Sunday, 24 June 2012

Poker update and some random ramblings

Definitely time for an ole update...

I did not post at all in May which was the first month I haven't posted since the inception of this blog - (which I just checked, is now officially a year old!). The reason for this was fairly simple, I had nothing to talk about. I can't remember playing at all in May. My last live cash session was 30th April and I don't think I played at all online. This has to be the first full month without a hand of poker in a very long time! 

So although no poker, the month of May was still relatively busy. Exams, moving, buying and selling a car meant I was kept fairly busy. Exams, I suppose, went about as well as could be expected. I've always been a big fan of a lot of the elements of formal education - increasing your knowledge, learning new skills, interacting with fellow students - but it's one of those things that sound good in theory and when it actually comes to following through - (you know, going to lectures, studying etc.) - I usually realise that it's more the ideas of college that I like. Still, I came to the conclusion about a year ago that the most +EV decision for me in the long run is to get some sort of degree, so the plan is to just stick it out and hopefully come out the other side with something. 

(Btw, for anyone else in a similar boat of being a poker player/college student, Olivier Busquet wrote a brilliant piece in his blog about it - ).

I also bought a new car. It's not exactly Ivey's SLR but I'm pretty happy with it. I sold my 02 Toyota Avensis, and bought a 00 Honda Civic. The Civic is in absolutely immaculate shape and has only 68000 miles on it. It was cheaper than I sold the Avensis for and is probably a better and longer lasting car. 

The main reason I mention this (no, it's not to accentuate my balla lifestle of buying 12 y/o cars) is because of what became of the DoneDeal ad after I sold my Avensis. I put the car up for sale and within about a week I had an interested party who ended up buying it. So now I had 2 months worth of a DoneDeal ad with no use for it. So the only natural thing to do...

The ad got featured on

So anyway, time for a bit of poker talk. After about a week into June, I started going at poker again. I was lucky in a sense as I got some money onto PokerStars almost by accident. I got a message from Alan Mc on facebook informing me he owed me €300. Alan posted a thread on IPB about 9 months ago about quitting smoking. He was giving 3-1 odds so I decided to take €100 worth of action for the craic.The bet was simply a gentlemen's bet, I was willing to accept Alan's word - if he told me in 3 months he hadn't smoked for a year, I was going to pay him €100. Obviously, it'd be a very easy bet to scam your way out of, but fair play to Alan for being honest about it - it's something that's, unfortunately, becoming rarer and rarer these days.

The plan was to solely play live cash for the time being, but having some money on PokerStars, I decided to play a few MTTs and see what happened. The first night wasn't too eventful with one cash for a small profit. The next night however was great as I managed to finish 2nd in a $100 Turbo for $6k! It's been the biggest cash of the year so far and definitely a much needed boost - both for bankroll and confidence. Since then, I've played a few nights and have been doing well generally. The plan is to continue grinding away online and hopefully make some money while the WSOP is on. I've decided that MTTs are my best bet online. For the last 6-12 months, I've really lacked direction when it's come to my online game. I've never felt 'right' playing, which I think is mainly because I've never been confident in what I should be playing. Even just having a few deep runs over the last week has reinvigorated my interest in online MTTs, so I'm going to be sticking to those for the next while and hopefully I'll be able to produce good consistent results.

I've played a bit online recently, but I've played a load live too. I went into Fitzpatricks thinking that it was the start of a new cash league season. Apparently it wasn't, there was a week left in the current cash league. I had only 23 hours from my previous play and it took 60 hours to qualify. So it seemed I would need 37 hours in a maximum of seven sessions to qualify. I was in the mood for something like this and was only too delighted to try to put the hours in. I managed to get 62.5 hours and I was even able to take the last night off. 39.5 hours of live poker in 6 days is tough going, but I was happy I managed it. Unfortunately, after the 39.5 hours, I was losing money (-€230) and I also had a poor performance in the cash league final. Typical! 

Ah still, I was actually quite happy with my play overall. It's always the pots you lose that you remember, but there was 2 €700-800 pots and 1 €1000 pot that I lost which obviously would have made a big difference to the bottom line.

The poker in Fitzpatricks (facebook page) has really picked up recently. There's been a few new promotions that have really got the poker games going. If you sit down between 12 and half 12, you get an extra €25 on top of your buy-in. This has definitely generated a lot more games and it's great to see. I always felt Limerick was too big a place to not have at least one cash game every night - you see multiple cash games going most nights in Cork and Galway - so hopefully this trend will continue. Getting a cash table started has always been key and this promotion usually ensures that there's at least a game going by 12.30 - once the game has started, there's always the possibility of it developing into a really good game.

The plan for the next few weeks is basically to just put a lot of hours in. Playing live cash in Limerick and tournaments online seems like quite a solid plan. There's no live tournaments for a while, and tbh I'm glad of that. Obviously, there's no feeling in poker like going deep in a big live tournament, but I'm definitely trying to refocus my mentality to that of grinding it out. I'll still hopefully hit up a few live tournaments this year, but they won't be the 'priority' if you want to put it that way.

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