Monday, October 31, 2005

Oct 28th - €350+€35 No Limit Hold'Em - Citywest Hotel (Dublin)

I'd been looking forward to tonight for a good while now as I feel my 'live' play has improved tremendously over the past few months and with 8000 points to start with and a proper 45 min clock then I felt as though I had a strong chance of, at least, making day 2.

With no rush to do anything drastic I decided just to play the strong hands and hopefully things would take care of themselves. So 1 hour later I had only 3500 left!! A few hands in and I get JJ. I raise to 250 and get one caller. Flop is K-T-6. My opponent, who is first to act, do I. The turn card is a 4. My opponent bets 500. I call. River card is another blank. My opponent bets 1500. I can't put him on a King so I call. He flips A-A and I'm down 2.5k already!

I then get Kd Qd and again raise to 250. This time two callers. Flop is Q-T-3 no diamonds. There's a bet of 500. I call. Turn card is another TEN! There's a bet of 2000 and I give it up!! Doh!!!

I then look down at A-Q and decide its gamble time so all-in. I get one caller with Q-J and I escape back up to 7.5k. I get KINGS and make a reraise pre-flop to 1500. All pass. I get A-A and, again, reraise a pre-flop raiser to 1500. This time I get a caller. Flop is K-J-T. My opponent checks, I bet 2500. He calls. Turn is a 3. My opponent checks...I bet 10k and he gives it up. Things are going my way!!

At the dinner break I'm upto 16k.

It was a long night. We'd started at 7pm and by 3.30am I had 35k in chips and there were 30 players left from a start number of 160. We were playing down to 20. I felt good!

What I wasn't prepared for though was an absolute session or two of dead card holdings. Seven-7, 8-3, 9-5, J-3. Multiply all this by 10 and for the next two hours I played about 4 hands. The blinds were getting bad, for me, and I couldn't find a hand to launch with to try and double up!

With 12k left and 21 people left and blinds 1 minute away from 3000/6000 I knew I had to make a stand. I was three hands away from a forced all-in so once the field had passed to me, on the button, I took Jc-5c all-in!

Now winning this hand would mean that I could struggle on for another 20 hands or so. All passed to the BB who, with 140k, in front of him called without looking at his cards and flipped 10d-5d. I was a BIG favourite!

The flop came Kc-10c-3h. I needed help! Turn - 8s. I needed help. River - 4d. Boom...I was out on the bubble at 5.50am with nothing to show for the past 10 hours of play!

Its a tough old life!

160 entries - 21st - Loss $462 (€385) - Acc. Total - +$2264

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oct 26th - £20 NL Hold'Em - Cavendish Club (Belfast)

Back to some 'live' play tonight and it was a virtual warm up for Friday Nights big €350 event to be held in Dublin.

With 2 hours of rebuys and a starting stack of 1500 its quite difficult to get through this period WITHOUT having to stick your hand in your pocket and pull up! Of course some people here on Wed nights see it as a divine right that any 2 cards can win and therefore take every opportunity to put you to the test whenever they get the vibe that a holding of 2-3 is worth a £20 gamble!

Tonight I avoided all these temptations and so sat and patiently waited for cards.

The aim is to really have around 10k in chips at the break. I got lucky on two occasions. First my AQ beat up a pair of 9's and secondly my QJs beat up A-K on a flop of J-4-4. Man holding A-K wouldn't let it go so at the break I have 20k in chips.

A top up is mandatory here as for only £20 more we all got an extra 5k in chips so at the start of the 'business side' to the night I have 25k to play with.

Blinds rise rapidly from then on, every 15 mins, and before you know where you are its 1k-2k already. I was pretty much stationary and circled around the 30k mark for a good while.

The highlight of the night for me was undoubtedly my first ever 'Royal Flush'. Holding Qd Qs I raised the blinds to 5k and got an 'all-in' from the bloke next to me holding 5d-5c. The flop came Ad-10d-5h. Just as I was thinking that that was me done for the hand the turn card came the Kd and the river card the Jd giving me the Royal and a big smile!

Duh table. Ten cash prizes ranging from £100 upto £1000 but once you got byond 3rd place the increments in prize money were negligible. One other problem though was the blinds...5k-10k and I had only 35k in chips.

One player gets busted with 88 v A5. An Ace hit! Then its my turn!!!

I get 4-4 in MP and its a pretty much all-in bet regardless. I get called, after a long dwell, by player close to the button with 8-8. Oh well!

I make a £70 profit as 8th place paid £110 and it was a good workout for Friday night...where the REAL money is!!

45 entries - 8th - Win $126 (£70) - Acc. Total - +$2726

Monday, October 24, 2005

Oct 23rd - Bloggers Championship (Pokerstars)

Since having a punt on Willy Hills a couple of weeks back I've been resting my wallet (as it needed one) but tonight was one event I'd been looking forward too since it was announced earlier this month.

The first BLOGGERS championship took place on Pokerstars with 100 people getting something, out of 1472 starters.

