Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Busy Times

Wow what a start to 2010 - one of the busiest periods of my life so far in many respects. My poker life is re-ignited, my work life is booming, family life has been intense, Anthony's swimming season has started with a bang, and through all of that I've been looking after and closing Dad's affairs.

With Anthony's swimming, it seems that the poor performances of the last 18 months are now well and truly behind him, and he's working well with the new coach at the club. Every time he swims he turns in such a strong performance, and is breaking PBs for fun again. The downside is the new early morning training regime - every Friday or Monday (my choice to do Friday in case I go deep in a Sunday major!) I have to have him in the water by 5.30am! The early get-ups hurt, but I seem to play some excellent poker whilst sat in the car, and during these sesssions over the last month I have an ROI of over 300%!!

At home, Katharine has been under the knife for an operation that will hopefully bring an end to an escalating series of pains that she has endured for the last year. All seems to have gone well so far, and it won't be long before she's back on her feet. I never realised how many times the washing machine has to go on in a week!!

At work I made a terrible mistake - I flagged to my leadership that I had bandwidth to spare as my account was in a quiet spell. Another account was passed over, and within days my original account suffered a horrendous SOX audit resulting in a mass of remediation actions that have turned my nice quiet account into one requiring 14+ hour days! sigh - that's the last time I ever tell anyone I don't have enough work!

Had to go to court yesterday to confirm all that I had submitted in writing with respect to my application for probate for Dad's estate. Six weeks I had to wait for that appointment, then it lasted less than ten minutes, and now I have to wait another two weeks for them to send me the probate certificate - and who said the court system was slow!!

Through all this, I've found time to play a massive amount of poker. Since the re-emergence of my Pokerstars account in December, I've rediscovered the art of winning single table sit and go tournaments. What's more, I've found that I can play 6 of these at a time, rather than my usual 1 or 2, and have sustained a decent ROI through a hugely increased rate of tournaments. In December I played 151 STTs, was ITM 41% with an ROI of 2%, and a profit of $53. In January I played 192 STTs, was ITM 39%, with ROI of 11%, and profit of $630. BUT, in February when I started aggressively multi-tabling, I played 351 STTs (so far in first 15 days!), was ITM 36% with ROI of 7%, and profit of $614. So in conclusion, my earnings per day have doubled in February whilst playing slightly lower stakes - just need to keep this going now. When the bankroll allows, I hope to be multi-tabling $60 games and sustaining this level of ROI - then I can give up work!

Live poker's also been good to me since my last post. Apart from the local pub game where I run like a dog, I've cashed in every live game I've played since I lost my Dad! Twice in December at DTD, and once in January. The January one was particularly special. After a good run through 2009 on the APAT tour and finishing atop the rankings, I was included in TeamAPAT for the UK Poker Forum Team Championship event in Manchester. This was a 160 runner tournament, made up of 20 teams of 8 players, with everyone who made the top 40 scoring points for their team - 1 point for 40th, and 40 points for 1st. With 3 APAT players making the points (myself included for finishing 20th), we acccumulated enough points to win the event my a decent margin. Another APAT trophy for the collection (well, one eigth of an APAT trophy anyway).

With respect to the local Black Country Poker Tour - I must re-evaluate and reconsider my approach to these games. Last week I was knocked out whilst once again getting my chips in with the dominating hand only to see a cruel river end the night. I just run so bad in those games it hurts!

An interesting week to come - On Saturday I have my final practical assessment in my exam series to try and become a fully qualified British Swimming referee. Losing sleep over that one already, and it's only Wednesday! Then next Friday, I'm off to Walsall to particpate in a GUKPT (Grosvenor UK Poker Tour) Main Event - a £1,060 buy in three day event which should provide a first prize of over £80,000. By far my biggest event to date, and entry is a prize from APAT and Blue Square for winning last season's rankings. Whatever happens in the game, I fully intend to make the most of the experience. I think it might be best if I refrain from autograph hunting though :)

To close this entry - I had the wierdest of telephone experiences earlier this week. The phone rang, and the conversation went along the lines of:

Me: "Hello?"
Electronic voice: "This is Pipex customer services. You are being transferred. Please hold."
Three minutes on hold and waiting.... (ffs!!)
Pipex: "Hello. Please confirm your surname and first name"
Me: "Sorry, but why are you asking my name - you obviously already know it"
Pipex: "For data protection"
Me: "How does me telling you my name protect my data?"
Pipex: "Have to confirm you are the right person before I speak with you"
Me: "Steve Redfern"
Pipex: "Your address and postcode please?"
Me: ... gave address and postcode
Pipex: "Sorry your postcode is wrong - please tell me the right one"
Me: "Eh? What? I know my own postcode!! What is it you want to tell me? Why are you ringing?"
Pipex: "Can't tell you that sir, unless you tell me your correct postcode"
Me: "OK fine, don't tell me - I don't particularly care"
Pipex: "I have information I need to give you about your account"
Me: "OK so tell me..."
Pipex: "Not until you tell me your correct postcode for data protection"
Me: "How do we overcome this? I only have one postcode and I've told it to you already"
Pipex: "Could you call us back tomorrow with the correct postcode?"
Me: "No"
Pipex: "I will have to speak with my supervisor, then call you back on another day"
Me: "Fine! bye!"

12 minutes of my life lost!!

Letter arrived from Pipex today telling my I hadn't paid my January bill for Broadband. It's on Direct Debit, and the bank have not declined any DD requests for payment! sighhhh