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Marathon Monday: The Santa Claus Game – $10/$20 Limit Hold’em with Mississippi Straddles!

November 5, 2018

I mentioned The Santa Claus Game in my last blog and I said “more on that later” so now I will go ahead and explain what I was referencing. If you follow my blog, you should be aware of the player I call Santa Claus. I started calling him that because it feels like Christmas whenever he’s at the table, as he loves nothing more than putting in as many chips as possible with whatever he happens to have and he really seems to find joy in spreading his chips around… as long as people are gambling with him. Santa doesn’t like to play by himself. He wants everyone at the table to play like he’s playing. In fact, lately, Santa Claus has been more of a Krampus, lashing out at players that don’t want to straddle at every opportunity.

I think that’s how this game started at Palace. Somehow Santa talked The Man into hosting a weekly game that requires an automatic straddle from the button – the Mississippi straddle. This game starts at noon on Mondays. For the first two weeks it was an 8/16 game, but today it will be a 10/20 game because last week the normal 8/16 died pretty early on Monday and it really isn’t fair to the regular 8/16 players (that don’t want to straddle every button) if they suddenly don’t have a game to play in on Monday nights. So now The Santa Claus Game is ever so slightly bigger in an effort to have two distinct limits that attract different player groups.

I don’t think the general playing public really understands how much bigger a straddle game plays compared to a non-straddle game. Nothing illustrates this point quite like my first session in The Santa Claus Game. I bought in for $800 – an amount most people would probably find excessive – and after 40 minutes in that first straddle session I had $100 in front of me. I was stuck $700 in 40 minutes! That’s an extreme case, but fluctuating $400 an hour in a game this volatile will be common. I would imagine the average 8/16 player finds it alarming (and they shouldn’t) if they lose $200 in a single hour.

My point is that straddle games play substantially bigger than a non-straddle game at the same limit. An 8/16 straddle game shouldn’t be cannibalizing the regular 8/16 game… in theory. But I can see how people that normally wouldn’t play bigger than 8/16 would think a straddle game wouldn’t be a big leap. But it really is. Anyways, it will be 10/20 today in the hopes that it creates a more distinct group of players and both limits can run congruently.

I last blogged about my play on Wednesday, so I will give a brief update on what’s happened since then. It is worth mentioning that the overall quality of the pot limit Omaha game at Palace has taken a massive hit. The start of that game used to be populated by The Crypt Keeper, myself, and a rotating cast of recreational Hold’em players. It was a beautiful thing. Now the same players are starting every session and there are six regulars that are nitty, tight-solid, or tough, and that doesn’t even include Lee Markholt, a seasoned pro that has been coming in the past several weeks on a regular basis. That’s six players starting the game most days that I don’t even really want to play with. Not that I feel outclassed, it just ruins the quality of the game and I’m sure will have a huge affect on my bottom line. PLO started at the Palace sometime last spring and over the past 18 months or so, I have produced a $100/hour win rate in this game. It’s insane. I thought it was totally unsustainable, but here we are, a year and a half later. But if the same seven above average players are going to be starting every game, that win rate will obvious take a hit because the loose players will only have two seats to occupy.

With that said, I showed up to Palace early on Thursday with plans on putting in a marathon session. With PLO starting at 6 PM and fizzling out early on Wednesday night, I wanted to make sure I was getting my hours in. So I started playing 8/16 around noon and I’d make a decision later if I was going to play PLO or not, depending on the lineup.

The 8/16 session was one of my all-time worst. It was going so poorly, I started scrolling through my records to see where it might place historically. As far as 8/16 is concerned, I have one -$1849 session that is a total anomaly. It is my worst performance ever, by a long shot. To put that massive number in perspective, prior to last Thursday I had played 440 sessions of 8/16 lifetime and I had only lost $1000 or more five times total. I was down over five racks when I started looking up these stats and I discovered that I hadn’t lost $1000 in an 8/16 game in almost two years.

Well, I finished at -$1250, which ranks 439th out of the 441 sessions of 8/16 I have played in my life. It was my third worst performance ever!

The PLO lineup was as bad as I thought it was going to be, so I didn’t hop in that game immediately. I continued playing 8/16 and getting punished well past 6 PM. Then His Airness walked in the building and put his name up for PLO and so did I.

I got in the game a little after 9 PM, at the exact same time as His Airness. So I sat down in a big bet game already down $1250 for the day.

