Archive for the ‘poker’ Category

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1/3/5 Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace (10/17/18 Live Blog)

October 17, 2018

As I write this (at 1 PM), PLO is quite some time away from starting, but there are currently 15 names on the list and I’m not exactly sure where I am on it. I’m praying that I start the game because it is super important to be in there from the jump. The action is usually at its best in the early goings, plus waiting on the sidelines for a game that already starts pretty late is absolutely brutal.

A bit of a recap of my last few days:

If you followed my post on Saturday about my session at Fortune, then you know I reached boiling levels of steaming. I feel like the gap between my c-game and my a-game is not that large – much, much smaller than the average player. For instance, my starting hand selection is so ingrained at this point that when I’m at my absolute worst, I don’t deviate much from my a-game starting hand selection. Those ranges are virtually identical, although I can concede that there might be a little bit of slippage. My post-flop game definitely suffers more. When emotions cloud my rational thinking, I make sloppier decisions and I know for a fact that I start calling down lighter. The biggest symptom that I’m on legitimate tilt, however, is how I feel. Nobody likes losing, but I feel like I stomach it really well, so when I actually start to physically feel the pain of what’s happening, I know I’m in bad shape. That’s where I was at Saturday night. So I took the last three days off – a rare occurrence for me when I’m not on vacation or swamped with non-poker plans.

We spent Sunday with family and friends and ended up having dinner at a restaurant in Renton called Melrose Grill. It was sooooooooo good! Highly recommended! We ordered a sausage platter, two porterhouse steaks, a ribeye steak, beef stroganoff, plus apple crisp and creme brulee for dessert. Everything was perfection. The steaks were juicy and full of flavor and the beef stroganoff was particularly mind-blowing – easily the best I’ve ever had. If you find yourself in the Renton area or just want to try a new restaurant, definitely check this place out.

Monday was a full day off for me and that started at the gym, before staying home to watch game 3 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Brewers, but as so often happens on my “days off,” I ended up on Global Poker, participating in their Eagle Cup events. Monday had three no limit hold’em events: $3 rebuy, $10 rebuy, and $30 rebuy. That means you can rebuy unlimited times for the first hour of each tournament. I started the day with just over $1100 on Global, so while I could gamble it up in the $3 and, to a lesser degree, the $10, it would be pretty reckless of me to play wildly in the $30 with my current online bankroll size. I also played the nightly $5 rebuy, the nightly $11 limit hold’em, and a $55 multi-table tournament. I busted 3 bullets in the $5 rebuy, 6 bullets in the $3 rebuy, and 3 bullets in the $30 rebuy. I finished 4th in the $11 LHE, but I needed to finish top 2 to cash (LOL). I also busted nearing the bubble of a couple of other ones.

I got in two bullets in the $10 rebuy and made a deep run. I had a very ugly spot come up somewhere near the money where I made a borderline all in call with AJ of diamonds, largely because only one stack behind me could do damage to me. Well, that player ended up jamming on me and even though it was for heaps and I was likely crushed, I was getting a pretty attractive price and ended up calling off about 75% of my relatively large stack. He had AA and I didn’t win.

Suddenly, I was in the bottom 20%, but then I got scalding hot. I think after that hand, deep in the event, I picked up AA at least five times. I won almost every all in confrontation I can think of, leading up to the final table. After that punt/cooler, I could seem to do no wrong and I rode that hot wave all the way to the final two players and found myself heads up for an Eagle Cup trophy.

I couldn’t have had a softer opponent. We started with relatively even stacks, but I had already surmised that this player was playing above his normal stakes and was playing for considerably more money than he ever had on Global Poker. Some people might rise to the occasion, but he had already proven to be incredibly timid. My approach heads up was to make a small raise every button and bet 1/3 pot on every flop. This sequence had an immediate success rate of around 85%. It was absurd. You’d think he would adjust, but he never did. He just kept folding and folding and folding. Eventually, I realized I could min-raise pre and lower my c-bet sizing as well. This saved me chips in the rare spots where he called the flop and I decided to give up. I was also able to size up when I felt it was necessary without worrying that I was tipping my hand strength. When I was in the big blind, I played much more passively preflop, only raising my better hands. He called a lot more frequently on the button and also peeled on the flop more often. My strategy was to check a lot preflop and min-bet the flop 100% of the time. This had a success rate greater than 50%, which is absurd. He was so passive overall, that when he did fight back, it was easy to fold anything marginal because he was just handing me the victory by folding so much.

Needless to say, I used this strategy to grind him all the way down to 3 big blinds.

And then I didn’t win the tournament. It was a true stunner. I absolutely dominated him, but we got all in 7 times and he went 5-0-2 in those hands and that was all he needed to pick up the victory. I can’t say I was devastated or anything, but I was pretty shocked, and it would have been cool to add to my trophy case:

Yep, there they are, tucked away, on top of our refrigerator, behind the wine bottles. My wife is so proud of me!

Still, 2nd of 388 players is always cool and so is $1152.21 for an $11 buy in!

Tuesday I went to see Venom and you can read the review I posted this morning below:

Venom – 3/10

Then I picked these little bros up from their haircuts:

After that, I watched baseball all day and played more poker on Global, booking a 1st place in the nightly $11 PLO tournament for $256.

It is now 10 past 5 PM and I will be headed to Palace after I refresh with a cup of coffee.

6:02 PM: I’m in! Lots of flakes, as expected.

Starting lineup: The Lawnmower Man, nitty plo reg, Muckleshoot reg, nitty baseball guy, aggro plo reg, Part-Time, unknown, The Crypt Keeper

The Lawnmower Man is a new name, but apparently he’s a regular at Muckleshoot and has a similar nickname that naturally leads me to Stephen King’s novel title. I’ve played with him once in the 15/30 at Palace but multiple times in the 20/40 O8 at Muckleshoot, so we cross paths enough to warrant the name, especially if he starts playing in this game regularly.

I hear The Lawnmower Man is someone you build games around, so he’s a welcome sight. The rest of this lineup is not great.

6:32 PM: Welp. I felted $600 already. I’m pretty sure it was a colossal fuck up, so that’s all I’m going to say about that. I usually share when I make mistakes but this one I’d rather digest on my own and learn from rather than getting a bunch of messages from different people weighing in with their unwanted opinions.

Just the start I was hoping for after two brutal live sessions!

6:48 PM: This one I will share. It’s a multi-way pot opened by The Crypt Keeper and I call from the cutoff with AJ77 with three hearts in my hand. It’s pretty speculative, but…

The Q96 all heart flop makes it a bit more nutty. The Crypt Keeper leads with a bet of like $50 on the flop and I’m next to act. Here’s what’s going to happen if I make a large raise here: everyone is going to fold.

If TCK has top set and a flush we are probably going to get it in, but barring that, he’s probably just going to fold, so I’m going to gamble here… by calling. The nitty player on the button overcalls and everyone else folds.

The turn is a brick and TCK bets $65. It’s pretty small, definitely not indicative of a very strong holding, so I stay consistent with my plan to hide information. I’m guessing neither of these guys would expect to play the nuts this way. I can’t remember taking a line like this that I know they have seen. The button overcalls again.

I know I will have to tread carefully if the board pairs, but fortunately it’s a super bricky offsuit deuce on the river – a true beauty. TCK bets $65 again. Since I don’t think TCK will put me on the nuts very often here, I don’t see any point in milking him with a small raise. I think he sniffs that out.

I make it $300 to go. I just don’t think my line looks very credible, given our history. Maybe he can put me on a set with the naked ace of hearts? I don’t really know what other hands would make sense to bluff with here. My plan works and I get max value from a player that would typically never pay off in this spot.

7:15 PM: I limp early with a marginal JT99 with no suits. I’m sure I should be folding this in a game that almost always has a preflop raise, but here we are. The unknown does make it $20 on the button and we go multi-way to the flop.

Here’s how you make a marginal hand look premium: the flop is 998 with two diamonds. I have the super nuts, but interestingly enough, in 4-Card poker, any card that could make a straight flush is a legitimate concern. Surprisingly, The Crypt Keeper leads right out from the small blind for $50 and I’m next to act. Considering our recent history, I decide to immediately raise to $125. The field folds and I do get a snap call from TCK but he folds to my $200 bet on the Queen turn. QQJT one time! Come on.

