Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Whats available to qualify for?

Just a quick post for those of you like me who fancys playing in more live events, heres where and what you can qualify for in February.

GUKPT Walsall - Blue Square (Tribeca), Betfair (Poker Champs) and DTD(?) (Crypto)

EPT Monte Carlo - Littlewoods (Crypto), Betfair, TGF (Boss), Crazy Poker (Prima), Club on the Park (Playtech), Poker Stars, Paradise

WSOP - DTD (Crypto), Bodog

To join me at the EPT Dortmund - Crazy Poker, Club on the Park, Poker Stars. Paradise

Irish Open - Blue Square, TGF

Others Include.

Blue Square - Caribbean Poker Cruise, any WPT event, Pokerface (VEGAS)
Betfair - Northern Ireland Poker Championships
TGF - Asian Poker Classic
Coral - Great British Poker Tour
Mansion - Pokerdome (VEGAS)
Bodog - WPT La Poker Classic.

Also for those bargain hunters. Earn 1 MPP on Playboy Poker and get $20. Code SUPJANPB.

My immediate priority before the leaderboard starts again is the GUKPT Walsall qualifiers.
Blue Square (Wed & Fri), Betfair (Thurs)


Monday, January 29, 2007

What happening on Crypto at the moment

Lots of new events appearing on cryptologic as the number of skins are increased.
Heres whats happening

Littlewoods - My software provider is where I will be playing the Mid Month leaderboard for February 6th-25th. The top two once again will secure a Monte Carlo seat.

Also every saturday night there is an E250 qualifier with one seat guaranteed for Monte Carlo.

Betsafe - A new site with some good promos going on. Money for MPPs is running at the moment. Top prize of $1000 for earning 5000 MPPS. Plus the top 40 MPP earners between Jan 20 and Feb 20 earn a weekend in Riga - 9th -11th March, be warned though this does clash with the EPT in Dortmund.

DTD - Earn 400 MPPs before 4th Feb and get into a Freeroll for the WSOP, definitely worth a look, only 56 players in at present.
They also have a GUKPT Walsall holding tank, so will be watching closely to see what happens here.

Inter - They are also in with MPP bonuses, with their Reload promotions. Best value seems to be $300 for 1500 MPPs.

Parbet - Another new site and the only one running exclusive qualifiers for the EPT in Warsaw. The have a final on March 11 E600 with weekly finals on Saturdays at 5pm E60.

Playboy - They have a trip for two in the Playboy towers in Vegas up for grabs on the 25th Feb. $100 entry fee for this one. Plus Bunny Money freerolls every Thursday at 6.30 and 9pm

Sun Poker - Really going to town with their sick promo, giving away loads of seats to the World Series. Also a freeroll for the $50k HORSE event for all those players earning 50000 MPPS before May 31.

There is nothing exclusive happening at UK Betting, William Hill, Poker Plex or Classic Poker
I will be looking what else is available around the sites over the next few days, as the Leaderboard competition does not start until the 6th February.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Leaderboard is Over

6th place and $1k bonus money. I am happy with that and will be back to fight next month.

Well done to those who battled it out. Logictech was absolutely outstanding, I do not know you, but fantastically well done.

The top ten.
1) logitech - 2445.8 - Monte Carlo package
2) Onny87 - 1179.3 - Monte Carlo package
3) BLIMEEY2 - 1143.9 - $4k
4) DESHONDTD - 1136.5 - $2.8k (Won his Monte Carlo package last night)
5) Filleter - 1088.85 - $1.8k
6) ClintonO - 921.27 - $1k
7) Threeaces - 858.65 - $500
8) Stinger05 - 839.72 - $400
9) Straggler - 832.45 - $300
10) n.a.t - 815.65 - $200

I played in 51 tournaments, cashed in 15 of them and had 4 final table appearances. With my $1k 6th place prize, I made just under £2k for the event. So at the end of the day I am not complaining!

