Thursday, August 31, 2006

August Review

Time for one these already ! August flew by, probably because of half of it being spent in Las Vegas.

I have no exact profit figure for the month until my WSOP cheque clears but its in the region of £15,500 after another profitable session tonight. Under £11,000 of that was the WSOP win so ive made over £4000 online since i returned in only 1/2 a month, i wasnt expecting this at all but my confidence has translated to the tables, and its good to think that this profit is not from just 1 big win, the majority being from cash sessions for sure.

I also have a 143 euro satellite for an EPT package and also a $50,000 added tournament this weekend all qualfied for and paid for.

It would be nice to say the WSOP could not have gone better, but its near impossible to say that unless you finish 1st/8773 :) It certainly went as i hoped as my initial target was to cash and anything else was always going to be a bonus so this was nicely achieved. I also learnt a lot more about the game from the 3 days play and feel i have taken it to yet another level when im in my highest playing zone.

The worst thing in August is i have lost any fitness i obtained in July and probably put back any weight on, hopefully by blogging this i will start a fresh tommorrow and try to make September more like July was for obvious reasons.

I am now happy with my yearly profit as i always thought i should average 2-3k a month based on last year and my 2nd best month in poker has seen me top £25,000 for the year. 2 months ago i know my half year review highlighted the fact i should have won more by my own standards.

There definitely seems to be more promotions for the cash player as well so next month i will target as many of these as possible, at the same time testing which site is the best for my cash games. I think a combination of sites is useful as it keeps me on my toes and i always like a bit of variety where possible anyway. I also intend to try to qualify for the CPC and where possible will be playing as many of the shootouts as possible as these seem to be where the real value is. I may try 1 or 2 new sites but only if i feel its worth it as i already have a good range to choose from at the moment.

One thing i want to avoid is being disappointed at the end of September because i have won less than August. I will say here and now that i will be happy with £2-3000 profit, its easy to get carried away after last month and i dont want to do anything silly or desperate when i could be nowhere near that level of profit next month. Saying that i cant help but think if the cash tables profit keeps rolling in i will pass this £2-3000 with ease, but whats easy to forget is i might play a lot less in September, as i often do after a good month as i just get lazy with poker which is fine anyway.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No Joy

Despite the blinds being too fast i still managed to pick my spots well and increase my stack uncalled in the beginning with no real premium cards then QQ lost to AK leaving me crippled instead of huge chip leader of 6. I got back in 99 vs A7 and then agressed well to become chip leader of 5 before i lost a 4k pot A7 vs 88 but then i doubled back to 1/4 with 88 vs AQ. Unfortunately i went completely card dead from there on and after being overraised a few times started to think it wasnt my day. In the end i went out Q10 vs A4 for a pot that would have put me virtually heads up 8k vs 11k vs 1k.

In the end you need a fair bit of luck no matter how well you play in these and it will come, after all someone has to win these play offs and i know in the long run i will win more than most.

End of The Month Approaches

I havent played much since Sunday other than a few cash sessions, my steady form continues though and i actually have passed the profit figure i was mentally hoping i would reach for the month , that being £15,000. Obviously i could have a losing session or 2 and drop back below that in the 48 hours but i wont be restricting my play to stop the chance of that.

9 way play off tonight for a £1k seat + expenses in Bolton this weekend, i will mentally freeroll this as im not that bothered about going away so soon after Vegas but will be happy to for a £1k seat as any cash in the tournament would make it worthwhile.

Couple of pots in NL cash i was playing in last couple days are shown below. both 4 handed.

1) 3,6$ NL
I flat call after another caller on the button with 6d5d and the big blind makes it 24$ in total to go, the initial caller calls , so i call for value as well.
Flop is 874 rainbow and all 3 of us go all in or the flop, raiser has AA , caller has 77. My straight holds and i triple up to $1350.

2) 1.5,3$ NL
I raise to 9$ with 77 and get called by the button and the big blind. Flop is 763 with 2 clubs, all my money goes in on the flop and both callers coming in as well. Button has 66 and big blind has Ac5c. The flush hits on the turn and i lose a $850 pot.

These are good examples of why i used to hate playing NL cash at any kind meaningful stakes. I just didnt have the mindset to cope with these sort of stitch ups when i was on the wrong end of one. However, i dont know what has changed but i now recognise these will happen and they will even out and i actually enjoy these pots for the certain rush you get when the cards are still being dealt. I would lie if i said i didnt like losing them, but i seem to move on in minutes and play my normal game regardless.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Keep Trying Them Big Results Will Come

Thats what i keep telling myself anyway :)

$154 CPC shootout, i must play these as much as possible, the standard short handed standard is terrible. There were 42 entrants and the 2nd level is 10 seated so i got a 1st level with only 4 players on the table. As is the norm with these shootouts i win mine and have to wait 45 minutes before the other 9 finish then its 10 handed win only. Very very tight table so big element of luck in the 10 handed one which i was running ok on until 5 left. Preflop AQ vs 77 to have gone 1st/5 with 30% of the chips in play, a 6k stack with blinds of 100,200. Would like to think i would have been well over 30% to win due to the skill factor short handed and my big stack but it simply was not to be. U have to be lucky to win these sort of finals as they are just too tight and short stacked for any proper poker.

