Archive for February, 2018

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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.

Leggo.

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.

Sigh.

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.

HE’S THE JOKER.

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.

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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

February 15, 2018

Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Director: Tom Ford (A Single Man)

Bottom Line: I can see how Nocturnal Animals has divided audiences and I’m actually surprise the audience score is as high as it is on Rotten Tomatoes (72%). This is likely not a movie for the casual filmgoer or really anyone that doesn’t want to think too much while watching films. I loved it though. It’s beautifully shot, extremely well acted, and the multiple narratives seem complex but are actually pretty simple and intertwine extremely well.

Here’s the gist: Amy Adams plays a woman deep into her second marriage and things seem to be falling apart between them. While her husband is away in NYC (cheating on her) she receives a manuscript from her previous husband (Gyllenhaal) that she begins reading. The story is about a man (Gyllenhaal again), and his wife and daughter, driving along a deserted Texas highway and being forced off the road by some hooligans that torment the family and eventually take off with the two women. The man teams up with a local sheriff (Shannon) to locate the two women. While reading the manuscript, Adams’ character finds herself reflecting on her own life and wondering about the choices she’s made.

I tried to type that synopsis up with as few spoilers as possible. I highly recommend watching Nocturnal Animals knowing absolutely nothing about it… like I did.

Michael Shannon gives a terrific (and Oscar nominated) performance as the Texan sheriff and the rest of the cast is great as well. Jake Gyllenhaal always seems to be solid, if not quite amazing, in any role he takes on and this film isn’t any different for him. Amy Adams’ character is quite a bit more interesting. In flashbacks, she seems genuine, somewhat optimistic, and perhaps quite a bit naive and in the present she says very little but exudes sadness and a palpable coldness. It’s a nuanced performance that will probably be appreciated more over multiple viewings. Also, it’s a bit of casting genius to have Isla Fisher in the role of the wife in the manuscript as Fisher and Adams have long been linked as doppelgangers of one another.

Nocturnal Animals is a brilliant film. If you found yourself unsatisfied when the credits started rolling, work a little harder. Do some research and figure it out. If you don’t want to do that, then Nocturnal Animals definitely wasn’t for you. This movie fires on all cylinders, while combining Western thriller with psychological warfare and a classic revenge tale. I still haven’t seen some critically acclaimed films from 2016, but right now I feel comfortable ranking Nocturnal Animals as high as #3 on my list and I won’t be surprised if ten years from now I look back on 2016 and it’s the film I remember most. I highly recommend it, but be warned: you’re going to have to use your brain because it’s not all spelled out for you.

Replay Value: This is the kind of film that if you liked it, you’ll surely want to watch it again. Probably immediately.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Michael Shannon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and, in what I felt was a rather weak year for films, was probably robbed of multiple other nominations. Nocturnal Animals stuck with me way more than La La Land and Fences, for instance, and it seems criminal that the film received zero technical nods.

Grade: 8 (Must See)

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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.

Leggo.

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.

GODDAMMIT.

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Friday Fever: $15/$30 @ Palace (Live Blog)

February 9, 2018

11:01 AM: So yesterday I played an 11.5 hour $15/$30 session and thought maybe if I didn’t blog it I would have a chance to book a win! And I was right! I finished at +$509, which is my best $15/$30 session since January 1st! Wow.

And it was a hard-fought small win. I was stuck basically the entire day – even -$1000 at one point – and I was card dead all day. I don’t even know how I did it really.

Last night, I had the K9 of diamonds and triple barreled the T9xddA9 board and rivered The Tick’s AQ, which seems like the first showdown I’ve won against him in four sessions. And you know what happened next? After playing for 10+ hours, this guy didn’t take another hand. Losing one pot to me was more than he could bare.

Palace is about to spread $15/$30 for the fifth day in a row, which is amazing considering I thought this limit was in trouble as recently as Saturday. Now it really looks like it could be an everyday possibility.Starting lineup today, 6-handed: Game Genie, Elmer, Chief Wiggum, a loose non-reg, Atlanta Braves shortstop and leadoff hitter Dansby Swanson, and myself.

First clash feels like every hand of $15/$30 ever for me: I open KK, Elmer cold calls button, big blind defends; flop QJx two spades, I bet, Elmer raises and I 3-bet; he calls 4 turn; I check-call ace river and lose to AQ. Standard!

11:31 AM: Super Dave, the world’s biggest maniac, has made us 7-handed.

11:32: And we’re full: loose $8/$16 reg and an unknown.

11:38 AM: Super Dave just won back-to-back massive pots vs me:

65hh < 53o on 654Q7

QTcc < K7 on K87QK

The two hands that sandwiched that he lost massive pots with ace high.

This guy almost never has a pair. Why me? Why always me?

-$500 😂😂😂

11:51 AM: Super Dave 3, Dark Knight 0:

QQ < 94o on 7439K

This dude has not won a pot against anyone else yet. He’s shown down ace high four times.

Just 3-bet AThh and c-bet J73 flop 3-handed and by river I have worst hand against QT and T9.

Seriously considering discontinuing the blog today – I just run amazingly bad when I’m blogging my sessions. I’m not superstitious but wtf.

-$900 in less than an hour.

12:23 PM: I reloaded $1k already. Super Dave had $1500 after he dusted my queens with 94o. He has less than $300 now. I haven’t won a pot since he sat down. It honestly makes me sick.

12:30 PM: Super Dave has felted all his chips… and all my chips. It’s gotta be some kind of sick joke.

