Monday, 20 December 2010

New Blog: Catfish

December has been generally quiet, but I've still found time to gamble and enjoy myself.

It's funny, I always put off writing blogs because I think I don't have enough to write about. I then do a quick brainstorm, some bullet points and one liners, and all of a sudden I've got about 10 different things to talk about. I'll try not to ramble through it all, but fair to say I find it all interesting!

By the end of this week two of PokerIdol's three big holiday promotions would of launched. The first is we're hosting 3 Satellites to the GSOP Bucharest, with a combined 8 Packages added. The tournaments are $5.5, $11 and $22 so represent unbelievable value. The last event in Malta had 333 runners and first prize was €72,550, with few if any pros attending due to the qualification needed, making this tournament series one of the best in Europe IMO.

Next we're launching a Freeroll series hosted by our new spokesperson, Dr.Poker. Who is this you might ask, well let me show you.


I'm very proud of this video. Firstly because I wrote/touched up a lot of the script, but secondly it's the culmination of tons of hard work from the PokerIdol team. We really do have some truly unique things to offer on one of the worlds top networks.

The Dr.Poker Freerolls Series will be 4 Freerolls events, each with $2,500 added. The top 10 points finishers from these, as well as the top 10 Experience Point earns from 20 Dec to 20 Jan will each enter an exclusive Freeroll with 2 GSOP Bucharest packages up for grabs. That's right, you'll have a 1/10 chance of going to Bucharest, for free!

For all information on these as well as a preview for our Team promo coming up in January (which I'm super excited about) go to www.pokeridol.com/Promotions.aspx

This month started quite slow for me as I was ill with the dreaded man flu. I've not had this for a couple of years now after becoming very careful about my hygiene. I always have hand sanitiser in my band now and wash my hands all day, it's definitely made a difference as I used to get colds, sorry, man flu 2/3 times a year.

I actually got to play a little poker this month. Went to check out the pad of one of my old poker mates, one of the guys I used to play against in our regular live game and before the the poker project pub league. We hadn't played together or with any of the old gang for well over a year, but within a short period of time we had the poker chips out playing heads up.

Then last Friday he called me and said he wanted to play that night. So between us we rounded up some players and got the game going. It's been a while since I've played live cash having played tournaments a lot recently. I continued with the loose aggressive game but it wasn't nearly as effective, always having a couple of players calling my open raises. I enjoyed myself though and finished a little down. I think if we play again I'll tighten up a little from early position and see how that works out.

The poker world passes me by with little interest these days, largely as I don't have too much time to speculate about it, but one subject came up that has me a little annoyed. HSP has been bought out by stars and FTP will not allow their players on there. What a shame as HSP was the best poker show on TV at one point, giving a rare glimpse into real high limit vegas games, but now it will be just another marketing horse. Off the top of my head there now no made for TV shows that feature both players? (unless you count the WSOP of course) Things are getting a little silly.

Now for a little tech review. This next subject might not interest many, but for a serial road traveller with a bad sense of direction (aka lazy) like myself Sat Nav is really important. Ah man, I think back to the days where I'd use google for directions, literally write down the road names and the direction I'd have to turn (left onto the M25 is a thin direction) and proceed to stress out the entire way.

Then one month the Tom Tom came into my life. Sure, it didn't do the geeky things I wanted it to do (pre route planning on your laptop ala itunes and playlists) but it was amazing at getting be places. Sadly Tom was stepped on and his screen broke. Luckily around this time I purchased my first smartphone, the BB 9000 and heard my carrier Orange gave free Sat Nav. I downloaded the app and was surprised at how good it was, but it did have flaws. The first problem was it was very basic. No changing the voice to Ozzy Osbourne (not really necessary) and no re-routs/non highways option (VERY necessary). The last one was a real drag, the amount of times I was someone I didn't know and knew the motorway would be packed but had no option as it was the only route OM would take me.

The second problem was it was extremely unreliable. It usually took 5 minutes to load the map, not great when in a rush, and sometimes would not find the service, even with great signal in a city centre. This sucked for obvious reasons, I spent a good hour driving round Nottingham trying to get it working.

With the thought of travelling to Reigate close to rush hour and desperately not wanting to use the M25, I looked for another app for my BB. (note in this roughly 1.5 year period I tried getting my Tom Tom fixed on several occasions, but they have the worst customer service ever). I finally found Telenav, which had a 30 day free trial. Whilst still a pretty basic program, it fixed both of the previous problems. It had the option to miss highways and it was QUICK, and very reliable. The only problem is the price...£100 for a year?! That's ridiculous. I've now found someone independent who will fix my Tom Tom. I did this for my iPod when Apple wouldn't fix it and the results were great.

I guess the point of this tech review was...not much! I forgot about the £100 a year pricetag on the Telenav when writing it. I even clipped some pictures comparing the two interfaces, but what's the point when I've revealed they're both shit! If you're pissed that you wasted time reading that, it took me much longer to write it.

I'm not much of a geek when it comes to films, I like them simple to combat my crazy life which I think I've discussed before. Big bangs and big budgets are my sort of thing. However one trailer really caught my eye, the film 'Catfish':



The first thing I'll say is if you feel compelled to watch this movie, don't read up on it first. I will say that the trailer is a little misleading and it's not a horror or anything, but that's it. This is an exercise in pure talent, what great art can be made on a shoe string budget. Hollywood could learn lots from film makers like these. It also really shows how the internet has affected our lives. Will make a lot of people think!

This film also inspired me to start up my film projects again. I had the huge one in the works, but that would be impossible for me to do right now. However, I might soon be able to do the smaller idea I had, which could become a great little hour long documentary. Heck, even if its sucks, it will be fun to do an a nice little momento.

The snow, eurgh. I hate it. It's pretty and sometimes fun, but overall its disruptive. I've had a couple of meetings cancelled and I've largely stayed indoors, not wanting to dig my car out (it's still buried) and try ice skatin on the roads. The worst part is Anna is scheduled to come for Christmas, which I'm really looking forward too, but it's not going to happen if the roads are bad and the trains are cancelled. Come on snow, melt!

NYE won't be a crazy affair again this year, like last I'm too focused on how big 2011 is shaping up to be for me. Some friends, Anna and some drinks is all I need.

I'm going to end with a song again that I've been enjoying this month, in fact I think I'm going to do that after each blog. This month I've been listening to lots of tapes if you can believe it. As underground as I thought my music taste was, I found out only this month that there are artists who release stuff solely on tape! I think it's actually amazing and brings a whole new life to the sound. The only problem being it makes it harder and harder for me to find the video to post on here. I did get the new Brian Eno album on Warp though and enjoyed some of it, so will leave you with that. As always thanks for reading and have a cracking Christmas and new year!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

New Blog: The Writer

My writing itch is back with a vengeance; I've some extremely exciting articles on the horizon.

To begin though I really want to talk about the changes at PokerIdol. OnGame as a network has continued to flourish recently, if we look at the current graph:


And compare it to the last one I published just over a month ago we can see the bigger numbers are nicely evening out. Fishies here to stay! So onto PokerIdol. As you might of seen, we did the 'soft' launch of the new site. In the coming weeks we'll be launching 6 exclusive leaderboards giving everyone a chance to win something:

So now it's not just the grinders who get rewarded from the site (but of course the Experience and Activity leaderboards are perfect for you) but everyone! My favourite is the Guts leaderboard which rewards the biggest gambler. I'll probably win that one at some point.

