Friday, July 31, 2009

High Speed One & Betfair

I has to go to Earl's Court today so I thought I'd spoil myself and have a go on the High Speed One train from Ebbsfleet to London St.Pancreas. Seventeen minutes from the countryside to the City is nice and quick, and it has the bonus of not having to stop at scumbag areas such as Woolwich, Abbeywood, Deptford etc etc. In fact there are no stops at all.

St.Pancreas Station is all nice and new, but there is a problem - it's the Eurostar terminal so it's full of strange people with too much facial hair, tight jeans and oversized suitcases*, which they leave lying around everywhere. It took me ten minutes to dodge through the crowds and get onto the tube, but that's London I suppose. I worked out I can get from Ebbsfleet to The Empire in Leicester Square in 31 minutes, and to The International in 25 minutes.

Betfair stuck $30 in my dormant account tonight with the condition that I play some poker this weekend. That's the kind of deal I like! It seems to make sense to keep a few accounts with nothing in here and there, as the sites are so desparate for us to be paying the rake they'll even bankroll us in a limited way.

*This blog is not intended to offend any strange people. Your individuality enriches society, and we love you for it.

The Grand Canyon from Guano Point

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back to Reality...

I'm right back into the suburban grind after three weeks of Fantasy Island in Niagara and Vegas. I've been getting out of bed and going to work at 1am as my brain is still in Pacific Time Zone, otherwise things are normal again.

I've been playing a few $6 turbo heads up games and $5 double or nothing sngs on Pokerstars to get me back into grinding online. I've been hitting loads of sets and sucking out on the river but so far I'm only slightly up. My mind isn't really on it due to the jetlag, but it beats mowing the lawn.

I bought some speed cloth, a toke box and slit in Vegas as I'm going to start a 'food contribution rake' in my home games. I've already fitted it all to my poker table so I'm looking forward to the next game. The spread limit cash worked well last time and generated some hefty pots without busting people out, so I'll try that again.

I intend to get down the Empire in the next couple of weeks where I'll try and turn around my run of tournament failures in Vegas. If I see Chuck down there I'll congratulate him after his Main Event heroics. I'll stick a few Vegas and Niagara pics in my next few posts to brighten things up.

Horseshoe Falls

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Winning Day in Vegas!

I've just got up after the mammoth flight on the 'Big Virgin Bird' from Las Vegas. The Devilfish was in Upper Class with his dolly bird, a petite blonde who looks like she adores him.
One day I'll fly Upper Class and maybe I wont wake up feeling like I've been systematically and unceasingly buggered by the entire Australian rugby union team for ten hours.

On a lighter note the last couple of days in Vegas were unusually profitable from gambling. We won about $900 at craps, slots and even roulette. The rush made me wish I was there a few more days, but I knew it couldn't last. Here are the final figures :

Niagara/Vegas Gaming Record
Poker - $1080 Down
Craps - $605 Down
Slots - $1680 Down
Roulette - $130 Down
Caribbean Stud - $30 Down

Total - $3505 Down - (£2190)

Clearly my poker game needs some work. The fact that the wife won two tournaments and I was a complete fish the whole holiday will be brought up at every home game and Empire night out for the next year, which is my punishment for ignoring pot odds and trying to push junior players off top pair with flush draws.... I bought a toke box and slot for my home poker table so whilst I'm being ribbed about my lack of success I'll be quietly taking a rake....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just Call it Variance and I'll Feel Better

My Vegas holiday is coming to an end and my poker record is nothing to be proud of. I've played seven Planet Hollywood tournaments, making only one final table for a 'buy in refund', two Mirage tournaments finishing in 18th and 20th out of about 45 runners, one Venetian tournament finishing 35th/107 when someone flopped quads on me, and one Caesars tourney, finishing out of the money in 8th. All the tournaments have followed a similar pattern i.e. tight aggressive early on making a few chips here and there, then going card dead when we get to two tables and having to push with a non premium hand which loses to a premium hand.
My tournament loss is $790.

In cash poker I stopped playing no limit so my losses only amount to $492 as we stand. I've enjoyed playing cash more than the tournaments as I've been playing in the same room as Brunson, Laak, Ivey, Antonius, Benyamine, Deeb, Cloutier etc, and I've had a laff. I was sitting at a table in the Bellagio one morning and two Scousers were at the next table chatting away, until the dealer leaned over to them and said in total sincerity 'Guys, English only at the table'. I nearly spat my frothy coffee on the carpet I laughed so much. What was even funnier is a couple of the Americans at the table nodded their heads! Classic.

