June 30, 2010


Perhaps you're wondering where I've been the last few days (no I'm not a slow reader who just finished reading the Blatch threads on Blonde). I just kinda randomly ended up taking a few days off without much rhyme or reason. One night it kind of hit me how long it had been since I had done anything with my music (a hobby of mine is that I 'rap'). Basically since I started playing poker I haven't found much time for it, so I've spent much of the last week+ I've had creating a website for that and getting in touch with recording studios and such to record some new songs.

One reason I haven't found time for it is that it's so bloody time consuming, and realistically is hard to fit around what is effectively a full time job, albeit I don't treat it that way sometimes. Also, it's pretty expensive if you want to take it seriously. Hopefully I can fit in recording some tracks around a full poker-grinding schedule, and maybe I'll earn enough money to make me feel better about spending some money on it. Having a week+ of earning no money doesn't exactly encourage you to want to spend any!

So July 1st seems as good a day as any to get back to the grind. One of my students managed to play 4000 games last month for a tidy ~$6k profit, and maybe I could learn a thing or two from him about putting in the hours required at the tables. He also made $1k in prop bets against him after he'd spent the last few months feigning an inability to grind, which had me fooled so I'm down 100 large myself! This is one of the few times I haven't minded parting with money, he certainly earned it...

Sadly I think my playing-in-the-evening schedule, although nicely profitable, contributed to my lack of volume in June (1750 games), and perhaps even led me to take that week+ off. Playing during the daytime might mean less profit-per-game or per-hour but I think it will lead to more profit-per-month, which I think is just as important, or certainly feels it after a lazy ass month. So I'll be getting up nice and early tomorrow, rather than waking up at ~1pm and grinding ~6pm-2am. I think it's a more healthy schedule, I just hope the lack of traffic in the hours I'm going to play doesn't tilt me too hard...

June 17, 2010

WSOP Tournament of Champions entrants revealed (+ SNQ Day 14)

The top 20 vote getters for the 2010 WSOP TOC have been released. I shared with you my picks a few days ago, where I applied the intricate formula of choosing people I liked. It surprised me that Chris Moneymaker didn't make the cut, as he would be a sentimental choice for many poker players, but perhaps his exposure has been fairly limited since his 2003 WSOP Main Event victory. Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu were unsurprisingly the top 2 choices.

9 of the 20 I picked out made it into the tournament, although personally I think the line-up is quite disappointing as none of the "new-school" players made it in. I mean, TJ Cloutier is in there, but not Jason Mercier?? Sadly no Brits made it either, but looking at the list, they never really had a chance. If they had held this poll in 2005 I think the top 20 would have looked about the same...

The Top 10 Vote Winners:
1. Phil Ivey - 16,267 votes
2. Daniel Negreanu - 16,239
3. Doyle Brunson - 13,796
4. Phil Hellmuth - 12,673
5. Jesus Ferguson - 11,585
6. Allen Cunningham - 10,486
7. Johnny Chan - 10,434
8. Scotty Nguyen - 9,834
9. Barry Greenstein - 9,806
10. John Juanda - 8,835

The Rest:
11. Erik Seidel
12. Jen Harman
13. Huck Seed
14. Dan Harrington
15. TJ Cloutier
16. Sammy Farha
17. Howard Lederer
18. Greg Raymer
19. Joe Hachem
20. Antonio Esfaniari

Automatically entered:
2004 TOC Champion: Annie Duke
2005 TOC Champion: Mike Matusow
2006 TOC Champion: Mike Sexton
2009 WSOP Main Event Champ: Joe Cada
2009 WSOP-E Champ: Barry Shulman

Spnosor Exemptions:
WSOP Acadamey Playoff Winner: ElkY
WSOP.com UK Qualifier: Andrew Barton

#1 Choice, Phil Ivey

SuperNova Quest
Today was quite incredible as it felt like I was going through some of the pain I mentioned that I was due yesterday. However, just as I was winding down and accepting a $500+ loss for the day, I made 5 $12 180-man final tables. Consequently today's session has been kind of bitter-sweet though, as although I have to be happy with the day's results, (especially after a bad start), I had an incredible seven 3rd-6th place finishes, but only one victory. These 180-man tournaments are so top heavy that it really pays to win, so to have converted only 1 tournament doesn't feel great, but that was just the way the cards fell and probably just an example of short-term variance...