Tons of cool stuff coming up in December including:

• 6 Exclusive Leaderboards with over $15,000 in prizes
• $14,000 in Freerolls, including 2 GSOP Live Bucharest Pages
• $19,000 of packages added to three GSOP Bucharest satellites
• Daily Xmas Present Giveaway throughout December
• Form a team and you and two friends could be jetting of to Vegas

So if you have some time off over Christmas and are looking for someone where play, look no further than PokerIdol. As always if you're interested to talk about a site please drop me an email (chris@pokeridol.com).

Have had one game of poker since my last blog, I went to play the £30 Freezeout at my local Maxims, my first ever real poker venue. Hard to believe it was 5 years ago I stepped in there with a work colleague to experience something bigger than our home game. I remember as soon as I entered the casino this was where I belonged, going back to the music studio just wasn't the same.

There used to be a dedicated poker room but this has been replaced with 24 hour slots, with the poker tabels now taking up the space of unused roulette tables. No problems though as the venue is quiet during the week. Structure was quick and standard of play was bad, but also the standard of opponent. I must admit with my recent forays into slightly bigger events, I've gotten used to a more professional attitude. Here was the loud, boisterous, drunken idiots I used to play with week in week out.

Still, I managed a 4th for a few squid but really didn't enjoy myself. Perhaps I'm becoming more of a poker snob, but the drunken know it alls really tilt me these days. So that's a 1st, 7th and 4th in my last 3 tournaments. My next is tomorrow night at the Full House, so hoping my run continues! Playing the absolute best poker I've ever played right now, just wish I had time to play more.

Spent a couple of days in London last week as Daniel, the PokerIdol Marketing Manager, came over for some meetings. Was great seeing him again as it's been a few months and me, him and Nigel did a little travelling round London, hitting the Empire, International and G Casino Leceister Square. Also met up with the Ukash guys again, great lads!

So back to the writing. I've been having more and more fun writing my blog recently and have been thinking of other things to write. After being in the Empire last week it bought back a lot of memories as my time as an agent. I think I could write three really exciting articles about those times. Some previews being: crashing Paris Hiltons boat party in Cannes with Jamie Gold, getting drunk with Layne Flack and Scotty Nguyen and battling Harrahs restrictions at the WSOPE final table. Who'd want to read about that?

I'm also trying to arrange a couple of interviews which will give the inside word on the recent big games in Macau plus some insight into playing Dwan, Isildur and others online. I know I'd want to read about those things!

Other life stuff is going well at the moment, mainly spending a decent amount of time with Anna which really helps balance things. She's definitely one of the best things to happen to me in a long time (ahhhh I hear you say). We recently went out with some friends to a local restaurant called Giraffe which was pretty crap. Usual chain restaurant which cost about £40 per head. At the Empire we had a cracking three course meal with one of the best stakes I've had in a while for just £15, so the standard has definitely been set high. Here is us just before we went out:


How beautiful is she? We also went to see 'Due Date' which had some funny moments, but was pretty much as I expected; a ridiculously manufactured comedy.

Watched 'Restrepo' last night which was a bit of a letdown really, I know they risk being killed but I wish the cameramen got into the action more! There's a Dutch Afghanistan documentary coming out soon, so look forward to seeing that as it's supposed to be pretty brutal.

Sad news that Leslie Neilson died, I always loved his films especially the Naked Gun series, always able to crack me up.

Tonight am off to play Bingo at one of those large chain venues for my Nan's birthday! Wondering whether to wear a PokerIdol patch hehe, but would probably get kicked out. Other than that just more work grind.

Will leave you with some beautiful music and thanks again for reading.

Monday, 15 November 2010

New Blog: London

I've been hitting the city more frequently than normal recently, at least once a week, with last week being no exception.

I had a meeting with the guys from Ukash about some joint marketing ideas. I was quite surprised about how young they were. We chatted all for about 30 minutes before the beer was ordered and talk on gambling started. Can't really blame us, we were in the Mint Casino, one I visited a few months ago for the Bluff industry night. A friend of the Ukash guys joined us, a sports betting broker, who was a great laugh. The first thing he said to me was 'POW!!', then stating I look like Rob Riggle. If this makes no sense, look on...




What do you think?


In a couple of years maybe!

After a few beers the sound of chips became too much for us so we moved to the roulette machine. I showed some restraint and resisted a game, mainly because I was feeling a trip to the Empire and wanted to save my dough for some drunk cash poker (stupid as normal). That didn't happen but no worries, I definitely got my gambling fix...

London does tire me out when I'm constantly traveling around it, but when I stop and enjoy it as a city it has a vibe unlike any other. Reading as a social environment is pretty boring. You're limited to student/loser orientated places, a chain bar/club that's totally lifeless or an independent venue trying to copy them. Very hard to find a 'true' independent place that's not rammed or a shit hole. However in London there's something interesting round every corner.

That being said, the place we went to was just a 'standard' British pub. However, bring together a few gamblers, half full of beer and a pack of cards and anywhere will be fun. They introduced me to a 'game', hard to call it that really, where each person takes a card. You have one chance to 'stick' or 'twist', with the highest card winning. Jokers mean you win double the bet and other random scenarios mean other doubles. Played with points similar to chinese poker (which I suggested playing, I don't like gambling on games I've not played before!), we were playing £5 a point!

I started on a ridiculous rush and was close to £200 up. Luckily for these guys I'd only just met them so gave them a chance to get even. Of course, my luck went downhill and I quit the game £60 loser. Stopped my Empire ideas anyway! Left after that as Anna was waiting for me at home.

I had a cracking time with those guys and it really showed me how much I'd like to work in a team. I miss having lots of social opportunities and often feel quite isolated. I guess I have to accept that because of the work I do. One day perhaps I'll be doing well enough to rent my own office and employees and force them to hang out with me!

I logged onto Facebook a few days ago and was taken to some weird security page, stating someone from some middle east country had tried accessing my account! Really worrying. I proceeded to change my password to something mental (I have to carry it around with me as I'll never remember it) and do so on everything important I use. I went onto Hotmail (my 'master' account I guess) and when trying to change the password there noticed some weird email was confirmed as my alternative email. That is super scary as until then they could of gained access to my FB or more importantly my online banking. I changed the email on both of those and deleted the weird alternative email (although it can still be recovered by whoever owns it for another week). All weird activity has stopped, so hopefully that's the end of it.

No poker since the Fox, but I've been invited to play the Full House in Reigate on the 1st Dec, a £75 deepstack comp. Really looking forward to it due to my recent success in the single day tournaments and of course travelling to a new venue, one that's close to home, so I may well become a semi regular if I enjoy myself.

Today I bumped into one of my old lecturers from Uni and it made me feel real guilty I'm not doing anything music wise atm. I still feel very passionate about it, but also about my career which must come first. Once I settle down into a more regular routine I'll start writing some stuff again. Until then I'll continue to look for new and exciting music. My new band of the moment is 'Iron Thrones', who make epic progressive metal. Can't stop listening to it! The new Aborym album recently came out. I enjoyed it immensely but admittedly was a little let down after the last record, however it's a fantastic progression.

