Friday, December 02, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 29, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Friday, September 30, 2011


Online poker: +£142 (-27):  CC game: +£98 (+37): APAT: +£200 (-)

Matched betting this month = +£112;  This year = +£867

Profit on Month = +£122    Profit on Year = +£1317

Back to work again and poker is inevitably taking a bit of a back seat.  I'm mainly playing a few $15 18 man sng's on Stars at the moment and that is going nicely.  The minus in the on-line poker return is due to a bad trot on the $11 tournaments on 888.  These are soft enough, but a run of bad beats has knocked me back a bit there - inevitable in these this sort of thing.

My one cash in these did come about as a result of a pretty amazing piece of luck going my way.  I was short stacked on the bubble and caught AT suited in early position.  All in of course. 

Two all in callers behind.  This didn't sound like good news and it wasn't looking too clever when they revealed AA and KK.  The flop came QQQ. 

Hum, I thought, I have a one outer to a split pot!  Turn Q...Boom! 

Matched betting continues to boost the bankroll nicely.  I've lined up some referrals to work my way through the spread firms next. 

My next live outing won't be to poker, but to the European Diplomacy Championships, which are being held in Derby in November.  Should be good craic meeting up from old adversaries from the Dip world and the odd game of poker is also mooted.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Doing a bit of thinking :-)

Online poker: +£169 (+153):  CC game: +£61 (+7): APAT: +£200 (-106)

Matched betting this month = +£127;  This year = +£755

Profit on Month = +£181    Profit on Year = +£1,195

Online things have gone nicely enough this month.  I had a good final table finish in one of my regular 888 tourneys which bumped me up there and the 18 man sit and goes I've been playing on stars after any early tourney exits have been going really nicely.  I've been working on my final table technique there and the results have been very positive. 

The matched betting with my roll continues to be a steady earner and I've picked up lots of "start of the football season" bonuses this month.  Now for a bash at the spread sites I think.

The APAT world amateur championship at Dusk till Dawn in Nottingham was good craic, made even better by the fact that it was eventually won by Dave "No Shoes" Garden.  To be honest, he totally crushed it, following up on his recent big tournament victory against a lot of the top pros.  Well done that man.

From my perspective the APAT was very interesting, as I came away with a lot of ideas on how to improve my tournament game.  I went fairly deep (57th of the 200+ starters on day 1b) but I am now sure that I need to play with a lot more selective aggression in earlier phases of tournaments if I want to do real damage regularly.  I'm going to use the tournaments I regularly play on 888 to work out some of the ideas I've had and see if they improve my overall results over time.  I'm a profitable player doing what I do currently, but I think I can do better.  You have to have a go.  As Bob Dylan put it, "he that's not busy being born is busy dying".

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quiet times.

Online poker: +£16 (-33):  CC game: +£55 (-7): APAT: +£326 (-)

Matched betting this month = +£114;  This year = +£628

Profit on Month = +£64    Profit on Year = +£1,014

After the excitement of last month there is little or nothing to report on the poker front for July.  I've hardly played, being either too tired before the end of term, or away on holiday after it.  We finally got the trophy for the UK Pub Poker championship win which was great.

Next major feature on the poker front is the APAT world amateur championship in Nottingham at the end of August.  Should be good craic and a lot of folk I know are going.

I have had time to experiment with arbing horses using the B365 4/1 offer and a few minor horse sign ups, which is where the matched betting profit has come from. I hope I don't get gubbed there as I have actually started winning a few times after a long run of "losers".  Still - happy days and the football returns in a couple of weeks time so there should be lots more to go at then.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Online poker: +£49 (+26):  CC game: +£62 (+23): APAT: +£326 (+300)

Matched betting this month = +£64;  This year = +£514

Profit on Month = +£413    Profit on Year = +£950

That couldn't have gone much better!  The APAT pub poker tourney turned out to be a total gas.

Before the tournament kicked off I stressed to everyone that the most important thing was that as many folk as possible made the "last 50", which is when the team points kicked in.  This was the main lesson I have learned from playing in previous team tournaments.  Well.  Did they listen?  Yes they most certainly did!

Come the "50 players left" point, we had 7 out of our 8 man team still in the event, which was 2 more than any other team.  As the night wore on we were steadily eliminated but we were scoring points and come the end of Saturday night we were massively ahead on "points in the bag", with 2 men still running.  Sadly, I was the last man eliminated on the Saturday, in 25th place out of the 128 starters.  (A5 suited, called by the deadly 96 suited hitting a nine - as it does).

So, with 24 left, we went into the second day with Phil (Bullmeister) in second place with a massive stack and Andy low, but not desperate.  Andy worked out that if he finished 17th or better we couldn't be beaten so he played to that and we were home and hosed by 4.00 in the afternoon.  The APAT guys told us they could never remember anyone getting 7 out of 8 players in the points in a team tournament.

Meanwhile Phil was playing an absolute blinder.  He isn't a regular tournament player, so he was finding the sheer length of the thing difficult to come to terms with, but on he battled, eventually finishing second when the winner hit a run of top hands at the heads up stage.  A great effort.

