Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dec 19th - £100+£10 NL Hold'em (Western Club)

Last night at the Western I entered the 'twilight zone' for the first time since my win at Loose Cannons a couple of weeks back.

For those of you uninitiated in such things its the time of the game between when the last train leaves for home and the final table is still hours away where at least you get some money for the taxi home.

Failure in this part of the night means that there's no reward and you're faced with another £30+ pullup in order to get your bed for the night via a cab!

Two weeks ago, after picking up £3k at the Loose Cannons, I couldn't have cared less about the fifty note it cost me go get home from central London at 1.30am. So what about tonight??

Seventy runners, a record, kicked off at just before 9pm with our 5k chip stack and, for once, I played pretty much perfect poker in that I played good hands the hell out of the way if it got too frisky...and generally played well.

For the first 40 mins I saw not one hand before kicking off the shackles. At the 1st break I had a little over 6k. Enough to be going on with!

With no Hendon Mob League event this evening (missed the buy-in) my concentration was on the job in hand. 6k turned to 10k, to 15k, to 22k and with three tables left I was set fair for a good finish. The last train left without me so I decided to bucke down and attempt to win the thing!

It was 1.45am and the third break of the night when things started to go wrong.

With blinds at 800/1600 I kept attempting to bluff at pots I had no business in bluffing at. Whereas I'd played it tight for a good deal of the time upto that level I suddenly felt like the 2400 in the pot before it got to me was to be mine at most any price. That level (800/1600) cost me 7k in attempted bluffs!

The 1k/2k level was next. I had 15k in chips (average was circa 20k) and there were 16 of us left. I'm on the button and get dealt Qh-8d. Now lets be honest here the hand was crap BUT I had position so when it came around to me I decided to bet it. "10k", I said.

Knowing that I'd effectively committed myself to the hand regardless of whatever the blinds did made me suddenly nervous. 'All-In', said the SB who had me covered. The BB passed and it was just mono-et-mono. I, of course, had to call.

The SB flipped A-A (2nd time this week thats happened) and so me and my meagre Q-8 were looking glum.

But wait....whats 8 appeared as first card out on the flop giving hope...for a second!

No further joy and I was out in 14th spot at 2.17am. Another £15 taxi fare home and my night was complete!

Next stop...Dublin!

Entries -> 70 - Place -> 14th - Loss -> £110 ($209) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$17514
(As from 30th Nov 2006 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dec 16th - A day at the Vic

With the missus back over in Dublin preparing for Xmas I found myself at a bit of a loose end this Saturday so I decided what better way to spend the day than a day at the 'Vic' for the two tournaments down there.

First up was a £30+£3 NL Hold'Em rebuy event which kicked off at 3pm.

Twenty four runners started with 1k in chips and I managed not to rebuy in the time alloted (1 hr) and with the automatic top up I started the 'proper' phase of the game with circa 4k in front of me.

The speedy rise in blinds (20 mins) means that you're always looking to move up the ladder as quickly as possible as if you don't then you start to struggle fairly quickly.

I soon found that my hands weren't standing upto scrutiny too well so was forced into a cycle of 'all-in' bets which seemed to go ok until I got the Kc-10c in EP.

With 2900 in chips (blinds were 300-600) I went for glory but was collared with a guy holding A-A directly behind me. A King fell on the flop, so the chips would have been in anyway, but all to no avail. I was out in 13th spot...£63 poorer.

Not to worry though eh...there was always the £50+£5 freezeout event which started at 8pm.

Forty two runners for this one and I doubled through early when my 9c-7c made a flush on a flop of Ac-Kd-4c-10h-9c. Unfortunately the guy with A-K was cursing away you would.

Once again though the ever increasing blinds started to catch up with my chip stack after the break and despite getting to the last three tables (24) I again ran into a brick wall at the 300-600 level. With 2700 in chips I decided to take a punt on A-9 raising the pot to 1200. I get one caller and a flop of 10-8-4.

