Archive for August, 2018


8/16 @ Palace – 8/30/18 (Live Blog)

August 30, 2018

As promised, here we are again. I will blog today’s session even though it will probably be all 8/16. There are three 8/16 games going and only two of us up for 15/30. Pretty ridiculous. Maybe one will fire after the day jobbers get off.

Ultimately made the decision to stay local because we are going hiking early tomorrow.

Starting lineup: The Leak, Grumpy, someone I will call Villain since he wears a hat that says ‘Villain’ on it, and some other randoms.

First notable hand, it folds to me in cut, I raise with 88 and the button and small blind call.

Flop is 763 and they both check-call.

Turn is a king and only the small blind calls.

River is a queen and I go for thin value and he calls with a 7.

Grumpy opens (one hand after taking a horrible bluffing line vs my wife), one other calls, and I decide to flat with A5hh on the button and the big comes along also.

Four of us to 442 one heart flop and they all check to me. I bet and two players call, including Grumpy.

Turn is the T of diamonds and it checks around.

River is a 6 and now Grumpy leads. Other guy folds. He’s basically always bluffing here but… how often is he bluffing with a better ace high? AK, AQ, and AJ are all possible. He could have a ten, but I think he usually just donks a pair on the turn.

I’m getting roughly 6 to 1 on the river so he needs to show up with worse as little as 14% of the time. I’m sure he does. I call. He tables QJdd and I win. My main concern is whether or not I should raise this river. I’m thinking not. He never folds a pair and I think he calls AJ+ a decent amount. Plus my line is not credible at all. He’s probably not thinking very deeply, but I basically never have a hand that can/should be raising the river, except maybe 66 and I’m betting that on the turn almost always.

3:26 PM: Back-to-Back-to-Back hands, same opponent:

Hand 1: limpers, I raise JJ from SB, BB folds, they call.

Flop J93, I bet, dude looks like he wants to raise and calls, so does button.

Turn is a queen and now he does raise me. Obviously I’m vulnerable to straights here but I thought he wanted to raise flop (because he was strong) and I feel very good 3-betting my hand. He just calls.

River pairs the 9 and he calls me. Hard to imagine what strong hands he can have there, so maybe just the case jack?

Hand 2: Same guy limps and I raise AKo on the button and four of us see the flop.

A93 with two spades. My dude donks, I raise and we are heads up.

Turn and river both run out aces and he check-calls both streets and I show him my quads… which also makes the top High Hand with under two minutes left.

Ship $400!

Hand 3: I open AJ, button calls, and my new pal three bets from one of the blinds. He’s probably fed up. We both call.

Flop is QT6 all spades. I have the ace of spades. He bets and I raise. He calls.

Turn is the King of diamonds and now he check-raises me. Well I have the ace of spades and the queen of spades is on board, so how many hands is he 3-betting pre that made flushes? Probably not many. Maybe none. I 3-bet it and he calls.

River is a blank and he pays me off again and shows KK with a spade. Yikes. Pretty unlucky and a brutal stretch for this guy and that was all of his chips and the end of his session.

3:50 PM: Open QQ, callers, The Leak 3s from the blinds and I cap it.

Four of us to the J74 two spade flop. SB donks, Leak calls, I raise, and three players call.

Turn is a blank but puts two hearts on board and the SB donks again. The Leak folds and I raise again and we are heads up.

The river is the ten of hearts and he checks to me. I’m certain he had a jack and I thought he might have donked the turn because he added a flush draw with his pair. Plus he can have JT. I decide to check back and he shows JT with no hearts. Nice line, sir.

4:09 PM: MLB NERD ALERT! Shohei Ohtani is pitching on Sunday! Yes!

4:30 PM: If it wasn’t obvious already, I’ve been playing with 6 or less players the whole time and now we are 3-handed… and they are dropping $5 a hand.

Honestly, that’s ridiculous. I really like playing short-handed but I don’t think I can justify playing 3-handed with a $5 drop… just out of principle… even if the other two guys are total punters.

4:46 PM: I have been moved to old timer’s game. The Queen is here and a bunch of older guys with grey hair. There is one big spewer in the game but The Leak is definitely in the better of the two full games.

It’s definitely not a great game I’m in, but I do find some joy in beating up on the nitty old guys.

Pretty good chance I’m going to play even more aggro than usual, especially if it seems to be getting under their skin.

5:01 PM: Adjusting well already! Open UTG with AJo and two call. I get popped by the button on the AQ32 board and call because he can have A2 and A3 and then the 3 pairs on the river and I call just in case he has A2 (which i still don’t beat) and he shows me QQ.


Defended blind with Q7dd and decide to lead into field on AT9 all diamond flop. I get called in four spots and the board pairs the 9 first and then the ten on the river. I check and it checks around and somehow I’m good.

5:10: Here’s a gem. I limp along with 22 and six of us see the KT4 flop and we all check.

Turn is a 2 (!) and The Queen leads out, next guy calls, and it’s up to me with two players behind me. I decide to call because a) the pot is small, b) If I raise and only The Queen calls, we don’t bet heads up, and c) whatever I lose by raising I think I can make up in an overcall. So I call and one calls behind.

River is an 8. No flush possible. It checks to me, I bet and then the player behind me raises! Other two fold. If he has 88, he gets to win four bets from me. I 3-bet and he calls.

I’m good but what is great about this hand is that he flashes me a king. A king! So… with six players in the pot and four checks in front of him, he checks top pair. Then he calls the turn and finally decides to spring his trap on the river.

As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy torturing nits, so when under the gun raises, three people call, and a nit 3-bets from the cutoff, I get splashy on the button with 75 of clubs. It gets capped.

Flop is 864. Yessir!

One player has KK and the other has QQ. They are not happy. Actually the guy with KK is pissed. I’m sitting on his left and I turned my music off just so I could listen to him curse to himself and criticize my preflop play.

6:32 PM: Open AKdd and a loose but passive player behind me 3-bet and a super loose player calls from a blind. I just call.

Flop is K74 one diamond and we all check.

Turn pairs the 4 and gives me the nut flush draw. I bet and they both call.River is an 8 and now I get check-raised by the blind and he does that thing where he’s talking to someone as I pay him off, so he doesn’t know it’s time to show this beauty yet. Someone prompts him and he does that sick move where he keeps talking and does the whole no look show where he gets to beat me in this big pot and act like it’s the easiest thing he’s ever done in his life.

Lol. He has 43ss and I lose.

7:08 PM: Palace currently has 1 of 14 active TVs on the most important series of the MLB season for the Mariners. Meanwhile 8 TVs are on this Seahawks preseason game that means jack shit. And some people wonder why I can’t stand Seattle fans, in general.To be fair, two more TVs are on the Mariners now as I typed this.

But the sound of the Seahawks game is on. Preseason football = volume. You know what else gets volume? Nothing. Not the World Series. Not even the World Series of Poker.

I hate football. So much.

