Monday, December 22, 2008

Spend, Spend, Spend!

Bloody hell, I thought there was a credit crunch on. Savacentre was absolutely mobbed, it took me 5 minutes to get out of the petrol station because there were so many cars going into the main shop, and that was 7:00pm at night. Luckily, once we had pushed the booze into the trolley, we were walking past a till as it was opened up so only had 5 minutes to queue. For a change, everyone was being nice, reasonable and pleasant, none of the usual tension you get when the place is heaving.

Personally, I am doing my best to help spend our way out of recession, or rather, my wife is. Fortunately this month I have been able to withdraw £900 from my various poker accounts, with the £ so weak it would be a little bit stupid not to average out a bit at a very nice rate. What was £320 back in September is now coming out at £402 :)

Latest result was my biggest single payout since I started keeping records, with a 1st place in a $2.5k GTD O8 gtd on Blue Square. This was a $10 rebuy, but I only bought in once and did not add-on because I was 5th at the break. Ended up HU about 3:1 down, but the player I was up against had no clue about post-flop play, as the 3rd place finisher kept reminding him while we were playing out. Eventually, this hand gave me the win for $980, an 88/1 result for the $11 buy-in. Once I had more chips than he did the result was never in doubt.

GAME #1935680483: Omaha Hi-Lo PL Tournament 2008-12-21 00:27:53
Table 239203165 (Tournament: $2,500 GP Omaha PL Hi/Lo Buy-In: $10+$1)
Seat 4: brevity ($463888 in chips) DEALER
Seat 10: paskl ($108611 in chips)
brevity: Post SB $8,000
paskl: Post BB $16,000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to brevity [4 As 5h Ac]
Dealt to paskl [4h 9h 10d Jh]
brevity: Raise (NF) $32,000
paskl: Call $16,000
*** FLOP *** [3h 9c 8d]
paskl: Check
brevity: Bet $32,000
paskl: Call $32,000
*** TURN *** [2c]
paskl: Check
brevity: Bet $64,000
paskl: Allin $44,611
*** RIVER *** [2h]
*** SUMMARY ***
brevity: wins $236,611

I cashed in the same tourney the night after in 13th, but only for the minimum, while at the same time finishing 14th in a $5 PLO rebuy on the same site. This is handy, because my results on Full Tilt have gone absolutely toilet. I think maybe 3-tabling the MTTs is reducing my feel for the players, so I am not making the moves I should be at the right time. Case in point in the 2nd BSq rebuy, I dithered about making a call UTG with a semi-decent starting hand, against a short stack BB. I would have upped my stack by 50% with that call, which would have meant a 2nd final table running, and it was a call I knew I should have made.

Alternative theory is that since the beginning of November, the games on FT have become much harder. Maybe the casual US players are starting to hold off playing because of the combined effect of the UIGEA and credit crunch hitting at the same time?

On Betfair I have not played that much, managed to qualify for the $3k GTD via the 5-seat gtd satellite (8 runners!) again. My out hand in the tournament itself is as follows.

***** Betfair Poker Hand History for Game 458788694 *****
PL Omaha $100 Buy-in + $5 Entry Fee, Level:4 Blinds(75/150-(no ante)) - Sunday, December 21, 22:40:18 GMT 2008
Sunday Special PL Omaha $3,000 GTD #188108
Table 2 9-max (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of active players : 6
Seat 1: harayir ( 3,699 )
Seat 2: il freddo ( 3,875 )
Seat 3: lesleybeard ( 5,775 )
Seat 4: bmcg_2005 ( 4,837.50 )
Seat 8: danko02538 ( 6,655 )
Seat 9: bazza90 ( 2,005 )
Tourney Level:4 Blinds(75/150-(no ante))
bmcg_2005 posts small blind [75]
danko02538 posts big blind [150]
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to harayir [ Ah, Ts, 3h, Ad ]
bazza90 folds
harayir raises to [525]
il freddo folds
lesleybeard folds
bmcg_2005 folds
danko02538 calls [375]
** Dealing Flop ** [ Th, Kd, 3c ]
danko02538 bets [1,125]
harayir goes all-in
harayir raises to [3,174]
danko02538 calls [2,049]
** Showdown **
harayir shows [ Ah, Ts, 3h, Ad ]
danko02538 shows [ 9h, Jd, Qs, 3s ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 5c ]
** Dealing River ** [ 9d ]
** Hand Conclusion **
danko02538 wins 7,473 from main pot with a straight, King to Nine
************ Game 458788694 ends ************

I did think I was ahead on the flop at the time, which is why I re-raised him. Turns out I was 65% to win, which reinforces my read. Even on the turn I was still 58%. Anyone have comments on how I played this?

Will do an end of year round up and 2009 aims some time, but unless I take all my outstanding balances to the tables at the same time, I am not likely to be on a losing month in December, which makes 6 straight months of profit, from $100 up to $900, and a total of $2.9k for the year as whole.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

End of the Month Update

Since the last update I have managed some really strong results. I have crept back onto the cash tables and managed $100 profit on small stakes Omaha, without really being in much danger of losing. Have also run into some extremely good form in some multis: 4th on Blue Square in a $10 hilo rebuy for $210 profit (hand that did me in was the first hi only hand I had raised with throughout the whole tournament QQJ10 not good enough for 78910). Last weekend managed to satellite into the $3k GTD PLO on Betfair, $27.50 for the satellite for a $105 buyin, with an overlay on both the satellite and the game itself. Played some really good poker, with my out hand in 3rd (for $600) the only time I made a mistake.

