Sunday, 30 August 2015

Live is Alive!

It’s been a while. I’ve been blogging regularly on blonde poker - if you’re not a member, you should be, it’s a great forum, really friendly and full of characters. I’ve had a diary / blog there for over 4 years now. 

But after a very lively summer I thought I’d blog here about what I’ve been up to, and some revelations I’ve had lately. 

Poker is not dead!

Live Poker, at least. I’ve just come back from Barcelona, where I spent 10 days playing unbelievable tournaments. Here’s a few numbers for you. 1700 in the 5k EPT Main event, a record. 500 in the 10k EPT Hiroller, a record. 3400 in the 1.1k Estrella main, a record. Staggering stuff. 

100+ waiting for 3/6 and 5/10 cash games at all afternoon/evening times. With stakes running up to 100/200 both Holdem and PLO. Some jaw dropping hands witnessed, even in the 10k. 

Needless to say I cashed in 0/7 events! I did win my seats to the 5k and 10k though which saved me a lot of money! 

Neymar turns up to play a few events!

And back home the action has been great too. London is finally living up to my expectations. Great hold’em games and omaha action buzzing too. I’ve played some of my biggest ever pots in the last few weeks, some good, some bad, been absolutely loving it whether I win or lose (actually, mainly win!).

Vegas? Well, I had a very exciting time cashing in the main event for the first time. What a thrill that was. I was all-in with 1060 left and 1000 paid vs my roommate Scott! My 88 vs his AK. QJ on the flop, but it bricked off. I can honestly say that was the most nervous and sweaty and relieved i’ve been during/after a poker hand ever! 

That was the highlight of an otherwise terrible trip to be honest!

So Vegas, Barcelona, but you know where I’ve had the most fun playing poker? Yup, you guessed it, Dusk Til Dawn. A trip there never fail to deliver. The festivals there bring the most fantastic atmosphere, the staff that work there and people that I play with there are just so friendly and fun, and the action in the cash games and value in the tournaments are second to none. The WPT in November is the next big festival there, hope to see many of you there. 

Revelation #1

There is a big myth in poker - that the hardest people to play against are the best players. The best players are not the ones doing sick turn check raises or overbetting the river every hand. The best players are the ones that make money off you without you realising, and you never win it back. They fold correctly, call down correctly and value bet correctly. You don’t feel under it vs these guys, they don’t have you sweating every pot you play vs them. But you never win vs them, theoretically, of course. However, people much prefer to play against them than the “sicko’s” that put them in tough spots all the time. 

Revelation #2

Daniel Negreanu was asked about why all the super hirollers have more fun at the table than in regular events. I expected him to say because everyone knows each other, which is of course part of the reason, but he gave a much more interesting answer which rings true in my experience. You can check out the interview here

Not that I’ve ever played a superhiroller! But in the bigger buy-in events I have played, the atmosphere at the table is so much more relaxed and friendly than in smaller events. If you did a graph of buy-in level vs words per table, it would be a U-shape. With the smallest buyins being friendly and relaxed by nature - almost exclusively recreational players, to the medium buyins being populated by mid-level pros, semi pros, pros who can’t beat the game anymore, recs who take it too seriously etc - this is a breeding ground for surly and moody players, who don’t take their headphones out to ask where someone is from, or join in with a table joke. And then right up to the top, where you’ve got the cream of the crop, the most successful and intelligent players, and successful businessmen, doctors etc. Both of these groups are likely to be highly emotional intelligent too (what DN touches on), so conversation naturally flows. It’s no co-indicenece that these guys are there, so why not take a leaf out of their book, you might even enjoy it as well...

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