Saturday, September 29, 2007

Absence makes your poker grow stronger?

A two week break and right back in the money.

I thought I would try the $20k and see what I could do.
It started slowly, but during levels 4 though 7 I moved into 2nd position in the tournament. Where I stayed until the last 20.

I lost a few chips when I went to the final table and was sitting in 7th.
I fought hard and although I never got a high proportion of the chips, I kept myself ahead of the blinds, by playing positional poker.

By time it got to the last four, I was really struggling but the two in second and third were also getting low.

I continued to battle and got myself into a heads up situation.
I had won my previous 5 heads up in this tournie, but I was 60k to 340k behind.
My opponent was all in, nearly every hand, making it difficult to play any poker. I doubled up once to get to 100k and then got my chips in with AK but lost to 94.

My first heads up defeat in this tournament was dissapointing, but first game back and $4000 better off, I think I'll take that!

I really enjoyed the game and the challenge and saw the game very clearly. A good performance.

I played it again tonight, I was going very well when holding AQ spades on a two spade board, I reraised all in. I was called by 86 spades and he hit his six on the river. Never mind it happens. I lost to a guy called Leevan, who hit everything and is 10k clear at this point with 93 left. I guarantee he won't make the money!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Welcome Back Leonarch

Finally we have Leon the legend back again!

1) What have you been up to in the last year?
2) Are you still doing the same thing - Barrow Boy?
3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?
4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
7) Your ambition last year was to win 40k.Did you achieve this? Do you have a new ambition?
8) Are you still playing as Leonarch on Wm Hill
9) Are you still playing as much poker?
10) You asked for more big tournies on crypto, did you get your wish?- Whats the biggest improvement required now?
11) Your top players were Thierry H, ClintonO, Tiddles, Sun_Deshi, The Cheese, Oranges, 007apr, Daes265, Andy1965 and Homer2004 has this changed?
12) Anything else you want to tell us?

Thank you my good friend.


Welcome Back Oranges

Lets see what our friend Oranges has been up to.

1) What have you been up to in the last year?

About 12 months ago I had only just started to play MTTs regularly. I had a pretty good and lucrative run at them for the last few months of 2006. The CPC at the back end of the year was again a great experience and I’m really looking forward to this year’s event.

The 1st 3 months of 2007 were pretty awful but then I had a good and profitable spring on Crypto and a host of other sites. This was followed by a short and profitable (just!) trip to Vegas.

Over the summer I’ve not played as much as I would like mainly due to things you can relate to – pressures of work, family, lots of social stuff etc.

2) Are you still doing the same thing - IFA

Yeh, the day job continues. In recent months it’s also taken up a lot of time in the evenings as well. I’m also in the process of launching a new company which means it’s a pretty hectic but exciting time.

3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?

Depends on your definition of big! Compared to some of the other guys you have interviewed
the answer is a resounding no. However, in the context of this game being a self-financing hobby I’m pretty pleased with how it’s gone. As far as Crypto is concerned I did ok in the early leaderboards on Crypto ( I simply can’t play enough to have a chance at the current fomat) and I’ve had wins and decent places in pretty much all the regular tourneys albeit there have been lots of new ones launched lately.

4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?

Oh God yes. I was a bit of a one-trick pony in 2006 as far as MTT’s were concerned – very very tight. My MTT game has evolved since then and I’d like to think I’m far stronger. This is subject to the most important lesson of all – to play well I have to be totally concentrated and focused on the game at hand. Too often, I have played for the sake of it with a million other distractions and they don’t help!

5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?

As far as the world of the Crypto MTT it seems pretty much the same but the gap between the good and weaker players seems to be widening.

6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?

Not really.

7) Your ambition last year was to make a final table in a live event. Did you get anywhere near this? Do you have a new ambition?

I think I said I would love to make the final table of a “big” live event and that would be a dream. It still is. But at this moment very, very unlikely! I’ve only played 2 big live events since last year and achieved zilch. I did make the FT at my first live event in Vegas. It was a 180 runner $120 MTT – does that count?

8) Are you still playing as oranges or psorange on Littlewoods

Oranges has just about gone into retirement and psorange is only occasionally seen on pokerstars. I’ve now got about 15 other accounts on crypto skins and other sites.

9) Are you still playing as much poker?

No. During the week it is difficult to play much before 9.00pm at the moment so unfortunately I usually miss out on the $20K. The only tourney I play regularly is the 10.00pm $4500G. For some reason this tourney has been golden for me pretty much all year and as I write this I have had 5FTs out of 10 attempts this month alone.

10) You asked for improvements to crypto including observer chat and time improvements. These have happened- Whats the biggest improvement required now?

Hmm, a $100 buy-in starting at 10.00pm. It used to frustrate me that the 2 highest daily buy-ins were just the $100 and the $50. This has improved recently I know so we are getting there.

11) Your best players were Azimut, Animal, ClintonO, 007apr, Noseyboy and Leonarch has this changed?

Well, I’ve not seen Leonarch for ages. Andy obviously continues to score well in his several guises judging by the leaderboards. Of course you Clinton continue to report successes on a regular basis albeit you are not playing as much due other commitments. As for Nosey, he seems to have returned to MTTs and he beat me HU in the $4500 earlier in the month Simply, he was the most dangerous player on the FT.

Azimut and Animal? I can’t believe I said they were my best players!! Seriously, they both continue to murder on-line games.

Others? Loads – too many to mention but there are so many playing different accounts its hard to know who is who nowadays

12) Anything else you want to tell us?

Yeh, I look forward to seeing everyone in St Kitts for the great Crypto gathering.

Thanks Pete, see you in St.Kitts

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The day of the bubble

Last night was a very frustrating night for poker for myself, bubbling in both the Caribbean Poker qualifier and the $1000k qualifier. Both times the river card destroyed me and after being in the top positions nearly the whole time it was particularly frustrating.

The Gold Cup Series has not kicked on for me earlier, I played in the $200 GC4 event after qualifying a few weeks ago. I was hanging on for quite some time and whenever I got into a position to move on, something unpleasant would happen! In the end I finished 42nd of the 280 odd players and narrowly missed out on a cash.

