Archive for February, 2018

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Mini Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/26/18 (Live Blog)

February 26, 2018

Sorry to leave everyone hanging yesterday. I actually did end up staying to play poker but I decided not to blog because I wasn’t sure how long I was going to stay and play. Well, I ended up playing 3.5 hours of $8/$16 and winning +$255 and then they actually got a $15/$30 game off the ground and I played in that for another 6.5 hours and “won” +$103. I used quotation marks because what really happened is I collected my rakeback and subtracted it from my buy in amount. So technically I had a small losing $15/$30 session.

By about 4 PM, the $30/$60 players had arrived and there were 11 names on the list, but I took my name off since I wasn’t planning to play deep into the night (I ended up leaving around 9 PM) and I really don’t want to play a shortened session at my highest stakes. The game never started.

It’s a shame I didn’t blog my session yesterday because there were some classic hands. Here’s one I can remember:

Multiple limpers, I complete 94 of spades from the small blind, big blind checks. Flop is 943 with one spade. I lead, big blind raises, one of the limpers 3-bets, and I cap it. Three of us see the 9 pair on the turn, I bet and they both call. The river is irrelevant, I bet and they both call. Hand seems pretty standard and somewhat lucky for me until they turn over their hands: JJ and KK. Yes. I saw this flop for a fraction of a bet. Amazing.

I’m on call for the $15/$30 game start today. There are currently six names on the list, so I’m going to hop in the shower and head that way. The reason this is not a Marathon Monday session is because my wife flies back from Vegas tonight and will be home around 9 PM, which means my ass better be there to greet her. Or else.

12:54 PM: Okay, so I’m at Palace, eating breakfast. There are nine on the list for $15/$30 but it’s kind of a tough game start for the floors because a decent amount of the players are in $8/$16 right now and they don’t have a ton of backup. It’s close though.

Stays tuned.

1:17 PM: Cards are in the air, with the game starting 6-handed.

Starting lineup: Radio Mike, myself, SLIMER, a fellow Run It Up warrior that I recognize from Fortune, a total unknown, and Elmer.

Radio Mike and I have a $5 bet on when the game will be full. I took over on 25 minutes (1:42).

First clash: Radio Mike opens, I 3-bet black queens, he calls. Flop K72 with two hearts, he check-raises, I call. He bets 9h turn and I fold.

1:31 PM: 7-handed. 11 minutes to go!

1:56 PM: Ship that bet.

Open AA and only unknown big defends. Flop 97x two diamonds and he check-calls. Turn Kd, he donks, I raise (with Ad in my hand) and he calls. River blank and he check-calls with a flush.

I think checking back river here could be reasonable, but against a player I have zero history with, that didn’t 3-bet the turn, it seems a bit passive.

Tendencies noted.

Here’s another special hand from yesterday:

I open QQ and three of us see the Q73 flop. I bet, s1 calls, and the other two players fold. But when the last player folds, he thinks the hand is over, so he tosses his cards on mine (protected by an Overs button), picks them up with his, and folds all four cards. This was a pretty special feeling holding top set and knowing someone called me.

Fortunately, my hand was protected and I was able to retrieve my cards with no dispute but I would love to see how a floor would handle this a) as it happened and b) if my cards got mixed into the muck even though they were initially protected.

My set held up against someone that clearly had the case queen.

2:36 PM: Game is finally full.

Some hands:

Limpers, Radio Mike raises SB, I defend A8dd; he bets A87d, I raise and pick up two cold callers, Mike just calls; turn is Jd, an interesting card as it gives me a flush draw but also completes the best draw (T9), as well as improves AJ and JJ. I bet though and only Mike folds; river king and now I get raised. I snap call, but I probably should have thought about this for at least a few seconds. He shows K8. He’s kind of a green player and it seemed like the king improved him and I have all those hands beat, so I definitely cost myself $30 here.

Unknown opens, Elmer calls, I 3-bet AThh on the button and it gets capped. Flop J8x one heart, I overcall. Turn 9h – a beauty. I’m only about 30% to improve and I don’t have any real showdown value if I miss, so I just call even though this is a dream turn card. River brick and Elmer wakes up with a raise and shows T7cc.

3:25 PM: A perfect run out for Slimer. He opens UTG, I defend JTdd, the only caller. Flop is KTx two spades one club and my plan is to check-call down on most run outs, but the river is a ten and a third club and I think he might check back hands like QQ, JJ, and maybe a king, so I donk. He raises, I call and he shows AQ of clubs for a running flush.

4:20 PM: I open cutoff with 76dd, button and big blind call. Flop Q62ss, button is only caller and he raises me on 3s turn, I 3-bet and he calls. River Ace, I bet he calls.

Nothing too exciting… just the most critical pot I’ve played in the last hour.

Slimer is gone. Taz in the game.

4:49 PM: A guest hand. I saw this one go down, but since Radio Mike decided to text me a recap, I’ll copy and paste it:

Just raised A3ss in ep, [player x] folds A6o exposed, three call, flop K74dd, I c-bet two call, turn 3d I bet one call. River Ac I bet and think to myself ‘please don’t call because I really don’t want to show this…’ and he calls. Nice pot though!

