Saturday, December 29, 2007

END OF YEAR REVIEW.

Neteller: Last week $0; Current $0 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $262; Current $235 (-27)
CD: Last week $249; Current $243 (-6)
Titan: Last week $202; Current $202 (-)
DTD: Last week 232; Current 232 (-)
Inter: Last week 98; Current 103 (+5)
Littlewoods: Last week 29; Current $29 (-)

Total = $1047 (-28)

Total for month = +$54

Total profit for year = +$917

I have been half expecting a reversal of fortune, since the SnG play had been going so well and it duely arrived this week. I only played 2 18 player SnG's, 2 9 player SnG's and a 10 player on CD and lost the lot. I played ok but just ran into good cards at the wrong time or bad beats. The worst of the bad beats came in the 10 player game. My 3xBB raise at 100/200 level was met by an all in from the Big Blind which I called. He had A 10 and hit the 10. Oh well, I still had 800 chips or so and went all in to win the blinds with 88. The same player calls me with (wait for it) 10 6 off. Needless to say he hits another 10 and a 6 for good measure! What can you do? I've also had a go at some $6 tourneys on Party, one with the_Cloud from RtR. Total donkfests, but no cigar, sadly.

Anyway, let's have a look at the year's progress...

There were a number of major changes to my poker playing in the course of last year. I started the year still grinding away at 1/2 limit, making a small profit on the games, but mainly building the bankroll via bonuses and rakeback. It was taking a lot of playing time to achieve this and fundamentally it wasn't a lot of fun. Since I am a strictly recreational poker player, I wanted a bit more entertainment, so I decided to investigate No Limit.

I did a little research and decided to adopt a "tight passive" approach rather than the more conventional "tight aggressive". (There are a number of places where you can see this type of strategy described and the rationale behind it: www.freeholdemstrategy is one and there is a
short stacked approach which isn't dissimilar on www.donkeydevastation). I managed to make this work effectively and it mainly involved multi-tabling at $25 and $50 buy in levels. The problem with No Limit however, is that you can't make anything like the same rakeback and bonuses as at Limit, since the average pot is much smaller. When you get a big one it can be
very big, but most pots are small.

Around the middle of the year "Juice" introduced me to the "RaisetheRiver" site and the "bloggerment" on Sunday nights (9.00 on PokerStars, private tournaments, password "donkament" - everyone welcome!). I enjoyed the craic here and decided that I'd better find out how to play these things, since it was very apparant that most of the folk playing were pretty skilled at it and I certainly wasn't. Tournaments, with their escalating blind structures, are very different animals from cash games. After a while I worked out a strategy that was at least passable and I've even won some tournament games on a couple of occasions. There are quite a few very skilled players here and I have learned a lot from playing them (without losing much money, since it is only $5.5 entry).

From there, I decided to take a look at Sit and Go games, which are essentially little "pick up" tournament games with shorter numbers than full blown tournaments. As can be seen from the results over the last 6 weeks or so, I've made a succussful venture into this form of the game. It suits me very well as you can get an interesting game, which is over in a reasonable period of time (9/10 player games often take less than an hour). Basically, compared to where I was last year, I am playing a lot less, enjoying what I do play a lot more and still making a similar profit at it. You make very little in terms of rakeback / bonus payoff from SnG's at the level I'm playing ($5.5) but I don't really mind that. The rakeback/bonus system is designed to get you playing as much as possible, which is fine for the sites but not necessarily healthy for the players. If I can play profitable poker without rakeback making much contribution, then that will do for me.

So - objectives for next year.

Well, I'm going to take some dosh out of the bankroll to contribute to my wife's "kitchen refurbishment fund". That will leave me with around $500 or so. If I continue to be profitable at $5.5 SnGs (and currently I am running at 28% "Return on Investment" according to "SharkScope") then I will move up a level to $10 + $1 and see how I do there. Since I have made the best part of $1,000 this year I think a "challenging but achievable" target is $1,500 profit for next year!

A Happy Poker New Year to all readers!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

BATTERED BY KINGS

Neteller: Last week $0; Current $0 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $262; Current $263 (+1)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $202; Current $202 (-)
DTD: Last week $232; Current 232 (-)
Inter: Last week $103; Current 98 (-5)
Littlewoods: Last week $35; Current $29 (-6)

Total = $1073 (-10)

Played.

11 x 9 player $5.5 SnG's: Won 2; 2nd 0; 3rd 2; Lost 7; +$4.5

1 x 10 player $5.5 SnG's: 3rd; +$4.5

1 x 10 player $11 SnG's: Lost; -$11

2 x 18 player $5.5 SnG's: 1=3rd; 1=4th; +$16.5

2 x $5.5 MTT's: Lost both: -$11

Total = +$3.5

The small negative score is due to minor losses in a couple of cash games.

Not a thrilling week poker wise, mainly due, as the headline implies, to getting bad results following getting a pair of Kings early on. I have the following notes: "All in KK v QQ early. Hit a Q on the river." "Overplayed KK on a AA9 flop" (poor effort that).

I was learning by the time this happened..."Dealt KK early. Player called my 7xBB raise (2 limpers previous) with Q5off. He hit 2 Queens. Didn't get stacked and finished 3rd."

Then..."KK early. Raise 6 x BB and called by 10Joff. He hits a straight on the flop. Didn't get stacked off but lost later". I was pleased that I managed to avoid getting stacked off on two occasions, but I really feel I am due a run of success stories with the cowboys.

I played one $11 game. I didn't play particularly well and the all round play was definitely better - nobody gone when we reached 100/200 level.

The 18 player games continue to go well. I could have done even better if one luckbox hadn't hit his 3 outer when he called my all in with AKs with A5. So it goes.

Meanwhile Party have dontated me $30 to play there again. I don't like the site, but I'll see if I can turn their money into something I can withdraw.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

MORE SnG PROGRESS

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $0 (-40)
PokerStars: Last week $209; Current $262 (+53)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $208; Current $202 -6)
DTD: Last week 232; Current 232 (-)
Inter: Last week 103; Current 103 (-)
Littlewoods: Last week 0; Current $35 (+35)

Total = $1083 (+40)

All the good results have been on Stars this week. The breakdown goes:

Sit and Go's

5 x 18 player SnG's. Buy ins: $27.5: 1st 0; 2nd 1; 3rd 1; Lost 3; Profit/Loss +$17.5

1 x 20 player SnG. Buy in: $5.5: Lost: Profit/Loss -$5.5

1 x 9 player SnG. Buy in: $5.5: Won: Profit/Loss +$18

Tournaments

Bloggerment: Buy in $5.5: 2nd of 14: Profit/Loss +$10.5

RtR League: Buy in $5.5: Lost 8/16: Profit/Loss -$5.5

2 x Inter "Points Tournaments" Buy in 120 pts: Lost both.

The players definitely aren't as good on Titan as on Stars (particularly those that get to the later stages) but I actually prefer to play the rather better players. The reason is that I have a better read on what they are going to do, whereas some of the guys on Titan are best described as unpredictable. Around or after the bubble, guys on Stars are not particularly likely to call your all in blind steal with A2 off. On Titan some of them probably will. You can adjust for this sort of
thing of course but it's actually easier to play the more predicatable types.

The 9 player turned out to be an interesting game. We were up to 100/200/25 ante before the bubble finally burst. At this point I was chip leader but the others were only 1000 or so behind me. There was lots of really cagey stuff for the best part of ½ an hour before I finally brought it home. Good fun.

The 18 player I came 2nd in, could easily have been a first place also. Heads up, we were pretty much level on chips and I was mixing it up between all ins and min raises. I got 77 in the big blind and min raised it, hoping he would go over the top of me. He did and I duely followed him all in. He had Q2 off...and hit a Queen on the flop. SIGH. Too clever for my own good.

The Bloggerment was fun and I was running nicely all the way through. However when it came to the heads up with "teaulc" I knew I was beaten before I started - he started, from being nearly out, on an amazing run of cards and I wasn't surprised to lose to him. The league game ended when someone hit a gutshot flush against me when I was ahead. So it goes.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Still on the up.

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $40 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $164; Current $209 (+45)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $208; Current $208 -)
DTD: Last week 232; Current 232 (-)
Inter: Last week 98; Current 103 (+5)

Total = $1043 (+50)

Here is the breakdown on the week.

Tourneys...

$2,500 g'teed. ($5.50 entry) 59/612: +$5
$300 300 Player points. 222/597: $0

Sit and Go's...

Played = 10. Won = 2; 2nd = 1; 3rd = 1; Lost = 6. +$45

The positive score is mainly due to winning a 27 player S&G on Stars, as I was just +$11 on the (very quiet) week, until then. It was a very pleasing game as I felt in control of the thing all of the way through, which is not something you can often say in these tourneys.

I do believe I might have found my best form of poker. The most important aspect seems to be that you have to accept the fact that you can make a series of positive equity value plays and lose every damned one of them. In the long run it doesn't matter. If you keep making decisions to that standard you will win the "meta game". Still only a very small sample, but it's looking good.

