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Minithon Monday $15/$30 @ Palace 3/26/18 (Live Blog)

March 26, 2018

Before I start updating I’m going to see if I can publish and update from an iPhone that is no longer active.


6:38 PM: Great success! Blog opener coming soon.

If you don’t like baseball talk, just skip ahead to the next time stamp.

Yesterday I participated in an AL-Only auction fantasy baseball draft and that process basically took up my whole Sunday. It was a blast though and I’m really looking forward to seeing how I do in a format I have absolutely zero experience with.

Today I had another baseball draft. This one is a little different. Six of us draft six MLB teams and whoever has the most combined wins… wins. We also draft four players for homeruns and four starting pitchers for wins and whoever has the best two from each category wins money there too.

My picks (overall rank in parentheses):

  • Indians (2)
  • Diamondbacks (11)
  • Phillies (14) [Gambooool]
  • Athletics (23)
  • Reds (last six draw)
  • Nolan Arenado (5)
  • Joey Gallo (8)
  • Manny Machado (17)
  • Matt Olson (20)
  • Justin Verlander (6)
  • Luis Severino (7)
  • Trevor Bauer (18)
  • Carlos Martinez (19)

After that I went and upgraded to the iPhone X and that’s why I’m just now sitting in a poker game at 6:30 PM on a Monday. I haven’t transferred anything to my new phone so I’m updating from my old one via wifi.

6:54 PM: Starting lineup: Radio Mike, at least three fun action players, and three average regulars.

First hand I post cutoff with Q8dd and there are multiple limpers, one of the fast players raises from SB and everyone calls. Flop is QT7dd an there is a bet, calls, and a raise in front of me. I go ahead and 3-bet and we are 5-handed to the turn. The SB donks again when it’s an 8, everyone calls, and I get to raise again. Three of us see the 5d river and the SB donks again! The other player folds, I raise, and the small blind folds! A line so spectacularly bad and fishy that the third player on the river asked to see the SB’s hand, even though he folded. Hard to blame him – except he knows me and I can’t imagine he actually thinks anything funky is going on. Just bad players doing bad player things. Nothing to see here.

Good start!

7:25 PM: The action players are certainly making this a high variance game. Just lost a big pot where I defend J8 from the big and pop it on the JTx flop because the small blind was the PFR. I end up getting raised by one of the loose players on the 6 turn and Radio Mike had called two bets cold on the flop and the turn, so I’m fully prepared to fold when the river is an ace, since KQ seems like one of his most likely holdings, but he folds and I have to pay off the lunatic and she shows me J6o – the kind of hand you just can’t fold preflop when you’re in middle position.

7:31 PM: New blog nickname: Rocksteady. Rocksteady is a friend and blog reader that seems to have made the jump from $8/$16 regular to playing $15/$30 the last few times he’s been in.

First person to tell me who this person is and why I came up with this nickname gets $5 from me.

7:48 PM: I’m just going to refer to each individual maniac by their seat position. I open utg with KQss, maniacs 9 and 1 call, decent player calls, maniac 4 3-bets, and I cap because my hand plays incredible against this ensemble. Flop is K98 all diamonds and I decide to try and check-call down since so much can go wrong here and my hand isn’t really worth protecting but has showdown value. I check-call flop and turn, but the only reasonable player in the pot fires his third barrel on a final board of K98ddd75 and there are still two maniacs standing, which makes this a pretty trivial fold now. He shows the other two players A7dd.

Very next hand, maniac 9 raises utg and I defend 88 and check-call down on KJ73K and beat his 75o.

8:29 PM: Just broke a huge losing streak vs Rocksteady. My last session we battled in a decent amount of hands and he had me coolered basically every time. I think I went 0-9 against him at showdown on Saturday. Something ridiculous like that. Maniac 4 limps, he raises, I 3-bet AKo on button, 5-way action to ATx two clubs and Rocksteady and Manaic 4 check-call. Turn is Qc (I have no club) and I decide I’m probably going to bet-fold if Rocksteady raises here, but the maniac folds and he check-calls so I feel very comfortable betting the river for value and he pays me off.

8:35 PM: Radio Mike limps, I limp along with A4cc, maniac 9 raises, maniac 1 3-bets, maniac 4 calls, and both Mike and I call. Flop is 653 one club; maniac 9 bets, everyone calls, I check-raise, he 3-bets, and everyone else folds. Wow! I call. Turn is an ace and I check-raise since I should be crushing his range now and I have good outs if I’m not. He calls. River is an 8 and I actually consider checking but there’s no good reason to do it, so I bet and he calls with… 63hh.

10:00 PM: Maniac 4 limp-raises me after I raise QTdd from late position and both blinds call. I love my spot here so I put the cap on it and wind up losing to the big blind’s J7dd on JT8d5d3. Lots of good possibilities there and a terrible river. Maniac 4 also pays it off with A8o.

Things are going pretty well though. I’m up over $1000 and it doesn’t even feel like I’ve been running great.

There are currently four players that read my blog in the game now, which might be a new record. John Kim, Muckleshoot Main Event winner, has joined us and since I used his real name in my Player of the Series post, I guess I’ll continue to do so here. Maniacs 9 and 4 still in with $2000 and $500, respectively. Rocksteady and Radio Mike both still in too.

Maniac 4 is calling Maniac 9 “The River Man,” and having just read multiple books about infamous Puget Sound serial killer Gary Ridgway, I think I will bestow this name upon Maniac 9 on my blog.

10:52 PM: Of course, as soon as I give him a name he cashes out. On the bright side, he has been replaced by Puss-In-Boots!

11:32 PM: Radio Mike has been running brutally lately. So brutal that when he opens cutoff and I look down at KTss, I almost feel bad about having to 3-bet him for the 5th time tonight. He calls. Flop is TT6 with two clubs. He checks and I say “that is a better flop for me than it is for you” but he calls anyway. Board runs out jack and 7 and he check-calls both streets and then shows me the best possible hand he could play that way that I beat: KJ of clubs.

And then he goes home. John Kim also just left. We just picked up an $8/$16 regular that I haven’t played $15/$30 with yet but comes with a great nickname: Bingo Man. Also naming the female maniac Rosanne at the urging of Rocksteady. Trust me, it fits.

12:18 AM: I feel for Radio Mike right now. I’m not sure there’s any worse feeling than getting crushed in a totally juiced game where multiple players aren’t just making lots of mistakes, they are literally hemorrhaging money. There are weak players and then there are legit spewers. My game has at least three spewers in it right now and zero good players. It’s amazing. I was thinking I would leave around 2 AM but this is the kind of game where I feel like I need to dig deeper and take one of the team – even if it renders me useless until late afternoon tomorrow.

