Friday, 8 October 2010

Running Good?

Beginning to play a little more poker now as life becomes more settled.

University effectively starts on Monday, the full timetable takes effect. I'm completely bombarded with work and what with lots of other responsibilities within uni now (final year, giving it my all, boosting CV, searching for perfect job, yada yada yada) and maintaining a healthy relationship - I have little free time. That said, I'm enjoying it a lot more and although its the usual thing ("new term, new start" philosophy) I do feel as though I'm doing well and enjoying it most importantly. Baby steps!

But due to the above I'm actually set in a routine and because of that I find little pockets of time to do what I want with. I'm completely hammering the gym and loving it so that ends up being my preference if I have a spare hour here and there. That only supports my routine though and enables me to stick to it. On the accommodation front its all sorted and I'm going to stay put until Xmas. I think this will be for the best for a multitude of reasons.

So, poker. I've got a casino day lined up with a friend in a couple of weeks so that will be my first taste of the live circuit in a while. Online however, I'm playing on a daily basis. Fundamentally though its just cash, I'm not able to dedicate an evening to getting on the tournament grind and I fear this could be the case for the foreseeable future. I'm mixing a few SNGs in where I can but I might have a free hour or so and boot up 4 tables of 50/1. I've done this virtually everyday and without getting PT up I'd be confident of saying I've knocked up a fair few thousand hands, and been profitable. Undoubtedly a tiny sample size and undoubtedly there were phases of run good in there but nonetheless I'm feeling pretty happy. I'm also sticking to a system I have in place. I'm maintaining the roll at figure 'x' and withdrawing regularly for every $100+ I have earned. It means the roll isn't growing but given I'm unable to commit any serious amount of time to poker or get on the grind more consistently with a particular game, it makes sense to just let it pay for my expenses on a day-to-day basis.

Now I'm beginning to find my feet a bit more and settling in to my routine I'm hoping I can report on some progress on the poker front a bit more. At the moment its sort of like a fix, I'm eager to play but unable to commit to the 2am nights again. That was a dangerous game last year and as its my final year there is no way I'm going there again. Equally, if I can't put in the volume then there's no point. I predicted this would happen in the final year so I'll have to make a way round it! For now that's grinding the cash games where possible so I'll report on a bi-weekly basis on that front!


Tuesday, 28 September 2010


I guess I am guilty of not fulfilling promises, again, but I won't dwell on that!

I've had a pretty hectic time of it since my last update. Predominantly that's been down to university starting back up and my housing situation, or distinct lack of it. I'm currently staying at a friends house and they (couple) fortunately have a spare room. Its actually been epic and we have a right laugh consistently but obviously its something I'd rather nip in the bud. I'd rather end on a high than let it drag out a little and end up leaving because its becoming a tad strained. But anyway, the situation has had an affect of my poker-playing abilities due to the fact I can't be entirely unsociable in someone else's house!

Uni has also started back up and to be honest I'm really motivated and as a result probably enjoying it more. Its setting in that I graduate in nine months time or so and as a result I'm determined to come out with what I want. There are lots of positives to take from things at the moment. Although negatives too but I won't dwell on them either!

So, on the poker front... I have managed to play a fair few hands on 50/1. My purpose behind that was basically to avoid becoming completely stagnate and needing considerable time to get in the groove. It also has its financial benefits! I'm set up on PokerSavvy but its just been impossible to find the time to study any videos properly - having them on in the background whilst doing other things is just pointless. But anyway, through 50/1 I've managed to work the roll back up to near the $2k mark so I'm providing myself with a decent foundation from which to work from again. I'd like to jump straight in there and at least be grinding for some decent bucks and with this roll I can do that again.

For the time being I'm not going to be able to get in to tournament mode but I do hope to allocate more time for Savvy videos, whilst also mixing in some cash to keep it fresh in my mind. I have zero plans to get a place of my own right now either - I'm not paying a dime to be here so it makes sense. Instead, if the right place comes along - I'll jump on it. I'm active though, just a crying shame that poker requires so much commitment to maintain the levels of the start of this year!!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Pastures New

Apologies in advance, to any regular readers, but part of what I'm about to say may well be find repeated, a lot, in the content of previous blog posts.

Nonetheless, when I set this up I endeavoured to maintain it, and that I shall.

Summer is now officially drawing to and end for me. I guess, in effect, it did last weekend. Over the last week I've been on a week-long course/placement, which was extremely enjoyable, useful and exhausting. Not only did it consist of solid 12-14 hour days but also a collection of pretty unique people. I'm really glad I went on it, not only for the networking opportunities it provided me in the City but also the people I met, its a rarity these days.

