Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Running bad, grinding it out, wsop less than a month away....

Well where do I start?
Yep thing's aren't exactly going great on the poker front. I have inklings over why and how can i rectify this, yet saying so and doing so are completely different things.
Basically I have to be honest and say i'm not playing well right now. Sometimes i'll play too tight, others too loose and in certain situations a rather bad mixture.
Consistently I am propping up the bar after an early exit in gukpt main and side events. After 6 attempts at the main and numerous side action I am yet to cash once.
It's becoming an issue. So i am overjoyed that I can't play any gukpt events till august. Otherwise i'd be seriously tempted not to play them. But now i have vegas coming up, and with the month i'll be there for costing a great deal, it's time to grind. So bar a couple of events at the gutshot's esop i'll be grinding seriously online for the next few weeks.
So how was newcastle? Well the food was great, the people nice, the casino not so great and the poker...ouch.
Actually meant to meet up with a friend from uni. Unfortunately the poker dictated i couldn't make that, something i feel quite bad about. Anyway lets talk about the main event.
Sat down to a table which felt quite good for my game. About 3/4 good players with 3/4 bad, bad ones. For the first half an hour or so i played a great deal of hands limping with small pairs and suited connectors. The problem was i managed to split about 3 or 4 reasonable sized pots. So instead of having a nice early confidence booster somehow i felt like i was treading water. Then the following hand came up. A multi limped pot came round to me on the button with qs4s. I joined in the limpfest and the blinds completed/checked. The flop came j35 with one club. When it was checked round to me i felt it was a nice pot to steal early doors, with the perfect texture for doing so. So i bet 2/3rds the pot but picked up 2 callers, one good solid young player in the bb and one fishy older bloke in mid position who limp/called far too often. The turn brought a second club which was the 9. But when they both checked to me i felt another barrel might gain me the pot, so i again i bet 2/3rds. Both called. Now with alarm bells ringing i have to give up right. Wrong-not with how badly my reads are right now. I sensed huge weakness from both of my callers when a nice scare card of the ace of clubs plopped down on the river. Again they both quickly checked to me. So i bet again 2/3rds of the pot. About 3000 of my stack-with the blinds at 25/50 was now in the middle. Yep i'd now commited a 3rd of my stack with queen high. They both called pretty quick too. Big blind had top two and ace jack, not totally sure if i like his weakish play here, but hey he's out of position and picking off my bluffs with ease. Yet his passive play on the flop and turn allowed the fish with jc6c to hit the flush. Now the guy has limped out of position with an atrocious hand. He's check called his top pair no kicker out of position with a backdoor. Then on the turn he's done the same and on the river when he's hit his flush he hasn't raised?? Truely appaulling play by someone who probably shouldn't be playing 1k events. Though neither should I when i'm bluffing with minimum blinds and queen high.
So after this I was kind of a little tilty. I kept getting reraised, by one particular appaulling player who really is one of the worst i've seen on the circuit. While all this was going on joey lovelady was cleaning up on the table, hitting everything but also playing well. I eventually dribbled down to 2500 by level 3 with the blinds at 75/150. Then following happened, jack 6 limped limped utg. A villan who had also been playing ace rag like the nuts and limping far too much finally jammed it up to 775, immediately im thinking jacks minimum. I look down at ackc in early position. Immediate push just hoping for live cards, goes round to the cut off who is a very tight player. He thinks for 5 seconds before shoving for circa 7k. Now that looks like kings minimum and i was now thinking i was out bar a flush. Limper folded and our villan also thinks for 5 seconds. Now he has committed 775 to the pot. He has to commit at least another 6/7k to the pot witn a stck of about 9k, with an absolute rock having pushed against two previous raises. Now for me if i don't have kings here minimum im folding as i have about 60bb and at best im racing the rock. I know i'm unimportant to his decision making here, unless he thinks we both have ace king, but for me the rock dsnt shove ak here, certainly not with the utg+1 having shown huge calling station tendancies previously. Anyway mr villan stands up within seconds throwing ladies to the felt with the immortal words 'Lets gamble!!'. Yeah gamble against the rocks kings clever clogs. Of course the quuen turned and the ace rivered. So if it wasn't for mr hero calling with his queens i would have sucked out big style on the cowboys. Actually i felt more sorry for the rock with his kings cracked, what more can he do a against such a bad player.
After this i stunk out the side events getting unlucky a couple of times and playing poorly at others. The good news i recieved this week was that i have been put in the holding tank for this years wsope, so my threedom pass looks banked, touch wood:)
Apologies for the moaning content in this blog, but boy did it feel good to let loose.

