May 2019 Results

June 4, 2019

I’m going to try to make this quick because I’m flying out to Vegas tomorrow morning (now today) and, well, I’m ready to go to bed.

Monday @ Palace

Played some 8/16 and isolated a limper on my first hand dealt in with 98 of spades and got a friendly 88648 runout and a chance to Coast again.

Sure enough, I got off to a very fast start and was up $600 in 40 minutes and the only real threat to not completing The Challenge for the second time in five days was the strength of the game. I wasn’t sure it was going to make it the requisite six hours. It was weak and fragile, but somehow it never collapsed and I finished at +$840 in 6.5 hours for my second Coast-to-Coast of the week – and also of the last 6+ months.

Wednesday @ Palace

I may have been lured into Palace on Wednesday. I’d made my decision to avoid big bet cash games until after I got back from the WSOP but there I was walking in at 6 PM on the promise of a juicy game and I see four people waiting for a game to start. Sigh. I sat down and of course it went miserably.

First, I 3-bet QJT9 double suited from the small blind after Mr. Freeze opened and he called. The flop was T74 with two spades and one diamond. With no spades in my hand, a weak gut shot, and lots of good backdoor equity – not to mention top pair – I decided to start with a check-call of $50. The turn was an offsuit 2 and I check-called $100. With Mr. Freeze firing barely more than half pot bets on the flop and turn, I gave serious consideration to check-potting the turn, but I decided for the lower variance route. The river was the queen of spades, giving me top two, but bringing in the spade flush. I checked and Mr. Freeze bet the max of $300. I really wanted to call. I really, really wanted to. And I even thought he looked weak and uncomfortable. But I folded and then he showed me the K954 with three diamonds in his hand. A total suicide mission. Man, I hate when I don’t trust my instincts.

Then I flopped a wrap against top set and got stacked.

After reloading, it was my turn to flop top set in a 3-bet 3-way pot. I had AAKK double suited on a board of KT6 with two hearts and a club, so I had top set and the backdoor nut flush draw and one of my opponents led out for $200 after calling $65 preflop. Charlie Hustle also called and then they both called when I raised the maximum to $500, leaving myself with less than $300 behind. It was going in no matter what the turn was. Unfortunately, it was the 5 of hearts and the flop donker led out again, Hustle folded, and I stacked off and the river bricked and he ended up winning the pot with a rather shocking holding of AATT with two hearts in his hand. I wasn’t shocked he had the flush, I was shocked we both had AA with another big pair.

I didn’t reload after that and left, pissed at myself for even showing up, a -$1500 loser.

Thursday @ Red Dragon

I started the 20/40 Mix game and after folding some free hands I got a freeplay with Q7xx in Omaha 8 and three streets of value on a Q9727 runout and I was Coasting again.

The next game was 2-7 Triple Draw and I snowed a hand successfully, got paid off with a 7, and made a couple other winners and I had a $700 cushion to Coast with after two variants.

I never got below +$400 after that and I ended up finishing a +$1055 winner for my third Coast-to-Coast in eight days. So weird that I went months and months without doing it and now I’m the first person to do it three times. It seems so easy now!

I’m sure Jesus wants me to post more hands, but he showed up around 6 PM and never shuts up when he’s playing, so I literally didn’t take a single note after he got there.

Friday @ Palace

No Coasting this time. I was down $800 in the first two hours of 15/30 but finally found some momentum when I won a huge pot with AA that was capped pre with multiple bets going in on the flop and turn against at least three opponents.

Then I opened with A2 of spades, FBI Guy called, someone else 3-bet and we saw a flop of KT8 with two clubs and one spade. I was done with it, but it checked around. The turn was the 7 of spades and I decided to start with a check, but I had a plan. If FBI Guy bet, I was just going to check-call, but if the preflop 3-bettor bet the turn, I was going to raise. I just didn’t think he would let the flop check through with any sort of made hand. He did end up being the turn bettor and I raised him and we went heads up to a board-pairing river and he folded AQ of clubs face up to my bet. Not sure wtf he’s doing on the flop. High Hands are worth $200 now, so… who knows.

At 10:15 PM, after 6+ hours of play, I broke the surfaced and had sugar for the first time in the session. This is notable because the game broke around 12:20 AM and by that time I was +$2915! It was sick. I just went on a scorcher. I even messaged Ducky at one point and asked, “when did I win every chip on the table?” because it really happened so fast.

