Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Hand History - Part 2

Finally sleeping normal again. Managed to be in bed by one and up by eight-thirty.

My sleeping hours would have been rather less normal, however, had I made any deep runs in poker tournaments!

I did infact play a little poker last night, a $5.50 Turbo NLHE MTT, a $5.50 Mixed Pot Limit event (Hold'em and Omaha) and a $2.20 turbo quintiple 4-max shootout. Didn't make it far in any on them. Didn't even make it past the first round of the shootout! I never have, either!

But why the low buy ins? Did I not, a few days ago, play a $33 Freezeout and a $8 Rebuy?
The answer is: yes.
But you know, sometimes you just don't feel like gambling. And to be honest, the only good tournament starting at that time in the evening is the Daily Eighty Grand ($55) or the $3 Rebuy. I didn't feel like playing a Rebuy (for the first hour is just... not poker) and I wasn't in enough of a gambling mood to play for $55.

I have since withdrawn my stars money as I'm not likely to play much more for the moment.

I did, however, deposit $30 on Party recently, where I played a $6 Freezeout and a $2 Rebuy. Again, I didn't cash in either of them.

It was strange playing on Party Poker - seeing how much it has changed since I first started playing there o so long ago. Any UK player might have realised that the distinctive, fairly simple Party interface is now a little more like the flashy, sleek one of Ladbrokes Poker, which itself has changed over the years. Yae, over the many years I have indeed played on many sites. But Party was where I first played online.

Which leaves me where I left off. May 2006

It was actually before I turned eighteen that I installed PartyPoker. Back on the school mornings we would have to register at 8.20am. I usually arrived at about 8.00am, which meant leaving the house at 7.30am to ensure a good bus connection. I often played at some point between 7.00am and leaving, usually signing in to play a play money cash game. Usually NLHE, but sometimes Pot Limit. I usually listened to some rational music, like Handel, while playing. Not out of a deliberate effort to 'play relaxed' but simply because I like that sort of music.

(on an unrelated note BLOODY HELL. How did they convince us all to get up so early each day and come to school five hours a week without fail all year round? We, or they, must have been mad!)

Over the summer holidays I started teaching some of my Non-Ryle-study friends the mechanics of hold'em. Nothing too strategic, just "these are the hand rankings, these are the betting procedues. You want to make the best five card playing combination out of your hole cards and the community cards". Once I played a heads up match against my good old friend Dan Feld. We started up with 40 chips each and with blinds at 1-2. After playing for around half an hour our stacks were even again. So we reduced the stacks to 20 (effectively the same as doubling the blinds). After another twenty or minutes or so, we were once again even. So we reduced the stacks to ten! Eventually, we called it a draw.

Infact, we played the game on the very desk on which I am currently typing.

In August I started playing more Sit and Go's and a few Multi Table Tournaments. Still play money, of course. This didn't stop me taking prolix notes and spreadsheets about my fluctuations. I've always had a nasty habit of keeping records about things. Nasty, because such a habit often puts the things you are recording out of perspective, even though perspective is the very thing long term record-keeping sets to achieve.

Basically, I had a long list of all the play money sit and goes I'd played, what position I'd come in them, and what my Return On Investment was.

And the numbers told me exactly what I hoped they would. I was winning, by quite a margain.

I remember in late August I sat with my father in a restaurant in Hove. Over some fish pie and cranberry juice, I told him about my poker playing habits. I explained that, "if these were real pounds" I'd be sitting pretty, as the saying goes.

Oh, if only they were real pounds.

Yes, I had fallen into the trap. I had been lured in and snared by my own unrealistic sense of expectation. I even had my line of reasons at the ready as to why I was correct. I have no trouble beating these play-money players, and I'm pretty sure most of the $6 STT players will be no better. It's the lowest stake, so the players will be pretty bad, and I'm sure most of them won't care a jot about the money they're playing. And hey, if I lose the first tournament, it'll probably cash in the second. Or the third. Basically there's no real way of me losing.

