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Saturday, 26 December 2009

GREAT NEWS!


After a week of secrets i can finally announce that my gorgeous girlfriend and myself are now expecting a new baby!
I already have two beautiful girls and a little boy would be perfect to finish off the varz family and getting so excited. weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Emma is about 8 weeks atm and in very early stages but cant contain the excitment for much longer. Even tho dirty nappies, crying and all that is invevitable its all good fun!
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Im Back

Well after a very lengthy break from poker and no update posts for 5 months i'm glad to announce im back on the scene.


The plan for this break was not to play any poker after booking our first family holiday to turkey in May. I figured that although the last two-years have been fairly sucessful profit-wise, i didnt wanna risk losing any funds that i really should be keeping for my hols.



Like all shitty un-thoughtout plans this wasnt the case i actually found myself spending more with the extra time i had with the gap poker left in my life. I also missed the nice cashouts i got to used to whilst playing.



SO enuff is enuff IM BACK.




I havn't had the oportunity to play live yet with all the xmas rush for prezzies as well as working! But i plan to hammer the tables in 2010 and get back to enjoying my poker.


Ive been playing on Virgin Poker 0.25/0.50 cash for the past week or so and have started off really well. No doubt ill be discussing different situations or posting hand histories in the future.




Friday, 4 September 2009

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Circus First Tuesday of the Month £50 F/O - 07/07/09


