Friday Frenzy: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/16/2018 (Live Blog)

February 16, 2018

4:20 PM: Just walked into Palace and immediately got a seat. Timed it perfectly.

I made seeing Black Panther a priority this afternoon (spoiler: it’s really, really good).

Lots of Overs buttons so I’m gonna sit down with $2500 today.

Current lineup: someone involved in Washington state government – I’ll call him The Mayor (because he’s actually been the mayor), $8/$16 reg, Chief Wiggum, Taz, myself, an old reg that attended WSOP with me last year but has been MIA for months and already has a cool nickname: Cobra, the guy that played last week with the 80% VPIP, Dansby Swanson, and Elmer.


4:37 PM: Standard start. Wiggum limps, I raise with 98ss, 80%, Dansby and Elmer call. I triple barrel Ts6s2KA and shake everyone but 80% who shows down K7o.


5:00 PM: More standard shit. I can’t fade K7o after flopping a combo draw but my AA goes up in smoke vs Taz’ 65 on Q9738. Those two hands sum up my last three weeks in a nutshell.

5:08 PM: Some good luck:

I open JTo and Taz calls on button. Three of us see JT4 rainbow flop and Taz is helping me get all the bets in. He’s a little spazzy (hence the name) and capable of overplaying hands, so I’m still leading king turn even though it definitely favors his range. I’m happy to see him just call. River 9 and I can’t bet it anymore. He checks back with AJhh, which turned a Royal Flush draw that’s currently worth $21,000! Solid dodge.

New player opens from mid-position and I defend T5cc heads up because I have two cards and someone dared to raise my blind. Flop is QJ8 with one club and I check-call. Turn is ace of clubs and I’m picking up some live read weakness and my draw is massive, so I check-raise and I do get it through without having to make a hand.

5:54 PM: Get it capped from SB with QQ with Taz and 80% in. Taz, who has one of itchiest trigger fingers among Palace regs somehow finds a check on Q99 and 80% checks back. Groan. I do get Taz to pay off turn and river though.

6:01 PM: Taz is on full blown throwing cards around the table tilt now, which makes that flop check above utterly sickening.

6:33 PM: Lots of movement in my game: Elmer, Cobra, 80%, and Wiggum are all gone. Picked up Game Genie and some other loose players. 8 of 9 player have Overs now and the one without a button is on the tighter side so pretty much a $25/$50 – and we just chopped three hands in a row. Lol.

6:56 PM: QT < KT on QJJxK; A9 < QJ on T9xTJ; K9cc < AT on KQJcTcK; A7cc < 32o on Q22cc8x; AK < QQ button open vs small blind.

Poker is really hard when you’re on the wrong side of a draw 95% of the time.

Down over $600.

7:09 PM: A little reprieve: KK in the small blind and everyone folds to me. We chop. Sigh.

7:41 PM: Button straddles, nit defends big, I 3-bet A3cc and try to torch it off on QJ24 with both players calling down, but, wait, what is this? A five? A fucking five from the heavens?! I bet, they both call. Table is shocked. Not sure if it’s because of my hand and my line or because I showed a winner on the river.

8:05 PM: A little run good. Posted with A5 and turned aces up in a big pot.

Red AA held up in a 3-bet heads up pot on Q92ccc.

Bill W just walked in and he’s 4th on the list and trying to break games to start a $30/$60 game. Can’t say I have a lot of interest in making that happen.

There are currently two full $15/$30 games with nine on the list! 😮😮

8:29 PM: Just whiffed another nut flush draw, but I did river a pair of aces… which was no good.

8:34 PM: Just whiffed another nut flush draw, but I did river a pair of aces… no this is not a typo. Legit next hand! This time my ace was good and I got a $50 Overs value bet in. That hand seems to have upset The Mayor. I love it. I’ve missed 100% of my flush draws for like three sessions and the guy is practically spitting on my cards in disgust when I show them.

8:48 PM: Heater alert: I switched seats and won like 4 of 5 hands, including AA over The Mayor’s KK, a hand that triggered him so bad I thought he was gonzo.

I imagine I am no longer stuck but I’m not sure.

Game Genie just busted… again. It seems like not that long ago that he was walking on water every single session. He no longer possesses the cheat code necessary to beat this game. I’m considering changing his name to Game Over. But honestly, I feel kind of bad for him.

8:52 PM: Wow. I never thought I was going to be able to use this nickname, but Puss-In-Boots just sat in the same game as me. I came up with that name because the dude just refuses to play poker with me. He must be feeling it tonight (I mean he’s properly imbibed).

Another wow: Palace is about to start a third $15/$30 game. Unreal. And that will still leave 6-7 names on the list. SICK!

9:32 PM: I have what I feel is a pretty big announcement for the blog. I’m done coming up with alliterative nicknames for Pesky Pete. He has become a pretty good poker friend of mine, even popping up in Reno and Los Angeles when I’m there. But let’s be honest about something: he’s a nuisance. It’s not like most of my other poker friends that almost never play hands against me – not because we are friends but because they are tight players. Peter is not tight. It seems like he’s in every pot I play, sometimes putting gross beats on me.

