Saturday, March 31, 2007

5 final tables in 4 nights

2 more final tables last night, not the $3k last night, but the bigger £12k and £8k tournaments. Where is the leaderboard competition when you need it!

It was £480 return in both tournaments - 7th in the £12k and 5th in the £8k.

I do have a really good record at the end of each month, when I have not won much at the beginning. Its that look at the records and seeing a very small figure in the profit column that inspires me to do something about it. £960 last night and $1500 from the previous three evenings has helped address the balance.

A night off tonight as its my football clubs poker night. It won't be for large amounts of money, but I fully intend to win!


Friday, March 30, 2007

The 10pm $3k tournament

I really believe I should just stick to this tournament, maybe they could rename it for me lol!

I have a 50% strike rate for reaching the final table, reaching the top 4 on 12 occasions.
Last night I reached my 3 consecutive final table, eventually losing in a heads up battle. I was dissapointed not to win, as my record in heads up is quite good.
I led the tournament from the first hand to the last three people.

When it got to heads up I was 75-45k behind, the guy I was playing hit a jack on the river to survive against me when 7 were left. I turned around the lead very quickly, but lost a lot of chips with TT to KQ. At the end I played a limp reraise, but unfortunately ran into JJ. Dissapointing but another $850 in the bankroll. 9th,3rd and 2nd in the last three nights, I will play it tonight, but dont expect anything, as I am going to do well in the £12k and £8k!

The debate on the QJ hand continues! Excellent to get so much response on this one. I fully except all the criticism and comments. I have to agree that I played it quite weak, but just some instinct alongside the pot odds told me it was right!

The last comment referred to being blinded away and not going out with a fight. I do agree with this sentiment. Whilst I was in Dortmund there was part of me that wanted to survive as long as possible. However I also was willing to put my chips in when it was possible. I was all in with 3 hands that I usually would not be. Due to the nature of the table, someone was all in everytime in the lasts 60 hands. Also the great thing about this game is that you are always learning. As I approach 2 years of playing the game, I have never stopped learning.

I need to get more live experience and that is my plan whenever I can. I have only played 6 big live tournaments to date and this is one area that by playing more, will help my all round game

Please keep the comments coming in and continue to share any advice you may have.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Aces continue to cost me

Last night, two tournaments and three times I run into Aces!

In the 12k I was down to the last fifty, when I was dealt KK, I thought I played the hand absolutely brilliantly until my opponent turned over AA! LOL! I bet he thought he played it exactly the same and ended up with my chips! I have ran into AA a lot with Kings recently.

I have just seen a further comment on the play I made last night with QJ. In this situation I could not put my opponent on a pocket pair of Jacks or above, or indeed a hand that would have me dominated and therefore with 6-4 pot odds, I have odds to call against a possible combination of small mid pair, ace rag or total bluff. I think it is also knowing who you are playing. My belief from experience is that Dewi would have not pushed all in with a premium hand, if I was playing Jamie 'FISHMAC' it would have been a lot more difficult to make that call, as he would push there with a much wider range of cards, which makes him so difficult to read. He could have easily gone all in there with Aces or 45.

My improved form continued last night in the $3k. I finished in 3rd place with $500+, but am dissapointed I did not finish in the top 2. I started well and was chip leader early on. I then lost over half my stack with QQ to AK, meaning I had to adjust my game.
I managed a double up just before the final table when my AA beat QQ and again when I flopped a set of 9s against 8s.
On the final table, the short stacks got themselves knocked out fairly early. When we were down to five players, I called a raise with 77. The flop was 9TT. With just 5000 in the pot, one guy bet 7500 of his 10000. It just felt wrong, so I moved all in. To my suprise he then folded leaving himself just 2500 chips. I am amazed he did not call, but I obviously got the read correct.

With 3 left, I was in 2nd place. Chip leader was on 80k, I had 36k with 3rd place on 10k.
At this point any luck I had ran out.
The chip leader was using his chips well. After I had lost 10k and there was another raise from him, I had to move over the top with my 76 to which he folded. Chips were back up and I was going for the win.
I have AK against the short stack, he has 3T all the chips are in the middle and the 3 is paired.

Two hands later I get 77, the short stack raises, I reraise he has AA. I fight my way back to 25k from 10k over the next 10 hands, without a showdown. The chip leader raises yet again, I am over the top with my 44. He turns over AA. How many times am I going to run into AA this week! Still my second consecutive final table in this tournament. A win is coming.

