Archive for December, 2017

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$30/$60 @ Palace! (Live Blog)

December 26, 2017

5:00 PM: This is happening.

I really didn’t think it would. Like no shot. I think we got lucky. A very non-regular player that prefers higher limits happened to come in – I’m not sure if he knew about the game – and called two of his friends to come join him.

When I showed up at 4 for the game start there were two of us here. The floor was willing to sit in but the other player was sitting down with $500. No thanks. So I waited, expecting to play $8/$16 only today.

And now we have an 8-handed $30/$60 game – and only one of the players sat down super short ($500ish).

Starting the game with me are The Human Torch (the short buy) and blog regular Peter!

5:50 PM: I sat down with $3000 which everyone seemed to think was way too much (but actually less big bets than I sit with at $20/$40) and then one of the players lost $2000 in less than 30 minutes and it didn’t look so absurd.

Only interesting hand so far, Torch open-limps cutoff, I raise AQ SB, BB 3-bets, we both call.

Flop AJ3 with two spades. I check-raise both of them with Ace of spades in my hand. BB just flats which makes me really like my hand. Torch calls.

Turn Q of spades. I bet my top two and only the BB calls.

River is 8 of spades, giving me the nuts. I bet and BB reluctantly folds what he later says was AKhh.

Good start so far. No hiccups. Torch is gone already. Currently 8-handed with no list.

6:24 PM: First hiccup: UTG opens, three players cold call, I 3-bet QQ on the button. One of the blinds calls and six of us see the flop for $90 each.

Flop comes down JT3 with two diamonds. Checks to a middle position player and he leads out, one call, I raise, and two early players cold call, as do the two with money in already.

Five of us see the Ace of hearts. I’m pretty happy to see everyone check to me. Even though this pot is massive, I think checking is way better than bet-calling or *gasp* bet-folding. I check.

The river is a blank and both early players check. The flop bettor bets and the other player folds. I’m very happy about this river action, so I call. The other two fold and I lose to a set of Tens.

7:25: Brutal hand with KK. Couple players limp, I raise, and it’s 5-ways to flop.

932 with two spades. They check, I bet, two call.

Turn Jack. SB checks, BB donks, I raise, they both call.

River J. BB donks again. Pretty obvious he has Jack with a spade draw but I can’t fold. I call. Other player folds 32 of hearts face up and I lose to KJ of spades. Wow. How thin am I drawing?

10 PM: Game is still going. We are 8-handed now. I haven’t had much to blog about because I’ve been really card dead, but aside from the KK and QQ hands above I’ve won most of my confrontations and I’m up about $1200 five hours into this game.

10:40 PM: I came back from that last break and posted with AK and got there bets in four ways before turning trips and winning a decent pot.

But the real reason for this update is I just saw a player flop a set of Kings (against me), then turn a set of Kings the next hand, and then two hands later flop a set of nines (also against me). And now he’s racking up and claiming to be done. ๐Ÿ˜ข

That’s how I thought this game would start and end today… short-handed with multiple short buys and the only player really risking anything would be me. I’m happy to see that it has thrived but half these players are non-regs, which has been great for tonight but doesn’t bode well for this game’s long term success.

11:40 PM: Down to 6-handed. Peter is basically winning all the pots. Take a look:

<<<<<<<<<<
tacks of green the same size behind all the red.

I thought I was on a collision course to even or slightly stuck by the time this game broke, but then it folded to me on the button and I looked down at 99. I raised and both blinds defended.

The small blind check-raised me on the J96 flop and I just called so I could get two big bets on the turn.

The turn is an 8, which is really bad. Not just because it completes QT, the most obvious straight draw, but also because any 7 or T on the river can easily beat me or kill my action. I stick with my plan and raise it. He calls.

River pairs the board and I get one more big bet and a little cushion as the game is dwindling down.

6-handed with one player sitting out. Maybe indefinitely. No one left in the game is particularly short so might still have some legs.

12:05 AM: And now I am stuck. I open AK and four of us see the flop.

It comes down K86 with two hearts. I bet, next player (who can be wide) raises, and both other players cold call, including one player I know to be solid. I 3-bet, the initial folds (lol), and the other two call.

Turn is a 3 of clubs. I bet they call.

River is a Queen and I plan to bet-call. First player folds and the solid player says “respect you” before check-calling with K6 of diamonds and winning the pot. Blah.

Time for the game to break!

12:48 AM: Game still going 4-handed with two other players possibly on money runs. I won’t be posting regular updates anymore but I will make a wrap up post when the game breaks and I get home.

4:40 AM: Just got home. Game was actually still going when I left, but we were playing with six or less people for HOURS. I ended up a little over $2300 thanks to a 5-hand stretch where I won every pot, including flopping a set of 8s and rivering a boat in a pot that was capped pre four ways. Other than that, my night was pretty unspectacular, but the pots in this game add up pretty quick and that five hand flurry made my night pretty good overall.

I don’t have a lot of hope for this game being a regular thing. It was lucky to go tonight and without multiple randoms that happen to have deep pockets wandering in, it wouldn’t have. This is definitely the kind of game that needs outside blood to keep it going.

Still, it’s pretty cool that this game has been running for twelve hours and even cooler that I had a solid session. It would suck to have the game run once and lose a couple thousand, which would be very easy to do.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

December 20, 2017

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern
Director: Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper)

Bottom Line: I feel like it’s important to note that I’m not a Star Wars fanatic. The series has always been overrated to me and while the original trilogy is definitely classic in the sense that they were groundbreaking films at the time and have had a tremendous affect on pop culture over the last 40 years, the movies themselves are merely enjoyable to me. I’m not wrapped up in all the mythology and I don’t watch all the movies again when a new one comes out. I haven’t seen a film in the prequel trilogy since Revenge of the Sith was in theaters. I did really enjoy The Force Awakens though and for the first time in my life I felt some of that Star Wars magic that everyone else is so enamored by.

The Last Jedi felt nothing like that. Right from the jump, we are hit with cringe-worthy dialogue and humor that doesn’t land. I chuckled one time during this movie and I was supposed to laugh a lot more than that. And then we are introduced to a Luke Skywalker that is nothing like your childhood hero. Even Mark Hammill hates this version.

I can’t get into all the minutiae of why this film is a poor follow up to The Force Awakens – I’ve seen fans nitpick all the relevant little details – but what I can say with confidence is that I was pretty bored while watching it and it was incredibly long for a movie that wasn’t highly entertaining. John Boyega’s Finn – one of the highlights of the previous film – has a much less interesting role this time around and goes on a side adventure that borders on prequel levels of terrible. I wasn’t a fan of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren in the last film and this movie doesn’t help with that. Can you imagine Star Wars without Darth Vader? He’s a huge reason why those movies are memorable. Just a great villain. Kylo Ren is more similar to Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker than to Lord Vader – and that’s not a good thing. Plus, he spends this entire movie with his mask off. Ugh.

The Last Jedi does have some cool moments, but I think they occur far less often than dull or laughable ones. The critics enjoyed this movie, but I personally can’t recommend it. I can’t even say Star Wars diehards will love it because it seems as though the fan base is pretty split, but there are enough people that hate it, that I feel it’s fair to warn people to temper their expectations.

Replay Value: I don’t have much interest in seeing this again. My friend that went with me was happy to see it a second time though.
Sequel Potential: Episode IX is due out in 2019.
Oscar Potential: Star Wars movies are always strong candidates of Visual and Sound nominations. This movie will not be a contender for Best Picture.

