i went to the 888 birthday bash 2016

    Thursday, November 3, 2016, 12:07 AM [General]

    for anyone that doesn't know, my888 poker forum hold an anual event (for the last 3 years) in birmingham, england. if you read the forum and see posts about this event you probably think, not for me, i don't know anyone and my poker skills are not good enough. well for the first part i can say, it matters not who you know. the first year i went i knew nobody, just usernames from forum games, and i can tell you now, you won't find a friendlier group of poker players anywhere in the world. some travell from overseas to attend and some travell a few miles from their homes and  for the second part you can learn a lot from friendly players that share tips and hands they played.
    there were a few familiar faces missing this year, friends from canada and ireland had other plans this weekend and were missed, but there were also some new faces that have now become new friends.

    saturday started for me at around 3pm due to a late train Frown but i arrived in time for the main game on saturday, a £20 plus £10 bounty game with 10000 starting chips and 30 minute blinds, and professional casino dealers, one of whome had a pair of fantastic personalities. (if you know me you know what i mean). sadly for me the starting stack was the most chips i had that game and i went out mid game a long way from the money, but a free bar soon made up for that .i thnk there was almost 40 runners with 888 adding £500 to the prize fund.

    the main game on sunday was a £50 buy in and 20000 starting stack with 34 runners and 888 adding £1000 to the prize fund. the game started well and i took a few nice pots early on. by the time 15 players were left in i was getting shotstacked and looked down to see AK with 2 players already all in, one of which had me covered. i just had to call with the chance of trippling up at a crucial stage. would you beleive it a king on the flop and it held giving me a nice pot of almost 70000 chips. with just 2 tables left i managed to keep my stack at around the 70k mark, stealing blinds from our very own mod, robertbh and fighting a couple of pots with the chip leader by a long way, sean, 888forum manager. with 10 players left i remember thinking i hope this is the table they break up so i don't have the chip leader to my left, with 8 of the remaining players getting short stacked (including me) i needed someone  next to me i could make a few moves against. the bubble burst and yes it was my table they were breaking up. i popped to the loo only to return sat next to the chip leader again to my left. at this point i have less than 10 big blinds and so do 7 or 8 other players. my saving grace was having the button thus getting a full round in before i have to put in the big blind. first hand of the final table there's a raise and a re raise all in. i look down and see king jack off. well one player could go out here so i fold and hope to ladder up one place, sean the chip leader reraises. now there's 2 players that could go out. seans AA holds and now we are down to 7. the next hand another player goes out. now we are down to 6. the next hand another player and the next hand another, we are down to 4 and i haven't had to put in the big blind yet.

    4th was as good as it got for me and a nice £270. a couple of sit and gos later and it was another £80. all in all a good day for me topping of a fantastic weekend.
    if you are reading this , get active in the forum and come along to next years, you won't regret it.
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    Probably...the best online poker site.. ever.

    Sunday, July 31, 2016, 3:36 PM [General]

    Probably...the best online poker site.. ever.

     Let’s start with the most important part of any poker site,

    The lobby

    All poker site lobbies shall be the same layout. It will be the law, and all poker site lobbies will be the same as 888. In the corner will be today’s exchange rate of the currency of your choice, you will not have a rate for deposit and a second rate for withdrawal. If there are links to casino or betting platforms then I should be able to disconnect them and only reconnect after contacting support. Any bonus statistic shall be displayed next to my balance. There will be no spiny thing with tickets to games I don’t historically play; all prizes will be for games I have a good history of. If I have no history then tickets will be defaulted to free roll games until I have such history.