Roll on February! Although in the mean time, I need to catch up on my sleep.


Recent Posts

Hey all,

I just wanted to make a couple of points following some recent comments. Please keep them coming by the way, always appreciated.

Firstly my comment reference 'one of the best players on the site', I am not big headed and often dismiss what I achieve, it is only when people remind me of what I have achieved in less than two years, that I realise, do you know what I have done well. For me the mid-month leaderboard was great test, I can't play every game, I have to balance a job, a young family and a love of poker. 6th whilst not second place, was a decent effort which I am proud of.

Also I am certain that most players could comfortably beat me at cash games and my single table game, whilst improving needs a lot more work.

My multi table game though is coming on leaps and bounds. I am not totally comfortable with it and know there is room for improvement. You have to keep learning at this game. Last night I was fourth in the Monte Carlo final, where if my AJ had beaten A8 and my 99 had beaten 55, then maybe just maybe I could have won that. I also know that for the last two hours of the game, I was completly card dead and relying on playing the opposition and not the cards. However many many congratulations to my good friend Sun_Deshi who secured his seat, after playing some fantastic final table play.

My second reference is regards the legends comment. I do not think for one second that I have achieved anything in this game worthy of legend status, however it is term we use amongst friends as recognition of anything we achieve, no matter what it is. It is lighthearted and not meant in any other way.

When I started playing I had one game and when people worked it out, people knew how to play me. I have adapted my game to situations and players and believe I can hold my own. I have also never played under any other name, I have nothing to hide, if you can outplay then good luck to you, but I will continue to try to improve my game.

I will never be a flamboyant character of poker, my game is about preparation, numerical ability and strategy, but mark my words I will keep trying to improve my game. I am having a great time with the game and enjoying my progress.

Please keep the comments coming, positive or negative I can only learn from then.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Leaderboard draws to a close

Well I gave it a damn good go. A 7th place in the £8k last night helped me consolidate my position in 6th. I took a couple of shockers in the first two hours, but recovered with even a bit of luck on my side. AJ beating AK and KJ beating JJ when short stacked.
I was the short stack for most of the time I was on the final table. With blinds at 2k/4k, approaching 3k/6k my 30k was not going to last too long. I moved with AJ and was called by AT. The river paired the board for a second time. I needed that to have a real go.
By time I was first to act again with anything resembling a hand I was down to 18k and went out.

I am aware there is still one day left in the leaderboard tournament, but I have to rely on a friend to play tonights game (a very good player), as I have a leaving do for a good friend who has worked for me for a year. I know the chance for Monte Carlo is still there, but as great as Poker is, it cannot dictate your life!

As long as I don’t lose 6th place I will be happy. Although I will still take higher if it happens!
I have fallen just short of the important number 2 slot by a small margin. It has been really enjoyable event and added a real competitive edge to the site. I am pleased that the cryptologic skins are running it again for February and March. With the 3 recent additions (Betsafe, Parbet and Playboy), the site seems to be going from strength to strength.
On the flip side this event has been absolutely exhausting. I have played in all bar 6 of the qualifying tournaments (51/57) finishing most nights at between 1 and 3am and then getting up for work at 7am, not the most healthy situation.
I will report back a full review on the leaderboard with a full profit & loss situation tomorrow when I have access to all my statistics. At the end of the day being one of the top ten players on the site is a great achievement.

Tomorrow I will also publish my schedule for qualifying for live events over the next few weeks.

I have also written a new article entitled ‘How to win an online MTT tournament! This will be published in Littlewoods next Full House magazine. I will post it on here shortly.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Monte Carlo or ...

