December 24, 2010

2010 in review

I moved house at the beginning of January, and setting up the new place took up a fair amount of time, as did going through the process of installing Windows 7 on my computer! Consequently I played very little poker; only 4 days worth towards the end of the month. However, I start coaching for, including taking on Ray 'mondonewc' Norton who ended up doing really well.

Blog Posts: 

Personal event of note: Moved house
In the poker news: "Rush Poker" launched
Game of choice:
180-man SNGs

Graph/Results for January:

After playing predominantly on PokerStars (where my screenname is epitomised) for the previous 7-8 months, I decided to give the games on Full Tilt a try (where I was playing as Fido7Dido). This experiment went rather well, and February turned out to be my most profitable month of the year.

Personal event: My 25th Birthday
In poker news: Benyamine wins Premier League IV
Games of choice:
45-man / 90-Man SNGs

Graph/Results for February:

Another solid month at the 45 and 90-mans on Full Tilt. Went on a mate's stag do in Newcastle that was fairly messy, but good fun. I had six students under my wing at this point, and wrote an article about poker coaching for PokerNews.

Blog Posts:

Personal event: Mate's Stag do
In poker news: Annie Duke wins NBC Nat'l-HU C'ship
Games of choice:
45-man / 90-Man SNGs

Graph/Results for March:

My results were quite swingy in April, and I was really not happy with my work ethic (or lack thereof). It turned out to be a pretty 'meh' month, which included me busting pretty early in the UKIPT event in Coventry after getting my money in good.

Blog Posts:

Personal event: 1st live poker of 2010 (UKIPT Coventry)
In poker news: David Williams wins WPT Championship
Game choice:
45-man / 90-Man SNGs

Graph/Results for April:

After my results and volume on Full Tilt really tailed off, I decided to move over to PokerStars. With much sleeker software and no cap on the number of tables you play, it feels like you can work harder on Stars, and I think that hard work can motivate you to work harder if that makes sense. After swapping between the sites a few times over the last year, I decided to commit myself to PokerStars by aiming for Supernova. It was also to encourage volume, as it would require a lot of days work to get there playing the 180-mans that I was at the time. I created the 'Supernova Quest' to encourage me to blog more after my quantity of blog posts had tailed off too.

Blog Posts: 

    Personal event: Attended a good friend's wedding
    In poker news: Stuart Rutter wins GUKPT Coventry
    Games of choice:
    45, 90, & 180-man SNGs

    Graph/Results for May:

    Had good results in my first full month back on PokerStars. I discovered that video blogging was very time consuming if you have to do any form of editing (the main reason for the lack of video blogs since!). Was pretty jealous of the Brits' success at the World Series of Poker after I missed out on going myself for the 3rd year running.

    Personal event: Wasted my time watching World Cup
    In poker news: Mizrachi wins Players Championship
    Games of choice:
    180-man SNGs

    Graph/Results for June:

    Another solid month results wise, although I actually ended my Supernova Quest because I didn't want it to detract from me making profit in the games. I did have approximately a £10k epic downswing towards the end of the month...when me and my fiancé booked our wedding. Actually, I had proposed on Christmas Day last year, so perhaps the downswing can be ascribed to 2009 instead!

    Blog Posts:

    Personal event:
    Booked my wedding for next year
    In poker news: Brits clean up at WSOP
    Games of choice:
    180-man SNGs

    Graph/Results for July:

    I went away with the inlaws on the least balla holiday ever, a 'staycation' I think it's been dubbed recently. Although I enjoyed the time away from the computer and with the family, lets just say I won't be going back there anytime soon. This contributed to my volume being a bit down for August, but things were still going well at the tables. I decided to finish up with coaching so that I could concentrate more on just playing myself.

    Blog Posts:

    Personal event: Went on holiday with the in-laws!
    In poker news: Neil Channing wins GUKPT Luton
    Game choice:
    180-man SNGs

    Graph/Results for August:

    I had really bad conjunctivitis in my left eye for most of September, which really sucked, as it was kind of worrying and also because it was too uncomfortable to put in poker sessions where I'd be staring at my computer screen for hours on end. Multiple trips to doctors and optometrists ensued, and eventually some drops with steroids worked, but I still wake up with my left eye all blurry every morning and it gets a little bloodshot quite easily. I really hope it doesn't recur in 2011!

    Blog Posts: 

    Personal event of note: My 1st-born's 1st Birthday
    In the poker news: Jake Cody wins WPT London
    Game of choice:
    180-man SNGs

    Graph/Results for September:

    I made the transition from 180-man SNGs to 18-man SNGs sometime in October. I was getting tired of the night-time schedule that playing 180-mans in peak time entailed, and moving to 18-mans allowed me to play during the daytime. They would also help me get to Supernova by the end of the year, which encouraged me to reinstate my 'Supernova Quest'. I also wrote an article about needbeer breaking the VPP record on PokerStars which drove the most traffic to my blog of anything I've written so far (perhaps I should stop writing about me and concentrate on other people!).

