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September 2019: Week One Results

September 17, 2019

Sorry about the extended break. That wasn’t my plan, but I didn’t get a chance to post a wrap up of the first week of September before I left for Lincoln City and then I decided I was just going to post a whole trip report when I got back instead of doing live updates and now it’s September 17th and I haven’t made a poker post for this month yet.

I got off to a bad start in September by posting my only losing cash game session of my L.A. trip when I went -$848 in that 40/80 Mix session with James Woods.

My first day back in Lakewood, I won $124 in about 40 minutes of 8/16 before playing an absurdly boring PLO session that saw the return of Lee Markholt to the game. I really enjoy his company, but his presence certainly doesn’t increase the quality of that game. I was insanely card dead and only played a few pots of note.

On the first one, I was in a raised multi-way pot with QJJ9 and got it all in on KJ7 vs Mr. Freeze’s KKxx and lost over $500.

Then Sandman made a rare guest appearance and bought in for $200 and got all of it in against my AAJ9 with AAT3 and got the T8346 runout for a quick double.

My only notable winning pot I made it $20 with AAKQ single suited after one limper, bet $15 on KK4 with two of my suit, and then my opponent led out for $75 when the 8 of spades brought the flush in. Against this player type, I probably should make a small raise, because he’s super loose and a bit wacky, but in the moment I decided to just flat. The river brought a 9 and he fired $200 and I stuck with my conservative line with a call and he showed a nine high flush and I won the hand. He has a pretty easy fold to a turn raise, so I think I might like my line, but this is also the kind of player that might actually call down, so I don’t know.

That hand somewhat salvaged my night and I finished -$261 in PLO.

On Thursday, I went and saw It: Chapter Two (2019) with my buddy and he likes to play poker at smaller stakes, so we headed to Fortune after the movie and I lost $141 playing 4/8 until 2:30 in the morning and woke up the next day after noon wondering what I’m doing with my life. I text my friend and told him we can’t do that anymore. I can’t justify sleeping in and feeling unproductive because I was up super late playing 4/8. That’s just dumb. I don’t mind playing lower stakes poker with him, but we need to find a more reasonable time of day for it.

On Friday, I was in the 15/30 game at Palace with a lineup that featured Taz, Ducky, Flea, Huey, Mr. Freeze, Splinter, and a couple others. I tried to coast by defending with 97o against Ducky’s under the gun raise and called down on a 9886x runout, but he had AA and he was coasting instead. That early cushion was enough to keep Ducky above the breakeven line for the entire session and he joined the The Coast Club for the second time with a Silver Level entry and the smallest win (+$379) anyone has ever coasted to. Good job, lil buddy, and you’re welcome.

I’ve been struggling in the 15/30 game for a while now, with two big losses (-$1350+) and only two small wins (less than +$300) over my last six sessions, so I was feeling kind of on edge during the early parts of this session. It didn’t help when I 3-bet Mr. Freeze with AJ and inexplicably folded when he check-raised me on KK2 and bet again when the 2 paired on the turn only for him to show me QJ high. Obviously, it’s pricey to make two $50 calls (Overs are 25/50) and be wrong, but if I’m not folding on the flop, I definitely shouldn’t be folding on the turn, plus I know he’s plenty capable of doing shit like this. Then I was in a 4-bet pot with 77 on 962s8s. I had the betting lead on the flop but decided to check the turn because Master Splinter had raised under the gun and I know he can be tricky. I called a bet on the 9s river and I was pretty happy to be able to show this hand down for one big bet, but he ended up showing me AQ of spades for a rivered flush.

So there I was, stuck a rack super early in another 15/30 session and I was honestly thinking about quitting and I really had to center myself with some breathing and mindfulness to try and remind myself that I actually love what I do, I’m lucky to do it, and sometimes I go on bad stretches, but I always come out of them.

And I made a comeback. I got Master Splinter back in a 3-bet pot with aces when he donk-called the flop and then called down on 83273 and then I defended 55 after Taz raised from the small blind with a limper already in. The flop was 653 with two spades and I got two bets in 3-ways. The turn was an ace and Taz donked that card and I got two bets in 3-ways again. Very nice. The river paired the board with a spade and they both paid me off, with the limper showing 87 of spades, a monster draw that got there with the wrong card.

Master Splinter opened from the button and I defend in the big blind with T7 of clubs. The flop was 853 with two diamonds and one club. This is not the kind of board I want to be folding on, but I don’t have a ton of immediate equity either, so I decide to check-raise and take the lead, knowing he has a wide range and will be folding a good amount of it before showdown. There are lots of good turn cards for me and the 9 of clubs is one of the best ones, so I continue my story and he punishes me with a raise. I say to Ducky, “he’s not going to like this one” and make the call. The river is a ten and I check-call saying, “that’s not the one, but it’s a payoff card,” and that river is good enough versus Master Splinter’s A8 of clubs. Yikes. Yep, he’s not going to like that one.

Then I have JJ in a capped 4-way pot and check back the K64 flop because Huey was the other preflop aggressor and he’s in early position with a strong range. The turn pairs the king and Huey leads out and gets called. I don’t love this spot, but I also don’t have enough information to fold, so I make the call also and whaddya know, the river is a jack. Huey leads again, the other player folds, I raise and Huey tanks for a while and eventually folds QQ face up.

Bang bang. Suddenly, I’m up $1100 and we are only 90 minutes into the session. Ah, I remember this feeling!

But… it wasn’t meant to be. I lost a series of dumb ones before I stopped taking notes altogether.

I opened on the button with T9 of clubs and Huey defended in the big blind. He donked the T43ssc flop and called my raise. He donked again on the 8 of spades turn and I called. The river was the 2 of diamonds and I paid his river bet off only for him to show me A5 of diamonds for a rivered straight. I actually like his bluff on the turn, especially considering how much of a nit I think he typically is, and if he had checked the turn, I assume he would have folded to a bet, so taking this line allowed him to realize his equity and, uh, that’s pretty annoying.

I had the AQ of spades on a AT9 two spade flop, but the board ran out J7 and I lost the pot to Master Splinter because he randomly decided to limp in from early position with J9 offsuit.

Then I had 88 vs J9 on K65K9 and no clue how my opponent reached showdown with it.

As I mentioned, I stopped keeping notes because I was beyond frustrated. It looked like I might finally have a nice session, but I lost it all back and when I called it a night, I was -$265 after 10+ hours. Ugh. The streak continues.

Saturday, we did a home game with a 15/30 Mix and I posted another small loss of -$148 in 9.5 hours.

Not a good first week of the month. I lost every session I played and I was headed to the Fall Coast Classic at Chinook Winds with a $1500 deficit – the 8th month in a row I’ve gotten off to a rough start.

Chinook Winds series results in the next post.

