Wednesday, December 13, 2006

End of 2006 review!

Time for the end of year review I guess. After this week I will be having a break until the Aussie Millions in January.

My aims for this year which I put on my blog last Dec for 2006 were:

1. Not go broke.
2. 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.
3. Make the money in a WSOP and WPT event.
4. Win £150000+ online.
5. Play at least five WSOP events at least two WPT events.
6. Stop reading poker forums. I like what i read 10% of the time. The rest irritates me.
7. Win 3 tournaments with buy ins over £750.
8. Reduce my tilt to a manageable level.
9. Not play any Limit poker.

Well I managed to achieve 1, 2, 4 and 8. The others weren’t achieved. Looking at those ones… number 7 in particular was an extremely tough one. Not sure if anyone in Europe won 3+ tournaments this year. Regarding poker forums… I’m an addict and can’t help looking at them. For number 9.... though I said I wouldn’t play any limit, I actually enjoy it on occasions… especially Limit Omaha Hi/Lo.

Tournaments

It’s been a funny year. I played fewer tournaments than I had planned. I managed to count just 18. I cashed in 4 of them. I could have had two massive results in EPT Monte Carlo and the WCOOP main event but fell a bit short in both, bad play in one and cold decked in the other. I won just over £160000 in the year, so am happy with that.

Next year I am definitely going to play a lot more tournaments. I’m planning on playing all the EPT events except Copenhagen, at least four WPT events and also ten or more WSOP events.

Cash

After the start to the year when I nearly went broke in Australia, it’s been a great year. Playing mainly PL Omaha the swings have been huge, but luckily mainly upwards. 79% of my profit came from Omaha, 19% from NL Hold’em and 2% others.

I won 15 big blinds for every hundred Omaha hands I played in 2006. I played 106,000 hands according to my poker tracker. I would definitely be happy with anything close to that next year. I’d actually settle for half that. I must have run good.

May as well do some aims for 2007 so here goes:

- Not to go broke (always number one aim)
- Win a big tournament with over a £3000 buy in.
- Play a lot more tournaments. I’m going to focus on playing a few more WPT events unless the bankroll takes a big dive.
- Win over £300000 online.
- Play most of the WSOP events. This year’s WSOP was a bit of a wipe out for me, I am already looking forward to having a proper run at it this year.
- Win over £250000 in tournaments.

Looking forward to next year. I don't like playing much in December as i don't want to tilt myself over Xmas. Have a good Xmas!! Also, check out Bluescouse's blog here. Best blog at the moment. Makes me look sensible :-)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Two years +

I just realised this blog has been going for over two years now! I read back over some old posts the other day and its been quite a rollercoaster. I never thought when i started out i would have played some of the sick limits i have recently.

Earlier in the week i played in the big Dealers choice game at the Western. Its a £10 running ante and a mandatory £50 blind from the button and often people go £100 and occasionally £200 blind. The games are Pot Limit Superstud, Omaha Hi/Lo, double or single flop Omaha, Irish and Hold'em (though no-one ever picks that). Well i had fun despite my biggest ever loss live, a juicy five figure sum. I did run bad though, and was mostly happy with my decisions.

I've got a new computer set up with a couple of nice Sony monitors. I've been 4-6 tabling $25/$50 Omaha mainly and things have been going fairly well. I'm going to not play much between now and the New year... its good to have a break sometimes. I'm going skiing over the New Year and then straight to Australia for the Aussie Millions. I must play more tournaments next year. This year i played less than 20 tournaments.

There was a double whammy of me playing on Challenge last night... EPT Monte Carlo 2006 and WSOP Main Event 2006. God i am tilted by watching how bad i played to come 9th in Monte Carlo. I must not play today!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Some Strategy

I don't write that much strategy on my blog, but i've started writing for Cardplayer, so i thought i may as well put it on my blog as well.

In a series of articles about bluffing in Omaha, I am going to look at situations where bluffing in Pot Limit Omaha very profitable. Many players follow a successful tight-aggressive strategy in Omaha, but the very best players I have faced bluff in more situations than you might think. I don't mean bluffing with the bare Ace when there is a flush on the board, because many people do that, but rather representing hands when you are able to put opponents on a range of potential holdings.

Sometimes the board will pair on the flop. In this article I will look at how bluffing in this situation can be very profitable. If you are able accurately to assess the situation, and to take advantage of it, you can take down some very big pots. The reason why bluffing on a paired board is often successful, is that most players will often not want to commit most or all of their stack with a high pair such as Aces or Kings.

For the purposes of this example, you are playing in a $10/$20 Pot Limit game with 5 opponents. Each opponent is playing $3000. One player limps in under the gun, you limp in the cut off with 889T double suited. The button makes it $100 to play. Both blinds fold. The limper and you both call. The flop comes 33J with no flush draw. It is unlikely, given the pre-flop raise, that any opponent has a 3 or JJ. So you can make a move on this kind of paired board. It is more risky to try and represent a good hand on a high paired board as it becomes more likely that one of your opponents will have made three of a kind or a full house.

There is now $330 in the pot. If your first opponent checks, and you bet, it's possible you could pick up the pot right away with a $230 profit. In fact, there are several ways in which you can win this pot. For instance, if everyone checks the flop, you could make a bet on the turn and probably win it then.

But one of the best ways to maximise your profit is to check to the original preflop raiser. They are more than likely to make a continuation bet on the flop with any high pair, or even on a complete bluff. Once your other opponent has folded, you can now make your move. If the button has bet $300, you could re-raise and probably win the pot there and then, or call (indicating strength) and make a move on the turn or the river.

Suppose you check to the button and he bets $300, I would recommend minimum raising him another $300. The purpose of this bet is to tempt him to call - he will often do this as he won't want to give away the pot on the cheap. You are also manipulating the pot and representing a big hand, to then bluff him out on the turn. But if he passes immediately to your minimum raise, you will have made a $530 profit.

Let's look at what happens if he calls. The pot would now be $1530. You and your opponent have each committed $700 out of your $3000 stack, so neither player is over-committed to the hand. Say the turn comes a 6. I would now recommend betting between 40-70% of the pot on the turn. If you bet the pot your opponent would pass more often. But, at the same time, it increases how often you need to win the pot to over 80%. In this example, I think you should bet around $750 into the pot. If you have assessed the situation and your opponent correctly, they will pass often enough for the play to be profitable in the long run.

You have committed $600 bluffing before your $750 bet on the turn. So you will have committed $1350 in total on the bluff. You do not include the $100 you put in before the flop because you would normally have given up on this hand when you missed the flop completely. There is $830 profit to be made if your opponent passes to your turn bet. Exactly how often your opponent would have to pass for this play to be profitable can be calculated as follows:

Total amount committed to pot on a bluff/potential profit = x x/x+1 x 100 = break even percentage

So for the example I have used so 1350/830 = 1.63 1.63/2.63 x 100 = 62%

So if the hand reached the turn, and it played out how I have described, you would need to win more than 62% of the time for it to worth making this kind of bluff. From my own experience, players will fold approximately 75% of the time on the turn if you have also taken account of the following factors:

- The size of your opponent's stack. It's no use trying this move if your opponent is short-stacked, or pot-committed.
- You must know that your opponent is capable of passing AA or KK in this situation. Some players will simply call you down.
- Don't try it if your opponent is on tilt. They will call you too often.
- Don't use the move too often. Players will start to catch on to what you are doing.

The last thing to look at is what you should do if your opponent calls your turn bet. The pot would now be $3030 and you would have $1550 left. Unless the miracle 8 comes on the river to give you a full house, I would normally give up the hand and check the river. If your opponent called on the turn in this kind of situation, they would probably also call your bet on the river.

Other Stuff

Rob Yong asked me to put in a link to join his new poker club in Nottingham. They need people to to prove demand to get a license from the magistrates court. It will be the most impressive poker club in Europe, and will stage big festivals. So even if you are based outside the UK its worth joining which you can do by clicking here.

I also played the biggest game i have ever played in last week. The $250/$500 NL Hold'em game on Betfair. I managed to have a couple of wins... but the size is just scary. Heads up (both have $25000) i make it $1750 with AQ and my opponent makes it $7000.. what to do now? The money involved is just too big so no more of that game for a while.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Betfair's Asian Poker Tour

Lots to update about. I played the main event in Singapore of Betfair's tournament. The venue is great, and more importantly the buffet has been awsome! I set out to play aggressive but not go out in level one again so i was tight by my standards.. folding Js9s under the gun!! I went up and down playing alot of pots. I was actually as low as 1300 at one point but actually felt ok for some reason. I managed to double up twice... once being very lucky. I then moved table with 7000 chips.

Blinds were 200/400 in level 6 so i was still in ok shape. I hit a nice card rush and nearly trebled up... after and all in and a button raise, i found JJ in the BB and called. Was against 44 and AJ and hit the case Jack for good measure. I then found Aces and raised in early position. Button called. Flop 872 and i bet 1000. He made it 2000. I called. Turn an Ace and he pushed with AQ. I think he was setting up to push any card with his minimum raise on the flop, so the ace probably gave him an extra incentive he needed.

I then started picking up quite a few small pots and my chip count was 35000... average about 18000. I find KK :-). Other guy at my table with a good stack around 30000 opens for 1200 quite early, one caller, i make it 4000 and original raiser goes all in. I call and he has the old A2 off. Two people passed an Ace, but there is still one on the turn. I would have been the chip leader if i won that, and he made the final. Though it seems like a dumb play by him, i guess i probably fold around 70% of hands i am reraising preflop there.

Other than that poker has been very up and down. These big stakes are all very well when things are going well, but when you hit a bad run of cards then it is very expensive and stressful, even in just a couple of days. Its tough to go back to playing alot lower than i have been though, and i tend not to play my A game... have to think about my strategy game wise for the next few months!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

200/400 PLO

Well i decided to give it a crack which you may have seen if you read the comments in the last blog. I had manage to spin my roll on full tilt up to a six figure sum so decided to give it a go. So far after 3 sessions and 1353 hands i am $129000 up. In a game that size its not a significant win, but as i decided to have a shot with a limited bankroll i'm happy to have made a good start. If i lose what i have on full tilt i'll go back to my normal games.

I actually think i have been running badly as well. Especially against David Benjamine. I have been playing the capped pot limit Omaha 200/400 as well, and in one session last night i played 6 capped pots against him (cap is set at $16000 so $32000 in every pot). In each of them when the money went in i was at least a 38% up to 71% chance to win and lost all 6. My tracker says i am down $150000 to Benjamine so far... and $40000 to Ivey (see hand below)

Played a huge amount of big pots here are a few of them!!

lol at the railbirds!!

