Saturday, 24 April 2010

Quiet week

After having a few days away last week I decided to have a quiet, hard working week. It went well with Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday being solid 12 hour days. Am on a definite upswing at the moment, with some great new partners coming on board.

Been playing a few hands of online poker still and my feel is slowly coming back, which is exciting. I then went out Thurs evening for a curry and ended up playing small stakes poker in the same venue I did the focus group. Compared to last time I was there, my game felt really solid. We were playing 5 handed most the time which is a plus as Ongame is 5-max.

I folded top pair a couple of times and broadway on a 3-flush board, each time right, something hard to do when out of practice. I also made some very thin value bets and a couple of great calls. Feels good that my game is coming back and I will try and keep it at a decent level now as there will be a demand for me to play more.

Another reason I've been playing loads is next week is the forum team challenge. Will be great to finally meet the RTR guys, I means its only been around 3 years?! Study and money has always been a factor when these things have come up in the past, so will be good to finally show some dedication. Looking forward to meeting the other forums too. If you're wondering who I am, look for a tall, stocky, insanely good looking guy wearing a PokerIdol patch!

This weekend will be a quiet one. I felt really ill yesterday and unfortunately had to cancel plans to meet a lovely girl called Monika. Soon I hope! Today there might be a few ales on the cards but I'm not so sure. Tomorrow will be another big work day as will the rest of the week ready for the weekend.

I will be taking one day off next week to attend my first gig in a while, seeing the unique 'Nedry' http://www.myspace.com/nedrymakesmusic who are a live dubstep/electronic band with a Bjork like female vocalist. A uni buddy will becoming down too so will be great to catch up. Will try not to get too smashed so I can work Wednesday!

Played my first game of squash the other night for a few weeks. I've not intentionally stopped, but a few no shows, no opponents and you quickly get used to not playing. I'm still really determined to get fit this year, so gonna start going back even on my own. Also need to hit a golf ball for the first time this year! Looking at these amazing evenings and not going out is hard work, especially as I was playing nearly every day last year. But if I remember, I told myself to make the most of it because at some point I'd need to get my head down. Feels great that that time is now :)

Cheers to all who are reading, drop me a comment or an email, appreciate it as always.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Hex

Wow, time is going fast! Over a week since my last blog, so lots to catch up on.

The meeting with the pub league went well. Was nice to play some poker again, although the structure was a little different than Austria :) Not sure if I could play regularly anymore, I do crave something a little deeper these days. That weekend wasn't too eventful I don't think.

This week has been a lot more busy. Tuesday I took my trip up to see a couple of casinos, namely the G in Coventry and the Alea in Nottingham. The G in Coventry was amazing as it was built by American architects, so look very much like a vegas casino with water features and neon lights everywhere. My description doesn't do it justice. The poker room is also very nice.

Alea Nottingham was nice, but its a bit hard to get too being right in the town centre. I like somewhere a bit on the outskirts with a big parking facility. That evening I stayed in a rather old hotel in Birmingham where I had to change rooms for the first time ever. The place was comfortable enough, but the windows were super old slotted ones. This mean on the side of the hotel that caught the wind (mine obv) the windows would bang so hard in their frames it sounded like someone knocking on your door. Luckily they were happy enough to move me to the other side of the hotel and I got a decent-ish few hours sleep.

Wednesday I headed to the Gala in Birmingham, which is an absolute dive. Then to Walsall to check out the Grosvenor there. A bit dreary on the outside, but decent enough inside, and easy to get too with lots of free parking. After that I headed to Stoke to check into the hotel we'd be staying in for the evening. Had an Ok-ish mixed grill at the adjoining Harvester then sat in the hotel bar drinking the night away.

That evening I fell asleep pretty quickly, only to wake suddenly within an hour. This is very unlike me, so the odd time It happens I panic (the last time was to be sick in Egypt, 2 years ago). To say I've never felt so strange would be an understatement, I couldn't focus on anything and pretty much had the sensation I was about to die! I think a combination of the booze (lots), waking from a deep sleep and a probably nightmare is what did it. A quick episode of South Park sorted me out and I've been fine ever since. Weird.

Thursday we hit Alton Towers although it was quite busy, I went on Oblivion, Nemesis and Hex which is fine. I really like all 3, Nemesis is really intense, Hex as it's epic and Oblivion as the falling sensation is crazy, it feels totally unrestrained! Took my friend who came back with me to see G Coventry on the way back before getting home quite late. Suffice to say I slept like a baby that night.

Friday I had an epic work day (I need to start doing many more of these) and hadn't planned on going out, before I got an invite for a mates birthday. That is a good enough reason, but these days I try to never turn down a night out. During some depressed times over the last couple of years I stayed in way too much and my time to be young and free is starting to run out, so I've made an effort to be lots more sociable. Its fun! Yesterday I vegged out for most of the day before going to a buddies house in the evening for some PS3 and today has been work. May go for a pub drink later on.

Few things lined up for this week, but mainly its going to be work work work. Good luck all!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Conundrum

I decided to start playing online poker again for two reasons. Firstly, people will expect me to play from time to time doing this job and to be honest I don't want to be rubbish when I do. Secondly, I've sort of got the bug again to play.