I had hoped to be able to go and watch Mair, from the RtR site, playing in the British Amateur Poker Championship in Manchester today, but sadly my car developed an affliction which I had to sort out (SIGH). I hope Mary kept up her recent run of fine form.

Friday, November 30, 2007

APPROACHING THE $1000 MARK

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $40 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $135; Current $164 (+29)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $212; Current $208 (-)
DTD: Last week 202; Current 232 (-)
Inter: Last week 70; Current 98 (+28)

Total = $993 (+57)
Total for month = +$120
Total for year = +$863

The end of November sees the bankroll approaching the $1,000 mark. The switch to playing tournaments and sit-and-goes has certainly worked very well with $120 profit on the month, all from those types of games.

This week I played ...

4 x 6 player SnG's: Won 1; 2nd 1; Lost 2. +$8
1 x 18 player SnG: 2nd. +$21.5
1 x 9 player SnG: 2nd. + $8
1 x 120 player $500 points tournament: 23rd (out of money)
1 x 73 player $200 points tournament: 4th +$20

Conclusions? Well, the points tournaments are obviously good news and I still have nearly 600 points, which will keep me going in these for a while. The improving tournament skills showed up well in the 18 player sng. When I have the time to invest (about an hour for one of those, if I remember rightly) those are the ones I'll go for. The other possibility is to move up to the $10 level. That will definitely happen if current trends continue.

The book on Sit and Go Strategy that I mentioned last week is by Collin Moshman (not Mossman). It is very good. Everything the SnG player could want is there - early, middle and late blinds play, steals and resteals, "Indepedent Chip Model" etc with lots of good practical examples of when and, just as improtantly when not, to use these concepts. I strongly recommend it, as I already feel that it has helped my play considerably.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

SECOND PLACE IN MY FAVOURITE TOURNAMENT

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $40 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $145; Current $135 (-10)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $212; Current $208 (-)
DTD: Last week 202; Current 232 (+30)
Inter: Last week 12; Current 70 (+58)

Total = $934 (+78)

Thank you for participating in the tournament "$250 MPP Freeroll 5900165", on Nov 23 2007 11:21PM GMT.
Congratulations! You placed 2nd and won 50.00 USD!

Good luck at the tables,

Ryan Hartley
Manager - InterPoker

The $250 player points tournament that I have been playing on Friday nights came up trumps again when I managed second place out of 73 starters. This tournament suits me really well as there isn't a ridiculous number of entries which makes my equity value pretty good, especially since a lot of the opposition is fairly poor. I have the points for 15 more entries in this so I'll be farming it for a while I reckon.

Heads Up at the end was a bit sad though. First hand I went all in with QJ suited and he called me - he had Kings. Still, I wasn't complaining. I usually do pretty well heads up - in fact (note to self) I must start keeping stats on it.

That has been pretty much it for poker this week. Apart from the win in the DTD tourney, I played 4 six player sit and goes and came second in two and lost the other two.

In the meantime I've acquired Colin Mossman's book on single table sit-and-goes. It looks pretty useful - I'll do a review when I've finished reading the thing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A PLEASING WIN

Well, would you belive it - I've just won the last of the RTR league games to qualify to represent the forum in Nottingham at a live event. I don't think I'll be able to make it, but it was certainly a lot of fun to play.

What especially pleased me was that I ended up heads up against "Cogsgoine" who thumped me when down to the final two in the first game of the series. I can't say I didn't have a bit of luck, but hey, you have to get that in this sort of thing. Mine came in the very last hand, which sealed the win, when I went all in on a 3 spade flop with my two nines hitting a third. He followed me all in - as he would, since he had two spades for the flush. Well, what do you know - the case nine fell on the river!

There were only 14 players, but it was much more satisfying to end up top of the heap against them than any 100s+ player tourney, since all of these guys (and gals) can actually play.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

THUNDROUS STUFF

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $40 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $145; Current $145 (-)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $212; Current $208 (-)
DTD: Last week 212; Current 202 (-10)
Inter: Last week 3; Current 12 (+9)

Total = $855 (-1)

I played my $250 points buy in trourney on Friday night again. I was doing nicely, middle sized stack on level 5, when I got Kings and went all in over a 3BB raise. He had Aces - end of tournamnet. SIGH.

I had $3 left in CD so I decided to mess around with it and entered some $2 "Thunder" six player trounaments. I came 2nd in a couple and lost a couple so I went for a 10 player one and won that. These are totally hilarious. The blinds go up every 5 hands, so there is no time for any "proper" poker. You get a hand - you go all in and hope it holds up. That's it. Somebody always calls.

By the bubble in the 10 player one, the BB was virtually your stack, so you had to go all in with whatever you had. Some folk didn't grasp this and actually folded hands to my "all ins" and this is what won me the thing. I ended up with the biggest stack when we were down to the last three and could actually sustain losing a hand and still have something left to play with. A bit of a laugh but not something you'd want to do regularly if you don't like bad beats. I took one guys AK down with 34 that hit a 3 for example.

Meanwhile the more sanely paced "sixpack" sit and go's on DTD started well and I was up $28 at one time, but a run of 9 games with only one win at the end of the week dropped me back to -1 for the week on them. Played 17; Won 3; 2nd 3; Lost 11. I like this format though, as I can play for short periods of time and you get a bit of action at some point whatever happens. I think I'll stick with them until I can win regularly. I never thought I'd say it, but I've gone right off cash games for the time being. It just takes too long (for me anyway) to grind out a profit at the levels I can comfortably play.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A LESSON LEARNED

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $40 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $151; Current $145 (-6)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $212; Current $208 (-4)
DTD: Last week 202; Current 212 (+10)
Inter: Last week 20; Current 3 (-17)

Total = $856 (-17)

After eviction from the Bloggerment and League games last week (both with Queens getting beaten, by in one cases Aces and the other Kings - I'm really going off Queens) I played three 6 player S&G's. I won one came second in one and lost the other.

The win was hilarious (for me anyway). I found myself playing with 5 real cavemen so I just sat back, kept clicking the fold button and watched the mayhem. We got down to 4 left and all three of the others ended up all in together. This left me in the money without having voluntarily played a hand! However I was left with 800 chips or so to the other guys 5,200. Oh well - off we go. I started after him with repeated all ins which he kept refusing to see. Great and up to 1,600 or so when he finally cracks and sees me. I hit and he doesn't. I'm now marginally chip leader. Now I start getting slightly more selective about the all ins. He raises, I go all in with A7. He calls with K8 and nothing hits so I take it down. He must have wondered what had hit him!

Sadly, since then I have played another 6 and only won one of them for an overall profit of $1 - good or what! :-) I didn't play particularly badly in any of them - just lost crucial coin flips at the wrong time.

The Friday night Inter $250 tourney did see me make a silly mistake though. I was chugging along nicely about 3 levels in having doubled up twice with the only hands I'd played. Getting a pair of jacks in middle position I went for a 3BB raise and was reraised 5BB. I had a look at the respective stacks and thought that even if I lost a 50/50 I would still be in reasonable shape so I went all in. He had Kings and neither of us hit. I could have kicked myself afterwards. He had to have a hand and I had no reason to risk my good stack like that and eventually was eliminated out of the money when my all in with AK missed.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A BIT MORE SITTING AND GOING.

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $40 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $151; Current $151 (-)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $221; Current $212 (-9)
DTD: Last week 178; Current 202 (+24)
Inter: Last week 0; Current 20 (+20)

Total = $873

Total for October = +$23
Total for Year = +$743

I've finally got my system back together again and reloaded all the programs etc. A few wrinkles (as ever) but I think I'm through through the worst now.

Last Sunday I could only play on DTD on my daughter's computer, so when I got knocked out of the league game (rather unluckily as I recall) I had a look for some S&G's and found a 6 player ("Sixpack") game needing just one more. So I joined it and won. I enjoyed that, like you do, so I played another one and won that as well.

Naturally after that I decided to give the format a bit of a run. In the end that is what I played for the week and I finished with Played 10; Won 4; Second 1; Lost 5. A small sample of course, but I seem to have a positive equity value at this format. I've found some useful articles on the correct strategies for this type of tourney at www.donkeydevastation.com and www.sitandgoplanet.com Check those sites out if you are interested, as there is useful stuff there.

I've also checked in at Inter again as I still have some player points there from my limit grinding days. They run some nice $250 player points tournaments each evening which seem to attract only about 60 or so players. I thought I would probably have a +ev there and proved it by finishing 5th for $20 in the one I entered on Friday night. I think I'll factor them in over the next few weeks and see how I get on. I've 830 player points which is enough for 16 of these so it will be interesting to see how much I make out of them.

Meanwhile we are going to have a poker night at my local cricket club on a Tuesday night every so often. Playing face to face over a few beers is a good laugh made better by the fact that I tend to win (as I should being more experienced than the others playing).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"You win some..."