Grade: 5/10 (Watchable)

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Marathon Monday: 12/18/17 (LIVE BLOG)

December 18, 2017

10:02 AM: I did 13 minutes of meditation this morning and I believe that I have a solid daily practice now which means I feel comfortable practicing on a daily basis now.ย  I also received three books on meditation and mindfulness in the mail last week.ย  So yeah, I’m committed to this thing and I will constantly be weaving new practices and mindfulness tricks into my daily routines – and into my poker sessions.ย  The whole reason I started doing this in the first place is to prevent myself from going on the kind of raging tilt I experienced last week in what ended up being my second worst session of all-time.ย  There is no doubt the results of my session were affecting me emotionally and physically.ย  I felt defeated basically the entire day.ย  So the whole goal of meditation, and mindfulness, and yoga, is pain reduction; to be at peace with all the variance poker has to offer.

Someone has recently been trolling me in the comments section of my last post and they asked the question: “what qualifies you to be a professional poker player?”ย  Here’s the answer -not just for me, but for anyone that wants to play poker professionally: all you have to do is quit your job and have money to play with.ย  That is theย only qualification you need.ย  What happens from there is what will determine if you can remainย a professional poker player.ย  But some of the biggest perks of playing poker for a living are a) you don’t need to answer questions in a job interview or prove yourself to anyone and b) you don’t have a boss.

So I don’t know who this person is or why they feel like they need to try and rain on my parade, so I’ll just say this: I’m just sharing my journey and right now I happen to be playing poker for a living.ย  This is not an instructional blog.ย  You can read or not read – I don’t really care.

10:18 AM: Checking Bravo before I hop in the shower and start getting ready.ย  Currently 16 names on the $15/$30 list and 16 names on the $30/$60 list.ย  Last week, I asked the poker room manager what game we are playing today and he said “whatever everyone wants to play.”ย  I’m not really sure what to expect but I do know most of the names that were on that $30/$60 list last time I was at Palace were either game start flakes or part-time players, so even though a bigger game would be cool, I don’t think it’s realistic with the names on the list.ย  With that in mind, I fully expect them to spread $15/$30 today.

11:07 AM: Welp. 16 names on the list and we are starting $15/$30 6-handed. Definitely need some foot traffic because half this lineup play short sessions.

11:22 AM: There was a horrible train accident a few exits south of where I live off I-5. It is possible it is preventing people from getting here although I didn’t see any traffic in either direction from my exit.

Radio Mike started the game and beat me in a heads up pot and couldn’t help himself from smirking after the hand. I see you, buddy!

Opened with KQhh a few hands later and only the big blind defended.

He led out on the KJ9 flop, I raised and he called.

Turn was a T giving me a straight. He check-called.

River Q, putting a King high straight on the board. He check-called again and then… folded when I tabled my hand!

He’s a blog reader so I’ll say “thanks” and “sorry” and I hope you don’t read about this hand until you get home tonight!

11:50 AM: Finally picked up our 7th player! A $200 buy in! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

11:52 AM: And The Human Torch makes us 8-handed… on my direct left… with a $200 buy in.

11:54 AM: Full game!

Radio Mike comes back after missing his blinds and declines to post in the cutoff. I’m embarrassed for him.

12:20 PM: On my first break I am currently up about $100 which is the first time I’ve made it through the first 90 minutes of this game without being stuck at least $500. Progress!

12:55 PM: Radio Mike flopped the nut flush against me when I had top pair and he check-called me on the flop and turn… them check-raised me on the river when I went for some thin value.

And then he text me and said “I see that we are mortal enemies today.”

He’s not wrong.

1:34 PM: Just finished my breakfast and moved my table with my empty plate and dirty napkins right next to Radio Mike – one of his biggest pet peeves. It’s on bruh.

Someone immediately told him to ask if I had an extra water.

Not a very exciting first couple of hours. I have done more bluffing than usual, getting caught once check-raising a flush draw after the flop checked through.

Probably the all-time greatest maniac in Palace history just sat down in the $15/$30 game for the first time. He’s starting with $1k and is capable of getting in much deeper.

In honor of Michael Jordan and this player’s tendency to play aggressively with nothing, I will refer to him from now on as His Airness.

1:50 PM: His Airness has requested Overs buttons and now four of us are playing $25/$50 Overs. Radio Mike did not take a button because… who knows why.

2:11 PM: There hasn’t been a ton of action so far today but there was on this hand:

UTG limps, next player raises, both players to my right cold call, I 3-bet KK, one of the blinds calls and we go three bets six ways to the flop.

It comes down T63 rainbow. Someone donks into me, someone calls, I raise and four of us go to the turn.

4 on the turn and now the small blind leads out. One player and myself call.

River pairs the 6 and two of us call again. Small blind shoes… 52o.

Yup.

-$500 now.

I couldn’t help but notice Radio Mike chuckling out loud as he was watching the showdown.

2:59 PM: Guy that bought in $200 and cracked my KK with 52o – because those are the kinds of hands you play when you short buy – just cashed out $2000.

3:09 PM: I defend my BB with KQ. Flop is QT8 and I check-call Radio Mike on all three streets in what started as a 4-way pot. He has KK. He is definitely winning the battle today.

3:39PM: After watching Peter pick off bluff after bluff from His Airness, Peter limps early, His Airness raises, I 3b TT, Peter calls and it gets capped.

Flop is 986. Peter donks, His Airness calls, I raise and they both call.

Turn is a K and they both check. This is a must bet. Peter calls and now His Airness raises. We both call.

River 2. His Airness bets, I call, Peter tanks and folds and I say to him “he has it this time” and he tables 75.

Another big pot between the three of us. His Airness limps, I raise QTcc , Peter 3b button, Airness caps it.

Q32 all diamonds. His Airness bets, I raise, Peter 3b and we both call.

Turn is Th. I donk into Peter and they both call.

River Jd. His Airness bets and I reluctantly fold. Peter calls and His Airness wins with AcKd.

Marathon Monday: where Mac runs Miserably against Maniacs.

-$700

4:40 PM: The rivalry with Radio Mike has dissipated because he’s up a couple racks and no longer playing any hands.

Peter: He’s just running the clock out now.

Me: He took a knee two hours ago. The only reason he’s still here is so I don’t make fun of him for playing a three hour session.

Radio Mike raises the next hand.

Me: Oh wow, he remembered he was here.

The game has slowed down considerably now that His Airness has busted and left, with Peter and Radio Mike getting the bulk of what must have been $1800.

The Torch is next up the list, looking to make his second cameo of the day. No one is after him. We definitely need the night shift to start showing up because half these players will probably be gone in the next couple hours.

5:24 PM: I raise a couple of limpers with QJhh and we end up going 5 ways to the 974 flop, with one heart. I check here a lot, but I decide to bet since there are a lot good turns for me to continue to barrel on. I get raised though and one of the limpers cold calls. I call.

Turn 2h. I’m definitely happy to check-call here but the limper raises. I cold call the two bets and the other player stays in also.

River 3 of hearts and my running flush beats the limper’s flopped set of fours.

That suck out puts me down about $150 and sends the player on my right into raging tilt.

6:29 PM: The game survived the lull! 5 people on the list now with The Torch in already.

I haven’t won very many notable pots but I do have more chips than I started with now. Ever so slightly.

6:48 PM: Well that was fun while it lasted. I raise one limper with KK, one cold caller, and we go 4-ways to J64dd flop. I bet and two players call.

Turn is 3 of diamonds. I bet, the next player raises, the third player cold calls, and I call with the Kd.

Brick river and I lose to 87 of diamonds.

I also tried to bluff Radio Mike unsuccessfully after defending my big blind with KxTd on 653dd6d4 and he picked me off with 88 after tanking for about 12 minutes and then told me “you wanted to table that bluff so bad you were twitching and frothing at the mouth.”

Bastard. I’m happy for him. In three years of playing together he’s never beaten me this badly!

7:06 PM: I still haven’t flopped a set today but just I just turned deuces full after it checked around on the 997 flop.