12:30 AM: Well, I was overdue to post an actual hand and, on cue: one limp, a spewer raises, I call K9cc because 3-betting never gets me heads up and my hand plays decent multiway. Puss-In-Boots 3-bets from the small blind and seven of us see the A99 flop. It checks to my right and he bets, I just call because I want everyone in drawing basically dead and this isn’t the type of flop texture where they take cards off for all the bets. I keep it 4- or 5-handed and then call again on the turn and Puss-In-Boots springs to life with a check-raise. The turn bettor calls and now I 3-bet because I know I have them both smashed. They both call and can you believe the river is an ace? Cruel, cruel world. Puss leads out, the other guy folds (?), and I lose to AQ. 🤢

1:14 AM: Puss-In-Boots had the courtesy to stay an extra half hour before leaving with all my chips.

And I’ve gone card dead and cold at the worst time!

Palace has a new floorman and his name is Mooski and I absolutely can’t resist the urge to call him Mookie instead.

1:51 AM: Chipped back up with AA in 3-bet 6-way pot and getting a little too much action from J6 on J42dd3d9 – they donked into me on flop and turn and helped me clear the field. I’ve seen this player take this line basically every time he turns some sort of draw so I felt fine raising flop and turn and still betting river.

2:38 AM: Oh, it’s painful but I think I have to leave. There are still three certified spewers in the game but I am super tired and running a little card dead, which can be a bad combo and make you start doing stupid things like opening 44 from the nojack at a loose table (I got folds from everyone but the big blind, but the hand still didn’t end well).

2:47 AM: Six players limp in and I look down at A9dd. I mean I have to raise this, right? Everyone calls and one of the spewers 3-bets from the cutoff. I mean I have to cap this, right? Flop QJ2 one diamond. I check, someone bets, I peel getting like 35-1, and a number of us see the Qd turn and it checks around and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that. River is another Q and a spewer bets and everyone folds to me. Am I winning with A9 on QJ2QQ more than 4% of the time basically heads up (others left have nothing) against an crazy person? Uhm, definitely. Probably closer to 50%. I call and lose to JT.

Then I pick up KK and get outflopped by AK when they hit their 3-outer twice.

It pains me but I will be racking up and playing my last orbit.

Final Score: +$610

Pretty blah result for a game where it seemed like money was falling out of the sky at times. You look at a hand like that K9 v AQ on A99xA and you can see how much of an impact it has on your overall session. Winning 2.5 racks is substantially sexier than winning 1.2 racks!

I will be taking tomorrow off although I might play a number of online tournaments but mostly I’ll just be playing catch up.

Wednesday I’m probably playing PLO but I’m not committed to it and Thursday we are going to the Mariners season opener (even though we don’t have tickets yet)!

Then back to the LHE grind this weekend.


Friday Frenzy: $15/$30 @ Palace 3/23/18 (LIVE BLOG)

March 23, 2018

3:00 PM: I played over 8 hours of $8/$16 yesterday and broke exactly even – an incredibly rare occurrence. The $15/$30 game didn’t start until I was over seven hours into my session already, so I passed on it and ended up calling it a rather early night.

Just got to Palace a few minutes ago and immediately got a seat in a 7-handed $15/$30 game. There seem to be a ridiculous amount of chips on the table, which makes me wonder what happened before I got here. I think I may have missed out on something special.

First hand I post in the big blind and defend Q7o and flop trip 7s to start my day off with a solid win.

Current lineup consists of two $15/$30 regs without nicknames, Part-Time, two guys I’ve never seen play $15/$30, and a couple other non-regs. There are three players with really short stacks (and one is all in as I type this), so this game needs some serious backup or players willing to play short-handed.

3:18 PM: Fell down to six players for a minute but Curious George is here to save the day!

Strange hand: guy opens, I 3-bet QJhh, he calls. Heads up to KT6 one heart and two spades and he check-raises me. I 3-bet and he folds. Did not expect that.

3:57 PM: Full game now.

Couple of odd hands against the same player. Guy has been coming around for PLO and seems to be a reg now. He plays super loose and makes some interesting plays.

First hand I open TT and get way too many callers. Flop is 532 and I get called in four spots. He raises me on 9 turn and everyone else folds. River is ace and we both check and my hand is good.

Then I 3-bet JJ and he caps from the small blind and check-calls Q98hhd flop. He check-calls 7d on the turn and the other player folds. River is 2d and he suddenly donks out. I call, expecting to lose to AKdd or AJdd but he shows me 43dd instead.


4:33 PM: 4 of 8 players with $30/$60 Overs now.

4:58 PM: Man that guy owns me. I open QQ, he’s my only caller, so we are playing $30/$60, and I get the KQ6 flop and can’t beat his J9.

5:52 PM: Nothing exciting to report. My big hands are losing to draws pretty consistently. QQ loses to a river king that flopped a flush draw with K3ss. Defend 75 and lose to 65dd on 977dd. Down about $500.

7:05 PM: This has been a boring session. They let me win with KK in a capped pot.

Just had AhQx in 3-bet multiway pot and got the QT3hhh flop and none of the pot. Cap flop. Two bets turn. Brick. I don’t even call cause it’s so obvious. Blah.

8-handed now. Curious George left. Part-Time came back. Not a great game at the moment.

7:22 PM: Hit&Run just sat down and The Joker just walked in and is first up and, by God, this game needs him in here putting people on tilt.

8:58 PM: Still playing.. but done blogging for the day. Obviously haven’t really been into it. Sorry!


Muckleshoot Spring Classic $750 No Limit Hold’em Main Event (Updates)

March 18, 2018

12:20 PM: About to sit down midway through level 1. I think stacks start at 20k with 45 minute levels and 25/50 blinds today. Super deep structure. Best tournament in Washington state.

I showed up 2+ hours late to the $500 yesterday but still sat down with 70 bigs. Ended fizzling out pretty quickly after a few hours when I lost to a 10bb jam with 77 vs QQ and then busted when I jammed 17 bigs with 88 and lost to AQ. All my flip-winning powers were all used up from the day before.

I started yesterday with the point lead for Player of the Series, which I believe is worth an extra $6000, but if they played down to a winner last night (and didn’t chop points) then someone passed me. Also, a repeat final tablist could feasibly pass me. I will know here shortly.

12:44 PM: Someone did get first place points yesterday so they did take a slight lead in the PotS race. I’m still in second but I probably need to at least cash this event to maintain that spot and I think they only pay two people.

My starting lineup looks pretty decent. I have a Palace semi-reg that final tabled the $300 with me (and played really well, but is beating himself up over some of his FT decisions) and someone else that went deep in the $300 that I recognize. The rest of the table looks kind of soft, but we’ll see.

1:41: Flopped a set of 3s, bluff-raised someone on T63hhdTd with 74dd… nothing too exciting so far.

A player I wrangled into coming out today just busted in a 350bb pot where she has TT on 4457 and all the chips are in vs AK and her opponent rivers an ace. Not sure if they had a flush draw or not, but it hardly matters. I saw her leaving the room and messaged her, “I hope that’s just a bathroom break,” and she responded with a “fuck off” and “I want to murder everyone.” 😮😂

I appreciate the sentiment and the honesty of her emotions. That’s how I blog!

I’m sure there are plenty of notables and friends (and foes) in the field but so far I’ve seen Flexx, Bill W, Solomon Grundy, The Joker, Curious George, and Slimer. Plus a Kitsap County player making a surprise appearance.