5:22 PM: Momentum has been hard to come by today, mostly because I’ve been losing with top pair hands a lot. For instance:

I open AK, lots of callers, flop is KQ6, I bet and two call. Turn is a 7, I bet, Taz raises, and small blind 3-bets. I fold, Taz caps, and it goes check-call on river. Taz tables 76 suited and the small blind has KQ.

Most of my top pair losers have been of the one bet on turn and river, have to call down variety though.

5:34 PM: What was I saying about momentum?

Monster Pot Alert: lots of limps, Radio Mike raises, I 3-bet AQo on button, Taz caps small blind and it’s six ways for a cap to Q86, two diamonds. Taz checks flop, someone donks and there’s calls in front of me, I raise, Taz cold calls, the flop bettor 3-bets, and I cap.

Five of us remain on turn when board pairs with an 8. Taz starts the action by folding. Yup. That happened. The flop 3-bettor still bets and three of us call.

River is a 9 and everybody checks to me. Hard to believe I don’t have the best hand here, so I put a bet out and get called by KQ.

6:25 PM: The Torch just sat in the game and posted $15 under the gun because that’s what people do.

6:31 PM: The Joker gets to sit down with immediate position on me because I once again have the fortunate problem of having too many chips to move. Also, I’m leaving in an hour or two.

7:23 PM: Big, multiway raised pot. I defend 22 in the big. Flop is T72 with two clubs. PFR bets, everybody calls, I check-raise, he 3-bets and everyone else folds. I flat. Turn 9c, I go for a check-raise and he checks back. Well, that’s annoying. I considered leading because a club hit but I really didn’t think he’d slow down. No matter. River queen. I’ll check-raise now. He bets and calls and I’m good.

8:38 PM: So after my wife landed at SeaTac and I started racking up my chips, she hit me with the “you don’t have to come home” text and I called bullshit on that and left. I figured I at least owed her the courtesy of not having look at my open and unpacked suitcase on the living room floor when she walked in the door.

Well, it ended up being a pretty good session. After I won that monster pot with AQ, I sort of cruised from there, winning a lot of good-sized pots.

Final score: +$1690

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Super-Sized Sunday: $30/$60 @ Palace – 2/25/18 (Live Blog)

February 25, 2018

The bad news is I went to Chinook Winds in Lincoln City, Oregon this weekend to play their amazingly structured $575 Main Event. You start this tournament with 40K in chips, blinds at 50/100, and 50 minute levels. If you’re lucky enough to make it to level 7, you can add on another 30K in chips for $200. It’s super deep. It’s honestly hard to mess this one up before the add on.

I lasted 2.5 hours. I lost two big pots on the river and missed a flush draw in another big one. I was in level 3 with around 10K in chips when this hand came up:

Blinds 200/400/50, I open with JJ for 1000 from middle position and only the big blind defends. Flop is Q53, I bet 1200 and they call. Turn is a 4 and we both check. River is a jack and she bets 5K. I only have like 8K total left, so I put the rest of it in and she snaps with A2. Good game.

It wasn’t even 3 PM yet. I had a hotel room booked for the night. I checked out with no refund and drove home.

To recap my trip: I drove 8.5 hours round trip and spent $785 (plus gas and lodging and food) to play less than three hours of poker and see Phantom Thread!

The good news is I was home by 8:30 PM on Saturday night and saw that there were 18 names on the list for $30/$60. I’m #19. If history is any indicator, I’m going to get in my car in about five minutes, drive to Palace, and start the $30/$60 game at 11 AM.

11:06 AM: Amazing. 2 of 20 names on the list were here for the $30/$60 game start. There’s obviously a disconnect somewhere. The only way I can think of to solve this problem is to either have a later game start or just have an interest list every day and fire it off when we can. It boggles my mind that 90% of the list doesn’t understand they need to be here at 11 to start the game.

Or move the game. A Friday night game seems more plausible. Two Fridays ago there were enough $30/$60 players here to have two games – and two $15/$30 games. Can’t say I really want to start a $30/$60 game at 6 PM though.

I don’t really get it. I guess people just want other people to see their names up for $30/$60 but don’t really plan to play it?

I’m currently playing $8/$16, but seeing as how I haven’t unpacked and I have a big mess at home, I might head out of here soon and come back around 4.

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Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017)

February 24, 2018

Starring: Who cares
Director: Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2)

Bottom Line: Man. Sometimes you think something is going to be a good idea and then you wonder what the hell you were thinking. I don’t know why I thought watching Jeepers Creepers 3 would be a fun experience. I am admittedly partial to horror movies and I’ve been known to find joy in watching plenty of mediocre films in the genre. I remember seeing the first Jeepers Creepers all the way back in 2001 and how much the first 20 minutes of that movie blew my mind with how tense it and scary it was and then it blew my mind again (in a bad way) when it’s tone suddenly shifted to full blown unkillable monster movie. I thought I watched the sequel, but after reading the synopsis on Wikipedia the only thing that rang a bell was the school bus and when I watched the last ten minutes of the movie on YouTube, I didn’t remember the ending. So why did I watch Jeepers Creepers 3?

