Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Internet Infamy At Last

Someone found my blog through searching on MSN for young illegal lolitas.

At last, I now feel truly part of the world wide web!

That was one determined pervert. I was number 100 on the list of sites. Kudos for the effort, if not the intent.

That's about the most noteworthy blog event so far this week, though I played enough poker to almost get back to even for the month. Mostly $100 PLO.

I eventually backed off, after witnessing some of the worst bad beats I have ever seen. None of them affected me directly, but one in particular was so atrocious it put me on proxy tilt.

A 1-outer in a $320 pot to catch quads over top set. Even worse, the suckout merchant was a typical obnoxious trash talking moron who was big upping himself as though he had actually played the hand well.

The table moron having the biggest stack is hardly the saddest sight one can witness in poker. Especially when he is two to the right - in perfect trapping position for Omaha. Softly, softly, catchy monkey...

Unfortunately, he decided to leave soon after his big win, claiming the table had got 'boring'. I think this is moron speak for 'I got so lucky I almost peed myself with glee, and I'm cutting and running before I blow it all'.

Understandably the suckout recipient - having reloaded - was none too happy, and wanted to go play heads up. The moron was having none of it.

That was my last serious poker session of the week. After watching Celtic's abysmal 'performance' against Dunfermline, I was on super tilt.

Instead of poker, I reinstalled Sudden Strike and spent the weekend launching artillery strikes and air raids on Panzers. Much more suited to my mood.

I did venture into two $10 SNG on PokerStars, just for fun. I soon regretted it.

These were my bread-and-butter at the start of the year, but now it's just a way of killing an hour or so.

I'd read that Stars was tougher than most sites for SNG and tourneys, but on the evidence of these two games, Thanksgiving weekend had brought out the loons.

We all know we should embrace the fish, and have carrots in hand at all times to tempt in the donkeys, but really there is a limit to what I can stand. Especially when the donkeys are of the loud, braying type.

Yet again a total luckbox - 2-outers and 3-outers on successive hands - couldn't resist telling everyone, without a hint of irony, what a great player he was.

When another player begged to differ, the slagging began. The luckbox professed himself to be a super-hard mixed martial arts champ - owner of a University of Nevada 'golddin glove' award.

Amusingly the other guy turned out to be something similar, from the same state.

After a bout of 'hey I train with Fast Fingers Freddie he'll tell you how tough I am' type comments, it almost looked like a grudge match was on, but I suspect the moron knew he was as much dead meat as dead money.

I think we can safely assume he'd never trained with Howard Lederer either.

That was enough for me. I just wasn't in the mood to stomach the stupidity that was being inflicted on me, so I gave up for the weekend. Almost as meekly as Rangers. Heh.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

George Best

Time to brave the Scottish weather and head to Celtic Park for a top v bottom clash, as Dunfermline visit. The match to be preceded by a minute of applause for the now departed George Best.

I remember seeing the NME front cover reporting the death of Elvis. It showed not a bloated, jump-suited, Vegas era Elvis; but a young, leather clad, vibrant Elvis, strutting his stuff on stage.

The headline - 'Elvis, Remember Him This Way'

So it is with George Best. He can be remembered as the jaundiced, broken addict, whose shambolic personal life prematurely ended his career; or as the mesmerising attacker who left defenders trailing and entertained millions.

Some aspects of his personal life were pretty enviable too. 'The Fifth Beatle', 'The first footballer-popstar'. What young man wouldn't wish they could one day utter the immortal phrases:

'I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars - the rest I just squandered.'

'I used to go missing a lot...Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World.'

No one had done it before, so his failure to handle the fame shouldn't be that surprising.

George Best, remember him this way

Yet Best was hardly the ideal role model, and some of his off-field behaviour went beyond questionable, and well into despicable.

So I was surprised by how affected I was by his death. Amidst the tributes, one photo really caught my eye. It wasn't an iconic shot from his Manchester United days; but a more intimate shot of Best asleep on the couch with his baby son held close. Both look content and at peace.

