Friday, 25 February 2011

EPT Copenhagen, the coldest place on earth!

i really like this picture

 Ok so back home from a fun but ultimately disappointing trip.  I didn't take this picture but it sums up what it was like, that's actually a lake!!  Copenhagen is easily the coldest place i have ever been, its was literally FREEZING, the windchill was the worst we took a few walks round and about and you pretty much cant feel your face! But, i thought it was a really cool city,  unique to anywhere iv been before.  There was lots of cyclists and everyone just leaves there bikes outside unlocked, i thought that was awesome that there isn't a worry that they would be instantly stolen, i can't think of anywhere where iv seen that before.   Anyway, after UKIPT Nottingham i was itching to play some more live tournaments and even though this is regarded as maybe the toughest leg i didn't want to miss out.   I was talking to Spinks on skype and he was going on the Saturday afternoon to grind online and then be fully prepared to play, sounded like a plan, so jumped on the bandwagon and booked flights etc.  

Met Spinks at Heathrow and off we went, bought some cards and travel ludo at the airport and Spinks got in a hole at Chinese then with 10mins left to land snap binked out winning like 4 games in a row at ludo :(.    Checked in at the hotel then started playing online, didn't put in a big session, just played the 2k and a couple of others, maybe shouldn't have played i was quite tired.     Then on Sunday did some sightseeing and bought some wintery clothes and then grinded Sundays back at the hotel.  I really wanted to play day1a but made a semi deep run in the ftops main coming like 300th or something and didn't get to sleep until 7am so decided to play 1b instead.

Felt fresh and focused on the day, iv been really in the mood to play recently, knowing i wont get bored or lose focus, iv been in the zone.  Arrive a little early and sit down, the table looked pretty tough for a live tournament, Mickey Petersen was a few seats to my left and most of the table was under 25 and scandi looking.  There was definitely some tough spots at the table but there was a lot of bad play, and i wasn't totally unhappy with the draw tbh, it felt like everyone was just trying to own each other and play too many hands when solid poker is what would be profitable.   I don't really want to go deeply into strategy but the day did go pretty well and i finished on around 67k and feeling optimistic.   Went for a really sick meal with Spinks and Eames on the top floor of the hotel then had an early night, i wanted to be fully prepared for day 2.

Woke up really at about 9am, and decided to hit the gym for an hour or so then got some breakfast and go showered and ready to play, probably one of the best preparations i have ever had.  I was feeling good, excited to play, but focused.   The table draw was a little kinder on day2 there looked to be a lot of recreational players and the table was pretty shortstacked overall.  But, i did have Kristoffer Thorsson to my direct left which i wasn't happy about at all, and although hes a nice guy, hes a great player and i was happy to see him bust early into the day.   I lost a couple of frustrating hands and was down to around 50k after the first level.  Then the blinds went up and i opened QQ utg+2 at 600/1200/100 to 2600 and was 3bet by the loose crazy (i think Italian but I'm not 100%) old guy to 6300, folded back round to me and i was pretty happy to get stacks in vs him with the way he had played so far, so 4bet to 15,800 with around 32k back, he timebank calls, which im not thrilled about i would have preferred to have got it in pre but i wasn't folding any flop...   besides this one, the flop comes AK4 rainbow literally the ONLY flop i get away from, i sighcheck and he quickly checks behind, the turn is a ten, another bad card, i check and he sets me in, and i hate my life and fold, accidentally flipping my hand over, which added to the tilt, then he proudly reveals 56offsuit.  fuck :(.

So im down to around 25bb, fold for an orbit, then im in the sb, and the bb accidentally folds his hand, so the bb is effectively dead, its folded round to the cutoff who opens, and i look down at 88 and ship it in and he takes around a minute and calls with A5ss  ...AK2ss and I'm pretty dead.   Disappointing but i wasn't too tilted i felt i played well, but just wanted to get home, so snap went back to the hotel booked a flight back in 3hrs time and got a taxi to the airport.  Ah well maybe next time.  
As I'm writing this John Eames is going back into day4( i think) today..10/24!! Gogogogoooooooooooooooo Eamesssssssssssssss.

Anyway enough about poker,  before Copenhagen had a fun week, went out in Leeds and didn't drink which i was proud of, and went on a date with my gran which was really nice :)   Heading back up north in an hour or so and going paintballing for Mat Franklands birthday tomorrow, very excited!  Iv never been before but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to love it.   Then going to stay home for a few weeks i think, i was checking out the live tournament schedule last night and from March onwards its soooooooo busy not going to have a second to breathe, might have to begrudgingly skip a few of them so I'm not burnt out for the bracelet hunt.  

