Friday, October 21, 2005
TFI Friday !
First things first, CONGRATULATIONS to John and Debs on their Engagement, proving that love conquers even the most difficult language barriers (John is Scottish and Debs is Australian) I hope you have a very beautiful future together.
Secondly, tomorrow is Hooks' official birthday lunch bash, starting at 2pm. That means I am highly unlikely to do any blogging/poker tomorrow as I will be mostly trying to keep up with the power drinking. Memories from last year are already making me feel queasy. I actually missed the entire lunch last time because I was still throwing up from the night before. Hooks' and I had gone out for a couple of quiet drinks after work, planning our best behaviour due to the lunch the following day, and ended up on Sambuca shots by about 8pm. I got home at 3.30am that night and was throwing up until around 4 pm the next day. Eventually after lots of text messages telling me I was a poof and a girl and no longer one of the boys, I crawled out of bed around 7pm and managed to make it back to the pub to meet them and carry on the second day of celebration.
I expect to see exactly the same levels of debauchery tomorrow that I missed this time last year. With Hooks' brother and father joining us for the day its a virtual sure-thing.
Oh, and of course, here's my updated SNG stats including lots of bubbles last night...
Total Tourneys 34
Total entries £187.00
Total prizes £305.00
SNG Profit £118.00
I really need a separate section just to store these stats so you aren't bored by them anymore.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
SNG's Day 3
Day 3, most likely finishing position... 3! I went out to the pub after work with Hooks, Twister and Jenni in honour of Hooks' 28th B'day. We talked about Vegas, Monte Carlo, Vegas and Viagra. Twister told a terrible joke, Jenni told a worse one. Then I had to go home to babysit my nephew. He'd already been tucked in to bed when I got home so I had nothing to do but sit at home in case he woke up, so I fired up the laptop.
Obviously I didn't bring my A game after a couple of pints, but I was still capable of not being too donkeyish, I placed 3, 5, 3, 3, 3 which was fine. Two of the 3rds I was short stacked when we hit the money and just pushed with Kx or Ax and got mandatory calls from the chip leader, in one other I had pocket 10's and got called by pocket 4's which hit trips on the river to bust me and in the final one I was practically guaranteed second when I pushed AK from the SB into the chip leader, to my surprise he called, and showed me the door with the Hilton sisters !
Total Tourneys 23
Total entries £126.50
Total prizes £215.00
SNG Profit £88.50
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
SNG's Day 2
I had a busy night poker-wise, fortunately there was nothing worth watching on TV to distract me, so I ended up having the Man Utd vs Lille game on in the background. It finished 0-0 by the way, Scholes got sent off for crap late tackling, and apparently Giggs broke a cheek bone. Those were the only highlights in a poor game. So that left me free to multi table some SNG's, and I really enjoyed it. I played 11 games altogether, which has improved my position as you can see from the updated stats at the end of this post.
Here's the proof you only need a chip and a chair - at one point heads-up I was down to 40 chips vs 9,960 with blinds at 200/400, and fluked a comeback to win it !
Target for this month is to push the bank roll up to £300 and then move on to the £10+1 games
Buy-In Level - £5 = .50
Total Tourneys 18
Total entries £99.00
Total prizes £175.00
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
SNG's Day 1
Buy-In Level - £5 + .50
Total Tourneys 6
Total entries £33.00
Total prizes £40.00
Obviously, not indicative of anything much at the moment, I was happy with the decisions I made in each game, even when I folded to a river bluff when I had the hand won. The last game I played just went perfectly, I won every hand that I decided to make a stand in, usually just by being aggressive on the flop.
Like I said yesterday, I'm back to these low level soft games because my b-roll has been dented, but if form continues like last night then it won't be long before i'm back up to playing where I was before
Here's a link to Hooks' Awesome Blog not usually poker content, unless we have a home game, but usually damn funny stories about our hijinks accompanied by photo's and video. I promise you'll laugh....
