Seoul Food

If you’ve never been to Asia and you are white Caucasian then you are going to get stared at A LOT. There was this group of them that enveloped us- all smiles and that, and one of them whipped out a big camera so I was thinking ‘oh they want me to take a picture of them’ but NO that was not what they wanted… They started to link arms with us and say something in Chinese that I assume must’ve been ‘CHEESEEEE’ and that was the first time I was abused by an Asian person holding a camera on my holiday.

They have these wierd ATM’s that look like fruit machines which was a gamble really because the odds of not getting your money out of it was about 3:1


And the actual fruit was ridiculously expensive….

2 melons, 3 apples and some grapes £135. The same value as Aces in a £1/£1 No-Limit Cash Game.


There are two poker rooms in Seoul, the one I played at was called Walker-Hill Paradise Casino and it is set inside a big shopping centre up a massive hill. The first thing I noticed about this casino was that I was the only white guy in the entire place and the second thing was that there was lots of ice-cream about.


 Evidence of ice-cream


If you want to pretend to be a baller then this is the game for you because you can buy in for 1 Million!……. Korean Won… (it’s still a million though right!?) The Game was the equivalent of £1/£1 stakes but you could buy in for £600 so it was the deepest £1/£1 I’ve ever come across!

  2.4 Million!!!….. (in Korean Won)


JoeyCraigProTip: Play poker in Korea! Eat vast amounts of ice-cream and become a millionaire!





Climbing Mt. Micro

The training ground for beating the live casino games. Like you use a batting cage for learning how to hit baseballs the online poker arena is where you learn the correct strategy for playing your hands and opponents.

There is no substitute for learning how to play strategically sound poker if your goal is to make money from this game.

The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle

Yesterday I fired up some tables of $10NL games because I’m a sadist it is the nearest equivalent in terms of skill level to the £1-1, £1-£2, and £1-3 games that are commonly played in the casinos of the UK today.

Players have a general tendency to:

  1. Play too loose pre-flop
  2. Call too much post-flop
  3. Go on tilt

There are also far fewer strong players in these games so you will also fair much better against the competition.


$10NL on PokerStars with Hold’em Manager 2

If you are wondering why my poker client looks like a cockpit HUD from Flight Simulator ’97  its because I’m using Hold’em Manager 2 which tracks information on opponents in your game that you have played hands against. Stat-Tracking software comes in very handy when you want to multi-table as it means you can concentrate on the action but it is not necessary to be able to beat the live games just a useful tool we can use to obtain reads and tracks our sessions.


Hold’em Manager 2 Session Stats

These stats from that session are pretty accurate to how I usually play online and in live casino games 20/16/5 (VPIP/PFR/3bet).

If you can beat the Micro’s you have the fundamental skill needed to beat the live games but there are some subtle differences that can land you in trouble if you play them exactly the same way and that’s where I can help.

I have played millions of hands online since 2002 and  when I started playing live casino games regularly in 2014 I couldn’t believe the gap in skill-level between the two for the amount of money at stake.

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Timehop back to 2006

I made it my purpose to adapt the knowledge I had to beat the live poker scene.

JoeyCraigProTip: Ladies love a solid 3bet%, keep studying


Gran Casino Barcelona

Went to check out the tapas and poker in Barcelona this December.


Gran Casino Barcelona AKA Casino Barcelona is the only card room around so it was fairly easy to decide where to play. I had to wake up at 09.30 to get to hotel breakfast before it closed and I didn’t fancy scouting randomly around Barcelona looking for Nutella and Monster Ripper  the precise assortment of fruits and croissants that I had become accustomed to during my stay.

So the days getting on and there’s sure as hell nothing else to do in Barcelona so I get a taxi to the casino in jeans and a white t-shirt a little dubious about the ‘proper casual’ dresscode mentioned on the website. Proper casual… that’s how I would expect a young ragamuffin from East London  to describe to his mate what a nudey beach is like.

Well the driver said ‘fine luck’ to me (cheers?) and gestured ‘over there’ when we arrived at the beach pointing towards at least an entire 180° of my field of vision so I just kind of wandered off and rounded a corner- that’s when I saw it


Gran Casino Barcelona


I get in the main entrance and the lady there seemed to like the t-shirt and jeans so that was alright. She hands me a map of the casino (cheers?) and tells me the poker don’t start until 4pm (crap!). We’re not in Vegas anymore…

I return at 17:00 there’s surely got to be a game on now. The same lady nods me in to the security guard so I don’t have to give them my guest details again like- “Yeah that’s the div from earlier who wanted to play poker at noon LoL”.

