Thursday, June 22, 2006

June 16th - 21st (Various Events)

Catchup time!

Played in last Fridays £20+£2 NL game at Luton and despite only having one rebuy and a top up I couldn't really get out of first gear and drifted aimlessly out of the comp in around 24th place.

On Sunday I played in the Pokerstars 'Bloggers' championship. There were 2247 entrants and I finished 58th...4 off the prizes!

It was 1am and I had just over 70k in chips when I get dealt A-A UTG. Now I know that Stars has a habit of giving you grief with Aces but UTG with them in hand I felt good about raising to 12k (antes were 2k/4k) knowing that with the prizes just around the corner it was hardly likely that anyone would want to get frisky. Of course I hadn't reckoned on the chip leader at my table, who was on the SB at the time, deciding that 10k, from his 100k+ stack, wasn't too bad a call to make.

The flop was 6s-9s-10d. Before I could move Mr Chip-Leader had gone all-in! Whilst not the greatest flop in the world the way he acted shouted that he had not got a VERY strong hand. I called and he flipped Qs-2s! you know whats coming! The 4s fell next followed by the 8d. Boom!! and that was that!

Now onto last night at the Vic in London where I played in the £250+£25 Omaha Hi-Lo tournament!

The thing about playing at the Vic in festival tournaments is that I'm practically guaranteed to know most people at the table I'm at as they've been playing poker there practically as long as I have!

So I'm in seat 2. Geoff Duval is seat 3, Lally Khajuria is in seat 6. Vicky Coren in 7, Ashley Alterman in 8. All faces that have been around years!

Did it do me any good knowing this?? No! I won 1 pot before losing with A-3-3-5 to Lally and his 9-9-7-J on a flop of 2-6-J-Q-10.

I MAY play in the £500 FREEZEOUT there on Sunday other than that my next live poker will be at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, Florida on Tues July 4th as I'm off on hols to our sunny villa in Orlando ( - available for family holidays etc etc) for 2 weeks on June 30th.

Entries -> --- - Place -> --- - Loss -> £337 ($623) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$12554

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

June 13th - £20+£2 NL Hold'Em - Grosvenor (Victoria)

I cant really say if I've ever 'thrown a game' before. Many times I've decided to give up on things long before the final table and then gone 'all-in' in the hope of either doubling up or going home but to actually throw away a game when you're heads up and there's £300 difference in prize money between 1st & 2nd is a new one on me.

Tonight was the £20 NL game down at the Victoria Club in W.London. With me working down in S.W London these days its a straightforward enough jaunt straight from work and as the games here start at 7.45pm theres a good chance the game can wrap up by midnight which is just as well as my last train home is 12.10am (can you see where this is going yet?)

Anyway what with the world cup and all there were only 32 runners but after all the rebuys & add-ons etc (just an add-on for me) we were playing for a prize pool of £1620 and I was sitting ok on 6k in chips! Blinds went to 20 mins and people fell like flies. With only 81k in chips in play you only needed to be on 10k to be a chip monster at the final table but of course you had to get there first!

Blinds got to 400-800 when I attempted to start nicking the blinds. Trouble was I kept finding the person to my immediate left (a very nice young lady) with a big hand. My first attempt at a 'nick' came when, in LP, I got K-8. I raised to 2k and the young lady flat called. Flop was Q-6-6. I checked and immediately she went all-in. Of course I passed. She flipped A-Q and the rest of the table berated her for not going all-in pre-flop and taking the pot there and then as she undoubtedly would have done. She confessed that this was not her style preferring to hit something, on the flop, before committing her chips. This tactic was to prove her downfall...

Several hands later and I'm on the SB with Kc-2h. Again the play is passed around and I once again decide to 'nick' the blinds and so again I raise the pot to 2000. Again the young lady, to my left, flat calls. The flop is Kh-6h-9c. I check, she pushes all-in and I, as the non-believer, calls. She flips Kd-Qd and I'm in a bit of bother. What comes next though is a bit of back luck on her part. The turn brings the 10h and the river the 7h giving me an unlikely flush (my 2h wins it). No doubt had she have gone all-in pre-flop she'd have won it there and then!!