Oh and yes it is 2:33 am and I can't sleep ! Damn insomnia.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Hohum, what to blog about today.. I could tell you about the SNG on Betfair where I finished 4th to a player who was "Sitting Out" after being chip leader when we got down to 4 players. I could tell you about the turbo rebuy satellite on Paradise where I finished on the bubble but still just scooped enough of a cash prize to cover my entry fees. I could tell you about my pocket Kings that ran into pocket Aces.
But that would be boring and just me whinging about bad luck, or bad play. Suffice to say, the SNG was stupidity on my part, the Rebuy was just insane from start to finish and I didn't keep up with the insanity, and KK v AA is just one of those things. The SNG's I played this weekend helped cover the buyins for the multi's I played, and overall it was a break-even weekend. Distinctly average.
I'm restarting my tracker spreadsheet as of this evening, and will probably keep a record of it on here. Having withdrawn 80% of my bankroll due to an impending tax bill I'm going to start low - very low - and slowly build the bankroll back to where it was. That means I'm playing £5 SNG's and £2 Multi's, which will be a frustrating pain in the proverbial but I'm up to the challenge and it's always good practice.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Attention WWdN Fans !
For once, a tournament on PokerStars that's actually on at a time when us brits can join in and show our american cousins how poker is really played !! Sign Up and maybe we can get Wil to ask Stars to move their Huge Sunday night GTD's to Saturdays instead!
What: WWdN Where's My Burrito? Invitational
When: Friday, October 14th. 4:00 PM EST
Tournament number: 13722477
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
England v Poland
There probably aint gonna be much value here. I haven't checked the odds yet but an England win is highly likely, as is a Rooney impersonation of the incredible hulk if the Ref so much as looks at him funny. Ledley King is rumoured to have a holding midfield role, which could be a very good thing if he can adapt well to the position.
I'm thinking of a "time of next goal" bet this evening. Pre-game analysis show the most likely time for England goals is between 45-65 minutes, so I'll take that action if the odds allow. I think the most likely time for a goal is 65-75 mins in most football matches, but the stats dont lie, of the 15 goals England have scored in the qualifiers, 9 have come in 20 minutes after half time. Who says Eriksson doesn't motivate his players ?!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Here is the news
Oh yeah I forgot, the poker community subject of the week is that Party finally dumped it's skins. Like that changes anything. The only effect i see it having is new accounts being created by existing players on other skins, and a slight spreading out of bankrolls between the split sites.
There's this great post about risk courtesy of DrPauly, which might just change everything for you, if you pay attention and sit up straight !
The Blogfather is back in the states after visiting this side of the golden pond, so keep your eyes open for an uber-post about iggy's adventures.
In English football, boring means no more than winning in a way others don't approve of
"Football hasn't become boring. We just need to develop a taste for the defensive. I would sooner watch an engaging 0-0 draw than sit through the heedless attack on display in one of Keegan's altruistic 4-3 defeats at Newcastle. True intrigue on a sporting field comes from the midsection of action; not the goals, which act to confer meaning on the play that preceded them, but the passes and fruitless circling that comprise the search for meaning." - Paula Cocozza, The Guardian
For those who don't follow soccer, a brief recap. The media in the uk has been noting that fewer goals have been scored this season so far in the premiership than usual, and are worried that our national game is becoming defensive and boring, with the main aim being not to concede rather than to score goals to win. Whether this is true of soccer or not, the above quote reflects any contest, be it kicking a ball around, wrestling, boxing or even dare i say it playing cards.
"... would sooner watch an engaging 0-0 draw than sit through the heedless attack on display on one of Keegan's altruistic 4-3 defeats ..."
There's little hope for football fan's who know there team has enough attacking ability to score 3 goals, but the defensive capabilities of a lightly toasted muffin. Sure, they play exciting football every week and it's great to watch, but at the end of the season, the long-term goal, looking at the league table and seeing that your team scored more goals than everyone else but also conceded more is a worthless stat. It's the accumulated points that count, not how many goals were scored or how exciting the matches were.
