Happy New Year all. One of the resolutions I posted on the site was to be more visible around the community so I thought I would start a blog. Bet you all feel so lucky that you get to hear my ramblings and daily bad beats
A bit of history. Poker began for me at the age of 16. I was feeling down due to a split with a girlfriend and a friend (now pro player) invited me round for a night with the lads and a game of poker. It was a cash game and I was instantly hooked, although blown away by the huge bets of 40p. I remember on my 2nd time folding the second nut flush to a £5 river bet just because of the fear of being all in. My opponent gleefully turned over ace high. Lucky for me I am a quick learner.
In the early days I played live every night and got rather good and made some pretty powerful friends in the game. From 18 - 20 years old, and before I went to uni, I was professional. I had the backing of a rival sportsbook and life was very good. As it often does it all turned sour as I became a casino degen. The devil's wheel cleaned me out and so I ended up in full time work and forgot about poker for a while until a few years later I joined a poker forum, and again became hooked. Again I made powerful friends and earned the backing of a pretty major group enjoying my best years since quitting pro. Life has a way of kicking you in the balls, though. Due to personal circumstance beyond my control I had to basically give the game up. Until I joined here last year. AND AGAIN I'M HOOKED!
I am a small festival main event winner in Holdem, a PLO side event winner at IPO and Micro Millions final tabilst in Hi/Lo and Courchevel. And if you don't know what Courchevel is I suggest you give it a go. It's a lot of fun I have 108 online multi table wins of at least 40 players in all sorts of different formats down the years. As you can see I am a jack of all trades... and yet a master of none. I have lots to learn in an ever changing game. And so here I am sharing some learning and talking points.
In my next post I will talk about when I first met @Psycho79 at Unibet Nottingham and a conversation we had. I find people's views on it really interesting and it will lead me on to a big hand I played at Unibet Manchester last month.
Anyone interested enough to read this far I salute you! Thank you for taking the time and please comment away anything you like!
Well already I've had a relly bad start to the year personally but for today I'm hoping to put that behind me and do a Sunday grind. I had managed to play a few hours earlier in the week with the following overview of results
Games Played: 22
Total Year Profit: +16.84
It was in August last year which I had the pleasure of first attending a Unibet UK Tour and meeting some fun and wonderful people. One such person was @Psycho79 who was quick to point out what a donk I could be at the tables (cheers mate!). I remember @MathrimC saying something similar as the first time he played with me was in the league champions SNG. He commented I made some bold/quirky plays but he ultimately realized in his own words 'this guy can play' as I went on to take down that tournament. It is true. I have a style that suits my personal life rather than fits a poker life. Let me explain.
Back in the day I was all about the learning. The study of poker. The '4 bet ranges' and 'implied pot odds'. I knew all the lingo and found myself beoming a bit of an arrogant guy when it came to talking about poker. Now, things have changed. I live with my wonderful fiance. Have a beautiful 3yr old. And work full time. That's not to say I don't want to learn more about poker and get better. I absolutely do and still read a lot of poker content and analyze my own play. But I tried to explain in Nottingham how my personal life has changed my personal style and actually, if you think about it, many people are in the same boat but just dont want to admit it and rather think themselves as 'GTO' competant. I don't have the time now to dedicate to playing every tournament optimal. I often have to leave poker at the drop of a hat or have a limited number of hours I can play. So I am one of these people that will late reg last minute, gamble, and if I go out move on to the next one. When a big allin decision comes deep in a tournament the first thing I do is look at the clock. If it's getting late then GAMBOLLLLLLLL. If I lose I go to bed and wake up refreshed. If I win I can go on to win decent money and don't mind anyway. All this is within reason of course. Although I play poker a lot more for fun these days I still want to profit from it. I think I have found a good balancing act with my style of play and am happy with it. I had my profitable year last year since 2013 and aim to beat that again this year.
