August 24, 2011

British Poker Awards 2011 nomination. ORLY?!

I am very pleased to have been nominated for the "Best Blogger" award in The British Poker Awards 2011.

I was even more pleased before I checked out the other categories and nominations. I mean just lol at some of them:

Roland de Wolfe is nominated for "Best Cash Game Player" and "Best Poker Personality". Roland seems a very likeable guy, but I think "nicest donk" would be a more apt category.

"Best PLO Player" sees the Devilfish and John Shipley get nominations. Perhaps these nominations are retrospective, seeing as the British Poker Awards are only in their second year, and they are making up for not existing in the year 2000?!

"Best Social Media User" sees Keith "the Camel" Hawkins get a nomination. I like @keiththecamel, but even he has probably had a laugh about this one. A solid 90% of his tweets are about football ffs! Even more comic is Sam Trickett's inclusion in this category. @Trickett1986 has made all of 119 tweets, and only 57 people like his Facebook Page! To be fair he is probably too busy making shit-loads of money to use Twitter or Facebook much.

I'm thinking my edge in the "Best Blogger" category might be the fact I am on the only nominee who has a dedicated RSS feed for their own content! "Really Simple Syndication" apparently isn't so simple after all!

Conspicuous by his absence in the Best Blogger category is the author of the self-proclaimed "Best Poker Blog in the World™" Daleroxxu, who apparently isn't even the Best Blogger in Great Britain! Or even one of the top 5 for that matter! Unlucky Dale. I hope you ship the Best Social Media User award though. I was going to vote for you, but I swerved at the last minute and decided to vote for Keith Hawkins. I mean, I'm quite a big football fan myself after all!

Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the award ceremony as I shall be on my honeymoon, but I'm sure I can conjure up a YouTube acceptance speech! So if you'd like to make that a possibility, vote for me @ :)

August 15, 2011

Dusk Till Dawn facing €100,000+ overlay...

Dusk Till Dawn, not only my local poker-room but considered by many to be the best poker-room in the UK, is facing a killer overlay in its €250,000 Guaranteed tournament, which began on Monday 8th August and will finish on Sunday 21st August 2011.

After breaking the record for the biggest poker tournament held in the UK this May, with 1564 players taking to the felt in the €50+10 tournament, DTD almost immediately afterwards announced their highly ambitious follow up, another €50+10 tournament which would be guaranteed at a massive 5000 entrants. The way they set out to achieve this was to have 20 Day 1 'flights', 10 scheduled on-line and 10 being held live at the club. The top 10% of the field would make it through to Day 2 where everyone would start with even stacks, and players could enter as many Day 1 flights as they desired/required until they made Day 2.

It isn't hard to see that the Day 1s are really glorified satellites into what is effectively a €500 tournament, albeit one in which you are guaranteed some money back (as all those making it through to Day 2 will receive some pay-out). Perhaps it is this format which some have been either deterred or confused by. Some have argued that the beauty behind the previous Grand Prix tournaments that DTD have run (this is their fourth) was that they were pitched perfectly for the recreational players to have a one-time punt on a tournament with a good structure and a big prizepool. I think even the fishier players could be wise to the fact they are mathematically likely to fire multiple bullets to stand a decent chance of making it through to the 'real' tournament on Day Two, making it potentially out of their bankroll.

So whilst DTD regularly attract 300+ players for it's monthly £336 tournament, entry to this similarly priced €500 tournament isn't available by direct buy-in. They have also made it so that you must buy-in for the live tournaments through their online software, in order to promote their online poker-room and gain sign-ups. Both of these things may end up costing them a fair few entrants.

Although the format has come in for some criticism, a very similar format has proven popular Stateside, with the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles running two small buy-in $1,000,000 guaranteed tournaments so far this year; one in May/June, and one that finished just a week ago. They also had 20 Day 1 'flights', where you could also play as many Day 1s as you needed, and in which you could re-enter to the same one for the first 4 levels if required. Their version differed in that only the top 2% (in the May/June tournament) and 4% (in the July/August tournament) of the Day 1 field would go through to Day 2, and retain their stack size, and the remainder of the top 10% would receive cash payouts. So it was no less confusing then(!)

Although a whopping 9328 entries were made in May/June, and a $67,200 overlay was incurred on the prizepool, this was more than covered by the rake, and was deemed enough of a success for them to repeat the tournament just two months later, albeit with a couple of tweaks. They made the July/August tournament,which was attached to the WPT Legends of Poker festival, a $125+25 buy-in, and allowed each entrant 1 optional re-buy. This ended up attracting an absolutely massive 13,178 entries and $1.45 million prize-pool.

So the evidence suggests such a format could work, so perhaps if DTD were to tweak a few things, then Grand Prix V (should they choose to run it), could be more of a success than it appears IV is going to be. Perhaps they could also allow for an optional rebuy next time, and perhaps merging the online and live domains for one tournament wasn't the best idea...although extra online tournaments are now vital for reducing the potential overlay as much as possible.

The figures for the Day 1 flights at Dusk Till Dawn, and on their online site, have been disappointing, and have obviously fallen far below what they were anticipating given the huge potential overlay. Based on the numbers they have so far, a €120,000 overlay is being projected. Not exactly what owner Rob Yong wants to hear whilst trying to enjoy his holiday in the Caribbean!

