Archive for June, 2018

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Binions $585 H.O.R.S.E. Championship (LIVE BLOG)

June 28, 2018

Just sat down in the $585 HORSE Championship at Binions.

I punted this tournament so hard last year I decided to immediately book a flight home and ended my trip.

To illustrate how big of a punt this was, let me tell you about the structure of this event. It’s ridiculous. Starting stacks are 50k with blinds starting at 75/150 and stair-stepping every 40 minutes. That’s a starting stack of 333 big blinds… in a limit tournament… with 40 minute levels… and a soft field!

Making Day 2 in this one seems like a layup. I lasted five hours. It was unbelievable. I obviously didn’t run good, but I’m also sure it was the worst I played the whole summer and I felt like it was a huge wasted opportunity.

Granted, I could have re-entered in Day 1B, but I was so mad at myself I was just… done. Plus, I was really disappointed with the turn out. I can’t remember exactly how many showed up for Day 1A last year but it was definitely less than the 50 players that are already here for Day 1A today.

Not sure if I’ll be posting hands regularly or not, but I will at least post stack updates here on the breaks.

My buddies Tormund and Flipper (formerly known as The Atom) are carrying a 50k stack to Day 2 of the Tag Team event in the WSOP. That puts them in the top 75 stacks of 250ish remaining players. I believe I saw that 150 or so players cash. They got it in with 99 vs JJ late last night and managed to find a 9 on the turn to survive. I’ll update their progress throughout the day. I believe cards were in the air five minutes ago.

The Leak also fired the $1k Ladies Event at the WSOP this morning and I’ll post updates on her status as well. Starting stacks were 5k in that one.

Leggo.

1:17 PM: Wow. I do not have good news.

The Leak is out.

Flipper and Tormund are out.

Yikes.

I have 52.4k on the first break. Nothing really notable the first few levels.

3:13 PM: Okay, Mariners game is over (Sweep!) so I can update a bit more frequently.

Here’s a funky stud hand I’m not sure about.

A 7h up raises, I reraise with split aces, and the bring in calls with a 4 up (what?).

I catch a blank on 4th, the bring in catches a king, and the 7h catches a 3h. I still lead and I’m surprised when the bring in raises. The 7h calls it cold and I call, but I’m kind of baffled at this point.

On 5th I make aces and nines (hidden), but the bring pairs open kings and the 7h3h catches the Kh. The kings lead and the three flush raises. I think I’m supposed to exit here. When the bring in raised on 4th, I thought he paired a king (or he has rolled up fours?) and the three flush is saying he doesn’t care about any of that. But then I start thinking about hands that he might raise on 5th that I’m still beating, like a pair with a four flush, plus he has the Kh showing making it less likely the other player has three kings. All my outs are live, so I call it cold. The kings call also.

Everybody bricks on 6th and we all put in one bet.

On 7th, I don’t improve and the three flush board still bets and I feel like he can never be bluffing at this point, so I fold and he gets check-raised by the kings and loses to kings full of fours. The three flush shows rolled up 7s and I’m pretty sure I messed this hand up on 5th and should have stuck with my first instinct.

In LHE, I 3-bet KK and my opponent donks into me on the Q93 flop. I decide to flat and raise the turn, but the turn card pairs the queen and I decide to call down. He ends up showing me 99! Unlucky but somehow managed to matrix my way to minimum damage.

I bounced back by playing an Omaha 8 hand questionably. Okay I played it bad. I opened AJ93 badugi, got 3-bet, and then called down on a 887QT runout (don’t worry, I donked the river at least). Everyone has been playing O8 really wild at my table so there’s some chance my low draw was good for half and my gut shot is ultimately what made me call and… BINK!

Then I won multiple Razz pots.

Currently sitting on 58k after six levels.

3:45 PM: I saw Sandman talking to the floor man and thought he was signing up to play, but then he disappeared.

I coaxed Flipper into late regging this thing and he got here only to find out that they are taking alternates! So that explains what happened to Sandman.

There were like 40 people here for Day 1A last year, a super disappointing turnout, so it’s been pretty shocking to see 88 players come out to play Day 1A this year. I imagine the field will be similar for Day 1B tomorrow, for about roughly 180 players and a prize pool approaching $100k.

My table appears to be really loose, aggressive, and bad. Reminds me of how I played last year. A bunch of dudes trying to bully what they think is a soft field.

4 PM: Stud 8, 8 up opens, I 3-bet 9A-A, a small up card calls and the bring in calls also.

I catch a 7 on 4th, one of the lows bricks, the other catches an offsuit 8, and the 8 catches a 9. Pretty good street for me. I bet and everybody calls.

On 5th, the 89 makes open 9s, I catch a jack, and the two low boards are bricky, so when the 9s lead out, raising to get heads up even though he likely has two pair makes sense to me. I raise, the two others fold, and he calls.

I plan to check back on 6th unimproved but I make open aces instead and value bet through 7th and get paid off to scoop my biggest pot of the tournament.

The Leak is in action in the Daily Deep Stack at the Rio. I’ll update her progress there.

Flipper got a refund and is across the street playing cash at the Golden Nugget.

5:45 PM: Wonderful. 60 minute dinner break with zero desire to take a break after getting torched in LHE.

Blinds 500/1000, someone opens, I 3-bet QQ from cutoff, button 4-bets, we both call. Flop is T32. We both check-call.

Turn pairs the 2. We both check-call.

River ace. We both check and the button still bets. Kind of weird unless he had AA the whole time or was trying to punt. Other player folds so I’m definitely calling.

He shows me AJ offsuit.

What.

Very next hand I lose a big pot with AKdd vs KK.

Peaked at like 75k and suddenly I have 54.5k.

What a joke.

7:12 PM: The brutality continued after dinner and I bottomed out at 36k before winning a couple Razz pots. I’m back up over 41k now.

Sandman finally gets a seat… in round 10… at 1200/2400 limits… at my table.

He has more chips than me.

7:20 PM: Sandman just won a very big Stud pot. He has way more chips than me. Wth.

7:22 PM: Split kings < buried tens. 33k.

Sigh.

7:49 PM: Open A2-3 in Stud 8, some goon with TT-9 3-bets, we get another caller, so I just call. The 9 catches a 3 and the other guy bricks, so I bet when I pick up a 4 and only the TT-93 calls.

On 5th I catch a 7 and the freeroll is on. He calls.

I make 7s on 6th and he pairs his 3 and decides it’s a good time to get 3.5 big bets in for the rest of his stack even though he’s 0% to scoop the pot.

I don’t catch an ace, seven or five and his tens and threes are good for half.

Thanks for trying though.

Just got stubborn with Sandman in Stud 8 holding 66-5K9K-A when he has xx-A943-x showing. He gave up on 6th when I made open kings and let me show down for free because… I was scooping!

46k

8:17 PM: The Leak is making a serious run in the Rio Daily Deep Stack. She has 265k with blinds at 3000/6000 and 181 left. I think she said 150 or so cash. The Riddler is also still in the Daily and he apparently has a big stack too.

UPDATE: The Leak has cashed the Daily Deep Stack. She will have a Hendonmob profile! Congrats babe!

8:40 PM: Busted a player in Razz and now I’m back over 50k.

Sandman just doubled up… to 11k.

8:50 PM: Groan. Huge 3-way Razz pot:

Sandman: xx-2K28-x

Me: 52-7Q98-Q

Third Player: xx-644T-x

Bets go in on every street with Sandman all in on 5th. Third player turns over A28 for the scoop. I had a slight lead on 6th in a 40k pot and now I have 30k on break.

