Monday, June 26, 2006

WSOP freeroll

Three days in Prague was the ideal preparation for my WSOP freeroll...well, almost.
My plane back from Czech was 90 mins late so I had to listen to the first-half of the England v Ecuador match on the radio.
Caught Beckham's goal, and saw England play poorly but without incident against a very defensive minded team.
They looked tired and lacked drive, but I still think they have a good chance of beating Portugal in the quarter finals.
Anyway, after the game I moved on to my PC and waited for the WSOP freeroll to start.
There were 39 registered for the game with $5,000 WSOP seat for the winner and $500 shared between the final nine.
I qualified after playing 2,500 raked hands in May.
Understandably, play started tightly with small pots and mild swings.
I lost an early hand button v big blind when I called a check-raise on the turn (for 5xbb) with top pair and a flush draw against a foe who had turned a str8.
But I got it back quickly when I held Ks and check raised an 8-hi flop.
Nine non-starters were then withdrawn and we were down to 30.
I hovered around 1500 chips for several hands and the table
There were two aggressive players - Villain and DeuceA1 - who were constantly tangling.
Villain took him down in two hands with 9s v Ako when Villain hit a four flush, and then Aqo v a slightly tilty A7o from Deuce.
The blinds were at level II and I raised early with AJs. All folded and it quickly became a raise/fold game round the table.
I won a nice pot at level III with Qs against Draco Malfoy again, in almost identical fashion - calling his 3xbb pre-flop raise then raising a low flop post flop.
My biggest hand came after 45 mins with Js

Table: 3 (Real Money) Seat #4 is the dealer
Seat 1 - ANECHKA ($3540 in chips)
Seat 2 - __VILLAIN__ ($3200 in chips)
Seat 3 - FIGAROCLEO ($1145 in chips)
Seat 4 - DRACO MALFOY ($1000 in chips)
Seat 5 - NIHILISTI ($1410 in chips)
Seat 6 - QUANTICFIVE ($1860 in chips)
Seat 8 - SHUUSH ($1005 in chips)
Seat 9 - THAT FISH ($3155 in chips)
NIHILISTI - Posts small blind $40
QUANTICFIVE - Posts big blind $80
Dealt to QUANTICFIVE [Jc Js]
ANECHKA - Raises $240 to $240
QUANTICFIVE - Calls $160
*** FLOP *** [6s 9c Jh]
ANECHKA - Bets $240
QUANTICFIVE - Raises $480 to $480
ANECHKA - Calls $240
*** TURN *** [6s 9c Jh] [9d]
ANECHKA - Checks
*** RIVER *** [6s 9c Jh 9d] [9h]
QUANTICFIVE - returned ($400) : not called
*** SHOW DOWN ***
QUANTICFIVE - Does not show
QUANTICFIVE Collects $1480 from main pot

Should have bet the turn but I was trying to let him catch up.

For the next half hour we were playing six handed and I slowly started to get blinded down until I had about $1600 with the blinds at $150.

The next hand couldn't have worked out better. I found As late against THAT FISH he was the most active player on the table - and had re-raised all in 3xbb pre-flop raises along with a couple of other players a few times.
Sure enough, he put me all in with qks and I doubled up.

The very next hand I found 10s and raised 3xbb again. Villain who had called the bb in 1st position called.
An A-10-9 flop, with 2 clubs was almost perfect. Villain led out $600 and instead of calling I raised all-in.
He was there to be taken and I should've fished him in. He was busted out about three hands later.
I was now 3rd out of about 10.
We played five handed for a while and we were soon onto the final table.
I was about 6th at the start of the final table, with about 4000 and blinds at 200.
I found As again and did the standard 3xbb raise but no=one called.
Eight hands later I got Ks, and won about $2000.
I was getting lucky with the hi pairs.

It got quite frenetic after this with lots of pre-flop bets and raises. I feel I didn't make a mistake until we were down to the last 3.
The chip counts were:

Seat 3 - PHANTOMSHARK ($23710 in chips)
Seat 6 - QUANTICFIVE ($8170 in chips)
Seat 8 - WILDSAMOAN ($13610 in chips)

I did my standard 3xbb with Ajo got re-raised by Phantom Shark, who I believed but instead of folding I shoved and lost to his Aq0.