7:23 PM: Here’s a hand I wish I played before I felted: I open with AAQT double suited from under the gun and get multiple callers.

Flop is 975 with two clubs, giving me the nut flush draw. I’m out of position against everyone and I don’t want to play for stacks here, so I check which puts some nut flush draws in my check-calling range which I think is a good balancing play. It checks through.

The turn is an offsuit King, I check again and the dude that stacked me in that first big pot bets $40. I am the only caller.

The river is an offsuit 2 and we both check.

He shows a set of 9s! Woah. I get the flop check, but that is an ultra conservative check back on the river. Needless to say, playing for stacks earlier against this player with the hand I had was a clear mistake.

7:45 PM: Crypt Keeper raises some limpers, Lawnmower Man calls, and I call AKss88 on the button.

Six of us see the AK3 two diamond flop and it checks to Lawnmower Man and he bets $100 into $120. TLM has around $500 going to the flop so I think I want to raise and potentially play an all in pot with him. I make it $300, the rest fold and he does jam it. He says he wants to run it once and shows… KKJ9. Gulp. I have two outs. I don’t hit one of them and suddenly I’m back to -$500.

8:10 PM: This game is fizzling quickly. We are suddenly 7-handed and all the weakest players have either busted or left. The unknown has been MIA for a while so we are actually 6-handed.

But wait! As I type this, an older Asian man I don’t know is coming over from 8/16. That can’t be a bad thing.

This game fizzling out early is not a good way to hook The Lawnmower Man during his first session. Leave him unimpressed and he might not ever come back. Fortunately, he said his word of mouth was Lee Markholt so that means he might actually show up again even if he sees the worst possible representation of this game tonight.

8:23 PM: Blackjack is also sitting in the game now and he combines with the older guy to put an additional $430 on the table. We got a couple of shot takers in the game! But at least they are filling seats. That makes us 8-handed now, although two players have been missing for some time.

8:35 PM: Mr. Plow is here to save the day. Not only is he taking a seat, but he fills up the game minutes before superstar Lee Markholt walks in the door. Have a seat on the bench, champ!

Lee just sat down in 8/16. Man, I want to take and post a picture so bad. I bet he plays to crush too. What a stud.

8:56 PM: And the MIA player has been picked up and replaced by a legend: Lee Markholt is in the game.

9:15 PM: I’ve been super inactive but I just watched Blackjack get it in on the KQJ flop and the board runs out KQJ-J-A which seems bad for the AT Blackjack obviously has but the KcTc in his hand makes a running ROYAL FLUSH. I think that’s gonna work. I confirmed that was the first Royal Flush he’s ever made in his life in any game. I should have snapped a pic for the kid!

10:01 PM: Two clashes with Mr. Plow:

First hand I limp along late with QJT5 double suited and he makes it $30 to go. Two of the three limpers call, myself included, and we go to a 982 with two club flop. I have the QJ of clubs in my hand so I have a monster draw. I don’t expect Mr. Plow to show any caution so I check to let him c-bet (for full pot) before making it $400 and ready to play for $1000 each.

He folds and since I have queen high I’m okay with that.

I’ll post the other hand later. Blackjack and I are currently playing 3-handed PLO with Lee Markholt. Like total idiots.

10:47 PM: I asked Radio Mike to snap an indiscreet pic of this epic moment in Palace poker history, so apparently he walked next door and took this gem:

11:00 PM: Last hand of the night: Lee makes it $10 on button, I flat with KQJT double suited because… blackjack makes it $30, Lee calls, now I make it $120 which basically puts BJ all in and I’m hoping I can get a fold from Lee and flip for $125… but he calls.

Gulp. Lee and I are both deep. This could be bad.

Flop is K53 with two hearts. I lead for $165, BJ calls for crumbs and Lee calls the full bet. Omg.

Another king on the turn bails me out. Lee just never has a set here so I feel great leading for $300. Lee snap-folds and BJ says he wants to run it once and immediately rolls over K642 with hearts. The river is a heart and he triples up and the game is dead.

Fortunately, Lee’s flop call earned me a small profit on the hand.

Other hand with Mr. Plow, I have forgotten many details now but has AKxx on K77 and check-called $15 before check-calling $40 on an ace turn and then betting $125 when I somehow rivered aces full of kings. It’s funny how you can go from hoping someone doesn’t have something (a seven) to hoping they do have it. It seems optimistic to think someone can call with a 7 here for full pot, but my boy Mr. Plow is not the type to be bullied. He pays it off and I’m good.

Final Score: -$449

Geez, I hope tonight isn’t a preview of what tomorrow is going to look like. This PLO game has been running every Wednesday for 18 months now and I think tonight was the worst lineup I’ve played in. Not only that, but it never picked up and fizzled out early.

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$20/$40 Limit Hold’em @ Fortune (Live Blog) and the Best Night of Radio Mike’s LIFE

October 13, 2018

I will be playing some 20/40 limit Hold’em at Fortune tonight, but first I’m sitting on the sidelines so I can recap the last couple of nights.

On Thursday, I stayed home to play the LHE events in the Eagle Cup on Global Poker.

It was a nightmare session. My plan was to play the three Eagle Cup events (with $11, $33, and $55 buy ins), the nightly $5 no limit rebuy, a 6-max PLO rebuy, and the dinky nightly $11 LHE.

First off, in the $5 rebuy, I got in 8 bullets, which is somewhere near my all-time record for that event. I think I may have been in 9 bullets previously but I’m positive I’ve never been in 10. My strategy during the rebuy period is to go all in preflop with any reasonable hand until I double up at least once and if that doesn’t happen as the rebuy period nears its end, I start jamming super light and sometimes it gets pretty ugly.

I didn’t have much of a stack after adding on after the rebuy period closed and in the first orbit after the break, my KK got outflopped by a big blind defend with 97 and that was GG for me.

In the $11 Eagle Cup I busted out without ever winning a hand. I actually ran pretty good, flopping extremely well, but I couldn’t fade a river. Not once. The draws got there… every. single. time.

I was crushing in both the $33 and the $55, sitting on a top 10 stack for most of both tournaments. I can’t remember what happened in the $55, but as we were approaching the bubble of the $33, a player with about 7bb opened from the lojack, the cutoff called, I 3-bet AJ of clubs on the button and they both called.

The flop was QT7 with two clubs – about as good as I could ask for without flopping a made hand. It checks to me, I bet and the shorty check-raises me and I get him all in for a little less than 4bb on the flop. He has K7o. It holds.

What.

With 28 players left and 27 making the money, the same player opened from the lojack again and I 3-bet with JTcc on the button.

We went heads up to a flop of JJ2 with two spades and he check-raised me again. I flatted the flop to raise the Kd turn and he bet-called.

The river was the 4s and he leads right out. I have 1.25 big bets left so if I raise and he has me beat, I eliminate myself in 28th place. So I call and he has the AQss.

Fortunately, I folded my way to the money with less than half a big blind. I ended up quadrupling up with T9o under the gun before busting in 22nd with the same hand from my big blind.

Meanwhile the dude that walked on water against me in those two critical pots went on to finish in 2nd. Of course!

I can’t remember any brutal connections in the $55, but I fizzled out after the bubble burst and finished in 17th place for $100. Yippee.

Even with the two cashes in the two biggest events I played, I still booked a small loss for the night.

Last night we got the 15/30 going around 6:45 PM and the most notable thing about that session was this:

Radio Mike had the best night of his life. Not just in poker, but best night of his entire life. Period. He searched through his mental Rolodex and said he couldn’t think of a single day in his life that made him happier. Not his first wedding night. Not his second wedding night. Not the day he opened his acceptance envelope to the University of California. Not the times he filled in for Rick Rizz to call some Seattle Mariner games.

This is it. This is the pinnacle. He managed this personal best 15/30 win even after running KK into QQ on a KQQ4J board. I went to grab him some empty racks after that hand and he was like, “NO. I can do this.”

Congrats buddy.

Meanwhile, I have nothing interesting to say about my session. I was mostly floating around even for many hours before the wheels just fell off completely.

