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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.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

If Carlsberg made retards...

Manchester. Picture the scene. It's the £50 F/O donk fest at the G casino and a player has raised mid position, followed by calls from three players after him. I call with 79 in the SB.

The poker gods decide to reward my out of position call against a total of 6 players by flopping me a full house. Yes - 7 7 9. I bet this every day of the week cause I know I'm getting paid and sure enough I'm called by just the one player, the one who raised first.

Turn is a beautiful Ace. I'm loving this cause I now think i check as if scared and you know the rest. But when I check the OR checks as well.

The river is another ace.

I check and the OR bets out fairly weak. Now here's the bit I shouldn't be admitting, but as I have less shame than Jordan here it is.

Obviously I'm fucked here by the river. But in my head - where there is a hell of a lot of empty space - I was ahead. (Explanation to follow, bear with me, it's good )

So I reraised him. He flat called me (obviously the guy could only have been scared of quad sevens to have not put me allin here lol) and turns over AQ - obviously he now has the better full house. BUT...

I cheerfully turned over my now defunct 97 and asked the dealer what he was doing as he pushed the chips over to the winner - which wasn't me. Everyone - even the girl who had never played before - all looked at me as if I was mad (and what?), and the dealer quietly pointed out to me that the guy with the AQ had the better full house.

How we laughed!

Well, they did anyway. I just cringed for quite a while and "made my way over to the cash table".

I really can't defend myself other than Ive been playing so much hi/lo on Stars that I really did believe he only had trip aces PLUS I am thinking of other things at the moment - crappy defence but really is true.

That doesn't make it acceptable mind you! A bad workman blames his tools, so I clearly will blame myself - the biggest tool of all.

Played cash for a brief time and my heart wasn't it, then that fit guy who put me off playing in the last post bounded in looking pretty hot again so I raised with 8d2d flopped a flush draw on a j hi flop, other player also missed his flush but as his was the ace high draw it was enough and I couldnt get in the car fast enough.

One more lesson for the little notebook - Don't play poker when I have stuff on my mind. Especially if like me your mind is tiny and can't deal with two things at once :(

Get a lot of test results back early to mid next week so will know a bit more about my health worries after that, so can hopefully relax and play the Blackpool Deepstack without having to do the walk of shame after demanding my two pair beats a flush or something equally embarrasing.

As an aside -Facebook just gets randomer by the day: since changing my name to Cougar on there I get about 3 requests a day from people called Samir and Abdabwah, none of whom have any friends in common with me. I've realised I'm not so needy as to want these randomers on my page so flick the Not Now button, but every so often I get a request from someone I don't know but we have loads of poker buddies in common. Yesterday I get a request from someone, who although I don't know him, I know of him through other mates so I know he actually exists, rather than the botched stalker attempt someone tried at Xmas, so I accept but sent a message saying "Thanks for the ad, but we havent actually met have we?" I get a message back today saying "I can't believe you don't remember me, surely you werent that drunk?" I'm sure he's joking but I'm just off to trawl his pictures in case I had a brandy blackout at any time recently! Think it's time to change my name again - suggestions please? Be nice...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Doom switch?

I've only recently started to play on Stars as I'm comfy on iPoker with all the other fish. In January I began playing single table Sit n Gos in Omaha H/L and found them ridiculously soft - as long as you can dodge the mentalists it's pretty easy to cash, at this low level anyway.

Now I never check my stats online. Ignorance is definitely bliss and all that. But at a cash game in manchester last week someone I was sat next to brought up a stats site to check on another guy we were playing who was telling us all how good he was online presumeably to compensate for the fact he was bleeding cash live). Of course he asked me what my online name was and I told him - I had no shame admitting how bad I was online when sat next to him with over 1k in £50s at the time.

My tourny stats were still on a downward spiral due to all the UKIPT sats I had been a seat filler in, but my SnG graph was shockingly good! The lines were going up instead of down and it was blue not red, which was definitely a first. I was so chuffed I went home, fired up the laptop at 4am and promptly crashed out of seven games immediately.