FullTiltPoker Game #1215891375: Table Pantheon (6 max) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha - 19:21:03 ET - 2006/11/08
Seat 1: Phil Ivey ($19,792), is sitting out
Seat 2: Susisisu ($30,196)
Seat 3: David Benyamine ($58,481.50)
Seat 4: Ben Grundy ($31,596)
Seat 6: CrazyZachary ($28,493)
David Benyamine posts the small blind of $200
Ben Grundy posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [Jc Kh Ah 5s]
CrazyZachary folds
Susisisu calls $400
David Benyamine raises to $1,600
Ben Grundy calls $1,200
Susisisu calls $1,200
*** FLOP *** [Ac Jh Th]
David Benyamine bets $2,400
Ben Grundy raises to $12,000
Susisisu calls $12,000
David Benyamine folds
*** TURN *** [Ac Jh Th] [4h]
Roland de Wolfe (Observer): who is best tournament player in europe
okstate345 (Observer): not u

Ben Grundy has 15 seconds left to act
Ben Grundy checks
Susisisu bets $16,596, and is all in
Ben Grundy calls $16,596
Susisisu shows [Kc 2h Qd 2c]
Ben Grundy shows [Jc Kh Ah 5s]
*** RIVER *** [Ac Jh Th 4h] [6d]
Susisisu shows a straight, Ace high
Ben Grundy shows a flush, Ace high
Ben Grundy wins the pot ($64,390) with a flush, Ace high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $64,392 Rake $2
Board: [Ac Jh Th 4h 6d]
Seat 1: Phil Ivey is sitting out
Seat 2: Susisisu (button) showed [Kc 2h Qd 2c] and lost with a straight, Ace high
Seat 3: David Benyamine (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 4: Ben Grundy (big blind) showed [Jc Kh Ah 5s] and won ($64,390) with a flush, Ace high

A tilt call on the turn maybe!

FullTiltPoker Game #1216056784: Table Pantheon (6 max) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha - 19:51:55 ET - 2006/11/08
Seat 1: Phil Ivey ($35,782)
Seat 2: Susisisu ($24,694)
Seat 3: David Benyamine ($70,661.50)
Seat 4: Ben Grundy ($74,173)
Seat 6: CrazyZachary ($23,189), is sitting out
Phil Ivey posts the small blind of $200
Susisisu posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [Qh As 2d Ts]
David Benyamine folds
Ben Grundy has 15 seconds left to act
Ben Grundy raises to $1,400
Phil Ivey folds
Susisisu calls $1,000
*** FLOP *** [3c 7d Qs]
Susisisu bets $3,000
Ben Grundy calls $3,000
*** TURN *** [3c 7d Qs] [5s]
Susisisu bets $9,000
det3313 (Observer): no
Ben Grundy calls $9,000
*** RIVER *** [3c 7d Qs 5s] [4d]
Susisisu bets $11,294, and is all in
Ben Grundy calls $11,294
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Susisisu shows [4h Kd Ah 5c] (two pair, Fives and Fours)
Ben Grundy shows [Qh As 2d Ts] (a straight, Five high)
Ben Grundy wins the pot ($49,586) with a straight, Five high
Susisisu is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $49,588 Rake $2
Board: [3c 7d Qs 5s 4d]
Seat 1: Phil Ivey (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: Susisisu (big blind) showed [4h Kd Ah 5c] and lost with two pair, Fives and Fours
Seat 3: David Benyamine didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: Ben Grundy (button) showed [Qh As 2d Ts] and won ($49,586) with a straight, Five high
Seat 6: CrazyZachary is sitting out

My two biggest PL Omaha pots i have lost have been when i can only lose to a king on the river!!

FullTiltPoker Game #1211386837: Table Pantheon (6 max) - $200/$400 - Pot Limit Omaha - 21:04:52 ET - 2006/11/07
Seat 1: Phil Ivey ($33,986)
Seat 2: Gus Hansen ($18,016)
Seat 3: CrazyZachary ($40,295)
Seat 4: CHUFTY ($34,175)
Seat 5: Ben Grundy ($48,800)
Seat 6: David Benyamine ($21,597)
David Benyamine posts the small blind of $200
Phil Ivey posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [Jd Ts 9h 5s]
Gus Hansen raises to $1,400
CrazyZachary calls $1,400
CHUFTY folds
Ben Grundy calls $1,400
David Benyamine calls $1,200
Phil Ivey calls $1,000
*** FLOP *** [Td Th 6d]
David Benyamine checks
Phil Ivey checks
Gus Hansen has 15 seconds left to act
Gus Hansen checks
CrazyZachary checks
Ben Grundy bets $3,600
David Benyamine folds
Phil Ivey raises to $13,200
Gus Hansen folds
CrazyZachary folds
Ben Grundy has 15 seconds left to act
Ben Grundy calls $9,600
*** TURN *** [Td Th 6d] [9s]
Phil Ivey bets $19,386, and is all in
Ben Grundy calls $19,386
Phil Ivey shows [5d Tc Ks Jc]
Ben Grundy shows [Jd Ts 9h 5s]
*** RIVER *** [Td Th 6d 9s] [Kh]
Phil Ivey shows a full house, Tens full of Kings
Ben Grundy shows a full house, Tens full of Nines
Phil Ivey wins the pot ($72,169) with a full house, Tens full of Kings
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $72,172 Rake $3
Board: [Td Th 6d 9s Kh]
Seat 1: Phil Ivey (big blind) showed [5d Tc Ks Jc] and won ($72,169) with a full house, Tens full of Kings
Seat 2: Gus Hansen folded on the Flop
Seat 3: CrazyZachary folded on the Flop
Seat 4: CHUFTY didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: Ben Grundy (button) showed [Jd Ts 9h 5s] and lost with a full house, Tens full of Nines
Seat 6: David Benyamine (small blind) folded on the Flop

Aces are sometimes good :-D

FullTiltPoker Game #1210761286: Table Compton (6 max) - $200/$400 - $16,000 Cap Pot Limit Omaha - 19:12:35 ET - 2006/11/07
Seat 1: profbackwards ($50,798), is sitting out
Seat 3: Mr Poker KDH ($25,779)
Seat 4: Ben Grundy ($17,199.50)
Seat 6: LFISGD ($245,686.50)
Ben Grundy posts the small blind of $200
LFISGD posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [Jd 2s Ad As]
Mr Poker KDH raises to $1,400
Ben Grundy calls $1,200
LFISGD raises to $5,600
Mr Poker KDH raises to $16,000, and is capped
Ben Grundy calls $14,600, and is capped
LFISGD calls $10,400, and is capped
Mr Poker KDH shows [4h Ks Kh 3s]
Ben Grundy shows [Jd 2s Ad As]
LFISGD shows [8s Jh Kd 4s]
*** FLOP *** [2c Qs 2d]
*** TURN *** [2c Qs 2d] [3c]
profbackwards has returned
*** RIVER *** [2c Qs 2d 3c] [Ac]
Mr Poker KDH shows two pair, Kings and Twos
Ben Grundy shows a full house, Aces full of Twos
LFISGD shows a pair of Twos
Ben Grundy wins the pot ($47,999) with a full house, Aces full of Twos
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $48,000 Rake $1
Board: [2c Qs 2d 3c Ac]
Seat 1: profbackwards is sitting out
Seat 3: Mr Poker KDH (button) showed [4h Ks Kh 3s] and lost with two pair, Kings and Twos
Seat 4: Ben Grundy (small blind) showed [Jd 2s Ad As] and won ($47,999) with a full house, Aces full of Twos
Seat 6: LFISGD (big blind) showed [8s Jh Kd 4s] and lost with a pair of Twos

A hand from the capped game!

FullTiltPoker Game #1213567973: Table Gumwood (6 max) - $200/$400 - $16,000 Cap Pot Limit Omaha - 6:40:26 ET - 2006/11/08
Seat 1: profbackwards ($56,196)
Seat 2: Ben Grundy ($15,000)
Seat 3: David Benyamine ($137,970.50)
Seat 4: cmynuts ($41,691)
Seat 6: Gus Hansen ($58,177)
Gus Hansen posts the small blind of $200
profbackwards posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [9s 3s As Ah]
Ben Grundy calls $400
David Benyamine raises to $1,800
cmynuts calls $1,800
Gus Hansen calls $1,600
profbackwards folds
Ben Grundy raises to $9,400
David Benyamine calls $7,600
cmynuts folds
Gus Hansen calls $7,600
*** FLOP *** [5h 4h 2s]
Gus Hansen has 15 seconds left to act
Gus Hansen bets $6,600, and is capped
Ben Grundy calls $5,600, and is all in
David Benyamine calls $6,600, and is capped
Gus Hansen shows [Jc 7s 9h 6h]
Ben Grundy shows [9s 3s As Ah]
David Benyamine shows [Qd Js 8s Qh]
*** TURN *** [5h 4h 2s] [3c]
*** RIVER *** [5h 4h 2s 3c] [Td]
Gus Hansen shows a straight, Seven high
David Benyamine shows a pair of Queens
Gus Hansen wins the side pot ($2,000) with a straight, Seven high
Ben Grundy shows a straight, Five high
Gus Hansen wins the main pot ($47,198) with a straight, Seven high
Ben Grundy is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $49,200 Main pot $47,200. Side pot $2,000. Rake $2
Board: [5h 4h 2s 3c Td]
Seat 1: profbackwards (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: Ben Grundy showed [9s 3s As Ah] and lost with a straight, Five high
Seat 3: David Benyamine showed [Qd Js 8s Qh] and lost with a pair of Queens
Seat 4: cmynuts (button) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: Gus Hansen (small blind) showed [Jc 7s 9h 6h] and won ($49,198) with a straight, Seven high

and another

FullTiltPoker Game #1213800454: Table Gumwood (6 max) - $200/$400 - $16,000 Cap Pot Limit Omaha - 9:34:37 ET - 2006/11/08
Seat 2: Ben Grundy ($80,510)
Seat 3: David Benyamine ($99,180.50)
Seat 4: profbackwards ($16,000)
David Benyamine posts the small blind of $200
profbackwards posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [7c Qh Tc Ts]
Ben Grundy calls $400
David Benyamine calls $200
profbackwards raises to $1,200
Ben Grundy calls $800
David Benyamine calls $800
*** FLOP *** [Td Jc 4s]
David Benyamine bets $3,600
profbackwards calls $3,600
Ben Grundy raises to $14,800, and is capped
David Benyamine calls $11,200, and is capped
profbackwards calls $11,200, and is capped
Ben Grundy shows [7c Qh Tc Ts]
David Benyamine shows [9s 8s Qd 9h]
profbackwards shows [Kc Kd 3c 4d]
*** TURN *** [Td Jc 4s] [2s]
*** RIVER *** [Td Jc 4s 2s] [7h]
Ben Grundy shows three of a kind, Tens
David Benyamine shows a straight, Jack high
profbackwards shows a pair of Kings
David Benyamine wins the pot ($47,999) with a straight, Jack high
profbackwards is sitting out
profbackwards adds $32,000
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $48,000 Rake $1
Board: [Td Jc 4s 2s 7h]
Seat 2: Ben Grundy (button) showed [7c Qh Tc Ts] and lost with three of a kind, Tens
Seat 3: David Benyamine (small blind) showed [9s 8s Qd 9h] and won ($47,999) with a straight, Jack high
Seat 4: profbackwards (big blind) showed [Kc Kd 3c 4d] and lost with a pair of Kings

**** bokked myself by updating*******

You aren't going to win if you lose thse kind of hands. Dusted off $100000 yuck!

