions whenever you want - the upsides seem endless, although a lot of the games seem reg-infested. I tend to jump tables fairly ruthlessly instead of sitting in zero-sum games with a bunch of nitty regulars (which is probably where a lot of the mass tablers fall down).


I watched some of the CitizenWind "99 Problems" Cardrunners series, which was very useful. I think the best thing in there, which I have been trying to remember at all times, is don’t level yourself, as it is a really expensive habit. I think I have cost myself at least 4/5 stacks when I should have lost a lot less where I have had a moderately strong hand (overpair or whatever) and villain has been repping something massive, I have clicked call on shove, he has turned over aces or whatever and I have thought "yeah, that was about what I thought he had." Which begs the question, why didn't I fold?


The other thing was that people seem to love getting out of line with each other for absolutely no reason whatsoever. CitizenWind's point was that if you can get someone to react and start three betting you from the blinds a lot, at some point you're going to pick up a hand and get them to commit a lot of money with something second best - so at the point they start getting overly aggressive out of position, you have won the game. Whilst I like to project a somewhat loose/spewy image pre-flop, I tend to play relatively snug post flop (I think people look and go "this guy is 25/22, he's nuts" and react accordingly) and am trying to c-bet a lot less (or at least a lot more selectively). Anyway, overall it has gone really well so far. I'm bound to spew a ton of money back fairly soon, but the challenge will be in controlling that and not getting tilted.


I had a look at some of the other $50nl regs PTR winnings. There are a lot of guys out there that have played a ton of hands and haven't made any money whatsoever - I assume they're just playing for Supernova/SNE. In fact, very few of the regulars are winning at any substantial rate at all over some pretty enormous samples.


Elsewhere in Poker: 1) Full Tilt's response to this thread shows how their reputation for customer service is well deserved.


2) I haven't heard it, but the Donkdown radio with Joy Miller was meant to be hilarious.


3) A drunk Phil Ivey and the wierdness of French Canadians leads to some amazing photoshopping. West Ham got their annual dicking up at Bolton on Saturday. Having played reasonably well of late the performance was very disappointing. Next week's game at home to Villa is a must win, but I can't see us doing it. Good luck at the tables.


P.S. I'm thinking of signing off these crappy posts with "Godspeed" instead from now on, it's slightly less clich├ęd and makes me feel more like someone in Apollo 13.

Monday, 28 March 2011

That's a Fact



After a lot of deliberation I have decided to take the plunge and switch to six max. I found the lack of action at the HU tables quite frustrating and not a good use of my time given how little I play, so being able to jump into a few tables, play for an hour or so and then jump out without any of the bullshit about hit and running etc. makes for a nice change. Over a whopping sample size of 1,500 hands I am up around $500 at $50nl. Obviously I run sick good, so long may that continue.


My initial observations comments (I have been playing on the fast tables on Stars) are as follows:

1) Whilst rakeback is nice, boy do you pay a ton less rake on Stars, and you get to play a lot more hands and benefit from a bigger player pool.

2) My natural game is really quite LAG pre-flop.

3) People suck and I have been the recipient of a couple of massive spews in deepish pots (including flopping the nut flush in a limped pot 180bb deep and somehow managing to get my entire stack in vs. a flopped overcard and 9 hi flush draw which turned third pair and rivered two pair).

4) I find hand reading and range analysis a lot easier than I did HU. 5) Regulars generally tend to play fairly straightforward and as a result I think it is generally easy to make a disciplined fold a lot of the time when the action gets hot. I have also found it easier to control tilt, although having not been coolered or outdrawn very often (in fact hardly at all) then this is a lot easier.


I basically jumped in without doing any learning at all, but over the weekend I read a large chunk of Baluga Whale's "Easy Game". I spent most of it thinking "I'm going to need to read this again" - this isn't a bad thing, more that there is a lot of information in there (which many regular 6m players will probably find standard but I don't) and that I really haven't got enough game time under my belt to have a lot of practical examples to apply it to.


The whole Sebok/UB thing rumbles on over on 2+2. For me, it's clear that Joe doesn't have any of the answers and UB has had ample time to send a rep over there (which really needs to be Leggett) to start providing some proper answers. Given that they haven't done so in the last three years, I can't imagine they'll change their mind now. Joe clearly likes whatever UB are paying him, but he's an asshat for taking it and can't really be annoyed with all the grief he gets. I saw his "I tried…" on Twitter - Joe, you might have tried, but it was a dismal effort and all the unanswered questions are still there. If you don't know the answers to most of the questions yourself then you can't trust your employers, and either way you should stop making out like it's 2+2 that's in the wrong here and not UB.