My $160 game (15 entrants) at 10pm went well and i was huge chipleader approaching and at the final table. I sustained the stack well but never increased the stack as i lost 2 out of 2 coinflips and came 2nd in a 3 way pot all for big pots that would have put me huge stacked compared to the others. I then lost another huge pot 6 handed giving away my lead 88 vs 1010, i made the money (pays to 4) without being called all in and then i lost another huge pot with top pair vs bottom 2 pair in a blind battle. I was crippled then, but i did get some luck to stay in further (i was still cursing not getting the luck on the bigger pots earlier though as life would have been so much easier). When we went 3 handed i was weak stack and played it well eventually doubling up 33 vs A6 , yes i won a coinflip !!!. Only shortly after that i lost the biggest pot of the game AQ vs 1010 to have gone 23k vs 7k heads up, again i was crippled but doubled KK vs KJ only for A10 to run into KK a few hands later and cripple me again ! I eventually lost A3 vs A7 i think it was and of course the kicker counted !!!. $550 for 3rd ($1500, $875 1st and 2nd).

So that puts me $240 up on the day with 2 failed attempts at the EPT and the CPC, on another day the lucks in as well as the good play and i clean up. My cards were not great in the $150 overall so 3rd in the end is pleasing enough.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Live By The Sword

And Die By It Too !!!

I decided to be ultra agressive from the start in the 9 handed seat for an EPT package but it failed , its not a bad way to play though if you know how to use a big stack if you get one and also when it failed you aint that pissed off about finishing miles away from a win only package. Way better than waiting for cards or finishing top 3 or 4 with a weak stack anyway.

Key hand after building my stack by 10% was the one below:

Seat 1: rimsfs (1965 in chips)
Seat 2: The_Viper (2165 in chips)
Seat 3: indsdress (1920 in chips)
Seat 4: TheDeacon (1930 in chips)
Seat 5: ClintonO (2150 in chips)
Seat 6: ---00--- (2035 in chips)
Seat 7: 25Bums (2035 in chips)
Seat 8: Animal (2210 in chips)
Seat 9: udonthani (1590 in chips)
udonthani: posts small blind 15
rimsfs: posts big blind 30
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Animal [9h Tc]
The_Viper: folds
indsdress: folds
TheDeacon: folds
ClintonO: folds
---00---: folds
25Bums: folds
Animal: raises to 90 (i would have raised with any 2 linked cards here 54 or higher the way i decided to play)
udonthani: folds
rimsfs: calls 60
----- FLOP ----- [8d Ac 8c]
rimsfs: checks
Animal: checks
(hindsight = mistake but to represent a big hand eg AK or flopped full house i was happy with my play and would bet a percentage of the time here)
----- TURN ----- [8d Ac 8c][2d]
rimsfs: bets 60
Animal: raises to 210
(i dont realise i have the best hand here but his gay sized bet looks like a weak pocket or flush draw as their are 2 flush draws there, weak pocket and i win pot there, flush draw and miss and i win with bet on river)
rimsfs: calls 150
----- RIVER ----- [8d Ac 8c 2d][9d]
rimsfs: bets 120
Animal: raises to 660
(yes it was risky but his gay pay me bet also looked like a i dunno where the fuk i am bet so i know i would push a lot of hands off here by raising, as it turns out the way he bet it meant i suffered from a double whammy river. Instead on winning a 615 pot i lose another 660 due to way he bet the river, i doubt very much his gay bet was trying to induce a bluff , most people have no idea when they make these bets)
rimsfs: calls 540
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Animal: shows [9h Tc] (Two Pairs, Nines and Eights, Ace high)
rimsfs: shows [6d 5d] (A Flush, Nine high)
rimsfs collects 1935 from Main pot

That left me half stack and i only ever semi recovered before pushing in on a straight draw and missing to get back to starting stack, fair enough.

I have a $160 game at 10pm with good blinds structure and i think i may enter the $154 CPC double shootout shortly so plenty more hands and agression to come :))

Drunk and Hungover Poker

I know which i prefer , that being the drunk one. I enjoy what i remember and i luv to gamble at times and be ultra agressive. Hungover Poker is a different story, i dont enjoy the session regardless of wins or losses and am just playing to pass the time which is never a good thing.

Anyway i dont think ive lost much hungover today , probably level or down an insignificant amount. What i have done is clear 1 or 2 bonuses which is always useful. My drunk poker was ok as far as i remember with my gambling paying off for $150-$200 from an hour or 2s play.

Maybe i am a good judge of horses cos my horse ran like a dog to finish 3rd last out of 14 in the end. Oh dear maybe it needed the run or different ground and hopefully i will be proved wrong at the next run (if there is one lol).

Anyway got a few good games lined up for the next week now.

Sunday: EPT stt maximum 10 players (maybe only 8) win only for a 6600 euro package to Barcelona.

Wednesday: 9 way play off for a £1000 seat + expenses win only to Bolton next weekend

Following Sunday: $33 $50000 added to prize pool tournament usually 300-500 players and poor standard so good value.

It would be nice to win at least 1 of the top 2 or make the final table in the 3rd one as that would be decent money. I take nothing for granted, but im playing well and have had an excellent 2 weeks play online since my return from Las Vegas (+£3000) so im always in a confident mood at the tables which can only help my cause. I was freerolling the month anyway due to the cash in Vegas and with 5 days left anything is a bonus if it was to add to what looks to be my 2nd best month in poker since i started playing. What i really like about this months online play is my biggest win is only about £850 so the rest of the profit has come from smaller tournament winnings or consistent profitable sessions on cash tables. I would estimate 50/50 profit to have been from tournaments/cash online so far this month.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The 100th Post (Apparently, I Aint Counted)

$109 game 26 runners, again played very well , maybe not quite as agressive as i could have been but all the same i exit on a 12k pot AK vs KK preflop in 6th place which unfortunately was the bubble. If i did spike an ace i was slightly above average chips with no massive chipleader and lots of tight players at the table so i would have loved to up the gears there with the spare chips while the blinds were only 200,400, but not to be.

