Archive for October, 2018

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PLO Wednesday Highlights (Live Blog)

October 31, 2018

This is going to be tough. I almost sliced half my thumb nail off last night while doing the dishes so I have multiple bandaids holding it in place. I’m fine, but the bandaids make it harder to type on my phone because I use thumbs to type and my keypad doesn’t register when I touch with the bandaid. So I got some weird typing going on.

I spent Sunday traveling home from Lincoln City and I tried playing in The Santa Claus Game (more on that next week) at Palace on Monday, but after six hours of coughing into my shirt, blowing my nose constantly, and clearing my throat repeatedly, I felt bad for even being in the building. I called it a night as a -$85 loser – my 7th straight losing day at Palace (for -$3050 in total), a streak I am very much hoping to end tonight.

In fact, even after the month-saving score in the Big O event at Chinook Winds, I’m only up a few thousand for the month, so this could be a real make-or-break-it session as far as the arbitrary time frame of October 2018 is concerned.

Today’s starting lineup: Twinkie, solid reg, Crypt Keeper, nit, Lee Markholt, nit, aggro reg, His Airness

Not the greatest, but His Airness automatically makes any game good.

6:21 PM: So here’s something cool that happened to me today. This little guy was outside by himself rolling around in the autumn leaves on the ground, long after our other dogs had ventured back inside:

Next thing I know he’s at the front door whining hysterically and my first thought is that he was scared because I left him out there on his own (although he stays behind by himself frequently with no problems) so I picked him up to comfort him and felt a sharp pain in my finger and involuntarily dropped him on the ground.

I saw that he was covered in those helicopter leave things that have a bit of sharpness to them so I started picking them out of his fur, figuring that was the problem and also what poked me… but when I was done he was still whining incessantly.

So I started looking again and that’s when I saw a yellowjacket stuck in his fur, crawling around on his belly… and everything made sense.

*shivers*

I hate bees. HATE them. I stepped on a hive when I was a young child and got stung many, many times and I’ve probably been stung more than average since then.

This removal was going to be a two-human job. I pinned him down and my wife grabbed the wasp off him with a paper towel because no way in hell am I touching that thing again.

Our dog seemed a little off afterwards so I called the vet as a precaution but they just told us to look for swelling and I never saw any. He doesn’t seem like he’s in any pain.

But I’m sitting here reading about how yellowjackets can sting multiple times and inject poisonous venom, so… it’s a bit concerning, but my wife assures me he is doing just fine.

So yeah, I got stung by another bee today.

Super cool.

7:04 PM: Notable hands so far:

Lee Markholt opens to $15 and Twinkie and I both defend our blinds.

I have the T974 double suited so when the flop comes J65 with two clubs (my suit), I bet out $30 when it’s my turn. Lee folds and Twinkie calls.

The turn is a red 8, giving me the nuts with multiple redraws. I bet $80 and he calls again.

The river is an ace and he check-calls $125 this time.

Solid start to my night.

Nit raises after limpers to $20 and multiple players call, including me with AKdd77 on the button.

The flop is J74 rainbow and The Crypt Keeper leads out from the big blind into the entire field for $150. The nit calls, which is super alarming, and Twinkie calls also.

I am totally lost. It seems like I have a big hand, but something feels off. I’m obviously fading straight draws here, but TCK and the nit have sets of jacks in their range. I think I can safely rule that holding out of Twinkie’s range. I’m tempted to punt in a $450 bet and I’m tempted to call, but I’m confused. I don’t know what to do and since the consequences of this ending badly for me are my whole stack, I just fold it.

The turn is a 5 and it checks to Twinkie and max-bets $300. Crypt Keeper folds but the nit calls.

River is a ten and now the nit leads for the max of $300, which is almost all in for him.

Twinkie says, “you have the nuts, right?” and ends up folding (what is later revealed to be 8665).

I honestly don’t know if my flop fold is good here, but one thing is for sure, both of the players that saw the river ended up with better hands than I had. I think I would have called the flop if there was a diamond, but I’m really not sure what the best approach is there.

7:24 PM: The aggro player just raised the river with 99xx on TT299 and then folded face up when one of the nits 3-bet the $300 max!

So sick. The nit courtesy showed the quad tens.

It’s such a sick fold, but is really super easy if you take 60 seconds to think about it. The dude is a total nit, so he’s only 3-betting the virtual nuts on the river and with all four nines accounted for the only logical hand (that isn’t quads this dude could even feasibly 3-bet with is T2 and he is literally never doing it with a hand that weak. He has quad tens. Every time.

So… amazing fold… but it’s pretty routine if you can calm your emotions enough to realize that you have quads and you’re never winning.

Well executed.

7:38 PM: Crypt Keeper just won a 4-way all in pot with top set and now has almost $3000 in front of him and the nit with quad tens also has nearly $2500, so this game is trending poorly and I’m only up $100 or so at the moment.

7:47 PM: I limp along late with a junky KKJ4 subtle suited and all I need to do is a fade a patented annoying button raise from Crypt Keeper and he obliged by limping along also. Both blinds check.

Flop is AK2 rainbow and I bet $30 when it checks to me. Everyone folds but His Airness comes through with a check-raise to $105 at the last second. Bless him. He has a little over $200 so I put him all in. He wants to run it twice but his set of 2s can’t run me down on either run out.

8:02 PM: I complete with JJ86 single suited from the small blind in a multi-way pot.

Flop is 754 with two hearts. I flopped the nuts. I have clubs and no hearts in my hand so I start off with a check. Lee bets $25 and three players call him.

I fold.

BOOM.

8:28 PM: Pretty sure this is a disaster, but I dunno. There’s a raise of $15 and some calls in front of me. I call with AA64 no ace high suits.

Flop is A43 all hearts and it checks all the way around.

