Marathon Monday: 12+ Hours of $15/$30 LHE – A Live Blog!

November 27, 2017

7:15 AM: Alarm goes off. Time to get to it!

7:23 AM: Welcome to Marathon Monday! Bookmark this post and check back throughout the day as I will be updating all day long when something interesting happens or at least every 90 minute break.

I slept like absolute crap last night. I took a nap in the middle of the day yesterday and decided it would be a good idea to drink some coffee to give myself a boost for my second shift on Global Poker, so I was drinking caffeine as late as 6 PM. Not sure if it was the caffeine or if I’m just anxious to play poker today – Mondays at the Palace have quickly become my favorite work day. Either way, it felt like I was never able to fully rest last night. Could make for a tough day, but I still feel pretty good right now.

8:05 AM: Arriving at Crunch Fitness for some pre-session yoga and light lifting. I could sleep an extra two hours by cutting this out but I’m determined to commit to yoga, so here I am.

9:57 AM: Back home with Starbucks coffee and sausage sandwich. 19 people signed up to start $15/$30 today… let’s see how many of them actually show up at 11 AM. I predict we start without a full game again.

10:58 AM: 6 seated players with chips so far! Lol! If you build it they will come though. Took a couple hours to fill up last week but I bet it’s full before noon today.

11:03 AM: Cards in the air. Started 6-handed… 13 no shows and 1 flake. Maybe they don’t know the game starts at 11?

11:08 AM: AT > AK on KQ97J and we have sugar 16 hours earlier than we did last week!

11:22 AM: A player joins the game and he’s one of the all-time biggest maniacs I’ve ever seen. Yum yum! He’s also the player that sat down and busted last week when I was on a 5 minute break. He did buy an extra $200 this week.

11:26 AM: We have a full game! This likely won’t be a super marathon. I have an appointment in Bellevue at 8 AM so no 16 hour craziness today but I’ll be here til at least 11 PM.

11:51 AM: Just found a way to lose to 44 with 77 on a 762 two heart flop. Three bets pre, three bets flop. Yawn.

12:43 PM: So much for early sugar. Another brilliant $15/$30 start. I think I’m down about $700 already thanks to that 77 hand, KQ < K9 on a K9x flop, a couple nut draws that missed, and my one premium pocket pair that went down in flames like this:

I raise JJ under the gun, next player calls, and maniac defends big blind. Flop is 642 with two hearts – I have J of hearts and lead, next guy raises, maniac calls, I 3-bet, cap, call, call.

Turn is 2h and I check and overcall. Last time UTG+1 played like this he had top two so I assume he’s strong again.

River is an Ace. It checks around and the maniac wins with A3o.

Also, when the player to my left sat down this morning – after asking me if I used to work here when we played together two weeks ago, like he didn’t remember me – he asked me why he hasn’t seen me on T.V. yet. Okay, buddy.

1:08 PM: The maniac has felted after buying in for $500 and peaking at $1300. I almost got none of it but this was his last hand:

Multiple limpers, he raises cutoff, I 3-bet ATdd from the button, some fold, some call, he caps, and at least five of us see the flop.

It is pretty nice: K83 with two diamonds. The small blind leads out, a call, maniac raises, I 3-bet, call, call, maniac all in.

Turn Qd! I can see the light! I bet and small blind calls.

I don’t hit the $4766 Diamond Royal Flush on the river but I do get paid off and the maniac somehow doesn’t fill up with KQ.

A very nice pot on the brink of a reload.

2:40 PM: It’s not all bad! Thanks to the pot above, a couple small ones, and a set of 9s before taking this break, I am now down only ~$275.

2:54 PM: The Riddler is badgering me for updates. I just ordered two bottles of water so someone can take my extra one later without asking. Also just made my first ace high call down of the day – it wasn’t good.

3:30 PM: Not really sure about this one. One limper, I raise KTss, couple cold calls, and 4-ways to KJ9 one spade flop. I decide to check because a free card can’t hurt me too much and this is a flop I don’t really want to get heavy action on. It checks around.

The turn is a 7s, so now I have all sorts of good things going on: top pair, double gutter, flush draw. The preflop limper bets out and I raise it, planning to take a free showdown and bet when I improve.

I don’t know about this play though. The pot is big enough that I don’t really mind driving players out, but my draw is also so big I don’t really mind letting them see the river either.

I think it’s pretty close, but it feels less close when they all fold and I get 3-bet. Ugh.

I miss and he wins with KJ.

4:10 PM: I’m getting wrecked by a nit today. It’s pretty embarrassing… but I didn’t know yet!

