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Published: Monday, 14 August 2017 18:00Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail

Blue Blood at the Goliath - the results!

The results of the biggest poker tournament outside Las Vegas are in, and Blue Blood were again among the cash. So, over 6,300 people paid their £120 to enter and less than 900 made it to Day 2, of whom 11 were Blue Blood members. So there follows as comprehensive a write-up of all the trials and tribulations of the team as I can manage.
Unfortunately Stuart Sewell wasn't among those to make Day 2 but he sent me the following amusing hand which worked out well: the blinds were 1200/2400 so this is more than half way through Day 1 and Stuart had about 50 bbs at the start, and he defended K6 off in the big blind, and on a flop of J95 with one club he decided to float his opponent and called her c-bet. His thinking was at first to check raise bluff but on such a dry board he decided to just call and then think about leading any non-ace turn. The turn was actually a king so all of a sudden he had a value hand, he's now beating all the AJ, QQ and so on hands his opponent can have, although he does think his opponent has few bluff hands here he's beating some value hands now and decided to call her 17k bet into about 27k in the pot. The river was an amusing 6, so he's only really losing to king jack, jacks or nines or the super unlikely KK which he blocks, QT and 78 which she isn't raising in early position preflop, or a really unlucky 66. So, having analysed this, he led out for 31k. To be fair, she did think for a while before calling with her aces. By his account, she wasn't happy, and told him how badly he played the hand in some detail. He just thanked her and stacked her chips - and then trap called KK about 5 hands later knowing 'she was just itching to rip it in'. She did, he snapped, she lost.
From Blue Blood, Phil Stein and Susan Goldswain were the unlucky ones to make day 2 and not cash. Phil saw a spot to try and get a big stack and three bet shoved 28 big blinds with AQ in the very first hand of the day, and very nearly got it through, unlucky for another player to wake up with AK and eventually call.
It wasn't all that long to grind until the bubble burst and 682 people got paid.
A few were left short as the bubble burst, and John Burberry was the first to fall, 635th for £255. He had 11 big blinds and woke up with kings; there's only one course of action with an early position raiser, in it went and the guy called with tens. Exactly what you want to see ... until a ten hits the turn. Horribly unlucky. 
Di Farrell couldn't get anything going either but managed to cling on until eventually departing 533rd also for the minimum cash of £255. She was pleased to have even made Day 2 considering she managed to crack aces with a set of jacks toward the end of day 1, reinforced by managing to turn the nut flush right at the end of play in level 16.
Will Messenger had a horrible run and the big stack he had carried through to day 2 eventually passed to the other players as he departed 361st for £320, shortly followed by Mike Taynton who used all the experience that he's brought with him to Blue Blood membership, eventually grinding to 342nd for £320. His exit hand was another unlucky one - a 14 big blind stack shoved from under the gun, a microstack called (for all of 4 big blinds), Mike overcalled for 12 big blinds with queens, and a late position stack then thought and thought and eventually called three all-ins for half of his stack with ace-king offsuit. The other two had ace-ten suited and another ace-king offsuit respectively, so Mike was looking really good to more than triple up here. The board ran out ten-nine-seven-nine ... king. Ouch. There is some debate about whether the fourth player should be committing half his stack here; it's certainly close considering the likely card-removal issue.
Mark England was loving life inside the final 300. He'd already spun his 265k up to 500k and then been moved tables. Quickly getting a feel for the other players, he had one huge decision for most of his stack: a young player doing the hoodie-cap-and-sunglasses thing raised in middle position and Mark looked down at 99 on the button and flatted. The flop came jack of spades and two small cards and the young guy bet. Mark couldn't think about folding yet and flatted again. The turn brought the ten of spades, and the youngster almost instantly jammed his chips in for very nearly a full pot sized bet, and instantly hid inside his hood. Mark did what he usually does in these circumstances and had a little chat. He wondered if the guy had a spade flush draw maybe. And wondered why the guy bet his stack if he had a jack here, or two pair. Wouldn't a value bet be smaller? And maybe take a bit more time over it? And the guy looked more and more uncomfortable, frozen in his chair, and so Mark eventually tossed in a chip to call and the guy flipped over 66, and Mark held.
He knocked out a couple of smaller stacks and was sitting on 1.1 million chips when an aggressive opener made it 55k in middle position. With the blinds at 10k/20/k/2k this looked weaker rather than stronger, so when Mark looked down at pocket kings in the cutoff, a three bet to 145k seemed profitable, only for a guy on the button to cold four bet to 320k or so, almost half his stack. The original raiser agonised then eventually folded, and the chat began again. I'm not a fan of cold four betting half your stack here; opinion is divided but you're almost definitely committing yourself, you can't cold four bet-fold, so why not just shove? Was he trying to make it look like he could fold with aces? In the end of course there was only one course of action, Mark had the second best preflop hand ever made, and shoved it in. The young man instacalled and flipped over .... pocket tens. Really not sure about that, dude. The guy was adamant he was 'ahead of some ranges' whatever that means. I don't think he was ever getting called by worse except flipping with AK, possibly only suited, and is never getting a better hand to fold, apart from maybe, just maybe, pocket jacks. So this can't be right. While Mark had been aggressive he hadn't been three-betting wildly and hadn't shown down any bluffs. A pretty blank flop looked good for Mark, 85% favourite at that point to have 1.9 million chips and the absolute chip lead in the room with about 275 players left, but the poker gods had other ideas and decided to give the other guy a runner-runner four flush and that left Mark crippled. About 20 minutes later the blinds were up and he had about 13 big blinds so AJ suited was a perfect three bet shove, and unfortunately the original raised snapped him off with AQ and that's all she wrote, 259th for £385. Mark decided that he wasn't in the mood to play nicely with the others after that and left to lick his wounds [*Read: threw all his toys out of the pram and stropped off home without saying goodbye to anyone like a little girl - Ed]. A couple of days later he was more philosophical: 'It is what it is, I guess', he said, 'but I'm not gonna lie, that one hurt. I was just starting to think I might actually make a deep run at one of these. Never mind, on to the next one.'
Nic Rawlings was making his mark in his brand new BB hoodie, getting through day 1 comfortably at about average on 148k. He tells me that he had quads twice on day 1 - once managing to get a big pot by flatting 55 three ways and then flatting a short-stack flop shove and call on 865, and then persuading him to call again on a 5 river. Must be nice. He also flopped quad 8s and despite no-one else really having anything did manage to persuade his opponent to call a river bet. He also had the amusement of being on the right side of a 'never celebrate too early' moment late on day 1 - literally second last hand of the day - and he was pretty short, and shoved KQ of diamonds and was called by a big stack with AQ. The flop was K high (with 2 diamonds) but the turn was an ace, and his opponent gave out a yell and punched the table, only for another diamond to fall on the river and double Nic up. Apparently much smirking around the table.
He kept running consistently on day 2, not making mistakes - your correspondent chatted to him on the second break when he had 900k when the average was a lot less than half that, but it all eventually fell apart and he spent a couple of hours blinding away card dead and eventually shoved KQs on the button with only the blinds to play, and of course ran into KK. Super unlucky. Final position 86th for £670, so not a bad week's work. Well played. 
That left three BB players still in with the tournament well into its final 100. Reem Ahmed had gone super short, down to I think about 12 big blinds at the second break, but spun it up brilliantly until eventually getting it in against a short stack with 77 against AJ suited and the other guy hitting a flush, and finally, with two short stacks shoving ahead of her she woke up with A9 of clubs in the small blind and was priced to get it in, only for the big blind to make a very questionable decision and overcall with Jack Ten offsuit. Reem flopped two pair but the big blind somehow hit runner runner flush and knocked them all out. It really does seem that all the BB players got their money in good and got unlucky . Again, very unlucky for Reem who finished 72nd for £765. 
I'm afraid that I'm short of details from this point on! 2 players remained: Mark Cooper exited shortly after Reem in 68th for £895 but I don't have his exit hand. 
And that left just the one BB player to make it into Day 3, when the last few of the 6300+ players came back to play for the serious money. Jeremy Brown had fired five day 1 bullets but his persistence was easily rewarded once again as he made another super deep run, only to go card dead in the last couple of dozen players, eventually ending up with 3 big blinds and shoving QJ and getting called by A9. He hit his queen but the other guy hit his ace, and then his 9 too and Jeremy was gone in an excellent and impressive 19th place for which he earned £3510. 
Jeremy Brown, day 3, deep into the tournament once again. width=
And as a happy footnote, Grosvenor run a team tournament at the Goliath every year - teams of up to six, best aggregate finish wins - and for the second time in three years, one of the Blue Blood teams topped the list of 83 entries. So congratulations to Mark Cooper, Jeremy Brown, Reem Ahmed (for the second time!) and Susan Goldswain who all receive a free entry into the Goliath next year, a £220 ticket and a nice trophy each. It's worth mentioning that the team of Mark England, Nic Rawlings, Mike Taynton , Steven Frew and Phil Stein finished fourth too. 
So, an exhausting week for many topped off by some great results for Blue Blood. Considering that only 14% or so of the field got to Day 2, Blue Blood managing to get 11 out of 16 players into Day 2 and for 9 of them to cash was an excellent, excellent performance. Well played all. 

