Saturday, February 18, 2017, 6:44 PM [General]
I found myself on a forum game table last night with the lovely Ken, otherwise known as Lambone, a really friendly nice guy, and aslo a MOD. One of the players behaviour was appaling, and as the game progressed became really nasty. The final straw came when he called Ken the son of a H,,r.
Having looked he was not even a forum member. So looking further we discovered actually quite a few of the players in last nights game were not forum members.
I suggested that the passowrds should be changed, but apparently this has been suggested many times, but obviously the new passwords would still be given out or the system abused! So I promised I would Blog, and hopefully create some debate as to a solution!
Some of you reading this will be saying so what, it adds to the amount of players that play. BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT. If it did'nt matter then there would be no point in continuing with these games OR even having them password protected. Just make them open to everyone, well that's what happened at Christmas wasnt it? And the same when a new sponsored player joins 888. Anyone can enter, regardless, and then of course abuse is rife, and its not a reward for being a forum member.
How many regular players could'nt even register to the games, due to actually being at work when registration opened? I figured that these games were in effect some kind of reward for being a community member, but clearly I am wrong, and actually 888 don't care about their forum members. The same as the monthly Blog, where are these members, now there is no current competition?
I am not knocking 888, they are fantastic with their generosity, the free rolls and with the Birthday Bash, but it is time for a shake up with the forum games! I have been given all sorts of excuses why you cant change the passwords, or why certain things wont work, well lets try! BE positive for a change. The glass is half full, NOT half empty.
It is not about numbers, if so, remove the passwords! If you posted the forum games as they are with no requirement for a password, I bet you would get in excess of a 100 runners every single time.
I asked Ken why we could'nt request a password from a MOD for the games, he replied he had offered by way of email giving out passwords for the tournaments, but this offer had fallen on deaf ears! A regular member offering to take this on himself, what more could anyone want?
Make the games an incentive for being a forum member! How about you get a free game for a certain amount of posts on the forum, or for a certain amount of forum games played? Shake up the forum, make people want to write posts!
The worse game for me was last year. I had been playing in one of the games, when an observer asked for the passowrd. A player on the table gave him the passsword, and the new player actually went on to win the tournament, still not even being a forum member! So there we have it, a reason not to bother with a password system. Chris said changing the passwords would not solve the issue as you would still be able to obtain them from somewhere, so this is a waste of time! This is not looking for a solution, OR even encouraging new members to the forum. Especially if there was one free forum game per month. You know either you have played so many forum games this month, and having posted actual writing, not a smiley, you get a free game. That would certainly make the forum a lot livlier.
OR what about this then? No winner actually gets their tournamnet winnings until they they have posted after the game to claim their prize. That would be a terrible shame for a winner not to receive his/her prize if it turns out they were not even a member! Can you imagine what would hapen going forward? Yes we would asctually get a member and one that had to have posted prior to having played! OR no winnings! Shock, horror, a forum game for a forum member!!!!!
Especially if one of the conditions was to have actually posted. REMOVE the silly emotives, How many people post happy/sad/angry faces and earn points? This isn't a post, I could post lots of silly emotions earn points and the site thinks I have posted. The emotives offer no actual value at all to the forum.
And tonight on the social page on the forum, there is a site giving out the forum passwords! Including a face book page with all of our forum passwords on it.... Time for action.
It is time for a shake up this is 2017 not the dark ages. Drag 888 into the now, and reward loyal forum members. We all actaully care..............
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 4:14 PM [General]
For the past couple of years I have read the Birthday Bash forum posts, never daring to think I could possibly go. This year I followed the posts and did not think I would be up to playing live. I mean who wants to go out first? Or to be caught making stupid calls, or checking or even calling out of turn?
Well almost at the last minute, I decided after being encouraged by some of the forum members that it would be a great time to play live, and where better to play live than with friendly forum players?
I added my name to the list and having googled where the casino was and where I could stay, which was the closest place, I opted for the Travelodge. On the Friday I managed to leave work early and managed to arrive at 6.30, having agreed to make our way to the Hilton to meet up with some of the other forum members. I was greeted immediately by WKD, who gave me a massive hug and welcomed me to the bash. It did feel daunting approaching a group of strangers with only forum names known!
Soon though we were chatiing and drinking, although I still not feel totally at ease. Members started to head off to eat and we decided just to find a local place to have a steak. We wandered down the town, which was full of happy laughing people in fancy drees enjoying a friday night out for Halloween. Heading into a local pub I quickly looked up, and just for a split second wondered how on earth the poor girl could work with a slash across her neck! Great makeup and of course she actually was dressed for Halloween!
The following morning we headed towards the Casino, and found a few members sat outside enjoying coffee and chatting waiting for the casino to open.
Here goes, I thought as the casino opened for play. I actually felt nervous, excited and could not beleive I was just about to play my first live poker game ever.
Sean and the MODs were really welcoming and soon the first game of the day commenced. Lambone's tea pot challenge. I went out just before making the final table. My pair of 10's to Dee's KK.
Dinner and a free bar had been provided, another great showing of hospitality, and I was actually looking forward to the Knockout game. 888 had added prize money to this, and I was just hopeful that I would survive, and not be first out!
The forum players were really helpful and I did not actually feel like this was to be my second only live game. I soon settled in and to my amazement found myself on the final table. The banter was friendly and finally I felt I had known some of the members for a long time! I now know why they are a community and go the the Bash every year.
The lovely Bill took me out 7th with his pair of 9's against my AQ suited. There we go my two cards I struggle to fold, and usually end up going out with! I had actually won £40. I felt proud of myself. Having consumed a fair few glasses of wine, we finally headed of to bed around 1.00am, and I could'nt wait for the main event on Sunday.
