Thursday, December 15, 2005

Xmas beckons - 2005 review

I had one of those days again earlier in the week when everything was going wrong. At one point i was stuck for £16000, so much for taking it easy online in December. Fortunately, i then went red hot for about 5 hours, and managed to actually end up winning £6000. Think thats my biggest ever swing in a day. On two seperate occasions i turned $2000 into over $10000 in the PL Omaha. Most of my downswing occurred in the NL Holdem, when i had the nut straight on 4th street against a set, and a £10000 pot ensued. It paired up on the river.

I guess its that time of year to do my review of 2005. Especially as i am off skiing over Xmas and will be busy up till then. Back when i decided to give up the job at the start of the year i said here that my aim was to make £40000 profit for the year. Well unless i somehow manage to lose my mind between now and the end of the year, i can safely say that i achieved that.

My other aim as i stated at the end of 2004 was to finish in the top 20 in Europe. Well i am going to fall a bit short on that one. I'm around 30th at the moment but it doesn't really bother me. I guess priorities changed, I never travelled to Blackpool, Brighton, Birmingham, Walsall, Sheffield chasing ranking points or many of the other ranking events that took place in the UK. If i had, i am pretty sure i would be in the top 10. I really haven't played that many tournaments compared to some players. People always say that i should be more controversial on my blog. Well looking at the current European rankings i only rate 3 players in the top 10. Some of them just play nearly every tournament, so are bound to be there.

I'd absolutely love to do my worst 3 tournament players of the year. That would be fun.

Through the course of the year i managed to win £163000 in tournaments for an outlay of £40000 ish icluding sponsored money. Well beyond any expectations that i had. Am i good? Who knows.... Am i lucky? Who knows. Basically its too early to tell as far as tournaments are concerned. Ask me this time next year. I had 5 cashes over £10000 including two big ones around £50000. I do feel i have an edge, but next year i could do really badly in tournaments. I just need to keep concentrating and trying to improve. Only time will tell.

Other than tournaments my main focus has been playing cash online. Overall it has been a very good year. I had a run between August - end October that was just unbelievable. November was quite bad... i lost over £10000 on about four seperate days that month. I hate those days they are just sick. I have to learn to expect them when i am multitabling on £2000 buy in tables.

Not that much to report about live cash. I'm not even sure if i am up or down this year. Either way its marginal. I've hardly played. Too lazy when i can just walk 10 metres to play online cash whenever i like. I still really enjoy playing Dealers Choice when i get the chance.

Getting sponsored was great and if you fancy playing a tournament at 4pm this Sunday which is a £10 rebuy on Betfair, they are adding £3000 and you get a video ipod if you knock me out. Details are here

Now on to the poker aims of 2006. In no particular order, apart from the first one ;-)

- Not go broke.
- Enjoy what i do. I love playing poker but get overly stressed whenever i lose or get knocked out of a big tournament. I have the best job i could hope for.
- Make the money in a WSOP and WPT event.
- Win £150000+ online.
- Play at least five WSOP events at at least two WPT events.
- Stop reading poker forums. I like what i read 10% of the time. The rest irritates me.
- Win 3 tournaments with buy ins over £750.
- Reduce my tilt to a manageable level.
- Not play any Limit poker.

It may be my last post of the year depending how much i play... have a good Xmas all... and let the poker force be with you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Caribbean Classics - The main event

Day 1

We started with 6000 chips which seemed a little short for a $6000 buy in event so it was even more crucial that i made a good start. Well that all went to pot when i flopped bottom set on a 36J board and lost 2900 to someone who had JK and made a back door flush. I could have lost the lot if i had bet the when my opponent checked to me.

I fought my way back up to 5500 chips when i clashed with Kathy Liebert who was sat directly to my right. Not to sound sexist (maybe a little) but i had never been impressed by any women i had played with in the past, but she had a very good rhythm to her game, and i can see why she has done very well in tournaments in the last few years. This was about the only decent sized pot we played against each other in eight hours at the same table.

Blinds were 75/150 and i raised to 450 UTG with 99 and told the table i had raised with my lucky hand. The button called and Kathy did in the BB. It flopped 568. Kathy bet out 900. I called and the button passed. The turn was a 5 and Kathy bet 1700. I considered passing but couldn't put her on an overpair, and i didn't think she had a straight or a house. So called. River was a 3. She checked. There was not much point in betting as she only calls now if she has got me beat. I show my nines and she mucked.

I was between 7000-9000 chips for about 3 hours when we reached the last level of the day. I picked up QQ which was the best hand i had seen all day, with blinds at 300/600 made it 1600 to play in middle position. The button went all in for 6000. I called and he had JJ and my hand stood up. I won a few more small pots and ended the day on 17000 which was 6000 short of the average.

Day 2

Blinds started at 400/800 with a running 75 ante. My aim was to try and get to the money with average chips when we would all start playing six handed. As i play six handed cash all the time online i was confident the format would suit me. In the very second hand i was in the BB and found TT. All passed to the button who moved all in for 11000. Given the situation and the fact he was low stacked i called and he had QK. My hand stood up and i was up to 28000.

My table soon broke and i was moved to a table with Kabbaj and Colclough. I picked up QQ again and made it 3000 to play UTG. All passed to the SB who made it 8000. He had about the same chips as me when we started the hand. In 10 hours i hadn't seen anything better than queens so decided to live or die by them so moved in for 28000. He thought for a while so i was convinced he had JJ or AK. He called eventually and a low board doubled me up again to nearly 60000 which was nearly double the average.

When the blinds went to 600/1200 i hit a monster hand. I raised UTG with AA to 4400 and the BB who had been playing very tight called. Flop A83 with two hearts. He checked and i did behind him as this was too good an opportunity to scare him off. Turn was a 3 and brought the flush. He checked and i bet just 4400 into a pot of 10000 hoping he would put me on a steal. He called. Turn a 6 and he checked again. I pondered for a minute then picked up 18 1000 chips and dropped them in the middle. He called after a minute mucked very fast when he saw my hand. He said he had a flush but i think he was weaker than that.

The most remarkable thing was that in 6 hours of play i never lost a raised pot that i played. I either won it with a better hand/bluff or caught someone bluffing. I have never felt so in the zone. I called one opponents 4500 bet on the river with A8, on a board of J7753 and my hand was good.

We were soon in the money and i was probably about 5/6th out of the 36 left. The bubble went on for ages. Players were passing huge hands preflop like KK and QQ as they just wanted to make the money, which helped me pick up some easy chips. As we were playing six handed and all the people who had been clinging on started going all in and within an hour we were down to 18.

With blinds at 1200/2400 Thomas Bihl who had the chip lead on my table raised to 7000 and i looked down at 88 in the SB. I called. The flop was a perfect 38K with two hearts. I quickly checked and he bet 9000. I thought for two minutes and then reraised it to 21000. He moved all in and i called instantly. He had QK and the A on the turn meant i had picked up a pot of 150000.

I still hadn't lost a crucial pot all day. I was second in chips with 14/15 left. This hand was the beginning of the end. The chip leader Henrik Olander who had been moved to my right made it 10000 to play UTG. I had picked up TT so reraised to 25000. To my surprise the SB who had been playing tight just flat called and the Henrik passed. It flopped a perfect looking 238 but to my surprise the SB moved all in for 44000 ish. Hmmm. I must have changed my mind about what i thought his hand was about 5 times. He called a reraise so i can rule out a pair below TT surely. I decided it was either AA, JJ or AK. I ruled out KK and QQ as i think he would have pushed preflop as there was already 40000 to be won. If i called an won i would have been on 230000 and if i called and lost i would be on 80000 ish. I passed... he did tell me later that he had AK. I wish i had gone with my first instinct which was to call.

We broke to two tables and i still had about 105000 which was chip average. Blinds were 2000/4000 and i found QsKs in the SB. Everyone passed to me. The BB had about 45000. I made it 20000 and he moved all in. I had to call as it was just 25000 more to win 90000. He had 99, the board brought no help and i was now in danger on 60000.

A couple of hands later Dave Colclough limped UTG and one other player did. I had Ad2d and limped as well. The flop was QdJd7s. Dave checked, and the second limper bet 15000. I moved all in for 60000 hoping to either win it there and i was not going to be in horrible shape against any hand he may have. He called with QK after thinking for a minute or so. Turn and river didn't bring an Ace or a diamond so i was out.

I was gutted to finish twelth. I really fancied my chances when i was second in chips, especially as we were six handed and there was very little experience left in the field. I could have sat tight i guess and let my chips whittle away a bit but i went for the win and it just wasn't to be.

I had a great time on the trip, and it was good to catch up with many of the names that i play online. Not sure when the next tournament will be. I am going to take it easy this month, so i am refreshed and ready to go in 2006. Its likely i will be going to the Aussie Millions so have got that to look forward to.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Caribbean Update 4

I finished twelth in the main event for $26000. Considering i was 2nd chip leader with 14 left, i was gutted when i got knocked out. I'll do my tourney report when back at home. Going to enjoy my last day in the sun before flying back tomorrow.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Caribbean Update 3

I made it through day 1 of the main event but it was a grind. Had Kathy Liebert to my immediete right and all this talk of loose, easy chips proved wrong as my table was 90% rocks. I am on about 17k and the chip average is 23k ish. That makes me 47th of the 69 that remain. Blinds are 300/600 and a running ante of 75. So i need to get motoring before to long.

Chip counts and live updates can be seen here

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Caribbean Update 2

The main event kicks starts for the other half of the entrants today, including me. I have hardly played any poker since i have been here so am looking forward to this one. I did manage to play the PL Omaha rebuy. My table was a rebuy frenzy with Robin Keston and Noah Boeken playing very loose. Good fun though and i only had 4 rebuys which was good.

I played the $25/$50 PL Omaha yesterday for a few hours as well. Found myself stuck for $3500 after making a bad call. I had 9JKK double suited and had raised preflop. It flopped8JQ. My two opponents checked, as did I. Turn a 9. We all checked again. River a T to give me the second nuts. They both checked and i bet $500 and was reraised full pot by a guy who had checked in first position. I called eventually and he had the nuts. His wife was sitting behind him and apparantly a player never bluffs when the wife is watching. So i will look out for the wife factor from now on....

I reloaded another $3500. The next big pot i played i raised it up to $150 with 5679 DS. Five callers. Flop 48T rainbow to give me 22 cards for the straight. I bet $500 and just one player called. The turn was a 2. He bet out $1200 and i just called. River a 5 to give me the nuts. He checked and i moved all in. He passed.

I also pulled off a few bluffs and showed one to Sonny Nijran which was key when this hand occurred. I had 48KA double suited and called $100 to play from Sonny preflop. Flop 489. He bet our $300 and Rafi called. I called as well. Turn a 4. Sonny and Rafi checked, and so did I. I figured i was either miles in front, or miles behind. River a 3. They both checked again and i bet $600. Sonny immedietly reraised another $1800. Hmmmm. I had already made one bad call and been shown the nuts. After pondering for a few minutes i just knew Sonny would love to show me a bluff, like i did to him earlier when i check raised with nothing on the river. I called and he mucked.

