Ornate Push




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

As your deed is, so is your destiny

It's official, I can't decide what I want to do in life. I know what I don't want, next week I'll pass the 15 year anniversary of working in an office. Though I've done different jobs in that time I've basically set at a desk helping people to move virtual money and make more of it. It doesn't contribute much to the world or give me a lot of satisfaction, it's just something I found myself doing when I left school and was reasonably good at. It certainly wasn't the plan and I can't imagine looking back in another 15 years and thinking "that's it. That's all you did when you had all the choice to do anything you wanted".

I'm not a decisive person, I can usually see both sides of every story and I've got a fairly high level of patience so I don't decide to do things easily. I need to make a decision soon to leave everything I know and take a leap of faith else I fear I will regret it for ever. I don’t think I want to try and play poker for a living or anything, for starts I doubt would be good enough and even if I did scrape a win rate that I could live off I don’t think I'd be able to motivate myself to put enough hours in. I just want a simple job that feels worthwhile, making a small difference to world. Conservation or something like that would probably be my ideal but I know that'd be very difficult to get into other than as a volunteer.

I just needed to get that off my chest. I recently had an awesome weekend in Lisbon, it's jumped in right at the top of my favourite cities. Nice open spaces, excellent transport, everything not far away and the people we met there were beautiful in every way :) I would love to go back really soon, it felt like a very 'liveable' place, and there aren't many capital cities which feel that good.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bad Beat Blog

Well may as well use this corner of the internet for something eh ! Played for first time in 6 months ish on Tues night - AQo was the cursed knockout hand. Played last night KK was cursed - ran into AA twice and AQo once. Tonight I will move up a level to AK being cursed and then on Friday I plan to hit the nosebleed beats of AA getting cracked :)

I won't be going to america this year, instead I'm going to Lisbon in July and Santorini in August for a stag do and wedding. Really looking forward to those but in the meantime so bastard is making me work an unreasonable number of hours doing an extremely unsatisfying job. Such is life. Might be around a bit more, but I keep promising that and not keeping it so don't hold your breath please. Hope anyone with me still on their list is keeping well.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Movember !!

As you probably know we're now in Movember so for the whole month I and many others are growing our Mo's in support of the Prostate Cancer Charity.

The Charity seeks to improve the experience, treatment, care and support of people affected by prostate cancer and supports the right of every man over 50 years - and younger men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer - to make and informed choice about the PSA test.

I am taking Mo inspiration from the great Mo once seen on scrapheap challenge…

Please use the link below to donate a small percentage of your poker winnings to this very worthy cause

Thank you

P.S. Played 2 $4 180 tournaments last night, got aces cracked in both. Fantastic to be back.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I'm back. Vegas was the poker peak for me this summer and since I got back I was too busy or just not feeling in the mood to play online. A trip writeup will follow. Now winters here, the clocks go back this weekend and there's little to do on my island when it's wet n rainy I expect I'll get back to playing pretty soon.

Watch this space, the wheels are turning again.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


"So close I can almost touch it" we be a good way to describe just about everything thats happening at the moment. I'm sure on a much bigger scale that's what Tom "Durrrr" Dwan felt like earlier in the week when he was just a few deals away from changing the landscape of the poker economy. If you haven’t got a clue what I'm talking about you should go and read the Durrrrr and WSOP Coverage over at the free and fascinating Tao of Poker.

My tales of close aren't nearly as big as the Dwan story but in my world they're still worth blogging about.

Tomorrow the World Cup kicks off in South Africa, the greatest sporting tournament on earth that we have to wait every 4 years for is back and we get to marvel in all it's controversy, emotion and beauty. It's easy to forget how good a World Cup is, especially during the first uninterrupted 20 days of football. One can reach the 10th straight day of football feeling completely saturated and exhausted. But the World Cup is rare, special and to be savoured so plan your appreciation of it carefully. It's becase the World Cup begins tomorrow that I know the last time I was in Las Vegas was 4 years ago this summer, waking up each morning at the Mirage, turning on the TV and spending the first 6 hours of the day watching the competition taking place in Germany and laughing at the US commentary. We watched England play badly but win their group, then on our return to home saw them get as far as the quarter finals before losing with 10 men to Portugal. In two weeks and one day I'll be back in Vegas. It's so close I can taste the scented air conditioning.