Published: Friday, 04 August 2017 19:00Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail

Blue Blood take on Goliath!

We are told that the Goliath is the biggest poker event outside Las Vegas. And it's in, ah, Coventry .....
Actually, the Grosvenor Casino under the Ricoh Stadium is really quite nice: it's got a waterfall that then flows under the glass floor on the way in and everything. The barn-like conference rooms out the back where the tournament is actually held are, well, as you'd imagine, but it's not their decor which is their most important feature. It's their size.
As we speak, on Friday morning, 4838 entries have been recorded in the 6 day ones so far. Today, Friday, is the last of the day ones and it sold out halfway through yesterday - so 800 more people are already in, and the queue in the casino to be an alternate - to sit down when someone gets knocked out - is around the block already. Madness. And of course, wherever there is poker madness, right in the heart of it is where you will find Blue Blood.
A lot of low-stakes players and pub part-timers treat the Goliath like their World Series; it's the biggest event that they play in the year at £120 entry and they make a day of it with their mates, having a drink along the way. More seasoned players who regularly play at the casino in £30 midweek donkfests can make a week of it, staying over in a hotel (though I did see a camper van in the carpark; a man after my own heart) firing multiple bullets and happy to re-enter many times to get a decent stack into day 2. Then there is a sprinkling of really decent amateur players and tournament professionals trying to pick their way through the minefield with an eye on the top prize which will be over £70,000 this year.
So on a starting table it's pretty important to categorise your opposition quite quickly so you can have a plan on how to exploit each individual player, and avoid being exploited in turn. And then when stacks get shorter and it's time to shove it all in, you need to know the range of hands your opponent is likely to have and how to exploit that too. And above all you need patience. Day one is thirteen hours long (including breaks) and sometimes you just have to keep folding for an hour. Fortunately, it seems that Blue Blood members are pretty adept at all this, because as we speak there are no less than 10 of us through to day 2. It's expected that the total number of qualifiers to day 2 might reach 900, with an average stack at about 150k which will be 30 big blinds, so anyone with a bigger stack than this is in an enviable position. 
Susan Goldswain (144k) and Phil Stein (139.5k) got through early in the week. Star performer on Monday, day 1C, was Will Messenger who bagged up no less than 432k, which is still one of the biggest stacks through. Mark Cooper (183k) and Reem Ahmed (209k) also qualified well above average.
Tuesday, Day 1D saw Jeremy Brown finally get through after several attempts on 202k. It was always going to happen and he got unlucky a few times. Mark England was pleased to bag up 265k. John Burberry got knocked out in the final level after 12 hours of play - just such a horrible experience - but duly got through Day 1E with 123k. Nic Rawlings had fired a bullet earlier in the week and ran terribly, and it looked like he was doing it again until the second last hand of the day saw him persuade someone to double him up to a healthy 148k. Mike Tainton had fired previously too and was running badly (apart from a spectacular double up when a lady on his table accidentally raised to 56,000 instead of 5,600 and he had the stone cold nuts at the time, must be nice) but then found the cards towards the end and eventually bagged a very healthy 224k.
John and Mark ended up sitting side by side late on Day 1D
John and Mark ended up sitting side by side late on Day 1D
Di Farrell is gracing us with her presence today for her only bullet. She doesn't really need to cash the Goliath though after a successful trip to Vegas in June where she cashed the Rio daily deepstacks in both Omaha HiLo and NLHE for over a thousand dollars. She met up just last week in Vegas again with Gordon McArthur who was going a bit old school and playing in the Orleans - he chopped the $130 bounty 3 ways and then overcame a 6:1 chip deficit in the $105 HORSE heads up against a guy using his WSOP 8 game bracelet as a card protector to take it down. He was only there a few days and ended up in the top ten of their monthly tournament league so there's another cheekly little payment to come there too. Very sadly Gordon won't be at the Goliath this year due to work commitments. 
So there's just a few members left to qualify in the madness that is Day 1G today. Dawn Cooke, Michael Kossov and Steven Frew have all fired a bullet or two already, and Di Farrell, Stuart Sewell, Matt Wood and I think Lindsey Rogers (hope I haven't missed anyone - anyway, it's your own fault for not updating social media) are all entering for their one and only chance. It would be amazing to get everyone through to day 2 so good luck guys! 
 And I'm looking forward to the next report of everyone cashing on Saturday afternoon sometime...

Published: Wednesday, 02 August 2017 19:00Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail

Blue Blood hit the Goliath Festival in numbers!