The turn is a blank and Twinkie bets $70 with only me and Crypt Keeper behind him. I think this is probably a fold. He’s betting almost full pot and there is only one card to go. I suppose he could have the naked king of hearts here but he probably has a flush and I’m not likely to call a pot-sized bet unimproved on the river. But I put in the $70 and now Part-Time check-raises all in for $215. Twinkie folds. I take a little bit of time to math but if I’m willing to put in $70 I should be willing to call another $145 now that the pot is substantially bigger.

I’m getting 3 to 1, so I need to win about 25% of the time and I’m winning less than 20% of the time since I’m blocking one of my outs (the 4). Plus, as an added bonus, there is no more money to be won on the river when I get there.

The Gods don’t bail me out and I lose to Part-Time’s king high flush.

9:11 PM: Ugh. We are 7-handed now and with His Airness gone the action has really died down. It’s just after 9 and I’m already thinking about calling it. The game just isn’t good anymore. Two of my six opponents are better than I am and another two are total nits. And a fifth player folded QUADS. On top of that, all four big stacks are on my left.

I’m not sure any of these conditions are ideal for powering through.

9:31 PM: Here’s how good this game is. Heads up pot, one player bets pot on QT8 and the other guy folds QQT8 face up. Or something of that nature. He had a set and the other two pairs also. Just done with it.

Same opponent. I have A883 double suited and I bet $100 on K839 with a front door heart draw present. He calls. River is the king of hearts and I check to him because maaaaaybe I can get this guy to bluff one time, but also for pot control because the dude is a fucking nit… and he checks back with 33.

YAWN.

10:22 PM: Game actually went down about 45 minutes ago. I guess everyone thought it was as bad as I did. Lee racked up to leave and as soon as he did that Part-Time took off and another player announced he was done. I already was over it so I wasn’t about to play 4-handed.

On the bright side, my Palace losing streak is over.

Final Score: +$145

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Chinook Winds $600 No Limit Hold’em Main Event (Stack Updates)

October 27, 2018

I wasn’t going to blog at all because I’m still sick, but I’ll at least post stack updates here. I might post a hand here and there but I won’t be posting any in depth analysis.

Starting stacks are 40k with blinds currently at 50/100. Massive amounts of play in this one. Plus there is a $200 add on for 30k more chips if you make it to level 7.

I’ve already seen a 6x and a 12x (from the cutoff!) open at my table, which is just absurd.

1:09 PM: A7ss > AA on T7476 in a 42k pot.

He min-raised my open pre and put minimal pressure on me before I turned the best hand.

2:09 PM: 64k coming back to 150/300/50.

2:34 PM: Notables in the field: Tormund, Flexxx, Solomon Grundy, Frankenstein, three Muckleshoot dealers, Kitsap local, Oregon superstar Max Young…

Twinkie BUSTED

3:46 PM: 54k after L4.

Tormund 52k

Frankenstein 110k

5:51 PM: 67.6k heading to dinner break. Also made it to the add on period so I paid $200 for another 30k in chips.

Dark Knight 97.6k

Frankenstein 200k

Tormund 60k

7:13 PM: Huge pot. I get a free play with KT and get the TT5 flop vs QT. We end up putting in like 50k each on the turn. I didn’t love it because that is heaps and the dude was playing tight and scared but I couldn’t discount the fact that he might be overplaying worse tens.

I was in the big blind and I can have a bunch of weak tens in my range, so I jammed and prayed he had something slightly worse.

He did. The 2 bricked the river and I now have over 160k.

8:21 PM:

Dark Knight 160k

Frankenstein 97k

Tormund 40k

9:00 PM:

Tormund BUSTED

Kitsap Player BUSTED

Solomon Grundy BUSTED

2 of 3 Muck dealers still in

9:52 PM:

Frankenstein BUSTED

10:12 PM: 184k after 10 levels coming back to 1500/3000. Two more 50 minute levels tonight.

375 entrants

268 add-ons

$242,961 prize pool

45 players cash

$1360 to 45th

$51,022 to 1st

Board says 224 left, but it said that a long time ago so I’m sure that’s not accurate.

11:57 PM: Right as TD pauses the clock to announce it’s bagging time, I open 2.5x with 22 bigs on button holding 77 and I’m never folding pre. The big 3-bets to 7 bigs and I jam. She mini-tanks and calls it off with ATss and binks a ten on the river.

A little bittersweet. I basically busted on the last hand of the day but it could be worse. I could come back tomorrow and play for several hours and still not cash… now I can at least wake up and immediately head back to Tacoma.

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Halloween (2018)

October 26, 2018

Director: David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Your Highness, The Sitter)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak

My goodness I loved it. I had to watch it twice to be sure, but yes, it was great. Exactly what I want from a Halloween movie.

For those that don’t already know, this Halloween is a sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 film only. It has nothing to do with the ten other sequels and remakes in the franchise – not even the ones with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as ultimate final girl Laurie Strode.

There’s no Thorn Cult garbage here. Laurie is not Michael Myers’ sister. Michael has never had his eyes shot out, burned to death, been riddled with bullets by a vigilante firing squad, or had his head axed clean off.

He has, however, been stabbed in the eye and neck and shot six times before falling off a second story balcony.

I think. We definitely see scars of the eye and neck injuries, but there’s a cop introduced in this new movie that “stopped Dr. Loomis from killing Michael.”

I’m not really sure what that means because Loomis shot Michael six times, he fell backwards and suddenly he is gone and that is how the original film ends.

There’s no stopping Loomis. There’s no other cop interfering. Michael is shot multiple times and he survives and the supernatural mystique of a human being that kills people begins.

So I don’t know if this film is trying to revise that finale or not, but either way, Michael is in captivity in 2018 and this movie opens with some podcasters visiting him in the psyche ward and trying to get a rise out of him by flashing his old mask around. It’s a cool scene that re-establishes Michael as a human with irregular focus and total disregard for anyone around him.

He hasn’t spoke a word in 55 years. What a scary dude.

