Archive for October 2011
On Saturday 22. and Sunday 23. October I played the International Poker Open-tournament in Dublin, Irland. I played some pretty damn great poker and ended up as number 20 out of 1388 players! I’m serious with this sport and want to become as good poker player as possible. I know very well that I don’t have that extra special talent that the best players have, but at least I have control of my own abilities and are working to become a better player. It’s always nice to win money, but I’d rather play great and lose money than being an amateur and win on share luck. Everyone can be lucky and win money one night, but the greatest players win more often because of good skills.
There were two starting days and I played Day 1B of the main event. 519 played the day before and 869 players started day 1B, making it 1388 total and Europe’s largest poker tournament. The buy in was 200+25 euros. I played absolutely horrible the first two blind levels and was quickly down to 9.000 from the 15.000 starting stack. I was – and felt like – the fish at the table, not raising when I should, playing out of position, calling big bets with draws etc believing in miracles… I had also drawn seat 5 which I absolutely hate. I don’t have control of the other players when I sit in front of the dealer, and I feel squeezed in between the players making me feel very uncomfortable (I never sit down in a cash game if I have to sit in front of the dealer). In addition, the tournament started at noon which is way too early for me. There was a much needed break after level 3 (120 minutes) and at that time I was ready for breakfast and coffe. The bar took forever making my panini so I got back 3-4 minutes into the next blind period and the first hand I looked down on was two black kings. Nice! I raised (doh!) but got no callers so I only won the blinds, but everything changed for me with this hand. I had gotten a break from the table, got some food, managed to wake up, even settled with my seat(!) and had mapped out the players’ style by this time. I actually felt really good and from then on I was the table captain. No more just calling in position or doing anything else stupid. If I sensed weakness you can be sure I went for it! I started winning and I was well over start stack when the table was broken up an hour later.
I was moved to the main hall and the new table was totally different than the first one. I know very well there aren’t two similar poker tables but I was amazed how different the dynamics were every time I got to a new table in this tournament. And every time I lost between 1/4 and 1/3 of my stack before I had analyzed the players and adjusted to their play. You can’t just sit back and play good hands – you have to play to get information and get into the opponent’s minds. If you don’t adjust your play to every player then you will never win. If a very tight player raises UTG you’ll need a very good hand to call (or if you dare to raise). In one of the hands a tight player UTG raised, then another player reraised. I folded my suited AQ on the button and it was the correct play no matter how good my position was and how pretty those cards are. You’ll have to try out which strategies work. An old trick that worked well was calling on the flop to bluff on the turn – especially if a scare card came on turn (like the third card for a flush) it was “easy” to bet and take down the pot. I also took down pots betting the flop (usually on a semi bluff), getting raised and then reraise. I think I bluffed maybe 15 times and was caught only twice! You’ll have to pick your spots for winning with bluffs of course – I mean, you don’t bet into an old man when there’s an ace or a king on the flop… But of course many times I had the goods too! I won almost all flips the first day and a half. If I was all in preflop with QQ against AK I won, If I had AK against QQ I hit the K on flop, 99 against AK etc… You have to win flips in order to get far in a tournament.
I played five different tables in this tournament and here’s some of the hands I remember:
I limp with 10 8 off in late position. Four players see the flop 48Q rainbow. I bet and a short stack behind me waits a microsecond before he goes all in. The blinds fold and I call with my second pair. The opponent shows J4 suited and he’s out of the tournament. If he hadn’t waited that microsecond I would have folded. You need to pay attention and see those small things. If you only play the cards and not the table then you won’t get far.
Level 12, 1000/2000 with 200 ante. Early position raises and I’m the only caller with K10 of hearts, and I put him on AK off. Flop is 29Q rainbow and preflop raiser makes a strange continuation bet which makes me 100% sure he does have AK. I just call. Turn is another queen and he checks. I check too. River is another 9 and he checks again. I bet 3/4 of the pot. He thinks for a loooong time and finally folds. Phew!
Level 13, 1200/2400 with 200 ante. I raise to 5400 in mid position with 44. Small blind raises to 11200 and I call. Flop is 10 4 3 and the guy quickly proclaims “All in!” in front! “Heh? Did you say all in?” I ask. He has more than me and I obviously call with my set. The guy shows AA, moans and can’t believe he’s being beat. Blame yourself for poor play mister! I have 200.000 after this hand and is probably chip leader.