9:08 PM: Peaking! I have 33-K in a 4-way pot and spike a 3 on 4th. I check, the last player with a jack up bets and I check-raise, a player with 8c6c 3-bets, and the jack folds. Feels like a flush draw to me, so my plan is to call and…

Bet when he bricks on 5th. He calls.

I make open kings on 6th (a full house) and he has 8c6cJJ showing… and calls… and then calls again on 7th.

I now have 86k. Game on.

9:59 PM: The Leak just ran QQ into AA… flopped a set… and lost to a rivered set. She has 70k now which is probably ten bigs or so.

10:46 PM: Last hand of Razz and middle position raises with a king up. Some people are startled but no one says anything.

Me: 86-5797-T

Him: xx-KQ39-x

Sick thing is I don’t have him board locked but he’s probably been drawing dead since he clearly thinks he’s playing Stud. He put in multiple small bets on 3rd and 4th and big bets on 5th and 6th before seeming to realize his mistake.

A very nice gift.

I lost a couple big Stud pots after that so I still only have 97k.

11:10 PM: I have 92k with 37 players left. 119k is current average stack. Three more levels tonight and I need to make a late push because if I bust this I’m not sure I can do another 14 hour day of HORSE.

The Leak has ran her 70k stack back up to 250k. There are 69 left in the Daily Deep Stack and I believe The Riddler is also one of those players.

Correction: The Riddler out in 61st place.

11:37 PM: Look at The Leak go!

Meanwhile I’m peaking at 117K. Creeping up on an average stack!

11:50 PM: Fun LHE hand I wasn’t involved in. Button opens, small blind 3-bets, button calls.

Flop is A83 with two clubs. Small blind bets and button calls.

Turn is 2 of clubs. Small blind check-calls.

River blank. They both check. Small blind shows KcJ. Button immediately expresses disbelief, flashes J9 of SPADES, and says “you all saw that, right?” like the small blind was the one on a pure torch. Button left himself with 1.25 big bets, which may have won him the pot if he put it in on the river.

I am above average at 170k now. Two more levels!

12:06 AM: The Leak busts in 43rd when her QQ runs into KK.

Nice run baby!! Congrats!

12:16 AM: I just took the sickest, sickest SICKEST Razz beat ever.

Someone opens, middle position calls with a QUEEN up, I call A7-3

On 4th I catch a 5, the opener catches a ten, and the queen catches a 2. I bet, they both call.

On 5th I catch a king, the ten catches good and the queen catches a 6. The ten leads and we both call.

On 6th the ten catches bad, I catch a 6, and the queen catches a ten… AND BETS.

I cant fucking believe my good fortune. I raise the other guy out and this dip shit calls.

On 7th, I don’t improve but I have a 76 so I bet it and HE RAISES ME.

THIS CAN’T BE FUCKING REAL. It can’t be.

I call. He shows a 65.

HOLY FUCK.

I have 85k after losing this 238k pot.

UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE.

I am literally BOILING right now.

How is this my summer?

12:41 AM: And after playing at the same table for 13+ hours I get moved to balance with 30 minutes left so I don’t even get a chance to double through the jackass that got me.

12:56 AM: I’m out. What a day. Lose a 240k pot for a top 5 stack in the most ridiculous fashion ever in the second to last level of the night and then bust with 15 minutes left in the day.

Good night.

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A Little Update

June 27, 2018

My last update was a live blog of the Triple Stud tourney at Aria on Saturday… yet another fizzle out.

As I said in that blog, I was sick. I shouldn’t have even been playing poker in public. I was sneezing and sniffling and blowing my nose all day. It was ridiculous. If I wasn’t me, I’d be annoyed with me.

I was planning to play Razz on Sunday but after really struggling through Saturday, I went ahead and took a much needed sick day.

Monday I was feeling much better and I headed to the Rio and decided to play the Daily Deep Stack.

In my first orbit, with blinds at 100/200, someone raised to 600, another player called and I looked down at AA in the cutoff. I’ve learned I’ve been sizing my 3-bets too small – and this is probably too small also – so I made it 2200 to go and I was shocked to see not only the button call 2200 cold, but the small blind also. Wow! Unsurprisingly, both players with 600 in front of them continued also.

So here we go to a five way flop with over 10k in the middle and I’m holding the nuts preflop. If you think I was happy about this situation, you’d be wrong. I was already accepting the fact that I was probably going to bust from the tournament in this hand.

We started with 20k stacks and I had a little over 17k behind. The flop was QT3 with two diamonds and it checked to me. I had the ace of diamonds in my hand.

What to do?

I’ve talked about this hand extensively since it happened so I’ll get to the analysis later. In the moment, I decided to bet a pot-committing 7000, the button jammed, and the original 600 caller jammed also. I could fold and have about a 10k stack – or 50 big blinds – in a soft field.

Unfortunately, I mentally busted myself before the flop and I somehow convinced myself that I could possibly, maybe, in some bizarro world, have the best hand here. I called it off. The button had a set of tens and the caller had 75 of diamonds for a flush draw.

I didn’t hit a set and I didn’t go running flush or straight. I was busted.

So let’s think about the best play here. The board is pretty wet here so making a larger bet made sense to me. What also makes sense to me is hands like QQ, JJ, and TT being right in those 2200 flatting ranges. 33 is not in their range very often, but it could definitely be in the ranges of the first two players in the pot.

I think it makes sense to proceed with caution here. I personally like a check on the flop in retrospect. See what the button does or what happens on the turn. Tormund is a much better NL player than I am and suggested making a small bet on the flop, like 33%, or less even. I like it. I can probably garner all the same info with a 3k bet as the 7k bet I thought I committed myself with.

With half my stack in the middle holding aces, I thought I couldn’t fold, but that’s not true either. As I noted earlier, I still could have folded and had 50 big blinds to play with and not one, but two different players had said they liked this situation better than I did.

Another key factor: I had the ace of diamonds in my hand. No one has the nut flush draw. So what draws are happy to get it in here? KJ of diamonds? J9 of diamonds maybe? Not many.

It’s a clear fold. And not only is it a clear fold, I could have saved somewhere around 7k-4k before folding with my flop sizing.

I could have just said someone flopped a set of tens on me when I had aces in a huge pot and make it sound like I got unlucky but it’s clear I totally botched this hand and important to learn from punts like this.

I decided to fire a second bullet. I was at my new table for a few orbits and I had surmised there was a wannabe lag genius at my table that couldn’t wait to punt his stack. He was in every hand, raising and 3-betting a lot, and basically trying to win every single pot.

So when he made it 1100 at 150/300/25 and I looked down at A9 of spades, I was prepared to play a high variance spot. I made it 2600 to go (probably too small) and I was prepared to jam or call it off if he 4-bet or jammed, but he just called.

Flop was 543 with two clubs and one spade. He checked to me and I checked back. Not a very good board for me to c-bet ace high against a wild lag when I have decent showdown value and good turn cards.

Turn was the king of spades and he leads for 2200. I had about 14.5k total and now I thought the best play was to stuff it in his face. He basically never has AK in his range (this ding dong is always reraising it pre), but I certainly could, plus he just has a shit ton of total garbage here. If I call and whiff I could have some tricky river spots so I like jamming instead. Worst case I have the nut flush draw when called.

He calls. Turns over A8 of clubs and binks the 7 of clubs.

Wow. Just wow. I had the best hand!

I’m out again. It’s been 30 minutes since I parked my car.

Poker is funny. In the first story I had aces cracked by tens and thought I played like shit and punted the tournament. In the second story, I jammed ace high on the turn, got called, busted, and think I played it PERFECT.

I think it’s important to make those kind of distinctions if you want to get better at poker.

