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$15/$30 Fridays! (Live Blog)

December 14, 2018

It looks like the 15/30 game is alive and well on Fridays again. With the game scheduled to start at 4 PM, there are a staggering 26 names on the list! I don’t know what to make of that, but clearly having a scheduled game start makes it much easier to get something off the ground than trying to start it from scratch every day. On a day to day basis, it seems like we can’t get five people interested in a 15/30, so 26 is pretty mind-boggling to me. It will be interesting to see how much of that list is real. Even if a third of those names are flakes or no shows, that’s still enough players for two full games. I’m excited to see what happens, but I’m one of the first nine names, so I’ll be playing regardless.

Yesterday I was planning to play PLO at 6 PM, but I woke up at 7:45 AM for a dentist appointment after staying up late, traveled 2+ hours round trip to go to that appointment and made it back home a little after 4 PM.

I went to lay down for a bit and next thing I know I’m waking up at 5:45 and not going to make the game start. Plus, I wasn’t really feeling up to immediately jumping in a poker game after being asleep for almost two hours. With only 10 names on the list, I wasn’t sure the game was going to be too strong and I ended up not going at all.

In fact, while it did start, I saw on Bravo that it was dead by 9:30 PM.

Instead, I stayed home and organized my 500+ collection of DVD/Blu-Rays, transferring them from their cases and putting them into binders by category. My big grey recycling bin is now overflowing with empty DVD cases. The process saves a ton of space, but it was also quite soul-sapping. I must have thrown away over 90% of the bonus material discs I had. It feels wrong and I sort of want to keep them, but the reality is… I never watched any of that stuff anyway. It’s also pretty revolting to think that I’ve probably spent over $10,000 buying movies in my lifetime, especially when you consider how infrequently I watch most of them and how many of them will never be watched again for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number is well over 25%, but when we have kids, maybe they will wind up watching all of them. I dunno.

Here’s how much space they took up before (plus at least four cabinet drawers):

Here’s how much space they take up now:

And here’s this picture, just because:

3:34 PM: I’m currently playing 4/8 while I wait for the 15/30 to start and I found this hand to be rather amusing:

There are multiple limpers, button raises, I call BB with ATdd, and limpers all call.

Flop is 766 with two diamonds. I decide to donk out because I feel this is the best way to get multiple bets in on the flop. I’m not looking to check-raise the button and possibly find myself heads up. It’s not the worst if that happens but I don’t think it’s the best either. I get called in a few spots, including the button.

Turn is the 2 of diamonds and this time my only customer is the button.

The river is a 7, double pairing the board, but that’s not a concern as we clearly still have the best hand and it looks like he’s going to call. So I bet and he does call, but then he turns over the 86 of spades. Say what?

The very next hand I get to the river for free from the small blind with A3 on J823A and a 92 year old 4/8 regular calls my bet and turns over 75 high.

I gave him his $8 back.

I will be back with a starting lineup and remaining list in about 25 minutes.

Starting Lineup: random, 8/16 reg, Part-Time, red chip reg I haven’t seen in a while, nitty reg, random, Chief Wiggum, and No Hair

There are four remaining names on the list and I think zero of them are here. Yikes.

I thought the list might have a lot of fat on it, but geez. Oh well, traffic should be good all night.

I give this starting lineup a C and that’s because there are two randoms in it.

On the plus side, 7 of 9 (not the randoms) now have 25/50 Overs buttons.

And one of the randoms just switched to 4/8 Omaha… because that’s what people do… sit in 15/30 for an orbit and drop to a 4/8 split pot game.

But Flea just walked in the door as the seat opened and he was first on the list as a call in.

I now give this game a B-.

4:25 PM: This random lady at my table just brought a partially smoked cigarette back inside with her. That is a crime against humanity. What kind of person does shit like that?

4:51 PM: Flea opens under the gun, Part-Time cold calls, and I defend 86cc from the big.

Flop is Q86 with two hearts and I decide to just check-call on this street and check-raise on most turn cards since Part-Time is still in also.

Turn is the 5 of hearts and I do check-raise when Part-Time quickly folds. Flea does his typical Hollywood shenanigans before eventually calling.

River is the 6 of hearts. Flea is definitely the kind of player that will raise me on the river with one card flushes so leading out has merit, but I decide to check-raise instead and wind up getting four big bets in on the river because, as mentioned, Flea is the kind of dude that would 3-bet here with worse way too often. He calls and I’m good and apparently I got “lucky” because it sounds like he has 55 here.

6:00 PM: Some random I don’t know just sat down but NoHair knows him and he is very excited about his presence.

6:06 PM: Defend my big with A6 of clubs in a 3-way pot and check-raise Part-Time and Flea on T63ccd and we wind up capping it 3-ways.

Turn is the 8 of diamonds and I go back into passive form, Part-Time also checks – which is weird since he bet and raised on the flop – and Flea bets. I call and now Part-Time check-raises. Geez. Do I need to explain how weird it is for us to cap the flop and then for him to try and check-raise the one player that was just calling? It’s crazy. Flea has just over three big bets to start this street so get gets it in there and that allows Part-Time to cap it.

Ouch. I have now put four big bets in on the turn.

No worries. 7 of clubs on the river and I get all of it. Flea had 97 of diamonds and Part-Time claims a set, which makes sense.

My first hand against the new player, I complete small after one limper with QTo and he raises the big blind and triple barrels on Q54J4 with A7dd which never had any sort of draw. I like him already.

6:27 PM: I open A9ss, the new guy 3s, button caps.

Flop is 962 with two hearts and one spade. New guy donks, button folds, and I’m loving the situation, but I just call.

Turn is another 9. Now I check-raise and he calls.

River is an offsuit 7 and he raises after I bet. Huh? I start tanking, wondering how I can ever just call here but I talk myself out of it and just call. He has the hand you’d expect him to have: 92 suited.

7:31 PM: Yikes. They are starting a second 15/30 game. Not really sure how I feel about that, but I didn’t bring an extra insulin pump for some reason and my current one is nearly expired so… I might need to drive home and grab one. A second game at least means I won’t have to wait forever if I wind up having to leave and get picked up.

8:05 PM: Frankenstein is in the game! And just as they start a second game, this table starts to crumble. We have lost three players since the other game started.

The maniac new player is still here but he’s been racked up for a while and looks like he could leave any second, especially if people keep departing this game.

I straddled on my button an orbit ago and in the interest of creating a livelier atmosphere. That investment only cost me $225 when I flopped a pair, turned a gutter, and bricked the river.

Fortunately, I flopped top two with AK in a 5-bet pot from my big blind and then I had JJ in a 5-bet pot from my small blind on a final board of Q54QJ, but I was pushing the action the whole way that hand and no one called me on the river.

8:29 PM: Jesus has been resurrected… with his first public poker appearance since the WSOP. He is not in my game yet – he’s in the feeder – but he is very anxious to get over here and do something dumb enough to get blogged about. I can’t wait!

9:06 PM: Frankenstein vs The Dark Knight:

I come back from a break and post, someone raises in front of me and I 3-bet with QTo because I want the button and blinds to fold, but Frankenstein calls from the small.

Flop is 955 and they both check-call. That’s not surprising so I’m planning to barrel off on a lot of turns but it’s a queen and I bet for value. Now Frankenstein check-raises me. Eww. I shouldn’t be good here but I have a hand I’m not really supposed to have and I’m unsure about it all, so I call down and he shows the QJ. So thin!

A few hands later, I open AA and he 3-bets me in position. I just call.

Flop is Q65 and I check-raise.

Turn is an ace and I’m pretty surprised when he raises me here. I raise back and he calls.

River pairs the board and he calls my bet again and flashes me the case ace.

The new manic and NoHair have left and been replaced by Mr. Plow and Mighty Mouse.

9:47 PM: You know you’re a special kind of sicko when you look down at the QTo in the big blind and it folds to the button and you’re hoping he raises because you just want to play poker. He does raise! His first open from the button tonight. I happily defend.

Flop is JTx and I check-raise. He calls, but it looks like he wanted to raise, so I’m on alert.

Turn is a great check-calling card anyway – a king – so that’s what I do.

River is an ace and I lead out and he says, “did you hit your only out again?”

He calls, I table, and he says, “yep, that was your only out. Stone cold dead again and you got your one out.”

I guess I still lose when a 9 comes? I don’t actually say anything when people start saying dumb stuff like this. I just let them vent and sit there quietly.

I guess this is the other hand I was drawing “stone dead” on:

I open JTdd, he defends big blind and then I barrel all three streets on K76d8d9.

Stone dead.

10:11 PM: I lead in a multi-way limped pot from small blind with 97 on Q86 rainbow and get raised in two spots. I call.

Turn is an offsuit 5 and I decide to lead out because I want Frankenstein to call before the other player raises with his super itchy trigger finger, but Big Frank folds and the other player just calls.

