Monday, March 26, 2007

Deal or no Deal ?

Following my exit from Cardiff, I managed to get to Luton for the Sunday £250 f/o - although only 55 runners, still gave a 1st prize of just over £5.5k

Started off very well, but had a couple of accidents along the way- had to grind a bit and with 2 tables left, I turned on the gas - I was helped with Aces six times in 3 levels though ;)

Anyway, with the tourney only playing 9 players, we are at 11 left for a whole level, and someone suggests a saver for 10th and 11th to which I agree to speed things up. Boy how wrong was I?

It took 3 x 30 minute levels to get to the final table!!!! And by this time, the Average stack was 45k with blinds 3000 6000. I was 2nd in chips with just over 60k. Within 4 hands the guy in second place was out, AK into QQ.

With 8 left and roughly equal chips all round, I suggest an 8 way chop giving all of us £1500 which was only just shy of 3rd place money (The comp was never going to play out and would eventually end in a deal or a chip count). A good deal all round I felt, but one guy turned down the deal - which he has every right to do.

So we are down to 6 and someone else suggests another deal, and I say "no more deals while I am still in" - reasons are I felt it was highly unfair on the two players who had exited (taking circa £500) that they missed out on a grand.

Was I right or wrong to do this? Well I don't think there is a right or wrong. If people did not want to deal for £1500, I did not see it was fair to now deal for £2000.

So no deal was done, well not until I exited in 5th place for just over £800 anyway.

I assume that the last 4 did a deal and took £2.5k each.

Now anyone who knows me, or reads my blog will know I was very "ante deal". This was because I wanted to "win" my first live comp outright.
As this has now happened, I find myself more open to do deals.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

GUKPT - Cardiff

Following on from my run of form in Live tourneys and online cash (and live cash for that matter!) I decided to buy into the GUKPT Cardiff.

My first day was Friday, so I travelled down on the Thursday night. Arrived at around midnight, dumped my stuff at the Hotel and headed to the Casino.

After a brief walk around, and a beer (or two!) it was time to check out the cash action. One table caught my eye, it was a £2 £2 N/L game with no max sit down.
Having watched the table for an hour or so, I sat down with £400.

The table was quite tight and I soon managed to get up to almost £500 with relative ease. Then the tightest guy on the table (who had roughly £500 infront) raised to £15 UTG.
My immediate thought was "Aces" and decided to take a flop with my KQ o/s.

Flop came Q high rainbow, and tighty bets out £25. I flat call and hope to see a K or a Q - if not, I am done with this pot.
Turn card came a King!
It then went bet, raise, re raise, re re raise all in, call.
So now we look at almost a grand pot - with the river to come - Yep an Ace. (he did indeed have aces)
I spent the rest of the night grinding back (as well as another beer or two) to finish £150 down for the night.

It was a friendly table, with lots of good banter - Matt Tyler was there, also Pab and Julian Yo Yo to name a few.
Not the best preparation for a big event, and I got back to the hotel around 5am, but as the tourney did not start until 4pm this was not a problem.

Next afternoon came, time to shower change, then off into town to buy some new headphones. Having just got a new phone - The SE w850i, I was keen to try out the MP3 player built in. I have to say I am impressed.

Table draw and I am sat with a few familiar faces. Well things did not go too well, had decent cards for the first level but did not manage to win 2 pots in a row. This was the story of the whole day to be honest.
We started with 10,000 chips and an hour clock and it was 7 hours in when I finally had more than 10k in chips! It was that sort of day.
I was continually bouncing from 10k down to 2k. At my lowest point I had 1800 at 100 200 level and was all in fairly early position with AK diamonds, finding another short stack behind me all in for 4k and then a re raise from the Button.
Cards on their back, and I am up against A9 (shortie) and AA (the re raise).
Flop was kind to me as it came all diamonds and I took it down.
Very late in the proceedings, I get moved tables and with about 30 minutes to play for the day, and with 6k chips (blinds were 400 800) I had decided to open push into any unraised pot. This took me to almost 10k.
With 6 minutes left of the day, I find Aces and again push all in.
Vicky Coren decides to "look me up" with her 9 9.
Now, win this pot and I have over 20k and would progress to day 2.
It was not to be as the flop came J 10 7 2 8 giving VC the straight.

