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.


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.