Then Friday I played the 22:15 $5 PLO on Betfair and was utterly dominant. Started with 49 runners, by the time we were down to 21 I had 25% of the chips and stayed like that until we were 3 way, when I doubled someone and we were all about even (40k stacks). Not to worry, I got it all back 2 hands later courtesy of my somewhat loose image and then a 2:1 chip lead meant that all I had to do was wait for a flopped straight and just slow play it. I wonder if playing a slightly higher level of game is making the smaller stake buy-ins that much more easy?

As I type I am in the $3k GTD again, having won a seat in a 5 seat GTD with only 12 entrants. Did have to luckbox a 4-way all in to take out positions 9-7 when I was shortish, but once I had some chips I was never in danger. Going to have to make the most of this as the number of runners in the event itself is 22, which is 2 down from last weeks 24 and there is no way any site will continue this much support for a tournament that is not pulling in the players.

Anyway, total profit for the month so far is $866, which is an improvement on this time last year (~$600) and will only look better if I manage to cash in the PLO tonight as well. TY for reading :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Almost Perfect Game

Soz about the long time between updates, been busy :)

Hardly played in October after BFWCOP, had a week away in Devon with my family. Overall, ended $100 up for the month. Must have got tilted on holiday as came back and could not win a pot for the first 2 weeks of November. I dare not look at the number of hilo STTs I played as I am sure I must have blanked in about 10 consecutive games. Same went on Betfair where the new buy-in prices seemed to destabilize the rhythm I was used to on the PLO STTs as well. What didn't help was having a cold for a week which really dulled my thinking.

So, eventually decided I was going to play the $10 plo rebuy on BF again. I used to do well in this, but last few times I had played it I was nowhere near the money. Indeed this time I was on my way out, with the 2nd rebuy being a complete accident when I meant to click Cancel and hit OK instead. With only 14 runners, the add-on break arrived and I was one of only 5 left, so the addon was a no-brainer and I had bought in for $41. Top 3 paid and 3rd place was $44 - which to be honest was what I was playing for at that stage. Ended up getting 2nd after some confidence boosting railing from gummybaggie for $66.

Also started to get in the money in a few STTs as well, then Tuesday I decided that it would be a good idea to play the 20:45 $5 plo rebuy on Full Tilt. In many respects it was, because I had a clear head, no alcohol and I did not feel too tired (to start with anyway). I played pretty much perfect throughout the whole game, even though I had 2 double buy-ins and an add-on at the break. Critical hand for me came with about 15 left:

Full Tilt Poker Game #9044577128: $5 + $0.50 Rebuy (69072648), Table 4 - 120/240 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 17:30:31 ET - 2008/11/18
Seat 1: meliina (7,152)
Seat 2: geodsdb (13,463)
Seat 3: jnt99 (11,022)
Seat 5: bambii (18,310)
Seat 6: iwilllie (11,768)
Seat 7: Wolfbagger (5,360)
Seat 8: electric chair (15,450)
Seat 9: Greengoz (15,899)
Greengoz posts the small blind of 120
meliina posts the big blind of 240
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to electric chair [Th Ks Ts 9s] ===> decent starting hand
geodsdb raises to 840
jnt99 folds
bambii folds
iwilllie calls 840
Wolfbagger folds
electric chair calls 840
Greengoz folds
meliina folds
*** FLOP *** [4h Td 9h] ===> jackpot flop
geodsdb has 15 seconds left to act
geodsdb bets 2,880
iwilllie calls 2,880 ===> even better, probably 2 playing for a flush here so blockers in play
electric chair raises to 14,400
geodsdb has 15 seconds left to act
geodsdb folds ===> good, going to be up against only 1 with nearly 2:1 chance
iwilllie calls 8,048, and is all in
electric chair shows [Th Ks Ts 9s]
iwilllie shows [6h 7c Kd Ah]
Uncalled bet of 3,472 returned to electric chair
*** TURN *** [4h Td 9h] [Jd]
*** RIVER *** [4h Td 9h Jd] [5d] ===> phew, held
electric chair shows three of a kind, Tens
iwilllie shows Ace King high
electric chair wins the pot (27,616) with three of a kind, Tens

Was in fact only 61:38 on the flop to win, but that's not allowing for the potential for the other player to have any hearts, which would have made my hand bigger.

After this I was just about untouchable, once the bubble burst and we reached the final table I was doubled when I had nut straight and bet 10% of the pot on the river, only to be reraised all in by 2 pair and straight to chip lead. The one mistake I made was HU, wtf was I doing staying in with this hand on a paired flop?

