Ferrari's Poker Blog

The up's and down's of a student poker player!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Gala Notts £300 NLHE Double-Chance Freeze-out

Ok I've just this evening got back from my long weekend away in Notts for this tourney. I went up on the Saturday to give the £10 rebuy satellite a go but didn't see any cards and left shortly after the rebuy period. So £325 out of my own pocket it was to be. Structure was 5000 starting chips, 25/50 starting blinds with 40min clock for 1st 3 levels and a 45 minute clock after that. Breaks due every 3 levels, with rebuy's/top-ups/add-on's available up to the 1st break. I was slightly nervous at first at this is my biggest live tourney to date. A few big names about that I recognised. After a few hands I soon felt comfortable and slowly began to build my stack. With 5,000 starting chips I had managed to get to the first break on around 9k which I was happy with. There aren't any noteable hands I can think of.

Soon after the break I got into a hand with the chip leader who had a substantial stack. He was in the seat before me and limped. I raised 4 x BB and it was just us to the flop. I think blinds would have been 75/150. It comes Axx and he bets out pot which is around 1500. I put him on a weaker ace so after a slight dwell I call. Turn is another blank and he bets out 3500 into a 4,500 pot so after a long thought I decide I can't lay this 1 down and come over the top for my remaining 3000 chips. He folds and shows AJ after I show my AK. Turns out river was a jack. Phew. A lot of players would have called my all in and I'd be out. I was now on a healthy stack of around 15k. A few hands later with blinds 100/200 I pick up AA and raise it 800 from late position. Button and BB see the flop which is 986. I bet 2000 into the 2500 pot. Button folds and BB re-raises me all in for a further 3000. I finally reluctantly call which after I am annoyed with myself for as there isn't much I can put him on that I'm beating. Stupid call. His 89 holds up and I'm back down to 9k. By next break I manage to get up to around 17k which I work out is a few below average. I manage to hover around this mark until the next break without seeing much. So to the final 3 levels of day 1 and I was slightly short now on 16k or so with around 38 left when I see AKs in BB. A shorter stack makes it 5k to play so I decide its time to gamble and move in for his remaining 7k. His 99 holds up and I'm now extremely short. Next hand J4s in SB and its folded round to me. I make the only move possible and BB calls. To my delight he shows T4o and I double up. A couple of steals later and I'm back to almost 10k when the final hand of the night is dealt. It's my SB and I see 99. A short stack of 6k or so moves in from mid position and its folded round to me. I can't afford to lay this down so I move in for my 10k. BB calls with AJ, short stack has AQ and somehow my 99 holds up. So I make it to day 2 with around 26k which I'm delighted with and I work out is just below average, and 3rd highest on my table.

So into day 2, and just 24 of us remaining. The prize pool is £41,700, which means of the 91 entrants, 48 of them either topped-up/re-bought/added-on. Winner gets just over £16k and 10th takes just under £1k. Not long in and I pick up AA on the button. To my delight utg makes it 10k to play. Its passed round to me and I dwell for a bit before "reluctantly" moving in. He calls and shows 1010. I hold up and I'm up to around 50k. I'm buzzing quite a bit by now with the thrill of actually having a decent stack. I just need to keep calm and play some good poker. Well so much for that. The very next hand I get JQs on the button and its folded round to me. With blinds at 800/1600 I make it 5000 to play. The same guy I just beat moves in for 10k more. I pass, which I'm not sure is the right move or not. But annoyed with myself for making the raise in the first place. There was just no need against someone who is probably willing to move in with any 2 cards right now. Thats a waste of 5k. A while later I pick up 66 in early pos and decide to limp for 2k. Short stack in SB moves in for a further 7k. So I now have to put another 7k into a potential 20k pot. I decide to go for it hoping he doesn't have the over pair, which he does and his JJ holds up. Possibly another bad move by me and I'm annoyed at myself for letting my stack slip away. I then get involved with QKs vs the chip leader and when the board comes xxJA he takes it and I'm back down to around 25k. I have to make the odd steal here and there to keep my stack up. Then a few started coming over the top of me and I was having to lay down average hands like JK. At about 20k I saw QK and for some reason decided to limp it. I would never do it on the internet so I'm not quite sure why I did here. I had just had enough of wasting 6k when players were coming over the top of me and didn't want to risk wasting too many chips. Rob Yong, with slightly more chips than me, also limped on the button and SB folded so 3 of us saw the flop which was 223 and checked round. Turn brings the king. I check it hoping Rob will fire which he does, for 6k. I dwell for a bit, always knowing I'm putting my chips in as I have him down on a weaker King. I move in and after thinking for a while he calls with K10. River is a 10 and I'm gone. The pot would have put me on about 45k and back into around 5th I think. Instead I'm out 17th. Rob said I played it perfect on the turn and that he didn't really want to hit the 10. I spoke to him after and he also said if I hadn't pulled the "moody" on him on the turn when going all in then he would have folded. I wanted him to call though really if he was on the weaker king as he was just a 15/1 shot at hitting. Ahh well.... until next time.