Of course the powers that be decide to transfer Michael from a psyche ward he’s been at for 50+ years and transfer him by bus on the eve of Halloween and it can be easy to nitpick some of these plot points.

Why does Laurie watch the bus pass through the gate and leave the institution but not follow it to its destination? When you meet Laurie in this film it’s clear she has spent the last 40 years preparing for the possibility of Michael’s escape and return to Haddonfield. I can’t imagine that person not making sure that bus gets exactly where it’s going.

And why did she spend all that money tricking out her house and buying guns when she could have just moved to Hawaii or something?

But I’m glad she didn’t because once Michael is loose, the magic really starts.

Michael might be over 60 years old, but he has the strength of a silverback gorilla… on steroids.

I’m okay with that. The kills in this movie (when we see them) are fun and brutal.

And Michael is scary again. The mask looks amazing. The mask has definitely had its down moments over the years, so when it is done right, it makes a big difference. I think it’s a big reason why Michael Myers works so well as a horror villain. He’s supposed to be some normal kid that just snaps for no reason and becomes pure evil. But he’s a regular dude. He could be anyone. Until he puts on the mask. And then he becomes something a bit more… unnatural.

John Carpenter returns to do the film’s score and it hits all the right notes and drastically raises the tension. The music during the scene when Laurie’s granddaughter first encounters Michael is nothing short of epic. It really elevates the moment. I was practically giggling to myself with glee during that sequence.

Director David Gordon Green also gives us a wonderful single take shot that follows Michael on the streets then through a couple of houses, as he acquires different weapons and murders multiple people before finally cutting away. It’s a phenomenal sequence and it’s easy to overlook its brilliance if you’re not paying close attention.

Jamie Lee Curtis is of course wonderful as Laurie, giving her all in a role she’s played five times in 40 years in a franchise that has really seen some low points. But she returns here to give a serious performance in a mostly serious film, putting the affects of PTSD on full display.

The rest of the cast is solid but unremarkable, but I will say I loved the duo of Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney as Michael Myers. They nailed it. Even when Michael is unmasked, he is seriously intimidating and ruthless. You know… like most men in their 60s.

I thought this was a great Halloween movie, but it should be noted I am a horror film fan boy. It pays tribute to the original, gives subtle nods to the other sequels it otherwise ignores, and really understands how to create an atmosphere that makes Michael Myers work. The duo of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride clearly understand what makes the franchise tick and what fans of the original movie would want to see.

The ending of the movie was cool, if not entirely satisfying, and I liked Halloween enough that I’d like to see everyone come back for another one. More more MORE please!

Michael Myers done right is a thing of beauty. Halloween is a must watch for fans of the franchise and I give it a strong recommendation in general.

Replay Value: I liked it more the second time and I’m kind of itching to see it again.

Sequel Potential: Evil never dies.

Oscar Potential: None.

Dina Meter: She had fun watching it.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

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$160 Big O @ Chinook Winds (Stack Updates)

October 25, 2018

First Big O tournament of my life. I’m excited! It should be fun and different. I will be surprised if I only fire one bullet in this thing. The $600 NL bounty is still open for 1.75 more hours so there’s some chance if I bust quickly in this I will hop in that.

Starting stacks are 12k with 30 minute levels and blinds starting at 25/50.

I have never cashed a tournament at Chinook Winds so it would be cool to break that streak sometime this trip.

With my phone records dating back to August of 2014, Chinook Winds is my 4th worse location and bricking every tournament here would make it my all-time worst. Only places I’ve lost more money at during that span are Commerce, Tulalip, and Aria.

Commerce is my worst during that stretch which is crazy considering I have a $5000+ cash there. Yikes.

1:00 PM: Cards are in the air!

1:55 PM: I see a flop of J65ss with AsQsJ92 with 5500 in the middle already and a player all in. I bet 3500 and one player on the side calls.

Turn is the ten of spades, giving me the nut flush and I still have the nut low draw. I go all in for 6800 and my remaining opponent tanks for a bit before calling it off with…

AQT32 with no spades. Lol. What a torch.

River is a 4 and he escapes with a quarter of the pot. Other player busts.

Up to 19k.

2:33 PM: Last hand before break:

Open to 425 at 75/150 with AK442 double suited and torcher from last hand is my only caller.

Flop is 854 rainbow and I bet 1k and he calls again.

Turn is a king that completes the badugi on board and he folds when I bet 3k.

That puts me at 22k during first break.

3:24 PM: Pretty sick one here:

I look down at AA83 and only sweat the suit of my fifth card. It is a diamond, which gives me a suited ace and weak hearts. There is an open to 600 at 100/200 and I make it 2250 and I still haven’t looked at my last card. He calls, leaving himself with over 12k behind.

Flop is J44 rainbow and he checks to me. I bet 4k and he jams on me. Uh. Guess I better look at that last card.

It’s the 4 of diamonds. Wow. I snap.

He has AAK73.

The turn is a king for a minor sweat, but I fill up with an 8 on the river to scoop the pot.

It really makes me wonder what I would have done if I didn’t look down at a 4. I would probably be inclined to put him on a 4 or jacks full. But before looking, my initial thought was that I probably have to go with it anyway so I think I wind up calling. But what a sick Sarge* card!

*Sarge card is a term coined after a famous PNW local Omaha player that routinely doesn’t look at his last card until he absolutely has to. In this case, I had a premium hand w/out even looking at my fifth card so it didn’t affect any of my decisions until I got jammed on.

I have just under 50k now. Next biggest stack at my table is 23k.

4:02 PM: Eek. 3-bet with AT532 double suited to 3k and big blind and original raiser call.

Flop is J64 rainbow and they both go all in in front of me; one for 9k and the other for 9600. Easy call here.

Board runs out J6479 and my opponents’ hands are A6442 and AK852, so I end up getting 1/6 of the pot while the guy with the worst equity on the flop gets 2/3.