FullTiltPoker Game #9046798785: $5 + $0.50 Rebuy (69072648), Table 7 - 2500/5000 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 19:50:46 ET - 2008/11/18
Seat 6: sky78 (90,950)
Seat 9: electric chair (299,550)
electric chair posts the small blind of 2,500
sky78 posts the big blind of 5,000
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to electric chair [6d 5h 3c 4c]
electric chair raises to 10,000
sky78 raises to 30,000
electric chair calls 20,000
*** FLOP *** [As 2c 2s]
sky78 bets 60,000
electric chair calls 60,000
*** TURN *** [As 2c 2s] [Jc]
sky78 bets 950, and is all in
electric chair calls 950
sky78 shows [Ac Ah 6s Tc]
electric chair shows [6d 5h 3c 4c]
*** RIVER *** [As 2c 2s Jc] [6c]
sky78 shows a full house, Aces full of Twos
electric chair shows a flush, Jack high
sky78 wins the pot (181,900) with a full house, Aces full of Twos
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 181,900 | Rake 0
Board: [As 2c 2s Jc 6c]
Seat 6: sky78 (big blind) showed [Ac Ah 6s Tc] and won (181,900) with a full house, Aces full of Twos
Seat 9: electric chair (small blind) showed [6d 5h 3c 4c] and lost with a flush, Jack high

Still, after 55 hands heads up I get dealt QQ with a 5:3 chip lead, get all in on the flop and hit my set on the turn to post a $400 win. OPR still has me running around 8,000th out of 500k runners on FT too, which is nice.

Ty for reading - and the comment from gatsby to prove that someone else is looking at this page apart from me :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Aren't poker players fantastic? You don't see them for 1 or 2 years, but as soon as you meet up with them they are remembering the hands you played together and pushing a beer in your direction.

Arrived late on Thursday evening after managing to book a flight to Bilbao from Birmingham, dumped my bags in the hotel and set off to the Sports Cafe - all of about 100 yds walk from the front door. Perfect organization from Boro. Met up with Sunday8pm, SoC, Zelda, Boro, Chilin, Tank, Mavis, Dealem, Waheyyyy and probably a few more. Couple of games of pool and several pints later it was time to congregate on the pavement outside the bar, buy a few pink cowboy hats and make some charitable donations to the local tramps (before you ask, no Shaa did not turn up). Not to be outdone, the tramp donated his lighter to Boro, though I think we might have paid for a night of bed and breakfast so he had himself a good deal.

It was 3:30am by the time we had paid a visit to the kebab shop, so I went back to the room to crash, only to be woken up at 6:15 when Boro and Sunday came back having been to the casino and had ordered breakfast to be delivered to the room. Spent most of an hour laughing at deejays drunken forum rant having been thrown out of the Ramsgate tournament. Sadly the thread was removed by the time I woke up to go play golf, but I have never seen a typo in every word in a thread before. Managed to go round in about my usual standard, 56 for 9 holes and managed a par 4 on the final hole to make me feel better :)

Team event took place on the Friday night, signing into the casino was taking too long, so they gave us some yellow string bracelets and pushed us all in for 8:00pm, nice to see someone using common sense for once. I was on the same table as my team joker (dests) and was also up against a random BPPC sub for the Northern Monkeys, Twaddles from Betfair, coops, dealem, honeybear and boro. Both double teams ended up sitting next to each other, which limited our ability to coordinate play. The game itself was pretty tough, took ages for first person to go, which was dests unfortunately just after the break. Not sure that getting hammered pre-event had the desired effect of loosening up her game.

Played some good poker, made some good folds and got quite outplayed at times by dealem. He always seemed to make the right move at the right time, squeezing my pre-flop and post-flop raises all in when I had trash. Eventually, got a reasonable hand and doubled on honeybear (I think) and entered the final 3 in 3rd place. At this stage, I was up against dealem and coops. Took ages for the action to get going, so long in fact that we were the last table running by a long way - very different to last year when I won my table before some tables had lost 1 player. Both coops and dealem were down to about 2k at one time or another, before we all ended up on roughly even stacks with blinds at 600-1200ish. I was dealt KQc on the BB and coops raised to 8k from the button. I had just over 20k chips in my stack, so after dealem folded decided (correctly) that this was an overbet from a weak hand and pushed, with the intention that coops would fold. He didn't, called and flipped over A4o, don't think either of us improved and since he had me covered I was out in 3rd. Not sure if he would have folded even if I had a dominating stack as his team was out of the running for the prize money. Not beating dealem meant that the Flashmob team came second overall, and in a surprise move by Carl, we picked up some prize money for it too.

Another night on the lash was followed by a full English in the local cafe and a short walk up to the casino for the Main Event. With 62 runners it was a lot smaller than last year, but with casino blind structures it meant that some of the later action was going to be a bit of a crap shoot. Early doors I was being dealt trash, and with strak two to my right, my blinds were vapourizing frequently. Really only had 3 hands of note: Reasonably early on I was dealt QQ on the BB. Rich from Betfair raised from UTG+1 for 500 chips, with a chipset on his head strak made it 3k which would have put Rich all in. Since I was playing for the chips, I pushed all in and put myself up towards average stack when they both folded.