I hadn't played for money online yet myself, you see. I couldn't. Even though I had recently set up a bank account I had no way of putting money onto a poker site. You needed a debit or credit card for that, or some sort of PayPal or NetTeller. And for them... you also needed to have a card to register with.
Suddenly in September, my last month as a free man before entrusting myself to the warm bask of University life, a number of things happened.

On the seventh, I got my new laptop. It was a sleek and efficient Toshiba, although I did find the offer of 'choosing freedom', as presented by the default background picture, rather an ironic and instrusive instruction on their part.

On the morning of the eleventh, I recieved a letter in the post. It was from my bank, and contained everything I needed for a financial life away from home; chequebook, paying in book, details for online banking and, most importantly of all, a debit card.

It was my debit card.

It was my account it could access.

It was my money I could spend with it.

Within an hour, as you may have guessed, I was on PartyPoker, thinking about how much I should deposit.

$51 seemed fine, just one dollar over the minimum deposit. It was only around £27 back in those days anyway, and I figured it would give me quite a bit of ammunition for playing $6 and $11 STTs.

And there it was in the left hand corner of my PartyPoker lobby - $51.03.

Like a child hiding something, I peeped to my left, then to my right, and logged into a $0.05/$0.10 table. I bought in for the maximum: $10.

My heart was pumping like a man new to love.

I only played about six hands, losing about 65 cents in the process. I did manage to win a pot as well, and I felt elation at doing so, even if it was only a few big blinds.

I hadn't been planning to play very long that morning, as I had the intention of going out.

When evening came, however, I was in my room once more. Flexing my fingers, I logged into Party again.

My online poker virginity now broken, I felt rather less physically agitated when I registered for a $6 6 person STT. The play money STTs I had played were almost exclusively ten-seaters but I figured, and this is completly and shamefully true, that there was a higher chance of cashing (2 in 6) in the six person tournaments than in the ten person tournaments, which only paid the top three places.

Yes, I was that desperate in my poker thinking.

I don't remember too much about the STT. Only that I bubbled, coming third (algebra) after having a pair of aces against a slowplayed straight.

Surprsingly, I took it in my stride. After all, there was no need to panic. I still had $44 left in my account.

So I played another one. Unexpectedly, I came fifth. I was furious! How did this happen? I had gone into the match with a sort of expectation. "I came third last time, therefore I probably have a good chance of coming second or first next time." Rather poor thinking for an A-Level mathmetician, but gambling does the strangest things to the normally rational mind.

My account balalnce was now $38. What the FUCK was going on. This isn't how things were meant to be going.

I decided to change my tactics and play a $11 Heads Up match. I never really knew what was going on during the game. I had no idea what sort of hands I should be playing or how I should play them. Then, somehow, I mananged to get Jacks all in against Threes, putting me all in. I was quite happy when he showed threes, because I was a cautious enough player to realise that Jacks won't always be the best hand in an all in situation, and so I was happy to see a lower pair. Well, a three came, first card out, and that was that. I wasn't angry, because I still wasn't sure whether I'd made the right play and had no idea Jacks was meant to be a substantial favourite over threes.

But still. GROOOOOOAN. My roll was now $27. Twenty seven dollllllars. Whhyyyyyyyy. I should've been on eighty by now and on a hundred tomrrow. Or something. I didn't play any more that night anyway. But when I resumed my playing I decided that the best use for my meagre bankroll, now that I could essentially no longer afford to lose any STTs, was to play cash games. So I became a regular, one-tabler of the $0.02/$0.05 games on Party.

They were ridiculously loose and fairly passive. I say this in hindsight - at the time I was playing more or less the same way as my opponents and so could not detect a difference, let alone postulate on it. But somehow I managed to win more often than I lost. Within about two weeks, I had recovered to my original $51 deposit. I was pretty pleased, but not an euphoric way. I wasn't naive enough to think justice had been served, [clamour of drums], o yea, it's all uphill from here! But at the same time I felt that I had been vindicated, that I had been unlucky early on and I had pushed the enemy back to the frontier. It was status quo ante bellum, and I was ready to defend my border.

Nevertheless, I was still of that poorly disciplined breed of poker player who only tell people when they're winning, and in so doing make it seem like a regular occurence. Once day I was walking down Churchill Square with Feld, telling him how I'd "won $10" that day. This was true, but obviously not particularly representative of the wider picture.

