Saturday, 14 December 2013
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Monday, 27 May 2013
The SCOOP events came to an end yesterday and I must say well done to the hard working team at PokerStarsBlog who keep us all updated during this fantastic festival. PokerStars don't keep us waiting long however and we can look forward to another great promotion in the shape of the Road To 100 Billion which will be a delight to the cash game players.
It's hard to guess exactly when the mega-milestone hand will be dealt but there's going to be over $2,000,000 dealt out in prizes over the next two weeks so hit those cash tables hard for a chance to win your share.
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
To simply answer that it's just a better game may be a true statement but it opens up more questions than it answers. At the end of March this year I started on online course called 'Gamification' on the Coursera website www.coursera.org The course delves into the topic of applying game design and game elements to non-game problems. It's not a course about how to make games, or design games, but instead it takes a close look at the elements of games and what makes them work up to and including the psychology of the player. It's a really interesting topic and it's no surprise that the top companies in the world are using gamification techniques to increase the sales of their products. Gamification is all around us and really affects people, it can really change their behaviour. Here's an example of how turning a staircase into a 'game' changed peoples behaviour.
Now most of you know that I'm a poker player so don't be surprised when I tell you that part of the reason I'm doing this course is to understand what makes online poker so successful. It's a multi-billion dollar industry with tens of thousands of players playing online everyday. What is it about the game that makes them come back again and again? Is it fun? I would say yes but then again I love the game. Only a small percentage are actually profitable at the game, I'm not a profitable player, but is losing money fun? Definitely no. So my next blog is going to be on the subject of what makes a game fun. Before I go here's a video review of a game I played recently that was definitely fun for me to play, I really enjoyed it. If you've any comments to make on the subject of this blog please leave a comment or tweet me @TheRoyalRaiser
Sunday, 24 February 2013
Another Great WBCOOP
|Don't know about the kids, but I thought the book was great!|
On Friday I gave small donation to the local 'Meals on Wheels' who provide and excellent service to the elderly and those less fortunate. On Saturday the kids had no school of course and I wanted to spend some time with them so I took them to the local park and got them involved in a mini clean-up which basically meant I gave them gloves and a plastic bag and got them to pick on some papers that were scattered around and put them in the bin. Sunday and today (Monday) were complete right-off's for good deeds as the dreaded stomach bug took over.
Poker-wise I played some WBCOOP games in the evenings and happy to say the cards were good to me winning a $16.50 SCOOP ticket in Event 30 when I finished 26th out of 516 players. I also cashed in today's WBCOOP Main Event for a $9.50 prize when I placed 110th out of 1009 players.
To sumarise the last week or so I'd have to say that I really enjoyed it and each day brought a new challenge and adventure. This years WBCOOP has also rekindled my passion for blogging which was beginning to fade over the last few months. I'll hopefully keep this blog updated at least once a week and I'll post about updates on Twitter @TheRoyalRaiser, I might even try my hand at some video-blogging, who knows!
So thank you PokerStars for the bankroll boost and another very enjoyable series and best of luck to all who took part and gave it their best shot, there's some great entries this year and when the winners are announced remember to take the time to congratulate them, they deserve it!
Just around the corner is the MicroMillions, see you at the tables!
Wednesday, March 6th -
Pride of Place
The local school got my attention again for today's 'nice thing to do'. They needed a few parents to help out with planting some trees around the school. They are entering the local 'Pride of Place for Schools' competition and everyone is chipping in trying to get the place in tip-top shape. I'm back at the school tomorrow too to help out with another project.
Wednesday night is music night for me so when all the poker playing and planting was done it was time to relax with the lads down in the local and entertain the punters with a few tunes. We playing an accoustic set every Wednesday night in Beggy's Bar in Navan and if your ever visit Ireland put Navan on your list of stop overs. It's a very welcoming town with lots to see and do and if you make it on a Wednesday night drop in to us in Beggy's and I'll buy you a pint of Guinness!
Today's Special Mention
I was reading through some of the blogs at PokerSchoolOnline and came across this entry by '73Rex73'. It was great to read how how he enjoyed making it all the way to a Sunday Million from just $3 that he won in the PokerSchoolOnline leagues, it can happen folks! Why not drop by his blog and leave him a comment.
Chat tomorrow folks!
Tuesday, March 5th -
Now with my batteries recharged I might take on two WBCOOP games tomorrow (Wed) while also grinding out some 6-max 10NL tables. In February I managed to hit SilverStar status for the first time ever and I want to target it again for March. I know there's a 'Heads-Up' game on the WBCOOP schedule for tomorrow and I'll give that one a try although heads-up poker isn't my strongest game. If any of you that are reading this enjoy heads-up games then you'll definitely be interested in the Haxton Happy Hours promotion that PokerStars are running at the moment and should check it out, It's seems like a great way to earn a lot of extra VIP Bonus points.
|Making a Donation to Foluke from Enable Ireland|
Monday, March 4th -
Sunday, March 3rd -
Tonight's game was PLO8, not a game I play at all but I've have a basic understanding of it and this is thanks in no small way to a very special lady by the name of Adrienne Rowsome, aka 'talonchick'. The PLO8 game is 'talonchicks' bread and butter game and a few weeks back she started a thread all about PLO8 Strategy and basic concepts in the Forum at PokerSchoolOnline. I must have read that thread 20 times over while I was playing tonight.
