Sunday, April 23, 2006


After a fun and entertaining week in Dublin, myself and several other blondeites decided to venture down to Walsall and play what has always been one of the best comps in the county.

The £300 double-chance freezout has always been a fave of mine, and I was gutted when they took it off the monthly schedule, but, and hopefully not for ‘one night only’, it’s made a most welcome return.

Joining the likes of RED-DOG, tikay, Djinn, booder, I KNOW IT, Slick Kid, malcm, The_nun, and M3boy were well over a hundred other hopefuls (great turn-out once again), all looking to take a large bite into the 15k first prize.

I sat down to be greeting by the smiley faces of Des ‘Bling Bling’ Jonas, David ‘booder’ Baker, and Craig ‘I KNOW IT’ Wildman perched opposite, whilst the rest of the table was made up of faces I recognised, but couldn’t attach a name to.

After a solid performance in the Luton Main Event last week, I headed into this competition with my confidence riding high, convinced that I was going to final. And following a few early pots, I had no reason to question that optimism. I wasn’t hitting too much, but I somehow managed to duck and dive my way up to 11k pretty briskly. As Des said, ‘We’ve let you get away with too much on this table, snoopy’. Yeah, he was kinda right too.

Mid ducking and diving, I recall a massive hand between myself, booder, craig, and mateyboy. With blinds at 25/50, booder raised to 200 under the gun. The aforementioned all flatcalled, including myself with an A-J holding. Booder raising from trap 1 spells trouble to me, so I didn’t think a reraise was the wise option.

Anyhow, the flop came a very dangerous Jc-Ts-8c. Booder, after a momentary dwell, checked tentatively, whilst mateyboy came out betting for 1k. Suspecting that Mateyboy, who had overbet the pot rather aggressively, actually had a big piece of the flop, I opted for a reluctant fold. Craig called, and booder moved all-in. Mateyboy and Craig both called. Phew, I sure was in trouble. Craig had K-Q, booder held bullets, whilst Mateyboy was ahead with J-T two pair. I would have come a good fourth though, as the turn brought a nine, very nice for Craig who pulled in a tasty pot.

At the break, Booder lambasted his own play. Personally, I wouldn’t beat myself up about it too much. I would have checked the flop too, but I think I would have let it go once it came back round. That flop was just way too dangerous and I don’t like sticking my chips in with those sort of hands, even if it is bullets. You’re sure to be in trouble somewhere down the line. Perhaps a preflop bet to 300 or 400 would have been better too, as it was somewhat of a calling table… but hardly the most foolish error ever made.

Meanwhile, I’d managed to crawl up to around 14k, bit by bit which was most satisfying. Then came another interesting hand. I flatcalled from late position with 6-4 off. (yes, very loosey goosey, but I was trying to play every pot and see as many flops as possible) With a few limpers, Des raised it up from the big blind. I smelt a rat and decided to call, fully intending to move on any flop. I had a feeling he was trying to steal, but thought seeing a flop could get more chips, especially as he’d put me on a strong pocket pair.

Anyhow, the 4-6-K (2 clubs) flop change the dynamics of my strategy slightly and I decided to call his bet, hoping he’d hang himself on the turn. Turn was an 8 and all the chips went in, to my delight, although his K-7 clubs holding was extremely dangerous. He missed his 5, K, 7, and club and I was flying. Des mumbled his complaints as he left the table, but he’s a good lad and takes these beats on the chin. Anyhows, I didn’t care… who’s gonna mess with me now??

Inevitably, the table broke up… and so it was time to build my image all over again, something that is a right pain in the arse for me as mateyboys automatically label me as a rock. With D Sami, Trevor Reardon, and Lawrence Gosney on my left, this wasn’t going to be an easy night. Lawrence was bound to call my raises to outplay me, so I had to be aware of that. I let him get away with it once, when I folded king high (K-J) to his 8 (!!) high (8-3), but everyone gets bluffed out now and then.

D Sami will be fuming though. He bet 1500 under the gun with the blinds at just 100/200. I called from the button with my 6-7. I knew there was a good chance he had a big pocket pair, and so was sure I’d bust him if I caught the flop. He had a nice chunky stack, and I had enough chips to make the call… so I deemed it to be worth a shot. Well, ultimately it was, as I flopped a straight and he paid me off with his cowboys. New table, but, once again, who’s gonna mess with me now?? Image sorted.

