wiggy's journal (post 1)

    Friday, January 1, 2016, 10:50 PM [General]

    Well it's official! I am back

    Yes after almost 18 months of just an occasional game I am back playing, but there's plenty of time to disscuss that later, to start with let's see where I am and how I got here

    If you read previous blogs from me you will know very well the struggles I faced, I feel I have turned the corner now and feel better within and about myself, it's been a long road and there have been some dark times, 9 funerals in 2 years, the suicide of a good friend and a mild heart attack will get you thinking about how lucky you are to be here, and it was the kick up the **** I needed to be honest

    My health is as good as can be expected for a man of 80 (shame I'm only 52) but I have a lot of niggly injuries that have seen me work very little in the last 2 years, and said HA had me out for 8 months, I'm just doing agency work for now as I can chose to take time out to recover when needed, but at some point I have to go back full time, the savings are gone, golf has gone and to be honest until I'm working full time life has gone, will 2016 be my year? I have no idea! but only I can make it mine so there's a goal for me

    I'm also back on the forum, not as much as I was but it's a start, I don't know if I'll ever be as active as I was because the place is like a ghost town at times, and I can't be bothered to wate my time on bad beat threads from people who wouldn't know a bad beat if it jumped up and slapped them in the face, or people just looking for freebies, but I might offer to give some time to help 1 or 2 people with their game soon, and I'll be posting strategy/mindset threads as well

    On the poker side of things wiggy will continue to be the test/casino account you all know me by, but I have a goal of increasing my ROI on Lucky Ace by 50% and the same on PS, wheather that's possible or not only time will tell, most of my play now is going to be cash tables and sng's, ridiculous amounts of late registration mean tournaments are not an option, forum games don't do it for me now either! they aren't forum games anyway! just an extension of the main site for those prepared to look into how to join them, and that's a shame as these used to be a good meeting point for the members, but hey-ho, life is what life is, poker is what poker is and the forum is what the forum is

    I'm also intending to get out and play live more, I'm not sure what this game is online but it's certainly not poker (but that's a rant for another day) with London on my doorstep there's no reason not to play live except laziness, and apparently I've done lazy well in the past so it's time for that to change

    Is life on the up? it is if I make it
    Happy new year all, may 2016 bring you good health and happiness








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    My.888poker Holiday Special ‘Open Blog’ Competition

    Sunday, December 13, 2015, 8:19 PM [General]

    Some insight into wiggy at Christmas

    Ah the Christmas period!  To be honest it’s one of the times of year I dread the most, and contains one of the days I look forward to the most as well, so I think to start with I’ll deal with the sadness, at least then I can end on a much happier note

    There are three significantly bad dates for me during the Christmas period, December 19th, December 20th and Christmas Eve, all of these dates have had events that have impacted me in a devastating way, and one I believe scarred me for life, I’m going to work backwards as the last one will be the hardest for me to write (and proof read for that matter)

    December 20th 2013, the day my adopted daughter died, I adopted Emma in 2005 when she was 4 years old, a beautiful bright full of life little girl with asthma, when it became obvious in 2008 just how bad that asthma was her mother made the decision to move to Switzerland, me going with them was never an option as she was moving to her parents’ house and they hated me, I also had a business in the UK which at the time was going well, but they just sound like excuses now, 2013 was a dark time for me personally and to my eternal shame I never went over to see her even though I knew how bad things were, that is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life

    Christmas Eve 2004, my best friend from school was killed on this day when a drunk driver pulled out in front of his motorbike, I had known the guy since we were 4 years old and we were pretty much inseparable, he was 41 years old

    December 19th 1992, just 3 months before we were due to be married my fiancé died from a massive asthma attack; she was just 26 years old (I really can’t write any more on that subject)

    Or for 3 days apparently

    But once I get past those dates I am met by the day that sees me through the year, Boxing Day

    When my business was thriving I made the decision I would give £1000 to my local old people’s home for them to have a better Christmas, after 2 years I was asked if I would attend their Boxing Day dinner and meet the people I was helping, after a lot of reasoning why I shouldn’t go I finally made the decision that maybe to them my time was even more important than my money, and I made the decision to attend for an hour or so and then make my excuses and leave, well that didn’t happen! I attended at 1pm and left at 9pm and it was one of the best experiences of my life, I have looked forward to my Boxing Day visits since 2002

