Friday, 20 April 2012

FA Cup competition

I'm running an FA Cup Final competition on behalf of my softball team the Speeders.

Anyone intersted in entering let me know, the details are below:



1.    Pick a number that you think will be the total of the shirt numbers of all the scorers in the FA cup final.

2.    Guess the time of the first goal. In the event of a tie the entrant whose guess is closest to the time of the first goal will be declared the winner.

3.    All times and goalscorers will be as published on

4.    Own goals, extra time and penalties count


Stephen Gerrard (no 8) scores in the 33rd minute
Didier Drogba (no 11) scores in the 58th minute.
Scores are level at full time.

 During extra time:

Stephen Gerrard (No 8) scores again in the 100th minute.
Jordan Henderson (No 14) scores in the 118th minute

Liverpool win the FA Cup

The result is calculated as 8 + 11 + 8 + 14 = 41

Whoever’s guess is closest to 41 wins the prize.
A list of entries and the results will be posted onto our Facebook page at

The aim of the competition is to raise money for the club.  50% of the proceeds will go to the club and the remaining 50% to the Competition Winner(s).

Please feel free to enter as many entries as you can afford (£5 per entry).  Please encourage family, friends, work colleagues etc to participate, the more the merrier!

If we can encourage 50 people to participate, you can win £125 for a £5 stake.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Mid season break

There have been lots of excuses made as to why we didn't do well at the world cup.

One that is always trotted out is that the players are tired because of such a demanding season.

I'm not sure about that because Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka etc also haven't performed.

However, if we assume that we do need to reduce the burden on players then having a midwinter break is not the answer for a number of reasons:

1. The players would still have to play the same number of games but in a shorter space of time.

2. The clubs would undoubtedly want the players to keep up their fitness during the break.

3. The football on their return would not be as good as the players would all be short of match fitness.

4. Fans really enjoy their Christmas football.

5. No-one knows when the weather will be bad and so we could have a break and then when everyone comes back there could be a bad weather spell which would leave no time to finish all of the fixtures by the end of the season.

So what are the alternatives?

I think there are two that would not impact on the clubs or fans that are worthy of consideration.

1. Players are limited to a certain number of matches/playing hours in a season. Each manager would then have to manage when they play each player, staggering the games players miss. To a certain extent a lot of team do this already so by enforcing this it would ensure that each player is not overworked in the season. This would also enable more of the younger English players to get game time during Premier League matches rather than just the Carling Cup.

2. Manager have to declare a mid season break for each player. This break would be for a set period of say 2 or 3 weeks. You could put whatever restrictions you want on this period - like players are not allowed to train or they can only train for a set number of days etc and they can't play in that period either. It would then be up to each manager to manage his squad and stagger the players' breaks throughout the season. You would have to stipulate that players cannot serve suspensions during this period. The benefit of this is that players who get injured and so miss a lot of football anyway could have their break during this injury period since they won't be tired if they have been missing games anyway.

I think all of this makes a lot more sense than having an arbitrary break for a set time... it's bad enough during the close season!

This blog seems to be evolving into a less regular, less poker themed blog so I don't know whether to start bring more poker back into it.

I did play the Friday night side event at Leos last week but that was a pure crapshoot with the blinds steeper than the normal Friday night event. A starting stack of 7500 was worth only 10 big blinds by the end of the first 2 hours. I ended up going out when I was down to 4000 ish chips and raised to 900 with 77 which was called by the chip leader. I lead out for 1000 on the 6 high flop and got reraised all in by AQ for 1800 more. Of course a queen hit the river. I then had a bad couple of hours playing cash to finish a couple of buy ins down in the £1/£2 cash game after. I did meet the eventual main event winner Mark McCluskey in the cash game and had a good conversation with him over a number of things which was well worth the time.

Anyway that's it for now.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

World Cup Woes

Whilst commuting to and from work I listen to a lot of people airing their views on Talksport.