We are told that the Grosvenor Goliath Festival is the biggest outside the US and it certainly feels like it. Even early in the week the Ricoh casino is heaving. The ten days start with a £220 25/50 2 day event with 3 day 1 flights and Blue Blood were well represented from the off. Nic Rawlings was our first entry on Thursday, wearing his hoodie with pride for the first time. Nic is a talented player, well known to many on the team through the Black Country Poker Club and the Midlands poker circuit. It didn't go well this time on a super aggressive table - he reports that 2 players were knocked out in the first hour or so, which is impressive considering that the average chip stack at that point is over 150 big blinds. He'll be back later in the week.
Next up, Friday saw no less than 6 Blue Blood players enter the comp: old hands Phil Stein, Jeremy Brown, Matt Wood, Susan Goldswain and Mark England were joined by very welcome new member Mike Taynton, also really well known in these parts as a talented and successful player when his isn't in his role as a professional poker dealer at the Genting International.
It was a bit of a rollercoaster for the team - Phil fired two bullets without success, getting coolered with straight over straight on the second one, Jeremy was very up and down but eventually bust late on, and Mike went down to 8k from a starting stack of 25k in the first few levels and managed to grind it right back before running into a succession of unfortunate rivers.
Susan was really patient and was very unlucky when Mark England was moved to her table and took a big pot straight away with queen ten on a queen-jack-ten blank blank board. She has sensibly refused to tell me what she had but I'm guessing either king queen or jack ten. Unlucky with either of those. She successfully played push fold poker and held on for a long time before eventually three-bet jamming tens and running into jacks; she hit a ten on the flop but her opponent hit a jack on the river. Super unlucky. Mark had made a great start which got even better when Mike came and railed him after his unlucky bust out and was a complete lucky charm: Mark got dealt ace king four times in about eight hands, hit every flop including knocking out a short stack with ace queen, and literally couldn't stack his chips fast enough before raking the next pot. That took him to about 75k when the average was about half that. He then went completely dead until moved to Susan's table, which then broke soon afterwards and he was hardly dealt another playable hand all night and had to watch his decent stack dribble away. A few missed draws and unluckily doubling up the super short stacks in position and his final 9 big blinds went in with king ten blind vs blind. The big blind woke up with ace queen and that was that, ten minutes before the end of day 1 after nine hours or so.
So it was only Matt who made it through to day 2 on Sunday with a short but playable stack of 56k and we wish him all the best with grinding it up. 
BB  25/50 Team
BB 25/50 Team
Day 1A of the Goliath was played on Saturday 29th July and I think four BB players were involved. I don't have loads of details at time of writing, but new member Steven Frew, who's an excellent addition to the team - lovely bloke and a really good player with a Hendon Mob as long as your arm - got his stack to an impressive 140k which was above double average at the time, despite apparently three betting by mistake at one point (I'd like to know the details of this; sound amusing) then never saw another hand and bust in the penultimate level. He'll be back later in the week. Phil Stein I think fired 2 bullets without success and is trying again on Sunday.
Mark Cooper and Reem Ahmed had much better days. It looks like Mark made consistent progress and ended the day bagging 183k which will be well above average. Reem went a bit better yet and was among the chip leaders in the room from early on in the day, eventually bagging an impressive 210k. There are several other BB players firing their first bullets on Sunday too: I've seen reports of Will Messenger and Jago Glenister, and Jeremy and Susan are in again I understand too, and there may be others who I'm not aware of yet too! We wish them the best of luck - check back here for results and updates.
Mark and chip porn
Mark and chip porn

Published: Monday, 03 April 2017 20:42Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail

Blue Blood members keep wining the monies .......

It's been a very long time since an update on the day-to-day progress of the Blue Blood players out there in poker-land, both live and online. Sorry about that. Rest assured that they have been grinding away and there are a lot of significant wins to report. Edited highlights only reported here otherwise we're going to be here all week, frankly. If I've missed a big result from anyone huge apologies and let me know and I'll stick it in next time.
Phil Stein played the 11th Anniversary Cup in Luton many months ago and turned his £220 entry into 10th place from 292 and £810. He also played the £150 November Superstack at the Vic in London (see how long it is since an update? Oops) and was 22/459 there for £485. A chunk of Blue Blood players were at the Party Poker Grand Prix at Dusk Till Dawn, including Mark England and Liam Pickering, who both didn't cash. (If you're in any way bothered, you can dredge into the murky depths of the internet to find Mark going out of the TV table KQs vs AA on a K high flop button vs small blind. If you're bothered. No? Thought not). Cashing the event however were Jeremy Brown 75th from 473 for £900, Michael Kossov 15th in the end for an impressive £2250. Well played gents.
Gordon GiMac McArthur has been cashing left, right and centre as usual. Edited highlights: 24th in a Big $215 on Stars (I think) for $528 after satelliting in for $27 and 15th in the $11 8 max at the same time (your correspondent has tried this getting deep in two tournaments at once online thing and it didn't go well, it's extremely hard so particular kudos to GiMac here); binking a $27 PLO for $525 from a field of 56, and live he's been continuing his fabulous run in the Grosvenor 25/25 series with 17th, 27th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 9th places since 2015, the latest two in Newcastle and London for £450 and £590. He's liking Blackpool at the moment too: won the tournament during the APAT as reported previously, and last November came 7th out of 80 in the GUKPT £150 tourney for £540. He's just recently added a Gibraltar flag to his Hendon Mob, popping over for the weekend to come 8th from 223 in the £150 Superstack for £769.
Tournament director for the Gibraltar tournie was our own David Trigg and when not working in the poker industry he's been busy playing too: 2/95 in a £30 in Manchester for £600, 4th in the Bradford 25/25 for £4000 after a deal - nice result chap - 4/69 in £45 in Salford for £450, 22/665 in the Bolton Xmas Cracker for £470, and a 3-way chop in a £30 in Salford for £395.
David was also on hand in a professional capacity at Grosvenor Birmingham Hill Street, dealing in the £220 25/25 tournament in which Mark England slogged through the field to chop heads up for £6500. He dealt Mark a double up twice just when he needed it too (fix!). Several Blue Blood members had percentages of Mark in this tourney too, turning £22 stake into £650, and he'd like to tell them that as far as he's concerned he hasn't had enough beers back yet. Mark has been busy elsewhere too: members travelled down to Bristol for the funeral of our much-missed brother Simon Hyde and it seemed fitting to go afterwards to play poker locally. The only casino in Bristol that seems to offer poker is The Rainbow, and very late that night short-stack ninja Mark finally did a deal for 2nd place from 93 starters in a £40 entry tourney for £970. He's very grateful to his non- colourblind assistant Liam Pickering for stacking his chips late on in the tournament; if it wasn't for him they'd probably still be there now. Online he's been busy too: 13/5209 in the Big $22 for $528 and he finished 3rd twice in one week in the Big $16.50 on Stars for over a thousand dollars each time.
Di Farrell has moved to the States, and in her new home-state of Georgia there's no legal live cash poker. Sad times. She's been playing bar-room poker for non-cash prizes with great success though (we've seen the photos), and did travel across state lines for the $250 WSOP Circuit Seniors event at the Cherokee in North Carolina (apparently you must qualify for Seniors' events at age 35 in the States) and came 29th for $892. Well played. It was great of Di to come back for the APAT as reported below (and as she was taking the photos she doesn't seem to be in many of them. Sorry about that) and she went over to Gibraltar too so she's making the most of her time here. At the time of writing she's in yet another tournie just cashing at Dusk Till Dawn, and has become a grandmother again, so many congratulations to her.
Liam Pickering has an incredibly full schedule so it's a miracle he manages time to play poker at all. Amongst his many other commitments he's started a pub poker league in his home town of Great Malvern which your correspondent attends and can confirm that it's a brilliant little game. He has managed to find time to do a couple of final table deals: £805 in a £50 tournament at Genting Resorts World (which is the Birmingham NEC to you and me. Resort? Hardly. Still) and £220 at a Grosvenor Birmingham Hill Street £25 tournament.
John Burberry has managed to find time to get married (at his age! Well played Sir!) and become a grandfather again. His recent move to East Anglia seems to be paying off poker-wise, he tells me that the standard at Great Yarmouth isn't Great at all - he's had scores of I think £500, £780 (in which he came back from nowhere) and £440 in recent weeks alone.
Matt Wood hasn't been well lately - all the best for your recovery mate - but has still been out playing, specifically in Sheffield for 4/60 in the £55 Sunday Classic for £300, 18/301 in the GPS mini £220 for £1100 and 3/134 in the £72 Xmas monthly for £1600. I feel slightly guilty about having to report that in that last one he was offered a deal for £2300 but declined it because he thought he had an edge. Mmm. Probably right but that's still £700 he's not going to see again. Unlucky mate.
Dawn Cooke has been playing regularly at Aspers at the Olympic Park in London: she's played the £40,000 guaranteed several times, coming 6th, 15th and then 3rd from 205 for £1300. She also cashed the Xmas Cracker, 30th in the end for £465.
Lindsey Rogers just went to Vegas and played a lot over there all I keep seeing on her Facebook feed is her playing pub poker, but I can only find one result recently; I couldn't not include her in the write up though so here it is: 9th out of 57 in a £26 rebuy in Leeds for £80. A cash is a cash, well played mate.
Much to look forward to for the team in the coming weeks too: there's the Easter Beast £110 tournaments happening in Grosvenor Casinos country-wide, and the APAT World Championship of Amateur Poker coming up in Manchester on the second weekend in April which several members will be punting at, with lots of mixed game tournaments and different variations. And the next team event is the Black Country Poker Club Team Championships on May 20 in the West Midlands - Blue Blood are hoping to put in two teams of five; Mark England is organising on the teams' behalf so let him know if you want to be considered.
Apologies for any results I've missed; until the next time good luck us....

