Author Topic: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.  (Read 17123 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2011, 18:50:34 PM »
If it"ll get more readers Paulie then sure.  I just linked it as I link it on more than just the APAT forum.

I"ll cut and paste the blog posts into the relevant sections and see how that goes.

Thanks for looking in.

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2011, 14:00:51 PM »
It"s My Party And I"ll Cry If I Want To

March has been a four-letter expletive of a month.

The STT grind has become much less enjoyable, with a 30 BI downswing currently a work still in progress. I decided that, upon doubling my reload bankroll to $400, that I would step-up to the $10 plate and 4-6 table in a bid to double up again. After noticing a single turbo table registering at any one time on ipoker during my evening playing-time slot I decided to seek out a rival site, look for a good deposit bonus, focus on the stock-filled fishing holes rather than the bigger brands, and continue in a nice upward curve.

Party seemed to be a good place to down-rod, so I found a 100% match bonus and calculated that in the required period I would be able to clear around $300-$350 worth of that bonus. Unfortunately, it seems that I then made a mistake and got caught between two bonus offers, ending up using a code which gave me $25 in my account from day one, with another $25 to follow from points earned, with a one month subscription to UK Poker News"s video training site - which would be a nice benefit had I not just bought a one month subscription to Decues Cracked with a token through belt points earned from Black Belt Poker.

I then proceeded to smash my way through the typical, though none-the-less sickening, STT downswing, made only more bearable by Kevin Williams sharing some results he had over 2k games on Stars with those who took his excellent Dojo session, entitled "Winning STTs One Hand at a Time". For those who haven"t and are playing their poker on Black Belt Poker"s skin, I highly recommend using some of your points to access one of these live skype sessions. Kevin in particular is first-class in his delivery, subject knowledge, and providing answers to questions. The main point was that a 50BI downswing over a larger winning sample of games is not to be unexpected.

Dilemnas then began to present themselves to me in spades. Would I continue to play the $10 games to try and access my bonus (at this stage I had not discovered my bonus code error) and ride out the downswing, as dropping to the $5 games on Party is not an option with their rake at that level being double that of ipoker"s? Would I ignore my lost bonus opportunity and take my roll back to Black Belt, qualify for Orange belt status again, and spin up again from the $5 levels and manage my STT bankroll as I should be? Or, would I use some of my MTT winnings to give my STT roll a boost, ride out the downswing, and with continued work on my game through ICM analysis have the heart to continue with my original plan for 2011 and put 3k STTs on the board?

Sometimes the best advice is the most simple; Sam Razavi gave this line in response to a query I raised on the Black Belt forum boards "My advice in general would be to find the game that you make most money at and focus your efforts on that. GL" Food for thought indeed, but of course the paradox is that to win at STTs you have to be prepared to lose, on occassions at least as much as 50 BIs.

The one thing that I think the Dojo session confirmed is that since this time last year the work I have put in away from the tabels and the game-time I have put in at the tables has gained me a good understanding of ICM and the low-level STT games. The focus should always be on volume first, rather than targetting results or income. As long as I continue to play well and refine my ICM game there is definitely money to be made, but with a continuing set of positive results at the low-stakes MTTs and a few near misses at adding to my win in the $1k GP I am considering switching to these and away from the STT grind, although I have to consider I am probably on the good side of variance over my small sample size.

To finish the month off I played the Orange belt freeroll last night on Black Belt; two seats available, worth £150 each, at an Academy day at London"s Victoria Casino and an opportunity to finally meet some of the team and fellow players. I raised a lot of pots early and took them down, in the main unchallenged, to slowly grow my stack and take up 2nd spot. With only sixteen players, includign four sit-outs, I started to think about winning a seat. When I found a flush draw with an over-card to the flop and doubled-up when putting my opponent all-in I held the chip lead and I regained it in time for the 2nd break. However, after missing an earlier similar spot, I finally fell in 5th place when getting it in with A9 vs an utg raise with K9from the loosest player at the tournament and seeing two kings hit the board.

