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Aria $470 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8/Better (Live Blog)

June 2, 2018

So yesterday I didn’t have much of a plan and around 3-4 PM The Leak and I decided we were going to play cash games at Bellagio, but I dropped her off at the B and then parked our car at Planet Hollywood to skim on parking costs.

She informed me that the $20/$40 Limit Hold’em list was almost 25 deep and since I was walking through Planet Hollywood I decided to check out the $300 Triple Draw Mix (Badugi, 2-7, A-5) tournament I thought about playing. Well, it was 4.5 hours deep, but registration was still open and I could sit down with 15 bigs. Plus, I spotted Kevin Gerhart, a Run It Up warrior, in the field and asked him if he had less than the starting stack. He said “yes” and I thought, Hell, if this guy still thinks he has a shot, I might as well take one.

I actually managed to win some pots to start off on the right track, getting my 15k up over 30k but I lost a critical 2-7 hand that I never recovered from.

In the hand in question, I opened drawing one to a smooth 8 and a player I thought was capable called my raise and then patted after the first draw. I picked up on something that made me think he was snowing and when I made a pair of 8s after the last draw and he still bet, I gave serious thought to check-raising, but didn’t pull the trigger. He tabled a pair of 6s after I folded.

Sigh. That’s what I call having really good poker sense but not enough experience to know how to capitalize on it in a variant I’m not super familiar with.

I ended up busting in 17th or 18th place which was about ten spots off the money in what was a pretty small field of less than 70 runners.

Then I headed to Bellagio and immediately got a seat in a $40/$80 Limit Hold’em game. For those that follow my blog closely, you will know that I’ve only played a game this big once in my life and it was an utter disaster at Commerce back in January this year.

I suppose this session went better, but the game I was in wasn’t great most of the time. I played a little less than six hours and started off poorly down over a rack immediately and then around even for the rest of the time.

I did briefly play with Humberto “the shark is hungry” Brenes and Chau Giang, a former nose bleed stakes regular and likely future Hall of Famer, for an extended period of time, although he spent a lot of time out of his seat.

I would have booked a small win but I made a time game mistake. With the dealer push coming up in a few minutes, I posted my big blind knowing I wasn’t going to pay for the next half hour. Since I wasn’t going to finish the orbit I was about to pay the blinds for without paying more time, I should have just left right then.

Instead, I posted my big blind and my good friend The Crypt Keeper (whom hasn’t made a blog appearance in forever) raised under the gun and I defended with JTo.

I check-called the T9x flop, knowing his UTG opening range is weighted towards extremely strong hands and then I check-raised the turn when I made top two pair. He thought for a bit and then called.

The river was a king, which is an amazing card for his continuing range. I’m basically only beating AA and an optimistic line with AK at this point. Maybe AJ. No value in betting here and I can actually probably even check-fold against The Crypt Keeper because his bluff frequency is close to zero. I call though because that’s what you’re supposed to do and he shows me QQ for a straight.

I posted my small blind and played my button before the dealer change and then couldn’t take any more hands because I wasn’t paying time.

So I donated $360 to my buddy on a hand I shouldn’t have even let myself be dealt in on and that was the difference between a win and a loss yesterday.

-$230 in 5.5 hours which drastically increases my lifetime $40/$80 win rate to -$328/hour.

My plan was to play this Aria tournament today but we got in pretty late last night so I had to force myself out of bed and I did take my sweet time getting here.

I sat down about an hour after it started, but the structure is super deep and good, so still massive amounts of play.

Starting stacks are 20k and blinds were 100/200 when I sat down.

Blinds are now 150/300 and I have a little less than 22k with no super interesting hands of note yet. I recognize three players at my table, including a bald guy rocking a mullet – a look I would strongly recommend to Radio Mike if he’s reading this – but nobody I know by name.

Finally, some shoutouts before I publish:

-Snowflake got a nice cash (48th) in the $1500 O8 and The Sandman min-cashed it.

