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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

WSOP feeder...

First update in a week, mainly due to the fact that I havent had anything to write about... Although some people find my bitching about bad beats funny, I think for the most part its just comes across as being a moany ---- :) So... enough of that for a while then!

I think my earlier post on poker being 'rigged' caused a bit of a stir on boards, or at least added to it. Its interesting that so many players, even good players are still a little concerned about how honest online poker really is. Most people that are playing long enough (me included), don't think that the companies themselves are actively cheating its customers, as they have to move to lose by damaging their reputation.

(However, I do think online is totally different to live. Whether it is the RnG, worse standard of players, more hands, whatever... something is stopping me from making any sort of a consistent profit online, which is why I lose the head so often!)

Although most players don't think online companies are cheating them, it would be silly to think that they cant do it. Also, it would be naive to think there is no cheating online, either player to player collusion, or the new type of cheating, playing with 'bots'. Nicky on boards posted a link to a thread from 2+2 about bots playing at the €20 and €30 STT's. Apparently these were easy to spot, and many posters started to make a list of the 'bots' they had spotted. Party's response was pathetic IMO. The boards thread is here and the 2+2 is here.

Anyway, enough of the conspiracy theories! It would be nice to have a report of a game or two, but other than the WSOP on Sunday theres nothing to report. I got 57th in this out of 300 or so players. $10 freezeout with a winner takes all ticket to the WSOP worth $12,500. Great value ($9500 overlay), but not worth sitting back for. Play to win, or don't bother at all! I had a great start, doubling up a few hands in, and soon worked up to over 8K at the break. Unfortunately I went card dead after the break and couldnt mount any chance to get anywhere.

Amazingly, the lad I was bitching about a while back, 'Deasun', was chip leader for most of it. I never usually publicly badmouth another player, but this lad epitomises everything I hate about online poker players. He's absolutely rubbish, and I mean I don't think he even fully understands the hand rankings yet... He is incredibly lucky, consistently. EVERY time I have played him he has sucked out big time over and over again. Now I wouldn't begrudge a bad player just for being lucky, but this guys attitude is what gets me...

Any time he sucks out on people, he insists on telling people where they went wrong, and he constantly quotes random odds as if he knows what he is talking about... He is convinced that a pair of sevens is 50/50 vs A5 preflop. He will call an all in with any ace, convinced that even if he is up againsty KK or QQ or AK he is '50/50'... He will push any flush/straight draw, no matter what, cannot drop AK post flop, etc, etc...

Now most of the time, this is what you want (well not me, but most online players). But when a player like this consistently sucks out on you with bad play, then preaches to you about where you went wrong, this can be annoying. Especially to a TILT monster like myself...

Anyway, while I was playing this, I was following the other boardies progress in the same tourney, on boards. Everybody that ran into Deasun just kept on getting sucked out! It was sick to watch and I was thankful I wasn't at his table...

Anyway, my tourney was pretty uneventful after the break until I got knocked out, and I left to pick up a friend. When I got back I was sick to find out 'Deasun' was chip leader with 5 left.... aghghh! If he wins this...

Now I don't want to seem spiteful, but he is just such an arrogant w**ker to play against, there is no way he deserved a ticket to the WSOP... All the same I didn't want to be an arsehole abusing him in the chatbox so me and my friend just watched the table.

Reading boards it appears he sucked out big-time on a lot of people to get that far, Thankfully, justice was served and he got knocked out in 3rd... The final two, 'AceAceAce' and 'BabyDod12' had a good heads up bout, before BabyDod12 took it down. €12500 for first, $0 for second. Now THATS a bubble!

Im not sure if a deal was done, but thats some hit to take. Especially as 'AceAceAce' had a 3:1 chip lead going into heads up. Unfortunately he ran pocket 88 into the bullets. ul, wp, etc

Thats pretty much the only game I've played this week, although I'm thinking of heading out to the regency tonight for the €100 freezout. Ive only played this once, and got third, so maybe its good luck. I might see if I can get in cheap again like last time. Ill see if the lads on boards will be up for an STT beforehand!

Hopefully I'll be posting tomorrow about a nice win...

Also, Ive created an excel sheet of my progress over the last six months. Overall Im up almost €5K live, although I'm still running at a loss online. No surprise there then!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Proof at last...

Im about halfway through one of the new books i bought... came across an interesting few lines...

This is from "Dirty Poker", written by infamous casino cheater 'Richard Marcus'. He talks a bit about how you get cheated online by both the other players (through collusion) and the card rooms themselves.

"Lets take a look at how the actual games offered by every online poker site work. They use random number generators (RNGs) to 'shuffle and deal' the cards. In principle, unless they are crooked or contain bugs, computer shuffles are closer to being completely random than shuffles in a live action game. This is true because no cardroom dealer performs a totally random shuffle. He cannot obtain that result because he is human and often might just rush the shuffle to the point he is doing nothing more than riffling through the deck, leaving clumps of cards throughout.

However, there can be bugs in the shuffling algorithms. A few years back, a team of computer programmers from Silicon Valley moonlighting as card cheats discovered a means of calculating the precise order of cards in decks shuffled by algorithms used by multiple online cardrooms. Their discovery was hushed, but the fact was that with the application of this knowledge, the cheats knew in advance the hand of each player at the table as well as the future cards to be dealt; either to the players individually in stud games or on board in Hold'em and Omaha games.

The flaw in the algorithm was that the starting point used for the RNG was the number of milliseconds since midnight according to the systems clock. All the Silicon Valley geeks had to do to compromise the RNG was synchronize their programme with the system clock. Online cardrooms today insist it is no longer possible to crack their shuffling algorithms, but I wouldn't want to bet my case money on what they say.

If RNGs are truly random, then over millions of hands we should see a distribution of deals, flops turns and rivers no different than live poker. But I have heard from many sources in the know that RNG's randomness may not be 100% random. A computer whizz I know has run his own programmes to keep track of what goes on in internet poker. He chose one particular major site and tracked a million hands of Texas Hold'em. What he found, somewhat to his shock as he professed it to me, was that the RNGs seemed to be skewed to put more pairs on board and create more flush draws. Although such machination is not directly cheating its playing customers, it certainly can be concluded that biased RNGs benefit the site immensely".

