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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.

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