Hi all,

October is shaping up to be the best month of the year so far in my Time Vault challenge so I thought it might be a good time for a mid-month blog update.

Throughout the year I've been trying to make the most of any promotions on offer - added value is great when you're trying to build a bankroll The 800M Carnival Celebration was no exception & the most interesting part of the promo for me was the 800M tourney itself where Pokerstars were randomly issuing some great prizes every 10 minutes for the first 2 hours. Unfortunately the $109 buy-in is well beyond my bankroll so I decided to try & qualify. My first attempt was a $1 turbo rebuy satellite. After a good start I managed to build a decent stack & make the 91c add-on without having to rebuy. Things went perfectly & I found myself as chip leader with over half the remaining players getting tickets. It was time to slow down & fold my way to the 800M Tourney which I did with plenty of chips to spare.

I must admit, I did briefly think of taking the T$ & playing a bunch of the big/bigger/biggest tournaments with extra bubble prizes but I resisted the temptation after working out that there was much more added value in the 800M tourney.

I planned to play it safe for the first 2 hours in the hope of snatching one of the extra prizes. However I missed out on all of them but still managed to double my stack by the end of it. For the next 2 hours I was completely card dead & soon found myself on 1K chips (5bb at the time) after losing most of my stack with 88 against a shorter stack holding AA. My hopes of cashing seemed to be drifting away but then, all the good hands came at once

I shoved once with JTs & got folds, shoved again with JJ & doubled up against AT. Now with 4150 chips & the blinds at 150/300 I found myself with AKs UTG:

Shoving would have been fine here with 13-14bb but I decided to raise to 675 as I wanted some action. In the end it didn't really matter, the QQ would have been in either way. Great to win a coin-flip in this situation

A litte later during the same level & I got myself in trouble with A8o in the small blind:

I had to raise when it was folded to me but with A8o you're hoping for a fold really. From the small number of hands I'd played with the villain he seemed to be loose-passive. Folded as I wasn't going to risk my tournament life with top pair, dodgy kicker.

A little later & I find myself with KK UTG with 17bb. KK has been responsibe for so many of my tournament exits over the year so I was a little worried here but again decided to make a standard raise in the hope of getting some action. Action came from 2 opponents & was in good shape pre-flop vs. QQ & JJ. An ideal situation really but the flop had other ideas:

After reaching for my noose I realised that the turn & river had given me a runner runner nut flush & I'm finally sat on a healthy stack with a serious chance of making some money.

But my run of nice starting hands wasn't over. Still at the 200/400 level & I pick up AKs on the button. When the hijack makes a raise it's an obvious 3-bet for me. Here's what happened:


After that the cards really dried up. I lost a couple of small hands & eventually found myself well in the money but with only 16 big blinds. I made a raise with AJo & the big blind called:


It seemed like a nice flop for me so I was confident when making the C-bet. His raise really worried me, I thought he might have 99 or 44 but feeling frustrated after a spell of poor cards I decided to go with it.

Finished 1529th for $324.52, my biggest cash of the year so far

That puts me $390 in profit for MTTs in October. I've made a $13 loss in S&G's which I started playing again due to the Golden S&G promo but my cash profits put me over +$400 for the month overall.

I have recenly withdrawn $1000, then deposited $250 to get 5 tickets to the 100K Carnival freerolls but taking that into account my overall bankroll for my Time Vault challenge is now $1687.92, a profit for the year of $1437.92. That means I have to make a further $812.08 in the last 10 weeks to make my overall target of $2500.

Is it possible?

I think playing satellites into larger buy-in tournaments may be a good idea. I tend to do well in satellites & the larger buy-ins mean that decent prizes are possible without making a particularly deep run, as I showed last night.

Also, I'm having a good month in the Premier League qualifiers too, perhaps just one more good result away from qualification. That'll give me a risk-free chance at making some money next month. I hope I can make it...

Thanks again for reading!