Sunday, August 28, 2005

Why Does he Bother?

Can some explain why Paul Samuel bothers?

He spends about five hours explaining in complex mathmatical terms why AKo has 6.55% chance of beating AA.

All very impressive. Except if you go here you will find out he's wrong.

So, why does Paul bother? Pokerpages must be paying him a fortune to justify all this work. Perhaps I should ask the Hendon Mob and Cardplayer for a pay rise...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Calm Down, Calm Down

I really lost my rag yesterday over the bad etiquette bollocks.

When Rob Sherwood accused me of "shooting an angle" on the Blondepoker forum I really flew off the handle. If their had been a cat in my house I would really have feared for its safety.

But, I've calmed down considerably now and acknowledge I went about the whole thing incorrectly. If I had tabled my hand in the first place none of this would have happened. I was marginally wrong not to, but by announcing my hand I was virtually conceeding the pot as I was 99% sure I had lost. Sit at any table and you will see players announce their hand rather than table it all the time.

But, where I really went wrong was in criticising Rob on his blog. I should have taken him to the bar at the break, bought him a beer and pointed out how wrong it is to ask to see my hand and why it is so wrong.

And to call him "delusional" and to call his play "dreadful" was immature of me in the extreme and I apologise for doing it. The things we do in anger eh?

But, if you forget all the bollocks that has happened since, it was a very interesting hand and for once I would like to analyse the hand in question. As always, comments and thoughts are welcome...

I will look at it from Rob's point of view, because he had the big decisions in the hand. What are his correct plays? (I make my analysis in brackets after each of his plays)

Blinds are 150-300 and Rob has about 12000 chips.

I have about 8000 in chips and limp in earlyish position.

Rob makes it 800 to go with AKo in mid/late position. (I prefer a slightly bigger raise, just to define my hand and deter too many callers. I guess the limper is going to play but I certainly don't want a 3 or 4 way pot with AK. But I suppose 800 is ok)

Everyone passes back to me and I call. (Now, this in itself means nothing. I call all the fucking time. But, perhaps Rob could put me on a broad range of hands at this point. A small pair, Ace-x suited or suited connectors seem favourite. But, pretty much anything within reason is possible).

The flop comes Qs 4d 2d. I check and Rob bets 1000. (Fair enough, it's very likely Rob has the best hand here and a continuation bet of 1000 is a good way of finding this out for sure.). I call. (Now, what have I got? If I am calling I pretty much certainly have some of this flop. But what exactly? AQ is unlikely because I probably would have raised preflop. Possibly the same with KQ. A flush draw is certainly possible. It could even be as bad as Qx of diamonds although I probably would have reraised with this. A set of 2's or 4's is also something to think about. As is a pair between 4's and Queens and I am waiting to see what the turn brings in case Rob has AK or similar. Basically from Rob's point of view I could have a huge range of hands and he's either losing to them now, or I have a draw which means I could lose on the turn or river).

Turn is 3d! Now this could hardly be a worse card for Rob - even though he's got the King of diamonds. Now I bet 2200. (Hmmm. Whatever I have got Rob must be 99% sure he is losing here. If I flopped a set I have to bet here to protect it.. I am laying Rob a little less than 3-1 with my bet. If I turned a flush I similarly have to bet to avoid giving Rob a free shot at hitting a bigger flush. If I have a set Rob has 11 outs {8 non pairing diamonds and 3 non diamond 5's} If I have a small flush he has 7 outs. If I have just a queen {Rob's best hope by far} he has many as 17 outs. I think it is so difficult to put me on a hand it is a clear pass for Rob, after all he has got only ace high and in worse case scenario is drawing dead}. Rob calls.

Comments anyone?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Chaos Is Right...

In fairness to Rob Sherwood in the hand where he demanded to see my hand as I was first to act I should simply turn my hand over. And then he would turn over his winning hand.

But, as I didn't turn it over. I announced my hand (which is fairly common), I still maintain it is extremely bad etiquette for him to ask to see my hand. Something I have never faced in 15 years of poker.

On a related point, it is extremely annoying that the dealer turns over all cards at a showdown at Sheffield. They say it's to avoid chip passing. But, if you were intent in chip passing you could just bet one chip on the river and the colluder will just pass.

Instead, this rule stops players playing bad hands or even bluffing because they don't want to be embarressed about everyone at the table seeing their hand.

The sooner they scrap this rule the better.

