Sunday, June 26, 2005

Why the WPT was wrong to ban deals at final tables..

Well, there are a million reasons, the main one being it is the players money and it really is none of their business what we do with it...

But another reason became apparent when I was watching the WPT from Paris.

If the finalists didn't do a secret deal without telling the organisers I'm a Dutchman.

Tony G called a Surinder allin bet with J8. Then he did it again with J4. Later Surinder called with K6...Finally he called just looking at one card. That's the sort of behaviour you see in a £5 comp at Luton, not when you're playing for half a million Euros.

Clearly they did a deal, that is the only way the standard of play that night by two brilliant poker players can be explained. By pretending that no deal took place they made a mockery of the game. The solution? Bring the deals out in the open and tell the viewers. After all, deals have been a part of tournament poker since day 1, why try and deny their exsistence now?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

In the Interests of Accuracy

Anonymous said in a comment about the hand where I lost my chips in the $2000 PLHE:


You called 2 potsized bets with 910 on the assumption you might be winning. Then got screwed. You started with trash and ended with trash.

Why is it that ur clever when you win with this hand but they are idiots for calling when you lose?"

I made a typo. I had 98 diamonds (not T9) and flopped bottom two pair.

However his point is valid that I called with trash and got screwed.

In defence, I often play hands like this in this way. What success I've had playing poker involves playing pots like this. I will not sit and wait for aces. That's the way it is.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tidying Up

Firstly, thanks to everyone for the kind words in response to the Vegas diary. I enjoyed writing them and hope everyone enjoyed reading them. I intend to return to Vegas on the 30th June for the last couple of weeks of the WSOP.

Someone asked if I was intending on selling some of myself in the big event. The answer is maybe. I honestly think I have got a pretty huge edge in the tournament and if I sold anything it would have to be at a premium to reflect this edge and the high expenses involved in playing in Vegas. However, 10 grand is 10 grand and I'm open to offers. If anyone wants to email me to discuss this my address is

Final Profit/loss for the first trip to Vegas was:

Tournaments = -$8500
Super sats = -$1685
One Tables = +$5855
Last Chance = -$450
HU Online = +$9810
OtherOnline = -$5100
Blackjack = +$175

Virtually exactly level on the trip. Not too bad but only due to compiling a pretty remarkable 31-10 record in heads up matches on 'Stars while I was in Vegas. As usal I did my bollocks on Super satellites, I don't know why I bother playing them, they go against my natural instinct of trying to win all the chips in play. I think I will sack them in the future. The single table sats at the Rio are plentiful and very, very soft at all levels from $55 to $1060. My advice to anyone going would be to play as many single tables as possible.

The golf selections on Sunday were pretty fucking crap. Katharine had a small bet on them and half way through the play asked how our guys were doing.

"Awfully" says I.

"Why did we back them?" she reasonably asks.

"Because they were value"

"I understand value. They are bets you've got to have that always lose."

Fair comment.

So, we ended the NFL season 50pts up, but gave away 30pts on two nobody golfers.

The other bets recommended ended up like this:

5pts E/W Ashley Alterman for the Poker Million. The useless bugger did no good.

100pts WBA to finish above Palace. Somehow they made it despite being tailed off at Christmas. Heart stopping stuff on the final day for sure.

10pts Plymouth and Bournemouth to be promoted from their respective divisions. The less said about Plymouth the better but how Bournemouth missed the playoffs is a total mystery. They failed to win any of their last 7 home matches and traditionally they are very strong at Dean Court. Bastards.

100pts Wigan to win the Championship. I maybe like King Canute but I still think Wigan were the best team in the division. But they didn't prove it on the pitch and I did my bollocks. Typical.

10pts buy field Championship Index, 20pts sell West Ham Points. These are the two bets which really annoyed me. Preston should have come 4th and we would have scooped an 80pt profit. On the last game of the season they played Derby and rested several players. Derby needed to win to secure a playoff place. Result Derby won 3-1 and Preston dropped to 5th. Preston proved to be better than Derby by beating them in the playoffs. Frustrating. But even worse was West Ham's late run of form. With 6 weeks left in the season they looked like finishing with somewhere in the mid 60's. But they conjured up a run to the playoffs and ultimately into the Premiership. Believe me, they are coming straight back down unless they spend alot of wonga.

How did we finish? All those bets made 30pts meaning the final total stood at exactly at the same level it was after the NFL season. Plus 50pts! Not too bad.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Couple of Quick Bets...

