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$20/$40 Limit Hold’em @ Fortune (Live Blog) and the Best Night of Radio Mike’s LIFE

October 13, 2018

I will be playing some 20/40 limit Hold’em at Fortune tonight, but first I’m sitting on the sidelines so I can recap the last couple of nights.

On Thursday, I stayed home to play the LHE events in the Eagle Cup on Global Poker.

It was a nightmare session. My plan was to play the three Eagle Cup events (with $11, $33, and $55 buy ins), the nightly $5 no limit rebuy, a 6-max PLO rebuy, and the dinky nightly $11 LHE.

First off, in the $5 rebuy, I got in 8 bullets, which is somewhere near my all-time record for that event. I think I may have been in 9 bullets previously but I’m positive I’ve never been in 10. My strategy during the rebuy period is to go all in preflop with any reasonable hand until I double up at least once and if that doesn’t happen as the rebuy period nears its end, I start jamming super light and sometimes it gets pretty ugly.

I didn’t have much of a stack after adding on after the rebuy period closed and in the first orbit after the break, my KK got outflopped by a big blind defend with 97 and that was GG for me.

In the $11 Eagle Cup I busted out without ever winning a hand. I actually ran pretty good, flopping extremely well, but I couldn’t fade a river. Not once. The draws got there… every. single. time.

I was crushing in both the $33 and the $55, sitting on a top 10 stack for most of both tournaments. I can’t remember what happened in the $55, but as we were approaching the bubble of the $33, a player with about 7bb opened from the lojack, the cutoff called, I 3-bet AJ of clubs on the button and they both called.

The flop was QT7 with two clubs – about as good as I could ask for without flopping a made hand. It checks to me, I bet and the shorty check-raises me and I get him all in for a little less than 4bb on the flop. He has K7o. It holds.

What.

With 28 players left and 27 making the money, the same player opened from the lojack again and I 3-bet with JTcc on the button.

We went heads up to a flop of JJ2 with two spades and he check-raised me again. I flatted the flop to raise the Kd turn and he bet-called.

The river was the 4s and he leads right out. I have 1.25 big bets left so if I raise and he has me beat, I eliminate myself in 28th place. So I call and he has the AQss.

Fortunately, I folded my way to the money with less than half a big blind. I ended up quadrupling up with T9o under the gun before busting in 22nd with the same hand from my big blind.

Meanwhile the dude that walked on water against me in those two critical pots went on to finish in 2nd. Of course!

I can’t remember any brutal connections in the $55, but I fizzled out after the bubble burst and finished in 17th place for $100. Yippee.

Even with the two cashes in the two biggest events I played, I still booked a small loss for the night.

Last night we got the 15/30 going around 6:45 PM and the most notable thing about that session was this:

Radio Mike had the best night of his life. Not just in poker, but best night of his entire life. Period. He searched through his mental Rolodex and said he couldn’t think of a single day in his life that made him happier. Not his first wedding night. Not his second wedding night. Not the day he opened his acceptance envelope to the University of California. Not the times he filled in for Rick Rizz to call some Seattle Mariner games.

This is it. This is the pinnacle. He managed this personal best 15/30 win even after running KK into QQ on a KQQ4J board. I went to grab him some empty racks after that hand and he was like, “NO. I can do this.”

Congrats buddy.

Meanwhile, I have nothing interesting to say about my session. I was mostly floating around even for many hours before the wheels just fell off completely.

It did make me think as I was driving to Fortune today. What adjustments should one make when you are running atrociously? Basically what I’m thinking of is when I’m getting a normal or above average distribution of good hands before the flop and raising a lot of pots, but never connecting with the board and almost always having multiple opponents to deal with.

Do you start raising less hands? Do you play less exploitively? Do you start checking your entire range on the flop since you never have a hand?

I do not think it is correct to stop raising hands I would otherwise always raise. It is gross… to be consistently aggressive before the flop and feel like you never have something you can bet after it, but playing passively isn’t making a proper adjustment, it is simply playing poorly.

