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First Quarter Review...

January 1st - March 31st

Things have finally started to turn around after a fair few months of treading water, and March turned out to be my best month at the tables since May 2011. It  might seem a bit rich to reflect on the last 3 months when I actually barely played in February due to my daughter's birth, but meh, there's a few things I haven't mentioned on the blog yet, and I've made-up a new graphic to depict how my year is going so it makes sense to deploy it now :)

Although I don't play a whole bunch of MTTs generally, usually just a few turbos a day, I've had some nice results that I haven't bragged about mentioned yet on my blog.

1. My 1st Sunday Major victory!
Ok, it's a slightly misleading headline, that might lead you to think I've won "mad dimez", when actually I didn't. I also only sort of won. On Sunday 22nd March I chopped the $215 Pacific Rim Special Heads Up for ~$4,300 vs another SNG reg who got $90 more than me. We flipped any two cards for the TLBs (Tournament LeaderBoard points) and somehow the hands ended up being JJ vs A3 (rigged) and therefore PokerStars accredits me with a 1st place finish. Wiiiiiiiiiii.

Ok so with 103 entrants it's not quite the Sunday Million, but it was still a very welcome bink.

2. My biggest ever field victory
Prior to this bink, I believe I had never bested a field of more than 300 players. Consequently it felt very empowering to finish 1st of 4250 entrants in the Hot $2.20 on March 16th for ~$1,350. It was pretty fun dominating the final table in the knowledge that the money would likely mean a lot to the other finalists. After the tourney I Sharkscoped the rest of the top 5 just for the craic, and one had this particularly sick graph:

That's a lot of grinding right there. But wiiiiiiiiiiiii @ him finally being in the black :)

3. Two TCOOP final tables
Back in January I played a fair few of the TCOOP tournaments. I obviously bricked every Hold 'em event I played, but somehow managed to luck-box my way to a Limit Omaha 8, and a HORSE final table for ~$4k and ~$5.5k respectively. Further bragaments, I recently got sent these sick card protectors in the post :)

SNG Results:

SNGs have started to go nice and steadily for me again. Steadily, that is, except for a little experiment in $100 6-Max Hyper-Turbos I had (fwiw, although I would understand your scepticism on this matter, on this occasion 'experiment' does not mean tilting my nuts off at them after having a bad day elsewhere. I set out to give them a go, and just happened to run deathly at them, it was at this point I started to tilt my nuts off...). Unfortunately this 'experiment' led to me having my worst ever day on PokerStars yet :(

Fortunately I recovered some money in them, but have ultimately decided that they aren't for me. I'm such a variance nit that such a trial was probably ill advised anyway! I've also ran fairly Godly in other games since then, so if anyone would like to go and reassure the me of March 15th that everything will be rosey in a couple of weeks time, you might spare me some anxiety :)

So the graphic (now revamped) that I last posted towards the end of January now looks like this:

Not too shabby!

<--- Week 4 review | Future review --->

Lol (live) donkaments...

In the last couple of weeks I took a shot at a couple of big live tournaments at my local cardroom, Dusk Till Dawn. I don't really get the chance to play big live tournaments very often, as I don't like to leave my wife and kids, so took the chance to play these two that were close-by, where I can sleep at home, and I happened to go deep in both of them.

First off was the £500 Monthly Deepstack that this time around drew 643 entries for a ~£320,000 prize-pool. Being a re-entry tournament, I went into it willing to fire the full 4 bullets over the 2 starting days. I busto'd my first bullet in a standard flip, and re-entered when a stack was worth about 30bbs. I ran pretty good, and I ended up going into Day 2 12/186 remaining.

Day 2 was pretty fun. I was playing well, I picked up some big hands in good spots, and I was in or amongst the chip leaders for much of the day. I bust Roberto Romanello when he shoved something like 9 bbs in MP and I called with 33 in the big blind, and the board ran out K, 9, 3, 3, x. I also ended up sharing a table with the legendary Devilfish.

