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15/30 Live Blog: The Return of a Legend

September 7, 2018

It’s a huge day for poker in the Pacific Northwest. An absolute legend has returned to the Palace felt after a roughly six month hiatus doing whatever it is he does when he’s not crushing poker games for a living.

Radio Mike is back.

This is actually a big deal. Not just for my own self-amusement, but also for the livelihood of the 15/30 game at Palace. It is an extra player that will be there to play almost every day for the next half year. Between Radio Mike and me that’s 22% of a poker game! Not bad.

Seriously though. I’m stoked to see him back. There are few things I enjoy more than watching my good friends get smoked playing poker while pretending like I’m not rooting for them.

Welcome back, bud!

I played an epic session at Fortune last night, but I’ll get to that later. I’m currently sitting in my car waiting for my blood sugar to get to a point where I can drive a motor vehicle and then I’ll be headed to Palace where there are 9 people acting like they are ready to play with red chips tonight.

I should be in action in the next half hour or so.

5:14 PM: Boom. Walk in the door and they are immediately firing the 15/30 game. That’s what I call perfect timing. Well, perfect timing would be waking in with the game already started and one seat open.

Not sure how late I’m willing to play tonight. I slept less than five hours and I’m playing the Main Event at Little Creek tomorrow with an 11 AM start time.

5:19 PM: Alright. I’m going to try to talk about last night’s session before things get too crazy here. I didn’t get in the 20/40 until 8:30 PM and I had every intention of playing deep into the night, but I had no idea how degen I was going to get.

It was an epic session. Perfect for blogging. Lots of characters in attendance, including FanBoy, Snowflake, and an ultra surprise appearance from noted Bat-Villain Two Face.

For those of you that read my blog regularly, you know that Two Face actively avoids playing poker with me. He never plays 15/30 when I’m here. Never plays PLO. Yet spends all his time exuding hot shot bravado.

However, when I walked into Fortune last night and saw him with $4k in front of him in the 20/40, well, first I was stunned, but I also knew he wasn’t going to leave.

He sure didn’t. I played in his game most of the night and he was still there when I left at 7:15 AM.

I told you I got my degen on.

For the better part of the night I had a total maniac on my direct right and I was ice cold for hours, folding everything dealt to me and losing the few times I did get involved.

Some gems:

-Before I knew he was a total lunatic trying to win every single pot, I 3-bet him with AT of clubs and double barreled on K548 and folded when he check-raised me. Then he slammed the Q3o down face up right in front me.

-This one gets capped (by him) with 5 players preflop. I have AJcc and I call him on flop and turn on T93T with no flush draws present and I’m ecstatic that everyone else has exited the pot. River is a 4 and I call again and he shows 84ss!

-I 3-bet JJ and bet all streets on K87KQ and he has Q7o.

Those were the best ones I was involved in, but he had all sorts of epic hands against everyone else, especially Two Face. They were officially at war, to the point where the maniac purposefully tried to fold his cards onto Two Face’s live, unprotected hand. It was a near miss. No warnings from the dealer. I was loving it.

What I didn’t love was watching one of the dealer’s taking the drop when we were 5-handed to see how much they were taking before I inquired about a reduction. Granted, I was playing deeper into the morning than I ever do, so I thought my eyes might be deceiving me, but it sure as shit looked like they were taking two red chips out of the pot and dropping $3 and $2 and putting nothing back in the pot. So that’s $10 out of the pot, $5 down the hole, and $5… in their tray.

What.

I watched this happen about three times before discreetly informing the floor and he disappeared into surveillance for roughly a half hour before returning and telling the new dealer to stop taking a drop.

Wow.

I wasn’t seeing things. Now I don’t think this dealer was trying to steal necessarily but… they were definitely robbing us, whether intentionally or not. Good grief. I think the floor handled it well and I don’t know what happened to the dealer.

Anyway, I spent most of my night sitting next to the torcher on my right super ice cold and stuck about $800-$1200 most of the night and finally started to get hot around 6:45 AM playing 3-handed.

I went on a little heater and suddenly I was +$93 and very happy about it. I cashed out at 7:15 AM for my first win in the 20/40 at Fortune in 2018. Sheesh.

6:21 PM: Starting lineup for today’s 15/30 game: Radio Mike, unknown, Joker in here now, the new super loose regular (my goal is to have a name for him before day’s end), random semi-reg, Flea, and two nits.

I’ve been abusing Flea. I’ve already won like five sizable pots off him.

My favorite: I raise one weak limper on the button with 55 and Flea and the limper call.

Flop is T64 and it checks to me. I think it’s close between betting and checking here. A spot worth really investigating actually. I hate getting check-raised here and I’m always seeing the turn because there are good cards for me there. So maybe this is a good hand to include in my checking back range?

I bet though and Flea check-raises me and I call.

