Sunday, December 30, 2007

Title 11 for 2007

Well its been an interesting few days, culminating in winning my favourite tournament the $4.5k.

I am back in the situation I was in last year, deciding what to do with my future, something that I am sure happens with a lot of people with a new year approaching.

I am still working on my objectives for the next year and I will post them over the next few days.

On a personal level, I would like to have a go at playing more live tournaments that would help improve my stats. There is a David Orchard from the US who has more live career earnings than me, so being the number 1 Orchard in the world from this persepective is certainly one.

I played in qualifier last night. The winner got a $2.4k package for a tournament in Nottingham in March. I managed to get heads up, turn a 12k to 6k deficit into a 12k to 6k advantage, before having it stolen away from me!

I will play in more qualifiers to get to these live events. I could never pay a substantial amount of money to enter an event, so I will have to win my way there.

There is a 20000 MPP tournament on Littlewoods in May, which has 25 WSOP packages up for grabs, so getting in there is one objective. I won the 200MPP version tonight, so I have the 2000 to go next saturday.

As for tonight, I was playing in a few tournaments, cursing my bad luck as usual, when the $4.5k came along. 120 runners tonight and the guarantee is up to $6k and 1st prize $1800.

By level 3 I have already had to split a pot with AA againt A2 and lost with a flopped set to a gutshot, but I am desperately hanging on.
I decide that KJ is a raising hand, and raise 3 x BB to 150, Mugu99 min raises to 300, so I call.
A flop of QT3, gives me a open ended straight, potential outs with a King and a backdoor flush, so I put my remaining 900 in the middle. I get called by AQ and I hit a King.
I get all sorts of abuse from Mugu99 and make a note that knocking him out would be funny.

2 hands later I raise with A9 and Mugu calls. Please let me hit, I can knock him out. Flop 829. I bet the pot to make it look like a steal, he is all in, I have to call. He has A6 and he is out, I am up to 4055 and now need to start playing properly.
I ignore my advice and am up and down between 4 and 6k in the next few levels.
As we approach the business end, I never really get above the 6k mark and am hanging on a bit at the bubble and throughout the last 20.
I scrap my way to the final table and the situation is as follows.

Seat 1: Kim27072 (15708 in chips)
Seat 2: Ric220456 (29890 in chips)
Seat 3: Daddy_g (14891 in chips)
Seat 4: Elgregi (47516 in chips)
Seat 5: Clive0407 (6984 in chips)
Seat 6: Don_dingo (11205 in chips)
Seat 7: Lee27015 (19148 in chips)
Seat 8: Icejam (9646 in chips)
Seat 9: Vict13093 (13692 in chips)
Seat 10: ClintonO (11320 in chips)

So whilst I am not last, I am not in that good shape with the blinds at 400/800.
Clive goes first when Elgregi rivers an Ace with his A4 against Clives QQ.
Icejam goes the very next hand when Don_dingo calls his all in.
Its AK vs A5. TJ554 is the board and Iceman goes in 9th.

At this point I become very short stacked and just think about hanging on until I can make a move.
Meanwhile Daddy-g goes when his TT loses to Rics AJ, with an Ace on the river and two hands later Elgregi takes out Don_dingo with his 55 against AQ.

Now it is
Seat 1: Kim27072 (18758 in chips)
Seat 2: Ric220456 (41481 in chips)
Seat 4: Elgregi (71503 in chips)
Seat 7: Lee27015 (29846 in chips)
Seat 9: Vict13093 (11242 in chips)
Seat 10: ClintonO (7170 in chips)

Time to get very busy blinds 800/1600.
I push at the first opportunity with Q9, Elgregi calls instantly with A6.
A board of 5989A allows me to double up and work out how I can win this.

Kim takes out Lee in 6th when 55 beats A8.

I find AK and a raise of 9600 from Elgegi, I push and get called and am up against 44. The Ace comes on the Turn and now I have 50000, this could be the night. Two coin flips gone my way in a row, I know I am on to something!

2 hands later sitting in second I get 99 in the Big Blind. Vict is short stack pushes from the small as he has been doing. I have to call a 3rd of my stack, but its a no brainer from here.
He has JT. Board comes T (No) 9 (Yes) 3 AA. From nowhere to 68k and vying for the lead.

Seat 1: Kim27072 (18762 in chips)
Seat 2: Ric220456 (20223 in chips)
Seat 4: Elgregi (74751 in chips)
Seat 10: ClintonO (66264 in chips)

I now get AT on the button against the short stacks, so I have to raise and keep the pressure on.
I make it 7200 (3xBB) and Ric pushes his 19k. Its 12k to call to win 42k, its a no brainer. He turns over JJ. The gods by this time are on my side.
The board is [8d Th As Ac][3h]

Elgregi knocks out Kim in 3rd with KJ, versus KJ. 4 running hearts! and we are heads up.

Seat 4: Elgregi (98913 in chips)
Seat 10: ClintonO (81087 in chips)

Hand 1 (4s Js) Elgregi min raises to 4800. I call
----- FLOP ----- [Kh Jc 4d] (v.nice)
I check, he bets a massive 24000, easy call.
----- TURN ----- [Kh Jc 4d][Qc]
ClintonO: checks
Elgregi: bets 69813 and is all-in (wow another major bet, I have to call)
ClintonO: is all-in 51987

He had K8 and the title is almost mine.

Hand 2 (8c 5s) knowing he will go all in - I fold as it is 162k to 18k in my favour.

Hand 3 (8h 5s) same hand.
He calls, so I see the flop.
----- FLOP ----- [8d 6c 4s]
Very nice indeed, I will check and see if he does the same.
ClintonO: checks
Elgregi: bets 16626 and is all-in
ClintonO: calls 16626

He has Q3 and its all over.

