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Bigfella42

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A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« on: May 27, 2013, 14:17:18 PM »
I must admit my previous efforts at writing a blog have been pretty poor, as I tend to drift in and out at ever increasing intervals. However, persistence is to be encouraged so I"m going to try again, although this time for just a month or so.

As we approach June, this is my biggest poker month of the year with my annual trip to Vegas to try to win the world, or failing that drink lots of Coors Light and high five people at the three card poker table when I hit a hand.

As well as Vegas, there"s the small matter of the APAT Masters at Wembley next week and I"m pretty fired up for the month ahead. I"ve had a busy time with the dogs in Ireland this year, so I haven"t played as much in recent months but I"ve taken the opportunity to work on my game and I"ll talk more about that shortly.

I"m in a blogging mood at the moment and hope that lasts! I"ll also include some random poker thoughts as we go on as if we relied on deep runs and cashes to keep this going we might struggle!

Who knows, I might even work out how to post the occasional picture!  
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Des

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 15:29:29 PM »
Very much looking forward to keeping up with your adventures in Las Vegas Glenn.  Should be a corker!
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Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 22:36:08 PM »
There was no getting away from it, 2012 was not a good year in terms of poker results for me. Over the course of the last few months I"ve reflected a bit on why this was, as I put a fair bit of volume in but failed to deliver anything significant.

Poker is a hobby to me but I"m competitive and want to be as good as I can be. Like many, I read the forums and poker magazines and there was something I kept reading that hit home with me. Various players were talking about how they had stopped learning at a time when the game was developing at pace, and I thought that was something that applied to me also. When I first started playing I was the rockiest player you"d ever met and over time I added a few moves to my game. I think that I ended up somewhere between the two, but I was getting into lots of tricky situations when I really shouldn"t have been there.

So, a few months ago I decided to join a poker training site and have spent many hours watching the videos and reading the forums. Different things work for different people and at the end of the day I think these tools can help you to re-focus on your game as with me I think I can be my own worst enemy sometimes. I think confidence is a huge thing too and after a long break from online mtts I"ve started playing a few low stakes ones and took down a 750 runner one a few days ago with some other deep runs and I do believe the training site has helped me iron out a few leaks. But time will tell!

One of the contributors to the training site is Sam Grafton, and I"ve particularly enjoyed his videos. He"s a hugely talented player with great results and getting any insight into his game and thinking is of great benefit. What is clear is that many of the contributors play different styles and I think every player needs to find a style that suits them and go with it. Focus and concentration are two words I"m trying to embed into my game as I think mindset is a huge thing. 

So, my confidence is high and the only way is up! Unless I don"t win a bean in which case the only way is down  ;D ;D  

Roll on Wembley.....
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duke3016

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 23:04:57 PM »

Focus and concentration are two words I"m trying to embed into my game


oops

Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 23:07:38 PM »
Looking forward to the APAT Masters this weekend. Will be nice to see an APAT event as part of the ISPT weekend and I really hope it all goes well for the organisers as they"ve worked hard to try to make it a success. I decided from an early stage that I would only play the APAT event and haven"t tried to qualify for the big one. The main reason is that I  have to work next week so no point entering a tournament when I can"t commit to it.

Friday night is apparently being spent in Gerrards Cross with Mr Baker promising to show us the delights of the town. I"m booked into a hotel situated in a service station so that sounds like a good enough excuse to stay out for a nice few hours.

When I was a kid I dreamed of playing at Wembley but I don"t think this was quite what I had in mind. Still, should be a one off experience and let"s hope it lasts more than 90 minutes!
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Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2013, 22:43:38 PM »
So the World Series starts today and if you love poker it really is the place to be. I"ve been over for part of the series for a few years now, and the atmosphere is unique. I just read that last year there were players from 101 different countries so it is a true international event.

Poker is not a great spectator sport (neither is football if tonights game is anything to go by) but I did get drawn into a mammoth rail session a few years ago. It started about 5 in the afternoon when I was wandering around the IP having a beer and playing some table games. I decided to do a quick internet check to see what was going on up the road at the Rio, and noticed that James Dempsey was chip leader in the £10k limit omaha hi lo event with just 3 tables left. With nothing better to do, I jumped on the shuttle up to the Rio to follow the action.

They had a mobile beer unit just outside the Amazon Room, so I ordered a beer and headed into the Arena. By this time the hi/lo event was down to 2 tables and James was still in a good position. A few players got eliminated and I wandered in and out of the room with the occassional trip into the casino during quieter moments.

I reckon it must have been about 9pm when the final table was reached. At this point the players head to a mini auditorium with the table in the middle and seating all around. As well as James, the final table also included Sammy Farha, the cool looking guy from the TV cash games and WSOP main event runner up to Moneymaker.

