Archive for January, 2019

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$15/$30 Friday – 1/18/2019 (Live Blog)

January 18, 2019

I will have more info as the time comes, but it was confirmed to me today that Live at the Bike will take place on Wednesday starting at 5:30 PM, which I think means the stream will start at 6 PM.

The host told me his players usually show up early to play and drink before they get on the show, I’m guessing to increase the fun factor. It made me wonder if I told him I was eight and a half years sober if I’d still be allowed to play on the show?

I wonder…

$15/$30 Starting Lineup: Radio Mike, Ducky, Part-Time, non-reg, Flea, FanGirl, Master Splinter

14 names on the list and it looks like we are starting this game 8-handed somehow.

The Leak picked up AA vs KK on her first hand dealt in tonight and is still drawing live at the Coast-to-Coast Challenge. We are still waiting for our first completion.

I was under the gun for our first hand and Radio Mike was the big blind and we both lost after defending our blinds, so we are already out on the CtCC. Ducky is drawing live though.

4:25 PM: Ducky is out for The Challenge (it’s so hard!) but The Leak is still going.

Our game is full and the last player in is a maniac duck. I will refer to him as Daffy Duck for the remainder of this blog and maybe forever.

Just made top pair with a gut shot against Daffy’s AA and failed to improve so that was pretty nice.

I guess now is as good as time as any to mention that all nine players have Overs buttons for $25/$50 betting.

4:53 PM: Second round with Daffy Duck. I open with black aces, Ducky 3-bets in position and Daffy tags along. I decide to flat as is my custom when I get re-raised and I’m out of position, but with the hitchhiker, I should probably start capping in this spot more often. Maybe every time.

Flop is T84 with two hearts and a spade and I check-raise the flop and both players call.

The turn is a 9 of spades and this time I get check-raised by Daffy after Ducky folds. I call.

River pairs the 8 and I call his bet and win showdown against K7 of spades.

Maniac!

Very next hand I open with 77 with Part-Time and Flea calling.

Flop is A54 and Flea check-calls from the big blind.

He would raise an ace on the flop so when he leads on a queen turn, I’m not too worried about being beat. I ponder for a bit of raising is my best play as it denies equity to whatever he’s betting with and pretty much anything he can have has decent drawing chances against me, but I opt to just call down.

The river pairs the ace and that doesn’t dissuade him from continuing his ruse and I pick him off and he very slowly folds his cards face down.

5:21 PM: Dark Knight vs Daffy Duck, Round 3: You can never be too careful

Daffy opens and I defend with T7o. I fold this hand here against basically everyone else at the table, but against Daffy, I’m seeing a flop.

It’s pretty nice: QT7. I check-raise and he calls.

Turn is an 8 and we end up putting in four bets with Daffy capping it.

He’s definitely saying he has a better hand than me, so when the river puts a one card straight on the board with a 6, I’m in check-call mode. He shows pocket aces… because, you know, that is probably good here.

5:41 PM: One player limps, Radio Mike completes his small blind and I check with 86o.

Flop is A66 with two clubs, Mike leads right out, I raise and the limper cold calls $50 and three of us go to the turn.

The limper calls my bet with a 7 added to the board but Radio Mike drops out.

River fills me up with an 8, I bet and he pays me off wi- wait, what? He’s raising me? Tank time. I let a good 20 seconds go by thinking about this one and let him know: “this is a nit roll.” Even though my hand is super strong here, my instincts are leaning call . It’s weird he would open-limp any hand here from middle position but it’s not totally out of character. You’d think he’d raise hands like 88 and 77. I think limping any hand here is a mistake, but I don’t think he’s ever showing up with hands like K6 or Q6 suited here.

I can’t make sense of his range here, but he’s not a dumb player. I suspect he knows I have a six here so the fact that he’s raising me is cause for concern. I just call and he shows A6 suited.

6:11 PM: Coast-to-Coast update: The Leak is still going strong, sitting at +1.5 racks almost three hours into her session.

There’s been some debate on how many hours you have to play to qualify for The Challenge, with me insisting on 8+ hours and my friends with jobs saying that 6+ hours should suffice.

I’ve come up with a compromise. Tiers of completion:

Bronze Level: 6-8 hours

Silver Level: 8-10 hours

Gold Level: 10-12 hours

Platinum Level: 12+ hours

Six hours and never having less chips than you started with will qualify as a completion.

It’s worth noting that if you go 6+ hours without dipping below starting stack, but keep playing and fall below in hour #9, you have not completed The Challenge; no bronze medal for you.

But I get that not everyone can sit around and play poker all day everyday, so 6+ hours will get the job done.

6:54 PM: Created a page on the site for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge since I have a strong suspicion we are going to get our first entry into the club tonight.

The Leak is good to get it done. +3 racks nearing four hours of play.

7:51 PM: I am running pretty pure. My good hands are all holding up. I’m up two racks already.

What I really wanted to say is that we are almost four hours deep into this game and no one has left it since it started. Oh shit, right as I was typing this we lost our first player. Jinxed it.

Daffy Duck went to the felt and reloaded for $2k, so… it’s understandable why everyone is glued to their seats.

Daffy just defended his big blind and turned his hand face up before the flop… for the second time. He’s also dropping repetitive “F-Bombs” and the dealers are getting a bit frustrated because they have to police but also know that Daffy is the life of the game right now and no one wants to see him get booted.

Our first player leaving is replaced by… Mighty Mouse.

As I was typing this, I rivered a flush in a 3-bet pot with KThh and made aces full of threes after defending my big blind with A3o.

Running pretty decent.

9:04 PM: Free Throw has arrived and he’s pulled up a seat behind Ducky and myself and he’s been talking about, uhm, shooting free throws for a good twenty minutes now.

I lean in to Radio Mike and say, “how does this happen?”

And he replies, exasperated, “it can’t be stopped.”

There is an anti-Ducky free throw bet in place. Free Throw has $400 and I have $100 on under 81 out of 100 free throws made for Ducky. I don’t see it, but he seems to think he has a chance.

9:49 PM: I open AA, Ducky 3-bets, and Master Splinter calls 3-bets from the big. I know I said I should be capping in this spot more frequently but this isn’t the same as having the splasher in between. I call again.

Flop is K93 rainbow and Master Splinter leads right out. Yikes. I raise him up because I should still be ahead here, but I’m a little concerned. Ducky calls and so does Splinter.

Turn is a blank and I get raised by Ducky. Thad’s fine. I’m calling his ass down. Maybe even 3-betting. But then Splinter comes out with a 3-bet and we both fold.

Lol.

Daffy Duck just stood up and shook my hand, gestures to his chips and says, “Mike, all you can eat.”

10:46 PM: Okay, fine Daffy, you don’t want to be part of the assorted duck family? You will be known as The Buffet from now on.

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LAPC Schedule @ Commerce and some PLO hands

January 16, 2019

I haven’t posted in a week, so I guess I should do some updating. My last live blog was on Friday and I returned to Palace on Saturday for some more $15/$30 and did something that doesn’t happen too often to me: I turned +$1000 into a losing day, finishing at -$114 for the day after just under seven hours of play. I got off to a pretty good start, even hitting a High Hand, but I lost every pot I played for the last 2-3 hours of the day.

