Tag Archives: Poker

Jackinthebox


Poker felts ablaze with anticipation, burn my palms,
Oh how I love thee, alas, love cannot be measured in chipstacks,
Full of a conjurers trickery, you turn boats into houses.

You maybe need to know something about Poker to really understand this. I thnk I got the syllable count right. I got 16,16,14, total 46, but I could be wrong on that, very easily.

Over at d’Verse, they have introduced me to the form of a Sijo. Not sure I did the form justice or not, but the fun is in the trying.


Poker, Acceptance and Cheers, WTF??


psssst, the poetry bit is down the bottom if you wish to skip the diatribe 😉

Just recently, me and a poker buddy got to debating just what it is that keeps people coming back to Pokerspace, some having been absent for long periods of time. The one anecdote that fitted so well was The Cheers [remember Cheers] theme tune. I think it was titled “Where Everyone Knows Your Name”, or something along those lines.

I thought about that and then began tracing my online timeline, much like Facebook does for you these days. And the more I looked and thought, the more sense The Cheers Syndrome as I have decided to call it, made.

Most people like to be accepted for the person they are and fit into a social group at some level or other. Some people will say thats not important to them. I think, I believe, that 99.9% of the human race strives to be accepted.I know I have wanted that and still do. I like to be where everyone knows my name. Maybe thats partly down to me being Billy no Mates these days. I have always been something of a loner, content in my own company, but also striving to be accepted by some group or other.

When my lad first got me using the internet, the old MSN chat rooms were still very much in existance. I found a group of people there under the banner of The G Spot. It was a social room and its hub was a trivia quiz running 24/7. There was a hardcore of members playing most days and I easily became accepted there and the name/avatar Geo was born. I was accepted AND had an identity. A saying that always makes me laugh where I live is, You must be joking geordie. That became my MSN identity. JokingGeordie was born and is still my Yahoo ID all these years later. My old trivia mate Jack shortened it somewhat to Geo and that stuck as well and is still an ID I use at some poker rooms. Unfortunately, MSN decided to close their chat room services down and I have no idea what happened to the G Spot or its members. I remember how down I felt when the place just disappeared. It was great to go someplace where everybody knew my name.

I love internet radio, always have. I can listen to classic rock any day of the week at any time I choose. I started listening to Radiostorm, a small, independant station in the USA. It had its own chat board that was usually pretty active. I spent many a weekend talking there, listening to some great toons when my lass had to work. It was not long before I was accepted as a regular and everyone knew my name. It was a great little community, full of laughs, dramas, haters, lovers and all the rest you get online. I knew two people got married who met there, the first time I knew that to happen. But it was to be short lived. Its not cheap keeping a radio station going and the owners sold up to another network who closed the place down. I am still in contact with a couple of people I met there and its fun reminising back to those happy days. Good music, great company. A couple of chat rooms sprang up as offshoots of that place and are still going, in a fashion.

After that, I was a web nomad. Just roaming around looking for another home, another place to go where everyone would eventually know my name. My love of music and radio led me to another radio station, 1ClubFM. Its still going in a completely different format than when I first found the place. It was another place where a lot of members were socially active and there was a chat facility that we moderated ourselves. The twats that sprung up from time to time were just chased away. They seldom came back for a second bite. It was another great experience for me. I was accepted yet again and most knew who I was and I got along with just about everyone. We had a tight Brit connection there with our own little place in amongst the various groups that existed at the time. I knew and chatted with people all over the world and again, I am still in contact with one or two. When the place changed ownership and the site was changed, a lot of peeps went over to Fubar, but that place was never my cup of tea. Some stayed there, others moved on. I became an unnoficial Uncle Tino to one or two new borns there and I still follow their progress via the dreaded FB, unbeknown to them. Again, I was upset when that place changed and we all went our seperate ways. FB by this time was rapidly growing into the beast it is today, but that place just doesn’t do it for me.