Also I must mention, I went with a friend, Ben Mayhew, who got extremely unlucky just 3 hands into the tourney. It involved him being all in on turn with 1010 vs K4s on K107ss flop, 7 turn, and the dreaded 2-outer king on the river. What can you do.

All in all, it was a good experience but I am a bit gutted to have gone out the way I did. But I'm sure plenty of others had the same and you've just got to take it on the chin. This was a big tournement for me so getting into the final 10 really would have meant a lot so it's a bit annoying to have got as close as I did and not quite make it.

Friday, August 26, 2005


MTD = -£2,642
YTD = +£24,358

I haven't played since my last post. I did however just check my poker balance and it wasn't a pretty sight to say the least. I think I may have to lower the stakes for a little while. No matter how much it will pain me to do so. No-one likes dropping stakes and grinding out the pennies.

Off for a big night in London tonight which should help things though... and a few days break from online poker.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

What Next?

Ok it's just got worse and worse. Now I cannot connect with a single flop what-so-ever and when I do someone either has something better or outdraws me still. I'm kinda in disbelief right now as to quite how bad my luck is at the moment. I don't quite know what to do with myself. I'm just gutted. I can see a large chunk of my hard-earned money going before my eyes so quickly while im totally helpless and unable to stop it. Yeah yeah I could have just gone to bed earlier to prevent this happening but you just tell yourself "this is unbelievable, it can't surely carry on, it must turn around any moment now". It didn't turn around and now I just feel awful. I haven't won a hand other than the blinds on either of my 2 tables in at least half an hour now. And I've seen SO many AK/AQ/AJ/QK/JK etc. Just not able to connect.

Now going to bed totally gutted and the mood I'm in right now I can't even bring myself to check my poker balance. It will just make me feel even worse. Gonna struggle to sleep tonight I reckon. There best be something good on TV to take my mind off it.

Fuck when poker is bad it really is BAD isn't it. I know it's great when you win and I do love it. But sometimes don't you just wish you had never stumbled accross it and could just lead a normal every day MUCH less stressful life like everyone else out there. Poker really does take over and dictate your life. If poker is going good ... life is good. If poker is going bad .... well depression sets in and its all you can think about. Ahh well. Rant over. Bed.

Same Shit Different Day

I hope this doesn't carry on much longer. I know you've got to expect beats but it surely can't carry on THIS bad! Getting outdrawn on every hand I get involved in isn't so fun and definately isn't so healthy on the BR. I only started this evening about 11:30'ish as I've been busy today, yet somehow I've managed to turn what was meant to be a quick session then off for some much needed sleep into a dreadful few hours session. A few hands that come to mind. JQ losing to AA on a perfect 910K flop. Umm .. JJ splitting with J6o on a 10JQ capped flop. Just this minute... I had AT with ace clubs in BB and call a button raise. T56 all clubs flop I c/r he raises back I cap (very aggressive player I'm against). Turn is 8. I bet he raises I call. River Q no club he has J9 with the J of clubs. Hmm interesting. I'm in the exact situation I was in last night. Ive seen an absolutely AWFUL run of cards and beats again and it's making me reluctant to go to bed on such a bad note. As it is I'm still now playing (if you could call it playing, I see it more as donating at the moment) and it's 3:18AM. Hopefully I can make a quick and miraculous turn around and be in bed by half 3.....