Joker was standing in the middle of the room, looking around, and finally spotted me and then gave his best ever Joker cackle. Wish I had video of it. It was a perfect supervillain performance.

2:21 PM: 21k first break

3:35 PM: Just bluffed off 4k trying to get someone to fold what I thought was on a ten on a J52T7 board after he check-called me on flop and donked turn and bet small on river, but he basically snap-called me with AT so… really looking to making any sort of real value hand against him.

Down to 19.7k.

3:58 PM: Called 1100 from SB with T9hh after a limp and a raise. Four of us see J85ddh flop. I check-call 2500, so does big blind, limper jams for ~9k, PFR jams for 16k. I have an easy (but painful) fold and big blind folds also. KJdd vs PFR’s AA and the aces dodge all the redraws. I would have rivered the nuts, but obviously can’t call off 90% of my stack here.

On the bright side, the two players I think were the strongest and most dangerous at my table have busted already.

4:43 PM: No ability to accumulate chips today. Missed a draw in a raised pot and down to 6k, which is about 15 bigs. Almost at my comfort zone!

4:48 PM: Open QJdd (taking a different strategy than my 17bb punt yesterday) and I get called in four spots. 🤦🏻‍♂️. I’m committing on any piece and I get a very favorable Q84 rainbow (one diamond) flop and stick my remaining 5k in. Q9 calls and I double.

15.4k on dinner break

5:35 PM: Cards about to be back in the air.

5:43 PM: Call EP open to 1500 with AJdd and jam over a 2500 flop bet on 732dd and get the fold. Back to around peak chip stack.

5:51 PM: Playing at the same table as the legendary Lee Markholt for the first time ever.

6:30 PM: Flat 2200 with KQss in position. Lee along for the ride from the big. Flop QJTccs. We all check. Turn Q. PFR bets 6k. I am actually not sure that I have the best hand here. However, there aren’t really bad rivers for me, so I call and plan to re-evaluate on river, although it would be really tough to get away from. Lee folds. River Q. I am sure I have the best hand now. He checks, I jam for about 2/3 pot and he thinks for a bit and folds TT face up! Lee says to him, “I think he had a queen; he looked really calm.”

Yeah, okay. Get me the hell off this table.

Sick runout though and I like my line, even though getting it in bad would have been a double up.

Peaking at 27k.

Next table to break. 👍🏻

7:01 PM: Sick, sick spot. I open 2100 TT at 400/800 with about 30k, button calls, big blind makes it 6700. Kind of tough spot. I have almost 40 bigs and I don’t want to put them all in yet. I flat, planning to either set mine or get it in on favorable flops. Button ships it, having us both covered. Big blind tanks for a while and mucks. I do some more tanking and decide I’d rather fold and play a 30bb stack a new table than flip (hopefully) in a 90bb pot. If my table wasn’t breaking I would flip here, but the thought of saving 30bb to play with at a possibly much softer table was too attractive. I muck and he shows AK.

My table broke a couple hands later and now I am sitting on The Joker’s immediate right. Of course I am.

7:23 PM: Open AA utg, two calls, c-bet flop and check-jam turn and double vs AQ.


First time I open button on Joker’s small blind, he stuffs it on me because, what else would he do? Fold?!

8:00 PM: 59k coming back to 600/1200. About 100 players left and 36ish get paid.

8:05 PM: Player of the Series actually pays four spots so I’m drawing really live at a piece of that.

9:15 PM: Chipped down a bit possibly getting involved in a bit of a leveling war (that may have only involved one person) with a friend and blog reader. Ultimately decided to fold a pair against continued aggression. That guy has 3-bet me twice and Joker has jammed on me twice, so with that much recent history, and both of them in the blinds, I was pretty stoked to wake up with AA on the button folded to me. I made a standard raise and they both folded! What timing.Won a pretty decent pot defending Q9hh and check-calling twice on 972cchKh and getting a free showdown vs 66.Close to peak statusat 55k.

9:34 PM: 65 players left. 34 cash. I have around 25 bigs and and a below average stack. Time to activate some run good!

9:39 PM: Sick hand at my table just now. Joker jams under the gun with 10ish bigs, the guy that’s been 3-betting me jams 40k, and the small blind calls it off. Joker has QQ and he’s up against AKo and AKhh. Door card ace of clubs. Ouch. Followed by two hearts. Double ouch. Joker can’t catch the Qh and AKhh is basically freerolling for it all. No waiting. Flush on turn and he busts both of them.

9:50 PM: Lee Markholt, Flexx, Curious George, The Invisible Man (!), two of the guys that final tabled with me, and someone in the top 10 on the points board are all still in making deep runs.

9:55 PM: Dang, as I was typing that Curious George busted. Good run, man!

10:14 PM: Just defended T9dd and lost a smallish, but significant (for me) pot on QQTxx vs AT.

Down to 14 bigs now. Comfort zone! We are jamming, folks!

10:19 PM: Blinds up and going through me after the break. 11.5 bigs that will be 9 bigs if I forfeit bothblinds.

10:33 PM: Player of the Series payouts and points for today:

So I’m tied for 2nd with 140 points and the leader has 145 (but busted). If I don’t cash, whoever wins this automatically passes me. Three other players in the top 12 or so are still in the Main, all with a decent chance to pass me. The bottom guys would need 8th or better, but the guy in 4th is drawing super live.

There is one caveat that could help me, even if I don’t cash this. The qualification that you need to play at least 4 events. I was just told that the current point leader doesn’t qualify but that is not confirmed.

Pretty decent shot!

Meanwhile, I jammed 12ish bigs with AT and outflopped QQ for a double up.

Peaking over 68k 20 spots off the money.

11:06 PM: Doubled again. Raise AK and get check-raised on A92 rainbow. I jam and hold vs AQ.

125k. Above average with less than 54 players left.

11:55 PM: I made a play so devastatingly bad I don’t even want to share it now. I’ll talk about it later when it might not tilt my face off. 8 spots off money.

4th place in points is busted, so that puts me in great position to finish in 1st or 2nd.

12:13 AM: Missed the nut flush draw vs top pair. I have 12 bigs. 6 off the money.

12:42 AM: Cashed it. Puts me 1st in the points race, but a couple guys still in drawing live to pass me. I’ll be coming back to 37k with blinds at 3k/6k tomorrow and I will be all in the first orbit. 😂😬


Cards in the air in three minutes and there’s some good news: there are 9 minutes left in the 2k/4k level so I’m not in as desperate shape as I thought.

9bb UTG+1


5:04 PM: Unreal. Jammed A9cc first hand and get called in three spots. Flop Q42cc. Heads up on the side, two of us all in. One guy bets and other player folds. I’m up against QJ and JJ. Ace on the turn!

More than quadrupled first hand!!!

And suddenly we have 30+ bigs.


5:26 PM: Ugh. Bad, loose player opens 20k. I jam 130k or so with AK, he basically snaps with 44 and wins the race.