I am aware that I haven't sorted out the profit/loss for the football season yet. I will rectify this soon.

To be going on with, a couple of bets in the US Open really appeal.

Golfers just aren't going to come off the pace tomorrow. Only two players bettered par today, and all week breaking 70 has been very difficult.

The course is so tricky I couldn't back Goosen to hold on at around 1/2... And unless Tiger comes up with something really special noone is going to come from 5 back or more to win.

I think Olin Browne and Jason Gore, who have both been very steady all week have a great chance and are definitely each way value. If either scores a 70, it could well be good enough to win and as much as a 73 could lead to a top 3 finish.

10 pts each way Browne 25/1 (Totesport 1,2,3 1/4)
5 pts each way Gore 25/1 (VCBet 1,2,3 1/5)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Vegas Diary - The Final Chapter - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Day 5 - $2000 NLHE - The Bad

This was the event I was really looking forward to. I thought everything was in my favour. I was well rested, the deep pockets didn't have unlimited bullets for rebuys, we had a slow structure and loads of dead money.

So, why I did play so terribly?

I had a dream start. I flopped a nut flush and got paid handsomely. I cracked aces. I flopped a set. Bloody hell, they were giving me chips right, left and centre before the break. I reached the first break with 8500 in chips. The average was probably about 3500. Surely I was set for a good run.


I moved to new table. A geezer had about 15000 already. It soon became clear how he had got them. He must have reraised over 50% of raisers. Literally. I have never seen anything like it. I hunkered down and waited for him to double me up.

But, for some reason, despite a great stack, I didn't show any patience. What a wanker I am sometimes. If I waited 2 levels I surely would have been given a golden opportunity on a plate. But, I didn't. He raised at the 100-200 level to 800. I called with 77. Fair enough. Flop came J32. He bet 2000. I called????? i thought this would scare him. Did it fuck. The turn came 9 and he simply moved in. Perhaps I should have called. But, I chickened out and passed leaving over 30% of my chips.

Then I proceeded to bluff away most of the rest of my chips in a pot I should have never been involved in.

I was sick by the time I was finally put out of my misery.

Three observations sprung to mind after the tournament:

1. Thank god the tournament is not in a casino. If it had been I was so tilty on getting knocked out, I would undoubtedly have done my bollocks on the bones straight away.

2. The excuse for pissing my chips away? I guess I was scared someone else would get the lunatics chips. It is not a valid excuse, but an excuse nonetheless.

3. John Juanda was on the table where I get knocked out. He impressed me greatly. He was very short stacked when I arrived and hung around for ages waiting for the right spot to get his chips in. He didn't get a double up, but he gave himself every chance, unlike many of the "big names" who if they haven't got a biog stack with 2 levels just throw their chips and look forward until the next event.

Day 6 - The Good.

Virtually a day off from poker.

Managed to split a one table satellite before going for a bbq at the house Asher and Dee Derei had rented.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon/evening.

The party was to celebrate Tomer Benvenisti's (who finished 5th in the WSOP main event 2 years ago and is a great guy) birthday.

The other guests included Bad Beat Channing, Ben Akiva, David Levi and Amir Vahedi + his brother.

If you have seen Amir on tv, the image he portrays seems very close to9 the real Amir. He is a larger than life character and has a ton of funny stories and anecdotes.

I drank altogther too many Budweisers and had many a laugh. A thoroughly enjoyable occasion.

Day 7 - $2000 PLHE - The Ugly

I don't enjoy pot limit as much as no limit. I enjoy having the ultimate weapon of the allin push (Bushy reckons it's because I'm not good enough to make decisions after the flop...he is probably right)

But, here I played probably the best I've played all trip.

I was focussed and relaxed. I picked my spots perfectly. I never put my chips ion danger and my chips stack rose slowly despite having KK twice and seeing an ace flop both times.

I was moved tables with the blinds 100-200. I had approximately 4000 in chips which was about average.

I was positioned one off the button on my first hand at the new table.

A couple of limpers before me, so naturally I limped with T9 diamonds.

The sb now proceeded to raise the pot (I found the vast majority of yanks simply bet the pot when raising...very strange). One caller, so with position I made a dubious call (but one I almost always make). Flop comes J98 with two hearts. The sb bets the pot. I have no read on the guy, except that this is a very scary flop for any holding. I *think* I'm winning but have no way of being sure. I decide to call and see what develops on the turn. The ace of diamonds peels off. He checks. Hmmmm. Now it really looks like he's got KK or QQ. If he has any hand that beats me he must bet here. A free card is just too dangerous. So I push in with a virtual pot size bet. He goes into the tank. Finally he pipes up "I need to get lucky" and calls showing KQ hearts. He is taking 2-1 about a near 4-1 shot with 10 clear outs.

