Friday, 27 February 2009

GUKPT Walsall Main Event

Seeing the girlfriend multiple times a week has caused me to shoehorn poker out of my schedule more and more, and that’s healthy, but after yesterday at GUKPT Walsall I want to shoehorn it back in a bit, now I've got a taste for live play again.

I did REALLY enjoy the game yesterday even though I bust out just after 9pm. First 4 hours were on a table with James Akenhead, Dave Maudlin, Dan Carter, and a guy called Jeff who told me later he’d played on the first series of Late Night Poker (he did, I checked, he played one heat, which Malcolm Harwood won), and some other decent players whose names I dont know. One of the unknowns remarked that he wished the table would break because after the departure of some old guy who donked himself out in less than an hour he was finding it a tough table with not a bad player on it – if he wasn’t taking the piss that was quite encouraging to hear, actually I thought he was the bad player but there you go, he obviously had experience and knew everyone, but thought he was better than he is and kept getting himself into tight spots. In fairness, he then lasted longer than me. So, I was bumping along on above average chips despite having had no real hands of note. I had dropped down to about 8200-ish at one point when I got involved in a couple of hands then opted to give up on good draws on the turn, no need to be a hero, then got right back into it with blinds at 100/200 when there were two limpers on my BB, SB folds, and I have 2 7 off. I check, unsurprisingly.

With a pot of 700, the flop comes Q 7 7 – Lovely - I check – UTG bets 600, UTG+1 calls, I call. Pot 2500.

And the turn card is the case 7 - Whoop whoop, quadzilla. Have had them at Walsall before, always nice. UTG bets 600, UTG+1 folds, I just call, dont want to drive him away. Pot now 3700.

River Q. Mmmmh. I don’t put him on QQ, he’d have raised pre, so it has to be a QJ or KQ kind of hand, but want to maximise my return and don’t want him checking behind, so lob in 1500. He calls and shows KQ asking if I have the 7. Er, duh! I was tempted to do a bit of amateur dramatics with a “suppose we’re splitting this one then” but he might have smelled a rat. Think I got the maximum out of that – he had odds of 3.5 to 1 to see if his house was good, I might have scared him off with more, though it's tempting to think I would have got paid off with a 2000 or 2500 bet.

So I carried on quite comfortably and was nicely up on starting stack but despite this my stack was actually slightly below average when we hit the dinner break, and they split our table 3 or 4 hands before the break. I was gutted, as I was enjoying that table. My new table contained Marcus Bebb Jones, Iwan Jones, Tim & Pippa Flanders, Julian Thew, Greek Jack, another face I should know, but no name to go with it, and a couple of short stacks.

Went completely card dead for 3 hours, got jacks once with blinds 150/300, raised UTG to 900, Iwan called in late position and the blinds folded. Flop AKJ, check check, blank on the turn, so I reach for chips and he mucks before I'd even decided how much. Had to fold when some new guy on the table came over the top after I put 1700 in with top-pair-up-and-down-draw, so discretion the better part of valour and all that, as I had no read on him, and assumed an overpair. I was quickly getting eroded by the blinds so started pushing. Best hand I saw was pocket 7’s and picked up the blinds. Anyway, down to 3500 at worst, I claw back to 5.5k which is still crap – average about 16k now – and get AQ on the button. Marcus is the BB and he has been a cardrack, made some hero calls and they have been ahead on unpromising boards, but fair play to him and he has about 35k now.

Instead of pushing this time I just raise to 1600, which was bordering on stupid as my 'M' was less than 10, so I am a cats whisker from push-or-fold being my only serious options, and he was bound to play his stack against mine with pretty much any two. Marcus reraises to 3200 which he would do, so I push and he has AK. He would never have laid it down to a push from me so the result was probably the same. Naturally there was a K on the flop, a Q on the turn to give me a glimmer of hope, but no miracle on the river and I am gone. Julian Thew, who was shorter than me at one point, had better luck after I departed, and had a series of double ups finishing the day with nearly 30k I think. Not bitter, I think you’ll find.

Sunday, 22 February 2009


Girlfriend went home early enough today for me to be able to play in another of these GUKPT Online League things on bluesq. Came second (again). Crippled by a muppet call (again) when heads up – my AQ looked good against the optimist’s A6 till the low straight completed on the river. Then it was uphill all the way, managed one double up before he knocked me out. Hate it when they say gg after they play so horrendously themselves. Would it be out of order to say "I know, can't say likewise"? Still, got $177 for 2nd, it all helps. Looking forward to Thursday now and the GUKPT Main Event at Walsall.

See that Mickey Wernick has cashed a couple of times at the Broadway Festival but heard an interview with him last night when he sounded crestfallen after finishing 11th in the Main Event – he said he’d got involved in a pot with pocket 7s that he had to lay down and the guy showed JJ, so that was fair enough, but when he pushed with AQ he got a call from “some kid with Js9s, they like their suited cards”. Thought he was OK when he hit an Ace on the flop, turn J, river J. Now that's BAD. Then with next to no chips left he was all in on his BB with K3 or something and eventual winner Andy Bradshaw slow rolled a rag Ace to knock Mickey out. He seemed as if he was at his lowest ebb for years so he’ll probably win the GUKPT event at Walsall now!!

Friday, 20 February 2009

GUKPT Walsall

Drove down to Walsall for the Grosvenor's Live GUKPT Satellite, a £50 Rebuy with 10 seats guaranteed. Very comfortable all night, dont recall any significant hands of note, but the event resulted in producing 12 seats with cash for 13th, and I think I must have been lying 2nd or 3rd in chips when the bubble burst so the seat is in the bag and am now looking forward to my first outing of 2009 in the GUKPT next Thursday.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Omaha is cheating isn't it?

