Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A bink for Christmas!

Absolute: Last Month $1607; Current $2661 (+1054)
Poker Stars: Last month $123; Current $104 (-19)
Full Tilt: Last month $118; Current $ (+19)
888: Last month $828; Current $723 (-105)
Total = $3,486 (+949) = £1,937
Profit in the month = -$949 Profit in the year = +$2,999
B&M = £199 (+23)
Betfair = £1,290 (+221)
Total = £1,486 B&M Profit in year +£1,327.


Normally on Christmas Eve we go round to a friend's house for a gathering, but this year it wasn't possible because so many of the family were poorly with one bug or another. So I fired up a tournament qualifier on Titan (that a very nice Chinese lady called Honey had phoned me to say was available) and another $15 tourney on Absolute. Damn me if I didn't turn round an win them both (my first ever outright tournament wins and both within half an hour of each other). The Absolute win meant that I could up "Dad's Christmas Poker Bonus" to my two daughters to £400 each, which was enthusiastically received.

The tournament qualifier was a good laugh. There were two "tokens" available as prizes ($320 entry into a $200K Guaranteed Tournament). When we had got down to the last three I had about 20K in chips and the other two guys had 120K each. Not promising. However, I went all in with 77 and they both called me with overcards - clearly hoping that one of the two of them would take me out and that would be the end of proceedings. However the flop came 345 rainbow and the turn was a glorious 6! They muttered away in chat about the iniquity of this for some time. Meanwhile I hit a couple more hands took one of them out and that was it. Nice.

Sadly the tournament itself didn't amount to much for me. I went all in with QQ against 77 and was four flushed. Sigh.

It is interesting to look back at what I posted as my objectives in December last year. These were...

a) Basic game on-line: $11 then $22 SnG's with a profit on year objective of $1,000.

B) Play some MTT's on Stars when I have the time (good for practicing tourney technique).

b) Play on-line games on Blue Square in the APAT leagues. (I'll put $200 into Blue Square to set that up).

c) Play some more B & M tourneys (especially APAT) when they are available. (I'll set aside £200 to fund that).

For the first half of the year I played the sng's as my main game and ground out a steady profit (that is where most of the Absolute bankroll came from). I moved to turbos and never played more than 2 at once (basically because I couldn't be bothered). I moved up to 22's and had some wins there too.

However, over the summer when I had a bit of time, I tried out a few tournaments and, because I was initially successful I decided to put most of my efforts in that direction. Again, I haven't been going mad with it - just two at a time and then some multi-table sng's if I bust out early. These have been profitable and I have a 100% roi for the ones I regularly play on 888.com (Pacific). I like these as they have just the right number of players so that they don't last for ever and there are plenty of donks willing to double you through if you hit something tasty early on. Sadly I haven't actually managed to bink a Pacific one yet, though I have finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th! Anyway - profit overall in the year has been nearly treble my $1,000 objective, so I am well pleased with that.

The main improvement in my game? Definitely it is making a point of NOT calling big bets unless I am holding a serious made hand. I have a "post it" that I put below my screen that reads "big bets = big hands". I still make mistakes (indeed I did in the renewed Bloggerment the other weekend when I called a river bet with a flop of QQx when I was holding KK)...but I don't make as many as I used to.

I've been taking a bit of a liking to the $11 x 45 man scheduled games on Absolute and the $6 x 90 man games on Full Tilt. Both are very soft and provide a good option if I've been eliminated from tournaments. I have the bankroll and the mental attitude now to be able to see off long runs of losing games, which are of course inevitable when you are playing tournaments and multi-table sng's.

I played some of the APAT league games but didn't always remember to sign up. The first division ones are quite tough. I only managed to final table once and that was when I played in the second division by mistake! I've played a couple of the online APAT's as well but no joy there so far.

The cricket club game that I play in on a Thursday night is ticking along nicely now - we regularly get 13/14 players and once got up to 26. My roi is 84%, so I can't complain :-)

Nearly 40% of my winnings this year have come from "matched betting". This is a wonderful method of boosting the Betfair bankroll using my poker funds and the good news is that I still have lots of British bookies "to do" before I move on to the Euros, American facings and then Aussies. A nice little earner for about an hour a week's work.

So what are the plans then?

a) Carry on with the mix of tourneys and sng's as my basic on-line games. Since I should set something that is in the jargon "challenging but achievable" I will go for an in year profit of $5,000+ for the on line play.

b) Play some more b & m tournaments using the matched betting roll to fund them. Let's say 5 including APAT if any of them are adjacent.

c) Play the APAT on-line tourneys and final table at least one of them (again funding this via the Betfair matched betting roll).

