Sunday, November 26, 2006

Miracle on Fifth Street

Following the £100 game I went to see if there was any solace to be had at the cash table. I found a nice £25/£50 with some juicy looking fish - calling stations every last one of them.

When the table charge came round three of them said this was going to be their last hand and bemoaned that they always lost money on their last hand.

I have the second blind and the action was call, raise to £2 (!!?) raise to £4 call, call, call, call, call and on to me. I look down at 2 red kings. Pot, well all in for £20 anyway. 5 callers! Fuck.

Flop comes Ad 8d 3c. I am already getting my coat. Checked all round, weird. Turn comes 7d, now I am praying for the miracle. Checked all round, surely somebody has something but with £120 in the pot nobody is buying. River... 5d. Yee-fucking-ha! Nuts on the river. Ship It!

So with 3 calling stations gone I probably should have - once again - packed up and left but then came another couple of likely looking lads and a kid who I swear was barely old enough to be in the club. So I paid my table charge and set in to wait.

About 30 minutes into the hour I get QcKc on the button and call the £5 bet figuring with position and high suited connectors I can take a look here. Flop comes Jc Tc 5red. An up and down straight/royal flush draw! Time to jam it me-thinks. There are the usual 6 or so players in and it is checked round to me past the original raiser. I make it £30 to go thinking I can take that now or get a mega pay-off if I improve further which surely I must.

Lets pause for a second and count my outs to improve: Any nine clubs give me the second nut flush (good enough) the three other Aces give me broadway, And the three other nines a king high straight. It was possible that the kings or queens might help too but what about the original raiser? It folded to him and he looked pained but made the call after a little dwell.

What would he raise then call with there? From previous plays I had seen him raise with TT and AJ. Not much information. He looked like an Asian Elvis impersonator so I will put him on 88 to AA and AJ to AK. A fairly large range and excellent reasoning and logic.

Of that what is really hurting me? The Aces reduce my outs to the straight and kill the kings and queens, but surely aces would have bet on the flop to protect against the draws? Not aces then. For the same reasoning I discount kings and queens. He could be slow playing tens or jacks but if he is then I still like my chances to improve. Nines and eights are surely passing here. AK with the Ace of clubs? calling £30 on a gutshot and a backdoor flush? AQ? same deal. So all I can think is AJ which leaves the three kings and the three queens as outs but pops one off the ace count.

Summing thats: 9 clubs (assuming he doesn't hold the ace of clubs), 2 aces, 3 nines, 3 kings and 3 queens. 20 outs. Twice.

The turn is a red 2. Again he checks. He has £20 left so I put in £20. He thinks for a longer time this time before saying "I already have so much invested I have to call" what does that mean?

The river is a red 7 and I cant believe I missed. However what I then cant believe is what hand he turns over to take the pot down. AQ of spades!

As he scoops the £130 pot that he won with ace high me says the totally incomprehensible thing that left me reeling. "I thought you only had a pair". What the fuck? If he thought I only had a pair then how in the name of all that is holy did he call with a non-flushing ace high with a gutshot?

Shit. back down to the £30 I sat down with and time to go home.

Look Both Ways

Gutshot £100+10 freeze out, Sat 25th Nov.

Another game where table position and poor cards combined to reduce playable opportunities. The eventual winner "Roni" was on my left and came back over the top of two of my position raises and called two others. Once he led out on the flop and the second time he check raised me all in. All four times I had no hand and no draw and was only playing position. I can only assume he had a hella read on me, although he claimed later he had "a hand every time". Yeah right.

I had 5 pocket pairs in the entire game. Eights that made a set on an Ace high all clubs board. I had raised from late position pre flop and got a call from the big blind. With 500 in the pot I put in 500 to make the draw prohibitively expensive and took it down.

Twos got let in cheap in the big blind and flopped bottom (could hardly be top now could it?) set. Checked to see if anyone fancied it and a slightly tilting Miriam pushed in from the button with top pair. She had just taken a couple of beats and was down to 1200 chips with blinds at 100/200. There was something like 800 or 1000 in the pot already and it was an easy call.

Jacks I pushed all in after a limp and a raise. A slightly dangerous move but by then I was getting short and they were the best hand I had seen all night. Got no callers and took it down.

Twos passed to a limp and a raise.

