Monday, April 30, 2007


What a strange, mixed up world we live in. In one week everything we have come to accept as normal, as just the way things are, is turned on its head.

BurnleyMik and Zagga made the final table of Britbloggerment6. In fact, Zagga did more than make the final table. He cashed. He finished second. My faith is shattered.

Neither of them won of course. That honour went to Spid. His previous lowly finishes of 9th, 12th and 10th fade into the distance. His previous best of 4th wiped away. Victory to the Spid!

Back down the field, Kat responded to BurnleyMik's jibe about early exits, by outlasting nearly everyone and finishing 3rd, and regular high finisher The Cloud was tonight's bubble boy. Unlucky mate.

And me? I finished 6th. Back to the final table after last weeks aberration, but still no cash.

Doing the walk of shame this week was Rosie, who was quick to post the monkey on her blog.

New this week was another Lancashire lad, Bullmeister, from Nelson. We just need to find some players from Accrington and Colne and we've got the M65 corridor covered. Bullmeister made a promising start, before going out in 13th place.

High flyer Al Eleven wasn't here this week, and so surrenders his place at the top of the leaderboard to The Cloud! Consistent high finishes get their reward on the lofty heights of my league table. Bet he'd prefer the cash though!

Here's the top of the table:

1. The_Cloud71
2= Stephenrhall (still not cashed)
ResdentEvil (Final table every time he enters)
4. Al Eleven (down 3 after not playing)
5. PokerMunk3y (no move here)

A new feature tonight was the second chance tournament at half past 10. Not many takers for this,just 7 of us, but it was a fun game, and I came second! Firt was that model of consistency ResdentEvil, 3rd was Rosie and Zagga (Acorn) finished 4th after sitting out long periods of time whilst he was concentrating on the main event. If we have a second chance next week, how about a different game, maybe HORSE?

Same time, same place next week everyone, and thanks for a fun evening once again.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

BurnleyMik's MTT Challenge

BurnleyMik issued a challenge, to join him in an MTT on Pokerstars last night. Four of us joined him in the $8 MTT at 9 o'clock. Cadmunkey, The Cloud, Pokermunk3y and myself.

Over 1000 entries, with $1800 for first place. Play commenced with all of us in high spirits. Tight play prevailed amongst us whilst we let the donkeys do what donkeys do. Players fell away rapidly, whilst we all sat tight, comparing notes on the incredible cards people were playing.

I was occasionally dealt some premium hands, but in the early stages of a tourney like this there is no way I was going to slow-play, because I was bound to be beaten by a runner runner flush! Given decent cards I raised preflop, and stole the blinds.

Eventually though, I was dealt cards that I couldn't ignore. 7 2 off suit. With such mighty cards, I limped in, and was rewarded by a flop of 788. This was such a clear invitation I went all-in and got one caller. The mighty hammer prevailed and I doubled up.

That was really the last of the good news for me. With a lack of cards, and idiots doubling up with crap all around me, I limped along until, with the blinds becoming increasingly painful, and now over half the players out, I pushed with KK. I got one caller who showed......

A 7 off suit.

Of course, this being Pokerstars he hit the ace on the river, and I was out.

The rest of the guys continued to play solidly, and all made it into the money. With all of them having an M of 3 or less, they had to push, and the luck wasn't with them. Congratulations to The Cloud for the highest finish in 62nd place. Next was PokerMunk3y in 71st, BurnleyMik 85th, and Cadmunkey 112th. I was back down in 318th :(

Don't forget Britbloggerment 6, 9pm on Pokerstars. Password donkament. Be there or be something with four equal length sides at 90 degrees to each other.


My wife is still in hospital. She's had an MRI scan of our back, and they have suddenly reversed all previous advice. At the beginning of the week she was given a pair of crutches and told she needed to get moving. Bed baths were given resentfully, as if she was mallingering. Yesterday when they got the results of the scan they took the crutches away and told her she mustn't get out of bed in case she paralyses herself!

From what I can gather, she has a slipped disk which is compressing the spinal cord. However, that may be wrong, as getting information out of doctors is a nightmare, not helped by the fact that my wife is stoned most of the time due to taking morphine for the pain. There's never a doctor around for me to speak to when I visit, they don't give my wife enough information, and she's too ill to press them on it.