After busting for the second time, I decided not to fire bullet #3 and I did something I’ve been wanted to do really badly, but just didn’t think was a great idea: I sat in a $20/$40 mix game and played a bunch of games I’ve never played in my life.

Here’s the list of games in the mix:

  • Badeucy
  • Badacey
  • 5-Card Double Board Omaha
  • Badugi
  • 2-7 Triple Draw
  • Archie
  • Drawmaha
  • 2-7 Drawmaha
  • A-5 Triple Draw
  • Super Razz Deucy
  • Super Stud 8

Here’s a list of those games I have extensive experience in:

Yup.

It’s been a blast.

That’s what I’ve been doing the last three days. It would be a nightmare to explain all these games and try to blog hands, so I’ll just say it’s been going well. I’m probably running above average but I’m picking up on the basic strategy and intricacies of the games really quickly and I’m able to spot the frequent mistakes the other players make. Plus my instincts are pretty sharp.

Here’s a hand from 2-7 Triple Draw. I defend in a kill pot and keep a 53. I check-call after the first draw with a 98753 and decide to stay pat. He draws one.

Since he drew, I think I need to bet here, but I’m not at all surprised to see him raise. When I check-call and stay pat my hand looks super weak so a good thinking player can raise here even if he didn’t improve, hoping I fold or break my weak made hand.

I took my time and studied him and I wasn’t convinced, so I called and stayed pat. He pats behind.

Hmmm… okay. I check and he bets. Studied him a bit longer, stuck with my read, and made the call.

My hand is good. πŸ’ͺ🏻

Anyways, I’m on my third session of mix and I’m currently stuck a couple hundred but my first two mix sessions went +$462 and +$1603. Combined with my 7 Card Stud session last Friday, that puts me at around +$5000 over my last three cash sessions.

Dangerously close to even for the trip!

Some local player news:

FanBoy and The Atom went super deep in the Monster Stack, with both finishing in the top 250. FanBoy had a bit of a stack going before this catastrophe in a 400k pot late on Day 2 with less than 300 players left:

Also, it seems weird to call Rep Porter a local. He’s a local legend. Like… a legit legend. Rep came super close to his fourth career bracelet, finishing second in the $10k PLO championship for a career high $629k score!

Tormund and The Atom are currently doing the $1k NL Tag Team Event, with Tormund pulling all the weight. They have 20 bigs with about 400 players left.

FanBoy begged me to play with him but I declined. Don’t feel like late regging a NL event. He said I’m dead to him.

The Leak flies back in tonight to play the $1k Ladies Event tomorrow and I’ll be heading to Binions for Day 1A of their $585 HORSE championship. It’s a super, super deep structure that I somehow managed to bust on Day 1A last year. Looking for redemption tomorrow!

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The Poker Gods Give Me A Break

June 23, 2018

But first…

Wednesday was the $1500 Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP and while it’s not my favorite tournament – I play LHE all year long and really enjoy the mix game events here – it is definitely my best game. I don’t know how cool it is to call yourself an expert at something but it’s definitely the variant I’m closest to having that status.

So needless to say, it’s one of the absolute must plays on my schedule and probably the event I have a best chance at a bracelet in because I also have extensive short-handed experience.

Well, I woke up on Wednesday feeling like absolute shit, feeling like I hadn’t slept at all the night before and showing obvious signs of an upcoming cold.

I decided not to play the event.

Things were going bad enough without me compounding matters by playing a $1500 event when I was under the weather, so I did something very painful to my soul and made the decision to skip it.

I ended up sleeping until about 3 PM and my wife and friends were giving me updates that were all less than starting stacks… I could still sit down with more than they had! I started to get the itch… and I was feeling better, wasn’t I?

Still, it didn’t seem like my best idea so I started reaching out to people and telling them the circumstances and asking if they wanted to gamble on 10% of my action.

I also contacted my normal backers and told them the situation and said I’d understand if they wanted to sit this one out or reduce their normal piece. They said they wanted it all.

Okay then. Game on.

By the time everyone got back to me, I had sold 60% of myself in my best game at no markup, but it seemed fair considering I was going to sit down with 15 big bets. An example of how short that is, it would be like sitting at $4/$8 with $120 and hoping you don’t go broke. Except in this $4/$8 game the blinds are going up every hour!

Plenty of people will sit in a $4/$8 game with $100 but anyone that has any understanding of variance knows that is utterly ridiculous. I never sit down in a limit structure with less than 37.5 big bets.

So yeah, my back was kind of against the wall. I was certainly more likely to bust early than actually run a stack up so I was okay only having 40% of myself.

It started off pretty miserably. First hand I played I opened KQ and got four way action.

Flop was very good: Q43 with two hearts. I bet, the first cold caller called, and Robert Campbell – a well-known and successful player – raised on the button. The blind folded and it was back on me. In a cash game, this is a snap 3-bet, but in a tournament where your chips are so much more important I think calling has merit. If we were heads up, that’s probably what I’d do, but with the player in between I think I have to try and raise him out. He folds to my raise but Robert 4-bets it. Gulp. I call.

Turn is the 6 of hearts. I do not have a heart in my hand and, not that it matters much now, the queen on the flop is a heart. On the flop it seems like his most likely holdings are flush draws, sets, and AQ. It would be pretty unlikely for him to overplay a worse queen like this, unless it was a combo draw and we know that’s not possible.

It seems pretty optimistic to come up with hands we are still beating so I check-fold.

If the turn bricked, I would have check-called this hand down, but when the flush gets there we are only beating bizarre overplays from someone I think is likely solid.

I ended up getting all the way down to 1825 which was like six big blinds.

I opened the QJhh and the big blind defended. I had 25 left behind when he check-raised me on the turn and bet river on Q74dd9d4 but the river counterfeit his 9s and 7s and I doubled up.

A bit later, I opened the KQ and the same player defended his big blind.

Flop was KJ9 and he check-raised me.

I’m content to call down here but when I made trip kings on the turn I felt like my hand was too good not to raise against a big blind defending range. So I popped it and he 3-bet me. Godammit. That is not good. I called.

He bet the river dark. Unfortunately for him it was a 9, double pairing the board. I raised my full house, once again leaving myself with 25 behind and he ended up folding JJ face up. Yikes.

Yeah. That dude hates me.

My biggest hand on Day 1, Robert Campbell opens in early position, I 3-bet QQ, and Humberto “the shark is hungry” Brenes 4-bets, and Campbell is all in.

The flop is dry and favorable and I check-call Humberto.

The turn gives me top set and I get a check-raise in.

The river is a blank, I bet and Humberto calls for less with TT. Robert turns over Q9 and I bust both of them.

A little bit of an oversight on my part there. I think check-calling down with QQ is fine in a tournament against a tight player’s 4-betting range, but if I knew how short Humberto was I would have tried to get the chips in as soon as possible. Think about the disaster this hand is if he checks back the turn.

I ended up bagging 26.5k and sat slightly above average heading into Day 2.

I had QQ eight times and made a set on four of them. Sounds amazing, but I lost with one of those sets and won with a c-bet on two of them. My only good pot with all those Queens was the double KO.

I had AA and KK zero times. 88-JJ once.

Variance is weird.

But I sure did have that one dude’s number. I rivered him in another big pot with A8ss on Q86sKs8 and he said something about how pure I’m running as I’m sitting there 0 for 7 in WSOP events.

Day 2 started off great. I was peaking at around 35k after 3-betting 99, checking back the king high flop in a 3-way pot and then binking my set against Sean Berrios’ top pair and getting extra double bets.

He would get his revenge soon enough.