    A lot has changed over the years, my company went bust, some of the residents have passed on and some of the staff have retired, but Boxing Day is the day when none of that matters! Or anything that’s gone before it!  For 4 hours I get to spend time with people with some of the most fascinating stories I have heard, I get to feel like I make a difference (even if I don’t) and I get the kick up the backside I need to face up to whatever the next year brings, I don’t get sympathy, I don’t get to be sulky, I just get told there is plenty of time for reflection when I eventually end up in the home (it’s not going to happen I’ll smoke or drink myself to death long before that)

    There are a couple of residents sadly missing this year, Stanley the old boy I used to sit and watch the racing with passed away in May, but his friend George has requested I watch the racing with him this year in Stan’s memory, and Fiona sadly passed away in October at the ripe old age of 102 just 3 days before her 103rd birthday, but Boxing Day isn’t about sorrow or pain! We’ll remember them the rest of the year, Boxing Day is the one day in the year when for a few hours nothing matters apart from our group of 40ish people having a good time, and who could ask for more than that? Boxing Day is my moment of clarity whatever the year has thrown at me, watching these people who have lived full lives celebrating those lives for a few hours once a year puts my petty issues into perspective, and long may it continue

    I wish all members good health and happiness for 2016

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    Finding the key (a personal journey)

    Friday, September 6, 2013, 10:14 AM [General]

    Not done one of these for a while so this could be very long or very short, I’ll only know when I stop typing

    Anybody whose read blogs or posts from me should know I promote the positive mind set, I look at situations and try to find something I or others can learn from, oh if only I could practise what I preach, 3 years ago home life dictated that I wouldn’t have a social life, then 2 years ago I was presented with more free time than proved good for me, needless to say that new found freedom turned me into somebody who In my opinion was rather pathetic, I’m not going into details but needless to say I now realise that person could come back at any time if I let him, so I have to work hard to keep away from situations I know will be hard to manage until I have more control, but this is supposed to be a poker site so enough of that it’s just background to the story

    4 years ago I bought poker tracker and over the first 3 years I had a ROI of 15% by December last year this had dropped to 12% just normal variance? I don’t believe so! Some of it was for this reason of course, but a lot of it was down to me and my “new” attitude to poker and concentration levels, poker was just a way of filling an hour or so while I was waiting to do something else! But instead of being sensible and playing cash games I joined tournaments to throw chips around, after all if I was doing something else soon why try to win? And so started the downward spiral, even when I had time to play and play properly I didn’t or I got bored and wanted to be doing other things, the solution was simple and staring me in the face PLAY CASH GAMES! I just couldn’t see it, I continued to join tournaments and play well for 90 mins then want to be doing something else, cue bad play and throwing chips around not caring what the outcome was, by march this year that ROI was at 10% and still I didn’t see the bigger picture, I was still reading forums and articles but by now my mind set was really pathetic and I was just looking for fault in posts (and finding it everywhere) even this forum which has been my home for 6 years wasn’t giving what I needed because in truth I didn’t know what I needed, things really came to a point in late May, A game was set up for me for my birthday, a great honour in previous years! But after about 20 minutes I was sitting thinking “I don’t want to be here” you can guess the rest

    In early June I finally gave up and went on an enforced break, and until recently I couldn’t see me coming back! I was still reading the forums but not getting involved, nothing interested me until suddenly a bad beat thread appeared, I let rip! I insulted the guy’s attitude, his understanding of the game and even his manhood! ME! The most pathetic excuse for an ex poker player was actually berating somebody who was trying? I hated myself so much I went back with some explanations of my theories (but no apology) I then offered a link to some advice I had posted a long time ago, and this time an apology to go with it, he read it he used the advice and he came back thanking me for the help, and that was the turning point! If things being posted didn’t interest me why not do what I had done in the past and post things that did? I am now back posting and trying to help people, with the occasional hidden rant thrown in at times (some things will never change) but I still didn’t want to play poker!