Dissapointment last night as the Winner Choice final was cancelled due to just 8 runners (10 required) First prize is £1200 for a live event in the UK, which is a great prize if you have just 10 players. For some reason it appeared 20 - 25% of the network decided to watch the England game last night! Why!

A quick word on Monte Carlo, a few friends of mine have all survived day 1A. Well done to Mihay, Desh and Tony Cas. All below starting chips (12,6 and 12) but great to be coming back to play on Friday.

Good luck today to Martyn, Onny and the legend Tony Chessa.

Tonights its the Dream Team tournament, (lots of pressure with half the team missing) the £12k on Littlewoods and I am also going to enter the Mansion $100k at 9pm.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

comment from tonights game

Not sure if this was a comment from Dewi himself! lol

Interestingly enough before tonight I read an article about Dewi on blondepoker and he was referring to his love of alcohol!

I have played Dewi many many times I also think he is an exceptional player.
Tonight though this was the circumstance. Early call from Jas in seat 2, he had just won 3 of the last four hands, so I felt his call was nothing to be concerned about. QJ hearts on the button for 8% of my stack it was worth a call to flop something nice.

Dewi then moved all in from the big blind with a massive overbet. 2000 chips into a 600 pot. He does not have a premium hand. He also knows that Jas would have called with little and I would have raised if I had a big hand, so by moving he was adding 25% to his chip count without showing his cards.

Dewi was in short stack mode, he had previously moved all in twice in the last two rounds, once unchallenged, the second from earlier position with just A8.

So I have 1220 left. I have a chance to move to 3040 with QJ hearts against a player who does not have a premium hand and is capable of making a move with any 2 cards, especially with the weak play in the hand to date.

Therefore in this circumstance, I felt that the 6-4 odds I was getting was the right odds to make the call.

I hope that explains my logic!

Starting to enjoy the game again

The poker feeling is starting to come back again. For the last couple of days I have played my poker with a clear head and full of positivity and all of a sudden it becomes an easier game.

There has been nothing exceptional to write home about. I finished 15th in the £12k last night for £120. Got short in the first hour, recovered to a nice stack, blew half of it trying to push someone off trips with 32, but generally enjoyed the game. A bit of luck in the final stages and I could have done well. I just never got above the 20k mark to really make a go at winning it.

I made the final table of the $3k on Monday night, again not much than a £100 return, but it was nice to get that final table feeling again.

The only other two games I played I went out with KK to AA.

My STT challenge was starting to look good, after my initial 2nd place to break the super tilt, I then won my next game a £20 STT. I thought I would keep this run up and found a nice $60 STT to play. 3 levels in we were down to 5 players, I had doubled my chip stack and was sitting in second place and controlling the table, it was very comfortable.

Then I got dealt pocket Kings, under the gun, I raise to 150 (blinds 25/50), the player to my left goes all in for 670 chips and then the chip leader moves all in also. Standard isolation play I am guessing, unless they were buddies. Short Stack has A6, fair enough there was 225 in the pot, worth making a move. Our chip leader has 78 off suit. Even if out short stack hits an ace, I am losing 670 to him, but making 1500 from the chip leader.

Flop 456. Out in 4th. What on earth can you do about that. The only consolation is that from having 80% of the chips in play, the 87 man still managed to only come 2nd.

Disappointed that I did not make Super Hot at first attempt, but I will try again. I need to get my Sharkscope stats up by £400.

Tonight, I am definitely playing the £12k on Littlewoods as well as the Winners Choice tournament on Littlewoods. I have got a plan of action in place again, so this has given me more focus.

I would however like to get back in the Winners Enclosure, that I feel is not too far away.

Whilst I am on, I would like to wish all my dream team buddies success in Monte Carlo, four of the team are out there, it would be wonderful if one of them can do something special – Good Luck guys.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Super Tilt to Super Hot

No I have not achieved that but thats the short term challenge.

I look at my Sharkscope stats over the weekend and was disappointed but not suprised by my records. I only play STT when I am limited by time and therefore do not treat them with the respect they require.

Somehow though I have managed to go 8 games without placing in the money, even if I am not taken it seriously thats still not good form, besides my stats say -£400 for profit, which is also unacceptable by even my relatively moderate ability.

The weekend was nothing to write home about. Two games on Friday - £12k was in the top five most of the tournament and then with 50 left, my KK gets beaten by T9. A 9TT flop did not help! I did manage the top twenty in the £8k, which was nice as at one point I was down to 116 chips! However, I got myself back into a position to win it, so it was ultimately dissapointing.