I go all-in but my charade fooled no-one as my opponent called and flipped 7-7. Still a few outs though but no help came so gone again in 24th spot and again £55 in the hole.

Entries -> -- - Place -> -- - Loss -> £128 ($243) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$17723
(As from 30th Nov 2006 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)


Talking of I do...I came a credible 11th in the Pokerstars Sunday '$215 Warm Up event' for a payday of just over $1350.

What irked me more than anything though was the way my demise was cynically planned by the software!

I had $750k in chips when in the space of 3 hands I was gone.

Hand 1: SB (Blinds are 12k-24k) I get Ac-7h fully intending to fold to ANY raise. The button flat calls and, as there'd been no raise I decide its worth the exta 12k and so flat call. Three of us see a flop of Jc-9c-7c.

Now I'm not going to get cheeky here, even WITH the nut flush draw, so I check it. The BB also checks but the button bets $128k. Seems a bit small so I call. The BB folds. The Js comes on the turn and again I check, as does the button. I still have bottom pair when the river card brings the 4h (or something like that). Again I check but the button bets another $128k.
Now either they have nothing or a monster but with a pair of 7's I decide to call. The button flips J-9. Oh really!!

Hand 2: Button. I pass (now down to 428k approx)

Hand 3: One off button. I get 6-6. Its passed around to the player immediately to my right (who had J-9 a minute ago) who raises to 72k. Well a pairs a pair so I launch an all-in bet. Its passed around to the original raiser who calls. They flip Q-Q.

Now you know that these hands are set ups because the flop with ALWAYS bring a situation where you're all-in anyway and a flop of 2-3-4 was always going to invite me, with 6's, into the pot. The turn is another 4, the river another 2.

So close to a decent payday...but I'm just not THAT lucky!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dec 14th - £50+£5 NL Hold'Em (Victoria Club, W1)

Tonights £50 NL Hold'Em game at the Vic had 42 runners and I started like a man on fire!

Second hand in I get 2-2 in LP and despite there being a raise & a re-raise upto 400 I decided to call, the reason being that I'm looking to double up or go home early doors so ANY pair is always worth a call looking for that knockout set that will see me accumulate a few chippies!

Well wad-ya-know...the flop comes J-9-2 and I'm looking for action.

EP raiser bets 400. MP re-raiser boots it to'm all-in! Call. Call.

EP man has Q-Q. MP Man has 8-8 and I have a set. Turn is a THREE, RIVER a NINE!! Treble up time!!

So I now have 6k in chips and on easy street. Trouble was that that was as good as it got!

I just couldn't get any further forwards. I'd win a pot then lose a pot win a pot then lose a pot etc etc. At the break I had 5800!!

Trying a cheecky nick with A-9 I raised to 800 only to see Mr Chinese guy go all-in behind me for CONSIDERABLY more chips than I had. Pass!

Got moved table and was down to 3600 when I picked up K-Q. I raised it to 1200 but the BB decided to flat call. The flop was Ah-7c-5h.

'All-In', said the BB! Now in usual circumstances my hand would have hit the muck but a) I was short of chips & b) I did'nt put the BB on an Ace so at least I'd still have outs if I called. So I did!
He looked a bit peturbed but flipped the 7h-5h for bottom pair and a flush draw. The 9s was followed by the 4d and I was a gonner!

Entries ->42 - Place ->18th - Loss -> £55 ($105) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$17966
(As from 30th Nov 2006 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)


Prior to entering the tournament I sat and played in the £100 Pot Limit Hold'Em game. Whilst I bought in for what I assumed would have been a medium stack of £300 it appeared that the regulars (Michael Arnold, Neil Channing and the like) though nothing of bringing £3k+ to the table!

Whilst I appreciate that the big guns like to have a lot of ammo when playing against the likes of me it really does put me, and others with similar 'small' stacks at a massive disadvantage if the big stacks suddenly decide to start gambling it up!