Anyway, I've perservered with them, and stuck with low stakes 8 Game to stop me from getting bored and actually managed to cash out yesterday - only £400 but it's still better than depositing. I would have had more but a Blonde member sat at my table put the notion into my head to enter one of the Stars Sundays, where I was chip leader for about a nano second, then I was out.

I left about £100 to continue playing with and a few people said to watch out for the doom switch now I'd cashed out. Now I've put this to the test before on iPoker and personally don't believe in it for a second. I know exactly why I lose any balance straight after withdrawing a decent cash and it's nothing to do with a little switch that makes all my nut hands lose and fish catch one outers on the river against me. It's purely down to how I play. Whether its me playing too tight or too scared as I don't want to lose my remaining balance and have to redeposit, or whether its just that I got lucky to win a chunk and normal service has been resumed, I know I've never managed to cash out again a week later.

However, time to try and put that right, I'm going to rename the doom switch the self detonate button and NOT press it this time. (That sounded pretty convincing right?)

The Vegas league has started up again on Poker Encore and we played the first game last Monday where I managed to come a very credible 6th overall out of about 180 players I think. This time you can play Monday or Thursday and your highest placing goes towards the points: I didn't think I would improve so decided to go out and play cash on Thursday night - wish I'd played the League instead or even just stayed in and darned socks.

I don't normally play Thursday night and had been doing a favour for a mate on Thursday afternoon so went straight to the casino looking like a tramp. Not a sexy style tramp but a wino swigging smelly type. Played cash before the comp started, which I wasnt planning on playing anyway, and was happily slumped in my chair wearing a massive jumper which makes me look like the honey monster plus some old leggings with a hole in the crotch so I have to remember to keep my legs crossed, when a guy came in who I hadnt seen for ages. He came over to say hello and I remembered firstly just how much I fancied him and secondly what a trog I looked like. I turned into a proper girly girl and decided to go and play the comp to get away from him as being flustered isnt a state I'm comfortable with, and ended up balls deep in a shitty ten pound rebuy that I would have had to come first, second and third in to get my money back.

Somehow managed to tighten up after the break and found myself on Raf White's table as we played to the bubble, where Raf told me how much he enjoyed my blog,and how he laughed every time he read it as each comp entry ended with "as I made my way to the cash tables".

Obviously I bubbled, courtesy of Raf when my J10 soooted failed to hold against his inferior raggy Ace, so guess what? Yep, I made my way to the cash table....

Like a masochist I took the only seat available next to the guy I have a crush on and did in about £700 playing like a twat. Great night all round really.

Anyway plan for the week this week is the Vegas League again tonight followed by the comp at the G Tuesday night. Back to basics on the cash and stick with what has been working for the past three months - take a set amount, decide how many buy ins and leave if it's not happening. Oh yeah, and play better.

My daughter is off to to see a band on Weds night in Manchester and I'm the taxi, which makes me quite sad as live music has been a massive part of my life and I feel really old that I'm dropping her off at a gig and not going myself. Feel very tempted to pop down to Jillys/Rock World by myself and have a mad session before it's time to pick her up but I'm not sure this is documented anywhere in the responsible parent handbook.

Weekend after next is the Blackpool Mega stack organised by a good mate Rick Gilby, with Martin Devlin and the AWOP team. I won a seat on Encore for a tenner, but had to save it til this month due to it clashing with Luton last month. My mum goes back to Australia again in two weeks so I'll be limited to play live much after that.

One last thing that I'm really not looking forward to - I have to stop smoking. I have an appointment next Monday at a Smoking Cessation clinic and after that, I'll be a Non smoker. I don't have a choice as it's a health issue and I'm glad in a way as I have wanted to stop for ages - well that's a big fat lie actually, I enjoy every single fag I smoke pretty much, but I don't want to die before my daughter grows up, so given the choice, smoking is no longer an option.