I have had a couple of pretty decent weekends, watching West Ham play out a thrilling 0-0 at Spurs last Saturday, which had everything but a goal. Whilst Spurs had plenty of chances I thought our defending was outstanding (Jacobsen and Bridge were immense) whilst Rob Green pulled off a world class save to tip Bale's free kick onto the bar. We also had three or four very good chances ourselves. This is the first time this season I have seen us dig in for 90 minutes and battle, which leaves me feeling a little more optimistic, despite our difficult run in.


This weekend I was in Paris. The weather was awesome, the city is amazing and even the Parisians were a lot more tolerable than I have found them before. My French was pretty shit, natch, but we managed to get by. Some things were disappointing (the Sacre Couer is an amazing building but the hordes of people trying to flog you shit outside there drove me nuts and was better when we went before when it was quieter). Lots of the city also smells of piss. Le Louvre was amazing, although totally overwhelming in both the size and amount of stuff in there (it would apparently take 9 months to see every bit of art in the museum).


Anyway, enough of all this shiz, good luck at the tables.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Before A Fall

Having been so happy with how things were going, I moved up to the $/£/€ 100nl tables. This proved not to be the best move from me, and I have run like total AIDS. I'm down $1,600 for the month, around $1k below AIEV. I'm not overly concerned by my play, but I could have done without getting God moded. The most fun experience was at the end of a stinking session getting AA in against KQ 200bb deep at €100nl on a QTx r flop and losing against a retarded that couldn't fold top pair if his life depended on it. Still, enough moaning, I'm not overly downhearted about the situation, I just need to get on with it and I have played nearly 7,000 hands this month.

There has been some awesome poker gossip going on of late, principally:
1) Sebok doesn't like it when people are nasty about UB.
2) Poker isn't fun when you suspect people of playing on each other's accounts according to Prahlad.
3) Pocket money discussions could get interesting.

For anyone that knows Wayne (Wonderflop), he has had a bit of a difficult time in recent months. Anyway, he is now playing for a living, and things seem to have started off well enough. Good on him, he deserves a break, and he should probably ship me half of his manies for the good luck wishes.

West Ham got beaten by Stoke in the FA Cup quarter final. I think the best side one, although Mike Jones clearly got intimidated at half time by Pulis and fell for a lot of their snide tactics. They're a set of cunts and nothing would please me more than to see Pulis, his nonce cap and his horrible, ugly side get relegated. I can't see it happening though.

We're away at Tottenham tomorrow. I can't see us getting anything, but I'm looking forward to going to the game, it is only a short bus ride away. I'm not a fan of lunchtime kick-offs, but this one suits me as I am around at a friend's house that night (sadly he is a Spurs fan).

The stag do in Liverpool was fun, and featured one person being kicked out of a bar, one person getting knocked out and three people so ill after the first night that they didn't make the second. Classy.

I'm off to Paris with her indoors next week - I'm such a romantic. I quite like Paris, it is wasted on the French, but fucking expensive. I hope they have resolved the dog shit problem there too.

Good luck at the tables.

P.S. I watched the excellent Hoop Dreams on DVD on Sunday. For those that haven't heard of it, this is a documentary following two young American basketball hopefulls in Chicago. It is a fascinating insight into inner city life and the American education system, as well as a gripping story where you find yourself really rooting for the two subjects of the documentary (who both come across as genuinely decent kids). It's quite sad watching William speaking to the camera and saying "People always say to me, ‘when you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me’. Well, I should’ve said back, ‘if I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me’." If you can get your hands on a copy I'd recommend taking the three hours to watch it, it certainly beats the crap out of X-Factor on a Saturday night.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Dissecting an Opponent

After very little play during February, a week into March and I have already played 4,500 hands, for a gargantuan profit of $20 (although I think I’m due around $150 in rakeback). My sick level of run hot seems to have disappeared (if anyone finds it, please contact me so I can collect it), having been set over setted in a 200bb pot by a pretty terrible villain, which is bollocks as I should be set over setting people, always. I was down around $600 at one point, however thanks to one villain, I’m now back to even.

