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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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