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Glass (2019), etc. – Movie Ratings!

January 30, 2019

Glass (2019) – I can’t call this a massive disappointment after the critics roasted it, but I loved Unbreakable and enjoyed Split as well, plus writer/director M. Night Shyamalan was on a two-game winning streak (2015’s The Visit was also good). There were reasons to be optimistic. Glass missed the mark though. It’s boring and silly and the big reveal at the end is way more “huh?” than “wow!” It’s not that it’s confusing; it’s just dumb and underwhelming. James McAvoy is a crusher again. He almost makes the movie worth watching. Almost.

Decent/Forgettable

Blindspotting (2018) – Funny and poignant, this movie rivals Spike Lee’s much more heralded Blackkklansman but is every bit as relevant and enjoyable. David Deegs gives a good performance, particularly in the incredibly powerful climax of the film. Blindspotting blends the buddy movie formula with timely social commentary, a strong hip-hop influence, and inspired performances from Deegs and co-star Rafael Casal (the same duo also wrote the script together). The masses have overlooked this, but Blindspotting is one of the must see flicks of 2018.

Must See

Vice (2018) – I guess this movie is a bit polarizing. I have two friends that walked out of it after 15 minutes while someone I watched it with walked in 15 minutes late and still enjoyed it. I thought it was good. Christian Bale and Amy Adams are as good as they always are and director/writer Adam McKay seems to have a knack for telling the stories in his movies in fun, inventive ways. Political movies can be a bore (for me), but this was amusing and entertaining with A+ performances. I’d recommend Vice but it clearly isn’t for everyone.

Recommended

The Mule (2018) – Not Clint Eastwood’s best work, but his best work is magnificent so that’s not really fair. This movie is mildly entertaining, but I had a hard time enjoying it because the decision-making from some of the characters didn’t ring true to me. Eastwood’s character is estranged from his family because he chooses to spend his life driving through the nation and… selling flowers? From what I can tell, he’s self-employed so… why is he missing his daughter’s wedding? Isn’t making your own schedule one of the top benefits of having your own business? How lucrative was this flower business that he had absolutely zero time for family? I didn’t buy it. I also didn’t buy anything that happened with his family in the last act of the movie either. The muling scenes are good and so is any interaction Eastwood has with a minority (he’s racist but doesn’t know it because he’s not really racist, he’s just ignorant). Not sure this is a recommendation but it’s close.

Decent

Aquaman (2018) – I never really thought this was going to be good but the critics didn’t crucify it and I thought maybe? Honestly, the first half or so of the movie was so bad I was pretty sure I hated it, but it’s charm eventually overwhelmed me to the point I realized I was actually enjoying it. It’s overstuffed and dumb, with some terrible one-liners, but there’s enough heart and humor, plus some decent set pieces that it just might be worth watching.

Decent

Mary Poppins Returns (2018) – I didn’t revisit the original before watching this (and I don’t remember it), so any callbacks flew right over my head, but I felt like I got the gist of it. Emily Blunt is fantastic. There is so much to like about her. I think she’s wasted here, mostly because, for the star of the film, she doesn’t seem to get enough screen time, especially in the last act. Some of the songs are good, but most of them are forgettable. Lin-Manuel Miranda has gotten some praise for his acting, but for someone that blew my mind away with “Hamilton” I thought this was a pretty underwhelming major feature debut for him. I thought this was okay. Definitely not the fringe Best Picture contender some have made it out to be.

Decent/Forgettable

Bodied (2018) – This is a movie that dives into the current state of battle rap while trying to offer social commentary and act as a satire. I thought the rapping was very elite for the most part (real battle rappers are used), but the acting and the story were borderline stupid. Also, in real life, these battles are mostly scripted with bits of spontaneity sprinkled in, but the “hero” in this movie is made out to be some sort of wunderkind that can create amazing content off the top of his head. That’s not really how rap works and there’s no reason for the audience to believe he is somehow an exception. The guy makes Eminem’s best freestyles sound pedestrian. This is a must watch for fans of rap and a total skip if you’re not into rap. Overall, I don’t think there’s much to see here when people aren’t rapping.

Decent

The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) – Maggie Gyllenhall gives a top notch performance as a teacher that becomes overly involved in the life of one of her students that appears to be a poetry prodigy. It’s a slow burn character study that sees Gyllenhall’s teacher gradually evolve from reasonably invested into something more creepy and, uh, sociopathic. This is a fine movie that is mostly worth watching for Maggie’s performance.

Recommended

And for fun… here are the top five movies I’m looking forward to in the first quarter of 2019:

1. Us (March 22nd) – Jordan Peele’s followup to Get Out. Trailer looks awesome. I can’t wait.

2. Captain Marvel (March 8th) – Marvel hasn’t missed with many origin flicks and Brie Larson is perfect casting.

3. Happy Death Day 2U (February 13th) – The first one was a pleasant surprise and the trailer for this shows too much, but it looks like more of the same fun with new twists. Yes please.

4. Alita: Battle Angel (February 14th) – This could be awesome or a total bomb. The trailer looks good to me.

5. Chaos Walking (March 1st) – Good cast with a capable director and a screenplay written by Charlie Kaufman (and six other people, yikes!). Could be a disaster but I’m intrigued.

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I Will Be on Live at The Bike Tonight!

January 23, 2019

I have arranged with The Bike to get on their streaming poker show Live at The Bike tonight. They locked up three seats for me, so Radio Mike and Joker will be on the show with me. The game is going to be 20/40 limit hold’em.

