Monday, 30 November 2009

Reverse freerolls,

Not updated in a while, quite a lot has gone on...If I wrote for the Times I'd be getting a quid a word, as I'm not it may be somewhat briefer. Poker wise I've played 3 times live and despite barreling off a £1k pot the first hand I sat down at the £1/2 live game have made £2700. The game is pretty fun, full of Italians with Scottish accents. The game is strictly run by the dealer Alec, who always seems to fear anything controversial happening so enforces rules like "cards on their backs" when both players are all in. I amuse myself by turning over bluffs with such a flourish that the dealer and other players struggle to match my hand to board cards.

The week started with me undertaking a complete reverse freeroll. My flatmate Claire had gone on holiday to Cuba and left her car parked on yellow lines. I was tasked with moving it before 8.00 am. Type of spot were there's very little potential for anything good to happen, people just assume you're a competent human if you complete the task, but on the flip side there is ample opportunity for all manner of disasters. Anyway, I managed to set aside the memories of pranging the biggest whale in Torquay Casino's Jeep, and completed the manoeuvre with aplomb.

Mr Grundy came up to visit last weekend and treated myself Camilla and Flash to dinner at a Tapas restaurant. Much appreciated, many thanks. Was a good evening, included some interesting conversation about personality types and discussion on the Meyers-Briggs categories ( Does amaze me how I can still win at poker despite lacking the mathematical, rational background most other winners seem to have in this thread ( Camilla is doing a masters in philosophy and issued some game theory teasers, luckily Messrs. Grundy answered them fairly easily before I had much of a chance to demonstrate my ineptitude!

Bumbled through the week until Thursday when Flash and myself went along to "battle of the bands" with Camilla and her housemate Catherine. First impressions of the event were not good, and I feared for my eardrums. However, after a few jugs of some tropical cocktail that was on special offer it became a little more palatable, although failing to bink a single prize in the raffle was somewhat sobering. Was a decent event, although the compare was pretty irritating and swore way too much.

On Friday, we made our way for a meal at nearby Hamilton's before heading on to a new bar called "Raconteur". As some of you may know, that the screenname on stars of Richard Gryko, however, whilst there were no portable dvd players and Dawson's Creek episodes in view, there were a couple of Antipodean barmen wearing braces. Thebar seemed nice enough, was converted from seedy boozer that people dealt crack out of, so I guess it couldn't have got that much worse. They were pretty welcoming, especially when Andy's girlfriend and 15 of her Irish dentist mates desended on the bar. The barman treated Andy to a complimentary G&T as he told us we were just the sort of young, professional crowd they wanted. A couple of hours and broken glasses later though they seemed less convinced as they asked us to keep the volume down several times. All in all it was a good night.

Details of my self-induced lockdown over the weekend to be published shortly...

Friday, 20 November 2009


Arrived up here last week on the flight from Amsterdam, no real inflight antics this time as my G&T roll had been somewhat depleted by dubious plays in the cash games. Was actually glad to get a bit of kip on the flight without having to worry about Flash launching into a rage over my snoring and battering me with a pillow. Obviously things never run that smoothly and I had to buy a new ticket at Dam airport as my original one had been cancelled due to me being on a different outbound flight.

Upon arrival made my annual trip to a barbers and treated myself to a haircut and shave. I never really intended on growing a beard in the first place, but lacked the motivation to bother shaving. We also visited the golf shop where I picked up a rather fetching lime greem puma sweater, definite old school roots, and topped it off with a traditional cap. Preparations for the "Golf Pros and Tennis Ho's" party were now complete after the preparation of copius amounts of Pimms, G&T and welcome B52 shots.

The party got into full swing, with several neighbours visiting to join in the revelry. The table tennis table we picked up seemed to go down a storm , although we never managed to get any beer pong going. Judging by the quantity of vomit on the doorstep of the communal entrance to the block of flats some people went a bit overboard, perhaps they didn't realise the Pimms was spiced up with additional Gin or maybe it was the Tequila shots. Oh well, live and learn...

James had to catch a flight around midday so after a hearty Scottish breakfast at nearby Hamiltons we bade him farewell and tidied up the flat. Since then have aqcuainted myself with the live poker scene up here, there's a 1/2 uncapped BI game with a min sitdown of £400 and rumours of a £5/5 pl game, should allow me to put haggis on the table at least.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Amsterdamage limitation...

Am currently staying with Flash at chez Saunders in Amsterdam. Having never been before it's been a bit of an eye-opener, haven't seen as many bicycles since Oxford. Thankfully, most are equipped with bells, which enables the riders to alert you to their presence and for the big black drug dealers to attract your attention and offer you coke.

