Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Harder than it looks

A quick post by way of an update.

Well the idea was to build my live bankroll and climb up the qualtiy of tournaments to test out my poker skills and possibly hit a bigger win.

This is proving more difficult than I thought and I still haven't left the tables of my local casino yet.

So far I am only playing live once a week, so I haven't really got a decent sample of results to say whether I am going to fail or succeed.

Here are my results so far:

Multi Tourneys (40 players or more)

Played 7
Final Tabled 4
Cashed 2
Won 0

Buy Ins (incl. rake) £261

Profit / loss -£161

I feel that just one win or high position cash will set me off. It will certainly put me in profit. I like to think I am holding my own, and the fact that I can top up my live balance from other winnings will give me plenty of time.

Whats important is that I am really enjoying live play (albeit sometimes I wish I'd invested in a decent set of headphones to block out distractions).

So until next time

Keep it Tight!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

When the odds were not in my cards or in the pot

Date : 26/9/11

Location : Gala Casino Leicester

Tournament : £10 NLH, 1 rebuy and 1 add on

Situation : Bubble - next prize pays £70

Players : 6

Blinds : 3000/6000 a400

Position : BB

Chips before the hand started : 10,600-


"I post the big blind, 2nd to act calls, Button calls, SB all in for about 20K more. I have 77 ....... after thinking for a while I fold!"-

Thoughts at the time:-

The first thing that happened after I folded was that one of the players who wasn't in the pot berates me for folding stating " you only have 4000 left, you have to call with any 2 cards, you have pot odds"-

That was my initial thought even before I was dealt my cards ... so what changed!-

My thoughts at the time of folding included:-

1. With 2 players to act after me and with my chips added to the pot they will be priced in to call (first to act had approx 50 - 70K in chips and the button had approx 150 - 200K in chips). 77 is not going to perform well in a 4 way pot.-

2. I have sat for over 5 hours and am trying to build a bank roll, there is no cash game to go to, that's it for the night ... any return is better than none.-

3. My chance to win the tournament is not greatly improved, even if I win this pot as I will still only have around 40K with a round of betting costing 11.5K and SB to be posted next.-

4. I think I have a better chance of cashing if one or both of the other players still to act calls the all in and knocks him out than I have playing my hand.-

Post Tournaments Analysis:-

Before I give the outcome of the hand, I have taken a look at my "all in" odds for 77 in this situation given the hands I thought I may be up against (using PokerStove).-

Caller 1 : small pockets and TJ-KQ (15%)-

Caller 2 : AT - A2 and suited/off suit connectors (17%)-

AI Raiser : JJ+ (50%)-

Me : 77 (16%)-

2% a hand tie.-

In fact I only really gave thought to the first two in the pot as to whether they would be likely to call or not, because my main concern was the ALL IN from a tight player in a position where he could let me take on 2 opponents to get him in the money.-

I thought that at least one of the players still to act behind me would call on the hand ranges I had given them at least 50% of the time, better odds than I was likely to be facing if I went all in.

I also figured that if one or both did call then there was at least a 30% that they could win the hand, better than the odds I had heads up.-

Anyway I delayed and tried to get a read as to whether there would be a caller behind and my gut told me there would be so I folded.-

Caller 1 folded and caller 2 debated, asked the ALL IN if he wanted a call ... the answer was yes ... and he called.-

AI shows 99 and Caller 2 Shows ATos.-

An ace and a ten on the flop seal the hand for him and for me to cash in 5th place at the expense of someone else's misfortune.-

I know it is debatable as to whether I should have folded because if the AI hand had held up then I would have been all in next hand anyway. However I was clear before I folded why I was doing it; I was resigned that the tournament was over for me and I wanted to give myself the best chance at cashing. -

I would appreciate any thoughts!-

If this was a 10K buy in event that I had qualified for online and this had happened ... I would be ecstatic with the outcome.-

Anyway my live poker bank roll now sits at £340'ish pounds and stays strong for a few more buy ins to try and hit a bigger cash.-

Until next time-

Keep it Tight!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I really can't believe it!

I have just finished at the Truro, Victoria Inn Pub Poker League ... and have won again!

I have played 4 times here .. Now won 3 times and 4th in the other, I think thats good stats against anyone holding 2 cards.

