Posts Tagged ‘2019 LAPC’

h1

No Limit H.O.R.S.E. at the LAPC – Say What?

February 2, 2019

Honestly, I was skipping this event. I love HORSE. It’s my favorite game. But I don’t love no limit. I prefer limit structures, for all sorts of reasons, but mostly because I’m way better at them. Also, this tournament starts at 4 PM on a Saturday. Considering what I can make in a cash game on a weekend night (more on that later), why would I want to fire in a $350 tournament that starts late and might even last two days?

I wouldn’t. I would not want to do that.

But then I was at The Bike yesterday and someone recognized me from the LAPC and lured me into his conversation and asked me about the NL HORSE. I said something along the lines of “I’ve never played no limit for most of these games” and his friend that he was talking to (that was playing in the huge NL game on Live at The Bike) said, “yeah, that’s a good reason not to play it. I’ll take the under on 5% of the field having played a hand of no limit Razz.”

That basically translates to: don’t be such a pussy.

Okay, fine. I’ll be there.

The more I thought about it, the more excited and intrigued I got. It seemed like people would be flying out of this tournament because they’d be going all in in terrible spots or just because they are totally lost and I thought it would be a good idea to have unlimited rebuys until registration closed. Sure enough, there are unlimited rebuys.

Good. Now if I do something really stupid, I can just buy back in. I’m not going to be looking to punt my stack around and hope to get lucky, but I am willing to fire up to four bullets in this thing if I’m enjoying myself.

I also got to thinking about all the ways the big bet structure could change how the various games are played.

Let’s imagine a Razz hand. Someone opens with a 5 up and you look down at A2-3. For simplicity sake, let’s assume all cards are live. Pretend your opponent has 34-5. How big of a favorite do you think you are?

Here’s the answer:

You have the nut starting hand and you’re basically coin flipping.

Even against a rougher hand you’re not a huge favorite:

I’m not really sure how this should affect my strategy in a big bet structure, but against a large field of inexperienced and unpredictable players, I don’t think pushing small edges is going to be ideal. If someone opens and you 3-bet, they are unlikely to fold and look how big of an impact 4th street has on the equities:

Just like that, you go from a slight favorite to a sizable dog – even when your opponent catches a mediocre card like a 9. Unlike in limit, where you should usually still call here, they can bet enough to make your continuing decisions much tougher.

So the question is… when the stacks are deep, do we want to be bloating the pot on third street?

I don’t know. I think I’m going to be playing cautiously, mostly because I expect my opponents to have no clue what they are doing and that unpredictability is drastically going to increase everyone’s variance.

I feel like Hold’em, Omaha 8, and Stud Hi should come somewhat naturally to me in the big bet structure. Big pairs are going to be boss in Stud Hi.

Stud 8? No clue. I have a hard enough time trying to play that game well with a fixed betting structure. Honestly, my goal in this variant will just be to avoid losing heaps of chips. I’m just going to fold all the hands (not really)(but seriously, maybe).

I’m going to spend the next hour or so continuing to run sims in the various games to get a better grasp on my equities in certain spots.

But first, let me tell you about yesterday.

I checked in to The Bike just after 4 PM and immediately got a seat in a $40/$80 limit Hold’em game. Kiddie gloves are off. With a good amount of equity coming our way from the sell of our previous house, I don’t feel like I’m taking a shot at this level. I can play in it. I mean, shit, I haven’t even really gotten used to the swings at $20/$40 yet, but whatever.

Before I had chips, I was down $250. I played another pot in my first orbit and flopped a pair against an underpair but they turned a set… in a 3-bet kill pot.

Before I posted my first blind I was stuck $850.

Before I posted my second blind I was stuck $1400.

Before I won my first pot, I folded 44 to a raise and then watched the action go off multi-way and get 3-bet only to see this flop roll off:

That’s a pretty sick feeling when you’re stuck a rack and a half already, still looking for Pot A.

I started having flashbacks to my first $40/$80 session ever when I lost almost $2300 in less than two hours and rage quit because my body was literally shaking from tilt.

The good news was… I didn’t feel anything like that. I mean… I wasn’t thrilled about being stuck a mortgage payment in my first 15 minutes of play, but I was thinking about reloading, not bolting for the door and spending the next day walking around Disneyland by myself.

I didn’t buy more chips and I started winning a pot here and there but I was still stuck about $1500 three and a half hours into my session when momentum started to swing my way.

I picked up AA in a kill pot and it got raised in front of me. I jacked it up and the killer and raiser both called.

Flop was 992 with two spades and they both check-call a bet.

