Poker Punt

My kingdom for a universal plug adapter. Yes, Vegas is just round the corner and I've pretty much switched off until I get off the plane. I really cant wait, even though I don't think I'll be playing that much, because I'm going to see so many mates out there and I have got a ton of writing work when I'm out there. Its typical, I finally start putting together some good results at the tables and I'm about to pause that to some extent by doing loads of travel, writing and networking (hate that word).

I have started a second blog, which is more of a side project that might end up getting deleted in a few months. Its called Poker Punt and its all about prop bets, side action and betting on poker events. I think its about to get huge (betting on poker, not the blog) after the WSOP because there is going to be three months of betting on the final table, betting which will surely change a lot as more is learnt about the final table and the presumed 'coaches' they are all going to get. I wish I'd thought of the blog before the WSOP started, but hey-ho.

Betting on poker is something I've always done quite well in. but its mainly because I'm a prop bet fan more than anything. Erick Lindgren is my hero after his Golf bet last year - its funny, I never bet on sports but I'm more than happy to have a flutter when someone is prepared to do something really stupid for money (My favourite is a semi regular bet I get going on what the first letter of the first word that someone will say when they walk in a room......go for W and wait for them to say "What?" when you all stare at them like madmen).

That said, I do seem to have an eye for a winner in poker. I won money last year on Phil Hellmuth snagging his 11th bracelet, on Roland De Wolfe making the Irish Open Final Table and on Annette Obrestad and John Tabatabai making the WSOPE final. I also lost money on Gus Hansen making the WSOP ME final, but still think that was a good bet because he nearly did.

This year is going well, I got 4:1 on David Benyamine winning a bracelet and am doing well in a number of last longers in the HORSE (I have Barry Greenstein, currently 3rd in chips, ship it!) and the series as a whole. I also got 4:1 on an Englishman making the final of the Norwegian Poker Championships from a drunk Scandie, which Ian Frazer did and bless him, the young man I bet with tracked me down online and shipped it via Neteller when he got back to Norway.

Anyone wanna give me 2:1 that I'll have deleted the blog by November? Linkage here http://pokerpunt.blogspot.com/

The weigh in: Number 3


I wonder how long I'll keep up these weigh-in posts (Prob until I start putting on weight)?

15st 7, so another pound loss. Not that dissapointed that it wasnt more because I did get pissed on Saturday and didnt go to the gym as much. With Vegas only a week away I am now living like a monk to counterbalance whatever abuse my body takes (in my case, booze or buffet)while out there.

Quite excitingly, for me, is a special tournament on VC Poker coming up in a month or so. Its called 'Get Carter' and its a money added, bounty tournament with 5 $100 bounties on my head (its a rebuy). Should be all sorted in a few days and scheduled for August. I'll have my own launch page on the website with a special 300% bonus for anyone that signs up - I'll spam it properly when I have more details.

Roll on Vegas, Im really bored at the mo because I just wanna get that 16 hour flight out of the way and cant think far past it.

Generic Running GoodPost


I made such a point of telling everyone how bad I was running a month or two ago and now it would be bad karma if I didnt do the same for the good stuff. I'm running very well at the moment, playing well and booked some of my biggest winning sessions this week. One minor gripe is that I've had a walk in the big blind or no action at all with pocket aces 26 times this week - but who knows, maybe those 26 hands would have seen my profit plummet into the red?

Heads up cash is the bread and butter right now, I was very reluctant to shift some of my bankroll to Full Tilt because I figured the standard would be too good but I did because they have so many heads up games. As it turns out, these games are full of very aggressive players but most only have one gear, I'm sure they make a killing in these games but they are very exploitable. I've been taking some very passive, slowplaying lines and its amazing how the players dont adjust to this at all - all they know is Cardrunners say bet-bet-bet and thats fine with me.

I took down one of the $75, 45 man SNGs the other day and I'm gonna stick with them too, maybe one a day. I like them because they are more tournament than SNG and the first prize ($1200) is good for a small buy-in. They also are reminding me about how to play crapshoot tournament poker so I might actually get a live cash this year on the old Hendon Mob DB.

