Wednesday 24 June 2009

Sensitive Olfaction?

Oh how I have neglected my blog since I started Taxi Driving. To all of you millions who await my posts with bated breath, I apologise. Talking of breath, specifically bad breath, I have noticed smells that are only apparent when you are in close contact with people. I do need to get some kind of fabric freshener for my seats as I have been surprised by the percentage of people who obviously give it a miss on the personal hygiene. I guess I could wear a mask and say I'm trying to avoid Swine flu but that seems a tad extreme.

I have some quiet periods during the day so I think the new iPhone is going to be a useful tool for keeping up to speed with the web and Twitter. I do listen to the radio but Talk Sport can get a bit tedious once Mike Parry has finished. There also seems to be a lot of minority stuff like cricket on at the moment. I guess they need filler with the lack of football but it makes for a real bore fest in my opinion.

I have played very little poker lately and feel none the worse for it. I play, I lose, I get angry, so what's the point? Angry is an easy state to achieve so why go looking for it?

I discovered earlier that Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club are organising a trip to Goodison for our season opener. I will be going to that one as the bus trips are brilliant. I had my car last trip but hopefully I can find a kind soul to give me a lift to pick up point and I can have a drink or ten!! It will be great to be one of the first to see all our new signings in action. Notice I said signings. Roll on the new season.......

Thursday 18 June 2009

Ross Kemp Spots Another Gooner

It has been a wee while since my last post so this may be a long one. I started work on Monday which coincided with gum pain that has given me sleepless nights. I was unemployed for over four months and apart from the odd bout of gastric reflux, I had a rather carefree time health wise. I ask myself, why the fuck when you need to be alert and focused, does your body start to resist??? Mouth pain is right up at the top of my charts for ''Pains to Avoid''. It is not a new entry, it has always been there!!! So why has my mouth decided to piss around with me this week just before I start work? Probably the same god of luck that sends me out of the Twitter Poker Tour Europe with pocket Kings losing to Queens. Somebody up there is taking the piss and I want them to stop. I bet Ross Kemp can cope with mouth ache better than I can which brings me nicely on to this weeks ''Ross Kemp In Search of Pirates''

This week Ross visited Nigeria in his quest for a meeting with modern day pirates. He didn't get a meeting but two more Gooners were spotted along the way. Eboue would be among friends if he signed up for a Pirates XI. Now, I said it in another post, but I must say it again, Ross Kemp has big steel balls. I think what he was attempting to do in this weeks episode was way beyond what you would expect from a production team. He travelled way off the beaten track into the Niger Delta into an area where there is a very high risk of being kidnapped. Later in the show, he and his small production team were staying in a hotel that they were not allowed to leave due to the danger outside !!!! Now here's the big one: He tried to arrange a secret 3am meeting with pirates which would involve secretly bypassing security to get out of the hotel. ''If you go to meet kidnappers, there's a good chance you could be kidnapped yourself'' he said. Now you see why I said he has balls of steel. Big Respect Ross!!!!!

Sunday 14 June 2009

Limp Exit and Limp Bizkit

After not doing too well in this weeks Twitter Poker Tour Europe, I placed a respectable 7th in the later main TPT event. I just ran out of cards when I needed a hand to push with and ended up shoving with a mediocre holding. This was my highest finish to date and keeps me near the top end of the leader board. Well done to Poker Blunders who won after not having played a TPT for some time. I didn't bother getting involved in Friday night's mini TPT as it was HORSE they were playing and I am no good at that, in fact I would say I am more of a horse's arse than HORSE player.

The festival season is well under way, and this weekend saw the Download Festival from Donnington. With live streaming on their website and Limp Bizkit hitting the stage on Friday afternoon, it all added up to a televisual feast!! The feast started for me as Fred Durst and the boys opened their set and I stuck the external speakers to full blast. They were absolutely brilliant. I particularly enjoyed ''Full Nelson'' as Fred got two guys from the crowd up on stage and the three of them jumped about the stage in a mental fashion. Fantastic !!! I didn't catch much of yesterday's bands but today I have watched Journey and Dream Theater who were both excellent. I wish I had been able to go as the brilliant Shinedown were playing on one of the other stages. I have managed to see them just once when they supported Disturbed in Glasgow last year. I only caught half of their set then too but that is another story. Damned Carling Academy sucks !!!!

The rest of my weekend has been spent watching season 2 of Prison Break which is just a great way to spend one's time. Tomorrow sees me start work after over four months of unemployment so my life as a professional poker player is about to end - early retirement :) It's a hobby now. A hobby is supposed to be a pleasure and I resolve to temper my anger when my AA loses to 49 off suit....... I will try.