12:32: I open KQcc. I’m the only raiser. 3-handed on KJJJ. I’m in last place. I promise you this shit is real. Big blind has Jx and button has AA.

12:46 PM: Super Dave 4, Dark Knight 1

He pays off my A3 on A535J but outdraws my 99 on the very next hand. No momentum.

12:50 PM: Top top vs AA, but neither of us can beat J7.

This is a total zoo game. Super Dave is at 100% VPIP, 60% PFR after 25 hands; two other players have VPIPs over 60%. The two worst players have felted already and I’m down $1500 somehow.

Game Genie and the unknown player to my right (@ 77% VPIP) have all the chips.

12:58 PM: Another player felts and is replaced by The Tick.

1:14 PM: The three worst players have felted a total of four times. Two have left and been replaced by The Tick and Radio Mike. I am down almost $1600. Super Dave still has about $800 and if he leaves I may actually vomit. The unknown to my right has bumped his VPIP over 80% now.

1:21 PM: I open KQdd UTG, Super Dave 3-bets and The Tick can’t fold JTo and of course he gets the KQ9 flop. I’m in $4000 already and probably down $2000.

And…. Super Dave cashed out.

Someone kill me.

I’m experimenting with a new app which is how I can mention stats. Super Dave finished with a 100% VPIP and 69% PFR over 41 hands.

1:32 PM: Finally caught a miracle: AJ (ace of hearts) on KQ8hhT4 capped on flop… I bet and three bet on flop and I can’t get Radio Mike out with the same hand (no hearts) so I have to split this massive pot with him. No joy. I find no joy in winning half of this pot.

Dansby Swanson chimes in with “you guys were so crushed on the flop” and I’m taking a walk outside because I snapped back “no shit, man. We had ace high.”

1:42 PM: New goal for the day: not to react to anything.

2:10 PM: Goal failed already. Dansby opens, I 3-bet TT, two others in; board runs out T986J and I lose to Dansby’s AQ.

2:19PM: the unknown on my right with the 80%+ VPIP had over $1500 and now has less than $100. So… to recap: four different players have felted or dusted off big stacks (not including me) and I’m somehow stuck almost $2k with that much overlay. It almost seems impossible.

3:15 PM: Just went runner runner flush with AKdd vs AQ on QTxd7d2d and got told “nice catch” because, you know, I’m running so pure.

3:30 PM: So pure. I open AK, Dansby check-raises me in Overs on AJ3, I call, bet turn, he donks 7 river. NH A7.

3:46 PM: T2cc just raised button after limper and capped after I 3-bet AQ from big blind. Obviously can’t beat that hand.

3:54 PM: Player I’ve tracked last two days at 43 VPIP 4 PFR (over 500+ hands) just opened and I 3-bet QQ. Three on us to T75 two diamonds and she check-raises and caps. I think I’m dead already. I call down and through some miracle from the heavens she is torching with KT offsuit for some reason.

4:11 PM: Another miracle: the torcher with the 80% VPIP (and T2cc capper) raised limpers on button, I 3-bet AQ again, he caps again. Flop KT3, I check-raise the other two players out and he calls. I brick turn, bet, and… he folds! 🙌🏻

Chief Wiggum is eating something that smells rancid and I ask him about it and he starts saying how good it is. I say “it smells good” and he starts telling me about it and I say “let Radio Mike smell it” and he immediately grabs his plate to and brings it to Mike’s face, unaware of Mike’s pet peeve with other people’s food.

That was amusing enough to give me a second wind!

4:56 PM: Huge pot. I have A7ss on 532ss7 and lose to Radio Mike’s 62 when we both river straights. Would have got me to less than $1000 stuck but now I’m sitting here wondering how I can smash the board when I really need a big pot and lose to bottom pair.

5:05 PM: Just made quad jacks and got paid off on all streets and I’m up for top High Hand but I have to fade 18+ minutes.

5:26 PM: My High Hand held! Don’t call it a comeback! Seriously. Don’t.

Radio Mike opens, I defend JJ. Flop QJT. I check-raise, he calls. King on turn. He has AT. No waiting. No board pair. He checks back river for some reason.

5:40 PM: Actually the comeback is on. I’m down less than $1k now which feels like winning at this point.

5:47 PM: Four limps in front of me, I limp 96o, 7 of us see T96cc flop. Tick leads, two call, I raise, two cold call, and six of us to 3d turn. Tick donks again, one call, I raise, Taz cold calls again, and four of us to ace river. Tick donks again. I feel like I’m losing now, especially with his extensive history of rivering me lately. I call though and he tables JT!

He’s heating up! Down less than $600 now.

6:37 PM: And slipping back down. AK whiff, AQ whiff, JJ < AQ.

7:05 PM: My wife just put her name up for $15/$30 which means she must think they will start a second game – and they might be able to…

7:16 PM: Welp. They started a second game and the only thing keeping me in this current game was the 80% VPIP on my right… and then he cashed out!

And was replaced by The Human Torch! He sits down with $500.

But yes. Palace has two $15/$30 games going.

7:36 PM: And now my wife is in the same game as me. 🤦🏻‍♂️

7:41 PM: A couple good things happened. I raised AThh on a 972 flop trying to pick up outs with an obvious AK or AQ out and went runner runner flush instead and got a raise in on the river. Then I flopped a set of fives heads up against the big blind and dodged A7dd on 653dd.

