SPUKT, Pokernews and SNGs

Bah! I'm sick of starting blog posts with the line 'long time no post'.

First off, had a cracking time in Nottingham for the SPUKT grand final. Sky Poker were as hospitable as ever, good bunch they are. Thankfully I got more than one hand in this time, actually making it till late in the evening. I got my stack up to 22,000 which sadly is about the biggest I have had a chip stack in a year, it comes to something when your girlfriend doesn't believe you when you call and say you are still in the comp at 9pm.

Lots of players went expecting it to be a walk in the park, that they could just stampede over the sky poker players, I said to everyone from the start they were wrong. Big respect to Neil Blatchly for staking 14 players into the event, I would have done the same if I had a spare £2400 lying around, but this was not shooting fish in a barrel. Yes we saw some bad plays, overplaying of one pair hands etc but all the sky lot took it really seriously.

Still they must have been bad if I nearly made it to day 2.

One fortunate hand did come up early on in the day, a young player who I am pretty certain was playing one of his first live games was making a point of betting every street when checked to irrespective of the information in front of him. I decided way before the hand in question I was going to slow play any top pair or better hand against him, and soon after flopped bottom two pair, with 8-9 on a K89 rainbow board.

Check-call, check-call and by the river we now have a nasty looking K89JT board with three hearts and I’m stuck with the problem of not being able to bet this board, because I will never get called by a hand I beat (Though I could make an argument for turning my hand into a bluff, I really didn’t want to bluff at all in this event) so I check. He reaches for the biggest pile of chips, relative to the pot, I’ve ever seen. It looked like about 4,000 for a 1200 pot. There is no way I can call this, even though it’s blatantly obvious he has nothing.

Luckily for me, in an attempt I am sure to make his hand look big, he places the chips over the line one at a time, chequers style. The dealer tells him he has made a string bet and only the first chip counts, a tiny 100 chip, and I snap call like a wuss, relieved that I get away with a showdown when I know inside I should probably have tried to get a ruling that would have maximised the times I am ahead. I was, he had nothing, but I never would have called him even though I knew I was good

Pokernews is going well. I'm getting a lot more original content on the site one way or another. I, in particular, was very pleased that James Atkin agreed to do a column. He is a really nice kid who I think endeared a lot of people to him when he missed out on a blue belt in the BlackBelt grading and has done well since. Really good writer too and his 'crazy high volume challenges' are exactly what we want on UK Pokernews.

Loads of interviews lately too, I'm trying for two a week at least even though I hate doing them, I am turning them more into a 'quick chat' for that very reason. We had the SPUKT winner Robbie O'Brien who seems a really sensible lad for a 19 year old with an extra 17k in his skyrocket. We also had Jude Ainsworth who is winning everything at the moment.

I interviewed Ian Frazer this morning and was really surprised what a nice humble bloke he was. I think he probably has one of those table images, such is his style of play and the format he plays, I assumed he was a bit of a git but nothing could be further from the truth. Neil Channing will also be on the site tomorrow, he can talk for England that bloke, but thankfully its entertaining enough, even though my ice cream melted while he was rabbiting on.

What else? Well I didnt expect to see this

SNGs are going pretty crap after a great start to the month. Having gone over the hh its very clear whats been going wrong. I have run really really bad heads up, which means I have something like 50 2nd places and 13 firsts for the month (In 6 max games). Now obviously getting the 2nd places is waaaaay better than bubbling, but its a bit frustrating getting outdrawn heads up so often because the difference between 1st and 2nd is worth a few grand to me, I would have been up a couple of grand this last two weeks, instead Im down a few hundred.

Hey ho. Gotta go, dog is tearing up my house.

PS. Terminator Salvation - very average.

I thought he had 9-6

I was really looking forward to playing a bit of live poker last weekend, as I haven't sat at a real life poker table since Cork, having been preoccupied for 3 months with the new pooch. I went down to Nottingham for the £168 side event at the DTD Deepstack, really had to rush as I missed my turning on the M1 which had been blocked because of roadworks.

I got there just in time to be dealt my first hand, pocket sixes on the button and facing a raise of 150, which is certainly worth the chances of flopping a set, which I did on a J96 flop. All the money goes in and my opponent turns over pocket nines and I am gone before most players have even taken their seats.

The worst/funniest thing was that from a distance, Im sure he had 9-6 (sixes and nines look similar) and I apologised to him for such a cold deck, and was pretty shocked to see the pot get scooped his way.

Hopefully will have more time to play this weekend, when I am going down for the SPUKT main event, which could be the best value local tournament of the year.

Pokernews is going well, although I havent really got started with it yet, what with the WSOP taking up everyones time. Managed to get a quick interview with Julian Thew at DTD between telling him my set over set hand, as well as one with Sida Yuen of BlackBelt Poker fame.

Enjoying my SNGs again, Ive started playing the $119s on Stars now, had an amazing start to the month followed by an awful swing back down again this week, certainly need to put more volume in this month if I am going to make that Stars supernova promo worth the month I spent grinding in May.

I'm an editor I am

The first week as the editor has been a busy one, although for all intents and purposes nothing really has changed. I still do the daily news on pokernews, I still sit in front of my desk for a similar amount of time with occasional breaks to entertain the dog and so on. Besides all the additional editorial and administrative duties, I’ve found my phone has not really stopped ringing. Admittedly half those calls the people never even knew I was the editor now (most thought I was already) but it still seemed like a sign of things to come.

My aims really for UK Pokernews are essentially to attract more and more regular readers, which sounds simple but it ain’t. More hits basically will mean more revenue and of course it will also mean that we are producing something people like, easy right? I’ve literally got a hundred ideas on how to do this (and would love to hear other peoples thoughts) but my general ethos is if I can keep things very grassroots, stick to the stories, the players and the card rooms people in the UK give a toss about, then that will reap dividends. I aim to have two interviews with UK players a week, this week it is probably two of the most talked about UK players of the last week, Tony Phillips and Aisling Collins. Both good little interviews imo, Tony seems like a smart lad and in particular Aisling impressed me, I am sure there will be plenty of detractors in that she won a fast structured tournament and was a complete unknown, but from talking to her she really studied the format which not many players bother to do in the TV tournaments.

I’m also really loving ChipMeUp at the moment, its such a dudey little site it reminds me of when I found ebay for the first time. I really want to promote ChipMeUp in the UK (Anyone who heard me on Jesse Mays Poker Show on Tuesday will know that as I stumbled through explaining the transparency of the site) and have bit the bullet and made an event of my own. I stake a lot of players but never been staked myself, I usually play 100% within my bankroll so don’t see the need, but to help get CMU promoted in the UK I have 25% if myself up for grab in $15 chunks at the £168 side event at DTD this Sunday. I was desperate to get down to DTD this weekend after all the closure rumours, kinda scared me into trying to actually cash once in the place in case it did close/change hands.

WSOP prop bets. I broke even in the 40k event by backing Bonomo each way, but I am now down backing Dario Alioto (rather than my 2nd choice Jason Mercier doh) in the PLO. In truth, I would always back Alioto at a final table because he put on a card perfect performance in the WSOPE PLO when he won and I think is the new Rafi Amit. Good to see Ivey win his bracelet bet, that should cripple Las Vegas. news/daily-poker-news/2009/06/uk-wsop-event-10.htm. We had a promo on ChipMeUp which I wasn’t eligible for where some guy won 3% of his win for $9.
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