May 2019 Week 4: New 8/16 Record Session

May 26, 2019

Monday @ Palace

My jam on Mondays lately has been playing 8/16 at Palace to get my volume back up so that’s where I continued to play this past week.

First notable pot, I opened from the cutoff with 65 of diamonds and both blinds called. An unknown donked from the small blind on the 855 with one diamond flop and the big blind called. I usually raise here, but I didn’t think a raising war was going to break out, so I just called to raise the big bet street. The turn was the four of diamonds and the small blind bet again, the big called, and now I raised it. The small blind called but then the big blind back-raised to three bets. Hello, alarm bells. Nope, I’m not leaping out of my seat at my good fortune here; color me concerned. I just call and so does the small blind. The river is the ace of diamonds, turning my trips into a flush and it feels like I’m definitely winning when they both wind up checking to me. It’s a little strange that the big blind would check this card, so I’m slightly worried I could be getting check-raised or that he’s putting me on exactly AA for some reason, but that’s not going to stop me from trying to get some value, so I bet and I get called in one or two spots and my flush is good.

Second notable pot, I had TT in a straddled 5-bet 5-ways pot and flopped top set and avoided whatever land mines were waiting for me.

Then I had 55 in the big blind with one limper and the small blind in the pot and got the 55x flop. I got no action on that hand, but I did win a $400 jackpot.

Seems like a pretty good session, right?

How about no?

I played for 5+ hours and this was pretty much everything good that happened. The rest of the night was a constant bleed. I only wrote down one notable losing hand, so I’m sure I was getting a lot of good preflop hands and just not connecting with the board and whiffing when I did flop any draws.

There are limpers and I raise it up with AK on the button. The flop is AQ2 rainbow and I get a couple of callers. The turn is a 6 and this time only the cutoff calls. The river pairs the 2 and suddenly my opponent leads out with a bet. This guy is an 8/16 regular that never plays bigger and didn’t really start playing at Palace until after I graduated to bigger games, so I don’t have a ton of history with him. However, my perception of him is that he’s a wimpy abc type of player that trends on the nitty side. The deuce can’t be part of a flush draw, plus if he did happen to call me down with a naked bottom pair leading out with trips is moronic. It would be insane for him to show up with 66 here and this would be a bizzaro line with AQ, so my only logical conclusion is that he has an ace and thinks he’s chopping most of the time and winning some of the time by betting this river with an ace. It seems like he will call with an ace, so I raise it up and he does call… with K2 suited. Needless to say, I was stunned… by pretty much everything about this hand. The preflop limp along is whatever and the flop call is standard, but everything else – the turn call, the river donk, just calling after I tank-raised – pretty much blew my mind.

I only played for just over five hours because at 11 PM there was no list and two players left or busted from our full game, leaving us 7-handed and I was the only remaining player that seemed to have any interest in continuing “short-handed” because everyone else quit by 11:13. Pathetic.

Fortunately, my three key pots outweighed all the bad and I managed a small win for the night, but I also can’t help but note that the only reason I won money was because I hit a jackpot.

Result: +$255

Tuesdays are always my day off and Wednesday was our four year wedding anniversary, so I didn’t play any poker on those days.

Thursday @ Fortune

I’ve been meaning to start going to Fortune on a more regular basis and finally pulled the trigger this Thursday when Ducky bailed on our weekly trip to Red Dragon for the mix game there. The Fortune 20/40 game seems like it’s been struggling recently as no limit cash games have been taking over the room. I see only one 20/40 table running a lot of the time when I check out their app and they used to get three games some of the time. My interest level in playing there is much higher when they have multiple 20 games running. So when I made my decision to head that way they had two games running with no list and that was good enough for me to make the trip.

I got a seat immediately and they’ve made a change since I’ve last been here (which was over two months ago!) and players new to the game no longer have to post or wait for the big blind to get a hand. Needless to say, that makes it a little easier to complete The Coast-to-Coast Challenge. I ended up folding all my free hands and then the button opened and Gaston (explanation coming) called from the small blind and I defended with Q5 of hearts. The flop is 995 with one heart and we check it to the button and Gaston and I both call. The turn is a 6 and it checks around. The river is a 3 and I think there’s a good chance I have the best hand when the turn checks around and Gaston checks the river, but I’m also not seeing a ton of value here and I don’t know how anyone is playing yet, so I check and it checks through and my hand is good. The Coast is live!