Published: Friday, 31 March 2017 11:00Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail

Blue Blood on tour - the Amateur Poker Association and Tour Team Championships, Blackpool

Last weekend saw one of the most entertaining events in the poker calendar - 33 teams of eight
crammed into a sweaty Blackpool Grosvenor Casino for the annual APAT team event.
Blue Blood put out a strong team this year and most of us were able to meet up on Friday night for what I am reliably informed are now called 'prinks', which seemed to involve a really great dinner in the casino, a proper amount of wine each and then late-registering the £25 tournament en masse.
Di Farrell was seen wandering around over an hour later with a left-over bottle of prosecco and an ice bucket while moving tables - no sign of her chips, but priorities obviously correct.

Net result was that Mark England outlasted the field and chopped the last-longer bet for the second year in succession, taking £90 for 11th place and agreeing a £50/£30 split with John Burberry for the last longer.
Congrats to him.
The full team was in place in plenty of time for the photos the next day, once Liam Pickering had finally had his breakfast. It was great to see Mark Cooper and champion swimmer's dad Steve Redfern out in their colours for the first time in a while, and especially nice that Max Ball agreed to represent Blue Blood in lieu of his much-missed father Steve.
John Burberry travelled up from East Anglia despite getting married a week later (congrats mate), Liam had managed to cadge a lift again, Di Farrell had travelled all the way from the States and Gordon McArthur is never one to be left out, generously picking up Di from the airport on the way down.
It was good to see Blue Blood members Tristan Chaplin and Dawn Cooke too, even though they were representing different teams here.
Back: L to R Gordon McArthur, Mark Cooper. Mark England, Liam Pickering,
Steve Redfern, seated L to R John Burberry, Di Farrell (capt), Max Ball 
There's a very special buzz about the APAT team championships. 264 players all proudly wearing their team colours and keen not to let their teammates down. There were no points available until 100th place so more than half the field were going to be disappointed, and it was to be many hours before we got to that stage.
Liam Pickering had a yoyo stack early and Di Farrell lost a big pot unluckily and both ultimately fell before the points, but the other six all made it past 100th and Blue Blood were actually joint leaders at this point with the Hit Squad, the only other team to get six of eight into the points. Unfortunately Mark Cooper (92nd), Mark England (89th) and John Burberry (78th) all fell quickly after the bubble - no real mistakes, running into the top of the opponents' ranges here, so just one of those things.

It was some time later and not long before the end of play for the night when Max Ball finally fell, 66th in the end and a great effort. The others were all into their fourth pint and fifth bad beat story in the bar by then.
 So just Gordon GiMac McArthur and Steve Redfern were among the 60 that came back for day 2. There were some sights to see among the tables by then - one chap had to be woken up every time it was his turn to play, and there were a couple of acquaintances of your correspondent who had last been seen literally unable to walk at about four in the morning, desperately trying to buy everyone in sight a sambuca. They didn't look well.
Steve and GiMac were far too professional for that, of course, and were bright and breezy - GiMac knows how to spin up a short stack better than anyone and Steve went into day 2 as one of the chip leaders after a massive last hand of the day. He did tell me the details but I confess that the Guinness and Jagerbombs have wiped them from my memory. I seem to recall it was a really good play though.
In the end GiMac spun his stack all the way to 38th place and Steve, who by his own admission had had good cards day 1 could find nothing on day 2 and went out 31st. Blue Blood amassed enough points for a solid 8th from 33 in the end. Deserving winners were the Hit Squad who played really error-free poker all weekend and it was particularly nice to see Max Ball in their kit at the end, all John Terry like. He could have played for them and not for us, to be fair.
Those not still in the competition were not to be outdone - at one o'clock in the afternoon a nine-handed £1/£1 cash game was running, and five from the nine were Blue Blood members. Proper degeneracy; well done everyone. Your correspondent has to apologise to Di Farrell, who has come all the way over from the States for this event and the APAT individual championship in a couple of weeks, for taking a stack in the cash game when top pair and combo draws on the flop turned into second nut straight and inside straight flush draw on the turn, and the money went in vs her nut straight. Cheeky flush on the river. Sorry about that. Was ahead on the flop though. Di and GiMac decided that the Grosvenor evening comp was inferior to heading to the Genting up the road, which of course GiMac won. Of course. Never in doubt. Six hundred quid odd. Well played sir, well played indeed.
The tournament at the Grosvenor didn't go as planned and soon saw Mark England, Steve Redfern and Liam Pickering in the cash game. These Blackpool boys don't hang about, any two will do, and chips were flying around like confetti. Your correspondent saw no cards at all and was delighted to finally wake up with aces and double against kings, and quit the night - and the weekend - dead even. Walked out of the casino in the wee small hours to find Liam Pickering still playing blackjack and still not betting on perfect pairs despite all the evidence that it was winning ...
So a great weekend for all. Many amusing memories - the look on the staffs' faces in the chipshop when all these people in matching hoodies came in at once, all paid with twenty pound notes peeled from a thick wad, and then inhaled their fish and chips before literally jumping over the tables and running out again; the look on the nice lady from London's face in the Friday night comp when she was at last moved away from the drunken Scotsman (hi, Rab) and sat next to ... another drunken Scotsman; the nice young man from the Midlands seeing a couple of young ladies throwing up in the gutter at four in the morning and thinking that was an appropriate time to make a move on them - good luck with that, dude - and the look on his room-mate's face the next morning .... but what goes on in Blackpool stays in Blackpool, I guess..
Oh, and PS: not only did John Burberry get married a week later, he also became a grandfather again six weeks early the day afterwards too (mother and baby well!). Congratulations mate.

Published: Saturday, 19 November 2016 16:20Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail



Steve Ball passes away
Steve Ball passed away on 18th November 2016


It is with great sadness that we at Blue Blood have to announce the loss of another of our own: Steve Ball passed away on 18 November after a brave fight against Oesophageal cancer. Messages of sympathy have been pouring in on social media and all are united in their praise for his dignity and serenity. A true gentleman on the tables and off, Steve was diagnosed a year ago and treated his terminal diagnosis like a hand of poker: you do everything you can to survive but sometimes the luck is just against you and there's no use complaining.
Your correspondent was, somewhat inevitably, playing poker when the news came through and there was an immediate and genuine outpouring at the tables of grief, sympathy and, yes, of relief at the end of his suffering. Many players attending had known and appreciated Steve as a man and as a poker player; he touched many lives and was genuinely liked and respected across the British poker world. 
I had the pleasure of playing with Steve on the final two or three tables of the 25:50 tournament at the beginning of Goliath week this summer and the example he set at the table, win or lose, was a lesson for all of us. He took his unlucky exit with grace and good humour. Our thoughts are with his family, especially Helen, Max, and Henri, Splashy his beloved dog, and his many friends in poker and Sheffield Wednesday.