My volume has suffered throughout March, probably due to my downswing and not feeling comfortable playing on Party (it"s hard to settle in when you"re just losing) and I need to clear my mind, re-focus my efforts, make some decisions after dwelling on them sufficiently, and kick-start things back into action. A curve-ball has just been thrown my way in the last few days, but I"ll discuss that in a future blog.

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2011, 14:16:57 PM »
Always the Bridesmaid, Never The Bride

Long summer days in the sun, drawn out evenings having drinks in the park, weekends in the Lakes, the local festival scene - just a few things that I can look forward to missing out on again this Summer as I grind a 60 hour week at the bookies, earning a living - of sorts.

Of course, it is times like this that you look around you and think "why am I doing this" and "how do I do less and make more money" and playing online poker may offer some alternative to the bad beat of a minimum wage employed existence.

I wanted to continue to refine and define my focus this month and after an attempt to get something going with some of the community members on Black Belt Poker playing MTTs, I decided, after a short break, to put a post on their boards calling out to the low-stakes STT players. Inspired by boyhood TV heros the A-Team, I set out to form a crack-unit of STT commandos, to work alongside to smash a return over the coming months.

I put in some time thinking about the purpose of the exercise (to maximise returns), how we could benefit from working with each other (pooled learning, different views and experience, software knowledge, game and opponent knowledge) and I also wanted to take a look at whether we could find a mentor. The mentor route is something I feel we could do as a group and I have some ideas which I will detail next time.

Initially, take up has been good and five serious players showed an interest in taking this forward. With Hannibal already bagsied by me, someone is going to have to be the girl who Face sex-pests each week, as we can"t handle having two B.As.

I laid out a few very detailed messages asking for a commitment from all the players involved; to commit to playing time and learning time each week and a regular skype session - to share resources, ideas, notes, strategy, hand reviews, etc.

With work taking an increasing part of my week over the Summer, I have to look at when I can fit in 8 hours of playing time and a couple of hours studying/hand reviewing each week. This now involves sitting down with The Piranah, getting Google Calendar up on screen, and booking in the sessions for the week ahead. Family time and the joy of household tasks (which I actually find quite thereaputic at times) are also discussed and planned.

Our first skype session completed last Sunday, with Rod Hall and Adam Saunders present and some plans made. We also have a BBP pro interested in joining us, who confessed that his sleeping hours may differ to the rest of us and hence fell of my online radar for a few days, and a fifth community member who offerd his apologies for missing our opening session. More on them if they do join our next session.

Following, Rod Hall and I then decided to exchange some hand histories and set about tearing each others game apart, looking for missed edges, exploitable opponents, and hoping that two minds can achieve more than one. I have to give this experience the highest praise, it"s simply the best work I have ever done in looking at my game. We both put in several hours of work, utilising SnGWiz too, and it was insightful to see how we both have different strengths: Rod brings a more detailed approach to his game using HEM and SngWiz to a greater extent than I. I hope I have given him some food for thought in return.

There is much more to discuss in our skype sessions and I can see some parts of a clear path of progression over the coming weeks and months.

To close with STTs for now, I had two very productive sessions during this last week and am now hitting ~20% ROI, although I know only too well that my sample size of 100games means this is not to say that my long-term figure will be as impressive.

Going back to my original attempts to get something going along a similar line for MTTs, I reviewed my post as I had been less specific about what I wanted from players. Without wanting to take on too mcuh much at once, I will likely come back to this in the not too distant future.

However, I have continued to play at least one afternoon per week of MTTs, usually starting at 10:30am on ipoker and playing a few elsewhere. And again I hit a 2nd place finish from a field of just over 100 runners. I just can"t win a heads-up battle, and am rueing not having enough points to take the Heads-Up Dojo session, with Black Belt player "Werrrrd". However, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson made a big noise about his free-rolling $1k challenge. That"s nowt! From a total outlay of $0 I have now spun that into $1k since February.

