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 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 :)