Monday, 21 May 2012


I’m writing this blog very merrily (perhaps with the help of a mixed fruit Kopparberg or three) today to celebrate having finished my last exam! I wanted to look back on what’s been a pretty awesome 8 months as well as looking ahead to what’s probably going to be the most epic summer of my life.

As this is the first blog of 2012, I should probably look at the resolutions I set in January of last year. Having dug up that post I found this sentence, ‘I hope when I look back on it, I can say that I used the next 6 months well and am now settled in to a lovely Pol & Phil course somewhere’. Obviously those months went pretty well with a strong showing at the World Series of Poker and World Championship of Online Poker, I had an amazing summer, making loads of new friends and I am indeed now settled in to a course that I’m really enjoying. Being able to look back and reflect on things like that really highlight just how lucky I’ve been in pretty much all my endeavours in the last few years.

2012 has already got off to a great start, with my brother tying the knot with my now sister-in-law Cat. They managed the enviable task of creating a wedding that was both really emotional and beautiful but also personalised and fun. I wish them both all the luck and happiness in the world, not that they’ll need any of either. The music has started even better than last year did, and that’s no small accomplishment. Already I’ve managed to see Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery, Arty among countless others. A lovely little cherry on top was my friend Lizzie and I getting the chance to meet Sister Bliss from Faithless before her set at Ministry, who was really cool (and super hot).

Summer is looking absolutely rammed at the moment. I’m coming home on Friday (and heading straight to Ministry of Sound obviously), heading back up north the following weekend for my end of year ball, followed the next day by FullOnFerry in Leeds, a few weeks later I’m going to visit the lovely Louise Duffy at her house in Marbella (thanks so much Lou!) and the weekend after that I’m going to the Netherlands for Luminosity Beach Festival, and the weekend after THAT I’m heading to Vegas for 3 weeks for the world series. July and August hold Global Gathering and Creamfields respectively and I’m just in talks with friends about 4 days in Ibiza for closing parties in September as well as hopefully being able to get away for France to visit my Gran for a while. Pretty packed! Hopefully I’ll have some time to grind a bit of poker and will actually have some money when I come back to uni next year.

That’s about it from me. Thanks so much to you guys who take the time to read this when I (infrequently) update it. I’m sure I’ll be seeing many of you over summer so here’s to some good times.
Joe x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

First term at Uni

Ello ello ello, long time no speak ^.^

In keeping with my life goal of being the world's worst blogger, I've not managed to get anything down for over 4 months now, which is a shame because so much has happened and I'm not particularly sure where to start, but I guess I'll go with university.

To be honest, it's been awesome so far. A good combination of absurdly drunk nights out with loads of really cool new people and challenging work. I really wasn't prepared for the fact that because I had never studied philosophy before, my brain wasn't trained philosophically, nor did I have a lot of the knowledge that the students who studied the subject at A-level have. For the first time I feel like I'm starting to find my feet in the subject; helped by the fact that I got my first essay of the semester back and I got a first (with some extremely generous first year marking I'm sure). Politics has been a lot easier to just get on with and I'm really enjoying getting stuck in to tutorials. I should get the mark for the first essay in Politics soon, but judging by our tutor's remarks about the group in general I'd be ecstatic with a 2-1.

The only society that I joined at uni is Crystal Clear, the DJ society. I've always wanted to learn how to mix and the nights that the society puts on have been excellent for an EDM nutcase such as myself. My friends Amex, Liv and Matt convinced me to finally take the plunge so two days ago I got a Pioneer DDJ-T1 through the post and I don't think I've stopped playing with it since (bye bye degree!). Right now I suck something awful but I'm having loads of fun with it. I did try out for the American Football team but unfortunately half an hour into the tryouts I broke my finger and did some considerable ligament damage to the point it's not even properly healed now. Luckily it's only my pinky!