Now this was a breeze meeting the lovely members for brunch on Sunday and could not wait to start the poker. I was hoping that it would not be a really late evening, as I would be leaving in the evening, unfortunately I had work monday morning.
Sean, Dee and Bill were on my table, and I could feel myself inwardly groaning, all great players. My first hand dealt was AJ of clubs and was reraised by Sean. Flop fell with 2 clubs on the table, with Sean betting. I missed my club flush, and Sean revealed his pair of Kings. I got a few small pairs but actually went card dead for the rest of the game, but still managed to go down to the last two tables.
It was actually one of the most enjoyable weekends I have ever had. The company was fantastic, and the atmosphere was friendly. The bar again was free for part of the day, and despite this there was no trouble.
Wkd looked fantastic in her costume and red sparkly shoes, and I am not sure where she parked her broomstick!
Those that I had not seen pictures of, did not look anything like I expected them to. Sorry Slim, I expected a really old guy, although I am not sure why as he had mentioned a young son! Grumpy, I did actually see you smile. Sylvia again another one I expected to be doddery, and she to turned out far younger than I expected, also a lovley person.
I want to say a huge massive thank you to everyone that turned up, and for all the hard work that went into organising the weekend. I can honestly say you are a great bunch of people and cannot wait to meet you at another event.
THE only issue now is I have the bug for playing live. Thank you to Jon and Pam for keeping an eye on me.
So what are we waiting for, when is our next live meet up?
And for those of you reading and have never been to a birthday bash, you really don't know what you are missing! A really friendly game of poker with great banter which is what poker should always be about.
Saturday, July 30, 2016, 9:30 AM [General]
To have cart blanche with a poker site would be amazing, to be the best you would need to attract the players, but also maintain a profit in order to continue to survive and generate new players. So it would have to be a balance between rewarding, attracting and retaining players.
I want my players to know that they are important, as without them there is no site. No one needs too many fancy gimmacks, just to know that my site doesn't tolerate cheaters. So everyone feels that their hard earned cash isn't being gobbled up by coluders, and that everyone has an equal chance to win.
All new players will have to, on opening an account being fully vereified with ID and a Valid address. So when a player is sat on a table, hovering over his name will show the town he comes from. You can chose your own avatar, by uploading one of ours or one of your own.
I won't have a chat bar on the tables, but there will be a live lobby chat bar. So if you wantt advice tips or just want a genereal coversation then this is where you can do so. This will be monitored by our team to ensure it remains friendly!
No software will be able to be added, so that every single player is playing from a level playing field. In live games they don't have software to help, just skill, which is what I want to encourage.
There will be an automatic tagging system, which everyone can see. So this means you can look for the donkey and fish players. This to can also work to your benefit, helping you to improve your play, watch yourself go from a fish to a Shark, as your play improves. To help with this we will have a monthly live coach from a pro player, for which all players can watch, and as it will be interactive you can obtain the best tips and advice. Or remain a fish player, taking in unsuspecting sharks! But to do this you would also still have to play like a fish on a regular basis!
My site will be easy to navigate, and will also contain a player search bar. This would allow you to find the fish/donkey player that usually manages to pay you, and so you can join his table.
We will have every type of poker game, including poker scrabble, for the player that wants to try something different.
AND SO TO OUR EXTRA SPECIAL GAMES...........
For the late night player, who wants a little extra, we will have a monthly live topless dealer. Not being sexist, but its a way of providing a "keep you awake" and playing at 2.00am to 5.00am! minimum table bets wil be £2 Get titilated with our lucious ladies! Mind you don't get distracted.
For our web cam games there will be a live dealer available.
Once a month I will be hosting a celebrity player tournament. Play not just against a pro player, but also perhaps one of your admired film stars or sporting stars that also likes to play a game of poker. The bounty on their heads will be £1000, and entry will only be £10. I want this game to be affordable to all player, and to encourage the fun and "awe" aspect to the poker game. There will be a minimum of 5 celebrity players , to encourage more people to enter.
We will have a monthly bad beat tournament. Our software will automatically offer you a ticket, once you have encountered a real bad beat.
There will be an annual guranteed £100,000 tournamnet, to anyone that has deposited more than £1000 over a 6 month period. This will always be played 2 jan, to help players get over New year, and perhaps give a good bank roll start to the year.
Local tournaments, mean just that, and only valid to the player from the country that is running our specials. This will then give the winners entry to a live tournament in their country hosted by a pro player, and the odd celebrity added for additional Kudos.
None of my games will have a late buy in period for more than 1 hour for the larger buy in stakes, and a max of 30 minutes for the small buy in tournaments.
Then ther's my annual loyalty free roll! Open to all active players who have been playing for a minimum of two years, regardless of the size of stake that you play with. Guaranteed first prize £1500.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
For added fun, we will hold this tournament monthly. There will be two games played, one for the men and one for the ladies. Buy in will be £5. The last 4 remianing players from each gender will go on to play a final table, to see who is the better player! With a guranteed £100 first prize, and only the last 10 are paid. All surplus funds from each monthly tournament will then roll over to our annual Battle of the sexes tournament. Each monthly winner, along with a runner up from both games, will then play our annual battle of the sexes event. Last table only paid, with the winner collecting cash as well as our silver battle of the sexes trophy.
I want my players to know that they come first! My site will have live web Chat, and I am so convinced that complaints will be resolved within 48 hours, that if I can't achieve this I will give you £50 and a ticket to a tournament. All emails will be responded to on the same day that they are sent, and a toll free telephone number will also be provided.
Everyone will earn a small amount of rake from each pot that they win. The rake can be cashed out monthly, no minimum amount. Or used to purchase torunament tickets.
