Coming back to the fold

May 17, 2009

It’s been a year of hell as far as poker is concerned. Not so much as in I’ve been losing shed-loads of money, but more in the ‘losing total interest’ scenario.

Having had a poor run on the tables last year, problems started in my personal life in the shape of losing my job. Money was tight and I ended up dwindling away what was left of my bankroll at the various sites I had money in. Thinking I was getting back on my feet after finding a new job, that uber-shitty thing called fate intervened yet again when the company I was working at folded after 3 months. Almost 6 months later, and after a helluva lot of CVs sent out, I managed to get another job. Fingers crossed, this will last a bit longer than 3 months!

From the time I lost the first job up until now, I’m lucky to have played poker more than 20 times. But I’m hoping to start making a comeback. It’s going to be a hard slog, but I’m up for the challenge.

This year, I’ve played a couple of the OFC freerolls. I’ve not won any money from any of them, but have played quite well and managed to finish in the top 10% of most of them, normally going out to either a bad beat or more commonly going card dead and being blinded away, then going all-in with the first good hand I can get.

I’m using these freerolls as a re-learning tool. When I sort of stopped playing last year, I had been playing quite poorly. I was complaining about anything and everything that was making me loose. In hindsight – and something that should have been obvious – I was the only person to blame.

As I was saying, I’m using these freerolls to re-learn. To re-learn the dangers, pitfalls, and plays of the game of poker. Freerolls are not normally the place I would recommend practicing, but I’m getting the benifits I’ve been looking for. I’m gaining my patience back. I’m making my mistakes and steadily learning from them. I’m experimenting with different plays. I’m experimenting with aggression. Basically, I’m trying out everthing, learning from the results in the hope that I get it right for the time I start playing seriously for cash again. It’s costing me nothing to experiment, so it doesn’t matter if I go out first hand or later in the tournament. As long as I’m not put out through a dumb move (by me) I’ll be happy. The more I learn now, the better.

So, soon you’ll see me back on the tables, hopefully better prepared than ever. And hopefully winning more than ever!

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Obscured by clouds

March 25, 2008

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I started on a bad run of ‘luck’ almost a year ago. Donks have been crippling me left, right and centre, and my bankroll is down substantially. Yet it’s only in recent weeks that I’ve woke up and ‘smelled the coffee!’

Virtually every weekend, I get together with the skype crew and play a few games of poker. But while doing this, I enjoy a beer or five. Not to mention a little bit ‘mary-joanna’ too!

I’ve only just woken up to the fact that this is the reason I was on such a bad run. I was wondering why the skype crew didn’t enlighten me to this, but to be perfectly honest, they have been! It’s just that I’ve obviously been too pissed or stoned to realise it! Now that I’ve calmed down on my indulgences, I’m starting to cash again on a regualr basis.

This is something I should have picked up on before now. Especially considering I wrote a post on preparing for tournaments. One of the main things I said was to stay clear of alcohol or any other substance. If you must have a drink, limit it to one or two at the very most.

Drugs and alcohol impair your judgement – that is FACT. The past year is proof (to me at least) that this is deinately true. Yes, I still get donked out of tournies, but not to the same effect as before. Before, I was getting donked out of virtually EVERY tourny. My mind was obscured by clouds due to drinking and smoking. I had taken the line of thought that I was up against shit players who I could beat easily. I was unbeatable! But that theory went down the pan, night after night.

In truth, I normally am the best player at the table. But that does not give me the devine right to win every game I play. You have got to earn the win, no matter who you play, be it donks or good seasoned players. Being impaired means you will leave yourself open to taking risks. You make moves you wouldn’t normally make. You leave yourself open to any observant players who will eventually catch you making a simple mistake. Basically, you lower yourself to the level of some of your opponents – YOU become a bit of a DONK.

I’ve had to learn the hard way, and it’s taken me almost a year to realise it. So, don’t make the same mistake as me. If you are prone to a few drinks, or have a joint or two, do it away from the tables. Keep a clear mind for playing poker and you will reap the rewards.