"How? The obvious explanation is that they create more action. When you have an inordinate number of flush draws, you keep more players looking to catch a flush in the pot. Same thing with pairs on the board. They open up possibilities of sets and full houses. Again, more players exhibiting more staying power creates a lot more action. The end result is the creation of bigger pots, which in turn attracts more players to the site increasing its revenues through table rakes of more games. Do I personally believe this is still happening on the major sites?

You bet. Even if the RNGs are skewed by just a tiny amount, lets just say a fraction of a percent, that irregularity will generate millions of dollars of additional revenue for the site over a long period of time".

I wouldn't call this proof by a long shot, but I'm surprised that this sort of an experiment hasn't been done before. We're investing so much money into these online cardrooms, with absolutely no guarantee that we will get a fair game.
If ever there was a book to get you paranoid, this is it...

He goes on to attack all the common replies people who think they are being cheated get...

"You get all the nonbelievers who tell you stuff like "you get wiped out online because your never concentrating totally while playing", or maybe your playing too many games at once... "

Utter crap, as I knew already. I'm so sick of people spouting these reasons for why I can't make money online. I play well, I get my money in ahead, and I lose to bad players making bad moves and getting lucky.

As I am writing this, I am as usual getting horribly robbed over and over and over again...this one is all in preflop.

Why do I bother...the most annoying thing is the big 5 second pause before the river burns you. What is that all about? How do you cope with sooooo many bad beats...

Hopefully someone will do a study on this soon, and perhaps prove once and for all that online poker is utter crap...

The day online poker is banned will be the happiest of my life!

In other news, Ive been chat banned from PPP for a week for obvious reasons...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What a day...

As per the title...

Got home from work there, and as I do every other day, I jumped onto PPP. I noticed the $20 4 table freezeout was starting. This is a new game on PPP and it seems to be the exact game I'm looking for. Decent buy in and won't last till 2 or 3 in the morning!

I played this last night aswell, and was unlucky to get knocked out when my JJ was cracked by J 10d. He runner runner flushed me, but it was probably my own fault. I doubled him up a few hands previously after he made a terrible call on a rag flop with AQ and rivered an ace to crack my kings. I gave him a bit of abuse in the chat box and goaded him into calling for all his chips with J 10. Unfortunately I forgot I was online...

Anyway, back to tonights game. I had made a great start and was table chip leader soon enough. Willzer was at the table too. I was sitting in an STT at the same time and I was CL with 4 left, when suddenly the door flew open and in runs my friend to say he's smacked his car into a kerb around the corner from my house and needs a hand moving it!

I give my laptop to my bro, and ask him to play on (he doesn't play much poker but he knows the basics!). I run out to sort out his car and arrive back a while later to find my bro on the final table of the $20 game (only 3 tables started). He hands it over to me and he's doing nicely, 2nd in chips with 7 left. Top 4 get paid with $147 for 1st, so Im sitting pretty. He warns me about the chip leader 'Deasun' who apparently kept on sucking out on people, ill have to ask Will how bad he was!

I noticed I was out of the STT, to which my bro informed me he got QQ cracked by 33 all in preflop, and he rivered the 3. Yep thats online bro... So unlucky to bubble the STT, still going strong in the MTT...

Or so I thought. I called a shortstacks all in with A9s, to which Deasun also called. Checked to the river and I find that my A9 has been cracked by shortys Q9 with not one, but two queens on the flop...

Ah well still got 6K, average is about 5K. Donkey 'Deasun' is still CL, just about when I pick up AA (I know..). I just knew it was going to go pear shaped, so when Deasun raised it up to 600, I made it 1600 (I HAVE ACES OK!). The flop came 8 9 10, I pushed to scare out the donkey... he called in a shot with KJ offsuit. Not only did he hit one queen, he hit two of them.... what do you do? Will went on to get 3rd so fair play... somehow the donkey didn't even win it, he got 4th after having half the chips in play when I left! if anyone sees him online tell him I'm going to eat his children...

Slightly annoyed now, I take a break an drop my friend home, as he had to 'abandon' his car in my place until he can get it fixed. I returned with a fresh head waiting for all the positive variance to come my way!

I sat into a 50c/$1 game with $30 and soon had it up to $50, when this happened... I hate posting up hand histories but for some reason I couldnt get a screenshot. Did I play this badly? I actually thought when he called he must have trips... but no...its online...

[May 18 19:54:27] : Hand Start.
[May 18 19:54:27] : Seat 1 : iharding has $100
[May 18 19:54:27] : Seat 2 : roryc has $48.83
[May 18 19:54:27] : Seat 3 : pokerjo90 has $52
[May 18 19:54:27] : Seat 4 : stop'n'go has $161.25
[May 18 19:54:27] : Seat 5 : and then he has $197.13
[May 18 19:54:27] : Seat 6 : AtoMcPlaboy has $7.50
[May 18 19:54:27] : and then he is the dealer.
[May 18 19:54:27] : AtoMcPlaboy posted small blind.
[May 18 19:54:28] : iharding posted big blind.
[May 18 19:54:28] : Game [56082] started with 6 players.
[May 18 19:54:28] : Dealing Hole Cards.

[May 18 19:54:28] : Seat 2 : roryc has Ah 9h
[May 18 19:54:38] : roryc called $1
[May 18 19:54:43] : pokerjo90 called $1
[May 18 19:54:45] : stop'n'go called $1
[May 18 19:54:46] : and then he folded.
[May 18 19:54:51] : AtoMcPlaboy called $0.50
[May 18 19:54:52] : iharding checked.