I played quite a few hands on this table, plenty of moves. Ran into aces and failed to hit my flush draw, but karma visited when I hit a jack high (two diamonds) flop with J-9 (of diamonds) versus A-J. I hit a 9, and Mateyboy looked like he was going to turn green. Boy, my chips were moving in and out like the hokey cokey, but I was cool with that. I wanted chips, and lots of them.

Before I knew it, I was up to 70k and chip leader. My game was in top form and I was overjoyed with the way I was playing.

Soon, we were down to 3 tables and I was about to lose 20k of my phallic stack. With blinds at 1k/2k, I trapcalled from the small blind with A-J, fully expecting Carl Thomas, an aggressive and very dangerous Welsh player, to take a stab. He did, so I reraised his 4.5k to 14.5k, but I wasn’t expecting a 20.7k all-in. Wow. This really was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make, took me ages. I had decent pot odds, and I wasn’t necessarily dominated… but did I want to become a shortstack when 47.5k was still a threat on a relatively weak table? After a lengthy dwell, I opted for the latter… and never found out what he had. However, I was still chipped up, and soon rose back up to 55k+.

Drum roll please………………….. Kings verus Aces that would have put me on 90k. King on flop provided the usual tease, and I was down to 20k. Bizarrely, I even thought that I’d prefer to have flatcalled his reraise so I could suffer a bad beat instead when the chips moved in on the flop, but that has to be the dumbest thought I’ve ever had… and I’ve had quite a few, believe me. Anyway, s**t happens, you have to forget it, which I did, but the poker gods didn’t, and they dealt me another blow when my 2nd pair ran into top pair in a battle of the blinds situation. I had too few chips and no real option, anything but top pair and he folds. Gone in about 25th and gutted beyond belief.

So… where the hell did all my chips go???

Did I mess up, was I unlucky, should I have finalled?…. Gawd knows, but I know it hurt… even more so than the Luton Main Event. Shellshocked in fact. Why?

-- I felt on top of my game
-- I made few mistakes throughout the whole comp
-- I was chip-leader with 35 left
-- I’m itching for a win
-- I feel as if I am more than capable of and deserve a win
-- The 90k would have made me a true threat for the 15k
-- I’ve never lost so many chips in such a short space of time
-- I was truly convinced I was going to win the comp outright. No other though entered my head.

But to take away the positives, I played some good poker. My game is gradually evolving towards a level to which I’m happy with. I’m accumulating chips and amassing big stacks, it’s just about riding that final obstacle. One of these days I’m going win a few comps in a row and make people sit up and take notice. I’d love to be recognised in the same bracket as young players such as Jen, Chili, Flushy, JP, Bradley… I never am, but I will be soon because I won’t stop until I am.

Bring on the next comp… sharpish… because I’m going to win it. Bridesmaid no more…

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Embarrassingly, I was interviewed during the break and just after I’d lost a chunk of my stack to my neighbour. Boy, I must have looked grumpy. My interview basically translated as this… ‘I’m a complete muppet. I just made a crap call, and gave away 10k needlessly. I’m a fish.’ Hmph, I don’t think I did myself any favours by reliving that hand with Rhowena. Why I couldn’t have mentioned my top-notch play from last night or how I got into the comp on the cheap… I don’t know, but I didn’t. Grr. At least I made Rhowena look good though, not sure the female viewers will be calling for this mug to return to their boxes.

After the break, a bright light shone from the heavens and I actually managed to win a couple of hands. Amen!

I checked bottom two pair in the big blind, called the flop bet, and reraised on the turn to take a decent pot. I also managed to push Luke Patten off pocket kings (incredibly) when an ace flopped. I’d called from the blind with K-J suited and bet my flush draw. I thought check raising would look to obvious. So, with my stack back in the thirties, I felt as though I was back in with a shout… If only I could find a darn hand. (snoopy twiddles his thumbs whilst he waits. Zzzzzzz)

The blinds went up and the bubble soon loomed. Whilst others rose like leaping dolphins to watch a hand from the other table, I was determined to stay seated and play my normal game without worrying about missing out on a payday. I didn’t even know the payout structure for the event as I’d made an intentional effort to block it out of my mind and just play for first.

Anyhow, Tim ‘Okidily Okily Damn Doodidly Hokidily Pokery’ Flanders bubbled and I was in the money. Bizarrely, I wasn’t particularly chuffed. It was great to turn $100 into £1500, but, at the time, I was disappointed that my once 50k+ stack had turned into 20k and I was no longer a threat. That’s either me being an unjustifiably sulky monkey, or someone yearning for first. Hopefully the latter, but you decide.