Out in 28th for $1300.

Well, that was about the last thing I expected to happen after that sick quadruple up.


Marathon Monday $15/$30 @ Palace 3/5/18 (LIVE BLOG)

March 5, 2018

12:41 PM: I showed up to Palace just after the $15/$30 started and I was first up. I’ve been playing $8/$16 for about an hour already. Please don’t lock me out!

I had another big Saturday, posting a +$2795 in 10.5 hours of $15/$30 and kept my ultra hot streak alive. I did take yesterday off to watch the Oscars. No major surprises. Frances McDormand, Allison Janney, and Sam Rockwell gave my three favorite performances of the year and they all shipped statues. The Shape of Water is still my first or second favorite film of the year, so its Best Picture win was deserved imo. My other favorite film was Get Out, which won Best Original Screenplay – my favorite Oscar moment of the night. I actually bet some money on a few categories and booked a small profit.

I’m surprised I’m not in $15/$30 yet, considering the lineup. There is one nickname in the game and none of the biggest regulars.

1:03 PM: Cashed out of $8/$16 -$52. I still don’t have a $15/$30 seat but I’d rather rank fantasy baseball players and eat breakfast than play $8/$16 right now. Shouldn’t be too long!

1:53 PM: Second $15/$30 starting now. Cards should be in the air in the next 15 minutes or so.

2:10 PM: I typically prefer playing in the feeder game, but I decided to switch to the main game instead. The game looks better plus it doesn’t have Slimer in it and that’s an automatic upgrade. Out of the very few players I actually dislike, Slimer is the only one that is solid. I don’t like seeing him walk through the door for all the reasons.

Plus, I think the players I want to play with in the feeder will migrate to the main anyway.

2:34 PM: Main game has Part-Time, two guys I don’t know that have been reckless in a short sample, a nitty reg, and a couple $8/$16 regs.

2:49 PM: Took a break. Came back and posted in the cutoff. One limper, hijack raises, I call with 32o, button 3-bets, limper folds, HJ calls, I call. Board runs out J7258 and I call down vs button and beat AT high and immediately establish a tight-solid image.

2:59 PM: Just flopped a set of aces against a turned set of fours and never get raised somehow.

My strategy of sitting down with an Overs button as my card protector has paid off today. Five players are now in $25/$50 Overs.

3:10 PM: Just got “lucky” in a big pot. One limper, I raise 88 and four of us see 742dd flop. Limper donks, I raise, the other two players call, limper calls. Turn is 8s, giving me top set. I definitely think 65 could be out there but that’s not going to stop me from betting and it doesn’t stop me from raising either when the limper check-raises. We are heads up to the river, the board pairs and he check-calls with 65. Out of the three players that called the flop he was the one I thought was least likely to have 65 since he donked right into the raiser and risked getting himself heads up with 6 high. Good final result though!

3:54 PM: Nerd Alert!

Just took a break to make my first fantasy baseball selection of 2018! I kept Freddie Freeman, Jose Ramirez, Max Scherzer, and Nelson Cruz. Pretty well rounded core to start with. Cruz is way up there in age but has shown no signs of regression yet. Even though this is a dynasty format, I still think he has at least one more All-Star caliber year left in him.

None of the top starting pitchers were very attractive so narrowed it down to Brian Dozier and Craig Kimbrel. Since Ramirez can play 2B, I went with Kimbrel as I feel having one of the top closers is a pretty decent edge since they provide elite ratios and 100+ strikeouts. Obviously, Kenley Jansen was off the board.

I only mention this because I know it’s what you all came here for.

4:38 PM: Sigh. 6-way pot, I defend an UTG raise with Q2o and three of us cap it on Q92. The UTG player raiser pops me on the turn, which is bizarre because all he did was call on the flop. So the 7 helped him? Pocket 7s? Really? For four bets on the flop? Eh. He could definitely have some other hands so I’m never folding. I call. River wrecks my hand by pairing the 7, but I’m curious so I call and he shows me… 97cc. BARF.

Slimer and Radio Mike have migrated to my table. Part-Time left after crushing the game. I think the guy to my left (playing really bad) might be leaving soon and there are multiple players on the wait that will be in the second game soon that I definitely want to play with. So I’m up for a table change. Joker is over there, which is annoying, but some things must be done.

5:04 PM: Here’s a shocker: I open QQ UTG1 and player on my left and two others call. Flop 322. Pretty nice. I bet and only guy on my left calls. Turn ten and we are in Overs. I feel like his ability to check back here is minimal so I go for check-raise. He bets, I raise, he calls. River pairs the 3, I bet and he calls with… QQ! What?

5:09 PM: Just gave Radio Mike shit for having horrible foresight and game selection and he responding by saying “this is our last chance to destroy each other for nearly two weeks. I wouldn’t miss it!

5:12 PM: Even more shocking than the QQ vs QQ hand. Guy to my left limps UTG and everyone folds to my big blind. I raise with 88 and he folds. What?

5:42 PM: Be careful what you wish for, RADIO MIKE.

I take a break to select Brian Dozier in the 6th round (he slipped back to me!) and post in the hijack. Mike raises, I defend J2o because Lololol and five of us see KJJ flop. I jack him up on the flop and he calls me down when the board runs out KJJ42. You okay?

6:00 PM: Cobra just walked in the building and he’s playing $3/$6 now. If he’s smart, he’ll stay there.

6:12 PM: Curious George in the game now and an irregular maniac also. Shit just got real.

6:20 PM: Just flopped a queen with AQ in a 4-way capped pot and got paid off in two spots all the way through showdown and the pot was big enough to spill over into Radio Mike’s personal space (he’s now sitting on my right) and I said “wow, that pot was bigger than your whole stack).

The poor guy has gotten off to a rough start. He couldn’t beat the T5s and T8s of the previous seat 3.

Also just won a monster with QQ on J98x7, four players at showdown and pressure on me from the flop on – a nice, surprising result.

7:01 PM: Another massive pot with a bad runout and a great result. I have AK and it’s capped pre with Curious George, the maniac, maybe some others. Curious George puts the heat on me on KJx with two clubs and it’s capped there with the maniac still in. Turn is a 9, CG bets and we both call. River queen. Super gross. CG bets, I call and I’m good vs J5cc.

I did get coolered by Taz when my JJ lost to his KK on a ten high board but I am running pretty pure again. I am up about $1500.

7:48 PM: Curious George gets me in a sick, blind vs blind, weird non-chopping situation. At Palace, you can actually chop 3-ways when there is a small blind on the button and it folds to them. I kind of hate it. I’d rather just play and there’s a lot of gray area with this rule. I’m never asking for a chop when I’m the button but if the button wants to chop I just do it… painfully.

Well, button folds in this hand and Curious George snap-raises. I look down at JJ and we cap it. Flop is KJTcc and we cap it again. Turn is the 4c and he checks now. I see no reason to think I’m beat so I bet. He calls. River is a 3 and now he donks. It’s very tempting to raise against this weird line but I just call and he shows me AQ. Ouch.