Level 17, 3000/6000 with 500 ante. Everyone folds to me and I complete the small blind with Q2 off. Big blind checks and we see the flop A83 rainbow. We both check and the turn is 3 of spade which makes a flush draw. I check, big blind bets about 2/3 of the pot and I call thinking I’m ahead with my Q2 (but I should have raised). River is a red 9. I check and she immediately bets over half pot. I think for 20 seconds and goes with my hunch that she still doesn’t have anything and call. She says “good call” and mucks while I show my queen high and rake in the pot. You got to love play like this – especially when the rest of the table whisper “He called with queen high” afterwards! Now they knew not to try to bluff me.
…I played many hands and it’s impossible to remember them all. Next time I’ll make notes as I did in Las Vegas last summer. The blinds are going up and you can’t sit and wait for the good hands. With high blinds and antes there’s already a small fortune in the pot before the cards are dealt so you want to attack those chips as often as possible. You’ll also see a lot more preflop all in at later stages of tournaments. What ate away my stack was the flips I couldn’t win. It began with a short stack in early position who went all in. I isolated with AQ off and he hit his king on the flop with K4 off… On level 25, 20.000/40.000 with 4000 ante I was crippled down to 43.000. That’s only 2,3 big blinds and I was desperate for chips. I managed to double up with 73 in the big blind hitting two pairs on turn. Then I doubled up again with JJ against 66. Then with JJ against 83 (big blind was big stack, I was shortstack and he had to call with any two). Then another double up with A 1o suited against 55. So in less than two hours I had built my stack from 43.000 to 680.000! Then came this hand (taken from Boyle’s live updates):
We lost Asgeir Mickelson a few minutes ago, after he had just doubled up a few hands previous to 675k, this time around there is raise UTG to 90k and its called in the CO and the SB also calls, Asgeir squeezes all in from the BB, two players step out of the way its back to the SB, Paul Purcell looks like he is in a bit of a dilema as he counts out his stack and looks his opponent up and down, he eventually cuts out the chips and slides them forward into the pot.
Asgeir – AcQh
Paul – 3h3s
They head to the flop and are flipping for a hefty pot, dealer spreads out 8d9c6d turn of Kh and Asgeir can’t catch the bingo card on the river when it comes 10h.
Except for a bumpy start I’m very happy with my play. I did very little wrong in this tournament and I stand by the play I did in that final hand. It was also cool to discover that I ended up as second chip leader on the first day with 217.000 chips. I learned some very valueable new things and I can’t wait to play another big tourney! Also a BIG thanks to my buddy Jacob for the good strategy discussions, bringing me food and drinks at the table, and making me feel like a king in the tournament!
Leave no-one wondering, YES I’m playing Battlefield 3 these days!
And it’s awesome!
And frustrating! Trying to get into the different scenarios while you’re being fired upon is a challenge, but I’m getting along pretty good. I have to admit that I’ve been wondering how many cheaters there are, cause sometimes I seem to loose without a good explanation. Today I found a post on the forums saying that there are already over hundred people banned for using cheats. Banned hackers.
I also need to mention that there seem to be a few bugs and issues in the beginning, but being an MMO- veteran I have to say I wouldn’t expect less. All things considered the launch is rather smooth. I’m getting kicked out of the game now and then, but it’s fast to reload. There’s also a bit too much lag on some places, but oh well. I’m enjoying myself.