Luckily for me it was a quiet hour and I stood up with £586 - an ok profit of £286 - but I'd hate to hold K-K against a raiser on that kind of table as I really don't see the point of doing £300 a pop on gambling on a flop that makes my K-K looking like god then find I've been suckered at the end once all my cash has hit the felt!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dec 12th - £100+£10 NL Hold'em (Western Club)

Last night at the Western was the weekly £100+£10 NL Hold'Em freezeout. I'm going to keep this short.

Slightly drunk guy appears to my immediate right just after start of play in seat 6. "I'll play blind", he says and puts in his 50 points. Its raised to 250...he looks at his cards and passes.

Next hand I look down and see A-Q. "I'll play blind", says the guy, and puts in his 50 points. I raise it upto 300. One caller across the table. Guy looks at his cards and pushes all-in. I call. Guy across the table passes. Mr Drunk flips K-K. No Ace to save me. That's all!!


Analysis of ones results, over time, is obviously a good way of determining just how good, or bad, you actually are at something.

As I reach the end of another year of my life on the poker treadmill I, like many others, wondered just how good (or how crap) I am at the game I love to play so much so I decided to take a look at some Internet sites that seem to provide facilities which I, as a poker player, can tap into to see just how good/bad a job I'm doing at a hobby which takes up a third of my life (the oher two thirds being sleep & work!!)

Of course Internet sites only relate to Internet play but as I'm fairly happy playing at one or two sites and generally just play MTT's, and to a lesser degree Sit'n'Gos, I don't have to spend THAT long seeing that I'm doing ok!

Firstly to SHARKSCOPE ( This site just concentrates on Sit'N'Gos and luckily for me the only two sites I play these games on are both listed. (Full Tilt & Pokerstars).
So I do a search on myself - "UKPOKER" - for both sites and get the following results (as at 13th Dec 2006):

Username Played Av. Profit Av. Stake Av. ROI Total Profit Form
ukpoker 56 $16 $33 16% $916 FullTilt
ukpoker 35 -$7 $50 0% -$254 PokerStars

So what does this tell me? Obviously to stay away from Pokerstars when it comes to Sit'N' Gos!

Next up is The PokerDB. ( - Registration required)

Doing a search there I find that for Full Tilt I've won over $7,500 in the past 3 months since I started playing on that site whilst I've won almost $8,000 on Pokerstars this year.

Whilst The PokerDb does not show ALL entries, only those where cashed, its nice to know that I'm more than holding my own in the big scary world that is the Internet!

For 'live' play I document ALL my play and the cumulative number you see below is from Jan 1st this year so looking back its not been too bad a year.

Lets hope I can do just as well in 2007! More on my dreams & asperations for that later this month!

Entries ->49 - Place ->49th - Loss -> £110 ($209) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$18071
(As from 30th Nov 2006 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dec 9th - £30+£3 No Limit Hold'Em (Western Club)

Todays 'fun' tournament, held at the Western Club, was a £30 NL freezeout event for the London Poker Meetup guys & gals.

Sixty-two runners, a 5k starting stack, and a 30 minute clock meant that there was no rush to get your chips in once play started at 1.30pm.

I had a nice and easy first 60 mins when I chipped up to 7k before my first major confrontation took place. Dealt Kd-Kc in LP and with blinds at 50-100 I raised it up to 500. I got one caller!

Now we all know that holding a pair of Kings means that the flop will bring an Ace! The number of times I've had Kings in the pocket and an Ace has appeared is ridiculous so I'm sat there praying 'No Ace...No Ace!'.

The flop came Ad-Jd-6d. (There's that Ace again!!) My opponent checked and I went all-in!

The reasons for this should be obvious. If my opponent HAS no Ace then he can't call the bet (unless he has made a flush already in which case I still have outs). If my opponent HAS an Ace with low kicker he CANT call the bet. If my opponent HAS an Ace with a BIG kicker, and he calls, then I still have outs. If my opponent has TWO ACES, and he calls (duh) then I still have outs!