-Tormund hit and ran the shit out of Johnny Chan and Robert Mizrachi last night, sitting down in a big mix game during the Big O portion and won a roughly $5k pot and then immediately left when the game switched. LOL. I bet they were PISSED.

-Trey (or Goatluv), a dealer from Fortune made a deep run (46th) in the WSOP Casino Employee event.

-Hal, a floorman from Palace is deep in the $600 Venetian No Limit Hold’em Deep Stack Event. He reported that there are about 230 runners left out of a starting field of about 1600 and 154 spots pay. Looks like he’s starting Day 2 with about 30 bigs, which isn’t a big stack, but definitely workable. Good luck, Hal!

-Pacific Northwest Omaha superstar Kate Hoang is doing what Kate does: crush Omaha tournaments at the World Series of Poker. She is still alive with 36 left in the $1500 O8 and her stack looks to be about middle of the pack to start Day 3. Good luck, Kate!

Also – and I’m sure Kate will appreciate this 😳 – I spotted this gem of a thread on Facebook with 400+ comments of guys drooling over her.

1:21 PM: Today is a sad day. The Leak is leaving me for Washington and we won’t be seeing each other for the longest period of time since we first started seeing each other over six years ago.

I am going to miss her terribly and I can’t say enough what an amazing support system she is for me and my poker career. It takes a special person to let their husband disappear to Vegas for six weeks and grind poker tournaments while she’s at home and working. I try not to lose sight of the fact that I play a game for a living and I really do appreciate my wife letting me pursue this dream of mine.

I love you so much honey. I will try my hardest to make this time apart worth it!

1:31 PM: So I thought Bellagio had some pretty ridiculous MLB World Series futures, but when I was registering for this tournament in the Aria sports book I saw something that blew my mind.

They have the Mets at 10-1 to win the World Series and the Braves at 40-1.

Holy shit.

The Mets are a game below .500 with their ace on the disabled list and the Braves are in first place in the NL East and look like a much stronger team with a very good farm system that can help the big league club via promotions or as trade chips for someone like, I dunno, Manny Machado.

This line is stupid. I can’t comprehend what they are thinking.

I fired $100 on the Braves and $50 on the Mariners at 50-1.

🔥🔥💵🔥🔥

1:58 PM: Aria has the stream of the $3k Shootout on a TV and former Main Event champs Joe Cada and Joe McKeehan are at a final table full of sunglasses. Uhm. I like their chances.

2:08 PM: Just got word from Hal that he busted the Venetian tourney in 151st for a nice little cash to start his trip out. Congrats! Seat open at Aria, buddy!

2:17 PM: Wonderful. One opener at 300/500 blinds and I defend KKQ3 one suit and check-call on the K52 rainbow flop. Turn pairs the 5 and I get a check-raise in. River is an ace.

Sigh. What a horrible card. The low gets there and AA improves. I think for a while and maybe I make a mistake: I bet. I was thinking it’s pretty easy for him to have a hand he can call with that has a counterfeit low and my bet really only stings when he shows up with exactly AA. Of course that’s what he has though.

Actually it’s worse. He has AAT9. He doesn’t even have a low draw and the only way he can get any piece of this pot is with an ace. Ugh.

Momentum still evades me on this trip so far. Back to starting stack.

2:58 PM: Last hand before break I open from the cutoff with Q532 one suit. Big blind defends and donks on 986 two spade flop. I have good draws heads up in both directions but I elect to go with a call on this board texture. Turn is 7 of spades, giving me the third best low and a queen high flush. He bets, I raise, and he calls. River is my nut card: an offsuit ace. I now have a big flush and the nut low and he check-calls and I scoop a nice pot.

27.7k heading to 400/800 blinds.

3:22 PM: Unfortunate connection against the big blind. I have AT83 on QJ9 vs KTxx. On the bright side, I raised flop and checked back turn before calling on river. Back to starting stack.