By this time I was getting into online poker more and more and this was to provide me my current ‘home’. I am no lover of forums. I find them faceless and formal with no soul. Pokerspace had something different to offer. The learning here has never been great, but the sense of community has. Ever since I arrived in 2009 there has been a hardcore membership with some new arrivals and some active members moving on. Again, it was great to be somewhere I was accepted and before too long, everyone knew my name. The laughs we had on Friday nights on Rio are legendary now to those who played that game on a regular basis. It was not about poker, although it was always competetive, it was about friends playing a game and having a good time. Yes, there were one or two idiots always shooting their mouth off, it happens, but overall, it was a good place to be. The fields in most games were a decent size, but not so one game would take all night. The Crew Cup caused a lot of controversy and still does in its present format. But there were a lot more crews involved then. My first crew were tight, then imploded and I think I am the only one left as a reg here, if I can call myself a reg these days? Its still a good feeling though to come to a place in the cyberworld where most know my name and I know theirs. We know the names behind the avatars and we know something about each person, even gormless blue cookie monsters 😉

During my time here at Pokerspace, I have not had the best of health. To help me through that I found I was writing a lot. I became a member of a blog site and was posting regular offerings for about 18 months or so. I still post there, just not as often as I once did. I tend to read more than I write, but I still get a huge amount of enjoyment from that. Open Link Nights on a Tuesday is a great time to read and learn various forms of poetry and I have tried things I never believed I was capable of, in a writing sense. Writing for me is a release mechanism. The things I used to do to blow off steam I can no longer do, so writing helped fill the void somewhat.

I have no idea how long this association with Pokerspace will last. I have seen members migrate to other forums or just leave to follow whatever paths they tread. I have seen some arrive and then leave just as quickly. I have made some solid friends who I hope will remain that way. But life changes, people change and many things can conspire to make people move on. I know for a fact, if I feel this way, so will others, they just might prefer not to admit it, because when all said and done, most of us are not so different to the next person. In a world of 9.5 billion people, sometimes, we just need to be in a place where everyone knows our name.

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Shuffling, world weary in a pool of
9.5 billion lost souls

Where the fuck do you find solitude
when its obligation screams in your face
generating tentative apathy

Such unrelenting silence, corked
a message in a bottle, vacillating along
the flotsam of our existence
Captured in a picture

Annonymous faces peruse in widowless wonder
craving a home, a community
when neither endure their facsinations
or misgivings

Along primeval lines I see cherished
recollections of acquaintances
walking toward distant chasms

All we consistently desired was to exist
where everyone knew our name.


Little King


Sat at the poker table,
The game was no limit, full ring,
She dealt me the ace of spades,
And then the Little King.

One by one they folded,
My heart began to sing,
She dealt me the ace of spades,
And then the Little King.

Suddenly one called ‘I raise’
Out of his seat he rapidly did spring,
She dealt me the ace of spades,
And then the Little King.

I paused, I thought, hello,
Maybe this could be a sting,
She dealt me the ace of spades,
And then the Little King.

I looked at his pile of chips,
And plenty he did bring,
She dealt me the ace of spades,
And then the Little King.

‘About one hundred thousand’ he said,
Maybe this was the real thing?
She dealt me the ace of spades,
And then the Little King.

So in went my stack,
There was no going back,
He turned over two jacks,
My hand was under attack.
The flop hit the board,
A nine, a two and a four,
When the turn was a brick,
I felt suddenly sick,
I still had six outs,
But still there were doubts,
One card left to come,
My legs had gone numb,
Down to the river it went,
Equity was 13 percent!

My goose was now cooked,
But to hope I did cling,
Maybe the river,
Would reveal the king.

We were down to the wire,
I was out on a wing,
There was no saving ace,
And no Little King.


Social Chameleon


Internet life started for me a few years ago. My son got his first real PC and immediately got it hooked up to the internet. On days off from work when my partner had to work her stupid rota [includes every other weekend] I would get a shout to go and look/watch something my son had found on the net. I have to admit, I was intimidated by computers and the internet back then, thinking one mistake would send the whole thing into meltdown.

I already had one e-mail address, set up via digital television so I could place bets without having to go to see the bookie. I could also buy lottery tickets that way as well, which was great as our little local shop lost its facility to sell lottery tickets.

My son, being ever the enthusiast, told me to use the net when he wasn’t around. He showed me a few basics, explained security protocols and left me to browse. He set up a user account for me, which I had no idea about and I was away. I joined Friends Reunited straight away and was instantly in touch with a couple of old friends that drifted out of my life. That was the beginnings of my love affair with the internet.

I was sending e mails back and forth with old friends and was having a ball. Someone I loved long ago came on the scene and we talked on messenger whenever possible. I found myself aching to get online to talk to her again. I would spend the free weekends chatting to her whenever possible and I found myself falling in love with her again, after the best part of 20 yrs of having no contact with her at all.