Tens in middle position with the blinds at 350/700 I have 5000 in chips. Second to act moves all in for 4600 and I need to have a think. I was planning to push with these tens until he did that and now they didn't feel so good. I was reminded of the tens I laid down on Thursday that were way ahead of the all in I faced but didn't want that to colour my decision. I had a look at him and decided he was a bit uncomfortable under my scrutiny so I made the call.

Unfortunately I hadn't looked behind me or I may have noticed Marina silently screaming for me to make the call. She was also short stacked at around 3000 and called very quickly. It was QK for the first push (good read I thought) versus my tens versus Marina's kings. I didn't get the miracle suckout.

Profit -£110
Total = £1225

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More Bingo

Gutshot Friday £10 re-buy bingo 24th November.

Back to the bingo.

Great start, tripled up on my first hand when I limped with QT clubs from late position then called a raise from the BB as did the button.

Flop comes T85 the BB checks, I chuck all in for the last 300, they both call.

BB shows KQ, button shows 9T. Neither improve, ship it!

From there it was all downhill. My draws missed my pairs hit 2 pair and my AK missed or I got no callers when it did.

At the last 4 hands I had 800 chips and went all in blind 4 times doubled once but mostly no callers. I went to the break with 1725.

From there on it was short stack poker all the way. From the break onwards I didn't make a bet that wasn't all in. Remarkably I made it down to the last 15.

In that time of all in moves I didn't see a pair once, I didn't see an Ace bigger than AT and I still managed to double up a couple of times.

It had to come to an end eventually and I was hoping for a big hand that nobody would give me credit for. As it was with blinds of 800/1600 and 4700 in chips I pushed with 78 of spades second to act at a 6 handed table.

The short blind stated that "I think you are at it" - of course I am fucking at it I have an M of 2! - before calling with A7 of hearts.

There was one moment in the game I was proud of. I had been all in a couple of times already that revolution from the Button and the Cut Off (K5 spades and 76 diamonds) I had doubled up with the K5 and took the blinds with the 76 to give me 5500 in chips. The blinds were 500/1000 and I was now in the big blind.

The small blind has moved in on me from this position before and cheekily showed his 42 off suit. He is fiddling with chips and looking like he is going to push again when I interrupt him and say "It was four two last time what is it now?" He stops and looks a bit sheepish, pauses and throws in 500 chips.

I move in quickly and he mutters "you had king five last time" before passing.

I honestly think that If I had said nothing to him and not interrupted his train of though he would have pushed and I would have had to fold my 83 off suit.

Profit -£40
Running Total £1335

The Nifty

Gutshot £50+5 Thursday 23rd Nov 2006

Didn't ever get out of the blocks in this one. Had the biggest LAG I have ever seen on my left. Very first hand he has the BB (25/50) there is a raise from early position to 225 and he re-raises to 750.

I cant remember the details of the hand but what I do remember is at the showdown where he turned over KJ off suit! He continued in this vain raising and re-raising with any two and miraculously building a stack. Mainly due to him once having QQ and obviously nobody gave him credit for it.

With that much action on the table I should have just sat and waited for a big pair to lump it in with but decided to play my AK of hearts and AQ of spades only to get pushed of the pot after the flop when I missed. After that it was rapidly short stack poker.

The biggest mistake of the night was when I had TT in the big blind. I am not so short stacked yet but I could do with chips.

The maniac folds and there is a limp from second position. 4th to act goes all in for about 1/3 of my stack and its passed to me. I read the limper for having a hand as he has hardly played much all night. I make what I think at that second to be a disciplined fold.

The limper calls the bet and turns over A4 suited! Then to add insult to injury the all in player turns over 66! A ten on the flop makes me feel sick as..

That was the only pair I would see and with no room to move in it gets to me UTG with 1100 chips and blinds of 150/300. I look down at 85 of clubs and take a second to consider. If I pass this I will be all in next hand no matter what and no doubt with callers. If I move in here I will get callers too but the BB wont be mine so there is more money in the pot for me.

I decide to push and get a rub down from Ade who tells me that "its OK to bluff but don't think about it because it makes you look weak"

ffs. bluffing doesnt come into it, I fully expect a caller and was just hoping my cards were live. Ade is going on about how I "need to take it out of my game" while a guy across the table is calling. Then says "I would have called you with this" and shows J6 off.

Great! I want you to call me with that. If you call me with that I have a decent chance to double up! Fucking arrogant cunt that he is.

Anyway the caller has Q9 and I don't improve.