Soon after, I found A-4 in the small blind and, with the blinds at 1/2k, I shoved in 9k of my 17k stack. To my surprise, the big blind, who had just 1k more than me, flatcalled. Sheesh, I knew I had to hit now. The J-J-9 was no help whatsoever and my only decision left was whether to check or push in my remaining 7k. At this point I had no intention in folding to a bet, but I’m still unsure as to whether my all-in move here was correct. His flat call was very suspicious, so I was sure I was behind. If he had a small pocket pair or a big ace, he would have reraised preflop. I was tempted to try and check it down to the river in case he had an ace like me, but I don’t think I could give a K-Q, or suited connectors a free card, even if I could push him off an ace high with a move on the turn or river. Either way, he had pocket tens (just my luck) and I was a gonna, tail firmly between my legs, but head held up high.

I was expectedly glum at first, but soon realised that I should be proud of my performance. I’d cashed on my first Main Event and given my opponents one or two things to think about. Well, okay, just the one, but I promise they’ll be seeing me again. In fact, I guarandamntee it.

In one of my blog entries from last week, I recall mentioning how I’d concerned myself too much with what people thought of me and my game. I’m still trying to eradicate that concern, as I have made so many friends in poker and I really care about what they think, but I have to admit to hoping that people now respect my game a little more than they did before. I played too passively on Day 2, but I reckon I put in a top performance to hit the 50k mark. Hopefully I can build on this and be better prepared for next time when the money approaches, I know I will. I work hard at this game and am determined to better myself each and every time I play. I firmly believe that one day all my hard work will pay-off. Karma baby, karma. Boy, I’ve been watching too much of that Earl fella.
Many congratulations to JP. What a star and a total gent.
Over and out... snoops


Day 2 soon arrived and after a cold night in my room, which lacked soap, shower gel, and shampoo (ooh, I ask too much), I met up with Matt Tyler in the lobby to run through some of the updates. I must thank everyone for all the support you gave me throughout the night. Your good luck messages were all received loud and clear and I can’t thank you enough, they really do make a difference. I was definitely spurred on by the knowledge that I was being backed by the P.R.O. massive and it was clear that the famous bugle was playing its merry tune.

After nibbling (quite literally) at a ham sandwich, I was soon back at the felt. Sunday was very very intense indeed, especially at our table which showcased some of the rockiest rocks around, many with rock degrees in rockery at Rocksville University… unfortunately, I graduated with top honours.

I was very wary of making any moves. The three guys to my left were all shortstacked and keen for an opportunity to move all-in, so I knew I couldn’t nick their blinds without a hand, not nice at all! Also, with it being a tight table, reraising a raiser was a risky business indeed. I don’t think I recall one player turning over rags. I had chips, but not the hands, and the opportunities I usually find to make my moves, just weren’t appearing. I think the only hand I was dealt throughout the whole of Day 2 was pocket tens. I saw aces, kings, queens, etc being shown by other players, but the poker gods just weren’t shoving anything my way. I was soooooooo frustrated it was unbelievable. My prayer mat has been flung out of the window and I no longer worship the poker gods, what a waste of time those fellas are!

I think my lack of experience shone through in the end. Okay, I wasn’t getting any cards, but I wasn’t being dealt too much the day before either. I should have been confident enough to duck and dive a lot more. I did try a nick, from various positions, but almost each time I was caught with my hands in the cookie jar. My chips dribbled away and I felt helpless. I could make a ridiculous move with rags, but was it worth risking 10k when I could wait for a hand and probably receive a double up. Patience, patience, patience I kept telling myself… but the hands never came.

In hindsight, I would have called a lot more preflop raises and then used my judgement, which I hope is relatively sound, to detect strength or weakness on the flop. Personally, I’d rather have looser players on my table, it would suit me much better. JP, Vinson, Grundy (pictured right), bring them on, at least you can make plays against these guys safe in the knowledge that they won’t have a hand every time. In fact, I was gutted when Patten left my table, he was just what the doctor ordered, but with him gone, and all the loose players on the other table, prising chips off these guys was going to be a hell of a mission.