From there on to the final table was a cakewalk and I get to the paydirt with over 20k in chips. The time is 10.45pm and all is well with the world!

With several short stacks at the table its not long before there are only 3 of us left. Its 11.25pm and I HAVE to be out of the casino by 11.55pm!

With 3 left and no deals to be done we had to play it out. At 11.40pm the 3rd player goes out and we're now heads up! Will the guy do a!!! We're pretty much equal on chips and I cannot find a hand to go all-in with. Its 11.50pm now and I announce I must leave and I'll be going all-in from now on, blind, till I get called. Win or bust!!

So I'm all-in next hand and he calls. He flips Q-9 I flip 7-4. Flop is 7-6-4 (whoopee), 8 (uh oh), 10 (shite!..he makes a straight!).

And so there you have it...I make £290 for 2nd place and my train home.

Entries -> 35 - Place -> 2nd - Win -> £248 ($459) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$13177

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

June 10th - £20+£2 Pot Limit Hold'Em - Grosvenor (Luton)

When you take on board as many 6/4 shots as I did in this evenings £20 Pot Limit game in Luton you're bound to come up short once or twice as to the outcome. It just so happened that the time I DID miss my flush draw it was for almost all of my chips!

With only 1000 points for your 20 notes you have to try and go easy. Pot limit is a much easier game to control than No Limit as, in the the early - mid stages in particular, you'll nearly always get to see a flop before committing away all your chip count.

I plodded along picking up a pot here and a pot there and despite having two buy ins I get to the break with circa 9k in chips which was pretty good. After all the rebuys & top-ups there was a prize pool of £2660 (133000 chips in play) and I was sitting happlily on a nice stack.

This got much bigger thanks to a fluke of a hand. In the 200-400 blinds with 3d-4d three of us see the flop of 2d-6d-9c. Now with my hand I ain't going anywhere so I bet out first only to be re-raised across the table for all my opponents chips...some 3000. Of course I call and he flips the Jd-Qd (nice hand) which then looks a big favourite for the pot once the 7d falls on the turn. I'm just about to whizz my hand away when he says...'Hang on a mo. Much as though I dislike to say this you still have an out which knowing my luck right now will almost certainly appear'.

Of course he was talking about the 5d which would give me the straight flush. He burned...and turned (as he was the one dealing) and out popped the 5d! Gasps all round!

With two tables left I have 18k in chips and am looking well in for another final table appearence until THIS hand....

Again, in EP, I get the Ac-6c and with blinds at 300-600 three of us see a flop of 3c-Kc-7h. Nut flush draw for me. I check. To my left there's a bet of 2k. The other player folds and I flat call. The Ah falls on the turn.

Now given that the 2k bet came straight away I immediately thought the bettor held something like K-Q / K-J / K-10. He hadn't raised pre-flop so this kind of holding was very likely. I immediately bet 2k. 'Raise', came a voice, 'to 8k'!

This guy was the only player on our table who had a similar chip count to me...perhaps a few thousand this was going to be a big pot. With top pair and nut-flush draw still there to be had I duly went 'all-in' for maximum benefit which my opponent called. He flipped 3-3!

So I needed a club. The 6s fell on the river and I was down to 4k. Even if I'd have just flat called the 6k extra I'd still have been hard pushed to get away from two pairs after the river so never mind!

My last few chips went in with Kd-9d versus A-Q. No help for me and I was out in 15th place!

Entries -> 36 - Place -> 15th - Loss -> £82 ($152) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$12718

Friday, June 09, 2006

Online Poker

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

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 5006280

June 8th - £20+£2 NL Hold'Em - Grosvenor (Luton)

Its not often I walk into Aces but then again I don't suppose it happens that often to anybody!

