Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Seven Years

Well after tonight's facade on PokerStars, as their servers crashed whilst I was playing a $315+20 turbo sit and go, I've decided enough is enough. I'm throwing the towel in, with regards to playing online poker, and instead concentrating more on playing live. It will also give me incentive to update this blog more often, as I often use this to recall certain events during a game. I never get the same buzz playing online, which is why I rarely write about playing over the internet. Annoyingly, I had three stories I was going to write on here, but never found the time to do so.

For interest, I'll briefly add some dates as to when I started playing and milestones that I can recall.

2000: Started playing poker on Yahoo after watching Series One of Late Night Poker. Didn't have a clue how to play, but quickly realised that if I was careful which hands to play, the game was beatable. Was quickly hooked on the game from there. Shortly afterwards, I began to play live games at Grosvenor Casino in Salford.

September 2001: Played for real cash for the first time online at UltimateBet. In those days, they didn't even have tournaments. These days, they simply don't have any players! My first tournament on there was a charity event. I stayed up all night just to play in it, and ended up on the final table with Russ Hamilton, 1994 WSOP NLHE main event champion. I ended up in 6th place and Russ in 5th.

May 2002: Was tipped off at my local casino that the place to play tournaments online is at PokerStars. Never looked back since! Too many highlights to recall fully. I gradually moved up in limits over the years, always trying to push myself forward, playing every type of game available on there. I especially enjoyed the Omaha and HORSE tournaments. Biggest win was finishing second in a $50+5 tournament. Another time, I qualified for the Sunday freeroll by winning one tournament, and literally a couple of minutes later, played the second tournament, only to eventually win that one as well. First prize was a grand total of $50 in those days. Another touching moment, which I was intending to write about, was recently finishing third in an APAT tournament on Stars. Aside from being a good laugh, it was great to have people who I've met face to face cheering me on, even though it was rather late at night. The bronze medal has pride of place on my display shelf. I'll probably continue to play these, just for a laugh.

January 2003: My first involvement with a poker forum led me to play on the now defunct site, DynamitePoker. Very basic site with few players. In a way, it's intimate nature is what made it special. One of the few places where you could readily make deals at the final table, or even request your own tournament structure, or theme nights. I think out of all the sites I've played on, I miss TnT the most. Had such a good laugh on there. And if that wasn't enough, I won a reasonable amount of money on there too! Sadly. I don't spend too much time getting involved in forums these days either.

Other notable poker rooms I've played on:
I learned the art of bankroll management the hard way on ParadisePoker, when I tried to play 40/80 limit (I think?). I remember my very first hand though. Never to be intimidated with losing a large amount of money, I had put my entire bankroll in the middle of the pot on a pure bluff. Amazingly, I won. The other guy was bluffing even more than me! Needless to say, a few hands later I did successfully manage to lose my entire bankroll. Psychologically, it took me about a year to come to terms with that. I never want to return to that state of mind.

TruePoker: At the time, it looked very cool, but never attracted enough players for the kind of games I wanted to play.

PlanetPoker: Felicia Lee managed to get a blogger tournament running regularly on here, and I decided to play a couple of times. I think I finished in second place in one of them. The games were so soft, and I really enjoyed playing there. Played against Roy Cooke during one tournament.

Pkr: Relatively new site with soft games but poor sit and go structures. The cash games were weak, even at the higher levels. Quite enjoyed playing there, but there's only so many chicken impressions one can stomach in one day.