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 :)