Not played much else today as busy and the same will apply tommorrow i would expect. My horse runs tommorrow in the 3:20pm at Newmarket and is 3rd favourite at 13/2 out of 14 runners. Its not on channel 4 but hopefully i can catch it in the bookies or on a sky racing channel, would be a shame not to watch the race for fun.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Too Many Flips

$109 game 26 entrants, again i cash , i cant decide whether my luck was even , in favour, or against me it was such a rollercoaster. Lost a few coinflips but won an 88 vs KK to stay in with 6 left when it paid to 5. I also won a big pot when i tried to push a guy off a jack high flop , he couldnt fold his KJoff but my AQ was good for overcards and it was his tournament on the line as i had 2700 chips left at the time if i lost the pot of 5k . One of the coinflips a few hands before that being a massive pot to have gone huge chip leader on 15k with 6 left (see bottom of this paragraph for details) , next stack down being only 8k at the time. Once it went 4 handed i lost a J10 vs A9 to have gone 25k leader vs 20k vs 7k 3 way. Then i also lost a AQstd vs 88 to go 17k vs 20k vs 14k 3 way. I crashed out next hand with A9 vs 910 ! , only a 4k pot there though. I enjoyed it but again im disappointed to have exit where i did without getting decent money. Return was $350 so could have been worse and its still profit for a day where ive only played 2 hrs cash this morning ($75$ profit) and just this tournament. Again with the exception of a couple of players , its so obvious that most people in this tournament only like to play premium hands at key times and moan when they dont hold up or they dont get any premium hands. Ive now cashed in this tournament 6 out of the last 7 times ive played it since returning from America so my agressive variable style is paying off and i know some players now believe i raise with any crap in some situations. The AQstd being one of those as they were not even in the hand and stuck their whole stack in when i was pot committed after a raise where my lowest holding to raise with in that position at the time would be AJstd, they were not weak and it was gutting to see the 1010 not hold up because it should have been an easy fold for them if they were any good but they commented that they knew my range for raising there. They didnt because they had been watching me on a shorthanded table before and they were very lucky not to run into KK or AK the way i raised the hand.

Happy or Annoyed ?

I just dont know i guess the real answer is im too tired to care.

$100 game 29 runners , play really well again and get down to heads up with a level stack. It stays level for a while then i get a 2/1 advantage before handing some back then the following hand happens:

600,1200 im sb. My stack = 34k vs his stack of 24k
i call on the button with K8 and he makes it 3600 to go, he is dumb on the flop and i have position and already picked up a pot when he did the same earlier so i call. Flop is KJ9 , get him all in on the flop , and of course he has K9, nice one. Crippled at 10k left and this guy has no idea how to finish me off and backwards dummys me K9 vs his Q9 to double me up to 18k before the blinds increase and i push with A7std only to run into QQ with no help.

I get a healthy $805 prize but again miss out on the larger jump to $1400. I dont think i need to address my heads up play but my results arent as good as they should be and i think im being too passive preflop so i will experiment the next time i get the chance at the end of a multi.

Earlier i played another $22 CPC shootout and of course won the first 3 seater and after waiting 30-40 minutes lost the win only sixpac for the $400 next round. Cant complain this time i over commit to a A9 on an ace high board only to face AJ , close so hardly a mile out.

My cash results were a rollercoaster today, i actually lost $400 (my whole bank) on interpoker in about 3.5 hours before switching to Stan James and winning $650 in less than 45 minutes. Overall i got beats and took beats so i was pleased to finish a chunk up , especially after being $400 down !!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Profit But Absolutely Fuming

God im so mad, havent been this pissed off after a game for over a month.

$100 24 player, (last 4 times ive played ive made 1st,2nd and 3rd out of 20-25 runners)

Play a almost total "A" game and get up to chipleader with 18 left and up the aggression in all the right spots except when a KK runs into AA for a 5k pot which still left me in 2nd place as i had such a big lead. Anyway i dont tilt and manage to continue the aggression and win a few coinflips as well as losing a couple as well. Final table of 9 and im joint chip leader with 2 others and it pays to 5. I steal lots of blinds as we get more shorthanded and manage to get a comfortable lead then go nuts on the bubble raising about 50% of the time off the blinds and getting little resistance. By the time it goes 4 handed i have 20k and sustain that stack despite crap cards by stealing a lot. Then comes the nice set up hand, im on 20k 2nd place has 16k and there is a 10k and a 2k stack. I raise for the umpteen (if thats how u spell it) time , this time with AA and get reraised by the other big stack. To cut a long story short he has KK and he hits a king on the flop when im committed to the hand anyway. If i hold up there im 36k vs 10k vs 2k with the blinds only at 200,400. To say im livid is an understatement, i get a gay $350 when there is $1470 and $875 for 1st and 2nd. These guys play only premium hands and wouldnt be capable of a decent poker play in their life, what a big joke again.

Oh and just to add to the misery while playing that i played another CPC $20 shootout , same story again, i win my 4 player game and wait about 45 minutes for the other tables to finish as seems the norm. Then a guy decided to flat call my 90 raise with KJoff and reraise the QJrag flop committing himself when i have AQ. Of course the K hits the turn and im left on 240 chips when i should be chip leader with about a 40-50% chance of winning from there imo. Get my money back but again miss out on a seat in the $400 CPC shootout final. I will keep playing these as i know how much equity my buy in is giving me.