Flock in numbers.... As I have mentioned before in previous posts the first Tuesday of the month in Circus casino is the £50 freezeout competition that is one of the most popular games in Newcastle. I have played this game a few times before and always has an awesome attendance. This Tuesday was no different as I decided to head down and get a taste of the action. The game started with 100 runners which increased to 110 after late entries. The game was filled with familiar faces and plenty members of the NPF were there. Some the NPF players were - Team Dobbs, Koyte, Looseman, Mark Trett, FullTilit, Buzz, Kidha, Roscopiko, Mr. Entertainment, John Devlin, Ohmahha, Avkid, BossHog, Jimmy Chipmunk, Txtrevb, Apokerlypse, Stumpy, Madasawasp, NRH and Gimac. Some other noteable players were - Ray Chan, Steven Lui, Gary Collins, Dave Knight, Lk Johannson and the in-form Ali.
Off on the wrong foot.... Started the game with a decent table with some recognisable faces. On my table was Koyte, Cecil, Dave Knight and Mr. Entertainment. So with Koyte and Entertainment on ya table you can be assured some fireworks, friendly rub-downs and overall decent crack. This definately proved to be the case as Koyte came out with some cracking one-liners that nearlly reduced me to tears.
I started badly in this game and managed to lose 1.5k of my 9k starting stack in one hand in the first level. This is normally something that I detest. Players whom get too involved early on when the blinds are so low really narcs me. Nevertheless UTG player open bets for 300 and action is passed around to me in the cutoff. I check my holecards and reveal Q-Q. I feel the best move here is to re-pop but I decide to flat thinking if i see a scary board I can release quite easily. I flat and we both see a flop of 8-7-2 all hearts (Neither of my Q-Q are hearts). The UTG player C-bets 350 and I still think I am good on this board and should of raised to find out. Instead I flat and the turn is an A. Now I have to think im beat and convince myself im finished with the hand. Then the UTG player checks his option. I determine his range between A-J to A-A although I cant be sure for the length of time i've played with this lad. So i check behind thinking maybe hes done with the hand. The river is a brick and the UTG leads out for 600. I know the only hands im beating in his range are 10-10, J-J and a bluff is unlikley. Yet i convince myself to call and he tables A-J FTW.
Mr. Entertainment bust out early in this game to Koyte in a crazy but cold hand. Koyte limps UTG as does half the table into Mr. E's BB. Mr. E. looks down at his stack and announces raise. He makes it like x5 BB to go and Koyte is the only one who calls. They both see a J-high flop. After some thought Mr. E open shoves the flop only to be confidently called by the already generously stacked Koyte. Mr. E tables Q-Q and Koyte K-K, with no further help for craig, Mr. Entertainment busts out early and increases Koytes stack to 20k+.
I never played a hand for a while but lost another BIG hand in the 3rd level with KQ when I flop a Q and the other fella calls me down with A3c and hits runner-runner flush. nice. He said he was sorry and thought I was bluffing which made me feel REAL better. lol. So i was down to 3.5K from 9K starting and felt as tho this wasn't going to be my night. With the break quickly approaching and afterwards running antes been introduced I knew I had to make something happen pretty quick to stand a chance in this game.
I picked up a few small pots but not the double up I needed and waited patiently for any sort of playable hand. I managed to claw myself back to 8k to come back to after the break. Which i felt was just enough to work with and make something happen.
Droppin like flys..... After the break people seemed to be exiting the tourney every couple of minutes as the numbers continued to drop. Early on I won a few uncontested pots and was sitting on 10k. Second level in after the break I was involved in a tasty pot when my flopped two pair was couterfeited on the river and forced me to pass leaving me with only 6k! This left me chasing now with the blinds ever increasing and antes taking full effect it was a shove or pass game for me now, real make or break. Were down to 64 players and seemed to be dropping out like flys (including Koyte), I had to avoid been one of those flys.
Dave Knight whom I know is a good player and has been playing a sort of LAG approach open bets from early position. Action passes to me in the SB and I look down at 6-6 my thought process is that Daves well-stacked and his range here is pretty wide, although not an ideal situation i needed to make a move and this could be an opportunity i cant afford to miss. So i shove my 6k stack into the middle and after some humms and harrs Dave makes the call and tables 4-4. Great result for me as i couldnt of wished for a better chance. I won the hand and got the double up I needed. I was now sitting on 14k with the average about 16k.
Soon we were down to 40. I won a few more hands and with a stack of 21k my table was broken up. I was moved tables and found myself on a really tough table. On my table was S. Lui, Proff. aka Batman, Ali, NRG, S. Collins and Jimmy Chipmunk and few other solid players. My second hand at the table im UTG+1 and look down at K-K i lead out for 6k with the blinds 1-2k only to be raised by the button for 8k more. I hollywood a little and ship my stack in the middle. Only for the inital raiser to pass for 7k more. He said he had AQ but was getting like 4-1 and a questionable pass. Anyways ill take that and was now sitting on 35k.
that one race too far... Down to the last 30 and the blinds and antes were so big that this was no longer poker. This was a shove fest and a case of time to get lucky. After winning a few uncontested pots and a few blind+ante steals i managed to keep myself afloat with 35k. Then this one lad who had pushed his stack 3 out of the last 5 hands pushes again around to my BB. I look down at 9-9 and make the call for 14k. He tables KJo and first card out is the J. No help for me and a massive dent in my stack leaves me on the verge of an exit. With 24 players left action is passed to my button and I ship my 10k hoping for the blinds or a lucky double up. S. lui calls from the BB with 9-9 and houses up! Night Night Varzee but a decent game overall. 24/110 aint bad but not the cash i'd hoped for.
All-in-all really enjoyed the banter of this game with plenty from the likes of Koyte, DC, Mr. E and others at my table. Even tho this game always develops into a crapshoot feel like i will definately play this game again in the future.
Looking forward to Saturday for the Team game where we have entered a Staff Team "G-FORCE" watch this space for future post.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Dont Have a Cow...


