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Marathon Monday: $15/$30 Debuts @ Palace! (A Live Blog)

November 20, 2017

10:50 AM: Arriving at Palace and ecstatic to see 17 names on the list for this game. Last time I was here – late on Wednesday night – there were only 5 names on the list and I was legitimately concerned that this might not happen.

I like to buy in for at least 37.5 big bets for LHE games, but I typically buy bigger for red chip games. I will be sitting down with $1500.

11 AM: Okay, make that 20 names on the list. Not sure how many of them are actually here.

11:06 AM: Cards in the air starting 6-handed with the 20th name on the list getting a seat. Oh oh.

11:19 AM: Still 6-handed. I can see three people on the list that are in other games right now. If you scared, say you scared!

12:07 PM: This is fun. We are still 6-handed and the only reason this game is going is because the right players are losing (me!) and right players are winning.

Currently -$500 as the only pots I’ve won are preflop steals and small continuation bluffs.

I just had this awesome hand: open 66; cutoff and button cold call and big blind defends. Flop 742 two diamonds, I bet and get two callers. Turn 7h, opening up backdoor flush draw. I bet and both call again. River is a black ten and I check-call, losing to T8 of hearts.

12:13 PM: We gain our first player! And he’s a certifiable maniac. Game on!

12:37 PM: Taking my first break. I’m down $500 and still haven’t won a showdown. I was pretty close to reloading – which is at about 1.5 racks for me – but I just made a flush in a decent pot and didn’t get called on the river.

Had our first hit and run. No surprise there. Picked up two players though – we are now 8-handed.

12:46 PM: A new player sat down with $300 as I was getting up to take my break and was busto before I sat back down 8 minutes later.

1:16 PM: Game fills up for the first time!

People buying in for $500 and taking $20/$40 overs buttons. Uhm. Okay.

1:23 PM: The maniac is batting 1.000 against me. Seems like KJ will turn the tides on KJx two club flop but he check-raises me on 9c turn, and I decide to call down unimproved. He shows JJ and his expert slow play costs him multiple bets. Bright side?

Still haven’t won a showdown. Down ~$800 and working on my Zen deep breathing exercises!

1:35 PM: Reloaded! In for $2500.

1:46 PM: Early break. I’m officially steaming.

Maniac raises three limpers, I cold call KT of clubs, and we go six ways to T84 with two spades. Everybody checks to me and I bet. Folds to the maniac and he check-raises me. Unbelievable. I call him down and he shows me 44. Dude risks a free card in a huge pot with 5 opponents just so he can raise me? Oh, it hurts! This dude is SMASHING me.

2:06 PM: I’m down over $1100. I still haven’t won a showdown. The maniac has over $1600 in front of him on my direct right. If the Poker Gods really hate me today, he will rack up and leave in the next hour.

2:33 PM: I three bet a LAG with 66 and flop middle set. The flush gets there on the river and I’m actually ever so slightly disappointed when I don’t get check-raised. I won my first showdown! 3.5 hours into my session – and I was playing 6-handed for over an hour. Pretty impressive.

2:40 PM: I sit down and buy the button and the maniac button straddles. I defend Q9dd and two others come along. The pot doesn’t go off for five bets each so I might actually have a shot here.

Flop is QJ8 one diamond and only the maniac calls my flop lead. Check around on 9 turn and he calls when I bet the 9 river. He shows J8. We are breaking some serious ice here! Maniac is no longer 100% against me and I sucked out on him.

Finally picking up a little momentum with four showdowns won in the last hour.

3:30 PM: The Legend is in the box. The mother#%$*ing Legend!

3:47 PM: Someone asks for a setup. There’s no escaping that nonsense.

A short while ago, there were 11 names on the list, but when someone got up, half of them passed and now there are 6.

4:00 PM: Five hours into my session and I’m stuck $1200 or $1300. I have not been running good when I play pots but I’ve also been crazy card dead. I’ve had TT once. I’ve had JJ+ zero times.

This game is good right now but if the wrong people get up it could turn in a hurry. Three of the next four players on the list are either solid or nitty.

4:37 PM: Finally picked up QQ! In a 3-bet multiway pot no less. Didn’t show it down but I’ll take it.

Also added on for another $1000, so I’m in this game for $3500 now. I can hardly wait for people to stop by and comment on how well I’m doing.

5:24 PM: The maniac just cashed out. For like $200. He peaked around $1700, mostly winning pots against me. I got basically none of that back as he sprayed it around to everyone else. I’m still -$1500. His departure and replacement by a nit makes this game significantly worse.