I don’t know. It was a mistake. If you didn’t love the first two movies, you can safely skip this one. It’s really, really bad. And not really, really bad in a good way. It just sucks. I don’t know how many horror monster movies I’ve seen that take place in broad daylight, but talk about a mood killer. The sun is shining radiantly for all but the last 20 minutes of this movie. So the filmmakers could save money on lighting? There is one decent jump scare in this movie and absolutely zero tension. The acting was unsurprisingly shoddy and the score for the film was laughable at times. It seems like the plot wants to tie the film’s characters to The Creeper somehow, but I didn’t really get it. Like, the main girl’s mother has one of The Creeper’s hands buried in the yard, but I don’t get how that makes the girl special? There’s some sort of Creeper bounty team, but I didn’t really understand how or why they existed, or how they were aware of the monster and its hibernation habits. Maybe it’s a call back to the older movies I didn’t see or don’t remember. It’s not much of a spoiler to reveal that good prevails over evil in the end… but I watched it… and I still don’t really know how.

Eh. I decided to type this review tonight because I knew it would be easy to share my sentiment and I’ve already wasted too many words on it. It’s amazing to me that Victor Salva took 13 years to write something this bad. Jeepers Creepers 3 sucks. Stay away. This was the worst movie I’ve seen in a while.

Replay Value: None.
Sequel Potential: Evil never dies. The film ends with a teaser for part 4. Oh joy.
Oscar Potential: Zero.

Grade: 2/10 (Horrible)

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Chinook Winds PacWest $210 No Limit Hold Em Tournament

February 23, 2018

I arrive at what I believe to be the start of L3 and blinds are 100/200. I start with 12,000 in chips and there is a 10k add-on for $100 after the end of this level.

I let the blinds go through me once and call a raise with 98cc and whiff.

A player opens to 500, I 3-bet to 1300 with AQdd and he calls.

Flop is QT6 with two spades. I bet 1250, he makes it 3000, I’m all in, he snaps with TT.

Game over.

No re-entry.

No, seriously. That’s the end of this blog post. I lasted 16 minutes.

I can’t even check into my hotel for another 2+ hours and there are no cash games going yet, so I’m heading to the local one screen movie theater to watch Phantom Thread. I may or may not play some cash later tonight. I’d rather be well rested for the amazingly structured Main Event tomorrow, which is the reason I’m here.

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I, Tonya (2017)

February 22, 2018

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
Director: Craig Gillespie (Fright Night, Lars and the Real Girl, The Finest Hours)

Bottom Line: Absolutely loved it. This is the story of American Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding (Robbie), her brutal upbringing by her abusive and alcoholic mother (Janney), her struggle for acceptance (despite her enormous talent) in the ice skating world because of her trashy background, her tumultuous relationship with boyfriend Jeff Gillooly (Stan), and the controversy that arose from all of these things, including the infamous Nancy Kerrigan Incident. I love the way this movie is delivered via present day interviews and flashbacks and a knowing wink that everyone involved might be twisting the truth about what actually happened. The use of multiple unreliable narrators allows the story to unfold without presenting everything as 100% factual and adds an extra layer of humor to what is easily the funniest 2017 film I’ve seen to date. I, Tonya manages to tell Harding’s story without really taking anyone’s side. Tonya Harding might be at the center of this biopic, but she’s no hero and even though the film might want you to feel pity for Harding at times, I think it clearly understands that she was an incredibly flawed human being and though she was surrounded by horrible people, she wasn’t merely a victim of circumstance – she didn’t exactly shy away from controversy. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are brilliant in this movie, both delivering tour-de-force performances worthy of their Oscar nominations.

I, Tonya is definitely one of my favorite 2017 films. It’s hilarious and entertaining, ever-so-slightly heartbreaking, with some top notch acting from Robbie and Janney – a must see dark comedy about a troubled former celebrity that will make you laugh out loud and almost feel bad for her.

Replay Value: I would eagerly watch this again and I’m sure my wife will love it.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Nominated for three Oscars: Robbie for Best Actress, Janney for Best Supporting Actress, and Film Editing. I haven’t seen all the movies nominated for Best Costume Design or Best Makeup, but anyone that can make Margot Robbie look even slightly unattractive probably deserves some acclaim. Also, it seems like adding I, Tonya as a tenth nominee for Best Picture wouldn’t be asking too much.

Grade: 8/10 (Must See)

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Marathon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/19/18 (Live Blog)

February 19, 2018

12:43 PM: Just got to Palace and missed the $15/$30 game start. Playing some white chip poker while I wait. I’m first up. Blog opener coming soon.

Somehow forgot to mention this in last night’s closing comments but after posting a +$735 in $30/$60, I played 5 hours of $15/$30 and won an additional +$470. Those two sessions put me squarely in the green for 2018!

I’m back!

One of the downsides of $15/$30 going every day at Palace is that I’m playing so much poker my productivity outside of the poker room has fallen off a cliff.

I was a full time pro in 2017, but I averaged less than 160 casino hours a month for the year. So far, in 2018, I logged 220+ casino hours in January and I’m on pace for 190+ in the shortened month of February. That’s a pretty sick volume increase and it’s definitely affected my quality of life. For instance, I haven’t been able to get out of bed for yoga the last few Mondays. I hit snooze on my phone for 90 minutes this morning and then I missed the game start this morning.