A couple of notable hands:

Dude just took a bad beat and is on level 9 reactionary tilt and could be on level 10 suicide alert. He raises after a limp or two and I 3-bet with QQ from the small blind and he winds up capping it. We are heads up after capping again on the 885 flop and I’m not ready to cry chicken until he raises me one more time on the big bet street when a 6 hits the board. He’s now raised me four times since I 3-bet him before the flop, so I guess maybe queens aren’t good here? But like I said, he’s on suicide alert. There’s still hope! The river is an ugly looking 7 and now I’m losing to all the real hands that can beat me plus random 9s and random 4s. I check-call and he just instantly pitches his cards into the muck. Yeah buddy. That whole hand I was giving off the vibe of someone that couldn’t wait to fold.

I’m up against the same opponent a while later and we are getting short-handed now so I open the K9 of clubs, FBI Guy calls and my dude 3-bets from the big blind. We just call. The flop is J95 and I raise it up with middle pair to try to get heads up with what might be the best hand, but the big blind 3-bets again and I call. 9 on the turn. Bink! He leads and I raise. He starts thinking for a little bit, not acting, but I can genuinely see him trying to work it out here and decide if I have a 9 or not and he lands on, “nope, nothing beats my big pair here” and 3-bets it again. My read is pinpoint here so I put the cap on it. The river is a ten and he gives me another big bet and shows his AA in dismay as I win another big pot.

Really bizarre session. I went from solidly stuck immediately and stuck for 75% of an 8 hour session and somehow won almost $3000. Crazy.

Saturday @ Palace

This was supposed to be day off, but The Leak is feeling it lately and wanted to go play poker, so I played some more 8/16. I ended up winning +$181 in 8.5 hours and I wish I didn’t have any hands to mention, but they are pretty good, so I have to:

First one, I have AQ in a pot I raised and get two callers on the QQ8 two tone flop. The turn is a 5 and now the player in position raises me and the player in the blind calls two bets cold. I think the raiser probably has a worse queen and it seems like the other guy has a flush draw, so I 3-bet it and I’m sure I have the best hand after they both call. The river is a 7, I bet for value, the first guy calls, and now the blind says, “I’ll raise it one time.” Woah. Did not see that coming. My hand is never good here. I’ve shown a shit ton of strength and this dude is raising me on the end? I can actually fold here and still sleep soundly at night. I’m that sure. But I put the call out because I think I’m still supposed to and he shows me the 55 and I can’t help but privately thank the other guy for slow-playing his queen on the flop. Way to go, dude.

Two raises in front of me, I cap with 99 on the button and six of us end up seeing the Q82 rainbow flop. Everyone checks to me and I commit what many would probably consider a faux pas here and check back. Here’s my defense: I’m not going to get many folds on the flop, my hand is not a big favorite against multiple continues, I might be beat already, I don’t want to get check-raised, and I have decent backdoor equity when I’m behind. If I do have the best hand, my equity will drastically increase if the turn bricks off. So I checked back and the turn does brick off. It checks to the guy on my right and he says, “oh send it” and then whispers to me “save your money” after I call his turn bet. This guy has been fanboying me all day. At some point, someone asked me about my World Series plans and I answered cordially and now this dude thinks I’m somebody, plus he happened to be sitting next to me when I had that +$3.4k 8/16 session last weekend. So he’s been peppering me with all sorts of questions, telling me about all his own tournament successes, and trying to make eye contact with me after every single pot he wins because…. why? It’s all I can do not to ask for a seat change to get away from him. So when he tells me to save my money, I think he really is trying to do me a favor. But that didn’t stop me from paying off in this huge pot when the river also bricked and then this dude produces AJ high. I mean… nothing wrong with speech play, but wow. I was going to offer to coach him until this bullshit.

A Palace Classic! Two players limp in front of me and I limp along with the K9 of hearts, there’s another limp, and then the button raises and we all call and maybe a blind or two does too. The flop is K96 with two diamonds and a heart. My plan is check-raise and that’s what I do after the button bets and the first two limpers call. The player in between me and the button cold calls and then the button 3-bets. We all call. My standard play is to cap here, but I’m so confident that the button is clueless and reckless and I fully expect him to fire a turn bet and I can check-raise the field again. Of course, there are some turn cards I won’t check-raise (i.e. ten of diamonds), so maybe I should just collect the extra bets while I’m sure I have the best hand. Well, the turn is an offsuit ten and the button proves just how smart I am and checks back. Jesus. The river is the 5 of diamonds. The first two guys check and I think I can safely bet-fold this card, but in the moment, I thought it was too thin and checked along and it wound up getting checked through and my hand was good.