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It: Chapter Two (2019)

September 6, 2019

It: Chapter Two (2019)

Director: Andy Muschietti (It, Mama)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Bill Skarsgard

Anticipation Level: High

How Was It? Honestly, the only thing that kept my anticipation level below epic levels was the initial reactions of the critics. A 71% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes wasn’t what I was hoping for. Still, I absolutely adored the first movie and while It (2017) may not be the horror classic I initially made it out to be, it at least deserves to be mentioned with the best genre flicks of the last several years.

The audiences seem to be loving Chapter Two and Twitter is going pretty crazy over this movie – especially over Bill Hader’s performance – but I’m going to make a prediction right now: in 2-3 years, everyone is going to realize this movie wasn’t very good. Think about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Most people liked it when it first came out. I even gave it a favorable review. Nowadays, it’s rare to find anyone that liked it and most agree it’s one of the weakest installments in the MCU. I have a feeling It: Chapter Two is going to follow a similar path. Everyone is overreacting now, maybe because they are in denial, and in a few years, this movie will be universally regarded as a dud.

Because… it’s a serious slog. I can’t imagine someone being genuinely entertained by this for three straight hours. It’s soooooo long and the running time seems to be born more out of ego than out of necessity – like director Andy Muschietti and the studio think they can get away with making this some horror epic because the first movie was so successful. I mean… they are probably right. Chapter Two will probably do big business, but I think the length and drop in quality will hurt its legs over the long run and I’d be surprised if it outgrosses the first movie.

I think the biggest problem with this movie is the source material. When I revisited the novel in 2017, I was surprised at how weak the story gets when I got to the adult portion of the book as I’ve always regarded It as one of the best novels I’ve ever read. It’s just not good. I actually think the filmmakers did a laudable job of adapting King’s work in Chapter Two and I like some of the changes they made – it’s funnier and the characters are way less annoying than in the novel. For instance, I couldn’t stand the adult Richie Tozier but Bill Hader makes him the highlight of the film in Chapter Two. Actually, the casting of the adult characters is pretty solid overall. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy seemed like perfect casting, but honestly, no one is going to remember the adult versions of Beverly or Bill in this movie. Hader and James Ransone (as adult Eddie) are great though. If it weren’t for them, this movie would be completely forgettable. They arguably save the whole thing and make it worth watching.

The biggest problem with Chapter Two is that the kids made the book and the kids made the movie in the 2017 film. The adult story just isn’t nearly as good. Muschietti seems to understand that and I think that’s why we get a three hour movie here: the kids get a lot of screen time and it doesn’t really help the movie… it just makes it unnecessarily longer. With that said, any time young Eddie or young Richie are on screen it is usually a good thing. Those two characters and actors are the heart and soul of these movies.

When it comes down it, I just didn’t enjoy this movie. I guess it was okay. Maybe it will even grow on me over time because I’m so dissatisfied right now. I think it would have been a tough watch as a two hour movie and it’s an hour longer than that! I was pretty forgiving of some of the questionable CGI in the first film – mostly because the actual movie was so good – but it’s harder to ignore here. I just don’t have a lot of good things to say about Chapter Two other than praising the performances of Bill Hader and James Ransone.

Obviously, everyone is still going to go see this… especially if they loved the first one like I did. So I won’t tell you not to watch it, but don’t be surprised if you walk out feeling disappointed.

Replay Value: I’m a horror buff, so I’ll still be adding this to my movie collection… and I’ll watch it again… I’ve seen a lot of bad horror movies multiple times… but none that are three hours long!

Sequel Potential: If this movie crushed, I wouldn’t put it past Hollywood to write a sequel that doesn’t exist as a novel.

Oscar Potential: BILL HADER FOR BEST ACTOR! Yeah right. He has NO chance. I thought he was great in this, but that is crazy talk.

5/10 (Decent)

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August 2019 (and July 2019) New Music

September 4, 2019

I always hear people complaining about how bad music is nowadays and they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, there is more quality music flooding the industry than ever before. It’s impossible to listen to it all, but… I try to. I give everything a chance and at the end of every month I’ll post everything I listened to and how much, what my favorite album was, what the other must have albums are, and what songs I added to my 2019 Bangers Playlist.

Stop complaining and take some guidance!

Because some albums come out later in the month and I don’t get much of a chance to listen to them before making my post, I’ve decided to make my new music posts containing all albums I’ve listened to over the last two months. New albums for this month will have the artist’s name in bold.

Also, check out my 2019 Albums page to see where I have rated any albums I’ve formed a solid opinion on.

HEAVY ROTATION (heard whole album many times)

BJ the Chicago Kid – 1123
Dreamville – Revenge of the Dreamers 3
Little BrotherMay the Lord Watch
RapsodyEve
SiRChasing Summer
YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy

SOLID ROTATION (heard whole album at least twice)

BasSpilled Milk 1 EP
Blood Orange – Angel’s Pulse
Chance the Rapper – The Big Day
Devin the Dude – Still Rollin’ Up: Somethin’ to Ride With
DJ Muggs & CRIMEAPPLE – Medallo
Ed Sheeran – No.6 Collaborations
Maxo Kream – Brandon Banks
Nas – The Lost Tapes 2
Rick RossPort of Miami 2

COURTESY ROTATION (heard whole album)

38 SpeshA Bullet for Every Heathen
Big K.R.I.T. – K.R.I.T. IZ HERE
Black MilkDiVE
BROCKHAMPTONGINGER
Jidenna85 to Africa
Joell OrtizMonday
Missy ElliottICONOLOGY EP
NF – The Search
Obie TriceThe Fifth
Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains
Scarlet Parke – Flight Risk
Snoop Dogg I Wanna Thank Me
Obie TriceThe Fifth

SKIM ROTATION (haven’t heard whole album)

A$AP Ferg Floor Seats
Bon Iveri,i
Curren$y – Hot August Nights
DrakeCare Package
Raphael SaadiqJimmy Lee
Snoh Aalegra Ugh, those feels again
Taylor Swift – Lover
Young ThugSo Much Fun

Out of Rotation (removed from my current playlist)

Berner & Curren$y – Pheno Grigio
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire
The Lion King soundtrack

TOO NEW (zero listens)

AlchemistYacht Rock 2
Bun BBun B Day – EP
CommonLet Love
Dame D.O.L.L.A.Big D.O.L.L.A.
Justine SkyeBARE WITH ME – EP
KXNG CrookedThe Weeklys, Vol. 3
Slum VillageThe Source
ToolFear Inoculum

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

RapsodyEve – This was released on the 4th Thursday of August, so it hasn’t been around too long and yet I’ve already listened to the whole album three times and most of the first half at least five times and that’s saying something considering I listened to almost no music while I was in L.A. the last week of the month. I didn’t give Rapsody much love her last time around, even though she found her way to a Grammy nomination, but I did enjoy her last album when I did listen to it. Eve immediately grabbed me though. Three of the first five songs have already been added to my Best of 2019 playlist below and I’ve now added almost half the album. I like a lot about what Rapsody is doing here. She has important things to say, the beats are really good, the songs are extremely well written and Rap isn’t a slouch on the mic either. She does get a little overboard with her adlibs at times and it can be a bit of a distraction, but it’s not a dealbreaker for me and doesn’t take away much from my love for this album. I’ve seen people calling this a classic already and, honestly, I’m pretty close to saying the same thing. I enjoy this album top to bottom, as there is no glaring weak spot and plenty of highlights. Rapsody has herself a serious contender for Album of the Year.

