Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Making Hay While The Snow Falls (Extreme Brag Post)

As noted previously, I was already having a good month going into Sunday. Stars changed their schedule in the middle of the day, rather annoyingly, which buggered up my plans so I didn't play the Million but decided to play the $215 Heads Up for a laugh, last tournament of the night. I figured that reading Moshman's Heads Up book (which is very good) made me an expert. And it turns out it did, 7 wins on the bounce before losing the final netted me $7K and change.

Then on Monday I had a really good night, making final tables on Betfair (4th), Paradise (4th) and Ongame (ship it). The Ongame $50 Rebuy was very nice, one of those tournaments when it all goes right. I won a huge pot AA over QQ with 12 left and was never threatened in the final. This late flurry saw me up to $34.9K in buyins, returning $87.4K gross and $52.5K net on the month. It's the first month in some time where my profit has been significantly more than the biggest single win. I even managed to cash some out at $1.55 on Monday before the bounce later in the week. I know, I know, MBN.

What We Learned This Month

Nothing specific tactically, just sharpening up my reads all the time and acting on them with more confidence. With the new setup, it was good to play too many tables for a night or two just to adjust. It's like the fable of the overcrowded house and the wise men telling them to take a goat in for a couple of weeks. Then when they kick it out again, everything's great. Or was it a song ? Anyway, settling back to 12-14 tournaments a night, generally no more than 8-tabling at once, is now relatively comfortable and doesn't impact on decision making too much. I'm playing much more efficiently now (adding in the turboes has helped), in January my (total buyins/hours played) was $270 whereas it's been over $500 for each of the last two months. Of course if you busted out of everything in 10 minutes that number would be huge, so you have to be sensible with that, but I think it's a good indicator that throughput is much better.

So I'm feeling confident going into the TV donkament on Friday, but what the hell anyway, it's only $6K (if you made it this far through the bragging I hope you can take that one) and we'll just see what happens.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Annette Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas

It's the UK Poker Open this week, being filmed in Maidstone, and I'm in the mix again. It starts tomorrow, I'm playing on Friday, as in the heat draw (and odds) here. It's safe to say that I have a more difficult heat than in the last event, but I'm still confident I have a good chance going into this. As long as Jesse hasn't bokked me. I think it's quite funny where he says I'm "more solid than Annette". Does that even mean anything ? It's like being hotter than absolute zero. He might as well have said that I'm more emotionally secure than Hellmuth. And hence the title, although of course it includes another obscure reference.

In general it's not as soft a field as I was anticipating but on the other hand lol donkaments so we'll see what happens. The semi-final from the previous event should be on Channel 5 on Wednesday night/Thursday morning around midnight, you should also be able to pick it up after the event on the Five Demand website (UK only). I've already seen a version of this and unfortunately the game dynamic 4-handed, which was very interesting at the time, doesn't really come across but that's not surprising, there's only so much you can do in an hour.

As of the now, I'm going to take advantage of the time difference tonight (Daylight Saving having ended here but not for another week in the US) to play some of the later tournaments, like the Sunday Million and the Tilt $150 rebuy. It's also the start of the LEOCOP festival on Ladbrokes, which has a leaderboard freeroll for the controversial extra seat in the Poker Million semi-final. That would be funny to win that, just to see everyone's faces when I roll in as the "freeroll Internet n00b".

Monday, October 20, 2008



Had an enjoyable three days in Ireland for the Boyle Sports IPO. I liked the structure of the main event, although they had two (logical) days to run through 1300 people there was still some deep stack play at the beginning. I started off much better than I ever have done with 10K chips in the past - still, this is probably at least somewhat correlated with the buyin ($200 rather than $10K). When I flopped two pair after a button raise and convinced my opponent to disbelieve me and double me up to 40K, I was in decent shape. Then I doubled two opponents up in unavoidable pre-flop coups, but made it back to 40 with two double-ups of my own. Then I took a pretty gross beat in an 80K pot to cripple me to 1.5BB and they disappeared on the next hand, gg.

My bad beat was put into perspective on Sunday when a lady told us an unfortunate tale of how she was, most harshly, mistaken for Kathy Liebert by two French guys. That's just mean IMO. But you've probably heard that one already, given the poker media's resemblance to snarling hyenas when it comes to fighting over the one amusing anecdote that pops up during the average 3-day tournament.

As for me, if I'm going to travel much more in the next year I'm going to have to prepare a bit better. 4am sessions in the bar don't really do it for me any more, and TBH nor does sightseeing. I can't really buy schlepping into town just to go "ooh look, a building". I thought it would be a nice change to go without my laptop for 3 days but in fact it was just irritating not to have it :-). 700 pages of Stephen King filled the gaps, just about, but overall there was a real buzz about the place, you could tell people were really up for playing a big international-style tournament for $200 and that was the great thing about it. I'd definitely recommend it next year if that's more your budget, and even if it's not quite frankly.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Now We're Cooking On Gas

Warning : brag post ! Thanks to the new setup, I've already put in $22K this month and that was even without last Sunday. Good job too, as I'm off to Dublin this weekend for the IPO, which is going to take another Sunday out of the mix. After the novelty of playing 17 tournaments in a night has worn off slightly, I'm tending to play the 8-10 best tournaments over all the sites plus a few turboes, and skipping over the smaller 100 freezeouts, 20 rebuys and so on.

The best part is I've managed to "crack" a couple of sites after a long time trying. I hate when you haven't managed a decent result on a particular site and you keep depositing, feeling like a total egg. But on Friday 3rd I won the E50 rebuy on Paradise for about $12K, if you haven't played that one, it's a super loose/aggro game where you really have to cut out a lot of the moves and just ship it in with your best hands and see what happens.

