Sunday, 22 May 2011

Friday the 13th - Not My Favorite Day of the Year

SCOOP (The Spring Championship of Online Poker) began on Sunday 8th of May, and I was pretty damn psyched about it. After going 0 for 7 at the Aussie Millions this year, I was keen to make amends for that and hit at least one big tournament score.

The events all had kick-off times between 10pm and 4am Thailand time, and had deep structures. I was also hosting a whole bunch of the final tables. So, in order to be able to make my participation feasible I had to adjust my sleep schedule so that I was waking up just before the events that I wanted to play started, and staying awake through the night until the early afternoon.

Almost a week later, it was Friday the 13th (fml) and I was 0 for 15 in cashes at SCOOP. I just felt horrible, like a zombie due to the constant losing, staying awake for long hours and eating only the nasty takeaway food that I could get delivered to my hotel. The Greek takeaway I had that night had also left me feeling bloated and kind of sick. The only clean clothes I had left were the ones that I was wearing and I was surrounded by garbage since the maid obviously didn't have access to my room. Not a great situation I found myself in.

By 10am I had finished hosting my last final table, much earlier than usual, so before going to bed I called the maid to clean my room and I took out 2 huge heavy bags with all my clothes to the place that does my laundry a couple of streets away. I arrived to see that their doors were closed with a big sign saying that they were on holiday for a few days. SIGH. So I turned around and started walking back, when a bad ass storm started and left me absolutely drenched with dirty polluted Bangkok rainwater :(

Obviously when I got back to my room the maid was in there, so I had to stand around dripping wet, waiting for her to finish so that I could strip off and take a shower. After I did have a shower I felt absolutely awful, just sick and my whole body aching. I passed out on the bed for a couple of hours and woke up drenched in sweat. I had a fever such that I felt like I was on fire, my head was pounding, my whole body was in pain, and was spewing from both ends of my body.

The Paracetamol/Codeine that I had didn't seem to have any affect, and I ended up calling the hotel reception telling them I needed a doctor. I had to speak to 3 different clowns before someone could understand what I wanted. I just kept saying "DOCTOR, get me a doctor" as these fucking morons kept asking me to repeat what I was saying and passing me over to their equally imbecilic colleagues.

Eventually a doctor arrived. He took my temperature, and it was over 40c, which he said was so high that it was life-threatening. I immediately got 2 injections in the ass and was taken to hospital, that was only a few minutes away, where I was hooked up to an IV drip and given a bunch of medication. Incredibly, the fever and intense pain were all but gone in a very short period of time, and not long after they helped me to sleep!

When I got discharged from hospital in the morning they gave me a bunch of medication to take. Unfortunately there was no morphine included in all of that, beats :(

For the following week I could barely eat. I think it was the only week in the last year where I have lost weight rather than gained it. I am now eating better and slowly getting my energy back though. My sleep schedule is now that I'm waking up and going to bed at "normal" times, so no more SCOOP for me. But I couldn't resist playing last night, I stayed awake to play the SCOOP-34-L and M PLO 6-Max $55 and $530, and the Supernova Million Freeroll. I ended up busting all of these super early, so I did get to sleep at a reasonable time after all.

I think I'm done with SCOOP now for 2011, with a record of 0 for 17 in cashes. There are 2 more events tonight, including the main event, but I will have been awake 12 hours by the time they start and to be honest I just don't have the heart to play them.

It's a terrible situation I find myself in. Every single month this year has been a losing one for me, I've lost at SNGs, lost at PLO, lost at online MTTs and lost at live MTTs. My all-in EV lines show winning play, but the bottom line is me getting screwed over and losing money. Sure, I've ran bad at poker, but I could have played better and yes, I could have played higher volume to smooth out variance, but there's a ton of reasons why I didn't and they are mostly related to running super bad at life. Somewhere in the last year I've picked up a huge amount of bad karma, and I can't even think where from, but it's brutal.

