Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I’ve had two free days prior to the H.O.R.S.E and one day-off during, at which point I have decided to ambush the cash games.

On day 1, I played at the Orleans and won $503. On day 2, I played at Caesars Palace and won $458 for a grand total of $961 – not bad for a few hours work.

On day 4, I decided to spend the whole day playing poker, so braced myself for a 12 hour shift at Caesars Palace. I am keen to improve my stamina, so this was an experiment of sorts. No breaks, no sitting out, no moving games, just 12 hours of non-stop $1/3 No Limit Hold’Em poker.

This isn’t a vanity project, as you will detect from the title of this entry and the end result, I just thought it would help my game and perhaps be of interest to some of you cash game players reading my blog.

So, notepad in hand, this is what happened:

3.15pm: Ate the buffet at the Gold Coast and headed down to Caesar’s Palace with $1,000 in my back pocket.

3.30pm: Sat down at a $1/3 table with the maximum of $500.

Status Report: A little tired from updating the night before, but feeling good overall, although not overly confident of a win.

3.45pm: First real hand I played was a bet with second pair in the small blind. I was re-raised, so folded.

4.00pm: A round later, again in the small blind, won a nice pot calling a River bet with 5-4o on 5s-3h-3s-2d-7h board. I’d check-raised the Flop and checked the Turn. He mucked and later announced a flush draw.

4.15pm: Lost those chips back from the small blind again with a poor call on the River of an Ad-7c-7s-3c-Js board with Ac-6c. He bet every street, I called thinking he wouldn’t bet the seven (and unlikely to hold it from early position) and that if he had a slightly bigger kicker, we’d split. Also Turned flush draw. He showed J-7o. I made a mistake because I knew he was a tight player.

4.30pm: Not hitting anything, dealt a few Ace Kings and small pocket pairs, but to no avail.

4.45pm: Still not making any hands and a few bets with marginal hands have gone astray. Made one poor call with T-8 on x-x-T-x-K board. Thought he had missed flush due to betting pattern, but he had K-T, which made sense, but only because he hit River too.

5.00pm: Raise with Aces utg+1, receive 3 callers and 6-6-8 Flop. Everyone checks. Turn = T. Everyone checks. River = 8. Big Blind bets, I call, so does button. BB has 9-6, button 9-7. Thought I smelt a rat, lost the minimum.

5.15pm: Still no luck or successful moves, down around $250.

5.30pm: Request a table change. Only 2 weak players on current table, 2 very good players, the rest too tight.

Status Report: Still feeling fine, perhaps a little peckish, pleased I had discipline to change table.

5.30pm: Sit down at new table with $500. Pack is bent, I request a change of deck. Falls on stony ground, am told that it’s the machine’s fault.

6.00pm: Not played too many hands, when I have, my bets have been ill-timed and raised.

6.45pm: Am $150 down ($400 total), so refill back to $500.

Status Report: A little frustrated to be $400 down, made a few bad River calls, but playing well overall. Not getting a good run of cards.

7.00pm: Comeback starts with a few well-timed bluff re-raises. Up to $625.

7.45pm: Decide to order some food. Received menu, but no waitress. Have asked 3 times, but to no avail. Thinking about leaving.

7.45pm: Smooth call T-9 pre-flop. Check Flop, bet Turn and River of Queen high board. Opponent eventually folds. Phew, Ten high wins.

8.15pm: Finally hit a hand. Limped 5-2 in late position, Flop 3-4-6. Paid off, now over $700.

Status Report: Amazed to actually hit something, still confident I can finish the session up.

8.30pm: Waitress finally arrives, but says it’ll be an hour. I reluctantly accept.

8.45pm: Two complete novices sit down at the table. British, bit drunk, absolutely clueless – claim to have watched it once on TV that day. Game slows right down, but they are fish, so remain patient and pray for a hand.

9.00pm: Novices are inevitable calling stations. Game very slow due to the action stopping on their go and them asking questions constantly. Even dealer frustrated.