With just under $1000 in front of me, early in the session, this hand came up:

Someone raised to $15 and there were two calls in front of me. I made a pot-sweetening raise to $40 with a single-suited AAQ5. I think this play has merit as max-raising telegraphs my hand and doesn’t get enough money in the pot preflop. It’s tough to play postflop when your opponents know half your hand and there is significant money behind. But by making a smaller raise, I can potentially clear some players behind me, put more money in the pot with a suited aces hand, and not give away my hand, as this play makes sense with a much wider range than just aces. It folds to The Crypt Keeper and he makes it $150, which caps the preflop betting. The first three players fold, but I obviously call.

The flop is T33 rainbow, about as good a board as possible that doesn’t improve my hand. TCK checks to me and I decide to bet the $300 max. He ends up tanking for what felt like two minutes and eventually shrugs like he’s going to go with his KK or QQ hand here and play for stacks by making it $600. I immediately put the rest of my chips in and he visibly flinches in pain, confirming my beliefs about his hand strength. After discussing these situations on Twitter with noted PLO author Jeff Hwang, I’ve determined to always let my opponent decide how many times to run it after we get all in, so that I’m not seen as someone that makes that decision based on my own hand strength. So when the dealer asks, I say, “whatever he wants to do, once?” because The Crypt Keeper almost always runs it once, but he decides he wants to run this one twice. Okay, fine by me.

The dealer starts running out the first board and I let him know I have aces and he says, “aces no good” and tables AA3x, for flopped trips. So I’m basically drawing dead in this $2000+ pot, already stuck $1250 for the day. The first board is a whiff and I’ve already mentally lost the pot when I noticed that the jack and king runout on the second board gives me a straight.

It’s good for half. What an escape. Holy shit.

I suppose I have to give The Crypt Keeper some credit here, even though it comes with an asterisk. His acting job on the flop totally sold me on his hand strength. Realistically, once we each get $150 in pre, there’s no way he’s ever folding after flopping trips. So when he tanked for literally two minutes, he had nothing to think about. Not really. Maybe to think about the best way to get all the chips in, but his two minute tank was nothing short of excessive. While it convinced me that I had the best hand, I probably would have been just as convinced after 30 seconds. Set a timer for two minutes and imagine you’re waiting for your opponent to act on his hand. It’s an eternity. For him to turn over the best hand in that spot is kind of bad form.

Anyways, I’m convinced that he only ran it twice because I jammed over his flop raise so fast he was convinced I had TT or T3 in my hand and wanted to run the board an extra time to give himself a better chance of getting half the pot back. So maybe that second board was karma for the excessive tank and trying to exploit the situation by running it twice because he actually thought he was behind in the hand? If he had TT here, he would never run it twice, so I can’t help but chuckle at the irony. Good decision, bud!

So instead of punting another $700 (my initial buy in) and being stuck almost $2000 for the day, I still had life. That life turned into a +$1422 session and an overall profitable day, an amazing achievement considering my historically bad 8/16 session and one of my best comebacks ever.

I’ll also note that one of the nitty PLO players was clearly stuck when I got in the game. He sure played different after having his nose busted open. He was in almost every pot and was raising and 3-betting with the frequency of someone that was clearly desperate. This is a dude that is so tight and predictable that someone correctly folded quad nines against him on a TT299 board the night previous. I don’t know how much he was down before I got in the game, but he lost around $3000 that I saw. It was a performance that certainly makes me feel differently about his presence in the game. Anyone that can come off the hinges like that and blast off $4000 or so is a welcome sight.

I was still playing 4-handed with His Airness, Twinkie, and a LAG regular at 2:15 AM, 14 hours deep into my workday, when the men’s bathroom at Palace started flooding so badly water was literally rushing into the lobby and out the front doors. So management had to kick everyone out of the building, which is a damn shame because His Airness still had over $1500 in front of him and he wasn’t planning on leaving with it.

Friday was a signature Dark Knight performance: I went +$1069 in 4.5 hours of 8/16 and then +$871 in 5+ hours of 15/30 with 25/50 Overs. That session broke a horrible losing streak in limit Hold’em. For simplicity’s sake, when I play LHE, I consider the entire day one single session. Prior to Friday, I had ten straight losing sessions of LHE, which is likely my longest stretch of all-time. I went -$4447 over that period (LHE only – I had winning PLO sessions and won a Big O tournament), so it was nice to get almost half of that back in a single day. I had forgotten what it was like to show down a winner or hit a draw in limit Hold’em.

