Since the start of the year I have continued to grind hard. I am currently at around $800 of profit for the month and have endured some pretty big swongs (down $800 on Saturday, up $1k the next day). I have been quite tilty at times but not unhappy with my play. I managed to pick up a free $700 in milestone bonuses for 2011 (I didn’t realise I actually had to claim them, I thought they were automatically deposited to my account, duh)
The changes Stars have made from dealt to WC “rakeback” haven’t affected me that much, but longer term I’m really looking for a new site to play on. There’s talk of some new IPoker software being released over the next week or two, which I’m sure will do what all of its predecessors have done and disappoint hugely. Failing that surprising me and actually making the site useable, it is basically a case of sucking it up with Stars and waiting for GBT Poker to emerge (fingers crossed).
Hood, xPeru, Krmont and a couple of others from 2+2 are going to visit Stars in a week or so to discuss rake/VIP programme changes, but I can’t see Stars being incentivised to do much in the absence of some proper competition. Basically the micros and (to a lesser extent) small stakes poker (PLO in particular) are raked so heavily where it basically stops a lot of people having a shot at moving up. I’m not impressed by a couple of the people that are going (who basically seem to want to protect the SNEs), but Hood seems very smart and xPeru has a pretty good understanding of rake at the micros – basically some sort of rake reduction, even a modest one, at the lower limits would be nice and would do the whole poker ecosystem good.
I’m hoping to do some sort of Teamviewer sweat with Gorvacofin/Wonderflop tomorrow. Wonderflop has been on a sick downswing (although I think things have turned for him over the weekend), Gorv hasn’t run so well of late and I find myself in so many spot where I am without a clue that I wonder how I have ever made any money at this game, so I’m hoping it’ll do us all good.
West Ham won (ugly) 1-0 at Portsmouth on Saturday. Those who went said it was a pretty grim performance, but three points against a team that doesn’t lose too often at home is always welcome. A lot of other results went our way (Boro lost and Cardiff drew), plus there were plenty of other enjoyable scorelines (Millwall getting trounced 6-0, Arsenal lost, Spurs failed to beat Wolves). We have some very winnable games coming up and need to put some pressure on Southampton.
The transfer window is now open and West Ham have signed an American defender. I know nothing about him so shan’t comment further. Otherwise I’m sure it’ll be the usual Gold/Sullivan deal – link us with a lot of relatively exciting players (Rhodes, Sordell), fail to get a deal done for them and end up with a couple of loan signings or cheap foreigners to hold the fort. There is some talk of offloading Piquionne to Wolves – shifting him from the wage bill would be a major result given that we probably pay him a couple of million quid each year and he has far too many poor games to be pulling down that kind of money.
Last but not least, my wife is pregnant. We went for the 12 week scan at the back end of last week, and all appears to be in order. We’re delighted (obviously), partly because we had to go through IVF (which hasn’t been as challenging for us as it has for many, so in that sense we have been lucky). As my Dad said “don’t worry son, hopefully the next six months of pregnancy will be fine – after that it’s just 20 years or so of wiping it’s arse, cleaning up puke, acting as a taxi service and an endless supply of money and whatever else, which should be easy”).