Dial-A-Dealer - Home & Corporate Poker

Monday, April 23, 2007

Time in Thailand has nearly expired. Had a fantastic time but looking forward to coming home, namely because iv got so much to do. Off to Majorca for a couple of weeks in 5 weeks or so for some more sun which will be great. This coming weekend have my B-day bashment and also the Blonde Bash 4 @ Luton which will be fantastic. The HU comp should be a piece of cake.

Our team (Luton Losers) consists of Jim "Dave77" McShane, Ian "Xpressman", Justin Turner, Dave " Mupp" and myself. Out 1st match is against the rather talented Pokier Girlies, who boast the (ex) Mrs Colclough and (gulf) the Tribeca legend PFFA. Ooops.

On the poker front iv been trying to keep on top of my game out here. The midday heat is simply unbearable, so iv been making full use of the internet and other resources daily. Iv read and re-read some old favourites, been looking at various forums hand analysis and generally been focusing on getting back into business. Poker funds a re VERY low and im gonna need a great run in order to play the games im used to again. Its a little sad, but when you overspend like i do sometimes you have to live with it. If you cant do the time dont do the crime. Congrats to Dave Colcough for winning the GUKPT Manchester and lets hope Marc Goodwin does well in the $25k WPT event. That might be enough to get him out of the Ivey Hustle hole.

Look forward to seeing some of you at the Blone bash on sat 28th April and if any of you owe me money, I WILL BE COLLECTING. nh, gg, gl, gfy :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Been out here for a wek or so now and really enjoying it. Was the Thai new year or "Songkran" recently where the locals greet you by hurling ridiculous amounts of water at you. All taken in good spirit though, cant imagine the carnage caused if we tried the same stunts in North London.
Bankok was more of a break than a holiday. Got a few nice suits made up and spent a pretty penny (from a bank account that really is pitiful) on other goods. Met up with top guy CopperDrake for a few beers and went to some funky bars, happy days. Was interesting hearing about the life a Vegas live poker pro, got me very very jealous.

Arrived in Phuket a few days ago, my god this place is soooooooooo sweet. I could easily spend a couple of years out here before getting bored. I mean, apart from the poverty, which in Bankok was pretty horrendous in places, the place is a different planet to the hellohole of London. We went for an a la carte fish dinner yesterday. Properly good grub and a shit load of Singhas and Chardonnay came to, oh, the princely sum of seven quid. Been going to the gym pretty regular over here and Dave, when you read this, start saving mate coz the 6-pack challenge is well and truly over. You have been properly beaten unless miracles are being performed in Bristol "lite" beer breweries and/or your new missus is shagging you so hard the weight is falling off.

Been reading a couple of book out here, mainly to work on my Omaha which is starting to come good. The science of poker gives example heavy analysis of typical PLO hand confrontations and some (to me anyway) startling insights into some of the mechanics. I didnt realis the power of J10 and 109 combos before. This has direct relationships to Holdem, simple facts that i have either foroggten or ignored. For example, str8 flopping potential of a truely open str8 hand like 67 compared to a blocked hand like 43, which incidentally is one of my favourite hands for an implied odds gamble.

Off to buy a surfboard today and get on top of some of these huge waves (or maybe not) and continue baking my thermador skin, because, lets face it, suncream is a pain in the arse.

Havent given a lot of thought on the poker front but i think ill grind a good few 24 hour sessions in the next couple of weeks trying to hit a sweet patch and get the roll big enough for cash again. Ill be hoping to play 30 MTT's a day for a good few days upon my return. Looking forward to my B-Day on 28th April. About 30 of us are going to Southend (should be interesting as we are in fancy dress) for shits and giggles on the Friday night. Iv decided to go as my personal hero and the man i aspire to in nearly every way, thats right, not George Bush Sr but Cap'n Jack Sparrow. The outfit (from some posh london fancy dress gaff) is gonna cost about a 1'er but i reckon i can wear it quite regularly. Like to funerals or something.

So, thats enough time spent on a computer, im off to teach these young punks how the British play beach volleball before getting drowned by babay Tsunamis off the West coast of Thailand. Over and out.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Just gave a response to a post on Blonde and wanted to instil it in my mind for tomorrow.

400 runner $30 freezeout. 5000 starting chips. I'm setting out to place top 5 where the real money is.

