Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mexico here i come

I am off to Mexico in a couple of days. This week has been so busy trying to get everything organised not only for that trip but also for Vegas. The Daily Telegraph article introducing me as a new columnist comes out on Saturday. It will be featured on the front of Weekender magazine.

I will try and update my blog when i can from Mexico... but most of the time i will just be relaxing in the sun and preparing myself mentally for the biggest few weeks of poker of my life so far when i arrive in Vegas.

So far my schedule unless it changes for the WSOP after i arrive will be:

July 1st No-Limit Holdem $3000
July 2nd Pot-Limit Omaha $10000
July 4th No-Limit Holdem w/rebuys $1000
July 7th Main event No Limit Holdem $10000

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Back Home

Got back into London yesterday. Overall Barcelona was a moderate success. I made the money in two of the tournaments that i played in. Its a shame i didn't rack up any ranking points as my luck deserted me in the closing stages of both those tournaments.

I doubt that i will play any poker between now and leaving for Mexico this weekend. I am extremely busy getting myself organised for Mexico/Vegas and i am also writing my poker column for the Telegraph. I have also been working on my poker schedule for the next six months. Its going to be an exciting time thats for sure. July will include my first entries to WSOP and WPT main events.... bring them on.

I also watched the EPT coverage from Monte Carlo. Its a shame it didn't feature any of the hands that i played on the TV table on Day 3. I made some of my best plays on that day against some tough opponents, including a bluffs against Gus Hanson and Kevin O'Connell that i would have liked to have seen again.

Good luck to Simon Nowab who plays in the World Heads Up Championship Final today.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Barcelona - NL Holdem €1000 even briefer report

Flopped middle set in the first level on a Qd9c3s board. Slow played it against QcKc and my foe hit a backdoor flush.... that was the end of my tourney!

Barcelona - NL Holdem €500 Brief Report

Massive frustration about this tournament despite the fact in won €1500 for finishing 12th. There were about 190 runners and i had built up a healthy 23000 chip stack after about 6 levels. I found KK in the big blind and called a reraise all in bet from the small blind for 16000. He had TT. The guy to my left said that passed 9T. First card out .... a T. That crippled me as i would have been up to nearly 50000 chips but instead i had just 7000 left.

I played really good solid poker to make the money and managed to get back up to a respectable 40000 chips when we got down to the last 18. The two hands that sent me packing went as follows.... Liam Flood went all in from the button for 12000. The blinds are 2000/4000 and i look down at an Ace and call without looking at the other one. He has Q6 ... and hit a 6 on the river.

It was left to my nemisis from Monte Carlo Rob Hollink to knock me out. He called my all in of 11000 chips from the big blind without looking at his hand (running antes meant there was 3200 extra chips in every pot). I had J8 and was delighted when he showed 8h5h till he rivered a flush.

When you make the money in these tournament you really need your hands to stand up and at the moment they just aren't.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Barcelona - Omaha €300 Report

This was a freezeout Omaha tournament i had to hit the ground running which is exactly what i did. Started with 3000 chips and i was up to 14000 after the first level. I called a raise from the big bind with AK79 double suited and it flopped 68T which gave me the nuts and the Ace flush draw. I checked and there was two all ins before it got back to me. Both players had a set and didn't improve so that tripled me up.

The blinds were increasing every 30 mins and i kept swinging between 10000 and 20000. It didn't take that long for us to get down to the last 3 tables and i was one of the shortest stacks. I then went card dead and hardly played a hand for about an hour. Blinds had reached 1500/3000 and i went all in for 5000 with AKK9 which stood up. We were then down to 19 players and 18 were paid and i was still one of the shortest stacks around. Dave Colclough raised from the button and i was only going to call if i picked up a very big hand. I looked down at AA9J and moved all in. Again my Aces stood up so i was up to 20000 and no longer in danger of finishing on the bubble.

The blinds then increased to 2000/4000 and i was sitting with 16000 chips. Players were making moves to steal the blinds and not for the first time i found Aces in the big blind and moved all in with AAJ4 and my opponent was already all in from his raise. He had AKT4 so only his K and T were live. Flop KK2 and that was that. Still it was good fun and i got €570 for finishing 14th.

Its the €500 No Limit Holdem Freezeout at 5pm today so will give that a shot. Off to the rooftop pool now to relax before the tournament.....

Thursday, May 19, 2005

This Madness cannot last

My form at the moment is just ridiculous online. I know that my run will end because i am writing about it but i have now just finished my 21st consecutive winning session either playing the PL Omaha £10/£20 or $10/$20 on Betfair. Given the swings playing PL Omaha i doubt i will ever win 21 sessions on the trot again. I am playing well at the moment but hitting cards like you would not believe. I have posted such an example below...

Good news is that my car challenge now stands at £7100 so we are getting into Audi A3 territory now.

