Get Carter: Money Added tournament this Thursday

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This week is Get Carter on VC Poker, a bounty tournament with a difference. Its a $20 rebuy event which not only has $1000 added to the prize pool but there are also five $100 bounties on my head if you are lucky enough to be sat at my table. This is a great value tournament because not only is there added money but because its on VC Poker only (and not other iPoker skins) the turnout will be a lot lower than your average money added bounty and thus, there will be a much better chance of being at my table during the rebuy period.

They do a similar bounty tournament with Ken Doherty and initially the numbers for that were very low so this makes it a really good value event to get in on now before it becomes more popular. It’s on Thursday 5th September at 20:30 BST.
For more information and a 300% ($600) bonus go to

The bonuses on VC Poker do clear faster than any other iPoker skin from what I understand and if you are interested I might be able to sort out a good loyalty deal with anyone who fancies moving their cash/sng game over to VC. I’m sure you will think I am biased, but the reason I went to VC way before I was a sponsored player was because they cashback/loyalty/reload bonuses were the most lucrative on the iPoker network and I think they still are.

Hopefully see people on Thursday, where I can finally get some cool use out of my surname.

29th Birthday, bring on the 30th!


I turned 29 yesterday and feeling all philosophical n that. My birthday itself was nice enough, I ate and drank too much of course. I saw my beloved Sheffield Wednesday look awesome in the first half, 1-0 up against Preston and woeful in the 2nd half when it finished 1-1.

I'm now officially 12 months away from the big 3 0 and I'm pleased to say it isn't the daunting milestone I once imagined it to be. When I was about 22-26 the prospect of turning 30 was genuinely scary to me, but that was probably something to do with how I lived back then. I was a bit of a Lad in my early twenties and I'd be out every weekend and the week would just be inconvenience between weekends. I'm settled now, have a great girlfriend and enjoy the finer and relaxing things in life. I had a great time of course when I was a dirty stop out, but I wouldn't change things for the world now.

The other big difference was of course that back then, I had a dead end job in a large Insurance company (who claimed to quote people happy). I was straight out of Uni and uttered the words that most of my colleagues once said "this is only temporary". Low and behold it would be 6 years later that I actually left, which I guess is temporary in the wider context of my life. Back then I got promoted a few times and got plenty of extra responsibilities that deluded me into thinking it was going somewhere, when my annual income was actually increasing at a rate of six kit-kats a year.

Not to slag the place off though, one of my pet peeves was all the people that would walk around moaning about working there, like they were forced into doing the job rather than their of their own free will. Mood Hoovers a boss of mine called them and I always did my best to be the opposite, I always had a good attitude at work, which is why I progressed and earned more kitkats than some of my workmates, but inside I hated it. The only thing that kept me there was the brilliant and instant social life you get with working in a big company.

But I think I have to be grateful to my old job for a number of reasons. The biggest and most important one being my mate Jonesy, who is still one of my best mates and we meet up every week, teaching me to play poker when we worked together. Every lunch we would discuss hands and bad beats and he created a monster. He is still a good player but soon I became obsessed and surpassed him, I started winning money that was beating what I could make in overtime, so I stopped doing overtime and played poker instead. If and when I win a serious amount of money in a tournament, I want to buy Jonesy a big old gift as a token of my appreciation.

The other big change that saved me was getting what can only be described as a PISS EASY JOB. I was drafted into a new department as a technical consultant, where it was my job to inform this new department how the rest of the business works. I'm sure they thought this would be a daunting task but it quickly became transparent to me that it was easy and the best part was, they had no idea how easy and no benchmark to compare me to, so I made it look like it was the hardest job in the world and I was doing a great job.

Most of my work could be done in a couple of hours, but because nobody within a mile of my desk could understand how to use the systems I did (or excel, the thickos) I would drag it out over several days. This allowed me to spend, pretty much 60% of my working week, reading and writing poker articles at my desk. It was round about this time that I started getting paid writing work which meant that I was earning more money at my desk not doing my job (and getting paid for both) than I ever could have trying to get promoted, and all the time my bosses thought the sun shined out of my arse.

If you've ever wondered, as many people do, how I am able to write so much seemingly every month (as I appear in many magazines and websites) I would attribute it to this period of my life. I have always been a super fast worker anyway (when I'm trying) and because I love writing I can do it quickly and well, but this period where I would write poker articles when I'm supposed to be working sharpened my speed writing skills as well as my 'flick-up-a=spreadsheet-when-the-boss-is-walking-past' skills.

So both these things led to me going part time and eventually quitting the 9-5 altogether, which was about 16 months ago and I haven't looked back since. I kinda feel guilty about admitting I did nothing for my last year of work because my employers were gutted I left but in all honesty, I'm also childishly proud at the same time.