Neteller: Last week $40; Current $40 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $151; Current $151 (-)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $260; Current $221 (-39)
DTD: Last week 94; Current 178 (+84)

Total = $839 (+45)

As it turned out I came second in the tournament game last week and I'm playing this week's event as I write this. I caught a good hand early on which doubled me up and was able to get to the later stages with a decent stack without taking any risks. 88 holding up against Acorn's 44 bumped me up again. Then I started getting lucky - I had a couple of wins when behind one of them when my pair of deuces tripped up on the river. That was enough to get me in the money which was great because the site were adding an overlay to the stakes. Sadly I was never going to get a blow in when heads up with Cogsgoine for the number one spot - he had a huge chip lead and the blinds were quite low so I couldn't even try to get lucky with some all in plays. I battled on for a long time but eventually lost out. Good fun though.

Sadly my cash table play through the week was less successful. I don't think I did anything particularly wrong - just had the 2nd best hand at the wrong time on a couple of occasions. So it goes.

Meanwhile my computer continues to play up - random crashes. Hopefully I can get it sorted later this week.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Dusk till Dawn"


Neteller: Last week $140; Current $40 (-100)
PokerStars: Last week $157; Current $151 (-6)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $2240; Current $260 (+20)
DTD: Last week 0; Current 94 (+94)

Total = $794 (+8)

I've opened an account with "Dusk Till Dawn" in order to play in the Raise the River league tournaments being held there. It will be interesting to see how I get on. The prize at the end of the 5 weeks the league is running is participation in a live tournament in Nottingham. There is no way I could actually make that, but if I qualify (very doubtful) I will have made some money in the process.

Meanwhile I've been playing cash games on Titan. I was doing very nicely until my all in with Aces was beaten by Kings that flopped trips. Never seems to go my way when I find myself up against Aces with Kings, SIGH. That mishap wiped out most of my winnings for the week but still - going in the right direction.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"REBUILDING"


Neteller: Last week $140; Current $140 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $202; Current $157 (-45)
CD: Last week $249; Current $249 (-)
Titan: Last week $259; Current $240 (-19)

Total = $782 (-68)

I've been suffering with my computer over the last couple of weeks - hence no post last weekend. I've had to totally rebuild the thing which has taken a lot of time and I've lost a lot of data in Poker Office and so on. SIGH.

Meanwhile I had a number of bad setbacks playing $50 buy in cash games on Stars and Titan. Just the sort of "bad beats" you have to expect (I'll spare you the details) but irritating nevertheless.

I decided to retrench and dropped back to multi-tabling on the $20 tables on Titan. This is quite easy to do, as you can get all four tables on your screen and move between them quite easily. For various reasons I was only able to play about 3 hours like this, but it went well and I recovered about $50 or so. That looks like what I'll be playing for the time being.

I'm just about to start the $40,000 blogger tournament on Stars as I write this. It will be interesting to see how deep I can get (not to mention the other RtR folk who are playing). There are 1337 starters, so it will be a great achievement to make the money.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"CHANGING MY SKIN"

Neteller: Last week $358; Current $140 (-$218)
PokerStars: Last week $185; Current $202 (+17)
CD: Last week $236; Current $249 (+13)
Titan: Last week $-; Current $259 (+$259)

Current Total: $850 (+$55)

Loss on month = -$16

Profit on year = +$720

Well, I had a good look around different sites and the offers going with them and in the end plumped for another iPoker skin, Titan, because there was a really nice offer for that room from a website I found offering freerolls, extra bonuses and the regular bonus, which is already pretty sound. The nice thing about it is that it's just the same as playing on CD since it's from the same stable, so I'm used to the general standard on the tables.

Progress on those tables meant that I ended the month only $16 down which didn't look likely in the middle period.

So the plan currently is to carry on playing cash games throught the week and S&G's and Tourney's at the weekends when I have a bit more time.

Three months to go, so hopefully I should reach the $1,000 mark for the year which would be a good objective to achieve.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"QUIET TIMES"

Neteller: Last week $358; Current $358
PokerStars: Last week $217; Current $285 (-32)
CD: Last week $236; Current $252 (+16)

Current Total: $795 (-16)

I haven't played a lot this week - I don't think I've had a night in all week, which can't be a bad thing really. I won a little at the cash games on CD, but lost that and a bit more playing Sit and Goes on Stars on Friday night - I kept finishing on the bubble or 5th, which was irritating. The only time I finished in the money was in the "Raise the River" league where I came 2nd out of 8.

I got down to being heads up with "Resdent Evil" and thought I was going to take it down when I had a significant chip lead on him on couple of occassions. However both times we went all in, he copped a card and eventually it came down to a hand where I made a small raise with QQ and cheered when he took the bait and went all in with A6off. Im approximately 70% v 30% here but, of course, an Ace hit on the flop and just to rub it in he got a 6 as well. Sigh.

That's the trouble with this format - you are very much in the lap of the poker Ghods most of the time. You can play really well to get deep into the thing and then lose a face off when you were big favourite and find yourself out. It works both ways of course, sometimes you get lucky when you are the underdog. Anyway, they are good fun, but not worth a major investment.

I'm looking into another site to play cash games on and am open to suggestions. Full Tilt is one I'm considering - does anyone have any experience there?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"A BIT OF SITTING AND GOING"

Neteller: Last week $358; Current $358
PokerStars: Last week $208; Current $217 (+9)
CD: Last week $230; Current $236 (+6)

Current Total: $811 (+15)

I decided to play mainly "sit and goes" this week just to see how I would get on. I played 9 - placing in the money 3 times, one 1st, one 2nd one 3rd. Not bad, but hardly a way to fame and fortune. My win was down to hyper-aggression when "in the money" - I was easily the shortest stack going in but aggression put that right and I got lucky on the big showdowns, as you need to. The second and third placings were down to losing coin flips. I also went out on the bubble a couple of times - caught stealing on one occassion, but you have it to do.

Good fun, but I think I'll go back to playing mainly cash games with Sit and Goes and tourneys for the weekends.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"...so it goes..."

Neteller: Last week $358; Current $358
PokerStars: Last week $220; Current $208 (-12)
CD: Last week $288; Current $230 (-58)

Current Total: $796 (-70)

I didn't play much this week and what I did play, didn't get very far...until Friday night. I played the "Raise the River" league tournament and finished 6th. Poor play at the end. I went all in with AJ in early position and was called and beaten by AK as I deserved to be...poor concentration I should never have been in the hand.

I followed that with a very poor session on CD where I in the space of an hour I lost with AA, KK and QQ.

BAD BEAT STORIES WARNING

The AA one was the worst. I was beaten by 87 suited when he hit a straight on the river. I was in the Big Blind and he raised 4x ($2) on the button. I raised him by $10 and he called?? The flop came Q92 rainbow and he called my all in??

Then we get a 10 on the turn and a Jack on the river. What can you do?

On Saturday I decided to play some tournaments for a bit of light relief. In the CD No Limit 300 player points tournament I finished 19/429. The sad part was that I thought I'd made the final table. In my last hand I had AA in the big blind which I raised all in. I got two callers from bigger stacks. I was counting my chips when an Ace hit on a rainbow flop only (you guessed it) for one them to hit a runner, runner flush on the river. Pissed off? Me? Too right I was!

Meanwhile I had inadvertently (again, SIGH) entered a Limit tournament on Stars. I made the money there too (20/639). They are a funny business Limit tournaments. Early doors, they are very easy. You just sit there until you have a hand and then bet it like hell when you do. No problem. Once you get into the serious blind levels however, you have to change mentality completely, as it becomes much more like a No Limit tourney with blind stealing, bluffing etc. The trouble is it takes 2½ hours to get to the interesting bit! I had to pack it in and just let myself be blinded out at 12.45 in the morning, when it was obvious it was going to take another hour or more to sort the thing out. Now if I could start one of these early enough there might be money to be made here - this was a free to enter $1000 jobbie and I'm sure I would have made the final table if I'd been able to play on. One to think about.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

"NICE FINISH TO THE MONTH"

Neteller: Last week $358; Current $358
PokerStars: Last week $222; Current $220 (-2)
CD: Last week $212; Current $288 (+76)

Current Total: $866

Profit for month = +$193

Profit for year = +$736

I haven't played too much this week, but what I have played, mainly $50 buy in No Limit, has been profitable.

Most of the profit came from one hand where I found myself calling in late position with Q 10 clubs. The flop came AK2 - all clubs! I'm thinking - how do I coax as much profit as possible out of this one? Then the big blind comes at me with a $5 raise. Helpful. I call and the turn is a blank. BB raises $10 this time. I double it and he goes all in, which of course I call. The river is another blank - and thank you very much. It transpired he had J3 of clubs. It's so nice when someone gets a second best hand which can't improve to beat you.

I seem to be settling into a rhythm of cash games through the week and MTT's and SnG's at the weekends when I have a bit more time.