Here are a bunch of links to LatB stuff so you can start following the show now and have things figured out by the time I appear on it:

Live at The Bike live stream
Live at The Bike on YouTube
Live at The Bike on Twitch
Live at The Bike Twitter

I imagine the best place to watch it live will be on Twitch. I’m not sure the best way to watch the show after it airs though. I think you need a subscription one way or the other.

I believe we start playing at 5:30 PM PST and the stream starts at 6:00 PM PST with a half hour delay.

As many of you know, Radio Mike is the radio broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners AAA affiliate Tacoma Rainiers. Since he is a professional broadcaster he is considering trying to get in the booth with the commentators for a brief period of time. I am praying for this to happen, although he ensures me that “you’re not going to like it if I get in there.”

Then again, as I’m typing this he is now saying he might not do that. I think that would be a poor decision. Please, please get in the booth, buddy.

We ended up playing at The Bike last night after I busted out of the tournament and I went +$69 in 1.5 hours of $20/$40 LHE and then +$161 in 3.5 hours of $20/$40 Mix.

Come check the show out at 6 if you can. I will definitely not be blogging while I play today, so this is it.

Also, I’m not going to try and play my A-game on this stream. I’m planning to loosen up and be a little more creative for the sake of entertainment.

Wayne Chiang and Ronnie Bardah will be doing the commentary. I don’t know much about Wayne, but Ronnie is a LHE legend and also gained lots of attention for cashing the Main Event five years in a row and as far as I know that is still a record. Ronnie was briefly playing $20/$40 with us and said he might be talking a little shit on the broadcast but that it’s all in good fun. Joker ensured him that people have been berating his game for years already.

Should be fun!

Also, if this stream brings new people to my blog, please feel free to bookmark or favorite as I post very consistent poker content.

Lastly, although we are already playing, The Coast-to-Coast Challenge will start fresh on the show and even though the show is on the air less than six hours, never being stuck on the show will get a special exception and be considered a Bronze Level completion of The Challenge.

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LAPC: $350 Triple Stud Stack Updates

January 22, 2019

Gonna focus on Stack Updates here only and not posting hands constantly.

Same structure as yesterday. Triple Stud rotates every eight hands between Stud, Stud 8 or Better, and Razz

No Radio Mike or Frankenstein today. Same notables as yesterday.

First Break: 14.5k

We are coming back to 300/600 betting limits. Razz went horribly for me. I started with a couple monsters and got super rough runouts. Fortunately I just sucked out in Stud 8 in a pretty gross spot when I backdoored deuces full against someone I think made three jacks on 4th street.

Second Break: 13.6k

Betting limits will be 600/1200 when play resumes. I won a big Stud 8 pot early on during this last stretch and that’s about it. I still haven’t won a Razz hand in this tournament. I’m getting some good starting hands but my runouts have been way below average.

In other news, EDGAR MARTINEZ IS A HALL OF FAMER! So awesome! I actually got a little teary-eyed watching it be announced. It’s pretty silly he had to spend a decade on the ballot waiting to get in when he’s quite clearly one of the 50 or so best hitters to ever live. Congrats to Edgar! Second Mariner ever elected!

Third Break: 26.7k

Betting limits are 1200/2400 after the break. Finally had a spurt of positive momentum and won my first Razz hand!

This tournament got 125 runners – down from the 186 that showed up for Omaha 8 yesterday.

77 players remain and 16 of us will cash. There is $9500 up top for first place.

Average stack is 20.2k so I’m in much better shape than I was at this point yesterday.

BUSTED

It was a solid drip since the last break but the hand that broke me is in Razz. Dude limps with a 9 up and I raise with 72-5. He makes an open pair and I still can’t beat his fucking hand.

On 5th street…

Me: 72-5J5

Him: xx-944

I should just fold right there. I think I only called because it made me sick to let him win with a 9 and a pair on his board. It can’t be strategically sound to continue here. This is pure emotionally driven spewage.

On 6th street, I catch an ace (heeeeey!) and he picks up a ten. So he now has four upcards and only one of them is a good one. I call again.

I pair the 7 on 7th and then I make another dumb, emotionally driven mistake by betting the river when he checks to me.

Here’s something that’s never going to happen: guys that limp in and call raises with 9s up in Razz are not folding on 7th street in big pots. You are going to have to show them the best hand. I couldn’t do that and I think I lost three big bets here I shouldn’t have.

Two hands later, he limps in again and I get 3-way action on my last 2200 starting with A3-4 in Razz.

He bets the other player out on 6th and I have a made 87 against a 98 with one card to go. He improves to an 86 and I brick and that’s that.

GG.

Pretty steamed up right now. Nothing upsets me more than making dumb mistakes.

I will definitely play some cash games tonight as I will be playing on LIVE AT THE BIKE tomorrow and I don’t plan to be there until around 2 PM and the show doesn’t start airing until 6 PM. I will post details on how to watch tomorrow.

I’m not going to blog my cash game session tonight.

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LAPC – $350 Omaha 8/B (Stack Updates)

January 21, 2019

I’ll be posting stack updates here.

First night in L.A. was decent. Radio Mike and I put in a $20/$40 session together and I won my first hand to draw live at The Coast-to-Coast Challenge but then Radio Mike ruined my chances by opening with A3ss when I had AA and got the 7645x board. Losing that pot put me in the danger zone and I didn’t recover.

Radio Mike went on to beat me in every notable pot we played together and I found myself stuck $1000 at one point but somehow made a late session rally and booked a +$135 for the night.

My most notable pot was when I opened 98 of spades and got heads up against the big blind. He check-raised me on a T92 one spade flop and I raised him on a 4 of spades turn – not because I thought I had the best hand but I thought it would be unlikely for him to 3-bet and since I’m calling turn and river (most of the time), raising the turn allows me to collect an extra big bet when I improve. River was a queen of spades and he donked into me, so I raised it up and got two big bets on the river also, plus my line in the hand had the affect of riling up half the table for some reason.

