Marathon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/12/2018 (LIVE BLOG)

February 12, 2018

I swear one of these times I’m going to blog a session and post one of the signature wins that have defined my poker career the last several years. Hopefully today is the day. To say I’m overdue is a bit of an understatement. I’ve certainly had faster and more violent downswings and I think I’ve even had longer stretches of losing, but it has to be getting close now. We are on day 43 of 2018 and I’m still solidly in the red for the year.

I did some research and since the beginning of 2011, I’ve had back-to-back losing months four times total and half of them were during my worst stretch ever – from August of 2013 through October 2013 – when I lost between $1200 and $1550 three months in a row – the only time that’s ever happened. So yeah, I’ve been through worst months and worst overall stretches and I got through them and crushed like I always do. That’s something I’m able to keep in mind when I’m not playing, but it’s been harder and harder lately to remember that while I’m actually at the poker table. The accumulated tilt is real. For instance, I feel fine right now – excited even. I can’t wait to play. But I’m fragile. Not letting rough starts and bad sessions affect me emotionally has been harder and harder. It’s definitely made me realize that working on my mental game again needs to be more of a priority.

I took my wife to see “Hamilton” last night and we double-dated with The Man (Palace poker room manager) and his wife. It was a blast! I’ll put a bigger review of “Hamilton” on my list of things I may or may not ever do, along with every T.V. show I’ve seen in the last six months. But I’ll say this now: “Hamilton” is an absolute masterpiece in the field of creative writing. Yes, it’s all based on actual history and adapted from someone else’s book, but as someone that used to write rap lyrics, I can’t stress enough how monumental Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s achievement is. To take a biography about one of America’s founding fathers and turn it into an elite hip-hop musical is truly mind-boggling. It’s not just fun… it’s not just surprisingly good and palatable… it’s ELITE song-writing from top to bottom and, from my perspective, one of the greatest works of writing in modern history. Yes, the prices are outrageous, but that wasn’t going to stop me from seeing this masterpiece. A true can’t miss.

Yoga in 25 minutes. Poker in 90. See you then.

11:15 AM: When I said poker in 90, what I really meant was 2.5 hours my bad.

Slow start here. Six names on list but two of them backed out of starting the game because they just don’t understand how you build a poker game. Looks like we are going to start 4-handed though.

Starting lineup: Radio Mike, Chief Wiggum, the unknown player that rocked the 80% VPIP on Friday in a full game (yum yum) and myself.

11:21 AM: So I didn’t really play poker on Saturday. I showed up at Palace around 4 PM, hoping to play $15/$30 but no one was willing to start a short game and after losing $160 in 14 minutes of a bad, short-handed $6/$12 O8 game I just decided to go home and fire at some online tournaments. I bricked out in six events and final tabled the last one to basically break even.

11:25 AM: Cards will be in the air shortly. We picked up two players, both of them loose and borderline maniacal. Marlo is one of them. So six-handed with three players that play 50% of hands in full games.


11:26 AM: Marlo sitting down with $300 but has lost over $3k last two times I’ve played $15/$30 with him.

12:08 PM: Decent start. I’ve won a lot of small pots with little resistance. No real clashes. Atlanta Braves SS Dansby Swanson makes us 8-handed so I’m going to fire up my stat tracker after I finish eating.

12:37 PM: Game Genie makes us full. I’m done eating and firing up my stat tracker. Game on!

12:38 PM: Marlo actually cashed out his last few chips from that initial $300 buy-in and… left. That’s unfortunate.

12:44 PM: First big clash: s3 opens, 80% calls, I 3-bet 99 from small blind, big blind and other two call. Flop 853 two hearts and it gets capped. Turn 8h and it checks around. River pairs the 5 and it checks to s3 the original preflop opener and he bets, 80% calls, and I’m very happy to overcall, expecting to win this pot the vast majority of the time against two super wide players. I don’t though – s3 has the J8 of diamonds.

12:51 PM: Radio Mike opens, 80% calls, I defend Q7. Flop is 653, I donk, Mike raises, other player cold calls, I call. Turn is a 9 and Mike bets, the other guy folds and I really consider raising, but go with call instead. River is a 7 and I lead out and Mike goes into the tank and asks me “how do my aces look?” and I’m thinking “they look like shit! Muck em!” But he knows I’m capable of bluffing here and maybe he’s just never folding big hands against me anymore. He calls. Nice hand.

I did 3-bet the 80% player with 87hh and got the 86539 run out and a call on every street so it’s not all bad.

1:18 PM: Picked up AA vs QQ to chip back up.

1:33 PM: TT < AA.

Dansby runs so good against me: I raise a limper on button with QQ and lose to his AT from SB on KJxxA.

1:49 PM: Just won a big pot flopping quad fives and made everyone pay, and got a $499 jackpot. Hopefully that’s not my entire MO for the day.

2:15 PM: I open KT and Radio Mike defends and check-calls T739 before check-raising queen river. I expect to never be good here but I’m curious and he shows 33.

2:23 PM: Heater! AA, AA, ATcc, QTdd all win showdowns four hands in a row. Radio Mike takes a trappy, confusing line with JJ against my first aces and I suck out vs Wiggum’s KT on KQTJx the next hand.

