Monday, December 22, 2008

And the winner is...

Firstly a apology regarding the blog. I have been very busy lately with non poker/gambling things so been unable to update the blog. I also have had flu recently over Xmas /new year but on the road to full recovery. So now the blog is back to normal.
firstly a quick update on our financial situation.

To summarise quickly we finished the year with a total balance of £17,980.00 which from a starting balance of £10,000.00 is a massive achievement.

We have made £7,980.00 in 17 weeks which is fantastic.
Certainly further ahead of where I thought we would be at this time.

Since new year there have been no poker, no bets and only a little bit of trading. Rather than add this to our balance I will add it next time.
Poker will be taking a back seat this week as busy and only a little bit of free time.
I also need to think which direction to take in the future.

I mentioned in previous blogs about changing habits and goals. Well to be honest I have become a bit down lately or to put it another way unmotivated.
The drop in prize money at local level has been of concern but also the fact that financially I reached my goal I set myself many years ago. This £ figure should with careful money management allow me to enjoy my later years with out concern, however I really wish the credit crunch would go away.

I have been so unmotivated I have only played once at local level since new year which as you all know is not like me.
However a source of inspiration came from a unlikely source this week. Someone I met recently less than a week or so ago provided a spark which was the proverbial kick up the arse I needed.
And considering they are from non poker& gambling is even more bizarre but hey ho lets go.

2008 REVIEW.

last year in the poker world was a bit of a roller coaster for myself.

The year started of really good with a first place in Brighton in the £300.00 freeze out and a 22ND in the main event which resulted in a £9,000.00 profit in the first month.

After that it seemed to get more and more frustrating on the grosvenor and gala tours. Four times I came back for day two in the main event with a really healthy chip stack (with in the top 20) only to become totally card dead and exit before the money.

However on the gala tour of which I played most events there was only one minor cash, certainly room for improvement there this year (goal number 1).

Sandwiched in between was the unexpected online win on mansion in their big deal competition. A first place in April resulted in a prize of a massive £96,000.00.
They retained a % as I play for them online with there money and also me good mate Michael Jackson received his % for his outstanding contribution.

At local level Teeside and Newcastle I struggled through out the early part of the year to make any progress and was running at a loss at Teeside until the summer and was a bit concerned.
However a good second part of the year allowed me to finish in profit for the 6Th consecutive year, so hopefully I can continue that into 2009 (another goal).

Trading activity has been the years biggest positive. With out going into any detail it is something that will increase in 2009 as the rewards out weigh the effort.

Now to our Annual awards.

Congratulations go to non other than...

James "Hollywood" Browning who has the honour of winning the first N.A.P.P.Y award.(Northeast Poker Player of the Year).

The voting numbers were very successful, thank god for face book.

I would like to thank all the 72 people who took time to vote.

I will be presenting James with his award as soon as I bump into him and hopefully will be able to get a picture posted on here.

I have decided to do the blog on a monthly basis as it is very time consuming, however a update will occur if there are any major happenings in the crazy world of poker and gambling.
If I travel for instance I will update on my return.
This will help as the blog will not become repetitive and stale.

The first festival I have my eye on is not until the end of February in Walsall but I am constantly keeping my eyes open for opportunities.

Well time is of the essence so until next time (first week in Feb) .


Friday, December 12, 2008

What is a nappy?


What is a nappy?. Well more about that later.

After the exhausting travels of last week it was time to catch up with everything that had been put on the back burner.
Xmas shopping my least fave thing in the whole wild world. Can,t wait for bird flu to fly over here and confine us all indoors over the Xmas period.

Not had much time for anything but did manage to fit in one poker comp at Tees side this week. Thursdays £10.00 re buy.

Started of really well during the re buy period and only lost one major pot when my Aces failed to outdraw pocket Eight,s, a 8 turning up on the river.
Any way survived the re buy period with a healthy, bigger than average stack.

The levels between the end of the re buy period and the final was tantamount to my reborn patience (which I used to have in abundance) and my survival skills.

This back to basics strategy is starting to pay dividends.

Made the final without too much trouble with about average chips.

Question: which hand would you rather hold in a heads up situation? pocket Queens or Ace King suited?