I would very much like to congratulate Leseth_25 though, this is someone who I have spent a fair amount of time with, helping to improve his game. Last night he finished 3rd in the $50k tournament winning $5660 and was unfortunate not to go on and make more. A great effort.

A quick hello to Brazil, Colombia and the Philippines who have logged on recently taking the countries following the blog up to 53.

Finally watch out for some Poccer updates later today!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome Back Macaroon

One of the nicest guys you will ever meet.
Sit back relax and make sure you have 10 - 15 mins to spare!

1 S0 Mac, what have you been up to?
I do a lot of competition fishing (ie for money) and have had my best year ever. Fishing is very similar to poker – some luck is involved but not nearly as much as most people assume. Once you realise that your results are largely in your own hands everything clicks into place – exactly as with poker.

Also in the throes of moving – our buyer said she would have our place in September, 2006 but the chain keeps breaking – you know how it is. Anyway the latest is that we shall be moving to near St Ives possibly in October.

2 The other thing I’ve been doing very well is getting older – 65 in October. At that point I will be officially retired. Technically at the time of writing I am still employed as a journalist, but on permanent sick leave because of severe hearing problems which have come about largely because of old age but not helped by being within a few feet of a bomb blast in Ireland in 1984 which damaged my inner ears.

I have been asked what I feel about the IRA, who planted the bomb, and it may interest some of you to know that I have never thought about blaming them for my damage. The fact is that this life is not fair…some people are born badly physically deformed, some are very strong and others very weak, some are mentally deficient, some have accidents, and in wars innocent people are maimed and killed. That’s the reality. I accept my failings, and my misfortunes, with equanimity… though I would like to change them of course.

As a journalist I hope I can look at the situation from the outside, and in many ways equate their actions to those of the French Resistance; both of them did whatever they felt necessary in the circumstances, and innocent people were killed. Of course both attracted men who simply enjoyed the violence; but both showed extreme courage at times.

The fact is that wars are terrible and almost always avoidable…and the sooner governments realise that the better. Having been to Ireland a few times I think I know a little of the background to the ‘troubles’ and understand why British newspapers have felt themselves unable to publish much of the truth about the root of the problems.

3 Have you had any big successes in the last year?
I can honestly say now that since starting poker I am in profit. That is largely thanks to two nice wins in a $5 and a $20 tourney with Victor Chandler, netting me nearly $3,000. But I have consistently been in the prizes since then, and am managing to win enough to cover all my entrance fees, so that balance of nearly $3000 is still there – not bad for a $50 deposit.

I record every game, and write in my winnings, and have a column which I tick if I get within striking distance of the money – if there are 100 prizes I tick if I get in the top 200. I get money or a tick in one third of all my tourneys. I think that is a fair way of gauging my true form, which is satisfactory to me for I can only improve I think.

Interestingly, though I rarely play cash games I win in two thirds of those I play. That’s mainly because I leave when I have doubled my money. I am not ‘in the zone’ on cash games yet, and still have to work out the difference between cash players and tourney players. I also tend to make a profit in STTs though I don’t play many. I tried cash thanks to advice from Noseyboy – thanks mate!

4 Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
The lessons I have learned include the fact that the tighter I play the better my results. And I have learned not to be afraid of rebuys; in fact I have done rather well in these, latest being the last tourney I played when I was fourth for $150 after re-buying once, after about 50 minutes, when I went out on a real bad beat, and then taking the add-on. So total outlay was $18.50.

PS I went out on a real bad beat – 77 out to AQ…no A or Q or straight came down – I was counterfeited by JJ and KK on the board! He did apologise!

5 Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
I notice the penchant for players to enter speed and turbo events, which I guess attracts the players who rely on luck. There’s even a tourney on Poker Heaven with one-minute levels! And the tiny freerolls are amazing – hundreds of players competing for £10. Doesn’t make sense to me.

In the tournaments I play I think players are generally better than 12 months ago. I now see some who sit through the first two or three rounds and simply don’t bet. I also now notice the interest in the several big ‘World’ tournaments and saw a discussion on TV the other night about how the true World Champion should be decided (I say ‘saw’ advisedly since I couldn’t hear most of it!).

I also notice that the various sites keep changing their set-ups, generally for the better. I just wish I could work out how to get the Hand History with Poker Heaven! And I see that the TV seems to have less poker now than a year ago; not sure whether that is good or bad as it takes the heat of criticism off a little.

6 Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
My approach had changed, in that I am quite happy to lay down big hands without a second thought in the early parts of tournaments.

I will not now normally willingly go all-in against more than one opponent if it means I could be eliminated – that is unless I am certain I hold the nuts of course. As an example the other day I held KK and there were three all-ins in front of me and I folded (glad I did). Clinton gave me my first lessons in poker, and he is renowned as a tight player, Having experimented with looking at lots of cheap flops with nothing, which does not work for me, I guess I am now probably as tight as Clinton…and that’s saying something!

However, on the final table I now know that one must take chances with lesser hands or the blinds will eat me up. However, I still normally show my winning hands (even if not challenged) in the early parts of tourneys, and I think this pays dividends later, when players will fold knowing that if I raise I have a big hand.

7 Do you have a new ambition?
My ambition was to make a living wage; but I am still serving my apprenticeship. However, more haste less speed, and I am sure that once I step up the money stakes I will make a reasonable profit, as I find the bigger-money tourneys much easier to play, with far fewer loose players. But I am naturally cautious.

Currently the most I have ever paid to enter a tourney was £12. Generally I keep to the £2 or $5 stuff. The $20 tourney I won was the result of a late-night sitting when I had picked up money in another tourney, and felt great (ie not tired). I’ve never entered another $20 game; perhaps I should.

I managed to qualify for the old Littlewoods £15k a few times, best result 10th. And also qualified several times for the smaller one, now $6, but have never bought in.

8 I’m still Macaroon on Littlewoods – Clinton played against a MACAROON recently, but don’t know who that is. I’m also Macaroon on Victor Chandler and Poker Heaven.