I found the delights of chat rooms and spent a lot of time there, until they did away with them due to all the problems with paedophiles [don’t get me started on that subject]. I found a trivia chat room very addictive. There was a small hardcore of us who spent as much time there as possible. Constantly trying to outdo each other with our general knowledge. It was fun and it was the first time I felt I belonged to something worthwhile.

When they decided to stop chat rooms in the present format, I was homeless, or so it felt. But I came across an adult site called The G Spot. It was a great place and I made myself at home there and was part of a great community. Then that got stopped in the UK as it was an American site and MSN prevented access from outside of the states. That really upset me. Again, I was homeless.

I still enjoyed the net and spent a lot of time using it. My son and I both had betting accounts and then we found online poker and both soon had poker accounts on Coral. We played whenever possible, never winning much, if anything. I had no idea there was strategy involved in a card game and just learnt by playing. I had no idea what a cbet was or a 3bet, when you should shove all in and when not.Bad Beats? Suckouts? uh uh, no siree, not a clue.

I was still using messenger and e-mail and also discovered internet radio. As a lover of music, I really enjoyed the huge options for listening to music. Classic rock, that’s my main genre. So I found Radiostorm 101 [formerly Star 101] and listened everytime I was online. There were some songs never heard before that I got into and of course, plenty of tracks I did know. There was also a chatroom [tagboard] attached to the place and again, I got involved, knew all the regulars and spent a lot of time there when I could. My son upgraded by then to ADSL broadband and everything was lightning fast as we are just around the corner from our local exchange. I met someone there one day who was having a hard time with her life. We got to talking and before long, we were regular on messenger with each other. I was getting in deep with someone and I was helpless to stop it.

My present relationship was going through its own hard time and for 3 months, we separated. A lot of it was caused by my confusion and inability to separate real life from my virtual one. I was secretive and spent every moment I could online, with old flames and new ones. The chat scene was great, a real laugh most of the time and a joy to be around. Then Radiostorm went down and that community fell apart. I still had a couple of folks there I talk to, including my love affair and of course, my old flame in the background. But once again, I felt homeless.

Then I came across 1ClubFM. Another radio station with a real community there. I made some new friends quickly and became very active in the place. Again, there was this hardcore of users that all got along so well. We had private groups set up, private chat from cbox and chatngo and all helped each other whenever the occasion arose. I know people from all over the world and all walks of life. All from chat rooms or radio stations.

Its kind of ironic at this point to point out that my last two downfalls have both been German. Coincidence? Has to be.

A new arrival at 1Club was sixpack. Along with myself and Merc, we became the 3 musketeers of the place. We chased the idiots out of the chat room, helped new users find their way around, ran our respective groups and had a ball. We could send all kinds of messages with flashing images. Every weekend was the same.Sending all our friends [sic] messages to have a great weekend etc etc. Then things started to go wrong. This sixpack was using multiple accounts and using them to chat women up. A real lothario he was. He started to cause trouble, playing people off against each other. No one knew at the start, what was going on, but the divisions appeared, arguments broke out, ill feeling created and trust broken. We were tight, very tight. But this bastard split us right down the middle. It all turned nasty and I, along with others withdrew away from the place. It’s still there, revamped and looking modern, but it’s not what it was and most of our group have blown to the four corners. I was in touch with some of them via Facebook, but I had some little nasties from that network, so closed it down. I did set up a new account there, sometime later, but again, I dropped it because of all the crap going around. Again, I was homeless.

I got myself a little PDA, a sort of handheld mini PC. I could get online just about anywhere with it and spent ages on it talking via messengers. I reached the stage that I was hardly doing any work. I did what had to be done, no more or less. I was still chatting to my online lover from the states and my old flame and a few others. Still spending a lot of time online on my sons pc. He was spending less and less time at home, as young men do, so that left me to play whenever I felt like it really. I tried to get my partner involved. I set her up her own e-mail account, showed her what could be done and I was always around if anything should go wrong, or she needed help. But she just never took to it and still hasn’t. At that time, the pc was shoved away in a walk in cupboard in my sons room. It meant that if I was in there, online, my partner was alone watching tv or reading the paper.