Also, The Torch went through that $500 in less than ten minutes… and was replaced by my wife. So my close call decision to switch tables is now a no-brainer.

8:49 PM: I’m finding it rather difficult to track everyone’s stats and blog at the same time… I’ve been playing a lot of hands. I’m running at 35/20 over 300+ hands because the players on my right have been so loose and passive.

I just limped along with K8dd and turned a flush against T9o on TT7ddQd.

Still waiting on my table change but two players with VPIP of 50%+ have Overs here. However, the other game is significantly better. 🤷🏻‍♂️

8:56 PM: My wife just put her “I mean fucking business hat” on… which she wasn’t wearing when she check-raised me on the turn heads up twenty minutes ago. 🤔

9:02 PM: Going bad again. Both 50% VPIPs just torched me for big pots. One makes a one card flush with JTo on the river and I just ran QQ into AA against the other player on AQ66J and lost basically all the bets and now I’m walking around outside in disbelief.

But the bad thing about walking around outside is that the smokers all feel it’s appropriate to ask “how’s it going in there?” – a question I don’t like answering when things are going great, let alone when I’m getting my teeth kicked in.

I think I got up to as much as -$550 but I’m probably back to -$1500ish.

When did this game become so hard?

9:16 PM: That was a pretty long break I just took, but how comical is this? The player that filleted me with those aces is… gone. Of course he is.

9:25 PM: Special player in the game. Basically always sits with near min-buy and always wants an Overs button. I have been playing here since late 2014 and I’ve legit never seen him cash out one chip.

9:42 PM: OMG so many crazy hands. I can’t type them fast enough.

One hand: I flop top top with AK against The Tick’s ace plus nut flush draw and he 3-bets flop and never stops betting, which is a line he’s always had me beat with (when he’s sober), so winning that pot was a nice surprise.

I also raised the turn heads up in Overs with KJdd on T98dd8 and didn’t miss. 😮😮

10:03 PM: Finally got my table change. New table has The Hit&Run King, Taz, and a bunch of crazies.

Now that I’m here everyone is going to abandon ship. That’s how it goes. I don’t think they know how much I’m bleeding lately.

10:13 PM: First pot at new table. I raise A8hh utg, Taz cold calls button, both blinds call. I double barrel 985dh2d and check-call 3d river and lose to Taz’s K7 of diamonds.

Just turned quads with AQ though and I’m up for High Hand again.

10:19 PM: Jesus. The blinds at my table just ran it for high hand and the small blind flopped a straight flush to notch me with four minutes left. I wish I could take a picture so you could believe this shit I’m telling you. Paying $6 to run it for a $250 High Hand and it costs me $150.

I did get another $90 in High Hands though, so that’s something.

11:11 PM: Player posts in the cutoff and checks, I raise 54cc on button and we are heads up. I turn a flush which is cool. He has A3cc though, which is standard.

11:30 PM: Nothing is easy today. Crazy opens, there’s a call, I 3-bet KQhh and get the QQ7cc flop and then get check-raised on Jc turn which is kind of gross but then the 9c river bet makes it really painful. Fortunately he is punting with two red 8s and I pick it off.

12:02 AM: The poker gods just rewarded me for all the pain I’ve endured today. Button straddles, SB 3-bets, I call with 44 from big blind, and four of us see the 654ss flop. It goes two bets on flop and then the PFR donks ten turn, I raise and the button 3-bets, SB calls and I cap it even though I’m not sure I’m good here. River: 4. We get three bets in again three ways and, yes folks, it’s a one-outer against the button’s 55. Also good for another second place High Hand.

Button is berating me after the hand saying “aren’t you supposed to be a professional? You’re sloppy as fuck.”

😂😂😂

I mean… it’s hard to feel bad for the guy when he’s being a dick about it, but let’s be real: I haven’t taken a beat that bad today!

12:55 AM: Got to my happy place: 6-handed poker, no chopping, which is past everyone else’s pain threshold. Two players leave for $8/$16, one has been sitting out indefinitely, one goes out to smoke, and another says he’ll only play 4-handed if we straddle every hand. I’m not saying no to that… but I am now sitting here first up on the list instead of playing poker because people think short-handed is “bad.” So frustrating.

1:06 AM: Yup. That’s a session. Cashing out almost $3000 so I’m getting the awesome comments of “nice job” and “how do you win every day?” These people obviously don’t read my blog.

Final score: -$1117

I will not be blogging my session tomorrow, dammit. Guaranteed winner!

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2017 Poker Results

February 6, 2018

Volume Goals:

-Play 1800 live hours
-Play 600 hours of 20/40 or higher
-Play 100 hours of Omaha 8 or Better

Comments: My final live hours tally was 1729.5 hours, so I came up just short of that goal. However, I did add another 1100+ hours in online play, which sounds massive, but can actually be reduced somewhat because each table I play at is accumulating time in my app tracker. So one hour while 4-tabling is actually four total hours. Still, if you include the online volume, I easily played 160+ hours a month in 2017. In addition, 85% of my live hours were in cash games and 15% were in tournaments. Online, my volume is closer to 50/50 between cash and tournaments.

I only played 239 hours of $20/$40 LHE, but I did add 74 hours of $15/$30, 98 hours of 1/3/5 PLO, 11 hours of $30/$60, and 15 hours in bigger mix games. Add all that up and that’s 437 hours in bigger games, which is still short of my goal – and this would have been much worse if Palace didn’t start spreading bigger games in the last couple of months of 2017. When it came down to it, I just preferred to commute 5 minutes to play poker rather than 30+, even if it sort of hurt our bottom line.