As a result of my brags, I got a reputation of being something of a good player. This was confirmed on the 20th September when I won a £1 Freezeout versus Feld and Sammi (a fellow Ryle player). It was the first thing I'd organised (even though Feld hosted it) which began to look like a real tournament. We had a predecided stack size of 66 (I had 200 chips to share about), a blind structure which went 1-2, 2-4, 3-6... and so on, with the levels going up every ten minutes by my phone's reckoning. Obviously it was a bit of a crapshoot but it did have a feel of a disciplined, serious game, compared to the rather lax and carefree play of the Ryle study days. Not that any of us would have been disappointed by the loss of a pound. But as there were three of us, I won two pounds. And it felt so good.

Where next, then, with my poker playing life. You may observe that I have not even got so far as university yet! Well, ten days later I would, and that would start a whole new era in my development, and a massive increase in the amount of poker played. Oh, yea, just thinking of it gives me a strange sort of comfort. Can it be nostalgia? Oh, I fear it is more than that. For it's not just the poker I think of, when I look back fondly, but the entire way of life that tied in with it, and how the two intertwined so beautifully.


Article - When time flies


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Hand History - Part 1

Just watched BBC4's On Expenses, a one-off drama focusing on the fall of Michael Martin (Speaker of the House of Commons) and Heather Brooke, the author of Your Right to Know.

It had the feel of a period drama except, erm, it all happened within the last year or two. Indeed, the scandal is still not resolved! Beautifully done, though a slightly longer show ('twas an hour) might have been better suited to the gravity of the scandal. According to Wikipedia the 2005-10 Parliament is already being historicized as 'The Rotten Parliament'.

But I'm not going to talk about politics tonight, although I had been thinking about it. You know, some general opinions I have on the state of democracy and the upcoming elections. The usual sort really: empty, armchair punditry that wouldn't hold up for a second in a debating chamber or, for that matter, on the street. But I'll save that for another time when I'm feeling more prosaic.

Instead I will talk about something completely different: poker.

And it is completely different, by the way. If anyone ever tries to compare a poker game to high stakes politics, they clearly don't understand either of them.


I shall now discuss my poker life, from its start right up until its present.
I should warn you know that it is pretty long. I don't abridge my stories for anyone.

When I was six (!) we had this little Video Poker game on our computer. It's not as exciting as it sounds.

As this wikipedia article attests to, it's basically just an advanced sort of slot machine.

It did give me a fairly good idea of hand rankings from an early age, though.

Later in my childhood, around aged 11 or 12, I was fascinated with the subject of gambling. We had a large, illustrated hardback book on Casino Games. The games which interested me most were the poker variants. It mainly focused on Stud and Draw (the book was from the 90's) but also had a little bit on No Limit Hold'em. I remember my juvenile, untrained poker brain thinking that NLHE was completly stupid game. I'd never played it, of course, but it stood to reason that only having two downcards and five community cards was just chaotic. And to make matters worse, it was played with no limits on the betting!

Around this time I also had a computer game which allowed me to play 7 card stud against computerised opponents. I usually won, but it wasn't much of a challenge. It wasn't meant to be a challenge.

It wasn't until December 2004 that I started playing poker against friends. I won against three of my friends, outchipping second place, Jose, by a margain of just one: 106 chips to 105. It wasn't for money, though. I would have had reservations about gambling 106 pence, let alone 106 pounds!

N.B. we were playing 5 Card draw with caps on the betting - not NLHE!

For the next sixteen months or so we would occasionally convene for a poker game. But it was never the express purpose of the meeting. We might just be hanging around and decide to play poker. Often the main feature would be the drinks and ensuing conversation, rather than the cards. Worse, sometimes people would bring a girlfriend along and constantly show them their (poker) hand. Inbetween embraces, of course. On one evening, where two couples were present, we only managed to get seven hands dealt over the space of an hour.

