Friday, January 25, 2008

The Last Week

Thankfully my form has improved over the last week as January was starting to look like a poor start to the year.

Presently I am going to mile off my previous two Januarys. I am still after that elusive first win to really kick off 2008. I managed a total of 15 final tables to date, which has suprised even me, but whereas last year I would have won 3 of those 15, to date I have yet to win one.

I have finally managed my first final table of the $13k event this year, which means the only tournament that I am not in profit for this year is the main one the $20k. I will have one more attempt over the weekend probably tonight to address this.

I did come close to winning the 4.5k this week, with 5 left, me and one other player had 90% of the chips.
I pick up KK, raise and he promptly puts me all in. I am pretty much guaranteed to come at least 2nd if I fold, but I am playing to win and call. He turns over AK and I go out in 5th. There is always an ace on the flop when you have KK!

I have not had to delve into my winnings for month too much so far and I have managed to keep them at the £1k mark, short of target, short of previous years, but still in profit.

I made the EPT final last week and ended up going out in 6th place, but I will shortly be benefiting from our Poccer & Littlewoods promotion, as anyone who makes the final table and does not win, gets another chance! It may not be this weeks final, but certainly the following week if it is not.

Poccer 4 planning is well underway, 10 teams have come forward so far, including all 3 previous winners, this promises to be a great event and hopefully we will get a few more teams over the coming weeks.
I did a podcast for Poccer on Wednesday, so I will let you know when that can be downloaded.
Also I have put together a couple of online Poccer tournaments, with some nice prizes, so if you want to get involved, have a look at


Thursday, January 17, 2008

January Slowdown

A dissapointing couple of results recently.

Sunday ended abruptly, I played in a couple of games, went out quite quickly and decided enough was enough. The £40k, the weeks richest tournament on the site was the start of the downfall, I had reraised a raiser with AK hearts. The player next to me called. Ultimately I hit my flush, but the player next to me won with a full house, he had called my reraise with 75!

After losing with TT to 66 and then flopping a full house and losing to quads, it was time to stop.

Monday was better, but not good enough, I added one more final table to the tally, by finishing 8th in the $5k Headhunter, taking me to 7 final tables to date.

Most of Tuesday/Wednesday was spent organising Poccer 4, which I am delighted to say will be held at the Birmingham Broadway on Saturday 15th March.
Anyone interested in playing, please let me know, it will be a fantastic day out.

Tuesday was one bad beat after another, I won't bore you with the details, but it was enough to put me off playing yesterday!

Halfway through January and its a mixed view on performance to date.
I have declared profit of £1k, but am likely to have to reinvest some of this over the next week, so there is definitely room for improvement.

My final table count has been impressive with 7 to date, although failure to win one is dissapointing.

Room for improvement has to be in the biggest two tournaments on Littlewoods the $20k and $13k, whilst I have some cashes, I have yet to make a final table and this where I start making an impact on my profit targets.

I have also been less pleased with my qualification attempts for live events, I have played a few of these recently and not have qualified for the finals.

In other news I have been asked to take part in a pod cast for Littlewoods, which will be taking place next week, so that is something to look forward to.

I will be playing this evening and try to improve results from the last few days.


Poccer 4 - Registration Open

Saturday 15th March - Birmingham

The date for Poccer 4 has been confirmed and will be held in Birmingham on Saturday 15th March.
This will be a fantastic day for all involved, so why not give it a go. has all the details.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Final Table madness

Its five final tables in five nights now and six for the year, but still no win to speak of.

Last night it was the £2k for the second consecutive night and this time a 3rd place finish. I got my chips in with KQ but ran into AQ. I could have held on for 2nd but I wanted to push for the win.

I also made the money in the $20k last night, but ran into Aces and that was the end of that.

It feels like the same old story most nights this week, so the blog is probably getting boring. A few tournaments, a few hours of griding, a final table and an a small amount of profit.

I need to get a good finish in one of the bigger events to kick start my profit quest for the year.

Reviewing my figures, % tournaments cashed has fallen slightly to 29%, but % final tables is now in double figures. Despite one night out of the money the $4.5k is still number one on my tournament favourites. I am currently at number 30 in the monthly leaderboard. I am really pleased with this, getting any higher will prove difficult.