Then he gets some more revenge with another J5cc when he donks turn on Q65J5 and I call down with TT.

9:17 PM: Nothing new to report. Those pots vs Curious George are the last notable ones I’ve played. I’m up around $850 now so I’ve lost a little momentum.

It is worth noting Joker is in the game now.

Just had KQhh on Q75hAh3h vs Curious George but then he cracks my AA with KT on the very next hand. Then I fold black queens on 963hh7h after it gets capped on flop four ways and the flush gets there on the turn.

You taketh and you giveth away.

Next hand after that I have AQss and lose to Joker’s KT on QJ77A.

Pretty cool orbit.

9:54 AM: The Joker just got picked off on J85xx with 74cc, which is the first time he’s missed a straight draw in 2018.

Curious George is outflopping me every hand. AQ < J9dd for way too much action.

10:15 PM: K7 in my small blind loses to big blind’s 62 on K826x and I keep inching towards even territory.

10:20 PM: My AK loses to Curious George’s K4cc. This is fun!

11:20 PM: Insanely card dead and losing the few pots I do contest. Since I won with KQhh in my 9:17 update, my biggest success is stealing the blinds once. I am up about $150 now. Wth.

11:57 PM: Got a little breather from the cold stretch when I 3-bet KQcc and triple barreled T43cc9K board and then outflopped Curious George’s KK in a heads up pot with AJdd. I’m still up ever so slightly but I lost a couple hands right after that.

I have to admit I’m pretty tired right now but I’m hesitant to leave because the game is very good, my seat is top notch, and I’m planning to take the next two days off (most likely).

I’m planning to see Game Night at 1 PM tomorrow and The Leak said she is interested in seeing Black Panther after she gets off work tomorrow. But when she says she wants to see a movie the chances of that actually happening are probably less than 25%.

But what I really need time off for this week is organizing all my receipts and data to file my taxes and getting that taken care of. I’ve been sending the IRS money every quarter so hopefully the damage will be minimal.

1:56 AM: Ugh. I’m about to leave and I pick up AA on my button in a 3-bet 6-way pot and get it cracked by Q7o, from a hand that wasn’t in the blinds. He might have posted. I’m not sure. It’s really the only logical explanation.

I am now stuck for the first time all day. Pretty cool!

I think Joker and I might have invented a new poker term. Starting with the button, the positions to its right are the cutoff, hijack and lojack. Well, we decided to call the next position to the right – formerly known as under the gun plus two (eww…) – the NOjack. It flows. It works. I recommend everyone start using it immediately. Apologies if someone already coined this term. It seems like an easy segue.

2:14 AM: Sigh. Two limpers, I raise KK, Joker 3-bets, two more callers, I cap. Flop is J93hhs, I bet, three callers. Turn Ts, I bet and Joker raises. One other caller and I call also. River pairs the 3 and he still bets. It’s never a bluff but it’s also hard to come up with hands I’m losing to that he plays this way. I check-call and say “it can only be tens” and this clown shows me Q8hh.

Big pairs falling victim to random spazz at the end of the night. Awesome!

This might be even more tilting. I open KQcc and get six callers. Flop is KKQ and only Joker calls and then calls me down and says “how about this restraint?” as he flashes me a king. You serious?


3:24 AM: It was the tale of two sessions. For the first six hours I ran so pure I almost felt guilty and was up about $1500. For the last seven hours I got my ass kicked and went hours between pots.

Final Score: -$97

What. The. Hell.


Chinook Winds PacWest $210 No Limit Hold Em Tournament

February 23, 2018

I arrive at what I believe to be the start of L3 and blinds are 100/200. I start with 12,000 in chips and there is a 10k add-on for $100 after the end of this level.

I let the blinds go through me once and call a raise with 98cc and whiff.

A player opens to 500, I 3-bet to 1300 with AQdd and he calls.

Flop is QT6 with two spades. I bet 1250, he makes it 3000, I’m all in, he snaps with TT.

Game over.

No re-entry.

No, seriously. That’s the end of this blog post. I lasted 16 minutes.

I can’t even check into my hotel for another 2+ hours and there are no cash games going yet, so I’m heading to the local one screen movie theater to watch Phantom Thread. I may or may not play some cash later tonight. I’d rather be well rested for the amazingly structured Main Event tomorrow, which is the reason I’m here.


Marathon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/19/18 (Live Blog)

February 19, 2018

12:43 PM: Just got to Palace and missed the $15/$30 game start. Playing some white chip poker while I wait. I’m first up. Blog opener coming soon.

Somehow forgot to mention this in last night’s closing comments but after posting a +$735 in $30/$60, I played 5 hours of $15/$30 and won an additional +$470. Those two sessions put me squarely in the green for 2018!

I’m back!

One of the downsides of $15/$30 going every day at Palace is that I’m playing so much poker my productivity outside of the poker room has fallen off a cliff.

I was a full time pro in 2017, but I averaged less than 160 casino hours a month for the year. So far, in 2018, I logged 220+ casino hours in January and I’m on pace for 190+ in the shortened month of February. That’s a pretty sick volume increase and it’s definitely affected my quality of life. For instance, I haven’t been able to get out of bed for yoga the last few Mondays. I hit snooze on my phone for 90 minutes this morning and then I missed the game start this morning.

I also have reviews for Black Panther, I, Tonya, and Jumanji that I have no idea when I’m going to write. Plus, it’s almost March and I still haven’t written my 2018 Goals out.

Not to mention the shitty partner I have been to my wife, as far as carrying out my duties around the house.

In other words, my balance between poker and life has been slipping dramatically.

With that said, I’m going to take all of tomorrow off to catch up on life and I think I’m going to skip PLO on Wednesday also.

I definitely had more balance when I had two committed days off every week and I really need to work on finding that again.

1:07 PM: Still locked out of $15/$30. I’ve seen the game start for 4.5 hours before someone got up, but I don’t believe this lineup is capable of that. I expect to be in before 2 PM.

1:25 PM: Not planning to post $4/$8 hands but I feel like this one is worth sharing. I open AQ and get cold-called in four spots. Flop is AKJ, I bet and everyone folds. 😂

2:13 PM: They did lock me out until past 2 PM but I’m in now and just posted and got stair-stepped into a 3-bet pot with K2ss and sucked out on T723K. Good start!

Starting lineup: multiple $8/$16 regs that don’t normally play this game, Radio Mike, 80%, nitty older guy, and very solid Palace reg (but he’s drinking already!

2:36 PM: Forgot to mention I snagged +$133 in my $4/$8 warm-up!

2:54 PM: Come back and buy the button, 80%, drunk lady, and another player limp, I raise with KTdd, drunk lady 3-bets, I cap; four us to flop and I double barrel QJ5ccd6d before giving up on 7c river and 80% and drunk lady chop it up with J2 suited.

3:37 PM: This game is off the chains right now. Small samples and all but there are four players in a row with VPIPs of 79%, 86%, 45%, and 53%. All this dead money is making me play more pots too and so far I have been benefiting, winning multiway pots with a lot of one pair hands and a good-sized pot with a set of deuces.