Just before the break, I dropped from 36k to 24k. Everyone folded round to the blinds, I raised with Q-J suited from the big, and the small blind called. The flop came A-J-A. We both checked. He bet 3.5k on the turn and I quickly called thinking that if he held an ace then he would have raised preflop (Doh, good thinking Homer). The river was another rag and he bet around 7k. I dwelt for ages before making a terrible call and seeing A-7.

Bah. What was I thinking? He was a tight player and probably rarely bluffs. I’d seen him overbet a pot earlier against Matt when I was almost positive he had the goods and was trying to make it look like he was buying the pot. This time, when he bet less than the pot, I thought back to that hand and put him on a steal, which is why I called. I just didn’t think he had the ace. I made a boo boo, and I can admit that, but at least I was brave enough to go with what I thought instead of wimping out.

At this point, I was desperate for a break to release some steam from my ears, run outside and scream at the top of my voice. Luckily, we had a scheduled 15 minutes rest just in time, although I never did go through with the screaming bit…

Thursday, April 13, 2006


With 10k in chips, an hour clock, and no real maniacs in sight, the fear of an early exit didn’t linger for too long, well, except when I was dealt pocket nines first hand. (The devil on my shoulder falsely predicted the future with a nine on the flop and a big draw hitting on the river). I raised, and everyone folded. Whoever said, ‘I hate winning the first hand’ was a total gooseberry.

Only two or three hands later I was dealt A-J. Bambos raised, I called, and so did Steve Reid (Card Shark). The flop came A-J-8. Boy, I was getting my hands dirty early. Bambos checked, I checked, and Steve bet. Bambos folded and I flat called. The turn brought another 8. This was a good card as it assured me that I wasn’t behind. If I bet, it would scare the hell out of him, so I thought I’d trapcheck again. Interestingly, Steve overbet the pot for 1k and I called. The river brought a ten, and this is where I think I made an error. I checked when perhaps I should have made a small milky bet. At this stage in the comp, it’s unlikely that Steve’s bluffing, and he could easily have A-T, A-Q. I seriously doubt that he’s holding J-J, K-Q, or an 8, and all other hands will probably be checked. However, we both checked and he showed the same hand as me. Strangely, we both looked kind of relieved.

My intention was to confuse the table with my play. I knew this would cause a stir and at least make people wary of me. I didn’t want to play a predictable game as the more experienced players would simply call and outplay me. Calling a raise with 9-8 against Kholi and checking a made straight on the river against Stuart Nash certainly achieved this goal. It’s just a shame I moved tables soon after.

My new table, which was to be my home for the rest of the tournament, was certainly a different sight. Barny Boatman, Phil Peters (These two were like a double act – Cannon and Ball perhaps?), Rob Yong, Dan Carter, and David Lloyd were all present. With about 14k in front of me though, I was surprisingly at ease and looking forward to mixing it up with these guys. I kind of new that I’d have a good chance of accumulating chips during my stay.

Almost immediately, I eliminated my 2nd player when I held 8-4 in the small blind. After checking a double belly buster draw on the 6-7-T flop, the seemingly rock-like player who had limped under the gun overbet the 300 pot by 200, which was odd. I made the call thinking he had bet a set, being scared of the flush and straight draws, and that if I straightened up, I could clean him out. The 9 turn did give me the straight, and, to my joy, he made a bizarre all-in move for 4 or 5k, I quickly called thinking he had the set, but was surprised to see a 9-6 (!!). Nice gift, and I was up to the 18k mark and brimming with confidence.

I love having more chips than the table, it improves my game oh so much as I play ten times better when I don’t fear exiting the comp. Knowing that you can mix it up with likes of Phil Peters, and still have 12k if it goes the shape of the pear is a massive advantage… so that’s what I did. I played aggressive poker, ducking and diving, and making a range of plays on different players. And after finishing off short stack David Lloyd with A-K v K-Q, and Dave Barnes with a straight v top pair, I found myself well into the late thirties and up there with the chip leaders.

Then I believe I moved into the chip lead, although only momentarily, when I eliminated Barny. I raised preflop with A-K suited, Dan Carter reraised from the big blind, and limper Barny called. I had more chips than both of them put together, so I didn’t hesitate in reraising (a move which I would think twice about doing on Day 2). Dan mucked what he claimed was A-Q and Barny moved his shortstack in with T-9 of hearts. A king flopped and that was that, I was up to around 53k. How exciting! Pity this was to be my peak…

By the end of the night, I’d dropped down to 40,800. I’d had a few steals reraised all-in by shortstacks, a few bets gone astray, and a perhaps needless 1.8k investment into a pot which could have eliminated shortstacks Dan Samson and Rob Yong. Rob moved all-in (he was in tilt mode) with Q-J, I called with K-3 in the small blind, and Dan, who only had 900 left, moved in on the big. I flopped a flush draw, but nothing came. I even lost the sidepot to Rob who hit a queen on the river. From this hand on, my comp kind of went south… like a dribbling tap.

