Posts Tagged ‘gambling for a living’

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$1$/$3/$5 PLO – Notable Pots (11-14 and 11-15)

November 17, 2018

So my plan was to note some hands during my live PLO sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, but for whatever reason, the game didn’t go on Thursday night. I know The Crypt Keeper will be in Vietnam for a few weeks, but none of the newer regs showed up on Wednesday and they weren’t on the list for Thursday either. I checked on Bravo all day and I didn’t see the list grow past two (myself included) until after the designated 6 PM start time, so I took my name off and stayed home to play online instead.

Here’s the starting lineup from Wednesday’s game: Twinkie, Part-Time, nitty baseball guy that will leave if he gets up $500, two 8/16 Regs that don’t play this game, Lee Markholt, another nitty non-reg, and Hit&Run

I keep referring to this PLO regular as the nitty baseball guy that likes to hit and run and that’s a mouthful. He plays the PLO every week so I need to give him some kind of name. I’ll just call him The Collector from now on since that seems to be his main hobby.

Edit: Someone suggested the nickname Charlie Hustle after I posted this. It’s perfect. It fits both the baseball theme and the hit and run theme. Credit to Kyle Barkus for the great suggestion.

After spending a lot of time studying PLO and really improving my game over the past week, I was excited to play live again and try out some of my new tricks, but it ended up being a pretty disappointing session. I was very card dead for most of the night and didn’t have much opportunity to take advantage of my newfound knowledge and then once the game got short-handed – where all my study has been focused (for 6-max games) – the game broke pretty quickly.

Here are the key hands from my live session on Wednesday:

I limp along on the button in a multi-way pot with KK62 single suited to a king. This is a pretty shitty hand to raise in a game where none of the limpers are folding preflop because this hand is going to flop very poorly. I’m basically looking to make a set and that’s about it. So the K74 with two clubs flop was pretty nice. A bad player leads out for $30 and I make it $105 to go. That gets us heads up. The turn card is a 7, filling me up, and he check-calls $110. The river is a ten and he check-calls $155 and shows a set of fours after I table the winner. I expect this player to blast off with sets, so I was pretty surprised to see his holding, but I didn’t think he could be very strong here and that’s why I didn’t go for max value.

There are a series of limpers in front of me and I make it $20 with AA86 rainbow and they all call. The flop is AQ9 with two hearts and by this time The Man is in the game and he donks the flop for $65, I make it $250 to go and… everyone folds… including The Man as he flashes 99. Ugh. Not much I can do here but play my hand face up. This board is way too wet to get cute on in a multi-way pot. I suppose I could gamble by calling and see what happens. Maybe someone else will raise? That would be sexy. However, there are going to be some turn cards that will be really difficult to navigate. Maybe there is some merit to calling in this spot. Something to think about.

Sandman has made a surprising appearance in Palace by this point and this is the one of the first hands he gets dealt in. I wasn’t involved so some of the details are missing here, but most of the key elements are accurate. For instance, I know for a fact that Lee Markholt raised one limper to $20, Sandman 3-bets on the button to $70, The Man and Charlie Hustle call it cold from both blinds and Lee also calls.

I completely missed the flop action on this hand but I was tuned back in when The Man and Sandman managed to eventually get 200bb each in the middle by the turn. The board was AQxx and The Man had AQxx plus the nut spade draw and Sandman had KJ83 double suited (what) which was a king high spade draw and a gutshot. As far as I know he had three outs: the non-spade tens. They ran it once and Sandman somehow drilled the ten and won a $2500 pot on what sure looked to me like a massive punt attempt. Sandman said something about having 6 outs, but that doesn’t really make any sense. Maybe there was an 8 or a 3 on the board that gave him two more outs. Regardless, it was a pretty shocking hand and an unbelievable result.

I felt bad for The Man. He was around 90% to win a $1000 gift from Sandman and… nope. So gross. Even more shocking was how tight Sandman played after this pot. KJ83 double suited is a really ambitious 3-bet here and the postflop play was pretty wild also. After seeing that, I was expecting to see him playing a wild and aggressive game all night, but he locked it down. I don’t really get what was going on here.

Sandman makes it $15, two players call, and I squeeze to $70 with AQJ6 double suited. This hand is notably better than the one Sandman 3-bet in the previous hand as I have two big suits and I block 4-bet ranges by holding an ace. Lee Markholt calls it cold (annoying), Sandman folds, and one of the weaker players calls.

