Archive for March, 2019

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15/30 Live Blog: It’s Almost Tournament Season

March 23, 2019

First off, I’m a little skeptical about today’s session. It’s 75 minutes before game start and there are only six names on the list and Palace has all ten tables in action. That’s a lot of players in the building not wanting to play 15/30, plus the list for bigger games is almost always at least 33% bullshit. I doubt they are going to break a full game to start a weak short-handed 15 game, but we shall see.

My priorities shifted to baseball this past week. I wrapped up an online draft via Discord in my super deep 23 keeper dynasty league last weekend before having two drafts on Sunday – one for an AL Only auction league and one for the 5 keeper dynasty league that I run.

On Tuesday, I had another draft and in this one a group of six draft four teams each for most wins and then write in one of the last six team in for our final team, giving us a total of five teams each. Then we draft four players each for most homeruns (top 2 only) and four pitchers for most wins (also top 2).

I won’t bore you with my fantasy rosters, but I will share the results of that last draft since it’s a bit easier to digest.

Here are my picks with the draft pick at which I took each in parentheses:

  • Indians (5)
  • Phillies (8)
  • Reds (17)
  • Padres (20)
  • Rangers (write in)

I’m not too thrilled about those results. I took the Indians over the Dodgers and the Phillies over the Nationals and Braves, mostly because those picks align with my win total bets. The Reds, Padres, and Rangers were all last place squads that topped out at 67 wins last year, so that’s pretty frightening. The Pads and Reds are both projected to finish around 80 wins though, so they are supposed to see big improvement. The Twins and Mets both got sniped right before I took the Reds so I basically got the first team off the board not really capable of making the playoffs. I thought the Rangers were the only team in the leftovers (Marlins, Giants, Tigers, Royals, Orioles) with enough MLB-ready talent to exceed projections but unfortunately that was a popular theory as four out of six of us took Texas with our last pick.

  • Aaron Judge (2)
  • Nelson Cruz (11)
  • Matt Olson (14)
  • Max Muncy (23)

I liked this draft. I think I’m the only person that got four guys capable of hitting 40+ and Judge is one of maybe 2-3 players that can put up insane totals in the 50+ region. Muncy hit 35 homers in less than 400 ABs last year, so I like that upside even if he’s unproven. Unfortunately, I am also the first person to get dinged with a major injury as Olson just hit the shelf until June.

  • Chris Sale (3)
  • Aaron Nola (10)
  • David Price (15)
  • Rick Porcello (22)

Uhm. Go Red Sox? I expect Boston to win a lot of games and a good portion of those games are going to be lopsided wins. In addition, all three of these Red Sox starters have long leashes – they are going to routinely pitch into the 7th inning. Wins are pretty volatile and kind of a stupid stat, but I can envision each one of these guys winning 20 games and not even having to be spectacular to do so. With that said, I expect Sale and Nola to be strong Cy Young contenders if they stay healthy.

Last Saturday I booked a +$1455 in 12 hours of 15/30, wrapping a second straight weekend of +$2000+.

Tuesday I went +$123 in 2 hours of 4/8 killing time before a draft at All Star Lanes and then I went to bed early so I could wake up in the middle of the night to watch the Mariners open the MLB season in Japan against the Athletics at 2:35 AM PST. I played 8/16 while watching the game and finished at +$450 in 6 hours.

I took Wednesday off from PLO and set my alarm to watch Ichiro Suzuki’s farewell game and Yusei Kikuchi’s MLB debut, but this time I stayed home and slipped in and out of sleep after about 7 innings before being wide awake for the extra inning finale (but not Ichiro’s exit 😢).

Thursday I played 2.5 hours of 20/40 at Fortune and lost $150 before checking out Jordan Peele’s Us in IMAX (review next week after I see it again).

Last night I played 10+ hours of 15/30 and won a whopping $145.

That puts my month at about +$4300 which is pretty cool considering I led off with a -$1700 session.

Like I said… it’s tournament season starting next week. I’ll post my upcoming schedule when I get to Palace and have some time.

4:14 PM: Welp. This is pretty dumb. The list was 9 deep when I got here but four players were call-ins (myself included) and three of them are still not here. Plus, as soon as they tried to start the game two players that were here took their names off.

That left a list of 7 with three call-ins and one person not wanting to start short-handed. A table actually broke and the other guys wanted to start 3-handed so that’s what I’m doing right now, which makes it virtually impossible to blog until we fill up a little bit.

There’s more bad news on the horizon as well. I think two of the three names up as call-ins are pretty unlikely to sit down and play short long enough for this game to fill up.

4:27 PM: Flea makes us 4-handed and he was one of the names I thought might not play, so that’s a nice start. He’s sitting down with $1000, but I’ve started a super short game with him before and he bailed after winning $800 in 20 minutes, so we’ll see what happens this time.

4:43 PM: And the other call-in I thought might not play just made us 5-handed, which is still going to make it hard to blog while I’m playing, but at least I won’t be on the button or in the blind every hand now.

This game is very reliant on Flea and the other player winning if it’s going to have real legs. I’m off to a bad start, so that’s promising. I just had QQ vs A8 and K8 and somehow the board came out 88AKA.