3:55 PM: Yup. I’m playing pots. 15 people limp in front of me, I limp along from cutoff with T9o, Radio Mike raises on button, one of the 80% maniacs 3-bets it, everyone calls, including Radio Mike (lol, nice hand – this is not the time to exercise restraint, buddy).

Flop is 875 with two hearts and it’s bet, called, and raised in front of me. I 3-bet because GAMBOL and wind up closing the action and getting position. Great success!

We are still 5-handed to Jc turn and they all call me and I get paid off in one spot on As river.

Cha ching!

4:07 PM: One limper, I raise JTdd, 80% and drunk lady are in, four of us to T53 flop. I get called by two of them. They have QJ and Q9, which is two outs combined between them. I know this because I didn’t win this pot.

4:16 PM: Just realized I didn’t say what I had at 2:54. Edited with my holding included.

4:22 PM: Radio Mike informs me that the drunk lady didn’t raise that hand I made a straight in – 80% did. That’s unfortunate because the lady said “I raise” and then put out three bets (next to act) which means the dealer cost me $90. Booooooo.

4:29 PM: Radio Mike may have possibly ruined our game. He has given half his stack to the lady and she now has over $2500 in front of her and just spoke the dreaded words of “I should leave now. I think I’m even.”

Meanwhile I’m getting rage texts from Radio Mike. Let it out, pal!

And now she’s grabbing empty racks. What the hell, Mike?

5:03 PM: A fortunate seat change. I have direct position on the two 80% players and almost have the Jesus Seat (64% on my direct left, but he’s probably next to leave).

When I changed seats I posted in the cutoff, called with 32hh in a multiway pot, flopped a flush draw and paid three bets, before donking my flush on the turn second-to-last to act and getting raised. Lady calls $60 cold and I just call because it should be fairly obvious I have a flush and I’m still getting raised by the flop 3-bettor. River is a blank, it checks around and my hand is good.

5:30 PM: 80% has felted and he actually tightened up today, finishing with a 71% VPIP for the day, by far his lowest total in a session I’ve played with him.

5:41 PM: New blog nick name: Curious George is in the game. This is an original creation from Blackjack’s blog but he’s used so many of my names that I feel okay taking one of his!

5:51 PM: El Torcho has graced us with his presence and is sitting with $400. This game is stupid right now. Just stupid.

6:05 PM: Couple brutal pots in a row. The Torch’s torchy nature and crazy lines just cost me a lot of chips with a hand I would never even consider sticking around with against someone else.

Then I flop the nut flush draw, turn a straight draw and river a pair vs flopped trips and lost more bets than necessary because someone else wanted to bluff the turn.

Just raised multiple limpers from SB with QJss and got called down by Curious George on a favorable KTxQQ runout.

6:15 PM: The drunk lady is still here and she just open-limped and I iso’d with K7dd and lost to her on KJ5T8 because she had… T5o.

Fomo, Joker, fomo!

6:24 PM: A chop and a raise-and-take-it while the lady is away from the table and someone actually says something about a setup and how slow the game is. Really makes you wonder about some of these people.

They don’t make games much better than this one.

6:53 PM: VPIPs across the table in our “slow” game: 66%, 24%, 37%, 87%, 38%, 61%, 29%, 28%, and 61%.

Funniest thing about those numbers is the player that complained is the one with the 24%. 👏🏻👏🏻

7:00 PM: That lady did not leave after snatching up half of Radio Mike’s stack and she has turned that $2700 stack into $4. But she’s coming back, she says.

I was the recipient of an expert slow play. One limper, Curious George raises, I defend BB with 44 and three of us see J99cc flop. Everybody checks. Turn is 3c, I bet and they both call. River…. 4c. I bet and the limper calls me with A9 (no club).

7:04 PM: Lady is back and says “I had to get my bank to increase my limit. It worked.” Music to everyone’s ears.

“$200 over”… not so much.

7:09 PM: Five minutes later… “$400 over…” – that’s a little better.

Meanwhile I somehow got QQ to hold up on a J9758 runout with three opponents on the river.

7:19 PM: Pot of the day alert! 6-way cap pre and I have TT on the button. Flop is JT3dd and it is either three bets or capped again with at least five of us seeing turn. 6 of hearts on turn and I get check-raised by Curious George and I get three bets in four ways. River is 4 of diamonds and they all check to me. It’s painful to check back here because how do flushes check river? But how the hell does no one have diamonds? I check and win this monster.

7:27 PM: Torch opens and I defend 96hh and flop a flush and we cap but the heart on turn costs me about a million dollars because Torch has 32hh.

7:50 PM: Oh man, the heater is real. We are up HEAPS.

Torch straddles, lady calls, I 3-bet KJo, Curious George calls, and Torch 4-bets (not a cap) and we all call. Flop is QTx with two hearts (I have Kh) and it gets capped again. Turn is 9h and I raise when Torch bets, Curious George calls $60 cold and Torch calls. River is black 4 and Torch donks again. I raise, Curious George calls $60 again and Torch folds. 😂

My hand is good.

8:28 PM: Noooooooo! Chink in the armor. JJ < QT.

9:16 PM: Running good even when I’m running bad: two limps, button raises, lady cold calls SB, I defend 52ss. Five ways to J52 two clubs. Both of us blinds check, but Curious George donks and everybody just calls. I’m in great relative position to check-raise the field on the turn if it’s a good card, so that’s my plan. I’m going to execute on 4s turn but Curious George bets and the next player raises. Lady cold calls the $60 and… I fold… painfully. River is the 4c (yay!) and Curious George donks again and the turn raiser just calls. The lady next to me now shows me J2 (!) in disgust and folds it. George turns over 85 for a pair of 5s and the other player has A3o for a straight.

9:35 PM: The lady to my right has finally called it quits. Her final stats: 216 hands, 84% VPIP (and that doesn’t include the times she checks her big blind in an unraised pot), 13% PFR. She peaked around $2700 and felted that… and then felted an additional $1500 or so. I think most of it is in my stack now.

10:12 PM: My wife, The Leak, is playing in the other $15/$30 game and just sent me this text:

“I have K6hh in BB. 6 players see 952hh flop. I bet, 2 callers, [player x] raises. 5 players see 5 turn. I xc. River 9 and I call [player x] who has 44.”

Nice hand, honey!

10:57 PM: Running pretty good still. My wife’s game is definitely the better one now though. I’ve been eating which is why I haven’t updated, but I just saw a player add on $10… to his $15 remaining… in a $15/$30 game. Good luck, sir.

11:16 PM: Just running pure. Open KQdd, flop JT9, capped three ways, turn Q, and I’m still good for all of it.

Curious George opens, button calls, I call KJo (a hand I would usually fold here but CG is super wide tonight – in fact, two hands later I fold KQ in cutoff to a single raise), and big defends. Flop KQx and it checks around. Turn is another blank and I know CG can’t check again so I go for a delayed check-raise and get both him and the button for two big bets each. River jack and they both fold.

