A Trip to Hell and Back

February 6, 2019

My last post was on Saturday when I played the no limit HORSE tournament and I had mentioned that I was considering going to Vegas for Super Bowl Sunday.

Well, I did.

And let me just say it is the worst decision I’ve made in 2019. So dumb.

Did I really even want to go? No. Not really. Why the hell would I make a 7+ hour round trip to play poker when there are plenty of amazing games all within a 15 mile radius of where I’m staying in L.A.? So I can watch a game I don’t give one shit about? I mean… I had already bet on Patriots when there were eight teams left and I hedged with the Rams in the actual title game, so I was guaranteed to make a little money, but still… I don’t care about watching the Super Bowl.

I suppose the theory was the games would be packed with tourists during Big Game Weekend and, while that maybe have been correct for Friday and Saturday, the poker room saw a mass exodus right before kickoff.

There was one 40/80 game and it was not good at all. I was looking around the table and I was pretty confident there was only one possible donator in the game. I was going to drop down to 20/40 but then I ran an ace high flush into a straight flush against the loose player and lost six big bets on turn and river and suddenly I felt like I had to stick around in this game a little longer.

Then the one loose guy shows me 99 on A76T9 in a massive pot when I had AK.

Then TT vs JJ in a big pot where we both had overpairs the whole way.

Then A4 vs 22 in a blind vs blind, no preflop raise pot on A62KJ. Fortunately, that hand went check-call, check-check, and check-call. I was really trying to sell weakness with top pair and, uh, I guess I got lucky I decided to take that line.

Then I opened KT suited and got heads up against the big blind on a T925T board when he had 99.

I mean, come on.

Finally, I 3-bet KK and got the J22JA runout against AJ. Again, sort of lucky because my opponent just calls flop and turn before I check-called river.

But by that point, I had won a single pot of significance when my JJ rivered a set against QQ (again, one bet on each street postflop somehow though) and I was stuck almost $2200 and I knew the goddamn game wasn’t any good. So what the hell am I even doing?

I picked up just shy of two hours of play and swallowed the -$2186 bludgeoning. Granted, it’s only a couple of racks in that game, but that financial loss is still pretty meaningful to me.

I was on flaming white hot tilt because here I am running ultra bad in a shitty game… in Vegas?… when I could have just stayed in L.A. and maybe get barbecued there as well, but at least I’d be in a good game and feel like my chances of turning things around quickly were highly possible.

Part of me wanted to blame Flipper for dragging me along on this dumb ass trip, but ultimately, I know I’m an adult capable of making my own decisions and I could have just said no, like my instincts were screaming to.

So this was my own fault. And nothing pisses me off quite like my own dumb mistakes.

It didn’t help that part of the allure was being able to make MLB bets while I was in Vegas BUT as anyone with any sort of foresight might be able to determine, the sports books were outrageously packed. I wasn’t about to wait in a line of 300 people to place bets.

Not that the Westgate Superbook had MLB win totals posted anyway. Nor did Bellagio.

What a waste.

So what did I do with my day in Vegas? I skipped out in the first quarter of the Super Bowl and took an Uber to a movie theater to watch Free Solo on an IMAX screen. I’ll post a review later but let me just say right now that it blew my head off. What an unbelievable story.

And then we went back to L.A. So… basically, I went on a 7+ hour road trip to dump $2200 in a bad game and not fight for it and watched a movie.


Never again.

Monday was the $570 Omaha 8 tournament in the LAPC and I had an amazing table draw.

One guy was playing almost every hand and raised blind under the gun at least four times, even when the blinds were getting big.

Another guy couldn’t even read the board.

Naturally, I couldn’t take advantage of the situation in the slightest. None of my hands were connecting hard and a lot of my good two-way hands were getting scooped when I had marginal hands for high because multiple players were in there with total junk that made better high hands.

It was frustrating.

The pot that crippled me found me defending the big blind with A732 with a suited ace against the loosest player at the table.

The flop was a very sexy J54 and I check-raised and barreled/punted off on Q-T runout. He called me down with KJ72. I think this is a fine line, but I called it a punt because this dude is not folding anything reasonable (or unreasonable, for that matter) and I should probably go passive when I brick the turn.

That hand left me with about one big bet as registration was closing. I had an opportunity to forfeit my stack and sit back down after registration closed with 15 big bets. I dunno. Thats pretty borderline. I asked tournament director Matt Savage if I could have the same seat if I forfeited and he said it would be a random draw.

I decided not to re-enter. First hand after the break, the mega loose player raised blind under the gun and I got my last 1100 in with AAK8 with suited ace, both blinds call and four of us see the flop, which is probably two too many opponents for me to get any piece of this pot.

The board runs out J83d5dJd, giving me the nut flush, but pairing the board as well. Of course, the blind raiser has the monstrous QJ83 and I’m one of the first ten or so players busted out of the tournament.


Then I sat down in a 20/40 Stud game about 90 minutes later and picked up $615 sugar on the first hand I was dealt in, drawing insanely live for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge, but it wasn’t meant to be. Somehow I managed to finish that session at -$555 in 2.75 hours.

Speaking of The Coast-to-Coast Challenge, Free Throw became the third player enshrined, going the distance in an 8 hour 20/40 session at Fortune for +$1k last night.

I spent yesterday at The Bike playing 40/80. I got off to a nice +$1500 start but then things went sour for a really long time and I spent most of the session stuck, bottoming out around -$1500.

The most curious thing that happened last night didn’t involve any hands. The Bike employs hosts for the different limits and multiple prop players. The hosts get to sit in the games indefinitely, but the props only get to fill seats when there is no list.

I got a front row seat to see the politics of this play out for a little bit. Apparently one of the props cut in front of two other props to jump back in the game and the host took exception to this and things got palpably heated between them.

Fast forward to a few hours later, when the host has gone home for the night, and the game is now full with no list and three props are playing.

A few players went walking and then the first person to leave the game… was a prop player.

And then the second player to leave the game… was a prop player… the same one arguing with the host earlier about getting in the game.

Meanwhile, one of the players walking… is a prop player.

So our 9-handed game quickly became 5-handed after two players left and two players disappeared – and 75% of the people leaving holes in the game are paid prop players.

Wait. What’s their job description again?

I thought it was pretty impressive to see the one prop getting in a public spat trying to get in the game and then abandoning it when it needed her most.

I’ll give the walking prop credit for coming back and playing deep into the night short-handed. We played with 5 or less until about 3 AM.

I finally got hot again when it was down to three of us and booked a +$1708 after 10.25 hours of play.

I’m playing at The Bike today. I’ve been playing about 3.5 hours already and got off to a decent start but then I dwindled and running QQ into KJ and… KJ… on QT5ss9sJ was enough to put me in the red. I once again bottomed out around -$1500, but they let me win my last two contested pots and now I’m stuck less than $400.

Scratch that… just ran KQdd into 88 in a kill pot on Q839J (yay, free showdown!).

Not planning to live blog this session, but I might post some hands if the urge grabs me and I’ll certainly post a final score when I’m done here.

With my HORSE event starting at 1 PM tomorrow, I’ll probably only play until around 1 or 2 AM.

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