3:29 PM: Registration is closed. 144 entrants. 126 left. $17.5k for 1st!

4:02 PM: Had a big connection with AK93 from the small blind. Limped pot and I lead out on 652 two diamond flop and two players call me. I have the nut low with a king high flush draw, so… loving this situation.

Turn is an offsuit 8 and things get funky. I bet and both players raise. I’m not really sure how to react to this, but I’m definitely not folding. I do feel like I can be getting quartered a lot of the time, even when I make my flush, but I still have a pretty robust hand.

Here’s a surprise: the river is the ace of diamonds. Okay, so I guess I had the nut flush draw. I also have a live three but that’s probably not a scoop card. Still, I should lead here because I’m guaranteed half and check-raising is dumb. I bet and only the button calls. He has 6432 for the nut low and the other guy claims to have had 74 in his hand.

This was a decent half pot but I chipped back down right away when I decided to give up my AJ54 when I paired my 5 on A925 rainbow board against a player that bet/3-bet the flop. She showed AA when I folded.

20.4k

Side note: the tournament area is not in the poker room, but out near the slots and cigarette smoke keeps wafting up my nostrils. So fucking disgusting. Can we please make this garbage illegal already? Yes, wishful thinking in a casino environment but breathing second hand smoke has to be my number one pet peeve.

4:20 PM: Sometimes you have to go gangster on them. One player limps, the button raises, and I make a very borderline defend with 7763 one suit.

Flop is KKJ two clubs and the button bets when it’s checked to him. I decide to raise as a bluff with my club draw as the remotest of backups if I get action. I think this is a good board to attack on and my hand is pretty worthless, so I can happily let it go if I get raised at any point. He calls.

Turn is the queen of clubs and he calls again when I bet my flush.

River is a blank and while I’m happy I haven’t been raised, my hand is not good enough to bet for value. I check and I’m probably going to call if he bets, but he checks back and my flush is good.

He is not happy.

Just switched to a new table and I only know one player. They call him Taxi. I chopped the Golden Nugget 8-Game Mix with him in 2016.

Peaking at 31.2k and coming back to 1000/1500 blinds after a break in a few minutes.

4:30 PM: Dealer in the box at my new table just interrupted a conversation about the outrageous rake (15%) in these tournaments and claimed that very few casinos in Las Vegas actually make money and a direct quote about Aria specifically: “this casino is so far in the hole it’s not even funny.”

Wouldn’t that be something?

5:14 PM: Kate Hoang update: she just took the chip lead with 21 left. Holy shit!

Meanwhile I’m peaking at 38.5k.

6:08 PM: Pretty unfortunate run out here: I have AK63 on 642TJ vs AK3J with a third player calling down with A852. Had a pretty good handle on 3/4 of that one and it slipped away on the river.

Just opened A754 from hi-jack and had to give up on QJ33K when I missed my flush draw and checked back the turn.

24k coming back to 2000/3000 blinds.

Blah.

6:54 PM: With the blinds at 2000/3000 I open with AJT2 with a suit and someone 3-bets me. I start the hand with 21k so I consider capping it, but I supposed there are flops I can give up on and preserve chips. I call.

Flop is KT3 and I check-call with my pair, gut shot and back door nut low draw.

Turn is a 6 and with only 9k left and multiple decent draws, I go ahead and get it all in there. He calls and tables AAK7.

River 9. Good game.

That bust out was with about 50 players left and makes three straight events where I never had much momentum.

On to the next one.

Headed to the Rio after that to sweat Kate a little and possibly play some cash games. Kate is currently third in chips with 15 players left.

8:28 PM: Sitting down in a $20/$40 Omaha Hi-Lo cash game with Tormund.

I believe Kate just final tabled the $1500 O8 event. I just got a notification that it will be streaming on Twitch. I will be tuning in.

False alarm: they are streaming the $100k High Roller on Twitch.

One comment

  1. Ew that Facebook post gives me the creeps



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