Brian McBride released a new album which is sublime, getting lots of play from me recently. Brian is one half of Stars Of The Lid, my favourite artist of all time. Seeing them play live a couple of years ago was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, especially as I'm not a huge fan of live music (weird I know). They performed at St Giles in the Field church right in the middle of London. I expected it to be converted to a proper venue but no, this was a real church!

I prayed for a sick system and was award, they had quite a set up shipped in there. The crowed all sat in the pews facing the altar and we enjoyed the opening acts in the tranquil fading light. I was a little disappointed as I'd heard they toured with an amazing projectionist but there were not screens set up. However, when they took to the stage Adam, the other band member, asked for the lights to be turned off. The place was pitch black! Swigging from my bottle of rum and coke I eagerly anticipated what was about to happen. Turns out the projectionist was there and had about 4 projectors. He proceeded to use the entire church wall as his canvas, it was absolutely beautiful. Here's a video we took during the performance:


At 0:45 seconds it lights the whole place up. Wow. I was SICK when I missed their last European gig at the Unsound festival last year. I tried desperately to sell things so I could go but to no avail. It had the best lineup I've ever seen:

Biosphere (NO);
Stars of the Lid + Octet from Sinfonietta Cracovia (US / PL);
Jóhann Jóhannsson + Sinfonietta Cracovia (IS / PL);
Sunn O))) (US);
Kode9 & the Spaceape (UK);
Zomby (UK);

Plus others, but that's all I cared about. The top 3 being my favourite ambient acts bar none, the rest being some of my favourite acts in their genres. The festival lasted a few days with each artist appearing at different weird venues around the city (Krakow). Bums me out just thinking about it. Oh well, something else good will come up!

Jóhann Jóhannsson has been one of my favourites for a while and I recently heard an excellent use of one of his tunes in the trailer for the upcoming film 'Battle Los Angeles':


This looks amazing, much better than the similar 'Skyline' which was just a sci-fi CGI abortion. At least this one looks to have some atmosphere, important when having such an effects heavy movie imo.

Went to see Jackass 3D and was a little disappointed! Seemed way too staged this time (I know it is anyway) like they were only there for the money, but not having fun. I miss the original days, definitely some of the funniest footage ever filmed. Also watched the Haye film in 3D which wasn't great, adding little to the broadcast. Finally been playing Black Ops which is also 3D but it gives you a headache after a while!

Home 3D is amazing don't get me wrong, but I still think the technology has been pushed a little far to soon by manufacturers wanting to gain an edge.

Other than that, things are still going great with PokerIdol and OnGame in general. The line continues to creep up with the player pool slowly increasing.

Thanks again for reading and appreciate all the comments!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

New Blog: Foxy

Ouch. My head. Sitting here right now it feels like my brain might explode. This blog is going to be mainly gibberish I feel but I need to release my thoughts.

One of my greatest abilities has always been one of my greatest downfalls. I'm super creative, but almost in an uncontrollable way. I'll take an idea, develop it and over think it to the point that I'm sick of it and I've not even attempted it. This is why I was never able to finish any music, yet alone release anything. On my music computer I have dozens of excellent 1 or 2 minute pieces, all unfinished because I tried taking them too far and got sick of them, dreading going back.

Right now I have 4 poker businesses that are in development. Two are ready to launch and two are set for the future. The problem is I want to start them all at once! That's another problem of mine, I hate waiting and want to do everything straight away. Will a few weeks, days, even hours make a difference to the launch? Maybe not, but that doesn't bother me.

So now I'm in the situation of which of these two business to launch. One can wait and the other can't. One will steadily make me money, the other wont (for a while). One will be LOTS of hard work, the other won't be so bad. One will be really time consuming to the point it will affect my job. But both would be really fun.

One things for sure, I REALLY want to create my own brand. I think that goes back to never releasing any music, I really want to have something, in my hand, that I've devised and launched.

Breath. I'm also starting to get a little worried about all this pressure I'm putting on myself. While I was in the chemist the other day I decided to have a diabetes test after seing a poster aimed at my age group about it. Blood sugar was fine, but my blood pressure was really high, high enough for them to refer me to the doctor. Going to see them next Monday, but I'm sure they'll just tell me to improve my lifestyle etc...

Brain feels a litte clearer now although I'm about finished typing. Why Foxy? Well this Sat gone I was invited to play at the Fox club and really enjoyed it. Free drinks always help, but the players and staff were all really friendly. The tournament was a £30 deepstack with tons of runners (loads of alternates) but I managed to wade through the field and came 7th, just outside any big money.

It was actually some of the best poker I've ever played. My aggression level was the highest it has ever been and instead of surviving, my old tactics, I pushed harder and harder to try and win. I won so many uncontested pots, it was great fun. Look forward to playing again.

Oh, and I didn't play the DTD Grand Prix in the end. They hit the max runners, turning what I thought would be an easy tournament with a decent overlay into just a 900 runner £50 freezeout, which I just don't have the time for.

Seeing Anna for the first time in a couple of weeks this weekend which I'm really looking forward too. I need to relax and spend some time away from the computer.

Thanks again for reading and I promise for a more interesting post next time!

Monday, 25 October 2010

New Blog: Busy-ness

Things have gone from busy to mental over the last few weeks. Where to start!

After nearly a month since my last OnGame update things have continued to grow and we've FINALLY clawed back to where our traffic once was before things went tits up in Europe.

Congratulations to everyone from the network and may the line continue to go up! With regards to PokerIdol we're going from strength to strength right now. Our rake race was hugely popular last month, so much so some believed it too good to be true! For everyone who earned 1000 points but failed to make the top 40 leaderboard we arranged a $2000 freeroll with 20 places paid. We had 30 players qualify however only 12 turned up! That meant everyone was paid and more than they were supposed too! We've done the same rake race this month and we're expecting the same amount of qualifiers in the freeroll....however I'm sure more will turn up this time!

What about next month? Well, something big is happening with PokerIdol. You might of noticed this if you currently follow us on Facebook or if you logged into our client recently. We've gone through a complete brand overhaul, replacing the old blue theme to a much more red affair. In fact, here's a sneak peak of the new website:

Have a look and decide for yourself it all means. More details will be coming during the week before the site goes live. This will be the best way for you to prove which area of the game you're the best at. Bragging rights at the ready.

I've played one game of poker since Portsmouth and this was with the old Phat Dogs crew, after a call saying they were one short in the game closest to my house. Was great playing with the guys again, although I really noticed the difference in structure after playing some deep events. Just to think, it was a little over 3 years ago I arrived at their game, hands shaking, playing the highest standard I'd ever faced off against! It was good fun though and I came third for a mind blowing £10 profit, still nice to win something :)

My next poker is going to be the DTD Grand Prix this weekend. I'm playing the Friday so if anyone is going to be there let me know! Happy to slap a PokerIdol patch on you too, will have loads in my pocket.

Other than working hard with PokerIdol I've been devoting my time to my business projects. I've had to put the big one on hold I was speaking about before as another one needs to be launched ASAP. This one is super exciting and will be a second of its kind. Yes there is another company who has done a similar thing, but in a very amateur fashion. I'll bring some professionalism to this project and crush the competition. More news on that very soon!