I've just taken out a 1 year lease on a condo in Bangkok (very close to Asoke BTS and Sukhumvit MRT), that I'll be moving in to on the 28th of May. It's just a small 1-bedroom place (about 55 sq meters), but it's brand new, nice and has everything I need, huge fridge, couple of LCD TVs, blackout curtains, rain shower, cable TV and Internet. The communal area has a gym and infinity edge swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi etc. so i will try to make sure of that to get back in shape a bit. It's much cheaper and better than living in a hotel, so I'm looking forward to it!

I can also have a good laugh at this poster of Grayson 'Spacegravy' Physioc every time I get off the SkyTrain at Phrom Phong:

I'm just going to kick it here in Bangkok for the next 12 months, I'm not even sure if I'll bother playing much poker during that time, right now I feel like I'm pretty much done with poker. I'm just going to relax and play if or when I feel like it. After my 12 month lease is up, I'll re-assess where I'm at and what I want to do with my life.

People keep asking me if I'm going to Vegas for WSOP. No, I can't play online from the USA, so I obviously won't be stepping foot in that country in the foreseeable future, if ever.

I've also been asked (several times by my cousin who plans to play it) if I will be playing UKIPT Edinburgh in August, the only Scottish PokerStars tour event. No, I won't. The tourney buyin is only £550 and a return shitty economy flight to Edinburgh via London from Bangkok is minimum £900. It would cost me at least £1500 in travel, accom, food expenses to go play it, meaning that I'd need an expected 300% ROI to make it a break-even proposition. The brutality of the 20 hour journeys each way would mean several days of my time would be wasted travelling and recovering from travelling. I won't be playing it.

A few weeks back, I was tweeting about how I missed the dark chocolate Snickers bars, that simply aren't available in Thailand. I was having cravings for them. Well Shane 'Shaniac' Schleger heard of my plight and sent an emergency food aid package to me from the other side of the world. It arrived a few days ago, a package full of flat, squashed, but delicious Dark Snickers. It wasn't the only package that I received from the states on that day though, Jonathan Little sent me his brand new book on tournament strategy, some emergency aid to help my under-performing tournament game. From the small amount I've read so far it's excellent, and it's a breath of fresh air to read a book written by a consistent winning poker pro rather than some crank author that purports to be a poker pro, but really makes most of their living from writing books. Hopefully I can overcome my short attention span to make it the first book that I read fully since I was 14 years old, and will let people know more about it in a future blog.


  1. At least Rangers won the league again though. Champions again Ole Ole!

    Hope you get some run good soon and get back in your stride at the tables.

  2. Yo Dale, how much do you need for month to live there in Thai?

    Hope u been better in future bro ;)


  3. I've been spending about $3500 per month but thats with living in hotel and eating at nice restaurants.

    Should save quite a bit once i move into the condo tho!

    I think for $2k per month you can live a nice comfortable life here. You could obviously live here for even much less than that, but I think 2k is minimum to live in nice accom, in good location and eat nice food.

  4. Wow! Sorry to hear about your illness mate, pleased to hear you had a speedy recovery. I’m sure you enjoyed the Zanex! Poker is a tough life and I know in cash games you can get the 100k breakeven stretch’s so if these are following a downswing followed by an equal upswing you can take 150k break even stretch’s which will only get bigger due to the ever increasing variance as a result of the skill level equalling out due to lack of recreational money. Sites must love this, the money just stays on the tables longer making them more rake. Only thing you can do is stay strong and keep persevering brother. I’m getting a little fed up too, just today I’ve been thinking about going on some travels so I may be in touch about coming to check out the infinity pool, gym and your condo.

  5. Love the blog and vids you post. Its a good idea you have to just step back and evaluate where you wanna be and I assure you it will come. Just play when you wanna play, if you are forcing yourself to play when your not into it, your only gunna get hurt emotionally and financially cause I would imagine its almost impossible to play your A game when you simply don't wanna play.

    Enjoy life man.