I also have reviews for Black Panther, I, Tonya, and Jumanji that I have no idea when I’m going to write. Plus, it’s almost March and I still haven’t written my 2018 Goals out.

Not to mention the shitty partner I have been to my wife, as far as carrying out my duties around the house.

In other words, my balance between poker and life has been slipping dramatically.

With that said, I’m going to take all of tomorrow off to catch up on life and I think I’m going to skip PLO on Wednesday also.

I definitely had more balance when I had two committed days off every week and I really need to work on finding that again.

1:07 PM: Still locked out of $15/$30. I’ve seen the game start for 4.5 hours before someone got up, but I don’t believe this lineup is capable of that. I expect to be in before 2 PM.

1:25 PM: Not planning to post $4/$8 hands but I feel like this one is worth sharing. I open AQ and get cold-called in four spots. Flop is AKJ, I bet and everyone folds. 😂

2:13 PM: They did lock me out until past 2 PM but I’m in now and just posted and got stair-stepped into a 3-bet pot with K2ss and sucked out on T723K. Good start!

Starting lineup: multiple $8/$16 regs that don’t normally play this game, Radio Mike, 80%, nitty older guy, and very solid Palace reg (but he’s drinking already!

2:36 PM: Forgot to mention I snagged +$133 in my $4/$8 warm-up!

2:54 PM: Come back and buy the button, 80%, drunk lady, and another player limp, I raise with KTdd, drunk lady 3-bets, I cap; four us to flop and I double barrel QJ5ccd6d before giving up on 7c river and 80% and drunk lady chop it up with J2 suited.

3:37 PM: This game is off the chains right now. Small samples and all but there are four players in a row with VPIPs of 79%, 86%, 45%, and 53%. All this dead money is making me play more pots too and so far I have been benefiting, winning multiway pots with a lot of one pair hands and a good-sized pot with a set of deuces.

3:55 PM: Yup. I’m playing pots. 15 people limp in front of me, I limp along from cutoff with T9o, Radio Mike raises on button, one of the 80% maniacs 3-bets it, everyone calls, including Radio Mike (lol, nice hand – this is not the time to exercise restraint, buddy).

Flop is 875 with two hearts and it’s bet, called, and raised in front of me. I 3-bet because GAMBOL and wind up closing the action and getting position. Great success!

We are still 5-handed to Jc turn and they all call me and I get paid off in one spot on As river.

Cha ching!

4:07 PM: One limper, I raise JTdd, 80% and drunk lady are in, four of us to T53 flop. I get called by two of them. They have QJ and Q9, which is two outs combined between them. I know this because I didn’t win this pot.

4:16 PM: Just realized I didn’t say what I had at 2:54. Edited with my holding included.

4:22 PM: Radio Mike informs me that the drunk lady didn’t raise that hand I made a straight in – 80% did. That’s unfortunate because the lady said “I raise” and then put out three bets (next to act) which means the dealer cost me $90. Booooooo.

4:29 PM: Radio Mike may have possibly ruined our game. He has given half his stack to the lady and she now has over $2500 in front of her and just spoke the dreaded words of “I should leave now. I think I’m even.”

Meanwhile I’m getting rage texts from Radio Mike. Let it out, pal!

And now she’s grabbing empty racks. What the hell, Mike?

5:03 PM: A fortunate seat change. I have direct position on the two 80% players and almost have the Jesus Seat (64% on my direct left, but he’s probably next to leave).

When I changed seats I posted in the cutoff, called with 32hh in a multiway pot, flopped a flush draw and paid three bets, before donking my flush on the turn second-to-last to act and getting raised. Lady calls $60 cold and I just call because it should be fairly obvious I have a flush and I’m still getting raised by the flop 3-bettor. River is a blank, it checks around and my hand is good.

5:30 PM: 80% has felted and he actually tightened up today, finishing with a 71% VPIP for the day, by far his lowest total in a session I’ve played with him.

5:41 PM: New blog nick name: Curious George is in the game. This is an original creation from Blackjack’s blog but he’s used so many of my names that I feel okay taking one of his!

5:51 PM: El Torcho has graced us with his presence and is sitting with $400. This game is stupid right now. Just stupid.

6:05 PM: Couple brutal pots in a row. The Torch’s torchy nature and crazy lines just cost me a lot of chips with a hand I would never even consider sticking around with against someone else.

Then I flop the nut flush draw, turn a straight draw and river a pair vs flopped trips and lost more bets than necessary because someone else wanted to bluff the turn.

Just raised multiple limpers from SB with QJss and got called down by Curious George on a favorable KTxQQ runout.

6:15 PM: The drunk lady is still here and she just open-limped and I iso’d with K7dd and lost to her on KJ5T8 because she had… T5o.

Fomo, Joker, fomo!

6:24 PM: A chop and a raise-and-take-it while the lady is away from the table and someone actually says something about a setup and how slow the game is. Really makes you wonder about some of these people.

They don’t make games much better than this one.

6:53 PM: VPIPs across the table in our “slow” game: 66%, 24%, 37%, 87%, 38%, 61%, 29%, 28%, and 61%.