Although disapointed to go out, all in all a VERY tough days poker, and I was pleased to survive as long as I did with so few chips.

Hopefully I can continue my Luton form (and Cash form) so that I can buy into the Manchester leg - although this ma not be possible as I will also be playing the Luton Springfest next month.
We will see...........

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Form at Luton continues..............

Last night I visited Luton for the £50 one rebuy OR add on comp. The comp was 5000 chips and the rebuy/add on was 5000.
This was cut to 4000 and 4000.
I had a shaky start , dropping down to 2000 quite early on. It was at this point I decided to take my rebuy giving me 6000 chips.
I managed to survive until the first break and finished on circa 9000.
Steady poker ensued until 2 tables left when I put in quite a few re raises and took my chip stack to over average by the time I hit the final table.
Final table started off quite tight, that was until one person went out, then people started dropping like flies.
On the final table was TK, he was such a card rack, getting Aces 4 times (that he showed) as well as many other premium hands.
With 5 players left, he had well over 60% of the chips in play and was using this monster stack very well. Most seemed reluctant to challenge him, so I took on the role and managed to double up twice through him.
With 4 left he still had a commanding chip lead, but within 3 hands, he was gone in 4th place!
A very sick hand when he held Q J and flopped the nuts ( A K 10). With the other guy holding Aces all the money went in on a blank turn, only for a 10 to appear on the river. This was followed by 2 races lost and out he went.
With 3 left, blinds were 6000 12000. I had 56k and was against circa 250k and 150k stacks. The chip leader is minted and the 2nd chip leader won over £500k on the lottery a few weeks back.
The prize money was £1800 for 1st, £950 for 2nd and £540 for third.
Chip leader suggests that me and the other guy take £1000 and he takes the rest.
They both agree and although I do not like doing deals, some deals are just too good to turn down.
So with the deal agreed, it was down to one hand all in to decide the placings. I won that so it chalks up as my 2nd win at Luton.
6 visits there now (since they moved) with 4 final tables, 2 wins and a 2nd.
With this good run of form, I have decided to buy into GUKPT in Cardiff next week - hopefully the good run will continue there.........

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Live Tourneys

This month (and last month) I have concentrated on Live Tourneys, and just used online for Cash.

Luton being my "Local" - now moved just down the road from the old place. What a venue this is now! The Casino itself looks very nice and the cardroom is just outstounding! All new tables with plenty of room around each one. All the tables are full 9 seater tables, the downside being in self deal tourneys, it is quite hard to deal on a full table. However, this is not too much of a problem, as someone usually nominates to deal for the whole table and sits in the dealers chair.

Luton also have a new Tourney schedule (thanks to the players committe), with some real good comps. The one's I have decided to play are a £50 one rebuy OR add on (Wednesday) with 5000 starting chips and 30 minute clock, the £75 F/O (Friday) with 5000 chips and either 45 or 30 minute clock and Sundays, which rotates from a £100 p/l, £100 n/l, £100 rebuy and a £250 f/o. The sunday comps are usually 7000 chips with a 45 minute clock.

These tourneys are proving popular, and no wonder given those structures!

I played my first tourney here for a while, the £50 one rebuy or add on, and made the final table where I nursed my short stack to take it heads up - I lost the heads up and took 2nd for a nice £1180.