9 Are you still playing as much poker?
I’m playing more late-night games, but never more than one table at a time. I really think this helps me get into the mind of some of the other players, as I take Helmuth’s advice and watch them carefully when I am not in a hand – it’s easier to concentrate when you’re not involved.

PS. Hellmuth’s Play Poker like the Pros is one of the worst books I have ever picked up! I’m not even sure what the title is cos I think I threw it away. Contrast that with Harrington’s which are brilliant and I keep them beside me when I play.

10 I haven’t played much on Littlewoods recently. I opened accounts with Victor Chandler and Poker Heaven because they use different software and I didn’t like the way some cards came down on Crypto. Not just my hands – but other players as well. The number of straights filled on the River was incredible.

I once kept a score of the pre-flop all-ins in a Crypto tourney. Out of 18 no fewer than 13 were won by the weaker hand. I understand that no system can yet give absolutely random cards and that a certain number of different stacks are used, the ones used chosen at random. My conclusion is that the majority have a lot of high cards near the top, since high cards come down much more frequently than a random deal should give them, and that since high cards tend to be bet the most frequently, then a high-card straight will be given more often than it should be.

I have not noticed as many anomalies on the other sites. I have played on Crypto recently, and can’t remember any really terrible results, so perhaps the software has been updated.

I look through my book and note the following recent results, all on Crypto: 99 out to 10 10; AK (K tripped) out to 77; AQ (Q paired) out to flush on river; flop 99Q I have a Q he has a 9; KK8 flop I have an 8 he has an K; QQ loses to AK – none of those are real bad beats, also I haven’t seen so many AA and KK dealt together. So perhaps things are better now.

One other thing – some of the chat is quite despicable. I have made two complaints to Littlewoods. I don’t notice this on other sites, possibly because a lot of the players there are foreign, though most seem to speak English or are British ex-pats. I genuinely think that players will be closing their accounts because of this problem on Crypto, which I assume is because many players are young Brits who think it’s normal to speak like they do.

I wish Crypto would show the hand just folded while play is still going on. Otherwise I must say I like the Littlewoods site better than any other.

11 Your best players were Azimut, Animal, ClintonO, 007apr, Noseyboy and Leonarch has this changed?
I haven’t been playing the bigger tourneys on Crypto so haven’t come across the same players I mentioned a year ago. So unable to comment whether they are still dangerous. I assume they are. Haven’t come across any others because in the large-entry small-money games you don’t often see the same players night after night.

12 Anything else you want to tell us?
Another reason I haven’t played as much on Crypto is because of the smaller number of players. I prefer the 500-plus tourneys as I do much better. Also, I qualified for the £12 satellite to the Sunday £40k the other day; came to play the second satellite and it was cancelled because not sufficient number of players. That is so annoying. VC usually has around 1000 for the 8.10 pm $5 freezeout, which I love.

Did OK in my first Headhunter on Littlewoods. Did all the hard work taking all but 30 of one player’s chips on an all-in, but of course get no payment for that! The next hand he tilts of course and goes all-in and someone else gets the payment; I can see why it is popular.

I love some of the blogs – specially Blue Scouse (must be barmy, but very honest); that leads me to Brian Townsend, which is awesome as he makes $100k and more in a day sometimes, and even more; of course he loses sometime. Poor bloke lost almost $1m in a week a month ago. Have recently found Ukgatsby, who like me plays only the smaller tourneys. Came up against him on Crypto a couple of days ago and he went out with an appalling play on his part. Sorry mate! My first port of call, though, is still ClintonO.

I now write a poker column for a local paper, the editor of which is a friend of mine. No payment, but hope I am doing my bit for the game. He tells me his Managing Director loves the column. I state I play only small-money games, and anyway if I played for bigger money there would be lots of complaints no doubt.

Finally, I would like to start a blog, and mention EVERY SINGLE win and loss, as I can’t get a real handle on some of the bloggers because they obviously like to make out they are successful but don’t mention all their games. But I would be unable to write horrendous stories about going out and getting blathered, which seems to be the favourite occupation of some of the bloggers out there…

I could call it the Ramblings of a Boring Old Fart; or perhaps Pensioners Poker!

Thanks Mac, a most excellent interview!


Welcome Back The Deacon

Next in our interview list has taken part in 2 wsop main events and is a decent guy to boot.

Welcome back Joe.

1) What have you been up to in the last year?
work, poker, parties

2) Are you still doing the same thing - Bathroom Fitter?
yes, it pays the bills

3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?
just a few wins om £2k gtd, $2k gtd. etc..nothing to write home about...

4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
yes, I am very unlucky..i have an above average proportion of bad beats....

5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
I think online poker reached its peak last year and will eventually decline further..I think the future is looking brighter for live poker...

6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
I am starting to play less online poker and more pub, home tournaments...

7) Your ambition last year was to win a couple of big professional events and turn professional.Did you get anywhere near this?
Do you have a new ambition?
No, poker will always just be a hobby to me...

8) Are you still playing as TheDeacon on Littlewoods....
yes, I do play on a few other sites under different names....

9) Are you still playing as much poker?
No, I have other ambitions and hobbies which mean less time for poker....

10) You asked for improvements to crypto including free rolls has this happened?-
yes, I am glad to see free rolls on Crypto...Though at $100..I would like to see higher value free rolls..
Whats the biggest improvement required now?
Higher value tournaments and free rolls, although if the decline in online poker happens as I think it may, then this may prove difficult...

11) Anything else you want to tell us?
I have tried to make a living from online poker but my bankroll just can't withstand the disproportional number of bad beats that I have experienced over the years...I therefore will treat poker as a gaming hobby, that it is....see you at the tables

Thanks Joe


Monday, September 10, 2007

Golden Cup Series of Poker - days 1 & 2.

A decent start to the 2nd Golden Series of Poker on day 1.

Each day of 9, has a main event, but also two side events.
The first event of the day was the $15k Guaranteed event, which was exceptionally good value with a $5k overlay.
I made the final table in this first event, but ultimately fell short, finishing in 8th place, winning $450. My end came when short stacked I pushed with AQ. I was called by the big blind who had T2.