I still haven't chosen a charity, but i am close to a decision and will be sorting it out in the next few days after paintballing.  Still open to suggestions.

Getting the train home soon, then heading to Leeds with Pez i think and going to go the cinema or something, and get some nice foods somewhere :)

Next stop, UKIPT Manchester.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

UKIPT Nottingham

This tour is obviously not as big or prestigious as an EPT, but it definitely has a big tourny feel about it, the atompshere is awesome.  I'd been looking forward to this one for weeks, because not only is it a great tournament with a sick structure at the best place to play in the UK but i knew there would be lots of friendly faces there so even if the main event did't go to plan i knew it would be a lot of fun.  

I found out James Key's was having a bit of a celebration night out in Notts on the Friday night which was day1a so playing 1b was the obvious choice.  So drove down Friday afternoon, checked in at the hotel then headed to DTD to start the fun and games.  Greekstein was the organiser, and we all had a table at hooters booked to start the night, incredible idea!  Iv never been but it was absolutely hilarious and very American.   The portions were ridiculously big, ordered nacho's with steak for starter with Jamie and it was the biggest starter iv seen ever, and it wasn't even a sharing one!  Anyway we finish there and head over to picture and piano, and Jamie gets a call from Perrins and Woodcock and finds out all of their laptops have been stolen from their room at the Crowne Plaza, with no signs of forced entry which is obv really suspicious and apparently the police weren't very helpful so that ruined the night/weekend for them and they all went home :(.  Didn't go too crazy after that and woke up in good time for Day1b.

So on to the main event and there really isn't too much to say really.   I got to DTD feeling really really good, felt like i was super focused and was ready to tear it up.   Unfortunately it didn't go to plan at all, for most of the day i was up and down.. well i say up and down it was mostly down then back to starting stack, sigh.  Felt like i played well besides one river call which I'm unhappy about.  Still a bit tilted about the hand actually.  But besides that i don't think i could have done too much different, always seemed to have the second best hand.  The last two hours before i busted were very long and frustrating, i put it on twitter but it really was a long and painful death.  I managed to maintain a 7bb-12bb stack for well over two hours some how just picking up the blinds every orbit and never getting called.  Then finally busted JT<A4.  Ah well.    I'd been on redbull all day but was still quite tired but Raz, who used to work for Stars was having a leaving do and i was forced to go out.  The night started with lots of tequila's so of course.. got quite messy.  I didn't know too many of the people who were out but got to know some of the blackbelt guys Kevin Williams and Jamie Burland, which was pretty cool. 

Luckily the £1500 highroller event didn't start until 5pm so lots of recovery time!   I decided to miss out playing online to play this event because a lot of my friends were playing and there was still a lot of value so i thought it would be fun.   The structure for this tournament was INSANELY SICK, there was only 80 runners but it was very long tournament.  Day1 went really well, a lot of fun tables i actually ran really well with the table draws on day1, and people kept losing their minds against me, and i finished day1 with around 150k which was top 2-3 with about 24 left.  It was a long day though, we didn't finish until 5am.  So went straight back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.  Then woke up at midday went for a power Chiquitos with Eames and then back to day2.   It was shaping up to be an epic final table, with Eames. Rutter, Channing and Devilfish all still in.   Lost some frustrating hands at the start of day with overpairs getting cracked twice by the same player, but then did get lucky after i flatted a raise with KQ and a young guy shipped it in behind and i called it off and got there vs his AQ.   Felt like i was in the zone and good players were making big mistakes against me.   Channing, Eames and Rutter all busted with two tables left.  But Devilfish was still in, with a lot of chips.   There was also a young polish guy who was playing really really well and David Doherty.  All three made the final table but i ran well with the seat draw and had position on all three and tight players to my left it was pretty perfect tbh. 

Went into the final table at about midnight with 300kish Devilfish and the polish guy ( Przemek , i won't even try to pronounce it) both had similar stacks and everyone else was relatively short.   The final went pretty smoothly overall, accumulated a lot with no showdown and won a race when Devilfish got short to knock him out in 5th.  Then Doherty got knocked out by Brider and it was 3handed with me, Brider and Piotrowski, with very similar stacks.   Brider had told us that he needed 2nd to lock up his biggest ever score so it was obvious he was going to be playing ridiculously tight.  And me and the polish guy were basically playing headsupBrider was down to 200k.  I felt i was playing very well 3handed, i was taking a lot of lines repping showdown value in our blind v blind battles and it was very effective.  Then the blinds went up. and me and the swiss guy ended up getting in a HUGEEEEEEEE race for basically the win, 99 vs AQ, i flopped a 9 and he was left really short.  I then had 80-90% of the chips in play and it didn't last long and i managed to take it down.  oi oiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :D  

Does feel really good, winning any live tournament is a huge buzz and it was nice to get 2011 off to a good start anddddd more to the point finally some money to charity! booom! Ill get to that in a sec.
I really didn't want this post to come across too braggy, but it was an amazing week and i feel like i have to mention it...