What.

(I check-called flop and check-folded turn)

Upcoming Tournament Schedule

  • Friday, March 29th: Muckleshoot Classic $300 No Limit Hold’em
  • Saturday, March 30th: Muck Classic $400 No Limit Hold’em
  • Sunday, March 31st: Muck Classic $200 No Limit Hold’em
  • Friday, April 5th: Muck Classic $400 No Limit Hold’em
  • Saturday, April 6th: Muck Classic $750 No Limit Hold’em Main Event
  • Monday, April 8th: Spring Round Up $220 Omaha 8 or Better
  • Tuesday, April 9th: Spring Round Up $165 H.O.R.S.E.
  • Thursday, April 11th: Spring Round Up $220 No Limit Hold’em
  • Friday, April 12th: Spring Round Up $330 No Limit Hold’em
  • Saturday, April 13th: Spring Round Up $550 No Limit Hold’em Main Event
  • Saturday, April 20th: South Sound Classic $560 No Limit Hold’em Main Event
  • That’s a lot of no limit Hold’em on the horizon (puke) and the mix game events are super small buy ins, but it should be a fun three week stretch anyway. I haven’t been to Pendleton, Oregon for the Round Up since spring of 2016, back when my biggest tournament score was still less than $6000, so it will be my first time making the trip with a sizable bankroll.

    5:25 PM: Holy shit. Super Dave – the #1 all-time Palace maniac – with a shocking Saturday night appearance, makes us 7-handed just as Flea was threatening to quit. Unfortunately, he is only sitting down with $200 and says he can play for less than an hour.

    He could literally be busted in two hands. It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    5:32 PM: I’m not sure how many hands it was, but Super Dave is busted… and gone.

    5:34 PM: Back to 6-handed… the nut low number of players. At 5-handed we can play without the PSJ drop and just a $1 rake, but 6-handed the PSJ is $4 and rake is $2, which is a HUGE, disgusting, almost unbearable difference. I hate chopping 6-handed but with that kind of price you have to and, honestly, we shouldn’t even be playing at all, in protest.

    5:44 PM: Flea just quit, cashing out around $1500, but then a new player walked in the door and said he’d sit down if Flea sat back down… so Flea sits back down… with $1000, going south in the most in-your-face fashion I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty scummy, but I’m happy to see him sitting back down with $1000, even if it’s $500 less than he had literally five minutes ago.

    6:22 PM: I haven’t really been able to post any hands, so here’s a couple:

    Cobra opens button (back when we are 4-handed), I 3-bet J8 of hearts, which is bottom of the range stuff here and not an auto 3-bet spot for me. Part-Time calls from the big and Cobra also calls.

    Flop is T95 with two hearts and one spade. I bet and only only Part-Time calls.

    Turn pairs the ten and brings another spade. Part-Time likes to bet weak, made hands or draws when he gets checked to in spots like this, so I play this like I will an overpair some of the time and check it over to him with the intentions of raising and betting the river if he calls. He does bet and calls my raise.

    The river is an 8 and since I might have the best hand and he’s probably not folding a nine, I check it, planning to bluff catch his missed draws. He checks back and tables 86 of spades and I win the pot with a jack kicker.

    7-handed now, Flea opens mid position, I 3-bet KQo from the small blind, and he caps it.

    Flop is J53 rainbow. I check and he bets. Flea is generally wide and just because he capped pre, he doesn’t need to have a strong hand here and this board is pretty dry. I don’t like check-calling and trying to make something with king high, so I check-raise and plan to barrel off. I think it’s a reasonable line as kings, queens, tens, and nines are all good cards for me. Plus, taking the betting lead gives me a chance to win without improving.

    And that’s what happens… the board runs out ten and jack and he folds to my river bet.

    The game is full for the first time now!

    6:53 PM: I guess my only interesting hands are bluffs today. Someone limps under the gun, a posting player raises his option, and I defend Q9o.

    Flop is 653. Seems like a whiff, but this board texture favors my range and bricks theirs. Also, I saw this dude that raised his post 3-bet with KJo from the small blind and then lead into three opponents on a 765 flop, so he’s obviously over c-betting and in terrible spots. I raise and the under the gun player calls (yikes) and so does he.

    I might give up here if the turn bricks, but when it comes a 7, I have to keep telling the story and they both fold when I bet.

    First Overs pot of the day:

    One player limps, I raise 98 of hearts, Part-Time defends, and the limper calls.

    Flop is 873 and I get check-raised by PT. I call, planning to call this one down.

    Turn is a 4. I call $50.

    River is a 5. It completes 96 (plus 65 turned a straight) and gives 86 and 76 a straight also, but I think Part-Time is good enough to know that if he has something like JT or T9, he has to bluff here. I don’t think he would turn his 8s or 7s into bluffs here so maybe this is a folding spot, but I pay it off and get to look at pocket sixes.

    7:10 PM: It’s the return of FBI Guy! If you haven’t checked out my Blog Nicknames entry for him, you should. He’s already acted out of turn multiple times and he’s been playing for less than an orbit. He says to Part-Time, whose cards are plainly visible in front of him that he didn’t see his hand and Part-Time snaps back, “I thought you were a policeman. You’re supposed to see everything. You see nothing.”

