$30/$60 @ Palace (1/21/2018 – LIVE BLOG)

January 21, 2018

9:10 AM: Backpacks and meditation are back! The $30/$60 game @ Palace is supposed to start at 11 AM, but who knows if that will actually happen. What did happen was this game went until 5 AM last Sunday when I was in California. That’s impressive!

I played a very short and unhappy $8/$16 session last night. It was 9 PM before we headed to the casino and I needed to be up early today, so my head and heart weren’t in it. What I really wanted to do was play some $6/$12 Omaha 8/Better for a few hours until my wife was ready to go home, but somehow I went from 2nd on the list when I put my name up to 4th on the list and then I got slaughtered for -$300 in less than an hour in a short-handed game. Playing short sessions is one of my pet peeves and when I know it’s going to happen (like when I’m waiting for a seat in a game I want or we are on a time restriction like last night) I typically drop down in limits ($4-$8) or play a lower variance game (like Omaha 8). So after donating $300 and watching the game disintegrate before my eyes (like my chip stack), I was still third up for O8 and I didn’t want to play full ring LHE, so I just went home.

When I left there were 7 names on the list for $30/$60 today. The question is, will those seven names be there at 11 AM when the game is supposed to start, or am I waking up early for no reason? Probably the latter. I’ve suggested a later start time for this game, but so far it hasn’t happened. I think a 2 PM start would get off the ground much more successfully. We’ll see though.

I think this is a good time to thank everyone for their support. My decision to start blogging my poker exploits has been a pretty huge one. I have long felt like reviewing movies is somewhat of a chore to me, but I find that I thoroughly enjoy writing about poker and the people that follow me certainly seem to prefer poker content. January 2018 is already the busiest month my blog has ever seen – and before that, December 2017 and November 2017 were my best months ever. In fact, January 2018 has been such a huge month that it has already surpassed the total amount of views my blog got in all of 2016 and will pass my total for 2015 by the end of the month. The increase in traffic has been insane and I’m happy that so many people seem to be enjoying what I’m doing. It’s pretty cool. I believe there is a way to follow the blog and be notified each time I make a new post if you wish to have updates sent to you. Thanks again!

I’m going to spend the next 90 minutes meditating, doing a little exercising, drinking coffee and getting ready and then I’ll go see what’s happening at Palace.

11:02 AM: Batman can always count on The Riddler for genuine assistance. He said he’s playing at Palace, so I text him and ask him to tell the floor I’m on my way but might be a few minutes late because I don’t want to lose my seat and he replies: “I will make an announcement to the room.”

No shock here. 10 names on the list to start the game and so far three of us have showed up. Of the seven current no shows, I feel like only one of them is guaranteed to walk in the door in the next thirty minutes, so it could be a while before this thing takes off.

Trying to assimilate my wife to this new limit for us, as I’m about to leave the house I say, “Welp. Time for me to go win or lose thousands of dollars!”

11:27 PM: Only five us here and no one is excited about the lineup. One of them doesn’t want to start 5-handed and another doesn’t want to start 4-handed. I’m not sure a sixth player is going to trickle in within the next thirty minutes and one of these guys is already talking about taking off.

This game might not happen today.

11:49 AM: Cards are in the air. Playing 4-handed. Nothing like some high stakes short-handed variance to wake you up in the morning!

Hopefully the game going will be noticed on Bravo and bring some players in.

As usual, playing short-handed isn’t very conducive to live blogging, so probably won’t post many hands until we start to fill up.

11:57 AM: The game just got a little less sharky. A Palace reg that has only recently stepped up to $8/$16 just sat down with $1000. Rooting for him against these Fortune regs!

12:31 PM: We are 6-handed now. A rundown of my opponents: there are three regulars from the Fortune $20/$40 game – one of which I think is one of the strongest players there – and two Palace regs, both of which I suspect are playing above their comfort level.

Notable hands so far:

-I open SB with QJ and the big defends. Flop is KTx and I bet-call. I don’t suspect this player to raise this flop and fold at some point so I’m just check-calling and trying to make something now. I turn a jack, which makes me showdown bound and check-call again. The river gives me a straight and I lead and do not get called.

-Button opens, I 3-bet KJ from SB, big calls, button calls. Flop QT9 with two clubs. I bet, big raises, button calls, I call. I reraise here a lot – especially since the board is wet – but I suspect I will get a check-raise in on the turn the majority of time, so I take that line. The turn is the deuce of clubs (and I don’t have one) and I don’t love the situation but I execute anyway and both players fold when I raise.