It wasn't until April 2006 that one Mr. Edge of Ryle House brought in some poker chips after the end of the Easter Holidays. Well, to be fair, on the first day he had not brought in any chips: only a deck of cards. We played with imaginary chipstacks of 'subjective' value. By Tuesday (the second day) we had chips. By Wednesday, we were playing for money.

Not for serious money, obviously. 20p buyins were the usual stake, sometimes more, seldom less. I do think I once lost my bus fare in a poker match, but that's ok. It was spring after all, and the walk home did me good.

We didn't have a 'table'. We played in our study which, despite the name, was not a place particularly condusive to learning or working. Instead, our 'poker table' was a chair. We sat around it, some on the sofa, some on other chairs.

The format was always a freezeout. We started the bets at 1-2, and increased them if we had to. The chipstacks themselves were often only between 20 and 30. The tournaments were short and were a excellent way to wile away the hours which might otherwise have been wasted on revising or playing sport.

Our first serious game was on the 19th of May. As was the annual tradition, we had a House Dinner that night. We decided we should hold a poker tournament beforehand.

Let me set the scene: It was a mild evening, the sun still up as we set out the chips in and old geography classroom. We didn't want the sun, however, to intrude on our game. Jason, who had a reputation for being a lucky player (unsurprisingly, I had a reputation for being tight) suggested that we pull down the blinds (on the windows) because in real casinos, you're not meant to know whether it's light or dark outside. (I can attest from my later experiences that this is indeed the case.) Eleven people had entered the tournament. Felts were lain out, extra chips were brought in for the occasion. Stacks were distributed, around sixty chips each. We didn't bother having different colour denominatons - each chip was simply worth '1', a simple system which we all agreed with, although it didn't allow for very deep stacks. Still, for the beginning player thirty big blinds seems like a veritable treasure trove.

It did to me, anyway. Not that it lasted very long, anyway. I was the third person out. 9th out of 11. Basically, I got over excited with top pair with a marginial kicker in a pot where there had already been two much action. I was called by Jason of all people. I can't remember whether the had two pair of a flush of what, but as soon as the cards were turned over it was clear that I was crushed.

I felt that awful sort of 'uuurgh, why did I do that' feeling. I never tend to get too frustated about getting unlucky. There's nothing you can do about a run or instance of bad luck. But when get knocked out as a result of making a bad play, there's no excuse. There's nothing you can legitimately back yourself up with. It's your fault. Worst of all, it's very lonely. Once you're out, you're out. Not only have you lost your buy in, but you've also lost your seat and your evening's entertainment. All at once!

The buy in was £5, which was by some distance the highest amount we had ever played for. It didn't represent a particularly large segment of personal wealth for any of us; bear in mind I probably spent around £15-20 a week in the context of school (i.e. bus fares, snacks).

I think top prize was £40, second prize was £10 and 3rd prize got their money back. I was around for the final four, who I vaguely recall as being Ben, our Head of House, Rikesh, Jason and a tutor, whose name I shall not mention. Rikesh was knocked out after slowplaying his flopped set of fours only to run in to the rivered higher set of the tutor. I remember thinking 'wow, [the tutor] played that really well!'.

Ben came third, getting his money back. Jason came second and our tutor won it all. He was a good sport, though, and when we went down to Kemptown for drinks, he bought us all a round.

This all took place on the night before my eighteenth birthday, a sort of affirmation, a rite of passage. I had gambled and lost, and I was now entering the age at which that was accepted as one of the many rights and responsibilities that charectarise the ascent into adulthood.

And so that is how I, one Sebastian Evans, came into the poker world. But, as you may have guessed from the 'Part 1' in the title, it was only the beginning.

From Alistair Cooke's American Journey

[after commenting about the surprising lack of automobiles in wartime (Spring 1943) New York due to fuel rationing]

"A visiting Briton looking down on this sight, his belt uncomfortably tight after three-and-a-half years of war, would often remark that it would do Americans good to learn to walk. This is a sound moral observation, but it is as spiritually satisfying to the ordinary American as telling a bankrupt baker that man does not live by bread alone."

Picture Unrelated

Most surreal picture ever.

Monday, 22 February 2010


Went into town today to buy some dishwasher liquid and some toilet paper (because I'm such a wild man).