My theme will be a Sea world, where the small fish can swim in their shoals, until they progresss to the shark pool!
Tables will look like small pools, and the playing cards will have various fish/ and sharks on the reverse.
And for the really bad callers each day, at a random time, a net will scoop you off the table and deposit you on a table, with other equally bad players
Monday, May 23, 2016, 10:33 AM [General]
Trembling with anticipation, I can not believe that I have just landed in Vegas, the most crazy wildest place on the earth where dreams can really come true! Stepping off the plane, the first thing that hits you is the intense heat, wrapping its warmth arouind you, reminding me, yes I am really am here. I have travelled light, having clearly read the instructions on my qualifying ticket!
Fighting through the bustling airport I find my way to the exit where a coach is waiting to pick up the 888 players that qualified for the 888 crazy eights tournamnet. There are 40 of us babbling all at once, still not believing that we are all here. Every one beaming, laughing excitedly, me still shaking in disbelief. My dream has come true, playing in vegas, but also my first ever live game! I am apprehensive. Will I remember what I am supposed to do? Will I make stupid calls or will I be aggressively tight not wanting to be embarrassed getting caught calling a stupid hand?
Our bags are stowed and we take our seats all gazing out of the windows ready to catch the sights that tell us this is vegas. Everything is a blur, I dont remember how I arrived at the hotel, just bright colours all merging into one, as I press my nose against the glass window as the coach pulled into the Rio for the start of my game!
The noise is over whelming every one pushing towards registration eager to grab passes, and taking in the measure of the "competition". One declaring loudly that he loves 7 5 and has won lots of poker games calling with these two cards! Smiling sweetly I tell him "not the two cards I would ever play unless on the blinds and had no raises!" He is wearing over large dark glasses and a baseball cap, and tee shirt bearing the slogan " I've done vegas and kept my shirt" Good for you I smile.
We take our seats and play starts. I make a stupid call, berating myself, calm down or you will never survive the day, I tell myself. I have short stacked myself within the first 2 hours. I tighten my play and slowly start building my stack again. At the end of day one I find to my shock I am still in play and can't wait for day 2 to start. I return to my room too excited to eat, nor see the sites of vegas. I don't want to over sleep and find I have missed the start of day 2.
Day 2 passes quickly, and I have still managed to remain in the tournament having taken out two players and trebling my stack. I have posted on face book and twitter, text every single one of my contacts telling them my news. I look at the posts I receive back, every one wishing me luck for the final day. I spend a restless night going over my game strategy, do I loosen my play? Limp in ? Remain tight? No, just play each hand as you think fit. No breakfast, I think I would throw it back up with nerves and excitment. My hands are shaking this is it I tell myself, taking a deep breath I hurry down to the lobby ready for the last day of play. The last hundred players all standing in the lobby waiting for play to commence. I spot Mr Baseball cap and glasses still wearing his Tee shirt lounging against the wall, feeding a slot machine. "For luck" he says. I smile back and being gracious wish him the best of luck. Finally as we are all getting restless, and wondering why play has not yet commenced, 888 Poker Manager Sean appears and holds up his hands asking for a few minutes of quiet whilst he has an anouncement to make. "At 888 Poker we play different, and today is no exception, our final games will not be played here, so please go out side and take the coaches that are waiting for you"
Everyone starts talking at once, what is going on? We are pushing and asking questions, but Sean just smiles and repeats "we play different"
The natural sunlight is bright, after the last couple of days sitting in unnatural light, I struggle with the brightness, and I grab my sunglasses. Outside are several coaches each with a driver who looks amazingly like Elvis. Elvis is to chauffer us to our final destination. We climb aboard still asking questions. Laughing, a few players start singing Viva Las vegas.
The coach moves down the strip passing the world famous casinos and starts travelling out of Vegas. I spot a sign for route 93, what a site seeing trip? Surely not, this is the final day of play! No one still knows what's going on. We pass Boulder city and the Hoover Dam, the blue water looking increasingly inviting in the heat and yet we still keep travelling on.
As the coaches finally come to a stop, none of us can believe what we are seeing. There on lake Mead is a paddle steamer, bearing 888 banners and flags, gently billowing in the breeze.
"Welcome to your home for the final day of play," says Sean smiling broadly. "As I said 888 do things differently and we are about to make history. It is believed that poker spread across the USA by poker players playing on the old paddle steamers. So today we are going to re create that experience. The boat will start in Lake Mead, and follow the Colorado River. The final table will be played with the Hoover Dam as its back drop. 888 have arranged traditional wild west outfits, and once you are all changed play will commence" Sean indicated that we all hurry as the boat was waiting to start its journey. Did I hear him correctly? Recreating history? What genious thought of this idea? Playing poker on a paddle steamer, with the Hoover Dam in the background. What fantastic publicity for 888 and the world series.
As I take in the scene, I cannot begin to describe my feelings. blessed, euphoric and over awed still don't tell the whole story. A room full of players wearing traditional wild west outfits seated at tables, made the hairs on my arms stand. I felt proud to be an 888 player, this certainly was a different way to play.
As the day progressed and the boat sailed towards the Hoover Dam, there were now only two tables still in play. I was still there along with "Mr baseball cap, glasses and Tee shirt", only he was now sporting a sherrifs badge along with his cowboy hat and boots. As slowly players knocked each other out, my heart thumping I was now sat on the final table. I was sure they could hear my heart beating with excitment, taking deep breaths I reminded myself to play my way.
I had made the final table and would make some money, that was all I ever wanted, a final table somehwere in a vegas game, my dream had become reality.
But I had done better than somewhere in Vegas. I had made the World series games.