Sean opens from middle position and I 3-bet the KQ of clubs on the button.

We went heads up to the KTT one club flop and he check-raised me. I don’t see much merit in raising here so I plan to call down unimproved and that’s what I do when the board runs out KTT67.

I’m pretty happy to hear him say, “Oh, I was trying to steal it,” but I’m not happy when he rolls over the 98 of clubs for a rivered straight.

Actually I’m shocked. Stunned. In disbelief.

Crushed.

Welcome to my 2018 World Series of Poker.

Nope, I’m not gonna chip up to 50k and cruise to my first cash of the series, picking off this torchy bluff line.

I’m going to lose this crucial pot and then never win another hand.

It’s not just that he chose this hand to bluff with. Whatever. Maybe he thinks I’ll fold AQ? 88? Who knows. But why does it have to get there?

Just look at this shit!! Just look at it.

5%! FIVE FUCKING PERCENT.

My series was already going so miserably and it looked like I finally might break through and this hand totally Shang Tsung’d me. And I knew it.

I fucking knew it.

It’s not like my game fell off a cliff or anything but I just knew I was done and I wasn’t wrong.

I opened 77, got 3-bet, peeled the JT6ss flop with 7s in my hand, and folded when the third player donked the 9s turn, even though I had a straight flush draw. Both players ended up having KQ and one of them had a big spade, exactly why I decided to fold even though I sort of improved.

Then I defend 88 and check-called Q76T board before folding on the J river when it seemed like I’m losing to way too much of his range.

Finally I busted when I opened four bigs with Q8 suited and failed to improve against 44.

I busted about 50 spots off the money, bringing my WSOP score to 0-8. Solid.

A few blog regulars did cash the event though: Snowflake (81st), Rocksteady (69th), and Sandman (21st).

I was still sick, so I jetted as soon as I busted and spent most of the day in bed, hoping a day of rest would have me feeling better.

It didn’t. It’s Friday night as I’m writing this and I seem to be getting worse rather than better.

But that didn’t stop me from heading to the Bellagio to see if I could turn my summer around with some cash game action.

I was mostly planning to play $20/40 LHE, but the list was absurdly long and there was a $30/$60 7 Card Stud game going and I had never played in a live Stud game before and I was feeling pretty excited about it. I checked the lineup out and they didn’t look like wizards so after booking a small win in $20/$40 Limit O8, I took my seat.

And I smashed their faces in. I absolutely crushed the game, putting a much needed large dent in my losses for the trip by booking a +$3480 in a little less than four hours of play.

Okay, I ran pretty pure. I made straights and flushes when I needed to. I made two pair when I fell behind. Almost all my big starting hands held up. I got good action both times I started rolled up. I also caught perfect a few times when I was missing key outs.

But I also played really well. I picked off bluffs and seemed to always have a really good sense of where I was at in hands despite having very little Stud Hi experience.

It was a pretty amazing session and it looked like this when I was done:

The game started fizzling out and I played as short as 3-handed for quite some time but after realizing we weren’t going to pick up players, I decided to cash out – not jump in another game – and book a much needed feel good win and take my sick ass home (after an impromptu 90 minute massage) and rest up for the $470 Triple Stud tourney at Aria tomorrow morning at 11 AM.

I will publish this before I head out tomorrow and post live tourney updates here.

Stay tuned!

11:45 AM: Fashionably late to the Aria, sitting down with 20k at 200/400 betting limits. Lots of play.

I have a good feeling about today.

11:54 PM: LOL. First pot I play is Stud 8. I’m heads up with 76-58 against xx-3K and get scooped after my board runs out 76-58JJ-T and he makes threes full of fours somehow.

πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

Assuming his hole cards…

Yup. Staying consistent!

12:43 PM: Thought about this earlier and meant to post it but forgot. Yesterday the tournament on my schedule was the $2500 Stud 8/Omaha 8 tourney at the WSOP. Obviously I didn’t play it. I just want to put my cash game score in perspective.

I would have had to finish 16th or better in that WSOP event to make more money than I did in four hours of cash play yesterday. And if I did manage to finish 16th or better, that would probably happen on Day 3 of the tournament, after 20+ hours of play and two full nights of sleep.

Thank you Poker Gods for the quick fix.

πŸ’‰πŸ’‰

1:22 PM: This is kind of bizarre. I have 22.1k on first break… more than the starting stack. Weird.

The champ is in the building. Kung Fu Panda, now known as FanBoy, is sitting down with 20k in level 5 after playing until 7 AM yesterday. Sounds like A-game to me so I obviously I swapped 10% with him.

2:23 PM: Interesting Stud 8 hand. Some details may be inaccurate here. I raise a complete with a 6 up, an ace buried, and three spades in my hand. Guy behind me raises again with an ace up and three of us see fourth street.

The ace up catches a 9, I catch a queen, and the other player bricks also. Everybody checks.

On 5th I have JsAs-6sQxTx, the guy with xx-A98 bets and the third player folds. My hand is pretty bad here but… so is his. I don’t care what he has in the hole, it can’t be very good. I call.

He catches a 4 on 6th, which sucks because now I’m like I getting freerolled but I call feeling like my hand is likely good for high unimproved.

I was going to call without looking on 7th, so when he checks, I check back without looking. Eh. I can fire a bet here if I catch a king. He ends up showing a pair of 5s and no low so I’m drawing super live to scoop but I turn over a five of my own and he scoops instead.

After the hand I say, “wow, you were stronger than I thought.”

This hand seems pretty suspect and I can’t really put into words very well how I arrived at the river or even understand why myself… but since I got there with 18+ outs to scoop I feel like my instincts were spot on here. I don’t know if that makes it a good play or not though.

3:05 PM: 29.6k after seven levels, playing 800/1600 betting limits now.

3:41 PM: Sandman in the field with the max late reg – something you can do when you have a $70k cash under your belt already.

4:29 PM: The collapse is on. After going so card dead I put in one big bet over a 100 minute span, I have A2-2KQK-A in Stud Hi against a queen up on 3rd and lose to three nines somehow.

I now have 13.4k. Will it be like every other tournament I’ve played this summer where once it starts to go downhill it never stops? Or will start a new trend of clawing my way back into contention?

Stay tuned!

4:46 PM: 19.7k coming back to 1500/3000 betting limits.

Sandman registered an hour ago?

Here’s his stack:

That’s about 50k. I swear some people just have that good mojo for the whole summer. To be fair, it was me the last two years, but… I’m still pretty jealous!

4:56 PM: Big scooper in Stud 8. Peaking!

33.6k.

5:21 PM: Razz has been absolute murder on my stack. We’ve been playing almost six hours and I’ve won a single hand of Razz – and that includes winning on third street. I’ve had lots of Stud Hi monsters in Razz… usually when I’m the bring in. I’ve had rolled up 7s. What I never have is a winning hand.

26.2k after yet another winless round of Razz. Primed to run good in the $1500 Razz tomorrow?

5:29 PM: A gem from last round of Razz:

Lots of low cards out so I just call with 65-4 after a 3 opens to 2000. Guy behind with an ace raises all in for 2600 total and we both call.

We check to 7th street.

Me: 65-4QT2-9

All In: xx-AT73-x

Third Player: xx-3Q97-x

On 7th, the third player bets and I instantly go to fold my hand and then stop myself. Why? I actually paused because I had to make sure I didn’t have this dude board-locked. I didn’t, so I folded because it makes zero sense to bet a rough hand here with no side pot. He turns over a 98. Lol. What? Fortunately the all in had that beat and I didn’t have to flip any tables over.