Oh, a quick note to Lovejoy... you don't really have a tell... I just wanted to make you a bit paranoid. That's the least I could for the pain you caused me with that outdraw!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hats off to Mike Sexton

I'm not the biggest Sexton fan in the world for various reasons I won't bother to bore you with here, but I must say I'm impressed with his criticisms of the WSOP.

They are spot on.

Top Of The League!

Not QPR unfortunately. They just got tonked by Coventry City 3-0 in the first game at Ricoh Stadium.

No, top of the league is me. After winning the main event at Sheffield yesterday when update the 2005 rankings on Wednesday (assuming they have the Sheffield results to hand by then) I will have a slender lead over Stewart Nash. DY, latebet and all the other "poker is about winning money" merchants will have probably have a hearty giggle in my direction but I would really like to win the rankings. Not for the 10 grand in prize money (although obviously that would come in handy) but purely so I can say I was the most consistent tournament poker player in Europe in 2005. I doubt very much I will triumph however. I am taking a couple of months off poker starting today to attend to some other matters. And when I return to the scene I certainly won't be playing so much. Although the way the rankings are compiled does give me some sort of chance. In other years missing 4 months poker would have meant I had no chance as it was the cumulative total of all your final table points for the year. In 2005 they have changed the criteria. Instead, your points total for the best 10 scoring events is what determines your position. So, if I can finish highly in a couple of high scoring events I still have a squeak. The fact Dave Colclough and Stewart Nash are going to Lithuania proves they are trying flat out to win them too. Being much more dedicated than me, one of them, probably DC, will almost certainly win.

But, if DY and his ilk will sneer at me for letting ego get in the way of my poker (probably correctly) I will say that trying to earn rankings points has definitely concentrated my mind recently in the tournaments I've played. Here is a quick rundown on all the events I've played in the last couple of weeks:

£1,000 NL @ The Vic. Made the last 4 or 5 table in healthy chip position when Jim "Septic Tiger" Britton made a world class move and I suffered the consequences. Blinds were 400-800 and I've got about 16k and the sb. A guy limps for 800 and Jim decides to make it 10k to play with A5o. I wake up with KK and move in. Limper passes and Jim is forced to call. Flop comes 234. Nice work if you can get it.

£5,000 NL @ The Vic. Managed to avoid going broke with QQ v Henry "The Nugget" Nowakowski's AA in the first level. If you have played with the Nugget you will know what a feat this was. Played really well on day one of this tournament and finished with 44k for second position. Day 2 was a massive disappointment. On the very first hand the sb hadn't taken his seat. I raise in mid position with 66. Simon Trumper reraised. I was pretty sure he was raising because he thought I was stealing due the absent blind man. I should have moved allin. I didn't. I called and we checked it down. he had J9 for second pair. Ugh. I lost nearly 1/4 of my stack on the first hand. Horrid play. I struggled all day after this but never got back to 44k. I did come close when tripling up with KK about 6 hours later but it was a false dawn. Within sight of the money (about 20 left) a massive stack raised and I moved in with AQ. He called with QJ and flopped a Jack. I was sick.

£300 NL @ The Vic. Trebled up within the first hour and was one of the chip leaders when I called a raise in the BB with AT. Flop came a juicy AT3. The action went check, bet, raise, reraise, allin. The geezer called all this action (the allin bet was a raise of approx 5k) with one pair, AK! Naturally he rivered the King. God bless 'im.

£200 NL @ Luton. Now, there has been alot of talk of the great structures of the tournaments at Luton recently. And yes this event was very slow. Too slow IMO. How can you get 100 bb's and a 45 minute clock for a £200 comp? I played dreadfully in this event. It was the one tournament in this 3 week spell where I didn't "put it all in". I just got incredibly lucky. I pushed allin against another big stack with AQ. He had AK. I rivered a flush. I raised with 85 suited and a huge stack reraised me... I called, flopped a flush draw and went allin. He called with KK. I hit on the river. Yada yada yada. It just went to prove that if you're prepared to stick your chips in the middle you've always got a chance. A bad maniac can win. A bad rock can't. I had a enormous stack. With 4 table left I had 20% of the chips in play! I wanked alot away... but managed to make the final with an average stack. I turned down a deal 6 handed... and then raised Jen Mason's blind with K3. She called. The flop came 992. She didn't have any of this of course... so I moved in. She didn't need any of the flop. She had the boots. I certainly didn't think she was capable of playing a big hand this way. But she was probably aware I wanted to get to Loftus Road for the R's first game of the season and rightly thought I would pay her off. Congrats.