I played 35 hours of live Omaha 8 or Better, far below my goal – and only an additional 21 hours online. I did play 90 hours of O8 tournaments though, so I guess this goal is somewhat of a wash. On the bright side, I didn’t plan to become a Pot Limit Omaha player in 2017, so that was a fun development. I played 96 hours of live PLO and 234 hours of online PLO, plus another 111 hours in PLO tournaments. So all in all, I played 587 hours in four card games, which seems like a check mark for this goal. I imagine I will be playing even more PLO in 2018, but Global Poker currently doesn’t offer O8 games and the only live casinos with O8 are either too far away or spread it too small for me to want to play consistently. I did hear Muckleshoot brought back a $20/$40 O8 game on Saturdays, but I’m yet to play it.

Win Rate Goals:

-1.5 BB/HR @ $8/$16
-0.75 BB/HR @ $20/$40 or higher
-1 BB/HR @ Omaha 8 or Better
-50% ROI in live tournaments

Comments: I came up just short on my $8/$16 goal. After posting a win rate of 1.12 BB/HR in 2015 and 1.8 BB/HR in 2016, I thought somewhere in the middle for 2017 would be reasonable, and I was right. I didn’t quite hit 1.5 BB/HR, but I did finish at 1.41 BB/HR for 2017.

My goal for bigger games went much better. After finishing 2016 with a disappointing 0.5 BB/HR in $20/$40 LHE games, I wasn’t sure if I was really capable of putting up the numbers I’ve become accustomed to in smaller games, but I’m happy to report that I finished 2017 with a 1.19 BB/HR win rate in $20/$40 (and 1.47 BB/HR in the Fortune $20/$40) and 1.23 BB/HR in LHE games of $15/$30 or bigger.

As I mentioned earlier, my Omaha 8 or Better volume was really small for 2017, so individual sessions had a really big impact on my final results. I won $29/hour playing O8 in 2017 while posting a win rate of -0.05 BB/HR! How did this happen? I played a seven hour $30/$60 O8 session and won $1300 and that accounted for more than 100% of my profit for the year.

I didn’t set a Pot Limit Omaha goal for 2017, but since I played so much of it, I figure I should share my results. As I’ve mentioned many times on my blog, I don’t think I’m a particularly good PLO player, but the game that’s spread on Wednesdays at Palace is so incredibly soft that I’ve managed to put up some monster results. I won over $100/hour in a 1/3/5 structured game. I don’t really know how to express that as a win rate since big bet games are usually expressed as big blinds per hour and this game has a $3 big blind but it’s $5 to call. Shrug. $100/hour is pretty much all you need to know – and it’s totally unsustainable. I actually lost money in PLO cash games online, to the tune of -$12/hour in over twice as many hours as my live volume and this is why I’m pretty sure I’m not that great. In fact, I lost $14/hour in $0.25/$0.50 6-max PLO, which is 28 big blinds/hour. That’s BAD. I seem to do better in full ring games than I do in short-handed PLO. I know I have run bad in online PLO, but I also know I’m not that good. On the other hand, I did really well in online PLO tournaments. I cashed in 23 of 65 events (35%) for an ROI of 119% with six wins and three seconds in fields that typically had 50-120 players, which means I finished in the top two of nearly 14% of the PLO tournaments I played. That’s either dominant or super lucky… or both.

I once again crushed my ROI goal for live tournaments, thanks to another WSOP final table and a new career high score for my 5th place finish in the $1500 H.O.R.S.E. event.

I ended up playing 37 events with a buy in of $100+ and an average buy in of $476 and finished with an ROI of 256% which smashed my goal of 50% I set for the year. As I noted in my 2017 Goals, I guessed I would play about 3 live tournaments a month and that was a spot on estimate. All my success basically came in the WSOP where I cashed 4 of 5 tournaments and found myself in the WSOP Player of the Year running before deciding not to play any more events.

It’s worth noting that I whiffed completely in the Muckleshoot Classic series, posting an overall 0-9 effort. I still have zero final tables in that series to date and it remains a location that I am yet to have a breakout in.

I only had two notable cashes outside of the WSOP – I took 4th of 188 in my first tournament of the year back in January at the LAPC at Commerce in the $350 Omaha 8 or Better for $5600 and then I took 1st of 75 in the $125 All In Or Fold tournament at Run It Up Reno in October for $3900.

I played many, many more tournaments online. This is basically what I did on my “days off.” I played in 500 total tournaments with an average buy in of $21.50 and I cashed in 106 (21%). Despite a decent cashing percentage, I actually finished with a -8% ROI and lost $1.25/hour overall. LOL. To be fair, I did punt the majority of my bankroll on Ignition when the future of that site went into question. In July, I switched over to Global Poker and cashed in 82 of 303 tournaments (27%) with I think about ten wins, an overall ROI of 11%, and a sexy hourly of $1.56!