Had a browse in Game. That's a computer/console game shop, by the way, not a magazine.

As I now have a working CD drive and a decent computer, I thought I'd have a gander at the current range of PC games. I nearly exploded with laughter when I saw a game called Forklift Truck Simulator, but as you can see here, it was not a mere figament of my imagination.

It turns out this game is part of a series of similar games. I espied a British Truck driving simulator along with a European Truck driving simulator. But what is the difference between the two games aside from driving on the other side of the road? Well, different designs of truck, obviously!

According to Wikipedia the company responsible for this game, Astragon, have also produced a number of other simulation games, as can be seen from the diverse list. We're certainly not spoilt for choice.

Still, I'm quite tempted to buy a car-racing game. The only trouble is most of the new games are being released on various consoles. Which is alright if you actually own one. I do have PS2 which I bought nearly seven years ago, but have no intention of getting a newer model.

I was also tempted to buy Fifa 2010, which is only £30 (or £29.99, or something in that range). I did not, however, as I am holding my breath that they will release a World Cup special. From what I read at the back of the game box, Fifa 2010 does allow you to play the qualification rounds of the World Cup, but I am not sure whether it lets you continue to the next round. I will do more research on this, as it seems counterintuitive.

I also went to Waitrose to buy the aforementioned domestic products: dishwasher liquid and toilet paper. I decided to be controversial and by some BLUE toilet paper. I should probably call it 'bathroom tissue' actually - Waitrose is a rather high-end supermarket, as we all know.

As I wandered through the drinks section I couldn't help but notice some of the energy drinks on display. There was a surprisingly wide range, including some I had never heard of before (hence the surpirse). Amongst the names of these newer drinks were 'alibi', 'Emerge' and 'POWER HORSE'. You probably find this list a little amusing yourself, perhaps without really knowing why. I will explain why I found (each of) them funny.

i) alibi
Once when I was in London in September (after playing a little 1/1 session at the Grosvenor with a pokerplaying friend of mine) we walked around Oxford Street in search of some food. We saw one 'trendy wine bar' called 'alibi'. My friend and I joked about the rather trite, casual, blasé names these places give themselves in order to be fashionable. A bit like the way student nightclubs use event names like 'Collision', 'Coup' or 'Dogma' to appear exciting and slightly student-politicky.

ii) Emerge
I found it slightly amusing that the first letter was capitalised and the others weren't. It made it look rather formal in a strange way. The idea that someone might 'emerge' from the physical/mental mess they were in simply by rolling a can of this drink from under their desk humoured me a little, as it reminded me of the worst excesses of student decadance. Also the word emerge, to me, has overt sexual connotations. I shall leave it to your imagination why this is.

I wondered how they thought up this name. Maybe they modelled themselves on Red Bull; think of an exciting adjective, add a powerful animal infront of it. It's a bit like thinking up pub names - take what already exists and vary it. But my other theory is that it is simply Horse-Power with the words flipped over. Perhaps they should have a higher-octane version of the drink called CAR. Chortle! Furthermore, I find the word 'horse' pretty funny anyway, especially as I sometimes play H.O.R.S.E. poker.

Had a +$82 week at poker. Played first MTTs in a while, cashing in a $8.80 Rebuy and a $33 Freezeout. Really enjoyed playing, though I am still down $208 and £25 since December.

Will be posting quite a few blog posts over the next few days on a few subjects. Then on Friday I'm off to a conference in London and on Saturday I'm off to France for the day. Then on Sunday I'm going back to the conference. So there will be three more days with blog posts and three without.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Classic Coren

"I'm joined, in the commentary box, by a man who's won more titles than I've had hot dinners, and I've got a compulsive eating disorder!"
Introducing Roland De Wolfe.

"Bolton is an industrial centre once more... after three days of hard graft."
Referring to the length of the tournament, the 'grind' of sitting at a card table for three days seemingly being comparable to the relentless drum of the production line or the clamour of steel plates being banged and shaped in the glowing inferno of the foundry.