News of "the Brit" making the final table spread around Vegas quickly, and before long the now infamous British gathering took over the arena. As time moved into the early hours the field was slowly reducing, and the cocktail waitresses were kept super busy with the purchase of a round of 40 budweisers and 40 yagerbombs being subject of prop bets on whether the flop was mainly red or mainly black cards! Of course, it would have been rude not to partake so I grabbed a bottle at every opportunity.

The time was probably about 3am when it got to what always appeared to be the inevitable heads up - Dempsey v Farha. James had already won a bracelet that year, and he was now close to his second. Sammy considers Omaha his best game and was going to be a tough opponent.

I thought Sammy handled the banter well. The British sense of humour is unique and the chants of "Sammy, Sammy give us a wave" were met with a confused smile. The heads up was an epic battle. It went on for ages with two players at the top of their game. Eventually the blinds became so large that any hand which was scooped on the river and bet all the way was going to determine it. The deciding hand saw two queens on the board by the turn. Dempsey had a queen and it turned out (I think from my memory) Farha was holding AAKK. An ace fell on the river and it was as good as over - Sammy was the winner and James a valiant second.

It was now 5.30am. I was a little drunk and very tired. But it was a great experience and it"s what the WSOP is all about. After hours of cheering and joining in the banter, it was all over. There"s really nothing you can say when someone got so close to winning only to be denied at the final step. I slipped off to the taxi rank and headed for my bed.

I hope there will be similar experiences this year. I can"t think of many times when I"d rail a poker tournament for 12 hours, but Vegas is unique and for two weeks every year I enjoy every minute. Just two weeks to go now.....
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fandango

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 14:09:47 PM »
Great read Glen.. Once the children have flown the nest, this is something on my bucket list.. Already lucky to experience the WSOP it is indeed infectious! and a must for any serious poker fan.

My experience was early on in my poker and didn"t merit the true scale of what goes on prior to ME.. As Moorman quotes "shoe bombs" FTW.. The uk rails are pretty amazing!!
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Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 20:12:10 PM »
So last weekend was Wembley for the Apat Masters and what a great weekend it was. It all started on the Friday night with a few beers with Curly, Delboy, Joe, Sue and Phil (no, not Phil TC, the other Phil). I really enjoyed this night as we spent it sat outside a lovely pub/hotel enjoying a rare warm summers evening, talking about all things including poker and drinking excellent beer (they served London Pride, from the Fullers brewery I just love that stuff).

The night did not go completely without a hitch though, as apparently I don"t say the name of certain hotels in the accepted form. My efforts to sat "Harrahs" and the "Aria" were clearly epic fails although personally I think I"ve got it right  :D

Saturday morning and the Apat bus arrived to collect myself, Joe and Gareth (welcome to Apat Gareth, hope to see you at many more) from the five star Ibis Hotel situated in Beaconsfield Service Station. With a few more stops along the way, we soon arrived at the famous stadium. As usual, top marks and big thanks to Curly for his organising of the transport, it was a great idea.

You"ve probably read enough about the venue, so I won"t go on about it. All I will say is that they did a great job of setting up the pods on the pitch and I"m pleased I experienced this. The poker was a chance to get back into live play as it had been a while.

After a steady and very tight start I had a pivotal hand. Not sure if I like how I played it or not. I min raised early position with  Ah 6h and after two callers the big blind bumped it up. To be honest I can"t remember the blinds or the raise size, it was about level 4 or 5 though. I called, something I hadn"t been doing up to this point but I wanted to see a flop (they"re suited after all  ;D). The opponent wasn"t tricky so it was fair to assume he had a real hand. Flop  4c 5h 7c. I check and he bets about three quarter pot. I knew this flop couldn"t have helped him, but thought he could be worried that it helped me as I"d probably play a middle pair the same way. Anyway, I heard someone say "raise" and realised it was me, so I proceeded to 2.5X his bet and look as confident as I could. He looked pained, which was good, but then pushed his stack in which was not so good. At this point I was getting over 4:1 to call so it was my time to look pained and I had to show my hand. He tabled two black kings. A  3c on the turn gave me the straight though and I took the pot and eliminated the opponent.

Would be interested in views on this hand, althogh it"s a bit difficult without stack sizes etc. i do know there were chunks in the middle by the end though! I think my thought of representing a set was a bit optimistic, as on that board I think most people would lead out with a set. I was 40% against his hand, but he folds AK and AQ there so if he has those hands more than 10% of the time I guess it"s a positive play?