I’m slowly getting back to winning ways, but I’ve picked up a lot of bad habits in the past year that I’m trying to eradicate. Removing the ‘impairments’ is just step one on the road to recovery…..

Comments are welcome as usual…….


Donks here, there and everywhere

March 11, 2008

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I’m really starting to get a bit pissed with the amount of donks there are at every online site I play at. In the last year I have ran into, and a lot of the time, been taken out of tournaments by a complete an utter donkey.

I wouldn’t complain too much if it happened now and again, but when it’s virtually every tournament, I can’t help but bitch and moan. Now don’t get donk play confused with bad beats. The two are completely different.

A donk is someone who will play virtually any two cards and hope that luck will help them out. Suited cards seem to be a favourite for the donk, whether it be Jc6c or Ks3s, and they are normally played out of posistion.

ks3s was the latest hand, which took me out of a tournament over the weekend. I was shortstacked and in mid position, and I was holding asqs. I pushed all-in. I was called by the small blind who only had around 700 chips more than me. A completely stoopid donk move, but of course he got lucky by hitting a 3 on the flop then another 3 on the turn. And just to stick a cherry on top he hit a king on the river.

What really pisses me off though, is that the donk always seems to be rewarded (against me anyway!). And to think, these people actually think they played the hand well. WELL SORRY…. BUT THEY DIDN’T! They won purely down to dumb luck.

I’ve ran into these idiots so often and lost with good hands that I even tried to play like the them. I had to see if I could get the same donk luck. Believe me when I tell you, it is extremely difficult to play like a donk when you are that more disciplined in reality. But it was an experiment that was doomed to fail. No matter how hard I tried to play like a donk, I just couldn’t do it to the same effect. If I remember correctly, I was first out!

So, is there any way to combat the donks? I don’t think so. All you can do is grin and bear it when a donk gets lucky against you, and just hope you run into them again. They can’t get lucky against you all the time. If they do happen to take you out in a game, don’t berate them in the chat. Instead, just type to all the other players remaining at the table, ” At least you now know who the donk is!” This has two purposes. It sends the message to said donk what you think, and it should awaken the other players at the easy money potential.

The donk who won with his K3 against me was out 15mins later. I didn’t see what he went out on, but it was probably yet another donk move. But I guarentee he will not change his ways in future tournies. He will still think he played the hand correctly and will continue to do so in the future. I’m just glad I put a note on him. I’ll have my revenge soon!


Slowly but surely….

February 14, 2008

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It’s been a busy few weeks for me away from the tables, but I’m slowly easing myself back to the virtual felt. I’ve had plenty of time to think about the game and to do a bit of self analysis.

Self analysis is a very important – if not THE MOST important – part of poker.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look once in awhile, you could miss it – Ferris Beuler

This same quote can be applied to your poker game. If you don’t stop to analyse your game, you won’t find any problems you may have. Stopping and looking for areas where you can improve is a must. There are loads of ways to do it, but here’s what I’ve done…..

  • Recalled my hand history and reviewed individual hands to see how I could have played them better. Not only hands I lost but also hands I won. Could I possibly have managed to steal more chips from my opponents. Was I overly aggressive?
  • I’ve taken advice from people watching me play. Other players will pick up your faults long before you do. I’ve had people watch me play (I tell them my hand) and they tell me their thoughts once the hand is played out. Do not however, let them tell you how to play the hand. You play it your way THEN get their opinion. You won’t learn much if you have someone else more or less playing the game for you! This is a fantastic tool if you really want to improve your game.
  • I’ve watched tables to see how other people are playing. I try to find a table where I know there is a good player, and watch how the play goes. Watching people who you know are better players than you can only help your game. You pick up so much information, if you look hard enough. By watching a table (but not getting involved) you soon pick up on who the good players are; who the monkeys are; and also you start to recognise each players pattern of play. Do they play the same throughout the game? Do they mix it up well? Are they prone to bluffing? These are the sort of questions you should be thinking about. Doing this will also help if you happen to meet any of the players in the future. It’s always handy to put notes on the players, and date the notes. It gives you an idea of how they play if you do meet them. Just remember that these players can also improve, so don’t trust your notes to the letter!

