Monday, 26 January 2009

Half a League, Half a League ......

Yesterday decided to play the $25 Freezeout on Bluesquare which is part of their GUKPT National League series. (There are GUKPT seats and points available for league positions). Only 42 runners, but a lot of Bluesquare sharks in evidence. I’m getting to know who some of them are now, and am trying to refrain from calling them worthless donks if I know they are actually respected professionals. Struggled on final table, pretty card dead, but managed to get up to third, then had a terrible outdraw which left me very short. Managed to triple up fairly quickly, still had to work a short stack for much of the time, but hung on to get 5th (money down to 5th only) for $84 and a handful of league points.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Beats Going Out!

Felt absolutely shocking all last week with flu so hadnt been playing a great deal. Thought I was feeling a bit better on Saturday and toyed with going to Walsall for the satellite they were running in the afternoon to the £200 DC FO scheduled for Sunday. But I went for a bath at lunchtime and fell asleep in it, so didn’t make it to the satellite! Luckily I didn’t drown either, but I havent felt so wrinkly in years, that’s for sure. The shape of things to come .... Then I thought I might shoot down to the Walsall £20 DC FO in the evening or maybe the Broadway £30 DC FO, but at the last minute remembered I had won a token to play the $1500 Circus GTD (a $6.05 rebuy) on Poker770.

So I started playing that at 8pm, with my coat on, thinking I would donk out early and set off for somewhere to get a late buyin. There were 410 runners, got to the first break in quite a healthy state, with no rebuys, didn’t add on either, and won it after a long struggle heads up, taking down $898 – about £627. Not bad for nothing. Well, about four hours effort.

Weird Payout structure – $898 for 1st, $778 for second, less than $330 for third, about $170 for 4th , then 5th – 15th all got $87, and 16th – 35th all got $17. Thought the only fair thing to do was win it, really. There were some real wild swings when we were heads up, I went from massive chip leader to almost felted with some bad outdraws, then resorted to a push-fold game (mostly push) to inflict the same back on him. Eventually after regaining the chip advantage had a good hand stand up when I pushed and he made the mistake of calling.

Not going to play on that site again though – unless it’s satellites for EPT tournaments or stuff not available elsewhere – cos when I decided to withdraw my winnings it transpired that their “withdrawal policy” is to process your request a massive 96 hours after they receive it. So presumably I wont get my dosh for another 5 days after that. Thieving Frenchies. (But if you are interested in playing for free they will give you $50 if you sign up using the code 50DOL and email them to claim the no-deposit bonus, quoting the code.)

Monday, 19 January 2009

Running Like a Dog

Ran bad on Bluesquare last night - played a handful of games starting with the first GUKPT online league match. 77 runners, went out 75th when drawing to the nut flush and a gutshot straight with Ah Jh and lost out to the eventual tournament winner who just couldnt lay down K4 on a KJ235 board. Obviously having played that crap preflop he couldnt ever fold top pair - he made the big call on the river, when he found the K on its own was good enough. Who'd have thought it, eh? Oh well, nice result for toondavey40, guess top pair shit kicker stood him in good stead throughout.

Then moved onto the GUKPT $10 Rebuy Satellite Feeder. Was running OK in that then got slapped in the chops with several hideous beats - so what's new, its ipoker. Worst was when I ran into Codfatherace (Frank Romanello, I discovered later, the elder statesman of the Welsh fish family). Have played him before, calls with any two, bets and wont fold if he hits any part of the flop generally. Anyway, this particular hand I'm in the SB, he is BB, blinds are only 30/60, UTG raise to 180, two limpers so I complete with KhQh, Frank pays the extra 120 and the flop is 7h 5h 3d. With 900 in the pot, first to act, I push for 1090, Frank comes over the top and has 3c 7c, and the rest fold. I knew he had the 7 (bets when he hits) but I miss my flush and reload. I guess he had the odds to call preflop with any two but how many would bother with 3 7?

A bit later I call a standard raise with 10 J, hit my J, only to find the raiser Roy1005 has KJ. Dont know who he is but if Sharkscope is to be believed he's a fish with consistent low stakes losses on ipoker. Exit hand came just before the break when blinds 75/150 - min raise from cutoff, call from button, I push making it 1350 with 77, CodfatherAce pushes for nearly 4k, other two fold and Frank has A10, then wins the race when he spiked a 10 on the turn. I didn't reload, it was not to be.

Was simultaneously playng a qualifier for the ECPT Salzburg - a freezeout - and had an italian lunatic on the table immediately to my left who was all in at the drop of a hat - one minute felted, next chip leader, a complete yoyo. Raised preflop to 1800 (3BB) from the SB with 10s Js and got a call from the moron, no surprise there. Continuation bet on a 684 rainbow flop and he went all in - I assumed stealing - and was half right, he thought middle pair was good enough with K6, and so it proved. Oh well, very bad call from me.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Out of Darkness .....

Got a call yesterday from my buddy Mike Hill to tell me that he had qualified on Monday night for the £300 event they will run on 7th/8th Feb. The monthly 3-2-1 weekend is where they have a two day 300 comp, a one day 200 comp and a one day 100 comp over the same weekend. So I figured I would do likewise and played a satellite on DTD last night - not a site I've played on before.

The satellite paid three seats, and with four left, I was comfortable chip leader and thought my seat was assured. Then, taking the reponsibility for knocking the short stack out on my broad shoulders, ran QQ into KK for half my stack, so started to struggle myself. Not convinced the other three weren't playing as a team, because there seemed to some familiarity in evidence from the chat going on. I was 99% certain there was some chip passing going on between the new CL and the short stack, so pretty soon I become the shortie.