George Best and Calum

The Div family album has recently gained a few very similar shots. It brought home to me that while some may be given talents the rest of us can only dream of, ultimately we are all only human. We have our good side and our bad; our skills and weaknesses.

We all have our families. Best was survived by his father, who now has to bury his son.

There can be few more traumatic events in life than burying your child. My own gran had to do it three times, and it's not an experience I would wish on anyone.

I don't know how Mr Best handled the publicity over his son's private life and off-field excesses. Yet I'm sure there is one apt quote, which he will remember fondly. It's probably the same quote Best himself will wish to be remembered by:

'Pele called me the greatest footballer in the world. That is the ultimate salute to my life.'

Friday, November 25, 2005

Oma-tard or Oma-hard?

Or neither of the above, perhaps.

This has hardly been a vintage month, but I've managed to recover most of my losses on the $0.5/1 PLO8 tables.

It's gratifying that for every half-decent player, there seem to be four or five absolute muppets.

I don't lay any great claim to be an Omaha genius, but the hands some people play just leave me stunned. For example a Hi/Lo game where people start with hands like QQQ5. wtf!?

Where to start? No low draw, one card to hit for a possible top set, no straight draw, a Q high flush draw. Sheer madness.

The only frustrating this is that I need to get cards to take money off these people since the concept of folding seems alien to many of them. So it's essential to have the best hand at showdown.

This takes the art out of poker, since representing a hand is absolutely pointless. It's also extremely frustrating to see the muppets bleed cash while I wait for a hand to arrive. Patience, patience.

One thing I have indisputably learned in Omaha is that the nut flush on flop or turn is not a hand to be played subtly.

Slow playing is just begging for the sets or two pair hands that will be out there to draw to a full house.

My biggest win of last night was flopping top set on a flushing board, my pot bet being raised, calling to see the flush hit on turn.

Ready to check-fold I actually pay to see the river when my opponent makes only a small bet, and the full house hits, whereupon I relieve my opponent of all his cash.

To be fair this guy was super unlucky, as not only did he have the nut flush, but he also flopped second set, so he also made a full house on the river. Tough beat, but there would have been no river if he bet properly on the turn.

This situation is becoming a recurring theme. I've learned the lesson, let's pray the muppets continue to believe differently.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Eurobet Not Skint

The fallout from the Party Gaming upheaval continues. Some fractious, some not so fractious.

On the fractious side, Empire are now threatening to sue Party. I can see where they are coming from. The Party bully boy tactics are pretty nasty.

Whether they justify a lawsuit or not, is in the hands of the courts now.

On the non-fractious - indeed positively harmonious - side of things, Coral Eurobet have now made the switch to PokerRoom software.

The email prompting me to change software also includes a juicy 100% to $600 reload bonus. Yum, yum.

Eurobet has pretty much avoided the issue regarding the big split. Instead they simply refer to an 'upgrade' to their software.

Ignorance is bliss, I presume. Any customers so lacking in savvy they haven't worked out what has happened, are unlikely to need to understand the nuts and bolts of the situation.

It's a pretty clear indication that Eurobet intend to stay in the market in a serious way. As I said previously, they are part of a very large gaming group, and certainly not short of financial clout.

I'm not sure how the big bonus will impact on my rakeback deal, but it seems to be a no lose scenario, so long as I can find some decent games to play in on the PokerRoom network.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Green Felt Bad, Green Grass Good

Thank goodness for families and football!

If I was relying on poker to keep me happy over the last few days, I'd have been heading for the nearest cliff to throw myself off.

I recently moved up to playing the $.5/1 Pot Limit Omaha tables - both High only and Hi/Lo.

There were a few reasons for this. Partly it was just because I could - the bankroll has done quite well recently - but primarily it was because I'm trying to improve, and I need to play better players to stretch myself more.

Initially I'd been quite successful. In a way it was quite disappointing to find out the bigger buy-in brings only marginally better players to the table.

One thing I'd changed in my game after the step up was playing more deceptively, and doing less nut peddling, but the moves seem pretty wasted on most of the players.

For example, bluffing at a flush board with the bare ace still seems doomed to failure.

