Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The world of a poker blogger can be a bizarre one sometimes. Only earlier this evening I found myself trying to pay for my MacDonalds in Polish Zloty and yesterday I noticed that my clock was still on Bahamas time. I even unearthed a party invitation from the back of my cupboard from none other than Chip & Karina Jett at, and they're clearly a classy duo, Minxx Gentlemen's Club. How I missed this one I'll never know, especially with their mugs gleaming back at me. Crumbs, I need to sack my dentist.

Last weekend, however, the poker rollercoaster took me to more local shores as I returned to Waterford for the blondepoker.com Team Event. I'm not usually one to fear plane journeys, but the flight over was as stable as a rubber ladder. The plane could only squeeze in about a hundred passengers, and a guy pushed the propeller to get it started. A bird only had to fart and the plane would sway. I was surviving with just sweaty palms for most of the journey (deep breaths, deep breaths), but when the seatbelt sign flashed, I had kittens. God knows what I would have done if the oxygen mask had fallen down, I think I would have shoved it back in and pretended I'd never seen it.

I think I actually thanked God (I don't do that too often in truth) when we landed, it was such a relief. The airport at Waterford is tiny, they only have two check-in desks and three or four flights heading out each day! I think it's the only place I've been to where the bag reclaim doesn't have a travelator. Instead, they just push it out onto some metal cylinders that roll (well, sort of) the bag down. Imagine if they'd done that on the Generation Game!

There weren't too many familiar faces, and most of my time was spent comparing Nicky Power to Stewey Griffin off Family Guy (I so hope that one sticks). As is often the case, I had to ask most people their names, but in Ireland they're about as incomprehensible as Brad Pitt in Snatch, and after asking them for the umpteenth time with my head tipped to one side, I eventually conceded and just handed them the pad. I'm always shocked when it comes back with something as simple as Mike Jones or Pat Smith. As broad as their accents are, those Irish guys sure are fun, and they can play a bit too!

After a gruelling 13 hour shift, some team beat some other teams and it was done and dusted, all that was left was the journey home. I so detested the flight out, that if the weather had been bad, I would have shelled out for another flight. If anything, I was just concerned about getting travel sick, as the plane had a tendency to dip up and down. I'm not sure what I was more scared of, waking up the chap next to me by vomiting on his lap or crashing. Luckily, the sky was crystal clear so I rolled the dice.

To my surprise, there was barely a shimmer on the way back, so God knows what the first dude was on. Anyhow, I pat the pilot on the back (from my seat) and returned back to Hampstead, safe and sound, ready to catch up with some much needed sleep. Before I hit the sack, I decided to calm my nerves down and relax in front of a film. Why I stuck on Alive I'll never know.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I haven't been in the mood to update my blog recently, but considering I posted that I was going to play Drogheda, I should at least add to that post, if only to thank everyone for their good luck messages.

Unfortunately, Drogheda was a bit of a disaster, and although we started with a mouth-watering 50k stack, I went out at the end of level 8 on Day 1. At first I was gutted, predominantly because I thought I'd played terribly, but in reflection, and after talking to the likes of Barny Boatman and Julian Thew, I think it was just one of those days.

I started well, reaching 65k early doors, but after that, it all went tits up. My reads were off and I just wasn't hitting anything. Even with a 50k stack, you need to hit a flop at some point. About three or four players were seeing every flop on my table, so you could forget about bluffing. However, because they were so loose and aware that they had plenty of chips in front of them, if you hit a hand, you could get it paid, but I was missing everything.

I moved table with about 45k and joined the likes of Gary Clarke, Kevin Fitpatrick and Michel 'The Abacus' Abacassis, but it just got worse, and everything I touched turned to shite. In fact, I think I only won one hand on that table the entire time. I tried mixing it up, grinding, gambling, calling, raising, re-raising, but nothing worked and my stack gradually dwindled down in 5k chunks. Severely shortstacked, I made a correct fold with Jacks, but wasn't rewarded when my all-in with A-Q was called by A-K which had limped under the gun. I knew exactly what he had as soon as he called, but thought his under-the-gun limping range was too wide for me not to push.

