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$30/$60 Limit Hold’em (LIVE BLOG [maybe])

January 7, 2018

9:30 AM: Today is supposed to be the first day of $30/$60 limit hold’em at Palace on a Sunday, but I’m honestly not sure what to expect. Long term, the game definitely has a chance to succeed on Sundays if players from outside of the Lakewood area come to play in it. That’s obviously more likely to happen on a Sunday than on a Tuesday at 4 PM when everyone would have to drive through traffic to get there.

When I left Palace last night, there were nine names on the list. Now there are ten. I think the game will probably happen though. I know for a fact at least three players will be there and two of them are allegedly bringing friends that will play. I’m guessing about 30-40% of the list are guaranteed flakes, so chances are the game will be starting with 5-7 players and hopefully they will play long enough for other people to venture in or for existing players to take their $500 shots at the game.

I’ve had an odd weekend so far. I played in a $10/$20 house game on Friday night that featured a ton of games I either have zero or little experience in. It’s impossible for me to pass up this opportunity to learn new games – especially since the other players aren’t particular experienced either – but learning at the $10/$20 level isn’t exactly ideal. I think our lineup of games looked something like this: double board omaha, razz, stud hi, stud 8, omaha 8, limit hold’em, badugi, badeucy, archie, drawmaha, and 2-7 triple draw. It was a blast, but I got cooked. We spent the last 60-90 minutes playing only double board omaha, archie, and drawmaha – all games I’ve never played a hand of before Friday. I lost $1115 which is kind of absurd, but I had fun and I’d go back in a heartbeat. Obviously learning new games is fun and I like to have all the skill sets in my repertoire and if there’s a mix game option available when I travel, I would usually prefer to play in those games.

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to head to the casino I started to wonder if I really wanted to play. The answer was unclear. I’ve been pushing myself lately. I sort of took the 2nd off, but I did stop in the casino to eat something and I played $4/$8 for 90 minutes and my last day off before that was Christmas Day. Since the 26th of December, I’ve played 108 hours of poker – almost three weeks of work in a 10 day span. That’s an average session length of 12 hours for 10 days with only one day off.

So I guess I hit a wall yesterday. I decided to go to the casino anyway and it didn’t take long for me to start thinking it would be a short day. The two biggest action players in the game smashed me over the first 30 minutes and immediately racked up and left. The game is rarely bad at Palace, especially on a Saturday, but I was in one of the worst $8/$16 games I’ve played in there. The main game looked really good, but my wife was in that game and so was the Palace cornerstone who I have a long-standing agreement to never bet against – the only poker player in the world I have this arrangement with. And I really don’t enjoy playing with either of them. Well, I actually do enjoy playing with my wife – because we play hardcore poker against each other – but after being accused of collusion somewhere around 3-4 times, I’ve grown wary of it. I mean sometimes she has AK when I have AA and the board runs out KxxAx and other people are in the pot with us. Plus, we have a ton of experience with each other and know each other’s ranges and tendencies pretty well, but I feel like I can’t exploit that knowledge without occasionally raising an eyebrow. So I try to avoid playing with her these days.

After a while of playing in a bad game, running mediocre/bad, and realizing I wasn’t going to be table-changing, I just decided to go home instead and potentially rest up for the $30/$60 game today. I’m not exactly sure how much sleep I got, but I was in bed by 7:30 PM. I fell asleep pretty quick, but I woke up later for several hours and then basically every 90 minutes or so all throughout the night. I hit snooze a number of times this morning, but I feel pretty great now.

Just finished my coffee and I’m about to jump in the shower, head to the Palace, and see what’s going on.

11:25AM: As expected, most of the names on the list didn’t show up. 14 names on the board and six of us are here playing.

Starting lineup:

Chief Wiggum – my WSOP backer that I gave a different name in a previous blog post.

Jesus (not my nickname for him; everybody’s nickname for him): a Fortune reg that hasn’t cut his hair or shaved in 5 years.

Bill W – a local recovery center owning I’m naming after one of the AA founders.

Unknown – one of the action players that torched me in 8/16 last night – obviously playing way over his head and sitting down with $500.

Regular – another Fortune reg that I’ve seen all over the place when I travel. Lots of experience and has played higher limits. I run into this guy everywhere so he needs a nickname. I’ll think on it.

11:47 AM: Picked up player #7. Another unknown random sitting down with ~$700.