The home game last Sunday was fun. I managed to win (as my greater experience suggested I should) despite the host, Ged, plying me with significant quantities of rather fine whisky! Mind you he plied himself with it too, so nobody had an advantage.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Doubling up"

Neteller: Last week $136; Current $358
PokerStars: Last week $198; Current $222 (+24)
CD: Last week $106; Current $212 (+106)

Total: Last week $662; Current $804 (+130)

A good week for my poker. I broke my record for the largest single winning hand with an $88 win with three Jacks which turned into a full house on the turn. This isn't a surprise since I am now playing .25/.50 with $50 buy ins, which my roll currently justifies.

Sadly, I lost a hand to the same player I took down with the Jacks about 15 hands later. I had 77 and the flop came 278 rainbow. We ended up all in and he had a pair of 8's, dammit. Still at least I hadn't lost as much as I'd won earlier.

On Friday night I pushed my record a bit further when I had QQ in late position which I raised x4BB. This was called by one player and the flop came Q79 - which looks great until I tell you they were all diamonds (ugh). I put in a half pot bet and was called, which I didn't like at all, as I have to suspect he is slow playing me with the flush. However I figure I've still got 7 outs and blow me if one of them doesn't appear - the turn is a 9! Ok, my turn to slow play. He checks and I bet a quarter of the pot - he raises and I go all in and he buys it for $122. Nice. Turns out he had AK diamonds. I think he should have gone all in on the flop, which would have put me to a very difficult decision.

Before the session where that hand hit, I played in the "Raise the River" league tournament. There were only 14 players but a lot of them are very good, so I was delighted to come through and win it from RickyRosa (current league leader I think) who, when heads up, went all in with KQ, but was unlucky enough to find me with AK.

I'm finding the raisetheriver.com site very helpful, particularly the discussion on the forum about play in the latter stages of tournaments. I took some of the advice and ended up 16/527 in a $300 tourney on CD. I only made $3, but at least I know I seriously tried to make more, which is the whole point.

I'll be missing from the "bloggerment" this week as I'm actually going to play some face-to-face poker with some friends in the village on Sunday night. I haven't done that for over 30 years, so it should be interesting.

Meanwhile I've liquidated the Laddies account - there is no particular incentive to play there.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"A tale of Aces and Kings"

Neteller: Last week $130; Current $136 (+6)
Inter: Last week $96; Current; $0 (-106)
Ladbrokes: Last week $236; Current $234 (-2)
PokerStars: Last week $217; Current $198 (-19)
CD: Last week 0; Current $106 (+106)

Total: Last week $679; Current $662 (-17)

An indifferent week's poker. I couldn't get anywhere in MTT's and SnG's (the worst "bad beat" I'll whinge about in a minute).

I made some compensation at the cash tables but then a couple of nasty's knocked me back again. My best win was some $50 or so with AA v KK which held up nicely. However I also got hammered when my own all in pair of Kings met a pair of Aces - though at least I didn't lose as much as I'd won previously, as it was a shorter stacked player.

The really bad beat came in a $10 Sit and Go where I'd got down to the last 5. I had Aces and my "all in" was called by the biggest stack - he showed AK. I started counting my new stack. The flop came 10 3 6 rainbow. Fine. Turn = J. I recognised the threat and was shouting "not a ....ing Queen" at the monitor when of course a Q hit to give him the straight and me the boot. I don't even want to check on how far ahead I was pre-flop but I do know I'm still favourite by something like 10/1 before the river card. Ughh.

I played on Inter mainly but got fed up with the number of disconnections I was getting and decided to bail out - particularly since CD had made a good bonus offer to tempt me back.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

"FIRST SIT AND GO SUCCESS"

Neteller: Last week $230; Current $130 (-100)
Inter: Last week $5; Current; $96 (+91)
Ladbrokes: Last week $216; Current $236 (+$20)
PokerStars: Last week $232; Current $217 (-15)

Total: Last week $681; Current $679 (-$2)

In the end I decided on the Inter bonus for my cash game play - at the lowest it's achievable for No Limit players and at least it means that I will be getting some of my rake back. Some poor play (all right, I admit it, I'd had a few beers) meant I dropped a few dollars there though and at the other cash tables.

However on the bright side, I've had my first ever "Sit and Go" success - a $10 + $1 jobbie on Ladbrokes. I just jogged along picking up and losing a few chips here and there until in got to gubbins time with 5 players left. Then I started getting really aggressive if I picked up anything remotely playable. It worked fine. In the end I was heads up with a guy with twice my chips and turned that around when he went "all in" in the small blind with A7. I called him (naturally) with AK and this reversed the chip situation. After that I just waited for any sort of a hand and picked him off. Really pleased with that one.

I also had a long run in a $3.3 + $25,000 guaranteed tournament on Stars. Because of the rebuys (a format I had never played before) some of the play in the first hour was little short of incredible. One guy named "Chanel88" made 15+ rebuys in this period. Even when one of his numerous all ins hit he didn't stop pitching in with damn all. It made it really nice for the rest of us on the table as most of us built up good stacks picking him off. 2417 started this thing and I was looking likely to make the money nearly 3 hours into the thing when I couldn't resist and all in with 77. I was facing AK and lost to a king on the flop. Very poor play on my part - a lapse in concentration more than anything.

All in all, I played 5 MTTs and 4 SNGs this week and made a profit on them. It was my cash game play which let me down, pulling me back to around break even on the week.

There won't be much to report on the poker front for a week or so now as I'm off on holiday.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"TOURNAMENT SUCCESSES BOOST BANKROLL"

Neteller: Last week $230; Current $230 (-)
Inter: Last week $13; Current; $5 (-8)
Ladbrokes: Last week $205; Current $216 (+$11)
PokerStars: Last week $101; Current $232 (+$121)

Total: Last week $549; Current $673 (+$124)

Profit for month = $126
Profit for year = $543

Well this has been the week of my big breakthrough in tournaments. Not only did I win the Bloggerment last week but I also came 3rd in another tournament (I was chip leader going into the final 3, but hit some bad beats - so it goes). I also won a few dollars in another tournament which I entered inadvertently. It was a Limit tournament - which I have to confess it took me quite some time to notice, as I had really poor hands early on. Finally I hit a hand and got really irritated when I couldn't find the slider - then it dawned on me! :-) Anyway, since I was there, I ploughed on - it was a 450 entrants jobby and I eventually bailed out 4½ hours later in 25th place. I won't be entering any more of those, well not deliberately anyway.

Meanwhile I've cleared my bonus on Stars. I then went back to play a night on the cash tables on Laddies. What a contrast - they are much looser. I can hold my own on Stars, but it is like pulling teeth making any money. On Laddies my chances are much better.

So, I think I'll use the Stars account for tourneys and possibly sit and goes and Laddies and another account for cash games. I'm not quite sure where to go for the third account (suggestions welcome)? Interpoker are talking about changing their bonus scheme, so that might be a goer. Basically I need something that it is possible to work off in a reasonable time, playing low level No Limit. Laddies are hopeless for this purpose - you have to make a massive number of "player points" just to buy in to a freeroll. I'm not looking for a lot - just some of my rake back.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

VICTORY IN THE BLOGGERMENT!!!

Well blow me if Paddy's victory at the Open didn't translate into a follow up triumph in the bloggerment!

I trundled along early on getting nowhere slowly, until shortly after the first break. "Bluescouse" (who gave me a good pasting a few weeks back) made a big reraise just in front of me. I went all in with my pair of 10's and took down his 8's.

That effectively turned round the whole thing for me. I was able to do some stealing thereafter and got through to the bubble, which proved to be a very extended experience - particularly since I was dying for a pee at the time :-)

Anyway, I hung on in there with fortunes fluctuating back and forth and eventually Mike Saban was the man to suffer and it came down to a three way between "Hammerheid", "Spid" and myself. This too proved to be a long drawn out battle with many more fluctuations, but when I managed to take "Hammer" down, I ended up with a huge chip advantage against "Spid" and the rest was inevitable.

I have to say it would have been great fun even if I hadn't won, but winning made it all the better!
"No biting fish"

Neteller: Last week $230; Current $230 (-)
Inter: Last week $13; Current; $13 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $205; Current $205 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $121; Current $101 (-$20)

Total: Last week $569; Current $549 (-$20)

An indifferent week poker wise. I haven't played badly as far as I can tell. I have just been unfortunate in not finding someone with an encouraging but second best hand at the times when I have had really good ones. This has been a real feature of the week. If I get Aces or Kings and put in a decent pre-flop bet, nobody calls, even though there have been callers for similar sized bets earlier. If I hit heavily on the river and put in a pot sized bet to suggest top pair, everyone folds. SIGH. It's just the way things run sometimes and at least I haven't been letting it irritate me and then made poor moves as a result.

One hand I did learn from came early in the week when I had a pair of Kings. The big stack at the table bet out for 5x the big blind and I doubled him and he called. The flop came with an Ace and he bet out heavily and I felt I had to fold. I think I should have put him to a decision with an "all in" over his bet. If he had Aces - so it goes. If not he would only have had 3 outs against me with AK or the like. One to file away as I try to develop my No Limit game. If he'd called I'd likely have lost but it has to be equity value long term.