Back to the day job; I am looking at how I can start to realise some different income streams with a goal to build enough to be able to quit my job, so poker aside for a moment I am looking at other online opportunities.

I have been reading a book by a guy who has realised his own "Plan B", which is to make money for himself, providing his targetted income in as little time spent as possible thus freeing up more time to spend with his family and doing the more fulfilling things in life. Some of what I am looking into includes affiliate programmes, which will no doubt include some poker affiliates. I have also been inspired to overhaul my blog into something much more remarakable than it is in its current format and hope to be able to present something to you in May or June.

At time of writing, I also received notification by text of a job opportunity which I hope to be interviewed for next week, which would mean a "normal" working week after two years in this crappy job.

I continue to work closely with the owner of a poker club in Cumbria and have some exciting news regarding a partnership we have struck with my favourite online poker site. I will hold back on further details until I get the OK. Through perserverance over a 12 month period I instigated the deal and now hope through my continued involvement with the club we can grow our membership, increase the quality of our, already first-class, poker offering to to our members, make a noise in the UK live poker scene, and perhaps get another income stream working for me.

Just to set a few things straight, you can put your violins away now. I have got a festival booked for my upcoming 35th birthday, a stag party at Chester Races for a friend in May and the wedding follwing in June, and a few other social occassions booked throughout the Summer. My life is not all poker-work-poker.

I"d like to sign-off with some very exciting news, quite probably the biggest of my 35 years so far. In November, I"m going to become a Dad for the first time. I already have a beautiful 13 year old step-daughter, who this year will be getting a little Brother or Sister on her birthday - if our estimated due date proves to be accurate.

duke3016

  • Global Moderator
  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10549
    • ChezGer
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2011, 14:40:36 PM »
Congratulations on the impending arrival and good luck with the rest of your efforts

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2011, 15:52:31 PM »
I posted this at the end of May and wasn"t sure anybody would be interested in it.  Someone might want to pass five minutes though...

Do I Look Bothered

I"ve been thinking, again - dangerous, I know. Sometimes I wonder whether it would be easier not to, but then I think of another thing. Stupid brain.

There is/has been much going on in the worlds of online and live poker. There was lots going on in the last month or so, there is a lot going throughout June and July and I dare say, there is more stuff about to happen right after that. As an extremely vague reference, it reminds me of a quote someone took (perhaps it was Stewart Lee"s stand-up routine on "toilet books") where Jordan, or perhaps Jade Goody, said on the cover of their autobiography "her life was just a series of one thing after another".

Some of these events both past, present, and future have been commented on as being somewhere between not good at all and not so good, whilst others are in the range of good to very good. Apparently, a lot of it depends.

What all of these things have in common, when I read about them is that almost all of what has happened or is going to happen has virtually no effect on me whatsoever.

For those who are interested you will have already found many other blogs covering the details, some of which I have read and found interesting none-the-less.

I don"t play poker on Full Tilt or Stars.

I have not made any attempt to qualify via any satellites for the WSOP - now in full swing. Neither did I have any intentions to get out there this Year (although that is not to say I won"t in future years). I"m probably not bothered who wins what either; certainly anyone outside of the Black Belt team anyway.

I do not follow live or online pros much, the NVG thread on 2P2 proving particularly uninteresting mostly. It"s all a bit Hollyoaks to me. Someone said something to someone else and they didn"t like what was said. Am I bothered?

When you spend a lot of your spare time on forums or other internet sites (to pass a very uninspiring and quiet working day) you are presented with a mass of information. We are very much living in the Information Age. The downside is, much of the information has no benefit to me other than giving me something to do other than listening to the racing tannoy all day.

So, back to the thinking bit. I have been considering all that goes on in the worlds of poker and how many other players are like me? Perhaps, I am a sort of Everyman of poker?