River is a jack. I lead, he raises, I snap-3-bet and he caps it. I groan audibly because I immediately see how likely it is for him to have the nuts here, as T9 flopped a double gut shot. I call and he does show me that hand.

10:25 PM: Folds to button again and he opens. I defend A3ss.

Flop is Q82 with one spade. We both check.

Turn is the jack of spades. I bet and he calls.

River is the 7 of diamonds. I bet… he tanks… he folds!

I was probably drawing stone dead there too.

11:15 PM: I am officially without an insulin pump. My blood sugar is currently 170. This should be interesting. At this point, if I go home, I’m not coming back.

12:10 AM: Finally a clash with Jesus. He opens utg, I 3-bet with KK, big blind calls, and so does Jesus.

Flop is 752 and Jesus check-raises me. Other guy folded and I flat to raise the turn.

It’s a 9. He 3-bets. Sigh.

River is a 7 and he still bets. So basically what he’s saying is: he has AA, he has quads, or he raised under the gun with 55 or 22… or he binked the turn. I call and he shows quad sevens.

I open A8hh and Mighty Mouse defends his big blind.

Flop is 642 rainbow and we both check.

Turn is an 8 and Mighty Mouse leads out saying, “I think I’m betting the best hand.” I’m not so convinced, but I just call.

River is an ace and he checks to me. I bet and he immediately raises me. Ouch. Okay, let’s think about this. This is a strong line, but my hand looks like one pair of aces (or a bluff) so if he has two pair, I think check-raising this river is a good line. I tank for a while but eventually conclude I’m still beating way too many hands. I 3-bet, he calls and I’m good.

12.40 AM: I decided to call it a night rather than let my blood sugar get out of control, even though there were still two full games running.

Final Score: +$713

Fortune 20/40 tomorrow.

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Pot Limit Omaha & Big Announcement (Live Blog)

December 12, 2018

First off, let me catch you up. It’s been a week since my last blog, which is one of the longest droughts here since I started posting regular poker content. My bad. I didn’t much feel like blogging my last night in L.A. and I played truncated sessions on Saturday and Monday, the latter because the 10/20 Santa Claus Game did not go (for the second straight week – yikes!).

Thursday was my last night in L.A. and I played a 15/30 Mix at The Bike. The game was a mix of 5-Card Omaha (high only), 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, Badeucy, Badacey, and Archie. I got over 9.5 hours of experience and finished at +$1015, a decent enough score to transform my trip from a moderate disaster into a more neutral affair.

That wrapped up my time in California for the year and it was pretty disappointing. I went 0 for 8 in tournaments in the Golden State for a total loss of $3000 and cash games weren’t much better as I finished -$1447 over 60 hours. Most of that damage was thanks to a -$2253 performance in just under two hours of 40/80. Whoops. That’s an overall loss of $4447 in Cali over 100+ hours total. I’m hoping to play a huge slate in the LAPC next month (I’ll post my schedule wish list sometime soon) and looking forward to getting off to a hot start on the road next year.

Since I was landing back in Seattle around 1 PM on Friday, I urged The Man to push the restart of the 15/30 game on Fridays at 4 PM up a week and it got back off the ground easily and was still going strong with a list when I left just after midnight. The Palace red chip games are the best for blogging and Friday night would have made for good material, but I was jet lagged and coming off a poor night of sleep on top of that and playing poker at all was questionable enough without trying to add writing to the mix. The entire table was playing 25/50 Overs for a good portion of the night so I started with $3000 in front of me and was having a very good session until cooling off towards the end of the night. I finished at +$703 after 8+ hours. There are already seven names on the list for this upcoming Friday. If you want to play a red chip LHE game in Lakewood, call and put your name up!

Saturday I went to Muckleshoot to play in the 20/40 limit Omaha 8 game and it got off to a brutal 5-handed start and stayed that way for nearly two hours. The game wasn’t good and I had made the decision to migrate elsewhere (i.e. Fortune), apologized to the other four players, racked up my chips, passed on my next big blind, and then a new player finally sat down. And a few minutes later, so did another one. I unracked and continued to play and eventually the game filled up. However, my wife was with and she was clearly not into playing 4/8 at Muck and contacted a friend of hers to go hang out for a bit. I decided to call it a night when she came back because I wasn’t super into my session and I could tell she didn’t really want to play anymore either. I finished at -$547 after just over 5 hours of play.

Sunday was just an errand and relaxing day with my wife.

Monday I was planning to put in a Marathon Monday session and blog it, but the game didn’t even come close to starting. Radio Mike was in Vegas, Joker has a day job or some dumb shit, and Chief Wiggum was MIA for whatever reason. It can be hard to get a game off the ground when multiple key pieces are missing and the general day time crowd at Palace isn’t itching to jump up in stakes or start short-handed. This game would probably work better with a 4 PM start, but it’s probably more likely to just die a swift death. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s no longer a thing by January.

Yesterday was my day off, so I went to see Creed II and my list of movies I’ve seen and haven’t reviewed has grown quite large. I will probably post my ratings in the next week or so.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have arranged with The Bike to get on their streaming poker show Live At The Bike on Wednesday, January 23rd. I will know more as the date gets closer, but they locked up three seats for me, so Radio Mike and Joker will be on the show with me. That’s the max the host would guarantee me, but Frankenstein will also be travelling with me and possibly Tormund and FanBoy as well. I think the game is going to be 20/40 limit hold’em.

Here are a bunch of links to LatB stuff so you can start following the show now and have things figured out by the time I appear on it:

Live at The Bike live stream
Live at The Bike on YouTube
Live at The Bike on Twitch
Live at The Bike Twitter

Should be fun!

PLO starts at 6 PM tonight and there are a staggering 17 names on the list already. I’m very happy to see that because the game had been fizzling out a bit before I left for Cali.

Check back for live updates at 6!

5:21 PM: Driving to Palace now. List has 19 players on it. Very curious to see what it looks like when the dust settles after 6.

Starting Lineup: 8/16 reg, random red chip non-reg, Big Baby, nitty reg, Charlie Hustle, Part-Time, plo reg, The Crypt Keeper

Seems pretty good. Nice to see Crypt Keeper back. He’s not particularly good for the game, but when the player pool is small and flimsy, you need your regulars in seats. Also, for whatever reason, there are 2-3 players that were coming every session but stopped showing when TCK was in Vietnam. Two of them are playing right now. The two non-regulars probably won’t be in the game long, but there are already two huge spots in the game and they both have $700+.

Let’s go get it.

6:21 PM: After the dust settles we have a full game and four remaining players on the list, so 19 was really 13, which is actually pretty damn good.

I made the nuts on the turn with no redraws against Big Baby and decided to flat and raise rivers, but the river brought a 4-card straight and he check-folded. Boo.

6:32 PM: I limp early with AKJ9 rainbow, Big Baby makes it $20, big blind calls, and so do I.

Flop is K73 and it checks around.

Turn is a 4 and I bet $30 into $60 and only Big Baby calls.

River is an offsuit ace. I bet $100 and I go from thinking he’s going to fold to thinking he’s going to call to getting raised to $400. I think about it for less than 0 seconds and call. He tables AQQ6 and I win the pot.

6:46 PM: Weird, my big announcement I posted earlier disappeared. Not sure how/when/why that happened, but it’s back now. Scroll up. It’s in big, bold letters if you missed it.

6:51 PM: Nit limps, I make it $20 with AAQ7 double suited to the aces and Big Baby plus the limper call.

Flop is J76 rainbow with one of both of my suits and I’m planning to check back but Big Baby leads for $40 and I call.

Turn is the queen of diamonds, giving me two pair and putting two diamonds on board (which I don’t have). He bets $145 and I call again.

River is an offsuit 8 and I call $200 this time. I’m never folding queens up here against a dude that has no clue about proper hand strengths. Unfortunately he has the JJ85 here and evens the score.

7:36 PM: Charlie Hustle with a classic Charlie Hustle moment: after calling in a raised pot preflop, everyone folds to the PFR on A74 rainbow and the PFR claims he had AA. Charlie Hustle says he had the last ace. No one acknowledges him, so he says it again. By the time he says a variation of the same thing a third time, I have the counter going. SIX! Six times he feels the need to mention he had the last ace after check-folding the flop.

Good job, buddy.

8:14 PM: I lost a big pot to Crypt Keeper when I flopped a set and he turned the nut flush, but I rebounded by making the nut straight in back-to-back hands against Charlie Hustle, although he eventually folded in both hands.

But what I really wanted to say is that no one has left this game yet. Yeah, I know… it has only been 2.33 hours, but still… I think that might be a Palace PLO record.

The list is now six deep with the one and only Joker second up.

8:43 PM: Oh no, looks like Charlie Hustle might have to stick around tonight!