Next hand was against gummybaggie, blinds were either 200-400 or 300-600 and I was dealt KQc in mid-position. Pot was folded round to me, so I made it 1800 which was folded to wonky in the SB, who called, then gummy pushed all in from the BB for about 5k. I had about 11k behind and decided that I would be racing, so pushed all in aiming to get heads up, wonky folded a Q and gummy flipped over 1010. I spiked a pair and he was gone. Worked out later I was 46:53 in that hand, so was definitely right to take it for the pot odds.

My nearly final hand was the 1st one after the break. I was BB and was dealt QQ with blinds at 400-800. Dests opened the betting and raised to 2200 from the button, so with about 16k I raised it up to 5600 and dests pushed all in. Decided I was probably ahead, so called and she turned over 99 Flop gave her a 9 and the river made it quads. This left me with about 4k, so I was pretty much crippled and I eventually went out in 38th with KCc to AKd all in preflop with the over short stack on the table.

The whole weekend was a real blast, if you go to Birmingham, the City Inn is a really nice hotel with Apple iMacs in the rooms, with free internet and very centrally located for a Broad Street night out. The Broadway Casino was very accomodating, even allowing tank to wander round pissed for a couple of hours before asking him to leave. Zelda organized the whole event really well and the team game was very competitive with a nice twist from Mandylou, doubling up the jokers and captains. Hope to go next year if we can find someone to organize it, though Boro did say he was seriously considering doing it, though he was quite pissed at the time. Might have to put in some Holdem practice next time though, worked out I have only really played about 3 Holdem games online in the last 2 months - all of which were freerolls.

Played the £30 9:00pm freezeout in the casino, which was a kind of rebuy, where you could hold off adding on extra free chips for the 1st hour. Bizarre, but played it too tight and seriously underestimated the power of top pair in a "rebuy" flop situation. Had I called, I would have trebled and would have had enough of a stack to avoid being bullied later on when the blinds started to bite, out in about 45th of 120.

Hopefully not dissed too many folks in this update, but if you do feel offended, tough! Leave me a comment and let me know, only spam gets deleted. :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Late September Summary

September was a cracking month, right up until the last day, where I managed to turn a $1k up month into a $900 up month on 2 easy tables. Still, that's the biggest month I have had since I started keeping detailed records. Managed to qualify for 2 freerolls coming up this weekend, a $2k one for earning at least 1 FTP point every day in the month, with the other a $20k TITN for earning 500 FTP points in the month. Am going down with a cold at the moment, so hope to be fit for the weekend to make the most of them.

The Betfair account has gone a bit the wrong way recently, must be the STT challenge making the games a bit crazy, so is down to about £160. Full Tilt now $988, but that include my first staking of $75 for a hilo tournament. I had the table up and was watching when the jockey made a decent push on a 99x flop, only to be called by KKxx - wtf? Still, made me think that if I was going to pay for someone to make a play that I would have considered doing myself (maybe not on Level 1) I might as well play it myself.

PokerTracker stuff is quite useful, but am not sure it does me any good to have a tourney time window up while I am playing STTs. Usually I can smell the bad players without having to check their stats and it almost seems to distract me from making the decisions I would normally make. Cash and MTTs are a bit different and if I can work it out I think it would be more useful. Running around 35% VPIP, which seems to be at the high end of the scale for players who are winning at hilo, but maybe still reflects the fact I make the end-game quite regularly. Did seem to lose the knack of finishing games off for a bit, but put that right tonight winning 3 STTs on the bounce, before going out in 7th in the 4th and final hilo of the night.

OPR website now has me ranked 8,759 of 463,111 in the last 120 days, which puts me in the top 2% of players in their database for FT. Not sure how it is worked out, but it certainly ranks alongside some of the numbers that have been posted onto the Betfair forum in the staking thread. On profit I am about 11000th of 102k players, which suggests somewhat less than 25% of players make a profit. Remind myself, why do I need to pay anyone else to play?

Going to bfwcop in Birmingham next week, via Bilbao on a business trip. As "luck" would have it, just about the only flights from the UK to Bilbao are from Birmingham via Munich. Guess it means I will be fresh and ready for anything on Friday morning anyway, hopefully get a round of golf in and see if I can crack the 110 barrier again :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Half Century

This is apparently my 50th post, hard to believe when you look back at my first post and the reasons for creating the blog. It has also been running for over 2 years as well. Hope you have enjoyed reading it, tried not to make it too much of a bad beat listing. So, for a bit of a change, here is a hand history.

Here's a playing to win mistake I made last night. On reflection, my 35% for the hand on the flop when the money went in, would have paid 2:1 in chips but only have doubled my payout (assuming that I can play a big stack effectively). Maxemus must have thought it was his lucky day, though based on his play throughout this table, pooh could have had anything. 3rd paid about $600, 1st about $1200. Live and learn.