I sat in yesterday at a few tables and it is pretty hard finding fish on a weekday morning. Having struggled to find any regs to play, I stumbled across a guy that I had played before. He is a winning player but pretty awful as I remembered, so I sat in and three tabled him. His playing style is as follows:

In position:
1) Open around 85% of buttons.
2) Only c-bet around 40% (this appears to be the top 40% of his hands).
3) Often two barrelling (c. 60%), which makes sense given that he seems to be mainly c-betting his strong hands, so he is often going to follow up.
4) Folds to three bets around 60% of the time, but isn’t massively tricky in three bet pots.

This isn’t terrible, but obviously it is massively exploitable and he folds to lots of turn bets when the flop checks through.

Out of position:
1) He plays around 40% of hands, three betting around 12% (this goes up when he’s tilted and is lower a lot of the time).
2) Folds to c-bets around 40% of the time and to second barrels around 60%.
3) Check raises around 10% (this is really low, for most regs this will be 15%-20%).

Overall, his pre-flop game isn’t awful but he’s really passive and massively exploitable. When I look at my stats against him, I’m playing really aggressively (three betting often and c-betting a lot of flops in three bet pots, because I get folds so often), two barrelling quite a lot in single raised pots when good barrel cards arrives (if you simply do the maths, this is really profitable given how often he folds to c-bets and second barrels) and folding anything but very strong hands when he check raises. He also gets very stubborn with top pair, which isn’t unusual at these limits.

He dumped off a good amount to me yesterday over two sessions, which is awesome. The lesson is that you can be as exploitable as you like, as long as you aren’t actually being exploited, and to always be able to adapt when you’re getting worked over (and if you can’t adapt, quit). This probably applies to heads-up way more than any other form of poker because villain’s playing styles can vary so widely.

This guy has now become my second most profitable opponent in my database. At some point he’s going to stop giving me action (which might be the next time I sit him), however guys like this don’t come around too often and people should be lining up around the block to play him (I’d imagine that most people see his PTR and give him a miss).

I should be able to play a good bit more poker this week – my wife is out for part of tonight, tomorrow and Thursday (fistpump.jpg), so I’d like to get in at least another 1,000 – 1,500 hands. My cash bankroll is now at nearly $12k, so I need to be less of a wuss and play more $100nl.

Elsewhere in poker, there are lots more UB shenanigans (shame on you Joe Sebok), suspicious UB player xblink is now taking on all-comers on Full Tilt, Erik Seidel crushes live souls in 2011 by winning the heads-up donkament on top of lots of other things and probably lots of other stuff that I can’t think of right now.

I went up to Liverpool for a stag weekend and missed West Ham beating Stoke 3-0. We’re right on form at the moment, and given how the league is shaping up we’ll need to keep this going until the end of the season. I’ll give the Scousers credit (which is a first), they were a pretty decent bunch. We take on Stoke again next week, this time away in the FA Cup. It is something of a distraction but hopefully we can keep the run going and book a semi-final at Wembley.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Appetite

After a break from poker during the majority of February, I have returned reinvigorated. It’s surprising how much easier I am finding playing when it is something that I want to do, instead of something I feel obliged to do because I have some spare time or whatever. I think I’m at around 3,000 hands for the month (sick grider, eh?) and around $600 profit (weeeeeeeeeeee!). I’ve run pretty damned well (having held up in two 150bb pots with AA and KK vs. QQ both times), but I think my general level of play has been decent too. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – playing fish is really absurdly profitable.

For those that don’t play heads-up games, you tend to get hit and run. A lot. This used to bother me, however I’ve tried to let it go – it is nothing more than an occupational hazard. I am now a bit more ruthless with who I am playing – against various fish I tend to play a max of three tables (with a different player on each), however if my fourth table gets filled with a full stack fish and one of the others only have 25bb left I’ll ditch the shorter stack and move on to the guy that is deeper. Getting action against regs is virtually impossible right now, which is amazing given that I’m not that good.

I have been watching the UB stuff developing of late. The whole thing is totally amazing and it is good to see things prompting more discussion on it again. Given the lies that have been told and the fact that the company is still in operation, I think it is important that this is not forgotten.

West Ham turned in their best display of the season to beat Liverpool 3-1 yesterday. I thought we dominated large stretches of the game, created the better chances and ran out deserving winners. Demba Ba and Thomas Hitzelsperger were both excellent and Upson’s return alongside Tomkins at the back was timely, both played very well. Given how other results have gone for us of late this was a timely win and makes staying up look like something of a possibility. Keeping the back four fit will be key.



