Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Winding Down For The World Cup

The upcoming World Cup should provide a much needed mid year break from my 2014 poker exploits. As good as the year has been (currently up around $2000) I am currently somewhat frustrated. In their wisdom Full Tilt have recently cancelled the Daily Double tournaments which have been the source of two-thirds of my profits over the last six months! Over the next two weeks I intend to wind down my poker activity, playing only the Dirty Dozen jackpot sit n go games to complete five hundred for the year just before the start of the tournament.

England are 33-1 to win the World Cup. The biggest price they have been in my lifetime. They are third favourites in their group and should get no further than the group stage. Ironically I strongly believe this really improves their chances. Unburdened by expectation this newer England squad, filled with young talent, yet bolstered with experience have a real chance to make an impact on this years tournament. Anyone who has watched the likes of Sturridge, Lallana, Barkley, Sterling and Shaw shine in the Premier League this year will know they can offer both real quality and a significant threat to any opponent. Sterling in particular excites me. The composure he showed in front of goal late in the season (especially the goal against Manchester City) tells me he is ready. I can only hope Roy Hodgson feels the same and gives these fearless youngsters some significant playing time. My optimism however was brought back down to earth the other day by my six year old son Jake (above) who is currently obsessed with football. I asked how far will England progress in the tournament. He considered the three group fixtures and after significant thought concluded we probably won't beat Italy, we will lose to Uruguay and beating Costa Rica won't matter. "Group Stages Dad!" I was really impressed and saddened at the same time.

He might be right. Certainly England's chance can seem exciting until you look at the squads of the leading competitors. Holders Spain have more options than current GCSE students while Belgium have a quality squad and an easy group. I see both putting in strong tournaments but neither will be able to touch the quality of the hosts Brazil. Whilst I have had a small bet on England and Belgium, I am currently in the process of re-mortgaging my house to secure a decent bet on Brazil. Hosts have a great record and all tournaments held in the Americas have been won by a South American team! In Hulk they even have a genuine superhero on their team. So confident are the hosts that they are currently protesting against the tournament, presumably because the opposition is so weak. They are even taunting their rivals by naming their players after my dads bowling team-mates William, Bernard, Oscar and Fred. The main danger to Brazilian victory is possibly their over confidence or perhaps massive domestic political revolution!

In my next post I will review the five hundred Dirty Dozen Sit N Go games I have played this year. I am currently winning around 50 cents per game and have a win rate of 13%. Pretty good but I am aspiring to do better.

Come on England.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Stars Align - Finally

For at least a year things have not gone well for me on Pokerstars. My confidence has been affected when playing which in effect kept the bad run going. This year I took the slightly cowardly approach of not playing very much on Pokerstars, concentrating instead on Ipoker and Full Tilt where things were going well. When I have played as almost expected the losses have continued...........

Until the other day when something changed. Things went well and kept going well. Finally success. A tentative entry into my old stomping ground, the $7 forty five man sit n go ended in victory. A truly international final table below looked on in shock as one of the worst players on the site over recent times recorded a win and a $90 cash, almost wiping out my year to date losses. Whether it was cosmic forces, probability just catching up with itself or my lucky underpants I really don't care. I just needed a win to get me back on track. Over the next week or three I will see if I can build on this progress.

PokerStars Tournament #904915668, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $6.42/$0.58 USD
45 players
Total Prize Pool: $288.90 USD 
Tournament started 2014/05/03 17:42:14 ET
Tournament finished 2014/05/03 19:01:23 ET
  1: Kartajana (United Kingdom), $89.58 (31.007%)
  2: gyumo34 (Hungary), $62.11 (21.498%)
  3: edge_n (Norway), $47.66 (16.497%)
  4: Japoska2 (Russia), $36.11 (12.499%)
  5: Guzman092 (Mexico), $26.00 (8.999%)
  6: tdenhamer (Canada), $17.33 (5.998%)
  7: tiaguafonsu (Portugal), $10.11 (3.499%)
  8: mephi54 (Germany), 
  9: LaBanda014 (Argentina) 

Two days and two tournaments later I won another forty five man sit n go for $90!