Saturday was just the £12k and I really should not have bothered. I was watching Casino Royale at the time, now they had some hands! Could I borrow one!

On Sunday I played the last qualifier for the £40k and won that, so I was in for just £12. (Here again though I recovered from 200 chips to 44000) I started really well, adding a 1000 chips in the first three hands. In level 2 though I had a SB vs BB confrontation. I had 55. I limped, he raised to 120 which I called (BB 30). Flop 344. Very unlikely he has hit that. I go for the check raise. I check, he bets 200 into the pot, as I hoped, plus the bet looks too big. I move to 500. He thinks and then moves all in for another 1100. I have him covered and would have 1100 back. I dont think he has hit the board, but there has to be a chance he has a bigger pair. I don't think the chances of the pair are bigger than the odds being offered, so I call.

He turns over A5 and hits a 2 for a straight, just great, I then get called a fish for my troubles.
I manage to double with AQ vs KQ, but go out with 55 (hand of the night!) to 22. Board was 234.

I also had the WSOP final on Sunday night, but that did not go to plan. I was short and moved with QJ with a Q high board, other guy had two more queens - c'est la vie.

I have just seen the dream team table and at the half way point we are up to 5th place. We are currently sorting out our 4 players for the live final. I have lined up Jamie 'dream team specialist', Onny'flying out to Monte Carlo as we speak for the EPT grand final' and Heffernan'Aussie Millions Final Tablist. With one more place to sort out, we do have a great team.

Just worked out that at least four of my team are playing the EPT Monte Carlo this week! Time to start playing better I feel!

Focus. That is the problem, I tried some fixed limit last night for an hour, one STT which I finished second QQ to K2. Two more twos! At least I am off of Super Tilt and reached 1 consecutive cash!! I am though just playing random events.

As of tonight, it is back to the planning and playing for a purpose. I will continue my STT challenge whilst putting together a tournament plan. April needs to see me back playing and playing properly. I miss my second income!


Friday, March 23, 2007

Further Dream Team Update

Congratulations to M.M who last night won the highrollers their first victory in the dream team event.

A fantastic performance which catapults us up the league table and right into contention, providing some much needed impetus for this event. The new Betfair software has not gone down well with the team, causing many issues and problems. Hopefully now we can pull together in the quest for retaining our crown.

Whilst we are in congratulatory mode, I only recently found out that Alex '--00--' won the $100k on Mansion last week, very well done to you sir.

From a personal point of view, with the little time I get to play poker at the moment, I may as well give up! Work has been the order of the day. I do hope to announce a new venture very shortly, this probably won't help the amount of poker I am playing but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Only a few games this week. I managed a final table and 5th place in the $3k and I won another $77 WSOP qualifier for this sundays $530 final, but aside from that my few games have not materialised in anything fantastic.

March has been a very quiet month and following my great start to the year in January, February and March have not followed suit. Not because of anything other than the time and energy to play Poker have not been available.

Short term I do not see this changing, so I have to remain very focused on what I am going to try to achieve. I will consider my objectives over the weekend and come back with a challenge, so that in the limited time I have available, I can focus to the best of my abilities.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Dream Team Update

After two awful weeks, the team had their second best performance of the season.
Once again it was Jamie 'FISHMAC' who is driving is us forwards, with another final table performance - this time finishing 4th, taking him into the top 20 on the individual leaderboard.

I am doing my best to support him, last night finishing in 26th. AT vs KQ - all in preflop. Between us we account for over 60% of the teams total points. Come on guys! There are severe bragging rights at stake here.

At the moment it is a case of badbeat or running into aces which is knocking me out. I did not make the £12k last night - internet issues, so I could not go for 3 successive cashes.
I played the £8k, finishing in the last 60, but with A9 on the button found AA in the small blind.

I played two smaller tournaments last night, one on sky poker. Just 90 left of the few hundred who started. I have KQ vs 78 all in after Q6T flop. Next two cards 78!
A futher smaller tournament on crypto saw me with AK on an AKJ flop. I am put all in by T9! 9 on the turn, 9 on the river! What can you do!

I also played the $77 WSOP qualifier on Littlewoods. There was only 14 people and 1 seat for Sundays $530 final. I played very aggressively and ended up winning this tournament. I was quite pleased with the way I played in this event. I do feel that I am playing well again and can accept the way I am going out of any event.

