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$225 No Limit Hold’em Tournament @ Palace (Live Blog)

April 15, 2018

Cards are in the air! Particulars and live updates coming soon!

10:18 AM: Tournaments like this are few and far between in the Tacoma area.

Everyone starts with 10k in chips and blinds are 25/50, so we all start with 200 big blinds, which is pretty deep and made even deeper with 30 minute levels and decently stair-stepped levels. House added $2500 but they are also keeping $25 out of every buy in.

This should be a much softer field than your average $225 buy in tournament and it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the biggest buy in of the year for a decent amount of these players. I haven’t taken much of a look at the field yet but I would imagine most of the best local players were in Pendleton, Oregon playing their main event this weekend.

My table is 10-handed and I recognize four of my opponents: two small stakes Palace regs, one of my WSOP backers, and one of my former Palace co-workers.

One thing we should all keep an eye on is a rare poker appearance from The Legend. With over $2.2 billion in online cashes, his presence in this field is notable. I have him at about -850 to take first outright.

11:00 AM: First notable hand: player that looks brand new min-raises at 50/100 and I have AK in the big. Raising seems like the obvious play here but I don’t like it. This dude seems wildly unpredictable and playing a huge pot out of position against someone that probably understands very few concepts sounds like a high variance spot. I just call.

Flop is all middle cards, like 975 and we both check. Turn is a blank and I bet 300, which is a value bet. I am 95% sure I have the best hand. He calls. River is 7s and I bet 500, another value bet. He says raise and I announce call as soon as he states an amount (1500). Unfortunately, he also has AK.

11:38 AM: Start hand with 6800 at 150/300 and I open with AJ and the noob is my only caller. Flop JT5; I bet 1000 and he puts me all in. Super turbo snap call. He shows JT and that holds.

Second bullet.

11:46 AM: Second bullet going well. KQ < A7 on 953KA and then J5o big blind < T9 on JT7QT facing a min-bet on every street.

Down to 5800 already.

11:53 AM: Okay, I’m pretty triggered. Down to 4300 now. This is the one pot I’ve won so far: one limper at 25/50, I make it 200 with KK, he calls and then check-folds after the flop. I’ve lost every other hand I’ve played. So I have less than half the starting stack on my second bullet in a field that is as soft as it gets. Pretty huge wasted opportunity if I dust two bullets without ever having more than the starting stack in the easiest tournament I’ll play all year.

11:59AM: Open to 700 under the gun with 99 and a stack of 4300. Kind of a weird spot with no antes. This is a pretty obvious open-jam, but with only 450 in dead money, I think making a standard raise here might be okay. I’m obviously getting it in against a reraise. Button winds up calling me and then I bet 1000 on a flop of Q22 rainbow. I don’t think this is ever a bluff, so even though I was never going to fold this hand, I think getting it in here with a likely two-outer is pretty terrible when I still have about 10 bigs behind.

Edit: I bet 1k on flop and they jammed on me.

That was last round though. I now have 2600 at 200/400 and I’ll be jamming my whole range now.

12:09 PM: And that’s that. Jam KQ under the gun, smaller stack calls with JJ, and the small blind tank-calls with A3 and, of course, I beat the jacks but not the A3 so now I’m walking around the building wondering how I could squander such a ripe opportunity.

I mean… you can’t win them all and cashing tournaments is hard, but goodness, I want a redo!!

12:40 PM: Steam has cooled a little. Currently on the list for 8/16, 15/30, 30/60, and 2/5 no limit. This is the first day Palace is trying to spread a no limit cash game and so far there are three names on the list and one of them is the acting floor. 😂 Not expecting that to happen any time soon.

There are seven names on the list for 15/30 and eight on the list for 30/60, but I think I’m the only one that’s actually here. I doubt that game goes any time soon and probably not at all today.

I guess I’ll post cash game updates and monitor some tourney chip stacks. Both my backers are still in: Chief Wiggum and Gargoyle (?). Aquaman and The Legend are still in. Cobra has chips.

1:03 PM: Scratch that, The Legend is out. I heard he turned the nut flush and got it in vs bottom two and his opponent rivered a full house.

Poker is hard.

Aquaman has around 40k and my other friend, I’m going to call him Kung Fu Panda, has around 30k.

Blackjack still in the field – looks like he had about 15k.

1:31 PM: 8/16 is starting 7-handed and the 15/30 isn’t particularly close. Part-Time and a few semi-regs in the game, plus one Palace floor I’ve only seen play 4/8.

Down to 63 in the tournament. 10 get paid.

2:09 PM: 50ish left in tournament. Some updates:

  • Chief Wiggum 10k
  • Gargoyle 13k
  • John Kim HEAPS
  • Aquaman 50k
  • Black Turtle 11k
  • Blackjack 13k
  • Cobra 30k
  • Kung Fu Panda 13k

Rocksteady has joined the 8/16 game and Part-Time was like “What’s my muthafuckin’ name?!” and played less than two orbits before cashing out.

2:25 PM: Call a raise after multiple limps with 66 and it’s 6-ways to flop and I get it capped on 643 two spade flop 5-ways. Turn is the 7 of spades and I just call a bet and then fold 8 river to a bet and call. They chop it up with A5 and 75.

