Thursday, October 30, 2008

Career development

My job is in jeopardy and I've only been doing it for six months.
It's not going to happen now, but if I'm here in a year I will be very surprised.
There is no chance another job in this field as no-one is hiring, the City is a depressing place at the moment.

The only thing I can really do is study again - this time for the CFA - a mammoth three-year program, with an exam each June. I've started taking notes for the Level 1 and it is a huge amount of info to learn and digest. It will probably mean an hour a day study, or if you are like me, four hours one day, nothing for two, six another, nothing for...etc etc.

My company is American so they'll pay for it, give me a grand if I pass, and have promised at least another £5k on my salary - so the incentive is there.

This will definitely eat into my poker time but I will definitely keep playing on. I love the game too much to stop.

I'm still in the early throes of eagerness to pass this thing - even tho its nine months away, I've managed only two short hour-long sessions of poker this week. The first saw me drop $40 playing HORSE on Stars. The second saw me break even on two $11 Matrix SNGs. Thrilling stuff!

The Matrix breakeven session should have been a win but my flatmate cmae into my room with me sitting on decent stacks on all four tables. I then had to listen to her moaning about her new on-off boyfriend and stacked off stupidly while only half-concentrating. Should have told her to go, but I want an easy life and pissing off your flatmates is an simple way to make life complicated!

Friday, October 24, 2008


My dollar thoughts were somewhat awry...the pound is $1.58 to the dollar and falling. I think $1.40 is back on the cards.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why cash games annoy the shit out of me

To play poker you need the patience of a saint...
Aggression constantly needs to be tempered and it feels like a luckfest sometimes. Case in point tonight. I decide to fire up four $50 tables on Full Tilt, one deepstacked, so I'm sitting with $250 in play.
All good and in 90 mins I'm up $60.
One fold early doors hurt when I hit a set with 5s and folded to a potential str8 from the BB who could have had anything. Should have raised it up pre but decided to flat call. He carried on playing tightly so I figured it was a decent fold but it played on my mind.
I chipped away, played reasonably aggressively pre-flop, then hit a beauty set of 7s against an aggro-ish foe.
She played it well, slowplaying it, and won set over set, but the mindset of full-ring cash games, multitabling really has to be tight,tight,tight - prey on the weak, avoid the regulars. She put me all-in with a big reraise on the river and there is no way she would have played that way with two pair. It was a clear fold.
ABC poker, but it pays off.
A $50 win turned into a break even night.
I've now got that tight, hate poker, feeling in my chest which shows me its time for a break again.


The Matrix SNGs on Full Tilt have been treating me very well...
I have only been playing the standard SNGs, non-turbos, which I can't abide normally as they are too slow.
Four-tabling against the same 9 foes at this speed, however, really allows you to pick their play apart. It lowers variance and it seems to separate the better players from the worst ones.
Time and time again over the weekend I was heads-up or three-handed against the same players on three.
I was very, very close to being Dominatrix - winning all four tables and scooping the entire pot - on a $10 + $1 SNG. I won the first two tables and was playing three-handed on the remaining two when this happens.

I'm in the BB with q4o and short stacked, button limps, SB folds, 1k in pot. Flop comes A,q,10 rainbow. I check, looking to check raise all-in as he would have raised any bare ace here with me short-stacked. Button duly bets, I push, he calls, turning over j10o, I figure I'm good and focus on the other table.
In fact I had 94o for a mis-read and I bust third.
I came third on the final table so it was immaterial but still mighty annoying.

My stack on FT is back up $500, and Mansion and Pokerstars are up around $50 from my last bankroll totting up. I think I'm now past the $5,000 level which has been within reach for almost six months now.

A quickie on the US Dollar, it seems to have reached a floor at $1.70 to $1.75. If it dips below $1.70 over the next few weeks I would look to withdraw some. The dollar looks under pressure over the medium term due to this bailout/credit crisis - it will be seriously in debt.
The main plus for Brit players is that sterling also looks a pile of garbage and it is a toss-up as to which is weaker, the dollar or sterling.
Don't take this as gospel, or any sort of investment advice - cos its not! But my thoughts at the mo are cash out some below $1.70 and buy a loved one something nice :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Thought I'd put my two cents in on the Matrix SNG on Full Tilt.
They are a variation on the Knockout tourneys on Littlewoods, FT etc, but with four tables.
I've done well, trebling my buy-in twice at $5 and $10. The variance is definitely lower but a decent SNG player will make more from the usual tables.
The play is subtly different as it loosens play up early on. The number of players that called or bet into my nuts was a lot more than a normal cash/SNG.
The last game I almost scooped the entire pot - rewarded if you win all four tables - by coming 1,1,1 and 4th.
I'm not used to four-handed while four tabling and found it a little frenetic. But all good fun!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Connection woes

Not sure why, but my wireless connection sucked all evening.