In a way its a shame I'm off to Vegas in a week, I always worry that I'll forget how to play for when I get back (Although I reckon I might be able to find a game while I'm out there, if I look hard enough).

I'm a lucky chuff me

My Hold’em Manager broke a few days ago and it’s amazing how reliant I became on my popup HUD for that thing. I’ve been playing a lot of heads up cash lately and losing my HUD is probably done me a real favour, because I’m playing a lot better, a lot more observant, than usual. The heads up cash games on Full Tilt are a bit of a goldmine, don’t get me wrong, there are some very tough opponents to avoid but you can make a killing by just sitting with the players that don’t buy in for full and clearing their bankroll.

Most of the players that buy-in for $188.43 on a $2/$4 table or $120 on a $3/$6 table have no idea what they are doing and either taking a shot or gambling with the remains of the bankroll. It really is like shooting fish in a barrel and all you have to do is wait for something that closely resembles top pair and wait for them to give you their money.

Another great value game I’ve found, also on Tilt, is the $75 45 man SNGs, they tried to run some higher stakes, multi table SNGs on Stars a few times but it seems that a slightly smaller buy-in of $75 makes them fill up quick. The first prize is $1200 and the standard is awful, truly awful – I’ve seen players call off their entire stack on the river with a counterfeighted pair of fours, fold to min bets on AKQTJ rainbow boards and say “nice kicker” and so on. My tournament game is close to non existent at the moment and I think I’ll play a few of these to try and get my MTT boots running again.

If you have seen this month’s issue of WPT Poker magazine you’ll see my articles which have my picture and underneath it says ‘Barry Carter is sponsored by Littlewoods Poker’ – which I can confirm I am not. It was just an error at their end, thought I best get that in for the good folks at VC Poker.

Speaking of poker rooms other than my sponsors, I’m off to the World Series at the end of the month in an all expenses fancy tripI, courtesy of the good folks at Ladbrokes. They have lots of fun media stuff and I’ve got my writing hat on while I’m out there, but what a stroke of luck eh? Right now I feel like the luckiest sod in the world. Obviously I plan on playing plenty of cash, in fact I think PLO is the best value game I can play in the States, those guys can’t fold top pair. I also might have a crack at the MTTs at the Venetian and the Bellagio.

The weigh in: Number 2


Another week, another 2lbs lost which is pretty much the target for each and every week, I’m now 15st 8 1/4lbs, so just another 2 stone to go to get back to my fighting weight. Actually that really sounds like a lot; best hit that gym even harder. I fly out to Vegas on the 1st so lots of things to avoid there as far as the diet goes (More than anything, I’d like to have a year where I am not throwing up on foreign soil, as Germany and Australia faced my chunks last year after poker pissups).

Poker was going crappy but just had two great days at the heads up tables on Full Tilt, I was having a break even month until this morning, where I bumped into a player that played that great style of poker ie. he would bet when he has nothing and check when he hits the flop. 8 buy-ins later and he is still reloading and giving me a good return for the month. Bless him, 8 buy-ins down and I flop a set of jacks against his set of eights, I’ve been there my friend.

Good luck to Nick (Din01980) Wright this weekend at the GBPT, whom I have 10% in and congrats to my Pokernews gaffa Paul Sandells who has just become a father for the second time.

Euro 2008 and the WSOP (Because I've not been doing much myself)

With the exception of my weight loss bet, which touch wood is still going well, there isnt much going on at the moment. Poker is going a bit meh, made a good start after the holiday but had a very spewy week and I really need to step that up a gear. Havent been going out much, most of my writing has been bog standard stuff etc.

This has let me do my fair share of observing of things, however, for example Euro 2008. I really didn't think I would even be watching it being as most of our boys are probably sunbathing in Barbedos or spitroasting some unsuspecting groupie, but I've really enjoyed it. I'd been saying for weeks it was either Holland or Spain and not many of the lads listened, wish I had put some money on it really but I don't really bet on sports any more. Its been nice to see Italy, France and Germany get a kick up the arse too. I really want Holland to win the whole thing and show the rest of the football world that all attack footy is the way to go. As long as France, Italy or Portugal dont win I wont mind.