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bed Time

MTD = -£1,315.00
YTD = +£25,685.00

Ok I'm finally calling it a night. Not happy but what can ya do. I guess I shouldn't have let things get as bad as they did tonight, but boy things sure were going badly against me. It's just so hard to stop when you're so frustrated at getting fked over hand after hand. I don't THINK it affected my play, but nonetheless I just probably have called it a night. Maybe this is something I need to learn to do. I've now managed to blow all last weeks earnings in 1 day. Not good. And after how promising the night was looking at one point when I was up over $2000. How things can change.

YoYo Evening

Right it's now 4:30 am and definately time to call it a night. I should have called it a night MANY hands ago. To start the day off I had an absolutely awful session in £10/20. 500 quid blown in 40mins or so. Hmmm good start. I then gave a couple of tournies a go ... the EPT Barca qualifier on betfair and the 15k gt'd (newly adjusted to £50+5 buyin). No luck in either and there goes another £235.

Next I decide to start a couple of $20/40 limit tables. The players are awful so I know I should walk away with a tidy profit unless I receive some real bad luck. Within minutes I'm up $600 between them. Not a bad start. 15mins or so later and im down $500. Then over the course of a couple of hours I'm back to up $2000. 2 hours later ... and MANY MANY bad beats and outdraws later... back to evens. Not happy 1 bit. As we speak I'm still playing in a desperate last ditch effort to get some money back before I retire to bed. Just flopped a set of queens on QJ3 rainbow flop heads up only for King to come on turn and lose to A10. Now as we speak the SAME player has just killed my flopped set of 10's on 10 9 x flop. He hit his flush. About to hands later sum1 raises my BB from button I call A5 on slight tilt. 24J flop .. im seeing turn on tilt. Yessss its the 3!! Or not .. foe has 56. It gets messy. I'm in slight dis-belief right now. And as we speak ANOTHER river .. A9 won't lay down against my 66 that im betting and rivers the ace. Ok now I'm kinda fuming! Everyone at table is saying they can't believe my luck ... neither can I. I'm now down a LOT. I know I should go to bed but I REFUSE to end the night on this note. I will post again before I go to bed to show how I faired in the end.

Monday, August 22, 2005

1st Cashout

I made my first cashout/weekly pay-packet to myself today of 5% of my Bankroll as per my new system I'm trying out. I'll be doing this every monday for as long as my bankroll lasts. I started today with £6,500 in my account so the cashout was £350. I won't be complaining if I can sustain a balance around this mark on average and pay myself this amount each week.

Back on Track

MTD = +£197.00
YTD = +£27,197.00

Today I finally had a good session at the cash tables on Befair. Long over-due it seems. A few days back I was playing a couple of $20/40 tables and through many outdraws soon found myself down $2000. The standard of play on the 2 tables was awful. Usually I get a little worked up when nothing will go my way but this time for some reason it really didn't bother me one bit how much I was down. I just sat there thinking, I know I can beat these guys, so it really doesn't bother me as long as I know I'm getting my money in when in-front. I sat and played my normal game and managed to get back to $500 down before I had to leave. I was pretty pleased with this result and left happy knowing that in the long run I can beat many of these players. Today was the day I had been waiting for. Of course it came with its many bad beats as you always get in limit, which leaves you thinking "I'm up this much, but I really should be up a lot more". Overall though I got a decent run of cards and managed to turn in a tidy profit of $2500 or so.

Sunday nights are of course when all the big online tourney's are about. So I gave a few of the usuals a go.... the Sunday £35k on crypto, $500k on Stars, and $100k on Pacific. Didn't see any cards between all 3 of them, a bust QQ 2nd hand on Crypto was the only decent PP I saw bust and didn't receive anything like AK once between all. Looks like I'll just have to wait a little longer for that BIG pay-day.