The structure of the tournament meant it kind of descended into a crap-shoot from 3 tables out, where the average stack became ~15bbs. Of course, this suited me fine and it was highly likely I was the best player left with this kind of stack. Unfortunately for me, I saved my run-bad for the most pivotal point in the tournament. I lost a flip when I opened KT in the cut-off and Maria Demetriou made the obligatory 7bb shove with 88. Then with 16 left I made a reship on the button vs a 6bb UTG shove with A8 and was up against 89s, only for the door card to be the 9. With my remaining 7bbs I somehow managed to pick up AQs in early position when I was just hoping for cards that were in some way connected! Obv the eventual winner is sat to my left with KK and it's gg me.

With payouts of £85k/£50k/£30k/£20k for 1st-4th respectively, I was pretty gutted when I bust for a paltry (relatively speaking) £2.5k in 15th place. I have to play A LOT of SNGs to make that kind of money, and I was starting to smell it. Win any one of those 3 hands and I have a decent shot, but sigh, that's tournament poker for you. As they say; standard.

After deciding I was going to retire from live poker that evening, I managed to perk myself up again to come out of retirement and play the next tournament (The €700+70 Poker 770 Mega Poker Series) 4 days later. With starting stacks of 770 big blinds, and 77 minutes per level, this was set to be a gruelling affair if things were to go well (despite this sick structure I still managed to not get dealt AA for the whole tournament, FML!).

And go well they did. I got an excellent first table draw, with only a couple of good players, one of which was on my right. I built my way up to 180k (from 77k) in chips in Day 1 and was well above average going into Day 2.

I managed to bodge my first hand back on Day Two. I 3b an oldish guy who raised the C.O. from the button with 58s. My c-bet on 9J7 didn't work, but I binked the T on the turn. He check-raises me and I want to puke. Maybe I can just fold against said villain. The board paired on the river and he bets. Easy fold right? But sigh, he bet small and I was getting 4 to 1 or something and called. He obv had KQ and the table immediately broke after this hand. It was probably a good thing to prevent me steaming after losing 2/5 my stack in a stupid spot.

From there on in though I played super well for all of day 2. I made what was a really good call all-in for my tournament life with 2nd pair in a 4-bet pot as reported here:
Most will probably know James Atkin as "epitomised" and he has been a force to be reckoned online whilst trying to find the way back into the grind at the live tables. After the spectacular 3way set and River Quads, the Belgian Xavier Charlier has been using his big stack to push around the table, but he was just caught by Atkin with the fingers in the cookie jar. Preflop, epitomised raises from the Hijack to 4,200 in Level 10 at Blinds 1,000-2,000 / Ante 300 and the 770 Pro reraises to 10,000 from the Button. The Blinds get out of the way, but Atkin 4bets to 22,000 and gets called to go Heads-Up to the Flop 10 3 Q.
The Brit check-calls 30,000 and once the 9 hit the Turn, the 770 Pro fires the next barrel for 60k. Atkin only had 80k behind and didn't even think about folding in the spot, the Belgian has to call off another 20k and flips over K 5for a total bluff on the flop and a gutshot on the Turn. He is not drawing dead yet against the K 10 of Atkin, but he cannot scoop the pot anymore and only split with a Jack on the River. The miracle doesn't happen and James Atkin bumps his stack up to ~290,000 in Chips, whereas the 770 Pro falls below that stack.
Fwiw he had 3 bet me on the bottom the previous orbit with 37s :)

I made another good play 2 or 3 levels later where I peeled an EP open with AJs, only to be 3-bet by an overly aggressive bad player in the CO. When the original raiser folded I made what would be a suspicious 4-bet, intending to induce. He obliged, and shipped all-in for just over 100bbs total. I snapped and he had ATs. It felt pretty heroic to call a 5-bet shove with AJs for a ridiculous amount of big blinds and be right, but obv he binked a ten.