It did make me think as I was driving to Fortune today. What adjustments should one make when you are running atrociously? Basically what I’m thinking of is when I’m getting a normal or above average distribution of good hands before the flop and raising a lot of pots, but never connecting with the board and almost always having multiple opponents to deal with.

Do you start raising less hands? Do you play less exploitively? Do you start checking your entire range on the flop since you never have a hand?

I do not think it is correct to stop raising hands I would otherwise always raise. It is gross… to be consistently aggressive before the flop and feel like you never have something you can bet after it, but playing passively isn’t making a proper adjustment, it is simply playing poorly.

I do think it’s okay to play less exploitively when your credibility is shot and your image is horrible. When you are playing exploitively, you are playing a wider range and you need to get folds more often than when you are only playing a tight-solid range. But when it seems like you are spewing chips left and right, you aren’t going to get those folds and opponents will be more emboldened than usual to make plays at you.

Anyways, that’s what I was thinking about last night as I was getting smashed on and again as I was driving out here. I lost about $800 overall last night.

I’ve been in this 20/40 for an hour now and lots of interesting things have happened: I’ve already established myself as a maniac and as the table alpha and put someone on tilt after we played this hand:

I have the small on the button and there are two big blinds. We are short-handed so when under the gun raises here it’s similar to a hijack open, except there is more dead money than usual and his range should be even wider. So when I look down at A8hh on the button it looks like a clear 3-bet to me and we go heads up to the flop.

It is 973 with one heart. My image is already bad so I elect to check back here and see if I can get a sexy turn card. Also, my hand is one I’d prefer to show down most of the time so by checking back I don’t have to call three barrels, plus I induce bluffs.

The turn is an 8 and this feels like a clear bet when he checks to me, but I know my range looks super weak here (whiffed big cards) so when I bet, I’m almost expecting this: he check-raises me. I call and I’m planning to call river too.

The river is an ace and he check-calls and does that thing where he’s in disbelief so I twist the needle by saying, “oh don’t act like my 8 wasn’t good. If you can beat that show it.” He says something back mockingly and shows his neighbor his hand (which means he probably had me beat) but doesn’t show me. On the bright side, he’s clearly steamed. He asked to be dealt out the next hand.

5:51 PM: I spent the first hour of play writing this post and I spent the last hour in contact with Apple Support trying to connect a new earbud to my AirPods. That was a no go.

It has been a very active two hours for me, as I have been playing a very high variance style, opening a lot of hands and bluffing more than usual because the pots are almost always heads up or 3-handed.

It hasn’t gone that well. I ran K2ss into A2 a few orbits ago on Q9224. That was annoying. I’m down a little over $500 at the moment.

It’s a little harder to write updates in this game because it is super fast-paced and there always seems to be one or two players walking, so I almost always seem to be involved in pots.

We’ll see how it goes though.

6:24 PM: I’m not sure if the main game is any better than the one I was in, but I was having a hard time at that other table.

So now I have some players I know on my left: FanBoy and Sgt. Rock.

FanBoy is immediately threatening me: “Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? Barbecue Bat!”

Normally the thought of him doing stupid things behind me would be music to my ears but I’m running so cold and my decisions have been so difficult my last several hours of play that I’m not really embracing this promise of high variance poker action.

Of course, he’s probably all talk and will play his normal, boring abc game. Well, until he reads this!

I just raised three hands in a row and got very little resistance. Ah yes. This is more my speed.

7:40 PM: I am frustrated. This has been a tiresome session. I have spent all of it between -$500 and +$100, but almost all of it on the stuck side of things. Every time I get back over the hump stupid things happen.

I just got rivered in big pots by the same player in the same orbit. First my K9hh loses to A5cc on 954T5 and then he opens early with T9ss, caps the 987 flop, check-calls the king turn, and donks the 6 river to beat my AA.

Pretty damn annoying.

8:18 PM: Q8ss vs Q4 on Q8675. TT < 44. Approaching -$800 now. This is so silly.

8:32 PM: Here’s a win if I’ve ever seen one: I open early with QQ and FanBoy 3-bets me. I call and we are heads up to a flop of 975. I check-raise and he flats.

Turn is a jack and he raises my bet. I call down on a brick river, sighing openly while saying, “I can only beat AJ.”

The bad news is he doesn’t have AJ.

The good news is he does have QQ.

For those of you counting at home, that’s a net profit of $12 for the hand.

The comeback is on!

8:49 PM: Highlight of my night right here: there’s a limp fest in front of me and get hyper speculative with the ole K8o on the button. The blinds are cool and decide not to punish me.

The flop is KJ8 with two diamonds. One of the limpers bets, I raise, the blinds fold, and two of the other limpers cold call. So does the initial bettor.

Okay, now we need to dodge.

8 of clubs on the turn. Wonderful. Now I need them to hit their draws! I bet and only one of them calls. What the hell? One of the cold callers and the flop bettor folded. Wtf is that? Cold call two and the 8 pairs and we can’t continue now? I guess they both had jacks, a holding that just got substantially worse against top pair.

River is the 4 of clubs and my opponent just power folds.

That got me up for High Hand… which amusingly held up for 12 minutes but now JJJAA is up there. Damn.

8:58 PM: FanBoy finally showing how he got the name:

9:15 PM: Woah. I am heating up.

QQ good, AK gets lucky vs KJ on QJx9T, and then AA wins a huge pot that was capped 3-ways pre and 3-bets 3-ways on the flop.

Almost even again!

Just needed The Legend in the box to activate my run good.

9:41 PM: Well I worked my way all to the black but this is why I can’t have nice things – and also why you shouldn’t poke the bear.

Folds to my button and I open 84cc because I have FanBoy and Sgt. Rock in the blinds and they fold around 130% of the time, but FanBoy 3-bets and says, “put this on the blog!”

I call and we go to a flop of Q63 with one club. He leads, I raise, he 3-bets and I call because I can smell something and I can turn good cards.

The turn is an ace and I decide to give it up and he tosses the J9 of diamonds in my face.

Goddammit.

10:57 PM: Bring The Legend back! Seriously. I can’t win a meaningful pot with anyone else, but I won like $1k while he was here. Back to whiffing everything!

Stuck around $300 now.

11:07 PM: What the fuck. Folds to me with small blind on button and I raise without looking.

Big blind check-calls me on flop and turn on AA8Q before donking on the 4 river.

I guess it’s time to look. I have A3o. Part of me wants to call but how the hell do I not have the best hand here? I raise it and he snap-calls with A9, a kicker that plays.

Stuck over $500 again. This is a total joke.

Defend KQ heads up and run into AQ on Q526T. It’s honestly comical sometimes.

11:35 PM: A raise and three callers in front of me and I have AA in the big. I jack it up.

Flop is K62 with two clubs and it gets capped.

She rivers a flush.

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU MAKE A FLUSH?

They make it look so easy. I’ve missed 100% of my flush draws tonight.

Very next hand I have 88 in the small blind against a button open. He’s all in for 3 small bets with AK.

J625… K

I actually thought I was going to win that one because the pot was so small.

I am now stuck over $1k… again.

What a fucking nightmare this is.

11:42 PM: Open AThh, someone 3-bets, and we go to a T82 flop. I check-raise and he flats.

Turn is a 4 and I bet and call his raise.

River is a King. I check-call and he shows AK. Granted, he turned a flush draw so it wasn’t a total punt, but still.

And then as I’m being shown this fucking hand on the river the waitress comes up and tells me they can’t make the food I ordered.

That officially sent me outside to clear my head. I am seriously debating if I even want to keep playing. I’ve already played 8+ hours which is usually my goal, so it’s not like if I reload I’m going to grind it out for six more hours.

I have to admit I’m kind of peeved right now. Which makes me think I should maybe call it a night.

12:11 AM: I was making a little bit of a comeback so of course this hand comes up to fuck things up.

Open A9cc, one flat in position and both blinds defend.

Flop is AK8 with two clubs. It’s the fucking world. What can go wrong?

I bet and they all call.

Turn is a brick and now the in position player raises when I bet. The blinds both fold and I’m sitting there thinking about rage 3-betting because how the hell can I be beat every single meaningful pot? And can I possibly miss another flush draw?

Of course I can. And I will. I don’t pull the trigger on the torchy 3-bet but I do call and whiff and then pay off AK on the river.