Its only now that I write this do I realise how close I came to winning.
I had a very tight table image, and was starting to make some plays...I coulda outplayed them with the right cards.
I won $100, which is not to be sniffed at but it coulda been so much more.
Phantom ended up winning the $5,000 after a 30 mins heads up battle and deserved the win.

I then won $30 on an AP points freerol, coming 3rd again.

So long for now...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blackjack, no poker

I've played v little poker in the past few days.
I cashed out on Absolute and am still waiting for the money to hit my neteller a/c, so I've only been playing on Ultimate.
A few raids have netted pennies there and the bankroll still stands at around $330.
On Sunday, I decided to have a go at Blackjack bonus whoring for the first time.
I opened an a/c with, deposited $200 and played textbook (i.e mindless) blackjack for about four hours and withdrew $428.
I needed to play 20x my deposit to release the match bonus and just followed the strategy card.
When I've got a few hours spare I'll have another go at another site.
Work is brutal at the moment, but I'm off to Prague on friday for a couple of days to see my quasi-girlfriend and celebrate her b'day by getting horrifically drunk.
I hope to get back in time for the WSOP freeroll I qualified for last month.
It'll be a race from the airport but I should make it back in time.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Too late for the Pokerstars blogger freeroll.
O well


Saw this questionairre floating around a while back so though I'd have a go.

1. What is the biggest mistake people make at a NL table?

Overbetting top pair.

2. What is the biggest mistake people make at a Limit table?

Calling down with mediocre hands.

3. Why do you play poker?

I enjoy the buzz of playing. I'm a gambler at heart and I know I can beat the game, which makes it better than the blackjack and the horses any day.

4. If you weren't playing poker, what would you be doing?

Surfing, watching TV, chatting to my flatmate more (who complains I ignore him!) and prob. playing chess online. I still haven't turned down a night on the tiles to play poker but I'm sure that day will come.

5. What is your favorite poker book and why?

Big Deal by Anthony Holden. Hilarious and absorbing.

6. Who is your favorite poker player and why?

I normally root for any of the Brits when I watch on TV. Don't really have a favourite but I s'pose the Milkybarkid has to be a up there cos of his blog.

7. Which poker player do you dislike the most and why?


8. Do your coworkers know about your blog?


9. What is the most you have won in a cash game or MTT (both live and online)?

Prob around $200 - all from one pot of Omaha H/L NL on Ladbrokes when I first started playing.

10. What is the most you have lost in a cash game or in one day total (both live and online)?

Prob around $100. I always stop if it gets too bad.

11. Who was your first poker blog read?

Not sure but Tao of Poker was one of the first US blogs, Milkybarkid and the internetpokerpro in the UK.

12. What satisfies you more, your aces holding up for a big pot or a bluff working for a big pot?

Bluff definitely as I hardly ever bluff. When I do I absolutely pap my pants. I s'pose this is why I'm a recreational player. I'm quite good at spotting bluffs though and getting someone to show nothing is always satisfying.

13. Why do you blog?

As a journalist writing stuff down takes no time at all and I like sharing stories.
I also thought it would help me play better if I recorded my winnings and a few hands.

14. Do you read blogs from an RSS reader like bloglines or do you visit each blog?

Mainly through bloglines but I sometimes check out sites direct.

15. Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?

No, too much poker gets old quite quickly. I can tell when it s time to stop because I start playing loose and fast, and start playing too many tables out of boredom.
I have a great job and working with around 40 other journalists is a blast. They love going out and have loads of great stories to tell. Although a successfull poker player definitely earns a lot more than a journalist

16. Do you wear a tin foil hat on occasion?


17. If you had to pin it down to one specific trait, what does a great poker player have (or do) that separates them from an average player?

Balls the size of elephants, be able to bluff, be a great reader of other players and have a big roll. If you listen to interviews with successful players they are also very motivated to be the best - to win bracelets etc. Ambition is the key to any successful career.

