Archive for August, 2019

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Legends of Poker: $2100 H.O.R.S.E. @ The Bike – Stack Updates/Live Blog

August 30, 2019

Stack updates and notable hands here.

This is actually considered Day 2 of this event. A few weeks ago, they ran a series of mixed game satellites and I considered coming out to play them, but I didn’t think it was worth the trip expenses to play them and possibly not even qualify. Anyways, those satellites were considered Day 1 of this event and it looks like 32 players total (~8 per flight) advanced to Day 2 and only a handful of them get to bring sizable stacks with them.

For those of us registering today, it is $2100 to buy in and we start with 180,000 in chips with blinds starting at 1500/3000. That gives us a total of 60 big blinds – or 30 big bets – so not a ton of play, but the pros with huge bankrolls are probably happy that the first level is going to be critical.

I’m sure there are going to be plenty of faces I recognize in the field but I’ve been playing and studying mix games a lot lately and I feel as confident as I ever have sitting down in a H.O.R.S.E. tournament. The stacks are small enough that getting off to a good start is going to be pretty crucial, so some early run good would be nice.

Levels are an hour long and our first (and only) break is after level 4, so I will post stack updates after critical pots here, but whatever hand histories I post will be pretty results oriented with no real analysis because I don’t have time for all that while I’m playing.

Let’s get it!

12:48 PM:

Slow start to cards in the air here.

Notables in the field: Allen Kessler, Frankie O’Dell, Daniel Ospina, Shirley Rosario, David Brookshire

I only have experience with one player at my table and he’s a straight forward nit. I sniped another player’s name and he has less than $15k in tourney cashes. The other players at my table look like favorable spots. 3 of my 5 current opponents satellited in.

12:50 PM:

Sigh. My table broke before we started. I am now at Daniel Ospina and Tim Frazin’s table. This table looks way more competent in general. Not cool. Oh well.

12:56 PM:

And we add Frankie O’Dell. LOL. Only two bracelet winners at my table now. NOT BAD.

End of Level 1

Took me an hour to win my first pot. I had a couple of good starters in Razz that bricked out.

Key pots:

Open KTcc, get 3-bet and then big blind caps it. We call. Flop is K86ddc and we both call big blind’s bet. I’m planning to call down here on most runouts. Turn is another 6 and the big bets, I call and then the other player raises. Big blind folds and I think about it for a while before folding. Seems like a weird spot to bluff and I’m not beating any value hands, so folding seems right.

Defend utg open with AQo. Flop is KK9 and I check call. Turn is a 3 and I check-raise. I might have the best hand here, so this is a mergy bluff. He calls though and the river is a small card and I don’t think he’s ever folding better after calling turn, so I check and he checks back and my hand is good!

That’s the only pot I’ve won so far.

134,500

End of Level 2

Defend QQ53ss and lead out on T94 rainbow in 3-way pot. Both players call. I check on 2x turn and the PFR leads, Ospina calls, and I call. River pairs the 4 and when Ospina folds, I call because the low bricked and I’m only losing to AA, A24x and A34x type hands. He has AA3x though.

AAJ6ss vs AJ85 on AT3ssT2 (annoying/unlucky chop)

(AT)-68T9-(3) vs (23)A4KJ-(Q) in Razz (super lucky dodge/scooper)

114,500

More notables: Miami John, Carol Fuchs, Jeff Madsen, Max Pescatori, David Levi

End of Level 3

(Ah2)-7h72hQh-(K) vs (xx)-5s4s48-(x) and (xx)-Qc4cJcKc-(x) – they have flush and low and I brick my flush/full house draw

(2-5)-2-8 vs (xx)-T-T in Razz. Hallelujah! I had like 5 big bets for this hand)

79,500

Pretty fun.

End of Level 4

Table broke. New table still has Frankie O’Dell but also has the guy with < $15k in cashes and just looks a little better in general.

3-bet a middle position open with AxKd in Hold’em and c-bet QdJd8x. Check back on 5d and we both check on 3x river and I lose to JTo with no diamonds. 🙄

I get my last 20k or so in with (4-8)-7-T-5 vs (x-x)-7-9-3 in Razz and finish with 87542 but he has 87532 for the perfect FU to cap my exit from a tournament that I never even had a hint of life in.

I basically won two meaningful pots in almost four hours of play and neither of them were good spots.

That was not fun. Back to the cash games.

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The Lion King (2019)

August 29, 2019

The Lion King (2019)

Director: Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book, Chef, Iron Man)

Starring: voices of Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner

Anticipation Level: Medium

How Was It? I was pretty bored watching this. Sure, it looks pretty amazing, but it’s not like I was itching to see a version of The Lion King with real animals. While the visual effects add a lot of wow factor, this movie is severely lacking in the magic and fun that made the original a classic – possibly because none of the characters aside from Timon and Pumba really stand out. Actually, Beyonce sort of stood out, but not in a good way; there were a couple of spots where her voice work actually made me cringe a little and trust me, I don’t really want to say anything bad about Beyonce. The coolest thing about this movie was Chiwetel Ejiofor’s voice work as Scar. He was awesome.

I really liked what Favreau did with The Jungle Book, but the live action Disney remake trend is already wearing thin and they’re not about to stop pumping them out. I think the only animated Disney classic I want to see a live action version of at this point is Pinnochio. The 2019 version of The Lion King isn’t bad – I enjoyed it for the most part – but it’s definitely nothing special and that’s pretty sad when you think of how wonderful the 1994 version is. I can’t think of any reason I’d ever want to watch this again. Give me the original 100% of the time.

Replay Value: I think I’ve already covered this.

Sequel Potential: Eek. They made two direct-to-video sequels back in the day and I didn’t watch either of those, but this movie $1.5 billion worldwide so…

Oscar Potential: Favreau’s The Jungle Book won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects so this should probably at least get nominated in that same category.

5/10 (Decent)

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August 2019 Week 4: Palace Tourney, PLO, Mix Games!

August 28, 2019

Last Sunday I wasn’t in any shape to go hiking super early in the morning, but I did wake up in time to play the $110 bi-weekly no limit Hold’em tournament at Palace. I was a bit slow-moving, but I managed to take a seat at the start of the second level and I took notes on my key hands throughout the tournament so I might as well share my journey here.

Everyone starts with 10k in chips and levels are 30 minutes long.

Blinds are 50/100, a player limps, and I make it 400 with KJo and get three callers. The flop is QT6 with two hearts. I’m not sure what the best line is here against three opponents, but I ended up betting 500 and someone in position made it 1500 to go and one of the blinds cold called the raise. I have the jack of hearts in my hand so making a straight with a heart on the turn isn’t the worst. The weirdest thing about this spot are the remaining stack sizes of my opponents. The flop raiser has 5000 behind and the caller left himself with 2500 and the pot will have 5700 in the middle if I call. I decided to call though and the action checked around after a king fell on the turn. When the small blind checks to me on a blank river, it seems like my hand is good, so I bet 1400 and both players call! I wasn’t expecting that, but no matter, my hand is still good.