I say sort of, because I don't really know what I want to do with the game. Back when I was playing lots I would play 3/4 hours online 5-6 days a week and play live 4-5 times a week. I saw playing online as 'practice' for the live games, which I preferred. I used to do well, making a steady profit online and cashing on average once a week live.

I stopped playing for two reasons. One, I had a degree to earn. Two, I got bored of doing well. Sounds stupid, right? Well, I was only ever at the micro limits and didn't have the time or bankroll to move up (micro earnings was enough to supplement my part time job). I decided my time was spent being productive, hence the degree and doing well in it.

So now, what are my choices? 1-2 hours of micro limits every night doesn't really appeal to me. That 1-2 hours I'm not achieving much and will never get the time back. I guess if it stops me looking bad when I'm 'forced' to play, then that's something. For now I should try and get to the skill level I once was and decide where to take it from there. One thing's for sure, I'm never going to be an online grinder and am happy about it. I also don't believe its really sustainable to make a living from live poker. I do however believe I have the ability to be a good poker player. Weird then, I believe in myself, but not the game. Perhaps I should try something new?

Have been ill this week with some sort of bug. Nothing crazy, but It's left me feeling horribly fatigued all the time. I've worried that it's my new TV. The novelty of a huge telly has worn off already. Its not particularly useful when working and I hardly ever watch films full screen (It's at a funny angle to my bed, if I want to lie down and have it full screen I have to literally have my head turned full right, not comfortable). There is a 26" downstairs, so will probably swap with that.

This illness meant no epic road trip which was shame. However, I have a car! Went last minute to see another Clio. My friend drove me, for about an hour, and we when we arrived a big 'Automatic' sticker was plastered over the front. Whoops! The dealer has a new car just arrived though, a Peugeot 307. Now this is a car I'd never considered, but it was spacious, black, tidy and had a poky little engine. Whats more, the dealer must of been doing badly as I got him down from 4k to 3.4k fairly easily. Am super happy with it and will take it on its first decent run tomorrow.

Am going to meet a small pub league. This one is quite old, a 'survivor' of the good old days. Have already struck up a rapport with the owner via email and phone, so am confident we can do business together. Excited about being part of a pub league again. A small one like this, close to home, would be perfect.

Not much planned for the weekend. Gonna try and shake this bug, plus get tons of work done, as I'm off to Alton Towers next week. I will also fit the casino visits before or after the trip as it's in the same area. Really can't wait for a little trip away! I feel like a kid, but the 'Hex' ride is pure epic, like being inside a film with the score playing in the background.

I've received a couple of mails from people reading this blog. Thanks, I really appreciate it.


Thursday, 1 April 2010

I ARE DWAN


Well, not really. But last night I played in a very well run, public, regular micro stakes cash game. The chips we're flying and I was well and truly annoying my opponents.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty uneventful, having to cram lots of work in around organising a focus group for last night. Now I was randomly pa
rt of a focus group before, so knew how I wanted to run it. I think its important for the settings to be informal, quiet and to relate to your content somewhat. Luckily for me Deja Vu bar in Reading, where I started the games, saw such potential they have bought 2 full size tables which run 4 nights a week.

Having worked for the GM in two different businesses and knowing how the thinks, I made the quick call, 'I need the poker area for an hour and will be buying 6 new customers a round of drinks'. Easy free venue.

Got there early and set up my banner. Hard to see in this picture (crapberry camera) but worked out well.

Had a great group attending, couple of mates and new introductions, all from different spectrums of our target market. I dealt a high card for the button before every group of questions to decide who would answer first, which I thought was a neat touch. Got some amazing answers and discussion, I got very lucky with the group.

Two of the old Poker Project crew were in the group, with another two who I don't see all that often turning up later. Was great to see them all, always have a good crack. The two who turned up late wanted to play poker, so with the regulars we started a 10p/20p NLHE cash game. All I wanted to do was drink, and when Olly headed off I urged Antony to come with me somewhere else. We hooked up with Olly again they wanted to go back to the poker. Not a good idea when I'm drinking.

That said, because the stakes were so low I didn't mind. I was raising and 3-betting like a mad man and gambling profusely, picking good (or at least not terrible) spots most of the time. A lot of the regs got annoyed when I showed down bad hands and I generally enjoyed not worrying about the stakes, which is a real first. I will definitely hit this game again, sober, and spew a little less.

Friday and Saturday are going to be boring this weekend, most probably wont go out as I have tons of work to catch up on. Sunday will start a short, but fairly epic, road trip. First its driving all the way to Barrow for Glen's (former business partner, http://www.pot-committed.co.uk/) wedding, which should be fun. Monday and Tuesday I hope to hit Nottingham, Walsall, Coventry and Birmingham looking at Casinos. Tuesday evening will be in NW London meeting a potential business partner, then a finally getting home.

I will be exhausted. I can't wait.

All I need to find now is a car. It wont be a 'total' disaster if I don't as I can borrow one, but it would be nice to take this opportunity to bond with a new machine.

Good luck!