Flop was harmless 349, Turn 5, River A. I pair my ace but it also gave him the straight.

The other side event was the headhunter event ($6k overlay), I managed to make my money back through the bounties, but fell short of the cash finishes.

The first main event was the $35k guaranteed (again a $5k overlay), with a starting stack of 4500 chips. I managed to double up fairly early and kept well above average throughout. I got a little short when we got in the money and reraised all in with QQ, unfortunately I was called by K2 and the King paired on the flop. It was a cash finish, but disappointing to go out in 35th when it was looking good.

Yesterday was day 2 of the golden series of poker, but I missed out on the all the games, well they started too early for those of us with families!
I would like to say congratulations to one of our interviewees from last week. Mr Mihai Manole, who did a deal heads up on the final table of the 2nd main event, taking home $13.8k.

Whilst we are on congratulations, well done also to a lower stakes player, Mr Niceguy_77 (Ian Overson) who won himself a seat at the Virgin Poker Festival event at the Broadway in November.

Whilst we are mentioning the Broadway (Birmingham), I am delighted to announce that the Poccer team are returning for a 3rd event on October 13th. We have some really exciting news to be announced this week on Poccer, but this will ensure Poccer becomes an even better lads day out.

I will be online tonight for event 3 of the series, let’s hope I can add to my cashing in each event so far ratio!

Also tonight, I will be publishing interviews from The_Deacon and Macaroon, as well as hopefully getting an update on –oo—from the World Series of Poker Europe.

If anyone else who plays on Cryptologic would like to be featured in an interview, please drop me a note with your email address and I will get you included, I know in particular that Chainsaw wants a mention, so here’s your opportunity!


Saturday, September 08, 2007

£6k champion

Thursday night prevented me with a rare opportunity, a chance to play a few games of poker.

I played the $20k, going out in 30th, and also the WSOP qualifier. I managed to bubble on the qualifying but earn $190 paying for the previous two tournaments.

I also decided to play the £6k and ended up winning the tournament and taking home the £1680 1st prize. A very nice return indeed!

I had played very solidly throughout and the final table looked like this

ClintonO (37k)
Dr.Fun (16k)
dlowen (42k)
Therat (40k)
seatopen (90k)
dtrain17 (21k)
catmandu (23k)
Ju$t_Me (27k)
Tere22041 (65k)
kevoheart (32k)

With blinds at 1200/2400, a few of the short stacks were all in at every opportunity.

dtrain17 was first to go, noving with 4c,5c but Tere22041 was sitting in the button waiting with QQ.

With the short stacks moving all in, or Tere doing the same, making a move was becoming very difficult, I raised whereever I could.

I had fallen back to 28k when I was dealt 9s,9d in the big blind.
Catmandu limped for 2.4k and Ju$tMe moved all in with 31k. It was decision time, the table was so aggressive that any limp was usually punished with an all in raise. I decided that Ju$tMe was capable of moving with any two and also an ace or a 2k,Qc,8s,6s came the board and I was up to 62k and 3rd place.

A few hands later Therat is in trouble with 8k and Tere calls I turn over KK in the button and raise it up. Therat has 5c,Ac and he goes out in 9th.
Incredibly the very next hand I get KK again on the cut off, I raise with KK and Dr.Fun moves all in with AT and 21k. The Kings hold up again, we have 7 left and I am in pole position with 110k.
Catmandu goes out next hand to Seatopen T9 on a 6,5,T board against AK. K on turn.
Then for the third hand in a row we lose someone, Ju$t_Me has only 2.5k and loses to Kevo.

5 left now
ClintonO 109k
Dlowen 37k
Seatopen 112k
Tere22041 89k
kevoheart 47k

dlowen then doubles up against Tere when his KJ beats JJ, money went in on a 9k9 board.
After a bit of jockeying for position, I incredibly get KK for the first time on the final table.
This time against Kev who is all in preflop with AJ. Kings hold up again, although they had to dogde a heart on the river.

At this stage in the game, what did I know. Tere had been moving the most, bluffing frequently pre flop, but weak after the flop.
dlowen was calling after hitting any part of the flop. I got him to call a bet on the turn and the river when he was holding Q5, on a 7,5,8,A,K board!
Seatopen was solid, but capable of blowing up.

I just needed to stay focused to win.
Dlowen then calls a 6k bet with A4 on a 2,J,8,8 board and then 12k more after a 4 hits the river and pays a substantial amount of chip to Tere. I can't see this guy lasting.
dlowen moves back up again calling a raise with K2 and hitting two kings. Seatopen is starting to throw his chips away and has lost half his stack.

I call a raise from Tere with AcJc and then dlowen moves all in. It was 52k more to call and I decided to let in go and keep my stack in place and as it is on the evidence so far the weakest player I let it go.

We eventually lose Seatopen when he moves all in with 76 on a 4,7,A,K board. Tere has A2 and calls.

We are down to 3.
ClintonO 125k
dlowen 112k
Tere22041 157k.

I make a move on dlowen with 89, I raise pre flop. Board is 2c,Ks,Qc. I raised again and he calls, he has hit the board. The turn is a third club, I check with the intention of calling a bet indicating the flush. He checks. The river is another K. I believe he would have reraised me if he had a King. I have been aggressive pre flop and on the flop and decide that he must put me on a King or a flush. I bet 3/4 pot and get called with JQ. Sigh.

I am down to 68k. I get 20k back when Tere tries a bluff. I have a bluffer and a calling station, focus. I become more aggressive, but they sense it and come over the top of me on a couple of occasions.

Things have gone very wrong, dlowen starts playing very well and the chips are as follows.
ClintonO 41k
dlowen 270k
Tere22041 83k.

I decide to play against Tere no matter what I have, as I know I can take it away on the turn if he checks the flop. I call a raise with 92 and do exactly that with a Q,K,4,8 board!

I work my way up to 101k at the expense of Tere who is down to 33k. Tere then calls an all in with KT against dlowens 6s5s. Dlowen hits the straight.

