Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Decided to repeat the Poker Goal element of blog for December. However, I won't set the bar too high; I don't want cards to get in the way of drinking mulled wine and knocking back the port. 30k hands, no Skype, stop checking session results halfway through, 5 videos.

Am off to london next week as I have a seat in the Palm Beach Big Game, which is a £1k tournament in Mayfair that attracted 79 well-heeled punters last month. I've not been to the casino before, it's in a nice area, so I have high hopes of it being a good crowd, will no doubt dip my toe in the cash action after trying to bluff a donkamenteur off top pair. Kev is also coming down to play, so after a Porridge breakfast I'll probably accompany him around London for an early morning jog.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Poker Goals Revisited

Well the last month hasn't been a total disaster, hence me posting a graph. I even managed to bink a donkament, admittedly there were only 30 runners!

In short I failed to meet any of the goals I set, however, I definitely think the very act of setting them and holding myself accountable has helped improve my results. After a diligent few weeks of 2/4 and 3/6 I decided to mix in some 5/10 and even a spot of 20/40 limit and 2000NL, the conditions justified it, I was confident and playing to the best of my ability. Results have been good, I've played pretty well, although part of the reason for taking a break until Dec1st is I've been playing a bit sloppily the last few days. The volume of hands I played could have been better, but when I was playing 5/10 I was happy just to 2 table and concentrate on not spewing! Reviewing hands with coach never happened, presume he's playing world of warcraft or something as he's been unreachable.

Will spend the rest of the month watching the Ashes and trying to squeeze some more poker videos in (the poker maths ones have been a tough chore). It's pretty cold here and the pump that powers the underfloor heating has packed up so have been spending most of time in sitting room playing by firelight. My sister passed her Chartered Surveying exams so props to her!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Alan's back, back again!

I've spent 30 minutes on the phone to my pals at Halifax today, they were vigilant enough to block my card for a suspicious transaction to pokerstars.fr, not that suspicious in the context that I've use this card to finance casino withdrawals for playing 2/5. I'm glad they've got my back though...

On a brighter note, Alan Partridge is back! He's descended to new lows his "banter" is more cringe-worthy than ever, his clothes even more dated and his hair is well...you have to see it! Alan certainly hasn't become any more politically correct during his hiatus, he manages to crass remarks about the Jonestown massacre and paedophilia before segueing (first time ever used that word) into more inane nonsense. Sadly we don't actually get to see Anthea "The Body" Turner, although on a side note (segue number two) I do have her autograph as she stayed at my Aunt's B&B in the Spring of 1994.

I finished off "Enemy number one" I did enjoy it, although it was a little heavy on racing info for someone with more of a general gambling background. Veitch seemed to have been spurned into action after a local mobster tried to extort money from him and he decided to go to the police, resulting in years spent in hiding, looking over his shoulder whilst bashing the bookies. It was interesting that a great deal of effort went into him actually being able to get action on the races, as money associated with him was blacklisted by bookies, much more of an issue than I imagined it would be. Will move onto Ather's "Gambling: A Story of Triumph and Disaster" now.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

More Apprentice Spoilers

So it seems Lord Sugar reads my blog and actually made a decent decision for once, Paloma had to go. Watching "You're Fired" on BBC2 the past few weeks has been fairly interesting, both Melissa and Paloma came across really rather well, I presume this is because they can conceal their true nature in a 30 minute programme, rather than the original editing of the Apprentice was not as sympathetic as it could have been etc. Perhaps, these high powered business people can not actually cope under pressure as well as they think , it's all very well spouting business jargon until you're blue in the face, however, if you can't behave to even the low standard required to dupe the dopey Alan, perhaps you don't deserve the role.

One of the good new additions has been Dara O'Brien hosting "You're fired". He does a really good job and seems to allow the contestants to project themselves in a good light as well as leading the panellists, all making for an excellent show. I actually picked up his book at Smiths (paying is so overrated) alas, I have yet to start it. I've only just finished Steven Levitt's "SuperFreakonomics", a rather accessible guide to avant-garde analysis on topics such as global warming, prostitution and suicide bombers.

Yet another Amazon package arrived today, I had to replace my second Logitech mouse in under a year after yet again the usb receiver snapped inside my laptop. James recommended I went for a much simpler affair, I'm now rocking an old School Microsoft button clicking enabler. I also ordered some more books (paid for and all) including Mike Atherton's "Gambling: A Story of Triumph & Disaster". I read his autobiography "Opening Up" whilst at school, and seem to remember it was pretty good, so have high hopes of this. Also, added another Derren Brown book to my collection as well as "Enemy Number One". I'm sure he'll be a distant second by the time James decides he'll spend a week or two knocking up a comprehensive sports betting model in between building computers and getting on it.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Power Snooker

I headed up to London on Saturday armed with on a couple of recently acquired paperbacks ( something more like a swordstick would have been more appropriate for wandering the Edgware road on my way to the Vic). I was already at the cutting edge, alongside Jambon, Dave Lu, Ed Rogers and his buddy Dave. We had all made it to the O2 arena to watch "POWERSNOOKER" which is marketed to be snooker's equivalent of 20/20 cricket, with glamorous girls, music, lights, audience participation and a plentiful supply of £4 pints. The standard was a little poorer than I expected, by that I mean standard of dress, Ali Carter wore an absolutely horrific lime green shirt that was an affront to even my colour blind vision.

The "shot clock" meant that players only had 20 seconds to take each stroke, however, they seemed to rush unduly, obviously unfamiliar with this format they seemed to put themselves under pressure to play way faster than they needed to and it must be said that the quality of play did suffer for this. Other facets of the game included the "Powerzone", which was the area behind the baulk line, potting from here would entitle you to double points. One of the 9 reds was also a "Powerball", upon being potted a two minute "Powerplay" would be instigated during which players scored double points. Points were all that counted, each game lasted 30 minutes, points counted, frames didn't.

The atmosphere was pretty good, much to the crowd's amusement referee Michaela Tabb would announce "Powerzone" every time the cueball returned to baulk, it did seem rather funny after a few pints, I think it was the Scottish accent. Audience participation amounted to cries of "Powerzone", mocking Jimmy White's errors, and a rather borderline cry of "You can do it" in a Chinese accent with definite overtones of Cockney to inspire Ding, he also was on the receiving end of a few Ding-Dong type puns. Unfortunately I had to leave early as the last train back to safety of Devon departed at 8pm, alas it was not to be thanks to my inept taxi driver. I sought refuge at the Vic, I was thrilled to learn that my allnighter was to be extended by an extra hour thanks to the changing of the clocks. Once I finally boarded the train at Paddington and rested my weary limbs I was trodden on twice by the "Professor" who had taken the seat opposite me on the table, she failed to apologise either time.

Was good to see Jambon and Dave again, the relaxed atmosphere meant it was possible to chat during the play. We also had dinner at Gaucho which was was rather good, I've only eaten at one once before and that was with James in Amsterdam. Oh, and Ronnie won btw.