Meanwhile I've been watching Harrington win the Open, which is good news as I had a few quid on him (basically on the principle that he was "due"). Now, can the luck of the Irish carry on into the Bloggerment tonight? We shall see.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Maniac"

Neteller: Last week $230; Current $230 (-)
Inter: Last week $13; Current; $13 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $205; Current $205 (-)
PokerStars: Last week $67; Current $121 (+$54)

Total: Last week $515; Current $569 (+$54)

There is a pleasant poker website to be found at www.raisetheriver.com run by a couple of the guys from the blogger tournament at PokerStars which I've been playing at for the past few weeks. On it they are trying to drum up some trade for a fantasy football league on the premier league free site. I like that sort of thing (though I'm not much good at it I have to say). Check it out if you fancy taking on Red Star Kronsdat!

Meanwhile I have been playing a little bit of No Limit on Stars and the odd tournament. Some progress at the cash games but no luck on the tourneys - and let's face it you can't get anywhere without some at that game. Still, it doesn't cost anything but time.

Hand of the week was undoubtedly on Stars the other night where I had a maniac on the table who was going all in with a full stack two or three time per orbit. He was seriously winding up some of the others at the table. About half an hour later he did it again from early position and I was looking at two Queens. I called him all in and took down his 10 4 off (I kid you not) to universal approval from the rest of the table. Funny enough he turned up again last night on a table I was playing and was perfectly conventional. Perhaps he was just pissed on the first occasion - he certainly played like he was.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"TOURNAMENT PLAY"

Neteller: Last week $230; Current $230 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $13 (+$5)
Ladbrokes: Last week $202; Current $205 (+$3)
PokerStars: Last week $101; Current $67 (-$34)

Total: Last week $547; Current $515 (-$32)

Not a lot of play this week. I lost a little bit on Stars mainly through poor play I have to say - inability to resist calling hands I "knew" I should fold on a couple of occasions. I also lost an "all in" to a full house on the river beating my nut flush - so it goes.

Meanwhile I've mainly been playing little player points tournaments on Inter using my large number of player points there. I think I'm getting a better feel for it all the time and I came 5th in one of them and would have gone further had my AK not been beaten by A3s, but there you go. It's very much a cheap learning exercise as far as I'm concerned and at least I think that I'm improving.

One thing I have learned is that its not a good idea to call an "all in" even if you have a good hand - it is usually just a "coin flip" at best. It is much better to be the one that has gone "all in" first so that you have the fold equity as well as the opportunity to double up should you be called. The exception to this is when you have a much bigger stack than the other player going all in, then you should call as it won't bust you if you get the wrong end of the 50/50 situation. All this is meat and drink to the regular tournament player I dare say, but it has taken me time to work out as I'm very much a novice in the tournament arena. It's cheap and good fun.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

"No Limit back in favour"

Neteller: Last week $19; Current $230 (+$211)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $157; Current $202 (+$45)
CD: Last week $211; Current: 0 (-$211)
PokerStars: Last week $97; Current $101 (+$4)
William Hill: Last week $6; Current $6 (-)

Total: Last week $498; Current $547 (+$49)

Loss for June = -$36
Profit for year = +$417

I haven't played a lot this week but what I have played has been No Limit again and I've enjoyed it. I think that I am at last beginning to get a feel for the game - at least currently I'm not leaking dosh at it!

I've closed the CD account for the time being since I didn't much like their No Limit tables - I dare say I'll be back some time as I've racked up quite a few player points there. That's why I have the odd few dollars in Inter and Hill's as well.

Stats for the month aren't thrilling but at least the loss was contained at the end.

Hand of the week has to be on Laddies where my pocket 9's hit a flop of Q99. Obviously wonderful, but I thought I'd struggle to make any money out of it. However the Q and one of the 9's were Diamonds and somebody raised for 5xBB and two folk followed. I joined them...like you do :-) Another diamond on the turn. Magic!! The original raisor bets out again and gets a caller. I joined them. River is another diamond. The three of us go all in and obviously I take down the pot.

That one hand was pretty much my profit on the week. Don't you just love second best hands that leave their poor owners drawing dead! Unfortunately this only happens once in a blue moon, but it's fun when it occurs.

Monday, June 25, 2007

"IN RECOVERY."

Neteller: Last week $19; Current $19 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $135; Current $157 (+$22)
CD: Last week $219; Current: $211 (-8)
PokerStars: Last week $68; Current $97 (+29)
William Hill: Last week $6; Current $6 (-)

Total: Last week $455; Current $498 (+$43)

Well, I had to do something to change things, since there had been such a poor showing throughout June so far, so I decided to play a bit of No Limit and take in the odd freeroll tournament. I didn't make a lot of money, but at least the result was positive, which makes a nice change from the last few weeks.

Highlight of the poker week was undoubtedly making 3rd place in the Blogger tournament on PokerStars (9.00 every sunday "Blogament" password "donkament").

After finishing "on the bubble" (4th and therefore out of the money) it was great to make that extra step. I reached the last 3 as easily the shortest stacked player, but with some aggressive play and good fortune I actually managed to get equal to the other two at one point. However I lost out to "bluescouse" in the end when my AJ failed to deliver against a pair of 3's. He promptly won the next hand to win the tournament outright. It was the first time I have ever reached such an advanced stage of a tournament, so a big learning curve for me. Above all, I had fun!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

"SLUMP CONTINUES."

Neteller: Last week $19; Current $19 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $179; Current $135 (-$44)
CD: Last week $244; Current: $219 (-$25)
PokerStars: Last week $74; Current $68 (-$6)
William Hill: Last week $13; Current $6 (-$7)

Total: Last week $526; Current $455 (-$71)

Poker wise, I continue to do little right at the moment. I found a soft game of 1/2 limit on Laddies and duely got hammered again. I tried a similar game on CD and got a similar result. After that I gave up for the week, and just played a couple of MTT's both of which I saw me finish in the 20's, winning about $6 - so not much consolation there.

If I carry on reducing my bankroll at this rate next week, I'm going to have to drop down to .50/1.00.

This bad trot isn't fun (they never are). I'm even contemplating another foray into No Limit - just for the sake of trying something different. There again, that is hardly a guaranteed way of turning round a bad run :-(

I played the Blogger tournament on PokerStars again and felt I was making good progress by finally finishing 4th (the dreaded "bubble" - just out of the money) of 21. Needless to say, to get so far, I had to have a bit of luck and I did when I went all in with A7 and was called by a player with AQ - I hit a 7 on the river. Still, I don't think I did much wrong the rest of the time and you have to get some luck to get anywhere in these things. Besides I've been on the other side of that sort of thing myself.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Downtime again but reasons to be cheerful."

Neteller: Last week $19; Current $19 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $221; Current $179 (-$42)
CD: Last week $247; Current: $244 (-$3)
PokerStars: Last week $99; Current $74 (-25)
William Hill: Last week $0; Current $13 (+$13)

Total: Last week $583; Current $526 (-$57)

I had a poor start to the poker week when I endured a horrible session on Laddies. The usual thing. I Played for 45 minutes and had AA, KK, QQ and AK and lost with every one of them. The only hand which held up was 10/10 and needless to say I had no punters when it did. SIGH. I had a go on Stars and that went the same way. CD? Nothing doing.

So I didn't bother much for the rest of the week and ended up idly playing a tourney on Hills with some of my old player points. Well blow me! Out of 350+ players I made the last table and only lost out when a guy's A7 hit the 7 against my AQ.


Not very satisfactory financially ($13), but it cheered me up.

Let's see if I can do better than 2nd out in the Blogger tourney?

Well, I finished 6th out and at least lasted until after the break. I enjoyed the game and think that I'm learning a lot about tournament play through playing in it. At least these guys (and gals) don't indulge in the "all in" festivals that make up most freerolls and the like. Poor old "Edge" had to undergo the "walk of shame" this time. Still, my time will come, I'm sure.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"PokerStars"

Neteller: Last week $118; Current $19 (-$99)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $221; Current $220 (-$1)
CD: Last week $246; Current: $247 (+$1)
PokerStars: Last week $99; Current $99 (-)

Total: Last week $583; Current $583 (-)

Not much poker played this week and therefore not much movement either way. I've opened an accout at PokerStars so that I can play in the blogger tournament on Sunday nights. The site seems pleasant enough, but the games are pretty tight, which is in line with comments I have seen.

Well, I've played in the blogger tourney 11 and a sad outcome it was :-) Still, at least I avoided the "walk of shame" and was 2nd man out rather than first.

There were two key hands. First of all chip leader "tan" beat my A8 suited with 72 off. SIGH. Still I hadn't committed too much at that stage.

Then came a hand where I limped in with a pair of sixes and got a rainbow flop with a 6 and an Ace. Yippee! I made a 3BB bet and "tan" raised me 300, so I went all in and he followed, showing AKsuited...and he duely gets the runner, runner flush.