The Source.... I was recently reading an article from "Bluff" magazine where there was an article featuring this story. I read, watch and study alot of poker information everyday and find Bluff mag to be very useful for all sorts of stuff including daft stories like this one that can put a smile on your face.
The story isn't about Poker btw but does feature an element of it. The Bluff. Everyone loves a bluff and the feeling when it pays off. Here is an example of an eccentric "Life Bluff"
The Story.....
It all happened in Ireland back in the late seventies. These two lads, Gerry Fitz and Connor Grady, had taken a drive upto Dublin Mountains to chance their luck on a bit of rabbit shooting. The time time of the year was late spring and the hour was close to seven in the evening. Even with the stretch in the day the two boys knew they had little or no time to make a kill, but certain etiquette prevented an immediate slaughter. It was common courtesy for casual huntsmen to seek permission from the residing farmer for the right to relieve his land of resident rodents, (cute little bunnies my bollocks, they're just big rats thats what they are).
Anyway to make a long story painful it was decided Gerry would do the necessary while Connor waited in the motor. So the bold Gerry legged it across the field to the farmhouse and knocked on the door. A Worzel Gummage type answered and listened attentively to Gerry's request.
"No problem at all son" replied the man of the soil, "and when will you be wanting to do this shooting?"
"Eh, tonight if you wouldn't mind"
"So you have your guns with you now?"
"Yea we do" replied a slightly worried Gerry.
"Well you might be doing me a little favour then. You see I have this old mare in the barn and God bless her but she's at deaths door and it would be only humane to put her outta her misery - nineteen years old she is and worn out from giving birth to fourteen foals in her time. My dilemma is that the thieving bastard that calls himself a vet wants twenty pounds for what boils down to two minutes work and a (with a) small syringe. So I was thinking that seen as you have the guns with you and all......"
"No problem boss" said Gerry "Consider it sorted."
On the way back to the car Gerry decided that such an oportunity couldn't be passed up.
"So, how did it go?" asked Connor?
"The old fucker said no and then went on to give me a lecture about Dublin bastards like us thinking we owned the place and carrying on as if we could do what we wanted."
"I dont believe you", said an incredulous Connor.
"Give me the shotgun," said Gerry reaching into the car and grabbing the double barrel.
"Ah Jesus Gerry hold on there" pleaded Connor, "What are you thinking of doing?"
"Im going down to the old fuckers barn and I'm going to shoot his horse", said Gerry striding back across the field.
Despit constant calls for restraint by Connor the two heroes had soon enough find themselves face to face with the decrepit old mare.
Without hesitation Gerry shouldered the twelve-gauge and wasted the animal. An eerie silence followed before Gerry turned and handed the gun to Connor with the words "That'll teach him!"
"D'ye know what" said Connor, "Your Fucking right, he shouldn't be allowed away with it."
And with that he turned the gun on a nearby COW and BLEW ITS HEAD OFF!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

High Stakes Poker "The Second Sitting"

Been the bigger man.... Well first time i've had to post on my blog and start off with an apology. Not only do I feel it necessary to do so, but feel it necessary to do so THREE TIMES!

Firstly, I apologise to all of you that took part in this game and have been awaitig a post that has took me 2 weeks to complete. I have been really busy with alot of family time then returning to work and havn't found the time as well as fitting in my usual online cash hours.





Secondly, I would also like to apologise for the lack of content in this post. As time has past various hand details and analaysis has become clouded and would be unfair to get vital information wrong to which I would undoubtedly been answerable for, day after day when at work. This I couldn't be arsed with therefore I'm afraid a summary is all I can offer on this occasion.



Thirdly, I would mostly like to apologise for my behaviour on this (supposedly friendly) HSP session. I was bang out of order during the end of the night when my antics can only be described as PHIL HELLMUTH esc. (pic right) as i berated my mates and told them how bad their play was and that they are clear poker donkeys.


My comments were aimed at two people in particular as I witnessed terrible plays time and time again. So instead of keeping my gob shut and taking advantage of this I felt it was my place to degrade them in front of everyone unecessarily and making myself look like a tit in the process.

I never meant to cause any upset or offence lad and fully accept the responsibility for my actions and asure you that this will NEVER happen again! I invited you into my home and treat you with disrespect. I can assure you this will NEVER happen again.



Brief play.... The night started off really well as less is more in terms of people with only 7 players in comparison to the 107 we had in HSP1 the atmosphere was calm but sweet as we played the poker game that we all hoped for. In this game were the following - Varzee, George, Jess, Sparky, Stevie G, Jon and Ryan.

After some early action the play was half decent that even saw people laying down pairs post flop, lol. George and Marc. S seemed to involved in a few big pots that saw Marc lose 2 max buy-ins pretty quickly. George was also involved in a massive hand with Jon when Jon 1-outer'd George on the river for his full house to keep Jon from becoming pretty deep.