The poker front has obviously been very empty in the last few months, which makes me very happy in a lot of ways. I was really worrying that I was going to struggle making the transition from professional 40+ hour weeks to stopping almost entirely. When I have played it's either been making a weekly donation to the PCA satellite community or playing the deep PLO50 games on stars (I'm playing this small because I've never consistently beaten a online 6max game before and I'm eager to move my way up through the stakes). Since September I've played about 20k hands and I'm running at the very sustainable 21.49 bb/100, which is conveniently about as much money as I've done off either buying pieces or playing sattys over that time. To be honest I don't even see myself playing too much over Christmas, except the obvious exceptions of the absurd 10th anniversary Sunday, or as I'm calling it: server-crash Sunday.

I won't be playing much over Christmas because there's simply too much to do! Too many friends I've missed, too much reading and too many amazing nights out to be had. The one I'm looking forward to the most is on New Years Eve and we're going to see Ferry Corsten at Brixton Academy. Ferry blew me away the four times I saw him this year and I'm expecting nothing different on the 31st. Obviously I'm excited for Christmas and my birthday between now and then too =)

Thanks to all you guys who take the time to read this and pester me to update it more often (I will someday be a good blogger).

Monday, 1 August 2011

Has it been 7 months already?

In keeping with my usual fashion, I’m terribly sorry for being the world’s worst blogger (I think my last 5 or 6 blog entries have begun with an apology of this kind). It means a lot that you guys take the time out of your day to read about my life and I’m sorry that I’m too lazy to update on a regular basis.

The good news is that I’ve been far too busy having the best summer of my life to date since I last blogged. In March/April/May poker went really well, I won a live £400 tournament for £15k at the International, and I cashed for about $33k in the Spring Championship of Online Poker on Pokerstars, including a $20k score in the $109 Turbo and as well as a few close misses; 12th in the $215 6 max on a Sunday and 32nd in one of the $1k Turbos; all in all a very good few months and one of my best years to date so far. In the middle of June I went to Las Vegas for 5 weeks for the World Series of Poker, and despite having a horrid first 3 weeks poker-wise, I recovered by cashing for $18k in the $1500 event #54 (32nd place) and $40k in the Main Event (278th place) for about a breakeven trip after expenses. Obviously I didn’t have much of my own action in the world series events since I’m not bankrolled for them, but it still ended up as two very nice cashes for me.

Away from poker, I still intend to go to university in autumn. I’ve accepted a place at the University of Hull to study Philosophy and Politics starting on September 26th (1 day after the WCOOP ends!). I’m really excited for this new beginning and I’m really planning on making it count this time. Poker has been a great living for the last two and a half years and it may still be my future but I’m really looking forward to learning other things and giving myself the option of doing something else.

Part of the reason this has been such a great summer has been the amazing parties going on in the last few months. In that time I’ve seen (to name only a few); Deadmau5, Markus Schulz doing a 7 hour set, Carl Cox and Adam Beyer tear up Fabric and Gabriel & Dresden make their glorious return to the Gallery. On top of those great nights I managed to get to two music festivals; the 3 day Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and Global Gathering in Stratford upon Avon. Both of them were fantastic weekends with the absolute best in electronic music. Over the two festivals I saw Swedish House Mafia, Above & Beyond (twice!), Ferry Corsten, Richie Hawtin, Andy C and Wolfgang Gartner. I probably saw about 35 different sets over the two festivals and at the moment my favourite was Gareth Emery’s set on the Group Therapy stage on Friday night at Global, I’ll still be having dreams about that one for months.

As well as those dreams, the next few months will be pretty busy too. It seems that there is a great club night at Ministry or Fabric every week in August, SW4 festival in Clapham Common on the bank holiday weekend, a trip to France to visit my Gran and I’m still trying to squeeze in a trip to Edinburgh for a bit of comedy sometime in the next few weeks, all while trying to get enough poker in that I can take my first few months of uni off and still be Supernova in January. As soon as all that jazz is over, the World Championship of Online poker starts in September, and then I’ll be off to Hull to start my new life. Thank you very much for sticking with me through this, I will try and be a better blogger in future xxx

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A December to remember

I would imagine that it's now beyond the stage in which I need to apologise for being the worlds worst blogger (I am sorry though!). I feel very embarrassed that so many of you take the time to read it and give me feedback and I can't manage to put out more than one every 2 months.