This sort of thing is precisely why I much prefer limit to no limit. At No Limit, you can do all the right things and still get a tonking. I can live with it in tournaments, which I just regard as a bit of fun, but it would start to get at me if it was for say a $50 buy in. Best to stick to what I can handle I think.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"A BAD WEEK"

Neteller: Last week $118; Current $118 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $292; Current $221 (-$71)
CD: Last week $260; Current: $26 (-24)

Total: Last week $678; Current $583 (-$95)

Profit for May: +$98
Profit for year:+$453

A very poor week for me poker wise. I just had a poor run of cards on CD, but on Laddies I allowed myself to get sucked into a couple of very loose games and got hammered in a several big multi-way pots. Bad play by me (I do know how to play these tables) which I hope I won't be repeating. I am going to have a stop/loss point of 30BB per session - something I should have instituted earlier really.

In the meantime I think I am developing my ability to handle Multi-table tournaments. I haven't made any money (since my triumph of a few weeks back) but I am consistently going deep into them and I think it is only a matter of time (and
inevitably, some luck) before I do. My current strategy (it's still evolving) is to try to see cheap flops early on with anything semi-reasonable in position, but back off in the face of any opposition unless I hit of course. Early I will only go to war with AA and KK. Lots of people seem to go out to coin flips with Ax or any pair early on. In the middle I loosen up a bit, but basically I'm still trying to play poker, rather than take 50/50 bets. At less than 10x the big blind I start looking for all in opportunities to double up and get ahead of the blinds again. Here I'm not taking on other folks' all ins, unless I have a monster. I want the "fold equity" of being the first one to go all in. If I'm ahead of the blinds, I'm trying somes steals from position. I haven't had a lot of opportunity to develop late MTT play. I went out "on the bubble" on one last night when my KK met AQ, which hit an Ace on the flop. So it goes. They are quite good fun and of course inexpensive, since I am only playing in freerolls and "player points" tournaments. When I feel a bit more praciced I'll have a go at the blogger tournament.

Any experienced MTT players who want to comment on the above, please feel welcome.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Tagged"

Neteller: Last week $118; Current $118 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $278; Current $192 (+14)
CD: Last week $262; Current: $260 (-2)


Total: Last week $666; Current $678 (+$12)

Juice and lots of the other poker bloggers have been doing this "tagging" thing where you provide 7 little known (or totally unknown) pieces of information about yourself. Here are mine...

1. Kronsdat (my poker alias) is the name of the Russian naval base near St Petersburg. I did the dissertation for my history degree on the rebellion of the anarchist and far left sailors at Kronsdat against the Bolsheviks in 1921.

2. I once danced with Northern Ireland's first, and I strongly suspect only, Cotswold Morris Dancing Team.

3. My surname is the lowest ford on the Firth of Forth (which is hard to say if you've had a few).

4. I once ran against Dave Bedford...in the inter-university cross country championships. He came 1st; I was 322nd. Still, there were over 600 in it.

5. I was at the game when George Best kicked the ball out of Banks' hands. It was a goal. It had left his hands and he never touched him! (but I could be a bit prejudiced).

6. The football team I supported in Belfast as a kid were called "Distillery" (now Lisburn Distillery). My father was their physio when they drew 3 - 3 with Benfica in Belfast (Eusebio and all). Tom Finney came out of retirement to play with Distillery for the match.

7. My only "international" sporting appearance was playing netball against England! (I was a basketball player - they asked my team to play a practice game against them, as their next fixture was against Jamaica and they were expecting a rough game!)

Meanwhile back with the poker...I'm pleased to have finished the week on a positive score. For the first four sessions I played this week I had one of those downtimes we all have to learn to live with. The usual stuff, poor hands (I was sub 10% flops seen in one session) and bad beats when I did get hands (AQ ambushed on the river by the might of K4 off lingers in the memory). Still, I rode it out until $60 down or so and then battled my way back.

So it goes.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

"STEADY PROGRESS"

Neteller: Last week $158; Current $118 (-40)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $263; Current $278 (+$15)
CD: Last week $188; Current: $262 (+$74)

Total: Last week $617; Current $666 (+$49)

I now have a beast of a bankroll :-)

I didn't actually play a lot this week for one reason or another but what I did play went ok. I had some interesting times again on Ladbrokes where I again managed to find a wild 1/2 table on a couple of occasions. I remember commenting a couple of months back on how I couldn't get AA, hitting a third to hold up for a while - here's a hand where it did...

Speed $2 10 [Hold 'em] (1.00|2.00 Fixed Limit - Cash Game) Real Money

- _Kronsdat sitting in seat 1 with $93.50
- vodichthu sitting in seat 2 with $28.59
- bolnde__25 sitting in seat 3 with $121.29
- paramal sitting in seat 4 with $65.70
- DOC1970 sitting in seat 5 with $74.37
- niloc sitting in seat 6 with $80.51
- yurkes sitting in seat 7 with $69.05
- SegerX sitting in seat 8 with $21.50
- fishing_rod sitting in seat 9 with $1264.74
- Silverfox sitting in seat 10 with $66.81 [Dealer]

_Kronsdat posted the small blind - $0.50
vodichthu posted the big blind - $1.00

** Dealing card to _Kronsdat: Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs
bolnde__25 folded
paramal called - $1.00
DOC1970 raised - $2.00
niloc folded
yurkes folded
SegerX folded
fishing_rod folded
Silverfox folded
_Kronsdat raised - $3.00
vodichthu called - $3.00
paramal called - $3.00
DOC1970 raised - $4.00
_Kronsdat called - $4.00
vodichthu called - $4.00
paramal called - $4.00

** Dealing the flop: King of Clubs, King of Diamonds, 10 of Hearts
_Kronsdat bet - $1.00
vodichthu called - $1.00
paramal folded
DOC1970 called - $1.00

** Dealing the turn: Ace of Diamonds
_Kronsdat bet - $2.00
vodichthu called - $2.00
DOC1970 called - $2.00

** Dealing the river: Jack of Diamonds
_Kronsdat bet - $2.00
vodichthu called - $2.00
DOC1970 called - $2.00
_Kronsdat shows: Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs
vodichthu mucks:
DOC1970 mucks:
_Kronsdat wins $29.45 from the main pot

There must have been at least one top straight out there - nice.

Sad to say it is increasingly hard to get a ring game at limit on Laddies though. They seem to fill the tables quite late on in the evening, but even then, not every night. CD I can always get a table on but they are generally much tighter.

I will have a punt on the blogger tournament on PokerStars some time soon - sounds like fun.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Unexpected tournament success!"

Neteller: Last week $100; Current $158 (+$58)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $170; Current $263 (+$93)
CD: Last week $149; Current: $188 (+$39)


Total: Last week $485; Current $617 (+$132)

I idly entered a tournment on CD last Monday, not expecting much, since it was a 1000 player jobbie. Well, blow me but didn't the Ghods of Poker smile on me! No fancy moves were employed. I just went all in with good hands at appropriate moments. That turned out to be good enough and I finished 7th to win $27.50. I might have gone even further if, in my last hand, my AQ had held up against JJ but there you go.

That accounts for the bulk of the positive score on CD where my cash game play also made a little progress.

In contrast to that the Laddies account shot up when I came across a wild game late on Tuesday night. I just sat and waited for a decent hand, while the rest of them were lathering into each other with gusto. In the end I entered a pot in middle position with QJ off with 6 players in. The flop came J7Q rainbow. Bingo! The big blind raised and I reraised him and got two callers. J on the turn. The two players, one still raising, called me down on the turn and river and one of them turned out to have a pair of 7's which accounts for his enthusiasm. Nice. It continued like this and I ended up $70 up in 40 minutes.

Meanwhile I've closed the Hill's account. I just can't face the pain of trying to collect the bonuses on the likes of Hill's and Inter - the flops seen on the tables you have to play are just too trying (sub 20% most of the time). I'll leave the grinders to enjoy each other and concentrate on tables and sites where the prospects are more inviting. I've kept Inter on for a bit longer, since I've still got quite a lot of player points there that I may as well use for tournament play - now that I'm an expert :-)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

"...the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune..."

Neteller: Last week $68; Current $100 (+32)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $58; Current $58 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $116; Current $170 (+54)
CD: Last week $140; Current: $149 (+$9)

Total: Last week $420; Current $485 (+$65)

Profit for April: +75

A week of big swings. My downswing of last week continued at the start of the week and the CD account was down below $100 at one point. I didn't feel that I was doing anything wrong, it was just a continued combination of bad beats and my good hands failing to score heavily - twice I was hurt by flopped straights being matched at the river when my key card was duplicated on the river - splitting the pot. However, and I was pleased by this, I didn't panic and managed to ride it out.

Things turned round on Friday night when I played one table on CD and another wonderful table of 1/2 on Laddies. On the CD table I just made steady progress, but the Laddies table was a wonder to behold. There was a whole bunch of Scandies punting like it was going out of fashion (60%+ flops seen). In this environment I was able to see more flops in late position with the likes of suited connectors and small pairs with a high liklihood of getting paid off. This duly transpired - I only hit two good hands but was able to score heavily with both of them.