A Prosperous New Year to all my readers!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1607; Current $1607 (-)
Poker Stars: Last month $123; Current $123 (-)
Full Tilt: Last month $118; Current $118 (-)
888: Last month $101; Current $828  (+727)
Total = $2537 (+727)
Profit in the month = -$727  Profit in the year = +$1,949
B&M = £173 (+16)
Betfair = £1,069 (+309)
Total = £1,242  B&M Profit in year +£1,106.

The horrible run of the previous month ended almost immediately into November.  I've played 20 tournament games on Pacific and final tabled 3 of them including a 2nd place along with 4 other cashes.  My roi on there is now just over 150%.  The second place came last Friday and it meant that I was playing until 2.30 in the morning, which I didn't really want to do since I was going to the APAT Coventry event the next day.  Glad I did though as I very nearly binked the thing and was ahead in the heads up several times - it went on for half an hour.  All my sng experience definitely came in useful - it was just a coin flip which went wrong that cost me in the end. 

The APAT Coventry was good craic but ultimately unsuccessful.  It was good to meet up with Ant and Mair again.  One of Ant's friends, Michelle, was beside me at my first table.  She was eliminated very early on, with a horrific "bad beat", when her 55's on a flop of 533 were eventually called all in by...33 of course. 

It turned out to be no bad thing for her, as she then joined the £250 pro game and came 2nd in it.  I would have tried that tourney myself, if eliminated early as there was a big overlay on it with only 11 players and a £1,000 GUKPT seat for the winner in addition to the prize money.  Indeed we were discussing this option just before her exit!

It was one of those tournaments where my big hands weren't called early on (since I was playing very tight and making heafty raises this wasn't too surprising).  Then in the middle part I was totally card dead for 3 levels and didn't do anything but fold.  Of course I then had to start making some moves and they held to get me back into the thing.  At around 11.00 I went all in with QQ was called behind by AK and he hit a King on the flop and that was that. 

If I'd won that I'd have been right in the mixer, but that's how tournament poker goes.  Anyway I enjoyed playing and there was a good atmosphere about the whole thing. 

Mind you I could have done without the ABBA tribute band in the concert room next door.  I loathed ABBA when they first appeared and nothing I heard suggested I should change my opinion!

Meanwhile the "matched betting" goes from strength to strength, building up the roll in Betfair.  I'll use it to play some live tournaments next year, with some of the side events in the GUKPT having an appeal.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1737; Current $1607 (-130)
Poker Stars: Last month $123; Current $123 (-)
Full Tilt: Last month $118; Current $118 (-)
888: Last month $190; Current $101  (-89)
Total = $1,810 (-$219)
Profit in the month = -$219  Profit in the year = +$1,222
B&M = £157 (-)
Betfair = £760 (+268)
Total = £917  B&M Profit in year +£682.

It has been a truely vile month for my poker.  I can't win a game to save my life and it has been horribly fascinating to watch it unfold.  First up in the horror show - Aces.  I've had them beaten by Q4 off, Q9 off (10 minutes later in a different game) and QJs and the usual motley assortment of pairs hitting trips.  It got to the stage where I was looking forward, with interest, to see what could beat them next.  I couldn't even win when I reverted to my regular sng's.  I shudder to imagine BurnleyMik's response to the run I've had.  :-)

In the Cricket Club game I had a classic.  I had KK and raised (like you do), 1 caller. Flop comes 88K.  Raise. All in from caller. I call.  She has 88.  SIGH.  It's been that sort of month.  Ok, I've got that off my chest now, so no more bad beat stories. 

The Cricket Club game has actually got quite interesting for me, in that I am struggling to win at it, as I used to.  There is a cash game afterwards, which I regularly recoup any losses at, but the game itself is quite challenging because there are so many very loose players currently. 

Last night was a classic.  I made a big bet with AQs and was called (as expected) by one of the loosies.  Nothing flop.  I go all in.  He calls and turns over A4.  4 on the turn.  You couldn't make it up.  I am going to experiment with a more laggy approach myself, because there are too many of these players and one or two of them always seems to get chipped up and then dominate the table with big stacks. I'm going to have to adjust to win I think. 

Because my MTT career got off to such a massive start I am still very much up of course and I knew that a correction was coming - I just wasn't expecting such a horrible one.  You live and learn.

Anyway, I'm still up on the month thanks to the wonderful "matched betting".  This is going swimmingly and am taking in +£50 a week from this source.  I've now started doing the same for my eldest daughter, laying off the bets for her on my Betfair account.  A nice little earner for her.

I'm looking forward to my next live poker experience - the APAT European Amateur tournament in Coventry at the end of November.  Let's hope I can keep up my live APAT event record - time to turn things round!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1577; Current $1737 (+160)
Poker Stars: Last month $123; Current $123 (-)
Full Tilt: Last month $118; Current $118 (-)
888: Last month $0; Current $190  (+190)
Total = $2,029 (+350)
Profit in the month = +$350  Profit in the year = +$1,441
B&M = £157 (+11)
Betfair = £492 (+203)
Total = £649  B&M Profit in year +£414.