18. Is Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?

Have no idea.

19. What is your primary poker goal and are you close to accomplishing it?

I s'pose build a bigger bankroll and make more money. But I don't think I'm ever going to get rich from the game. In the past, I've always cashed out my winnings when it gets to a certain amount. We'll see when the roll reaches four figures again how broke I am!

20. What is your primary online site and why?

At the mo, Ultimate Bet and Absolute. But will soon change to some of the other biggie's. As far as I can tell there are fish at all sites, so I go by rake and rakeback, deposit bonuses and traffic as my main indicators for where to play.

21. What site do you dislike and why?

None really.

World Cup

Haven't been playing much poker in the past week, mainly because of the World Cup.
I haven't watch every game, but it's been pretty darn close.
We have a sweepstake going on in the newsroom which needed you to pick the correct score for EVERY first round game, then all the qualifiers for the 2nd round, 1/4 finals, semis and final.
Its a point based scoring system. At the mo, its 5 pts for a correct score and 2 pts for the correct result.
Basically the laws of probability took over for me and I went one-nil for every game.
This has seriously pissed off my colleagues cos I'm leading by miles.
I think there's been five 1-0s, while the rest of the newsroom got swept up in World Cup fever and were predicting scores like 3-1 and 4-0 for almost every game.
It's got to the stage where everyone knows what I've done and there are cheers when a 2nd goal goes in.
I played up to my role as bad guy during the England v T&T game by pretending to be pissed off when Gerrard knocked in the extra time 2nd goal.
Anyway, I think the money is mine.
What following little poker I have been playing, I've cashed out of Absolute - around $280.
And UB is sitting at around $320.
Gonna register for the blogger freeroll on Stars when I get home (I'm on an Saturday early shift at work today) if its not too late.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Mo money

Work has been dull this week.
I have a page to fill everyday, and as business editor, it also means I'm under constant pressure to produce page leads and front-of-the-book stories on top of this.
I had two splashes last week, including a great exclusive into a £3 milllion training centre which was under investigate for fraud.
But after the highs of last week, I basically spent this week resting on my laurels and peddling the crap.
Had no decent stories really.
On the poker front, my Ultimate Bet roll is slowing rising.
Up to $320-ish now from a couple of big NL Hold'em hands. Trips and top two pair all-ins.
The 'big' news is that I've qualified for a WSOP freeroll through raketherake at Absolute after playing 2,500 hands there last month.
Winner gets $5,000 towards a WSOP seat, with the cash not spent on entry fees going towards travel expenses.
There's also $500 to share out. With only 40+ qualifiers I should have a fair chance.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

One month on

Ok, it's not quite been a month but its been too long.
I've been playing in fits and starts. Work has been brutal and the weather has been too nice to sit and play all the time.
My bankroll on Absolute has stagnated and I've almost given up playing there.
The traffic when I tend to play (between 5pm and 9pm) BST is very low.
I've not quite achived my aim of cashing out the $300 I lost playing blackjack, it sits at $250.
But I think I would be better served to move it all to another site. I'm looking at having a go at Party Poker for the first time, and maybe redepositing at Full Tilt.
The highlight at Absolute was winning my first over 100 person tournie. It was an bonus point tournie with cash for the final table.
At the same time, I came fourth in a $2 NL tournie with around 100 starters.
I felt I was v. unlucky in that. I was big chip leader twice but kept getting rivered and couldn't knock any of the short stacks out all in.
Only one of the one the players had a clue how to play short-handed.
Anyway, the real plus is that I've hit a run of form on Ultimate Bet and am finally now in profit.
The roll is up to $280, including winning about $75 last night from playing PL Omaha H/L and NL Hold'em.
Hit some great hands, quad aces on the flop at Omaha which paid off and trips 4s on an all low flop, both of which netted around $25.
I also managed to pair the board with trip 10s on the river against two players with str8s on the turn.
I was committed but it's nice when you ctahc up on the river for a change.
Anyway back to work