Monday, February 23, 2009

The Insider

One of my old journalist colleagues - now political editor of the Manchester Evening News - has been obsessively writing a rather good blog for the past three years.

It mostly covers politics - both local to Manchester and national - but he has started a mini-competition which follows the shirt sponsors of various football clubs.

Global recession. Football. Fun

The reason I mention this is that I am "The Insider".

I've had a go at predicting the winners but I reckon I have just as much chance as any one else.

If you fancy playing, drop by his blog and post yr predictions in his comments.


Friday, February 20, 2009


Seems Neteller has downgraded my account so I need to email them some bumpf before they will let me at my roll...

So no, I didn't pull my US $ last night.

The market opens down 2.5% and sterling down 0.83% against the dollar - so maybe a blessing in disguise.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sell the dollar!

OK, I'm doing it. Today's move has convinced me that sterling could rally again.
When I get home tonight I'm going to withdraw a decent chunk of my US dollar roll and put it in sterling.
It is not quite at its low - the dollar having reached $1.38 last month. It currently stands at $1.43.

My thinking on when to cash out has been murky since the start of the year. The UK economy is in the shit and the Government is planning to print a whole load of money to get us out of it. Coupled with this is the legacy of huge budget deficit thanks in part to Gordon Brown's spending while he was Chancellor.

However, I think the market has decided that Obama's spending plans ($787bn) dwarf Briton's and that the dollar has overshot.

I may be wrong and the pound may go lower, but I don't think by much, and I want to cash with in the $1.40s rather than 1.50s or 1.60s.

As a caveat, I'm not as confident on this prediction as I was on my last few - when I called the crash in sterling - but this is what I plan to do tonight.

As for poker....haven't played a hand since the weekend :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sets and the dollar

For cash game regulars, sets are the most profitable hands in poker.
You have disguise and more often than not, surety that you have the best hand. The perfect storm is when u are up against an overpair or big ace that hits.
Extracting the most money out of sets is an art; sniffing out sets even more so - but to be profitable consistently playing full ring hold'em cash you need to have this skill.

Case in point last night. I was four-tabling my usual $50 cash games and slowly chipping up.
I had doubled up on one table when I got involved in a big hand with a player who had recently sat down.
I flat-called his EP $2 raise with AKo in mid position and saw a two-way flop of AJx (2 hearts). He led out just under the pot on the flop, I smooth-called. Turn a second Ace. He again leads out 3/4 of the pot. I call. River a blank heart, he fires out a $23 bet.

What does he have?

Well, unless he is bluffing he has to have at least AK, AQ, AJ, JJ or flush - and that's it.
Is he bluffing? You very, very, very rarely get full-ring players who play this aggressively - firing three bluffs in a row is tough! As I said earlier, he had only recently sat down so I had no read on him.

What I should have done was type his name into 'Find a Player' (we were playing on Pokerstars) - he was sitting at 10-tables. A multi-table bot. No bluffs. A clear fold.

As it was I made a terrible call and duly lost.

My instinct was telling me to fold, and I talked myself into calling...

A hand later in the evening, and one which turned out to be my last hand of the night, involved another set.

I was dealt AA in EP and raised to $2 again. I was sitting on around $80 on this table and hand been raising pre a lot.
No respect then, so three callers, including the BB.
I bet out $5 on a flop three low cards, two folds before the BB called.

This immediately set alarm bells ringing as this foe had been playing T-I-G-H-T.
Turn another rag, foe checks, I bet $7.50 (half the pot) and she check raises to $15.

Yes I have Aces but she has a set, a slim chance of 2 pr, but she def has me and I fold.

In hindsight, I could have maybe gotten away with a $5 bet on turn as there were no draws. A call from her on the turn means most likely I am ahead.
The way she played her set was the way I would have played it, two, three years ago. It works but against experienced players it is just too obvious.

The title says a post on the dollar too but I'm at work and need to get back on it.Will try to giev some thoughts on the dollar this weekend.