Bit of a moaning update and SCOOP...

Kinda been neglecting this for a bit, but then again there's not been much to say. Poker has gone nowhere, I'm barely playing apart from the odd Saturday $10+$1 DeepStack on Pokerstars since we decided to stop the SNG staking because of my health issues. I tried going back to work - that lasted 2 days before my GORD decided to flare up again, so am waiting to see if the Government is actually going to give me any money this time, but am not confident and therefore completely fucked.

Pokerstars have announced their latest series, the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), and I have decided that I'm gonna make a concerted effort to play a lot of these tournaments. So I decided to throw up a staking thread on Blonde as I knew that I wouldn't be able to afford it myself because of lack of cash. That can be found at so feel free to have a nose around and a punt if you fancy it. 55% gone already so you might have to get in there quickly!

The schedule for SCOOP can be found at and I recommend a look at it, as it has something for everyone. Hopefully I'll see some of you at the tables!

It's hard to update a blog when nothing's happening

I find myself in a bit of a rut, really. I want to update this thing yet just can't seem to get it started. I'm not one of those guys who posts everyday, but I don't want to see readers (if there are any!) forget that I still maintain this. I have things to tell, so I apologise if this is a bit disjointed in any way.

To add to my list of illness woes recently, I somehow managed to fracture my scaphoid last Sunday. For those of you who attended Blonde Bash 6, this was the injury I sustained just before then and as such, spent most of the Saturday in pain after aggravating it on the football pitch! Combine this with the long-term problems I have and you get zilch on the poker scene, mainly because of 2 reasons:
  • It's rather hard to concentrate on 4 tables at once when you constantly have to visit the mens room.
  • It's impossible to play properly in pain.
Because of this, I sent a message to my stakers explaining the situation and asked them what we should do. They decided that it would be best to stop the staking for now, a decision I 100% agree with, and that it can be looked at again when I get my health issues under control. If I get my health issues under control.

So what is there to say in a blog when there's nothing happening? I'm not playing any poker, I'm not working, infact all I seem to do all day is read Blonde, 2+2, APAT, AWOP and any other poker related literature I can get my cast-covered hands on.

On that note, it's pretty sad to see what's happening over at Blonde at the moment. I've refrained from commenting over there because everyone's pretty much said what I would say already, only they've done it a hell of a lot better than I could. It's going to be weird not seeing Blonde updating GUKPT's and DTD events, and I guess I'm going to have to head over to AWOP for updates there. I've seen many blog posts praising APAT updates, and I love the way they use the technology for things as ongoing chip counts, live feeds of tables in play etc, but when reading updates you don't get the feeling that you're there. I guess I just want the best of both worlds really, I love reading Blonde updates as you can visualise yourself there with all the descriptive background on the plays you get, and I want to be able to see the live action as it happens over at AWOP.

It's also harsh on Adam "Snoopy" Goulding and Chris "NoFlopsHomer" Hall as well. Snoops is Mr Blonde and his presence will be sorely missed on Blonde for all the little things he does, such as results updates, news bulletins and his baby, Blondepedia. Chris is Mr Updates for Blonde and if it wasn't for him and his team, then the updates would have fizzled out some time ago. I wish them both good luck in what they do in the future as I can't see 2 poker journalists of their calibre being out of work for long!

I have also read on Blonde that Gala have scrapped the GCBPT for 2009. If there's one question I would ask their head of Poker, it's a simple Why? It's a very popular tour and there were a lot of players looking forward to the 2009 version, especially with the credit crunch. The rumour is that Gala actually used this as a reason for scrapping it, but it was a perfect priced tour, as you have APAT which is the "cheap" tour at £75 per event, and the GUKPT was the "rich" tour at £1060 per event. Gala's £500 was nicely sat in the middle and I really think that they've dropped the ball here. I've been to one Gala event at Bristol and compared to non-events, cash games were massively up and the room actually seemed full! Hopefully Stanley's will have success with the Liverpool Winter Festival and step into the breach...