Just over 3 years ago, I went down with chickenpox. Never had em as a kid it turns out. It was bad. It put me in hospital for 12 days, pumped full of drugs to keep me alive. Things went wrong. The virus somehow got into my spinal column, headed north to my brain and has left me with some serious balance issues, sight problems and a few other side effects. I have been off work now for 3 yrs and not driven a car since. Now I have all day every day to waste.

So I treated myself to a new laptop. I could sit with my partner and be online. I found myself playing more and more online poker. I was joining forums and reading about the game, the strategy, the math behind it all. It was interesting and kept me amused for the long hours of days and nights. I found a poker community called Pokerspacer. It had its own tournaments on different networks, you could earn points and exchange them for cash and again, there was this hardcore group who played every game, or near as. The blogs were always fun, some personal, some poker related, some just bitching. Again, I spent a lot of my time there and met some very pleasant people. I was also suffering from depression, mourning the loss of my former life [all in the healing process] and people at Pokerspace helped me through some tough times. I will always be very grateful to those people, they helped me get back some sanity.

Sadly, things there got bad. the main man in admin is German. I got on fine with him most of the time. he is young, full of cum and can be very dumb. He is learning, but he has this attitude, that most Germans seem to have, that he is always right and knows better than everyone else. I shall leave it at that. Anyway, a new member was fitting in well and organised a new tournament. To access the game, you had to pass a poker quiz. It was fairly tough. There were blog posts flying back and forth, messages etc etc, as a few of us were bustin our balls to solve the puzzles. In one exchange with this person, I, mockingly told him I was taking a contract out on him, and if that failed, I would go and sort him out myself. It was banter, that’s all.

So this person, for reasons unbeknown at the time, told me to goggle his name. I thought nothing of it and carried on doing my thing. But it bugged me, why would someone tell you to goggle their name, are they really that vain? The long and the short of it was, his brother was a pro boxer and that’s what he expected me to find. That was his protection against my jocular threat to have him beaten up. That I know now, but didn’t then.

What I turned up horrified me. this person, I use the phrase loosely, was a convicted paedophile. Not accused, convicted. I read a few items and articles and thought, hang on, I have pictures of Tinks on Pokerspace, I don’t want that bastard looking at them or using them in any way. I should point out here, that we were all able to adjust security and privacy settings to prevent this. But why should we all do that because of one pervert?

I sent a message to admin of Pokerspace, telling them of what I had found and asking for his removal. If he had been accused and found not guilty, or had not gone to trial yet, I would not have asked that, but he was convicted, given a jail sentence on appeal and banned from coaching children. [ he was a swimming coach and school teacher].

I had no response to that message. So, I set about warning all the members on my buddy list that this evil bastard was about the place and to watch out for him. I didn’t want to start a riot of a witch hunt or the like. I just didn’t think this person should be a member of our community and a lot of members agreed with that.

Anyhow, I got into a real fight about the subject, ended up suspended from the poker forum and due to those events, lost any respect that I once had for the admin of the site. I thought it cowardly not to ban this person and some of the reasons and excuses for not doing so were, in my opinion, bullshit.

Anyway, I am finding it increasingly hard to continue in that community. I like the place, most of its members and the games, but just have no respect for the arrogant, condescending twat who runs the show.

I am struggling to keep in touch with people I owe a lot to and again, I am finding myself homeless.

My head doc [psychologist] said that starting a blog or diary might help with my battle with depression. I started blogging in may 2010, but found it hard going, so stopped. Early this year [2011] I decided to tray again. My head was in a better place than back in may 2010 and I found I was enjoying the experience. I am learning something new all the time. I have unearthed a creative streak I didn’t know I had. I am writing whenever possible, about this and that. I turn out poetry, some good, some bad, almost daily and have had some encouraging feedback. I still have lots to learn, but its enjoyable, it’s a release and its helped get my head straight. Theres a hardcore again, of poets and writers who always pop up at the same prompts, the same events and sites and they all appear to be good people. I am enjoying myself again.

I am sad that I seem to be losing contact again, with people I know and care about. That is a constant in my online search for a home, something to which I belong and accepts me for who and what I am. I try to be pleasant, try to be honest, polite and kind, but I have a dark side I know only too well.

So maybe I have found a new home with blogging, maybe not. I still play poker, most nights, even met that fucker of a paedophile a couple of times at the tables. I write, listen to music, read and do what I can to help my partner and son out and love looking after Tinks whenever needed. She usually stays over on Monday nights and all day Tuesday. That will stop in about 18 months, or less, when she starts school full-time. I am not looking forward to that, but its inevitable and I just have to accept it.

