Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Ups, Downs and OMG JAKE CODY's!


I last managed to update my blog on the 30th of september and i had full intentions of continuing with regular updates. I love to write and when im in the mood i find everything just flows. The past 3 months have definetly been the most stressfull and hectic of my life and in all truth i just couldnt find the time, energy or motivation for blogging. I wont do the usual thing of promising il update every few days or even weeks as its just not gna happen! But the support that everyone has given me is overwhelming. When i hear that people i havent spoke to in years are reading my updates it makes it all worth while.

I left off in Vegas just leaving the Stratosphere for our new house which we stayed in for about a month. The house included me, dave jones, tom cunningham, pete steel, and maria demetriou. We also ran into a load of English guys out there which was cool (aaron, james, sunny and sunny) as we had our own little army ready for James Akenheads final. Tickets wernt as easy to get as we expected and it only ended up being me, dave and maria that went, but it was by far the single best day of drinking in vegas that i have ever had. Unlucky for James to come 9th after that epic triple up (i lost my voice on the river) but as we have seen since hes not going to shy away into the crowd (expect great things from this guy). Me and Dave managed to find ourselfs quite outnumbered in the Antoine Saout cheering section and we made friends with 2 guys jason and michael who were there just to rail anybody they possibly could.

They claimed they wernt drinking but me and Dave managed to twist their arms into getting involved in drinks flips. 12 hours later we were getting escorted out the exit for being to drunk and loud..... pretty sure pointing out that the security guard looked like bjorn borg and taking props on how long people would last in the seats around us (the stabbing section) due to noise pollution didnt help! I dont have to many crystal clear memories of the whole day but i do recall singing songs for pretty much every person on the final.....I was pretty dissapointed with the cada fans towards the end of the night but most of them wernt as plastered as us 4 hooligans. All together a great day and i woke up with more money than what i went out with which was a good sign (owned jones at red and black flops + drink flips and we won on craps).

In the madness that is VEGAS u never really know whats going to happen on a day to day basis. Most days go like this poker, beer pong, more beer then more beer....and a fat burgers to end the night. seriously fatburgers are outta this world there like 4 inches thick and taste amazing!! Im really glad we started to explore vegas this time because we had some great times. Me jones and dino went to WEC to see Aldo vs Brown which absoloutely rocked! We also managed to meet floppy who recommended going to see steel panther at the green valley casino (its fckin miles out).....yet again another great night highlighted by seeing brummieboy rocking out to over aged rockers singing "sweet child of mine". Bowling with Dino and jones was fun but i completely suck so wont be writing to much about that ;) the one thing i will comment on is the price....we stroll up to the desk in the orleans and we ask for 2 games of bowling each and the guy goes......."thatll be $2 each please guys" so we decided to splash out and get some beer in..."$5 a pitcher of beer"..WOW!! imagine our faces when they said $2 each (a KODAC moment)!

The rest of the vegas trip mostly involved us playing more beer pong and grinding the venetian deepstacks. I managed to come 4th in one of the $550s for $14,000 which i was pretty dissapointed with as at 5 handed they offered me 20k in a deal but i turned it down as i felt really confident and the other guys wernt applying to much pressure. I managed to bust in 4th getting ak in against kk blind on blind which is pretty cold. Jones came 2nd in the $1,050 for $22k (i think) which was nice as i had a share of him. I think overall i made about 5k on the trip but this was just working off my makeup with moorman so i headed back to the uk with about 8k makeup to clear.

Theres not to many things in life that i am crazy passionate about but im definetly a guy that likes to be around my friends and people that care about me. Being a poker player is very tough sometimes but i have to sacrifice so i have the opportunity to live a comfortable life in the future. I am not saying that what im doing is sacrificing because in a lot of peoples eyes i am "living the dream" and i am eternally grateful to have this opportunity. I just think that its tough to spend so much time away from people that you truely care about and right now i havent seen my girlfriend in 3 months which is killing me. Im sure most people dont care but it is really tough, this should be the only time this ever has to happen. Anyway my point being was that on returning to Southend i got to see alot of friends that i havent seen in years which really got me in great spirits for the online grind i was preparing over the next 2 months.

Over the next 2 weeks i put in probably the biggest grind of my life and ended up losing 10k which drove me up the wall.I was running horribly and playing badly as a result..... something had to change! i was feeling like this guy...