    And then the key I had looked for for so long was handed to me on a plate, Lewis G (if you don’t know him check out his excellent posts in tips and strategies and chip chat) posted about a cash game challenge he and his m8 had set playing micros for a profit to see if a good player could make the expected profit moving down levels, the reasoning was there to see there was a screen shot of poker tracker with figures for people to see, and a request for people to offer opinions, I certainly did that! And while looking through figures and offering opinions of the play and techniques at those levels it finally struck me, if I played cash tables it didn’t matter if I got bored within 10 minutes or 2 hours, I could just close the table with no need to make bad plays to get rid of chips or sit out and blind out, by playing cash games where I could close the table I was master of my own game, if I suddenly got the urge to be doing something else then I could go do it then re-focus and come back to poker

    It’s just a small epiphany at the moment and only 4 days old, but it’s a start and I am enjoying poker again, in fact I can’t wait to get bored of typing and get playing, I’m not saying wiggy is back! But hopefully I am on the road at last.

    Well what do you know I wrote a novel again

    Take care all and keep poker  fun

    Results for 3 days at $6 nl


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    I only gamble with money I can afford to lose!

    Friday, October 26, 2012, 10:28 AM [Articles]

    A very noble statement and the first rule of gambling, but it’s missing a vital ingredient

    This will really be a continuation of the MDP thread I posted here http://my.888poker.com/go/thread/view/111146/29444839/m-d-p

    Everybody knows you should only risk money you can afford to lose, but without the missing ingredient to the statement all you have is the rule that gamblers live by, it’s what drives the fish, the donks and the calling stations of poker sites, they believe they are doing the right thing because it’s money they can afford to lose, and if they can afford to lose it they are prepared to risk it! They have no need of knowledge of the maths because they will just deposit more “money they can afford to lose” if they bust, some of them might even save up just to deposit money they can afford to lose.

    And that’s true of any gambling be it horses, football, dogs or poker, bookies bank accounts are full of money people could afford to lose, poker sites make their money from the rake people pay from the money they can afford to lose, and the more money deposited that people can lose the more money there is swilling around the poker site meaning even more rake for the sites, but to understand the difference between the poker sites and the book makers you have to look at both separately.

    Poker sites make their money from rake paid, they do not gamble to win their money they charge people to use their service, they really don’t care if Joe from number 6 in your street has won over a million dollars, Joe is paying his rake and the site is making its money, all the poker sites need to do is constantly grow its player base and encourage people to deposit, and that’s why conspiracy theories about people being set up to lose are so ridiculous, poker sites don’t care who wins they just care about being paid.

    Bookies are a totally different animal, they make their money by setting up the book in such a way that they win whatever the result, but they don’t like people constantly winning from them because they are gambling themselves, you bet with them and they then lay that bet off elsewhere but they do suffer big losses on some events, if you have ever used an online bookie you will know that if you constantly win they will restrict the amount you can bet, or they will just refuse to take your bet, that seems strange as the profits bookies make can be astounding and they are flush with “money they can afford to lose” but the fact is somebody constantly winning is beating the bookie and bookies don’t like that because they know what the full statement should read.

    “I only gamble with money I can afford to lose! But I never gamble with money I’m PREPARED to lose”

    If you gamble with money you can afford to lose and are prepared to lose it then you may as well sit next to a window throwing pound coins out every 10 minutes, when you collect them up later that day you may not find them all! Or you may find a couple extra! That’s the gamble.

    So you can see the difference adding one more phrase to the statement makes, think about it next time you think of calling to hit your draw just because you can afford to!

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    Playing the stop and go

    Friday, September 21, 2012, 11:55 AM [Articles]

    Firstly we have to understand what the stop and go is! Secondly we have to understand what it does.

    The stop and go is a short stacked strategy and involves calling a raise short stacked to shove any flop instead of just shoving pre flop, for example when the hand starts you have 6BB’s left in your stack and are on the BB (blinds 100-200), it folds to the cut-off who raise’s to 600 and it folds to you, you look down at Ah Qs and shove for your remaining 1000 chips, your opponent now needs to call 600 into a 1900 pot (3/1) with 5 cards to come it’s an easy call with cards he was prepared to raise with, with 5 cards to come you have very little fold equity shoving pre flop, so playing the stop and go here could improve your chances as it will give a much harder decision to your opponent on the flop.