The flop is 443 with two clubs, giving me a queen high flush draw. I’m not too sure about this spot. I’d like to know what the solvers suggest here. Generally speaking, if you flop a flush draw in a 3-bet pot starting with 100bb you are committed to the pot. However, I’m not sure if that applies if the board is paired. I would imagine when the board is 443 it is less of a concern, but I’m not sure. I can’t remember exactly how much I started the hand with but my stack-to-pot ratio was at least 3 to 1 and I know this because I decided to bet $130, Lee folded, the weak player check-raised me, and I decided to go with my draw, getting him all in for $613 total. We ran it once and he had a triple suited (meaning three of one suit) Q984 (so gross) and I was drawing dead when the queen on the turn filled him up.

This is definitely a hand I want to look into further because I’m not 100% on my 3-bet pre or my flop action. I could have played it perfect or it could be a total punt. TBD…

Two players limp and I make it $20 with a single suited KQT8, Lee calls from a blind, and both limpers call. The flop is TT8 and I do something atypical and decide to check back. The turn is another medium or small card (meaning I still have the nuts) and Lee leads out for $30, a random makes it $125 and there’s no sense hiding information any longer (if I call Lee is still going to be done with the hand here), so I make it $325, the other player calls and then stacks off for ~$150 on a river card that still has me nutted.

I raise a limper to $20 with AAK4 single suited to the king and we go multi-way to the A76 two heart flop. I flopped top set and the nut flush draw. It is quite sexy. Since I have the deck pretty crippled here, I decide to size smaller and bet $20 into $80, picking up two callers. The turn is a black king and now I go full pot and one bad player calls. The river is a 9 and for some reason I decide to bet $200 instead of the max and he pays off pretty quickly while grumbling that I always have him beat. This time he shows a set of sixes. This dude is a massive punter and this is now twice he’s shown a lot of restraint against me with a set.

By this point, the game has fizzled out quickly and we are down to 4-handed for this last pot. The guy paying me off with sets opens to $15, I 3-bet from the small blind to $40 with AQT3 single suited to the ace and he calls. I lead $60 on the J94 rainbow flop with one of my suit on the board and he calls.

The turn is the 8 of clubs, giving me the nut straight with the nut flush redraw. I felt my opponent was going to bet a lot of the time if I checked, so I went with that line and he fired $160. I max-raised to $460 and he called.

The river paired the board with a 9 and I decided to go for a check-call here, but he checked behind, making me think I won the hand, but he also had QT in his hand. In fact, he had AQT9 (no clubs). I think this is a pretty easy river bet for him. It should be fairly obvious that I have the nut straight here, so firing a $300 bet on the river is basically a freeroll for him, especially since he actually has the board-pairing card in his hand. This was the third time I had the nuts in a massive pot against the same hand and the second time I was freerolling for the whole pot and bricked.

I wrapped the session at +$465 and I was pretty pleased with that result considering I spent most of the session down around $500-$800 and I was still stuck when most of the loose money was gone.

As a bonus, I will include some of the sicker hands I played at $100 PLO 6-max online this week:

This is such a sick hand. I open 3.5x from cutoff with AKJ5 rainbow and the big blind defends. The flop is QT6 rainbow, which gives me a Broadway wrap. With a stack-to-pot ratio of over 40 to 1 (we are both 300+bb deep to start the hand), I go ahead and bet full pot and he check-raises me to 22.5bb. We are way too deep to play for stacks here, so I just call. The turn is a 5, putting two spades on board, and he bets 73% of the pot and I call. The river is a red ten, giving me the nut straight, and somehow I get him to put 252 big blinds in on the river with a hand that isn’t AK. Wow. That’s a mind-boggling punt on the river. This was the biggest pot I won online this week.

I thought I might be punting on this hand and maybe I was, but let’s see. MP opens to 3.5x, button calls, and I have AK54 triple suited to the ace in the big blind. Solvers say this hand type (unpaired, single suited, disconnected A-high 2-card broadway, suited ace) is calling 24% of the time and folding 76% of the time in this exact spot and since I’m triple suited and have two small cards, I’m clearly in the folding bucket. So that answers my first question: this is a punt. I’m not even supposed to be in the hand, so whatever happens afterward is just compounding my original mistake. But wait! It gets better! The flop is Q54 with two diamonds. I have bottom two pair and the naked king of diamonds in my hand. It checks to the PFR and he bets full pot. The other guy folds and… I decide to see the turn. Yikes. The turn is the ace of diamonds, so now I have three pair and the nut flush blocker. I bet out full pot and then something insane happens: he min-raises me. My turn bet was $33 and I have $52 behind and I am utterly flabbergasted. With the king of diamonds in my hand it really doesn’t make much sense that I’m getting raised here. If he had a flush and decided to go with it, you’d think he’d just pot it. Well, I have three pair and I’m confused, so I decide to go with it and jam the rest in. He calls… with… AT63 no diamonds. Unfortunately, the river is a 6 and he makes a bigger two pair and wins this 200+bb pot.

