Enemy Territory: $20/$40 @ Fortune

July 19, 2018

No. Fortune is not really the enemy, but it is a pretty foreign location to me at this point. I have logged 14 total hours at Fortune in 2018. Once I stopped in while waiting for the Muck Main Event to finish, once I stopped in before seeing Kendrick Lamar at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn, and once I stopped in briefly before heading to a home game. That brings the number of sessions I’ve played at Fortune because I planned to play a session at Fortune in 2018 to a grand total of one. I played a five hour session of 20/40 and got a swift kick in the ass to the tune of -$2135.

The reason my volume there has fallen off a cliff – despite good results: 1.47 BB/HR in 2017 – is because Palace hasn’t really given me a reason to go play anywhere else.

That seems to be changing. 15/30 is hit or miss at this point and The Leak and I stopped in Palace today, but we were playing in a lame short-handed feeder 8/16 game, the main game looked even worse, and 15/30 was probably hours away.

So I could stay and play 8/16 short-handed with my wife… or head to Fortune where they already have two 20/40 games going. There is no list for 20/40 so I won’t be surprised to walk in and see a 4-handed feeder game going, but hopefully it’s closer to being full. I like playing short-handed but not necessarily at the start of my sessions and the more players in the 20/40 games the more likely it is that at least one of them is pretty good.

4:30 PM: I don’t have many nicknames for players at Fortune. Just a couple. There are two full games going right now. Neither of them look very good though.

I do have some new nicknames for some Palace players though.

First off, the most overdue nickname ever. This player is one the top regulars at Palace and probably employs the tight-solid strategy better than any Palace regular when he’s on his A-game (i.e. not drinking). Note: Joker and I are not tight-solid players. He’s one of the good guys. He’s small in stature, but stocky.

I introduce you to Mighty Mouse.

Second nickname is for a player that is a sometime regular. I’ve seen him disappear for long periods of time but when he plays he comes in often. His style used to give me fits: he borders on maniacally aggressive but is a tad more selective and restrained than the true psychos. Still, I admire his tenacity – he unrelentingly attacks weakness. He is a bit hard-headed and can be easy to trap though.

Once upon a time, I thought of the perfect name for this player but I have since forgot. If I ever remember, I will probably change it, but for now, this player will be called Mr. Plow, as in Homer Simpson’s moniker when the streets of Springfield were covered in snow.

Finally, a name change. Action Bronson is a fitting moniker for that player, but a) it’s slightly obscure and b) I have something better.

When this player is in the game, the pots automatically get bigger, maybe even double in size. He’s a huge advocate of button straddles and almost always gets the whole table on board with it. In fact, he won’t even play 15/30 because he claims that 8/16 with straddles is a much better game. Not really sold on that. You can loosen a 15/30 up just like you can an 8/16, but whatever. Also, this player is the only one I’ve seen, maybe in history, that habitually plays his big blind, small blind, and button as his last three hands of a session before picking up and leaving. 100% of the time. He’s a game-changer. Someone is going to have a good session when he sits down (once in a while it’s him) because every pot is like a splash pot. I know it’s the middle of summer right now but it always feels like Christmas when he’s at the table.

He is Santa Claus.

5:41 PM: There are two full 20/40 games going at Fortune. I’ve moved twice already. The games seem pretty typical at the moment. What that means is that most pots are heads up or 3-handed.

Only notable hand I’ve played so far was when I 3-bet Q9o on the button after the same player opened three hands in a row, just as a way to say: not on my watch.

He check-raised me on a queen high flop and I called there and turn before betting river when he slowed down. He paid it off and my message was sent.

I have played with four of the players at my table. One of them is definitely good, two of them are probably small winners, and the other is likely a small loser. Three players I don’t know have over $3000 in front of them.

Also, I have already folded AQ preflop.

5:52 PM: Yesterday I played PLO at Palace. I got tuned up pretty good in 4/8 Omaha 8 and 8/16 while I was waiting. I went -$453 in 90 minutes of play. It was spectacular.

Fortunately PLO went much better. I finished at +$2663. I have some hands I want to type out, but I’ll wait until I’m on a break or when I get home, so I can focus on what’s happening in front of me.

6:00 PM: Just saw a player show down 75o after limping in under the gun. So…. that’s good news.

6:24 PM: Rigged. I open KJdd, good player 3-bets, loose player calls small blind, and I call.

Flop is KT3 with two diamonds. I decide to go with check-raise and it gets capped 3-ways.

Not planning to lead many turns and the ace of clubs is definitely a check-call. Good player bets and we both call.

River is 2c. I check-fold and the loose player pays off with AQ. Good player has a set of 3s.

Just heard the player on my right call the dealer a “cunt” under his breath. That’s pretty cool. Poker is full of all sorts of wonderful people.

6:54 PM: Solid connection. I check-raise the QJxK board with KJ against the fishiest player at the table. He has QQ. Great timing. Currently working on -$500.

7:44 PM: Approaching -$1000. I’ve won one small pot in the last 2+ hours.

I’ve had a lot of late position open/big blind defend spots against s1 and he has won 100% of them so far. That’s been pleasant.

But as I was typing this I 3-bet AK on button and barreled off on KJ2Q2 and never got check-raised! Back to -$600.

This game is about to get juicy though: The Invisible Man just sat down.

8:15 PM: Cutoff opens, I 3-bet AT, he calls. He donks on AKQ so I just call down on AKQ73 runout. He has A7.

Under the gun opens, fish calls, I defend AKss. Hard not to 3-bet with the fish in there but I hate giving away my hand strength out of position and narrowing my range. When I call, I can still have anything.

So when I check-raise the 822s flop, I can reasonably rep trips, or an eight. They both call flop. I feel like I’m good.

Turn 3 of spades. I bet, UTG calls, and the fish folds.

River 8 and I have to chop this stupid pot with A9.

Everything is going swimmingly.

8:46 PM: Defend QT in 4-way pot. Flop is KJx rainbow. Two of us call. Turn 3. I’m the only caller. River 7. Check, check. He shows A3o.

Nice line, DK.

Wish this pot was heads up instead. Might have to re-examine this spot but it seems bad to isolate with queen high out of position on KJx against someone that raised multiple limpers.

8:54 PM: Good lord. Defend QQ heads up. Check-call T53. Check-raise 4. Check-call 2. Lose to A5.


9:15 PM: Just took a steam walk to clear my head from this super annoying session I’m having and received what was the coolest text message I’ve ever read. Maybe some day soon I will share it.

Came back and posted in the cutoff. Multiple limpers, I check 54o, and then bet the A34 flop when everyone checks to me. I somehow get five players to fold. One of them says to me, “easy game.”

Yeah man. Totally. Just running this shit over right now.

9:21 PM: Sigh. Finally get a good run out. Defend 74dd vs button open and SB call, check-raise A54dd flop, button folds, SB calls. He check-calls down on A54dd43d.

Very next hand, there’s two limps, I raise AK from SB and it’s four way action to A86.

Fast forward to the river and I’m getting scooped by A7.

Yup. Easy game.

9:39 PM: One thing I definitely do miss about playing at Fortune is that, for the most part, people leave me alone. I’m all for creating a friendly, fun, and entertaining atmosphere at the table. I think it’s much, much better for poker and makes it more enjoyable for everyone. But if I was being completely honest, I would rather just listen to music than socialize all day long. Most of the time.

I listen to audio books when I’m driving so the only time I have to really listen to music is at the gym or when I’m playing poker. And these days there’s so much stuff coming out all the time that it’s hard to keep up… especially if I’m never checking it out the 40 hours a week I’m sitting at a poker table.

So yeah, it’s been nice to just sit here for 5+ hours of uninterrupted musical enjoyment.

Now I can listen to The Internet’s new album without having to pause it after every hand to courteously listen to the sixth street talk I have no interest in.

9:52 PM: FanBoy texting me that 15/30 at Palace is jamming. Everyone has Overs. Ugh.

There’s a big difference between the Palace 15/30 and the Fortune 20/40. It’s pretty huge actually. You could randomly take any player off the 20/40 here and they would almost always be a top 5 player at Palace. It’s just night and day really.

10:11 PM: Raise button with QQ. K22 flop. I end up folding turn. Small blind wins with K6o.

It’s all so gross I’m struggling to stomach it right now.

Defend J9. Flop 964. He has 44.

Can’t. Take. Much. More.


10:45 PM: Middle position opens JTo. I 3-bet AA on the button. He wins.

Massive pot: I have QJhh in MP after limpers, I raise and it gets capped 7-ways.

I peel one off on 872 with one heart. All seven players are still in.

Turn is a queen. Someone donks, two calls, I raise. One player cold calls but I do get two folds. 🙌🏻 The other two just call. I like my hand but I’m definitely not sure about it.

River ace. It checks around. Turn donker has KQ.


10:59 PM: JJ v KK. That’s all.

11:02 PM: 88 v QQ on 9 high board.

11:03 PM: TT v KK on AAxxx.

I’m going to lose all my chips tonight.

11:11 PM: Legit just steam-punted $100 and that is my cue to get the hell out of here.

I was able to carry all my chips in one hand to cash out. Not sure how many times that’s happened in a limit game in the past five years, but it’s probably less than three.

I was pretty sure this was going to be a record loss, but this is what I have remaining from a $3000 buy in:

That’s a final score of -$2226, less than $100 away from being an all-time worse loss.

I guess my pain threshold kicks in somewhere around -$2k these days. Once I hit that number, I can really start to feel it physically and any series of negative variance afterwards is enough to make me want to quit.

This isn’t really a good thing. Increasing my pain threshold is something to work on, especially as I continue to move up in limits. I can’t really play 40/80 and start to think about giving up at -$2k.

So yeah. That’ll teach me to think I can go somewhere besides Palace to play poker. Home field advantage is a real thing and after posting back-to-back $2k losses in the 20 at Fortune, I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t go back there the rest of the year.


  1. This is a no brainer for me. Drive north and get better food 😛

  2. congrats to mighty mouse on finally joining the nickname club. Also, Santa Claus was long overdue for that name. He’s quite jolly, too!

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