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Archive for November, 2008

The Greatest Catch Of All Time

November 29th, 2008 Sport No Comments »

Simply amazing. Justin Kemp take a bow. The greatest catch I’ve ever seen.

Kemp’s side won by 8 runs.

A Little Littlewoods

November 25th, 2008 Poker No Comments »

We’re running a promotion at PokerNetwork where the player who earns the most rake at Littlewoods between now and Christmas will win an Aussie Millions package worth $14,000! You can read more about the promotion here.

I’ve decided to give this rake race a crack, although with my work commitments I doubt I’ll be able to give this the dedication to win. However top ten in the race get paid cash, and I have a secret weapon. Although I normally play No Limit Holdem, my bonus whoring background has taught me that the best way to clear bonuses and earn Frequent Player Points is to play short-handed Limit Holdem.

So I’ve ventured back into the murky depths of Limit Holdem and am consistently reminded why I would rather poke myself repeatedly in the eye. It is painful taking on a table full of fish who simply won’t fold any pair or draw. You really need to sit tight and punish them with strong cards that hit the board hard. However the players here are so bad that there is a lot of money to be made. I played some 5/10 the other night and had great fun punishing the fish. They were attrocious.

I highly recommend you download Littlewoods and take a shot at the rake race. It’s easy money and a chance to win a seat to the Aussie Millions!

Manila Mania

November 20th, 2008 Poker, Travel No Comments »

Manila is one crazy place. F-Train described it as the Mexico of Asia. Our first experience of Manila was leaving the airport and before the taxi had even reached the main road we had kids coming out the darkness and pelting rain to bang on our windows and beg for money. It was like something out of a horror movie with zombies on the loose in the streets!

“Lock the doors!” snapped the taxi driver. We quickly and quietly obliged.

Many locals warned us of the trouble that can find you in Manila. Every taxi driver warned us to lock the doors and told us stories of how the boots of taxis are pried open and bags stolen while the taxi sits still amongst the jam of traffic. It didn’t stop at the taxis. When we arrived at the hotel our taxi was met with a guy with a mirror who checked under the taxi for bombs before allowing it onto the premises. Glad they waited until the end of our taxi ride for that check! We then had to go through a metal detector (also found at all shopping malls) and bag check and finally we were inside our hotel!

Our first evening we found a lively little strip and ventured into a few bars. One was a karaoke bar with a couple of ladyboys as hosts. They were a little disturbing but welcoming with their witty one liners. “Welcome to Manila, home of kidnap and ransom!” they said as we found our seats. “Have you been kidnapped yet?”. Oh god.

Another night saw us venture to a bar called The Hobbit House where all of the staff were midgets! They had some live music and sold weird Obama paraphernalia which kept our American friends entertained.

The night before the final table saw us find another funky bar. We knew it was going to be fun night when we saw the sign on the door as we walked in…


With some live music, friendly locals and buckets of six beers for less than six bucks we were set for the evening. As we stumbled out at about 5:30am the whole night had cost us less than $40 for the entire group. As we headed back to the hotel, we were harassed by heaps of kids/locals begging us for money. Someone had the idea to buy some supplies from 7/11 and hand them out. So we stocked up on bananas, fruit juices and even donuts and walked the streets as the sun rose, handing out food and a little joy to the homeless and kids sleeping in the streets of Manila.

The APPT Manila event itself was well run and we grabbed a few hours sleep before the final table. Unfortunately the final table was sheer torture! 16 hours of limp-check-check-check-showdown poker. The three Koreans were nice and loose but didn’t seem to have the aggression to back it up. The talking point was the incredible luck of Van Marcus. A one-outer and two-outer on Day 2 saw him enter the final well placed and he carried that luck til the very end. He got his money in bad about six times and won every time. They weren’t even traditional races. He was either crushed, dominated or drawing and somehow managed to survive every time. As much as he was very lucky, he was extremely patient and determined to succeed – traits which are very admirable. He finally captured the trophy at around 4:30am and it was great to see him win and continue the incredible run of Australians on the international stage!

So our Manila venture came to an end, safe and sound. I’m not sure if I’ll rush back here again, but I will some fond memories of our time there.

Tell Me Why, I Don’t Like Mondays…

November 10th, 2008 Poker, WSOP No Comments »

This morning I woke up at 7am to play in the 100k Guaranteed tournament at 888 Poker. This is a great tournament for a number of reasons and worth the pain of getting up early! Firstly it is a ridiculously soft field and there is always an overlay. Today there were 347 starters, with a buy in of $216, that’s well short of the guarantee. It’s a deepstacked event, with 10k start bank so there’s plenty of room to play, but the best reason is the promo we’re running at PokerNetwork. The highest finisher of the PNW forum members gets free entry into the following week’s event! Also if you play this event you get free entry into the 10k freeroll the following week which starts two hours prior. So there are heaps of reasons to get up early for this one!