Went to stay with Anna and her family this weekend gone and had a lovely time. They live right out in the country, near Canterbury. Was great seeing Anna again although it was over way too soon! We went to see Paranormal Activity 2 and I was unimpressed to say the least. I thought the first was very well done and genuinely scary however this time they just overdid it. A couple of decent jumps for sure (the kitchen one nearly killed me) but overall I thought it was very slow to start and never really took off. I look forward to the third one though, although I doubt I'll go see it in the cinema.

The last few times I've been I've had someone behind me really disturbing me. The last time at the Expendables it was a couple talking at normal volume and this time it was someone eating a LARGE packet of crisps. I mean, just bring in the nosiest snack to the cinema! While I'm a complete hypocrite and eat like a madman when I'm there, I don't see the need to have so much food when watching a film, I mean it's only a couple of hours (unless its some sort of LOTR 3 hour abortion). I hardly go anymore anyway, but I'm still going to cut my cinema going down to either films I have to see ASAP (Like Jackass 3D) or by going late at night when a films almost over, so the place is empty.

Speaking of eating like a madman, my weight continues to increase and I've decided to take drastic measures taking advantage of my many compulsive disorders. My one and only kept new years resolution was in 2006 when I vowed never to sprinkle salt on anything again. I'd pour it on anything to the point where a ham sandwich tasted bad without it! It was hard to begin with but slowly my taste buds redeveloped and food started tasting great without it. These days I could never add it, partly because I notice too much salt easily now and it spoils the taste, but mostly because I'd feel absolutely terrible for breaking such a feat.

So since last week I've given up the following.

  • Chocolate, on its own or something including it.
  • Creme, on its own or something including it.
  • Biscuits of any variety.
  • Small packets of crisps.
That's a lot of stuff but a sacrifice I'm happy to make. I can't have one biscuit but I'll have to eat the whole packet. I can't have one packet of crisps but several. I'm going to take this compulsive behaviour and use it for good! Sure those are some big things to cut out and I'm giving myself the chance to have them again in 5 years, but I'm definitely not going to miss them. It's already working, I'm passing up on all of them for the first time ever due to some crazy mental block I've now installed in my head. Now to get back to the gym!

I've just finished watching the complete Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David is my new hero. I love how direct he is and how he speaks his mind. I know it's still a fictional character, but I definitely think including some of that no holds bar attitude into my own character would be beneficial, albeit in a more tasteful way. Oh, and the Jew-stare might be the funniest thing I've ever seen. Each one cracking me up for hours.


So now I need something else to watch. For now I'm watching some Star Trek: TNG episodes again. I don't care what anyone says, a classic series!

Today I finally got round to upgrading my hard drive. What a difference a few years make! It's lighter, over double the capacity (1TB over the old 400GB), smaller and even cheaper. I'll miss my old hard drive but I'm sure it's about to die and that would be a total disaster. Now I just need to decide how I'm going to transfer the data. This will not be fun.

Thanks again for reading, good luck and good night!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

New Blog: Grand

After a couple of years of trying and a couple of years of not trying I finally had my first 'official' tournament win.

(I've qualified 'official' but being over £50 and in a specific poker premises (won a couple of tournaments in bars but don't count them)). I'll get to the details in a minute but will first backtrack.

This week saw some more exciting news for the OnGame network as one of the biggest Entraction skins signed a contract to move their players over. This means one thing, more fish and lots of them. PokerIdol also started its October Rake Race with $14,000 in prizes (http://bit.ly/cXQNEX). If you've not tried the site yet, this really is the month to do it. Mail me today for details and deals chris@pokeridol.com.

The Ryder cup was excellent, especially watched through my families 55inch 3D TV! An amazing machine and watching golf in 3D is great. They have some things to work out in the broadcast -- rain on the camera gave you a headache -- but overall it's definitely the future of TV. They also showed a bug documentary which is without a doubt the best bit of filming I've ever seen, totally knocking my block off.


My first live poker room review for GX Magazine came out last month without me realising, very exciting, I'm finally a printed journalist! This review was for the Circus in Stoke which I wrote after cashing the in £150 event they had:

For the next review I was invited down to 'Shuffles' in Portsmouth to play their £250, £10,000 main event. I was excited about this as most people I knew were off to London to play the EPT Charity event.

The journey to the club was without stress mostly to using Google Maps the night before. The last few journeys I've taken now I've looked on satellite and streetviews to get a visual of the area and to look for parking before I arrive. An extremely powerful tool!

The club itself was easy to find on the main road and I was let in early to meet the owner Jason, a very nice guy with a big passion for the club. I'll paste the review of the club in the next blog after it's been published.

I was confident when sitting down. While my game is always quite rusty as I don't play much these days, I've definitely been learning from the deeperstack tournaments I've played, namely being much more aggressive and opening much lighter. I started off well, hitting some big hands and by the first break I was upto 29K with the Ave being 16k:

I was actually upto around 35K, but 3-bet a button open from the BB as I thought he was weak. He wasn't an shoved over my c-bet.

I then got a little card dead and, I admit, a little nervous and had a few boring levels. Hit the second break with just over 32k with the average 30k:

Single towers are never good! Chips are light blue 25, yellow 100, red 500, green 1000 and blue 2000 -- a strange chip!

The next level I really started gaining momentum and before I knew it were were close to the final table, and money, bubble. I was the chip leader at the table and busted second in chips with KK vs JJ. Ended at the third break with 117K with the average being 60K:

Now THAT'S a chip stack. I busted one player and another busted from the other table, so we got to the final table. Going to paste my updates now from the site:

'Almost immediately after, chip leader Chris Edwards and fellow big stack Issa Ali got their chips all in on the turn. Chris with pocket 9's and Issa with A Q, the board showing A 9 3 2 and the river bringing a second ace. Issa places 8th, and wins £350.'

This guy was SUPER aggro, so was happy to bust him. That put me to chip leader for all but 2 hands! Another guy was busted leaving the best player on the table (http://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/player.php?a=r&n=43988), other than me of course, second in chips. Then this hand happened:

'The biggest and sickest pot since Shuffles opened last year, saw a 3 way all in on a 4H 2D 5H board. Current chip leader Chirs Edwards turns over pocket 2's for a set, while second chip leader Ryan Fronda turns over A 3, the second nut straight. Meanwhile Ali Morharrer has put his 80K stack in with A 7 of hearts, the nut flush draw. Innevitably, the 6 of hearts arrives immediately on the turn to give Ali the nuts. Ali wins the main pot, trippling up to become chip leader. However Ryan Fronda profits from the hand and now is a close second in chips. As a result of this hand, Chris Edwards drops from the chip lead, to less than 100K.'

That was quite frustrating but there's nothing I could do. Still pretty deep though so I continued pressing the action and had a nice double up:

'After very little action for the first few rounds after the break, Ali Morharrer doubles up Chris Edwards on a Q 3 J flop, Chris holding Q J and Ali A J.'

I then apparently busted someone else, although I don't remember this hand!

'The very next hand sees Andy Craddock pushing all in pre flop with K 10 and Chris Edwards calling with A 6. The board shows 2 6 2 J A, Chris winning the pot and Andy walking away with £750 in 5th place.'

