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WSOPc @ The Bike – $400 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

December 4, 2018

My apologies. I’ve been a bit blog-lite this past week. I played a very truncated PLO session on Wednesday and then I ended up taking Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday completely off, as I’ve been busy starting the process of buying a new house and spending time with my wife before traveling to Los Angeles yesterday.

I did play nine hours at Fortune on Friday and I initially kept some notes thinking I might blog some hands later but I wound up having a pretty epic stretch of being card dead before losing with all my playable hands for most of the night. I was down between $800 and $1200 basically the whole session before heating up right as I was planning to leave. I somehow salvaged a +$42 day. I’ll take it.

That brings my win rate in the Fortune 20/40 game up to a respectable -$93/hour in 2018. To be fair though, my total 2018 volume in that game amounts to about 1.25 weeks of play – and I’ve had plenty of terrible weeks in my time, so it’s nothing to be discouraged about.

I arrived in L.A. around 3 PM and a friend from high school picked me up from LAX and we headed to The Bike to watch Monday Night Football and catch up with each other, so I didn’t get in a poker game until around 8:45 PM, which is a super late start for me.

I was debating what limit I wanted to play because I typically play down when I know I’m going to be playing a shorter session than usual and I wasn’t about to play until 5 AM. But I swallowed the “it’s all one long session” pill and sat in the 20/40 game.

Again, I was insanely card dead. I raised some hands on the button and 3-bet from the small blind against a button open a couple of times, but nearly 3.5 hours deep into my session I realized I had played about five hands total outside of those wider range spots.

My image was mega-nit. And yet, I couldn’t get a big blind defend to fold 84o on K74QK when I had AJ. Granted, I saved the third barrel on the river, but I didn’t think a board-pairing card was going to get a fold from any pairs he had and I beat all his missed draws anyway… but so went my session.

My only notable pot was capped 4-ways preflop with AKss and getting called down by two players on K94ccJc6. That was the highlight of my night.

I finished at -$369 after just over four hours of play.

But I ran into Sandman who was playing in the short-handed 40/80 game and after my feeder game died and I quit, we sat around and bullshitted for an absurd 2+ hours.

So today is the last flight of the $400 no limit hold’em event in the World Series of Poker Circuit series going on at The Bike this week. I honestly have no clue what any of the structure looks like. I’m just going to show up at 4 PM and go for it.

I will post stack updates here and some key pots. The HORSE tournament I’m playing tomorrow also doesn’t start until 4 PM, so if I don’t go super deep in the Monster Stack I will definitely be hopping in some cash games tonight.

4:12 PM: Fought through traffic and am a bit late. Particulars in a few. Comedian Norm MacDonald is in the field. I know this because the cage was gossiping about it as I was registering.

4:23 PM: 30k starting stacks with blinds starting at 25/50 and 30 minute levels. I haven’t looked at the actual blind structure, but I imagine it’s at least reasonably stair-stepped.

First hand at this table is 3-bet preflop and then 3-bet on a flop of J93hh with bets going in on turn and river on a final board of J93hh63h and the hands are KJo and QJo. 🤯

So very next hand I open 88 and get three callers. I bet 60% on 773cc flop and the guy with KJ the previous hand makes it 900. Yeah, I’m sure. After the display last hand I’m not inclined to do much folding here, so I call and end up calling down on a 773ccK2 runout and he showed me the KTo. Good job, dude.

He’s on my direct left so this could be annoying. But in my very small sample so far, he appears to be more likely to be a punter than an adept LAG crusher. TBD.

4:43 PM: Well, this is cool. Really fucking cool. Dude on my right makes it 250 at 50/100, I call with 77, possible punter calls, and so does big blind.

Flop is 753 rainbow and when it checks to me it seems bad not to bet but I just know the guy on my left is betting, so I check. He bets 800, the big calls, and now the PFR makes it 2200 with about 13k to start with on the flop. I make it 5600, the other two fold, and he jams. I snap.

He turns over 65 of spades. Turn 4. River 8.