With the Santa Claus Game officially dead at Palace on Mondays, I decided to make my first trip to Fortune in 2019 and I was pretty distraught to arrive there and see only one $20/$40 game in action. When I left my house their app listed two $20/$40 games so that was an unpleasant surprise. I endured over an hour of $4/$8 before they started a second $20 game. I’m happy to report I didn’t have to wait until September to book my first win at Fortune this year! I finished at +$1053 after 6.5 hours (and -$9 in 1.5 hours of $4/$8).

The game was mostly bad, so I was pretty happy to book a two rack win. I happened to run pretty good in the brief window when the game was kind of juiced, but Free Throw and Sandman showed up and sat on my left and the game went right back in the shitter.

That brings me to Wednesday’s PLO game. When I showed up there were 14 names on the list, but we started with 8 players and it did not look promising at all. The lineup was Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, The Crypt Keeper, Hit&Run, an aggressive regular, myself, a random and one of the floors at Palace. So the game wasn’t full and half the players were either hit and run artists or very non-regular and not likely to fire multiple bullets.

My first notable pot came up when Hit&Run made it $15, I 3-bet to $40 on the button with AA44 single suited, it folded back to him, and he capped the preflop betting at $125.

Flop comes down Q93 with two clubs and he pots for $250 and only has $154 behind, so we go ahead and get the rest of his stack in and run it twice. Turns out he has AA also and the first board runs out a chop, but he makes Broadway on the second one and gets 75% of the pot.

We did get a full game around 6:30 but it wasn’t destined to stay that way for long.

My second notable pot there were multiple limpers and I had a pretty ugly QJ54 single suited in the big blind and it cost me $2 more and my hand is so weak multi-way that I didn’t even want to flick it in there… but I did.

The flop is AJ9 with two hearts and the player on my left (a very green PLO player) bets $20, the random guy calls, and I decide to take one off here with a queen high flush draw because I don’t think either of these guys understand hand values very well in this game.

The turn brings in my flush and I check and overcall $40 this time. I actually love my hand here as a $40 bet is pretty weak and a call is even weaker. I think it’s all transparent enough that I can maybe even make an exploitative raise, but my standard play is to be cautious in these spots, so that’s the route I ended up taking.

The river is a clean king of spades and this time I’m facing another super weak bet and call of $50. Again, I make the safe play with what is obviously the best hand and just call and sure enough the bettor turns over a small flush and the caller can’t even beat that so I win the pot.

Here’s a weird one: I limp along with a junky KJT6 single suited and decide to bet $20 on the flop when the board comes down AT9 with one diamond (my suit) and three players call me, including one on the button. Whoops. This flop bet is a rare bluff with air from me in a multi-way pot, but I thought I just had to get through one player on the button and, well, that was a bad read.

Turn is the jack of diamonds, giving me a king high flush draw and two pair, and Hit&Run leads out for the full pot of $115. This may be precarious as I’m not drawing to the nuts in any direction, but I feel like I have too much equity here to fold, so I make the call. Button also calls but the fourth player folds.

River is a queen and I’m pretty shocked when Hit&Run checks because he’s supposed to have Broadway when he pots the turn. Well, I have the nuts now, so I don’t see any reason not to bet even though it seems likely I’m splitting with one of these yahoos. I bet $130 and they both fold! That’s when the Palace floor says he flopped a set of nines (and folded the turn) and the button says he had a set of tens. Wow.

Part-Time opens to $15, Slimer calls, I call with AQJ3 single suited and some others tag along also. It checks to me on the AT9 two diamond flop, so I fire $60 into $100 since I have top pair, the nut flush draw, and an open-ended straight draw. The Crypt Keeper check-pots it for $320 and it folds to me, so I put him all-in and we run it twice. When he asks if I have a set and I say no, he suddenly looks like he hates his hand because he must be on a draw that I have crushed. I make two pair on the first board and the nut flush on the second one to scoop a $1200 pot.

As expected, the game fizzled quickly. Hit&Run booked it with over $2k and multiple players quit early, including Part-Time with basically all the chips (over $4k!)

That left 6 of us at 9 PM and by 9:18 the game was 100% dead. Geez. I’m a little concerned about the Palace PLO game. The Thursday game is basically dead already and I don’t care about that too much, but I would be pretty devastated if the Wednesday game also dried up. It is typically pretty decent, but this is a really bad look considering I’m a key player and I’m going to miss the next three Wednesday sessions as I’ll be in Los Angeles playing in the LAPC. Plus The Man is claiming he’s not playing any poker in 2019.

Fortunately, the big pot against The Crypt Keeper gave me a solid +$980 for the night and made the super short session much easier to swallow.

Speaking of the LAPC… here’s what my schedule looks like:

Monday, 1/21: $350 Omaha 8
Tuesday, 1/22: $350 Triple Stud
Wednesday, 1/23: $20/$40 on Live at the Bike
Thursday, 1/24: $350 Stud 8

Wednesday, 1/30: $350 Limit Hold’em
Thursday, 1/31: $350 H.O.R.S.E.
Friday, 2/1: $350 T.O.E.
Saturday, 2/2: cash games
Sunday, 2/3: cash games
Monday, 2/4: $570 Omaha 8
Tuesday, 2/5: $570 Stud
Wednesday, 2/6: cash games
Thursday, 2/7: $570 H.O.R.S.E.
Friday, 2/8: $570 2 to 7 Triple Draw

I have some tournaments I’m interested in playing later in February also, but this is already a lot of time away from home for a non-WSOP event so I’ll have to really be crushing it to justify flying back a third time. Commerce does have extra prizes for not only overall Player of the Series, but Mix Game Player of the Series as well and they pay out a lot of spots. So if I’m in the running there, maybe I will be back for the $1k events.

I intended to play poker today (Thursday) but my wife and I went hiking this morning and when we got home we were both so wiped we basically lounged around all day, alternating between falling asleep and watching six episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an excellent show on Amazon Prime about a housewife in the 1950s that stumbles into stand up comedy when her marriage falls apart. Rachel Brosnahan plays Mrs. Maisel and unsurprisingly she has won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Music or Comedy for two years running. She is spectacular! The show is a strong recommendation from me as I near the finish line of season one.

I will be playing $15/$30 at 4 PM so expect another blog at that time.

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$15/$30 Fridays! (1/11/2019 – Live Blog)

January 11, 2019

The player I named Ducky last blog showed up wearing this shirt today. Gotta love it.

Speaking of Ducky, I did his write up in my Blog Nicknames and also added a write up for Black Turtle.

There are currently 25 names on the list for $15/$30 and a surprising number of players are in the building for a 4 PM start. Would you look at that?

I posted my 2018 Results on Monday so check that post out if you haven’t already.

I did try to play some poker on Monday but the Santa Claus Game didn’t go for the third straight week (surprisingly, there is an interest for this coming Monday) and I was planing to play $8/$16, but I got bored and ended up going to see Aquaman after 4.5 hours and booked a -$303.

Tuesday was an off day and Wednesday I was in PLO action. The game was super weak. It was only briefly 9-handed, never had a list, and most of the night was spent playing 7-handed. Still, it managed to survive all the way until 1 AM when I left, even after both Hit&Run and Charlie Hustle both booked it with +$500 wins after a mere 90 minutes of play.