    The games

    We will be having normal games, no snap or zoom or rush or blast. We are here to play the game of poker; the game most of us saw on TV and thought that game looks so easy let’s give it a whirl. All sit and go and tournament games will have a rake of 10%. Some double or nothing games at 888 have a rake of 16%!!!!!!!! Sit and gos will be 10 seat with blind increases after 10 hands, there will be no antes in sit and gos. Minimum cash in any multi table game will be at least double the buy in. any satellite game will have a good starting stack and a proper blind structure; there will be no 1000 starting chip stack and 5 minute blinds. You will only be allowed to play a cam game if you have a cam switched on and clearly showing your face, if you play a single hand with your face obscured you will be kicked from the game and your chips evenly spread through the rest of the field. Late registration to any multi table game will be no longer than 30 minutes. The table chat box will only be in English, there will be an auto translate feature for players who English is not their first language. Writing swear words as  “fu ck off “ or questioning my mother’s/sister’s sexual habits will see an instant kick from the game we will have a zero tolerance of trolls, stick to twitter. Table observers will not be allowed to chat but they will have access to pre-loaded statements like well-played, nice hand, good luck.


    Play 100 sit and gos in a month and get one ticket equivalent to the average buy in for a game of your choice. Play 50 multi table games and get a ticket equivalent to 1.5 times your average buy in for a game of your choice. Tickets will have no expiry date. Play 50 my 888 community games over the year and get invited to the (used to be ) annual get together.

    Odds and ends      

    There will be no 3rd part software allowed, no holdem manager or poker tracker. If you can’t use it in a casino you can’t use it online.


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    Personal- Past. Present. Future

    Thursday, January 21, 2016, 7:46 PM [General]

    This time last year my wife and I , for the first time, set new year’s resolutions so I sat down and thought about what to give up or do different? Well I don’t smoke (never have), don’t drink much (but when I do I really go for it), I exercise regularly (see last month’s blog), I’m already the world’s greatest husband (I have the birthday card), already the world’s greatest dad (I have that birthday card as well) so don’t feel the need to be a better person,  I couldn’t commit to playing more poker (I don’t have the time these days) and I couldn’t commit to playing less poker  (have you seen the crap on TV the wife watches?) so after much umming and arrrring I decided to give up biscuits. Now I love biscuits and with a cup of tea I could easily dunk 8 or 10 custard creams or bourbons and for some one that drinks about 6 or 7 cups a day that is a lot of biscuits. Add to that the biscuits I’d eat for breakfast or before bed then we are looking at a packet plus a day. Oh yes I have a habit. If my biscuits were cigarettes I’d be a chain smoker. If my biscuits were vodka I’d be an alcoholic. If my biscuits were drugs I’d be a junkie. But there is no word for a biscuit munching machine and that is what I’d become. I really should weigh 20 stone and I often get told off from the wife for eating, she does call me the human dustbin and last year we went on holiday to Kos. A lovely place in an all-inclusive hotel and she swears she spent more time watching me eat than anything else. So as you can by now gather giving up biscuits was a tough cookie (pun intended Laughing).

    One thing I did learn early on was never go shopping hungry. Oh that was hard walking past the biscuit aisle while your stomach is roaring like a jet plane. Not to mention what was I going to eat after an hours swimming? You have never felt hunger until you’ve been swimming and if you know a swimmer just ask them if they are hungry. The second hardest thing is what to do with a cup of tea when you have nothing to dunk in it? Now I have to sit and wait for it to cool down a bit.

    Well it was a hard 12 months but I did it, not one biscuit was eaten or held or sniffed.  Even now over half way through January I still haven’t had one I just can’t bring myself to fall of the wagon. This year’s resolution is to not eat cake. Oh my, cake mmmmmmm caaaaake,. Now before I started this one we had to determine what counted as cake. Are apple pies cake? Well we decided they were not as a meat pie is not cake and the only difference is the filling. Are doughnuts cake? We decided they were not as they are deep fried and not baked. Are flapjacks cake? We also decided they were not as they are only one ingredient (milk) away from porridge and if anyone thinks porridge is cake they need to go in the funny farm.  January was a tough month as that is when my birthday is, imagine having a birthday cake with candles on, blowing them out then watch as everyone else tucks into your cake!

