Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of Year review for 2013

Ok, time to look at the scores on the doors at the end of the year. 

Online Poker = +£864
Bricks and mortar Poker = +£433

Total Poker = £1,297

Matched betting = £10,674

A happy outcome for the year, as I continue to reside among the 10% of players who actually make a profit from playing.  Online, I'm not playing much more than the odd tournament on the APAT site, poker.co.uk, a few times a week.  My roi (return on investment) is good on these though, coming out in the high 90's on "Sharkscope".  I haven't got a wee shark thingy like "LombBomb" Tom though, so I'm right jealous.  :-)

I've enjoyed my bricks and mortar games, mainly APAT, with the two highlights of the year being the final table 6th place in the team event last February and captaining the Ireland A team at the Home Internationals to a silver medal.  The cricket club game on a Thursday night continues to tick over nicely and we will be playing in the APAT team event again at the start of February.  One sad highlight was elimination on three different occasions when I was "four flushed" on the river when ahead.  I'm really hoping for a turnaround on that one.

I'm going to set a target of equaling those outcomes next year and I really must get myself organised into entering more satellites for live events in the North West. 

Now that I am retired, matched betting has really come into its own. 

I started the year slaughtering the spread sites by arbing their horse indecies.  I had over £4K profit from this activity when "Spin" (Sporting Index) finally caught up with me in April and started referring all of my bets to a trader who offered me a lower price.  Game over.  Sadly I was making all of my profits on Spin, so it wasn't really a surprise, but fun while it lasted.

Most of the rest of my profits have come from arbing horses, particularly the William Hill £25 "refund on 2nd" offer.  Cheltenham was particularly profitable last year as well, so I'm looking forward to that bonanza in 12 week's time or so.  I've just checked my little black book and I've "done" 97 books (counting "partner friendlies" twice).  I recently found out that there are over 500 bookies out there in cyber space, so there are plenty more to go at! 

Target for next year: Average profit of £200 a week, which would see me repeat this years profits.

Happy Days!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Just back from playing in the APAT Home Internationals at Dusk to Dawn in Nottinghmam where I was captain of the Ireland A team. 

Before the event started I was talking to Ian Ski at the bar and he asked me what I thought of the Irish team.  I said they reminded me of Wellington's comment about his troops, "I don't know if they frighten the enemy but by God they frighten me!" 

The format was different from the last time I played in this (when we had a mixture of SnG's, Heads Up and then a final tournament, which was the most significant thing).  This time we had 3 No Limit Hold'em SNG's mixed in with 2 Pot Limit Omaha SNG's.  The top two teams played off Heads Up for the Gold and Silver medals and the 3rd and 4th for the Bronze. 

This revised format sounded good to me as I have heaps of SNG experience and so it proved.

Both Irish teams were in blazing form and we ended up comfortably in first and second positions.  We had already agreed to chop the prize money between the two teams if we achieved this and just played the Heads Up for the Gold and Silver medals which the "B" team won.  Star of the show was Kevin O'Hanlon who finished with the highest individual points total (I was fourth, four points behind him).  I had promised to play a jig on the whistle every time an Irish player won a table - I got lots of practice!  :-)  (There's a picture of me playing with Kevin on Facebook and the APAT site).

A great fun event played in a really good spirit by all of the competing teams. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

APAT Nottingham

I got back from the APAT Nottingham tournament last Monday night having thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.  I played a pretty decent tournament and finished 47th of 460 for a minor cash of £200, so that covered my expenses.

It was an up-and-down sort of a tourney on the first day.  A couple of tough beats saw me down to 2700 chips with the blinds at 200/400/25 so I shoved J9 off on the Big Blind after it had been passed round to me in the Small Blind.  He talked himself into calling and turned over T7 off.  Nothing untoward happened and I was back in the hunt.  From there I proceeded to batter my way up (just playing good hands for value, nothing tricksy) until I had 90+K. 

It was about 12.00 at this stage and I thought, ok, I can just cruise to the 2nd day from here.

However a bit later the big stack on the table (200K+) who had been raising routinely for a while raised me 2.5 Bigs and I was looking at AJ off.  Obviously I had to play, so I elected to call.  The flop came KKA and I made a half pot raise which he called.  (Alarm bells).  Blank on the turn and we both checked.  Blank on the river and he raises 15K.  I have the odds so I have to call and he shows K9 suited.  Sigh.

I was kicking myself afterwards thinking I should have re-raised 3x pre-flop.  Mik on "RaisetheRiver" said he didn't hate the line I took, as at least I got out without losing the lot.  I suppose that it was just one of those where I was destined to lose a chunk. 

Anyway, I duely made the second day but I was short stacked and with only 7 Bigs left and the blinds due to go up, I shoved QJ hearts.  The small blind insta-called and then Ant in the big blind dwelt for a while before folding (AK off it transpired).  Small blind turned over AQ off and I'm dominated.  The flop comes KT hearts blank and suddenly I'm favourite with umpteen outs!  Queen on the turn and a blank on the river and it's good game me.  Still, a bit of excitement to finish.

Meanwhile Hutch (who was on my table for the J9 shove) and No Shoes were both on the lash (no surprise there).  They may have been on the beer but they  were too tasty for one of the regs who tried to take advantage of them, but ended up on the wrong side of a 1K loss - lol.

Friday, February 01, 2013

"You're frightening, you"

It's been over a year since I posted on the blog, so I thought it might be time to update it.

Poker wise I am doing what I planned at the beginning of last year.  I'm playing mainly APAT stuff both on-line (or tournaments on the APAT website poker.co.uk) and live, with some sng's on Stars if I get eliminated from a tournament early in the proceedings.  I have a positive roi for these, but obviously with the low volume of games I play I'm not making a fortune.  That's fine as I'm playing for the craic.