Limp along multiway with A3hh. Flop 654hh. CG bets, call, call, I raise, cold call, all call. Turn 2h. No waiting. George donks again, I raise, and we are heads up. Jh river, he donks again, because I’m running that good tonight. I raise, he calls.

11:53 PM: First bad run out in a while: s3 (56/17) opens, s4 calls, I 3-bet QQ, Curious George calls it all, s3 caps. Flop 862, s3 bets, I raise, CG calls, s3 calls. Turn ace, and s3 donks (ugh), I call, and CG folds. River Ace (I like that), he bets I call and I lose to A8cc.

11:58 PM: My game just crumbled and now my wife is at my table. Groan.

12:18 AM: After having no Overs all day, 7 of 8 players now have them at my table and I get the pleasure of firing $50 bets at my wife when we are heads up. 🤦🏻‍♂️

12:41 AM: Second game just broke and I’m letting The Joker have position because I have the good problem of having waaaaay too many chips.

12:54 AM: Joker gets to be The Joker on the first pot we play. He opens, three call, I defend T7hh. Flop 975, I donk, which makes Joker have to play his hand straight up and if he clears the field, oh well. He just calls and everyone else folds. Yummy. Turn Ace of diamonds. Sigh. I can’t really bet this card but he can definitely bluff it. I check-call. River is 8 of diamonds or something. I check-call again and he went running diamonds with KTdd.

Next hand, Curious George limps, button limps, I raise AJo from SB, BB calls, Curious George back-raises, button calls, and I cap. Flop J53, I bet, George raises, button calls, and I call. Turn 4, I check-raise in Overs and they both call. River Queen, I bet, George calls, button folds and I’m good.

1:15 AM: No joke. Player that’s been loud and causing a scene all night finally got the boot…. and actually says the words “I’m being ostracized because I’m a white man” as he’s getting kicked out. Incredible.

1:37 AM: I open J9o from hi-jack and my wife 3-bets me from small blind. I call. We are in $25/$50 Overs now. Flop J95 and she check-raises me (lololololol), I call. My plans to raise the turn are spoiled by an ace and she check-calls. River is a queen and she checks again. This isn’t the greatest runout against her 3-betting range but she did check, so there’s that. I don’t need to squeeze every ounce of value out of my wife, plus there’s some chance I’m beat here, so I check back and I’m good vs KQ.

Leak, leak, leak… 🚰

This after trying to convince the table that she’s up against me lifetime in heads up pots. 😂

1:59 AM: Running super good against Curious George tonight. I open KcQh, Joker 3-bets, George calls from SB, I call. Flop 986 two clubs, George donks, I call, Joker calls. Turn Jc, I call, Joker folds. River 5c, he bets I raise and he calls with7c5x. Yikes.

2:12 AM: Another monster pot my way: raised pre, I have K6dd on T66ss from the blinds and Curious George and Joker help me cap it. I get two more big bets in on turn vs George and dodge his flush draw on river.

I’m honestly having a fantasy session. I’m up ridiculous amounts. I can’t even fathom a guess. I’ll try to take a pic before I cash out.

3:55 AM: Thought my run good might be over when QJ < 95o on JT553 and I got check-called all the way down and slow rolled. And followed that up with AQ vs Curious George’s 66 on A868x for max pain.

But… then I flopped a set of kings in a multiway capped pot and got donked into on flop and river, got raises in on both streets and two callersat showdown.

I don’t normally play this late but I don’t really see how I can leave when the game is this juiced and I’m running so good.

4:16 AM: Lower stakes player just moved into our game because his broke and I wouldn’t try this on someone that actually knows what’s going on but he opens and I 3-bet KQdd and the small blind calls. Flop is 765 and we all check. Turn pairs the 7, the PFR bets, and I call and I’m probably going to call river too because I’ve never played with this guy. Small blind folds. River 9, he bets without thinking. I basically never have a straight here but he doesn’t know that and I’m pretty sure he is weak, so I raise and he snap folds.

5:34 AM: Not really interested in updating at this time, especially since we are 6-handed now. I’m just trying to set records at this point, but this hand is pretty crazy.I open 55, a player calls, Curious George 3-bets button and we both call.Board Q9544 and we cap flop three ways, 3-bets three ways on turn and capped heads up on river vs AA.

6:21 AM: What an epic, surreal session. By far my best win ever in a cash game. I only left because it was 6 AM and I really want to have a productive Tuesday and… also because there was a player in the game that was acting brutally slow and we were playing 6-handed.

Final Score: +$6754


Friday Frenzy: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/16/2018 (Live Blog)

February 16, 2018

4:20 PM: Just walked into Palace and immediately got a seat. Timed it perfectly.

I made seeing Black Panther a priority this afternoon (spoiler: it’s really, really good).

Lots of Overs buttons so I’m gonna sit down with $2500 today.

Current lineup: someone involved in Washington state government – I’ll call him The Mayor (because he’s actually been the mayor), $8/$16 reg, Chief Wiggum, Taz, myself, an old reg that attended WSOP with me last year but has been MIA for months and already has a cool nickname: Cobra, the guy that played last week with the 80% VPIP, Dansby Swanson, and Elmer.


4:37 PM: Standard start. Wiggum limps, I raise with 98ss, 80%, Dansby and Elmer call. I triple barrel Ts6s2KA and shake everyone but 80% who shows down K7o.


5:00 PM: More standard shit. I can’t fade K7o after flopping a combo draw but my AA goes up in smoke vs Taz’ 65 on Q9738. Those two hands sum up my last three weeks in a nutshell.

5:08 PM: Some good luck:

I open JTo and Taz calls on button. Three of us see JT4 rainbow flop and Taz is helping me get all the bets in. He’s a little spazzy (hence the name) and capable of overplaying hands, so I’m still leading king turn even though it definitely favors his range. I’m happy to see him just call. River 9 and I can’t bet it anymore. He checks back with AJhh, which turned a Royal Flush draw that’s currently worth $21,000! Solid dodge.

New player opens from mid-position and I defend T5cc heads up because I have two cards and someone dared to raise my blind. Flop is QJ8 with one club and I check-call. Turn is ace of clubs and I’m picking up some live read weakness and my draw is massive, so I check-raise and I do get it through without having to make a hand.

5:54 PM: Get it capped from SB with QQ with Taz and 80% in. Taz, who has one of itchiest trigger fingers among Palace regs somehow finds a check on Q99 and 80% checks back. Groan. I do get Taz to pay off turn and river though.

6:01 PM: Taz is on full blown throwing cards around the table tilt now, which makes that flop check above utterly sickening.

6:33 PM: Lots of movement in my game: Elmer, Cobra, 80%, and Wiggum are all gone. Picked up Game Genie and some other loose players. 8 of 9 player have Overs now and the one without a button is on the tighter side so pretty much a $25/$50 – and we just chopped three hands in a row. Lol.

6:56 PM: QT < KT on QJJxK; A9 < QJ on T9xTJ; K9cc < AT on KQJcTcK; A7cc < 32o on Q22cc8x; AK < QQ button open vs small blind.