The one thing I still need to work on though, is my concentration levels. I’m still losing concentration at critical times during games. I know some of the problems causing this (mainly alcohol…lol). I just need to be a bit more disciplined, but that’s easier said than done. I enjoy having a beer or three when playing.

Anyways, as you can see, I have been quite busy on the poker side even though I’ve not played that much lately. If you need a break from poker, don’t abandon it completely. There are lots ways to improve your game – without actually playing – and I’ve only gave you a few ideas. And if you are playing but aren’t doing too great, stop and and do some self analysis. Try the things I’ve done. It will benifit you. It will start to mould you into a better player and hopefully a more profitable player!

As usual comments are welcome. As would any other pointers for helping improve your game.


On the up?

January 21, 2008

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After my little ‘Resident Evil’ infatuation, it’s all calmed down a little in Dagopher’s household and hopefully I can get back to playing – and more importantly – enjoying poker again.

I joined another forum at the recommendation of some friends ( I’m not even going to name the forum!) and I’ve only managed to play one game – my last game! It was bingo city with people chasing with absolutely nothing and being rewarded for their efforts by the time the turn and river cards arrived. Normally it would be great to have a player like this at the table, but when there’s EIGHT of them, it’s imperative that you get your fair share of luck….ie. going in with the best hand and it standing up!

Apparently, it’s like this every game. I should have stuck to my original plan and not get involved with another forum so soon!!!

Anyways, for by this little error on my part, I’ve played only four other games – all sit and go’s. The 1st was an 18 player game at Vegas, where once again I was bingo’d out. I didn’t play that great in that game so wasn’t too bad. I then switched to Full Tilt and played a 4 player $2 heads up Omaha hi/lo game – winner takes all. I registered for this by accident, but played well and won it. I then played a 6 player $2 sit and go and managed 2nd for a cash. Over aggressiveness heads up killed my chances. I should have paid more attention to Svcmgr’s blog!

The last game I played was a £5 double your money game at William Hill. These are fantastic for a quick profit. 6 players start and finish in the top 3 and you get £10 back. Needless to say, I finished in the top 3! It would be an idea for the site to go one better though and make it a 7 player table, with the eventual winner trebling their money, and 2nd and 3rd doubling theirs. As it stands, once it’s down to 3 players – meaning all have cashed – everyone goes all-in every hand just to finish the game. No-one has anything to gain. I like to WIN so this is an idea I might just put to those lovely people at WillHills which would ensure more positive play.

So, as you can see, Resident Evil is slowly taking a back seat to poker, but I am starting to enjoy the game a bit more. I think my mojo is slowly finding its way home! Long may it continue!

I’m just going to take it easy for the time being and stick to playing at weekends, other than the odd freeroll set up by PokerPlayer (UK) magazine. And of course, I’ll be jumping into Skype to chat with the crew.

And what have I learned through the above experiences? Well, I’m doing the correct thing by slowly easing myself back into poker; playing games that I know I should be dominating and at least cashing, if not winning. I’ll continue this way and see how it goes.

 Good luck to you all and hopefully see ya on the felt!


Where’s my mojo???

January 9, 2008

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Good to see Netty blogging again. And her latest post gives us a wee insite to our mysterious Sweedish friend! I have to admit though, she certainly has had some experiences that are unique (being mixed up with an 18 month old baby has to be a first…lol).

But, in her part on poker, she mentions that she is starting to find her poker-mojo. That is, her love and enjoyment of playing the game is returning. Sadly, my mojo still seems to be lost in the wilderness. I still don’t have any enthusiasm for the online game. I do however, still have the urge to play live games and I think this may be where the problem lies.

Over here in Scotland – in fact, the whole of the UK, poker has taken off in a huge way in the casinos. The problem is that the small buy-in games are usually rebuy tournies and it just turns into bingo city. But this makes me want to play them more and more!! I hate to rebuy in tournies. I want to, at the very least, get into the payout positions having spent the minimum amount on the buy-in.

