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)

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

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

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

17th July
Pot-Limit Omaha (2 day event)

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

21st July
No-Limit Hold'em (3 day event)

22nd July
Pot-Limit Hold'em (3 day event)

28th July
No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship Event

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.