In other news, I completed Day 2 of my Cold Shower Challenge. It wasn’t too bad today. I got in and it was freezing so I tried to make it a tad warmer and it overcorrected. Then I turned it cold again and I was in and out in less than four minutes.There was a bit of a temperature shift while I was showering so it felt a little cheap today.

My eventual goal with this is to be able to stand under very cold water and just be in peace.

8:02 PM: More strategic soft collusion 🤦🏻‍♂️:

I open AKcc, two cold callers and both blinds come along.

Flop is 873 rainbow with one club and I check this flop. The button bets and everyone comes along.

Turn is a King and now The Queen donks from the big. My first instinct is to raise, but that’s not my best way to maximize. I know I lose the pot more often by calling but that’s what I do and everyone comes along!

River pairs the 8 and The Queen still leads and I’m the only caller. She has KJ.

I don’t feel great about this dynamic and how I exploit it, but it is what it is and I’m here to make the most money possible and if I can avoid being heads up with the one person in the world I don’t bet against, I’m usually going to take that route.

8:19 PM: Not sure what the appropriate response is here. I have TT on 543hh flop as the PFR. The first limper donks, I raise, the big blind calls, and the limper 3-bets, but when he does so he puts four bets out there. I call the 3-bet but the big blind is totally clueless as to what’s going on and sees four bets out there and puts his own four bets out to call… meanwhile the dealer is correcting the first guy and now the big blind is trying to take his last bet back but before he does that the dealer says, “now it’s capped.”

And suddenly I’m putting an extra small bet in when nobody really capped it.

Not a huge deal but I’m pretty sure I’m losing on the flop so it’s not a welcome miscue.

I’m not sure whose fault this is or what can be done about it and I don’t care too much but it is annoying that the limper somehow got four bets to go in on the flop when he didn’t even have that option.

EDIT: I just realized I never said what he had… because it wasn’t the point of the story… he limped in early position with the mighty 62 of hearts.


9:28 PM: Blog updates are cancelled for the rest of the night. I wasn’t expecting an event album to drop. I’m not going to be able to play poker, live blog, and listen to this new Em album intently all at the same time. Something has to give. I will post a final score when I’m done playing tonight.

9:48 PM: Okay, Joker says I’ve reached a new peak by cancelling a live blog because of an Eminem album so… I’ll post the hands I feel like I have to talk about. Like this one:

Limper or two, I raise AA, both blinds call and five of us see the 443 rainbow flop. I bet and three players call, including both blinds.

The turn is an 8 and it checks to me and I decide… to check back. Not like my hand is vulnerable here.

River is a king and they all check to me again. I bet, the small blind calls, and the big blind check-raises. I practically want to give him a standing ovation. This line is so unorthodox I can’t even consider folding but wow. I call and he has K4. Well done, dude.

Final Score: +$1145


Poker Live Blog

August 29, 2018

Someone asked me yesterday, “do you even blog anymore?”

Yes. Yes I do. But I was losing every time I blogged lately so I was cutting back for a bit. I’ll be more active again, starting tonight.

Because it’s not like not blogging worked out great for me. Here are last week’s results:

  • Sunday: +$18
  • Tuesday: -$74
  • Wednesday: -$1500
  • Thursday: -$249
  • Friday: -$132
  • Saturday: -$1024

Pretty cool week that turned what was looking to be a pretty good month into a mediocre one. And with three days and three sessions left in the month – and one big bet game – things can still change quite a bit.

At 6 PM, it is just me, The Man, and Part-Time sitting with chips in front of us and…

…we are dealing.

This is going to make blogging pretty difficult until we pick up some more players.

6:19 PM: Preflop stickiness is working out for me so far. I’ve 3-bet three times and got zero folds until I barreled postflop.

A good, higher stakes reg just sat down to my immediate left. That’s not cool. Hit&Run just walked in and doesn’t seem too interested in playing short-handed or with the current lineup.

Defend AT75 with hearts for $15 and three of us see flop. It’s A86 rainbow and it checks around. The turn is a 3 and The Man leads out for $40. I have decent straight draws and top pair and with a rainbow on board I’m not vulnerable to flushes not be river. I decide to make it $140 and Part-Time folds. The Man calls and we both check on the river when it pairs the 8. My AT is good.

6:33 PM: I open $15 with AAK8 with hearts, button calls, Part-Time calls, and The Man makes it $75 from the big. I pot to $255 and only The Man calls. He has like $600 behind, so there are some boards I don’t want to play for stacks on but the 963 rainbow is pretty safe vs his range. I bet $300 and he folds.

That’s a max bet on the flop and maybe that’s bad, but it is a little less than 60% of the pot. But I wonder… my hand is a bit face up and when I max bet on flop, I pretty much limit his continuing range to hands that have me beat or very strong draws. It is kind of a weird spot since he has a bit more than a pot-sized bet left. It seems unlikely I can milk him here and I don’t want to walk him into a winner in a pot that’s already large.

6:43 PM: Some new developments since my last post… we got a new puppy. His name is Albus… but he also goes by Big Al, Albie, Albert, The Wizard, Wiz, Dumbledore, Dumblydore, and Dumbo!

And here is how Hammy feels about his new brother:

On Sunday we went whitewater rafting on the Tieton River with a group of friends and family. We did this same river in late September of 2016 and it was amazing. I don’t know what made it different this time, but the river was much tamer. In 2016, it was basically all whitewater with many moments of excitement and this past trip had lots of floating time and only a few good rapids.

Some pre-rafting pics:

7:31 PM: A random walks in! Hit&Run takes a seat! Another player sits down! We are 7-handed now and I’m pretty sure one of them has ZERO clue.

And John Kim makes us 8-handed! I’m going to play PLO for longer than two hours tonight. Yay!

7:40 PM: And my read is correct… player I thought had no clue 3-bets with KQQ6 one suit, calls off a pot-sized 4-bet and gets stacked in his first orbit after flopping a bad flush draw vs AAxx. I’ve seen him get deep in 15/30 but he sat with $300 here and reloaded for another $300.

7:55 PM: Game is now full. I have to admit I did not see that coming when we were still playing 4-handed thirty minutes ago.

I would say three players in this game are absolutely dead money and it will be a race to get it because it will go fast.

8:38 PM: Ever since the game filled up, I’ve had few playable hands and zero interesting spots.

I brought back an oldie today: I took a cold shower. Once upon a time, I decided to take the 30-day Cold Shower Challenge. I thought I blogged the experience but I can’t find it while searching on my phone (maybe those of you on a PC will have better luck?). I didn’t complete it. I think I got about 30-40% of the way through and convinced myself it wasn’t worth it.

Why do this, you ask? I can’t remember. Google it and there are all sorts of benefits that can happen.

I’m doing this again purely for the challenge of it. I want to finish it. Because I’m a sicko. Because nothing wakes me up like a splash of cold water in my face.

Day #1 complete. Before jumping in the water, I stood there for about two minutes like am I really going to do this? Am I doing this? Finally I mustered up the courage and hopped in. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered it. But really that first shower is spent mostly soaping and shampooing while the cold water hits your calves and rinsing off as quickly as possible.