Multiple limpers in front of me and I look down at AA42 with no suits. I’ve reached a point where I’m basically always raising with my AA hands, but I think this is a good spot to just call. I can make it $30 here but no one is going to fold and I’m going to be in a bloated pot with a hand that plays poorly multi-way. Plus limping here gives my limping range some balance on ace high boards as my opponents won’t be able to rule out top set in the future if I can show this hand down.

There is no raise pre and seven of us see the A83 two diamond flop. Charlie Hustle bets $15 when it checks to him and I makes it $60. That clears the rest of the field and he calls. This is a sexy spot. I have the ace of diamonds in my hand, so not only can I rep the nut flush on future streets, but it also drastically decreases the chances that Charlie Hustle is NOT on a draw. That means I have him smashed and he’s going to pay off.

Turn is a 2 that puts two spades on board and he check-calls $130.

The river is the 9 of spades and he checks to me. The backdoor flush got there but I think he has to lead flushes here, so I feel pretty good betting for value with my set but I size down at $150 to a) not punt a max bet when he has a flush some of the time and b) increase the chance that I get paid off by his sets. Because that’s what he has here. I don’t think he’s showing up with two pair very often.

He snap calls and my hand is good vs 88xx.

Meanwhile, The Crypt Keeper is so buried on my immediate left in seat 9 that he’s not even bothering trying to protect his cards when he looks at his hand. Actually, that doesn’t do it justice: he’s literally lifting his cards so that I (and probably seat 7 also) can see all four of them easily if we were so inclined – it’s not a matter of not protecting them, he is basically broadcasting them to us.

I’m not looking. Not my style. But sometimes it’s hard not to accidentally catch a glimpse.

9:17 PM: I can’t remember how we got here but…

That’s my hand, there is like $2.5k in the middle (my hand is blocking $800+ in front of me) and the board is Jc5sKcQd.

Turn action: Big Baby bet $35, Charlie Hustle called, I pot to $175, button goes all in for $235, Big Baby makes it $535 (!), Charlie stacks off, and I cap it at $835. Big Baby calls.

I have the nuts with the nut redraw and there are heaps of chips in the middle. I’m surprised at the turn action – not that Big Baby is punting $800+ with the same hand and (probably) no redraw – but that the other two players put their whole stacks in. I obviously do not want to see the board pair.

River is… a ten. Eww. Now any hand with an ace and a Broadway card has a straight but at least I still have the nuts.

Charlie Hustle had KK and the button had QQ so I’m splitting this monster with Big Baby who did, indeed, have the naked AT.

That hand finally knocked the first two players out of the game and for some reason Joker passed on his seat.

I guess this is that reason:

10:05 PM: Eww. Slimer is in the game now and there is no list.

Also, Big Baby is dusted… because this just happened:

He opens to $15, there’s a call, I call QQ33 single suited and there are four or five of us to the flop.

Board is QT5 with two clubs. He pots, I pot, he pots and is all in. We run it once and my hand holds up against a naked AA.

One seat open. Game condition just went from very good to mediocre. Mr. Plow also in now.

10:41 PM: The Man is in the game! He limps this hand, I make it $20 with KKT8 single suited, The Crypt Keeper makes it $35, it folds back to The Man and he makes it $50. That’s a cap, folks. We both call.

Oh, there’s a fourth player in also. I know that because I led out for $120 into $200 on the K32 two club flop. Crypt Keeper is my only customer.

Turn is the jack of diamonds, so now there are heaps of draws to dodge. I bet the pot and he calls.

River pairs the deuce. Praise the Gods. He obviously has some sort of draw here so I don’t think he’s ever calling. My only hope to get more money in the pot is to check and hope he bluffs at it. That’s probably unlikely – my hand seems pretty face up – but it’s worth a shot. He checks back and I win the pot.

11:23 PM: Slimer is gone already but the game is full again and there are four names on the list! I have a dentist appointment at 10 AM in Kitsap County and my alarm is set for 7:45 AM, so I’m not sure how late I will be staying tonight. I think I can push it until 1 AM without wrecking my entire day tomorrow.

12:10 AM: Alright, I’m tired so I’m playing my last orbit. I will post if anything exciting happens.

12:18 AM: Nothing to report.

Final Score: +$1060

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WSOPc $400 HORSE @ The Bike – LET’S GET A RANG (Stack Updates)

December 5, 2018

2:41 PM: Ubering to The Bike right now with an ETA of 3:02 PM, so I’ll be just in time for a slightly late start.

Yesterday that $400 Monster Stack had a brutal $70 admin fee. 17.5% taken out is always lovely. It is the same today.

Looks like we will be starting with 15k in chips and blinds at an odd 50/75 for the flop games and 25 ante for the Stud games. Betting limits will be 75/150 in the first level and levels are 30 minutes long.

This is supposed to be a two day event and we are playing up to 20 levels today, but the structure sheet only has 14 listed levels so maybe it is really a single day tournament. 20 levels would take us to about 2 AM tonight. Not really sure what to expect as far as that goes. If we reach a final table at 11 PM, I would definitely not want to come back the next day to play it.

Of course I have to get there first.

There is unlimited re-entry through the first 12 levels and, unlike yesterday, I will be firing multiple bullets if I’m unlucky enough to bust early in a limit structure.

I will post stack updates here, for sure, and maybe the occasional notable hand, but I want to focus more on my table than on writing, so don’t expect many hands, but check back for progress updates!

3:09 PM: Everyone standing in line with me to register is at my starting table, including two ladies that have 50% of each other (as heard as they were standing in line). One of them is Carol Fuchs, an accomplished mixed games player with over $520k in lifetime tournament cashes. I’ve played HORSE with Carol before.

I actually recognize a lot of the players in this field. Other notables: Miami John Cernuto, Allen Kessler, Frankie O’Dell, and Wendy Freedman – all with over a million in tourney cashes. Plus Wayne ‘Kevin’ LaMonica, a total maniac that took 2nd in the $1500 HORSE when I finished 5th at the 2017 WSOP. Also, one of the players from the 30/60 mix just sat down in the field.

My starting table seems reg heavy, but so does the whole field really.

3:47 PM: I mention that I’m not supposed to recognize half the field when I come from out of state and Carol asks me where I’m from and I say, “Washington.”

She says, “you don’t say…” and I realize I have been trolled because…

UW vs #1 Gonzaga in Spokane at 8 PM (Pacific) tonight on ESPN. My boys are 15.5 point DAWGS so not a lot of hope here but still… a very exciting game for my alma mater tonight.

5:00 PM: Just above starting stack after four levels and coming back to betting limits of 250/500.

I won a good multi-way Stud pot and scooped a heads up pot, blind vs blind, in O8 with AQ83 on Q72J8.

That’s pretty much the extent of my excitement so far.

7:10 PM: 26.5k after 8 levels coming back to betting limits of 600/1200.

Most notable hand last four levels: Stud Hi, guy on my right completes with a 6 up and I raise with A4-4 with two clubs and all my cards live. This clears the rest of the field.

He is pretty early so I think he is more likely to have a big pair in the hole than split sixes and the fact I have an ace is a big factor here.

So when he pairs his 6 on 4th and puts a 1000 chip in the pot, I put a 500 chip in to call. Technically he can bet 1000 here because he has an open pair on 4th but he didn’t say anything and I’m guessing a single over-sized chip defers to the normal limit. The dealer gives him change and he starts to protest but quickly realizes he has no argument and we got to 5th street…

…where I catch a 4 and make trips. He still bets and while I do think I’m leading here a lot against two pair, I decide that I’m going to call down unimproved and save a couple bets when he actually does have trips.

I do brick out and he fires 5th, 6th, and on 7th he bets without even looking at his card. Eek. I never improve but I call and I’m good against KK66x.

9:21 PM: It looked like I was going to fizzle right out of this thing but the last two levels were a heat stroke for me.

57k after 12 levels. Registration will be closed after this break. We are coming back to betting limits of 1500/3000.

11 PM: 76k after 15 levels coming back to 3000/6000 betting limits.

Board says there are 30 players left. I think it said 12 cash with $9600 up top for 1st. Average stack is 48.5k.

Frankie O’dell is at my table now. It’s my first time I’ve ever played with him.

Here are some highlights:

“I’m on the Mount Rushmore of that shit.” – in reference to Omaha 8 or better.

“People don’t go five bets with me, bro.” – after he gets in a cut off vs big blind raising war holding AA33 and busts a short stack that had QQ32.

Hopefully there is more to come.

12:05 AM: There is no better feeling than the swift death. I came back from break and played the first three hands of Omaha. And lost all of them. Just like that I went from 76k to 43.5k and was suddenly below average for the first time in many levels. Maybe ever.

Then I defended in Stud 8 with 54-2 and caught an ace on 4th but my board ran out 254 while he was showing xx-6K6K on 6th.