I kept notes briefly, but eventually decided to not make a PLO post. It was a pretty sexy session: I finished at +$2360 in 6.75 hours. That’s a pretty big session and the weird thing is, I never had any massive confrontation. I was never all-in. Just steadily accumulating chips, with a couple of hands that collected max bets on the river.

When I got to Palace tonight there were 25 names on the list.

Starting lineup: Radio Mike, Chief Wiggum, Frankenstein, Part-Time, Huey, Ducky, Shit Man, and a 15/30 regular

After the game start, there are still 12 names on the list! Crazy. There are also no more tables for a new game.

Nice start here. I defend A5hh in a multi-way pot and peel the 873 one heart flop, pick up a beautiful 4 of hearts on the turn, and whiff it all.

Then I open QT and get heads up vs Part-Time and his KT drills a gutter after the J93 rainbow flop, so he gets to check-raise me on the turn obviously. He inexplicably checks the river (with no flush out) and allows me to check my top pair behind, so that was pretty nice.

4:41 PM: Goddammit. I just made Radio Mike’s year. I know I did. Yeah, it’s only the 11th day of 2019, but it’s still annoying to know that I contributed to his high point so far.

I open QTdd and he 3-bets in position. Flop comes JJ9 with one diamond and I check-raise then barrel off when I pick up a diamond draw and brick the river. He calls down with KK. Bring a king and see how much he likes his hand! Oh. Probably a lot. Nice dodge. It’s the small victories…

4:46 PM: Fortunately it hasn’t been a complete downward spiral. I’ve induced multiple “shit man”s from Shit Man already.

First, I limped small blind with 76o only to see him raise from the big, but I bested his AJ by rivering a one card straight after we saw a J74 flop.

Just now he opened under the gun with three small bets and it folded to my big blind, so I put him all in with 87o. The board ran out KJ97Q and I was good somehow.

He’s sitting on my direct left and I can see him continuously shooting me daggers in my peripheral.

4:54 PM: Since 8 of 9 players in this game have names and the lone one that doesn’t is a pretty frequent regular, I started thinking of something I could call him. Master Splinter immediately came to mind and I knew I liked it but I didn’t know why. I asked Joker if he could help me clarify and he came through:

“He’s soft-spoken and generally full of wisdom… in that he’s usually trying to convince you why he’s doing the right poker thing… he’s always teaching… his boring ways.”

Lmao. Love it.

5:56 PM: First big pot of the night:

Three players are in and it’s 3-bets to me in the big (edit: with KK). My capping range here is super narrow so I just call and someone else caps. Perfect.

Flop is K92 rainbow. Oh boy. It checks to last position and I have a moment of anxiety but she bets, I raise, Wiggum calls two cold, she raises, and I cap.

Turn is a ten and I dodge a raise from Wiggum and they both call.

River blank and she pays me off.

I should probably be calling 3-bets on flop and check-raising the turn here – especially since my hand is disguised – but I was hoping I could cap flop and still maybe get in multiple big bets on the turn. Also, if she 3-bets flop and checks back the turn for some reason, that is an utter disaster.

6:22 PM: First new album of 2019!

Big K.R.I.T. – TDT

I’ve been listening to K.R.I.T. since 2005 and he’s been one of the most consistently good rappers over the past decade and it still seems like the average hip-hop fan probably doesn’t know who he is.

I’ve heard three songs off this new 8 song album and they were all good, so this new project is off to a good start.

I want to do more regular music updates this year but I’m not exactly sure yet how I want to tackle that and it usually takes me multiple listens to settle on how I really feel about a new album.

8:01 PM: I guess I’m running pretty pure so far tonight. It’s funny how these things sneak up on you sometimes. I’m in $2k and this is my stack right now and it doesn’t seem like anything too remarkable has happened:

Although Radio Mike might disagree.

Master Splinter open-limps so I jack up the QJo from the cut, both blinds defend and he calls.

Flop is KT7 and I get check-raised by Radio Mike. Hit&Run calls two bets cold and I call.

Turn pairs the 7 and I’m the only caller this time.

River is an ace. He check-tanks and I know he’s always calling here because he knows I am capable of bluffing this card. He pays it off.

I feel like that’s a pretty standard hand but I haven’t updated in over an hour so…

One thing of note: there are 21 players on the list for this game now! Insane!

There are no empty tables and the lists for the other limit Hold’em games are super long… but… the $4/$8 Omaha 8 game is on the verge of collapse. I’m curious if they put another $15 game there or another $4/$8 (which has an even longer list!).

8:41 PM: Edited the 5:56 update to include what hand I had. My bad.

9:23 PM: Ducky raises in late position and Radio Mike defends.

Mike check-calls on Q87 and then check-raises when the queen pairs on the turn. I think the river goes check-check and Ducky wins with JJ and Mike showed the T9. A very ambitious play from Radio Mike. I actually like it. But he probably should have read my player profile on Ducky and noted the “sticky” label! 😂

I am no longer running pure. Very loose player limps, Ducky raises the cut, I 3-bet KJo on the button and they both call.

Flop is 875 and I check behind.

Turn is a jack, Ducky leads and the loose player is lining up a call. I’m leaning call here and ultimately that’s what I end up doing, as I don’t really mind keeping the bad player in. We both call.

River is a queen and Ducky still bets. With the other player in, this is a protected pot, meaning Ducky should never be bluffing here. I would expect him to check a lot of paired hands here, but he still might bet something like JT. The other player is lining up a call again, but I think my hand is too good to fold here, especially considering the pot size. We both call and Ducky tables a set of fives.

Damn. I guess I can still lose a pot tonight. Star mode has been deactivated.

10:30 PM: This hand happened a while ago, but it has sparked enough private controversy that I am now going to make it public.

I open from the cutoff with A2dd, Radio Mike calls from the small blind, and I mentally LOL at his flat call as the big blind also calls for one more bet.

Flop is T55 with two diamonds. Radio Mike donks right out. I mentally LOL again because it’s the second time in less than ten hands that he called a raise from the blinds and led into me on the flop. The big blind folds and I just call because I want $100 to go in if I turn a flush (we are in Overs on the turn but not the flop here, so I don’t want to take the betting lead).

Turn is a 9 and I call again.

River bricks me and he still bets. I know I should fold. I don’t think he’s bluffing here but this being the second time he has taken this line I’m just too curious. I say, “I’m about to give you $50 just to see what you play this way.” And then I do.

He turns over QQ.

I have been poking the bear via text and he has insisted that he 3-bet preflop but there were multiple instances during the hand where I laughed to myself because that didn’t happen. But he insists.

We have been arguing about it for like an hour now and he’s had someone standing behind him for the past three hours, constantly distracting him… nope. It’s not possible he’s mistaken here.

Maybe I’m the delusional one? Laughing to myself about his passive play mid-hand as I’m calling a third bet? I dunno.

11:05 PM: Woah. Last time I looked at the list – which wasn’t that long ago – it was still 10+ deep. There are now zero people on the list… and we have a seat open.

11:08 PM: My heater has definitely cooled considerably.

I come back from a break and post in the cutoff with 32 of hearts. There’s some limping, Ducky raises, I call, Bulletproof 3-bets it and we move on multi-way for 3-bets each.

Flop is K92 with one heart and I get to check-call for one bet. Four of us remain.