Training/Study Goals:

-read through MG1&2 and do all the work
-do APT weekly challenge every week
-memorize all the typical LHE drawing odds
-watch at least one WSOP FT a month
-play at least four hours of PLO and four hours of NLHE every month
-play at least ten tournaments a month

Comments: Most of my studying is in the form of playing micro stakes cash games and tournaments online. Basically my goal is to stay sharp or gain experience in no limit hold’em tournaments and pot limit Omaha cash games. With that said, I crushed the bottom two goals listed above. The rest of my study goals didn’t go nearly as well. I never finished Jared Tendler‘s books and as you can tell from some of my recent blog posts and my mind state at the end of my last LAPC trip this is an area that I could still use considerable work on. I subscribed to PokerGo and there’s tons of content on there – and I’m even watching the $25K Mixed Games Championship in the U.S. Poker Open as I type this (Go DeathDonkey!) – but most of my poker watching has been on the streams and vlogs of Lex Veldhuis, Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen, Tonkaaa, and JNandez. There is so much good poker content out there right now that it’s overwhelming at times. I also read Tommy Angelo‘s Painless Poker and while I prefer his older work, it did spark some lifestyle changes.

Top 5 $8/$16 Sessions:
1. +$1867 @ Palace
2. +$1808 @ Palace
3. +$1550 @ Palace
4. +$1530 @ Palace
5. +$1465 @ Palace

Worst 5 $8/$16 Sessions:
1. -$905 @ Palace
2. -$887 @ Palace
3. -$873 @ Palace
4. -$857 @ Palace
5. -$758 (x2) @ Palace

Top 5 non-$8/$16 Sessions:
1. +$4010 in $1/$3/$5 PLO @ Palace
2. +$3535 in $1/$3/$5 PLO @ Palace
3. +$2907 in $20/$40 LHE @ Fortune
4. +$2725 in $15/$30 LHE @ Palace
5. +$2540 in $15/$30 LHE @ Palace *$2352 Royal Flush
6. +$2348 in $30/$60 LHE @ Palace

Worst 5 non-$8/$16 Sessions:
1. -$2265 in $15/$30 LHE @ Palace
2. -$2100 in $1/$3/$5 PLO @ Palace
3. -$1442 in $20/$40 LHE @ Commerce
4. -$1242 in $20/$40 LHE @ Fortune
5. -$1191 in $20/$40 LHE @ Fortune

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Marathon Monday – 2/5/2017

February 5, 2018

11:20 AM: I’m starting to wonder about the viability of a daily $15/$30 game at Palace. If the game can’t start on a Saturday with $500 High Hands every 20 minutes and five $8/$16 games running at one point, things don’t bode very well.

I think the biggest problem is getting the game off the ground. It’s a Palace mentality that short-handed games are “bad.” The players that embrace the short game are few and far between, so when there are 5-6 names on the list it’s like pulling teeth to get a game started unless the right people are on the list. But if you get the game going, other people will join – people that weren’t on the list – and it will fill up. I don’t know why people don’t get this concept.

Bravo showed 11 names on the $15/$30 list for today, but when I showed up I quickly realized that most of the names were carryovers from the Saturday game that never started. That left a total of four names and one of them quickly removed themselves from the list.

So I’m playing $8/$16 instead now and there is a list of four for $15/$30.

In my $8/$16 game are Elmer, Radio Mike, and Game Genie – the same names on the $15/$30 list.

11:52AM: With that said, one player walked in for $15/$30 and we immediately fired it up. Hopefully others will join.

Starting lineup: myself, Radio Mike, Elmer, Game Genie and… a new blog nickname: Marlo… named after the character from The Wire because the resemblance is uncanny. Marlo is sitting with the minimum buy in of $150 but he can fire off for much more and he’s never hurt a poker game he’s sat in.

12:05 PM: Marlo torched his stack and gave me all the bets on JT952 when I had JT and he had J2 (he was all in for two bets on the turn). As an added bonus, Elmer called all the way down. Just as I promised Marlo reloaded for $700.

12:16 PM: We are 7-handed now, joined by a $15/$30 reg and a newer Palace reg that I played with for the first time last week and he immediately established himself as one of the few players I genuinely dislike. He played super slow, which was annoying enough, but he was also verbally aggressive and basically attacked Peaceful Pete and myself, insinuating that we are each other’s “girlfriends.” Eh. I don’t care what anyone says about me or how they act – please just let them keep playing – but unlike Peter, who laughed at everything this idiot said and really kept him in his “happy zone,” I don’t pretend to like people I can’t stand. I’ve only played with this guy twice now, so I’m not gonna drop a name on him yet, but my genuine enemies need to be easily identifiable.

Game Genie opens button, I 3-bet A3hh from the SB, and we are heads up to A86 two clubs one heart. We both check. Non-standard line from me but Game Genie is bluffy. Turn is a jack and it goes bet and call. River is a ten and I go passive again, check-calling, and lose to Q9cc.

I open AK and my new enemy defends and beats me with Q6 on 764AQ.

I open KTdd and Marlo eventually gets all in against me on T84c4c and his J9cc rivers a straight.

My good start has quickly become a mediocre one.

1:08 PM: Sick, lucky connection: Game Genie raises two limpers on the button, I 3-bet KK from SB, one limper stays and three of us see K55 flop. I get three bets in on flop against Game Genie, one bet on 9 turn, and three big bets on 8 river. He has 85hh.

1:16 PM: That last hand gives me a rare big start. I want to rededicate myself to taking breaks and really focusing at the table today. As fun as it is to play with Radio Mike, Elmer, and Prattling Pete it really creates a home game vibe sometimes and takes me out of my element. I’m here to kill and pay our bills, not have a good time with friends. And it also makes it really hard to listen to all the new music that is always coming out and I really enjoy doing that and there’s no better place to do so than at a poker table.

