Tuesday, 16 February 2010

first live cash in london

some mates at uni frequently go to the casino just to play roulette and i'd been meaning to join them on a trip for a while, so whilst drunkedly standing outside a club at 2am on a wednesday night and talks about going to the casino emerged i was prettttty keen. 30 minutes on a bus and we were outside the empire casino...and i headed to straight to the poker room whilst the others went to play roulette.

i thought buying in for 200 would be pretty standard, however i was very short stacked at the table. average stack was probably about £700-800 and the guy to my left had atleast 1.5k. I won a small pot preflop with aces, and about a £30pot with top pair with a flop bet, and then the big hand...The whole table has limped to me & I make it £20 with aces (i run good) and surprisingly get 4 callers, inclusing the sb. the flop 8h-6h-4s. the sb leads for £50. with so many players behind i just call. then the original utg limper makes it £150. other two callers pass and the sb folds. i wasn't loving the situation but with about £330 in the middle and only £130 behind, i went all in. although it was only £30 more to call he started seriously dwelling up. sweet. he then called. i showed, and he said he needed some help. even better. the turn and river were both 10's and he mucked.

i played another not particulary evenful hour, and cashed out +£350, making it a pretty sweet end to the night. I met my other mates and we decided that a full english breakfast would be in order...he was up £150 too. he goes to cash out and me and my other mate are just waiting watching some roulette...we then turnaround and my mate never made it to the cage and he's playing blackjack. at £40 a hand. i come over watch two hands which he loses and now he's down £60! d'oh!! oh well- we still get that full english in putney and its pretty awesome seeing all the commuters get on the tube whilst you are just coming back from the night.

so overall, really fun night and a bit more live poker success, sure my good luck live will run out soon. would love to play more there but don't have the roll to play in it properly, so i think i'll just go a few more times hopefully on spontaneous trips!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

New Years in Vegas!

8 days in Vegas over New Years? Ideal! Have been back now for nearly a month so this is a bit of a delayed post. I wrote down some of the key hands to jog my memory and I've just gone through these main ones.

Anywayzzzzz...Before we went, I was hoping to play lots of poker to get in gear before we flew to Vegas at the end of December. That never happened; general Christmas mayhem meant that I hadn’t really played any poker for about four months. Plenty of some hot shit scenarios from bushy and adam on the flight and a skim read of Harrington however, and I felt good to go….

So, here are the hands I played....

1. The first session we play was at the MGM. I buy in for $150 and we all sign up together but get put at different tables. This is my first live cash game so wasn’t that confident about what I was doing and found it pretty hard just following the game. Zoid. About 20 mins in and getting a better feel for the table, in MP I raise to $7 with 8d8s. The button makes it $15, the BB calls and I call.

The BB and myself check a flop of Qs-8d-4s.

The button bets $20 and then the BB C/R’s to $55. I think about just flat calling, but pretty sure the BB will call my all in and I didn’t want to get too tricky and go with the push…then the button insta calls! And so does the BB. The turn and river are both 4’s, and I start to think I lose to an over pair, oooops! Thankfully, the Button tables KK and the BB mucks his flush draw and it’s pretty much the ideal start.

2. $80 freeze out at Caesars. 65 runners, $1300 for 1st. This was a great place to play poker but the tournament with a 20 min clock and big antes and blind increases meant there wasn’t much post flop poker towards the later blind levels. Things start badly when I bluff half my stack on the first level against the wrong player who was a bit of a calling station. I then defend a button raise with Ks8s.

The flop is As7s3d.

I CRAI and get called by AK no spades. I river the spade, easy game. Down to 3 tables I make a pretty big pass with 10-10 pre flop with only an M of 5 after an UTG push. I should of pushed in hindsight. A lap later, I then push with 5,2o in the cutoff and BB thinks for 5 minutes and then wins with A10. All three of us crashed and burned and this tourney was on NYE so could have been a great start to the night…

3. $1-2 at the MGM. Aggressive UTG makes it $10, folds to me, and I just call with AK in the BB.

The flop is KQJ- rainbow and I check.

He bet’s $15 and I call. The turn is an 8 and I check. He insta pushes for $90. I don’t love the way I played this, but I felt he was just trying to buy the pot and called…he had JJ, and I didn’t hit the 10. Probably too marginal a spot to play but anyways…

4. Still at the MGM, I raise the cuttoff with Ks7d to $7. A good tight player on the button makes it $15 and I call.

The flop is As8s3s.

I check and he insta bets $40. I push for $130. He starts sighing and generally looks pretty pissed off. Ideal. He then stands up, uh-oh…, and says “I KNOW you have the King of Spades!!!” He then calls, I for some reason can’t hit my flush this time and felt pretty disgusted when I was shown Kh8h for the winning hand. Sick call without the ace and any spade. I genuinely believe that this player had seen both my cards from his speech and his call (and the fact that I am a bit of an idiot and wasn’t looking at my whole cards too discretely!)