It was the night that was supposed to catapult me to the coveted 2nd place position in the monthly leaderboard, but it could not have gone more wrong!
First the basics I did manage 35 points for the night which should take me up to 6th place (worth $1k).
However it really is a case of what might have been.
Firstly the £12k. A nice comfortable start adding 50% to my starting stack in the first hour. 15 minutes later I get my first hand of the night. KK in the cut off. One UTG limper for 150, I raise it up to 600. Button calls, limper folds.
Flop is nine high. I bet half the pot leaving me 1500 chips back to which he calls. I put him on two overcards with a flush draw or a pocket pair. Pot is now worth 3200. I push the remainder of my chips in and am called with a set of 9s. Nicely played by him. Probably a bit risky with an under the gun limper to call 600, with a potential reraise behind him, but well played nonetheless. I then move whats left of my chips with AQ and lose to KJ.

The £8k.
Started this tournament really well. Doubled early with AQ against AJ on an AQ4 flop and moved in the top 5 with 8k in the first hour.
Then I am dealt A5 in the big blind, with 3 limpers I take a look at the flop. A53. Very nice.
Button bets ¾ of the pot, to which I call. Turn is a King, which is probably a good card for me. Button bets the pot, I decide to take the pot there and then and he calls the remainder of his 6.5k with AJ. Surprised he limped preflop, but happy that I am about to move into a nice lead in the tournament. River another king, my 2nd pair is now worthless and his Jack kicker plays. Sick – I believe the phrase is.

Last chance saloon for the night, my aim is to make top 35 to move me up to 6th in the rankings as my two rivals had crashed out in all the tournaments.
I never build up a stack, but claw and fight my way through to that 35th place. I am sitting 34th of 35.
Having accomplished this, it was a matter of seeing how far I could go. I was raising 2 pots a round without any resistance. Suddenly my 3k stack was up at 18k.
I then got fortunate as my AJclubs beat AQ, with a flush and suddenly winning the tournament was a reality. I had stayed up until 2.30am so I might as well win the thing. A win would put me within 16 points of the Monte Carlo seat.
We are down to 11 players, I am in 2nd place. 5 players on the table, myself and the chip leader are taking down every pot.
I am dealt QQ under the gun, to which I make my standard 3x BB raise (7200 at this point). The Big Blind (shortest stack on the table) moves in for his final 20k. I decide to call and am up against A7, to join the chip leader in the 75k mark. However the river card decided to be an Ace and I am right back in the thick of things!
The very next hand I have AT clubs in the BB. The chip leader continued his approach of raising every hand where he was ahead of me to act. I moved all in. Unfortunately he had a hand QQ. The flop bought two clubs, giving me two chances to hit the 12 outs (plus the backdoor straight and running tens) but it was not to be. I crashed out in 11th.
$60 and 28 points for almost 4 hours work, plus a severe dent on my sleeping time.
So so disappointing when I could almost sense victory.

Last chance saloon tonight, to be honest holding onto 6th place (assuming no-one managed to overtake me from the final table last night) is my number aim and taking the $1k prize associated with it. The leaderboard has two days to run, but I can’t play on Thursday, so I want to sure up my position was a points scoring position in the £12k tonight.

I will also be playing the UKPT Walsall qualifier on blue square, where I am going to make it 3rd time lucky!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

8th place and 3 days left

Two decent performances in the 8k and 4k last night earnt me some more points (39 for the night) and right in the thick of it.

I am realistically competiting for 6th place, with only 9 points seperating Threeaces, Straggler and myself. I am on 807 points. Those in 2nd through 5th all have over a thousand points so it will have to be a top 4 finish tonight in the £12k if I want to earn a Monte Carlo seat through this competition.

6th is worth $1k and compared to the $400 for 8th so that would be nice. However one big result would do it!

Straggler who is in 7th place has gone out early tonight, so a top 36 place would see me overtake him.

I also played the EPT qualifier last night and won a seat in saturdays E270 final for a seat at Monte Carlo.

Well done to Desh for moving into 2nd place in the leaderboard, Jamie (FISHMAC) for winning last nights $3k and also to Eyesight who has been having a great week.

Lets hope its a big night Tuesday once again.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Into the Home Straight.