    7:17 PM: A big clash: Flea opens, two call, and I defend with 54o.

    Flop is AK3 with two clubs. Flea bets, the other call, and I call closing the action and getting 11 to 1.

    The turn is a 2 and fireworks start. We check to Flea, he bets, the cutoff raises and the small blind calls $60 cold! Uhm, yes please. I 3-bet and Flea caps it! The cutoff folds! 😮. The two of us in the blinds call and I go to the river, praying to dodge clubs and board pairs.

    It’s a jack! I’m only losing to QT of clubs now. The small blind power folds like a jack ass and I bet because I don’t want the river to check behind and, well, maybe something cool will happen. He raises! I re-raise and he finally slows down with pocket aces and calls.

    Monstah pot!

    I was working on -$1k before that hand and now I’m only down a few hundred.

    Lineup Update: random old man, Part-Time, Joker, FBI Guy, random, Cobra, Flea, and one open seat.

    8:11 PM: Random opens and I 3-bet AJo and he caps.

    Flop is A86. He bets, I call.

    Turn is another ace. He bets. I’m up against a strong range here it seems, but my hand is too good to just call. I raise, he raises, I call. Sigh. Nice little cooler unless he’s spazzing.

    River brick. I call and he shows 88.

    And then doesn’t take another hand and leaves us 7-handed. FBI Guy is not one to play short-handed and Flea is on fumes, so this game is in the Danger Zone again.

    And I’m back to -$800.

    Blah.

    I don’t get how there can be two full games with a list on Friday and this game has been struggling all night on a Saturday.

    9:06 PM: We are down to 6-handed and that includes FBI Guy and Flea, so Joker and I just set an over/under of 40 minutes for the game breaking. The over is probably a good bet. It seems like every time I worry the game could break it picks up again… but we shall see.

    9:09 PM: And just like that, we pick up a player! Oh wait, it’s The Invisible Man… we are still pretty much 6-handed.

    9:39 PM: Down to 5-handed and one of them is The Invisible Man. On the bright side, we are back to $1 rake with no PSJ drop.

    First hand of 5-handed play, I lose $200 in a blind vs blind hand where I have A4 on AJ562 and Flea has J6o.

    11:08 PM: And we’re down. Flea quit. Cobra quit. Invisible Man quit. Yawn.

    I finished at -$91 and I’m happy with that since I was down almost $1k, made a comeback, and was down almost $1k again.

    I think I’ve settled into a groove of blogging about once a week. It’s hard (and kind of brutal) to write during every session I play and lately I’ve only been playing three days a week, so the opportunity hasn’t really been there anyway.

    I’ll be posting stack updates and some hand histories during the slew of tournaments coming up though, so expect a lot of content over the next three weeks starting next weekend.

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    $15/$30 Live Blog and Recap of Last Week

    March 15, 2019

    I’m going to start with a little recap of the last week before we get into today’s 15/30 session.

    As I noted in my March 2019 Goals post I’m not making live poker a priority this month. I’m still playing 2-3 days a week, but I’ve been staying home and playing online tournaments on Mondays and Thursdays, plus The Leak and I have been spending a good amount of time rewatching Game of Thrones to get ready for the season 8 premiere next month.

    I ended a 5-session losing streak in the 15/30 game on Friday night with a modest +$630, but Saturday I finally had a breakthrough, signature Dark Knight win with a +$1905 day. I can’t say the downswing is over, but it’s at least a nice reprieve from the constant beatdowns I’ve been getting handed.

    Saturday night actually briefly threatened to be another frustrating session. I was coasting along for hours, probably in the +$1500 to +$1800 range for most of the night when the game got ultra good with two all-timers – His Airness and Marlo – taking seats. There were a couple other good spots too, so the game was ultra juicy.

    Unfortunately, I went 1.5-2 hours in these crazy conditions without winning a hand and when the dust settled, and both Marlo and His Airness were gone, I was actually stuck.

    Some of the key pots during this stretch:

    Marlo raises, I defend A3 suited and check-call on the T33 flop when we are in Overs. The turn is a jack and I check-raise and cap it after he 3-bets me. The river is another jack and it’s definitely not a good card for me. I’m losing to all his Jx hands now, but he’s a total maniac and he can still have AA, KK, QQ, Tx, and all sorts of other random, terrible shit that he will call with, so I bet and call when he raises and he shows J8.

    Then I lost to His Airness when I had T9 on 997 and he made a one card flush on the river after check-raising me on the jack turn with QTo.

    Then I had AA against His Airness on a J964 rainbow board and he 3-bet me on the turn after I check-raised. I check-called the 7 river and he says, “you’re not going to like this” and turned over 85.

    There were some other tough hands during this stretch but those were the only ones I see notes for. Pretty gross.

    Fortunately, I rallied back and posted the solid win I’ve been craving since I returned home from L.A. in mid-February.

    On Sunday we hosted a mix game at Scarecrow’s house and played $5/$10 dealer’s choice with $8/$16 Overs and $1/$2 blinds for big bet games.

    We had a full game most of the day with Scarecrow, Flipper, Joker, Cobra, Ducky, Bulletproof, Riddler, and BlackJack all in attendance at one point.