I am hoping for a few good performances tonight!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Just short of final tables

I have been consistently making the money in tournaments recently, but not making the big finishing positions that I would like. A 24th place in the £12k on Tuesday, followed by 22nd in the £12k last night.

Tuesday was dissapointing, I had battled with a low stack for the first two hours, was 72nd out of 73 left. From this point I changed gears and I was in the top five for the a lot of the latter stages. I get A9 in the small blind. Then on a board 8A6A. Someone moves all in, for about half my chips. From the way the hand was played, I could not put him on an ace or big hand. I called and he turned over J3 diamonds. The turn had bought a second diamond on the board. Of course the the river was another diamond.

This left me with about 20k, blinds 600/1200. I raise to 4800 from the cutoff with KT. The big blind calls. He has 30k before calling, Flop 46T. BB checks, I bet 7000 in the 12k pot, from which I am raised all in. I am committed to the pot and call. He turns over 46 offsuit! Then hits another 6 for a full house.

Why he called 1/6 of his stack with 46 off suit I will never know, but he went on to win the tournament from this point.

Last night I doubled up early, but never got much improvement on this until the later stages. I peaked at about 24k, I get AA with just 14k left, I hope for action!.
Blinds 600/1200, UTG raises to 2400, 2nd pos calls. Heres the action, I am all in, guy next to me all in. The 2nd position is also all in. It ends up with 50k in the pot, enough to put me in the top 2. Its AA vs JJ vs TT. The J came on the turn and it was game over.

Two decent performances, two cashes, but just £12 profit!
I vow to do better tonight!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Back to Business

I got back online on Sunday night, with the aim of repeating my final table feat in the £40k last Sunday.

First up though, there was a $77 World Series qualifier to the $500 event later that night. I was happy to win this and take my seat in final.

The final started terribly!
AA first hand, what was I saying about wanting good hands. I reraise an early raiser which he calls. 3 clubs on flop, I have none. I bet he calls. Turn is a blank I put a big bet in after he calls. River is 4th club, he is all in. I have to fold. I lose half of my chips.

I recover to a good position when I am dealt 88. I raise to 4 xBB, three callers and big blind goes all in. I am convinced it’s a squeeze play and go over the top, I have him covered by 1000 chips. The others fold. He turns over AK. Much better than expected, but I am still a small favourite. An Ace is the 2nd card out and ruins that. I then lose another race and am out of the competition.

The £40k started slowly and I only doubled my stack to 5000 after 2 hours, when my TT beat AT with a ten on the board.
I had a great piece of fortune when my AQ in big blind, tangled with KK on the button. I managed to hit two Queens and marched onwards. I managed to make the money for the 2nd week in succession and 5th time in 8 appearances this year. I was towards the bottom of the leaderboard when there were 31 left. 30th is double the prize money of 31st so maybe not the best move, but I moved in with AJ clubs. I was called by 77. An ace on the flop was great, a jack on the turn was nice, but the seven on the river was sick!

Still a positive start back to online play.
I do not have too many aims for the moment regards online play. I just want to spend some time working on my game.
Littlewoods are generously offering £100 for 1000mpps this month. I have generated 500 in the last two days of play, so I am aiming to generate the rest over the next few days. I am going to hone some skills in the small cash games as well as some of the sit and go’s.

My live poker aims, revolve around winning something for the World Series and trying to get to the Luton and Nottingham GUKPT and GBPT events respectively.


Responding to Comments

A couple of posts this week have asked me about my final hand in Dortmund and also about preparation.

Firstly my final hand.
I started level 9 with just over 5000 chips. Blinds 400/800 antes 100. So I am looking to put my chips in at the first opportunity. My best hand from the first seven hands I received was 7 high and every pot had a substantial raise ahead of me. The hand where I was under the gun I had 5 high and did not fancy my chances. I decided that the best move was to go all in with the big blind. Here however two short stacks had already gone all in and a big stack had called them both. My 7 high was not going to have much hope here.

In the small blind with 76 and 500 chips already committed to the middle. It folds around to the button. He puts a small raise in. This was clearly an attempt to steal and my belief was that 76 is not going to be too much of an underdog. I had a small amount of fold equity but not much. The decision was I could put in 3700 to get back 9500. Against any random hand I had the odds and it was unlikely my hand would be dominated.