Over the last few nights, though, I took quite a spanking. The hand that set it off was the runner-runner quads I referred to in a previous post. That had me more than a little tilty.

Then, on Thursday night, I lost probably my biggest online pot. Somewhere in the region of $220. Chickenfeed to some; quite significant to me.

Saying I lost it is not strictly true. It was a Hi/Lo pot and I still took down one quarter.

What made it frustrating was that all the money went in on the turn when I was 90% certain I was taking at least three-quarters of the pot. As it transpired, my read was accurate, but the river was cruel.

I'd limped with a pretty good low hand and called a raise from a very aggressive Scandinavian player. I had picked up a tendency by this particular player to bet very hard when he had a good low hand, regardless of the high.

The flop came with two low cards, giving me a draw to the nut low, and 2nd pair for a high. I check-called a bet from the Scandie.

The turn gave me the nut low, and I still had 2nd pair for a high, with no obvious big hand out there. Not a massive hand, but I was pretty sure, based on previous observations, that he had the same low as me, and probably no high.

This is a pretty marginal situation, but if my read was correct, I stood to make a big profit by three-quartering my Scandie friend. So, I check-raised him, and was quite happy to see him push all-in.

Sure enough, he had the same low, and no high. Which was great. Until he made a gutshot straight on the river, to rake three-quarters of the pot. Waaahhh. Not happy.

Friday brought more pain, this time at the High tables.

The defining theme for the night was some unusually loose-aggressive play from myself, which saw me getting involved in a lot more pots than usual. Some of which I won, quite a few of which I lost.

I had been making a conscious effort to be more aggressive, but I did let it go a bit far. Not sure why. Pre-game nerves perhaps.

I did lay one brutal suckout on an opponent, based on a total misread of his betting. With top set on a flushing flop, I smooth called a bet from an EP player, hoping to keep the guys behind me in the pot, and ready to check-raise if anyone got frisky.

I was figuring EP guy for a smaller set, or two pair. I didn't think he would bet a flush draw into quite a big field.

As it happens, the players behind me all folded, leaving us heads up. So, when the flush card came on the turn, I wasn't too concerned, and raised his initial bet.

When he reraised all-in, I should have folded, but I still didn't believe he had the flush.

He did. Which was unfortunate for me - until the board paired on the river, giving me the full house.

That said, I was the victim of a few unusual plays myself, including a role reversal of the flush-turn, full house-river scenario.

The most extraordinary play was being raised and reraised pre-flop whilst holding AAxx.

The reraiser had KKK6!? Of course he won the hand with a K-high flush. One of the situations where I was holding the bare Ace.

Whether he actually knows the rules of Omaha, I don't know, but playing that hand in any circumstances is pretty bad. Reraising it preflop is insane.

Still, I shouldn't complain. I should be praying he plays every hand against me that badly.

Over the last few sessions, I reckon I could probably assign 40% of my losses to my own bad play; 40% to suckouts; and 20% to being outplayed.

That's an eminently recoverable situation. My own bad play can be improved, the suckouts even out over time, and I took copious notes on the players who actually made good moves on me. I may not be able to outplay them yet, but I can certainly avoid them.

That's one refreshing change from the lower limit tables. There are still plenty maniacs and fish at this level, but in a way it feels good to actually take some notes that don't consist entirely of words such as 'maniac', 'moron', and 'calling station'.

For the next few weeks, I think I'll be reverting to nut peddling, and more limited experimentation, while I gather more notes on other players.

Fortunately for my good nature, Celtic dished out another sound beating to Rangers yesterday. Which had the dual benefits of cheering me up, and getting me out of the house and away from poker.

It also got me extremely drunk last night, and led to a 12-hour sleep. Now you know where Baby Div gets her sleeping habits from.

Interestingly it now looks like Rangers may replace Alex McLeish with Paul le Guen - the man I thought was best choice to replace Martin O'Neill at Celtic. If they do, let's hope I was wrong!

Time will tell.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Keane-no, Keane-no, Keane-hmm, well, maybe

Roy Keane's abrupt departure from Manchester United, and his well documented affinity with Celtic, has led to the inevitable speculation that he will soon be a Celtic player.