FullTiltPoker Game #1218933975: Table Compton (6 max) - $200/$400 - $16,000 Cap Pot Limit Omaha - 9:59:57 ET - 2006/11/09
Seat 3: Ben Grundy ($20,995)
Seat 4: durrrr ($16,000)
Seat 6: steaming ($19,594)
Ben Grundy posts the small blind of $200
hillbilly226 (Observer): yes
durrrr posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [Td Qh Qc 3c]
steaming raises to $1,400
Ben Grundy calls $1,200
durrrr calls $1,000
*** FLOP *** [3h Qs 7c]
Ben Grundy checks
durrrr bets $3,000
steaming raises to $13,200
Ben Grundy raises to $14,600, and is capped
durrrr folds
steaming calls $1,400, and is capped
Ben Grundy shows [Td Qh Qc 3c]
steaming shows [Ac Ad 8s Kd]
hillbilly226 (Observer): wow
*** TURN *** [3h Qs 7c] [7h]
*** RIVER *** [3h Qs 7c 7h] [Ah]
Ben Grundy shows a full house, Queens full of Sevens
steaming shows a full house, Aces full of Sevens
steaming wins the pot ($36,399) with a full house, Aces full of Sevens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $36,400 Rake $1
Board: [3h Qs 7c 7h Ah]
Seat 3: Ben Grundy (small blind) showed [Td Qh Qc 3c] and lost with a full house, Queens full of Sevens
Seat 4: durrrr (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 6: steaming (button) showed [Ac Ad 8s Kd] and won ($36,399) with a full house, Aces full of Sevens

FullTiltPoker Game #1219148124: Table Gumwood (6 max) - $200/$400 - $16,000 Cap Pot Limit Omaha - 11:39:50 ET - 2006/11/09
Seat 1: steaming ($25,399)
Seat 4: Ben Grundy ($16,793.50)
Seat 6: durrrr ($67,739.50)
Ben Grundy posts the small blind of $200
durrrr posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Ben Grundy [2c As Ad Jd]
steaming folds
Ben Grundy raises to $1,200
durrrr raises to $3,600
Ben Grundy raises to $10,800
durrrr raises to $16,000, and is capped
Ben Grundy calls $5,200, and is capped
durrrr shows [Kd 9s Kc Ac]
Ben Grundy shows [2c As Ad Jd]
*** FLOP *** [4d 9d 4c]
*** TURN *** [4d 9d 4c] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [4d 9d 4c 6h] [Kh]
durrrr shows a full house, Kings full of Fours
Ben Grundy shows two pair, Aces and Fours
durrrr wins the pot ($31,999) with a full house, Kings full of Fours
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $32,000 Rake $1
Board: [4d 9d 4c 6h Kh]
Seat 1: steaming (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: Ben Grundy (small blind) showed [2c As Ad Jd] and lost with two pair, Aces and Fours
Seat 6: durrrr (big blind) showed [Kd 9s Kc Ac] and won ($31,999) with a full house, Kings full of Fours

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Running hot

I've been concentrating almost 100% on PL Omaha for the last couple of weeks, and have stepped up and started playing $50/$100 and $100/$200 PL Omaha on Betfair and Full Tilt. Luckily i've been running very good, and given the size of the games the wins have been very good for the bankroll. I played Ted Forrest and Erik Lindgren Heads Up a couple of times and was ahead against Forrest, but a bit down to Lindgren.

A few hands i have played in these bigger games.

- $100/$200 PLO. Heads Up. We both have $16000. I raise the button to $600 with AdQdJdTc. Opponent calls. Flop 7d8dQh. He checks to me. I bet $1000. He makes it $3500. I call. Turn As. He bets $4500 and i push all in. He calls with QQxx and the river pairs the Ace to give me a better full house. Was quite lucky.... but don't see how the money wasn't going to all go in on that hand.

- $100/$200 PLO. 3 handed. I have $12000 both opponents have $18000. I call a button raise in the BB with 3s4s5h6h. Flop 2h5h8c giving me a wrap and a small flush draw. I check. button bets $1500. I reraise the pot and he puts me all in. I call. He has 28KK and no flush draw. Which i was happy to see. Turn was a 3 and he missed his 4 cards on the river.

- $50/$100 PLO. 5 handed. I have $19500. Opponent in this hand $12000. I reraised pre to $1500 with JJQQ ds. Flop AK4 with no flush draw. I bet $2000. Opponent called. Turn the dream card, the T bringing a club flush draw. I bet $4000 and he moved all in the TJQK with the flush draw which came on the river.

I am playing a bit tighter in these games as opposed to my normal games. The size of the preflop raises are so big, that to put a reraise in is often over $2000 preflop. Not sure how long i will stay at these levels. If i start running or playing bad then i'll drop back down to my normal games.

Decided against going to Amsterdam for the Masterclassics. I've had such a good couple of weeks that i'm happy to stay home, and also i go to Singapore next Monday for the Betfair Asian Poker Tour which now has well over 300 confirmed entries.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Betfair and some other stuff

Betfair poker has now left Cryptologic. So if you want to try out the new poker site which is no longer linked to William Hill, Littlewoods etc then you can download it using this link

If you use that link you will automatically be on 30% rakeback. There is also an exclusive $1000 bonus if you download it using the link above, which you can see details of here. If you could email your username to bengrundy@hotmail.com just so i can confirm your rakeback and bonus.

In the next few months there will be a load of improvements and the STT structure is possibly the best of all the poker sites. Also, you can chase after Bennyboi who everyone enjoys playing :-)

I played bad in Dublin. Not exactly sure why but i will not be donating my chips so early in a big tournament for a while. In fact, if i go out in level 1 of a tournament with a buy in over $5000 before March then i will give £500 to charity each time. Congrats to Mr De Wolfe who won it. He's had a pretty good last 18 months to say the least.

Also, i just got sent a link of me playing in this year's WSOP on you tube. Click here to see it.

a) I am not 30.
b) I was NOT playing tight!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dublin

Just got to my hotel.... playing EPT tournament today at 2pm!

I finally managed to get my desktop up and running again so i could import all my hands to poker tracker for the last couple of months... eek!

I realised that night i lost the £40000 pot i actually lost £75000 on the £25/£50 Omaha that night. I can't remember buying in that many times. Yuck. The problem with playing higher stakes is that when i have been playing smaller stakes i have been donating. It must stop, particularly on the $10/$20 PL Omaha which i normally do so well at, i've been donating. So i am not going to play there unless i concentrate properly.

On the plus side i have done much better than i thought in the £40/£80 NL Hold'em game. I'm actually over £100000 up for the last month so that experiment will continue. However, in the £25/£50 NL game i am almost £100000 down. So i wish i had ignored that table.

Tournament wise... my form is good at the moment. Hopefully i can pick up another good result before the end of the year.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Such a siiiiiiiiiiiiiiick game

Well it is!! Had a horrific day yesterday... someone asked for some Omaha hands so here goes... including the biggest pot i have ever won followed by the biggest i have lost.

Omaha PL (£25/£50)
Table "Sweetheart"
Seat 4 is the button.
Seat 2: Criminal1 (£22490.28 in chips)
Seat 4: Bennyboi (£14128.28 in chips)
Seat 6: Duhfin (£32200 in chips)
Duhfin: posts small blind £25
Criminal1: posts big blind £50
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Bennyboi [8s Tc 6s Ah]
Bennyboi: raises to £175
Duhfin: raises to £575
Criminal1: folds
Bennyboi: calls £400
----- FLOP ----- [5d Qh 7s]
Duhfin: bets £950
Bennyboi: raises to £3200
Duhfin: calls £2250
----- TURN ----- [5d Qh 7s][4h]
Duhfin: checks
Bennyboi: bets £5050
Duhfin: calls £5050
----- RIVER ----- [5d Qh 7s 4h][Kc]
Duhfin: checks
Bennyboi: bets £5303.28 and is all-in
Duhfin: calls £5303.28
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Bennyboi: shows [8s Tc 6s Ah] (A Straight, Eight high)
Duhfin: shows [5h Qc Kh As] (Two Pairs, Kings and Queens, Seven high)
Bennyboi collects £28304.56 from Main pot

Omaha PL (£25/£50)
(GMT)Table "Sweetheart"
Seat 5 is the button.
Seat 2: Criminal1 (£19826.28 in chips)
Seat 4: Bennyboi (£30212.56 in chips)
Seat 5: ashdogs (£4795 in chips)
Seat 6: Duhfin (£18836.72 in chips)
Seat 7: TSTS (£5095 in chips)
Duhfin: posts small blind £25
TSTS: posts big blind £50
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Bennyboi [2h 5c 4h Qs]
Criminal1: raises to £175
Bennyboi: calls £175
ashdogs: folds
Duhfin: raises to £750
TSTS: folds
Criminal1: calls £575
Bennyboi: calls £575
----- FLOP ----- [3d 6s Qh]
Duhfin: checks
Criminal1: checks
Bennyboi: bets £2300
Duhfin: calls £2300
Criminal1: folds
----- TURN ----- [3d 6s Qh][5d]
Duhfin: checks
Bennyboi: bets £6900
Duhfin: raises to £15786.72 and is all-in
Bennyboi: calls £8886.72
----- RIVER ----- [3d 6s Qh 5d][3c]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Duhfin: shows [Kc 5h Qd Ac] (Two Pairs, Queens and Fives, Six high)
Bennyboi: shows [2h 5c 4h Qs] (A Straight, Six high)
Bennyboi collects £38468.44 from Main pot

Omaha PL (£25/£50)
Table "Sweetheart"
Seat 7 is the button.
Seat 1: Mafews (£4400 in chips)
Seat 4: Bennyboi (£20358 in chips)
Seat 6: Duhfin (£67322.06 in chips)
Seat 7: R KESTON (£8570.88 in chips)
Seat 10: ashdogs (£5345 in chips)
ashdogs: posts small blind £25
Mafews: posts big blind £50
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Bennyboi [Js 7h As 7d]
Bennyboi: raises to £175
Duhfin: raises to £600
R KESTON: folds
ashdogs: folds
Mafews: folds
Bennyboi: calls £425
----- FLOP ----- [6s Qs 7c]
Bennyboi: checks
Duhfin: bets £1275
Bennyboi: raises to £3800
Duhfin: raises to £12675
Bennyboi: raises to £19758 and is all-in
Duhfin: calls £7083
----- TURN ----- [6s Qs 7c][8h]
----- RIVER ----- [6s Qs 7c 8h][Kd]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
Bennyboi: shows [Js 7h As 7d] (Three of a kind, Sevens, King high)
Duhfin: shows [4h 4s Kh Ks] (Three of a kind, Kings, Queen high)
Duhfin collects £40786 from Main pot

kjbdkbdbwedlbedwlbwlbedwlbfwjefewljbfewlkbflkbewffewlknbfewn is what i think i typed after that hand!