Tonights £20 NL game at Luton was a quiet affair with 35 runners producing around the £2800 mark in prize money. Most of the Luton regulars were no doubt up at Walsall where a large festival is taking place this week.

My spendies tonight was £62 (one rebuy & one top-up) in big contract to last Thursdays free-for-all but at the break I had just short of 5000 so I wasn't TOO concerned.

With only 135k chips in play you only needed around 15k to be average at the final table so it was no big leap to get there...but of course it was!

A couple of nicely played pots and I'm upto 6k before you know it. Antes were 200/400 when this hand came up...

I'm one off the button and get Jc 9s. No great hand but before it got to me there were already 5 people in the pot for the BB so, given my chunky chip stack, I thought I'd get agressive in the hope that everyone might fold so raised all-in!

Its passed around to one play who calmly asks me how much the raise is (5675) and then calls. Oops!

Of course he flips A-A and dspite the flop giving me a sniff of a chance when it comes 10-7-4 I can't find an eight that would save me from the exit door.

Slow playing Aces is fine in EP but the guy had seen 2 people flat call before it even got to him!

Oh well..back to the drawing board.

Entries -> 35 - Place -> 27th - Loss -> £62 ($115) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$12870

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

June 5th - £100+£10 NL Hold'Em - Grosvenor (Luton)

The £100 FREEZEOUT event at Luton was well attended with 59 runners and with a slow, 30-min, clock and 5000 points to start then it was a great tourney to do well in. Trouble was...I didn't!

Mondays are not a good night for me to play cards! You know the got up late on Sunday...bed late on Sunday night...4 hours kip...up at 6.30am Monday...full day at work...home by 6pm...out by 7pm...thirty mile drive..yada yada yada!

Asd soon as I saw it was a 30 minute clock I knew I was in trouble as there was no way I could concentrate till 4am when the game would finish!

I then took the decision to try and double through early and make the effort or go home and get some kip!

I get Ac-Qc on the button and raise to 350. Get one caller. The flop totally misses me but I bet out 600 anyway. My opponent calls. The turn misses me some more and I give up on it after a 1000 bet come in! So much for this strategy!!

I get Jd-5d in the SB, 8 hands later. There's no raise and 5 of us see a flop of Ad-7d-5c. Its checked around to me and I bet 600. I get one caller! I've now decided that my chips are all going in nomatter WHAT comes next. The 4s falls! I go all-in and get immediately called by the player to my left. He flips 7-7, for a made set, and I need a diamond to stay alive.

The 8s falls on the river and I'm done in fairly short time!

Mondays are not a good night for me to play cards!

Entries -> 59 - Place -> 58th - Loss -> £110 ($204) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$12985

Monday, June 05, 2006

June 3rd - £300+£30 NL Hold'Em FREEZE - Gutshot

The £300+£3 NL Hold'Em FREEZE event at the Gutshot provided a chance to play a well structured tournament and with 8k to start with and a 30 minute clock I had high hopes of doing well.

In events like these where there is a lot of play 'early on' you just have to wait for hands that provide you with a chance of a coo whereby you can double up with little risk. Tonight though this didn't happen and as we approaced level 6, some three hours into the event, I had 8075 in chips..a profit so far of 75 points!

Level 7 came and I'm now starting to feel a little short stacked. Blinds were 600/1200 when this scenario came about...

At the end of one particular hand we were discussing one guys laydown of A-Q when faced with an all-in bet from one of the shorter stacks on the table. 'If I had A-Q', I said, 'I couldn't pass!'. Then this happened the very next hand.

I was fairly short stacked with 7k and went all-in with A-9, in MP, to be called by a 'player' (I use this word advisedly as you'll see in a mo...) with Ah-Qh (now there's a surprise). He was having a right larf with the rest of the table about how I'd told him he couldn't pass! Of course I agreed but the smile soon disappeared as a 9 hit the flop and I decimated his stack!