First hour - The table is solid. Ideal. I play Harrington poker and move up to 14k by the end of the hour. Average stack now at 8k, chip leaders on about 23-28k.

[b]Question 1[/b] - What should my second hour strategy be? Blinds are now at 150/300. I have a very solid table image and every time I've moved to showdown I've had a strong hand that was legitimately played pre flop. Should I be seeking to up the aggression and target medium stacks' blinds? Should I be trying to get into pots cheaply and take them down? Or should I consolidate, wait for decent starting hands and continue to play a Harrington style game? (bearing in mind the table is pretty tight and no-one is really making moves.)

Second hour - I decided to increase the aggression and use my table chip lead, but I didn't really get a chance. AK was busted by AJ, and after an aborted blind steal attempt when blinds were at 300/600, at the end of level 2 my stack was down to 6k.

Third hour - It's push with any two time with blinds up to 400-800. Luckily I score pocket 6s that hold up and then hit a short stack's Ace rag with AQ and I'm back up to 16000.

[b]Question 2[/b] - This puts me back in the mixer. 55th of 95, but the chip leaders are moving away - top 5 range from 50-65k. Blinds now up to 600-1200. At this point, what is my strategy? Do I wait for a decent hand and push? Do I have enough chips to raise from late position with decent suited connectors? One aborted blind steal will cost me 20-25% of my stack. Or do I consolidate, hang in there for the bubble, and play SLAG then? This is where I'm really struggling.

Halfway through the third hour I got moved to a new table. I was cursing. I didn't have time (I think) to hang around studying these guys.

I wasn't planning on making any moves till I'd at least briefly scoped the table. But on the second hand of this new table, something came over me. In my BB, holding 45, it was folded round to the small BB, who min raised. I re-raised. He called. He checked the flop, no A or K, I pushed, he called, I lost. Wrong forum for hand analysis, but a general question...
[b]Question 3[/b] - If you spy a spot where you think you might resteal some chips with 16k and blinds at 600-1200, is it worth it, or do you really need deeper stacks to do this? Because if you get caught with your hand in the till, your stack is decimated...

I don't know whether I should have gone for this resteal, with no knowledge of the min raising villain, or whether I'd have been better off waiting for a decent hand. But I wanted to protect my blind, show the table that I couldn't be bullied, etc.
Any strategic help you can give would be much appreciated. Ta.

My thoughts
Hi mate, iv just been thinking a lot about this and re-read some of my old material from my MTT days. Iv recently gone back to online MTT's and it really is a totally different beast to live MTT or cash. Heres a few of my thoughts and i hope they are of some use. I apologise if my tone sounds patronising i dont mean to.

First things 1st, dont have a mindset of top 3. Your mindset is winning the lot. This means chips and lots of them. And poker tournaments are supposed to be fun. The comps i have won i have won by raising ALOT and have had a lot of fun in. By raising you control the pot and force other players to have a hand. You get a good image and will get paid with your big hands. Approach the game from a 1st or nothing viewpoint.

Q1) I think you have to find a style of poker that you are comfortable with. I like to play very lag and play lots of pots to attempt to accumulate lots of chips that i can use well later on. You get masses of action when you actually get a hand its a whole lot more fun :) These chips and this style mean ppl dont fuck with your BB and make so many tricky plays against you. You get feared. Ideally you want the BB quaking as soon as he sees you on his SB.

In the example you give i really would start to raise with a lot more regularity now. Dont raise too often from the button as it just looks dodgy but from the cutoff and hijack raise with any 2 cards with potential when 1st to enter the pot FROM LATE POSITION. Play more marginal monsters more strongly than before too. I often think JJ and AQ turn into re-raising hands when 1/2 the field has gone. Build on that solid image you have shown but bear in mind that a lot of players wont have noticed and will only be playing their own cards. USe chip stack management when entering into large pots.

Q2) Do not take your foot off the pedal. This is a mistake that a lot of players make at this stage myself included. They stop accumulating and wait for a big hand. What happens is their stack dwindles, then they finally pick up a hand and everyone gives them immense respect and passes. Keep raising in unopened pots as long as the blinds are not too short-stacked from late position. The cards you have really dont matter that much as you wont be getting involved if anyone calls you or re-raises you. The beauty of this is, even blind squirrels find the nuts and you will get paid hansomely when you hit a flop hard.