In poker, similar strategies apply, if you play every MTT table like you're Gus Hansen at the final table of a WPT event then yes, you're going to have an exciting time with lots of gamble, but you're unlikely to be consistent and you may end up with a chip stack which is prone to huge swings, in both directions. That's unsettling for even the best players in the world, and for you or I will more than likely cause an emotional implosion. Far better to play an engaging, slow and steady game, where repeated probing moves to win small pots are the main accumulator for your chip stack, accompanied by the occasional sucker-punch when you are certain you have the best of it. That's assuming you have the chips to make small probing moves without having to go all-in.
"True intrigue on a sporting field comes from the midsection of action; not the goals, which act to confer meaning on the play that preceded them, but the passes and fruitless circling that comprise the search for meaning"
The passing and looking for openings in a football contest are critically important to the goals which give them meaning. Just as the times when you are NOT playing a hand in poker are critically important to the pots you win. The player in seat 4 who always raises on the button, the fact that you haven't made an attempt to steal the blinds from the button in 5 orbits, the knowledge that everyone has only seen you show down 3 hands, and two of those were rags from the big blind that hit. All this information is critical to the next hand - whatever cards you are dealt. Some of this information will pass you by if you just play the cards you're dealt, play other games at the same time, watch TV or surf the net reading stuff like this when you should be giving the game your full attention.
I used to play MTT's cursing my luck at the runs of cold cards I'd have, but the fact is, in general everyone will have a short period of cold cards during an MTT and it's the knowledge gained while everyone else was playing their cards that's going to be key in keeping you alive during the cold spell. After every hand you play in an MTT, even if you just folded rags preflop you should question how that action has this affected the perception of you at the table. If a player goes allin and everyone folds but he shows his pocket aces anyway, you should think about how he imagine's his own perception at the table is conceived by others, and how that may effect his future decisions.
Test yourself during folded hands to help maintain your interest and focus. If you fold in early position and player 2 raises 4x the big blind from middle position, try putting that player on a range of hands based on the moves you've seen them make previously. When the flop comes, assess the betting again, including everything you know of the player to that point and narrow the range of hands again. Do this as often as you can.
At first it's hard to keep track of all the other players at your table, and in MTT's with people moving around its even more difficult, so to start out I suggest just picking one player to study, if someone takes an early chip lead you may as well spend time studying him since he is more likely to be sticking around. After some time you'll get good enough to know what hand the player has, at least with a good enough accuracy to be able to play without a huge risk and knowledge gap against that particular player.
Once you are capable of making good guesses about other's hands like this you should be able to start converting that into really useful post-flop strategy. When you're not in a hand you will start asking questions such as "If I was in this hand what move would give me a chance of taking the pot" or "If I was in this hand and I think player 2 has pocket 8's, what sized bet is going to allow me to find out" or "If I was player 3 here I'd bet about 3/4 the pot to try and take it down".
This is all preparation for future hands, when you finally end up playing a hand against player 3 you've already virtually played maybe 6 hands against him, you've learnt that he's capable of folding top pair good kicker to a reraise on a co-ordinated flop, and you've learnt that he'll generally bet 1/2 the pot with an open ended-straight draw.
It means that you start to expect players to behave in certain ways, you predict the amount they're going to bet before they even know themselves and you're ready for the counter move (if there is one) even before it's your turn.
Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD) said "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" The opportunities in a tournament game of poker will be presented to you, sometimes on a plate. The best you can do is prepare for the moment by gaining the knowledge in advance to exploit these opportunities.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Just to answer my question in the previous post...
Thanks to Elaine Elinson's letter in the guardian for the information, apparently the last president of the US to use God as an explanation for his decisions was William McKinley during the Spanish-American war.
"I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way... that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate the Filipinos and uplift them and civilise and Christianise them."
McKinley invaded the Philippines resulting in more than 600,000 natives dead.