On a side-note. I finally got to play my Maxi-Round 3 on Prima. This is after almost 3 weeks of trying to get a table to fill. I managed to finish in the top 4 which gets me through to Round 4 worth $1100. However I think it's going to be even harder still to get the Round 4 table to fill, let alone Round 5 if i get through. I don't think I'll be trying the Maxi-Rounders again after this experience.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Channel 4 Update...

MTD = -£1,065
YTD = +£25,935

Channel 4 finally got back to me and my mates a few days ago. The news wasn't good but was expected. It isn't going ahead. Their reason? Channel 4 said that legally they didn’t want to be seen to be promoting gambling so they could not do a story about poker. Although the people from Ch4 that met us did say they really had hoped they could have gone ahead with it. We're a bit annoyed that they even approached us in the first place and seemed so keen to go ahead with it to then turn around and say it wouldn't be appropriate. I don't see why they didn't find out if a poker documentary would be suitable or not before wasting our time. Ahh well... I'll just have to wait a bit longer till I can get my shot at 15mins of fame.

On the poker front I haven't really played much recently, just a little session a couple of days ago where I managed to make a couple hundred. I've now put £5k into my account as I suggested and I'm going to treat this as my sole BR and implement the "take 5% out every week to pay myself" system I mentioned before. We'll just have to see how this works out. Hopefully good!

I'm considering playing in the Gala Nottingham £300 NLHE 2-day event on the 28/29th August. It's max 1 rebuy or top-up or add-on. I really can't afford to be spending £600 on one tourney so I would just be treating it as a freezeout. I've never played in a "big" live tournement before. With the biggest I've done being a £30 rebuy. But I really would like to play a tournement of this size and it's pretty perfect for me seeing as I have a flat in Nottingham so hopefully I'll be there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Back to Reality....

MTD = -£1,237
YTD = +£25,763

Just under a week ago I had a terrible run over a few days. In total it cost me £4,300. It hurts to think about how much money this really is. When you put it into relation with every day spending it seems so surreal to think that I could lose this kind of money in just a few days. Over the past 6 months or so I really have been on cloud 9, making money way above my own expectations. But after spending a lot of my winnings (I've invested in a house so I can't lose it all like I did before), this £4.3k seems way too much for me to be losing right now in just a few days. If this few days turned into a a couple of weeks I could soon find myself with empty pockets, and I'm not prepared to let that happen. So what next?

After losing this money I wasn't quite sure what to do, in the heat of the moment everyone considers upping the stakes to win it back fast and get it off your mind. I couldn't let myself do this as I'm not prepared to go back to having no money. After what I've experienced over the last 6 months it would be hard to go back to normal. So I need to make sure I do what's right for the long-term and ensure this bad run doesn't affect me anymore than it needs to. Maybe I need to lower the stakes? But it's always so hard grinding it out in smaller stakes after experiencing it higher up. Maybe I need a break from it all? For starters I've barely played over the last 5 days or so since losing the money. I don't want to be chasing my losses, I need to try and put it to the back of my mind a bit more before playing seriously again. One thing I do know is that I definately need better money management...

Since going on my winning streak I've always said to myself that I won't let myself lose much of my money, because I know what it felt like when I lost the £8k I won before. However, losing £4.3k in just a few days, which is about a quater of the money I have I know I shouldn't be letting myself do. So I guess that tells me I need better money management. I heard recently of a system that someone adopts which I might try out. It involves every week taking out 5% of your BR, no matter what. So regardless of whether you've had a great week or an awful week, 5% is always going to make it into your pocket. Then you just have to make sure you play within your limits in relation to what the BR stands at to ensure it never all goes. Hopefully at least 5% of the BR can be made on average each week and it can slowly grow. I've never really had a Bankroll as such. I guess all the money I have in the bank I treat as my Bankroll. Do others keep day-to-day money seperate from poker money? Because I've never done this but maybe need to start to. I think I'm going to start off putting £5k into poker (a very large chunk of the the money I have to my name) and see how taking 5% out a week works out. Hopefully having this as my "Bankroll" as such should help me play in relation to what I have in there, rather than me just thinking, 'if i lose this I can just deposit more'. If I carry on that way there may well soon be nothing left to deposit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Channel 4 Documentary