A few congratulations are in order, firstly Fenners_1 who is a regular poccer attendee and part of the Poccer gang off to Vegas at the end of June, won two tournaments last night, the $1.5k and then the £1.5k later on. Nice work.

Congratulations once again to Mr Mihai Manole for taking down thw $20k a couple of nights ago and also Kai (aka Menace) for making his first $20k final table.

Good work all round guys.

I will be playing my first £40k of the year tonight, so I am hoping for a big performance.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another Final Table

I might have to change my aim for final tables this year, with my 4th consecutive night reaching a final table and 5 out of the last 6.

This time it was the £2k, but a dissapointingly only finishing in 9th place. It was a night that promised a lot. AA losing to QQ just before the money in the $20k, and JJ to 77 in the favourite $4.5k. I made the money in the $4.5k for the 5th time in 7 appearances this year, making it clearly my most profitable tournament.

I am currently grinding my way through these tournaments making little but steady progress.
A third of the way through the month and I am about where I want to be.

I have moved up to 41st place in the MTT leaderboard on Crypto for the month and for a part time player that is quite pleasing. I need to ensure I finish in the top 400 to get in the $25k tournie at the start of February and at this stage I really should not struggle to achieve that.

I also find myself moving up the Headhunter leaderboard and now have a rating of 23, probably my highest ever, with 104 all-time kills.

I am still lacking a big prize for the year however, I have not reached the final table in the two biggest tournaments on Littlewoods yet this year, this is something I aim to improve shortly.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Poccer Promotions

Just a quick post on what we are doing through Poccer from an on-line perspective.

There has never been a better time to join the growing poccer community and joining our on-line partners at Littlewoods poker. Simply download Littlewoods software from the following link (or let me know your account details) and you will be able to benefit from the following fantastic promotions.

Littlewoods Poker
  • Poccer Heads up Challenge : We want to find out who is the ultimate heads up player in the poccer community. Starting in February. 1st Prize Apple I-pod Nano
  • Bubble Trouble : If you play any MTT guaranteed tournament during the weekend and go out one before the money, we will refund your entry fee.
  • Poccer Players Club : Who is the best MTT player in our community, well prove its you and we will enter you in some live tournaments. Starting in February, win your way into some of the following tournaments. National Poker Championships, the GUKPT, APAT events amongst others.
  • EPT : Win an EPT seat and we will give you a free GUKPT seat for the Manchester tournament in April.
  • Second Chances : Make the final table of the weekly EPT final tables on Saturday evenings and do not win a seat, well we will put you in the next weeks final for free.

If you want to join in, please drop me a line.


Poccer 4 update

The announcement for the official launch of Poccer 4 has been delayed by a couple of days.
I have been having difficulties finding venues willing to supply dealers for the tables.

Part of the overall poccer experience and the ultimate lads day out is the knowledge for players that they will not have to self deal and relax and concentrate on the game.

I am confident I will be able to resolve this situation over the weekend and announce details for the rest of season 1 at the same time early next week.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Make that 4 final tables in 5 days

Another steady night this evening.
Narrowly missing out on the final tables in the $13k (JJ to QJ) and the $2.5k (KQ to 33 on a K5Q5 board), I managed to make it 3rd time lucky in the worlds greatest tournament the $4.5k.

To add to my 4th and 6th in that tournament in the last week comes a 5th place tonight. I was short stacked with 5 left pushed with K9 on the small blind. BB calls having QQ and KK the previous two hands with JJ. AK9 flop was nice, J on the turn was game over.

Another £100 is taken out and added to the profit for the month, which is now moving along quite nicely.
Almost half my profits have come from the $4.5k tournament and my % Final Tables is now up to 10%.

Long may it continue!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

3 final tables in 4 days

Last night I saw my biggest individual tournament payout of the year (£379.33) and narrowly missed out on my first win of the year when I finished 2nd in the £2.5k headhunter.

I did not have much of a chance heads up as I was 220k to 30k behind. I managed one double up and got to 70k but when A8 split with A5 I new it was going to be tough. I eventually went out when pushing with an ace, but lost to a higher kicker.

The vast majority of the winnings reamins in my poker account, but have taken enough out to get my profit up to £1k for the year.

I am still not playing at my best and making mistakes, so I am happy to be getting some good results. I will continue to work on my game and address some of the issues.

I am hoping to finalise the Poccer 4 event tonight, so full details will be up shortly.