The play had tightened up on the final table, and everyone was holding onto their chips, determined to walk away with 888's final prize. I looked down at my cards, I had aces and raised to half my stack. Trying to avoid eye contact. Could they read my face, did they know I had aces? Would anyone call such a large raise? Mr "Cowboy hat and glasses" called me. There on the flop fell Ace Five Five. I had flopped the full house. I was a certain to win, if he had called me with 7, 5 he had a set, so I pushed all in. I winked at him and I held me breath as he turned over his 7, 5 revealing his set! He could'nt win. Fourth street came, a king, and there on the river fell a five! He had knocked me out with quads. He lifted his glasses,
returning my wink, he said "I always call with 7 5, its my lucky hand.
I should have known, but there was no way I could have folded a set on the flop. Of course I wasn't happy, that he had called with his 7 5, but do you know what ? It has been the most amazing time and experience of my life, one that could never ever be bested. I had cashed, I had done "Vegas", 888 had been true to their word, "we play different" No one would ever be able to match this final series.
It was my final eveing, I arranged a helicopter flight over vegas, taking in the lights. I wanted to spend a little of my winnings. We flew over the Bellagio fountains as they danced to their own tune in a display of glorious colour. We took in the site of the Mirage Hotel's volcano, shooting its fire and smoke into the air. We passed the stratosphere tower and landed at my final destination for the eveing. I was taking in a show, where I was to watch Penn and Teller whilst enjoying a steak. No champagne for me, I would rather have a glass of good white wine. The act was amazing, how on earth did that Bullet pass right through the playing card and land in his coat pocket? Well we will never know!
As I said good bye to vegas, I vowed to come back, play a little poker, and site see, but at a leisurely pace the next time I visit Vegas. As I boarded my flight home, I received a text, giving me a link to my local newspaper, telling of the fantastic 888 game along with my own name in print. History had been made with the wonderful change of venue for the final day of play. That's when I realised, I now too, was in 888' s hall of fame.
I had played different, of course, I was on a table with people, and not looking at my computer screen. I too now have my own slogan T Shirt, At 888 I played different WSOP 2016.
Thank you for reading and sharing my experience, even if it is only currently a dream!
Saturday, March 19, 2016, 5:32 PM [General]
I think most players use the TAGs avaialble, but do we use them correctly, or even really consider our own TAGs? And for those of us that use the excellant system do we actually use them correctly? I thought they were obvious but checked out Wickipedia for the actual correct definitions, and found I wasn't far off my assumptions.
I tend to use mostly the same TAGS, and for those of you that have ever looked at my uploads of pictures, will spot mostly I have the donkey symbol in use. I used this for the stupid calls, the player that I sort of consider a donkey. Even then it doesn't actually make the player stupid, just the play stupid. Even Donkey players do have, so you do also get caught out if you are not careful. According to Wikipedia the definition of the Donkey is a weak player, and a player who usually chases holding weak hands, and according to Wikipedia that is also a fish. So whats the point of having both TAGs available to use then? In my view a fish is also someone who calls anything and chases, right to the river regardless of what cards are actually sat on the table. You all know exactly the type of player I am talking about. You have aces, raise and the tagged player wearing a donkey on his head with 7 2 unsuited, calls. There are over cards on the flop and they are still calling as they hit a 7. And then as you are slowly congratulating yourself of the potential pay out, they hit two pairs on the river, and steal all of your cash! No matter how you look at it, no matter how you played the hand, it still would not have turned out any differently. Yes we are all very greatful for these players because they do also manage to double up your stack, more often than taking your cash. So for me I use the Donkey TAG for both.
THE CALLING STATION
This is another of our favourite players, and in my experience are usually mostly found playing in the free rolls. This player generally calls every hand, doesn't often raise, a loose passive player. This is the one player I can not understand, when playing this way when in a cash game. Do you call every hand, hoping to hit something on the flop? You may just as well go all in every hand. I only have a few of these tagged on the cash tables, I am not sure how on earth they think they can be making any sort of profit calling with every hand they hold. Logic says that they play this way in free rolls, as they aren't using cash to play with, and they may get lucky. I also tend to think if its late night and on a cash table the alcohol has affected play! These are irritating, and it's the only type of play I find my self getting anoyed with. I once asked a player on my cash table why he was calling every hand? Another lovely player told me to shut the "F" up as he was paying people with his stupidity! AND again these players do hit, because we all know the maths of hold em! So in the long term these players cannot be in profit just like the Donkey/Fish
I have a few of these marked, but actually they tend to have been tagged on forum game players! I have only got two marked on my cash tables, and you know to fold when they make a bet, or raise. This is actually a tight player, plays very few hands and tends to call with a strong hand. This for me means I fold unless I have hit on the flop. So in my cash game above as you can see, I actually called a small raise of 2 dollars pre flop with my J Q suited. Having checked the flop waiting for him to put a bet in , as each card turned he was betting 1 dollar, On the fith card he made a small bet. I think he thought I had an ace, and until this point I was not getting paid against my rock player. Naughty me, I figured could I force him to increase the bettting on the fifth street? I figured he must have an ace, so when he made a small bet I said " I know you don't have an ace!" and reraised him, where he re raised me, so I pushed all in and lucky me he called paying me 70 dollars.
This type of player is the one I tend to struggle most against. Generally loose play with aggressive bets on the flop, forcing me to fold. When these players are on the table, they are the tables I tend to avoid, as I struggle to call the aggressive pre flop bet, followed by an aggressive bet on the flop. Again they can also pay you nicely off when you call and hit on the flop. I would see this tag is also very close to being Donkey/Fish.