River is 2hearts. Exit Camel.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Vegas Diary III - Avoiding the Madness

Day 3

$1000 NLHE with rebuys.

Those two little words "with rebuys" almost stopped me playing this event. All those sponsored players and stinking rich dot com zillionaires have such an advantage in an event like this as they try to buy a bracelet by having 276 rebuys each. I heard a story that David Williams actually played his first few hands blind in order to get some action. How sick is that at a grand a pop?

But I'm a sicko (copyrite W Purle) and I'm only here for 9 days so I wasn't going to miss the party. I decided to limit myself to 2 rebuys however. (What price that went out of the window after a couple of bad beats?)

I actually found a pretty sane starting table. Kathy Liebert and David Levi were the only "names" there but whiule both were prepared to gamble dring the rebuys niether played recklessly. I actually started the tournament on fire. I was on the bb for the first hand and proceeded to flop the stone cold nuts in 3 of the first four hands. J8 (Flop 79T); KT (Flop KKT) and J9 (Flop 8TQ). Obviously I was rueful I wasn't on a table with Negreanu, Ivey or Lindgren then... I probably would have quintupled my chips in the right spot. But I moved from 1000 to 2300 so I couldn't be unhappy.

I played unbeleieveably tight for the rebuy period thereafter. I managed to double up via Ms Liebert with AA v TT and was sitting very comfortably with 4500.

Barny Boatman joined our table shortly before the end of the rebuys and I managed to piss him off. Barny was near the button when a limpathon occurred. About 5 players called the $50 bb and Barny proceeded to raise it up quite substantially getting one caller. The flop came rags, and it was checked through the streets. Barny showed 63 spades and won the pot with a lowly pair of threes.

I couldn't resist sticking my oar in: "You can tell he's not paying his own rebuys, raising with that filth". I knew full well he was just making a move to try and pick up the 350 in dead money in the pot and was just teasing, but Barny seemed to get the hump anyway. Oh well.

Just before the end of the rebuys I fucked up. Not badly, but it was a fuck up nonetheless. I had approaching 5000 when the nearest thing to a maniac on my table raised my blind. He made 200 to go and I called with 88. The flop came J52. I checked and he bet 500 leaving himself with about 900. I set him in, reasoning he was just trying to buy chips. Uh oh, he had the boots and I was back down to 3000. I was more than comfortable with 5000 so why did I bother gambling? Because I'm a sicko? Probably.

Frustrated with myself I took one of the available 2 addons to end the rebuys with 4000. Not bad, but it should have better.

Immediately on returning from the break my table was broken and I moved into a fascinating spot. Devilfish was there with a mountain of chips, as were John Law, my nieghbour from Teesside and Paul Leckey. Two yanks of interest were there too
: John Murphy, the very young geezer who played so well in the main event last year, leading for much of the way until he got busted by a very questionable call from Matt Dean in about 14th. The other guy I didn't recpognise but he introduced himself in a very whiny voice with this exchange after seeing my camel I protect my cards with:

"Are you the Camel from Pokerstars?"

"It depends who's asking"

"I'm Stevebets, you play me heads up matches alot"

"Oh right, hello"

"Why do you trash talk me and abuse me?"

Now this was complete bollocks. If I did trash talk him, it was because he is a whinging prat who moans all the fucking time when he loses. But I have never, in my recollection trash talked to him, even though he probably deserves it.

"I never have."

Devilfish came to the rescue and said something like "I know Keith and he's a good kid, he wouldn't abuse anyone" Ha ha.

"It must have been someone else using your account then".

Righty ho.

Let's get on with the game.

I stood still for about 30 minutes when the key hand came up.

With blinds of 50-100 I raised to 350 Under the gun with AQ.

Five callers!

John Murphy in the bb now moved in for 2100 more.

Hmmm. The easy play here is to pass, but from having seen Murphy in action last year and in the 30 minutes I had been at his table I *knew* he was capable of making this move with a huge range of holdings, many of which were huge underdog to AQ.

I pushed in to protect my hand from any other callers.

Murphy had TT and won the race.


I hung around for another hour trying to find a spot, and eventually got allin with 22 against Devilfish's A7. He turned an ace.

C'est le vie.