    So to understand that lets look at the example again but this time we will stop and go.

    When the hand starts you have 6BB’s left in your stack and are on the BB (blinds 100-200), it folds to the cut-off who raise’s to 600 and it folds to you, you look down at Ah Qs and decide this is the hand to make your stand with, but instead of shoving here and now you just call the raise, the flop comes Kd 7c 4h and you shove your remaining 600 chips into the pot, you have played the stop and go but what have you achieved?

    In example 1 your opponent needs to call 600 into a 1900 pot with 5 cards to come, he is getting 3/1 pre flop against an all in range and should be making the call if his hand was big enough to raise a short stack with.

    In example 2 your opponent still needs to call 600 into a 1900 pot so is still getting 3/1, but now there are only 2 cards to come, and you may have just hit this flop or slow played a monster, it’s a much tougher decision for him and he may just fold if he’s missed or was playing a PP below Kings or an AQ AJ hand, and don’t forget statistically you only hit 1 in 3 flops!

    So by playing the stop and go here we have given our opponent a much tougher decision on the flop than we would have pre-flop, and it really doesn’t matter what he does now as we identified this hand as the one we were going to make a stand with, and that is what we have done! If he calls and we lose we had decided we were all in pre flop anyway so it really doesn’t matter, but by making his decision that much harder of the flop we gave ourselves some fold equity as he might just fold and look for another spot

    As with all strategies of this type overuse will soon see you being called more often as people expect it from you, so use it sparingly, you should also only use it in heads up hands as with more than 1 opponent in the hand your fold equity decreases again

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    To check raise or not to check raise (that is the question)

    Friday, September 14, 2012, 11:50 AM [General]

    A powerful weapon to have in your armoury if used right! A costly exercise when you get it wrong!

    There has been some hand history discussion on the forum pages where the check raise has been suggested, I’m going to concentrate on two in particular and give my opinion on what has been suggested and why I think it’s a good/bad move

    Hand 1 (5 handed), we are on the SB (75-150) we have Ah Qc the player utg+1 has min raised to 300 and it has been folded to us, we raise to 806, the BB folds and utg+1 calls the re raise, the flop comes 2s 3h 4h, the hand now pauses for discussion and a post is made saying “this is where I get into trouble with these hands check raise”

    Hand 2 (6 handed), we are in the BB (100-200) with Kh th, the table folds to the cut-off who raises to 525, it then folds to us and we make the call, the flop comes Ah 7h Tc, what happens next isn’t really relevant to this, what is relevant is a comment in the discussion saying check raise

    So 2 hands both from the blinds, 2 very different flops, out of position in both and first to act and 2 suggestions to check raise, so let’s look at hand 1! AQ off suit on a 5 handed table from the sb is playable, but in my opinion you need to isolate the original raiser, this is what we attempt and it works, but the flop is horrible for us all low cards with the possibility of a 5 giving us a str8, our opponents pre-flop raising range is likely to contain some big aces and most pocket pairs down to 88-77 and he was strong enough to raise and then still want to see a flop when re raised! He must have something! Potentially we are drawing to 6 outs here 3xQ and 3xA if he has a middle pocket pair, if he has Ax we are drawing to 3 outs as a 5 will split the pot, so if we check raise here and he re shoves we have to fold as we won’t have enough outs to make the call

    Hand 2 is a much better opportunity; calling 325 into a 825 pot to try and protect your blind isn’t a bad play as you are capping the action, the flop is good for us even if the A is worrying, assuming his pre-flop range includes the same hands as hand 1 we could potentially be in front with our TT and behind to any A, AA-JJ, if we check raise here and are re shoved we have enough potential outs to make the call

    It doesn’t matter if you sometimes get it wrong or sometimes miss your outs revealing you were drawing to the str8/flush, this can be used to your advantage later when you check raise with top 2 pair, people will look you up expecting you to be drawing to the str8/flush

    The check raise is a good move to have but don’t over use it or people will never believe you, and if you miss a couple of draws and people start looking you up more regularly just swap to check raising big made hands, people will still look you up as they will put you on a draw

    As always take care all, and win or lose enjoy your poker it’s still only a game

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    Using your range finder

    Monday, September 10, 2012, 10:06 PM [General]

    Yep I’m back and I didn’t expect it either tbh, but now I’m here I might as well say something so here goes.