I like to play online mainly, due to the accessibility of games at stakes I like and the low-cost, when compared to live poker. I don"t play home games much any more. I don"t go to the casino, as my nearest one is often too far, as I have little spare time/spare cash to play there. I do like to play the odd live game, although the nearest decent monthly games are 50+ miles and £100 day out. The local pub poker scene is quiet and I prefer the fast-pace of online to these games anyway. If I do play it is more for the social occassion than the poker.

I put in a concerted and focused effort to improve my game and I want o get better and win more often and more money. It"s probably quite a lot more than a lot of the lads I know locally who play pub poker and a bit of online poker. It will also be a lot less than plenty of other players who I talk with on forums, who are not professional poker players.

I play NLH. I don"t play any variants. I play STTs and MTTs online at low-stakes; no cash poker. So I focus on a game that I think is beatable and I can get better at and I practice table selection, insofar as I play at sites and in games where I think I have an edge.

I am keen to look out for promotions and to climb the belt levels at Black Belt Poker, but working 60 hours per week and not returning home until 10pm 4 or 5 days puts paid to participating in many.

My poker goals remain fairly modest. In an alternative reality I would be a poker superstar. In reality I would be more than happy to make enough to take the family on a fabulous holiday every year or put a few grand away for some other purpose. As long as my time vs reward is decent, I tick along. Somewhere in-between I would like poker to form one of a number of income streams providing enough so I don"t have to continue the day job anymore.

To this end, and to give this blog some purpose, I refer back to the ideas I have been having to start up those other income streams (currently, the online MTTs I have been playing have provided an acceptable time vs profit reward).

I"m certain that there are is a mass-market of poker players who just like to play some poker and there it ends. They don"t care about the global online poker market. They don"t follow any of the poker pros. They don"t have any concerted aspirations to go to Las Vegas for the WSOP each year. They are not hugely driven by rakeback deals or poker promotions.

Of course, there is so much competition for online players, so many promotions, sign-up offers, leagues, leaderboards, satellites, rakeback deals, training options, etc. Many players have little time or inclination to sift through and find what is good for them.

Too much information can paralyse people when it comes to having to make a choice. In many cases, choice does not make people happy.

Some-what paradoxically, I am talking about delivering something that those players who don"t care, do care about. I think that when I look at myself and my approach to online poker I may have an answer to that. More paradioxically, the hard part will be getting people to choose it.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 17:20:34 PM by VBlue »

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2011, 17:21:20 PM »
As it"s Online National League day, I thought I"d bump this to see if I can get any love at all.

I will catch up on the other bloggers next week.

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #36 on: July 19, 2011, 15:08:03 PM »
An alternative view on last month"s and an eye on more live poker:

Watching While Others Win

Snoopy, Black Belt Poker"s roving (rover?) reporter delivered a fantastic series of live blogs from the WSOP over the last month or so. I have been taking my iPhone to the bog in the morning and ceremoniously checking out the updated exploits of the BBP team. The Main Event has been particularly enjoyable.

I also got to watch Sam Razavi"s Final Table appearance, after enduring about six weeks of the high rollers event, on the TV coverage of the Aussie Millions. It was worth the wait...(for those who haven"t seen the "coverage" all I can say is the UKIPT Cork event should be a little more entertaining).

Then I found myself tracking Werrrrd and Mike Shaw in the UKIPT Brighton updates online this weekend. I also followed Werrrrd"s tweets, which was fun. I can highly recommend the Werrrrd translator for anyone who struggles with the lingo. In fact, thinking about it (and I don"t know Mr Drew other than through his online persona) is he not absolutely made for Twitter? I mean, 90 characters should do him for most of his talking day right? (Please someone who does know Tom back me up here as I fear I may be taking the piss without the appropriate license).

I"ve also noted the amazing value that BBP offered to those who played the BBP London Live II event, with a Vegas freeroll for all attendeees. The WSOP Warrior Master League saw another, Hasmukh Khodiyara, and Mega Satellites more, in fact Greg Moore - who made $50k+ profit and bagged a return seat next year due with further thanks to the BBP value range (not to be compared to Tesco"s or other inferior value ranges).