Great flat pre. Very expert. You got me.

12:19 AM: Just got an “F bomb” warning because I guess that’s where I’m at right now.

Spewer opens, there’s a call, I 3-bet AQ, and FanBoy calls it cold.

It’s like 5-way action for 3-bets to the AK3 two heart flop and I bet and of course FanBoy pops me, a blind calls, and I just call also.

Turn is a brick and we check-call again.

The river is a Queen and I check, FanBoy bets, other dude folds and I turn to him and say, “I’m at the very top of my range but I’m sure I’m still losing” and check-call. He rolls over AA and I say, “it’s so fucking sick.”

I’m back outside. The only reason I didn’t cash out yet is because I wanted to type this up before telling The Leak we are leaving.

So you want to be a professional poker player?

Final Score: -$1440

The bad run at Fortune continues. This is what my 2018 looks like here:

-$2135 in 5 hours

-$2226 in 6.25 hours

-$808 in 4 hours

+$97 in 10.5 hours

-$1440 in 9 hours

It’s a super small sample. Totally meaningless. I’m sure I’ve had similar runs many times in my years of playing poker.

But I can’t help but feel like every time I come here I just get TORTURED.

And I do. That’s a spewing rate of -$189/hour playing poker at Fortune this year.

No wonder I’ve been staying away.

Goodness.

UPDATE: I really want to put these results in perspective. In the grand scheme of things, they are utterly meaningless, as I mentioned before. But I want to clarify. Those five sessions add up to 34.5 hours for the entire year. That’s less than one week of playing poker for me. That’s less than 2% of the total volume I will put in for an entire year. So as ugly as it looks, it is just noise.

My volume at Fortune has gone from semi-regular to nonexistent. I have played 5 sessions of 20/40 at Fortune this year. Last year I put in 25 plays and overall I have put in 45 sessions of 20/40 at Fortune lifetime. My first session of 20/40 there dates back to May of 2016, so in the roughly 29 months Fortune has been open, I have put in only put in around 10% of my total 20/40 volume there in the last 10.5 months.

In other words, this “year long” torture chamber is only a blip on the radar of my total volume at Fortune. There’s definitely a lingering affect going on, but when you take a step back, it’s easy to see that it is just variance.

My overall results, despite this horrendous run, are still pretty good. My win rate in the Fortune 20/40 has gone from a sexy $47.26/hour to a still respectable, but not very attractive $23.42/hour. I would wager that I’m more likely to be a 1 BB/hour player than a 0.6 BB/hour player, but my overall sample size is still too small to really determine much of anything.

I’ve mostly been able to justify not driving 30+ minutes to play in a tougher 20/40 game by having games close to home that I can expect to earn as much or more in. Unfortunately, since I’ve been back from the WSOP the 15/30 game that was running almost daily before summer has become more of a once a week game. On the other hand, we are now playing PLO twice a week and the 20/40 O8 game at Muckleshoot has become a good opportunity on Saturdays. That gives me four playing days a week where I don’t even need to consider driving out to Fortune.

Still… I’m not really one to back down from a challenge. I know the game is tougher at Fortune. The crazy thing about this year is that I have been experiencing insane variance whenever I play there. While that is not notable in itself, what is notable is the fact that 20/40 pots are generally heads up or 3-handed affairs. It’s not like games at the Palace where every pot is contested with 5+ players. Games like that have high variance. When every pot is heads up or short-handed, the variance should actually be less severe. But I have had the opposite experience this year. Clearly. The vast majority of the time I have been in a heads up pot with a strong hand at Fortune, I have found a way to lose – and it has been messing with my head.

I don’t really plan to increase my volume at Fortune going forward, but it does seem like I should try to play there at least twice a month. One thing is for sure: I definitely need to get this monkey off my back… with a signature Dark Knight huge win!

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1/3/5 PLO @ Palace with special guest Lee Markholt

October 10, 2018

Woah. It’s not everyday you walk into your local casino and a top 5 player in Washington state history is in your game.

Seriously, look him up: Hendon Mob

He ranks 4th all-time in the state in tournament cashes and is one of the most successful and long-lasting pros to come from Washington. He has multiple appearances on T.V., including a WPT Main Event title.

Pretty cool to have him in the game, but also… not cool.

Rest of the starting lineup: Crypt Keeper, new reg, Part-Time, Baseball Guy, Big Baby, nit, and The Man.

Cards are in the air!

6:10 PM: If you are here for the poker, I’m going to steer you in the direction of the A Star is Born review I published today. The movie is phenomenal. I urge you to read what I wrote about it and go see it ASAP!

A Star is Born is the Best Movie of 2018

6:20 PM: Lee almost immediately loses a massive pot to Part-Time. I was typing as this one was brewing but Part-Time flopped the nut flush draw with some straight draws and all the money eventually got in and he ended up making the flush and holding up when the river paired the board.

6:29 PM: First notable pot, Part-Time limps in and it folds to my big blind and I complete with AKccT3dd. I could (and maybe should) raise it here, but bloating the pot out of position with zero fold equity could create some tricky situations after the flop.

The first three cards are AT4 with two clubs and one diamond. It’s a monstah! I have top two pair, the nut flush draw, and a backdoor diamond draw. Unfortunately, I only have one opponent and a dinky pot out there. I bet $5, Part-Time makes a cute raise to $10, and I 3-bet to $30. He calls.

Turn pairs the ace, giving me the nuts. I bet a weak-looking $20, hoping it might entice him into doing something stupid. He just calls though.

The river is the 3 of clubs. I now have the nuts, the third nuts, and the nut flush. It’s hard to imagine what he could have here, but I assume he either has an ace or made the flush and bet $65, which is pretty near pot-sized and he snap calls and I win the pot.

6:52 PM: Here’s a reminder why you don’t play trash hands in PLO.

The Man limps in and I try to isolate him and take control of the hand by making it $20 with T866 no suits from the cutoff and a decent regular calls on the button. The Man also calls. Ugh. So now I’m out of position with a weak hand. Wonderful.

The flop comes 987 with with two clubs. I flopped a straight. So naturally, I check when it’s my turn, the button bets $45, The Man calls, and I… fold.

I mean seriously. How can you justify playing a hand when you flop a straight with it and check-fold? You can’t. Yet, I’m sure that’s the correct play on the flop and all that does is reinforce the fact that this hand should be tossed into the muck before the flop, even if a somewhat attractive situation arises.

7:39 PM: Limpers in front of me and I call with KK98 with diamonds.

Six of us see the A42 all diamond flop and everyone checks to me. I bet $15 into $35 and the small blind and Big Baby call.

The turn pairs the 2, which is mildly annoying, but they both check again and I bet small at $30 and they both call again.

I’m thinking about whether or not I will be betting the river and I’m leaning towards yes because both my opponents are very loose players with absurdly light calling standards, but… the river is a king! I now have what really feels like the nuts and I size up because I don’t care if they have stronger hands now. I make it $110 and the first guy tanks for a long time (he’s the dude that called me for $175 and then $300 with A832 on 854Q4 last week), but he eventually calls and Big Baby snap calls.

The first guy tells me he flopped a flush and turned a boat, but I don’t believe a word he’s saying. I can buy the flush part, but I was going to bet money on the river that he didn’t have a full house. I mean he’s proven that he could call with a naked ace here.

8:22 PM: Five limpers and Crypt Keeper juices the pot from small blind to $25 and I defend the big blind with KTssQQ, happy to play a multi-way pot here. All five limpers also call.

With $175 in the pot, we get a flop of Q65 with two diamonds and I fire $130. Big Baby and The Man call and then I’m kind of shocked to see Crypt Keeper also call. It seems like if he had a hand he call in this spot with he would be leading the flop a lot. Interesting.

The turn is the 9 of diamonds, which is absolute murder for my hand. Someone is ahead me now, whether it’s with a flush or a straight. I am ecstatic to see it check around.

Unfortunately, the river is a king and Crypt Keeper leads out for $150. He should never be bluffing into Big Baby and The Man here, so whatever he has, it has me beat. I’m guessing he has at least a straight, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a modest flush with it as well. I fold and Big Baby is the only caller. Crypt Keeper turns over J7dd8X for the win. I wish I would have noted what his fourth card was to see what he deems worthy of raising from the small blind in that spot.