I played a few PH tourneys with an MTV film crew following a nob of a player who is trying to make it big in poker. The program is called 'Poker - Life's a Gamble' or similar. After I bust out again I was playing cash with one of the producer who asked me what I thought of their boy and I said he has good instincts but he's a cock, to which he said he'd like to get that on film! If they play that on MTV it would be one of my proudest moments, as the bloke is a real class one tool...

As well as prices going up and shops and restaurants closing down in Vegas I've noticed breath standards have dropped sharply. If I had a pound for every bloke I've sat next to at a poker table this holiday with breath like he'd just been rimming a cow's arse I'd have about ten pounds now. I can't understand it - when I get out of bed I can tell my mouth smells like a sewer so I brush my teeth, have some food and maybe even have a Tic Tac. What I don't do is walk straight out of the door and sign up for the 10am at Planet Hollywood. Maybe that's why my record is so bad...

One positive note is the wife has won two tournaments for a total of $1400, which helps the bankroll but continues to fuel the fire that signals she's a better player than me. Seeing the Grand Canyon after six years and Niagara Falls are sights I'll always remember, oh and getting a picture with a miserable TJ Cloutier was a highlight.

Niagara/Vegas Gaming Record
Poker - $1080 Down
Craps - $1010 Down
Slots - $1840 Down
Roulette - $350 Down
Caribbean Stud - $30 Down

Total - $4310 Down - £2693 in the hole

Monday, July 13, 2009

Over-Shadowed by the Wife Again

We played the 2pm $80 Planet Hollywood freeze out after a 110 Fahrenheit walk to the Hard Rock and a cab back after having a look at the Hard Rock Poker Lounge Morgue. I busted 8th out of 49 for $80 when I didn't get the cards at the crucial two table left period. The wife did a bit better taking it down for $983 and giving her bragging rights for the next year or so. She stormed it in truth and deserved her win. Good Girl!

The Planet Hollywood management wouldn't assist in a final table deal which really annoys me. We're the customers, and for them to press a few buttons on a computer wouldn't be too difficult. The Empire had the sense to help us out when I spoke to them, so for PH and the other Vegas casinos to refuse to help players out smacks of laziness. Not good you lot especially considering the rake you charge.

Anyway over to the Rio in a moment after a good Newcastle Brown Ale clear out...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

1/2 NL at the Bellagio before Brekkie

A difficult session this morning saw me lose my $200 buy in to bad play and bad luck. I was unable to get away from pocket aces on a scary board and lost $100 to someone who'd flopped a straight, and whatever I came into the pot with missed the flop in a big way. I found myself getting frustrated and bored so I blew off my last $50 going all in pre flop with K4 suited and was called by 56 off suit. Of course the flop came 5,6 etc etc. Not to worry, I'm off to the Hard Rock today to see their new room and play the 1pm tourney, then over to the Rio to catch up on the action over there. I'm pleased to see Chuck, the writer of 'A Year in the Life' blog below is still in the main event. There's hope for us all!

Slow Start in Vegas

So far I've played two low buy in tournaments, one at PH where I finished mid way through the field with a below par performance, and one at Mirage where I finished 16th/37 after my pocket kings were out flopped by AQ with stacks in preflop.

Cash games have been more interesting, yesterday at Bellagio I lost $200 to a player who went all in blind pre flop and made two pair on the river with ten four to beat my top pair. There was another player at the table who said he was a big Internet player, who went all in pre flop blind every hand for $100 or whatever he had won on the previous hand. In the time he was there I picked up nothing to call his all ins, but others did and regularly lost with AK etc to his raggy random cards. It wasn't really a game of poker any more but a feast of bad beats inflicted by someone with no care for the money at all. Even Phil Laak came over to watch the punishment being handed out. Even though I lost I've never laughed so much at a poker table.
I've been making a partial recovery on the cash games, with a $40 win on 4/8 Limit this morning and an $80 win on a 3/6 table at the MGM yesterday.

I've seen some poker stars around, namely Chan, Deeb, Fish, Antonious, Hansen. I admit I get a bit star struck as you don't see these folks at the Empire Leicester Square in the £20 rebuy..
I saw Jamie Gold make a bluff on the river of a Venetian deep stack event and be called by someone with King high. Gold mucked mumbling 'I have to be the worst player ever....' I feel for him winning $12 million and having to do the honourable thing and pay his partner...