I've now moved most of my online poker playing over to playing tournaments now with only the occasional Sng when I don't have time for a tourney or I've been knocked out early.  My "regular" is the $1.5K Gtd. on Absolute but I've also been playing the $2K Gtd on 888 and a $3.5K Gtd on Betfair.  They are all $11 games.  The nice thing about them is that, not only are these games soft, but they don't have the huge fields that you have to plow through on the likes of Tilt and Stars - that is much more to my taste. 

I've played 29 games, cashing 11 times and final tabling 8 for a total profit on these of $976 over the last couple of months.  Still no outright win so far - the best I've done is 3rd, but it surely has to come.

The main improvement I've made to my game, which lies behind these results, is developing significantly tighter calling ranges against bets late in these tournaments.  I worked out that I was giving myself far to many "coin flips" with hands which were quite good, but not enough to guarantee domination.  It's better to pass and retain the fold equity of the first bet all in, when in the later stages of these things.  It's certainly been working well for me so far.

Meanwhile the matched betting has been jogging along nicely and I've still not attacked the big ones yet.  This is building up a nice stash in Betfair where I'm going to have a bash at some of their higher level tourneys with the dosh accumulated. 

I'm also plotting going to the APAT European tourney in Coventry in late November.  It will be good to meet up with some of the Raise the River folk again, as I expect quite a few will be going.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1416; Current $1577 (+161)
Poker Stars: Last month $110; Current $123 (+13)
Full Tilt: Last month $151; Current $118 (-33)
Total = $1,679 (+141)
Profit in the month = +$141  Profit in the year = +$1,091
B&M = £146 (+36)
Betfair = £289 (+151)
Total = £435.  B&M Profit in year +£200.

What with being on holiday, although I haven't played as many games as I usually would in a month, I have played more tournaments - mainly the $1500 Guraranteed on Absolute at 7.00 PM.  Of the 9 I've played this month I've final tabled three times and this has been the source of my profits.  I've run poorly on my regular sng's, otherwise the profits would have been greater - just one of those things.  I've been getting my MTT game nicely grooved now and definitely managed to improve my play.  I'd like to find some more tournaments starting at 7.00 PM with 150 or so runners.

The main source of interest has been the increase in the Betfair wedge.  This has been achieved by doing some "matched betting" by signing up for the bonuses at betting sites and then laying off the qualifying bets and "free bets" on Betfair.  I read about it in "The Guardian" here and one of the sites recommended in the article can be found here

It has worked nicely and I've been picking off two betting sites a week and made £151 so far.  There are one or two wrinkles to look out for.  Some of the sites (Paddy Power and Betfred so far) don't like you putting your money in via Neteller or Moneybookers.  They won't actually tell you why, but they have things in their terms and conditions about it - so always check those out in advance.  I've also found that "Betclic" (and possibly others) won't let you withdraw money without photo ID (irritating to have to do, but not a problem as I have a scanner - but not necessarily easy for everyone).  If any of you want to do this via an introduction from me, that would be nice as some sites (like Betfair and indeed as is common with poker sites) have introduction offers.  The person introduced gets a better deal too.  A nice little way of boosting the poker bankroll and I intend to use the money raised to enter a much higher stakes live tournament than I would usually manage, some time in the not too distant future.  Of course it's also fun taking money off bookies!

Big news of the month was "Mair" from the Raise the River forum, making the final table of the UKIPT event in Edinburgh where she finished 8th and won £2400.  Well done that lass!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1146; Current $1416 (+270)
Poker Stars: Last month $98; Current $110 (+12)
Full Tilt: Last month $164; Current $151 (-13)
Total = $1,538 (+128)
Profit in the month = +$269 Profit in the year = +$950
B&M = £111 (-13)
Betfair = £138 (-)
Total = £249. B&M Profit in year +£49.

The main news this month is that I have stepped up to playing $22 sng's (well actually $20 + $1.80 on Absolute) as my regular game now. Things have gone
ok, the standard isn't appreciably better that's for sure. Meanwhile, with it being the school holidays, I've had a bit more time and played a couple of
tournaments - the $1,500 Gtd. on Absolute. I came 3rd in one for $180 and 4th in the other of $152, which is the main source of profit for this month.  These seem pretty soft to me, so I'll have a bash any time I have the evening to spare.

The sad news is the demise of the rakeback tournaments on Sunday evenings on FT. These were a nice little earner, giving me a bit of a wedge on FT. However FT seem to have changed their criteria and because I don't actually have rakeback from them, I can't play in it any more - sigh. The rakeback
site are going to organise something else for non FT rakeback members, but its a shame nevertheless as it was a soft game with a very good "overlay".

