I managed to finish my 40,000 hands, though the results weren't exactly impressive:

So, I managed to play for 68 hours and win a total of $698.95, for $10.24 per hour. Now, considering in October I played a similiar amount of time and won well over $200 per hour, this isn't a brilliant result. I can do overtime and get paid four times this much.

On the plus side, I get 27% of that rake paid back, so +$921.01. Then I can add the prop bets, for +$700. Therefore, poker in June made me $2319.96, which is a much more respectable figure. That's $34.11 per hour, which is close to what I could get at work if I did that much overtime.

So, the moral to the story? Don't make prop bets about how many hands you'll play that month. Often in poker things go badly for you. It's extraordinarily difficult to continue playing a good game when this happens: You call too often perhaps, or raise when you shouldn't. To combat this, I normally take time off the game. When I have to average 1300 hands per day, I cannot do this, and the results speak for themselves. Breaking even over 26k hands at $100 NL is not a good thing, I know I can beat games four or six times as big.

Many poker players know that it's a game of psychology, but perhaps a lot of them are not aware that it's largely a matter of your OWN psychology. Keeping your head in the right place and always playing your best game or something close is the only way to profit.

So anyway, I said I'd talk a bit about some of the other bets I've made this month. This is an unusual month - I don't know if ones in the future will go this way or not, but I've placed a lot more bets in June than I have before.

The biggest one is on Betfair. This is a betting service where you bet against other punters - someone is putting the money up for the other side of the bet. Therefore, to win you have to know more about the bet than the others. You also have to know sufficiently more to beat the rake. I cannot say that about any sport, so I do not play the game.

However, they have a market on the World Series of Poker. I know a lot about poker - I've played it for a living in the past, and now I work for the biggest online poker site.. I know more than most punters. The bet that stood out for me was the market in the field sizes. In 1971, 6 people entered the $10,000 event. In 1981, 75. In 1991, 215. 2001 - 613. Then things REALLY took off. In 2006, 8773 people took part.

This information isn't exactly secret. Most people will be betting the trend. They will be expecting nine or ten thousand entrants, but I thought otherwise.

Since 2006, something has happened that made me want to lay these bets (i.e, be the sportsbook on this bet - letting people bet on 9,000+). Senator Frist managed to attach the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act to a port security bill on the last day of congress. The port bill had to pass, and many of the house were unaware the UIGEA was even attached. The aim of this act was to make getting money to and from online gaming sites illegal.

Fortunately for those of us who believe in civil liberties, the bill had several huge flaws. But, it meant that Party Poker's stock tanked - from in the hundreds to down to 30p/share. They went from being a five billion dollar company to being removed from the FTSE 100, as they decided they had to withdraw from the US market for legal reasons, losing 75% of their playerbase in one stroke. It made poker harder to play in the US, the home of the WSOP. Most of the big sites started turning their attention to Europe for their new players.

Therefore, I expect there to be many fewer entrants to the WSOP. The poker boom already showed signs of finishing in the US before the UIGEA, and now many people have stopped playing because they (wrongly) think it makes poker illegal. It also makes it a lot harder for them to play in the online satellites - last year, PokerStars sent 1600 of the 8900 players through its satellites.

Europeans just don't care about the WSOP as much as Americans. There'll still be satellites, but fewer people will be qualified this year compared to last.

More importantly, the sites that still deal with US players are not able to send wire transfers to Harrah's (the WSOP organisers). The big sites that deal with US players still - PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker - instead credited their players with the $10,000 buyin and told them to do with it as they please. Therefore, I predict that of the (smaller number of) people who qualify online, fewer will turn up - perhaps 1 in 4 or even less.

The market on Betfair was listing 9,000+ entrants at 2.98, when I thought it was really more like 6 or 7. I bought all the action, and then I bought some more at 3 and 3.1. In total, I have about £1500 on this bet. If I win, I get about £2250. If I lose, I lose £1500.

This is quite a lot of money, particularly for my first ever "sports" bet. I have no sports betting bankroll (whilst I have one specifically for poker), so this really is jumping in at the deep end. I feel no need to bet on anything else, and I picked this bet purely because the value was so good.

Of course, I am not assured of the money. I think the real odds are 5 or 6:1, and sometimes I will lose. The fact that early numbers from preliminary events are good (some up on last year, some about the same) makes me pretty nervous. However, these events do not have online qualifiers, and so the largest part of why I think this is a good bet has not yet come into play.

I consider that £1500 money now spent. I can afford to lose, though obviously it'll annoy me. I think it's a wise investment, and I think that if I see bets that good again, I will take them. However, I will not place bets without this kind of edge. I know a lot of people doubt this kind of statement, but I have successfully played more than a million hands of online poker, and I have never done any of the compulsive things that gamblers do: Play blackjack, play much higher than their bankroll dictates, or play under severely suboptimal conditions (e.g, drunk).

So, roll on the weekend... You will find me in the pub on Friday, whether to celebrate or drown my sorrows!