Well I accidentally registered for an Omaha tournament last night which was part of the GUKPT Online League series. Not my preferred choice, just saw it was a league match and signed up without paying too much attention. Only realised my mistake when I got dealt four cards, which whichever way you look at it, just feels like cheating when you are used to Holdem. 33 runners, and managed to luckbox my way to 2nd place for $161.25 and some league points, but should have won if "Mousebob" hadn't decided to make some dubious calls heads up, culminating in his decision that bottom pair (7s) on the flop was good (against my top two pair, AJ) and proceeded to hit trips on the turn.

Can only cite this game as being the reason for playing like a twat in the GUKPT London Super satellite, which started an hour later. The hand that crippled me was AK, naturally enough, with which I raised in mid position. The cutoff went all in, and since he hadnt done anything up until that point to warrant respect, I paused only momentarily when the SB also pushed. I had them both covered but only just, and foolishly made the call only to find the cutoff with TT and the SB also with AK. TT held and I was left with 25 chips which went in with the inglorious exit hand of 9-4 off, drawing pretty thin against 88 and 99. Chose not to rebuy and concentrated on the cheating game.

Not been playing much poker live or online of late as a new lady is in my life and my priorities have changed slightly, but my long range radar may have detected the first potential conflict, as the Irish Open - which was one of the events I wanted to have a pop at qualifying for - clashes with her birthday. Mentioned this to a friend, who had two suggestions, the first of which was "get her interested in the game", and the second was to still try to qualify, and if successful tell her I was already too deep into the qualification process before I met her to be able to get out of it.

I liked the novel approach of the second suggestion – which kind of translates as “lie to her”, always a sound basis for establishing relationships. I think I'll probably skip the qualification satellites as it is the Easter weekend anyway, and aim for the Killarney Festival later in the year. But if I DID try to qualify and succeeded I think honesty is the best policy and I would really need to take her along and try to make a weekend of it. The trouble is I’ve always felt sorry for the poor souls when I I’ve seen girlfriends/partners sitting in casino bars looking bored shitless. And always remembered the one at APAT Edinburgh in 2006, where a young lad had brought a decidedly attractive young blonde with him, and she spent the whole day standing by the cardroom door trying to look in and see him, cos she wasn’t allowed inside. Now that’s devotion. In his position I'm not sure if cards would have been my priority ......

Friday, 6 February 2009

Small Satellites

Started yesterday with a quick limber up in the $2K GTD on Bluesquare, frustratingly coming 15th of 155 for a modest $27.90. Still, a small profit is profit nonetheless. Followed up winning a Stage 2 satellite for the Irish Open, but the later Stage 1 satellite saw me crash out 12th of 44, so I was playing well, I thought, but not quite well enough!

In the evening played the $11 R/B GUKPT Feeder last night for the London leg Super Satellite. Only hands I can remember were when Steve Holden pushed to my AK raise with Q 10 and hit his Q, leaving me short for a little while; then when someone else limped and pushed to my raise on the button with AQ, as I pressed the call button I realised he was probably trapping with AK or a big pair – luckily it was AK - but I hit my Q and knocked him out.

Anyway, there was $103 for 5th and the top 4 got a seat in a Super Satellite next Thursday to the GUKPT in London (in which there is a $3500 package up for grabs). So I was in the top 4 and got my seat, knocking out the final player in 5th spot with A Q v 10 10 when I hit trips, and my seat into the $109 Super Satellite was won.. The chip leader was a real fish – Steve Holden got quite irate in the chatbox when he kept betting into the guy on a Q54 flop (thought Steve probably had JQ, KQ, but in fact it was KK) and the guy kept calling pot-sized bets – turn 2 – call – river 3 – call - you can see whats coming, he had A7 off suit, shouldnt have been in the hand and didn’t have the odds to call on any street but hit his runner, runner to outdraw Steve against the odds. Remember this guy didnt have any piece of the flop. Anyway, it seemed like Steve was on tilt after that, managed a double up with AJ against the same fish then the very next hand pushed all in to a raise with AJ again ran into the chip leader’s pocket fives which stood up. Mmmmm, Ace high, bye bye … though it's OK for some.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

What Goes In Must Come Out

Another 5th in a Bluesquare Online League tourney last night; this time a $5 rebuy which returned $65.60, must win one of these buggers soon, surely?

Got an email recently from a pal saying he had just taken down an online freeroll, the subject line being “A poker 'novice' (as if) wins”. That made me smile. I mean, for a bit of diversion, now and then I play freerolls on sites that I havent bothered to put money on, to try and kick off a Chris Ferguson style “Jesus” challenge. Like, I played a freeroll at noon on Saturday on Paddy Power and won 50c. Whoop! But anyway that’s just an academic exercise, I play proper tournaments too, and have a bankroll on other sites. But my buddy does seem to play at a smaller than micro level - saves up to play a $1 tourney, if he wins $10, he withdraws. To think he taught me all I knew. Before I learned a bit more.

Anyway, I think withdrawing small amounts is a bad plan. After withdrawing, I would never usually play on the site within a month. A guy I know has tracked his results over the last two years. He’s been profitable overall, but can pinpoint his three losing months in the last 24 to the period immediately following a major withdrawal. The only time he didn’t lose after withdrawing was when he spent 3 weeks in Vegas immediately afterwards and wasn’t playing online. There IS a doomswitch, obviously.

But however low stakes it was, a win is a win, and I emailed my friend back to congratulate him, but couldnt resist sending him this picture of my success in the $4K GTD on Bluesquare a few days ago - I could only manage 3rd but the $475 that brought home was a wee bit more than he earned!

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Read a joke on a forum last night which I liked.I rang Gamblers Anonymous to check what time their meeting started. When they said ten to one I couldn’t resist having £25 on it ……