I’m looking forward to seeing this through and when I get a chance I’ll look up the benefits again myself.

8:53 PM: I knew if I got sidetracked there would be action.

First, two of the dead money players get it all in on the turn vs the higher stakes guy and they both felt to him. Yippee. On the bright side, they both reloaded (though Hit&Run felted again as I was typing this).

Then, I open KK44 double suited and get lots of callers.

Flop is KQ9 rainbow and I decide to check and see what happens. One of the dead players bets $100, which is close to pot-sized, and I’m the only caller.

Turn pairs the queen and I go ahead check it because I don’t think this guy has any clue. He bets $100. That’s a bit disappointing and now I feel like I have to size down on my check-raise and only make it $250 to go. He snaps.

River is another queen. Sigh. That’s not a bad card because I’m worried about quads; it’s a bad card because I think this dingbat was going to call $300 on the river with JT. I bet $100 and he calls.

Very next hand I open with QJT9 with spades and get multiple callers again.

Flop is T83 with two spades. We have a pair. We have a wrap. We have a flush draw. Yum yum. I bet $60 and it folds to The Man in the small blind and he check-raises to $215, leaving himself with just over $300 behind. With no one else in, this is a great spot to get it in and play for stacks so I make it $515 and…

…he folds.

What. I decide to show and he says he had a set of 8s.


9:14 PM: Open-limo AJT4 double suited, there’s another limp and the good player makes it $15, and seven of us see the flop.

Flop brings the Q82 with two hearts. I have the nut flush draw and a gut shot and lead out for $60. Only the solid player calls me.

Turn is a black king. I have no idea what to do here against this player. I have a massive draw now. I also have the ace and jack of hearts and the queen of hearts is on board. He probably doesn’t have a flush draw and there weren’t many good straight draws on the flop… maybe a hand like JT9x with the T9 of hearts? Also, we are both deep. I don’t want to pot it and face a $300 raise and totally telegraph my hand by calling. But then check-calling feels pretty face up also. I dunno. I guess it might be best to barrel and put more money in the pot with a hand that makes the nuts on the river a lot… plus he can fold if I bet. He can’t fold if I check.

So I check. He checks back?


River is a 2, pairing the board. I don’t have enough history with this dude for him think I will play a set this way, so if I bet river he’s going to think it’s a bluff. Always.

I give up and he bets $60 and I fold.

>Someone educate me here.

9:44 PM: Pot of the night alert:

I open with AKQ5 double suited and people call me.

Flop is KQJ with one of both of my suits on board and it checks around.

The turn is the ten of clubs. Now I have the nuts, top two pair, and the second nut flush draw. Part-Time leads out for $50, the next guy calls and I feel like I should want more money to go in this pot. I make it $250 to go. That clears the field. Part-Time makes it $550 to go and the other guy goes all in for just over $600. Okay, maybe I didn’t want more money to go in. It’s obvious that Part-Time has the nut flush draw with his straight… but I’m committed to seeing the river so I call and…

…it’s a king! I have the nuts. What a luck box. Part-Time checks, I bet $300 (dumb) and he folds. I should just size down and make sure he puts more money in the pot. If I bet $100 it’s brutal to fold there.

Bad raise? Great result! $1800+ pot my way.

10:55 PM: Playing 5-handed now and I open to $15 with AJK one suit. Yeah. I didn’t look at my fourth card. I’ve seen enough. Two players call.

Flop is T74 rainbow. Checks to me and since I have zilch with my three cards I look at the last one: AAKJ. Pretty solid. I decide to bet $20 and they both call.

Turn seems great: it’s a queen. Now I have aces with a broadway wrap. I bet $80 and button pots it to $345. That’s unfortunate. Other guy folds and she has maybe $300 left. I call.

River pairs the 4 which could be good and I feel optimistic when she bets $125 instead of her remaining chips. That gets her QQxx paid off.

11:24 PM: Random dude I’ve never seen sits down with $500. This always makes me happy.

11:43 PM: Button limps, SB makes it $10, I call with an ugly T993 one suit. Not sure what I’m doing here.

3-ways to the KK2 two diamond flop. SB leads $25 and I decide to make it $65. This is a pure bluff. It is swiftly interrupted when the button calls. SB folds.

Turn is the Ace of diamonds. I now have a flush and I’m pretty sure my opponent has a king. I check and he bets $90. I call, planning to re-evaluate on the river.

The river is some card. I check and he checks back.

We good!

12:08 AM: Good lord. Raised pot 5-ways. I have 9876 on 865 with two spades. Someone leads $50, I make it $150, loose terrible player calls, so does flop bettor.

Turn is 2d giving me a flush draw. I bet $300 and loose terrible player is my only action.

River is ace of spades. I check and he bets $300. Pretty comical. Notice how if he has a flush he put in $450 drawing to a non-nut flush. Of course, he’s plenty capable of doing exactly that. I have the 6 of spades in my hand, which isn’t a huge blocker, but it does block some of his pair plus straight draw/flush draw type hands. This dude is a loose cannon. I should probably fold. He can have all the flushes, even the shitty ones.

Would he bluff non-flushes here? I think he’s capable.

I ended up calling and hating it. He shows me a ultra disgusting TT73 with spades.

Lord have mercy.

I’m kind of ready to go home but this super torcher has over $3k in front of him now. He’s one of the players I said was drawing dead earlier. He still is… if this game keeps going.

1:31 AM: Well, the game broke and dude escaped with over $3000. Pretty sick.

I was up around $2700 at one point but had to settle for a +$1650 and I can’t be mad about that.


Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace 8/22/18 Live Blog

August 22, 2018

1/3/5 PLO action starting in 13 minutes!

5:49 PM: Currently 12 names on the list. I see four players here right now, but one of them is The Man and he’s still working. The Riddler is on the list and he’s confirmed not playing – at least to start the game. I recognize three of the other six names and none of them are present.

Looks like a slow start.

5:57 PM: I spent Sunday and Monday at Safeco watching the Mariners fight for their playoff lives against the Dodgers and Astros.

The game against the Dodgers was dead on arrival, when the Mariners pitted Roenis Elias – fresh off four rehab starts in which he never made it through two innings – against Clayton Kershaw, the best starting pitcher of the past decade. The Dodgers clobbered Elias in the 1st and never recovered, losing 12-1 and putting position players on the mound. On the bright side, I got to watch an all-time great (Kershaw) do his thing and then Zac Rosscup came in for the 9th and pitched an immaculate inning.

An immaculate inning is when a pitcher throws nine pitches, all strikes, and strikes out the side. They are less common than a no hitter and yet I saw Kenley Jansen throw one last May at Dodger Stadium. Less than 100 immaculate innings in MLB history and I’ve seen two of them. Pretty cool!

Monday was a much better game. The M’s were playing catch up after a 3-run 3rd that saw them trailing 4-1, but it was tied after six innings and then Robinson Cano hit a super clutch 3-run bomb in the bottom of the 8th to break the tie and Edwin Diaz did his thing in the 9th to close out the win. Very exciting!