    Off the top of my head, games we played included: PLO, Big O, Omaha 8/B, Razz, Super Razzdugi, Baduecy, 2-7 Triple Draw, 2-7 Drawmaha, Double Board Omaha, Super Stud 8/B, Super Stud Hi, and Badugi – plus some games I’d never played before like 2-7 no limit Single Draw, Pips (fun!), and Crucifix.

    We played about 9 hours of 5/10 before switching to 10/20 limits for the last 2-3 hours.

    It was a wild game – with most people more concerned with playing hands to gain experience than playing well – and highly recommended if you want to learn some new games without the stakes being brutally high.

    All in all, I finished +$515 in 11.5 hours.

    That capped a pretty solid weekend that saw me go +$3050 over the three days and get March on the right path.

    An update on my March tournament grind:

    I ended up stopping in All Star Lanes yesterday after my dentist appointment in Kitsap County and won their daily morning tournament for $180 and that gives me 8 cashes in 39 tournaments (20%) with two wins and a 2nd for the month.

    Unfortunately I have been bricking all the higher BIs online and I’m currently +$131.68 for a whopping 14% ROI for the month.

    The month is roughly halfway over now and I’m about 40% of the way through my 100 tournament challenge and my schedule is only going to get busier, so it’s unlikely I’ll meet that goal unless I really grind it out on my free days.

    PLO started on Wednesday with The Crypt Keeper, Charlie Hustle, Part-Time, some semi-regs, and a couple of randoms.

    About 15 minutes into the session a really sick hand came up. I ended up paying $30 to see the flop with 7665 double suited (probably not advisable in a multi-way pot) and The Crypt Keeper, Charlie Hustle and a Kitsap friend ended up getting $1k each in the middle on the A87 with two hearts board. My Kitsap buddy went deep into the tank on the flop thinking about whether he was willing to play for stacks here or not (a direction things were clearly headed) and when he came out of it by joining the party, I couldn’t help but blurt out, “you better win this pot. If he [Charlie Hustle] wins, he’s leaving; and no one wants to see him [The Crypt Keeper] with $3000 in front of him.”

    The turn was the six of diamonds and TCK and Kitsap got a few more hundred in and everyone turned their hands up.

    Charlie Hustle: AAQJ

    Kitsap: QT98 with Q high hearts

    Crypt Keeper: T965 with two hearts

    River… 7 of hearts, bringing in the flush but pairing the board.

    Charlie Hustle wins a $3k+ pot and asks to be dealt out and then leaves after playing for 20 minutes.

    Holy fuck, I hate him. I barely hide my contempt at this point.

    Meanwhile, 6th street went on for some time and we discovered that one player folded 88 (a hand he disclosed before cards were turned up). I had two sixes and a seven in my hand. Kitsap had an 8. Crypt Keeper had a 6. That gives Charlie Hustle one ace and two sevens to improve on the river.

    Pretty sick. But it wasn’t even a top 2 beat of the night. Well, at least not in number of outs.

    Part-Time got $1k in on the flop with a naked JJ vs KK on KJ5r and rivered quads in a $2k+ pot.

    Then one of the security guards at Palace check-jammed for ~$400 on Q95r holding KQQx against Crypt Keeper holding KKQ9 and somehow the turn was the case king.

    So nasty!

    I had a very uneventful session myself. I noted a few hands I played, but they aren’t very remarkable. The only hand I played that was truly noteworthy was this one:

    I open to $15 early with AQT9 with T9 of diamonds and get six callers. Yikes.

    The flop is Q76, all diamonds, giving me a mediocre flush. The small blind leads out $40 into $105, which is not a strong looking bet. I am not a fan of the situation, with many players to act behind me, but I decide to peel and see what happens. Two players call behind.

    Turn is the ace of clubs, giving me top two pair to go with my weak flush. The small blind checks and so do I. The next player bets $120 into ~$265 and the other two players fold.

    It’s probably safe to assume that an ace or queen are legit outs and the 8 of diamonds gives me a straight flush. I’m getting like 3.2 to 1 on a call, so assuming no future betting I need about 23% to breakeven here. If I need to improve, I’m roughly 10%, so this is almost surely a fold considering I might not even get paid off if the board pairs.

    In the moment though, I decided there was some chance my hand was good here. It’s not like $120 into $265 in a 4-way pot exudes strength. But even if he doesn’t have the nut flush, I’m still losing to king, queen, and jack high flushes. I didn’t like it much at the time and I like it even less now that I’ve had time to think about the spot more, but I called.

    The river paired the board with a 7 and I decided that my hand was most likely not going to win a showdown and, recalling multiple comments from previous weeks about how exploitable I am (tight-solid/straight-forward), I decided to lead out for $300 as a bluff. My opponent didn’t think too long about it before folding an ace high flush face up.

    Considering that my Kitsap friend has made multiple ridiculously “good” folds against me in recent weeks, I also decided to turn my hand face up – not to show my current opponent up, but shatter my image a little bit and make me tougher to play against.

    I got off to a decent start in the game, but that hand above was the only pot I won in a stretch of 4+ hours, and we only played for 5 hours so I was folding and bricking almost the entire night.