Game #652509783: Omaha High Pot Limit (US$10/US$20)
- 2005/05/19 - 15:50:29 (GMT)
Table "Vardo" Seat 1 is the button.
Seat 1: Bluechees (US$670.99 in chips)
Seat 5: wuckfit (US$3621 in chips)
Seat 6: Milkybarkid (US$4506.25 in chips)
Seat 7: 000a (US$1996 in chips)
Seat 8: _bigd_ (US$5300 in chips)
wuckfit: posts small blind US$10
Milkybarkid: posts big blind US$20
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Milkybarkid [Ad Kh Ah Kd]
000a: folds_bigd_: folds
Bluechees: raises to US$70
wuckfit: raises to US$220
Milkybarkid: raises to US$730
Bluechees: folds
wuckfit: calls US$510
----- FLOP ----- [7d 5s 5d]
wuckfit: bets US$1530
Milkybarkid: raises to US$3776.25 and is all-in
wuckfit: is all-in US$1361
Returned uncalled bets US$885.25 to Bennyboi
----- TURN ----- [7d 5s 5d][6d]
----- RIVER ----- [7d 5s 5d 6d][Jd]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Milkybarkid: shows [Ad Kh Ah Kd] (A Flush, Ace high)
wuckfit: shows [As 7h 8c Ac] (Two Pairs, Aces and Fives, Jack high)
Milkybarkid collected US$7309 from Main pot

Out in Round 1

I lost my first round match of the World Heads Up. It was a case of three coin flips which i didn't win any of. Had my opponent all in twice when i had got him down to 2000 from the starting 5000 chips and he survived. He took a massive lead when i raised preflop with JTs and he called with 7T and it flopped 89J... there was no escaping that one which left me crippled with just 2000 chips and it all went in when i flopped a straight draw on a 56J board..... still it was good fun but you do need a bit of luck to win these heads up battles. To be fair i should have just kept chipping away at him rather than risk doubling him up on coin flips.

Its the Omaha competition later this afternoon which i am going to play in. The Heads Up battles are alot of fun to watch but most of my tips exited in the first round. I did tell my mates to lump it on me and Isabelle to win first round matches so i did get one tip right. I will avoid betting on myself in future tournaments i think.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Barcelona Update

I have finally arrived in Barcelona after a nightmare trip which ended up taking 8 hours. The hotel has free internet access in the room so i will be able to post some updates and play online during the tournaments which last 9 days. The main event is a €2000 Heads Up Championship and its the draw later so i will post a couple of the interesting confrontions when i get in. It is flanked by a number of other events so it should be an exciting 9 days.

I hinted recently that i had a few bits of news. Firstly, i agreed a sponsorship deal with Betfair which i am obviously extremely delighted with. So this is my first official tournament as part of the Betfair team.

Secondly, i was approached a couple of weeks ago to do a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph. I accepted without hesitation and it was amazing to be asked. An opening article introducing me as a columnist should appear on on Saturday June 4th, which includes photos of me playing at the Gutshot. The first few weeks I will be explaining the basics of No Limit Holdem but after that i hope to write something that will be interesting for both poker newbies and regular players.


They have done the draw for round one. I am playing Gary Collins..... i imagine that he is one of the internet qualifiers. For the rest of the draw click here as i posted it on Blondpoker.

I played and lost two hands of Omaha in the €10/€20 game at the casino last night. Lost the first to Noah Boeken and the second to Devilfish..... still its been a successful trip so far as i managed to win £1200 on the Betfair tables earlier. The car challenge is now at £3400 so i am now in the VW Golf bracket... playing in the €300 Limit tourney in a few hours so will write a report on how that goes. Probably be a brief report with my Limit Holdem skills.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I went along to play in the Gutshot's £5 rebuy tournament last night.... i haven't played in anything like it for a while. I arrived early as i was told it would sell out and i needed to catch up with someone. They were running late so i hopped into the Gutshot ineternet cafe and played 30 minutes of the $10/$20 PL Omaha on Betfair. Won two pots... one where i was lucky but the good news is that my car challenge for April is up another £900 to +£2200. Hopefully Barcelona will go well and boost it further..... its really frustrating not being able to get online and play at the moment.

Back to the tournament. If you ever need to see how poker is booming visit the Gutshot on a Tuesday... the place was pumping and 6 of the 9 players on my table had never played live before. It was sold out (140) with reserves as well. I managed to buy in a respectable 5 times.... 500 chips for every rebuy. Eventually i got up to 6000 before i decided that A2 was an a bluffing hand and got called down by a middle pair on a rag flop.

Is it just me or is trying to find tournament structures so frustrating? Why can't there be a standardised structure (starting chips/clock) depending on the tournament entry fee. The structure of tournaments is often extremely difficult to get hold of. Take the Vic's £3000 EPT event last October. It had a 45 minute clock which is oobviously ridiculous for such a big buy in event whereas the recent £1000 main event at Luton had an hour clock.