Turn pairs the deuce and we check to Bulletproof and he obliges with a bet. But then the maniac check-raises. Ducky folds and it’s up to me. There’s a flush draw on board now and I don’t really like a 3-bet here. It appears that Bulletproof has two outs, so I don’t mind keeping him in the pot and if the maniac does have a deuce, it’s worth noting that I don’t beat any of them. So calling seems like the best of both worlds here. Also, the flush draw on board is enough protection for my calling range that alarm bells won’t go off when I take two bets to the face here. I call and so does Bulletproof.

River is a blank and we both call the maniac. He shows T2 suited (from under the gun!), his kicker plays and he scoops the pot.

12:25 AM: There’s an early raise, two calls and I defend KT of diamonds.

Flop is KK5 with two clubs and I check-raise the PFR after the other two fold. I have some bluffs in my range so I’m not worried about him folding here but I am worried that if I just call he will check back the turn a lot. So I raise and he calls.

Turn is a ten, giving me the nuts. We put four Overs bets in. Yum yum.

River is a 9 and I want to bet so bad but it seems impossible that he could cap the turn and suddenly want to stop putting chips in the pot… so I try to get a check-raise in and he checks back with AK.

Game is 5-handed now and on the verge of collapse. Palace has decided to keep the PSJ drop at $4 5-handed, so there’s really no reason to play. Normally I stop chopping when games get 6-handed but the drop is so steep now that I would literally rather break the game than get raped for $5-$6 a hand playing this short.

They are willing to go $1 rake and $0 PSJ drop at 4-handed (making us ineligible for jackpots and high hands) and that’s awesome, but the transition from 6-handed to 4-handed is where games go to die.

And… as I’m writing this, the floor gets called over… says he can’t drop the PSJ 5-handed… and now the game is dead.

👍🏻

Eh. Who needs this game running 5-handed for another 3 hours? Not the Palace! They can always start another game at this table. Oh wait. There are no lists.

Hopefully The Man reads this and sees that this hard-nosed stance is bad for everyone… except the dealers that are ready to go home.

Final Score: +$1026

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2018 Results

January 7, 2019

Volume Goals

play 1800 live hours

1800 is 150 live hours a month. Technically, I should be striving to play 160 hours a month, but considering how much time I spent playing online poker and studying poker, 1800 live hours is plenty. I met this goal by playing just shy of 1818 live hours of poker last year.

play less than 33% of live cash game hours at $8/$16 or lower

The gist of this goal is to put my days of playing lower stakes limit hold’em behind me. I spent way too much time at the $4/$8 level and I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake. Fortunately, $15/$30 was going regularly during the first half of 2018 and PLO has become a twice a week game. The $15/$30 sort of fizzled for a bit late in the summer, but seems to be making a comeback. I spent less than 25% of my live cash games hours at $8/$16 and lower. To be exact, 20% of my hours were in $8/$16 and 3.9% were in $6/$12 and lower. That means almost 75% of my cash game volume was at $15/$30 or higher (and I consider the PLO games to be in this category). That’s a good place to be.

play 500 hours of PLO (online and live)

Altogether I played 620 hours of PLO in 2018, with 377 hours in online cash games, 180 in live cash games, and just over 60 hours in tournaments. In addition, I played 17.5 hours of Big O and 121 hours of limit Omaha 8 or Better.

play one mixed game session a month

I wanted to play in more mixed games last year and I suppose I did, so I guess I achieved my goal, but I find myself a bit unsatisfied. I played 270 hours of poker in games that were non-Hold’em and non-Omaha. However, I only played 36 hours in home mixed games and that’s really where I wanted to increase my volume. In fact, I haven’t played in a home game since May of 2018 when I’d ideally like to do so at least once a month. I also played 55 mixed game hours in casinos, plus another 114 hours in tournaments. Lastly, in December I was introduced to an online training site that specializes in mixed games and logged an additional 64 hours of mixed game training in the last month alone. All in all, I put in substantially more hours here than my goal, but I’d like to play in more home games.

take more shots

I am notably nitty with my bankroll and my goal here was to step outside of my comfort zone a little bit more in 2018. I can’t really say I did that too much. I played just over 48 hours in $30/$60 or higher, but only 8 of those hours were at the $40/$80 level. $30/$60 is still in my wheelhouse, so really it’s just the 8 hours where I was legitimately shot-taking and my one Hold’em session was cut very short on account of all the pain from losing so much money so fast. I did play first tournament buy-in of more than $1500 though and it was the $10k Main Event!

play at least one online tournament a week

My goal was 52 online tournaments and I wound up playing 234 of them.

play a bigger WSOP schedule

Previously, the most events I played in a series was five tournaments in the 2017 WSOP. This past year I played in 10 WSOP events, plus 2 daily deep stacks at the Rio and another 10 non-WSOP events for 22 tournaments total during the summer.

play 100 hours of NLHE cash (online and live)

I played 61 hours in NL cash games with 41 of them coming online and only 20 live. Maybe some day I’ll round out my rather diverse repertoire by including the most popular form of poker in the world, but no limit Hold’em is still the last game I’m looking to play when I walk into a casino.

Win Rate Goals

1.25 big bets per hour at $15/$30 limit Hold’em

I remember when I started writing my 2018 Poker Goals, I thought I might be reaching to hit 1.25 BB/HR because I started the year off so poorly at this limit. Well, I sure turned that around, finishing at an absurd 1.96 BB/HR in the game I put by far the most volume in. It’s probably worth noting that I play with an Overs button basically 100% of the time they are in action, so a decent amount of these hours were played with multiple opponents playing $25/$50 with me and a handful of times the whole table had buttons.

1 BB/HR at $20/$40 (and higher) LHE

My struggles in bigger games were pretty well documented last year, but my volume was also way down. The presence of a regular $15/$30 game locally meant that I rarely made the trip to Renton in 2018 and I wound up playing a mere 93 hours of $20/$40 LHE and only 61 of them were at Fortune. Altogether I played only 127 hours at $20/$40, $30/$60 and $40/$80. Compare that to 2017 when I played almost 200 hours just at Fortune. I finished at -1.1 BB/HR at $20/$40 and up (for limit Hold’em) and I didn’t book my first win at Fortune until early September. Gross.

1.25 BB/HR at $8/$16 (and lower) LHE

I thought this number could see a lot of variance due to low volume, but I actually finished pretty close to my goal at 1.05 BB/HR.

$50/HR at $1/$3/$5 PLO

This was basically a goal just for the PLO game at Palace because of the weird blind structure with a $3 big blind but it’s $5 to see the flop. My goal for the year was to run half as good as I did in 2017 ($100/HR) because I thought my previous results were probably unsustainable. Well, I finished 2018 at $86/HR in the same game, so who knows… maybe it isn’t unreasonable to be winning this much.

10 bb/HR in live PLO

My goal was to make 10 big blinds per hour in live PLO games outside of Palace but I ended up playing only 4 hours in such games and lost a grand total of $1!

1 bb/HR in online $0.25/$0.50 6-max PLO

I got crushed in this exact game in 2017 (to the tune of -26 big blinds per hour!) so I really just wanted to finish 2018 in the green. I did! I put in the second most hours at this PLO limit and finished at 3 bb/HR. I still don’t think that’s particularly good but compared to 2017, it’s a massive step forward.