But wait! The button tables after checking and shows KQ, a hand I’m surprised he checked the turn with given my read of his style. And then the first limper shows… AA. I actually end up slow rolling a little here because my mind is so blown by that holding that I’m honestly in shock for a second. Seriously, go back and read that hand history knowing that the first limper has AA. Amazing stuff.

Sunday @ Palace

Palace had the first of their $110 deep stack Sunday tourney they will be doing every other week. It had a decently slow structure and I cruised to the final table with people punting to me left and right, plus I was running way above average.

We were in level 2 and I was very active at my table when this hand came up. I opened to 250 at 50/100 with QQ and got three callers. The flop came down 663 and I bet 250 because it seemed like I’m way ahead here and I get one caller. The turn is another 6 and I bet 400. He makes it 1000. Woah. Well, I’m only losing to quads here and it seems like he has a medium pair, so I make it 2500 and he stuffs it on me. I immediately tell the dealer, “this should probably be a snap-call, but realistically, my hand shouldn’t be good here, so I’m going to need some time.” I do some tanking, I start talking about quads and aces and kings, then I even start quizzing the player and trying to pick up info that way. Finally, the floorman happens to be walking by and I get to ask a question I don’t know the answer to: “Is there re-entry in this tournament?” “Yes.” “Call.”

And my opponent tables 44 and is drawing dead. Maybe a nit roll, but come on… I don’t want to bust out of this event in the second level when I can fold here and still have 140 bigs in a field I expect to have a massive edge in. I can’t even imagine what is going through someone’s head for them to 4-bet jam with 44 on the turn there. Really the only way my hand is good here is if I’m playing against someone that is losing their fucking mind. And, believe me, I thought that was a strong possibility.

I got all sorts of gifts like that all throughout the tournament, but it wasn’t meant to be.

I made the final table with a hefty stack, but as soon as they started talking chop and I started talking “how about we actually play a final table” the Poker Gods decided to punish me for my “greed.” I mean, 6th place was $306 and a 6-way chop was a little over $700. I can’t really say that got my blood flowing. Locking up that extra $400 doesn’t make any difference to me. I just wanted to play, plus I thought I was going to have to get unlucky not to win the tournament outright.

First, I lost a flip.

Then I lost my mind.

I opened to 10k at 2k/4k with AKhh and the big blind defended. He was the only player that had me covered, even though my stack had shrunk to about 25 bigs. The flop was T72 with two clubs and NO heart and I… checked? Why? Why would I do that? Because I lost my fucking mind. That’s why. These people don’t have the balls to play back as a bluff. They will check-call good draws and pairs, raise their big hands, and fold everything else. Just fire a half pot c-bet and win the pot right there 70% of the time. But no, I checked back. And then I called 12k when he bet the 4c turn. And I don’t know why I did that either. I told myself to fold… and then I called. Then he bet 15k when the river paired the 2 and I called that bet too. He showed me K4o and I had to muck my hand. Holy shit. I was considering bluffing if a club hit the river, but I really have zero defense for any of my postflop actions this hand. It was just a total choke job. I punted the tournament in this hand. Not only did I bleed 27k on the turn and river, but I should have picked up the 22k pot on the flop. Just an embarrassment.

That left me with like 7 bigs and I ended up getting them in with AQ and got called by KJ of hearts and they flopped a flush and just like that I was out. 6th place for $306 and they happily chopped the rest of it up 5-ways. Good for them. I don’t care about busting in 6th and not being part of the chop, but I do care about how I played that AK hand. I played so well this whole tournament and, as my friend put it, “blacked out” for one hand and it cost me all my momentum. Can’t afford lapses like that this month.

Oh well. Live and learn.

On the bright side, I woke up on May 20th stuck over $4000 for the month and ended up having a really good last 11 days and not only had a winning month, but an above average one. Didn’t see that coming.

I’m ready for the World Series of Poker! Let’s get it!

First event is $1500 H.O.R.S.E. on Wednesday. My best finish in that event is 5th in 2017 for ~$45k, my best score ever. I wasn’t even supposed to be in Vegas yet for this event, so it would be really cool if I can make another really deep run it. Destiny?

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