From that point on in the tournament I was nursing an under-average stack, but this was still 20-30 big blinds and I clung on and clung on mostly in preflop wars. I survived with 66 vs AJ when I 3b jammed on the #1 ranked PocketFives player Chistopher 'NigDawg' Brammer, and later just about survived the money bubble which is where the day ended, with me placed 32nd/36 remaining.

Early on in Day 3, expecting the min-cash and the drive home 30-minutes later, I actually managed to win a couple of flips to keep me in contention. 55 vs A6s blind vs blind, then AK vs AJ & TT. Day 3 was all about preflop wars and I barely recall showing down a hand after these two flips. I clung on and clung on, and I was about 8th with 10 remaining, and happy to have a shot at making the final table.

I'd shipped the button vs the cut-off for 20bbs the orbit before, and he opens the cut-off again for 40k at 10k/20k(2k). I look down at JJ and I'm like, wiiiiiiiiiii. I jam again. He calls and I'm still reasonably happy, but he has QQ, FML. So I bubbled the final table and again fell short of the big money with £35k/£21k/£13k the payouts this time.

Despite feeling pretty crushed at missing out on two big final tables, there were good things to take from all this live poker. It was really good to catch up with some of my friends on the circuit. As many of you will know, grinding online is so bloody isolating, and it was nice to have some real humans to talk to. It was cool to share a table with some guys I get on well with, like Simon Deadman, Marc Wright, Andrew Hulme (who came 2nd, congrats!) and I even got to share a table with my old friend Mickey Wernick who I hadn't seen in a long time. Not to mention managed to grab a Nandos with my long-time friend Dan Carter and the hero that is John Eames.

I was also pleased to get the proverbial "duck off my back", in that I hadn't cashed in a live poker tournament since I binked a side-event at the Galway UKIPT in December 2009. That featured 26 tournaments without a cash which must be somewhere around the bottom of variance considering how 'lol' live poker is (although the last 12 or so of the Poker 770 were incredibly tough, shows that cream rises to the top in a structure of that nature!). At least my Hendon Mob page now reflects that I am still around.

Also, 2 small cashes is obviously better than just losing. Although it still doesn't quite seem like sufficient reward for approximately 45 hours of gruelling live poker!

Oh well, nevermind. It's back to the online grind for me after seemingly having barely played this year. I don't think I'll retire from live poker again just yet, as the £700+70 UKIPT in Nottingham has just been guaranteed at £1 million by Dusk Till Dawn. Third time lucky?

Volume fail, TV & taking a shot

After more than 3 weeks off since my daughter was born, I've started to wean my way back into playing on-line. I'm struggling to find an exact routine that I want to play. I feel like I need to put in more full day sessions, after relying on just morning sessions for too long.
Infact I just had a look at my volume since Black Friday, and it's rather pathetic. I've only played 15,000 SNGs and 2,000 MTTs since that fateful day over 10 months ago. ~1,500 games a month average just isn't sufficient. I'd really prefer to see that I was in the 3,000-4,000 range.

Admittedly in this time I have moved house, gotten married, been on my honeymoon and a trip to Vegas, and had a daughter, so there is some explanation. I can't imagine any more major life events coming up in the near future though, so there is no excuse but to get grinding. I really need to put some volume in at the tables, and make some money, after not doing as well in that period as I would have liked, as well as not playing enough.

Before I get fully back into things I'm planning to take a shot at two big live tournaments happening closeby to me at Dusk Till Dawn (wiiiiiii @ the recent dualling of the A46 making it only 45-50 minutes away now) in the next week.

There is a £500+60, £250k Guaranteed tournament starting tomorrow, with two Day 1's, and 1 re-entry allowed each day. So I get 4 shots (hopefully not necessary obviously) at a big tournament. Then next week there is a sick tournament being run there by Poker 770 with a buy-in of €700+70 in which you get 77,000 chips, and levels lasting 77 minutes. It should be fun to play a tournament with such a sick structure.