End of February saw me play the £75 f/o where I was struggling and found myself with just 2050 chips with blinds at 100 200. I am UTG with 99 and decide this is the hand and raise it to 900. 3 people AFTER me decide to ALL go all in. Now I know I am behind, but cannot pass. Sure enough I am up against AK, AA and KK.
Flop bought a 9 and I quadrupled up!
From there I progressed nicely until 2 tables were left (14 of us I think) and I have 35000 and am bullying the table. I am in early position and find J Q o/s and decide I am going to raise (again!), as I am counting out my chips, the guy behind me says "call" and puts in the BB of 600. He is forced to take back this bet as I have not yet acted. I announce "raise" and make it 2500. The guy THEN decides he wants to move all in for 30,000! He is told that he cannot do that as he acted out of turn and now can only call my raise, which he does.
Now I think I am in very bad shape here and ask the dealer to "flop me a good one as I seriously need help!"
Out comes the flop - 9 10 K - I flop the nuts!!
I am deciding what to do here, and as I am thinking, the guy again acts out of turn and says "All in". This was music to my ears, and I was pretty sure that if I checked, then his all in would stand. I checked and his all in did stand which I obliged and took down a nice pot. This saw me to the final table where I again make final table, this time with plenty of chips and it was soon heads up. I was determined to win this one and I was a 2-1 chip disadvantage. But with blinds of only 2000 4000 there was PLENTY of play left.
The other guy offered an even chop. Now although tempting - given the money situation , but I wanted to "win" my first live tourney so I declined the offer. This proved to be a good move as I went on to win the tourney outright for £1600.

Special mention to my buddy, Alex Martin. Me and Alex swap 15% of each other when we play at Luton at the same time, so he has made £300+ from me in 2 comps. Not bad for him.

Even better for him was the 2 times I did not goto Luton, he went on and won BOTH times!! So if I had gone to Luton those 2 nights, he would of owed me £500.

To be fair to Alex, I have given him alot of stick about this, he tried to give me £50 as he felt guilty, I declined the offer though.

Following those 2 returns in the same week, I then played the £100 f/o on the Sunday and was looking for 3 good cashes in a row. Things started off nicely and with 3 tables left I had around 20k, but then had an "accident" and lost half my stack.
Now with 10,000 and blinds of 400 800 (soon to goto 600 1200) I find 10 10 in early position and raise it up to 3000. All fold round to the BB who announces "all in" . He has circa 25K and although I do not like the call, I cannot fold in this situation. Sure enough he had KK and out I went.

One final note on live play, I am also playing in the £250 n/l table after the comps, where I am approx £800 up in the 4 times I have played.

All in all a good February, winning online, 2 nice cashes from live tourneys, and also winning in live cash games.

Long may this spell of "form" continue!!

Sky Poker on 846!!

Well I managed to "blag" an invite onto Shy Poker 846. It is Sky's new Poker show where they have their "Open" tournament live on TV. (Thanks Mr Kendall!)

Filmed in a green studio, with computer graphics added. Absolutely amazing technology!

Well I set off to arrive at the studio for 6pm, but me being me (and the fact that the studio was near the M4) I arrived at around 5pm! They did not seem to mind me getting there early.

I met Sean Boyce (The presenter) and Trevor Harris (The Analyst) who were very friendly and we exchanged a few stories.

I had my make up done - very strange experience and I must say, looked awfull in normal daylight, but was assured that in the studio, it would look ok.

Next to arrive were the two celeb guests, Chris Brooks (Capital 1 DJ) and Scott Robinson (Ex "Five" member). These two were down to earth and a real laugh!

On set at around 8.30 for some rehersals, and shooting the opening scene was hilarious (thanks to Scott). Just as Sean was about to give his opening speech, Scott makes a "blowjob" sign at him which sent Sean into histerics. To be fair to Sean, he managed to recover - god knows how!! I had tears streaming from my face!

9pm soon came around and it was time to go "live". Although I was not nervous at all, I was a little apprehensive as I am usually a very quiet and withdrawn type so I was not sure how this would come accross on the TV.

Back to the Poker, it is a £10 freezeout and with just over 550 runners is quite a big field. Add to this the structure of 1500 starting chips and VERY fast blind increases (after one hour, blinds are 200 400) you have to either get lucky early on, or bully your way to a manageable stack. I managed to do the later,, and the former!

I am trying to bully the two short stacks behind me and decide to raise with A 10 o/s (see right) and make it 2000 preflop. Unfortunately I run into A J who moves all in for another 300 odd which I call.