Thursday 11 June 2009

Boa Riddance Rergulhador

So the big news today is the Ronaldo to Real Madrid saga. I have to say that they are most welcome to each other and I believe Man Utd will be no poorer for his loss. £80 million can get a lot of player or players and if I was a Manc, I would be excited rather than disappointed. I for one will be glad to see the back of him as I hate his diving, cheating and cry baby tactics. That is what I will remember him for, not his skill, dribbling and free kicks, but his diving. The REAL reason for his departure can be found here.

He may be the most expensive player in football history, but he is also the most hyped up. Being told he is the best player in the world has done this boy's ego no good. Lionel Messi is, in my opinion, streets ahead of him on every level and when he is fouled he stays on his feet if at all possible. Balance, sublime skill and great attitude, that is Messi.

There has not been much happening in Arsenal news and there isn't really much to report on any signing progress. Theo played in last night's thrashing of Andorra and to be honest, I switched it on and lost interest after ten minutes. Prison Break v England game = no contest. Watching the likes of Lumpturd, Cuntley and Rancid Captain are really not my idea of what I love about football and I certainly don't like to see them pawing all over Theo. International games are really not what they used to be and Goonerholic has a good post covering that. It's well worth a read whoever you support. I would not go to a Scotland game if I got a free ticket, free lift to the ground and a seat sandwiched between Miss Scotland and Lorraine Kelly.

Tonight sees my return to the poker tables, after a self imposed break, for Twitter Poker Tour. I do hope to do well, but then I say that every week and do badly so I doubt that this week will be much different. I enjoy playing in them as it is like a home game and they really are a good bunch of peeps. As they say in Portuguese: ''Shuffle up e lidar''

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Captain Pugwash and Seaman Eboue

I watched ''Ross Kemp In Search of Pirates'' on Sky 1 last night. Since he did his ''RK on Gangs'' and ''RK in Afghanistan'' I have been following his exploits. I know he gets paid lots of money for these programmes, but it is admirable the lengths he goes to in order to produce a TV show which is compelling viewing. In this, his third offering, he is searching for pirates off the coast of Somalia on the Aden Strait which is one of the major shipping passages to the west. Ross has joined the crew on a British warship that patrols the area. The Marines on board are not allowed to get involved once the pirates are on the ship. It is their job to apprehend pirates and prevent boarding and to check the many dhows in the area.

Ross joined the marines on an empty dhow and as they were going through the contents, he held up what looked like a neck tie type thing and said ''He must be an Arsenal fan''. Now, finding one Arsenal fan on the high seas between Yemen and Somalia would seem remote, so I had to look twice when the boat sped past near the end with what looks like an old away top with Eboue 27 on it (see pic above) . The question I ask is: Do Somalian pirates see something in Eboue that we Brits just don't appreciate? I tried unsuccessfully to track down an Arsenal Supporters Club in Mogadishu, as I would have been interested to get some more information on the Pirate Eboue tie up. I actually wonder if Alisher Usmanov has a pirating background and has donated kits. All very strange indeed. I eagerly await next weeks episode with high expectations of another Arsenal sighting- Silvestre 18. Hey, maybe the pirates could use his experience. Shiver me timbers.............

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Lost in Translation

There has not been a lot happening, hence no blog for a few days. Thankfully I will have less time to blog and tweet due to my imminent return to work. I was made redundant at the end of January and it has taken this long to get myself set up to go self employed as a private hire driver. A ridiculous length of time to be living off Job Seekers Allowance. I am glad this period is almost over and I eagerly await the release of the new i Phone so I can tweet during downtime. My contract upgrade has come at a good time. I will of course, hopefully have lots more money which will allow us a holiday of some description and I have already planned to go and watch Arsenal in next year's Champions League Final :)))

Arsenal are apparently very close to completing the signing of Thomas Vermaelen, the Ajax captain who hails from Belgium. This article from 'De Telegraff' has not translated very well as the headline reads ''Vermaelen Close to Leaving Arsenal''. Now that is not very encouraging if he is thinking of leaving before he has even signed. Perhaps he has had a call from Andre Arshavin informing him of the huge 40% tax hike in the UK. I guess Google Translator has its limiitations and I stumbled upon it while searching a Robin Van Persie article. Now I think this guy looks like a good signing and I do hope we get him. 

In other transfer speculation, we have been linked with a Moroccan who plays for Monaco which for the life of me I can't remember his name. I can't be bothered searching either as it is probably utter rubbish. I did watch a video of him on You Tube this morning and have to say wasn't that impressed. 