I dont want to discuss many hands for the reasons i've stated above and dont want to upset people anymore than I already have. I took some brief PocketCam footage that was a new idea but wasnt used to it's full effect. I now know how well this could work it'll definately be a major feature on the next episode of High Stakes Poker (used properly unlike footage below)

video video

video video


video


Winners and Losers... The end result was not about the money for me, I feelt as though i'd lost more than that. Anyway i ended up -£45, Sparky -£120, Stevie -£30/60, George was a big winner with over £100, Jess was the biggest winner again (girl got game) over £100 although Ryan -£60/90 he managed to spunk alot on the last hand with air which didnt please Jess as they were splitting cash.

Overall..... It was a big learning curve for HSP as we discovered that less people work, less drink also works, pocket cams could be great and if ya dont act like a tit could be a great night. I think the idea of playing cash against work collegues was always gonna hit some stumbling blocks and feel that a different format will be the best option for the next session. In the form of a freezout or a rebuy tournament where losses wont be too personal and headhunting will be appreciated. Not sure on the details yet but be sure this will happen soon.

Keep a look out for more High Stakes Poker......

Monday, 1 June 2009

Sunday Circus Comp


I started a 12 day holiday from work on Saturday and had a cracking first two days. The sun was blazing and good quality time with tha missus and the bairns was just what I needed after work after work and more work. I had a really busy time after dealing the GUKPT and some lengthy shifts to boot.

I had already been to Newcastle once on Sunday after spending all day shopping with my little family whilst turning into a lobster at the same time. I got back home and was hungry for a game of poker. After finding out their would be definate appearances from Ridla and my old friend Mounty this was enough of and excuse to play, not that i needed one.

Meet, Greet and Register - I arrived at Circus about half an hour before the game was due to start and wasn't at all shocked to find just 8 people had registered. Not because this was an unpopular or shite game but this is the norm for Circus. Players either pour in with 2mins before start time or register late, mainly cos they've bust outta the 4.30pm Aspers game. The game was £20 + £20 giving an optional 1 rebuy or 1 top-up. 6k starting stack + another 6k if required. Upon arrival I was greeted by Mounty who was the eager beaver playing for his first time in Circus. I got myself registered and players began to turn up as well as some familiar faces - Ridla, Jimmy Chipmunk, Apokolypse, Paul Hart, Crazy Chef, Johnny the Greek, Rob Taylor, Riaz and a few more (sorry if ya wern't mentioned cant have a post of just a list of names. lol. ok i forgot ya). Names were drawn and the tournament started with 58 rising to 69 after late registrations.

Sitting Arrangements - I was sat on table 1 seat 6 with a couple of recognisable faces. Ridla was at my table as well as another Circus Regular Chris (Packard)Both of which are good players. I know Chris likes to mix it up alot so some obvious tussles between us was inevitable. Also at my table were a few unrecognisables but soon realised the bloke (youngish indian fella, we'll call him Doug for comedy value) to my left was anexperienced if not decent player due to pre game and realtime table talk. There was one more person whom I had the pleasure (others not so) of sharing a table with was the unformidable Jean Barr. I could spend all day talking about Jean. Her background, style of play, history and so on but guessed it would just be easier to show this video. This is Jean...


Early Stages - The first few levels of this tourney really set the standard for this table, with check/call been the popular move of the game for alot of the players. lol. I understood the blinds were tiny but it was still impossible for a raise to get through without several callers (always including Jean). I kept out of the may for most of the first few levels playing very few hands, allowing alot of the others to gamble with their rags trying to catch a massive hand then trying to get paid. I picked up 8-8 in UTG of course got like 4-5 callers including Chris in the BB. Flop come 4Q2 and Chris leads out for 250, I know Chris is more tha capable of making this play with a 4 or a 2 so i call and to my amazement everyone passes. We both check turn and river and my 8's r good against his 4. Standard. I took down a few other standard pots and finished the break with 8k just above my starting stack. I used the option top-up method giving me 14k to come back to.

After the break...We get back to buisness after the break with a few players down and some new arrivals. We had Joe Peel make an early exit through Jean when she limp/calls Joes 2.5k push with QJs and strikes again. I thought the play after the break would improve due to the fact no more rebuys were possible. This was not to be as time and time again players were limp/calling with 7-3, 10-2 and other garbage from all positions. This was not a problem I just needed to get a hand to get paid.