I popped into Palace after the game on Monday but I was 4th up for 8/16 so I sat in a 4/8 game and there was a younger guy I’ve never seen before talking shit to everyone and acting like a hot shot. It’s one thing to be arrogant, but it’s something else to belittle every person at the table.

I wasn’t having it. Do I want my 8/16 seat? No, no I do not. Recycle me. I have a mission to complete.

When I decided I wanted to ruin this guy’s night he had about $400 in front of him. I eventually moved to his direct left and I had to reload another $300, but I was playing some serious target poker, 3-betting him with garbage and raising him on the flop with any piece of the board. One time I had bottom pair and he had a set and someone else did too. It was beautiful.

He felted the $400 and bought another $200, but he left the game after I 3-bet him with 85hh and barreled off on the K4358 runout.

I won another hand after that and cashed out +$18. I was pretty pleased with myself. I just hope he didn’t get in a car accident on his way home.

6:36 PM: Key hands while I was typing that:

One limper, I make it $20 on the button with a raggedy QQ63 one suit. The man calls from the small, Part-Time calls from the big and the limper calls.

Flop is K54 rainbow and it checks to me. I have a bad straight draw and a backdoor flush draw. Seems like checking is okay.

Turn is the queen of spades. The Man leads out for what looked like pot and the limper goes all in for $222. I have the second nuts and a bad straight draw. It’s definitely enough to get it in here. I max raise to $522, leaving myself with dollars behind. The Man folds and we agree to run it twice.

He has 8763 and a flush draw.

We both make a six high straight on the first board but I make a full house on the second one to get 3/4 of the pot.

New player opens to $10, one caller, I make it $45 with AAKJ one suit and only the opener calls.

Flop is KQ6 with two clubs and we get it all in for his stack. I have the nut flush draw.

We run it twice and I make the nut flush on the first board and he makes a straight with JT99 on the second board. We split that one.

I complete the big blind with 88xx in my hand.

Flop is A84 rainbow and I bet $15 into $20 and get two calls.

Turn is a 7 and completes the rainbow. I decide to check and see what they do. The first one bets $25 and the other player calls. They both have less than $200 behind and I’m not sensing strength. $25 is a pretty weak bet into a $75 pot. I make it $150 and they both go all in!

We run it once and the river is a 4. I snap roll my hand and one of them says, “wow I got lucky” and rolls A44x and the other guy flashes 77.


After that flurry of events, I am down about $120.

6:55 PM: We have picked up three players and are now 7-handed.

7:20 PM: Call a $15 raise with AQJ3 one suit and it’s five of us to the flop.

Flop is AK8 and it checks around.

Turn is a jack and the PFR leads a weak-ish $30. I decide to call.

River is an ace, giving me the second nuts and he bets $100. He only has like $125 behind… I have the second best hand possible… it would seem silly not to raise… however, I was sort of leaning towards calling. But I kept coming back to the flop check and I just thought it would be too absurd to check the flop with AK against four opponents. It just made no sense. I put him all in and he snap rolls AK before calling. Lol.

Running pretty good tonight. 👍🏻

8:10 PM: We have a full game. Well, sort of. The Man is having a rough time, giving all his chips to Part-Time for some reason. That sucks because Part-Time could leave any minute… with the $2k+ that’s in front of him right now.

There are now four Palace staff members in the game.

8:44 PM: Another nice connection: call a raise multiway with AQT9 on the button.

It’s like 5- or 6-ways to KQJ and the PFR bets $30, the next player calls, and I make it $125. The small blind jams for $149 and the other two players fold. We run it once. He makes a running flush with KKxx.

I’ve folded 7655 on Q66x (vs QQ) and K876ss on KKJss4 (vs JJ) so I’m playing pretty well but the run bad is pretty real tonight.

I’m about -$555.

9:13 PM: Okay. Frustration is building. I just lost a pot when I should have folded the flop. That’s more annoying than losing the pots I’m supposed to win.

I’m -$800 now.

I just moved to the left of someone that came in drunk. He just felted $600+ in the five minutes I was clearing my head outside.

9:21 PM: Eh. Part-Time left with all the chips. The drunk guy felted, rebought $500, and decided not to play.

I reloaded and s1 has a lot of chips, but the other remaining players have an average stack of like $400.

10:00 PM: Obviously. I open AKQJ with one suit. One caller.

Flop J52 with two diamonds. I bet $15 and my opponent makes it $45. I have KQ of diamonds, so second nut flush draw. This is a pretty good flop for me but it’s also pretty easy to be dominated. Certainly the nut flush draw is a decent part of his raising range. But I’m stuck $1000 and looking to play a big pot and make it $175 to go. He tanks for a while and calls.

Turn 4. I bet $300 and he puts me all in for $450-ish total. I call.

We agree to run it twice.

He shows me AJ33 with nut diamonds and I just fold my hand and walk out the door.




$20/$40 Omaha 8 or Better @ Muckleshoot (Live Blog)

August 18, 2018

Doing something different today. I heard this game has been going, but laziness and forgetfulness has prevented me from making an appearance until today.

After battling through some brutal traffic – for a Saturday – because of a Kid Rock concert at the White River Ampitheater nearby, I arrived at Muck about 30 after 5 and immediately got a seat in what was previously an 8-handed game.

Current lineup: 5 players I don’t know, Bill W, a nitty player that has become a Palace regular, and the nittiest player I’ve ever seen, and whom already has a great nickname, Tree Bark.

Slimer was playing in one of the spread games and saw me sit down… and made his way over pretty quickly. 🤔 I’m guessing the feeling of disgust must be mutual. I get the vibe that he wants to beat up on me and after multiple failed attempts in limit Hold’em games, maybe he thinks Omaha 8 is the one.

Or maybe it has nothing to do with me? 🤷🏻‍♂️

5:55 PM: I don’t think I’ve ever blogged an O8 session before so I don’t know how good or interesting this will be.

After playing late Wednesday night and getting up early on Thursday, I started my session early in the day on very little sleep. I was just planning to get some low stress hours in and go home at a decent time because we were going hiking early on Friday.

That meant I was signing up for an 8/16 session and when the floors starting asking about 15/30 I took my name off the list. I probably would have played with the people that were in the building but I wasn’t really trying to start the game a couple hours before I was planning to leave.

As such, I ended up playing some B-game 8/16 for almost nine hours.

I was threatening to have a big session after hitting a $400 High Hand and going on a serious rush, but the wheels feel off fast and furiously starting when I flopped a flush with 54 of spades in an 8-handed raised pot. There was a maniac in the game and he helped me get it capped on the flop multiway and he didn’t have the sense to stop betting when the turn bricked. I got in a raise there and only three of us saw the river. It was another spade.