When I was on around 45k, I passed Julian and expressed my concerns of my failure to continue accumulating. He assured me not to worry, and he was right. This was my first Main Event and to be able to handle the chip lead with the finesse of Yoyo, JP Kelly, or Stuart Fox, was perhaps being overly optimistic and unnecessary hopeful.

So, I rocked up for the rest of the night and waited for hands, which never came. However, I still moved into Day 2 in 8th position, so I can’t really complain. Time to book a hotel (which was a welcome chore) and get settled for the night. Tomorrow was promising to be another exciting day. I’d made Day 2 in my first Main Event, but I still had eyes on first prize. First Main Event or not, I was here to win and there was no way I wasn’t going to go out fighting. Bring it on…

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Last weekend, I had the immense pleasure of experiencing my first Main Event… ever.

I’ve been playing poker for over four years now, but due to a combination of updating duties, lack of time, being poor at satellites, and budgeting my bankroll, I’ve never got round to hitting the felt come the weekend of a festival. I was excited, nervous, and apprehensive all at once. I couldn’t believe it, I was finally going to play one of these things…

… And I couldn’t wait!

Saturday morning I couldn’t eat. I haven’t had the stomach knots since I first ventured into the Gala as a naïve innocent student, but now they were back… and I was loving it! I thought this passion would never return, but it had, and I felt on top of the world. All I had to do now was win the bloomin’ thing. Easy peasy.

Trundling nervously into Luton Grosvenor Casino, I was met by the now surreal picture of tikay and Jen sitting behind the laptops. For once I was the player, and to be on the other end of the updates and the piccies was definitely going to be a bizarre but welcome experience. In fact, at one point, I had to stop myself from counting the stacks on my table, force of habit I guess.

After forcing down a Chinese meal with the generous Mr Tyler (pictured left) and shouting out some obscenities (ask B4Matt), we ventured back into the battlefield and braced ourselves for the night’s action.

I always play comps with the utmost confidence with my goal being to hit the number 1 spot… and I normally believe the hype I inject into myself. However, that day, although I was in positive mood, I hadn’t booked a hotel room as it was my first Main Event and I was reluctant to jump the gun.

I’m not the coolest guy in the world (Antecool... I hope), so I will confess to shaking like a winter leaf as I took my seat at the table. The intimidating face of Bambos Haralombos Charalamonos (or whatever his name is) to my right was not a welcome sight, but if I was going to take this title, I’d have to beat all these guys… Willie Tann, Barny Boatman, JP Kelly, and so on. All top class players, but no one’s unbeatable, so I wasn’t going to start lying down just yet.

I quite like mixing it up at the start of festival events by playing a wide range of hands, but with tikay sacrificing his spot in the comp to cover my updating duties, I couldn’t help but fear the early exit. Being the gentleman he is, I’m sure he’d consol me sincerely, but no one would criticise him for thinking, ‘For crying out loud snoppy (even his inner thoughts mispronounce my name), I could have played this comp’ if I was to fall at an early hurdle.

The man in the suit announced those immortal words, and we were off…

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


For a fella who doesn’t play the Main Events, 10,000 starting chips and a 45 minute clock at pot limit level was too good a opening to miss, and possibly an excellent opportunity to get in some early practice for the big one at the weekend, which, incredibly, also starts you off with 10k.

This was the most expensive event I’d ever bought straight into, but bizarrely, it didn’t feel as such. In fact, I was pretty relaxed and was determined to enjoy my poker, rather than get so het up on overanalyzing the game.

The evening also saw the debut of my ipod, a godsend of a device that I use each time I play online, without fail. In fact, I don’t think I’d survive without it. Anyhow, I wasn’t sure when to listen to it and when to turn it off, I mean there could be some blatant tells there, but I thought I’d take it down to Luton with me in order to help maintain my concentration levels, an aspect which has caused the odd slip-up in recent times.