I played in a tournament at the G in Manchester on Sunday afternoon. Sixty five starters and I finished 23rd. Wide range of ability to put it mildly!
There was a Vietnamese woman (with a broad Manchester accent) beside me. She was a wildly loose player - on one occassion, which staggered the entire
table, she went all in on the flop on a KKQ rainbow board having already accidentally turned over the 4 of spades. There was one player already all in and another to play. He called her and she won with Jack high, when the board paired again! Didn't last too much longer though. I'd play there again as I think I was getting a feel for it.

Meanwhile after reading an article in "The Guardian", I have a "matched betting" thing going utilising free bets on sports betting sites and Betfair.  If it works out as planned, I'll let folks know more about it.  Could be a useful "bankroll booster".

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1112; Current $1146 (+34)
Poker Stars: Last month $105; Current $98 (-7)
Full Tilt: Last month $184; Current $164 (-20)
Total = $1,408 (+7)
Profit in the month = +$7  Profit in the year = +$681
B&M = £124 (+11)
Betfair = £138 (-)
Total = £262.  B&M Profit in year +£62

This month started well with a win in the Cricket Club game and a successful transition to $20 + 1.80 turbo sng's on Absolute.  The standard in the 20's is no better than the 10's or 11's as they are now for some reason.  As string of 8 cashes in succession saw me +$220 on the month, but things have gone totally pear shaped since then.  I've had a horrible run of 10 losing games interspersed with one 3rd place to see me more or less back where I started.  Runs like this are nothing unusual of course but it's irritating just the same.  At least four of those were on the bubble as well - SIGH.

Meanwhile I couldn't win anywhere else either.  I've had a go at some $5.5 tourneys on FT in a Raise the River syndicate and failed to cash in any of them - close on a couple of occasions but no cigar. 

I was quite surprised after the trot I've had to find that I was just above breaking even.  It can't be all bad if you can achieve that while running bad.

Meanwhile I'm casting around for a bricks and mortar tournament to go to during the summer holidays.  Anything up to £100 buy in considered.  If anyone knows of any likely candidates in the north west/Yorkshire areas please let me know.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1065; Current $1112 (+47)
Poker Stars: Last month $118; Current $105 (-13)
Full Tilt: Last month $0; Current $184 (+184)
Total = $1,401 (+218)
Profit in the month = +$218  Profit in the year = +$674
B&M = £113 (-)
Betfair = £138 (-£9)
Total = £251.  B&M Profit in year +£51

After having a consistent run in the Cricket Club game since Christmas, where I only failed to cash once, I've now lost two on the trot.  Both were to "bad beats" where I went in best and guys sucked out on me with unlikely river cards...so it goes.  Finished third this week though.

The main story this month has been the re-establishment of a roll on Full Tilt.  The first $75 of it came from a rakeback company freeroll on FT, which is held there every Sunday night at 8.00 PM.  I'm going to be a regular in this, as I'm sure it should prove to be lucrative.  There are usually about 240 runners and the top 45 are paid with the smallest prize $30.  This is much better than the average tournament where only the top 10% are paid and serious amounts don't appear until the final table.  1st is $600.  They have my full attention.  It's a turbo 6 man format, but hey, I'm not complaining.

I used the money to speculate on some .1/.25 Rush poker.  I'm not bankrolled for it, but I thought I'd give it a go using the strategy described in the last post.  Initially this went great and I had spun the 75 up to 200 after just three 1 hour sessions.  Since then something approaching normality has set in (ie. variance).  I've been up to 317 but then had a run of losing sessions to take me down to 187.  In retrospect I realise that I went on tilt after one hand in particular where I was all in pre with AA against heavy betting from two other players.  Only one called my final all in and he had KK.  He hit a king on the river.  The pot was $84 - massive for this level.  I thought I was handling this ok, but realised later that I was deviating from my strategy and calling and chasing things that I normally wouldn't consider, thus costing me more. 

Wierd really, because the same thing in a SnG (hell, 27 off sucking out against AA in a SnG) wouldn't phase me for more than a few minutes - it's such a regular feature of those games - in both directions.  Different game, different psychology.  In fact something similar happened last night in a couple of $5 tournaments I played on FT.  I had AA beaten by KK in one and KK beaten by AJs in the other.  I just shrugged and moved on.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The official Krostdat .1/.25 Rush poker strategy.

This has been working for me so far, so I thought I'd put it out there and invite comments. 

For me the obvious advantages of Rush Poker are that you can't really use tracking software on it and self-evidently you can get through a serious volume of games without having to multi-table. 

My strategy is designed to take advantage of high volume of players who are "quick folding" anything remotely requiring thought. 

