Friday, 26 November 2010

Blue Grotto, Malta


DSCF0120, originally uploaded by phillhuxley.

Valletta


DSCF0082, originally uploaded by phillhuxley.

Paul's Store


DSCF0190, originally uploaded by phillhuxley.

Valletta bus station at dusk


DSCF0228, originally uploaded by phillhuxley.

Gozo


DSCF0255, originally uploaded by phillhuxley.

Cumberland Hotel, Valletta


DSCF0283, originally uploaded by phillhuxley.

Fire


DSCF0311, originally uploaded by phillhuxley.

In the Three Cities area of Malta where my poker tournament took place, I noticed some cool, beat up looking buildings. Afterfiguring out how to get over there, I realised that they were part of an old dockyard which now seems closed down. Fences were around to stop people getting in and as there was bright sunlight and security, I n...ever even tried that one, but I managed to take some nice exterior shots.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Gambling

I've just arrived in Malta to play a few tournaments. After examining some of the local walls (solid but stylish), I decided to play a cash game for a few hours on my first night here. The casino's rake is absurd, but the players are terrible.

I take a seat in a 2/5 euro game because there is one free. I plan to perhaps drop down to 1/2 later, but my first hand at the table convinces me otherwise.

Two guys get 100 big blinds each in preflop, then get the other 25bb all in on the flop. When it comes to show down, one flips over QJs for a pair and the caller turns over a 4, mucks his other card and then shoves his stacks of chips into the middle of the table so they topple over and storms off John D'Agostino style.

So the game goes on, there is often a straddle to 10 and a dead minimum raise to 20. It's a juicy game for sure! I lose a big flip when I get 90bbs + dead money in preflop with TT (the nuts!) and the guy with AK rivers a king on me.

I reload to 500 and grind it back to 700 and get it all in vs a 500 stack with 89 on a 467 flop vs his A7. Odds calculator tells me it is exactly 50/50 but I don't get there and hit any of my outs.

I am left with 220 in my stack and am deciding whether to stay or leave when the following hand happens:

We are 6 handed and I am dealt aces in the BB.

First to act folds and the hijack, an older Italian guy who has all his chips messily stacked, pulls out a bunch and throws them into the pot. However, his disorganisation has lead to him putting a 100 in with all the 5s, so he opens to 130 - we are of course playing 2/5 and this is a 26x open raise.

Instantly he tries to take it back but I politely urge the dealer to call the floor, so he can be told he can't do that. Chips have crossed the line, it plays.

It folds around to the sb who has been silent throughout this. He is sitting on a stack of about 3,000 and is a decent player and raises it up to 270.

Well this can't get any better and I ponder for a few seconds before going all in for my 220.

The initial raiser is only playing about 400, but even so, he's now getting a really good price to continue playing, so he also makes the call.

We now have a 660 main pot and a 100 side pot.

Flop comes down T97 and big stack puts the Italian in for the rest of his chips. He moans and groans and waves his arms, before calling.

This is a cash game so we keep our hands concealed for now.

Turn is a king and the big stack instantly flips up KK.

River is a blank and three kings takes the pot.

Sigh.

On another night I win those two flips and have 1,600 sitting in front of me, get it all in with aces vs kings and hold, leaving the game 2,700 euros to the good.

Tonight instead I drop 1k.

I hate poker.