Cards will be in the air in about 15 minutes. Surprisingly, both Frankenstein and Radio Mike are playing this event with me. I will post stack updates for all three of us here throughout the day and maybe some of my more interesting or notable pots.

Specifics

12,500 starting stack, one re-entry until 5:30 PM, 30 minute levels, with blinds starting at 50/100

Amazingly, Radio Mike is seated on my immediate left. I love it. This is Radio Mike’s second ever Omaha 8 tournament and his first was a freeroll at Palace against a field that almost never plays with four cards in their hand. I’m excited for him! And I get a front row seat for it all!

Our table is currently 6-handed and I don’t recognize anyone else at out table.

Notables in the Field

Ron Ware (WSOP bracelet winner, $655k)

Miami John Cernuto (3x bracelet winner, $5.8M)

James Woods (2x Oscar nominee, $307k)

Shirley Rosario ($537k)

Frankie O’Dell (2x bracelet winner, $2.4M)

2:23 PM: First stupid pot of the tournament:

Two limpers from late position, small blind calls, and I check with AAQJ single suited. No sense in raising since I’m out of position against half the field with a one way hand.

Flop is very good though: AJ9 with two clubs. I bet and only the small blind calls.

Turn is a ten and now my opponent check-raises me. Wtf. Obviously KQ, Q8, and 87 got there and he’s not raising the turn without a straight unless he’s a total dingus, so I just call.

River bricks out and I call again and this guy shows me KQ77 with no clubs in his hand.

To recap, the pot had five small bets in it when he called on the flop and he had four total outs and 25% of them complete a flush. 👍🏻

I’m kind of shellshocked after seeing that flop peel, but God bless him.

First Break

Dark Knight 9500

Radio Mike 12,100

Frankenstein 10,300

Not a great start. I was pretty active the first 15 minutes I played but I’ve played almost no hands the last three levels and my one good board connection fell victim to a nasty reversal.

But our table is really good. The two players on my immediate right are both playing way too loose. One of them hit that straight on me and I just saw the other guy play four hands in a row before the break, calling a raise in three of them, and the only time I saw his cards he has QT87.

So… rough start but lots of potential for good things to happen if the cards will cooperate.

3:38 PM: Spewer on my right opens, I call with A722 suited ace and three of us see a J73 flop. Checks to me and I bet. Both call.

Turn pairs the 3 and the donk on my right bets out. Annoying. I was checking back on that card. I call and other guy folds.

River is a king and I fold to a bet. He flashes a 3 and then a king.

Solid. I go from good chance of scooping to having to fold on the river. Another solid reversal.

The four guys on my right are playing almost every hand and I have half the starting stack somehow.

Injustice tilt. Entitlement tilt.

Check. Check.

4:28 PM: Double suited aces with a king and an 8 in my big blind. I check after two limpers.

Flop is AK5 rainbow and I raise after the small blind bets. Limper calls and so does SB.

2 on turn. Sigh. No waiting. I check-call the limper and do so again on an 8 river and he has 6543 which means he drilled his only scoop card. Dude calls two bets cold on the flop in this dinky pot and he’s not even drawing to the nut low.

Sheesh.

This is dumb. Down to 4600 with a 600 big blind. There is one re-entry until 5:30 PM though and I’ll probably fire a second bullet if I bust in the next hour.

It would be hard to imagine getting a better table draw than this one.

4:48 PM: The blaster on my right is busted and I have a third of the chips I started with. Seems likely. I have 5.5 big blinds and 40 minutes left to re-enter.

Second Break

Dark Knight BUSTED

Radio Mike 9500

Frankenstein BUSTED

I couldn’t find a good hand to go with when I had 5.5 bigs, so I ended up betting flop and turn with top pair and a flush draw in a 3-way pot but the river brought in a running flush and the limper bet and the small blind called, so I folded with less than a big bet behind (and zero chance to win the pot) and sure enough he had the flush.

Then I got all in on the last hand before registration closed with QJ42 suited queen from my small blind in a 5-way pot and I made the third nuts and that was good for a trip to the registration window for a last second re-entry.

Sitting with a fresh 12.5k to start the 500/1000 blind level. $350 for 12.5 bigs and 6 big bets. Lol.

5:32 PM: Comical. I went from maybe the best table in the tournament to the worst. Frankie O’Dell, Ron Ware, and Barbara Enright are all at my table. Plus, 3 of the other 4 guys have the superficial appearance of being competent.

5:43 PM:

Radio Mike BUSTED

5:55 PM: Poker is fun. Multiple limpers and I have A2T8 suited ace in the small blind.

Flop is QJ9 two tone and I start with a check and it goes bet and two calls back to me. Kind of funky. I don’t love it, but I do have the AT redraw for backup. I call.

Turn is a 6 that opens up a second flush draw. It checks around.

River is a 7 that doesn’t complete a flush. It seems like I have the nuts here. I bet, two players fold, and the button raises me.

What.

The.

Fuck.

Not sure how this guy can ever have the nuts here. Calling the flop is weird enough, but checking back the turn when everyone has checked to you? How?

The problem is… I’m kind of buying it. What else can he raise here? The same hand I have. At worst. You’d think.

I call and he does have KT.

I don’t get it. Maybe this is some advanced level tournament chip conservation strategy I’m not savvy to yet. Two flush draws on board? Can’t value bet a straight with no low draw possible when the whole field checks to you.

I don’t know. Pretty annoying though.