I’ve been super activer and min-raise with K8o on the button at 100/200 and the big blind defends. He check-calls 300 on Q75hh and then leads 700 when the queen pairs on the turn. He has 4600 behind and this stab feels weak to me, plus I feel like there might be some leveling going on, so I put him all in and… he snap calls with JJ but… the river is a king and my punt attempt is suddenly netting me an extra 6000 in chips instead and I send a player to the rail shaking his head in disbelief. Sorry, guy.

Blinds are 100/200 and I make it 450 with AA under the gun. The next player calls and so does the small blind. I bet 500 on 433 and the initial flatter calls. The turn is a 7 and this time I bet 1600. He calls again. I know I have him and I know he doesn’t want to fold, so I go for it all on the river and put him all in for about 1.3x pot. He doesn’t do much thinking before making the call and walking out the door a few seconds later.

I have raised four pots in a row and won all of them without showing a hand when this next situation arises. There are multiple limpers at 150/300 and the button makes it 1200 to go. He started the hand with 5500 total and I have TT in the big blind. This is probably a snap raise in a typical tournament when you consider the stack sizes, but at Palace the players are overly nitty, especially with their aggressive actions, and the $110 buy in size is big for most of the field. With that in mind, and the player in question fitting the profile, this spot is pretty weird. I mean… this is a guy that might limp with AQo in this spot. I have a nice stack brewing at this point, but losing 18bb isn’t inconsequential to me. I knew this player’s range was tight, but I couldn’t resist making the raise to put him all in, especially since I was completely bullying the table. Why stop now? I make it 5500 to go, everyone else folds, and he calls with JJ, but I flop a set to bust him.

My table was already pretty annoyed with how easily I was accumulating chips but after that one they really wanted to let me know how fortunate I was. I’m like, “guys, I’m watching the same tournament you are, but you’re not going to see me get excited because I’m running good in round 4.”

The button open-limps at 150/300 and I call with 43hh from the small blind. The big checks and we see a flop of A42 with two hearts. Not bad. No one showed strength pre, so I lead out for 350 and the button makes it 1000 with over 10k behind. I make the call. The turn is the jack of hearts and I check it over to her. She bets 5000 into 2900, but I can tell she’s a very new player so that sizing is not concerning at all. I put her all in and she snap calls it off with A6o. Amazingly, she’s not drawing dead here as she has the 6 of hearts in her hand and that is a live flush draw. I am still blessed in the early stages of this tournament and the river bricks off and I bust another player and have 60k after four levels of play (and I missed one of them!).

Of course, variance proves why you don’t get excited because you run good for a few levels as I go completely card dead over the next four rounds. I only played three hands of note over this stretch:

Cutoff opens to 2600 at 400/800 and I call on the button with T9ss and 25k effective stacks. I’m not sure about this play and I’m curious what Nick Petrangelo’s UpSwing tournament course and the solvers would suggest. I am happy to report that it is a pure call! Wonderful. I thought there might be some 3-betting mixed in, but it looks like we are always supposed to take a flop with this one. Anyways, I sort of expect my opponent to play pretty straight forward after the flop. The board comes QQ7 with mixed red cards, so not a good one for me, but when he c-bets 2000 I decide to float to see if he has another shell in him. The turn pairs the 7 and he checks it over to me. I bet 3500 and he folds. This is a purely exploitive play, as I don’t think many experienced players are going to be folding the turn at a high frequency, especially when they have ace high hands.

Someone limps for 1200 and I make it 3600 with JJ on the button. It folds back to the limper and he ships it for around 32k. I have enough experience with this player to know he’s not a punter, so the question is, does he do this with hands like TT or AK? It’s a 26 big blind shove and I started the hand with around 70k, so if I call and lose this pot, it’s going to cost me almost half my stack. I tanked on this one for quite a while but ultimately decided that he’s more likely to trap with big pairs than unpaired hands and that I didn’t need to flip a coin yet when I felt like my edge in this field was pretty substantial. I folded and he decided to show me his kings instead of make me writhe in agony over that fold for the next half decade.

The same player makes it 2600 when I’m in the big blind with J6 of diamonds. This is another pure calling spot according to Nicky P, so we head to the flop and see a board of AJ8 with two diamonds. I check-call 4000. No need to overplay my draw on this board texture that heavily favors his range when we are both deep. The turn is an offsuit ten and he decides to check back. The river is the king of diamonds, making my flush, and putting a four card straight on the board. I think I can discount sets here, but he has two pair and straights a lot here, so I want to make this as difficult as possible for him. I bet 15k into 13.8k and he goes deep into the tank, but eventually comes out with a call and my flush is good.

That hand chipped me back up right before the final table and I headed there with 84k and the blinds at 800/1600 with ten players left and five of us cashing this thing. There were about four of us sitting on similar stacks and battling for the chip lead.

With eight players remaining someone opens to 15k with blinds at 1k/2k – your standard, ridiculous 7.5x open – and I have the misfortune of looking down at AK. If you think I’m excited about this spot, you would be wrong. My opponent started with 33.5k and she’s obviously never folding, so that’s what we are really playing for and I think this sizing screams pair so I’m almost always starting on the wrong side of a flip here. But I have AK and she has 15bb, so I put her all in and her queens hold up and I lose over 40% of my stack on the bubble.

This final table is so nitty that when one of the players shoves his 2.5bb stack from early position with 66 and loses to my 99, he thinks it was a mistake. And it’s not like he was being results oriented. I could tell he was thinking about folding before the flop. After busting that player, I had 16bb with seven left.

Some time passes and a player with a similar stack open-jams in front of me and I have AK again, but this time I hold and that pot gives me 14bb on the stone bubble.

I make it into the money when someone else busts out and then it folds to me on the button with 55 and 11.5 bigs. I jam and the small blind goes into the tank. I’m a little bit surprised and annoyed when he comes out of it with a call and shows 77. I’m never expecting to be crushed when he thinks about calling for that long. I don’t spike a set and that pot cripples me down to 1.5 bigs.

I double with Q3o in my big blind and then double again with KJ suited in my small blind and find myself with a reasonable 9 bigs on the button. I get that stack in on the button with 99, but AT calls and turns a pair to bust me in 5th place for a massive cash of $425 and my fourth biggest live tournament profit of the year! (Note: that’s not good).

I spent all night on Wednesday card dead in the PLO game at Palace.

Some good hands:

I get two pot-sized bets from two different players with JT87 on J97xx and another $200 from one player on the river when the board texture doesn’t change. He plays pretty good and my image is nitty at this point, so I’m surprised to see him call three streets here and not have the same hand I have.

I call $65 pre with KQT9hh in a 6-way pot and Riddler leads out $200 on the QJ8 two heart flop. I have the nut straight with straight and flush redraws, plus an opponent that has been so eager to get all in against me the last few weeks when I had him in terrible shape. I make it $500 and I have another $600 behind or so and that is going in if it has to. Honestly, I’m not super excited about this spot because I can see Riddler getting it in with a naked ace high flush draw here and he has been running so pure against me, so when it folds back to him and he comes out of the tank with a fold, I’m happy to take this sizable pot without a fight even though I have a massive hand.