5. $1-2 at Mandalay bay. I limp in early with Jh10h and the button raises to $10. I call and so do 5 others. The flop is J44.

Checks round to the button who bets $20. I am the only caller. The turn is a 10. I check and call the buttons AI of $65 and beat KJ.

6. Mandalay Bay. I am in the cuttoff and it’s been straddled to $5 and called in 3 spots. I have JJ and raise to $25. The straddler then makes it $50. Hmmmmmm. I am playing $200ish and the straddler has me covered. I call.

The flop is A-K-3 and he checks. I check back.

The turn is a pretty interesting J. He bets $50. I’m honestly not loving this because AA, KK make a lot of sense. I shove it all in though and when he insta calls I’m feeling pretty sick. He then tables AK, phew, and I hold. Two hands later the same guy hits a straight flush for a $200 bonus and a nice pot so he wasn’t too annoyed.

7. MGM. With $200, I raise to $7 UTG+2 with 5-5. Standard 8 callers.

The flop is As-5c-6d.

I bet the flop for $22 and get called by the button. The turn is a 6h and I bet $40. Button calls. The river is another ace and I check. He bets $100. I fold…..but thankfully get shown an ace.

8. MGM.Only playing $100, and 4 callers, I limp on the button with 5s6h.

Flop is 5-5-8- Rainbow.

Checks to button who bets $30, I jam and the BB calls. Uh-oh. Button folds and I lose to 5-7.

9. Mandalay Bay. It’s straddled and I call with 8-8 UTG (playing $400). 4 other callers and the straddler checks.

The flop is Ah-8d-Jd.

Checks to straddler who bets $25. I make it $75, folds back round to straddler who calls. The turn is a Q. Straddler checks and I set her all in for $100. She calls with A-10 and I hold….

10. Mandalay Bay. I limp with 3-3 playing $350 in MP, 6 players see the flop of...


BB bets, $8 I just call and a good Chinese woman calls too. The turn is 7c. BB bets $25 and I call and so does the Chinese woman. The river is the Qc. BB bet’s $35. Pretty confident I’m beating the BB and raise to $90. Then the Chinese flat calls…..spicy. The BB calls the extra $55. BB has 8-6 and the Chinese lady scoops with 4d-5d.

So, I played about 9 sessions in total, longest one was 13 hours straight! and six of the nine sessions were profitable. Overall I was up around $600 through poker. My game was pretty embarrassingly nitty though, which although definitely very exploitable isn’t such a bad thing in Vegas and probably always going to be profitable at those stakes. If there’s a next time, hopefully I’ll have more of a roll and be able to be a bit more adventurous….

Since I’ve been back I’ve been running pretty well online just playing 50c-$1 mainly FR. Once we get the interent I’m going to buy HEM or PT3 and try and get some stats going. I also had a post-club
trip to the Empire casino in London to play some £1-£2 which was so funny but this has been a monster report so I’ll write about it soon.

Monday, 9 November 2009

going in cold

Until yesterday, I hadn't played online in the last 6 weeks. I don't have internet access at the moment, so it's not really on the agenda. However, all the WSOP build gave me the itch to play so I couldn't help enter one of the sunday majors last night....
Playing meant trecking all the way to the 24hr uni computer suite. The last bus home was at 1am, so I figured I wanna be out reasonably early OR in for the long haul when the cumputer geeks get there for 7am. Unfortunately, it was a relatively early bust out when I played the following hand.
Blinds 200-400
My stack 12k
Villains stack 34k.
Pre flop:
Active villain makes it 1k UTG+2.
I make the call with AJo on the button.
Big blind comes along too.
Flop: (Pot= 3,200)
Ah, 10d, 9s
Villain leads for 2k
I flat (I figure, either well ahead or well behind reassess on turn)
Button folds.
3s (Boards A,10,9,3)
Villain bets 4k (Pot 7.2K)
I shove for 5k more.
He calls.
I think flop call is fine with the attitude to re-assess but I think I got my info with his turn bet and should really fold. Pretty scary board for villain to bluff at (despite his activeness and chip stack) and I only really beat a bluff. Turns out I'm drawing dead.
But even during the tournament I kinda felt like I was dead money to be honest. Poker is a game of practice, and not playing for over a month and then trying to play well in a big tourney is very very hard. Little things like concentration, reading hands, general table awareness are completely diminished and I never felt like I was really going to go deep.
I've been doing more and more sport psychology recently and its very interesting and very relevent to poker in my opinion. Whilst watching some of the WSOP build up I saw Hellmuth talking about who was going to win, and he said "it would be someone who had imagined themselves winning, and prepared themselves for what it would be like". I gotta agree with him- I think that preparation is crucial in making the difference between you are your oponents, and I'm guessing that not enough people do it.
As far as poker for me in concerned I'm going to try and grind HU very hard over the next 6 weeks before a Vegas trip at New Years. Cheapest game there looks to be $200NL so I wanna take a fair few buy ins with me. I was hoping to do more and more triathlon training to do the big race next August, however I decided against it for different reasons BUT will be doing at least a couple of Olympic triathlons next year so be good to get out training.
We do have a regular live game running though in London. Well I say regualr but we are one week in. Thursday night's, its a great crack. Lots of people learning but everyone loves it. One guy i'm not sure if he's running a huge bluff on us all. One time, at blinds 20-40, he bet 20 on the flop into the pot of 100. I reminded him that the minimum bet was 40 now, and he then proceeded to bet 4000. Mind games. He ended up finishing 2nd.