Then I got pocket 4’s on the BB and some looney goes all in on the button – which he had done about a zillion times on my BB – I called, and he had K4 off. And hit his K on the turn. I nearly threw the laptop out of the window. So I will play the sat again next week and hopefull wipe the floor with these scumbags in Nottingham. Well, at least I got my money back for 4th. Then went on a cash table and got slaughtered by (reminiscent of Stoke) 9 4 spades when the guy rivered a flush but got it all in on the flop when I had two pair. Does your head in, so packed it in at that point before I went on mega tilt.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Two French Duds

Was due to play two online finals this weekend for the EPT in Deauville, on the Poker770 site, having won my way into these for pennies before Christmas. However, was under a little bit of pressure to spend time on the Saturday at a social engagement, so I bit the bullet and headed off to Stratford for a night of dining, drinking, and so on. But not before I had made arrangements with a buddy to play my Saturday qualifier for me. Sadly he texted me before 10pm to tell me I had played crap, and was out in 62nd. He, on the other hand, simultaneously managed to come third in the APAT UK Online Poker Championship which was running at the same time, so perhaps his main focus was elsewhere. Last chance to qualify was on Sunday, and managed to avoid the donks for a long time but eventually saw an opportunity to double up with AQ against an optimist who had reraised me all in with A7 off suit which naturally earned him an iPoker special with a flush to the 7, and I put the French trip out of my head for another year.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Oh What A Circus .....

Well my last post was somewhat prophetic - played the Poker770 Monster Final on the 29th Dec with an EPT Deauville package up for grabs. Several hundred runners and managed to stay out of trouble for a long time but with slightly less than average stack and blinds at 200/400 I pick up As Jh in mid position and pop it up to 1200. All fold except the lunatic in the BB who pushes all-in, and given his past play and range I dont hesitate in calling - though naturally he has me covered. Delighted to see Ad 7c revealed, and a flop of Jd Qc 2c. Less happy when a 6c is revealed on the turn and naturally another club pops up on the river to give the moron a flush to his weak kicker, so I'm out in 116th. Thank you iPoker, the natural home of the runner runner flush and the outrageous two-outer. Ah well, two more chances on the 10th and 11th Jan but may hedge my bets my taking a stab at the qualifiers on Stars.

Blue Square are running a series of online GUKPT shorthanded games in January – they’ll count towards GUKPT rankings - a kind of Poker6 without the hassle of having to go to Bolton. Played a $10 rebuy satellite between Xmas and New Year for the $200 game in Jan, seat for 1st, $195 for 2nd. Came 3rd for nothing. Was well hacked off – despite the fact that with 5 left I had to sit out and drive my daughter into town, when I got back 25 minutes later, there were still 5 left. Made up what I’d lost through the blinds, was sitting nicely in 2nd with 3 left, then got outdrawn twice by a lunatic who eventually won the thing. Essex121 – he plays a lot of GUKPT qualifiers but I’ve never noticed him win anything before, and don’t think he’s played any of the GUKPT live events because I Googled him to see if I could find out who the hell he was, only to find he is some little guy who advertises himself on a gay contacts site. Didn’t recognise him from his picture – however, I need hardly say that he’s definitely not my type, too many legs. So after the satellite played a bit of cash $1/$2 for about an hour and finished $70 up.

Played the £100 DC Freezeout at Stoke Circus on 4th January. It's the first casino I ever played a live competition in and I always feel comfortable there. Though on a personal note I dont think I have been dealt a pocket pair there higher than Jacks since 2007. And none at all on my last two visits. But cardroom manager Andy Gray does his level best to promote the place and although there are sometimes the odd complaints about the structure - and often the standard of play - it's a well run place and is starting to be recognised as one of the premium Stanley venues.

Stanleys ran their Second Chance Classic - a £550 buyin tournament - at Star City in Birmingham last November, but I would imagine the group holding a major event at Stoke during 2009. As the biggest casino group in the UK it's surprising that it took them so long to get an online cardroom up and running - on the iPoker network - but now they have I believe they are looking at ways of breaking into the live "tour" market which Grosvenor and Gala currently dominate. Hard to see where their niche will be, with Gala hitting the £500 level and Grosvenor the £1000, so hopefully they will come up with something innovative rather than aping existing formats.

Anyway, the £100 Freezeout was very well supported - 228 runners, with alternates - but the standard of play was very iPoker-ish. Got good hands early doors which got me into trouble - just like the Star City event - AQ twice - first time I had to lay down on the river with three spades on board, then lost with the nut flush to a rivered full house with the other guy playing 9 4 off. Hey ho. Dont say you want those calls, please. Lost again with the nut straight on the turn to a different guy ALSO playing 9 4 off when he ALSO rivered a house. Just knew it wasnt going to be my day - good hands in position outdrawn by bad hands being played out of position all day long. And folding hands like A3 off in early position when it would have been my turn to river a house. C'est la vie. Maybe I need to loosen up a bit for Stoke.

Eventually with blinds at 300/600 and only 4200 in front of me, about a third of average chips at the time, I look down at 3 7 off suit in the BB. All fold to SB who completes. Flop Q 3 7 - all diamonds - and SB leads out for 600, so with two pair I bang my remaining 3600 in, hoping that he hasn't made his flush - what are the odds, eh, in a SB-BB confrontation? - and he dwells for a long while then announces "OK, I'll gamble, cos my wife's already out". Lovely, just what you want to hear. And he turns over two small diamonds. A seven or three was not forthcoming on turn or river so off to the rail I went.

Although I couldnt get a break all day I wasnt that bothered with the outcome and will play the competition again. Met up with some people I knew and enjoyed a brief mini-AGM of the Glenfiddich Gang with Brian Martin (aka MCFC66, aka Mole's Mate). Next meeting: Walsall GUKPT. By which time I hope I'm running better.