By contrast, the rebuy tournaments on iPoker can be total nitfests, at least when there's any money dangling in front of people. I played one last night where I actually considered folding QQ pre-flop with a 6 BB stack. With two players to go till the money, UTG shoved for 9 BBs and I did think about it, not for long though ... and of course lost to AA. I'd be seriously prepared to bet that he open-jammed because he didn't want a caller, the way these people play around the bubble. Luckily this didn't bother me too much because on Friday 10th I shipped the $75 rebuy for $33K, aaaaahhh. It was possibly the worst standard of play I've ever seen at a $50+ rebuy final table online. Literally 7 out of 10 finalists had no interest whatsoever in winning, just inching up the ladder. One other guy was trying but with basically no idea, limps and minraises from 8 BB, which left me and one other player basically going for the cheese. Well, I suppose I did end up heads up vs a "survivor" with only a 3-2 lead, but that was basically because 3-handed I jammed on their short stacks with J5s or something and they both called with AK/AQ.

Anyway it was nice to close the deal in both of those as I have recorded too many 2nds and 3rds in the last few months. Next weekend is Dublin as I said and then somehow on the last weekend of the month I have to fit in the TV donkament and two gigs in town (Slayer and Living Colour, rock !!!). Thanks to the new setup though I'm still well on course to put in $40K volume in the month, which would be a good target going forward.

Friday, October 03, 2008


September Wrap / New Set-Up

September turned into a bit of a washout online, I only managed 44 hours of play, and probably did well to take 8-9 days off in the middle either side of having a streaming cold. I still put $23.4K in play, thanks to some creative accounting ; you could easily count the WCCOP ME as $2K in, nothing out or $7K in, $5K out, but seeing as I made a conscious decision to play after winning the satellite I thought this was OK. Made my volume look better, that's the main thing :-). Even with that, I only returned $10.4K for a $13K loss.

That's been in the post for a while, in fact it's the first meaningful losing month online I've had in 2 years (the previous worst being only a $3K loss). On reviewing my stats more carefully, and without wanting to read too much into the noise, I think I may have become a little complacent in smaller tournaments. My overall ROI and so on is great, but it's heavily skewed by 3 big results, and if you take out the "Sunday Specials" and so on, I'm only running at 60% in the run-of-the-mill comps. This could, and should, definitely be improved. I have a few ideas as to how to do that and we'll see how they pan out.

On top of that my 24" monitor arrived yesterday and it is so sick. Very comfortable 1900x1200 resolution, and with the old primary monitor now being the secondary at 1600x1200, we can do some serious multi-tabling. I gave it a spin last night, it's certainly intense ! Kicking off at 7pm, I managed to be all done in 17 tournaments by 11.30 . Imagine that if you play live and you get frustrated by being knocked out of a comp, 17 bad beats, coolers and standard bustouts in 3 1/2 hours [1]. Maximum number of tables was 11 I think, which is busy at times but manageable. Party's new upgrade helps, much better for multi-tabling.

So I would be able to put in a lot of volume this month, except I'm kind of on tour. Barnsley, Dublin, Maidstone. All the glamour stops. Hopefully I can still keep the volume up to scratch despite that, and then really kick on in November, which has LEOCOP (Ladbrokes), FTOPS and ECOOP (iPoker) plus all the rest.

What We Learned This Month :

River play. River, river, river. I'm just about managing to turn "I have a set/trips/whatever, how can I pass" into "just a minute, can I beat anything except a bluff here ?" when someone springs to life and raises all-in. I even managed to pass a set on Betfair yesterday after someone min-raised the turn when the flush came in, and the board didn't pair on the river. I hope I was right ... A certain amount of thinking ahead on the turn can help too. Should I bet large, deny him implied odds, and call the river whatever, or bet small (but enough to deny immediate odds) and pass the river to a scare card ? Stuff like that.

The other main thing is that the re-steal is starting to lose its power. I shipped 16BB on a button raiser in the Warm-Up last weekend with JTs and he snap called with K2s. OK he was an egg, but even so. Players are also beginning to wise up to this play somewhat on sites like Ongame. Of course this means we can reraise a bit wider for value, it's all a rich tapestry.

Finally I'm plugging the odd leak deep stacked. The EPT really opened my eyes to this, as well as the recent Christensen/Fox book which is very good on stack/bet sizing. Even hands as strong as AQ can be a world of trouble deep-stacked, early position on a full table, and you're losing so little just passing them, if anything at all. Of course we're not truly deep (80BBs or more) online all that often, but it still helps.

[1] The first hour was bustout free. Well, they were mostly rebuys.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


EPT London (Standard)

Bah. Never got going in this one. Found myself in some awkward situations where I preferred to cut my losses out of position deepish-stacked, but couldn't help wondering if one guy in particular was calling me in position just to take it away later. Nonetheless he, and pretty much everyone else on my initial table who I thought was good, busted before I did, and the table egg had all the chips when it broke.

I drakked around 6-8K for ages shipping and re-shipping without ever finding anything big, and eventually pushed 14 BBs with T8cc on top of Eric Liu's open-raise. He wasn't in a steal position but he was very active so I thought it was worth a shot. He called with KK, the flop Td9d8d gave me a shot but the fourth diamond on the turn made his flush. The fifth on the river was just rubbing it in.

I'm not going to get too far in a field of 600 runners containing a lot of quality without better luck than that, but I still wonder if I could have done a bit more with what I had. Whatever, at least I have all weekend to get it back online :-)

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