Crazy Stud Hi hand as I’m typing this:

9h up opens and I defend 7s6s-3s from the bring in.

On 4th, he catches an ace but I make open 3s and opt for the full double bet. He calls.

On 5th, I brick and he catches open aces! Wow. Nice hand, buddy.

But wait! He checks. Uhm okay, I check too.

And… I make open trips on 6th. I bet and he folds. Well played, sir.

6:00 PM: Peaking! 38k but below average.

And… back to Razz we go. 😒

6:08 PM: Yup. Lost a big Razz pot. Standard. Down to 19.1k. WTH.

6:16 PM: 17.4k on break coming back to 3000/6000 betting limits. 30 left. 11 cash. I’m in bad shape. Still can’t win a goddamn Razz hand.

6:36 PM: What a joke this is.

One hand of Razz left after the break. There’s a limp, I complete with A2-5, Sandman calls with a 3, another player calls, and the limper calls.

Sandman catches a 2 on 4th, I catch a 7, and the other two brick out. Sandman leads, one player calls, and I have two big bets left and I’m never folding before 7th, so I go ahead and raise it, Sandman calls, and the other player folds.

On 5th he catches a 4 and I catch a jack. He puts me all in and I call.

I ask if he has a pair and he says no, but he’s got a nine. Okay, that’s good news.

Me: A2-57JJ-x

Sandman: 96-3247-8

I need a three or a four. I look down at a no liner (ace, deuce, or three), but it’s an ace and I take my happy ass out of the poker room and immediately head for the parking lot.

I was planning to play the $1500 Razz at the WSOP tomorrow but a) I am undeniably sick and b) after winning one Razz hand in seven hours today, I’m not sure I want to.

I’m going to go home, rest up, try to improve my health, and see how I’m feeling in the AM.

Good day all.

.

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$600 Limit Omaha 8 @ Venetian – Day Two: A Deep Run! (LIVE BLOG)

June 19, 2018

My latest update was Friday after busting the Golden Nugget 8-Game Mix much earlier than I wished. I ended up going back to our house and resting up. It seems weak, but I was harboring a secret.

Saturday I flew back to Seattle and headed to Anacortes for my niece’s graduation/18th birthday party and surprised my whole family by showing up when I had told everyone I wouldn’t be able to make it.

The Leak and I want to have a baby and with potential parenthood somewhere (hopefully) in our near future, I thought this could be the last (and first) time I could stay for the whole WSOP for maybe several years.

I was going to be selfish and not come home for this monumental event in my niece’s life. I justified it by thinking back to when I was her age and how much I cared if my aunts and uncles showed up for any of that stuff. I didn’t and they didn’t.

But I sure felt bad about it and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I had to be there, so I booked a round trip flight and got to spend this special day with my niece and the rest of my family and see my wife for the first time in 2+ weeks!

Congrats to Lexie! You have grown into a wonderful and absurdly mature young woman and I’m sure you will continue to do amazing things in your next phase of life at Portland University!

I was back in Vegas by midnight and Sunday morning I fired in the $1000 No Limit Hold’em Double Stack tournament.

I doubled up early when I opened with AJ of spades and c-bet the 882 two spade flop in a heads up pot. My opponent called. I turned the nut flush with the ten of spades and my opponent raised my 750 bet to 2000. I’m only losing to 88, 22, TT, and maybe T8 suited here so I expect to be winning most of the time here. I called and I was planning to check-call the river, but when he sized at 2500 and I studied him I decided that not only did I probably have the best hand but I was pretty sure he would call a jam also. He did and I was good.

What a great start!

Unfortunately that was my peak and I basically lost every pot I played after that.

Some of the key ones:

Under the gun opens to 350 at 75/150, there’s a flat and I look down at JJ. Kind of hate 3-betting JJ here, but with two players in and the opener only having about 20 bigs to start the hand I am quite happy to get it in against him, so I make it 1500 to go, planning to call a jam.

I did call a jam. But it came from a cold 4-bet all in of 40 big blinds from the small blind. The other two players folded and I was up against KK and failed to catch up.

I had already decided to call a jam when I 3-bet the JJ, but the plan was to call a 20bb jam, not a 40bb jam – that’s quite a difference and the range of hands that cold four from the blinds is much narrower than the ones the 20bb player might stack off with. I am definitely not enough of a NL tourney wizard to know the the definitive response but I suspect it’s closer to a fold than I initially thought. The problem at the time was I could lose 40bb and still have over 100bb and I was willing to flip at that point, if it indeed was a flip.

Alas, that started a pretty steady decline that culminated in a blind vs blind confrontation that saw it fold to me in the small blind and I looked down at AT against a very aggressive player in the big blind. He was super active and 3-betting a lot of hands, so when I raised it up I knew I was stuffing it on him if he 3-bet me. Sure enough he did, so I jammed it. I knew he had less chips than I did and he could easily eyeball my stack and see that that was the case and this prick still asked the dealer to count down my stack and made me wait a good twenty seconds before calling with… POCKET ACES.

What a douche.

I flopped a Broadway gutshot and I was pretty sure karma was going to bring it in but I bricked out and losing these 30 bigs left me with about 6-7 big blinds and I got my last 5.5 bigs in with AK vs 55 and lost the flip.

Just like that I was out in level 5 of a tournament I had doubled up early in. So goes my summer.

That was enough poker for me on Sunday but Tormund ended up making a deep run in the Double Stack, eventually busting in 542nd place for a min-cash.

Yesterday the $600 Limit Omaha 8 tournament at 4 PM at Venetian was my play.

I had nearly double starting stack in level 2 and by level 8 I was messaging The Joker wondering why my momentum seems to fall off a cliff after level 5 in every tournament I play this summer. Pretty much right after I did that things started to turn around for me and I ended up bagging 45.5k and coming back to blinds of 2000/4000 about 30 spots off the money.

I’m sure I have plenty of hands to talk about but this is the only one I’ll mention because it cracked me up.

Someone opens and I 3-bet with A236 all hearts on the button and he just calls. Not too sure about this play but I’m playing and I think playing heads up in position makes more sense than letting the blinds call cheaply, but I really don’t know.

Flop is 532 with two spades. Pretty bad for me, but I do have two pair and the second nut low. I’m getting scooped by A4 but that’s about it. He ends up betting all the way down on 532ssKs8s and I hate it… I hate it a lot… but he turns over AA87 with no spades. What.

I scoop.

Then he proceeds to stare daggers at me for the next several hours and eventually I just start busting out laughing. Like wtf. Is he bluffing on that hand? Using his two aces as blockers to A4… or does he have zero clue? Probably the latter.

Anyways, I bagged 45.5k and started today off extremely active. I’ve been involved in a lot of big pots. My stack peaked at 97.5k and fell all the way down to 25k after I opened AJ83 with hearts and the small blind 3-bet me. I decided to barrel off when I raised the KJ9hh flop and the board bricked me off with a 7 and a 9 and my opponent did not let his AA go. Holy hell. What a torch. Like 20 spots off the money when I was healthy. I mean, I think my line is fine but I need to save the 10k on the river bet. Once he calls the turn and the board pairs, he’s never folding, especially since I’m the one with the nut flush draw.

The next hand I opened AKK6 and a short stack raised me and I put him all in. He had AT53 and the board ran out Q5342. Pretty unreal.

That left me with 25k and I got that all in when the button opened my blind and I 3-bet A732 and bet dark and eventually got it all in on the turn and my aces and deuces with a 73 low was good for a double.

I flopped a full house a few hands later in a multiway pot and that brought me back up to 81.5k and I’m reminding myself not to get fancy and especially not to bluff calling stations.