These are the only TAGS I actually have in use. I write notes on all the players I tag, but I also have a good memory. As I mostly play on the 50 cent 1 dollar tables, it always tends to be the same players, that I encounter. AND I find I make the most money, when I am not at work and play during the day, as opposed to playing in the evenings, after getting in from work. It also seems to me that the players I have tagged as Donkey seem to play for hours and hours. Are these the really well off players, playing often 5 tables sat in with 100 dollars per table, money is no object so they just call anyway? Unless you are able to afford to play five tables, calling with anything and constantly reloading isn't for the average player. SO my one question is does money also affect the play? Should the donkey player on the higher level tables have another type of tag? LOADSAMONEY I know when I have had a good day my play becomes a lot looser.
Tight, I think is how I am perceived. BUT, and there is always a but, because that also gives you a massive advantage, when the players know you. Stealing pots with nothing, because they assume you have hit something. AND that is precisley why notes and knowing your opponents is important. Today a raiser, who I have noted as a Donkey, raised, I called with K 10. Flop fell, he bet and I called. I actually had nothing. He then raised on the 4th Street, where I pushed all in. He promptly folded I made 25 dollars. I showed him I had not hit anythng! Cheap advertising, but a regular player so you would have assumed he thought I actually had a decent hand. And for the players who have not bothered to Tag me, pay me when, after I have been watching the aggressive play I then I limp in with a strong hand. I wait for the re raise and re raise them. They think you are doing so to steal, and usually call or re raise you! Then more often than not you get paid. Having said my TAG is tight, there are several of factors that change my play.
This is obvious, it sometimes makes you feel reckless and just call any hand. You're feeling lucky, and so you call any way, as the wine has made your judgement more impaired. So I tend to play mostly with out a drink!
The cash stake of the table.
When I have had a bad beat or hitting nothing, I often move to a 5 or 10 cent table. My brain doesn't associate with the small raises, so I call with hands I would never ever play on the 50 1 cent tables! Here my Tag would be Donkey! LOL
If I have been playing too long and find myself really bored, then my play changes totally again. I call for the hell of it! So my tight TAG would be of no use to a player when any of the above factors comes into play.
And this is precisely why tagging someone can be very mis leading. My tournament play is very different because I actually want to make the cash.
And the final question what TAGS would I add to the list
LIMP RAISER and of course LOADSAMONEY
Thank you kindly for taking the time to read my Blogg.
Saturday, February 20, 2016, 11:56 AM [General]
Along with the masses of ever hopeful party revellers, I too make new year resolutions. I think the mistake is picking too many each year.
I think the problem is we all make too many promises, not really thinking about what we want to achieve, and why, but doing it because its a tradition. We have all made at some point the same ones, give up smoking, stop drinking, get healthier, diet and to be a better person!
And not really thinking things through, I mean we often fail within the first month. As one of my old bosses used to love saying "fail to plan, plan to fail" So of course the secret to keeping your New Year resolutions is to plan well in advance!
One of the resolutions I made, was to give up smoking. I have been trying this since my 20's. I had even managed a record of 18 months smoke free, until my marriage broke up. I guess that I had started drinking to get past the pain and stress, and the fact that my ex was refusing to move on. Not really noticing how great the wine tasted and how often I was in fact drinking. I didn't realise just how much I had been drinking until my daughter came home from school one day, and found me on the lounge floor, I am ashamed to say drunk and crying. I realised then what a state I had let myself get into. So I stopped drinking and promptly took up smoking again. With the excuse better to be a smoker than a drunk! I do still drink of course, but in moderation. Lets be honest, who on earth loves the room spinning and only just making the bathroom?
Just over five years ago I finally managed to give up smoking. One of the newspapers did half price nicotine patches in an offer, so I purchased 6 weeks supply, figuring that if I could do the 6 weeks the rest should be a breeze! I purchased the patches, and promptly stuck one on my arm at midnight, New Years eve.
It was dam hard. Everyone then seems to be a smoker when you are desperatley trying to stop. But I persevered with the patches, and five years on I still have not smoked. Its a record for me, and do I count myself as a non smoker? Of course not. the best thing was of course that helped me, was the smoking ban. It meant when going out to pubs, restaurants and bars, anyone smoking had to disappear outside! So no nasty smoke being blown into your face, or coming home hair and clothes smelling of nictoine. No temptation with a glass of cheeky white in your hand, when you have to trot off outside! I hate the smell of smoke, and its unbeleivable how you can smell it from some feet away. Did I smell like that as well? I guess I did. I go out now, and the smoking doesn't bother me, but I am sure that if something awful happened I could end up smoking. This is the reason I don't ever consider myself to be 100% a non smoker. It's been just over 5 years since I last had a cigarette and lost count of the number of years I was going to quit each New Years day.
This year I have two resolutions, and have failed miserably already. My first was to get healthly and lose a few pounds.
However that one went out the window this month. I have had an operation, so exercise is not possible for at least the next six weeks. Currently just walking is an effort. Its not been quite one week but I am mobile, and actually feel ok. But I am one of those that has to be doing something. I can't walk past a sink with things in it, or not pick up something if its in the wrong place. I am not OCD about being clean, but I do tidy as I go.
I purchased a cross trainer just before Christmas, in readiness for the new healthy me. See " Fail to plan, plan to fail", all planned, new trainers as well. And of course its now sat redundant in my conservatory. My surgeon says I can use it but in six weeks time, and at a gentle pace. I mean who ever heard of getting fit at a gentle pace? Feel the burn, no pain no gain, I just love those slogans!
My other resolution made for this year, is to go to vegas.
