Friday, September 30, 2005

Sept 30th - Pokerstars Blogger Championship

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 6303627

The biggest on-line poker news to come along in a while is happening at The online poker site is holding a free Online Poker Blogger Championship on October 23rd '05 at 4:00pm EST. The big news about this online freeroll No-limit Hold'em Championship Tournament is the prize structure. The winner will receive a $12,000 package to the 2006 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, a WPT sanctioned event. Now's your chance for a shot at poker stardom, all filmed for later TV broadcast and the best thing about winning this one is you are the latest WPT millionaire. Not a bad deal for a freeroll tournament. The entrants into the October online event are limited to active bloggers that have maintained a blog for at least sixty days. Complete details for this tournament are available at

So even if you don't win the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure you still have a chance at some nice stuff. Maybe one of the 24" Dell Flatpanel LCD Displays going to the next five finishers, or be one of the next ten finishers and get your own XBox 360. The next twenty players will receive one of the new 4 gig iPod nanos. If you're a blogger and want to play in an online freeroll Championship tournament with fellow bloggers for some nice prizes, then stop by

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sept 25th - $100+$9 No Limit Hold'Em - Celebpoker

To be fair here this was a good tournament. The blinds got a little crazy after about 3 hours but I was just glad to still be in the unning at this time. Antes ran at 12 minute levels and with a $50k guarantee in place it was never really in danger as 616 ponied up the $100 for a prize pool of over $61K.

Players from the UK were very much in short supply and the tournament was very 'Euro' dominated. Not that that made much difference to the play of course.

Celebpoker is one of the newer skins out there and the times I've played on there I've done okay. Tonight was to be no different. My big hands held up, as did most other players, although the usual K6 v AA would end in defeat for the AA with a K-K-x flop. Not my hand I hasten to add.

From a start point of 2500 I rivered a straight early on which took me up to 3900 points. My AA picked up another 2k, my KK the same and I was moving along nicely. One poor aspect of the tournament 'scoreboard' on Celebpoker was that it couln't keep up to well with the game and the number of players left in play wasn't represented correctly. I didn't realise this will the board showed as 114 players left whilst in reality there were only 81.

Sixty got paid and I squeaked into the money when my all-in bet (for 8k with QQ) went uncalled and with blinds at 1600/3200 this was a major help!

Blinds went up again...2k/4k. After the 4 hr break they were at 3k/6k and I really had only one move left...all-in!

I get 9-9 UTG and deposit my 14k in chips. Get called in THREE spots. Great if I connect...which I didn't as a player behind me slow played QQ and won the lot once the third Queen had appeared on the river!

I picked up $339 for 29th place whilst the winner went onto get $15k. One of these days!!

616 entries - 29th - Win $230 - Acc. Total +$2867

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sept 23rd - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

I've been doing quite well at the Fitzwilliam over my past few visits, card wise, and so I was hopeful of another final table appearence at least. It didn't work out that way though with me finishing about half way down the field.

I now don't join the game until 10-15 mins into it. This enables me to still pick up the extra 400 points that are given out for all players that are there before the end of level one and also enables me to play a bit more in the cash game which I'm now starting to play in before I get started in the tournament.

I had my rebuy fairly early with what seemed like a perfect flop that I couldn't get away from. Holding Ad-9d there was a smallish raise to 400 (antes were 50/100) which I duly called. The flop came 2d-3d-9s. I checked, the original raiser bet 500, I raised all-in and he called, as you would, with 10-10. No Ace, no nine and no diamonds appeared on the turn, or river, and I was shouting for the rebuy!

Steady as she goes was the order of the day then and I reached the break with 5k in chips.

For some reason or other there was not the usual rush of players exiting the game as is normally the case on a Friday night once the break is over. With blinds at 300/600 we still had some 50 players (out of 70 starters) left. My chips had whittles down to 4600 and I decided to make a stand with As-4s calling an all-in bet from the same player who'd had the 10's against me earlier.

He flipped 10-10 but as we all know in poker if you have an Ace then you have a chance and once the flop had come A-A-8 I was back in business.

Lost 4k in a tussle with a young player before he went all-in and I passed before the fateful hand of the night!

Holding K-J, in EP, I raised to 1500. A player, two spots further over, reraised to 3500 and it was passed back to me! With only 4k left I pretty much knew that I was committed to the pot so I pushed all-in ain the hope he might fold. He didn't and flipped Q-Q.

Although a Jack appeared on the flop I wasn't to improve and that was that!

70 Entries - 34th - Win $0 - Lost $132 (€110) - Acc. Total + $2637

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sept 21st - £20 NL Hold'Em - Cavendish Club (Belfast)

With the riots all quiet now on the streets of Belfast I decided it would be okay to go upto the Cavendish club once more in order to play poker. One thing you have to realise about being here in N.I is that in certain areas of Belfast there are big NO-GO areas and for the past week or so various rioters have made the lives of people living here a bit of a nightmare!!


With the rebuys flowing freely in the weekly £20 game I didn't even get to the break! My 6 rebuy 'tank' disappeared in a matter of 90 mins and the cards failed to co-operate in any shape or form whatsover. My A-K was beaten up by J-J. My flushes failed to get there and where I did hit the straight my opponent made a full house with 6-4!! Yes folks it was one of those nights as far as the poker went in 'live' play!