We are heads up 92k verus 302k. blinds 4k/8k
Its time to get aggressive. I raise hand one with TJ and take the pot.
I have exactly the same hand in hand two and when he raises I decide I need to be aggressive to get back into it and move all in. He instantly calls with AK.
The flop gives me options when 9,2,7 comes down. Any 8, Ten or Jack now. Turn brings the Jack, River brings the 8, to make it even better.

I am slightly in front now. Hand 3 I let go to a big bet on the river and I have a hunch that he is now tilting and to play even more aggressive.
Next hand I have A9 and once again he puts a sizeable raise in. No messing I decide to take the pot there and then by moving in. He instantly calls with KK. I read that one wrong.
The flop comes T,2,4. The turn brings the glory card an Ace, and the river confirms the comeback with a 9.
I have got very lucky indeed.

Hand five of the heads up, he only has 7.4k and is automatically all in.
---- HOLE CARDS -----dealt to ClintonO [5h 3s]
ClintonO: calls 4000
Returned uncalled bets 1,608 to ClintonO
----- FLOP ----- [5c 4d 3c]
----- TURN ----- [5c 4d 3c][3h]
----- RIVER ----- [5c 4d 3c 3h][6d]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
dlowen: shows [Qd 2c] (A Straight, Six high)
ClintonO: shows [5h 3s] (A Full House, Threes full of Fives)
ClintonO collected 14784 from Main pot.

Finished off in style!

It was a very interesting game of poker and mostly I found my instincts correct throughout. My heads up opponent surprised me as his game changed dramtically for the better late on, as I had put him as one of the weakest opponents. In the end he was very unlucky to lose.

It was nice to back and playing again and now with the Golden Cup Series 2 here, I intend to play a lot more this week. However I am still a little rusty and don't mind some more good fortune like I received in the final few hands here.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Welcome Back Noseyboy

One of the most successful players I know, Mr Matthew Osborne, how are you sir?

Well its been non stop poker for the last year with a small dip into the romance world that ended in tears, so ill stick to my love for Texas holdem for now. Been a mixed year of ups and downs, The up was beating Joeylove in a race to profit $100k from poker (took just over 4 months) the down was an expensive trip to vegas where i lost around $70k including the week online before and after i got back, probably my toughest period in poker since i began.....trips to Monte carlo and last years CPC were profitable tho with a cash at the cpc main event and a good spell online in Monte carlo with my famous 96 os all in pre flop V aces hand for a $14k pot...
Since returning from vegas ive made good profit playing 10/20 NL on Sunpoker, apart from the odd hickup/tilt session losing sometimes $10k a night... not good but i survived and back on track now..
Im still working in london but playing poker in the office (or id have left by now) and poker is still a far better income than work but i cant seem to find the guts to give it up...probably a backlash of a heavy losing vegas trip....

Ive learnt a few lessons this year but cant seem to abide by my own rules.. the main one is not playing stakes that my bank roll cant cope with.. ie £40/80 NL cash...nice when u win... not nice when you lose and tilt and several times ive had losing sessions of $15k+ beause of it... now that was ok before vegas when i had around £150k role.. but now losses like that do more than just hurt a little.. they actually endanger my poker playing future so i try not to play any higher than $25/50 now... The other lesson ive learnt this year and its not the first time it is if your going on a night out with dubai.. make sure you got deep pockets and be prepaired to empty them in a flurry of VIP treatment....but those who have met dubai know that hes a class bloke and never a dull moment..

As for changes in the poker world the only ones ive noticed is Betfair has worse software and Ecash still havent changed on crypto sites... a downfall to both IMO... nuff said

My ambition was to play full time and still is.. and i still think a vegas life is possible if you can succesfully play cash and use a bit of self control on nights out...but well see what happens this year as i feel its a make or break time because of the dramatic rise in stakes ive been playing compared to a year where i was considered a tourney player by most....and probably still am winning the £15k/$20K mtt on crypto 12 times now since it began....

Yes still playing Poker as 'Noseyboy' on 'Sunpoker' through a quality Rakeback site called '' ..50% RB...plug plug plug... lol .. you werent gettin an interview without a mention!!!

21,000 mpps last month.. is that enough?? ;)
To be fair many of the improvements i asked for they actualy did do....some of these were software improvements following updates and recent ones were the bigger insomniacs game and the big Eds head hunter game... sadly nothin has been done about Ecash and its poor service.... but watch this space on that as ive not finished yet!

Sadly i dont play these guys anymore as some have moved to other sites.. except a renamed ThierryH but i dont blame them... maybe if someone from crypto reads this they will wake up and smell the coffee... as people like those i mentioned were the heros of Crypto.. now its a little thin IMO... I could really only speak for the top players on Cash now as im lost in the MTT world.... but if i had to name some from each....Mtt would be CUTEMOFO and EYESIGHT, 2 solid players.. and on cash.. well i dont like to say it but Joeylove (who recently won the stars million) and some other who you wouldnt know would be Rotinaj,kirderf,Anonpg1, among many good cash players at the higher stakes on probably name about 10 if i had time.

Nothing else to add except see you at the CPC.. and were off to vegas again after for the 5 Diamond classic tournament at Belaggio...and lastly a thanks to all the those who have stuck it out on Sunpoker through for those that make it to the CPC i have a little treat in mind....see you all there... gl


Thank you buddy and yes of course I expected a plug!

Thats it for now, hopefully have a few more for you soon.

Welcome Back Animal

One of the players I first met when I started playing is Robert Price. One of the few players I know that is equally effective online and live.

1) What have you been up to in the last year?

CPC Nov 2006
Mansion Poker Dome Las Vegas Jan 2007
Cardiff GUKPT Feb or Mar 2007
WSOP Las Vegas July 2007

and lots online as usual

2) Are you still doing the same thing - professional poker player
Trying to, yes

3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?
Er winning packages to all of the above, biggest online cash was 24 or $25k winning the old Mansion $100k tournament.

4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
Just what i always knew, poker is a grind for a living

5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
Dunno really although there seems to be more egos out there than ever, its quite funny playing live and watching them but i rarely play live unfortunately.

6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
Yeh think it changes regularly depending on my mood, results and confidence but all those are interlinked.

