Fish and Chips

A poker themed blog, charting the demise of my degree and the rise of my poker career.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Probably not, but it's an exciting thought, right?

It's been almost two years since my last post. That's partly because Blogger stopped supporting FTP updates to private domain names and partly because I no longer had anything to say.

In the mean time I've set up and have been running my own wine company. I've played virtually no poker. But a quiet August and massive poker urges has lead to a small-time return to the felt, both virtual and real. Mmm, it feels good.

I doubt much happens from here as things should get bust with the wine business again soon, but you never know!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hello World

I've massively overlooked this space over the past couple of months. Really this blog has been ever so slowly dying a death for the last few years.

Even now, I'm being distracted from blogging - I'd written two lines before someone joined one of my heads up tables and I found something to do other than blogging. It's very easy not to blog. Also it's seemingly easy to rid a fish of its money playing heads up no-limit Hold'em. I busted the chap within five hands when he slow played trip aces and let me hit a boat on the turn.

So what have I been up to since Vegas in the Summer (yes - I know - I also spotted the fact that I only got one blog post into my Vegas trip report)? I've mostly been working and playing poker. Not a lot else has been going on. I've jumped back into fitness again and am running a fair bit. I reached the 100kg mark for the first time in my life over the Summer and was looking pretty round. I'm a little less round now.

So a recap of the last few months of poker: I plugged away at the 6 handed NL Hold'em tables for a while, but - as has been the case all year - I was only breaking even thanks to rakeback. My A game continues to improve but perhaps not as quickly as many of those around me. My biggest failing, though, was how often I'd lose focus and donk off a random buyin when it was totally unnecessary. When you're struggling to beat the game for 2 big blinds per 100 hands, even the occasional donk off will wipe out any potential profits. It was time for a change.

So, for the last two months I've been playing exclusively heads up cash games and things are going pretty well. Having the sole access to your fish makes SO much difference. I'm still donking off occasionally, but the standard of opponents if you game select well is terrible, which makes up for the donking. I'm playing a mixure of $100 and $200 tables and I see myself sticking to those limits for a while yet. The swings in heads up are massive so it will be a while before I'm tempted to go higher.

I'm not setting any goals for the time being. I'm just going to grind while the games are good. I'd like to be able to play some decent sized live tournaments. I'm eyeing up PokerStars new UK and Ireland Poker Tour as they have qualifiers via their Step Sit and Gos that served me so well for the WSOP.

Speaking of the WSOP - Commiserations and congratulations in equal measure to James Akenhead who came in 9th for almost $1.3m. I was disappointed to see Phil Ivey go out in 7th, but I was immensely relieved when Darvin "monster whale" Moon could only come in second to Joe Cada, the youngest ever main event winner at only 21.

That's about all I've got to report for now. Mrs. Pink and I are off to Marcus Wareing's restaurant tonight to celebrate (slightly belatedly) my birthday. I can't wait. That place is supposed to be amazing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tiny Cameo

Around the 5m 15s mark. Very shortly before my day three exit. Blink and you'll miss it!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vegas Photo Dump

Thee are all just views from our balcony. Pretty much the only other photos that were taken were of me reluctantly standing under the "Welcome to the World Series of Poker" about half and hour after busting from the main event, so - needless to say - won't be sharing those!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vegas and the WSOP (Part One)

So I'm finally getting round to writing about 'the big trip'. Here's hoping I haven't left it so long that I've forgotten all the juicy bits.

For those who need a little refresher. I won two seats on PokerStars playing the Step SNG tournaments. I spent about $4,500 in the process and could have stayed at home walking away with $20,000 profit. I decided to screw that idea. Take $8,000 profit and an almighty gambool at the chance of a big score. There were other considerations, like the kickback offered by PokerStars (about $3500 in the end) for wearing their merchandise, and selling bits of my action.

So on to the trip,

I'd been working like a bitch in the weeks running up to leaving. So much so that I'd barely had the chance to play any poker and I'd especially wanted to play a couple of live tournaments to warm up. I'd been cramming extra work on my days off as I was in the middle of applying for a new position. I then went into the beginning of a series of night shifts immediately before flying for 10 hours and landing in a time zone 8 hours apart from that in which I started. So I was feeling pretty goofy. For some reason best known to myself, despite having the prospect of two weeks away from London craziness to switch off from all things work related, I decided to watch Pride and Glory on the plane. It's an incredible film, but probably not the best ‘switch off from work holiday viewing’.