Back home I joined in the 11.30pm GMT $5 rebuy event on Pokerstars. At the break I'd had no rebuy's and 32k in chips. I eventually finished 43rd for a $60 payday and a $50 profit. Just a bugger it was 4am before I got to bed!!

40 Entries - 35th - Win $0 - Lost $252 (£140) - Acc. Total +$2679.64

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sept 16th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em (Fitzwilliam)

'No Deals', said Jimmy the China man as we got down to the last 4 players in tonights €50 NL Hold'Em event at the Fitz. Sixty eight runners for a prize pool of around 6k meant that, as it stood, 4th place got €400, 3rd got €750, 2nd got €1100 and the winner got €2200. The thing was though that we all had similar stacks. Oh well!

You may remember in my last blogs on playing at the Fitz I've been harping on about the lack of luck I'd been getting when holding Jacks. Well tonight was an entirely different story. I got them SIX times during the course of the evening and they stood up EVERY time! The biggest pot I won when two desperados had gone all-in with A-4 & Q-5. I called them with JJ and took them both down!

Infact tonight was another one of those nights when things fell into place very nicely indeed. For the first hour I took down several pots with no need to show my hands and with the add-on at the break (compulsary) I had 9k in chips with which to begin the 2nd half.

To be honest I can't remember that many great hands. I simply played my cards, avoided any 'all-in' confrontations and got to the final table with around 40k in chips which was just above average!

With the short stacks gambling and gtting nowhere we got down to 4. By chipping away at the smaller stacks I'd accumulated another 30k in chips and with antes at 3k/6k there was always going to be a time when I had to go all-in against another big chipper!

The small stack, with 4 of us left, attempted an all-in with KQ, got called by an A-10 and with the Ace holding up we were down to three. Still no deals! Then came a big hand.

I held Kd-10d and, with antes now at 4k/8k I raised to 30k. The player to my immediate left with just a few chips less than myself flat called. A flop of A-J-6 fell and I pondered my options.

With now around 70k in the middle I couldn't just check and then have to probably pass after my opponent migt bet. I took the bull by the horns and went all-in. 'Call', said my foe and flipped over A-5. Oh well...all I needed was a Queen! PLOP...a Queen fell on the turn and I was now big chip leader with two of us left!

'Look Jimmy', I said, 'I'll give you €1500 to go away now!'. 'No deals...lets play', replied Jimmy and on we went.

With a 180k - 140k chip lead I was hoping to pick him off in one blow. I chipped away and got it to a 220k - 100k lead when the following hand came up...

I'm dealt A-9. At heads up stage an Ace in your hand is gold so I immediately went all-in. Jimmy looked at his cards, smiled, and said 'call'. He flipped K-K. Ane Ace on the flop looked to have made me the winner. A three on the turn and I was shaking his hand. A KING on the river and he announced that I was congratulating him on a fine play! Feck!!

With antes now at 10k/20k I couldn't hang around. The 7h-5h looked good so I went all-in. Jimmy called with K-9. A flop of 5-6-7 looked to have won it for me. The turn was a Jack the river (gulp) another 7 (well it looked like an 8 for a second) so my full house got my chip lead back and Jimmy was on the ropes.

Next hand I'm dealt A-3. All-in time. Jimmy calls with K-10 and its all-over when an Ace falls on the flop. My 2nd outright victory at the Fitz in less than 3 weeks. My third final table out of my last 4 events there! €3500 in prize money!

Perhaps now I've learnt how to play the game....?????

68 Entries - 1st - Win $2508 (€2090) - Acc. Total +$2931.64

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pokerstars Madness

In Tuesday nights $10+$1 10pm R+A tournament on PokerStars we'd all been playing for 3 hours and 15 minures. Blinds were 1k/2k and I had 89k in chips.

For a short time now Stars have added an extra 'middle' ante level where instead of ante's bounding upto 1k/2k from 600/1200 they now go 600/1200 - 800/1600 - 1k/2k. Because of the amount of chips in play antes progress at the top end as well from 20k/40 to 30k/60k and then finally to 40k/80k. Anyway the point is that it now takes around 3.5 hours to get to the money, in these events, instead of the 3 hours it USED to take. In a moment you'll see why I've bothered to explain all this!!

There are 100 players left and 63 get into the dough. I get Ah Qh on the button and its an easy call for me when some player goes all-in for 25k. He flips 10-10 and I don't get there. I'm down to 64k and still looking good for the money.

There are 79 players left and I get AK in MP. The player, to my immediate right, goes all-in for 40k. I make the call and the bloke is at it with A-7. Pokerstars comes to his rescue, of course, when the flop comes 4-5-6-Q-8 giving him a straight! Oh really!

So now I'm down to 16k. The button is on me and antes are now 1.5k/3k. There are 73 players left. A player from across the table goes all-in for 5k. I have Ad 6d and fancy my chances of grabbing his 5k so I flat call as I didn't want to commit all of my chips just in case some lucky git behind me went all-in. I'd have passed if that was the case!