So that’s my online life, from start to present. I am online almost every day, sometimes all day and night. Its my connection to the outside world. I don’t venture far alone. My partner works as do my son and his partner.I drift along, doing my thing and try to enjoy the good days and survive the bad days. I am off for a week to my spiritual home in 10 days or so and that will be a much-needed and enjoyable break for us both. We love the hills of Northumberland and have a little cottage right on the edge of the national park. Can’t wait to get there now.

Adios, arriva derci, toodle pip, ta-ta, auf weidersein, good-bye.


High Octain Poker


The challenge from OSP on Monday was to attempt a High Octain, which is a double version of an ordinary/low Octain. Its a new poetry form, created by Luke Prater. I had the honour of him taking a Low Octain I had written, in a local dialect fashion, and giving some constructive critisism and ideas of how to improve the effort. So here we go, never one to forsake a challenge, I have produced this effort in the hope that it is somewhere close to the form required. The title is a play on words and should make the subject matter fairly obvious.

The race began, much like the last,
Some players old, some players new,
Novices play and make their debut,

Table the stage, players the cast,
Rail was set, awaiting first bet,
Action came thick, Action came fast,

Of limpers there were, only a few
The race is on, aim to outlast.

The race is on, chips are amassed,
Short stacks will shove, as if on cue,
Blinds stolen amidst latest coup,

Final table, bubble passed,
Making the cash, do nothing rash,
Taking it down, rail is aghast,

Standing so proud, champion new
Race won, opponents outclassed.

There are a few instances where poker terminology is used.

Rail: The audience in a live game.

Limper: A player who only calls the Big Blind.

Blind [big and small]: Forced bet at the start of every hand, raising as time passes.

Short Stack: Player with hardly any chips left.

Bubble: The point where you make the money in a tournament

I hope I did the form and myself justice here.

You can be the judge of that.

My submission to One Stop Form


Black Friday


To many people,  Friday 15th April 2011 wont mean much, or go down in history as a date to be remembered. But to every single online poker player, it will forever be associated as the day the DOJ in America seized the domain names of the 3 largest online poker providers. Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Cereus which incorporates Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker lost access to their operations in the USA under the laws of UIGEA,  which was introduced in 2006 by the government of the day.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/SAFE_Port_Act

That explains the whole situation surrounding the UIGEA Act and the Safe Port Act which is aimed at preventing online gambling for monies. I am almost certain that governments around the world are waking up to the fact of how big online gambling has become these days and they want a slice of the action by way of taxation, either on deposits, or winnings.

The DOJ in USA decided that the 3 main providers of internet poker had broken the laws of the UIGEA and Safe Port Act. The FBI closed them down and now the fallout is being felt across the globe.

Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars were quick to act and signed an agreement with the government of the USA so that they could process withdrawals from players based there, who had lost access to their accounts. Players can now withdraw from the two sites, obtaining monies that rightfully belong to them. Sadly, Cereus [UB/AP] did not sign up to that agreement and left its USA based players continue to play.

Then, a withdrawal limit was imposed on all players with accounts on the Cereus Network. Suddenly, the maximum withdrawal was set at $250 in any 7 day period. That struck many of us as odd, but understandable in the circumstances. Yesterday, the whole sad situation blew up again and Cereus Network, owned and run by Blanca Gaming, filed for bankrupcy in Norway. They laid off somewhere in the region of 95% of support staff and closed live help and support. Players are unable to make any withdrawals at this time and the future is unclear.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42906061/ns/business-us_business/

The Cereus Network has had its fair share of problems over the years. The Superuser Scandal being one of them,

http://wickedchopspoker.com/the-ultimatebet-super-user-scandal-part-i/

Then, very recently, there was the SSL encryption controversy, which informed players that the poker sites on Cereus were not using SSL encryption,

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/cereus-security-holes-should-terrify-online-poker-players/follow_ups

So, taking all that [and then some] into account, it is no great surprise that Blanca Gaming, owners of the Cereus brand decided to file for bankrupcy. They appear to be run by incompetent people and have courted controversy at every turn. Owners and shareholders have been accused of many crimes, none of which have been proven, but there is seldom smoke without fire.