Well, now I know that guy is a total maniac and by the time this next hand comes up (not that much later) he has turned a 435bb stack into an 83bb stack. I open the button with KJ98 double suited and he 3-bets the big blind to 11bb and I call. The flop is AA3 with two spades, giving me a jack high flush draw. He leads out for full pot. As I mentioned earlier, you generally have to go with it when you flop a flush draw in a 3-bet pot and start with 100bb, but it becomes a serious question when the board is paired… and when the board is paired with two aces, it’s probably suicidal. However, this dude is a proven lunatic, so I pot it and he stacks off for 72bb on the AA3 two spade flop with… a single suited 8775 and no spades in his hand. I have nothing on an AA3 board and I am a 55% favorite. It’s insane that he’s 3-betting that hand preflop. It’s insane that he’s potting the flop. It’s insane that he’s getting 76 big blinds in on that flop. It’s absurd that I have no fold equity on the flop and actually have to win a show down. Fortunately, the turn is a jack and that holds up to scoop the pot. What a maniac.

Last night we went to Palace and I played 8/16 all night. Most of the 15/30 regs (Joker, Radio Mike, Flea, Mighty Mouse) were MIA, so the bigger game never got off the ground and I’m beginning to accept the fact that 15/30 at Palace is no longer something I can rely on… even on Friday nights. Somehow I managed to turn a brutal -$600 start into a +$1040 finish – a ridiculous +$1600 swing at the 8/16 level.

Including last Sunday, that puts me at a very strong +$3776 for the week in live games. I’m still a few thousand dollars short of my previous peak, but I’m definitely trending in the direction of finally busting out of this slump.

Today I will be biting the bullet and returning to Fortune for some 20/40 action. For the year, I sit at -$6870 over 46 hours there and I think it would be cool to try and focus on getting that number back in the green before the year ends. I definitely haven’t been making playing at Fortune a priority this year, but with the 15/30 game at Palace all but dead, I need to start pushing myself to drive to Renton. It’s hard to justify spending my Friday nights playing 8/16, no matter how good the game is.

I will be in 20/40 action by 4 PM today, but I won’t be blogging. With my goal of turning my results at Fortune green for 2018, I want to give it my all and that means focusing on every hand, rather than typing on my phone when I’m not involved.

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Marathon Monday – The Santa Claus Game: $10/$20 with automatic button straddles!

November 12, 2018

12:14 PM: Rough game start here: we are 5-handed with Frankenstein propping the game like a true sicko. When I was flooring here I didn’t even prop 8/16 games because it was too volatile and expensive for such short sessions. So… good on you, Big Frank! I hope he doesn’t get barbecued… not saying he’s at a disadvantage, but these things happen and I know from experience that is substantially more irritating when you are on the clock and have to give up your seat when the game fills.

Starting lineup: Frankenstein, a Kitsap County regular, dude that has been coming in recently, and Part-Time.

There were three other players that were signed up for the game but are still playing 8/16 because they “don’t want to play short-handed.” Uh, okay. If you idiots sat down we’d be 8-handed and the game would be even likelier to fill up and create a list.

12:32 PM: So… I had AA three times in the first 15 minutes of this 5-handed game. Here is how each hand played out:

#1 – I 3-bet AA, Kitsap guy 4-bets the straddle and I call. I check-call 975 flop and check-raise 9 turn and bet blank river to cooler his TT.

#2 – I 3-bet AA and all four opponents call. Flop is TT6 rainbow and they all call again. Turn is a queen and I’m very concerned about being beat here, but I want to show my hand down, so I check to see what happens and the button straddler bets. I’m the only call, so I check-call 8 river and lose to T4o.