Celtic themselves, surprisingly in my eyes, have been quick to encourage the rumours:

"If at any time Roy would like to speak to us about his future and Celtic's, we would be only too happy to speak to him, but as yet there have been no discussions."

My immediate reaction, was 'no way'.

Keane WAS a fantastic midfielder - the type who could win a game by sheer force of will. Capable of overcoming his limited technical skills with passion, determination, and an intimidating presence which drained his opponents of the will to fight.

If he was 26 years old, and fighting fit, Celtic fans would be rejoicing from the rooftops at news of his possible signing.

However, his powers are in decline, and years of all-action football have left him carrying a multitude of injuries. At 34 he had already outlived his usefulness to the Manchester United first eleven.

His formidable disciplinary record would also leave him vulnerable to the attention seeking elements of the Scottish refereeing brotherhood.

Added to this is a wage bill rumoured to be £80,000 PER WEEK at Manchester United!

Why then, would Celtic wish to recruit Roy Keane?

He would by no means be guaranteed a start in the current Celtic midfield; though he would certainly strengthen the options for squad rotation.

If, and it is a big if, he could manage a prolonged period at full fitness, he would still be more than capable of bossing most SPL midfield battles.

He would certainly boost the media profile of the club in England, where Celtic's long term ambitions lie.

One area which has not been mentioned is Ireland.

Historically, Celtic has had a big Irish following. With Sky's glamourisation - and blanket coverage - of The Premiership, the big English teams, including Manchester United, have absorbed much of the support which previously came Celtic's way.

Perhaps the board see this as an opportunity to re-invigorate their Irish connections. In the same way that the signings of Shunsuke Nakamura and Du Wei have established new Celtic connections in Japan and China.

They may see a deal which brings a degree of footballing benefit, and a degree of commercial opportunity, as being worthy of funding.

If so, I would presume any package would be on the basis of a limited salary, with generous appearance and performance bonuses.

Certainly, I don't imagine a 3-year deal to be on the table. More likely 6-months with a 1-year option.

Perhaps there will be one extra attendee at Celtic Park tomorrow. I'm sure the press cameras will be ready.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Silent Nights

Happiness is...

7.15pm Bath baby
7.30pm Change baby
7.40pm Feed baby
8.00pm Baby asleep
8.00am Baby awakes!

In other happy events, there's been news of a boost for the British comedy industry.

After years of criticism over the production of a string of sub-standard shows, while US imports shone, an unlikely new source of comedic material has emerged.

Speaking about the numerous arrests for sectarian offences amongst Rangers fans during their recent defeat by Celtic, the Rangers Supporters Trust accused police of displaying 'a nakedly political agenda by systematically and unreasonably targeting Rangers supporters'.

Why, they demanded to know, were Rangers fans 'statistically 90 times more likely to be arrested for sectarian offences than Celtic fans'?

Well, durr. I laughed so hard when I read that on the morning train, I almost exhaled coffee through my nose.

Keep up the standard of writing and they might be able to raise enough cash to hire a decent manager.

This reminds me of the old joke about the mother who goes to see her son's passing out parade from army training. She is so proud because 'my boy is the only one marching in time to the music'.

Responding to the Rangers Supporters Trust comments, a police spokesman said 'the number of arrests at last week's game reflected the general behaviour of supporters at the match.'

So there you have it.

Always Look On The Bright Side...

$100 PLO PokerStars...Flopped set, opponent with top pair, runner-runner quads. That's a 0.01% chance for you maths fetishists out there.

Need I say more?

Still, it could be worse. I could be Liu Qibing.

Boy does that guy have some explaining to do! What are the odds he is never seen again?

Better than 0.01% for sure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Alex McLeish - Dead Manager Walking

You gotta laugh!

If yesterday's absurd shenanigans had been played out at Celtic Park instead of Ibrox, the back pages would have been awash with cracked Celtic crests today.

As it is, there's some whimpering - but hardly a huge bang - about the shambolic attempts by David Murray to replace Alex McLeish.