We got down to three handed and I ended up flopping my 6th!! set of the tournament:

'Shortly after, there is a 25k raise from Ali, with a re-raise of £135k from Chris. Ali flat calls leaving himself only 30k behind, with the flop coming down 5 10 6. Chris goes all in on the flop with pocket 10's, top set, and Ali calls with A J. The turn and river comes Q 2 to see Ali leaving the final in 3rd place with £1600.'

I had roughly 3/1 in chips heads up but was exhausted (been playing 12 hours) so made a good deal for Ryan, £3900 for me and £3300 for him. Was happy to lock that up and go home.

A real nice win and I (obviously) had a great time. A very tired picture of me: (I didn't win with the deuces but for some reason we decided I should use them for the pic. 10's would of been the obvious choice but meh, we were all exhausted!)


So what now with that nice little cash injection? First things first, no it won't become my poker bankroll! I got lucky but still have no desire to play any more, it's going to go to better uses. The first was updating my work set up, buying a new monitor to replace the 32" Samsung TV which hurt my eyes too much. I settled on the 28" HanngG and absolutely love it. Great picture and great resolution, all for £250. I also bought a new mouse to replace the Magic Mouse which I didn't like. I settled on the Razer Orochi. Here is them installed and a better picture of both:

I'm going to get my car fully serviced, valeted and the stereo sorted (have most to go in, just need a sub and labour). I also want/need a new pair of headphones (Monster Beats) but will wait to see what the car costs are first, otherwise the Bose will last a bit longer.

The rest will go into my business as I was going to get a small business loan, but don't need to now. Exciting times for that still.

Have eaten out a couple of times this week with disastrous results. Firstly on Monday I ate at the Lebanese place we go to smoke Shisha. The food was good but the portion was tiny! Tuesday we went to 'Jamies', a new Italian restaurant with the Jamie Oliver name. He should be ashamed, the food was mediocre but the portions were smaller than Monday and the prices were ridiculous. I'm still hungry!

This weekend is going to be a bit of a lads one I think as Anna is not coming down and other gf's are away.

Thanks again for reading!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

New Blog: Memories

A blink of the eye and almost 20 days have passed!

Things are going from strength to strength with PokerIdol and the OnGame network. We continue to grow while others fall, making us one of if not the biggest 'secrets' in online poker! I say secret because most don't mention OnGame when discussing viable networks for grinding. That's fine, our client base are more regular, fish players, I'm sure the few grinders we do have don't want you disturbing the pond! Here is the OnGame traffic graph, almost back to normal:


The big dip was from losing France from the network, that one stung us all. However you can see we added two big new partners around the same time and since then the combined efforts of the skin has abled us to continue growing. If you want to see what you're missing out one, email me (chris@pokeridol.com) today for a special deal. Both the GSOP Online/miniGSOP (tournament players you DO NOT want to miss this) and GSOP Live are going strong too, check out the PokerIdol.com home page for details on there.

I've not been upto a great deal of anything interesting hence lack of blogs. I ended up missing Malta which was a huge shame as I was so looking forward to it, but the event was a huge success. Lots of teams in the team event and a great webcast by the PokerIdol team. Sadly neither of the UK players made any cash, but they really enjoyed their trip. Here are the girls outside the club and a preview of the new PokerIdol colour theme:


Have been spending a lot of time with Anna (give me another ahhhhhh!) which is brilliant. I enjoy every minute I'm with her and her cooking is amazing! She cooked for my friends the other night before we watched An Idiot Abroad (amazing) and it was really nice to properly introduce her to them. We took a stroll through the park (theres a bowls green there, surely no one will mind if I do an hours putting on there every now and then? its perfect and just opposite my house) the last day she was here and I must say it was amazing! Surreal, but amazing.

Check the PokerIdol jacket, what can I say! I know I don't look it in this picture, but I'm very happy here.

My poker chip collection is finally complete (for now). I have an amazing BCC Solid tournament set which I absolutely love. The 25,100 and 500 chips are Capone's and the 1K and 5K are Fun Nites. Even though they say something different on them, they're the exact same chip, which is fine for me as I love the colours rom each set.



Now to organise a game! Am going to try and get the Poker Project crew together again. It's such a shame when groups of friends break up for whatever reason. Mostly people getting on with their lives. I miss all my old poker buddies and all my old uni buddies! I try and stay in contact but it's so hard when you're working all the time. There's definitely not enough time in the year to fit everything in, but I really should make more of an effort. Was looking through my old uni pictures and this is definitely my favourite, what a cracking night out that was!

Look at the timestamp, nearly 4 years ago! What I've done in that time, and how time flies!

The business planning is still going REALLY well, I'm so excited about this. I'm writing formal business plan now and will then contact a few key partners to make the thing happen.

Sunday I'm off to 'Shuffles' in Portsmouth. They've very kindly invited me to play their £250 Main Event and I'll be writing about the club in my next GX Magazine review.

That's it for now and as always feel free to contact me.

Chris

Friday, 10 September 2010

New Blog: ExSITEd

Lots of pictures this week!

Last week was real busy as it was the last Malta Madness qualifiers. With most offering a decent overlay I was furiously looking for UK players to sign up. Sadly none won, but there are still the two previous winners and also at least one group coming out, so I'll have the UK army I wanted albeit small! I'm also going to be doing some commentating at this event to, something I've always wanted to do and something that will look great on the CV! I fly to Malta on the 20th and CANT WAIT. Sun and some drinking, really looking forward to a break.

We've also been getting opinions on our new clothing range. First one of our new hoodies, which do you prefer?


Me and the rest of PokerIdol.com are now pushing the GSOP V, which is OnGames WCOOP/FTOPS equivalent. They run two versions, the regular GSOP which is has high Buy-Ins and high Guarantees, such as a $500 Buy-In $500K GTD! There is also the Mini GSOP which follows the exact same schedule with events having roughly 10% of the Buy-ins and GTD. More info can be found here:

https://www.pokeridol.com/Tournaments/GSOPV/tabid/348/Default.aspx

This year PokerIdol.com are also hosting exclusive qualifiers for the GSOP Live, a new tour spanning across Europe. Hitting some unusual places not seen on other tours such as Riga, Budapest, Malta and Seville, OnGame are really pushing the boat on this one. Expect lots of VIP treatment and the such. First event is in Riga and there is around $20K worth of packages being given away a week! Here are a couple of pictures to we your appetite:

Royal Casino Poker Room Riga:


Studio 69 where the welcome party is being held:

For more details see here:

https://www.pokeridol.com/Tournaments/GSOPLIVE/tabid/359/Default.aspx

If you've not yet played on PokerIdol.com then drop me an email to discuss deals! chris@pokeridol.com

Last week I was approached to contribute to 'Gambling Insider' magazine, a quarterly industry publication. What an honour! They were asking a few people from the industry how the potential opening of the US Market will change their marketing strategy. This my reply:

'Not operating our own network nor having any existing relationships within the US, the opening of the market presents us with as many problems as it does opportunities. If we were to apply for a standalone licence, we would need to partner with a software provider and the time and administration would be a great strain on our resources. Therefore PokerIdol is happy to continue pushing and solidifying itself as a unique brand within the European market, creating a USP that can translate to the US market in the future.