Faith is restored.

It's just a pity that Laddies is so depopulated most of the time. It might advertise itself as the most popular poker room in Europe, but that certainly isn't saying much for the others.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"WIPEOUT"

Neteller: Last week $68; Current $68 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $58; Current $58 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $116; Current $116 (-)
CD: Last week $219; Current: $140 (-$79)
Party: Last week $30; Current: $30 (-)

Total: Last week $499; Current $420 (-$79)

I had a disasterous Saturday night session on CD where everything that could go wrong did, hence the $79 hammering. I suffered badly with being chased down by low pairs when hands like AKs and AQ failed to hit. I am going to have to just give over continuation betting on these hands in loose games. The bet is ingnored and you get called down with any damned pair.

What put the tin hat on it was a hand where I had two Kings in the cut off position. I raised and got the usual plethora of callers. The flop came KJJ. Bingo, a full house on the flop. What's more, two guys are actually betting into me!! The turn is a third Jack. Surely nobody has a fourth Jack and my King's up are still winning? Still they are betting into me. The river, unbelievably, is a fourth Jack. I lose the hand to a guy who had AQ and was drawning for a straight or lower full house. I went on tilt after that and dropped some more money. I know I should have walked away at that point, but there you go.

...and it was my birthday. SIGH.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"VARIANCE"

Neteller: Last week $0; Current $68 (+68)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $58; Current $58 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $38; Current $116 (+78)
CD: Last week $219; Current: $219 (-)
Party: Last week $63; Current: $30 (-33)

Total: Last week $438; Current $499 (+61)

Well I made a profit but that is mainly down to the bonus at Ladbrokes coming in. I've been playing on good soft tables but the downside of this is that they can be expensive if you don't hit the hands and by and large I haven't done. Last night on Laddies was a good practical example. I was up nicely and chugging along at a 1/2 table with a flops seen percentage of $48%. These boys were really going for it big style. However when my good hands finally came along, guys kept sucking out on me. You know it's going to happen, but that doesn't stop it being irritating. On one hand my AK hit a King on the flop only for me to be rivered by 92 suited! You just have to grin and bear it, because over time the equity value is there.

I had a similar experience on Party earlier in the week. I had the 50 odd dollars I started with up to 98 on a really nice table, when I hit a similar run and ended up down to 30. I'm in two minds about continuing to play on Party. It's quite difficult to hunt down the loose tables and get on them because they don't show the flops seen percentage in the lobby.

However it is a useful site to have as a backup when there is no action on Laddies or CD. Perhaps Pacific might be an idea for that purpose - I can recall doing well there at one time.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"LADDIES BACK IN FASHION"

Neteller: Last week $30; Current $0 (-30)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $58; Current $58 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $14 (73); Current $38 (+24)
CD: Last week $219; Current: $271 (+52)
Party: Last week $82; Current: $63 (-19)

Total: Last week $410; Current $438 (+28)

I haven't played a lot this week either but what I have has been mainly on Laddies since they made me an offer for a $50 bonus (I've cleared it but they haven't confirmed it yet, so I've not included it in the stats). I had forgotten just how loose the Limit tables on Laddies are - sometimes the 50/1 tables were reaching mid 60's flops seen! Of course this means that the varience is very high, but you can get paid off nicely when you hit a hand.

My best one was a pair of Jacks which I raised with in early position getting 3 callers!! J83 rainbow flop - lovely. I bet and get raised, I reraise and it's capped out, with another guy limping all the way too. Fine. Turn is a K, still no flush draw. Betting caps out, still 3 of us. River is a 6. Betting caps out again with everyone in for a $35 pot. It turns out the guy betting back at me had hit trips 8's and the other guy had two pair; wonderful. :-)

Of course you get the reverse too. I got out in timely fashion on another hand when I had raised with AA and got a flop of AQT rainbow. I got a lot of resistance and suspected I needed the board to pair. The river produced a K and I bailed out. They both had the straight and split the pot. I must check how many times I've had trips Aces beaten in the last few months.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"ONLY PLAY POKER WITH PEOPLE WORSE THAN YOURSELF!"

Neteller: Last week $30; Current $30 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $57; Current $58 (+1)
Ladbrokes: Last week $14; Current $14 (-)
CD: Last week $276; Current: $219 (+3)
Party: Last week 82; Current: $ (+13)

Total: Last week $410; Current $410 (+17)

I haven't played much in the last week and what I have played has mainly been at the lower levels on CD and Party where I can find the sort of chaps I like to play. Hence the revival of my old slogan, above. The 1/2 and even on occasion the 50/1.00 tables on CD have been distinctly tighter recently and I prefer to not play at all rather than have to endure sub 25% flop seen "rock festivals".

One highlight this week was my first ever Royal Flush and in Spades too. I didn't make much with it, but it was fun to see one.

Monthly and yearly update...

March = + $146

Year = + $245

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"UPS AND DOWNS"

Neteller: Last week $389; Current $30 (-359)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $57; Current $57 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $14; Current $14 (-)
CD: Last week $276; Current: $219 (-57)
Party: Last week 0; Current: $50 (+82)

Total: Last week $783; Current $410 (+25)

A week of mixed fortunes at the poker tables. I started by trying my hand at 2/4 on CD at some suitably loose tables. However I couldn't hit a flop to save my life and I had to pack it in as the variance was slaughtering me. This was a shame, as the players were there to be beaten - but you can't do it without the cards. I shall return!

Meanwhile Party offered me $50 up front to go back and play there. I was looking for another site (which supports "Poker Office") to play on anyway as there are times when there are no tables that I want to play on, on CD. So, back I went and it proceeded happily to the extent that I am now up on the week despite my travails on the 2/4 tables. This isn't to say that you can't find tight tables on Party. I had one where the "flops seen percentage" was 17%! I still made a few dollars, but I didn't hang around. "Office" is very useful on Party as there are no "flops seen percentages" given in the lobby.

I've closed the Bodog account (I never really settled there) and taken $389 out of the Neteller account for a jolly over the Easter holiday period. At Hills and Inter I have "player points" I can use for the occasional MTT, so it's worth keeping those accounts open. Laddies I may use for another foray into No Limit, but my enthusiasm for that format is very low currently.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"The art of folding"

Neteller: Last week $402; Current $389 (-23)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $57; Current $57 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $14; Current $14 (-)
Bodog: Last week $30; Current: $30 (-)
CD: Last week $281; Current: $276 (-5)

Total: Last week $811; Current $783 (-28)

I've had a reminder over the last week about the importance of the of folding to a poker player. I'm down on the week primarily because I allowed myself to get sucked into too many multi-way pots with drawing hands. I had the pot odds to draw but sadly didn't hit as frequently as I needed to and suffered as a result.

A particular weakness I have identified is continuation betting too frequently with AK and AQ after the flop when I haven't hit. At the tables I am playing a lot of players will just call you down with a small pair. You only need to get caught this way a couple of times to do the bankroll a bit of damage. I sharpened up my play on this score by the end of the week, but didn't recover enough to undo the earlier setback.

You live and learn.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"A GOOD WEEK"

Neteller: Last week $270; Current $402 (+132)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $52; Current $57 (+5)
Ladbrokes: Last week $14; Current $14 (-)
Bodog: Last week $19; Current: $30 (-)
CD: Last week $288; Current: $281 (-9)

Total: Last week $662; Current $811 (+128)

This has been an good week for my poker, despite the fact that I lost yet again with a pair of Aces that hit trips on the flop - to a runner, runner straight this time. By playing patient solid poker I was really able to clean up on the CD 1/2 tables. This was helped by good table selection - only playing on tables where the flops seen were hovering around 40% a lot of the time. I have added four folk to my "buddy list" who all dropped $100+ in a session - these guys are seriously poor players. Sadly they won't be around for long I suppose.

Despite the losing hand mentioned before, I'm actually back in profit with Aces, which has to be a good thing...

My Poker Office stats for AA - JJ come out as follows for just over 2000 hands:

AA 18 hands +$8 42% won showdown.

KK 9 hands +$36 80% won showdown.

QQ 13 hands +$94 83% won showdown.

JJ 16 hands +$86 77% won showdown.


So statistically I should expect a nice run of wins with Aces to bring we back to around the 80% won showdown level. We shall see.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

"CURSE OF THE FLUSH CHASERS"

Neteller: Last week $270; Current $270 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $76; Current $52 (-24)
Ladbrokes: Last week $21; Current $14 (-7)
Bodog: Last week $19; Current: $30 (+11)
CD: Last week $285; Current: $288 (+3)

Total: Last week $679; Current $662 (-17)

Now I "know" that folk chasing flushes with hands like J7c and K4s are the stuff of which riches are made at the poker table, but they have been a total curse to me this week.