I have 72k now and there are 35 players left. I am waiting to publish this until we are either in the money or I’m out. It would hurt too much to put the sweat on and then immediately bubble this thing.

Update: I still have 73k and there are 27 players left. We are redrawing for the final three tables and I just eyeballed all the stacks and I see about 5-6 that have 40k or less. It’s gonna be a race to the finish!

I really want to cash this thing just to stop the bleeding but my eyes are on first place. A min-cash in this thing doesn’t help my bottom line out too much. I need to ship it!

Playing in front of the stands (with not one person in them) and we aren’t even in the money yet!

6:22 PM: What a gift. One player limps, a short stack goes all in for 7k, the small blind is also short and calls the 7k and I call 1k more with J843. The four of us see the QT2 flop and everybody checks.

The turn is a 9, giving me the second nuts, while opening up a club flush draw (I have a jack high one). Eliminating players is obviously important but this pot is super critical to my stack so I bet to protect my hand and the limper calls and the small blind calls all in for less.

We do not want to see a club! River: 7 of diamonds! I bet, the limper folds, and my straight is good for everything, busting two players.

I now have 120k and there are 23 left.

6:59 PM: Please, please, PLEASE don’t. We are still at 23 and the collapse is on.

Folds to me in small blind, I raise AQ82 with spades. I double barrel J64ssK4 and check-fold river and he flashes me two jacks. Could have been worse, I guess.

Very next hand, someone opens and I 3-bet AAK5 with a suit on the button. I bet flop and then check down when the board runs out Q5267 and get scooped by A962.

Down to 72k.

7:10 PM: Without actually standing up and checking out all the stacks, I can see three people shorter than me, so I definitely have life here.

Sigh. And one of them just doubled as I typed this. Ugh.

7:19 PM: Whew. What a relief. We are in the money! I’m still in bad shape, so super happy to sneak in. Now I’m publishing and hopefully can start some run pure.

Let’s. Go.

7:28 PM: First hand after bubble bursts I post my big blind at 5k/10k with 60k to start. One player and SB limp, I check QT98 double suited.

Flop is A85 all hearts. I bet my queen high flush and only the limper calls.

Turn pairs the 5, I bet and he calls.

4 on river. I’m all in for less than a big bet, he calls and shows 5433 and his rivered boat sends me to the rail.

21st for $1200ish.

Wonderful. Published for five minutes and the sweat is over.

A bubble may have crushed my soul, so I guess I’m somewhat happy to cash something but this could have gone so much different. I could have saved 15k on that AJhh vs AA hand – or, God forbid, binked a heart or a straight for a huge scoop. Getting scooped back-to-back when I has AQ82 heads up vs the blind and AA5x heads up on the button absolutely derailed me.

FUCK!

My wife will be landing at midnight tonight and both of us will be playing the $1500 Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP tomorrow at 11 AM. It’s my best game and a tournament I have cashed two years in a row and plan on winning a bracelet in some day. Friday?

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Golden Nugget $250 8-Game Mix Tournament – A Tournament I Can WIN (LIVE BLOG)

June 15, 2018

How do I know this? Because I’ve won it before:

That’s me… in happier times… shipping my third huge score in less than three weeks in Vegas in 2016.

Here I am winning the Rio Daily Deep Stack for $36k a few weeks before that:

And here I am at a WSOP final table a week before that:

And here’s one of my dogs with a cone head:

Someone said my blog has been depressing lately and I can’t disagree. But sometimes depressing is the reality. Poker is a game with lots of variance and sometimes things go really good – like that stretch above that I’m trying to remind myself of – and sometimes they go really bad – like the career worst slide I’ve been on so far this trip.

The thing about playing bigger buy in tournaments is that when you get cold the losses add up really quick. It’s the reason I don’t mind selling action when I play bigger series. I’ve certainly been on worse tournament streaks, but never in this short amount of time for buy in sizes this big. It makes it seem so much worse than it really is but that’s why good bankroll management is absolutely key in maintaining longevity in this game.

Anyways, it’s kind of sad when you’re playing tournaments you can win outright and still not be even for the trip, but shipping this one would go a long ways towards turning things around.

I’ll be posting stack updates and some hands as the day progresses. Tormund is joining me today for this event.

Cards were in the air at 11 AM and it looks like we will be arriving about ten minutes late.

Let’s get one.

11:29 PM: You know you’re running bad when you lose one pot and your first instinct is to check and see if they allow re-entry.

(unlimited re-entry for eight levels)

11:37 PM: Bravo to Golden Nugget for putting limit Omaha 8 immediately after PLO. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘πŸ»

First hand of O8, the small blind calls my open raise with K875 and scoops me.

Poker is alive and well, folks.

12:00 PM: 2-7 Triple Draw, it folds to me in the small blind and I decide to just call with three deuces in my hand and two big cards. My opponent raises and I call, planning to snow at some point depending on how things play out since I’ve seen 75% of the best card. I draw four which gets laughs and he draws one.

I improve to 432xx and check-call a bet. I draw two and he stands pat.

I check dark, he bets, and I look down at 75432, also known as the mortal nuts.

Yikes. He’s not going to be pleased with this one. I raise and he ends up staying pat and calling me down.

Then I start with 843xx on the button, raise one limper, the small blind calls two bets cold and the big blind also defends.

The small blind draws four! Gotta love it. Totally similar spot as the last hand, buddy. The limper draws one, so even when I improve to a one card draw, I go ahead and check it back with four active players in the pot.

I make a perfect 8 after the second draw and I think that’s good enough to raise even when the big blind leads and the limper calls. They both call my raise and I’m happy to see the big blind draw one and the limper stand pat. It would be super weird for him to play his hand this way and have me beat.

I bet after the last draw when they both check and only the limper calls and my hand is good.

More great game sequencing: they follow up no limit hold’em with limit hold’em.

12:15 PM: And… all three stud variants are back-to-back-to-back also. Everything perfectly set up to maximize game change mistakes from everyone.

12:35 PM: Complete in Razz with AJ-5 trying to steal and get called by an ace.

On 4th I catch a queen but he catches a king so now I actually have the best hand (although it’s insanely rough). I bet and he calls. No surprise there.

I catch a wheel card on 5th and he catches an 8. I bet and he tank-calls. Sigh. Just fold, dude.

On 6th I catch another wheel card and he catches a nine. I bet and he tanks… and calls! Wtf.

I bet dark on 7th and he calls. Oh oh. I flip over my last card and it’s a 3, my missing wheel card, giving me the nuts.

12:44 PM: Fanboy said the structure in this is garbage. Maybe he’s right. I just rivered kings and queens in Stud high against someone that obviously had jacks and tens. Unfortunately he filled up on 7th and I had to pay off three big bets.

It seems like I’ve been running pretty good but I actually have slightly less than starting stack after that big stud pot. Wtf.

12:50 PM: Stud 8, I complete with an ace up. I get called by a queen up and a king up.

On 4th I catch an offsuit 8, the queen catches a baby, and the king catches a ten. I bet and they both fold.

What?

1:10 PM: PLO, I make it 750 at 150/300 with A875 double suited and the big blind defends.

I bet 1200 on the AJ8 board when I flop two pair with the nut flush draw. He calls.

The turn is a ten and I’m planning to check this card back, but he bets 4000. It’s hefty, but I have a lot of outs so I call.

River… 8! We fill up and I should always be good here based on the action. He checks and I decide to size smallish at 5k to make sure I get called. It’s a small bet relative to the pot size but it’s huge in the grand scheme of things. 5k is more than eight big bets in the limit games! Huge.

Don’t get greedy, get smart.

27.4k on first break.

