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TIME for a confession about the recent Walsall Grosvenor UK Poker Tour event.

I was bad. Donkey bad.

Around 130 entrants paid £200 to enter this lowest-priced leg of the summer series event, sponsored by Bluesqpoker.com

After three hours at the tables I finished around 80th, which might sound respectable.
It wasn't.

I chose my biggest ever cash tournament to play the worst poker of my life.

Don't ask me why.

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WHEN your luck's out, it's really out.

Few days back I was on the KING of all tilts. MTTs, SnGs, cash games - this sucker could just not get an even break.

Knew I was in serious trouble when I lost a ridiculous cash hand.

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THE explosion of poker websites in recent years can leave the online player dizzier than a kid in a toy shop - on a roundabout.

So to help you out, here are my top 10 sites which offers tips, news, player ratings or just a damn good laugh.

Enjoy.

Battle of the best

By Villa777 on Mar 18, 09 09:13 AM in Gambling

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Fascinating battle currently going on to decide who is King of the online poker game.
Bluff Magazine gave 20 of the world's top internet poker players a starting pot of just $200 and challenged them to see how much they could make from sit 'n' go and MTT tournaments in the month of March. If they lose it all - then they're out.

With just 13 days gone, SnoOowman - aka Brain Hawkins - has jumped to a big lead, increasing his bankroll to an astonishing $9,000-plus.

But my money is on the man in second place, the legendary Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb who is up to $4,000 so far. I've played on the same table as the Deeb a couple of times on Pokerstars and he really is a skillful and frighteningly aggressive opponent.

Expect him to start raking in the big wins before too long... and be crowned Champ come April.

To follow the action visit Bluff Poker Challenge.

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MAKE the right call in poker and you look a hero - but make the wrong one and you look a donkey of Kong proportions.

Classic example came in a recent $1/$2 cash game.

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MOST great poker players have gone bust at least once in their careers.

Pick a top player's biography and you'll undoubtedly read how they hit skid row before bouncing back to profitability and fame and fortune.

Superstar Gus Hansen was recently rumoured to be broke after a losing streak of Nick Leeson proportions, claims he strenuously denied.

Yet he's previously admitted blowing $1 million in just two months, before winning it all back in an astonishing 50-hour on-line poker session.

Going bust in order to become a winner was a template for success that I wanted to avoid.

I HAVE a conspiracy theory about on-line poker - all the conspiracy theories about the game are true.

Trawl any on-line forum and you'll find cursed players coming up with more sinister plots than a whole series of X-Files.

Some claim certain sites have a 'doom' button that can switch a rock of a player, who had been skillfully winning huge pots and mega-buck tournaments, into a hapless donkey.

Others believe that ringers secretly reel in your cash by playing incognito for the site - with the advantage that they know what cards are coming in next.

Then there is the 'cash out curse'. This goes something like the player who makes a big withdrawal will then endure an unbelievable run of bad luck until they have blown everything they had ever won.

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THERE have been a few hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck moments in my life.

The birth of my beautiful baby son was one, enjoying a spectacular sunset in the

Maldives with his mother in our pre-parent days another.

Now add winning a Pokerstars multi-table tournament - and scooping a cool $3,262 jackpot for my $11 stake.

Yes blog fans, I came, I saw, I kicked ass!

Me and 1,998 other hopefuls from around the world had started out with 3,000 chips.

Seven hours later I had more chips than Harry Ramsden - around 60 million - and a first place that had earned me close to £2,200. great year...

So near... yet so far!

By Villa777 on Nov 11, 08 01:22 PM in Tactics

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I WAS heading for my biggest ever poker win after playing close to the perfect game.
More than 1,800 people had started the $16 MTT but now, after a three-hour rollercoaster ride full of more twists than a 1950s dance hall, I found myself in the final 17.

My chipstack stood at a huge 120,000, putting me in 8th place.

The adrenaline was rising as I looked greedily towards the riches of the final table and a $4,500 first place.

This was definitely no time to be gung-ho.

I was already guaranteed $135 but in this final phase of the tournament each higher place would rocket by hundreds of dollars, so playing position or premium hands was now my game plan.

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Then I got dealt a stunning, beautiful, pair of pocket aces in late position - and I let out a triumphant whoop! Double up here and I'd be captain of the table.

But with the blinds at a huge 12,000 and 6,000 the existing chip leader, in early position, put in a min raise to 36,000.

As my competitors folded round to me I considered just flat calling and reeling him in. But something made me think again, so I decided to push this big bully off the pot by going all in.

I fully expected him to fold. And I would have been more than happy to sidestep this dangerous opponent and boost my chips by 54,000, taking me further up the rankings.

He thought. And thought. And thought some more. He knew he would have to gamble close to another 100,000 chips on what was an inferior hand.

With just seconds left on his clock, he called... and turned over a pair of fives.

I was whooping again!

Until the flop came - 6s, 9h, 5c.

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A strange, strangled noise came out of my throat as the turn delivered the 5s.

Christ on a bike! Unbelievable!! Quad, bleedin' fives!!!

I didn't even see the river, as I had stormed from my chair and straight to the fridge to get a can of lager.

I was dead. Gone. In 17th place.

Yes, I was $135 richer, but I had been tantalisingly close to a BIG payday. My best ever tournament performance had ended in one of my most painful beats.

Thank God for beer.

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