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Poker Update: July 2019 Week 4

July 30, 2019

Last Saturday, my poker plans were somewhat up in the air. I knew The Man was pushing to have a 15/30 at Palace at 4 PM, but I wasn’t much of a believer, especially when I saw four on the list at 3:30 and assumed one of those names was my own. The Fortune 20 game didn’t look all that promising, so my attention turned to Muckleshoot to see if they might get their 20/40 O8 game off the ground this week. Around 3:45 PM, I saw 6 names on the list for that so that’s where I headed.

When I got there, the game was full, but they made it 10-handed to accommodate me. The lineup included O8 legend ChowMein, Billy Dubz, Tree Bark, one of the Huey, Dewey, and Louie brothers, plus a dealer from Palace that I was surprised to see playing in such a big game. A few people expressed surprise that I would be playing O8, including Charlie Hustle coming over from a no limit game to say, “you know this is different from PLO, right?”

Yup. I didn’t just nearly final table a $2500 O8 tourney at the World Series last month. And I don’t play all the games as much as I can. One trick pony here.

I got off to a brutally slow start. It took me 2.5 hours to win my first scooper and before that happened, it’s not like I was getting half of any decent pots either. I think I got half of two meaningless pots up to that point.

Two of the sicker hands during that stretch:

It’s a 30/60 kill pot and I open with double suited AA63 and only the kill calls. The flop is KQ4 with two spades, giving me the nut flush draw, and he check-calls a bet. The turn is a jack and since I have two aces in my hand, I’m blocking the nut straight pretty hard, and while he probably turns a lot of two pair hands, I don’t expect to be getting raised too often and I have outs when that does happen. The river pairs the jack and when he checks to me again, I feel like my aces are usually good here, so I fire a bet and he check-raises me. This would be a pretty insane bluff and I have the best draw that missed, so I go ahead and give him credit for a hand and lay it down.

Someone opens, I 3-bet with AQ73 double suited and ChowMein calls from the small blind. The flop is a beautiful 977 with two spades, giving me trips with the nut flush draw. I bet and Chow check-raises me and the other player clears out. I call, planning to raise the turn and he does bet on the 8 of diamonds and calls my raise. The river is a 4 and I end up with trips and the second nut low. He check-calls and shows… AKT2 with no spades… for the zero equity bluff on the flop. I mean… I get it. He’s hoping that I bricked and will just fold on the flop or turn, but that doesn’t make it any less painful that half this pot is being sent his way now.

My first scooper wasn’t all that exciting either. I opened with AQQ2 double suited, got two callers, c-bet the J32 rainbow flop (dumb), got called in both spots, and then bet again when the 2 paired on the turn and they both folded. +6 small bets! Yay!

I was already down about $1100 when this hand came up:

I limped along in late position in a kill pot with AJ64 double suited and called a bet on K62 rainbow. Three of us saw the 5c turn and I called again, picking up the nut flush draw with my pair and second nut low. The river was an offsuit jack, giving me two pair and the second nut low. I ended up overcalling a bet, hoping that I was good in one direction, but expected to get quartered a decent amount of the time, and scooped some of the time.

I remember thinking that I hoped the bettor just had a naked 43 and when he turned over his hand, I saw the straight and for some reason sent my hand sailing into the muck, even though he didn’t have an ace with it. The other player mucked and the 43 ended up scooping the pot, but my A4 low was good for half. I was already stuck over two racks and here I am folding the best low in a pretty sizable pot.

It almost made me want to leave because nothing tilts me harder than my own absent-minded mistakes. It’s unforgivable to short circuit like that.

But I stuck it out and opened with the AA62 double suited, got a couple of callers and c-bet the AT3 two diamond flop. Just top set and the nut flush draw and an emergency low draw. Nothing to see here. I get two callers and one of them leads out when the 4 of diamonds hits the turn. I have the nut flush and the second nut low now. I should have raised here, especially when I noticed the other player was all in on the turn for less than a big bet. There’s some chance my low is good and I have the high side of the pot locked up. The river is a 5, so now I have the nut flush AND the nut low. Bingo. If I was losing the low side of the pot, I’m now getting at least a third of it. The other live player in the pot, still leads, I raise, he 3-bets, and I cap it. I’m expecting him to turn over a wheel and a flush here – because wtf else could he have – so when he tables AKT3 with a king high flush, I automatically see a wheel and assume he’s getting a quarter of the pot. BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE A DEUCE IN HIS HAND and the other player folds and somehow I have this entire pot all to myself. A much needed step in the right direction.

At this point in the night, a new player got in the game and seemed to be quite intoxicated. I called her down in a couple of hands when she was bluffing and suddenly found myself with sugar for the first time about 4.5 hours into the session after being down nearly $1400 at one point.

Things went south from there, however, as she ended up leaving the game and ChowMein seemed to have me beat on every pot we played together. I don’t feel like recounting all of these hands, but he was beating me up so badly that when I had an AA2x hand on the KT36T runout and he donked the river, I whined, “that’s supposed to be a good card for me,” and he actually showed me a ten from his hand out of pity.

OUT OF PITY.

Wtf.