Flop does not look too exciting, but then the turn brings me some more outs and then that miracle river giving me the straight flush! What a luck box! lol

From here I managed to progress into the money , but then the luck I had on that straight flush hand came back to bite me on the arse! I am in the BB with KK (roughly 10,000 chips) and it is folded round to the SB who pushes for 11k. I call and they have A 5.

No, the ace does not hit, but the get runner runner for a straight and I am out.

Pleased with the way I played in the tourney and then I am entered into a "Celeb" sit and go which I also manage to win!

I would like to thank Tony Kendall (who got me the invite) and the Sky poker team (who were fabulous). It was a wonderfull experience and one I would be more than happy to do again.

If any of you get an invite, jump at it! You will have a blast, trust me!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

APAT Welsh Championship

Staff at Cardiff did a wonderfull job

Many many thanks Sean who gave a bottle of Bubbly as a consolation prize for the bubble boy - Yes it was me

Brendan looked so upset at his 14th place finish - VWD Brendan.

I met a few new faces there, and I must make a special mention to James - aka sofaking . What a top bloke he is!!!!! So unlucky to exit in hand 3 wasnt it??

Kev, I let you win that STT - just being nice to you lol

The tourney was a great success, maybe the clock/blinds could of been better, but I am not knocking APAT at all - it is soooo hard to organise a tourney and they have done a great job.
From 32 places left, it did end up a little bit hit and miss as the average stack had 10xBB - just a comment, and not meant as a critisism.
The standard was again poor which made th first few levels a minefield where you HAD to hit the flop and hit it hard as not many would put down top pair no matter how much you bet. I sat out the first 4 levels and had blinded down to 7500. Managed to quickly get to 20k (as the blinds were 200 400) and then to a comfortable 40k, then 91k (with 9 4 in the BB when I turned 2 pair against the guy with top pair).
32 returned and with 22 getting paid it was going to be tough. Sherrif had 80k and did not manage to make the money. I had 62k and struggled. Finally took a stand (36500) UTG when blinds had got to 6000 12000 with A 5 suited. Got an all in re raise from late position to 80k and the BB woke up with a hand and asked for a chip count of the 2nd all in. By this time I had left the table and stood watching from a distance. When the BB took 5 minutes to decide to call, I wondered back over to the table. The re raise all in guy turned over K 5 o/s and I suddenly felt a bit more confident, until the BB (the guy who took 5 minutes to call) turns over Aces!!!!
He was not slow rolling, he was honestly thinking of passing for fear of being the bubble boy. He need not have worried as his Aces held up.
All in all very pleased with my play, disapointed to be bubble, but ................. what a fantastic weekend away.

Update on online cash play

Well the online cash games have been up and down for February. I was £700 up on 11/02/07 and I finished the month £1,377 up, which is just over £344 per week.

I am now playing £1 £2 tables - a quick jump up, but if I have a major downswing, then I will drop down but so far so good.

One session to note (well one that sticks out in my mind). It was the day before I was travelling down to the APAT event in Cardif (more on that later) and I played for around 25 minutes on 3 tables. I always "autopost" and this first table I am dealt 4d 6d and raise to £12. One guy in late position decides to re raise another £12. Ooops I thought, but have to call. Flop comes 6 6 9. Now I have him on overpair and manage to get a double up (£200 up). VERY next hand I am in the BB and have suited Ace. Anyway, I am involved in a pot with the same guy (who has rebought) and I hit the nut flush on the river - with him hitting 2nd nut flush so he stacks me again! (£400 up in 2 hands!) . Now this guy aint too happy!!
In the meantime on one of the other tables - I have AQ and see a flop of Q high. Turn bought another Q and he bets hard into me. I thought maybe he had hit a FH, and knowing I had the Q that he would get paid, but decided to push.
He called in a flash and sure enough he had a FH - then the river comes an Ace and I make a higher FH!! . Incidently this was against the same guy I had stacked twice on the other table!!
Well I managed to win a few more hands and eventually left that session just under £650 up - Not bad for 25 minutes work!!
Biggest loosing session in February was for £456.

The swings are fairly big, but seem to be sustainable at the moment.