7) Your ambition last year was to make enough money to avoid going back to an office job, a deep finish in a big live event, sponsorship and to lose 1 stone!.Did you get anywhere near this?
Ah some of those ambitions are for years to come not one year. Anyway i def made enough money not to go back to work yet, although a part time job could be a good distraction from the bad run im in lately. I do have a 10 player playoff in Australia in Jan 2008 where winner gets $50k of sponsorship so fingers crossed. Dunno what i weighed 1 year ago but i have lost 1/2 stone that i put on in vegas 6 weeks ago !

Do you have a new ambition?
Rediscover a good run and some real enjoyment for the game, all too much of a boring routine slog lately. I think autumn & winter i have a different mindset when its dark early and it feels good playing more poker.

8) Are you still playing as Animal on Littlewoods
Very very rarely the grass remains greener elsewhere lets just say !

9) Are you still playing as much poker?
Yeh prob same as 1 year ago roughly

10) You asked for observer chat on Crypto and got it!- Whats the biggest improvement required now?
CPC double shootouts ! 'YES I can't wait for them!

11)Anything else you want to tell us?

Thank you kind sir

Welcome back Alfie

Heres one of my favourite players, who unfortunately does not play as much online as he should.

1) What have you been up to in the last year? -
In relation to poker -playing more live and less on the net-and more importantly LEARNING LOTS!
2) Are you still doing the same thing - mac operator? -
Yeah still tapping away good to have the regular money coming in
3) Have you had any big successes in the last year? -
Nothing major mate I ve had regular final tables at The Western/Gutshot, 2 good performances in the GPT'S, Final tables in Brighton, Luton, The Sportsman and decent cashes on the net including best month ever this August just gone.So not pulling up any trees just yet but we'll get there.
4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year? -
Too many to list-I have been lucky enough to play regularly with extremly talentled players ie Gary Bush, Praz Bansi,Woody Deck Nik Pesaud etc- It really does help when you sit down with players of this quality, my game has been improved ten fold in the last 8/9 months.
5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
Its stll madness mate, still massive, and probably peaking right about now-On a personal basis a lot busier trains,hotels late nights and early mornings.
6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time? -
My love for the game is as strong as ever but my approach has certainly changed from a personal point of view- It is tough tough game to be a sucessfull in- this is something I have realised and a challange I relish.
7) Your ambition last year was to be a regular on the ept- Did you achieve this? Do you have a new ambition? -
No not really Clint but it did change as soon the Gpt was announced - It has been a great tour with marvellous tounaments, - one every month what more do you need-I have played 2 and am playing Plymouth and London in the coming months. The EPT is massive but im am quite happy to concentrate on the GPT for now - so the ambition would have to be to win one!
8) Are you still playing as Alfi17902 on wm Hill -
No (lol)
9) Are you still playing as much poker?
As I said not as much on the net but more than ever live.
10) You asked for observer chat on crypto - you got your wish - what do you want from them next?
Nothing really mate I am quite satisfied.
11) Your top players were ClintonO- has this changed?
Ha Ha Your still well respected on the net mate-Dont really know alot of the top players now though-anyone who can take a bad beat with a smile is a top player in my book.
12) Anything else you want to tell us?
Be lucky

Thank you my friend

Welcome Back Mr Dumbsmuck

Its a warm welcome to a very good friend and the first person I knew that played this beautiful game!

Thanks for your time Paul,

1) What have you been up to in the last year?
I am playing far more on Pokerstars these days under the username arniejokin. I am currently ranked in the top 1500 in the world and the top 100 in the UK.
2) Are you still doing the same thing - Quantity Surveyor?
3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?
A few decent wins of around $5k
4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
I have improved my game for the large fields on PS
5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
The Americans have been condensed into a few sites meaning more action there
6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
I have tried to improve my mid game as this is where I get knocked out of the highest % of tournaments.
7) Your ambition last year was to become a better player and feature in main live events .Did you achieve this? Do you have a new ambition?
I haven't played that many live events, only 4 or so. I actually won 2 of them though. I am happy with my play at the moment and feel I have definately improved
8) Are you still playing as Dumbsmuck/Sharkbait on Littlewoods/Betfair and VC
dumbsmuck plays a bit, and I need to focus my attention towards the CPC. I mainly play on PS though
9) Are you still playing as much poker?
I probably average only 4 MTT a week, things are pretty busy right now.
10) You asked for changes on turn time on crypto, you got your wish?- Whats the biggest improvement required now?
I haven't played enough on there recently to comment
11) Anything else you want to tell us?
Your blog is great, don't neglect it or your game....

Um, yes sorry about that! Hopefully this helps on the road back!


Welcome back the legend ThierryH

Now we have ProView on Littlewoods, Mihai (ThierryH) can play 18 games at the same time!
Thankfully he gave me ten mins to update what he is up to!

1) What have you been up to in the last year?
Playing cash mainly, now back to mtts
2) Are you still doing the same thing - student?
Yeah, have 1 more exam to pass, in 1 week
3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?
Not really, but cant complain
4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
Oh yeah, always have respect for poker or it will punish you!
5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
Hm...good hasnt...same as last year...
6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
Yes, big time, wont make same mistakes again (hope so).
7) Your ambition last year was to win as much money as you can and qualify for all major live tournaments.Did you achieve this? Do you have a new ambition?
Well...think is the same ambition, didnt have the run i wished then!
8) Are you still playing as ThierryH on Sun
No, Garfy, still on Sun
9) Are you still playing as much poker?
Yes, and I will play more in the years to come
10) You asked for a crypto player search, this never happened - Is this still the number one improvement required?
Not really, now I want them to do mtt rebuy tournaments :)
11) Your top players were Noseyboy, ClintonO, 007apr, ariston, kinghawko, kpnuts,xcuseme, Sun_Deshi, Leonarch has this changed?
Yes it changed, I havent seen them lately, there are a lot of new good players, but I still rate ClintonO, 007apr, SUN_DESHI as best on crypto along new others like Costy, CUTEMOFO, Onny, Retard, G@briel, Eyesight (both) and Lee! (Sry if I missed anyone...)
12) Anything else you want to tell us?