Just got to second break with 51.8k and paid $80 for another 10k, so I will be over 60k coming back to 300/600 blinds.

4:35 PM: Last hand before the break is worth mentioning. There are two limpers at 200/400 and the button pots it for 2200 and she has less than 1500 behind, so when I look down at AJT32 I make it 5000 to isolate and see all five board cards, but the second limper ends up calling!

We check it down on 852QQ and he shows… 86542, which blew my mind. I got half of the whole pot with the nut low and the all in had a queen for half of the main pot.

But wow at that call. 🤯

5:03 PM: Registration is closed.

154 entrants

74 add-ons

~84 left

$26,656 prize pool

27k avg stack

I have 84.6k

Not sure how many cash, as the prizes haven’t been posted yet.

5:17 PM: I lead 2k from small blind on AQ7cc flop with AQ852 and a torcher calls

Turn pairs the queen and I bet the full pot. He snap calls again.

River is the 8 of clubs. I put him all in and he calls with KJ532.

They are trying to punt hard in this thing.

6:09 PM: Third break: 82.7k

Twinkie is busted.

7:05 PM: I bet 6000 on the flop with AKQT9 double suited on a flop of K92 with two clubs, giving me top two, the nut flush draw and a gut shot. The lone limper in the hand calls and the other blind jams for 11,800, leaving me with an option to call only, so that’s what I do. Other guy tries to jam but is told he can only call.

Turn is an ace and since I’m never folding here and the other guy only has about 30k left, I go ahead and lead pot, putting him all in, because if he folds here I will be happy about it.

He tanks forever and does fold.

The all in has a set of deuces and a low draw but the river pairs the 9, giving me a boat and a monster scooper!

Sick thing is if I sized slightly less on the flop this lot would have been 60k bigger.

Short while later, I end up getting all in 3-ways on 864 with AT973 vs A7544 and A883x…. and the board runs out ten and jack and I get 3/4 of another monster pot.

114.7k

48 players are left and average stack is 47.5k. $6864 up top for 1st and 18 players will cash.

7:53 PM: 121k on dinner break. 42 left. 54.3k is average.

9:13 PM: Yuck. I just got switched from a soft table where I had a dominating chip lead to a table where I’m third in chips and have the only WSOP bracelet winner in the building on my direct left.

Chip lead at my table has like 350k! 😮

I have 127.5k with 33 left. Average stack is 69k.

9:29 PM: Busted someone. 178.5k with 25 players left.

TORMUND SIGHTING!

9:47 PM: 20 players left with 18 cashing and someone just folded AQ532 with a suited ace to an open because “I’m not going out in 19th or 20th.”

10:08 PM: We are hand-for-hand now and the floor gets done saying that anyone that gets up and watches another table gets a one round penalty and as soon as the first hand is done two players at another table get up to spectate and are given a one round penalty. 😂

10:39 PM: Cashed it! 17 players left. Everyone gets at least $350.

11:32 PM: Busted someone. 12 left. 161k. Average is 215k. GTD $498.

11:45 PM: Peaking at 221k with 11 left.

11:53 PM: Stacked another player. My AQ932 double suited makes a wheel vs his AAQJ9 double suited.

Peaking at 312k with 9 left.

12:14 AM: It’s official! I have final tabled the first Big O tournament I’ve ever played!

Peaking at 330k and GTD at least $914 now and get this gem:

Looks like I’m tied for 3rd in chips. Unfortunately I have the chip leader (and best player as far as I can tell) on my immediate left.

Note: I’m slightly above average with 16 bigs, but the stacks smaller than me all have between 8 and 12 bigs, so it’s not like I’m at a big advantage right now. I could easily be the next player out.

12:33 AM: I don’t blame the staff for having a tip box by the payouts but… I imagine most players did the $10 dealer appreciation (6.25% of the initial buy-in) plus they are taking out an additional 3% for the staff from the prize pool.

That means that if no one leaves an extra dollar, the staff will be well compensated anyway… more so than your typical big field tourney staff.

1:10 AM: Players are busting in SICK fashion. There are 5 left. I am second shortest. $1716 GTD now.

1:25 AM: Sick double. I defend a min-raise with Q5532 with spades and three of us see the Q83 two spade flop. I only have 135k so I jam it in with my two pair, queen high flush, and bad low draw. I get called by a player with A64 with nut spades, so I’m in pretty rough shape but somehow the board runs out A and 4 and I scoop with a wheel.

So sick!

Just busted another player when my AQ762 makes queens up and nut low to crack his AAxxx hand.

We are currently looking at ICM chop and I have the most chips at the moment.

Nope. Game on!

I could have locked up $4900 if everyone agreed there, but someone decided to play.

4th is currently $2290.

1:43 AM: ICM chopping 3-ways and I have the chip lead. I’m taking $4999 for my efforts today.

We reassembled my piece of cheese game changer, but I can assure you I did not have four spades in my hand!

Leggo!

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$160 Omaha 8/B @ Chinook Winds in Lincoln City, Oregon (Stack Updates)

October 24, 2018

Cards will be in the air at noon. $160 gets you a 12k starting stack, with blinds starting at 25/50 and 30 minute levels. They are guaranteeing a $15,000 prize pool, so they need 94 entrants to avoid an overlay and this event has no re-entry. Looks like 100 have already registered though.

Twinkie drove down here with me, so he’s playing this event today. I’m sure there will be a couple others I recognize.

I was welcomed by a sore throat this morning so looks like I’m developing a cold just in time for me to kick off this series.

👍🏻

I will be posting stack updates here and maybe some hands here and there if they are interesting enough.

Leggo.

12:02 PM: First hand is notable because on a final board of Q6294 and four hearts on the board, a player check-raises the river with a naked two pair. Uh. He got scooped. I’m honestly not sure if he did it on purpose or not. TBD…

12:16 PM: Solomon Grundy sighting!

