Saturday, April 29, 2006

My 3rd Major!

Its not the tournament I planned on, but a win is a win!

I had made some good progress on Sharkscope today, only to discover that the two £50 10 stts, where I made the money, have not been counted! So still a little more work to go!

With my typical luck - AQ losing to AJ in the LOQ. Going out with QdJd on a Kd, Td,4s flop to Aces!

I decided to have a go at the $5k guaranteed. There were 133 runners and the prize pool of $6,650.
It was a quick moving tournaments with only 10 mins levels. After the first hour I had moved to 7k in chips and there were only 44 players left.

After 2 hours and 20 mins we were down to just 2. 50_pence was the competition, who had a small lead of 8k in chips.
After 20 mins of heads up the crucial hand! At this point I had a lead of 111k to 87k in chips. Blinds 1500/3000 (ante 400) I call to the big blind, he raises to 9k and I reraise with AdJs to 27k. The flop comes down Jc5d9s. A check from 50_pence, so I bet 27k which is again called. The turn is a 2c, to which he puts his remaining 33k in the middle. If he has an overpair, I am beat at this point, but I can't believe the 2 helped him, so I am calling. He turns over Ac5c. He needs a five or a club. The river is an Ace. It's all over!

I win my first major tournament win since January, I happily take the $2k first prize (£1.1k)

I am pleased with this as I have been playing well for quite some time, without the financial rewards, hopefully this will now give me the impetus to get my World Series seat sorted!

Best of Luck

Friday, April 28, 2006

Am I supposed to play this game?!

3 tournaments tonight - 3rd in the Littlewoods player points, 26th in the 15k (£75 and 2nd successive cash) and 2nd in the LOQ.

On the face of it some great play, but how how harsh were the results.

The Littlewoods tournament, I am winning, I am holding KK, Guy goes all in with A2 on a 7 high flop. Turn 2, River 2.

The £15k got nasty near the end. My AJ losing to K7, then 88 losing to A5, before my AT all in bet was called by AJ.

The LOQ was horrible! Some good play to get me in a great position. I am slightly behind heads up. I have AQ and get the other guy all in preflop. He has AJ. Flop 4QT, Turn 7, River K. He hits the straight.

All that play for so little to show for it!
My game continues to improve, I am really starting to step my game up.
Hopefully I can get some nice results over the last few days of April and qualify for a final at the weekend.

Good Luck

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Those Ladies are taking the mick!

The night did not appear to be looking good.
In the $140 WSOP qualifier, my Aces were busted by AsJs and I was down to 350 chips in the 15k.

Then however I hit a seven on the river to keep me in and there was no looking back.
After almost 4 hours we were down to 12 players. I have 55000 chips and am in 4th. I turned over QQ.

With blinds up at 1200/2400. I raise to 9600, the big blind who had just doubled up with T9, decides to go all in for 42000. I decide that the chances of him being in front are slim and call. He turns over 99. This pot will put me in the lead.

The first four cards are blank, here comes the river - of course its a 9! Gutted as usual!

We lose one more player, so there is 11 left and I am down to 8500. I have Q7 in the blinds and button puts me all in, I have to call with the pot odds available. He turns over J5. This would move me up to 20k with the antes and other blind. I can't believe I am in front, that soon fades though, as a Jack appears on the river!

£150 and 11th place, but no final table as I said I would achieve in my objectives. Another good game, but those Ladies really don't like me!

Next Time then!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Where do they find them!

Picture the scene.
Its the last 65 of the 15k. I have a little over 4k in chips and would like a hand to help me out.

Big Slick arrives, that should do it. Blinds 150/300 with 25 ante. Under the gun HAN50M raises to 600. I decide to push and go all in.

HAN50M has about 7k in chips and decides to call. He turns over 7d6d. What the! Still I am rubbing my hands at that.
The flop come 579, oh my god. Thankfully the turn is an ace, to sort me out. Then the river, yes its another 7. What can you do!

I can understand the raise, Dan Harrington raises with suited connectors under the gun, as a way of taking advantage of his tight game. However 76 has got to be the absolute minimum and would he call a tight players all in raise, in a word. NO!

