Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sept 28th - £40+£4 NL Hold'Em (Western)

Ok...there was definately a lack of barn doors & banjos tonight but despite playing good solid poker and making some nice calls on the river to get my stack up to 10500 (from a start point of 4k) at the break there was to be no prize!

Thirty eight runners tonight! This was put down to the fact that the traffic around this West London cardroom was 'murder'. Oh well!

With this being a 'double chance' tournament I stuck my hand up and got my extra 2k in chips pretty much straight away. I've come to realise that these kind of events at the Western attract mad gamblers and its better to have ALL your ammo available to you at any one time as there'll no doubt come a time when you're in a position to use it!

This was proved on a couple of ocassions during the first levels when 'players' (I use this term advisedly) would be seen calling 1k pre-flop raises with Jd-6d and Qd-4d with the excuse that they were 'soooooooted' as they scooped the pots from their unsuspecting opponents playing the likes of A-K & J-J.

As previously stated I managed to get upto 10.5k at the break (4 20 minute levels) and with the field fast diminishing I was looking to pick off the players desperate enough to go 'all-in' with duff hands. Ok...I did call an all-in with Qd-9d against a player who decided to risk his tournament with K-2 but he only had 2k and I was 'live' all the way to the river when a 2 dropped!

So I have 8k left in LP and look down to see A-K. First time tonight! Chip leader, across the table, had flat called the 600 blind and I raised it up to 3k. Back to him and he announced that he was all-in. I wasn't going anywhere!

He flipped Q-Q so it was a race for the chips. The flop was 9-7-4-9-6 and that was than. Maybe when I win a race I'll be winning my next tournament but its been a while!!

Entries -> 38 - Place -> 17th Loss-> £44 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£1213
(As from 20th April 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $2.00)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sept 21st - £40+£4 NL Hold'Em (Western)

After the joy and fun of Thursday night at the Vic it was back to the bread and butter tournaments with a look at the £40 'double chance' NL event at the Western.

Fifty three runners tonight and I get a seat with 7 other like minded individuals hoping to score a few quid from the evenings entertainment.

Like Tuesday night though I couldn't hit a la barn door a la banjo and there was always someone waiting in the long grass with a bigger hand than me when the time came to put up or shut up.

Cards are frustrating when you can't win a pot. If you read other bloggers blogs about how boring it is when you can't find a hand you'll see that its sometimes no fun at all.

I was out of the tourney within the hour having achieved nothing at all this week except the expense of £804 which won't be happening again anytime soon!!

Entries -> --- - Place -> --- Loss-> £804 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£1169
(As from 20th April 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $2.00)

Sept 19th - £500+£50 Omaha Hi-Lo (Victoria Club)

Its not often that I play at this level of buy-in and to be honest the swings in the NL Hold'Em put me off from playing that high a buy-in in that sort of tournament.

The Omaha Hi-Lo event is nice as you can win pots with crap hands as well as good ones and as I get my fair share of crap hands I thought it'd be a good idea to try and see how I got on at an event like this.

My initial table line up was full of celebrities (in a poker sense). Lally Khadjuria, 7 card stud master, sat immediately to my left. Next door but one to him was Jeff Lisandro, recent WSOP bracelet winner. Next to him was Thomas Brihl. Recent winner of the HORSE event at the WSOPE and the winner of the 7 card stud event the previous night. Two doors from him was Woody Deck whose speciality seemed to be the Hi-Lo events.

Finally sat immediately to my right was Vicky Coren. Vicky is a bit of a celebrity down the Vic which was proven by the fact that she couldn't sit still for five minutes as a collection of 'B' TV celebrities passed by eager to be introduced to one of only to female players to win either an EPT or WSOPE event in recent memory.

With this sort of line up what chance did I have??

Actually quite a good one. This was a 2k (double chance event) meaning that you started with 2k in chips and could have the other 2k at any time in the first hour. During that first hour I got dealt A-A-x-x twice and scooped nice pots on both ocassions. At the break I had 9k whilst two or three 'professionals' at my table were struggling somewhat.