He called with J9, I also know he expected to be behind, so there was no fold equity.
The flop came 235, two diamonds. Fours, sixes and sevens are all working for me. The turn bought the 8 diamonds, so now diamonds and nines are also good. 22 outs I make that, that’s about as many as you can get. Unfortunately it was the King of Clubs. I was left to take the walk of shame!


By time I played my final hand, I had been at the casino for over 13 hours. You have to be mentally and physically prepared to play this game.

An example is Ram Vashwani. After about an hour, he said to a friend of his, my minds not on this today and started talking about what to do that evening. He had been reraised a few times and clearly he was going to have to work hard and put in some hours, this he was not prepared to do and bluffed himself out of the competition in level 2.

To do well in a big event, you need to watch your opponents, how they act, what they do, how they bet and this takes a lot of concentration. This you will need to do for 3 consecutive days, all at least 12 hours long.

You need rest and slow release energy from the appropriate food sources. (Try Jordans Frusli bars!)


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Proof that I was there

Just a quick picture to prove that I was in Dortmund.

Thanks to Snoopy and the team at blondepoker for this. They do a great in running commentary of whats happening, so always worth checking out.

Despite having more than my starting chip count at this point 10350 (I know it doesn't look very much - the blues are 1000, reds 500), I am looking fairly bored!

I am hoping that Littlewoods got a new picture for me, they have been using the Caribbean Poker Classic 2005 one for too long now!


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Early Reflections

6 hours on and its time to reflect on the days play.
Thanks for the comment 'not good enough im afraid'. It helps to look at the negative aspect of the day and the room for improvement rather and then the positives.

So what happened. Yes I did wait for some cards and yes I would expect better than I received. I played tight in the first levels and that was my intention. When the antes kicked in, I was going to open up more. I was comfortable that I would be able to do that on my first table.
When I moved tables in level 7, I was left with a table with 6 short stacks and 3 very large stacks. I made 3 all in moves with nothing and went down unchallenged.
For the last hour nearly every hand was all in, the opportunites I had to move were very slim.

The final hand, for the first time in 30 mins, no one in first 3 positions entered the pot, it folded around to the button, who was going to move with any two cards. I figured that 76 was not going to be a massive underdog and I was not going to let my chip stack deplete and further.

I obviously would have like to have done better, but getting this far was a step in the right direction for me.
I made more moves than I usually do, I took down a couple of pots that I was very pleased with to keep my stack up.

Being critical, I could have thrown my chips around more, but I also have to ask myself would that have made any difference. Yes I wanted to make the money and yes I am dissapointed.

On the positive side enough, I have learnt so much more from the live game that, it can only help me for the future.
Keep the comments coming, its the only way I can learn.


EPT Dortmund Day 1b

At 3.45pm German Time, my first taste of the European Poker Tour took place. Was due to start at 3pm, but as I mentioned before the organisation was not good all week.

There were 257 players today, making the total just short of 500, but still a EPT record.
The whole building was full of big names and it was certainly going to be an interesting day.

Tisch (Table) 11 seat 3 was to be my home for most of the day, at least until level 7 when I moved to table 13 seat 3.

On my table the biggest name was Ram Vashwani in seat 7. I was delighted with this as it meant the table would be full of action, waiting to pay off all the big hands I was going to get.

Although he did not last long and was 2nd out of the 257 at the start of level 2. Raising all in with A5 on a Q235 board. The other guy had 33.

Level 1. Start 10000 chips, end 9875. A fairly uneventful level for me, lowest was 9700 highest 10300. I had one had of note QQ in the small blind, after about 20 mins, I reraised a raise from the cutoff and he folded. A premium pocket pair every 20 mins, that would be great 2.

Level 2. End 9925, I touched 11500 on this level. I hit AQ and raised with one caller. Flop was J high, I did a continuation bet and he folded. I also took a nice pot with AT, when the cutoff was trying to steal. I also had 88, but had to fold to two reraises and lost 500 when I flopped a flush draw

Level 3. End 9850. Nothing happened on this level, no cards, I raised a couple unchallenged with QT and KJ.

Level 4. End 8450. AK first hand, I raise and they fold. This is my only hand in two hours. I try to get involved with a few hand but to no avail.

Level 5. End 7775. I am starting to lose some ground. One hand of note AQ, again no action, as it was small blind versus big blind. I am going to have to get busy when the antes kick in next level.

Level 6. End 6050. I have never been so card dead.