Last weekend the Edgworth Cricket Club team went down to Luton to play in the APAT team tournament.  This was much stronger (25 teams & 200 players) than the tourney we won in Blackpool (120 players) a couple of years back.  The team finished 10th of 25, which was a decent showing considering three of them had never played in such a setting before.  They must have enjoyed it, because quite a few are up for the APAT event at Dusk to Dawn at the end of March.

Individually, I made the final table and finished 6th.  It could all have been even better if the eventual winner hadn't four flushed me on the river when my AKs hit an Ace on the flop ahead of his QT off.  That's the way these things go and at least I put myself in with a chance.

On the final table they had it set up to show the play (using cards with microchips in) on a delayed live stream.  It would have been interesting for the other folks on the final table to see what I was up to, as I was really abusing my ultra tight image and running a bunch of bluffs against the shorter stacked players to maintain my stack.  Fortunately I was to the left of the two big stacks, which was really useful.  Fun while it lasted.

On the Sunday morning, as I was checking out of the hotel, a guy from another team came over and asked me if I was "Kronstdat" on line.  I confessed and he said, "You're really frightening you, but you're not scary at all in the flesh!"  Best compliment I've ever had on my poker.  :-)

Sunday, January 01, 2012


Online poker: +£315 (-131):  CC game: +£157 (-11): APAT: +£200 (-)

Matched betting this month = +£112;  This year = +£1462

Profit on Month = -£30    Profit on Year = +£2132

It is interesting to look back at the targets I set in the review blog at the end of last year and consider them in the light of events subsequently.  I have totally changed my thinking since they were written. 

Basically I am playing an awful lot less than I used to on-line, mainly because I have absolutely no desire to "grind" my way to winning money at poker.  I'd rather just keep it recreational, so I just play the odd tournament or sng when the spirit moves me.  I imagine that is how I will carry on now.

Highlight of the poker year has to be captaining the team from Edgworth Cricket Club that won the APAT UK Pub Poker Championship back in June or so.  That was really good fun. 

I enjoy the APAT tourneys and will certainly be having a bash at anything within reach next year.  I wouldn't mind playing in some other "bricks and mortar" games if I can find something suitable.  The best one I've found is a Sunday afternoon tournament at the G in Manchester, but I often have other commitments on Sunday afternoons, so I've only been a couple of times.

Matched betting has been a "steady earner" all year and I've easily made most of my profits from that.  More of that will definitely be called for.

I'm not sure - given the limited amount of poker I am playing - whether I'll carry on with this blog - time will tell.

Friday, December 02, 2011


Online poker: +£446 (+121):  CC game: +£168 (+27): APAT: +£200 (-)

Matched betting this month = +£272;  This year = +£1350

Profit on Month = +£420    Profit on Year = +£2162

I'm still moving along nicely on the $15 x 18 man sit and goes on Stars.  The usual variance of course but Sharkscope has me on 17% roi on there now and I'm actually better than that as those stats will be including games I played on Stars before my recent return there.  So - happy with that.

I have hardly played a tournament.  Certainly the only memorable one was an APAT $50 entry jobbie which crashed and burned in a horrible fashion.  At 50/100 and with a full stack I 3x raised in mid position with QJ clubs.  2 callers.  Flop comes QQJ 2 hearts!  BINGO I thought.  Guy bets into me.  I call.  The other guy folds.  Turn comes a blank.  Half pot bet into me and I call.  River is 9 of hearts.  Great I'm thinking.  If he has Ax Hearts I'm going to clean him out.  Half pot bet into me.  I go all in.  He calls and has K10 hearts of course for the straight flush.  That's the second hammering from a rivered straight flush I've had this year.  It's about time one of them came my way.

Meanwhile with the matched betting I've been working my way through the spread betting sites, which has gone nicely for around £250 profit.  With a bit of study some of these spread markets look to be "arbable" as well, so I'm going to leave my money in the sites and have a look at that one.  Happy days.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Online poker: +£315 (+173):  CC game: +£141 (+43): APAT: +£200 (-)

Matched betting this month = +£211;  This year = +£1078

Profit on Month = +£427    Profit on Year = +£1746

Poker has progressed very nicely this month with the 18 man sng's on Stars a particular highlight.  I've been slaughtering these games this month at a rate I know will be impossible to maintain.  Enjoy it while you can before the inevitable variance monster bites, I suppose.  The big bonus for me has come in the heads up part.  I've had 6 heads up scenarios and won 5 of them.  The minute I have an opponent who does something like fold on the button, I know I have a very good chance of a winning outcome :-)

I've also returned to quietly cashing regularly again in the cricket club game.  I've got a read on the new loose/aggressive players in particular and I'm really making it count by picking them off at the right moment.

Matched betting has also been fun, with a poker mate who is also an experience matched bettor, helping me work my way through the spread betting sites with referrals and advice.  I made some money on a recent Barcelona v Levante game which had an interesting outcome.  With a £100 "free bet", I had "sold supremacy" on Barca and laid off the other outcomes for a nice £60 profit whatever happened.  However, the game itself finished 0 - 0 with 8 yellow and 2 red cards!  If anyone had been on the spread for "sell cards" for that game it would have cost them a fortune.  It just goes to show -


I've given up trying to explain matched betting to friends.  They just don't "get it" and think that I'm an unreconstructed gambler, which of course couldn't be further from the truth.  What I am doing is taking the gambling out of it!  However, as with poker, to the uninitiated it just seems like punting.  Anyway it keeps me entertained on wet Saturday afternoons and I'm building up a nice "Christmas Bonus" for my daughters.  :-)