[May 18 19:54:52] : Dealing flop.
[May 18 19:54:52] : Board cards [6c 9d 3h]

[May 18 19:54:54] : AtoMcPlaboy checked.
[May 18 19:54:57] : iharding checked.
[May 18 19:55:02] : roryc bet $4
[May 18 19:55:05] : pokerjo90 called $4
[May 18 19:55:09] : stop'n'go called $4 and raised $4
[May 18 19:55:09] : AtoMcPlaboy folded.
[May 18 19:55:10] : iharding folded.
[May 18 19:55:14] : roryc called $4
[May 18 19:55:19] : pokerjo90 called $4

[May 18 19:55:19] : Dealing turn.
[May 18 19:55:19] : Board cards [6c 9d 3h Ad]

[May 18 19:55:21] : roryc checked.
[May 18 19:55:28] : pokerjo90 bet $8
[May 18 19:55:40] : stop'n'go folded.
[May 18 19:55:44] : roryc called $8 and raised $31.83 and is All-in
[May 18 19:55:49] : pokerjo90 called $31.83

[May 18 19:55:49] : Showdown!

[May 18 19:55:49] : Seat 2 : roryc has Ah 9h
[May 18 19:55:51] : Seat 2 : roryc has Ah 9h

[May 18 19:55:51] : Seat 3 : pokerjo90 has Qc As

[May 18 19:55:56] : Board cards [6c 9d 3h Ad Qd]

[May 18 19:55:56] : Seat 2 : roryc has Ah 9h
[May 18 19:55:56] : roryc has Two Pair: Aces and 9s
[May 18 19:55:56] : Seat 3 : pokerjo90 has Qc As
[May 18 19:55:56] : pokerjo90 has Two Pair: Aces and Queens
[May 18 19:55:56] : pokerjo90 wins $105.66 with Two Pair: Aces and Queens
[May 18 19:56:02] : stop'n'go : i had Q9!!
[May 18 19:56:03] : roryc : ???

A9 vs AQ vs Q9... I can't ask for much more coming up to the river than that! Theres only two cards in the whole deck that can cripple me, and of course, one pops out! You have to question the skill level of these players. I mean, stop 'n' go min raised my flop bet with top pair queen kicker. pokerjo called the bet AND the raise with AQ, no draw, just ace high...

When I did hit my hand on the turn I check raised him, knowing from earlier play that he is not good enough to spot that this obviously signifies a monster. I got all his chips in, exactly as I wanted, and of course he hits! It is absolutely sickening! I have now played sixteen pots of over $100 on Paddy Power, and I have won zero... thats right, still never won a pot of over $100 online. I have gone into 14 of them a mile ahead, the other two being AA vs KK. How can you be robbed so much EVERY time? Its ridiculous!!

As if losing the $100+ pot on two outer wasn't bad enough, I had joined the $30 4 table freezeout on PPP. Was only playing a few hands and had built up to about 2500, when I picked up the monster that is Q7. I flop came Q7A, and when another Queen came on the turn I was sitting there thinking "finally... ill recoup my losses!"...emm nope! I got the chip leaders money in on the turn, he flipped A7... not another two outer...

[May 18 20:09:57] : Board cards [Qs 7d Ah Qd Ac]
[May 18 20:09:57] : Seat 6 : angelsight has 7c Ad
[May 18 20:09:57] : angelsight has Full House : Aces full of Queens
[May 18 20:09:57] : Seat 8 : roryc has 7h Qh
[May 18 20:09:57] : roryc has Full House : Queens full of Aces
[May 18 20:09:57] : angelsight wins 5,000 with Full House : Aces full of Queens
[May 18 20:10:06] : Hand is over.

Fair enough I was behind up until the turn but ffs...

I give up... no matter how hard you look at it, its never ever going to be poker...

Current BR $0

Anyway enough of that bad beat moaning, I picked up a few books during the week with my winnings from the Anglers game. I have both of Mike Caro's books already (signed of course!), but to join them i now have...

Hold 'em Poker by Sklansky
Harrington on Hold 'em by Dan Harrington
Bad Beats and Lucky Draws by Phil Helmuth (I know...)
Dirty Poker by Richard Marcus
Breaking Vegas by Ben Mezrich

I hope to use the first two to improve my game, the last three are just for a good read!

good luck...and stay away from Paddy Power Poker!

EDIT: Looks like I'm not the only one who had a bad night at the tables... Paul and Ian are steaming aswell!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another tourney... another cash

I was due to bring out a friend for a driving lesson last night, but when I was arsing about on boards.ie, I noticed that the Antesup lads were putting on a game in the Regency hotel. This isin't too far from me, but I was still a bit wary about forking out €115 for the game. I know I won €700 on Friday, but thta all went on paying off Thailand, so I didn't have too much spare cash knocking about.

Anyway, I wasn't going to head in until I heard that Mike was going to have a 'last longest' between any boardies that headed down. Once more than 5 lads off boards headed down, the player who lasted longest without making the money would win a €250 ticket into Mike's game in Drogheda. This was a nice bonus for the 'bubble', but I was still a bit wary about the hefty €115 entry fee. I would be happier if I could get a few people for a €20 STT beforehand, which would perhaps soften the blow. I posted up about the STT and got a few replies back in agreement, so I set up a game for 7pm. The main game started at 8pm so we had enough time to get a decent game beforehand... or so I thought! It was only myself and Ntlbell there at 7pm, the rest didn't arrive until about 7:30 so TURBO blinds! I'd only brought €40 with me so it was all or nothing!

At 8pm there was still 5 left so we had to double the blinds every two hands! CRAPSHOOT! Anyway, as it turned out we €220 in the pot (a few rebuys), so we agreed €100 for first and second and moneyback for third. Anyway, an uneventful game. I sat back for a good bit, getting muck, then doubled up on aces and sat back again. I managed to split it with Gecko so we both got €100. I paid the €15 reg fee and sat straight into the tourney. At least the tourney only cost me €35 so I wouldn't be too annoyed if I got knocked out.

So... on to the game. Crazy game altogether. A night of absolutely rubbish cards but beautiful rivers! For the first few hours my best hand was 22 and I had only seen three aces. I just couldn't pick up a premium hand to get me going. I started off sandwidged betweet Ehsan (Gholimoli) and White Knight. Ehsan is a great online player, and regularly make Final Tables of the big games. Ive only played with White Knight once or twice before in the BSOP, and he seems a handy enough TAG player.