"He's praying for crabs. Which men usually don't."
De Cruz all in with A3 versus AJ with only one card to come. For the reference of non pokerplayers, crabs are another name for 'threes' - De Cruz needed to catch a three to make a pair. For the reference of people who don't have sex, crabs is a slang term for pubic lice, usually transmitted through sexual contact.

All from the coverage of the GUKPT 2007 Bolton

Some dreams

I don't mean some wavy aspirations. I mean those things that go on when you go to sleep.

Dream I

I was in what appeared to be the living room on the top floor of my house, but the dimensions of the room were a lot bigger than in real life. Furtheremore, there appearead to be a number of desks in the room (c. 20) as if it were a quiet study room, classroom or exam hall.

One of the guys I played poker with at Warwick, Richard King, was scuffling around, as there appeared to be a miniature tornado above his desk. The tornado was about twelve feet in the air and three feet high, so not a particularly large object but for some reason I was able to gauge its speed of rotation at around 600 mph.

Richard ran out of the room and so did I, although we had a little trouble opening the door. This only added to our anxiety. We ran down two flights of stairs to safety, but once we had arrived at the ground floor it seemed that this friend of mine had changed from Richard King to Daniel Mumby (who I am sure reads this blog. Hello Daniel!)

Dream II

The building I was in seemed to be a hybrid between my old school sports hall and swimming pool hall. The main part of the building itself seemed more like the sports hall, and there was no pool to be seen. However, the changing rooms were identical to the ones in the swimming pool hall. Furthermore, there were wooden benches along the side in the same style as the swimming pool hall.

There was some sort of finger buffet to start with. Nothing too fancy, just sandwiches really. I do not recall eating very much.

Everybody around me had been a pupil at my school. There were no university friends or acquaintences to be seen, but there were a few people who did not exist in real life. The room was very crowded, and a football game emerged. Yet at the same time, people were casually walking around the 'pitch' as if the progress of the game wasn't really that important. The more concientious people were walking along the 'out of touch' areas around the perimiter.

I occasionally got involved in the football match, passing or shooting the ball, though I did not contribute very intently or significantly - I merely kicked the ball when it came to me. It was only when I stood in the corner afterwards to talk wtih some friends that I was criticized for getting involved, because apparently it was a team match, and I had not been selected for either of the teams. I tried to be nonchallant about it like "oops. yeah. easy mistake to make" but they kept criticising me. Not in the needling way, e.g. "you're such a fucking idiot", but more in the sort of "no look, you've done something really wrong here.", the sort of look you might get if you accidently broke a family heirloom or something... as if to create some sort of lingering guilt.

I didn't really do much talking beyond this. As I walked along the 'out of touch' area a Japanese boy/man/whatever grabbed my shin as if to trip me over. On regaining my balance I took him by the neck and, without any resistance on his part, dragged him to the toilet and threatened to lower his head into the basin. I did not threaten with words, merely with action and suspense.

I did not pursue my vengance any further and let him go. He smiled and apologised as if he were a Toyota executive and then slid off.


And this was more or less the time I woke up, which was around 10.45am, even though I had set my alarm for 8. Basically I have to be up at 6am on Friday and 4am on Saturday, so I need to force myself to get up earlier in preperation.

Have to do some sorting out this weekend. Some serious sorting out. Yesterday was an extremely lazy day. Sure, I got up at 8.45am, but that was only so I could watch the Election 1974 (Feb) coverage, which started at 9.00am. Will definitely leave the house today though, otherwise I will go mad.

On the topic of elections, Gordon Brown is currently at my old university (I actually recognise the windows and trees behind him) right now, although by the time you read this the page will probably be a static news story. At the time of my posting it, Gordon is being shown live.
"Mr Brown was welcomed by supporters but there were some hecklers as he arrived at the University of Warwick, Coventry."

I know some of those hecklers very well!

I am still not convinced that a Conservative Majority Government is inevitable. After all, "nothing is inevitable until it has happened". And happened it has not!

Over the course of my lazy day yesterday I played a $8 Rebuy on Pokerstars. Won a few flips... until the very last one, where I called all in with 88 versus AK. Fortunately I was already in the cash stages by then, and for my $24.80 buyin I scored $67.70. Top prize was over $9K though. I almost wilt at the idea of winning that much.