On a positive note, she doesn't appear to have MS. Now we just have to wait for a bed to appear at Preston Hospital. She is being transferred there to be looked at by a neurology specialist.
Hopefully we will know more when she gets there, but nothing tends to happen over the weekend, so I think it will be Monday at the earliest when she transfers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Patientline Ripoff Part 2

I had to phone into the hospital to speak to my wife using the Patientline system. I was horrified to find that there is a full minute of recorded messages before they even put the call through to the bed, to maximise the amount of money they gouge you for.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

BritBloggerment5 - Lets go round again

Congratulations to Quixote8, who took victory tonight. The rest of the money places taken by pokerdwarf and simonjj, both first timers - well done gentlemen.

An incredibly tight start to the game, with everyone hanging on in for an hour, but once BurnleyMik showed us all the way, we quickly started falling by the wayside. The man at the top of the leaderboard, Al Eleven, was next, followed by another high fligher, the_cloud71. Yours truly was next, failing to make the final table for the first time.

The leaderboard now looks like this:

1st Al Eleven (still there despite the early exit)
2nd ResdentEvil (up one place as those around him fail to score)
3rd Stephenrhall (no points tonight but I'll be back!)
4th The_cloud71 (down one place, no points tonight)
5th Pokermunk3y (no move tonight)
6th Cadmunkey (moves clear of Lightning36)

Patientline Ripoff

My wife is currently "enjoying" and extended stay in the shiny new Royal Blackburn Hospital, and, I must say, the building is nice, the wards are clean, and the staff are pleasant and professional. The one fly in the ointment is Patientline. As I am sure most people are aware, Patientline provide TV, internet and telephones at each bed, for a fee. The TV and internet package isn't too outrageously priced, but the telephone costs are absolutely horrendous, and their recent increase in call charges has been well publicised.

Anyway, as my wife is probably going to be in for a while, we subscribed to the TV and internet pack. She can browse the web, use Gmail, and watch CBeebies if she so desires. However, when she tried to access Microsoft's web based instant messenger client (as opposed to the downloaded program you have to install) she got a message saying that access to this page was blocked as it "contained material some people find offensive". OK, an over-enthusiastic web filter, so we move on to Google Talk. Same message. Meebo, which offers clients for multiple IM systems. Same message. Every site we tried which would provide any form of "instant" communication with the outside world was blocked as if it contained hardcore porn.

The only people that would find those websites offensive is the people at Patientline, because they provide a way of patients communicating with the outside world without paying their ridiculous phone charges. They haven't had the nerve to block web-based email, but I bet they thought about it!

Hairy Gymnast

Cloud is currently the number 2 site on Google for searches for Hairy Gymnast. He wants to be number one, so here is a link to his post about Hairy Gymnast.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Do any of you find that there is a balance to be found in the level at which you buy into tournaments - to low and you get busted out by donkeys calling with anything sooooted, and too high the quality of players is too good? I've just moved up a level in SNG buy-in, and cruised through it to take 1st place, where at the lower levels the bad beats were horrific. Of course I may be making too much of one result. It just seemed that I could read the other players better, because they knew what they were doing!

EDIT: is there also an optimum level of alhohol? Maybe this is a question for Al Can't Hang ;) A bottle of merlot went down very nicely in the course of this evening's play

Friday, April 20, 2007

Go straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect £200

I played a few cheap sit'n'goes on Pokerstars yesterday, and performed pretty well in all of them, but didn't win any. Thoughout the session I was haunted my runner-runner straights. I would have something fairly strong, you know, a pair of aces or a pair of kings? Completely non-threatening flops, my all-in called by some idiot with J-7, then 9-T on turn and river to go with the 8 on the flop. What are these guys on?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

BritBloggerment 4 - the view from my seat

Here it is, a little late, but I've been busy.

19 people signed up, which was a relief, because two hours before the start there was only 6 of us. As we took our seats, immediately there was something wrong. Not only was BurnleyMik not two seats to my left, he wasn't even on the same table! However, sitting immediately to my left was Al Eleven, multiple winner, and a man with a bounty on his head from BurnleyMik and Acorn.

Early on we had a flop of 2 7 7, but nobody had the hammer that time. Play was tight, with few showdowns. Al Eleven took the early chiplead on our table, but nothing significant. Over on another table Katitude took the wooden spoon, busting out first, and we were down to two full tables. This brought Rosie to our table, who was in an unusually good mood, with far fewer threats of violence than normal. She brought with her far too many chips, having taken most of Kat's before she busted out. Also joining us was The Cloud, who hadn't shown up.