I've also been following up the WSOP quite religiously before I fly out there myself at the end of the month. Its really been helped by the some four or five fantasy WSOP comps or side bets I have going. Thus far I think its been a good series for two reasons. First of all, the pros have really been out in force this year. Its great to see Matusow, Negreanu and Lindgren all snag gold as well as the fantasy final tables that have been popping up everywhere.

The second thing to my liking is that this could be the year of Vanessa Selbst. Just like Tom Schneider last year, Jeff Madsen the year before and Phil Ivey a few years ago - there is always one player who stands out in the series for catapulting onto the World stage. As I write, Selbst is two heads up matches away from back to back bracelets and I would fancy to have another good run in another big event this year. The fact that she is a woman is great for poker and the WSOP in general, just like Annette at the WSOPE. For all the detractors that poker has to deal with, one cannot deny its about as level a playing field as any competative environment can get. Selbst is also an instructor on the excellent Deucescracked website and for me one of the better instructors.

The low point is of course the distinct lack of gold for the UK. I don't know James Akenhead at all but even I wanted to give him a hug after the gut wrencher of a bad beat he took. Good to see Roland make a final table, mainly because he is in one of my dreamteams, but the time is starting to run out and although you usually see Brits at the top of the chip counts, I cant help but think its because Snoopy is just updated the fellas we know about.

Oh well, back to the diet I guess. I turned down free gateux, pizza, cookies and crisps this week as well as adding another kilometre to my twice weekly run, so hopefully wont look too American by the time I fly out there.

The weigh in: Number 1


Well I have gone from 15st 13 3/4 lbs to 15st 10 1/4 lbs after my first weekly weigh in of the prop bet proper. 3 and a half pounds in one week is way ahead of schedule, but at the same time nothing to go crazy about as most people shed the most weight in week one. Either way its good news and testament to what has been a real effort this week, both at the gym and at the dinner table.

Its been mainly weight lifting and running that I've been doing. Back in the glory days I was pretty strong and ran a few marathons, I'm nowhere near that but I'd say I'm a lot better than your average fatty in these departments at the moment. I've all but stopped snacking at night and when I do snack its fruit (except for over the weekend when it was my mums birthday cake) - whether I keep this up, particularly in Vegas in a few weeks, is the real question.

Staking Some Ponies

Well my TV heat was on the other night and the feedback Ive got from most corners was pretty pleasing. Most of the people who said I did well have never played poker before and were going on what the commentators were saying, but I'll take it. A few others reminded me that the camera adds ten pounds, but I can assure you, it was me adding those tend pounds and another 30 or so more. My weight loss prop is going well, I've stopped gorging on food, started eating fruit and I'm doing overtime at the gym. My target for the bet is 2 stone by the end of the year, which would be pretty inexcusable if I didnt hit it.

Good to see that Amatay has kind of given up a little on his 10k prop bet. He is still doing well and hopefully he makes enough to still have a profit from the month, I just wish I bet more. Ariston is very confident he could do such a challenge with his hands tied behind his back and I'll be sure to give him action if he does.

It got me liking the idea of wagering on peoples performance at the tables so I'm going to invest a little wedge in buying shares in players. I like the idea of staking people to play these small stakes tournies on stars and tilt, just because the fields are so big that the final table pays out better than some of the $100 mtts and I dont have the time or patience to play smaller than that. I've just bought 5% in Chris 'NoflopsHomer' Hall in the $1500 PLO at the WSOP, he made the final table of the Green Joker Poker PLO event which was a tough field, so he certainly has a good shot against a primarily American field. I also have a $50 WSOP stake in poker author Matthew Hilger, who is a real dark horse who pops up now and then with a huge result (recently won the Full Tilt $750,000 gauranteed). Finally Im gonna do a 50/50 thing with Nick Wright for a few GUKPT sats as he knows his stuff where satelittes are concerned.

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