Two outered in the biggest pot i have ever played... so brutal.

Luckily today i recovered everything i lost yesterday.

Playing the William Hill Grand Prix on Thursday. My heat looks like this:

HEAT D Thur 19th
1 Antonio Esfandiari USA
2 Ram Vaswani GB
3 Keith Hawkins GB
4 JP Kelly GB
5 Sean Murphy IRE
6 Ben Grundy GB
7 Shelley Mullett GB Qual
8 Sami Yusuf GB Qual

Looks like it could be a fun heat with serial bluffers Ram, JP, Camel and Antonio in the heat.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Strange Week

Since i made the final of the WCOOP i have had a very strange poker week!

I had a few days off then started playing the £40/£80 NL Hold'em on Betfair. Hmmmm horrendous luck, and probably some tilt play led to a £30000 loss. Yuck... how i hate losing that much. Next day not much better another £15000 loss. Amongst those fun two days came the biggest pot i have ever lost in a cash game....

- Heads Up. I am playing £15500. My opponent over double that. I get TT. He makes it £240. I make it £800. He calls. Flop T42. I lead out for £900. He calls. Turn K. no flush draws. I bet £1500. He makes it £3600. I call. River a 3. I bet £2000 and he pushes all in. I call. He has the old KK of course. That was a cold deck.

Flew to Baden on Friday. Decided i just couldn't bare to leave that much money behind online and as i wasn't playing till Sunday. I played from 10pm till 7pm the following day with only a few minutes break. I was treading water for most of it but the last hour was quite a rush, and i ended up winning £32000 for the session. Think thats the longest i have ever played without a proper break.

There was on absolute lunatic playing and he was all in at least once every round. One hand against him shows just how crazy he was for me to call all the way.

Game #2588165463: Hold'em NL (£40/£80) - 2006/10/07 - 14:24:38 (GMT)
Table "Swedeslove"
Seat 2 is the button.
Seat 1: Bennyboi (£9599 in chips)
Seat 2: DEBIDAX (£7760 in chips)
Seat 3: PokaHunta (£6584 in chips)
Seat 6: FOE (£10335 in chips)
Seat 7: TheSlayer (£9189 in chips)
Seat 8: dazzer1 (£13902 in chips)
PokaHunta: posts small blind £40
FOE: posts big blind £80
----- HOLE CARDS ----
dealt to Bennyboi [Kc Qs]
TheSlayer: folds
dazzer1: calls £80
Bennyboi: calls £80
DEBIDAX: folds
PokaHunta: calls £40
FOE: raises to £450
dazzer1: folds
Bennyboi: calls £370
PokaHunta: folds
----- FLOP ----- [Qd 4h 8h]
FOE: bets £888
Bennyboi: calls £888
----- TURN ----- [Qd 4h 8h][9c]
FOE: bets £2444
Bennyboi: calls £2444
----- RIVER ----- [Qd 4h 8h 9c][6d]
FOE: bets £6553 and is all-in
Bennyboi: is all-in £5817
Returned uncalled bets £736 to FOE
----- SHOW DOWN -----
FOE: shows [Td 8d] (A Pair of Eights, Queen high)
Bennyboi: shows [Kc Qs] (A Pair of Queens, King high)
Bennyboi collects £19353 from Main pot

So on to the EPT event in Baden! Well I busted in level one. Hmmm only really played two hands of note.

- AA in the BB. Everyone folds to SB who calls. I make it 100 more. Flop 247. He checks. I bet 150. He calls. Turn a Q. He checks. I bet 450. He calls. River a 2. He checks. I bet 1000. He makes it 2000. I call. He has 23!

- Down to 6500. I raise to 200 with JJ. Late position makes it 500. I call. Flop 27T. I check. He bets 900. I call. Turn 8. I check. He bets 1200. I call. River 2. I check. He bets 1200 again. I call. To be fair i knew i was beat and should have folded on the turn or maybe even the flop.

Then i donated my last 2000. Not really happy with that performance. I rarely bust early in big events. Its a long way to travel to play for an hour.

Got back online later in the day and was down £20000 again. Then played another all nighter and was winning £30000. I actually had £60000 on 3 No Limit tables at one point. Then i lost a big pot to a bad beat so decided to stop winning just short of £20000.

Not sure how long i will carry on playing these stakes. Its easy to lose £100000 playing well and just getting unlucky in less than a week.

On another note. My Omaha table image is now so bad that i get called down by two pair on boards with a flush and a straight. Ok so its good against me sometimes but come on. I managed a to go 3 hours 6 handed and raise every hand preflop. I will be continuing with that strategy for a while to see how my results are after a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WCOOP

I should have kept some hand histories as i can only remember about 7/8 hands from the whole tournament. I won a big coin flip with a flush draw v two pair after a few hours to put me in the top 100 in chips. From about level 6/7 i was in the top 30 in chips for the rest of the tournament. I won a massive pot to make me chip leader in this hand.

- Blinds were 5000/10000. Mid position made it 35000. I reraised with 55 to 100000. I had about 800000 and him 600000. We were both in the top 20 in chips. It flop J95. He checked, i bet 100000 into a pot of 220000 and he pushed in for his stack. I called of course and he had KK. That put me on $1.4 million in chips and the next highest was $1.1 million at the time and there were about 60 left.

I stayed in the top 3/4 all the way until we were down to two tables. I won another big pot with 99 v AQ when i called a reraise all in for about 900,000 chips. Then i lost about the same amount when the button pushed for 20bb an i called in the bb with 99 and he had TT.

Someone on my last entry asked me to comment about this hand here.

The last two orbits it had folded around the me in the small blind and each time i made up the SB he put in a big raise and i folded. So K9 was a tricky hand when they folded again. I decided to raise as obviously K9 is probably ahead against one random hand. With his stack being close to 1 million... i also didn't want to raise to 240000 and give him the chance to resteal or reraise me out of the pot with a genuine hand, which his stack size would have been perfect to do. So i opted to raise 5 big blinds to 400000. When he pushed in for another 590000... i obviously didn't like it very much. I had to call 590000 chips to potentially win $2 million.... so i needed to be over 30% for it to be the correct maths call. There was a chance he could have a smaller pair than 99 and it be a coin flip. Even AQ, AJ, AT would have been ok for me to call in this spot. As it happened he did a hand that dominated me with AK and i hit two nines on the flop. That was my luckiest hand in the tournament.... i can't remember another one anywhere near like that.

I made the final being only all in once with the worst hand... the flush draw against two pair that i mentioned earlier...

One guy busted and we were down to eight which is where i finished. The following hands sealed my exit.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?536961

This is how the action went.

PokerStars Game #6496413628: Tournament #40000018 $2500+$100 Hold'em No Limit - Level XXIII (50000/100000) - 2006/10/02 - 04:53:50 (ET)
Table '40000018 24' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: area23JC (4799937 in chips)
Seat 2: GODFATHER 72 (3639424 in chips)
Seat 3: Numie2 (2314416 in chips)
Seat 4: Annette_15 (1746499 in chips)
Seat 5: DEEZZZ_NUTS (1356882 in chips)
Seat 6: hannibalrex (6646227 in chips)
Seat 8: milkybarkid (2188523 in chips)
Seat 9: Lefort (2408092 in chips)
area23JC: posts the ante 10000
GODFATHER 72: posts the ante 10000
Numie2: posts the ante 10000
Annette_15: posts the ante 10000
DEEZZZ_NUTS: posts the ante 10000
hannibalrex: posts the ante 10000
milkybarkid: posts the ante 10000
Lefort: posts the ante 10000
hannibalrex: posts small blind 50000
milkybarkid: posts big blind 100000

Holecards:
FOLD Lefort
FOLD area23JC
FOLD GODFATHER 72
RAISE Numie2, 150000 to 250000
FOLD Annette_15
RAISE DEEZZZ_NUTS, 1096882 to 1346882 and is all-in
FOLD hannibalrex
CALL milkybarkid, 1246882
FOLD Numie2

Basically Numie2 had raised the last two pots so it was likely he could have any hand especially as he is raising in mid/late position. DEEZZZ_NUTS reraise on the button could be a resteal, or he could have a good, but not great hand like a small pair or weaker Ace. I thought his range was far too big for me to pass AK. Ideally i wanted him to turn over a weaker Ace. He had KK unfortunately and i didn't hit the Ace. No regrets over the call though. I wanted to win.

I can't find the link for the hand i busted on. It was one or two hands later. I had about 750,000 and was dealt TT. Facing another raise and reraise, i could have gone back over $2 million if my hand was good. My opponent had QQ though and i missed. Busted!

The guy who won it JC Tran played so well throughout. I was in his table for ages and i couldn't win a pot against him, luckily the rest of the table couldn't win a pot against me.

I am obviously happy to have had such a good cash. It was only my second online multi this year. Its actually just a bit higher than any live tournament cash that i have had. I really felt like i was going to come in the top 3 when we got down to the last 40.... so was gutted when i busted out. I am sure if i keep putting myself in these positions the really big result i want won't be too far away!

Next stop Baden on Friday for the next EPT event. I would settle for accumulating over 3 million chips again in that!

Monday, October 02, 2006

WCOOP Main Event

PokerStars Tournament #40000018, No Limit Hold'emBuy-In: $2500.00/$100.00

2510 playersTotal Prize Pool: $6275000.00
Tournament started - 2006/10/01 - 16:30:00 (ET)

Dear milkybarkid, You finished the tournament in 8th place. A $119,225.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

Sooooooo close to winning the thing! Feel gutted again at the moment. Was 3/4th going into the final and walked AK into KK and TT into QQ. I was only all in with the worst hand on the final table. Feel like i want to sleep for a whole week!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Betfair Plug

There are some really good promotions for the Betfair Asian Poker Tour this weekend. Rather than type them out here is the link. Remember to download using this link if you want rakeback.

This is a very good one... there are loads more.