My 11th title of the year!
Sometimes you need to get very lucky to win. I effectively got two crucial coin flips to hold up to win the tournament from a very short chip stack.

The heads up first hand was beautiful, I really did not expect him to make an all in bet after I called his massive overbet, but thankful that he did.

Now time for bed and to think more about what on earth I do with this Poker lark. I need to play a lot better than this to be successful, that much is for certain.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Review of 2007

Whilst I have a few minutes spare (a real rarity these days) I thought it might be a good idea to see whether I managed to meet any of my objectives for the year.
All the comments in red, I posted at the end of 2006.

At this point, I am still undecided about my career, do I make poker a more prominent part?

Well the answer to that was a resounding no from a playing sense, I have played less poker in 2007 than in 2006, although I have also started up my Poccer business, so I guess that makes it a more prominent part.

At the moment if you look me up on the internet on poker pages or the Hendon mob web sites, you will see no record of me, I have never cashed in a big live tournament.

Well thankfully that is no longer the case, thanks to the caribbean tournaments in December I now have a record!

My wife Rachael also made it on to the database as well, so that was a nice bonus.

Objective 1) – Cash in a major live event.

I only played one major event the EPT in Dortmund, so the answer to this one is a fail on that front, however the two tournaments at the carribean poker classic enabled me to achieve the main objective of making the databases, so I am going to take the overall objective as a pass. Grade B+

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

Definite success here. I have not played it that often but I do now have 3 final tables to my name. Grade A

Objective 2ii) – Win the Sunday £40k

Well this is no. I did manage a 2nd place and you can't get much closer than that. So a good effort, but improvement required. Grade C

Objective 3 MTTS) - To win 10 online tournaments in 2007

Well I just made it
1 x £12k Gtd
1 x $20k Gtd
1 x £6k Gtd
1 x £2.5k Gtd HH
1 x £2k Gtd
4 x $4.5k Gtd
1 x $3k Gtd.

Thanks mainly to the $4.5k which was clearly my favourite tournament!

To Final Table in 40 online tournaments

Another just about, I have 43 that I have recorded, so thats good enough to pass this one.

10 x 1st
6 x 2nd
7 x 3rd
5 x 4th
4 x 5th
3 x 6th
3 x 7th
1 x 8th
1 x 9th
3 x 10th

To cash in 20% of all tournaments played

I have not kept good enough records this year to count this one effectively, but I am confident I have comfortably achieved this.

To achieve a profit of £40k

Well this is a fail unfortunately, unless there is some major miracle over the couple of days that I have left to play this year.
Also this combines all play not just MTTs.
I am currently £300 ahead of last year, at £32.5k. So a definite no, but it would have been a lot worse without September, October and November which generated 55% of my profits for the year.

Overall I have to very pleased with my online MTT play and look forward to continuing this next year.
Grade B+

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

Oh dear, big failure
I still have not got my STTs into profit, let alone make £5k. I will keep trying on this, but accept, I do not have the game or the patience to get this into this region. I will continue to try to move into positive territory, but thats about the extent of my realism in Stts.

My ROI is still -2%,. so a long way away.
£20 & £30 still a way to go.
Overall Fail, Grade D

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

I did ok when I played cash this year, but did not play to the extent I envisaged nor keep seperate records of my performance.

Objective 4 Qualifiers) – These are vital for my plans in 2007, I must play in more live events.
This list will be a ridiculously tough target to achieve and I will have to play occasionally on unfamiliar sites to achieve it however these are my aims.
Feb – EPT Deauville
Mar/Apr - Monte Carlo Millions
May - GBPT Nottingham
Jul - WSOP
Aug - UKPT Luton
Sep - EPT Barcelona
Nov - CPC (or equiv)
Jan - Aussie Millons

Well that was a failure of the biggest proportions! I was not geared up to play these events. Simply I was not able to commit enough time to play these and I was not successful in the qualifiers I did play. I played in the EPT Dortmund and whilst I went to Vegas and the Caribbean only played in small side events. No Grade Achieved!

Objective 5) Defend our Bad Beat dream Team title.

We gave it a damn good go, but ended up in 2nd place.

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

I even failed on this one! All winnings have gone into a new house and starting up Poccer.

All in all its been a good year, I achieved my ambition of making a poker database.
I have not had the time to play anywhere near as much as I would have liked to, but thats part and parcel of it being a hobby and having a full time job and a family to look after.

Every so often I have the desire to try and make more out of this hobby, but lets be honest for a second, there are some incredibly talented players out there and I am quite simply not in their league.
I don't rule out the possibility of playing in some live events this year and with a lot of luck (of the good variety) who knows what might happen.
I have already booked my trip to Vegas in the summer, so I will certainly being playing more live poker next year.

The other thing I would like to do is build up the Poccer business. I get a lot of pleasure from seeing people enjoy playing poker in an environment that is friendly and played in such great spirit. I promise you, you will will enjoy these if you come along. There are a number of people who have played in these events that are very talented people and I would like to help them where possible and see what we can do with them in this wonderful world of poker.

I have always thought of myself as a better teacher or coach than a player, so I am considering a poccer players club this year. Mostly it will depend on how much time I can create.

I also would like to say a big thank you to all my friends both new and old that I have met through playing poker, there really are some nice guys out there amongst the bad reputation that certain players get.
To everyone I play against 2008, good luck to you all.
If anyone is interested in getting involved in Poccer from a playing side or wants to find a medium to play more live events, please let me know.

If I can do anything to help or advise anyone, also drop me a line. Equally if you just want to tell me where to go, then thats allowed to. Nobody can be everyone's cup of tea!!

Merry Christmas poker players of the world.
I hope you have a good one.