Saturday we spent at my parents’ house watching the Breeder’s Cup with my dad and celebrating his birthday. I played some PLO online when I got home while marathoning “Making A Murderer season 2 on Netflix with The Leak. I ended up +$574.43 playing $0.50-$1 PLO for 8.5 hours.

Last night I made the poor decision of heading to Palace to play poker when I didn’t really want to play poker. I did need to pick up one of our cars we had left there over the weekend, so I had to go there anyway, but after being -$360 in 5+ hours and realizing I wasn’t going to be playing much longer anyway, I decided not to reload and call it an early night so I could be fresh for today’s marathon session.

I will be heading to the gym now and ready to play at noon!

11:54 AM: Waiting for the game to start now. I will have a starting lineup shortly but the game will be full! Leggo!

12:05 PM: Starting lineup: 8/16 reg, Fortune floor that has the name NoHair in some circles, Chief Wiggum, Radio Mike, SUPER DAVE, 8/16 reg, 8/16 reg, and Part-Time.

Rosanne is second on the list, so there’s potential for two of the biggest maniacs in Palace history to both be in this game at the same time. Super Dave doesn’t get in super deep and usually plays short sessions so it probably won’t happen, but we can dream!

12:24 PM: Super Dave is tilting the table – especially Radio Mike – showing down monsters like T6o that flop trips after he 4-bets preflop. The good news is he has over $1k now. The bad news is I have put money in the pot outside the straddle only twice and I am still searching for Pot A.

12:41 PM: Pot A! Radio Mike and, more importantly, Super Dave are both away from the table. I straddle on the button and everyone folds!

Okay. Now that I got that out of the way, I’m looking for a real Pot A.

Radio Mike just called Super Dave’s river bet on an ace high board with second pair and won showdown against king high. I’ve never seen someone look so pleased with themselves.

12:44 PM: SB and Super Dave call the straddle and I 3-bet with KJcc. Part-Time defends and so do the other two.

Flop is T94 with two clubs and they all call my cbet.

Turn is a blank and we all check.

River pairs the board with one of the small cards and I call Super Dave’s bet with king high, even though there are still two players behind me. Part-Time basically never has a pair here, so I’m not worried about that. If he has ace high, he will probably think I have a better one. The small blind can have a 4 here, but that’s about her max strength. You can argue a raise here, but I don’t expect an overcall very often and Super Dave will never fold a better hand.

I call, the others fold, and I’m good against queen high for a real Pot A!

Just got a flurry of bets in with TT until my opponent was all in on the 433ss flop and he rivered a flush with 95ss, taking 3-bets to the face from under the gun.

Well done, sir.

1:12 PM: I’ve had a flurry of good hands and have been in action a lot.

Most notably:

3-bet KK and four of us see the 942 two heart one club flop. I bet and get called twice.

Turn pairs the 2 with a club and now the lady that called 3-bets cold from middle position raises me and everyone else folds. I think she’s capable of having a 2 here and 99 and 44 are concerns, but this feels like a spot where I’m still ahead most of the time. I guess I’m just not buying it. I 3-bet and I’m happy to see that she just calls.

River is a blank and she folds to my bet and angrily flashes KJ of hearts.

1:40 PM: The list has Rosanne, John Stockton, Big Baby, and Joker on it.

There will be no shortage of action this afternoon.

2:05 PM: I 3-bet QQ from SB and Radio Mike 4-bets it. Two other players call, including Super Dave, and I’m very tempted to cap with his loose money in there, but Mike’s range is super narrow and I don’t want to narrow my range by capping, so I call.

Flop is KK5 and my plan is to check-call down here unimproved, so that’s my action on the flop.

The turn double pairs the board and I’m a bit bewildered to see Radio Mike check and then Super Dave shows some restraint and also checks.

The river is an 8 and this is probably a bet but I guess it’s one of those things where I sense danger. I check, Mike bets, Super Dave raises and unfortunately I have to call this off. Mike can have TT or JJ and Super Dave could have any two cards.

I call and say to Mike: “I hope you don’t have aces.” But he does. He does, gosh dammit. Super Dave has T8 which is good for exactly 0% of the pot.

Super Dave is out and is replaced by an 8/16 regular I am shocked to see actually take a seat. Rosanne passed. ๐Ÿ˜ข

2:47 PM: Part-Time is out. The 8/16 reg I was surprised to see sit down played one orbit and is gone. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Nice showing, pal. I’m sorry you couldn’t hit and run us for $500 or whatever you were hoping for.

John Stockton and Big Baby are in.