Chris Edwards, UK Country Manager, PokerIdol.com'

Real happy as only had 100 or so words to use. Great piece of work to add to the CV wall!

So, what is the blog title all about? Well I've been working more on my new site, www.supportyourskin.com and it's going to be great. I think having worked in so many areas of the industry and having spoken to so many people I know exactly what services will work well. Will also be nice to have something I've created myself. Will be launching it at the end of the year hopefully!

Also been working on another live event idea. I sooooo want to have a live poker event under my belt too. I put a little feeler out on FB and lots were interested. Determined to do one. Details at some point!

An old friend I used to go drinking with quite a bit posted something on FB the other day and others I used to drink with had replied, some I went to school with and others I just knew from the local 'scene'. I decided to look at their profile to see what they're upto and lots of them have deleted me! Now, I know I have at times been a bit spammy (this has changed recently after finding more effective ways to communicate with people) but this isn't a reason to delete someone? I was initially real mad but that didn't last long as I know they're all still doing what they did years ago and chasing crappy musical pipe dreams (not knocking everyone who does, but they suck) so that made me feel better. As the old saying goes, jealousy is the highest form for flattery!

Not played any poker over the last week as I've been ridiculously busy. I took the last day and a bit off to go see Anna, which is going great. Real happy to finally of met someone who is understanding of everything I do. I knew (and probably blogged) that finding someone would improve other areas of my life and I was right. Prepare yourself for a cheesy picture of us!


Awwwwwww I can hear you all saying! Thanks. We spent some time in Canterbury where she lives. Fun little town! The centre reminds me a lot of Europe as its quite old and rustic. Saw some interesting text-graffiti down a subway:


Wonder what state the author was in when they wrote that?!

My first poker chips arrived, BCC Capone's. They are SWEET! Definitely the best chips I've handled. Feel and look great. I decided to go for 'Solids' (no edgespots) as I love the look. I might get some edge spot chips at some point, for but for now these will do.

And there's me thinking I didn't have anything to write about! As always thanks for reading and feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

New Blog: Domain

MONEY MONEY MONEY! In celebration of this blogs' name, here is a song of the same title, one of my favourites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWtLydQKSKQ

Maybe I should do what Gervais does and post a song during each blog? Does anyone like to hear new music? You'll get a decent variety with me!

So why the money chant? Well, when buying my last domain (www.readingpokertour.com) for my failed local pub tour I saw they were about to start taking order for a new one, '.co'. This is the Colombian domain, but it has a little more appeal due to being similar but shorter than .com

I decided to take a shot and buy a couple. I waited up till 4am one morning when they first went on sale and searched for all the key words, poker, sex, search etc.. but of course they were already gone. I decided I wanted one poker related one that I could possibly use and one sex related one that I could sell. In the end I bought www.internetpoker.co and www.livecams.co (on advise from a domain buying friend).

The total purchase came to around £70 for 2 years ownership. I'd actually forgotten about them until recently, when I logged into my hosting account and saw them. I decided to get the independently valued and was super surprised when I saw the results! Internetpoker.co was valued at over £800 and livecams.co over £1200! What a result!

I'm going to stick with the plan and sell livecams.co asap and keep hold of the poker one. I figure the sex internet market is so established it has little room to grow, so I can get rid of it straight away. The poker internet market, while saturated, still has room in it and of course it's nice to have backups for myself. The pages now have 'parked' pages for the seller so that people can make offers, however I'm not going to sit around, I'm going to push the livecams.co domain out there and contact various sex webmasters. Networking is what I do best and will hopefully be rewarded for it!

I didn't realise how many domains I own now! On top of the two listed above.

www.1tripz1.com - my main one which has all my webspace and forward to my blog.
www.slowdrone.com - which linked to my music but atm goes to blog too. Will find a way to stop a total domain redirect at some point.
www.readingpokertour.com - as I said before the failed (or not pursued) local pub tour.
www.pokrenews.com - cheeky I know! typed this many times when going to pokernews for WSOP updates so decided to buy it as it was available.
www.supportyourskin.com - This is going to be my revolution against the online poker monopoly. More soon.

Perhaps I'll get more into buying and selling domains, but I guess I got lucky with the two .co domains.

Played the APAT Stud and as expected I didn't enjoy it. DTD has never been my favourite venue due to feeling too much like a nightclub and being too big. The structure was really bad and quick, which did't allow for much play. I didn't make many mistakes, but a couple of lost pots meant I was quickly short stacked. Got it in with AJ6 against K77 and made Aces Up but he made 9's full on the river. Sick! Oh well, at least I got a picture of me wearing the new patch:


As expected it looks great. More importantly, it can be read from pictures! Home to see some more people wearing these soon. Decided not to play the HORSE as it's just too far to go for a crapshoot, when I could be home working.

PokerIdol Malta Madness qualification is almost over and I've decided to try and get a team together for the team event. If I can we'll be decked out in Union Jacks. Will be fun! Got a couple of guys interested but may do my own satellite to give someone else the chance.

New laptop finally arrived, it's great to be back on Snow Leopard and have a lightning fast laptop. The last one had gotten really slow (think I dropped it). Have installed the newest Beta of Adium and it is AMAZING. Has to be one of the best programs I've ever used. Facebook have now provided support for it and entering you account as a Jabber account, you now get all your friends offline or online. Coupled with my new toy Growl, this is such a powerful tool.

After my poker chips were stolen along with my car at the start of the year, I've finally gotten around to buying some more. I've gone the geek route, buying from private sellers on Chiptalk. I've bought some BCC's and have almost got a real nice tournament set. Will post pick when they arrive, needless to say I'm excited! Will have to set up a little home game when they're all here. Who's up for a game in Reading?

I feel sorry for some poker rooms, employing retarded social media marketing agencies. I've had several contact me asking me to 'help their clients'. When I don't reply, I get many follow ups. Finally I'll ask what's available and it will be something like $25 a quarter to place a banner for a poker room. ARE YOU BLIND? I ALREADY HAVE BANNERS! DOES THAT FACT THAT YOU'VE EMAILED ME AT CHRIS@POKERIDOL.COM NOT RING ANY ALARM BELLS? As soon as I tell them I work for a site then bam, no reply. I wonder how much these idiots charge.

The PokerIdol blogs are in full effect! Am adding more every week with some decent effort being put in by the guys. Am really excited about this project, so am going to give them some good news about increasing the deal they're on. Can't wait to do some travelling with these guys to live events! If you're interested in joining, click the image on the right.

That's about it for now. Thanks again for reading and as always feel free to contact me.

Monday, 23 August 2010

New Blog: Smashed

Must...Blog! God the time is going crazy right now, not enough hours in the day. Not helped by my sleeping being totally and utterly screwed right now after last weeks events.

After getting behind with my work I finally cleared the backlog on the 16th. I'd not been to the gym for a week or so getting it sorted, so I was looking forward to lifting some weights. I wrapped things up around 8:30pm, just as dusk was setting, and headed out.