Three hands into phase III and I get As-Ah-Kh-7c. Three of us see a flop of Kc-9c-7d. The guy across the table bets out. I re-raise all-in and he calls with K-J-J-10 no clubs. Two harmless cards fall and my A-A wins again. I'm now up to 14k and promptly get moved tables.

In MP I get 2-3-3-8 and flat call the blinds. Flop is A-3-9. Paul Alterman, a player who's been around the circuit as long as I have (early 90's) bets the pot. I re-raise with my set of 3's and he's all-in. I call to se he has 2-4-x-x. Looks like a splitty.

The turn is a 9, completing my house, and the river a King giving me the scoop. I now have 27k in chips whilst the average is 14k and I'm flying.

With blinds at 400-800 and 17 left I'm feeling good totally unaware that the next hand I get dealt is to be my 2nd last!

I get 3-4-5-6 in LP and 4 of us see a flop of 5-7-Q. I have the wrap and I'm not going anywhere.

EP player bets out 3k (obviously with high). MP player calls (obviously with a straight draw like me). I duly call.

Turn card is a 10. No help to anyone. EP player knows this and bets out 9k. Now I KNOW he's on a high and I would have passed here if it'd been heads up but MP player callls 9k as well giving me extra value should I hit.

River card is a 2. To me that looks an excellent card as if anyone HAS A-2 as the low draw its just knocked them out and my 3-4, for the low, must surely take half the pot.

Again EP player bets out...this time for 14700 (all his chips). MP player passes leaving the way clear for me to take the low with my 3-4. I call.

EP player flips A-3-Q-7 for two pair high (as anticipated) and nut low (NOT anticipated). I was fecked good and proper and have 400 points left.

This went in next hand and I was out of the door seconds later. Hit by the perfect storm!

Sept 18th - £200 NL Freezeout - Western Club

The words 'banjo' & 'barn door' come to mind for tonight as I just couldn't hit one with the other as far as the cards were concerned.

Whatever I tried to do went wrong and whatever evil plan I had in order to scoop a monster pot it was immediately put in its place by the next flop card out.

With 7k in chips and a 30 minute clock you would have thought that getting deep into the tournament (time wise if nothing else) would be a sure thing then why 'o' why do I get nice starting hands that demand to be played (pairs, A-Q, A-K etc etc) and then get shafted as the flop drops.

Within 30 minutes I had lost 3k and, in a fit of madness, I decided to play 6-4 in EP in the hope that if the flop came right I could scoop a monster and get back to playing properly. Four of us saw a flop of A-6-4 and I immediately began to feel better.

I checked. Player to my immediate left bet out 800, no doubt with A-big kicker. Player across the table ALSO called and when the button passed it was back to me.

There were certainly two Aces out there but with the flat call from across the table it was very likely that both had a medium to large kicker card with it. I decided that my two pair were obviously in front so raised to 1600 with the full intent of going all-in on the turn. One player called the extra 800. Yum Yum!

Well Yum Yum turned turned into Bum Bum as the turn card came AN ACE!!! Arghhhhhhh!!

I was fooked. I checked. Opponent bet 2k and I had to pass! Story of my night.

Twenty minutes later I had 1750 left. Blinds were 50-100 and I look down on the BB to find 10-10. Surely I can double up here???

There's a small raise to 250 from the player immediately to my left. There are 3 callers. It comes to me. I lump in for 1750 total. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. The player in the SB mutters someting about wanting to gamble and calls with Q-J.

Coinflip ahoy!

Flop is A-6-4-QUEEN-7. I'm out and a bit pissed off in the process.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sept 11th - £100 NL Freezout - Western Club

Sixty six runners for tonights £100 NL Freezeout at the Western and for once in a while things actually went my way.

After a shaky start where my chip stack got decimated early to 2k I hit a couple of flushes and by the first break I held 8k in chips. No biggy cards as such but my play was solid and I was playing relaxed.

Levels 3,4 & 5 found me increasing my chip stack upto 17k at break number 2 and I was hopeful of a good result but for a while in level 7 I struggled, went card dead, and trickled back down to 10k. I then get a nice double up when someone plays back at me on a flop of A-K-10. I held A-6 and had raised pre-flop. He was the only caller and refused to let go of his K-J.

Then came the defining hand of the night for me.