    Remember at the start when I said my wife also did a new year’s resolution? She gave up swearing at me and she managed a whole 48 hours! All I said was “come to bed we haven’t had a shag this year” Kiss

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    My.888poker Holiday Special ‘Open Blog’ Competition.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 12:23 PM [General]

    What do you do other than play poker? Do you exercise? play sport or do anything to stay in some sort of unround shape? I swim, or i used to when i was a kid. i used to swim rather well, in fact somewhere in this house are national championship gold medels. Swimming at a top level is hard. You need a good team around you it is the hardest sport to do at the top. Think of running a marathon but having to hold your breath while  travelling through a subatance 6000 times denser than air. I used to train 6 days a week sometimes twice a day for three hours. At sixteen i gave up, just stopped. like i said swimming is hard. and for the next 26 years, with the exception of holidays abroard i didn't set foot in a swimming pool again.

    Remember the london olympics? i do. like all olympics since i stopped swimming i would say i'm going swimming on monday, but when monday came along i never went. I didn't go tuesday or wednesday and by the time thursday came along i thought it's the end of the week no point going now i'll go next monday. but that monday never came. But i did start the paragraph with "do you remember the london olympics?". well about 2 weeks after they finished the paralympics started. Did you watch them ? or did you not bother as you thought it was just some disabled people having a jolly in the olympic park? Well let me tell you those disabled people having a jolly in the olympic park are atheletes of the highest order. I remeber those paralympic games and i remember watching a swimmer called Tamas Sors swim 100 meters butterfly faster than i ever did. I watched awe struck ,and a little ashamed, as  a guy with one  functioning arm swim faster than i ever dreamed of.

    well that monday i dug out my swimming stuff and ventured down to my local pool. i got in and swam for the first time in 26 years and it felt so good, that first 25 meters felt like i'd never given up at 16. I even questioned myself why i hadn't done this sooner, why did i have to wait all these years. i turned round at the end of the pool and pushed off the wall. then i realised why. my arms felt like they were made of lead and my lungs felt like they contained the contents of mount Doom. yeah i thought swimming is hard. like  running a marathon but having to hold your breath while  travelling through a subatance 6000 times denser than air. But 3 years later it is getting easier and earlier this year i swam at the Great britain masters championships at manchester. i competed in the mens 40 to 44 years 50 meters butterfly and came 3rd with a time of 28.7 seconds.

    If you want to get a feel for how fast that is get yourself down to your local pool and swim 50 meters any stroke  and see how fast you can do it, then remember my new best mate Tamas Sors? he can swim that faster than me with just one arm. whenever i don't feel like swimming i just watch that race from 2012 and head down to the pool determined to beat a man with one arm. Tamas Sors will never know he is my inspiration.
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    Hole Cards That History Makes Hard To Resist.

    Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8:14 PM [General]

    My favourite starting hand, there can only be one and that is QQ. not AA? Or KK?  I hear you say. No. And most definitely not JJ . No one likes that hand (In fact jj as a starting hand should be banned and all cards returned to the deck for a redeal) . Pre flop it is easy to get carried away with KK only to find yourself up against AA. QQ is easy to fold with lots of pre flop action . KK not so easy  and AA you can never fold pre flop. Post flop who’s folding AA?  too many times I get beat by a flopped set. And with KK how many aces can there be in the deck as there is always one on the flop and one in someone’s starting hand. With QQ post flop it is an easy laydown with a King or an ace on the flop to action.

    So can you practise what you preach? Well yes in this year’s birthday bash I looked down at QQ. under the gun raised and the player to my right popped in a reraise. I ummed and arrrghed for a good few minutes before putting them in the muck, should I have raised or called then I would probably have bust out there and then a long way from the money. The player to my right was kind enough to show her KK and the raiser from under the gun says he had ace queen, leaving me just one out. Looking back at that tournament it was one of the hands that how you play it decides whether you make it to the final table or not, in this case after folding I went all the way to runner up for a rather nice £280.

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    The Poker Hand/s That Haunt Me…

    Monday, September 7, 2015, 11:58 PM [General]

    Who remembers hands? Not for me, not online anyway just play them then move on win or lose. But there is one hand I remember from playing at this year’s birthday bash. We were about 2 hours in, and if memory serves me correct, I had a better than average chip stack at 31k. There were a couple of short stacks at the table and I’m in mid position. Blinds were 400/800 I think. Cards are dealt and I look down at 33. Under the gun (short stack with 5k) I think raises to 2k. Next player calls one folds and chip leader re-raises to 16k. I ponder my 33 and call half my stack miles from the money and hope for a good flop. Remaining players to act fold. Under the gun calls all in and the caller calls all in for 10 k I think.