I do think it’s okay to play less exploitively when your credibility is shot and your image is horrible. When you are playing exploitively, you are playing a wider range and you need to get folds more often than when you are only playing a tight-solid range. But when it seems like you are spewing chips left and right, you aren’t going to get those folds and opponents will be more emboldened than usual to make plays at you.

Anyways, that’s what I was thinking about last night as I was getting smashed on and again as I was driving out here. I lost about $800 overall last night.

I’ve been in this 20/40 for an hour now and lots of interesting things have happened: I’ve already established myself as a maniac and as the table alpha and put someone on tilt after we played this hand:

I have the small on the button and there are two big blinds. We are short-handed so when under the gun raises here it’s similar to a hijack open, except there is more dead money than usual and his range should be even wider. So when I look down at A8hh on the button it looks like a clear 3-bet to me and we go heads up to the flop.

It is 973 with one heart. My image is already bad so I elect to check back here and see if I can get a sexy turn card. Also, my hand is one I’d prefer to show down most of the time so by checking back I don’t have to call three barrels, plus I induce bluffs.

The turn is an 8 and this feels like a clear bet when he checks to me, but I know my range looks super weak here (whiffed big cards) so when I bet, I’m almost expecting this: he check-raises me. I call and I’m planning to call river too.

The river is an ace and he check-calls and does that thing where he’s in disbelief so I twist the needle by saying, “oh don’t act like my 8 wasn’t good. If you can beat that show it.” He says something back mockingly and shows his neighbor his hand (which means he probably had me beat) but doesn’t show me. On the bright side, he’s clearly steamed. He asked to be dealt out the next hand.

5:51 PM: I spent the first hour of play writing this post and I spent the last hour in contact with Apple Support trying to connect a new earbud to my AirPods. That was a no go.

It has been a very active two hours for me, as I have been playing a very high variance style, opening a lot of hands and bluffing more than usual because the pots are almost always heads up or 3-handed.

It hasn’t gone that well. I ran K2ss into A2 a few orbits ago on Q9224. That was annoying. I’m down a little over $500 at the moment.

It’s a little harder to write updates in this game because it is super fast-paced and there always seems to be one or two players walking, so I almost always seem to be involved in pots.

We’ll see how it goes though.

6:24 PM: I’m not sure if the main game is any better than the one I was in, but I was having a hard time at that other table.

So now I have some players I know on my left: FanBoy and Sgt. Rock.

FanBoy is immediately threatening me: “Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? Barbecue Bat!”

Normally the thought of him doing stupid things behind me would be music to my ears but I’m running so cold and my decisions have been so difficult my last several hours of play that I’m not really embracing this promise of high variance poker action.

Of course, he’s probably all talk and will play his normal, boring abc game. Well, until he reads this!

I just raised three hands in a row and got very little resistance. Ah yes. This is more my speed.

7:40 PM: I am frustrated. This has been a tiresome session. I have spent all of it between -$500 and +$100, but almost all of it on the stuck side of things. Every time I get back over the hump stupid things happen.

I just got rivered in big pots by the same player in the same orbit. First my K9hh loses to A5cc on 954T5 and then he opens early with T9ss, caps the 987 flop, check-calls the king turn, and donks the 6 river to beat my AA.

Pretty damn annoying.

8:18 PM: Q8ss vs Q4 on Q8675. TT < 44. Approaching -$800 now. This is so silly.

8:32 PM: Here’s a win if I’ve ever seen one: I open early with QQ and FanBoy 3-bets me. I call and we are heads up to a flop of 975. I check-raise and he flats.

Turn is a jack and he raises my bet. I call down on a brick river, sighing openly while saying, “I can only beat AJ.”

The bad news is he doesn’t have AJ.

The good news is he does have QQ.

For those of you counting at home, that’s a net profit of $12 for the hand.

The comeback is on!