We are full now, picking up a Fortune $20/$40 reg I will call Grawp (that’s a Harry Potter reference and a pretty obscure relation to this player, but I get it and that’s all that matters!) and a Palace reg.

1:42 PM: Game Genie vowed to get his chips back from me and that’s something worth keeping in mind. For instance: four limps in front of me, I limp along with 97o on the button. Flop is 653 with two hearts and it checks to me. I bet and one blind and Game Genie check-call. Turn is a black king and Game Genie leads out. This is definitely a spot I should consider raising. He doesn’t have to have a hand here and I have decent equity even when he calls. I call though, brick river and let him have the pleasure of showing me the ten high he “bluffed” me out with.

1:59 PM: Phone-In Pete is up as a call in for $8/$16 and $6/$12 Omaha, but not for $15/$30. Seems like an oversight on the floors’ part, so I asked Radio Mike if we should mention something to them and we both agreed we can’t assume that Peter wants to play $15/$30. He might have had a terrible weekend or maybe he thinks the lineup is too tough today? We will let him sort it out when he gets here.

2:41 PM: FALSE ALARM: Perfidious Pete is not here. I repeat: PETER IS NOT HERE. Must have been a different Peter. It all makes sense now.

2:46 PM: Radio Mike opens and I defend with 98o. Flop is K65 all diamonds and I check-raise (one of my cards is a diamond). He calls. Turn pairs the king and I bet and he folds. About a minute goes by and he gives me a look and I give him a wink, knowing he’s going to read this in the next ten minutes or so.

Maybe I had a king, Mike. Maybe I had what I said I had.

3:31 PM: a limp or two in front of me, I raise TT, Grawp calls from SB, five of us to 853ss flop. Elmer donks, I raise, Grawp cold calls, Elmer calls. Turn K. Grawp check-raises. I’m calling down here out of curiosity. Ace of spades on the river gets me a free showdown and he shows KQo. Okay.

3:52 PM: Can’t say I’m running bad though. Game Genie limps UTG, I raise KTdd, button 3-bets, Elmer caps, Genie folds and it’s three of us to T33, two hearts one diamond. Elmer leads and he basically always has overpair here so no point in raising. I call and we are heads up. 4d on turn and I still just call. Elmer is the type that will call a raise here and still bet the river so no guarantee I get a free showdown when I miss and there is literally zero chance I have the best hand. River solves all problems by giving me a flush and I outdraw his KK.

And then I win a big pot with KK three hands later. 🤷🏻‍♂️

4:18 PM: I open QQ and Radio Mike 3-bets. I call and check-call down on KJ965 and lose to his AK.

One player limps and it folds to my big blind. I check with Q4o and check again on QT6. Turn is a 4 and I get my patented big bet check-raise in in a micropot. He calls and the river is a 3 and now he’s raising me? I call and he has the 75 somehow.

Same player cold calls a raise on Q82 and beats my AA with Q4.

Maybe I’m not running so hot?

4:34 PM: I’m changing Grawp’s nickname because I just remembered something: Sgt. Rock has a blog (link later: Sgt Rock’s Blog) he updates occasionally and already has a great nickname for this player. He calls him Atlanta Braves leadoff hitter and shortstop and I always laugh when I read that. I don’t want to type all that out though every time I mention him so I will call him by current Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson’s name.

4:44 PM: I just opened button with K7o and called down on TT596 vs J8 because I’m a total sicko. Not the greatest bluff catcher but this was more of an informational call down because he took a strange line (check-call flop, bet turn and river).

5:00 PM: Punctual Pete just walked in the door at 5 PM sharp and not ONE SECOND earlier and this bastard immediately gets a seat in the game.

5:48 PM: My enemy in MP opens, Elmer calls, I 3-bet JJ from SB, enemy caps. Flop J74 two spades and I lead out expecting to get good action. Enemy calls and Elmer folds. 2 on turn and I’m fully expecting to get raised, so why not bet? He does raise, I 3-bet and he calls down with whatever overpair he had. He did the whole dramatic “look how unlucky I got” slow fold thing and showed his hand but I lost interest in the situation after about ten seconds and never saw it.

7:48 PM: I was just taking a break to eat some Banh Xeo and it was amazing! While doing so, Radio Mike walked up to me and said “nice live blog – it’s been two hours!”

I guess I haven’t played any exciting pots in a while. So here’s a recent one: I open cutoff with KQcc, button calls, Blackjack calls, and Game Genie goes all in for 3-bets, and I cap. Flop is A4A one club and I c-bet and both live players call. Turn is 3c and I barrel and I shake the button but Blackjack is hanging in there. I whiff river and give up and Blackjack gets it all with 99.

7:50 PM: Here’s a better hand: two limps, Peter completes, I check 43o. Flop is 665, I bet and everyone calls. Turn 7, I bet and my enemy raises me from UTG, fold fold, I 3-bet, and he caps. River 8, I check-call and he shows… 44. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Nope. Didn’t want to catch that punt attempt.

8:01 PM: Open 99 UTG, Blackjack and Dansby Swanson cold call. Three of us to KT9 flop. I bet, Blackjack raises, Dansby does some more cold calling, I 3-bet and they both call. Turn 3, I bet and only BJ calls. River jack and I go thin and get raised. He shows QThh. Blah.

I open button with 33 and only Blackjack defends. He check-calls on 964. We both check on 4 turn. His run good against me continues with a 6 on the river, but he miraculously check-folds, even though my line is laughably unbelievable.