In essence, everything and not a lot has happened since I last blogged. I managed to get my application off and currently have received two responses; a yes from Hull and a no from Belfast. The other three universities I applied to are Sussex, Kent and Reading, studying Philosophy and Politics at all of them.

I also decided that I was going to grind my little behind off to try and earn some money for university, as opposed to just wasting it away like I do on a regular basis. Obviously that hasn't worked out and am currently on a $15k downswing since the second week off November. Ah well, plenty of time until September I suppose! The good news is that I managed to put in enough volume in November to retain Supernova VIP status on pokerstars, and with it will make a lot of solid bonuses some time in early 2011 ($4k bonus, I'm looking at you).

I pretty much decided to take almost all of December off, mostly to get my party hat on and feel a lot fresher for it. My birthday (long) weekend was amazing. On the 18th I went with a group of friends to see Deadmau5 at Earl's court followed by a drum and bass night, after which I returned home the next morning in the snow at 10am. It was my birthday two days after and I went for a lovely family meal to my favourite resteraunt Matsuri and a few days after that I made my way up to Cambridge to see my lovely friends and get outrageously drunk drinking chilli vodka. Add that to the mandatory other going out nights around Christmas and new year and you have one happy joejoe.

I suppose now is the time to look forward to 2011. I hope when I look back on it at this time next year that I can say that I used the next 6 months well and am now settled in a lovely Pol&Phil course somewhere. As long as those two things happen I don't think I need to worry about resolutions, although my fat, out of shape ass could definitely stand to lose a few pounds.

Thank you all for reading my lovelies xoxo

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Beginning of the End

For the first time I’m starting to look towards the end of poker. I’m sure every poker player that frequents this blog will either have thought of quitting or had to suffer their friends threatening to quit during nasty downswings. I suppose the way I know this is for real is that it’s coming in the middle of a decent winning run. At 21 I feel I have to make a life choice soon, decide to play poker for ever or start to look at college applications (as I’m qualified for absolutely nothing right now).

Although poker can be a fun way to earn a decent living, I can’t consider it a future. I still have a desire to be the best player I possibly can but I find myself depressed way too often. Depressed that I’m essentially nocturnal, depressed that I never get to see the people that I love (or meet new ones), and certainly depressed that I can’t handle the insane monetary swings as well as I would like.

I had been loosely planning to go to uni next September, and have been completing my application in the last few weeks, but I’ve firmly decided that I won’t play poker in the time I’m at there. If four years down the line I decide I want to play again for a living then so be it.

My plan is to grind hard online until the end March, earning 10k VPPs per month, which should be enough to make supernova and the $4k Bonus with the FPPs I already have as well as hopefully $20k+ in expectation (which as I’ve hopefully explained in my blog over the past 2 years is not a sure thing). After March I’ll find something to do for a few months (probably travelling) and then likely do Vegas, festivals and more travelling in the summer before hopefully going off to a uni in September 2011. Obviously this could all be scuppered if nowhere accepts me (a possibility looking at the current situation), but if that’s the case I’ll have to reassess my plans.
With that said, my plan in the next five months is to stick to only online poker, as live poker is both a colossal waste of time and energy and is part of the reason my sleeping pattern is so messed up (and I’m sure partly contributing to my increased mood swings). I’ll try to spend my extra time in this time doing productive things, be it exercising, learning or simply having fun with my friends.