The only hands I bother with in early position are AA; KK; QQ; JJ; AKs; AQs.  Middle I open up to AJs ATs and pairs 7's up.  Late it's any pair and any suited Ace.  All of these I open for a 3xBB raise.  I fold to any raise in front of me, except with the premium hands (naturally) and where I have a pair and think I can stack off a "big stack" with a pair hitting trips (there are no "implied odds" with a small stack).

When I get callers I always bet the pot as a continuation bet if it is checked to me regardless of whether I've hit or not.  Most people are playing "fit or fold" and will move on unless they have a hand.  If I get a call, I back off unless I've actually hit something big style myself.  There are few players doing anything sophisticated here, so a bet almost always means what it says - he has some sort of hand.  In practice my continuation bets are taking down these small pots (usually around 7xBB $1.75) about 80% of the time, so they have to be good value.  They keep me "ticking over". 

What I am really looking for is hitting sets or nut flushes when I can stack people off.  This sort of approach would be pretty tedious at a slow pace, but at the Rush Poker pace you can get the right sort of situation frequently enough to make it worth waiting for.  The big pairs play themselves, but I have lost an all in with AA to AK hitting a straight, but that sort of thing is going to happen 20% of the time.

The other key principle I try to keep in mind (it's on a "post it" on my monitor!) is big bets = big hands.  I lost a hand I should have folded the other day when my AJs hit a flop of AJ6 rainbow.  I let myself get sucked in and lost two thirds of a buy in when the guy turned out to have AA.  If the betting is getting large you need at least trips to still be hanging in there.  Very few people are bluffing. 

That's it...ABC poker and so far it seems to be working.  Comments and thoughts most welcome.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I won $75 in a tournament run by the rakeback site I'm with.  It happened to be on Full Tilt, so that meant I suddenly had a bit of a wedge on that site again.

So...I thought I'd have a look at "Rush" poker - the speed version of a cash game which they've invented where you can quick fold and move on to a completely new table in seconds.  Not having a lot of experience as a cash game no limit player, I wasn't expecting much, but blow me if I didn't quickly find myself up $80 after three quarters of an hour ... and that after I'd lost a full $25 buy in when my AA was beaten by AKs which hit a straight on the river.

I could get to like this, I thought and went back for another half hour later surprising myself by winning another $45 taking my roll on FT to $200.  Not bad considering it didn't exist 6 days ago!

All I did was play ABC poker, but I have to admit I did "run good", in terms of my good hands holding.

I've just had another bash tonight and dropped $28 due to AA being rivered when up against QQ.  But it's certainly a good alternative when I don't have the time to sit down for a series of SnG's.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Lots of folk on the Raise the River forum have recommended "The Poker Mindset" by Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger.  I've managed to get myself a copy (via Amazon, but sent from the USA) and I have to say that I would rate it alongside Collin Moshman's book on "Sit and Go Strtegy" as one of the best poker books I have read.  I'm sure it is one that I will go back to time after time.

There is nothing in it that is earth shattering, it just very simply and concisely sets out the poker verities around variance, "bad beats", tilt, bankroll management and the like.  The fundamental point is that, if you are a winning player, you need to maintain all the positive aspects of your game that got you there, through the inevitable tilt inducing periods of losing sequences.  We've all been there, or if you haven't you soon will be.

Funny enough the things I've most taken to heart are the bits least related to that.  These are the need to constantly seek to improve your game ("he that's not busy being born is busy dying") and the chapter on analysing and reading other players.  I think I've been a tad lazy with my poker development and settled into a bit of a "comfort zone".  I have an roi of 20%+ at $11 SnG's and the temptation is to just plod along at that.  However I really want to develop an effective tournament game, so I'm going to put a bit of work into that.

I've also been unfocussed around analysing and predicting other players when I'm in live games.  I need to learn to do this more and my little weekly game at the Cricket Club is an ideal spot to practice this. 

I had an unusual early exit in that game this week.  I had about 12xBBs when I raised 3xBB in middle position with 88 and got called by one of the best regular players in the big blind.  The flop came Qh 8h 6h.  Big blind who has a smaller stack than me, goes all in.  I can't pass that - even if he has the flush, which I doubt, I have the chances of a boat.  So I call.  He shows Qs 9s.  Turn 5.  River a 7...giving him a straight.  He hadn't even seen it himself.  Sigh.  As the "Poker Mindset" would have it, you can only keep making the best plays. 

Friday, April 30, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1000; Current $1065 (+65)
Poker Stars: Last month $137; Current $118 (-19)
Total = $1,183 (+46)
Profit in the month = +$46 Profit in the year = +$456
B&M = £113 (+£19)
Betfair = £147 (-£18)
Total = £260. B&M Profit in year +£60

I've been playing online poker for about six years now and a couple of nights ago I had my first royal flush (making it also my first ever straight flush)...and what's more I scored with it. It was in the mid section of a sng and my AT diamonds hit a flop of KdJd3c. A guy went big (33) and with all those outs I went all in. He called and I hit the Qd on the river. He was a bit peeved actually, but I wasn't folding that draw.