That question was asked generally around the final table where every one vented there opinion.

Taxi Kev certainly opted for the correct answer of pocket queens as he raised from early position and getting one caller.
With the discussion still ongoing the two gladiators continued in the hand as the flop came down of ...

Q 4 5 (1 DIAMOND)


Turn K of diamonds.

Now comes a raise war with all the chips of both players ending up in the middle.

Pocket Queens for Kev giving him trips and Ace King for Kev,s opponent but with the Ace of diamonds...


a seven of diamonds

So Kev you wanna change your mind mate?

Any way back to the final.
Without too much trouble managed to get down to the last three and eventually chipped away at the weaker player which left me in a heads up situation with my friend Paul Wilson.

Even tho I had a massive chip advantage I immediately offered a even split of first and second prize, well after all it is Xmas.

So for a spend of £10.00 we recorded a profit of £530.00.
Very welcome at least it means it will be turkey this year instead of pigeon!

For those statisticians out there AK suited v pocket queens.

Pocket queens v AK suited without the queen of the AK suit is a %53.786 fave to win the hand,
Pocket queens with the queen of the AK suit is 54.117 fave to win the hand.

Now to our bankroll.


LUTON COSTS -£630.00

5% DOM +£250.00

CASH GAMES +£450.00





TRADING -£20.00


So we have increased our starting balance of £10,000.00 by 7 grandish in approx 15 weeks with little or no effort.

What is a nappy? or should I say what is a N.A.P.P.Y.

Well N.A.P.P.Y. stands for...

Northern area poker player of the year.

The first of our annual awards.

Now come the candidates (in no particular order).

1. Keith Hawkins.

Keith has made 4 excellent cashes this year on the international circuit. In Australia in Jan he cashed in 28Th place in the main event. Sandwiched in between his 3rd place in Teesside,s gala main event was two cashes in the wsop.
The first was when he finished 24Th in the $5000.00 no limit hold em event and the highlight of his career finishing 75Th in the wsop main event FROM OVER 6000 entrants.


2 James browning.

James has had no fewer than 25 cashes in ranking events this year.
He currently sits at no1 in the world in competitions valued at $1000.00 or less.
James also won the £200.00 no limit event at Blackpool in November.



Lynne has cashed 13 times in 2008 on her travels through out the UK. Lynne successfully retained her Betfred title she won in 2007 which allows her another years sponsorship.
Lynne's consistency continues and maybe this is why she is considered the ladies UK number one player.

Does this get your vote?

So there we have it 3 contenders for the first ever north east poker awards and the honour of being the

Now the interactive part. Any one who reads this blog is eligible to vote.

Lots of people have commented on this blog saying how much they enjoy it. So now is the time to give something back by voting.
You can vote by the comments section on this blog or by message on face book. Alternately you can tell me in person for those of you who do not use face book.

Now as in all contests covered by voting "YOUR VOTE COUNTS". So no excuses the future of the blog rests on your shoulders.
If the votes are low and no one bothers the end of the blog is in site so come on all, forward your vote now.

I will not be voting unless in a tie situation for first place.

So who is your top north east player?

The prizes for the winning nominee is two iconic products of this wonderful area in which we live.

A greggs sausage roll and a bottle of newcy brown, and more importantly your photo in the blog which could lead to sponsorship.


Only one vote per person and any one who has been nominated can vote for themselves.
And all votes are in the strictest confidence.

So until next week

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Close but no cigar.


Before Luton on Thurs I played Teesside Mon and Tues. I did not cash in either event, but however did make the final on Monday which is my 3rd consecutive Monday final. Unfortunately I exited in 10th place which meant no financial reward for the effort as there were only 7 prizes.

Thurs bought the trip to Luton but also the snow that blanketed the north. It took me over a hour just to get out of Teeside. Down south there was no sign of any adverse weather. I managed to take my seat only 5 Min's late.

With 13 prizes and a first prize of just over 20 grand It was worth the effort of 220miles of continuous driving.

Ninety three hope fulls eager to get there hands on the wonga started the 1 day event, with a 45 min clock.

My starting stack of 5000 soon increased to 9000 by slow playing pocket kings versus AQ on a Queen high board.
Then I got moved tables!!!!!!!