That hand left me crippled and with three small bets left, I got it in with 75-A in Stud 8, got three callers, caught a jack on 4th and got isolated by a guy with 75-63 and he immediately drilled the 4 on 5th.

That busted me in 22nd, ten spots off the money.

It’s the best. Playing all day and busting just shy of the money. I love it.

That’s it for me tonight and since I can’t play a day 2 in the Omaha 8 tournament, I will not be winning a WSOPc ring this trip.

Most likely I will be playing cash all day tomorrow then flying back on Friday in time for the (hopefully) resurrection of the 15/30 game at Palace at 4 PM.

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WSOPc @ The Bike – $400 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

December 4, 2018

My apologies. I’ve been a bit blog-lite this past week. I played a very truncated PLO session on Wednesday and then I ended up taking Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday completely off, as I’ve been busy starting the process of buying a new house and spending time with my wife before traveling to Los Angeles yesterday.

I did play nine hours at Fortune on Friday and I initially kept some notes thinking I might blog some hands later but I wound up having a pretty epic stretch of being card dead before losing with all my playable hands for most of the night. I was down between $800 and $1200 basically the whole session before heating up right as I was planning to leave. I somehow salvaged a +$42 day. I’ll take it.

That brings my win rate in the Fortune 20/40 game up to a respectable -$93/hour in 2018. To be fair though, my total 2018 volume in that game amounts to about 1.25 weeks of play – and I’ve had plenty of terrible weeks in my time, so it’s nothing to be discouraged about.

I arrived in L.A. around 3 PM and a friend from high school picked me up from LAX and we headed to The Bike to watch Monday Night Football and catch up with each other, so I didn’t get in a poker game until around 8:45 PM, which is a super late start for me.

I was debating what limit I wanted to play because I typically play down when I know I’m going to be playing a shorter session than usual and I wasn’t about to play until 5 AM. But I swallowed the “it’s all one long session” pill and sat in the 20/40 game.

Again, I was insanely card dead. I raised some hands on the button and 3-bet from the small blind against a button open a couple of times, but nearly 3.5 hours deep into my session I realized I had played about five hands total outside of those wider range spots.

My image was mega-nit. And yet, I couldn’t get a big blind defend to fold 84o on K74QK when I had AJ. Granted, I saved the third barrel on the river, but I didn’t think a board-pairing card was going to get a fold from any pairs he had and I beat all his missed draws anyway… but so went my session.

My only notable pot was capped 4-ways preflop with AKss and getting called down by two players on K94ccJc6. That was the highlight of my night.

I finished at -$369 after just over four hours of play.

But I ran into Sandman who was playing in the short-handed 40/80 game and after my feeder game died and I quit, we sat around and bullshitted for an absurd 2+ hours.

So today is the last flight of the $400 no limit hold’em event in the World Series of Poker Circuit series going on at The Bike this week. I honestly have no clue what any of the structure looks like. I’m just going to show up at 4 PM and go for it.

I will post stack updates here and some key pots. The HORSE tournament I’m playing tomorrow also doesn’t start until 4 PM, so if I don’t go super deep in the Monster Stack I will definitely be hopping in some cash games tonight.

4:12 PM: Fought through traffic and am a bit late. Particulars in a few. Comedian Norm MacDonald is in the field. I know this because the cage was gossiping about it as I was registering.

4:23 PM: 30k starting stacks with blinds starting at 25/50 and 30 minute levels. I haven’t looked at the actual blind structure, but I imagine it’s at least reasonably stair-stepped.

First hand at this table is 3-bet preflop and then 3-bet on a flop of J93hh with bets going in on turn and river on a final board of J93hh63h and the hands are KJo and QJo. 🤯

So very next hand I open 88 and get three callers. I bet 60% on 773cc flop and the guy with KJ the previous hand makes it 900. Yeah, I’m sure. After the display last hand I’m not inclined to do much folding here, so I call and end up calling down on a 773ccK2 runout and he showed me the KTo. Good job, dude.

He’s on my direct left so this could be annoying. But in my very small sample so far, he appears to be more likely to be a punter than an adept LAG crusher. TBD.

4:43 PM: Well, this is cool. Really fucking cool. Dude on my right makes it 250 at 50/100, I call with 77, possible punter calls, and so does big blind.

Flop is 753 rainbow and when it checks to me it seems bad not to bet but I just know the guy on my left is betting, so I check. He bets 800, the big calls, and now the PFR makes it 2200 with about 13k to start with on the flop. I make it 5600, the other two fold, and he jams. I snap.

He turns over 65 of spades. Turn 4. River 8.

I also lost with JJ to the speeder when he had AK, so I now have 11,025 left of my 30k starting stack.

No justice.

I still have 100+ bigs, so lots of play left, plus I’m willing to fire two bullets in this thing… at least… but wtf. I’ve been playing 30 minutes and I’ve already fumbled a massive punt attempt. So annoying.

4:56 PM: Raise to 300 and call in front of me. I call with QJ suited and five of us see the Q74 two tone flop. It checks to me and I bet 1000, the possible punter makes it 2500 on the button and it folds back to me. I stuff it in his face and he says, “here’s your double up” and calls with Q9 of clubs which somehow doesn’t beat me.

Back up to 22.7k.

I don’t think I want to bust at this table. It seems pretty good.

5:53 PM: Middle position player limps, I make it 850 at 100/200 with QQ, punter calls, folds to MP and he jams for 17k!

So this guy is on his second bullet and came to the table saying he lost set under set. I’ve already seen him get picked off once and complain that no one folds at our table. Then a short while later, one player limped in and he just jams 17k on the button.

So… this jam is super fishy. I debate whether it’s better to fold and not play such a high variance spot when I have so many spewers at my table, but I can’t justify it. I call.

He tables 99.

Board runs out 87294.

Awesome.

I’m down to like 5500 after that.

Two hands later, there’s a limp, a raise to 700 and I have AJo. Honestly, jamming 25+ bigs here is a little spew, but I’m not looking to grind out this short stack when I can just rebuy if I bust, so I stuff it in there and the punter behind me, with zero chips invested in this pot, calls it cold. Everyone else folds.

I say, “well, you can’t call me with worse” as I table my hand.

He responds, “No, you have me crushed” and tables KJ of clubs.

QQ7KQ.

Good fucking game.

Whew.

I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty steamed up right now. I have four hours to re-enter and I can sit down with 150 bigs for the next 45+ minutes, but I’m not really sure I want to.

It’s a damn shame I can’t automatically sit at the same table. That shit was a gold mine.

I’m going to walk around for about 20 minutes and see if I still want to murder someone.

6:30 PM: Well, I was wavering on re-entering or not and the deciding factor was this Monster Stack tournament is going to stretch into Thursday if you go super deep.

As most of you that follow my blog know, I’m not one to target no limit hold’em events. The main reason I came here this week was to play the HORSE and O8 tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday.

Even though the prize pool for the Monster Stack is going to be substantially larger, I’d rather spend my time playing a mixed event. Plus, I have a way better chance of winning a ring in HORSE.

So I’m going to play cash tonight.

I’m currently debating whether I want to play 20/40 at The Bike or check out the 25/50 at Hustler or possibly the 20/40 mixed game at Hollywood Park if that game is running.

7:42 PM: Sandman and I took an Uber to Hollywood Park Casino. I’m taking a seat in 30/60 Mix with a rotation of Archie, Badeucy, Badugi, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razzdeucy, and Badacey.

This is probably not going to be a good game to live blog, so I may not be doing any updates for the rest of the night. I shall see. I’m sitting down with $2500.

8:01 PM: Good start. 3-bet 7542x with a tri (three to a Badugi) in Baduecy and wind up with a pair and no Badugi after three draws. 👍🏻

8:37 PM: Oh my goodness. The dealer abuse going on in this game is absurd. These guys obviously have very little experience dealing these very non-standard games and they are getting lit up with every mistake. It’s pretty frustrating.

It’s pretty cool all you pricks know how to play these games, but uh, it might take a few tries for a dealer that’s never dealt a game to figure it out – especially when it goes beyond “deal four cards face down.”

But… I’m in Inglewood… so I’m just going to sit here quietly. 🤐

9:30 PM: Sandman sits in the game and one of the players says, “there’s two of you now,” which I think is a statement that we are doppelgängers?

I’m running pretty below average so far. I’m starting good, holding like 80% of a near nut hand and bricking out in the 5 card games.

I just had 652Ax with a tri in Badacey and got three callers pre-draw and all three opponents drew three cards each. So I obviously got zero pieces of that one.

10:24 PM: Here’s a bet I would have lost: Sandman is younger than me. Not just younger than me, but substantially younger than me. Like 7 years. I thought he was my age. Maybe older. The guy doesn’t look a day older than 43 (I’m 36).

10:59 PM: Sandman and I are in Southern California. He’s wearing an LA Dodgers hat and I’m wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers hat. We are both from Seattle. No one else has Dodgers gear on.