A bad hand:

I make it $30 with KK66 double suited and get four callers. We see a flop of 983 with two hearts and since that’s one of my suits, I bet the pot and a shorter stack gets all in for a little less than $300. We agree to run it twice and her QT98 is way too strong for me to beat even once with four additional cards.

I didn’t have many notable hands and spent most of the night wishing something cool would happen. All in all, I finished the night -$316.

On Thursday, we had another 15/30 mix game and I wrote down a couple hands during the session so I could share them here.

We are playing Drawmaha 49 and this one probably needs an explanation. Drawmaha combines Omaha with draw poker and in this case the goal of the draw hand is to have the most pips in your hand. To clarify, a pip is the graphic on the cards. So the ten of clubs has ten clubs on it and each club is considered a pip. A ten has ten pips, a nine has nine pips, an eight has eight pips, and so on. The best possible hand is TTT9, or 49 pips, hence the name of the game. In Drawmaha, you get one draw after the flop action, so the goal is to make the most pips in your hand while also making a good Omaha hand. In this hand, I open with KQ985 on the button and both blinds call. I’m starting with 22 pips here, which is bad, but maybe it’s an okay hand to steal with on the button? Who knows. I don’t. No one in our game does. The flop is T87 with two hearts and I bet and get check-raised. He draws two and I draw two. The turn is a blank, but I get a 9 and an 8 to improve my pips to 39 and give me a set in Omaha. That’s enough of a hand to raise his turn bet, which he calls, and then the river pairs the board to give me a full house. He check-calls and I scoop the pot.

2-7 Drawmaha… similar game, except you are trying to make the best 2-7 hand in your hand. I open with 8542x with a suit and both blinds call. The flop is 542, giving me three pair and a backdoor flush draw and Logan alls my bet and draws 3. Well, okay! I draw one and improve to 85432 and the turn card is the six of clubs. I have a monster! A smooth 8 in my hand plus a straight on the board with flush and full house redraws. I bet and he calls. The river is a 7 and he check-calls again and my powerhouse hand is good for everything. Not the most exciting action… just want to share some hands in different games.

A-5 Triple Draw… It’s a 4-way pot and Ducky is pat from the jump and firing away. Everyone else is still drawing and after the second draw I have a pat 86432 and when it’s my turn to draw I go into the tank and decide there’s just no way he’s playing his hand this strong against four opponents with worse than a made 86… so I draw one and so do the other two players. I brick and we all check to Ducky and he fires another bet. We all fold and he shows 777AA for a total suicide mission bluff that somehow gets through.

2-7 no limit single draw… blinds are stripped to 5 and 10 on this one with 25 dead in the middle and a $300 cap on the action. I make it $40 to go with a pat T9842, Logan calls from the small blind and Ducky defends the big. Logan pats, Ducky draws 2, and I pat. I’m bewildered by Logan’s flat with a pat hand and I know he doesn’t have much experience in this game, so I’m not positive that I have him beat, but it seems like I should. My plan is to make a bet on the smaller side, but when it checks to Ducky he leads out for $200 into a $145 pot. Yikes. I must have gone into the tank for 3-4 minutes here. I know Ducky is plenty capable of bluffing, even in horrible spots (did you read that last hand?), so I gave serious thought to this situation. Ultimately, I decided to fold because a) I thought he had to think it was pretty likely one of the two pat hands would call him and b) he said something earlier in the night about how he wouldn’t bluff in a similar 2-7 NL spot (and I didn’t think he was lying). I folded but Logan made the call and Ducky did make an 87643.

Big O, $300 cap, Logan raises to $20 and I call on the button with AAT98 double suited. Scarecrow defends in a blind. The flop is AKK and I bet $40 when it checks to me and only Scarecrow calls. Seems obvious he has the king so it’s not surprising when he leads out for $70 on the 7 turn. I pot to the cap and he calls. Someone asks how many times we want to run it and I tell them I only want to run it once. The river is a ten and I end up scooping the pot but sparking quite the debate.

Since I decided to only run it once, I ended up becoming quite the villain after this hand. The argument was that it was poor etiquette of me to only run it once if I have any history of running it twice. I argued that it made no sense for me to run it twice when there was no benefit for me to do so. I already had half the pot locked up, so running it more than once just gives Scarecrow multiple chances to realize his equity for the low half (assuming he had a low draw) and can only cost me money. I was told I shouldn’t make my decision based on how much equity I have in the hand and that I should be consistent in all situations. In the past, I let my opponent decide how many times to run it when we get all in in big Pot Limit Omaha hands, so for me to be vilified the first time I voiced a preference seems a bit unreasonable. On the other hand, I failed to realize that there is a benefit for me to run it twice: when he makes a low on the first run out, I have a chance to win 3/4 of the pot by scooping on the second board.

While I didn’t think I was a scumbag for running it once, I did at least agree that it was courteous to run it twice, especially in a home game with friends and especially because Scarecrow is doing all the dealing. Later in the night, I got a piece of paper and figured out what his equity in the second pot would have been and gave him $100 back (I looked it up on the computer later and it was actually closer to $90). I mean… I never even saw the guy’s hand. He said he had a king and three low cards and I believe him, but still. Maybe it wasn’t the coolest of me to only run it once, but I wonder how many of those guys would give someone a rebate like that after the fact.

I got off to hot start and was up $1200 early on, but cooled off considerably and had to settle for a +$535 night.

One of the players made this board in OFC before the game started and probably wants me to share it:

On Friday, I got off to a miserable start in 15/30 and was down $700 after about two hours, but I cracked Mr. Freeze’s aces twice and that got me close to even, which is about where I stayed most of the night, finishing at -$211 and wondering when the patented Dark Knight hot streak is going to kick in. I’ve now booked two small wins in my last six 15/30 sessions at Palace and have gone -$2766 over that stretch in a game that is usually my most consistent source of income.

On Saturday Scarecrow had hopes of hosting a mix game, but it looked really sketch to me, with lots of people saying maybe and one that was supposed to come but hasn’t played with us before. I was pretty skeptical about it, but The Leak was free to join us and since we were bringing 40% of a game ourselves, I chanced it that this would happen.

When we showed up around 6pm, Ducky and Scarecrow were there so we played some pineapple OFC and then some 4-handed 10/20 mix, but no one else showed up and Ducky had to leave after smacking us around for 30 minutes. All the maybes and the new player ended up flaking, but Joker and Riddler showed up and we started a 5/10 mix game around 8pm. Not exactly how I want to spend my Saturday night, but it ended up being a lot of fun and I know my wife enjoyed learning and playing all the different games and she ended up breaking exactly even, so it was a free lesson for her! After two different OFC sessions and three different mix game sessions, I finished the night +$194.

Also, I got this insane hand in 2-7 Triple Draw:

Last Monday Ducky, Joker and I went to visit Radio Mike at Cheney Stadium to see Felix Hernandez make a rehab start and to catch top 5 prospect Jo Adell in action. We also heckled Ty Kelly into retiring from baseball. Pics below:

Radio Mike trying to hide

Felix and Ichiro in the dugout

Jo Adell, Angels top prospect

Radio Mike working so hard his shoes flew off his feet

Crashing the booth

And this weekend we met up with Mexi Nugget and his wife in Kitsap County to hit up the local arcade bar and had a ton of fun.