I've carried on playing the turbo sng's and seem to have them fairly well sussed. The variance is a bit higher (I started the month with a $77 downswing) but it's nice to get more games in without multi-tabling. I can multi-table, but after a day's work it feels a bit too much like more work - I don't need it.

During the downswing I found myself getting sucked into playing too many hands early on. It's so easy to do and such a major mistake. One laggy player in particular really got my goat. Early in the game I standard raised three times with big Aces. Each time he called me and hit two pair (he showed), forcing me to fold to his bet on the flop the first two times. The third time I had AK, hit a K on the flop and just couldn't believe he could have done it again. He damned well did - he'd hit his K3 off and put me out. A lesson re-learned. Early on, play these hands really big from the start, if you play them at all.

Meanwhile I can make nothing at all of the APAT league games. In the latest run out I finished 31/101, which is actually my highest finish so far - not impressive stuff. To get that far I had to luck out with 88 v QQ. I suppose I shouldn't moan. These games are definitely harder than the general $10 games - eventually a good run in one will come.

Certainly I continue to fancy the $11 36 man sng's on Absolute. Unfortunately they've been running a promotion on $11 tournaments this month, which seems to have attracted away all the regs from these sng's. I've only played one this month but I finished 4th in it and felt very comfortable throughout.

Meanwhile the Raise the River guys are away for a team event in Newcastle over the bank holiday weekend. Sadly I couldn't make it to defend my "last longest" title, but dD has vowed to nit up and give it a go. Now it is inevitable that drink will be taken, so I just hope that Dave "No Shoes" ( see post on the APAT team event in January) doesn't go native and end up minus his shirt in the Bigg Market on Saturday night.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The old and the new.

When I first played poker in the 1960's we basically played 5 card draw with some variations like "Southern Cross" (don't ask) and "Seven Card Stud" thrown in for interest. 3 card "Brag" was another popular game, which used to get quite ferocious with the "betting only finished when there were two players left" rule. I look back now and shudder. I didn't have the blindest notion what I was doing back then, but I think I can safely say that neither did anyone else in our group, since somehow I contrived to be a winning player!

When I started playing again some five years ago, after a lapse of, let's just say a few years, the game that was all the rage was of course Texas Hold'em - easy to learn and equally easy to lose money at. The big difference was that, thanks to the internet, there was no lack of instruction available on how to play effectively - the only real task was to sort the wheat from the chaff. Nothing stands still of course and now the "coming game" is "Pot Limit Omaha". This is a particularly evil variant, full of temptations, where very high hands can appear from all angles.

If the spirit of adventure is with you, you could do a lot worse than look here for some guidance on how to play Pot Limit Omaha. And if you want to take a trip down nostalgia boulevard, you could try here for instruction on how to play Seven Card Stud.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I had a go at the £20 (+5) game at the G Casino in Bolton. Early doors I had a nice double up when my 99 hit a flop of 9h6c5c. The other guy bet the pot, I doubled it and he called. Ten on the turn. He checks, I bet pot, he calls. Ten of clubs on the river, giving me the full house. I go all in, he calls. He had 78 for the flopped straight. He said he thought I had to have the flush or house and shouldn't have called the river bet. Correct. If he had gone all in early doors, I would have too, so neither of us could have got away from the hand really.

I was then totally card dead for 3 levels and then had to make some moves as the blinds increased, which went ok. Then, with about half the field gone, and a 12xBB stack I got TT in middle position. Big bet from me, after one limper - two callers. Flop comes 455 two clubs. Guy who called in early makes a half pot bet and I go all in and he calls. He shows 66 including a club. The turn...8. River a xxxxing 7. Still, at least I got home in time to get a good night's sleep. Did I regard that as a consolation?

Mary's charity game went ok, with ten players. It ended up with BurnleyMik and me heads up, with Mik winning. That makes it 1 - 1 in our recent heads up matches...I'll get him next time :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Next Sunday, alongside the "Bloggerment" which I regularly play, there is a game on PokerStars in aid of a cancer charity. This has been organised by "Mair", one of my regular (and best!) Bloggerment opponents. Do try to get along and join in. The details are...

Sunday 18th April
$10 Buy In
password: Mair38 (it's a capital "M")
Tourney Number: 261128458

Be there or be square...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get in!!

Absolute Bet: Last month $646; Current $1000 (+354)
Poker Stars: Last month $168; Current $137 (-31)

Total = $1,137 (+323)

Profit on the month = +$323

Profit on the year = +$410

B&M = £94 (+£34)

Betfair = £165 (-£35)

Total = £259.