    Incredibly, The Crypt Keeper cashed out between $6000-$7500 after immediately being stuck $1000. That’s impressive.

    I finished at -$57 after going +$51 in 2+ hours of 4/8 LHE.

    That reminds me… while I was playing 4/8, I posted this on Facebook:

    And then this:

    In the hand described above, I completed the big with As3x after the superstar open-limped from the cutoff and the big blind raised. The flop was K83 all spades and I raised when it checked to the limper and he bet. The big blind then 3-bet and the cutoff folded. At that point, I played my hand as a draw and planned to call down, but the big blind checked back turn and river.

    One of the things this guy said was “I’m losing to a guy that has no clue what he’s doing,” and I just responded, “I’m sure you know more than I do.”

    This whole scenario got me thinking. While I took his comments in stride and didn’t lash back at him at all or get defensive, I was certainly planning on playing target poker if he had stuck around. I was going to go out of my way to make things really, really difficult for him.

    And honestly, that’s not very cool.

    I remember a time when I couldn’t wait to have $200 to play 4/8 with and when I did have that money, I usually couldn’t afford to lose it. I think that’s where all that “testosterone” originates from. I imagine a decent percentage of the 4/8 player pool can’t afford to lose the money they are playing with and that’s why they are so emotionally attached to the results of each and every hand.

    So yeah, I’m not sure how proud I should be of bullying someone like that, even if they sort of have it coming. My job is to make poker players feel welcome and enjoy their time at their table, even if they are a bit of a dickwad.

    On to today’s 15/30 session.

    Starting Lineup: Master Splinter, FanBoy, Flea, Ducky, Joker, Cobra, and an old regular I haven’t seen in a while.

    Plus… a long overdue nickname for a top regular: I’ve been waiting for that magic moment when I came up with something undeniable for him and it happened last week when he was being super loud and obnoxious and said something like, “yeah, you can hear me from the parking lot” and BOOM! There it was: Megaphone.

    FanBoy grabbed the seat on my life with promises of trying to punish me and make my blog multiple times tonight so we shall see how that goes.

    Joker, FanBoy, Ducky, and myself are all already out for the The Coast-to-Coast Challenge.

    My first winning pot saw me defending QTo when Ducky opened from middle position.

    Flop was K97 rainbow and this is a hand I’m bluffing with on this board so I check-raise and he calls.

    No worries. I bink the straight on the turn and he calls again.

    The river is a 6 and now he folds and it looks like the triple barrel unimproved would have got the job done anyway.

    4:51 PM: Open hijack with 55 and FanBoy gets in his first Dark Knight isolation 3-bet, but Ducky comes along from the small blind to spoil his plans (and also make my hand worse). I call.

    Flop is 743 with two hearts and one club. FanBoy isn’t one to recklessly c-bet and this is a good flop for my hand and I do not want to give a free card, so I donk out. He calls and Ducky 3-bets. I want FanBoy out and it’s not a given that Ducky has me beat anyway, so I 3-bet and we go heads up to a board-pairing 3 of clubs.

    This is a good card for me, but I don’t want to get check-raised, so I check back, planning to call on most river cards.

    The river is a 6 and Ducky leads out. Well, this is a river I can raise. I doubt he expects me to show up with a straight here, so there’s no need for me to fear the worst just because he led out on a “dangerous” river card. I raise, he snap calls and we split the pot when he shows 65 of clubs – a hand that flopped a straight and turned a straight flush draw!

    And he ain’t happy.

    5:02 PM: FanBoy off to a rough start and was near crumbs when FanGirl hit a natural Royal Flush and brought him over $500 in red chips to buy him a little more time before felting.

    5:14 PM: Instant karma:

    I defend QQ when FanBoy opens under the gun and check-call down on KT6ddc5cTc in a 3-way pot. Pretty sure I can fold this hand on the river because he’s prob never bluffing with an unknown hitchhiker tagging along, but I reluctantly call and he turns over KK.

    A few hands later, I open AK, he 3-bets, two others call and I call.

    Flop is K84 with two spades and I check-raise FanBoy and cap when everyone else folds. I’m losing to AA, KK, and 88 only? I like my hand here.

    Turn is a jack and he calls when I bet.

    River is the 3 of spades and I decide to check that card since he can have ace high flush draws here and I have a funky feeling anyway. He bets, I call, and he shows AA.

    Then he 3-bets me when I open QTcc and shows me 99 on the Q97xx board.

    Wtf.

    6:24 PM: Rallying back after the FanBoy fiasco by getting three streets of value with AA on A4384 vs Flea and then this strange hand:

    Cobra opens button with both FanBoy and myself posting big blinds. I defend J9ss and FanBoy also calls.

    Flop is 872 with one spade and this a check-raise bluffing candidate so I take that line and Cobra calls.

    Turn pairs the 8 and he calls again.

    River is a 7 and there is no way he’s folding overpairs or ace high here, so I’m just giving up. He checks back and I concede by saying “jack high” and he says, “that’s good.”

    Woah. I may have gotten lucky against a small pair here or maybe he just had a worse straight draw. Who knows. Either way, it was a nice and surprising result.