It would be nice get a live result, as it is over 2 years since my Hendon Mob page got an addition (no I am not counting 394th in a €60 tournament, how tilting that gets displayed!). This is result of not playing a whole lot of live tournaments, and running deathly when I have bothered, but it would be nice to have some kind of bink so that people don't think I've gone busto :)

On another note I had fun appearing on the Sky Poker TV show for the second time last week. It's quite a slog appearing on a 4 hour live show, but I can pretty much talk about poker ad nauseum so I didn't find it too difficult.

My second-born...

I haven't blogged in a while as I have been busy taking some "paternity leave" over the last couple of weeks. My wife gave birth on February 2nd, 3 days overdue, to our beautiful baby daughter Alaina Julie Atkin:

I was definitely less panicked this time around than I was with my son Clark. I heard Liz get out of bed at about 4am and I mumbled something along the lines of "you aren't going into labour are you?". She said "yes". I did the natural thing that you would expect in this situation, and snap went back to sleep :-)

She woke me up at about half seven, and we got all our stuff ready, took Clark to my mum and dad's house and drove to the hospital. Of course there was no-where to park and we ended up having a fair trek from an outer car-park. This especially sucked for me as I had to carry all the bags. Why do us men always have to do the heavy carrying. It took a long time to walk there as Liz was lagging behind and had to stop occasionally, which I thought was rather inconsiderate given that it was about -2 degrees or something.
Alaina Julie Atkin
Turns out the hospital was pretty rammed with other people in the same situation, so got a bit of a poky room in the hospital. Liz was a bit bummed that there wasn't a bath as they helped her through the last time she was in labour. But meh, it was fine, and we got a really nice midwife assigned to us.

The next few hours were basically me trying to help Liz through her contractions, and her telling me to GTFO and not touch her! I just about managed to talk her out of having any drugs, which she had been adamant about (until her contractions started). I'll give her some major credit though, she did the whole labour without any drugs whatsoever. What a hero(ine).

The whole process was a lot quicker than last time, and the actual birth seemed insane. She was 'measured' for only the second time at about 1.40pm, and it turned out she was fully dilated. About 90 seconds later, there was a screaming baby on the bed! The mid-wife and student doctor were still trying to put their gloves on! It literally fell out lol. I can see the hea...oh she's here!

Brother & Sister
I've been pretty busy since then, it seems that having two children is a lot harder work than one. Liz is basically taking care of the baby whilst I take care of Clark. He's dealt with the change pretty well so far, aside from trying to feed her from Cheese and Onion crisps when he met her for the first time, and trying to bosh her on the head with a wooden giraffe ornament (and being adamant that he wanted to do it, when he was sternly told no, lol).

Liz had to have a few stitches as a result of the hyper-turbo birth (poker references ftw) so she found the first week pretty tough going, but I think we're getting into the swing of things now, and hopefully I can get back to working full time as I rather need to earn some nappy money!

Me & Alaina

Week 4 review - "Confidence Boost"

January 22nd - 28th

I only put in a low volume week this week in SNGs, which was a result of me dabbling in the TCOOP, and taking a bit of time off to help my wife out who is now very heavily pregnant. I had some positive TCOOP results, which I will write about in my next blog post where I am going to review how MTTs went for me in January.

After what feels like months and months of running bad, I am currently running really good. Dropping down in stakes, forgetting about SNE and avoiding STTs has worked out really well for me so far. Although we're dealing with small samples here, this graph still paints a telling before/after picture (I quit SNE, STTs and $60+ 18-mans somwhere in the red circle).

My 6-man to 45-man SNGs Jan. 2012

Although I'm running above expectation over my last 1000 games, it is definitely the confidence booster I needed. I was feeling pretty miserable about poker and questioning myself as a poker player over the last few months, but this has been a catalyst to regaining my confidence, which I think is important as I believe you tend to play better when playing confidently.