I think it worked and I certainly felt more focused, not to mention less bored. I reckon it might be worth a second outing at the weekend. I’ll have to set up a list of inspirational tracks to motivate me. ‘You’re The Best Around (Theme From Karate Kid)’ is a particular fave of mine and one that I have a tendency to play before big events.

Back to the £500er, it was a pretty standard affair. A mixed table, but no pure maniacs. I was honoured to be seated a few seats away from TightEnd, although his life span was cut rather short when he ran a set into a flopped straight. Ouch.

Although I must confess to making 2 or 3 errors, (bluffing into Iwan Jones’s full house wasn’t the best idea) I reckon I played pretty well. Looking back over the week so far, I simply haven’t been able to hit a cow’s ass with a double bass and would say I’ve done the best (well, almost) I could have given the cards.

Last night, the fella next to me had a ton of chips. How did he get them? Straight v set, aces v big slick (all-in preflop), and trip queens v flush draw. He was a tight player who barely played a hand, but he didn’t need to with the deck smacking him in the face. I guess that’s the luck factor in the game and why we shouldn’t be too disheartened when it doesn’t go our way.

The icing on the cake for me was my exit hand. I was down to 4.1k with the blinds at 300/600. Not a sniff of a monster hand and I couldn’t sense one approaching soon. In the small blind I was dealt A-9 suited, pretty good if they all fold round. They did, and I raised the pot. The aforementioned big stack put me all-in, and I called. He flipped pocket fives. Flop = 9-9-5. A straight race, but a sick way to exit in some respects. This game constantly teases. In fact, I vividly recall my thought process as the board was being dealt…

First card = ‘Thank God, some luck at last. Right, I’m back in it.’

Second card = ‘Ah crap, I’ve been here before. This is a sign.’

Third card = ‘Aaaaaaaaaaand there’s the money shot, right in the testicles.’

Fourth card = ‘Nope, I rarely outdraw, nevermind reoutdraw… but, you never kn…’

Fifth card = ‘Ah, I guess sometimes you do. Goodnight folks, well played. (translated = Grrrrrr, raaaaaaaaaaah, arrrrrrrrrrgh, jhfjdfhjfdhjfh)’

I’m saving it all up for the weekend. Hmm, it’s amazing how often I keep telling myself that, I certainly hope it’s true Either way, whether the cards come or not, I’m going to give it my best shot. As I said before, I won’t be going out with a whimper.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Well, I’ve woken up in a right grouchy mood this morning. Not only did last night’s £200 Freezout go the shape of the pear, but there’s also a couple of big fellas banging away in the bathroom, which is right next-door to my bedroom. Taking out the windows or something, not sure, I daren’t ask. I’m more interested in the clock that reads 8.30 am and signifies just 4 hours sleep. Hmph, not a great way of gearing myself up for tonight’s event.

Back to last night though, there isn’t much to say. I played a relatively standard game before exiting at the hands of Mick Jones. Interesting hand really. After losing a big pot to his neighbour the hand before, Mick made what could have been construed as a tilty preflop raise of 800, I reraised to 2.5k with A-K (biggest hand I’ve seen), and Dave Penley moved all-in for several thousand after limping under the gun. Mick called for virtually all his stack pretty quickly. This is where my heart sank, but I only had 1.2k left and had to follow through, the pot odds were too favourable. Could have been worse though as Mick flipped QQ and Dave showed AK. Question is, could Mick have folded the QQ? If it hadn’t been Dave, then I would say yes, but I think he made the correct call. I was shortstacked, and could easily be making a move on Mick who was ‘seemingly’ on tilt. Also, the blinds had reached such a level that gambling became a much more viable option for the shorter stacks. With 5k chips, there’s not nearly as much room to manoeuvre as you’d think. Bizarrely, if he’d made the fold, which some may have done, then I would have split the pot with Dave and still been in the comp. Bizarrely again, if Dave had folded, which some may have done too as he only had 200 invested, then I would have felt much better about exiting on what I would have deemed to be a coinflip. As it happens, I was a dog by some way and felt worse as a result. Hmm, odd.

I tend to bash and overanalyse my own play way too often, and I don’t think it always does me any good, especially with my next comps being so close. I don’t want to go into them thinking about the comp before, it’s not good preparation. Therefore, I won’t mention any other hands from last night. The bottom line is that I played okay, went out early with a decent hand, and ‘that’s poker’. Bring on the next one.