After hanging around with a friend of mine (Luke Linden) i decided to grind at his house and he had a decent setup which really helped me to focus during my session. The next day i went out and bought a new reclining chair and a desk so i had no excuses whatsoever to play bad. This was probably one of the best investments i have ever made. The next month i put in some of the best performances of my life. I won the ipoker 50r for 12k, won the party 163 for 7k, won the ongame 500 for 12k, finalled the ub 200 for 5k and came 4th in the party 215 for 16k. I had cleared my makeup and managed to put some money away to last for the next "little while". I now realise how important it is to be comfortable when grinding online for long periods.

Most outsiders that dont play poker would think that playing online is easy and its just clicking buttons but it really is exhausting if u put in a big session especially if u grind on multiple days back to back. After my month of grinding i decided to go to EPT deauville with matt perrins and jake cody to take abit of a break from online. Me and Matt planned to go to Venice to play the IPT (matt won it last year for 150k) but as i hate flying and so does matt we decided to take the train. Obviously we got delayed on the eurostar and missed the last train from paris to venice so we headed to Deauville a week early. Now Deauville is a very nice place......if your 3000 years old. I really couldnt find any place more isolated for a poker player if i tried. The shops close at 4pm, you cant get food anywhere apart from the hotel lobby/room service (sandwich=28 euros), the staff are rude and theres absoloutely nothing for a youngster to do there. Both Matt and i ended up getting food poisoning which was absoloutely brutal, i came 10th in the brawl for 3k when the winner took 125k, bubbled the ub 2.5k where a min cash was 4k, came 10th in an ept side event for 3k where the winner got 68k and busted the main event right at the end of day 1 after losing 2 races and a 70/30. All together Deauville was going horribly..................

UNTIL JAKE CODY WON THE MAIN EVENT FOR 850,000 EUROS (which i had about 3% of his action!!! ) Well done mate i am super happy for you and thank you for saving my whole trip!

Leaving Deauville with alot more money than we went there with was definetly a bonus and a touch of karma for the food poisoning and the horrible treatment we received while we stayed there. Now im back in the UK and i cant wait to head over to Canada. Ive sent off for myVISA and its all being processed as we speak so about 4 weeks and i should be outta here. In the mean time i will be playing the UKIPT in Manchester and the GUKPT in Walsall.

I would like to congratulate my girlfriend on passing her pharmacy qualifying exam, im so proud of u. Congratulations to moorman for having the luckiest dollars in the world and congratulations to jake again u sicko!

Now its back to the grind for the next few weeks........Oh and the small matter of planning Vegas 2010!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A change of plans!

Its been roughly 2 weeks since my last update and to be completely honest i was dreading the thaught of having to write my next post...We have done more than i ever expected!

We spent the most part of Sunday freezing our asses off watching the Jets and the Bills. One of the best sporting experiences of my life. The stadium was absoloutely incredible but we ended up in the nosebleeder section. It wasnt shy of entertainment though with fights breaking out and beers getting hurled at eachother. Its not as bad as it sounds (a woman got thrown out for throwing a plastic beer at some dude) and i am quite suprised at how little trouble there is as there is no home or away stand....its all mixed!

Most people came to the game equiped with duvets and ear warmers. Me, tommy and jones decided that a t-shirt and hoody would be enough! We ended up doing our brains on jets gear to keep us from getting hypothermia.

The game was so close and went 10 minutes into overtime with both teams missing multiple chances to seal the deal. Eventually the Bills beat the Jets which was a little disapointing but all in all an amazing game and a great day.

The Next 2 days in NYC we managed to cover alot of ground for 3 lazy fckers. We scaled the empire state building which was absoloutely amazing, went on a virtual tour of nyc, went out in west village and finally off to a pretty awesome club called Tenjune. Tenjune was home to probably the best DJ i have ever heard. The guys name was Mr Mauricio and apparantly hes known worldwide and i can definetly see why. He was mixing songs that are just unmixable, scratching with 3 decks and changing it up like you wouldnt beleive.

Our original plans were to hire a car in NYC and drive to Vegas stopping off in a few places on the way over 2 weeks. Things changed...