Since England's sorry exit from the World cup there has been a lot of drivel spouted by people that is absolute nonsense. One of the biggest fallacies relates to how it was all down to the primadonna players not caring.

Whilst it's true that players might not get the same buzz from winning with England as was so well described by Jamie Carragher, there is no way that the players weren't interested in winning the world cup.

Even if you genuinely believe a certain payer is only motivated by money (and I don't believe a professional footballer would make it if money was their only motivation) that player would still want to win the world cup, if only for the commercial and sponsorship opportunities it would open up!

The second issue that is annoying me is the people (like talksport presenter Adrian Durham) saying that the FA copped out by not sacking Capello.

I think I'm right in saying that he was saying before the world cup that Capello was the best manager for the job yet 4 games later he should be sacked!

Let's put that into perspective, England didn't perform to their best and there seems to have been some problems in the camp that we might have to wait to hear about in someone's autobiography at a later date.

Capello undoubtedly made some mistakes but he will learn from them.

Also, when you actually look at the results, yes we were abysmal against Algeria, and we didn't play great against a US team that beat Brazil last year and we would have won that game but for a bad goalkeeping mistake.

Against Slovakia we played well and then there was the Germany game. Look at what Germany did to Argentina who everyone was raving about before their last match! Yet we managed to pull 2 goals back (ok one was ruled out wrongly) and then we were undone by a great counter attacking team when we were pushing forwards trying to get back in the game!

Despite all of the above we still didn't play anywhere near the level we should have, and that, in my opinion, is because we failed to find a system to accommodate all of our best players.

I believe that the best team is not always your best 11 players and by trying to play Lampard and Gerrard together as he did made our team worse. Clearly he should have taken Adam Johnson and/or Ashley Young to play on the left. Even when he brought Joe Cole in, it was to play on the right instead of the left.

Against the lesser teams in qualification we coped because of the vast difference in quality of players but against stronger opposition we were exploited, especially by Germany who saw what I have been bleating on about all season which is Gerard's inability, or more likely unwillingness, to track back and Germany exposed that side of the field time and time again.

I do feel though, that Capello will learn from this and we will be better for it next time around.

What we also need to understand though, is that defeat to one team alone should not be a reason to sack a manager which is something that the Argentina team have done amazingly enough considering their good showing up until they met Germany.

Anyway, in terms of poker, not a huge amount going on but I am playing the GCBMPT side event on Friday (why the main event final is on at the same time as the World Cup Final I can't understand!)

I have another blog post in my head about mid winter breaks but I;ll do that one next week and update what happens on Friday.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

An accident waiting to happen...

So the world cup has finally arrived but the optimism has already shrivelled up after Robert Green's howler.
As I heard Adrian Durham, one of the talksport presenters say, Robert Green is an accident waiting to happen. Thankfully it came when it's not too late to recover.

Granted he did make a save later on but to be honest, if that had gone in everyone would have been very disappointed and it nearly did!

Since Ledley isn't fit then Dawson needs to play alongside Terry because Carra is too much like Terry and we are very vulnerable with those two playing at the same time but it doesn't look like that will happen!

It's good to see Barry back, hopefully he can play himself back to match sharpness over the next couple of games whilst still managing to get through.

I wish Capello would play Crouch instead of Heskey, whilst Heskey did well to set up the goal, it's nothing that Crouch couldn't have done and his goals per minute must be up there with the best England have ever had.

I've not been playing much recently because I've been really busy, including a fantastic trip to London to watch Emma dancing in a fantastic show at the Albert Hall that was done with the school and the Royal National Ballet. The show was superb and it was great to see how exhilarated the kids were after the show.

Anyway... come on England!!!!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Busy busy busy

Well, after an incredibly busy couple of months I have finally finish the year end accounts and so I have a bit more time to update this blog.

I've not been playing that much lately other than the Friday night cash game in Leo's which is still going well b although I have had 2 losing weeks which are inevitable in this game we love so dearly.