I ended day 1 in second place and returned the following day full of confidence. Unfortunately it wasn"t to be. I had to lay down some hands early on, was getting a bit short stacked when down to the last 15 or so and lost a flip against Phil (yes, Phil TC this time) when his pocket 9"s held v my AQ. Then with a very short stack I picked up  A s Ah last hand before the break, the first time I had seen them all weekend, shoved em in, got called by  10s 10c and all was fine until a ten on the turn saw me out.

Pleased enough with the way I played and just over a week now to Vegas. I expect Wembley was a one off, but was well worth it, and at £25 for a burger and chips (I kid you not) and "Guinness" served from a tin it did wonders for my diet.

Thank you APAT for a great weekend. I love the community feel of the APAT events and as usual the game was played in excellent spirit.  
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s4ooter

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2013, 20:27:09 PM »
The big Question is

What did you have vs Dave Howard early on Day 2 in a big hand you folded turn on?
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Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2013, 20:42:29 PM »
haha that would be telling. But I was ahead pre flop, I"m pretty convinced of that. May have laid down the best hand but I couldn"t put my stack in with an underpair to the board (oops, might have given it away there :)
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dwh103

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2013, 20:53:02 PM »

haha that would be telling. But I was ahead pre flop, I"m pretty convinced of that. May have laid down the best hand but I couldn"t put my stack in with an underpair to the board (oops, might have given it away there :)


Yeah, it was a pretty weird hand. I would"ve snapped you had you jammed pre, but hated the board, which should pretty much tell you what I had!
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Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2013, 21:05:01 PM »


haha that would be telling. But I was ahead pre flop, I"m pretty convinced of that. May have laid down the best hand but I couldn"t put my stack in with an underpair to the board (oops, might have given it away there :)


Yeah, it was a pretty weird hand. I would"ve snapped you had you jammed pre, but hated the board, which should pretty much tell you what I had!


I don"t like my flat of your reraise pre, I should have folded or bumped it up. But I had over 50 bigs and you had about 30 I think, that was a bit too much to get it all in with but the flat was the worst of the 3 options I think. WP always good to play against you and I"ll be ready next time  ;D ;D
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 21:10:10 PM by Bigfella42 »
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Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2013, 20:30:48 PM »
Even though there's a week to go before I depart to Vegas, my interest in following events out there will take increased interest from this weekend onwards, as tomorrow my two poker heroes, my nephews Joe and Danny, set off for a six week grind.

I think their first event is a $1,500 on Saturday and if I add a bit to this blog about their progress as well as my own there's a greater chance of a good news story. They're jetting off with their  good friend and well known player Steve Watts, and they're all staying at Palms for the duration. 

Danny is 22 and Joe 25 this year. Danny took a great interest in poker from a young age and I remember he used to spend many hours watching the old Full Tilt cash games with Ivey, Hansen and co jousting for huge sums. He developed a great game himself and is in my opinion an exceptional player. I know I'm biased but this is my blog, so on here he is the nuts! His 4th place in a Monte Carlo at DTD plus various other final tables including the WPT event in Ireland this year are also proof that he knows what he's doing.

Joe started playing a little later but caught up quickly, and he also has a deep understanding of the game mixed up with the fearlessness of youth. He's had some excellent results, including winning the Big Game at the Palm Beach earlier this year, and with a bit of fortune who knows what the next few weeks hold in store.

Six weeks is a long time, but I'm sure the poor boys can handle it!! Danny was interviewed by the Poker Deck recently, it sounds like he's going through a sensible stage so hopefully that will translate into results!

http://thepokerdeck.com/articles/interview-with-team-duffys-danny-laming-and-big-slick-winner-gari-bala

It's always nice to have family around and I look forward to a few beers with them while I'm out there. I think they're playing a few of the events that I'm playing too, but who knows, when I push all in on a draw I might just hit!!

C"mon Joe and Danny, this is the year!!!
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AceOnTheRiver

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2013, 10:49:15 AM »
Event #17 Day 1 in the bag, Joe Laming 19/226/2105

Your Joe I hope?
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Bigfella42

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Re: A month in poker, Vegas and random thoughts.
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 12:55:04 PM »

Event #17 Day 1 in the bag, Joe Laming 19/226/2105

Your Joe I hope?


Yes indeedy. They may have been in Vegas less than 24 hours when this $1,500 started, but the great news is that Joe has made it through to day 2 with a healthy chip stack and just 10 to go before they are in the money. Really hoping he can start the trip off with a decent cash as it will do wonders for their confidence (and bankroll too!).

I"m not sure if the chip count and position is accurate he ended the day on 50,200 but it is still a decent stack.

There goes my Sunday night.... will be following the updates they start up again at 1pm Vegas time that"s 9pm here.

Come on Joe, smash em up!!
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