Profit on year + £59

I'm updating the end of the month stats because I had a really nice couple of wins last night. I decided to give the Turbo's a go. I came second in a $5.5 one. Having decided I liked the format I then went for an $11 one and won that.

Following on the priciple mentioned in my last post, I then had a go at a $11 36 manner and won that too for $133 ($174 on the night). This is easily my biggest
on line win. I thought I had the beating of these and it's nice to prove the point so quickly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Absolute Bet: Last week $646; Current $841 (+195)
Poker Stars: Last month $168; Current $153 (-15)
Total = $994 (+180)
Profit on the month = +$180
Profit on the year = +$267

B&M = £94 (+£34)
Betfair = £165 (-£35)
Total = £259.
Profit on year + £59

Some more fine entertainment at the Cricket Club game. We've had another influx of young players from the club, displaying I think it is safe to say a broad spectrum of ability. One of them was in a pot with a regular. Early doors, the reg goes 3xBB and the new guy calls. K42 rainbow - Reg bets pot. New guy calls. Turn 8. Pot bet; called. River J. Pot bet: called. Reg turns over AK. The new guy shows 10 6 off. One of his mates asks him, "What was that all about?" "I was bluffin'!"

It's a whole new poker concept folks - the bluff call!

Meanwhile I've continued to do quite nicely in the game - I've cashed every time I've played, bar one, since Christmas. Even then it's not a write off as there is a "cash game" full of LAG's that you just have to wait for a hand to get paid off in.

I've lumped that little wedge in with the Betfair/APAT stuff, as it is all geared towards playing in a live High Stakes Poker Tournament at some point in the year. The Manchester team is in there pitching in Division 1 of the APAT league, but I have yet to make a significant contribution - hopefully this weekend will see that put right.

My "bread and butter" $11 SnG's on Absolute have been going nicely. 27 games played with 7 1st places making the big difference from earlier this year. I had been playing the odd $11 tournament (the "$1200 Guranteed") but these seem to have disappeared now. However I have spotted some soft looking 36 man SnG's (1st prize $144). I didn't cash in the two I've played but I'm sure I can. The current "cunning plan" is to play one of these every time I make a 1st place in a $11 SnG. We shall see.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Absolute Bet: Last week $527; Current $642 (+115)
Poker Stars: Last month $144; Current $168 (+24)

Total = $810 (+139)

Betfair: Current £200

Profit on the month = + $139

Profit on the year = + $60

B&M money = £60 (+ £14)

I've managed to turn round my bad start to the year and get the bankroll heading north again. I worked out what the main leak in my game was - it turned out that I was making too many negative equity ICM decisions. Once I had identified this my results improved quickly. I've also played the $1200 guaranteed $11 tournament on Absolute three times. I fancy this one, as it starts at 7.30 and usually has fewer than 200 runners - so if you run deep there is a realistic chance of getting to bed at a reasonable time. Close to the money on two occasions, but no cigar so far. One of them was an exit in the first ten minutes - amazing for me. I ended up all in with AK of diamonds on a board of Ah 6d 4d...Turn Jh...River 8d. He had 5d7d for the straight flush...SIGH.

I've put a couple of hundred from the B&M money into Betfair so that I can play some of the APAT games. I had set it aside for entries to the live games but sadly none of them are anywhere near the north west of England - Aberdeen, Swansea, Dublin and Luton don't cut it for me I'm afraid. The next local one is the team tourney I played in last month, which will be held in Bolton in January next year. It seems a long way off. There is a one day event at Dusk to Dawn in Nottingham in the summer which I might try to get to - Nottingham is doable in a day. Meantime I'm going to have a punt at some of the online APAT games, which is why I put a wedge into Betfair. Horrible software though.

Games at the Cricket Club continue to make a small but steady profit. The scene has settled down into a regular 12 - 16 players. There are about 4 of us who play a tight/aggressive game, a similar number of weak/tights and the rest are serious loose/aggressives. They tend to dominate early on with one or two usually eliminating a couple of their number and getting big stacks they try to boss the table with. Most weeks the game comes down to two or three TAG's hunting down a LAG and usually the TAG's win, which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill. :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Absolute Bet: Last week $600; Current $527 (-73)
Poker Stars: Last month $150; Current $144 (-6)

Total = $ 672 (-79)

Profit on the month = -79

Profit on the year = -79

B&M money = £246 (+46)

Life online has been very trying this month. I've played 30 $11 SnG's and ended up down $73. Despite doing well in the Bloggerment, I'm also down a little bit on Stars, as I managed to get sucked into some cash Pot Limit Omaha. I'm a long way short of having a game plan there, so I'll give that a miss in future.