I've gone off track a little but what I am saying is now that I have found something I love, a job that doesn't feel like a death sentence and I am my own boss, hitting 30 doesn't seem that bad at all. Hopefully this doesn't come across as bragging, but instead inspires someone to follow a dream job of their own, whatever it may be.

I said in my last post that I want to win a meaningful poker trophy before I am 30 and that is the plan, but it is just a vain hope and if I don't get it it doesn't matter. I have no intention getting on the property market this year because it is just an awful time for anyone, let alone a self employed person who wins most of his income, and my main man Martin Lewis advises against it right now and that's good enough for me.

A new motor would be nice for my 30th, I drive a bit of a granny wagon at the moment but I use it so little a new car isn't a wise investment unless I get a big score. I'd also like to pay of my missus' debt in one fell swoop because I know how great it feels to rid yourself of debt.

So all being well, if I am doing what I'm doing now when I hit 30 then that will be fine and anything beyond that will be a brilliant bonus. Even if poker goes tits up I'd hope that this experience has made me a stronger and more confident person anway, and it would ensure I never went into a dead end job again.

My Kindom for a Trophy


Putting a lot of hours in online and eeking out a bit of profit, thank god for rakeback which is a huge difference maker and I don't think I could ever play at Stars again as a result (plus the fact that I am currently banned) as its turning a so so month into a pretty respectable one. Nothing majorly interesting going on which is proven by the fact that I'm getting excited by the prospect of a VC Poker hoody which is on its way. I look terrible in hoodies but after losing some weight I'm too small for the sponsored shirts I have to wear at poker tournaments and it will be nice to have something different to wear than the polo shirts that make me look like a darts player.

Anyhoooo, next week is the biggest non event of the year (after New Years) – my birthday. I really don't care about my birthday's generally, no idea why, but this one will be particularly uninteresting. A few of my mates have already made plans (as its bank holiday weekend), some others have fallen out with others (making it hard to get them in the same room together) and two others get married this weekend and are on honeymoon for my birthday. So probably won't be doing much other than going for a curry with the guys and watching Sheffield Wednesday vs Preston with the missus (most of mates are Blades so she has to come with me).

But I am going to spend most of my birthday week in Nottingham at the DTD deepstack festival, starting at the £100 scalp event and possibly having a few beers at the tables (added value folks, come and get it) and deffo playing the PLO event on the Sunday. Which gets me to the point of this post:

Next Saturday is my 29th birthday and one away from possibly the most landmark of birthdays, the 30th. It's about now that most people go a bit crazy and try and make up for a wasted lifetime in 12 months and go skydiving/backpacking/working in a Donkey sanctuary etc – usually in the form of making a 'things to do before you are 30' list. I won't be making a list.

Thanks to poker, I managed to tick off a lot of things I probably would be adding to said list if I'd have stuck with my old office job, including being my own boss, getting out of debt, saving money and travelling the world. Although there is plenty in my life I haven't done, I'm very content with where I am and where I appear to be going.

Online cash is going ok, not brilliant, but ok and I've committed to making the next couple of years as much a learning experience as a moneymaking one. My writing is going better than I ever thought possible, I have to turn down work I get so many offers and I'm getting recognised at festivals on my writing work alone (which panders the old ego a bit) – I think maybe one day I want to write a book as it seems a logical step, but not a 'how to play poker' book as who needs another one of them?

But there is one thing that has been bugging me lately. I've just been reading up on Marty Smyth winning another PLO title on top of his WSOP bracelet, World Open Trophy and Irish Open Title and it reminded how there is one thing missing in my house – a trophy cabinet. It probably also has something to do with the fact that I am well into the Olympics at the moment and have been pondering on how sweet it would be to win a medal of any colour.

It's pure vanity, but I really want to win a live tournament for the sheer sake of winning a trophy and I am going to make it my aim before I am 30 (I will take a second/third place trophy too) to have something to put on the mantelpiece. I've won loads of online tournaments in the last few years and they are all about the money and nothing more plus I have made plenty of live finals, but I really have a hankering for a physical trophy and a title (ie. Dinnington Poker Masters 2009 Champion).

It's obviously very minus EV to want to play tournaments for this reason alone and potentially rejecting a good value tournament because no trophy is on the cards is totally stupid, but I’m sure that money would most likely come with it anyway unless I went OTT with it. But that is the aim for me before the big 3 0.