2019 Bangerz Playlist Additions

Ari Lennox, “Up Late”
Ari Lennox, “BMO”
Ari Lennox ft. J.Cole, “Shea Butter Baby”
Ari Lennox ft. JID, “Broke”
Ari Lennox, “Whipped Cream”
BJ the Chicago Kid ft. Afrojack, “Reach”
BJ the Chicago Kid, “Can’t Wait”
BJ the Chicago Kid ft. Anderson .Paak, “Feel the Vibe”
Chance the Rapper ft. En Vogue and Ari Lennox, “I Got You (Always and Forever)”
Drake ft. J.Cole, “Jodeci Freestyle”
Dreamville (EARTHGANG, Smino, Saba, J.Cole), “Sacrifices”
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib ft. Pusha T and Killer Mike, “Palmolive”
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib ft. Anderson.Paak, “Giannis”
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, “Practice”
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, “Flat Tummy Tea”
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, “Soul Right”
Marlon Craft, “Family”
Marlon Craft, “Gang S**t”
Maxo Kream, “Brenda”
Rapsody, “Nina”
Rapsody, “Cleo”
Rapsody, “Whoopi”
Rapsody ft. K.Roosevelt, “Maya”
Rapsody ft. SiR & JID, “Iman”
Rapsody ft. J.Cole, “Sojourner”
Rapsody ft. PJ Morton, “Afeni”
Rick Ross ft. Gunplay, “Nobody’s Favorite”
SiR ft. Kendrick Lamar, “Hair Down”
Snoop Dogg, “Focused”
YBN Cordae, “Wintertime”
YBN Cordae ft. Pusha T, “Nightmares Are Real”
YBN Cordae, “Thanksgiving”

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August 2019 Poker Wrap-Up

September 4, 2019

I spent the last few days of August in Los Angeles, playing at The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens because they were hosting a $2100 H.O.R.S.E. tournament in their Legends of Poker series. I played that tournament on Friday and I already wrote about it in this post so if you missed it the first time around, you can click that link and go read how awesome I did in that event.

I got into L.A. on Wednesday just after 4 PM and started my trip off by… taking an extended nap. I wasn’t in action until 7 PM but I immediately got a seat in a 40/80 Limit Hold’em game. They had two games going at the time and the feeder game wasn’t particularly attractive as they had three props and a host playing in the game.

In my first orbit I have KK in late position in a 4-bet 5-way pot and one of the props was the preflop capper and leads out on a T95 flop. I raise it and all four opponents call. It checks to me when the ten pairs on the turn and I don’t see any reason to check here, so I bet and only two players call. I’m loving my hand now. The river pairs the nine and it checks to me again. I bet, the player in the blinds fold, and now the prop suddenly loves his hand and check-raises. I’m not folding here, but I also realize my hand is probably not winning. I put in the call and he shows me AA. It’s a bit of a strange line from him, but I really love his river check-raise, as once the player that can actually have tens and nines in his range folds, he knows he has the best hand because I’ve been saying I have a big pair ever since I 3-bet before the flop.

That was a nice start to my session, but I had a chance to get some back when I defended the KQ of spades in a 4-way pot and flopped a flush draw on T72. It was bet and raised back to me, so I just called and the PFR 3-bets it. Then the turn paired the ten and PFR and I both check-call. Three of us saw the 6 of clubs on the river, so I check-folded, but the preflop raiser check-called with… 98 of spades. You can never be too careful (other player had KT).

There’s a raise and three calls in front of me, so I cold call on the button with 76 of spades and we go 5-ways to a flop of J86 with two hearts and no spade. The PFR bets and it’s not my favorite kind of board to peel on with no backdoor flush draw, but this pot is bloated, so I take a card off. Three of us see the turn and I make two pair and raise it up when the PFR bets. She responds with a 3-bet and that kind of sucks, but you never know how unknown players are going to play their overpairs, so I’m showdown bound here. We are heads up to the river and I now have a full house on the J8676 runout. I’m sure there’s plenty of good arguments for a raise here, as she clearly has more combos of AA-QQ (18) than sets of jacks or eights (6), but my superficial read is that this player is competent and is not raising the turn with one pair, so I just call and she does show me JJ.

Yup. Great start to my trip. I’m stuck $1k in two hours.

But it did get better. Much, much better. I moved to the main game and got to enjoy the beautiful sight of multiple players limping in at the 40/80 level. My hot streak isn’t as interesting as my bad start. My big pairs just all held up. For hours. I peaked at +$2600, but got cold again during the last couple of hours of my session, including these two hands:

I have TT in a 4-bet pot and put in multiple bets against the other preflop aggressor on a 762 two spade flop. He’s check-calling on the 4x turn, so I have a pretty good idea where I’m at. The river is an ace, however, and I think an ace high flush draw was one of his most likely holdings, so I’m pretty happy when he checks to me and I’m able to check behind… but not quite as happy when he shows the AK of spades for the win.

It folds to Jonathan Ing on the button and he opens for a raise. Jonathan is notable because he’s the host of the mid-stakes Limit Hold’em games at The Bike and he was also the second player to complete my Coast-to-Coast Challenge when he did it on our Live at The Bike stream. Anyways, when he opens on the button, I expect him to be wide, so I 3-bet with Q9 suited and we take a flop of 987 rainbow. I bet and he calls. The turn is a jack and I check it over to him and he bets. I think Jonathan is capable, so I’m not automatically giving him credit for a straight here, plus I have a gutshot of my own, and make the call. The river is a 6 and that puts another one card straight on the board, but I check-call again and he did, indeed, get there with 55.

I didn’t stick around much longer after that and called it a night around 3 AM with a $924 profit.

I made it back to the casino around 4 PM on Thursday and decided to play some 20/40 Mix for my session because the 40/80 game looked prop-heavy again and there was only one table this time.

I walked to the casino and crossed the underrated and gorgeous L.A. River on my way.

I only took a couple of notes for this session.

I open with KTT8x in Drawmaha from the button and both blinds call. The flop is J94 with two diamonds and both players check-call. They draw 2 and 3 and I keep TT8 with one diamond. The turn is the 3 of diamonds and I draw the 8 of diamonds and the 7 of clubs, so I now have two pair in my hand and straight and flush draws on the board. It checks to me and I bet, but the small blind check-raises me and I don’t have a made hand on the board so I just call and the river pairs the 9. I call again and get scooped by JJJ4x. He even had my diamond draw covered. Pretty brutal.