    7:13 PM: Ducky opens, I defend with AA and check-call on AT9. Normally, I would check-raise flop immediately, but Ducky will barrel off more often than most and this board should definitely hit his range better than a big blind defending range.

    I get a check-raise in on the 8 turn, but the river is a 7 and now I’m in full bluff-catching mode and check-call to lose to KJo.

    Nice execution, shitty result.

    8:11 PM: More weirdness with Cobra. He opens from mid and I 3-bet KT of clubs on the button and Flea tags along from a blind.

    Flop is J93 with one club and Cobra donks into me. I prefer to play this hand heads up and possibly take a free card on the turn, so I raise to isolate and it gets the job done, plus Cobra just calls.

    Turn is the ace of clubs and I’m definitely planning to barrel that card but Cobra donks out again. This is really bizarre and it’s strange enough that I seriously consider raising. It just seems weak and part of me is itching to attack. I go against my instincts and just call.

    River bricks off and we both check and… he shows 97 of diamonds which… is pretty brutal to see.

    Trust your instincts.

    9:27 PM: Not much of a notable hand, but I bet turn on 922K with KK just as the high hand buzzer was going off and my opponent folded. I waited a few seconds for the buzzer to finish sounding and turned my cards face up for the new high hand period.

    Kings of deuces is super weak with ten tables going so FanBoy immediately offered me $5 for my hand and I rejected him.

    15 minutes went by and FanBoy says, “wow. Kings full of deuces is still good.”

    And I’m like, “what the hell dude. I totally forgot about it and now I have a sick five minute sweat.”

    And then I forgot about it again and with 36 seconds left someone pointed it out again for maximum buzzer-beating pain and…

    … it held!

    Ship an extra $400 my way.

    10:27 PM: Another weird one with Cobra: he opens and I 3-bet with QT of clubs. I c-bet on ATx one club flop and he calls.

    I’m probably checking back a lot of turns but when I make queens up I fire a value bet and get check-raised. Never folding here. Also not raising.

    River is a king and he still leads and that’s strange enough that I want to see it even though I should never be good here. I am simply curious. I call and he shows AT.

    Pretty gross considering I should be getting a free showdown against that hand. He’s basically looking to get value from QT, KT, and KQ only, when it’s unlikely I’m showing up with the latter two hands, as I’d probably choose to check back the turn with them. So is it a bluff? I’m never folding AQ+ here so… 🤷🏻‍♂️

    12:10 AM: Cold stretch. Whiffing flops and draws. Pretty sure I’m 0-5 with flush draws tonight.

    Current lineup: Jesus, FanGirl, FanBoy, Sandman, Master Splinter, Joker, Ducky, Cobra

    Joker, Ducky, and Cobra are creating quite the Murderer’s Row. I think I’ve seen that section of the table go: Joker opens, Ducky 3-bets, and Cobra caps it like ten times.

    2:23 AM: Sorry. I definitely lost steam with the writing after about 10 PM, but also nothing too exciting happened either.

    I was only briefly stuck a little bit and I was never up more than a rack and a half, so it definitely wasn’t a volatile session.

    Final Score: +$582

    h1

    Fighting With My Family (2019)

    March 13, 2019

    Fighting with my Family (2019)
    Director: Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies, The Office)
    Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn, Dwayne Johnson, Nick Frost, Lena Headey

    Anticipation Level: Medium

    How Was It? Very good. This might seem like a surprise film but I’m not caught off guard to like something written and directed by the co-creator of “The Office.” I am a bit surprised to like a movie that is set in the world of professional wrestling… like Hulk Hogan/Andre the Giant professional wrestling. Yet there I was entertained and *gasp* invested in this girl’s story. This is the first movie I’ve seen Florence Pugh in and she was fantastic. She has an interesting slate ahead of her in 2019 with starring roles in Ari Aster’s (Hereditary) Midsommar and Greta Gerwig’s (Lady Bird) Little Women. I’ve never heard of her before this movie but she looks like she might be a household name by the end of the year and may even find herself in the awards mix. The Rock has some fun cameos and I can finally retort to one of my friends that he’s been in an indisputably good film now. Lena Headey’s role in this was interesting. I can’t say I particularly liked her, but it opened my eyes to just how phenomenal she is as Cersei Lanister on Game of Thrones. It doesn’t even seem like the same person could be playing both roles.

    Fighting With My Family is funny and charming with plenty of appeal even if you’re not a fan of wrestling.

    Replay Value: Worth seeing again.

    Sequel Potential: Based on a true story… I’d say none.

    Oscar Potential: Maybe. It’s super early. The best things about this movie are Pugh’s performance and the script, so let’s give both of those a long shot for now.

    7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

    h1

    The Return! $15/$30 @ Palace (Live Blog)

    March 8, 2019

    So in my last post I was lamenting a terrible month of February and eager to play my first session of a new month. Well, I posted another loss of 55+ big bets. That gives me five straight losing sessions in the 15/30 game and three of them have been for more than 55 big bets. In this case, it was a -$1710 session exactly. Losses that big are the equivalent of losing $440 in 4/8 or $880 in 8/16. Big losses. Maybe not on the level of my worst losses, but I typically only have a handful (or two) of sessions this bad each year and right now they are just coming in rapid succession. It’s the kind of run that makes you question everything. Did I suddenly forget how to play limit Hold’em?