9.00pm: Have A-K in the small blind. Shortstack raises to $12, old woman calls, I make it $62 to virtually put him in if he wants to play. He folds, woman calls! I miss board and check it down scared she’ll call if I bet. She shows 7-7 on Jack high board.

9.15pm: Table frustrated. Novice cracks Aces by Rivering a flush with A-J.

Status Report: Really hungry, probably preventing me from focussing fully and would leave if food wasn’t on the way.

9.15pm: Food arrives 15 mins early. Good timing, was becoming very hungry indeed.

9.30pm: Finally hit a hand. Board = 2-Q-7-2, I have 2-4 and re-raise Turn after calling Flop. River = Q. Argh. Novice bets again, but I think I’m ahead and re-raise. He calls with 8-7. Phew.

10.00pm. One Novice doing well. New (senior) neighbour believes they are faking, I don’t as they are too convincing and I’ve never seen them before back home.

10.15pm: Senior neighbour proceeded to bet $100 on the River with both novices in hand. One folds, other calls. Incredibly, Senior mucks his hand (missed straight draw) immediately. Why on earth he’d try and bluff two novice calling stations, I’ll never know. Senior then leaves.

10.15pm I get up to $850 (only $50 down now) after making a nice call with Q-Q. Risky limp in early pos, no raise. Flop = Jc-7h-4c. I, and seat 9, smooth call the bet. Turn = 4d. Bettor bets again, I call, Seat re-raises another $85, I call after a long dwell, eager not to see a third club on the River. River is a blank, we both check – I win a nice pot.

Status Report: Am playing the novices well, not getting frustrated with the pace of the game and lack of hands, but thinking my bets through and not doing anything silly.

10.30pm: Lose a few pots with some loosely goosey calls with marginal hands.

10.30pm: Long delay as ruling is required. One hand, a player forgot to return his cards. Dealer put them in his rack and intended to add them to the pack next hand. He forgot, a new dealer was brought in and two hands were played with foul deck. The last hand, one player was in the middle of scooping a pot when the error was noticed by the dealer. The TD was called over, and he ruled that the pot should be dismantled, the winnings taken off the player and all chips/monies returned to the players. I thought this was absurd, especially when (1) action had occurred and (2) this was the second hand played with a foul deck. Player argued for ages, rather aggressively, but decision stood. Apparently, this is the ruling all across Vegas.

11.00pm: Back up to $850 after denting a relative shortstack with Jc-3c vs. Tc-7c on an Ac-Qc-4c board. Didn’t think he had the King, so made a good out-of-position $100 bet on the River.

11.15pm: Newbies leave, to the dismay of many. I think one was a couple of hundred up. The other several hundred down.

Status Report: Thought about leaving due to the novices standing up. Didn’t want to finish down – big mistake.

11.15pm: Disaster strikes. New player sits down and calls my pre-flop raise with 7-6s from the big blind. Flop = 8-9-T rainbow. Both check. Rag Turn. He bets,, I call. Rag River. He bets $40, I make it $100 (I almost flat called), he makes it $290. I fold face-up, he is enraged (literally red in the face). “That’s a crazy fold!” he cries. Down to $600. Later learn he had Q-J.

Status Report: Knew I should be leaving now. So close to profit, yet knocked back down annoyed me and I played poor poker hereafter. Remember thinking I ought to call it a day.

11.30pm: Players leave, new players join, including aggressive Scandie.

11.45pm: Make a poor call to new player. I raise Kh-Jh pre-flop, Check Ac-Ah-Kc Flop. Turn = 4h. I bet, he calls. River = blank. I check, he bets, I call. He shows As-Qs.

12.00am: I raise pre-flop with A-8, receive three callers. Raggy board is checked all the way to River, where I reraise a $45 bet to $145. He makes good call with bottom pair (Q-3). A mistake yes, but only because I picked the wrong guy. Down to $400, Top up to $500, $500 down overall. Slightly demoralised.