#3 – I 3-bet AA and there are a couple callers, including Part-Time. Flop is A32 with two clubs, I bet and PT calls. Turn is an 8 and I expect Part-Time to bet way more often here than is reasonable, especially since I have the deck crippled. So I check-raise and we end up capping the turn. I swear if this dude shows me 54… River is the king of clubs, so the flush gets there, but my hand is worth at least one more bet and I still get raised. Fuck. Really? Considering the events of last week’s PLO game, I just might blow a gasket if I lose this pot to fucking Part-Time.

So I call and he rolls his hand super confidently and the first card I see is the 8 of clubs and I assume that I lost to a flush and I actually have to get out of my seat and look at his hand to see that he has a set of 8s. I win! And, even though I was super irritated with Part-Time’s invincibility against me last week, I still apologized for the mini-slow roll.

1:02 PM: We are now 7-handed and The Joker is in the game. And after all the credit I gave Frankenstein in my initial write up, I have now learned that he is actually off the clock. So I’m less impressed, but it’s still cool that he’s playing.

I’ve mentioned my friend Daniel O in my blog before. We traveled to Chinook Winds together last year and I see him at various local tournaments. He has started his own poker blog. He’s a part-time player that focuses on no limit hold’em, both tournaments and cash games.

He has a background as a professional writer and used to cover the World Series of Poker (and other series) for PokerNews, so his writing style is extremely articulate and insightful.

For someone that plays recreational hours and works a full-time job, his understanding of no limit concepts is impressive and I feel like reading his thought process has improved my own game.

I highly recommend checking his blog out:

Daniel’s Poker Shenanigans

1:24 PM: One more hand from earlier in the day:

I defend 63 suited and three of us see a flop of T63 rainbow. I lead out, Kitsap dude calls, button raises, I 3-bet, and the button calls, with Kitsap guy coming along.

Edit: button capped the flop

Turn is a king and I’m planning to check-raise the button here, but it inexplicably checks through.

I’m planning to bet for value on most rivers, but I’m wary of the 54 straight draw, so I’ll probably check-call 7s and 2s here. However, the river crushes my hand anyway and pairs the king. So I check, the Kitsap player bets and gets called by the button (weird), I fold face up to show how unlucky I got and then TT gets tabled!

Wow! What an escape!

1:50 PM: Forgot to mention how my sessions over the weekend went.

I ended up +$609 in the 20/40 O8 game at Muckleshoot on Saturday in 9 hours of play. It was bittersweet. On one hand, I booked a win and that was cool. On the other hand I was up at least $1800 at one point so the final result was super disappointing.

It’s funny how one hand can stick out as a turning point, but I was running pretty pure until this one came up and steadily dripped from that point on… a total momentum killer.

I had AQ43 double suited in a kill pot that I raised and got multi-way action on.

The flop was AQ2 rainbow… and I only got one caller, but he found a way to scoop me with 9765.

What?

The flop call is pretty mind-boggling. I usually refer to this player as a nit, so… I don’t know what’s going on here. He has zero scoop potential and his low draw is very suspect. He’s basically praying for half the pot.

He actually has a surprising amount of equity against my specific hand:

But when you consider the object of the game is to scoop the whole pot and you see that I scoop 605 times compared to his 28, or 95.5% of the total scoops, maybe it is as disgusting as I thought it was.

I wasn’t planning to play poker last night, but one of my best long-time friends messaged me and inquired if I wanted to play. He never plays poker, so even though I really wanted to take the night off, I agreed to meet up.

That led to me playing the longest 4/8 session that I’ve played in almost 18 months… back when I took a “day off” with my wife during the 2017 WSOP and we played a super casual 12+ hour marathon session with white chips.

So how did my 6.5 hours of of 4/8 action go? I finished +$897! A perfect time to run hot. I played a shit ton of hours of 4/8 before early 2015. I mean thousands and thousands of hours. Maybe 15,000 hours. It’s gross, I know. So a $900 win is far from the best I’ve ever done, but it’s big enough that I did some research to see when the last time I posted a 4/8 win like that was.

I couldn’t find it. I lost my phone in the Yakima River in July of 2014 and lost all the poker data I had logged from summer of 2011 to that point because I didn’t have it saved in any sort of cloud.

I do have spreadsheets with my cash game results dating back to January 2013 and I had to go all the way back to May 31st, 2013 to find a likely $900+ win in what was probably a 4/8 game. It’s just listed in my “cash games” section, but since it was a Friday night in 2013, there’s about a 97% chance I was playing 4/8 LHE.

So maybe my biggest white chip win in 5.5+ years.

Sick!