Niagara/Vegas Gaming Record
Poker - $570 Down
Craps - $440 Down
Slots - $950 Down
Roulette - $250 Down
Carribean Stud - $30 Down

Total - $2240 Down

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting Shafted at the Falls

I played some 2/5 NL this morning and lost.
I had 10, 9 of spades on the button and had called a $15 raise from a loose drunk player. Three of us saw the flop of 2,3,5 of spades. I checked, drunk man bets $15 and the third man raises to $35. This is the moment my wife says she'd have folded, I decided to push my $150 in, clench my arse cheeks and hope for the best. After two more all ins we're off to the turn. Two diamonds later I get shown a queen high flush and a busted nut flush and I'm walking away to go and tell the wife how 'unlucky' I was. Maybe I'm getting better at this game!

Niagara Gaming Record
Poker - $160 Down
Craps - $760 Down (Getting butt fucked every time)
Slots - $290 Down
Roulette - $200 Down

Total - $1410 Down

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jet Lagged 2/5 NL at Fallsview

I did a load of the tourist things yesterday, 'Niagra's Fury', 'The Journey Behind the Falls' and the 'Whirlpool Aerocar'. All were worth doing and kept me away from the craps table. The falls are something everyone should see in their lifetime and I'm glad I've worked hard enough to be able to come here.

The poker at the Fallsview is a bit different to your typical Vegas casino ;

1. There are no tournaments, just no limit cash games (2/5, 5/5 and 5/10).
2. You have to bring chips to the table by grabbing some from the cage, which is over the other side of the casino. I suppose I may be tempted to play some slots on the way back..
3. It's a $6 per half hour table charge which I think is cheaper than a rake as long as you drag a few pots here and there.
4. The dealer wasn't too happy giving me change for my $100 chips even though he had a load of $5 chips in his rack. He was even less happy when I didn't tip him.

In the hour I played when I woke up at 4am I had one hand of note. I limped with pocket tens as the table was tight. A load of players also limped and the flop came 4 4 6, two hearts. A loose player bet $20 and I called, hoping he had a flush draw. Just us two see the turn which is a scary looking King of hearts. He checked and I checked behind not wanting to be check raised. Another 4 came on the river and he checked, which makes me think he may have a low flush or two unpaired high cards for squadoush. I bet $35 and he called then mucked when he saw my boat. I think he may have made a curiosity call with high cards rather than a flush. I don't know really as I'm a fish.

I only played one hour as I have a date with the 'Maid of the Mist' and the 'Niagara Rapids Walk'. I hope the Maid has a bog on it as it's time for a greasy breakfast!

Niagara Gaming Record
Poker - $40 Up
Craps - $560 Down (Getting butt fucked every time)
Slots - $60 Down

Total - $620 Down

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Journey To The Falls

I feel like I've spent four hours being sat on by a 25 stone dinner lady. We arrived at Niagara Fallsview last night after a mammoth 18 hour journey which involved two flights, two cab rides, a screaming kid and two customs officers asking me awkward questions about how much money I've brought into the US and Canada. The flights weren't bad to be fair, but lugging four massive cases across the world is never fun. I was so tired last night all I could manage to do was woof back a burger then hit the sack. I've just had my customary 5am jet lag wander around and first impressions of Niagara Fallsview are that it's good. The place is just like a Vegas casino with these advantages ;

No smoking indoors at all
Friendly staff
The Falls!
Better exchange rate
Free Internet

We're here for four nights and I wished I'd booked a week. The word stunning doesn't do the falls justice. I've had a sneaky go on Craps and the Wheel of Fortune and won $210 in about half hour which helps. The poker room is basic with only 2/5 and 5/5 NLHE going at 5am, but it'll do.
I need to get all the tourist things done with the falls before I play any poker, so I might not post a tournament report until Vegas on Thursday. I might sneak a bit of cash in but I'm so bad at NL cash I'm just giving it away. Anyway it's 7.11am and high time the wife left her pit.....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's Vegas baby!

Well not straight away, we're flying to Boston then Buffalo for a four night stay at Niagara Falls before getting two more flights to get to Las Vegas. We leave in about two hours for what will be a mamouth day of travelling. We're Premium Economy on the Virgin plane to Boston but I've got plans to upgrade for free to Upper Class. My chances are slim but when we're talking upgrades even 7-2 offsuit will do.

Once in Vegas I plan to play some of the daily tournaments at ;

Hard Rock

These range from between $50 - $150 so shouldn't break the bank.
I also hope to play a satellite for the Bellagio's daily $540 tournament as we're staying there.
On that note I'll be trying the $50 trick to get a room upgrade at Bellagio and will report on my success on Friday next week.

I'm off to squeeze four massive cases into a Ford Focus....