7:34 PM: Radio Mike is ordering food. Why is this a big deal? Because I’ve never seen this guy play longer than 6 hours and we are now on hour 9 and he’s so settled in he has a meal coming! Must be nice!

The composure of this game has changed for the worse. The Torch is felted again and replaced by one of the best regulars at Palace. Another friend of the blog is in the game and up like $1000 in his first 30 minutes of play. More than half the table are solid regs now.

I just realized I’ve tipped $1 in the last 90 minutes.

7:44 PM: Action player in the game! Sitting down with $330. ๐Ÿ™„ I was going to take a break but this guy could be felted before I come back.

8:10: Ryan O. proposed a round of button straddles to liven the game up, something it is definitely in need of. This would be an ideal time to run good!

8:19 PM: Momentum shift!

My straddle. A couple callers. A new player raises. I defend K4dd.

Flop KJ6 one diamond. The PFR bets and I raise but both blinds cold call and the PFR reraises. Sigh. We all call.

Turn is an Ace; the PFR bets and I fold. I know my pot odds are favorable here but the Ace is such a bad card to continue on. The cold callers look like QT a lot and the PFR looks like he has Aces up, at worst. Radio Mike check-raises and the PFR reaches for a three bet and as soon as he puts it in I shake my head because Radio Mike basically always has the nuts here. He caps it. PFR calls and I request the dealer to put an Ace on the river.

He pairs the King instead and Mike check-calls and loses to AA – the first tough pot I’ve seen him lose all day.

8:41 PM: But I can’t beat the guy. I just flopped top pair against what I thought was an overpair so I turned my hand into a bluff when an Ace hit the turn and he just flatted, so when I rivered two pair I thought might hand might actually be good. Two straights and a flush were on board now though which explains why he just check-calls with AA.

I am now down $850 and I think Radio Mike has all of it.

I am now taking an extended break after playing multiple hands in the same orbit quite questionably. I’m sure the troll in the comments will be happy to see me struggling again. Maybe I’ll apply for a real job tomorrow.

I am now down the most I’ve been stuck all day and the game is at its worst. Not a good combo. It actually wouldn’t be terrible to pick up and leave right now but I’m still interested in playing.

9:55 PM: Real progress. First, I make it to the river with AQ top pair against Radio Mike and he fold, which is the first time we’ve made it to 5th street together and I won since the first hour of the game.

Then I raise with QQ on the button, Radio Mike 3b his big blind and one of the limpers back-caps it.

Flop is KQx; Mike leads, I raise, he reraises and I flat. Heads up now.

Turn is a Ten and I’m MUBSing about KK because this guy has been walking on water all day, especially against me, and he can really only have AA, AK, and KK here. We are obviously beating more combos than we lose to so I still have an easy raise. He immediately stacks his initial bet and reaches back for chips – a move that is almost always followed by a raise. And if he does raise here he basically always has KK. I know him that well. He just calls though and I comfortably bet the river and win against his AK!

I was down $1200 at my bottom, but I am now down about $600 after this mini-rush.

10:19 PM: KK capped on the button in a 5-way pot? This situation hasn’t worked out yet for me today.

Ace in the door… sigh… followed by a King! ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‡

The 3-bettor donks into me, I raise, and two others cold call and the original bettor flats.

Turn is a wheel card and only two players check-call.

River is another blank and my Kings finally win a big pot!

Approaching even now.

10:47 PM: It’s Radio Mike’s button straddle and it folds to me in the hi jack. I raise with JTo, the cutoff folds, and Mike says “this is an automatic fold” and then calls?

I say “what’d you say?” and bet Dark. Flop is 985. Pretty decent. He calls.

Turn is a K. I bet and he almost goes to fold and then calls again.

River pairs the King and this time he snap calls and wins with 83o.

This guy.

In roughly 10-20 minutes this game will have been going for 12 hours. Radio Mike’s average session length is probably less than 5 hours. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play more than 8. He’s up like $2k. It’s amazing how energizing running good can feel.

Variance in the game is increasing as everyone is seeming to realize that the game is much better with a mandatory straddle.

11:27 PM: Button straddle KK and get the 765 flop vs 43o – a hand that is not in one of the three blinds.

KK has been my death hand today. I did win my biggest pot of the day with it but I’ve lost big pots the other four times I’ve had it.

Trending back down again… about -$900 now.

11:42 PM: Well this was really weird. I forget to straddle my button because I’m playing OFC hands and one player limps, the cutoff tank-raises (huh?) and I look down at AK and 3b. The limper and cutoff both call.

I double check my cards, like I always do, and this time I look down at two Kings. What? I mean wow. I really saw AK the first time I looked and I was honestly shocked to see KK.

Flop is T9x and the cutoff check-raises me and I get Peter out with a 3b. The cutoff calls. He seems a little inexperienced and I think he’s playing big right now. I don’t expect much trickery so when an Ace turns I am planning to bet both big streets because I really think he has QQ, JJ, or Tx. He surprises me by leading out though. I’m definitely not convinced but I don’t really think I should raise here. I call.River is a blank and now he ranks again and then checks. I snap bet and he calls and KK is good. 2 for 6!

11:56 PM: Radio Mike is leaving us.

12:54 AM: It seems like my Monday blogs lose a little steam after about 11 PM. I know one of the reasons: my WordPress app gets really buggy at the end of the day and I don’t know why. It’s like the more words I type or the longer I have the app open, the tougher it is for things to process. It has crashed/frozen on me three times in the past couple hours and each key I press lags behind. It’s all very annoying.

1:03 AM: Uhm so this just happened:

That’s my hand. $2500+ jackpot. Second Royal Flush of my life* and I’ve played a lot of hours. Like a lot a lot.

*of my life means live games (I have like 12 Royals online) and non-Omaha.

2:08 AM: I am definitely hitting a wall. I actually have sugar now – jackpot aside – and I’m ready to go home but the game is getting shorter and shorter and I would really enjoy playing 6- or 5-handed with this crowd.

Actually, one of these guys is taking a ridiculous amount of time with each decision. Not sure I can stomach that in a super short game.

2:29 AM: My luck with KK has turned around. I’ve had it at least 10 times today and I’ve won five times in a row now.

2:56 AM: Here’s an interesting one: cutoff open limps, I raise 87ss on the button.

Flop A87 won two clubs. Cutoff check-raises me. We are heads up now so I just call to raise the turn.

Jack on turn. He checks. Okay. I bet and he raises me again. Lol. I’m pretty tempted to 3b here but there really aren’t any value hands in his range that I’m beating, so I call.

River pairs the Ace and he checks again. I check back and he’s shows J4 of clubs and his Jack beats me now.

So I got check-raised twice by the worst hand and then it checked around when he pulled ahead. Fun!

3:46 AM: Just got home.ย  Pretty sure the game broke when I left, but that was another solid 16.5 hour $15/$30 session.ย  I actually ended up making $188 for the session which is a decent result considering I was stuck most of the day and down as much as $1200 at one point.ย  With the jackpot (minus tip), I ended up making $2540 for the day.ย  What a day saver!

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2018 Poker Schedule (LAPC, WSOP)

December 14, 2017

Here’s a look at the series and tournaments I’ll be targeting in the first half of 2018. Any event in bold is a tournament that I will 100% be playing, barring unforeseen circumstances. Any event that has an asterisk (*) in front of it means that it has multiple starting days and I’m not really committed to any particular one. I’m not exactly planning to play the WSOP Main Event this year, but I’m not ruling it out as a possibility either. A lot depends on how things go in the first six months of the year, but I almost certainly will NOT be playing it unless I have up to 80% of my action sold.

As of now, the only trip I have booked is the first of three to Commerce, so there is still plenty up in the air. My wife said I could stay for the whole WSOP this year, but that’s kind of hard to believe. We’ll see how she feels come June – especially since her birthday is smack dab in the middle of the series. I haven’t looked for any side events during the WSOP, but I’m sure Venetian, Aria, and Golden Nugget will have some things I’m interested in adding to my schedule.

