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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Seasons greetings

Just like to take the time to wish everybody a Happy Christmas. Don't think I'll be playing much poker over the next week or two, as the 'festive spirit' takes over! I plan to get nice and drunk over the next few days and think of nothing but turkey and beer!

Also, I've only had this blog running a few weeks, but it seems to be getting a good response, so to all that read it, thank you and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry f**ckin Christmas...

Got off work early so i could get into town and get the last few presents for friends and family... Jesus Christ never again! Queue's to get into the car park, queue's for the lift, queue's to get into shops, queue's to take a piss, queue's... AGGGHHGHHHH ! ! !

Luckily I had already got most of my stuff a few weeks ago, as I usually do, but I never expected it to be this bad. And the choice was fucking abysmal! I searched for TWO HOURS for some decent gear but it was just terrible. Ridiculous prices for stuff that looked as if it would last as long as my Christmas hangover... That is the last time I am going into town sober this year! I'll go out to Blanchardstown or Swords at the weekend and pick up the last of my stuff.

It was so much easier when Santy took care of things! Merry f**ckin Christmas indeed...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Beer, Roulette, and .... Brian McFadden?

Had my staff Christmas party last night. Started off in Samsara for a few pints and then downstairs to the Thai restaurant for a bit of grub. All paid for of course! Anyway, as we were nearing the end of our meal the manager announced we were off to the Merrion Casino for a 'fun casino night'. "Oh no.... They weren't meant to know I'm a compulsive gambler... Just play it cool... They'll never know!"

So off we went to the Merrion where I was greeted at the door with a "hello Rory" from the doorman. Damn! My cover has been ruined! Anyway, as I was already a member I helped everyone sign up and herded them upstairs to the room we had booked. Say what you want about the Merrion's poker scene, they really know how to throw a good Christmas party! Two blackjack tables and a roulette wheel awaited us as we entered the room, not to mention a plentiful supply of alcohol.

There was a fun casino competition on, and my plan was to play it cool... until I heard what the prizes were!

3rd - A magnum of Moet et Chandon champaigne
2nd - An ipod
1st - A Video Ipod

As soon as they announced this my gamblers instinct took over and I immediately had my eyes set on that 1st prize! Although winning at house games is usually mostly luck there is SOME strategy involved (although I'm no card counter!). We started off on 2000 in chips and I realised that I was going to have to bet big from the start in order to build a big stack. So, while everybody was betting 25's I was throwing down 500's. I started off on roulette as it's what I'm used to. I soon had a big stack, thanks mostly betting big but winning small. By this I mean I would throw 500 down on five of the six streets, so unless the sixth street or zero came up, I would win 3000 for an investment of 2500. I kept doing this and luckily kept on winning and upping my bet, until I got up to about 7000. The next biggest was only about 4, as they were only now starting to bet bigger.

I then moved over to the blackjack. Not exactly my favourite game, but I said I'd plan anyway. I recently read a book on card counting, and would know the basic strategy (it's not cheating!). I observed a few hands and noticed that a LOT of low cards were coming out, so I moved in with some big bets. They were only using two decks so i figured there were more high than low cards in the deck, which apparently favours the player over the dealer. It worked and a few 20,s and 19's later, I up to about 12K. I then went back to the roulette and worked this up to 20K.

Then I realised that I was WAY out in front, and reduced myself to betting only 1 or 2 hundred each spin. No point risking when I didn't need to! At this stage there was only about 8 of us left out of about 35, and the staff told us it was finishing at midnight. It was 11:55 so I figured its in the bag, unless the others got clever and realised there were going to have to take a big risk and throw EVERYTHING on roulette in order to overtake me. A few people realised this and threw everthing on one or two numbers. Thankfully it didn't pay off and I am now the proud new owner of a video Ipod, worth over E500, acording to a friend!

I don't know whether there actually was any skill involved, or whether I just got lucky, but it can't be a coincidence that the ONLY person there that had been in a casino before ended up winning, can it? At the end of the day, I won most of the money on roulette, and thats just a ball spinning on a wheel, so I can't see where you can outplay the others!

Anyway, it was at this stage that I realised that everyone else was a LOT more drunk than me! I had been so caught up in the whole casino side of things that I forgot it was my Christmas party! I hadn't even been drinking since I got there! I soon caught up with the others though, thanks to a LOT of vodka and my friend Mr Jagermeister... So I stumbled downstairs for a bit of fresh air (into the smoking area!), and soon got talking to this lad who had been playing a cash game. We were sitting chatting about poker for about ten minutes when he laughed and asked "mate, do you know who you're talking to!" I hadn't really looked at him too closely, as i was pretty drunk... I took a proper look at this face, and realised I was talking to Brian McFadden. D'oh!