6:09 PM: Oh my! Button opens and I look down at AA32 with a suit in the small blind. I raise. He calls.

Flop is QQT. I bet and he calls. I have less than two big bets left and I’m pretty sure this is it for me.

Turn is an 8. I bet and…

…he folds!

Trust me. We did not want a call there.

6:17 PM: Woah. Huge turn of events. I went from under the gun at my lethal table but it broke and I got moved back to the exact same seat I started the tournament in – and I’m in the cutoff.

Sick.

Peaking at 18.5k and I got three splashers on my right again.

Third Break

Dark Knight 24k

66 left. 24 cash. Average is 35k. Work to do.

7:45 PM: Peaking! Down to a little over four bigs so I 3-bet the AK93 with a suited king and get two callers. They both call again on T54 with one diamond (my suit). Turn is an 8 of diamonds and they both call my micro bet. River is the queen of diamonds giving me the second nuts both ways and that’s good for a scooper!

Just won another pot after that.

Sitting on 60k all the sudden. I’m above average for the first time all tournament.

50 players left.

Fourth Break

64k coming back to 5000 big blind. I’m still slightly above average with players left.

I need to finish top 14 to get a positive ROI on my two bullets.

$13k up top.

9:27 PM: I open AKK6 double suited and it folds to Mark Gregorich’s (O8 legend, $1.8M in cashes) big blind. He goes all in for a little less than three bigs. I call.

He shows AA37. He has me crushed. Bigger pair, better low possibility, and has one of my suits covered. I need spades or a king.

Board: Q84ss8sJh

Woah.

I scoop and bust the best player left in the tournament.

Peaking at 107k with 27 left.

10:10 PM: Rebate! I’ve been on a slight drip since making the money. 21 left now. Still haven’t made money.

10:22 PM: Someone opens and I 3-bet AAT9 with a suit. I get a Q87 rainbow with one of my suits and get a check-call. Decent flop for me. Hard to get scooped. Turn pairs the queen and puts a second club on board (I have spades). My opponent check-calls again. River is the 6 of clubs and he donks out. I have just over one big bet left so I’m not folding. I did make a straight on that card, but backdoor clubs got there.

I call and he shows AKK2 with clubs.

Crippled.

I had 3000 left after the hand and that’s good for 3/8 of a big blind. I get that in with ATT3 double suited and quadruple up with that. Then I fold to my big blind and get my last 12k in without looking and have AK75 double suited against KK88. I make two pair and double up.

Currently sitting on break with a measly three big blinds, but that’s better than 3/8 of a big blind! There are 20 players left and I am guaranteed $580, which is still a $120 loss.

It would be a pretty epic story if I somehow turned less than half a blind into a big score.

Stay tuned.

10:47 PM: Folds to cutoff and he opens. I look down at AKJ9 with a suit. I have 2.5 bigs. I’d prefer to have some low possibilities but I think I have to go for it here. I stick it in and unfortunately run into AAxx. I make two pair but that doesn’t do much good against top set. I bust 18th for $580 (a small loss), but at least I got some Mix Game Player of the Series points.

Not looking to hop in a live game right now but if Radio Mike wants to keep playing I may go donk around in something small until he’s ready.

$350 Triple Stud (Stud, Stud 8, and Razz) tomorrow at 1 PM.

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$15/$30 Friday – 1/18/2019 (Live Blog)

January 18, 2019

I will have more info as the time comes, but it was confirmed to me today that Live at the Bike will take place on Wednesday starting at 5:30 PM, which I think means the stream will start at 6 PM.

The host told me his players usually show up early to play and drink before they get on the show, I’m guessing to increase the fun factor. It made me wonder if I told him I was eight and a half years sober if I’d still be allowed to play on the show?

I wonder…

$15/$30 Starting Lineup: Radio Mike, Ducky, Part-Time, non-reg, Flea, FanGirl, Master Splinter

14 names on the list and it looks like we are starting this game 8-handed somehow.

The Leak picked up AA vs KK on her first hand dealt in tonight and is still drawing live at the Coast-to-Coast Challenge. We are still waiting for our first completion.

I was under the gun for our first hand and Radio Mike was the big blind and we both lost after defending our blinds, so we are already out on the CtCC. Ducky is drawing live though.

4:25 PM: Ducky is out for The Challenge (it’s so hard!) but The Leak is still going.

Our game is full and the last player in is a maniac duck. I will refer to him as Daffy Duck for the remainder of this blog and maybe forever.

Just made top pair with a gut shot against Daffy’s AA and failed to improve so that was pretty nice.

I guess now is as good as time as any to mention that all nine players have Overs buttons for $25/$50 betting.

4:53 PM: Second round with Daffy Duck. I open with black aces, Ducky 3-bets in position and Daffy tags along. I decide to flat as is my custom when I get re-raised and I’m out of position, but with the hitchhiker, I should probably start capping in this spot more often. Maybe every time.

Flop is T84 with two hearts and a spade and I check-raise the flop and both players call.

The turn is a 9 of spades and this time I get check-raised by Daffy after Ducky folds. I call.

River pairs the 8 and I call his bet and win showdown against K7 of spades.

Maniac!

Very next hand I open with 77 with Part-Time and Flea calling.

Flop is A54 and Flea check-calls from the big blind.

He would raise an ace on the flop so when he leads on a queen turn, I’m not too worried about being beat. I ponder for a bit of raising is my best play as it denies equity to whatever he’s betting with and pretty much anything he can have has decent drawing chances against me, but I opt to just call down.

The river pairs the ace and that doesn’t dissuade him from continuing his ruse and I pick him off and he very slowly folds his cards face down.