Things seem to have gone very quiet on the Adebayor front, which worries me a bit as I would be quite keen to see the back of him. It looks like there is a fair bit of competition for signing Dzeko from Wolfsburg and I suppose we don't really need another striker if lazy ass stays. 

I have had a few days rest from the poker tables and perhaps Twitter Poker Tour will be my weekly game. I have just got sick of the donkeys that seem to reside in online poker(TPT excluded) and after TPT season is over, I am going back to live play. It's embarrassing turning over 7 3 offsuit to suck out on someones Aces when physically sitting next to them and this type of hand is nearly always folded in a live game. Only time will tell to whether I get my poker mojo back, but I really am enjoying the break. Now for my Twitter 2,000th update !!!!

Friday 5 June 2009

Trying to Recapture Winning Ways

Another week draws to a close and I am no closer to re discovering the secret of winning at poker. Last night's Twitter Poker Tour went pretty badly for me and I ended up going out 11th out of 38 (i think) runners. Now 11th is not particularly awful, but it was the manner of my slow pithy demise that was disappointing. Normally I would never let my stack dwindle to a position where I had no fold equity left but the cards went a bit like this : 82 three times in a row, 10 3, 4 7, 2 6 and so on. Nothing I could even think of shoving with and I was left in a position where I had to shove with any old junk with a face card. Am I running badly or am I just a bad player? I feel it may be a bit of both.

I took up the game around five years ago and started with a $50 deposit on Pacific Poker I never had to reload my account and I started winning very consistently. By the time I had been playing for a couple of years, I was up over $3,000 and was a regular on $100 sit and go's and .50/1  cash. It seemed that I just needed to play and my bankroll would grow. I was final tabling MTT's, hell one Friday I entered a $200 sit and go on ipoker, fell asleep drunk, woke up with a short stack with a few runners left, and won it. I won $1,600 that night and I was drunk and slept for an hour while playing. I missed going on to 'Late Night Poker' by one place after getting through three satellites on Party Poker. I won a big freeroll on Pacific and the prize was a frame of snooker against the World Champion. (888 sponsor the World Championship)

We went to Vegas and I decided to take a large chunk of my bankroll with me. I don't regret doing this as I feel it is important to have pleasure from your winnings, and if you ain't been there, VEGAS IS PURE PLEASURE. That's why we've been there three times recently, despite 13 hours of flying and about 3hrs pissing around in airports.  Last trip, we nearly missed connecting flight in Detroit due to my insistence to stand in a smoky bar sucking nicotine before being asked to leave because I wasn't having food. 

Since those heady days of poker success, I have found that, no matter which site or game I play, I lose, and these losses run into 20 non cashes in a row. I really scratch my head as to why I can't get up the stakes again. Perhaps I never will, but as long as I am still keen to learn and still enjoying it, you just never know. I have still not given up on going to this years WSOP but my luck needs to change fast......... I have promised a fellow Tweeter that if I win the Main Event we can party in New England and do some wrecking of a meth trailer. What an incentive !!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday 4 June 2009

Great Speech, Bad Beats and TPT

I struggled out of bed this morning just as Barack Obama's Cairo speech started. Mrs GG (I will refer to her as Mrs GG which will most probably annoy her as she hates Arsenal and is a Man U fan and is my partner....but Mrs GG is easier than calling her my Manc loving partner) who works from home took a very rare break from the daily enslavement of her laptop and phone and joined me on the couch. 

It was a long speech and we both sat in silence sipping our coffee in awe of the sheer confidence, humility and belief that the President displayed throughout. I found the whole thing very heartwarming and inspirational and couldn't help thinking how different things would have been after 9/11 had Obama been in power then. Well done to him !!!!

Last night I received an email from @captianwowsplat who had suffered a particularly horrible bad beat at the hands of Poker Stars random card generator which can be seen here. The main problem here is that the caller had about 12% chance of winning this hand post flop and it was, to most players, an easy lay down. Unfortunately for captainwowsplat, the player in question had absolutely no idea of odds or even any idea of what poker is about and he called off a large bet hoping that he could get VERY lucky and Poker Stars obliged as it often does. This is the type of play that angers real poker players, and in normal circumstances would not have arose as the hand would be over after the all in that was near pot sized.

 I later examined the player's recent stats here and it is apparent he has been playing very badly at micro stake MTTs' for some time and only recently won one for $109. God knows how he actually won one, but it is patently obvious he is not a player and was having a shot at a higher level. I suffered a couple of bad beats yesterday morning on the same site which I tweeted. I was angry at the time but as they say 'that's poker'. It's NOT poker but it is the way it is becoming unfortunately. I had much greater success at the tables when I was a beginner. I have read countless books including Harrington, Super System and subscribe to Poker Player magazine. Have they improved the way I play? Yes. Do I win less now? YES, a LOT less. Very strange indeed.