A few weeks back me and a couple of mates got asked to do a documentary for channel 4. They wanted to do a half hour show just on us. This was to involve them following us around with the camera's for a few weeks to get an insight to the kind of lifestyle's we lead and how poker affects us. They wanted to record us playing online, playing live at the casino, interview our friends and families to get their views on it, and even follow us on nights out to bars and clubbing. We were a bit aprehensive at first but then decided why not. It's not every day you get an opportunity to be on tv.

It all seemed to be going well as a couple of weeks back they came round to do the first bit of filming. All went and we were told we would hear from them in a couple of days time once they get the final nod from the bosses. Two weeks later and we still don't know if it's going ahead, and it becomes less likely by the day. A bit disappointing seeing as we were given the impression it was just about certain to happen. I know its not such a big deal really if it doesn't go ahead, but the fact that we had also managed to negotiate a bit of sponsorship from a poker site for the duration of the filming does makes it a little worse if this is the case. The large rakeback offer could have come in handy! We'll just have to wait and see....

Monday, August 08, 2005

Keeping Track

MTD = +£2,675
YTD = +£29,675

Right, today I've finally set up a spreadsheet to keep track of how I'm getting on in each seperate area of poker I play in. So now, as long as I keep track properly, I'll be able to provide an up-to-date record of how the month is going along with a monthly report at the end. As mentioned before, I'm not too certain how much I've won so far this year, but just for interest I will also keep an up-to-date record of the year. I think before this month it was around £27,000. So although not accurate I'll use this as my starting figure.

I haven't really played much yet this month, but the profit so far was helped out a lot by winning a £300 6pak a few days back. I was short-stacked after an early beat, but managed through a bit of luck and of course plenty of skill to claw it back for over £1k profit. Much welcomed.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Maxi Rounders

A friend introduced me to "Maxi Rounders" a couple of days ago on Prima. They seem a decent way of generating a lot of profit from little investment. For anyone that doesn't know, they consist of 5 rounds of 10 seaters, with the final Round 5 being where money is paid out to the top 5. For the previous rounds you have to finish in a certain position to proceed to the next round. You can buyin at any round you wish, but obviously for a more epensive buyin at the later rounds. I decided for my 1st attempt to buyin at Level 2 for $100+10. For this round top 2 proceeded to round 3 and 3rd place got another attempt at round 2. I finished in the top 2 but I'm finding it hard to get a round 3 table to fill up so I can try to proceed further. Round 5 if you were to buy straight into costs $2,200+220, with a top prize of $12,000. So all I need to do now is finish top 4 in round 3, top 5 in round 4, and then win round 5 and the 12k is mine. That's if the table's do ever fill up and get to play.

Over on Betfair I've made about £500 in the last couple of days. It was going well until I was tempted onto the Omaha PL $10/20 table by a mate. Omaha isn't really my game despite being up quite a lot at it overall after a decent run a couple of months back and I know I am really out of my depth in there. But the lure of how quickly money can be made in there does sometimes get the better of me. I took a look and there was money being thrown all over the place just as he said so stupidly I took a seat. I know I should stick to what I'm best at which is why I wasn't too pleased with myself when I dropped $1k in there yestereday. This along with a bad run at the Holdem Limit tables meant the day wasn't going too well until I decided to enter a £200 stt. Early on I got quite a gift from a very loose player. With blinds at 25/50 about 5 of us see the flop, me on the button with A8ss. Flop comes QQ8, checked round to me, I bet 100 into the 250 pot and only chip leader calls me (player who has been outdrawing every hand and getting stick from the other players). Turn A, he checks, I bet 350 and he just calls me again. River A, leaving only QQ to beat me, he checks again and I just go all in for about 1,500 hoping he has the Q and can't lay it down. He calls straight away with K8, giving him Ace's and Queen's king kicker. I'm not complaining and go on to take £1000 for 1st :)! Quick turn around and I'm satisfied for the day.