For the first hour it was just a case of working my way up the $ ladder. We all started with 2000 points and with the number of no shows approaching the 20% mark it meant that our table was pretty much short handed for the first 90 mins of play.

So...after hour 1 I'd weedled my way upto $4k in chips with no all-ins and no drama. Of course there always comes a time when you're faced with the 50/50 'all-in' fests and hour 2 provided two such incidents.

I'd got upto 6k in chips when I'm dealt A-K in mid position and, with blinds at 150/300, I raise to 1200. The button, with 4k in chips, goes all in and I call to see him with Qd-10d.

The flop of J-K-6 puts me in the lead but, as usual, a gut wrenching Ace falls on the turn to make Mr underdogs straight and me down to 2K.

I get aggressive then and move my chips upto 4k again before I get 10-10. A player goes all-in for 6k, I call, he has A-K but this time I avoid bother and now I'm upto 8k and okay again for now!

Hour 3 begins and we're down to approx 240 players. I get A-Q in EP and raise to 1200. Player with 5-5 goes all-in for 2k. No help for me and I'm back to 6k again.

One round later and I AGAIN get A-Q in EP. Again I raise to 1200 and again I'm raised, this time all-in, by the player immediately to my left. With 4800 left I fire I'm once again up against a small-mid pair and so I call hoping to get lucky. He flips A-K and when a KING falls on the flop I'm out in 228th place!

Well it was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Oct 12th - William Hills

Playing on Willy Hills for the 1st time last night I noticed that they have a 'voice' which says...'Dealing the Flop', 'Dealing the Turn', 'Dealing the River'.

There are endless hours of fun to be had to replace these files with things like...

'Time for the flop you muva fukkers'
'Here's the turn card you tarts'
'The rivers where its at bozos'

Finally, as you show the winning hand, you could have one that says...'Read'Em & weep aresholes!'.

Anyway...back to the poker.

I decided to try a brand new site tonight so I rustled up a rake back agreement from good old Steve Vladar and downloaded the software.

With more and more players entering the $10+$1 NL Hold'Em game on Stars (817 last night) its getting harder and harder to do anything worthwhile there so with less competition I thought I'd give Willys a whirl!

Deposited £100 and registerd for three tournaments (£15k guarantee - £50+£5, £10k guarantee - £25+£2.50 & a £10+£1) All were no limit Hold'Em.

Only 237 runners for the £15k game meant a nice overlay for us that played (mind you it was international footy night so half the world could have been watching the World Cup on TV). I finished 53rd (30 paid) after being caught out on the BB. I held 3h 9h and a flop of Ks 10h 6h I bet 600 of my stack only to get immediately reraised to 1200 by my only opponent from across the table. I had to fold or go for it! I went for it and lost. Booooo!

In the £25 game I finished 77th out of 336. (40 paid) My all-in bet with Ah 3h got called in two spots by AQ & AK. The AQ held out!

Finally in the £10 game I held 6s 7s and with a flop of 5s 8s 8d I was going nowhere. Mind you...neither was the guy with JJ who caught a third Jack on the turn and so that was that.

The software was clean and the action was good. I'll be back...after all I've got a 20% rakeback to claim!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sandpit Closed...Oh Really!

You know it saddens me!

I trecked back to the forum from where I was booted off the other day to see if I could make some sense of my ban. What I found were the gushings of an old bloke who's clearly in love with himself attempting to lay the law down as best he could!

Ramblings such as "This is MY Forum. I will run it howsoever I wish. I do NOT need anyone's permission to do anything. I will explain, in great detail, what I feel I want to explain, but I'll do what i want" & "You gonna give me the "this is a democracy" stuff, "what about free speech?". Don't bother, 'cos I ain't listening." only serves to emphasis what I'd thought anyway and that was that the sign DEBATE NOT ALLOWED shines brightly in his own world!

He went onto say..."Those who are not happy with this can leave. Now. There will be no argument on the matter. I will ban as many as I need to. Don't give me "you can't do that?" because I can, & I will. Twist those words all you like, but the good guys know EXACTLY what I mean, & have learned by now that xxxxx has never crossed anyone in his life without good reason".

Hmm...really Mr K! You see this argument all falls down by the seat of its arse once we realise that the 'troublemakers' still exist on the forum in question! One northern bloke who obviously thinks its cool to go in for 'VOTING' practices, had the nerve to put up a poll, after I'd been a member there for a few days, asking everyone to vote whether or not I should be allowed on the forum. Who the FUCK did he think he was..the Prime Minister? Lets have an election...well kinda sorta!

Did I every receive an no! Did I ever have Mr K PM me to say it wouldn't happen no! You see he likes these kind of members to partake on his swings & roundabouts.

Other 'so called members' joined in the attack. Hmmm! Free speech is okay just as long as Mr K doesn't have it to deal with it himself!

Later in the thread he goes onto say...'The banned member has now attacked us, &, in the main, me, on his own blog, & his message is clear "I aint done with you yet". Well, at least his agenda is now clear. My advice to you guys is not to respond, or get involved, no useful purpose will be achieved'. Au Contrau Mr K...lets debate these issues! No...actually lets not!