Good Luck

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

January 08 Week 1 Report

After 4 nights of tournament play and a few more hours on the cash table, January has started well.

Suprisingly I have made a great start to the year on the cash tables and just a respectable start to my tournament game. I know one night in particular I was playing tournaments and I was not in the right frame of mind, a sure fire way not to win.

My target for each month is £3k and one week into January, I am just short of £1k in profit, so that appears to be nicely on schedule.

My approximate hourly earnings ratio is £38.29 at the moment.

From a MTT point of view, I have a 32% cash rate at present (i.e finishing in the money 1 of every 3 tournaments) which I think is respectable, but I do believe I can push this higher.

My target was 52 final tables for the year, I managed 2 in week 1. A good effort.
Once again it the $4.5k that is my top tournament.

To date
Played 4
Cashed 3 (3 in succession)
Final Tables 2 (4th and 6th)
Avg Finishing Position 16th
Outlay £110
Returns £444.
Profit £334
ROI 303%
% cash 75%
% Final Table 50%

As yet I do not think I am playing at my best, I have made a number of mistakes. On the final table last night where I finished 6th. I had JJ in the Big Blind, on a King high flop, I knew I was beat, I told myself I was going to fold and yet I still pressed call! I lost to KJ and became short stacked and went out, when I really should have finished in the top 3.

I have a couple of posts one on bankroll on one a general piece of advice, so as promised anything I can do to help I will.

CCC wrote 'Enjoyed your blog. I just wanted some advice on playing the game and maximising any profit I may make. How often do you play? Just MTT's? Do you stick to the same tournies each week? I fin my main problem is doing well in the MTT's but then blowing it all on cash.

Well firstly I think you know your own issue, if your doing well in MTTs and losing in cash, then stick to MTT's it will be more profitable for you in the long run.

The reason I play a little more cash is to try and improve my game, it will not be as profitable for me over an extended period as MTTs are where my main skills are.

The difficulty is with MTT's is that you can go a long period without winning and therefore it can be a drain on your resources.

As to frequency, I played 4 nights out of 7 in the first week, that is probably about average, MTT's mainly. I dabble with cash and STT's but my record is not as good, particularly STT's which need some work.

As to the tournaments, in depends on what I am doing, usually I can't sit down to play before 8 and therefore the tournaments I play are dictated by that.

My good friend Joe asks
All good stuff mate...I was wondering if you could discuss bankroll management at some point...for instance..How much money did you start playing with?..How did you choose what games to play in?....How much were you prepared to lose?..How long before you won?..When you win, how much do you withdrawl?..

Some great questions Joe, will try to answer them all.

How much money did I start with?

When I started I did not know what I was doing let alone bankroll management. I played a couple of games and took out money when I won and put some more in when I needed to. Now I have a seperate bank account for Poker. I keep around 2-3 nights play in my poker account and about £2k in the bank which I break into should I need to.

How did I choose what to play in?

I had no clue to start with, I played in a few 10 seater STTs and found I was doing ok in them, not so good these days though! I started playing a couple of cheap MTTs, before winning a STT to qualify for the WSOP tournament. I was actually playing in a freeroll at the same time I won my WSOP seat in 2005, which was the same one you won yours in.

I learnt a lot from the guys at Littlewoods and what events they had. I would play in the £10k and £15k when I got back, although they were a lot cheaper then at £11 and £33 respectively, but even then I would qualify for them.

How much was I prepared to lose?

Fortunately I have never got myself into position of losing regularly. I had learnt a lot from the stock exchange and how you should never chase losses. I know its hard but when things are not going well and you are losing and you are not at your optimum, you have to stop. There is always another day and another game of poker.

How long before I won?

After my Vegas trip, I kept detailed records of my play from August 05.

In the 15k I had at least once nice result a month.
Sep - 4th £1125
Oct - 3rd £1500
Nov - 3rd £1500
Dec - 1st £4200

I was very fortunate that I was able to learn the game quite quickly, win some good money and most importantly continue to improve.

When I do win, I tend to take out most of the money, I allow a little more in my poker account (4-5 days cover) and then put some in the bank and also make sure I spend some of it, that way it feels more real.

Of late I have a started putting a percentage of wins into a Vegas fund, so that when I get to Vegas everything will already be paid for.

I hope that some of this is interesting, please feel free to drop me a line about any aspect of the game that I may be able to help with.