I also find out tonight that they have a league yearly winner where the champion gets a nice trophy and the top 6 get to play off for a tournament in France ... unfortunately me playing one week a month cannot ever win that.

Tonight it was a £5 buy in, there were only 17 players and it paid top 3 - £50, £25 and £10

Anyway, as always I was pretty quiet in the early rounds and kept just above average. There was a maniac player with chips who was taking on every raise of mine which made me cautious.

When there were about 10 left I got back to back Aces at blinds of 300 / 600 and only managed to extract about 3K from those hands, mainly because I was playing very fast to deter the maniac from playing any 2 cards and out drawing me.

Anyway the maniac went out on the bubble and I was left the small stack. The player to my left was quite passive but did seem to change gears by raising more, just with the wrong hands at the wrong time. I made most of my comeback chips from him!

My heads up opponent ended up taking him out.

Heads up lasted quite a few hands and we agreed to take £30 each and play for the last £15. With the blinds at 5K/10K -about 107K in chips on the table. The final hand came when I limped in the SB, he raised all in for about 35K total . I could call and still leave about 40K behind with 79spades. I called and he showed Q8os. A Q on the flop gave us both the obvious emotions, but the other two cards got me a straight redraw ... and I filled my straight on the river.

So a few more winnings again to add to a very small cash table win at the Gala last week (£3) my live bank roll sits at £193.

Just a quick note on my live bank roll ... I will be adding a small amount from other gambling funds every month ... so I expect to still be able to play live poker if my current bank roll falls back to zero.

So onwards and upwards with my bid to play some bigger buy in tournaments ... but for now I remain a Poker Wannabe.

Until Next Time

Keep It Tight!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Live Poker Interesting Exit Hand

I eventually got to start my "serious" live poker playing at the Gala in Leicester ..

The tournament was a £10 NLH, two rebuy or one rebuy and one add on or 2 add on at the break; basically you can buy in 3 times by the break if needed.

I played quite well starting on table one, had a good handle on all of the players and was just starting to get going before the break. Mainly this was thanks to winning a big pot from the person who I thought was the most threat to the table when his KK ran into my AA, all but knocking him out of the tourney. Also another key hand I made a good call with an A on the board holding JJ when an opponent had a pair of tens and had represented the A.

I hadn't had a rebuy by the break so took my 2 add ons to keep my chip count above average.

Shortly after the break I was moved to another table which seemed to have most of the chips, and most of the best players. I got cut off quickly by one particular regular who I read a few times as being very strong (given the body language). The biggest lay down being my flopped 2 pair against his all in shove following my flop lead out. I read him for a set and after he told me he had a set .. but then he would wouldn't he?

I will be watching him next time to see if it is just me he is having a go at and may just call light once to see what he's up to in the future.

So it then took ages to reach the final table from about 16 left (54 started and paying 6), in that time I lost about 11K of my 50K stack. Then just before the final table assembled I had a go at the player on my right who had limped in the SB first to act. Admittedly I had AJ but a big raise did not see him off and my all in on the flop saw him call with an open ended straight draw on a low board holding 78. My A high held and I went to the final table with about 89,000 chips.

After a couple of rounds on the final table we were down to 7 and the blinds and antes were so high that every ones stack had seemed to even out except for 2 smaller stacks who would soon be in by the blinds.

I suggested we did a bubble saver for 7th place, and it was agreed that the bubble would get their £30 buy in back.

So it was when it folded to me in the SB that I completed with my 9Jos and the BB checked.
The flop came 89Thh. I bet about 16K into a 11,600K pot and got re raised all in (by a different player to before). I still had about 30K behind but chose to call with my open ender bottom pair, he had 89 for two pair. The turn came a 9 and I was out to a full house.

I have replayed this hand a few times in my mind and will probably post the hand on a forum to get some differing views mainly to answer the following questions:

1. Should I limp in the SB? ... the blinds were 2,000 / 4,000 with 800 Ante 7 players. The pot was reasonably big for my 2,000. I didn't want to commit my stack with a raise holding J9. I felt any re raise would be a real hand and I could drop it there and then just limping ....

2. Should I lead with mid pair on the flop? .. I think so given my redraw chances and the size of the blinds.

3. Should my lead have been so big? I wanted to win it there and then scaring away any hearts. I had already committed myself to winning this pot given the action so far, so I think the size of my bet reflected that I was going all in before my bet, it just happened that he'd hit 2 pair.