Published: Monday, 10 October 2016 16:20Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail




Simon HydeIt is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of long time Blue Blood member Simon Hyde. He passed away last week at his home with his loyal dog Yoda at his side.
Simon was one of the kindest and most generous men we have ever met. Though he struggled with many setbacks during his life, he never hesitated to put others before himself. His many friends took to social media to express their shock and sadness.
His good humour, concern for his friends' wellbeing and love of a good conspiracy theory will be greatly missed.
Funeral arrangements will be announced once a post mortem examination has been completed


Published: Tuesday, 20 September 2016 16:20Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail




 Lots of news to catch up on at Team BB, including the news that we have been busy over the summer signing up a bevy of new and returning players. Blue Blood is a broad church of very different people, united by only a passionate love of poker played to the highest possible level and with the highest possible standards.
We're delighted to welcome, in no particular order, the following:
Liam Pickering, from Malvern - Liam met Mark England at the infamous Black Country Poker Club and got chatting about Blue Blood. He's a keen player who works on his game and exemplifies the qualities Blue Blood players need to have: an all round nice guy who leads at Sea Scouts and a youngsters' football team when not at the felt. He's already deputised as the bounty in the Monday night Coral Bounty game, which is a bit of a thankless task at the best of times. Good to have you with us mate.
Tristan Chaplin is a well known player with a big reputation around London and the South-east with a host of results including an APAT gold medal and a World Series cash. He has an aggressive and fear-inducing style, as your correspondent can attest having run into him a couple of times on the tables.
Hamish Morjaria is another really decent player with a series of results including a $31k first place at Planet Hollywood in Vegas. He played the same $300 event 2 days before and finished 29th for a grand, then went back and won it. He's got a host of other four-figure results in London, Luton and Spain too. We're looking forward to having him back on board.
Lindsey Rogers had met Di Farrell in Vegas and they met up again at the Goliath (of which more later) and Di didn't hesitate to recruit her - including the following rather bizarre initiation ceremony. And then she cashed and we all, um, didn't. She's a neonatal nurse who, work depending, manages to play three times a week (sleep when you're dead), and at time of writing has won five out of her last six tournaments. So well played her and welcome aboard.
Michael Kossov has a Hendon Mob page as long as your arm, including a Caesar's Palace win for $3.5k, a 25/25 second place (for a mere £8.6k) a GUKPT 6-max 3rd and a load of other four-figure cashes. Good to see you back in the fold.
Stuart Sewell is mostly a cash game player at Dusk Till Dawn and Leicester, with some notable results including a 8,000 euro chop in Marbella and a $2.8k win at the Wynn in Vegas during a trip a couple of years ago when he came home $7,000 in profit. I know he doesn't get as much time as he'd like to play, juggling working as a kitchen fitter and renovating his house, but he's still managed to ship a few smaller tournies at the G in Leicester - I see he shipped a £30 for £580 jus the other day.
Jeremy Brown, another returnee, has a great long list of Hendon Mob cashes, at first glance most of them for a tenner at a restaurant in Sheffield. But take a deeper look and of course he's got a World Series cash (never ever easy, as your correspondent can attest) and a £7.5k cash for 5th at a 25/25 just last year, so he's playing at a really decent standard. Good to have you back with us. We're absolutely delighted to welcome his fiancee too: Susan Goldswain, about whom I'm afraid I know absolutely nothing yet other than she cashed the Goliath last year (which is more than your correspondent managed). Welcome both, and more details to follow I'm sure.
I've just heard some amazing news: Blue Blood has managed to re-recruit TV star player and long time professional Ian Simpson. Ian appears monthly as the featured pro on Sky Poker Live on the telly and has nearly a million dollars in lifetime live earnings, including a win and a fourth in the Irish Open for 265,000 Euro and 107,000 Euro respectively, 2nd in an UKIPT for £107,000, three WSOP cashes including top 300 in the Main Event in 2014 for $33k, a WPT 5 Diamond Classic win for $50k and a whole host of other big cashes in the UK and all over the world - France, Belgium, the Bahamas, Latvia, Spain, Denmark ... and I gather that as I write this he's running deep in a bit tourney in Ireland again. More details next time.
Ian says that he was a live MTT pro for 4 years - a ridiculously hard way to make a living which only the top elite manage to make pay - and has now been grinding as online pro and poker coach for a year or so. We're really excited to have him aboard and we're all looking forward to working with him to improve our own game. A very big welcome Ian.
It's been a long time since the last update so edited highlights of the summer follow!
Blue Blood attended the Grosvenor Goliath week at Coventry mob handed - the week started with a 25/50 series, £220 entry, 2-day tournament. Phil Stein, Mark England and Steve Ball all won through to Day 2 from a couple of different day ones, Phil short with about 60k, Steve just ahead of average with 122k from memory, and Mark well set with 159k. Phil was unlucky to go our early on Sunday, making no mistakes but missing his hands,
but Steve managed to win through to 23rd for £830, eventually three-bet shoving short stacked blind vs blind with I think Ace-5, to eventually get called by Ace-6. It looked for all the world like a chop until the other guy rivered a 6. Well played Steve anyway.
Mark arrived into Day 2 running into the card room full tilt as the cards were being dealt after a hold-up on the motorway, and was all over the place on the first hand when he looked down at pocket aces. He duly won the hand blind vs blind but missed a ton of value out of position on the river by not firing a third bullet at KQ22 rainbow. He still can't explain why he checked. He then messed up a turned set vs KK and missed a river bet there too. Two hands that he won, and a stack now way over 400k among the leaders in the room, but should have been over another 100k more and he was feeling frustrated. Those chips he missed would have helped a few hours later when, on the final two tables he was super card dead and ended up 3-bet shoving KQ suited from the small blind over eventual winner Peter Wigglesworth's button open. Peter had close to the top of his range with AJ off and that was it for Mark, 17th for £930. Still, a good run.
The rest of the Goliath week consisted of the usual suspects firing bullets at one of the many Day 1s in the biggest tournament in the world outside America. Phil Stein, Reem Ahmed, Matt Wood, Di Farrell, Simon Hyde , Dawn Cooke, Mark England, Gordon McArthur, and John Burberry (sorry if I've missed anyone) all tried to make it to the cash, some of them several times, and all failed. Lindsey Rogers finished 369th for £300 and was recruited to Blue Blood during the tournament so we're claiming one cash at least. David Trigg was there too - working as a dealer on the circuit - but it was great to meet up.
Picnic in the 'Park'
There was a lovely meet up for a picnic in the car park on the Friday after Di did a supply run to the supermarket, enjoyed by everyone. I'm not sure if she started on the prosecco then or later, but she was spotted running between the Goliath and the Deuces Wild competition trying to play both tournaments at once later that evening. I think we can safely assume that it didn't end well, but as long as she enjoyed herself ....
Gordon Gimac McArthur has been absolutely crushing tables live and online recently: 3 final tables in 3 weekends, including 8th from 159 in the 25/25 series at Stockton for £850 plus a last longer bonus of a £550 GUKPT seat, then 8th (again! Unlucky on the final tables) from 355 runners at the Grosvenor Summer Sizzler. He then won the Stockton monthly PLO for £450. Gordon's a very strong Omaha player and recently also came 5th from 350 in the $109 Saturday Omania on Stars for $1700. And then back in July he took down a Hot $109 on Stars, first place of 379 for a cool $6644. Just the other day your correspondent had the pleasure of railing Gordon on Stars when he was on a two final tables at the same time in two different variants - NLHE and PLO8. I do believe the old chap is becoming a degenerate. He's won the PLO8 comp four times in the last 3 months for a total of about $1800. Nicely done sir.
Simon Hyde had a great run on Party a few weeks ago, playing a tiny $3.01 satellite to win a $5.50 seat, then a $22 seat and then a $109 seat and then a $530 seat ... which he sensibly tried to cash in. But they wouldn't let him so he played the high roller anyway and finished 12th for $1350. What commitment that is - a long haul on a tight bankroll but shows what is possible. And what an ROI too. Impressive stuff and well played sir.
Matt Wood has been crushing live again - this time he went into the final table of the £220 Genting Poker Series mini at Birmingham's Star City as chip leader and had half the chips in play with 5 left only to hit a couple of horrible hands to crash out fourth. It looked pretty unlucky to me, he says he messed at least one of them up, so I suppose opinion will have to stay divided. Still, 4/318 for £4215 and a GPS seat worth £440 is a good weekend.
Lots of other players have won lots of other monies too - I know that Di Farrell has had a couple of final tables online, and one at Stockton but not sure for how much, and cashed the Sizzler for I think £250, I saw John Burberry hit a final table on Stars, Liam Pickering played as the bounty on the weekly Blue Blood bounty tournie on Coral and won it, and therefore the bounty too, Will Messenger also managed to win that lately too but missed out on the bounty, and Mark England has been accumulating steadily on online: I saw he had a final table for $452 last month in an $11 mtt. Heartfelt apologies if anyone's had a big result and your correspondent missed it - let me know directly next time to save me scrabbling around on Hendon Mob!
And finally, Steve Redfern has been playing no poker whatsoever. Normally not news, but in his case it's for a very special reason: he's been in Rio supporting his daughter and honorary Blue Blood member Rebecca Redfern in the Paralympics. We are delighted to announce that our newest member swam her heart out in the SB13 (visually impaired) category 100 metre breast stroke to win a silver medal. We couldn't be more proud and many many congratulations from your new teammates at Blue Blood.