It's a shame that results are the only tangible gauge that we have to measure how we are playing in poker.
Results are riddled with variance, and therefore provide unreliable data over the short, medium and occasionally even the long term. I think it is so difficult not to be affected by results, but the consequence is your mind-set is going to be hugely affected by variance.

I'm just hoping this positive variance continues :-)

<--- Week 3 review | Week 5 review --->

Week 3 review - "Mini-Heater"

January 15th - 21st

I ended up being quite busy this week, and I only managed to put in about 2 and a half days work so my volume was rather pathetic. I switched from playing 6, 9, 18 and 45-mans to playing 18, 45 and 180-mans. I also dropped down in stakes, avoiding the $60 18-mans that I have been doing so terribly in, and playing $15 18-mans in their place. I felt a lot more comfortable, managing the number of tables better, and being a little more sure of my ranges.

It felt kind of ironic that I earned 3 times as much as I did in the first 11 days (~75 hours) as I did in these measly 2.5 days (~20 hours), but that's poker/variance for you. It was a relief to go on somewhat of a heater and definitely a boost to my weathered confidence. I will be trying to put a decent amount of hours in before my second born arrives sometime in the next 3 weeks!

<--- Week 2 review | Week 4 review --->

Week 2 review

January 8th - 14th

This week essentially left me break-even after rake-back of hard grind which inevitably led me to quitting my SNE chase as I have already written about. Yes this could just have been variance, and in some ways it might have seemed a melodramatic decision, but I felt like I was going to find the grind required too difficult.

With the games so full of regs, and my game seemingly not at it's best, I felt like game selecting and not having to play 6-mans and 9-man SNGs, (which I am less familiar with) was a good decision.

I ended up taking the second half of the week off to "recharge" after a gruelling 11 days.

<--- Week 1 review | Week 3 review --->

To SNE or not to SNE?...

I have been in a bit of a quandary over the last couple of days. I have been going all out for Supernova Elite this year, and as I type this I am on pace with 31,700 VPPs. Unfortunately though my results have been very poor. I'm actually losing over the games I've played so far. This might not be such a concern over as short a period as 11 days, but my results have now been poor for several months. Consequently I have been unsure what direction to take.

My "SNE schedule" requires me to mix 6-man, 9-man and 18-man SNGs together. With different strategies this is quite a tall order, and my results started to downward trend not long after I started me playing a mix of these games last year. Maybe I'm just not capable of playing all games well, or cope with the required amount of tables.

I also question whether the schedule I have been keeping is sustainable for a whole year. Yes, I've been coping well with keeping on pace without it being too much of a a burden, but I have been working very hard, getting up at 5.45am and playing all day almost every day. With Liz due to give birth in 3 weeks time, I think I was being overly optimistic that I could stick to this schedule for the whole year.

My game seems to need a lot of work, it's hard to imagine that this break-even run is a result only of bad variance. I've been reviewing my play and had some review sessions with a SNG hero, but it perhaps hasn't been enough, and a SNE schedule doesn't really leave me a huge amount of time to work on my game if I expect to be able to spend time with my wife and son as well.

Consequently, I have made the early decision to forget about SNE. Right now, becoming a winning player again is more of a priority, and I think not having the stress of needing to stay on pace will help me.

I might not make as much money for the year this way, but I think I've gone for a quality of life option here. It's nice to think that I will be able to take a week off when the baby comes, and that I can perhaps venture out for the odd live tournament, which would be pointless when going for SNE.

It feels like a bit of a cop-out to quit after only 12 days! So I'm a little embarrassed, but meh. Now I can concentrate on playing slightly easier games, perhaps play less tables, and make things easier for myself by mixing less formats. As long as I can keep myself motivated to put in decent volume, and actually start winning again, then I'll be happy enough.