3:01 PM: We picked up Radio Mike to make us 6-handed but we’ve had no traffic and this game has almost no chance to survive the typical lull that occurs from 3pm to 6pm.

I have an invite to a 5/10 mix game at 7pm and I was on the fence about it, but now it’s looking like I’m at about 95%.

4:12 PM: Hard to post hands while we are short-handed, but here’s one:

I get 5-bets in 6-ways with two red kings. Flop is 753 with two spades. I bet, Joker raises – as the PFR 4-bettor so he has all the big pairs in his range – and Radio Mike calls two cold. I 3-bet and they both call. I’m quite happy to reduce the field by 50% and I know I have Joker beat, so I’m liking this situation.

The turn is the 8 of spades, which is a really good card for Radio Mike’s range. I very reluctantly check when it’s my action and Joker checks behind.

The river pairs the 8 and Radio Mike leads out. I would be shocked if he’s ever bluffing here but I didn’t check back the turn to fold the river, so I call, Joker folds, and Mike tables A2 of spades.

I know I won with aces a couple times earlier and I just flopped a set of kings and got max flop action and two more big bets from Frankenstein on K32AT, but my big hands in straddle games have been killing me. I’ve booked two small losses and one huge loss in three tries – and I’m stuck about $350 right now – and it’s largely because I can’t string together these key pots with my big hands. It feels like a lot of win one and then lose three going on.

It’s pretty frustrating.

4:53 PM: Building back up so I get the standard, momentum-killing 4-bet pot with QQ and the T64A2 runout vs AJ.

Interesting development: Twinkie just made us 6-handed, sitting down with $900. Since he’s the host of the mix game I’m invited to tonight, I’m not sure what to make of it. Granted, he’s not actually sitting down. His chips are just sitting there and he’s MIA, but… I wonder. 🤔

5:43 PM: Twinkie is officially in the game, but I do think he’s still planning on hosting. This game has never been full and isn’t particularly great right now so I’m not committed to staying here. Playing some different variants sounds a lot more fun.

Interesting hand: I defend with 98o, Joker 3-bets and five of us see the QJ3 two club flop. Joker checks to the button and he bets, so I’m getting around 16 to 1 to call with my gutshot… but my gutshot also makes AK and K9 a straight, so it’s pretty sketch. I also have the 9 of clubs in my hand for some backdoor flush possibilities. It’s a clear call but I am wary of the dangers. Joker also calls.

Turn does give me the straight with a ten and I opt to check-raise the button and am very happy to see Joker fold. Button calls.

River is an ace giving any king a better straight. I think I’m okay bet-folding this spot. I’m already repping a straight on the turn and it’s highly likely my straight has a king in it, so it would be a really sick spot for him to bluff-raise the river. I think he has to always have it if that happens. So I fire a value bet and he calls and shows the set of 3s I sucked out on and I win the pot.

6:11 PM: Fun/annoying spot vs Radio Mike. I 3-bet with TT and pick up two callers, including Mike on the button in the straddle.

Flop is K94 with two diamonds and I bet and call when Mike raises me and we go heads up to an ace turn.

This time we both check.

River is a blank and I’m pretty sure he has a king and I’m pretty sure he will call one bet with it, so I check it over and now he bets. Here comes some fancy play syndrome: I think if I check-raise here he might fold a king, thinking that I whiffed my turn raise and now I’m unleashing the trap. It’s not an unheard of line from me and Radio Mike is more prone to trying to make good folds than some people so I go ahead and pull the trigger. He starts tanking and nodding is head while looking at me, so I flash a big smile back that says, “yep, that just happened.”

And he folds… then asks to see the bluff and I go ahead and oblige him.

6:23 PM: Twinkie just left but we picked up four players and now have a full game for the first time all day. And… His Royal Airness is on the list as a call in. Nope. We aren’t going anywhere.

6:41 PM – JOKER TAKES A WALK

I’m pretty sure I have the preflop details right but it is bewildering if I do. Joker 3-bets from SB, there are three callers, and I 4-bet with KT of spades from the cutoff and Joker 5-bet caps it, so six of us have put in $50 preflop.

The flop is AQQ with one spade. Joker leads, seat 8 raises, Radio Mike and seat 2 cold call and it’s on me. I could be drawing dead here, but the pot is so massive that I’m just going to take my chances… plus I do have a backdoor Royal Draw that I’m going to hit once every ten years or so. I call and five us head to the turn.

It’s the king of clubs. A pretty damn good card for me. This time it checks to s2 and he bets and we all call.