I'm not preparing to head back down to London in order to start uni again in a week's time. I'm going a tad early due to the arrival of the missus again (obv my taxi services are required) and I also fancy checking out the Freshers for a final time! Those are the fun reasons for me going down anyway but there is also a more serious purpose!

One of these is finding a flat and its something that is of particular interest given its relation to my poker-playing abilities. I haven't had much desire to play this summer but when I have wanted to the internet connection I have has been appalling. Words cannot describe how bad it is. Nobody contemplate using AOL as an ISP, PLEASE..

So, I'm staying at a mates' house for a couple of weeks and this will be my first opportunity to play. There won't be any mammoth sessions by any stretch of the imagination but I do certainly intend to put in some hours. Hopefully come the first or second week of October I'll then have my own place and that will be where my commitment can be demonstrated once again. I'm serious about playing again, not only because I miss it from a recreational and social point of view but also from the financial side of things. What will be interesting is that I am EXTREMELY unlikely to experience what I experienced this time last year - getting off to a flyer via the shipping of a tournament! The roll still remains at $1300, which I'm very pleased at managing to hold on to. So its going to be a case of really grinding out the 45s and 90s on Stars and hopefully building up to the point I was before the summer. I've spent the majority of the money and its not something I regret. This time I will plan it differently and make regular withdrawals, so as not get to the point where its an "all or nothing" situation. However, this summer has been like no other in terms of my ability to refuse to work, get some work experience under-my-belt and just have an absolute blast of a time doing whatever I want. Of course it puts me in a more difficult position now but how often do those times come around in one's life? Rarely imo. It will take a serious amount of planning now because I need to fit in a serious amount of university commitments and a part-time job whilst also balancing a girlfriend and social life alongside that. I turned down the option of living with a couple of people last week for this reason and I hope the decision doesn't back-fire. I could have lived with another couple, who are close friends or two lads but I truly believe I stand a better chance of being able to enjoy the year by achieving all my goals and having fun along the way by living on my own. Typically that's the more expensive route by a country mile but hey ho. The pressure is good!

So, anyway, I've ranted on once again. I've had a great summer, accomplished almost everything I wanted to but I'm not back and raring to go. Its going to be a difficult twelve months for a host of reasons I feel but if I set out with the right intentions from the offset then I can at least look back in the knowledge that I gave it my best shot.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Permanent Procrastination

Its been a while so I thought I'd at least update on my lack of updates.

I haven't really played any poker since being at Jon's and grinding a bit there. I've occasionally found myself satisfying an urge and 2-tabling 50/1 but nothing in the way of tournaments. Plus, those small bursts of energy on 50/1 have actually earned me few quid!

I feel like I've done nothing but I think I've actually done quite a lot since my last blog post. A few days after that I went down to London for a week to celebrates various birthday's and graduations alike. Nothing really went according to plan but it was real good fun - particularly the surprise birthday party I organised for my girlfriend. That went down well and earned me some brownie points! We also stayed in a hotel in West London for a week, which was pretty awesome, simply due to the fact that it was like a holiday in London, as opposed to constantly having to study or work or whatever.

I successfully managed to drop £110 on roulette during my stay there. Apparently a £2 min bet is epically expensive. Although, £15 on 36 red was the highlight of my endeavours. Fortunately I was with people I had to "act calm" with. My girlfriend (not even me, honestly..) portrayed me as this baller who doesn't give a toss about money. So whilst this one guy is hitting numbers for fun, I'm hitting the dealer (mentally) but I have to maintain a calm persona. I was literally blowing steam inside but it kind of made it amusing and obviously Melina was in hysterics cos she knew how pissed off I was. Good times.

It was generally an awesome week to be fair. I shipped a new car for birthday and then had a few mates round on Saturday night, back in Newport, to celebrate all over again. It turned out to be an amusing advert for the household - a bit of a reality tv show but it was a good laugh and those that came are effectively friends of the family in its entirety, with the way my parents are. That makes it all the more fun cos everyone engages in the banter and its more enjoyable, less awkward etc. More good times.

After that it was Global Gathering, Phenomenal. I could write an essay on it at least but I think "less is more" becomes effective in this instance. The whole thing was mind-blowing and it reminded me how good such things are.

Now its on to Greece - I leave in a few hours! Three weeks of sun, sea, sand and sex. The only thing I am definitely doing is a bungee jump. I half experienced one in Global. I say half cos it was a shitty little one off a crane and I was pretty drunk so didn't exactly enjoy it. I passed this one in Greece last summer and I've said I'm doing it. So I am. Other than that I think its going to be a really chilled three weeks. No trips to islands etc are planned as yet, see what happens when I'm out there.