A lot has changed in the time in between. Englands expectations of their team winning the competition are perhaps lower than they've ever been, which one hopes will actually help the players have a better chance of getting further than last time. I've become a long-time blogger and better poker player. English commentary on one of our channels (ITV) has become worse than US commentary. I've bought a flat, and got a 'family' of two cats. The USD-GPB rate has tumbled as has the world economy. My hopes for this trip include seeing the WSOP mayhem for the first time and maybe even taking part in it. Meeting bloggers for the first time and learning to play craps. Avoiding exotic bets on sprint horses that don't even know they're in a race and avoiding the sucker bet of the 'private' dance in strip clubs. Older and wiser this time, but get a few too many beers in me and I'll still think a quick pop on a roulette table is a genius idea.

Last weekend my friends and I flew to London for a glorious day at Epsom watching the fastest ever time recorded in the Derby. It was incredible. The day before (Oaks day) I had a little exotic bet on the results that day. I selected a horse for each of the 6 races that day and did a combo so that if any 5 of them came in I'd win an obscene amount of money for a £2 bet. I was looking at 17-20k if this lottery hit. Bushman won. Tartan Gigha won. Fame and Glory won. I was beginning to hope. Thin Red Line streaked to the front two furlongs out but had gone too early and finished 3rd by a length. Aviate was a favourite for the Oaks and did absolutely nothing. My wager was dead. I still went to watch the 6th and final race on TV, just to extend the anguish. Shakespearean won. Meaning I'd successfully predicted 4 out of 6 winners for the day but not bet those combinations. A Shakespearean tragedy.

I've returned from that little trip feeling refreshed and revived and so online poker has made a welcome return. My first attempt back at the $3 rebuy saw me finish 340th for a cash, the second attempt last night a very similar 323rd. An attempt at a Sunday Million ticket which payed 2 tickets and $12 for third with 60 runners saw me finish as close as you can get without winning the seat, 3rd. Everything is so close lately I can taste it. Only the future knows if it's a mirage getting closer to reality or something just out of reach and slipping away.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


I feel poker fresh. A long break and now I have the itch again. Recently the gym or recovering from it took over my evenings but I'm feeling the groove today and tonight after my workout I'm going to be playing again. With only 2 weeks & 2 days till the bright lights of vegas I think it's the perfect time to get back into the action.

I'd say wish me luck, but we all know it's a game of skill don't we ;o)

Monday, May 24, 2010

England & Lost

Tonight England will play there final friendly on home soil before the world cup starts in just 17 days. Unfortunately the Wembley pitch is still in such a shocking state that we can almost certainly expect one of Englands players to pick up an injury bad enough to prevent them from playing in the finals. I will be watching nervously. The best outcome tonight would be a very safe and boring 0-0 where no one runs around in order to prevent any chance of injury. (and no you can't bet on a player being injured tonight, I already checked) so instead I've gone for the 0-0 at 9/1

Weather has been fantastic here all weekend and I've worked on the boat to get it ship-shape for more of the same. Just spending a couple of hours there made me feel more sane.

Lost finished this morning. I didn’t watch it but having read the "spoiler" write ups I'm glad I didn’t watch for 6 seasons to just have it confirmed in the final episode that the island was exactly what we pretty much guessed it was from the end of season 1. I know some folks enjoyed it and at the start I loved it, but really did it have to go on sooo long !

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Mondays clouds have lifted thank god and I can see the future lit in the bright sunshine that has followed them. Summer is finally going to be here come this weekend and I can get to work on making sure our boat is seaworthy and maybe get a nice coast cycle ride in too. The USD-GBP market is doing it's best to put a downer on vegas but the rate is fighting a losing battle and nothing can dampen the vegas spirit ! Warm up for Vegas in two weeks when we head over to London for the weekend and then 5 weeks tomorrow, ash permitting, we'll be in the air and on our way. The best news of all, in just 22 days the greatest tournament on earth begins in South Africa and we can spend all day every day obsessing over football !

