Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Domestic Doings

This work and family responsibilities stuff sure gets in the way of my poker playing and blogging!

Until last night, I'd hardly played at all since the middle of last week. I did manage to work off the sign up bonus for Empire, showing a small card playing profit by the end of 500 hands, which I then mostly frittered away on Full Tilt through a combination of cold decking and missed draws.

The brutal bad beats which are commonplace on Party Poker are more of a rarity on Full Tilt, so it's left to the dealer, rather than opponents, to torture me with death by a thousand low cards.

I then entered the Empire $500 freeroll, and some very good cards early on put me in a strong position, before my QQ all-in pre-flop against a short stack 88 fell victim to a flopped set. That set me back quite a bit, but I recovered to make the final 20.

The most erratic player at the table then called my quarter-stack raise with JJ. The flop came Kx3 and was checked to me. Sensing weakness I plunged all-in, and waited anxiously as he pondered the bet. With ONE SECOND left on the clock, he called the bet and showed A3o for bottom pair - just as the turn card showed an ace. Oh well. $4.25 reward for my efforts.

I was pretty annoyed with the beat, but quite pleased that despite my focus on limit grinding, I haven't forgotten how to play No Limit. Both my big chip losses came when I had all my chips in whilst ahead, and that's all you can ask for.

More good news came from my initial Poker Tracker Guide investigations. Until now I've used the player rating guidelines which are referred to on 2+2. These have me labeled as a rock, which is no bad thing for a grinder, but I did feel might be an underestimation of how aggressively I play.

After the swings of the past month, it was a nice confidence boost to see my rock become a moneybag when I applied the new rules as defined by Iggy and Hank. Changing an icon doesn't change the damage to my bankroll, but it's nice to have validation that I'm in a bad luck, rather than bad play, downswing.

I look forward to making more use of the guide when I have the time. How many times must I say it? You really should be using Poker Tracker if you are serious about online play.

Offline, I did manage to catch some of the qualifiers for the Party Poker UK Open on The Poker Channel. I've seen some complaints about some of the recent US programs becoming all-in frenzies, so it was nice to sit and watch 45 minutes of cagey heads up play. A bit more cerebral and considered than some of the more muscular action we are growing used to.

The commentating was fine, but at some points they did talk over the player banter. This seemed a missed opportunity to me. It would have been interesting to hear what was being said, especially once it went heads up and the psychology really came into play.

The Poker Channel is carrying the Full Tilt adverts, which can be downloaded from their website. They look good on the PC monitor, and mighty impressive on a widescreen TV. Very professional.

Away from poker, I missed the weekend thriller between Celtic and Aberdeen, to take Mrs Div away on a final short break before she gives birth. We usually like to make use of the budget airlines to head off to sunnier climes, but in her current condition she didn't like the idea of being on an aircraft. So we got out to see some of the Scottish countryside.

The weather wasn't great, but we did have a very relaxing time, including afternoon tea at Gleneagles. How civilised. Throw in a trip to St Andrews and it almost became a golfing themed tour.

Civility takes a back seat this weekend, as it's the final game of the season between Celtic and Rangers. This time, it really does matter! Neither team is playing well, so it could be a war of nerves. Expect blood, guts, thunder and not much football. Stuart Dougal is the referee. Florence or Zebedee would be a better choice.

Europeans get the game on Sky TV. Americans and Canadians should rally to the forces of light, and get down to your local Celtic Supporters Association to see the game. 1350 East Tropicana Ave for the Vegas crew.

I'll settle for a draw, but won't be making any bets. Way too unpredictable, this one!

On the Blogroll, I've added 50 outs. My first German blogger. He deserves a break after his recent Vegas beating, and I'm sure the much treasured membership of my Blogroll is just the boost he needs.

I'm still struggling with the setup on my Belkin Pre-N router. The range is great but I keep getting dropped connections - no good when playing poker - and when I enable encryption I totally lose connectivity.

Several calls to the Belkin helpdesk have yielded a range of 'solutions' incorporating channel switching, reinstallation of the wireless card on my laptop, removal of my firewall, and deinstallation of my anti virus software - with no success. Any suggestions out there? Invite the hackers into my home? Buy Netgear?

Finally thanks to those kind souls who have left comments or linked me up. It's nice to know some people appreciate my ramblings.

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