Published: Thursday, 05 May 2016 16:20Written by WebmasterPrintEmail




Calling all Poker Players, Friends and Supporters, this is a GOLDEN opportunity
to play in a Rio warm-up Charity Blue Blood Bounty game on CORAL.
Monday 9th May on CORAL 

Start time 7.30pm.

Buy-in €11 with 1 re-entry for the first hour.
Starting stack 5,000.
There will be 1 bounty only and this will be on the head of the ‘Blue Blood Bounty’ player (prize donated by Blue Blood). Coral are guaranteeing a prize pool of £500 this will be in two parts. £250 being donated to Rebecca Redfern and £250 divided percentage wise to Gold, Silver and Bronze winners of the tournament (1st, 2nd, 3rd only).
Any monies over this will be divided equally between Rebecca and top 3 finishing players. 
Not only is this great value for money but you will also be supporting a Paralympic Swimmer and her family in Rio 2016.
Please carry on reading all about Rebecca and her achievements.
Rebecca Redfern Silver Medalist on Left


Rebecca Redfern in the daughter of Team Blue Blood Member, Steve Redfern. Rebecca is a visually impaired (VI) swimmer who has recently been offered a place on the World Class development program of British Para Swimming and she is currently making a name for herself within the para swimming world.
Rebecca was first diagnosed with a degenerative visual condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa when she was 8. This has resulted in very poor central vision without glasses (i.e. when swimming), and zero peripheral vision. Her visual fields have reduced over time and will continue to reduce as her vision degrades – she currently has a field of around 10 degrees. To get a better understanding of this, try looking through a toilet roll with one eye whilst the other is closed – this would demonstrate a visual field that is much larger than Rebecca currently has.
In para swimming, VI swimmers are classified between S11 and S13, where S11 has no sight at all and S13 has limited sight. Rebecca is currently an S13, but as her vision degrades over time, she may find herself re-classified as an S12 or ultimately as S11.
Rebecca has been a competitive swimmer since the age of 9 and with the support of her family she now trains 10 sessions per week in the pool starting as early as 5.30am and combined with running in the evenings. On top of this, she attends regular swim camps with Team GB.
In December 2015 Rebecca swam at the British Para Nationals event in Manchester and broke the European S13 record – her first major achievement. In April of this year she attended the British Para Swimming International Meet in Glasgow which was being utilized as the trials for the GB para swim team for the Rio Paralympics. Rebecca would have to record a trial time of 1:19:74 which she smashed and set a new World Record for S13 100m Breaststroke when she clocked 1:16:86 – a time that also ranks her #2 in her local county for able bodied swimming. No rest for Rebecca as she was whisked off to Madeira to make her international debut swimming for Team GB at the IPC European Championships, where she claimed a Silver Medal in the S13 breaststroke.
The family now waits with anticipation on selection for the Rio team, which is announced on 16th May. Should Rebecca qualify, she will leave her home for a month in late August living with the team throughout this period and return home in late September.
All this comes at great expense and the Redfern Family support all their children continuously. Unfortunately Katharine (Rebecca’s Mum) will not be able to travel due to pressures of work and commitments to the other children and the start of the new school year. Steve (Rebecca’s Dad) would like to travel to Rio and support his daughter, seeing her swim and potentially bringing back the Gold Medal for her Country.
So please join in the Blue Blood Bounty Game and show your support by sponsoring Rebecca and her family.
Thank you.

Published: Monday, 29 February 2016 16:20Written by Blue Blood InsiderPrintEmail

Blue Blood Tame The Easter Beast!