I defend in Badacey with 754xx and draw two vs two players. I’m not even sure if this is a reasonable defend, but here we are. I pick up the 2 of clubs and pitch my 7 of clubs and draw two again with 542 now. They draw one and two. I make a 5432 Badugi and plan to check-raise, but it’s bet and raised back to me. I should probably be raising anyway because the chances that I am freerolling are pretty high, but I just call and try to make an A-5 hand. We all draw one. Bingo. I get an ace to make a wheel to go with my #5 Badugi. Seems pretty good to me. Since everyone was still drawing a card on the last draw, I lead out and I’m surprised when the first guy raises and the other player cold calls. I’m sure there are some things that could go wrong here, but I’m not sure I’ve ever made a hand this strong in Badacey, so I put in the 3-bet and they both call. The first guy shows 6532A with a 632A Badugi and the other player just flashed a 6432 Badugi but not his last card. Pretty nasty, but a very sexy, session-defining scooper for me.

I open with A443 with two spades in Omaha 8/B and someone calls on the button. The flop is A85 with two spades and we end up capping it. I have top pair with the nut flush draw and the third nut low, so I’m pretty happy about this spot. The turn is a 9, I bet and he calls. The river is a jack and we both check. He shows AT42 (no spades) and that is going to scoop me somehow.

I played until just after 1 AM and booked a $881 win.

I busted out of the tourney on Friday before they even posted the prize pool and I hopped in a 40/80 Mix game around 5 PM, but I didn’t take any notes and I finished that session +$1036, calling it an early night because The Leak (my wife) was on her way to our hotel from LAX.

On Saturday, I started out with some 20/40 LHE and then moved up to 40/80 LHE, but then I saw actor James Woods sitting in a mix game about to start and I inquired about what was going on because my name was on the 40/80 Mix game and I was told they were starting a 50/100 game with some Hollywood folks. I’d never played that big before, but I couldn’t resist. I took a seat.

In addition to James Woods, Carol Fuchs and her husband Martin Shafer were also in the game. I’ve been running into Carol in mix game tournaments over the last several years, but I’d never met her husband before or knew anything about him. I do now. He’s a co-founder of the film company Castle Rock Entertainment and they’ve put out over 50 movies since the late 80’s, including notable films like The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, A Few Good Men and The Polar Express. They also made The Ghosts of Mississippi, a film that got James Woods one of his two Oscar nominations. In addition, Seinfeld is listed among the T.V. shows they have produced. So… no one in this crowd is doing too bad in life.

I had a blast playing in this game, as everyone was super friendly and it was cool to see Carol and Martin playing straight up poker against each other. I also got to hear some interesting tidbits about some of their movies. Like how Stephen King walked out in the middle of their screening of Misery and everyone was freaking out because they thought he hated it. When they asked him about it later, King said he “loved it” and “was just scared” (because he knew the hobbling scene was coming up). They also told me that Bette Midler was their first choice for the role that eventually won Kathy Bates an Oscar.

There was also a lot of talk about Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and they all hated it. Martin and Carol walked out of it and James Woods brought it up as offensive at multiple times during this session. Apparently, people in Hollywood – people that knew Sharon Tate – aren’t very enamored with QT’s revisionist history. I told them I liked it, but thought the ending was weird… because… it was. The whole concept is weird, honestly, and I’m not surprised that some in the industry are taken aback by it.

On to the poker…

The game is 2-7 Drawmaha and Martin Shafer opens, James Woods calls, and I 3-bet with T9853 single suited. They both call and we see a flop of 873 with two clubs. I have two pair and a flush draw and Woods helps me get three bets in on the flop. I pat and they both draw one. The turn is a 9 and Woods is my only caller. The river is a club and he pays my flush off with 33 in his hand. It’s always nice when you are freerolling for a scoop and get there.

2-7 Drawmaha again and this time I cap on the button with 98643 and four diamonds in my hand. The flop is AJ2 with two diamonds and two players call. I pat and they both draw one. The turn is a ten and only Carol calls. The river is a queen, giving me a straight to go with the obviously good low in my hand and Carol calls again and can’t beat any of it.

I’m up $2k early on and I’m pretty excited about it, but then the dreaded game of Archie comes along and I whiff straight draws with four low cards in my hand three pots in a row and lose back $1k just like that.

Stud 8 with three down cards, Carol opens with a king up and I raise with AK9ss-A. Tom Schneider, winner of four mix game WSOP bracelets defends with the 2d up. I pitch the king and keep the A9 of spades. I catch a 5, Carol gets a 3 and Tom gets the 7 of diamonds. I bet here, but it’s probably more of a check, especially when Tom catches an on suit low card after calling 3-bets on 3rd street. They both just call though. Carol leads out when she picks up an ace on 5th and I raise with my A9-A56 because Tom caught a jack and I’m really dumb. Tom doesn’t fold and this is starting to look pretty bad for me. I make aces and fives on 6th and that puts my board in the lead. I check to Tom who has three low cards showing now, he bets, and Carol raises. I probably should have been able to figure this out on 5th street, but I didn’t even think about it. When she opens with a king and leads out on 5th when she catches an ace, she obviously has the case ace in the hole. I’m probably in bad shape against her and I should have just called on 5th street… maybe even folded. I can see the light now and toss my hand into the muck and she does have aces and kings… just as she should.

Regular Drawmaha, James Woods limps, I raise with AAKK6 double suited, Schneider 3-bets me, Woods folds, and I cap it. The flop is Q65 with one of each of my suits. I bet and he calls. He draws three and I draw one. The turn is the 3 of spades and he check-calls me again. The river is the jack of spades and this time he leads out, I raise it, he calls, and I scoop the pot. Take that, bracelet winner!

I reached a peak of up around $4000, but I lost some back and I didn’t stick around too much longer after James Woods left (and Carol and Martin were long gone). I ended up booking a +$3186 win in the biggest game I’ve ever played in. Not too bad, but nothing special either. Also, I lost $600 in 30 minutes of 40/80 LHE earlier, so my total win for the day was closer to $2600.

The Leak thinking about getting her leak on.

We initially planned to go to Universal Studios on Sunday – mostly because I wanted to go on the new Jurassic World ride and Dina has never seen the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – but I checked on their app and the lines were already pretty insane, particularly the three hour wait for the Jurassic World ride. I mean, come on. That is just outrageous. How good can it be? (I watched a YouTube video of the ride and, well, it seems pretty cool, but it’s not that different from the previous version).

So we headed to The Bike instead and I played some more 40/80 Mix with Mr. James Woods.