The dealer wasn't being particularly kind to me, so I folded a lot, and set out to steal when I could, raising with such hot cards as KJo. There ws a moment of excitement as Spid went all in on a flop of 2 3 K, and was called by Rosie. The excitement was short lived as they both turned over QK and split the pot.

Next to depart on our table was countryk. Short stacked, he put all his 520 in pre-flop and had one caller in ResdentEvil. Countryk's 99 looked distinctly second best against ResdentEvil's KK, and a flop of 4T2 didn't do much to help. However, a 9 on the turn changed things, but a King on the river gave ResdentEvil the chips.

Acorn followed shortly after. He went down in two stages. Firstly, he raised pre-flop, and was called by Rosie. A flop of 3 Q 9 rainbow and Rosie checks. unfortunately for Acorn its a check-raise. Acorn raises 400, and Rosie using her big stack to her advantage, goes over the top with a raise that would put Acorn all-in if he calls. He folds, and Rosie mucks. Acorn calls her a big stack bully, and Rosie claims to have had tptk. Acorn had a pair of sevens. The next hand Acorn is the BB, and Rosie is the only limper. Flop is 569 rainbow, and they both check. A ten on the turn and Rosie raises 500. Acorn puts his last 695 chips in and Rosie calls. Acorn turns over 4 T, for a pair, and Rosie shows that she was slow-playing a flopped straight with 7 8. Acorn is drawing dead, and a 4 on the river for two pair is useless.

It was about this point that BurnleyMik was knocked out, and he came over to see if his bounty on Al Eleven was tempting anyone.

Cadmunkey was next to feel the Rotweiller's teeth, as his 66 was crushed beneath Rosie's cowboys, and Rosie had twice as many chips as anyone else on the table.

Cloud was eventually blinded out, finishing in a credible 10th place, and we were down to the final table.

Chip Count:

Seat 1: PokerMunk3y (5760 in chips)
Seat 2: mikesaban (1440 in chips)
Seat 3: Spid (1188 in chips)
Seat 4: lousaban (2620 in chips)
Seat 5: ResdentEvil (2450 in chips)
Seat 6: Rosie_m_t (5902 in chips)
Seat 7: SirFortune (4370 in chips
Seat 8: stephenrhall (2675 in chips)
Seat 9: Al Eleven (2095 in chips)

The arrival of PokerMunk3y and SirFortune with their big stacks wasn't good news, and Rosie still hand the chip lead. We were also joined by married couple lousaban and mikesaban. Mike appeared to be getting pushed around horribly by his good lady.

Things were fairly quiet for a while, with no one taking any risks. Eventually Spid pushed all-in preflop, and was called by ResdentEvil. A 4 for Spid, against A T. With his usual keen observation, BurnleyMik stated "u are going to win this spid...." A ten on the flop begged to differ, and Spid was out.

Al Eleven momentarily took himself out of my reach, taking down a big pot against lousaban, but KK on the next hand gave me the opportunity to overtake him again. Shortly afterwards Mike goes out, his pair of tens beaten by ResdentEvil's AK, with the help of an ace on the flop.

On hand 138, Al Eleven finally gets to drop the hammer. Unfortunately for me I'm on the receiving end, as Al's raise of 1400 was too rich for me and I folded.

Lousaban looked to be struggling, but she doubled up courtesy of Pokermunk3y, but he soon gets most of the chips back, courtesy of Al Eleven, who having raised 1000, folded to Pokermunk3y's reraise.

Next hand I'm dealt KK. Having been bitten too many times recently slow playing kings, I go all-in. Just the one caller. Al Eleven. If I lose I'm down to 400 chips. I win and I'm $15 bounty better off. Thoughts of the $15 evaporated as Al showed Aces. A flop of Kc Qs 6c brings it right back again. 8c on the turn gives Al a lot more outs, as he's now on a flush draw. 4h on the river and the champion has gone. 6 left.

Rosie then claims another victim, as Lousaban bites the dust. I then donk off a load of chips by hanging on to AJo too long. The biter is then bit, as Rosie goes out, with AT up against SirFortunes KK.

