LAPC Day 6: $350 Limit Hold’em @ Commerce

January 26, 2018

This tournament had the same structure as the events I played last week: 10k starting stacks, 30 minute levels. Blinds started at 50/100. Speaking of which, whenever I play flop games I always list the current level as what the small and big blinds are. In Stud formats, I list the level as the betting limits. This is worth noting since I will be playing a H.O.R.S.E. tournament next. Anyways, a nice feature of this LHE event is that all tables were 8-handed. Anyone that thinks 9-handed poker is better than 8-handed really doesn’t have a clue. Please stop griping about that open seat – it’s going to be okay!

My table started 5-handed with three unknown opponents and one guy I have played with here and at the WSOP. Through a little research I finally got a name: Adam Kipnis. He has $126k in lifetime cashes, almost all of which have come in the annual SoCal series. His biggest cash is $18k for a second place finish in a Deep Stack Extravaganza PLO8 at Venetian last June. Kudos to him. He seems to be doing well and is definitely someone I have recognized over the last few years. The rest of my table seemed pretty soft, including a middle-aged lady in a visor that open-limped 86 suited on the first hand of 5-handed play.

Notable Hands L1-L4

Blinds 100/200, I open with KK and the button 3-bets. I call to disguise my hand and trap later but when the flop comes ace high, I just check-call flop and turn before inexplicably getting a free showdown against AA on the river (one card wheel and backdoor flushes got there, but come on).

Blinds 100/200, I 3-bet a cutoff open from Adam with 66 from the small blind, he calls. Flop is 543 with two clubs (I have one) and I bet and 3-bet. It’s hard to imagine I’m doing poorly against many hands here. I barrel the 8c turn and check the 7c river, not really looking to value bet a six high one card flush. Adam checks back and shows me how “lucky” I got to outdraw his A2.

Blinds 150/300, I bust a player after we cap pre and get it in on the flop when my AK outflops his JJ.

I forgot to mention that Pheels-Bad Pete followed me out to LA and is playing this event as well. I will track his progress also.

First Break: Dark Knight 12.4K, Peter 1.8K

Notable Hands L5-L8

Peter busts his first bullet pretty quickly after the break and fires a second one.

Blinds 200/400, UTG opens, I 3-bet AA next to act, the field clears out and he calls. Flop 632 and he check-calls. Turn 8 and he check-raises now. In retrospect, this is probably a clear 3-bet. I’m really only losing to 88 and a bunch of hands that are typically not raising UTG at an 8-handed table. But I took the cautious route and called him down and he showed… AA! Wow.

Blinds 200/400, a middle position player opens and I defend J9dd. Flop is Q95 and I feel my hand plays a bit better as a check-raise than a check-call, so that’s the line I take. He calls and then calls again on K turn. River bricks and I think if I bet again I might as well be bluffing. This board is better for his range than mine so I just give up, but he checks back and… beats me with A9.

Blinds 200/400, hi-jack opens and I 3-bet QThh from the cutoff. I’ve seen this player open T7s from an earlier position so not 3-betting this hand would be criminal. The small blind and hi-jack both call. I bet flop and turn on T997 and the small blind is calling. Final board reads T9977 and he checks again. At first glance it might look like I should be betting, but what hands can he call with that I beat? All his small pairs have been counterfeit. Maybe he calls A8s? Maybe he hung around with AK or AQ? He would probably call those hands. I think he might play JJ this way and probably ATs and KTs. I can’t imagine him calling a 3-bet with too many other Tx combos. I think most of the time he calls I probably lose, so I check back and beat his JTs. And then he says “you 3-bet with queen ten suited?” The guy that calls three bets with JT suited, from the small blind, says that. I love poker players. They never cease to amaze me with their weird and faulty logic.

