Wednesday, 16 February 2011


With "300" games played I thought I would reflect on my performance to date and draw some comparison between my Maui challenge and one of my favourite films. In the film 300, if you have not seen it, the great Spartan King Leonidas and 300 loyal Spartan warriors take on the mighty Persian army of Xerxes to protect their land from invasion. Certainly I am constantly in a battle. In terms of winning the ultimate jackpot one which has the odds stacked heavily against me. The most relevant link though is that of having an honourable death and of having no fear of death. In poker terms I am only happy with my exit from a sit n go if it happens the right way, whilst at the same time never being afraid to risk my tournament life in the right circumstances. For example an honourable exit early in a sit n go might be pushing all in on a Queen high flop with Kings only to be called by Queen Jack who hits two-pair on the river. Any time you get your chips all in with an opponent as a significant favourite honour is served whatever the poker gods do from that point.
Kartajana         300$1.32  $5  22%$395  -N/AiPokerYear2011 SNG Only x

 My good run continues, Jackpot near misses aside. Hopefully, Leonidas would be proud.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Jackpot near miss!

IPoker game 512445321 represented a real chance for me to win $40,500 and blow my Maui Challenge target out of the water. The key thing for me looking back on it is that I played to win and have no regrets. When I needed it most my luck simply ran out! Here are the key hands that saw me come third:

 Key Hand 1: Early in the game with pocket tens in middle position I elected to fold pre-flop following early strong action. My instinct proved correct, I would have lost chips and the hand gave me confidence moving forward. 

 Key Hand 2: Following what felt like an age of inactivity I called a short stacks shove with a better ace and went back above my starting total. With seven players left now the blinds were about to get significant and I needed to get busy.

 Key Hand 3: The rising blinds meant I had to shove all-in with my pocket fours from mid-position. I was called by ace queen, won the flip and was right were I needed to be. Luck was with me in this hand and I have to remind myself I could so easily have gone out at this point.

 Key Hand 4: Blinds still rising I shoved with ace king, was called again by ace queen and became chip leader with four players left. Not a single thing had gone wrong to this point and I was starting to use my dominant chip count to strengthen my position further. I was starting to believe I would win. With three players left a key hand occurred without my involvement.

 Key Hand 5: The two smaller stacks collided in a coin flip that nearly left me heads up with fifty percent of the chips. The river changed the course of the hand and we remained three handed. At that point I was ready for a heads up battle before the blinds rose again and all but eliminated the skill aspect.

 Key Hand 6: With jacks in the big blind I called a shove from king queen. Bang, a king on the flop left me praying for a jack to no avail. A defining moment but I was still there with enough chips to win, battling for a double up.

 Key Hand 7: My final shot came when I called the short stacks shove with pocket sevens. My opponents king nine failed to find a pair but a rivered flush left me gutted and in the dead zone chip wise. Two hands later I was out in third, my king high losing to a pair of eights.
$40,500........................................   It will be tough now grinding away at $5 an hour!
In the defining hand with jacks my win percentage was as follows: 
HandEquityWins Ties
The key now is for me to gain confidence from the opportunity, to strive to get there again and not let the near miss affect my future play.
Time will tell.

Friday, 11 February 2011

First consolation win is no consolation!

Dramatic events unfolded this week with my Maui challenge as good progress continues. An innocent looking second place to end to my Monday night session was followed on Tuesday by a set of four games in which all four were wins. It is important for me to note here that the last of these involved an outrageous amount of luck for me to win. Great I have guaranteed myself a consolation win of $200, one of the five I have targeted for the year. Now I just have to play a $5 poker game for $40,500! (the Jackpot bonus for five wins having rolled over to this amount from its starting point of $15,000). I have been in this position three times previously with Jackpot bonuses, twice coming close to $25000 and $45000 respectively. I was ready, confident and determined to have no regrets. My wife confident in me (in fact very supportive) and determined to have a new car! Forty-five minutes later with three players left I had more than half the chips, the blinds were high and I was sat in the big blind with a pair of jacks! Please someone push all in! They did and my Jackpot dream began to unravel..........................

See my next post for a more detailed account of the key hands.

Maui consolation prize

Dear Jason,
Thank you for contacting Betfred Poker Support.
I am pleased to inform you that your consolation prize claim has been confirmed and the $200 has been added to your chips balance. I apologise for the delay in administering this for you.
I hope this is to your satisfaction and I wish you the best of luck at the tables.
Don't forget to vote on how you think my challenge will end.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

January Result: +$265

I need to make $250 per month playing 250 games and also win five $200 dollar consolation bonuses over the year to achieve my challenge. A good start though I need to play more games per month to maiximise earnings and bonus chances.
Kartajana         215$1.23  $5  21%$265  -N/AiPokerYear2011 SNG Only
My aim in February is to increase my number of games played in the month and win a consolation bonus. Most importantly I need to stick with the effective strategy I am using and stay focused to prevent variance affecting my play.