Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Off To The Gutshot...

... tomorrow evening. I've been invited to a media super satellite by Paddy Power Poker.

More here:

No buy-in, free booze and free food. "RSVP" said the email... I nearly set the keyboard on fire with the speed of my response.

Latvia was an interesting trip. It isn't the prettiest place on earth, all rather grey to be brutally honest, but the people are nice enough. The cards, like the weather, were ice cold. I had AK twice in 4 hours and after the second time I was getting my coat. I've written about it briefly in my official Poker Heaven blog.

I have a little break now. I intend to use my Westcliffe buy-in at Luton in early April. Then Brighton is the next stop on April 15th. Lithuania follows that and finally Blackpool. That takes me into May and the end of my Poker Heaven deal.

I don't want to go into my deal with Poker Heaven in too much detail. They have been very good to me and I'm hopeful they will extend until 2007. I have sent a lot of players their way from my website and tournament promotions. I enjoy all the aspects of my sponsorship. I've always been a salesman, so to combine that with poker is pretty much my ideal job.

I have everything confirmed for my WSOP trip now. Out on July 26th, two days before the big one. I'm very excited to have the chance to play in this event. I am determined to play at my very best and progress deep into the tournament. A cash would be something I would be very proud of.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Where is Laffia?...

...is what my mother asked as I wished her Happy Birthday today. I'm not sure if she's going deaf or I'm slurring my sentences even more than usual.

So, off to sunny Riga it is tomorrow. Daytime temp' -1C. Night temp' -12C. This means the only time I'll be outdoors is when getting in and out of taxis.

I managed to charm my way off the main event waiting list to the main players list. Apparently the casino in Riga is not very large, 5 days before the event the waiting list had started and I was 3rd. A little miffed at having already paid for my hotel and flights, not wanting to miss out on this event, I fired off an email to the poker manager, Julia. A little begging and grovelling later and I'm in.

I've neglected my poker charts updates for the last week or so. Nothing exciting has occured, I'm probably $1,500 ahead of the last chart. Must be more disciplined in future.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Table finale à Paris

7th in Paris for €1800, or there abouts.

I played some great poker. I got lucky on one hand with 14 players left. I felt I should have/could have won this. However, it's nice to have some ranking points again.

Now I'm over the cashing hurdle, I desperately want to cross the finishing line in 1st again. I know it's easy to play 50 tournaments and not win, easy to play a few dozen and not cash, etc. That doesn't stop a burning desire I have to win again. It's been 11 months since I won the first ranking event I ever played, in Lithuania. I don't play every single tournament like some of the circuit guys. My sponsorship doesn't cover that and it would quickly become tiresome, grinding out result after result.... or at least trying to. I have 7 or 8 tournaments left betweeen now and May 4th when my Poker Heaven deal ends. One win would go down very nicely.

I have some WSOP news. I'm off to Vegas this year with Team Poker News. I haven't been to Vegas since 2002 and then I didn't play any poker. I can't wait!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Deal or no deal?

Heads-up, $100 PLHE this afternoon. it's a 55/45% chip split in favour of my opponent.

Equal deal is offered, I take it, $1080 each.

I know, I know... I'm so weak!

Another final, though. WTF is going on?

In the tournament poker groove

It's been a hell of a week for tournament poker over at Chateau Moves.

Last night I finalled in the Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo $55 on Stars. Eventually chopping it 4 handed for $702 - an equal split which the leader was happy to agree to, despite having 10k more than everybody else! I was 4th at the time and said no to any deals, assuming they would be based on chip counts. It didn't take me long to change my mind when an equal split was tabled ;-)

I played in, what I consider, a "for fun" tournament on advfn poker. It's only a $10 buy-in, 13 runners, I lost out when heads-up. Had my opponent all-in pre-flop with 5,3 vrs my A,6. He hit runnings threes. Better players registered this week. Although it's not a financially positive use of my time, even if I win, I enjoy the banter and fun aspects of this game.

Since last Sunday, 6 days ago, I am nudging $4,000 in winnings from online tournaments. I should really have cashed in another $100 tourney but blew up 5 from the money. You won't hear me complaining about that. The last 6 days have been great in regards to tournaments. Several chops meant I was never officially an outright winner, that said, each deal seemed fair or MORE than fair in my favour. I feel next time, assuming the amounts are not too huge for me, I will play to a conclusion.

One bet for today: Everton to beat Fulham. Hopefully not too many goals as I've taken the home match result, the 1-0 to Everton and the under 2.5 goals.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Yet another one

No final table today, booo!

Amazingly though, I cashed again. 18th in the $100 NLHE on Stars for almost double my money back. That's four cashes from six tournaments on there now.

I have GOT to transfer this to B&M. The muddy waters of tournament poker are clearer. I can't explain it very well, so I'm sorry if this post sounds like crap. My decision making is much better suddenly. I'm protecting my chips and attacking others at the right times.