The tournament was very well managed by APAT, as usual, the only disapointment being that they had "lost" the trophy somewhere in the system.  Ah well, we can live with that.

Another entertaining feature of the weekend, was that I played a £15 rebuy on the Sunday while railing Phil and Andy and came 5th for £120.  :-)    I only took one rebuy, after I lost with AK suited hitting a flush on the river - to a straight flush.  I "got him" about an hour later.

I've only played odd games on line but a couple of minor cashes have kept me nicely in the black there too.

Matched betting saw quite a few small offers from books trying to keep the punters interested after the end of the football season, so I've mopped those up.  Next up will be horse specialist books when I have the time in the summer holidays and then the spread firms once the football is back. 

Happy Days.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Online poker: +£21 (-23):  CC game: +£39 (+7): APAT: +£26 (-37)

Matched betting this month = +£69;  This year = +£450

Profit on Month = +£16    Profit on Year = +£537

I haven't played much in May - too much on at work and too tired come the weekend most times.  I did play in one of the APAT online championships and was going very nicely until a horror show came along.  I had a nice medium stack with about half the field gone.  A big stack in eary position went 3BB's and I called on the button with JJ.  The flop came 3d 8d Js.  My opponent bet half the pot - I raised and he went all in, which obviously I called.  He showed AdAc.  The next two cards were diamonds and it was "good game me".  All you can do is go in with the best hand, but that sort of thing does hurt.  Needless to say I am waiting patiently to have a similar piece of action in my favour some time soon.

The next poker highlight should be the APAT pub poker tournament which is taking place in Blackpool later in June.  The Cricket Club have entered a team.  There is a team from the West Midlands that looks very strong on paper, but it should be a good laugh.

Matched betting continues to tick along. I had lots of nice little ones as offers on the Champions League final and so on, which I cleaned up on.  I even found an arb on William Hills on Barcelona - I didn't go too daft on it though, as I wanted to keep the account.  I've now finished Bet365 with my daughter - so I will be getting all my money back shortly.  She gave the bookies an awful pasting, but it wasn't too clever for my Betfair account :-)

Things will probably go a bit quiet on that front now that the football season has finished.  Either that or I will have to diversify into tennis or cricket.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Online poker: +£44 (+225):  CC game: +£32 (-5): APAT: +£63 (+113)

Matched betting this month = +£43;  This year = +£382

Profit on Month = +£381    Profit on Year = +£521

It's been a fun month poker wise.  I came 5th in an on-line APAT tournament which has put that into the black there and set me up nicely for the "Home International" tournament in Newcastle. 

This was great craic and played in a very good spirit throughout the two days.  I was playing for Ireland A.  We started ok and I was second in one of the sit-and-goes, but it went downhill from there for the team except for young Ger Smith who kept us in the hunt with some sound performances.  We went into the final tournament in 7th place of the 8 teams, but we did know that a good performance in this could still see us in contention.  By the half way stage, with 16 of the field of 32 gone, we were the only team along with the Welsh A team who still had 4 runners. 

Two of our team were then knocked out, so with 10 left, there was our team captain, John Murray (good stack) and me (short stack) left.  The Welsh A team still had 4 runners, so they were home and hosed but we could still come 2nd if we could both finish ahead of the remaining England B player.  That ambition came to an end in an amusing (in retrospect) fashion.  Five handed I went all in with AQ suited.  No callers round to John in the big blind.  He has a long think and decides to call with 5 2 off suit (to chip me up, so that we could have a bash at the remaining England player).  Needless to say he proceeded to four flush me with his 2!  Oh how the England team laughed and indeed we had to ourselves it was so ludicrous.  Right move - wrong result.  Such is poker.  Anyway we finished in 3rd place for the bronze medals.  The Welsh team were very deserved winners and this was emphasised when one of their team won the UK tournament at the weekend (which I didn't play in - 2 days was enough for me).

I've also got the on-line poker in the black now thanks to a third place in the $3,000 guaranteed tournament on 888.  I was pleased with my play in this.  With about 50 of the 300+ starters left I became chip leader when I was all in with AA against KK and 88.  A King came on the flop but a glorious Ace made an appearance on the turn and I was off and running.  I managed to keep a +15BB stack and more all the way to the final table.  My exit hand was a tad unfortunate really.  Three handed I had AJ suited on the button.  I raised and the chip leader three bet me.  He had been chipping up through light 3 betting all the way through and I had marked him for this, so I went all in and he called with K5 off.  I wasn't too surprised but less than thrilled when he hit the 5 and knocked me out. 

I haven't done a lot of matched betting on my own account because I have been using my roll to see my daughter through the Bet365 £200 offer and a nice Betclic one for £100.  Ticking over nicely thanks to dutching on Pinnacle mainly.

The "trading" experiment on the golf was intersting.  I went for McIlroy, Stricker, Kaymer, Donald and McDowell in the end.  Stricker, McDowell and Kaymer failed to show but Donald was well placed and of course McIlroy was winning by the end of day 3.  It was a bit tempting not to lay off the bet on McIlroy because he looked a shoo in at this point, but I knew he was flakey on the final day of tournaments (even the two he has won he nearly contrived to lose) so it was a "no brainer" to make sure I laid them off.  This meant that I was guaranteed a modest profit on the venture.  I'll definitely have another go at this on the US open.  Luke Donald in particular I think has a big win in him. 