5:21 PM: Dark Knight vs Daffy Duck, Round 3: You can never be too careful

Daffy opens and I defend with T7o. I fold this hand here against basically everyone else at the table, but against Daffy, I’m seeing a flop.

It’s pretty nice: QT7. I check-raise and he calls.

Turn is an 8 and we end up putting in four bets with Daffy capping it.

He’s definitely saying he has a better hand than me, so when the river puts a one card straight on the board with a 6, I’m in check-call mode. He shows pocket aces… because, you know, that is probably good here.

5:41 PM: One player limps, Radio Mike completes his small blind and I check with 86o.

Flop is A66 with two clubs, Mike leads right out, I raise and the limper cold calls $50 and three of us go to the turn.

The limper calls my bet with a 7 added to the board but Radio Mike drops out.

River fills me up with an 8, I bet and he pays me off wi- wait, what? He’s raising me? Tank time. I let a good 20 seconds go by thinking about this one and let him know: “this is a nit roll.” Even though my hand is super strong here, my instincts are leaning call . It’s weird he would open-limp any hand here from middle position but it’s not totally out of character. You’d think he’d raise hands like 88 and 77. I think limping any hand here is a mistake, but I don’t think he’s ever showing up with hands like K6 or Q6 suited here.

I can’t make sense of his range here, but he’s not a dumb player. I suspect he knows I have a six here so the fact that he’s raising me is cause for concern. I just call and he shows A6 suited.

6:11 PM: Coast-to-Coast update: The Leak is still going strong, sitting at +1.5 racks almost three hours into her session.

There’s been some debate on how many hours you have to play to qualify for The Challenge, with me insisting on 8+ hours and my friends with jobs saying that 6+ hours should suffice.

I’ve come up with a compromise. Tiers of completion:

Bronze Level: 6-8 hours

Silver Level: 8-10 hours

Gold Level: 10-12 hours

Platinum Level: 12+ hours

Six hours and never having less chips than you started with will qualify as a completion.

It’s worth noting that if you go 6+ hours without dipping below starting stack, but keep playing and fall below in hour #9, you have not completed The Challenge; no bronze medal for you.

But I get that not everyone can sit around and play poker all day everyday, so 6+ hours will get the job done.

6:54 PM: Created a page on the site for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge since I have a strong suspicion we are going to get our first entry into the club tonight.

The Leak is good to get it done. +3 racks nearing four hours of play.

7:51 PM: I am running pretty pure. My good hands are all holding up. I’m up two racks already.

What I really wanted to say is that we are almost four hours deep into this game and no one has left it since it started. Oh shit, right as I was typing this we lost our first player. Jinxed it.

Daffy Duck went to the felt and reloaded for $2k, so… it’s understandable why everyone is glued to their seats.

Daffy just defended his big blind and turned his hand face up before the flop… for the second time. He’s also dropping repetitive “F-Bombs” and the dealers are getting a bit frustrated because they have to police but also know that Daffy is the life of the game right now and no one wants to see him get booted.

Our first player leaving is replaced by… Mighty Mouse.

As I was typing this, I rivered a flush in a 3-bet pot with KThh and made aces full of threes after defending my big blind with A3o.

Running pretty decent.

9:04 PM: Free Throw has arrived and he’s pulled up a seat behind Ducky and myself and he’s been talking about, uhm, shooting free throws for a good twenty minutes now.

I lean in to Radio Mike and say, “how does this happen?”

And he replies, exasperated, “it can’t be stopped.”

There is an anti-Ducky free throw bet in place. Free Throw has $400 and I have $100 on under 81 out of 100 free throws made for Ducky. I don’t see it, but he seems to think he has a chance.

9:49 PM: I open AA, Ducky 3-bets, and Master Splinter calls 3-bets from the big. I know I said I should be capping in this spot more frequently but this isn’t the same as having the splasher in between. I call again.

Flop is K93 rainbow and Master Splinter leads right out. Yikes. I raise him up because I should still be ahead here, but I’m a little concerned. Ducky calls and so does Splinter.

Turn is a blank and I get raised by Ducky. Thad’s fine. I’m calling his ass down. Maybe even 3-betting. But then Splinter comes out with a 3-bet and we both fold.

Lol.

Daffy Duck just stood up and shook my hand, gestures to his chips and says, “Mike, all you can eat.”

10:46 PM: Okay, fine Daffy, you don’t want to be part of the assorted duck family? You will be known as The Buffet from now on.

11:25 PM: The Buffet is closed. Radio Mike was waiting in line all night and everyone kept cutting in front of him and he couldn’t get anything to eat.

Well, he finally got to the front of the line and went from -$1000 to -$200 in two hands.

Also, The Leak has completed the Coast-to-Coast Challenge and is the first member of the club enshrined with a Silver Level performance of 8 hours. Not only that, but she did it with a +6 rack performance! Wow!

Congrats honey!

I coolered Master Splinter with AQ on an AQ74A when he also had an ace and that got me up for High Hand with 10 minutes to go. I offered Ducky my HH for $200 and he rejected it… then I totally forgot about it and was kind of shocked when the floor came over with $400 for me.

I’m done blogging for the night. The Leak is sitting behind me now and I doubt she will be wanting to stay much longer. I’ll post a final score when I cash out.

Final Score: +$1570

A rare night where husband and wife both win over $1k.

Got em.

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LAPC Schedule @ Commerce and some PLO hands

January 16, 2019

I haven’t posted in a week, so I guess I should do some updating. My last live blog was on Friday and I returned to Palace on Saturday for some more $15/$30 and did something that doesn’t happen too often to me: I turned +$1000 into a losing day, finishing at -$114 for the day after just under seven hours of play. I got off to a pretty good start, even hitting a High Hand, but I lost every pot I played for the last 2-3 hours of the day.