The player that cold called two bets on the turn checked the river and the maniac bet. I didn’t think the other player would check the ace of spades and the more I surveyed the situation the more I thought he was folding… so I made the call. The maniac can definitely have a big spade here but he’s also capable of not having one. The other player folded the ten of spades (flop was QJ9 all spades) and the maniac did have the ace of spades this time.

He wasn’t done making me sick. On this next hand I opened with TT and my only callers were the psychopath from the small blind and the big blind.

Flop was T52 rainbow and the maniac led out. The other player folded. The maniac and I were playing 16/32 Overs and since the big blind wasn’t in Overs the flop betting round was 8/16. Normally, I would just go ahead and fast play against someone that is capable of spewing off, but I didn’t want to take the lead until he had a chance to fire $32 into me on the turn. I called.

Turn was a 9 and he continued for $32. I made it $64 and he called.

River was an 8 and I can hardly believe my good fortune when he donks again. I raise. He 3-bets. What? Considering he bet the flop on a T52 rainbow board there’s not much to think about here. I should always have the best hand. I cap it, announce, “top set” when he calls, but he can hardly wait to turn over his QJo.

So brutal.

There were other bad connections but those were the two worst. Fortunately the High Hand bailed me out and I walked away for the night +$223.

6:36 PM: Here’s some pics from our hike at Snow Lake Trail yesterday:

6:41 PM: First interesting hand after winning a few small pots over the first hour plus:

Kill pot, limper, Bill W raises and is raising more than anyone, I 3-bet with AKQ3 single suit and three of us see the flop.

Flop is K92 with one of my suit. I bet and they both call.

Turn is ten of hearts, which puts two hearts on board (I have diamonds). They both check to me and… I decide to check back. Not sure about that play, but I don’t think I should call a check-raise and if I’m going to put in $60 I’d rather be able to show down, or just fold river if it comes super ugly.

River is the 7 of hearts and we all check. The first player announces, “two pair” and winds up tabling AT73. Not sure how I get scooped by that hand on that flop, but here we are.

I complete in a kill pot with AJ72 with spades.

It’s like five of us to the flop and it comes K76 with two spades. I have a pair with the nut flush and nut low draws. It’s pretty huge. I bet and get two callers.

Turn is a red ten and I decide I have enough equity to keep firing. They both call.

River pairs the 6 and gives me the nut flush. I bet and one of them calls. Seems like I should always have the best hand here but he turns over K6.


7:16 PM: Free play with KQ43 and I peel the K54 flop.

Three of us see the turn and it’s a 4. I think it’s a good spot to check-raise, so I execute that plan and both players wind up calling me.

River is a queen, missing the low and giving me a likely scoop. I bet and one player calls after about two minutes in the tank. This time I do scoop!

Back in the green!

8:06 PM: Hiking took up a bigger portion of my day yesterday than I was expecting. We left around 6 AM and didn’t get home until about 7 PM, after spending a solid three hours in traffic on our way back.

Needless to say, after getting home around midnight and waking up before 6 followed by hiking 7+ miles, I needed a bit of a nap before playing last night.

I got a seat in 15/30 immediately when I walked in a quarter before 10 PM. My plan was to play until 4 AM and my energy level started fizzling out around 2:30 AM, but the game was insane and I was doing well, so I pushed it until 3:40 AM and booked a +$841.

We are going to the Mariners-Dodgers game tomorrow and get to see Clayton Kershaw pitch (and hopefully lose), so I won’t be playing too late tonight. I’ll probably leave around 11-12.

8:35 PM: I have the A843 on a T5256 run out. It’s raised pre multiway and on the turn and I get it all. Peaking!

9:22 PM: Slimer has moved to my direct left… basically immediately after that seat opened. No surprise there. I’m curious how that changes things because he hasn’t been playing overly aggressive to this point but I’m expected to get raised a lot more often now.

9:28 PM: Bill W, AA Founder, opined we should have a group therapy session and put Slimer on the spot, citing that Slimer has no compassion…. for anything or anyone. 😂

9:56 PM: Open with AT32 with diamonds and it gets 3-bet behind me with three other players coming in. I call.

Flop is 986 with two spades and one diamond. I check, the PFR bets, and the next player raises. It’s pretty gross, but I have all the nut low draws and backdoor diamonds. Seems like enough to peel with. I call and it gets 3-bet. We all call.

Turn is the 9 of diamonds. The flop aggressor still leads and it gets raised again. Considering I opened and the other guy 3-bet, I’m not expecting to see a lot of full houses on this board texture so I think I might be drawing live to the high. I call and so does the other player.

River is the 7 of diamonds. I have the nut low and an ace high flush. I go ahead and lead out and they both call.

Suspicions confirmed. I’m good for high and split the low with AA2 in this monster pot. The third player flashed 75.

10:52 PM: Welp. The Mariners won in balk off and suddenly no one wanted to play Omaha anymore. Game just fizzled out real fast. Oh well. Early day tomorrow for more laughing at the Dodgers ineptitude.

Final Score: +$916


Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace (Live Blog)

August 15, 2018

Blog starting soon. 1/3/5 structure for this game. I’m starting with $600 on the table and the $1400 on top in my pocket for reserves.

Slow start already. This could end up being an unexpected 8/16 session. There are currently only five stacks on the table at the moment.


Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace (Live Blog)

August 15, 2018

Blog starting soon. 1/3/5 structure for this game. I’m starting with $600 on the table and the $1400 on top in my pocket for reserves.

Slow start already. This could end up being an unexpected 8/16 session. There are currently only five stacks on the table at the moment.

6:13 PM: Cards are in the air 5-handed. Part-Time and The Man have stacks on the table. Someone I’ve never seen in my life just sat down (with $200).

Pot A! Open to 15 with AT87 all clubs (lol) and two players in position call.

Flop 962 with two clubs. I bet 25 and they both fold.

6:18 PM: I published my last post on Saturday afternoon and I was about to play a 15/30 session. It went quite pure. I cashed out +$2680. I started off thinking I might post some hands but decided against it.

However, I did jot this one down. Someone opened and I flatted with AA from the big blind.

I had already been caught bluffing in a big blind defending spot so I thought check-raising the 433 flop wouldn’t look too credible. I barreled off on the 5 turn and queen river and suddenly my opponent was raising me. I SNAP 3-bet it. Like the instant he crossed the line I threw $60 more in the pot. I’ve never been so confident about 3-betting one pair (technically two pair) on the river. He called and my hand was good.

That’s all I have to report from that magical session. I ran pretty good. That’s all there is to say. It was my first win of $1k+ in the Palace 15/30 since May 11th, almost three months ago. That seems pretty bad, but I was in Vegas for about six weeks of that time and the 15/30 hasn’t been going very regularly. But still, in the three months before that $1k+ 15/30 win on May 11th, I had fourteen $1k or better wins in the Palace 15/30. 14!

6:34 PM: Someone blind raises to $10, Part-Time calls, The Man makes it $15, and I cap the preflop betting by making it $50 with AKJ3 double suited. Part-Time and The Man both call.