Before i played these i was in a ladbrokes freeroll to win a VIP package to Newmarket to watch my horse run on Friday also. About 90 runners with 19 VIP packages up for grabs. No the story doesnt end well, with blinds at 100,200 the dumb big stack is happy to commit 25% of his stack with 43off preflop and of course busts my AQstd for a pot which would have put me 14ish/29 , on paper i would say i was 75%+ to have won a package if that held up. These VIP packages are great and must have value in excess of £500 with booze on tap all afternoon, use of marquee, posh meal and hotel afterwards. Oh well try again if my horse survives to run another race :(

Summary of the night is ive got a nice reminder of how useful this blog is to try to get the shit out of my head, i feel a bit better already !!!

I also have a seat in a sunday lunch $500+$30 game now on Ladbrokes, so combined with my EPT stt on Littlewoods i have a couple of high stake games lined up which i can look forward to. The ladbrokes seat is a funny story, basically i registered for $27.50 for a sub qualifier for the $530 game with only 1 other player in it but their system was playing up and despite them trying to reset the multi section and cancel all games i managed to play the game and the other guy was sitting out. I had to complain when i wasnt registered or refunded my buy in and of course they are happy to put me in the $530 game LOL.

House hunting begins tommorrow with my first ever viewings of a couple of bottom of the market flats. I think im more likely to go for a house at the top of my budget but it doesnt harm to look at the cheapest first so the slightly bigger and better ones look a lot more appealing, well thats the plan anyway.

Same Old Argument

Why do i insist on pushing all in when im heads up against a passive tight person with hands like 1010 ?

Was definitely a bit of frustration in this 19 player $150 game as we were 3 handed for what must have been over an hour and then i was heads up for about 25 minutes before i pushed with 1010 preflop only to see and AK race and i failed. I had pushed with the same hand near the start of the heads up when i was a bit weak and he had folded his 3k raise (A9) so i think i was right to move again in this situation, if the blinds had been 1 level lower then definitely not though.

The blinds were 300,600 and there was 36k in play, i went heads up with only 12k vs 26k and basically floated between 12k and 20k the whole time. Every time i got close to the guy he hit a board bigger than mine, the worst one being a 6-7k pot when i had 10,3 on a J1043Q board and and he held Q10 but luckily he didnt know how top bet big at the river but i had to pay his minimum raise off. I still would have played the same against this guy, i probably won around 80% of the heads up pots as he was that tight.

Put it down to experience and move on, got $950 for my troubles but there was an extra $650 on offer for the winner.

I havent blogged recently as ive only really been playing cash and i dont find that as interesting to blog about.

I tried a CPC shootout earlier for $154 and never got going only for JJ to run into KK 4 handed ...nice. I also was leading the £27 10k for a while then was top 10 until the hand below which sealed my downfall. I also failed in the 25$k added tournament after a number of beats for middle sized pots to put me above average chips failed.

In the 10k, about 80 players left and i have the raiser covered by an extra 9k spare. I call the minimum raise with Kd10d (800 total) and the big blind also calls. flop is QJ9d for the nuts, chk chk raiser bets 1600 leaving himself 1800 behind, i decide to flat call to hopefully guarantee his push on the nxt card whatever cards he has, turn is 8d which looks nice as i have flush draw as well now but shouldnt need it anyway. chk and he goes all in , i call and he shows Ad7d and the friggen river is a diamond !!! great a 10k pot gone that would have put me on 20k in the top 5 with the blinds only 200,400. Finished 60th not long after when i went card dead before i pushed with 22 only to run into 2 x higher pocket pairs and no help.

At the end of the day im just glad i didnt go on tilt after that especially in the $150 i was playing at the same time ! This is the first time ive played the 10k for a while , sunday has 33% more starting stack which is very useful but the standard is at best laughable and i know i should play it more often if i had the patience to tighten up a bit.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Was running well in the $109 again until i got caught big time when i re-reraised with AJ on a K94 board putting the caller on KQ or KJ and knowing he could fold as i was representing a bigger K or even trips. I knew my aggression would get caught out eventually but he did admit he was close to folding. Was still left with 1k in chips and lost a 2500 pot a few hands later 9,10 vs AJ (and another guy folded AK the same hand blocking some of the AJ).

At the same time i had a £33 sixpac going and it was nice to win it on a classic free cards situation with a huge bet at the end to make the guy think i didnt have the king, see below.

Game #2230962183: Hold'em NL (100/200) - 2006/08/17 - 23:10:31 (UK)
Table "SixPak30 3272958 - 1" Seat 3 is the button.
Seat 3: Animal (3382 in chips)
Seat 6: steviemac (2618 in chips)
Animal: posts small blind 100
steviemac: posts big blind 200
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Animal [5c Kh]
Animal: calls 100
steviemac: raises to 400
Animal: calls 200
----- FLOP ----- [Tc 2d Qh]
steviemac: checks
Animal: bets 600
steviemac: calls 600
----- TURN ----- [Tc 2d Qh][Ad]
steviemac: checks
Animal: checks
----- RIVER ----- [Tc 2d Qh Ad][Jc]
steviemac: checks
Animal: bets 2382 and is all-in
steviemac: is all-in 1618
Returned uncalled bets 764 to Animal
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Animal: shows [5c Kh] (A Straight, Ace high)
steviemac: shows [Ts Qs] (Two Pairs, Queens and Tens, Ace high)
Animal collects 5236 from Main pot
----- SUMMARY -----
Total pot 5236 Main pot 5236 Rake 0
Board [Tc 2d Qh Ad Jc]
Seat 3: Animal (small blind) showed [5c Kh] and won (5236) with A Straight, Ace high
Seat 6: steviemac (big blind) showed [Ts Qs] and lost

