Posts Tagged ‘Pot Limit Omaha’

On the Road Again…

October 16, 2009

Greetings poker fans, it’s been a long time, too long in fact since I have posted anything on the old blog front. Far from slacking however, I have been working hard writing my arse off.

Poker Player

So, to business, I have a Luke ‘_FullFlush1_’ Schwartz feature out in the latest copy of Poker Player magazine – Issue 53 with Vicky Coren on the front cover.

This was an interesting interview, it took me a while to pin young Mr Schwartz down but it was worth it and true to form, the UK’s latest internet phenomenon had some entertaining and often controversial stuff to say for himself. I’ll stick up a link to the article if they post it online, but feel free to check out the Poker Player website here.

PKR

I’ve been doing a bit of work for PKR recently and have been writing strategy articles on beating PLO and PLO8 SNG’s for the ‘Raise Your Game’ section of their website. I don’t think that the PLO8 articles are up yet but you can check out the three PLO SNG articles here:
•  Pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go strategy (Part 1): Basic PLO strategy
Pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go strategy (Part 2): PLO early and middle play
Beat pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go’s (part 3): PLO bubbles and beyond

Baller

A lot of the writing I’ve been doing recently is for a new Asian-based poker lifestyle magazine called Baller – check out their website here.
You can download a PDF copy of their pre-launch issue where I have an article on the APPT Macau and an interview with WSOP 2005 Main Event Champ Joe Hachem.

Joe was a pretty cool guy to interview, and I found him a genuinely friendly fella, very chatty and down to earth. We talked about all sorts of stuff but mainly focused on the Asian and Australian poker scene and his life after his World Series win. Feel free to check it out folks.

The mag launches next month (November) and I also have features on the PokerStars Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang who tells me all about the Singapore poker scene and with fellow Team Asia Pro Celina Lin who is currently leading the PokerStars Macau Poker Cup tournament leaderboard. I think they should be posting up some more content on the website after the launch so will keep you posted.

International Man of Mystery

I’ve become something of an international man of mystery recently (only with better teeth than Austin Powers, obviously…) and have been globetrotting with reckless abandon. My only regret is that with all the travelling I missed the GUKPT Cardiff leg.

Now while Cardiff is not as exotic as say Macau or Vegas it is my hometown and I was genuinely gutted to miss the GUKPT tour when it visited last month. Local boy Iwan Jones did us proud finishing in second and he was unlucky not to win. However, it was the Hit Squad’s Karl Mahrenholtz who took the honours along with his first GUKPT title, and being as Karl is an all round nice guy and an excellent poker player, this is no bad thing.

After covering the APPT Macau back in August/September I hit up London for the WSOPE. The final table there was a great one to watch and I found myself chatting with Mr Mahrenholtz about his GUKPT win while we were watching his fellow Hit Squaders Praz Bansi and James Akenhead get to work.

The Hit Squad boys are winning everything in sight at the mo, and the fact that Mr Akenhead has done a Demidov after making the WSOP Main Event final just shows how hard those boys have been working on their games. Praz was unlucky not to finish higher than third, but with Daniel Negreanu and eventual winner Barry Schulman on the final as well as Jason Mercier who is also running red hot, it was far from an easy final table.

Obviously I found some time to do some ‘networking’ (aka drinking) with GUKPT tour manager Jon Raab and had the pleasure of meeting JP Kelly, fresh from his second bracelet win. As well as being a very capable player and rising young poker star he struck me as a thoroughly nice guy and I hope I have the pleasure of interviewing him in the near future.

WPT Marrakech

The World Poker Tour makes its African debut

The World Poker Tour makes its African debut

I was barely home 5-minutes when it was on the road again, this time to the exotic location of Morocco where I am currently in the midst of covering the chilipoker.com WPT Marrakech. Feel free to check out some of the live updates from the Chilipoker blog or Poker News.

Despite a heavy French presence – both Morocco and Marrakech have strong French ties and French is one of the more widely spoken languages here – I have befriended a trio of Italians from PokerTexano.com and have been hanging around with them for most of the time. They have kindly provided me with a couple of pics for my blog so a big thanks to Stefano and the guys. Check out their website here (warning – it is in Italian, strangely enough…).