I think if people accepted more that they can be this kind of player and still profit, rather than worrying about joining the elite and having to put up with young teen hoodies and shades talking about 'low frequency play', they would be happier in poker. Certainly would feel less pressure. I still think I'm a dangerous player. I had no outside personal influence at Nottingham and final tabled it. When I need to be able to play I can still mix it up with the best of them and I am still certainly a solid profitable player (in tournments, not so much cash or SNG). In my next blog I will talk about the difference between Unibet Nottingham and Unibet Manchester where I DID have personal outside influence, and how that was key to a big hand I played there.
Hope to some of you at the tables today!
Haha I think you said it in a round about kind of way. Like ‘you make some strange moves’ (you’re a donk haha)
It’s all good I think I am anyway Not played as much as I’d have liked the last 2 days and won nothing with my slot tokens. Made a deep run in the ice giant and spectrum on Sunday but then made a noob call in both and couldn’t recover. Will keep a yearly running update on here. Probs post it after my next session.
Not played anywhere near as much as I'd have liked yet this year. Due to personal circumstance beyond my control its been a very fragmented year so far and one of my disciplinary rules was to only play when I felt up to it, and not for the sake of it. For us mortal people who work for a living and don't rely on poker income its how we should look at the game, or else what are we trying to prove? Indeed i am writing this post whilst being at work. A good sign that i am ready to play. Poker should first and foremost be enjoyable and is a dangerous thing when played just for the sake of it, or for profit when one does not feel up to it.
These days I am kind of split. When I play online I am only going to be playing when I know I will enjoy it which should translate into more profit in the longterm, assuming I remain a profitable player. When I attend a live event, as those who I have spoken to at unibet events will know, I am there for the enjoyment and any return is a bonus.
I arrived at unibet Nottingham on Friday afternoon on my own, checked into the hotel across the road from the casino and then went and surveyed my surroundings. I started play at 5pm that day and 10 hours later my head finally hit the pillow. It had been a long day and I really don't know how you guys who travel from eastern Europe do it! I hardly slept. My head was spinning, analyzing hand by hand everything I could remember from that day. I felt like I mostly bought my 'A' game and was comfortable going into day 2. Saturday was a day for me to relax, though. I went out on my own drinking all day taking in the sites and sounds of Nottingham. I tried numerous interesting looking bars and met (and drank with) some really fun people. I came back into the casino about 10pm pretty drunk and spoke to a few community members before wandering off again to find somewhere to watch the boxing. Needless to say I never saw the match. I went to bed with the intention of getting up in the early hours for it, which I did, looked in the mirror and though f*** this and got straight back into bed!
On Sunday I realized as I wolfed down a wetherspoons breakfast that I had really enjoyed my time at this event and everything about it had been fantastic. Whatever happened from now I would go home having had an amazing experience. As it was I final tabled it and it was as tough as they come with numerous community members involved and David Lappin who ultimately took me out. Brilliant run, brilliant event, loved every second.
Would I have enjoyed this event if I was still a professional player? Yes, probably. But maybe only because I final tabled it. The difference being I would of played day 1b, stayed in cheaper accommodation, not gone out in nottingham and certainly wouldn't of had a drink or stay up late like I did.
This all comes back to my point about needing to enjoy poker. Especially live events where for those of that who don't rely on poker income have to see it as an experience first and foremost. Enjoy it, drink in your surroundings and make new friends. Poker will look after you a lot more if you are happy playing it.
Next time I will talk about Manchester and the difference between there and Nottingham but most importantly my playing mentality. I know you're all dying to hear about it after I teased I would be writing in this blog about it...
Tonight I will be seeing you lot on the tables. I'm ready and waiting to grind
I will add running totals tomorrow morning in a separate post.
My partner was devastated she couldn't come to Nottingham to see me final table. Before I met her 2 years ago she was completely unfamiliar to the concept of poker. And in many ways still is. She managed to join me for Unibet Manchester though to see what it was all about. We arrived in the afternoon of Day 1A, which I was due to play, and took in our surroundings. When I sat down to play I couldn't help but feel bad that she would have to amuse herself for possibly hours on end. I feared that she didn't share the same excitement abotu poker that I felt and would struggle to stay interested in what was going on. Thankfully I had a helping hand. @Darkangel7 and her friend April saved the day by taking her out to dinner. A gesture i know my partner was very appreciative of and it was an excellent way for her to be introduced to some of the ladies of poker. It allowed me to concentrate on my game which at the time was pretty slow. I was at a table where nothing was really happening and I was struggling to get 2 cards which were remotely playable.