So Gaston is a 20/40 reg at Fortune that always asks me what his nickname is whenever I see him, but I’ve probably played less than ten sessions with him, so it’s not like we’ve butted heads very much. But then again, Gaston is special. Some people are worthy of nicknames simply because there is no one else like them. I’ve never played with anyone as self-promoting as Gaston. 95% of the things he says is about how awesome he is. I’m honestly curious if he is even capable of normal human interaction. The first time he sat next to me, he was showing me pictures of his past chip stacks for like 15 minutes straight. I was looking around the table for help like, “is this really happening to me right now?” I actually saw him pull up his camera roll during this session and there were like 20-30 pictures visible and every single one of them was of a chip stack. Maybe even the same chip stack. Amazing.

If you’re unfamiliar with Gaston, he’s the main villain in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast movies. Here’s a reminder of the Gaston song in the movies: Gaston Song – I’m sure there’s a way to embed that video but I don’t have skills like that.

“No one’s slick as Gaston
no one’s quick as Gaston
no one’s into measuring dicks like Gaston.”

A short while later, I 3-bet with the QJ of hearts, flopped a flush draw and got three bets in on the flop and rivered a flush. I officially had some Coasting breathing room and it was smooth sailing for my first several hours, peaking at around +$1500 three hours in.

Could I finally pull off my first Coast-to-Coast?

Gaston opens from middle position and it folds to me with AK of hearts in the small blind. I ended up flatting here because Gaston is a good hand reader and I didn’t want to tip my hand strength. I’m not sure what hands I want to flat with here down the road (if any), so until we get more history, I like including some big hands in my calling range. The big blind is a weak player and I don’t mind keeping him. The flop is Q86 with one heart and I go ahead and check-raise the flop. When the big blind takes two cold to the face and Gaston calls also, I’m planning to give up on turn bricks, but when the turn pairs the queen while giving me a flush draw, this feels like a great card to bet, so that’s what I do. They both fold.

After that I hit a cold stretch, starting with this pot. There’s an open, Gaston 3-bets (on my direct right now) from the cutoff and I cap it with 99 on the button. We end up going 5-ways to the 843 flop and I get called in three spot. The turn is a ten and I bet when it is checked to me. This card might beat me, but I shouldn’t be getting raised too often and if I do, I probably just have to fold. The big blind and Gaston call. The river is a 7 and it checks to me again. I feel like I’m probably good here, but I’m not super confident about it, so I check back and the big blind tables T6 of diamonds and then Gaston shows AT.

Then I had a 90 minute stretch where I picked up 99, JJ, or KK somewhere around 7-8 times and I lost with every single one of them. Suddenly I was only up $400 and my Coast was in jeopardy.

The sickest hand during that stretch was opening with KK, getting 3-bet by a loose player, and 4-bet by a good player from the small blind. The flop was 654 and the good player and I ended up putting in four bets. The turn was a ten and he check-called me. The river was a 7. I’m not worried about a straight here, but I am worried about AA. I’ve played my hand fast enough that he might be concerned with aces here. I thought he would probably still fire out on the turn with aces, so I went ahead and bet the river, especially since there are twice as many combos of JJ and QQ than AA. So I bet and he says something about me having a set before calling and I say, “I can’t beat aces” after he calls and… that is what he has.

But then I won a big pot with AQ and two with QQ and sucked out with AA vs KT on a KT696 board.

And I did it! I completed The Coast-to-Coast Challenge! I was getting super tired about nine hours in, but I powered through hour ten and became the first Gold entry.

Result: +$992

Friday @ Palace

Friday ended up being the 15/30 version of my Monday session.

I got off to a good start, raising with TT and getting donked into on KT3hh by Mr. Freeze with another player in the pot. That player called and I called also, so that I could make a raise on the turn when all three of us were in Overs. The turn is an offsuit six and Mr. Freeze leads again, other guy calls, and I get them both to put in $100 each on the turn. The river is an ace and now the middle player bets out when it checks to him. I mean… QJ sure makes a lot of sense. It makes enough sense that I don’t want to risk another $100 to find out, so I just call and hope that he has two pair. Mr. Freeze folds and my opponent does show AT for two pair.