The leaderboard competition has just 4 days to run and I am currently sitting in 8th place. A Top 3 performance in the £12k this week though, should be enough to secure that so important 2nd place.
I gained some much needed points on Saturday night when reaching the final table of the £8k, by finishing sixth and winning £400.

All in all it is reaching a very interesting climax.

My good friend Desh under one of his 27 alias’ (DESHONDTD) has thrown himself into contention by moving into 3rd which adds a little more spice to the contest.

Last night was a profitable night, although as usual could have been better! I managed a 21st place in the main weekly tournament on Littlewoods – the £40k, which added a little over £300 to the bankroll.
I also played in the Prima network $150k GTD on a platform called Crazy Poker, where I had previously played one freeroll game a year or so ago.
There were 1356 players in this event and five hours on, my pair of eights got busted by a straight on the river to prevent me going into 3rd place and left me crippled going out in 34th. I earned $540 for my troubles, a decent return, but less than the $35k first prize I was eyeing up!

This week my main aim will still be the Leaderboard tournament, although I am going to have one more going at winning this UKPT seat for Walsall.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

You know its not your night when (part 3).....

You bubble for a seat in a major tournament for the second time in 3 days!
Once again QQ did me in as I move in with AJ.

I will win this seat - 3rd time lucky I am sure.

Things are not going well for me at the moment, I am getting my chips in with the best hand and they are simply not holding. I have lost 5 consecutive AK to AQ all preflop!

The leaderboard despite a cash in the £12k last night has continued on the downward trend. I am now sitting in 8th place. The good news remains that a top 3 in the £12k and I am back in the Monte Carlo seat.

There are still 6 days to go, so it is definitely still possible.

The Bad Beat tournament on Thursday was a poor week for the defending champions. I added some more points to our total, but without our star performer Jamie (FISHMAC) we would be in all sorts of trouble.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

You know its not your night when (part 2) ......

There are seven seats available to major live tournament and you crash out in 8th.

I was playing a tournament for seats at the UKPT at Walsall next month, I had played well all night, disciplined but aggressive poker. I had even folded QQ to all in reraise on the bubble.

Blinds were up at 2,000/4,000 and there was 3 of us on the 20,000 mark. I then pick up pocket sevens and decide the blinds are needed to keep me ahead. The big blind has QQ and I am out. So so annoyed! I did not need to play that hand. Grrrr!

There was some positive news as we had agreed a bubble deal, whereby the person in 8th got £350, however I found no solace in this.

The leaderboard competition is slipping away from me, with no successes last night.
A big big night is needed tonight.

The pressure is now officially on.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

You know its not your night when.....

You are winning a MTT comfortably with 3 players left and your computer crashes and fails to reboot!

Yes its true in the $3k (prize pool $4.7k) tournament tonight, just about to wield the axe with AQ against the remaining short stacks and the computer just stops.
My 62k in chips disappear as I try to log back on.

Operating system not found.....

Oh my god, thats my computer knackered.
Somehow it eventually comes back on, (a lot of pleading with the computer gods!) the other two have been sharing my chips between them, how amicable of them!
19k left. I pick up Ak, perhaps there is justice - All in - called by KQ. There is no justice.

$564 instead of $1410. That my friends is damn sick.

I reached another final table in the £1.5k tonight, but crashed early when I ran into AA with my 99 on a 8 high flop.

In the leaderboard tournaments, I comfortably played my worst 3 games in forever. Although KK losing to K9 for 90% of my chips in the 8k did not help.

I am actually just relieved my computer is still working, I feared my hard drive was gone for a second.
Quick everything on the D:Drive!
To lose $900 because of a computer and then £2k to replace would have been too much to take.

2 Final tables is not bad for a nights work, but I still feel robbed of my 3 title of the year.

Amazingly relieved rather than tearing my hair out!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Leaderboard Reaches Halfway

10 days of the 20 gone and I have slipped to 6th place. Just the one small cash in the last 3 days has now left me with work to.