That covers the entrance fee to the $109 and more anyway :))

Also played 2 x 6 player 2,4$ NL tables on the tribeca network for a few hours to see how bad they were. They were pretty much as expected and at the end i was another $200 up. The downside to this is no rakeback but i will try some others in the near future that i can get rakeback on. I think Full Tilt is next on the list once i bother to set up an account with rakeback.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Close But Disappointing

Jet lag is still nuts, slept from 4:30am - 8:30am and from 2:30pm - 7:30pm today LOL.

Anyway ive only played 2 multis and 1 stt, both multis great results but not great enough given the finishes.

A $22 CPC shootout with 32 players, went heads up with 3/1 advantage only to double the guy up K6 vs K7 with the 7 kicker counting after the chips went in on a king high flop. Then i got 77 and ran into his QQ when we were level in chips so i just got a return of $48 instead of going through to the $400 shootout final. The standard is terrible in these shootouts though, i must play as many as possible , on paper i think my $22 entry is worth 3 times that when i just sit down given the format and the standard.

I played the same $109 as last night and was very pleased with my play finishing 3rd/24 in the end for $525, i wont post the details but again my gambling around the bubble time and shorthanded paid off big time and i could have easily won the tournament again with a tiny bit more luck. Never mind i cant win them all :(( .

Other bonuses i have received today include a bottle of champagne and a seat in a 10 player stt (date to be confirmed) for a win only 6600 euros EPT package of winners choice from Littlewoods. Apparantly there was meant to be more hospitality at the WSOP but wired money never made it so this stt is a bonus for qualifiers instead. Personally i thought the hospitality was fine but what the heck i can wait for a freeroll 1/10 chance of an EPT package , the way im playing i hope its very soon as i would like to think im 1/5 not 1/10 to win it at the moment if the structure is kind.

I also have read that my 1% shared ownership horse "Laddies Poker" is to run for the first time in a maiden at Newmarket a week Friday. I was not overly impressed when i saw it at the stables a couple of months ago, i hope im proved wrong as im no horse racing expert. Either way it will be a laugh to watch it run , walk, hobble , fall over or whatever. :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back to Online Winning Ways

Thankfully my headache was gone when i woke up for the third time today having slept 3am - 7am, 10am - 1pm and 2:30pm - 6pm. This jet lag is weird when combined with a chest infection as i just sleep when i know i will get to sleep as i cant force myself to stay awake when i feel like crap lol.

Played omaha cash and made 2-300$ and cleared the mpp points so im registered for the $25k added this sunday now.

As my head was clear i decided to give a few tournaments a go, got nowhere in the £27 10k after a silly gamblers call near the start as i wanted to try and get a stack early. Played a couple of $22 CPC shootouts which are of a very poor standard, the second one had value and i got to last 3 with winner only getting to the $400 shootout final before i lost AJstd vs AQoff (4 handed) and 66 vs AQoff to have gone heads up with equal chips, i had to take a coinflip as i was card dead for most of the six player final anyway.

Last tournament i entered was a 27 player $109 game and i won that , dare i say with ease once it went shorthanded, for $1470. It paid to be ultra agressive short handed as i got a big stack and then was able to dominate the table, it was a big bouns when the tighter player knocked out 3rd place and with a 2/1 chiplead at the start of heads up i knew i would be fine unless i did something silly. 5 minutes later i had 44k vs 10k and got the guy allin preflop AQ vs A9std which held up nicely for me despite a scary flush draw for him on the flop !

The shorthanded bit has taken it out of me a bit so i guess i had better switch off early tonight.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Return

Not too much poker to mention im afraid.

The journey back was pretty much as anticipated, from leaving my hotel room to getting home was just under 34.5 hours. It didnt help that the bug i picked up moved into my chest and i now have one hellish deep chesty cough.

Im unsure whether i have jetlag or if im just ill but im just sleeping whenever i can at the moment. Since i got back at 5:30am yesterday i slept from 6:30am-2:30pm, 3pm - 5:5:30pm and 12:30am to 2:45am. I have now been online for 2.5 hours (its 5:15am BST) playing a tiny bit of low stakes omaha cash (its easy on my brain). I will almost certainly try to clear 500mpp points on cryptologic so i can enter the next $25k added tournament next sunday. Apart from that i have zero poker targets for the next few weeks and will play mainly for enjoyment rather than worrying too much about the money.

One more point about the WSOP ive only found out now was that i busted Isabelle Mercier with that AJ vs AK hand (see "Animal Instincts" post). Im surprised i didnt recognise her as i watched her play a fair bit in Deauville but apparently she changes her image often, she was hiding under a cap to be fair. I remember the guy next to me commenting when i said how bad she was playing after i had busted her that she was a famous pro, as far as i was concerned she was one of the worst players at the table by image. She was between 3-6k the whole time i was there and even limped in one pot for 500 and folded to a raise. Basically i had been at this table for about 3 hours and she had played 2 or 3 hands maximum (including the limp) off her blinds and was certainly not gambling like a short stack should be in my opinion.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Shit Happens

The last 2 or 3 days have been ok at best, 15 nights in Las Vegas is too long for me. When i came the only other time i had 9 or 10 nights and that was optimum. How anyone would want to play as many WSOP events as possible and stay here for 6 weeks is beyond me. I certainly was ready to go a few days ago and hearing the news in England i just wish i was already back in Cornwall.