12.15am: Hilarious hand that felts the Scandie. He raises pre-flop, two callers. 4-7-K Flop. He bets $50, Mateyboy calls, Mateyboy2 re-raises, Scandie pushes. Mateyboy1 calls. Mateyboy2 also calls, although reluctantly. Mateyboy1 has 4-4, Scandie2 has 7-7, Mateyboy2 6-5 and hits 3 on River. Scandie is furious and doesn't take it well. Mateyboy just laughs and inexplicably scoops a $1,000+ pot.

1.00am: Playing badly, making too many weak loosey goosey calls.

Status Report: Now very fatigued and unable to concentrate fully on the game. Making no efforts to observe.

1.30am: Cooler puts me down to $250. I raise pre-flop with 9-8s, hit 9-8-3 Flop but run into Scandie’s set of Threes. Did well not to lose my entire stack.

2.15am: Not playing many hands, continuing to make errors in terms of calling off chips. Dribble down to $200.

2.30am: BB rock bets every street of Q high board, I call with Q-T each time, even though I know I am beat, although I expected K-Q or Q-J, not Aces, which he checked pre-flop.

Status Report: Shattered and bored, money only going one way now. No way I’m leaving with chips, never mind a profit.

2.45am: Went as low as $150, but added $75 with all-in bet with 7c-6c on a Qc-7d-2c-5c board. Scandie dwells, shows 7, asks me to show one card. I refuse. He says he has a 6 kicker. I show my 7. He folds, saying he must be behind. I show.

3.30am: After much folding (I’m simply looking for a spot to shove and, perhaps, gamble), Rock raises to $20 utg+1, receives multiple callers, I push for just around $200, he calls with Queens. I fail to hit and leave penniless, $1,000 down.

Status Report: Not as gutted as you might think. Disappointed to have missed my coin flip as I would have left after that hand anyhow, but similarly critical that I was looking for spots to gamble. Felt okay when I returned to the hotel, treated it as an experiment, only played with money I’d won, and consider it a lesson learned.

Conclusion: I have to take breaks. It only takes one error for you to get felted, and although I didn’t make that one big slip-up, I called off way too many of my chips and gave up on observing my opponents. It is clear that fatigue is a big influence on my game, but if I can rectify that, I should win more consistently. I played well until 11.15pm, which is 7hrs and 45mins worth of non-stop poker. Happy to be able to focus for such a length, but would like to be able to play for longer, or simply be more determined to leave.

On my next day off, which I believe is Thursday, I will try the experiment again. Play 12 hours, but this time ensure breaks are taken. Hopefully I will fair better. Either way, it’ll be interesting to find out if I do and whether my status reports differ.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Every time I go to America, I always notice those small cultural differences…

1. Us Brits possess little Geographical awareness of America. I took a connecting flight to Minneapolis, yet I still have no idea where in the States it is. I have enough trouble getting to the loo during the middle of the night, never mind working out where some random American city is.

2. Everything’s bigger in America. From the chewing gum to the burgers, to the people to the buildings – everything’s super-sized over here, nothing is done by halves. Even the babylons on the strippers are bigger!

3. The Americans can’t understand what the Hell I’m saying. When I was purchasing some items at the airport, the lady behind me in the queue was forced to translate to the cashier what I was saying. To think I can speak our shared language and she’s still likely to communicate better with a Teletubby.

4. Obesity is somewhat of a problem here. Maybe it was just my imagination, but 90% of the folk could eat me for dinner. The girl at McDonalds was in shock when all I asked for was nine chicken mcnuggets (which is in fact in a pack of ten here) and regular fries. “Are you sure you don’t want anything else?” she asked for the third time.

5. The Americans have gone terrorism mad, not in the participation of it, but the reporting. I caught sight of two monitors at the airport in Minneapolis, and both were explaining to their viewers why they should be shitting bricks.