Game #8143681553: $2,500 KO Guarantee (61186768), Table 23 - 4000/8000 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 20:48:05 ET - 2008/09/19
Seat 2: MAXEMUS126 (192,314)
Seat 6: whoflungpooh (359,338)
Seat 8: electric chair (189,348)
electric chair posts the small blind of 4,000
MAXEMUS126 posts the big blind of 8,000
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to electric chair [Qh Ks As 6s]
whoflungpooh calls 8,000
electric chair raises to 20,000
MAXEMUS126 folds
whoflungpooh calls 12,000
*** FLOP *** [3s 2s Ah]
electric chair has 15 seconds left to act
electric chair bets 36,000
whoflungpooh has 15 seconds left to act
whoflungpooh raises to 156,000
electric chair raises to 169,348, and is all in
whoflungpooh calls 13,348
electric chair shows [Qh Ks As 6s]
whoflungpooh shows [Th 5s 4h 6h]
*** TURN *** [3s 2s Ah] [Jc]
*** RIVER *** [3s 2s Ah Jc] [9c]
electric chair shows a pair of Aces
whoflungpooh shows a straight, Five high
whoflungpooh wins the pot (386,696) with a straight, Five high
electric chair stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 386,696 | Rake 0
Board: [3s 2s Ah Jc 9c]
Seat 2: MAXEMUS126 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: whoflungpooh (button) showed [Th 5s 4h 6h] and won (386,696) with a straight, Five high
Seat 8: electric chair (small blind) showed [Qh Ks As 6s] and lost with a pair of Aces

This was actually on the final table of a $24 knockout plo tournament on Full Tilt. With 247 runners I was paid out just over $650 including 8 bounties. I only entered it because late registration was open when I logged in.

On other fronts, my Full Tilt account is looking nice and healthy. Earlier this week I went past the $1k mark and after last night, I was up to $1.6k. Have withdrawn $600 today, which obviously means I played like a donk tonight and went 0/4. Mostly playing hilo STTs at the moment. Having built my bank up with a selection of $6 and $11 STTs I decided to try out a few $22 games as well. Initial results have been very good, though I have had too many 2nd places from a lead to be happy.

On Betfair, the balance is now up to £180, a result entirely driven by Omaha, including one profitable cash session when I was earning points for the merchandise mountain promotion. Managed 3 back to back $10 STT wins yesterday, followed by a 2nd, making it my best overall profit day since I won a trip to NY 2 years ago.

My Sharkscope graphs are still looking good, on both the Betfair and Full Tilt accounts, the upward tendency is still there, but August ROI took a bit of a battering due to low volume. I was quite pleased with myself until I checked markwales on Stars. He has been killing the 180 runner SNGs recently and his profit line has turned vertical, just so sick. Not played much on Blue Square or Everest lately, not really worth learning another couple of sites when I can make money at 20-40% ROI on the ones I focus on already.

Lastly, have invested in Poker Tracker Omaha version. I can't say I fully understand it, nor that it works 100% accurately, but it has verified a couple of things I guessed about my game before. Typically, I see 38% of the flops in Omaha in tournaments. Somewhat surprisingly, I VPIP 60%+ from the small blind, with only a very small negative ROI. I guess this is related to the number of tables I get HU at the end, often running 20-30 hands before a conclusion is reached.

My last game of the day is running now, a $33 18-man hilo SNG on Full Tilt. Currently 3rd of 7 left and the action is about to start getting interesting, so I must go and focus on that.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Posting for Ray

A few days ago I said I would send Ray an email about getting rakeback on poker sites other than Betfair, instead of posting on the Betfair forum. It occurs to me that as this is my blog, I can promote other sites on here if I want, so here it is.

Firstly, even if you don't turn over a huge amount of rake, you can get reasonable deals from a number of rake aggregation sites. They don't really care how much you bring in, they just add it all up at the end of the month and send a bill to the networks. I signed up in Dec-07 with after a conversation with Smart Money - this was the site he used. It gives you access to about 15 poker rooms including Betfair, with rakeback ranging from 27% (Full Tilt) through to 37% (Betfair, volume dependent). Most sites seem to be offering 30%, and although the Full Tilt is the lowest %, I did some research and it seems to be their standard rate.

They also have bonuses on offer, if you play Full Tilt and earn 500 FT points in a month, you get entry to a $20k freeroll. I have managed to qualify for this once and from 600 runners I got a top 50 finish and $60. Rake more than $500 in a month and you get a 1 month subscription to the Stoxpoker training site.

Until this week, my rake was paid back to TITN from Full Tilt, with cash out options back to Full Tilt, Absolute, Ultimate or Cake poker networks. As of Monday, the Full Tilt rake will be paid weekly direct into my Full Tilt account. Rake from other sites can still go back to TITN and then be cashed out to one of the sites.

If you do sign up through here, putting in my referral code (miltonb) will get me a bonus and a guaranteed couple of beers for you if we meet up at any time. A lot of the sites offer sign up bonuses, including FT, which will pay out up to $600 incrementally on a 1:1 basis depending on rake earned. When you do earn this sign up bonus, your rake back will be reduced by 27% as they would otherwise be paying you twice.