    Graph/Results for October:

    I really hit my stride in the 18-man SNGs and had my 2nd most profitable month of the year. I struggled a bit juggling fatherhood with poker as my son hit the age where he was wanting my attention more often. I also had a bit of a rant at Peter Eastgate for flogging off his bracelet :)

    Blog Posts:

    Personal event: Me & my girlfriend's 3rd anniversary (not the song, lol)
    In poker news: Jonathan Duhamel wins Main Event
    Games of choice:
    18-man SNGs

    Graph/Results for November:

    Last month of the year turned out to be a bit of an epic fail. I put in no volume, donked around in MTTs, got no-where in a couple of live events and took the last two weeks off for Christmas/to refresh before I start uber-grinding on January 1st. Having said that I did make Supernova for the very first time, and had a good Christmas break, so there were some good things to take out of it.

    Blog Posts:

    Personal event: Making Supernova!
    In poker news: Reid Bill (temporarily) rocks poker world
    Game choice:

    Graph/Results for December:

    This was without question my most consistent year of poker, effectively not having a losing month, and mostly having very good results in the months I grinded properly in. My results were very solid across the board, despite mixing up the format I was playing a little too often. I'm pleased I decided to commit myself to PokerStars and make Supernova, and I think the switch to 18-mans will prove to be a good decision next year.

    Although my results were good, at many points in the year I was not happy with the volume I was putting in, nor the daily routine I was keeping. I plan to fix both of those things next year and hopefully have an even better year than this one.

    On a different note, I am pleased with the work I put into my blog this year, I'm always making tweaks here and there, and my daily hits are gradually increasing. Thanks to everyone who takes the time out to read my blog, and best wishes for 2011.

    December 23, 2010

    Supernova Quest Completed!

    I actually completed my quest to become Supernova in 2010 in underwhelming fashion. I pretty much stopped grinding on December 7th, knowing I had it effectively locked up. I fancied playing the UKICOOP events which kind of distracted me into playing MTTs for a while. With a big 2011 lined up SNG wise, I decided I didn't want to grind SNGs anymore after that. I actually made the last 2000 VPPs playing a bit of limit hold 'em and after getting a taste for mixed games after playing the UKICOOP H.O.R.S.E. tournament, I actually crossed the finishing line playing some Razz cash games?!

    Not grinding SNGs for the last couple of weeks has actually made me feel a little bit of a degenerate. Playing 4 or 5 days worth of MTTs is pretty much gambling. Playing a small number of hands at Limit Hold 'em is also pretty much gambling. Me playing Razz is definitely gambling! SNG wise I pretty much do zero gambling, so even though I wasn't risking very much the last couple of weeks, I think dicking about with other games and not making fairly steady money as I am used to hasn't made me feel all that great.

    I had some deep runs in 3 or 4 MTTs, but didn't make it to the big bucks. I was in a huge pot to be a clear chip leader in the UKICOOP main event about 6 hours in, but I didn't get there. Perhaps if I'd have binked something I wouldn't be complaining!

    It's no biggie though, I will make up for it come January 1st when the real grind begins.

    Ex-student success
    One of my former students has actually got me out of a bit of a tight spot. Having not made much money at the tables this month, and very possibly being in the process of being grimmed at the moment, finances weren't quite as comfortable as I'd have liked them to be. However, I had 10% of Ray Norton, who I talked of being my 'star student' here, who managed to finish 3rd in the £1000+90 DTD "Monte Carlo" Event over the weekend for £27,500, which has taken a bit of pressure off. I'm so pleased for him, he's been a good mate since we started coaching and it's a great reward for the hard work he's put in at the tables this year.
    Having bust out the event on Day One myself, I was routing on Ray throughout the epic Blonde Poker Live Update throughout the final day. He is very much a grinder similar to myself, and it was great to see him doing so well in this deepstack live tournament (which has the EPT Grand Final structure) and get a score that will mean a lot to him. The whole Blonde Poker forum rallied behind him like I've never seen before, with many people, myself including staying up until 4am to see how things turned out for him. Had two unlucky chopped-pots where he was AIPF with dominating Aces gone his way, he might have done even better. An awesome Christmas present for him, but I know he's got his own quest to Supernova to complete before the years end, and with 8000 VPPs or so to go I hope he finds some time away from his celebrations to put in the necessary grind!

    Supernova Quest

    Days played/elapsed: 103/206 (50%)
    VPPs earned (Day 100)601
    VPPs earned (Day 101)213
    VPPs earned (Day 102): 372
    VPPs earned (Day 103): 1316
    VPPs earned (2010): 100,000
    VPPs remaining: 0
    Total Hands played: 615,212

    Perhaps I have been too down-tone in this blog post. I am very pleased the have made Supernova for the first time :) Wiiiiiiiiii.

    December 10, 2010

    I'm challenging isildur1... a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Best of 3. Only use of one hand permitted at all times.