Maybe I'll turn this blog into something else for the time being and I'll update on my trip when I get back, if its at all exciting! Its kinda weird now cos it will be the 4th time I will go over there. I'm not one for going to the same holiday destination twice but given the circumstances I'm effectively obliged to. I know my way around the place, where's best to eat and drink, what road to take there etc etc etc. Its sort of odd cos I don't feel like I'm going away right now. Anyway, I digress.

Three weeks after that I'll be back in London for an internship and its possible I'll stay there at that point, look for a new place and then get back into uni and ultimately poker. My roll is still around the $1300 mark so its decent enough to get grinding with.

We'll see! GL in August!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


This will be my last post in a while so it will be the last essay you have to read, should you choose to! It could be tl;dr so apologies in advance.

I've demonstrated traits normally attributable to women, in the last few months - indecision, fear, confusion. One minute poker is the greatest thing since sliced bread, the next, my exams are the most important thing in my life, or my girlfriend, or my friends, or going home. I was and am never able to strike that balance. My interests also differ weekly.

The thought processes have always been in the back of my mind but after talking aloud and discussing it, a decision has been found, brought forward from the depths of my brain somewhere. Its perhaps obvious, perhaps imminent or perhaps downright stupid. Either way, poker has just been knocked down a fair few rungs on the ladder.

My mindset isn't where it once was. I'm in a downswing, which has contributed to my lack of desire to play and most worryingly, my lack of desire to improve. That should be the other way round but when I have no desire to analyse hands nor boot up a table, one has to question their overall commitment.
I'm too engrossed in the enjoyment of being in a relationship, being at home with friends and family, having the capacity to do more things through financial security, organising birthday's, focusing on my career and degree. All of these things have slowly worked themselves up the priority list, sub-consciously and I can only assume that is due to my arrogance and complacency. I have achieved a lot in poker I feel and indeed, will continue to do so.

I deposited £300 on November 28th 2009. From that £300 I have now totalled withdrawals of £4289. That represents a huge sum of money for someone in my position - a full-time student. That also demonstrates a candid ability to beat the game. If I do say so myself.

However, all is not over and all is not lost.

In some respects I feel as if a new challenge may invigorate me and offer me a new sense of purpose. However, fundamentally, due to the environment I find myself in, putting in 6/7/8 hour sessions every night isn't feasible. Nor do I want to do that, I'd sooner be just chilling with family or being out with friends. The euros also seem to be in decline so that primarily led to my decision to withdraw everything from those, as opposed to anywhere else. I'll be in Greece for the month of August, bar a few days, I'll be in London next week etc etc, the list is endless. Poker requires commitment, opponents improve daily so I'm just falling further behind and effectively only increasing variance/downswings, which initially were my reason for not playing. I beat the game but I used that as an excuse not to improve at the same rate. Enough is enough.

I do love playing the game though and I will continue to do so. I have left about $1100 on Stars and will look at grinding the 90mans/45mans. These are something I can do with Jon also, which will probably entice me to improve alongside him and also instil the competitiveness back into our friendship, which will only spur us both on, I'm sure. I'll also continue to play the MTTs on Stars but be very selective and use a ratio. I'll give all of that some thought though and perhaps post at the end of the week.

I hope I don't live to regret the decision but I feel its a sensible one to reach following a very rewarding experience.

Now for the next stage of my "career"...

Friday, 9 July 2010

Its been a while...

I haven't posted in a while so I thought I best update on what I have been doing with my life!

So, it'll be a short post then!

I finally managed to move home a week ago and am extremely happy about that fact! I'll deal with how its affecting poker first and foremost. We had some trouble with various ISPs and as a result were internet-less until the middle of this week. It was great when it initially came - we were all getting 27mb for 48 hours despite not paying for that particular service. Now, we struggle to get 2 and literally I'm sure this is far from a broadband service; its awful! They say that it may take 10 days for the line to stabilise and, to be fair, if I can get 27 one day and 2 the next surely there will be some happy median, please?!?! Needless to say, its proving impossible to play poker on this service, although I have only attempted today for the first time.

I went to Jon's for a grinding session yesterday and, uniquely, we both had a profit session! I played a mix of $6 45man - $12 180s. They were really enjoyable and I felt its an interesting method of being able to improve my game. The only real downside was how long they took to fill up - the $12s in particular. This is a real pain in the arse but something I'll have to live with I guess. Despite it being a relatively small profit - $160, I do intend to start playing these a bit. When (I hope) the internet sorts itself out and finds a balance, I still have the issue of when I'm able to play and for how long so big sessions are something of a tall order. So I'm going to start mixing in some of these things and after the recent withdrawals and the downswing, it may offer an opportunity to grind it back up and find a suitable level of stability. Curse you variance!