WINNING STREAKS
Win 5 Stts (6 or 10 handed) in a row at any stake during the weekend and you win a full package worth $8,000! Unlimited packages available to be won!
Just win five STTs in a row between 1800 (UK Time) on Friday 29th September 2006 and 0600 (UK Time) on Monday 2nd October and we'll be seeing you in Singapore!

Now all i need is a winning streak at the Omaha tables :-D

Monday, September 25, 2006

Big Stakes

The last few days i have been playing some £40/£80 No Limit Hold'em on Betfair with mixed results. The minimum buy in is £1600 and i have been sitting down with between that amount and £3500. I had a couple of winning days but yesterday was brutal. A £17000 down swing that i managed to claw back in the evening. Bad beat time now.... i had spun £1600 into £10000 when this happened.

- £40/£80 NL Hold'em. I limped in on the button with AA. SB calls and BB makes it £320. I call and the SB passes. Flop 227. He bets out £600. I call. Turn Q. He bets £1600. I min raise to £3200 and he pushes all in. I call and he shows Q7. River Q. That was a sick way to lose a £18000 pot.

The biggest pot i won was quite golden.

- £40/£80 NL Hold'em. I had 9dJd in the big blind and called a £240 raise from the small blind. Flop 6d7d8c. He bet £480. I made it £1200. He called. Turn Ts giving me the nuts :-). He moves all in for £3500 and is drawing dead with KT.

I also played the $1000 tourney on Stars. Busted with around half the field left with i had AQ on a AT2 flop. My opponent had AA lol.

If anyone is interested in going to Singapore for the Asian Poker Classic 12-17 November... i can offer you a discount on your accommodation at the 5* Meritus Mandarin Singapore. Drop me and email: bengrundy@hotmail.com

Friday, September 22, 2006

EPT Season 3 - London

Hmmmm

Got up to 27000 after 3 levels playing pretty good. Then i lost a few coin flips aganst shorter stacks and had a bad level and was down to 15000....

Card dead and everytime i raised, someone reraised big and i couldn't call.

The end was interesting though. I had 8700. Blinds 200/400. Running 25 ante.

I had just moved to a new table. Middle position opened for 1500 and i pushed all in for my stack with AQ. My opponent casually counted the extra chips which was a about half his stack and called. I feared i was dominated and he turned over K8 off. The King rivered in a pot just short of 20k which would have put me back in it. Sick.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

EPT Season 3 - Barcelona Update 2

I busted in level 11.

Blinds 600/1200 with a running 100 ante. JP Kelly raised mid position to 5000 and i pushed my last 15000 in with AQ on the button.... he turned the nut flush! Given his range of hands he could be raising with... no regrets!

London in just a few days, and i am getting the long way back in my car on the ferry from Santander.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

EPT Season 3 - Barcelona

A strange tournament for me so far... i spent most of the day short stacked between 5000-8000 (10000 starting chips) and had a bad spot on a table which made it pretty difficult to many many moves. I finished the day with 22000... average 27000. I am happy with that considering my table and hands i was dealt. I can only think of two big pots i played the whole day which both doubled me up.

- Blinds 100/200. Cut Off makes with 600. I had AA in the BB. (Only pair over TT i had in 9 levels). I made it 1900. He pushed all in with AsQs. The flop was scary giving him a flush draw but it missed and i was up to 13000.

- Blinds 400/800. I had 10500. Roland De Wolfe raised the cut off to 2500. I was the the SB with ThJh. I considered pushing but called as i had a good feeling about the hand. BB called. Flop 8hJdQh. I pushed all in and Roland called with Q7. Turn a 9h to give me a straight flush. My first ever in a live tournament :-)

I didn't play great, but not bad either. I was very patient which is probably why I survived the day.

There are around 510 runners i think. Which makes it the biggest prize pool for an EPT event yet!

I had quite a few emails asking me about what the deal is for backing me to play 100/200 PL Omaha. I will respond to them all in a few days after the EPT.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lets go

I have arrived in Barcelona for the first EPT event of season 3. After not playing much poker for the last month i can't wait to get playing again. I hope i don't get too carried away and bluff all my chips away early. I see that the structures for the first four EPT events have been standardised, which is a good move. With four events in five weeks i hope to be on good form.

I am also looking forward to playing again online. The PL Omaha games seem to have got bigger everywhere and i'll probably be playing $25/$50 from now on all being well. I have also been thinking about how i can play in bigger games. I would like to play $50/$100 and $100/$200.... if anyone has some serious interest in backing me, or buying a percentage drop me an email here. I will explain the deal that i am offering.

Betfair are running a tournament in Singapore in November. It will be the first big tournament ever held in Asia. You can see all the details including how you can qualify or buy in direct here.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Poker Break

I have probably only played about 20 minutes since i returned from Vegas about two weeks ago. It a total poker famine which is going to last until i get to Barcelona on the 12th September.

Feels weird not playing at all, i was playing so many hours especially online January-May, and since then not too much at all with Vegas and loads of other stuff keeping me busy.

I'm really excited about the rest of the year with the tournaments coming up. EPT events in London, Barcelona, Baden and Dublin in a short period, as well as Betfair's own tournament in Singapore. Other than those i wil probably also play Masterclassics in Amsterdam, Swedish Open that i came 2nd in last year and the WPT at the Bellagio in December.

I am also going to order a new monitor. I need one that i can play nine tables with no overlap. Any recommendations??

I was in the opening broadcast by ESPN of this year's WSOP a few days ago. Someone is sending me a link to download, and if its interesting i will post it on here.

Friday, August 11, 2006

At airport

There is a big delay to my flight home so i thought i'd write a quick update.

Betfair have opened up a 25/50 both $$ and ££, so i expect that my swings will become even more extreme in the coming months. Recently, i've felt that i have been playing pretty good at Hold'em, but not very well at PL Omaha. I managed a 10 hour session yesterday and i think the higher stakes forced me to concentrate and play better, and i had a pretty good session. Well enough for me to upgrade to the comfort of upper class on the way home :-D

I had fun in vegas, but i can't ever imagine myself doing the whole World Series of about 6 weeks. Met some decent guys who play on Betfair... Joey Lovelady (Protege) who cashed for $30000 in his first live tournament, and Ben Blackmore (Benno) who has a blog here. Hopefully their fledgling poker careers won't be corrupted too much from what they learnt from Dubai in the last few weeks.

The next tournaments for me will be EPT Barcelona and London. I expect the fields will be even bigger than season 2, and the entry fee has gone up, so i can't wait to give them a crack.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Vegas - Its over baby

Nearly time to fly back from Las Vegas again. I haven't played any live poker since i busted out of the main event. I spent the last few days funking for Richard Gryko, who stormed through the field and finished in 50th place paying $165000. He was due a big result. I had a decent percentage in him, so i've had a winning trip even if it wasn't a result of my own play :-)

Had a bit of a grim day online a few days ago. Not one of the worst... but certainly in the top 10. Lost a £14000 pot with KK on a AK6 board when my opponent had AA... sigh. Then the VERY next hand i had KK again shorthanded on the £25/£50 and walked into AA again in a £10000 pot. How i hate KK at the moment.

Luckily the bad day was followed by a good day which wiped out a hefty percentage of what i lost. A4 was good for a monster pot on a AQ4 board. It may have been the biggest pot i have won in No Limit Hold'em... at around £18000.

The next few months are going to be reasonably quiet poker wise. There aren't any tournaments i will play before the EPT starts again, and i am going on a non poker holiday for 5 weeks before that.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Now its freezing

Busted out of the main event... after playing for 11 hours.

Some random thoughts!

- I play better against good players.
- I shouldn't lose 5/6 pots with KK.
- Watching really terrible players winning so many pots by playing so badly, makes me think poker is not a game of skill.
- Be careful what you wish for. I had a tough table (ESPN table for 4 hours) to begin with and was playing pretty good, and built my stack with ease to 25000. I was wanting to feed on some fish though. My table broke.... it was the fish that ended up feeding on me.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Its cold in Vegas

Have managed about 15 hours online in the last two days. Yesterday i lost £9000 and today i won £7000. A good warm up for the main event..... I hope i don't have the cold deck in the tournament that i have had in cash.... losing two $10000 pots with the nut straight and second nuts all in on flop in Hold'em. There is skill in tournaments but if the cards don't fall right it doesn't matter if you are Phil Ivey or a total donkey.

Other than that been doing the usual stuff in Vegas... drinking, eating and sleeping (though not enough of the latter)

Looking forward to playing tomorrow. You can't really go into a field like this with any big expectations... i just hope i make the right decisions and see how i go from there.

I have a decent percentage in a few top players, so even if i bust out, i hope one of them can win enough to cover my expenses for the trip :-)

My four rules for tomorrow!

1. Don't limp into an unraised pot unless i plan to reraise.
2. Don't play KT or KJ non suited to a raise.
3. Muck any bad ace and that includes AT.
4. Don't walk KK into AA again.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The return

Well i am back in Las Vegas. I drew Day 3 for the main event so i start on Sunday. There is not much news on the poker front. I haven't played for a couple of weeks. I did an interview which can be seen here for one of the poker websites.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Home

I don't really like putting non poker stuff on my blog, but i guess the last post had people/friends guessing why i returned from Vegas, after looking forward to it for so long.

My Mum passed away after a long battle with a terminal illness. I was lucky enough to make it back just in time to see her. Of course, when things like this happen, poker isn't important.

At some point i'd like use poker to raise some money for the hospice that looked after her so well during her last 6 months, i'll think about that in the future.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Home from Vegas

The trip didn't last too long.... i've had to return for family reasons.

Good luck to any of my mates playing the rest of the events.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Vegas - Update 3

I gave the $1000 No Limit Hold'em a miss yesterday as it was full and the alternate list was huge. I decided to play the $2000 pot Limit Hold'em today. It was short and sweet as my QQ on the 4th hand walked in to KK. Very tough not to lose the 2000 chips with those cards... especially when it flopped Jack high.

Still feeling a bit tired/jetlagged so haven't played any cash games so far. My next event will probably be the $2500 short handed or the $2000 Shootout in a few days.

The Rio is better organised than last year. They have more food places and toilets, so the queues aren't so bad. I'm not going to start moaning about the lack of chips in the smaller events, as everyone knew that before they arrived. Be nice to have a few more though :-)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Vegas - Update 2 $10000 Pot Limit Omaha

I busted out of the Omaha after about 6 hours of play. Blinds started at 25/25 and i think after about 10 hands i was double the chip leader with 23000 ish. I hit top set three times and managed to win decent pots each time. It was the perfect start really and meant that i could afford to lose a few decent size pots without it crippling me. Couple of key hands that i lost then happened...