I also keep my eye on the BBP boards and Carey Hollick, surely her middle name should be poker, by all accounts seems to always do well at the sats.

So, all of this got me back to thinking about my last blog post, about whether I really care about playing bigger events or what goes on away from my own small-stakes online activity. There has been some discussion on the boards of late about the strength of fields at the bigger MTTs and I"m starting to wonder if I could mix it. I"m also well aware that some bad players run good at these events and go deep and you have to be in it to have a chance of the run (no reference to any of the aforementioned BBP guys;)

I also miss out on a lot of local live events, where I reckon, without any deep thought on the matter, that I have an edge and am probably better than at least half the field and no worse than hardly anyone there.

So, I think when I have got another 6 months under my belt and ploughed through some DC videos, got some more online MTTs under my belt and if I can keep on improving then I"m going to try and get myself into some live poker next year. Of course, the BBP badge seems to be some sort of charm at the moment and I hope to get a little bit of good fortune to help me.

On DC videos, I have just taken up MTT Principles with daaaaaang16. I just hope the series picks up after #1 and #2. It is not so much the content, more the delivery. He confesses to being new to presenting videos, but he seems under prepared and spends a lot of time pausing and swallowing a rising beltch. His tone is pretty dreary too. Poor when compared to some Dojos I have attended online and I would be personally pretty embarrased if I had put these first two out myself.

It looks like Latoya Flewellen has got a good thing going with regards to sweat sessions and some other stuff she has thought out for the BBP community members. I have been previously involved with some attempts to get some things going along these lines with some success and some difficulties too. Latoya has really got hold of this by the scruff of the neck and her contact with the BBP community so far has been excellent. This has definitely got legs and is another great opportunity to better your game. I will be fully onboard and getting involved with this wherever I can.

To get away from poker for a short minute, The Piranah and I found out that our baby will be a boy, so obviously I am looking for Everton babygros and am already planning all sorts in my head. I want to impart all my knowledge and worldly wisdom (stop smirking) and really want to teach my lad all I can and give him the best grounding and foundation to build his own life. I love getting involed in anything my step-daughter is learning about. I was thinking of some basic maths the other day: "you have a flush draw on the turn and your opponent has lead for a three-quarter pot bet into 400. Calculate your pot odds, and your EV should you call and get him to call a pot-sized bet should you hit on the river".

To close, we have been discussing names, paging through baby name websites. We are looking for something different. I have Spanish parentage and we are drawn to Spanish first names; had it been a girl we had some really nice ones picked out which had some other meanings that hit with what we wanted. The boys names I"m not so enamoured with on the whole. We are going with The Piranah"s Father"s name for the middle name - John. Roscoe is leading the day for the first name. Please let me know if you think this sounds good or whether our son will grow up hating us for saddling him with this monicker for life. I"m already aware of the The Dukes of Hazard reference.

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2011, 17:21:40 PM »
Back to Blackboard

Some people advocate just putting practical time in at the tables over time spent pouring over strategy articles, forums, hand posting, and training videos. I think I work better when I take a methodical approach to advancing my knowledge and understanding of the game and then consider its practical application and add one buidling block at a time.

A few people, myself included, have used the Black Belt Poker fourm to share their frustrations of either playing bad, running bad, or a bit of both. Some have confessed to putting in hours upon hours of time working on their game and having nothing to show for their efforts by way of an inflated bankroll or financial withdrawls. I certainly had a frustrating time when playing 1300 single-table tournaments since last Summer, with not a single dollar to show as a profit.

Firstly, I think that one area that poker players really need to learn and understand is the variance associated with the games that they play. Learn and accept that as part of the game and you will play with a clearer mind that if you are playing a winning strategy, you will come good. I think it"s also very important to have some realistic expectations, without setting financial goals, in poker. If you expect, because you have won say $100 over 30 $5 STTs to make $3,000 over 1000 games then you need to think again.