I got off to a rough -$1k start, mostly because I lost a big Stud 8 pot. I started with A2-3 in a raised 5-way pot and caught a 5 on 4th street with no 4s visibly dead. A player with A8 up bets and I raise it and two others call, as does the bettor. I brick on 5th street and get squeezed for 3-bets by boards showing 575 and 632. The player that had A8 up caught a 4 before folding on this street, so one of my scoop outs is dead now, but this pot is so big and I already had one bet in on 5th, and I’m not seeing a great reason to fold yet. But then I brick again on 6th and their boards look like 5575 and 632x now. The board with trips leads out and I don’t want to get squeezed again, so I make a reluctant fold. They complete the hand and since I was in last position, I can look at the top card on the deck and see what my card would have been, so I take a peak and it was a four! That was only good for half the pot though as the 5755 board had fives full of sevens and the other player had 7632A for their low.

I got all of that back when I got involved in a 4-way Archie pot with a one card flush draw and got there on the last draw and got paid off by all three opponents, none of which had a low or a better high hand.

Playing regular Drawmaha, three players limp in, and I complete with AAK92 single suited in the small blind and the big blind checks. I’m not an expert in this game, but my intuition says that even though I probably have the best Draw hand before the flop/draw, my hand and position aren’t good enough to raise in what is surely going to be a 5-way pot. Also, I’ve noticed a tendency for people to limp or cold call in live mix games with pat Draw hands like straights and flushes to encourage multi-way action, so that’s worth keeping in mind. The flop is 334 with one of my suit and it checks to James Woods. He bets, the button calls, I call, and now the big blind check-raises. We all call. I have the 2 of spades in my hand and that gives me a gutshot with a backdoor flush draw, but I feel like the straight draw might be near worthless here and decide to focus on trying to improve my Draw hand. I draw three and the other players all draw two each. I add 773 to my hand the turn is the 5 of spades, so I now have aces up in my hand and trips on the board. That’s a nice development, but with three other players in the pot, I still don’t love my Omaha hand. The big blind can easily have 44 here and someone with the case 3 can have a full house. I decide to check-call and this time it is James Woods that bets. Everyone else calls also. The dealer only has one card left, so he can’t burn and bring a river. That means the last card remaining is shuffled with the two burn cards and the dealer burns and brings a river. It’s a queen and we all call James Woods when he bets. He shows Q43xxx and that’s good for the Omaha half, but my aces up are good for the Draw half. We take a look at the other two burn cards and one of them was a 7! I was 33% to scoop this monster on the river!

Later we are playing 2-7 Drawmaha and the player on my left shows me his hand and asks me to tell him if he did the right thing later. He shows me T9873 with spades on a flop of 882 with two spades. He has a monster. I wasn’t really paying attention to the action up to this point, but I would imagine he’s putting in all the bets if he can. And then he pitches the 3 of spades to draw one and I tried to not let my jaw drop in shock. This is a guy that is literally wearing his WSOP bracelet on his wrist! Remember, this is 2-7 Drawmaha and the goal in this game is to make the best 2-7 holding in your hand and the best Omaha hand on the board. A pat 10 is pretty good, especially when you flop a big Omaha hand. Maybe he thought it was regular Drawmaha? But this is like the third or fourth hand of 2-7, so… I dunno. Anyways, he draws a king and I’m like, “wow.” The hand goes to showdown and someone draws a better low and another player has A8 for the Omaha half. I told him his mistake (because he asked) and it was determined that he would have gotten scooped anyway… but that’s not necessarily true. The turn is the same, but the river would have been different if he didn’t draw. Amazing.

It folds to James Woods in the small blind while we are playing Badugi and he raises. I look down at 652x and put in a 3-bet and he calls. He pats, which surprises me, and I draw one. He bets and I call. He pats and I draw one again. I improve to A52, but I’m still drawing to a Badugi. He bets and I call. He virtually bets in the dark, stares me down, and I fail to improve. I also fail to give this hand any logical thought and toss it in the muck. That’s when he shows me four hearts in his hand. Honestly, I’m embarrassed about this fold. If I would have taken a minute to think about how this hand played out, I would have realized that Jimmy can’t really have a Badugi here. When I 3-bet before the first draw, he just called me. He may play a weak Badugi this way, but he almost certainly wouldn’t bet such a weak hand after the last draw and the fact that he smoked it makes it even more likely that he doesn’t have shit. Anyways, we all got a good laugh out of his successful bluff and when I raised him on the next hand, he guffawed, “oh oh, he’s mad at me now. ‘I never liked any of his movies anyways!'”

I was super card dead for most of this session and floated between +$300 and -$300 for most of the day with only three mini-rushes in any direction, two of them downwards. I finished at -$848 and booked my only losing day of the trip, mostly because I let James Woods bluff me in a $560 pot.

All in all, I lost the tournament I went to L.A. to play, but I only had 40% of myself and I won $4566 in the cash games. I left for California stuck almost $2k for the month and managed to finish with a profitable August and that is a pretty satisfying result.

August Poker Highlights

*Beating Steve Garguile heads up in an All-Star tournament
*Playing in the biggest game I’ve ever played in and booking a solid win
*Playing 16+ hours with James Woods and other Hollywood movie people
*Clutching up during my Cali trip to turn my month around
*Winning in every live mix game session I played (+2.8 BB/hour)

August Poker Lowlights

*Getting crushed at Palace (-$4600)
*Getting crushed in online mix games (-2.72 BB/hour)
*Busting the $2100 H.O.R.S.E. tournament before the prize pool was posted
*Being stuck for most of the month

On Deck in September

*It: Chapter 2!
*Puyallup Fair
*Fall Coast Classic at Chinook Winds in Lincoln City, Oregon
*Adoptapalooza at Mud Bay in Gig Harbor (are we coming back with a third dog?)
*Overnight trip to La Center in southern Washington for 20/40 and 30/60 LHE action

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Legends of Poker: $2100 H.O.R.S.E. @ The Bike – Stack Updates/Live Blog

August 30, 2019

Stack updates and notable hands here.

This is actually considered Day 2 of this event. A few weeks ago, they ran a series of mixed game satellites and I considered coming out to play them, but I didn’t think it was worth the trip expenses to play them and possibly not even qualify. Anyways, those satellites were considered Day 1 of this event and it looks like 32 players total (~8 per flight) advanced to Day 2 and only a handful of them get to bring sizable stacks with them.

For those of us registering today, it is $2100 to buy in and we start with 180,000 in chips with blinds starting at 1500/3000. That gives us a total of 60 big blinds – or 30 big bets – so not a ton of play, but the pros with huge bankrolls are probably happy that the first level is going to be critical.

I’m sure there are going to be plenty of faces I recognize in the field but I’ve been playing and studying mix games a lot lately and I feel as confident as I ever have sitting down in a H.O.R.S.E. tournament. The stacks are small enough that getting off to a good start is going to be pretty crucial, so some early run good would be nice.