The first occasion was the worst. It was a large multi way pot. I held AA in the cut off postion and capped the betting with 3 followers. Too many for my liking, but hey, you have to take it as it comes...and it came out as a flop of Ah 8c 4c.
The betting is capped with one player dropping out. Turn is Js. Betting caps out again with one man left. You can fill in the rest. The turn is a club and he has J7 of the suit. After that one I am now running at a loss with AA on CD. I didn't lose so much with it, but I later had a hand where my Aces were beaten by J8o which hit two 8's on the flop. SIGH.

In another $30+ hand I had three Jacks on the flop, only to see them beaten by a runner, runner flush. After this sort of thing the only answer is to pack it in and go to the pub!

However I got my revenge with later hand where my pair of Jack's tripped up and hammered a pair of Aces +$45!

Meanwhile the Cryptologic 1/2 tables continue to be a rock festival. I now only play the five hours at Hill's to get my $45 bonus and still managed to lose money this month. It's not difficult when the tables are so tight. I might only play 10 hands in an hour but if the majority go wrong then you are in trouble. I'll stick to my policy of playing games that I am sure I can beat.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

"CHUGGING ALONG"

Neteller: Last week $270; Current $270 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $76; Current $76 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $21; Current $21 (-)
Bodog: Last week $19; Current: $19 (-)
CD: Last week $246; Current: $285 (+39)

Total: Last week $640; Current $679 (+37)

Not a lot of poker played but what I did play went ok.

Figures for the month of February. +$203

After two losing months this is a thorough vindication of my decision to stop bonus chasing and concentrate on playing games I know I can beat with decent poker.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"KEEPING TO THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATH"

Neteller: Last week $220; Current $270 (+50)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $176; Current $76 (-100)
Ladbrokes: Last week $21; Current $21 (-)
Bodog: Last week $26; Current: $19 (-7)
CD: Last week $207; Current: $246 (+39)

Total: Last week $659; Current $640 (-19)

It's been hard work trying to make progress with my poker this week. To start with I had a run of nasty "suck outs" with people hitting stuff on the river like low pairs making trips, any two suited cards hitting a flush etc. A bad sequence of this saw me decline some +$50 in a couple of sessions. However I managed to keep to the path of poker rightiousness and duely reaped my reward with some good sessions that saw me back to +$17 for the week. Then a poor Saturday night session with a maniac saw me drop back again. I mean what can you do when you have raised in late position with AQ and the man with J7 off hits a J and a 7 on the flop? SIGH. I could feel myself liable to tilt, so I took myself off.

These things happen. Hopefully normal service will return soon.

I haven't played any No Limit this week (apart from the odd tournament) and I can't say I've missed it. Strange really. I had a really good run with it for a while but subseqent to being some $200 up, I haven't been able to get anywhere at all. I've no idea why as I was playing the same style of game in both periods. So it goes.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"AUTO PILOT"

Neteller: Last week $220; Current $220 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $145; Current $176 (+31)
Ladbrokes: Last week $21; Current $21 (-)
Bodog: Last week $26; Current: $32 (+6)
CD: Last week $149; Current: $207 (+58)

Total: Last week $659; Current $ (+95)

I had an amusing occurance one night last week with a multi table tournament I entered on Bodog. There were over 300 players with 27 finishing "in the money". These tournaments on Bodog are a lot more laid back than many I am used to on other sites, with the blinds coming at a very steady rate and less really wild "all in" play than on many other sites. This suited me fine. I plodded along for a couple of hours, doubling up from time to time and after two hours I was down to the last 30 players with a stack of average size. The trouble was it was 12.00 and "time for bed". So, I left the computer on, clicked "auto fold" and went to bed. When I got up the next day I found I had finished 7th! I doubt if I would have achieved that actually playing cards. It just shows what a "crap shoot" tournaments are really. Still, they are quite amusing if you don't take them seriously.

Meanwhile my decision to concentrate on playing tables I can win on consistently rather than chasing bonuses on tight tables continues to be vindicated. There may not be a lot of players on CD compared to other sites, but the ones there are aren't very good and that suits me fine!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

"BACK IN THE BLACK"

Neteller: Last week $220; Current $220 (-)
Inter: Last week $8; Current; $8 (-)
William Hill: Last week $101; Current $145 (+44)
Ladbrokes: Last week $23; Current $21 (-2)
Bodog: Last week $32; Current: $26 (-6)
CD: Last week $92; Current: $149 (+57)

Total: Last week $476; Current $569 (+93)

This week's events have totally supported my decision to give the tight bonus chasing tables on Inter a miss and concentrate on tables where actually winning regularly was more likely.

I have played mainly at 50/1 and 1/2 on tables where the flops seen have been at least 30% and often well beyond. The only problem with CD is that there are many fewer players, so it is not always possible to find a game I want to play in, but generally it has been ok.

In the meantime I've finally broken my run of losing "all in's" at No Limit. A full house managed to hold up...horray! I'm not getting too excited really. I suspect that unless I can start getting a run again, like I did when I turned $10 into $200 on Laddies, my No Limit career is going to be...well limited.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"TIME FOR A RETHINK"

Neteller: Last week $150; Current $220 (+70)
Inter: Last week $132; Current; $8 (-124)
William Hill: Last week $101; Current $101 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $58; Current $23 (-35)
Bodog: Last week $44; Current: $32 (-9)
CD: Last week $0; Current: $92 (+92)

Total: Last week $467; Current $476 (+9)
(-$104 on the month)

Having had two poor months running I think a review of what and where I am playing is called for. The loss on the month would have been greater had I not taken up an offer of $50 to go back and play on CD.

There are two current problems as I see it. The bonuses on Inter are no longer worth chasing as the new "bonus revolution" system makes them too hard to clear at a level which is comfortable. The 1/2 and particularly the 2/4 tables are incredibly tight (almost all around 20% of flops seen most of the time). This means that a couple of hands which fall wrong for you, like KK getting beaten by AK, which happened to me the other day, mean that you will be really struggling to stay in the black. The answer to that is to give Inter a miss, which is what I am going to do. I will just keep that account going to play the "player points" freerolls using the points I have acquired.

The other problem is an amazingly bad run at Limit. I have worked out that I have now gone a run of over 10 "all ins" without a win. The latest one was a pair of 6's that hit a flop of A65. A guy went all in with me with A5 and hit another A on the river. I must surely come out of this run soon. I am just going to stick to playing No Limit on Laddies and Bodog and if the bank rolls run out, then so be it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"...AND CONTINUES"

Neteller: Last week $150; Current $150 (-)
Inter: Last week $157; Current; $132 (-25)
William Hill: Last week $101; Current $101 (-)
Ladbrokes: Last week $58; Current $40 (-18)
Bodog: Last week $53; Current: $44 (-9)

Total: Last week $519; Current $467 (-52)

My downswing has continued. It's nothing epic but very waring. The main problem has been getting rivered on key hands where I was ahead all the way through and betting accordingly. This has happened both at Limit and No Limit.

The worst No Limit hand came when I tripped up a pair of threes on the flop of A23. I went all in for $31 and was called by a guy with A2. He caught an A on the river, so his full house beat mine. Yet another 22/1 shot hammers me. I have now sunk on Laddies from +200 to my current 40. In the whole run I haven't won one "all in" hand, even when I've been virtually out of sight, as on the hand described. These runs happen of course, but they are hard to take.

For a bit of fun, I've been playing some multi table tournaments with the "points" I have accumulated on various sites. The MTT's on Laddies are noticably more wild than on Bodog or Inter. On Laddies players seem to try to double up or steal with the most unlikely hands from very early on in the piece. My usual tactic is to wait for a decent hand and try to pick one of these guys off. I've managed to finish "in the money" a few times, but the money has only been a few dollars, sadly. Top finish so far is 5th. On Inter and Bodog the MTT's bear a closer resemblance to normal poker. I can't see that there is a lot of skill involved in this though - it's just a crapshoot really.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

"DOWNSWING CONTINUES"

Neteller: Last week $250; Current $150 (-100)
Inter: Last week $125; Current; $157 (+22)
William Hill: Last week $69; Current $101 (+32)
Ladbrokes: Last week $81; Current $58 (-23)
Bodog: Last week $53; Current: $53 (-)

Total: Last week $578; Current $519 (-59)

I had hoped that my downturn would dissappear with the New Year but sadly that hasn't been the case. No particular things I can blame. I'm not playing badly, just not hitting cards when I need them and particularly, getting good "second best" hands particularly in my Limit games. I will try and tough it out for another week. If that doesn't happen, then I will have to look to dropping in levels at Limit to try to recuperate.

Regardless of that I am thinking of revising my strategy at Limit anyway so that I play a large number of low limit tables - say 3 at 25/50 rather than one at 2/4, which is what I have been playing. The looser play on the lower limits should work out as a steadier earner than the grinding you have to do at 2/4 (where 20+% seeing the flop is the norm). If you get a couple of bad hands where you get dumped on the river (as has been happening recently) then it takes a long time to recover.

I haven't played much No Limit - the loss is down to one sad hand where a "wise fool" called my Aces with a pair of 2's and caught one on the river - par for the course then :-(