Also, I think it is important to think about the type of poker you play and whether or not you have the ability to live with the variance that that particular game-type and format delivers. 6-max cash or full-ring cash? PLO vs NLH vs FLH. Turbo STTs, 180-mans, DoNs, or MTTs. There are lots of options and it pays to spend some time understanding why one may suit you over another. Also, if you only have one or two sessions per week and play only one table, do not expect to make much money at micro-cash, for example.

For me, I played STTs for a few reasons. I wanted to reach and attain Orange belt level on the Black Belt Poker rewards system and felt this would be achievable multi-tabling in the time I had made available for poker each week, but only if I played the turbos, rather than the standard format. I also felt comfortable with the structure as I was working on my ICM game and wanted to get to this stage of the tournament more quickly where I felt my edge would be.

I switched to MTTs afterwards, as I had started to learn how the variance worked and realised I would really need to be playing a much larger volume of STTs than I could now commit too and could not live with putting in another 6-12 month period with the potential to make little or no money. If I have the time to play somewhere nearer 500 games per month than I might return to them.

With MTTs I"ve found that, at the lower-stakes, I have started to spin up a nice bankroll and observing the play of my average opponent in these games, feel that I can sustain a pretty high ROI and actually see some money in the bank.

So now you have considered variance and found a game that can deliver you some considered and realistic expectations, what about developing your game? Well, as I alluded to earlier, I firmly believe in a careful and methodical approach.

I think some players, as I certainly have, may suffer from trying to swim in the ocean of poker knowledge that exists out there, rather than firstly putting on your armbands and getting in the learners" pool. I have been watching some Deuces Cracked videos. It is not just about listening to the ideas and watching the hand examples. It"s also about really understanding when to apply that knowledge, and when not to. What are the nuances to look out for that signal now is the time to pull that particular move? What will you do when something from left-field comes at you that was not covered in the classroom representation you have been shown? I have watched each video twice, going back to take some personal notes and find that this is when the new information really starts to click into place.

Like all good theory it is not an answer in itself and this is where the advocates for learning by putting it into practice comes into the equation for me. Now it is time to start to adopt your new knowledge and to allow the teachings to influence your in-game decisions; little by little. If you are playing MTTs, like I am, perhaps you might want to begin by looking at whether you"re always c-betting when you should and considering all the various factors that the board, pre-flop action, position, stack sizes, and opponent reads can throw into the mix and influence that choice. Maybe you want to learn how to use a Heads-up Display like Hold'em Manager or Poker Tracker. Or you may want to get into calculating equity and utilising pokerstove. Whatever area you choose to work on, focus on that area alone.

I am certainly not afraid to strip my game bare and never over-estimate my ability in any one area. OK, I think my ICM game and short-stacked game is pretty good from having played a good volumes of STTs, but it could improve. I think my pre-flop hand selection is good, but I definitely don"t play optimally pre-flop. Be honest about your game and it"s weaknesses.

When adopting new strategies also ensure that you are not getting ahead of yourself by building a complex game strategy where a more simpler approach will be more effective. No point in adopting level four thinking when you are playing someone who only understands level one or two thinking. As Nik Persaud tells us in his excellent Fundamental Theorem of Poker lecture series on Black Belt Poker, always play at one level above your opponent.

The other learning material I have been educating myself with has been Nik"s lecture series. I take a highlighter, read and re-read the section that I struggle with first time round (some of the maths takes me two or three reads) and then I take my own notes to refer back to. Again, I"m prepared to put in the time and effort to properly understand each concept and not just read it once and claim to have been elightened as to a new way to win at poker.

Currently, my biggest driver has been my self-motivation. I think that this brings everything together for me. I know what I want, I have a fair idea of what I need to do to get it, and I make a committed decision to do just that. I also make sure that I keep a balance and ensure that there is time for other important achievements.

