Generic end of year post

As 2007 draws to a close, its tradition to blog about the year gone by and make a few goals that one will never stick to.....

So here goes.

2007 was possibly the best year of my life, if not the best than a worthy second to 2002 (I partied a lot and punched way above my weight in the opposite sex department basically). I moved in with my girlfriend, which has been brilliant. I left my old job at Norwich Union to play and write about poker and both have been financially very rewarding.

Poker highlights were probably winning a couple of big buy-in tourneys on Stars and a brief top 5 ranking in the $100-300 6 max SNG leaderboard on Sharkscope. I also had a deep finish in a GUKPT and a couple of final tables at Naps in Sheffield. The best thing was definatly my 4th place finish in the Omaha event at the Pokernews Cup in Australia – sharing a final table with Lee Nelson and Tino Lechich in my first ever Omaha tournament (I won my 2nd one the other week on Pokerstars).

So I’m not going to get too greedy with the plans for 2008, if I can replicate the last 12 months I will be happy enough. As much as I would like to win a WSOP bracelet, I’ll be aiming to find weak cash games and good value tournaments as a priority. For example, I was toying with playing every other GUKPT event this year, using my cash game rakeback – but now having seen the schedule I’m more inclined to use the bi-monthly £1000 to enter several side events on the GUKPT tour, they look that good. Especially the Omaha events, this is an area I think I have an edge in despite only being a decent PLO cash game player – plus it’s such a rare tournament game I could realistically get in the PLO European Rankings for an ego boost.
So here are a few plans for the year, if I achieve only a few I’ll be happy:

Win a Satellite
Despite playing in plenty of big events, I’ve always either bought in direct or been sponsored, I’ve never actually won an online supersat. I won my seat live in last month’s Waterford Open, but I would at least once win, maybe a GUKPT seat, just to say I have.

Win a Ranking Event
This is pure vanity, and I don’t care what the event is, but I really just want a trophy. After a 3 way chop this year in a festival at Napoleons we played just for the trophy and I went out first of the three – I really wanted that damn trophy even though I got the exact same payout. Tournaments are as much for show as they are for dough and I want to break this duck as soon as possible.

I’ve really really got into my pokertracker in the last few months and I’ve fixed a few leaks. I enjoy studying too, so I am hoping to dedicate several days a month to just studying my game and others. The harder you work the easier it gets. I'm even toying with getting some top level coaching and/or coaching someone myself.

Irish Open 2008
It’s not really a ‘good value’ event, in that lots of great players will be there, but this is an event I covered this year with Pokernews and it just looked so much fun. I’m not usually one for playing in events where I doubt my ability to win, but I’d make an exception at this one. Hopefully by winning a supersat and crossing two off the list.

Keep doing things other than playing
Unlike a lot of poker players/writers that I know, I am a player first and foremost. Writing is just something that fell on my lap, but now I’m established I never want to give it up. I love writing and I think I must be the quickest writer in the world – I can write so much in such a short space of time (Which is why it often looks like I’ve written whole issues of WPT Magazine). Playing is always my priority but I want to increase all these great opportunities I’ve been given as a writer – maybe even one day a book (I reckon it would take me a weekend ).

The above is really just pipe dream stuff, my real aim is to lose weight, see my friends more and continue to win enough money online to put food in my mouth and keep my girlfriend in new shoes.

Humbug continued

Without doubt, the lowest key Xmas I've ever had. Not a bad thing as I didn't really want a big hoopla, but Im glad its over.

Spent the bulk of it in Norfolk with my girlfriends family, which was fine but you do realise how important ones own family is when you dont see them at Christmas dinner. The TV was shite all Xmas day by the way.

A distinct lack of poker pressies this year, which is a good thing because another year of getting 100 poker chips and 'How to play Poker: by Mark Strahan' would really take the piss.

I was really chomping at the bit when I got back to my beloved laptop yesterday after 5 days without poker. Typically I went on a bit of form just before Christmas and I'm glad to say I havent forgot whatever it was that was making me win when I got back last night. The NLHE on Party is so weak that I have already come out of my hold'em 'retirement' for the time being and now have a struggle to decide whether to play PLO or hold'em.

Sky Poker

I havent yet watched my appearance on Sky Poker on Monday, I dont want to ruin the illusion that it went well. I actually think it did, though my opening interview was a bit painful. I flopped a full house as soon as they turned to me and I probably looked a confused donk. They then went and took the piss out of my streak, which made me feel like it was school all over again.

It was fun, not sure I would do it again though, it was a long slog. I was pretty shocked to hear that 110,000 people watch that show, so lets hope I didnt look a twat.


Thankfully my big stars win the other day came around Xmas, it meant that I was able to do something I've always wanted to, actually treat my parents. Right now a big fuck off high definition TV is sat in my lounge waiting to be wrapped up - a signal of my gratitude as a son and the success poker has brought me this year.

Omaha ha ha ha

PokerStars Tournament #69523219, Pot Limit Omaha
Buy-In: $200.00/$15.00
36 players
Total Prize Pool: $7200.00
Tournament started - 2007/12/15 - 12:30:00 (ET)

Dear DaveShoelace,

You finished the tournament in 1st place.
A $2,880.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 198.09 tournament leader points in this tournament.
For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

Thank you for participating.

Since Australia I've had a pretty lukewarm couple of months at the table. Hold'em cash I've been a loser in, though SNGs have kept me afloat. Omaha has been my cash game of choice and after my big win in the Pokernews Cup, I've been toying with making a big switch over.

So I entered the weekly $215 Stars PLO tourney last night purely for fun and without sounding too cocky, it was probably the easiest tournament I've ever played. The field was tough, but I recognised most as hold'em players and with a lot of PLO cash under my belt, I think I had a real edge.

It helps when you get aces 6 times and they hold up 6 times. Thats a tough enough venture in NLHE, but its near impossible in PLO.

The only thing that was putting me off making a full PLO switch was that finding the 'fish' is tougher, because they get fleeced once and never play again. My poker tracker database has about 3 PLO donkeys that keep on playing, but my hold'em has 100s of them.

But, I am now really starting to think that the best value games, the best place to find the PLO fish, is possibly the medium-high stakes PLO tournaments. I reckon 60% of the players I played against last night were NLHE tournament specalists trying to add to their Pocket Fives rankings. For a $215 tournament, some of the hands people were commiting too were awful. I actually think a regular $0.25/050 PLO player could crush some of these PLO tournies.

Of course, I have the plan to win a big live tournament next year, so I'm going to have to stay as much a NLHE player as I can, but last night was a sign that 2008 is going to have twice as many hole cards as 2007.


Well I have about 3 days to shift a few stones. Not really, but on Monday I'm a guest on Sky Poker. I'm on the same time as Snoopy so hopefully we can bounce off each other, as they say.

Funny old few weeks. I've felt like I can't win anything, I always seem to end a session down and felt pretty pissed off about it. But looking at my poker tracker records I've actually made a tiny profit, mainly from a good week of Omaha which looks like its going to be my regular cash game for a while.

Not bought a single Xmas present yet, I actually just want to get this part of the year over with, humbug etc. Its been the best year of my life, both at the tables and away from them, but its hard to concentrate on playing at the moment with all the festivities and other things going on.

Copyright © Barry Carter Poker