1:34 PM: Horrible round of limit O8.

22.5k

1:54 PM: Start with two card draw to a wheel in deuce in a 3-bet pot and get run down by a three card draw when I get raised after the second draw and don’t improve.

18.1k

2:06 PM: No limit hold’em, someone opens to 1100 at 250/500 and 75 antes. I make a standard defend with Q5 suited.

Flop is T75 and he bets 1600 when I check. My hand is too good to fold here but I also think it’s too weak to check-call. He whiffs this flop a lot and I don’t expect him to get stubborn or try to float me, so I think I have a lot of fold equity here. I make it 4500 and he folds.

2:13 PM: Limit hold’em, my under the gun raise with AK gets called by the big blind and I check back after getting called twice on T65QQ and lose to… J6 off.

I mean you just have to defend with that hand. Especially when someone is trying to steal from under the gun.

Caught nothing but bricks after opening three hands in Razz.

16.6k

Totally allergic to momentum this month. It would be cool to be able to say I’m peaking 3+ hours into a tournament.

2:27 PM: Sheesh. Stud High, I complete with K6-A and the bring in defends.

On 4th, I catch a jack that’s suited with my ace and king and he catches an offsuit king. He calls again.

He’s all in on 5th for 525 and has somehow made it to this point with 25-3K4 and I have the best hand with ace high.

We both brick 6th but he catches a 6 on 7th to double.

Geez. Losing in Stud high to a Stud 8 hand is pretty cool. Especially when he catches a total brick on 4th.

12.2k

We are on Stud 8 now and PLO is next and there’s a pretty decent chance I’ll get it in there.

3:11 PM: 12.6k on second break. Registration is closed.

3:24 PM: And crippled. Open button in deuce with four to a wheel and the big blind defends, draws two and immediately makes an 8 perfect and I whiff.

3k, which is less than three big blinds.

I just ordered food and there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be out before I get it.

3:33 PM: Open with 3322T under the gun in deuce thinking there’s a decent chance it gets through. Instead I get raised and I’m all in drawing three against a one card draw.

I improve to 532 but catch two bricks on the second draw and he stands pat.

I draw two more and roll my 532. He turns over a T7. I turn over my first card and it’s an 8. Super live. I sweat my last card and immediately see a border – it’s paint. GG.

Tormund is still in with a below average stack. Not sure what I’m going to do with the rest of the day.

4:51 PM: Tormund is busto.

I am going to spend this Friday night in Vegas watching the Mariners and washing my clothes. πŸ‘πŸ»

h1

It’s Been A Long Time

June 14, 2018

I shouldn’t have left you…

…without a sick blog to sweat to…

Opener coming soon.

Currently playing $20/$40 Stud 8 and Omaha 8 mix cash game at the Rio with Jesus and he was badgering me about not blogging anything lately, so here I am.

I mean… it’s been pretty brutal. I haven’t had anything but pain to write about so far.

So when I last left you I was busting out of the WSOP $1500 8-Game Mix in sad fashion. I ended up playing $20/$40 o8 at the Rio that night because Tormund was making yet another deep run in the Daily Deep Stack.

He took third. For nearly $13k. So that’s four entires into the Daily Deep Stack with fields of 750+ each time and Tormund has finishes of 8th, 17th, and 3rd.

Unreal.

I took that pic of him above with the shiny fedora on and dubbed him a Daily Deep Stack legend on Facebook.

My cash game session was ho-hum. I played 4.25 hours and lost $119.

On the 10th I played the $470 HORSE tournament at Aria and once again never had any momentum in a great structure. I was so short bearing the end of registration that I was playing super loose trying to bust or luckbox my way back into contention.

Alas, I won the pots I got all in on and had over 11k when registration closed, a perfectly awkward stack to continue with.

It didn’t get me far. I busted shortly after registration closed and went to sulk for the rest of the night.

Actually I moved all my stuff from the time share I’d been staying in for two weeks to the Airbnb house we are going to be staying in the rest of the summer.

On the 11th, I had decided to not play the WSOP $1500 Stud 8 tournament but when I arrived at the Rio I decided to man up, sold an extra 30% of my action and took a seat.

After four levels, I had nearly doubled my stack. It was weird having things going well for once, but then my table broke and it was like my doom switch was immediately activated.

I was posting updates on Facebook since I wasn’t blogging and he’s a screenshot of the downfall:

Double my stack at second break and out before the third break. Truly amazing.

Then I sat down in PLO and ran second set into top set 45 minutes into my session and felted $500.

Geez-Us.

Yesterday I ended up late regging the $250 no limit hold’em Low Roller at Planet Hollywood. Totally unplanned.

I lost my first bullet pretty quick but I managed to survive all the way to the money! A cash!

The event was multiple flights and my flight had 253 entrants with 31 cashing and 16 players advancing to day 2.

I had a pretty small stack the whole day and then won a flip with 55 vs AJ and busted the same player when my KK held against his A6. Suddenly I had 30 bigs.

Nothing exciting happened for a while, but I did sneak into the money. I had about 15 bigs when it folded to me on the button and I looked down at an ace and jammed without looking at my second card – a correct play as I should be jamming any ace on the button here – and the small blind called and his 77 held, leaving me with less than two bigs.

I ended up getting them in a few hands later with J8hh and lost to 62o, even though I had twenty outs on the turn.

Good for a $625 cash, but I was in for $500, so…

I played some cash games last night and had a decent session, winning $820. Combined with my tiny cash it was my best day of the trip and I didn’t even make $1000!

7:49 PM: Really stupid Stud 8 hand: I open with AcK-Kc with an ace up behind me. He just calls and so does the bring in.

On 4th street, the ace immediately pairs and I catch the 4 of clubs. I’m quite certain he does not have two pair and it’s probably bad but I continue because I have a three flush and the bring in bricked.

On 5th, I catch a king! Everybody checks to me and I bet. I think they both call.

The both check and call on 6th also.

The aces check in the dark on 7th and the other guy checks also, but I don’t fill up, so I check back myself and show my three kings.

The guy with aces actually bitches about my hand before looking at his last card and slow rolling me with fives full of aces.

Fuck. You. Buddy.

I got moved to the main game and have already whiffed a couple big draws in Stud 8 and find myself ready to leave. This game is trash compared to the one I came from the Golden Nugget’s 8-Game tourney starts at 11 AM.

8:09 PM: So fucking over it.

Start with Ad3d-Qd in Stud 8. King limps with a king dead and I complete. The bring in defends with a 6 up.

I catch an ace but the bring in pairs open sixes. The other player bricks, I bet, the bring in says “so fucking brutal. I put you on two aces in the hole” and then calls. I’m a little concerned.

But on 5th street I make open aces and he catches a five and I am no longer concerned. I bet, he calls.

On 6th, I brick and he pairs his five. Are you fucking kidding me? I’m concerned again. He checks to me and I decide to check back.

On 7th the dealer “accidentally” deals both of our cards face up and we both catch jacks. There’s some commotion but we can still play the hand out and he checks to me and I don’t see how I can check back now, so I bet and he snap calls me with sixes full of fives.

To recap, in less than thirty minutes, my opponent caught extremely good on 4th only for me to catch my miracle card on 5th and I still found a way to lose both pots.

Amazing.

I started off pretty good so I only lost $386 total but I have some pretty serious accumulated tilt going on and an early start tomorrow so I’m fine calling it yet another early night.

It’s no secret that this has been an incredibly disappointing and frustrating trip for me so far and I’m having some difficulty powering through right now.

I have two cashes in thirteen tournament bullets – in the two smallest events I’ve played – and both of them were min-cashes.

It all adds up to a sexy -90% ROI.