The record London temperatures that we left behind us (I think it reached 93 the day before we flew) served as a fairly useful warm up for Vegas as it must have been well over 100 when we stepped off the plane. We got through immigration, bag collection and customs in super fast time and must have been in the taxi on the way to our hotel within 30 minutes of touching down.

Thanks to sneaking up to SuperNova level on PokerStars just before the trip, we managed to get an upgrade to a suite over at the Palms Place, as apposed to a bog standard double room at the Palms. The Palms Place fitted the bill perfectly. The receptionist either didn't see the $100 dangling under her nose or simply wasn't lying when she said there wasn't any further availability for upgrades, but it worked out just fine as we ended up with an awesome 38th floor view of the Strip in any case.

The plan for the first weekend was for me to play a warm up tournament at the Venetian before playing day 1c of the main event. That would also leave us at least a day and a half of chilling out and acclimatising.

I'm not going to bang on about the mayhem that Citibank caused because it already ruined half of the trip and going over it just puts me in a fowl mood. The short version of the story is that the cheques I'd cashed out from Stars had cleared into my bank account, then Citibank decided that they'd lost the cheques so they debited the money back out for the account last think on a Friday afternoon, thus leaving me with no funds for the whole of the holiday weekend until I could finally speak to someone the following Monday that wasn't based in a Rajapooristani call centre. This meant too that the cashier's cheque that I'd had made out for my buy-in wasn't valid. So I spent another day rushing around trying to raise $10,000. The irony of frantically trying to load my PokerStars account back up with $10,000 to do player transfers after I'd spent the best part of the previous month trying to get the money out of PokerStars didn't escape me.

Maybe there was a message in all of this somewhere: "Save yourself the $10,000, you fish!"

It's only in Vegas that it would be possible to raise $10,000 in 12 hours from people you've never met before and who don't even know your real name! Massive thanks to those who helped out.

Let’s leave funding and registration issues aside and get back to the poker....

Friday 3rd of July had me playing the $560 Deepstack event at the Venetian. It got somewhere in the region of 500 runners and my starting table was juicy to say the least. Unfortunately I never got above my 15k starting stack. I seem to remember loosing a chunk with AQ* and dropping down to about 10k fairly early. This didn't worry me too much as the table was that good, but much to my dismay we broke soon after and my next table was nothing like as good. I was also beginning to get short stacked, which limited my options somewhat. I think the blinds were 400/800 when I got my stack in with 99 against a cut-off opener who had AK and the big blind who woke up with QQ. I managed to spike a 9 on the flop, but the cut-off ended up making a straight when the Queen on his suit fell on the river.

Saturday was mostly spent running around chasing Citibank and trying to raise $10,000. I wasn't sure if I was going to have it all in time to play day 1c and thought I might end up having to play day 1d. In the end I managed to scrape the last $2k together at 1145 on the Sunday morning, leaving me just enough time to join the registration queue and find my table in time to hear the words, "shuffle up and deal".

To be continued...

* You may begin to notice a theme emerge when ever I get dealt AQ.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not 115 Degrees F

So we're finally back at home having detoured from Vegas via South West France for some excellent company, food and wine.

I've just been paying credit card bills and assessing the damage to the bankroll. Both could have been much worse.

I hope to have a full trip report up before too long, but don't hold your breath; I'm back at work tomorrow and hoping to find an email telling me that I've got an interview some time in the next few days. So, with any luck, I'll be pretty busy over the next week.

My immediate poker plans are to grind the cash games and work off a couple of SuperNova bonuses on Stars. I'll be ordering a whole new computer and monitor set up this week so I hope to see a knock on improvement from that.

Massive massive congratulations to James Akenhead for making the November Nine. He's a quality player and a quality bloke too, and after his nasty beat heads up for a bracelet last year this result is thoroughly deserved.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 3

Busted one hour in. I had a dream start stealing up to 26k before doubling and reaching a high point of 55k. My table was very good value, but it broke almost immediately. I got moved to the secondary TV table and within 20 minutes had lost two races and was out. If I win the first race I'm up to 80k, but that's the shit that happens.

Full write up to follow. Have mostly been eating drinking and breaking even in the cash games, grrr.