After looking online for about 15 minutes we started to get inpatient. A few sites wanted over 4k for a drop off fee and our views began to change. After about 10 minutes of delibertaion we had booked 3 train tickets from NYC to Vegas with a stop over in Chicago for 7 hours. The journey was scheduled as follows:

NYC to Chicago = 19 hours
Chicago to Kingmann, Arizona = 34 hours
Kingmann, Arizona to Vegas = 2 hours

The entire journey was filled with pleasant suprises. Obviously its not the same as driving because you cant get off the train to take pictures and enjoy the scenery but we did see some truely amazing scenes along the way. Its pretty hard to get good pictures through a window doing +70kmh but i managed to get a few gems.

The 1st night on the train we got absoloutely hammered playing Chineese poker for a good 8 hours. It seemed like a great idea at the time but we were suffering when we hit Chicago. We put our luggage in the locker for a few hours and ran around Chicago getting pics. Chicago seems very diverse. The buildings are pretty spectacular and i am very glad we managed to stop over for a while. We squeezed in a quick trip to the movies to see 'Zombieland' which was 6/10 in my opinion. Then it was Back to the Train Station for the epic 34 hour journey to Kingmann.

We were so tired after a restless night on the train so when we got on our new one i passed out like a light for a rediculous 14 hours :). I managed to sleep under the chair fully stretched out like i was in a bed which was nice. The new train had an amazing glass observation room with chairs and tables so we set up camp there for the duration of the trip. We went though a few pretty isolated areas in New Mexico where u couldnt actually see anything on the horizon. Just the occasional deer and cow.

One of the higlights on the train were the microwave cheeseburgers, they were incred. Me and jones went through about 15 of them and tommy cleaned out all the veggie burgers (fag burgers as the attendant said) onboard. Another 10 hours of chinese mixed in with a little "how i met your mother" and we arrived in Kingmann. Two hours later we were in vegas checking into our room at the holiday inn express. One flip left to go.... for the beds! There were 2 doubles and 3 people to fill them so we flipped to see who had to sleep on the floor. On checking in we were told that there were no more spare cotts left so this was a pretty big flip. Jones lost which completely blew my mind. About 10 minutes later we hear a knock on the door, in walks an 8ft mattress. The kid is blessed!

We spent our 1st day in Vegas playing Beer Pong at O'Sheas which is quite possibly the best game in the world for drinking. 8 pitchers of beer later we found ourselves pretty wasted. The night gets a little hazey from this point but i made it back to the hotel safely after being thrown out of a bar for being to drunk (probably for the best)... On trying to get into my hotel i lost my key and the guy at reception said to the security guard that he didnt recognise me. This doesnt sound to bad on his part but when you factor in that we checked in at 3AM the night before and had a 30 minute chat with the guy about college football, NFL and various other things it kinda blew my mind. How many random English guys checked in that night????? After an hour of sitting outside the guy at reception went for a cigartte and someone else walked in with a key so i managed to sneak in behind him. When i got to my room nobody was in and miraculously i found my room key lodged in my back pocket. Maybe i was to drunk!

The next 6 days were spent at the Stratosphere hotel (tommy lost the flip for the bed) where we mainly grinded cash games. Since arriving here i have been running super bad but i am playing very well. I am losing a little in the cash games but i have had so many huge pots where my equity has been huge. I keep finding myself on the dark side of variance which cant last forever.

We are moving out of the Stratosphere hotel today and into our house which i am excited for. The Venetian festival has just started and i am very excited. I am going to focus alot on being as well prepared as possible for these tournaments so i will not be drinking before each tournament. I have had my initial "were in vegas" celebratory drink and now its business time! My blog will mainly be poker based for the next month as my aim is to really get my head down and win something decent. Lets hope i can run a little better from now on.........Happy Halloween all :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

One For The Road! GoodBye Toronto

So the Road trip has arrived and B arranged a goodbye meal for me at her family’s restaurant. About 10 people showed up and we had a great meal followed by a night out on the town. The night included flipping to see who chooses which pool player they wanted in a random match up for $20 a game. Obviously Jones wins 2 on the bounce and decides to get a round of jager bombs in! The night gets a little hazy from this point on but it was definitely a fun night from the vague recollection that I have.

Thursday morning arrived and we had planned to go to Canada’s wonderland but it was closed so we packed up our stuff and headed to Niagara. Tommy and Jones checked into a Balla hotel with an amazing view of the falls. Me and B booked a place just up the road for a little privacy. We stayed in for the evening and watched hurt locker, Jones and Tommy managed to find themselves in a “really friendly bar“ just outside of town….