My priority will always be make a steady income and get money saved in the next year as it is right now, and online cash games will always take precedence over live tournaments, but my own personal quest will be to take down a ranking title before I’m 30. Not necessarily a massive one and to me this one had ‘side event’ written all over it rather than a GUKPT or a GBPT. I’ll still be playing those, mainly thanks to the good folks at VC Poker, but I’ll be using a bit of my own bankroll too for some more side events. DTDs deepstack seems a good place to start (winning a normal tourney at DTD wouldn’t count) and some of the side events at GUKPT Bolton next month also appeal.

It’s sad I know and totally goes against my mantra of turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, cash is king but its a demon I’d really like to exercise and if it makes me a bit of money along the way, then happy days.

We are top of the League, say we are top of the league


It wont bloody last though.


After a bit of a break I donned my VC Poker shirt once again and headed up the M1 for the Luton leg of the GUKPT, otherwise known as the ‘proper shoes’ tournament. It was a really tough field which was evident before I even sat down, it seemed to attract all the big London based pros as well as obviously the midlands boys, its a very easy casino to get to in retrospect.

Despite all that, it was a table full of unknowns infront of me again and even better, there was the biggest muthafucking fish I’ve ever seen at mine. Archetypal calling station, regularly calls three streets with ace high, limped with aces and kings several times and generally looked like he thought we were playing blackjack throughout. He also forced me to fold pocket queens in a threeway pot on a 4-5-7-8-9 board when I was 2nd to act and facing a pot donk bet when both men called me on every street. I unprofessionally kneejerk muttered “I hope one of you has the six” as I mucked and rightly got a warning for it, turns out neither man did and not only did I fold the best hand I had to spend the next ten minutes apologising for it.

Unfortunately it was a full day of me maintaining a stack a couple of thousand either side of the average but I’m very pleased with how I played (other than the above hand) – I made some gutwrenching folds where I think a lot of players would have lost money, folding top pair three times to donkeys to relatively small bets when they cant have had anything other than sets or overpairs and also some big preflop folds of a similar nature. Unfortunately you don’t win tournaments by folding.

One highlight was playing with Ian Cox who had such a prolific year in 2007 and joined my table a few levels in. He recognised me from my writing and I’d heard a lot of good things about his professional manner at the table, which he confirmed when he sat down and started playing. A funny, friendly chap who really understands the game, even though he isn’t a professional poker player (he is in fact a professional sports better which explains a lot) he is a lot more professional than a lot of the so called ‘pros’ I know. He didn’t seem to make any mistakes and is still in the main event today and I’m routing for him (And me old mucker Dana Immanuel who is running well too).

Obviously I’m not and as we got to the final level I still had my average stack and wanted to gamble in the hopes of making a big stack for day 2 (as I didn’t want to drive all the way back with a vulnerable stack for day 2) and got my wish when I pushed all in in a 4 way limped pot (Why folks were limping at this stage I don’t know) and knew I was ahead of and would get a call from Nick ‘I thought you were on a draw’ Gibson as I was giving him a clear 2:1 call. I had king-queen of diamonds, he had 7-5 of clubs and he spiked the 7 on the river. No complaints, I wanted the call and he was also right to gamble, especially as I announced minutes earlier I was gambling too.

I had a great old time though and managed to do Luton to Sheffield in under one and a half hours, tilt driving is awesome. The structure at the GUKPT is brilliant and I’m already getting excited about Bolton next month and lets hope that that 2008 cash is finally on the cards.

Coolered, Injured, Conchordes and Curries


Funny old few days in poker and life. Ive ran very very well in the last week or so and if I dont mind saying so, played very well too. Then this morning manage to shed 5 buy-ins in ten minutes in one stinker of a cooler session. I ran QQ into AA, QQ into KK, KK into AA, a set of twos into a set of fives and a 2nd nut flush with a straight flush redraw into the nut flush. Not much I really could have done about any of them but the fact they all happened in ten minutes sucked.....obviously I stopped playing at this point which sucked because I have new monitor I wanted to play with. But, ran like god leading up to today so no complaints.

Im also a bit of a walking disaster at the moment as I keep injuring myself. Im still bruised after go-karting last weekend, I then went and did something strange to my ear which blocked it up for a week but is ok now (touch wood) and then threw my shoulder out on the punch bag of the gym. All seem ok now (touch wood) but lets see what comes next eh?

On the flight back from Vegas I saw a show called Flight of the Conchords which is a New Zealand comedy set in New York and its one of the best things I've seen (other than Batman) in ages. Im posting this so I can officially say 'I liked them first' before they are brought to BBC Three or Paramount at some point in the next year. Here is a clip:

Ive been at the same weight for two weeks so I am setting a mini goal within a goal to lose 7lbs by the end of August (when its my birthday and I will be wanting a curry).
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