Today I was on the felt. With 62 players left I was 62nd with a grand total of 505 chips. Miles from the money and a mountain a climb. I didn't cave in as I have previously, I scrapped and stole and picked my spots until, with 22 to go, I was 12th! 18th from there was disappointing but I was over the moon to cash after being last of 62 only an hour previously.

I've collected over $3,000 in tourney winnings in the last 4 days. I'm enjoying tournament poker again. I feel a big result is on the way this year. I hope it's in Paris next week.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Running hot... at last!

I just spent the last 4 hours in the tournament above. I could do no wrong here, winning 14 out of 14 showdowns, only losing one when heads-up, after a deal had been agreed. I took $1800, the winner took $1900. A fair deal at that stage really.

Most pleasing was the fact I was on the felt when 6 handed. Yet, was chip leader by a few K when heads-up.

That's three finals from three on Poker Stars. I am indeed running very hot.

Bring on the French!

Keeping up the momentum

I had a long hard think about the value of tournaments last night. My Poker Chart is showing an hourly rate of $220 back to December 2005 for cash games only. Before this, in the $200 per day challenge, I was on an even higher rate back to August/Sept 2005.

With this in mind, any tournament will have to return a rate of around $250 an hour to make it worthwhile to me. Even in smaller rebuys, like the PLO Hi/Lo from yesterday, that rate is possible IF you reach the very latter stages. Of course, you can't always get to the tail end of tournaments and scraping into the cash, or not cashing at all, is a more feasible conclusion for most events.

I'm not giving up tournaments. I'm going to play events of $50 buy-ins and upwards only from now on. This will mean little or no tournament play during the day time, as buy-ins are generally pretty low until the sun goes down. Cash games are just too lucrative for me to sacrifice, however, a good tournament result does wonders for the ego as well as the bank roll.

I'll be in Paris this time next week for the €500 NLHE. Due to my good run recently I'm taking an extra day off in France and bringing the wife with me for some sight seeing. I enjoyed Paris on my last trip back in November last year, I found myself speaking French on many occasions for the first time in about 15 years, only very basic stuff of course, but remarkably I was understood nearly all of the time! Tres Bonjour! As Delboy Trotter would say.

After Paris, literally straight after too! It's Westcliffe for a couple of NLHE's, a shootout and a standard freezeout.

The following week I'm off to sunny Riga, Latvia..... brrrr!!! For their Open and a side event.

Then I'll get a few weeks off the Poker Heaven tour until mid-April. So, a very hectic few weeks are ahead. I'm not complaining :-)

Have you tried the new Party Poker software? I'm actually impressed!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Positive Mental Attitude

On Sunday I played in the $100 PLHE tourney on Stars. I cashed in 5th in this event and felt I'd played something like my old form. I then moved over to Poker Heaven for the BPO qualifier and had a solid game there despite a blow up at the end. After these events I felt my form was returning. I used to be a good tournament player, somehow, in the last few months, I've lost the ability to get in the money. Today, as you can see from the screenshot, it returned in style.

Although I'm listed as 3rd there, we did a three way chop for $1169 each. So all-ins ensued and I went out in 3rd place. The deal was a good one for me, I was 60k off the leader yet the chop was equal, needless to say I agreed to it pretty quickly!

My focus on this game was 100% and I felt positive I could do well. Now, to transfer this good feeling over to Paris for next week!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Love/Hate 30

It's been a good start to March, as you can see from Poker Charts. The $3k win from the last 4 days has pushed me up over $15,000 for the year. That's 30% of my annual target and we're only just into March. Needless to say, I'm delighted with my cash form.

I played the ADVFN traders game last night. It was great to see Skyfella on the table and in good spirits again. It was set-up for an MTT, however, only 10 joined and it played out like an STT but with 4 paid!. Fair enough. ADVFN added $100 to the prizepool, so that made it a value event even if it was only a $10 buy-in. I cashed in 3rd.... yes that's right, wipe your beverage from your screen, I cashed in a tournament!

Off I went to Natwest this morning with my Poker Heaven buy-ins for March. I hate going into the branch of this bank, the staff simply do not understand the concept of privacy. Despite THREE complaints from me over the telephone and face to face, they continue to attempt to sell me loans, credit cards, review my accounts, etc etc. This aspect of going into the branch, I can tolerate, what I cannot is the disregard for privacy, as figures are openly discussed for the entire branch to hear. I'm generally a private person and I live in a small village next to a small town. I'd rather the general population of this town be unaware of what amount I'm depositing, what my current account balance is or what my credit card balance is on. If it happens again I'm going to stand there and demand the commission seeking staff member be flogged in front of me... or, then again, I'll probably move two doors down to Barclays.

Oh, the topic? Love 30%, Hate the approaching 30 years old :-)

Have a good weekend.