Friday we met up in the afternoon and went down to the falls, being our normal degenerate selves we decided to go on the maid of the mist but Jones come up with a genius idea “lets flip to see who has to go on the boat trip into the falls without wearing a waterproof jacket” classic leknave! Jones flips “tails”, I flip “heads” Tommy is free rolling…..I already know what’s happening here because Jones is a true god at winning these things. Tommy steps up “Tails” fuck my life!

The boat takes you right into the centre of the horseshoe falls so there’s no escaping the backsplash you get! Nice and dry nick quickly became soaked to the bone Nick! Truly one of the most overwhelming experiences I have ever had and worth every cent at $14.95!!!!

After the falls we headed to the local bowling alley for a few games and a couple of pitchers of beer. It looked like we wasn’t doing to badly until 2 girls aged about 14 came and bowled in the lane next to us! Both of them wiped the floor with all 4 of our scores which kind of pissed me off as I had been seriously trying my hardest!

We finished up 3 games with Jones getting the overall best total score of xxx! Our evenings didn’t really deviate to much from that of the previous nights, me and b went back to our hotel to hang out for our final evening together, Tommy and Jones went to a club named dragonfly where they faded to pounce!

I woke up Saturday morning with mixed emotions. Obviously I was a little excited about my trip ahead but I was completely gutted that I was saying goodbye to my girlfriend for at least a month and possibly up to 3. She was originally planning to come on the trip but circumstances with her pharmacy career meant she couldn’t miss a crucial qualifying exam which she needed to study for, thus meaning she had to stay! This is one of the biggest problems about being a travelling poker player. It seems great having all the freedom but from time to time it gets hard to leave people behind whether it be family, old friends, new friends or loved ones. I think that’s part of the sacrifice we have to make to fit in as much live volume as possible. Hopefully she will come to visit me in Vegas when I win an event at the VenetianJ…

Our train was booked for 10.35am leaving Niagara falls for NYC and we literally made it to the station with 5 minutes to spare, we collected the tickets and boarded our Amtrak(spelling) train.

We started on the Canadian side of the border so we had to go through customs which meant getting off our train and going into this little building for a 2 hour interrogation. Its pretty daunting getting questioned by a guy with a gun strapped to his hip especially when you cannot answer any of the questions he’s asking you! Jones and Tommy booked our NYC hotel on hotwire and forgot what the name of it was so having no internet connection at the station we couldn’t tell them a location(we looked like complete morons) …a little slapped wrist and $18 dollars lighter off (border fees?????) and we were back on the train headed for NYC.

Thinking back now on a previous suggestion from Tommy that we should flip to see who has to tick yes to every box on the customs form, im rather glad that we didn’t!!! Especially as one box says “will you be entering the country with the intentions of taking part in illegal activities”…..

Everyone soon dozed off after the train set off so I decided to lay down in my chair/bed to update my blog.

We finally arrived in NYC 11 hours after we set off and we were pleasantly surprised that our hotel is right next to Madison square gardens. More importantly I managed to win the flip to get my own bed whereas Jones and TC will be spooning for the next 3 nights J. Still feeling a little gutted but I am eagerly awaiting the jets and the bills tomorrow. Lets hope I don’t lose the flip to wear a bills shirt in the jets stand!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

As Busy As A Bee!

First of all i would like to say thankyou to everybody that has sent me "well done" messages from last week. I am still a little bit shocked!

Since my last update i have failed to play a single hand of tournament poker and its starting to kill me.... I am absoloutely itching to get back out there and grind but i have been held back for a few reasons.

Firstly i have managed to switch over from being backed by James Dempsey to being backed by Chris Moorman. This is an exciting move for me which has been 'up in the air' for a few weeks now but following my recent score the trade has been completed. Chris is probably the best online tournament player in the world to this date. His knowledge and enthusiasm to teach will be a huge factor in helping me to achieve poker immortality ;). I would like to state that i am very grateful for what James did for me and i wish him all the best with his current stable.

Second of all its "thanks giving" weekend so me and my girlfriend B have been attending Family meals in preperation for the world hot dog eating championships! Thats not entirely true but i think i could give it a shot now.....

Third and finally Dave Jones has arrived from England which i guess means my road trip has officially started. I have been running round like a mad man cleaning clothes, saying goodbye to people and finding accomodation for the next few days trying to get ready for this epic adventure. All in all a pretty boring week to report on but i guess its the calm before the storm!