There was an added bonus in that both 'talonchick' and another Team Online player Tyler 'frosty012' Frost were playing in the game tonight. I think that's one of the most amazing things about the WBCOOP games is that small micro-stake players like myself get the opportunity to mix it at the tables with the Pros.
|Thanks for the Tips Talonchick!|
Today's Good Deed
I didn't do a good deed today, but I did sign-up for one taking place on April 26th in my local Nightclub, a place I frequent all too often. It's a 'Shave or Dye' charity event to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, a really worthy cause. The Wife doesn't know about it yet and on both the 27th and 28th we have some family outings to go to. She's not going to be happy when she finds out that I'll be going to these events with either no hair or hair that's dyed a crazy colour. So what should I do? Why don't you decide! Tweet me @theroyalraiser using the hashtag #shaveordye and the one that's gets the most votes I'll do!
|Tweet me @theroyalraiser with YOUR vote!|
Here's an entry that caught my eye from PokerSchoolOnline member 'EvokeNZ' and it's well worth a read. Evoke is a regular blogger and all round good guy from New Zealand.
Back tomorrow for more adventures!
Saturday, March 2nd -
|Outside The Oxfam Shop Today!|
|Thankfully it went my way!|
Friday, March 1st -
It's not the end of the world though by any stretch and there's plenty more games to come during the week.
Today's Good Deed
As I said in my opening post for this years WBCOOP I am going to try and do one simple 'good deed' for each day that the games are going on. Today's one was easy enough. It was 'Green Day' in the local school and they were looking for some volunteers to lend a hand for a couple of hours. I have four children in the school so I would have helped out regardless of the WBCOOP. The day was all about teaching the kids about the environment and I helped out starting work on the new 'Sensory Garden' at the school.
|The Children Lined Up To Watch The Mini-Digger Today|
|Kenny & Myself Laying Foundations For The Sensory Garden|
Back for more WBCOOP adventures tomorrow but for now my bed is calling.
Thursday, February 28th -
Tuesday, February 26th -
March 2nd - 18:00 EST - 8-Game Mix (Will need to do a little homework and brush up on some of the basic strategies)
March 3rd - 18:00 EST - PLO Hi/Low (This 6-Max tourney should be fun.)
March 4th - 18:00 EST - 7 Card Stud Hi/Low Turbo (Should be one heck of a wild ride)
March 5th - 14:00 EST - Pot Limit 5 Card Draw (Haven't played 5 Card Draw in ages so looking forward to this one.)
March 6th - 14:00 EST - NLHE Heads-Up (This will be the toughest game for me. Heads-Up is not one of my strong points.)
March 7th - 10:00 EST - Fixed Limit Holdem 6-Max (Should be more up my alley being the tight-nit that I am.)
March 8th - 18:00 EST - No-limit Omaha Hi/Low Turbo (This one being a turbo is in the hands of the Poker Gods.)
March 9th - 18:00 EST - NLHE Turbo (Straightforward enough, get the chips in good.)
March 10th - 10:00 EST - HORSE (Nothing like a little HORSE game to start off a Sunday grind)
March 11th - 10:00 EST - $5,000 GTD Main Event - Hopefully I make it there, good luck to all who do)
Played a little Badugi earlier in my Home Game club. Finished 3rd to another Paddy, luck of the Irish eh, and congrats to 'mcasda' for taking it down tonight!
Monday, February 25th -
My Greatest PokerStars Moment - plus many more to come!And so another year of my life has swept around almost too fast and it’s back, the World Blogging Championship of Online Poker. If you are reading this and don’t know what’s it’s all about then I seriously suggest checking it out and you’ll find all the details on the PokerStars promotion page for the WBCOOP 2013 and good luck to all who enter this year.
|The Tweet From PokerStars Last Year Letting Me Know I Had Won|
|Paul & Aoife Jones Making A Donation To Susan Bradley Of Temple Street Hospital|
|My WBCOOP Trophy From 2012|
Friday, 22 February 2013
Another busy day and kept on the move for most of it. Didn't do a proper grind for the second day in a row but did stop to take 45 mins out to enjoy a latte and the biggest custard cream biscuit I ever saw.
One of PokerStars greatest achievements lately was to provide their players with a great mobile platform to play poker on while on the go. So after my nibble was over I fired up some 10NL ZOOM tables on my Android and played there in the cafe for about twenty minutes or so. In that short time I guess I finished down a buy-in as I was calling super loose playing a lot of speculative hands out of position. I got stung badly on one particular hand where I shoved a set of sevens on the turn and my opponent rivered a flush but that's poker.
Going to rise and shine early tomorrow and get my entry submitted into this years WBCOOP promo on PokerStars. Looking forward to it!