- I had AhTh8sQs. I made it 100 to play in middle position.... 5 callers. Flop came Qh9s5h so i had the nut flush draw and Jack for a straight. I bet 600. One caller and Paul Zimbler in the SB made it 2000 more. I called as did the other guy so there was about 8500 in the middle. Turn 7c.. so i now had a 6 for the straight as well. Paul no bet out 3200. This bet really priced me in to calling considering what was already in there, so i called. River a 4s and it was checked down. Paul had 5523 for a set and i mucked. I would have been on over 35000 if i won that hand.

- Next big hand blinds were 50/100. Someone made it 300 to play and i called with 467Q DS from the BB after a few other callers. Flop 35J giving me the queen flush draw as well. I bet 1500 and got two callers. Turn an Ace giving me my other flush draw as well. I check and the guy behind me bets 4500. I call as i need any 246 or 8 for a straight and both flush draws... so 24 cards improve my hand. I miss everything and start to feel its not my day.

After that i was pretty much card dead. I got lucky a few times when all in, and was between 1000 chips and 8000 for about 3 hours, but i just couldn't find a spot where i wanted to get my chips in the middle. My bust out hand summed it up.

Flop was A84 rainbow and my last chips went in... i had A8J4 and he had A8K7 and the king hit the turn.

Another day another tournament. Its the $1000 No Limit today no rebuy, so i'll get busy early or bust out i guess.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Vegas - Update 1

I arrived a few hours ago. The flight was tiring... managed to lose $55 to Gryko at Chinese Poker en route playing small stakes, and won it back betting on first bag to arrive off the conveyor belt.

I am very impressed with the Wynn so far. The rooms are fantastic and the bars are good from what i've seen so far. I headed down to the Rio after i arrived to register and see who was about. I managed to resist the temptation to play and i caught up with Dubai, Martin Green and Rob Sherwood and we headed to a steakhouse, and had a few bottles of wine. I bailed out early due to the Omaha starting tomorrow, but i learned more about the strategy for playing dice in an hour than i have in the last 5 years. Throwing a googli seems to be the way forward....

I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow. Its been ages since i played an Omaha tournament, and i expect there will be around 270 runners even though its a $10000 buy in. I'll will do some kind of update tomorrow... hopefully it won't be an early bust out story.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vegas

I jet off in just a few days now. The excitement is building. My first event is the $10000 Pot Limit Omaha, and after that i'll be playing pretty much every event except the $50000 H.O.R.S.E.

I'll be updating my blog as often as possible as well.....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Six month review

Vegas is just around the corner now... 9 days and counting! I'm staying at the Wynn for two weeks and the Rio for the rest. I thought it would be good to break it up a bit, so i don't get bored of the same bars/restaurants etc.

I've played a bit of poker this week. Three winning sessions... no huge wins though. I'm playing a bit smaller, as i don't want any major losses before Vegas. I may not play now before i fly. June was good. As online months go its probably the best so far.

I set some goals for 2006 here ... as its half way through the year i thought i would check to see how they are going, and set some new ones for the second half of the year.

Not go broke.

I gave it a good shot in January, but haven’t got close to a zero bankroll since. Hopefully as the bankroll increases, this will become less and less likely.

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.

Its been a fun year in general. I’m really looking forward to the World Series, and am still enjoying what I do.

Make the money in a WSOP and WPT event.

Well WSOP is around the corner so will see how that goes. May fail in my aim to make the money in a WPT event this year. Will hopefully get at least one more chance this year.

Win £150000+ online.

Very very close on this one. Despite some brutal swings I’ve nearly achieved what was probably my number two goal for the year after not going broke!

Play at least five WSOP events at at least two WPT events.

Will have managed this by the end of July

Stop reading poker forums. I like what i read 10% of the time. The rest irritates me.

Still reading poker forums. Have to much free time not to…

Win 3 tournaments with buy ins over £750

Not even close. Be extremely tough to achieve this one. I’ve only played nine tournaments this year. I’d settle for a bracelet ;-)

Reduce my tilt to a manageable level.

Hmmm… its improved slightly but its still there. Hopefully I can keep it under control as much as possible in the second half of the year

Not play any Limit poker.

Not that I can remember. Maybe the H.O.R.S.E tourney in Vegas will be my first limit poker of the year! lol

If i'd been offered the six months i've had at the start of the year i would have taken it. The only major disappointment was my failure to take advantage of the excellent position i was in during the EPT grand final.
Now for some additional aims for the second half of the year.

- Start playing and becoming profitable at Limit poker. I've seen the kind of money that the good players make at this, so i'm going to give it a try.
- Play at least 30 tournaments and make at least 4 final tables.
- Have less than 3 days where i lose over £30000.
- Win more in tournaments than i have in the first 6 months of the year.

A couple of the bloggers are running regular updates on the WSOP. So click on these links if you fancy reading them. Rob Sherwood and Chris Fargis.

One other thing. My Dad has been doing mortgages for a few poker players/people who gamble for a living lately... so if you are interested you can email him here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Blogging

Well i have time for it at the moment as i'm not playing too much. Firstly, the hand from the previous blog "Less is More."

Well i think there are just two options here. Raise or fold. Calling $2000 with the AA is just a non move. If the BB has me beat he will push. Apart from the Ace, no cards on the turn will help me either. I just don't think i had enough information to commit my entire stack with AA in this spot so i folded. I could be beating one of my opponents, but i think its unlikely given the action that i have them both beat. I could have been stubborn and hoped one had QA, and the other something like KK, but i think the pass is the correct move.

My mistake was not reraising preflop. The UTG preflop raiser made a 7 times the BB raise, so he probably has a big hand, and would call a reraise.

I never got to see my opponents hands either. The BB called the raise to $2000. The turn was a 7 and he moved all in. The other player passed. I'm sure i was beat seeing how the hand played out.

I have also finished writing a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph. After a year (how time flies) and around 55 columns, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep thinking of something interesting to write about NL Hold'em. They wanted me to aim it at the majority of readers, which is why it was just NL hold'em, i'm sure that i could have carried on longer if i was able to talk about all the other games. It was a great privilege to have been asked to write for a national newspaper for a year, and i'll probably do some one off pieces for them on major tournaments in the future.

I will write something for Cardplayer Europe in the next couple of months now i have more time on my hands. If there is anything interesting anyone thinks i should write about, feel free to post a comment.

I've also added a few new links to the right hand side of the blog... check them out!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Less is more

I hate going out of big tournaments with KK v AA. If i count the two EPT grand finals, WPT Paris/Bellagio and the WSOP main event last year as the five biggest tournaments i've played, i've exited two of them with KK v AA. Another one i went out when holding the AA. It makes me think i actually do alot better when i don't get big pocket pairs as they often spell danger. When i am not hitting i have to duck and dive, and its easier to get away from hands when people play back at me.

Had a good week online. Didn't play more than about 8 hours... and i'll probably play about the same amount this week. The WSOP starts soon and i feel like i should be there for the start, but that would mean flying back after about a week for a few days, so i guess i should just wait until the 8th July. I'm counting down the days now.

I actually haven't played that many tournaments this year at all. Its stands at about nine for 2006. Its the Vic festival this week and i may get to play the PL Omaha Hi/Lo, but i'm too busy to play any of the others.

One interesting hand came up this week when i was playing $25/$50 NL Hold'em. What would you do?

6 handed. I am on the button with $6800. Both my opponents i have only played with a couple of times so no real information about them. UTG (with $6000 stack) opens for $350 (7 times the BB). I have AA and decide to just call. The BB then calls (with $5000 stack) as well. I was hoping to be heads up. Flop 8JQ rainbow. BB leads out with a bet of $800. Preflop raiser makes it $2000. Now what? Call, raise or fold?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

WPT Paris

No good. I busted after four hours with KK v AA. Hadn't seen a hand in the first three levels so it was impossible to put down. The World Series is just a few weeks away, so hopefully my luck will be a bit better out there.

I did learn how to play Chinese poker on the way out from Roland De Wolfe.... and i won a quid on the trip thanks to that game.

I'm not going to play so much online in the next two weeks, including a full week off before i fly. I need to be fully prepared to play my best poker for 3/4 weeks of tournaments in Vegas, and I think the break will do me some good.

Monday, June 12, 2006

WSOP schedule

Well i have decided upon the schedule of events i am going to play as its less than a month away. Here they are....

9th July
Pot-Limit Omaha (3 day event)
$10,000.00

11th July
Pot-Limit Hold'em (2 day event)
$2,000.00

13th July
No-Limit Hold'em- Short handed 6/table (3 day event)
$2,500.00

15th July
Omaha Hi-low Split (3 day event)
$3,000.00

17th July
Pot-Limit Omaha (2 day event)
$1,500.00

20th July
No-Limit Hold'em- Short handed 6/table (3 day event)
$5,000.00

21st July
No-Limit Hold'em (3 day event)
$2,000.00

22nd July
Pot-Limit Hold'em (3 day event)
$5,000.00

28th July
No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship Event
$10,000.00

I am also hopefully going to run a tournament with a chance of winning a % in me for all the events. Details on that sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Had a very good week online, so hopefully will be in good form for the WPT event in Paris when i start playing tomorrow.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Some hands

As i have been playing so much of late i've played a few weird/interesting hands....

- £10/£20 PL Omaha. 6 handed. I have a £5700 stack. I check the big blind after no raise with TcJcQcKc. Flop 2c7c9c. I check and the button makes it £120. I call. Knowing the player he is very likely to have raised his button with a suited ace, so with having 4 clubs in my hand i am confident he has the bare ace. Turn 3c. I check. He bets £260. I call. River Td. He now bets £600 into a pot of £880. Normally i would simply call but i figured him for the bare ace. So i minimum raised him another £600, as i knew it would be too much of a temptation for him to fire a big bet back at me even with the bare ace. He reraised the full pot of £3280. I called and he did have the bare ace. I scooped a near £10000 pot. I don't think i will make that play too often :-)

- £25/£50 NL Hold'em. 4 handed. I have £6200 stack. I make it £150 to play with 9cTc. Just the big blind called. Flop 2c7cJc. The caller now pushes all in for £6500. I have never seen him play before plus he has already made this move twice in the 30 minutes i have been at the table, and got no callers. I just couldn't pass. I called and he had the Ace flush. Yuck. Anyone pass there?

I played live PL Omaha for the first time in ages last night at the Western. It was a £500 minimum sit down game with running £5 antes. I was down £4000 at one point, and managed to turn it around to win £3000. It feels more satisfying to win live than online. I plan on playing some live cash in Vegas during the WSOP, so it was good to get back in the swing of things.

Online has been going well this week, so i am going to have a more relaxing week than the last couple, and start watching the World Cup. Also, i am off to Paris for the WPT event Monday so i don't want to tilt myself for that.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Swing swing swing

What a week! Not a particularly good one either..... had another very bad night on Monday losing £30000. This week i have played around 80 hours... the most i have ever managed in a week. The figures look like this:

Mon - £30000
Tues - £8000
Wed + £27000
Thurs - £12000
Fri +£5000
Sat +£8000

I need to cut out the nights when i am losing over £20000 and fast. I should impose a stop loss i guess.