That was the only tournament I played. Often in the past when I played tournaments I would insist on playing several at once, but I was glad just to play one yesterday.

"Take a second look at us. Take a long, hard, look at them."
Gordon Brown, 11.35am
He recieved quite some applause for this.

"How can they be the party of change, when they haven't even changed themselves."
Gordon Brown, 11.38am
No applause for this.

I'm not a Brown hater, but I do believe in individual responsibility and freedom of thought and enterprise. And that's why I'll be voting Conservative. As for the 'national economic scene', I am not convinced either party knows any better than the other, so I am voting for a philosophy rather than a practical plan. I'm not going to try and convince others to follow my lead though. I'm voting in my self-interest. If everybody else does the same, then we'll get as accurate a picture of the nationial interest as we can.

Come to think of it, will a Hung Parliament really be so bad? At least there'll be concensus, even if it is forced. I do fear that, at the moment, there seems to be an almost deliberate party-poltical agenda to make sure no concensus of any sort emerges. Slime.

I think this will be quite an exciting election.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Bad News

What was a mere tension on Tuesday is now, eight days later, an injury. I've basically recovered from it now, but I lost a week in training, a week I could not afford to lose. As a result, I am deciding to be hyper rational and pull out of the marathon rather than chase what has become an impossible dream.

Will still keep running though; aside from this injury it's been doing me the world of good.

It was better to take this decision now rather than a month down the line. Fortunately I have not publicised my marathon yet, so I won't have to return too much in the way of sponsorship money. All my eggs in one basket they are not!

Notable dearth of blog posts recently. Will ammend shortly.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Facebook Quiz: What kind of person are you?

Answer: The sort of person who uses normative test results as a means of establishing/confirming preconceptions about yourself whilst ignoring the elements of the result which somehow contradict these notions of self-justification.

Sunday, 7 February 2010


27/01/10 - 5km, 37 minutes (8.1km/hr)
29/01/10 - 6km, 42 minutes (8.6km/hr)
01/02/10 - 6km, 43 minutes (8.4km/hr)
04/02/10 - 7km, 48 minutes (8.8km/hr)
07/02/10 - 9km, 64 minutes (8.4km/hr)

Running schedule for the upcoming week:

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - Run 8km, but with the intention of speeding up for the last 1½kms
Wednesday - Rest Day
Thursday - Run a varied route with hills for about fifty minutes. Won't worry about measuring the distance.
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - Run for about forty-five minutes. Focus on speed, vary the pace.
Sunday - Run 10½km.

Will post some non-marathon stuff (i.e. my much-delayed review of The Story of Maths and some other adventures) when I have the time; am genuinly busy at the moment.

Thursday, 4 February 2010


Or 'blog update'.

Actually Blupdate sounds terrible, and I will only use it once. Expect many more ugly hybrid words (hybwords) over the next few months, as I can't be expected to think of a witticism for each and every update, especially as, during my marathon training there will be a lot of updates with nothing but running statistics.

And yes, I do have a new statistic for you!

27/01/10 - 5km, 37 minutes (8.1km/hr)
29/01/10 - 6km, 42 minutes (8.6km/hr)
01/02/10 - 6km, 43 minutes (8.4km/hr)
04/02/10 - 7km, 48 minutes (8.8km/hr)

A good result. Also, is in line with the running schedule which I posted earlier; the aim for today was the run 50 minutes. I won't be running on Saturday as I am going to London early, and I know that mixing a morning run and a day walking around London is not a good idea. Sunday's run will be the most ambitious yet, and to be out there for seventy minutes will probably require a 9km or 10km run. I could settle for 9.5km, of course, and given my current pace this is the most likely amount. Still, the numbers are getting pretty hefty and just a little daunting. Well, that's what I signed up for!

On my walk back home I passed the Mint Casino on Preston Street. What fond memories I have of that place. Back in the Second Brighton Rack (July 2008) my friend and I came first and second respectively in a NLHE £10 Rebuy. Of course, there were only eight people playing (including ourselves), but the victory was one for the ages. Not as good as the time when three of my friends and I came 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th in a 15-person tournament in Coventry, of course. That was just the epitome of sick.