Game climate has definitely taken a turn for the worse. My favorite player lately ended up passing and leaving and now we are getting Radio Mike instead.

4:18 PM: Yikes. I just cold called a raise thinking I was opening AJo from MP. This is a hand I would actually fold to an EP raise against a reasonable player.

Instead I wind up losing lots of bets to the big blind’s A9 after seeing an A98T4 run out.

And now I’m reloading. In for $2800.

Maybe it’s time to refocus.

4:54 PM: Was on the verge of disaster before winning the last two hands before this break, which included a rather spicy open with K8cc from a position that wasn’t the button, or the cutoff, or the hi-jack…. and got to show Radio Mike trips when he defended and called me down.

I already received a text about that one.

The session hasn’t been going well. Here’s a hand that I wasn’t very happy about:

Two limpers, small blind calls, I check ATo. I raise sometimes here but I check this time.

Flop is 542 and the first limper bets, button calls, SB calls, I call. You could debate folding this, but I’m not really convinced anyone has anything. I admit a 3 or an A might not be great cards, so maybe I should fold actually.

The turn is my nut card: a T. I check, planning to raise the field since I expect the flop bettor to bet most of the time – he has a very itchy trigger finger. But it checks through.

K on the river and now I’m bluff-catching. I check, first limper bets, button – a new player to me that seems to lack experience – calls, and I overcall and lose to button’s K7o. Just beautiful.

I think I’m down around $800-$1000 at the moment.

5:04 PM: I sit down and try to buy the button for $30 (it’s only $20) and the dealer is confused. He gives me back $10. I put it back in. I’m confused.

I say, “I don’t know what game I’m playing.”

Radio Mike says, “that would explain a lot.”

5:28 PM: I pick up AA, which is only the second time all day I’ve had JJ+, and open with a raise. One player and a blind calls.

Flop is 772 rainbow and I bet and only the cold caller stays.

Turn is a 9 and I’m considering check-raise but decide to lead and he raises me! Goodness. This isn’t a player I expect to raise light here so I’m already mentally preparing for the bad news. I call.

River is a blank and I check-call and he shows… 98ss, for one pair. The heck? I’ll take it!

5:46 PM: How do you put a stop to some solid momentum? Like this:

MP opens, I 3-bet KJhh and we go four ways to a J43 with two hearts flop. Three of us end up capping the flop, with the other PFR and myself putting in the bets and raises.

Turn pairs the 3 and they both check-call me.

River is a 2h and now the small blind leads out. Okay, I’m still raising here. But then the PFR makes it $60. How is this real? Now I can’t beat much. Maybe QThh or some other overplay. This player doesn’t have to have the nuts here, so I’m never folding. I call, SB calls, and the other player wins with AThh. So sick!

7:26 PM: If you’re wondering why I haven’t updated it’s because I’m completely and utterly card dead. They did just let me win with KQ though. I have about $1900 in front of me, so I’m down $900. ~3.5-4 hours to right this ship!

8:08 PM: One of my favorite players is in the game for multiple buy ins. He’s the guy that capped pre with 82cc, then capped the 532 flop, in an epic hand against me when I flopped a wheel.

I will refer to him as The Human Torch going forward.

8:19 PM: Momentum! Thanks to some battles with my friend Ryan O.

He opens, player B calls, I 3-bet AKo from the big blind (I would flat here like 10%) and Ryan caps it.

Flop is King high, two middle cards. I check, Ryan bets, B raises… B has like one big bet left, so I think the best way to maximize is to cold call this bet and lead the turn. So that’s what I do. Ryan calls flop and then calls the turn when a blank hits and the flop raiser folds. What???

River is another K. I bet and my hand wins.

On my button, the hi jack limps in and I raise with J9dd. Both blinds defend and the limper calls.

Flop is J53 with one diamond. Everybody calls me.

Turn is a 6 of spades, opening up a flush draw. Everyone checks to me and honestly, I think this is close to a check. Very close. The turn is pretty good for the two blinds check-calling ranges. I can check and fold to bad river cards, or call one bet with a decent pair, or bet if they all check again.

I bet though and Ryan check-raises me from the big. Ew. The limper tanks for a very long time and then folds. I call.

River is a Q and Ryan checks. I’m very happy about this because it means I might win. I check back. He shows J8 of spades and I do win. Limper that folded on the turn claims QJ. Wow. Thanks Ryan!

Thanks to these pots and another huge hand where it was capped multiway preflop and I flopped a flush with AKcc, I am now down about $500.