Like i said i haven't played for over a week now but i think this is a good idea just before i hit vegas for the venetian festival. Being a degenerate i still managed to rack up about 5 hours of railing time on Sunday to see Brummie Boy come 2nd in the million for 165k! Amazing result for a really decent bloke....Fellow shrewdie Chiprich had a great day also winning over 20k just missing out on coming on the roadtrip by 1 spot. Hopefully he can run a bit better deep so he can join us in Vegas. Yet again Middy was close to winning the world but got very unlucky deep in the stars 500 and ended up coming 9th for 5k (its coming).

So this week is going to include numerous days of sightseeing with Jones and Tommy followed by waveing off Toronto :( I obviously have mixed emotions at the moment as i will be departing my girlfriend for 2-3 months but i am very eager to "shuffle up and deal" both live and online!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Another Day, Another Dollar!

Quite an eventfull week to say the least! I arrived in Niagara falls 4 days ago with the intention of grinding live cash for approximately 12 days until my friend Jones arrives from England. The week started off really well and i could tell the upswing was on its way. 1st of all me and Tommy managed to snap up a cheap hotel on hotwire.com for $45 CAD a night and its literally a stones throw from the casino. For those that dont know Hotwire its a site that gives you a location, star rating and price but leaves the name of the hotel out until you have paid for the stay. I couldnt have picked a better hotel if i tried, its actually connected to the casino....a great start, we were ready to go and crush the $1-$2 game.

I really wanted to go and grind the $2-$5 game at the newer casino but my girlfriend was in town to play poker and i still feel asif the game is a little out of my roll so i decided to put in a huge 12 day grind at the older casino. On day 1 i put in a 13 hour session and left up $900 but the next few days didnt go as planned. On day 2 i lost $505 and day 3 headed in the same direction as i lost $345. Day 4 was slightly better, i ended up winning $350 which put me up about $400 over the 4 day period. When you factor in the hotel costs and food expenses i was basically breaking even on my whole trip but now it was all paid for and i had a clean slate for the next 8 days. As usual i took a break from live poker on Sunday because "its a Sunday".....!

I woke up at 11.45am and registered all of my tournies online which totals around $2000-$5000 depending on how far i get in the early tournaments. If i get deep in the early tournies i tend to unregister the later ones so i can concentrate when it gets to the business end. I walked Babs to Tim Hortons and she headed back to Toronto for a few days so she could get a passport for our roadtrip. I got back to the room at 12.45pm just as the party million started. The day started off really well, i ran deep in the stars Warmup placing 98th for 1k and i acumulated a few nice stacks early on in a few more. I generally play my best poker when i am 5-7 tabling but on a sunday sometimes i get up to about 10 tables early on. Tommy is sick, he 16 tables with ease now which blows my mind but i find i enjoy it more and its more profitable when i play less. After busting in a few good tournaments i was starting to get a little pissed off but i had one really good prospect in the ipoker $330, 250k. This Tournament starts with about 1,000 runners and i was 10/30!

Up until the last 3 tables i had no idea that tommy was still in the tournament as we are generally to busy to discuss what comps were deep in, we just talk hands rather than tourney situations. We both managed to reach the final and met for the 1st time in the whole tournament. At that point i was really short with roughly 8bbs and tommy had about 25bbs. There was 1 maniac on the table and the rest of the guys were generally tight/bad players. We both managed to maintain a stack of around 15bbs for the majority of the final which was about average. The guy who eventually placed 3rd pretty much knocked out most of the final table going on a sick heater. me and tommy were 5 handed and i was starting to get pretty nervous at that point! I had been losing over the past 5 months and i found myself with a shot to get out of it which i never really expected to happen in 1 tournament.

When we were 5 handed me and tom decided to make a deal that if one of us goes on to win then we will give the other 10% of the difference between our prizes which was a little incentive sweetner for the both of us. I couldnt beleive that we were both on the same final and obviously we decided to avoid eachtoher at all costs. We both won a few flips and eventually we got the maniac to spew his stack taking us 3 handed. The ipoker $330 is a very shallow tournament when you get to the deeper stages so there wasnt to much 3betting light or 4betting going on. If someone 3bet, they "had it" and showed! When we were down to the last 3 the payouts were 3rd=21k, 2nd=32k 1st=58k so me and Tommy decided that we would do a deal and carve it up if we get heads up. After about an hour of playing 3 handed tommy finally knocked out the guy in 3rd to take us heads up....we played it out for a while and eventually got in a 50-50 situation for stacks and i luckily won the flip. We were both winners and i got rewaded with this.......