Unfortunately the 2nd place spot looks firmly on the way to Filleter, who when I went to bed last night was comfortably winning the £8k.
I am now 300pts behing 2nd place, which is a top 3 finish in the £12k.

I believe I need another 500pts to take 2nd place and my quest starts tonight. Although I am incredibly tired at the moment and feel I will probably get better towards the end of the week. Anything more than the 9pts you get for just playing will be a bonus tonight!

1) logitech 1093.25
2) Filleter 914.6
3) Straggler 665.45
4) Threeaces 660.45
5) Costy 622.75
6) ClintonO 608.77

The prize money for 6th slips to $1k from $1.8k for 5th and falls to $200 for 10th! I really need to sort this out. (Starting with the £8k tonight - I have just crashed from the £12k - where I played officially rubbish!) As much as I hate to say it, maybe an early night is on the cards!

Fingers crossed for a great week!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Monte Carlo Leaderboard Hotting Up

After 7 days of 20 in the Mid Month Leaderboard running on Littlewoods, I am currently sitting in 5th place.

5th place is worth $1,800 after 20 days, but I have my sights firmly on the first two places which are Monte Carlo packages.

The Top 5 is currently
logitech 1000.6pts
Filleter 637.0pts
Threeaces 625.95pts
Straggler 581.7pts
ClintonO 573.47pts.

logitech have got themselves into a very nice position, but the second spot is definitely within reach.

4 cashes in the last 3 days has moved me right into contention, with a 4th place in the £12k on Wednesday and a 3rd place in the £8k on Thursday.

I have so far invested £489 into the competition, with a return of £1987.25 (Profit £1,498.25)

So far so good, but its time to step it up to the top two places!

We have also had week 1 of the Dream Team II competition with Bad Beat. This was not a great start and we are languishing in the bottom half of the table. Jamie (FISHMAC) was our best performer earning 600pts with his 30th place. I added 400pts and Martin (5okinred) 80pts more.

In the Poker in Goa competition also on Bad Beat, I had a respectable 5th place this week, which leaves me in 6th place overall with two weeks to go.

My focus remains very much on Monte Carlo, which is somewhere I really want to go.

I also had a small article about me on the Betrescue site this week.

More points tonight please!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

EPT Deauville Cancelled

Terrible news today as we hear than the EPT event in Deauville has been cancelled. This was to be my EPT debut, which will now have to wait.
Possible options are Dortmund or Warsaw. A further option is to stump up the additional E5k and go to Monte Carlo, but the price is a bit steep for me, so it will have to be one of the other two. My preference is for Dortmund at this time.

With event being cancelled, I will try my luck at the UKPT event in Walsall the week before. (15th - 18th Feb)

On the Leadeboard front things improved a little with two top 30 finishes in the 12k and the 4k, but there is still much more work to be done as I languished down the field in 61st.

I made another final table on Sunday night, getting a 5th place finish in the £1.5k, running into AA in the big blind with AK in the small. This at least takes my final table tally up to four in the first week of the year.

I had a comment yesterday about my STT form and the comment was right, my STT record is not good enough. I know exactly why because I do not treat them with the same respect as a MTT and therefore my preparation is wrong.

I played one last night with the right attitude and won in comfortably. If I am going to play these they have to be serious from now on. My record at £50/£60 STTs are good because I treat them right.
From now on its only when I have the proper time to play them.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another Title

January has definitely started in a positive manner, as I made my 2nd win of the year, plus I also managed a 3rd place in another. Making it 3 final tables for the year and 2 wins.

The win came in the $3k GTD which had 174 runners and $1044 for first place. My 3rd place in the other tournament also generated $534 in winnings. Well done to Lynchem who won thoroughly deserved his win in that tournament.

Unfortunately my Mid Month Leaderboard competition started in disastrous fashion. When going nicely my all in reraise with AQ was called by AT. Flop TT5. Ouch. The guy that knocked me out with that mny75 only lasted 16 places longer!