Flop is K42 with two spades (I have hearts and clubs) and Part-Time leads out full pot. Eh. Pretty easy fold I guess. I have top pair and a bad gutter, but not much else going on. Anything he’s potting the flop with probably has me in pretty rough shape.

6:49 PM: We are 8-handed but it’s a very weak 8-handed game. Part-Time and Hit&Run, as their names indicate, are usually not long for the game. Hit&Run has already doubled up, so he’s one decent pot away from leaving. There are two other noob players. One of them has less than $400 and the other has played this game multiple times but never for even as long as an hour.

We just filled the game with a ninth player but I’ve never seen him before and he has less than $200.

It’s a full game that could easily be 5-handed in less than an hour. I’ll check in at 7:50 and see where we stand.

6:57 PM: Oh snap. The Joker is on the list as a call in.

7:16 PM: And we’re off! 7-way action for $5. I have KK86 one suit in middle position. It’s super marginal but if I can see the flop cheaply good things can happen against this crowd.

Flop is AK9 with two hearts. One of the noobs leads $30 into $35 and he started with less than $200, so I’m happy to play for his stack. I make it $100 to go and Hit&Run calls it cold. The noob calls, leaving himself $65 behind lol. That’s actually poor planning on my part. If he 3-bet the flop all in I would not have the opportunity to 4-bet since I raised it $70 and his all in would only be a raise of $65 – not enough to reopen the betting for me. I need to be more aware of that stuff.

Turn is a black 8 and the noob puts his last $65 in. I make it $365 to go and Hit&Run puts me all in for just a bit more. We agree to run it once and I don’t have to worry about what they have as the river pairs the 8.

For show, Hit&Run shows QJT2 with hearts, for an inside wrap and a flush draw that missed.

Nice $1k pot to start my night.

8:00 PM: The Man opens $15, I call with T986 double suited, and five or six of us see the JT7 flop. I have the joint and it checks to me. I start with a bet of $50 and only one player calls, in position.

Turn is the 4 of diamonds, giving me a flush draw to go with the current nuts. I make it $150 to go since it seems like he has a good drawing hand. If he was freerolling me, I think he’s raising the flop. He calls.

River pairs the ten. I check and he bets $225. I snap call. He shows me JJ.

I’m not sure how frequently he bluffs his AKQx type hands, so maybe my snap call isn’t that great. I have a ten though so I’m blocking full houses and I don’t think this guy is calling $150 on the turn with a naked two pair. I feel like I’m losing to JJ and 77 mostly and maybe some two pair combos that have other outs.

This is probably bad, especially since his bluff frequency is probably way too low.

8:43 PM: In a five minute span we went from a full game with two on the list to a 7-handed game and no list.

8:50 PM: Possible punt alert. Multiple limps in front of me and I make it $30 with AQQ6 double suited and three of the limpers call.

Flop is JT7 with a spade and a heart and Part-Time leads $125 with The Joker calling. They are both deep so I decide to take a card off with a gut shot to the nuts and two quality backdoor flush draws. Plus, I can possibly bluff on 9s or aces. I call.

Turn is the 9 of hearts and they both check to me. I max bet for $300 and Part-Time snap calls. Gulp. I only have $150 behind so I’m suddenly hating my flop float. How good are my backdoor draws if I have to call a pot size bet for 75% of my remaining stack on the turn? Stupid. That’s not what happened but if the turn was a 2 of hearts or spades, I’m going to have to call $300 here.

Anyways, Joker folds and I’m obviously not planning to fire my last $150 into a $700 pot after getting snapped on the turn. I whiff and check back. Part-Time wins with Q98x.

Definite punt. Dumb dumb dumb.

10:00 PM: The Riddler is making us 6-handed and The Man is absolutely murdering the game tonight:

10:32 PM: I haven’t played very many notable pots since the game got short but The Riddler’s presence has sparked an all out needling war that no one is really in the mood for because The Man is winning all the pots.

10:39 PM: The (other) players have all agreed to switch the game to Big O. I have almost no experience in this variant so this could get ugly.

I finished the PLO portion of tonight’s session at -$119.

Just looked up my stats and I have played 2.25 hours of Big O lifetime.

10:56 PM: I just looked at the player on my left… and he was reading my blog.

Then I looked on my right and that player was reading my blog.

And the player on his right… was reading my blog!

Wow. That’s a first.

And… it took 15 minutes for a $2000 pot to break out and bust two players.

11:11 PM: Joker wanted me to share this one:

Final board is AKJ-4-4.

Joker had KK326.

The Man had A44T9.

On the turn, Joker has set over set, the nut flush draw, and the nut low draw… and lost.

I heard the flop checked around and I missed the turn action but on the river Joker led $100 and called a raise to $400, but that’s beside the point. What are the chances he gets scooped on the river?

About 2%.

11:42 PM: I played a hand. I had AKKQJ double suited in the small blind and got to see the flop for $5.

Flop was 543 with two diamonds, giving me the nut flush draw. I have no intention of putting any money in this pot, but the flop checks around…

…and the turn is the queen of diamonds. I have the nuts. I bet pot. Two players call.

River is an offsuit ace. I bet pot for $100 and they both call again.

I get half and they quarter each other with wheels.

12:47 AM: Complete from the small blind with AQT54 double suited and The Riddler makes it $25 from the big blind. Four of us call.

Flop is TT6 rainbow and I lead out for $80. Everyone folds except The Man.

Turn is a queen and I’m pretty sure he has at least a ten, so I make it $200. He makes it $500. I have just over $800 left so I make another max raise and he calls.

We both have QT. He has a king to scoop and I have an ace to scoop.

River: Ace.

$1600+ pot my way.

1:02 AM: I limp early with JT432 double suited and five of us see the AJ5 with two diamonds flop. I have a pair, an inside wrap with all the nut low draws and a flush draw. I bet $25 when it checks to me and three players call.

Wow. Wasn’t expecting that. Turn is a black six, giving me an uncounterfeitable nut low and adding some extra straight outs for high. I bet the pot when it checks to me, the next player makes it $300 to go, the guy after him is all in for less, The Man reluctantly folds and it’s back to me. I have a monster and the player making it $300 isn’t that bright so I have an easy max-raise to $600. He calls.

The river pairs the jack, I max bet and he goes all in for a little bit more. I call.

I split with the dolt in the side pot putting $600 in on the turn with a naked set and get quartered in the main pot when the other player shows up with a 32 low.

Pretty amazing board to lose money on.

2:34 AM: Another cool runout. I have AQJ53 on 642 with two diamonds. I have nut high and nut low with a flush draw. Turn is a 4 and my opponent has 44 in his hand.

Meanwhile, The Man bets $300 on turn and river on a board of J858Q and gets called by my opponent from the last two hands. The Man tables J8 and his opponent tables a naked A2… with no low possible.




2:56 AM: Down to four players: Joker, The Man, me, and the guy whose chips all three of us are trying to take. He has a little over $700. I’m ready to go home. I’m tired. I’m hungry. I have a car appointment at 10 AM… but this guy has no chance to cash out if we keep playing and it only takes one hand to get it all, so… here we are.