I like Full Tilt, it is generally easy to find a game whenever I want one. The tables are easy to move around and resize, plus whatever poker tool is your favourite, it will work with it. I mostly play low stakes HiLo STTs from $6 to $22 and if you want to find me, look up "electric chair" in the players list. I have found that for me, the $5 rebuys are profitable, having cashed (and won a couple) at Holdem, PLO and HiLo. Whatever your game though, there are so many more options than Betfair. However, because it is not linked to a betting site or Exchange, the players are probably a slightly better standard. It did take me a month or two to get used to the feel of the games and the players (see the Sharkscope graph for evidence of this), but have now found my feet and can play games without fear of being the worst on the table.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

August Half-Month Progress

First half of the month was a no poker zone, decided it was cheaper to stay married than get a 3G dongle to play poker on holiday, at least this year anyway (no, she does not read my blog!).

Once I got back I had the APAT WCOAP Omaha to look forward to at the end of the month, so started playing a few PLO games on BF again. Having played 31 games, I managed to cash in 19 of them and won 8, 29 of these were 9 seaters, only played 2 6-paks and did not cash in either of them. End of month balance moved up over £100 and I easily met the Stax improve goal for an additional $25.

On Full Tilt, I had a bit of a topsy turvey month, managed to win a couple of $22 Hilo STTs, but ran sick bad towards the end of the month and think I went 6 without a cash. Also managed a 2nd in a Hilo $5 rebuy for nearly $300 profit in one go. Overall, managed to end the month with a balance of about $900, having been one STT result from going over the $1k barrier a couple of time, I have slipped back to $800 since. I don't think I am actually playing too bad, but will probably be investing in some kind of tracker this month to work out if this is really the case or if I was just running uber-lucky before. Poker Tracker Omaha looking favourite, though Omaha Indicator looks interesting, will probably see if I can make it work on the play money games and see if it is any good.

Friday, August 01, 2008

End of July Update

Quick summary for July before I set off for Cornwall and probably no poker for a couple of weeks.

After what I thought was a good start I carried on and had an absolute steamer up until about the 20th of the month. At that stage I was still showing an ROI of 80% on STTs on Sharkscope after 35 games or so. Inevitably, the run came to an end, but it happened when I stepped up to a $24 STT, made the final 4 easily and then my laptop froze. First time it had happened that I can remember. Managed to get back in about 1 hand after I had been blinded out and then dumped another $24 and $12 STT in quick succession when I was obviously on tilt.

End of the month numbers for Full Tilt shows 55 STTs, with an ROI of about 50% for $250+. Add to that another $150 on MTTs and cash, with just under another $100 from Betfair, Everest and Blue Square and I very nearly broke the $500 barrier for the month, +$492 in the end. That finally also makes 2008 a profitable year on poker too, for about $25... plus about $40 in rakeback from TITN to come as well.

In other news, I played a satellite for the APAT WCOAP Omaha on Blue Square for $15 and played a near perfect game. Made the final table about 6th, but by the time we reached the bubble I was 2nd and nobody was calling my bets. This will be my frst live Omaha MTT and I am really looking forward to it.

Lastly, bought a 3G iPhone on Sunday, it is the coolest gadget I have ever owned and as a mobile device I have not seen anything better. It is perfect apart from the fact that you can't use the network connection for your laptop. Still, suppose I could get a 3 pay as you go 3G modem as well - depends on whether I think it would be worth the moaning taking it on holiday and using it to play poker.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot

Summary for June: down on Full Tilt and Betfair, up on Blue Square and Everest, net -$40.

Summary for July so far: up $150 net, $200 on Full Tilt.

Most of this has been the Omaha HiLo Turbo STTs on FT, but did get a 4th in a PLO rebuy. That was a bit annoying, since I really should have won it hands down after moving into 1st place 3 hands before I went out.

On the STT front, having completed 12 games of hilo, I have cashed in 6, winning 5 of them. Also played and won against the best player I have seen on these tables at this level, LakePlacid Kid - loads of chat in the box and even offered to buy the win off me for $10 when he was 40:60 down in chips. He seemed to give up when I lol'd that request off and lasted only 2 more hands after I slow played a nut flush and lo.

Graph on the right comes from Sharkscope and shows the progress I have made on STTs since I started playing on Full Tilt - nice to see it going upwards on all fronts.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The 40th Best Amateur Poker Player in Ireland

Always like Dublin and reckon this could become an annual trip, though maybe next time not worry about being in the poker tournament.

Arrived with my mates on Friday night, checked into the hostel and worked out that we were sharing the room with a random. Never mind, went out and got trashed, eventually getting back about 4:30am. Breakfast round the corner about 11:30 and we headed off to the Fitzwilliam to register. This plan worked at BFWCOP II, but unfortunately this time I was about 5-6 pints ahead of the game and only just kept down the half breakfast I had managed to eat.

The club was nice enough, albeit in the middle of replacing the carpets. A couple of coffees later and I was ready for the off. Kept it quiet to start and never really got in trouble early. Found the calling station at the table who managed to stay in with K9s from the big blind and missed his flush but rivered a 9 to make a higher pair than I was playing. First big hand of note for me was QQ on UTG+1. Rock like image meant my 3BB raise to 200 was passed back to the UTG who called. Flop was 10-8-4 with 3 suits, so I raised another 1200 when UTG checked which he then called. Turn was a 10, so I thought about it for a bit and bet another 1800. This time, UTG took an age to call, which looked a bit like he was hamming it up, so I checked his river check and he showed JJ and my stack was 15k.