Funniest thing about those numbers is the player that complained is the one with the 24%. 👏🏻👏🏻

7:00 PM: That lady did not leave after snatching up half of Radio Mike’s stack and she has turned that $2700 stack into $4. But she’s coming back, she says.

I was the recipient of an expert slow play. One limper, Curious George raises, I defend BB with 44 and three of us see J99cc flop. Everybody checks. Turn is 3c, I bet and they both call. River…. 4c. I bet and the limper calls me with A9 (no club).

7:04 PM: Lady is back and says “I had to get my bank to increase my limit. It worked.” Music to everyone’s ears.

“$200 over”… not so much.

7:09 PM: Five minutes later… “$400 over…” – that’s a little better.

Meanwhile I somehow got QQ to hold up on a J9758 runout with three opponents on the river.

7:19 PM: Pot of the day alert! 6-way cap pre and I have TT on the button. Flop is JT3dd and it is either three bets or capped again with at least five of us seeing turn. 6 of hearts on turn and I get check-raised by Curious George and I get three bets in four ways. River is 4 of diamonds and they all check to me. It’s painful to check back here because how do flushes check river? But how the hell does no one have diamonds? I check and win this monster.

7:27 PM: Torch opens and I defend 96hh and flop a flush and we cap but the heart on turn costs me about a million dollars because Torch has 32hh.

7:50 PM: Oh man, the heater is real. We are up HEAPS.

Torch straddles, lady calls, I 3-bet KJo, Curious George calls, and Torch 4-bets (not a cap) and we all call. Flop is QTx with two hearts (I have Kh) and it gets capped again. Turn is 9h and I raise when Torch bets, Curious George calls $60 cold and Torch calls. River is black 4 and Torch donks again. I raise, Curious George calls $60 again and Torch folds. 😂

My hand is good.

8:28 PM: Noooooooo! Chink in the armor. JJ < QT.

9:16 PM: Running good even when I’m running bad: two limps, button raises, lady cold calls SB, I defend 52ss. Five ways to J52 two clubs. Both of us blinds check, but Curious George donks and everybody just calls. I’m in great relative position to check-raise the field on the turn if it’s a good card, so that’s my plan. I’m going to execute on 4s turn but Curious George bets and the next player raises. Lady cold calls the $60 and… I fold… painfully. River is the 4c (yay!) and Curious George donks again and the turn raiser just calls. The lady next to me now shows me J2 (!) in disgust and folds it. George turns over 85 for a pair of 5s and the other player has A3o for a straight.

9:35 PM: The lady to my right has finally called it quits. Her final stats: 216 hands, 84% VPIP (and that doesn’t include the times she checks her big blind in an unraised pot), 13% PFR. She peaked around $2700 and felted that… and then felted an additional $1500 or so. I think most of it is in my stack now.

10:12 PM: My wife, The Leak, is playing in the other $15/$30 game and just sent me this text:

“I have K6hh in BB. 6 players see 952hh flop. I bet, 2 callers, [player x] raises. 5 players see 5 turn. I xc. River 9 and I call [player x] who has 44.”

Nice hand, honey!

10:57 PM: Running pretty good still. My wife’s game is definitely the better one now though. I’ve been eating which is why I haven’t updated, but I just saw a player add on $10… to his $15 remaining… in a $15/$30 game. Good luck, sir.

11:16 PM: Just running pure. Open KQdd, flop JT9, capped three ways, turn Q, and I’m still good for all of it.

Curious George opens, button calls, I call KJo (a hand I would usually fold here but CG is super wide tonight – in fact, two hands later I fold KQ in cutoff to a single raise), and big defends. Flop KQx and it checks around. Turn is another blank and I know CG can’t check again so I go for a delayed check-raise and get both him and the button for two big bets each. River jack and they both fold.

Limp along multiway with A3hh. Flop 654hh. CG bets, call, call, I raise, cold call, all call. Turn 2h. No waiting. George donks again, I raise, and we are heads up. Jh river, he donks again, because I’m running that good tonight. I raise, he calls.

11:53 PM: First bad run out in a while: s3 (56/17) opens, s4 calls, I 3-bet QQ, Curious George calls it all, s3 caps. Flop 862, s3 bets, I raise, CG calls, s3 calls. Turn ace, and s3 donks (ugh), I call, and CG folds. River Ace (I like that), he bets I call and I lose to A8cc.

11:58 PM: My game just crumbled and now my wife is at my table. Groan.

12:18 AM: After having no Overs all day, 7 of 8 players now have them at my table and I get the pleasure of firing $50 bets at my wife when we are heads up. 🤦🏻‍♂️

12:41 AM: Second game just broke and I’m letting The Joker have position because I have the good problem of having waaaaay too many chips.

12:54 AM: Joker gets to be The Joker on the first pot we play. He opens, three call, I defend T7hh. Flop 975, I donk, which makes Joker have to play his hand straight up and if he clears the field, oh well. He just calls and everyone else folds. Yummy. Turn Ace of diamonds. Sigh. I can’t really bet this card but he can definitely bluff it. I check-call. River is 8 of diamonds or something. I check-call again and he went running diamonds with KTdd.