Anyway, I had planned to stay of of pots with these two as much as possible... there was a much easier ways to build a stack! The standard at the rest of the table wasn't up to much, so hopefully I could pick up a few hands and clean up. Unfortunately I just couldn't pick up a playable hand, and anytime I limped I never hit a flop. Instead of playing loose and trying to force the play I decided to sit back and wait for a hand. The blinds were small and the stacks were deep (5K starting) so there was no rush.

Eventually at the 50/100 level I picked up A9s in the BB, and flat called. It was myself, Ehsan (SB) and another lad who had played a lot of pots with mediocre hands. The flop came A 4 10 rainbow, and when Ehsan checked I threw out a small bet to get some info on the other lad. I was pretty sure Ehsan had muck. The other lad called an Ehsan folded. The turn brought another ace and I had been watching him when it came out and by the looks of it he had hit. I checked and he checked behind, hoping for the board to pair on the river or a 9 to give me the house.

The river came a 7, so I now had A A A 10 9. I felt like he wanted to bet, so I planned a check raise. I checked and he bet 500, into a pot of about 700. I raised it up to 1700, wary that if he pushed I may have to fold. I felt he had ace rag, but if he'd made a house or had a kicker higher than 9 I was in trouble. I didn't think he had the house as he didn't look like he had hit the turn or river, and I don't think he flopped it. Also, if he had a kicker higher than mine it would be AK, AQ, or AJ, which I think he would have raised preflop with. So I actually thought we either both had A9 or he had a worse kicker. A risky move, but I needed to accumulate chips. He flat called the raise and flipped over A5 so my 9 played and I raked in a 4K pot.

I knocked another lad out a while later when I called an all in on the turn with Ad7c on a
5d 7d 10c 2d board. I was pot committed and would still have 3K left if i lost. I hit the flush on the river and beat the other lads 6d 8d. He'd turned the smaller flush, which I figured he had but I wasn't happy knowing 2 outs to the flush were gone as they would make him a straight flush!

No other hands until we broke to two tables. I was still card dead and sitting on around 6K. I picked up AK and raised it up to 2K. One caller and I raised an ace high flop and took it down. Up to a high of 9K I pissed away half of it on a silly play. I was still card dead, and dying to pick up a hand, when I looked down at AQ. I again raised it up to 2K, and the same lad called. The flop came Jack high, and I felt I could take him off with the same raise as last time. I raised 2K and he instantly went all in. I couldn't see how I was ahead so I folded, losing over 4K. He later told me he had Q9. Well played, my raise must have stunk of a missed AK, AQ. Stooopid play by me, throwing in 2K when it had been checked to me. Ah well...

Ehsan made a great call at this table to knock Mike out, calling an all-in river bet with A8 on a dangerous King high board with 3 clubs. Very good call.

I was moved to table one when we got down to 11, and looked down at 99 first hand. Best hand of the night so far, and with only 4K and blinds at 300/600 I had to move. Luckily no callers and Im up to over 5K. I don't pick up another playable hand and sat back until we broke for the final table.

I had 3400 going on to the final table, with the blinds at 500/1K. I needed a hand to move on and fast! UTG I look down to see an Ace. Ready to push on any decent kicker I'm sickened when the dealer accidentally flips my second card, exposing a second ace! ugh... what a time for a dealer f**k up! Ah well, I can't blame him, it was an easy mistake, just unlucky that it happened then. My second kicker turned out to be a 4 so I had to fold...

The blinds passed over me and I couldn't make a move with my blind hands (23, 35), which were both raised, so now I was on 1900, with the blinds moved up to 700/1500. Still more than 1xBB! I waited for any hand to push on, and amazingly I looked down at 92 4 hands in a row! The odds on that are the same as hitting AK 4 times in a row, but I cant remember that ever happening! Finally I picked up the monster that is 10 5 soooted, and pushed. Ehsan raised it up for protection, but unfortunately was called by the only woman that was playing last night. As it turned out he had A7 and she had KK. A 5 on the flop and a 10 on the river tripled me up to 5700 + 1500 blinds. Over 7K so a nice pot to win with 10 5!

I doubled up again soon after when I rivered a flush and grinded my way up to 20K with a few steals. Down to 6 and top four got paid so now we were on the real bubble! If I got knocked out in 6th and White Knight or Ehsan went out in 5th they would win the Drogheda ticket. It was for whoever lasted longest WITHOUT making the money.

Anyway, I picked up 99 in the BB (blinds 1500/3K), and Ehsan raised it up to 10K. he had about 40K altogether, and I felt it was probably a race so I pushed. He called and were looking at a race for 42K with my 99 vs his AQ. An ace on the flop had me sunk, but the magic 9 on the turn saved me! Ehsan went out soon after in 5th in a four way pot which White Knight won. He got a ticket to Drogheda for his troubles, but I think he already had one...

Down to 4 and we were now in the money. 4th = €200, 3rd = €400, 2nd €700, 1st €1400. We knocked out the shortstack and it was now myself, White Knight and the other lad. I doubled up off the other lad with KJ vs K10, and now had the chip lead. Unfortunately my luck ended and I ran into a luckier player in the shape of White Knight! he had already had AA, flopped a poker and sucked out with a 6 outer on the river earlier on, and continued his rampage on our table!

He had quadrupled up earlier on after his AJ hit trips on the flop, and had a decent enough stack. I doubled him up when I called his all in with JQ thinking he had a low pair. I was willing to race, and as expected he had 99. The flop came a juicy 10 K 4 with two clubs. The turn came a third club, and I had the Qc, but somehow missed my 18 outs on the river. I now proposed taking €100 off first and making 3rd €500, as we were all even stacked. The other two agreed.

A few hands later I pushed with 66 and White Knight made a risky call with A8. I'm thinking he did this based on my earlier loose play. Anyway he spiked an 8 on the turn and out I went in 3rd for €500. Not bad off €35! White Knight went on to win it. Well played.