The turn is the 5 of spades and the killer leads out. The other guy folds. I’ve already established that the killer is the loosest (and probably worst) player at the table, however I did see him check-call flop in a similar spot earlier and then donk the turn with flopped trips. So I know he’s capable of having trips here (and probably flushes) with this line, but I also know he’s not be trusted. I call.

The river is a very unfortunate 4 of spades, putting four spades on the board and none in my hand, and he bets again. But I’m not folding AA in huge pots for one bet to a wild player, so I pay it off and he can only show a 53 with no spades and I drag a big one.

Then I get moved to the main game and one of my first hands I pick up AJ of clubs in a 6-way raised pot and flop the nut flush draw on a T76 board. I get three bets in on the flop and five of us see a turn that gives me the nuts. That clears the field down to three and my hand stays nutty on the river and I get one caller.

Just like that, I go from -$1500 to +$1200 in about 15 minutes!

Sick swings in this game.

I lost some dumb hands every now and then after that, but it was mostly smooth sailing for me the rest of the night.

My final score? +$5035 in 11.5 hours!

That’s good for my second best cash game session ever.

What a great start to my trip and a great first day of February, right on the heels of a +$10k month of January.

Feels good man.

Alright, it’s 2:15 PM right now, so I’m going to study up for the next hour or so and then get ready to head to Commerce.

Check back here after 4 PM for stack updates in the NL HORSE tournament and I’m sure I’ll also have some hands to write about.

4:11 PM: Might be hard to blog this. My table is 4-handed. There are 8 players in the tournament total. 😂

I can say I won 6 of the first 8 hands, all in Stud Hi, and two of them were pretty sizable.

Starting stacks are 12.5k but blinds are 25/50 with a 25 ante and 25 bring in with 20 minute levels.

A third table just got cards in the air. Looks like we are up to 15 entrants!

5:25 PM: Steadily building. I feel very comfortable with the format and my table draw. There are six levels before the first break so I’m just going to type up the most interesting hand I’ve played real quick.

Stud Hi, 25 ante, 75 bring in… I start with K6ss-9s and someone limps in front of me with a ten up. There’s a king and six up, but all the spades are live. I make it 300. The king and ten up call.

On 4th street, the king catches a 5 of spades and leads out for 600. Ten catches a blank and I get the four of spades. I like it. I like it a lot. The ten folds and I decide to just flat. Maybe I can raise to get it in here, but we feel too deep still.

On 5th, I catch the ace of clubs and he gets another small spade. That’s annoying. I check to him and he bets 2000, leaving himself with around 8-9k behind. I think this is a pretty silly bet when I catch an ace because… I stuff it in his face.

How much do you like a pair of kings here? Shoot, how much do you like kings up?

He tanks for a while and says “kings up no good” and mucks it.

Sims coming…

Interesting. I would have thought I’m a bigger favorite on 4th street. When I get it in on 5th, I certainly don’t think I have an equity advantage, but the ace is such a good card to bluff with. He said he had two pair, and maybe he did, but it’s worth noting that my equity on 5th jumps up to around 41% if he just has a pair of kings.

First Break: 16.9k

Coming back to 75 ante (in all the games!), 200 bring and 250/500 blinds for the flop games.

Registration is closed and I’m healthy on bullet #1! Leggo.

Second Break: 6800

I’m pretty sure I didn’t win a hand for the entirety of those four levels.

Oh wait. That’s not true. I was all in for my tourney life in Razz with 92-4J7T against a board of xx-J78J and I had bet somewhere around 2.5x the size of the pot. I have a board lock, but it’s pretty obvious he’s drawing to an 87 here and you know what? I don’t want to be called. If I make a normal sized bet and he calls, I could find myself in a really weird spot on 7th street. He doesn’t know I have a 9 buried, so that’s nice, but still… I don’t want to face any pressure or lose this pot with another card.

It’s probably a good thing I jammed because he tanked for like two minutes with his junky board facing a huge oversized bet.

Of course I got short just in time for Stud 8. It seems like I should be jamming my whole range, but it’s weird because the starting pot size is smaller in the Stud games.

I’m basically trying to survive until Hold’em unless I find a super obvious spot to get it in.

I folded K3-K under the gun with only one small card out, but it was an ace. I’m probably supposed to get it in here but I don’t know, so I fold.

Then a 5d opens and a 5h calls. I have Qh2h-Ad and I don’t know what to do, so I fold.

There are two hands of Stud 8 left after the break and then I will have the small blind in Hold’em with approximately 4-5 bigs (unless I bust or double first).

67 entrants, 35 left, 9 cash, with $6250 for 1st.

I have about 25% of the average stack so…

Let’s run it up?