There were a host of tournaments over Easter weekend and Blue Blood players were out in force. Blue Blood are generously sponsored by Coral Poker and the Coral-logoed blue hoodies were on display up and down the country as Blue Blood used some funds to put players into £100 tournaments in exchange for 25% of winnings.
Several Blue Blood players ventured out in the Grosvenor Casinos' Easter Beast: five day ones of a £100 + £10 NLHE played over six levels during the week before Easter, with all the survivors going to a combined day two on Easter Monday. We had players in them all over the country but the stand out achievement was in the Midlands when Steve Ball fought his way from a short stack in Walsall on Saturday afternoon to a workable stack by the end of play, finally getting through over 500 players to get to the final table in Coventry early on Tuesday morning - eventually chopping four ways for £7985. Great effort and well deserved. And by my maths that's £2k back to the club too!
Dawne Cooke wins at WCOAPDawne Cooke wins at WCOAP The World Championships of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) were held over 10 days before Easter at Aspers Casino just next to Olympic Park in Stratford, London. Blue Blood's very own Dawn Cooke played 6 events in all, and she managed to take down the very first of them: the £50+5 MixMax tournament for an APAT gold medal and a winner's bracelet and the not-inconsequential £1035! MixMax is a tricky variant that involves starting full ring, then the last 36 players playing 6-max and then heads-up for the last 18, and finally back to a full ring final table, so it requires a constant adjustment of tactics. She lost a good chunk of her stack in the very first level but then ground it back, moving up through the leaderboard during the 6-max to be 2nd at the start of the heads up. The final table was quite deep stacked but she won her flips when she needed to and by the final three she was in a good position. She unfortunately doubled up Tom Clark who is a dangerous opponent to level things out, but to win a tourney you have to get lucky and she did that, hitting a four-outer to take a decent chip lead. The heads-up battle with Simon Brooke lasted an hour and a half before the final hand saw her call a shove with A9 vs QJ, only for the flop to come KKJ - but an ace on the turn was enough to take it down. Great to see Dawn back at the tables and winning again.
Tim Wright is at it again: he played the £66 entry deepstack tournament at his favourite Swindon KC Club. Chopped first again, this time out of 45 runners, for £790. He says it wasn't easy: he had to get there with a flush draw against a flopped set and a straight draw early for big treble up, and admits to another healthy dose of luck too: calling from the small blind with JcJs the flop was KQT all spades. They 4 bet got it in on the flop, and, nightmare, the other guy had AsKc for a higher flush draw. Nut flush for the other guy on the turn ... one outer 9c on the river for a straight flush for Tim to take down a massive pot. Must be nice. Tim's having a monster year.
David Trigg has been travelling - I'm not quite sure how this works, but he's English, went to Dublin, and played the Norwegian Championships. No, me neither. Anyway, it was a €150 + 20 championship and he finished as top non-Norwegian in 14th from 191 starters for €365. And got an Irish Hendon Mob flag along the way too. As soon as he got home he started grinding the online games and managed 3rd from 1224 in a $5 hyper-turbo for $590, and then won a $27 progressive knock-out for $833. A good month all round.
Di Farrell has been busy: she played an online $5.50 satellite and won a seat into a $22 satellite and won a seat into a $109 satellite at DTD (still with me?) then won that too - her prize was an opportunity to play live cash with $1500 (around £1000) at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. She didn't fancy the big-money live stream table, saying her cash game isn't strong enough (I think she's selling herself short, personally), and elected to sit down with her £1000 off camera on the £1-£2-£4 table. The rules stated she had to play for a minimum of three hours. She tells me that this is a big game with a lot of very experienced and aggressive cash game players on it, and nearly every pot was being opened for £15. She ran her nut flush into a rivered full house for a £400 loss early on, but then, her words 'pulled up my big girl pants' and cashed out on the dot of the three hours with £835. Which is a nice return on five dollars.
Also in March she continued her success in Omaha Hi-Lo, bubbling one €10 final table on Coral for €70 and then going one better to hit the last nine for €160. Coral has a decent pool of O8 players so this is a good set of results and with just a little more luck Di will take one of these down.
Apparently not content with a cool ten large last month, Matthew Wood has been straight back to the tables at his local Genting Sheffield. He's managed a 7th from 64 in a £35 6-max event for £130 and 3rd out of 47 in a £30 full ring NLHE for £290. He took his winnings straight to the cash tables to play £1/£1 NLHE. I hear he got a cheeky one through along the way: dealt ten-five of spades in the big blind, he completed 3 way for four quid. The flop was queen-queen-deuce with 2 spades, he check called £6 three way and saw the 6 of hearts on the turn. He checked again - nothing but a ten high flush draw at this point, mind - the early position player made it £25 to go, the middle position called - making the pot £91 - and our Matt stuck in a cheeky check-raise semi-bluff to £77. His opponents both folded, both showing ace-queen for top pair top kicker. Nice move sir, nice move. His comment, apparently? "Ha ha, easy game."
Matt did then manage to fire four bullets at the Easter Beast in the north-west, and despite finally getting to Day 2 with 103k chips (50 big blinds at the start of day 2) he got it in with A8 suited against KJ on AJ8. His friend helpfully told him that he'd folded a jack too, so the case jack coming on the river to cripple his stack was particularly unlucky.
John Burberry has been busy at Genting Luton. The £30 entry dealer's choice game is a minefield for the unwary, with specialists at poker variants like SuperStud to cope with. John's favourite game is also your correspondent's non-hold'em game of choice, the split pot variant 6 card Omaha Hi-Low. I always end up getting quartered chasing low hands with no high but John is obviously much more skilled: 30 runners started the game and John lost all his chips with just half an hour to go before the end of the re-entry period. He fired another bullet anyway at the break, and by the time they had fought their way down to three players he had so many chips that the final deal was just to give John all the £312 first prize and chop second and third places. Nice work sir.
Rob Williams isn't having any time to get out and play lately but did manage a few sessions on 888 poker as well as Coral, and is consistently getting deep, bubbling final tables several times this month. A big result is just round the corner.
Steve Redfern was delighted when the WCOAP announced an 8-game championship, so down to London from Worcestershire he went. He really thought he'd have a chance as the standard in these mixed game tournaments is often not great - many people are taking a bit of a punt with proper knowledge of how to play only three or four of the variants. He ran really card dead in the early rounds of limit games and then managed to bluff off most of his stack in no-limit and the end was nigh. A few drinks later he took to the cash tables (never a great combination ...) and inevitably lost a couple of stacks there too. He cut his stay in London short and instead went into Birmingham for the Grosvenor Hill Street's £55 buy-in pot-limit Omaha 456 event, which also looked like having an overlay, starting with just 36 runners. It looked like his week was going from bad to worse when his 50,000 starting stack became just 9,000 but Steve's been playing for too long to panic. He went into jam mode to survive, being unlucky to flop the nut straight and then find out that 2 other players had too. The £25 add-on at the break gave him a working stack, and was rewarded when very first hand back he woke up with AKKQJT triple suited (for the uninitiated, this is an absolute monster) and his 40,000 were suddenly 190,000. He hit the final table second in chips and despite a big bump in the road when he lost 530k of his 600k stack, he kept aggressive, winning lots of pots uncontested before winning a monster three-handed to go into heads-up slightly ahead. He had the chutzpah to decline a deal and then binked the lot for £1100. Poker taketh away, poker giveth. That is the crazy nature of our game, right there. Well played indeed, and congratulations particularly for remaining level-headed despite a nasty run of cards. We all know how hard that can be.
Phil Stein is normally a cash game player who says that Hold Em is his worst game. That didn't stop him making a last minute decision to enter the Genting Dunstable super slow structure £110 NLHE event. He had no premium pairs - in fact no hand better than pocket 9s save AKo once - all tournament, but managed to get his 3- and 4-bets through to finally chop first place from 140 runners for £2000.