So thats a profit of €1200 this week ($1545 for all you Americans!). Hopefully I can keep it up!

good luck

Monday, May 15, 2006

Anglers Rest €50 Freezeout

Ive only played in the Anglers once before, in the team event, but when I heard that this was to be the last game, I said I'd venture out and give it a go. I'd been successful the last time, bagging first, so hopefully I could keep up the 100% record!

I wasn't sure how long it would take to get through town with the traffic, so I gave myself an hour to get there, which unfortunately turned out to be a bit pessimistic! I arrived at about quarter to seven, and as I was the first one there i offered to help Nick setting up. Eventually people started arriving and I spotted a few lads off boards knocking about. I thought there would be a good few lads from boards heading in, because it was the last one, but it turns out that only myself, ntlbell, Scotty and Culchie made it down.

We had a bit of time to kill so we had a few games of pool before registering. I had a look around before registering, and by the looks of it the standard was pretty similar to the last time I played. I recognised a few faces from the last time too... mostly drunken pub player type. I felt that it wasn't going to be too difficult to do well, once I avoided bad beats and brainfarts on my part (i.e trying to bluff a player that will call to the end with bottom pair...).

I joined the queue to register and saw that ntlbell was just behind me. Noticing that we had a fairly decent chance of doing well, I joked to him "wanna do a deal when we get to heads up?"... haha... little did I know how true my prediction would be :)

Anyway, I think we started the tournament with 54 player, so I figured top prize would be between €900-€1200. We had a decent starting stack of 4400 and a nice blind structure so I was looking forward to a good game.

I didn't play a hand for the few while, trying to get a feel for the table. It didn't take long to realise basically everyone's play, something I could never do so fast in a bigger game. It was as if each player was dying to get across exactly what type of player they were. There were two super tight players, two very loose-aggressive lads, and the rest looked like they would play basic abc poker, only playing decent hands, chasing draws etc.

Lovely, I should be able to use this... I sat back not wanting to get involved in any pots where I could get outdrawn and criplle myself early on... My plan was to wait for a monster and slowwwww play! I had built up my stack to about 6K from reraising people when I felt they weren't that strong, but hadn't shown a hand yet.

Then along came my flight...American Airlines 101... aces baby! With the blinds at 50/100, I raised it up to 300 to scare out any limpers. As I'd hoped I got two callers. One tight player and one LAG. I felt the tight player was on either a good ace or a medium pair. I think he would fold anything worse and raise with anything better. The other lad could have anything!

Anyway, the flop came a beautiful A93 rainbow. I was first to act, and quickly checked acting as if I'd missed totally. LAG looked as if he was going to raise, then checked behind me. The tight player then quickly checked too. The turn brought another 9, so now I was praying that one of them had hit. I had been watching LAG when the turn came out, and I saw his eyes dart back and forth between the flop and his left card.... got a nine then?

I decided to try the old double bluff, and represent the nine. I bet out 500, which LAG called after a while, trying his hardest to pretend he had none of it. The tight player got out of there and we were heads up. I was hoping he'd hit his kicker on the river for a lower house, but somehow the river came up the fourth ace! Ugh... if there's anytime I want to hit quads now isin't it! He was clearly scared by the river, and I felt if I checked he would check behind, so I did the only move I thought could get him in... a push. I put on a big act as if I was trying to scare him out of the pot, but eventually he announces "hey everyone here comes the fold of the tournament.. I'm folding a full house! Ohh your lucky you caught that river son".

He grins as if its the best fold anyone's ever seen, when in fact it is an easy fold on a double paired board. Anyway, just to shut him up, I showed the four aces to show that he in fact "caught the river". He wouldn't stop going on about how good a fold that was for the next two hours. Not a great player... somehow he got 3rd :( Also, I won the 'top hand' prize for this, so I got €30 (which I forget to collect!).

So I was motoring along nicely now, and picking up a steady string of premium hands, which is exactly what is needed against this standard of players. It is mostly about playing your big hands well. I had only been showing big hands and tried to work off this image and start stealing a few pots with muck. I picked up 92c and when a few shortstacks limped in, I pushed. Unfortunately table image isint something most of these people think about and I was called in a shot by a pair of threes. No help and I've lost a little chunk of my stack. Ah well, he had the better hand, I just felt that my table image counted for something... not here obviously! So no more stealing with muck!

Just before the break, I had to make a tough decision. The super tight player at the table, min-raised preflop. This was the first time all night he had raised preflop, and only about the fifth or sixth hand he'd played, so i knew he had a premium hand. Anyway, I called with Q4 spades, just to see if i could catch a flop. The flop came Ks Jh 4h, so not a great flop for me, but there are possibilities of making a hand. Its checked around to me so I get to see a free turn card. The turn brings the 5s and the tight lad leads for a decent bet. Its folded to me and I reckon he either has trip fives or Ax spades.

The turn came the 9s, so I'd made my flush, but there was a good chance that I was beat. He led out for 300 into a pot of about 1500, and I thought long and hard about raising. He had about 6K, and I had about 15K so now was a great chance to get ahead. I went over the hand a few times, and felt that my read was probably right based on how tight he had been up until now. If he had trip fives I wouldn't be too annoyed, as I felt he could have either. So I flat called, and announced King high flush, I think I'm behind so i'm not raising. I took a guess at his kicker, figuring it was probably high if he raised preflop, and said "go on turn over your A10 spades". He looked shocked and turned over that exact hand!

I could tell the rest of the table was impressed by this, so I hoped I could take advantage of this later on. In fairness it wasn't all that great a play, and I 'm sure most decent players off boards would have done the same. The fact of the matter is I'm pretty sure I would almost never be able to fold this in a bigger live game, and definitely not online! This lad was just easy enough to read, and there wasn't an awful lot on the line if I was wrong.

I looked around at the break, and I was in the top 3 stacks on about 14K. Ntlbell was doing ok and Scotty was about average I think. Culchie didn't seem to be getting the cards and was struggling on just under 2K.

Im at about 14K at the break, which was well above average. After the break I continued on where I had left off, chipping away and building my stack. We broke down to three tables and Scotty was moved to my tabled. I was sitting on about 25K. I picked up AQs and when Scotty pushed for about 17K I was left with a decision. I havent played with him too much, but from what I knew I figured it was a race at best. I should have folded but instead I donked off most of my stack to him... total brainfart... He had 99 which held up and I was down to 8K. I played my shortstack very aggressively and somehow built up to over 60K soon enough!