Later today I plan to write a review of The Story of Maths, a recent four-part documentary series. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Message from a while ago

Sebastian Evans November 1, 2009 at 12:26am

God people are pathetic.

"Oh, if I could turn back the hands of time I'd say the right thing at the right moment and save this doomed romance, cause I'm just so empty without her."

If *I* could turn back the hands of time I'd bring back medicine, enlightened reasoning, technology, a message of hope. A message of progress. A message of love. A message of sympathy. I'll kill Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Ghengis Khan. I'll change the course of history. I'll return to the present a hero. Every classroom will have my picture on the wall. All will acclaim me as that great man who "against all odds, went to the past, where noone had been before, to make our present world a better place". People will live in eternal bliss and unity. Peace will be declared throughout the universe, and I'll be the one they thank for it. I'll be the big man, the hero. The man of the hour.

And if that doesn't get my ex back I don't know what will.

Some schedules to drool over

The GUKPT is coming to town and laying out some quality tournament poker. Of course, this isn't for another seven months, but if I am going to have a decent bankroll and play a fair few of these events (as I would wish to) I have to start earning the money now. Fortunately, I have recently been given a decent batch of work and promised more. Let the earning begin!

Of course, I am likely to play some live poker before September anyway. On the 29th of March I plan to go up to The Vic to mark the 1 year anniversary of my tilt session. For those not aware, that is when I went down to London on a complete whim to sweat the GUKPT final table where one of the ex-Warwick professionals was playing. The fact that I don't remember who it was tells you something; I only really went down there to gamble myself. And so I did, £160 on a 1-1 table. I lost it all, and on the train journey home I desperately tried to convince myself that it was good for me, and that my newfound poverty would be liberating. Not that I was bankrupt or anything. All I had to do was cut back on a few luxuries which the average third year couldn't afford, like having loads of meals at pubs.

As I am an extremely arbitrary person, I insist on returning to the site of the crime exactly one year on. However, hopefully I will play a 1-2 game instead. I no longer flinch at getting it all in (so to speak) at 1-1, so I know I can play my best there. But at 10% rake? For those unaware, a 'rake' is an amount the dealer takes from each pot of poker played at one of their tables. 5% is acceptable, but 10% is not.

Also, I expect to play up in Nottingham (DTD) at some point in the summer.

Also also, I will try and play a few UKIPT side events when they come to Brighton in July. I'm not as excited about this as I am about the GUKPT, especially as the casino in question is the Rendezvous, which is not as charming as the Grosvenor and twice the distance from my house. But I'm not ruling anything out.

The other schedule I should mention is this one:

If any fluid emits from my body from this schedule, it is likely to be the sweat of fear rather than drool. As you can see there are fewer distance runs than I have been planning to do and more cross-training. So this means I won't have quite so many times to post. But that doesn't matter. As I said, I shall do what is best for my body, not what is best for my blog.

Monday, 1 February 2010


27/01/10 - 5km, 37 minutes (8.1km/hr)
29/01/10 - 6km, 42 minutes (8.6km/hr)
01/02/10 - 6km, 43 minutes (8.4km/hr)

Cardiovascular system had no problems with the 6km run today. Lungs were alright, feet didn't stop. Lower legs got a bit worn out though, which is why I didn't try for 8km. I have to listen to my body when it gets tired. Though it would be nice to post a nice little 8km time (say, 57 minutes) I shall have to wait till I have actually done it. In any case, I run for myself not for my blog readers.

But I'll get there eventually; just keep watching. *WINKS*

Hopefully can run 6km again on Wednesday and Friday, and then 9km on Sunday. This is quite demanding but should be possible, and if I can do this I will be on track with the recommended schedule presented by the Brighton Marathon website.

No point planning too far ahead at the moment though. Although the general idea is to steadily increase how much I run each week (especially my 'long runs', which I shall try to save for Sunday), I must do what my body tells me to do.

Election game is going well; all the ideas are in place now and the donkey work is done. Can't wait for the real thing though. Same can be said for the marathon.

oh btw, HAPPY FEBRUARY!!!!!1