Take Care

Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 2 playing days in.

Well 2 days into playing in 2008 and it has been a steady start.

One final table so far - 4th in my favourite $4.5k
Two consecutive cashes in the $20k, an 11th and 12th and a cash in the $13k.

I have withdrawn £200 from those performances to get my profit for the year into postive territory!


2008 The Objectives

Here I am on day 4 of 2008 and I am still debating what my realistic aims for 2008 should be.
I have a feeling this posting might end up being a brain dump, so apologies if I go off on tangents!

Last year whilst I met the basic fundamentals of my objectives, I got far too carried away into trying to get to play in many live events. I have a full time job, which unless something major happens, I am simply not going to be able to play in many live events. So this year you won't see a long long list of ideal events, it will be case of seeing how it goes.

So what do I want out of poker in 2008. To be honest I can't really expect much more than I am getting at the moment. I will not be able to play any more frequently, or devote any more time, so realistically it is going to have to be something similar to last year.
The difficulty then comes if its not challenging then you lose interest or do not perform to your best.

The question remains how big a part do I want poker to become in my life. Right now there is no more space left for it to take up, so to do more, something has to give, at the moment there is nothing I wish to sacrifice for it, so it must remain to be a profitable sideline.

I then ask myself will I enjoy the results of my efforts, will it be challenging enough for me, am I going to have the desire to see it through. At the end of 2008, would I be happy with the same as last year.

I have questioned since I have been playing, what elements do I enjoy.
Winning, is the main one of course, I am very competitive by nature, winning is a big deal.
Money, I can never see a time where the value of money makes little difference to my decisions, in the £40k last year, with 5 left, I played for the top 2 as opposed to out and out first. Looking back I do not think I would do this differently if played over, the differences in money were too large.
Improving. I love to get better at something. Maximising the return from each winning hand and minimising the losses really matter.
Learning from mistakes, making a mistake is often a good thing, because it gives you a learning situation.
Teaching. A strange one this, but I love the fact that I have been able to help many people improve their game and seeing their results improve, gives me great satisfaction.
Friendship. I have met a number of great people through this game and I hope to continue to do so.
Bad Beats. What I hear you say! Well without them the game would be dull and predictable. It is a game of skill, but nothing is certain in life, so it should not be in poker. You can make all the right moves and still something goes wrong. Whilst I don't want too many bad beats, I would not do without them.

In summary to that there is still enough that I enjoy from this game to play at the levels I do, as long as I keep challenging myself and my game is progressing then I am going to be satisfied with a similiar level of return for effort.

I knew it was going to be long post!

So where does that leave me with objectives.

1) To be the top career earning live player with the surname Orchard!

What on earth is this, I hear you say.
Well its a lot more difficult than you might think!
Right now David Orchard from Los Angeles is in front with $29,949. He has had a great year with 7 live cashes. I am sitting $11,000 behind, so a lot of work to do.

2) Live Events

I am not going to go overboard this year.
I am going to Las Vegas during the World Series, so I will have a going at qualifying, but I will be playing most of the time I am there.
The Caribbean Poker Classic, wherever this ends up being, this is an event that is simply above everything else, so this is a must.

Everything else becomes a bonus.
GUKPT - I realistically have to play in one of these this year. I still find that I could never voluntarily pay £1k for a poker tournament, so I will have to win my seat, but I do need to play in one of these.

EPT - Ideally San Remo sounds like fun. I was 3rd in a qualifier a couple of weeks ago with the winner off to the EPT, I qualified for Dortmund in 2007. It is not within my ability to qualify for one of these.

Aussie Millions - I have never been to Australia and would love to go. I don't have time to go to this event, so probably won't even bother trying, but it is still something I would like to do.

3) Total Profit.
£32k in 2006, £33k in 2007, well my target for 2008 is a small increase £36,000. Working out at £3k a month. A very challenging target based on playing a similar amount to last year.

4) Tournament Wins.
It was 11 last year (13 if you include my 2 live wins, 1 CPC and 1 in vegas). I will keep this target to online wins and aim for 12, 1 a month.

5) Final Tables.
A real tough one this, I am going for 52. 1 a week.

I am also going to set some targets of % time cashed and some smaller targets, but I will post these when I have thought about them more.
Also I will have some aims for Poccer over the next few days.