It took almost 6 hours to lose the first player on our table, with some great banter and a horrible hand where the table LAG stated he would bet 5k (out of 9k behind) on the flop - table talkbox who was pretty good checked from the BB and on a 10JQ flop said "you won't dare to bet 5k" and checked. This would have set my alarm bells off, but LAG bet his 50% and was immediately re-raised all in. He called and the talkbox showed K9 for a flopped straight - which I thought was probably AK, but the effect was the same. A river Q gave LAG the full house and the talkbox was crippled and out a few hands later.

This was about the time when the blinds were 400-800 and we started to get a few new faces on the table. I had noticed that the next jump was to 600-1200 and and knew that this was when the blinds were going to be significant. Try as I might though, I could not raise pre-flop with anything because I had 4 to my right who did not let an unraised pot pass. This combined with the lack of sleep and alcohol abuse kicking in led to two mistakes when I should have pushed all-in on the raiser but just folded. With 1-2k blinds and 7k raises I would have probably been out, or up to 40k instead of struggling on 20k when the table finally folded. I was moved to a new table and with the blinds about to go to 1.5-3k I pushed K9 from the SB into the BBs A4 and a flopped set 4s took me out.

The organization was excellent and I am pretty sure we started promptly, with everyone I talked to being very friendly and up for a bit of banter. All of the dealers were excellent, especially Lilly who dealt me all my best hands. Overall it was a bit like the BFWCOP games apart from the on-time start really. Might go for one of the London events in August, but maybe pick the Omaha game as that is just a one-dayer and I won't be tempted to go out on the piss the night before.

Still, finishing at 11:30pm as I did meant that I got another night out on the craic in Dublin and we woke the random up at 4:30am again. This time I think he was a bit upset because of all the banging on the wall to the Essex girls in the room next door, but sadly I missed his hissy fit because I was out like a light.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

End of May Update

Had a bit of an up and down month, finished down about $200 in the end, but that includes a $109 buyin on another FTOPs PLO. This time it was a rebuy and as soon as it started I knew I was out of my depth buy-in wise. Struggled through to just before the break and decided to push with a paired hand and got busted by a big stack.

Added Blue Square and Everest accounts to my stable this month as well. Everest is a reasonable interface, but the players are truly awful. Long may it continue, up $75 on there in May and another $62 so far in June. Blue Square is on the same network as VC which has always been my worst account. Signed up so I could play in the APAT Ireland satellites and failed to qualify from both that I entered. Allowing for that, the balance is about $10 down from where I started and me and 4 mates have all bought in direct.

Full Tilt was down about $100 and I have focused on playing the 9 seater HILO turbos. This has started to come through in my results now and sharkscope reckons my sit n go results have been picking up month over month (June so far is a bit sick at about +40% mostly playing $11s). Balance now back up to about $360.

Biggest disappointment was on Betfair, down about $110 - almost all as a result of playing in the $350 gtd PLO rebuy a few times. Just before Christmas I picked up a couple of nice results in this tourney, now I can't buy a hand.

GL in your games and if you are in Dublin next week I will be in Temple Bar on Friday and Saturday night, or the Fitzwilliam casino during the day. If I make the final table I will miss my flight back, but if I do I will worry about it after I have sobered up.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Not much else to say when you win a ticket to a $240 buy-in MTT, then work out the start time wrong and log in 90 minutes late. Managed to get 276th in the end out of more than 1k runners, although I did beat half the field sitting out. Was like rockville, far too many players scared to use their cards and who knows where I could have finished if I had started on time. Out hand was AAK2 all in on turn of 892 and two callers who both rivered a straight after an A on the turn gave me a brief hope of a treble up.

Decided to take out my frustration on an 18 runner MTT that paid top 6, 5x$75 tokens plus $57 cash. Made a dubious call with AK, when oppo had AJh with 2h already showing and hit a K on the turn and held up. After that it was easy to watch the short stacks give their stacks to the chip leader. After bubble went I ran AK into KK and lasted a few more circuits with 4BBs until I finally broke. Still, never turn down a profit and I might have another go at one of these and go for another FTOPs satellite.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Knockout Duck Broken at Last!

April has been pretty good so far. Having knocked my Full Tilt account down to $100 or so earlier in the year, it is now up to over $500 and I am well on the way to recovering all the losses from January (without a reload before you ask).

Highlights so far this month have been a 4th place in a Betfair holdem rebuy, a win on a PLO rebuy on Full Tilt, followed by a near miss the next night in the same tourney, and yesterday I won my first knockout tournament. This was a $11 PLO satellite to FTOPS #2 event in May, a buy-in worth $250, for a $200k gtd tourney where everyone has $40 on their heads too. Including the 6 heads I took out in the process, I am now $1 up and am totally free rolling into the $200k tourney.