To be fair though Ade is right in some way. If I have just insta pushed I might have stolen the blinds, but that was not really on my agenda there. I needed to double up or go home, and go home it was.

Profit -£55
Running Total = £1375

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Beginner's Night

Ah the Tuesday £5 re-buy. I have a soft spot for it seeing as it's where I started. Frankly I was only playing because I wanted the Team Gutshot chips but I managed to turn a profit.

Nothing too much to report, a fairly straight forward solid game. No major steals. No major bluffs. No really big hands, well except for kings that had 3 all ins to them and held up. And no really big suckouts.

Basically I won races where it mattered and ended up heads up with a 2:1 disadvantage. Luckily my opponent was not very experienced and I quickly got up to even chips. At one point I got him to lay down pocket queens on a K high board after he just called my 2.5*BB raise pre flop and checked it to the turn that showed a Jack. I had something like 9T, don't actually remember as it was after the game that he told me he passed the queens.

At this point it was 2am and although I was in control there was very little play in it with each of us having 80k in chips with blinds of 5k/10k and 4 minutes left at this level. I could see that this could really go either way regardless of skill. Add to this I really needed to get home to sleep so I proposed the chop and agreed to cut cards to see who ranked as first. His J beat my 6.

Profit +£325
Running Total = +£1420

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quit While You Are Ahead

Returned to the Gutshot for the Saturday night £100+10, a game I have not managed any level of success at so far. I was feeling good about my game and hoped tonight would be my first cash at this game.

JJ (2nd place finisher in the Amsterdam Classic) had put a bounty of £250 on his head for the evening and maybe that had drawn in the massive crowd of 130 runners that led to tables being set up in the next door bar.

I won the first hand of the night when I rivered a baby 3 high flush on a board that was linped into and checked to the river that gave another player (the eventual table luckbox) a straight. Off to a good start thought I.

With no cards and an aggressive raiser 2 to my right I didn't find many opportunities to play pots in position so when I finally made a move against what I thought to be a pot steal from the big blind I was well below average.

I had limped for 300 behind another 4 players with KQ of hearts when the BB raised it up to 1250 to go. He had about 3000 left and I really thought it was a steal and decided to go for the re-steal putting him just about all in.

He thought for a second before calling and showing TT. At least I was racing.

A K on the flop put me in front and I made a timely double up to get me back above average stack.

A bit later I raised to 2.5*BB from late position with 77 into the BB of a short stack that had shown a willingness to get his chips in. I was hoping that he was going to push all in and I would be able to get my chips in racing. Sure enough he pushed I called and he showed AT and never improved.

Sevens were to be my downfall after a further run of random unsuited unconnected junk and no pairs I found myself back down to m=6 in late position to the table big stacks BB.

This guy had - apart from the first hand when his straight got beaten by my flush - won every hand he had played, hit every draw and won ever race from both sides of the flip. He had a monstrous stack and I was about to give him another 7,500.

I guess technically I should have just pushed but I raised about 1/4 of my stack. He re-raised and I re-re-raised all in. Seeing as I was committed to playing the pot from the outset I should have pushed, not that he was going to lay down AK. He hit a king and I was off to the cash tables.

Sitting down to the cash with £30 I got the instant hit I needed. First hand JJ that made Jacks full, and got paid. Followed bu a motley collection of flushes, straights and 2 pair that had me up to £180 within 15 hands.

This was where I should have just got up and gone home. But the table was live, I was hitting cards and importantly I was having fun. So I stayed.

What followed was 5 hours of brutal swings that saw me down to £25, then back up to £160 then back down to £50. By this time it was 2:30am and the table was dying and I wasnt feeling too confident about getting my stake back up.

Then I get AA in the small blind.
The usual full table limp for £1 followed by a pot bet on the button.
I re-pot, he re-pots and I am all in.
He turns over QQ and doesn't improve and I am back up to £120.

A couple more small pots see me up to £130 and time to go home. I really think I should have quit at the very least when I was up to £160 and possibly after I hit £180. Still for £130 it left me down £10 on the night including the tournament buy in.

Live and learn.

Profit -£10
running total = +£1095

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Well I wanted a night of blow off steam aggressive play in the crapshoot and thats what I got.

Went on a rush - of rubbish cards and lucky flops - in the last 3 hands of the rebuy period to get me a stack £20 short of my £50 budget. Picked up some big pots then found no big hands and no opportunities to steal due to other raises in front or pot committed short stack blinds.