I have just returned to learning Spanish, so have a couple of sessions per week teaching myself something which I should have done long ago, being of Spanish descent. I am also ensuring I have time for some physical exercise after too many years being mostly inactive. The nursery and other home improvements have taken up a fair amount of time too and the expenditure has been one of the motivating factors behind my focus on improving my poker game and delivering some returns. Having a new addition to the family less than four months away certainly has provoked me into taking action.

Good luck to anyone who continues to work for their goals. Just remember also that the road to success is littered with failure. As long as you remain committed to the end result, but flexible in your approach to achieve it, and learn from the mistakes you make on the way, then all of us can get what we want from this game of poker and life.

To finish with this month, I am very excited to announce a partnership between Black Belt Poker and Northern Poker Stars of West Cumbria. I have worked with the private members" poker club for several years in a number of areas inculding, hosting live tournaments, promoting events, running their Facebook page and delivering web content. I first contacted Neil Channing when he was at the Aussie Millions 2010 to tell him about Northern Poker Stars. I wasn"t sure at this stage what I wanted from him, but Neil assured me to be patient as there would be something of interest to us in the future.

I contacted Neil again some months later and then waited until after the Aussie Millions 2011, and the appointment of Chris Edwards to make progress towards a deal. I convinced NPS owner, Ken Johston, that Black Belt were the coolest kids on the block and some eighteen months later we have agreed a partnership for BBP to not only host our online games, but also to bring some very exclusive live events to the poker players of Cumbria. We have some strong players who have had some decent live tournament results at DTD, UKIPT, GUKPTs, etc.

I have endured a lot of criticism, obstacles, and much worse in my endeavours to bring legalised poker tournaments to various locations within my local area. Northern Poker Stars have continued to enjoy increasing success in the West of Cumbria and in Carlisle, culmintating, this July, in our largest, and Cumbria"s only ever five-figure, prize pool (our nearest casinos are in Tyneside or Lancashire).

I now believe that all the hardwork and knocks have been worth taking and I look forward to being at the forefront of continuing to bring the best in live and online poker to our local players.

duke3016

  • Global Moderator
  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10549
    • ChezGer
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2011, 17:38:35 PM »
Very well done on the organising front - nice one, hope you are getting the recognition for that.....

VBlue

  • Silver Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • Northern Poker Stars
Re: My name is VBlue and I'm a Pokerholic.
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2011, 11:31:34 AM »
Winkers

I"ve been left wondering if there"s much to blog about over the last couple of months, as I"m only playing the odd bit of online poker, with a single trip to the pub for a game which never really happened.

As I"ve been involved in the local pub poker scene for several years now, I often get asked to come to games as I know a lot of players locally who may have interest and I have plenty of tables, chips, cards, etc. I"ve just realised whilst typing that not once have I mentioned my enigmatic personality and searing wit as any reason for the invite! I haven"t got out to a local game for a while due to working unsociable hours and preferring to spend my poker playing time online, with much better rewards on offer. I ended up taking longer to get my equipment to the pub, setting up the game, blind structure, and rallying players, only to find six of us sitting down for a £5 game. Of course, 99 v QQ was no good and shoving AKs into Aces ensured an early return home.

Online, I have been continuing to hit the MTT tables and I am continuing to have next to no luck. The most interesting of these games was my local poker clubs fortnightly online league game. The numbers are only usually around 15 each time, but we think we will improve this next year with some league changes, an adjustment to the format, lower buy-in, and some added prizes for those playing the league. We also think we have a formula which means players will keep playing right throughout the entire season, or at least most of it.

The first hand, which caused some controversy and about half-an-hour of debate following, saw me pick up AQs and open with a call behind and a 3-bet from the blinds. I had been reasonably aggressive at this point. I elected to flat call.