Days played/elapsed: 14/23
VPPs earned (Day 14): 548
VPPs earned (Total): 7759
VPPs remaining: 85,431

June 16, 2010

Men playing in the Ladies Event & 100,000 hands in 3 weeks (+ SNQ Days 12 & 13)

There has been controversy abound over the last few days over the decision of a 6 men to take part in the WSOP Ladies Event. Amongst these was well known pro, Shaun Deeb, who played until the first break in drag. The WSOP isn't allowed to prevent men from entering the ladies event as it would contravene discrimination law.

There has been a pretty fierce backlash against these guys, notably I read blogs by Daniel Negreanu and Dusty Schmidt effectively calling the guys jackasses for entering. Annie Duke came out and said she doesn't think ladies events should even be run because they undermine women. This rubbed up Daniel the wrong way and he quite comically layed into the slogan "Best Woman Poker Player in the World" which is emblazoned on her website (The Best Female Poker Player in the World? Reallly). I think he has a point. I think a "Best Video Blogger in the World" slogan on this blog would be just as apt! (I will post a new video blog up soon)

Personally I think that the Ladies Events are a good thing and the men certainly shouldn't have stooped so low as to enter the event. What's wrong with letting the ladies have the occasional exclusive event? Women take up such a small percentage of the average tournament field (5-10%), I think these events are a good thing for chicks who want to take some intimidation out of the game if they haven't played much live poker, or even just for the social side of things, I mean they have to put up with us leery, loudmouth guys the rest of the time, right? I do have to admit those guys have some balls though, I mean who would want to sit on a table with 8 women all pissed off at you for intruding on their event (unless they were particularly hot and it was worth it obviously).

I hope none of them entered to try and prove a point about 'equality' or 'mens rights', because I just don't see how that applies here. Perhaps if the WSOP added extra prize money to this event, and no other event, they might have some kind of point. Otherwise it just seems dumb. I thought the argument that these guys potentially entered because of the equity in the event was perhaps a good one, I imagine that event is soffffffttttt...but then again probably no softer than the $1k and $1.5k NLH donkaments.

Shaun Deeb in drag

On another note...
Congrats to James Dempsey for taking 2nd in WSOP Event #25 ($10k PLO8 tournament). After winning a bracelet in Event #9 ($1.5k PLH), he's currently the front runner for the Player of the Series race. Sick man! Wp Flushy!

SuperNova Quest
I've hit the milestone of 100,000 hands over the last 3 weeks, over 13 days of play. Today's session ended in me doing a little dance as I won back to back $3-rebuy-180-mans in the last two tournaments I had open (wiiiii). I'm running around +$1.5million above EV, so I am due some major pain to make up for my run good over the last couple of sessions.

Days played/elapsed: 13/22
VPPs earned (Day 12): 573
VPPs earned (Day 13): 504
VPPs earned (Total): 7211
VPPs remaining: 85,979

June 12, 2010

Disconnected arrgggghhh (+ SNQ Days 10 & 11)

My internet decided to die on me in the middle of a 28-tabling session on Wednesday. So to try and combat this I whipped out my mobile broadband dongle and put it into the computer, only for it to keep bringing up a bloody error message (it turns out T-Mobile suspended my account because I hadn't used it...WTF! It's a Pay As You Go account, surely I can use it if and when I want to?!?!). So I basically had to just sit there clicking refresh on Google Chrome every 30 seconds and occasionally switching my router on and off, whilst trying not to stteaaaammm.