8:23 PM: More pain: I open JJ, my enemy cold calls, big blind defends. Flop is KJ3 two hearts. I bet and the big blind check-raises, I 3-bet, my enemy is still in and big blind calls. Turn is an 8 and now this torcher raises me, the big blind folds, and I punish him with a 3-bet. He calls and raises me on the 2h river. I call and he has 87hh for a flush. Raises me on the turn against a super strong line because he hasn’t paid enough for this draw already, I guess.

This is the kind of torching he was doing on Friday and giving all his chips to Peter, but when I played against him he had a hand. Tonight he’s trying to give me money and the river won’t let him. 🤢

8:47 PM: I hate him. I can’t stand this dude. I can’t explain it all and I don’t want to type out all the offensive things he does, but he needs a nickname. I wanted to use this on someone else earlier but it’s more fitting here. He’s big, he might have roid rage, he’s kind of an idiot, and he annoys the shit out of me. He’s The Tick.

Here’s a crazy, weird hand: multiple limpers, I limp along with 64ss on the button, and 6 of us see a Q97 flop. Everybody checks. Turn is a 6 and a middle player bets, I call, although folding here is perfectly reasonable. We are heads up to king on river and he bets again. He’s a new player to this limit and I know he has a lot of respect for my game so I think a raise here works a large percentage of the time. I pop it and… he calls. I table my hand and he promptly turns up… T5 of diamonds… which is ten high. And then he’s wondering why the pot is being pushed to me. Solid soul read, Dark Knight.

10:06 PM: Multiple limps in front of me, I raise ATss, five or six of us to 952 and it checks around. Turn is a ten and it checks to me, I bet, The Tick raises (after checking back button on flop), Blackjack cold calls, Persistent Peter cold calls, huh? There is a heart draw available, but what the heck? I 3-bet it because none of these clowns have me beat and everyone calls. River is a 7 and I check because this might be a little thin for value as it seemed everyone was drawing, but The Tick bets and Blackjack check-raises. Sigh. Peter mucks, I muck, and The Tick pays it off with ATcc. Blackjack has J8 for the nuts.

10:20 PM: Radio Mike gave me unlimited action on T22Q6 when I had KK and he had whatever crap hand he can cap the flop and call down with. That sent him outside with a tear coming down his eye and when he came back in, he tripped over the front rug, and I guess that made up his mind that he was incapable of continuing a poker session and he came back to the table with wet tissue and some empty racks.

11:10 PM: I open KQ and only Peter defends. Somehow I lose to A6dd on QJ5d flop. 🤷🏻‍♂️

11:26 PM: The Tick has reached the boiling point. He’s had enough alcohol now that he has elevated to Mega-Douche levels and anything anyone says from now on could cause a confrontation.

12:51 AM: Well I’m not leaving anytime soon. We are 8-handed and everyone has Overs buttons now. My A6 just lost to The Tick’s 64 on 76578, which is whatever, but it would be nice to have the best hand on the river against this tool once in a while.

12:54 AM: Peeved Pete just dropped the “F-Bomb” on the table for acting out of turn on the river.

1:01 AM: Jesus. Tick limps utg, SB calls, I check K8. Flop KT8, it checks around. Turn ace, I check-raise The Tick. He calls. Jack on river. I check-call. He has AQ. Every time? Really?

1:29 AM: Everyone gets to river me. A girl that’s been playing really snug all night opens from MP, button calls, I defend TT. I donk 876 flop and she raises me. I call and we are heads up. We both check on ace turn, which I was planning to check-raise if she bet. River is a ten. I bet, she raises… I really think she would bet 99 on the turn, so I’m perplexed. Whatever. I call. She has Q9 suited.

Groan. My Palace red chip curse continues. I haven’t been stuck ALL day and it’s getting close now. I could be up over $2k right now so easy. If I was just running decent.

1:52 AM: Capped pre with AQss 4-ways. Flop KTx with two spades. Capped again. T on turn. Peter has TT. Somehow I don’t get there on the river.

I am stuck now. I am fucking stuck.

Unreal.

2:01 AM: I am 15 hours deep and I’m stuck for the first time all day. It seems like I’ve been getting rivered for about four hours straight now. I’m fed up. But everyone has Overs and The Tick has almost $1500.It’s a toss up.

2:14 AM: Peter just played a 10 minute heads up hand against The Tick (probably only a slight exaggeration) and got like five extra bets with QQ, a hand that should never be good considering the board and the action, but of course he’s good. The snail-pace of the game honestly might drive me out of here.

3:00 AM: Folds to The Tick on the button and the big blind is begging for a chop. He gets it. I have AQ in the small blind. Thanks man.

Another whiffed nut flush draw.

Everyone is punting to Peter.

Maybe I did go home. Maybe I’m asleep and this is a nightmare I’m having.

3:11 AM: 6-handed no chopping now. The chances this game lasts long enough for me to gut this clown is probably somewhere around zero.

3:22 AM: Zero fucking percent. Game over. What a catastrophe. Finish -$535 after being up at least $1400 at my peak. These $15/$30 sessions have been criminal. This is the second straight session The Tick has sprayed chips to everybody at the table and still managed to cash out multiple racks because he can’t lose to me no matter how hard he tries to.

h1

Super-Sized Saturday $15/$30 LHE (Live Blog)

February 3, 2018

Yesterday I played a 16+ hour session (+$312) like a true degenerate sicko without blogging so I feel like I should do one today. I’m going to be a little less crazy today. I’m currently on alert for when the game is about to spread and I’ll be leaving my house as soon as that happens. But honestly, I hope that’s not for another hour.