A bit pissed off I mooched around for the rest of the day. Played a couple of single table satellites. The standard in these has been unbelieveably weak. If I was dedicated I would put some hours in and try and win my way into these expensive tournaments, maybe I will do so later in the week.

I watched a bit of the $2500 short handed final. Two brits made th big dance. Dave Barnes, who I gave a big up to in Card Player the other month. Great to see him take no shit from the Yanks and score a nioce payday. And Harry Demetriou who played some superb poker until getting chinned heads up. Nothing to be ashamed about Harry, it was a stunning performance, the bracelet will come soon.

11pm saw me have another go at the late night tournament. I don't know why I bothered. I knew I was still a bit tilty still. I made a move after 10 minutes with Q3, as you do, and walked into a set oif nines, as you do also.

Day 4

Decided to have a day off poker except for the customary hour of heads up on 'Stars. The run went on (I know, get it quietly) I won all 6 heads up matches I played and nicked $4200 less the juice.

Played golf with Andy Church (who won the big event at the Vic at the last festival) and an American friend of ours, Rich.

Rich used to be an odds maker for a casino sports book and has been around Vegas poker for over 30 years. He told us some fantastic tales of Jack Strauss, Stu Ungar and Doyle Brunson, but I am going to keep them for Cardplayer! Sorry.

Anyways, we played a 12 hole par 3 course at Angel Park. I hadn't played golf for a couple of years and was pretty rusty, but I managed to wangle a favourable handicap and nicked $50. Woo hoo.

A very enjoyable day.

I intended on going to the Rio to buy in for the $2000 no limit tomorrow, but I was so knackered I fell straight into bed at 5pm and slept solid for 12 hours.

Let's hop there isn't an enormous queue to buyin this morning.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Vegas Diary Part Deux

Day 2

Down to business. $2500 Short handed (6 per table) No limit Hold'em.

Now, when discussing this event with "Bad Beat" Channing he made a very good point.

Seemingly every player had been strutting round the Rio saying: "Yep, this short handed game is the one I've really been looking forward to. It will really suit me as I'm so aggressive." We had not heard anyone saying "I'm not playing this event, I'm a rock and much prefer the 11 handed game".

I rarely make a battle plan before I start a tournament. It is too dependant on factors such as who the other players on my table are, whetrher I get off to a fast start, whether I'm on tilt or not and how many beers I've consumed.

But, on Tuesday I decided if everyone was going to play like Gus Hansen on speed I would try and do the opposite. We were given alot of chips in proportion to the starting blinds ($2500 and $25/$25 respectively) so the plan I hatched was nto sit back and try and do some serious trapping.

In order for the master to be successful it needed a couple of loose cannons on my right. And there was! 2 Septic Tank "uber pro's" (copyrite N Channing) who insisted on raising every pot. Now, all I had to do was find a hand to catch them with...

I did get the boots early but succeeded in winning in winning a very tiny pot as I slow played them and it came a very scary board and it went check check through the later streets.

Then just before the first break my opportunity arose. Bottle blond Yank makes it 200 to go on the button (blinds now 25-50) I call on the sb with AJ. Flop comes: J72. I check (obviously) and he fires out 400. Call. Turn card is a 4. I check raise him all in. He has to call about 1400 into a 3 grand pot. He does without blinking his eyes and shows 78. And obviously he hits. Wanker.

Andy Black, the poker player turned monk from that TV prog a few years ago, was on my left. He played absolutely beautifully and had a wagon load of chips by the time I exited. Really nice bloke, I was funking for him to go deep in the event.

I was decidedly tiltyafter being knocked out so I decided to retire to my room for a kip. Well, the laptop obviously was positioned in the way of my kingsize and I settled down for a couple of hours of PokerStars action.

There must be some deep psychological reason for the fact I nearly always win on Stars when I'm away from home. (If that doesn't bokk myself, nothing will!).

If playing 15 heads up matches sounds sad, it's because it probably is, but in my defence 90% of my matches are completed in level 1 so it only took about 3 hours to compile a record of 5-0 in $210's, 7-2 in $520's and 1-0 in $210 stud hilo's. Don't ask me why I played a stud hilo heads up match. I can't answer you. I promise I will never play another one so I will be able say with complete certainty that like baccarat (also 1 bet, 1 win about 15 years ago) I am ahead lifetime at the game. So, there.