Me with the Poker Texano boys at the WPT welcome dinner

Me with the Poker Texano boys at the WPT welcome dinner. Image courtesy of Poker Texano.com

Chilipoker are the masterminds behind the World Poker Tour’s first foray onto African soil, and we are enjoying the hospitality of the lovely Hotel Es Saadi and the swanky Casino De Marrakech. Day 1 is currently underway as we speak with over 400 players from 32 different countries coughing up the €4,500 (£4095) buy-in to create a monster MD 18,720,000 prize pool, which is the equivalent of around £1.5million.

With high calibre players like Tony G, 1996 WSOP Champ Huck Seed, WSOPE Champ Annette Obrestad and fellow Betfair pro’s Sorrel Mizzi and Jon Tabatabai, Andrew Feldman, Chilipoker’s own Liz Lieu, Antonio Esfandiari, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Bruno Fitoussi and international tournament director Matt Savage, it’s shaping up to be a great tournament.

It didn’t take long for the sparks to fly and on just the second hand France’s Anthony Lellouche

Winamax sponsored player Anthony Lellouche

Winamax sponsored player Anthony Lellouche. Image courtesy of PokerTexano.com

managed to iron out just under three-quarters of his 20,000 starting stack after running a set of Twos into his opponents set of Nines on a Ten, Nine, Two board. What’s actually impressive here is the fact that he managed not to go broke in this spot.

I bumped into Barny Boatman during the first break who is off to a shakey start; a fellow player managed to cover him in scalding hot coffee before he had even taken his seat and then he took a big hit on level two when his Aces were cracked by his flush-drawing opponent who hit runner, runner two pair to leave Boatman senior with around 8,000.

Jon Tabatabai has been shown the door unfortunately, running his two pair into his opponent’s rivered gutshot 😦
After chatting to the friendly Welshman I learned he very nearly didn’t make it here at all – when he went to fly out from Heathrow on Monday he realised he had forgotten his passport… Doh!

The Hendon Mob's Ross Boatman and second place finisher, Germany's Dominik Nitsche at the WPT Marrakech High Rollers event

The Hendon Mob's Ross Boatman and second place finisher, Germany's Dominik Nitsche at the WPT Marrakech High Rollers event. Image courtesy of Poker Texano.com

Other highlights so far include the Boatman brothers success in the High Rollers event with Boatman junior (Ross) taking down the tourney for a tasty €135,535 (£123 338) with big brother Barny cashing in 4th for €41,017 (£37,326). Not to be left out, fellow Hendon Mobster Joe Beevers came 14th in the €1,800 NLHE event for €4,000 (£3,670).
All three Mobsters are currently playing in the WPT Marrakech Main Event.

Wales’ Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough is also out here and has managed to bag himself a cash as well, finishing 8th in the €900 NLHE event for €4,927 (£4,483).

Not to be out done I figured it was time to get my name out there as well and I managed to bag second place in the WPT press tourney for $300 – while it’s not going to allow me to retire to a life of luxury just yet, free money is always nice. Not only did this give me bragging rights in the press tent with my fellow media types, but also allowed me to uphold the good name of WPT magazine, who I’m out here covering the tourney for 😉

I should be interviewing both Tony G and Liz Lieu later on today so will let you know how that goes, I’ll see if I can grab and interview with Antonio Esfandiari a bit later on as well.

Right, well I’m off to grab me a V6 racing camel and a small monkey in a fez, tune in tomorrow for more updates folks…

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Swings and Roundabouts

June 15, 2009

Well we’re off and running with the micro-stakes challenge. Check out my progress by selecting Back to the Future: The Micro-stakes Mission in the side bar.

After grinding all week with my free time I have made around a 36% increase to my roll.

Amusingly though in an attempt to blow off some steam after playing ‘proper’ bankroll management all week, I sat down on Saturday for a good old fashioned spin-up rampage on Eurobet’s PLO tables.

Having just recently finished reading Rolf Slotboom’s Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha I was intrigued by his short-stack approach to the game, which I decided to try out as part of my spin-up.

The tactic involves sitting in for to a game with the minimum buy-in (yes, I’ve joined the irritating hit-and-run short-stackers society), preferably with a strong aggressive player to your left (yes, you want them to have position on you).

Patience is the key here, you are waiting for a fairly decent hand like double-suited Aces or Kings where all four cards work well together.
Double-suited run-down hands are also good here.

You usually want to just call knowing the aggressive player will usually raise and get called in a couple of spots so you can re-raise all-in. Obviously you need to mix this up with some Button raises and re-raises when you have the goods as well so you don’t become too predictable.