LAPC @ Commerce

January 15th – $350 Omaha 8/Better
January 16th – $350 Triple Stud
January 17th – $350 Stud 8/Better
January 18th – $350 Omaha/Stud 8/Better

January 24th – $350 Limit Hold Em
January 25th – $350 HORSE
January 26th – $350 No Limit Hold Em
January 26th – $350 TOE (O8, Stud 8, 2-7 Triple Draw)
January 27th – $350 No Limit Hold Em
January 27th – $350 No Limit Hold Em/Pot Limit Omaha
January 29th – $570 Omaha 8/Better
January 30th – $570 Stud
February 1st – $570 HORSE

February 11th – $1100 Limit Hold Em
February 12th – $1100 Omaha 8/Better
February 13th – $1100 HORSE

PacWest Classic @ Chinook Winds

February 21st – $150 Omaha 8/Better
February 21st – $80 No Limit Hold Em Bounty
February 22nd – $150 Big Omaha 8/Better
February 23rd – $200 No Limit Hold Em
February 24th – $550 No Limit Hold Em Main Event

Summer Poker Classic @ Muckleshoot

March 14th – March 18th
or
March 21st – March 25th

WSOPc @ Planet Hollywood (Vegas)

March 22nd – April 2nd

WSOPc @ Harrahs (New Orleans)

May 10th – May 21st

World Series of Poker @ The Rio

May 31st – $1500 Omaha 8/Better
June 1st – *$365 No Limit Hold Em GIANT
June 2nd – *$565 No Limit Hold Em Colossus
June 3rd – $365 No Limit Hold Em Online
June 3rd – *$365 Pot Limit Omaha GIANT
June 6th – $1500 HORSE
June 8th – $565 Pot Limit Omaha
June 9th – $1500 8-Game
June 11th – $1500 Stud 8/Better
June 14th – $1500 Stud
June 16th – *$1000 No Limit Hold Em Double Stack
June 20th – $1500 Limit Hold Em
June 22nd – $2500 Omaha/Stud 8/Better
June 23rd – *$1500 No Limit Hold Em Monster Stack
June 24th – $1500 Razz
June 30th – *$888 No Limit Hold Em Crazy 8
July 2nd – *$10,000 No Limit Hold Em Main Event
July 9th – $3000 6-Max Limit Hold Em
July 12th – $3000 HORSE

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Coco (2017), Gerald’s Game (2017)

December 13, 2017

Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Director: Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 2)

Bottom Line: I loved it. What a feel good movie about family, passion, music, love, loss, memory, and, of course, death. Coco is a return to form for Pixar, combining absolutely beautiful CG animation with memorable characters and an enriching, funny story that pulls at the heart strings. Bring your Kleenex! This is Pixar’s best original film since Up in 2009.

Replay Value: Pretty close to a must own. I would definitely enjoy watching this multiple times.
Sequel Potential: Hit animated films always have sequel potential, but I think this would work best as a standalone film.
Oscar Potential: Best Animated Film nomination is a lock. There is potential for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Possibly Best Original Song for “Remember Me.”

Grade: 8/10 (Must See)

Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood
Director: Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Hush)

Bottom Line: Gerald’s Game is a taut psychological thriller based on a short, overlooked Stephen King novel about a woman that goes on a remote cabin getaway with her husband in the hopes of rekindling their marriage. He cuffs her to the bed, she hates it, implores him to let her free, but… he has a heart attack and falls off the bed, wounding himself fatally. So she’s stuck there, handcuffed to the bed, with no food, and no company except a hungry, stray dog that wanders into the house and the figments of her deteriorating psychosis. Gerald’s Game is a surprisingly deep and emotional film considering the vast majority of it takes place on a bed with a woman that can barely move. Carla Gugino gives a phenomenal performance. This movie is streaming on Netflix and I definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys psychological thrillers and doesn’t mind the claustrophobic circumstances.

Replay Value: Not a great candidate for multiple viewings, but it’s something you could revisit many years later.
Sequel Potential: Zero.
Oscar Potential: Carla Gugino is fantastic in this. Not sure how a Netflix movie plays into the Oscar races, but I’ll guess she doesn’t get much consideration.

Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)

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Marathon Monday: R.I.P. $15/$30 @ The Palace (LIVE BLOG)

December 11, 2017

10:20 AM: Just got back from yoga. I missed my first class in almost two months last Wednesday and I haven’t meditated since last Monday, but I did do a 10 minute session this morning. The reason I haven’t incorporated it into my routine yet is because I still haven’t done the reading required to create my baseline, but again, I figured some meditation this morning was better than none. I will try to get all my reading done tomorrow since I will likely be taking the day off.

So today is the last day that Palace will be spreading this $15/$30 Limit Hold Em game and it’s honestly a crushing blow for me. I love the Palace. It’s like my Century Link – I have a very distinct home field advantage and when I play elsewhere it takes me a while to assimilate to my new surroundings and a bunch of unknown players. But at Palace, I know everyone and I know their tendencies and it’s no wonder that I post my best results (as in Big Bets/Hour) there.

Unfortunately, the biggest game that Palace offers is $8/$16 and I grew out of that game the day that I got back home from the World Series Of Poker last year. I feel like I had the talent to move up long before that, but now I was grossly overrolled for it as well.

I feel like one of the biggest mistakes I made earlier in my poker career was not pushing myself to move out of the $4/$8 limit – because it was so much easier to drive 10 minutes to the local casino rather than 40+ to play a bigger game – and now I’m having the same problem with $8/$16. Palace is 5 minutes from my house while $20/$40 at Fortune is a good 40 minutes away if there’s no traffic and the average player in that game is substantially better. So I typically make it out to Fortune once a week.

So a local $15/$30 was such a huge thing for me. Even if it only happened on Mondays, there was potential for it to grow and start spreading on weekends also.

And now today is the last day. The alleged reason is because it is hurting the $8/$16 game and I can’t say I agree with that at all.

When this game rolled out Palace was an 8 table room and on Mondays – with the $499 jackpot promo going all day long – all those tables filled up, with massive lists, and multiple $8/$16 games and the $15/$30 went strong into the night.

But then Palace added two tables and those huge lists disappeared. People got in games faster and got their poker fix or busted faster. And the $8/$16 games started breaking earlier and I think the powers that be incorrectly blamed it on the $15/$30 game.

Palace also added $499 jackpots all day on Sundays as well, so players could pick one day or the other to play power sessions – thus decreasing the need to come on Mondays – or they wore out earlier after playing long sessions on both days.

I’m not saying that is exactly what happened, but it’s my theory and I think it’s a better one than what they have.

Finally, the $15/$30 game has gone until at least midnight every time so far, which means it was running at least 13 hours each time – a clear success.

Alas, this is the last day and next week they will be trying to spread a $30/$60 LHE game, which would excite me if I thought it had any real shot at sustainability. There are currently 8 names on the list for next week, which seems promising, but putting your name up on a list and showing up when the game is supposed to start doesn’t always coincide. I will be here to support it though and I hope it gets off the ground.

11:28 AM: Game started full for the first time today and there are multiple names on the waiting list. Perfect time to kill something! Just as it starts growing. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿค”

Meanwhile $8/$16 is going strong with a second game on the verge of starting.

Today’s starting lineup includes Radio Mike, BVR (a friend from Kitsap County that would be a good Joker if he played regularly), and two certified maniacs!

11:39 AM: Running good against one of the maniacs.

Open QQ UTG, he defends SB and leads JT5 flop. I flat to raise turn. 5 on turn, he bets, I raise, he three bets… ends up showing Q5o.