With blinds at 400-800, in EP, I looked down to see A-J. The player to my immediate left had me covered in chips and, after a couple of minutes consideration, pushed all-in. It was passed back around to me.

In order to do well in these tournaments there comes a time when you make a stand and play the hand you're dealt for all your chips. As soon as the guy had pushed all-in I'd decided that I wasn't backing down and called.

He flipped 6-6. First card out was an Ace and I ended up with a flush. Suddenly I was in great shape.

The final table arrived but with everyone with 30k in chips (apart from 1 player) it took an age to lose a player.

Blinds were 2k-4k when the 9th & 8th person went out and I was card dead once again. My stack had dwindled to 20k and on my SB (2k) I picked up A-8. Play was very tight so it was passed around to me and I shoved all-in hoping to pick up the 6k loose change. Unfortunately the BB decided to call with A-10 (as you would) and it was all over for me in 7th place for £330.

Still...its nice to be a winner again and brings the total cost of playing 'live' poker in 2007 to just £365!

Entries -> 66 - Place -> 7th Win-> £220 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£365
(As from 20th April 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $2.00)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sept 8th - £20 NL Hold'Em (Rebuy) - Grosvenor - W1

Since Sept 1st things have changed a little down the Grosvenor. The Saturday £20 rebuy now starts at 1.45pm but 'late arrivals' now mean that the number of runners can increase by upto 50% in the hour that they're allowed to join the game after the start.

And so we began with 35 runners and 6 tables. By the time the rebuy period was up we'd upped to 54 runners, still with 6 tables!!

I like these £20 rebuy events although in order to accumulate chips you just HAVE to gamble and on the ocassions I gambled this afternoon the winners were smaller pots than the losing ones!

Buy-in 1 lasted all of 5 mins when my all-in move with 8-8 got called in 2 spots by A-J & A-K. A King hit.

Buy-in 2 lasted a little bit longer. Approx 10 mins. My shove in with Qd-Jd on a flop of 9-10-6 totally missed on the turn & river and I was onto buy-in number 3 which lasted much longer...all of 35 mins!

I'd actually managed to chip up somewhat to 3k (from the 1k start point) and we were five minutes before the break when I get dealt Qs-9s UTG. There was a small raise to 250 from the button and I duly called. A flop of As-Ad-2s gave me second to think before pushing all-in. The player on the button paused for several seconds, at least, before calling and flipping A-5.

Its times like these that you need the luck and as it was, on this occasion, it wasn't on my side as two red cards appeared to complete the hand and me in my pocket for buy-in number 4.

The top-up was buy-in number 5 and so at the break I had 2k in chips. Hardly enough for one round but all I needed was a double through to be back in the game.

My chance came 3 hands after the break when I got dealt 9-9 in EP. I pushed all-in and was called by the dealer with a mountain of chips and Qd-Jd to boot.

A flop of A-6-6-Q-5 and I was out...£103 the poorer!

Entries -> 54 - Place -> --- Loss-> £103 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£585
(As from 20th April 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $2.00)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sept 4th - £100 NL Freezout - Western Club

I got a freeroll this eveing at the Western thats to Geoff, the PR guy there who won his seat in a £24 satellite then decided he couldn't play.

He gave me the ticket in exchange for a 50/50 split of any winnings.

If you can call 50% of fresh air a good deal then we both did well out of it!

I went down to the club early in order to play some S & G's on Full Tilt where I've been having quite a bit of success in the past few days on MTT's finishing 2nd on two ocassions for cira $6000 in prize money.

I sat down at the $69 6 seater 6pm tourney and by the 2nd break at around 8.10pm I was 3rd in chips at 31k. By 8.30pm it was all over and I was out in 34th place, 10 shy of the money....don't ask!

Having donked my way through that tourney I wasn't at all as concentrated as I should have been for the £100 FREEZEOUT event and lasted just shy of an hour playing like a donkey for the time I was there!

Being only 9.30pm I decided to play £100 in the cash game which by the time I left my seat at midnight had grown to £563 the highlight hand being dealt A-A in the SB, having someone bet all-in on a flop of A-Q-Q (with A-J) and being paid nicely!

Its not a bad life sometimes!

(Sorry Geoff!!!)