I am a low stakes player and have played on various sitesfor several years.  I did very well in my early years, admittedly through an aggressive poker instinct rather than skill.  I got made redundant from work 3 years ago and things have been a struggle since then, but I still play as much as I can and often as I can, never losing the infatuation with the game and people involved. 

With in the last year I have started to read alot more books, searching forums, although not posting - which is hopefully something I am going to change, and working through hands ands situation with my fellow poker freinds. 

I won a satellite at my local club for a £3k package which included entry to Event 3 $1000.  This was a dream for me as it was my first trip to vegas and obviously my chance to pit my wits against, supposedly the best players in the world.

I played Event 3 which had a massive turnout of approx 3200 runners.  I managed to cash as well in 222nd. So 1 for 1.  On my first table was John Duthie who won the first poker million and i beleive is involved with the EPT tour.  Then joined, after a few levels 'Greg Raymer' , man can this guy talk.  I do not think he stopped talking from the minute he joined to up to 20 mins after he was knocked out!  The guy who knocked him out received a fossil inscribed with the details of the knockout which I thought was decent of him - he said if the guy who knocks him out is a dou-che he does not give the fossil!  Also had Jake cody on the table opposite, Ivey 2 tbls down and saw Vladimir Geschkenbein (Spelt wrongly?) wandering around at the break.  On day 2 I introduced myself to Sam Razavi and wished him good luck.  At my day 2 table of note was Barry Shulman - who I managed to ko - my AA v his KK.  Was dissapointed when he refused to shake my hand after his exit?

With 250 left I had 60bb at 500/1000/100 and with 1/2mil up top was getting excited, then this hand happened!. Villain has 48bb at the start.  I rasied with 88 utg and got 1 caller from the c/o. flop 8h4d3d (6600) I cbet to 3800, villain calls. Turn(14400) is jh.  I fire again with a big bet of 9750.  The thinking being if he is flush drawing I need to protect my hand by offering the incorrect odds for him to call.  If he has flopped the set (33,44) i am trying to extract as much value as posssible.  Thridly to define my hand and hopefully to define the villains hand better.  Villain calls. River(33900) is 2s.  I see this as a blank- I can not put the villain on a5 or 65 as he would probably not call the turn bet. I am pretty sure he does not have jj as he would probably 3bet pre. So I narrow him down to 33 or 44 - possibly missed flush draws, and the very unlikely aj.  Given this I decide I can value bet the river confident if he shoves I can call.  I could check call this river (allowing him to bluff with missed flush draws, turning his kj/99/1010 hands into a bluff) but given the logic I feel I am so far ahead Ineed to get as much value as I can.  I make it 11250, villain shoves?  He must have 33/44, I call 20k more to win 65k and a top 10 stack with only 250 left in.  Life is great - ohno - what does he have- a5dd! fml.  So #I have 10bb left and shove last hand before break with aqdd, get called by qq and I am out.

Despite my exit I thouroghly enjoyed my experience.  I loves Vegas and played several venues while there including Ceasers/ Ballys/ Aria/ Monte Carlo and obviously the Rio.  Bally's was the best for cash especially early/morning when the revellers decide that after a night of drinking it would be a good idea to donate some money to needy poker players - too kind!  On my low budget the Aria 1pm/7pm tourneys were ideal at $125.  I managed to luckbox my way to cashing in 3 out of the 10 I played.

On returning to England I am now more than ever totally focused on improving my poker skills and more importanlty my discipline in bankroll and game selection.  I am also concentrating on my mental game after reading 'The mental game of poker' and realising how much of an edge you can gain from working in this area.

I have no banroll of such so I am going to have to start from virtually scratch.  My balance on stars is $5.01.  I will be playing the privilege free rolls, 0.10 $50 added and hot 0.55 mtt.  But will focus on playing the 45 man 0.25 stt.  I have had success at these before and I am determined to get it right this time.  Part of this process is going to be updating this blog as often as possible.

Think that is enough for now - gl me!