8:36 PM: The Man limps, I make it $20 with double suited AAQ7 and unnamed dude from the previous hand makes it $60, folds around to The Man and he calls. There’s another raise left here, so I can get most of that guy’s stack in pre and maybe, just maybe, The Man will fold in this spot… for the first time ever. The first guy calls and, against all odds, The Man does fold, leaving $60 of his precious dollars out there.

My remaining opponent has maybe a third of the pot behind so I just bet $300 dark and we are going to see all the board cards if he calls.

Dealer brings the flop and I’m typing on my phone while he starts tanking and eventually look up to see a board of AQ9 rainbow. Well, that’s nice. Of course, my boy doesn’t let me down and he puts the rest of the chips in, we run it once, and I have a brief scare as the turn makes JT the nuts, but the river pairs the 9 and my hand is clearly the nuts again.

A few hands later, I’m in a multi-way raised pot with AT97 with a suited ace. Flop is AJ9 with two hearts. My favorite current villain fires $25 on the flop and The Man calls on the button. I think my hand is normally a strong folding candidate, since I have no hearts, but the bet is weak relative to the pot size and the call isn’t strong either. I’m taking a card off and proceeding with caution.

The turn is a ten, giving me a better two pair, but making a number of straights. I check and they both also check. I am quite happy about that.

River is the 2 of spades. My hand isn’t really strong enough to bet here, so I check, planning to call any reasonable bet, but my boy bombs it for the full pot. The Man folds and the action is back on me. I have a pure bluff catcher here, but it seems incredibly unlikely that he would bet the flop and then check any of the straights on the turn. My main dilemma is that he could possibly play a set this way. Maaaaybe AJ. On the other hand, I’m blocking all those holdings. I think I have to call here. So I do. He shows AKKx and I win the pot.

10:06 PM: I have gone cold. The game has changed a bit. Part-Time and Big Baby are out. John Kim and new plo regular are in. Crypt Keeper has over $2k. I have around $1700. Tight-solid guy on my left has around $2500. Lee Markholt has around $2200. Needless to say, the looser players have been getting abused.

I come back from a short break to post in the cutoff and it’s raised to $15 in front of me, there’s a call, and I defend with KK96 with diamonds.

Five of us see the A88 with two diamonds flop and they all check to me. I believe the button also called here preflop, but when the PFR and TCK both check to me, I think this is a good hand and board to stab at. I bet $55 and only the PFR calls.

The turn pairs the ace, so now I’m looking at a board of A88A. He checks to me and I don’t see any reason to bet here. I might have the best hand. If I have the best hand, I also have the best draw. I can’t imagine he’s going to fold a better hand than mine. So I check back.

The river is the 5 of diamonds and he checks to me again. Now I feel like I have a hand I can bet. He needs AA, A8, A5, 88, 85, or 55 to beat me. Nothing he has done in this hand has led me to believe he can have any of those hands. If he has an ace, I expect him to call here. I bet $75 but he folds.

10:23 PM: It’s funny this hand starts off with me limping under the gun with ATddT3 and thinking it’s a bit loose. I literally just got done reading about how if you have a hand with a suited ace and a pair then you want your pair to not be suited with the ace. That way half the time you flop a set, there will be at least one card to your suit on the flop. I just read that before this session.

But here I am limping in the worst possible position and breaking the rule. Not only that, but my side card is basically worthless. So I limp, next player limps, John Kim limps, the small blind makes it $20, and only two of us call.

The flop is T84 with two diamonds. Holy shit. It’s the miracle flop. It’s what PLO players dream about. Seems hard for the PFR to want to bet this board, but he fires out $50, I make it $120, and John Kim calls! So does the PFR. Wow!

Turn is a black 2. Amazing. The board texture is the exact same. I bet $225 and they both call again! Well I know what I don’t want. I don’t want any non-diamond 7, 9, Jack, or Queen. A 6 could also be ugly.

The river is a 9… of diamonds! I bet $300, John Kim tanks for a while and eventually folds (a flush – and I believe him) and the PFR snap calls with a King high flush.

What a pot!

But I probably should have open-folded pre. Next time!

10:38 PM: The Godfather is in the building. This is a nickname that goes way back before my blog became a thing. The Godfather is a legendary spectator of Kitsap County poker games. For years, it seemed like he spent more time watching poker from the rail than actually playing poker. That’s how he earned his nickname because it seemed like the only reason he was in the building was to make sure that the dealers were taking the correct rake.

And thus The Godfather was born.

But he’s here playing poker tonight. He’s next up for PLO, but… I suspect he might not be coming over. This is what his stack currently looks like in the 8/16 game:

Unreal.

11:00 PM: Well, we didn’t get The Godfather and the action in the 8/16 game is so good that multiple players passed on PLO seats, including Mr. Plow and Mighty Mouse. So the PLO list just went from seven deep to three – and I think all three of those guys recycled.

We did, however, get a different Kitsap County legend: Godzilla. Here’s the thing: the dude has the physique of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, short arms and all. I can’t help but think of the infamous carnivore when I watch him walk around the room, searching for plant-eaters to swallow. I considered calling him T-Rex and I also considered Barney and while this player is definitely a friendly dinosaur, I can’t imagine Barney’s playing style lining up with his. He’s a hyper loose and aggressive player and thus I will dub him Godzilla.

Welcome to the club, buddy.

I actually have lots of history with Godzilla from back in my Kitsap days but it has been a long time since we clashed regularly.

Lineup update: Crypt Keeper, solid reg, player that has been trying to donate to me, Godzilla, The Man, nit, Lee Markholt, new reg that has been player very aggro

12:04 AM: Lee Markholt has left the game and we never put bets in on the same hand on the same street after the flop. Zero clashes.

12:21 AM: The Godfather has made his way to PLO. He just booked a $1600+ winner in 8/16 and it’s not like he was even playing that long. He was the main beneficiary of The Santa Claus Game.

12:46 AM: Eek. My recent nemesis just smacked Godzilla and The Godfather both.

First, he makes a straight with A985 vs JJxx and the nut flush draw after being the third player to put in $400 on the J76hh flop. The board runs out J769K. That felts The Godfather and puts a hurt on Godzilla.

Then he has JJ vs Godzilla’s AKJx on KJ83x where Godzilla also has the nut flush draw on the turn.

My boy now has over $3500 in chips in front of him and he tends to go out of his way to play poorly against me.

🙏🏻

12:55 AM: The Leak just tortured me by sitting down in the PLO game for the briefest of moments before the floor mercifully called her name for 8/16 and she actually took the seat.

1:18 AM: I just walked over to have a few bites of The Leak’s salad and she whispered in my ear, “if you look at me the wrong way, I’m going back over there.”

1:51 AM: My first good hand in what feels like hours, the active and aggro player opens to $15, I make it $40 with KKQhJh, and the Crypt Keeper caps the preflop betting by making it $120. The Godfather and The Man call $120 cold! The aggro player and I also call and there is $600 in the middle and five players seeing the flop.

The board comes down Q97 rainbow with one heart and it checks to Crypt Keeper and he bets $300, which is almost his entire remaining stack. I probably would fold here anyway but The Godfather makes my decision super easy by check-raising to $600. Everyone else folds and they agree to run it twice.

The Crypt Keeper ends up scooping with… J976 double suited… unimproved on both boards.

Say what?! That cold four bet! Also, what the heck is The Godfather jamming with? One of the boards had a ten on the river which seems like it would improve any reasonable drawing hand Godfather could have (and would have given me the nuts on that board).

Well that was lame. Instead of punting off his stack with a piece of cheese like J976, The Crypt Keeper is now sitting with over $1300 again on my direct left.

2:11 AM: The Leak is back in the game and she is quickly all in on the flop with AT97 with nut clubs on J83 with two clubs. It’s a monster draw, but for some reason she says she only wants to run it once and her opponent ends up rivering quads.

After the hand, she says, “I’ve never run it twice before. I don’t know what to do.”

I respond with, “running it twice helps reduce variance,” as she digs into her purse for a reload.

She deadpans: “I’ll run you over twice.”