Level 7. End 8100. Back on the road to recovery? I am still completely card dead. I have not had a pocket pair since level 2 and have not seen an ace since level 5. Chip leader limps into me on big blind I have 28. Flop 259. He bets 1000, I decide this is my time to make some inroads. I call. Turn T. He bets 2000, I move all in for my last 4800. He folds! Phew! Almost up to 10k.

Level 8. End 5700. I have moved tables. Level is now 300/600 plus Ante 75. I have no cards. I reraise all in with Q5 when button raises into me, he folds. I move all in with K7 on cutoff. Everyone folds. I just want any two cards to move all in.

Level 9. Its now 400/800 ante 100. I am in button, so I have a round to make my move. Hands are 53,42,54,64,43,75. All day long this has been happening. By time I get to the small blind, I have only 4200, although 500 of those are already committed and pick up the massive 76. It folds to the button, and he raises as I knew he would, I decide this is my moment and reraise all in. He calls with J9.

Flop 235. Any 7 any 6, any 4. Turn is an 8. Any Diamond will now also be a winning card. River is a King. Its game over and I make my exit. 87 players remain when I leave.

It was a great experience and will stand me in good stead for the future. I battled and fought as best I could. Two pocket pairs in nine levels, one AK and two AQs. That is not much to play with.

Thanks to everyone who supported me. I really appreciated the mention on the blondepoker site. Thanks for that. Unfortunately its time to get that early flight back home and concentrate on getting my World Series seat.

Take Care all

Friday, March 09, 2007

A day of Waiting

The organisation has not been the best at this EPT event.

Turning up at 1pm today to register for the main event, 3 and a half hours later still no resolution! No suprises that it was a late start today.

The setting is a bit odd, most people staying in hotels which are a 20 Euro ride away, every taxi seems to be 20 Euros! The casino and poker rooms are very seperate, the casino requires a jacket and tie to enter, how many poker players do you know that wear a jacket and tie!

Also a bit odd, is that is you want to go in and watch the event, it costs 60 euros, even for players! I fancied going to see the event and see how it was, but was not paying 60 euros for the priveledge. I briefly became a member of the press to check it out.

It was supposed to be a 500 sell out, but only 237 started today, I saw a number of big names arrive tonight, delayed 24 hours from the recent Goa tournament, so I am wondering whether they will try and squeeze 263 in tomorrow.

I had dinner tonight with Tony Chessa and John Kabbaj and am learning card games that I never even knew existed.

I would just like to say a big thanks to Bruce at Littlewoods again, no matter what is happening, he can never do enough for you.

Right sleep time now and get ready for the big day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day 1 in Dortmund

I am now successfully in Dortmund, eagerly awaiting the start of the EPT. My day is 1B, so I still have one day to wait.

Littlewoods as ever make the events as special as they can, by throwing in some champagne on the short flight over from Luton. Thank you Bruce!

It was nice to meet up with the two Tony's, Mr Chessa and Mr Cascarino. Although Mr Chessa was asleep for most of the day!

Tony Cascarino and myself went off to try and find and find a bar showing the Arsenal - PSV, but in Germany when Bayern Munich were playing Real Madrid, it was always likely to be in vain!

Instead we ended up at the Poker Stars party, which was nicely set out with a beach setting and a free bar (that always helps). They also showed all of the Champions League games on two minute rotations, with the results as they were though, I wish they had not of bothered.

I will check out the casino and poker room, later on today to get a feel for the layout and then have a relaxing day preparing myself for my first EPT event experience.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dortmund Countdown

Its definitely starting to come together!
Another good performance last night, this time 17th in the £12k. I crashed out when my KK ran into that monster of Q7 spades.

The chip leader raises from the cutoff, I think I can call and then get him to bet into me.

Flop is T high with 2 spades. I change my mind and bet out not wanting to give odds for flush and he goes all in. He does have the flush draw. The turn pairs the board. Which means he only has 7 outs on the river, which of course he hits one of them. A win there would have put me onto 50k in chips and in the top 3.

Frustrating of course, but another good night. Again I believe I played well, I potentially made one mistake earlier when raising with AJ and being called by the big blind. I had been particular aggressive the four or five hands prior to this and was now chip leader. The board came J high but all hearts. I bet out to take the pot there and he went over the top with a check raise. It was only another 4k to call and it would leave me 15k back if I called, the pot was already 11k. I felt it could be on the draw, so I called with those good odds. He had AT of hearts and already made the nut flush.

Two decent performances in the last two nights, my confidence is growing slightly and at the right time.