I'm reading a body language book at the moment which is not poker specific but I have seen the smile I look for in it and I have also picked up another indicator that someone is lying which I will be looking out for next time I play.

I'm away for the weekend camping with Andrew and the rest of the AC Mags football team as we are in a tournament on Saturday morning so there will be no poker this weekend.

Things are changing at Liverpool FC too with the news that Rafa has finally been put out of his misery.

I've been a supporter of his but in the last year his relationship with the players seems to have waned and this has lead to the season we have just had so I couldn't see any other option for the club other than to part ways.

To be honest, I still think that we need to sell Gerrard since he is 30 now and so only has a couple more years left in him. If we can get £20-£30 million I think we would have to take it since there is no way that we would sign him if he were currently at a different club because of the cost for s 30 year old.

Whoever we get to replace Rafa is critical since this could be a pivotal moment in our history with the rise of Manchester City, Spurs and the threat of Everton.

My choice would be Hiddynk but I don't know if he is available.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Drunken Cash games

Lately I've been playing tournaments live in the circus but then going to Leo's when I am knocked out because the circus cash game is more like a home game with the same faces playing every week. The alternative in Leo's is so much better because newcomers are welcome and because of the location of the cash tables there is a steady stream of non poker players having a dabble.

It's got to the point where I have been considering skipping the tournaments and going straight to the cash game.

The last two weeks have been particularly interesting.

2 weeks ago, as I sat down I saw the back end of a hand where a tight female player made a raise of £100 all in on the river into a pot of about £90 when the board showed 4 to a straight and she was called by a player who was holding J4 for a pair of 4s!

As the hand was finished she said to him, don't worry, you've got another £1000 in your pocket (apparently he has actually been banned from the Circus for card counting on the blackjack and he had won £1000 on the blackjack earlier that night.)

So as he was considering leaving I said to him that he was unlucky in that hand in an attempt to get him to rebuy and fortunately that worked.

I soon noticed how interesting this game was to become.

He pulled up £200 so I matched that and the very next hand he declared that this hand was going to cost £50 minimum before he looked at his cards.

The blinds are 50p/£1 in this game and I was conveniently sat to his left.

Anyway it was folded to him and he bet the £50 and the girl from the previous hand on his left thought for ages before passing and then it was folded to me and I looked down to see A8. Since he was in for £50 blind I did the honourable thing and went all in as I was well ahead of average and it folded to him and he folded. A nice £50 profit. It turns out that the girl had folded AK!!!! But she didn't want to gamble1

The next hand and he makes it £100 to go blind and I look down to see AJ and so push again and this time he calls and his 10 2 wins with a ten on the turn.

I pulled up another £200 and the next significant hand is when we were 3 handed and there was a raise to £8 from Mr Blackjack which I flat called and the other player reraised to £16 which Blackjack and I called. The flop came AJ6 and amazingly the other player bet £100 into the pot of £48, Blackjack folded and I called to see his KJ which didn't improve.

One of the reasons I like this game is because of the number of players who I see playing the tournaments each week but seem unable to make good decisions when the are very obvious – For example, in this spot it was pointless betting when he did (especially the amount he did) since blackjack was betting every single flop blind as well if he had raised blind and so he would have bet here, I would have called or raised and he could have saved himself £100! – I'm not complaining though!!!

The next hand came when there was no raising pre flop and the board had been checked to the river when there were 4 spades showing and Blackjack bet £100 into the pot of £4. Nothing unusual there except he then told me that he hadn't looked at his cards and the dealer confirmed this so I called with my 6 high flush and he turned over his cards to find the 8s and a higher flush!

Anyway, I finished the night £250 in profit which I was pretty happy with considering the 2 big hands I lost.

Last week was just as interesting with another couple of drunk players.

However, circumstances were very different and these guys were a bit cleverer.

The first pot of note came after one of the drunk guys had just lost £400 of his £465 stack.