    The flop comes A37...oh yeah happy days. There is almost 50k in the pot. And I have flopped a set of three's. Re-raiser puts me all in for 15k and I snap call , the pot of 80k will make me chip leader by almost 50k it is one of the hands that take you to the final table without breaking a sweat. The turn is a 3 I now have quads and I’m now unbeatable. I don't even remember what the river was.....

    Except that’s not how the hand went...I looked at my 33 and thought “raise, call and re-raise before me and 4 players still to act?" In the muck it went pre flop. I sat there staring at the flop. I sat there open mouthed at the turn and watched one player go out and two players split the pot both having AK. Oh how we like to play with hind sight. I eventually went out 7 from the money with chip leader at the time on 70k a whole 10k less than I would have had from that one hand.

    4 0

    Poker, Personalities and Perfection.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 6:17 PM [General]


    Since starting my poker life in 2006 at 888 the only game I play on a regular basis is sit and go. You just can’t beat it, not in the winning sense but in the enjoyment of them. It does exactly as it say on the tin, sit down and when you have no chips left you go. Winning a 9 seat or 10 seat as they used to be back when I started usually takes about an hour so you know before starting the game when it could be finishing, you know how much you can win and how much you can lose, Just the buy in no reloading. The simplest form of bankroll management.  I like to have 100 buy ins in my roll, keep to that and after 9 years I have never had to reload. Yes I have moved up and down the stakes when needed or when able. 

    I have played cash games but there is just not the same buzz, you have to work hard to win at cash, I have cashed in a sit and go and not even played a hand you can’t win in a cash game doing that. Also a sit and go has an end to the game. The trouble I found with cash games is they just don’t end there was no incentive to leave, you lose? Just reload, you win?  When do you say enough for today? I don’t have enough time to play MTT games unless it is a forum weekend game, the moderator melee is my favourite, Sunday nights if you want to join in the fun, forum games for me are played for fun and not too bothered if I cash or not. In fact they are the only games I play with the chat box on there is just too much rubbish chatted at tables these days I’m sure you’ve all seen it before and usually from the new players all excited about being a keyboard warrior and all. The games that are, or I should say were, the best fun to play are the private cam games we used to set up through the forum. It is always good to put faces to names and I have seen boobs jiggling right before my eyes (you know who you areJ).

    So what would be the perfect sit and go format? For me it would be 10 handed with 10 hands in each level, just like they used to be when I started playing here. And for the nine other players? Easy. Kelly brook, Emma Willis, Carole Vorderman ( I know. but you know you would), Mel B, the girl in the office at work, better put the wife in there as well, holly Willoughby, Scarlett Johansson and Katy Perry. The game will be known as the bust out game. When you bust out…you bust out J

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    The game of poker has changed my life…

    Saturday, June 20, 2015, 5:59 PM [General]

    the game of poker has changed my life....?? well in a word........no. i still have to get up each morning and go to work mostly six days a week. but then ask why  hasn't poker changed my life? maybe 6 years ago it could have but i didn't have the knowledge or balls to make it change my life. getting made redundant changes your life and with hind sight i could have chosen not to get a crapy minimum wage job i could have chosen to stay on the dole getting tax credits equal to a months minimum wage. i could have chosen to stay playing $10 and $20 sit and go's( doing quite nicely as well ), i could have chosen not to withdraw 90% of my bankroll. but i didn't.

    do i wish i had made the other choices? no way! for me poker isn't about chasing that life changing win, it's just about  keeping that bankroll ticking over so maybe every couple of years i can treat myself and the other half to a nicer holiday or maybe having a holiday when the normal bank balance says you can't have one  this year.