The river is a blank and now s8 bets when Joker checks.

So… Joker 3-bet and 5-bet pre and then bet the flop and called a raise. Seat 8 called 3-bets pre, raised the flop, check-called the turn, and now he’s donking on a total blank on the river.

But wait! Radio Mike calls and now seat 2 jacks it up, prompting folds from me and Joker (who flashes Q8 – lol what?). Seat 8 calls, Mike folds, and seat 2 tables… AJ! Then seat 8 tables QJ to win the pot.

The very next hand I have J9 of clubs and check-call Joker on flop and turn before check-raising river on QTxx8 – the second time I’ve check-raised him on the river and shown him J9 suited in a very short amount of time…

That prompted him to fire his cards into the muck like a 53 mph fastball and sprint out the front doors.

We didn’t see him again for 20 minutes.

It was during that time that I realized the mega punty raise from the AJ on the river of the previous hand actually cost him half of that massive pot. At the time, I saw QJ and assumed he folded a loser, but then I remembered the kickers didn’t play.

Yikes. No wonder he’s pissed.

But seriously… what’s up with that Q8 5-bet?

7:09 PM: Sick hand. Bloated pot pre. I’m out of position against four players that all look like they are punting in a 5-bet pot. So I check-call with AK on 943 and there are three of us to the king turn. I bet out at the exact same time as the player behind me but it ends up staying at one bet and it is still 3-handed. River pairs the king and I bet and the aggressor starts complaining like I just sucked out. I assume he was punting with 43 or something (he just showed me 73ss in a 5-bet pot) but turns out… he had aces!

Eek!

7:29 PM: His Airness is in the game and the Bravo app has attracted Snowflake to the building.

8:38 PM: Snowflake is in the game now and as he sits down he’s on the phone talking about he can outshoot Michael Jordan from the free throw line.

Of course I’m not letting him get away with that nonsense so I call him out and he claims MJ didn’t even shoot 80% from the line and I call bullshit on that and somehow I end up losing $5 because I took the over on 84%. Wait, what? How did we go from 80% to 84%? Pretty dumb, but I still liked my side and MJ shot 83.5%.

Come on.

8:58 PM – NICKNAME CHANGE ALERT

Due to recent events and popular demand, I am forever changing Snowflake’s nickname on my blog to Free Throw.

It seems fair. I’ve played maybe 30 hours with him lifetime and I think he’s talked about how good he is at shooting free throws for 25 of those hours.

10:21 PM: This game has been off the chains for hours now but most of the hands I’ve played have been pretty straight forward. Here’s one that had potential to get ugly:

I’m the straddle with 52o and it’s $40 back to me, I defend, and it gets 5-bet like four or five ways.

Flop is 532 rainbow and it gets capped again without me putting in a bet or a raise.

Turn is an ace and I’m calling one bet here but someone leads out and His Airness blows me out.

The river pairs the ace to crush my hand anyway, but His Airness has 64o for the flopped nuts!

It would have been interesting if the turn was a blank. If there was action in front of me, I am just calling down, but if it checked to His Airness and he bet… well, I’m raising his ass… so… disaster averted!

11:05 PM: Free Throw defends small blind, I call with JThh, there are multiple callers, His Airness raises from the straddle, I 4-bet and we get 5-bets in a billion ways. I am pleased.

Flop is K94 with one heart and I have to check-call three bets cold to stay in this monster. The 3-bet comes from Free Throw in the small blind and that winds up being the last aggressive action on the flop…

…so when I drill the fucking queen on the turn and Free Throw checks I take the betting lead. There are some calls and His Airness jacks it up. I 3-bet and get two callers. The board is total rainbow so I’m only vulnerable to board pairs.

It’s a clean 5! I bet and cooler His Airness’ pocket nines for a massive pot.

I’ve won a series of pots since then and have momentum in a straddle game for the first time in four straddle sessions.

Also, that JT vs 99 hand sent His Airness out the door, which is pretty unfortunate. We still have a full game but there is no list now.

12:33 AM: I am done blogging for the night. I definitely seem to lose writing steam around ten hours into my sessions.

We are currently 7-handed with Joker, Free Throw, and some randoms.

Not sure how much longer I will play. I am seeing Overlord at 11am tomorrow, plus I’d like to be otherwise productive… like making my wife a dinner and, for goodness sake, going to the damn gym.

I will post a final score when I cash out.