Thursday, 21 February 2013
Didn't play any poker yesterday (Wed) as I had a busy day and Wednesday is my night for playing percussion with the band down in the local bar, Beggys of Navan. If anybody is planning a road trip of Ireland then stick Navan on the schedule and drop in any Wednesday. Theres even a really nice hotel just a minutes walk away so very handy.
When I got home I seen that PokerStars just announced details of this years World Blogging Championship of Online Poker or WBCOOP. I cant wait to get my entry in again and see if I can defend the title. My main focus again will be to help out others who are less fortunate and also to promote PokerSchoolOnline where I help out as a moderator. You can find out all the details about the WBCOOP by visiting www.pokerschoolonline.com and theres even a great blogging section there to post your entries so check it out!
This evening I played a short 6-max 2NL session. Following on from my last blog I again focused on reading HUD stats and trying to pick up player tells or patterns from them. I also played a badugi game in the PSO Home Game club and finished 2nd to keep my good run at Badugi going so happy enough for now.
My next entry should be my WBCOOP entry so stay tuned for that and good luck to all who enter.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
As I played I stuck a movie on the second monitor, a good old fashioned western called 'A Few Dollars More'. There's a classic line at the end of the movie where Clint Eastwood say 'I thought I was havin' trouble with my adding but I'm all right now' ... Well I was the same! I wasn't paying enough attention to the tables counting outs or stack to pot ratios and other stat details that are important to turning profit.
The result of this is that I've put out a plan of action for the week ahead. Each day I'll watch a different poker video on PokerSchoolOnline, each day I'll review a few hands from the last session and to finish off I'll play a 6-max session for not more than 2 hours.
Today for example I wacthed a 6-max reveiw by poker coach @xflixx on Twitter followed by changing my HM2 hud display to include opponents 'fold to 3bet percentages' then I played some tables.
As I've already got SilverStar status this month I'm dropping down to 2NL for the rest of this month as a lot of my play will be experimental while I try out some fresh approaches. I'll also on open 4 tables at a time as I want to really learn how to exploit stat reads on opponents in different situation. An example of this would be if a known passive player checks the flop to me and I see he folds to a lot of c-bets then I'll bet out against him with air in position to try and take the pot down then and there.
I tried the approach above in a short 2NL session tonight playing only 500 hands and finished the session 2.5 buy-ins up. Again I'll be trying out some new approaches for the rest of this month in preperation for a good stab at 10NL in March.
Monday, 18 February 2013
Sunday, 17 February 2013
Played a 2 hour session of 6max tonight with no luck. Ended just shy of 3 buy-ins down.
On the flip side I noticed that I'm seeing a lot more hands per hour than full ring meaning more rake and the VPP's clock up a lot quicker. Made about 50 vpps tonight 8-tabling.
Overall this month I'm down about $180 but theres still time to claw some of that back before the end of the month.
Those of you that know me well will see me posting daily at PSO and I bounce a lot of tweets back and forth with some of you on Twitter @theroyalraiser. I love a good poker discussion and thanks to those that have chatted with me over the last few months.
I've had a kind of 'Lightbulb' poker moment recently and I'm going to put it to the test over the next few weeks and months. I'm beginning to think that the full-ring tables may not be for me and there might be a better chance of making a profit on the 6-max tables, for me anyway. Let me share with you how I came to this conclusion.
On the face of it Badminton and Tennis have a lot in common as do Cricket and Baseball for that matter. In Cricket and Baseball you use a bat to hit a ball as far as you can in both games. The concepts of both are strikingly similar but ask any player that excels in these sports are they the same and they'll probably tell you that the opposite couldn't be truer, that in fact those games are worlds apart.
It's kinda the same with Fullring and 6-max poker. They look similar and have the same rules but there is a huge difference. To me that difference is the type of player those games attract, the types of hands they play and how my personal playing style might be better suited to the 6-max game.
During this month I hit SilverStar status for the first time and I've spent a lot of time analysing sessions using Holdem Manager to plug those leaks that I know I have. It was during one of these reveiws that I had that 'Eureka' moment. I've always been a full ring player with what I considered to be a very tight opening range so much so that I'm confident that in most hands I get involved with that I would be the pre-flop favourite. It's post-flop where the problems start. Quite often I would catch a 'piece' of the flop against a loose player and I just would not be able to throw away the hand. I'd go all the way to the showdown even though I would know I was beat. If anybody put a note on me that I was a calling station then I wouldn't disagree with them.
Without switching my style of play though I an simply going to swicth tables to the 6-max game in a type of experiment. My theory is that these games will suit my playing style and opening range much better. This, along with the fact that the 6-max tables seem to attract players that are super loose, should mean that I have a much better chance of turning a profit at these games.
So it's official, I'm now a 6-max player until further notice. The plan of action is to retain SilverStar status during March playing 10NL 6-max games. I've downloaded a 'Blogger' app for my phone so I'll keep short updates here now after each session and then once every week or fortnight I'll jump in with a few graphs and some hand replays. It's going to be the new changed me and I've even marked the change by getting a new avatar to remind me that this is a new beginning. What do you think of it?