Unluckily for me the SB decided that it was too good a chance to miss and stuck in the remaining 3.5k to call. The BB also called for 2k extra.

Flop was 4-5-6. I had top pair top kicker and once it had been checked around to me I went all-in for my last 11k. The SB called. The BB passed. So its me versus the SB. He flips 7s 6d! WHAT!! So we all knows what happens...the turn is a KING...the river an EIGHT giving Mr 7-6 a straight. The all-iner had A-9! I was out in 73rd spot with 90k of chips gone inside 20 hands.

When Pokerstars don't want you to win you ain't gonna...its that simple!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Memories - Pt 1

Its quite easy to forget that it was only a few short years ago that the biggest 'live tournament' I played in would have been the UK Championship £200 FREEZEOUT event held at Birminghams gasometer of a casino the Rainbow!

By squeezing 12 to a table and having players sit on anything they could find the club managed to get 140 players into what essentially was someones front room and parlour.

In those days of course, and I'm only talking 2001 here folks, the bi-annual events held at the club were what everyone who played poker at that time looked forward to more than any other UK poker event on the calendar.

Hotel rooms around the club would be booked up solid for the duration and anyone who was anyone on the UK poker scene would attend.

I tended to restrict myself to the £100 Pot Limit Hold'Em, the £100 (rebuy) Omaha and the main event itself. These would generally be held on the Thursday, Friday & Saturday of the weeks festivities.

In April 2001 I entered the £100 Omaha event with no more expectation of winning than a fox has of getting across the M6 motorway in twilight! After 3 rebuys I was at the end of my tank and had to borrow another buy-in from Tony C, now part owner of a poker club in Surrey England ( but then just a carpet shop owner!

Remarkably I went onto win the event and £10,000 to boot. With 4 of us left at the table I got Aces, got all my chips in the pot, and knocked out a player. With 3 of us left I got Aces and knocked out another player. There was me & Dave Colclough left standing.

Bugger me...I got Aces again. Again all the chips went in and again they held up giving me the first prize! I've never again been that lucky!

As most clubs did in the early years of this millenium the Rainbow gave up playing cards and put in slotties. Bad move on their part but the Rainbow will always hold a special place in my heart!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sept 9th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

The jolly Jacks got in the way again of my progression in tonights €50 No Limit game at the Fitz. I finished 27th out of 70 starters and was aggrieved that, once again, some do-do decided that his A-4 was good to go. Arggggh!

It had all started so well. Five hands in and I get AA. With blinds at 25/50 I raised to 400 and got one caller, Vernon, who'll call just about anything early in the game. The flop came 10-5-2, I stuck in a 1200 bet and he passed.

A few hands later and I get KK. Again I raise to 400 and again Uncle Vernon calls. The flop comes Q-9-8 and I bet 1200 again. This time Vernon goes all-in behind me. I, of course, call and Vernon shows J-9. A miracle 10 appears on the turn and I've lost a good chunk of change!

My fortunes fluctuated from then on and I never really got going. At the break, and with the buy-in, I'd managed to creep up to 6k in points. After the break though I just couldn't catch any cards but instead of my normal gung-ho attitude in losing all my chips to the dumbest hand I could find I was content, for a while, to be anted away.

With blinds at 300/600 I managed to double through with 9-10 versus A-8 when a 9 fell on the flop. With blinds at 400/800 and with only 3600 left I was looking to push and, in EP, I looked down to see JJ.

No waiting as I went all-in. In a way I always hoped that someone WILL call as I did need to double up and with 1200 in blinds + the 3600 someone would have to call me with it meant that I'd have 8400 if successful. Someone DID call!

He flipped the Ad-4d. With BOTH an Ace AND a Four on the flop I was drawing pretty thin and that was that really.

Those Jacks though are a pain in the arse!!

70 Entries - 27th - Win $0 Loss $198 (€120) - Acc. Total +423.64

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sept 7th - Generic Thoughts

After spending a couple of weeks away from live play I'm now back at work and ready to go! Problem is that I'm currently working in Lisburn N.I and if you think I, as a brit, am going anywhere near Belfast City Centre on a night when the England football team are playing up the road then you're very much mistaken so I'll have to wait till Friday and the Fitz for my next live game!

On the 'online' front I've been pottering away on the $5/$10/$20 Pokerstars tournies with a little success. On Monday night I turned $5 into $117 by finishing 5th in a Omaha H/L game and last night I doubled my $62 entry fees by finishing 35th in the $20 NL Hold'Em rebuy tourny.

Other than that its been very quiet on my own 'play' front!

I've been catching up on players blogs. Its always interesting to read how player A pissed away £18k in one week while attempting to play in 5 'big money' UK events whilst player B flies half way around the world to do the same thing!

Are these guys on crack?

Admittedly to be a professional these days you need a bankroll the size of Sudans economy to partake what with WSOP this and WPT that but its all getting a bit silly. Ten years ago the biggest tournament would be a £1k buy-in and would happen once a year in London. Now even the remotest parts of the UK are running £5k events like they were going out of fashion. Well guess what...they are!