Lots of people have wanted to be my arch enemy over the years. Some were good candidates, but most of them didn’t play enough to really qualify.

My good friend Vince sort of self-proclaimed himself my biggest nemesis and it was hard to argue – the dude seemed to hold over me and walk on water for years. Not to take away from his ability – he’s a great player – but he always seemed to get there when we played our biggest pots together. But Vince has all but disappeared from the live poker scene. We take trips together once in a while but we only play cash games when he hosts a home game once every six months or so.

He’s not my rival anymore.

Peter is. He’s ubiquitous. I can’t escape him. He “follows” me around the west coast, he’s always in my game, always in my pots. He’s friendly but devious. He’s a formidable opponent but a borderline maniac. He’s my friend and my biggest pest. He’s always laughing at the table. He’s quite the clown really.


10:54 PM: Extended blog break while I got a massage for 40 minutes. Something weird has been happening. I’m winning most of the pots I’ve been contesting. Like, the hands I’m supposed to win most of the time have been winning. I’m up $1300. Seems like I have less to talk about when crazy things aren’t happening to me constantly.

This game is pretty great. There are four players with VPIPs between 39% – 60%. Unfortunately all four of them have migrated to my direct left, which has made my current pure run all the more miraculous. I just colored up $2000 to green chips to make my upcoming seat change more manageable.

And The Joker is in the building, but with three games going I might not have to protect Gotham so diligently tonight.

11:15 PM: The Joker is in the third $15/$30 game battling it out with my wife, who has self-deprecatingly suggested given herself the blog nickname The Leak. 😂

Fortunately, that nickname has never been less applicable. She’s on one of her hottest stretches since we first started dating in spring 2012. In fact, she’s crushing this year and we’ve even joked that if she has a better 2018 playing poker than I do then I will have to get a job.

11:21: Massive pot with AK. Capped like six ways pre. No one bets Q75dd flop. Turn pairs the 5 and there’s a bet and I’m the only caller somehow. River is king of diamonds and I get bet into again. This is a spot where I think I’m best a lot but raising doesn’t make a ton of sense. I call and she tables 76. Running hot!

11:51 PM: I flopped a pair and a gutshot in a massive pot, turned the nut flush draw, and *gasp* got there!

I just had a hiccup where my AK lost a massive pot to K8 on KQ88x and KQ ran into KK on Q High board – and the player had the class to tell me “good call” when I paid off on river – but I’m still up around $2000 total.

And The Joker is in my game. He’s always in my game.

12:12 AM: The night I declare Peter The Joker, he sits at my table for 11 hands before switching tables.

I’m like “dude…”

He says, “I saw you were winning tonight and that’s exactly what The Joker would do.”

I’m not so sure, but good riddance.

12:20 AM: Every pot is huge. It’s like 5-6 ways for two bets almost every hand. Just whiffed 65cc on Q33cc4 – let’s not start that again.

12:27 AM: Here’s the kind of hand I’ve been losing for weeks. Cutoff and button open limp, I call T7dd, big blind checks. Flop A77 two clubs and I check-raise the button. We are heads up and I bet-call 9c turn. River is a 6 and he checks back… with 75. My kicker plays and I win the pot.

Let’s. Go.

12:40 AM: Defend 95dd vs button open. Check-raise Q75 one diamond flop. He calls. Bet 6d turn and call raise. WHIFF. He checks back with AQ. Come on.

12:43 AM: I have acquired the Jesus seat though. But the four super loose players on my left are now two super loose players on my right – the other two left. I do have the three tightest players on my left now, so that’s nice, but our game has slowed down considerably. I took the seat of the most active player who switched tables and told The Joker there are “too many $40k a year pros” in this game. 😂

(Although +$40k does sound way better than the -$18k pace I’m on so far this year.)

1:18 AM: Someone raises, SB calls and I defend 64hh. Flop A64 and SB folds after PFR bets. I feel like this is a good board texture to check-raise turn, not the flop. That’s what I do on 5 turn, but he 3-bets me. I don’t love that. I call and he checks back 9 river and my two pair beats his A3.

2:44 AM: Quit a while ago but just got home. My goodness, they let me win some pots tonight.

Final score: +$2334

That wipes out my deficit for February. Working on 2018 next.

Don’t let me get in my zone.”0′

Probably no poker tomorrow because, after going to zero UW basketball games in the first 35.5 years of my life, I will be going to my second UW game in two weeks.

It looks like $30/$60 could be a go on Sunday though.


  1. Undoubtedly one of my finest achievements. Quite fitting since every time I sit at a poker table I think to myself “Wait til they get a load of me!”

    • You have earned it, Peter. You should play it up and start giggling often, and maybe get all twitchy when you are playing hands.

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