The game broke soon after and i won $3000. Hopefully i will get chance to play again before i fly back on Sunday.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Caribbean Update 1

I arrived a couple of days ago in St Kitts. Had a grim week online before arriving that was so sick that i am not going to go into it in great detail. If there was a form barometer though online at the moment i think i about a 1.5/10. I was about a 2/10 until my KK couldn't beat 45 off all in preflop in a £5000 pot.

Played some live cash last night. Interesting line up at different times. Me, Jamie Posner, Tony Cascarino, Sonny nijran, Kabbaj, Polish Willie, Willie Tann, Rafi Amit, Robin Keston.

I did $6000 to Polish willie... two big hands when i was a big favourite and lost...

Hand 1 - I have TJKA ds. Blinds $10/$25 and i raise preflop. Tony Cascarino reraise. Willie calls. I call. Flop JQ4. Willie checks. I bet the pot which was $1300. Cascarino passes. Willie calls. Turn the worst card in the pack the queen and he bets $1000. I pass. He shows Q789. Wow.

Hand 2 - I had 5567. Blinds $10/$25. Flop 52K. Polish Willie bets $300. I call with the intention of reraising a blank on the turn. Turn a T bring back door heart flush draw. He bets $900. I reraise it to $2300. He calls. River a heart. He shows the flush and two pair.

I hate losing at live cash and i couldn't have not lost the way the cards were running. I got it back online to end the day break even.

I haven't played any tournaments as yet. Trying to spend as much time enjoying myself and not stuck at a poker table.

Hopefully my next update may include some winning hands.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Looking forward

I finished up the week a little over £5000 up, so for the last two weeks i have broken about even. Considering how bad my luck has been during that time it feels like i have actually won alot.

I definitely tilted badly in a couple of the sessions. These are expensive lessons now... because just thirty minutes of tilt can cost me £5000. Sure i may get lucky sometimes... but my game isn't about getting lucky.

I am really enjoying playing the £10/£20 NL Holdem cash tables at the moment. I had only ever dabbled a bit playing NL Holdem cash in the past, but its something i want to get much better at. I have already added a few things to my game that are proving profitable. I actually worked out a mathematical formula for one of them when i was on the train.. and although its in its early stages as far as the idea goes, its profitable at the moment. I think playing so many hands can only help me even more when i am playing Holdem tournaments.

I really wish i had gone to play in the Monte Carlo Millions. I am not sure why i didn't get round to scheduling it in. Its a huge buy in but i can take the odd shot at these things at the moment.

Only a few days before i leave for the Caribbean Poker Classics in St Kitts. I really can't wait and the main event is a $6000 entry so it should be a decent prize pool.

I may go and play the WPT event in Vegas a few days after St Kitts. I have wanted to go and play in a WPT event all, year and its about time i had a crack at one.

I have to buy a new monitor asap. I have been playing 4/5 tables at a time on my rubbish one, and i have misclicked costing me money on a couple of occasions. This happened last week... i misclicked and calmly moved in under the gun all in for £5293 with blinds of £10/£20 with 93 off. The worst thing was the the players i was sat with know me and they realised it was a misclick. Any decent hand and i am pretty sure i get called.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It got sicker

After what happened last week i thought my luck couldn't get any worse but it did. It doesn't matter how well you play when, you lose the massive hands you are it will be a losing session as simple as that.

Mon/Tue were just horrific. I actually hadn't felt so low about poker in a long, long time. Not that i want to have a bad beat catalogue, but the BIG important pots were brutal.

£10/£20 NL Holdem 6 handed. I have £7000. Dealt 8s9s on the button. 3 limpers. I call. SB makes it £100. 2 callers. I call. Flop 88A with a flush draw. Original raiser bets £300. Passed to me. I make it £600 hoping he will think i am flushing and reraise with a big ace. He shoves a whopping £3200 in the middle. I call. He turns over AK. Turn an A and its all over...... I win that hand i am up £4000 for the day instead i was down £2000.

PL Omaha is where i have really been harmed recently....

£10/£20 PL Omaha six handed. I have £4500. Dealt 9TJQ no suits. I call a raise preflop and it comes 78K with a flush draw. Early position bets £300. I call as does the guy on the button. Turn a 6 to give me the nuts. First guy checks. I check (I know the player behind is likely to bet in this situation). He bets £1200. I reraise it to £3600. He calls with 99KA and the Ace flush draw which pops in perfectly on the river in a near £10000 pot.

I then lost with top set v bottom set and was all in with an Ace flush v a Queen flush, which made a straight flush on the river after the money was in.

It was all a bit of a blur but i was down £10000 for the two days play. Sick....

I decided one more shot this week and played today for 10 hours or so. I won £12500 at NL Holdem and broke even at Omaha. Hit some big hands at times and got paid. 73 suited won me two pots over £3000... so its rivalling 34 off as my new lucky hand. One hand was bizarre. I called £60 with 3h7h... flop 4h5h6s. Thats more like it :-). He bets £100... i make it £200. He makes it £300. I make it £400. He whacks £2800 in the middle with AK.... more play against me like that please.

To be up for the week after how i felt Tuesday evening feels damn good. Looking forward to my trip to St Kitts next week.

My Omaha/NL Holdem figures for the last two weeks are:

PL Omaha -£30000
NL Holdem +£26100

Thank god i starting playing cash holdem!

Monday, November 14, 2005

It was mad

I never got chance to update my blog with what happened for the rest of last week as i went away for the weekend. It was toughest week online i have ever had. As ridiculous as it is, i hadn't had a losing week online for about six months and last week could have been alot worse than it ended. These are the figures.

Monday -£6000
Tuesday +£1000
Wednesday +£100 (Though i was down £17000 at one point)
Thursday -£15000 (sigh)
Friday +£13500

Overall -£6400

I really lost my mind on Thursday. After what happened Wednesday when i was down £17000 and recovered after playing for 18 hours, i sat down Thursday and the same player who won the £10000 pot against me got me playing like a maniac again.

I lost one 55% hand for my first buy in of £2000. Then i lost another £2000 when i was all in with bottom set v top two pair and the board paired.

Then this hand.

£10/£20 PL Omaha Three handed. I had built back up to £5000 and was £1000 down for the day. Dealt QQA4. £100 in before the flop. Flop Q67 with two hearts (giving me the Ace flush draw) He bet out as he always did. I reraised. he reraised and i was looking at another £10000 pot. He turned over the only hand that i didn't want to see. 89Tx. So i was looking at another huge pot when i was a 75%+ favourite. Of course i lost it, was £6000 down instead of being £4000 up.

I then lost another £2000 when i had the nuts again on fourth street and a flush draw and he had just up and down and hit again. I was officially steaming. Then another £2000 when another player had top set v my middle set. £10000 down :-(

Time for a confession. I had had enough of Omaha... so what did i go and play? £100/£200 Limit. Remarkably, i managed to go on a rush and win £7000 in about 10 minutes... then i lost the £7000 in the next 10 minutes, and luckily came to my senses and left. I hopped back on the the Omaha but my mind was never right and i lost another £5000.

I actually felt ok the next day when i woke up, and decided to play some NL Holdem. I was in for £3000 on one table and £4000 on the other, but amassed £10000 stacks on both tables at different points over a period of about 10 hours. I did lose another few grand at Omaha.

I was laughing when i looked a bit further into where my profit/loss came from last week.

PL Omaha -£21500
NL Holdem +£15100

It seems that i can't play two games. I amassed £10000 stacks from £2000 at Holdem four times last week, at times i was really dominating the tables and feel good about my Holdem cash at the moment. I never thought i would say this but the reason i am liking NL Holdem cash so much at the moment, is often players are drawing practically dead against me in £2000+ pots which rarely happens at Omaha. Maybe i should give up Omaha?

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Not just was i too ill to go to Amsterdam the title has been very apt, considering the last few days of poker online.

The last three days i have played 40 hours and overall its been brutal. So many hands. These are the ones i remember from yesterday when i played for 18 hours.

I was playing three tables. Two £10/£20 NL Holdem and one £10/£20 PL Omaha. I had £7000 on one Holdem table, and £5000 on the other two. I was up £5000 when i had what must count as the worst twenty minutes of my life online. These were the fun hands

- £10/£20 NL Holdem. 6 handed. I get dealt 88 in the cut off. I make it £80 to play and the button with £3400 in front of him makes it £160. BB calls. I call. Flop K82 rainbow. BB checks. I have stopped slowplaying sets as i lost two huge pots the day before, so even though the board looked safe i bet £400 hoping the button or BB had AK. Button called. BB passed. Turn Q. I bet £675. He moves all in for £2800. Is it possible to pass there? He had QQ and i lost a £7000 pot.

- £10/£20 PL Omaha. 5 handed. There was a new player who is one of the biggest maniacs i had ever seen but had been hitting everything. Reraising all in with bad draws and hitting and was up to £10000. I had £5000. This player bet every time if i checked. I was dealt 6JQK and this player made it £100 to play. 3 callers. Flop 8d9dTh. I was first to speak so checked. Round to the maniac who bet £400. He could have absolutely nothing at this point so i decide to just call and hope for a safe card knowing he will bet again. The others pass. Turn 2c. Bingo. I check. He bets £1200. I make it £3600. He calls. River pairs the ten. I have to put my last £1000 in the middle and hope he hasn't made a full house. He turns over T822. So he had bottom set and two pairs on the turn when he called another £2400. Sigh. A £10000 pot where i had at least 80% on the turn.

- £10/£20 NL Holdem. Like i wasn't steaming enough when this happened. I was dealt KK in the BB. I limped and there was no raise. Five of us saw a wonderful looking K45 rainbow. I bet out £100. Late position min raised it to £200. He had £2800 in front of him. I min raised it back to £400 hoping he had a set. He shoved the whole lot in. I called of course. He showed Ad5d. lol. Turn and river diamonds to give him a back door flush to give him a £5700 pot.

Over £20000 worth of pots lost in twenty minutes does not go down well. I steamed off £5000 terribly in the PL Omaha. I was like a man possessed. Suddenly J327 was looking worthy of £500 preflop. Within an hour i had gone from being £5000 up to £15000 down. Time for a break for an hour or so.

The first session was 6 hours and the second would double that Despite being £15000 down i was just not ready to give up. So i decided to four table. Two £10/£20 NL Holdem, one $10/$20 PL Omaha and one £10/£20 PL Omaha.

I was still a bit on edge but determined just to make good decisions. It started of terribly again on the $10/$20 PL Omaha and i lost $4000 on there in two hands both when i was a nice favourite. I still wasn't tilting though and a few big hands occurred.

$10/$20 PL Omaha. 3 handed. I had $2500. Dealt QQK4 ds and i made it $100 preflop. Two callers. Flop Q89 with two hearts (I had king flush draw). Checked to me and i bet $300. First player check raised it to $900 and the other player called. I decided to move all in hoping to get a three way pot. They both called. Cards on there backs and they both had the straight and no improvements. Turn paired the board and i scooped a $7500 pot. Phew.