    Naw. It’s just variance, but it is definitely being compounded by some less than stellar decision-making. My head has been clouded by constant losing and that sixth sense (subconscious instincts built up over hundreds of thousands of hands) that usually provides clarity in murky situations has been mostly absent these last few weeks. Mostly, I have not been having fun. It’s hard to go to the casino every day and not just lose, but lose violently.

    So I decided to take a week off. Usually, I’m ready to get back in action after a couple days off – and I was this time as well – but I stuck to my plan and I haven’t played live poker since last Friday.

    One of my top priorities this month was to prepare for the Muckleshoot Spring Classic and I did start doing that during this time off, spending a couple days playing poker tournaments online. So far, I’ve played 27 tournaments (on my quest to 100) and I’ve cashed 5 of them (18%) with three final tables that led to a 1st and a 2nd. Unfortunately, I’ve been cashing the smaller buy-ins and whiffing the bigger ones, so my ROI for the month is a modest 15%. All in all, I’d have to say I’ve ran pretty bad so far, losing almost all the important flips and late, big confrontations I’ve had.

    On Wednesday, one of our dogs, Yogi, passed away. He was an old dog and I’m not sure how good his quality of life has been these last couple of years, so I was kind of happy for him that he was able to move on. He had breathing problems – typical of older Poms – and while he always wagged his tail and kept trooping along, I am glad to know he is truly at peace now. He traveled everywhere with us and got to see lots of awesome places and go on many adventures.

    R.I.P. Yogi.

    3:53 PM: 22 names on the list.

    Starting Lineup: Master Splinter, Chief Wiggum, Ducky, Part-Time, Flea, Joker, and a couple other regs

    Joker currently Coasting. I’m out already.

    4:20 PM: Flea is the only limper and it folds to my big blind and I check with KTo.

    Flop is KKJ with two spades and I start with a check call since I have the board clobbered and I expect Flea to barrel off more than any other player.

    I check-call turn and check-raise when the board bricks out and he has something he can call with so I get to show my hand.

    I win the pot and he starts chuckling. And then chuckles some more. And keeps chuckling.

    Ducky turns to me and says, “I think he thinks that’s funny” and I whisper back, “so do I.”

    5:35 PM: Been a pretty inactive first 90 minutes for me but I just had a big confrontation with Chief Wiggum.

    He limps along on the button and I raise from the small blind with TT and both limpers call.

    Flop is AT6 with two spades and I get raised by Wiggum on the button. We are not in Overs, but we will be after I call, so I opt to wait for the turn to raise. Could be dangerous, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Wiggum raise on the flop for a free card with a draw.

    Turn is a blank and we each put out four bets in Overs and then he calls a river spade with 66.

    But, the victory was somewhat short-lived because as I was typing this I raised with AK and got the KT7 all diamond flop with the ace of diamonds in my hand. Wiggum had J9 of diamonds and we put in four bets on the flop before I check-called down without improving.

    6:50 PM: A preface to this next hand:

    Joker opens and I 3-bet KQ on the button. I get check-raised on J87cc (with a club) in my hand and then I get check-raised again when I turn a king. Nice. I dare him to check-raise me again on the river (because I want a free showdown) but it’s an ace and he bets. I’m not beating much against this line but I pay it off anyway and he shows AA, taking a play right out of my own book by flatting my 3-bet pre in a spot he used to always cap. Good job, blog.

    Which brings me to this hand:

    Someone limps, Joker raises, I 3-bet with KK from the big and that gets us heads up.

    Flop is J64 with two clubs and we end up going four bets. Unlike the previous hand against Chief Wiggum, Joker is plenty capable of raising the flop with a pair plus draw and checking back the turn when he misses. The value range I’m losing to is AA and JJ. Maybe 66, but I’m not sure he’s jacking up a limper from the hijack with that hand. He can have a number of flush draws, including ones that have a jack in them, and I don’t want him checking back any of those hands.

    Even though Joker capped the flop, I still lead a ten on the turn for all the reasons listed above and I’m very happy to see him just call.

    The river is a queen and I ended up checking but I think I should have bet. I can probably rule out JT when he flats the turn so I’m really just checking because QJ got there? He can’t have AK of clubs because I have the Kc in my hand. I suppose he could still have AA here, but I think I like a bet.

    He checks back and my hand is good.

    Apparently he turned a pair with his flush draw. 👀

    9:25 PM: More fun with Joker. I open utg with AQo, Ducky 3-bets next to act, and Joker cold caps it from MP. We both call.

    Flop is pretty good when you have AQo from the worst position and get raised twice: AAJ rainbow. It seems silly to bet here without the lead, but Joker is the kind of player that might check back a hand like KK after all that preflop action, so maybe I should be leading here. But I check and it checks around.

    Turn is a 9 that opens up a diamond draw. I lead out and only Joker calls.