Week 1 review

January 1st - 7th
This first week was pretty disheartening, only just about managing to break-even after rakeback. I don't really want to be one of those guys who works their titties off to make Supernova Elite but only breaks even. Okay, it's still a lot of money, but I don't think the hourly rate I would be earning would be enough to warrant all that hard work.

The only real positive to take away from this first week is that I managed to stay ahead of SNE pace and set-up a nice steady routine. I just plan to keep my head down, review when I can, and hope things turn around next week....

<--- 2011 review | Week 2 review --->

2011 in review...

2011 was a very good year for me all in all. In poker, I had my most profitable year so far, and in my personal life I moved to a much nicer house, got married and found out I would become a father for the second time. However I can't help but feel, poker-wise, it could have been even better than it was. Both my results and my volume in the second half of the year were very disappointing, and I am really motivated to make up for that in 2012.

There were many stages I seemed to go through in 2011, so that is how I am going to format this review...

Stage 1
Going for SNE
1 January - 14 April

This stage was great for me. I was going for SNE and consequently was working very hard. I was doing very well in the games I was playing (almost exclusively 18-mans at this point) so I was being rewarded very nicely for the time I was putting in at the tables.

I did allow myself to slip away from SNE pace in February and March, but had accumulated 240,000 VPPs by April 14th so was within reasonable distance to still achieve my year long goal.

I can't remember a whole lot else going on at the time, I guess I was just too busy working!

Related Blog posts:

Stage 2
Black Friday & aftermath...
15 April -  8 June

Black Friday unfortunately put paid to my Supernova Elite attempts. There were a few days where there was a lot of confusion about what was going on and what was going to happen. I didn't want to work hard for no reason, and the traffic in all the games I was playing died to a point that staying on pace would have been insanely difficult. So after working very hard for the first 14 weeks of the year I essentially took the rest of April off.

Unfortunately May was hugely disrupted by the changes that PokerStars made to SNGs. They started off with an absolute botch job, but over the next couple of weeks they fixed many of the problems they had created/ Unfortunately in this time they were somewhat insulting in their attempt to pass off a rake increase as a rake decrease, and I further disappointed that they had chosen this direction (increase instead of decrease), especially in games that were already barely beatable. Nevertheless by the end of it all, order was restored, and for me personally, things virtually went back to how they were before the changes, just a little more organised.

On the plus side, the games were the softest they had been for a long time in the post Black Friday world, although this didn't last for too long, and games are back to being as tough as ever before now.I'm not sure how related it is to the best American players gradually relocating, but imagine this is a factor.

Related Blog posts:

Stage 3
Trip to Vegas & aftermath...
9 June -  28 July

I took it upon myself to have the most ridiculously short trip to Vegas during the World Series of Poker, just 6 days. I really wanted to go, having not been since 2007 and not really enjoying myself then and wanted to do it right. However, I didn't want to leave my then fiancée and son on their own for too long, so this was sort of a compromise. In reality it was too short, I was on my way home before I knew it, but I had a really good time whilst I was there. I only played four poker tourneys, and it would have been nice if I didn't get a ridiculous beat to send me packing in the 1 WSOP event I played, but nevermind.

The highlight of the trip was the sickest night out I had after me and Longy, who I was staying with, bumped into lil Dave in the Venetian. We went back with him to his sick pad where he was staying with Stu Rutter and other heroes, and proceeded to have an hilarious night out ending up in Surrender at Encore.

My play for the rest of June and July was sporadic at best. I did have fun being a guest analyst on Sky Poker in their live 4-hour show on a Thursday evening. I think I came off pretty well, and I'd say it's quite possibly the first time my parents have been proud of me job-wise. Hopefully I'll get another chance to do that again soon as they have said I'd be very welcome back :).