Bubble Time.

I somehow managed to become the short stack. Taking the initiative, I push with anything half decent, and everyone folds. Al Eleven decides to encourage a few callers, by placing a $10 bounty on my head. Al says that he's rubbing my icon for luck for next week. As it's a picture of a sheep, the obvious conversation takes place, with discussion including wellingtons and cliff-tops. I continue to push, and people continue to fold. However, it can't last. Eventually my K4h is called by SirFortune. A king on the flop would be nice, if he didn't happen to have AK! No fours and not enough hearts and I'm the bubble boy. My highest finish yet, but still no cash. Consistency is all very well, but you don't win anything for it unless your're consistently top 3 in this tourney.

After that it all wrapped up very quickly. ResdentEvil finished 3rd, and SirFortune won the heads-up battle against PokerMunk3y to take the title.

According to my figures, Al Eleven, despite his earlier than normal exit, is still the top player in this tournament. My consistency puts me second, but if it was on cash winnings, I'd be down the bottom.

Thanks to everyone who made it a great night. See you all next week.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Britbloggerment 4 results

Another Sunday night game over, and a new champion, as SirFortune takes first place. I bubbled out, but made a profit as Acorn and BurnleyMik put a bounty on the head of AlEleven.

PokerStars Tournament #47354387, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $5.00/$0.50
19 players

Total Prize Pool: $95.00
Tournament started - 2007/04/15 - 16:00:00 (ET)
Tournament finished - 2007/04/15 - 18:04:15 (ET)
1: SirFortune (Aberdare), $47.50 (50%)
2: PokerMunk3y (Bradford), $28.50 (30%)
3: ResdentEvil (glasgow), $19.00 (20%)
4: stephenrhall (Blackburn)
5: Rosie_m_t (Bristol)
6: lousaban (worksop)
7: Al Eleven (Miami)
8: mikesaban (Worksop)
9: Spid (Timperley)
10: the_cloud71 (Hertfordshire)
11: cadmunkey (Huddersfield)
12: BurnleyMik (Burnley)
13: LepRecon777 (cork)
14: zagga (East Kilbride)
15: Quixote8 (London)
16: countryk (Norcross)
17: wadhead (chesterfield)
18: TanOrpheus (Jersey)
19: Katitude (Toronto)

I've put together a rough league table for the 4 events so far, based upon giving points to everyone who makes it to the final table, 9 for 1st, 8 for second etc.

1: Al Eleven
2: stephenrhall
3: the_cloud71 / ResdentEvil
5: Pokermunk3y
6: Lightning36 / cadmunkey

Of course a table based upon prize money would look totally different, as only the first 3 places have paid.

More later when I have time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

All is Quiet

I don't know if its because lots of people have gone on holiday over the Easter period, but the blogs I regularly read seem very quiet at the moment. There seems to be far fewer posts than I would normally expect.

Quest for results goes mad

A school in Darlington has barred a girl from the netball team and the school prom because her parents have decided she shouldn't attend extra study lessons. She has got decent GCSE results, and her parents feel there is no need for the extra pressure.

It seems to me the parents have a pretty good grasp of a work-life balance, and the school is sulking because potentially they don't get quite as good results for the league tables. I would probably do exactly the same in the parents' place.

Are you Stoopid? says I'm 29% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!


Don't forget the 4th Britbloggerment on Sunday!

(thanks to Cloud for the pic!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Luck is Transient

Played a single table SNG on 'stars last night - only a 3$ turbo, but they're fun. Second hand in and FDHS100 goes all-in preflop. At this stage this is either a stone cold bluff, or he's got Kings or Aces. My money is on Kings, or rather it isn't and a I fold. He gets a caller across the table in the shape of KenT46. The cards are turned over - I was right about the kings. Ken shows AQc. A ragged rainbow flop, followed by a 10, then Ken spikes an Ace on the river.

A few hands later and Ken is at it again. Ace5274 goes all in on a flop of Q J 6, and Ken calls. Ace5274 shows a pair of Kings. Ken has called with K 10 off suit. An ace on the river and Ken catches his straight! Now he has over 3500 in chips.

I concentrate on steadily building my stack, winning a few hands without showdowns, and working my way up to 2500. Then once again, we have all-in. The short stack pushes with K9. Not the greatest hand, but when your M is less than 4 you've got to try to make things happen. Of course Ken calls him - with Q 9 soooted. Once again the river is good to him and he catches his queen.