Thankfully i do leave at 4pm tommorrow and am looking forward to it despite the maybe slightly more tense flight home and the possible delays. I actually have managed to catch a sore throat and chesty cough now so the journey home will be testing to say the least.

Right i guess its time to pack , over and out.

Monday, August 07, 2006

WSOP Summary

Now ive had a chance to chill after my main event i can now review the tournament as a whole.

I am very pleased with my play and know i could have easily gone further with a little bit more luck.

The allin i made on day 1 with QhJh (see previous posts) on the turn to push a guy off a better hand and the call i made on day 3 for all my tournament chips on the flop with AK were without doubt the 2 best plays in live poker ive made to date. Both hands were key to increasing my stack size significantly enabling me more freedom to play more hands without worrying as much about my cards. Also the AK i re-re-raised with on day 2 gave me a nice few chips when i pushed a tight player off AK before the flop towards the end of the days play.

I dont think ive mentioned that on day 3 i didnt hit a single flop with maybe 5 pocket pairs as well as a few ace-x and other hands. Mind you saying that i did hit an above average number of flops on day 2 on my second table. I am also pleased to confirm i did not get AA at all in the tournament and only had KK once. This doesnt bother me because i only had JJ or less in St Kitts and in live poker you simply dont have to have good cards to get deep into a tournament if you are playing well. It helps if you can hit flops or straight draws when you are priced in which i know my luck ran ok on.

I think it is very important in deep stack live poker that you get involved in a lot of hands in the early levels, unfortunately i maybe should have been in a few more flops on level 1 but i soon relaxed and took many more flops in level 2 and tried to be the raiser where possible and not the caller , although if you are the caller it helps to have position.

I also realise that it helps to get more chips as soon as possible in the early levels so that the option to bully the tighter stacks and get a strong table image is available without risking too many chips. It really helps to watch as much play as possible at a table and label players so you know what type of player they are. Its also nice if you can pick up some tells which i know i did well on some tables guessing what players were holding when they are in a pot and using that information for later if possible. I play better when im relaxed and comfortable at a table and sometimes a few friendly words to the guy next to you can mean he goes a lot easier on you in blind battles. Its true, honest ! although i use the reverse to make them fold as how i could i betting without the goods if im so nice in between hands.

Ive learnt a lot more about live poker from this tournament and the most important thing is to trust your instincts and feel for a hand removing your cards from your head and putting yourself in your opponents shoes to get an idea what they could be holding. I certainly used my instincts a lot more in this tournament than ive done in any other live one before.

In summary, ive played very well, learnt enough to take my poker to a higher level and cashed for a nice healthy $20,617. Job well done and i now have 4 days left to holiday in Las Vegas , BONUS.

Endnote: I didnt mention that i spoke to Steve Davis again in losers corner waiting for payout as he finished 2 places higher than me in 579th , although the pot he lost on was only half the size of mine :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

End of the Road

I now know what people mean when they say its one of the most lowest points in poker when you bust out of the main event of the WSOP.

I finished 581st for $20617 (my 3rd biggest poker win). That pretty much doubles my profit for the year so far yet i am gutted and pissed off, what a strange game poker is on your emotions.

Exit hand was calling an allin with AKstd hoping to see AQ or AKoff only to face the coinflip of 88 and a queen high board sealed my fate. The pot was to go back to average chips with the chance to get right back into the game and go deep and i was happy to take the gamble at the time.

I had nursed a 40-60k stack after the dinner break well picking the spots for my allins and not being called once, i lost count of the number of times i moved allin uncalled.

Before dinner i had started on 81k and had tried to make a move reraising a raiser to 14k with 82off but he had a hand and went allin so my first play of the day was 14k down the drain.

I then made what was to be my best call of the tournament. At blinds of 800,1600 i made it 5000 to go from 2nd position with AKoff and the BB called. Flop was 9s10s10h and i bet 10k in position only to get check raised allin. I went into the think tank for 1-2minutes but was convinced my AK was ahead and at best this guy was on a straight or flush draw. I finally called my last 50k for him to turn over Ad7d and i was delighted , even more so when a king hit the turn to seal the 130k pot.

I proceeded to call off a few too many chips after that missing flops with 4 small pocket pairs and losing another 15-20k on a button vs my BB battle where i knew i was ahead on a flop of KJrag with A9 only for a 9 to hit the turn and give the buttons Q10 a monster hand which i paid small bets off to see.

I folded 2 key hands on the bubble time to guarantee the money, A7std in the bb when the sb had raised. Also 1010 on the button when a tight player had raised. ( no £8000ish bubble and both of these were standard all in moves) Turns out sb had A9 and prob would have called and tight raiser had 99 and prob would have folded, both interesting situations but with over 40k left i knew with my fearless allins after the bubble i could easily get back in as i proved in the end anyway.

Ive learnt a lot more about live play and cashed in another multi so its a good result overall. Hopefully i can get over the exit in the next 24 hours and try to enjoy the 5-6days left as a holiday now.

CASH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its official you heard it here first, Animal cashes in the WSOP at his first attempt. Thats 2/3 live multi big events that ive cashed in setting my standard at a high level for future ones !!!