Finally a drinking Barry "the bully" Martin (gutshot co owner) joined the table and sat out 4 hands smoking - and he doesnt smoke so that shows how much he was drinking - before raising 3*BB UTG.

Now they dont call him "The Bully" for nothing, so when I found JJ in mid position I had to believe it to be good. I move all in, he calls and its JJ versus QQ!

I swear he only ever has a hand when you call him.

Anyway I went and found Rod at the cash tables and there was an open seat at his £25->£50 game. Rod had spun up to around £100 from his £30 sit down and seemed to be happy with the table.

I have not been running too hot on the Gutshot cash tables for a while and I generally sit down after a tourney on tilt already and just blow more money. But the night was young and I wasn't actually feeling upset about my tourney exit so I pulled up the maximum £50 and took a seat opposite Rod.

My game plan was to nut peddle and not get too clever at all but that went out of the window once I realised what a fish-pond I had jumped into.

To my left were 3 French city banker types who were all sitting on around £150 on my right was a Gutshot dealer on around £80 and on his right a super loose aggressive guy who just couldn't seem to hit anything.

The French guys were drinking, talking, generally having a laugh... Oh and calling just about everything. The table in general was really passive pre-flop with just about every flop being seen for the minimum £1. With that kind of table I had to widen my starting range somewhat to take advantage.

Soon me and Rod were running over the table and after an hour I was £120 up. The French guys were losing their stacks and their va va voom and the table was getting short handed.

A memorable hand saw me call a pre-flop pot raise with 59s in position behind one of the French. I put him on a big Ace or a pair but figured I could out play him on the flop.

I flopped the flush draw, he checked I bet he called. Turn gave me the flush he checked, I checked. River was a blank he checked, I bet £30 into the £50 pot and he called showing pocket Jacks followed by a stream of French swearing.

By the time the table broke I found myself £120 up on the night once I had deducted the tournament buy in. Not bad for a Friday night out.

profit = +£120
GS Total = +£1105

Friday, November 17, 2006

Back On Track

So after a shitty run of 16 games with no cashes and a bubble at the Gutshot I am back in the black for the month.

5 cashes and 4 final tables in the last 3 days has put me back over £250 profit for the month.

To celebrate I am in the Gutshot having a pint and about to take part in the Friday night £10 "Bingo" rebuy. Felling good, dont care if I drop £50 tonight for no result, my game has proven itself after a run of outdraws. Feeling much better.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Somebody Has To Be The Bubble Boy

WSOP Satellite Freeroll +£10 rebuys at the Gutshot. After an amazing spot of luck earlier on hitting the case 8 in the deck to suck out on the river Karma comes to get me.

Playing hand for hand 2 tables of 6 with only 11 seats I find AK in the SB. I have enough chips for maybe 3 more revolutions so I move all in fully expecting the BB (who just took the last pot UTG with AA) to pass all but the biggest of hands.

Instead he starts telling me that I am a sick puppy who has pushed him off too many pots and outdrawn him too many times. Before calling with J9.

And he called me the sick one.

I am already up and away from the table as he hits a 9 on the flop, a J on the turn and another 9 on the river to send me home empty handed.

Given the bad online run this is really making me sick.

Profit = -£10
Running Total = +£985

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Running Cold

Man, 14 games in a row and not a single cash. I have had worse runs for sure but this one feels the worst because I am not actually playing that badly (well except for when I got titled last weekend and made a couple of idiotic moves).

It feels worse because work is so hectic at the moment that I only get time to play at the weekend and when I play I am supposed to be having a good time, a "weekend" time. So this means that when I got suckout after suckout last weekend and this one hasn't started any better... well.

bloody hell. They draw runner runner flush. I have Queens they have Kings. I have AQ they have AK, I have Kings they get an Ace on the river after calling a raggy board with A high!

Now I cant play any more today as I am going out tonight. Still there is always Sunday.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Beavis and Butthead of Poker

At what point did Jesse May and Padraig Parkinson become the Beavis and Butthead of Poker?

At one time Jesse May played the weird American to the straight man of whichever pro had been knocked out early from the tournament being filmed. Now however he seems to be playing the straight man to Padraig Parkinson.

Jesse May as straight man? nope, doesn't happen. All too often the commentary dissolves into Beavis and Butthead style giggling.

Is this the future of poker commentary?