2:35 AM – Final Score: +$1400

Edit: In the hand at 1:24 PM, the button capped the flop, which is why I tried to check-raise the turn and was surprised it checked through.

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Poker Pity Party: Licking my Wounds

November 10, 2018

I am going through one of the toughest stretches of poker I’ve experienced in some time. It has me on poker and life tilt. I am in a funk that can only be described as at least a mild case of depression. I’ve been going to bed earlier and waking up later, plus my overall energy level has been extremely low. I went to the gym twice last month and the last time I lifted weights was on the 18th of October. We stopped hiking – mostly because of the weather, but still.

My motivation to play poker has been low also. Going back to the second week of October, I’ve played one day that wasn’t a massive struggle or a complete collapse. Maybe ‘collapse’ isn’t the right word. But when I spend all day around even on Marathon Monday and lose $1700 in the last 90 minutes, it feels somewhat appropriate.

I had a day-saving PLO session last week and a huge day last Friday, but every other day I’ve played live poker in the past month has been a losing effort. My graph over that time is a straight downward spiral.

I have to admit, it wears on me. Accumulated tilt is when the results of previous sessions seep into your current session. As much as I’d like to think I’ve reduced tilt in my overall game, I know I’ve been carrying a good amount of accumulated tilt around with me lately.

I feel like I’ve been saying the phrase “all-time worst” a lot lately. As in, “one of my all-time worst cash game stretches,” or “one of my all-time worst 8/16 sessions,” or “the worst 90 minutes of poker I’ve ever had.”

So last week I started off losing $360 on Sunday playing when I didn’t want to. Then I lost $1700+ in The Santa Claus Game on Monday.

That brings me to Wednesday’s PLO session. Things were pretty standard until this hand came up:

There was a $15 open and a call in front of me. I 3-bet AAKQ single-suited to $40 (too small), Part-Time calls in position and the two others also call.

With roughly $160 in the pot I bet out $100 on the AJ5dd. I had top set but no diamonds, so I was vulnerable to flush draws, but I had good blockers against gut shot straight draws. Part-Time and the original PFR both call.

Turn is an offsuit 9. Now I bet the $300 max, Part-Time jams for like $450, and the third player stacks off. I call for about $400 of it, pretty thrilled about the situation. I just need to dodge non-board pairing diamonds and kings and queens.

No one is turning their hands up so when the river pairs the 9, the pot seems as good as mine, but Part-Time blurts out: “I have the nuts” and turns over J993.

Jack Nine Nine Three.

What the FUCK?

Okay, he had two diamonds in his hand. So he flopped a shitty flush draw and turned a set.

But Jesus.

J993 single-suited? I wouldn’t complete my small blind with that piece of shit in a limped pot, let alone call an 8x raise in a 3-bet pot with it. It’s an amazing spew. The flop call is spew. The turn jam is basically just a punt. He probably doesn’t have the best made hand and it would be shocking if he had the best draw in this situation. Somehow he had the only diamond draw here (third player had a Broadway inside wrap, another massive spew on the turn with diamonds and possible duplicate draws drastically reducing his winning chances), but that is some serious wishful thinking to gamble for stacks with it.

So I started off my PLO session immediately stuck $600 because I lost to a massive punt attempt. At the time, I handled it well. I quietly reloaded and took my loss in stride.

But then I kept losing in gross fashion, particularly to Part-Time, and I was absolutely simmering. Not only was I losing in dumb spots to the same person, but twice I folded on the turn in marginal spots and rivered the nuts.

The first time that happened I had some T9xx hand on a board of Q862 rainbow and folded after a bet and call of $155, which was about pot-size. Since both my outs make the nuts, I pondered calling, but opted to fold. The river was a 7 and Part-Time led out $300, the other guy folded, and PT flashed 754. It was the most annoying result possible. Watching him win that pot with an inferior straight draw and then donking out for the max made me sick. My fold is probably correct, but still.

The second time this happened I folded top two pair with a likely bad flush draw on a super coordinated board (AK is the nuts) with four players invested on the turn already. Basically pairing my top card was the only way I was going to like my hand on the river, so of course I mucked and rivered the absolute nuts. I was already simmering near the boiling point when that happened and watching that river card fall was enough to make me rage quit.

Poker had broken me. I took my $997 loss and headed out the door, wondering what was wrong with me (woah, look at that alliteration!). For crying out loud, I shipped $5k in a tournament in late October and booked a $2k winner less than a week ago. How bad can it really be?