5 bb/HR in online PLO

I barely met this goal, finishing at 5.37 bb/HR for all my online PLO volume. While I met my goal at the $50 6-max level, I put most of my volume in at the $100 6-max and finished at -7.7 bb/HR there. I put in my third most hours at $50 full ring and that’s where my overall number got a boost by posting a rate of 36 bb/HR.

10 bb/HR in any no limit Hold’em cash game

I finished at a measly 1.5 bb/HR here over a low amount of volume. I did post a 5.6 bb/HR rate online in the bulk of my hours, so that’s something.

50% ROI in live tournaments

2018 felt like a borderline disaster in tournament poker, mostly because I cashed just 3 of 22 tournaments over a long, brutal summer and went 0 for 10 in WSOP events, including a $10,000 brick in the Main. Plus, my three cashes were all small, with my biggest cash being just slightly bigger than my average buy in for the entire summer. Ugh. It was just all pain. I did, however, finally have a breakthrough year in the Muckleshoot Classic series, finishing 1st for $20k in a $300 no limit Hold’em tournament, cashing five times total, and winning Player of the Series in the spring for an additional $6k. I also finished 1st in my first ever Big O tournament for $4900 at Chinook Winds in Oregon. Those three scores basically saved my year and I managed to avoid my first losing year of tournament poker ever by posting an 11% ROI in 2018.

30% ROI in online tournaments

I finished 2018 with a 70% ROI in online tournaments. Some other notable stats: I cashed in 49 of 234 total tournaments (20%) with 9 1st place finishes and 5 runner-ups – that means I finished 1st or 2nd almost 29% of the time I cashed. That’s pretty sick. My biggest score was a 1st of 166 in a
$100 Rattlesnake Open event on Global Poker for $3600. That win got me a cool write up in PokerNews.

Mixed Games

I didn’t make a win rate goal for mixed games, but I played enough hours in them that it’s worth noting: I finished at 0.47 BB/HR overall but 1.17 BB/HR in live games.

Life Goals

-reach a new bankroll peak
-clear credit card debt
-pay off final student loan
-visit a new MLB stadium
-play poker in a new part of the U.S.
-meditate every day
-do yoga twice a week
-run/jog more
-lift twice a week
-drink more water, drink less soda
-eat better and smarter, less fast food
-bring my average blood sugar below 150
-bring my A1C below 7
-less distractions
-no toxic chatting/arguing/debating
-keep blogging about poker
-read Jared Tendler’s books
-study mix games
-watch at least two vlogs a week
-read about mindfulness/meditation

I’m not going to go through these one by one. I think I did get healthier in 2018, but not as much as I would like. I went to the gym more than in years past, but not consistently and while I was doing yoga and meditation pretty consistently in the first half of the year, I was done with both by the end of summer. I played poker in Oklahoma and Mississippi for the first time. We went to MLB games at Minute Maid Park in Houston and Globe Life Park in Arlington, both in Texas. My studying was pretty good in 2018, but I could be more consistent and organized. I never picked Tendler’s mental game books back up and I clearly need to. I also did not reach a new bankroll peak despite having another very good year of playing poker. Lots of room for improvement in just about everything here. I did keep up a consistent blog though. Yay!

Top 5 Sessions of 2018
1. +$6754 in 16 hours of $15/$30 at Palace
2. +$3690 in 6.5 hours of PLO at Palace
3. +$3429 in 4 hours of $30/$60 7 Card Stud at Bellagio
4. +$2820 in 8 hours of $15/$30 at Palace
5. +$2795 in 10.5 hours of $15/$30 at Palace

Worst 5 Sessions of 2018
1. -$2253 in 2 hours of $40/$80 at Commerce
2. -$2226 in 6.25 hours of $20/$40 at Fortune
3. -$2135 in 5 hours of $20/$40 at Fortune
4. -$1976 in 9.5 hours of $20/$40 Omaha 8/B at Muckleshoot
5. -$1714 in 11.5 hours of $10/$20 (with button straddles) at Palace

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$15/$30 Friday – 1/4/2019 (Live Blog)

January 4, 2019

I’m blogging today! I’ll be working on my preamble as the game is getting off the ground. That will be a work in progress that I will be updating as I’m playing.

Preamble: I was on the fence about playing poker yesterday and after spending numerous hours on the phone with both Dish and Century Link and coming to the conclusion that I was never going to get internet through either of them, I did something I never thought I’d do again: I called Comcast. And then I signed up with them. I really feel like I just sold my soul to the devil, but they offered me high speed internet for just over $40 a month and I couldn’t pass it up.

And guess what? I got my internet activated within hours of signing up with them. Weird. All I had to do was drive ten minutes and grab my new router/modem and then hook it up myself.

And I’m back! I finally caught up on all my accounting, bills, email, and other correspondence. Plus today I started working on my Blog Nicknames again, so go ahead and start checking those out regularly.

However, after spending so much time trying to get internet at my house and ramping up my tilt factor again (maybe that’s why my fuse was so short last weekend?), I decided to take the night off. I didn’t actually have the internet up and running until after the PLO game started anyway.

And guess what happened about an hour after I finally had internet coursing through the coaxial veins of my home? Our power went out.

Unreal.

I did wind up getting organized last night and this morning this beast arrived, so I spent my day putting it together:

As I was assembling it, guess what I saw park in front of our house? A Century Link van! Sure enough, I walked outside and caught their man lurking about our cable box.

Uh, no, dude. Get the fuck outta here.

That is some serious comedy. I hate Comcast beyond belief, but our internet is faster and cheaper – at least for the next year – so I guess it all worked out.

This is also serious comedy:

4444? Should I be concerned about that? Are my descendants 2000 years from now still going to be held hostage to my bill from Dish Network?

What a joke of a company. They are all jokes. I’m sure Comcast will be pissing me off soon enough.

That catches me up to this game start. I was going to work on my 2018 results post today and hopefully post it, but I spent my entire day putting that couch together. Not sure when I will have time to write that post because this weekend our top priority is cleaning our old house and getting it in shape to put on the market.

I did, however, have time to write a little review for Bumblebee (2018) while I was waiting for the delivery guys this morning, so check that out if you want.

Starting Lineup: Radio Mike, Chief Wiggum, Part-Time, 15/30 reg, Hewey, random, big game reg, Black Turtle (self-ordained)

Amazingly, the list of 21 names turned out to be a full game with no list. Wth.

This lineup is okay, but definitely lacking in the action department. I give it a C-.

4:44 PM: I have been super active. The game is on the tighter side so I have been raising like a maniac. I’ve had some decent hands: QTo, 98o, KTo, QThh, JTcc, and JJ twice.

Most of those hands have been raise and take its or c-bet flop and take it, but I made a flush with the JT of clubs on the river against a one card straight and my most interesting hand was this one:

Open JJ, Black Turtle 3-bets, Wiggum calls on the button, and I cap it.

Flop is J9x rainbow and Black Turtle and I take turns raising each other until it’s capped, but we are unable to shake the hitchhiker.

Turn is an 8 and they both just call my bet.

River is a very ugly queen, so I check and Black Turtle starts rambling about “you were no good the whole way but you didn’t know it and now we’re both beat…” and then he bets the river… (Wtf… ?). Wiggum raises it, I fold and Black Turtle shows AA and folds also.

Ugh.

5:22 PM: Cards have been in the air for about an hour now and I’ve had JJ four times and QQ once. Plus I’ve been raising a lot of other hands. I’d guess I’ve raised over 40% of the hands dealt so far. It’s been pretty insane.

