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Minithon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace 4/2/2018 (Live Blog)

April 2, 2018

As I figured it was a late start today. We didn’t get back from Bellevue until after noon and I took a nap until about 2:30 PM.

I was thinking of not blogging today, mostly because a friend from Kitsap (The Atom) is coming to play and is liable to talk my ear off and make this a difficult task, but the lineup and list have made me feel like I should be blogging.

Starting lineup: The Tick (he’s back!), FBI Guy, Taz, The River Man, couple loose players, and a Palace reg I’ve never seen play this big.

4:28 PM: Solid start. I raise a bunch of limps with AQo on the button and Taz donks from UTG on A83cc which usually means a strong hand but doesn’t always mean I’m beat. We end up putting in three bets on the flop three ways and I call down on A83x8 runout and outdraw his A3.

Two limps, I raise KJo on button. Flop is AQ9 and only the dude playing up for the first time calls me. He reluctantly check-calls 8 turn and he’s not being deceptive so I fire the third barrel when I miss everything on the river and he folds JJ face up.

5:13 PM: Light bulb moment! 💡A rather new reg that started coming in for PLO and now plays 15/30 regularly finally has a name. I was looking for someone that constantly wanders into danger and always escapes unscathed. This player is always getting in terrible spots in PLO and plays way too many hands at LHE but his results have been quite good even though he doesn’t play well after the flop either. It has been an extended run of good fortune that kind of boggles my mind. He is Mister Magoo (thanks Bad Boy!).

5:30 PM: Here’s a river spot I’m unsure of. I have bet flop and turn with TT on a board of Q98ccs6sQs and I still have four opponents on the river. The repeat queen is obviously nice and the backdoor flush can be made with a pair of mines on the flop. Two players have checked to me and two players are yet to act. I think it’s close and probably closer to a bet, but I check and win the pot.

5:36 PM: I just raised five hands in a row (AQ, AJdd, AJss, KQss, JTo), c-bet all of them, triple barrel bluffed one of them, and lost every single pot. So my image just got a nice boost that could be aided if I can actually make a damn pair at some point in time.

6:22 PM: Well, we started with a pair, but my 88 is < Magoo’s QQ and fortunately the damage is limited as he flats pre, flats jack high flop, bets turn and checks back king river.

Coolered by The Tick: get a free play with QTo and the QQJ flop vs his QJ and more minimal damage as he waits til river to raise me.

Down about $350 so far.

6:41 PM: Weak-tight predictable player limps cut, I raise 95hh on button, both blinds call. Flop 973 rainbow, Sb donks, I raise and we are heads up. Turn ace and I’m bet-folding here but he just calls. River blank and pretty obv check back spot here and he shows A6 of clubs (with no club on flop). 🤦🏻‍♂️

7:05 PM: FBI Guy hit and ran the hell out of this game, winning about $2000 in less than three hours and wasting no time taking it out the door. He is replaced by The Atom, which is a definite downgrade.

7:34 PM: Had to scroll back to see when the last time I won a pot was. Time stamp at 5:30, two hours ago. Solid. Full disclosure: I 3-bet a button straddle and double barreled AQ high and got a fold, but does that really count?

Just double barreled A2dd on J774 and got folds again. I suppose the dry spell is over, but those are hardly pots.

8:11 PM: Magoo opens cutoff, I 3-bet KdQh from small blind, and he caps. We are heads up in 30/60 Overs now. Flop Q66 two diamonds and I debate check-raising but then I remember his soft ass line with QQ earlier and I decide to check-call down. I check-call Jd turn, and check-call king river and end up chopping with his very own KQo.

And then I tipped a dealer I don’t even know personally a $1 for this pot I just won $5 in. In retrospect, that seems a bit unnecessary.

8:35 PM: Geez. Open the AcKh and spike a perfect Ah on the turn after c-betting Q42hh, but I get check-raised by a passive player and wind up paying off unimproved on the river and losing to her flush.

8:48 PM: There’s a raise and a call in front of me and I call 55 on the button. 5-way action to 652 flop and all the bets go in 3-ways. I was really hoping to get heads up with Magoo to activate 30/60 Overs, but Bingo Man is going nowhere. Turn pairs the 6 and Magoo bets, I raise, and now Bingo Man cold threes from the big blind position. Gulp. Magoo calls and I cap, although I’m a bit unsure at this point. Anything less than sixes full feels like an overplay at this point. Maybe deuces full? A naked 6? They both call my cap. I’m unsure what I’m going to do if Bingo Man leads river, but they both check and call and I win a monster. Magoo had AA and couldn’t find his way out of this one – no matter how many times he was told he was crushed.

Tormund Giantsbane (“Game of Thrones” reference) in the game now. He’s a prominent player from the Shelton area that would have beat me in the Muckleshoot Player of the Series if he played at least four events. He also plays in the big mix game at Muck occasionally. He has been showing up more and more at Palace lately for PLO and 15/30.

9:23 PM: Today is blog LEGEND Radio Mike’s last session of the offseason. Offseason, you say? Yes. Starting this week, Mike will go back to his day job as the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers, the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

I have to say, I have really enjoyed playing with him these past several months. He’s become one of my best friends in poker. He can talk shit with the best of them and makes me laugh all the time. Plus, anyone that can keep up with me talking baseball is a huge rarity and a GIANT plus. He prefers to keep his day job private, but he has learned that you can’t play poker with me and not talk baseball and, deep down, I think he appreciates having someone around that’s on his level as far as our favorite sport goes.

Mike is a way above average player in these games, so his absence isn’t going to hurt the games any, but it’s going to suck not having him around the next six months – even if it does signal the return of the best game in the world.

It’s been a pleasure, sir! Go Mariners!