Oh man. Guy on my right is a motormouth. He hasn’t stopped talking for 20 straight minutes and he keeps looking at me for interaction. He’s a nice, happy dude just trying to have fun playing the great game of poker, but… I can’t handle all that.

Headphones going in.

Just saw QQxx vs 88xx on Q98Q8 and the river only went two bets. What in the world?

And now that I have my headphones in dude on my right is touching me when he’s talking.

Please make it stop.

12:32 PM: This is brutal. This guy literally just introduced himself, mentioned my headphones and basically said, as politely and non-passive aggressively as possible, that he “talks a lot” and that my headphones aren’t going to save me.

12:45 PM: And now he found a commonality. He asked where I’m from and I said Bremerton and then he asked me about Chips Casino, which is basically where I started my path toward playing poker full-time. Then he mentions Palace in Lakewood and that he helped run it in 2012, and that Big Daddy used to work for him, and that he’s responsible for getting Freddie’s closed and starting High Hands in Pierce County.

So now we actually have something to talk about.

Wonderful.

Gosh dammit.

12:53 PM: Things have been going well so far, so I have little to complain about, but here’s my first annoying runout:

I raise a bunch of limpers with A42x with a suited ace (haven’t looked at my last card) on the button and bet the Q87ss flop when I flop the nut flush draw and nut low draw with backup. I get three callers on the flop.

The turn is a jack and I decide to keep firing because I don’t think I’m likely to get check-raised and I don’t mind continuing to build the pot with my draw. Plus, I might have a pair! I only get one caller now.

River is an offsuit king and I can tell he’s prepared to call the river, so I look down hoping to see a ten, as any one pair hand is probably too weak to value bet here, but I have a 7 and check back.

He wins with KK96ss.

Looks like a pretty good flop for his hand, yeah? How about no?

1:14 PM: Radio Mike just messaged me saying he hopes the guy on my right and I both make deep runs to the final table “connected at the hip like Siamese twins.”

What a jerk.

1:31 PM: First Break:

Dark Knight 12.2k

Twinkie 12.275k

1:53 PM: Here’s a spot that I think should be standard but I’m sure a lot of people routinely botch:

There are some limpers and I check Q977 in the big blind.

Flop is 762 with two clubs. I have top set. The small blind checks, I check, and it checks around.

The turn is the 8 of clubs. The small blind bets and I fold.

Good riddance.

2:05 PM: Guy on my right is embarrassing me now. There’s a discussion going on with the dealer about poker players being optimistic.

Dealer: Of course poker players are optimistic; you all think you are going to win this tournament.

Guy on my right: None of us think we are going to win this tournament.

Guy on my right: You know who’s going to win this tournament? This guy (points to me). He’s the best player at this table and I could tell that after 45 seconds.

Me: Uhhh….

Guy on my right: I’ll tell you this much: I’d swap 10% of me for 5% of you (and he has more chips). That’s how confident I am about that.

Me: Uhm.

I mean, that’s nice of him and all, but it is embarrassing. I don’t want that kind of attention and it’s a little disrespectful to the other players at the table.

3:18 PM: No super interesting hands these last three levels but I suppose it was slightly profitable for me.

Stacks at second break:

Dark Knight 14.5k

Twinkie 15.9k

Solomon Grundy 7.5k

Also, there has been a Flexxx sighting, I don’t know his stack size.

3:28 PM: Cool thing about playing in Lincoln City is that this is what your breaks can look like:

3:48 PM: What the hell is going on here?

Two limps, I complete with K652 double suited from the small, big blind checks.

Flop is K63 all hearts, I check, the other blind bets, and the limpers both call. My hand looks like it has potential, but all of it is super marginal and the pot is pretty small, so I fold.

Turn pairs the 6 and now I’m wishing I had my hand back. The big blind still bets, which is kind of weird, there’s a call and the next player raises. Now the big blind 3-bets, the middle player calls, and the other guy is all in for just under three big bets.

I have no clue what’s going on.

River is a queen and it goes bet and call.

Before the big blind turns over his hand, I say, “wow, I had K6 here.”

Big blind rolls 33xx, next guy rolls Q6xx, and the last guy has KKxx.

Holy shit! What a sick connection. And how credible does my hand sound after everyone shows? Lol.

4:14 PM: Open cutoff with AKJT double suited, hoping to just steal the blinds. The small blind calls and the big blind 3-bets, leaving himself with one small bet behind. No sense in 4-betting it since the small is clearly not folding, so I call and then the small blind 4-bets! Well, this got ugly real fast. Now the big is all in and I’ve been stair-stepped into a 4-bet pot with a hand that is barely worth one bet. I call again.

Flop is 533 with two clubs. Small blind leads out, the big is already all in and neither of my suits are clubs, so I just fold?

Sigh.

The small blind ends up showing 6432 which is a little weird and the big blind was on a total punt with KQJ4. Turn is a 6 and that ends the hand but it does cost me 2400 in chips in rather bizarre fashion.

4:21 PM: Mercy! My table broke and I no longer have the chatterbox on my direct right. I can now listen to music in peace and mind my own business.

I do have Flexxx at my new table though.

4:43 PM: 3-bets four ways before the flop and I have A862 with a suited ace and I get a pretty good flop for the situation with the board coming J86 rainbow, giving me the but low draw, bottom two, and the backdoor nut flush draw. The big blind donks, the original PFR folds, I raise, the small blind calls two bets cold, and the big flats.

Turn is a queen and they both check to me. I have less than two big bets left and I’m not sure I have the best high hand here, so I check back.

River comes a fucking ace. So now my low is nonexistent, plus clubs backdoored (not my suit). The small blind leads out, the big folds, and it feels like a pretty easy fold, but I start looking at the size of the pot and reluctantly toss out the call. He has A632 and my high is good.

Sigh. Seems like a good result but I lost half the pot on the river.

Then a series of suited A2xx and A34x hands got scooped and I was left with crumbs.

I make it 1600 from the small after one limp with AAQT, leaving myself with 75 behind. The big blind and limper both call.