With the Santa Claus Game officially dead at Palace on Mondays, I decided to make my first trip to Fortune in 2019 and I was pretty distraught to arrive there and see only one $20/$40 game in action. When I left my house their app listed two $20/$40 games so that was an unpleasant surprise. I endured over an hour of $4/$8 before they started a second $20 game. I’m happy to report I didn’t have to wait until September to book my first win at Fortune this year! I finished at +$1053 after 6.5 hours (and -$9 in 1.5 hours of $4/$8).

The game was mostly bad, so I was pretty happy to book a two rack win. I happened to run pretty good in the brief window when the game was kind of juiced, but Free Throw and Sandman showed up and sat on my left and the game went right back in the shitter.

That brings me to Wednesday’s PLO game. When I showed up there were 14 names on the list, but we started with 8 players and it did not look promising at all. The lineup was Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, The Crypt Keeper, Hit&Run, an aggressive regular, myself, a random and one of the floors at Palace. So the game wasn’t full and half the players were either hit and run artists or very non-regular and not likely to fire multiple bullets.

My first notable pot came up when Hit&Run made it $15, I 3-bet to $40 on the button with AA44 single suited, it folded back to him, and he capped the preflop betting at $125.

Flop comes down Q93 with two clubs and he pots for $250 and only has $154 behind, so we go ahead and get the rest of his stack in and run it twice. Turns out he has AA also and the first board runs out a chop, but he makes Broadway on the second one and gets 75% of the pot.

We did get a full game around 6:30 but it wasn’t destined to stay that way for long.

My second notable pot there were multiple limpers and I had a pretty ugly QJ54 single suited in the big blind and it cost me $2 more and my hand is so weak multi-way that I didn’t even want to flick it in there… but I did.

The flop is AJ9 with two hearts and the player on my left (a very green PLO player) bets $20, the random guy calls, and I decide to take one off here with a queen high flush draw because I don’t think either of these guys understand hand values very well in this game.

The turn brings in my flush and I check and overcall $40 this time. I actually love my hand here as a $40 bet is pretty weak and a call is even weaker. I think it’s all transparent enough that I can maybe even make an exploitative raise, but my standard play is to be cautious in these spots, so that’s the route I ended up taking.

The river is a clean king of spades and this time I’m facing another super weak bet and call of $50. Again, I make the safe play with what is obviously the best hand and just call and sure enough the bettor turns over a small flush and the caller can’t even beat that so I win the pot.

Here’s a weird one: I limp along with a junky KJT6 single suited and decide to bet $20 on the flop when the board comes down AT9 with one diamond (my suit) and three players call me, including one on the button. Whoops. This flop bet is a rare bluff with air from me in a multi-way pot, but I thought I just had to get through one player on the button and, well, that was a bad read.

Turn is the jack of diamonds, giving me a king high flush draw and two pair, and Hit&Run leads out for the full pot of $115. This may be precarious as I’m not drawing to the nuts in any direction, but I feel like I have too much equity here to fold, so I make the call. Button also calls but the fourth player folds.

River is a queen and I’m pretty shocked when Hit&Run checks because he’s supposed to have Broadway when he pots the turn. Well, I have the nuts now, so I don’t see any reason not to bet even though it seems likely I’m splitting with one of these yahoos. I bet $130 and they both fold! That’s when the Palace floor says he flopped a set of nines (and folded the turn) and the button says he had a set of tens. Wow.

Part-Time opens to $15, Slimer calls, I call with AQJ3 single suited and some others tag along also. It checks to me on the AT9 two diamond flop, so I fire $60 into $100 since I have top pair, the nut flush draw, and an open-ended straight draw. The Crypt Keeper check-pots it for $320 and it folds to me, so I put him all-in and we run it twice. When he asks if I have a set and I say no, he suddenly looks like he hates his hand because he must be on a draw that I have crushed. I make two pair on the first board and the nut flush on the second one to scoop a $1200 pot.

As expected, the game fizzled quickly. Hit&Run booked it with over $2k and multiple players quit early, including Part-Time with basically all the chips (over $4k!)

That left 6 of us at 9 PM and by 9:18 the game was 100% dead. Geez. I’m a little concerned about the Palace PLO game. The Thursday game is basically dead already and I don’t care about that too much, but I would be pretty devastated if the Wednesday game also dried up. It is typically pretty decent, but this is a really bad look considering I’m a key player and I’m going to miss the next three Wednesday sessions as I’ll be in Los Angeles playing in the LAPC. Plus The Man is claiming he’s not playing any poker in 2019.

Fortunately, the big pot against The Crypt Keeper gave me a solid +$980 for the night and made the super short session much easier to swallow.

Speaking of the LAPC… here’s what my schedule looks like:

Monday, 1/21: $350 Omaha 8
Tuesday, 1/22: $350 Triple Stud
Wednesday, 1/23: $20/$40 on Live at the Bike
Thursday, 1/24: $350 Stud 8

Wednesday, 1/30: $350 Limit Hold’em
Thursday, 1/31: $350 H.O.R.S.E.
Friday, 2/1: $350 T.O.E.
Saturday, 2/2: cash games
Sunday, 2/3: cash games
Monday, 2/4: $570 Omaha 8
Tuesday, 2/5: $570 Stud
Wednesday, 2/6: cash games
Thursday, 2/7: $570 H.O.R.S.E.
Friday, 2/8: $570 2 to 7 Triple Draw

I have some tournaments I’m interested in playing later in February also, but this is already a lot of time away from home for a non-WSOP event so I’ll have to really be crushing it to justify flying back a third time. Commerce does have extra prizes for not only overall Player of the Series, but Mix Game Player of the Series as well and they pay out a lot of spots. So if I’m in the running there, maybe I will be back for the $1k events.