8:44 PM: The Riddler is on the $15/$30 list and now I’m thinking maybe I’ll never go home tonight.

8:52 PM: I have acquired the Jesus Seat. I went from having The Torch, Peter, and Ryan on my immediate left to having all three of them on my immediate right. Radio Mike moves into my old seat and I chuckle inside.

9:15 PM: We have sugar!!

I open 66 from maybe too early of a position. I get 3-bet, Radio Mike caps it, The Torch is in. We are five ways capped to a pretty decent 655 flop.

I check. Radio Mike bets, The Torch torches – and has two small bets behind – so I make it look like I’m thinking about isolating him and 3-bet it. One player takes all three bets to the face but Mike just calls. Whoops.

Maybe I should have flatted. I could sell a hand like 88 or 99 by calling but now Mike is on defense. The Torch puts in his last small bet and I get four bets four ways after flopping a full house.

The board comes running deuces and everyone pays me off and The Torch helps me get the flop capped holding… 98.

I am up like $20 now.

9:27 PM: The Riddler is in the game. I don’t know what happened, but Peter is showing him the A6 on the J22K6 run out and The Riddler is looking at 55 like wtf just happened.

10:21 PM: Peter’s doom switch has been activated.

First, he has J9 on a 95597 board in a very large pot and he waits until the river to raise it. He’s heads up and his opponent calls with… 97.

The runout is bad enough but when he just gets called he knows he’s never losing this massive pot – and then he does.

Shortly afterwards I pick up the QJdd UTG and it winds up getting three bet and four or five us see the ATx flop, with one diamond. I check-call a bet from Peter and another player tags along.

Turn is 8d and I check-call again. Radio Mike also sticks around.

River is 6d and I lead out? Eh. Pretty safe river. I can probably check-raise and it’s even more apparent when Peter flats and shows a set of Aces. Whoops!

11:13 PM: The Riddler wanted an update so bad he decided to do something crazy:

He opens from EP and I 3-bet AK and we go heads up to the K64 flop. I bet, he calls.

Turn is a T and now he check-raises. I call.

River 9. Bet call.

I say, “I really don’t see how you can have me beat here”

“Like that,” he says – and snap rolls QJ.

I mean… I just… I can’t even…

12:30 AM I am home now. Sometimes you rack up and leave. Sometimes you rack up and play another orbit.

I posted another big blind. Someone limped in, Radio Mike raised it, I 3-bet TT and they both call.

The flop is 8 high and I bet, limper calls, Mike raises, I 3-bet, the limper folds and Mike calls.

Turn and river are blanks and Mike calls me down with… JJ.

I post the small blind. It folds to Ryan O in the cutoff and he opens. Folds to me in the small blind and I 3-bet because Ryan’s cutoff opening range is disgustingly wide. The big blind calls and Ryan calls.

Flop is AKQ and I check. Let’s be honest. This is not a good flop for me. If I can show my hand down cheaply I’m okay with that. If the big blind shows aggression I might end up folding. He checks though and Ryan bets. I call. Big blind folds.

Turn is a blank and I check-call.

River is a K and I check. This is a card I expect Ryan to check a lot, but he bets and I can’t help but ask “does that mean I was winning the whole time?”

Yes… Yes it does. I call and he shows K3o.

I did pick up KK this last orbit, but I got minimal action and a board that ran out poorly for me.

I’m really loving the $15/$30 game and the action has been really good, but it was another subpar session for me. I was stuck almost all day and finally got back to even, only to have a bunch of bad run outs push me back down right before I left.

I ended up finishing the day -$695. Not sure how I’m going to sleep tonight knowing that The Riddler is out there somewhere playing poker with red chips.


  1. 11:03: or maybe they have day jobs 😛

  2. In case anyone needs reminding of the quality of play that is happening in your local LHE game, heres a hand from the morning maniac that I got to sweat since he was holding his cards upright: 25o in middle position.

    UTG+1 opens. Only 2 bets?? Of course we call. 5 players see the flop K96. UTG+1 bets.. we call (!! Off to a good start) .. button raises and we call, i guess looking for a 4. 4 players see the turn.

    Turn is an 8. Checks to the button who bets and UTG+1 check raises. But now we have a gutshot to the bottom end, so you know we call 2 bets cold..

    River blank and we fold out of turn.


  3. Let the record show that at 4:54 pm the author, admittedly steaming, open raised K8cc from UTG+1 and was rewarded for it like a donkey. I do not believe this is one of Phil Helmuth’s Top Ten Hands in Poker.

    • We should post the screen shot of that text message exchange.

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