Tuesday, November 28, 2006


After the calamity of the Wednesday £300er at Walsall in which I quite literally gave away a near two thirds of my stack on an ill-timed, impatience-induced and totally unnecessary bluff, I took a good long hard look at my game and attempted to fathom what the next step should be.

Whilst always brisk due to the post poker activity of the snoopy brain, the journey home that night was especially quick, and as I sat their contemplating my awful faux-pas, I recall reaching that depressing moment in which you ask yourself, “Should I even bother turning up for the next comp?”

And while I understand that to be a completely negative thought, I deemed it the correct one and so decided that, for this week only, the £300er would be my last jaunt to Walsall.

Naturally, I was dying to play the £500er, but due to a combination of fatigue, downbeat mood, lack of confidence and blonde work load, I thought it best to give it a miss. £500 is still a lot to me (in fact it’s the max I’ll pay), so if I’m going to play I want to ensure that it won’t be money down the drain.

As an online player, one of the most vital skills to master is knowing when to take a day off. If I’m not in the right state of mind, then I try and stay away from the lappie or risk losing a shitload. The same should be applied to live tournaments. Whilst people such as Matusow, Brindley and Wernick play well when they need the money, most don’t. I’ve seen players say, “I’ve only got £500 left, I’m going to give it one last shot and then call it a day if it doesn’t work out”, but whilst I admire their wishful thinking, the chances of them rising victorious are slim to none. I might not be down to my last dollar, but I’m by no means rich and I don’t need to be taking desperate potshots at getting a score.

Although momentarily downbeat, I am experienced enough to know that feeling sorry for oneself gets you nowhere. Perhaps I’ve stopped learning, maybe I need to read some more books, talk to some tournament pro’s or simply play smaller comps – either way, I needed to be constructive rather than just mope around.

And so, fresh off my rather unprofitable week at Walsall, I contacted a few professional tournament players and asked them where they thought I might be going wrong. To say the response was good would be an understatement, and I thank each and every one of them for taking the time to reply. It’s people like JP, Foxy, Julian, etc who rejuvenate my positive view of people within the poker circle, their generosity in lending advice is admirable to say the least.

I also decided that seeing as though I was still experimenting with tournament poker, it would be best to play 2 or 3 smaller comps rather than waste it all on one £500 event. That way I give myself more time to work out how best to play this darn game without spending so much money.

Whilst I was in a constructive and revitalised mood, I also thought I’d hit the online cardrooms again. It’s been a few weeks since I took a break due to (1) going stale (2) taking a bit hit and (3) playing like a complete numpty, but I was keen to play and raring to go.

As I have detailed before, the ban has affected me in various ways, most crucially by taking away my American customers that I seemingly depend so heavily upon. However, I still consider myself to have a decent edge over the rest of the online world, and if it’s true that only 5% of players take away a profit, then I shouldn’t have a problem continuing to supplement my income.

But I’m not stupid, I know you need to be disciplined, skilled or not, and so with this in mind, I dropped down a level and sat at the $1/2 tables rather than my usual $2/4. This way any hit wouldn’t demoralise me as much as it would at the higher level and I’d be able to get back into the groove without risking too much. For this reason, I have deposited $2,000 into my account and won’t be moving back onto the $2/4 until I’ve reached $4,000.

Previously I’d just skip from table to table avoiding the regular sharks and rarely taking notes due to the high numbers of players available to me. However, seeing as this has all changed, I decided to download Poker Tracker (I used to use this software) and start taking notes on my opponents, especially those names that crop up more often than others.

Perhaps because I was in high spirits, or maybe due to the fact I was simultaneously occupied/entertained by taking notes, I played a near flawless game and managed to produce a combined profit of $481.04 for those two days. Considering the short length of time that I played (just 3.5 hours overall), the lack of hands and the fact that I’d dropped down a level, I was overjoyed with that profit and felt a revitalisation in confidence in my own ability to not only play the game well, but improve if I’m not.