I’m flying to L.A. tomorrow (today?) for the Legends of Poker $2100 HORSE tournament at The Bike on Friday. I’ll be playing some 40/80 Limit Hold’em too and I’m currently stuck for the month, so these next three days are going to be huge for my results.

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Good Boys (2019)

August 24, 2019

Good Boys (2019)

Director: Gene Stupnitsky (“The Office)

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon

Anticipation Level: Strong

How Was It? I thought it was absolutely hilarious and the kids are wonderful in it. Jacob Tremblay crushed it in Room with Brie Larson a few years back and proves that he has some serious comedic chops also. It’s funny reading the user reviews on IMDb because almost all of the most recent ones are extremely low ratings saying that the content is absolutely appalling. Sure. Maybe it is. But how does someone watch the trailer for this movie, decide to go see it, and then get offended by it? I’m guessing most of them never even watched it and just wanted to dust off their pitchforks. I mean… I sort of get it – a solid amount of the film’s laughs come from the kids handling adult sex props without realizing what they are and some of the scenes cross the line. Would I let my own sixth grader watch Good Boys? Honestly, I don’t know. I think it depends on the kid, but I don’t envision myself as the kind of parent that is putting strict parameters on the content my offspring absorb.

Ignoring the fact that this movie is putting child actors in some questionable situations (and if their parents don’t care, then I don’t care), I thought Good Boys was one of the most thoroughly enjoyable films I’ve seen in 2019. I was laughing pretty hard from start to finish and it’s not like this movie is a one trick pony – there is some emotional weight here. Think back to the end of your elementary school days and recall how many of your best friends remained your best friends throughout junior high… and high school… and so on. Good Boys made me laugh my ass off and then it made me sadly nostalgic, thinking about all the strong friendships I had as a kid with people I almost never talk to now.

My initial thought after seeing Good Boys was that it was my favorite movie of the year, but I’m pretty sure that was an overreaction. Comedies tend to age poorly for me, as they are never nearly as funny over multiple viewings. They need a little extra oomph to make turn them into something special. I’m not sure yet if Good Boys has all the ingredients to turn it into a comedy classic, but I do know I’d be happy to watch it again.

Replay Value: Probably won’t be as funny, but it’s worth multiple viewings in my book.

Sequel Potential: Superbad never got one, but since these kids are 12, there’s plenty of school years left for them to work with if the movie is a box office success.

Oscar Potential: None.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

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August Week 3: PLO, 15/30 and Nas Illmatic 25th Anniversary Show

August 21, 2019

PLO was insanely juicy on Wednesday with a starting lineup that featured Charlie Hustle, Speed Racer, a couple of bad regulars and some new faces.

I handed out some new nicknames to a couple regulars.

First off, we have Harry Caray. This guy has been a regular in red chip games over the past year and he’s quite the character so this name was a bit overdue, but I just didn’t have anything special in mind. He disappeared from the table for a bit one night and someone mentioned the play-by-play guy, referencing the fact that when he’s loaded up on booze he never stops rambling and is constantly narrating the hand in play and talking about what he had, even though a) it’s inappropriate and b) no one is listening to him. So I started thinking of famous broadcasters to name him after and decided to call him Drunk Harry Caray, but I have since been told I was being redundant because Harry Caray is apparently infamous for going on the air intoxicated.

Secondly, we have Logan. Logan is a regular in PLO and has played in some of my home games, plus I’ve been battling with him since my Kitsap County days, so we have history dating back to at least 2011. This name is a Wolverine from X-Men reference. Something about this player just makes me think of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and it’s not rugged good looks. I think it’s his hair and maybe some sideburns in the past, or maybe it’s the numerous times I’ve seen him go on bezerker level tilt over the years. He’s gotten a lot better at not wearing his emotions on his sleeve at the poker table, but it can still be kind of funny watching him react to losing a series of pots. I’m going with Logan as the name because this dude is more the seasoned, worn down and weary version in Logan than the Wolverine from the earlier X-Men films.

On my first key pot, I raise some limpers to $20 with AKT9 with a suited ace and Speed Racer back-raises to $115 after initially limping for $5. He already has his nose open and is down over $700+ already, plus he only had around $240 to start the hand, so I happily put him all in, we run it once and his single suited J765 is way too strong for me to fade.

I’m not sure about the preflop action on this next hand, but I have AKQJ with nut clubs on a flop of T86 with two clubs and get it all in 3-ways with Speed Racer and another player. Speed Racer is all in for $187 on the flop but I’m all in with the other guy around $700 each. Speed Racer ends up tabling T87x with no clubs and the other guy has KQT8 with a worse flush draw. I have 50% equity and two opponents so that seems pretty good, but I’m playing a $1000 side pot with one player, so if I remove Speed Racer’s hand from the equity calculation and mark his cards as dead, I can see that I’m basically flipping a coin with the other play. We all agree to run it twice and I end up splitting the whole pot with the other deep stack when he makes kings up on the first runout and I make a flush on the second one.

I see a flop in position for $20 with A652 with spades and Logan leads $60 as the PFR on the 433 two spade flop. Speed Racer pops it to $200 and action is on me. I have the nut flush draw and a wrap here, but the board is paired and it has been bet and raised in front of me. Normally this would be a trivial fold, but I have to consider my opponents. I think it’s pretty unlikely that Logan connected hard with this board since he raised from early position and Speed Racer is in full torch mode, so he can have a lot of hands I have in bad shape. Speed Racer had about $400 left after the preflop action, so I can min-raise to $340 here and essentially put him all in while facing Logan with a nearly $300 raise. That’s what I do. Logan folds and Speed Racer puts the rest of his chips in. We agree to run it twice and I ask if he has a full house and he says, “not yet,” which makes me think he has a 3, but when he turns his cards over all he has are naked jacks. I brick the turn on both boards but river a straight both times and scoop the pot.

About 2.25 hours in, Speed Racer is stuck $3000 already and I’m somehow down $350. Seems hard to do, but here we are.

I call a raise to $20 with A653 single suited and it checks to me on a 743 with two hearts flop, so I flop the nuts plus the nut flush draw here and I make it $60 to go. Harry Caray calls and Logan check-raises to $300. This is nice. I make it $600, leaving myself with around $350 behind, and Harry Caray clears out. Logan goes into the tank… deep into the tank… and it’s perplexing. I thought when he check-raised here, we are getting it in and I am going to have him in pretty rough shape. He comes out of the tank by folding 776x face up. The longer he thought about it, the worse shape I thought I had him in, so I was pretty shocked, and honestly somewhat relieved, to see him fold top set here. I thought he probably had a straight without a redraw or maybe a weaker flush draw with a straight draw, but he had nine outs to scoop the pot and I was happy to see his hand go in the muck with how salty I’ve been running in PLO lately.

Next, I punted $600+ when I flopped a big combo draw with KKQTdd on AJ8dd63 and fired all the bullets and got called down by AJ6x.