3:39 AM: I think I’m about to wrap this up here. We are 5-handed and one player is leaving. We have been chopping all night so when it folds to The Leak in the small blind and she makes it $15 to go, I figure she is just doing it to be funny but then she says we are playing now. And then I look down at AAT5 double suited. Of course I do. My wife has felted $200 twice and she bought a third $200 bullet and now has over $700 in front of her. So I do what you should do when your wife raises you in a heads up pot and you have double suited aces… I fold.

I have zero interest in playing 4-handed big bet poker with The Leak.

I am racking up to leave now.

Final Score: +$1940

10:00 AM: I ended up cashing out around 4 AM and I didn’t immediately go to bed. Now I have a 90 minute massage in half an hour that I am probably going to struggle to stay awake during. Normally, I would be headed back to Palace for more PLO @ 6 PM, but Global Poker is running its 2nd annual Eagle Cup series right now and tonight all the tournaments are limit Hold’em. I’m not really focusing much on playing on Global these days – since they stopped allowing Washington state residents to depost – but there’s no way I’m not making their big limit Hold’em tournaments a priority. I won’t go as far as to say I’m the best LHE player on the site, but it’s hard to imagine there are many players that play more LHE than I do and with more success. The LHE cash games very rarely run and when they do, it is almost always at micro stakes. I expect to do way better than my fair share in these tournaments. Of course, I’ll probably end up going 0-3. My lifetime record in LHE tournaments on Global Poker is 5 cashes in 21 tries (23%) for a 26% ROI. I have won their nightly LHE tournament three times, but I am 1 for 6 in their series events with my one cash being a min-cash for 39th place. I’m looking to do big things tonight. The first tournament starts at 5:30 and the last one starts at 6:30, so I expect to be playing until at least 9 PM (Global tournaments have very quick structures). If I’m done playing at a decent time tonight, I will head to Palace for more PLO.

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15/30 Limit Hold’em – 10/5/18 Live Blog

October 5, 2018

Today is starting off better than I expected already. The Leak and I were driving to Palace and there were only two players on the 15/30 list @ 3 PM. That’s not very promising. I would have guessed a game start of around 6 or 7 PM. But then I walked in the door and the game was starting!

We are currently 8-handed with a starting lineup of: total maniac, Part-Time, nit, Fleabag, Rain Man, nit, non-reg.

Heads up vs Part-Time: I open AQss and double barrel AQ5ddd after he cold calls preflop, but he raises me on the turn and I call down and lose to K4dd.

Pretty cool!

3:22 PM: Yesterday I went -$170 in 1.5 hours of 4/8 limit O8 and then +$925 in 6 hours of PLO.

Here are the two most interesting pots I played in PLO yesterday and they happened on back-to-back hands:

I limp early with JTdd77, there’s another limp, Big Baby makes it $20 to go on the button, and one of the blinds and both limpers call.

Flop is 854 with two diamonds. I have a decent flush draw and two blockers to the nuts so it seems like a good hand to bluff the flop with. I lead out $55 into $80 and the player on my direct left makes it $110. Everyone else folds. Let’s think about this: what kind of strong hand makes a min-raise here? I would say not many. So my plan is to call this bet and re-evaluate on the turn. I don’t want to bloat this pot on the flop against someone I think is highly unpredictable and might go crazy with a naked ace high flush draw. Also, it is feasible that I would play some naked straights this way.

Turn is the Queen of clubs, giving me some actual straight outs. I do not think my opponent has much and I can still rep the straight so I bet $175 and he tanks forever and eventually calls.

I don’t particularly want to make my flush here. I think if the board bricks off I will usually win this pot with a max-sized river bet.

The 4 pairs on the river and I would say that qualifies as a good card for my plan. I bet $300 and this time he tanks even long than he did on the turn but… calls it off… with… A832 no diamonds.

That was enough for The Crypt Keeper to blurt out, “what the hell?” after I showed and he tabled his hand.

So I lost nearly $600 on that pot and then this hand comes up:

There are two limpers, Crypt Keeper makes it $25, Big Baby makes it $90, and I have AA98 with clubs on the button. I make it $390 to go (more on that in a sec), which gets about 40% of my stack in the pot before the flop with Aces. That’s a pretty good result. Big Baby is my only caller.

The flop is pretty decent for my hand: JT8 with two clubs. Big Baby leads out $200 and I make it $500 trying to get all the chips in. He just calls though.

The turn is a blank and I have a little less than $200 behind. He checks to me. It seems like my hand should not be good after he bet-calls $500 on the flop and I brick the turn. So I check behind and take a river before deciding if I want to put the rest in.

River is the 9 of clubs. Yay! I bet the rest of it and he calls it off with AA62 and no clubs. I guess it makes sense that he has AA, but what a crazy hand to bet-call off $500 on the flop with.

So yeah, after losing a big pot to a crazy bluff catcher, I felt like I was one club away from turning $1500 into $0 in two hands.

Fortunately, I was freerolling in that last hand and got there – a session saver!

Ugh. Flea just cashed out. That left us 6-handed (plus Part-Time MIA) with two nits in the game. That’s what I call the Danger Zone.

Fortunately, a random dude just sat down with $700.

4:42 PM: Rough start today. I’m down about $400 after winning a couple small pots. Here’s the highlight of my day so far:

Maniac limps, I raise cutoff with K2dd, button calls, so does a blind.

Four of us to the Q97 with two diamonds flop. That’s good enough for me to bet and I get popped by the button and the rest fold out. I call.

Turn is a blank and he does that rapid fire bet where he’s not even thinking about what’s going on (because he has a draw) so I’m already thinking about calling the river if it comes bricky.

The river pairs the 7 and I don’t have to make the call because he just gives up and my king high is good.

4:53 PM: This game is pretty bad now. My last four blinds have been chopped (I had AA in one of those hands). Radio Mike replaced the maniac and we are 8-handed now.

5:19 PM: First battle with Radio Mike: he opens cut, I 3-bet K2 of spades from small blind and he calls. I double barrel on 997-5 before checking the Queen on the river. He checks back… with QJo.

😐✋🏻🧢

5:48 PM: Radio Mike 2, Dark Knight 0

Open 55, Rain Man cold calls, Radio Mike defends.

Flop is 882 with two spades and only Radio Mike calls.

Turn is a 4 and I still feel like I’m good here. My plan is probably to check river if he calls because I’ve seen him slow play big hands to the river in heads up spots, especially against me. He calls.

River is a third 8 though. Can’t imagine what hands he’d play this way that I’m losing to and it seems like I should go for value against 2x and Ax hands, so I bet and he check-raises and I’m pretty sure that is always quads but I’m not folding here either. He shows the 86.

In other news, Rain Man has flopped a set on me three times already, which seems like every time I’ve played a pot against him. I’ve had top pair all three times and twice I rivered trips so he’s basically owning me today.

And then this happens: I open Q8ss and button and Rain Man call.

We check down on J985J and I go for value on the river after Rain Man checks a third time because how the hell can I ever be losing here, but Rain Man has A9 and calls.

Good lord.

Open AJ and a nit 3-bets me and of course I get a jack high flop and clean run out so I’m forced to call down, knowing I’m rarely ever winning with the top of my range here. He has QQ.

Yup. I’m really annoyed right now.

6:06 PM: Sigh. Now we are 6-handed with two nits in the lineup and I am stuck almost $700.

Where are the 9-to-5ers?

6:39 PM: We are down to 4-handed and the first hand of non-chopping I have AA in the big blind and get the Q9958 board against the small blind’s 95.

Yup. I’m over it. I’m going to go watch the 7:20 showing of A Star Is Born.

I might be back later.

Final Score: -$881 in 3.5 hours

I will continue this later if I come back and play after the movie.

Update: The next two showings of A Star Is Born are both sold out so I will not be seeing that tonight but I am also not going to be returning to the casino.

I think I woke up roughly five times during the night and never felt well-rested today. Radio Mike suggested making a trip to Fortune but I’m tired, steamy, and buried – and none of those things suggest I should keep playing poker tonight. I was willing to gut it out at 15/30 locally, but I have no desire to travel or play 8/16, so I’m just watching playoff baseball at home now.

I will be back in action at Muckleshoot for some 20/40 Omaha 8 tomorrow around 3 PM.