OK...maybe there was something happening!

Downswings, illnesses and shite...

In my last post I remarked on the inevitable downswing that I was expecting. Well, note to self, idiot, when you tell yourself the downswing's fucking coming, it's fucking coming! From Jan 8th-Jan 11th I played 39 sngays and won the grand total of...1. A big, fat, ONE. And even that was the last one of the day when I was massively in makeup! Still managed to make the money in 12 of them and a lot of 2nd places kinda made the downswing not that bad, but I just couldn't win a single race at all. Any poker player will be able to tell you what it's like when you hit a downswing, you just can't win a hand, AK <<<< A10 AIPF etc etc etc. Still annoying to see your ROI drop from 60% to 5% though!

I was then forced to take the next 8 days off as I came down with a particularly nasty bout of gastroenteritis. For those of you who don't know, I suffer with a particularly annoying pair of progressive stomach conditions - Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Alone, these are a pain in the arse but when they flare up together (as they have since bloody September 2008, ffs!) they're really nasty. Because of these, I'm extremely susceptible to any stomach condition, whether it be gastroenteritis, food poisoning, norovirus - you name it, I get it. I've had Noro and gastroenteritis pretty much solidly since December 23rd apart from the first week of January! Needless to say, it's getting firmly on my tits.

Decided today that despite still feeling like shit, I was gonna play a few sngays to remind myself how to play the bastard things, and it appears that my enforced absence did indeed seem to get rid of the downswing, as todays stats read:

Played: 10
Won: 4
3rd: 1
Other: 5

I was actually winning my fair share of races, hands were holding up, and amazingly I never saw AA and only had KK once in 10 tourneys...and what happened? I ran into AA!! Typical. Managed to get my ROI back up to a pleasing 24% over 75 sngays which feels good. I've noticed that my ITM% appears to have averaged itself out at 40%, and I'm wondering whether this is par or whether I've just gotta wait for it to average out properly. I know 75 sngays isn't the biggest sample size...

I hate dentists...

I really hate dentists.

Woke up on Monday morning to agony from my teeth. Assumed it was because my house was freezing and eventually let it fade away. It soon came back, however, so I didn't play any poker because of it and went to the dentist on Tuesday to find out that I needed 2 emergency fillings. Didn't help that the emergency dentist I had to go to was 35 mins away in East Bristol, at rush hour, and I react quite badly to the anaesthetic. Spent over an hour in the dentist's chair and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!

Came out half stoned with a mouth full of anaesthetic, according to Joobs she could smell it all night, was not nice at all. This meant that I had to push aside the staking until today. Played 18, won 4, came 2nd 4 times and failed to cash in the other 10. I'm just waiting for my stakers to review the hand histories before I post any up here (if there's anyone reading lol) for discussion. Initial thoughts on the games though are:
  • There appears to be a lot of losing regulars at the level and the network I play on. All but 1 of the people I've sharkscoped are losing players.
  • Most of the people who play at this level don't appear to understand much about metagame/ICM etc. I saw one player repeatedly fold to all ins in the BB at 400/800 when the bet was about 1550!
  • The games do seem very soft and I'm in a three-figure profit already over only 26 games. I am, however, waiting for the downswing of doom that always comes.
  • I used to play at $5 level and I feel that there's barely any difference at $10. Still expecting $20+ to be a lot different though.
I really should look into SNG training sites/specific software etc more. I do want to join Cardrunners but the starting fee is ridic for someone with my small bankroll and I just can't justify it at the moment. Gonna have a look at sites like Deucescracked and see if they can help, plus read more articles specifically on SNGs on sites such as 2+2 and P5's, and read more of the PHA board on Blonde.

I just hope I can keep this ROI going...

Resurrecting the auld blog and 2008 review...