Next hand, Curious George limps, button limps, I raise AJo from SB, BB calls, Curious George back-raises, button calls, and I cap. Flop J53, I bet, George raises, button calls, and I call. Turn 4, I check-raise in Overs and they both call. River Queen, I bet, George calls, button folds and I’m good.

1:15 AM: No joke. Player that’s been loud and causing a scene all night finally got the boot…. and actually says the words “I’m being ostracized because I’m a white man” as he’s getting kicked out. Incredible.

1:37 AM: I open J9o from hi-jack and my wife 3-bets me from small blind. I call. We are in $25/$50 Overs now. Flop J95 and she check-raises me (lololololol), I call. My plans to raise the turn are spoiled by an ace and she check-calls. River is a queen and she checks again. This isn’t the greatest runout against her 3-betting range but she did check, so there’s that. I don’t need to squeeze every ounce of value out of my wife, plus there’s some chance I’m beat here, so I check back and I’m good vs KQ.

Leak, leak, leak… 🚰

This after trying to convince the table that she’s up against me lifetime in heads up pots. 😂

1:59 AM: Running super good against Curious George tonight. I open KcQh, Joker 3-bets, George calls from SB, I call. Flop 986 two clubs, George donks, I call, Joker calls. Turn Jc, I call, Joker folds. River 5c, he bets I raise and he calls with7c5x. Yikes.

2:12 AM: Another monster pot my way: raised pre, I have K6dd on T66ss from the blinds and Curious George and Joker help me cap it. I get two more big bets in on turn vs George and dodge his flush draw on river.

I’m honestly having a fantasy session. I’m up ridiculous amounts. I can’t even fathom a guess. I’ll try to take a pic before I cash out.

3:55 AM: Thought my run good might be over when QJ < 95o on JT553 and I got check-called all the way down and slow rolled. And followed that up with AQ vs Curious George’s 66 on A868x for max pain.

But… then I flopped a set of kings in a multiway capped pot and got donked into on flop and river, got raises in on both streets and two callersat showdown.

I don’t normally play this late but I don’t really see how I can leave when the game is this juiced and I’m running so good.

4:16 AM: Lower stakes player just moved into our game because his broke and I wouldn’t try this on someone that actually knows what’s going on but he opens and I 3-bet KQdd and the small blind calls. Flop is 765 and we all check. Turn pairs the 7, the PFR bets, and I call and I’m probably going to call river too because I’ve never played with this guy. Small blind folds. River 9, he bets without thinking. I basically never have a straight here but he doesn’t know that and I’m pretty sure he is weak, so I raise and he snap folds.

5:34 AM: Not really interested in updating at this time, especially since we are 6-handed now. I’m just trying to set records at this point, but this hand is pretty crazy.I open 55, a player calls, Curious George 3-bets button and we both call.Board Q9544 and we cap flop three ways, 3-bets three ways on turn and capped heads up on river vs AA.

6:21 AM: What an epic, surreal session. By far my best win ever in a cash game. I only left because it was 6 AM and I really want to have a productive Tuesday and… also because there was a player in the game that was acting brutally slow and we were playing 6-handed.

Final Score: +$6754

h1

Super-Sized Sunday: $30/$60 @ Palace – 2/18/2018 (LIVE BLOG)

February 18, 2018

I went to the UW-Colorado game with Radio Mike last night and it was over early enough that playing poker seemed like a reasonable idea. We stopped in Palace and there were two full $15/$30 games going. One of them looked really good and one of them looked really bad. By the time I got in the game, around 9 PM, The Leak (aka my wife) had migrated to the good game and I was in the bad one.

Also in the good game was Palace royalty, The Queen, an elderly woman that has been a staple in the Palace $8/$16 game for at least the past decade and possibly the past two decades. She plays hours that make me look lazy. She’s over 80 and logs 200+ hours every month like clockwork. Anyways, before I started working at Palace, I played tough poker against The Queen and while she would get annoyed with me at times, she seemed to respect it because I was a nice guy. But when I started working at Palace, I formed an unspoken agreement with The Queen to never bet each other heads up. I can’t remember the origins of how or why I thought this would be a good idea. It was illogical. I played way too much poker for it to be worthwhile to sacrifice my potential earn on the table (and the integrity of the game) for whatever I would be making from her in tips off the table. But it was just one of those things where it was understood that if you work at Palace, you don’t bet against The Queen when you are heads up. So I spent the year I worked at Palace and the past 16 months avoiding games that The Queen was in. Her presence in my game changed the way I played too much. How much sense does it make to open wide from the cutoff or button if she’s one of the blinds and I frequently find myself heads up with a marginal hand against a player I don’t bet against? Or maybe I just call with a hand that I would always raise with because she’s the player that lead out and I want money to keep going in the pot? It was bad for me and it was bad for poker.

Somehow it managed not to be a big deal. The Queen would always play in the main $8/$16 game and I would always play in the feeder games, so this conflict would rarely come up. For years, the feeder games at Palace have always been significantly better than the main game. It was an arrangement I could live with.