I also lost with JJ to the speeder when he had AK, so I now have 11,025 left of my 30k starting stack.

No justice.

I still have 100+ bigs, so lots of play left, plus I’m willing to fire two bullets in this thing… at least… but wtf. I’ve been playing 30 minutes and I’ve already fumbled a massive punt attempt. So annoying.

4:56 PM: Raise to 300 and call in front of me. I call with QJ suited and five of us see the Q74 two tone flop. It checks to me and I bet 1000, the possible punter makes it 2500 on the button and it folds back to me. I stuff it in his face and he says, “here’s your double up” and calls with Q9 of clubs which somehow doesn’t beat me.

Back up to 22.7k.

I don’t think I want to bust at this table. It seems pretty good.

5:53 PM: Middle position player limps, I make it 850 at 100/200 with QQ, punter calls, folds to MP and he jams for 17k!

So this guy is on his second bullet and came to the table saying he lost set under set. I’ve already seen him get picked off once and complain that no one folds at our table. Then a short while later, one player limped in and he just jams 17k on the button.

So… this jam is super fishy. I debate whether it’s better to fold and not play such a high variance spot when I have so many spewers at my table, but I can’t justify it. I call.

He tables 99.

Board runs out 87294.

Awesome.

I’m down to like 5500 after that.

Two hands later, there’s a limp, a raise to 700 and I have AJo. Honestly, jamming 25+ bigs here is a little spew, but I’m not looking to grind out this short stack when I can just rebuy if I bust, so I stuff it in there and the punter behind me, with zero chips invested in this pot, calls it cold. Everyone else folds.

I say, “well, you can’t call me with worse” as I table my hand.

He responds, “No, you have me crushed” and tables KJ of clubs.

QQ7KQ.

Good fucking game.

Whew.

I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty steamed up right now. I have four hours to re-enter and I can sit down with 150 bigs for the next 45+ minutes, but I’m not really sure I want to.

It’s a damn shame I can’t automatically sit at the same table. That shit was a gold mine.

I’m going to walk around for about 20 minutes and see if I still want to murder someone.

6:30 PM: Well, I was wavering on re-entering or not and the deciding factor was this Monster Stack tournament is going to stretch into Thursday if you go super deep.

As most of you that follow my blog know, I’m not one to target no limit hold’em events. The main reason I came here this week was to play the HORSE and O8 tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday.

Even though the prize pool for the Monster Stack is going to be substantially larger, I’d rather spend my time playing a mixed event. Plus, I have a way better chance of winning a ring in HORSE.

So I’m going to play cash tonight.

I’m currently debating whether I want to play 20/40 at The Bike or check out the 25/50 at Hustler or possibly the 20/40 mixed game at Hollywood Park if that game is running.

7:42 PM: Sandman and I took an Uber to Hollywood Park Casino. I’m taking a seat in 30/60 Mix with a rotation of Archie, Badeucy, Badugi, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razzdeucy, and Badacey.

This is probably not going to be a good game to live blog, so I may not be doing any updates for the rest of the night. I shall see. I’m sitting down with $2500.

8:01 PM: Good start. 3-bet 7542x with a tri (three to a Badugi) in Baduecy and wind up with a pair and no Badugi after three draws. 👍🏻

8:37 PM: Oh my goodness. The dealer abuse going on in this game is absurd. These guys obviously have very little experience dealing these very non-standard games and they are getting lit up with every mistake. It’s pretty frustrating.

It’s pretty cool all you pricks know how to play these games, but uh, it might take a few tries for a dealer that’s never dealt a game to figure it out – especially when it goes beyond “deal four cards face down.”

But… I’m in Inglewood… so I’m just going to sit here quietly. 🤐

9:30 PM: Sandman sits in the game and one of the players says, “there’s two of you now,” which I think is a statement that we are doppelgängers?

I’m running pretty below average so far. I’m starting good, holding like 80% of a near nut hand and bricking out in the 5 card games.

I just had 652Ax with a tri in Badacey and got three callers pre-draw and all three opponents drew three cards each. So I obviously got zero pieces of that one.