Kill pot, Billy Dubz opens and I 3-bet with AKK5 single suited. He calls and then check-calls on KT4 rainbow. The turn is a queen and he check-calls again. The river is an ace and he checks it over to me. This might seem like a thin value bet, but there is absolutely no way he has a straight here. I can’t imagine that he would just check-call with AJ on the turn and there’s no way he’s raising from early position in a kill pot with a hand that has a jack in it but not an ace. Even if he did have a hand like QQJT, I think he would just lead out with it on the river. So this seems like a pretty obvious value bet to me. I bet and he hates it but makes the call with… AAQT… for a rivered set of aces. Nothing like losing to a one outer on the river when you’re already in the middle of getting creamed.

That hand pretty much broke my spirit but it actually happened before the string of losses I suffered at the hands of ChowMein. I stuck it out until nearly 3 in the morning, but I was super tired and called it a night at -$1837, booking my biggest loss in over two months and probably confirming Charlie Hustle’s suspicions that I have no fucking business in that game.

Sunday was a softball game organized by a fitness group I’m part of on Facebook that is run by one of the dealers at Palace. We probably got about 30 people together to play a game and it was a ton of fun.

Here are some pics of me and Hammy in action, courtesy of BlackJack:

On Monday, Ducky and I met my niece at T-Mobile Park so Albus could enjoy Bark at the Park night and watch a Mariners game. I couldn’t believe how good he was! He seemed to really enjoy himself, hardly ever barked, and didn’t use the bathroom in the stadium at all – although if he popped a squat in the third base area as an “F U” to Kyle Seager when we got to walk around the field, I would have been okay with that.

Tuesday was a total day off for me but I did receive notice from Global Poker that Washington state players would no longer be allowed to play on the site. About a year ago, Global decided that Washington state players could no longer deposit on the site but they could still play if they already had money on there. Well, that’s all over now.

No more depositing. No more playing.

It was a good run. I put $300 on the site and took off over $8500, so even though my volume wasn’t very high on there, it was still a profitable practice arena for pot limit Omaha and no limit Hold’em tournaments.

The starting lineup for PLO on Wednesday featured Mr. Freeze, Charlie Hustle, Speed Racer, a couple other regs, a splashy non-reg and Bulletproof making a special guest appearance.

Speed Racer felted $500 in about 20 minutes and took off… and then didn’t show up for 15/30 on Friday. His rush appears to be over and it wouldn’t surprise me if he stopped coming in altogether now. I’ve seen this sort of thing happen many times over the years. I hope he proves my theory wrong.

I only played a couple of key pots in this session.

In the first one, I make it $20 after a series of limpers with AKK7 single suited. I only got called in seven spots and we saw a flop of KQ3 with two diamonds, so I bombed for $160 and two players called (one of them all in). The turn was an offsuit ten and Mr. Freeze led for $300. I call. River pairs the ten and Freeze check-folds to my $300 bet. The all in player turns over Q33 so I had a ton of board-pairing outs on the river.

My second notable pot was way later in the night, when we are 4-handed. Someone makes it $10, I make it $30 on the button with J965 double suited. It’s not a great hand but plays fine if I get it heads up in position. Both blinds obv call and so does the opener. They all check to me 652 with one diamond and I bet $85 with my huge top two pair hand. Riddler calls and so does a loose player. The turn is the queen of diamonds and they check to me again. I feel fine betting that card, as it shouldn’t make too many two pairs and it gives me a flush draw. I bet $300 and only the loose player calls. The river is a brutal deuce that pairs the board and now I’m losing to a hand like 9877. I have some showdown value, but not much. I decide to turn my hand into a bluff and he goes into the tank but comes through with a fold!

I was in the game for about $900 and if I got called and lost that pot, I would have had $400 in front of me at the tail end of the night, so it was quite the relief when he let that one go.

I ended up +$668 for the day, but the real story was this happening:

That’s a nearly $5500 stack in front of her.

I think she was in for $1000 and ended up cashing out over $6000 for the biggest win I’ve ever seen in this PLO game. This mostly happened because the player on her direct right raised every hand the entire night and blasted off over $4000. She also won a monster pot where she had JT on JT646 and got heaps in on the flop so when she bet $300 on the river it was so obvious that she had a set of jacks that one player folded a six on the river. That was like a $2500 pot. Sick.

Thursday was our 15/30 Mixed home game. We played all the standard mix games like Baduecy, Badugi, 2-7 and A-5 Triple Draw, 2-7 Razz, Stud 8, Omaha 8, but we also added some big bet games like PLO and 2-7 no limit single draw. We did put a $300 cap on the big bet games though.

FanBoy, Ducky, Jesus, Bulletproof, Free Throw, and Scarecrow all showed up for the game.

I ended up winning $1200 and a good portion of my profit came from 2-7 single draw, a game I have almost no experience in. I just kept getting dealt good pat hands and getting paid off. Twice I had a pat 9 or better and got the max.