Published: Monday, 29 February 2016 16:20Written by WebmasterPrintEmail

Blue Blood Players taking all of the monies in 2016 so far:

Matthew Wood - Genting Poker Series winFirst off a big apology to Matthew Wood! This is what was just about to be put somewhere down at the bottom of this Latest News: "He managed one four figure result on PokerStars, taking a $2200 win in a $5 rebuy no-limit hold 'em event. He says he needs to work on not blowing up in tournaments so much [bound to happen with such a super-aggressive style - Ed]." And then just before the editorial deadline, in the early hours of the 29th of February, he took down the Genting Poker Series Mini £220 NLHE at Genting Sheffield for £10,000.
So the practice at not blowing up in tournaments has obviously paid off, and a big humble pie for your correspondent. Fabulous result and pride of place in the results - especially as, degenerate gambler that he is, he apparently won his way into the 200-runner tournament in a 10-man £22 flip for a seat! Now THAT is how to run it up. Well played sir, well played indeed. I make that a 45,000% ROI, which you'll agree is not unimpressive.
Tim Wright came an excellent 10th in the Winter Classic at the Hippodrome in London's Leicester Square, just bubbling the final table but turned his £275 entry into £1118 so a great effort. He then went even better at the Genting Club Reading Quarterly Special £110 NLHE just before the end of the month, coming an excellent 3rd out of 136 for £3200. Two quality results.
Steve Redfern is mostly a cash pot-limit Omaha player but does play tournaments in both no-limit hold 'em and PLO and has had a string of good results this year: he won a €5 PLO rebuy on Coral for €303, and has finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th there in NLHE €10 tournaments for €446, €347 and €201, and also managed that elusive thing, a PokerStars final table: he was 4th in a $33 PLO tournament for $728.
Blue Blood's lovely and hard working membership secretary Di Farrell has been putting together some decent live results: she played the Newcastle leg of the Grosvenor 25/25 no limit hold 'em series, turning her £225 entry fee into 15th place from 273 and £650. She also wants it to be known that she isn't just a no limit hold 'em machine, she can play the complex split-pot poker variant pot-limit Omaha hi-lo too, finishing 7th at the APAT Luton £30 side event for £80.
Gordon 'GMac' McArthur played the same Newcastle 25/25 and did even better - he final tabled and eventually finished 7/273 for £1700. He also managed 4th in the £3k guaranteed at Stockton for £300. He says he's not had a lot of time to play this year but seems to be proving that quality is better than quantity.
Mark England is concentrating on grinding multi-table tournaments this year and has had a good start: he's had several final tables on PokerStars, the significant ones being 3rd from 302 in a $16.50 8-max tournament for $498, and then his biggest online win for a while: after a marathon 13 hours he was unlucky to finish only 3rd from a starting field of 10,268 in the Sunday night Bigger $8.80 for $6116. He also managed to cash the £50 NLHE freezeout tournament on the Friday night of the APAT weekend in Luton, finishing 11th for £185, which won him half of the last longer bet, paid for the hotel for the weekend and went some way to compensating for his frustration in the APAT team event where he bubbled the points in 103rd. Mark says that at least part of the credit for his success so far this year is from the expert one-to-one tutoring and analysis he is receiving from Ben Agombar, a full time online mtt pro and coach, which is being provided by Blue Blood Poker.
Will Messenger won a 411 person $27 hyper-turbo NLHE tournament on PokerStars for $2230. Hyper turbos are a very difficult way of making money, with lots of variance, so this is an excellent result.
Dawn Cooke managed to chop first place at Aspers Stratford in the £30 NLHE for £210 not once but twice! She also had a £220 score finishing 13/161 in a £50 tournament there. Dawn is a quality consistent player and it's good to see her back out and winning again.
Simon Hyde came 14th at the Dusk Till Dawn XXL £25 Monster for £175, and managed a satellite win of a $1000 seat into one of the PokerStars Turbo Championship Of Online Poker events, but sensibly cashed it in to use it for lots of smaller tournament entries rather than risk the variance of one big fast structure event. Simon is a keen student of poker and has been working hard on his game lately and the big results are certain to follow.
And finally, Steve Ball hasn't been able to play a lot lately but did manage an impressive 2nd from 128 players in the Sky Poker 2015/16 Heads-Up Championship online (I think this is a freeroll, but I'm sure someone will correct me if it isn't?), winning 2 Sky Main Event tickets. He was very unlucky in the end not to win the whole thing. I'm hearing that he managed to get to G Walsall over the last weekend in February and cashed too - well played Steve and great to see you're out and about playing poker.

Published: Monday, 01 February 2016 16:20Written by Di FarrellPrintEmail

APAT Team Event Luton Grosvenor 30--31 January 2016

There is one weekend every year that all Poker Players write in their calendar and no-one likes to miss out on; that is the Amateur Poker Association Tour Team Event. Months in advance poker clubs, organisations have to apply to APAT and wait to see if they are lucky enough to get in as it’s capped at 30 teams, like this year many teams were unsuccessful. Blue Blood were fortunate once again to get chosen as they have for the past 4 years. The Team Event is one of the most competitive you will find on the circuit, but that doesn’t stop the support, banter and laughter crossing over between the teams. Also included over the weekend are side events organised by APAT like ‘No-limit Hold’em and PLO8 Hi/Lo.

Steve Ball and John Burberry were unable to attend

In our original line up was Steve Ball, a stalwart of these events and John Burberry, another BB Legend. Unfortunately, neither could play in the end. Both for very different reasons, John got an offer he couldn't refuse – a free holiday to the Bahamas, Steve is battling an illness and at the time of the tournament was too unwell to attend. He was greatly missed not just by us, his team mates, but also by many who know him so well on the circuit and as a very active member of APAT. We all wish him well and for that one time to be his.
Our original substitute/Cheer leader, Mark England was drafted into the team and Gaynor Williams; Rob’s far better good looking other half also joined us. It has to be said what an asset they both were. Out of our team of 8 players, Gaynor was the 2 to last longest going out in the points. Only surpassed by Phil Stein who eventually got knocked out in the top 20. Then literally at the 11th hour we had to bring in another substitute which Steve Ball kindly organised. The Hit Squad had an extra player - Pat Costello who graciously stepped up to the plate and instantly felt like one of the team. (Think it cost us a half a shandy, a packet of peanuts and a Blue Blood coveted hoodie.) 
So with the team set in stone we were ready…
  • Di Farrell (Captain)
  • Gordon MacArthur
  • Phil Stein
  • Matthew Wood
  • Mark England
  • Rob Williams
  • Gaynor Williams
  • Pat Costello (Hit Squad)
It is said that “it’s not the winning that is important, but the taking part”. Actually on this occasion this statement is absolutely true. Placing wise we were 25th out of 30, but from the time we all met up in the restaurant on the Friday evening until we all went our separate ways late Sunday evening. Team members became much more than that, they became a close family, listening and supporting each other as well as the banter, the copious drinks that were drunk, the laughter, the prop bets and the railing. Simon Hyde drove from Leicestershire just to sit and have dinner with us, what more can be said. His health is not the best but he made it there.

ATAP Team Event Luton

As an organization Blue Blood is now firmly back on the map in the poker community eyes and we had amazing positive feedback. Old and new players asking if they could come home and how they could join. Also a Coral representative was there who handed over his business card and asked to contact him with regards ‘what he could do for us’. Onwards and upwards for Blue Blood.
So let us mention prop bet – We had last longer for the side event Friday night which was a tenner each. Eventually Phil and Mark chopped this between themselves, Mark then went on to cash in this event which was a phenomenal achievement as most of the tournament he was struggling to find a decent hand and accumulate chips. Then we had the same last longer event for the team event, once again Phil took this down, profiting himself a nice £100. What is funnier still is that this was more than he won for 2 days of hard graft in the Team Event which rewarded him with 60, which he has kindly donated to the next team event at say the Goliath in August for a round of drinks. Cheers Phil.
Sunday was the PLO8 Hi/Lo side event, buy- in 30 which had 60 runners and 7 re-entries. Mark England, GeordiGimac (as he is now to be known by) Gordon McArthur and Di Farrell all played this event. Mark was the first out from us, Gimac was unlucky to go out in 11th place and Di Farrell was fortunate enough to Final Table through some miracle and went out 7th to cash.