3:49 AM: I wasn’t thrilled about the game switch to Big O but I’m happy we did that. I felt waaaaay more comfortable playing than I had in the past and it’s not just because I won this session. I just felt good about the decisions I was making. I wouldn’t mind playing a half PLO/half Big O game in the future.

Big O Final Score: +$1114


Plays of the Week – August 11th, 2018

August 11, 2018

I’m back! I apologize for the brief hiatus, but I wanted to try something different this week: jotting down notes from my sessions and posting the best hands all at once in an end of the week summary. I enjoy doing live blogs of my sessions, especially when the characters are out in full force, but lately things have been going poorly (plus the 15 at Palace hasn’t been regular) and I wanted to shake things up and try something different.

As I noted in my last post – when I quit midday on Saturday – it was unlikely that I would play any poker Sunday through Tuesday.

That was mostly correct.

We spent Sunday at Emerald Downs for my niece’s birthday. I’m sure it’s going to break my dad’s heart to read this, but I don’t get it. One of my dad’s fondest memories of his own dad is going to the track together and betting on horses. We never did this while I was growing up so it never became a tradition for us.

As someone that gambles for a living, gambling on things I know nothing about – or in games with a negative expectation – doesn’t appeal to me. It actually physically pains me to watch my wife on the rare occasions when she wants to play in the pit or on a slot machine. I don’t find it fun and when you remove the “fun factor” all that is left is a -EV gambling situation in which you will never, ever win in the long run.

Betting on horses seems similar. I don’t know anything about the horses or their jockeys or their caretakers, or any of the factors that might come into play when you’re trying to find an edge. If I’m betting, I’m simply clicking buttons or picking names I like. But at least I can see the fun in it. It’s kind of like betting on baseball, but in baseball I’m aware of all the key components (not that it helps me any) and I genuinely enjoy watching the sport, money on it or not.

But then I tried to make a bet on the computer systems they have set up and I couldn’t even figure out how to find the race I wanted to bet on. I felt like I was reading gibberish. That’s not fun. We ended up having our niece and nephew bet on some horses for us and a horse named Little Joker (of course) came through with a first place finish and booked us a win for the day, but we were firing tiny bets. I guess it was kind of fun, but if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t feel like I was missing out on anything if I never went to another horse track for the rest of my life.

My plan on Monday was to visit Radio Mike at Cheney Stadium and take in a Tacoma Rainiers game. In a happy coincidence, possible future Hall of Famer Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners was starting his rehab with the Rainiers that night after an 80 game suspension for PED use. So suddenly this random game I was going to became an PNW event.

Normally when I visit Mike at Cheney, I sit in the broadcast booth with him and watch the game and we can chat in between innings, but because of Cano’s presence, this guy was at Cheney and asked Mike if he can sit in the booth with him and thus Joker and I were ousted to the stands with the rest of the pleebs.

But not before I snapped a selfie that found it’s way on the Mariners broadcast that night!

After the game, we stopped back in the booth and chatted with Mike for a while and by the time we finally left, the players were coming out of the clubhouse and, with no other obvious exit in sight, Joker and I followed Ben Gamel to the player’s exit where a group of fans were waiting and mobbed him for autographs while letting us pass them by with a mere, “good game tonight.”

I mean… I can understand them mistaking me for a triple A ball player… but this guy?


Come on.

I decided to pop into Palace on my way home and play a mini-session with one goal: make $400 and leave.

I didn’t know I was going to make a highlight reel post at that time, so I didn’t jot any hands down from that session, but it was actually a pretty wild one. The game was pure action. I described it to Joker like this: Everyone is playing like it’s a race to see who can lose all their chips the fastest and so far I’m winning. I was down $400 right off the bat and it was looking like reaching my goal was going to be extremely difficult. And yet… after less than three hours of play, I cashed out +$565. Pretty sick.

Tuesday I did not play poker. I went and saw Mission: Impossible – Fallout with Uncle Leroy and then ran errands for the rest of the day before watching Felix Hernandez pitch his way out of the Mariners rotation by getting lit up by the Texas Rangers.

Wednesday, I was back in action, for some pot limit Omaha at Palace.

But first! The Man talks me into taking a seat in 3/6 limit hold’em because of the Happy Hour Hand promo and I got a swift reminder of why I never, ever play that limit while I’m waiting for a seat. I raise it up with AA and bet all three streets on a board of 63239 with one opponent calling me down. No flush is possible and I never get raised, so obviously I’m winning this pot, but then my opponent tables… 63. What. I’m not above playing 3/6 while I wait, but I just hate it because no one ever actually plays poker. Anyways, despite this debacle, I still finished +$17 and my 2018 win rate in 3/6 limit hold’em is now a monstrous 9.13 big bets per hour over 67 total minutes.

PLO got off to modest start. My first notable hand came up when I had A6xx in a raised pot and the flop came down 66A. I made the mistake of checking and my opponents all got to see the turn for free. I bet like $30 on the turn, which was a ten and two players called. The river was another ace and I was first to act. There was a flush draw available on the turn, so there was some chance my opponents were drawing, but otherwise, they probably had an ace, and I thought AT was a real possibility. I also thought if I checked, someone with AK would have a pretty hard time not betting for value. Basically, even though I had the second nuts here, I thought my most profitable line was check-calling. I save money and avoid tough decisions when the nuts is out there and my opponents might bluff missed draws or take themselves to value town with trip aces. So I checked, one of them bets a smallish $60, I call, and he does show me the AT. I flash my A6 and that guy is in disbelief for the next five minutes.

I spent most of the night up around $500 but then I had a couple of gross connections with The Man.

We were playing short-handed, but I was opening a bit too wide here with the J766, especially since the game was playing pretty loose and sticky. Basically, I’m rarely stealing the blinds or playing a pot heads up in position, so this is a hand that is going to play like garbage after the flop in a bloated pot and is better off sent into the muck.

It ends up going 3 or 4 ways to the flop and I don’t have position. It’s already a disaster. The board is decent though: J75 with two diamonds. I have top two pair and a jack high flush draw. It’s a pretty good hand, but not exactly one I’m looking to get stacks in with. I can bet though and I fire out $30 or so and The Man makes it $120 to go. I have a pretty good feeling that my two pair is good here, but if that’s the case then my flush draw is definitely not good. We are way too deep to gamble for stacks on the flop, so this is actually a pretty gross spot. If I don’t like my flush draw, I’m not going to have many run outs I love here. Any diamond is questionable, any straight card around the 75 is bad, any overcard could make a better two pair. Basically I only love jacks and sevens. Everything else is suspect. With that in mind, I should probably just fold to the flop raise, but I ended up calling.

The turn was a small diamond and I check-called about a half pot bet.

The river was a brick and I liked my hand when The Man decided to give up and check back, but he was being cautious with a king high flush and won the pot saying, “I think you are capable of checking the nut flush there.” He’s not wrong, but I’d still bet his hand.