Friday, April 01, 2011


Online poker: -£181 (+22):  CC game: +£37 (+24): APAT: -£50 (_)

Matched betting this month = +£78;  This year = +£339

Profit on Month = +£46    Profit on Year = +£67

I haven't played a lot of poker this month, but at least what I have played has been profitable - mainly 18 man sng's on Stars.  I haven't really had time for many tournaments but I minor cashed in a couple of those too, so I seem to be getting past my "bad trot".

The thing I am looking forward to this month is the APAT "Home International" tournament which will take place in Newcastle in 3 weeks time where I'm going to play for Northern Ireland.  Should be fun and a chance to meet up with some old mates in Geordieland while I'm there.

In the matched betting I've now completed the "partner friendlies" along with the all the accessible British facing books.  Ones like "Jetbull", which require a lot of work, I've just passed on.

I've been thinking about what direction to take off in next with this.  There are some European's I still have to do, but basically I'm thinking of going into American facing books.  This requires a change of style as you need a big roll to complete the wagering requirements, but I do now have enough for that.  The best method seems to be dutching books against each other.  It quite interests me getting into different sports like basketball too. 

I've also started looking at "trading", with an experiment in next week's Masters Golf my first venture.  Nothing serious - a couple of quid each on Donald, Kaymer, Harrington, McDowell and Fowler and then looking to lay them off after the end of the 3rd round.  It will be interesting to see how it works out. If a couple of them are "in contention", then I should be able to engineer a profit.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Online poker: -£203 (-39):  CC game: +£13 (-22): APAT: -£50 (_)

Matched betting this month = +£134;  This year = +£261

Profit on Month = +£73    Profit on Year = +£21

Poker continues to be a serious struggle at the moment - I can't win a coinflip to save my life and of course that is not a good status report when you are playing mainly tourneys and the odd sng.  It's very waring indeed.  What the sort of trot I have had since the New Year must be like for someone who is seriously involved in playing poker for a living is horrible to think about.

BUT.  I have Matched Betting to save the day.  It continues to go swimmingly and as a result I am now marginally up on the year betting wise.

The trouble with having a sustained bad run when you are playing poker is that you start to question the verities that gave you a winning game in the first place and then you get caught out all over again.  I'm fully aware of this and am battling to control it, but it's not a lot of fun.

The Cricket Club game the other night had a classic.  I was eliminated on the bubble (3 way coin flip - ahead before the flop - lost) and went to join the "cash game" that develops from the losers.  Second hand.  4 players.  I have AKoff in the BB.  Fold, Fold, call from SB.  SB I know to be a very loose player, so I raise 5x.  Call.  Flop 962 rainbow.  I go all in.  He calls and shows K6 off suit.  To add insult to injury, another 6 comes on the turn and that is that.  When you are running bad, you are running bad...and players as bad as this make a profit...sigh.

So, a bit out of love with poker at the moment, but I know this will eventually end.  At least I finally cashed in a tournament last night, even if it was before the serious end of the money and, inevitably, to a bad beat - four flushed with AQ v AJ.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Online poker: -£164

CC game: +£35

APAT: -£50

Matched betting: +£127

Profit on Month = -£52    Profit on Year = -£52

I've had little joy at the virtual tables this month, with a losing sequence of 24 games before I finally won something.  Since the vast majority of these were tournaments, a losing streak like this isn't the greatest surprise in the world - the variance in these things is so great that a sequence like this is inevitable.  However as well as the usual bunch of suckouts I also think I was playing badly a lot of the time.  Too much messing about calculating lays for matched bets in European bookies rather than concentrating on my games!

I've cut that out and I've also decided to try to run up another winning sequence of sng's before I go back to trying tourneys again regularly.  Discipline needed.

The matched betting continues to tick along nicely - I've virtually worked my way through the British and Irish ones now and I'm moving into the Europeans.  I've also started experimenting with "dutching" using "asian handicaps" and other such exotica.

Highlight of the month was playing with the Raise the River folk in the APAT team tournament in Bolton.  Sadly there were lots of drop outs for various reasons.  Still it was good to meet up with Cogs, Amatay, DoV, Ant and Jakattack from the RtR games.  Bully and BurnleyMik turned up in the evening.  Because of the dropouts my mate Steve from the Cricket club game got a run out.  He enjoyed the experience of playing against decent players in a good atmosphere.  Sadly we failed to cover ourselves in glory, finishing about 15 of 25 in the end I think.  I lasted till about 9.30 in the evening, mainly thanks to Aces holding up against Kings.  With only 7x big blinds left I felt I had to go with an all in with tens against a big stacks early position raise.  He showed AQ and hit both of his cards so it was "good night Vienna".

Unhighlight of the evening was the buffet.  This featured a beef stew that was seriously awful.  There were any number of plates distributed round the restaurant area with little cairns of this seriously inedible beef!