10:58 PM: As expected, Atom has been talking to me a lot making it hard to update and now Tormund is chiming in too with a lot conversation. He’s also struggling to get on my blog on his phone right now, so when you read this later just understand that the first rule of Fight Club is we don’t talk about Fight Club. I’m not always kind about opponent play and I’d prefer these people don’t know I’m writing about them. And yes, I know I’m sort of the one that brought it up!

I’ve made a bit of a comeback but I’ve had some brutal run ins with The River Man in big pots. He’s been all in against me four times and has felted zero times. One time was a big multiway pot where it was capped pre abs obvious post that I had the best hand with 99 on J8462 but he was all in for $20 on the river, I made it $50 after someone else called and got an extra $30 from that player but The River Man produced 75 for a straight. A while later I get a free play with K9 and we get his stack in on A99 and he has…A9.

11:32 PM: A couple of weird spots with KK. First hand I 3-bet button and Tick caps out of position. Flop QJ4. We are now losing to AA, QQ, and JJ. He bets and I raise it anyway. Turn is 8c and he donks. I honestly don’t know what to make of this but it will make sense soon enough. I call and call again on blank river and he shows ATcc. So he turned a double gutter and a flush draw and bet out.

Same orbit, I’m in the big blind with KK again and Bingo Man has opened cutoff and Tick cold-called button. I 3-bet and Bingo caps. I cap with Bingo on Q42ss flop and decide to go into call down mode. I check-call 4 turn and 7s river and I’m kind of surprised to see him turn over AKss for a rivered flush.

I somewhat reluctantly agreed to chop jackpots with The Atom earlier and he just turned over quad threes for $400 and shipped $175 of it my way. Chopping jackpots is just something that’s not really on my radar and I play with people I’m friends with all the time and we never do that, so just kind of caught me off guard, but hey, he helped me inch a little close to even!

Down about $500.

12:58 AM: I have to admit to some punting. First I defend the A6o from a cutoff open from Bingo Man and decide to make a loose peel on 973. The turn is a 5 and I think this is a good card to check-raise against what should be a pretty wide range. He thinks long enough that I think I have some fold potential on river if I brick out, which I do. I fire and he calls begrudgingly with KK.

Another blind defend against a Bingo cutoff open. I have K5o and he just got spanked the previous hand so I thought there was some spew potential here. I check-raise the KT4 flop, but he 3-bets and I’m just calling down now. Oh wait, no I’m not. We just binked a five! I check-raise again, he 3-bets, and I cap it. Hold up. What? I cap it? I dunno… that’s pretty optimistic. I must realize that on the river, which is a queen (a bad card) and check-call and lose an unnecessarily large pot to KT.

1:10 AM: I make an early raise with T9cc – not a standard open for me but mixing it up here. Bingo Man and The Tick call from the blinds. I c-bet the 822c flop, realizing I’m never getting immediate folds here. They both call. Turn is 7c, an excellent card to double barrel; Bingo calls and Tick check-raises. Oh please just let me spike this on him. Hallelujah! The river is a jack and we put in all the bets because I feel like I’m only losing to J2, 82, and 72 and if he has one of those hands he just gets to win a big one. He shows me the 82hh.

More punting or bad luck? Or a little bit of both? 🤷🏻‍♂️

1:25 AM: Feels like I’m running really, really bad (and not playing A-game to boot), but I’m only down around $400. Not too terrible. The game isn’t amazing right now so I’m feeling like calling it a session and going to bed at a decent time.

2:58 AM: Well that was a surprising end to the night. I had decided to play my last orbit and I was all racked up about to book a loss of about $300 when I picked up KK with an early open from Rocksteady and a cold call from Bingo Man in front of me. I 3-bet and Rocksteady caps. Flop is queen high and we go three bets there and I once again get beat into submission holding the mighty pocket kings and go into call down mode. Rocksteady puts the brakes on when the river is a king though and check-calls and shows me that I snapped of his AA.

Very next hand, Tick limps, I raise with A9o and both blinds call. Flop is T8x and Tick donks. I think A9 turns too many good cards to fold here, so I peel one off and spike an ace on the turn. He still leads into me with another player behind and I just call him down and he shows KT. This seems to be a pretty standard Tick line, where he continues to fire when the board texture starts to favor my range more than his. It’s kind of confusing, but he shows up with marginal hands so often in these spots that I wonder if I should be exploiting it more by raising the big bet streets more often when I only have one pair hands. I feel like I’ve built up the kind of dynamic with him where he’s never folding pairs against me, so raising should make me an extra big bet usually.

Here’s another strange hand vs The Tick that illustrates this tendency but doesn’t quite call for a more aggressive approach. He opens from the cutoff and I 3-bet him from the button with Q8hh. He caps. Flop is AKQ and I wind up calling him down unimproved when he fires all the bullets. I don’t have any tangible explanation for this call down because it seems like we are losing so often against a capping range that barrels off here, but there I am on the river calling a bet. I feel like I’m picking up something subconsciously telling me he’s not as strong as he wants me to think he is. Like when he caps pre, it’s done with a force and quickness that wants to exude strength that doesn’t really exist. And the timing and nature of his betting after the flop is giving off faux strength also. I’m not huge on physical tells, but when my instincts are telling me to take lines or make calls that don’t otherwise make sense, I figure it has to do with something I’m seeing – even if I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. So I call down here and he shows me 88, which kind of boggles my mind. What hands does he think I’m going to call flop and turn with and give up on river?

Anyways, those suckouts with KK and A9 propelled me into the green and peak stack status and I managed to post a decent +$725 in what I felt was a pretty mediocre session where I felt I made more mistakes than usual. Cut that April deficit in half!

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