Saturday, 7 July 2012

Tokyo I'm On My Way

I've decided that I'm going to visit Japan in the next week or two.

I was actually due to visit Japan last March when I was travelling with that English fish Amatay Jones. At that time I was running terrible at poker and life in general and was bleeding money, so didn't much fancy a trip to the most expensive country on earth. We managed to get our flights refunded the night before we were due to go, and went to Malaysia instead.

One random day, we were chilling in our hotel room watching TV when breaking news appeared about a major disaster in Japan - the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. We should have been in Japan there and then, so we really dodged a bullet.

Japan is somewhere I've always wanted to visit, and living in Thailand it's a hell a lot easier and cheaper for me to travel to than it will be when I'm back in the UK. Return flights from Bangkok to Tokyo are 6h20m non-stop and cost roughly £390 GBP / $600 USD. Compare that to flying from Edinburgh to Tokyo return which is a 16 hour trip each way, with a stop in London, and costs £1,100 GBP / $1.700 USD.

After living in Thailand, one of the most inexpensive countries in the world, for over a year it is going to be quite a shock to the system to travel from there to Japan, one of the most expensive countries in the world.

I have my money in GBP, which is weak as hell. In 2007 £1 would have bought 250 Yen, now in 2012 £1 buys only 125 Yen, so to a British traveller everything is twice the price now than it would have been 5 years ago.

When you live in USA or the UK and travel to other countries, especially Asia and Australia, you quickly realise just how badly our currencies have been devalued as a result of the financial crisis since 2007. Even in Thailand, you would have gotten 40% more Baht for your Pound 5 years ago. I will have to rely on that natural cheapskate ingenuity that every Scotsman has inside them to get by in Japan without bankrupting myself.

The thing I'm most looking forward to, other than the food, is a visit to the best amusement park in Japan, Fuji-Q Highland, which is 2 hours from Tokyo and right next to the base of Mt Fuji.

I've been checking out clips of it on YouTube and looks awesome, with some badass roller-coasters that reach up to 172 km/h and the world's second largest haunted attraction - The Haunted Hospital, that from the photos looks like real life Resident Evil, fantastic.

I've been checking out a lot of Japan related YouTube video recently, mostly by western people who live in Japan and do video blogs. The Japan Guy's blog is definately worth checking out. I also found a YouTube channel called JapanDocumentary which has a whole bunch of documentaries about Japan, many of them quite informative and entertaining.

The Pokers

I haven't played any poker for over a week now, the longest I've gone without playing that I can ever remember. I was getting quite fed up of the whole sleep all day and play during the night routine. However, once I was on a healthy sleeping pattern, I started playing poker during the Thai daytime and got really frustrated and demotivated by how bad the games are at off-peak times - every table jam packed with regulars.

I'm still having issues with my internet connection so overall I decided it would be a good idea to take a break from poker to reserve what little sanity I have left. For the last week I have been getting outdoors, relaxing and have fun, and I feel a million times better for it.

A few weeks ago I decided to switch from playing PLO to playing SNGs. I felt like the PLO games were getting tougher, and my results already weren't fantastic. The games were certainly getting nittier and my VPP/hand dropped way down. All things considered it didn't make much sense for me to be playing PLO any more, as much as I like how comfortable ZOOM makes grinding.

It's been a couple of years since I played SNGs full time but I still feel like I have a sizeable edge in them. I am a little rusty in some ICM push/fold spots but as I get familiar with the typical ranges of fish and regs in standard spots in Hypers and Fifty50s and study with an ICM calculator I'll quickly shake off the rust.

My first full day grinding SNGs was break even, the second day I had easily the biggest below all-in equity day of my life when I played 220 games and ran 40 whole buyins below EV for a net loss of 53 buyins. That actually left me with very little money left on stars and feeling more demotivated about poker than I ever had. A day or two later I dropped down a level and started playing again. I grinded hard and had 8 winning days in a row for a total profit of roughly 250 buyins. Confidence and bankroll restored, thankfully. If I had ran as bad as I ran good over that week it would have been catastrophic.

Going forward I'm probably going to be playing Hypers, 180-Mans and Fifty 50's, but what I'll play will depend on when I'm awake. The 180-Mans and Fifty 50's are pretty dead during off peak times (Thai daytime) but plenty of Hypers still run, although more reg-filled and tougher.

Micro Millions II

Only four months after the inaugural Micro Millions series, it is back, with 100 events over 11 days from July 12 - 22. It kicks off with an insane 10 cent rebuy event and ends with a $22 main event with $150,000 GTD.

All the info you need such as schedule and satellites are on the official Micro Millions II page.


  1. Yeah , you rock... great bloggage mate..... I lived in Tokyo at the end of their bubble in 1993/94/95 and MAN was it expensive then... Nikkei was 22000, rent 1.3 Million Yen a month... still some stupid American invetsment bank paid for it all and MORE... great party town in all ways.... check out the Cavern Club in Roppongi, they have a band there that does a better Beatles then the Beatles... seriosuly, one dude sounds just like John Lennon but looks like a fat male YOKO..


  2. sick fade last year m8 :) When u bk in the uk?

    1. Probably September, hopefully will be back just in time to play UKIPT Newcastle.

  3. Hi Dale,

    Just found out about your blog recently and I instantly became a fan. I am a Thai fish currently trying to grind 50NL FR on Stars (unsuccessfully so far) with the main goal of becoming Supernova and make something like 2,000 dollars
    a month, which is aplenty when compared to my salary of less than 600 bucks.
    Whereabout in Thailand do you live by the way? Bangkok I assume?

    1. Hi,

      Yeah I live in Bangkok.

      My PS Team Online buddy Frosty012 has some full ring training videos on

      I think if you can make it to Supernova it will be a lot easier for you to make good money because the VIP rewards will be so much better. You will gain FPPs faster and can buy the $1600 bonuses for 100,000 FPPs.