In my "bread and butter" SnG's, it's all the usual "bad beat" type stuff, being sucked out on in key hands where you were ahead etc. The worst run was 7 games without a cash - nowhere near my record, which is twice that. I didn't have an outright win until the 28th game. That is the real cause of the problem. Turning a healthy percentage of cashes into wins is vital. Anyway, hopefully things will turn round and I will get into the black again. I've been here before.

I've certainly turned things round at the cricket club where I cashed in both games played.

However, by far the best craic was the APAT UK Forum Team Championship at the G Casino in Manchester, where I played for the "Raise the River" team. I finally got to meet lots of folk off the forum that I regularly play in the "Bloggerment", including Mair, Hammerheid, Bullmeister, Ant, DoV, dD, Lou Saban and Gorvacorfin in addition to the motley crew I'd met up with in Bolton, BurnleyMik, Snakeyes and NoCash. I certainly took dD by surprise - he wasn't expecting someone even more ancient than himself! :-)

Hammer, Snake and Mik were well up there in the drinking stakes but the prize (to nobody's great surprise I suspect) has to go to NoCash, who woke up the next morning minus his shoes!? Well done that man. The Norn Irish and the Geordies provided some stiff competition for service at the bar too - more of them later.

I was back to back at my table with Ant at the next one. For the first 3 levels we competed very effectively with each other to see who could play the fewest hands - yes, I won :-). I had AQ raised, hit the Q on a two spade flop, bet the pot and got called. Blank on the turn. Overbet the pot, got called. Spade on the river. Bet from opponant - fold. He had the flush of course. Sigh.

Amazingly the first player out was last year's winner, Mair. Glory is fleeting and all that.

For the remainder of the day (it finished at 2.00 in the morning) I played 5 more hands, winning all of them. However, mostly I only took the blinds, as nobody took me to a showdown. Given the ultra tight way I had been playing, that was hardly surprising. The rest of the RtR team were gradually whittled away, until there was only BurnleyMik and myself left.

I was left with a stack of 46K to start the second day with Mik on about 37K. Somewhat surprisingly there were no huge chip leaders among the 31 players (of 160) left - even the biggest only had about 30xBBs. So we were almost all in with a shout. Players were gradually whittled away but I was totally card dead and had to make the odd all in blind steal just to stay with a stack that could realistically make people fold. With antes as well as escalating blinds this tactic is vital to survival. Eventually I had to make a move with about 7 BB's left and went all in with a pair of 6's against a big stack. He called me with a big Ace but a six came on the flop and I was chipped back into it again.

When his table broke up Mik ended up on mine, two places to my right with one of the Irish guys between us. He was getting to the stage when he had to make a move and went all in on my Big Blind. I had A10. Cue major trance as I thought things through. If I called one of us was going out and therefore we would have no chance of going deep in the team tournament (we both needed to figure high on the final table to even have an outside chance). Also, he wouldn't have put me in this situation (for the same reason) unless he had a strong hand. I folded and he showed JJ. Phew - nice pass Brian! However it was all in vain, as Mik was evicted when he raised the Irish lad from the small blind and was called. With two low spades and two on the flop, which included 2 jacks, he checked. So did the Irishman. Blank on the turn. Mik went all in and was insta-called. Irish lad had 2 Jacks for Quadzillas and it was goodnight Mik.

Gorvacorfin from the forum was the last player left that I knew. He was on my left now and just to be friendly I nicked his blinds a couple of times - you have it to do as they say in Lancashire. Players were being slowly but steadily eliminated and we were down to 5 handed when I found myself short stacked again and ready to make a move. K10 told me it was time to shove and in it went - call from a big stack with AJ. AQ on the flop giving him the lead and me 3 outs...but no Jack came and I was out in 12th place, three off the money. SIGH. Sadly, Gorv was the next out, missing out on the money too.

It was great to go deep and have a shot at making the money again. Actually I did make some as I was in a "lasts longest" for a tenner each with the other guys, so at least I got my entry back and £20. All that and two grand day's of entertainment too. Great craic and I will be back for more. Well done APAT.

The Geordies? Grief but they made a noise ("drink had been taken" as my mother would have put it). There was particularly raucous support for a player they insisted on calling "Chipmonk", though he didn't seem to appreciate this moniker himself. He did eventually finish 2nd, so well done. The donkey's head he put on when he went all in a couple of times was entertaining too - as he put it himself - try getting a read on me past that!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm going to have a bash at this along with some of the other Raise the River folk...

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! Bloggers can register for to play for free in the WBCOOP, if you don’t have a PokerStars account you can get your Poker Download here.

Registration code: 089359

Monday, January 04, 2010

This lovely little fellow has arrived because I've crashed out first in the Bloggerment (for the first time I can recall). The cause - very poor play and nothing else. So it goes :-(