Just so happens that the Amsterdam Classics is currently running, have seen plenty of familiar faces, ran into the Boatman brothers in Dam Square, they seemed happy to have lasted 3 levels in the Main Event. Tufat is still in and rocking a 70k stack at500/1k. Have played some cash games, getting there in a ~5k pot has alleviated the subsequent losses incurred by my foray into the 10/20 game.

Was also dragged along to a floatarium, which involved lying in a tank of salty water in the pitch black for 45 minutes. I busted in the first level, managing to swallow the water, temporarily blind myself with the salt water and twist my shoulder muscles whilst writhing around in agony. Spent the other 40 minutes attempting to get a bit of kip on the floor. This was followed by a massage from some foriegn looking bloke, wasn't especially relaxing, spent most of it wondering if I was going to get "whacked".

Intending on hitting the Van Gogh museum tomorrow. Flying to Edinburgh on Saturday with James and Flash for our houseparty. If anyone wants to come along get in contact. It's promising to be distinctly above average, the theme is "golf pros. and tennis ho's" and we are anticipating an ace event with plenty of vodka and deuce.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Excess and extravagance in Estonia

I ended up winning the tournament after having done business heads up with James Keys ( In summary I never really had any especially hard decisions or interesting hands throughout the whole tournament. I only took one beat, and won the chips back on a flip a couple of hands later anyway. I picked up some hands, often picking up pots without showdown. I was pretty happy with how I played, I didn't fall foul of ill-advised cold 4bets etc! I was informed that a couple of calls I made or contemplated against shorties were a bit loose, so this is something to work on.

The final table itself was an absolute bloodbath, Keys was just smashing it to pieces and was on my direct left.. It was a weird situation as the other guys didn't want to allow him to run them over, I felt perhaps they were over compensating and it seemed kind of inevitable he would bust them up. Therefore, it made my decision to play a fairly tight, solid game and coast to the final 3 pretty easy. I found it hard to quantify the strength of the field in terms of ability, I knew they were making definite errors in terms of stuff like hand selection and betsizing but am not sure what kind of edge this translates into. I felt pretty comfortable throughout, although I did have to deal with Lodden on my immediate left on Day 1, and Eastgate 2 to my left deep in the tournament.

I was lucky enough to get heads up with James and run really hot. We did some business and he'll be coming to the Bahamas with me... He played really well whilst I was at his table and definitely seemed to have quite a presence (people moaning about him raising loads etc) Afterwards I had to do a load of interviews and photos etc. Was a shame that the interviewer's first language was not English, as it meant there were limited opportunties to induce much banter. Props to the cardplayer reporter, for being really laid back and polite whilst everyone else bustled about.

It wouldn't have been a stars event without the mandatory part. What a party it was too, free bar, comp'd Dom Perignon etc. The venue was pretty awesome and there were a load of familiar faces from the tournament in the form of staff and players, have never shaken so many hands.

Decided it would only be right to buy the whole plane a G&T on the trip back, but the cheapskate airline only had 25, which suited Keys and Rupert who lost the prop bet on which row the last drink would be consumed and ended up footing the bill. Mongy looked on with a wry smile and the ubiquitous, disapproving headshake; but was soon back in his element behind the wheel and "popping" his car all the way home.

Friday, 30 October 2009


I was pleased enough to arrive in Estonia safely and financially solvent, I somehow avoided doing the lot playing Chinese on the plane with mongy, Keys and Rupert. The hotel lives up to expectations and the staff are all friendly and polite.

Out cultural outing was thwarted by the bracing Baltic wind. We sheltered in various souvenir shops and the more frivolous amongst us splurged out on matryoshka dolls. It's not especially cheap here, but I held my own in the cash games and haven't had too many expenses

Am currently sat 3/17 in the Main Event, played with Lodden, flatted his 3bet with AA in postion...Easy Game really, can read about the Thater hand on the stars blog, also managed to get Eastgate to pay off a checkraise on the river to complete my name-dropping escapade.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Question Time

Some important issues were raised on "Question Time" this week, yet I was unable to reach a decision on the most important issue. Does Nick Griffin look more like a tired owl or a pork pie? Show was a bit of a farce (like you Andrew Meyers) as it consisted mainly of people moaning rather than examining policy. Thanks to JD for the picture, for those of you that don't know he's currently doing a technical drawing course in Amsterdam.

