Saturday, December 29, 2007


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


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)


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


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


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.


$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.