I only mention this because I think I may well be pretty bad company until the cravings stop, so you have been warned - bad beat me at your peril ;)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I knew the day wasn't going to go so well once I realised I was wearing my 14 year old daughter's knickers.

Had a quick shower before heading to Manchester UKIPT for the £100 side event, got dressed in a rush as usual and drove off, thinking maybe I was just feeling a bit constricted after being in my loose pyjamas all day. Hopped out of my truck at the casino and nearly tore myself in two.

Hobbled in late for the comp and found my seat. Looking round the table I realised most of the kids there were probably the same age as my daughter and had a furtive glance to see if any of them were Cougar material, but mostly could only see some sort of massive headphones and shades comp going on.

Played first hand J10 on button in a 5 way pot and managed to bully the original raiser to checking down the turn AND the river with the nut flush on a J high board, which felt like an achievement in itself.

Second and last hand I find AA UTG. Blinds 25/50 I have 4300 chips left from a 5k starting stack.

Raise to 125 UTG. Called by guy to my left who has played precisely one less hand than me. Yep, a rock in a field of pansies. The flop comes 3d 10s 4d.

I bet out 300.

He raises me to 2000. I look at the flop and 100% know this guy has called my raise with a pair of tens. He's not repopping me with a flush draw, he's raising with his set because he doesn't like the flush draw and he wants to take it down there and then I assume.

I look at my two black Aces. I turn to the granite guy and say "You have a set of tens don't you?" He says maybe.

So after my soul. read I took the information he had given me, blatantly ignored it and went allin.

He had a set of tens and me covered. GG.

So that's the game reads coming along nicely: maybe a small step backwards in the folding department and a learning curve that is starting to make concentric circles.

So, off to the cash tables, where things improved. Couple of funny hands: an 11 year old boy comes to the table and raises his first hand havin sat down with the table max 300. I'm sitting on the button with j9 off and about £145. The game hadnt been going for long but I was firmly entrenched as table captain and wasn't prepared to relinquish my hold until I was showing a decent profit. (I sat down with £50)

So i popped his £12 raise (blinds 1/2) with £25 on top. He looked a little stunned, I think he was expecting resistance from the two Scandies to my left but had already written me off as a seat filler. Obviously I'm working the woman image and know he will assume I am raising with a premium hand so I figure I can take it down on most flops. He calls, and the flop comes 9 high, which gives me the added bonus of having actually hit something to carry off a C bet with conviction.

Ive about £100 behind he checks I give it a bit of chat and bet £47 clearing pointing out theres no room for folding in my stack and he passes. I flip my J9 and say "I bet I was ahead pre flop as well wasn't I" and he asks the dealer to flip his mucked Jacks over... Still can't decide who looked more stupid - me or him.

I only played a few hands and won pretty much all of them until I raised with 68 suited. The flop came down K68 and I bet straight out after the other four in the pot had checked round to me in the cut off. One caller, UTG a guy who hasnt played many hands post flop and has come across as weak rather than solid. He has about £120 behind after making the call, I'm up to around £350. Turn is a 5 and he checks, I bet out again for just over half of his stack and he sits forever before slowly sliding the lot over the line. I call, last card dealt and it's a 5, which I think has killed my two pair as Im assuming its now given him Kings and 5s.

Yeah my hand was dead for sure - he's filled out holding 56. Hmm.

Anyway ended up about £100 up on the whole night as in got my buy in back from the comp and paid for my food and a round of drinks for Dan Owston/Alex Martin etc, so on reflection was a pretty good result as the drinks alone were about 3 zillion pounds. The Owston Martin is much more expensive than the similarly named car, and possibly even smoother.. Just need to remember to keep my daughter's laundry separate from mine in future so I can move in my chair without feeling like I've just sliced through my butt cheek.


The next day I popped back up for cash and managed to cash out £1230 but was in for £800. Does that mean I'm horrendous or really good for being able to grind it back? Answers to someone who gives a shit - I got my dough back and I don't care.