It can't last, and it doesn't. Ken calls small raises all the way down to the river, on a board of As Kc 3s 6d Td, and shows Qs 8s. Chasing a flush draw which never happens, and he loses to a pair of Kings. If he'd re-raised the raise on the flop, the other guy probably would have folded, but his passivity cost him a lot of chips. On the next hand however, Lady Luck has now returned from the bar with her drink and is once again on his shoulder. At least this time he had decent starting cards, as his AK makes a straight on the river, taking out the other guy's flopped top pair.

I hadn't won a hand for a while, and my chips were dribbling away. Blinds are up to 100/200, with antes of 25,and we're on the bubble. Dealt Qh Kh, I push. Ken, who is once again the big stack, calls of course, and turns over a pair of 8s. A flop of T K 6 rainbow puts me in front, and for once Ken gets no help on the river, and I double up at his expense. On the next hand it's checked all the way to the river, and Ken wins the pot with 8 2c, thanks to an 8 on the river!

The blinds are getting painful now, and I need to keep taking chips. I bluff my way to a big pot with a flop of three clubs, raising big without a club in my hand. Fortunately everyone folded.

Ken gets a taste of his own medicine when with two pair he puts the short stack all-in, and they catch a flush on the river. He then goes out on the very next hand, as, going all-in preflop with AQ off, he is called by a guy with T 7 off suit! A ten on the flop follwed by another on the turn and Ken goes out on the bubble to a dreadful call - what goes around comes around!

Monday, April 09, 2007

5th Again

The third running of the Britbloggament took place on Pokerstars last night. Only 13 people this week, but it was Easter Sunday. One new face this week was Suffolk Punch, recently returned from reporting on the EPT final in Monte Carlo on the Pokerstars blog. He was seated on my left, and very unreasonably wouldn't fold when he was supposed to. To his left was BurnleyMik, so once again I was on the button for his big blind. I think he's getting a bit of a complex about me stealing his blinds. I started fairly badly, but I did get the chance to drop the hammer. In the SB, it was folded to me, I raised, and Suffolk Punch folded. The very next hand there it was again, 7d 2h. This time I was on the button. I raised 3xBB, but Suffolk Punch hadn't read the script, and called. A flop of Ks Js 7c gave me bottom pair. He checked, I raised again and once again Suffolk Punch called. The Ace of hearts on the turn gave me pause for thought. He'd already called two raises, and I wasn't prepared to push the luck of the hammer too far. He checked, and I checked behind him. Ten of spades on the river and he bet 160. I called, and he showed a straight. I'm now the short stack.

I lost more ground when I raised pre-flop with JJ, with calls from Sookraboaby and BurnleyMik. The flop is 3d Ks As, and Sookreaboaby is all-in. I fold, Mik calls, and Sookraboaby's A Q beats Miks A 10, as both flop a pair of aces.

Shortly afterwards, Acorn busted out, as his pair of 8s went down to Al Elevens flush.

Down to 695, and next hand I get a monster in the SB - 3h 4h! It's folded round and I call the BB (Suffolk Punch). He checks, and the flop is 5h Jh 10d. I bet 150 and Suffolk Punch calls. Ac on the turn and Suffolk Punch bets 200. With not many chips left I go all in, he folds and I'm back in the game.

Next hand it's BurnleyMiks BB, so I steal it ;)

Mik is now the short stack, down to 870, blinds now 25/50. On my next BB I have AKs, Mik raises 100, and I reraise up to 400. Mik calls. flop is Kh Jd 7d. I raise 500, and Mik folds. Its just after this that, in the SB and not paying attention, I click autofold, not noticing that TanOrpheus, who hasn't turned up, is to my left in the BB. Everyone folds and he wins the hand!

Miks BB again. I've got A7d. I raise 100. Mik says "no way I can fold" and goes all in. I call, and Mik shows 2h 7h. He's hoping the hammer will save him, but he's made a fatal mistake - it soooted. 3 fours on the flop, followed by a king and a seven, and Mik's out.

TanOrpheus, despite not being there, is playing well and makes it to the first break!

On to the final table, and Quixote8 is the first to fall, his K J falling to Al Eleven's pocket rockets. In the War of The Roses, I tried to bust PokerMunk3y, calling his all-in with my QK, He showed A10. No improvement and my stack takes a big hit.

