2013 Review

Merry Christmas everyone! I’m rolling up my final digest of the year and my 2013 annual review in to one entry. This entry comes from Newcastle upon Tyne, I still have strong attachments to this city where I was born as my mam, dad, brothers Mark and Steven and my gorgeous niece/nephew Lauryn/Zach all live here. My mams dog and adorable member of the family Oscar, has taken unwell with heart failure and been given approximately two months to live by the vets. I’m finding it really difficult to accept as he means so much to me, my mam and the rest of our family. I’m thankful though that I am around to love and care for him during his retirement months, I’m spending every spare minute in his company and I intend to cherish every single second. So right now I really don’t want to be anywhere in the world but here at home. I have the most amazing friends both on and off the felt who all mean so much to me in this city. It is a perfect spot for breaks between trips as it gives me a chance to see everyone, catch my breath and get back on my diet and fitness grind. I'm at my happiest when spending time with family, and this last few months has been no different.            

Earlier this year I returned from an ineffaceable year long trip split between Australia and America. So I’ve once again returned to the UK extremely inspired and happy. My time over this last year has been spent on a journey of personal development. I strongly feel that being abroad facilitates the ride. I attribute it to staying very active, meeting people from different backgrounds, and having some incredibly different experiences from those I have here in the UK. I can feel a sort of personal growth of which, admittedly, I am proud.

Traveling I spent the majority of my time in Sydney whilst also visiting almost every major city in Australia either playing poker tournaments or going out partying with friends. Then as is an annual tradition of mine I left Australia to take the super long-haul flight from Sydney to Los Angeles and spent the summer in Las Vegas. Breaking this up with a visit back home to England and a week in Spain with my boys. Then heading back to the USA for my first visit to Florida including Miami and Orlando. Chronologically, not including repeat visits my year looked like this:

- Sydney
- Melbourne
- Perth
- Brisbane
- Gold Coast
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- Benidorm
- Miami
- Orlando

Of the aforementioned, it's a very close call between Miami and Sydney as to which is my favourite. Miami is extremely liveable in that the weather, food, beaches, boardwalk, architecture and nightlife are awesome. I find the overall ambience of Sydney to be the best of any city I've visited. The Australian people are incredibly friendly, tolerant and open-minded. I've been fortunate to make some very good friends in the city which really helped too. I spent almost a month in Melbourne and would be doing it a disservice if I didn't mention how much I loved it. I found the city progressive, clean, health-conscience and convenient. Los Angeles is really growing on me. If you can't find something you like in LA, you're doing it wrong. It is unmatched culturally, the food is out of this world, and there is something incredibly cool about the anonymity that comes with residing in that city. My time in Orlando, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth has been brief, so I'm not qualified to comment on those cities. I will spend the Christmas holidays with family and friends here in Newcastle upon Tyne, so my travelling for 2013 are now just treasured memories. Memories which will last a lifetime.

It has been a somewhat successful year for me with poker, so I had half a mind to take an extended holiday once returning to the UK. I’ve had a bunch of success during 2013 including five figure tournament scores in Australia, USA and the UK. It's important that I explain that results do not necessarily define tournament poker skill. By no means am I a great tournament player. At least, that isn't determinable simply by bragging about my tournament accomplishments. In fact, there is so much variance in tournament poker that it is impossible to measure. It would be foolish and unprofessional to blame one's personal downswings on the variance in tournament poker and then hail oneself the greatest when I’m running well. It's important for me not to be too results orientated.

As I've said before, I am for the most part not motivated by my actual tournament poker results, I am much more concerned with my level of focus while competing, my preparation, and the decisions I make. However, I feel it is in my best interest to sort of go after these titles. I really love playing tournament poker right now, so it is a nice excuse to play some more. I think that the live tournament poker arena is in a really cool place. It is extremely competitive and ever-evolving. The leading personalities, for the most part, are young, inspired, healthy, friendly, well-rounded and great role models. I feel honoured to be around them. While I haven't made many plans for 2014 aside from leading the NPF in to battle in the APAT Team Challenge at Stoke in February, I expect I will continue to spend a lot of time playing live tournament poker. A friend told me something recently that resonated: "To give up something you love would be a travesty."

Thanks for reading and happy holidays everyone.


  1. Nice to meet you at Teesside on Sunday, one of the best poker blogs about, congrats on your results this year.

  2. Thanks mate. It was a pleasure to meet and play with you too, just a shame I bust out early so couldn't stay and chat. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading, I really appreciate the comments and feedback. Good luck on the tables.


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