First table was just sick, enough to make you give up poker and hurt people who shouldn't be allowed their own wallet, never mind allowed into a casino with other people. There was a clear no-fold policy across the board, regardless of pre flop action, regardless of what was on the flop - just regardless of anything. Guy to my right was a local who everyone says is "good for the game" Sigh How I hate that expression.

He called allins FOUR times, for amounts ranging inbetween £120 to £250 on flops with a middle pin and got there most times. Probably the best example was a flop of Ac 8d 9d with about £60 in the middle. He called a pot bet from the original raiser, with another two players behind. The turn was a Ks and he then called off £210 in a 3 way pot. River was a brick and he declares 10 high.

He flips over 10c 6s. He had NO chance of getting there as one guy had 10J  and the other guy had a low flush draw: the 10J guy had a  less money and so the 10 high won the side pot and he was chuffed to pieces as there was no comprehension in him of how much he'd lost in the main pot.

Eventually, after a really weak lad told me I shouldn't raise but just limp in like everyone else was doing, bearing in mind to him AJ was the holy grail, I decided to move to a different table and finally my game got going.

One slightly horrible incident where I'm having a bit of banter with a guy and ask him his name: he says something like Alyoysius and I started to laugh which I felt was a fair response as he was joking right? Nope, he was actually named after his Dad who had only just died. I only found this out AFTER he had shouted a bit and stormed off.

All joking apart I really felt low: bearing in mind I've recently had to live through my own dad's death and knowing just how much of an all time low I'm still struggling to get through, I actually felt like crying for being so crass. I left the table and went to find him to apologise and bless him he accepted it like a gent but I didn't feel any better :(

However, started to feel a lot better sometime later when I sucked out on someone after we got it all in on a flop of 578 with me holding 66: 10 on the turn gives him a set of tens but the 4 on the river sealed the suck out deal for me.

Left about 3am and nearly popped up tonight (saturday) to play the £300 side event but decided to take my daughter out shopping on the Sunday instead, which should prove much more profitable in the long run: just need to make sure any underwear we buy is clearly marked "Mum" and "daughter".

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The mental Age of Aquarius..

I have an amazing capacity to make a complete tool of myself with minimal effort.

Whether it's falling down a flight of stairs in a packed bar, breaking a heel at the start of a night out, saying the wrong thing just as everything goes quite, insulting people's parents tofind out they were orphaned at birth.. it never ends.

Years ago a mate and I were driving to the Lakes for a night out (we'd outstayed our welcome anywhere more local obviously) and we got lost on the unlit country roads. We chanced upon a patrol station and I bounced in partially dressed in a clubbing outfit to ask the guy there for directions. I told him we were looking for Windermere and he told me how to get there. As I left he called after me "Aquarius?"

I turned back to him, genuinely mystified and said "Wow, how did you know my starsign?" He looked at me like I was simple and said "No, Aquarius is the name of the club at lake Windermere. I assumed that's where you were headed".

This is just a small sample of some of the frankly retarded things I can do but I thought I had improved, like wine, with age. Nope, I'm still a Lambrini obviously judging by what I did at the G last night.

The Tuesday night comp has antes kick in at level 3 so you have to get chipped up pretty early to be able to play any kind of game so I sat down to find k10 sooooted, which i raised with and got a call from both the blinds. I was obviously planning to C bet it whatever came but as a bonus, the top pair was a ten, on a flushing flop. Decided to take it down straight away by betting 700 into a 900 pot. The small blind looks at his cards again, then looks back at my bet and says "Caroline what are you doing?" I look down to see I've managed to bet 7k instead of 700 into, into a 900 pot. My starting stack was 10k, so ive just committed my whole stack on top pair in the first hand, which I probably could have taken down - I'm guessing - if the small blind hadnt flopped a set. GG.

The only bonus was getting settled into a decent cash game early, which I eventually left cashing out £365. This slightly made up for the insta loss of £50 in one hand in the tourny.

Lesson firmly learnt - check what chips are what denomination in future!

Off to Luton in the morning to do live updates on the English Deepstack - Follow them on Blonde Poker Forum.