I’m sorry I’ve been a bit of an awful blogger, but I am truly thankful that so many people take the time to read it give me feedback or encouragement. I hope you’ll all see that this isn’t meant in a moaning nature, but an excited one; in fact I’m getting quite excited at the thought of life after poker having just written it down.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Tough times

Obviously no-one wants to hear a poker player bitching and moaning about how bad he's running, so I won't bore you with that. What I do think is worthy of discussion is how we, as poker players actually manage to function under these extreme swings. Online I've lost around $6k playing tournaments in the last two weeks. I understand that considering my average buy in (around $50) this is a natural swing and I can expect this downswing to get much much worse before it gets better.

The main problems with living off playing multi-table tournaments is;
a) You have no idea when your current downswing will end. Obviously it would be good if Stars could pay each reg their tournament equity at the end of each month, but for the most part it's something everyone has to deal with.

b) Confidence. Those of you who know me well will know that I am not someone who suffers from confidence issues. I also pride myself on being level-headed and not delusional; something that turns out to be something of a two-edged sword. I naturally question every negative (and positive) result I have. Are you + EV in these tournaments or cash games? Was that the correct play? I know deep down that I'm a winning player in these games, but each losing session slowly chips away at that.

c) The extra high variance towards the end of tournaments. Let's face it, not everyone runs as well in the end-game, as none of us have a meaningful sample size. No matter how many flips, coolers or suckouts I win in a session, all of my equity will eventually come down to a range flip. In the last week I've come 9th in the fuper; cashed for $2k, first was $25k, I came 11th in the $20r; cashed for $450, first was 9k, and 18th in the $50r for $400, first was 8k. As well as this I've had all manner of deep runs in other tournaments. The point I'm trying to make is that if we're not Shaun Deeb, we only have a certain amount of end games to actually leave our mark.

I'm not exactly sure what me writing this will do, perhaps the honesty of publicly admitting that I'm struggling will do me good, perhaps I'm just wasting my time writing when I should be studying the game itself (something everyone should always be doing no matter how good they are). Hopefully it may give someone who's just starting MTTs an accurate portrayal into what playing them for a living is actually like.

All I know is to keep on grinding, keep a level head and try to play well. There are a lot of WCOOPs left and I'm not going to win any of them if I sit around feeling sorry for myself.

Away from poker my post-vegas summer was amazing. France was blissfully peaceful, Edinburgh was hilarious and great fun and Creamfields rekindled one of my favourite types of music with some amazing people.

Love all of you lots

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Vegas part 1

I've just woken up at 11:22, and I'm sitting next to an absolute legend. But we'll have more on that later.

Vegas has been so fun, despite the fact that I've managed less than 7 hours of poker in 5 days. The weather has been over 100 every day, so it's either been a day of lazing by the pool and playing playstation or going into the strip and tasting each casino's range of strawberry daiquiris (Ed is quite the connoisseur unsurprisingly). I'll try to paint some kind of a picture of what's happening, but seeing as I have to keep this blog somewhat safe for work (and believe me, there's a lot of NSFW content), i'll have to tell a lot of stories in person.

Thursday night was pretty insane, we got a limo from our place to Stoney's, which is a modern country and western club, so we all got our line dancing on while chilling out in the VIP section with the county sheriff (who sung and danced every word to Baby Got Back flawlessly). One of our number who shall remain nameless managed to get with a woman who could well have been 3 times his age and as such as earned legendary status.

Cashgames have been going ok, I lost $600 on the first day and had been posting small winners up until last night where I was up about $600 in a 2/5 PLO game and lost a $1500 pot with 5432 vs T764ddxx on 853ddx. It was kind of sick, after he made a huge repot, he showed his hand to the guy next to him which seems like it can just never ever be a made hand so I made a light call hoping to see a wheel wrap with a flushdraw rather than the hand he had. We ran it twice and he obviously got there both times.

I'm about to head off to the 2p2 party which should be a lot of fun, then watch the UFC with the guys in the evening. I will try and blog again in a few days.

Later taters xxx