I had planned some fun things to do in April which were great but April also took some unexpected turns. I’ll talk more about poker related things later on in this blog but I would like to start where I left off the last time.
On what we now call Black Friday, I left for Valkenburg for a weekend with the guys. The weather was beautiful and we already arrived in Valkenburg early in the afternoon. I was drinking a couple of beers together with friends and during the evening I heard the news about Black Friday. Sure this wasn’t good news but at that moment there wasn’t much I could do. I kept checking twitter for updates but the party was on and I didn’t want to miss it. Some of the guys did the smart thing and didn’t go out in town during the evening, 5 people were not that smart and after drinking for 12 hours non-stop we got home around 03:00, sleeping around 04:00 and waking up at 08:00.
Saturday, it was time to cycle the Amstel Gold Race. No headache (yet) so that was good news, most others were feeling not that bad either and the weather was perfect again. I wasn’t to afraid since I had cycled the 100km Amstel Gold Race last year and only did 65km this year, but for some it was the first time and with the amount of beers we had the night before it didn’t get easier for them. One already had a flat tire before we even reached the start but still all signs indicated that this would be a fantastic day. The first 15km were pretty smooth but at that moment my hangover kicked in, fun times 🙂 I wanted to do everything you can’t really do when you are on a bike but it cleared after 30/45 minutes or so and at that moment the finale started. Some of my friends had even never cycled 65km flat, so after 40/45 km they could feel the kilometers in their legs. The wachelderberg then the fromberg, over to the long sibbergrubbe and down to the start of the Cauberg. 12 friends and hundreds op people were standing on the Cauberg to cheer for us, some made it pretty easy, others worked their asses off and unfortunately some didn’t make it to the top on their bike but the beer at the end of the day made it all up! A weekend away with friends is fun but doing something like this during the weekend makes it even more special. Next year I won’t drink on the Friday as I’m planning to do the 150km like I mentioned in my previous blog. I hope some of my friends will join me for the 150km but we already booked our stay for next year, so for sure we will head over there again and have some fun!
I’m the big guy in the Blue/Yellow/White shirt 🙂
When I got home I read all I could find about Black Friday. I feel really sorry for all those Americans who earn(ed) a living playing poker. It must feel pretty strange losing your job in this way and I’m not sure what I would do if I were in your shoes. For me moving out of the country would be a huge step, I don’t even want to move out of my town! I just hope it will all clear sooner then later but I can’t really comment on that part as I have no clue if that is even possible. There is of course also impact on my own poker career and at the moment I’m still not sure if it’s for the better or worse. The volume in FR LHE games is down, as Limit is a game played by a lot of Americans. Since I was away for two weeks in April and had planned to play a lot during the last two weeks of April I didn’t had many VPPs yet this month. Because of the decrease in volume I’m now already sure I’m not going to make the 50.000 VPPs this month which I need to retain my SNE status. My FPP Multiplier will go from *5 to *3,5 which is a pity. On the other hand most of the better Limit players were Americans. I can notice the difference, the games itself play a lot softer. Because of this I have even moved up back again to $15/$30 and won $1.500 in only 12.000 hands. I will probably have to adjust my playing hours because I normally grind most of my hours at night. There is now more traffic in Limit games during the day and most people would see this as a good thing being European. I actually liked the fact I played at nights, since during the day I could enjoy the weather or take a ride on my bike. Also during the day I can get distracted really easy by doing some fun stuff with friends while during the night I could grind non-stop since everybody else was sleeping anyway.
The most important thing for those people who can still play is to adept to the new situation and look for new opportunities. I might try the 6max LHE tables which still show plenty of volume during European hours but last Sunday I added some tourneys next to my cashgames. I played 10 tourneys and 1 small Sunday Million Qualifier. I busted the $11 Turbo pretty quick and couldn’t win with AK vs KQ in The Big $109. I then shipped the SM ticket and then busted The Big $11 as a shorty with KK vs T8. I couldn’t win the flip in the Turbo Takedown and the Sunday Storm didn’t like me either. I was doing pretty good in the Sunday Warm-up and actually cashed it for the first time ever! Yeah that sounds really bad but I can’t change the fact I never did any good in both the Warm-up and Million. I then finished the Warm-up with JJ vs AK in 223rd just before blinding out in The Big $55. I still really don’t know how that happened as I was playing really focused. I was already playing it for 3,5 hours and 1/5 of the field had already busted but somehow I didn’t notice I was short and blinded out. I was however at that time still going strong in the first tournaments I started which was The Big $22 and the $22, 15k GTD. I busted the Sunday Million in a blind battle in which I called with AT vs Q6 and then busted The Big $22 after I reshipped A9o as shorty. The 22nd place was close, but not close enough of course. Still I had one bullet left in which I reached the final table as shorty. I made a couple of really good plays, was lucky in winning the flips and really got lucky when I won with A2 vs AQ with 3 left. I lost the HU to by far the best player at the FT so I was really happy with the result, finishing 2nd and winning $3.500.
I might keep mixing in these kind of tourneys with my Limit Cashgames. I’m not sure what I prefer but since last Sunday went really well it obviously got my attention. I’m aware of the sick swings in MTT’s but it’s also a good preparation for the SCOOP. The SCOOP will still be held but the start times has changed to a more European friendly time. In case you didn’t notice it might be a good idea to check out the SCOOP Schedule:
Since the start times has changed I probably play as many tournaments in which I know how the game works. Not the High buy-ins unfortunately as those are way above my tourney skill level. PokerStars created some nice SCOOP promo’s which I would recommended to utilise 🙂 The first one is the 50% deposit bonus with a max bonus of $200 (so you have to deposit $400) and the second promo is “The Big xxx”. There are now 4 tourneys called The Big xxx, the $22, $109, $11 and $55. If you play any of the new guaranteed tournaments at least three times before May 7 you’ll be credited with a free SCOOP ticket for an event of the same value.
Next to that for the Dutch among us there is also a VPP Challenge. I was planning to set a goal of getting at least top 5 but since the volume in my games has dropped a lot I’m not sure if I can still commit to that. I think everybody is impacted in one way and I will play a lot in May for sure so I’m curious where I will end up. Since I was posting banners anyway you can click the banner below for more information, I’m currently ranked 7th 🙂
The fact I’m sure I lose my SNE Status, the decrease in LHE tables and the fact I can’t play at night any longer for sure doesn’t help my own volume but also the beautiful weather has had some impact 🙂 I was at the beach all Friday long till 22:00 and played some poker afterward. Saturday I was at the beach again and organised a BBQ with 25 friends, a perfect day at the beach! Sunday I stayed inside watching Luik – Bastenaken – Luik (Liège – Bastogne – Liège) and managed to do good in the tourneys which I already wrote about and win $1.300 at the cashgames. Yesterday I went for a 80km bike ride with the guys and had a BBQ at my girlfriends parents afterward so I skipped my Monday session. Tonight it’s time to play again and I hope to play another session on Thursday as tomorrow I have to go to Brussels for my work. If the weather continues like this I will for sure try to enjoy it, as it often are the most fun days of the year. As soon as the weather turns around I will grind my ass of again until it’s time to go to Las Vegas again 🙂
Last week I also did an interview with Remko Rinkema from Pokernews.nl . I was really happy with the outcome and in case you are Dutch (or want to use google translate) you can read it here.