Friday, 31 August 2012

How Baller Are You?

What time do you have to get up for work each day?

A. 4am
B. 8am

How many breaks per day do you get in your job?

A. Two. One in the morning and one in the afternoon.
B. I take a break when I need one
C. Five minute sync break every hour

Have you ever forgot where your car is parked?

A. I ride a bicycle
B. Once
C. I still haven't found it

What type of car do you own?

A. Family hatchback
B. Sports car
C. I can't remember but it cost $150k

How many meals a day do you have?

A. Three
B. I eat when I'm hungry
C. I eat when my Internet is down

Have you ever played credit card roulette?

A. No,my credit card is maxed out
B. No,but I sometimes offer to pay for close friends
C. Obv

Your Sunday schedule is..

A. Visiting family
B. Out drinking
C. Sat in front of my PC for 18 hours never seeing daylight

You just busted out of a poker tournament. What do you do?

A. Vent my anger on Twitter
B. Just say 'Ah, never mind'
C. Book a flight to play poker in another country 3000 miles away

Who do you live with?

A. Family
B. Friends
C. Millionaires I met through Skype

Christmas falls on a Sunday. What do you do?

A. Spend Christmas with family
B. Spend Christmas with family and friends
C. Spend Christmas with family and friends who have broadband

Your Internet provider informs you that you will be without broadband for 7 days due to necessary maintenance on your road. What do you do?

A. Complain and try to get something for free
B. Complain and go play live poker in your local casino
C. Buy another house two streets away

You win a Sunday Major. How do you celebrate?

A. Pay off your mortgage
B. Party and go on holiday
C. Play $5k HU SNG's

Somebody you don't know mentions you on Twitter. What do you do?

A. Respond immediately
B. Respond later
C. Block them

A friend owes you money but it's been two weeks since they mentioned paying you back. What do you do?

A. Gently remind them
B. Demand payment
C. Start a thread on 2+2

Your hard work at poker suddenly pays off and you find yourself rich enough to be able to travel the world playing the game you love. How do you spend your spare time in these fabulous cities?

A. Explore the sights
B. Explore the nightlife
C. Moan about the price of your hotels internet access

Mostly A's- You bun bad
Mostly B's- On a heater
Mostly C's- Sicko

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Simple Game Of Poker

How hard can it be to win at this game? Why does everyone treat it like it's the most complicated game in the world? Break it down and it's fairly simple. Win the most you can with the best hands and lose the least you can with the worst hands. That's it. Simple!

If you could see what your opponent was holding every-time you played a hand, poker would be extremely simple. You would know when to bet, when to check, and when to fold. Obviously (and unfortunately) we don't get this information. So how do you know when to make the right decision? Or more accurately, how do you make the right decision more often than you make the wrong one? Answer?

Putting your opponent on a range of hands.

Ok lets be honest, narrowing down your opponents exact holding is pretty fucking hard!

It doesn't take a genious to work out that if your opponent is calling a 3 bet you can pretty much elimate hands like 82, unless of course he's an absolute tard and it's suited and he thinks 'hmmm, I'll just see a flop but fold to a c-bet if I miss'. Everyone has come across this type of player, but don't worry, you want to be seated at a table with players like this. You're down 4 buyins to him? Not a problem! Stay where you are and it won't be long before his hot streak cools and you win it all back.

My fuckin' arse! This guy is gonna take a big chunk of your bankroll pretty sharpish, so if I was you I'd log out, fire up pokerstove, and as well as putting some hands in there I'd stick your head in too.

If you really want to be successful at poker then I suggest hanging a horse shoe above your computer or kissing a rabbits foot before you enter each pot.

Poker is a game of skill I hear you cry!

Yes it is.

For the lucky few.

(This post was brought to you immediately after playing a tournament for three and a half hours and finishing just out the money)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The $1000 Book Review - 'The Blue Book' by Reid Young

I opened the perfectly wrapped packaging and was greeted by a gleaming solid gold cover. Each page is beautifully handwritten using a feather quill that was once used to sign the Magna Carta. The pages are made from trees felled in the Amazon rain forest and each copy takes exactly six months to produce. Ok, this is not actually true.