As I was writing HAN50M was sitting in 10th with 20k in chips, with just 25 left. I find it no surprise that he is now out!

Aside from that disaster I played in three other tournaments. I went out in the LOQ 1 in 50, when someone called my allin with openended straight draw, he obviously hit it!

The other tournaments were the $25 WSOP qualifier, where I reached the final 9 to qualify for Wednesdays $140 WSOP qualifier and the £50k qualifier where I finished in the final 3 to qualify for the £110 event on Sunday.
So £210 in seats won, so not a bad night, but honestly 76!


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Those ladies are haunting me again!

This week has been a hell of a week!
I have had two second places in LOQ Qualifiers and a 3rd in a Littlewoods qualifier.

It was looking like a Weekend without a final, but at 2.30pm today I won the $140 World Series Qualifier, putting me in this afternoons final.
At one point even Vegas (Mr Crypto) came on and said well played, so that was a first for me!

The final was just horrible. With 16 people left I pick up QQ under the gun.
When the flop comes down 9s 5c Qd, I thought this was going to a fantastic double up. I am playing against As, Ks. Can you predict what happens?! 7s and then 3s. How cruel!

I do feel like my game is continuing to improve. I finished 6th in a £1.5k guaranteed taking home £100+ last night, also my Stt form is getting much better and I have made marked improvement in my stats over the last few days.
I am almost in danger of meeting one of my objectives!

Two more finals available this forthcoming weekend, I will be doing everything I can to secure a seat.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Another Day of what might have been!

Tonight was a frustrating night as site problems prevented me from playing for almost an hour, jeopardising most of my tournaments.

The £15k was the worst affected as I lost half my 4500 stack.
In the LOQ qualifier I managed to recovered from starting with 1300 instead of 2000, but ultimately finished 4th, two made the final.

The Littlewoods tournament was almost a sublime comeback, down to 350 chips, I made the final table for the 11th consecutive time, but my JJ was busted by 26, yes 26, so I finished 6th.

The last tournament of the night was the LOQ 1 in 50. I managed to take this one to the wire, but ended losing heads up against 007apr, I was 3-1 down in chips so had to make a move where I could and came up against pocket tens when trying a maneouvre.

Still onwards and upwards.
Another note on Poker Tony, there I am saying he is going to win a tournament and he takes down the 150 Euro rebuy at the Irish Open, nice one sir! Now about my percentage!!!

Also as from today you can read an article about me on the Littlewoods Website.

I will have to get another photo taken!
Once again a big thank you to those guys at Littlewoods who are really supporting me, I will repaying them by having a big finish at the World Series - WHEN I FINALLY GET THERE!!!!!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back to the Drawing Board!

After 2 finals this weekend, it is back to the qualification stages again!
The 4th place finish on Saturday night was really dissapointing after coming so close.

The final on Sunday did not go according to plan. I ran into Kings with my Queens quite early on.
Despite recovering my intitial stack, I got reraised when holding Jacks and threw them away and then lost with AQ to KJ on a four heart board to a flush.

The qualification process began again last night and it was the Littlewoods Competition on the agenda. For the tenth consectutive time, I made the final table, but this time I went out in 7th.
Raising 4 times the big blind with AT suited, I was called by the chip leader. On a AK3 flop, I felt confident, he did not have an ace with a higher kicker. I was right, but his set of 3s was a problem!

I had a little slip in my STT quest, but that is what you get for playing with a hangover. However I have recovered well over the last two days and am now back to being officially in 'HOT' form.

I have signed up for the Sharkscope premium service, as I have found the information on there to be a useful guide. It does surprise me how seeing the stats in advance can enable you to predict the finishing order of the tournament. Definitely useful.

A quick note on my pal Poker Tony Chessa, he had another excellent performance in the Paddy Power Irish Open this weekend, finishing in 16th place, a future champion in the making for sure.

Whilst reflecting on the month so far and looking back at the stats, I cannot help but feel disappointed, in that none of my objectives are looking likely to be met. Yet when I look back at the results, I have actually won 4 MTT's in 17 days, but as they have no cash value other than a seat, I am probably being overly critical. In reality this is an excellent performance and I have learnt many lessons and that should reap many more rewards going forwards.