Nothing that remarkable happened after that. I played heads up and got someone on tilt who decided to put $3000 in against me preflop with KKA2 when i had AAKK. I ended up with $14000 on that table.

The real fun and games were to occur on the NL Holdem tables. I was running over both tables at one point. Everyone was playing very tight and in three hours i was hardly ever played back at. I had £5500 on both tables and was in for £2000 on one and £3000 on the other. Some big pots i remember.

I have been playing all sorts of hands, especially when i have a big stack. I just love the implied odds of them.

Some trash that i won huge pots with.

£10/£20 - NL Holdem. 6 handed. I limped with 79 off suit. Flop 68T. I bet £60. opponent bet £200. I called. Turn J. I check. He bet £400. I moved all in. He called with 66. No pair up and i won a £4000 pot.

These were my two favourite hands of the session.

- £10/£20 NL Holdem. 6 handed. I called a raise of £100 with 34 off. Its my new lucky hand :-). I called as 3 others had already. Flop A57. A deceptive double belly buster straight draw. I check. Original raiser bets £200. Button makes it £500. I am amost certain knowing the button he has a set. He has £2700 in front of him. I know i will get paid if i hit so am effectively calling £500, with the potential to win £6800. I call. Turn a 2 to give me the nuts. I go with my read of him having a set and bet £700. He goes all in with 77. I call. No pair up and i win a massive pot. He was irritated to say the least. Two words. Implied odds.

- £10/£20 - NL Holdem. I am dealt 6h8h. I am in the SB. Button makes it £80. I call. BB calls. Flop 4h5h2s. I bet £100. BB calls. Button makes it £300. I call. BB calls. Turn a 2c. Not a good card. I decide to bet £450 to see where i am. Maybe even win it there. BB calls. Button passes. River a Qc. I have 7 high. Hmmm. There is £2000 in the middle. Bet? Check/fold? Check/raise if he bets? I had trouble putting him on a hand. For some reason i kept thinking he had a better flush draw than me. I checked figuring if he bet big he wanted a call. He would check down a marginal hand fearing i already had a full house. He bet £300. No way was i giving up a pot of £2000 to a £300 bet. I quickly made it £1300 and he mucked equally as fast.

I managed to get up over £10000 on both tables at one point. I dropped a few big pots and finished with £9000 on one and £6500 on the other.

I did my calculations and worked out that i was £100 up for the day. God that was hard work. Felt like one of my best ever wins though. I am £5000 down for the week but considering it could quite easily be £25000, i am not too disappointed.

Monday, November 07, 2005


I finally got tempted to go and play in the Masterclassics... so am flying tomorrow morning in time for the PL Omaha. I will perform my usual trick no doubt, and build up a big stack and be chip leader with 30 left, and not make the money.

Really looking forward to the trip. Especially the 5000 euro main event. Everyone raves about these particular tournaments, and i have never been to Amsterdam either. The laptop is staying at home so by the time i return it will be at least ten days since i played online.

I am in two minds at the moment about how much i should play online. I keep doing very well on Monday and Tuesday, then not playing the rest of the week. Maybe i should play all the time given the rush that i am on... but equally i don't want to push my luck.

Hopefully, i will be able to report back on some interesting hands in the tournaments and cash games that i play!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Too much poker

I must have spent about 25 hours on Monday and Tuesday this week playing online. I really have to be more disciplined when i get back from playing festival main events, as i usually hit the tables the next day when my head just isn't right.

Monday was a very strange day. For the majority i wasn't concentrating properly and at one point i was down £7000. I stuck at it though and as always seems to happen at the moment, i got out of it and won a few hundred quid. I was very happy considering some of the plays i made.

This one was one that cost me $4000.

Six handed. I have 2567 (a monster i know). Was still in the hand with two others despite a raise and a reraise. I was hoping both had high cards. We all had approximately $4000. Well it flopped 334 rainbow. Not great of course, first guy checked and as expected the guy with obvious Aces bet $1000. I decided to reraise the pot figuring i would probably win it then. If not, i still had plenty of cards for a straight. An ok move except when the guy who first checked the flop, wakes up with 34xx and i am drawing dead in a $10000 pot.

I bought in a ridiculous number of times. The big hand that was the turning point was this one. Four handed and i had $5200. I had JJK9 ds and raised to $70. One caller and a guy reraised it to $250. Two of us called. Flop JQQ. I checked. Other guy checked. Original raiser bet $800. I reraised it the pot figuring i was up against a Queen and kickers. He moved all in and i called. $10000 pot. He had QAA2 so i was actually in great shape. My hand stood up... if i had lost that one i probably would have lost £10000 for the day.

On to Tuesday. I spent so much time wishing i had quit after just five hands. Sat down at the £10/£20 table against two players and wiped them both out almost straight away. A flush v king flush and trips v a wrap and i was £3500 up. I so should have stopped.

I moved on to the $10/$20 table and think i must have hit my head against a brick wall for about 5 hours and bought in 8 or 9 times. Was playing very badly at times but also getting ridiculously unlucky. By about 8.30pm i was very annoyed and also down £5000 for the day. I really needed a break and headed down to the pub for a few drinks.

I came back in and decided to give it one more shot. I fired up a £10/£20 NL Holdem and two $10/$20 PL Omaha tables.

I really thought i was playing well on the NL Holdem. I kept managing to make the most of the good hands i got and was making some good moves with next to nothing. I got up to £4700 at one point from £1500 then i got tangled in a very big pot.

6 handed. A few limpers and the button made it £100 to play. It could quite easily be a move to pick up the blinds so i called with JdQd from the big blind. One of the other limpers called as well. Flop 2dJhKd. A great flop for me. I checked, limper checked and the button made it £300. I decided to just take a card as he had £3000 in front of him. The other guy passed. Turn a Qs. I now had two pair so decided the check raise was the move to make. I checked. he bet £800 and i put him all in for about another £1800. Unsurprisingly he called with KK. I don't think i could really have got away from that hand without it costing me alot. So i ended the Holdem about even.

I went on a great rush in the two Omaha tables i was playing, getting up to over $20000 on one of them which was the second biggest stack i have ever accumulated. I also got up to $7000 on the other one. Just to add something new into the mix i also won a £300 six pack.

It was nearly a five figure win for the day, a victory for perseverence rather than great play.

I am undecided about Amsterdam next week. Think its likely i will just go over for the main event, as i decided i would if i had a winning week online.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Not the greatest of trips.

Each tournament i managed to build up a big stack. But it just wasn't to be. Was amongst the chip leaders in the 400 Euro tournament the first night and the 500 Euro Omaha the second night. I was due some bad luck i guess.

The EPT Main event

I lost 40% of my 10000 starting chips early when 88 hit a set against my QQ. Then i got very lucky against Joe Grech when i bluffed on the turn and was forced to call my last chips as there was so much in the middle with just eight outs.

After that i started to play quite well and got moved on to a table downstairs with Barny Boatman and Dave Pomroy. Went on quite a card rush and hit a high point of 30000 (chip average was 20000).

Then this fun hand occurred. Blinds 400/800. I limped with QQ. One other limper. BB checked. Flop T82 with two diamonds. BB checked. I checked. Limper bet 1000. BB made it 4000. He had 11000 before the hand. I made it 10000. Limper passed. BB obviously didn't have much. He thought for ages and then called with T3. Turn a 3. Mmmmmmmmm nice. Would have been cruising on 45000 but was back to 20000 and feeling tilty.

Lost 8000 soon after betting a flush draw that never hit all the way through. About 45 minutes later i played my final hand. I had 16000 before the hand and was dealt AA on the button. One limper and i made it 3200 to play as i wanted action. BB called and the limper called. Flop J34 with two diamonds. First limper checked. Second limper bet 10000 and i moved all in. He called with QdKd and the turn was a lovely diamond to leave me drawing dead.

Congratulations to Dpommo for finishing 3rd in his 1st EPT event. I'm sure it was some party afterwards......

Friday, October 28, 2005

A couple of hands

Earlier in the week i played a couple of hands earlier in the week that i thought gave me the toughest decisions... here they are!

Hand 1

£10/£20 NL Holdem - 6 handed. I have £3300 in front of me. My main opponent in this hand has the same in front of him.

I am dealt 9dTd in the small blind. 2 limpers and the button makes it £120. He could quite easily be trying to steal the limpers money and has played quite aggressive since he joined the table. I decide to call and the limpers pass.

Flop 7d8d9c

Pretty much almost the perfect flop for me. So i decided to check raise if i get the opportunity. I check. My opponent bet out £200 and i made it £500 and he called. Its tough to put him on a hand now as i surely QQ, KK or AA type hands would reraise or pass in that situation.

Turn 3s

I decide to represent a made hand. I could still be winning with my pair of nines. So i bet £950. He calls. Maybe he is flushing? I was slightly baffled by the call.

River 2s.

Now what? I have £1750 in front of me. All in? Check, call if he bets? Check, pass if he bets?

Hand 2

£10/£20 PL Omaha - 6 handed. I have £5600 going in to this hand.

I am dealt QQ89. With the 89 in hearts. Two limpers. I make it £70 play. First limper who is a decent player makes it £150. I call. Flop QK6 with two hearts. He checks. i make it £350. He calls.

Turn 3c

He checks. I make it £1000. He reraises me another £3000. I have £4200 left if i pass.

What to do on this one? Two options i guess. All in or pass?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What a day...

I started playing at 11am this morning and finished at 9pm. I was playing on at least two tables at all times so there are so many hands i played well and badly its tough to remember.

Initially i played the £10/£20 NL Holdem. I fancied something different, and decided i was going to play more aggressively. I got up to £2600 from £1750 and then lost a pot of £2000 ish to Dpommo. He has detailed the hand on his blog so you can look there. It was a strange hand... i think he is one of very few players who make that call. I think he has caught me bluffing at him twice now. Have to check for a secret video camera hidden behind me.

I wasn't feeling tilty and Dpommo soon left. I battled back up to £3600 playing confident aggressive poker when i was involved in very big pot. I called £100 in the BB with Kd6d and saw a flop with two others of QdJd6s. We both checked to Roland who bet £300. I called then the player in between us minimum raised it to £600. Roland passed but it was an easy call for me. The turn was a 3d and i immedietly put him all in for his £2000 and he called with a set of Jacks. No pair up on the river and i was up to over £6000.

No other monster hands but i did manage to win a few more decent size pots so left the table with a £8000 and a £6250 profit.

Then it was time for the PL Omaha. At one point i thought i was destined to lose everything that i had won previously. Won't go into details but i lost three £2000+ pots, one to a four outer, and twice to two outers.

At the moment every blog entry has a happy ending. I turned £2000 into £10000 on the £10/£20 table after playing for about 5 hours. At one point playing six handed i was sat with Robin Keston, John Kabbaj, Mafews, Sargon Ruya and one other. Interesting line up.

