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.
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.
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.