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.


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

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

New Blog: Reunion

I went to play the Deja Vu game last week but it wasn't on...instead some charity gig. One of the other players turned up so we went to have a drink instead. I was really, really in the mood to play after dropping him off, so I phoned around EVERYWHERE. Sovereign, TC, Western, Full House, KC, but no where had a game smaller than £1/£2. It's not the stakes, but I just can't be bothered to lose the money in that game. Winning is winning for me as long as the game is not a complete crapshoot.

So I didn't play and had to wait till Saturday. No matter as Thursday was an exciting day for me. One of the girls from my Egypt tour group was in the UK. Us in Nov 2008:

This was on our 5* cruise ship sailing up the Nile, on the themed Egyptian night. You can see who put the most effort into their costume! I got the train to London and met Taylor and her friend and we went for a pint near Paddington. I asked them what they were doing that evening and they had no plans, so invited them to Reading to go to a nice country pub. Taylors friend had never experienced this and it's a nice thing to do in the UK, especially if your experience is only London! So they got to Reading and me and Guy took them to the Pot Kiln, my favourite country spot. Us as the sun is setting:

They enjoyed it, especially the local ale (but not the pork scratchings) and we then dropped them back to Hammersmith.

My weekend was fairly quiet and Saturday I went to play the Rileys game. The play was the usual but I saw one outstandingly bad play. I was shocked. Blinds were 100/200 and a super tight player made his first raise in the HJ to 600. About 4 others called and saw the flop.

10x 6d 7d

First position bet 1k into the pot of about 2.5 and there were 3 callers (lol I know) until it got the the raiser. He was relatively new to the game (or live poker at least) and hastily threw in 1k and then excitingly saying raise. The table called him on the string bet and he was only allowed to call. The player to my right went into the tank before announcing 'its not this bet, but what you'll bet on the turn'. Now after this speech I'd put him on a 10 of some sort, maybe J10 or something. But then he flashed me his cards, 9d4d, gutshot and flush draw. Wtf?!

I was shocked. I have never seen a more basic call in all my life. Not only is he getting like 6/1+ (the numbers are a little off) but the implied odds are through the roof. I mean you know a tight player has a good hand! If you hit on the turn you're busting him. If you miss and he bets too much you fold. You have plenty of chips.

Anyway, I bubbled the final table after having a swingy game. I flopped two sets and lost both hands, so its hard to win. I stuck around to play the cash game for the first time in a while but we decided to play chinese poker instead. Happy to do so, we'd played around 5 hands when one of the regulars laid down 3 hearts at the front and proclaimed flush. Thinking he was joking, I showed my jacks but he went to take the chips. ?!?!?! 'It's a 3 card hand' he claimed, as the rest of the table agreed. We had a heated debate that those may be his rules, but not the standard chinese poker rules (wiki it) and that I'd been playing at a disadvantage. Whatever, he agreed, but we kept with his rules now I knew. I won a little bit. Edit: I actually lost a few pound!

Sunday we watched the final. Thought it was pretty boring! I then showed the guys the families 3D TV. They have bought a 3D BR player and Mosters vs Aliens 3D came with it. It's definitely impressive, with the quality being excellent. Another thing I didn't know the TV could do it turn ANYTHING into 3D. Now that is something special. I watched the Matrix on BR and not only was it excellent quality but the 3D gave it an extra layer of depth. Will be exciting when all these new 3D films come out.

This week has been crazy work and hitting the gym. I'm really enjoying the gym at the moment, especially the cross trainer. Now my life is a little more stable it will be exciting to see what can happen when I stick for it.

I feel like playing some cash tonight so will go to Deja Vu and play most of the game.

PokerIdols Facebook Freeroll is this Sunday. There is over $1600 in the pot already and all you have to do it 'Like' our page to enter. $2 is added to the pot for each entry. Check out this link:


Thanks again for reading.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Can't believe the last blog was 24th June! I work myself silly every day and by the evening I can't bring myself to write. I really need to start doing it more often as blogging is a great release.


I've been keeping things pretty quiet, partying less and working more and trying to get fit. Work is going really well, I'm meeting some great new poker players and am excited about working with them all.

Have also played poker the last couple of weeks at the regular Rileys game. The structure is the best I've played at 'crapshoot' stakes and allows for quite a bit of play. I managed to bubble the money 2 weeks ago and came third this past Saturday. The play is SO bad and its fun to just pwn them. The only thing is the poker talk, as stated in my last blog. This time I took my Bose headphones and just shut them off, ignoring anything they said!

Here is the hand that knocked me out a couple of weeks ago. I raised KQo on the button and the SB, a total station, calls. Flop comes Kx 2s 4 and he insta ships over 2 times the pot having me just covered. I know I'm always good here and snap call. He has 9s5s and binks the spade on the turn.

Afterwards he tries to explain 'I had the flush draw, I had to go with it' (ARGH I HATE THIS BASIC POKER TALK) to which I said, fair enough, but the better play would be to CRAI (surely? I mean if you decide to commit with a FD there you might as well give me a chance to C-bet with air which I nearly always do and then shove. Stacks are deep enough I can fold. His play means I only call with a good hand?). He and a couple of the other players laugh saying if I play like that I'm always gonna lose.

This week was better. Players were spewing left and right but I never made a hand until about half way when I made quads and got paid of with top pair no kicker. I then pushed hard and got unlucky in one big pot (can't remember how) but still managed a third. Almost played cash with them afterwards as it's so tempting and I had no plans that evening, but I've never liked playing cash after winning money in a tournament. I feel good for winning and losing it feels even worse. Maybe next week I'll go play cash instead. I might go play the Deja Vu cash game this week at some point (maybe tonight?) but we'll see.

Things are taking shape for the PokerIdol Malta Madness. I'm in the process of picking an official media partner from the UK and have some great options. I went to London last Thursday to meet with GX and Bluff magazines. Both mags have great guys working for them and it was brilliant meeting with them. Now comes the hard part of choosing, which luckily isn't my choice.

After meeting the mags I hooked up with a music enthusiast I met on last.fm and we chatted about music and general life. Had a great time and the minutes flew. She is really talented and I'm certain she's going to be a huge creative success. Hope to see more of her in the future!

I then rushed back to Reading for a date which went well, albeit we got a little too drunk. She is beautiful and funny but as always time will tell.

My family have bought a 55inch 3D-LCD which will be fun when there is actually 3D to watch. Last night we watched '2012' on Blue Ray and I actually didn't like the quality, it was too good! It looked like a cheap TV movie it was so clear. I guess I'm a little sucker for analogue technology still.

Ok well tonight I will hit the gym again and then maybe play some poker. It's mostly an annoying bunch but I'll take the Bose again and cocoon myself.

Thanks again for reading.