He called and flipped A-10d. I wasn't worried. The turn card was the 3h, the river the luverly 4d. Nice!

At the break I had 14k in chips and was well in control of my game. As we know though poker has a way of creeping up behind you and kicking you in the nuts as I was shortly to find out!

As players got moved to the table I was at one guy came, trebled up with A-A v Q-Q v A-Q and suddenly had the same chips as me. I get dealt Kd-7d on the BB. Mr 'Same As Me Chips' raised it upto 600, blinds were now 100-200, and I flat called for the extra 400. The flop was K-10-7.

I checked and he bet out 2.5k. Now it was obvious the guy had a hand. I put him on A-K, K-Q or K-J. Certainly not K-10 and certainly not a set. As I had two pairs made I wasn't about to let him off I raised it to 5k...another 2.5k.

I fully expected him to flat call, if he held the King, as that would be the obvious play in his position and if a scare card came next I'd be all-in before you could say 'Merry Xmas'. He didn't play ball though and announced 'all-in'.

I insta-called and he stood up and said 'good game'. He flipped K-J. he had outs. Not many...but some.

The turn brought a 9 the river an 8 and the fecker had done me with a runner-runner straight!

Ooooo. That hurt. It took me a moment to register the scale of my demise. Ooooo. Win that hand and I'm chip it was I was on my way home to watch the football.

Entries ->62 - Place ->44th - Loss -> £33 ($63) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$18280
(As from 30th Nov 2006 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dec 6th - Grand 'VC' Final (£5k added) - Loose Cannons Club (London EC1)

Thirty seven runners in last nights 'Grand Final' of VC Pokers £5k added event held at the Loose Cannons Club in Cannon St, EC1 and undoubtedly the best value tournament of 2006 by a long chalk.

After qualifying in week 1 it seems to have been forever in coming but when we finally got down to it last night we were playing for a prize pool of £11700, an equivalent buy-in of £316, and hardly a professional in site!

So with a 4k starting stack and a 25 min clock my plan to play good cards strongly, pass if I raised and got re-raised and generally keep out of harms way...if I could!

Level 1 - I get 9-9 in MP and flat call the 50 blinds. Its raised to 300 from LP. I flat call. Two of us see a flop of 7-6-2. I check. Matey comes out betting 600. I flat call. Turn is a Jack. I check. He fires out 1500. I fold. Down to 3100 in short order.

Level 2 - Two big hands here. I get 5-5 in MP and raise it to 300 as I noticed that players were generally passing to most ANY raise. I get on caller, a guy who'd been a little agressive early doors. Flop was 3-8-8. He's first to bet and fires out 1500. No way hozay!! I move all-in and he folds!

I then get Ac-3s on the SB. Four of us see a flop of 2s-4c-5s. I immediately bet out 300. Its raised to 1500 by the guy who caught me earlier with my 9-9. I move all-in and its think-tank time! After a bit of verbal about him going home if he calls he flips 2-2 and folds! Could have been worse...he could have called!

At the end of the level I'm on 6400.

Level 3 - I get K-K in MP and raise it up to 600 (blinds are now 100-200). I get one caller. Flop is J-9-7. My opponent immediately bets out 800. I move all-in and he folds showing A-Q! I end the level at 9400.

Break time. Only 4 players have gone out! Urgh!!!

Level 4 - Things start to move with blinds at 200-400. I get A-A in the SB and theres no action as its passed back to me. I check hoping the BB will attempt a steal. He checks and we see a flop of A-10-4. I check, my opponent bets out 1500, I move all-in. He folds. I have 12400 at the end of the level!

For the next hour I tread water but players are busting out quickly. We're down to 2 tables (18), 16, 14, 12, 10...FINAL TABLE!!!

Now to be fair I always had a plan for tonights game. I wanted £1000. That was all! Before the final table started I offered the table a deal where that everyone would be guaranteed £1k. Of course the 2 big stacks weren't having it...oh well I tried!