-I open AK from cutoff, button and small blind call, big folds. Flop is KQ5 rainbow. I bet and both players raise. The small blind is a very good player, so I expect him to have KQ a lot here. Maybe 55. He definitely could have hands like KJs and KTs though, so I’m never folding. The turn card solves most of my problems though as I make top two pair and the good Fortune reg check-calls me down.

12:50 PM: The most recent player already quit. He sat down and played one orbit and then moved to $3/$6! LOL. You don’t see someone move from a $30/$60 game to a $3/$6 game every day.

1:00 PM: Super Dave is here to save the day! He just sat down with $2000 and these guys have no idea how much this game just changed.

1:08 PM: We are 8-handed! Rooting for Super Dave vs The World!

1:22 PM: Super Dave button straddles, I 3-bet TT from the big, a non-reg is not phased by the $90 cold from MP, and three of us see the 864 flop. I bet, MP raises, and Super Dave calls. 3-betting here is fine, but I just call, planning to bet safe turns and possibly fold to a raise from MP. The jack is pretty safe, so I bet and they both call. River pairs the jack, I bet, MP calls, and Super Dave makes a miraculous fold with K8. I win the pot.

Just lost a big one: Super Dave opens, there’s a call, I 3-bet AQdd and it gets capped. I get it capped on the 865dd flop, with all three of us still in. I check back the 6 and fold on the river when Super Dave bets and the other player calls. Dave shows Q7o and the caller wins with A8.

1:41 PM: Super Dave straddles, SB folds, I have QT in the big. I’m always defending this hand but this table isn’t super active and I think I’m better off 3-betting and trying to get heads up with the maniac. Mission failed. UTG 4-bets and Super Dave 5-bets. Flop is AQx with two diamonds. It checks around. Turn is the Qd. I think UTG probably has an ace, so I opt for a check-raise here and it works spectacularly. Both players put in two big bets on the turn. The river is the 8d and I check-call to induce bluffs. UTG bets and shows KQ with no diamond. Oh, so that’s why my turn check-raise worked? Whoops!

Edit: I forgot to mention I had the Td. I won this pot.

2:48 PM: Sorry, I was focusing on eating for a bit there. It’s been a pretty solid start for me. I’ve made the nuts twice with AK in showdown pots and I’ve been getting premium hands in my big blind when Super Dave button straddles (and sucking out with QTo when I’m not!) and I’ve only lost one of these scenarios.

As is, I’m up about $1500 after taking my first break.

Pesky Pete is first up on the list and he’s already been waiting an hour and if there’s any justice in this world, any justice at all, he will wait two more hours and take Super Dave’s empty seat.

3:10 PM: Super Dave is torturing two of the Fortune regs. I haven’t lost any meaningful pots to him yet and he appears to be up about $1500 playing about 85% of hands dealt.

3:12 PM: The $8/$16 shot-taker got a nice little bink and Pesky Pete gets to gamble with Super Dave. Boooooooo!

3:37 PM: UTG+1 opens, I 3-bet 77 on the button, he calls. I bet flop and turn before checking behind river on 9868Q and my hand is good vs KT. Where’s a 7 when you need one? Nothing too exciting but I just felt like I should post a hand.

3:53 PM: This game is in trouble. Two players have left and a very key player passed on his open seat – even though he was unimpressed with Pesky Pete’s +$9000 win from a few weeks ago because, you know, he’s “won $10,000 in $30/$60 many times.” But as easy as winning $10k in this game is, he’s decided to play $8/$16 instead today.

If Super Dave cashes out, this game is dust.

4:22 PM: I’m getting Super Dave’d now. He button straddles, Peter 3-bets SB, I 4-bet BB with AQcc, both call. Flop J76cc and I wind up lose to Dave’s 33.

I open KJo and only Super Dave defends and I can’t beat his A3o after flopping KQT.

4:46 PM: Super Dave cashed out a little less than $3k. That leaves us 4-handed. I thought the game was over but these guys still want to play. Eh. I think I’m a very good short-handed player, but that doesn’t mean I’m invincible from variance and none of these guys are slouches.

5:04 PM: Battling with Pesky Pete.

I can’t lay down the JT on J77ccTK after we cap flop and I call down. His A7 is good.