The only cool hand I took a note on was in A-5 Triple Draw. FanBoy raised under the gun and I defended the big blind with AA5xx. I drew three and he drew two. I improved to AA54x (no, I didn’t keep two aces!) and check-called a bet. I drew two and he stayed pat. This time I ended up with A5454, so now I’ve seen three aces and half the fours and fives. I decide to check-raise and snow (bluff). FanBoy calls and then breaks after I stand pat. Success! I bet after the draw and he… folds.

Not sure if that’s a great play or not, but it seems like a good hand to snow with.

Anyways, it was a lot of fun and I’m hoping we can get a game together 2-3 times a month.

15/30 had a rough start on Friday with only seven players taking seats, including Taz and Master Splinter. One of the floors from Palace was also playing that game for the first time that I’ve seen. Also, everyone that started the game took an Overs button and it pretty much played at 25/50 after the flop for the entire night.

I gave the former floor an early welcome to the game by 3-betting his hijack open with K5 of diamonds on the button. He donked on the 862 two diamond flop, I raised him up and then triple barrelled when the board ran out Jx-7x and he flashed the ace of diamonds and folded.

Later on, with the game full now, that same player limped, I raised with A2 of hearts, guy on my left cold calls, tight-solid player on the button 3-bets and Splinter calls from the big blind. Whoops. Five of us take the T76 rainbow flop and it checks around. The turn is a jack and it checks around again. The river pairs the jack and it checks to the preflop 3-bettor and she bets. The two players in front of me fold and I have one left behind me. This is a super easy call because she literally never has a hand here. She wouldn’t make this bet with better ace highs and I don’t see how she can have a pair. She’s not checking a jack back on the turn and I think she would bet the flop with 99 and 88. The only real concern is the player behind me calling with a small pocket pair, but I’ll take my chances. I called and won the pot and the table was kind of shocked that I would make that call and gave me some flak, especially when the person I picked off immediately left the game. Master Splinter said he folded pocket fives. Tough to make that call with fives with all the strength everyone has shown throughout the hand.

I open with 99 and get three callers. The flop is 973 with two diamonds and all three players call again. The turn card is the jack of diamonds and all three players fold when I bet. How good of a game are you playing in when you get called in three spots on 973dd and the Jd improves none of their hands? It honestly baffles me and that’s why I took a note on this otherwise unremarkable hand.

I spent most of this session up between $700-$1100, but then this crucial pot came up:

It gets capped 6-ways before the flop and I have JJ on J87 with two clubs and I get it capped again with Mighty Mouse and Hit&Run. The turn is the 9c and Hit&Run is the new bettor. We both call. The river is the 6 of clubs and it checks around. Hit&Run shows up with the mighty 42 of clubs that he limped from under the gun and called a cap with and it’s good enough to take this monster pot down.

15/30 at the Palace, folks.

Later in the night, the game is short-handed, and a player from Canada that I run into at Fortune and sometimes in Las Vegas and Reno is in the game now. She has an extremely loose and aggressive style. It borders on maniacal even, but she’s not clueless. Anyways, she opens from under the gun playing 6-handed, I 3-bet with KJo and the former floor caps it. The flop is K64 with two hearts. We check to the floor guy and he bets. She calls and since I feel like I’m only losing to AA, AK, KQ and one combo of KK here, I check-raise. He 3-bets and we both call. Okay, he’s saying KJ is no good. But then the turn is a jack and I get a check-raise in and both players call. The river pairs the 6 so now I’m losing to AA again, but he has eight combos of just AK and six combos of AA, so betting here seems mandatory. It seems like the other player was drawing and since the 6 on the flop was one of the suited cards, she can’t have a flush draw that turned into trips on the river. I bet and they both call. I’m kind of surprised by her call and I say, “I hope he doesn’t have aces, but I know I got you beat,” and then she flashes me the 96o and it honestly SHOCKED ME INTO SILENCE. She said something about not raising the river because I might have a set and I’m just sitting there trying not to vomit on myself.

There is literally no part of that hand I can wrap my mind around. I’m not going to lie, it sent me straight into Level 8 steam and it sent the other player out the door (he had AK).

But she was just getting warmed up wrecking my face. I think before that hand, I was still up around $800, but then I must have lost something like ten straight showdowns to her, plus some other hands where I folded earlier. By the time variance decided to stop shitting on me, I was down $1400 and flirting with Level 10 tilt. I thought about rage quitting at least three times as my frustration was impossible to contain.

Fortunately, things turned around, I stopped the bleeding and composed myself and salvaged a -$115 session.

Saturday we visited my parents to celebrate my birthday and Sunday we hiked Poo Poo Point Trail. Apple Health calculated that hike at 8.7 miles, 21k steps, and 122 floors. Not bad!

Ugh. What a slog. I didn’t mean to turn this into a huge post, but I guess some of you that have been complaining that I haven’t updated in a while had something to read for the last hour.

When I had the inspiration to write every day, my intention wasn’t to have it spill over for a week before I published anything. I’ll try to be more concise next time!

Note: that pic in the PLO section was actually Bulletproof’s stack and not the girl’s. She just wanted to sit in front of it and look cool. I told her I’d take a pic and post it if she wanted me to. Hate to give Bulletproof credit for setting a record in that game, but I must be honest.

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