Marathon Monday? Does the Santa Claus Game Live? (Live Blog)

December 17, 2018

I guess we will find out. Thanks in part to traveling plans from both Radio Mike and myself, the game has not gone since the 26th of November, a solid three weeks ago. These things happen, but the overall lack of interest last week is what is most concerning. We were never even close to starting a game.

There are currently 7 names on the list for today which is more than we ever had last week and I know that Chief Wiggum and Radio Mike will be there at noon and willing to start short-handed. I guess we shall see what happens.

Saturday I said I was going to play at Fortune and I did end up going out there. When I arrived they had all 15 tables full of games and only one 20/40 game running. That was super bad news. I was like 6th on the list and the one game going didn’t look super appealing. Still, we drove all that way to play some poker.

Against my better judgement, I sat down in the 1/3 no limit game while waiting for a seat in something I actually wanted to play. When I’m warming up though, I would rather play in something of little consequence – i.e. 4/8 Hold’em or Omaha. Something that will have little affect on my results for the day. While the NL game is relatively small, I always seem to get involved in pots for my entire stack. I guess I don’t have much of a small ball style and the fluctuations, even in the short amount of time I usually play, are more than I’m looking for in a warm-up.

Case in point: super active and aggressive player opens to $12 and a loose, somewhat aggressive player calls on the button. I look down at AK of spades and make it $46 to go. The opener folds but the button calls. Stack sizes are $300 effective to start the hand.

Flop is 542 rainbow, but no spade. It’s a bad flop for my actual hand, but my range consists of a lot of overpairs, so it’s a good flop for my range. Also, I think his range is not going to be very pair heavy. I saw him 3-bet this same opener and then get 66 bigs in pre with 88. He was up against AA that hand, so maybe he will play his medium pairs less aggressively after coming so close to punting $200 (he flopped a set), but considering his opponent was raising basically every hand, I thought both his 3-bet with 88 and stack off were plenty reasonably. So if he’s 3-betting 88+, he’s not hitting this flop very often, and I’m not sure he would call $46 pre with 22-55, but it’s certainly possible. So I have a range advantage here and I also think my opponent might take stabs with little equity if I check to him. So I check and he bets $85. I jam for $253. He tanks forever… long enough for me to put multiple things on my Amazon wish list. Unfortunately, he comes out of it with a call.

The turn is a 7 and the river is a queen and I assume my AK high is probably not going to win this pot. I am right. He has 76 and I’m felted.

I’ve done the math on this spot and he is correct to call it off here. Pot is $442 and it costs him $168 more to call, so he’s getting 2.63 to 1 and needs about 27.5% equity to break even. Against my actual hand, he’s a favorite here – assuming he’s suited with a backdoor flush draw (I can’t remember). But even if he’s offsuit, it’s basically a coin flip.

Even when I’m at the top of my range (i.e. over pair with a flush blocker), he still has over 36% equity.

I still like my line a lot here. He’s basically stabbing with the top of his whiffing range and if he’s betting this hand when he’s so likely to get jammed on, it makes me think he would stab when he seemingly has little equity also and in those cases, I just win the pot right there.

I had another $200 in my pocket and I whittled that all the way down to like $130 and 4-bet jammed with 66 and lost a race with AK.

I waited about another hour for 20/40, but the game looked shitty to me and a second game wasn’t on the near horizon and when my wife asked if just wanted to leave, I pondered for a while, and decided that yes, I did want to leave.

So my day ended -$500 and I didn’t even play an hour of poker.

Yesterday was a day off for me and I spent it making beef stroganoff, cleaning and packing for our move, dabbling in some online poker, and continuing our mission to rewatch the entire “Game of Thrones” series before the final season in April.

12:39 PM: Welp. Not sure how much of a Marathon Monday this is going to be. This game got off to a very weak start. I am playing 5-handed with Frankenstein, Chief Wiggum, Radio Mike and a nitty reg – and we are not likely to get much traffic for this game for many hours.

Not sure what I will do if this game breaks. Maybe I will continue marathoning in 8/16. Maybe I will go to Fortune. Maybe I will go home and play online. Maybe I won’t play at all.

One hand of note so far: I’m the button straddle, Wiggum raises his big, I 4-bet with KJhh and he calls.

Flop is J95 with one heart. He check-raises me and I call.

Turn is a king and I get 3-bet after raising him. Eek. I guess I just call?

River is a blank and I call again and win showdown against AA.

Also of note, I finally started working on organizing all my poker posts. I have created pages for PLO cash games, tournaments, various cash games, rants, Marathon Mondays, and WSOP events. I’d link all of them but the WordPress app won’t let me. You can scroll down the right side of the page and see them for yourself. I have backlogged through October of this year.

1:03 PM: Sigh. The nit just took an 8/16 seat when it was his turn. We are now 4-handed and I can already hear Radio Mike wavering, literally: “do you guys want to do this?”

Part-Time with perfect part-timing! He makes us 5-handed just as the other three players are agreeing to convert to a new 8/16 game and fill the table up.