One thing i would say at this stage is you really can play a bit of high risk high reward poker. Pick on the weaker opponents and call their raises with non-dominated cards like 56s or 89o IN POSITION. On non-scary boards you can after a bit of practice detect a weak continuation bet with a missed AK and snap them off with aggressive re-raises.

With regard to the 45 hand, DONT be calling any raise at this stage unless you hold a BIG BIG hand or you have a big big stack. No calling raises with KQ, no calling raises with 99, none of that bollox. If you are gonna make your move here, do it preflop as % wise you are not gonna flop a nice board for 45 often enough to get paid.

Q3) Re-raising is the easiest way to accumulate chips in MTT tournaments. You have to know your player mindset but against a button/cutoff raiser with an M of 8 im re-raising all-in (assuming the chips stack dynamics are good) about 1/3 of the time. You NEED chips, never let this fact leave your head. You have to do Everything you can to get them. If you can put them under pressure, do it.

If by chance you do suckout and win a monster pot with a bag of shite- lets say for examle you come over the top of a button raiser with 67s and he has AK and you suckout your 40/60- CHANGE GEARS. I find the only time to change out of LAG is when you get your hand caught in the till bigtime or ppl start to re-raise you knowing your starting hand requirements are unorthodox.

Anyhow, thats my thoughts, hope it helps. If you take 1 thing from this, take this. The first person to open the betting up preflop controls the pot. Bet and raise your way to a big stack and then scare the living shite out of the table with merciless raising and re-raising.
Been playing a tonne of MTT's to get the roll back up and with little success. Getting very close a lot of the time but the usual bollox of running into mugs late on or succombing (sp?) to that tempting re-steal with AQ on the bubble. But one thing that has been noted is the overall standard of MTT players on Ipoker is horrible. I mean they are properly horrible. I forgot how disgustingly untalented the regular poker player is. I think if im gonna make a go of poker again on the internet i should be playing purely MTT's. Live cash will be an outlet that i will monitor closely. At this exact moment in time i am currently chip leader in a $10 LIMIT Holdem final table. 1st prize is the grand sum of $156.

I think these small buy-in $10-$100 comps really are my cup of tea. The fields are big, soft and it doesnt give you a headache like busting out of a major does. For example (and my 50p is at the ready) the Mansion 100k that i was playing for M3boy tonight. Early on i call a preflop raise with 33 and 3 other players come in. Board comes 3A7 with 2 spades. I flat call a large bet along with 2 other players. Turn brings the case 3, happy days. I bet out as its also a spade, paraying the spade draw will bite. HE duly does as does the original poor sod, who has 77. So i get up to 6k then i find KK v AK and get to 10k. Then, when the blinds are 200/400 i am moved to a table where the SB seems to auto-push whenever its folded round. We have a lot of chips between us and more than the average. So naturally i fold AJ the 1st time. Second time i fold some junk. Now the third time i find 1010. I think about it and dedide its a no-brainer. I call. He has A4. A on the flop and i feel gutted.

Playing the £200 FO at Luton on Monday befroe having a timeout in Thailand which i must say will be very welcome. Sitting my arse on a beach in Phuket wil be fantastic.

While im here ill share this wonderful little article i found on Pocket fives. It was mercilessly cut and pasted and is a cracking read for all you cash players out there.

Often hear the argument over whether it is best to buy in for the max buyin or less in a no-limit hold’em game. I am a huge proponent of buying in for the maximum amount allowed. I feel that it gives you the advantage at the table and allows you to play a wider range of styles. You can successfully use different types of (creative, tricky) plays because of the amount of chips in front of you. I do not believe that the converse is true. If you are playing a stack that is shorter than maximum amount allowed, it is no longer be profitable to play a loose aggressive style (LAG).

I believe that both tight aggressive (TAG) and LAG are both winning strategies in no-limit hold’em. However, given the choice between the two, I believe a LAG style is more profitable.
One of the most important concepts of a LAG style is utilizing implied odds. Implied odds are the odds you are getting because when you make your hand your opponent will pay you off (on future bets). An example of this is that you have 5s6s and the board is 4s7sQd. If you believe your opponent has a very strong hand such as AQ, AA, KK or a set and you and your opponent both have the max buyin, you are getting very good implied odds. If you make your hand, you will likely win all of your opponent’s chips. Implied odds relay heavily on the caliber of player you are playing. There are players at 5/10 NL who I know won’t pay me off and I will rarely draw on them. Even if I make my hand, my payoff is minimal and therefore in the long run it is not profitable to play my draws. However, the vast majority of players are not that way. It can often be very profitable to invest a small portion of your stack on the flop or turn with the anticipation of winning a monster pot after you make your hand.

