I love Neil's Channing's blog. So funny. Best writer in poker! Latest installment below...
Generally I'm an enormous fan of poker bloggers. The reporters who follow the tour
round from casino to casino giving updates on chipstacks and colourful reports on
the day's activities are an integral part of the whole circus now. I try to be
helpful with my chip counts, and to point out things I've noticed that might be
interesting for them, and there are a few who I'm always really pleased to see. I
do have a pet peeve though, and that's when the reporters start to add too many
opinions on people's strategy, and generally comment on how they think the game
should be played.
In the $1500 bounty tournament the PokerNews man was continously complaining about
the amount of action on our shootout table. He didn't feel like the limping and
seeing flops, as well as the small-ball poker through the streets, or the raise and
take it (rather than raise, reraise, rereraise), was what ought to be happening at
all. He also alluded several times to the fact that this was a worse standard than
could be found on the internet. I wouldn't have minded but I was seventh of eight in
chips on the table and this was actually the way I'd chosen to play. I also didn't
appreciate him vocalising his views within earshot of the table. Writing them was
bad enough. I started to think that if he was such a bleedin' expert why didn't he
pull up the $1650, quit his reporting job and sit down and give us a poker lesson.
In the end we played three-handed for an hour, I reraised with Q9 and K9, running
into AK and QQ and beating both of them. I then knocked that same poor guy out when
he called off with 77 against AK and I rivered a straight. PokerNews managed to
miscount my chipstack and didn't realise I was second in chips going into the final.
I played so well in the rebuy event and got nothing, and played nowhere near as
well in this bounty event to finish 5th. We took a long time to knock anyone out (a
floorman came to discuss it with the PokerNews blogger and they concluded we had no
gamble, at which point I suggested he could sit in, and I'd take over his role of
standing around trying to look busy). There were one or two hands which I could
have played differently and the massive relapse of my cold didn't help. In the end I
was pretty dissappointed to get $31,500, but at least it meant I would now have a
Thanks to the excellence of the UK's blogging fraternity I was able to follow the
GUKPT at Brighton. Somehow I'd managed to invest way more than the 5th prize from
the bounty event in this one. I'd need a result. Not for the first time it all came
down to Ramsey.
Ramsey Ajram was such a shy young lad when he started regularly coming to the Vic.
His mate Rory Campbell was cracking away in the 10/25 game but Ramsey was so modest
and sensible, accepting the fact that the pony max sit-down was all his bankroll
could stand. I was relieved to find he lived round the corner, as I started to worry
he was stalking me when I couldn't nip out for some milk without bumping in to him.
In recent months we've teamed up to get him into some bigger games and however
badly I'm doing I can always rely on Ramsey to report in with a profit on the week.
Since he seems to have cracked the cash games I thought he might as well send
himself as insane as the rest of us by playing a few tournaments with his profits.
Wouldn't you know it?, it turns out he's pretty good at these too. He might just
end up being one of the greats. If he can avoid running his aces into nines and
finishing 6th that is.
Enthused by Ramsey's effort I head into the $10k Aussie Millions Main Event
determined to enjoy myself and to be patient and take advantage of the great
structure (20k starting chips, 90 minute clock). Obviously I start making massive
squeezes with AQ and AJ after about an hour. For those who have never played this
tournament before I would highly reccomend it. There are an enormous amount of
qualifiers, playing the type of event they have no experience of for a big prize.
These guys wouldn't pass two sixes with a shot-gun at their head so when I'm taking
them on with AJ you have to ask "Who's the dummy?"
Eventually I get back to average and get a great table move. Three to my right is
a businessman determined to make day two at any price, to his right a lady who plays
pretty conservatively but maintains her chips without showing a hand and on my left
a guy who must have entered the satellite because of a misclick. On my right are
three young whizzkids who spend their whole time giving free poker lessons and never
missing a chance to talk about fold equity/ranges/reshove requirements and to loudly
point out their views on the other players. I figure they are unsure of me, they can
see I'm too old to be an internet legend, yet they've never seen me live. They
decide I can't really play.
It's perfect. They start to really squabble over the blinds to my left, opening
from earlier and earlier position with lighter and lighter holdings. I'm able to
make squeeze after squeeze and there's nothing they can do.. I then flop two sets
and get to show them down and now they are convinced I'm just running good. Every
time I decide not to reraise the lady seems to have a hand. One guy reluctantly fold
to her when she just limit reraises..
Eventually when I raise the ladies blind with my pocket kings she reraises me. I
just call and then check-call her all in on the flop. She has A5 for no pair/no draw
and I shake her hand while she looks a little sheepish.
It's twenty minutes from the end of the day and I let the lady leave before
turning on the kids.
"She was 3-betting you boys for fun all day! A5! You must be sick about the one
you laid down when she clicked it back at you. Every time you guys made a move she
put it in your eye. You might want to review your four-bet shove range there."
They didn't seem to find it quite as funny as I did.
Day two was decidely less amusing. It came down to two hands. In the first I
raised to 2200 with AA from the cutoff. I had over 75k with the average at 45k and
had raised twelve of the eighteen hands we'd played so far. The button made it 7200
which you would do with JJ against a serial raiser. I now made it 17,200. He called
after some thought, leaving himself 30k. I checked the K,8,2 rainbow flop desperate
to not lose AQ or JJ/10,10. He checked behind. when the deuce paired on the turn I
bet 10k hoping to get him to move-in which he did.
The man who said "good call" when the jack fell on the river was utg+1 in my exit
hand. He called the aggressive chip leaders utg raise and I made it 10k to go from
the button with QQ leaving myself 18k. The original raiser folded and having just
called with 99 before this genius now chose to reraise and set me in when I can't
fold. He's obviously very good at flopping sets.
The two hands were painful, the first beat was one of my worst ever, but it's
always easier when you know you played right and there just wasn't anything I could
I'd just have to content myself with the last couple of small events, some lovely
meals, days at the beech, a day at the races, another at the tennis and long, lazy
summer afternoons by the pool.
Neil "Bad Beat" Channing has a few more days lolling about before coming home to
work hard at starting Blackbeltpoker.com