11:58 AM: First notable hand: Bill W limps early, unknown raises, I 3-bet QQ from the SB and they both call.

Flop is J94 with two diamonds. I bet, Bill W raises, unknown folds, I 3-bet, and he caps it. I call down and he wins with J9ss.

12:14 PM: We are joined by an 8th player, a Palace regular that plays all the bigger games here and is in and out of the building all day long every day. I will call him Part-Time.

12:42 PM: Folds to me in the small blind – with a $3 total rake at these stakes I don’t see any reason to chop – and I raise with KJo. Chief Wiggum defends his blind.

Flop is 942 rainbow and I bet-call.

Turn is a T and since his most likely hands are pairs of 9s or worse, I feel like I have good equity against his range and possible double barrel fold equity, so I check-raise. He calls.

River is an 8; I bet and he calls. I roll my hand and The Legend is in the box and snap mucks my hand and I’m like “What?”

Apparently, Chief Wiggum raised the river and I didn’t see it and the assumption was that I was folding, which would definitely be true. A little unnecessary advertising and image-building on my part.

1 PM: The random that sat down with $700 is felted and gone so we are back to 7-handed.

The unnamed reg from Fortune looks pretty alert today but he usually appears on the verge of sleep, so tired he can barely keep his eyes open. He will be Rip Van Winkle.

The other unknown player is stacked up – sat down with $500 and probably has $2k now.

1:22 PM: Good orbit:

A few limpers, I raise KK in SB, Wiggum defends, others call.

Flop J63cc. Chief Wiggum pops me, I 3-bet, he caps it. Hmm… he’s pretty straight forward. I guess I’m calling down now.

Turn T; check-call.

River T; now I’m ahead of all the random two pair hands and only losing to 66 and 33. JJ is not in his range and I doubt he’d play JT like it was the nuts on the flop, so I lead and he calls and shows AJ.

One limper, Part-Time raises cutoff, I 3-bet AK on the button and Chief Wiggum caps from the SB. Three of us see the flop.

Board comes down K32, Wiggum leads, PT calls, I raise, and only Wiggum calls – and then he calls down when the board runs out clean and I’m good.

I open KTo, button calls, Rip defends BB; flop 987 and I check to balance my non-c-betting range. It checks around. Turn is a 6 and Rip leads out, I call and the button folds. River is a king and he check-calls and my straight is good.

1:43 PM: The other random player just left with about $1k, so we are back to 6-handed with one call in on the way.

I’ve been running white hot. I’ve had TT four times, KK twice, QQ. I’ve lost with three of those hands but I’ve definitely been run really well overall. I haven’t counted but I might be up $1500 already.

2:08 PM: Momentum halted. Part-Time opens JTo and outflops my AJdd and then limps in with KTo and outflops my JJ.

Lots of premium starting hands so far today and even though I’ve lost with nearly half of them I doubt anyone at the table is feeling any pity for me. I’m certainly running better than anyone else in the game so far.

We are joined by a good friend of mine. He has crazy amounts of money invested in Crypto currencies and convinced me to throw down on Ripple. I will call him The Crypt Keeper.

2:33 PM: This happened a while ago but it was significant. There’s action in front of me, I 3-bet JJ on the button, Bill W takes three cold from the Big and five of us see the flop.

I think some players check-call me on the 932 rainbow flop and then Bill W check-raises me on a blank turn. I decide to call down since we are heads up now, but I’m not sure it makes sense. He’s a reasonable player and he’s so set-heavy here with no two pair hands in his range and only TT as a possible overpair that I’m beating. Plus he reeked confidence. But I called down and he had 99.

2:46 PM: Only up like $400 now. I’ve had TT-KK an absurd 11 times and I’ve lost with six of them. That’s pretty bad playing 6- or 7-handed.

3:03 PM: I open QQ utg, Rip Van Winkle three bets from the SB, Part-Time calls, and I cap.

Flop comes K83 rainbow and I decide to check back. Way ahead or way behind here.

Turn is a blank and only Rip check-calls.

River bricks and I’m confident he never check-calls a king twice so I bet, he calls, and I win.

Two hands later Part-Time opens on the button and I 3-bet JJ from the SB. Flop is T83 with two spades and I bet-call.

Turn is 7s and I check-call again. Whiff my flush draw and gut shot and bluff catch on the river but he has Q4ss for a flush.

Yes, that’s TT+ 13 times in four hours now and I’m barely up.