I hadn't been at the gym for 10 minutes before I got a call, 'Where would your laptop be?'...'on the desk where it always is', 'Your window has been smashed and it's gone'. Yes, the ****'s had obviously seen my room from the street (only just moved in, should of realised I was on full view) and worked out which car was mine. They must of seen no one was in the other front room, smash and bang they're gone,

I'd never even though about it TBH as we have new double glazing, but of course all double glazing means is they do two smashes instead of one. Here's the scene when I arrived:


The worst part was not what they actually stole, but what was on it. Yes, I know, back up. I hadn't done it for about 5 months, with each month being busier than the last. The files weren't really the problem, anything I'd created and sent I can just ask to be sent back. The real problem was my iCal calendar which has run my life since February (see: http://1tripz1.blogspot.com/2010/02/ibrain.html)

I spent the night freaking out and not sleeping. The next day, overwhelmed with the rebuild project I had to undertake, I decided to take a couple of days off to prepare. What better way than with some poker! I headed to Maidenhead to play the £40 deepstack and enjoyed it, coming 20th of around 60. I'm really enjoyed the game again now as my game is back up to standard. In fact, I'm a lot less 'practised' as I once was, meaning I'm constantly trying new things and have upped my aggression massively. Sure, I'm going to make some mistakes, but it's all fun.

On the 19th then I started the calendar rebuild and it went much better than expected. What I thought would be a 2-3 day job actually took me just the one. I've lost data on everything in my calendar which I wont get back, but at least all the deals and dates are in. Phew. Working now on my old mac which was great as I kept my profile and everything installed, so could go right back to it. Will get the next one this week hopefully and transfer it all across.

Saturday I went and played the Rileys game and my game felt sharper than ever, winning some nice pots with lots of aggression. Got moved tables and in two coolers (TPTK vs set of maniac and AKs vs 55) I was quickly out, but am still happy with my game.

Sunday I attended an event called the 'Super Vs Battle', basically the biggest fighting game event of the year (www.supervsbattle.com) sadly I was there for a meeting (more on that soon) so didn't get to see it in full swing, but here are a couple of pictures anyway:

The main tournament stage


Practice area

Interesting to see just how good these guys were.

So start of this week is pure grind mode before seeing Anna on Thursday and then its the Stud WCOAP on Friday. I've been playing quite a big of Stud on PokerIdol, so am confident in doing well. Better than first out which is what I was in 2008! (http://1tripz1.livejournal.com/79739.html)

On a final note the first PokerIdol bloggers are up and running! Links are to the right and expect to see more of these guys very soon.

Cheers!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

New Blog: Patched




Going to be a quick blog this one. Since Stoke I've been getting my head down, burying myself in work. It's all going rather well at the moment. Ongame continues to grow and listen to the needs of their customers. All cash games are now 35bb minimum which is HUGE. Coupled with no waiting lists, I think the network is one of the top cash game options. Here is the uptick Ongame has gained recently:


At a time where all other networks have a downward facing line, this is really exciting. As always, if you want to try out Ongame, speak to me about playing on P
okerIdol.com

You may notice on the right a prototype for the 'PokerIdol blog team' logo. The blog team will be players of all standards who want to improve their game and increase their network of poker friends. Very soon there will be links under the logos to the new bloggers.

PokerIdols new merchandise is still un
der development, but the designs we've had are amazing. This is one of the many advantages of working with Scandinavians, they would rather pay a high cost for an outstanding product, even if its going to be given away. The merchandise won just be boring 'promo' gear, but fashionable products you'll want to wear out and about. Previews coming soon!

What has arrived are our new patches. What is a patch? It's the poker room logo a player wears on normal clothes. It will have a sticky back so it can be quickly applied. I LOVE patches, I think they look great. I worked for ages getting ours just right as they need to be bold enough for pictures. Here is a picture of them unboxed and comparing the new one to the older, smaller ones:

This has been a bit of a promo blog! Sorry about that. In real life things are going pretty good too. Am continuing to see Anna, in fact its gotten quite serious. Bit shy about it all to be honest (and who wants to read it) but having a decent personal live seriously improves the rest of your life for sure.

I've decided to start visually documenting my working life as you do pic up some interesting memorabilia along the way (patches, for example). I'm working on the Poker Icons section right now and it should be a nice thing to have on the wall when done. Will show that when done.

Played some horribly drunk poker last night at Deja Vu and lost 2-3 buyins. I always made it a rule not to play drunk, but I broke that a few times recently after it was the only opportunity to play and actually did ok. Last night was terrible though, playing tilty and rubbish. It always seems to happen when I hook up with Mr Loftstedt for a few drinks. We have a great time, he go home as he has normal working hours, I go to Deja Vu and carry on drinking and tilting. The difference this time though was I felt terrible about it, really disappointed in myself. I wont be doing it again.

The next poker coming up is probably the APAT WCOAP. I registered for the HORSE as soon as it came on sale and decided agains the others. However last week I checked to see what was left open and there were seats for the Stud. Having been the first out of the Stud in 2008, I signed up to see if my game has improved (I know it has as I worked super hard on it after that day, but would be nice to see it pay off!).

Other than that, my first article for GX Magazine will be out soon. More on that when published.

For now then thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

New Blog: Stoked


Firstly, hello to all the new friends I'm meeting and adding on Facebook. I have become addicted to networking recently and am really enjoying chatting to new poker players from all over the country. Now to some poker...

When working last week I saw the hype about the event they had in Stoke. A one-day, £150 tournament with £4K added. Seeing that a few people I knew were going and the quick structure suiting my experience (not to self: learn deep stack MTT) I was eager to take a shot.

I headed to the local Maxims casino to Buy-In as it's a longish journey to miss out! The have moved the poker tables in there which is a real same. The poker room was definitely my favourite, I guess because it was the first one I ever stepped foot in. I remember getting there and thinking, yeah, this is me. Th
at was about 5 years ago now. Wow.

I then had the worst nights sleep ever. I have trouble sleeping it must be said. Not actually getting to sleep, but feeling the benefits from it. My dreams are always so intense that I wake up mentally exhausted. Anyone any idea what this means?

Anyway, tired but still raring to go I hopped in the motor and headed up. Easy journey and got the casino after about 2.5 hours. The casino was nice, real big in fact. I was then pointed towards the free breakfast buffet and took full advantage going up for thirds. If you know me you know I need to grow!

I then sat at my table and first and tried to scope my opponents as they sat. After a few hands it was obvious I'd gotten lucky, with the players all being regular 'casino' players. I'm sure you'll know the type. Not too tough and mostly fun to be around. Even the players who got moved to the table were all nice (apart from one lady, more on that later). It was definitely the most fun I've had playing poker for a while. Here is a crappy picture of me in full grind mode (in the shirt with the headphones on):


The poker itself was quite eventful. I'll go through the interesting tweets as I was posting relentlessly during the event. Thanks to everyone who commented and supported me.

The first note is the dealers were really hit and miss. As they were dealing with much bigger numbers than usual, they had to hire extra ones in or recruit other casino works who used to deal. A couple would stack the chips, including the blinds and antes and bets as soon as they happened into one pile. Very annoying when trying to look at players and keep up with the action. One made a huge mistake however.

In the later stages the blinds and antes were so big any pot was worth winning, especially with a couple of limpers. In one such pot, all players turned their hands over, one revealing A6 and the other revealing A10. The dealer declared A10 the winner and started to shuffle the hand and the flop. The A6 player still had his cards. We then all realised that as the board was JJKQ, it was a chop. The haggard old woman who was being pushed the chips straight away said oh well, I've won now.

