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 and was sat in a $1-$2 NL game by 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"!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A little about me

When moving from Southend-On-Sea to study in Brighton in 2005 I had never played a hand of poker in my life. It all started with the casual home game in our halls of residence moving rather quickly onto the local casino for the £5 rebuy tournaments and the occasional shot at the £10 rebuy if the student loan had come through. I quickly developed a good understanding of how to exploit weak opponents and over time i got myself out of debt. I spent the summer of 2006 in canada with my girlfriend Barbara grinding out a job in construction with her uncle while playing live cash at the casino in Niagra. I spent 2 years grinding live poker and taking the occasional shot at bigger buyin tournaments when the festivals came along until i met James Dempsey.

James (MKKMOO/the norse horse) and i became friends and he started to stake me in live tournaments which removed all the pressure as i had no financial liability anymore. We spoke abit about strategy over the next year or so which i had never done with anyone else and i was starting to crush live tournies. I cashed for over £50k in festival events between 2006-2008 and my eyes were open as to how much money there was to be made. I would hang out with James and he would be playing online crushing tournaments for tens of thousands of USD every week so i opted to take a shot at becoming an online grinder thus creating the screen name of Cod Meharly.

The reality of Poker really hit me when i tried to make the transition from live to online. Playing a pure game with no people infront of you is a completely different ball game! I struggled for a year or so losing online but winning live then i started meeting other poker players and interacting. Over 2008 i met a group of guys now named the "shrewdies" (leknave, theclaimer, rookieitb, chiprich, horneris, hitthehole, deucebabydeuce) and we would stay up all hours of the night grinding online and talking poker. This really helped me with understanding the fundamentals of poker and i felt ready for a shot at the wsop in 2009 (see shrewdies thread on blonde poker for a full breakdown).

So after a terrible wsop and a bad run online i have gone back to the drawing board. I made friends with some amazing poker players over this summer (moorman and pab) and they have really helped me with my game. Im on the biggest downswing of my life and i feel asif i started to play badly. Being on the road and continuously moving around has definetly not helped me focus but i am realistic and i know that i have a lot to learn if i wanna crush the biggest and best games out there.

Currently in Toronto with my girlfriend i am heading back to vegas on the 16th of october with tom cunningham and dave jones for the venetian deepstack festival. We are planning on taking just over 2 weeks to drive it stopping off in NewYork, Memphis, Collorado and a few other places. From now until then i will be grinding online and playing live cash games at niagra falls with the focus on really playing my A game. I have improved so much over the past 6 months and i have ran so deep in so many tournaments where the winner is rolling in mad dimes! I heard people complain about running bad for a few months and i never beleived them but i have definetly changed my views on the matter now. A positive attitude, great players around me and an insane work ethic should enable me to reach the top and im gna give it my best shot. I hope a few people enjoy reading about my journey on and off the felt.