It came back online after about 15 minutes, and about 20 tables that I'd survived in popped up. I'd of course lost my chip lead in the 2 I was deep and going well in, and was down to approximately no-big-blinds in the rest. I limped into 7th place in the $7 180-man I was chip-leader in, but somehow managed to luckbox my way into having a bunch of chips on a table I was down peanuts in, and eventually turned it into a 1st place (it was a $3R 180-man), so that officially de-tilted me, but I was pretty lucky to get out of it on this occasion.

This is one of the suckiest things that SNG players have to contend with. It's partly my fault, someone who plays as many SNGs as me should have a fully operational back-up...that's why I have a lap-top and a dongle available...but if the lap-top's dead and the dongle doesn't work I guess I shouldn't really complain. My internet connection has been so good since I moved house I'd begun to not worry about it.

It's a problem that really used to tilt me hard when I played HUSNGs professionally. At least if you disconnect for 2 minutes in MTT SNGs, you're unlikely to be too severely punished. But in a HUSNG your opponent is just hitting raise every 10 seconds, and if the blinds are at 100/200 then you're buggered. I remember one time I was playing a $1000 HUSNG and there was a power
-cut and I just had to sit there mourning my $1k loss. Even though I play much smaller stakes these days, I'd be $500 worse off if my internet hadn't come back online for another 10 minutes on top, which is a pretty sick loss when you're trying to grind out $3 a game or whatever.

I will be making sure my lap-top and dongle are good to go before each session from now on! Was looking for a picture to visually demonstrate the last few paragraphs, but came across this awesome South Park clip lollllll...

SuperNova Quest
I'm on the most ridiculous downswing in $2 180s which I can't explain, but my $12 180-man results aren't great either. I think I've been calling off and re-shoving a bit light...treating people as if they have a decent-regs range rather than a random donks range, so will be doing some self review and trying to get my ranges back in order. It's the $3 180 rebuys that are saving my arse at the moment and keeping me making profit.

Days played/elapsed: 11/18
VPPs earned (Day 10): 540
VPPs earned (Day 11): 604
VPPs earned (Total): 6134
VPPs remaining: 87,056

June 10, 2010

WSOP Tournament of Champions (+ SNQ Day 9)

The WSOP Tournament of Champions voting will end on Tuesday June 15th. Letting a majority of the seats be decided by the voting public seems to have been a popular idea, and reinvigorated the tournament which hasn't run since 2006.

27 players will take to the felt in what is effectively a $1 million freeroll. I originally thought it was going to be a winner-takes-all affair, but actually 1st place will pay $500,000, 2nd $250,000, 3rd $100,000, and 4th through 9th $25,000. Only bracelet winners are eligible, although a 9-man SNG featuring an elite field of non-bracelet winners is being held today (June 10th), with 1 spot going to the winner.

There have been some creative attempts to get you to vote for the candidates. Tom Schneider suggested he would split any winnings with people that voted for him. Also, Marty Smyth promises to donate any winnings from the tournament to charity. However it looks likely that the people that will be voted through will be the "same old faces" that we are used to seeing on television.

Not wanting to put too much time into the decision, I went through the list and simply picked out the first 20 people that I liked, and voted thus:
You can cast your vote here if you are interested...

SuperNova Quest
Tried out a new schedule to try and hit the traffic in the 180-mans when it's hot, so I can concentrate purely on them. Definitely enjoyed this aspect of it, although playing 7pm-2am kinda schedule isn't something I've managed to sustain in the past. Will give it a trial period and go from there. Had a decent enough day, but of course daily results are fairly insignificant due to the variance involved in 180-mans.

Days played/elapsed: 9/16
VPPs earned (Day 9): 540
VPPs earned (Total): 4990
VPPs remaining: 88,208

June 08, 2010

Jealous Much??!!!! (+ SNQ Day 8)

Everytime I log into Facebook at the moment, it seems that one of my friends are shipping 6 figures. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly pleased for them...I obviously would prefer they'd win in any tournament I'm not playing/bust out of over a random player...but man does it feel sucky to be grinding $12 SNGs while these guys are shipping it large!