Go figure.

Someone brought up the fact we have the same hat on and this somehow led to me blurting out, “I hate the Dodgers,” while wearing their hat… in Inglewood, California.

Probably not my best idea. I might as well waltz into Fenway with a Boston jersey on and say, “Fuck the Red Sox!”

I mean… it’s not that bad, but still… not smart.

11:27 PM: Here’s an Archie hand and let me preface this by saying I have almost zero clue what proper strategy is in this game. You are dealt five cards and there are three draws. You need 6s or better to qualify for high and an 8 or better or qualify for low. It’s a split pot game and you want to scoop.

One player limps and Sandman raises. I have QQ44x on the button. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do here. It’s a decent high hand but it has little scooping potential.

I decide to call though.

They both draw two and I draw one. That seems promising. So I call when Sandman bets and so does the other guy.

Sandman bets again and I call even though I bricked. So does the other player.

I make queens full on the second draw and on this street they both check-call me and draw two again.

It checks to me again after the last draw and I obviously bet. The original limper calls and Sandman folds. I table my hand and it’s a scooper but he looks flustered and turns over… AAA?

Wait… what? Did he limp in with three aces? Was he drawing to something else and end up making three aces? He drew two on every street, but he never showed any aggression. I’m not going to pretend like I have a good grasp on this game yet, but all of that seems weird to me.

That was my largest pot of the night so far and I have no clue if it was standard or a punt attempt I got lucky on.

🤷🏻‍♂️

11:51 PM: Praise Jesus. 2-7 Triple Draw, I open with 7542x, the button 3-bets, small blind calls, and I cap.

SB takes two, I take one, and button takes two.

I pair the 7, but I fire again and we draw 2, 1 and 1.

I pair the 7 again. Ugh. I still bet and this time I decide to stand pat after the SB draws one. This is called a snow, or in laymen’s terms, a bluff. I’ve seen three 7s already which drastically reduces the strong hands they can make. So I’m standing pat and bluffing, hoping they brick out.

The button ends up drawing one also and somehow I get two folds when I bet. Phew!

Sometimes when you can’t ever make your draws at the nuts you just have to pretend like you already have it.

I don’t know if that’s the greatest snowing spot, trying to fade two one card draws, but it worked!

2:35 PM: I’m basically done writing for the night but this hand is worth mentioning.

We are playing Badugi. Sandman opens in front of me, I 3-bet with A73x, and the guy on my left calls 3-bets cold. Sandman caps it.

Sandman stands pat, I take one, and the guy on my left draws three. THREE!

That’s all I really wanted to say, but I guess the rest of the hand is pretty interesting.

Sandman bets after the draw, I call unimproved and so does the third player.

Pat. One. THREE!

Sandman leads again, I call unimproved, and the other guy raises! Sandman calls. Eh. Not sure what to do here, but I decide to give it up. I should probably call. When Sandman just calls I’m probably drawing live against him and the other dude has obviously proven to be clueless and spewy in this game.

They both stand pat and action goes check check on the last round. The guy on my left made a rough ten and Sandman wins with a 9.

But if I was taking a drink of something I think I would have spit it out all over the table when that guy called three bets cold and then drew three. Holy shit.

4:07 PM: Not sure if playing that mix was the best use of my time. I finished -$259 in 8 hours of playing games I’m not proficient in. It was fun though. I like playing something different once in a while, but if my goal is to maximize my earn while I’m here… eh. I’m better off playing LHE, PLO, or O8.

HORSE @ 3 PM tomorrow. I’m good at all those games. Let’s get a RANG.

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PLO @ The Palace (11/28/18)

November 29, 2018

I’ve come to the decision to stop live blogging my PLO sessions. Interesting situations just don’t come up often enough. Most hands are pretty cut and dry. There’s a preflop raise and then there’s a flop bet and the hand is over.

Last night was a prime example of why I quit writing during PLO sessions. The game lasted a whopping 3.5 hours and I only played three pots that I thought worthy of jotting down.

I’m surprised the game broke so early in the night considering it started out full and strong enough. Starting lineup featured Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, Twinkie, Lee Markholt, one other PLO regular, and three randoms… plus a list.

Later in the night, Kate Hoang made an appearance in the game. That’s notable because we suddenly had a combined 11 World Series of Poker final tables in the game – and that’s just the ones I know about: Lee has 6, Kate has 3, and I have 2. I’m not positive about this, but I’m guessing that’s a Palace record for a single game.

Anyways, here are the only interesting hands I played on Wednesday:

Lee limps in, I make it $20 with AKQ3 single suited, a regular calls and so does Lee. I’m not stoked about isolating Lee with this hand, but it’s definitely a hand I’m trying to play with a suited ace and I don’t really think I should be limping it.

Flop is A64 rainbow, I bet $35 and only the regular calls.

Turn is a ten and my opponent is pretty sticky. My hand isn’t all that great, but I do have a gutshot to the nuts, so I go ahead and take a free card.

The river is a jack, giving me the nuts, and he checks again. There’s like $130 in the pot and he doesn’t seem strong at all, so I bet $25, hoping to either get paid off by a weak hand or maybe even induce a raise. He just calls though and I win the pot.

Yes, that was one of the three most interesting hands I played all night.

This is the very next hand and I open to $15 with KQJ5 double suited, there’s a call, and the regular from the last hand is on the button and quickly makes it $60. My hand doesn’t qualify for Tommy Angelo’s Waiting for Straighters strategy, but I decide to call anyway because I didn’t read that article until after I got home. The other player calls as well.

Flop is QJ7 with two diamonds which are not one of my suits. I do have a backdoor flush draw though. I also have top two. I’m honestly not sure what my plan is when I check on the flop. The player in between donks out for the full pot of $185 and the regular on the button folds. I have to admit I was pretty lost here. I think I had about $625 behind and I believe he had me covered. I suspected I probably didn’t have any fold equity and it was pretty brutal not having any diamonds in my hand, but I did have a king for a straight blocker at least. Holding top two, it was pretty unlikely I was up against one of the big sets and I saw this player check-min-raise with middle set earlier, so I felt like I probably had the best hand. The question was, did I want to play a $1400+ pot with a naked top two on a super wet board? Honestly… not really. I tanked for quite a long time, but ultimately I decided I had to go with and made it $485, leaving myself with around $140 behind. I’m still not sure about it, but apparently it was the right decision at this exact moment because something really unexpected happened: he folded.

This is a 3-bet pot to $60 preflop and I have double suited KKJ5 in the small blind. Five of us see the flop so there is $300 in the middle when the A42 with two clubs board rolls off. The ace of clubs is on board, so I have the nut flush draw here. I’m in the worst position and I’m deep with some of the remaining players, so I start by checking, the next player pots for $300 and Kate goes all-in for around $225. It folds back to me. The other player has around $100 behind, so this is just a math problem. I tanked for some time at the table trying to figure it out.

There was $300 in the middle before the flop and the flop action added another $525. It costs me $300 to continue in a pot of $825, but technically, if I’m going to continue with the hand, I’m going to put the other player all-in since I’m never folding on the turn, so my actual pot odds are $400 to win $925, or roughly 2.3 to 1. That means I need to win around 30% of the time to break even here. For the sake of simplicity – especially at the table – I use the method of multiplying the number of outs I have on the flop by four to determine how often I improve my hand. This isn’t exact, but it’s close enough. For example, if I have nine outs to a flush, I’m going to improve to a flush by the river roughly (9×4) 36% of the time. That would make this a clear call. Unfortunately, things aren’t that clear. It’s probably safe to assume that I don’t have the best made hand at the moment. The real questions are, how live are my set outs and how likely is it that at least one of my opponents has a flush draw? Since neither of these players 4-bet before the flop, I think it’s safe to assume a set of aces is not out there. I’ve never seen Kate play PLO so I don’t really know what her range looks like, but I think the other player can show up with the small sets here and maybe even a straight. He seems loose enough to put $60 in preflop with those hands. If I had to guess what I’m up against exactly though, I would guess someone usually has aces up and someone has a flush draw, possibly with a little extra equity. If that’s true, my kings are live, but I could be missing up to three flush outs. That would give me around eight outs twice and a roughly 32% chance of improving to a set of kings or a flush by the river. Add in the fact that I’m going to backdoor a straight some percentage of the time and I think I’m supposed to call here, but it’s very close. If a straight and a flush draw are out, it’s arguably a fold, but my backdoor Broadway and full house draws make it pretty close.

In the moment, I decided that I needed to improve and that I was almost certainly missing flush outs and thought I might not be getting the right price, so I folded. The board ran out with two clubs that didn’t pair the board and Kate won with a jack high flush holding JT86. I never got to see what the other player had.

I would love to see someone actually figure this spot out, but now I’m guessing it’s probably a call – and not just because I got there.