Friday, October 07, 2005
George admits hearing voices
G-dub, pres of the USA, admits hearing voices from God, telling him he's on a divine mission to invade other countries. Bloody marvellous, a master stroke of PR, it leads people into complete confusion. Anyone who voted for Bush will never accept that they voted for a looney, so therefore it must be true "Our leader speaks to god, verily he is our savious". I wonder who was the last leader of a nation to blame the invasion of another country on the will of God ? One of us should look that up.In other news from across the pond, plenty of mixed propaganda messages this week to up the confusion & fear factor a little more -
- Alleged threat to NY subway - message "just reminding you about the threat"
- Release of alleged intercept from Al-Q number 2 to Al-Q number 1 claiming all sorts of things like they are alienating muslims, need more financial support, are losing their best leaders etc etc - message "the war on terror is winning"
- Bush is on a mission from god - message "questioning your leader is tantamount to questioning your faith"
And a reminder that the past should teach us lessons for the now...
"We are not like the ostrich that sticks its head in the sand so as not to see danger. We are brave enough to look danger in the face, to coolly and ruthlessly take its measure, then act decisively with our heads held high. Both as a movement and as a nation, we have always been at our best when we needed fanatic, determined wills to overcome and eliminate danger, or a strength of character sufficient to overcome every obstacle, or bitter determination to reach our goal, or an iron heart capable of withstanding every internal and external battle. So it will be today. My task is to give you an unvarnished picture of the situation, and to draw the hard conclusions that will guide the actions of the German government, but also of the German people." - Joseph Goebbels
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Played some poker, two MTT's. Busted the first one after making a perfect squeeze play from the SB that a guy with pocket 3's either didnt understand or simply didnt think about - wierd call by him, but I love the squeeze play and I'll carry on with it considering those are the kind of calls I might get. Busted from the second one when I pushed with 1010 and was called by KJo and AQo, the Jd flopped and that was me and the other guy busted lol.
Despite getting one of those amazingly comfortable nasa-designed mattresses for my birthday, I still have trouble sleeping before 2 am most evenings. Granted, I am having the best nights sleeps that I've ever had and it's a pleasure sitting in bed, but given that I get up at 8am that's a maximum of 6 hours sleep, which isnt ideal and leaves me running at 85% of ability most days. It can't be good and I need to make a real effort to find a pattern that allows me to sleep at 11pm so I'm fully rested the following day.
Been reading a funny book on what I'll call "Project G" for now. The strategies and skills involved bear a striking similarity to Holdem and show just how many skills learning poker can teach you. Anyway suffice to say Project G will be an interesting skill test and will I'm sure gain me very valuable experience for many other areas of life too.
Tonight I shall mostly be.... Enjoying a couple more MTT's, playing Rome:BI and letting Itunes dictate the mood.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Looking back at September, I've probably played the least poker hours for any month of the last 18. Although I hadn't exactly planned it, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and looking back I realise I was becoming blase about poker. That was a double-edged sword, on the one hand its great that I've finally got enough hours under my belt to be "emotion - neutral" 90% of the time so that it doesn't effect my game, but the flipside was seeing so many hands that I wasn't analysing plays any more, so I stopped improving.
My mind needed a break, it needed to gain perspective, and it needed to be able to see from the otherside that this is something I WANT to be doing a lot of the time, rather than it being a hobby which has morphed to somewhere between habit and addiction. It's Positive stuff ! And positive stuff = positive thinking = +EV
Tonight I shall mostly be.... playing MTTs and enjoying it, whatever happens.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Time waits for no man
I'm temporarily not playing much poker. The last week I've only had a chance to play in 3 MTT's and no $'s and on two of those occassions I was at parties at other peoples houses, not good for concentrating ! I must remind myself that these wasted hours were about poor preparation and mental state when I look back at my log for September. So much going on at the moment, it's birthday season, its autumn, the nights are drawing in, oh and there's a solar and lunar eclipse this month !! Yikes ! Time for a redefinition of me. An 8 year long emotional defense mechanism is about to be rewired... Poker will have to be just a glorified hobby for the next week or three.