I won rookie of the year and player of the year 2010! Obviously over the moon and i feel bad for not making the ceremony, but i never expected to win both! and i really did not want to miss Nottingham as id been looking forward to it for ages. Simon Trumper picked up the awards for me and id like to thank him for that.  Anyway ridiculously sick week :)

So i now have to pick a charity iv been thinking about this week and i have a few in mind but im still considering what to do so im open to suggestions.

 I was exhasted after the tournament and never wanted my own bed so bad, the weekend really took it out of me so i drove straight home and slept for like 12hours!  Iv been on a high all week, been hitting the gym hard and seeing friends, and im not drinking for a while now unless its a special occasion, i even managed to go out in Leeds and see everyone and not drink even though everyone else was, i got a lot of stick but i was proud of actually showing a little self control!  

Im itching to play some more live stuff now, feeling very confident and just want to play as much as i can.  So even though EPT Copenhagen is one of the tougher legs i really didn't want to miss it.  So found out who was going and Sykes has won a package so im going to room with him.  But heading to London soon to fly over early with Jon Spinks and grind online over ftops weekend.   So then were settled ready to play. 
Looking forward to playing this one, and hopefully i might have a run at ticking off winning a major on Sunday :)

Seems appropriate to end with this...

Saturday, 29 January 2011

EPT Deauville, GUKPT Manchester

Played two live tournaments since the last post.

Ill start with EPT Deauville.
I was really excited about going to Deauville again after taking down the main event last year, i was looking forward to seeing it all again and some friendly faces.  The whole trip was really tilting in the end and once i busted the main event i just wanted to get home as fast as possible.  Flew in from Manchester to Paris on the Monday and met Ellwood at the airport, we then had Craig buy us train tickets to Deauville because we were running a bit late...  ended up missing the last train by 3minutes bvytgbhunbgvfcdrfvgbhnjmklkjnhbytvrced
So had to wait for another train to a place called Le Havre and then taxi the rest of the way.. not a great start.

But i was still pumped for the tournament and there was quite a few young Brits over there (Pez, Tom, Bramm, Craig, Grafton, Franky, Spinks) which was pretty cool.   Had sick preparation for it too, had an early night, then woke up.. hit the gym with Mitchell grabbed some breakfast and went to buy in.  Deauville is known to be one of the weaker legs and  my table was unsurprisingly extremely soft.  More in hyperaggro fashion than limp/passive, there was loads of ridiculous action pre and overbetting and lots of huge pots with hilarious showdowns throughout the day, so i had to nit it up and play v v v tight.   Was going quite well then lost a big pot with KK vs AJ allin pre and i was even more handcuffed after that.   I did manage to bust out in an 80k pot though, did not get it in good.  Shortstack jammed 10k with 44 from the hijack at 400/800/75 i iso'd playing 22k with 99 and then both the blinds instantly got it in, needless to say i needed some help and it did not arrive :(.   Would have been nice to have a deep run, but it wasn't meant to be.

Everyone made day2 except for me and Ellwood, we all went out for a meal afterwards which resulted in team drinking games on who has to pay for the bill and more drinking at the casino because no where else was open.  Woke up with a baaaad hangover and didn't fancy playing the side events, i wanted to play gukpt Manchester instead so rang Jack and we both snap left.  Another tilting journey home because there was no flights and no trains to paris, cant be bothered to go into detail but was very annoying and such a long day, got home about 11.30pm and went straight to bed.   On the plus side i was 500 euros richer thanks to playing chinese on the train :D but still well down on the trip.  

I was soooo happy to be home, its weird i love going away but when i know i will be home soon i start getting really really homesick.  I was tired from all the travelling on thurs so had a pj day and decided to play day1b of gukpt Manchester on Friday.  Its only 20 mins from where i live and i used to play cash games and tournaments there when i was first dabbling in live poker.  Not so much these days but we do head there after nights out now and again for banter.  Anyway, it was nice to back!   Lots of friends playing, it was really fun i enjoy playing live in the UK even though my record is pretty awful overall here.  I'm a fan of gukpt's, but HATE that they are 10 handed hate it hate hate it!!  