8:49 PM: Highlight of my night right here: there’s a limp fest in front of me and get hyper speculative with the ole K8o on the button. The blinds are cool and decide not to punish me.

The flop is KJ8 with two diamonds. One of the limpers bets, I raise, the blinds fold, and two of the other limpers cold call. So does the initial bettor.

Okay, now we need to dodge.

8 of clubs on the turn. Wonderful. Now I need them to hit their draws! I bet and only one of them calls. What the hell? One of the cold callers and the flop bettor folded. Wtf is that? Cold call two and the 8 pairs and we can’t continue now? I guess they both had jacks, a holding that just got substantially worse against top pair.

River is the 4 of clubs and my opponent just power folds.

That got me up for High Hand… which amusingly held up for 12 minutes but now JJJAA is up there. Damn.

8:58 PM: FanBoy finally showing how he got the name:

9:15 PM: Woah. I am heating up.

QQ good, AK gets lucky vs KJ on QJx9T, and then AA wins a huge pot that was capped 3-ways pre and 3-bets 3-ways on the flop.

Almost even again!

Just needed The Legend in the box to activate my run good.

9:41 PM: Well I worked my way all to the black but this is why I can’t have nice things – and also why you shouldn’t poke the bear.

Folds to my button and I open 84cc because I have FanBoy and Sgt. Rock in the blinds and they fold around 130% of the time, but FanBoy 3-bets and says, “put this on the blog!”

I call and we go to a flop of Q63 with one club. He leads, I raise, he 3-bets and I call because I can smell something and I can turn good cards.

The turn is an ace and I decide to give it up and he tosses the J9 of diamonds in my face.

Goddammit.

10:57 PM: Bring The Legend back! Seriously. I can’t win a meaningful pot with anyone else, but I won like $1k while he was here. Back to whiffing everything!

Stuck around $300 now.

11:07 PM: What the fuck. Folds to me with small blind on button and I raise without looking.

Big blind check-calls me on flop and turn on AA8Q before donking on the 4 river.

I guess it’s time to look. I have A3o. Part of me wants to call but how the hell do I not have the best hand here? I raise it and he snap-calls with A9, a kicker that plays.

Stuck over $500 again. This is a total joke.

Defend KQ heads up and run into AQ on Q526T. It’s honestly comical sometimes.

11:35 PM: A raise and three callers in front of me and I have AA in the big. I jack it up.

Flop is K62 with two clubs and it gets capped.

She rivers a flush.

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU MAKE A FLUSH?

They make it look so easy. I’ve missed 100% of my flush draws tonight.

Very next hand I have 88 in the small blind against a button open. He’s all in for 3 small bets with AK.

J625… K

I actually thought I was going to win that one because the pot was so small.

I am now stuck over $1k… again.

What a fucking nightmare this is.

11:42 PM: Open AThh, someone 3-bets, and we go to a T82 flop. I check-raise and he flats.

Turn is a 4 and I bet and call his raise.

River is a King. I check-call and he shows AK. Granted, he turned a flush draw so it wasn’t a total punt, but still.

And then as I’m being shown this fucking hand on the river the waitress comes up and tells me they can’t make the food I ordered.

That officially sent me outside to clear my head. I am seriously debating if I even want to keep playing. I’ve already played 8+ hours which is usually my goal, so it’s not like if I reload I’m going to grind it out for six more hours.

I have to admit I’m kind of peeved right now. Which makes me think I should maybe call it a night.

12:11 AM: I was making a little bit of a comeback so of course this hand comes up to fuck things up.

Open A9cc, one flat in position and both blinds defend.

Flop is AK8 with two clubs. It’s the fucking world. What can go wrong?

I bet and they all call.

Turn is a brick and now the in position player raises when I bet. The blinds both fold and I’m sitting there thinking about rage 3-betting because how the hell can I be beat every single meaningful pot? And can I possibly miss another flush draw?