£750 NL @ Luton. Probably the most annoying comp I've played this side of the WSOP main event. I played great and just got fucked over and over again. I quadrupled up early and was sure I was going deep into the comp. Then this hand occurred. Charlie "The Mechanic" Bambos limped for 100 as did Lovejoy. As Bambos only had 1200 I decide to raise to 700 with AQ to try and get heads up with the short stack. He made the silly play of calling which gave Lovejoy odds to call too. Flop came A86. Bambos checked and Kevin bet 2000. Hmmm. He does have a tell when he's bluffing and he displayed it here. I couldn't believe he would have a hand where semi bluffing was an option for him (57 or 79). So an outright bluff seemed most likely. I wanted to give him the option of bluffing some more chips off so I simply called. Bambos passed. Turn came a 5 and Lovejoy stuck in 7000! He didn't display the same tell but I decided to go with my original read and called him. He had 44. River was a 7 for a straight. Grrrr. I then proceeded to lose big pots with AK v AJ and AQ v AT. It was ridiculous. In none of these situations should my opponent have committed so many chips, yet each time they did they sucked out. My night was finished when I lost with a pair v overcards. I wasn't very happy driving home I can tell you....

£300 NL Shootout @ Luton. What a difference a day makes.. The shootout was two single table satellites. With the winner from each table going forward to the final. I got lucky in so far as drawing one of the 9 player heats but very unlucky with my table draw. Bad Girl Pham, Stuart Fox and WSOP man Laurence Gosney all featured. I hot a few hands and got a bit lucky and managed to win the table... The folly of Luton's structures became apparent in the final. The heats featured a 30 minute clock and a starting stack of 100bb's. It took forever for everyone to finish. They wanted it all wrapped up in one day so, when the big money was to be divided (the final) they shortened the clock to 20 minutes and only gave us 50bb's to start. By 40 minutes of play the starting stack was only 12.5bb's. Ridiculous. So, with prize money approx 1st 10k 2nd 5k and all the rest 1k I gambled it up! I picked up the boots early and doubled up. I found AK a couple of times. I won a huge pot with JTs v 99. In short I played to the clock. By the time we got three handed the blinds made for a crap shoot so we did a deal. I got £5400 which was slightly less than I was due to by chip count but I was completely knackered and couldn't be bothered to argue for my extra £300...

£1500 NL @ Luton. The main event was a disappointment. I never really got in sync. My bluffs were badly timed and my good hands never got paid. One hand of interest. With 8000 in chips I limped for 300 with 45s. Rob Sherwood raised to 800. I had him down as a bit of a rock and thought I could outplay him on the flop. We saw it two handed: Q42 with 2 diamonds. i checked and he bet 1000. It was an intriguing board and there were alot of turn cards which would either help me or be very scary to what I assumed was a big pair. I called. The turn came 3d. I fancied this was a lovely card. I fired 2200 into the pot. I really couldn't see him calling with AA or KK unless he had the diamond in that suit. He called. Ugh. The river came Kh. I decided to preserve my 4000 and checked. He checked behind me. I announced "one pair" and he immediately turned over AK (with the Kd). I think it was a horrid call by him on the turn and he got very lucky. So be it. He paid a high price when he might be drawing very thin and hit. Good luck to him. I tossed my hand to the muck. Then he asked to see my hand. Personally I think this is VERY bad form. As Ray Hammer said at the time "You've won the pot, isn't that enough?" But he insisted. It would have served him right if I had misread my hand and thrown away 2 pair. But, unfortunately I hadn't. This is the first time in 15+ years I've been playing poker someone has asked to see my losing hand. Very bad etiquette I think. Get it quietly for Goodness sakes. Stupidly I let this affect me a bit and didn't play too well for the next 90 minutes or so. Very unprofessional. I moved tables with a tiny stack...2500 or so. Very first time I was in the blinds I peeked down at the boots. The sb was a monster stack with 50k or so and let me walk!!! That summed up my night. I busted out 10 minutes later with AK v AA. Marvellous.

£200 PL (with rebuys) @ Sheffield. My table was like the rock of Gibralter. How I managed to have two rebuys and an add on is something I should be ashamed of. I made it somehow to the last three tables when someone doubled the bb in early posi. He got 4 callers so I was dutibound to stick in the extra 800 with 34o. Implied odds and all that. The flop came pretty nice. I flopped a pair and a gutshot straight draw. So I went allin Junior Hill called with 99. I missed my outs and was busted. C'est le vie.

