Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Biggest ever pot I've won!

A modest achievement but one to send me off to bed in a happy mood.

I made my first foray into the $1/2 NLHE game on Prima tonight. Something I've been geeing myself up to do for months.

On my first table I find myself immediately to the left of a big stack LAGtard who is playing lots of pots and bullying a lot. Slightly scary, but tempting too.

Within about three hands I think, give me a hand and this guy will double me up. Five hands later, lovely aces, but unfortunately OOP in the small blind.

Folded around to the LAGtard who makes it $7 to play. Normally I'd be tempted to slow play here, but I figured if he had any sort of hand there was a good chance he'd move in on me if I play back at him. I reraise big, and.....he flat calls.

Which brings us to an Ace high, uncoordinated flop. Bingo bango bongo!

Check-check (Obviously)

Lots of action on the turn, all-in on non-threatening river, and he mucks. Which on Prima is a genuine muck, as opposed to a check the hand history to find out what he had muck. I'm guessing the turn gave him a flush draw to go with top pair.

If only poker was always so simple.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Funny how some posts resonate for unexpected reasons. Kent's recent mention of AJ's academic achievements caught my eye.

K was off on a girlie overnighter leaving me in full control of home and toddler for the weekend.

By this afternoon, a tidy up was in order. A swift clearance of the lounge produced, among other things, a pile of books.

'That's a bloody big pile', I thought. 'Wonder how many there are?'

SEVENTEEN books on the lounge floor! Which made a hell of a mess, but I'm telling myself counts as good parenting.

Now if only we could persuade her to stop tearing the covers off them...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Should Be Relaxing

Anyone looking at my results spreadsheet tonight might be surprised to know how happy I am with the poker play I've had this month. The statistics make grim reading, but tell only half the story...

I had great fun playing 'recreational' poker on holiday. Since I was on the laptop, I stuck to single tabling a mix of HORSE and Razz games on Stars.

The results were mediocre, but the fun element was high and I was always within hailing distance of the hotel bars so no pain was felt.

I also took the chance to experiment a bit with my game, and on a few occasions paid off on sixth and seventh when I knew I was beat, just to see what starting cards people would pay three or four bets on third street with.

I wasn't taking the results seriously at all - which is just as well as I was playing in a public place, and my usual Hellmuthian rants may not have gone down too well with the hotel management - but it was nice to stretch my brain with some mixed games.

Back home now, and I've been multi tabling on the Stars NLHE tables with results that at first glance seem bad, but not catastrophic, but which to me feel atrocious.

There's been the usual bad beats and good beats, but what's paining me is the number of times I've run into pretty much unavoidable situations that have turned potential profit into irritating losses. To whit, may I present a few examples from tonight's session alone...

KK into AA twice

JJ v QQ on a T-high flop versus a guy my notes say is a horrible Ace chaser. Oddly enough he actually took longer to call my final raise with QQ than he probably would have with AK.

Defending my blind with K9s I flop top pair and the second nut flush draw. Only to find myself up against AJs with the nut flush draw. Which hits.

J high flush v Q high flush against another guy who my notes say plays No Fold Em Hold Em. (I had two pair which became a flush by the river, he had a flush draw)

Despite it all, I'm enjoying the game right now. Not so much for the results (obviously) but for the way I'm thinking about situations, and my tilt free reaction to the various setbacks I've encountered.

It's the old reprise about being decision not results oriented. Keep making good ones and the tide must surely turn. I just hope it's soon. Back to work in 12 days...

Monday, June 04, 2007

May Summary

Brought to you courtesy of wifi access in a Scottish country hotel. How times change!

No access to the specific numbers. But in May I played a little, won a little.

I'm a little disappointed with my current win rate, but a win is a win nonetheless.

I suspect it's a bit to do with not being on top of my game at present, and a bit to do with not hitting many blockbuster hands.

Still, I'd rather be complaining about a low win rate than a high loss rate, so let's envision the cup as half full for now...

Friday, June 01, 2007


Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It's been ten days since my last post.

Ten days! Where did the time go? (Little Me Too! reference there for the fellow parents)

Well ironically enough I've been busier than usual at work, due to some impending leisure time. I rejected an option to renew my current contract, which meant it expired at the end of May.

Cue a period of frantic activity, wrapping up loose ends and doing a handover of my activities to some guys based in a different part of the UK.

I wasn't totally desperate to get out of the job, and I liked my workmates, but when someone else offers a rate rise equivalent to the annual mortgage payment, it's pretty much a no-brainer. The life of the contractor.

I've got a few weeks before the new contract starts, which incorporates a pre-planned holiday to the Scottish Highlands with wife and child.

Neither K nor I is keen on taking E on any long trips, particularly not flights, so a few hours in the family car suits us fine.

This prospect of this sort of trip was one of the reasons we went for a big diesel car. We've booked some time at two 'family friendly' hotels, and I'm praying the weather cooperates.

In the meantime, I've got a few free days. Day one of which I spent stripping down a silicone coated bath, tiling, and filling and sealing a damp affected floor.

The tenant in the flat I let out in Glasgow is on holiday for a week, so I'm taking the chance to do some repairs to the property.

Consequently I actually got home later today than I would if I'd been at my 'proper' job.

Not that I minded. It's good to escape from the office PC for a while, and I do enjoy the occasional opportunity to do some physical work. A change is as good as a rest, as the saying goes.

The plan is to finish the job tomorrow in time for her return from holiday.

On the property theme, I caught a little bit on TV tonight about the Spanish property crash. This seems to have particularly hit the holiday village type developments, frequented by Brits and other northern Europeans.

No doubt there are some aspects of the Spanish property system that are open to criticism. The experience of one couple under the Spanish 'land grab' rules was genuinely terrible.

What gets me is the sympathetic treatment handed out by the media to people who are effectively failed business people. One couple had bought two off-plan properties on the same development, planning to sell one on at a profit pre-completion, to fund the purchase of the other.

When the market tanked, they were in the mire. Such is life!

Yet they get TV time and a virtual hug over their predicament. Why!?

They borrowed to invest; invested unwisely; and lost. Maybe they were unlucky, maybe they didn't do enough research, or maybe they just got $$ signs in their eyes and plunged in without a second thought.

The British attitude to property is a peculiar thing. So many seem to see it as a cure for all ills.

Often there seems an expectation that bricks and mortar are a magical financial instrument, offering reward for no risk. The reality is, where there is potential reward, there must be a risk of some type.

If people can't understand this, they shouldn't be trusted with credit. The lack of self awareness is truly staggering. One can't help but wonder how some of these people managed to raise the deposits on their purchases.

Probable answer - remortgaging their home in the UK!