Then I 3-bet a loose opener with A7 of diamonds and Mr. Freeze 4-bet on the button. The flop was AT3 and I started with a check-call. The turn paired the ace and I didn’t think that changed too much. I’m either way ahead or way behind still. I check-call. The river paired the 3 and I checked again and regretted it immediately. Mr. Freeze checks back and my hand somehow got there against TT. Woah. This is what he usually does to me. It was nice to put that guy on defrost for a little while.

I have the small blind on the button and there is some limping going on in front of me and I complete with 22. The flop is 652 rainbow, Taz bets and I raise. He calls and we go heads up to an 8 on the turn. Now he check-raises me. I’m honestly not sure about this spot. Taz had limped in from early position and is showing a lot of strength on this board texture. What hands would he play this way that I’m beating? 65? 86? Maaaaybe 87? Can he have an overpair? I guess it’s possible. In the moment, I raised it up and he thought for a long time before calling. The river paired the 8 and he checked to me again. Taz is capable of overplaying some hands, so that’s why I leaned 3-bet on the turn, and when he just calls, we can rule out straights but when the 8 pairs on the river, I’m not sure I love it. I can beat overpairs he limped in with from early position and some spazz with 87, which he is capable of. I’m not sure this is a betting spot and when I do bet and get check-raised, my hand is never good… but I pay it off and he shows 55 for a bigger full house. Maybe I’m being hard on myself, but I felt like I could have saved a big bet or two here somewhere.

Then I had a sick pot where I defended a raise multi-way with 63 of spades only for it to get back-raised and capped back to me and I wound up having to put four bets in with this garbage hand. Fortunately for me, the flop was a lovely 542 with two clubs and I suddenly had the nuts. I got four bets in multiple ways on the flop and by the time we reached the river, one player was all in and I only had one live opponent on the side, so I bet even when the flush got there on the last card. He folded and my hand was good for everything.

And then I made a one card Royal Flush for a $300 High Hand.

And yet… somehow I barely won for the session. In fact, just like on Monday, I ended up winning less than I picked up in High Hands. So even though I won some good pots, most of the session was either brutal or just bricking.

Result: +$236

On Saturday, I fired up a tournament on Global Poker while I was waiting for my wife to get ready and I ended up taking 1st of 51 in an $11 buy in for $342, so that was a nice and surprising start to my day.

It didn’t look like Palace was going to have a 15/30 game and Fortune only had one 20/40 with all 15 tables in action, so I didn’t want to go there either. We ended up going to Palace and I was content to play 8/16 all night.

And thank goodness. Because magic happened.

I picked up AK on the first pot I played and whiffed the flop and folded the turn, so I wouldn’t be Coasting in this session and that’s a damn shame because on the very next hand I had KK and won a massive pot and within my first hour of play I was up $1000.

And that was just the beginning. It was just one of those sessions where the game was super juicy with lots of raising and loose play and I happened to be running insanely good. I lost a massive pot with aces and I got overflushed once, but that’s about all I could really complain about. The rest of the session are what dreams are made of. I ended up hitting four High Hands for $200 each and two of those held up for the highest hand of the hour for another $100 each. After tips, I made a shade over $900 just in High Hands. But I also absolutely crushed.

I didn’t see much sense in writing down any hands because it was just pure run good all day long. I’ve had really good sessions, but almost all of them have cold stretches and I was hot in this one for almost ten hours straight.

How hot? This hot:

That’s a personal 8/16 record and as far as I know, it’s the most anyone has won in an 8/16 game at Palace. Ever. I certainly haven’t seen anyone even come close. My previous personal best in 8/16 was +$2377 and this is the 8th time in just over four years of playing 8/16 that I’ve won $1700 or more in a single session.

It’s so sick that I’ve actually never even won this much in a 20/40 game. My personal best in 20/40 is just under $3400. I did have a +$6754 session in the 15/30 last year, but I believe we were playing a lot of 25/50 Overs in that game.

It sure felt good because I was looking like I might post my third losing month of the year already (and I still might), but that session was enough to put me in the green for May and give me a good chance to stay there.

Result: +$3430

That was a nice bounce back after a miserable showing last week. I ended up winning just over $5200 this week and it was desperately needed.


  1. How do you even take that picture? Are you like “hey can you move out of the way so i can take a picture of my chip stack?”

    • I waited til the game broke.

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