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Taller than most. Louder than most.

More layers to my personality than an onion, peel me and I could make you cry.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My cat lies languidly at the foot of the stairs, secure in the knowledge that as I descend I'm going to twist myself round and use the banister to jump off the last step rather than stand on her. She's so confident that she doesn't even bother to look up as I come down, no matter whether I'm trying to manouvre past her with two loads of washing or rushing to get my daughter to school.

Now if the roles were reversed - as I often sleep on the bottom step - I wouldn't move either. However, not being blessed with that level of security, I would be sat bolt upright, bristling and ready to fight. There would be eye contact all the way from the top step, leading to nose to nose confrontation, a short tussle and inevitably, me losing my throne. My cat is pretty hard as felines go.

So, imagine me sitting at the bottom of the steps holding AK... same result. I'm ready to fight to the death. Only the cat is holding AA of course - I'm relegated to the hallway - same result.

It's not that I like the hand - in fact it often makes me want to just fold preflop in an unopened pot - and I don't think I'm necessarily ahead when it's in my hand. It's just working out how to play it that defeats me.

If I limp or call a raise with it I inevitably end up folding on a 9 high flop, If I raise or 3 bet with it I again inevitably end up folding on a 9 high flop. If I get it all in pre I find I'm either up against a pair and don't hit, or up against a pair, I hit and they make a straight or a set. I think the best way to play AK for me personally may be to just fold it pre and move on :(

I said at Xmas I was going to concentrate on tournaments to try and improve my game, or even to try and find a game somewhere inside me. I've been working hard on developing a more sensible table image, (which can be ruined somewhat when i find someone who knows me at the same table,) attempting to play stronger by 3 or 4 betting in position/against a player I have some tells on, as well as folding hands I would previously have got all my chips in with (and lost). Course I still have temporary lapses of concentration - otherwise known as Tilt - but overall I'm seeing an improvement, judged mainly by my finishing position.

Last week I actually managed to make a few min cashes, which gave me a massive confidence boost, including a live 4 way chop for £400 each, an online win of 820 Euros and a satellite for a seat at the Blackpool Megastack. Ran pretty deep in a number of other comps, mainly satellites and won a few stage 1/2 sats into bigger comps including the Ipoker £200K gtd, which I played last night and came about 500th out of 1080 players... played with air for most of the game and when I finally got hands was out instantly, AA followed by JJ, goodnight.

Haven't played much cash as for various reasons havent got up to Manchester, although had a bit of fun at a local casino in Liverpool and a very drunken session at Star City in Birmingham, where I cashed out over £400 and only just broke even :(

Poker has taken a bit of a back seat for the past few weeks as I've been pretty busy trying to sort out other aspects of life, basically trying to get a bit of order into what has been a pretty disorderly mess for a while. As well as this business with soliciotors that is dragging on and on, I've had to sort out estate agents regarding my house, have meetings with a nightmare tenant and her family, wind up my business from the pub, sort some stuff out at my daughter's school, oh yes and try and decide what I'm going to do to actually make a living - no big deals. However, most things pretty much done and dealt with now, so I'm looking forward to getting in a few more live games and cash sessions, with positive results of course.

I'm off to Luton on Thursday to do updates for Blonde Poker Forum at the English Deepstack, and to meet up with a couple of people for a night out while I'm there. If it's anything like my last poker night out at Manchester GUKPT, I'll be happy! It means I miss the Stoke monthly comp but I'm hoping there will be compensations in one form or another - hopefully from a cash table where no-one knows me!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Shut up or put (your name) up.

I tend to leave all comments on my blog, bad or good, because if anyone can't find the spine to pubish a derogatory comment under their own name, how can you take them seriously?

The way i see it, they are reading MY blog, so there must be something here for them. If they've come on to have a pop I have to assume that a. they are not brave enough to do so in real life and b. they are interested in my life because they don't have one, which makes them feel they have to say something negative.

All hits, that suits me.

I logged on now to update the blog and saw a comment "anon" had left about the Blonde updates being great - hooray - but my poker being shit - boo.

True though.

Ive been playing really badly for ages now for a variety of reasons really I guess. Since I decided not to do my bollocks in online and try to play more seriously, Ive lost loads of the little game I had. Previously where there was no thought process at all, there is now too much, and I'm playing really weak.

Still thinking on that one - I know I want to learn to play tournaments well but I'm so conscious of this that I'm not playing at all.

Cash games not a problem. Presumably it's because I can reload? Or maybe because Ive stuck to what i said at Xmas - playing cash only within my comfort zone, which I know is 1/2 at Manchester G. It's not even as if I always know the players, I don't, I just feel I have a good record there which gives me confidence whoever is sat at the table.

Last 6 times I've played cash at the G I've cashed out up. I've stuck to my plan of only taking a small roll with me and leaving after a few hours rather than before when every note in my house went into the purse and I'd stay til it was time to do the school run.

Having said that, it hasn't been that much fun, although last night went some way to making up for it.