'The Blue Book' was delivered by Fed Ex and upon opening it I was greeted by a book that looked like it could be bought for $30 from Amazon. However, you will not find this book on Amazon. And even if you did, expect to pay $1000.

Reid Young is a 26 year old poker pro from North Carolina. He has made countless sums of money playing cash games, and this book is his baby.

Is it overpriced?

As I start to read each chapter, I quickly begin to realise that this is not a book for novices. Don't expect to whizz through it and go 'Oh yeah, I see now'. Don't expect to read it and then fire up a few tables and crush. What it does do is make you think deeper about the game. It will make you think about certain situations and want to go and put some hands in pokerstove. It will make you realise that the top poker pros don't have a magic betting formula for each hand that works every-time. It will make you realise that to be the best poker player you can be, you need to put the study hours in. Reid doesn't just say 'Practice this and practice that. Go look at this and go look at that'. It just quickly becomes apparent that that is what is needed. Reading his analysis of hands and situations makes it abundantly clear how hard he has worked on his game. His passion for poker is evident, and if you share his passion, (which I do) 'The Blue Book' will inspire you to work harder on your game than ever before. Having read the book from cover to cover does not mean I have finished with it. Quite the opposite. I shall be reading it again, over and over, spending more time on each chapter. Better players than me will get more out of the book the first time they read it and to be honest a lot of the calculations sent me a little dizzy. But that doesn't mean this book isn't for me. It just means I need to work a lot harder on my game.

I had initially intended this review to be somewhat lighthearted. I thought up the opening paragraph before I had actually read the book. Though once reading it it's impossible to make light of the contents. If you want to be a consistent winner at poker then you're going to have to put in some effort. Getting dealt aces and kings more often than your opponents simply won't cut it.

Would I recommend this book?
Yes. Definitely.

Is it worth $1000?
I honestly don't know the answer to that. I wouldn't be able to say yes or no with any real conviction, but it certainly wouldn't turn a micro stakes player into a high stakes player overnight. (Reid does not claim it would) I would be very interested to hear the views of someone who plays at a much higher level than me.

Who would benefit from reading this book?
Rather than generalise and say it would suit a medium stakes player better than a micro stakes player, it's probably best to say it would benefit anyone who has the dedication and passion to be a very successful player.

Will it improve my game?

Would I let a fellow poker player borrow it?
Absolutely not

Reid Young can be found on twitter here

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

This blog post was originally going to be another rant about how badly I seem to run at poker lately, or more accurately, how badly I'm playing. But after winning a twitter RT competition on Monday night I'm feeling a little more positive. As you know, twitter RT competitions require an extreme amount of skill. After hitting the RT button, I forgot about it and carried on with the rest of my day. Later that night I got a DM saying I'd won! RESULT! What had I won? 'The Blue Book' by Reid Young. For anyone not familiar with this book (I wasn't) it currently sells for $1000. Yes. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. For a book. My first thought was 'who on earth would pay $1000 for a book'. After a little more research I found out it originally sold for $2500. TWO AND HALF THOUSAND DOLLARS. For a book. It must be good!. The author, Reid Young, is a very successful poker pro from North Carolina, and after a few messages of thanks and giving him my address to ship to, he also seems like a really nice guy. He can be found on twitter here

Once I have read it I will post a review. 
I won't go into the exact content of the book, as quite frankly, I'd like to keep that just for me!

