Archive for the ‘Poker’ Category

PokerStars Sunday Storm – 133rd of 48,235

Last night I finished in 133rd place out of a total of 48,235 players winning $250.82 in the Sunday Storm on PokerStars.

Whilst it wasn’t a bad return on my investment, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t go further but despite never building a relatively sizeable chipstack, I played well in the longest tournament I’ve been in for quite a while.

Sunday Storm 26th January 2014

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UK Sharks In 2014

I’ve been busy updating the UK Sharks website over the past couple of months, relaunching at the beginning of the year.

The changes have been quite substantial, it’s a lot different to before and it’s taken a lot of time and effort to get it ready.

One of the most noticable differences is the new logo, see below:

UK Sharks Poker Logo 2014

Overall I’m very happy with the new version of the site, it’s a lot more managable, up to date and user friendly.

Tonight sees our first game of 2014 with the launch of the UK Sharks Player Of The Year tournaments at 8pm on PokerStars. Click on the banner below to learn more:

UK Sharks POTY 2014

The site now has a blog section for team members and I have recently posted about my New Year’s Poker Resolutions and my successful trip to the Grosvenor Casino in Dundee on Boxing Day, select the relevant image below to read the articles:

New Years Poker Resolutions 2014

2014 Poker Resolutions

Poker at the Grosvenor Casino in Dundee

Grosvenor Casino Dundee

I’m really excited about what lies ahead for UK Sharks in 2014, with a greater emphasis on the team and our tournaments/events there’s a lot to look forward to.

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Stu ‘The Kid’ Ungar – A Biography

Below is a biography that I wrote a number of years ago about my favourite poker player, Stu ‘The Kid’ Ungar…

Stu Ungar

Stu’The Kid’ Ungar is always amongst the first names mentioned when talking about the all time greats of the poker world. His legendary status formed as much by his exuberant and wayward personal life as it was his immense talent. He won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event on three occasions, picking up five WSOP bracelets in total. Additionally Ungar also won, what at the time was considered to be the second most prestigious poker title, the now defunct Amarillo Slim Super Bowl of Poker on three occasions (1983, 1988 and 1989). He is the ONLY player to have won three titles at both events. But the story of his life is a cautionary tale.

Despite his legendary reputation as a no limit texas hold’em player, Ungar always considered himself better at gin rummy. Indeed with typical self belief he once commented;

“Some day, I suppose it’s possible for someone to be a better no limit hold’em player than me. I doubt it, but it could happen. But I swear to you, I don’t see how anyone could ever play better gin than me.”

He had a photographic memory and the IQ of a genius (reportedly higher than 180) and was able to recall every card in a six-deck blackjack shoe; in January, 1977 he won $100,000 in a wager with Bob Stupak who challenged Ungar at 10-1 to count down the last three decks in a six deck-shoe. When he didn’t miss a single call from a total of 156 cards, he was handed a cheque. He and Stupak would become the very best of friends through good times and bad. He once said of Stu;

“He was the best. You can’t expand on that. The best says it all.”

He was born on 8th September, 1953 and raised on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in a world of gambling. His father Isadore ‘Ido’ Ungar was a bookie who ran a bar with his mother; he was a keen poker player. Despite his efforts to shield Stu from the dark aspects of gambling, his son picked up gin rummy at an early age winning his first tournament when he was only ten. Never in his life would he have a regular job, he would gamble on anything! Apparently the first time he ever set foot on a golf course he lost $80,000 before even making it to the first tee; instead losing it on the putting green to the great Jack Strauss.

Continue reading Stu ‘The Kid’ Ungar – A Biography…

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Cracked Aces

Cracked Aces

Just a typical example of how I can’t get a break at the poker tables nowadays…

Left to Right – Select the first image to enlarge and then scroll through the hand.

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Runner Runner


Runner Runner Poker

For those who don’t know, I enjoy playing poker …or at least I used to!

Of late I’ve fallen out of love with the game somewhat, that coupled with the fact that I haven’t had much opportunity to play means that when the opportunity arises to get in a game it’s taken me a while to get going. When I have played, due to the time constraints it’s been the odd sit n’ go or small friendly tournaments with UK Sharks Poker Forum (which I founded and manage) and I haven’t faired well. Not that I haven’t been playing well, just that I’ve grinding and going deep only to run into severe cases of bad luck at the most inopportune times, that or I’ll storm the tournament early and still run into some idiot chase a runner, runner flush off a nailed flop or similar.