He limps EP, I raise AQ, three ways to A82 flop. They both check-call. Turn is a King; I bet, the blind folds, maniac check-raises me; it’s close to a 3-bet here but I flat.

River pairs the 2 and now I think my hand is too strong not to raise, so I do, and he three bets and shows 82o.

I didn’t really think this river raise through though, as I overlooked the fact that I was chopping with all Ax hands.

I’ve also lost big pots to his J2o and J4s when I wasn’t at the top of my range.

I am down $700 already. My typical $15/$30 start! And the maniac has over $2k and an alleged 40 minute time limit. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

12:39 PM: The maniac just lost a monster pot with KK to BVR’s AA on a 774T9 board where both players were playing like they flopped full houses – with a player trapped between them.

I’m not joking. Cap flop. Cap turn. Cap river. KK vs AA on 774T9. I was asking for “quad sevens one time!” but instead I get to see BVR scoop a massive pot of chips that used to be mine.

And the maniac didn’t take another hand and left with less than $1000 after peaking at $2500. I haven’t won a pot in 90+ minutes and everyone at the table has more chips than they started with except me and one other player.

A total disaster. A hurricane that I was the only victim of and all my surrounding neighbors were able to collect the treasures from my wrecked home.

I’m down about $1100 and about to reload and reset now that the game has completely changed.

12:54 PM: There are now two $8/$16 games going with 5 on the list and $15/$30 is full with 8 on the list. But yeah… these games can’t thrive together.

First hand back from a break I post with KJo in the cutoff. It folds to me, so I raise and a player in the small blind that is capable of having any two cards (at least at $8/$16 – like Q4o against my UTG raise from MP) is my only caller.

Flop is QT7 with two spades. He leads out, I raise (with the J of spades as backup) and he three bets me. I call.

Turn pairs the 7 and he checks to me. I’m pretty happy to take a free card.

River is a King and he leads out. I’m beating QT, or any Q except KQ. Flush draws missed. J9 did get there. I feel like I’m only losing to KQ and J9, so it feels like I should be raising, especially against this player, but I’m running brutal so I just call and he shows A7 of spades which flopped a flush draw and turned trips.

1:38 PM: I just bluffed the turn successfully after it checked through on the flop. It was the first “pot” I’ve won in over 2.5 hours – and there were less than two small bets of profit in it.

I have my chips stacked in a way that I don’t know how much I have so I can focus on something besides how bad I’m running.

1:58 PM: I won my first showdown since the second orbit of the game! But I went right back to whiffing flops and missing my combo draws when I did flop something.

I couldn’t resist. I reorganized my stack: I am down $1840. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

It’s pretty hard to lose 3.5 racks in less than three hours but I’ve made it look really, really easy today.

This might be a good time to mention this: the most I’ve ever lost in a live cash game is $2300 – which isn’t that bad at the levels I’ve played and will certainly be topped – and today is looking like a strong candidate to challenge that.

2:40 PM: Finally got a great flop with a hand I opened: J94 with AJ in a 3-handed pot… but I don’t beat KT at showdown.

3 PM: I am down almost $2000.

Radio Mike is crushing it.

BVR is crushing it.

I’ve won one non-micro pot since 11:15, almost four hours ago – one of my all-time coldest stretches.

It’s kind of taken me out of the game so I’m going to really force myself to start paying attention and not succumb to the immense weight of this run bad. Starting…. NOW.

3:09 PM: A breakthrough! I defend my big blind with A8s in a multiway pot. Flop is A75 with two hearts. I check, the PFR bets, two cold callers call, and I call.

Turn pairs the Ace and I check, the PFR bets, one call, one fold, and I check-raise. I would maybe check-call against a solid player here, but this guy is way too loose and reckless, plus I thought I picked up a weakness tell. He 3-bets me though, the other player folds, I throw up in my mouth a little and then call.

River is the 4 of hearts and it checks around. I like that. I table. He shows A3o! I looooove that.

4:06 PM: It’s just all torture today.

I raise AA under the gun. One player cold calls and the big blind defends.

Flop QJ5 with two clubs. I bet and the cold caller raises, big folds, and I flat.

Turn is a 4. I check-raise and get three bet. More vomit. I call.

River 8c. I check-call and he shows KQ of clubs for a flush. Oh, I had the best hand? More vomit.

It is just sickening at this point.

4:12 PM: The player to my right just felted $1500 in a rather short amount of time and I’m stuck $2000 still. Do you know how hard it is to get crushed when the player you have immediate position on is hemorrhaging chips like he’s allergic to them? Very, very hard.

4:30 PM: On another break. I guess my last 1.5 hours have been a bit better than the first four hours. It’s not a straight down arrow… I’ve won some pots. I just got four bets in pre with JJ and lost to AQ. I am now 0-4 with JJ+ – and I think I’m yet to win with AK or AQ. I finally made a straight but I’m still 0% on flush draws.

In other news, $15/$30 is going strong with two on the list and there are two full $8/$16 games with 10 players on the list.

But $15/$30 is killing that game. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

4:50 PM: I have asked for a seat change button in honor of The Human Torch being next on the list.

4:57 PM: I raise a couple of limpers with AKcc, button cold calls, small blind calls, and we go six ways to 532 with two clubs. I bet and get three calls.

Turn is an 8 and I bet my draw because I fucking hate money and it seems unlikely I would get raised on this board, but the button does raise and one of the limper three bets. Good read, Mac. Awesome. I can’t wait to put $90 in and whiff the river. I call. Button calls.

River 6h and it checks around because a running heart flush got there. Limper has A4o for a flopped wheel and button shows me 98 of clubs.

Just pure torture.

5:07 PM: I stole the fucking blinds! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

5:17 PM: The Torch just sat down with $200. Well that’s not gonna get me even.

6:00 PM: So tilted. Open AQ and only the BB defends.

Flop AT8. He check-raises, I 3-bet.

Turn 8, he check-calls.

River K. FUCK. FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Chop with A9.

Open 99. Flop JJ9. I get two callers pre, The Torch calls my flop bet, and no action on the turn.

Folds to my small blind and I get to chop with KK.

What a bunch of bullshit.

6:14 PM: Holy shit. Momentum? I’ve won a series of pots in a short amount of time and I hit my first flush of the day! I would guess I’m still stuck over $2000, but I’m not sure.

6:25 PM: The Torch is in $600, $200 at a time. Another player just felted and rebought $200. Maybe the poker room manager is right: these people shouldn’t be playing this game. These would be smallish (though a misguided standard) buy-ins at $8/$16, let alone a game twice as big.

6:41 PM: I really wish dealers would stop moving the button before the hand is over. Without a doubt, moving the button twice is the number one mistake I see happen and it’s almost always because of this absolutely stupid practice. Save a few seconds so you can make the same mistake hundreds of times over your career.

7:17 PM: More comedy. I open KQo, two cold callers, Torch 3-bets the big blind. I resist the urge to cap it even though I probably have him smashed.

Flop AQ5 two diamonds. I snap raise him. Button cold calls. Torch three bets. We both call.

Turn pairs the A, which I like. Torch bets, we both call. I feel like I have the button beat – he’s definitely not a solid player – and The Torch could literally have anything. He bets dark.

River is the 2 of diamonds. I call. He has 87dd.

Unreal.

Then a new player I don’t know sits down and asks if that’s my extra water. I say yes and he grabs it and opens it.

YEAH MAN. THAT’S WHAT IT’S FUCKING THERE FOR.

7:39 PM: Here is something that definitely has not happened today: three or four bets went in before the flop and I won the pot.

7:41 PM: Player to my left just called two bets with 98 suited and then showed it to me before folding when it was capped back to him. How is that a real thing?

The Torch is felted again. He snapped me off with that 87 less than 30 minutes ago and, of course, I got none of that back.

A player that limped in earlier and called when it was capped back to him with KQo (and ended up beating my 99) just limped in and folded when a bad player raised and everyone folded back to him.