It took a while to break for the final table and we were sitting on 10 players for a good while. I had fallen to about 55K at this stage, but was still up there with the chip leaders. It was taking a while to lose the bubble, but finally we broke for the FT and I had bang on 50K.

I drew seat one for the FT, and Ntlbell again joked about us doing a deal once we got heads up! He only had about 20K, so he needed to do a bit of work to get far. And that he did! I think he went all in the first 6 or 7 hands in a row! Most of the times he was taking the blinds, but at 3K/6K that was a nice steal! Finally Scotty decided to call him with A7. I think he was BB, and shortstacked. Unfortunately for him Ntl had pocket tens and knocked him ou in 9th.

I was totally card dead on the FT and just sat back waiting for a hand while ntl took out players. When we were down to 6, I called an all in with A4 when in was my BB. The blinds were 3/6 and it was only an extra 5K. The small blind called too, so there was a decent pot of over 30K. The flop came QJJ. SB checked, I checked. Turn came a 4. Now I had a decision. I only had about 30K, and the SB had me covered. I bet out 8K into a dry sidepot, which he flat called. The river came a J, the SB checked, and as i didn't want to commit myself, I checked aswell.

My house of Jacks over fours won and I raked in the 50K pot. I was back in business now and we were down to 5. A while later Ntlbell got nice and lucky when his A9 cracked A10 and i think a pair of sevens. It was a good call, and he was unlucky that his ace was dominated, but I was just happy that he knocked out the other two players!

Down to three and it was myself, ntl and the lad from earlier who reckoned folding a house is such an amazing fold. He kept on saying "im lucky i got this far, if i didn't make such an amazing fold earlier on i'd be gone..." etc, etc. Ntl was huge chip leader, but I got a bit back raising his BB every round. Finally the other guy decides to push and I decide to call with K3. It was about half my stack but he made it clear he didnt want a caller, and true enough i had his 10 3 dominated. No bad beat and we're heads up.

We took a little break and for the first time actually discussed a deal. We both agreed there wasn't enough in it to warrant a deal and we'd play on for the glory. I had a 100% record on the line ffs!

We started back and ntl had about a 3:2 chip lead so there wasn't much in it. I soon took the lead with some aggressive play, but ntl soon started playing the same. I then went card dead again, and had about 6 or 7 hands in a row where I got absolute crap. With the blinds at 7K/15K I couldnt sit back and wait for a hand. I was looking for a hand to make a move, but just couldnt find it. Ntl on the other hand was getting hit in the face with the deck. Aces twice, AK, AJ etc.

I finally picked up 37c and tried to raise to pick up the blinds. He flat called and I needed to hit the flop. Flop came K22, and I bet out hoping to represent the King. He flat called again, and I now had half my stack in the middle. The turn came a blank and we both checked. The river came a queen and I saw him glance at his cards. I felt he had hit the queen and the only way I was scaring him out was to represent the King. I pushed, and he called in a shot with KQ. D'oh!

Ah well. Well played ntl, the cards went your way towards the end, and I made the wrong move at the wrong time!

Still €700. Not bad for a day's work, although I'm annoyed i didn't retain my title! I got the holiday paid off, and I'm happy with how I played, so its all good! I withdrew another €300 from the online account, because I've had a lot of bad beats the last two days, and I think my run of 'no bad luck' is coming to an end! Ah well, i dont take online too seriously, and I'm chuffed I actually made a profit the last few weeks.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

100 days till Paradise...

Booked my holiday there at the weekend. Three weeks in paradise... or Thailand as its also known! I had been planning on heading over to Vegas for the WSOP, but unless I win a ticket that doesn't look likely... Next year...

Anyway, so I'm heading over to Bangkok on the 19th August... exactly 100 days from today. We havent really sorted out a plan yet, but it looks like we'll stay in Bangkok for a few days, then probably travel down to Phuket and Phi Phi and hopefully hit Koh Samui if we can. We should be able to fit a full-moon party in there somewhere too!

On the poker front, im still grinding out a good profit from $15 and $25 STT's and 50c/$1 cash. I'm still buying in short to the cash tables, but I plan to start buying in for the max $100 soon enough. I'm up over the $500 mark so I can afford to lose a buy-in or two now.

Im very happy with how online is going this week. Ive been getting the odd bad beat, but luckily they are coming when I can afford to lose chips. I've been having a great run in the $15 STT's, and I reckon thats where most of my profit has come from. I'm tempted to withdraw a good proportion of my money, for fear of losing it, but thats what I've always done in the past. I'm going to end up reloading anyway, so why not just keep this going and see how long it lasts!

Current BR: $542

Days until Thailand: 100

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I've started keeping an excel spreadsheet of my results year to date, and tbh, I'm pretty surprised at the results! I knew I wasn't making much online, but I was shocked to find that my profits for the ytd totalled.....-€78! I've been going up and down like a yo-yo, and when I counted all my lodgements and withdrawals, it turns out that Ive got a total loss of -€78!

Of course this doesn't include the tickets I've won, but Im still a little surprised. Since January I've lodged €978, and withdrawn €900. Ive been lodging €100's and €50's here and there, and withdrawing whenever I hit a few hundred. Most of my losses have come from bad beats in cash games, which is fair enough. I shouldn't be playing them if I dont have the BR to be able to handle the beats.

Ive never bothered with a proper bankroll, and I can see now why you really do need one. Now I'm not to bothered about this, because I only play a few hours a week, and wouldn't look at online as a major source of income.

My live income is looking a lot healthier. Ive played around 12 live games this year, for a total outlay of €335, ive got a return of €4,125. This is due to a few nice wins in the SE and the Team Event. Its a long way off the $10K I made last year, but I hope to play a few big live games this Summer so...