But I have just had my bathroom done, and I have my daughters 21st coming up, so I think this one was a bit ambitious this year. I'm not bothered about the poker thing at Vegas. I want to see the fake Elvis's, the amazing hotels, the bright lights take in a show, shop and take in the whole atmosphere that is Vegas. And as I never play a slot machine, wander around to see what makes someone spend all their hard earnt money in a machine that is not programmed in favour of the customer! I love the heat, having holidayed in Dubai in the summer months, I'm not bothered about the time of year I visit. And as I have never played any live games of Poker, maybe a small game would suit me. Now that would be an amazing thing to tell your friends, my first live game was in vegas! So I guess this year's resolution will be parked for another year, and put it back on my resolution list for next year. The fitness will happen, but obviuosly starting later than my intended date of Jan 1st.
Does this still count, if it's still in the year I made it? If not it's always another future resolution, another one that I have broken most years!
Thank you for reading
Monday, December 14, 2015, 6:10 PM [General]
There are things in life that define you as a person, and circumstances that changes the way that you view life and others. And it is one of these defining moments that I will write about and the affect it has on my life and those around me, especially my beautiful daughter.
It happened 9 years ago in the first week of December, a Sunday to be precise. My daughters were up early and had dragged the Christmas tree out of the loft. Time was moving on, and my youngest was going to visit her father for the day, having put up the tree they had no time to decorate it. With promises to wait for her return at lunchtime, she left. My eldest daughter by this point had figured that she would just get on with decorating the tree, and duly text her younger sister not to hurry back as the tree was done! Followed by a phone call and an ensuing row over the tree.
It soon got to 6.00pm and I phoned my daughter to find out where she was, usually she got home at 5.30pm as my ex would drop her at the corner of our road. She did not reply. I assumed she was still mad at not having decorated the tree. The ex wasn't answering his phone either. I spent the next half hour texting and calling, by now really worried. Finally answering the phone she sounded out of breath saying that she was on her way and that her dad had been in one of his "moods". A heavy drinker, I assumed he had been shouting at her over something trivial as per usual.
She arrived home and stating she wasn't hungry went straight to bed. I went to check on her and she said she was fine and was tired and wasn't hungry. Good old mum figured she was still mad for not being able to decorate the tree. BUT how wrong was I!
The following day I received a call from her school saying that they had called the police as my daughter had claimed she had been assaulted. I could not comprehend what they were saying, and thought I was going mad. I drove to the school, and there the teacher explained that my daughter had confided in a friend who then told a teacher, subsequently calling myself and the police. Spending a day at a rape suite I was in shock, how could this have happened to my child? I blamed myself, and then the "ex" for caring more about being in the pub than bringing her fully home.
To say all of our lives changed dramatically is an under statement. After two years of losing evidence, the court not being booked for enough time we finally got to court, where the case took almost a week. Due to issues, he got a suspended sentence (him with ill health and not being mentally competant") and of course placed on a sex offenders register. Due to my daughters age, there was no proper councilling, however we eventually had help from a childrens charity.
My daughter was not allowed out on her own, and of course this went on for years. She suffers from depression, and currently as it is this time of year again, is back in her self loathing mood, where she believes herself to be ugly fat and worthless. People never know what to say, I mean what can you say? Words mean nothng, but knowing people care and are there for you helps. BUT no one actually knows how it devistates and destroys, not just trust but also the way you behave. You become obsessive, with ensuring that your children are picked up on time, go nowhere on their own, return calls instantly and almost to the point whre they are almost prisoners. You want to murder, and do the most dispicable things back to "him" But you don't you move on otherwise you get destroyed yourself.
She is very open about what happened, and to this day I still think "if only".
On an up note we are stronger and closer as a family, and live today for today. We have the most amazing holidays, and I suppose in a way I am trying to eradicate the past, as if by holidaying makes up for what happened to her. We have been to Singapore, Australia, Central America and Dubai, were we tried water ski ing, and laughed at my massive fear of the sea! I watched Jaws you know!
All week we had been watching the water skiers being pulled around the bay of our hotel. The day we decide to try the skiing the sea was choppy and we were towed way out to sea. I spent 20 minutes being coaxed onto the water, when I asked about the Sharks? "There are no sharks here" said the driver, to which I replied "Do they know that they are not allowed here?" And swallowing copious amounts of water as I fell in, and in my panic hoped that I would be eaten all in one go!
Seeing crocodiles from literally a few inches away and traipsing in a rain forest listening to the Jaguars, and the chatter of the tiny monkies swinging in the trees. I could fill pages of my Blog with our holiday memories, but for now I feel I have written more than enough for you to read, if at this point you are still reading.
I know this doesn't make up for, nor make you forget what happened but it helps to heal, with extraordinary memories of laughter, fun, sounds and sights of something new and exotic. We have "our time" each and every year, and the poker has also helped provide a diversion, and a little extra cash at times. This year our tree has been decorated together, and each year that passes, this time of the year gets easier. Of course we will never forget, but you move on thats what life is about. Like poker you play the hands you are dealt, whether good or bad.
I wish you all a merry Christmas, enjoy your time together and live life to full so that you do not have regrets for the things you should have done or the places you want to see. Don't bemoan your fortune, being happy is something that no amount of money can buy. I know! Go taste life remember the glass is always half full!
Today after my works do on saturday, I was the talk of my work colleagues, but not in a bad way! I love to dance, and even "twerked", I do sort of recall that part of the evening. But if I go out I want to be happy and be remebered for being "fun" in an unoffensive way, and if it means my friends also had a good time then I have accomplished something too.............xx
Friday, October 23, 2015, 1:03 PM [General]
Well what a title, I even struggled to get it in the right order, and even then I had to keep checking back to the original page of posting the title. I figured this would not bode well for my Blogg this month!
Now not being a dumb blond and only ever having played on line I thought that hole had been spelt wrong! I had visions of hole in one, a hole in the cards, and was totally confused.