With a pair of 5s loooking up at me, I push, Lightning36 calls and PokerMunk3y raises him and goes all in. Lightning36 calls. A 5 on the flop gives me a set, PokerMunk3y has pocket aces, whilst Lightning36 just has A10.

Both Cadmunkey and Sookraboaby out next, AK and AJ respectively falling to Al Eleven's A10, with a 10 on the flop.

Cloud has been down to just over 600 in chips, but some aggressive raising sees him claw his way back up to 1400. Meanwhile, SuffolkPunch pushes with AJ and gets a caller in Lightning36, with A10. Flop is A4Q, but Lightning36 spikes a 10 on the river, and SuffolkPunch is out. Down to five, and I'm now the short stack.

Seat 3: lightning36 (7058 in chips)
Seat 5: PokerMunk3y (2317 in chips)
Seat 6: the_cloud71 (1915 in chips)
Seat 7: Me (1530 in chips)
Seat 8: Al Eleven (6680 in chips)

Holding 77, I go all-in following PokerMunk3y's mini-raise. He calls with A9 off suit, and flops a 9. Nothing for me, and I'm out in 5th place for 2nd time in 3 weeks.

Lightning36 is the bubble boy, and Pokermunk3y takes the third place money. Unlucky Cloud fell in second place again, with Al Eleven, having entered two tournaments, wins them both.

Back again next Sunday, 9pm BST, 4pm ET on Pokerstars, password donkament. I'm there, are you? Al Eleven has already registered to defend his title, and Acorn and BurnleyMik are determined to improve!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The luck was with me...

Just played a turbo SNG on 'Stars. First 4 places were paid, and there were 5 of us left. Blinds are up to 400/800, antes 50, and I have only 912 chips left.

I'm in the small blind, BB has over 10000 chips I'm dealt Qd 8d. Its folded round to me, and I push. BB calls, and shows 6d 5s. Well, at least I was ahead at this stage. Flop is Tc Kh 9c. Still ahead. Turn is 7d, giving him a gutshot straw, so he now had 10 outs. The river is a Queen, and I double up.

Two handslater and I'm on the button with Ad 10s, and once again I push all-in. BB calls, rest fold. BB turns over A7c. Once again I'm just ahead. I start to swear as a 7 appears on the flop, a king on the turn and then the miracle 10 on the river, and I'm up to 4398.

Next time round I'm posting the BB, and everyone folds to me. another 500 chips to me. Another player eliminated and the bubble bursts. Blinds move up to 600/1200. No time to relax. 2 2 and I push, everyone folds, and I steal the blinds. On the next hand the short stack is busted, so three left. Third place is decided on the next hand, with AJ up against A2. No help for anyone, and another one busted. Amazingly I've made it to heads-up, but I am up against it - 5698 chips on my stack, 21302 on his. A 10 suited sees me all in again. He calls with K7 suited. A 10 on the flop and I double up once more, but still behind.

A few hands of raising and folding on both sides, when along comes K 10. He raises one BB and I push. He calls with A 6 suited. Once again the flop helps me and suddenly I have the lead. 22642 against 4538. He starts to raise every hand, and with no decent cards, I am content to fold and wait. After a few hands I see K 4 suited, and decide to re-raise. He calls. A ragged multi-coloured flop and I decide to see if he's serious. I push and he folds.

Two hands later it's all over. Holding A J I raise from the SB, he re-raises and I raise right back at him. He's pot committed and goes all in. Amazingly he only had 2 4 off. Nothing for him, and a Jack on the river gives me the chips.


I probably didn't play the best cards of my life, but I won the coin flips, and applying the pressure at the end got me there. Turbo's certainly concentrate the mind on the effect of the blinds - you can't afford to be passive or you're gone.

Goodbye Tony G

I pulled my bankroll off Tony G Poker this week. I went there in the first place because of a great sign-up bonus of $75 though Pokerworks.

There is nothing wrong with the site - the client works fine, there's a good selection of games at various buy-ins. There is just one problem - There's nobody there!

It was OK until they pulled out of the States. I could always get onto a nearly full table at the level I wanted. Now, at the times I play, it is deserted. I think there were about 10 players on the whole site the last time I looked. I don't know what the population is like at other times - maybe there's plenty of Australian and Asian players - but there doesn't seem to be much of a European population, and of course there are now no Americans at all.