3:03 PM: By God it’s a sexy start. I’m up over $1300. I’ve had AA four times and won with all of them.

Happy Hour Hand is AcKc for $1700 from 3 PM to 6 PM. Someone is gonna hit that.

The 80% player is rocking a 67/11 today. There’s another player over 50% VPIP. There are only two players with a PFR > 11% – one at 14% and me at 26%. 😂😂

3:11 PM: 11 minutes for that $1700 Happy Hour Hand to get hit.

3:14 PM: Humpty Dumpty in the game. Let’s see if we get the hard-boiled version or the cracked, spewy one.

3:47 PM: Palace just started a second $15/$30 game, 7-handed. And we are 8-handed. Eh. They are better off starting another smaller game and using them as feeder’s for this one. It’s not like the demand was overwhelming.

3:54 PM: Dansby limps UTG, another limp, SB raises, I defend K2ss, Dansby 3-bets, other limper folds and SB calls. I call too. Flop AKx with two spades. I flopped the nut flush draw and a pair, but this isn’t the kind of board I’m looking to pound against two preflop raisers. I’m drawing to the nuts but hitting a king or a deuce is questionable. I check-call. Turn is a 2 and I consider raising because I have outs no matter what, but I go check-call again. Heads up with Dansby now and the river is a queen, which is a definite check-call card. He has basically the only hand I beat: AJ suited.

4:17 PM: Well I’m still crushing this game, but this is pretty familiar: guy with a 13%/4% opens, someone calls, I think this is iffy but I 3-bet 99 (small sample and all) and we are five ways to 983 and the PFR bet/3-bets me. I flat to raise turn and three of us see the 8 pair. He leads, I raise and we are heads up. River jack, and he check-raises. A player this nitty just has JJ 100% of the time so I just call and lose this monster pot to the 2-outer.

Ugh. Hopefully this is a blip and not a sign of things to come. Still up $1300 but that $600 pot would have looked sexy in my stack.

4:33 PM: 14 big bets in the pot on the turn; I have KQdd on AK3d2d in a 4-way pot. Whiff. AJ and A7 are in there.

5:35 PM: Might need to stop making thin value bets against Radio Mike. He opens hi-jack, I defend QTss and check-raise J86 one spade. He calls. Turn ten, I bet he calls. River 2. I bet and he raises. The dude is just never bluff-raising here (he doesn’t have the gall!) but I just want to see what hand he played this way. Hey, it’s another set!

Humpty Dumpty limps early, I raise AQ… he beats me on A8563 by taking a check-call, check-call, donk line. I guess it could be worse.

5:55 PM: Humpty Dumpty opens (4% PFR), s4 3-bets (11% PFR) and I cap it with TT. They both call. Flop KQT. I bet they fold. What.

6:11 PM: Missed another backdoor flush draw in a substantial pot.

I’m up a little over $1100 and my momentum seems to have halted for a bit.

7:15 PM: I wasn’t paying attention to the action on this hand but the board is 984ccT6 and Radio Mike tables 75cc and his opponent tables JJ. Dealer pushes Mike the pot and then… Mike pushes the pot into the other player’s stack. Not sure I’ve ever seen that before. Everyone else is like wtf are you doing? Finally he realizes that he did, in fact, have the best hand and the game stops for an hour while everyone tries to figure out how much was in the pot! Well played, Mike! Your Uber is on its way.

In other news, the reciprocality of hitting draws has been severely lopsided lately. For a while actually. The trend is continuing today. My hot start has turned into like +$900 as I consistently lose to draws while never hitting my own.

7:40 PM: Sick hand vs Dansby Swanson: I open AJo middle position, he calls next to act, no one else joins. Flop is 962ddh, I bet he calls. Turn is 9h. I feel like Dansby is heavy in pocket pairs and suited Broadways, so I bet and… he raises me. I think he would fold a lot of the small/medium pairs that aren’t boats if I reraise and if he has a draw then I have the best hand. I 3-bet, he calls. River 2d. We both check and I’m good vs KJhh.

8:32 PM: Here’s a hand that really makes you wonder: Punty Pete opens cutoff and I defend AQ. Flop K55 and I check-raise in Overs. Turn 2, I bet and he tank-calls. River 4, I check, he checks. I didn’t think he would fold a pair here so I didn’t see much point in betting. I table and he tables 32 like he’s some kind of genius.

Eh. I don’t get it.

8:58 PM: I open cutoff with Q5dd. Flop A95dd. 3-handed pot and Peter wins with 52o. Sometimes the variance is just comical. I am so close to even now I can’t even believe it. It’s so disgusting.

9:06 PM: I picked off a double barrel bluff with 55 when they 3-bet me but checked back QQ2 flop.

But then I get 3-bets in three ways pre with QQ and on the JTx8 board I find myself check-folding because I’m in last place (TT and J8).

I’m racked up and I’m leaving on my big blind. I’ve already played 8+ hours today and I’m not about to get stuck after being up $1500. Plus I’m beyond annoyed now. I’m going to leave with less profit than I won from the jackpot.

Final score: +$236 and it might be the worst $236 I’ve ever won.


One comment

  1. You’re badly misrepresenting my “I’m a genius” face. I only make that when I bet bottom pair for value on rivers.

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