GCBPT Teeside, Credit Crunch and luck bastards losing their jobs.

Last week Gala Coral were kind enough to invite me along for a free seat in the Stockton on Tees leg of the GCBPT (Because I am a media type that gets stuff for free) and once again I donated away to a day 1 finish. The usual story really, I built up a big stack early (actually played some of my best poker for the first two levels) but never really got going after the first break.

Partially due to this very chatty and very good Irish bloke that moved to my left after the break and became a real Burdon; outplaying me almost every hand. It didn’t help that the structure was faster than the games I am used to (no 75/150 or 150/300 levels, which are my favourites) and all of a sudden it found me short stacked and running jacks into kings. I do, however, think that a faster structure is needed for the GCBPT and not because of the lower skill element in these events. It is effectively only a two day event, so it does need the faster structure and also there are not that many pros in the field, so it’s unreasonable to expect the players to spend half the week there.

But I must say I do like the GCBPT very much, rightly dubbed the peoples poker tour. What makes them different to say the GUKPT is that most of the field is made up of regulars from that casino (which also makes it great value) rather than the same 200 players regardless of the venue. I think both tours are great btw, I think the GCBPT is the people’s tour and the GUKPT is the prestige tour.

To be honest, I’d just like to cash in either at the moment.

Cash games are going ok at the moment, particularly because the pound is so weak compared to the dollar, I’m glad to be doing my poker business in $ and wish I understood currency well enough to justify cashing some of my roll out (Hmmmmm, I might actually just because its Christmas) and enjoying the exchange rate.

I’m sooooooo jealous of my old workmates; the lucky bastards might be getting made redundant. I was toying with sticking around at my old Norwich Union job because redundancy might have happened, 18 months later it is for some of them. They get a month’s gross pay per year they have been there, I would have got about 14 grand for that, my mate is due to get about £40,000. Lucky bastards.

I’ve been doing some research about how the whole recession thingy might affect the online poker industry, after all this is the first time we have had ‘online gambling’ in a recession, and although gambling historically does well in those periods, some experts think that online poker won’t be as lucrative.

First of all, I don’t think the traffic will go down all that much. For every player that opts out because of the credit crunch there will be a new player in the Asian market to take their place. Not only that but we have things like PKR and Sky Poker bringing new people to the game (Plus the odd idiot trying to poker their way out of a debt).

One thing is for certain, I am not keeping all my bankroll in any one place, that’s just common sense. I’m trying to find out exactly what would happen if an online poker sites bank went bust, but at the moment the online poker rooms haven’t been all that helpful. Could you imagine if Pokerstars invested all their money in Icesave? Christ.

So I have my roll spread out in Neteller, a few poker rooms and I am thinking off sticking it in a savings account. I’d get a lot of interest as a direct result, but as I’m a spanner when it comes to these things I have no idea whether Id be better off not converting the dollars to pounds, or if I’d get shafted if I redeposited or not. One thing I am doing is sticking all my rakeback straight into a savings account, that’s a nice medium I think and I tend to get quite a bit a month (Especially since getting a deal from the Tetleyboy guys in the above banner) and previously I just used it to pad my roll.

The smaller poker rooms will suffer I think. Duplicate poker has already closed down blaming the credit crunch, but make no mistake, its closing down because it was a fucking stupid idea for a poker room and had way too much invested in it. The Crypto network could be on its way out and I hope they merge with Party as its being suggested. Places like Sky Poker and PKR I think are destined to become huge and I can actually forsee them getting bigger, as will iPoker, especially when William Hill merge with them.

I think the credit crunch will adversely affect live poker more than online. I can casinos and poker tours see numbers drop more than online poker rooms. The ‘experts’ are saying poker attracts less habitual gamblers and thus, will give the game up much easier in a recession, but as poker is just a mouseclick away and there are no overheads online, I can see it thriving even if lots of smaller rooms and related business suffer.

The Poker Coach

There has been a really good response to an article I wrote for WPT Magazine this month about getting a poker coach. I actually wrote the feature months ago but I'm pleased to say I'm still with Stuart and we've become really good mates. I would advise anyone to either get a coach or at least, get some likeminded mates to discuss hands with because it makes an incredible difference to your game.

If nothing else, its a tremendous support system to have a coach when the times are hard, as well as a big reality check when you think you are running bad but are in fact making plenty of mistakes.

I've had a lot of people asking me to get in contact with Stu for them and I am sure he will reply to all the requests in due course, but I shall say on his behalf that he is in the middle of moving house right now and presumably has little to no internet access right now.

Man Flu

Its typical, just as I get a bit of a run going at the tables I get the dreaded man flu.

It sucks being ill when you dont have a normal job. No matter how ill I was at my old work, I always felt a small feeling of victory that I wasnt at work. Sure I would spend most of the day hovering over a toilet, but I also got to watch Jeremy Kyle when the other mugs were slaving away.

But Ive been ropey for a few days now and its really hard to quantify what, if anything, I have lost from being inactive. I could have got some really good writing down and won a fortune at the tables, or I could have done sod all and blown half my roll in one session. Its hard to say and its boring being ill when you are your own boss.

I dont know why, but I think this is the funniest thing Ive seen in ages:

The Club

Yesterday I was down in Feltham to record several interviews for the Club on Sky Poker. Neither of my previous two appearances on poker TV shows were that impressive; I appeared on the Open last year, stuttered when I was introduced because I had flopped a full house on my poker table and when I finally got my words together, soft core pornography journalist Grub Smith made fun of my hair (Typically hours after the show I came up with a great comeback – “oi, fuck off Grub Smith”- which I wish I had said at the time). My second appearance was playing on the PartyPoker European Open, which was short and sweet and I think I played ok, but being the 5th place finisher in a 6 table heat is never much to shout about.

It was Dan Lobb and Compo presenting this time round, rather than Dan and Matt Broughton, and it was nice meeting Compo for the first time properly and he seems a really top bloke. Dan Lobb is exactly the same off the camera as he is on the camera, except he is actually about 6ft 3, which surprised me. When I met him in the green room, the first thing he asked me was ‘do you have any gambling leaks?’ which I thought was an interesting, intrusive and innocent question all at the same time, I can only assume Broughton told him what the term ‘leak’ meant the week previous and he has been using it to death ever since.

Also in the green room was Rich Prew plugging this week’s APAT event and Theo Jorgensen, bracelet in hand, looking like the cat that got the cream.

I did three interviews in total, one ‘quick fire’ interview which was just me and Compo and will be aired one night on ‘the open’ in the next week and two interviews for the Club. I took a change of shirt for those two to give the illusion of time passing between shows, the magic of television eh? My first proper interview was all about the WSOPE and the shenanigans that have gone on over the last few weeks and the other was all about my main writing gig – Pokernews, and all the great stuff they’ve got going on at the moment.

I really enjoyed all three interviews and I’m looking forward to watching them all, hopefully I won’t look too much like a fat fucker because I’m a stone lighter than the last time I was on TV. I think I answered all my questions pretty knowledgably and I even managed to crack a few funnies here and there. I think the first one airs on Friday night and no idea when the other ones do, I’ve sky plussed the lot already.
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