In another punt, I have QJ83 double suited when the game is short-handed and open the pot. I call $40 on AK5ss when I flop a jack high flush draw and Riddler also calls. I should be done with the hand after that, as it seems like my spades won’t be good if I make them, but I pick up another flush draw with the 6h on the turn and it checks to me, so I decide I’m going to be barrell this one off if the spade draw bricks and bet for value if I make a heart flush or a straight. I bet $200 and both players call. The river is the 8 of hearts! Ding ding! I have the second nuts now. But then the player that led out on the flop – a tight and straight forward player – leads out for $300. I resist the urge to snap call out of frustration, but then I rewind the hand and remember that she led out on the flop and is now leading again here. The ace on the flop is a spade, so it makes sense for her to have the nut flush here, probably with a 5 in her hand also. I make the prudent fold and Riddler only has $55 left in a $600+ pot, so he makes the call and she does have Ah9h5dx. I dunno. Maybe that’s a fine line by me, but I felt like I was pressing at this point and I didn’t feel good about it and I still don’t.

In my last hand, someone opens to $15, I make it $45 with AKQQ single suited, the small blind min-caps it for $75, Riddler calls $75 from the big and the original opener makes it $375… but he can’t. So we all see the flop for $75 each. I think the flop was T86 with two clubs and it checks me. I have the second nut flush draw and an overpair in a bloated pot and everyone has checked to me. I bet $300. It folds to Riddler and he check-raises all in and has me covered. The other player clears out, I call and he announces the good news, “aces and the nut flush draw.” Sweet. I’m super dead. We run it twice, but that doesn’t help me any and I am felted for -$1570 total and it’s almost 2 AM, so I call it a night.

Pretty sweet. I lose almost $1600 in a session where Speed Racer blasted off $4000 in just over three hours. That’s a pretty sick overlay to get zero piece of.

One more thing about this session… yes, I realize my blog might not be the most flattering thing for some players, but I write this to be entertaining and I’m also going to be honest about the action, so if someone plays bad, I might say they play bad, but for the most part, these people are protected by the anonymity of having nicknames and I would never humiliate someone at the table that wasn’t a good friend of mine… meaning I will poke fun at Joker and Ducky relentlessly, but I won’t ever say or do anything at the table that might embarrass regulars I’m not close to. With that said, losing $4000 in this PLO game is extreme and doing so in just a few hours is insane. Yes, I wanted to get a piece of that action, but I also felt bad for the player losing it. I highly doubt he is a wealthy individual. So in the hand where he lost his last buy in and called it a session, he gets stacked in a set under set situation versus Charlie Hustle and Charlie Hustle literally gets up from the table and gives himself a standing ovation… while Speed Racer is still sitting at the table, probably stunned at how much he has lost and how fast he has lost it. And this asshole is basically rubbing it in his face. No class. I think he’s the biggest jerk I’ve ever played with.

I put together a 15/30 Mix Game for Thursday night, but to the dismay of some of those that showed – Jesus, Ducky, FanBoy, Scarecrow – I didn’t take any notes on hands and nothing jumps out in my mind.

We did get a guest appearance from someone I don’t really know that has an, uhm, special playing style. An example: He opens in 2-7 Triple Draw and I 3-bet with 9653x, planning to draw one against someone I already know is pretty crazy. He calls… and draws four! I draw one and bet when he checks to me. He calls, draws four again, and I pat with 98653. After taking four new cards on the second draw, he leads right out into my pat hand. That’s not a concern against this player and raising here seems like a consideration, but I doubt I can fold to a 3-bet against this guy and he will hit a miracle a small portion of the time. So I just call and he draws two! LOL. He leads again after the last draw and I happily call and win the pot against his T7.

Unfortunately, this guy only stuck around for a couple hours and my session was pretty middling overall. I don’t think I was ever up more than $400 or stuck more than $300. I finished at exactly +$100 for the night.

Since I don’t really have any hands to talk about from this session, I think now is a good time to talk about the previous week when my buddy from Florida played Badugi for the first time. I forgot to mention it in my last post and it is way too good to omit.

Let me begin by saying that my friend is a long time pro that has done extremely well in PLO games in Florida for many years now and has relationships with the likes of Main Event final tablists Tony Miles and Zhen Cai, as well John Esposito, the 3rd place finisher in the $50k Poker Player’s Championship at the WSOP this year. So he’s had a ton of poker success and some serious connections.

But not much Badugi experience. Maybe none.

On his first hand of Badugi, it is raised in front of him and he 3-bets on the button. I have a made ten in the small blind and cap it. I pat, a player in between draws, and my friend pats on the button. I’m somewhat concerned, but I lead after the first draw to see what happens, they both call, I pat, the other player draws again, and my friend now breaks and draws two! My hand holds up after all the draws and I win the pot, so I ask my buddy what he started with and he said he had a pat 9!

That pot was immediately followed by this next hand. The details of this one are a little fuzzy to me at this point, so I’ll just stick with the essential details. After the first draw, Bulletproof and I are both pat and my Florida friend was still drawing. I must have had the betting lead because Bulletproof checked after patting and my friend donked out after the second draw. I only had a made queen at this point, but I also know this guy can’t really be trusted after the events of the last hand, so I call and Bulletproof ends up folding and then finds himself in a state of shock when my friend still draws a card after betting into two pat hands. Bingo. Of course, this sends the whole table into fits of laughter. I pat with my queen and end up winning the pot. Bulletproof claims that he folded a made 9 on this hand, but I can’t really wrap my mind around that one. That would be a strong fold even if my friend wasn’t a total wild card and I don’t remember the action being so heavy before the second draw that a 9 should be check-calling.

15/30 on Friday had a starting lineup featuring Ducky, Harry Caray, Mr. Freeze, Huey, Master Splinter, and Taz. I was handcuffed by the deck the entire session and never had much momentum going in either direction. I only had two interesting hands all night.

Harry Caray open-limps from the cutoff, Taz raises on the button, Freeze calls from the small blind, and I defend with Q6 of diamonds. But Harry Caray back-raises and it winds up getting capped four ways preflop. It’s not a bad one: Q66. I check-raise and cap with Harry Caray helping me drive the action and Mr. Freeze caught in between. I’m pretty sure Freeze has the case 6 and I feel like Harry is pretty likely to have aces or kings here. The turn is an ace, so when I get raised by Harry Caray again after capping the flop and leading the turn, it’s a bit concerning. Mr. Freeze calls $100 cold and it’s pretty early in the night so I can’t rely on alcohol to be feuling Harry’s aggression here. I beat AQ and that’s about it – and AQ is a massive overplay; it should be obvious that at least one of the blinds has trips here. So I just call and hate my hand a little more when Harry finds another shell on the river and Mr. Freeze calls, but he is overplaying AQ and Freeze had the other 6. What a shock.

Two players limp in and I raise on the button with AA and they both call. The flop is 983 rainbow and the first limper tries to check-raise me, but Harry Caray calls a string raise on him and the dealer rules it a call, so Harry calls a single bet also. The turn is a queen and the first player says he has the best hand and we are both, so that’s annoying, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to fold aces to him. Harry calls and so do I. The river pairs the 8 and now the first guy checks and says that card might have killed him. Who knows what that means. Q9? Harry also checks and I happily fire out a bet and they both call. I am obviously winning this pot, but I’m still pretty shocked to see the first player show pocket kings (remember, he limp-called preflop) and then I’m even more shocked when Harry Caray turns over 87 and the chips are sent his way. I mean… think about all the ways chaos had to conspire against me for me to lose that pot.