I intended to play poker today (Thursday) but my wife and I went hiking this morning and when we got home we were both so wiped we basically lounged around all day, alternating between falling asleep and watching six episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an excellent show on Amazon Prime about a housewife in the 1950s that stumbles into stand up comedy when her marriage falls apart. Rachel Brosnahan plays Mrs. Maisel and unsurprisingly she has won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Music or Comedy for two years running. She is spectacular! The show is a strong recommendation from me as I near the finish line of season one.

I will be playing $15/$30 at 4 PM so expect another blog at that time.

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$15/$30 Fridays! (1/11/2019 – Live Blog)

January 11, 2019

The player I named Ducky last blog showed up wearing this shirt today. Gotta love it.

Speaking of Ducky, I did his write up in my Blog Nicknames and also added a write up for Black Turtle.

There are currently 25 names on the list for $15/$30 and a surprising number of players are in the building for a 4 PM start. Would you look at that?

I posted my 2018 Results on Monday so check that post out if you haven’t already.

I did try to play some poker on Monday but the Santa Claus Game didn’t go for the third straight week (surprisingly, there is an interest for this coming Monday) and I was planing to play $8/$16, but I got bored and ended up going to see Aquaman after 4.5 hours and booked a -$303.

Tuesday was an off day and Wednesday I was in PLO action. The game was super weak. It was only briefly 9-handed, never had a list, and most of the night was spent playing 7-handed. Still, it managed to survive all the way until 1 AM when I left, even after both Hit&Run and Charlie Hustle both booked it with +$500 wins after a mere 90 minutes of play.

I kept notes briefly, but eventually decided to not make a PLO post. It was a pretty sexy session: I finished at +$2360 in 6.75 hours. That’s a pretty big session and the weird thing is, I never had any massive confrontation. I was never all-in. Just steadily accumulating chips, with a couple of hands that collected max bets on the river.

When I got to Palace tonight there were 25 names on the list.

Starting lineup: Radio Mike, Chief Wiggum, Frankenstein, Part-Time, Huey, Ducky, Shit Man, and a 15/30 regular

After the game start, there are still 12 names on the list! Crazy. There are also no more tables for a new game.

Nice start here. I defend A5hh in a multi-way pot and peel the 873 one heart flop, pick up a beautiful 4 of hearts on the turn, and whiff it all.

Then I open QT and get heads up vs Part-Time and his KT drills a gutter after the J93 rainbow flop, so he gets to check-raise me on the turn obviously. He inexplicably checks the river (with no flush out) and allows me to check my top pair behind, so that was pretty nice.

4:41 PM: Goddammit. I just made Radio Mike’s year. I know I did. Yeah, it’s only the 11th day of 2019, but it’s still annoying to know that I contributed to his high point so far.

I open QTdd and he 3-bets in position. Flop comes JJ9 with one diamond and I check-raise then barrel off when I pick up a diamond draw and brick the river. He calls down with KK. Bring a king and see how much he likes his hand! Oh. Probably a lot. Nice dodge. It’s the small victories…

4:46 PM: Fortunately it hasn’t been a complete downward spiral. I’ve induced multiple “shit man”s from Shit Man already.

First, I limped small blind with 76o only to see him raise from the big, but I bested his AJ by rivering a one card straight after we saw a J74 flop.

Just now he opened under the gun with three small bets and it folded to my big blind, so I put him all in with 87o. The board ran out KJ97Q and I was good somehow.

He’s sitting on my direct left and I can see him continuously shooting me daggers in my peripheral.

4:54 PM: Since 8 of 9 players in this game have names and the lone one that doesn’t is a pretty frequent regular, I started thinking of something I could call him. Master Splinter immediately came to mind and I knew I liked it but I didn’t know why. I asked Joker if he could help me clarify and he came through:

“He’s soft-spoken and generally full of wisdom… in that he’s usually trying to convince you why he’s doing the right poker thing… he’s always teaching… his boring ways.”

Lmao. Love it.

5:56 PM: First big pot of the night:

Three players are in and it’s 3-bets to me in the big (edit: with KK). My capping range here is super narrow so I just call and someone else caps. Perfect.

Flop is K92 rainbow. Oh boy. It checks to last position and I have a moment of anxiety but she bets, I raise, Wiggum calls two cold, she raises, and I cap.

Turn is a ten and I dodge a raise from Wiggum and they both call.

River blank and she pays me off.

I should probably be calling 3-bets on flop and check-raising the turn here – especially since my hand is disguised – but I was hoping I could cap flop and still maybe get in multiple big bets on the turn. Also, if she 3-bets flop and checks back the turn for some reason, that is an utter disaster.

6:22 PM: First new album of 2019!

Big K.R.I.T. – TDT

I’ve been listening to K.R.I.T. since 2005 and he’s been one of the most consistently good rappers over the past decade and it still seems like the average hip-hop fan probably doesn’t know who he is.

I’ve heard three songs off this new 8 song album and they were all good, so this new project is off to a good start.

I want to do more regular music updates this year but I’m not exactly sure yet how I want to tackle that and it usually takes me multiple listens to settle on how I really feel about a new album.

8:01 PM: I guess I’m running pretty pure so far tonight. It’s funny how these things sneak up on you sometimes. I’m in $2k and this is my stack right now and it doesn’t seem like anything too remarkable has happened:

Although Radio Mike might disagree.