Monday, May 17, 2010


My future is a mirage at the moment shimmering some distance away. Current events are keeping me so busy on a day to day basis that I'm finding it hard to even take steps toward whatever future lies out there. Work is like a pressure cooker. The Cable rate is getting worse and worse making vegas more expensive, but any winnings more valuable. Gym time has gone up which is good, but only to relieve the stress of work.
I know times like these don't last long and will soon pass to reveal something brighter. Just wish it would happen sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Slightly hungover
My head is beginning to clear
Had review of the first half-year
Very disappointing messages repeated
Need life changing wins in vegas
Brightside is a cute girl from Hungary

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Marks for effort : C-

Sorry for the lack of update recently. I've gone and got myself sick, so haven't played. In fact the last game I played was last Tuesday, my second time live at the local club and then online when I got home from there. With any luck I'll be playing and posting again by the end of the week. I have been twittering here and there so hopefully that's worked like a drip-feed for the 3 of you that still read this ! (you're so kind) !

Friday, April 09, 2010

Deeper Degeneracy

Since booking this years Vegas trip in January it has somewhat unbalanced everything else, every time I spend or decide not to spend some cash, my first thought is 'how's this going to effect my Vegas bankroll?'. I don't necessarily want to spend a huge amount while I'm in town but I really don't want to be worrying about how much I'm putting on the table either. And so this brings me to my recent expense, last night I bought a new vehicle. New to me, not new to the world, in fact it's nearly 20 years old.
Before we carry on I should explain that I am not a 'petrol head', and I rarely have need for a car at all. Since my previous car broke down in November I have learnt that almost everything I did with a car can be done with my bicycle and I am far fitter because of it. There is however one critical task that can't be done without a 4x4, moving my speedboat in and out of the water. In winter it was no concern but with potentially the hottest summer since 1976 just over the horizon I had to buy something that was capable of moving my boat whilst at the same time not being so new/nice that I didn't want to get it covered in sea water / sand. So last night I shelled out £1000 on an old Shogun that runs and will do the job, at least for a season.

I don't feel happy that I've got a car again.
I don't feel happy it only cost 1k
It's a necessity more that a luxury
But I'm pleased that part of my cashout from Stars paid for it
It'll be worth it when the summer fully arrives
I'll be happy about it then

But right now I know I'm a degenerate because I'm just thinking it's $1500 less gamblin money in June !

Shock run-good of the week… I emailed the Mirage and their poker room still had copies of my ITIN record from 2004. So now I am a number not a man !

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"It's all about pot control, right?" - Peter Eastgate to Joe Hachem, WSOP2009.

The above quote is one of my favourites from the coverage of last years WSOP, which is currently airing on ESPN over here in the UK (and by the way I don't know what Everest are complaining about, their marketing is in my face every 5 mins during the broadcast). Another quote I like is "why do the pushin' when the donkey will do the pullin'"

The previous week, when I hit a couple of final tables in 180's my pot control was getting really good. I was improving at small-ball, helped by Daniel Negreanu's section on the subject in his book Power Hold'em Strategy. Since Saturday my attempts at pot control have been failing and I'm not entirely sure it's my fault. Pretty much everytime I've had a big starting hand I've been forced into a decision for all my chips. Even when I've got a decent number of chips I've been running into the guy who's had a horseshoe up his ass for the last 20 minutes and has an even bigger stack. After a raise from me he reraises forcing me to call half my stack or push, I push with QQ get called by 88 and the board runs out 567-7-4. I raise with KK get called by the BB and see a Q73 rainbow flop, the BB check-raises allin and I call to see Q8 hit an 8 on the turn. I know what this sounds like. It sounds like bad beats AND it sounds like I'm being results oriented. If there's a point, other than just having an outlet here, I guess it's that even though I am not a believer in the get-them-all-in-there-with-any-edge strategy sometimes my opponent will force me to do that. Sometimes they'll get lucky regardless. Sometimes it'll happen more times in a row than you thought possible. If anything it reinforces my belief that small-ball is better than long-ball.

The trick is to keep playing well, and not let the mind/ego get tricksy with the best possible play at this moment.

Just writing this post helps me do that better.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Guess that last post was true. Still, if posting = winning I'd be more than happy to post more often !

If you're going to stay up till 1.30am on a 'school' night you better make sure you win the damn thing :)

Contact Details

Yahoo IM : TanOrpheus



Ornate - adj. 1. Elaborately, heavily, and often excessively ornamented. 2. Flashy, showy, or florid in style or manner;

Push - 1. To exert outward pressure or force against something. 2. To advance despite difficulty or opposition; press forward. 3. To expend great or vigorous effort.

Ornate Push - The messy ramblings of a troubled poker player and tilted mind.


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