Look forward to seeing you all soon at $600NL  :0)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Poker & the Rabbit

Is it possible to write a poker blog that's of any interest to anyone if the writer can't actually blog about positive results? Ever! Yes, I've had a few minor successes in tournaments and consider myself to be 'okay' in the small stake tournaments but there's certainly no massive binks to report. Time and time again I seem to crash out in a tourney at the 10% mark (that is if I haven't bombed out way before then). Is it a coincidence? do I just get unlucky at the same point over and over again? Probably not. Though Flush v Full House, pair v higher pair, and King Ten v Ace Ten seemed a pretty brutal way to blow my stack in the tourney I just played. Was sitting on twice average and it all went tits up in 5 minutes. Around eight and half thousand had started and I exited in 759th. Yes I made the money, and yes, around seven thousand others didn't, but it's the same old same old. Need to either improve my game massively or forever moan about 'near' misses. If there are any poker coaches out there who would like to coach me for free, just for the absolute joy of watching me win a shitload of money then please feel free to contact me. (contact details below)*
Anyway, this rabbit.

Imagine four people, each holding a sweeping brush, swiping them under a car, whilst one of them holds an empty 'Pampers' box trying to coax the little fluffy bunny inside. Imagine four people throwing carrots and lettuce under a parked 4x4 whilst one person is on the phone to the RSPCA saying 'It's a sandy colour with big ears. Has anyone reported it missing?' Imagine this happening for about AN HOUR. We eventually caught it and sent it packing to a rescue centre so a fairly happy ending. Unless of course no one claims it and they make it into a pie.

*$0.01/$0.02 'PokerStars' cash tables chatbox

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Where's Jerry?

Yesterday was Day 5 of the WSOP Main Event. For those that don't know, it costs ten thousand dollars to buyin.

Jerry Yang, a 24 year old poker player from Texas had managed to battle through the first four days, and was one of the lucky 666 players guaranteed to win some cash. At the start of day 5, Jerry was nowhere to be seen. His stack sat at the table, slowly blinding out, until he was elimated in 171st place, cashing for $44,655. Not a bad cash, but first place pays over $8 million dollars, an amount of money that would set most people up for life.

So where was Jerry? He was sat in his hotel room observing the Sabbath. His new Jewish wife (Jerry isn't Jewish himself) had asked him to observe the Sabbath and not to play poker. He had half a million chips, which was plenty, and was in with a shot to make a whole lot more, but chose to respect his wife of 12 months and sit in a hotel room with her all day, knowing his WSOP Main Event would be over. The chance to win millions of dollars gone.

Surely God would forgive you for tossing a few chips into a pot just this once. Is it really in the Hebrew Bible that says you can't three bet light in position on the Sabbath?

Not sure I would do the same if I was in the same position.

But anyway, 'One man's woe, is another man's dream.' The players at his table had a ball.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Beginning - 3 Reasons to not start this Blog

Reason No. One - It's just before 9pm and my 21 month old daughter is still not asleep. She's been crying out 'DADDY! DADDY' from her cot. Even though it's very stressful hearing her crying, part of me loves that she calls me and not mummy :0) Anyway, she's downstairs now sat on her mummy's knee, I wouldn't be that heartless to write a blog as she lay there crying. Anyway, Poker, finding the time to play when you're a parent can be very difficult, well it is for me anyway. Parenthood is tough, so I try to play as and when I can.

Reason No. Two - I've had a drink, only a few glasses of wine, but a drink all the same. I needed it after the evening I've had. I'm actually playing poker as we speak, I normally never play after a drink but I'm making an exception tonight, so far it's not been the best decision i've ever made as I've been rivered twice by the same player after getting it all in good on the turn, and even though drink hasn't played a part, maybe he wouldn't have got there if I hadn't have had 3 glasses of Rioja.(still surviving though)

Reason No. Three - Had a bit of a 'tiff' with the missus tonight, nothing major, in fact nothing at all really, just the general stresses that having a young daughter brings. (I do understand that anyone who isn't a parent has no interest whatsoever in hearing about parent things, so i'll keep it short) I'm trying my hardest not to just waffle on, I can just get caught in the moment when writing and just splurt out all my thoughts without thinking, like a diary, but I'm going to try and keep this blog somewhat normal and not the 'Diary Of A Madman' (maybe)