I did have one ridiculous hand early that needs a hand history. In the end foe passed for £63 into £2397. I can't say i played it well, but i decided to represent the nuts fourth street. So had no option but to fire another shell in hope more than anything else. My mind boggles at what they both had.

------HAND 3------
Game #1146660213: Omaha PL (£10/£20) - 2005/10/25 - 17:03:17 (GMT)
Table "Mirach" Seat 2 is the button.
Seat 1: TOPHAND7 (£3335 in chips)
Seat 2: Mafews sits out
Seat 3: foe (£863 in chips)
Seat 4: J.K. (£11007 in chips)
Seat 5: Bennyboi (£1944 in chips)
Seat 6: dawdip24 (£1910 in chips)
foe: posts small blind £10
J.K.: posts big blind £20
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Bennyboi [Jh Ks 2c 5h]
Bennyboi: calls £20
dawdip24: folds
TOPHAND7: folds
foe: calls £10
J.K.: checks
----- FLOP ----- [8d 3s 4c]
foe: checks
J.K.: checks
Bennyboi: bets £60
foe: calls £60
J.K.: raises to £180
Bennyboi: calls £120
foe: calls £120
----- TURN ----- [8d 3s 4c][7h]
foe: checks
J.K.: checks
Bennyboi: bets £600
foe: calls £600
J.K.: calls £600
----- RIVER ----- [8d 3s 4c 7h][Qc]
foe: checks
J.K.: checks
Bennyboi: bets £500
foe: folds
J.K.: folds
Returned uncalled bets £500 to Bennyboi
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Bennyboi: shows [Jh Ks 2c 5h] (High Card King)
Bennyboi collected £2397 from Main pot
----- SUMMARY -----
Total pot £2400 Main pot £2397 Rake £3
Board [8d 3s 4c 7h Qc]
Seat 1: TOPHAND7 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: foe (small blind) folded on the River
Seat 4: J.K. (big blind) folded on the River
Seat 5: Bennyboi showed [Jh Ks 2c 5h] and won (£2397) with High Card King
Seat 6: dawdip24 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

There were loads of hands after that that i bluffed, played well, played not so well and i finished up £3000 at the Omaha overall. So for the day i won £9250.

Leaving for Dublin on Thursday now. Had a nightmare with hotels so have to hop between a few to stay close to the casino. Looking forward to it though, strike while the iron is hot and all that.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Not sure how long this form can continue but i really can do no wrong at the moment...

On Sunday i decided to play Heads Up on Pokerstars. I had next to no money in my account so just played a $20 one for fun which i won, then a $50 one, then a $100 one. They do 4 player winner takes all so i then played an won that. Then i won a $500 NL Holdem heads up and two $1000 PL Omaha Heads up matches. So i turned about $40 into about $3300. I got really lucky in one, but the others went as smoothly as i could expect.

Today has been a good day as well after three hours play on Betfair i finished up £5900. Most of that came from playing a guy i hadn't seen play before heads up and i won two huge pots both times when i had flopped the nut flush. Its not a difficult game to play when that happens. I really felt focussed today. Made one slightly bad read in a big pot which cost me £1700. Other than that i felt on top form.

Heading to Dublin for the EPT event on Thursday or Friday. Depends on whether i fancy playing the Hold'em rebuy on the Thursday.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Happy Birthday

To my blog...

Its been a year since i started it up and i read through some of the oldest posts the other day.

Some year. I guess writing this blog must have contributed some way towards what has been an incredible year. Its been a year thats seen me travel abroad to Vegas for my first WSOP, Barcelona twice, Baden, Monte Carlo, Deauville and Stockholm. Sometimes i do have to pinch myself to believe what has happened in such a short space of time.

I haven't played that much poker this week. Incredibly i am up £4000 for the week despite playing very badly for long periods in one session. I lost to a 1% chance on the very first hand and it wasn't till i was £4000 down did i start playing properly again. Managed to turn my last £1000 buy in into £8000.

I really shouldn't have played at all this week. Just not feeling overly motivated to play cash games at the moment. I am sure i will be ready to start again on Monday. Still not sure about whether i should just stick to PL Omaha, or whether i should have another crack at the NL Holdem tables.

Next week i am heading to Dublin for the fourth EPT event of the year. Then probably Amsterdam for the Masterclassics.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Swedish Open 2005

This may take a while to read.... so many hands that i have to try and recall through memory, and i will probably miss out some key hands and the occasional big bluff that i made ;-)

After the Scandinavian players recent results around Europe in the big European Poker Tour events I was jumping into the Lions den somewhat, by going to play them in Stockholm. I felt good in the run up to the tournament, my form had been good both online and live, but I knew I would have to be at my very best against so many tough aggressive players.

I took my seat at the table and was pleased to find out there was going to be a 60 minute clock and 20000 starting chips. My plan to take it easy for level one soon got dashed. Blinds were 50/100 and I limped as you do with 89 suited. Flop 89K with two diamonds. I checked and then reraised the player to my left to make it 1700 to play. After a while he called and the turn was a T with no diamond. I bet out 4000 and was not to pleased when he made it 10000. Do I really want to travel all the way to Sweden to go out on hand three of the tournament? I reluctantly passed and he showed me a bluff. After that hand I was down to about 13000 chips. Still plenty of play left.

I battled my way back up to 17000 chips without winning any major pots. I had Daniel Bergsdorf who came 7th in this years WSOP main event and he was playing very well but had just been very unlucky in a few big pots. The blinds were now 200/400 and he made it 1000 to play in late position. I called with KQ suited and it flopped Q48 rainbow. He bet 2000 and I just called. The turn brought another Queen and also a flush draw. He bet 2500 and I raised it to 7000. He called after a long dwell. The river was an Ace. He checked and I moved all in. He thought for ages again and called and I showed my hand and he passed.

A few hands later I picked up TT in middle position and made it 2000 to play. One of the blinds called and it flopped 89J with two clubs. I checked and he checked. The turn was a 7 to give me the straight. I decided to check hoping he would bet, and he obliged by betting 2500. I reraised it to 9000. To my surprise he called. I now thought he must either have a straight already, flush draw or three of a kind. The river was a 9. I checked and he bet 8000. I called and he had made his full house with 88899.

The very next hand was the luckiest of the tournament for me. The young guy to my right made it 2500 to play and i looked down at JJ. I decided to move all in for around 17000 figuring he would pass nearly any hand. He thought for ages, called and turned over QQ. It flopped AK2. Turn 8. River a J. That was my luckiest moment of the tournament by far. I guess everyone needs at least one very lucky moment in a tournament.

On level 5 with the blinds 400/800 I was sitting with 40000 chips, which was joint chip leader with the player directly to my right, when we tangled in a huge pot. I was on the button with 9dTd when he raised to 2000 to play. I called. The flop was 8d9cQd. A great flop for me and I was favourite if he was holding AQ, KK or AA. He bet out 4000. Without hesitation I moved all in for all my chips. He initially turned to me and said,"I don't think I can call here." As he pondered for minutes I was convinced he was going to call. He did and turned over top set with QQ. I still had a 40% chance of winning the hand. The turn was a 2d to give me the flush and the river a blank and I was up amongst the chip leaders.

I didn't really pick up any hands for a few hours but managed to keep my stack at around 80000 without being involved in any big pots when I moved table. One of the players I recognised and he had played superbly the last time I had seen him play, so I decided not to play too many pots against him. Also sat at my table was the guy who had very fortunately knocked me out the day before from the PL Omaha tournament.

By the time we reached level 9 I was still above chip average for the tournament with 95000. Blinds were 1000/2000 and I looked down at JJ in the small blind. To my surprise the player who had knocked me out of the Omaha tournament moved all in for 44000. Did I need to risk 43000 with JJ? As he had raised so much in late position I was convinced he couldn't have AA or KK, as he would surely have looked for action with those hands by raising alot smaller. I narrowed it down that he either had a smaller pair then me, QQ (the only hand i was scared he may have) or two overcards. I have passed in situations like that too often, so decided to go with my read and call. He showed AQ. The board came 22674 and I was up to 140000.

I played the very next hand badly. Perhaps I was distracted by winning such a big pot. I limped under the gun with AKs. Everyone passed and the big blind checked. Flop A44 with two spades. He checked and so did I for some reason. The turn was a K. He checked and again I checked. River brought the flush and he bet 10000 and I called. He had the flush, I would't play another hand for the rest of the tournament that badly again.

We returned for Day 2 and I was 10th in chips out of the 42 players remaining. I raised alot of hands on my table without ever getting called or being reraised so was able to slowly increase my chips without any risk. The players were getting knocked out very fast and I was feeling comfortable as I was never out of the top ten chip leaders. When we got down to two tables I made one big move. The button made a raise to 20000 chips and the small blind called. I pushed all in with KT from the big blind and they both passed.

The action was fast and we were soon down to 14 players and in the money. I had a very tight table and nearly any raise was winning the blinds and running antes. In one hand I picked up QcKc and everyone passed to me in the small blind. I had 220000 and the big blind had 100000. I limped hoping he would raise so I could put him all in. He checked. The flop was good for me, QK2 and I checked again. He bet 15000. I called. Turn was a T, I checked and he bet 20000. I made it 50000 and he passed.

It seemed I was getting involved in big hands in the blinds. It folded around to me and against a different guy who had just been moved to my table I limped in from the small blind with 99 hoping to reraise. He checked. It flopped 69T with two hearts. I checked and he bet 10000. I made it 25000. He called. Turn was a 2 with no flush. I checked and hoped he would sense weakness and bet. He checked. River an A. I bet out 25000 and he reraised it to 60000. I moved all in and he passed.

I was sitting happily on 330000 with 12 players left as the chip average was 360000 to make the final table. I hadn't had AA in 17 hours of play, but all that was about to change. The blinds were 5000/10000 and I was in the big blind. The small blind had 500000 chips and everyone folded to him. He made it 30000 to play. I looked down at the Aces. Could I extract any more from him here. I picked up 85000 to raise then left 10000 behind and made it 75000 to play. He thought for two minutes then moved all in. Maybe my tactic of saving back 10000 had indicated weakness. He had AQ and I doubled up when the board didn't save him.

The very next hand I am under the gun and look down at AA again. Wow. I made it 40000 to play. I knew that players would think I would be reluctant to play another huge pot after the one I just won. The small blind moved all in for 270000. I called of course, and he had 99. No help from the board and it was time for the final table.

I started at the final table with 900000 which made me chip leader, and decided I would sit back unless I felt my hand was strong enough to play a big pot, or I had a good chance of stealing if I bluffed. The action was fast and furious as it tends to be at a table full of Scandinavians. I also had about a quarter of the chips in play so there was no hurry.