With no momentum in either direction all session, I finished the night at +$258.

On Saturday I went to the Nas concert at ShoWare Center in Kent with FanBoy and Free Throw to see the hip-hop legend celebrate the 25th anniversary of his classic debut album Illmatic. It was a lot of fun and our seats were amazing. We were in the front row, so we got to see cool things like a security guard get reamed after telling DJ Premier that he couldn’t walk along the aisle in front of the stage, plus someone in our party got a dap from Lupe Fiasco mid-performance. I’ve always heard that Nas isn’t a great performer and, honestly, he lived up to that billing. It was still great seeing him perform, but he seemed to mostly just be going through the motions and by the time he finished the night with “One Mic,” the background vocals and the crowd were carrying most of the workload – he literally just stopped rapping. I’ll try to post some pics and video below.

Az

Lupe Fiasco

Nas

I was supposed to go hiking with The Leak on Sunday, but I didn’t get home from the concert until around 2 AM and she woke up at 5 AM to leave, so that was a hard no from me. I did wake up in time to play the Palace biweekly $110 no limit Hold’em tournament and since this post isn’t long enough already, I decided to keep notes on my journey through it.

Actually… I’m going to publish now and do the tournament in my next post.

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Movie Reviews: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Farewell

August 14, 2019

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) – I’m shocked at the critical reaction to this one: it’s sitting at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes right now. I thought it was extremely dull. I read and enjoyed the book this film is adapted from when I was in elementary school, but I didn’t experience much nostalgia while watching the movie because I only remembered one of the stories (“The Red Spot”). None of the characters or actors were particularly interesting and I didn’t find the movie even slightly scary. The overall narrative put together to connect the stories was fine, but I didn’t feel any emotional connection to anything happening on screen. I was mostly bored watching this and was looking forward to it being over. For comparison’s sake, I gave Crawl a 5/10 a few weeks ago, but that film was substantially more enjoyable than Scary Movies.

4/10 (Forgettable)

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019) – I’ve seen people say they hated it and I’ve seen critics call it Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. I don’t really get either reaction. Usually I am giddy watching QT’s films and find them overwhelmingly enjoyable, but similarly to The Hateful Eight, this one didn’t fill me with pure joy either. I was actually pretty confused about my feelings on the movie the whole time I was watching it and even hours after seeing it, I still wasn’t sure. I know it’s not one of my favorite Tarantino flicks, but I also know I didn’t dislike it because… there’s so many good things happening on screen. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are amazing in it. The set pieces and art direction are meticulously put together and bring late 1960s Hollywood to vivid life. It’s plenty funny. On the other hand, the multiple plots seem to meander along without any real meaning before uniting in a strange and nonsensical climax. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. Still, I’d be happy to watch it again… like right now. I feel like that speaks to the film’s potential to grow on me over time.

6/10 (Recommended)

The Farewell (2019) – Since most people will probably be unfamiliar with The Farewell, let me tell you a bit about the story: rapper/actor Awkwafina stars as a Chinese girl named Billi living in America that learns her grandmother is terminally ill and her family is planning a faux wedding for a cousin in order to go back to China and say goodbye one last time. Billi is being left behind because she is highly emotional and the family is worried she will tell the grandma that she is dying. Obviously, Billi ends up going to China anyway. I mean… this is great stuff. It’s one of the more personal films I’ve seen this year and the emotional impact is pretty high. I thought Awkwafina was a ton of fun in Crazy Rich Asians last year, but she proves she’s capable of being more than comedic relief by carrying this film on her shoulders and taking on a serious role. I’ve listened to her music and, well, she is waaaaaaaaaaaay better at acting. This is a touching film with plenty of charm and humor in it. There was a bit of a quirky Wes Anderson vibe to it and some of the slow motion shots of the family walking together as a group seemed out of place, but overall The Farewell is one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve seen this year.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Batman: Hush (2019) – It seems hard to mess up one of Batman’s best graphic novels, but DC Animation continues to do just that. This is better than the abysmal adaptation of The Killing Joke, but the writers take some interesting and questionable liberties with the story here and the end result is incredibly unsatisfying. I’m honestly not sure what they were thinking. Is it so hard to just do a faithful adaptation and not try to put a personal stamp on a well known story? I guess the main objective was to take a story that was written in the early 2000s and make it part of DC Animation’s current continuity of films, so this film takes place after the events of Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin, even though the character of Damian Wayne wasn’t created until 2006 and thus didn’t exist in the original Hush graphic novel. The coolest thing about Hush was always that it involved so many key players in Batman lore and they all show up here and that’s a lot of fun. I’ve always thought Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute) is an odd choice to voice Lex Luthor and that continues to feel weird here. This movie was enjoyable, but I hate the big changes they made to the core story. HATE THEM. DC has announced they are making a movie out of my favorite Batman story: The Long Halloween. Here’s to hoping they don’t mess that up too.

5/10 (Decent)

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August 2019 Week Two: PLO, 15/30 Mix, 15/30 LHE, and the Oregon Coast

August 9, 2019

PLO game start on Wednesday featured Mr. Freeze, Charlie Hustle, Speed Racer, and some new faces.

I chipped up early, up about $500, when this hand came up:

There’s one limper, the button makes it $20, I make it $70 from the small blind with AAQJ double suited and the big blind and button both call. The flop is T75 with two spades and I lead out for $200 with aces and the nut flush draw. The small blind makes it $500 and we end up getting it in for a little over $800 total. We decide to run it twice. His hand is KJ96 with two spades and two clubs. He has a gutshot and a dead spade draw. The first board runs out Q-9 to give him a straight with KJ and the second board runs out 8-x to give him a straight with J9 and I find a way to get scooped in this $1800+ pot when I had 80% equity when all the chips went in.

A short while later, I limp in with QJ88dd and call a raise of $25. The flop is 983 rainbow with one diamond and I lead into four players for a pot-sized bet of $100ish. The same player from the last hand makes it $400 and we end up getting it all in again. It’s worth noting that this player tried to check out of turn on the flop, so I have his hand somewhat discounted here and expect my set to be the best hand here, hoping to fade draws, but he has 994x and this time I’m crushed. We run it twice again. The board runs out clean for him the first time, but on the second board I turn a flush draw and river a ten to make a straight and salvage half of this pot.

He says something about we are even now and I look at the $800 in his stack that used to be mine and I’m like “Yes… yes we are.”

I defend my big blind with JT74 double suited and decide to lead $20 on K62hh when I flop a jack high flush draw. This is a pure bluff and definitely not a standard play on my part. When I get called in two spots, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to make a flush, but when the turn is a queen and gives me some real equity in the hand, I decide to keep firing and make it $80 to go. They both call again. The river is an offsuit 8 and I’m not going to stop telling this story now that all the draws bricked. I bet $300 and they both fold.