Related Blog posts:

Stage 4
Moving House, Getting married & Honeymoon...
29 July -  5 September

This was undoubtedly the most hectic time of the year for me where I decided to fit two huge life events into little more than a month. Literally the perfect house came up for rent very near where we were living, and we had to go for it. It has a double garage that has been converted into my 'grind-station'. and is just a really nice and big house with plenty of room for our family to expand. It's nice to know we're pretty set-up in this lovely house for the coming years.

Unfortunately, it was a rather stressful time, as moving house tends to be. On top of that it took me a ridiculous 6 weeks to get my internet sorted, so that put paid to any chance of me playing poker during this time.

Me and Liz got married on the 27th August after being together just shy of 4 years, and having got engaged in December 2009. I really can't envisage the wedding being any better than it was, it was exactly what we both wanted and it was a really special day. Having complained quite a lot about the expense of "just one day" in the lead up to the wedding, I am so glad that we did it and did it right, it's a day we'll never forget.

If you'd like to see the pictures from that day, they are all here:  worth a look if you like hot wife didn't look too bad either ;-)

After the wedding me, my wife and our son, who was just about to turn two, went on a family "not exactly a honeymoon" hoilday to Salou in Spain. We had a really great time to begin with, but unfortunately Clark got tonsillitis 3 days in which kind of ruined the holiday. We actually took him to A&E at midnight because he had such a high fever. I have to say I was impressed with the health care we got, they saw us very quickly and with the help of Google Translate (lol) they diagnosed him and he did get better shortly after we arrived home (standard sods law!).

Related Blog posts:

Stage 5
Death run in SNGs
6 September -  10 December

After a long absence to the tables, it seems I was rather rusty upon my return. It was my most testing time as a SNG player so far, as I endured something like a 7,000 game run of SNGs where I did little more than break-even. Much of this was attributable to running like death in my higher buy-in SNGs, with my very good return in lower buy-ins doing nothing but cancelling out those losses. The rakeback I accrued just about got me through this period without going completely insane, but being an FPP Pro is definitely not for me if I can avoid it.

As I'm sure I've mentioned many times in the past, understanding variance in one of the hardest things I think poker pro's have to combat. It's impossible to know exactly how much of a factor luck plays in your results, not only over the short term but the medium term as well. Trying not to concentrate on short term results is definitely something I intend to work on in 2012.

Related Blog posts:

Stage 6
Calm before the storm
11 December - 31 December
With my plan to go all out for SNE in 2012, I ended up taking a Christmas break a few days early. It was good to not be too stressed about poker, and felt like I reset myself which I think is good for my mindset going into 2012. I was able to spend lots of time with my son which was nice.

I went to see Liverpool (who I support) win at Villa Park which was cool, and I even saw a second consectuive home Aston Villa game as me and a bunch of other British Poker Pros had our "AGM" in Birmingham, going to watch the evening Villa vs Arsenal match and going out into town afterwards. Needless to say much drunkenness and hilarity ensuing, and it's always nice to meet up with the guys like this and get away from the computer monitors.

Christmas was very much a family affair as we pinged between my parents and my wife's parents houses but everything went really well, and Clark got lots of great presents and had lots of fun.

Me and my wife went out with 2 of our really good friends who are a couple for New Years Eve for a posh meal and a disco. It was actually the first time both of us had spent the night away from Clark as he stayed at his Grandma's! Aside from the fact we were the only people in the joint under the age of 40, it was a really nice evening, and although going into my SNE pursuit in 2012 with a headache wasn't the best start, it was well worth it.

Results for the Year
I was rather pleased to ship my first platinum stars on Sharkscope, especially being the most profitable $16-35 SNG player in 2011. I was obviously very pleased with my overall results for the year, if only I'd worked harder in the latter half :)

# SNGs Played: 26,000
# VPPs earned: 433,000

Profit: $58,500
Rakeback: $33,000
Battle of the Planets Prizes: $3,500

James Atkin
James Atkin
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