I might be drawing live for the Coast-to-Coast Challenge. I won all my early hands and I think I still had sugar after Chief Wiggum clearly rivered a straight against my set of jacks. I guess since I don’t know for sure it wouldn’t really count, but I’m well above sea level now.

I’ve had some unexciting boards for some of my jacks and queens, where I’ve had to turn my hands into bluff catchers rather than capitalize on what looks like a super aggressive and wide image. I managed to get two streets of value (by check-calling) with JJ on a king high board and QQ on an ace high board.

I did have an interesting spot where I opened the 76 of clubs from the hijack and Part-Time 3-bet from the big blind.

I call $25 (Overs, 8 of 9 players are playing $25/$50) on a 972 flop and when he still bets a king on the fourth street, I decide to turn my hand into a bluff by making it $100. Part-Time has a tendency to bet too much, both as bluffs and as value/protection bets, so when I raise here, he will fold hands with decent equity like AQ and maybe even hands as strong as TT up to QQ. Sure enough, he does fold to my raise.

A list is starting to accumulate for this game. It’s six deep now.

6:45 PM: Get a cheap flop with Q9o from the small blind and it checks around on K64.

Turn is a 9 and I bet-call when Black Turtle raises me from the big blind. It’s pretty weird for him to check the flop with a king, so I’m looking this one up.

River pairs the 4 and I check-call and lose to A9.

On the bright side, I no longer have to wonder if I’m in line to complete the Coast-to-Coast Challenge as I now have less chips than I started with.

7:47 PM: Bulletproof and Hit&Run in the game now. Wiggum, Black Turtle, and the random dude are gone now.

Multiple limpers in front of me, I raise with 99 from late position, next guy 3-bets, one of the blinds caps and six of us are in for four bets.

Flop is K65 with two clubs and it checks to me second-to-last to act. I think betting is correct here. I don’t want to give a free card and if I get raised by the button that’s not so bad either. It will help limit the field and I definitely want people out of this pot. I have the 9 of clubs in my hand and backdoor straight possibilities so I think I’m strong enough to bet-call here.

That is what happens. I bet, the button raises, and everyone else folds.

Turn is a 7, giving me additional equity and plenty of reason to continue. I check-call again and I’m leaning towards folding brick rivers because I’m sensing strength.

The river brings in my straight with an 8. My opponent is on the nittier side. Realistically, he should be betting hands like KQ+ here and going for value, but I don’t trust him to bet, so I try to lead out but fumble my chips and he snap-calls without my bet in the pot yet.

I eventually get my chips out there and he leaves his in for the call, but the weird sequencing prompts the player on my right to ask, “did you just check-call the river?” and I explain what happened, but the player I beat in the pot takes massive exception to the question for some reason and starts berating the guy on my right, saying it’s “a stupid question.” He’s obviously pissed about losing the pot and taking it out on a bystander, not letting it go to the point where the guy on my right is like “you’re right. I’m stupid. Not sure what you want me to do about it. I was born this way.”

Lady Gaga would be proud.

9:18 PM: I have been distracted by food and now my wife is sitting behind me waiting to play 4/8 on a very deep list. Also, I haven’t had any notable spots in the last 90 minutes.

The game is bad by Palace standards right now. Mighty Mouse has joined us and we really only have one legit producer at the moment. There are only three names on the list and none of them are all that exciting either.

Yawn.

9:56 PM: Huey limps, guy on my right raises, I 3-bet with AA, Hit&Run caps from the big, and Huey goes from one bet to four like he doesn’t know what’s going on.

Checks to my right on Q8x two spade flop and he bets, I raise, Hit&Run check-3-bets, Huey folds, bettor calls, and I cap it.

Turn is a 9 and they both check-call.

River is a king and I hate it. KQ is squarely in both of their ranges and I’m planning to make a rather tight check back, but the second player bets and I call.

“Did I get there?” He asks, as he turns over KK. I give him the courtesy yes-you-fucking-suckout peak at my aces.

11:09 PM: Can’t seem to get any real momentum going. I lost with QQ to 76o but then I flopped a set of eights in a single-raised multi-way pot and got three streets of value.

I followed that up by raising with 88 and giving up on an AKx flop 3-ways and then folding JJ in a 3-bet multi-way pot on AQx.

My most recent confrontation saw me check-raising the Q94J board with J9 in a heads up pot and running into QQ.

Nothing too exciting, but lots of little annoyances.

As I was typing this up, there is a raise and two callers, so I call with A5 of spades from the small blind and five of us see a 882 one spade flop. It checks to Mighty Mouse in last position and he bets. My hand seems a little too good to fold here and I think I should maybe be check-raising here when I continue, but I opt to just call and see what happens.

Everyone else folds so when a 6 of hearts hits the turn, I lead out, representing slow played trips even though I’m probably never playing an 8 this way. Still, it gets the job done and I scoop the pot.

Not sure if that’s my best or most believable line, but it worked this time.

11:36 PM: I open JJ under the gun, Radio Mike calls, big blind raises, and I cap.

The flop comes down QJ9 all hearts. Big blind leads, I raise, Mike folds, and the big asks, “do you like that flop?” and raises me back. I just call.

Turn is the 3 or 4 of hearts and I call again.

The river is a black ten and he checks.

“Now you check?” I ask, “because that card came?”

I’m confused, and while I’m happy to see him check here, I’m not sure I should be betting. I check back and he shows a set of queens.

That makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense is that this same player beat my AA with KK, QQ with 76, and now oversets me… all within the last 90 minutes or so.

I’ve been wanting to give this player a name. He’s become a very consistent regular here and we are friendly. I’m still awaiting that stroke of genius though. I have a couple of ideas and I even have a favorite, but still waiting to see if I can think of something better.

12:42 AM: Alright, I got it. This player has his own nickname that has led to making his online screen names “dinosaur,” so I wanted to do something with that, while not just calling him Dinosaur myself.

And since I’ve been naming Korean players after famous cartoon ducks recently, I decided to go with a mixture:

Ducky from the Land Before Time – a dinosaur named Ducky. Seems fitting.

Well, Ducky and I have been clashing all night and I have more hands:

He opens from late position and I 3-bet the cutoff with A5 of spades. He calls.

Flop is JJ4 with two diamonds and a spade. I bet and he check-raises me. I think he has some creativity in his game so he doesn’t have to have me beat here and I have some backdoor potential anyway. I call.

The turn is an offsuit 3, enough added equity for me to call again.

The river double pairs the board and after making it this far, it seems silly to fold on this board texture, so I call Ducky’s third barrel and win against Q2 of diamonds.

Next time I’m in the small blind there are multiple limpers and Ducky raises on the button. I decide to speculate with K8 of clubs and six of us go to the flop for two bets.

The board comes 976 with one club and I end up having to call two bets again and at least four of us remain to the turn.

It’s a king. I lead out. I don’t want Ducky to check back with a hand like JJ or QQ and the other players are almost certainly behind me now and I don’t want them to get a free card either. Plus, my hand can stand a raise. The other guys fold, but Ducky does raise and I call.

River is a 5 and I donk out again. The double donk! Now he starts tanking and starts speculating on what exact two cards I have. He even says “King eight” and I tell him, “that makes a lot of sense, but I’m not going to show it to you unless you call.”