Turn is an ace and he leads out, which I think is a pretty huge mistake. Flea doesn’t have to have a strong hand to check-raise me on the flop and the ace is obviously way better for my range. I go ahead and exploit this dynamic by raising the turn and…

He folds!

I’m off to a fast start, up like $500 already, mostly courtesy of The Flea.

8:04 PM: Well I have a new nickname. Not the one I was aiming for, but one I’ve been needing to develop. This guy is a total maniac. He always sits down and wants to play the highest stakes possible but he rarely sits down with enough chips to do so. Like, he’ll sit down in 15/30 with $400 and ask for a 25/50 Overs button.

But he certainly plays like he has $2000 in front of him, raising and betting liberally with extremely wide ranges.

And sometimes he does have $2000 in front of him. On Wednesday, he was the maniac in the PLO game. He accomplished incredible feats that night.

First, he sat down with $500, ran it up to $1700, added on $200, and had $0 in front of him in less than a half hour.

Later, he turned $3400 into $0 in about 15 minutes.

It was an impressive display – both in running it up so quickly and also in making it disappear just as fast.

He plays like a total animal. And I’ve decided that’s what I should call him:

Animal

And Animal has joined us in the 15/30 and so has Part-Time and Mr. Plow. Four of us are now playing 25/50 Overs and I’m the first one to get punished when I open K7 suited and get raised by Joker and call him down on K99T4 when he has AK.

9:17 PM: I mean I was kind of in desperate need of some material but did it have to be like this?

I open QThh under the gun, someone 3-bets, and there are callers.

The flop is 643 with two hearts and I’m happy to put some money in on this flop but it checks around.

The turn is a beautiful ten of clubs and Mr. Plow leads out into three or four opponents from the big blind. I make it $60 to go and that clears the rest of the field. He starts tanking… actually sizes me up… and eventually puts the call out.

River is the ace of diamonds. He donks. I call. He tables…

AJ offsuit. What in the world?

At least he took the time to look me up and down before calling with ace high. 👍🏻

10:22 PM: Button straddles, Animal calls, Mr. Plow 3-bets and I 4-bet from hijack with K8hh. No respect for the ranges in this hand so far and I’m hoping to knock Joker out but the jerk comes in with a 5-bet cap and now five of us are seeing this flop for $75 each and I have K8 and two players have position on me.

Doesn’t… seem… great.

The flop isn’t bad though. 872 with two spades. I decide to donk into Joker. This gets a bet in on the flop and he will frequently raise and potentially limit the field and that’s a good thing, even if I don’t have the best hand. Joker just calls, so does button, Animal check-raises (with one small bet behind), Mr. Plow calls two cold, and I 3-bet to try to get the other two yahoos out but they aren’t going anywhere and this pot just keeps getting bigger.

Turn is an offsuit king. Oh my. I really couldn’t ask for a better card. I bet and they all call, with Animal all in on the flop.

River is an ace and Mr. Plow donks right out. I’m not super concerned about being beat here but I don’t think it’s a great spot to raise either, so I call. Other two guys fold, Plow tables AT and I’m good for this whole monster!

When gambling goes right, folks.

1:25 AM: Wow. I didn’t realize I’ve been this sidetracked. 3+ hours without an update?! My bad. I mean nothing too excited has happened. Joker 4-bet me with Q9hh when I had JJ and got a nice little Q83T4 runout to get paid off.

Actually Joker and Radio Mike played an epic hand where Joker rivered a full house after Radio Mike turned a straight flush. I wasn’t paying too much attention to it but I can still see Joker’s blood stains on the table.

We are down to 7-handed now. Flea has heaps of chips (well, $2k+) or else I’d probably be home resting up for tomorrow’s event already. He’s in lock down mode though but there are still two certified spewers in action.

I’ve really been battling with the nickname for this new, crazy regular and I’ve had a couple I’ve kind of liked. I was thinking The Terminator because he’s always after you and no matter what, you can’t ever kill him – he just keeps going to the ATM for more.

But it didn’t have that magic ring to it. I’m saving it. This dude is Iron Man. Same concepts apply sort of – he’s a machine that keeps going and seems to have Tony Stark’s bankroll – but really, the 250 hours this dude put in last month would make Cal Ripken Jr. proud.

I hope this ubiquitous presence isn’t a fleeting thing and I’m not wasting yet another nickname on someone that is just going to disappear in a month. For now, expect Iron Man to be in almost every hand I post from Palace.

2:22 AM: I always hate to do it when the game is really good, but I called it a night. I was having a pretty great session but lost some momentum at the end, mostly because my pocket jacks kept losing to Qx in bloated pots when a queen was the only overcard on board.

Final Score: +$1185

After a -$2k day on the 1st of the month, I am back in the green for September. No bad. This is later than I wanted to be out which means I almost certainly won’t be there for the start of the Little Creek Main Event tomorrow. My current hope is to leave my house around the time the tournament is starting and arrive early in level 2.

Stay tuned. I will blog it.

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