Monday, 7 September 2009

small cash in the WCOOP

Still a little gutted about this tournament because I went pretty deep and didn't manage to play my big stack very well. Overall, happy to cash but I still seem to be stumbling at the final hurdle(s) which is definitely a leak in my game. I should of really bubbled also, when I two outted someone so the cash is very welcome. Things generally just went my way alot of the tournament, had AA v AK twice, hit two sets which both got paid and generally I picked good spots to bluff. I got up to 100k with 400 players left and then lost two big pots, firstly when I flat called a re raise with KK and lost to A7 and then when I didn't 4 bet with JJ and lost to Q10. The flop was Q high and I couldn't fold....Anyway, I got back to 50k, with average around 90K and then I played the following hand....

Folds round to serial raiser in the cutoff (stack 110k) and he makes a standard raise to ~4k
New player in the SB (Stack 80k) flat calls.
I'm in the BB with 50k and squeeze it all in the 63o.

Surprisingly I get two calls! lol. Cutoff reraised all in with AK and newbie calls with JJ. Good timing. Anyway i came 391/8538 for $580ish. Not sure about playing some more WCOOP, I'll see how the sat's go...

Sunday, 30 August 2009

back on the felt

After 6 weeks off from the game I'm back playing. I've been working full time too so I've hardly put in many hours. It started horribly playing 50c-$1 cash and I have just about recovered the losses through a few tournaments. I think my cash game is pretty weak tbh, probably because I'm not rolled to play! However, after a cheeky satalite win I'm going to take a shot at the first WCOOP event, 6 max $215 buy-in with 20 min clock. Hopefully it will fund my entrance into the rest of the tournaments...I got my eye's on the Main event.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

a break-even month of sorts...

Warning: boring post.

I haven't played a single hand of poker for the last month.
It's been good having an extended break from the game and during it I've never had a real urge to play. However, I am looking to start back up fairly soon, but I'm not sure if I'm ready yet!!! It's sad but, the whole package that comes with the game when you take it seriously is quite a lot...the discipline, the frustration, the highs and lows....it's a lot to take in! That's why its so good isn't it...

Also, in four days it also marks a year until the start of this Ironman in August 2010. I'm not sure if I've got my place yet, I'll find out in September but I'll use this month to atelast get myself ready for a long year of training.

So...this month is likely to be back to the tables and back on the road for training.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

more on mindset

As per my last post I was hoping to play alot of MTT's and go on a huge grind. I booked a vegas trip for New Years 2010, so time to fund it.

I made a $500 deposit and got off to a pretty bad start, dropping a $100ish or so and got pretty dispirited, even though I've lost a lot more in the past, I'm not earning at the moment so the money hurts a bit more. I turned to the cash tables and had a few sessions where I played far too long (4 tabling for 5-6 hours isn't great for the eyes) and played very badly and too high, a bad combination. Needless to say it hasn't been my finest poker week.

I'm not really in the right frame of mind to be playing my best - I'm on a long break from my degree and not working, so without income. The added pressure doesn't seem to be working... Playing for 5 hours and then getting two outted for the CL on the bubble doesn't do much for your mood either and I'm not sure I can take it!

Away from poker, I've been been getting in to some long distance training recently, I'm semi-addicted to it. One aim is to complete this ironman next year. There's a big chance I won't get accepted because it's pretty compeititve to get a place and although I'd love to do it, it's a massive committment. I reckon it's a great time for me to do it though, I'll have a fair amount of time to train and some mates to do it with.

Back to what I'm going to do with poker. I'm going to take a break from it, take down the odd tourney, and just enjoy the summer and hopefully also get some work experience. It's not like poker is going to go anywhere.