    Using your range finder! What does that mean? Well if you’re reading this then I’m hoping you play at 888poker, and if you play at 888poker then you have a very handy tool available to you! It’s in the lobby under my profile and named “game history” this fantastic little free tool gives you the opportunity to go back over every hand of a tournament you play in video playback whether you played them or folded, you can replay any hand step by step, you can also right click and add notes to players while in there as well, “but what has that got to do with range finding”? I hear you ask.

    We’ve all see the replies to hand discussions asking “what range did you put them on” we all know how important trying to put players on ranges of hands is when we play them, and right here for free is the opportunity to do just that, so grab a coffee/tea/beer or whatever floats your boat and open your game history because that’s what we are going to do.

    Open any game history cash/sng/mtt it really doesn’t matter! What we are looking for is hands with the river dealt because these hands have the potential for a showdown, and wherever there’s a showdown you are going to see the winning hand, this means you know exactly what the winner played and you can now play the hand through taking notes on what he had and how he played it, you are going to see showdowns from the same players occasionally and this is where their range comes into play, you will see what type of hand they open with (opening range) and how they bet with them going forward (narrowing the range) all of this can be put in your notes and when you play them again you will have an idea of their range.

    You will find that you will meet a lot of the same players in your games, especially at cash tables and sng’s if you mostly play the same levels, and the same is true if you usually play a set selection of mtt’s on a regular basis, or restricted games, so over a period of time you are going to find a lot of information on what they open with and how they play those hands in different situations.

    It’s called game history, but it’s the perfect range finder

    Until next time enjoy your poker and may all you losses be miniscule, and all your winning pots floweth over

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    By invitation only

    Monday, January 2, 2012, 12:17 AM [General]

    For the 4th year running the team I represent was invited to the end of year charity event on the 30th of December, this is an invitation only event which sees 9 teams of 6 play 6 tables with points awarded for finishing positions on each table

     The format is quite simple, you play a 1 table sng between the players of each team, and points are awarded for the top 5 on each table as 10pts, 7pts, 5pts, 3pts, and 2pts, the prizes are provided by local companies with the view of local charities benefiting (it’s why it’s invitation only) this event gives £2,000 to charities of the winning teams choice, the winners get 1st £1000, 2nd £600 and 3rd £400

    In the previous 3 years we have won the event once and come 3rd twice so we sat down in high spirits, 2 of our players were eliminated before the points, one was unlucky and the other ****ed his stack because he thought he had  a read, he did! he put him on Ax and played his AQ as if it were the nuts, Ax proved to be better (but we’re not doing bad beats) the unlucky one had JJ on a J67 board and got called for a 3/4 pot bet on the flop he shoved the 6 turn to get called by 66 and go out in 8th to quads

    That left 4 of us one managed 3rd place on a table he described as ridiculous, and lasted the shortest time, we got another 3rd place when another called an all in against a short stack with AQ  and the short stacks A9 paired, he shoved 2 hands later with 77 and lost to a turned straight, looking at the standings we needed two 2nds at least to get 3rd place and a pay out, one was in first with a massive lead and I was 4th and short, our massive leader won his game and it was down to the tightest table of the night, 3rd place would probably give us a pay out  and I was now 2nd

    And from then it was downhill all the way, I was dealt AQ and raised I got called by the guy in the BB who hadn’t played many hands at all during the game, the flop came KK8 and he checked to me, I put in a bet of just over half the pot and he snap re raised, I had to fold and he mucked KQ face up, 2 hands later I lost a pot to the short stack when I put him all in after a pre flop raise with my TT, he called with KJ and river was the J, I was now the short stack and looking for paint or an ace to shove with, I got it all in with AT and the chippo called with T 4 suited and he hit the flush on the turn, we finished 4th overall

    But it was an enjoyable night and 3 charities win £2000 between them

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    Community

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 10:57 AM [General]

    I noticed earlier that the term community is thought to be over used, maybe its right? Some people use it all of the time others won’t use it at all, but it’s really about how you view the place you post your thoughts and the people who visit that site