Hopefully the obliging LAG should re-raise giving you some protection and taking the hand heads-up so you are getting around 3-1 on your money while being around a 60/40 favourite in the hand.

Obviously this is not an exact science and the key to success is picking your spots carefully. Occasionally you’ll be against two other players in the pot and while your win percentage may drop here you are still getting a pretty good return on your money for taking a favourable gamble.

The trick is not to get too greedy, as soon as you have doubled up and have enough to buy in for the minimum for the next level you leave the table and jump up stakes.

You can experiment with this strategy a little if you find a level you are comfortable playing at and I did just that at the $1/$1 tables running my $20 into around $160 in about half an hour before I hit-and-ran to buy into the $2/$2 game for $40.

The best part about this approach is the fact you are risking a little to win a lot in a short space of time, while still using some semblance of bankroll management: While you are effectively playing higher than your roll allows you should still only be risking around 5% of your total net worth.

The best way to ensure success is to give yourself a total you are happy reaching and then calling it quits and banking the money.

Poker is a game of swings and roundabouts - sometimes I spin around so fast I get dizzy...

Poker is a game of swings and roundabouts - sometimes I spin around so fast I get dizzy...

I pulled the plug after working my way up to the $5/$5 level where I had a quick double-up and finished $390 in profit for around three and a half hours work.

So effectively I managed to spin $10 into $400 – not bad work if you can get it. Kind of the anti-thesis to my micro-stakes approach, but then I had to play a game where I was free of the stringent constraints I had been playing under all week. I think that it’s important to mix it up online to stop you from going stir crazy, burning out and driving yourself insane grinding it out at the lower levels.

Going Live

While I have been enjoying moderate success online this month, my live game on the other hand has been a disaster.

While I enjoyed a fairly sizable win at Bristol’s £1/£2 ROE (round of each Pot-Limit Texas and Pot-Limit Omaha) I have had several back to back losing sessions where my sets have been outdrawn by gutshots, or people have just plain been refusing to fold for all their chips when the draw card fails to materialise on the turn, calling off and then pinging the river… Sick.

I’m enjoying (not sure if this is quite the right word…) my first losing month since January and only my third ever losing month since I’ve been keeping records. Unfortunately it’s also my biggest losing month to date as well. Not so good.

I’m off to Leeds on Friday to cover and play in the Coral British Masters Poker Tour so I can only pray for a reversal in fortune and an end to my losing live streak. Time will tell.

It’s odd, whenever I win online I seem to break even or lose live and when I am winning live my online game suffers. I will have to work to fix this strange correlation between cyber-space and bricks-and-mortar. Fingers crossed…

Being as I seem to be running ok on the old intermaweb I will also be attempting to satellite in to the Coral Tour £500+50 main event via the freerolls, $5 re-buy and $10 freeze-out. I’ll keep you posted.

As I will be working and gambling with reckless abandon on Friday and over the weekend I probably won’t be posting until next Monday where I will also be updating my micro-stakes challenge results as well.

Until that day folks…

The Dragon Has Landed

June 1, 2009

Welcome back poker fans, apologies for the long time no post. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work, some poker related, some not and have been working, writing and networking like a trooper in a successful attempt clear my workload before taking a well deserved working holiday to the poker Mecca that is Las Vegas.

On a work related note I’ve got a couple of articles due for publication soon. The first is a piece for WPT magazine on 6-card Pot Limit Omaha. Yes that’s right folks, all the mischief and mayhem of its 4-card brother only harder, sicker, faster and more swingy with bigger pots… While it may sound insane it’s also loads of fun and believe it or not, there is some skill involved. Read the feature to find out more; it’s in issue 43 out this month I believe.

I’ve just sold WPT a profile on Phil ‘Unabomber’ Laak, which should be out in issue 44.
Phil is an off-the-wall kinda guy, so we have an off-the-wall kind of feature – it was a fun one to write so I hope you guys enjoy reading it.

I submitted a ‘Heads Up’ interview with Roland De Wolfe and Juha Helppi to Poker Pro Europe, which should be out soon – I’ll let you know the details just as soon as I find out when it’ll be in print.

Congratulations to Barry Carter who has just be made the new editor of the UK’s Poker News. This can only be a good thing as Barry is one of the UK poker scene’s more prolific writers and I’m sure the website will go from strength to strength. Check out his ‘Get Carter’ poker blog.

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

On a slightly less work related note I just got back from Vegas this week after a ‘working’ holiday, well actually that’s not strictly true, more a holiday that I intended to combine with work but the interview I had scheduled has been delayed to some other point in the (hopefully) not to distant future.