Implied odds are very important to consider when deciding if your draw is worth playing, but other factors must be considered as well. For instance, say you have 66 and you raised to $35 preflop. Your opponent then re-raised to $135. You both have $1000 starting the hand. I would likely fold my hand here even though the correct odds are apparently there. I am 7:1 to hit my set, and if I do I am likely, but not certain, to win his entire stack. I have to call $100 more to win $1000. I am seemingly getting 10:1 implied odds. In this situation, a lot of people would call and look for their set based on the calculations I made above. I would not often make that call. You must consider the times that your opponent does not lose his entire stack. If your opponent has AK and the board comes 1065, you won’t be winning his stack. Also there are times when your opponent will have KK or QQ and an ace will flop. This will kill the action even when you do hit your set. I would want both of us to have $1400 stacks or so before I call $100 preflop. That will enable me to get a better price on my call.

When playing a LAG style, implied odds should be a crucial aspect of your decision making process. However, if you buy in for ½ of the max buyin, the value of suited connectors and small/medium pairs decreases drastically because you are not able to get the correct implied odds these hands require to be played profitably. If you still wish to only buy in for half of the max buy-in or less, you should change your strategy and become a TAG player. You shouldn’t be raising or playing suited connectors, small pairs, or any marginal hands. When you do enter a pot you should bet very aggressively.

I play a loose aggressive style of poker. I strongly believe that this is the most profitable way to play no-limit hold’em. I strongly encourage other players to buy in for the maximum amount allowed if they wish to use this strategy. If you aren’t comfortable buying in for a large amount in a game, either move down a level or buy-in for half of the max buy-in. However, if you buy in for less than the max, make sure you make the necessary adjustments in your play.

There, thought you'd like it. Now if only i can win a comp or two.....................

Friday, April 06, 2007

Cheers for comments kids, much appreciated. Jamie, the poof comment was only fair tbh. You and Flushy looked like a right pair in that photo :). Fair comments though mate and i thoroughly agree- p.s any jobs going at your place? ;)

So as always, when my back is against it i come up good. Played 8 comps tonight, won 2. :)
Only good for about a grand but hey, gets the roll up again. I think my bankroll management skills really are atrocious (sp?) but given that i dont really have any savings anymore i dont see any other way to pay for my lifestyle without using poker winnings. I do love cash games online but right now im bored silly of them, i can grind out a nice hourly rate but then get complacent and let it slip in a couple of big pots and oops, im even again. Also im gutted that i dont have the roll at the moment for the juciest cash games of them all, the Luton £250 puppies. My own fault, wont be having £3 grand weekends for a while..............

I think im going to have a long hard think about poker while im away on my hols. A couple of possibilities lined up seem interesting but im unsure yet as to the ins and outs. I might be signing up as a DTD trader and we'll see how that goes. At least it will give me a healthy roll to get started again. I actually think it might be beneficial to me but im wary about any situations with more than 1 interest involved.

One point of note is a comment a guy made to me at a cash table the other night. A nice guy, Ray Hammer, commented that by going broke you "learn" how to play POKER. As in outside the box non-abc card playing. Interesting concept.

So the plan at the moment is to play as many online tournaments as i can till i can cash out 3 grand and still leave a couple in the account. This should take a while but i reckon a month of solid tournie poker with no cash game leakages should sort it. We shall see.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Oops. After some ridiuclous overspending and bad runs in online cash im up against the wall again. Is this what it was like for other young guns trying to go pro? Somehow i doubt it. They all have huge rolls and masses of cash. I dont. You only have to hear about Johhny Loddens bankroll when some punk offered to play him HU to realise there a MILLIONS of dollars in some of these kids accounts. Story goes (stolen from Snoopy ;) ) that Johhny is playing online and gets involved in a "discussion" with another player. Guy says he'll play Johhny for his bankroll to which Johhny replies "You sure you got enough?" Chap says yes and he sits down 1st with $150k. Lodden sits down with $5mil and the guy leaves. HAHAHA.