Blinds 300/500, I open A8ss UTG (a little frisky, but table is mostly playing tight and straightforward) and only the big blind defends. Flop is 754 one spade and it’s not surprising when I get check-raised on this board texture. My hand actually has disguised equity so I’m happy to continue here. The turn pairs the 4 and I call again. The river is a king and creates an interesting dynamic. If he checks here, I expect to never win. If he bets, I like my hand a lot more. Reason being, if he had a pair, it’s unlikely he would value bet it on this river. He would typically check-call and hope he’s good. But if he’s been bluffing, he has to bet to win, so a river bet is way less scary than a river check ironically. Of course, he could have really strong hands like trips and straights, but a river bet has a lot of bluffs too. I’m pretty happy when he bets and I snap-call and win the pot vs queen high.

Blinds 300/600, button opens, I 3-bet QJo and the big blind caps it. We both call. The big blind is all in for another 300 on AKx and we both call, check the A turn, and button folds when I bet my straight on the T river. Big blind reveals JJ and I bust that player for the second time – both times when he had JJ, something he’s telling anyone listening as he’s exiting the tournament area.

Blinds 300/600, I defend an open with K8. Flop is KT4 and I decide to encourage future betting by taking a passive check-call line. The turn pairs the T and it checks through. River is a 6 and I don’t see how I can’t bet here. I bet, he calls, and I lose to KJ.

Shirley Rosario, a 50+ white lady, joins my table wearing a Wu-Tang Clan “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)” jacket and it kind of blows my mind.

Blinds 400/800, a disaster hand. I think my line and thinking here is fine, but the result is miserable. I defend a hi-jack open with KQo and then check-raise the 962 flop. This is a spot where the board hits my range better than it hits his and I will have some disguised outs if I make a real hand. He calls though and then calls again on the 8 turn. I catch a perfect river to continue my bluff when the final board reads 96285 and instead of a fold, I get raised. I’m so perplexed by this turn of events that part of me wants to call just to see and part of me is wondering if I should 3-bet. It’s not impossible for him to have hands like 77 or A7s though, so I eventually toss it in the muck.

Blinds 400/800, I open button with Q6o and a new player in the small blind 3-bets. I call. Flop is QT5 two clubs (I don’t have one), he bets, I raise, and he calls. Turn is Ac and we both check. River is 4c and we both check again. He rolls his hand and says “that’s it” and I see two red fives, so I table my hand and after a few seconds I realize he said “SET.” Awesome.

Ten minutes before registration closes, Rip Van Winkle strolls in with a fresh stack looking like he just got out of a game he sat in the evening before – standard Rip. But I don’t love that name. I thought of a better one. From now on the character formerly known as a Rip Van Winkle will be known as The Sandman. Yes, that’s better.

Second Break: Dark Knight 11.4K, Peter busted (twice)

Notable Hands L9-L10 (spoiler alert)

I go all of level 9 with a VPIP of 0%, meaning I didn’t voluntarily put money in the pot a single time for the entire 30 minute level.

My table breaks and I’m down to 5.5 bigs when I get moved to Sandman’s table. I had been playing for 5+ hours and Sandman had been playing less than 40 minutes and I joke that I’m probably going to bust before he does. Sure enough, first hand at his table I get KJ and the action folds to me, I raise and one of the blinds 3-bets and we eventually get all in. He has AJ and my sweat is over pretty quick after an AJx flop and no equity on the turn.

I busted with about 40 left. 16 ended up cashing. Another brutal tournament. I peaked around 29K and almost immediately lost half of it back.

After the tournament it as was early enough and the games looked good enough that I decided to play some $20/$40 LHE and I just got murdered. None of my premium hands were capable of winning and I found myself stuck $1300 in less than two hours. I made a couple of comebacks where I got up to -$500 and it looked like I might be able to salvage the session, but the shit storm returned and I couldn’t stomach any more brutal negative variance and called it a night at -$1135 after 5.5 hours.

That makes me 0 for 4 in LAPC events, -$2942 over my last four cash game sessions, and officially in the red for the month of January.

Who wants to be a professional poker player?

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