The Littlewoods lobby has become filled with World Series competitions, which is great news. However anyone who wins the tournament will win a cash prize. I am really not sure how many people after winning $12k in cash, will then give that up to enter the World Series. I really don’t think I could!
If this is the same for all on line sites then the World Series numbers are going to be considerably down for the main event this year.

1 day to go to Dortmund and one fact I did not realise, it will be the biggest EPT event to date. I am eager to get playing now. Friday at 2pm cannot come soon enough from a Poker point of view, but I am very much looking forward to a few days off work!


Monday, March 05, 2007

Objective 2i) completed.

Well I hoped more than anything that I would achieve one of my objectives in March. Well last night I did, but it wasn’t the one I was hoping it would be, the cashing at a live event, it was the final table of the £40k.

Before I talk about that, can I just say thank you to the people that have commented over the last few days, wishing me luck in Dortmund. It means a lot, to know there are a few people that would actually like to see me do well.

I will be completely honest with you (as I always am!), the reason I write this blog is in the hope that some people either learn something or get some enjoyment out of it. There is no greater sense of achievement that being able to help someone reach their goals or achieve something that was previously beyond reach.

However, just this once I will gladly take up all the luck that is being offered to me, as cashing in this event, is something that I would like to do for my family who have always encouraged me, my new poker community who have done nothing but help me, Littlewoods who have always supported me and for once in my life, I would love to do this for me. Something that one day I can tell my grandchildren about!

I don’t believe I am good enough or anywhere near experienced enough at this game to be in contention for winning this event, but if I play at my absolute top game for two days, I am capable of making the money.

For those of you who enquired about placing bets on me, I would urge you to save it! However if you still fancy it then, if you ask Betfair nicely, I am sure they will give you a price of at least 200-1.

Last nights play.
My confidence in my poker ability before yesterday was quite low. I had not picked up my game in the last few days as I wished and traditionally Sundays were poor. I picked out 3 games that I would play for the evening to try and help the preparation.
The £40k on Littlewoods, the $200k on the Prima network and a WSOP ($1.5k event) qualifier on Full Tilt.

I had only previously ventured onto Full Tilt once, but I liked the idea of qualifying for a WSOP side event. It definitely gives me the excuse I need to get over to Vegas! With two seats available and a $69 entry I felt it was good value for money. That was until my trips were busted by a runner runner straight and I crashed out in 20th, when I was working out whether I was going to move up into the top 4!

Still a good event, which I think I will come back to.

Next up was the Prima $200k. First prize $44k. I played a game on Crazy Poker once, where I cashed so I decided to keep using it, for my odd venture away from Littlewoods. I had never failed to cash on this site (okay only 3 games played – but it sounds impressive). This was a $50 rebuy event, with an incredible 1694 runners.
I had moved to 5.5k from my initial 2k stack at the first break and took the add-on to move to 7.5k.
I battled and fought and never moved above average chips. I did get up to 35k at one point. I ended up pushing my chips in with A8 to be called by K6. My 8 on the flop looked nice, but the 7 and the 5 that followed meant I lost to my second runner runner straight of the evening. $200 and 133rd place for me.

Off to the £40k, the tournament I could never make the final table in, until now.
I got off to a great start. Dealt JJ I called a raise and a call. Flop 56T. Two checks, so I bet and get two calls. Warning signs go up. Turn is a J. Two checks again, I bet and get reraised by KipsterDK, I push all in and get an immediate call. He has 55 and was slow playing a set. A river J gave me quads and the perfect start, doubling early doors.

I was really happy with the way I was playing, laying down hands when I knew it was right too and using my tight image to keep my stack nicely above average.

When I got to 30 people left, I had fallen towards the short stacks and called an all in with QQ, I was up against AK and it held. My one and only coin flip of the night and it held.

By time it got to 11 places, I was only in 9th. I got AK in the big blind and the small blind had AQ. The chips were always going in the pot and the K on the flop was perfect.
I had played some really good poker and had made my first final table. I had about 70k and was sitting in 7th place, but aside from the top 2, it was quite close.
The prize money for 10th is £650, but first is £11k, the steps are massive. I need to be selective, as the money matters!

Then after 5 and half hours, I have a rush of blood, make my first mistake of the night and end up out the tournament. I have lost late on to bad beats, but going out because of own mistake, hurts so much more.