Joker is now first up which is annoying. I was hoping to lock him out until at least 6 PM. BUT Santa Claus himself is second up as a call in.

3:30 PM: As the betting is getting capped at $50 preflop multiple ways, Radio Mike says to the dealer: “I need a good flop.” I do something rare and ask for a root and he shows me the AT of hearts.

Flop is 877 with two hearts. John Stockton leads out, someone calls, and Radio Mike flats also. There might be another caller.

Turn is the jack of hearts. Bink! John Stockton bets and Radio Mike ends up raising. John Stockton reraises and Mike calls.

I’m sitting there thinking about how much more I would have made on this hand, but the river goes bet and call after a fourth heart and Stockton shows down JJ.

Sometimes when you’re running ultra bad, as Radio Mike has been, you just know you are losing every hand.

3:39 PM: Joker’s first hand he takes $30 cold to the fucking dome from the cutoff and as he’s getting trapped for 3-bets on the flop, I note, with a splash of glee, “Joker is getting violated on his first hand.”

The board on the turn is 887T and after a bet and a call or two Joker raises and says to me: “welcome to the game, buddy” as a boast about the massive pot he’s about to win.

I say, “don’t do it” to the dealer, trying to will him to bring someone else a winner on the river and Joker responds, “It’s going to be an 8. I guarantee it.”

Turn action completes and the river is a third 8! Amazing. The player in seat one leads out and both Big Baby and Joker flash their J9s in disgust and fold. Seat one wins with AA.

Almost too good to be true and yet it was.

4:09 PM: Since I haven’t posted a hand in a while, I’ll give NoHair some play.

I 3-bet with 99 from early position and he 4-bets.

I call down on KK5Q7 and he shows 77.

Hey, that’s how Josh Beckley crippled me late in the $1500 Limit Hold’em tournament at the 2016 WSOP! Except I had TT.

Great memories.

4:23 PM: Eek. The Santa Claus Game is in the danger zone. We are currently 7-handed with Radio Mike threatening to leave at 4:45 like a true asshole.

It would be a tragedy if this game were to break before the post-dinner rush, but… its sketchy right now.

Santa Claus has been up as a call in for almost two hours now and even called to say he was close… but that was actually quite some time ago.

4:30 PM: Ho ho ho! It’s Christmas time! Santa Claus is here!

But first: I’m the straddle on the button and only the big blind calls. I 3-bet with red kings and she calls.

Flop is 752 all diamonds and she check-calls.

Turn is a black king, giving me top set and the second nut flush draw. I’m prepared to 3-bet if I get check-raised here, but she just calls again.

River is a black ace and now she donks out. I’m obviously raising here, but my decision after getting 3-bet is much less standard. I am ruling out flushes… for the most part.

Then I start thinking about the ole 43 and it brings a grimace to my face because I feel like I should be capping here most of the time, but her line is pretty consistent with a straight. Maybe she has aces up sometimes, but the 43 and remote possibility she has a flush have me thinking I may be actually be beat here. I call and she shows 43 of hearts.

Sheesh.

5:06 PM: I’m not having a terrible session, but I can’t get any real traction because shit like this keeps happening:

I’m the straddle with QJo, there are some calls and Stockton makes it 3-bets and we al call.

Flop is J53 and I raise when Stockton bets and that gets us heads up, but he 3-bets and I’m in call down mode until…

…the turn is a queen and now I jack him up again and cap it when he 3-bets because I really think he plays KK and AA like this.

River is a king and I bet after he checks even though it improves KK and random spazz hands like KJ and KQ. I think it’s pretty close but I lean towards bet after getting checked to again. He calls and I lose to 55.

5:22 PM: And this:

Joker is on the straddle, I 3-bet small blind with JJ, s1 calls, Big Baby 4-bets, and Joker 5-bets. We all call.

Flop is J52 with two diamonds and I elect to lead out, Big Baby is all in for $15 and Joker makes it $25, I just call and we are heads up on the side.

Turn is a 4 and I check-raise Joker. He folds TT face up and I have to fade Big Baby’s 73dd.

River ace of diamonds.

Sigh.

And this:

I 3-bet KT from MP, button and Big Baby in the big blind call.

Flop is 975 and I’m waiting for Big Baby to act and he looks likes he’s checking, so I check, but he’s actually power folding which makes me sad as it checks around and he gets to see the turn for free.

It’s a jack and now I bet and the button raises me. This is the same lady that raised me on the turn with a flush draw, so after she checks back flop, I think she’s draw heavy here. I’m planning to call down on brick rivers.