The cherry on the cake on Sunday was seeing Arsenal’s failboat crash onto the rocks against Birmingham. It looked like a pretty decent game of football and I never tire of enjoying seeing Arsenal lose.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Back in the Saddle

I’ve had probably as long a break from internet poker, bar when I have been on holiday, as I can remember. I have quite enjoyed the time off. I’ve vowed to try and play more when I want to play, instead of when I feel obliged to do so. So far I feel a lot better about it – my life probably isn’t particularly well suited to meeting volume targets.

I played a bit over the weekend, went on a massive heater (helped by having some fish dump 3BI to me at €50nl) and some decent play by me at times (seriously). I made a few mistakes which I didn’t get punished for, but I was happy to have thought that I’d done something wrong. There is a quick line check thread in HUNL on 2+2, which has been really useful – I rarely post it but the hands and thoughts that people get are great, and it means that “standard” hands get discussed (which is where I think I’m falling down). Thus far I'm up around $600 in February after 1,500 hands. MBN etc.

I have caught up on some of the gossip/stories that have been doing the rounds of late. Some of these bits are quite awesome:
1) Somewhat old and not really poker, but $75k is a pretty epic rolling. It starts getting good around page 30, before that it is largely penix pictures.
2) Sorel Mizzi is allowed to play on FTP again. Don’t worry though folks, as Sorel has started cheating in the live arena instead.
3) There's a lot of bullshit going on with PeachyMer. Cliffs at post 3426, epic Slicknasty rage comic at post 3377.
4) The whole UB thing might get interesting again, with Travis Makar calling into Donkdown Radio with a whole bunch of shit. I listened to the interview, I thought he was FOS a lot of the time but it’s worth hearing all the same. There is also a pretty good post from Haley in her blog on brainwashdodo (link on the right).

A lot has happened at West Ham since I last posted, not all of it particularly good. Matt Upson seems to be out for the rest of the season, which is a huge blow. We play Burnley in the FA Cup tonight, which should see Thomas Hitzelsperger make his long-awaited debut.

At work we’re about to see a bunch more people laid off this week. We have also been involved in a massive spat with another department, which doesn’t bode well, I’m not really overly bothered as the redundancy terms are fairly appealing.

Good luck at the tables.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Failure is an Option

January finish with me balling out of all control. I managed a stunning profit of $0.86 (that's roughly one shiny new fifty pence piece to British readers) plus rakeback. Pretty sure Antonius and Ivy will be ducking me at $500/$1,000 soon enough. I'm lacking motivation to play much at the moment, which isn't helped by me seeming to really struggle to get action on IPoker at the times of day I usually play at. I'll see how that develops, I might need to considering getting some funds on another network (Entraction?) if it doesn't work out.

The North vs. South HU challenge on RTR has seen something of a change in fortunes, with early luckboxing from the North having been erased by great play from the South. It is now pretty much even, and I have a single game left with Snakey to play. The main problem will be if Amatay fucks off travelling before completing all his games, so I'll probably call Heathrow with a bomb scare to try and prevent this.

Elsewhere in poker:
1) Yet more attempted scamming from the same guys that attempted it at the Partouche Poker Tour.
2) In a fairly awesome final table featuring Moorman, James Keys and Antonius, some bloke I have never heard of won the Aussie Millions main event.

West Ham got dumped out of the Carling Cup, crumbling to an aerial assault lead by Birmingham circus freak Nicola Zigic. For the third time this season. Having done the hard work and got an away goal, I was very annoyed to go out one step from Wembley. Fair play to them, they probably deserved it over the two legs. In a sulk I gave the FA Cup game to Forest a miss, which we won 3-2, and drew Burnley at home in the next round.

I thought we did well enough in the transfer window. Bridge and Keane will definitely improve the first XI, I have never seen Ba play but a German dude I know reckons he is alright. We also signed some kid from Dulwich Hamlet, who could easily be the next Steve Jones or Dean Martin (for anyone old and nerdy enough to remember them). Blackpool away tonight and Birmingham at home on Sunday are two massive games for us, sadly Blackpool signed Andy Reid and James Beattie, both of whom always score against us, the bastards.

I shan't comment on the Andy Carroll or Torres deals, it is fucking boring and gave Sky material to spam their TV channels with. The main thing is that Carroll now has a whole new city of people that he can get into fights with.