You see readers...its okay for the big scary man with the keys to the playground to attempt to keep out the 'ruff-uns'. Unfortunately for Mr K and his team of Mod-Police who kiss arse so much they've all got chapped lips he can't prevent my own little space in the world from saying what I THINK!

I have great respect for the owner of the site who's forum all this has come about on. Unfortunatly the forum operator is so out of touch with the real world its unreal...

Oct 7th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

All the talk down the Fitz at the moment is about qualifying for the EPT event (€4000 buy-in) which takes place at the Merrion Casino, just around the corner later this month. This event has been on the agenda for the best part of 9 months so it must have come as a bit of a shock to the organisors to find that their preferred venue for this event (big hotel on Dublins West Side) was 'double booked' and so this particular EPT event will now be held in the confines of a few large bedrooms in Dublin city centre.

For those of you having been to the Merrion you'll know its a 3 story Edwardian building built early in the 1900's. Of course around that time these were purpose built town houses which, as time moved on, got sold and the majority are now offices. Space is at somwhat a premium and I'm told that out of the 150 places available for this event almost 30% has been reserved for 'on-line' poker room winners. A sell out is assured!!

Meanwhile back at the grass roots level of the game tonights €50 NL event was somewhat of a washout for me personally. Again I finished around mid point but was more lucky than skilled in doing so.

When the push came to shove my Ad 10d was no match for somebody elses A-Q and my poor attempt to double through with the 6h-3h fell flat on its arse!

74 Entries - 38th - Loss $132 (€110) - Acc. Total - +$2600

Friday, October 07, 2005

Free Speech & Opinions - Thank God For Blogs

This week I was banned from a poker forum!

The whys & wherefores are plain to see in that this particular forum didn't like opinions that went outside its remit which was to provide for fluffy talk on a variey of subjects where threads would last forever with the under-18 moderators all sucking upto one another and its friends.

God help you if you disagreed with a posting or had the audacity to question the original poster. No sireee. It wouldn't be long before the 'mod' police were onto you with its usual 'Ello...Ello...Ello..what have we here' attitude.

One recent poster had someone with the begging bowl out for wanting to be backed at a soon to be held poker festival. Me, and one or two others, objected to the post as we felt that it had no place on the forum. Turns out the person concerned was 'good friends' with one of the 'mods' and the post was allowed to stand but uh came the 'mod cops...nee naw...nee naw...nee naw' questioning our rights to question THIER forum postings.

I then put up a post asking that the moderators put up rules regarding the behaviour of posters. This was terminated by the high command of the forum on the basis that 'all this misbehaviour' was bad for the forum.

And so it came to pass...I was banned. The first post I posted on this particular forum asked if anyone would like to receive a free book on poker. I was immediately attacked as being 'up to no good'.

Its a very sad state of affairs when people who have their own playground take the keys from you and then stomp their feet and throw all the toys out of the pram when they lose an argument.

I won't name the sad little people that did this cos I ain't finished with them yet and as I said in my title...thank god for Blogs!!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sept 30th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Of course in any game of poker there are a million ways to lose and just a few to win. Choose the wrong path and its over...just like that. My demise tonight came abut through of those rare occurences than afflict us all from time to time...euphoria!

Having just doubled my chip stack from 6k to 12k I looked down to see an even BETTER hand than the one I'd just doubled through with. I went all-in, got called that was that really!

Earlier on I'd used my rebuy option when holding a pair of 6's. A flat call from a small raise and a flop of 3-4-5 meant that my money was all-in. My opponent held a pair of Kings so he wasn't going anywhere. I didn't improve so it was rebuy time!

With a 3k rebuy and antes still low I piced my way through the field. Seventy runners started and we were down to 4 tables (36) when I get Ad-7c on the BB. Antes at this stage were 300/600 and there were 4 limpers into the pot. Usually when this scenario happens it usually means that nobody has much so I decided to try and grab all the antes that were out there and so lauched all-in for 5k.! Feck! Nearly through. It was old man Paddy that called me with his K-10. I had him covered in chips so I can understand why he called. I prayed no King & no Ten! My prayers were answered and I wished Paddy all the best, stacked up my newly gotton chips and looked down at the next hand.

I was now SB and found Ac Tc. Throughout the excitement of doubling my chip stack I hadn't been paying attention to what was going on. A player in EP had flat called! In an earlier blog I recalled being caught out by an EP player flat calling a high ante bet then happily calling once I'd lauched my chips into the pot!

Of course my Ac Tc looked golden so once everyone else had passed I just saw that it was me and the BB and so went all-in! Of course the BB passed but the EP player, who had me covered in chips, called and flipped J-J.

Doh...caught again! No Ace on the flop and I was out. From extacy to exit in one minute & two hands! Dohhhhhhh!

70 Entries - 35th - Loss $132 (€110) - Acc. Total +$2732