Its actually the dinner break now and im nursing a 50k low stack, average is well over 100k now. There are less than 740 left at this time and im guaranteed a $16,493 payout minimum . Its actually easy poker at the moment because the allin is almost my only move with 6.5k in the middle in blinds and antes every hand. I will not blind out its not in my nature and am enjoying the freeroll factor to sustain the stack before doubling or busting.

Hands details will follow later, if i survive to day 4 its a huge bonus, pokergods be kind. We play down to 600 tonight so potentially play could finish at a reasonable hour if i last.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mental Preparation (Part 3)

Again ive just spent the day chilling out in the room or by the pool. Ive just got back from the Venetian which seems like a nice casino where i left the others playing a $200 tournament. Had a nice expensive italian meal there to treat myself of fresh seafood ravioli and grilled vegetables. Every mouthful was fantastic , i must eat out at these places more often !

Key hands on day 2 were as follows:

3 or 4 hands in i raise the 600 bb from late middle position with JJ to 2000. Button who has more than my 42k reraises to 6k. Whilst im deciding what to do the BB has moved 10k allin. I pass and the button calls with 1010 only to get beat by the BBs AA. Thank you button reraiser for saving me 8k more, a lucky escape methinks.

Got moved to another table soon after and easily had my best table of the tournament so far. Key hand that spurred me on was JJ utg which i flat called 600 with. Several callers then the BB moves allin for 12k , i know from earlier play that the only hand he can have me beaten with is QQ although obviously he can have 2 overcards. I go allin 40k to shut the others out and he shows 99. I hold up and im up to about 55k.

There are no real key hands after that as such, i played flops, players and position and also got some easy reads on a few players at the table. I steadily climbed to 106k without any more preflop allins then the worst thing happened. I moved table with 2 hours left to play and instead of being joint chip leader my stack was dominated by 2 or 3 other stacks at the table as well as there being no real short stacks below 40k. Without going into detail i missed a couple of flops and got raised (and shown when i folded) and i also got reraised by AK when i had raised with Q10off to take a weak flat callers chips. The hole cards at this table were huge and some big pots were exchanged by most at the table. Anyway as ive said before im on 81,800 chips when play resumes. I have no real strategy at this point, its easy to think i want to survive the bubble for the £8500ish for 873rd or above but i know once im at the table i probably will want to be agressive around the bubble as its in my nature and i certainly wont be afraid to stick all my chips in if i think i sense weakness from another player. To put it into context i need 83rd or above to beat my biggest poker win to date so ill certainly be thinking about that target more than the bubble tommorrow so that i remain positive and agressive, not timid and passive.

Pokergods please be kind to me :)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

End of Day 2B

81,800 chips left .....average is probably about 75,000 but i have a nasty table stackwise when i return on Friday. Only 3 stacks lower than me and lowest has over 30k.

Pleased to have made day 3 with above average chips but very pissed off about losing about 25k on the table i got moved to with 2 hours of the day left, jesus there were some big hands on that table and was a complete contrast to the best table ive had in the event before i moved.

More detail to follow tomorrow i guess but ive had 4 cans of beer since i got back to the room less than an hour ago so i cant be assed with detail.

Think there is under 1200 players left and payout is to 873 so about 300 will need to drop before i get any money and knowing my aggressive i dont give a shit about the bubble style i could be one of them. Day 3 could be interesting to say the least !!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mental Preparation (Part 2)

Im pleased to say i've recovered fully from Day 1A and i actually feel fresher this morning than i did on Day 1A. Basically just slept and chilled out yesterday and i feel ready for the onslaught.

Its just over 3.5 hours before play resumes, i know stackwise i have a good table as we had to move to our new drawn table with our bagged up chips before we left the room on Day 1A. It didnt appear there are many if any much above my stack which would be nice because the table i finished on had 2 x 80k stacks as well as 3 or 4 others on 25k + . Saying that im on table 160 and if i last it will break into other tables within a few hours.

Strategy is pretty much as follows, use the first 30 mins to an hour to watch the table trying not to do anything silly but still looking for good opportunites to steal the blinds with position. After an hour or 2 , take a note of stack and the sort of cards im getting and decide whether to up a gear by making a few plays or not where possible. The one thing i dont wanna do is blind down without playing many hands now i have spare chips above the average stack i must use them to try and at least sustain my chip stack regardless of the cards im getting dealt.

Day 2A played yesterday and players dropped like flies so assuming we play the same number of levels (which i think is almost a dead cert for fairness) its a much shorter day (if i last the whole day :) ). There were only 570 left from the 1637 players that started yesterday. They only played 4.5 levels in the end so thats only 9 hours of poker compared to the 12 hours on Day 1A. Obviously that doesnt include breaks but if i last the whole day we should finish about midnight. I would expect the average stack at the end of play to be around 75000 so this is an obvious target i would like to exceed if i survive, as ive said all along making the following day is not a target for me, making the money with an above average stack and giving myself a chance to go deep into the money is.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Animal Instincts

OK i think i couldnt be much happier with my game overall for the day, key hands are as follows:

Had called off a bit of my stack (10,000 starting stack) down to almost 8000 when i got my first big flop (blinds 25,50)

Serial raiser in about 40% of hands made it 125 from mid position. SB (small blind) called and i called in the BB (big blind) with 7h5h.
Flop was 468 and i know raiser will keep betting if i call so it goes chk chk , he bets 300ish ,sb folds and i call. turn = Q (so i still have the nuts). Chk he bets 1000 and i raise to 3000ish hoping he has trips and doesnt put me on the straight. He folds and ive almost got back to my 10k starting stack.