As I was pissed, I proceeded to give him a bit of stick about the whole boy band thing. "whole things a bit gay really isin't it?" I announced, in all my wisdom. His reply was short and sweet "I'm fucking loaded mate, you think I care? Also have you seen my girlfriend?" Emmm... check-mate. I raised, he went over the top... I folded. We chatted for a few more minutes, and it turns out he's pretty sound, which is (very) surprising considering the whole boy-band thing. I suppose I would probably sing and prance around if I was getting millions...and lovely women...and a fucking Ferrari... jammy bastard!

Anyway, he manages a South African band which I've heard a few times in college and my local pub. They're called Franklyn and they are quality! I haven't heard from them in over a year, and I presumed they had gone home, but apparently they are working on their album. They really are a great band, pretty much guarantted to do well. So if you haven't heard of them before, remember where you heard it first!

So I went back upstairs and proceeded to get even more drunk and this is where things get a bit blurry.... A good night all the less! I managed to mix drinking and gambling (two of my favourite hobbies!), I won a video Ipod, and had a good laugh with a 'celebrity' that I had previously thought was a tosser. And I managed to get through it all without making a show of myself in front of all my new workmates. Although they may realise that I'm a bit of a gambler! I should do this every year...

Thursday, December 15, 2005


There has been a lot of discussion about luck recently, mainly after this article , and I just wanted to throw a few thoughts down.

In poker, the fact of the matter is without luck you CANNOT win a tournament. In most cases the most skillful player in a tournament will be the winner, but 90% of the time, it will be a good player that has a lucky day.

Take me for instance. I was on such a horrible, shitty, disgusting, sickeningly bad run that I had to give up online, and was thinking about giving up alltogether. Then I sit down in the Fitz the other night and get an absolutely ridiculous run of good cards and breeze my way through the tournament. The only difference between that tournament and all the ones before it was luck. I never got any luck online so I quit. No point pissing money away waiting for your luck to arrive. I have played 4 games online since I quit and it has been EXACTLY the same. The good thing is I don't get annoyed anymore. I have absolutely no interest in online poker anymore.

I think luck it is the deciding factor every time I sit down. I play the same every time, (although always trying to improve!). If I get good luck, I will do well. If I get bad luck I do badly. I usually know within the first five minutes of a tournament how I'm going to do.

I think it is naive to presume that everyone gets an equal amount of luck. Some people breeze through life and find a good job, meet a nice wife, get a nice house etc, while others seem to consistently have it a lot tougher. You cant just presume that it will all 'even out' eventually. What if you lost EVERYBODY you knew in an accident? How does that even out? Can you expect to win the lotto in the foreseeable future? NO. Because the bottom line is 'Life aint fair'. Sad but true. You can bring logic into and say that everything should equal out, but it doesn't. Some people are just born lucky.

I've found that throughout my life I have been pretty 'unlucky' to put it mildly. I try to have a positive attitude and not let things bother me, but in some ways I feel I have been dealt a dodgy hand, losing many friends through car crashes and accidents, and having to endure both of my parents battle with cancer, losing my father earlier this year. However I found that there is no point in focusing on the bad things in your life. And I have tried to bring this approach to poker. Where I used to complain about bad beats and bad players, I now just accept them as part of the game. Fair enough, I get more than my fair share, but crying about it isin't going to help is it? I found that I have reduced most of the stress in my life simply by stopping playing online poker. Something which started out as entertainment had become my main cause of stress! How ridiculous does that sound? Thankfully I didn't lose any money through it, and I feel a LOT better after quitting.

Overall, I think that yes, I have terrible luck when it comes to poker, but at the end of the day, its only a game. I got sick of trying to figure out why I was consistently losing through bad luck. Bottom line is I don't care. If God or whoever controls 'luck' has decided that I will be unlucky then so be it. There aint much I can do about it is there!
So all I can do is hope I get lucky, and if I don't, just take it in my stride. Oh, and I've started buying lotto tickets... just in case...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Santa Strike Force charity game

Well I won! I take back everything I said about poker! I love it, it's not rigged.... and I'm one lucky bastard! In a night where I flopped a poker, got aces three times, kings 4, and a teddy was playing... where do I start?

I had promised to donate money to the charity if I moaned about any bad beats, but fortunately there was no need! Other than a few minor suckouts I was just winning everything! Every time I'd pick up a great hand someone else would pick up a good hand and my hand would stand up.

i made a TERRIBLE call just after the break when I called TWO all-ins holding 77. The other two showed KK and 99. D'oh! Somehow I managed to hit quads on the flop and knocked the two out! My reasoning was I was already in for 1K, and it was only another 2K out of my stack of 9K. Still, looking back I think it was terrible play on my part. Ah well!