I pick up JJ in 6th position, no action so far. MNY75 reraises on the button. Now this player is the loosest player on the table. So far tonight he had had 180k in chips and went down to 60k by raising and then folding to reraises. He had just doubled up again and had me covered.
Also for notes, is that he has knocked me out of this tournament 3 times this year alone, always to massive suckouts.

The fact that he reraised me and not the other way round should have told me he had a hand I needed to fold, but I couldn’t. I had JJ on the final table, a serial raiser is at it again. My final table aggressive instincts had kicked in and I could not fold. I moved all in, saw KK and saw an end to my tournament.

9 hours on, I still feel sick about my play.

Aside from the positive of making the final table for the first time, it also felt good to be playing well again. A real timely reminder just before the biggest week of my poker career, that I do have that ability to make the money in Dortmund. However one other important factor, I need to be at my best for the whole tournament and one mistake could end my dream.

The next couple of days, I will just keep my poker brain ticking over, playing a couple of small tournament, before flying out midweek.

I have been told that, I need a new photo! The new issue of Littlewoods Full House has gone out, with my photo from the Caribbean Poker Classic 2005 on it. I have had a lot of abuse about this one, so I promise to get a new one. I hope Littlewoods have some nice clothes to wear!

Since starting playing poker in June 2005 this is my
Main Event Live History to date.

World Series of Poker – Unplaced
Caribbean Poker Classic – Unplaced

World Series of Poker – Unplaced
English Amateur Championships – Unplaced
Caribbean Poker Classic – Unplaced

European Poker Tour Dortmund - ??????

Right that’s enough talk of Dortmund, I am already putting myself under enough pressure!

I wish everyone a successful week. I will have my laptop with me to give updates as we go, but if I can manage to link up with Blondepoker, hopefully they will kindly keep anyone that wants to know how I am doing informed.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ept Dortmund Update

I have just had my starting date confirmed for Dortmund.
Its Day 1B Friday 9th March. 8 days time at 3pm, my quest for glory begins!

In other news Littlewoods have taken my advice and got a great new tournament starting, for those players like me that want to take part in more live events in the UK.

The details are listed below.

The Winners Choice tournaments offer a low cost qualifier to play in some of the biggest events in the UK. What's more, if you win the online qualifier, there's no need to be restricted to one live event, we give you the choice of where you want to play. Our recommended live events include the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT)

There will be a weekly final for £70 + £7 with one live package for every fifteen entrants. There's one package guaranteed!

Daily feeder satellites to this weekly final and STT satellites on the day will also be available so it's really easy to stake your claim.

How To Get There:
QUALIFICATION ROUTE £3 + £0.30 Daily THUNDER Sub-Satellites to Daily Satellite 6:45pm and 7:45pm (daily basis)
INTO £15 + £1.50Daily Satellites to Weekly Final 9:45pm Daily
INTO £70+ £7 Wednesday at 8:45pm 1 Prize for every 15 Entrie (Value £1050) 1 Winners Choice Prize Guaranteed


Time to make my March

The EPT Dortmund is almost upon us.
This is my opportunity to make a name for myself (hopefully positively!). My aim at the end of it is to be able to be found on the Hendon mob database, due to a cash in a major tournament.
I am still waiting to ascertain what day I will be playing on, but aside from knowing this I am relatively happy with my preparations.
I have not played more than the odd game here and there for quite some time. In the last few games I am definitely finding my game is coming back.
A few more games over the weekend and I feel that I will be ready but also fresh for Dortmund.

February has been a profitable month, but a quiet one. I definitely feel I played too much during January. The main highlight being the 2nd place in the highrollers event winning over £2k.

I was disappointed that I could not go for the leaderboard in a bigger way, I was just simply far too tired to maintain a level of play over the 20 days. Well done to Matt (Noseyboy) for securing his Monte Carlo seat. There are some real crypto stars flying over to Monte Carlo, good luck to them all.

I am still finding it a little difficult to get completely motivated for playing poker, but this is really due to the amount of things I have going on from a work point of view. I know that in order to play at my best I need to be free of distractions, or at least know exactly what I am going from a work point of view.

I do know for certain that I want to go back to Las Vegas this year, so when I return from Dortmund, Vegas becomes number one on the agenda. I am not that bothered about playing the main event (although it would be nice), but I would like to be there and play in a few of the events.

I will be playing tonight in the Dream Team tournament. The team have started playing in the last two weeks and we are moving nicely up the table. I am hoping we can continue this positive momentum. I will also play in the £12k, just to keep my poker brain ticking over!