McLeish is still there as Murray can find nobody to replace him, and because rather than resign with a degree of dignity, he will stick around and wait for the big payoff.

Now Rangers are left to seek a new manager in the full glare of publicity, whilst striving to maintain the charade that McLeish still has a chance of saving his job.

Cheer up David. I hear Bobby Wiliamson is available!

With Hearts employing a convicted sex offender as their new first team coach, and McLeish working out how to shout instructions to the team while his neck rests on a chopping block, its a golden period for the creators of football chants.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Bankroll Management

A while ago, I suggested my idea for the perfect poker product.

Now it seems I may have been not that far out with my suggestion. According to this article on Motley Fool, Neteller may become an internet bank. That opens up a lot of scope for product innovation.

I shall await developments with interest.

Something else that's caught my eye recently is postings on several websites about people experiencing cashout difficulties from various poker rooms.

There doesn't seem to be anything nefarious going on - just some typically bad customer service.

What surprises me is the amount of people who seem to deposit to a site by credit/debit card; play a while; then cash out back to their card.

They don't seem to practise any form of online bankroll management. Instead they put cash in when they want to play, and take it out when they need it.

This seems counterproductive in a number of ways.

Unless they are running a spreadsheet or other tracking method, they will have no real idea how they are playing over time.

If, as most UK players probably do, they play on some foreign currency sites, they will incur additional transaction charges.

If they make no effort to build an online bankroll, they risk stagnation as they will never build a big enough reserve to step up to the next level.

Even worse, if they don't have good self discipline, not segregating their online bankroll may lead to their day-to-day living becoming linked to their poker performance.

Who wants the mortgage payment to be linked to the outcome of tonight's NLH game? Not me!

Looking at it from the opposite perspective, their poker game may suffer due to the same linkage. Is it really so easy to make the right move for all your chips, if you are mentally comparing the size of the bet to what you could buy with the money?

My own approach is to keep an entirely separate online bankroll, which I have gradually built up over time.

This has given me scope to play bigger games. It also means that much as I might complain about losing sessions, the bad feeling stays on the internet and doesn't permeate into my 'normal' life.

The online bankroll is not factored into my financial calculations, and I have no intention of making a withdrawal anytime soon.

Hopefully there will come a point in the future where I'll have so much money online that I need to withdraw some, but sadly that day feels a long way off.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Fizzling and Flopping

I'm on some weird kind of slow burning tilt this week.

Not the wild, blow half your bankroll in a night, get banned from chat for trash talking, type tilt. More a grating, tormenting type tilt born of a horrendous sequence of bad cards, and bad play. Some mine; some others.

There has been plenty of trash talk, but only to the wall. Last night I felt I was morphing into some bizarre combination of Victor Meldrew and Gordon Ramsay.

It's not even bad beats that are pissing me off - more bad situations and bad play.

Like the hand last night where from the SB I flopped an OESD and the nut flush draw. So many outs, and two cards to hit them.

My thinking here is being first to act, this has to be worth a bet. Partly for the fold equity, and partly to make sure I get paid if I hit. Two callers, and a blank turn.

Hmmm. No raise. Are they both on a draw too? Or is someone slow playing top set?

A check is surrender, a small bet invites a reraise, so I need to bet a decent amount. One caller, and a blank river.

Crap. I have Ace high and a fair amount invested, but this guy has displayed no strength whatsoever. If he had a monster he needed to raise on the turn at the latest. If he had something like two pair or a baby set he needs to raise the flop to find out where he is.

Logically, the only hand he can have is a similar draw to mine.

So, another decent size bet in expectation of a fold. Call. wtf?!? Two pair - flopped.

Come on! What sort of play is that? If he had raised on the river, I'd have given him credit for putting me on a draw and having nerves of steel to take me for the max.

The call says it all. He had no idea if he was ahead or behind. But hey, he had two pair, he needed to call. Three times.

Bloody hell!

Of course, this is the sort of play that makes me plenty when I flop top set. That hasn't happened to me for a while, though I did run into quads three times last night...