Thank you so much!


Welcome Back Sun_Deshi

A true legend of the game. Lets hear from Sun_Deshi.

1) What have you been up to in the last year?
On the Poker front, last year I got my first taste of live poker, first at the EPT Grand final in Monte Carlo, where to be honest with you I played like a Wet Blanket, never made any moves never once reraised or bluffed anybody and totally relied on cards.. In short I was pathetic, but loved the atmosphere and being part of such a huge tournament (biggest in Europe I believe).

Then next live game was the Dream Team Final hosted by Betfair, where I went their determined to make up for the lack of effort in Monte Carlo.. and I have to say I played very well and got HU in a 120 runner field that consisted of some very experienced pro's like Paul (actionjack) Jackson, where I did a deal with the other guy and we called it a day.

Those two events have definitely given me the live bug and I have my sights set on gukpt London, if cant qualify on bluesq, I’ll use my Rake back for this month to cough up the £1k entry fee.

2) Are you still doing the same thing - IT Engineer?
Unfortunately not, I left my job 4 months ago, and have been playing poker full time. 1st week as a full time poker player was great, but then hit a horrid run which wasn’t helped by the fact there was no structure to my game, I was play the game much like I did when I was at work.. More a hobbies then a job.

Fortunately having the right friends who have been doing this full time for a while and talking to them has helped a great deal, in particular Martyn Bebb, about 6 weeks ago both of us were pretty down and very disillusioned with the game.

So as a last ditch effort before quitting poker altogether we decided to "Force the Issue" basically playing poker at stakes way beyond our bankrolls will allow.. Thankfully for both of us it worked great (I think he did £7.8k in 3 weeks, and I did just over £5k in the same period).

Anyway there is a structure to the way I'm playing now, and also managing my bankroll paying myself on a weekly basis and treating the game as a proper job.

Having done this for a while now, I do still think I will get another job (sigh) :(.. This game can be very stressful at times. Although I’m not sure when and what I’ll do.

3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?
The betfair Dream Team Final has to be the biggest success simply because it was only my second live event, and to beat such a strong field of competitors was a great feeling.

Online I’ve won the daily 8pm game a number of times, and a number of other mtts like the Highrollers, but still no FT in the 40k, maybe one day.

I can’t believe I made 10th in that game the first two times I played it, when I knew nothing about the game and qualified via a £30sng. I’m supposedly much more experienced now, yet this bleeping tournament eludes me. Oh well as I say maybe one day..

Also while on the subject of the 40k a very well done to Whitedog for winning the 40k last Sunday.. Fantastic achievement.

4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
Yes, biggest lesson is that online poker is rigged and poker is a mugs game :).. No I’m joking although some of the beats are very hard to stomach.. And we must all feel like that some times.

I think one of the biggest lessons has to be - Don’t criticise bad play, and don’t start to educate the fish at the table. As my good friend Mihai say's "let them play, we will benefit from it".

I have to be honest, I am guilty of trash talking and being out of line with other players, but it’s something I’m working and trying to remove from my game.

5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
I think the evolution of poker has to be the fastest growing sport around today. With the TV exposure and the millions of £ on offer, it’s no longer a game for the degenerate underclass’s.

It’s great to see people from all walks of life taken an interest in the game, long may it continue

On the online sng's (which was my primary game) no longer are there any games with super value, simply because a lot of the players now have a much better understanding of the game, and what tends to happen is u get to blinds 200/400 and there are still 4 players left, which then turns into a bingo fest.

I think the days when the likes of HEFFERNAN, MrTurn3, Buzzer, and Kipsterdk were dominating the SNG’s are over and probably won’t be repeated. While these guys continue to make good money from the SNG’s others have caught up and it’s much tougher to win the number tournaments those guys used to win.

6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
I am still the same player in terms of playing the game.. What has changed for me specially since becoming full time is record keeping and the importance of analysing my play in games, and also being mentally prepared for a game.

7) Your ambition last year was to be WSOP champion- Did you achieve this? Do you have a new ambition?

hahaha! I chickened out of that in the end, I was running real bad at the time, and I just didn’t have the confidence to go to Vegas and spend a shed load of money when I had no job to fall back on.

But it’s still an ambition to play the main event in Vegas.

8) Are you still playing as SunDeshi, on SunPoker and Betfair?
Errr.. Well I’ve never really exclusively played sun_deshi, it’s just the account that everyone knows. I've got about 15 different accounts on crypto and 2 on Betfair and I use all of them... but SUN_DESHI is the most known and the one that i use the most.

9) Are you still playing as much poker?
Yes, probably more now, especially in the last 4 months... Although for the last couple of weeks I’ve played around 50 sng's and two mtts a day. I've had a couple of good payouts from mtts which always helps ease the pressure of the daily grind.

10) You asked for improvements to the RNG, did this happen, what do you want from them next?
Unfortunately not, and when I said it, it was hope more then expectation. How much better would online poker be if there was a governing body that could inspect/police the randomness of the RNG. Its all well and good saying they are random, but if a neutral professional body could give that opinion then if nothing else it would shut up suspecting idiots like me.

11) Your top players were ThierryH, ClintonO, 007apr, Noseyboy, Leonarch, --00--,laz and MrTurn3- has this changed?

Off course ThierryH, ClintonO, 007apr, Noseyboy remain very dangerous players, Leon hardly plays crypto now, and I haven’t seen --00-- for over a year. lanz and MrTurn3 aren’t really mtt players, I think at the time I was a fan of them because of the dominance in the sng's. If I was to give u a new list it would me

ClintonO, Mihai, Andy, Lukylud (what a week he had in the daily 8pm game), Noseyboy, The_seed, Logitech, Whitedog, Scruff, Cutemofo

But, tbh these are just 10 names that spring to mind, there are so many more good players on crypto, which is a real shame, I’d much rather they were all replaced by grade A fish.

12) Anything else you want to tell us?

PLEASE PLEASE do something about attracting more fish to crypto.. And if anyone knows how to get ecash to go bankrupt so crypto can find themselves a better cashier please come forward

What a great interview, thank you so much kind sir.