Levels are an hour long and our first (and only) break is after level 4, so I will post stack updates after critical pots here, but whatever hand histories I post will be pretty results oriented with no real analysis because I don’t have time for all that while I’m playing.

Let’s get it!

12:48 PM:

Slow start to cards in the air here.

Notables in the field: Allen Kessler, Frankie O’Dell, Daniel Ospina, Shirley Rosario, David Brookshire

I only have experience with one player at my table and he’s a straight forward nit. I sniped another player’s name and he has less than $15k in tourney cashes. The other players at my table look like favorable spots. 3 of my 5 current opponents satellited in.

12:50 PM:

Sigh. My table broke before we started. I am now at Daniel Ospina and Tim Frazin’s table. This table looks way more competent in general. Not cool. Oh well.

12:56 PM:

And we add Frankie O’Dell. LOL. Only two bracelet winners at my table now. NOT BAD.

End of Level 1

Took me an hour to win my first pot. I had a couple of good starters in Razz that bricked out.

Key pots:

Open KTcc, get 3-bet and then big blind caps it. We call. Flop is K86ddc and we both call big blind’s bet. I’m planning to call down here on most runouts. Turn is another 6 and the big bets, I call and then the other player raises. Big blind folds and I think about it for a while before folding. Seems like a weird spot to bluff and I’m not beating any value hands, so folding seems right.

Defend utg open with AQo. Flop is KK9 and I check call. Turn is a 3 and I check-raise. I might have the best hand here, so this is a mergy bluff. He calls though and the river is a small card and I don’t think he’s ever folding better after calling turn, so I check and he checks back and my hand is good!

That’s the only pot I’ve won so far.

134,500

End of Level 2

Defend QQ53ss and lead out on T94 rainbow in 3-way pot. Both players call. I check on 2x turn and the PFR leads, Ospina calls, and I call. River pairs the 4 and when Ospina folds, I call because the low bricked and I’m only losing to AA, A24x and A34x type hands. He has AA3x though.

AAJ6ss vs AJ85 on AT3ssT2 (annoying/unlucky chop)

(AT)-68T9-(3) vs (23)A4KJ-(Q) in Razz (super lucky dodge/scooper)

114,500

More notables: Miami John, Carol Fuchs, Jeff Madsen, Max Pescatori, David Levi

End of Level 3

(Ah2)-7h72hQh-(K) vs (xx)-5s4s48-(x) and (xx)-Qc4cJcKc-(x) – they have flush and low and I brick my flush/full house draw

(2-5)-2-8 vs (xx)-T-T in Razz. Hallelujah! I had like 5 big bets for this hand)

79,500

Pretty fun.

End of Level 4

Table broke. New table still has Frankie O’Dell but also has the guy with < $15k in cashes and just looks a little better in general.

3-bet a middle position open with AxKd in Hold’em and c-bet QdJd8x. Check back on 5d and we both check on 3x river and I lose to JTo with no diamonds. 🙄

I get my last 20k or so in with (4-8)-7-T-5 vs (x-x)-7-9-3 in Razz and finish with 87542 but he has 87532 for the perfect FU to cap my exit from a tournament that I never even had a hint of life in.

I basically won two meaningful pots in almost four hours of play and neither of them were good spots.

That was not fun. Back to the cash games.

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The Lion King (2019)

August 29, 2019

The Lion King (2019)

Director: Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book, Chef, Iron Man)

Starring: voices of Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner

Anticipation Level: Medium

How Was It? I was pretty bored watching this. Sure, it looks pretty amazing, but it’s not like I was itching to see a version of The Lion King with real animals. While the visual effects add a lot of wow factor, this movie is severely lacking in the magic and fun that made the original a classic – possibly because none of the characters aside from Timon and Pumba really stand out. Actually, Beyonce sort of stood out, but not in a good way; there were a couple of spots where her voice work actually made me cringe a little and trust me, I don’t really want to say anything bad about Beyonce. The coolest thing about this movie was Chiwetel Ejiofor’s voice work as Scar. He was awesome.

I really liked what Favreau did with The Jungle Book, but the live action Disney remake trend is already wearing thin and they’re not about to stop pumping them out. I think the only animated Disney classic I want to see a live action version of at this point is Pinnochio. The 2019 version of The Lion King isn’t bad – I enjoyed it for the most part – but it’s definitely nothing special and that’s pretty sad when you think of how wonderful the 1994 version is. I can’t think of any reason I’d ever want to watch this again. Give me the original 100% of the time.

Replay Value: I think I’ve already covered this.

Sequel Potential: Eek. They made two direct-to-video sequels back in the day and I didn’t watch either of those, but this movie $1.5 billion worldwide so…

Oscar Potential: Favreau’s The Jungle Book won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects so this should probably at least get nominated in that same category.

5/10 (Decent)

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August 2019 Week 4: Palace Tourney, PLO, Mix Games!

August 28, 2019

Last Sunday I wasn’t in any shape to go hiking super early in the morning, but I did wake up in time to play the $110 bi-weekly no limit Hold’em tournament at Palace. I was a bit slow-moving, but I managed to take a seat at the start of the second level and I took notes on my key hands throughout the tournament so I might as well share my journey here.

Everyone starts with 10k in chips and levels are 30 minutes long.

Blinds are 50/100, a player limps, and I make it 400 with KJo and get three callers. The flop is QT6 with two hearts. I’m not sure what the best line is here against three opponents, but I ended up betting 500 and someone in position made it 1500 to go and one of the blinds cold called the raise. I have the jack of hearts in my hand so making a straight with a heart on the turn isn’t the worst. The weirdest thing about this spot are the remaining stack sizes of my opponents. The flop raiser has 5000 behind and the caller left himself with 2500 and the pot will have 5700 in the middle if I call. I decided to call though and the action checked around after a king fell on the turn. When the small blind checks to me on a blank river, it seems like my hand is good, so I bet 1400 and both players call! I wasn’t expecting that, but no matter, my hand is still good.

I’ve been super activer and min-raise with K8o on the button at 100/200 and the big blind defends. He check-calls 300 on Q75hh and then leads 700 when the queen pairs on the turn. He has 4600 behind and this stab feels weak to me, plus I feel like there might be some leveling going on, so I put him all in and… he snap calls with JJ but… the river is a king and my punt attempt is suddenly netting me an extra 6000 in chips instead and I send a player to the rail shaking his head in disbelief. Sorry, guy.

Blinds are 100/200 and I make it 450 with AA under the gun. The next player calls and so does the small blind. I bet 500 on 433 and the initial flatter calls. The turn is a 7 and this time I bet 1600. He calls again. I know I have him and I know he doesn’t want to fold, so I go for it all on the river and put him all in for about 1.3x pot. He doesn’t do much thinking before making the call and walking out the door a few seconds later.