A short while later, I’m raising it up on the button with the J987 double suited and I flop pretty huge: Q65 with two hearts, giving me a nut wrap and a straight flush draw. I bet the flop and The Man calls me from the small blind.

The turn bricks me and I am planning to barrel off on this one, so I fire a second bullet and The Man calls again.

The river is the 2 of hearts. The Man checks and I check back, hoping my modest flush is good. It is not. I didn’t see the rest of his hand but The Man ends up winning this pot with the T3 of hearts. I wish I got a better look at his hand and how he arrived at the river because a naked ten high flush draw would be pretty brutal to lose to.

There was another pot I played against The Man that started off with a $5 bet on the flop and ended up with me facing a pretty large raise on the river holding the second nut flush. This flush came in backdoor, so it was a bit less likely for him to have the hand he was repping, but in Omaha it’s much easier to back into something you weren’t initially drawing to and the minbet on the flop could entice more floats than usual. Also, I would expect him to never raise non-nut flushes here because that would be pretty silly. So it basically comes down to if I think he’s bluffing often enough here. It felt pretty gross because it seemed like he probably isn’t bluffing a lot here, but my instincts were saying call so that’s what I did and he ended up having the nut flush blocker and a bluff.

Hand of the Night

We are still short-handed at this point and The Man opens with a raise to $15, the small blind calls, and I make it $45 to go with T987 double suited and they both call.

The flop is what PLO dreams are made of: 965 with two clubs and a spade. I flopped the nuts, with multiple straight redraws to the nuts, a straight flush draw, and a backdoor flush draw. Let’s. Go. I bet $80, The Man calls, and the small blind pots it to $380. I go all in for less than the max bet of $680, The Man folds and I agree to run it twice with my opponent. The turn pairs the board on the first run out and I make a bigger straight on the second runout and… scoop it all!

I doubled up and then some in that pot and the small blind never took another hand and the game broke shortly after so I finished at +$883 in my PLO session.

Thursday morning I had an appointment with my endocrinologist in Bremerton and The Leak went with me and we decided to put our newfound interest in hiking to the test at Green Mountain, a trail we failed to complete in two attempts years ago when we still lived in Kitsap County.

It was a bit of a challenge – mostly because of the 85 degree heat – but we got it done this time!

Some views from the summit:

We got back to Lakewood around 6 PM and I was in need of a short nap because I was planning to play until 4 AM that night.

15/30 didn’t get off the ground, but we were blessed with a bit of that early Christmas action. I’ve mentioned it before but The Santa Claus Game is full of button straddling, bloated pot sizes, and lots of gambling.

In this hand, I’m the button straddle holding 88 and five players call before the action is back to me. I think this might be a pretty close spot because how well does 88 play against five opponents? But I obviously have the best hand and I do have the button, so I go ahead and raise it. Santa 4-bets it when it’s back to him and I go ahead and 5-bet cap it.

There are thirty bets in the middle when the flop comes down 322. Someone donks on the flop, I raise, the big blind cold calls, and the donker also calls.

The turn is a 4 and the flop bettor donks again. I raise it again. The big blind is really unhappy about the action, but winds up folding and my lone opponent calls.

The river is a king and betting is probably recommended here when he checks to me, but the pot is massive and I’ll be happy about winning it even if I miss a little value here. I check back and my hand is good.

I gave the key opponent in this hand the nickname of The River Man once upon a time, but that name is pretty bad and I’m going to discontinue it and refer to him as the maniac for any hands he’s in for the rest of this session.

Anyways, there are multiple limpers and the maniac raises, I 3-bet with AK from the small blind and it ends up getting capped.

It’s mulitway action so I check the 873 with two clubs flop and peel for one bet with the ace of clubs in my hand. It’s worth noting that someone bet into the maniac on the flop and he just called…

…because that says a lot about his hand strength when the turn is the king of clubs and it checks to him and he bets and the button calls. This is my absolute nut card. I now have top pair top kicker and the nut flush draw. When the maniac calls on the flop I think I can safely rule out any flushes and since everyone else checked to him, I don’t think they have flushes either. I go ahead and raise it. The big blind cold calls and the maniac and button also continue.

The river pairs the 7 and I’m not really sure where I stand now, so I check, the maniac bets and I’m the only caller. He tables two small cards. It looks like 32 of clubs so I ask the dealer for clarification and she pulls in 22 and I’m good.

And that’s why hands like this happen:

Button straddles, I 3-bet 77 from the small blind and it ends up getting capped at five bets with at least four of us seeing the flop.

It comes down Q65 rainbow and I check-call.

The turn is a 9 and the flop bettor checks to the maniac and he winds up betting after just calling on the flop. I feel like 77 is doing very good against his range here as he is always raising a queen on the flop, so I check-raise. The flop bettor cold calls (gross) and the maniac 3-bets it! Sick. We both call.

The river pairs the 5 and it checks to the maniac and he tables 97o when it’s his turn to act and ends up winning the pot with a very standard 3-betting hand on the turn.

Button straddles and it gets 5-bet capped again and this time I’m holding the A8 of spades. The flop is A72 with two spades and four of us wind up putting in four bets.

The turn is a 5 and the big blind is still leading, so I call and the maniac puts in another raise on the button. The blind just calls and I call also.

The river is a 3 and it checks to the maniac. The big blind calls and I’m positive that he at least has me beat, so I fold and the maniac tables 54o.

So nasty!

So yeah… this game is JUICED UP.

Which makes this next hand pretty special:

I open with 44 and the maniac calls me in position. The flop is K54 and he folds the instant my hand starts to reach for chips.




I open with A8 of diamonds and get some callers. The flop is A42 with two spades and the big blind donks into me. I raise and he calls.

The turn is the 8 of spades and now the blind check-raises me. Pretty gross. My hand seems like it should be strong, but the two biggest drawing hands (spades and 76) got there, so I just call.

The river is a blank and I call a bet… and my opponent tables one of the most shocking hands he possibly can: pocket eights. The good ole one outer.

I ended up finishing this 7.5 hour 8/16 session at +$255.

Last night was a total disaster. I ran about as bad as you can.

There was a 4-bet pot where I had JJ on QJ4 rainbow and lost to Q6 of diamonds.

That about sums up how my night went. I missed every single flush draw I had the entire night and my opponent’s seemed like they always hit theirs against me. I did flop a flush twice and I got zero action both times.

I went -$571 in 76 minutes of 8/16 before the 15/30 game got started and I didn’t run any better there… I just lost more slowly, finishing at -$607 in 6.5 hours despite hitting a $200 High Hand.

That was a pretty lousy finish to what started off as a pretty good week.

All in all, I’m sitting at +$542 over 23 hours heading into today’s action.

On the bright side, this happened while I was writing this post:


Just got word that Palace already has 15/30 going so that’s where my day is going to start and hopefully end. If that game fizzles out early we will probably shoot up to Fortune.

No live blog tonight, but maybe I will post highlights later.