2:48 PM: 15/30 starting. Finish 8/16 -$17. Stack updates:

  • Aquaman 43k
  • Black Turtle 9k
  • Blackjack 15k
  • Chief Wiggum busted
  • Cobra 41k
  • Gargoyle 32k
  • John Kim 35k

Just walked over to see Kung Fu Panda all in with KK vs AQ pre but ace on flop and he’s busted.

15/30 starting lineup: Chief Wiggum, Rocksteady, Kung Fu Panda, and four regs that are mostly decent.

The Queen takes the last open seat. 🤦🏻‍♂️

3:05 PM: Let’s start this off right! I open QJo, Rocksteady 3-bets from small blind and The Queen calls from the big. Last time I played 15/30 with The Queen she played the tightest I’ve ever seen her play… by far. So she has a big hand. Flop is T96 with two diamonds and they take turns raising while I call. Turn is a king and Rocksteady still leads out and The Queen raises. I call it cold because I don’t bet The Queen heads up and I should make more money by keeping Rocksteady in. Unfortunately, he folds and then the board pairs on the river and I lose to her KK.

Gargoyle just busted which also means that Chief Wiggum is leaving the 15/30 game.

3:20 PM: Another fun hand: open KTdd, The Queen and Kung Fu Panda are the only callers. Flop is AQ6 with two diamonds, I bet and they both call. Turn is a brick and I don’t see any good reason to bet here, so I check, The Queen bets and Kung Fu Panda raises. I can’t fold here, so I call and The Queen reraises and comes out on the nice side of variance again when the river comes safe.

31 left in tournament. Updates:

  • Aquaman 65k
  • John Kim 25k
  • Cobra 35k
  • Blackjack 24k
  • Black Turtle busted
  • Gargoyle busted

Aquaman enjoying his deep run:

3:39 PM: Someone came to play today. By far the most prominent regular without a nickname just 3-bet me in b2b hands and showed some spunk postflop.

First hand I open QJ, call his 3-bet and then check-raise AK4 flop. He calls. I bet 3 turn and he calls again (we are playing 25/50 Overs). Obv giving up now, we both check river and he shows… 55? Huh?

Very next hand I open AT, there’s a call, he reraises and we both call. I whiff flop and check-fold and he barrels turn and other guy folds and he shows T7ss for ten high. Okay.

4:10 PM: Just did a lap around the tournament area and saw Aquaman facing an all in on the river on a board of Q98Jx and he called pretty quickly and the all in shows KT. Aquaman shows his QT and does a quick glance at his stack and sees that he’s covered. Pretty brutal runout considering he started the hand from the big blind in a limped pot. 🤷🏻‍♂️

John Kim just hit the rail also.

That leaves Cobra and Blackjack as the last two players standing that I’m following. There’s also a Palace dealer that I used to work with still in, so I’ll keep an eye on him too. They are down to 23.

This 15 session has had a rough start as I’ve won zero notable pots and am already down $700+.

4:25 PM: Sigh. It’s just one of those days, huh? Open cutoff AK and button 3-bets. I just flat as is my play with 100% of my range when I’m heads up and out of position. Flop AKT, we are in 25/50 Overs; I check-raise and he calls. Turn 9. I bet and he raises. Seems like my hand is pretty strong, but it is actually in pretty bad shape on this bird texture against this line. I just call and check-call river and lose to KK.Just a terrible start in what I would call a below average 15/30 game.

4:39 PM: Down to two tables. Cobra busted. Blackjack and the Palace dealer our last hope! Meanwhile I’m stuck $1k already after punting two bullets, threatening to match my terrible dayon April 1st.

5:14 PM: Just heard the floor say a deal has been proposed in the tournament: 15-way chop and 10% to the dealers. From what I heard, only one person said no. Holy shit. That is an amazing lack of gamble. I’m not rooting against the dealers to do well here but 10% is a lot for a $225 buy in and peer pressuring the tip amount gets a huge thumbs down from me. It’s a good way to make someone look like an asshole when it is really matter of personal preference.

Blackjack just busted in 13th, which leaves the Palace dealer as my only rooting interest remaining. Looks like it’s going to be a boring final table… if there even is one.

5:28 PM: One good hand: hijack opens, I 3-bet A9hh from cut and he calls. Flop is K63 two spades one heart and he check-calls $25. Turn is 5 of hearts and he donks $50. I feel like this is a weak probe with a hand that turned a pair or more outs, like A4ss or A5ss (or maybe I’m just steaming), so I make it $100 and he calls. Fortunately, river is the 3 of hearts and I can bet for value but he folds, confirming my suspicion that he was weak.

6:04 PM: Fun session. Open button with A7 and spray off four bets on AK6ss flop and call down on 8-A runout vs AQss. Just getting smashed today.

The game is not good so I’m actually considering just taking the L and heading home.

6:40 PM: Yup. Calling it a night. Cashing out -$1463 for 15/30, which puts me at a solid -$1920 for the day. I’d have to scroll through my records but I’m pretty sure that’s my second worse day of 2018.

Happy to report they are playing this tournament out. They are down to six players now and the Palace dealer is still in. Take a look at this focus!

Sounds like they are chopping 6-ways and I’m out of here. The super green, brand new player that bluff-raised me with AK earlier is getting most of the money.

God bless America.

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