Welcome Back --00--

As promised, its a repeat of the interviews from last year.

First up is our mysterious friend who I met in Vegas in 2006. A truly wonderful guy. So Mr --00-- over to you.

1) What have you been up to in the last year?
Well for the most part poker up until mid summer - mainly tournies and with the huge value on Mansion at the start of the year that has been my main playing field
2) Are you still doing the same thing - professional poker player?
Well actually no!! I was offered a job out the blue and much to the surprise of many, I actually accepted it! After playing poker for a living for 18 months and experiencing all the highs and lows, as well as a sore backside sitting down all the time lol, I decided to accept an opportunity that offered many benefits and therefore poker has reverted back to being a lucrative hobby.
3) Have you had any big successes in the last year?
My main ones have been in the Mansion $100k with 6 final tables - 1, 1, 3, 3, 5 and 6 for over $80,000 profit with many other minor placings paying for the entries. Qualifying for the WSOP 2006 Main Event and the inaugural WSOPE 2007 Main Event
4) Have you learnt any lessons in the last year?
Ooooh yes (Churchill style lol) I laid down AA for the first time and it was the correct decision! It's impossible to play a MTT to the best of my ability / capability if multitasking / multitabling. For me if I am in a MTT it demands all my attention.
5) How has the world of poker changed over the last 12 months?
Well we've never had it so good with the GBPT, the GUKPT and now the WSOPE - no longer does a decent live tourney mean jumping on a plane!
6) Has your approach to poker changed during this time?
I have to say yes, as prior to playing fulltime it was all I wanted to do, but having actually done it for a period of time made me realise that as much as I love the game, it is true what they say - you can have too much of a good thing!
7) Your ambition last year was to play with and beat the best of the best of the best SIR!- Did you achieve this? Do you have a new ambition?
LOL that was my favourite Will Smith line from Men In Black that I just popped in last time you did this questionnaire! No, not achieved - busted Julian Thew out of one of the GBPT's and was gunning for Joe Beevers before I got shifted tables, culminating in my demise )-: played with Jennifer Tilly in Vegas but that's about it! New ambition? The same really - play in an win a major event.
8) Are you still playing as --00-- on Littlewoods/Sun
Very rarely actually, not playing anywhere near as much but either on Mansions Sun/Tue tournies (AlexB) or occasionally on Crypto with __alexb__ or Betfair '''0'0'''
9) Well you have given your name away now Alex! Are you still playing as much poker? Already answered that one really - in a word no! But I'm the kind of person who likes frequent change in my lifestyle as I can get bored very easily so no doubt I'll end up swinging back and forth over the coming months / years lol
10) You asked for MPP's for tourney entries and AA to win more than 16%- did you get your wish - what do you want from them next?
Hehe yes the MPP's for tournies was nice to see and as for the AA that too has definitely improved - that stat was only based on about a months play but was absolutely genuine from my PT figures at the time
11) Your top players were ThierryH, 007apr, Sun_Deshi, Noseyboy, Leonarch, Animal, Azimut, ClintonO has this changed?
I will always have the utmost respect for those guys though I seldom play against them these days, though I bump in to Matt (Nosey) now and again playing $2-$5NL and for some strange reason whenever he's at my table I go card dead and tilt like crazy lol
12) Anything else you want to tell us?
I'm really looking forward to playing in the WSOPE next week and hopefully some of the guys named above will be there too, so just remember to stay off me blinds (-: And to answer the question "Why take a job?" - security for my family, cheaper mortgage, pension, and it seemed like a good idea at the time (-:

Thanks Alex, all the best in the WSOPE next week, please let us know how you get on.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Time is still the enemy

All my intentions to play more have once again taken a back seat.
I am trying to get everything else I need to do out the way before the Golden Cup Series starts on Saturday. I would really like to give this a good go.

September started with £150 in my Littlewoods account and I aiming to stretch this as far as possible.

This month I have played 2 tournaments and some cash games. The cash games have gone well to date. I made £80 profit which I withdrew for a night out and another £100 which paid for two tournaments and left me with a balance of £225.

I played the GSCOP4 qualifier (which I have already won!, would have used the cash to enter another event) and was looking reasonably comfortable with six left (3 qualify). I got into a pot with AQ spades, the flop bought two spades. I reraised a small bet which was called. Turn was a blank, I bet heavy and the guy called all in with J9 spades, he had nothing of board and was drawing to a worse flush than me. River bought one of his 6 outs a Jack! Next hand I had TT and moved all in, he called with A4. 2T8,5,3. Runner runner straight - of course!

I also played the $4.5k, I was down to the last 30, when there was a family pot. QJ hearts, board T87, two hearts. A small stack moves all in, I am behind, but I feel my 13 outs is worth an isolation bet. He has 77 and I missed a heart or a 9. Down to my starting stack, I moved all in with KJ, up against KQ. I hit a J on the turn, but of course the Q comes on the river. Why give me hope!

A quick word of congratulations to a friend of mine Dave Duncan, who has supported me in both my poccer tournaments, Dave won the £40k on Sunday, taking home £10k+. A big win following in the footsteps of a Poccer teammate, who won $104k in a pokerstars event! Maybe poccer has taught them something! LOL!

Anyway to make up for my lack poker playing, I am going to rerun a feature I did a while back, interviewing some of the stars of the cryptologic network. Watch out for some interviews soon!


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Lets Play some Poker

Time is still the enemy, finding time to play in just proving impossible!

We enter September and I look back on August and see how few games I have played compared to previous months.
As yet there is no Caribbean seat secured and that will remain my main aim. September looks to be a really busy month again for me, with October looking a little easier to play some proper poker.

The EPT season 4 has started this week in Barcelona and I must confess to not even thinking about qualifying for it, which was one of my aims earlier in the year.

I would like to say a warm welcome to all those readers from the Wisbech Standard who follow Mac's column. He has given me a little nudge to get my blog in gear!!

There are so many fanastic events to play in around the online poker world and aim to share these with you during September.

I will keep you updated on the games I play starting tomorrow!
I will also be comfirming the schedule for Poccer at the end of next week.