Betfair have a new sign up bonus of $800 for June. Details are here

I am heading to Paris next week for the WPT... i'll try and do a few updates from there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

36 hours of mayhem

Wow i had the most crazy 36 hours online ever this week. I loaded up Betfair on Tuesday expecting a normal ish day but had the most horrific day possible. I must have gone 5 hours on 4 tables and not won a single pot over £1000 short handed. Ran bad, played not so good and had horrific luck, a lethal combination. I finally went to bed £25000 down and not happy.

I never know whether its a good idea to play the next day after such a heavy loss, but i hate being stuck for the week so thought i would try again. Cue more ridiculous bad luck, i lost with with Aces in Omaha three times all in preflop for a combined total of £20000 worth of pots. My opponent had the Aces as well each time and spiked a flush or two pair pair on me. I decided to try some £25/£50 NL Holdem which didn't go to much better, and after a few reloads of £3000 i was down £53000 in just 24 hours. I was so sick. 53 large was well over the online pain threshold.

I decided it was time for a break, and two hours later i was ready to go at it again. Between 10pm and 2am i won £45000. Got £25000 profit in the £25/£50 NL Holdem, and the other £20000 in Omaha. So after all that stress i lost £8000, and it feels like i had a big win. Rakeback is probably £3000 as well. Amazing that my biggest ever online loss in a short period is followed by my biggest ever win.

I am off to Dublin tomorrow to play in the second leg of the Showdown Poker Tour. Hopefully they will get more runners than the London leg. I may post some of the big pots i played during the big swing over the weekend.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fun fun

My run of form on the PL Omaha tables has continued since i last posted. I've had a few more great days including one where i managed to have two tables running with $30000 on one, and $14000 on the other where the max sit down is $2000. I gave some of it back but it was still a great day. I doubt this kind of form can last, so I am taking advantage of it whilst it does.

I have played some massive pots in the last week. Here are a few of them.


- $10/$20 PL Omaha on Betfair. 6 handed. I am playing a $29000 stack. I was dealt 7h7d8h8d on a six handed table in middle position and made it $60 to play. Everyone called to the SB who made it $200. All six players decide to see the flop. 833 SB who made the original reraise preflop bets $600. Second position calls (playing a $16000 stack).I think that the guy who bets out has AA or KK. He could also have a 3. The caller has almost defintely got a 3. I make it $2000 to play hoping that at least one of them plays on. The original raiser passes and the other player calls. Turn 2c There is $5800 in the middle. He checks. I don't want to make a milking bet as it makes my hand look to strong so i bet $4500. He calls. River K. Now he bets $9300 all in!!! I call and he shows 23KK. Yuck that was a $33400 pot i lost.

- $10/$20. 6 handed. I have $10000. Everyone limps to me and i make it $60 to play on the button with 3456 DS. BB makes it $200 to play. Knowing the BB he is nailed on to have AAxx with this move. 2 callers and i call. Flop As2h5h (I have no flush draw). BB bets full pot of $830. Everyone passes to me. He had $9000 and he probably has AAxx, maybe even with the Ace flush draw too. I decide to take a card. The turn is a 9c. He bets $2400. I just called again. River a 6s. He checked and i bet $5000. He called and mucked AAxx with no flush draw.

- $10/$20 Heads Up. We both have $10000 stacks. Opponent makes it $60 to play and i raise with KK77 DS to $180 to play. He reraises to $540 to play. Given the stacks we are playing i have a great chance to win a huge pot especially as i am almost certain he has AAxx. I call. Flop 732 with two of my suit. I check. He bets $1080. I raise the full pot and he moves all in. He has AA9T with the Ace flush draw. The flush comes on the turn and the river is a blank and he wins a $20000 pot.

You can now get a $200 bonus if you sign up for Betfair here. If you are interested in rakeback as well drop me an email. I may be able to offer you a better deal than the other Crypto sites (Interpoker, William Hill, UKBetting, Sun Poker, PokerPlex and Littlewoods)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

River Rat

This week has been very good on the PL Omaha tables on Betfair. As weeks go, its been one of the best ever... i played every day Mon-Thurs and managed to have good wins every day.

Poker tracker really is my friend. I now have thousands of hands against my regular opponents, and over last weekend i spent a few hours studying my most frequent opponents statistics and replayed numerous hands. The information i gathered certainly helped this week. I also noticed an area i could improve and have put that right as well.

For those who have Poker Tracker my VP$IP is 79% over 37000 hands which basically means i am a loose fish! VP$IP is the % time i voluntarily put money into the flop. Most of the winners are between 35% and 55%.

Good luck to anyone playing this weekend!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tougher

Thats how the PL Omaha games on Crypto have gone this week. A few new players have joined and there have often been 3 or 4 £10/£20 on the go at the same time. Two of these players in particular have been running very well and are tough opponents. They are extremely tricky and aggressive, the average pots with these two on the table have often been over £1000. The swings have been huge.

The week started badly. Monday i was in for £22000, and ended the day even after being up £10000 at one point and later down £15000. I finally went to bed even at around 8am. Tuesday was my first really bad day since January online. I was playing 5 tables and for five hours i was brutalised. I lost a £13000 pot when i made a back door Ace flush against a straight flush. Having been up £8000 early i gave up £17000 down. Not good.

Wednesday started very well. I did very well Heads Up winning £10000 in about an hour. I was hitting everything and even got quad Aces against quad nines. I hit a high point of £16000 up. Swung back down to £4000 up, played for about another 6 hours and finished £13000 up. I didn't play so much the rest of the week, with no big wins or losses anyway.

For the week i am down about £5000 which is not so bad. It could have been worse and i still have the Sunday night games to play, so i may be able to wipe out the loss.

I played the Showdown Poker Tour event yesterday. I managed to get some amazing hands and never got paid. Whenever i bluffed, or had a marginal hand i got called and lost, guess it goes that way sometimes. Not sure what the next tournament i play will be. Am starting to look forward to the WSOP. It's not so long to go...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Decisions decisons - part 2

Thanks for all the responses to tournament hands on the post below ... here it what happened, and my thinking!

Hand 1

Out of the three options i like calling the least. It doesn't give me much information and if an Ace, King or Queen arrive on the flop, the situation becomes even worse. I could call to try and flop a set.

If i was to raise, I would make it 35000 to cover the original raiser. This play would indicate a massive hand. Most players would put me on QQ, KK or AA with this move. The problem with raising that much, is if the button does have a genuine monster hand and then pushes in for 75000... i would then probably fold even though i am kind of pot committed. The original raiser could also have a hand that he wants to play his 35000 chip stack for... especially if he considers that the button and cut off may now fold, offering him even better odds to call.

What i actually did was fold. Though i wouldn't fold here every time.... something like fold 70%, call 15% and raise 15%.

Hand 2

Given that the SB has only called before the flop i ruled out him holding JJ, QQ, KK or AA as he would have reraised with these hands. So the hands he could have here in my opinion are 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, TT, A7, A8, 56, 67 and 89. Leading out with a set here would be a good play is it’s likely to get action from an overpair. Was he making this move though?

I actually decided to call. Reraising was too expensive and i wanted to see his reaction to the call. If he led out with a big bet on the turn i was willing to fold. The turn was a Jack. He checked and i bet 20000. He folded and showed 99.

Hand 3

Well the options here are call or fold. This is probably the most easiest decision of the three hands and i called. He mucked very quickly. I thought he could only have me beat with 69 as i think he would definitely have raised preflop with 77, 88, TT or KK.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Decisions decisions

I thought i would share a few hands i played in the $25000 Bellagio tournament last week.... these are all from Day 2.

Hand 1

Blinds 400/800. I have 100000 chips. Middle position makes it 3500 (35000 stack) to play. Cut off calls (50000 stack). Button (75000 stack) player makes it 14000 to play. I look down at JJ in the BB. What now? If you raise how much?

Extra info. Not been sat at the table long. Could be a squeeze play by the button perhaps. Folding/calling or raising were all possible moves.

Hand 2

Blinds 600/1200. I have a stack of 90000. UTG (60000 stack) makes it 4500 to play. I am UTG+1 and call with 99. All fold to the SB (80000 stack) who calls. Flop 568 rainbow. SB leads out with a bet of 13000. UTG folds. What is your decision here? Why?

Extra info. The SB opponent was a normal opponent... not particularly aggressive and hadn't been involved in many pots in his two hours at my table.

Hand 3

Blinds 600/1200. I have a stack of 90000. I limp in middle position with 33. One other limper and SB calls. Four way pot. Flop 378 rainbow. Both blinds check and i make it 5000 to play. Just the SB (125000 stack) calls. Turn T. He checks. I decide to check behind as i think he will lead out on the river when any card falls and unless he has 69 then i am way in front. I don't see him having a set. River K. Now he makes the strange move and bets just 5000 into a pot of 15000 ish. I feel i am ahead and ponder for a while and make it 7000 more. He then reraises me another 16000. What now?

Extra info. He had lost a big pot early then tilted for half an hour. He had won a few big pots lately and seemed more composed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Zzzzzzz

I just completed one of the longest and definitely my best online session ever. I played for 23.5 hours mainly £10/£20 PL Omaha, and i was down £10000 at one point. The tide turned and i eventually got two stacks over £20000, which put me up £28000 for the session. So tired.

I haven't been playing too well lately despite decent results. I have been calling to much and playing too loose. So i played far more aggressive and tried to dominate the table.

I also wanted to say congrats to Roland for finishing 3rd in the big one at the Bellagio. $1 million is some payday....

The next few months are looking quiet on the tournament front before the WSOP of poker in Vegas. A Gutshot showdown poker tour event and WPT Paris are probably all i will play before July tournament wise. I have been planning my schedule. It looks likely i will fly over around the 7th July for a month, and play between 6-10 events.

The $50/$100 PL Omaha on Ultimate Bet has been tempting me of late. I may allocate $30000 to take a shot. Tempted. For a game so huge the standard isn't so great. There are good players, but plenty of average ones as well.

Just one other thing. I just watched this clip on Tillermans blog. Click here to see it. Tony G trash talking Surindar Sunar. Very entertaining.....

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 6

I'm out!!

Annoying.... guy to my my left has been reraising me every time i raise.....Playing 130k stack him a little more. Next time i raise it up with AA to 5000 to play ... he plays with his chips and counts out 20000 to do it again. Instead he just calls. Flop 5h9hQc. I bet 14000. He calls.... turn 2s ... i bet 30000 .. he calls. River 2c. I check he moves all in. I wanted him to make a move as i felt i was ahead... but all in?!! What to do now? He has already bluffed massively a few times and got lucky! Well i called and he had 99 for a full house. Anyone else and i could have passed!

