Friday, February 29, 2008


February Wrap

Another good month, especially after being stuck $8K and thinking I would do well to clear anything at all. 2nd place in the Ongame Big Deal for $22K turned it around and I had a few more good runs for $2-3K, any of which could been five figures with the odd flip or two going my way. Final numbers were $25K in, $45K out for $20K profit.

I was also pleased that I played more efficiently this month, putting the same volume in play in 74 hours (15 nights) compared to 96 hours (20 nights) in January. Of course we can't take this too far - I could most efficiently rack up this volume by playing the $5K winner take all on Stars every Sunday ... there's a thought ... well maybe not.

What I Learned This Month

Mainly game selection. I have concluded that the only tournaments worth playing on Pokerstars are the rebuys [1], and the only tournaments worth playing on Full Tilt are the 6-max. By "worth playing" I don't just mean profitable, I mean as profitable as other tournaments that you can play on Party, Ongame, iPoker, even Ladbrokes. I've been cracking on with the nightly $50 rebuy tournaments on the latter three sites, these have a lot of runners (500 on iPoker and Ongame) so it'll take a while to overcome the variance, but indications are that these are full of really bad players. Big fields aren't all bad if you can handle the variance ; there are only a certain number of good tournament players on each site (even Pokerstars) and a larger field will dilute the strength of opposition by ensuring that you don't come up against them all that often. In a couple of videos I have seen lately, the hero has talked a lot about metagame. If you are consistently coming up against the same good players to the extent that you have to make sub-optimal plays in a vacuum for metagame reasons, then you're in the wrong tournaments IMO. I'm happy to have turned a profit in the $100 rebuy on Stars but I'm still giving it the swerve during the week, although that's partly because it starts at 7 and most of the other comps I want to play start at 8. Stars are going to start their WSOP satellites soon (arglglglg) and if the double shootouts kick off at 7.05 again this year, I'll probably start with those and the 100 rebuy again, because those sats are just unmissable value.

Anyway, I'm very happy with $45K in the first two months of the year, and I'll probably be kicking up to around $30K+ in action over the next couple of months, including a couple of bigger comps that I have satted into (lol I know but you wouldn't believe how soft these sats are) : the $1500 on iPoker on Sunday and the Grand ($1000) on Ongame which is 6-handed and I should be playing every month.

PS Oh and I'm 8th on Pocketfives UK, 7th in IPOY and should be very high on OPR for Ongame once I rack up a bit more volume. I doubt that my current ROI of 608% is sustainable, it's not that soft.

[1] With the exception of the Sunday Warmup and similar.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Cooking On Gas

Or, how to have a $30K week and still be disappointed :-). I finished 2nd in the Ongame "Big Deal" on Sunday for $22.5K (and some ranking points lol), that was pretty sweet, also 2nd in a $100 tournament on there for $3K on Thursday. Then yesterday I had a really good run in FTOPS #15, the six-handed NL. I sucked out quite a lot early on (to the point where I was advised to "run better, clown" by another disgruntled loser with AK), flopped a set of Kings against KQ to double up, and had a bunch more chips thrown at me with QQ when someone elected to 4-bet shove on me with 86 (causing him to be 86'd from the tournament haha).

After that I don't think I played especially well but I hung around to the last two tables before losing a 600K flip with AQ v 88 and finishing 11th for $3500. Not to worry, I think I've won my share of flips in those spots over the last year, more than my share probably. I also FT'd on Party for $3K more to add up to a great week. Just one thing about the FTOPS, if anyone wished me gl from the rail and I didn't say anything, sorry, but while I have player chat on most of the time now I always have observer chat off, I don't like to call people retards but honestly the bottom-dwellers on FT who rail these things ... Anyway, onwards and upwards, once these points are counted I should be knocking around the top 5 on IPOY which is something to be getting on with.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


On The Other Hand ...

A friend and reader of this blog directed my attention to this article :

Top of the league ? You're having a laugh !

Hmm, yes, good point well made. Although I reserve the right to change my mind about something in the space of a couple of years, and I could also point out a few reasons why "but that's different", there is enough in there to pull me back towards the middle ground. After a particularly gruesome start to the month I took a day off yesterday (well apart from a couple of hours in the afternoon, lol addictaments), played through a few hand histories (even from January, the month of cake) and could see a problem.

Basically I was playing extremely tight poker in the early and middle stages of the "other" tournaments. These being the ones other than my favourites (the stars rebuys), the games that are on the second screen or tucked away in the top corner. As a result, not only was I missing good spots to use position rather than plain hand strength, when I picked up a hand those players who did have half an eye on proceedings weren't giving me any action.

This is the kind of thing that's a lot easier to pick up offline. It's well worth playing back through some hand histories, not just to monitor your own play but to try to gauge the differences between different sites and buyins, and even just to practice hand-reading. Here's a good resource for playing tournaments back :

Popopop Universal Replayer

You certainly can't beat the price, which is $0. So tonight I cut out a couple of tournaments and tried to do a better job of multi-tabling without just waiting for big hands on half of them. I also tried to play more hands in good position, and worry about being reraised when it happened. This helped me to make a final table on Ongame and reach the last two tables on the Full Tilt $150 tonight, before busting out in unavoidable coolers (with 93o and J8s). The main thing was it felt like I was playing a lot better so hopefully I can take this forward.

Friday, February 01, 2008


January Wrap-Up

I see no reason why I should be coy about numbers ; it's all on the databases for anyone who wants to look, and I might as well give you the accurate gen with proper rebuy counts etc. here. I racked up more than 90 hours in January, put $26K in play and oh so nearly doubled it, pulling in $51K gross, $25K net. Obviously the 100 rebuy helped with both volume and return ! Here's the HH from the win and a couple more from this month :

Stars $100 rebuy win ($20K)

Party $500 2nd place ($10K)

Stars $50 rebuy 3rd place ($5K)

Party $20 rebuy win ($5K)

All the scores aren't in on P5s yet, but I have worked my way up to 9th in the UK Sliding rankings, and should end up about 5th or 6th for January, partly because some of the usual high-volume suspects were at PCA and so on. On OPR, I peaked at #7 on Party before going on a bit of a cold streak there, and briefly #136 on Stars before one of my old results dropped out of the 120 day zone they use. Now around #20 on Party and #200 on Stars. I'm about 87 grillionth on Full Tilt because I'm still in the red on there since Jan 2007, lol. It's funny how Moorman1, the P5s UK guvnor at the moment, is slaughtering the games on FT and losing on Stars, even though when we meet on Party we seem to play a similar style. It could be mostly variance, partly confidence and personally I have a habit of sort of ignoring the FT games when I'm multi-tabling when it comes to reads and so on, just because I don't expect to do very well.
I also came across this which is quite cool, a ranking list that only includes sensible European time zone tournaments :

Internet Poker Rankings (International)

Here's the schedule of tournaments that count : Schedule.

As you can see I'm 31st on there at the moment, the first goal is to get enough points to overtake the people who basically win the Sunday Million and do bugger all else, which is about 400 or so, and then see how we can do on there. This month I might not put in quite so many hours ; I could do with a day off tomorrow for a start, and I'm missing at least one Sunday to go and see Megadeth (kick ass !!). Last year the WSOP double shootouts started in late Feb, I'm planning to play a shitload of those this year, and maybe some $650 supers as well. I'll be cranking up the volume on the Ongame network in preference to FT ; Ongame counts on P5s now, and while a few more shrewdies are filling their boots on the network, there are still plenty of eggs to go round.

Finally I'm playing around with some video capture/hand replayer software with a vague idea of putting a video or two together, just for fun. Stay tuned for that.

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