Sat down at a new table with £50. Young blonde lad with a permanent sniff is sat two seats to my left. First few hands he's talking shit and I'm zoning him out cos i know he's the type that will get to me and Ive learnt giving money to people that annoy me isn't the way forward if I want to sleep that night.

He limps UTG and a few people call round to the button, a guy called Billy who raises. Sniffy then slams his stack into the middle shouting AALLLIN. YOU KNOW WHAT IVE GOT FELLA, YOU KNOW IVE GOT EM!!

People in Birmingham knew he had em he was that loud. Of course theres still 4 people inbetween him and Billy and one of them is sitting thinking. Sniffy's still shouting so I said listen lad there's people still to act in my best scouse accent. He looked at me like I was retarded and said yeah but Ive got em!! I'm like so what u dont want paying? Shut up and let the others decide - anyway the other guy folds Jacks while looking for a Fold Of The Century certificate - and Billy calls with some connectors or similar. Aces hold up and Sniffy shoots his load, while telling me he wasn't lying, he really had em.

I pick up A9 on button into a multi limped pot as per usual, flop comes AA4, checked round to a short stack who shoves £23 in.Sniffy leans across the table and starts counting out loud. He's not counting etc he's doing some mental - and I mean mental - arithmetic under his breath that involved Pye and more. Eventually I say "What are you doing?" He looks at me pityingly and says "I'm working out if i have pot odds to call. Don't you use pot odds?"

I call across to Billy "what are pot odds Bill - you heard of them" Of course he straight faces it and shakes his head, so i mumble on about the only pots I know of being the ones in the kitchen when I'm cooking and ironing etc" and dickhead eventually folds, saying as it was only 23% he couldnt call. No I don't know what he meant either.

I say "I have an ace but i dunno if ive got pot odds, I'll take me chances", and of course I win the hand,  everyone's laughing and Sniffy says "why are you picking on me? I havent done anything to you"

Well I don't like to lie so i told him. You're a cock. This went down as well as a lesbian with ten coldsores, and he got really stroppy. He marched off to meet a man from Bolivia and came back ready to scrap, tellin the guy inbetween us how people like me always came unstuck and how he was going to wait til he had a hand and trap me. Oh Boo hoo hoo.

So I find a raggy ace of hearts  in the cut off and limp in with him and the rest of the super passive table. Flop comes 689 hearts. I would normally bet out here to get paid if it comes but I figured if i showed strength too soon I wouldnt get him.

Turn is a 2 hearts and Sniffy Bets out £20. I flat call and everyone else folds. river is Qs and he makes a big deal of looking at his cards and looking at me then eventually bets £40. I'm thinking how much I can get out of him, so I figure he'll call a small raise and bet £40 plus £45. He then thinks for a bit, snorts a quick line and raises again, another £90, leavin himself £80 behind.

I'm convinced my ace is good but do have a moment's thought as to whether he has a straight flush. So I ask him, upon which he then flashes me the 10 hearts. As soon as he's done that I know he hasn't got it so to wind him up some more I ask the dealer if his hand is now dead as he showed a card. Dealer doesn't know what day it is on her planet so Billy joins in the fun and says he thinks i should get a ruling. Greg the manager pops over to tell us Sniffy's hand is live but he cant raise now, he can only call. So I put him all in and he says call.

But he doesnt put his chips over the line and won't turn his cards over.

He's gesturing at me to flip my cards, so I ask him, are you calling. He cant actually speak but nods so I say well put your money in the middle then, until eventually the dealer takes his last few quid and puts it over the line. I showed my hand and he mucked and left leaving a trail of white powder behind him.

So he trapped me really well. Remind me not to go on any survival course with him that involves catching anything in order to eat please.

Blonde updates were great fun and judging by the feedback I had, they were also well received. Made a big mistake on the Friday night when I forgot I wasn't 21 and ended up out on the piss with 5 lads whose combined age wasnt as big as my shoe size. Still held my own on the alcohol intake, and didn't disgrace myself too much... apart from maybe when I got involved in a "who has the biggest tights on" competition while still in the casino. I won obviously when I managed to pull my crotch over my head. Only thing I regretted about the whole night was not getting a dance in the strip club.

Ended up back in the mal maison drinking some vile thing out of the mini bar - vodka an cranberry from a tin - and got a cab back to the casino after no sleep. Other than having the shakes all day and nearly vomiting onto my laptop once, it went okay.

Big bonus in that it may have led to other related work, was approached by a couple of people who have similar work for me and also had a casual meeting with a couple of guys about a possible sponsored team: they mentioned it to me a few weeks ago, and if it comes off, I'll be playing some decent events for very little input, so fingers crossed on that.

It's my birthday on Friday (yay!) and a mate has given me a seat in the Stoke 150 on Sunday as a present, which is a lovely gesture. I'm out on the Friday night with some non-poker mates, which in itself will be a change from the norm so I'm really looking forward to that, then off to UKIPT at Nottingham the week after. So many Facebook buddies are playing UKIPT I think it is going to be very very messy, so maybe I won't actually play and just go for the social side -I reckon this Big Tights comp could run and run.