Amazingly, he does fold and I pitch my cards into the muck with authority.

Note: I will be quitting this session at 2 AM. I probably won’t post any more hands tonight but I will be back with a final score.

Final Score: +$685

I’m not sure what my plan is tomorrow. The Seahawks playoff game could affect the poker action and I’m actually somewhat interested in watching the game myself. I really don’t care about the Seahawks but I have a friend with a massive, life-changing bet on them reaching the Super Bowl and I certainly want to root it in for him.

Not sure when I will be blogging again as Marathon Monday might very well be dead, or at least revived as a different game or in a different location. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to marathon 8/16.

2018 results will be up soon!

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Bumblebee (2018)

January 4, 2019

Anticipation Level: 6/10

Director: Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings)
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena

Because I’m an AMC A-List member now and watch a movie almost every week, I saw the trailer for Bumblebee what felt like a record amount of times over the past few months. I was sick of it, but I had to admit: it looked surprisingly decent. And then something insane happened: after seeing the trailer around ten times, I finally realized that Hailee Steinfeld was the star of the movie. An Oscar nominee at age 14 for her performance in True Grit, Steinfeld brings serious acting clout to a franchise that I stopped watching at least two films ago. She’s not unrecognizable in Bumblebee, but somehow I missed the fact that one of my favorite young actresses was on screen in front of me… multiple times. Needless to say, once I realized who the star was, a movie I was mildly interested in became a must watch.

Bumblebee was a lot of fun. It’s hands down the best film in the franchise since the original with Shia LeBeouf and I’d argue that it’s quite easily the best in the entire series so far. It certainly has substantially more heart than any Transformers movie I can remember.

Unsurprisingly, Hailee Steinfeld is fantastic. As charming and adorable as usual, her Charlie is an independent young woman that seems like an outcast as she’s reeling from the death of her father while her mother has already integrated another man and dad figure into the family. She’s a rare action movie star that we can actually empathize with and then root for. It’s another noteworthy performance from Steinfeld in a very impressive young career. Just imagine what a, say, Megan Fox would do with this role, and it’s easy to appreciate how gifted Hailee Steinfeld is.

The visual effects and sound in any Transformers movie are usually top notch and Bumblebee continues the trend of being spectacular in those departments. Altogether, the series has landed seven Oscar nominations for Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing, so a return to the Oscars (the last two movies were shut out) in those categories would seem likely since the movie is actually good, but the shortlist for Best Visual Effects has been released and Bumblebee didn’t make the cut. If you liked the series enough to watch Transformers: The Last Knight, you shouldn’t be disappointed with the technical aspects of this movie.

The story in Bumblebee is actually good. I’ve already mentioned that Charlie is a character we can get behind as an audience and her bond with Bumblebee is reminiscent of what made movies like E.T. and The Iron Giant so special. The movie is also surprisingly funny, with one scene in particular (think high school revenge shenanigans) that had me laughing out loud as hard as I can remember during any 2018 release. John Cena also brings charm and humor to a role that could easily be a throwaway character and continues to be a surprising addition to any movie he’s cast in.

All in all, Bumblebee was a very satisfying experience. Transformers fans should love it and for those that have grown tired of the franchise, it is truly a breath of fresh air and by far the most pleasing film in the series. It gets a solid recommendation from me.

Replay Value: Definitely worth watching again.

Sequel Potential: The next Transformers movie will probably give us the level of suck we’ve grown accustomed to.

Oscar Potential: Having already been left off the Visual Effects shortlist, it’s probably unlikely Bumblebee will get consideration in the sound categories and has no shot at any other nominations.

Dina Meter: She would love it!

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

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First Blog of 2019: PLO @ Palace

January 2, 2019

Amazingly, we still don’t have internet in our new home. I could go on a rant about my recent experience with Dish but I’m guessing a decent amount of people have had terrible experiences with the various cable companies (Dish isn’t my first run in – 🖕🏻Comcast!).

Allegedly, we are scheduled for installation (activation?) tomorrow, but since this is our third scheduled install, I’m not exactly holding my breath. It’s also the last chance for Dish to remain our cable company. I’m hoping they come through because even though it repulses me to keep giving them our business at this point, I really don’t want to have to shop around and go even longer without internet when I already own a Dish modem/router.

Needless to say, I’ve been without a connection in my home for almost two weeks now. That makes things… difficult. I can’t type these blogs on a keyboard – I have to do it on a phone (as I am right now) and that’s why I’ve gone off the grid during this transition. I just don’t feel like typing these long preambles on my phone.

It’s also annoying because all my spreadsheets are connected via the net between all my various devices and Excel functions much friendlier on a PC than a mobile device. So I feel like I’m behind on all my accounting and just disorganized electronically altogether.

Plus, after putting in more cash game volume in the first three weeks of December on Global Poker than I had in any other month in 2018, I have played a grand total of one hour since my internet disappeared on the 21st.

While we do have unlimited data with Verizon, we don’t seem to get a great signal in our house – it is usually one bar and peaks at two bars. Not good.

But I’m powering through today, even though I don’t particularly like live blogging PLO cash games. As I’ve said many times before, it’s a lot of sitting on the sidelines and watching – more so than in limit hold’em.

So… my last post was on the 21st of December, huh? Eek.

I have played four live sessions since then and it has been a rather miserable experience.

After finishing -$1323 in my last post and taking four straight days off for Christmas celebrations, I was back on the grind last Wednesday for a -$1303 showing in 6.5 hours of PLO.

It’s pretty rare that I can walk away from a session and confidently say that I was playing my C-game but this was one such occasion. I already felt like I was off beforehand, but when I mistakenly 3-bet with A4J9 (single suited to the jack) thinking I had AAJ9 (single suited to an ace) and found myself calling down (for $800 total) on AT8(rainbow)2A, I knew something was wrong. I recognized my mistake before the flop came and it was frustrating to see The Crypt Keeper lead into five opponents on that flop (when I’m supposed to have aces!) and then feel like I need to call down because we wound up heads up after the flop action. I think my postflop play might be defensible (TCK had AT here but he’s capable of having all the various straight draws also), but I also know I lost $850 on a hand I would have folded preflop if I knew what I fucking had.

A while later, I opened on the button with a marginal hand and realized I was actually calling an under the gun raise. I mean… what am I doing with my life? I didn’t stay much longer than that. The game was good, but my game was not.

Emergency ejection.

I took Thursday off and was eager to be back in action Friday for some $15/$30 limit hold’em.

  • I got smacked. I wasn’t super active but I lost what felt like every pot I played, missing whenever I was drawing while they never seemed to miss no matter how thin they were drawing. I was overwhelmed with accumulated tilt and quit at 8:30 PM on a Friday after 4.5 hours of play.
  • Yikes.
  • I finished at -$1334, the first time I’ve ever posted three straight losses of $1000+ in my entire poker history (and mind you, this was actually three straight of -$1300+).

    I have started working on my 2018 results post and I’m thinking about my 2019 goals and it’s pretty clear that while my mental game is substantially stronger than the average player (especially in this area), there is still so much room for growth and learning. It will be an area of focus for the new year because while I think quitting when I recognize I’m not playing well for whatever reason (i.e. my PLO quit above) is a good thing, quitting because I’m upset about variance is simply unacceptable. While it’s better to leave than sit and steam, possibly hemorrhaging chips, I should have a better grasp on the concept of variance and it should have little affect on my mood – it’s just part of the game.