Anyway, it's Thursday and that means TwitterPoker Tour. I am second on the leader board in the European version and will do my best to get to a position where I can play heads up for an Ibanez Custom guitar. I really want it and it would be a shame if it was won by someone who doesn't know the difference between a C and a G chord :)

See you at the tables later fellow tweeters........

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Fair Play Arsenal

Not a lot has been happening in Arsenal news lately and the press, always on the look out for transfer rumour, have decided to focus on the imminent move of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona. Just the usual type of story that rears its ugly head at this time of year. The Daily Mail reports:

''And the newspaper claims 'reliable sources' believe there is already a 'firm agreement' that their former trainee will rejoin the club next month.

It is estimated the fee would be in excess of £40million, though Barca could offer players in exchange or a significant chunk of cash in performance-related clauses.''

I think these reports can be taken with a pinch of salt and I would imagine their 'reliable sources' are probably not as reliable as they claim. I can't see Cesc making a move at this stage in his Arsenal career.

In other news, Arsenal finished 3rd in the Fair Play League, which is a good reflection of our attitude and the way we approach the game. This is the table where Sp*rs get closest to us and they are only three places below us. I think 'St Totteringham's Day' in this league falls later than the traditional one. I really think the FPL is their only chance to get close to us so well done to Twitchy Redknapp and his shower of useless overrated lilywhite shite merchants. I believe that if they overtake us in this race their video production company is on standby to produce a double DVD set entitled 'Mirror, Mirror on the Wall We are the Fairest of Them All'. I have also heard from a 'reliable source' that they scrapped their latest DVD set in post production. It was to be called 'Pav,North London's Greatest Russian'. Needless to say, it was binned a few months ago. It's also very interesting to see who finished bottom of the FPL, yes indeed, Phil Liar Orange Face and his shower of shit. The table doesn't lie as he does hehe.

Not much else happening today and the sun has just slipped away under a hazy cloud covering. Still very warm though.

Monday 1 June 2009

Satellite Strategy Gone Wrong

Monday has arrived after a very tiring weekend of eating, drinking, donking at the tables and frying in the sun. I have just been to the shops for some nicotine reinforcement and the temperature gauge in car is sitting at 30 degrees.  Now that is HOT when you have a Scottish skin that is designed for wind, rain, snow and hailstones.

On a more sombre note, I was very sad to hear about the Air France flight this morning. It kinda puts all our problems and challenges in life into perspective. We all have to put our trust in all of the variables, technical and human, when we step on a plane. I have flown over the Atlantic many times and I always feel relief when I walk off the plane intact. I HATE flying but if you want to see the world it's impossible to avoid it unless you have lots of time on your hands to do it by boat. I always remember packing to come home in our Toronto hotel not long after 9/11 and the Canadian news channel was reporting an Airbus that had come down in Queens. We were heading to Pearson airport to get on an Airbus and it was a horrible feeling.  Those poor poor souls and their families. Awful and extremely sad.

Anyway, I hadn't intended to write that paragraph but it just jumped into my head as I started typing. 

I played in a WSOP satellite earlier today and saw some of the worst satellite strategy I have seen in some time. It was a Stage 1 on PKR which is my favourite poker site (no use for multi tabling but fantastic PS3 style graphics) There were 12 runners with the top 2 going through to Stage2 which offers a 1 in 5 chance to progress to a direct Main Event qualifier. Now, I am no expert in odds and strategy as I tend to play more on instinct. I have been fairly successful in this type of tourney which has allowed me to play in quite a few big events. Unfortunately I have yet to take down a BIG one but live in hope. I always regret folding a hand when I was 2nd out of three to go on to TV in 'Poker After Dark'. Top two went through and I was left cursing my bad bubble play after having came through two satellites to win the $400 seat. Today I won the satellite and there was a player who had over 20,000 chips at the end of the rebuy period. By the time we were 5 handed I was thinking 'he could fold his way to a seat'. He ended up donking all of his chips away on less than premium hands and went out 5th after calling an all in pre flop with 74 suited !!!! The other players at the table were as surprised as I was. I noticed that he came from Newcastle and perhaps he adopted the same mental strength as his football team :)

I have negotiated the first hurdle of my WSOP dream. I am now two games away from The Amazon Room. It's a dream but dreams can come true, even for me. I am crossing everything I have.