£750 NL @ Sheffield. I hate to emphasise a point this often... but again a main event at a locals casino proved to be tremendous value. So many players aren't used to playing on a slow clock with loads of chips that they bust themselves. An example from this comp: A guy seemed to be a maniac. He had turned his 5000 starting stack into 20k with some very strange hands. I decide to limp UTG with KK. All pass to him on the bb (Playing 50-100). He raised 500. I called. Flop: 752 rainbow. He bet 2000. I called. Turn was a queen. He now fired 4000 into the pot. I considered moving allin but if he was indeed bluffing i wanted to let him double me up. So I called. He checked the river which was a 9. I bet 4000 and he called with T2o!!!!

I did have one very nice hand after this. I limped with 66 and was delighted to see a flop of 644. One of the guys in the blinds had T4 and a ten on the turn sealed his fate and doubled my stack. I had a huge stack (40k+) by the time the blinds reached 200-400 but for 4 or 5 hours I made no progress and gradually returned to the pack. As we neared the end of the night however I went on a mini rush and won a couple of big pots and ended the day with 85k which was well above average for the 16 players returning for day 2.

Day 2 didn't start great. I twice got called bluffing. I was soon below average. Then I got a free look at 238 (2 hearts) flop with 45h. And managed to win a nice pot. Still, I was well below average when the final arrived. Playing 8 handed I found AK UTG. I had 40k and the blinds were 3000-6000. I decided to move in to try and get one of the big stacks to call thinking I was just stealing the blinds. Hassan Mohammed instacalled allin. Then a short stack went into the tank and called too. On their backs it was good as I could hope for QQ for Hassan and JJ for the other caller. I hit two aces and trebled up. I played pretty well for the rest of the final. One play I was pretty proud of was check calling big bets from John Law on the turn and river with just ace high and winning.

Jim Reid was a thorn in my side all final. I was relieved when he busted out 4th because he had reraised me 3 times pre flop and forced me to pass. I know we were due to play a big pot sometime soon and he probably would have had the better of it. Three handed I found some good cards and played very aggressively. It was the first time I have won a big tournament with no deals so I am extremely satisfied.

A good three weeks. I have won over 30 grand and enough rankings points to lead for now. Whether I will win is doubtful. But, for now, I am pretty damn pleased.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Ok, I'll admit it...

I am the poster "forum watcher" on the Gutshot forum.

Now, I have to choose my words to describe why I made the two posts pretty carefully in order to keep my new resolution of not slagging off the Gutshot "Collective". (The more I look at the word collective after the word Gutshot the more incongruous it looks!).

Anyways, here goes:

About a week ago I spied a post by "the truth" on the pokerineurope forum. It described how one of the Gutshot WSOP qualifiers was allegedly forced to play the main event with a ticket in the name of Gutshot supremo Mr Barry Martin. Now, as the only thing which inhabits the the PIE forum these days are a few tumbleweeds, me and probably DY I thought it wise to repost the allegation on the Gutshot forum itself. I decided to use an anonymous ID because I thought if I posted it in my name the response would be something like "What business is it of yours? You've never been to Gutshot".

At this moment it must be stressed how important it is to have a ticket for the WSOP in your name. The Rio stressed you cannot get a refund or transfer your ticket. Why this was, I don't know. I think it was a pretty crappy rule, but a rule it was nonetheless.

The first time I posted the allegation it got hijacked by an attack on Game for Life. And there was virtually no debate on the serious alleagtions. So I reposted it. This time we got a debate. Other allegations surfaced. Gutshot qualifiers were forced to share rooms. Would you like to share a room with Pedro for example? But, more seriously a poster suggested that the Gutshot qualifier in question played in seat won by Mr Martin in an online qualifier. The player was asked several times was he indeed Mr Martin. Understandably the worry he was playing illegally and might be disqualified affected his performance severely and he was knocked out very early. Who is to say if he went deep into the tournament he would have been paid his prize money anyways?

The thread is called "Blimey" if you want to check it out.

But, you should be warned that alot of the posts in this thread have been deleted. As far as I know, none in the oginal thread which became a discussion on Davey Newth "More Gutshot Sleaze" have been deleted. Which makes you wonder what exactly Gutshot have to hide.

It's a bit like the rake issue. It's not the amount of rake which Gutshot take which is an issue it's the Gutshot's management refusal to debate it which is disturbing. In this case noone in the Gutshot hierachy chose to respond to the allegations. Do you not agree this is somewhat surprising?

Update: I should have checked the Gutshot forum one more time before I posted this. Derek Kelly has posted a response to the allegation now. It all seems pretty plausible but he doesn't mention if the player used an online qualification in the name of Barry Martin. If he did, this is still bang out of order. If he didn't the it all seems reasonable.

Also, why were so many posts in this thread deleted?
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