This is not such a bad thing however as it gave me ample time to indulge in second favourite pastime, playing poker (the first being writing about poker obviously).

While I’m not going to go into details about bad beats and winnings, I came back with more money than I went with and have a few interesting statistics for you:

Out of the 8 Tafia members who went on the trip only four of us were poker players, that being said we did alright for ourselves and learned that the Yanks don’t like to fold middle pair much.

Welsh Busted: 5

Yanks Busted: 34

Brazilians Busted: 1 (I met two, one of whom was a professional pool player who is friends with Maltese snooker pro Tony Drago whom I didn’t bust, the other was called Hannibal – which I thought was quite a cool name, unfortunately for him he didn’t eat me alive…)

Of course take note that ‘Busted’ means taken down to the felt, not just beaten in a pot.

Hours played: 37

So that’s nearly a Yank an hour, rest assured folks next time we’ll do better ;).

A big hello to some of the American guys I ended up playing with, they were a friendly bunch. Most specifically Casey, a Vegas DJ who looked like Seth Rogan and showed my brother and I a great time taking us to an after-hours nightclub at 6am after a 7 hour poker session and getting us in for free.

Casey, if you’re out there bud you’ve got my business card, drop me a line as I managed to lose my wallet that night with your business card in it. Any fan of Human Traffic is always welcome in Cardiff, and yes, it’s just like it is in the film…

Also thanks to Boston Dan, a guy myself and Alan ‘Wheel Warrior’ Wicks ended up playing with all night. We got the whole table gambling like crazies and drinking Jagerbombs – a truly tremendous evening, especially as Alan and myself ended up with most of the money on the table when we finished playing at around 6.30am.

It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it 🙂

One Way Poker

What goes up must come down. It took me three days to get over my jetlag but I did manage to finish third in my local deep-stack tournament (at the Grosvenor, Cardiff Bay – location of the August leg of the GUKPT) the day after getting home, which was nice.

I was in Swansea over the weekend at Aspers casino for the launch of the Romanello family’s (yes Roberto and his brothers have decided to make their mark on the world of online poker) new poker website launch.

OneWayPoker.com is an iPoker skin so not only can you play on one of the internets’ largest poker networks you can also find some of Wales’ finest butting heads over the poker tables – and yes we do have some good players…

I spent most of the night ‘networking’ (a posh word for work-related drinking) and had an entertaining evening hanging around with Jon Kalmar who is a thoroughly nice guy. He’ll be hitting up Las Vegas from next Wednesday hoping to repeat chance with another great finish in the Main Event so I wish him the best of luck.

Aside from the Romanello family (including Roberto, obviously…) also in attendance were some of Cardiff and Swansea’s finest including Rana Gurnham, Marko Clarke and Neil ‘Six-card’ Shellard, Full-Tilt sponsored red pro Andrew Feldman, Marc Goodwin, Mickey Wernick and many more who I didn’t get a chance to chat to.

To Leeds and beyond…

Unless the poker gods smile on me in the next four weeks and grant me a WSOP package I will unfortunately be UK grounded for the duration of the Series.

I will however be keeping a close eye on the action and hope that the UK contingent do us proud.

We should have a fighting chance for bracelets this year what with Mr Channing and Mr Persaud’s Blackbeltpoker.com qualifiers.

Congratulations to Cardiff (well Newport actually, but if I was from there then I’d want people to say I was from Cardiff…) player Henry Griffiths who qualified for blue belt. While he won’t be going to Vegas (that was brown belt and above) he has got himself a nice deal for playing in some of the UK poker tours fine side events so we wish him the best of luck.

On a UK poker related note I’ll be heading up to Leeds next month to cover the Coral British Masters Poker Tour where I will be hoping for a shot at fortune and glory myself.

Qualify online at www.coralpoker.com, www.galapoker.co.uk and www.eurobetpoker.net for as little as nothing as they are running a series of freerolls from 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

There are a whole host of other qualifiers and the main event itself is only £500+£50 for a two-day deep-stack.

There’s also a £200 and £100 side event so for those without the bankroll to hit up Sin City, try Leeds. It might not be as glamorous but for quality British poker they’ll be some good play and the chance to win some cash… Show me a downside.

I’ll either be posting next on Friday or Monday (depending on my work schedule) so stay tuned poker fans.

And if all else fails, try Wales…