Thats all bad news for any players with accounts on the Cereus Network. Sadly, on a personal level, I have somewhere in the region of $2k on UB & Absolute Poker, with $500 of that in pending withdrawals, which I doubt I will see in the near future. You build a bankroll to hopefully enable you to move up in stakes and some unscrupulous bastard comes along to rip you off. Whether any of us with see any of our cash is open to debate right now. I am hoping that when the dust settles, payments will be made. That money was earmarked for a special occasion, but that will have to be put on hold until this mess is sorted out.

So be warned, whatever you do right now, if you play poker DO NOT sign up to any offers from Cereus, they are worthless and you will more than likely lose your money.

UPDATE!

Apparently, Blanca gaming are not filing for bankrupcy, they are in the process of streamlining their interests in the rest of the world after whats transpired in the USA. So maybe it’s not all doom and gloom and there is a glimmer of hope that we might just see some of our money back after all.


The Knock on Effect is Felt.


Due to the recent events over the pond, concerning 3 major players in the world of online poker, the knock on effect is being felt [deliberate pun] on the other networks.

I have been playing, on and off, the DoN SnG games on Players on the Merge network. The regulars are either loose maniacs or tight as a ducks arse nits, with no real in-between. Until recently that is. There seems to have been an influx of players who know nothing of ICM or bubble play and how they shape the game, especially around the bubble. They either don’t know, or don’t care, and will push right back at you when you are 3betting or even, on the odd occasion, 4betting them. It’s ok to be shoving AA if you are opening the betting, but in reality, you  should not be calling a shove in front of you, period, with anything, yes, even AA. The dynamic of the DoN game is totally different to other SnG game. You are aiming to cash, not win!! It’s a simple enough concept. In a regular SnG, you are aiming to win, or should be. the prize pool is split 50/30/20, so the chip values are different to a DoN game, where you aim to cash as all players in the top 5 share the prize equally. To me, its important to understand the difference because it greatly affects your equity etc etc.

As a result, I am having to modify my game again, to try to counter these new players. It’s not easy though, with limited info so far. I am having to look very hard at stats to try to figure out whats going on.  There appears to be a lack of hands going to any kind of showdown, working on any kind of range is hard work. These fellas are not like the regs, they play a more varied game, which is a new challenge and one I will meet and hopefully beat. I have had to tighten up my game again, just as I was trying a looser style, so that experiment is kind of on the back burner for now, while I try not to lose my meagre roll. I had, a few weeks back, doubled up and was looking to step up a level to the $5+.50 buy in games, but I have slipped back somewhat and am trying to grind it back up. I am two tabling now in comfort and might, just might, add a third table in the next few days? but might also wait for that. I want to get up to 4 tables going eventually, without losing the personal touch along the way. I don’t want to be a robot, playing 5% of hands and shoving with KK/AA/AK. That might well be profitable, but I just can’t play like that. I want to be involved and try to make some plays and bluffs and create a table image. I haven’t played enough recently for that to happen, but I do appear to be enjoying playing again, so maybe now I can push on a tad.

Now, I have a load of sessions to update on my HEM so that I can get back to reviewing some of the more marginal hands I play and some of the position play, which I know has been to loose and I am sure the stats will back me up there. There are other small leaks that need some attention as well. I am still folding too often to steals and need to stop that for sure and need to get my 3bet % up a little as well, just to try to balance things up a bit. Only 3betting 4-5% of hands, leaves little room to 3bet some bluffs along the way.

So, its back to the tables as many nights a week as I can manage and back to reviewing sessions and make the required tweaks and adjustments and try to get the show back on the road again.


The shit finally hits the fan [Online Poker]


Well, it had to happen sooner or later. The later was preferable, but, the US government are not well know for acting in haste.

Yesterday, at some point [US is 5 hours behind UK] the FBI stepped in and seized the internet domains of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. They also seized bank accounts and arrested people believed to have broken laws concerning online gambling.