  • Praz Bansi ~$500,000 + WSOP Event #5 Bracelet
  • Stu Rutter ~$180,000 in WSOP Event #6
  • Neil Channing ~$275,000 in WSOP Event #6
  • James Dempsey ~$200,000 + WSOP Event #9 Bracelet
  • Jamie Sykes ~$200,000 winning the Sunday Million

Hopefully that list will be added to with both Dan Carter and Christopher Brammer deep in Event #13 ($1k NLH) with only 52 left from the 3042 that started, and 6-figs for the top 5 finishes. They sit 4th and 2nd in chips respectively going into Day 3 of that event today, best of luck fellas, make me greeeeeennnnn!

Dan Carter

SuperNova Quest
By far the worst day so far, as in 104 180-man SNGs, I made just one final table. That's just sick. I decided to not play 45-mans yesterday because I think my game suffers too much when I have 180-mans alongside.

I took the opportunity to use my Step 5 ticket as I saw the softest line-up I could expect to find. Sadly I got no cards and made a questionable shove with 5bbs that led to me busting out with a Step 4 ticket. I turned a couple of my Step 3s into Step 4s so I think I will just use my 3x Step 4 tickets to buy-in to $215 events in the future (thanks to the reader who told me you could do this, I didn't realise) and take a shot at a WSOP Main Event seat in a couple of the MTT satellites instead.

Days played/elapsed: 8/15
VPPs earned (Day 8): 595
VPPs earned (Total): 4450
VPPs remaining: 88,748
(I had been rounding some figures, but sod it, might as well be accurate)

June 07, 2010

2nd Video Blog (+SNQ Days 5, 6 & 7)

News items mentioned in Video Blog:

"Recommended Reading":

SuperNova Quest
Have had a busy week and haven't managed to play much at all. Ran ridiculously well on Day 5, running more than a million chips above EV, which is the biggest difference I can ever recollect occuring. Have ran below EV since then but have still managed to make money despite that...

Days played/elapsed: 7/14
VPPs earned (Day 5): 717
VPPs earned (Day 6): 348
VPPs earned (Day 7): 676
VPPs earned (Total): 3856
VPPs remaining: 89,400

Days 5, 6 & 7:


June 01, 2010

WSOP 2010 Event #5 (+ SNQ Day 4)

Of course the World Series of Poker 2010 is now underway. As I'm not able to be there I've been living vicariously through Alex Carr's tournament reports. After sharing a SNG table with Chris Moneymaker the day before, he looks poised to make his first cash in the $1500 NLH Event #5. Brits Chris Moorman (pictured below) and Praz Bansi are amongst the current chip-leaders in that event, with 223 players remaining in total. Best of luck to those three going into Day Two!

SuperNova Quest

Having started this Supernova challenge as a lowly SilverStar, I found myself needing around 300 VPPs to hit GoldStar for June. With the wedding on Saturday, a visit to the in-laws on a Sunday, and a live WSOP satellite tournament on Monday afternoon (which I will talk about in my next video blog) I'd not left myself much time to get them. As a quick-fix, and with a taste for trying to qualify for the WSOP Main Event, I decided to play a few Steps tournaments to make upthe VPPs on Monday 31st May.

I didn't quite realise that once you are in the Steps system, you are bound to it (ie. can't take the tournament dollars or whatever), so firing up numerous tables wasn't really a great idea. I really should have read the pop-up when registering for the tournament, I'm just used to TableNinja flicking them off for me! I ended up sinking about $800 into it, but it's going well(ish) so far, as from that I now hold a $700 Step 5 ticket, a $215 Step 4 ticket and 2*$82 Step 3 tickets. At least I got the VPPs, not that they'd have been worth it if I'd donked off the $800!

Days played/elapsed: 4/7
VPPs earned (Day 4): 481
VPPs earned (Total): 2115
VPPs remaining: 91,100

(Sharkscope doesn't seem to track Steps tournaments so will leave the stats out today).