Given up now. The only site it was reasonable on was Full Tilt, where I eeked out a $20 profit. Tried a four SNGs with no cashes, but made $45 profit on a $50 NL table, all from one tilty Italian. Mama Mia...

Back to Poker

I have been trying to play Mansion Poker more over the past few days. It has new software, I've got 36% rakeback thru Rake the Rake and has a fair number of tables running now.

Unfortunately my connection sometimes sucks and they have an Online casino which I've been dabbling on. I haven't blown my $500 roll there yet but I'm scared it is only a matter of time...

I finally have a night now where I can put more than 30 minutes in, so we'll see how it goes.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Funniest shit ever...

The edited transcript of Newcastle United's interim manager Joe Kinnear's first official press conference, taken from The Guardian:

Joe Kinnear Which one is Simon Bird [Daily Mirror's north-east football writer]?

Simon Bird Me.

JK You're a c**t.

SB Thank you.

JK Which one is Hickman [Niall, football writer for the Express]? You are out of order. Absolutely f**king out of order. If you do it again, I am telling you you can f**k off and go to another ground. I will not come and stand for that f**king crap. No f**king way, lies. F**k, you're saying I turned up and they [Newcastle's players] f**ked off.

SB No Joe, have you read it, it doesn't actually say that. Have you read it?

JK I've f**king read it, I've read it.

SB It doesn't say that. Have you read it?

JK You are trying to f**king undermine my position already.

SB Have you read it, it doesn't say that. I knew you knew they were having a day off.

JK F**k off. F**k off. It's your last f**king chance.

SB You read the copy? It doesn't say that you didn't know.

JK What about the headline, you think that's a good headline?

SB I didn't write the headline, you read the copy.

JK You are negative b**tards, the pair of you.

SB So if I get a new job next week would I take the first day off? No I wouldn't. If I get a new job should I call my boss and tell him I am taking the first day off?

JK It is none of your f**king business. What the f**k are you going to do? You ain't got the balls to be a f**king manager. F**king day off. Do I want your opinion. Do I have to listen to you?

SB No, you can listen to who you want.

JK I had a 24-hour meeting with the entire staff.

SB Joe, you are only here six weeks, you could have done that on Sunday, or Saturday night.

JK No, no, no. I didn't want to do it. I had some other things to do.

SB What? More important things?

JK What are you? My personal secretary? F**k off.

SB You could have done the meeting Saturday night or Sunday. You could have had them watching videos, you could have organised them.

JK I was meeting the f**king chairman the owner, everyone else. Talking about things.

SB It is a valid point that was made in there. A valid point.

JK I can't trust any of you.

Niall Hickman Joe, no one could believe that on your first day at your new club, the first-team players were not in. No one could believe it in town. Your first day in the office.

JK My first day was with the coaches. I made the decision that I wanted to get as much information out of them.

NH But why Monday, no one could believe it?

JK I'm not going to tell you anything. I don't understand where you are coming from. You are delighted that Newcastle are getting beat and are in the state they are? Delighted, are you?

NH Certainly not. No one wants to see them get beaten, why would we?

JK I have done it before. It is going to my f**king lawyers. So are about three others. If they can find something in it that is a court case it is going to court. I am not f**king about. I don't talk to f**king anybody. It is raking up stories. You are f**king so f**king slimy you are raking up players that I got rid of. Players that I had fallen out with. You are not asking Robbie Earle, because he is sensible. You are not asking Warren Barton? No. Because he is f**king sensible. Anyone who had played for me for 10 years at any level ... [but] you will find some c**t that ...

Other journalist How long is your contract for Joe?

JK None of your business.

SB Well it is actually, because we cover the club. The club say you are here to the end of October, then you say six to eight games which would take it to the end of November. We are trying to clarify these issues. We are getting no straight answers from anyone. How long are you here for. It is a dead simple question. And you don't know ...