The next big hand for me saw me in the cutoff and Jean's BB. She was rushing to get back after just nipping out for a cigarette so we slowed the dealer down to allow her in. We all wanted her in. lol. UTG player makes it 2k to play with only 1.8k behind. The action is passed to me. I squeeze my hand to reveal A-A! I think for a few seconds decided wether I want to isolate or invite Jean into this pot. On normal circumstances i'm isolating 95% of the time but this time was different. I smooth call the 2k and hope Jean comes along for the ride. She looks at me and says "I would like to see a flop but i'll pass". So its me and the UTG player heads up. Before the flop is even dealt he ships his remaining 1.8k into the middle and announces he's all-in regardless. I insta call and flip over my aces. His pocket 10's are not looking good and an ace on the flop sees him drawing dead to running 10's. I scoop that pot and another player exits.


The Ridla was involved in a pot with Jean that made him cringe. I dont agree with the way it was played and he would agree but the boi done good and got away pretty cheaply as there is no way Jean can pass. The hand played like this (Quoted from "The Riddlers Tales" his own blog


"I'm in the small blind with K4 off and see a flop 5 ways.. Now, having been killed on the FT against Loosey with J4, i decide not to go too mental with a flopped set (KKJ). I bet out about 2 thirds of the pot, Chris (Packard) calls, and Jean calls (as expected). Either that or i checked to Chris, who bet out.. i can't remember. The turn brings a queen and knowing i have 2 others behind, i check.. as does everyone else. The river brings a 10, putting KKQJ10 on the table.
It turns out Jean has called the flop bet (on a KKJ board) with 9 2 off and hit a straight on the river, we're both left shaking our heads, and im just pleased i didn't go to town with my trip kings, because Jean simply does not pass.. ever! She of course once again had an excuse to back it up though: "Well i just thought, well.. just because".. what a fcking chestnut that is. Oh right ai, just because eh? why the fck not.. what a psycho. At this point i was beginning to wish i had actually been knocked over by that dosey woman on friday. The odd time she did manage to pass preflop i nearly fell off the chair..."


Read More from Ridla @ http://dollars-nonsense.blogspot.com/


Action, Prezzies and Hero's... - I was sitting quite healthy with 40+ players remaining and increased my stack further from some action a few prezzies and hero calls. The first one was against against Chris. After two limpers Chris raises to a stard 3 and a half times the blind. Im next to act and look down at A-Ko. I dont want to give away the strength of my hand by re-popping him and on a dangerous board can let this go without too much hassle. I flat. Everyone elses passes and we are heads up. We see a flop of 4-Q-J. Chris open-checks and I fire a 3/4 pot size bet. Chris thinks for a while and raises. I feel hes just trying to push me off the hand and can float him unless a dangerous card hits the turn. I flat and the turn changes nothing with the 2d. He leads out for 5k with only 4k behind. Now I start tanking. Could my read on the flop be so wrong? I wondered if he could pass for his extra 4k if i shove. After an age of thinking I come my decision based on a few factors.

1. Chris knows that I know he purposely displayed he was pot commited and a shove would be suicide unless I had the goods (of course my A-high wasn't the goods). Thus a shove would show real strength.

2. I sensed weakness on the flop and only called so i could continue if the turn bricked, which it did.

3. If my shove is called i'm obviously behind but could still have 10 outs for the best hand with an A,K or Q (more likely the A was no good) but still leaves between 7-10 outs.

4. The size of the pot was just making this move a profitable one against a player like chris imo.

5. I had enough left behind if i was to lose that would keep me very much still in this game.

So, I shoved my stack over the line and waited for Chris' decision. He hummed and harred and said that I must be ahead and eventually mucked his hand. I later found out that I actually WAS ahead and he had A-10 and was making a move. It was potentially a good move by him but on this occasion was found out. I trusted my instincts on the flop and it paid off. This was a nice pot and put me on about double the chip average.

The gift and hero call came against a player that was moved to our table and had only been there for about 20mins. He was Glen (not the geek) a circus regular. Glen leads out and gets two callers. I look down at K-K. I make a decent raise and Glen calls everyone else passes. The flop comes Q-5-9. Glen leads out for half his stack and I admittedly hollywood a little then re-pop enough to put him all-in. Glen calls and to my horror table 8-6 for a GutShot straight draw. I avoid the 7 and pick up another decent pot that can only be described as a GIFT.