Poker is really hard when you’re on the wrong side of a draw 95% of the time.

Down over $600.

7:09 PM: A little reprieve: KK in the small blind and everyone folds to me. We chop. Sigh.

7:41 PM: Button straddles, nit defends big, I 3-bet A3cc and try to torch it off on QJ24 with both players calling down, but, wait, what is this? A five? A fucking five from the heavens?! I bet, they both call. Table is shocked. Not sure if it’s because of my hand and my line or because I showed a winner on the river.

8:05 PM: A little run good. Posted with A5 and turned aces up in a big pot.

Red AA held up in a 3-bet heads up pot on Q92ccc.

Bill W just walked in and he’s 4th on the list and trying to break games to start a $30/$60 game. Can’t say I have a lot of interest in making that happen.

There are currently two full $15/$30 games with nine on the list! 😮😮

8:29 PM: Just whiffed another nut flush draw, but I did river a pair of aces… which was no good.

8:34 PM: Just whiffed another nut flush draw, but I did river a pair of aces… no this is not a typo. Legit next hand! This time my ace was good and I got a $50 Overs value bet in. That hand seems to have upset The Mayor. I love it. I’ve missed 100% of my flush draws for like three sessions and the guy is practically spitting on my cards in disgust when I show them.

8:48 PM: Heater alert: I switched seats and won like 4 of 5 hands, including AA over The Mayor’s KK, a hand that triggered him so bad I thought he was gonzo.

I imagine I am no longer stuck but I’m not sure.

Game Genie just busted… again. It seems like not that long ago that he was walking on water every single session. He no longer possesses the cheat code necessary to beat this game. I’m considering changing his name to Game Over. But honestly, I feel kind of bad for him.

8:52 PM: Wow. I never thought I was going to be able to use this nickname, but Puss-In-Boots just sat in the same game as me. I came up with that name because the dude just refuses to play poker with me. He must be feeling it tonight (I mean he’s properly imbibed).

Another wow: Palace is about to start a third $15/$30 game. Unreal. And that will still leave 6-7 names on the list. SICK!

9:32 PM: I have what I feel is a pretty big announcement for the blog. I’m done coming up with alliterative nicknames for Pesky Pete. He has become a pretty good poker friend of mine, even popping up in Reno and Los Angeles when I’m there. But let’s be honest about something: he’s a nuisance. It’s not like most of my other poker friends that almost never play hands against me – not because we are friends but because they are tight players. Peter is not tight. It seems like he’s in every pot I play, sometimes putting gross beats on me.

Lots of people have wanted to be my arch enemy over the years. Some were good candidates, but most of them didn’t play enough to really qualify.

My good friend Vince sort of self-proclaimed himself my biggest nemesis and it was hard to argue – the dude seemed to hold over me and walk on water for years. Not to take away from his ability – he’s a great player – but he always seemed to get there when we played our biggest pots together. But Vince has all but disappeared from the live poker scene. We take trips together once in a while but we only play cash games when he hosts a home game once every six months or so.

He’s not my rival anymore.

Peter is. He’s ubiquitous. I can’t escape him. He “follows” me around the west coast, he’s always in my game, always in my pots. He’s friendly but devious. He’s a formidable opponent but a borderline maniac. He’s my friend and my biggest pest. He’s always laughing at the table. He’s quite the clown really.


10:54 PM: Extended blog break while I got a massage for 40 minutes. Something weird has been happening. I’m winning most of the pots I’ve been contesting. Like, the hands I’m supposed to win most of the time have been winning. I’m up $1300. Seems like I have less to talk about when crazy things aren’t happening to me constantly.

This game is pretty great. There are four players with VPIPs between 39% – 60%. Unfortunately all four of them have migrated to my direct left, which has made my current pure run all the more miraculous. I just colored up $2000 to green chips to make my upcoming seat change more manageable.

And The Joker is in the building, but with three games going I might not have to protect Gotham so diligently tonight.

11:15 PM: The Joker is in the third $15/$30 game battling it out with my wife, who has self-deprecatingly suggested given herself the blog nickname The Leak. 😂

Fortunately, that nickname has never been less applicable. She’s on one of her hottest stretches since we first started dating in spring 2012. In fact, she’s crushing this year and we’ve even joked that if she has a better 2018 playing poker than I do then I will have to get a job.

11:21: Massive pot with AK. Capped like six ways pre. No one bets Q75dd flop. Turn pairs the 5 and there’s a bet and I’m the only caller somehow. River is king of diamonds and I get bet into again. This is a spot where I think I’m best a lot but raising doesn’t make a ton of sense. I call and she tables 76. Running hot!

11:51 PM: I flopped a pair and a gutshot in a massive pot, turned the nut flush draw, and *gasp* got there!

I just had a hiccup where my AK lost a massive pot to K8 on KQ88x and KQ ran into KK on Q High board – and the player had the class to tell me “good call” when I paid off on river – but I’m still up around $2000 total.

And The Joker is in my game. He’s always in my game.

12:12 AM: The night I declare Peter The Joker, he sits at my table for 11 hands before switching tables.

I’m like “dude…”

He says, “I saw you were winning tonight and that’s exactly what The Joker would do.”

I’m not so sure, but good riddance.

12:20 AM: Every pot is huge. It’s like 5-6 ways for two bets almost every hand. Just whiffed 65cc on Q33cc4 – let’s not start that again.

12:27 AM: Here’s the kind of hand I’ve been losing for weeks. Cutoff and button open limp, I call T7dd, big blind checks. Flop A77 two clubs and I check-raise the button. We are heads up and I bet-call 9c turn. River is a 6 and he checks back… with 75. My kicker plays and I win the pot.

Let’s. Go.

12:40 AM: Defend 95dd vs button open. Check-raise Q75 one diamond flop. He calls. Bet 6d turn and call raise. WHIFF. He checks back with AQ. Come on.

12:43 AM: I have acquired the Jesus seat though. But the four super loose players on my left are now two super loose players on my right – the other two left. I do have the three tightest players on my left now, so that’s nice, but our game has slowed down considerably. I took the seat of the most active player who switched tables and told The Joker there are “too many $40k a year pros” in this game. 😂

(Although +$40k does sound way better than the -$18k pace I’m on so far this year.)

1:18 AM: Someone raises, SB calls and I defend 64hh. Flop A64 and SB folds after PFR bets. I feel like this is a good board texture to check-raise turn, not the flop. That’s what I do on 5 turn, but he 3-bets me. I don’t love that. I call and he checks back 9 river and my two pair beats his A3.

2:44 AM: Quit a while ago but just got home. My goodness, they let me win some pots tonight.

Final score: +$2334

That wipes out my deficit for February. Working on 2018 next.

Don’t let me get in my zone.”0′

Probably no poker tomorrow because, after going to zero UW basketball games in the first 35.5 years of my life, I will be going to my second UW game in two weeks.

It looks like $30/$60 could be a go on Sunday though.