I have raised four pots in a row and won all of them without showing a hand when this next situation arises. There are multiple limpers at 150/300 and the button makes it 1200 to go. He started the hand with 5500 total and I have TT in the big blind. This is probably a snap raise in a typical tournament when you consider the stack sizes, but at Palace the players are overly nitty, especially with their aggressive actions, and the $110 buy in size is big for most of the field. With that in mind, and the player in question fitting the profile, this spot is pretty weird. I mean… this is a guy that might limp with AQo in this spot. I have a nice stack brewing at this point, but losing 18bb isn’t inconsequential to me. I knew this player’s range was tight, but I couldn’t resist making the raise to put him all in, especially since I was completely bullying the table. Why stop now? I make it 5500 to go, everyone else folds, and he calls with JJ, but I flop a set to bust him.

My table was already pretty annoyed with how easily I was accumulating chips but after that one they really wanted to let me know how fortunate I was. I’m like, “guys, I’m watching the same tournament you are, but you’re not going to see me get excited because I’m running good in round 4.”

The button open-limps at 150/300 and I call with 43hh from the small blind. The big checks and we see a flop of A42 with two hearts. Not bad. No one showed strength pre, so I lead out for 350 and the button makes it 1000 with over 10k behind. I make the call. The turn is the jack of hearts and I check it over to her. She bets 5000 into 2900, but I can tell she’s a very new player so that sizing is not concerning at all. I put her all in and she snap calls it off with A6o. Amazingly, she’s not drawing dead here as she has the 6 of hearts in her hand and that is a live flush draw. I am still blessed in the early stages of this tournament and the river bricks off and I bust another player and have 60k after four levels of play (and I missed one of them!).

Of course, variance proves why you don’t get excited because you run good for a few levels as I go completely card dead over the next four rounds. I only played three hands of note over this stretch:

Cutoff opens to 2600 at 400/800 and I call on the button with T9ss and 25k effective stacks. I’m not sure about this play and I’m curious what Nick Petrangelo’s UpSwing tournament course and the solvers would suggest. I am happy to report that it is a pure call! Wonderful. I thought there might be some 3-betting mixed in, but it looks like we are always supposed to take a flop with this one. Anyways, I sort of expect my opponent to play pretty straight forward after the flop. The board comes QQ7 with mixed red cards, so not a good one for me, but when he c-bets 2000 I decide to float to see if he has another shell in him. The turn pairs the 7 and he checks it over to me. I bet 3500 and he folds. This is a purely exploitive play, as I don’t think many experienced players are going to be folding the turn at a high frequency, especially when they have ace high hands.

Someone limps for 1200 and I make it 3600 with JJ on the button. It folds back to the limper and he ships it for around 32k. I have enough experience with this player to know he’s not a punter, so the question is, does he do this with hands like TT or AK? It’s a 26 big blind shove and I started the hand with around 70k, so if I call and lose this pot, it’s going to cost me almost half my stack. I tanked on this one for quite a while but ultimately decided that he’s more likely to trap with big pairs than unpaired hands and that I didn’t need to flip a coin yet when I felt like my edge in this field was pretty substantial. I folded and he decided to show me his kings instead of make me writhe in agony over that fold for the next half decade.

The same player makes it 2600 when I’m in the big blind with J6 of diamonds. This is another pure calling spot according to Nicky P, so we head to the flop and see a board of AJ8 with two diamonds. I check-call 4000. No need to overplay my draw on this board texture that heavily favors his range when we are both deep. The turn is an offsuit ten and he decides to check back. The river is the king of diamonds, making my flush, and putting a four card straight on the board. I think I can discount sets here, but he has two pair and straights a lot here, so I want to make this as difficult as possible for him. I bet 15k into 13.8k and he goes deep into the tank, but eventually comes out with a call and my flush is good.

That hand chipped me back up right before the final table and I headed there with 84k and the blinds at 800/1600 with ten players left and five of us cashing this thing. There were about four of us sitting on similar stacks and battling for the chip lead.

With eight players remaining someone opens to 15k with blinds at 1k/2k – your standard, ridiculous 7.5x open – and I have the misfortune of looking down at AK. If you think I’m excited about this spot, you would be wrong. My opponent started with 33.5k and she’s obviously never folding, so that’s what we are really playing for and I think this sizing screams pair so I’m almost always starting on the wrong side of a flip here. But I have AK and she has 15bb, so I put her all in and her queens hold up and I lose over 40% of my stack on the bubble.

This final table is so nitty that when one of the players shoves his 2.5bb stack from early position with 66 and loses to my 99, he thinks it was a mistake. And it’s not like he was being results oriented. I could tell he was thinking about folding before the flop. After busting that player, I had 16bb with seven left.

Some time passes and a player with a similar stack open-jams in front of me and I have AK again, but this time I hold and that pot gives me 14bb on the stone bubble.

I make it into the money when someone else busts out and then it folds to me on the button with 55 and 11.5 bigs. I jam and the small blind goes into the tank. I’m a little bit surprised and annoyed when he comes out of it with a call and shows 77. I’m never expecting to be crushed when he thinks about calling for that long. I don’t spike a set and that pot cripples me down to 1.5 bigs.

I double with Q3o in my big blind and then double again with KJ suited in my small blind and find myself with a reasonable 9 bigs on the button. I get that stack in on the button with 99, but AT calls and turns a pair to bust me in 5th place for a massive cash of $425 and my fourth biggest live tournament profit of the year! (Note: that’s not good).

I spent all night on Wednesday card dead in the PLO game at Palace.

Some good hands:

I get two pot-sized bets from two different players with JT87 on J97xx and another $200 from one player on the river when the board texture doesn’t change. He plays pretty good and my image is nitty at this point, so I’m surprised to see him call three streets here and not have the same hand I have.

I call $65 pre with KQT9hh in a 6-way pot and Riddler leads out $200 on the QJ8 two heart flop. I have the nut straight with straight and flush redraws, plus an opponent that has been so eager to get all in against me the last few weeks when I had him in terrible shape. I make it $500 and I have another $600 behind or so and that is going in if it has to. Honestly, I’m not super excited about this spot because I can see Riddler getting it in with a naked ace high flush draw here and he has been running so pure against me, so when it folds back to him and he comes out of the tank with a fold, I’m happy to take this sizable pot without a fight even though I have a massive hand.

A bad hand:

I make it $30 with KK66 double suited and get four callers. We see a flop of 983 with two hearts and since that’s one of my suits, I bet the pot and a shorter stack gets all in for a little less than $300. We agree to run it twice and her QT98 is way too strong for me to beat even once with four additional cards.

I didn’t have many notable hands and spent most of the night wishing something cool would happen. All in all, I finished the night -$316.

On Thursday, we had another 15/30 mix game and I wrote down a couple hands during the session so I could share them here.