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Palace PLO Wednesdays! (10/3/18 Live Blog)

October 3, 2018

Showed up to Palace a little early today to watch the AL Wild Card Game. It didn’t take long for Aaron Judge to make it a 2-0 game. I really like Aaron Judge but I really hate the Yankees so I’m on Team Oakland tonight. I had over on the Yanks and over on Luis Severino’s win tally, but the regular season is over and I can officially stop rooting with my wallet.

Go A’s!!

List for PLO includes The Crypt Keeper, The Man, Part-Time, Hit&Run, and…

HIS ROYAL AIRNESS! And he’s already in the building so there’s no smoke and mirror potential there. The guy is going to play some 4-card poker tonight.6:11 PM: Official starting lineup: His AIRNESS, Part-Time, couple of random guys I don’t know (one of them is drinking beer and the other one looks like he’s about to knit a sweater), The Man, decent player that has been in this game lately, and The Crypt Keeper.

Pretty solid mix of tight players and a couple super loose ones.

His Airness just felted. We have played four hands.

6:31 PM: This seems like a missed opportunity: Airness opens $15, Part-Time calls, I call with 8866 double suited from the small blind and big blind also defends.Flop is 877. It’s reasonable to lead out here but His Airness c-bets recklessly, so a bet is always going in, regardless of what he has. He bets $25, Part-Time calls and I make it $65 to go from out of position. That looks pretty nutted but they both call anyway.

Turn is a 3 and it kind of feels like Part-Time has a 7 so I size up enough to make sure I get the rest of my stack in on the river (I started with around $500) and bet $140. Unfortunately, they both fold.

Some massive dude going by Big Baby (not my creation) just sat down with $1k and he looks like someone that is going to be putting chips in the pot.

6:58 PM: Big Baby 1, Dark Knight 0I make a pot-sweetening raise with bad double suited aces to $20 after four limpers from the small blind. All the limpers call.

I bet $75 into $100 on QJ5 holding the nut flush draw and only Big Baby calls.

Turn is a red 8 and I check-call $75.

River King and we both check. He wins with QJxx.

Big Baby just won a potentially game-changing pot against The Man and His Airness. The Man wins that one and this game could get ugly real quick.

7:11 PM: Big Baby opens to $15 and I try to isolate to $35 with QJT5 double suited, but both randos call and The Crypt Keeper caps it at $50 (which, in retrospect, isn’t even a legal raise size – it has to be at least $55). 5 or 6 of us call.Flop is QTx with two spades and it checks to me. I bet $150 and that is close to pot-sized and only one of the randos calls.

I’m looking for a blank turn so I can max bet for most of his stack. The 4 of hearts is a beauty. I bet $300 and… he goes all in for $11 more.

We run it once… because he has me smashed with ATssTx.

My two-outer doesn’t get there and I am officially bleeding.

I am down $700 but Big Baby has almost $2k on my immediate right.

7:52 PM: The whole table limps and His Airness makes it $20 from the small blind and we all call.

There is $180 in the pot. There is no muck.

My hand is AsQs88.

The flop is K82 rainbow with one spade and His Airness checks. Big Baby balks at it so the action is on me. My hand is basically a monster here but also hard to get action. I size decently at $110 – not big enough that no one can call but but small enough that someone can float me with impunity and pick up huge equity on the turn. Everyone with position folds and Part-Time check-raises the max from the big blind.

Unfortunately, this pushes Big Baby out and I put Part-Time all in for a little more and I ask how many times he wants to run it and he “doesn’t care” so I’m only running it once.

The board runs out clean and I win a much needed pot.

Only down $400 now.

Part-Time is out of here and Villain takes a rare seat in the game.

8:08 PM: Oh my. Big Baby is racked up like he’s leaving. He has over $3k in front of him. Please say it isn’t so, Big Baby!

8:18 PM: So frustrating. Raised multiway pot again and I have QT99 double suited in the big blind.

Flop is 986 with one diamond. Not super worried about T7s and 75s here so I lead out for $105 and only a random and Big Baby call.

Turn is a 2d to give me a flush draw with everything else I have going for me. Big Baby donks out $200. I think this is a raise. He doesn’t strike me as the type of player savvy enough to check-call straights on the flop and bet out on safe turns. I call though and I fucking hate it now. Other dude calls also.

River is a Queen and Big Baby leads $200. Dude on my left is feigning fold so I call and then the dude behind me makes it $500.

Sigh. We both fold. He shows J3dd which is even more annoying because I had a Queen high flush draw. Meanwhile Big Baby is saying, “pair the board.”

Fuck. What a catastrophe.

I mean maybe that dude just takes $500 to the face with Jd3dTx but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have made him have to.

And now Big Baby is gone. With over $3k in chips.

His Airness is still here which is nice, but he’s short.

The two randoms have a lot of chips but they have been playing decently.

Mr. Plow is next up for this game but he’s never played it as far as I know and I’ll believe it when I see it.

And the random in s6 that beat me in that last pot another $3k off the table.

I’m steaming now. His Airness felts and leaves and I might just rage quit.

8:31 PM: And the random in s5 hit and runs also!

Now it’s just seven of us, sitting here miserable because we all got smashed and now the game is on the verge of SUCKING.

8:32 PM: We have life! Another random I’ve never seen before sits down… with $200. Yawn.

Will he run it up to $1500 and leave?

Stay tuned.

9:15 PM: Uneventful happenings on the felt, but The Man just told me about a sick, awesome bet he made in college. He bet one of his friends that the Mariners would win the World Series before the Cubs and with every year that passed without one of those teams winning it all, they each deposited $100 into a joint account.

They made that bet in 1991.

The Cubs finally won in 2016.

So cool.

Except the Mariners not winning part.

The AL Wild Card Game was a dud, but the bright side is that it now sets the Red Sox and Yankees to meet up in the postseason for the first time in 14 years.

What? Has it really been that long? Yes. They haven’t battled when it mattered most since the infamous 2004 ALCS when the tides changed forever.

So… I guess that’s kind of cool. And the nice thing is this historic match is happening in the Division Series and not the ALCS. No matter how much history there is here I never want to see the Red Sox or Yankees advance in the playoffs.

Go Astros.

Go Indians.

9:37 PM: There is hope on the horizon: Animal is first up on the list.

9:59 PM: Call a $15 raise from The Man with 8776 double suited and we go to the flop multiple ways.

K33 rainbow isn’t interesting… to anyone. It checks around.

Turn is pretty cool: 7 of hearts, giving me a pretty nutted hand and opening up a heart flush draw. The Man bets $40, I call hoping to keep some players in (and avoid destruction when The Man is slow playing KK on the flop), and Villain is the only other caller from the big blind.

River is the 9 of spades and they both instantly check to me. That seems weak so I keep it reasonable at $75 and Villain snap-calls and I wish I had sized bigger.

Meanwhile, Animal is still first up. Uhm, doesn’t The Crypt Keeper have a horror anthology to host somewhere? Gtfoh, buddy.

10:53 PM: Animal sits down with almost $1300 in chips. The maximum buy in is $1000. No one say anything.

Dealer is making him take chips off the table now. 😡

11:21 PM: 3-bet AA52 with clubs to $40 and get three callers. Hit a nice flop of J43 with one club and bet $90 but nobody wants to play.

11:42 PM: The Palace dealer I’ve been wanting to give a name to and I have settled on a name. He is Twinkie. And he’s a white dude, so that’s not some kind of racially charged nickname. He’s just a skinny, goofy looking white guy that Billy Dubz decided to call Twinkie and I was like…

🤔

Okay.

So Twinkie is in the game now and The Man is gone.

Also, Twinkie is the one person that has committed to go to Chinook Winds with me. So he definitely needed a name.

I have a place booked for the 23rd through the 28th. I wanted to be there for the O8, Big O, and Main Events.

12:27 AM: Holy shit. Mr. Plow is in the PLO game. I thought it was all show. I didn’t think he’d actually sit down. He has $500 in front of him… and I’m assuming very little clue how to play this game, but we shall see.

1:15 AM: It’s not a coincidence that as the night wears on my material dries up. I haven’t been very involved and the craziness has basically stopped. Animal and His Airness are both gone now and that automatically halves the average pot size. Mr. Plow has been playing conservatively as he gets his feet wet in this game. The Crypt Keeper is basically napping in between hands.