The UIGEA regulations have been in existence for some time now [2006] and has been a rocky ride so far. Many people, gamblers and poker players believe that online gambling is illegal in the US. It’s not!! It’s the proceeds and how they are handled that are illegal, and from what I have read so far, these poker sites knew what they were doing and found ways they thought would circumnavigate the UIGEA regs. Appears they were wrong. The fallout will be worldwide in poker terms. There is a huge online poker community in the States and I dread to think about the amount of money involved. You cannot log onto these sites and withdraw your money in the States now and the FBI have warned that all online poker domains will be shut down within 48 hours. That means that any US players will not be able to access their poker/gambling accounts and the money could end up being confiscated under the terms of UIGEA. It must be a real nightmare for them. The effects of this could hit a lot of people from other countries as well. I am hoping to move my own bankroll out of online poker rooms just in case this ends up effecting the UK as well at some point. It shouldn’t, but you never know where these organisations have their accounts and whether they are 100% legal. A lot of game servers were moved out of the USA after the announcement of UIGEA, but it would appear that they are still not out of the reach of the FBI. If they can prove money laundering, then the fines could be as much as $3 billion according to some reports, that could in effect, bankrupt some sites and leave us, the customer, to pick up the costs.

It’s a very very sad day for all online players. To think that I might never play poker again with players from the USA is upsetting for sure, some are very good friends and very decent poker players. I enjoy some table banter with them all and will miss that. I am sure many others in Europe and across the globe feel the same way. I have signed a few online petitions in support of poker players in the US, but would like the chance to do more than that. Its the damned tax revenue that governments want to get their greedy hands on. So far, online gambling is not taxable in most countries and I am 100% certain that if these actions in the USA become a success, then it wont be long until other governments follow suite. Its uncertain times in the online world of poker and gambling and it looks like its going to be getting very messy from here on.

http://domainincite.com/feds-seize-billion-dollar-poker-domains/


Tino 1-Life 1


The equaliser was inevitable. The pressure has been building and today, my back four got in a right old mess and gave away a sloppy goal. The hard work we do on the training ground counted for nothing.

OK,OK,OK, I know, whats he on about? Is he totally nuts? Life isn’t a football game [soccer to my American friends].

I am kind of keeping score in my battles with good and bad days and today has been a good, bad day, if you get my drift.

Tuesday is always a busy day here. Tinks arrives about 7.45 and stays until Dad arrives from work and has a meal with us. We have her all day and today was no different. We all stayed in this morning as we had a meeting with the owner of a new nursery scheduled for 2pm. Tinks will be moving soon and we need to find a new nursery for her. I have been spending a lot of time recently researching schools and nurseries in the area they are moving to and found a real gem. The couple who own the place own a couple of other nurseries in the area and the OFSTED reports are outstanding. This nursery is small [27 attending] with a high staff/child ratio. Its run on the Montessori principle which revolves around the findings of an Italian physician and educator after years of research into child behaviour. It’s new to me is this, never heard of it before. I did a little research into the practice and it is highly thought of in some circles, but criticised by others. I think, we think, that it will suit Tinks very well. The smaller numbers are better for her and the high ratio of staff to pupils will definitely help her as she responds well one to one. If you want to know more, click the link,

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Montessori

We arrived just before 2 and I have to admit, the initial impression was not good. The building is a wood and brick construction with a multicoloured sign on the front gable, which looks impressive. But the building just looks like it belongs somewhere else. But once you step inside, you realise what a real jewel this place is. The staff are friendly and helpful, the children use different learning areas in mixed age groups and there was no crying, no screaming, no tantrums. It was all smiles from the kids and staff and the kids looked happy and were obviously absorbed in what they were doing. We spoke to the owner and listened to what she had to say and she sells the place really well. We asked a few questions which were all answered in detail and we left with very positive impressions of the whole set up. We rang our son immediately and told him to phone the owner and have a chat ASAP and he did and by the time we reached home, times and days had been agreed and she is due to start there after the Easter break. So that’s all good.

Got home, had to make us all something to eat. I am chief cook and bottle washer around these parts, the kitchen is my domain, enter at your own risk! This day, I was prepared. I do believe in PPPPPPP [prior preparation and planning, prevents piss poor performance] and I had a large pan of lentil soup just ready to heat and eat. That went down a storm as usual, Tinks loves homemade soup, so do we, better than any crap out of a tin or carton for sure. All pure wholesome vegetables, good roughage, lol. Then I set to and made sea bass in a tomato butter sauce as our son loves sea bass, boiled new potatoes with butter and mixed organic veg. Tinks wasn’t best pleased and only ate a little then wanted more soup, lol. Always eager to please, grandma took her plate and I delivered more soup and she wolfed the lot.