There are 3 more World Series finals available this weekend and I will play in every possible qualifier to get there. After making two finals last weekend, I do not see why I can't make at least one of them.

I am concerned about my regular tournament form, I am without a cash in the last five now. I am considering taking a break from these until my world series seat is secured.
Although over the weekend, whilst sitting nicely in fourth place, I turn over J7 in the big blind. With a flop of 7J7, I did not expect to go out on that hand! Going out to pocket Jacks in an unraised pot. Not sure how I get away from that one!

I have a few tournaments tonight. The £15k, World Series Level 1, LOQ Level 2 and the Littlewoods points competition. I obviously will not have a chance to play much else, but I do want to play a couple of Stt's to keep my progress on the upwards curve.

I remain buoyant about my game and approach the rest of the month with confidence.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Worst Feeling

Absolutely gutted!
Tonights LOQ final I finished in 4th place after leading with 5 players left.
3rd prize got $2400, 4th got nothing.

After playing some of my finest poker, I slipped up in three major hands. Firstly flopping top two pair, to lose to trips. Secondly flopping trips and losing to a runner runner straight. Then finally, having KT on a KTA flop, I come up against a slow played AK.

I am absolutely devasted by this, as I thought this was the night!

I had earlier won the $140 qualifier for the World Series final, so I will take my place in tomorrows final and I am determined to avenge my defeat here.

So Gutted!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Confidence restored!

Tonight was looking like being one of those nights again.
The Littlewoods player points was first on the agenda, after a poor start, I picked my game up and found myself on the final table.
With 5 players left I had moved into 3rd and found myself with AK on the button, I put a steal size raise in and HUABOY goes all in with A6, a flop of A58 looks like giving me first place, a turn and a river of 7 and 9 eliminates me to a straight. SICK!

The 15k was a similiar story, a slow start but picked up as the tournament progress. Unfortunately another nine on the river, crippled me. This time AK to A9. I eventually went out in 47th when my tens ran into Cowboys.

The World Series qualifiers saw me eliminated when my Aces were busted by Jacks and I overplayed AK on a AJ9 flop and went out to a set of Jacks.

I decided to play one last game, a 37 player LOQ Tournament, with the winner taking a seat in the final on Saturday. (The first of the seven remaining World Series tournaments left this month).
I played very loose poker to start with as I was still reeling from the lack of success, but whilst my chip stack yo-yoed I did not move much. Then when I was short stacked and I pushed all in with A3, on a 668 flop, I was called with A7 and after a 9 on the turn, with the pot looking like it would be split pot, the river was a 3. Oh my god, I got lucky!

This event gave me the confidence I needed and the realisation that not every card is against me!
I played some good aggressive poker and by time we got to ten players, I was the chip leader. This was a position that I never slip until the last 3. The short stacked went all in with A7 and I called with AK, of course the flop included a 7!.

At this point the useful Meijer was 50 chips in front! Meijer had already won a LOQ Final so this would be a real test for me. We had 25k in chips each and jolindi1 had 5k. From this point on I regained my composure and played some great poker to take this tournament and win my seat in the LOQ final on Saturday. After 2hours and 11 seconds, I had won my first MTT this month and maintained my target of achieving at least one World Series opportunity a weekend.

It really is time to get my world series seat! A night off is in order after that performance tonight, but I will be back with renewed confidence on Friday.

With Dewi Cool and bifta, two of the sites best players already in the LOQ final on Saturday, this will be a real challenge, but I feel I am ready for it.

Time to take it down!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Small Progress Made

Not the most successful of nights, but progress has been made on point five of my monthly objectives.

The Littlewoods player points route for the World Series was another dissapointment last night. For the seventh consecutive time I made the final table, but my preflop raise of 4 times the blind with 99 did not scare off an A2 off suit call. Needless to say the flop of 345, did not help me! I went out in 9th

During the £15k I played a patient game, moving up to 5k in chips with 101 players left. When my AK suited met with an AT3 board, I thought I would move further up the leader board, but as the guy had TT, I soon realised that it was not to be!