I think I may start playing Stt's a bit more, of my last 5 i've played ive finished 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 5th. Just a small run I know but I think it will be interesting to see just how well I am performing in them in the long run once I start recording properly where I am winning/losing.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Background

Ok a little bit of a background to start with...

I'm 19 and a student at Notthingham Trent University having just completed my first year. I started playing poker quite a few years now, but over recent months is when I started winning what I class as pretty serious money for me. After reading others players blog's I finally decided to give one a go myself. I'm no poker pro by any means, but I think this blog should be useful to look back on in future, along with forcing myself to keep more rigorous records of how I'm getting on.

Looking at other peoples blogs, I see most of them keep an up-to-date record of exactly how much they are winning each month and in what area of poker they are winning/losing at for each seperate game. I think I will try and do the same as it will be interesting to see just how much I waste on MTT's or if I really do make much from STT's. At the moment I mainly multi-table $20/40 and $30/60 limit poker on Betfair (Alias: Coca919) as my source of poker income, with STT's and MTT's on the side to keep me from boredom.

I'm mainly an online player, seeing as I have only played live 10-15 times or so. I think one of the main reasons for this is the lack of a near casino, along with of course the great convenience of online poker. My nearest it Grovsenor in Gt.Yarmouth, which is about one and a half hours away. This is where I played my first live tournement a bit over a year ago, managing to come 3rd and scoop £400 in a £20 NLHE rebuy. This involved outdrawing a mate I went with, which looking back at now involved an awful call by me! Other than that I've not had another place in the money live with a few more trips to yarmouth and a couple to the gutshot. I'm going to be living pretty close to Gala Notts next year at university so I'm definately going to be looking to play there a lot more. As for now, I'm in the middle of a 4 and a half month summer break from university, this has involved a lot of spare time for online poker, with the odd live game.

I don't keep strict records of exactly how much I win/lose but so far this year I've won about £27,000, which has much exceded any expectations I could possibly have had and has been a very welcome bit of income being a student :)! I haven't set myself any goals for the year or anything yet, so we'll just have to see where it takes me. As of now I'm going to try and keep records of how much I'm winning/losing. I do use pokertracker, which is great for showing me how I'm getting on in the cash games, but of course this means I have no records for STT's and MTT's up until now. Hopefully this blog will help me change that and force me to keep better records.

My best poker acheivements so far came within the space of hours of each other. This was one sunday evening on Betfair a few weeks ago. Firstly I decided to enter both the WPT Paris and Carribean Poker Classic qualifiers. I soon exited from the WPT qualifier but after a few hours found myself in the final 3 of the CPC with 2 packages up for grabs. The final 3 seemed to last for hours, going back and forth until I finally found myself in the last 2 and with a $10,000 package to my name. I was ecstatic, here it was... my first shot at a big tourney just round the corner, which is what I've always been waiting for. While the CPC qualifier was going on I had also decided to enter the Sunday30k Guaranteed tournement on Betfair. I had barely paid any attention on this tournement what-so-ever as I was concentrating on the CPC, but somehow once I had won my CPC seat I looked over and found myself in the final 15 of the Sunday30k. I went on to take 3rd place, finally going out on a coin flip which would have put me into 1st, and took a nice £3000. Within the space of a couple of hours I had my biggest ever tournement win (previously £800), and won entry into my 1st big tournement. What a night. I just can't wait for December and St.Kitts to come now. Although I'm sure I'll need a lot more live practice before that if I am going to perform well at all. To finish in the money I think would be quite a success for me, but of course the aim would be to bring it home :)!

Anyway, I'm not too sure how this blog is going to go... but I hope to update it as often as possible and all comments are welcomed.