I will probably be leaving shortly. It’s late and this game isn’t too attractive.

1:43 PM: Wow. I picked up to cash out and three players immediately quit the game. LOL. That sure makes me feel good.

Anyways, this fires back up at 6 PM tomorrow and I’ll be here for that. I will probably actually be here at 2 PM for the first game of the MLB Division Series.

Final Score: -$280

Not too bad considering I was -$1000 at one point and it never felt like anything good really happened.

h1

Muck Fall Classic – $750 No Limit Hold’em Main Event (Stack Updates Only)

September 29, 2018

Vitals: 20k starting stacks, blinds at 25/50, and levels are 45 minutes today. We are fast approaching 200 entrants and registration is open for another 4.5 hours!

My starting table currently has seven seated players and two dead stacks. I’ve seen all these guys around but I only know one of them, a nitty, predictable guy from Kitsap County.

Yesterday, I talked a lot with Adam Coats (a non-blog reader) and he was telling me about this 30 Day Cold Shower Challenge he did and how liberating it was and I was like, “stop judging me, Adam! I’ll start it up again tomorrow.”

So today was Cold Shower Challenge Day 1.

Again.

For the third time.

I’m seeing it through this time, dammit.

Speaking of Adam, I prefer to refer to people anonymously via nicknames on the blog, but since he’s been in the public eye at the World Series of Poker every time I’ve talked about him, I haven’t really felt it was necessary. However, after having the name ChowMein suggested to me and discovering that it was an old online screen name of Adam’s, I asked for his blessing to call him that and got the okay.

Welcome to the club, buddy!

Alright, time to focus up. I’ll post updates on breaks and maybe if a really big pot happens.

Leggo.

Notables I’ve Seen: ChowMein, Solomon Grundy, Flipper, Green River Gary (no explanation needed), and Billy Dubs (my new twist on Bill W)

Punt Attempt: Under the gun opens to 600 at 75/150 and it folds to me on button with AQ. I just call and so does the big blind.

Flop is AQT with two diamonds (I have none) and the big blind leads out for 1200 and the PFR calls. The big has a little over 15k total and the PFR has about 7k. The board is pretty wet so I make a sizable raise to 5k and I’m not folding to a jam. Big blind tanks for quite some time and eventually stuffs it. PFR folds and I kind of hate it because when we get in 100+ bigs each on the flop I really shouldn’t be good here, but I call and…

He has AJo with a diamond.

Turn 8d

River 4d

So much pain.

I’m down to 9k now and I’m pretty damn sad about it because I was dominating this table and I should have over 45k now.

Sick. Sick sick sick SICK.

Re-entry is open for another 3 hours, but I also still have 60 bigs.

First Break: 8.7k

More Notables: Slimer, Sandman, Joker, Minh Cash

Second Break: 18.1k

I am playing above the rim right now and have been running pretty brutal. Basically all my chips have been accumulated through well-timed bluffs. I feel like I’m seeing situations really well and I’m executing on how I think I can exploit what’s going on.

Registration is closed after this break. I’m pretty happy to get back near starting stack without having to re-enter.

Update: 55.4k

I’m putting on a clinic. Meanwhile the guy that devastated me earlier… is out. He shoved his last 11 bigs over a 3.5x open from another small stack with… 65ss. What in the world?

Prize pool is posted. There were 341 total entrants. 174 remain. Total prize pool is $237,175, which means $25,575 was raked, or 10%. Not bad. 51 spots get paid, with a minimum payout of $1200. First place is $49,000.

Let’s get it.

Dinner Break: 47k

Play resumes in 70 minutes.

I watched Joker get it all in on the last hand before break with AA against JTss on 952ss but the 8 of spades on the river busted him.

143 players left. Average stack is 47.6k so I’m right there. Blinds will be 600/1200 when we come back so I have 39 bigs when we restart.

My goodness, I’ve already used the bathroom and had a full meal and sat bullshitting for 10 minutes and we still have 40 minutes of break left.

7:41 PM: I am absurdly card dead. I called a raise with JThh and someone jammed (so I folded). That is the extent of my involvement since dinner ended. Pretty silly.

Down to 36.6k.

7:52 PM: 88 < AK all in pre for ~12 bigs.

Down to 18.1k – jam or fold territory.

8:28 PM: Doubled A9 > 88. Back to 11bb.

Fourth Break: 33.3k

I think I was peaking around 55k before I opened to 2.5bb on button with A8dd and big blind defended. We both checked Q98 flop. I called 5bb on 3 turn and then we both checked 5 river. He had 94o.

Because you just have to defend with that one.

Coming back to 1200/2400 blinds.

72 players are left and 51 of us will cash. Average stack is 94k so I’m an underdog but so what.

Let’s go.

Update: Busted in 70th AT < AJ. I will not be playing the Shootout tomorrow as it looks like I’d have to win it outright to get in the Player of the Series spots.

h1

Muck Fall Classic – $400 No Limit Hold’em (Stack Updates Only)

September 28, 2018

Vitals: 15k starting stack, sitting down at start of L2 with blinds at 50/100, and 186 players registered so far.

I recognize a couple players at my table from local cash games.

I’m playing in the banquet area for the first time. No shuffle machines but it’s pretty nice in here.

First Break: 16.9k

I’m happy about that considering I bluffed off a third of my stack and got called down by Q4dd on 6648T. I’m praying to make anything against that player.

12:53 PM: Doubled with AK vs Jc9c on QcJT-8c-J.

33.9k at 150/300 blinds.

Second Break: 34.7k

Registration is closing after this break.

Update: 300 entrants. $102k in the prize pool. $18k taken out for rake, or 15%. $20.4k up top for 1st. 45 spots pay. ~205 left.

I have 42.6k at 300/600 with 600 big blind ante. Average stack is ~22k.

Third Break: 42k

Weird last hand before the break. Player I think is competent makes it 1700 with blinds at 300/600 after an under the gun limper. That’s not strange but what is strange is that the raiser started the hand with less than 4000, so he’s making a small raise after a limper when he’s starting the hand with less than six big blinds.

I don’t get it. Even if I had a hand as strong as AA, I would expect the limper to call a lot.

Anyways, it folds to me and I look down at AJo. I wouldn’t even think about calling a 6bb jam with AJ and the under the gun player has shown some loose-passive tendencies so I’m not too worried about him having a big hand. So I go ahead and make it 4000 to put the raiser all in.

The limper folds and he calls it off with A9o.

I really don’t get it. The call here is fine but the initial raise is mind-boggling.

Fortunately for him the board runs out K88-K-9 and he got lucky on me twice in rapid succession and doubles up.

So… I have 42k now instead of 51k.

Coming back to blinds of 400/800 with 800 big blind ante.

Dinner Break: 88.4k

My bad. We’ve been on break for 40 minutes already. I just forgot to post something.

Cards back in the air in 35 minutes.

More Info: 79 left. Average stack is 57k. 45 spots get paid.

7:21 PM: Flopped top two with KQ in a raised multiway pot and then busted someone with JJ > 99.

203.5k

58 left.

Fourth Break: 145k coming back to 2500/5000 with a 5000 big blind ante.

We are in the money. 45 are left and everyone is guaranteed at least $630.

Average stack is 100k.

Adam Coats and Chief Wiggum both still in also.

Update: We have three hours of play in between breaks this time for some reason, so I should probably mention that things have been going really poorly. I am down to about 80k with blinds now at 3k/6k.

There are 36 players left now.

9:14 PM: Doubled with 66 > AK.

143k

Fifth Break: Peaking at 220k coming back to blinds of 6k/12k.

20 players remain.

Update: It’s been rough. I have 165k and we are combining to a 10-handed final table.

I appear to have the shortest stack. $2500 locked up.

Chief Wiggum here with me. He has about 280k.

9 left.

Update: Early position makes it 42k at 8k/16k and it folds to me in the big. I jam for 149k with AQ and… he starts tanking? Wtf. Didn’t expect that. He thinks for about two minutes and now I’m thinking I want a call, realizing I’m probably doubling up over 70% of the time. He eventually does call… with AJ.

Flop: JJ4

Turn: 4

GG

9th for $3000.

Sigh.

Main Event tomorrow.