8:00 PM: I make it to Hold’em and I have 4.5 bigs after posting my small blind. Someone opens to 2.5 bigs, I jam with 66 and he calls wi-

Wait. He’s tanking. Wtf? Am I really going to win this pot without running the cards? What does he have to think about here? Nothing. He has nothing to think about. It’s a snap-call.

But he folds and I double up without a showdown. Holy shit.

Very next hand he opens again and the cutoff jams for slightly more than what I have. I look down at AK of spades and with my 10 big blind stack there is nothing to think about here. I put all my chips in. Opener folds and I’m in a race against…

AA.

Goddammit.

I don’t know why, but I feel pretty good about it and then I flop a flush draw and feel like I doubled up already.

But then… I brick out? How is that even possible?

Sigh.

Flipper convinced me to make a road trip to Vegas for Super Bowl Sunday and lured me with MLB Futures betting possibilities and, I mean, I’m not capable of saying no to that, so that’s what I’m doing tomorrow.

Which means I’m done playing poker today. We are probably going to be leaving pretty early, so I’m going to take it easy and go catch The Green Book at the theater and then head back to my spot.

No idea what my poker plans are tomorrow but I’ll be back in LAPC action on Monday for the $570 Omaha 8 or Better tournament.

Bricking is so fun!

h1

LAPC $350 H.O.R.S.E. @ Commerce (Stack Updates)

January 31, 2019

12.5k to start with 100/200 betting limits.

Yesterday sucked. I woke up at 4 AM to catch an 8 AM flight and I was in the $350 limit Hold’em at Commerce by 1:22 PM.

I never had any momentum and I think my stack peaked around 15k (from 12.5k starting). I managed to expertly bust out on the last hand before registration closed (for the second time this series in four events) to ensure that I got minimum value out of my second bullet.

I had 13.5k with blinds at 1000/1500 when I picked up KK under the gun. I jacked it up and got callers from the button and the big blind.

The flop was a very sexy KJ4 rainbow. I bet and only the button called.

The turn was a 9 and the button called again.

I’m not sure why, but when the button called on the turn, I had a bad feeling. Maybe there was a change in the way he put his chips in the pot or in his appearance that my subconscious was picking up on. Maybe it was just a case of MUBS (Monsters Under the Bed Syndrome).

Whatever it was, it was strong enough that I was seriously considering checking when the river bricked off. I had two big bets left. If I check-called and lost I’d still be in the tournament (albeit with one big bet left), but if I bet and called with the worst hand, I’d be out. But then I thought about how ridiculous it would be if I check and called with top set and it was good or if it checked around when I desperately need chips. It’s not like there was a front door flush draw this guy could bluff with and I can’t remember if the turn badugi’d or not.

So I bet. And then I called. And then I walked my ass right out of the casino and checked into my AirBnB where I was asleep for the night by 10:30 PM – one of the 4-5 times a year I fall asleep before midnight.

Oh. Yeah. He had QT for a straight.

I was back in Washington for roughly five full days and I only played ~5.5 hours of poker on Friday night, posting a -$142 in $15/$30 at Palace.

Saturday was spent fixing up our old house so we could put it on the market by Monday and we were so wiped we just stayed in and relaxed all night.

Sunday we hiked up the Little Si trail in North Bend and our little Pomeranians continue to be hiking superstars. Who’d a thunk?

Monday and Tuesday were more relaxing days before a long trip back to L.A. and we had at least three different parties walk through our old house and by Tuesday night we received three offers! And we reached mutual acceptance on one of them!

🤯

I really thought we might have to endure two months or so with our house on the market and we sold it in less than 48 hours. I am honestly stunned. I am not a religious or spiritual person by any means, but sometimes I really do feel like we are blessed.

Then again, here I am sitting with 10k in level 3 of this HORSE tournament wondering how the hell you win a pot in one of these things.

I had a decent Stud round but I’m right back to running like crap in LHE.

I open TT and QJo cold calls next in and gets the QQ4 flop and then JTss whiffs the AQ9 one spade flop.

Momentum! One time please!

First Break: 9.7k

Second Break: 19.8k

Got over 20k and then Hold’em happened again.

I got a free flop from the big with A8 vs one limper and the small blind and we saw the A73 flop and the limper had A7. Then I lost with TT to KQ in a 3-bet pot when they turned a king. Then I had 66 vs AQ in a 4-bet pot (yes, he put a lid on it with AQ out of position) and gave up on Q98Q. Then I defended 22 on the last hand and check-folded KT8.

Good God. There are only 8 hands of Hold’em and I played half of them, losing half of my stack.

This is my best game… and I’m just hemorrhaging in it.

I was all the way down to 10k or so when I decided to call a raise on the button in O8 in a multi-way pot with AKJ7 double suited. Pretty questionable but it looks like it will go 6-ways and I have a decent high only hand.

Fortunately the flop is T83 giving me the nut flush. It checks to me and I get two callers. Turn is a queen and I am now heads up. A low gets there on the river and my opponent check-calls and somehow I am scooping this pot still (I do have an A7 for low).

Some more good news: registration is closed. I won’t have to fire two bullets today!

5:25 PM: Things have been uneventful. I just wanted to say I’m starting limit Hold’em with 19k. Let’s see if I can avoid getting tortured this time.

5:42 PM: I did it! 24.4k after 8 hands of Hold’em!

Third Break: 18.8k

Betting limits will be 1200/2400 after the break.

166 entrants. 21 cash. ~112 left. Average stack size is ~18.5k. Number of players left could be way off though.

$11.8k up top for 1st place.

BUSTED

Slow, steady drip with basically no hands of note. Just blinding and anteing out and immediately bricking any hand I did play.

I’m short in Razz. There’s a raise and call. I defend A2-K as the bring in with only two cards lower than a ten up. I’m super live.

I catch a 5 on 4th and am now heads up against two medium up cards. If I catch good on 5th, I’m raising to get all in.

But I pair the 2 and the guy fucking knows it. He has three medium cards up now and I’m two streets behind now. Probably. I fold.

My bust hand is bizarro world. I bring it in with a jack up and three people limp.

So I get to see 4th street at no extra charge. They all catch a king or queen. Jesus. I’m in the lead. I’m not far ahead though, so maybe this is a spot to check since I have very few chips and bricking on 5th could be devastating. But I bet.

I got called in two spots.

On 5th street I improve to 86-J35 and I’m facing boards of 6J6 and 4QA. I bet and am all in and I know the 4QA is calling but I’m shocked to see the 6J6 also continue on the big bet street. Unreal.

I make an 8 on 6th by catching a 2 and the J6 improves and the A4 catches a 9. I have the best hand. I just need to dodge…

… the J6 bricks, but the A94 improves to an 85. I have an 86. I need to catch a small card and I do!

But it’s another 2, pairing me, and I’m out with about 50 players left.

Razz is impossible. Poker is hard.

I hate this spot. I’ve already been playing poker for 7 hours today and I don’t typically start cash game sessions this late. But I also don’t really have anything to do tomorrow. I’m not playing the short deck tournament at 1, even though it sounds fun. There’s a T.O.E. (2-7 Triple Draw, Omaha 8, Stud 8) tournament at 5 PM, but I’m not sure how wise it is to lock up my Friday night playing a $350 tournament when going deep would also require me to come back for a Day 2 on Saturday.

I’m on the fence about tomorrow. I’ll probably just play cash games.

For studying purposes:

There is 3200 (two small bets) in antes plus 4500 (five small bets) from the three players involved on 3rd. Two players left on 4th and one big bet on 5th makes the pot 4.5 bigs bets. I’m getting 4.5 to 1 to continue, so I need about 18% equity to call here.

Basically, if he made an 8, I’m smashed. If he has a pair, a king, or a queen, I should call. I can call profitably if he showed me a made jack but not a made ten.

Here’s how bad that 5th street is for me. If I catch a good card, let’s say a 3, I’m 42% to scoop even if he has a made 8. That’s a sick swing there.

Ah well.

I decided to sit in a $40/$80 game, looking to avoid disaster and hoping to smash their faces in. My table is so juicy I have Barry Greenstein sitting at it!

I’m not going to blog hands though. I’m going to give this game my 110% attention.

10:52 PM: This $40/$80 game I’m in is amazing. Barry moved on to the next game and I’ve seen four different players in my current lineup open-limp! That’s something you mostly stop seeing at the $20/$40 level. It’s one thing to see one player at this level do it, but four?!?!

My mind is honestly blown.

I saw one guy open-limp the button and show 88. The next hand he open-raised the cutoff and showed A4.

I don’t even know what that means. He’s playing like 70% of the hands.

I’m admittedly running pretty good. Even after managing to lose with AJ of spades heads up on an A98 two spade flop (JT turned a straight) and QJdd to 98 after a AQJ flop, I’m still up $1400.

Here’s a fun hand: I open cutoff with 77 and the small blind 3-bets.

Flop is 653 with two hearts and that’s definitely a good flop for my hand. I jack her c-bet up and she just calls.

Turn is a queen and I check-back because I have zero interest in bet-calling here and I have to see a river.

River is an ace and she checks to me again. That’s weird. I’d basically be bluffing if I bet here. She’s definitely not going to fold a better hand here. I’m pretty happy to show down for free, so that’s what I do.

She tables QQ!

Sometimes you feel like you won even when you lost.

$40/$80 Final Score: +$1235 in 5.5 hours