A few hands later I open KJo from the cutoff and The Crypt Keeper defends. Flop is QT3 all clubs and I have none. He check-calls. Turn pairs the 3 and we both check because I don’t think triple barreling this hand is going to work.

River double pairs the board with the Q, he leads out and I snap-call. He has a naked ace and I reward his misguided value bet. I’m never folding KK, JJ, or any boat, or ace high. And what am I calling with? Basically nothing and somehow I have literally the only two card combo I would call and lose with.

3:39 PM: And now, amazingly, I am stuck, after running AK into AA on an Ace-high board in a 4-bet pot vs Bill W. Wonderful. Running like white hot lightning preflop and somehow finding a way to be losing.

4:10 PM: We are 5-handed now. Bill W lost a couple of big hands back-to-back and apparently that was more variance than he could handle cause he immediately racked up and left us for $6/$12 O8.

We are one player leaving away from having a really bad game.

4:30 PM: I have now had 99+ somewhere around 20 times today and I am stuck over $1000. That would be hard to do in a full game but we have been 6-handed most of the day. Insane.

5:15 PM: This hand feels like my last few hours in a nutshell: I open QQ utg, Crypt Keeper 3-bets the button and Part-Time cold calls from the big. I just call.

Flop is K83. Checks to Crypt Keeper, he bets, Part-Time raises, and we both fold. Just gross.

Or this one: I open JTcc, Crypt Keeper cold calls from the SB and Jesus defends his big.

I c-bet the Q87 flop and give up when the they both call and the turn bricks. I miss my gut shot plus backdoor flush draw but Crypt Keeper hit his backdoor flush draw with J9ss.

5:45 PM: Shocking development: we have a full game now and it’s not bad. Pay-Off Pete is on the table and is currently NOT on pace to match his $9k win the last time we played this game.

6:26: And we’re back to 7-handed. Part-Time actually played a reasonably long session for him and Jesus had a family emergency.

The game has gotten kind of limpy with the recent additions. No complaints from me. I haven’t really played any interesting hands recently but I did stop getting big pairs every orbit and I’ve actually ran a little better. Go figure!

6:32 PM: And just like that we are 6-handed again. One of the more splashy Palace regs sat down for like 15 minutes, beat Peter out of three big pots, and cashed out. Ouch!

The game is hanging by a thread all of the sudden.

7:22 PM: 4-handed now. I open SB with AKcc. Peter defends.

Flop JcTc3. Peter calls. Turn pairs the Ten and I think he never has anything here and will bet his air a lot so I plan to check-raise. He checks back though. River is a 4 and I check-call. He has Q4o.

We will all be looking forward to his thoughts on that one in the comments section.

7:38 PM: Fortune reg opens, I 3-bet button with ATo, he calls.

Flop AJ8 with two spades and he check-calls.

Turn is a Ten giving me two pair and now he check-raises. I hate it. Definitely not the kind of board texture I’m happy about this situation. I call.

River Ace! Bink. He still leads and I get two big bets from him.

8:12 PM: Game is over. I’m headed home. I’m going to hang out with my wife for a bit before she goes to sleep and then I will post a wrap up.

10:13 PM: Ended up finishing the session -$839. Pretty unfortunate. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking this sounds like an exaggeration but I had 99+ around thirty times today. Thirty. And we played short-handed for most of the day. And I lost money? Seems ridiculous, but poker loves to bring out the seemingly impossible. I had about an hour of walking on water before losing most of the big pots I played throughout the day.

I won’t be playing in this game next week so I don’t know if it will go or not. I’m flying to Burbank to play in the LAPC at Commerce next Sunday.

Not sure if I will be posting a Marathon Monday live blog tomorrow.  There were only four names signed up to start the game at 11 AM – by far the least I’ve seen heading into game day.  I will be there at 11 but if it doesn’t look like it will start, I’m going to head home and get some other things done and have someone text me when they are ready to play.

5 comments

  1. Suggestion… call Jesse the troller on account that he loves to verbally troll his opponents… or something to do with magic the gathering… he is or was a world class player.


    • Lol


  2. I should have taken a picture of the q4o pot. I would absolutely frame it.


    • I’d buy a copy of the picture, get it signed by both players, and hang it in my office. Or maybe on the wall of the Palace next to the Monte Carlo board.


      • I would love to see that picture hanging in your office, Mike.



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