That would have been a nice $925 extra to cash out at the end of the night, but for a 3.5 hour session, I wasn’t mad about finishing at +$527 considering I had very few favorable situations and no big confrontations.

My current plan is to combine both PLO sessions on Wednesday and Thursday into one post, but I’m not optimistic the game is going to go tonight so I’m just going to go ahead and publish now. There are currently three names on the list and I heard one of those players say he was going to Muckleshoot tonight. Plus the PLO game hasn’t gone for the last three Thursdays. I thought it was a stretch to try and spread this game twice a week and my intuition looks spot on. It definitely hasn’t helped that The Crypt Keeper has been in Vietnam for the last several weeks, especially since a couple of his friends also stopped showing up when he left. I think PLO can flourish spreading it once a week, but starts to get spread thin if you try to do it more than that. Lakewood just doesn’t have the player pool for it and while the game has drawn in a decent amount of outside players, I don’t think there is enough interest to spread it multiple days a week.

Just look at the 15/30 game. It started off super strong, going once a week on Mondays, then we started expanding it to the point where it was running almost every day… and now it has reached a point where it is reliably running zero times a week. It is dead. With that said, there was discussion with The Man last night about trying to revive it, with the plan of spreading it on Friday nights starting at 4 PM. That makes a lot of sense to me. I think it would do well there as a once a week game.

It’s looking like this will be the fourth straight Thursday that the PLO game doesn’t run, so I might need to find a new option for this night of the week. I can’t really justify waiting around until 6 PM to see if the game is going to go or not. I think Thursday nights are usually good at Fortune, but I also might opt to stay home and play online… what I’m going to try not to do is play 8/16 when I know I really don’t want to.

Note: Just to be clear, I’m still going to blog about my PLO sessions, I’m just not going to do it while I’m playing like I do with Hold’em. I will take notes and write about it later like I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

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Marathon Monday: 10/20 with Button Straddles!

November 26, 2018

I’m a little unsure what to expect today. The long holiday weekend might be an action killer. There are currently 4 names signed up for the straddle game starting in an hour and one of those names might be “Monday @ noon.” Also, there are always a couple of flakes on the list at the start of the day, so this is looking really bad right now. On the bright side, there is an 8/16 game going already, so heading to Palace at noon won’t be a total waste of my time. Hopefully we can get the red chip game off the ground by 2 PM. My hopes are not high for noon.

Last week wasn’t much of a poker week for me. Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family and Saturday we celebrated with my wife’s side of the family. We didn’t play any poker on either of those days. Well, that’s not entirely true. There was an impromptu house game tournament on Saturday and I ended up chopping this 7-handed $20 buy-in heads up for +$30! Yesterday we had a medical appointment in Kirkland and then went to a Mayan Ruins themed Escape Room in Gig Harbor at 4 PM. We did not escape… and that brings my career record in escape rooms to 0 for 4. It’s pretty aggravating because I feel like I should be smart and clever enough to get out of these rooms on a regular basis and so far… none.

Friday I did play poker. If you read my last blog you know that I’m on fire and have a couple of cool streaks going. I have won eight sessions in a row and I have had a +$1000 upswing in eight sessions in a row. I managed to keep one of those streaks alive on Friday. I started my session off down $400 and I ended up peaking at over +$600. That qualifies as a +$1000 upswing in the session. Unfortunately, I followed that upswing with one of those nightmare sequences where it feels like I’m raising every other hand preflop but never winning a pot and never showing a hand. It’s the kind of thing that makes you look like a total maniac or someone on extra hard tilt. And yet, I’m just playing my normal game, while getting a very above average distribution of high quality starting hands and whiffing the flop or getting outdrawn with all of them. I didn’t even turn over a losing hand to save face. I just let the image ride. But I was tired, nearing reload status, and almost nine hours into my session, so I swallowed the loss and finished at -$282 and my winning streak ended at eight sessions.

I booked a trip to Los Angeles to play some events at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at The Bicycle Casino during the first few weeks of December. I’ll be flying to L.A. next Monday and playing the $400 no limit Hold’em Monster Stack on Tuesday, the $400 H.O.R.S.E. on Wednesday, and the $400 limit Omaha 8/Better on Thursday. I thought the limit events were all one day, but they are actually two day events and I have a flight booked for Friday afternoon, so I’m actually unsure about the O8 tournament. I might just end up playing cash games on Thursday.

Hopping in the shower and heading to Palace shortly.

12:28 PM: I wasn’t sure the game would start on time, so even though it’s kind of weak, I’m happy to say cards are in the air already.

Starting lineup: new regular, Flea, Chief Wiggum, Rain Man, non-regular, Radio Mike

12:50 PM: First big clash: Flea straddles, Wiggum calls, I 3-bet AQ from big, Frankenstein 4-bets from UTG, and four of us call.

Flop is Q42 rainbow and I’m looking to check-raise Frankenstein but he checks back. Fortunately the first cold caller bets, Flea raises, Wiggum cold calls, and now I 3-bet. The non-reg and Flea call, but Wiggum caps it. Ugh. His line absolutely reeks of a set, but the pot is so massive now that we have to see a turn card.

The turn is a jack and Wiggum fires into the field. I think it’s reasonable to fold here since I am drawing dead a lot, but there’s one caveat: Wiggum is capable of showing up with some junky suited hands. It is possible he has Q4 or Q2 suited here, but I suspect he might play those hands differently on the flop, leading out with them or 3-betting initially rather than trying to keep everyone else in the pot.

I decided to call anyway and so did the two others still in.

River is a king and now when he fires out again I have a pretty simple fold, even with the size of the pot, because he’s never bluffing here and there’s just no way he’s playing worse than AQ this way. Someone else calls and he shows a set of 4s.

1:15 PM: Game is full with a list!

1:17 PM: Radio Mike 3-bets from the small blind and it folds to me in middle position. I look down at AA and make it 4-bets in my mind but for some reason I only put $30 in the pot (a call). That allows three players to call behind me for 3-bets. Maybe 4-betting doesn’t change anything, but this is definitely not ideal.

Flop is K75 with two spades, Mike leads out, I raise, and Frankenstein 3-bets. That clears the rest of the field and if Frankenstein has me beat here I’m just going to lose an extra big bet on the turn because I’m not about to let him free card play me. I cap it and they both call.

Turn is a blank and I get two callers, which means I almost certainly have the best hand.

River is an 8, which completes some funky draws and two pair hands, but I bet anyway and Mike calls. Looks like Big Frank was definitely planning to take a free card on the turn.

2:25 PM: Bulletproof is in the game. First time I’ve actually been able to use that name while I’m blogging. For further explanation, check out the Blog Nicknames page I’ve started. I’ve only done a few of them but Bulletproof is one of them.

3:16 PM: Part-Time continues to run obnoxiously good against me when he’s drawing basically dead. I have A6 of spades on the KQ5 all spade flop and he beats me with KJ.

I was thinking we might not survive the midday lull but Part-Time and Santa Claus have made us 8-handed.

3:29 PM: False alarm on Santa Claus. He sat down with $1000 then disappeared and his chips were removed before he came back.

One player is racking up now and that could make us 6-handed and a 6-handed game is not likely to survive the lull.

I got an email from Red Box saying that all rentals are $0.16 today so I guess if this game breaks I’m going to rent like 4 movies and see how many I can watch tonight.

3:48 PM: False alarm again. Santa Claus is here. The player that racked up did leave but we picked up another walk in so… 8-handed!

4:38 PM: I have to come clean about something. I made what I think might be the second worst fold of my poker career today.

But since you’ll probably be curious, here’s #1 first:

This was many, many years ago in a 4/8 game. It’s a 3-handed pot and after going all the bets on the flop, raising the turn and still getting re-raised, I decided to fold AA on a board of K777. Not only did I fold it, but I made sure everyone saw the genius lay down I was making.

They both had a king.

I can’t remember feeling more embarrassed at a poker table… but this next hand, from earlier today, comes pretty close:

It gets capped at least 5-ways pre and capped 4-ways on the JT7 rainbow flop. I have JJ.

Flea and I have been pushing the action on the flop so when the turn is an 8, Flea bets, gets called twice, and then a new aggressor check-raises the field, it’s fairly obvious that person has a straight, right?

Right???

So when the river is a 5, I decide to fold instead of overcall and put one more bet in this 32.5 big bet pot. I can be wrong 97% of the time and calling is still profitable… so what the fuck happened? I pitched my hand and the dude check-raising the turn wins with a set of tens.

It’s a nearly unforgivable mistake, but it’s Marathon Monday and I can’t afford to let myself tilt or quit so early in the day.

But Jesus. I can’t believe that actually happened. And I can barely believe I’m sharing it.

Actually, upon further thought, I think this was my worst fold ever. The 4/8 pot was less than $200. This pot was over $600. And it cost me $20 to call and take it.