6. It’s a tad warmer this side of the Atlantic, the pilot announcing that the temperature in Vegas was currently at 104 degrees. Blimey, that’s hotter than any day I’ve ever experienced in Birmingham. If it’s half that in Brum, we get out the deckchairs and beach ball and head down to the canal.

7. Customs grill you like a choice of prime beef. After spending several minutes pissing about with some ol’ granny who couldn’t quite grasp what poker was, she enquired about the amount of money in my bank? I deemed this quite personal, but answered relatively sharpish as I feared the rubber glove. I wish I did have 2 million in there though.

And all that from 2 hours connecting my flight…

Thursday, June 21, 2007


As I sit in Gatwick airport waiting for my plane to depart, I guess now is as good a time as any to commence my WSOP blog. As expected, the journey here was an unpleasant experience. The shock of getting up at 7.30am combined with having my face pressed up against the window of the rush-hour infested tube was to be easily outdone by the 20 minutes I spent in a broken down lift at the station, which, to my horror, jolted twice just to gently remind us that the dear Lord could erase us from our irrelevant little lives at any given moment. With the Poker Gods also on board, there are way too many divine forces gunning for my blood at the moment.

It didn’t end there either as after ploughing through the ghastly check-in/security combo, I somehow managed to misplace my switch card. Cue running around like Linford Christie on heat trying to retrace my steps. I even spent 10 minutes at WH Smiths trying to convince the acne erupting 16 year-old dunce behind the cashier that I could use my credit card instead and sign for it, but, of course, she had to reel out her superior and be informed of life before ‘chip and pin’.

Although I’m moaning like I’ve got a nettle up my backside, I remain appreciative of what is now my third opportunity to visit Vegas and, amid all the ‘been there, done that, got the T-shirt’ arrogance, I know I’m a lucky boy who used to spend prior vocations packing boxes, filing property documents and selling shoes in the dark world of the… dum dum dum…. 9-5 job – eeeeek! Leaving Hampstead for a month (and my girlfriend, of course) is a daunting prospect, and part of me is looking forward to returning home before I’ve even got there, but that may be due to my returning plan to play more poker, get healthy and generally enjoy a better quality of life free from sitting in my room working on blondepedia.

We’ve been served plenty on anecdotal and gossip inducing material to chew on this year. Vinny Vinh’s reported disappearance after holding the chip lead in one event (some even claimed he was ‘whacked’!), Tony G’s dispute with CardPlayer regarding the ins and outs of nicking chip counts, and Phil Hellmuth’s 11th bracelet win, are just some of the stories keeping us entertained. My favourite though is when Irish ears perked up, the words “O’Leary” and “win” in the same sentence resulting in many “Is he Irish? He so sounds Irish. Let’s find out if he has an Irish Grandma. Let’s claim him anyway.” excited, and perhaps desperately straw clutching conversations that remind me way too much of Andy Black and his adoption from the boys in Green. Last time I asked Mr Black, he confirmed that he had a British passport – but don’t tell the antesup lads that though, they’d have my guts for garters. Actually, come to think of it, Andy also said, “Every fucker tries to claim me. Call me Spanish if you like, I don’t give a shit,” which prised a rye smile from this Beagle.

As for blonde, we’re intending to start off with the H.O.R.S.E on Sunday which is always interesting. You think updating’s a doddle? Try covering an event where the current game isn’t announced on the board, only one person is eliminated from Day 1 and Day 2 lasts 20 hours. Still sound fun? Well, I guess it is, but that’s mainly due to the array of stars on show and my surreal experience from last year when I entered a toilet to see Greenstein, Brunson, Bloch and Reese at the urinal, Cloutier chatting away from a cubical and Ivey on his way in. And there was little ol’ me, the only Mateyboy pissing among famous faces. Forget tournaments, my hardest decision in poker thus far is deciding who to piss next to!

Anyhow, look out for more poo watch at the weekend when the $50k (small change, huh?) Limit fest kicks-off. It’s a long one, but we’ll try to make it a hoot with plenty of other amusing tales of urination and anal excretion – I bet you can’t wait!