I seriously hate them all today.

7:48 PM: Another capped pot lost. QQ on the button outflopped by AK, which loses to TT on the river.

7:56 PM: Praise Jesus! I 3-bet QQ, flopped top set, rivered quads, and got paid off, plus won a $499 jackpot!

It’s a miracle!

In other news, they are spreading their third $8/$16 game right now cause, you know, this game is killing that one.

To recap: $15/$30 has been running for 9 hours and they have had two $8/$16 running for at least 8 hours, with a third one going down now.

Now there is no list. So I guess now that all those $8/$16 players are in games gambling… if they wind up going bust in the next few hours it will be because we are playing $15/$30 on a different table?

8:33 PM: I limp after two limpers with A6 of clubs. Couple more limps. BVR raises SB. We all call.

Flop K63. A few of us call.

Turn 6. I raise. Two callers.

River Q. BVR check-raises. Has KK.

I mean… it’s honestly insane.

8:38 PM: Watching the masseuse use an elbow to massage someone while she looks at her phone with her free hand. This has been going on for a while. Totally inexcusable. It’s feeding my tilt monster.

8:53 PM: Under the gun raises. Three people cold call. I call 66 on the button.

Flop 976 with two diamonds. I get it capped with the PFR, one other player tagging along.

Turn Q. He still leads, other player folds, I raise. He calls.

River is a blank. He check-calls.

And shows me 77. FUCKING SEVENS.

This can’t be real. It really can’t be. I’m almost back to where I was before that $500 jackpot.

Unbelievable.

9:06 PM: I’m not even trying to be nice at this point. A new player sat down and asked for an Overs button (I’ve been the only person with one all day) and a couple other players asked for them and threw them back when I said it was $25/$50.

Then they threw a little fuss about it and voted to make it $20/$40 and I said “Yeah, maybe we can get $5/$10 Overs going in the $4/$8 game too.

9:46 PM: I feel like I should mention that I won my first pot with AQ – especially since it was my most significant pot of the day (minus the jackpot addition in that QQ hand).

I three bet a bad player’s open and went at least 5-ways to QJx. Checks to the player on my right and he donks. I raise, two cold call, and he calls.

I’m already envisioning losing this pot when I make top two vs KT.

The turn comes a 5 and they all check-call me again.

River is a 6! I basically have the nuts unless the bad player has something funky like Q6 suited or J6 suited. I bet, two of them call, and the player to my right folds KT face up. What a dodge! And my hand is good vs the two callers.

But then I went right back to losing massive pots with good hands. Including AK twice, which I’m like 0-12 with today.

No progress.

9:59 PM: I feel like I’m up $1000 now! I actually have good news.

The poker manager just came over and said the affect of this game on $8/$16 has been “grossly exaggerated” to him and he will no longer be cancelling it!

I think he’s done an amazing job with this room and getting rid of the $15/$30 was the first move he made that really puzzled me and I was really going to question his reasoning after he watched $8/$16 flourish all day while this game was full.

But he is reasonable! I’m glad he can see what’s going on and adapt. A lot of people would be stubborn after making a decision like that and stick to it just so they wouldn’t have to admit that they/their staff were wrong.

This guy continues to impress me and he really has done wonders with this room. I feel bad about some of the trolling I was doing on this blog earlier, but I’m going to keep it up for authenticity’s sake and fluidity!

10:21 PM: You know you have the M.U.B.S. (Monsters Under the Bed Syndrome) when you have 99 on the 763 flop in a 3-handed pot and know that you’re never gonna win.

Take it KJ.

11:02 PM: Two streaks broken! I just won with 88 on 96595 after getting check-raised on the turn and calling a river bet – the first time I’ve won with a pocket pair less than AA that didn’t make quads today…. in 12 hours!

And I only won with AA once… heads up against the big blind… when I flopped the nut flush draw with my overpair… and he folded on the turn.

I also broke my AK streak. I opened with it, a player I haven’t beat all day cold called, a blind tagged along, and we saw the AJJ flop. I bet (in Overs), and they both called.

Turn 2. I bet and don’t get raised. Heads up now.

River 2. I bet and don’t get raised. Can it be?! I’m good!

I am now down $2000, which is the best shape I’ve been in since that jackpot.

12:02 AM: Open AQ of clubs under the gun, one cold call, big blind defends.

Q42 two club flop. I try for some deception by checking because I’ve been raising and checking the flop a lot today, but it checks through.

Turn 8 of clubs. I bet, they both fold.

Yawn.

Defend K5 suited in a 3-way pot. Check-raise K65 flop and they both fold.

Fucking YAWN.

12:21 AM: Multiple limpers. I raise AKo and everyone calls.

Flop is 743 with two diamonds. I check, BB bets, cutoff calls, and I call with A of diamonds in my hand.

Turn is Q of diamonds. I check, BB bets, cutoff folds, and this seems like a good time to semi-bluff and check-raise since I suspect this player (new to the game) won’t realize that I rarely have a made hand here, plus I think I should have some fold equity against his flop betting range.

He calls though and the river is a non-diamond 8. I go to reach for chips and he’s already trying to call, so I decide not to torch the bet. He checks back? With a jack high flush?

Yeah, that’s more like it.

12:34 AM: Taking my first break in hours. Just raised with QQ and everyone folded. Next hand I open with A9o a littler earlier than I should just because I want to feel the pain when I get multiple callers because I’m holding a piece of shit. All four players left in the pot call. I whiff. YES. MORE OF THAT.

I’m pretty close to quitting. I’m gonna sit back down and if I’m still feeling steamy I’m gonna call it a session.

1:32 AM: Welp, I’m home now. What a nightmare of a day. These last two pots I played did it in for me.

Two people limp and I raise T9 of spades on the button, both blinds defend and the limpers call.

Flop is 883 with two spades. I bet and two players call.

Turn is an Ace and only the small blind check-calls me.

River is a 6 and he checks. I bet thinking he might be on a spade draw that could be bigger than mine or maybe he will fold a 3 or a medium pocket pair. He calls with A7 of spades… and then does that whole get halfway out of his chair and say “what does he have?” spectacle some people do when they catch you bluffing.

I missed the same draw you did, asshole.

Then I raise the button with AK and get the AK6 with two spades flop in a 5-way pot. The big blind donks, one player calls, I raise, and they both call.

The turn is a 9. They both check to me and I bet. The big blind check-raises, the other player calls two bets cold, I three bet it, the big blind caps, and the other player calls again. I call.

The river is a T of spades and they both check to me. I look at them like “yeah fucking right” and check it back. Somehow the in between player doesn’t have spades. He has A9. Somehow the big blind doesn’t have a set of 6s. He has AK also. I take no solace in splitting this pot. Zero happiness that I didn’t lose the whole thing on the river. I flopped top two on the AK6 board and I can’t scoop a pot.

Done with it.

I finished -$2265 for the day which is my second biggest loss in any game EVER. And the only reason I didn’t set a new all-time worse loss today was because I hit a $449 (after $50 tip) jackpot.

I’ve made an effort to keep my blog pretty PG and refrain from any cursing, but today I decided to paint an honest picture of how I was feeling as I was feeling it. I think it’s more authentic. I think it might be funny. I know it’s therapeutic.

I basically played with the physical sensation of tilt for the entire session. Like, I could feel it coursing through my body. Was on my A-game? No way. But I do think I played pretty well under so much distress. I wasn’t spewing chips by playing hands I should be folding or raising with garbage (that A9o hand I mentioned being a possible exception) and I think the bluffs I did execute made a lot of sense, even when they didn’t work. I just ran nightmarishly bad the entire day and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

I have to say I’m very happy about where my C-game is. No one wants to play their C-game, but everyone should work on improving it. I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe one of my biggest edges is how good I am at losing. A lot of players have a Titanic gap between their A-game and their C-game – even players I think are way better than average – and I truly believe that my gap is rather small. Small enough that I think my C-game is better than most of my opponents’ (in the Tacoma area) A-games. There is no doubt I was on visible tilt most of the day and even though I was physically distraught, there wasn’t much deterioration in how I was actually playing. There is a difference. I won’t pretend like there isn’t, but I would guess that most people I play with wouldn’t be able to notice it.