Ughhhhhhhh

4:50 PM: 30 bets go in the middle preflop and I get the QTT flop while holding the KT of diamonds and it gets capped 5-ways.

The turn is a queen and, determined not to repeat previous mistakes, I call down and lose to Q2.

I am down less than $100. I feel like I am down $1200.

4:56 PM: I am down $6 actually. I took two full laps around the building and I’m going to pretend like I just got here.

5:49 PM: Running better. I call a punter down on 7227A with A6 and donk river vs JJ.

Then I get the K88 flop heads up with 83cc in the straddle and my opponent caps flop with me and still bets the turn, allowing me raise again, so that was nice.

6:00 PM: Santa Claus makes it 3-bets from the small blind, I 4-bet with JJ, Bulletproof calls on the button and Santa caps it.

Flop is AK7 and Santa checks so I bet because he can literally have anything here. That gets Bulletproof out and Santa calls.

I’m planning to show down now but the turn is a jack and he donks out. I raise it and he 3-bets. Ugh. I call and as I do that he says, “partner, if you got this one beat, I guess it’s not my night.”

I feel like he’s being genuine and that means he doesn’t have the nuts, so when the river bricks, I feel pretty good putting in another raise. He might have aces or kings but he’s much more likely to have AK.

He calls and shows 77.

6:16 PM: What a day this is. So Palace has a dumb promotion called the Happy Hour Hand where they draw two cards and put them up on the board and if you win a showdown with those exact two cards, you win the jackpot money. This promo is in play from 7am – 11am and 12am – 2am, plus 3pm – 6pm on non-High Hand days.

So today there is no High Hands and the Happy Hour Hand was $600 if you win with the 4 of hearts and the 2 of clubs. I don’t know how long this has been going on… maybe 18 months? I’ve never even been dealt the Happy Hour Hand… as far as I know. Usually it’s some garbage like the 42o and it’s not even on my radar.

I’ve been getting some 42o today so it’s been more relevant than usual and this time when I looked down at the 42o it was $30 to me and I looked back and, by God, I had the magic hand. I called $30 cold.

Okay, not really sure why I’m doing that. There are all kinds of garbage suited hands that can make straight flushes (for a $400 jackpot) that I fold routinely, even for one bet, so why am I calling here? I think I just got wrapped in the moment of actually having the hand and knowing about it.

So we go to the flop and it’s something like QT6 with two hearts. I’m debating how I can ever possibly continue here, but then it checks around.

The turn is the 2 of hearts. Flea bets, he gets called, and I raise because I want the other players with nothing invested to fold their weak one card flush draws. Flea and the other player both call.

The river is a heart! We have life! I have to win a showdown and everyone has to show their hands so I let them show in turn and the second player has a set of tens… with a heart in his hand. Dammit.

I told Joker and Radio Mike that I had the Happy Hour Hand and that’s when the topic of the current time is brought up. It’s 6:15. The promo ended at 6, so I just torched $70 with the 42o for absolutely no reason.

I guess that’s my fault somehow? The times are clearly posted, but so is the damn hand. If I look back and the hand is taken down, I just fold and move on with my life. I’m barely ever thinking about this promo, so I’m not paying attention to what time it is. I turn around, see I have the hand, and play it. I’m supposed to turn around and check the board and then check what time it is, all while letting no one know I have the bonus hand?

Fuck that and fuck this promotion.

I’m not really mad but it is a bit annoying that they didn’t take the hand down at 6.

6:39 PM: It’s not all that bad though. Just look at this hat The Joker is wearing:

If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.

7:20 PM: Tormund chiming in from the sidelines:

8:41 PM: Game is super loose and juiced right now, with players calling $40 cold with monsters like 43o and A5o but showing down winners.

I got stuck in a seriously bloated pot where I had to call three bets cold on the turn with the nut flush draw… and bricked.

Then there was this gem: it’s raised and multi-way to me in button with 96o and I defend the straddle.

Flop is 976 with two hearts and one diamond. Flea is the PFR and leads out, I raise, Radio Mike cold calls, Flea raises back, and I cap it.

Turn is the 5 of diamonds and we both call again.

River is the 8 of hearts. It checks to me. I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’m not about to bluff at this and get scooped somehow so I check back.

Radio Mike has 96 of spades. Flea has A7 of diamonds. We all chop.

Sometimes you just have to get 4-bets in 3-ways with the A7dd on 976hh. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Joker, Radio Mike, and I are all stuck in this game somehow right now.

10:06 PM: Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and keep calling. I’m in the straddle with 87o and it’s 5-bets to me, so obviously I put in another $30.

Flop is T93 with two diamonds and I have to call a raise cold without a diamond in my hand.

Flea donked into Joker on the flop and donks again when the 8 of diamonds turns. Joker just calls and I call also. So does a 4th player.

That player donks on the 6 of club river and now Flea and Joker both fold, so I call and I LOVE my hand now. He immediately says, “you’re good” and I turn my straight over for the full pot.

1:08 AM: Almost forgot to post a wrap up. Not much going on of note the last few hours, for me at least. I dropped down to -$400 but recovered and finished with a…

Final Score: +$382

Not bad considering I folded the winner in a $600 pot when I was already down almost $500. That kind of thing can derail an entire session and I kept it together for a full 12+ hours.

I rented three movies on my way home so I guess that’s my plan for tomorrow. I’ll be back in action Wednesday and Thursday for some pot limit omaha.

h1

Heater is Official: Pot Limit Omaha Hands

November 23, 2018

Wednesday didn’t start out all that promising. The PLO game at Palace was 6-handed to start and stayed that way for quite some time, with multiple players on the list initially passing on coming over.

Starting lineup was Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, Lee Markholt, Hit&Run, a mega nit, and myself.

The First Hand

I sat down with $700 on the table and on the first hand dealt, I picked up the AKdd63hh and decided to limp along. This is a pretty marginal hand but playing 6-handed if I’m going to play it, I should probably raise it. Honestly, I should probably just be folding it. I guess I wasn’t in the rhythm of things yet. But against very predictable opponents, I think it can be okay to limp along with some weak hands with nut potential and try to play cheap pots in position. This hand would look a lot nicer if it was double suited to the ace and the king. Action gets to Hit&Run in the big blind and he makes it $15 to go and all us passive limpers call.

Flop is KQ6 with two diamonds. I have top and bottom pair with the nut flush draw. Hit&Run leads out for full pot and Charlie Hustle calls. Charlie Hustle has some pretty massive preflop leaks, but postflop he plays a very nitty style. When he calls here, he probably has a very strong draw and he may have a strong made hand. Hit&Run started the hand with just over $500 and Charlie Hustle had $1000. I definitely have enough hand that I can raise and get it in here and maybe I should, but I opt to just call and see what develops.

Turn is a total brick, Hit&Run bets the max of $300 and Charlie Hustle calls. I just called again, but in retrospect, I think this is a pretty clear raise. Hit&Run had less than $200 left after his turn bet and at this point, I think it’s safe to assume that Charlie Hustle is on a draw. It would be strange if he was near-nutted on a wet board and decided to call twice when it was obvious that I was probably drawing. But then again, Charlie Hustle does not look comfortable in huge pots. This guy’s entire sessions are based around making $500 in the least turbulent fashion possible. I could already see that this situation had his breathing accelerated. But I have seen him show up with very big hands when he was clearly nervous. Still, it seemed like he is more likely to be drawing here than to have a made hand better than mine and since Hit&Run has like $150 left and I can’t imagine many rivers I’m going to fold against him (if Charlie Hustle folds in front of me), I should just make it $600 here to create a side pot with Charlie Hustle and also increase the chance that he pays me off if he has a flush draw and we both make diamonds on the river.

But I just called and the river was the 9 of diamonds. They both check to me and I go $300, Hit&Run folds, and Charlie Hustle goes into the tank. It seems like I’m probably not going to get paid off here. Not only do I have the nut flush, but I also have the king of diamonds in my hand, so the best hand he can have is a jack high flush. I was wondering what I would do if I had a hand I could arrive on the river with holding the naked ace of diamonds in my hand. Honestly, I don’t think I’d bluff with it. Not when Hit&Run has $150 left in a pot that has reached over $1000 and not when it seems like Charlie Hustle was drawing, most likely to a flush… so I don’t think I’m ever bluffing in this spot. But the longer he takes and the faster he starts breathing, the more I realize this pompous nit is actually going to give me another $300 with the third nuts (at best). It’s a really tough spot for him because if he calls off $300 here and is wrong, he might actually have to stay and play a session and that would be a real shame. He does stick the $300 in and I’m up over $1000 after one hand of poker.

I messaged The Joker and Radio Mike and told them I was on for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge with a massive head start, but I was informed that The Challenge is only relevant in limit games.

Okay, fine.

Bluff Catcher or The Nuts?

