Starting with Black Belt Poker, what a great few months it's been!
I think we need to start with the incredible performances some of our team had at the WSOP. Black Belt Poker definitely made its presence felt. We sent a team of 11 out there to stay in a super sick mansion and it wasn't long before Richard 'Chufty' Ashby made a final table, coming 4th in the $10k O8. A great feat in itself, he bested it a couple of weeks later by coming 3rd in one of the hardest tournaments of the series, the $10k 2-7 NL. What a 3 handed game it was, Chufty, Juanda, Hellmuth. That would of been a spectacular win. Still an absolutely sick run. Here is Chufty being consoled by Hellmuth, out of all the pics this is the one I'd want framed, really captures the essence of the WSOP!
We had some great performances from our other players, but the stand out show was from Black Belt CEO Warren Wooldridge. Warren outlasted 4573 players (!!!!) to come 3rd in the $1,000 NLHE event. This was streamed live and sweated every moment of the final table, I've never been so excited! It was amazing to watch but sadly the boss couldn't fade a 3 outer AIPF and had to settle for 'just' 3rd place and $288,946. Here's an excellent final table shot of Warren:
This win made Warren our newest Brown Belt. He now has $4,000 a month to play the circuit for at least 6 months, sick! Fancy some of that? http://blackbeltpoker.com/rewards/
We ran one of the coolest promotions ever during the WSOP, the 'Vegas Prize Fund'. Out of any cashes our 11 pros made (in sponsored events), we would take 3% and share it out between anyone who was Orange or above through June and July. With Warrens 3rd place, the Prize Fund ended up at $9232.76, giving each of the 127 eligible players a $72.70 bonus just for maintaining their belt! Sad you missed this? Read on...
It wasn't just the WSOP we've done well in since my last blog; Black Belt Sam Razavi won the UKIPT Cork for just over $100k!
You have to zoom in to see the ridiculous sized patch. Thanks Stars.
Anyway, not only did Sam win, but 3 of our Orange Belts had shares in him. How? They came 1st 2nd and 3rd in a MONTHLY FREEROLL. That's right, every month we give away shares in all our pros, only available for Orange and Purple Belts:
Because Sam won the UKIPT, 3 Orange Belts shared out over $16,000! There's the potential for this or even more every month, so get your Orange Belt now, it's so freakin' simple.
We made the decision to move all our Academies to the stupid price of £99. This for a full days training with all our top players is just a ludicrous price. Our next one coming up is 'Poker In The Modern World' where you'll learn exactly how to get yourself set up for online poker. Essential.
Finally, just a little preview of something I've been working on:
This little baby is going to be free, too. More info to come.
So, onto what's been going on with me. (Warning: a little deep at times, but it's very therapeutic to write! If you only like reading about poker stop reading now!)
May was a sombre month as my Grandmother passed away. My Father passed suddenly about 7 years ago now and since then I always found it hard to visit her as there were just too many memories of him lying around. I feel guilty about doing that for the first few years when she really needed us as she lived closer to him, but for the past few years she moved close to my Aunt, so had regular company with that side of the family there.
The irony is I was planning on phoning her to arrange a visit, but was interjected by my aunt saying we had to go up there. We barely made it and had time to say goodbye, and within a matter of minutes she'd passed, very peacefully. Complications bought on from Pneumonia if I remember correctly, but she was in her mid 80's, so had lived a very full life. So that was quite sad.
I bought myself a Blackberry Playbook, which I'd been waiting for for months. The excitement of waiting and wanting this new gadget was immense, but after I'd finally bought it and set it up, I was lost. What do I do now? I've hardly used it, there's really no time I need it, and to be honest I've found it quite stressful adding another screen/gadget to my almost ridiculous collection and finding times to use it to justify it's worth. I've thought about getting rid of it, but it might come in handy some time? I'm not sure. I'm leaning towards selling it. If anyone wants a bargain, give me a shout.
I've still been getting more and more into my cigars, buying a new humidor and filling it up nicely. My collection is now extremely respectable:
The SMELL when opening that up, my gosh, perfect. I almost like the collecting and storing of the cigars as much as the smoking! I've cut right back since I've been unwell (more on that below) but am still regularly adding single sticks here and there to the collection. The next I want to get into is liquors.
I hosted a little cash game for mates the other week and during it started feeling ill. Mostly chronic nausea. This went on for a few days, then week, and I'm now only getting over it. It got to the point where I had a bunch of blood tests, for which I had the results today, but everything was fine (save for some high readings from my liver, but this is because I'm still a little overweight and is easily rectifiable).
So what was the reason? Well, in 2009 I was having a shitty time. Very depressed. Post-Uni blues (sounds silly if you've never had it, but image having the most fun filled few years of your life and then coming back to 'reality', it is very hard to manage) coupled with another major bereavement AND worries about my career. I couldn't take it and finally gave in, went to see my doctor, and got some tablets. It wasn't a miracle cure, but at least it helped me sleep and not feel to low. I stayed on them last year as it was still a stressful time for me, plus I still hadn't gotten over that bereavement (in fact, I didn't to any grieving at all).
This year things are a lot better, so once my last course of these tabs ran out about a month ago I decided it was time to come off them. My doctor recommended coming off of them quite quickly, but it seems like this was a bit of a mistake. There seems to be some very serious side effects from doing this and low and behold this includes nausea. I've also felt quite low because of this.
What's the solution? Well one of them is to go back on to the tablets, but I really really don't want to. I can do something about it now. So I'm a) going to ramp up my health, no bullshit this time, and b) get some counselling. I put off that Bereavement for too long and now I have this new one to contend with, there's a slightly too big of a backlog for me.
I think, with this done, I'm going to be a much happier person. I'm alright most of the time anyway, and to other people, but you have to work the kinks out! It has to be done!
Felt good to write that.
I've been playing a little poker recently, averaging out about once every couple of weeks. I'm enjoying playing evening tournaments again, something I got bored of. The local casino does a £40 freezeout every Thursday which is fun, as it's a really nice place and the first place I ever played! Got deep a couple of times but no cash, but I'll most definitely be there this Thursday.
There's a been a new venue in Reading for a couple of weeks but to be honest nothing really took my fancy there, however I decided at the last minute a couple of weeks ago I wanted to play and it being 5 mins away was the only choice.
Not my preferred tournament, it was £30 for a bunch of chips with £10 rebuys and a £20 add on. Not being any good at rebuys, I just sat there and played about 2 hands, doubling up on one and winning a big pot on the other. After the rebuy period things calmed down and I put my aggressive hat on. To finish the story quickly I won, and it felt good! Everyone was playing very timid - trying for the money, but I just raised myself onto the final table and stole so many pots. Fearlessness is definitely key in these things.
The recent new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, probably my favourite show, has stirred me into watching them all again. Very addictive, I'm already one season 6! To cope with the loss of finishing it again, I've been auditioning new sitcoms. How I Met Your Mother is in the lead right now, and with 6 seasons and 'the new Friends' tag, I'm looking forward to getting into it. Also to try out is 30 Rock and some classics, Everybody Loves Raymond and Seinfeld - I mean it would be crazy not to.
So that's pretty much everything important that's been going on. If you want to follow me on Twitter please do: http://twitter.com/1tripz1
Otherwise here is my favourite song, from my favourite album, of the year so far:
(Oh and Breakage refers to the DJ I'm listening to right now!)