Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I've decided that I am going to give the poker a rest for a while.

There are several reasons for this decision, but the main one is that I just haven't been enjoying playing recently. Since I play games for enjoyment, that is a serious problem. I have found that my poker playing has been making me irritable, particularly, naturally enough, if I haven't been winning or playing well. Interestingly enough, Pete Birks had an article in his blog recently about similar issues, particularly related to playing higher than where someone felt comfortable. In my case it isn't the level, it's just my recent reactions to playing generally.

On the plus side, I have made the best part of 300 pounds which has proved to be just right for getting my wife the canteen of cutlery she was after!

It has been fun chatting to "Jeins", "the edge" and company. I'll keep checking your blogs to make sure your all progressing well.

The headline? It's from Leonard Cohen's first LP and the line goes; "I hate to see another tired man lay down his hand, like he was giving up the holy game of poker; I know that kind of man, it's hard to hold the hand of someone, who is reaching for the sky just to surrender". Seemed apposite somehow!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Ladbrokes: 55 dollars
Pacific: 392 dollars
Party: 87 dollars

Total: 534 dollars

I've had a much happier time of it since the decisions made last week. I may not have made a lot, but at least it is positive rather than negative and I've certainly hit +2BB per hour which is reckoned to be a reasonable expectation.

I made 22 dollars (a lot for .25/.5 limit) on the following hand where I was on the button with K7h. Flop came 9h Kc 6h. Lovely. It was passed round to me and I bet with three limpers. Turn comes 4d. All of a sudden folk are interested and the betting caps out! The river produces the 5h and the betting caps out again and I win the pot. They had two sets and a lower flush. I have been routinely folding Kx suited in any position until this week. I definitely think you can get away with playing it late at these levels, where there is little pre flop raising.

Another example was A9 off in late position which again I would probably have folded previously. The flop came 9 2 Q rainbow. No bets. The turn produced another 9, which I bet with 4 limpers. The river was a 2 and I took down the pot for 7.50.

Lowlight of the week was 10 10 in middle position. The flop came A 10 2 rainbow, which naturally I bet. It caps out, which sets me thinking - no preflop raises so probably no set of A's. Carry on firing. Turn comes as a 5. The betting caps out again, but I can't see it helped anyone. The river card is a 2. Now, that I don't like, so I just call. Sure enough he has 4 2's to beat my 10's over 2's. So it goes.

I was reading somewhere that it is a better idea to look at fluctuations in bankroll on a monthly basis rather than weekly, so I thought I would have a look at things from that perspective:

November: 278 dollars.
December: 397 dollars. (+119)
January: 479 dollars. (+82)
February: 535 dollars. (+56)
March: 534 dollars. (-1)

The positive thing about looking at it from this perspective is that, hey, for all my whinging I haven't actually lost much this month - it's just felt like it! On the negative side, my win rate has steadily declined. However this is way too small a sample to start drawing any sort of serious conclusions from and there are some bonuses in those early figures.

I've been looking into getting some poker software. From the trials I've had, Poker Office and Poker Tracker both seem equally good. However it seems to require a bit of additional messing around to get Tracker to work on Pacific and Party, so Office is favourite. You can get Office for free (plus bonuses) if you sign up for Party or Noble Poker. I already have a Party account so that makes opening an account at Noble seem the most logical approach. They also have very good bonuses, I must say, though how much traffic there is open to question. I'll look into it over the holidays. Anyone out there got any experience of Noble?