To comment on the real nerdy stuff, I have taken a liking in Operation Firestorm and Caspian Border, specializing as Engineer. I place mines to defend a flag and pick down helicopters with my SAM or UKLA missiles. All the time since Battlefield 2 I’ve dreaded the aviators in the BF series, never mastered to fly myself and they are very hard to bring down from the ground. In BF3 they have provided me with awesome AA equipment and I’m getting loads of points bringing down enemy helicopters and jets. Just the way I like it
I know ICS Vortex is playing, not hard to recognize with his nick; Gen-Vortex. We haven’t played much together as he likes a bit different games then I. Asgeir has also tried it a little on his xbox and is not persuaded. I still use JFRyland as my nick, looks like I have to start a new account to change it to something not so personal as my real name. That’s what I get for being hasty in the registration process…
There are Machinima (fan-made videos) being uploaded all the time. I find this very interesting as that is the core start of the whole Artisan project. If you go to Youtube, search for BF3 and organize by uploading date you can see my point. New stuff being uploaded all the time there. And most if it is useless dribble, but it has planted a thought in my head for the next Artisan project…
The video below is an official trailer released only a week ago, it shows footage from the campaign mode of the game which Dice have (apparently) put a bit more work into then before. But I can’t help it, to me only the multiplayer mode is interesting, but it’s a good video:
Oh, and it’s Sunday today and I’m supposed to write a summary of the weekend? You can find it here: www.artisannorway.com he he
So, I was in Dublin playing the International Poker Open-tournament last weekend. As expected, I didn’t get to be much tourist but I played a lot of poker. I travelled with my buddy Jacob, and on Thursday we walked from the Regency Hotel to Fitzwilliam Card Club to play some cash game poker. The hotel receptionist said it was a 20-25 minute walk. Yeah, right! It took an hour 15 minutes and I was exhausted for two days… But it was a good walk and at least we got to see a little bit of the city and have a stop for a beer. Yes, ONE beer – and no, I don’t like Guinness! The Irish people are very polite and friendly – whenever we stopped and looked at our maps someone would ask if we needed help. As usual I looked at the girls whenever I could. There were many of them (80% of them had ponytails), but I think I only saw two really pretty girls the whole weekend, so in that regards Norway is a lot better.
At Fitzwilliam we played 2/5 euro cash game. I was down 700 euros after three hours of play but ended up with a nice profit after a good run (=skills) the last hour and a half. On Friday we played the 115 euro side event tournament and 1/2 euro cash game in the poker area at the Regency. I was pretty much card dead the whole day and whenever I did have something good the opponent hit his 3- or 4-outer on turn or river… I lost more than I won the day before, but Jacob won the 180 man side event tournament and even got a trophy along with the wad of cash.
On Saturday we played day 1B of the 225 euro International Poker Open main event. Jacob played horrible (to quote himself) and was out in less than three hours. I made it to day 2 as the second chip leader and ended up number 20 out of 1388 players! I’ll cover the tournament with key hands in my next blog.
My brother has a boat on Mjøsa (Norway’s largest inland lake) and about two weks ago it was time for the winter lay up. The dock is about an hour drive from where we live, and my son and I joined for a quick fishing trip before the boat was pulled on land. It was a little chilly but the weather was great and we caught a little trout (about 1-1.5 kilograms) although we didn’t actually think we would catch anything in the middle of the day. I’ve been sick three times already since late August so it was nice to get out of the house and enjoy the Norwegian nature again. Check the pictures below.
Lets start with the announcement at the Borknagar web today:
PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 2011
BORKNAGAR part ways with drummer David Kinkade
BORKNAGAR has decided to part ways with the US drummer David Kinkade. This is first and foremost due to the logistical challenges we have been facing having a US drummer in a Norwegian band the last couple of years. Sometimes reality bites and in order to be a fully operative band, we need a drummer based in Norway. The split is of friendly manner and we would like to say thanks for everything David has contributed with in relations to the band and we would also like to wish him the best of luck for his future endeavours.
BORKNAGAR is currently finishing up the recording of the 9th. album which is planned to be released early next year. As we speak Vintersorg and ICS Vortex are working on the vocal arrangements and we are all exited about the new effort we currently are brewing. The album will be mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren in Fascination Street Studio later this years.
More details and information will be issued soon!
Øystein G. Brun
Last time we needed a drummer, Dave was very eager to try out. We didn’t like the fact that he didn’t live in Norway due to the logistic side of things, but at this time we had no ambitions to play live more then the occasional festival gig. And Dave joined. He first did the album “Universal”, then we played at Wacken as mentioned and also did 3 other gigs in Germany and Holland.
Our ambitions increased, some of you remember our efforts to do a tour in South America perhaps? With these plans, Dave suggested to move to Norway. That turned out not to be an easy process and he gave up on that sometime in the summer this year and went back to USA. And we were back to start, but with more need of a drummer in Norway then ever! Dave also got the gig as session drummer with Soulfly, giving him even more reason to stay in USA.
With that as the most significant reason we have decided to part with Dave and look for a new drummer located closer to the band. And I want to make a point out of that letting go of Dave isn’t a sign of us loosing our ambitions, quite opposite we want to play more live, but with less logistic hustle. Hopefully we can soon start to reveal our plans, lets see.
In Borknagar history we have had several drummers. All unique in their way, strong personalities and inventive in their style. Dave now joins these ranks and we need a new one.
This will not slow or affect the current progress in any way, there are many drummers around and we will start the process to tame another one for the upcoming shows.