Moved onto the table that included Mark Goodwin and Sam Tricket who had been busy early on increasing there starting stacks to well over 30k.

This table was really aggressive with both Mark and Sam having there own personnel duel. Nearly every pot was raised pre flop.
I certainly had to play a very patient game hoping to flop a monster hand and trap one of these but alas it did not happen.
Every time I was involved with either of them they slowed down or got out of the way.
It was only after the tournament ended when speaking to Mark did he confess that him and Sam had discussed my chip position in a break and had both decided not to double me up as they new if I had chips I was dangerous. A compliment there some where but as I was sat with them from 80 players down to 29 maybe you can realize how hard a position I was in.
Mark especially was in no mood to tangle he folded aq suited to my re raise preflop and pocket nines on a 5 5 2 flop ( I had pocket queens) but I could not extract anything out of him.
As the tournament progressed I never got over 12k in chips and it was down to my patience and blind stealing that I survived to 23rd place before exiting holding AJ suited versus pocket tens, the tens holding up.
Again I played the best I could giving the circumstances and with a bit more luck maybe I could have gone a little further.
I held pocket aces twice and pocket kings 3 times but all I got were the blinds.

I played the £250.00 1 re buy on the Thurs night.
Going really well i made a bad mistake to donk all me chips with the ever so grate full James Browning.
No excuses simple bad play on my behalf. The only saving grace is that since this blog started it is as far as I can recollect the only bad hand I have played.

My mate Dominic Kay 3 way split the event and as I had %5 of him it did return £270.00. Well played m8 hopefully you can use this to progress back onto the poker circuit.

Woke up Friday and decided to stay in Luton and play the Friday nights £200.00 rather than Bristol as to be honest I was pokered out.

Very unfortunate in this event as early on holding pocket two,s on a flop of 6 6 2 all my chips ended up in the middle versus the blinds holding of 6 4. He rivered a 4to leave me with a few chips which evaporated on aq versus pocket jacks.

After this played a little cash game £100.00 sit down no limit.

First hand I get dealt pocket jacks it is raised to £25.00 pre flop with two callers.It comes to me and i,m all in, they all call.

good start.

I played my customary 3 hours showing a profit of £425.00, ah well i bit of a profit helps with the costs.

Now over to our regular feature...


The honour this week goes to non other than...

James Browning.

Again one of the stalwarts of the poker scene here in the north east, James seems to be around since time began.
James the ever so analytical has survived where many others have come and gone.
You say you learn off every player you come across and one of the best things you can learn from James is money management.
His experience in this department is with out doubt the best in the country, with out fear of contradiction. I have mentioned this before in previous postings in the blog how important it is. Sometimes when I am a bit indecisive about what to do I always ask myself what would James do.
A massive plus in this world in which we play.
You need many disciplines to survive in poker and gambling, but money management is the most important and James is the expert.

To survive in poker you certainly need to be able to play a bit and maybe James is a bit underestimated in this area by some.I hear it often "how can you play so tight" etc, I just laugh to myself and think he will still be hear in ten years time, but will you?.

James has been playing on the circuit as long as I remember. There have been no large cashes for James but consistent final tables for several years.
Year after year James consistently cashes and finances his way through the poker circuit.
This year James is ranked number 1 in the world in tournaments under $1000.00 and you can,t get much better than that.
Just last week James made another final at Luton in the £500.00 event.

James is one of the best cash game players in the country, I can,t think of anyone who consistently profits year after year.

To end, if calsberg could make a winning gambler then James would be it.

So that ends our 5 weekly series of the top 5 north east players in my opinion. As I said previously in no particular order apart from Steven Lui at number 1.

So Steve Lui, Keith Hawkins, J law, Hamid & James sit at the top of the pile in the North east with the standards and ability we all hope to attain.

Now the hard part I have to think of another feature for next week.

I have got something in mind which requires a bit of audience participation so tune in next week to find out whats in store.

I will update our bankroll next week once all this weeks costs have come through.

A final well done to Dave Maudlin who finished in 6Th in the gala poker tour grand final yesterday. A excellent performance by Dave.
Dave has now earned the nickname of Dave awesome Maudlin.
well done m8.