By the time the girls came back I had been moved table and this was where I managed to get going. I had built a pretty healthy above average stack and was cruising enjoying the banter of the table but also keeping an eye on other players tendancies. My fiance seemed to be enjoying her time with the girls but I guess I could never really shake the thought from my mind that she was here for me, but I wasn't spending any time with her and possibly wouldn't be for most of the weekend. A mentality I struggle with. As I mentioned in Nottingham, having fun is my main aim and whilst I was doing that by just playing poker I was consious the same may not be said for her as we continued to ger deeper into the early hours.
At around 1.30am I got involved in a massive hand. One I messed up from the start but ultimately decided would be my day maker, or breaker. After an early limp from a guy who seemed pretty solid but had recently, and proudly, shown a big allin river bluff it folded to button who also called and me in small looking down at AQ. I can distinctively recall not really paying attention at the time and just calling my blind, and instantly asking myself why I decided to do that. I couldn't find an answer and knew I had made a mistake. By not raising I had let junk in and couldn't gauge the strength of early limpers hand. I got into more trouble when the flop came A 7 3 rainbow. I donk led about half pot only to be called by big blind and then reraised by the early limper leaving himself with about 30 bigs. After a bit I decided to call and big blind got out of the way. The range I put him on as follows:
AK+: no, he surely would of raised preflop. Small possibility of limping with AA but I have a blocker and the board is so dry I'm not sure he 3 bets me all the time. AQ also unlikely for blocker/raising potential mentioned.
A2-AJ: Any of them possible. Felt A7 less so as I had already convinced myself the big blind had one of the 7's. A3 was the biggest danger but I was quite happy that A8-AJ hit his range hard, too.
The turn came a 10. I bet half his stack and his put his head in his hands. He started talking about me having a set of 3's which made me think he was ahead of my hand and struggling to lay it down. I felt I was reasonably repping A10 but it's fair to say I'd have a few drinks by this stage and had been more interested in the table banter than forming a poker story believable to go with this hand. After a few minutes he decided f*** it and moved allin. It was now I knew he had A3. But could I fold double what I'd already bet on the turn clinging on the faint hope that maybe he had AJ and even if he had A3 a 7, 10 or Q would still steal me the hand? I looked over at the girls. Horror on their faces and my partner stuggling to get her head round what was going on. After a few minutes of deliveration I decided this.
If I call and win this hand. If I get lucky. I am going to probably make Day 2 with a good stack and have a great shot at another final table.
If I fold I will be shortish stacked and have to grind to 4am and still may not be good going into day 2.
If i call and lose i will be short stacked, still could possibly double up a few times, but more likely I get to enjoy the rest of the weekend with my partner, the poker community, and either way can go home saying I had a great time.
When I went through it this way in my head it was a no brainer. I called. He had A3 and I was only around 13% to win the hand. The river bricked and I became the short stack. No regret whatsoever. As it was the next hand I had a great chance to nearly triple up with JJ but had it busted by A3 (damn ambassadors! lol) and I was out shortly after.
I guess the moral for me is don't always expect everyone you are playing is playing GTO poker. I see many posts online in hand analysis saying things like 'villain won't have this or he could have this if he is balancing his range correctly'. I would suggest that much more than 90% of the time the person you are playing is not playing GTO and has other distractions or factors in place that may make them take decisions such as the one I took. Some people play for the thrill. Theres less thrill in GTO.
Either way I had an amazing time and very much look forward to the next UK events - whenever they get announced!!!
I had a decent day at the tables yesterday before taking a short break and coming back and being incredibly spewy. Despite that I got my first tournament win of the year in one of the fireballs and 2 other final tables in a wormhole and shooting star. Smaller events but good to be back on track.
Total games played: 125
ITM: 41 / 32.80%
Total buyin: €578
Total Cahes: €672.43
Tournament wins: 1