Anyway, I'm happy enough with how my live game is progressing, but I really need to sort out a proper plan for my online play. So with that in mind, I lodged €200 the other day to see how much I could build it up to. I wasn't willing to lodge more than that, so it was looking like I would be buying in short to cash games. Obviously not a good idea, but hopefully I would build up to a decent BR soon enough.

I was playing $15 and $20 STT's and 50c/$1 and $1/$2 cash games. I was making a nice profit until I had a nasty beat on the 50c/$1. I had bought in for $50, and worked this up to just over $300. There was one luckbox at the table who had cleaned out a few players and was sitting on about $350. I was happy enough with how I was playing, and overall the standard wasn't great.

I lost a few pots by giving to much credit to my opponents, when the best play I find is just to wait for good hands. I only bluff when it is very obvious that the players have missed a draw. I have found that 50c/$1 and $1/$2 is very beatable, although I ahave only played for a few days, so its not much to go on.

Anyway back to the hand. We were 3 handed, and I picked up AA (lol yes its one of those...), and raised it up to $20. Super loose player flat calls which could mean anything. We see a flop of 2 4 6. Im thinking of raising to $50 or so, but this player is so loose that I think he is bad enough to call a push if he has hit any of the flop. I know its risky and its not exactly a cash game move, but I'm too used to tournament play... so I push.... for an extra $300 into a $40 pot!

Now i know this is probably bad cash game play, but tbh i was happy with the $40 and didn't want to get outdrawn.

Anyway, he called in a flash with K6. The rest of the is irrelevant, as all bad beats are, but I'm still unsure as to whether it was a silly play. I just wanted the $40 in the middle, and knew that if he did call (which I knew he might) I was probably ahead.

So $667...almost. Obviously I was annoyed, moreso as he left straight after without giving me the chance to win it back! The money would have been nice to start a bankroll with but unfortunately thems the beats...

Anyway, a few more bad games and I'm down to $100, but Ive since worked this up to just over $300, playing cash games and STT's. Hopefully I will work this up a bit more, and maybe have a crack at $2/$4 in a few months. I think I could give it a shot now, but it would be silly to jump levels so fast.

I havent played much MTT's, other than the odd $8 and $10 game. One thing that has cost me a lot has been disconnects. Eircom is acting the bollix again today and I cant seem to last 10 minutes without disconnecting. I thought it was just me but it seems everyone I know that has Eircom Broadband is constantly having trouble with it. I don't mind the odd disconnect but when you have raised for $70 out of your $100 stack with KK, and then get disconnected and come back to find you have been raised out of the hand... it can be annoying.

Anyway, here's hoping I've a proper BR in the near future...

Current BR: $364

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

5 in a row? almost...

Finally, it seems as if this nasty run of luck has ended. Well I'm hoping so anyway! Looking back over the last few posts, I'm annoyed at how much of a moany f**cker I am when I'm on a bad run. It just really does my head in when I seem to be playing good poker, but I'm not getting any results.

Everyone gets bad beats, its a part of poker. It the TIMING of mine that really get to me. I can handle losing to a one outer at the start of a $3 MTT, or to a shortstack that cant really do any damage. But it seems that all my bad luck seems to be coming deep into a tourney, when I have a decent stack, and I run into a donkey with a mountain of chips. Most people love having these idiots at their table, because they can outplay them and take their chips.

I must be doing something wrong because anytime I seem to get involved with these people, I usually get it in with the best hand, but invariable the board kills me. I don't know whether I should just avoid clashing with these players or what, but clearly something has to change, because I seem to be getting knocked out of every tournament lately by players who I think I should be beating. Im getting the cards in ahead, and although sometimes I am just a marginal favourite, none of my hands seem to hold up. The most annoying was just missing out of the Drogheda feeder, when numerous times I should have taken a ticket. Ah well... I'm due a bit of variance now!

Anyway, the reason for the whole change in the tone of posts, is that the last few days I probably had my best sessions ever online. Not based on the amount of $$$ I made, but just by the fact that for the first time ever, I actually got to play some real poker.

I only had $8 in my PPP account, because I had lost my BR last week (only $100, as I had already withdrawn most of it). I had lost almost all of it in cash games, either getting sucked out or not being able to drop KK to AA (twice). I think I can beat the 50c/$1 and $1/$2 games, but I have to build a bankroll that can take these bad runs. Its not to difficult to make money playing ABC poker, and most times I sat down I would usually double or triple my buy-in before going bust on one big hand. AA vs KK lost me a few hundred, and I lost a $350 pot when I caught a straight on the turn and lost to the higher straight.

There was a few bad beats in there for $50+ pots, but for the most part the pattern was usually the same. I would slowly gather cash, until I was landed in a big pot with a tough decision. Invariably I lost basically every big pot, either through bad luck or running big hands into... bigger hands. Another thing was I was buying in short to these games. I know this isin't good as you should'maximise profits, not minimise losses'..etc... but I only had a small bankroll an wasn't willing to risk it all in one cash game. I usually built myself up to the max buy-in within an hour or so anyway. I also wasn't willing to drop down a level just so I had the max buy-in, because I couldn't seem to make a profit against the super-fish that swim at these levels.

This seems to be a big problem of mine. I play my best at the higher levels, but I dont have the bankroll for these. I don't have the bankroll to play these because I am not willing to invest much money in online play because I've had such bad experiences with it in the past.... hmm... going around in cirlces here! Something has to change...

Anyway, as I was saying, its Sunday night and I had $8 in my account. I wasn't planning on lodging any money until next week, as i'm pretty skint at the moment. Ive had a lot of expenses this month (new catalytic converter for the car, deposit for holiday in Thailand, tickets for Hi:Fi etc.), so I couldn't afford to throw any money into PPP until I got paid.

So I had $8 to work with... I jumped into a cash game and got this up to $11 soon enough, so I had enough for a $10 + $1 STT. I normally wouldn't play these, but I was in dire straights! Anyway, thankfully I won this and had about $40 to work with. I threw $25 + $2.50 into a $25 STT, and the rest into a cash game. I won the STT and got $112.50, but lost the $15 or so in the cash game. No surprise there then!