After doing the math i took 46k and i could feel the huge weight on my shoulder instantly easing off! As most people know i am a staked player and i have been losing since the wsop in june. My confidence had been low and i feel asif i wasnt playing my A game. I tried everything to get myself back on track and i found some great inspiration from people like Moorman, Pab, Tommy, James and Middy who told me to just stay positive and put in the volume. I thank all these guys for there help

It came at the prefect time and it just makes me hungrier to win more. With the roadtrip only a matter of days away now and the Venetian deepstack festival to look forward to i am seriously excited for the following months.

The goal now is to back this up and prove to people that i am not a 1 hit wonder....

All in all one of the best weeks of my life :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coast to Coast! (nearlly)

Last week i was super excited about the $2-$5 game at the casino in Niagara, unfortunately i havent been able to make it down there as i have been really busy in Toronto and quite lazy. I played in the $1-$2 game last week and lost 2 buyins getting it in great, but variance got the better of me! Managed to get my money in with J(s)8(s) vs KK on a board of TT(s)9(s)4(s) and the river came a T for just over $500. I also get it in with AK vs AQ on a KT7 board for just over $500 again and the guy somehow hero calls with a gutshot claiming he has "tons of outs" before the hands were turned over! nice read matey ;)....the turn was a J sending me packing but i played very well so i can't complain.

I have decided to take a little break from online poker until i get to vegas on the 31st of october just playing sundays and the odd day from time to time. My main focus will be on live poker over the next 2 weeks as me and Tommy are moving to Niagara Falls. Our tenancy is over on our sublet so we might aswell grind hard at the casino as a warm-up for the venetian festival in november.

Lately me and my girlfriend have become obsessed with finding new foods which i am really enjoying! We spent 40 minutes driving around downtown toronto at 10pm looking for a special type of vietnamese soup called Pho(below), its a huge broth with noodles, meatballs, brisk, bamboo shoots and types of herbs that you add yourself. It was one of the best dishes i have had in a long time and i think i am going to make it a regular addition to my menu. Next on the list is ethiopian food......any suggestions?

Like i previously mentioned we will be heading to Las Vegas for the 31st of October. Initially me and Tommy were going to fly directly there and meet my friend Dave Jones (leknave) but the plans have changed. Basically i am really frustrated with poker and i dont want to step into a huge poker festival with a bad frame of mind so we have decided to plan a road trip.

This is our route:
Original Destination:New Destination

Toronto:Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls:New York City
New York City:Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh:Smokey Mountains
Smokey Mountains:Nashville
Arizona:Las Vegas
For the trip we have decided to rent a Chevrolet Uplander which seats 7 people, were leaving Niagara on the 17th and arriving in vegas on the 31st. I am super excited for this! We have plans for each location but if anyone has any recomendations then let me know and i will be very grateful. Looking forward to NYC becasue were staying for 3 nights and going to a Jets game (NFL).

This trip should put all 3 of us in a great frame of mind before hitting up the venetian deepstack festival. I am a true beleiver in enjoying yourself while you can so opportunities like this i just cannot pass up on!

One final shout out to James akenhead and praz who are both super deep in the wsope. gl to both of them.......VAMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rome wasn't built in a day

Saturday nights UFC arrived and it definetly lived up to my expectations. I was glad to see Paul Daley stepping up and putting in a shock victory against Martin Kampmann, goooo semtex! Junior Dos Santos proved he can fight with the best but i think its time for cro-cop to retire, whereas Rich Franklin showed us that he is always going to be a second tier fighter now that hes lost his chin. All in all an excellent card and i cant wait until next months ufc 104 where Machida's going to put shogun in the ground! Oh i also crushed my friend Benj in the ufc fantasy league this card so im very happy with that!

The final day of the wcoop arrived and being a sunday i played about 25 tournaments. I only had one really deep run in the party $215 where i finished 92nd out of 1403 for a disapointing $480 after getting in a flip to be 10/92. As i shut down my computer on sunday evening i started to think about the general direction i wanted my poker career to go. Do i want to play live? online? cash games? tournaments?....all these questions were bouncing round inside my head and i decided that in actual fact i want to do everything. I have come to the point in my career where i am learning alot about the game and i feel that to become the most well-rounded player possible i should be mixing it up as much as i can. Not only will this keep it fresh but it will also help me with my tournament game if i learn how to play more profitably down the streets.