10:24 PM: Here’s a bet I would have lost: Sandman is younger than me. Not just younger than me, but substantially younger than me. Like 7 years. I thought he was my age. Maybe older. The guy doesn’t look a day older than 43 (I’m 36).

10:59 PM: Sandman and I are in Southern California. He’s wearing an LA Dodgers hat and I’m wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers hat. We are both from Seattle. No one else has Dodgers gear on.

Go figure.

Someone brought up the fact we have the same hat on and this somehow led to me blurting out, “I hate the Dodgers,” while wearing their hat… in Inglewood, California.

Probably not my best idea. I might as well waltz into Fenway with a Boston jersey on and say, “Fuck the Red Sox!”

I mean… it’s not that bad, but still… not smart.

11:27 PM: Here’s an Archie hand and let me preface this by saying I have almost zero clue what proper strategy is in this game. You are dealt five cards and there are three draws. You need 6s or better to qualify for high and an 8 or better or qualify for low. It’s a split pot game and you want to scoop.

One player limps and Sandman raises. I have QQ44x on the button. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do here. It’s a decent high hand but it has little scooping potential.

I decide to call though.

They both draw two and I draw one. That seems promising. So I call when Sandman bets and so does the other guy.

Sandman bets again and I call even though I bricked. So does the other player.

I make queens full on the second draw and on this street they both check-call me and draw two again.

It checks to me again after the last draw and I obviously bet. The original limper calls and Sandman folds. I table my hand and it’s a scooper but he looks flustered and turns over… AAA?

Wait… what? Did he limp in with three aces? Was he drawing to something else and end up making three aces? He drew two on every street, but he never showed any aggression. I’m not going to pretend like I have a good grasp on this game yet, but all of that seems weird to me.

That was my largest pot of the night so far and I have no clue if it was standard or a punt attempt I got lucky on.

🤷🏻‍♂️

11:51 PM: Praise Jesus. 2-7 Triple Draw, I open with 7542x, the button 3-bets, small blind calls, and I cap.

SB takes two, I take one, and button takes two.

I pair the 7, but I fire again and we draw 2, 1 and 1.

I pair the 7 again. Ugh. I still bet and this time I decide to stand pat after the SB draws one. This is called a snow, or in laymen’s terms, a bluff. I’ve seen three 7s already which drastically reduces the strong hands they can make. So I’m standing pat and bluffing, hoping they brick out.

The button ends up drawing one also and somehow I get two folds when I bet. Phew!

Sometimes when you can’t ever make your draws at the nuts you just have to pretend like you already have it.

I don’t know if that’s the greatest snowing spot, trying to fade two one card draws, but it worked!

2:35 PM: I’m basically done writing for the night but this hand is worth mentioning.

We are playing Badugi. Sandman opens in front of me, I 3-bet with A73x, and the guy on my left calls 3-bets cold. Sandman caps it.

Sandman stands pat, I take one, and the guy on my left draws three. THREE!

That’s all I really wanted to say, but I guess the rest of the hand is pretty interesting.

Sandman bets after the draw, I call unimproved and so does the third player.

Pat. One. THREE!

Sandman leads again, I call unimproved, and the other guy raises! Sandman calls. Eh. Not sure what to do here, but I decide to give it up. I should probably call. When Sandman just calls I’m probably drawing live against him and the other dude has obviously proven to be clueless and spewy in this game.

They both stand pat and action goes check check on the last round. The guy on my left made a rough ten and Sandman wins with a 9.

But if I was taking a drink of something I think I would have spit it out all over the table when that guy called three bets cold and then drew three. Holy shit.

4:07 PM: Not sure if playing that mix was the best use of my time. I finished -$259 in 8 hours of playing games I’m not proficient in. It was fun though. I like playing something different once in a while, but if my goal is to maximize my earn while I’m here… eh. I’m better off playing LHE, PLO, or O8.

HORSE @ 3 PM tomorrow. I’m good at all those games. Let’s get a RANG.

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