When $15/$30 started getting spread, I thought The Queen would stay at $8/$16, but she seems to be fancying herself a $15/$30 player now and I just refuse to check a hand down with anyone at that limit. So I’m going to pull her aside and tell her our contract has expired… in respectful terms. Hopefully she understands and if not, oh well. But I hadn’t done that before last night, so the good $15/$30 game had a player I don’t bet against and my wife – who I do bet against, but would strongly prefer not to play at the same table as.

Meanwhile, the game I was in was about as bad as I could imagine a game being at Palace. I was looking around the table and I saw one player I would consider someone I’m aiming to play with. Everyone else was either solid or nitty. Sometimes you have to accept the situation and grind it out, but I was sitting there, starting a session at 9 PM, sitting in a crappy game, with no intentions of moving to the good game, and plans to play $30/$60 at 11 AM the next day, and I had to ask myself: what the hell am I doing here?

So I posted in my big blind, defended Q8 against the only loose player at the table and check-called him down on Q4396 and lost to 66, folded for the rest of the orbit, and got the hell out of there.

I’m not sure when the last time $30-$60 went, but it’s been a while. Maybe a month. It’s going to go today though. There are currently 21 names on the list and while half of them could be pretenders or names that have been up there for a month now, I also know about half of them are legit and ready to play today and that means the game is 100% go.

This is a session that could completely turn my year around – or put me right back where I was. Heading into today, I’m solidly green for February now and down about $300 for the year. Time to right this ship. Hopping in the shower and heading to Palace for an 11 AM start.

11:16 AM: Kind of a rough start with The Riddler being expected to count past ten and sell chips to everyone. Amazingly 8 of the 21 names on the list are actually here to start the game and we are in action.

Starting lineup: loose Palace reg, unknown, The Sandman, bad and loose Palace reg, loose-passive Palace reg, The Joker, Dansby Swanson, and myself.

First hand I have AJss on button in a 3-way raised pot. Flop is KsQsTh and Dansby caps with me. Turn 8s and he check-calls down and I start my session off with a nice pot.

We are five hands in now and Sandman has raised or 3-bet pre in four of them.

1:05 PM: Update incoming. Playing stakes this big against some players I don’t have a ton of hours with I think it’s best for me to keep my focus on the game while I’m sitting at the table, so I’ll probably just be posing quick updates on breaks every 90 minutes.

Pretty good start. I was rocking an absurd 14/3 after about 40 hands but I have a more normal 22/10 now. I’ve lost with TT twice but I won a good pot with AA against Sandman.

I also got lucky defending my big with 96ss and getting three bets on flop and three additional big bets from AQ on a Q96T3 run out.

Then I flopped the nut flush draw in a multiway pot and got check-raised by The Joker on the flop before turning the nuts and getting three more big bets from him.

The game is great so far. It’s definitely not tight. Four of my eight opponents currently have VPIPS of 32% or higher.

1:17 PM: Yeah this game is pretty decent. Player open-limps in MP, I limp on button with T7dd, SB calls, BB checks. Flop is JJ3, everyone checks to me and I bet. Only the limper calls. Turn is a 8 or something and he check-tanks, says he has the best hand, and then folds AQcc face up.

Well played, sir.

2:17 PM: Had a gross spot where I’m the PFR with 77 and three people call me on 665cc and then I get check-raised by an unknown on 6653. Can’t really fold 77 there and I wind up paying off his 55.

I open cutoff with K7ss and button 3-bets. We are heads and flop is A43 one spade. I check-raise and he calls. Turn 9s, I bet and he folds. 💪🏻

I open 98o from cutoff and only SB calls. I bet twice on K93K and get check-raised and decide I’m calling down. River is a King, he bets and shows A3. I folded TT to this player on AAxQ a while ago and I no longer feel that great about it.

I’m currently running at 23/10, which is well below my norm, and I still think I’ve been opening too wide for how loose the game is. For instance, I open 55 and three players call and one reraises and I’m like wtf am I doing? No good ending to that hand.

Im up a few hundred currently.

2:32 PM: Worst player in the game just hit and ran it pretty decently. He is being replaced by one of the best regulars at Palace.

2:52 PM: Another bad player left and is replaced by a good Fortune regular. The quality of this game has gone down tremendously.

Meanwhile, I just ran JT into 97 on T86J8 in a blind vs blind, non-chopping situation. Pretty cool.

3:07 PM: The game is 8-handed now with no list and only a couple of key players holding it together.

I had another stupid blind vs blind hand where I raise 72dd from the small blind, bet J62d flop, double barrel the 9d turn and get raised. We both check ten river and I lose to K9.

Another stupid hand: a weak player limps under the gun, I call T9o from SB, BB checks. Flop A96ss and I check-call a bet from UTG. I think a check-raise is reasonable here, but I have seen this player limp AQ suited already. I decide to call and see what happens. We both check on 3 of spade turn. 7 of spades puts a four flush on board and I bet without looking to see if I have one. He tank-calls and I don’t have a spade. He doesn’t either but his 76cc rivered two pair.

Part of what makes Peter such a great Joker is that he often laughs after beating you in a pot. He just did this to someone else and I told him he needs to work on his “post-win laugh,” which made the table laugh because they thought I was calling him out, but what I was really suggesting is that he needs to crank it up to a true Joker-like maniacal cackle.