So, in the midst of darkness, praise the lord for Sean Maloney and Stefan Klos.

I REALLY enjoyed Wednesday night, even if the currently restricted Div budget prompted me to give up my ticket for someone else and watch on TV.

Not only did Celtic win, they did it in style, embarrassing Rangers and reducing them to petulance and brutality as their only response.

The only criticism could be they should have scored more goals, but hey they did have three strikers out injured.

It's a shame there's an international break this weekend, though the Ibrox soap opera should provide an ongoing source of entertainment.

One Big Poker Party

So Party has effectively taken over or discarded all the skins, with the exception of Empire who would seem well advised to strike a deal quickly.

Pretty ruthless, but that's business!

It will be interesting to see what Coral Eurobet do. They have the capacity to become another Pacific/888, if they can get a decent poker platform up and running quickly.

I wonder if they have one of the remaining independents in their sights, or whether they will choose to join another network such as Crypto or Prima?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lagging Behind


A day free from work that one may spend at leisure

Or, alternatively, a day for taking the baby to the doctor for more inoculations, and spending the afternoon scrabbling around on rubble beneath the house.

Poker this month has been barely in the black so far. I've been playing pretty badly, but kept my head above water with one big hand.

Flopped two pair from SB on a straightening board, checked, saw someone else bet lightly and pick up a shoal of callers, decided they were drawing to the straight or just to see a cheap card, so check-raised the max, putting my short stack all-in, and found FIVE callers.

Turn made the straight, but river made my full house. A quintuple through. Thank you very much.

I'm just not 'in the zone' this week, so it's good to still be ahead.

Today was a family day. Doctors in the morning with baby and wife. I suspect Mrs Div suffers more than the baby as the needle goes in.

The baby has handled them so well. A quick cry and ten minutes later she is asleep in the car seat.

The afternoon was DIY time. This weeks task - pipe lagging.

The UK Met Office is forecasting a high likelihood of a 'one in fifty' winter. This is a winter where the prevailing wind comes down from Siberia, instead of west off the Atlantic. So, it could get pretty chilly.

Scotland's record low temperature? -27 Celsius!

Unfortunate then that the previous owners of our house had not seen fit to insulate the myriad pipes beneath the house.

As the Div residence is built into a hillside, the under-floor space moves from a Hobbit friendly clearance at the front, accessible through an Alice in Wonderland style door, to about two feet at the back.

So, I spent the afternoon progressing from crouching, to crawling, to wriggling on my back across rubble and the discarded refuse of long departed builders, squeezing foam sleeves around copper pipes.

The good news is, I used all 24 metres of foam sleeve I had purchased. The bad news is, the job is only half done.

The other half will need the old fashioned wind around lagging, as the plumbers past seem to have revelled in fixing pipes in the most awkward locations, and teasing the piping into all sorts of unusual, and decidedly non straight, shapes. One junction was positively spaghetti like.

Oh well, gives me something to 'look forward to' for the weekend. Which will hopefully also see us with a working boiler again.

Broken on Monday; earliest ETA for heating engineer - Friday.

Next chancer who asks me for money on Argyll Street, I'm handing them a leaflet for the technical college.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Down, Down

Not my weekend!

The home game form continued into the online world. I didn't actually lose much cash, but I could not buy a big hand.

I lost every serious pot I got involved in, but recouped most of the losses with lots and lots of little ones. Not fun, but not a disaster either.

I think I won some small pots through the power of tilt, as I was betting hands I'd usually let go, so maybe there's a lesson in there somewhere.

The galling thing was there were some real morons playing, but I could not get my hands on their money.

One stunningly bad PLO hand saw all the cash go in on a flop of QdTx6d. I'm thinking 'top set v straight/flush draw'. The reality? A set of tens v a set of sixes, and no genuine redraws.

How the hell do you put all your cash in with bottom set on that board?

Still, no real damage done. I managed to quit before I got too mad.

To cap it all, I returned from work today, to forecasts of 100mph winds, the coldest night of the year so far, and a busted gas combi-boiler. No central heating, no running hot water. Marvellous.