So I have 9 points from day 1. A lot of catching up to do. The competition does run until the 25th so time is on my side.
Leaderboard investement £53 Returns £0. Points 9. Position - Well off the pace!

MTTs are really my game at the moment and I am going to stick to them until I can build a bankroll that will allow me to try my luck at the STT and Cash world of poker.
I did manage one win at a STT earlier though to qualify for the £12k.

Thanks to Joe (The Deacons) note earlier. Don't you worry that I am going to go off around the world and throw everything away. Every win so far has been invested back into property (ie the house) and I am not thinking of only playing poker full time, just want it to be a bigger part of my life.

I am not foolish enough to think that I am a world beater and it is the answer to everything, however I do have a bit of skill for this game and want to maximise my return on my investment.

I am pleased to already have 2 tournament wins under my belt after 6 days this year.
I am hoping my target for 2007 of 10 is well beaten!


Friday, January 05, 2007

Sunday Mail Article

Evening everybody.
Its been a promising start to the year and I am really enjoying playing at the moment.

I do feel another big win is not too far away.

The poker world continues to get bigger and better and the EPT has suddenly got two new tournamnents in this seasons tour. We now have EPT Dortmund and EPT Warsaw. Obviously no chance for me to play in them this year, but lets pencil them in for the future!

I am pleased to see Littlewoods is running another Leaderboard tournmanent, this time with the top two winning seats for the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. This is up there as my priority tournament, so I am going to give this challenge everything, even if I am a walking zombie for the next 3 weeks!

I also had an email today from Littlewoods regarding an article in the new years eve edition of the Sunday mail.
Check it out for yourselves!

I love the fact I won the £12k the day after this was out!
Anyway I am settling down for a nights play after another exhausting week at work.
Good Luck to everyone I play.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Well its taken a while, but thanks to my good friend Kai, I can now operate my scanner!

So as promised here is the article featuring the first WPT Rookie of the month.



Nothing for two weeks - Now two in a Day!

Well its about time I let you know my objectives for the year. At this point, I am still undecided about my career, do I make poker a more prominent part (degree, MBA, 13 years in the FMCG world – most at a senior level – believe me it’s a difficult decision to make, especially for a Cancerian (we don’t do change))

This years objectives revolve around live poker, something I do very infrequently and at the moment am no good at! Well I bubbled in the $500 at St.Kitts in 2005, so there is a bit of potential, but so far no good!

At the moment if you look me up on the internet on poker pages or the Hendon mob web sites, you will see no record of me, how is that possible I hear you ask!? (lol!) Well I have never cashed in a big live tournament.

Now I could happily stay online and continue to make great strides, but I can not refuse a challenge. This year I want to set myself up for the 2008 live scene.

I am very excited by the Grosvenor and Gala (separate) poker tours and want to take part in them. To play the complete tour I will have to wait until 2008, so my aim is to get established enough that I can do this.

I will play in as many significant events as I can and will try to qualify for as many of those as possible.
This year I would like to take part in at least one EPT, UKPT, GBPT, APAT and WSOP event!

Objective 1) – Cash in a major live event.

My first realistic target is the EPT in Deauville (France) in February. My first EPT event and my first significant tournament in Europe.

It is vital for my poker future that I am able to switch my success from online to live poker and also vital that I do not put myself under excess pressure to do so with silly statements like I just made!

As soon as I know exactly what I am doing with my career, I can see how many live events I can try to qualify for. Needless to say any success achieved in Deauville will greatly enhance my prospects of playing more.

So what about online, I have won every tournament on the Littlewoods site except one, the Sunday night £40k, in fact I am still to make the final table.

Objective 2i) – Make the final table of the £40k
Objective 2ii) – Win the Sunday £40k

I am hoping that this will not continue to elude me!