The floor explained that because the dealer had 'killed' the flop (turning over the cards and shuffling them) that the hand could not officially be split. However she said the other player could give half as a 'gentleman's agreement'. The other player said no and mayhem erupted. Now, I'm all for taking edges over someone and capitalising on them. Heck, I've written many a unpublished article on pushing the boundaries of gamesmanship. However, in this instance, I do believe in both being sportsman like and in karma. As the player who lost out argued, she said 'well I remember you calling me with A7'. How can you steal someones chips as spite of a bad call? Mental.

They also had a rule that if you called a players river bet, you HAD to show your hand. Not if they asked, but it was forced. This is ridiculous.

Anyway onto some actual hands. Three of the looser players limped in and I had 22 on the button, so decided just to set mine as none would fold to a raise and no one had enough chips to get fancy. Four to the flop, it came 338 with two diamonds. It was checked to me and, figuring my hand was good but vulnerable, I bet. Each player too a long time to fold, looking at me confused and I soon realised it must of been a bad bet. I know I don't rep much, so do I just check back? I think one of my problems was betting too quick and making it look too strong.

The last player to act called and quickly bet the Jx turn. I simply couldn't give him a hand seeing as they all thought I was bluffing and I've seen a few people recently pull a OOP float when they quickly donk the turn, so I called, planning to call lots of river cards too. The 4c came, a perfect card and he quickly bet. I insta called and he showed AQ. That hand gave me a scary image I think as no one played back at me afterwards.

Think started getting short but I shoved a couple of big hands and got my stack back up. Then another hand came up where more loose players limped and I again did with Jh10h in the HJ. The flop came 910J with 2 clubs. The first player, who was real tight, bet and the next player who was super loose but not aggressive at all made a big raise. I was obviously torn between shoving or folding. I decided that I need not take the risk as I had such little invested. The first player folded J10o face up and the loose player showed 9T for the win. Sigh. I was quite tilted at the time, but don't really hate the play. I guess bottom two is the worst of his range there.

Went card dead again and with antes now in play I really started to dwindle. Then came the hand of the year. Forgetting the preflop action correctly, there were three of us all in with one other player folding half his stack. I was the shorty and because of that and the way things played out I thought my AsKc would be good for two over cards. No.

The first player had KK, the second AA and the one who passed showed JJ out of the muck. 4th best hand! In real dire straights, the dealer pulled out the clubs on the flop. Being the only person with black cards I was able to maintain my 5% chance of winning. The 8c on the turn continued giving me 5% (I thought these numbers were going to slightly increase, would of made it more interesting, but I've been working it out as typing). I don't normally get visually excited, but wow I was shouting for a club. The 2c on the turn was so sweet. YES!! I screamed, as the huge rail that had formed gasped in excitement. One of the best hands I've ever been involved in but it also reminded me I struggle with the emotional aspect of the game. I was propelled into the chip lead and felt chip drunk for the first time in ages, having to fold the first 2 hands half dark. Imagine if that was half way through the WSOP and not a £150 event? I think I'd have a heart attack. Here is the table shot as quick as I could take it. You can just make out the cards.


So with that excitement over, I then went pretty card dead and was just precision shoving. The blinds and antes took ever big increases, but I scraped the money and busted 30th/344 for £300. Not the £12K first prize, but still nice to win something.

Earlier on I spoke about my sleeping. I haven't felt the excitement I felt at this event for ages. Needless to say I slept great that night and after just 5 hours I woke completely refreshed, feeling better than I have done in about a year. Today was the same, feeling great when getting up early. Maybe my mind just can't cope with always working? Maybe I'm more competative than I think? I'm going to try and play more live comps and more league sports and see how much this actually helps.

Had two SOLID days of work so far this week. Have got on top of everything I'd let drag behind and can now continue to push PokerIdol. OnGame numbers have risen excellently since the new skin is fully migrated. As always email me (chris@pokeridol.com) for a private deal.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to having more poker content soon!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Blog: Growth




Today is an exciting day as the OnGame network grows by 30% with the inclusion of a huge skin and sportsbook. After all networks were rocked by the withdrawal of France, we will now become bigger than we were with Fr and should regain the 5th spot on Pokerscout above Cereus. If you're looking to try out OnGame to mail me for a private deal chris@pokeridol.com

Been a while since my lost real blog! I've been working so hard and I've jsut not had type, but that's obviously a real good thing. Last week I went to meet with a business I met last year in Icons. His business has changed into a grind centre where he basically employs online poker players to come in and do shifts. The office is AMAZING! Here are some pictures:


Hopefully we can get PokerIdol as one of their skins. Would be an great place to work and spend some time.

This weekend gone I saw Anna again which was great :)

Saturday I went to a party and saw some old school friends which was great. Marc bet me I could not do a 'Players' tequila slammer (remember the Ziigmund video). He should of learnt before not to bet with me.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Old article: The Myths Of Poker

Nov 2008...

About two years ago I was coming home from a late night session of poker in my local casino. My taxi driver was bright and friendly and we enjoyed a pleasant conversation for most of the journey, until he asked the dreaded question; 'How much did you lose?'

When I asked why he assumed I had lost he said that of the most people he picks up from the casino had lost, especially young student types like myself. I informed him that I had won money that evening, not by betting on numbers against the house, but from playing poker.

'Well, it's just another way to gamble. Anyone winning in a casino is lucky'. I laughed at him and tried to say that I wasn't gambling, instead my win was purely skill based. We argued over the matter for the rest of the journey home. If you were to ask several random people, players or non players, their thoughts on the game you would get answers from both sides of the debate.

New or non players will tell you that poker is a game of luck and that it certainly is gambling. Naive poker players will then argue the exact opposite. However, students of the game or general gambling theory will tell you it's a combination, poker is a game of luck and skill. In their groundbreaking text 'The Poker Mindset', Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger state that accepting these realities is the first step to thinking like a true professional.

Poker is a game of luck for one important reason. You cannot decide what cards are dealt. It does not matter how good you are (or think you are), you have no say on the matter. Therefore in the short term, just like any form of gambling, luck is the deciding factor in someone winning. Because of this, good players don't always win, but they win the majority of the time by consistently making mathematically correct plays. Therefore, in the longer term skill is the deciding factor in being a regular winner.

However, because of the luck factor on each individual hand, each bet is still a gamble as very rarely will you be a 100% favorite to win. There is still a chance you can lose, but the best players will reduce those chances. One of the best quotes on the matter was written by Anthony Holden in his famous 1990 book Big Deal.

'A gambler who bets on casino games is someone who wagers unfavorable odds. A poker player, if he knows what he is doing, is someone who wages favorable odds.'

Good players will continue to reduce the amount of risk involved by betting small amounts in relation to their available poker money, or bankroll. This means that inevitable unlucky losing sessions will not force them to stop playing. A person using poker to really gamble might risk all his money in one game and even if he is the best player, he can still lose.

It is the luck factor that consistently draws people to the game. Anyone can win at any one time, but sooner or later, the better players will always end up with the money.

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Have been reading some of my old articles lately and while the grammar is a little rough overall I'm happy with them.