Monday, April 02, 2007

EMI and iTunes go DRM Free

EMI have announced that they will make music downloads available without DRM restrictions. This will be done via Apple's iTunes. This is a major change of direction for a record company, and it also marks a change for Apple which, for the first time, will be selling music at different prices. The DRM free tracks will be selling for 99p, rather than the 79p the DRM encumbered music sells at. It will also be at a higher quality, 256kbps raither than the usual 128. There is also an option to upgrade previously purchased music

BritBloggerment 2 - Rosies Return!

Last night saw the second running of the British Bloggers Tournament. With another decent field of 19, we were honoured by the illustrious company of our fellow bloggers from across the pond, AlCantHang and Katitude, who both played last week, and new for this week, Mookie99. Unfortunately Kat was still out on extended celebrations of her birthday, and only made it back a few minutes after her stack was blinded away. She did finish ahead of both AlCantHang and Mookie99 though!

Rosie was back to exact her revenge on me following last week, but fortunately for me we were on different tables, Rosie sharing the table with the big names from North America.

We started 6 handed, and with me getting no cards worth playing, the blinds seemed to be coming round far too fast. I didn't see a flop until the 11th hand, and that only because I was in the big blind and nobody raised pre-flop. It wasn't until the 19th hand that I actually reached a showdown, when I limped in with QJo. Flop was Kh Th 8s and everyone checked. Jc on the turn and I made a small raise. Lzfsb3 called. Was he on a flush draw? Kings? Qh on the river and wary of the flush, I check. Lzfsb3 checks behind me and shows a measily pair of 8s, and I take the pot with 2 pairs.

After some departures one table closed, and BurnleyMik came to join us. The play continued to be tight, with only Quixote8 making any headway at this stage. Over on the other table TanOrpheus was crushing all opposition. With Miks arrival, talk started to move to football, which I quickly headed off, with a Leeds fan on the table, and Preston's defeat on Friday night, I didn't want to get into that discussion!

A few hands later I found myself looking at down at Ad Js. Blinds are 25/50. It's folded round to me and I raise 2BB. Another fold and BurnleyMik in the BB calls. Flop is 3 4 6 rainbow. I bet 200 and after a pause, Mik calls.Turn is another 3. Mik checks and I check behind him. An 8 on the river and Mik raises 900, which would put me all in. Something didn't feel right. After a long pause, I listened to my instincts and decided he was bluffing. I called, and Mik showed KQ, and I double up.

On the next hand Neil Ross goes all in with his 660 chips. BurnleyMik calls, but then SirFortune goes over the top with his 1565. Mik throws in the towel, and says he had 33. SirFortune shows Ac Qh, and Neil has 8 9c. The flop is then 6 8 3 rainbow. Whilst Mik regrets his fold, a 2 and a 10 help nobody, and Neil takes the pot with a pair of 8s.

Quixote8 was to take a big hit later, as going all in with AA, he was called by Cloud with A9s. Quixote8 flopped a set, but two spades spelt danger, and 2s on the river gave Cloud a flush and make Quixote8 the short stack. Quixote8 went a bit quiet after that, but Rosie popped up to say that she was just helping him with the death threats!

Shortly afterwards, Cloud and I split a pot with AQ, and then I busted Neil with AK. His A 10 didn't improve and my King won me the pot.

The other table closed, and unfortunately TanOrpheus, sitting on a monster stack moved into the seat to my left, and proceeded to wield that stack, bullying me off a few pots.

Things started to go down hill for me when BurnleyMik announced to the table he was going all in pre-flop. Dealt a pair of sixes, I called him, and Mik turned over a pair of nines. Nothing for me, and my stack is halved.

Short stacked, I called Acorn's raise and went all-in with QK. A queen on the turn was no use, as Acorn had AA, and I went out in 8th place, 3 worse than last week.

Apart from calling Mik with 66, I was happy with the way I played. I wasn't as happy with the cards I was dealt. I only saw 20 flops out of 153 (13%) and only went to 6 showdowns, losing 2 of them - the one that busted me, and 66 against Miks 99.

TanOrpheus's big stack held up, and he won the tournament, with the rest of the money being taken by Cloud and Resdent Evil.