    Saturday seemed like another good time to take a breather but The Man informed me that he wants to spread $15/$30 on both Fridays and Saturdays at 4 PM and if that’s his desire I sort of have to the first in line to make sure it happens.

    I clocked in for some Saturday $15/$30 and was happy to see the game start and stay solid until I left. I booked a feel good win of +$585 after 9 hours of play.

    Sunday was another day off and I wasn’t sure what Monday was going to be. Being New Year’s Eve, I wasn’t positive the Santa Claus Game was going to go and it didn’t come close to starting… for the second straight week… granted, both days were holidays of sorts (Christmas Eve the week before), but I have a feeling the coup de grace has arrived. If it doesn’t go next Monday we can officially proclaim it deceased.

    With no $10/$20 straddle, I ended up playing $8/$16 and I was very non-committal about it. I really wanted to ditch the game and go watch Aquaman but the theater where I’m an A-List member was sold out and while I was tempted to actually pay to go to theater next door, I resisted the urge and stayed put.

    But I did leave when my wife got off work and booked a +$35 in 6 hours in my last session of 2018.

    So here we are in 2019. I’m anxious to share my 2018 results and post my goals for the new year, but it’s not going to happen until I can sit at a computer and do some typing. Hopefully that issue will be resolved tomorrow. If not, it’s probably going to be another week or so.

    There are currently 17 players signed up for the PLO game start at 6 PM. I will be back with a starting lineup around that time and hopefully lots of interesting hands to post after that.

    Happy 2019 ya’ll. Let’s get it.

    Starting Lineup: Guy I know from Kitsap, Part-Time, PLO reg, LHE reg, Charlie Hustle, Hit&Run, 8/16 reg, and Lee Markholt

    I think there were 20 names on the list when I got here and that has been whittled down to a full game and 4 players waiting. One of the no shows was Big Baby. 😞

    I give this starting lineup a C+.

    6:23 PM: Some funny hands:

    One hand after I pot Lee on the K84 rainbow flop with KQJ8 single suited in a raised pot (he folded), he raises from the small blind and says, “let’s try this again.”

    Flop 873 with two diamonds and Lee check-calls a pot-sized bet from Part-Time and then does so again on a black ten turn. River is another straight card and Lee check-calls $300. Part-Time tables KQT9 for the nuts and Lee says “you have no idea how lucky you got,” while tabling Ad8d8, and then mutters quietly, “you fucking…”

    And I start laughing out loud because it’s funny to hear someone so accomplished cursing at a Palace regular. But then I feel bad because no one else heard him curse and it seems like I’m just laughing at him losing a big pot.

    I call $15 on button with J987 single suited and bet $60 on a 942ss flop when everyone checks to me. I have top pair and a weak flush draw here, which seems good enough to stab with. Part-Time and Charlie Hustle both call.

    I’m already basically done with the hand… unless I make top two on the turn… which I do. They both check-call a $270 pot-sized bet. Yikes. I have spades, but I don’t want to see one.

    River is the king of spades. Part-Time checks, Charlie Hustle bets $300 and I snap-fold my flush. Part-Time goes into the tank, but really he’s just waiting for me because he didn’t realize I folded so fast. When prompted he quickly folds also.

    Charlie Hustle turns over one card – the ace of spades – and says, “you like that, Lee?”

    Lee responds, “you gotta show more than one card if you want people to think you’re bluffing.”

    I gave it zero thought because he’s literally never calling $270 on the turn hoping he can represent a flush if a spade hits on the river… in a 3-way pot.

    Some people might have that kind of creativity and gumption… but Charlie Hustle is not one of them.

    6:59 PM: Charlie Hustle just called a big river bet and stood up and cheered after he won the pot.

    Oh how the fibers of my being loathe him.

    He is the worst.

    7:33 PM: Charlie Hustle is up $1500 already so obviously he’s out of here. Weird how that works out. His wife is always hurrying him out of here when he wins big early. I’m not a big fan of the hit and run artists, but people are welcome to do whatever they want with their money… but don’t insult our intelligence with your bullshit. Just get up and leave. We don’t need to hear an excuse every time.

    Seriously. Fuck that guy.

    He is replaced by some dude I don’t think I’ve ever seen before… sitting down with $200.

    9:01 PM: Random blind on blind violence from the blinds between me and Lee. We both see the flop for $5 and I have an ugly JJ84 triple suited (three clubs) but get the KJ6 rainbow flop. Lee leads out for $25 and I make it $80 to go. He calls pretty quickly.

    Turn is the 5 of hearts and he check-calls $210, which surprises me.

    River is a queen and it looks like he’s going to bet it but ultimately checks. It’s tempting to go for value but really I’m targeting 66 only – that’s pretty narrow. He’s not going to call me with two pair (on the turn even – unless he picked up a flush draw). If he didn’t have a set he probably has a big straight draw and that might have come in. I don’t think he would check river with straights very often but I also don’t think he’s calling often enough to go for max value, so I check back and he does have 66 (with a jack blocker! And the nut heart draw!)

    10:51 PM: Card dead here and this game is fizzling early tonight. We are currently 7-handed, with Part-Time absolutely crushing the game and Twinkie has joined us.

    Speaking of Twinkie, it’s time for a name change. I hate it. I always have. Someone suggested Scarecrow to me and I loved it… but I somehow ended up going with… Twinkie? Huh.

    No. Sorry buddy. You are The Scarecrow. Embrace your Bat-villainy. Not many people get to be part of my actual Rogue’s Gallery. It’s okay. We are still friends.

    Since I’ve sat back down at the table Scarecrow has put multiple hundreds of dollars into basically every pot I’ve witnessed so far. He’s certainly worthy of a better name than Twinkie.

    11:19 PM: Someone said I haven’t been updating much but this is what most of my hands have looked like: raise to $20 with AKJ9 single suited to the ace, get four callers, check-fold 877 flop. That’s basically been the gist of it.

    But here’s one: I open AKQJ single suited and get two callers. Flop is KQQ and since I’ve checked the flop after raising like ten hands in a row, I go ahead and stay consistent with the new norm and check this one as well. It checks through in a 3-handed pot.

    Turn is a blank and the big blind leads out for near-pot. I call, other player folds.

    Seems like the jig could be up here but he still leads for $150 on a blank river. I make it $400 and he folds.

    That’s it.

    12:28 AM: Same opponent and this time I have QJJ5 double suited and he leads $30 on J77. I make it $125. He calls.

    Turn is a 6 and he check-folds to a $200 bet from me. I thought playing this hand fast might confuse him into a payoff – if he has a 7 – but alas, $125 is all the action I could muster.

    1:29 AM: Ugh. What timing. I open AJ97 double suited and get 3-bet to $50.

    Four of us see an A86 rainbow flop and I lead out for $110. The PFR calls and so does another player.

    Turn is a jack and I bet the $300 max and now the PFR raises another $300. Gross. The third player stacks off for less than $300 total and I call and then call for another $200 when I make three pair on the river. He has AA.

    And I was planning to leave soon anyway, so I player another orbit or so and cashed out for a final tally of +$16.

    Wonderful. Nothing like losing all your profit at the buzzer.

    Now I go home and pray for internet tomorrow.