For the first time in months I had a monster poker weekend full of card passion ! It started on Friday night after work when me and the regulars gathered round at JA's new house for a game of Texas Hold Em. We had a very slow start to the game and didn't really pick up a decent pace until 10pm, but there were some interesting hands and we all had a great time. I made one excellent lay-down when Hooks check-raised the river on a J high rainbow board and I folded J-9 to which he showed QJ. I also made one good call against the host, when holding A8 on an A-6-5 board. I was in the BB and checked which allowed JA to move allin, I had a decision and the table banter wasn’t helping but I made the call and JA showed 10-5, all I had to do was avoid a 5 and a Ten. Unfortunately for me the next card off was a five and I was busted by the loose-aggressive gambler of our group. I rebought but that was a stupid decision, blinds were 100-200 at that stage and you got 2700 for a rebuy so I really only had one move left after the blinds went up, needless to say I was sent to the rail shortly afterwards. After coming to terms with my loss I offered to deal for the guys left in and eventually (at 3.30am) having watched Action Rich come back from the dead and Hooks play super tight with a big stack it finally came to a close when JA shoved bottom pair into Hooks' Pocket Rockets and so JA was busted and the other two split the proceeds. Good game all round folks, it was a pleasure.
Seeing as I didn’t get home till 4am, Saturday became a bit of a write-off and I spent most of the day in bed before watching 24 and not playing only played a little bit (an hour or so) of .25/.50 I made up for that missed day on Sunday though, playing around 1600 hands while 4 tabling yesterday it was probably one of my longest single sessions ever. I played well on the cash tables earning the last points needed for my VIP status at stars and clearing a $150 bonus in the meantime too. When I finally shut down the tables at 11pm I was up almost $140 + my bonus, so it was good day all round. I can feel the passion coming back and it's nice to have something to take my mind off of interest rates, tiles, curtains and carpets for a while. My offer of £182,000 for the flat was accepted on Friday and we're aiming to complete the paperwork and go to court on the 8th March. Following this there will be one month remaining on the current rental agreement (which is with a friend from work) so I will be a landlord for one month and can then move in on the 8th April. Well, I'm absolutely sh**ing it at the thought of being 182k "in debt", but there's nothing like jumping in at the deep end to learn how to swim ! When I finally get there I'll post some pictures of the place so you can follow my efforts at learning DIY !
My final thought for the day is regarding a blog I highlighted a few posts ago, 88%Concentration. If there were signposts on the Internet then the one pointing to this blog would say "IGNORE BANKROLL MANAGEMENT AT YOUR PERIL". It really is a lesson to anyone who ignores all the books, all the posts from seasoned players and all the sage advise of the pro's about what is one of the most important aspects of the game. I know I went through a stage where I thought, it doesn't apply to me, I'm better than them. Fortunately I found out it did apply to me early on, when it only cost me £2,000 and I could recover from it in a reasonably short space of time and learn my lesson in short, sharp fashion. Like getting little smack as a kid, you only need it to happen once and you'll never do that again.
2007 is getting pretty mental already. Giving up smoking is going well, but is not without the odd slip-up. Poker is going well but similarly has some slip-ups. I'm trying to arrange a mortgage and buy a flat too, and that has been the most slip-up ridden thing of the year so far. The worst part about it is that everyone has an opinion, and depending on your options everyone at some point will tell you "Option A's a bad idea". Yesterday that reached a point where I convinced myself for a short time that getting a mortgage at all was a bad idea, but I've now accepted that only I can make the decision and if its wrong so be it, I'll learn from it. Therefore I am putting in an offer on a flat this afternoon, it needs some work to bring it up to date, but it's spacious, has decent views and parking on the edge of town. In a tiny island like this that's a rare thing so I'm just going to go for it. It won't be available until April so I'll have time to get my furniture and stuff sorted too.
On the poker front I won entry to the Million this weekend just gone, in a $3 rebuy. When I played the main event things were good all the way until my 99 ran into AJ o and was beaten on the turn. I finished around 1400/6300. Last night I played 3 other tourneys. In two I got my Aces busted by rubbish hands and in the third one I won it, but it was only a 52 entrant $10 tourney so the prize money was $160, still it felt good to play well and nice to win one even though it's just a small one.
.. especially when it's about how other people see you. Still it's better to have your eyes open than be blind to it, even if it is difficult to accept. As is perception, so to reality, so it's time to start changing. Anyway, I best not get into juicy details (even though it would make a more interesting blog!).