Speaking of The Joker, we played an epic hand that I will have to share after the session.

3:41 PM: Dear Poker Gods,

The Human Torch is on the list for $30/$60. Please let him last long enough to sit in this game and, if it’s not too much to ask, can he have at least $1500 to play with?

Thank you. 🙏🏻

3:58 PM: A higher limit player that has been really good action in my experience just sat in the game and potentially made it significantly better.

And The Torch is actually taking a seat. I predict $500 buy in.

4:12 PM: I was wrong – he bought in $530.

4:29 PM: Well I can’t afford to take a break with The Torch in the game, so I’ll try to post some hands while I’m playing.

Here are some key recent pots:

I come back from my last break and post with 92o and it’s raised and called in front of me. There are no two cards I’m folding in position for one more bet so I’m in there too. The three of us see T98dd flop and I overcall. Turn is 6d and they both check to me. I might have the best hand anyway but this is a mandatory bet. The PFR calls me and I’m forced to chop with AQss when the river comes a 7. 🤔

The Torch opens and I 3-bet KJc, he caps. Flop is Q87cc and he checks to me. I bet and he calls. Turn is a 5 and he snap-calls when I bet. River is a 6 and it pains me beyond belief, but I check it back because it’s clear to me he has no intentions of folding whatever it is he has. He wins with AK. I’m 100% convinced he’s calling river so I stand by my check.

5:35 PM: I open QhJc and get four callers. Flop is AhTh3, which seems reasonable to keep lying on, but I get raised and someone else cold-calls. Turn is heart and the cold caller leads out. Other player is all in for $50 on turn. River is a heart and I outdraw the all in’s JJ.

I have a blind vs blind battle with The Joker and with a final board of 84476, I can’t get him to lay down AT, which might sound good for me, but I had ten high.

The Torch is hanging in. After being almost all in on his second hand, he rivered a straight with T6hh drawing dead to a flush and hasn’t looked back. His $530 has turned into over $2k, mostly at the expense of one of the Fortune regs, who can’t help but berate him for his torchy play – and yes, a lot of them have been ugly but it’s not something anyone needs to be talking about at the table.

5:47 PM: Game is 5.5-handed now (one player doesn’t really count and I’m surprised he hasn’t quit yet) and entirely built around The Torch. He’s on a heater and it’s all been disgusting! And none of it at my expense. Beautiful.

Short-handed play means I won’t be updating because I’ll be involved too much.

7:10 PM: Welp. That went as expected. The Torch ran his stack up to $2500+ and cashed out when he fell back to $500ish… and we didn’t play another hand. I did throw my big blind out, as a courtesy, because the dude was still in the building, but Dansby said we might as well just quit now since we know no one is going to keep playing.

Final score: +$735

Some key pots from short-handed play:

In case you don’t know why The Torch is The Torch, let me explain: he opens, I 3-bet KK, he caps it. Flop is KQ3 with two clubs and one spade and (I believe) he check-calls. Turn is the ace of spades and he check-raises me but just calls when I 3-bet. River is 4s and he donks out. Against a reasonable player, I would give serious consideration to just calling here. Against The Torch, I just have to put another raise in. Unfortunately, he immediately 3-bets me and I’m expecting to see a queen high flush here but… it’s A9o.

Another clash with The Torch: he opens button and I defend J8. Flop is AQT, flopping me a double-gutter, which I would maybe bluff with against some players, but not this one. I might end up having to put in 3-bets against a hand as bad as T7. I call and check-call again on 6 turn. River is a king and he bets before I do anything and I get to check-raise without acting first. He snap pays it off with QT.

Ugh. I don’t want to share this hand but I do like to keep it real and, well, I played this one like absolute shit and it cost me the whole pot.I open with KQ and the button 3-bets, and it ends up going 4-ways to Q75. The button bets, The Torch check-raises, and… I call?

I CALL?!?

I don’t know what the hell my thought process was here, but this is a clear 3-bet. But I call (ugh) and so does button. Turn card is… an ace! And fast-forward to showdown where I lose to button’s naked AJ. I mean… what in the hell? That was a $600+ pot I basically gifted to the button.

Now the hand with The Joker from earlier. Sometimes you play like shit and it works out. This is one of those times and while I have my reasons for this line, I think it’s way closer to spew than a stroke of genius.

A player posts in the cutoff, The Joker raises from the lo-jack, cutoff defends and I call with 44 on the button, which is already a subpar line in a questionable spot. One of the blinds defends and the flop is AJ3 with two clubs. The Joker bets, cutoff folds, I raise, he 3-bets, and I cap.

What the hell am I doing here, you ask? Losing my mind probably but wait, hear me out.

Joker is a borderline maniac. He’s opening super wide from the LJ with dead money posted behind him (which is why my hand plays better as a 3-bet), so I’m not entirely convinced he has a big hand here and I know my range looks pretty suspect, which means his 3-bet might be suspect. Additionally, I have seen him make reasonable folds when I take very strong lines.So that’s what’s going on. It sort of makes sense but it’s incredibly ambitious. The turn is the 9c and Joker says “I don’t know what I can beat” and folds after flashing an ace and then begs me to show a bluff. I don’t. But you can read about it now, asshole!