Back to the gind and speak soon peeps.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Norwegian poker champs, drinking and newcastle gukpt...

Ok so time for a recap of the last week. At the end of my last post i claimed i was having a couple of months off the booze, well that lasted all of about 3 days! In fairness i had a good excuse. By 415pm i'd been knocked out of the 3pm tournie with nothing to do.

Arrived last friday in nottingham after a delayed train journey up from the smoke. Unfortunately i'd packed no extra clothes and due to the late nights and my tendency to start sweating for england i made a mad dash into town to pick up some clothes from the high street. Once that was done i jumped in a cab to dtd via my hotel.
Scatily i managed to discard both my mobile phone and more importantly my ipod in my hotel room, i'd literally thrown my stuff in after checking, jumping back into my cab. So when i arrived with 5 minutes to spare before day 1b of the main event, i was seriously worried about ipod tilt!

I needn't have rushed as for the first 30 minutes my 9 handed table was only 3 handed. It was one of the most surreal experiences in my somewhat limited poker career. It taught me a few valuable lessons, but boy did i miss my ipod. Both guys on my table were amiable, funny, genuine salt of the earth types. But it didn't lead to optimum concentration. I basically played every hand and by the time the table filled i had developed a rather unhealthy rhythm of believing i could outplay anyone on the flop-with 25-50 blinds. Slightly irrational to say the least.The stupid thing was 3 handed we saw so many hands i should have just chilled, but i wanted every blind, just a sheer moment of madness.

Eventually i realised a couple of the new players including steve holden, could actually more than hold their own against this loose fish here. Now was the time to sit back and develop a strategy, perhaps even nip back to the hotel and grab that ipod.
But nope i pressed on relentlessly with no red light in sight. By level 2 i got it allin, still feeling adrenaline filled, with 5s6s on a ace high flushing flop. With 100 big blinds i should be avoiding such coin flips, otherwise i might as well spin it up on the roulette.

So it was back to the hotel and time for a beer to forget my 1 hour of madness. The rest of the 3 remaining days was filled with sit and go's-which went well- and a couple of side events, which i went deep in without cashing, but may have identified a particular leak i need to address. I am going to write a single blog entry just on my tendency to pass queens preflop-something that could be one or two folds too many.

The norwegians were generally a fun bunch, and i shared a few drinks with some interesting and very nice people. The only gripe i found over the duration of the tournament was some of the dealers lack of knowledge. Some of those brought in were brilliant. Guys i know from the world series and the cpc-always professional and top class. Others however struggled with basic rules, in fact they may have even been local regular staff. I never know when that 'clicky' factor is there, and genuinely hope its not at dtd, as i genuinely love the place. A couple of the rulings given baffled me, and as for the incident in the 100 rebuy, well again ill leave that for another day. I know im far from an innocent participant, but if i feel im right then ill fight my corner all day long.

In other news i won my newcastle gukpt seat at the first time of asking last night. Apart from early on i found it an extremely easy ride, and genuinely believe there is huge value in these satts. I have qualified for 3 seats this year, yet have hardly played them at all. Something to consider for the future. As for the event i'm feeling confident. I have been doing a lot of analysis on my game over the last few days and hopefully have ironed out a couple of flaws which may have been seriously hindering my game. Personally my life is good and i can almost sense a huge result. Last time i felt like this may have been in september....of course i better not forget my ipod, nor my clothes and phone this time, but apart from all that my names on the trophy!!!

Speak soon peeps,

Dom.

ps-im off the booze again!