Then once Tinks and our boy had gone, it was tidy up time and get us some food. We couldn’t be arsed to cook anymore, so it was a bowl of fresh profiteroles in chocolate sauce, a hot cuppa followed by toasted tea cakes. That filled the void. The dishes are piled up and they can stay that way until the morning, I will do them then. We are both knackered and I want to play poker at 11pm, if I can stay awake! Thats a big ask, I am finding it hard going now and still 45 mins to go, lol. I think I need the surgical tape again!

Then I set to replying to the removal companies in the hope of finding one that will work over Easter. I eventually had a reply from one of them and they will do it for £250, which is a steal. They start at 9.30am, there’s not a huge amount to move and it will be done in one load, no messing about.

So today has been tough on me, very tiring, but we have achieved something, that’s the important part. Oh, I almost forgot. I also spent some time compiling a list of Doctors and Dentists surgeries in the area they are moving to. Popped into my once favourite poker forum then landed here to write this up. A good day, but they always come at a price, I will have to wait and see what the demands of the ferryman are.

Toodle Pip.



DoN Update


Just a quick update to my DoN Strategy as it is very much a work in progress.

I have found a new home to play DoN games on the Merge network. Players only has a good bunch of regs playing the $3 games and its taken sometime to get to grips with them as they are all very different in styles. Theres some real nits, if you see them enter a pot, unless you have KK+, then get out of the way.  The vpip stat is so low a snake couldn’t crawl under it. They are easy to steal against as the blinds increase. Raising them always induces a fold unless they have a monster.

I have been working at opening up my bluffing range with mixed success. Its very much trial and error and I am also trying to improve my reads at the same time. Idont always get it right, thats for sure, but its improving. I very much believe that, if you follow M zone at all, that once in the pink zone, you are dead and burried unless you hit a premium hand or get lucky. I prefer to shove before reaching that point and my understanding of ICM makes for good decision making around the bubble. Another few wins and I should be moving up to the $5 games to see how I fare there. I have watched a few games and they are no tougher than the $3 games, so I am looking forward to that.

Position is still very important. The later you are, the wider your range should become. Theres value to be had if you play it right when in good position. You can and should by now be playing all PP, SC, and broadways, plus suited aces and kings, to a degree. I have opened up with K2s in the CO and BU and even the highjack as a semi bluff with good chances of improving. If you have stats on opponents, or good reads, you know that these types of hands are more than playable when in position. Theres not a great deal of 3betting going on, so a lot of the time, you will steal with no resistance. Just be aware of board texture if you do have to see a flop. Cbetting often works, if you have raised pre flop, so use it. Some players will speculate and call a cbet but will fold when you double barrel, so again, just be aware of that, even when you have missed the flop, or its a very dry board.

I also believe strongly in “First in Vigorish”. It means, he who bets first often takes the pot there and then. Look out for check raisers though if you overuse it. Some will cotton on and play back at you, but in a great many cases, the first bet wins the chips. If you dont believe me, try it out for yourself in a few games and see what the results show. I know as I have the stats to go with it.

All DoN strategy has been saying tight is right, tight is right, tight is right. While I agree with that, to a point, I am also finding out that sheer aggression can work as well, especially against the nit regs. You can almost play any two against some of them. But is a tricky situation. be over aggressive and someone will call your bluff, be too tight, you stand a very good chance of blinding out, or reaching your critical intersect and shove with air. Dont get to that point, act before that to give yourself some options and fold equity. With blinds at 200/400, if you only have 2BB left, theres a good chance that any shove will get at least one caller. If you get more than that, your chances of continuing are getting slimmer all the time. Dont do it!

So hopefully, in the not too distant future, I am going to have some more stats to add in here and hopefully they will reflect what I am talking about. well over 5k hands at $3 with a holy trinity of 21/15/3.8 is not doing bad. Its slow going and a grind and I play when I feel like it, but am playing more and more games after midnight GMT as more Americans appear at the tables at that time and I enjoy playing against them.

So stay tuned and I will try and update this with a looser strategy guide in the near future.

Good luck at the tables.

I just need to put another little addition. If you are looking for a good poker forum, with a lot of variation, then you should try this little beauty. The tools link gives you some great free poker tools, just by being a member, which is also free. If you are a SnG player or even a MTT player, then the ICM trainer is a must. It gives you some great info on bubble play and if you dont know what ICM is, then its time you learnt.

http://www.pokerstrategy.com/software/

Have fun