Good luck at the tables.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Back to Square One

Despite my hatred for the cunts at Chili Poker, I have to hand it to them, they have seen sense and shipped me the run good since I started playing there again. I have erased all the massive losses I racked up at the start of January and am back to even again for the month. Huzzah!



I drew 1-1 with Hutch in the North vs. South Challenge and am 1-0 up vs. Snakey (he failed to set up the other game, must have been scared) when he attempted to set a tarp with teh pocket king king and I flopped two pair and turned a boat. I am looking forward to the next one, I also have NoCash (hopefully tomorrow) and Ant left to play.

Rather amusingly, two of the HU4ROLLZ challenges on 2+2 have concluded before reaching the full number of hands. Gary_Neville threw the towel in against Chemztry having started well and then been generally violated (I think this was a combination of Chemz being really good and running well in some massive pots), I know he took a shit load of action on himself, so I hope he recovers soon. Also, WhateverSon vs. TooCuriousso failed to conclude after the youngster ran like shit taking a shot at £1k NL and then seemed to spit the dummy. I dunno, TC handled it pretty well and gave him a good part of the $5k side bet back, so fair play to him.

If anyone wants to read a rather good and amusing post, I’d recommend the most recent entry on Vegas One Day (see my blogroll). As a man that spends around half of his working day passing time on the web, I can imagine how he felt, although I didn’t go quite as far as having an MTT schedule to play each day. I won’t spoil the story, but DoV is one of my heroes (despite his alarming views on Liverpool FC) and you should take five minutes and have a read.

We got told our pay and bonuses today at work. I won’t go into details but it I was fairly pleased with how it went, hopefully this place will keep me on as it appears to be a reasonable place to work based on what I have seen in the first six months. My boss is something of an acquired taste, however he is a decent guy at heart and is happy to go into bat for his staff.

West Ham won their FA Cup game against Barnsely and drew Nottingham Forest (one of the few other clubs in English football that I don’t hate) at home in the next round. We edged out Birmingham 2-1 in a cracking cup tie in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg, and then got rolled by Arsenal in the league fielding a really weak side. Martin O’Neill seems certain not to be coming, and the board look to be back-tracking after massively undermining Avram Grant in the last couple of weeks. Whilst his debut was poor, the signing of Wayne Bridge can’t be a bad one (on loan and even with his feet cut off he would still be our best left back).

I hate the transfer window, it’s an excuse for the cunts at Sky to stand outside football grounds like they know what is going on, when in fact they are just a cunt with a microphone stood outside a football ground without a clue, telling you who has driven in and out over the last few hours, and then repeat it on an endless loop on one of their channels.

Good luck at the tables.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sour Times

First and foremost, Happy New Year to everyone. I’ve been rather shit at updating here of late, partly due to being rather busy at work (I did fuck all for 50 weeks last year and then got overwhelmed in the last two weeks of December), and partly due to me being a lazy, useless bastard.

I have played quite a lot of poker over the Christmas period, and managed to successfully donate a lot of cash to the poker community as a result. The usual combination of run bad and tilt-induced poor play were the reason, although I have made something of a fight back in the last few days. I switched my play back to my old IPoker skin, their rakeback deal is so much better than the William Hill one, although I will keep limited funds on there as I think they are shady, or at best incompetent.



I need to get my ass in gear and complete my part of the North vs. South HU challenge. The match between myself and BurnleyMik finished and honourable draw, featuring an epic suckout from Mik and me fading Mik’s massive draw with top pair when he made the key error of having far too many outs to actually hit any of them.

I had a pretty good Christmas, catching up with a lot of family from both my side and the wife’s. It was nice to get out, and I’m glad that this cold snap has eased, it was getting seriously fucking boring.

West Ham had a good Christmas, picking up 8 points out of 12, and then went up to Newcastle and got smashed 5-0. We beat Barnsley in the FA Cup on Saturday and have Birmingham in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi tomorrow. The Birmingham game still isn’t sold out, which is fucking embarrassing and doubtless lots of cunts that didn’t go will be chuntering about how they deserve a ticket if we make the final, which we probably won’t. After that it is Arsenal at home on Saturday in a rather annoying 5:30 kick-off, which is convenient for anyone but the cunts that are actually attending.

Avram Grant’s position remains in doubt, to be honest I doubt anyone else will come in and do a decent job with the shit we have in our squad and we’re skint, so I’d rather spend the cash it would cost to fire him on something important, like a left-back.