On a nice winning streak now, I decide to go all out and play a big game. Theres a $50 + $5 f/o MTT starting so I jump into that. This is the highest game Ive ever PAID into on PPP... which tbh is ridiculous. I just havent got the confidence online to fork out over $50, when I'd much prefer to go down to the $50 game in the Fitz/SE, and at least enjoy what I'm doing! But this will have to change if I want to actually make money online...

anyway, I was running nicely in the $50, and I saw that there was another f/o MTT starting, $20 this time, so I jumped into that. There was about 90 players in each, with the top 9 being paid in both. I got down to the last two tables of each, and I was above average stack in both, and for the first time ever online I was actually enjoying myself!

I wasn't getting particularly lucky, but more importantly I wasn't getting unlucky. Raises were being respected, and I built up an image at the table, something which which I wouldn't even bother doing at the lower levels. I was watching the other players, and for the most part they seemed to know what they were doing. At last! Obvioulsy there were still a few fish at the table, but for the most part the standard was what I would expect in a $50 game.

Anyway I got knocked out of this soon after in 18th when my AQ didn't hold up vs J9... a terrible move by the other player as we both had about 4K, with the average at about 6K, but it didn't really matter as I enjoyed the tourney. I felt I could actually play my game, and not constantly be worrying about bad luck and bat beats etc...

I was shortstacked in the $20 game, but picked my spots and after a few double ups, I creeped onto the final table with about 14K. The average was about 20K, but it was very disproportionate. The CL had about 70K, another lad had about 40K, and there was 4 players with 5K-10K. With the blinds at 1K/2K, it was push or fold for more than half the table...

I played a bad game at the final table, because I was playing scared. I would normally play for 1st, but the money looked so inviting that I was merely hanging back hoping a few shortys would get knocked out and bump me up the ladder. 9th was about $55, and 1st was about $550, so there was a big difference! The money was top heavy as usual, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd taking almost 70% of the prizepool. 3rd was $222, 2nd was $370, so I was hoping to sneak into the top three.

My plan actually worked, and I just kept folding until we got to 4, making the odd push here and there to steal the blinds. I doubled up twice in quick succession with QQ and AK, and knocked out 4th place at the same time. I now had 50K, and a nice stack to work with. I robbed a few pots and was soon up to 70K. The other lad had about the same, and the shorty had 40K. They had clashed a few times but the shorty kept on getting lucky and pulling through.

Anyway, we played around for a bit until I picked up Ad10c. I raised it up to 10K and it was flat called by the CL, who had a few grand more than me. He flat called and we saw a flop of 77Q with two diamonds. I checked, as did he. Turn comes Jd, so Ive a nut flush draw, and a straight draw, but am probably behind so I check. I would call a 10K bet here but not much more. The river brings a low diamond, so Ive made the nut flush, and I lead with 10K. He raises it up to 30K, and now I'm left with a decision...

His bet screams of a house, and I've only got 20K out of 70K invested. If I fold I would still be left with 50K, more than the shortstack. If I flat call, Ive still got 30K left, which is still playable. So what did I do? I went all in... he called instantly with quad sevens...D'OH! What a brainfart.

So $222. Not bad, but I'm annoyed at how badly I played the last hand. I couldn't put him on quads, but my instinct was screaming that I was beat. At worst he had trip sevens, i think thats what I was trying to make myself believe. Ah well...

I checked my account and I had €201 so I quickly withdrew €200 before I did anything stupid! I could do with the money, so I was happy with how the games had gone. I was out Monday night, and sat down on last night to see if I could pull another miracle with the $1.76 I had left. Somehow I built this up to $6 in a cash game, and was aiming for $11 to play a $10 + $1 STT, but unfortunately I lost it all when my JJ was cracked by AK.

I felt I was playing well though, so i lodged €50 back into the account to see if I could beat a few STT's. I did a little more than that!

I jumped into 2 9 player STT's, a $10 and $15. I wasn't concentrating on them too much, as Lost was on TV, and I must admit I'm a bit of an addict... I ended up winning both games, and jumped into another 2 of the same buy-in. Somehow I won these two aswell, and at this stage it actually clicked that I had just won 4 in a row! I dont think I've ever won more than two in a row, but somehow I had just won 4! I though back to see if I was mistaken, which wouldn't have been to difficult as i had been concentrating on the TV more than the laptop, but my cashier confirmed that it had gone up exactly the amount of 1st in two $10 games, and 1st in two $15 games.

I decided I had to try for five, as I didn't actually think it was possible! A proposition bet on boards earlier this year was based on something similar, after Amaru had claimed he had won 5 games in a row on PPP. tbh I didnt believe this could be done, but here I was after winning 4! I wish I could say it was unbelievable skill or luck, but from what I can remember it was just a matter of grinding out to try and make the top 3, and then playing for 1st.

Anyway, I must have jinxed myself in the 5th game, because I ended up getting 2nd... :( I was playing sooo cautious the last game, and there was one player who kncoked out basically every other player. When we got to heads up he had 15K and I had 3K. Unfortunately I had no miracle comeback and thus ended my attempt at 5 in a row.

Funnily enough, once I started thinking about getting five in a row, my attitude totally changed. There was so much more at stake that I wasn't willing to take risks that I would normally take. In fact, Im pretty sure that if I hadnt been watching TV I wouldnt have gotten past the second game. It was only because I wasn't concentrating fully on the games that I could play each one as a separate game. The minute I realised I'd won four in a row, I f**cked up. So I found the secret to winning steadily online... TV!

I played another two STT's and manged to get 2nd and 1st in these aswell. These were different than the other games in that I doubled up early and sat on my lead until we were down to three. Still, thats easily my best record ever online. 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 1st. I made a lovely profit from it, but I was only playing $10 and $15 games, so it wasn't nearly enough for what I had just accomplished. I wanted to keep on playing through the night, but bed was calling and I had to be up early for work... I cant wait to get home today though...

EDIT: Mr 'Anonymous' wants proof so here it is... you can see the four in a row, and the 3rd in the $1500gtd. Oh and 'anonymous', please stop pestering me, or at least have the balls to post under your own name ...

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