Speaking of ‘the next one’, last night, after hearing of the 10,000 starting chips (wow), I decided to buy into the £500 Pot Limit Freezout Event. I’m not a big pot limit fan, and it really doesn’t suit my game, but 10,000 starting chips does. I like to play hands at the start and sometimes, when I get caught out, I find myself clinging way earlier than I should. However, with 10k to back me up, I can be a lot more relaxed with the hands I play and not worry about having to rock up if I lose one hand.

On a side note, I think I’ve been too caught up recently in what other people think of my play, I’m sure I’m not the only one who suffers with this. I know certain players who think I’m crap (some close friends, but would never say), and others who think I’m actually quite good at the game. I suppose everyone sees different things, but why should I care, if a mate thinks you’re rubbish, then so what, show them that you’re not by taking down an event. Results speak for themselves I guess. It also made me reconsider my views on others though. Everyone has their off days, so jumping to conclusions on an opponent’s skills after just a game or two is naïve and could knock you out of a comp one day.

Well, I guess I’m always learning. Good luck me tonight, I’m undecided on my strategy. I know hat if I get some chips early on, I’ve got a massive chance of finalling. It’s just getting those chips which is the tricky bit…

Monday, April 03, 2006


Last Friday, I decided to brush my work aside for once and actually play some poker, and what a cracking decision it was too. Due to my recent duties with blonde, I have been a foreigner to online shores, but for some reason had an irresistible urge to open up four $1/2 NLH cash games and see if I could earn a buck or two. About 90 minutes later, I found myself stuck with an uncontrollable Cheshire Cat grin and around $400 extra in my account. I’d played near flawless poker and maintained my focus throughout. Boy, it’s amazing what a fortnight break can do for your game.

Anyhow, later that evening, I decided to turn my attention to the Grosvenor Satellite and with the ‘Why not, I’ve just won some dosh’ attitude, I shoved in my $100 and braced myself for some hardcore poker.

Now, I was hesitant in playing this satellite and maybe would have sat it out if I hadn’t won on the cash games earlier. I have a real ‘bridesmaid’ tendency with these things and reaching a big event was becoming increasingly frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I play these things frequently, but, when I do, I always seem to come infuriatingly close. I bubbled the Grand Prix one after heading into the heads-up as chip leader, I made seven Ladbrokes Poker Cruise finasl yet never donned my sailor hat, I was chip leader in the Luton satellite last week before my queens were cracked, and so on, and so on. When you stumble into a pattern of ‘so near, yet so far,’ these qualifiers can become oh so demoralising and your hard earned cash from the ring games just seems to seep away bit by bit.

Not this time though! I was chip leader by the end of the rebuy period and fully aided by the railers, not to mention tikay who was whispering the odd pearl of wisdom into my ear. It’s amazing how motivated you can get when someone’s f-ing and blinding at you via PM.

Although I didn’t receive one single decent starting hand from the end of the rebuy to five handed, I somehow managed to duck and dive my way through the satellite without losing too many chips. I did just about enough to keep my head above water and was determined to remain uncharacteristically patient. Well, I had to, I think tikay would have castrated me if I’d have defied him. Crikey, his PMs were scary!

With five left, I finally found a hand in Ace Jack on the big blind with Billy Low Stack moving in on the button with king high. My hand stood up and I added some much needed chips to my stack. At this point, barring a catastrophe, I was basically through.

It was also a great pleasure to see Matt Tyler (B4Matt) standing equally victorious, as he’s a top fella and deserves all the financial plaudits he receives from these events. He never looked like NOT qualifying and, from what I’ve heard, he’s somewhat of a satellite king. Glad I didn’t mess around with his blind too often then.

All-in-all, I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming week. At the moment, I’m playing the 200, 750, and the 1500, so it’s going to be a busy week for me. I’ll be gutted if I don’t cash somewhere, but, at the same time, I’m over the moon to be playing in what is my first Main Event. With travelling, editing blonde, and of course updating, these opportunities are a rarity for me, so I will try and grasp it firmly with both hands. Going out with a whimper is NOT an option.

Playing three big events in a week is knew to me, and I’m not sure what my mental stamina is like at the moment, but I’m going to do my utmost to remind myself to take my time and think carefully about every decision. It only takes one slip up for it all to be over. I’d much rather the poker gods dumped me out rather than it being myself who eliminates me.

Right, better get ready for the £200er tonight. Never know what the traffic is going to be like on those darn motorways. Ta ta for now.