It is vital for me to keep improving and learning at this game, as the influx of new people continue and they continue to get better. So what can I set myself as objectives, well I have to improve at each area and that includes MTT, STT and Cash games, therefore I need objectives in each.

Objective 3 MTTS) - To win 10 online tournaments in 2007
To Final Table in 40 online tournaments
To cash in 20% of all tournaments played
To achieve a profit of £40k

Objective 3 STTS) - To achieve a sharkscope profit of £5k
To move my sharkscope ROI to 5%
To move my £20 & £30 sharkscope ROI into positive territory

Objective 3 Cash) - To achieve a profit of £5k
To make a profit of 500 big blinds at each level I play
.15/.25 - £125
.25/.5 - £250
.5/1 - £500
1/2 - £1000
2/5 - £2500

Objective 4 Qualifiers) – These are vital for my plans in 2007, I must play in more live events.
This list will be a ridiculously tough target to achieve and I will have to play occasionally on unfamiliar sites to achieve it however these are my aims.

Feb – EPT Deauville
Mar – Asian Poker Classic *
Mar/Apr - Monte Carlo Millions
Apr - Paddy Power Irish Open *
May - GBPT Nottingham
Jul - WSOP
Aug - UKPT Luton
Sep - EPT Barcelona
Nov - CPC (or equiv)
Jan - Aussie Millons

The two that are have asterisk may not be achievable purely through work reasons.

Objective 5) Defend our Bad Beat dream Team title.

Quite simply I am captain and therefore it is my responsibility to ensure success for the team and defend the title we won last year.
Winning is the only measurement here.

These objectives will be added to throughout the course of the year, but for now they are plenty.

My next objective is to find a flat screen HDTV to spend my winnings from last night on.

Take care

Happy New Year to All

Firstly, a happy new year to one all. I wish you all the very best for 2007. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and as always please feel free to add your comments and share your views.

Its 2007 and this is now my 3rd year playing poker, ok so its only really just over 18 months but it sounds like I am more experienced!

2006 was a massive year for me on the poker front and something that is still very much a hobby, I can only see becoming a bigger part of my life.

Looking back at last year, there are so many highlights. On a personal note and for the benefit of my game, there was nothing better than meeting and getting to know some of the finest players I share the online felt with. Being able to talk, listen and learn from the likes of 007apr, ThierryH and Sun_Deshi has added so much to my game and to them I am very thankful.
I have got to know some wonderful people through this game, I managed to meet up with many in St.Kitts, but hope to meet up with the rest of you at an event soon.

My 2nd highlight was watching my wife discover the game that I love and then do something that I have not yet managed to do and that is cash in numerous events. Both in Vegas and St.Kitts she kept the kitty money topped up! Whilst I am sure she will never get a taste for online play, it is great to have someone who generally wants to get involved and enjoys the game.

So what else, my 2nd World Series was a short lived but amazing experience, I so love Las Vegas so! St.Kitts the 2nd time around was brilliant, meeting so many great people.
Winning my CPC and my EPT seats on the same day was special. As was my other two CPC seats and winning the Bad Beat Tournament for the Singapore Poker Classic. Appearing on the radio and in many newspapers, my features in the Littlewoods Full House magazine and my article in the WPT magazine (Their first ever Rookie of the Month!) Not to mention the £25k that has come my way! All in all, a simply life changing year.

However now is not the time to look back and relax, far from it, it is now that I must look forward and decide how much of my life this game will become.
I have been seriously tempted during the latter part of 2006 into doing more within the industry, but now more than ever I am coming up to some big decisions.

December was a very quiet poker month for me. I missed the start due to being in St.Kitts and with my family and work commitments, I kept my poker play down to the lowest level of the year. In fact there were more days where I did not play that when I did.
At one point before Christmas I honestly believed I had forgotten how to play the game and as a direct result of not playing my confidence was starting to dwindle.

Christmas with my family was perfect apart from the lack of time to play, plus no wireless or even broadband at the inlaws was never going to make it easy.