Poker - played awesomely yesterday if I do say so myself, and enjoyed almost every minute of it. After registering for a 2-table sat to the Sunday Million and then getting sidetracked so I didn't even play a hand before I was blinded out.. Oops! I later came back to my machine and registered for the $8 turbo rebuy satellite. There were around 670 entrants and 79 places to the big one. I played good, was in the top 20 for the majority of the time and after seeing my pocket 8's hold up against AJ in the latter stages I was able to sit comfortably and wait for others to drop to pick up my entry.
In the Million itself I played good too, it's a great feeling thinking back to 6 months ago when this tourney was still a big deal for me. I've played so many of them now that it sits within my comfort zone and I can play it to the best of my ability most of the time. In the first hour I stacked up nicely to 15k thanks mostly to a set of K's which a guy with just a pair of 6's in the hole though I was bluffing with. Things were ticking along toward the second break when I ran into bad luck against the two weakest players at our table.
With a stack of 18k and the blinds at 300-600 I was dealt Jd Js in MP and raised to 1600. The button, who one can only describe as "my only move is to push" went allin for 12k. Then to my surprise the BB, who had called against my trip K's early also went allin for 15k. Ordinarily I probably would have laid this down, but I was fairly sure the BB didn't have me beat yet and I had a wide range for the button because he would push many hands just because he couldn't play a flop. I called it and was up against the buttons 10c10h and the BB's AdKh. Everything looked good when the flop was 9c-5c-5s, a turn of the 7c looked good too, but I was struck down by the 4c on the river, giving the button a flush and hurting me badly. I still had the small side pot, but my stack was down to around 8k. Couple of orbits later and with the blinds having gone up I pushed KhJh from the cutoff. The BB (the "my only move is push" guy) called my bet with A-10 off suit. He hit his ten and IGHN. Nevermind, good decisions, bad luck. There'll always be a next week !
First posts of new years should probably set the tone for the 12 months ahead, so I'll attempt to make this one of the better ones and we'll see where we end up.
My last few weeks of 2006 were some of the best times I'd had all year, I finished the years work a week before Christmas and went to Amsterdam with Twister and Hooks for 5 days. Amsterdam rarely fails to live up to expectations and this trip was no different. There was a huge bonus at the end of our trip when the fog covering London meant our return was delayed for not one, not two but three extra days. Amsterdam is now my favourite "winter" city to spend time in and definitely one of the best places to get stuck for an extended holiday ! The casino there has a small poker area by vegas standards but we still got some good cash games going and had a great time in there.
We all returned on the Saturday, the 24th and after spending the day in airports still got together with the other poker regulars for our added prize pool special of the year. Each live game we've had this year has had a little juice added to it which was put into the bonus pool for this game, in the end 6 of us were battling for a £300 prize pool. With no rebuys allowed it was a tight, tricky game and I got bad luck at the beginning dropping about half my chips on a hand vs Twisters trip 10's where I had to lay down on a KTxxx board at the river. I was out soon after and left immediately not taking my medicine like a man at all and being a big girl about the whole thing. Tiredness is my excuse but I was a moody pig that night. Hooks won it and Action Rich came second. Well played guys !
I spent Christmas with my family and we all had a lovely day, even the island-wide power cut from 9.30 till 10.45pm made the day a bit more special and memorable ! Boxing day was spent at Hooks' with our best friends and was another day full of the spirit of Christmas. Then it was on to New Years and Hooks' had planned a fancy dress party at his, we had Tony Montana from Scarface, Corey Taylor from SlipKnot, Cleopatra, Marie-Antoinette, Gimli the dwarf from LOTR, Chav-man, Biker Priest, Ms Electrolux 2007 and a Pirate. It was an awesome night with all the ingredients for a perfect New Years, old friends and new friends, alcohol and good food, chemistry and friendship, love and respect. There were kisses all round at midnight and as has become traditional, the "Hey-yaa" dance.
Now I sit here on the second day of the year contemplating what might be in store for me in '07, but you can't plan too much, you can't dwell too much on the past either so I think I'll set out my goals for 2007 as this.. Enjoy the moment, appreciate my friends and family, make the most of my opportunities and try to be a better man. No poker goals, I'll let the game come to me. No love aspirations either, that can come to me too if cupid wishes it. I'd just like to have a happy, hopeful, fun year with a little success and adventure.
Good luck to you all in '07, I hope you have a year full of joy and happiness.