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.