Having been sick for the later part of the week I’ve probably had less time than ever to play but have managed a couple of sub-satellites for the 888 Poker SuperStack events yesterday and have played well enough to qualify for the ($11) London and Dublin satellites to be played (on Monday and Thursday respectively) next week.

These games suit me at the moment, there aren’t to many runners and I’m not playing them just prior to the tournament that I’m winning the seat into begins. My ‘poker stamina’ isn’t great at present and knowing myself, if I were to attempt tournaments with too large a field, I would end up being my own worst enemy trying to force the pace. Another benefit, is that they are qualifiers for relatively local and low level buy-in events which if I am unable to attend I can transfer to a friend whilst retaining a stake or offer as a prize on UK Sharks Poker Forum.

I’ll keep you posted as too my progress.

So, after missing a forum game last night due to lack of sleep I woke up this morning with an itch to scratch having been buoyed by my results on the previous evening. I entered the $1.25c $200 guaranteed on 888 Poker, joining late with 3,000 starting chips and the blinds at 150/300 with just over half of the 200 or so players who’d started remaining at the time and around 10 minutes of late registration remaining. In total 266 registered bringing the prizepool up to $292.60. Not the life changing amounts that I’d like to be playing for but, it’s a risk/reward and I’m skint.

After an early double up with a pair of Jacks standing up against A-10 off suit I largely coasted for the first hour due to lack of hands or action when I was dealt anything remotely entertaining, until just before the second break 1 hour and 50 minutes into the tournament. With just over 7,000 chips (about a 1/3 of the average from the 40 odd players remaining), I’m dealt a pair of 10s, my opponent hits two pair with his K-3 off suit and I’m lucky to still be in the tournament with my now pitiful 2,700 chips and the blinds going up to 400/800 (60 antes); to make things worse it’s also now the break so there’s at least an extra 5 minutes of waiting before I’ll be put out of my misery.

The action resumes and despite a calling range bigger than my brother’s appetite for pies I’m dealt nothing until I have a pitiful 1,500 chips left Ad Qd I shove and get one caller, I hit two pair whilst he hits just one with his 4-3 off suit to double me up to the lofty heights of 3,000 chips.

A couple of hands later, I play 8-7 off suit well, hitting the straight against the top pair of my opponent to take me up to 8,300 chips before shortly after doubling up again after flopping trips with Kh-Jh, the A-10 off suit held by my caller Bulli_68 missing the board entirely.

Still way below average of the 30,000 (30 players remain), there was still a lot of work to be done if I was going to be able to make it into the prize winning places as only the top 9 paid.

I’m starting to feel in the zone when shortly after I’m up to over 36,000 my pair of 10s this time standing up. After committing 5k with a pre-flop raise when the flop of 9-J-9 hits I know it’s an opportunity that I have to go for. I shove all-in with the remaining 10,500 chips that I have my opponent calls with A-K, draws blank on the turn and river allowing me to scoop the pot an put me into a comfortable position for the first time in the tournament.

A few sniffs at flops with tempting hands seems me slip to 25,000 and under the gun with Ad-9d I raise 3xBB and get one caller, a flop of  Qc-Ah-7c is favourable. I bet 5, 250 which my opponent calls, a 4c isn’t particularly welcome on the turn and I can sense that I’m staring down the barrel of a gun with nowhere to run. I sheepishly bet 4,800 and a call just reaffirms my suspicions and when the 2c appears on the river I’m resigned to my fate being sealed, I put in a token bet of 5,750 chips in the feint hope that he’s as been as traumatised by the board as I have, but sure enough my opponent (dn9299) has hit the runner flush with Kh-Kc and I’m on the verge of being eliminated.

With just 5,800 chips left the very next hand I’m dealt K-Q off  suit on the Big Blind and put all-in by the Small Blind (mc_Dissak) who after I call shows a pair of 8s, a flop of 2-A-8 sees him hit the set, turn of Ah a full house and the redundant river of 6c sees me eliminated in 20th place.

I’ll concede that I was far from aggressive enough on the second to last hand after hitting top pair on a very threatening flop, but I feel good about posting as I play, there’s something about needing to justify my plays (despite it probably being to nobody) that tightens up my game and despite seeing areas for improvement I also made some excellent plays and was patient enough to have still been in a position to play them.

Love Hate Poker