Monday i managed do drag myself out of bed around 12.00 and arranged to go and see B's nona and nono (italian for nan and grandad). After visiting them i jumped back in the car and decided i wanted to go and play some live poker to build my own bankroll and generally lift my confidence a little as i have been losing quite alot lately. Being staked to play tournaments is hard on you from time to time as you only make money when you clear your make-up. You can go literally months without making anything so its essential that there are other ways available to earn cash when times are tough.

I hopped on the China bus to Niagara falls at 6.pm and was sat in a $1-$2 NL game by 8.pm. The game was pretty slow but the standard was terrible and i played all the way through until 7am churning out a huge profit of $25. I was'nt feeling to bad because i was losing $400 at one point after getting set over setted and fading 15 outs twice for 2 pots that were $500 a piece. At that moment in time i had missed all the buses back to Toronto and i didnt like the idea of playing right through the day so i went and got a room with a guy who had been on my table all night and he didnt seem like he would try and rape me in my sleep. We went to the Days Inn and got a room for $50 and squeezed in 5 hours of sleep before getting kicked out of the room just after 12.

With my ass in tact and feeling fresh i decided to have a shot at the $2-$5 NL game at the newer casino as i heard that the standard was even worse than the $1-$2 that i had been playing the previous night. The max buyin for this game is $300 so everyone starts very shallow meaning that its quite a high variance game. I started off by losing 2 buyins immediatly! There was a crazy guy named Frank at the table who was drinking martinis at 1pm making it $55 blind every other hand and from time to time he would play his whole hand blind....he had over 3k in front of him and he said he was staying all day so i just COULDN'T leave this game. $600 down already after losing AQ vs the maniacs KT and KJ vs his A5 i was starting to get pretty pissed off with everything. I took a 10 minute break and was ready to go kick this guys ass.

In a game where a guys making it $55 blind utg and getting peelers who are folding to bets of $200 preflop i just felt this game was amazing value! I am not rolled to play this game but i decided i would have 2 more buyins to take a shot at this guy. By now theres alot of outside interest in the table and the crazy chineese are all sitting down moving in blind from time to time trying to figure out who has the biggest penis. In actual fact it was me who had the biggest penis on this day! I spun my $300 up to $1100 basically getting gifted the money by frank and at this point i could tell he wanted my head on a plate.

Frank opens to $45 utg bling and i look down at AA, i make it $165 everyone folds apart from Frank who calls blind. The flop is J92 with 2 spades. He now decides he wants to move all-in. The pot is $337 and he has shoved for $900 effective and vs this guy i think i can NEVER fold. so i call and he tables 99! right now i want to jump off a bridge but the dealer looks up at me with a twinkle in his eye and places an A on the turn and another A on the river to send Frank into a state of pure rage! Finally i had abit of run good.... now sitting on roughly $2200 i would usually want to leave quite soon but with the maniac on the table with over 2k infront of him i was in 2 minds. Do these situations arise alot? Can i afford to pass up on this opportunity? Is this to much money for me to lose? I decided to stay.

I managed to run my stack up to $2500 before deciding i wanted to leave as Frank was slowing down and B was headed to meet me with her friend Jen. I left the game at 8pm and met those guys at the bus terminal. I had been playing poker now for 24 hours with a 5 hour rest period so i was getting quite fatigued but i was buzzing about this new $2-$5 game i had found! Apparantly the game is like that every day and Frank is a reg!!!!

I took the girls to go play $1-$2 and we all sat around having drinks and having fun. All 3 of us were winners in the game. I made $500, B made $250 and jen made $50 which really topped off a great day of poker for me. Around 40 hours after i left to visit B's grandparents i stepped into my apartment and crashed out in literally 5 minutes fully clothed with my shoes on!

On reflection i have decided that i need to look at the long term picture. In the past i have been trying hard to get a $50k score when in reality all i need to do is regularly beat games and in time i will do very well. Playing live should be a regular part of my life and i think i will be re-visiting the $2-$5 game alot more often. There wasn't one good player at my table and if those guys are the regs i will gladly sacrifice a year of my life to that game!

Like they say "Rome wasn't built in a day"!