I can’t lay down the JT on 862T after getting check-raised on the flop and getting 3-bet on the turn. Fortunately, the river comes a 6, counterfeiting his 82. Obviously, I check back, perplexed, and on a mission to put in $0 with the best hand this pot.

We picked up two players. Game on!

5:12 PM: MP opens, I 3-bet QQ, big blind and opener call. Flop T73 with two diamonds, I bet, big raises, MP calls, I 3-bet, and they both call. Turn is 9d and I don’t have one. I lead, big calls, MP raises, I snap fold, big calls. River 4d, big donks, MP raises, and the big goes deep into the tank before calling with… red aces! Wth.

5:27 PM: Peter is so annoying. He opens cutoff, I 3-bet K9cc, big blind is all in for $35, Peter calls. Flop is QJ3, two diamonds, one club and Peter check-calls. Turn is Kd and he check-raises me. My first instinct is to pay this off in frustration but he’s just never bluffing here and I’m probably drawing dead and I find my zen moment and toss it in the muck. Peter shows T9o and the big blind has 87dd but loses to Peter when the river comes a fourth diamond.

5:40 PM: Peter opens button, I 3-bet with Q8hh, the big blind comes along, and Peter calls. Flop is J32 rainbow with one heart. I bet and both call. Turn pairs the 2 and we check to Peter and he bets. He’s never flatting with a jack on the flop and I would check-raise big pairs here a decent amount, especially since I’ve been missing a lot lately, and I pull the trigger on the total airball check-raise… and they both fold.

6:22 PM: We’re playing a fun game called everyone gets to get there against me. Open 84cc? River a flush. Nice hand. Open 97hh and flop middle pair when I have top pair? Turn trips. Easy game. Open A6o, flop trips 6s, let me turn top pair with KJ and get a check-raise in? Pretty unreal.

6:33 PM: Peter has almost beaten me into submission. And now there’s another player in the game that I seem to be incapable of making a winning hand against. As much fun as it is to lose basically every pot I play in a game that isn’t particularly good anyways, I think I might head home soon.

6:50 PM: KK holds up against Peter. He’s not totally immune to losing pots to me!

The other player I can’t beat is pretty new to me but he’s been playing in the bigger games at Palace since we started spreading them and seems to be a new regular. Since I think I’m yet to win a showdown against him over multiple sessions, this player – who I have previously referred to as Cubs hat – will now be known as Game Genie.

Flopped a set of 7s in a 3-bet pot, so, you know, it’s not all bad.

I’m not going to go out of my way to do this, but we are playing 5-handed and it seems like beating Game Genie in ONE showdown is something that could happen.

8:15 PM: My bad. My good friend (and former roommate) just walked into Palace and I spent the last half hour talking to him on a break.

8:24 PM: First hand back I can’t shake Pesky Pete off ace high on the QQ7Jx run out. I defended the big with K8 and raised the flop and barreled turn which seems optimistic against a probable ace high, but Peter has seen me take this line with a Queen so many times I think he folds a decent amount here. When he tank-calls turn though I know he’s calling river, so I check back that street.

I did the impossible. Pesky opens cutoff, I 3-bet JJ, and four of us see the flop. The board runs out 76297 and I bet all streets and win a showdown against… GAME GENIE!

I deed it!

Game Genie is almost felted and our 5th player just left.

8:43 PM: I quit the $30/$60 game when it got 3-handed. I have to admire the tenacity of one of the remaining players. He’s taking on Peter heads up – even though Peter is basically incapable of losing any pots.

His run in the $30/$60 here has been unreal. Palace has spread the game four times now and he’s had two sessions so good they typically only happen once or twice a year. He won $9k once and I’ll report what tonight’s final total is when he’s done. It’s truly disgusting. One player commented “even he’s irritated by it” referring to me, which he said “is a compliment about your emotional stability” and is definitely a testament to how absurd Peter is running.

Peter plays really well though, so I don’t want to take anything away from his ability. He’s a good player -my toughest regular opponent in the greater Tacoma area – but, my God, the deck is slapping him across the face in these big games.

As for me, I finished $30/$60 at -$685.

I am now playing $4/$8 with my good friend and I’ll be going home as soon as he’s done playing.

UPDATE: Pot-After-Pot Pete won $5780, which he says brings his $30/$60 hourly win rate to $500/hour after four sessions. Incredible!

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