I make a loose call in position in a limp fest with A542 single suited. This is a good multi-way Omaha 8 hand, but not so much in pot limit Omaha. But I get to see the flop for $5 and it checks to me on A63 rainbow with one of my nut suits – one of the better boards I could ask for. I bet the pot for $25 and then some weird things happen: the small blind min-raises to $50 and one of the limpers makes it $100. He has $175 behind and has a set here like 90% of the time, so learning from my mistake in a similar spot last week, this time I decide to just call and if the board pairs on the turn, I can fold and save $175. My hand is too good to fold, but it’s not like I have such a massive draw that I want to get stacks in here. I call and so does the small blind. The turn is a 5 and the limper puts the rest of his $175 in. I raised to isolate here (not sure if that’s correct though), the small blind folded, and we agreed to run it twice. He had AAxx and I was in pretty great shape with two board-pairing blockers in my hand. He bricked both board and I scooped the pot. The small blind said he had a set of 3s, so the big blind was missing 40% of his outs here.

Someone limps in, I make it $20 with KT87 double suited on the button. The big blind check-calls $40 on 977. The turn is a queen and this time he check-calls $100. The river bricks and I’m left with naked trips here. I’m pretty sure the big blind has at least a 7 and there’s no certainty that my hand is good here. I do think he would call with worse, but I think it’s too thin to bet for value here. I’m happy to see him check the river and I check back. He shows 97 for a flopped boat.

Down to 6-handed later in the night with The Riddler in the game now and we get it all in for a few hundred each on AQ8cc when I have AAxx and run it twice. He has A54x with two clubs and somehow manages to get his money back without making a flush as the first board runs out 7-6 to give him a straight.

So instead of Riddler being felted and moving on with his night, we get into another clash a short while later when I raise to $20 with AA93hh and Riddler and Charlie Hustle call. The flop is Q95hh, I bet the pot, Riddler raises and I put him all in for $381 total. We agree to run it twice and he shows K876 with three hearts, so he has an inside wrap and a dead flush draw. He makes a straight on both boards and the flush draw bricks and I get scooped again, this time with 68% equity when all the chips went in.

Riddler opens pre and I defend in the big blind with AKT3 single suited and maybe another player is involved as well. I check-call $40 on KJ2 with two spades. I have top pair, a gut shot and a ten high flush draw here, so I’m not super excited about it, but Riddler is notorious for over c-betting in this game, so I expect to be in pretty great shape against his overall range.

The turn pairs the king and now I really like my hand as a bluff catcher, especially when he bets a weak-looking $80. I was tempted to raise here, but I wanted him to keep betting his bluffs, so I just called.

The river was an offsuit 6 and this time when I checked it over to him, he bombed it for $250. I wasn’t planning to fold this river at all, but I also wasn’t expecting him to size up so much. I have to give him credit, this is a pretty good line no matter what he has. This sizing actually gave me something to think about and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was probably a fold. The fact that I have the ten of spades in my hand is pretty bad, as it’s such a key drawing card and for me to be good here, I need Riddler to have draws that missed. Even so, I decided to stick with my initial plan and paid it off and he showed me KJxx.

The sick thing about that hand is I think I stack him if the situation is reversed, considering how willing he was to get it in on that AQ8cc flop when I had top set. Granted, he is deeper here, but still…

Riddler disappeared shortly after that hand and sent someone else to go rack up his chips and cash him out. He played for about 90 minutes total and won $800+ just from me. It was almost 2:30am at that point, so I can’t really fault him for wanting to quit, but I can’t say I was pleased about it either. Needless to say, when he quit the game, no one really wanted to continue on 5-handed so the game broke and I finished at -$385 in a session where variance really put my patience to the test.

I was aiming to put together a 15/30 Mix Game for Thursday night because my buddy was in town from Florida for the week, but it was looking grim with a couple of key players too busy to play. My buddy was really excited about it though, so I pushed the few that were on the fence over the ledge and it looked like I had a solid six ready to go. Most of the games we play are best suited for six or seven players anyway, so I had a perfectly sized lineup as long as everyone showed.

We did get six players including some familiar faces like Joker, Scarecrow, and Bulletproof, plus three I’ve never played in a mixed game with.

Here’s a pic of the group (look at those sexy $100 black plaques – way too cool):

I got off to a rough start in the game, losing the max ($300) in PLO when I got the 952d rainbow flop with AT95dd and Bulletproof check-raised the pot on the flop. We ran it once and I managed to get scooped by his J965 when he turned or rivered a jack for a bigger two pair.

I followed that hand up by getting $300 in with A9732 on the Q86 rainbow flop in Big O. I didn’t write any additional notes on that hand, but I think we ran it twice and I either got scooped or got quartered.

What I am sure about is that I was stuck $600 pretty much right from the jump and I was down $800 by 9pm.

Not the night I envisioned having when I realized that half the lineup would be pretty inexperienced in most of the games.

I rallied back though and found myself pushing past even into sugar territory right around midnight, just as the game went down to five players.

The key pot that pushed me into the green was a Stud 8 hand where I started with 2c9c-3c in a raised multi-way pot. I led out when I caught the best card in the deck for me – the ace of clubs – on the turn. No one raised and I kept betting on 5th when I picked up an offsuit 4. I made a perfect six low on 6th with an offsuit 6 and the queen of clubs gave me a massive scooper on the river and my first time having sugar for the session. Scarecrow started with rolled up tens on that one and there were at least four players still involved through 5th street, so it was quite the pot.

That hand also kick-started some momentum that propelled me to a strong finish and I somehow finished the night at 1:45am at +$1315, a pretty happy result considering where I was at 9pm.

15/30 started on Friday night with 28 players on the list. When the dust settled the reality was 9 seated players and no list. That means roughly 2/3 of the list was smoke and mirrors. That’s pretty gross. Palace’s system allows for anyone to walk up to the sign in computer and put their names on any lists they want. That means they can come in on a Sunday night and sign up for the 15/30 game that starts Fridays at 4 and whether they know that about the game or not is entirely up in the air. I also think some people just like to have their name up for the big game with no intention of actually ever playing in it. What’s not happening is players getting boarded by a floorman that can tell them the game is on Fridays only. It would be nice to find a way to weed out the pretenders and the uninformed, but I guess this is just the way it is.

The starting lineup featured the likes of FBI Guy, Mr. Freeze, Ducky, Huey, Master Splinter, a few non-regulars, and a ornery old man.

I introduced myself to a brand new player by defending my first big blind (with the Coast on the line) with the J3 offsuit, even though it was folded to me. Ah, the things we do for a challenge that doesn’t even really matter. The flop was pretty reasonable for me: T73 rainbow. I checked and raised. He called. The turn was an 8 and I decided to keep firing since I added a gutshot straight draw to go with my bottom pair, but my hand wasn’t looking hot when he called again. The river paired the ten and while that’s a good card for me, I don’t think he’s going to fold many better hands at this point, so I checked it over to him and he put out a bet. Gross. I feel like I’m not winning here very often, but I also have no history with this guy, so I put in the $30 to see what he played this way and all he can show me is a suited 65 high and I’m coasting.