I was absolutely knackered after these travails so I did the sensible thing: got a taxi back to the Rio for the $225 late night tournament. I found a flyer with 10 reasons why you should play this event. After all the boring reasons, a cheap way of winning a WSOP event, manageable buyin, fast structure etc the last reason made me giggle. They said, the event fiunishes so late, it will be very unlikely anyone you owe money to will be around to see the conclusion if you cop!

My heart wasn't really in it, and I busted out in level 3.

I watched a bit of the omaha hilo final. I hate watching poker at the best of times but this must be the most boring spectator event of all. The action is totally inpenetrable. I gave Jeff Duvall a bit of vocal support along with a couple of other diehards: Gary Jones and Rory Liffey. But, I couldn't keep my eyes open and left them 4 handed with Jeff in second place. He eventually came 3rd for a $77 grand payday. A great result for a good guy.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Vegas Diary Part 1

Day 0 (Sunday 5th June)

It's safe to say that this was thge most unpleasant flight I've ever endured. The turbulance was awful. Coming into land was like riding a big dipper. I tasted the contents of my stomach at least 10 times. Not nice.

I could have coped with that but the geezer next to me kept digging his bloody elbow in my ribs. I must have told him 5 times but he kept doing it. Tosser.

But worst of all, I was sat slap, bang in the middle of a wedding party of about 50. And the blokes in this group seemed intent on drinking the plane dry. There was an atmosphere of violence for the final 6 hours of the journey. I was sure it was going to kick off, but somehow the stewardesses kept the peace and we made it without any trouble. But, it was more like a Saturday night in Blackpool than a sedate snooze to Vegas.

It was very much the B team of British poker players making the trip on my flight. The first eleven: Sunar, Devilfish, Hendon Mob, Colclough, Kabbaj and Citrone were already there for the first events.

The stragglers on my flight were Bruce Atkinson, Ali Sharkeshik, Allan Rutter and a couple of geezers from Luton who's names escape me. I doubt whether the B's will be troubling the engravers with spelling our names on a nice gold bracelet... But who knows eh?

The flight was 90 minutes late arriving, but I worked out if I sped through all the airport palarva and checked in at the Mirage quickly I would just make the 11.30pm (GMT) super for a WSOP main event seat on 'Stars.

Everything went extremely smoothly and I got to my room with 40 minutes to spare. Just time for a relaxing bath before 6 hours (hopefully) of poker.

Bah! What a dickhead I am. When I got the laptop fired up at about 11.20 and logged onto Stars I discovered the satellite started at 11pm. If I had forsaken the bath I would have made it comfortably. Oh well, I went 2-0 in $500 heads up matches before retiring to bed.

I don't think I should add my online play to my weeks profit/loss (unless I do really badly live...when I might have to for appearances sakes!)

Day 1

So, I slept for about 14 hours straight which suggests that playing the super would have been a complete waste of money. But as I am totally crap at super satellites it would probably have been a wankaway-a-monkey-fest anyways.

So, with heart thumping a little more than usual I got a taxi to the Rio for my first sight of the 2005 World Series of Poker.

The walk from front door to convention centre is bloody miles. You definitely need hiking boots and there should be feeding stations on the way like at the London Marathon. Jac Arama has got the right idea. He invested $200 on a motorised bike to scoot around on. Excellent value.

I finally arrived breathless and enthusiastic. The playing area is just amazing. 200 tables! A hive of poker playing. But, I soon realised something is missing. Although it certainly seems to be well run, (some of the dealers I've encountered have been a bit below what I expect from the WSOP) the "buzz" just doesn't seem the same as at Binions. There certainly isn't such a great Euro comraderie as there is no base for sorties. Whatever time of day or night you staggered into the 'Shoe you could guarantee there would be a couple of euros ready to share war stories and a beer at the bar. As there isn't a bar within a mile of the Rio playing area this just ain't gonna happen this year I fear.

But, I am prepared to give the place a chance. The playing area is alot more comfortable the Binions and there is much better facilities for players and spectators alike.

And with the monster fields we have seen so far, the value of these tournies is immense.

I tipped my toe in gently. I played a one table sat (managed to come second and nick a $500 lammer).

Then I played the afternoon super. The standard of play was dreadful. But, unfortunately my play was worse than most and I wanked away a great chip stack. And failed to win a seat miserably.

I was a bit knackered so refrained to play again...showing admirable restraint, dontcha think?

I mingled a bit, Said hello to some old friends, and shared dinner with Bad Beat Channing and Jeff Duvall who was flying in the £1500 hilo omaha comp. All very enjoyable.
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