6:09 PM: My buddy Peter sits down an hour ago and just immediately goes to crushing and already has a $499 jackpot under his belt. Dealer didn’t see the straight flush and I was trying to back him up, but they are paying Peter anyway.

6:22 PM: Peter raises a series of limpers and I 3-bet AK from the small blind. Limpers fold! Well that certainly doesn’t happen in a Palace $8/$16 game. 3-handed and I bet A98 and they both call (Overs). Turn is a 7. I bet, one snap folds, and Peter tank-folds and asks “Ace no good, right?” Claims A2. Peter, always a thorn in my side.

6:30 PM: Cha Mang in the game. Getting close to house game status.

7:07 PM: Just a brutal session so far. Currently stuck about $1800. Still super card dead and any step forward is followed by three steps back. Absolutely no momentum in 8+ hours of play. The game is far worse than it was a few hours ago. There’s a chance I might not try to stretch this into Marathon territory tonight.

7:19 PM: Now I’m really on tilt. Cha just took my extra water because he “didn’t want to wait for the server to come back around.” Oh, really?

8:04 PM: Captain America is in the box. I told him he probably won’t be saying “thank you” to me tonight and he promptly deals me QQ which flops top set and holds up somehow.

Before that, I picked up AJdd in the small blind. Peter raises the whole table on the button and since the limpers have been folding to 3-bets I just call and play a multiway pot.

The flop is all medium cards with two diamonds and I act without thinking – I check. With the PFR on the button I actually like leading out here better as it gives the field a chance to call one bet before Peter likely raises. I want to get as many bets in on the flop as I can and betting is the best way to do this. Especially since Peter isn’t a reckless c-bettor. If he flopped no immediate equity, he’s not torching a bet here.

He does check and I get zero bets in on the flop. Ugh.

Turn is another small or medium card and I don’t think I will win by betting so I check. There’s a bet, a raise, and a cold call back to me and this pot is large enough for me to continue.

It stays at two bets and, by God, I make my flush. Two players call and I scoop my only substantial pot of the day. Currently at -$1300.

9:12 PM: I’m finally on a little heater. Sets and overpairs winning showdowns and my buddy Radio Mike sits down and immediately tries to triple barrel bluff me with AK high in a four bet four-way pot. I call down with 99 on T High run out. Only stuck $1100 now. I actually thought I was in better shape than that, but I’ll take the forward momentum!

10:29 PM: Heater over. Back to card dead and flop whiffs. Back to -$1500. Radio Mike’s been playing for 90 minutes and has had QQ+ three more times than I’ve had them in 11.5 hours.

11:42 PM: Peter is no longer running good. He is running really, really bad. Like so bad, I can see that he’s in actual physical pain.

And then this hand happens:

Two players limp in, Peter calls, I check with AJo from the BB, which is something I basically never do in this situation so maybe I’m on tilt myself. But really I’ve been whiffing so many flops that I’ve been doing a lot of raising pre and checking on the flop. So I decide to check in bad position with a strong hand.

Flop is A62 rainbow and Peter leads from the small blind. Very tempting to raise here but the pot is micro and I have a monster for this situation. I flat and so do the other two players.

Turn is a 5 and now Peter checks. I bet, one caller, and Peter check-raises! What?! I can’t fold here so I call and so does our straggler.

River is another 5 and now Peter checks! I think about for quite some time before saying “I want the pain” and betting. The other player folds and Peter shows immediate vocal and physical exasperation which is basically like turning A2 face up. He doesn’t though. He folds it instead.

I’ve had some better luck recently and am currently stuck less than $1000 for the first time in HOURS!

12:45 AM: The Riddler distracting me for the last half hour.

1:15 AM: After going my first 14 hours of this session without getting AA, I get them twice in three hands, the first time flopping A99 in a 4-bet pot. I have come all the way back to -$500. I can still salvage this thing!

1:27 AM: AA again! Crazy how these streaks happen. All three hands good too.

1:32 AM: Variance is INSANE. AA again! Four times in less than 20 minutes. That’s just crazy.

1:50 AM: I took a short break as a player was cashing out and there were 6 people still on the list. I somehow came back to a 7-handed game with no list 5 minutes later.

3:35 AM: I just got home. I was severely distracted my last few hours, but a flurry of KK and QQ followed those Aces and somehow managed to book a +$25 win for the day. Perhaps the best $25 I’ve ever made. I’ve been stuck more chips in a poker game and booked a win, but I’ve never been stuck $1800 and booked one. I would say it feels amazing but I’m too drained and tired to feel anything. Looking forward to a real day off tomorrow!

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