My stack varied from 7500 to 10,000 in the first 2 levels and i got involved a bit more in the 2nd level playing some ace rags and KQs agressively by raising after there had been a caller(s) before me as most of the table were very tight. Didnt hit too many big flops at this stage , just enough to sustain me but i felt i played better in level 2 after settling down a bit.

I moved tables and tightened up at first to try and get a feel for what type of players were at the table. After just over an hours and only playing about 4-5hands i made whats probably my biggest and best live poker play to date.

It was the final hand before the dinner break (6 hours in) and this was even a factor in my play as i knew my opponent was good enough to think i wouldnt put my whole tournament on the line at this point.

blinds 100,200 ( I have 10-11k) and QhJh in the BB
Fairly agressive good player makes it 600 from early to middle position, easy player next to him calls and i call.
Flop is Kh8h-x (x means low meaningless card to u readers that havent seen that b4)
I bet 1200 into the 1900 pot. Raiser flat calls and other guy folds.
Turn is the Qs giving me 2nd pair and the flush draw. I check almost sure that this guy has the king and wanting a cheap card but i also wanted to see how much he bet with such a big drawing hand of mine.
He bets 3000 very quickly and i immediately think he only has the king , not trips or KQ and im confident i can push him off it as a check raise on the turn looks very strong to a good player after ive led out on the flop.
I count out 3000 and see how much i have left ( a further 6500-7000) then stack it up and push it in.
He goes into the think tank for over a minute before folding and showing me a king ( i did not show but commented "nice fold" ).

Boy was the adrenaline pumping after that hand and i now had 16k going into the dinner break on a table that wasnt too bad to play on as well, so was really looking forward to coming back.

After the break i hit some nice cards against 2 simple players to bust them (1 drawing dead on the turn when i moved all in, and the other drawing to only 2 outs on the turn also when the chips went in) and before i knew it i was up in the 30-34k stack range which i knew was double the average stack at the time.

I had my luckiest hand of the night beat wise when i raised in late position to 1100 (blinds 150,300) with AJoff and the table tight short stack lady (she had played 2 hands maybe in over 2 hours) flat called me leaving herself with only 2400 left, i immediately thought shit she probably has a small pocket pair and dont wanna risk whole stack on it and if she checks the flop im allin regardless on the board as the pot is 2800 (with antes as well). The flop is 2s3c3s which i know cant have helped her and she moves allin. I go into the think tank as im getting about 33% pot odds but im thinking im most likely between 25 and 33% favourite. After a couple of minutes im happy to gamble ,the chance she was on a flush draw with a hand like KsQs helping me to decide the marginal pot odds call in the end. Turned out it was a bad call as she held AcKc but i spiked a jack on the turn for the 8k pot. This was pretty much my only bad big decision of the day as far i was concerned and i know im due some luck after st kitts and deauville so it was nice to see it even out for once. Obviously my stack was biggish at this time so my tournament was not on the line as i would have had about 26k left if i had lost that hand but instead i was up to my peak of 34k.

We hit the last level of the day 200,400 (50 ante) and i was on my third table having moved before the hand i described above again. It was an ok table with a good selection of stack sizes to play against and i felt comfortable soon after sitting down as most of the table appeared passive as there was a table bully (who fortunately was about 4 seats to my left so we didnt clash too much) dominating most of them. Several busted and some big stacks got moved to the table so my plan to steal a lot in the last level was revised and i actually only got involved with fairly good cards when raising.

I managed to escape without too much damage against a couple of flopped trips against me.
As ive said before i like to gamble a bit with some bluffs at this stage when i have chips to spare and there are 2 key hands that pushed my stack up to the 42,450 i finished on. If i can play on instinct in a pot i will regardless of my cards.

Middle position makes it 1200 i call on the button with KdJd and the BB calls also. Flop is QdQx7x, i decide to represent the queen by flat calling the initial raisers continue bet and BB folds. Turn = 7d giving me the flush draw but also slowing up my bluff as a lot of people wouldnt bet here if they had the queen (i might btw depends on my mood ! and player against me) and it goes chk chk. River is the 10d giving me the flush and he chks so i know im good for the hand. Now because this isnt a bluff now i only bet 4k rather than the 8-10k i was gonna bet with the queen. He calls instantly and looks disgusted so obviously had a pocket pair, maybe even a big one !

Finally and by far the second best play i made of the day was an AK i had in 2nd position. i made it 1500 to go and the chap next to me instantly reraised me to 4k. i have had a few friendly discussions with this guy and he also made this move earlier with AK against the guy to my right who laid down JJ. I put him on AK or QQ but with only 30 minutes to go until the end of play im confident i can push him off his hand preflop. Key thing here is i think he would have took time with AA or KK to reraise. Out stacks before this hand are approximately 35k me and he has about 25k which is obviously key as well to my move. I take a reasonable time to try and make it look strong before making it 13500 in total to go knowing im committing to an allin if he moves on me but my bet looks huge as though im holding KK or AA (neither of which i had all day btw) . He doesnt take long and folds showing AK to the table, i show AK also and get quite a reaction from the table, SWEET. In excess of 40k after that and remained there.

Right i must go and eat as much carbohydrates as my body allows , it is so mentally exhausting playing and i want to be in good shape for tommorrow.

End of WSOP Day 1D

My Chip Count = 42,450. Average stack = approximately 25000.
Too tired for hand details, time for bed, will almost certainly post more detail tommorrow.
Day off tommorrow , play for me resumes on Wednesday.