The very next hand he pushed his £65 into the middle pre flop (at this point I thought he had done this blind) so I called with AJ and when it was folded back to him he turned over AA!!

Although drunk, he had looked at his hand and correctly deducted that anyone would think he was on tilt (ie me) and his hand held up.

The second hand of note was surprisingly similar.

The other drunk, who had been taking ages, slowing the game down and talking rubbish all night picked up his cards in the big blind and looked at them and went to throw them away but realised he was in the blinds.

I limped in with AQ UTG as did a couple of other players and then when it came to the big blind he started talking rubbish again and said that he might raiser and – having seen him about to muck his cards before I told him to feel free. He then asked me how much he should raise so I said in pretend annoyance "all of it!" so he did I snapped called and everyone else got out of the way only to see him turn over AA! I still don't know if it was a calculated ploy in pretending to throw away his cards pre flop but it worked a treat – until my AdQd hit a queen on the flop, a second diamond on the turn and a third diamond on the river to give me a flush!

I don't know what he was doing pre flop but I am fairly sure that it wasn't a deliberate ploy in attempting to fold but the all in move was good. To be fair though everyone else on the table was happy that the result ended up the way it did given how much messing around he had been doing at the table.

I will have to look out for him again in case this is all an elaborate trick.

The last hand that stood out involved the first drunk player who had said he was going to raise "all in the size of the short stack (about £20)" after the short stack had raised to £4. I had already called with 99 as had another The dealer told him three times to wait his turn and that it was not all in but if he kept saying it his verbal bet would be binding. The third time he told him all his chips (about £140) would have to go in if he said it again. When he said it again the dealer told him he had to put them all in and the player said ok then. It was folded around to the short stack who called as did I and the other player who was already all in for £16 blind) I called since the drunk player was playing blind and we all turned our hands over with the non drunk player who was all in for £16 blind winning the small pot with KK and me winning the remaining £300.

All in all it was another interesting night and another £300 profit.

On the football front I don't know who to support at the moment. The other week I was wanted Chelsea to beat Bolton to stop Man Utd winning the league but every time Bolton attacked I was hoping they would score until I realised.

Then when United played City I kept hoping City would score until I kept remembering that I wanted City to lose and give us a chance of 4th place.

As for Sunday I don't know who I want to win. A win for us gives united the league and us an outside chance of 4th.

Man Utd fans I am sure will be cheering us on!!!

On the plus side I am glad to see that united have God on their side given the miraculous recovery that happened to Rooney last week when he collapsed in a writhing heap until he looked up to see the opponent who had fouled him get his yellow card and then immediately spring up and trot off as though nothing had happened.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

strained relations

Rafa is getting some stick in the papers today about substituting Torres on Sunday in a must win match and rightly so!
Judging by the look of bewilderment on his face when it happened he was clearly not injured and was obviously told to put the
Ice on his knee to stop rafa getting stick. Even more bewildered though was Gerrard who had a look of utter astonishment.

I am going to draw 2 pieces of comfort from that look though:

1. Gerrard has been playing the way Owen did before he left and with the rumours going around I felt that there was a fair chance he was going but
That look of disappointment shows how much he still wanted to win the game.- although selling Gerrard might be in the club's best interests given his age and market value

2. My thoughts that there is a bit of a problem between Rafa and the squad does look like it might have some
Truth in it. I do think now that if we can get Mourinho or Hiddinck then we should!

On the poker front I've not played many tournaments online as I've been dabbling in low limit omaha hilo and spent a couple of hundred dollars learning that I need to be trying to win both halves of the pot. Since I learned that lesson I've won back most of the $200 at the $0.10 0.20 level and I'm enjoying it.

Live I haven't cashed in a tourney but a few good cash sessions has earned me some nice
profits including 1 $800 profit session at $1/$2 in Leo's where top pair was paying me
off every time I had them beat.

Anyway, that's it for now.