I picked up a PLO horse on 2+2 this week and am hoping to get some 100NL players to grind it out! Have created a forum here : which any readers are more than welcome to join.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


I realised that tomorrow I will be 25 in 6 months tomorrow. I've been toying around with my poker game and decided I'd set some goals until Christmas, then thought well, I'll break them before then anyway, so why not make a 6 month plan.

The plan is to play 100k hands of 400nl by Christmas (no higher). I'm mixing my game up a bit postflop and want to make sure that the fundamentals remain solid(ish)! After this is done I shall put in another 150k hands by my birthday in mid April. It will be a challenge as I'll be in Australia in the New Year and may have won the lot betting on the tennis by then.

Was considering giving updates on the quest on the blog, but it seems evem more mundane than the normal tripe. Seems like a good way to hold myself semi-accountable though. As well as putting in the volume, I definitely want to improve my handreading.

If I achieve this goal I should book a decent profit and will buy myself a ballin' out of control watch. Not sure purse strings will stretch to this, but reach for the stars etc!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Ice Cream Scoop!

Besides giving me the opportunity to make a great pun, Alize "ice cream" Cornet's 4-6, 5-7 loss just scooped me $435, as her opponent did not win by more than 5 games.. Should keep me in 99's for a while!

Simon says "Ship the Gold"

Gilles Simon came through in straight sets 6/4,6/3. Didn't even get a third set sweat, not that one was expected! Profit of $504.

Punted $478 on Alize "ice cream" Cornet vs. Agnieszska Radwanska at +5 games on the spreads.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Cat doesn't make it...

On the way back from DC game last night, coming through Haldon Forest, I managed to run over a feral cat, twice. Admittedly the second time was deliberately to make sure it was totally dead. As it happened had a shovel in the back of the landrover, (plenty of problems buried in that forest, 'nuff said) I scooped it onto the side of the road in case the Gypsy community across the road had any use for it.

Recently listened to Channing on the 2p2 podcast, would definitely recommend it. Suitably inspired to make some headway in sports betting degeneracy I have $800 on Gilles Simon to beat Berdych tonight.

Monday, 12 October 2009

This week I have been mostly...

1. Forgetting rules of hi-lo poker variant. Costly. DC game was moved from casino to private location, got lost obviously.

2. ^ Drawing blood from the beneficiary by hurling an icecube across the balcony at Bohemia and hitting him in forehead.

3. Been drinking G&T.

4. Binking free trip to Estonia. Free in most liberal sense of word, will probs end up blowing a load..

5. Contemplating how to get myself and my possessions to Edinburgh.

6. Coveting nanonoko's greatness/volume/dedication etc.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Mercier Beacoup.

Headed up to them Empire on Thursday to watch the final table of WSOPE. met up with Rupert and George, fuelled ourselves up on G&T and shouted "Go on Jase" and discussed the merits of Jason's sunglasses. Went for dinner in a nearby Italian, and dodged 4 of my cards on credit card roulette, one of peachy's horses, Evan, ended up footing the bill after Eric had convinced him there was no point in buying out.

Mercier ended up coming 4th for £267k, which meant a nice payday for me! Ended up heading to Pokerstars party at "Cafe Paris" and indulged in the free bar. At some point, befuddled with drink, George gave his wallet to a Big Issue seller, the guy had the nerve to turn his nose up at G's I-Phone due to the cracked screen.

Rupert and I eventually met him back at the Empire and bumped into Mercier again, who was completely smashed, George and I polished off his half eaten chicken sandwiches before he retired to the press area for a sleep. I caught the train back from Paddington at 5.27, slept for some of the day and had an early night. Woke at 3am this morning and am already up 16 buy-ins...

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Weekend

Unfortunately last week I overfilled the landrover with oil, the experts at pub tell me this is serious business, the black smoke billowing from the exhaust would certainly support this hypothesis. It's now being given a service.

Phoned "Raz" the taxi driver from Torquay casino to come and pick me up. He was rather happy to, as earlier in the week he ran his £4 up to £80 flipping coins against me, despite me having negotiated a 3:4 payout scale!

Went out and ended up in "Bohemia" where we are semi regulars. After having sorted a table with bottle of spirits, mixers etc, we were plagued by people trying to ask Scott if they'd seen him on the TV, whilst their accomplices attempted to filch our redbull or help themselves to vodka. We relocated to the balcony where we were adorned with green bracelets to ward off the marauding masses.