We got down to 6 in short order. The next hour and thirty mins though saw NOBODY move! Through 3 LEVELS and NOBODY fell. It was attrition. There were all-ins all over the place...every one of the short stacks (including me...twice) won. I doubled through when my Q-Q beat A-J. I doubled up again when my A-10 routed A-9.

At the end of the 1k-2k level I was chip leader with 38k. They were going to need a crow bar to get those chips off me now! Still no deals though.

Finally 6th and 5th succumbed. Minimum pay was now £1170.

Suddenly there's an all-in bet from the guy to my right for 22k. I looked down and saw A-K. Gulp! My luck with A-K this year has not been too clever but I made the call. My opponent flipped A-7 and he didn't improve. I was now chip leader by a fair chunk!

Antes were at 2k-4k when my two opponents got their chips into the middle with A-Q v K-J.

Flop was K-10-A-x-x and matey boy with K-J had just one blind left which he duly put in on the next hand. We all called! I won the pot with a pair of 8's and we were heads up.

A swift count ensued and I was chip leader with 77k v 69k. We agreed a deal and I was declared the winner. I took home £3100. My opponent £3000.

Thanks to Roy and the boys down at the club. If they run another one of these then count me in! Great fun.

P.S Thanks also to Dave 'Dubai' Shallow who laid me odds of 14/1 on me winning. I had a score (£20) with him. Nice!

Entries ->37 - Place ->1st - Win -> £3050 ($5795) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$18343
(As from 30th Nov 2006 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Nov 30th - £50+£5 No Limit Hold'Em (Victoria, London)

Thursday night at the Vic...its been a while!

After my short break from 'live' play it was back to the grindstone this evening for the £50 freezeout. Forty three runners so a prize pool of £2150 and its all self-dealt. Not a game for the purists.

The usual mix of total incompetents and Vic regulars make for an interesting night and as with all nights like these you do need a modicum of luck in order to progress as all-in bets are usually called down and its then a case of staying ahead or sucking out depending on your start position.

With blinds rising every 20 mins theres not much time to settle. You play your good cards strong and pass most of the rest. I started well and from a starting stack of 2k I was up to almost 3k at the end of level 1. Nice!

A couple of 'loosey goosey' calls in level 2 meant I was back down to 1800 at the start of level 3 and by the time level 4 started (200/400) I'd only 1500 left and it was already time for a move-in or fold!

On the BB I get 9-2 offsuit, a bin job if ever there was one, but with one flat caller from Mr Beginner across the table and the SB calling the extra 200 the 3 of us saw a flop of 9-2-6. Check-Check-All-In-Fold-Call. The limper flashed A-Q and although an Ace fell on the turn I collected the pot.

Level 5 (300-600) and I insta-call with 9-9 against a short stacked all-in bet. He flipped Q-8 but a Queen appeared on the flop and I was back down to just over 2k.

Level 6 (400-800) and I get all my chips in with Q-Q against J-10 (all-in) and A-9. My Q-Q holds and I'm upto 6k.

Level 7 (600-1200) and the blinds go through me. I have 4k left. Its final table time :)

I draw the worst seat in the house, seat 3, as the button always starts at seat 1 on the final table at the Vic and proceed to lose another 1800 instantly. I then pick up Ac-Qc and go all-in. With my bet being only 2200 I end up with two callers. The flop is Q-J-J-6-4 and I scoop!

Level 8 (800-1600) and I know I'm still on push mode. I get 10-10 in MP and there's a flat call before me as I go all-in for 5200. All pass back to the flat caller who checks his chips then calls. He flips 6-6.

Easy eh? Er no! The flop is 8-4-6-J-6 and he wins with quads. I finish 9th for £60. If I win that hand I have almost 15k and a shot at winning the tournament. On such fine lines is poker played!

Entries ->43 - Place ->9th - Win -> £5 ($9) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$12548
(As from 30th Nov 2006 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $1.90)