Palace in Lakewood has had a sick High Hand promotion the last three days – $500 every 20 minutes for 12 hours each day – and yesterday they managed to fill every table in their brand new 15-table room. For those of you that don’t know, I worked at Palace from August 2015 to October 2016 and while we did get all eight tables full on occasion, it was more of a 5- or 6-table room during my tenure. So seeing all 15 tables full with big lists was kind of mind-blowing. I couldn’t be happier for The Man, for poker in this area, or for myself really. It seems like the last few days it has been accepted that a $15/$30 game can be spread every day (yesterday there were five $8/$16 games and a $15/$30 with a big list at one point) and if that happens to be true, I have no good reason (except variety) to travel to Renton to play $20/$40 at Fortune anymore. I still might go a few times a month, but it won’t feel like something I need to try to make a bigger priority.

I missed the new promos on the 1st because I decided to go to the University of Washington vs Arizona State college basketball game. And what a great decision that was. I had a BLAST! Here’s a really dumb fact: I initially enrolled at UW in fall of 2003 and I eventually graduated in 2010 (that’s another story) and in 14.5 years of UW affiliation (and a stretch of college basketball obsession – I used to do my own Top 25 Rankings), I had never been to a Husky basketball game. I never saw Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter, Tony Wroten, or Terrence Ross play basketball in a UW uniform (except on T.V.) and being at the game on Thursday, as great as it was, made me feel the pain of all those missed opportunities. And it also reinvigorated my passion for Husky basketball. I’ve been reluctant to get back into it because I have a tendency to overindulge (see above link) and feel like I need to watch every game for every relevant team… but I’m just going to be a Husky fan. I think I can do that. And I want to go to another game ASAP. In fact, though I will be live blogging my session today, I will also be bringing my iPad to watch the UW-Arizona game at 8 PM. I’m invested now.

I did something else yesterday that was bittersweet – I bought tickets to the Broadway musical Hamilton playing at The Paramount in Seattle on February 11th. This is a total bucket list item for myself and the $250 tickets I saw on StubHub were by far the cheapest I’ve seen them anywhere. I only say bittersweet because this happens to be the same day as the Main Events in the Grizzly Games on Global Poker, so I won’t be playing in those. Another tournament getting scratched off my list.

Welp. Palace already has ten tables running with five names on the list for $15/$30, so I’m going to hop in the shower and head that way in about 20 minutes. Stay tuned!

1:23 PM: Just arrived at Palace. They have 12 tables going with 6 names on the list for $15/$30 and these other players don’t seem to grasp the concept that you can’t start a game… without starting a game. I can see up to 5-6 more people that might jump in $15/$30 if it actually got off the ground.

And… that list is down to 5 now.

I’m 4th up for $8/$16 and I really have no desire to sit in that game for an hour.

1:38 PM: Sitting down in $8/$16 with $2000 and people can’t help themselves but make comments: “that don’t mean nothing” and “just because he bought a lot of chips.” Like… I can’t hear you?

1:50 PM: I rated my first album of 2018. SiR‘s November is really, really good. He’s a TDE product (same camp as Kendrick Lamar), so the expectations are high and SiR doesn’t disappoint. This is an R&B/Soul album, not a hip-hop one, but it’s high quality stuff: elite production with great songwriting. “D’Evils” and “Something Foreign” are the first two songs on my Best of 2018 playlist and I more songs are catching my ear as I listen. Check it out!

2:22 PM: I have voluntarily played two hands in almost an hour of action so far. I won a pot with TT.

There are still only five names on the $15/$30 list and Radio Mike just text me and said he’s not playing today. There are only two open tables left. This could be a problem. I really don’t want to play $8/$16 with $2000 in chips in front of me all day. Whoops!

2:53 PM: Three limpers, I raise AA from SB, five of us see flop. Q42 with two diamonds. I bet, a player totally unknown to me raises, there’s a cold caller, I three bet and the unknown caps. Still three of us to black 9 turn and I’m still leading. I’m happy to see both of them just call. River is a 4 of diamonds and I’m definitely one to go for thin value, but I don’t know what’s going on here and one of these guys could easily have a flush. I’m not bet-folding so I check and it checks around and I’m good.

3:56 PM: Still no $15/$30 (7 on list, two open tables). No blog regulars at my $8/$16 table. I’m tired. I haven’t slept well in a few days and added a 16-hour session to that mix. If the $15/$30 doesn’t fire in the next hour or so, I’m just going to relax and watch the UW-AZ game from home.

5:23 PM: I’m still here and now I’m rethinking my decision to leave. The $15/$30 game isn’t going to happen. I’ve accepted that.

But check this hand out: multiple limpers, button raises, I 3-bet AQ from the small or big, button caps, everyone calls. 5- or 6-ways to A75 two hearts (I have none) and I check-raise the button. The players two my left cold call and the button calls. Turn is Kh. I bet, two call, button raises, I fold, and only one player calls. River Th. It checks around and… button tables TT.

That’s the kind of chip-torching that keeps me up at night wondering if someone like that is playing in a casino near me while I’m sleeping.

7:34 PM: I’m at home now watching the game. After 5.5 hours of $8/$16 I cashed out $2066 which, if you recall, means I won $66. Another very ho hum session.

I suspect tonight will be one of the 5-10 times I fall asleep before midnight in 2018.

GO DAWGS!!