However, I have a straight draw myself and the 8 on the river fills it in. I bet and then call her raise and she shows QT.

More sigh.

5:59 PM: Getting close to even so obviously I get five bets in pre with TT and lose to 72o.

6:11 PM: The game has survived the late afternoon lull. We were 6-handed at one point and Santa was legitimately concerned that there weren’t enough kids around to hand out presents to.

We are now full with two on the list and steady traffic on the horizon.

I somehow have the slightest bit of sugar. It seems like I’m getting clobbered because I keep losing in shocking fashion with the top of my range, but I’ve had some key suckouts, particularly from the straddle.

One time I got stair-stepped into 5-bets with A9cc and called down on Q7658 and got to raise the river.

Then Joker tried to blow me out on a flop of A72 when I had 87o on the button, but it was 3-bets pre 5-ways and I was getting almost 10 to 1 with a pair so I stuck in the $20 and smacked the 7, getting paid off in two spots on turn and river.

6:44 PM: Santa Claus Game Special: there are multiple calls in front of me, so I just call with AJo in middle position and it winds up getting 5-bet… nine ways. There is $450 in the pot of this 10/20 game before the flop.

Flop is Q43 with two diamonds and I have no intentions of folding the Ad in this monster pot, so I wind calling three bets with my nothing and like seven of us see the turn.

The turn is an ace. Yes! I have life at this behemoth. Bet and calls in front of me. There is no real value or protection to be had here, so I just call, praying to show down a winner. Six of us see the river.

It’s even better: a jack! I love my hand now and I will bet if it checks to me, but the flop and turn aggressor checks and John Stockton bets on my immediate right. It is clearly better to call here and let everyone behind me call than it is to raise so that’s what I do and the lady that has been crushing me all day raises it. Stockton calls and so do I. She shows the nut straight.

Just a $900 pot. No big deal. I didn’t really want it anyway.

7:01 PM: $40 in 6-ways with the ole ace and king. Flop is beautiful: K72. I get called in all five spots and again on the turn and decide to showdown on the river with five opponents. I lose to Santa Claus’ 95dd, which makes a running two pair.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

7:37 PM: Big Baby raises my straddle from the small blind, lady calls and I 4-bet with AQss. They both call.

Flop is KQT one spade and they both check-call.

Turn is the jack of spades, giving me the the nuts with a Royal Flush draw. I bet and the lady check-raises me, I 3-bet and I’m muttering, “please 4-bet me” and she doesn’t disappoint. What can go wrong here with your naked ace that I obviously have too?

Unfortunately the river is the 4d and I have to chop with A6dd.

Goodness! Let her punish herself one time!

7:46 PM: First off, Frankenstein is in the game. Good to see I’m not wasting another good nickname.

Second off, I 3-bet KQo from the big, Bingo Man and the straddle both call.

Flop is Q65 rainbow and they both call my bet.

Turn is the jack of hearts, making a flush draw possible. I decide to balance my checking range by checking here and I raise when the button bets. Bingo Man calls $40 cold and the button also calls.

The river is the 9 of hearts so the only draws that get there are the best straight draw on the flop (87), the best straight draw on the turn (KT), and the backdoor flush draw. Or in other words, all the draws get there. I check and it checks around. Somehow I’m good here.

8:54 PM: A classic Dark Knight vs Joker battle:

Joker is the straddle and I’m in the small blind with K3 of spades and decide to call because the table has been playing loose-passive and I think I can see the flop for two bets here a lot. Only the big blind calls and the three of us see the flop.

It is AJ5 with one spade. We both check and it checks to Joker and he bets, which is laughable. I make a mistake and just call because I think a check-raise won’t be believable from me but I would check-raise a jack here, plus I can have small suited aces and sets of 5s in my range, so raising actually has merit. But I call and we go heads up to a turn.

It is the jack of spades and now I’m torn because I have a hand I can showdown unimproved and I certainly have a hand that can check-raise. If Joker is airballing he has four outs and I don’t think he has broadway hands very often after checking when only the two blinds call. That’s not really much equity to be concerned about, so I think calling down is fine here.

River is a ten and I stick with my check-calling plan and he shows T8o.

SIGH.

Back to basically even after getting up to around +$400 again.

Also, I edited the update at 5:22 PM after being told I didn’t include the flop cards in one of the hands I posted.

9:18 PM: Frankenstein drove from Gig Harbor, won $500, and left after one hour of play. He is literally going to spend more time driving to and from the casino than he did playing in the game.