I had no cards for a while, and the times when I did raise players moved all in forcing me to pass. So when we reached the final 5 players I was back in amongst the pack with 800000. Only the player to my left had significantly less with 400000. I was involved in another blind battle with him. I had Ah2h and raised to 40000 in the small blind. He made it 100000, and I moved in a flash hoping it would scare him. It worked and he passed. He was taken out by another player and we were down to 4.

It was time to move up a gear. I raised five hands on the trot without even a picture. The blinds and antes were so big that it was a big boost to my stack. The only other player who seemed interested in playing any hands was Bo Sehlstedt who was the strongest player left in. I lost half nearly half my stack to Thomas Berglund who was sat to my right. Blinds were 15000/30000 and I raised to 125000 under the gun with QQ, and he called in the big blind. It flopped KJ2 with two hearts. Not great but when he checked I decided to fire out another big bet of 240000. He called. Turn was a heart and he moved all in and I had no option but to fold.

I was down to 350000 when Bo raised and I found AJ suited. A good hand four handed so I moved all in as I needed to double up. He had TT but an Ace on the flop saved me and I had chips again.

Soon after picked up AK in the small blind and Bo raised again to 150000. I pushed all in for 630000 and he called eventually with QcKc. The first card out was a Q so I was in trouble. Followed by the Jc and then the Tc, so I had a straight but he held a flush draw. Turn was blank and I closed my eyes as the river was dealt. I heard no cheers so I knew my hand had won.

The very next hand i found 99 under the gun and made a larger than normal raise. Bo moved all in for 600000 and i eventually passed. Had i thought about it more, and the fact that its such a strong hand four handed i would have probably called. He showed AcTc so it would have been a coin flip anyway.

Bo was then knocked out by another player and we were down to three. I was second in chips to Thomas and the other player who was half asleep had about half my chips. Soon he pushed all in for 550000 and I had no option but to call with AhJh and he turned over Qc7c. It flopped AcTc9s so I was winning but he had made a flush draw. Turn an 8 so he could now hit a 6 or a J for a straight as well. The river was fortunately a blank so we were heads up.

I had about 40% of the chips and Thomas 60%. One amusing side note was that I had been having great banter on the table with all the Scandies, and I don't think they would ever have recovered if one of the two British players that entered had won the tournament.

I evened the chip count up on the second hand of heads up when I slow played QQ on a low flop and moved in on the turn. He was playing very aggressively and was hitting most flops and showing his cards. I was down to about 1.2 million chips when we played the final hand. I made it 200000 to play with AhJd and he called. He hadn't passed one hand preflop heads up. It flopped 5h6h9h and he bet 400000. I knew I had alot of outs if I was behind so moved all in for the rest of my chips. He called and flipped over Kh2h, so I need a heart to save me. It wasn't to be and I had finished second.

The result put me up to 21st in Europe rankings, and 15th in the money list. Next stop EPT Dublin.

The best day ever

Well i managed to finish second in the Swedish open main event for around £60000.

Feels very good.... better than Monte Carlo or winning my first ranking event. A few players of late have doubted whether i can play NL Holdem, and think i am an Omaha specialist. To be honest, it has irritated me quite a bit. Maybe now i have won over £125000 in NL Holdem tournaments this year may convince those who think i am a Holdem fish.

Rant over! :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Swedish Open Main Event

Swedish Open Poker Championships, chip count day 1
Denna lista sorterad i storleksordning

Kopiera gärna, men ange källa:

1. Tobias Persson 275 400 13 / 6
2. Gusten Sjöberg 207 600 11 / 5
3. Stefan Diös 165 500 10 / 8
4. Micke Berg 163 300 14 / 1
5. Marcus Gidlöf 140 400 14 / 5
6. Charlie Wang 138 800 13 / 2
7. Bo Sehlstedt 136 900 13 / 8
8. Mikael Thuritz 130 200 10 / 6
9. Mikael Andersson 124 800 12 / 3
10. Ben Grundy 123 000 14 / 2
11. Mikael Stigård 119 600 12 / 7
12. Samuel Ling 116 800 11 / 6
13. Jan Bäckström 113 300 11 / 3
14. Karsten Honnefeller 80 200 14 / 6
15. Christer Larsson 78 700 12 / 6
16. Daniel Nilsson 75 600 13 / 5
17. Markus Westerling 75 600 14 / 10
18. Casper Hansen 75 500 13 / 3
19. Ardeshir Mokhtari 72 500 13 / 7
20. Karl-Johan Fösker 71 900 14 / 4
21. Mika Luumi 70 800 13 / 10
22. Anders Palmqvist 70 200 11 / 10
23. Ronnie Gustafsson 70 000 12 / 8
24. Koray Saka 64 000 11 / 2
25. Thomas Berglund 63 900 10 / 10
26. Jonas Jelström 60 400 12 / 5
27. Daniel Bergsdorf 60 200 11 / 8
28. Daniel Wadman 59 900 12 / 4
29. Olle Sundin 59 000 10 / 2
30. Per Ummer 59 000 12 / 9
31. Pawel Bielewicz 55 300 10 / 7
32. Olle Sporrong 54 100 13 / 1
33. Kaj Adolfsson 52 000 14 / 3
34. Andreas Nordström 49 000 10 / 5
35. Jani Karke 47 600 11 / 1
36. Camad Norozijan 44 900 10 / 9
37. Daniel Loewinski 43 300 12 / 2
38. Cem Arel 40 600 10 / 3
39. Ulf Dehlin 35 700 14 / 8
40. Samir Shakhtoor 33 600 11 / 4
41. Anders Beckman 32 200 12 / 10
42. Anders Österström 9 800 11 / 7

What is my name doing nestled in amongst so many Scandanavian players? I played some of the best poker of my life yesterday for 10 hours so will be giving it my best shot today. I had Daniel Bergsdorf who finished 7th in the WSOP main event on my first table for hours and he was a top quality player.....

Friday, October 14, 2005

The good, bad and the ugly

The Good

Had a couple of good wins online since i have been out here.... managed to turn £1000 into £4300 of the PL Omaha table against two opponents who seemed determined to keep putting there money in against me drawing dead. I also won two £300 out of two which gave me a nice profit as well.

The Bad

Played again live cash and managed to turn the equivalent of £1500 into £6000. I was getting pretty lucky at times but i pulled off so many bluffs it was untrue. This was my favourite. I called a raise preflop with 5578 ds. Flop TJ2. Both players check as do i. Turn Q. I checked again and one guy bet half the pot. I was pretty sure he was bluffing so made the minimum raise with nothing. He called. River was a blank and i bet 3/4 of the pot. He thought and then mucked his hand face up. He had QQ9K..... i showed three cards 578 and everyone was really amused.

We played three handed then and i couldn't hit any cards when i got involved in a monster pot. I raised on the button with 4567 DS. SB reraised. BB reraised. I called. SB reraised again. BB called. I called. Half my chips were in preflop. I fancied my hand against potentially two AA hands or very high hands. Flop 778. Nice. The rest of the chips go in. Unfortunately one guy had KK78. That was that.

The Ugly

Played the PL Omaha tournament yesterday. Started with 2000 chips and by the end of the rebuy period i had a whopping 26000. Kept steadily building till i hit 35000 and was second chip leader with 23 left. I had raised three hands on the trot before this one. I actually had AA DS in two of those and TJJQ on the button in the third. No one had called any of the raises. There was one limper and the button doubled the blinds to 2000. I look down at AATJ DS. Bingo. I reraise the pot and make it 8000 to play. He says,"I am sick of you raising.. i call." Flop 892 with two of my suit. I bet the pot and he goes all in for about 18000. What monster does he show? 9776 no flush draw. This was a mammouth 52000 pot. Turn rag T and i get no help on the river.

I was not happy about that. I would have been on course for a top 5 finish if i had won that hand.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Some live cash

Its been a while since i played live cash for a decent mout of money. I met a few of the guys i play on the PL Omaha tables on Betfair and apparantly i am a "tricky opponent." lol

Was playing the equivalent of £10/£10.... sat down with £2000. Only one big hand and a few others. Raised to £60 by middle position and i called from the BB with 8TJJ double suited. Flop 79Q rainbow. Small blind bets £120. I call. Original raiser makes it £400. Small blind calls. I call. Turn a 6 to give me the nuts. SB checks. I bet 1300. One pass. He thinks for ages and calls his last £700 with trips and the Ace flush draw (which came on the turn). Why the long pause? Luckily a blank fell and i was up £1500 early on.

Very strange hand this one. Hmmmm. I raise on the button to £100 with QQ22 DS. Three callers. Flop QJT rainbow. One guy bets £150. Other guy moves all in for £500. As the original raiser has just £600 i put him all in. He passes. All in guy shows 8923. It stands up as well. Are we playing Omaha or Hold'em here?

Finished up just under £1000 in profit. Am sure to donate it back very soon :-)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sweden here i come

I fly off to Stockholm tomorrow for the Swedish open. Its a five day trip and i am definitely not returning early this time whatever happens. There is a Holdem rebuy, Omaha rebuy and main NL Holdem event... i imagine i will play all three. I am sure an unlimited rebuy Omaha event against a table full of Scandies will be alot of fun.

I was playing £0.50/£1 PL Holdem today. I just felt like playing just for the fun of it rather than for the money and i could make any moves i liked without it having any financial significance. At one point i bluffed £120 with 6 high on the river and showed it. I played for just over an hour and really had fun. The players thought i was insane but i managed to turn £100 into £320...

It made me think that the advantage you have when you can bluff big in NL Holdem is huge with no fear if you get called. In the £10/£20 game which i have been playing recently, the equivalent bluff would be £2400. My natural game definitely changes the more money that i play for. Food for thought.

I am feeling really good about my game at the moment. I have had the best run of my life online in the last eight weeks, and i won my first ranking tournament. Time to kick on from here.....

Saturday, October 08, 2005

So Ridiculous

The last two days i must have played around 20 hours online. For half of that time i have played like a right idiot and how i ended up winning yesterday is anyone's guess. At one point i was up £6000 from playing NL Holdem, only to blow £11000 playing Omaha in about two hours. I deserved to lose the way i was playing to be fair, but i ended up playing someone heads up for two hours on two £10/£20 tables and managed to get myself together and put him on the biggest tilt i have ever seen and won £11000 of him.

It seems that my brain doesn't allow me to play two games well in the same day. I seem to be playing well at the NL Holdem at the moment, but very badly at Omaha. I had turned £2000 on the £10/£20 into £7000 yesterday and £1000 into £4000 on the £10/£20 till i gifted Dpommo a couple of grand on the £5/£10 table. Some recent £4000 plus pots that i have won/lost.

£10/£20 NL Holdem - 6 handed. I raised to £70 with 66 and got called by Roland De Wolfe in the small blind. I have just under £3000. Flop 267 with two hearts. He checks, i bet £120. He makes it £300. I decide no messing about... all in. He calls in a flash with 77. Never lost with top set over middle set in Holdem, it wasn't fun.

