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LAPC Day 1: $15/$30 @ Hollywood Park Casino

January 15, 2018

I will be in Los Angeles playing some tournaments at Commerce over the next few days.

I received news that the $30/$60 at Palace was alive and well yesterday and it lasted until about 5 AM this morning and Jesus sent me this ridiculous photo of his stack:

A lot of outside players came in to play it yesterday and I have to say I am excited about it. Word is already spreading and it’s only going to get bigger.

$15/$30 should be starting shortly in Lakewood and while there will be no Marathon Monday blog from me, Radio Mike has offered to blog the session for me. Whether or not he does so, we will see, but he has his own blog for the Tacoma Rainiers, writes all year long and is one of my funniest friends so I believe it will be high quality if he executes his plan. I will post it tonight or tomorrow morning if he sends me something.

I landed in LA about 3 PM and decided I wanted to play somewhere new. I’ve only ever played at Commerce in SoCal. So I headed to Hollywood Park Casino because I heard they had a $20/$40 O8 game and because it was less than ten minutes from my car rental service and I have to admit I’m nervous about driving in LA traffic because of my anxiety issues last year.

So I show up at HPC and there’s no big O8 game going and really no list to speak of so I found myself in a $15/$30 LHE game that felt more like a $3/$6 or $4/$8 game. It was absurdly passive for a medium stakes game. Players were checking the river heads up out of courtesy, begging for chops when it got folded as far as the cutoff, and multiple times I saw one player limp in and then chop with the blinds instead of seeing the flop.

Normally I would look like a maniac in a game like this, but I went on an epic stretch of being card dead. I was completely handcuffed by the deck – to the point where I was six hours in and I got 87cc folded to me in the cutoff and it felt like I was holding aces under the gun.

It’s funny how variance works sometimes. Last week in the $30/$60 game I had 99+ roughly 30 times and lost over $800 for the day. In this session, I was down like $100ish six hours in and I had had NO hands to play with. I was putting on a folding clinic. It’s pretty frustrating for someone like me to see the game conditions in front of me and not be able to do anything about it – unless I’m willing to start opening with legit garbage.

This is what my session looked like six hours in:

  • AK: 0-3
  • AQ: 1-2, lost to JT on AKQxx
  • AJs: 1-1, won with flop bet
  • KQo: won a couple times with
  • KJo: got the T9xQx runout for my only significant pot
  • KQs, KJs, KTs, QJs, QTs, JTs: zero times combined
  • AA, KK, QQ: zero times
  • JJ: 1-1, won with flop bet
  • TT: 1-1, won with flop bet, turn check, river bet heads up OOP on KJ3JK
  • 88-99: zero times
  • 77: 1-3, flopped set and won with turn bet

And I didn’t have any attractive spots with suited aces or suited connectors either.

My last hour or so went much better – to the point where one player (that was new to the game) kept saying how lucky I was and continually shaking his head while looking at me.

A few key hands:

There’s action in front of me, I 3-bet QQ on the button, everybody calls. At least five of us to the QT5, two spade flop – I have QdQc. I bet, two calls, there’s a check-raise, I 3-bet, and the check-raiser caps and four of us see the turn. It’s the 8 of spades, which probably ranks in my top three worst cards to see. The flop aggressor is still betting and I have the other two still to act behind me. Any of them could have a straight or flush so I can’t really see any merit to raising this turn card. I call and so do the other two. River is the 4 of diamonds; I call a bet and the other two players fold and this genius tables Td5d.

The it’s-time-to-go-home hand: I’m either in the small blind or big blind, I can’t remember. I’m in the 8 seat and I know the 1 seat limps in from UTG or UTG+1 and I see the flop for free or for $5 with K5o. The board comes down KK6 with two clubs and I lead right out in a 4-way pot and the EP player raises, I 3-bet, and he caps. I suppose I’m moderately concerned but then another king rolls off on the turn and I bet my quads. He calls. And then I notice something: the board is KQ6K. Wow. I don’t know how often I completely misread a board card or a hole card, but it can’t be more than once or twice a year. Now I’m perplexed about that flop action and the chances that I actually have the best hand are greatly diminished. But since he just called the turn, I go ahead and bet the blank river, he calls, and my K5 is good… because he has AA! Now when that other player is looking at me shaking his head, I look back and nod along like “you’re not wrong.”

I ended up finishing $15/$30 at +$786.

I will be headed to Commerce shortly for my first event: $350 Omaha 8 or Better starting at 1 PM. I final tabled this event last year and luckboxed a microstack into a 5-way chop for $6000 in my first ever LAPC event. Is a repeat in order? I will keep some notes and possibly post a blog tonight. Hopefully Radio Mike comes through with an entertaining $15/$30 Palace blog tonight!

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