    It may take a little while for the mystery isildur1 to get back to me, as it seems he's going to be pretty busy for the time being. As you've probably already heard, he's been signed to Team PokerStars.

    Even the Grim Reaper is patched up these days!
    It seems like a shrewd move by PokerStars, and some would consider it quite a coup. After his exploits on Full Tilt, in which he won over $5 million in just a couple of weeks, only to go on to lose that and almost $3 million on top straight afterwards, he is railbird's dream. Stars seem to be taking full advantage of this with their 'Superstar Showdown' concept which you can read about here.

    One thing that will be interesting is if we find out who isildur1 really is. It has been heavily speculated that he is Swedish pro Viktor Blom, but a teaser by PokerStars that "his real identity may be revealed before the PCA in January." Hopefully it doesn't turn out that it was Viktor Blom all along, as this will be kind of boring. Personally I'm routing for it to be Norman Chad. Who knows, he might have a holiday home somewhere in Sweden!

    In the other big news that has the poker world talking at the moment Senate Majority Leader (I have no idea what this means exactly, but I'm guessing it means he's a fairly important dude in USA politics) Harry Reid has been circulating a bill that could dramatically affect American player's ability to play poker. A 'blackout' period of 15 months to American players on major online poker sites to enable them to get a licence is perhaps the most worrying potential consequence of the bill. There has been a lot written about it, so rather than delve into it I'll direct you to some good cliff notes on the situation here.

    Fortunately it looks like the bill has at least been put on the backburner (see here), so the poker world can perhaps breathe easy. At least for the time being.

    In less reported news I've been playing donating to most of the UKICOOP events on PokerStars over the last few days. I'm yet to go particularly deep in any of them. Perhaps I haven't been aided by hands such as this one!

    Supernova Quest
    I'm essentially home and dry, only 2.5k VPPs to go!

    Days played/elapsed: 99/200 (49.5%)
    VPPs earned (Day 97)1562
    VPPs earned (Day 98)1199
    VPPs earned (Day 99): 1374
    VPPs earned (2010): 97,500
    VPPs remaining: 2,500
    Total Hands played: 610,592

    December 03, 2010

    Prop bet fail, The Micros Pilot, Jimmy Carr, SNQ Update & snow!

    Prop-bet fail
    In my last post I detailed the prop-bet of UK Sit-n-Go grinder "entim" which required him to make $5k profit in $6.50 18-man SNGs within 15 days. He lost the prop-bet after quitting on Day 13. At this point he had only amassed $2.7k in profits, and barring the sickest 'Jerry Yang' style heater, the bet was no longer realistically winnable. Having bet $3333 on himself to win, at least he only ended up losing ~$650 after taking into consideration his game profit.

    He ended up playing over 5000 SNGs for the bet, so it is a helluva lot of work to wind up losing money, but he did have a decent shot at winning ~$15k for the bet had he run a little better. He did claim on twitter (@entim) that he "played really badly", but I would imagine it is very difficult to play well when playing so many games in such a short period of time. Apparently this sick grind hasn't deterred him from future prop-bets though, as he says he "will do something similar in the new year".

    entim's graph for the prop-bet

    The Micros Pilot
    The latest thing 'doing the rounds' in the 'pokersphere' (overuse of inverted commas duly noted) is the first episode of an animated series created by Jay "Krantz" Rosenkrantz and John "Jimmylegs" Wray. Threre are a few references you might only get if you follow the 2+2 forums, but even if you don't it's rather cool. Look out for the large box of "Crappy poker books" and the small box of "Good poker books", I though that was a nice touch!

    Jimmy Carr
    Michael "Wazz" Piper, a British Poker Pro who finished 4th in the 2010 San Remo EPT (which was won by Liv Boeree), found himself on stage at one of comedian Jimmy Carr's gigs, presumably because of his unusual job (or at least unusual to the outside-world!). Predictably Carr asked him at least one of Daleroxxu's "10 questions not to ask me about poker", but Piper did pretty good job of holding his own against the quick-witted Jimmy Carr's jokes...

    Supernova Quest
    Less than 7000 VPPs left before I hit Supernova, so I should be done in the next few days.

    Days played/elapsed: 96/193 (49.7%)
    VPPs earned (Day 91): 1760
    VPPs earned (Day 92)1050
    VPPs earned (Day 93): 2156
    VPPs earned (Day 94): 1914
    VPPs earned (Day 95): 957
    VPPs earned (Day 96): 1155
    VPPs earned (2010): 93,250
    VPPs remaining: 6,750
    Total Hands played: 598,969

    I did mention last week that I might try and hit up the UKIPT in Galway, but the insane snow we've been having in Lincolnshire put paid to that idea. Lincoln has been pretty much closed this week, and even the annual Christmas market, which attracts approximately a quarter of a million visitors here every year (the only time tourists come to Lincoln!), was cancelled.  Check out a picture of my back garden below: