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Author Topic: There and Back Again: A Punter's Tale by Matthew Harris  (Read 96285 times)
Rexas
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« Reply #600 on: November 19, 2014, 01:42:04 AM »

Hey guys, been a while, some stuff has gone on irl and poker has been a bit of a grind so haven't got round to posting. I'll try and stick to more regular updates from now on, this first one may be a tad long though!

Irl

Made the decision over the summer that I didn't want to continue with my university course. This decision has absolutely nothing to do with poker, since as much as I want to be able to play for a living I respect that at some point I will probably have to get a job away from the game to provide some financial stability to any family I may decide I want to be part of. What I was intending to do, and trying quite hard to do, is move course from the English course I was on that I was absolutely hating to an economics course, which I think would suite me much more. However, the admissions tutor for economics decided they wanted to go on annual leave over the period where people can change course, and the ensuing drama resulted in me not being able to get a place on the course, and not being able to continue with my English degree either. The biggest problem with this was financial, as without my student loan to lean on for rent I'm very close to stone broke, which has had a bit of a knock on effect to poker as the financial pressure has left me in a slightly more vulnerable mental state than I would have liked. Will be re-applying for uni next year and will be looking for a job soon, since my recent month+ long downswing at 50nl has basically wrecked my chances of moving up any time soon, and the cost of being alive is getting to be just too much in relation to my net. Plus side is my poker free house is fantastic, really supportive and a really nice group of people.

Poker

As mentioned, poker hasn't been going all that well, my all in EV is still pretty crazy and it feels like I've not made the best hand in a big pot for ages, but that's pretty standard poker stuff, nothing too special. I applied for staking from Bankroll Supply a little while back and haven't received anything in the way of a response, so I assume they either aren't active anymore or for whatever reason I didn't make the cut.

I've had a few mental breakthroughs recently which have been very encouraging. I'm getting much better at accurately keeping track of my range and my opponents ranges throughout pots, and even when I'm not playing my A game I'm able to make folds which I previously would have flicked in without thinking about it. Even though I'm not having many winning sessions, the losing sessions are smaller than they could have been and that feels like a win in itself.

What has been frustrating however has been an ongoing thing with Team Blue Blood. After playing the Goliath this year, I was really impressed by these guys. They all seemed to be genuinely nice people, many of whom I already knew, and from seeing how vibrant the group was in Coventry it looked like something which it would be great to be a part of. A few of the people who I know within the team had been pestering me to join up for a while, and I had some preconceptions about it, but having shaken them off I decided to give it a shot. So, I applied. That was a few months ago, and I've not heard anything back, despite knowing that my application went through and despite seeing the team take on new members since. I'm pretty disappointed, not so much because I wanted to be part of it, but more because I feel like I haven't been dignified with a reply. I know I'm not a really good player or anything like that, but its a shame that despite the fantastic impression they presented at the Goliath they've not been able to take the time to respond. Someone else who I know applied at the same time, and is a proven fantastic player and would have been a great asset to them, but similarly didn't receive a reply. Unfortunate, but maybe I'll win the Sunday Billion or something and that'll prompt a response :p

Bowling

Aside from bowling about online, I've recently been made the Club Development Officer for the British Universities Tenpin Bowling Association, which puts me on the committee for said organisation. Bowling isn't in great shape at the moment as a sport, due to a number of failings from pretty much everyone on the national governing body as well as some economic stuff, and my new role will put me in a position to affect student bowling positively and hopefully make some changes that will continue the work of my predecessor and encourage the student tour to grow. I'm also starting to coach people from outside of university too, which is good fun and giving me a chance to help attract new people into a game which I have enjoyed for many years. With the universities championships coming up in a few months, I'm feeling pretty good about how I'm improving and will hopefully make more of an impact this year!
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Rexas
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« Reply #601 on: November 19, 2014, 02:15:36 AM »

EDIT - obvious attempt to moan it in is obvious Wink
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« Reply #602 on: November 19, 2014, 02:35:13 AM »

What do you think blue blood can give to you?
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« Reply #603 on: November 19, 2014, 03:38:56 AM »

What do you think blue blood can give to you?

I quite like being involved in things like that, team environments are good for moral and I like to be part of active communities in which not everyone is trying to make a living and be a pro, some people are just there because they love the game and want to enjoy it with their friends. I miss enjoying the game like I used to, and I was hoping that I could regain some of that enjoyment from Blue Blood, because it was a genuine pleasure to play with quite a few of their members at the Goliath and they seemed to be having a pretty good time.
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« Reply #604 on: November 19, 2014, 05:03:35 AM »

In my experience, such lack of basis courtesy in responding to an application speaks volumes. I have had it recently with a job application that progressed and then when I wrote to tell them I had taken another offer and didn't want to pursue the role with them at this time, and I was very professional and courteous myself, they didn't even acknowledge receipt.  There can rarely be an excuse for that.

Bad for money both their parts. I guess Bankroll Supply may not be monitoring their contact point if no longer operating but could easily get that message out there.

Hope your financial position improves, you start enjoying again and keep up the improvement in your poker, and the bowling crack goes well.
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« Reply #605 on: November 20, 2014, 09:40:41 PM »

and info on one of Team Blue Bloods newest members?
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Rexas
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« Reply #606 on: December 02, 2014, 01:40:30 AM »

Finally some positive stuff to post!

Poker

Hit a few pretty sweet milestones today. After a while of suffering through a pretty horrible downswing, things have started looking up. I've booked a couple of pretty big weeks, my winrate has come back above 3bbs/100 over the last 3 months, and I've hit a point where I can start withdrawing and getting back to some sort of decent financial shape. I've been a lot more focused recently, worked hard on various aspects of my game, and had a nice bit of run good to help things along. Although I'm in a position now to move up to 100nl, there are a few things that I want to look at first so I can be a little more confident in certain situations. I'll most likely be starting to take shots around January time, and will certainly be pushing to make supernova for the first time next year (if Amaya gaming let me!). Great to see the work I've been putting in paying off, and it's nice to enjoy one of the highs of the game after a long time of feeling pretty shitty about it. Small victory, but an important mental hurdle for me.

I am now a member of Team Blue Blood, and this looks like it will have a really positive impact on me. They're a great group of people and a very active community, and I'm certainly looking forward to promoting the team at some live events in the future. The rails are good fun, the overall atmosphere is fantastic, and the amount of improvement they've made in recent times is a testament to their committee and their membership. It's just a shame they haven't kicked Chris out yet.


Bowling

I'm sticking to playing less tournaments this year, and focusing instead on a few big ones, making the GB unis rep squad, and spending more time coaching. The coaching aspect has been great, and it's now developing to a point where I'll be taking on quite a few new people at my local alley. Not only is this nice financially, but it gives me a chance to give something back to the sport and the bowl at Ilkeston, which has been very kind to the Loughborough uni team over the years. The first big coaching session I'll be running is this Thursday, and unfortunately the guy who was going to be coaching with me has had to pull out. I'm a little nervous, since this will be the first time I've coached people who I don't already know, but I'm pretty hopeful that the sessions will be a success.

This is about as positive as I've felt in over a year, due in no small part to the celebratory chicken I had for dinner.

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« Reply #607 on: December 02, 2014, 02:47:14 AM »

Used to go down to a  TPB tournie in sunderland/ newastle area as a junior. Was quality.
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« Reply #608 on: December 02, 2014, 01:03:21 PM »

Well done Matt, good to hear positive news.
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« Reply #609 on: December 03, 2014, 06:21:14 AM »

Well done Matt, good to hear positive news.
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« Reply #610 on: December 21, 2014, 10:27:26 AM »

well done, happy xmas result...

Yesterday's big game

Matt Harris, Adam Daniel and Paul Grummit do business 3-handed. Deal done

Matt - £5265
Adam - £4850
Paul - £3885

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« Reply #611 on: December 21, 2014, 10:35:46 AM »

Nice one Matt.

You could look a bit happier about it though!
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« Reply #612 on: December 21, 2014, 12:09:51 PM »

Great result Matt.

Is Grummitt your Dad?! WAL if so, stone cold legend that guy.
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Eso Kral
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« Reply #613 on: December 21, 2014, 12:15:24 PM »

Nice result bud!!
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« Reply #614 on: December 21, 2014, 07:15:10 PM »

Cheers guys, I've done a write up for Blue Blood so I'll put a slightly edited version of that on here too Smiley

I didn't actually know I was going to be playing this event until about 15 minutes before it started. I saw a post that BRS were putting people into the Big Game, and decided to give it a shout, so thanks to Sylvia from Team bb and the guys at BRS for giving me the chance to play. So, after a record breakingly fast shower and a quick beard groom, I made it down to DTD and after initial set up problems was seated towards the end of the first level. Field seemed appropriately irrigated with multiple sheep.

The first few levels were pretty boring, raised a few times, folded a few times, c-bet once, wished I hadn't c-bet once, stroked my beard often. Ended up sat on about 100k on the last hand before the first break, when I opened AQos from mid position and called a jam from the small blind who had us covered, ending in a double up where we held against J8os.

Fairly soon after returning, I found JJ in late position, squeezed over a few limpers and got jammed on by the BB. I called and held vs 10s to take me up to over 350k at 3k/6k. The next orbit saw me pick up KK on the button and 3b a utg open from someone I didn't consider to be a wizard. I cbet on 1073dd, he called. Check/check on an Ax turn, and he bet like 1/5 pot on the river which I called to lose to a rather optimistically played AJ. I then 3b A9os from the cut off to a hijack open, was called and bet folded on j35ss to take me right back down to around the 100k mark. Then decided to go psycho and jammed quite a lot, picking on one spot in particular who seemed to be opening way too much (and to way too much) and folding too much to any resistance to take me back up to just under 300k at the second break.