In an attempt to reduce this potential overlay, DTD have added 24 extra Day 1s on-line, so are now running four tournaments in the evening at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm for the rest of the week, until Day 2 commences on Saturday 20th August. They have also made all the remaining Day 1s (live and on-line) available for re-entry into the same flight.

Yours truly was fortunate enough to qualify for Day Two in his first attempt in one of the online tournaments (wiiii I got a sick brag in). Technically it would be within my best interests for the overlay to be as big as possible (as this would mean I have to fight through less opponents for the same prizepool), but I have no desire to see Dusk Till Dawn fail, and for them to be stuck with a huge bill. Ok, you could argue that it is their fault for being overly ambitious, but it is for this reason that the venue even exists, and why it has raised the bar in terms of poker in the UK. Although I'm mostly an on-line grinder, it's nice to have such a great card-room within an hours drive.

Depending on your interpretation of the tournament, you could say with 100% satellite entries, this could be the softest €500 tournament field you are likely to ever get, so if you are in the UK, support Dusk Till Dawn and check out how you can play here.

August 13, 2011

Moving House & internet woes...

I just checked and it's been over 3 weeks since I wrote a blog post! Not only that it's nearly 3 weeks since I even played a hand of poker. After a hectic period of time moving house, I'm now gradually going insane waiting for internet to be properly installed in my new house...

Moving house at this point in time wasn't really in our plans, we thought we'd stay put for the time being. Me, my bride-to-be and our near 2-year old son Clark had only been living in our previous house for about 18 months. However we saw this really nice 4 bedroom house to rent that would set us up for the next few years in the village we lived in. We applied for it, got it, but it fell through and the letting agents tried to find us another similar place a little further away. We weren't too interested, that is until we saw it. It's a really nice 4-bedroom house on a virtually brand new estate, but the coup de grâs is that it has a double garage that has been converted into an office, which is so perfect for me!

So we decided to go for it, and started moving our stuff at the very end of July. Being only 5 minutes away, we decided to do it ourselves, renting a big van for day and doing the rest in car loads. I didn't realise how much bloody stuff we had. The whole process was pretty epic and there was a fair cross-over period in which we were moving stuff, and trying to get both houses looking nice (one for living in purposes and one so we get our deposit back!).

Unfortunately in moving I made a bit of an oversight. When I checked to see if we could get fibre-optic cable our address wasn't listed, but the house right next door was, so I idly assumed I'd be able to get it. Apparently not. The cable is a few meters away and they are only willing to go up to 3m. I tried my best to explore the options, and asked for a quote to get the work done, but haven't received it. With good internet being so important to my job this was a rather stupid oversight. Okay, I've got the perfect house with a sweet office, but losing that 50MB broadband connection which was so reliable/awesome really isn't good. Especially when it turns out my house is a rather-large 2 miles from the exchange, and that's as the crow flies, not considering cable length.

I had to wait until the 8th August for Virgin to come and install the ADSL, and I was sweating big time what speed I was going to get and I was anxious to get on PokerStars and start grinding 20 $1 tables to see how it coped. Unfortunately, it seems that they didn't install it correctly (or at least BT didn't on their behalf) and here I am 5 days later still internetless (my spell-checker informs me I may have just invented a word). I'm relying on my mobile dongle for internet access but with no 3G connection, I'm not trusting enough of it to 20-table with no back-up, although it's starting to look like I might have to experiment with it in all fairness. Anyway, I have cut Virgin loose and have got Sky on the job, who are supposed to offer slightly better speeds due to LLU, I just hope they get it sorted ASAP because I am starting to go insane not being able to play poker.

I have all these house-related outgoings, not to mention my standard out-goings, and I have to pay off the last bit of my wedding which is in two weeks, so I really could do with earning some money right now to at the very least make me feel a bit less stressed out. But not only that, I know I am going to be unable to play whilst on our honeymoon and presumably the wedding will eat up a bunch of time as well. So the whole of August looks set to be a wash-out, and considering how much I was crushing January-March, it feels like I've barely earnt anything over the last 4-5 months.

I have to look at the positives, and realise that I'm essentially set-up here for the next few years, until I perhaps have a shot at getting a mortgage. In the long-term BT infinity should be brining their 40MB broadband in about a year. So as long as when I get the internet finally sorted it is sufficient for me to play, and I absolutely grind my arse off for the remainder of the year after the honeymoon, I will feel better about things. But I'm really anxious to get back to the tables after such a long spell off.

In my lack of blog posts I have missed a few things I'd like to talk about, so I will do some short and snappy (an optimistic claim for blabby old me, I realise) posts on these topics over the coming days:

  • My Sky Poker TV appearance
  • My nomination for "Best Blog" in the The British Poker Awards
  • Daleroxxu
  • The DTD €250,000 Grand Prix (I kind of lied, I played one lone tournament the other day and managed to bink a day 2 seat)
  • My Poker Set-Up 2011 (will post up some pics of my new office when I've tidied it up a bit)

I've actually posted this video once before, but it's still awesome/very applicable to the last couple of weeks for me!