£10/£20 NL Holdem - 6 handed. I limped UTG with AA. Roland makes it £100. One caller in the blinds, i just call. Flop JQ2 all diamonds. I have the Ace of diamonds. I check. He bets £300. Other guy passes. I go all in and he calls with JK with the king of diamonds. Turn and river blanks.

£10/£20 NL Holdem - 6 handed. I raise in the cut off with 55. Small blind calls. Flop J95. He bets out £200. I call. Turn 3. He goes all in for £1800. I call instantly and he has QQ. River blank.

£10/£20 PL Omaha - 6 handed. Ridiculous hand this one. There is a raise and a reraise and its £200 to play. I call with 5AQK double suited. Flop 459 rainbow. Four players check to me. Bluff time. I bet £1000. Short stack calls and leaves himself with £500. Turn T. I can't pass so put him all in. He calls with 678J. River a 2 and my pair of fives win the pot.

£10/£20 PL Omaha - 5 handed. UTG raises to £70. One caller. I make it £300 with AAT3. Three callers. Flop 446. Aggressive player who always represents trips on flops like that bets £1200. No messing about i reraise and put him all in for £2900. He calls. Oops. He has 4357. Turn 3. River an Ace. Very lucky.

£10/£20 PL Omaha - 5 handed. I have £7000 going in to this hand. I call £150 preflop with three other players with 779T. Flop 7J3 rainbow. Original raiser who has £1200 in front of him bets £600. One caller. I make it £2400. guy who bet £600 passes. Other guy goes all in and has me covered. Does he have JJxx? hmmmm. I reluctantly passed and he showed JJxx. Phew.

£10/£20 PL Omaha - 5 handed. £200 to play. I call with 4567. Three other players. Flop 568. Checked to me and i bet £800. Check raiser goes all in for £1700. I call. He does have 79xx and no lucky pair up for me.

£10/£20 PL Omaha - 2 handed. So many big hands against the guy i won £11000 off but this was the biggest. I reraised preflop to £150 with AAKT one suit. Flop TJ2 with two diamonds. He checks. I bet £150. He makes it £450. I call. Turn 8... no diamond. He bets £1000. I call. River Q diamonds. He goes all in for £2300. I call and he has the king flush.

£10/£20 PL Omaha - 2 handed. Well if i thought i tilted badly.... I reraise preflop with 9JQK double suited. Flop KQ2. He checks, i bet £350. He calls. Turn 3. He checks. I bet £1000. He goes all in for £2000. I call. He shows K32T. Mmmmmm.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

EPT Baden

Firstly, this tournament was superb. I know i had complained about Barcelona and the London EPT events, but Baden was different class. The structure was great... all the blind levels were there. They changed the clock to 60 minutes after a few levels. Then the played Level nine twice for 120 minutes. After that they switched to a 75 minute clock for the second day. It wasn't just the structure it was the whole feel of the tournament. They had set up a big flag parade before the start .... the food was superb. Drinks were free. There was so much room for all the tables.... i could go on.

As for my tournament. I played much better than i did in the other EPT events. I just couldn't pick up any cards and with two calling stations either side of me, bluffing wasn't that much of a good option.

I did get to 16000 after this hand. UTG raised to 600 (blinds were 75/150). I had QQ and just called in the SB. The BB called as well. Flop 227. I check, BB checks, original raiser bets 1000. I make it 2000. Turn a 9. I checked, and he checked. The river was a 5. I decided to make a big bet and hoped to get called bt TT or JJ which is what i had him on. I bet 3500. He called with JJ.

I survived all the way to Level 9 without ever going above 16000 or below 7000. With about 45 left i was playing all in poker. Blinds were 600/1200 and my stack was just 7600. I needed to double up. Twice i moved in with AQ and actually hoped for a caller. Everyone passed. Then i picked up AT. I was ready to move all in if it passed to me on the button. The cut off raised to 5000. I thought i may have still been in good shape or if not a coin flip against a pocket pair under ten so moved in. He had JJ and it stood up. Think i finished 44th out of 180.

The Scandanavians seem to be tearing up the fields at the EPT events. Everyone in the final is from Sweden, Denmark, Finland or Norway. The average age must be around 25.

So what am i doing? Flying to play in the Swedish Open next week to take them on in their own back yard. Should be interesting, i'm going to armed with plenty of Euros for the cash games.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Off to Baden

Just decided a few hours ago that i am going to Baden in Austria, to play in the next EPT event. Wish i had booked earlier as the price of flights have gone through the roof.

I am even leaving my laptop behind, so it will be live cash games to keep me entertained if i get knocked out early.

Haven't been to Austria since i went skiing about 15 years ago, and i have never been to Vienna so i am looking forward to the trip.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

London EPT Event - I hate AK

Well that didn't exactly go as plan.

It was AK that did me in. Not a big all in coup preflop but i had it 8 times in about 16 hands. Wow thats form some might say but not when you lose 7 of those times. It became a running joke on the table.

I started ok and ran my chips up to 12000 after level 1. It was all downhill from there. One hand against an all in merchant was my big chance. He limped and i checked in the BB with JdQc. Flop TKA with two diamonds. I check and he bets 500. I call. He had moved all in on huge overbets a number of hands so maybe i can tempt him to do it again. Turn 4c. Now i decide to bet 500 to try and make it look like i am buying a free card. He pushes all in. YES. No - he has the nuts as well.

I made one bad call. Started this hand with 9500 ish. Blinds 100/200. I limped UTG with AdQd. All around to the one guy who made it 1000. I call. Flop JhKh2d. I check with the intention of folding. He checks. Turn 7. Again, i am going to check if he bets. He checks. River Th giving me the top straight. This player has called alot of hands down so i decide to bet 2300 hoping he calls with a pair. He think for a while then makes it 4600. The thinking should have set alarm bells off but then i decided to call. If i win the hand i have 15500, and if call and lose, 4000. Is that a call i have to make?

There was no recovery to be made and i was out shortly after.

As for EPT Baden next week. Even though i have registered and paid 190 euros, i still haven't decided whether to travel. I was also very annoyed with the Vic management team just prior to the start of the EPT event, when someone says they are 99% sure never believe them. I posted what happened here. I just knew it would happen.

Friday, September 30, 2005

£1000 PL Omaha

I decided to give the tournament a go despite thinking the structure wasn't exactly player friendly.

Had an interesting table to say the least... Jan Boubli, Mafews (big net player) who I have probably played more against that any live player I know, Steve Vladar, Sonny Nijran, John Gale (who seems to stalk me wherever I sit), Willi Tann and another couple of players I don't know by name. I got really lucky early on against Willie. Blinds of 50/100. Few limpers and Willie makes it 600 from from late position. I call as do the others limpers. Flop A49. I had put Willie on AAxx but it got checked to me on the button. Now I convince myself he either has AKQJ or KKQQ or something like that. So I bet 1600. He moves in for 3200 after the others pass and I call. Oops... he does have AAxx but of course the 2 pops up on the turn to give me the nut straight.

Lost my chips on this hand but I must say "I WAS RIGHT"

Not with the play in particular, but with the discussion afterwards.

A few limpers and I had quite a lot of chips so made it 600 to play with 4578 one suit. Tight player to my left raised the pot leaving him with about 5000 chips. Now I know he has Aces. Everyone else passes. I think then decide I can take a flop and get away from it easily enough. Flop 67J rainbow. I put him all in. He calls immediately. He has AAQK one suit and calls. I have any 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 or 9. All of which practically kill the hand dead. 19 cards in all.

Turn and river are evil for my hand and I lose a 16000 chip pot.

Cue some friendly banter between me, mafews and sonny about my odds when I move in. At first I said 70/30 in my favour and they laughed. In fact, Sonny was willing to bet me £10000 that it wasn't over 60%.

The more I thought about it I was convinced it was nearer 70%. Well here it is... straight from the Hendon Mob calculator.

My hand was 69.47% chance of winning after the flop.

Its the EPT main event draw today at 2.30pm. Fingers crossed i get to play today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wow Part 2

I managed to win the £250 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo. So chuffed... i love tournaments again! :-)

I can't really remember that many hands.. well a few from the final mainly. Day 1 was a bit of a grind. Had a table full of tight players except for John Gale to my left who is was involved in alot of hands and he built up a healthy stack. Despite talking a good game (I'd had a few drinks), i think must have only raised about five hands the entire evening preflop. I just can't bring myself to raise with trash in Hi/Lo as you always get callers and i wasn't seeing many good cards.

I didn't rebuy and i can remember winning two big hands. First one, i ended up in a three way pot with A2T4 ds against Gryko and one other guy. All my chips in preflop as i was short. Me and Gryko had the nut straight with a card to come but i made the Ace flush to scoop. I think i had about 9000 when Richard Ashby aka Chufty raised or limped in early position and moved half my chips in with AAJ6. It flopped 24T. Hardly ideal, but i was committed. He had A3xx. Luckily the board paired and a high card on the river doubled me up. I managed to get up to 40000 at one point. However the blinds were 2000/4000 and i was soon back down to 20000 by the time we reached the final table.

Final table had Woody Deck who came second in the last one, Ian Turner the winner of the last one, John Gale, Greg Raymer, and Chandra who is one of my Vic boks, and a few others i don't know the names of. The blinds were 2000/4000 for day 2 so i had hardly any play with my 20000 chips (5 BB). I decided the first semi decent hand i would move in. I must have been all in about 15 times throughout the final table and survived, getting lucky twice. I was in huge trouble with seven left when i committed my last 28000 with KKT4 and faced AAxx, and i made Kings over on the turn.

I never amassed a big stack but whenever i moved in and i was called, my hand prevailed. I got very lucky against Woody once. I had KJT4 in the SB and called the big blind which was 6000. He raised 12000 and i called. Flop J23 rainbow. I hated my hand but as over a third of my chips were already in the pot i decided to gamble. He had AAxx and i made two pair and split the pot.

With four remaining me, Chandra, Woody and John Gale all had similar chips. Chandra then raged a path of destruction and outdrew Woody and John and we were heads up. I had 90000 and he had about 350000. My tactic was to try and play as many flops as possible. Blinds were 4000/8000.

I made up the SB on the button with QQ52. He raised. My hand is ok heads up so i call. Flop Q55. What a hit. He checked surprisingly and so did i. Turn a J. He checked. I put a small bet of 20000 out and he passed. Damn.

I won the blinds a few times when we got involved in a huge pot. I had 160000 by now to his 280000. I had 39JK ds. I limped again. He raised. I thought about passing but decided to see a flop. Flop AT2 all diamonds to give me the Jack flush. He bet 48000 and i moved in. He called. He had a an A and a low draw. Turn and river both high and i scooped a huge pot with my flush.

It wasn't long before it nearly ended. He raised on the button and i called with A3TQ with A flush draw in spades. He raised. I took a flop which was 9T3 two spades. I checked and he bet the pot and i moved in. He called with 9K25. So my two pair was in great shape. Turn 6 spades to give me the nut flush. River a low to split. I feared the tide had turned again.