Gutted...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 5

The $25000 WPT Main Event Day 1

I promised i would do updates daily whilst i am in the main event so here goes.....

Started with 50000 chips and on my table was Martin De Kniff, Phil Laak and Kirill. Most of the other players were very tight. Didn't start well at all and in the first two levels of 90 minutes i managed to lose 10000 chips. Mainly because i kept calling with suited connectors and small pairs and missing the flop completely.

I lost a few thousand bluffing the table rock as well when i thought he had just top pair, in fact he had the flush. In fact the few bluffs i did try went horribly wrong. The worst was betting into TT on a 4TQ board when i had QA.

Level 3 came and went and the cards were not improving. I think i won just 3/4 hands in the first 4.5 hours. I could not get going at all. I reached a low point of 17000 and i was wasn't particularly happy with the way i was playing, or my reads on opponents. I picked up a bit and reached 23000 when the dream hand happened. I was in the big blind and blinds were 300/600. UTG made it 1800 to play, UTG+1 called, the button then made it 7400 to play and i looked down and found two Aces. Given the fact i was reasonably low in chips i decided to maximise my chances of a double up by just calling. Sure there was a risk i would get outdrawn but i was willing to take a chance. I gave it a few minutes thought and called. The player UTG then moved his 40000 stack into the middle. BINGO. The other players passed JJ and QQ and i called in a shot and doubled up against KK.

I was back to over 50000 which felt great. I was scooping my chips as the very next hand was dealt. UTG made it 1500 to play and got a caller in early position. To my amazement i found the Aces again in the small blind! Wow.... i hadn't seen a big pair and now the rockets twice! I quickly made it 6000 to play, hoping they would think i was bullying with my new stack. The original raiser passed but the other guy called. The flop was A92. I checked as i felt i wanted to give him a chance to bluff. The turn was a Q. I went to bet 5500 and by mistake picked up the wrong colour chip and bet 15000. He called quickly. The river was a 4 and i moved all in for his last 30000. He deliberated for an age before passing AK. If either of us had bet the flop he would have lost all his chips but was convinced i had made a set of queens on the turn. Suddenly i was up to 75000 in just two hands.

I felt much better after that and picked up a number of small pots and reached 80000 going in to the final level of the evening. I decided i would be happy to finish the day with 80000 so my strategy was to avoid big pots unless i had the goods.

With just two hands to go i picked up AK in the BB. Martin De Kniff raised my blind making it 2500 to play again, i was considering just calling and playing on if i hit and Ace or King. Instead, i decided to raise it another 10000 happy to pick it up then. He called after deliberating. The flop was an ugly 38J with two clubs. I decided i had two options.... check and fold if he bet... or check/raise him. Leading out i didn't like as if he called or raised me i was in alot of trouble. I checked and he bet 10000 after thinking. I asked for a count of his chips and and he had slightly less than me. After the count i moved all in and he quickly mucked.

I finished the day with around 108000. Roll on Day 2.....

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 4

Not much playing to report! Been relaxing and haven't played since the $5000 except online. I got brutalised playing £25/£50 NL Holdem... losing one pot for £18000 with A flush v my K flush which came back door. I got it back what i lost playing Heads Up PL Omaha... coming back from a potential big loss often feels better than winning. I haven't had a losing day online now since February. I should have lost yesterday the way i played but the poker gods were nice to me.

Its the main event tomorrow. I just want to get started now whatever happens. I hope i get some decent players on my table. Much better than playing rocks in such a slow structure. Bring it on......

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 3

$5000 No Limit Holdem

Very very frustrating. I ended up finishing 29th of the 347 thats started. I managed to dominate my starting table that included Tim Pham, Grinder and Matasow and was up to 80000 from 10000 starting chips by the end of level 3, i was chip leader for a good few hours. Played one pot bad then got unlucky and found myself back down to 40000.

I ducked and dived and with 40 ish people left i was averaged stacked. This was the turning point hand. I had 65000 chips and everyone passed to me on the button. Blinds were 1500/3000 and both blinds had 24000. My hand was AsJs so the correct strategy is to push here. I bet enough to put them both all in. SB dwells for 2-3 minutes and calls with J8 OFF? Of course the 8 rivers and i am left shaking my head in disbelief. This guy had actually been playing tight before that. I got back up to 70000. Mid position made it 10000 to play i had AhKh on the button and pushed all in. The BB this time went into the tank and eventually called his 37000 stack with AQ off. The original raiser passed. A queen on the flop scooped a 88000 chip pot. I win that one and i have around 120000 instead i had 33000. Got back up to 65000 again and lost a coin flip for another 50000 chips with 99 v AK. Eventually i walked into KK with my KT suited when short stacked.

Hopefully i am saving my luck for the main event. I should have made the money in that tourney at the very least!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 2

$3000 No Limit Hold'em

I could have asked for a better starting table considering the amount of good players there were in the field. If you raised 6 times the big blind you were guaranteed 2/3 callers at least. I couldn't pick up a hand though. We started with 6000 and i did manage to get up to 8000 at one point. My chip count slowly decreased and i was at 5000 on level 4.

- Blinds 100/200 and running 25 ante. Four limpers as usual and i had AQ on the button. I made a large raise to 2000 and one of the limpers called. Flop 29K. He checked, i moved in and he had JK. That was that......

The same guy earlier called a small bet on a 9KA flop with 78 no flush draw. The turn and river were 5 and a 6 to give him a straight. lol

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic - Update 1

Just arrived after a 10 hour flight which was ok except the lady sitting next to me managed to spill orange juice all over me. I even managed to read a couple of poker books for the first time in ages. Championship Omaha by TJ Cloutier and How good is your Pot Limit Omaha? by Stewart Reuben. I got bored of the championship omaha quite quickly but the other book was easy enough to get through.

There are a few warm up tournaments that i will probably play before the biggie, so should have some updates on them in the next couple of days. Right now i am off to the pool.....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Luton Springfest

I made a last minute decision to play the £1500 main event at Luton, which proved a good decision as i managed to finish 3rd for just over £20000. I needed to play a decent size NL Hold'em event to get Monte Carlo out of my system, so was very happy with the result. Normally i would run through lots of the hands i played, but i have so much to organise before i fly to Vegas on Wednesday i haven't got time.

I can't wait to get to Vegas for the WPT championship now. Its a huge tournament, and with 50000 starting chips i'm sure it will be a different experience to what i am used to. There won't me too much dead money in an event with a $25000 buy in, so i expect i will have to be on my best form to even have a chance of doing well.

I shall update sometime later in the week after i arrive....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Chilling

Well thats what i am doing on the poker front at the moment. I am not feeling motivated to put in the hours online and whenever i do manage to play i am winning. Are blogs more fun when the player is winning or moaning about bad beats?

My weeks seem to have a theme at the moment. Play for a few hours on Monday/Tuesday and win £3000-£6000 and then retire and enjoy the week. At the moment i have no immediete need to increase my bankroll, so am more than happy ticking along with these wins at the moment.

I have won a few pots over $5000 since i last posted.. here they are!

- $10/$20 NL Holdem - I have $2800. I raise in middle position to $60 with 4s5s. The button makes it $120. It probably means a big pair but i am getting great odds to call. Flop 4d5dQs. I bet out $200 hoping he has an overpair and reraises. He makes it $440. I think the instant all in would make him think i was on a draw, so i pushed all in. He called with KK and my hand stood up.

- $10/$20 Pot Limit Omaha - I have $2800. I raise to $70 in the cut off with Ad4d5c6c. The BB makes it $220. The BB calls and i call. Flop AhQh4s. I'm not loving the flop considering the reraise so i check to the button. He checks behind. I can't put him on AAxx or AQxx as he would surely want to protect it against the flush and straight draws. The turn is a 3c. BB checked again. I was convinced the button would bet this time so i checked to him and he bet $650. The BB called. I was sure i was ahead, and if not i still had outs to make a straight so moved all in. The button folded but the BB called. He had a straight draw and flush draw that missed.

I am hoping to play the Luton main event this weekend but other factors may stop me from being able to do so. The same applies to the WPT final at the Bellagio. I am meant to be flying out next Wednesday so am keeping my fingers crossed that i will be able to go.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Back to NL cash

I decided to give the $25/$50 NL Hold'em a go yesterday and sat with $4000. It started off heads up and soon became four handed. I managed to get up to $7000 playing Heads Up against a player i believe is Pokergirl. When we reached four handed this pot happened.

- I limp UTG with QQ. The button makes it $200 and the BB goes all in for $4800. Hmmm. Surely he can't be making such a bet with AA or KK. It could be AK. I can't pass QQ very easily in a full ring game preflop so i can't pass it four handed. I call and he has TJ suited. He made a flush, but luckily i already had a full house.

- This hand was tricky. I made it $200 to play on the button with TT. The BB reraises it to $400. I call. Flop TJQ rainbow. He checks. I bet $650. He calls. Turn 3. He checks. I bet $1100. He reraises me $3000 more. I don't like the hand too much now. He reraised preflop so could have JJ-AA or AK. Best scenario is that he had AA or KK. he had another $4000 as well so i passed.

I finished just over $9000 up. I won't be a regular in the $25/$50 game but i will have the odd go if i am in the mood and the right players are there.

The funny thing about being on a good run is that i don't play very much. When i am losing i play loads as i think the more hands/hours i put in, the more likely i will start winning again.

I have booked my flights and hotel for the Bellagio $25000 in April now. Really looking forward to it. To start a tournament with 50000 chips should mean i last beyond level one. I will probably play the $5000 warm up event, and some cash as i am there for nearly a week before the main event starts.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Vic

I only played the £750 NL Holdem and the £250 PL Omaha Hi/Lo... i lasted just a few minutes when my plans for an early double up were scuppered when i missed my flush draw against pocket Aces. The Hi/Lo i didn't even finish the rebuy period. I was holding A256 on a 34T board with the Ace flush draw against A238 and A237 all in three way and the turn and river were pictures (no flush), and my opponents split the pot with their 3. I can't play the main event either so thats my tournament action over for the week.

Some good news. Betfair have agreed to sponsor me for the $25000 WPT final at the Bellagio 18-24th April, so i will be making my WPT debut which was one of my aims for the year. I will probably fly over around the 14th April to play the $5000 side event as a warm up.

Online has been great of late as well (though i will probably bok myself by saying so). So far this week i am up £11500 and in the last four weeks i am up over £50000. Long may that kind of form continue.

I was also interested to see that another big buy in tour has been added to the European schedule called the Showdown Poker Tour. Details are here. I plan on playing the first two events at the Gutshot in London and Fitzwilliam in Dublin. Entry is €5,000 so it will be interesting to see the kind of numbers they get.