This morning however I would’ve been better off staying in bed. I had hardly played a hand for the first hour and a half before this hand came up. The player UTG raised and I called in EP with pocket sixes. Two other players called and we saw a K44 flop. Nothing special there, and the action checked around. The turn was gin for me as a 6 peeled off. It was checked to be and I fired out about a one-third pot bet. One guy called, before the UTG check-raised me. We got it all in and I found I was up against pocket kings. Pretty brutal. I finally hit a two outer, and it sends me near-broke.

Down to about 2,000 in chips, I got them in holding A8 on a flop of A83 and looked set to double up through an opponent holding AQ. But wouldn’t you know it, another queen hit on the river, and the one-two blow had well and truly knocked me out of this one.

Today was also the highly anticipated final table of the 2008 World Series of Poker. Change and F-Train did a great job of blogging this one, and it seemed to be a table which although slow in parts, produced plenty of action and excitement which should make great viewing. After couple of really sick beats, some badly mis-timed bluffs and some big pots, it was Ivan Demidov and Peter Eastgate who were left standing. With the exception of Chino Rheem, I think these two were the best players at the table and it should be a high quality heads-up match. Demidov has the lead and will be hard to beat, while Eastgate is gunning for youngest WSOP Main Event Champion ever. Both are worthy world champions. Demidov FTW.

My bags are packed as I’m off to Manila tomorrow for the APPT Manila event which starts on Thursday, once again covering the event live for PokerNews. I expect a decent but smallish field for this one, as I suspect many of the usual Australian attendees might be skipping this one to concentrate on the local Perth Championships, followed by the APPT Grand Final which starts in Sydney a week later. It’s going to be a busy few weeks!


November 7th, 2008 Poker No Comments »

I’ve had a couple of weeks break since the PokerNews Cup wrapped which is the longest break I’ve had at home since the start of May. I’ve spent the time working hard on PokerNetwork and playing as much poker as possible. I had two days during October where I played 3,700 and 5,100 hands, which is close to the number of hands I’d been playing in a whole month. The end result was a break even month. Sigh.

Yesterday I decided to take a shot at the first event in the Full Tilt Online Poker Series. It was a $216 6-Max No Limit Holdem event which massive to attract a massive 5,124 players to just break the guaranteed $1 million prize pool.

Fields of this size just blow my mind as I struggle to comprehend how on earth I’m going to get through it unscathed. However I came ready to play as I shut down all distractions and other work to focus on getting through each level. Things started off well after I flopped a set and got paid off by a dude with top pair, top kicket to get myself heading in the right direction.

I kept chipping up and really only had three big clashes for the whole tournament. In the middle of the tournament I raced with AK versus pocket queens. The flop was three diamonds and since I held the only diamond, I had huge outs. The king on the turn was all it took and I was up in the top quarter of the field. From there I was able to maintain my spot with some steals and re-steals while staying out of trouble. I busted a shortish stack with AK vs an overplayed AT, and then as we the field thinned I was able to win a race with TT vs AJ when I spiked another set.

With 600 to go and top 492 paying cash, I then got disconnected from the server for roughly twenty minutes. I had to reboot and by the time I got back my stack had gone from an above-average 47k, to a less than impressive 30k. So sick, and so costly. At that point we were about 15 players away from the money, so I limped into the money on a short stack rather than the average stack I should’ve had if it wasn’t for the disconnect.

From there it was a battle to try and get myself back into the game as the players kept dropping away quickly. I managed a few steals, re-steals and one double up when I got very short. With about 250 players to go, Aussie young gun xMONSTERxDONGx joined my table, which sparked a few railbirds to join the fun. I hung in there without catching any decent cards and was basically just keeping my head above water. As we entered the 7th hour of play and the blinds at 2.5k/5k/500, the action folded to a big stack on the button who made it around 14,000 to go. I had 55k, and decided that I had some fold equity and decided to shove on him with my As3s in a re-steal attempt. He tanked for ages and I realised I had the best hand, but he might be priced in to call. He had about 220k, and although it was about a quarter of his stack he decided to call with JTo. I guess it was the right call as its 41k to win around 80k. He’s only in trouble against a domating hand or big pair, but is likely to be racing against a pocket pair or overcards. The board fell jack high and I was out in 127th place for $790. First place paid $195,000. Sigh.

A rock solid tournament where I don’t think I made any mistakes or misteps, which is about all I can ask for. If I win that race I’m back to average chips with 120 players left as we approach the big bucks. Oh well, still a decent result in an insanely huge field, and my second FTOPS cash in two attempts. I doubt I’ll play any other events as I’m off to Manila on Tuesday to work at the APPT, which is the start of a crazy busy two month period. Hopefully I’ll get time to write sometime!