JK I was told the length of contract. Then I was told that possibly the club could be sold in that time. That is as far as I know. That's it finished. I don't know anything else. But I have been ridiculed. He's trying to f**king hide, he's trying to do this or that.

There follows an exchange regarding the circumstances under which Kinnear had met the owner Mike Ashley and executive director (football) Dennis Wise.

Steve Brenner (football writer for the Sun) We are all grown men and can come in here and sit around and talk about football, but coming in here and calling people c**ts?

JK Why? Because I am annoyed. I am not accepting that. If it is libellous, it is going to where I want it to go.

Newcastle press officer What has been said in here is off the record and doesn't go outside.

Journalist Well, is that what Joe thinks?

JK Write what you like. Makes no difference to me. Don't affect me I assure you. It'll be the last time I see you anyway. Won't affect me. See how we go at Everton and Chrissy [Chris Hughton, assistant manager] can do it, someone else can do it. Don't trust any of yous. I will pick two local papers and speak to them and the rest can f**k off. I ain't coming up here to have the piss taken out of me. I have a million pages of crap that has been written about me. I'm ridiculed for no reason. I'm defenceless. I can't get a point in, I can't say nothing, I can't do nothing, but I ain't going to be negative. Then, half of you, most of you are trying to get into the players. I'm not going to tell you what the players think of you, so then you try and get into them in some way or another, so I've got a split camp or something like that, something like that. It's ongoing. It just doesn't stop.

Journalist It's only been a week.

JK Exactly. It feels more like a year.

Journalist It's early days for you to be like this.

JK No, I'm clearing the air. And this is the last time I'm going to speak to you. You want to know why, I'm telling you. This is the last time. You can do what you like.

Journalist But this isn't going to do you or us any good.

JK I'll speak to the supporters. I'm going to tell them what the story is. I'm going to tell them. I don't think they'll interpret it any different, I don't think they'll mix it up, I don't think they'll miss out things. I mean, one of them last week said to me ... I was talking about in that press conference where you were there, I said something like "Well, that's a load of bollocks ..."

Journalist "Bollocks to that" is what you said.

JK Bollocks to that. And what goes after that?

Journalist That was it.

JK No it wasn't, no it wasn't. What was after it? I don't know if it was your paper, but what went after it?

Journalist I don't know.

JK It even had the cheek to say "bollocks to Newcastle".

Journalist I didn't write that.

JK That was my first f**king day. What does that tell you? What does that tell you?

Journalist Where was that? Which paper said that?

JK I've got it. I can't remember. It was one of the Sundays, not a Saturday. It was a Sunday.

Journalist But you didn't say that to the Sundays, you said that to us. That was during the Monday press conference.

JK I'll bring it in and show it to you. Why would I want to say that?

Journalist Are you saying that someone has reported you saying "bollocks to Newcastle?"

JK Yes. Lovely.

Journalist I don't know who's reported that.

JK I'll tell you what, I'll bring it in.

Journalist That's obviously going to damage you. That's not a good thing. But I don't think someone's done that. We have to have some sort of relationship with you.

JK So have I. But I haven't come in here for you lot to take the piss out of me. And if I'm not flavour of the month for you, it don't f**king bother me. I've got a job to do. And I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. I'm not going to spend any more time listening to any crap or reading any crap. Stick to the truth and the facts. And don't twist anything.

Journalist You know, you know the game ...

JK Of course I know, but I don't have to like it.

Journalist Today we'll print the absolute truth, that you think we're c**ts, we can all f**k off and we're slimy. Is that fair enough?

JK Do it. Fine. F**king print it. Am I going to worry about it? Put in also that it'll be the last time I see you. Put that in as well. Good. Do it.

Much, much later after long discussions over whether Kinnear had promised Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan would be returning to the club

Press officer Let's get on to football. Let's have an agreement that everything said so far, if anyone has got their tapes on, it's wiped off and we're not discussing it.

Journalist But that's what Joe has said he thinks of us.

Press officer I'm saying don't push it. Let's accept what's been said and try and move on.

Journalist: Move on to not doing any more press conferences?

PO: No, to doing something now.

Journalist: What, one press conference only?


Journalist: Any knocks?

PO: Come on, let's go football.

Journalist: What are your plans for training in the next three days? How's the training going?

JK It's going very well. No problems at all.

Journalist Enjoyed getting back in the swing of things?

JK Absolutely. I've loved every moment of it.