The flop is an absolutely beautiful AJJ but the limper goes runner runner for a low with QJ32 and I have to settle for half of the main pot.

That leaves me with 2500 on third break and I will be coming back to a stack of 2.5 big blinds on the button.

5:11 PM:

Dark Knight 2500

Twinkie 24.8k

Flexxx 30k+

Solomon Grundy 15k

I will be all in sometime this next orbit.

5:45 PM: And I’m out. My all in gets scooped because someone had to limp the J532 from middle position and got the A33 flop.

Looks like 152 entered and I managed to bust in the first 33% so pretty good read from that dude calling my shot to win the tournament.

My health is less than 80% and likely to get worse, so I’m going to head back to my AirBnB and watch the World Series (and probably fall asleep) for a little bit. Maybe I’ll go play some live later if I’m feeling better.

Twinkie is still in with 21.4k. I’ll post his status if he sends me updates.

Solomon Grundy busted just before me and Flexxx was healthy at my table when I left.

6:50 PM: Twinkie sitting on 38k at dinner Break with less than 80 players left.

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My Nightmare Week of Poker

October 22, 2018

“And it just continues…”

That’s a quote from Dave Niehaus, long time radio guy for the Seattle Mariners, during their epic run to the playoffs in 1995.

I swear every time I lose a hand I can hear Niehaus saying that in my head. But it doesn’t have the same good vibes. Not even close.

I’ll dig a little deeper into what’s going on later, but I have already done some research to see when the last time I had four straight losing sessions of -$450 or worse and I had to go all the way back to January when I was at Commerce and the negative variance drove me away from poker to a day at Disneyland by myself instead.

So yeah, it’s once or twice a year level downswing going on.

I know I had a miserable WSOP this year, but tournaments are tournaments – you are going to go through insane cold stretches. Cash games are much more consistent. Plus I did well in the cash games while I was in Vegas and that helped ease the pain.

I decided to take a break from live blogging in the hopes that I could turn things around by increasing my focus rather than constantly writing between hands. I took notes though so I could post some of the more interesting and critical pots.

Thursday I went -$82 in 4/8 LHE while waiting for PLO to start.

We started PLO short-handed so this first hand takes place 6-handed.

Aggro player opens to 10, I call from the cutoff with KJhh55 and 3 of us go to the flop.

I flat his 20 lead on the AT5 with two clubs flop. The PFR is overly aggressive so he isn’t heavily waited towards sets here, but I don’t want to play a massive pot with bottom set. If we end up getting a bunch of chips in, it will basically never be a very good thing for me. So I call.

Turn is an offsuit 7 and now he bets $25 into $70. That’s way too weak not to raise. I make it $80 to go which is pretty small also but I’m sort of gambling here, hoping to keep him in the pot and planning to navigate the river well. He calls.

No need to worry about tough decisions on the river because a queen gives me the nuts. He check-calls $150 pretty quickly. I have to imagine my set was good but I’m very curious about what he had here. Maybe AQxx?

Someone makes it $15 and I call from the small blind with AKQT double suited. It’s a hand I can 3-bet with, but my recent studying argues that you should prefer to keep the pot multi-way before the flop, so while I could make a small raise here and probably still get multiple calls, flatting here guarantees everyone will call and reveals almost nothing about my hand strength, so I just call and we do see the flop multi-way.

The flop is K54 with two diamonds, so I have top pair with the nut flush draw and three good kickers. Sets on this board are unlikely; I’m blocking KK and 55 and 44 shouldn’t be in many hand combos, although some of this guys are absurdly loose. I don’t mind playing a big pot against straight draws or kings up here. I lead out $35 and I’m willing to play for my whole stack here, I think. Crypt Keeper and the worst player at the table call.

Turn is a jack, so now I have top pair and a MASSIVE draw: a broadway wrap and the nut flush draw. I bet $150 and Crypt Keeper makes it $450. Other dude folds and I started the turn with just over $700 and I’m never folding, so I stuff it in there.

He immediately hates it. How could he? Let’s examine this situation: there is around $1325 in the pot and it costs him $261 more to call. He’s getting over 5 to 1 to call with a hand he thought was worth raising the turn. He only needs to win about 17% of the time to break even here.

So obviously he folds. What a gift. Can you even imagine what kind of hand he would take this line with? I haven’t run any sims but I doubt there’s a hand he could possibly do this with that doesn’t have at least 17% against my exact hand.

Just crazy.

I call $15 with 6544 double suited (so there are some hands that produce small sets) and it goes multi-way to K84 with two clubs. There are a couple players that have position on me, so I check and it checks around.

The turn is an ace and a tight player (that wasn’t the PFR) bets $55. I call and so does Crypt Keeper.

River is a 3 and they both check to me. The flush draw missed and the only straight is 52, so a bet feels pretty mandatory. It’s hard to imagine either of them playing a bigger set this way, but I’ve seen the player that bet the turn make some ridiculously tight river checks, so I do consider knuckling back… but I can’t do it. I bet $100, TCK folds, and the nit calls with KK.

Sigh.

Joker makes it $20 after at least one limper and I call on the button with AQ86 with clubs.

I believe five of us see the T42 with two clubs and a spade flop. I have a naked nut flush draw here, which isn’t much of a hand, but when they all check to me on the button, I bet $80 because it seems unlikely I won’t be able to barrel my way to victory here with this much weakness in front of me. I’m quite surprised to see Joker call. You’d think as the PFR if he had any semblance of a hand he’d probably bet the flop and if he has a draw I know it can’t be much of one. Another player also calls.

The turn is the 7 of spades, so now I have a double gutter to go with my flush draw. It’s a pretty good card because it gives me extra equity, but it does open up a spade draw. This time I bet $300 when they both check to me. My line makes sense. If I had a good made hand here I would want to charge the max to draw out on me. Joker calls again.