Monday, May 09, 2005

All over the place

As i have not had much poker action in May I've decided i am going to Barcelona to play in the 2005 Heads Up Championship next Monday for 9 days. I went to the same area for a stag weekend not so long ago and it is alot of fun. When i get back from Barcelona i fly to Mexico a couple of days later. I've also booked my flights for Vegas from Mexico so i am going to be in Vegas from the 30th June - 16th July and then to Paris for my first WPT event. So i am hardly going to be in the country for the next three months.

Its going to be tricky to update my blog from Mexico but i hope to update it daily from Vegas with tournament and cash game reports. I am very excited already about my first trip there....

I also have a couple of exciting bits of news which should be revealed on my blog in the next few days.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Its a Fiesta so far

My car challenge has stalled. I left my flat in London and am staying with my sister who doesn't have internet access until late next week so i am missing all the juicy Omaha games on Betfair at the moment. So far for the month i am +£1300 which definitely doesn't buy me the kind of car i want. I will still have a couple of weeks to increase that amount when i get online again.

Someone asked me yesterday what i view as my best and worst game and it got me thinking. My worst is very easy - Limit Holdem. Maybe thats just because every time i play it i am on tilt. Still i think i have only played it once this year which could be an indication that i don't go on tilt as easy as i used to. My best game - Well i settled on PL Omaha (cash). I have won at that game every year since i first started playing 6 card Omaha in Cardiff back in 1996. I can still remember some of the names i used to play with. I wander where they are now. Maurice Goodfriend, Mo Gibbons (she appeared on Late night poker), Kaz Lee, Frixo (I always remembered him as whenever he won a pot against me he said, "You did nothing wrong.") It used to drive me mad. When i was in Wales last weekend i was really tempted to go and play to see if any of them are still about.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I do read other blogs....

Just to prove that i do actually process some of the hints and tips that i come across on the net, this article on Big Dave D's blog from way back in June 2004 made me think about playing the nuts in a different way in PL Omaha.

I had almost the same situation on the $10/$20 table last week. It was $100 to play and i called in late position with AKK4 and five players saw a TJQ rainbow flop. A tight player bet out $500 in first postion and everyone else passed to me. I was 99% sure this player had the same hand as me so instead of making it obvious what hand i had i just called. Turn a 9 and he bet $1500. After a long pause i called. The river paired the T and he checked. I bet the full pot as i was certain he would pass assuming i hade made a full house which he did. He did type into the chat box, "You fish." :-)

I am feeling the need to play some tournament poker so may go to Vienna next week. Anyone else going?

Having an enforced break from playing online for a few days as my computer is packed away as i recently moved. So i may take a trip to the Vic for some Dealers Choice action.

I also had a chance over the weekend to watch some of the coverage of the British Poker Open on the Poker Channel and i have to say that i thought it was very good.

The most recent article of DoubleAS is interesting. I have had a similar experience recently trying to decide whether to play in the £10/£20 PL Omaha on Betfair. I have the bankroll and i am winning at the game when i play it. It's just the size of the pots make me feel sick when i lose and every bad beat/play costs a fortune. Like the pot i lost last week of £20000. That would pay my rent in London for two years. Its when i quantify the size of the pots with what they could be spent on that i struggle......

Sunday, May 01, 2005

April Round Up

Since finishing my job at the beginning of April to focus my attentions fully on poker I have to admit I could not have imagined that it would have gone so well. I love the freedom that just playing poker has given me and I am focusing better whenever I play. My third place at Gutshot was a very good boost especially coming so soon after Monte Carlo and I also got very close to the money in the main event at Luton.

Apart from a couple of bad days online when I first jumped into the £10/£20 Pot Limit Omaha on Betfair things have been going very well there as well. I won $30000+ across the various sites in April, which is way above target. I do understand that it can't always go this smoothly. With the variance in Pot Limit Omaha to have won 16 sessions on the trot has taken alot of luck as well as a bit of skill.

I watched myself on the poker channel earlier and I have to say I hate watching myself in interviews. Note to myself... don't open a sentence with "Ummmmmmmm"

I have just about sorted my dates for being in Vegas July1st - 15th.... it should give me a chance to play in a couple of warm up events before the biggie. I really want to play in the $10000 Pot Limit Omaha. Two $10000 events in the space of a week is quite expensive though.... we shall see.

A couple of things whilst remember. Does anyone know a decent hotel that I can book myself in to? Also, How do I pay in to the main event before I arrive? (I heard it might sell out)
If anyone is interested the EPT final is on Eurosport next Friday and Saturday I think at 9 or 10pm..... just switch of when it comes to my interview.