He then starts to wail like a little girl about how I can possibly go all-in with A-9 blah blah blah and crys like a baby! Obviously the guy has never read my book!!

With blinds at 1000/2000 (level 8) I had around 18k in chips and with the average chip stack now somewhat north of 25k I knew I had to take a coinflip situation at some stage in order to either double up or go home. I'm in EP with 5-5 and raise the pot to 4500.

The bloke to my immediate left then goes all-in himself for circa 15k and Bambos, in LP, puts the rest of his chips in also (circa 8k). I don't believe for one sec that bloke to my left has a big pair and I'm now thinking side-pot at best so I call and I see he has A-K. Fair enough! What makes this more interesting though is that Bambos has A-K as well!

So I'm 62/38 fav here and I can't really ask to be better placed. The flop is Q-K-Q-Q-4 and I'm down to the felt!

I go all-in next hand with the blinds approaching for 3k and an American guy (obviously non reader of forum) takes me out with A-7 in hand and an Ace on board!

No complaints from me and I finish in circa 25th spot!

Entries -> 70 - Place -> 25th - Loss -> £330 ($610) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$13189

Friday, June 02, 2006

June 1st - £20+£2 NL Hold'Em - Grosvenor (Luton)

Its hard work at Luton. For £20 you get 1000 in chips and with all-in fests most every hand the night can turn out expensive if you can't reload at will. Ten rebuys and one top up later (£242 spent) I have 5300 and its break time.

Of course the value is excellent if you manage to hit your hand and treble/quad up on mostly shite opposition (cards that is) but when you're not hitting...well!!!!

So anyway after all the re-buy festivities were over there was a prize pool of £4000 generated from 46 people. I needed 5th place JUST to get my money back! Argh!

The thing about these '£20 for 1000 point' events is though that those people who have played super tight for the first 90 minutes in the hope of not spending any money generally have small stacks come the business end of the game and with antes increasing at 20 minute (12 - 15 hands) it doesn't take long for them to have to go all-in and pray. For us 'bigger' stacks thats the time to enjoy the benefits of this and look to call these smaller bets in the hope of catching some cards!

Luckily for me I started to accumulate chips. No big pairs, a rob here, a steal there but hey if it gets you there?!

I reach the final table with a chunky 35k after taking out several of the desperate small stacks along the way and immediately I'm all-in with my nemesis hand at the moment in A-K.

I'm in LP and with antes at 800-1600 its been raised already to 6k. I push all-in and my opponent calls with Q-10 (he has me covered big-time). The flop contains two Aces and I'm suddenly chip monster with 70k out of the 200k in play and there are STILL 9 players!

For the next 40 minutes though I get good cards which I get involved with but can't make win. My all-in call with A-7 versus Mr 'Home Time' with 9-6 was a case in point. A SIX on the flop and I had to ship 18k! Doh!

The blinds were catching up though and players WERE starting to fall...slowly...8,7,6,5 (wee I get my money back).

My stack size continues to shrink. I go all-in with K-7 for 16k and get 2 callers. One has A-Q, the other A-J. The flop is 3-6-7-8-4 and my pair of 7's triples me up!

We're down to 4. Blinds are now 3000-6000 and I'm on the BB when I call and all-in bet for 8k with 5-2 o/s. I'm against A-9 but no worries...the flop beings me two-pair and now there's 3!

I now call an all-in bet of 22k with my Ac-8c and I'm against 7-7. No worries...the flop brings TWO Aces and we're heads up.

We agree a deal that we both take £1100 and play for the odd £200 - 'to make it interesing'.

I'm all-in first hand, after the deal, with As-Qs. My opponent calls with Kh-8h. The flop is 9-10-7-6-J and he's made the straight!

So I make a profit of £858 and two final tables in my last two visits to Luton means my form is continuing...kool!

Entries -> 46 - Place -> 2nd - Win -> £858 ($1587) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$13799