    A lot of our members have been here for years; I’ve been here 4 and a half years myself and can name others who have been here from the start when we were the 888fourms, and that brings me on to my first point

    When we were just a forum everybody was part of a community, people posted about how the community spirit was and how we were an extended family, people wanted to feel a part of something bigger and the result was we called our forum a community, when we moved to this new home we were given a community platform with forums, blog sections and groups, and now some of those same people refer to themselves as forum members, strange really isn’t it? Maybe it’s a way of saying we feel at home in certain sections? I really don’t know and to be honest it really doesn’t matter

    So let’s have a lighthearted look at some descriptions of community and see what we get

    The people living in one locality

    Do I live here? Well sometimes it feels like it, and to be honest my.888poker is usually the first site I load when I turn on the pc, so yes maybe I do

    A group of people having cultural, religious, ethnic, or other characteristics in common

    This is a bit more difficult to define, all cultures are welcomed, all ethicalities and all religious beliefs, but it’s not something that’s going to be a massive discussion point on a poker/social site, other characteristics in common? Well we’re all nuts does that count?

    The public in general; society

    I am general public just ask anybody! They don’t come more general, but don’t ask them about me and society I couldn’t bear the shame

    Similarity or agreement

    We all agree that we love what can at times be the most frustrating game on earth, so we have that in common

    But to me the most important part of a community is the support given to each other, and we have that in abundance here, when people are suffering hard times we offer support and condolences where needed, we are happy to see any member making cashes and improving their game no matter how small a step it may be, people are encouraged to look at themselves first before deciding others are playing badly, that’s how we learn this ridiculous game, and people are encouraged to post hands and be prepared to have their plays ripped to shreds, because it’s what helps us to improve, and all of this is given at any time free of charge, all you have to do is ask

    Our members also meet up at various live events through the year, the most popular being the superstack events in London and Birmingham, and at those events we try to encourage people to join, and we take the time to get to know them and try to answer questions, in fact most members will actively encourage people at the tables to join us here

    And then there is the annual live event, this is an event set up by the community for the community, it’s organized by members according to what members want to happen, 888 have been fantastic in their support of this event in the 2 years we have run it and have done us proud, but this event would happen anyway whatever happened, it’s not about what we can get from 888! It’s about a group of friends getting together and having a great time over 3 days, all of the bonuses 888 throw in are fantastic and much appreciated but I would go even if 888 offered nothing, to me it’s not about games or the prizes it’s about meeting old friends and making new ones, I can worry about the games and prizes 362 other days of the year

    I have met a lot of people through this site and consider them to be friends, I’m a community member and happy to be

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    Caught up in the game

    Friday, December 9, 2011, 10:30 PM [General]

    Yes I know what you’re thinking! The guy writes nothing for months and now you can’t shut him up, well I promise to keep this one short

    I have moaned in previous blogs about running badly online and it’s true, this has been a very poor year but after going through my hand histories and tracking data I have the reason, I was caught up in the game

    But what does that mean?

    Well in a nutshell I have been playing the table instead of playing poker, I convinced myself I hadn’t changed my game I was just suffering badly due to the nature of the game, how wrong could I be, I have been reacting to plays at the table and loosening my range because others are winning with KT so I should be able to, that’s not how it works! You can adjust your range on a loose table but it has to be position related, this is where I have been going wrong!

    I was so caught up in the game that I was reacting to bad plays with equally bad plays because I wanted to be in pots with weak players, but that just leads to a world of trouble when your calling loose with lots of players still to act behind you, the winning hands then seem to validate your new style and you can convince yourself you got unlucky when it all goes wrong , by the same measure I was tightening up on tight tables when I should be acting not reacting, convincing myself I was playing well while truly just caught up in what was going on, what a mess; and what an unwillingness to actually use the tools at my disposal to identify the problem instead of just telling myself I could turn it around

    So now it’s time to re start, and it’s time to play a game that will teach me to actually concentrate, that game is limit poker! If I get caught up in the game instead of playing my best game it’s going to be expensive, but hopefully it will get me back on track and I will have some good news to blog about for a change

    If your struggling with your game use your time to evaluate your play, but do it honestly and really look for the problems, you wont see them if you don’t want to see them

    Happy pokering all, may you gain the success you crave

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