The new objective of sorting out my STT record, took a step in the positive direction though. I played four games last night, winning one and coming 2nd in three. It was dissapointing that I could not win more, but making money in each was my target. According to my form is now officially HOT!

Tonights games include the Littlewoods Player Points, £15k and World Series Stage 2 Qualifier ($140). Depending on performance I will try to get in a few STT's to help achieve Target 5.

These are important games, as a good performance tonight, will put me in two of the finals for the remaining 7 opportunities for a world series seat this month.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Latest Update

After a few days break from the world of poker its back to business again.

On the PR front, I made the front page of the St.Ives Weekly News! I will get this scanned in and available for everyone to see.

As for the Poker, it is been a quiet return.
I qualified for the $1k World Series final on Sunday, but unfortunately went out in 11th place, reraising an agressive button with AQ, but he had Kings and I was beaten. The tournament though was abandoned with 7 people left due to software failure, so I would not been able to win my seat, but I would have had a equal share of the $30k prize money.

At least I am continuing to give myself the opportunity at least once a weekend.

A quick review of my monthly targets
1) Qualify for World Series seat, I have had two finals so far this month and finished 7th and 11th, so I am not too far away. I have a maximum of 7 further opportunities during the month. I would obviously like to make them all, but if I can make 3 of them, I am confident I can secure my seat in one of them.

2) Achieve a top 20 in the £50k. This months record reads 65th, Abandonded. With 3 more to play this remains a realistic but stretching target.

3) Achieve two final tables in the £15k, so far from 5 efforts, I have finished in the last 50 in four of them, my best finish has been 22nd twice! Again this remains a realistic target.

4) £3k profit, this month has failed to add any money to the bankroll so far, but as I have stressed this month is more about securing my seat, rather than winning money. In reality, my target was too ambitious and I am lowering my aims to £1.5k, as I will mainly be playing world series games.

5) I am however adding a further target. There is a website that provides results of everyones single seater tournament results. This is a very useful site, but it does highlight some very significant findings. My profits to date have enitirely come from Multi Table Tournaments and so I am in a negative position on Single Table Tournaments. As a result of this I would like to turn this around by the end of the month.

There is a lot left to achieve for the remainder of April and the quest for glory starts tonight.

Very Focused!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

This game can be so cruel

It at times like these you wonder why you play this game.

After the bad luck from last night, the $600k tournament was very cruel.

I hit top set on the flop and one player goes all in and hits runner runner to hit a flush. Shortly after with a pair of Kings, I go all in on a Jack high flop, I get called with AJ. The remaining cards are two spades giving them a Ace high flush with 4 spades on the board.

The £50k was going very well, with only 65 players remaining from the 404 that started. I have A7 suited in the small blind. The button raises me, which he has done for the last three blinds. I defend my blind all in and he turns over Aces. Two nights on the trot, I run into aces near the end of a tournament.

After this latest run of luck, I am going to have a little break!
See you in a few days

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fool?

A mixed start to the month of April.

The positive start is a £350 profit on day 1 thanks to money finishes in the World Series qualifier and another money finish in the 15k.

Unfortunately my quest for a World Series seat is not yet complete. Having made it to the last nine players in the final and sitting in 2nd position, I am dealt a pair of Kings on the button. There is one initial raiser so I re-raise him, he goes all in. Can I throw away a pair of Kings, there is one place up for grabs and I have to win the tournament to get it. I call and he has those dreaded Aces. Unfortunately the Aces hold up and lose the majority of my stack. I go all in on my first decent hand KQ suited and run into AQ.

Its hard to be disappointed after a profitable day, but I was winning the 15k with 40 left. AK in the small blind, ran into JJ in the big blind and he hit four spades to a flush, taking out most of my stack. I was also 2nd in the LOQ and had I not run into Aces, I could have my plane tickets booked my now.

Still I have played well again, tomorrow I have the $600k final and the £50k tournament. I am having a few days rest next week, so I am hoping to continue my form into tomorrow.
I might have one last go at getting in the world series qualifier, but I have not decided yet.

Good Luck All