Fortunately we have a spare electric heater, and an electric shower. So, the baby will be warm tonight - even if mum and dad are sleeping in their overcoats - and I'll probably have someone sitting beside me on the train tomorrow.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Empty Handed

Hmmm, not a great performance at last night's homegame. Three six handed games, first two paid in each. No cashes for Div.

I didn't do too much wrong, but there were a few hands I could perhaps have gotten away from. Tiredness translated to impatience, and I tried too hard to knock out opponents when discretion would have been more advisable.

Game 1 was card dead for me, until I was very short stacked and found AK. Reraised all-in by Pat, this was an insta-call, which prevailed over Pat's AQ.

The very next hand I have ATs, and this time the boot is on the other foot, as Pat's AJ dispatches me from the game.

Game 2 was a tale of two flush draws. Draw 1 was Renny's all-in bet on the turn with two spades showing, and a King and Queen on board. Holding third pair only, I took my time before deciding he was on a draw and calling. The draw missed and I knocked him out.

Draw two saw me with A8 of clubs, again on a two spade board. Allan put me all-in and I felt he was chasing a spade, so called believing my Ace high was ahead. Pretty loose, since with no pair I was a slight dog, but I was sure I was ahead at this point and needed to double through.

I was ahead, and the flush draw missed, but unfortunately for me Allan's queen of spades found a pair on the river, and I was out.

Game 3 was one of the fastest games we have ever played. Perhaps the beer was taking hold. Before I knew it, we were three handed with Dave and I ahead in chips.

So, it was somewhat unfortunate for me that my raise with AK of hearts was called by Dave with QJ of clubs, and the flop came down 89T with two hearts.

It would have been more prudent to fold to Dave's check-raise all-in on the flop, but I decided to go for the win and missed my flush draw to let Pat in for second.

C'est la vie. There's always next time.

With the Christmas season drawing closer, I have quite a few holidays to take, so maybe I'll be able to sneak in a few more live sessions in the evenings.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

October Summary

When You're Smiling
October was a good month.

The little one is doing brilliantly. Every week brings a new surprise. The pleasant one this month being her first all-night sleeps.

Unfortunately this removes my prime excuse for all night poker sessions at the weekend. ‘I’ll just stay up and feed the baby when she wakes’.

This picture is the current wallpaper on my phone, and when I'm sitting half-asleep on the train after getting soaked whilst trudging to the station, all I have to do is take one look and my spirits soar.

On the football front, Rangers appear to be falling apart, Celtic are improving, Hearts are imploding, and now run by a Roman. I bet there are plenty Hearts fans not enjoying that one little bit.

Maybe David Blunkett would fancy the challenge of managing Hearts. I suspect he would get on well with Vladimir Romanov. They do have similar PR and social skills, though Romanov does prefer shafting football managers to socialites.

Now all I need to do is actually make time to go to more games. The season ticket this year has not been a wise investment so far.

As for the poker, I netted a $740 profit, mostly from the cards, but with a few bonuses cleared and a first ever rakeback contribution. Overall, my best result since February.

The most beatable tables seemed to be the Pot Limit Omaha on Crypto, but there weren’t too many players on PokerStars who overly concerned me either.

I’ll be continuing with more of the same games this month I think.

I'm forever saying I should play more tourneys, but finding the time is the main inhibitor. Not so much in terms of total time elapsed, but in terms of guaranteeing three or four consecutive, uninterrupted hours of play.

That may have to wait for the Christmas holidays. First Christmas party just one month away!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

You Can't Bluff A Calling Station

I saw this article about Harrington On Hold Em mentioned by Andy Ward on Secrets Of The Amateurs.

Apparently the standard of tournament play has increased as more people are reading Dan's books. Well, perhaps. I'm sure the Two Plus Two guys weren't shy about coming forward with a few quotes for the press on this occasion.

Not that I'm saying anything against the books. However, if people want to call your continuation bet on the flop purely on the basis that Dan says so, that's a recipe for raking a lot of big pots with AA and KK.

Just lay off the gas a little when you miss with AK/AQ.

Or am I missing something?