4. Should I have folded after his re shove? Looking back I had about 30K left and about a 45% chance, certainly getting pot odds. However I was through the blinds so I could have folded, if only to get a couple more places up the prize money. On the other hand by outdrawing in this position I would have had a very good chance of winning the tourney.

5. Given the turn card any play after the flop was to go all in with my set .. the only possible ways out would have been to fold pre flop, raise pre flop (if he would have folded) or fold on the flop following his shove.

I am still not sure what lesson I have learnt yet other than setting up a bubble saver was worth while ... it could just be one of those hands although I did make my actions under definite reasoning at the time.

Any way I was only 6 hours out of time as I got my buy in back and loved every minute of the game.

So now waiting for the next time to build my live bank roll.

Until Next Time

Keep it Tight!

Monday, 15 August 2011

My Ladder of Hope

I have been thinking about how I can motivate myself to go forwards in pursuit of live game success.

I understand that my personality and the value I place on my bankroll can hold me back when I should be pushing on. I need to devise a method of tracking my progress as well as giving myself targets to achieve so that I don't become stagnant and satisfied with lower levels of success.

So I am formulating, what I call, my Ladder of Hope.

I will be starting on the first rung of the ladder as a Poker Wannabe and I will outline clear goals that allow me to reach a certain rung of the ladder.

So far I have the levels as follows, with some of my initialy thought out targets.

WANNABE - Where I am now!

Bronze - Live Bankroll = £1,000
Silver - Finish in top 50% in local tournament (e.g. Dusk Till Dawn)
Gold -
Bronze - Live Bankroll = £2,500
Silver -
Gold - Cash in a local tournament
Bronze - Live Bank Roll = £5,000
Silver -
Gold - Cash in a National Side Event (e.g. GUKPT side event)
Bronze -
Silver - Final Table Local Tournament
Gold- Cash in a National Event (e.g. GUKPT)
Silver -
Gold - Final Table National Side Event
Gold -
Gold - Win National Event, Cash in an International Event
Gold - Final Table International Event
SUPERSTAR - Win an International Event

This is still pretty much work in progress in thinking out what goals I want where, and I will probably add more goals as I think of them ... but you get the idea.

More when I have this sorted out a little better.

Until next Time

Keep it Tight!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Making it in the Live Arena

As a Poker Wannabe I have wanted to break onto the live poker scene for a long time. I have always wanted to be able to rub shoulders with the big names in the game and to pit my wits against a multitude of lesser known good players. -

I want to be challenged rather than grind out 400 SnG's a month for a small profit.-

I want to be drawn to the big prizes and exposure that the live arena has to offer a recognised poker player.-

I have decided that the time to start along this path is NOW!-

I understand that I will probably lose more than I will win - unless I really can make it. That is a price that I will have to pay to find out.-

I know I am not starting from the bottom. I have won local casino tournaments and have won in Vegas in the hotel daily buy ins. I also think I have a better than average grasp of the game ... but this is how I see me ... am I good enough to do it in the real world?-

So starting at the end of August I will be trying to build a live bank roll in which I intend to find out ... -

Rise ...-

or -

Fall ...-

It will be posted here.-

Until Next Time-

Keep it Tight!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Trying to get back to normal

I decided to do a week of work for my usual customer in Truro and stayed at the usual stop ... the Victoria Inn.

Thursday night, Poker Night, I decided again to join in for my third outing at this pub's poker offering.

Unfortunately the entrants have dwindled from about 36 to about 20 but the guys that are left are good eggs.

So with a £5 buy in and two tables to get through I soon won a big pot doubling my starting chips. I had already identified that my table had a loose aggressive on board that was very successful in small pots against the regulars. I also knew he was playing light and wouldn't be able to slow down. So when he all inned for about about 2/3rds of my stack and all folded to me in the SB, I re raised all in with K4os to push out the BB knowing that if I won the pot I could take his role. He duly turned over T6os and hit a 6 on the river to leave me hurt but not out.

Luckily 3 hands later I get JJ and all in ... our loose friend calls and I double back to above my starting chips.

A few hands later I get AA and manage to look like I'm trying to push out the limpers in a multi way pot. I manage to survive a twitchy 3 way pot with the 2 other players that remained and I was suddenly in a strong position.