The poker is all downstairs and there’s a few cash games running and a decent list for the €1/€2 & €2/€4 games. They also had a list for €5/€10 that was building up and some sort of electronic €0.50/€1.00 game that no-one was playing on.

I got my chips at the cash desk while I waited and did what I always forget to do when I’m playing poker in a foreign land- ask for bigger value chips. So I came away with at least €600 of my cash in dreaded €10 denomination chips in a rack (dreaded because I may have made my biggest ever mistake in poker playing $5/$10NL in Bellagio thinking my $10 chips were $5’s… it was horrible, still have nightmares about that) Now I got to carry round a massive rack of chips while I wait for a game.

So an hour and a half later I’m in this $2-$4 game where everyone was at least 200bb’s deep and I won’t pretend to remember any of the hands but it was weird because the dealer and players were speaking in Spanish and English. When bets were made the dealer announced in both languages and that made it really comfortable to play there. The game wasn’t particularly good and I only got to play there for about 90 minutes before I had to leave for dinner and I dropped €35 but I can say that the dealers and floor staff knew their stuff and the players were friendly.

I’m calling this one a draw, Spain 0 England 0


JoeyCraigProTip: The W Hotel Barcelona looks like a giant taco on the horizon



2nd Vegas Trip 2015

Have you ever wished that there was a place where you can stay inside a giant casino that is completely surrounded by other giant casinos and you can never get a good nights sleep?

Well that place really does exist and its called Vegas.

You can stay in one of the resorts for a week and get a flight there for about the same price as parking your car in central London for 3 hours.

The game-plan here is basically to wake up in the afternoon (not hungover) and follow these simple steps:

  1. Get food
  2. Play poker
  3. Complete steps 1 & 2 simultaneously (note: professionals only)

Rinse and repeat for best results

People love buffets and Vegas loves giving people what they want. You can fill your plates with unlimited food and there’s no judgement from anyone if you fancy a plate of crab legs, pepperoni pizza and beef noodles with your root beer.



The Buffet at Aria

One of the waitresses shook my hand after a dinner at Aria- that was weird… is that a normal thing to do now? Maybe she was impressed with my original selections.


The poker is fantastic in Vegas because everyone is having a good-time. The games are brilliant and the choice of venues is unrivalled. I spent most of the time playing the $2/$5 at Bellagio, Aria and Wynn as that was the best game for me but if you fancy a change of scenery its never more than a 5-10 minute walk to the next casino.



Results from 1st half of the week (altered to £ values)


The biggest difference between playing poker in London and in Vegas is that when you get chips the cashier and chip-runners will try to drown you in small-value chips. I have a theory that this is done because the average person that watches poker sees those large chipstacks in the TV tournaments and want to be like those guys- so I guess its good for the game.

Also string-betting (betting with the chips in more than one motion) is allowed there so that’s another reason for wanting some more smaller chips. I’d suggest you don’t get too used to it though as when you get back to London you might make a mistake and get penalised by being forced to call or min-raise in a crucial pot. It is the poker equivalent of driving on the left-hand side of the road in Europe all holiday and then doing the same back home and causing a pile-up outside Heathrow.



Final results for the week (again shown in £ value ~ $3500USD)


Lastly, regarding the flight… have you ever been bothered by the person sitting next to you on the plane for 10 hours straight? I have, but don’t worry because I have devised a solution!

Nothing says ‘I don’t need any friends’ with finesse quite like a set of Magic: The Gathering cards™. Bonus points awarded if you can lock in a fellow traveller with the dangerous weak bladder/ window seat combo. Also a copy of ALIVE by Piers Paul Read never fails to set the right tone. Just remember to tell the air hostess that you are ‘not done’ with your plastic cutlery when they take away your rubbish whilst looking your fellow passenger in the eye and licking your lips.


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JoeyCraigProTip: There are no baked-beans ANYWHERE in Vegas (sell Heinz on the strip to boost your bankroll $$$!)