Cash games haven’t been spectacular either. I’ve played more hours than I did all last WSOP but it hasn’t amounted to much and I’m yet to really play a full session (my longest is < 6 hours). I’m running at $14.65/hour but I haven’t played much and that’s a paltry win rate for the stakes I’m playing.

Well, that’s my update for the week.

$250 8-Game Mix tourney at Golden Nugget at 11 AM tomorrow after a good night’s rest. I actually won this tournament in 2016 and a repeat would be pretty good timing this year!

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WSOP $1500 8-Game & My First Cash of the Summer!

June 9, 2018

No, not in a WSOP event. After my super disappointing finish in the $1500 HORSE, I just went back to my condo and stayed there the rest of the day taking it easy and relaxing.

I was planning to play cash games all day yesterday but I heard The Orleans had a $150 8-Game tournament in their series and it sounded like the perfect warm-up for my next WSOP event.

The Atom and myself showed up for the start of the tournament and The Joker and Tormund made appearances a few hours later. With 80 players (of 133 entrants) remaining, I was the only one left standing – far away from the money at 18. Nice showing, fellas!

I don’t have much to say about this tournament until the very late stages, specifically with four tables left, roughly six spots off the money.

I had a pretty healthy stack at this point, but even so, chips can disappear quickly, especially if you have big confrontations. We are playing limit hold’em six-handed and I open with 44 under the gun. Honestly, it’s a bit loose. I don’t know that I would consider it standard and I think folding here is pretty defensible, possibly even recommended. For instance, if I was in a loose, six-handed cash game, I would always fold 44 under the gun. But in a tournament, with most of my opponents playing on the tighter side, I think it’s okay. So I open the 44 and the lady on my direct left does a little bit of a stutter step like she is considering raising me but winds up cold-calling instead. We go heads up to the flop.

It is very, very sexy. KJ4. I bet. She raises. Oh sweet baby Jesus, it is my lucky day. No need to get coy here. I can eyeball her stack and see that she will be very close to all in if we play this hand out, so I go ahead and re-raise, knowing she’s going to have to call me down basically all the time if she has a hand. She calls my 3-bet.

The turn is a 6. I bet and she calls.

The river is a ten. I bet and she says “I’m all in.” I thought she had less than my bet, so I just snap-roll my hand without saying anything. And she snap-rolls her hand.

She has AQ for a rivered straight.

How? We put in three bets each on the flop! How does she have a straight? What in the world? I mean, I sort of get it. It’s a reasonable hand to bluff with on the flop. I might fold smaller pairs and some other hands, plus she usually has decent equity when called. Maybe she takes a free card when I just flat. But when I raise flop and bet turn it is just max pain for me on the river. There are 5.5 small bets after the preflop betting, so after the flop action there are 11.5 small bets. On the turn, she is getting 6.75 to 1 to call with what looks like four outs. My hand looks a lot like AK, KJ, and sets – and my combos of KQ are reduced by her holding, plus I might not play that hand so fast in such a critical spot. Seems like a pretty standard fold on the turn for her.

But she didn’t fold and instead I’m losing this insanely important monster pot nearing the bubble to a rivered gutshot.

Then the dealer counts out her last bet and realizes it is a few thousand more for me to call. He looks at me, expectantly and I’m like “what?” He says it’s “xxx more,” and I say, “Okay, I never said ‘call.'”

Is this my classiest moment at the poker tables? No. No it is not. I’m not proud of it. But I have to say I was pretty devastated at the moment and having already lost a huge pot in horrible fashion, I wasn’t eager to put chips in the pot I never committed to.

A floor gets called over (the actual TD is on break) and the situation is explained and I am still refusing to pay the last partial bet and some dick at the table pipes in saying I should get a penalty for exposing my hand out of turn and the floor actually listens to him and issues me a one round penalty.

I was so thrown by this decision that I was rendered speechless and didn’t even bother fighting it because I was so mad I wasn’t sure what I would say in the moment. It didn’t even occur to me until later that my opponent also exposed her hand with action still pending. There is no logical way to give me that penalty without also giving her one.

Well, I had about 11k in chips and the big blind was 4k and I had to sit out a full orbit. When I was able to play again, my 11k had turned into less than 4k, which was less than one big blind.

Somehow I managed to spin that up and eventually had as many as 160k in chips.

I played a stud hand extremely poorly and a razz hand quite questionably and those two hands essentially cost me a very deep run.

Instead I busted in 11th for $380. Crumbs. But it is my first cash of the summer.

My friends and I went to The Saw Escape Room last night and it was a blast, but a little overpriced since I requested a private tour. We sucked though, getting through less than half of the rooms in time, although two rooms were basically buzzer beaters we were on the wrong side of. Lots of fun though! Check it out if you are in Vegas and a fan of the films.

Joker and I are about to head to the Rio to play the $1500 8-Game and I feel really good about it. It’s nice to iron the kinks out in a $150 event so I don’t make the same mistakes when the stakes are 10 times bigger.

Leggo.

3:05 PM: Walking towards registration on our way in, I spot Rep Porter a few strides ahead of us and ask if we can borrow his diamond card real quick (to skip the line). He actually stopped and started looking for it! What a guy. I told him I was kidding though.

A little bit of a late start here. Only three players at my table at the moment and one of them is Miami John Cernuto. I’ve actually played with him a decent amount. He’s not really someone I expect to put me in many tough spots.

We are 4-handed now and this tournament plays 6-handed. I’ve scooped a couple smallish o8 pots already.

3:34 PM: New player at my table: Sandeep Vasudevan. I recognized that name from the HORSE tournament and, sure enough, he went deep in that, finishing 6th for a career high score of $33k.

He also has two WSOP Circuit rings, including one last month in pot limit Omaha (the other was a no limit hold’em ring in 2013). So he’s fresh off two of the biggest scores of his life and I imagine his confidence is riding high.

3:48 PM: Scott Blumstein, the latest Main Event champ is seated directly behind me.

3:59 PM: Dang. Guy was getting a back/shoulder massage with his ass crack totally exposed and the masseuse with a direct view the whole time. I wanted to snap a pic but I couldn’t do it discreetly.

4:14 PM: Just got absolutely abused in no limit hold’em. I started with over 8k and I now have a touch over 4k. I think I opened four pots and for 3-bet every single time. I flopped two pair with KJ suited when my opponent flopped the nut flush. He slow played it and check-called flop and turn so I was able to check back on river.

I also defended my blind once and I started to think: I’ve folded some hands and I can think of five I played. We did the math: we played nine hands of no limit hold’em – you’re supposed to play six. Pretty cool, especially since it was such a profitable variant for me.

First hand of Stud high I start with a four flush and brick it. I did pick some chips back up with AA-K and rolled up jacks, but I didn’t get past 5th street either time.

I have a sad 4225.

4:52 PM: Sigh. PLO. Sandeep bluffs off his whole stack the hand previous, so he’s pretty short to start this next one. He opens to 200 at 50/75 blinds. I make it 675 with AKKJ one nut suit and he calls.

Flop 642. I bet pot (1425) and he’s all in for 1625 total. He rolls QQ75.

Board runs out 642A3 and he wins.

Down to 2550. Pretty stoked.

5:08 PM: 2850 on first break.

5:31 PM: Joker had 1000 in chips on break and we set the over/under on number of us surviving to the next break at 0.5.

We both liked the under side.

A few hands of 2-7 left and I will definitely be looking to get all in and double up in no limit hold’em.

5:50 PM: Joker has tripled up. I played zero hands of NL. I am down to 1550.

6:11 PM:

6:16 PM: Busted.