Master Splinter open-limps so I jack up the QJo from the cut, both blinds defend and he calls.

Flop is KT7 and I get check-raised by Radio Mike. Hit&Run calls two bets cold and I call.

Turn pairs the 7 and I’m the only caller this time.

River is an ace. He check-tanks and I know he’s always calling here because he knows I am capable of bluffing this card. He pays it off.

I feel like that’s a pretty standard hand but I haven’t updated in over an hour so…

One thing of note: there are 21 players on the list for this game now! Insane!

There are no empty tables and the lists for the other limit Hold’em games are super long… but… the $4/$8 Omaha 8 game is on the verge of collapse. I’m curious if they put another $15 game there or another $4/$8 (which has an even longer list!).

8:41 PM: Edited the 5:56 update to include what hand I had. My bad.

9:23 PM: Ducky raises in late position and Radio Mike defends.

Mike check-calls on Q87 and then check-raises when the queen pairs on the turn. I think the river goes check-check and Ducky wins with JJ and Mike showed the T9. A very ambitious play from Radio Mike. I actually like it. But he probably should have read my player profile on Ducky and noted the “sticky” label! 😂

I am no longer running pure. Very loose player limps, Ducky raises the cut, I 3-bet KJo on the button and they both call.

Flop is 875 and I check behind.

Turn is a jack, Ducky leads and the loose player is lining up a call. I’m leaning call here and ultimately that’s what I end up doing, as I don’t really mind keeping the bad player in. We both call.

River is a queen and Ducky still bets. With the other player in, this is a protected pot, meaning Ducky should never be bluffing here. I would expect him to check a lot of paired hands here, but he still might bet something like JT. The other player is lining up a call again, but I think my hand is too good to fold here, especially considering the pot size. We both call and Ducky tables a set of fives.

Damn. I guess I can still lose a pot tonight. Star mode has been deactivated.

10:30 PM: This hand happened a while ago, but it has sparked enough private controversy that I am now going to make it public.

I open from the cutoff with A2dd, Radio Mike calls from the small blind, and I mentally LOL at his flat call as the big blind also calls for one more bet.

Flop is T55 with two diamonds. Radio Mike donks right out. I mentally LOL again because it’s the second time in less than ten hands that he called a raise from the blinds and led into me on the flop. The big blind folds and I just call because I want $100 to go in if I turn a flush (we are in Overs on the turn but not the flop here, so I don’t want to take the betting lead).

Turn is a 9 and I call again.

River bricks me and he still bets. I know I should fold. I don’t think he’s bluffing here but this being the second time he has taken this line I’m just too curious. I say, “I’m about to give you $50 just to see what you play this way.” And then I do.

He turns over QQ.

I have been poking the bear via text and he has insisted that he 3-bet preflop but there were multiple instances during the hand where I laughed to myself because that didn’t happen. But he insists.

We have been arguing about it for like an hour now and he’s had someone standing behind him for the past three hours, constantly distracting him… nope. It’s not possible he’s mistaken here.

Maybe I’m the delusional one? Laughing to myself about his passive play mid-hand as I’m calling a third bet? I dunno.

11:05 PM: Woah. Last time I looked at the list – which wasn’t that long ago – it was still 10+ deep. There are now zero people on the list… and we have a seat open.

11:08 PM: My heater has definitely cooled considerably.

I come back from a break and post in the cutoff with 32 of hearts. There’s some limping, Ducky raises, I call, Bulletproof 3-bets it and we move on multi-way for 3-bets each.

Flop is K92 with one heart and I get to check-call for one bet. Four of us remain.

Turn pairs the deuce and we check to Bulletproof and he obliges with a bet. But then the maniac check-raises. Ducky folds and it’s up to me. There’s a flush draw on board now and I don’t really like a 3-bet here. It appears that Bulletproof has two outs, so I don’t mind keeping him in the pot and if the maniac does have a deuce, it’s worth noting that I don’t beat any of them. So calling seems like the best of both worlds here. Also, the flush draw on board is enough protection for my calling range that alarm bells won’t go off when I take two bets to the face here. I call and so does Bulletproof.

River is a blank and we both call the maniac. He shows T2 suited (from under the gun!), his kicker plays and he scoops the pot.

12:25 AM: There’s an early raise, two calls and I defend KT of diamonds.

Flop is KK5 with two clubs and I check-raise the PFR after the other two fold. I have some bluffs in my range so I’m not worried about him folding here but I am worried that if I just call he will check back the turn a lot. So I raise and he calls.

Turn is a ten, giving me the nuts. We put four Overs bets in. Yum yum.

River is a 9 and I want to bet so bad but it seems impossible that he could cap the turn and suddenly want to stop putting chips in the pot… so I try to get a check-raise in and he checks back with AK.

Game is 5-handed now and on the verge of collapse. Palace has decided to keep the PSJ drop at $4 5-handed, so there’s really no reason to play. Normally I stop chopping when games get 6-handed but the drop is so steep now that I would literally rather break the game than get raped for $5-$6 a hand playing this short.

They are willing to go $1 rake and $0 PSJ drop at 4-handed (making us ineligible for jackpots and high hands) and that’s awesome, but the transition from 6-handed to 4-handed is where games go to die.

And… as I’m writing this, the floor gets called over… says he can’t drop the PSJ 5-handed… and now the game is dead.

👍🏻

Eh. Who needs this game running 5-handed for another 3 hours? Not the Palace! They can always start another game at this table. Oh wait. There are no lists.

Hopefully The Man reads this and sees that this hard-nosed stance is bad for everyone… except the dealers that are ready to go home.

Final Score: +$1026