My partner fell about laughing, and explained the term. In the few years I have been playing I can not beleive I did'nt know the terminology.
Having been taught what cards to play and in what position to play them, there were still hands I would not and could not bring myself to play. For example small pairs. My partner never ever plays ace two, even if suited. When I first started entering tournaments he would sit behind me watching and then complain, that I should'nt have called the Ace two, or shouted when I folded a small pair! It was really annoying, and then claiming I got to final tables because of him! Trust me it led to many heated moments because had I have called when I wanted to, I would have hit, and when I did'nt call the cards he told me to, I also would have hit!
I started my cash games playing on the 15 cents tables as a beginner, as he had kindly deposited 100 dollars into my poker account. Because I get bored easily I started playing two tables at a time, from pretty much the start of playing on line. I now play 5 or six tables, usually a couple of tournaments along with a few cash tables.
So for me now, the hole cards I always play no matter what the raise is and I will call, unless it is an all in, are any pairs. The reason behind this was down to a stupid misclick, whilst playing on two cash tables.
Pre flop I had flat called a pair of threes on one of the tables a player after me raised and a subsequent player reraised, followed by an all in. I knew at this point I would fold my cards
It was obvious that the all in was aces. So I waited for the play to come to me in order to fold my threes.
On the second table I had aces, and in my excitment having three raisers pre flop I pushed all in. Except I didnt! I had folded the aces and had pushed all in with the threes! I began beating myself up for the stupidity of playing two tables and not keeping a level head when I had the aces.
But that silly error actually made me 80 dollars. Two of the players also had gone all in, and there on the flop fell a three, giving me a set. Fortunately neither of the players made with their hands, and of course in the chat box I did deservedly receive abuse from the other two players. My aces would have hit on the other table, but not the large pot that I made with the threes.
That easy 80 dollars taught me a lesson that none of his nagging ever did. Always call a pair, if you hit on the flop you will usually get paid, and if you miss and the bet is too big to then call, it is easy to fold. I wont call an all in pre flop with any small pair, nor with AK. So many times I have now hit with small pairs. Most players will put you on AK AQ or AJ or a high pair, if the bet pre flop was fairly high and I called.
The good player will have noticed the way another person plays so if someone is folding to most hands and then calls, they should be very wary about the hands that are actually in the game at that point. I have managed to cash out about 500 dollars in the last few months, so figure that my run is going ok at the moment.
Now I play every pair I recieve no matter how small apart from 66. Devil of a hand, I wont call a raise with them, because every time I have played with 66 they dont ever seem to hit on the flop. A few occassions a six has fallen as the 5th card, but as I wont chase, I would just have wasted my cash on the flop, having folded. Probably just a coincidence, but I dont hit ever with a pair of sixes.
My partner says every few hands you should also call a very ragged hand, as percentages show that they also will hit. I only ever do this in a free roll tournament, finding my brain wont let me call with rubbish on a regular basis, when cash is involved! But however I will call when I am dealt together my two lucky numbers. Not that I am so tight that I squeak, but I don't like throwing my cash away! That must be the banker in me!
And just to let you know, my AQ took me out of a community tournament last week. I had not been having much luck, but then managed after doubling up to be in the top three for quite a bit of the game, until I got dealt with AQ! Where I then proceeded to lose most of my chips, and then as the blinds were large the following hand took me straight out of the tournament. I should have folded, but again I still haven't been able to apply the discipline yet to folding this hand. I will learn eventually! And really funny as Irina Nicole was sat on the table, she had also got done over with her ace queen.
You will not beleive this next bit, but it is absolutely true. Some years ago I paid for a reading from a fortune teller. I was told to chant a rhyme whilst holding a lucky pendant that she sent me, at the next full moon and I would come into some very good luck. Well I did'nt actually howl at the moon but did follow her instructions. That same week I won a holiday for two, to Costa Rica, all expenses paid, probably a massive coincidence. BUT she also told me I had two lucky numbers, but never to reveal them! I used them in the lottery, never won! But I also always play these hole cards if these two get dealt to me. Occassionally they have hit, but again they would be two cards that I would be called a donk for playing! And as superstitious I don't plan to tell you what they are!
Thank you for taking the time to read my Blogg this month.
Monday, September 21, 2015, 3:00 PM [General]
God not again I moan, sweaty sheets tangled around my legs, persperation sheening my body as I thrash around my bed. Here I go again playing the cards that I tell myself I should fold.
I awake from my nightmare but the cards are still dancing around my head, laughing at my foolish play yet again! Taunting me, with "you never learn do you Rhonda? Do you think you're better than Doyle Brunson the master?" Of course not I whimper, I just thought it would be different this time! Even Doyle Brunson folded these two cards.
" You're so stupid, you never listen, no matter how you play the cards you cannot ever win with them" Time and time again the words taunt me. I take no heed of the post it notes attached to my computer. I'm dealt the cards and groan in despair, oh my God not again, just fold them DO NOT PLAY THEM under any circumstances. BUT no, this time I think it will be different, I think I know better, and so I play my worst nightmare. Heart racing, beads of persperation on my brow, ignoring the feeling of dread as I look at the cards.
These two cards are my nemesis. I cannot begin to tell you how many tournaments I have gone out of, playing these two cards. ACE QUEEN. They should be removed from the pack, or on being dealt them I should be allowed to be given another two cards. I would rather be given 2 9 to play with, anything but not Ace Queen
A player and I had a debate regarding the play of these two cards. He told me "they are Anna kournikova!" Having never heard the expression I asked what he meant? To which the reply was "looks good but doesn't actually play well"
It doesn't matter, whether I slow play them, move all in or raise they get beaten each and every time. AND guess what if I don't have them, then I usually go out against them! One time I reached the final table when, myself and another player both had ace queen, and his queen made the flush, to take me out of a tournament.