I was so gutted about my early exit, that I was actually pretty depressed back at the hotel and could barely bring myself to talk to anyone. I was sharing a room at the time, but just wanted to be on my own so I could just sit in bed watching films. I really am the worst company when the chips are down, but my way of dealing with it is by being a hermit until I feel better. I came with Benjo, Jen and Floppy, who all made it through to Day 2, so I kinda felt left out too.

I did have a wander around Drogheda a few times, but to be honest, there weren't too many sights to see and I really wasn't in the mood, I just wanted to go home. So, on Day 2, after the team were all done and dusted, I spent €60 on a flight out of there. Back home and out of the confines of the hotel room, I felt fine, almost as if I'd been suffering from a case of homesickness, which is a bit weird when you consider I spent several weeks in Vegas undeterred.

Although it wasn't my day, I don't think I played well either, and because of that, I felt guilty towards my backers. I was going to sell a few percent of myself and, even though I said I wasn't going to play either of these events, buy into the Walsall GUKPT. However, I just don't feel like I'm playing my 'A' game at the moment, so wouldn't feel right taking people's money. It's about time I made a sensible decision, so although it pains me to enter the boring world of bankroll management, I'm going to give Walsall a miss.

On the bright side, online is going okay and, although I'm not striking gold just yet, I'm making a profit and paying my bills comfortably. Barring a disaster, I should be playing a few big tourneys in the upcoming months, maybe a GUKPT and the DTD monthly. The important thing though is that my relationship stays away from the rocks and my self-esteem remains high. If I can make sure I feel good, then my online form will improve which will subsequently lead to a bigger roll for live tournaments. Earning online is important, but winning a big comp is the ultimate goal.

Sorry for the lack of humour and downbeat nature of my post, I just feel like I'm stuck in a bit of a rut at the moment.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I've sold a chunk of myself and decided to play the Green Joker Poker European Deepstack Poker Championships. It's my biggest ever direct buy-in at €1,500, but how many chances am I going to get to experience a starting stack of 50k? I don't think I'll be playing the WPT $25,000 Final any time soon, so let's give it a crack.

Good luck me! A cash of any sort and I'll be playing the Walsall GUKPT too.

It's only money.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


On Jan 31st, I stepped into the fray once more for one last crack before the challenge deadline and after 2 hours and 31 minutes of play, I left the table with a $459.06 profit and my head held high. The challenge may have been a failure, but I still made a half decent profit and managed to finish on a positive note. Since then, it's been very up and down. I've yet to really find my feet, but I'm in profit for February and even won my biggest pot since playing $2/4.

I'm a little tired of writing about my heads up experience, so I'm going to leave it for a while. At the end of the month I'll update my progress and detail exactly what I learned from the challenge and whether or not I have successfully utilised that information in improving my game.

Until then, here is that hand with the final stats below (exc. the rakeback which should be in the region of a thousand dollars)

GAME #826985624: Texas Hold'em NL $2.00/$4.00 2008-02-02 23:05:01
Table Montana (Heads Up)
Seat 3: Villain ($591.55 in chips) DEALER
Seat 8: Hero ($737.80 in chips)
Villain: Post SB $2.00
Hero: Post BB $4.00
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Villain [HJ DJ]
Dealt to Hero [D10 D8]
Villain: Raise $12.00
Hero: Call $10.00
*** FLOP *** [S2 S7 C6]
Hero: Check
Villain: Bet $24.00
Hero: Call $24.00
*** TURN *** [H9]
Hero: Check
Villain: Bet $68.00
Hero: Raise $164.00
Villain: Call $96.00
*** RIVER *** [DA]
Hero: Bet $535.80
Villain: Allin $389.55
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $1,328.35 Rake $1.00
Hero: wins $1,328.35

biggest pot won: $799.40
biggest pot lost: $459.06
time at the table: 2hr 31 min

profit = - $459.06
blonde poker account = $3,174.17
total profit = $1,874.17
$1,815.83 before the taxman goes away

days played = 25
total time played = 82 hrs 58 mins
total rake earned = $860.85

final $ per hour = $22.59
final $ per day = $74.97