The river is the 3 of spades, leaving me with ace high. I’m not sure what I would do here if Joker checked it – the backdoor flush and some straights got there – but he decided to lead out for the $300 max. It’s a decent spot to bluff in. How much do I like a set of tens now? Not much. But it doesn’t matter because I have nothing, so I just fold rather than torch $600 trying a potential rebluff.

Those are the only hands I thought were worthy of sharing, but I was basically ice cold all night long. Even with the $450 gift from The Crypt Keeper I finished -$498 after nearly nine hours of play.

Friday I was hoping to show up to Palace around 4 and get the 15/30 game off the ground. I ended up getting there around 5 and 15 minutes later I was pulled out of an 8/16 seat because Flea agreed to play 3-handed with Radio Mike and me to help get the 15 game off the ground and hope seats would eventually fill up. There were probably four or five other guys that play 15/30 in the building but none of them like to play short-handed. They’d rather sit in small games than play short-handed for 15 minutes so we can get a bigger game going. It’s honestly pathetic.

Well, Flea did play with us. For about 30 minutes. I managed a small profit, but Radio Mike was stuck $600 and Flea had basically all of it. So he smacked us for +$600 and then said he wanted to take a break. He disappeared for about 15 minutes and then sat back down and acted like we were all waiting for more people to sit down before we started playing again. No, motherfucker, let’s go. I’m not going to lie. I started lighting him up, saying how I gave up my seat in 8/16 because he said he wanted to play 15/30 with us and now I’m sitting there with my thumb up my ass sixth up on the list instead of playing poker. I was pissed. More so for Radio Mike. If I was the one stuck $600 and he abruptly quit on me like that… man… I can handle bad beats, horrible variance, people being idiots extremely well – at least externally – but stuff like this I cannot abide. It’s a total chickenshit dickhead move. Just when Flea was starting to seem like he might not be a total scumbag, he pulls this move.

So since we are sitting there and not playing and Palace only has one open table left, The Man brings over a bunch of a blue chips and asks if he can start an 8/16 game. I’m fine with it because we obviously aren’t going to play red chips and no one was filling seats. I just want to play poker. But as soon as Radio Mike and I agree to the 8/16 game, Flea starts saying he wants to keep playing 15/30 and acts like Radio Mike is the reason we aren’t playing anymore.

Then he says, “fine, I’ll just play Mike (that’s my name) heads up.”

Yeah fucking right buddy. Sure you will.

So that 8/16 game got off the ground and I got absolutely pummeled to the tune of -$600 before switching tables twice and making a comeback. The Leak and I had something come up and ended up leaving after only four hours and I somehow managed to finish at -$12 which felt like a miracle and ended my stretch of $450+ losses.

When you consider -$12 as a turnaround, you know things have been going bad.

Saturday my motivation was seriously lacking. My plan is to alternate between playing 20/40 O8 at Muckleshoot and 20/40 LHE at Fortune on Saturdays and this past weekend it was time for a Muckleshoot appearance. However, as late as 2 PM there was no one on the list and only a couple players on the list just after 3, so I took the easy route – like I do way too often – and went to Palace in the hopes of playing in the 1/3 no limit hold’em game.

What I didn’t know was that the game started at 5 PM. I thought as soon as the list got long enough they fired off, so when I got there at 3:15 PM I was informed that it would be almost two hours before that happened. Ugh. So I ended up playing 4/8 for almost two hours. Gross. I won exactly $1.

Here are some of the notable hands from my NL session:

Lady opens to $20 and another player flats. I have QQ on the button. I don’t know any of these players well enough to know their tendencies, so I can’t think of many good reasons not to reraise with QQ here. I make it $75 to go and I will not be folding to jams and it would have to take some serious evidence for me to fold after the flop. They both end up calling. I started the hand with less than $300 and they both had less than me.

Flop is 872 with two diamonds and they both check. There is around $225 in the pot and I have $190 left, so a jam is reasonable here. I’m not sure it’s the most profitable line. I actually can’t make any reasonable bet on the flop without making the turn extremely awkward, so I size very small at $50 hoping to get some action and taking my chances that I might get outdrawn. The lady check-raises to $100 and the other player calls. Woah. Wasn’t expecting that. But as I said earlier, I’m never folding, so now I have a clear jam spot and ship all $190 in and they both call!

The turn is a diamond (I have the queen of diamonds) and the river is a queen, so I end up with top set. The lady turns over KK and the other guy mucks, but eventually claims he had AA. He never showed his hand to anyone, so who knows. Everyone else at the table seemed to take his word for it, but I find it very hard to believe – especially after his opponents table KK and QQ. Most people are going to show their AA when they get cracked at these stakes, but even more so when KK and QQ are both out in the same hand. Mark me up as a nonbeliever.

This hand caused quite a stir at the table, with some of the players acting like I just successfully landed on the moon by winning this pot and the lady looking at me like I’m the biggest idiot she’s ever laid eyes on. Meanwhile, I’m sitting there wondering if I’m the only one that’s ever played poker before. What am I supposed to do with QQ on an 872 after getting called in two spots pre with less than a pot-sized bet left after the flop? It’s about as standard as standard gets.

Don’t worry, folks! Punts incoming.

It was basically all downhill for me from there. I lost almost every pot I got any resistance in and I doubled barreled with QJ after checking back the flop as the PRF on the 965T2 board. I bet a little less than pot on the river so it stung a bit when I got called by JT.

And just as they were starting a 15/30 game, this hand came up:

I open to $10 with A2hh and the player on my left makes it $20 and everyone else folds. I suppose I could play chicken here and repop it but I’m happy to play a flop for such a good price.