It seems like everyone else is still leaning towards converting but since they asked my opinion, I said I want to keep playing this game and I know Part-Time prefers it also.

Still, if we don’t pick up another player soon, I suspect we will wind up converting, especially if I’m winning. 😂

1:22 PM: We somehow picked up a 6th player and first time he’s on the button dealer tells him to put $20 out and he balks. Dealer says it’s mandatory and he replies: “Bullllshiiit. They might think it’s mandatory.”

That’s because it is, pal.

I have a feeling this guy might not be here long. I’ll set the over/under at 30 minutes.

1:44 PM: 7-handed! This game might actually make it.

2:20 PM: Amazing. The game is full. I am running pretty shitty so far, whiffing straight draws, bricking with AQ multiple times, and losing with QQ to A9.

In other bad news, the 8/16 game is on the verge of collapse. While this might seem irrelevant, it is bad for this game, because it will be the scapegoat for why 8/16 is breaking so early.

It’s probably true, but it’s also pretty annoying because half this table wouldn’t even be here right now if the 10/20 wasn’t running. We started this thing 5-handed and kept it going 4-handed. The 8/16 players won’t even play 7-handed. And therein lies the real problem. If they were willing to play short-handed the games could coexist long enough for both of them to fill up, but they won’t… so it’s the red chip game’s fault.


Shit Man and Joker are in the game now.

Here’s a hand that had a very unexpected result: I’m the button straddle with T3 of spades and there are four callers to me. I check.

Flop is A52 with two spades. The small blind leads, Shit Man calls, Wiggum calls, and I raise. Here’s where things get funny: the flop bettor folds, Shit Man calls, and Wiggum folds! Unreal. Shit Man should have the weakest range of all three, so I can already feel that I won’t have to improve to win this pot.

Sure enough, turn is the queen of diamonds and he just check-folds.

2:44 PM: Not that Shit Man is a good candidate to run bluffs on. He’s the straddle and it folds to me in the hi-jack, so I pop it with J9ss and triple barrel on A8728 and he calls me down with 73.

3:36 PM: Straddle with 87o and there’s a raise and callers in front of me.

Flop is A72 rainbow. Checks to me, I bet and only Shit Man calls.

He wins with 96… because I make two pair on the turn and he rivers a 5.

Uh. Okay.

4:25 PM: Oh my God. I’m in the torture chamber. I haven’t won a pot since getting that semi-bluff through over two hours ago – and it’s not like I was running good before that.

My image is HORRIBLE right now. Lots of good starters + multi-way action + whiffing every board = maniac image.

I finally decided to run with one of my airballs. I 4-bet with AJ after Joker 3s and Frankenstein call.

With five of us in there, Frankenstein donks on 775 with two spades and since I’m always continuing (with ace of spades in my hand, and I’m repping an overpair, and I’m next to act… I raise it and clear out the rest of the field. He calls.

Turn is a great card for my range: a king. So now a decent portion of hands I was bluffing with (AK, KQ, KJs, KTs) are ahead of his likely medium pair. He check-calls again though.

I’m planning to give up on blank rivers, but I will be betting any face card or ace that doesn’t pair the board… because that card further strengthens my range. It’s a ten. So I bet and he calls with 88.


I knew it was unlikely to get through since I haven’t shown down a winner in hours – and believe me, people actually make strategic decisions based on their opponent’s variance. For instance, if I was crushing the game today, I think he would be far more likely to fold 88 here.

But alas, I am showing down very few winners, so my fold equity is extremely low right now. I might as well just save the damn bets.

I am now down approximately $650.

5:50 PM: I don’t have much of note to add since my last update – I’m down a little bit and I reloaded – but the game is very alive and well. We are currently full again with four names on the list. Plus 8/16 started again and has a list of its own. Perfect harmony!

7:02 PM: Ugh. For the second time in four days I had an insulin pump emergency. In three years of using the Omnipod, this incident was a first for me. I changed my pod, filled a new one up with 150 units of insulin, activated it, then sat back down at the table, gave myself a bolus… but instead of giving myself a bolus, I accidentally deactived my pump.

And that’s that. Once you deactivate a pump it cannot be used. So my pump was wasted. 150 units of insulin wasted. And I didn’t have a replacement with me.

So I had to drive home and get one… and hope I didn’t get picked up in the meantime. So I took off after my straddle to maximize my time away from the table… but then I forgot my phone and had to come back and get it.

I made it back in time. Unfortunately, my status in the game was never in any jeopardy because there was no list when I took off and two players left while I was gone.

We are currently 7-handed. I experienced a minor rush right before I left, but I wasn’t able to really appreciate or document it because I was on hold with Omnipod customer service and thinking up a game plan.

Uh, so yeah… I’m just going to carry three extra pods around with me now.

Lesson learned.

9:45 PM: I have called my session early on account of burnout. Sometimes you just have to realize you are totally checked out to what’s going on and either rediscover your a-game or go home. I went with the latter option tonight… mostly because I had already played 9+ hours.

Final Score: -$1127

Commencing long overdue Blade Runner marathon.

PLO on Wednesday.

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