Sat back down and opened my button into two TAG blinds with 67, and saw a flop of AQ3ss hu. He checked, I cbet, he called. Check/check on a Qx turn, and he then lead the river for about 1/4 pot on a 7x river. This was kinda a weird one, and I'm not entirely sure if I like my logic, but I felt that it was likely he would bet more with a Q and would be more likely to check/call with a weak A, and I expect to see a 3b from most strong Ax hands pre. Based on this, and the range I thought he was likely to be playing, I called and got shown AQ, which I guess kinda makes sense with the bet sizing. This hand took us back below the 20bbs mark, and I continued to abuse the guy I had been earlier, jamming over a lot of his opens. He then 4x's in early position, we rejam QJss with around 20bbs, and he calls extremely quickly with 66 (which seemed odd given how much he seemed to be folding). Unfortunately for him I rivered a Q, and unfortunately for me he was at least 3x my size and was giving me a very angry look. Considered hiding under the table. Stroked the beard instead.

I then lost 100k in another strange pot where I squeezed A8hh over a bunch of limpers and went 3 way to a flop of A1010cc. The flop checked round, and on a Jx turn I called a bet from the guy second to act and the original limper called too. The river bricked out and I checked it down to lose to a very strangely played AQ. Then I ended up raise calling 75ss, which was fun. I opened from early ish position nearing the bubble where everyone was starting to fold a lot and play very face up, and got jammed on by the only guy who was particularly short on the table. He was playing about 10/11bbs, and having done the maths roughly in my head I ended up calling. I went through it on my phone afterwards and worked out that, against the range I thought he had, I had about 35% equity, and I needed 29% to make the call. Given stack sizes, how much of my stack it was, how close we were to the bubble etc this hand was certainly a fold, and I guess this shows how little I play tournaments nowadays. Rivered a pair and won anyway.

I'll skip through a lot of the next load of play because it was all pretty standard jams, calls, folds etc. The next hand worthy of note was against a guy who I don't know but who quite a few people seem to. Anyway, I opened Q8os from my button, and he called pretty quickly out of the BB. He checked 1045hh, I bet 110k as a cbet and he minraised to 220k. At this point, again given stacks and stage of the tournament this is probably a fold, but I felt very strongly that he just shouldn't ever have anything here. He left himself with a very awkward stack to play turns, which I felt would commit him to either giving up or putting in a considerably above average stack on a pure bluff. I felt, given his flop sizing, that his hand was unlikely to be 45, 44 or 55, and I didn't see the point in doing this with a weak 10. So, I decided to go all Phil Ivey on his ass and flatted. He took a while to check a turn, which seemed to be the nut card to bluff anyway, so I jammed for slightly over pot and he, thankfully, folded. LEEEEEEAAAAAAAAANNNNNN.

By the time I made it to the final table, the blinds were getting pretty brutal and I was getting pretty short. I started with around 20bbs, but due to some horrific blind increases and a lack of situations to gain chips, this fairly quickly became around 10bbs. By this point we were 6 handed, and ICM was starting to be a total nit. With 5 UKPC seats on offer and a literal pay jump, the 6 to 5 handed bubble was considerably bigger than the actual bubble. The guy on my direct right was playing far too tight and was the shortest stack at the table, but since I was sat 5/6 with about 1.1m and 4/6 had nearly 3m, it was coming down to a battle between the two of us. The short stack was all in and at risk several times and got the double, prompting a short burst of activity from us to chip back up out of the immediate danger zone. The hand that it eventually came down to involved him shoving around 6bbs from the SB and us looking him up with K3os. He had somehow found 88, but we windowed a K to take the lead and held.

Now that bubble had burst I was able to get involved a little more, and this culminated in 3m chip pot. I opened K8os from the btn, and the BB defended. The flop came K108ss, he checked and we cbet. He called, and then donk led for 900k and change (which was a lot given the pot and my stack) on a Qx turn. I jammed (which I don't like, given how I was fairly sure this was a bluff I think calling is better long term, although neither option can really be bad), and he pretty amazingly folded K8 face up. This gave us the chip lead, and following a AA into AK cooler for 10bbs or so, we had nearly half the chips in play 4 handed. Given the two stacks on my direct right, I ended up shoving nearly every button and every SB for a while, before Nick Hicks jammed K5os into the guy who was second in chips, and lost vs 99. Now 3 handed, a deal was suggested which we all agreed upon, and as the chip leader at the time I was awarded first place.

A quick note on the winners photo, myself and Paul are, despite appearances, definitely not gay.

Merry Christmas everyone!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 07:28:28 PM by Rexas » Logged

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