There are limpers and I raise to $30 on the button with a single suited AA53 and get three callers. Flop is T92 rainbow with one of my suit and we all check. Turn pairs the 2 and puts a flush draw (not mine) on board. Part-Time leads out $100, someone else calls, and I call also, planning to re-evaluate on the river and probably call bricks if the other player folds. But the river is an ace and I don’t have to make any decisions. They both check to me and fold when I bet $225. Considering I thought it was very likely I already had the best hand, that seems like some pretty bad sizing on my part. I can and probably should go as small as like $60 here. That’s a tough sizing to fold to if they have anything remotely decent.

The Dark Knight vs Lee Markholt

I raise one limper to $20 with a single suited QJT9 and Lee makes it $70 on the button. The small blind calls and I call also. Lee has at least 200 big blinds to start the hand.

The flop is KQ4 with two clubs and I think I should just be taking the lead here since I flopped a wrap and a flush draw. Lee is going to have AA a lot and if he does have that hand, he’s going to hate this flop and check back a lot. He might bet AA combos that have the nut flush draw, but mostly he will be checking back. He’s also not going to be 3-betting very many KK combos before the flop. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but he will be calling with most of his KK hands so the chances that I get raised on this flop by him are pretty small, plus I have enough hand that I can stand a raise anyway. However, I decided to check and Lee did check back.

Also, for all that analysis, it’s worth noting that this is a 3-handed pot. I’m trying to envision who the third player in the pot was, but I can’t recall. There were only a couple reasonable players in the game though and none of them were sitting in the nine seat at any point in time, so when the small blind calls $70 cold here it isn’t too alarming and probably represents a pretty wide range still.

The turn paired the king and, again, I can justify betting here when the small blind checks and maybe it’s mandatory at this point, but I checked again and Lee bet $140. The other player folded and I tanked for a while before calling. I thought it would be super unlikely for him to have two pair on the flop and have a boat now and there was 0% chance he flopped a set.

River is the 2 of clubs, giving me a queen high flush. As played, there is really no sense in betting here. Lee is not going to call me with any worse hands. I don’t think we have enough history for him to even consider that I’m ever bluffing here. He will, however, raise me if he does happen to somehow have a full house and he will certainly call me if he rivered a better flush. Also, my range seems to be pretty capped here. I would imagine he assumes I never have a full house the way I played this hand, so maybe he will bluff worse hands when I check, but with the $300 max bet, he will probably just check back when I have him beat and that’s okay. He does check back and my flush is good. He shows me the AAKx with the naked ace of clubs and says he didn’t think he could get me to fold a flush since I probably didn’t believe he had a king… and he was right.

I don’t hate my line in this hand, but I’m guessing leading out on the flop is probably the correct play.

Minimizing with The Nuts

I open AAJ7 single suited from early position and two players call. The flop is A82 rainbow. I bet $30 into $45 and the next player, a non-reg in this game and a weak player in hold’em, min-raises me to $60. The other guy folds and this board is as dry as it gets, so I just call. Turn is a king and we both check. Well, that’s annoying. I just let this rookie free card play me in pot limit Omaha when I have the nuts… on a board where no one should ever be raising for a free card. River is a queen and I decide to check again because now the nuts have changed and if he has something I figure he might bet facing a another check. He checks back… with QQ in his hand and who knows what else. I haven’t played PLO with this guy before, but I was pretty shocked to see him check back a set after I check to him twice.

I have no idea what was going on there but I’m obviously not a fan of my line. This dude takes very unorthodox lines in hold’em so I shouldn’t be surprised when he min-raises flop here with nothing and then checks a lot. It makes no sense but this player has never made sense. I’m not sure what my maximizing line is here against him, but I’m guessing small raises and bets are a good way to get more money in the pot even though I have the deck crippled on the flop.

Someone is Winning a Monster

There are limpers and I make it $25 from the small blind with AKK6 single suited to the ace. They all call. The flop is KQ3 with two hearts and one diamond, giving me top set, a backdoor nut flush draw, and an ace, which is not insignificant, as it is a straight draw blocker. I decide to start with a check as I will be checking the flop very frequently when I raise from the small blind and I want to balance my checking range with some strong hands. It may not be necessary for me to balance my ranges in this particular game, but I did it anyway here. It checks to the button and he bets $85. I make it $300 to go and that’s when things start to get crazy. The initial limper in the hand now calls $300 cold and the action is on Mr. Plow and he’s admiring the action going on around him, chuckling about the insanity of it all and that seems like a prelude to folding, but then he says, “I don’t see how I can fold here” and jams for ~$470. Action is back on the button and he asks, “can I raise?” and the answer is yes. Technically, the $470 is not considered a raise of my bet. I made it $215 more and Plow’s all in is only $170 more than my bet and needs to be at least $215 more to be considered a raise. However, I reopened the betting to the button with my initial raise to $300, so he can still raise. If he called though, I would not be able to raise because I’d technically be raising myself and that is not allowed. Confusing? The button does raise, going all in for over $700 and with one raise left I raise again to make sure the other player has to go all in to stay in the pot also. I have everybody covered and my three opponents are all in for ~$800, $470, and $730, respectively.

There is around $2900 in the middle and while I have the nuts, my hand is very vulnerable to straight draws and flush draws here, so I’m happy to run it more than once, but that gets shut down pretty quickly and everyone only gets one shot at a piece of this monster pot.

The turn is a 3, immediately pairing the board and hopefully giving me a lock winner. I say hopefully because this crowd is certainly capable of punting with bottom set in this spot and if you follow my blog you know I’ve taken that beat before. Fortunately, no one has quads and my hand holds up to win everything. One of the players flashed a set of queens, but I didn’t see what anyone else had.

They are Punting

I raise with KJT8 single suited and get some callers. The flop is QT9 with two hearts and one diamond and since I’m out of position against two opponents and I’m deep with one of them, I decide to check and see what happens. While I do have the nut straight and a backdoor flush draw here, my hand has minimal chances of improving and this board is very wet. I’m not looking to play a massive pot here. Someone bets after I check, the deep-stacked player folds, and a shorter stack calls. Okay, with the deep-stacked player out, I don’t mind playing for stacks now. I pot it to $135 and they both call.

The turn is a wonderful black 4 and I make it $300 which is enough to put them both all in and they stack off.

The river pairs the 9 and not only do I not lose on that card, but I’m not splitting with anyone either. It’s another $1000+ pot my way.

But… I have Blockers!

There are limpers again and I raise from the big blind with AKJT single suited to the ace and everybody calls.

Flop is AKJ and this is not a great flop for me, even though I did pair every card. I start with a check, someone bets $25, and everybody else folds. I am pretty happy with that result, as I’m now heads up, and his bet of like 30% pot doesn’t exude strength. I can easily have the best hand here. I call.

Turn is a ten, so I now have the ever elusive four pair. We both check.

River pairs the jack, which gives me the third nuts. I’m only losing to AA and KK and that’s not much of a consideration since this player limped in preflop. I also realize that the way this hand has played out he either had total air when he bet on the flop or he probably has a full house now, so I bet full pot and then something inexplicable happens: he raises the maximum. What. I start tanking, but quickly stop myself because it’s absolutely silly. I’m never folding here with all the blockers that I have and knowing that I only lose if he limped in with AA or KK. I call. He does have KK! What in the world.

My Worst Hand of the Night

There are multiple limpers in this hand and I complete from the small blind with QTss88.

The flop is AKJ and all spades. It’s a pretty decent flop for me as it gives me a Royal Flush. I check and it checks to the button. He bets $25, I call, and so does Charlie Hustle. I think this flop line is reasonable, but…

…the turn is the 4 of hearts and now I should be leading out. When Charlie Hustle calls on the flop, it’s clear that he at least thinks he’s drawing to the nuts, or maybe he flopped a flush also. However, he’s not going to bet either of those hands and after getting called twice on the flop, the button is not going to continue firing with many hands. It’s a total botch job on my part and I practically throw up in my mouth with immediate realization when it checks around.

The river is a red 7, I lead out $60 and both players fold. I showed my hand and that was pretty dumb because now the other two players can make up hands they had that I missed maximum value against. Charlie Hustle claims AK and the other guy says he had a set of kings. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but either way, my line in this hand is absolutely horrible. I think checking on the flop is defensible, but checking the turn is absolutely horrible. There’s really no excuse for it. It’s pretty impressive to flop a Royal Flush and have end wind up as the worst hand you played all night.

Final Score: +$3690

Yep. I’m on a heater. That cash game downswing I was on? Firmly in the rearview now. I can actually see the full scope of it. It stretched from October 12th to November 8th, 113+ hours of pure torture, to the tune of -$5832.

Since that last session on November 8th, I have been absurdly hot, starting a different kind of streak. For one, I have won eight sessions in a row. More impressively, I have had a +$1000 upswing in every single one of those sessions, even when I was playing 4/8!

All in all, I am now on a torrid +$12k heater over my last 8 days of poker.

Insane.