    so has poker changed other peoples lives around me? well the wife gets to watch what she wants on the TV and so do the kids when she's not home. the playstation isn't getting 12 hours abuse each day while the rest of the household are moaning "when are you coming off that , you've been on it all day".in fact the reason we have a playstation is due to poker winnings so my son could argue it was life changing for him. my parents could argue it was life changing for them as poker winnings enabled us to go to spain to see them for the first time in 3 years (see above for the crapy low paid job).my daughter and  my son could argue that me bribing them with money from poker winnnings spurred them on to do well in their GCSE's (money was paid for each A grade a lesser amount for B and pittence for C. nothing for D and below). now that cost me a fortune, exams are not as hard as they used to be. my wife could argue poker was life changing for her (and me) as poker winning enabled me to take her to Las Vegas to watch Ricky Hatton fight as her 40th birthday present. and then again 4 years later for my 40th. what can i say i like them older Wink.

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    If I had a poker mentor…

    Friday, May 15, 2015, 9:47 PM []

    having played on 888 since 2006 i never thought i'd need or even want a poker mentor, having never lost my initial deposit you get the feeling that you might be better than average. until last weekend......

    you can count on one hand the number of days i have played live poker, ok maybe if you are from burnley you can, but for the rest of us it is 6. live play is so much different than online. online everything is done for you, half pot bet, chip stacks hell even some of you have poker software telling you what to do(not me though). playing live you have to do all that yourself along with trying to work out how much is in the pot who has the button how many players are left how many more need to go out befor you make the money. you have no idea where you stand in relation to the chip leader the only information you get is average stack size and how many players are left.

    so now to actualy playing the game, what's my poker face like, can you see through my c bet, why am i shaking? here goes my bluff.... hope you all fold....here goes my bet cos i have the nuts, hope you call. did i look the same? could you tell which hand was which hand? now we are getting deep into the game you have a better than average chip stack, under the gun raises next player reraises. you look at your cards and see QQ. your head says raise but there is someting about the reraise. online you can have a look through hand history or check your poker software to see what this player reraised with last time, live you've got to remember all this. remember you head saying reraise? but now your gut is screaming fold. you fold, was that right or wrong? the reraiser was kind enough to show KK. happy days

    final table now, how did that happen? 6 players left now you're trying to keep count of your stack how is the rest of the table doing? does it really matter if my largest denomination chips don't touch the lower ones? why is that relevent? well it's worked so far. or has it? player opposite you has what looks like a monster stack. are the chips all low denomination? does all the table really have average chips,70k? what can you do to take advantage of that? should i take advantage of that?

    table folds round to the button. no raise small blind folds, you look down at rags 9 5 off. no raise. flop 5 2 8. 2 cards are hearts .how has the button player been playing? lots of button calls with low conecting cards. he could easily have hit this flop. you know he's betting if you check.he's done it all game. do you bet out? how much? how much is in the pot? at least in live play you get time to try and work all these things out. you bet out half pot hoping he folds. was that right? poo he called. turn 10. if he's drawing he's calling .....or raising. think back to a hand earlier. you had the draw and bet out then checked the turn. do you play this hand the same? check, check. river jack. no flush. you know if you check the river he's betting . dam it i heard myself say check. should i have done that? he bets out about 1/4 of your stack (16k)

    your head says fold, but remember your gut? replay the hand he could have 2 hearts and missed the flush but then he could have hit the turn or river to make a bigger pair. how long do you look at your chips for? counting out 16k then counting out how nuch you have left. 50k let, how much are the blinds and anties? fold or call?

    come on mentor tell me :)
    7 0

    will it ever end?

    Monday, July 18, 2011, 9:32 PM [General]

    since my last post 4 months ago thing have taken a turn for the worse, 4 months and not one penny of profit for any month, a run so bad i've actualy called it a day. still in my 5 years at this site i finnish over $4000 up from a starting bankroll of $50.  i could bore you with the usual blkah blah stories but we have heard them and witnessed them all. so long fellow poker players i for one am quitting while i'm ahead.

    for the record grump15 played 4107 sit and goes total profit $3522.

    see you

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