Apologies to the 2-3 people that actually read this for not bothering to update for most of 2008, no actual reason for it other than I am a lazy git and completely forgot about it. Says something really, we can sit there and suddenly remember something that happened 4 years ago and is ridiculously obscure, but we can also be lazy and say "I need to update my blog" and then forget about it 5 minutes later, why is that?

Anyway, after reading a couple of resurrected blogs over on the APAT forum, as well as other blogs that might not be linked to the right but will be later, one of my Poker New Years Resolutions is to get this off the ground properly and start again. I'll leave the old entries up so you can read/laugh but here we go again...

2008 review:

When I last posted at the end of February, I was playing solely for BadBeat whilst working part-time in the NHS and had a new girlfriend who I was slowly beginning to teach poker. Now, i don't play for BadBeat any more, I have a different girlfriend and I still work part-time in the NHS! The BadBeat thing kinda sputtered out really when one day they hadn't refilled my account, so I contacted them and they said something about "not contacting your mentor". Granted, this might have had something to do with my playing between 10pm-4/5am in the morning and not being around much cos of work and I decided "let's leave it at that" and walked away. I don't have a problem with BadBeat and would recommend them to anybody who is a solid, winning player at low stakes but has no bankroll. If you can put the effort in that they ask, then go for it. I just couldn't balance poker/work/gf and so dropped the poker to concentrate on the increased work hours I was getting and the gf.

I then made the mistake of breaking one of my cardinal rules: Do not have a girlfriend that does not like poker - yeah, that ended well. Combine this with not liking work and slowly going insane, plus not playing much poker because my bankroll had been drastically cut by life necessities, and I was ready to jack it all in. Then I went down to Blonde Bash 7 and met Julie. 3 weeks later I found myself living in Weston-Super-Mare, looking for work within the NHS down there and sharing a house with Joobs. It's amazing how things can just change out of the blue sometimes. I regret some things about moving so quickly, namely that I don't get to any more of the Chezger regular games (but that's a different story), but apart from poker-related regrets, I am so happy that I moved out of the North-West and down to Bristol. Oh, and before you lot ask, Julie's as big a degenerate as I am when it comes to poker!! Just gotta find a job now...

Poker in 2008:

After I left BadBeat in March, I somehow found myself solely focusing on tournaments, mainly on Blue Square and Poker Stars. Blue Square was quickly abandoned however in favour of the more versatile and user-friendly Stars, which is where I play most of my tourneys. I mainly play the "Deep Stack" series of tournaments, where you start with 5000 chips and 30 minute blinds, and making a final table at the weekend can often find you playing for 14hrs solid. Despite the length of time for all these tournaments, I love them for the amount of play you get in them and the large amounts of "dead money" you find as you go along, bearing in mind my definition of dead money in a deepstack tournament is someone who has no clue of the strategy required to play in these, and can be found shoving Ax os for 2500 at blinds of 15/30 because he/she's lost half their stack early on.

My stats for 2008 on Stars have shocked me, I have a 5%ROI and made the money about 1/5 times (25/115). My ROI is mainly because of a 3rd in a midweek Deep Stack in October for $463 - just a pity I didn't keep it all as I sold some of myself to a friend because I wanted to take a shot and they put up the cash.

Plans/Resolutions for 2009:

I put these up every year but never find myself sticking to them, mainly because a year is such a long time in poker and in my life, and a lot of things can change in that time!
  • Start my SNG staking and be a winner (see below)
  • Go to Vegas (this is looking likely)
  • Win an MTT on Stars
  • Win a Deep Stack tourney on Stars
  • Qualify for a live event over £200 (EPT/WSOP/GUKPT/GBPT/DTD £300)
  • Try and get back into the Live Updating/Journalism side of poker (any help with this is much appreciated!)
  • Win enough to buy a CardRunners account then win enough to maintain the payments on it!
We shall see how these go!