So with no poker to play, I found some time to read, I have a vast library of poker books to which I yet again added to and found one in particular a real inspiration. This was Phil Gordons little blue book.
Now I had read his first book ‘Little Green Book’ and it just seemed to demonstrate that Phil hit a hell of a lot of sets and I found myself thinking this is not realistic and was quite dismissive of the book, he also seemed to be overly loose and aggressive and as much as I want to develop my game, I am simply not going to play this way.
That said there was enough in the book to keep me interested in reading his ‘Little Blue Book’.

At one page in the book it simply dawned on me that he actually played an incredibly similar game to me, it was not about playing any two cards, his game was about gears, changing both up and down. This is how I have been successful at this game. At this point my confidence shot up without even playing a game.

For those of you who like me find Dan Harringtons books to be their poker bibles, then let me please recommend Phil Gordons Little Blue Book as something you should add to your collection, it now has pride of place next to Action Dan on my shelf.

Last year I had a great start to the year, I had won the £15k at the end of Dec (27th) and then the following Tuesday won the £15k again – Jan 3rd, after my first day at my new job.
Well last night I decided to make my first game of the year the £12k. 244 runners, 1st Place and £3416 in prize money. The absolute perfect start to the year.

The trick – Confidence, controlled aggression and changing gears.
I started with 2000 chips and I was up to 6000 chips by the first break. I managed to double up in level 3 when my pocket Aces turned into quads and I got called all the way down to the river by 2nd pair. Thank you!

I took my big risk after 2 hours, I had 9k in chips and pocket queens for the 3rd time. (I had previously folded them twice, once to reraises (KK and AQ) and once when AK hit the flop)
We had a limper under the gun, who I knew was going to reraise, I put him on AK as soon as he did it. He pushed all in as soon as I raised with my Queens, which convinced me it was AK, my queens held up and I was just short of 20k and into the top ten.

I had two more coin flips before the final table, none of them tournament threatening (around half my stack). I lost one and won one.

At the final table it was all very close and I was sitting in 8th with 35k, there was no runaway leader and two short stacks (16-19k). I arrived on the big blind, but my disappointment was short lived when QQ arrived also and knocked out one of the short stacks. I actually ended up knocking out 7 of the final table!

My chip count fluctuated a little, I called an all in button raise from the other short stack with A7 and lost to J5, but then doubled up with KK versus 66 against the guy who eventually finished 2nd.

It was a tight scrappy final table, with everyone so closely stacked in chips. The game itself was getting on for 5 hours. The last 6 however was under 10 mins!

I limped in the Small Blind with AJ hoping the BB to raise, he duly obliged with T8 and was out 5th when my Ace hit the flop. From this point I just built a stack and used it effectively, raising at any sign of weakness.

The heads up saw me in front with a big lead 360k to 130k and it lasted just three hands. I took the first two with raises. I was then dealt 67 clubs. He just called from the small blind, I am more than happy to see what the flop is. Tc Kh 8c. A Great Flop! Flush and inside straight draws. 13 outs if he has anything. I checked and was happy to check raise, but he also checked. The turn was a 9h. I have my straight, okay it’s the dumb end, but I am certain he would have raised with QJ preflop.
I check for the third time, surely inviting a bet. He bets 8k into the 18k pot, I raise to 24k, he is immediately all in. I have the straight, nine outs to a flush if somehow he does have QJ, but I cant see it. He most probably has two pair T8, T9 or 98. A king he surely would have raised preflop, unless he is slowplaying a monster.

I call and he has KK, he was dealt and flopped a monster and was slowplaying. The river was a deuce and the title was mine. To be honest after the flop came down, I was never getting away from this hand and only a big raise preflop would have got rid of me here.

So a fantastic start to the year, by the time I make it to bed at 2.30am, I have just won £3,400 and yet I am getting up for work in less than five hours. Why oh Why! It’s definitely time to sort my life out!

I will write again soon!