The following day, after a very fine cheese and onion sandwich made by Mongy's Mum I headed back to the casino, where a very juicy 10/20 game was running. However, this was just a prelude to the £50 competition with one rebuy. With a field of just 22 players I was hoping to pass the time until the dealer's choice cash game. However, i got riled up early by one husband and wife combination, the wife delighted in telling me that my waterfall shuffle did not constitute a proper cut, rolling my eyes and exaggerated cutting seemed like an appropriate retort. As we got slightly deeper her husband (around 13/15 big blinds) bet/4bet all in the cut-off after I 3bet AK OTB. I Mach5 call, and he quips "that good eh?" before rolling over KK, the board runs out x x x x, but as the river A completes it's my cue to snipe with "It is now.." as he's dispatched to the rail.

I'm dealing the table, and as the final table approaching his wife is pretty tormented, as I am banging out the hands as fast as possible to make sure I bolster my burgeoning stack further. She's moaning constantly at me how "It's not fair, I 'fink' you're really mean" etc. She eventually announces she will be stalling every hand, but after I call clock on her after 5 seconds the first time she tries it, she developed some kind of self-respect or just resigned herself to the inevitability of the situation.

She did make the final table, not much of an accomplishment in a 22 runner field. There was a brief mention of paying the bubble but I soon snuffed out that hope, unfortunately the guy who bubbled is a pretty nice guy, not nice enough, however, for me to tell him opening AQ in ep for 10k out of a 30k stack @ 2k/4k and folding to my shove is probably not so good! Upon making it heads up against another lady in the field I joke to her "Aren't you glad we didn't pay the bubble now? More money for us". She looks genuinely horrified and replied "No. I'm decent and honest and always pay the bubble and I'm....well I better not say that". Wellss he obviously bit her tongue and stopped short of calling me a totalvagabond, but it does amuse me how they think changing a predetermined payout is in anyway honest or decent, strikes me as more feeble and pathetic, some kind of badge of honour for those weak tight nits trying to slime their way into the bubble money. Not on my watch!

Raz had been supplying me with a steady supply of G&Ts so after scooping the tourny for £800 and a £100 ticket to am upcoming freezeout it was not long before I got a lift back with him. The first half of the journey he was busy telling me how it was obvious I was going to win and how next time he plays a cash game he will bring £1k and not let me bluff him out.

Jason Mercier will resume playing today, so fingers crossed his success continues.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Chase The Jase...

My 10% in Jason Mercier is obviously going to be a huge anticlimax...Why couldn't he just fizzle out? Is chipleader at the moment. Can follow updates here:

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Sweet about me...

Finished the Vicky Coren book, was an enjoyable enough read, even all the references to the ubiquitous Hendon Mob weren't too frustrating. Was unaware that she went out with Joe Beevers in the past. Was a very honest, frank account of her life and an interesting take on the live poker scene. The "Vic" featured heavily, so it was disappointing I don't have more of a knowledge of that scene. Now reading "A Bloody Good Winner" by Dave Nevison, a former currency trader, turned professional racing punter. It isn't especially well written and is very poorly organised, however, is some decent stuff in there, so will soldier on with it.

Punted up some money on the forthcoming World Series of Poker Europe main event taking 10% of Jason Mercier and a little piece in a lesser known player. Hopefully may be a Dealer's choice game in Torquay tonight, have read the O8 chapter in Ray Zee's book, but will need to revisit it a few more times I'd imagine to soak up all of that split pot goodness.

Finally, whilst waiting for my daily dose of "Doctors" this afternoon was flicking through channels and came across this advert on "Bloomburg". Hadn't seen it before and seemed worth sharing:
Whilst hardened readers of this blog will have seen the Richard&Judy clip before I can't resist sharing this link again.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

"For Richer For Poorer"

I mistakenly ordered an extra copy of Vicky Coren's new book. I was going to try and bolster my failing roll by setting up a lowest unique bid auction whereby readers ship on stars, however, didn't want to upset Rupert:

Therefore, the book will be given away on the basis of Johnny Lodden thinks: "How many salmon will be caught by the Lower Teign Fishing assoction this year" as predicted by my Dad. Guess in blocks of 10, from 10 to 1000 and leave comment on blog. e.g PA: 20-29, TD 150-159 etc. Will close in a week from now or when someone binks it!

Looks like she's very perceptive "I came to understand that tournament poker is a bruising, crippling,endlessly disappointing and rejecting enterprise so you have to embrace the masochism.." Am not really into that myself Vicky, but could probably endure some of it for EPT title and $1M!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

DTD Report.