I flopped top set with QQ in a 4-bet pot a short while later and it held up and I was coasting with around $500 sugar at one point.

Ah, to think I was imagining Coasting in this session. Those dreams were shattered when I played another 4-bet pot and got check-raised by Master Splinter on J98 rainbow. I had QQ here, but his line looked super strong, so I just called down from that point and he ended up showing me quad jacks and by the end of the hand, I was no longer coasting.

It only got worse from there. The game was playing absurdly tight and almost every pot was played 2- or 3-handed. Somehow, I managed to flop top pair or second pair in a bunch of heads up pots and never seemed to have the best hand on the river – either because I never had the best hand or because I got drawn out on. This seemed to go on for a few hours, where I flopped showdownable hands in heads up pots and never won. I even flopped a set of sixes heads up against a big blind defend and lost to T9 on 763.

By 7:30pm, just 3.5 hours after the game started, I was down $1350.

Even when things started to turn around, I couldn’t help but be tilted about the hand. I raised with 77 and four of us saw the 873 with one club flop. Master Splinter donked from one of the blinds, I raised, a new player cold called, and Splinter just calls. The turn card was the jack of clubs and Splinter leads right out again. I have a serious case of the MUBS at this point and his hand sure looked a lot like T9 to me, but even so, I was contemplating whether I should still raise. I decided not to and the other player folded. The river was a 5 of clubs and when Splinter still wants to lead that card, I don’t see how I can do anything but call, so I call and he shows me a set of threes. Set over set and I get a total of three big bets from my opponent after the flop. That hardly feels like a win but at least I didn’t lose the hand.

Then I had AJ in a 3-bet pot and got a runout of QJxJA, but I only got 1.5 big bets this time because I whiffed my turn check-raise. My annoyance at missing bets on these two pots was somewhat alleviated when this one surprisingly got put up for High Hand and then somehow managed to hold up.

The game was 5-handed by 9:15pm and I was only stuck $500 at that point.

I made a note of that because I thought it was going to be the start of me crushing faces short-handed, but instead I went on another absurdly cold stretch with good hands. I lost with TT+ four times in quick succession and I lost with KJ to T7 on JJ98x, possibly because I decided to donk out from the small blind in a raised pot instead of check-raise the preflop raiser on the button.

Possibly the sickest hand of the night was a straddle pot when I had AKcc in the big blind. I 3-bet and Ducky 4-bet from under the gun. The straddler tagged along and we saw a flop of K96 with two spades and one diamond. Since I decided not to cap pre, Ducky had the lead and I checked it over to him. He checked back and so did the straddler. The turn was the ace of diamonds. Obviously, I’m usually leading in this spot, but I have a feeling Ducky is going to bet this card too frequently, so I check, he does bet, the button calls, and they both call my check-raise. I know I don’t want to see spades or diamonds on the river, so when it comes the 7 of hearts, I’m a pretty big fan of that card. I bet and… Ducky raises? It folds back to me and I do some serious tanking. I’m running bad and my mind isn’t functioning at its highest level, so of course I come out of the tank with the wrong decision and decide to 3-bet it. Ducky caps and I put out the crying call, knowing I’m never, ever winning here. He turns over the T8 of diamonds for a rivered straight. I just rarely have the best hand here and there’s no reason for me to be 3-betting the river. He has to have A7 suited exactly for me to have any value here and that’s not even a hand he’s guaranteed to raise the river with.

My wife and I were headed to the Oregon Coast early in the morning so we decided to call it a night just after 1am and by that point I was -$1379 for the night, my second straight disastrous session of 15/30 at Palace.

We had a great time on the Coast and I’ll post pictures at the end of this post. We initially planned to head down to the Florence, Oregon area and rent some dune buggies to take on the sand dunes and possibly spend a day floating the Rogue River, but neither of those things happened. Instead, we spent the first night at the Three Rivers Casino and then we spent all day on Sunday floating around the area where the Yachats River meets the Pacific Ocean before driving south and checking out what is supposed to be the biggest sea lion cave in the world.

It’s always exciting to go to a new casino, especially one with a smaller poker room, and put in a session. Three Rivers poker room only had one game going when we arrived and that game was… 10-handed 3/6 limit Hold’em! Wow. If you think I turned around and left, looking for anything else to do, you would be wrong. Quite the opposite. I was practically giddy with excitement to get into this game and play like a maniac. My plan was to play anything reasonable for up to two bets before the flop and do a lot of the raising myself, plus I was going to defend my big blind with basically every hand. I expected my numbers to be something like 70% VPiP and 40% PFR.

I didn’t waste much time making my presence felt. I think I folded my first two hands before winning around six in a row, including four straight kill pots (put in the game right after I sat down). By the time my first orbit was complete, I was up over $200 and roughly half the table had felted or left the game in frustration. That was okay with me since it allowed the rest of our party to get in the game and battle with each other.

Someone gave me an Overs button in this game and I was startled to learn that Overs wasn’t 4/8 or 6/12, but NO LIMIT. If the pot was contested between only players with Overs buttons after the flop, betting was no limit. So sick. Well, after getting a button, I had to tighten up somewhat. I couldn’t play 70% of my hands and possibly find myself in an Overs pot after the flop. I was still playing pretty loose, but when all but one of the Overs players left, I gave my button back. I was more interested in playing every hand than in felting a local.

I didn’t take notes for this session because LOL, but there were still a couple of really funny hands.

On the first hand, my buddy… let’s call him Mexi Nugget… limped in and I said, “that must be a really big hand” and limped in on the button with J3 offsuit. I had already raised his blind up with 72o earlier, flopped trips, and got paid off by him, so I’m literally blasting off trying to play pots with him.

The flop comes down 743; he leads, I raise, and he calls. The turn is an ace and we both check. The river pairs the 3, giving me trips, and he bets out again. I raise him and this time he 3-bets me and I call. He shows AA and the whole table goes into a frenzy.

On another hand, I raise pre and bet twice with KT on JT33 before checking on the queen river and saying, “I don’t think you can call with worse here.” I table my hand and he flashes a ten, but doesn’t show his other card and even the dealer says, “ten… with a kicker that doesn’t beat a king” and that’s when my buddy says, “oh really?” and turns over an ace for a sick slow roll that sends the whole table into a frenzy again.

On the very next hand, the flop checks around on 764 and Mexi Nugget takes the betting lead when the turn is a 9. My wife and his wife both call. The river pairs the 9, he bets again and they both call. His wife immediately shows K7 and he flashes a 9. My wife waits for him to turn over both cards and he eventually shows Q9 (I think) and she just flashes a 4 and pauses for about five beats before turning over another 4 for the sickest snap-reversal slow roll I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure that hand history did justice to what she did here. It was so fucking savage. The fact that it happened one hand after he slow rolled me and that nobody saw it coming just made it the best slow roll I’ve ever seen in my life. Needless to say, the entire table went nuts and everybody had a hearty laugh. That was arguably the coolest moment of the weekend. Does my wife have my back or what?

I ended up winning +$184 in what was the longest 3/6 session I’ve played in at least five years.

All in all, it was a small losing week for me and I’ll be looking to get back on track this week.

Oregon Coast pics: