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Hand History Highlights

July 23, 2018

So I didn’t end up blogging during two pretty epic sessions. I had a +$2666 PLO session that I didn’t blog any hands from and this past Saturday was possibly the craziest 8/16 game I’ve ever participated in.

The Triple Up

I always sit down in PLO with between $500 and $800 on the table and $1000+ in black chips in my pocket for swift and discreet top offs and reloads. I wouldn’t need those extra chips for this session.

I’m UTG with QdJd8d8. I decide to limp in because I want to play, but I don’t want to bloat the pot from early position and risk getting 3-bet. I don’t mind limp-calling with it and going from there. So I limp in, someone does raise it and six of us go to the flop for $25 each.

Pot is $150 and it checks to me on Td9d3. Now I’m pretty happy to get it in and I start trying to build the pot by leading out for $80. Tormund raises me a couple of stacks and John Kim pots it. Everyone is about $800 deep on the flop and though I’d rather get this in heads up (3-way action could indicate a set and a bigger flush draw), I decide to go with it. All three of us get our stacks in and agree to run it twice.

First Board: Td9d3-X-K

Second Board: Td9d3-Xd-Y

I scoop this $2400+ monster pot in the first 30 minutes of the session. John Kim had TT. Not sure what Tormund had. My diamond draw was obviously the nuts, so folding here would have been a catastrophe.

Leveling Up

It’s been five days since this session, so some of the finer details are lost on me. In this pot I had A873 with nut hearts. I believe this pot was limped around preflop.

The flop is JT3 with two spades and one heart. Everybody checks.

The turn is the four of hearts. It checks to me and I decide to bet my pair plus nut flush draw plus weak gutter and this much weakness in front of me. I bet $20 and the player on the button – the most experienced and possibly the best PLO player in the game – makes it $85 to go.

Everyone else folds.

I’m not buying it. What hand other than 44 in the hole can really justify a value raise here? There’s two spades on the flop and sets are vulnerable to the straight draws around the jack and ten, so I’m basically eliminating non-44 sets from his range when he checks back the flop. I think I can remove JT for the same reasons. I don’t think he has a strong made hand and I suspect he thought the same about my range and that’s the main reason he was raising me.

Time to level up. This isn’t like hold’em where I can check-call with bottom pair some of the time. If he has a good bluffing hand like 7665, I’m still losing to that if neither of us improve.

It’s worth noting at this point that I thought he raised me to $105 based on how his chips were positioned, so I wasn’t trying to put max pressure on him when I made it $310. But I do end up potting it because I can only make it $280. He ends up calling.

The river pairs the 4 and misses both flush draws. Seems like a very safe card to continue my story and since I don’t think he has much and I want to look like I might want a call, I bet $200 and he tanks for a tiny bit before folding.

A friend and I were talking about the final table of the WSOP and all the close spots that came up. Like Tony Miles huge bluff with the 75. If John Cynn calls there he’s a genius hero. He just won the WSOP Main Event. If he calls and Tony Miles shows… jacks full or something of that nature, John Cynn looks like an idiot for doubling his opponent up with such a weak hand.

These spots come up all the time, especially in big bet poker. This PLO hand I just posted is a good example. I felt like a gangster after that hand. My analysis was solid and led me to good conclusions and a nice pot when I didn’t have anything. But what if he had a four and a flush draw and decided to call it off on the river with trips? Am I an idiot now? Naw. I analyzed correctly and got unlucky. But what about when he has threes full? How cool do I feel punting $500+ in this pot that had $30 in it on the turn?

And that’s what makes poker so fun, deep, and exhilarating!

Running Good

I open with KKJ4 double suited and three players call. Flop is 99x and I decide to check back when it’s checked to me.

Turn is the ten of diamonds and one of the blinds leads out $20 into $50 and one other player calls. I have a gut shot, a weakish flush draw, and an overpair. Also, neither of my opponents are experienced PLO players. I don’t trust their abilities to determine hand strengths in this game. I decide to peel and see what happens on the river.

It’s the king of diamonds, giving me the nut full house and bringing in the flush. The first guy leads out for $40, the second player calls again and I make it $135 to go. The first player tanks for a bit and then jams on me for $300+ and the other guy folds. I call and beat his T9.

Obviously I got super lucky here but that river action is what I’m thinking of when I say I don’t trust their ability to read hands or recognize relative hand strength.

The Craziest 8/16 Game Ever

By the time I got to the main game I had already hit a High Hand for $400, so I moved over with about $1000 in chips.

And then I found out they were playing 16/32 Overs. What? I’ve legitimately never seen or heard of that happening in a Palace game. But I was excited because pretty much everyone at the table had a button. And the pots were MASSIVE.

The first time I saw someone try to raise the turn to $64 with blue chips, I immediately went and got myself $500 in red, to make betting on the big bet streets swift and easy.

First, A Hand

This hand happened at a previous table, but it’s important to note because the main villain is in the main game when I get there.

This player had already proven to be speeding around a little bit, so when he opens and one other cold calls, I 3-bet 77 on the button. He caps it. We go 5-handed to the flop.

It’s Q74 with two diamonds. He leads out, there’s a call, I raise, the small blind calls cold, and the other two call.

Turn is a 6 and the speeder and small blind both check-call.

River is an 8 and the small blind leads out. He definitely has some fives in his range so I’m not happy about this, but then the preflop capper raises! I know he’s been speeding around, but he capped it preflop! And bet the flop! What is he trying to say he has? He doesn’t look like he’s bluffing, plus I have the small blind to deal with also, so I muck my hand in disbelief. The small blind calls and flashes 86 of diamonds (good lead, champ) and the speeder tables…

…wait for it…

…oh my god it’s so good…

…T9 offsuit!

Wow. MAGA indeed.

So yeah. That guy is in this crazy 16/32 game and so is a newer player that has a big mouth and a very itchy trigger finger. In fact, I counted five maniacs/spewers sitting in a row before I even sat down. I was practically hyperventilating in anticipation while I was waiting to move to the table. What if all the money’s gone?! I didn’t even know these psychos were playing for double the stacks after the flop.

So I finally get my seat in this insane game and The Flea is sitting on my right and we have a quick and abrupt conversation.

Flea: Did you just get back from Vegas?

Me: Nope.

Flea: Oh, I thought that was you that was in Vegas.

Me: Nope.

A Bad Beat Story

I open AA under the gun. One psycho raising every hand 3-bets me and the psycho with T9o caps it.

Flop is AK3 and we all check.

Turn is a blank. I bet and they both fold.

Foul Deck

This game is jammed up and I’m in there speculating with the T9 of spades in a raised pot on the button. There’s like 13 people in the pot.

Flop is J62 with two spades and there’s a flurry of action. Guy in s4 donks, Flea raises, I call it cold, FanBoy’s girlfriend (I’ll call her FanGirl for the rest of this hand) calls cold and six of us see the turn for two bets.

It pairs the jack and brings in the flush. Everyone checks to me, I bet, FanGirl check-raises, and s4 cold calls with what is clearly three jacks. It seems like FanGirl has a flush and if that’s true, I kind of have to lean towards bigger flushes than I have. She can have all the ace high, king high, and queen high flush combos and she may be folding junky suited hands like 83 of spades. So I play it cautious and call.

River pairs the six, FanGirl checks, s4 bets, I basically snap fold and she pays it off. He wins with KJ.

Me, to FanGirl: How big was your flush?

FanGirl: Ten high.

Me: Uhhh… I had a ten high flush.

FanGirl: 97 of spades.

Me: 👀

Sorry Ass Dealers

I’m not going to lie, I felt a little bad for the dealers during this game. But only slightly. It wasn’t the easiest game to manage. There was criticism, lots of cursing, some dealer abuse. One player in particular was a real difficult customer. But he was also the main catalyst in the game.

I tried to prime the dealers as they sat down. “Just deal and pretend like you can’t hear anything.”

Well, the catalyst ends up losing a pot and calls the dealer a “sorry ass dealer” and the floor happens to hear something as he’s walking by and it’s repeated what he said and now he’s getting kicked out. On his way out, he grabs a stack of blue chips and tosses it across the room and then says “fuck you” and “suck my dick” to everyone on his way out.

And yes, his ejection totally ruined the game. It went from being off-the-charts good to being pretty good.

I was crushing this game at one point and my stack looked something like this:Unfortunately I started running absurdly bad and wound up cashing out +$202 (and that includes the $400 I got for High Hand. Yikes!). It was quite an epic collapse. I think I may have been +$1500 at my peak.

Sick Cameo

A rare in-season appearance from the legend Radio Mike: I told him I had to snap a pic because I’d never seen him with so many chips in front of him (those racks are seat 2’s).

WSOP Main Event Bust Out Hand

I’ve been interested in messing around with solvers and I wound up downloading a free trial of PokerSnowie and while I haven’t sunk my teeth into the intricacies of the software I did try to run a sim of the hand I busted out on in the WSOP Main Event.

The numbers aren’t exact (I start the hand with the same number of blinds) and I didn’t bother adjusting irrelevant stack sizes. I’m covered by my one opponent and that’s all that matters.

To recap, I opened with KK under the gun, it folded to the big blind and he defended. Flop was 763 with two diamonds and he check-raised my 8k bet to 25k. While I did consider checking back the flop, facing the check-raise is the first interesting spot in the hand.

PokerSnowie’s suggestion:PokerSnowie suggests calling 100% of the time. As you know, I jammed and busted to 63o. What’s interesting about that screenshot, is that even though the AI suggests 100% call, the EV of calling and raising are pretty similar. I’m not sure what to make of that and I haven’t figured out how to analyze that further.

So let’s pretend I called and the turn was a black ace, as it was. And let’s pretend my opponent goes for a bet size of about half-pot, a reasonable assumption considering I would still have 1.7x pot behind after the flop action. Here’s what PokerSnowie suggests:

Both calling and raising have negative expected values. It’s a 100% fold… and I continue on in the Main Event with 46 bigs and plenty of play for the rest of Day 3.

Conclusion? I can now sleep easily at night knowing that I did, indeed, punt my way out of the 2018 Main Event.

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