Headed up to Nottingham with mongy on Monday for the English Poker open. Attended the opening party which included a Tony Blair impersonator who bombed in terrific fashion, just as we thought things could only get better,there was a lookalike of the Queen wheeled out. The buffet and free drinks were appreciated, although Barny Boatman seemed to prefer to make his own DIY sandwiches pawing at them with a fork to make mix and match combos, having already barged in front of us in the queue. Obviously we were startled by someone so jaw-droppingly famous barging us and didn't make any sarcastic comments.

The club itself was good. The dealers were efficient and I was impressed by how polite the staff were. Was surprised to be charged £1.70 for a cup of tea in a $5k event though...My table was pretty good, I was running it for the first few levels, I eventually succumbed to Ben Robert's KK with my AhQh with the blinds at 150/300. Also saw exWarwick guys Kanu, Jambon and Simon, was nice to catch up with them having not seen them since Vegas '08.

Headed to Torquay last night for the 1/2 game and ran my £250 up to over £1400. Ended up lending one of the regs £1k to fund his evening's entertainment! Took a £1k pot in an unraised pot pre with 9To vs 88 on QJ8xx against someone who berated me the previous week for check shipping QQ on TT9 and running into AA, having called a 3bet pf 100bbs effective! Have ordered Ray Zee's book on split pot games so I can extend my dominance into their Hi-Lo games!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Running Good

Just driving back from pub and encounter some temporary roadworks, Dad tells me just to run 'em, so give them a flash of headlights and run it. See car lights approaching other set so give a warning flash, lo and behold it's a police car, luckily the lights had changed to red.

However, turning this spot into a bluff didn't work as well...

It's probably terrible considering his river betsize, someone who knows about pokers please be telling me the solution. Things will be picking up though as I've changed my background to the motivational ditty at the top of the page.

Failing that James has been spamming me with his usual barrage of obscenities, NSFW if you have a proper job: Looks to me like someone must be doing some decorating, all those dust sheets kicking around, what's with the two heaters too, should probably put some clothes on if it's that cold.

Monday, 7 September 2009


Played the WCOOp $530 on stars last night for 8.5 hrs before coming 960th. Pretty frustrating, cash tables have been really bad during the day as well, so had to play some 200nl to get my fix. A week into the month, and I'm a bit behind on hands, no msn and internet is getting slacker....

Couldn't gamble before Rupert helped me set up holdem manager, so punted up some spreadbets on Friday, which seem to have edged into a bit of profit. They run until December unless I close them out before, except BowLeven which is "rolled over" every day.

Friday, 4 September 2009


Was awoken by a delivery yesterday, I eagerly anticipated it being the arrival of Ray Zee's "High Low Split Poker, Seven-Card Stud and Omaha Eight-Or-Better for Advanced Players". However, it was in fact my a new computer. No longer could I tolerate being ridiculed by Rupert for both the weakness of my push/fold game and the inadequacies of my RAM .

Of Course nothing is ever easy and copying my HM database over is taking forever. Someone should set up some kind of business where the computer is shipped to you "ready for war" with all the HM,spadeye etc already installed. Once this is done, I will be primarily moaning about the toughness of the EPO field, seems like there are too many good players, can't table select in tournaments either..sigh

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Overheard at Torquay Casino

Whilst at urinal in gents : "That's the trouble with these fucking buttons they strangulate your bollocks".

Later..."We have to stop meeting like this, they'll think we're a pair of ginger beers".

Sadly I missed the guy trying to sell his cocaine stash to fund his taxi home, luckily for him he got a free ride from a panda car that picked him up outside the casino.

Monday, 31 August 2009


A new month is upon us, and I find myself overwhelmed by a vague sense of optimism that I may be able to update my blog on a more frequent basis. I already sense this optimism draining away...

Spent most of August in France which was good fun. Most remarkable things were the filthy nature of their public toilets. Whilst thankfully only briefly be confronted by this horror, it required a great deal more fortitude to resist the mental disintegration the waiting staff tried to inflict on us, there seems to be an inherent ignorance in France that butter should be served with bread...Sadly the kitchen staff were always too busy peeling onions and chopping garlic to have the foresight to remove the butter from the fridge before finally serving it. These failings aside they're not a bad bunch!

Decided to make a list of poker goals this month, think I will try and do this regularly now, so I can convince myself I deserve a watch if I follow them until the end of the year. Without further ado here they are...

1. Watch at least 10 videos. Take notes, get the highlighters out etc.

2. Deluded notion of playing "A" game frequently, some nonsense about no msn whilst playing.

3. Bore as many people as possible asking for advice about hands.

4. 40k hands.

5. Don't play higher than 600nl.