Anyway to cut a long story short I got heads up with a guy when the blinds were so high we decided to split the £70 pot 50/50.

So in 3 outings here I have won 2 times and 4th once.

Not bad to earn an evenings free drinks ...

Until Next Time

Keep it Tight!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Impossible to put into words!

I predominantly wanted this blog to be just about my poker exploits however sometimes personal life has to take the fore and I feel I have to publish this post before I can continue to move on.

Many unexpected things are thrown at you in life, most of which you can deal with as and when they happen and you are able to carry on as normal.

However when the one thing that is eventually guaranteed for all of us happens to someone very close to you the ability to carry on as before seems to be taken away forever.

It is to this end that sadly my mother eventually lost her fight against cancer last month.

I managed to spend a lot of time with her in the last weeks of her life and I know she was comforted by me being there in helping care for her and to keep her company.

Although we said everything we wanted to to each other before she went to that better place I know nothing will be able to fill the empty void that used to be her support, care and love in a way only a Mum can give it.

You will be greatly missed forever Mum ... more than anyone will ever know!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Quick Update

Not a lot on the poker front to talk about as unfortunately real life has taken over. Between working solidly for the last 2 weeks (with a third to come) and personal and family issues not much time is left for quality poker.

So consequently I have parked my PartyPoker.Fr account at about 1,600 euro's and am playing on small stakes tables to clear a multitude of free bonuses has inundated me with.

So here is the lesson:

I still love the game and still want to play whenever I can. I know that when I play I am not 100% focused or am playing tired. So when I play I am better playing at the lower buy in's than before where I can't do my bank roll any serious damage. I am also clearing bonuses which might make up for the edge I am losing.

Don't let pride get in the way of playing at smaller stakes if the conditions to play well are not right.

The main thing is that you play.

Another thing I am doing is investing in more poker literature so when I am unable to play I still can get a poker fix and hopefully improve my game.

So until there is something more to show on the poker front.

I'll sign off ....

Keep it Tight!

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Wilderness Months

Its at times like these that I am glad I don't play poker for a living.

To play approx 500 SnG's and still only be just where you started can be very demoralising.

I think it is even more pronounced because of the flying start I had on PartyPoker.Fr. I turned my initial €150 into approx €900 in about 5 months. Now I can't get above €1000 and have dropped as low as €800 euro .

The other problem I have is that my bank rolling method drops me back down the levels when I am losing and so I am now messing about at the very low stake SnG's again hoping for a run to hit.

On top of this things are not going so well in France and it looks like I will be here on my own from now on. This has left me in a very bad mental state; but if it wasn't for me to be able to throw my time into poker (despite my affected play) then I am sure I would feel even more isolated. At least with poker there is always something there at any time of the day when I need my mind diverting from the real world.

Who was it that said ... ?

" ... you never know your on a peak until you are coming down, and you never know you are in a trough until you are climbing out" ...

Ahh thats right it was .. D.Brent (The Office)

They say poker mirrors life, and with that phrase it has never been more true.

Until Next Time

Keep it Tight!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Party Poker France points problem!

Last month (and going into the new year) I had a bit of a problem with my points status on PartyPoker.Fr.

I had cut it very fine in earning my 400 points to maintain my Silver Status in December. However by playing for about 4 hrs on New Years Eve (finishing at around 8pm) I managed to get my points balance to around 401.5 ... and was happy that I would be able to buy my 50 euro bonus.

However when I logged in on 1st January I found that they had demoted me to Bronze Status.

I contacted them and they stated that I had only earned 397.5 points in December.

I checked my lobby and found that it showed I had already earned 4 points in January despite having not played yet!

So I re contacted them and assured them that the lobby stated on 31st December I had over 400 points.

They stuck to their story but did raise my complaint to another department.

Anyway yesterday I find my status HAS been restored to Silver ... but with no explanations or email contact, which is unusual because I always find their customer service excellent!

However I am very happy with this outcome as my account now sits as it should be!

But it does show that what we see in the lobby could be different to what is happening on their systems.

So I suggest that if your points balance is very close to the next level, take a screen dump. Either that or make sure you earn more than enough points to get your status levels.

Oh and if their is a descrepancy make sure you contact them!

I do like happy endings though!

Until Next Time

Keep it Tight!