Boy, from looking back at that post, I really have turned into a grumpy old Beagle. Now, where’s my blanket…

Friday, June 15, 2007


is this...


It's only been live for a few days, but feedback has been good. Like most news sites, it requires a bit of fine tuning and a few improvements here and there, but I think I'm on the right road and I'm immensely proud to have reached this stage. On many occasions, I genuinely thought I'd never get it up and running and that all my hard work will have been for nothing.

This project has been taking up most of my time of late, but I'm heading to Vegas on Thursday ready to update the H.O.R.S.E Event, so watch out for plenty of hot WSOP gossip coming to a Beagle Blog near you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Today I’ve been as sick as a dog, puked up a couple of times, haven’t eaten a sausage (or anything else for that matter) and feel like I’ve been run over by a steam-roller. Yep, it’s a bad beat and I feel like shit, but it made me think – I spend all my time writing about other people, discussing their progress and whatnot, and yet, not even in my blog, do I really ever speak about myself.

Well, there’s a reason for that, it’s boring and self-absorbing, so if you don’t like either of the aforementioned then look away now…

To be honest, it’s more a case of simply not having much to report. My last live update was Paris, and that was a month ago! Instead, I’ve spent much of my time on blondepedia, doing my darnedest to get it up and running. But, as with most things, I underestimated the amount of work involved and something always seems to crop up to push that launch date back a step or two.

What I have been doing is glancing back at my blog, and one post in particular makes me pretty mad. The date reads January 01 2007, and in all my wisdom, I decide to set myself 10 goals. Here’s a selection of them…

(1) Play more online cash and earn a minimum of $35,000.

Well, that certainly hasn’t happened. I firmly believe that if I put my heart into it, I can make that sum and more in half the time, but, in truth, I simply don’t have the time. The poker industry is busier than even, blonde is expanding and the circuit is being ambushed with a seemingly endless stream of comps. In effect, my workload has gone through the roof, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to boot up the blonde poker cardroom, never mind play.

(2) Play more STT’s and turn my initial $10 deposit on Ladbrokes (currently $120) into a four-figure sum.

Once again, my attentions were good, but the same applies with time rearing it’s ugly head. Plus, I bought a Mac a few months back, so I’m forced to borrow to play online, which, of course, is highly inconvenient.

(3) Play more tournaments and online satellites for Grosvenor Main Events.

I was, and still am, desperate to get a taste of the big bucks, but when I’m updating the buggers, it’s pretty tough to play as well. Also, those satellite fees certainly can rack up, and my bankroll has taken a hit since I stopped playing.

(4) Continue to gain weight, eventually surpassing the 11 stone mark.

Well, this is probably one of the reasons why I’m writing this entry now, as the reason I’m ill is most likely due to my increasingly poor diet which has just been thrown out of the window with a very stupid one meal a day (sometimes not even a substantial one) policy which is clearly having a negative effect on my health.

At the start of the year, I was indeed putting on weight, and managed to get myself well above 10 stone from 9. But then, January and February turned into our busiest months ever with live updates left right and centre. I began skipping meals and subsequently, gradually lost my appetite. At the moment, I weigh 9.5 stone, which is pretty demoralising when I consider how well I was doing.

So there you have it, my failed resolutions…

However, this isn’t a moan or a ‘pity me’ plea, because the year is only half way along, and when I return from what will inevitably be a hard 4 week slog in Vegas, I shall refocus my attention on these four goals.

Therefore, come July, I shall be experiencing a slight lifestyle change. Blondepedia will be alive and kicking and the live update schedule will be less foreboding due to a new member (hopefully) joining the ranks and less tournaments hitting the circuit. As a result, I will have more time to do the things I want to do and accomplish the goals that I think are not only long overdue, but deserved.

I haven’t bought into a single live tournament this year, but that’s about to change. This means, more satellites, more live ventures, more online sessions and yum yum, more food! Good luck me, I’ll keep you updated on how I get on…