I’ve seen people with a huge wad of cash sitting at the tables and going all-in with virtually every hand they get, no matter if its 9 4 offsuit or pocket rockets. They don’t care if they lose…. they’ve got plaenty of cash to rebuy. I want to take advantage of them!!! The more they contribute in rebuys, the more money in the pot.

But in these games, you need a huge slice of luck. When you are up against a serial rebuyer you know that they have to win at some point, and if they do happen to win a few pots, then they can dominate the table with severe aggression. You know – and they know – that you can only go with a major hand, even though you might think they are weak and are just trying the bully tactics. So how do you play against these idiots? (They are idiots if the don’t value money IMO!) Answers on a postcard please, or you can just post a reply!!

Anyways, back to my mojo, and another reason for it disappearing into the wilderness –  the Nintendo Wii games console!!! Yes, it has a lot to answer for, but it is just so much fun! If you have never played games on the Wii, I highly recommend you give it a go. But be prepared for a poker blackout if you find a game you love. For me, the game I love is Resident Evil. I’ve played earlier versions on other games consoles, but the Wii version is just so much better. It’s just so addictive!

So there you go! My mojo is too busy shooting up zombies/mutants/monsters to be playing online poker just now – other than the Friday Night Experiences with the skype crew. But I’m sure it will re-appear on the virtual felt sometime in the near future!

See ya all soon!


Out with the old, bring in the new!

January 2, 2008

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2007 has been an eventful year in the poker world for me, to say the least. I haven’t quite made my (profit) targets for the year, but I haven’t made a loss. I’m only up about $1000 for the period. I had hoped to do better than that. But I do realise that there were some good reasons for this.

To begin the year I had a mediocre run on the tables – winning some losing some. By March, my confidence had increased and I was comfortable with the way I was playing. I started winning due to this confidence. But by the end of April, I became a little bored with poker and restricted my playing to weekends. This helped a little, but I was getting very few wins under my belt. However, I was still in profit after a few good cashes.

This boredom continued throughout the year and I found myself playing less and less, other than with the skype crew in a sit & go or two. Again, in these games, it was a case of win some, lose some. Although to be honest, I was losing more than winning. This has carried on right up to the present day. Lethargy for poker is still hanging around me. I think this is because I played way too much poker, and also the constant changes in my old forum. Just too much of the same thing for me.

I tried to play through it all (along with personal issues) and something had to give. So, as my last post announced, I left the forum in mid-December. The enjoyment had gone. Playing the same players all the time just got boring, and sometimes infuriating (see Dave’s blog for some of what I mean!!!)

The highlight for the year though is undoubtedly the forums’ meet in Birmingham in September. A good few of the folks there I had already met, and it was great to see them again. But I also met some new faces (but old voices…lol), and it was a privelage to finally meet Blagz, Gotmewrong, Steph and also Pinky who had travelled over from Canada. I had a great time of it and was sad that I had to leave the meet so early.

The lowlight was resigning from the forum – enough said about that.

So what’s for 2008? Well, I have a few ideas in mind on how I want to proceed with my poker playing career.

At the moment I have no wish to join another forum. I will continue sticking to playing at the weekends and chat with the skype crew. I will play forum challenges but will represent myself.

As for the games I will play…. well mainly sit and go’s and the odd MTT maybe, along with the odd forum challenge. I know that I’m going to have to move up in stakes too. Any sit and go under a $10 buy-in is just full of monkeys the majority of the time so I have to play the $10+ games. However, I first need to build a bankroll at the sites I play, so to start off the year I’m hitting the cash tables. It’s the quickest way to increase that bankroll and also I need to get more cash game experience.

Lastly, I’m going to play more live games at the casino. There’s nothing better than playing live. Theres a great buzz about it all and just the interaction at the table is enjoyable. I’m determined to cash in a few live games this year.

So, goodbye 2007, and welcome 2008! A fresh outlook on the poker front for me. I hope to see some of you on the virtual felt soon!

Happy New Year to you all!