I think it was the next hand i found my best starting hand of the whole tournament AA2K. I limped hoping he would raise the blinds as usual. He did. I put him all in and he called with KK94. Please no case King. He missed and i picked up the first prize and the trophy.

I probably have missed out loads of key hands but there were so many that its a bit of a haze. When i blogged here i said one of my main aims in the next six months was to win a ranking tournament. To have done it so quickly after setting the target feels very good, especially in PL Hi/Lo Omaha.

My tournament form hasn't been that great in the last few months so hopefully things will get better from here.


I managed to make the final table of the £250 Omaha Hi/Lo. This has been some kind of personal mission of mine since i have been so unlucky here and here in the last two of these events..... it doesn't even matter if i go out eighth or ninth which seems very likely as i have only about 7 big blinds when i return. When playing hand for hand with ten players left i lost about half my stack due to the size of the blinds. I passed some hands i probably should have played but finishing 10th would have forced me to retire from Hi/Lo tournaments forever.

Greg Raymer was also there and made the final nine players.

My run finally ended on the tables of Betfair. Dropped £4500 on Monday which is ok considering the form i had been in of late. It was due to happen sooner rather than later i suppose.....

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Run continues... but only just

I played yesterday for a few hours on the £5/£10 NL Holdem and $10/$20 PL Omaha tables.....

I was hitting cards big style in the NL Holdem... well compared to whenever i play tournaments these days i was. Playing six handed i hit a queen flush, king flush v lower flushes both times. Had set over set... higher straight over smaller straight! I was down to £450 from my starting £1000 so was happy to finish up with £1800.

The PL Omaha it was an extremely strange session. Four handed. There was an absolute lunatic playing that i have never played with before and he did get me on tilt i have to admit... i did make one call i was very pleased which i will come to. I don't often brand players lunatics, but i defy anyone who has the pleasure of facing this player to think otherwise.

- I lost $2000 almost immedietly. Called a raise with 79TJ double suited. Flop 89J with two of my suit. Second nut straight, flush draw and top two pair all in v bottom set. Turn K. River K.

- Reloaded again for $2000. Held A678 with A flush draw in hearts. Flop 59Q with two hearts. All got in again and lost to a full house. Fair enough.

- Reload number three. Built up to $3000 when this happened. I held 5QKA preflop. Call a raise before the flop on the button. Flop 55A. Original raiser bets $200. I make it $600. He calls. Turn T. He bets $600. Hmmm i call. River 9. he bets $800. I call. He shows ATT9. I may have typed lucky fish into the chatbox. Oops.

- Managed to get back up to $3600 again. Maniac got me again. I held TTA9. Bare Ace hearts. I raise. He reraises. I call. Flop T45 with two hearts. He checks. i bet $400. He calls. Turn 9 hearts. He checks. I bet $1000. He check raises me another $2000. Very irritated by that hand. I pass.

- I was now sitting on about $2000 and the maniac had $8000. Most of which was my money. I made $1000 of him when he couldn't lay down Aces on a 567 flop. I then called him down with the King flush when he bet flop, turn and river. He had the 7 flush. I was up to $4000.

- Probably the key hand of the session. I held 9dTdQhKh. He made it $90 on the cut off. I made it $200 on big blind. He called. Flop 2hJhKc. A decent flop for my hand. I bet $300. He calls. I put him on some kind of draw. Straight draw or flush draw. He wasn't the slowplaying type so i could rule out a set immedietly. Turn 2c. Not a great card. I still think my King may be winning and he may pass to the scare card. So i bet $500. He calls. River a Qc to bring the backdoor flush. Horrible card for me. I check. He bets $1300 into a pot of $2010. I am losing to any flush, ATxx, any house and even a rag 2. I quickly process the information in my head and am convinced he had a busted Ace flush draw in hearts. It was a question of whether he had a Ten with it. I call. He shows 3c6s5hAh and i win a pot of $4610 with the small straight. There are very few times i would make that call, but after playing with that opponent for two hours i just had to call.

- The hand that wiped him out came not so long after. I held JJQK and reraised him preflop from the button. Flop T55. He checked. I bet $400. He calls. Turn J. He checks. I bet $400 again. He calls. River 8. He bets $2000. I go all in. He calls and mucks.

Considering i was in for $6000 i was very pleased to finish with $9000.

Today i think i am going to play a few tournaments just for a change.....

Next week is the Vic festival. Normally i aim to play in as many tournaments as possible. Not this time though. The £1000 NL Holdem just doesn't have a structure that appeals to me and the £1000 PL Omaha has been made a one day event apparantly due to the start of the EPT on Friday. A £1000 tournament a one day affair? You can make your own minds up about that.

I will play in the £250 Hi/Lo again. I obviously want to build up a huge stack and go out to a miracle on the bubble like has happened the last two times i have played it. Playing the £3000 EPT main event as well. After the Vic festival i fly directly to Austria to play in the 4000 Euro EPT main event in Baden as well. I may play the Gutshot main event as well if the Vic EPT doesn't go to plan. I came 3rd in the last festival main event and i could do with some of that form returning.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Insane Form

I am on a run at online poker like nothing i have ever had in my life at the moment. After i blogged here on September 4th with my six month results, things have just got better and better. Playing $10/$20 PL Omaha 90% of the time, my figures since that day for when i have played are +$2070 per hour. I mostly play one or two tables, so i work it out that i have been winning between 60-80 big blinds per hour.

I am almost afraid to play as the run must end with some horrible losses surely. I have won 16 days on the trot when i have played which is just completely ridiculous. Also since i had my worst ever online day which i posted here, i have had 24 out of 26 winning days. This madness must end. At such a high variance game such as Omaha the swings can't just keep going up and up.

After i wrote my poker blog yesterday i had a couple of sessions. The first on the £10/£20 NL Holdem and the second multitabling at Omaha. I won £6000 by the end of the day.

The £10/£20 NL Holdem

- I started with £1750. I was treading water for about an hour and had £1850 in front of me when this happened. I called a raise to £40 with 4h5h and four of us saw a flop of 2d3d8s. I bet £45 and on player check raised it to £120. I called. Turn the Ah to give me the nuts. He bet £200. I thought about slowplaying then decided not to. So i made it £666. He moved in and i called. He showed 88 for a set and it didn't pair so i was up to £3800.

Didn't play a hand that i lost more than £150 on and ended up leaving with £3350.

The $10/$20 PL Omaha. 5 or 6 handed for the session.

- Ridiculous first hand. Someone raised. I called with TTA9. A few of us saw a flop of T65 with two hearts and i had the Ace flush draw and TTT. All the money goes in three way. One player had 66xx. The other 789x. Turn 7. River rag. I thought that was the start of a downswing.

- I held QQ44 and made it $100. to Play on the button. Flop 44A. I was hitting quads lots. Checked to me. I bet $100 into a pot of $500. One call. Turn 3. He checked. I bet $200. He made it $400. I called. River 3. He checked. I bet $500. He called and showed AKxx.

- Early position raiser. I had AA35 ds. After a couple of callers i managed to make it $530 to play from the SB. One caller. Flop 36J rainbow. I bet $1000. Opponent goes all in for $1300. I call. He shows JQQ3. Turn 2. River a 4 to give me the straight.

- I have AA43. I raise to $60 in early position. Another player reraises it to $200. I decide to just call. Flop 667. I check. He checks. turn a 2. I check. He bets $400. I make it $1000 and he passes. I show my hand and he said he had Aces as well.

- Another lucky aces hand for me. I have AAJJ double suited. Get into a raising war with one opponent. He has $1100 and it goes in preflop. He shows AAK9 double suited. Flop J43 rainbow and i win another big pot.

This one happened on the $5/$10 table. I had turned my second $1000 buy in into $3000. 5 handed.

- I called a raise with 5d8d3cAd on the burron. Yes garbage i know but i was hitting. Four of us see the flop of 552. Original raiser bets $200. I decide to make it $600 as there was a flush draw there. He calls. I think he must have a 5 now. Turn a 3. He checks. I bet $550. He calls. River a 5 to give me quads. He checks. I bet $2000 and he moved in for $1670. Nice.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Some NL Holdem

I have started taking some tentative steps back into playing the NL Holdem cash games on Betfair. I have played some $10/$20 and £10/£20 short handed games.

So far i am about £1100 up.... so not bad.

Some hands i have played.

£10/£20 - Six handed. I have £1100. I raise UTG with AK to £66. Middle player makes it £200. The button calls. I call. Flop A22. Unless the unlikely scenario that one of my opponents has AA or 22 i probably have the hand locked up at the moment. I check. Middle position raiser makes it £200. Button passes. I call. Turn 3. I check. Middle position makes it £200 again. I call. River 7. I check. He bets £200 again. I go all in. He calls and mucks.

£10/£20 - Five handed. I have £2300. UTG limps. Cut off limps. I have AQs. I make it £120 to play. UTG limper calls and we are heads up. Flop 6QK. He checks. I bet £125. He makes it £250. I call (should have passed there). Turn A. He has just £500 left in front of him. He checks again. I bet £250. He goes all in. I call. He shows 66.

$10/$20 - Seven Handed. I have £1700. UTG makes it $50. I call with 6s7s as do five others. Flop 3s4s5h. Woohoo. Original raiser bets $150. I call. Button makes it $450. Passed to me. I move in. He calls with 5d6h. Turn blank. River a 7h to split the pot. FFS

$10/$20 - Five handed. I have $1400. I raise UTG to $66 with 8h9h. One caller. Flop JhQh2d. I bet $100. He makes it $200. I call. Turn a blank. I check. He bets $200. I call. River a heart. I bet $500 and he calls and shows J6.

I think the short handed tables are what appeals to me most. So i will continue to play a bit more Holdem unless i take a huge hit.

My form is still ridiculous on the Omaha tables. Two hands is all it took to wipe out three players.

$10/$20 - Four handed. I start with $1600. I raise on the button with AhQh6d7d. Everyone calls. Flop As6h2h. Checked to me. I bet $400. One caller. Turn Th. He checks. I bet $400. He moves all in. I call. He's drawing dead with a jack flush.

$10/$20 - Three handed. I have $3400. I raise it to $80 the big blind with KhKs9h9d. Button who had $400 in front of him makes it $175. SB calls. I raise it to $375. Button moves all in for $400 in total. SB calls. I now decide to reraise the pot to try and isolate the button and make the SB pass. So i reraise $1200. He calls. Not exactly what i was hoping for but i know he doesn't have Aces. Flop T62 rainbow. He checks. I put him all in for another $400. He calls. Cards on there backs. Button has JQKA and SB has 9JQQ. So i am in great shape barring a Q or runner runner. Turn a 2. Looking good. River a K just to make sure.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Barcelona - Update 2 EPT main event

Hmmmm... i thought my tournament form couldn't get worse. But it seems to have found an all time low.

Got my chips up to 14000 after level one after i called a big bluff with the second pair on the board. For seven levels/five hours i saw AK once... highest pair was 99 which i had to lay down preflop... 77 once and 66 once. No AQ, AJ or even AT. Never had a hand where i actually wanted a caller at any point so that says it all.