We are playing Drawmaha 49 and this one probably needs an explanation. Drawmaha combines Omaha with draw poker and in this case the goal of the draw hand is to have the most pips in your hand. To clarify, a pip is the graphic on the cards. So the ten of clubs has ten clubs on it and each club is considered a pip. A ten has ten pips, a nine has nine pips, an eight has eight pips, and so on. The best possible hand is TTT9, or 49 pips, hence the name of the game. In Drawmaha, you get one draw after the flop action, so the goal is to make the most pips in your hand while also making a good Omaha hand. In this hand, I open with KQ985 on the button and both blinds call. I’m starting with 22 pips here, which is bad, but maybe it’s an okay hand to steal with on the button? Who knows. I don’t. No one in our game does. The flop is T87 with two hearts and I bet and get check-raised. He draws two and I draw two. The turn is a blank, but I get a 9 and an 8 to improve my pips to 39 and give me a set in Omaha. That’s enough of a hand to raise his turn bet, which he calls, and then the river pairs the board to give me a full house. He check-calls and I scoop the pot.

2-7 Drawmaha… similar game, except you are trying to make the best 2-7 hand in your hand. I open with 8542x with a suit and both blinds call. The flop is 542, giving me three pair and a backdoor flush draw and Logan alls my bet and draws 3. Well, okay! I draw one and improve to 85432 and the turn card is the six of clubs. I have a monster! A smooth 8 in my hand plus a straight on the board with flush and full house redraws. I bet and he calls. The river is a 7 and he check-calls again and my powerhouse hand is good for everything. Not the most exciting action… just want to share some hands in different games.

A-5 Triple Draw… It’s a 4-way pot and Ducky is pat from the jump and firing away. Everyone else is still drawing and after the second draw I have a pat 86432 and when it’s my turn to draw I go into the tank and decide there’s just no way he’s playing his hand this strong against four opponents with worse than a made 86… so I draw one and so do the other two players. I brick and we all check to Ducky and he fires another bet. We all fold and he shows 777AA for a total suicide mission bluff that somehow gets through.

2-7 no limit single draw… blinds are stripped to 5 and 10 on this one with 25 dead in the middle and a $300 cap on the action. I make it $40 to go with a pat T9842, Logan calls from the small blind and Ducky defends the big. Logan pats, Ducky draws 2, and I pat. I’m bewildered by Logan’s flat with a pat hand and I know he doesn’t have much experience in this game, so I’m not positive that I have him beat, but it seems like I should. My plan is to make a bet on the smaller side, but when it checks to Ducky he leads out for $200 into a $145 pot. Yikes. I must have gone into the tank for 3-4 minutes here. I know Ducky is plenty capable of bluffing, even in horrible spots (did you read that last hand?), so I gave serious thought to this situation. Ultimately, I decided to fold because a) I thought he had to think it was pretty likely one of the two pat hands would call him and b) he said something earlier in the night about how he wouldn’t bluff in a similar 2-7 NL spot (and I didn’t think he was lying). I folded but Logan made the call and Ducky did make an 87643.

Big O, $300 cap, Logan raises to $20 and I call on the button with AAT98 double suited. Scarecrow defends in a blind. The flop is AKK and I bet $40 when it checks to me and only Scarecrow calls. Seems obvious he has the king so it’s not surprising when he leads out for $70 on the 7 turn. I pot to the cap and he calls. Someone asks how many times we want to run it and I tell them I only want to run it once. The river is a ten and I end up scooping the pot but sparking quite the debate.

Since I decided to only run it once, I ended up becoming quite the villain after this hand. The argument was that it was poor etiquette of me to only run it once if I have any history of running it twice. I argued that it made no sense for me to run it twice when there was no benefit for me to do so. I already had half the pot locked up, so running it more than once just gives Scarecrow multiple chances to realize his equity for the low half (assuming he had a low draw) and can only cost me money. I was told I shouldn’t make my decision based on how much equity I have in the hand and that I should be consistent in all situations. In the past, I let my opponent decide how many times to run it when we get all in in big Pot Limit Omaha hands, so for me to be vilified the first time I voiced a preference seems a bit unreasonable. On the other hand, I failed to realize that there is a benefit for me to run it twice: when he makes a low on the first run out, I have a chance to win 3/4 of the pot by scooping on the second board.

While I didn’t think I was a scumbag for running it once, I did at least agree that it was courteous to run it twice, especially in a home game with friends and especially because Scarecrow is doing all the dealing. Later in the night, I got a piece of paper and figured out what his equity in the second pot would have been and gave him $100 back (I looked it up on the computer later and it was actually closer to $90). I mean… I never even saw the guy’s hand. He said he had a king and three low cards and I believe him, but still. Maybe it wasn’t the coolest of me to only run it once, but I wonder how many of those guys would give someone a rebate like that after the fact.

I got off to hot start and was up $1200 early on, but cooled off considerably and had to settle for a +$535 night.

One of the players made this board in OFC before the game started and probably wants me to share it:

On Friday, I got off to a miserable start in 15/30 and was down $700 after about two hours, but I cracked Mr. Freeze’s aces twice and that got me close to even, which is about where I stayed most of the night, finishing at -$211 and wondering when the patented Dark Knight hot streak is going to kick in. I’ve now booked two small wins in my last six 15/30 sessions at Palace and have gone -$2766 over that stretch in a game that is usually my most consistent source of income.

On Saturday Scarecrow had hopes of hosting a mix game, but it looked really sketch to me, with lots of people saying maybe and one that was supposed to come but hasn’t played with us before. I was pretty skeptical about it, but The Leak was free to join us and since we were bringing 40% of a game ourselves, I chanced it that this would happen.

When we showed up around 6pm, Ducky and Scarecrow were there so we played some pineapple OFC and then some 4-handed 10/20 mix, but no one else showed up and Ducky had to leave after smacking us around for 30 minutes. All the maybes and the new player ended up flaking, but Joker and Riddler showed up and we started a 5/10 mix game around 8pm. Not exactly how I want to spend my Saturday night, but it ended up being a lot of fun and I know my wife enjoyed learning and playing all the different games and she ended up breaking exactly even, so it was a free lesson for her! After two different OFC sessions and three different mix game sessions, I finished the night +$194.

Also, I got this insane hand in 2-7 Triple Draw:

Last Monday Ducky, Joker and I went to visit Radio Mike at Cheney Stadium to see Felix Hernandez make a rehab start and to catch top 5 prospect Jo Adell in action. We also heckled Ty Kelly into retiring from baseball. Pics below:

Radio Mike trying to hide

Felix and Ichiro in the dugout

Jo Adell, Angels top prospect

Radio Mike working so hard his shoes flew off his feet

Crashing the booth

And this weekend we met up with Mexi Nugget and his wife in Kitsap County to hit up the local arcade bar and had a ton of fun.

I’m flying to L.A. tomorrow (today?) for the Legends of Poker $2100 HORSE tournament at The Bike on Friday. I’ll be playing some 40/80 Limit Hold’em too and I’m currently stuck for the month, so these next three days are going to be huge for my results.