Last night I played in a cash tournament and was doing nicely, and sat in the money position. I just had to be careful, and was guaranteed a pay out. There I was bragging to my partner about how well I was doing, sat 17th with less than a hundred runners in the tournament, and that I would cash. Busy bigging up my play, I looked at my next hand. Well of course my worst nightmare was dealt to me, Ace Queen.
Shaking, I start groaning, please no not this time, keep calm, its just another hand, I tell myself! I was in mid position, and the player before me raised. I watched the timer run on the screen whilst I debated whether to play or fold. I glance nervously at the Stickers littered on my screen saying FOLD ACE QUEEN DO NOT PLAY ACE QUEEN.
So ignoring the good advice I called. Hell there on the flop is ACE QUEEN and a two. I now have two pair, and in a really good position. I had been watching the table and figured I was up against a mid pair pre flop. And a beautiful rainbow flop, so even less chance of a flush. The player pushed all in , and having looked at my post it notes telling me not to play, I said I KNOW I AM IN FRONT, so I CALLED.
Smiling I was ahead, he had turned over a pair of fives. Finally my ace queen would hold up, I would overcome my Trojan horse. I was celebrating, I would double up and move right up to being in the top 10 places. Fourth card came, I was still ahead, heart pounding I could barely look at the next card. BUT alas it was not to be. I wanted to cry, I felt sick, why had'nt I just folded? There it was in all its a glory, a five, nailing my coffin fully shut. He rivered me with a 5, yes an itty bitty 5! Giving him a set and I again was out of yet another tournament!
And so again I failed to take notice of all my warning stickers, where ace queen is concerned I find I have absolutely not a single shred of discipline.
I have even folded aces on the flop! Having marked my player as a rock, when he pushed I folded my aces on the flop, and he showed me a set of Queens. Now that is discipline, not many are able to lay down aces. I have so many times beaten aces, when they have been slow played. One of my earlier Bloggs told of my flush against aces. Yesterday I had a straight against aces. So I know for many players, Aces, Ace King etc are disliked. The Jokers in the pack!
So this months moral of the story is listen to your gut feeling, take heed of your notes, and you just might make the final table, had you have practiced discipline.
Thank you again for taking the time to read my Blogg, and if you liked this please press the thumbs up.
Sunday, August 30, 2015, 5:21 PM [General]
We have all gone to some lengths in order to play in a poker game, whether live or on line, but to varying degrees of extremity. I browsed the web, to find extreme places that have been used in order to play a game of poker. These included playing a full game whilst hanging over the side of a cliff and of course under water. I wanted to look at not just giving a poker confession to you to read, but also to what lengths people would go to, to play poker.
I Have played in a restaurant during a family birthday, and of course in the bath. No picture uploaded here though! I suppose the most extreme for me would be the time I made the final in a satelite for the UK Poker tour, despite having no intention of playing live, I wanted to be able to say "I came first, I got a ticket". Unfortunately for me the last game was set during a hair appointment. So there I was with folis in my hair, and covered in bleach. The other ladies must have thought I was bonkers, especially as I jumped up and down having won the ticket, knocking over the hairdressing stand!
OR the time I was in bed with my partner, and my tablet was under the bed. Having got to a final table, and reluctant to stop the game, I found it was easy to play without him noticing, hanging over the side of the bed, whilst he got on with business . I carried on playing in a tournament at 1 in the morning, trying not to let him see, nor discover what I was actually up to. It was easy to wiggle around and give off the odd moan, letting him think that he had my full attention LOL! Needless to say thank god I did'nt win or I would have had to do some major explaining.
Having still not yet played live, I cant say I have yet gone to any real underhand lengths in order to play.
Some will go to extreme lengths in order to continue playing or be able to leave with their winnings intact. A well known player had run out of cash during a cash game. He proceeded to remove an antique clock from a carrier bag, where he promptly sold it in order to be able to continue playing. The same said player along with my partner found themselves playing in Russia. Having won the tournament they stuffed the cash into a carrier bag and left for the airport. Once in the airport they discovered that in order to leave with the cash they would have to fill in countless forms. As they did not believe that they would be able leave with all of their winnings they hailed a taxi and drove for many hours to a neighbouring country and caught a plane back to the UK. NOW thats what I call extreme!
Now this title made me immediately think of the old 70's films, confessions of a window cleaner, etc. Although I believe they never actually made a poker one, more's the shame
Now most of you will have tried strip poker, I have'nt, well not poker anyway. After a few drinks, (and before I learnt how to play poker), I used to play other card games. No mater how hard I tried, I could'nt lose, he ended up naked, and all I could manage to lose was my shoes!
The most amusing confession I heard, AND NO NAMES, was the player who had been having a bad run of luck. He had been out drinking all evening, and on returning home decided to play in a tournament with a large payout. Armed with a bottle of whisky he proceeded to play. To his amazement he found himself on the final table and, toasting his good luck with more alcohol, he won! He called up his girlfriend and told her to go out and buy herself the best engagement ring she could find, and put it on her credit card, as he had won an amazing amount of cash.
After sleeping off one hell of a hangover, he logged into his poker account, to find his winnings had not been credited. On calling customer services, shouting that his money had been stolen, they politley informed him his win had been from a play money tournament! Of course he never confessed this fact to his girlfriend, who he did later marry, but borowed the money to clear the credit card!
The moral of this story is DONT START DRINKING BEFORE YOU START PLAYING!
I hope you enjoyed my Blogg this month! AND thank you for taking the time to read, and if you thought this was a good read please press the thumbs up button.
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