Anyways, I will be happy to put this day behind me and hopefully I won’t be pressing this all-time low threshold again any time soon.

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Marathon Monday: 12/4/2017 (LIVE BLOG)

December 4, 2017

7:15 AM: Alarm goes off.

7:45 AM: Added a new element to my pregame routine: meditation. This weekend I got a meditation bench and a zabuton and this morning I did my first session. I have to admit… my preparation was poor. I basically skimmed through Tommy Angelo‘s Painless Poker and tried to find where he was talking about his routine and tried to hastily apply it. Eventually I want to have it dialed in so well that it becomes habit, but even if I’m not really ready, I figure something is better than nothing.

So far, I feel the same as I did yesterday.

On the other hand, I got a better night’s sleep than usual and I’m hoping I can parlay that rest into my first good $15/$30 session because right now it looks like this:

11/20/2017: +$25 in 16.25 hours
11/27/2017: -$695 in 13 hours

It’s stupid to set financial goals, but I’m going to make one anyway: +$2000.

Let’s get to it.

10:18 AM: Waiting at Starbucks for some coffee.

I did yoga for an hour this morning and can it be possible that I’m actually getting weaker? We did some stuff with legs and my body was like “NO.”

I do enjoy yoga though. I’ve gone to nine consecutive classes without missing one – consistency I’m surprised by.

What I need to do is work in some strength training. Mondays and Wednesdays are yoga days but I don’t have time after class to workout because those are the only two days I participate in a poker game with a scheduled start time.

11:02 AM: 17 names on the list today. They haven’t even tried to start the game yet. It actually looks like it might start full today though.

A player that berated me last week is on the list. I really hope he plays.

Here’s the hand:

Four players limp, he raises from SB, I defend A2o.

Flop is A high, disconnected but with three clubs. SB checks, I check, EP bets, SB calls, I call. I have 2 of clubs. It’s all very marginal.

Turn is T of clubs and it checks around.

River is a blank. We both check and EP bets. SB calls. I don’t love it, but I overcall.

EP has AJ no club, SB has AT no club. I win.

Dude in small blind is like “how can you call that? Did you see my hand? You think I have nothing?”

Let’s review. He raises from the small blind in a multiway pot and then checks three times when the board runs out four clubs. Yeah, really marking you for a flush, bud.

Then he starts berating the other player in the hand for how he’s holding his cards, saying I can see them. I mean… maybe I could? If I was looking. But I’m not. And I never do.

The other player checked the turn when the four card flush got there. He probably doesn’t have a good flush and if he has a weak one betting the river doesn’t make much sense.

So my call is super easy.

A few hands go by and the guy from the small blind picks up his chips but stops by me, leans over, and says “what did you have again? A2 offsuit? And I raised? You’re no different than me.”

I never said I was! My only interaction with this guy that day was:

“Did you use to work here?”

“Yes.”

So I don’t know where all this anger and craziness came from… but…

He just sat down in $15/$30 and I’ll be looking forward to giving him more hands to cry about today.

11:16 AM: Cards still not in the air. Looks like we are starting 8-handed.

I was hoping to start $25/$50 Overs today but only one other player bought in more than $600.

12:24 PM: I refuse to get off to a good start in this game. I’ve been battling a mega-maniac – trying to isolate him (unsuccessfully) and missing flops with ace highs and calling him down – and when I did make top pair he had two pair.

Plus this stupid hand: one limper, maniac raises HJ, I 3-bet A5o and the SB cold caps it. Limper doesn’t fold and four of us go to the flop. Sigh.

Flop is 743 with two clubs, giving me a double gutter and a backdoor flush draw – a pretty great flop for me in this situation. They all check to me. SB seems to be on a good ace high. I bet, they all call.

Turn pairs the 7 and they all check again and since I can still have all the good hands in my range, I bet again. SB and maniac call.

River is a Q and they both check. My hand is never good here, so I don’t have showdown value. I also feel like the small blind is rarely folding, but I can’t check. I’m getting 14-1 on a bluff so if he folds as little as 7% of the time betting is profitable, even though it feels like I’m lighting $30 on fire most of the time. Another thing working for me here is he has a maniac to act behind him that is folding no pair and capable of bluff-raising the river.

The small blind does call though and he wins with AK high and I’m already down $600.

12:48 PM: An old school All Star Lanes regular, that I’ve never seen at the Palace or in a game bigger than $4/$8, just sat down in $15/$30.

1:05 PM: False alarm! Just had my first real heater in this game, thanks to AA holding w/out a showdown, and these two hands:

I have 3-bet the maniac three of the last four hands, this time with T8dd and the player in the small blind comments: “don’t let him push you around, Mike.”

I get two cold callers and then the small blind caps it. We are five ways to the Q96, one diamond flop. The SB and maniac make sure the flop gets capped and four of us go to the turn.

A beauty! 7 of diamonds. SB leads, maniac raises all in, I 3-bet and the other two call.

K on river and no one has JT and I win a monster.

Then I flop a set of 7s in a multiway pot with multiple bets going in four ways on flop and a raise on the river when I fill up.

Currently up $800, which is the most I’ve been up in this game so far.

1:14 PM: We have seat open and no list. Oh oh. Should be fine, but we have some potential part-timers and at least one person that doesn’t like playing “short.”

1:24: Staff is unprepared for this game today, I guess. They were seating players with green ($25) chips which is whatever, but now people are sitting down with black ($100) chips. No way is that optimal. And it’s not even 1:30 yet.

2:21 PM: We are now 7-handed. Reinforcements please!

I prefer playing short-handed but most people don’t and this game breaking early would be a personal nightmare.

2:29 PM: Pretty uneventful 90 minutes, except these two hands:

Two limpers, I complete Q8o, BB checks.

Flop is Q44, two hearts. I check, BB bets, limpers fold, I raise, he calls.

Turn is a blank. I bet, he calls.

River is an Ace and we both check. I table and he confidently rolls J9o.

Solid misread in my favor.

Next notable hand: there are multiple limpers and a late position player raises. I defend with the 6 of clubs and a black 5.

Flop comes A43 with two clubs. I look at my second card and it’s the 5 of clubs. I have a monster and since the raise came from LP and I want to get as much money in the pot as possible, I lead out. There’s a flat, a raise, a cold call, I 3-bet, call, cap, call.

Turn is a Jc and I lead my flush. The flop aggressor is my only customer.

River Q. I bet and win the showdown.

Currently +$1100.

2:38 PM: Dude that lit me up for that A2o hand I described earlier just asked me if it was hard to shave my beard.

Never fails to amaze me how people think they can oscillate between being a total asshole and friendly to you at the poker table. It seems that if they win a pot or it’s a new day, all past behavior is forgiven.

I don’t really care, but I don’t really like people like this either.

When they do stuff like this, I put up a friendly facade, but what I’m really thinking is “get bent.”

2:46 PM: Sometimes the price is wrong.

I just defended 65 again from the big blind in a multiway pot.

The flop was A98 with two clubs and when the action got back to me I was getting 15 to 1, more than enough to call profitably with a gutshot.

But not all gutshots are created equal.

First off, there’s a flush draw available so maybe I only have three outs.

Secondly, JT is such a common hand for people to play and a 7 gives that hand a better straight.

I think if one decided to fold this flop with my hand it wouldn’t be that bad.