A little help from your friends... After 5 limpers including Jean and Ridla I found QQ on the button. If raised to a decent amount to hopefuly get heads-up or take it down there and then. I was shocked to see call, call, call. I reckon people were getting restless and wanted some action. The action got to Ridla and prayed for him to give me some protection by re-raising and getting rid ov tha fish. He thought for a while and announced he was all-in. I got what I wanted and re-shipped to make sure we were heads-up. He tabled AJ and no help for him say my Queens hold up and take out a good lad. Shame it had to be him but dont think he minded too much.

I went into the second break as chip leader shortly after that hand with 26 people left.

Road to the FT... The next few levels were pretty boring for me. Became card-dead and everytime in position there were previous raises so there was little opportunity for steals. I didnt need to get involved too much anyway. I was sitting on my stack a little too much tho and soon went down to two tables after my table was broke up.

A few hands in at my new table I lead out in early position with A9c. Action is passed around to Ali who is a circus regular who calls. We see a flop of 10-7-4. I continuation bet and ali calls. before the turn was dealt i decided i was gonna fire one more bullet then give up if called. The turn came an 8 giving me a very well disguised up and down straight draw. I fire again as planned and yet again Ali flats. I now pray to make it otherwise i gotta give up on this decent size pot. River is dealt - 6! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I make my straight and there is no way Ali can put me on it either. I obviously fire again but nicely in relation to my previous bet sizes. Ali says "U've got AK or AQ so i call" I table my straight and Ali whinges that this was a disasterous suckout. He showed J10 for top pair mediocre kicker. Does he not understand that all i done was c-bet, improve to a up n down then make it on the river. I had 11 outs on the turn so y shouldn't i shouldn't i bet. Maybe hes upset because i didnt check so he could bet, so i would have to fold. lol. He could of raised at any point and i'm done. He let me get there IMO if anyone played bad it was him. That was the last real hand i got involved with until the Final Table. We agreed a bubble prize of £40 then once the last person was knocked out we went for a quick break.

Final Table Time............ I started the final table with a few people i recognised. Paul Hart, Ellie, Riaz, Mr. Chaudry and the lad I named Doug whom had sat directly next to me all of the way through the tournament even after moving tables 3 times. Now he was sitted to my left.

First Hand of the final table and I picked up A-K UTG and open-bet. I got one caller, C-bet the A-high flop and took it down. Very next hand in the BB action passes to Riaz in the SB who puts in the extra to see a flop. I look down at J-J and fire a tidy bet. Riaz passes and accuses me of stealing. lol. Certainly the rep i needed.

I was second in chips and wasn't long before the first two dropped in pretty standard races. Down to 8 and sat out for most of the time. I stole a few times but no real action involving me. We went to 5 handed after an hour or so and remained that way till 4.30am. The short-stack was always doubled up and chips were just been passed around. I managed to maintain second in chips after a couple of uncontested pots.

I was involved in a hand with mr. chaudry where i could of lost alot more than i did. I raised on the button with AK for mr. chaudry to limp-call from UTG. Flop comes down Q-Q-A and mr. chaudry leads out. I flat wondering if he would lead out in this spot. I know hes an inexperienced player but cant decide. The turn is a K which is irrelavant if he does in fact have a Q. He checks to me and I check behind hoping for a massive payday if he does have a Q. The rivers a blank and he checks to me for the second time and i immediately check behind and think my A-K is good. He shows Q-10 and scoops the pot. Was pretty pleased with the minimal damage tho.

After some interesting play and no-one budging Doug eventually exited to when someone pushed on him on a A-high board. He held A-Q and made the call. The other bloke tabled A-10 only for the turn and river to bring running 10s and give Doug his exit. He played well throughout and seemed a decent player.

We were four handed and just about level on chips as the blinds were sooo big that any lead was irrelevant. Paul hart suggested a chop and it would pay £350 each. Everyone agreed as it was really late and probably of went to a chip count anyway.

I was happy with the cash and another decent result in Circus. Overall it was a good nite.