SNG Staking:

One of my main reasons for resurrecting the blog is because I have just begun (today) a new staking arrangement through Blonde Poker. The arrangement is solely to play $10 SNG's on the Blonde Poker cardroom and I intend to hopefully work my way up the levels with help from my backers. My plan is to post hands/results on here and use this as one of the ways in which to improve my game. So far I have played 8 games and had the following results:

Played: 8
1st: 1
2nd: 2
3rd: 1
4th-10th: 4

I'm planning on putting some hands up on here for review but I wanna check whether my backers have a problem with this before I do.

Anyhow, that's about it from me for now, all I gotta do is remember to update this thing...

BadBeat, shortstacking, and life in general...

As the few people who actually bother to read this already know, I play 98% of my cash poker over on Grandslam for BadBeat as a trainee trader. The premise is simple, after you have shown you are a winning player online and are accepted, they give you a $100 a day limit to play cash, and you get 50% of any profit you make. You play 40 table hours a week, and your target is $300 in profit over the month. You get mentored regularly, and have access to many training utilities. Should you hit your targets, your limits go up and your targets also go up. Top players are rumoured to be on obscene amounts of money per day, but I'm not privy to that information, just what I've heard. All in all, for a solid player who is struggling with a bankroll (which is what I consider myself), then it's a good deal.

Anyway, I've been with BadBeat for a few months now, and I enjoy playing for them. I do always worry though, as the computer I'm on is a bit rubbish really, and I have a lot of trouble multitabling because of it. This often means that I struggle to make the table hours needed, which worries me as they could easily use this to kick me off their scheme, which is not something I want. Thankfully they haven't, yet, and so I'm gonna make a concentrated effort to put more time in, or fix the computer so I can multitable properly!

One thing I have noticed recently on iPoker is the large amount of "shortstackers". These are players who will buy into a cash table with the smallest amount possible (normally 10-20BB) and sit til they get Ace-rag or some pair and shove pre-flop. If they lose, they rebuy for the min. If they win, they immediately disappear, giving you no chance to win your money back. If anyone has any ideas on how to play these guys, then by all means let me know...otherwise I just wish they would all sod off and go play each other.

Right, I was gonna make a massive post...but I'm falling asleep. I'll write one in work's not like I do anything else anyway!!

Real life overtakes poker sometimes...

There are sometimes when RL just has to stop you playing poker. In my case it's because I'm coming up to the end of my contract at work, so it's all "save save save" with my cash, therefore no opportunities to get out and play live. I tend to go to Dusk Til Dawn (and if you haven't been, then you really should go) after work on a Friday with Offless, and we generally end up meeting a few familiar faces up there, normally Danni and the Northampton Crew (Aaron, James, John, Sunni etc) and a few faces from Blonde. Don't think I'll be doing that anytime soon though unless I find some more work...definitely won't be doing it THIS weekend as I'm having a poker-free weekend and visiting some uni mates "dawn Sarf".

On top of work, I have a new girlfriend and so she has naturally jumped to the top of the priority list over poker, although this could go hand in hand as she seems interested in learning the game (I'm following my own rules on women and poker) so I'm spending quite a bit of time easing her into the world of this cruel game we call poker. Don't expect to see her at any festivals any time soon though...we're starting with 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball because I was playing it on Stars this week and she'd never seen it before, I'd better dig out Super System 2 and have a quick read!

Because of this, I've barely played since Sunday. My deal with BadBeat is that I'm supposed to play for 40 table hours a week at $100 a day. Somehow, I don't think I'm gonna hit that 40 hours, but I am $300 up so far since January and I can add another $40 to that from a lovely hit and run earlier...I just wish I could get more time in on the virtual felt, as I don't particularly want BadBeat to drop me.

Anyway, BadBeat and shortstacking are topics I intend to cover in future posts (when it's not 11pm and my eyes are dropping) so I'm off. But before I go, I'm sticking 2 fingers up at all the football fans who wrote Liverpool off in the Champions League this week. Funny how out of all 4 English teams, we got the hardest draw on paper/league positions, and yet we were the only team to win, isn't it?