I call though and, of course, I turn my straight and, of course, someone has JT and I wind up losing multiple big bets.

3:29 PM: If you read my post last Monday, I mentioned that I was getting wrecked by a nit.

I guess he’s really comfortable in this game now cause he just showed 65o UTG+1 and 54o UTG the last two hands. Yum yum!

4:01 PM: Not a good 90 minutes. Lost that 65 v JT on A987x board plus some other unfavorable run outs.

I just seat changed because one of the players on my left is playing absurdly loose and I wish to punish him.

+$400 now.

5:19 PM: AQ is a pretty good hand.

First I raise a bunch of limpers with AQcc from the cutoff. Flop is 852 with two clubs. I bet and get two callers.

The turn is the T of clubs and I bet, one call, and the other player check-raises; I double-check my hand and 3-bet, the player in between mucks, and the other guy caps. Yay!

Unfortunately, the river is a J of clubs and I don’t get the two big bets I think I would if it bricked. But I do get called and win a big pot.

Next orbit, I’m on the button with AQo and raise another series of limpers.

Flop is pretty solid: QQ4 rainbow. They check to me and I get three callers, which is amazing because it almost always means I’m getting raised on the turn.

It doesn’t quite go down like that. The turn is a 6 and the big blind leads out. I raise him and he 3-bets me. I consider calling because any reasonable player would realize I have a strong Queen here a lot of the time – but I’m not sure he qualifies, plus he’s in the big blind. So I cap it.

The river is a blank and I’m very happy to see him check-call. My hand is good.

+$900 now.

5:35 PM: Radio Mike is in the game! In his first 20 minutes he has already raised about six hands, got off to a hot start, and just pantomimed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger after his AJ ran into J9 on J9998.

5:49 PM: Is it getting hot in here? I feel like I’m getting sweaty… is my blood sugar low?

No.

THE HUMAN TORCH IS IN THE BUILDING.

6:11 PM: The Torch just sat down with less than $300…

…and Radio Mike just sucked out on him on the river first hand he’s dealt in.

None of these things are good news.

But The Torch is in the game.

6:14 PM: The Torch is all in and felted on his second hand dealt in.

He just reloaded for $200.

Hopefully he has about 10 more of those short buys.

6:41 PM: The Torch has felted three times already, for a total of about $700, and just reloaded for another $140, which I don’t even know is legal – I can’t remember if it was here or Fortune that recently changed their short buy policy.

6:46 PM: The Torch just left Radio Mike in ashes after he ran Mike’s 22 down on 882×3 with pocket threes – despite the fact an 8 was in the hand helping Mike put max pressure on.

But The Torch didn’t come here to make easy folds!

The game is in a precarious situation. We are 7-handed with no list (there are two call ins) and two players (mentioned above) are probably on mega steam and might be itching to snap quit at the next bad beat.

7:20 PM: I’ve been pretty hot which is always nice, but it’s particularly fortunate because this game is on FUMES.

The Torch is felted for the fourth time and done for the night.

Five players have either passed on the game or sat down for an orbit and moved to $8/$16.

And a player has been sitting out for multiple orbits.

There are currently six active players. One has a very short stack and another is so tilted I’m surprised he hasn’t left already.

Hopefully these guys are willing to play short because I sure am!

I normally don’t chop 6-handed but the guy to my right is definitely an always chop no matter how short the game is kind of dude and he’s also the player that’s on super steam… so I’ll bring it up later. Lol

Currently up about $1700!

7:53 PM: Just picked up two new players.

First hand one of them limps in middle position and I raise AK on the button and bet all three streets when it runs out K9258 and he’s in total check-call mode so I’m kind of stunned when he rolls over 95dd.

Welcome to the game, champ.

8:36 PM: Just raised a limper with AThh on the button and both blinds tagged along.

Flop is T42 with one club and one heart. I bet and the small blind check-raises. The other two players fold and I flat to raise the turn, which will be Overs – the first time this game has seen a $50 bet.

He leads out on the 8 of clubs, I raise him, and… he 3-bets me. Gulp.

I don’t have a ton of history with him yet, but he’s played tight in this game and hasn’t been overly aggressive so I expect to be losing this pot. I call though.

River is a 9 and he checks. I still don’t think I can be good but I’m happy about the free showdown.

He shows JT of clubs, which turned a flush draw, and I’m good!

8:44 PM: Open AQss UTG and get multiway action.

Flop is K95. All spades. I don’t win this pot. I put in four bets on the turn when the 9 pairs against a player that can have a hand as bad as trips here and wind up losing to 55. Blech.

A minor hiccup in what has been a flurry of run good for me. Currently up a little over $1800.

8:55 PM: Speaking of Overs… I’ve had a button all day long by myself and someone finally asked about it after sitting down with $300 in a $15/$30 game… and then asked for one… and didn’t add chips.

And now he’s busto.

9:01 PM: And he just reloaded for $200… which is four big bets in Overs.

My blog needs emoticons. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

10:04 PM: Nothing much new to report. They beat Radio Mike into submission. The short stack with Overs is unsurprisingly busted. We are currently 7-handed and have a feeling we won’t be picking up many players from now on.

10:22 PM: Shocking development: a $4/$8 regular, that may or may not read my blog, just sat in $15/$30 with $1700. In the 3+ years I’ve been playing here regularly I’ve seen him play $8/$16 once or twice so… kind of a big deal. Good luck!

11:23 PM: I’ve gone stagnant. Except for this hand:

One player limps, I raise 88 from cutoff. Four players to Q86, two heart flop. The limper donks into me, I raise, the BB calls, limper calls.

Turn 5 and they both check-call.

River is a sexy 9 of hearts. So like I’m never winning now. Limper bets, I call, and lose to his 52 of hearts.

I won a couple decent pots while I was typing this. Back to +$1700.

Two players just left though and we are 6-handed now and no longer chopping in the blinds – or what I like to call My Happy Place.

12:17 AM: Updates are going to be hard to come by. We are playing 4-handed now so I can’t really take any breaks and I’m playing basically every hand dealt to me.

12:47 AM: 3-handed now… because a player busted on this hand:

First to act opens, button 3-bets, small blind caps, and I have AQo in the big blind. And I want to fold it. Ludicrous. That’s ludicrous, right?

I just think the button is 3-betting tighter than he should be and I know the small blind is capping a narrow range.

But we’re 4-handed. Folding is ludicrous. It has to be. So I call.

Flop is AJ8 rainbow. SB leads, I raise, UTG folds, the button calls, BB 3-bets, I call, button caps. Goddammit.

The turn is a blank and the BB has one big bet left so he puts it in. Sigh. Can I possibly fold now? Knowing the button will raise here a lot? Ugh. I call, button raises, I CALL.

River is not a Queen. This is swell. Just swell. Now I’m heads up against the only player with an Overs button. And I have the best hand like never. He bets and I still want to fold. For the third time. But then I start looking at the pot size and, I mean, how can I?

I call. Button has A8. Small blind has AK.

Total disaster.

And to illustrate how hard it is to update playing 3-handed, I started this post at 12:47 am and it’s now 1:24.

So… don’t expect anymore updates until these guys give up.

2:55 AM: Just got home. Wrap up coming soon.

3:22 AM: I’m going to be honest. I just put on a 3-handed clinic. I also ran better than both of my opponents, which didn’t hurt. And I got one hell of a compliment. After absolutely torturing them and sending one of them to the felt, he turned to me and said “you’re a great player, man.” He was sincere, which was surprising because I could see how visibly frustrated he was. That was about the last thing I was expecting.

I was obviously in a pretty good position before we got super short, so it should be no surprise that after running good in that situation I finished in a very good spot… at +$2725.

It’s always nice when you set a goal and exceed it!

My friend BVR is threatening to make an appearance next week in the comments. That should definitely be entertaining if he follows through!