So im up against it and really need a result or its back to work again. I seem to be saying this every two months or so and the good thing is, i aint really bothered. If i had a motgage/kids to look after obv i would need a much better cushion but then i guess to be a full time pro you really should have invested in other areas just to keep all your fingers out of the same pie.
Talking about poker and relationships its amazing how much of a strain it can put on your time/resources. I'v been with the missus for 5 years now and we still have monster rows, normally because i work till 6am, which means i am dead for most of the day. I think getting a really good work/life balance with poker and structuring your week accordingly should be high on any poker players agenda.

So it appears this "Frankie Symonds" has well and truly bokked me. Never mind, summers round the corner :) I think my best way to get out of the hole is winning the £200 FO on Monday @ Luton. I know the players ands as long as i dont make the worst play in the world (like i did on Monday- bluffing a calling station with like 1/8th pot all-in) i should have a fine shout.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Just got home from playing the £200 DC FO at Jacks and kings poker club in Bishops Stortford. £10k gtd tournie with a fair few runners.
Played very few hands in the first couple of levels as i didnt know the players. Thought i had the table sussed after about an hour which enabled me to feel confident enough to play some more marginal hands down the streets.
10k in chips and my only real hand of note was QQ where i raised and got called by a lady who i had a bit of banter with. Flop came 8,9,10 rainbow and she check raised me. I gave her my best inspection and realised she wasnt that confident, so i whipped it in. She deliberated before calling with A10, no miracles and im cruising.
Up to 15k when i join in a limpathon with 8d9d. Button (tight,weak player) raises and 3 ppl call. Values there so i jump in too. Flop comes K65 3 diamonds. I check, he bets, i raise, he flat calls. Turn comes a non-diamond and i dont think he's sophisticated enough to lead at a pot with the nuts. I put him on either AxAd or AdKx. On the turn i send in my whole stack only for him to go into the tank for about ooooo, 5 seconds before calling his chips off. He says "have you got a flush" i reply " do you think i can bluff 5 ppl, of course i have the flush". He then sighs, puts his cards face down and obviously i think he's drawing dead. No. He does indeed have AdAx and rivers the diamond. Marvellous. What fucking bad etiquette, the numpty pissed away the full 30k after too. WP.
So im down to 600 and decide to grind. Goes well too, i get up to 5.5k before re-raising a player with 1010 preflop only for them to make a crying call with AJ. Need lessons in flipping coins.

Played cash for a while and won a hansome little pot off Steve Templeman with AK hitting the nuts on the turn. When i first met this guy i must admit to thinking he was grade a see you next tuesday. After a few beers and a bit of banter however, i must say he seems like a fun-loving cheerful chap, so first impressions can be wrong ^^

Big week this week, desperately need some cashish after overspending this month (again) and going on holiday in a bit. Got the Luton league winners Sit and go tomorrow and i must say im really looking forward to it. There will be serious bragging rights for this puppy and im intending on giving whoever i get HU with the ticket in return for 50% of their action in the event. Of course if its a nupty ill just take the cash to cover this weeks buy-ins but we shall see.

Online has been going very bad, as per usual it seems nowadays. I have found my holdem sessions getting shorter and shorter. Of all things im playing a lot of PL Omaha and (now this is weird) HU 10/20 LIMIT holdem. It still pisses me off occasionally when some mug yank chases a backdoor flushdraw but its VERY easy to clean the uber-aggressors out. The simplest of gear changes totally confuses them. In the 1/2 Holdem (which im 8 tabling) i have dropped an astonishing amount of money this week.

Im almost willing myself to go broke but live cash games are so profitable its proving more difficult than i thought. On a side note, i played a biggish comp on Stars last night. Down to the last 15 and i go from CL to 15th in 3 hands. 88 on K86 board- bastard has KK. KK in SB v button thief- Button has boots. AK all-in (which suprisingly was still about 8 BB), insta called by AJ.......which makes a str8. MARVELLOUS. Would have been a couple of large for the winner too :(

OK, time to assert my authority and focus on winning tomorrow............the beauty is, they are ALL good enough to lay down a hand :)
3 cheers for the re-steal, hip hip, hooray.