Monday, May 2, 2011

Back Where I Belong, Yeah I Never Felt So Strong (April Review)

What up guys, it's been a wild month and there's a lot to talk about! I've been crazy busy since around "Black Friday" and have found little to no time to update the ol' blog. I anticipate this post being quite long so let's get to it!

I'm actually writing this blog post from South Kensington, London. I sort of decided that I would arrange a last minute trip across the pond to visit my brother and cousin if I had a good month in April and I made my mind up about 1 week ago to go through with the plan after only having like 1 losing day all month. Definitely one of my favorite perks of playing poker for a living is the flexible lifestyle that I can live. I literally packed the morning of my flight and was good to go. I left YVR yesterday and I arrived at Gatwick airport and took the express train into Victoria station, where my bro and cousin were waiting for me holding a sign that said "Big T," lol. The plane left at 2pm pacific time and got in at 7:45am BST (about midnight PT) so I had decided to go without sleep for the day so I would be on normal time today. The three of us had a pretty busy day and I was exhausted by the end of it...went shopping for an inflatable mattress + pump (got both for 17 pounds), went for lunch, went for "tea time" and slammed some tea instead of brews, then played "football" for 2 hours with some guys from my brother's work. I nearly collapsed from exhaustion but feel better for it today. The plan for tonight is to go out to a club and throw some shapes and talk to questionable women (or shoot for teh stars).

Poker went very well this month. I pretty much tied my previous record for the most profit won in a single month (set back in November, 2010), taking around $16.5K off of the tables by playing only 1/3rd of the volume. I'm currently at my all time career peak in earnings and am feeling very comfortable with my game right now. I had to jam a whole bunch of hours in the last few days of the month and wasn't playing anywhere near my "A" game (it started to remind me of last December) but I still ended up winning quite a bit so it's all good. I certainly ran well for most of the month and am fortunate for that...hopefully it continues in May when I resume play around the 15th. I'm also looking forward to playing a lot of SCOOP events in May and will likely even play a couple of tournaments overseas while I'm here (I'll actually be in Spain from the 7th-13th). I'll likely do a detailed writeup of all of the SCOOP events that I plan on playing in the very near future.

I don't have the exact numbers for the month (will update when I get home) because while I can access my Stars account, I don't have the piece of paper where I wrote down my beginning balance for the month. That said, these numbers should be very close:


$16.3K Table Winnings
$4K Cash Bonus

$20.3K USD

I had originally planned on playing about 1.5x the volume that I ended up playing to clear the 200K milestone bonus but after "Black Friday," combined with NHL playoff games, I was lucky just to hit 50K VPP's and retain my SNE status. I guess that I only lost a few days to BF-not wanting to play amongst all of the immediate confusion I chose to take some time off and see how things unraveled. The situation in the US is far from resolved and I hope that things will turn out in favour of the US players in the not so distant future but for now, as far as the games are concerned for teh rest of the world, things seem fine (in terms of traffic on the site, quality of the games, cash outs being processed etc.). It will be interesting to see how things unfold over the remainder of the year but I'm optimistic.

I'd say that the main distraction from meeting my volume quote was easily the 7 NHL playoffs games that the Vancouver Canucks were involved in. In my last post, I said that the Canucks had a 3-0 lead in the series and would easily close it out in 1-2 more games. This was hardly the case. Chicago ended up catching on fire and won the next 2 games in blowout-type fashion before forcing a game 7 after an scoring an OT winner in game 6. The city was in a state of depression and anger after witnessing the habitual choking that seems to plague the Canucks in the playoffs every year but I stayed cautiously optimistic about game 7. I really hate bandwagon fans and if there's ever a time that your team needs support it's in big games so to hear people saying things like "F the canucks" before the series is even over is annoying. Of course, after the Canucks won game 7 in dramatic OT fashion everyone is sporting jerseys and car flags They're currently tied 1-1 in round 2 against Nashville and I think that it will be a good series. Nashville always seems to have Vancouver's number for some reason but I think that the Canucks are too talented and hungry to drop the series this year. I'm saying 'Nucks in 6!

I received an email from the Team Online manager at Pokerstars a couple of weeks ago asking me if I would be interested in organizing a night out in Vancouver with some Supernova VIPs and everything would be paid for. Would I be interested in doing what I would likely be doing anyways only bigger and better and I wouldn't have to pay for it? Hmmm let me think about it. I set it up so that a limo would pick me up at my place and then we'd round up the other guys. I didn't really know what to expect in the other poker players but it turns out they were all really cool, down to earth, sociable guys. Two of the guys decided to meet us at Joey's on Burrard and Robson (where I had dinner arrangements) because one of them was from Montrael and was sweating the Montrael/Boston game and the other was at a final table playing for 36K lol. We popped a couple of bottles of campaign on the way to dinner and the 7 of us took our table. The other two guys joined us shortly after (one after winning $10K from the FT) and I told them to order whatever they wanted without going insane. When I got back from the restroom there was like 10 appetizers and 3 trays of shots waiting on the it turns out, no one even ordered a meal lol all the money went to appies and mostly drinks. We left Joey's just after 10pm and got back into the limo and went down Granville to Ceili's, which is an Irish bar that turns into a bit of a club on Friday/Sat. I figured it would be a good choice of venue since not everyone likes dance clubs and not everyone likes to sit at a bar so it was a bit of both worlds. I had a guest list but wasn't aware that it expired at 10pm (wtf is the point of a GL before 10pm lol Vancovuer) so I had to negotiate our way in through the bouncer. He originally wanted $180 to let the 9 of us in but I got him down to $120 for the group...not sure if he would have gone lower but it didn't look like it. Once inside, before I even set up a bar tab the dude from Montrael had already ordered more shots. I'm pretty sure that he made sure that everyone either had a shot in their hand or there was one on the way for the entire night now that I think about it. There was a pretty good scene there that night, it was actually busier than I expected and we found a couple of tables to relax at and continue talking. I think that a lot of people found it kind of weird to talk about poker and actually have the other person understand what they were saying...sometimes poker lingo can be like another language and because of that I normally never go into great detail when I'm with my friends (and it seems to be the common course of action according to the other guys as well). Anyways, I certainly didn't need a heck of a lot more liquid courage after already being at Joey's for a couple of hours and a few of the players started approaching some random girls. I thought that I had a good thing going with a redhead for a while but things just fizzled out. It was for the better though, as I met a cuter girl shortly after on the dance floor. How I could even muster a coherent sentence at this point I have no idea but I eventually convinced her to leave with me despite her saying that nothing was going to happen (lol, never heard that before...). The rest of the crew kind of dispersed around the same time (2am) and made their own way home. I got on a bus with the girl and noticed that her friend was with her and thought that this might be trouble. I had no idea where I was going and again the girl told me that nothing could happen tonight but asked me if I wanted to see her another time and offered her number. I declined, like an idiot, pulled the eject cord and got off the bus at Granville and Broadway I think. One of the other poker players who I had been kind of wingmaning with I guess called me shortly after and said that he had a cab going back to his place. I asked him if he would pick me up on the way and he agreed. I ended up crashing at his place on the floor and that was that. All in all, I had an absolute blast and met a lot of really cool people, most of which I'm still in touch with via FB and hopefully we can all go out again at some point. Thanks PStars!

All right, hope you guys had a solid month and things go well for you on and off of the tables in May.

gl at the tables from London!