Lost most of them on this hand. Early position raised to 500. Five limpers and i call on the button with JsQs. Flop 9sTsAh. Checked to me. I bet 3000. One reluctant looking caller. Turn Ac. He checks. I bet 3700. He calls. River a blank of course. Check...check. He shows A4.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Barcelona - Update 1

I arrived and headed down to the casino to play the 500 Euro Pot Limit OHold'em. We started with 3000 chips and i doubled through on level 1 with QQ on a jack high flop. Card dead and missed everything for a couple of levels. I then bluffed off 2400 of my chips to someone i thought could lay down the hand i had correctly put them on. The last lot went in on a 9 high flop with J9 against 9K and i was out. Still, its the Pot Limit Omaha today so i should do slightly better i hope.

I'm still buzzing on the 10/20 tables. A few players were telling me just how bad the play is in the 10/20 Euro in the casino. At the moment though, i just can't do a thing wrong online so why change?

Richard Gryko is always amused that i always seem to flop the nuts and get paid off, so it was almost incredible that when he sat at the table last night the first hand i had was Quad Aces on the flop. Last night i must have raised with AAxx over ten times and at least 1/2 an Ace was appearing on the flop. I also had AAKK three times which is a record. Playing on the 2/5 i turned $500 into $4000 and on the 10/20 i wasn't doing so well, and was in for $5000 and then hit a few huge hands.

- I held KK88. There was a raise and reraise so i just called in the small blind. I had $3500 in front of me. Flop KT5 rainbow. I check and one player bets $400. The other passes. I call. Turn 9. I check... he checks. River a 9 to give me the house. I check... he bets $800. I reraise the pot and he calls and mucks. TTxx or 55xx surely.

- I then got lucky against Gryko. I held As 3s Ad Ks and he held Ah Ac 2s 6d. All the money went in the middle preflop. Flop 2d 5c 8h. Turn Th. River... yep of course 4s to give me the straight.

- I then won $4500 on this hand. I had 9TAQ. I raised preflop. two callers. Flop JQ5 rainbow. Checked to me. I bet $300. Turn 8 to give me the nuts and bring spade flush draw that i didn't have. I know this player always raises when i bet weak. He checks so i bet just $300 into a pot of $900. He pot reraises to $1500 to play. Hmmmm. I could easily move in here but he has a huge stack as well and could be freerolling me with a flush draw and straight. So i call. River a 6 and he bets just $700 and i reraise and he passes.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

£10000 hand

Its been a while since i won a 10k sterling pot as I usually play the 10/20 dollar table. Four handed on Betfair's new six pac table......

On the button i raise to £80 with 8899 double suited. I get reraised to £200 and three of us see a flop of 57T with two of my suit. Checked to me. I bet £600. Pick up one caller. Turn 6 to give me the nuts. He checks. I bet £1800. He reraises it to £4500. I move all in for £3300. Just £600 more to him and he passes. How he can pass for £600 in a pot over £10000 i will never know. Still i hardly wanted to see the river card given my usual form in huge pots.

I fly to Barcelona tomorrow. These are the events i am going to play.

Monday - €500 Pot Limit Holdem
Tuesday - €300 Pot Limit Omaha
Thursday - €4000 No Limit Holdem EPT event

Really looking forward to the start of the EPT again. Hopefully i can take some of my cash form to the tournament.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Blondepoker Tourney

I played in the Blondepoker forum tournament on Tuesday night which was good fun. I build my chips up partially thanks to hitting a Gutshot against another blogger Ben. Cruised into second place out of 13 left and was sitting great in second when with blinds of 400/800 and running antes i raised to 3300 on the button with AhTh. BB moved in for about 8000. I called as i knew he had me on a steal. He had TsQs. Flop rags but running spades gave him the flush. Back to the drawing board. Next hand (on tilt obviously i pick up AA). Small raise in late position and the BB calls. Flop 56J. He bets 4000. I go all in for 9000. he thinks and calls with 34. Turn a 7. Wooooooo ... that was that.

Was playing the PL Omaha 10/20 at the same time. There were 4 or 5 players that i had never seen before which is very strange as i normally know everyone. I turned $1700 into $4700 mainly because one of the newbies couldn't lay down the second best flush against me - fair enough. Then this hand happened. Raise and reraise preflop and its $200 to play. I called with 5678 in late position. 5 of us see the flop. Flop 45T rainbow. Checked to me and i bet $1000. Foe who checked originally goes all in for $1700. I call. He shows T99K for one pair. Of course his solitary ten is stands up to win a $4400 pot. Playing his hand that way he is either in a whole load of trouble, alot of trouble or just trouble. No justice.

Still got back up to $5000 through this hand. Held TTxx. Flop KT7 rainbow. I bet $200. One call. Turn 4 to bring flush draw. He checks... i bet $600. River rag 3, He bets $1800. If he holds 56 with his hand then he is just too good. I call. He has A high.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

WCOOP - $200 PL Omaha

Hmm started very well in this and the structure was great. Got a load of chips early when i called a raise preflop with 89JQ. Flop JQ4. On player moved all in for about a third of my chips and two others called. I then moved all in and they both called with draws. They missed and i had 10000 chips from the 2500 starting amount. Some of the play was just terrible but i wasn't hitting any cards to get any of the chips that were flying around on my table. Called down some bluffs and managed to get to 20000 chips.

Lost a few hands and after playing for 4.5 hours i limped with AAJQ double suited UTG (blinds 300/600)... knowing that one of the loose players would raise in late position. One raise... one call and i moved all in for 11000. Call... call. I was in such good shape against AKQJ and KKJT with only one flush draw live that could beat me. Flop Q44 :-). Then runner runnered by spades and tumbled out in 200th out of 900 odd that entered. Agggggggh

Cash has been going very well on the 10/20 tables so i can't complain i guess.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

So how has it gone?

I guess six months is long a long enough time playing poker for a living to see how its gone. Reading Rob Sherwood's review on his blog made me think about doing a review.

I'm not going to count Monte Carlo as i still had a couple more days to work after that and it kind of distorts how i've done.


It hasn't gone great to be honest. I had a decent result coming third in the Gutshot main event scooping about £10000 and couple of money finishes on my last trip to Barcelona, but other than that its been a bit of a famine. Doing some calculations i've spent £19800 on tournaments and recouped £11700. Not great but not awful either. I have been out of form of late. Its not entirely the cards fault, i have made some mistakes as well. I've been very close in a couple of festival main events only to go crashing out just outside the money. Most frustrating moment was the $10000 Omaha in the World Series in Vegas. The cards were just horrible for hours and although i knew it was going to be a tough event, i'd back myself on any Pot Limit Omaha table.

Overall -£8100

Live Cash

I think i have fallen out of love with playing live cash. I still generally do well when i play but i find it slightly boring as i'm so used to constant action online. I won a bit in the cash games in Vegas but that cancelled out losses in Barcelona and the London festivals. If there was a really juicy Dealers Choice or PL Omaha at the Vic i would play more.... but there isn't.

Overall +£2400

Online Cash

Despite some severe swings the last six months have been good online. Getting my head round the size of some of the pots i now often play in has taken some doing. In $10000+ pots i have played in i have been extremely unlucky. I have lost over 3/4 of them despite being a favourite in 90% plus of them when the money went in. In four hands worth a combined total of $70000 i had over 75% chance in each and lost all four. Online PL Omaha will hopefully continue to be my main source of income.

Overall +£41000

Other stuff

Getting sponsored by Betfair and being asked to write a poker column for the Telegraph were both highlights of the last six months. Hopefully they will both continue.

Its been a great six months to be honest. If it doesn't last forever and i go back to work it won't be the end of the world. I have a couple of other things in the pipeline as well that should give me a more constant stream of income i hope.

A few targets for the next six months

- To win a ranking event.
- To play in a WPT event.
- To continue to play 10/20 PL Omaha. If i am still playing at that level in six months time it will be good news as it will have meant i haven't dropped down to save the banrkoll.
- To win enough to buy a top quality car.
- To choose another cash game online and win consistently at it. Trying to decide between NL Holdem and Triple Draw.
- Play in big online multi table tournaments more often. Starting tonight with the $500 NL Holdem WCOOP on Pokerstars.
- Double my bankroll. I'll settle for that even if all the other targets fail :-)

Its almost a year since i started up this poker blog as well. How time flies. I do love reading other people's blogs, although i don't comment that much. Its one of the first things i do when i go online. If anyone knows any really good ones that i haven't linked let me know. I've just linked Ben and Tom to my list.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bankroll Booster

I've settled into a schedule at the moment of playing Mon - Thurs and giving myself the rest of the week off. At the moment i guess its keeping me fresh for when i do play. Sometimes i am playing for 10 hours without a break and by the time Monday comes round again i am looking forward to playing again. When i enjoy my poker i generally play better.....

Doing some calculations in August i increased my bankroll by 40% which i am extremely happy about. Playing in games too big for my bankroll is bound to have that effect when things are going well i guess.

This week i have lost two horrendous hands and am still in decent profit. Both were in approximately $10000 pots on Tuesday. The first i held QQTT double suited and there was $1000 in before the flop. I had $4900. Flop T82. I bet out $1000 in first position and the second player made it $4000. I go all in and he calls with 8895. Turn J. River a 7. I did feel extremely sick after that hand and after six hours more playing i was up again. Then i held 52JA and got into a raising war on a 552 flop. Half of my $5500 went in on the flop. Turn a J. It all goes in. Opponent turns over 22JJ. Sick again.... did the most sensible thing i had done in ages and stopped playing immedietly.

The biggest pot i have won this week isn't very exciting but it was still a tough decision. Five of us see a flop of J66. I hold 6J9T. Early position original raiser pre flop bets $300 into a $500 pot. I had slow played on that kind of flop earlier and allowed someone to hit their over pair so i wasn't going to make the same mistake again. I bet $1000. Aggressive player behind me makes it $3000. Hmmmm could he have JJ? Conventional play would be just to call with JJ but this was a very erratic player. I had $4500 in front of me after the $1000 bet. I moved in eventually and he called with AQ76 and fortunately the turn and river were blanks. It was the same player who had done me the day before with middle trips v my top trips so maybe revenge was on my mind.

I have started playing a bit on the £10/£20 No Limit Holdem table and am generally doing well on there. I only play short sessions as i find playing too long gruesome and i hate the trouble that the all in button can get me in to. One big pot i won. I held Qd9d. Early position makes it £60 to play. 5 limpers.... i call in the big blind. Flop KdTd7h. I fire a bet of £250. One player calls. Turn 6d. I check. He bets £400. I call. River a Th. Now i am not going to pass even if he moves all in here so decide to move in myself as i may get called by hands that he would check down like trips or a smaller flush. So i move all in for £900. He calls with 8h9d and i scoop a nice pot.

Betfair have opened six pac Omaha tables. So i no longer have to endure playing 10 handed which i hate......