$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.


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

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