The flop is K32 with one heart. I check and he bets $25. I have enough that I can’t really fold here, but I don’t think my hand plays very well as a check-call. I have bottom pair and every card that isn’t an ace or doesn’t pair the board is going to be an overcard to my hand. I think this is a good hand to bluff with, especially on this board. I have found that attacking king high, disconnected boards is a good strategy in no limit hold’em. Think about what hands he can 3-bet with pre that are happy to call a check-raise on this board. AA, KK, and AK are the top ones. I suppose he can have some KQ and maybe KJ in there. Even hands as strong as QQ are going to have a hard time calling. I think that’s a pretty narrow range of hands that are happy to continue. Meanwhile, I’ve shown that I’m capable of having hands like K2 suited here. I make it $80 to go and he does end up calling.

I think that weights him towards a pair of kings so I’m planning to give up on the turn when I don’t improve or pick up outs. The turn is the 4 of hearts, giving me a pair and a straight flush draw. The pot has just under $200 in it now and his stack is slightly bigger than that. I put him all in. I think I’m going to get a lot of folds here, maybe even from hands as good as AK, but even when I do get called, I’m going to win the pot around 25% of the time by making two pair or better. He ends up tanking forever and I really think he’s going to end up folding, but he finally calls it off with KQ and the river pairs the 4, so I end up turning an early +$500 start into a -$349 finish.

The 15/30 game was AMAZING. There were no less than four players having a competition to see who could torch off their chips the fastest and in the most hilarious fashion. It was a total zoo. I won a large pot with KQ on a QJTccXXc runout where I had four opponents on the river and somehow still had the best hand after the flush got there and I won another decent one where I rivered a straight with AK. The rest of my time in this game was pure torture. I loosened up a little in some spots to play pots in position with the spewers, but for the most part my starting hand selection was pretty rigid and basically every time I played a pot I flopped absolutely nothing. When I flopped something as good as a gutshot it felt like I had a set. Not really, but I was just excited to have some piece of the board. I kept getting quality big ace hands (AJ+, ATs+) and all they did was cost me chips. I’d put in four bets before the flop, pay one or two bets to see the turn in a bloated pot when I flopped nothing, and just fold, fold fold folfdlfa=ffold fol! It was brutal.

Also, this happened:

Someone sent me that video and I wish they had let roll a little longer because I was seconds away from saying, “uh, I’m not leaving.” Like I’m going to leave $2500+ in an abandoned poker room because someone burnt some toast. Pffffft.

This hand pretty much defines my week:

I open with A7dd, there’s a call, Joker 3-bets, spewer caps on the button and we all call.

Flop is 743 with two spades and one heart. It checks to the button, I raise, one fold, Joker calls two cold, and the button calls.

Turn is the 9 of hearts. I bet and they both call.

River is the 7 of hearts. I bet, Joker almost looks like he’s going to raise, but ends up calling and the other guy folds.

I roll my hand and he rolls the AQ of hearts. I don’t really understand the flat call on the river and when he does call, it makes me think my hand is good, so it felt like a mini-slow roll. It’s pretty obvious the button doesn’t have anything so there’s no reason to go for an overcall. While I’m capable of showing up with sets of 4s and 3s here, I think rivering the nut flush still warrants a raise in this spot. Anyways, it’s pretty sick to flop a 7, make him call two bets cold on the flop, hit another 7, and still find a way to lose to AQ. But that’s my gift lately.

I finished that 15/30 session at -$674, which put my total losses for the day over $1000.

So this is what my last 8 days look like now:

10/12 -$790
10/13 -$1440
10/14 OFF
10/15 OFF
10/16 OFF
10/17 -$449
10/18 -$580
10/19 -$12
10/20 -$1022

-$4293 over an 8 day stretch. I’m not 100% positive about this, but I think that’s my worst week of poker ever, as far as cash games go.

I’ve been studiously tracking my results since June of 2011 and even though I had a day job until fall of 2016, I’ve basically played full-time hours for 7.5 years now. The worst month I’ve ever had was -$4219 in August of last year. I’ve only eclipsed -$2000 one other time. So that kind of puts this past week in perspective. This last week was worse than the worst month I’ve ever had. That is pretty sick.

This is what October cash games look like:

I had a +$2k PLO session earlier this month and I took second in that tournament on Global last Tuesday, so it hasn’t been all bad. I currently sit at -$1100 for the month so I’m not in serious jeopardy of challenging my all-time worst result.

Also, when I go through stretches like this, it’s important to remind myself of the bigger picture. Here’s what that looks like:

This brutal stretch is just a little blip on the radar of the poker life.

I will be headed to Lincoln City, Oregon tomorrow though and I’ll be playing in about $1500 worth of buy ins, so I have a chance to save the month of October or keep piling up the negative results.

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The Endless (2018)

October 21, 2018


Director: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson (Spring, Resolution)
Starring: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez

This is a pretty bizarre movie from the guys that made Spring and Resolution – neither of which I have seen. Both directors also star as brothers that revisit a death cult they escaped/left when they were younger. The movie is definitely intriguing, as watching the brothers unravel the mysteries of their old stomping grounds is both enthralling and slightly chilling. The Endless is largely a slow burn thriller with elements of horror and sci-fi/fantasy sprinkled in, while still managing to seem grounded in reality. I was certainly drawn into this world and highly invested in seeing what was going to happen. The movie is seeped in mystique and looks fantastic. The filmmaking duo made me enough of a fan that I want to check out their previous films. The Endless is weird and features no famous actors, so general audiences might balk at it, but I thought it was very solid.

Replay Value: Not a must rewatch, but I wouldn’t mind revisiting this again.

Sequel Potential: I’ve heard this is set in the same movie universe as Resolution. I don’t know if that makes it a sequel or if it indicates that more movies could occur in this universe, but the story of these two brothers is probably over.

Oscar Potential: The Endless got some film festival love, but no Oscar attention. It’s been making the rounds since spring of 2017, but technically wasn’t released in the U.S. until a year later. I’m not sure what calendar year it would be in Oscar contention, but I’m sure it will be overlooked, even though the Visual Effects were quite awesome.

Dina Meter: I would expect Dina to be done with this movie in less than 20 minutes.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)