9:56 PM: As the game starts crumbling, so am I. I’ve had a bunch of suited broadway hands over the last hour that has amounted to zero winners and a downward spiral. Mostly I’m just whiffing, but I did hit the flop once.

Dude 3-bets and I 4-bet with KJhh. We are at least 3-handed to the flop and the preflop 3-bettor donks out on J76 and I raise. We are heads up and he donks again on the 9 turn. I just call now. River is an 8 and now he checks. I’m perplexed but it seems like I have the best hand. However, I’m not convinced enough to bet so I check back and he shows J8.

I am now stuck $300 and we are 6-handed.

10:13 PM: Oh my God, I’m getting demolished and I’m holding back tears of pain after this last hand.

I 3-bet TT from the big, there’s a call and Big Baby 4-bets the button. I 5-bet.

I bet every street on Q95hhd6h6d and Big Baby suddenly raises me on the river. It seems like I’m beat and I should never be good here, but I have to see it. I just have to. I was so certain I had the best hand before the river so how am I losing now? I pay it off and he shows me K6 of clubs.

What in the FUCK is going on? It’s a fucking bloodbath. I am now working on -$800 and we are 5-handed.

10:23 PM: I’m at max pain but I took a walk around outside and did some deep breathing to collect myself and have gone full reload for another $1k. Big Baby is in super punt mode (obv) and has over $1600, so I can’t throw in the towel. I have to fight.

If he leaves I’m fucking out though. And I’m probably running something over with my car.

We are playing 5-handed so I’m mostly going to stop updating unless something happens I absolutely have to mention.

10:39 PM: Joker finally says, “I’m tilting right now” and I snap back: “Oh, you’re on tilt?” because I obviously have a monopoly on that right now.

And then: “I wonder if they can even see us through all the steam coming off us right now. Can you guys see us? I think they think they are playing 3-handed.”

10:45 PM: KK dusted by Joker’s K8 of clubs. He found someone he can beat. I still haven’t.

10:51 PM: Joker 3-bets cutoff. I defend straddle with ATo with Big Baby already putting in two bets.

Flop is AQQ and I check back after Big Baby power folds and Joker checks.

Then I call down on AQQ39 runout and he shows me Q3 of spades because I’M NOT ALLOWED TO FUCKING WIN RIGHT NOW.

11:08 PM: They somehow let me win a 4-bet multi-way pot with QQ on a final board of 98376. What a relief. It is the first hand I have won in over an hour of super high variance 5-handed poker. And it’s not like I haven’t had hands. It has been BRUTAL.

I checked the time stamps and I lost $1200 in an hour there.

11:27 PM: Uhm. The game is over. I’m still sitting here in disbelief. I can’t even believe what just happened. At 9:56 I had a stretch that took me from about even to -$300 and by 11:15 when the game broke I was at -$1714 for the day.

I can’t fathom it. I was running so good before the flop. I probably had medium or big pair, suited broadways, or big aces around 20 times during this rough 100 minute stretch and I showed down one winner.

I’m pretty sure the last hour we played is the worst hour of poker I’ve ever had. I basically lost $1500 over the last 60 minutes.

It reminds me of my worst 4/8 session of all-time. I’ve probably mentioned it long ago, but what happened was I was in Pendleton, Oregon for their round up series (which happens to be going on right now) and I was playing in a 4/8 automatic straddle game with a full kill. I had a stretch where I went three hours under these conditions without winning a pot… while playing 5-handed. I lost just over $900. I have TONS of 4/8 sessions under my belt – probably more than any other limit – and my next worst session was -$530. That’s quite the anomaly.

Well, this felt a lot like that did. It was very similar. 5-handed, auto straddle and no winning. The big difference is tonight I had tons of good hands in that last hour, so I wasn’t just ice cold, I was losing big pot after big pot.

Ugh. It feels so damn gross. I was off to a good start this month and immediately post an unbelievably brutal result.

I was fluctuating between +$400 and -$200 basically all day and my wife kept checking in periodically. I was about the same when she went to sleep for the night. She is not going to believe it when I tell her I lost $1700+ tonight.

Jesus, I don’t believe it. I’m still sitting here 30 minutes after the game broke with $286 in chips in front of me.

Uh, I guess that’s it for tonight. I’ll be very happy to not play poker tomorrow after this bludgeoning. I’m going to watch Bohemian Rhapsody in the AM before heading to Seattle for the University of Washington Huskies home opener against Western Kentucky.

What a catastrophe.

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