Of course I can. And I will. I don’t pull the trigger on the torchy 3-bet but I do call and whiff and then pay off AK on the river.

Great flat pre. Very expert. You got me.

12:19 AM: Just got an “F bomb” warning because I guess that’s where I’m at right now.

Spewer opens, there’s a call, I 3-bet AQ, and FanBoy calls it cold.

It’s like 5-way action for 3-bets to the AK3 two heart flop and I bet and of course FanBoy pops me, a blind calls, and I just call also.

Turn is a brick and we check-call again.

The river is a Queen and I check, FanBoy bets, other dude folds and I turn to him and say, “I’m at the very top of my range but I’m sure I’m still losing” and check-call. He rolls over AA and I say, “it’s so fucking sick.”

I’m back outside. The only reason I didn’t cash out yet is because I wanted to type this up before telling The Leak we are leaving.

So you want to be a professional poker player?

Final Score: -$1440

The bad run at Fortune continues. This is what my 2018 looks like here:

-$2135 in 5 hours

-$2226 in 6.25 hours

-$808 in 4 hours

+$97 in 10.5 hours

-$1440 in 9 hours

It’s a super small sample. Totally meaningless. I’m sure I’ve had similar runs many times in my years of playing poker.

But I can’t help but feel like every time I come here I just get TORTURED.

And I do. That’s a spewing rate of -$189/hour playing poker at Fortune this year.

No wonder I’ve been staying away.

Goodness.

UPDATE: I really want to put these results in perspective. In the grand scheme of things, they are utterly meaningless, as I mentioned before. But I want to clarify. Those five sessions add up to 34.5 hours for the entire year. That’s less than one week of playing poker for me. That’s less than 2% of the total volume I will put in for an entire year. So as ugly as it looks, it is just noise.

My volume at Fortune has gone from semi-regular to nonexistent. I have played 5 sessions of 20/40 at Fortune this year. Last year I put in 25 plays and overall I have put in 45 sessions of 20/40 at Fortune lifetime. My first session of 20/40 there dates back to May of 2016, so in the roughly 29 months Fortune has been open, I have put in only put in around 10% of my total 20/40 volume there in the last 10.5 months.

In other words, this “year long” torture chamber is only a blip on the radar of my total volume at Fortune. There’s definitely a lingering affect going on, but when you take a step back, it’s easy to see that it is just variance.

My overall results, despite this horrendous run, are still pretty good. My win rate in the Fortune 20/40 has gone from a sexy $47.26/hour to a still respectable, but not very attractive $23.42/hour. I would wager that I’m more likely to be a 1 BB/hour player than a 0.6 BB/hour player, but my overall sample size is still too small to really determine much of anything.

I’ve mostly been able to justify not driving 30+ minutes to play in a tougher 20/40 game by having games close to home that I can expect to earn as much or more in. Unfortunately, since I’ve been back from the WSOP the 15/30 game that was running almost daily before summer has become more of a once a week game. On the other hand, we are now playing PLO twice a week and the 20/40 O8 game at Muckleshoot has become a good opportunity on Saturdays. That gives me four playing days a week where I don’t even need to consider driving out to Fortune.

Still… I’m not really one to back down from a challenge. I know the game is tougher at Fortune. The crazy thing about this year is that I have been experiencing insane variance whenever I play there. While that is not notable in itself, what is notable is the fact that 20/40 pots are generally heads up or 3-handed affairs. It’s not like games at the Palace where every pot is contested with 5+ players. Games like that have high variance. When every pot is heads up or short-handed, the variance should actually be less severe. But I have had the opposite experience this year. Clearly. The vast majority of the time I have been in a heads up pot with a strong hand at Fortune, I have found a way to lose – and it has been messing with my head.

I don’t really plan to increase my volume at Fortune going forward, but it does seem like I should try to play there at least twice a month. One thing is for sure: I definitely need to get this monkey off my back… with a signature Dark Knight huge win!

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