Taking that profit into account, my final results for the week panned out as such:

Sunday - £20 NLH R/B @ Broadway (7th +£161.60) = +£161.60
Monday - £100 NLH R/B @ Walsall (-£310) = -£148,40
Monday - £50 STT SAT @ Walsall (+£195) = +£46.60
Tuesday - £200 NLH F/O @ Walsall (-£220) = -£173.40
Wednesday - £300 NLH D-C F/O @ Walsall (-£325) = -£498.40
Thursday - $1/2 Cash @ Online = +$439.19 (£225.02) = -£273.38
Friday - $1/2 Cash @ Online = +$41.85 (£21.44) = -£251.94

And all that means that after four tournaments, one STT and two online sessions, I am just £251.94 down for the week, which isn’t bad overall, especially considering I spent £855 at the Walsall festival.

But how does that all shape up to my initial aims, which were, incidentally, stated in my opening blog entry: “My mission for this week is to (i) have fun (ii) play well and (iii) improve my stamina. Hopefully, if all goes well, ‘My Midlands Mission’ will end with a blog entry entitled ‘Mission Accomplished’. We’ll just have wait to and see…”

Well, I might not have played particularly well on the £300 Freezeout, but my performance overall wasn’t bad, and I did manage to pull out a final table appearance at the Broadway, which is always commendable considering the amount of muppet dodging required. And although I had fun and no doubt improved my stamina, I have titled this final entry as ‘Mission Accomplished’ because I accomplished one aim that I failed to identify in my initial post, and that was simply to improve my game, a target that I overlook all too often these days.

After exiting the £300er so miserably and receiving so much quality advice from various pro’s, my eyes widened immensely and I suddenly realised that I had been tootering along just waiting for a win. Players such as Zippy, Foxy, Camel and so on win for a reason – they are simply better than me. But the point is that if I study the game hard enough and keep working at improving my game, then I will one day have the opportunity to play at their skill level and maybe even enjoy similar success. But unless I take the necessary steps that are required to make those improvements, I’ll never succeed.

So, the end of an exciting but revealing week. People sometimes mock my blog and the content within it, but I don’t give a flying **** to be honest. Of course, blogs such as Daniel Negreanu’s, Ben Grundy’s and David Pomroy’s are thrilling reads, but not everyone plays at those dizzy heights. Hopefully my blog provides something of interest for those that can relate to the levels that I play at and the hurdles that I face in becoming a successful poker player.

Who ever said "poker is the hardest way to make an easy living" was a genius.


At 11:59 AM, Blogger Alex Martin said...

That decision is superb. A real step in the right direction NOT to play that comp snoopy sir. I cant speak highly enough of it. Takes a lot of courage and self-discipline to do that. GL online.

p.s. Are you coming to Luton?

At 12:18 PM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

Hi alex,

I really wanted to play it, but I knew I wasn't in the right frame of mind. Still tough decision because of the lack of time I have to play live.

Sure, I'll be in Luton. Am considering using the £500 to play 2 or 3 of the freezeouts. Either way, I'll be covering the main event with jen, so please introduce yourself because I'm not 100% what you look like.

speak soon,


At 1:45 AM, Blogger Fruitypro said...


From reading your last post it seems you are pretty depressed about your overall game, whilst keen to improve and put the work in to achieve this.

I'd definitely recommend joining a site such as Cardrunners or PokerXFactor which would definitely provide the tools to improve your game, and give you plenty of food for thought.

I'm not a member of PXF but I know a lot of tournament players who swear by it (It's a tournament site and I'm a cash game player though so haven't seen it), Cardrunners has both cash games and tournament videos and is a huge learning resource, and has excellent forums. I'd definitely recommend this.

One other thing I noticed is that you said you were depositing $2k to play $1/2 and when you got to $4k you'd play $2/4.

I think you need to have a bigger cushion to play - surely 25 buyins is needed to play a level, well it is in my opinion anyway!

Good luck,


At 4:52 PM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...


Thanks for those recommendations, fruitypro, I'll definitely look them up.

With regards to the 4k, this is simply because I don't like too much money sitting in my account. My bankroll is much larger than 4k so I can afford the refills if need be.

thx again!


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