Nothing much happened until we were down to 18. I had been move next to Tom from Antesup.com. I won a big pot with KK vs AK on a J high flop. Nothing much for a while until I pick up aces in late position. I limp in hoping for a raise, which I duly get. An all in no less! Now at this stage I'm sitting on about 22K. The other lad has just less. Its folded around to Tom who thinks about it for a full 5 minutes before pushing. I was next to act and instantly pushed with the rockets. Tom knew instantly he was a bit screwed! There was nothing much else I was calling two all ins with! First player had KK and Tom showed AQ. A mistake I wouldn't usually expect from him but I think he realised this too and was pretty pissed off. Anyway, the aces held up and I'm now monster chip leader while Tom is down to just 1,500 with blinds at 1K/2K.

Anyway after an amazing comeback from Tom we're down to the final three. With blinds at 5K/10K and about 250K chips in play, there is an awful lot of stealing going on. I had planned on trying to confuse the lads with my betting, as I had shown a lot of big hands already at the final table. I managed to force a few laydowns, not least when I pushed Tom off A7 and showed 23! I think I managed to confuse them a few times, and Tom was a little frustrated at times, calling me a 'tricky f***er'!

Anyway, we swop chips for a while until I pick up 44. I'm chip leader and other lad went all in for about 1/2 my stack so I pushed to isolate and get Tom out. Unfortunately Tom had started getting hands and instantly called with AQ. The other lad had A6 and a Queen on the flop tripled Tom up and knocked the other lad out. Heads up and Tom had about a 3:1 chip lead. I doubled up after Tom pushed and I called with 910 on a 10 J 4 flop. He held Q6 and no queen or runner runner and I was ahead.

Then came the final hand. I had about 150K and Tom had just over 100K. I picked up J7 and decided to push and steal his 10K blind, which had worked up until then! Unfortunately for probably only the second time that night Tom actually had a hand. And horribly it was AJ. Not even two live cards! However lady luck again reared her head for me and a Jack on the turned ended Tom's unbelievable comeback!

A great night, which is made all the better knowing that 40% of my winnings went to charity. Karma Karma.......! Also Des should be happy enough after his tenner bet on me to last the longest earned him almost 200 euro!

Anyway, had a great night, put a few more names to faces, and won a few quid (sorry again Tom!), not to mention the glory! Unfortunately I've been in work this morning since 6am and with only 3 hours sleep, 5 0'clock seems a looong way away....

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'm drunk... and tired... and going... to bed... goodnight.
SSF charity game tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Busy week....

So I graduated from college yesterday. I am now Rory Cartwright BA! Went for the usual graduation piss up in Renards, but unfortunately I couldn't sample too much alcohol, as I started my new job today. Despite not getting home until 3am, I still manged to get into work feeling fresh this morning!

Job seems pretty good, very interesting and well paid. Only problem is I start at 6am two days a week so its really going to affect my poker playing. Ah well, I'll make up for it in Vegas next year!

Till next time,

Rory Cartwright BA.
Media Accounts Manager

(had to stick it in!)

Friday, December 02, 2005

All In Poker

Received an email from allinpoker today:

Dear Rory,
Your All In Poker earnings for the period 01 November 2005 to 30 November 2005 totalling USD 0.32 have been credited to your All In Poker account.

I signed up to this a while back, but as my credit card hasn't come through yet, I didn't think I would be making any money yet. To be honest I wasn't sure how the whole thing worked! However, my $0.32 profit speaks for itself! Haha, really though I think once I get the credit card this should increase! I like the idea that you get 51% rakeback, and you can make money from your downline etc.

Anyway, the site seems pretty good overall, and the 51% rakeback and regular $1000 freerolls is a pretty good incentive to join! I've persuaded a few friends to join my downline, and their off to tell their friends about it, to join aswell! Could be a good business venture for a few extra euros here and there, and it has good potential.

So anyone interested in joining All In Poker just click on the link on the right, and have a look for yourselves. Its free to join so if you don't like it just unregister.

Ok thats enough pimping for today!

Car Trouble.....

How bout a non-poker post for a change?

Was out with a few of the lads tonight, and decided to drive up to Howth summit to chill out for a while (lovely view and all that!). Anyway, as we're going to leave, the fcuking car wont start! So out I pop to check oil, etc, but can't seem to figure out why it won't start.

So over come these two lads to give us a hand, and one of them turns out to be a mechanic. He explains that either the battery is dead or the oil has gone. Now I don't know much about cars, (key goes in, car turns on...), but I know to take care of them and check the oil, brake fluid etc. regularly. Anyway, the lads push the car down the hill to see if I can start it while the cars in motion, but that didn't help, so we had to ring a friend to come up with oil, and a tow lead.

So after an HOUR he arrived and and towed me down to Sutton village (about a mile), where we found someone with jump cables to try and jump start it, which thankfully worked!

Finally arrived back home, but christ, so much fcuking effort! Gonna have to bring it in and get it serviced tomorrow. Its been acting a bit strangely the last few weeks. Stupid thing is I was due to book it in this week for a service! D'OH!

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