The flop brought me the flush draw and two overcards and I raised the lead from the blinds to be set all-in, after the player behind me folded, for about 2:1. I reckon I have 12 outs, so call. I took some extended berating for some time afterwards when I made the best hand, but not from my opponent. I then continued to cultivate an aggressive image and my main tormentor took to further berating when I had the cheek to call with A7 blind on blind and check-call the A high board vs air. I did play one hand poorly on the river, further justifying my tormentor as he filled up on the river and I raised when a call was the only play. The fact that I then got him to put it in from the BB with JT vs my utg Aces seemed lost, and when he made a straight on the turn card I "got what I deserved for going after him and variance will bite me on the ass if I continually target his blinds and he decides to with a hand."

Now the real dilemna is whether I send him a link to this blog. If he wasn"t 6"4", of "brick ****house" build, and my boss at our local poker club... The text the next morning asking if I had got over it and further comments on our website results page have obviously helped me to swallow seeing another potential MTT score slip away when I got it in with the best of it. (PS - I"m no longer using smileys so it"s up to the reader, including the boss, to detect any levels of sarcasm, or tongue-in-cheek remarks).

The game I have been most excited about playing regularly is a team game for which I put myself forward as captain at the start of 2011. This has involved recuruting players each and every Round, hijacking them in the chatbox on Facebook, posting private meesages and wall posts, and generally hounding them down to register for the game.

My team closed in on the top spot last time out with a win and 3 points. I had missed two rounds previously. I had become frustrated with some poor administration from the poker room they use and a later start time of 9pm had given me enough time to get a bit tilted from a previous game and I decided not to play. The following week, a long ten day work schedule had left me on empty by the Sunday and team numbers had dropped right off. The following week I had a word with myself and bounced back as team captain and got a team together with an impassioned rallying cry and they rewarded me well.

A single win last night could have put us level with top spot, dependant on other teams final places. I got off to my usual steady start. I seem to get a lot of respect in these games and don"t get played back at too much. I ended up denting my stack with TT v QQ. After some aggression I then ran AKs into Aces and that left me concentrating on a good start to my other Sunday night regular game - the $4k GP on ipoker. Our team of eight posted four top 18 finishes, where the points are on offer, and we ended up finishing 2nd place. A team from north of the border opened up another one point gap above us and we remain three adrift of them, two behind 2nd place, and a single point behind two others in 3rd.

The $4k usually pulls about 800 players and I run like a one-legged pigeon in this game usually. I have a single min-cash to console myself with thus far, after playing these for the last few months on and off. Last night I found QQ utg and got an insta-shove and flat-call behind so got my chips and had the best part of a treble-up against AK and 66. Top 30 in the first couple of levels.

The rest of the tournament went fairly smoothly. 3-bets were getting through. Flop c-bets were getting it done. I had QQ twice more, but got no action. So I just chipped up steadily and stayed above the average at the first two breaks.

I then lost with 77 v AT, but good aggression got my stack moving again and Aces beat 77 to get me back above avg. I then dropped my stack to 13 bbs with A8 losing to 77. Ultimately, I ended up losing with AJ v A7 and returned $12.03 with a finish around 70th.

Our partnership with Black Belt Poker is now starting to deliver some really exciting benefits for both of us and we have just recently agreed to bring a very special event to our players in Cumbria in February 2012.

Neil Channing will be hosting, what I believe to be the very first, Black Belt Academy outside of The Vic, London. The terms we negotiated with Chris Edwards have been very fair and I continue to speak so highly of all at BBP as the evidence keeps on presenting itself. We will follow in the afternoon with our monthly £25/£25 double chance tournament , with Neil staying on to play and add some value for our Orange belt players. We hope to see a massive turnout for both.

After at least 12 months of job searching, an opportunity has fallen into my lap. The bookies I work for has been purchased by Gala Coral. I will work for Coral Racing, my day-to-day job being largely unchanged, but the terms and conditions have improved considerably. Did someone say that Coral are sponsoring Late Night Poker now? There really should be a wink following that last sentence.