Other than that, I've had a couple of great nights with friends, where pretty much everyone has made the effort to come out and have a catch-up. The highlight has to be last night, having been grinding the tables with Jon at his place we met up with Jack for a curry and couple of beers, a nice civilised evening... No. We stayed in our new found home - a pub in Newport until close and then made the terrible decision of going back to Jack's. Oh and via this god awful cocktail bar in Newport. I promise you I have never had a worse drink. Going to Jack's normally ends one way - badly. At least from a health point of view.. After playing a few live turbo's between 4 of us, we then felt the need to be flipping £1's for about 3 hours. £1, hand of poker dealt, winner takes all - £4. It was hilarious and probably the most baller/stupid thing we have ever done. I think I will take a deck of cards with me every time we go to The Barley now, its pretty epic. Having been £25 down at one point I ended up losing £3 in the end, on that game. I think Jon ended up the big loser, which was hilarious (sorry mate). Everyone bar Jack, who seems to have some sort of spiritual guidance when it comes to run good in his own house, went through a phase of losing exceptional amounts of money and there came a point where we just had to set a time limit - 5am, otherwise it would go on forever. At 4.30am I was £21 down lol and tilting like an absolute mother fucker. At 5am Jon was probably something in the region of £15 down. Hilarious.

Literally it was so much fun. Obviously I'm not sure if I would advocate the game so much if I was a big loser but even so, its variance and I'm sure it will happen again. Next time I go to the pub I'll be armed with loose change and a deck of cards.

So yeh, having got home at 8am and not slept I feel like absolute horse shit and question why the hell I ever do these things but hey, its evident from last night that summer is here, people are back and we'll have an awesome time. It shades a few years off my life when I go to Jack's but it sure as hell is worth it.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Here's to July!

Well after my last rant I spoke to a couple of people, rationalised my thoughts and perhaps came to a calmer conclusion. I was certainly tilted at the time and took a very narrow view.

That said, much of my logic remains intact, the only real change is my personal motivation etc. I'm currently on a $1300 downswing and its certainly not something I'm neither used to nor experienced before. Although attempting to segregate the roll from my own personal finances, I have always had that figure in the back of my mind for the purposes of holiday(s) etc. With this in mind, I'm not prepared to let it deplete any further without taking evasive action. I also want to remain committed to the game however and stay on track for my annual target and longer term targets.

Essentially the reasoning I mentioned before is still ever-present. I don't take immense satisfaction from winning a tournament and outlasting 'x' amount or players. I don't relate it to Lampard scoring a goal for England on the international stage. Oh wait... I am happy to win a tournament due to the cash injection it provides. I don't view it or treat it as a hobby and in all honesty I think that's a more sensible approach. So, in June 2011 I will be graduating and effectively have to stop playing poker. My aim has always been to accumulate a nice little nest egg so at that point I can invest it or go on a sick holiday. Depends how mature and sensible I feel at the time.

I am now moving out of this flat on Saturday, not tomorrow, so intend to play every single night with my new roll of $4000. That represents a $1900 withdrawal, which will see me through over the summer and give me a decent amount of disposable income to enjoy without having the pressure to work. I'm in Greece between the 05th and 24th August but home until that point so there is zero point in me attempting to get a job for like 4 weeks. It would only be part-time so the most I could earn in Shropshire would be about £500 and that's assuming I have the job from day 1, which I clearly don't! So, if we said I could earn £300 in that four week period - it aint worth getting out of bed for. I can earn that through poker, downswing or not, I'll manage it. Hell, I have a PS3 and couple of games worth £180, I'll sell that and save myself working! I also don't have to be back at uni until practically October so it gives me July and September to grind, and grind I shall.

The level of volume I'm able to put in is entirely dependent on my parent's attitude and reaction towards it. They may not like it night-after-night and I do want to be out with friends a lot, just chilling etc. I can certainly get in a good 3 sessions a week though and that's basically what I've been doing for 8 months. But the main change from my point of view now is that I want and am determined to play out of this downswing. I can have that $8/9k back again, I just have to work for it. I became a bit arrogant and complacent with my game so hopefully some grinding and sweat sessions at Jon's can help me pick up the pace a bit, as well as spending pain-staking hours on 2p2 - something else I haven't done in a while.

So anyway, to cut an awfully long story short - I'm going to try and play a hell of a lot this week, in between packing etc and then I'll pick it up again sporadically next week. I'll just have to be a bit careful with the bankroll again and play sensibly. Hopefully normal service is resumed soon though....

GL and see you at the tables later!