It did turn out to be a really fun day, with Scott Shelley, Trigg and Laurence Houghton all at the table for a lot of the day.   My gukpt curse continued though and i busted out with one level to go..  made a (hopefully) sick fold with AK on K63TAccc where i check folded the river and was pretty happy with how i played.  I was quietly building to nearly 30k from 15 then ran TT into Triggs AA and lost most of my stack, fought my way back into a bit..  then spewed a little, cold 4bet jammed 86ss when trigg 3bet Scott Shelleys utg open, he had tens which is a bit of a joke but ah well the door card was the 5 of spades and he was already dead (gtfo) :)  Up to about 50k, i was feeling really good, and loving my seat at the table.  Then the following orbit, i was in the BB and it folded to the small who limped, playing 33k at 500/1k and i had about 50ish still.  I looked down at A9o and made it 3500 and he JAMMED i was like SIGH wtf, timebanked for a while and eventually called and he had 9To but we couldn't hold so was down to 20kish and then ran 99s into JJ not long after and that was that. 

No money to charity just yet! 
So far iv not done well at all with the drink less goal, with lots of nights out in Manchester and Leeds but I'm not going to drink for a while now with the exception of the Superbowl party.  Double entry week and ftopssteelers and me, Sykes and Woodcock have even ordered steelers shirts to get well into it.


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New blog, updates and goals for 2011

Hello :)

I had the idea last week to start a blog, so here i am.   I want to do this for a number of reasons,  for personal motivation , to set myself challenges and goals with life and poker and to have something to look back on, i get to do so many cool things and see a lot of amazing places it would be nice to have somewhere to put it all down.

I also wanted to give something back.  I have worked very hard to be where i am now but i know i am very very lucky and privileged to be in this position, to even have found something that gives me the freedom and satisfaction that i get from poker and i don't take it for granted.
Iv decided to donate a % of any cashes i have in any live tournament this year to charity.  I haven't decided which ones (so I'm open to suggestions) but id like to stay away from the larger ones and help out more local ones.    I can get round to that if i ever cash anything! :)

  • The TRIPLE CROWN!   - win a bracelet
  • Keep up with the gym, especially when away from home.
  • Win a Sunday major
  • Grind more online
  • Get Sponsored
  • Win another live event
  • Take more pictures when I'm away
  • Eat more healthily
  • Be more careful with money
  • Drink less
  • And hopefully give lots of money to charity :D

I had a ridiculous 2010, it was probably the best year of my life for a number of reasons, but im not going to try and pt pressure on myself to replicate it or compare it to this year as that would be silly.   Some of the goals for 2011 are a lot more realistic than others, but i will be doing an end of year review and hopefully i will have achieved as many as possible on the list. 

Onto the fun stuff :) I just got back from a pretty amazing trip, i spent new years eve in New York Citaaaaay, which was incredible then spent a week there and i think its become my new favourite city it really was that good!  The sights are AWESOME we went to see a show, a basketball game, times square, the empire state building, we did sooo much and the food was really really good too i don't think we had a bad meal.   Me and Flushy spent most of our time in "fat cats", a bar which played live music and had pool tables, table tennis tables and most importantly shuffleboard tables (best game ever) and it had cheap drinks and a young crowd it was basically everything i ever wanted in a bar lol.   I can't say enough how much i recommend New York!

So we spent a week there then went straight to the Bahamas to play the PCA, i went last year but didn't know that many people and wasn't really rolled to play the main, this year was way more fun, there was loads of young UK guys and i had a really good time playing in the sun and hanging out by the pool.  I had a deep run in the main event too, finished around 120th which doesn't sound great but there was 1600 runners and it was in the money! ending with running Queens into Kings  :( ah well, i was very happy with how i played overall and didn't make too many mistakes, it was also nice to get knocked out in standard fashion for once ha.

I did have so much fun, but i did spend a LOT of money, some of that randomly putting a big bet on the Ravens(die) vs the Steelers in an NFL game, something i pretty much never ever do and i dont even know what is going on half the time in NFL lol, so that was rather silly and something i won't be making a habit of.  I really do need to be a lot more careful.  

Landed in Heathrow yesterday afternoon, and as much fun as i had i was extremely happy to be back, missed my bed SO much, and my car! ...oh and my family and friends too i guess :)

Home for a week going to hit the gym hard then next week, EPT Deauville, i can't believe that its been a year already but im very excited to be going back and it will definitely bring back memories, should be fun.