Some of the comments from the regulars at this level on FT make about my play are interesting to say the least. Have been accused of being spiteful and a fish in the same breath. Best was when I read a guy stone cold on the final table and took him out in 4th. I knew I was ahead on the flop, so I called his all in push (he started with 45-50% of my stack) and he had a pair of 6s and a J flush draw! This proved not good enough to beat my A flush draw and no pair on the flop, which was resolved by the A on the turn - Omaha calculator after the fact said I was 58% to win compared to his 38%. Deeply satisfying to see that I was instinctively right and it gave me the stack to take down the tourney quickly thereafter.

Playing on Full Tilt means I can use some of the poker ranking sites now. Sharkscope is showing me $36 down in total, after a couple of mistimed STT exits tonight. More pleasing is, which says I am 9,822 of 265,533 on Full Tilt for MTTs. In the money 8 times in the last 120 days, I have converted 4 of them into wins and made the final 10% of the runners 15% of the time. ROI something like 77%, which would have been much better if I had cracked the style needed for knockout MTTs earlier.

Have also played a few Omaha double your money tourneys on Ladbrokes. These are so dull it is not funny, but you can keep them running in the background while you play another game until about level 7 or 8 when the bubble is usually approaching.

Have done a bit of spring cleaning on the blog links for those that have been removed or not updated in ages.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

End of Month Update

Nearly the end of the month, so time for another update.

Things have picked up recently, though in between this and the last update I managed to go on a 28 game losing streak, for a buy-in total of $333. This was both MTTs and STTs, but mostly STTs. I only managed to drop a few $ playing cash, so pleased that I managed to keep this really to a minimum.

Turned it round in the middle of the month when I came 2nd in a Betfair Feed the Beast $0.10 rebuy. I won $19 and a buy-in to a $25k GTD rebuy on Easter Sunday. This is the only reason I am actually down this month, since I was running reasonably well at the end of the buy-in period and had to add-on. As a result, I am down $64 for the month, when I would otherwise have been up $36, which considering the start is a right turn-around.

Highlights include a 1st place on Full Tilt $2 rebuy for $154, 2nd place on a Betfair Battle of the Forums $2 rebuy for $105 and a 5th place on Full Tilt $20 PLO 6 seater for $116. Also managed to bubble myself in a PLO turbo on Betfair. First time I have made it anywhere near the money in this format game and I only have myself to blame. I pushed JQQK into the chip leader calling station, who hit an 8 to make up a set. I was on the button and the average stack was about 3 big blinds - FOOL!

Back soon.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

About time too

Playing mostly on BF again, with the odd venture onto Full Tilt, though that site has had a few problems recently, looks like they are being hit by some kind of denial of service attack.

Looking back at January I can't believe what a disaster it was. Can't remember having a month that bad ever, which totalled out at -$325. I leaked most of the cash away on "killer" tournaments, don't seem to be able to get my head around them. Also blew a couple of buyins on cash tables when I was playing a bit beyond my bankroll against calling stations where I could not afford to stay in.

February has been better, especially since I am currently in profit ($50 as I type). So far though, have not managed to cash in the PLO rebuys on BF like I was doing with ease pre-Christmas. I have cashed in the 20:35 PLO freezeout a couple of times and came second in a $1 rebuy on BF when I was off for the boys half term. And I am in profit on Turbo PLO STTs (6 & 9). Must remember to focus on the right games in March.

Ty for reading.

Late update, just won the 20:35 PLO on Betfair. That makes 3 cashes out of 7 entries in February, and 10 out of 20 since I started keeping records in November. Need to remember this stat more often, why do I not play this MTT every day?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

As Andy Gray would say

It just gets better and better.

Worked out I have played 18 days so far in January and only won on 3 of them. I have decided to slow down on FT for a bit and try my hand on BF again. Didn't work out great tonight as got battered in the PLO rebuy and came 6th on the 20:35 PLO freezeout. But, as a rule the players on BF are a step or 3 down from the players on FT. If I play there a bit more the results will come back. You can't lose every race and I will remember who I should fold a set to and who I should not pretty soon.

If you want rakeback on Betfair you can sign up through, referral code RTR23350. They also do a huge number of other sites, so once you blow your deposit bonus on one you can always move onto the next :)

GL at the tables.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

January Downdate

Can't do an update because have been playing terrible, so here is the in-rnning downdate.

Moving to a new site has set me back miles in terms of how I am playing, so much so that I will be lucky not to record a big loss in January after only 1 week in. Couple of things that are driving this:
- playing cash again, doh, when will I learn that both playing cash and calling with QQ preflop in PLO is -ev
- the MTTs are too big for the time I have available, generally get close to the money and have cashed once, but the variance when idiots call off their stack with a gutshot straight draw is huge (although I do want them to do this) and by the time it gets to the business end I have been up for 18 hours and done a full days work
- not played enough STTs to get used to the player styles and blind structures
- playing tired (see above)

I think maybe the last one is the critical point here. I was actually up to nearly $600 just after New Years day, back down to $373 as I type now. Still, tonight will see me get a decent night's kip as I am not going to be up till 1:00am and I have a lie in planned for tomorrow to get a tyre replaced on my car before work.

Going to try and put a link into a new blog for SG from the BF forum (at least he was until he got banned). lol, who hasn't had an account banned?