    I’m ranging him in big pairs that checked back the flop so I’m kind of surprised when I get raised on a rather innocuous 5 of diamonds on the river. I look down at the ace of diamonds in my hand and a flush on the river makes even less sense. So after thinking about it for a while I say, “you must have KQ of diamonds exactly.” But I put the call out and that is the hand he shows me.

    Yawn.

    And this is why I can’t have winning sessions.

    10:38 PM: Just called a raise in a multi-way pot with QJcc and flopped a flush and went two bets on flop and three Overs bets on the turn, plus a bet on the river… and won.

    This is the kind of thing that basically never happened the last few weeks.

    11:00 PM: Cobra is sitting next to me playing in a pot while holding a plate in front of him, eating Mongolian beef, and after the dealer brings the turn a chopstick comes flying off his plate, along with various bits of noodles, sauce and meat.

    The table stops in stunned silence for a bit and Cobra breaks it by saying, “oh my God, is that an ace on the turn?” and everyone started dying.

    It might have been a you had to be there moment, but I was laughing my ass off.

    Final Score: +$630

    I didn’t have many hands to blog about because I wasn’t involved a lot tonight. I don’t think I was ever stuck more than $100 and I was never up more than $800, so not a very volatile session.

    It’s a pretty small win, but a much needed slump buster. I’ll take it.

    h1

    March 2019 Goals

    March 1, 2019

    But first, let me talk about February 2019 real quick.

    It was the worst month of poker in my career.

    I basically look at my poker career as starting in June of 2011. By that point, I was almost a year sober and I had just spent almost all of May 2011 sitting in a jail cell for a probation violation, preparing myself for success when I got out.

    I had been playing poker for nearly seven years before that and while I had a good amount of success, I was also a raging alcoholic during that period and totally incapable of keeping a bankroll together. I could have been one of those poker boom success stories you hear about nowadays, but I blew my chance. I had a massive leak (drinking) and no concept of bankroll management, plus I wasn’t nearly as good as I thought I was.

    At one point, in the spring of 2005, I had turned $300 into something like $25k in a few months, at a time when I was basically living check to check. So that was a massive amount of money to me. Enough, that I was sitting in class at UW, weeks shy of graduating from a good college, and “realized” that I was wasting my time there when I could be making $100/hour playing poker online. So I dropped out. And quit my job.

    By spring of 2006, I was unemployed with -$700 in my bank account, an eviction notice on my apartment door, and my Jeep Grand Cherokee on loan to a fellow player expecting him to make my monthly payments (he didn’t).

    I suppose that was my absolute worst rock bottom, but I would bottom out at least two more times in the next half decade.

    So yeah, maybe I’ve had a worse losing month in my life. I’m not sure. Like most long term losing players, I stopped keeping track back then and have no trace of these dark times records now.

    However, I am sure that February 2019 is the worst month I’ve had since I quit drinking over eight years ago.It was my first month losing over $5000. And I started the month with a $5000 cushion. Crazy. I’m pretty sure that 10k slide is the worst cash game downswing I’ve ever had.

    Yesterday I decided to put in a marathon 8/16 session in the hopes that I could crack the Top 40 in hours and get $15 meal comps for the month of March (got ’em!), even though I was out of town for over a third of the month.

    I had a chance to avoid a record-setting losing month, but I posted a -$490 to set a new bar after finding ways to lose with AA on A33, JJ to 52 on 833 rainbow, and 99 to JT on 963 rainbow, just to name some of the more memorable uppercuts to my chin.

    On the bright side, we sold a house and got some much appreciated padding to the bankroll.

    So I guess, in a sense, February was a really good month for us.

    But goodness am I glad to see March.

    My goals for March are going to be a bit different than normal. Palace basically has three must play days for me (PLO on Wednesdays and 15/30 on Fri/Sat) and that leaves me with four days a week to occupy my time elsewhere.

    With the Muckleshoot Spring Classic coming up at the end of March, my focus is going to shift towards setting myself up for success in what is probably going to be an all no limit Hold’em schedule.

    My top poker objective for the month of March is to play 100 NLHE tournaments before the Muckleshoot Spring Classic starts.

    In addition, I will be focusing all my study on no limit Hold’em tournaments for the next six weeks or so (also looking ahead to the Spring Round Up in Pendleton, Oregon next month).

    Almost all of the tournament volume will be accomplished online at Global Poker, but I am also aiming to play 3-4 of the Muckleshoot weekly tournaments as well.

    My other goals for the month are health related. I have been lifting, meditating, hiking, and doing yoga since 2019 started, but it hasn’t been as consistent as I’d like. I’m pretty good at going to the gym twice a week, but I really need to be in there four times a week. And meditating on a daily basis.

    Also, here’s a look at the first draft of my desired WSOP schedule. My must play events are highlighted in purple. Also, I have not looked at schedules for anywhere else yet, but I will definitely be playing some non-WSOP events.

    Once I get a better grasp on what I’ll be playing, I’ll offer some series packages and pieces of various tournaments. Anyone that wants action in the Main Event can hit me up now and I’ll start making a list.

    Seeing as how I’ve lost four consecutive 15/30 sessions in painful fashion, I will not be live blogging my tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

    Last year, March was my best month thanks to the Spring Classic and I’m looking forward to trying my best to repeat as Player of the Series.

    Leggo.