Bad enough that I knew I needed some extra time off… so of course I returned to Palace on Thursday and lost ferociously while playing 8/16, completely tuned out as I watched instructional PLO videos on my phone. I could have stayed home and done that. What’s the point of playing live poker if I’m going to be on total autopilot mode?

I passed on PLO on Thursday with plans to hop in later, when the game got better, but after losing $504 in 3 hours of 8/16, I once again realized, for the third time in five days, that I didn’t really want to play.

I went home early again. And then I took Friday off. Friday!

One good thing has happened this week: I have taken a serious liking to studying pot limit omaha. While I’ve been sulking at home, I’ve been watching training videos and practicing online at the PLO 100 level mostly. I can feel my game drastically improving.

I’m up almost seven buy-ins at the PLO 100 level this month and my online PLO volume is at an all-time high.

I averaged about 32 hours a month from February to April at my peak volume, but played only 12 hours combined over the last two months.

In November, I’ve already played 52 hours of online PLO, by far my most in any month this year, and it has only been nine days!

So at least something good has come from this horrible slide. When things go badly, I tend to hit the lab more often and I always come out a better and stronger player.

I just felt like sharing my misery and giving an explanation for the lack of blogs this week. It’s been rough. I’m playing 20/40 Omaha 8 at Muckleshoot right now but I’m not going to blog the session. I will be back to live blogging for The Santa Claus Game on Marathon Monday.

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PLO Wednesday Highlights (Live Blog)

October 31, 2018

This is going to be tough. I almost sliced half my thumb nail off last night while doing the dishes so I have multiple bandaids holding it in place. I’m fine, but the bandaids make it harder to type on my phone because I use thumbs to type and my keypad doesn’t register when I touch with the bandaid. So I got some weird typing going on.

I spent Sunday traveling home from Lincoln City and I tried playing in The Santa Claus Game (more on that next week) at Palace on Monday, but after six hours of coughing into my shirt, blowing my nose constantly, and clearing my throat repeatedly, I felt bad for even being in the building. I called it a night as a -$85 loser – my 7th straight losing day at Palace (for -$3050 in total), a streak I am very much hoping to end tonight.

In fact, even after the month-saving score in the Big O event at Chinook Winds, I’m only up a few thousand for the month, so this could be a real make-or-break-it session as far as the arbitrary time frame of October 2018 is concerned.

Today’s starting lineup: Twinkie, solid reg, Crypt Keeper, nit, Lee Markholt, nit, aggro reg, His Airness

Not the greatest, but His Airness automatically makes any game good.

6:21 PM: So here’s something cool that happened to me today. This little guy was outside by himself rolling around in the autumn leaves on the ground, long after our other dogs had ventured back inside:

Next thing I know he’s at the front door whining hysterically and my first thought is that he was scared because I left him out there on his own (although he stays behind by himself frequently with no problems) so I picked him up to comfort him and felt a sharp pain in my finger and involuntarily dropped him on the ground.

I saw that he was covered in those helicopter leave things that have a bit of sharpness to them so I started picking them out of his fur, figuring that was the problem and also what poked me… but when I was done he was still whining incessantly.

So I started looking again and that’s when I saw a yellowjacket stuck in his fur, crawling around on his belly… and everything made sense.

*shivers*

I hate bees. HATE them. I stepped on a hive when I was a young child and got stung many, many times and I’ve probably been stung more than average since then.

This removal was going to be a two-human job. I pinned him down and my wife grabbed the wasp off him with a paper towel because no way in hell am I touching that thing again.

Our dog seemed a little off afterwards so I called the vet as a precaution but they just told us to look for swelling and I never saw any. He doesn’t seem like he’s in any pain.

But I’m sitting here reading about how yellowjackets can sting multiple times and inject poisonous venom, so… it’s a bit concerning, but my wife assures me he is doing just fine.

So yeah, I got stung by another bee today.

Super cool.

7:04 PM: Notable hands so far:

Lee Markholt opens to $15 and Twinkie and I both defend our blinds.

I have the T974 double suited so when the flop comes J65 with two clubs (my suit), I bet out $30 when it’s my turn. Lee folds and Twinkie calls.

The turn is a red 8, giving me the nuts with multiple redraws. I bet $80 and he calls again.

The river is an ace and he check-calls $125 this time.

Solid start to my night.

Nit raises after limpers to $20 and multiple players call, including me with AKdd77 on the button.

The flop is J74 rainbow and The Crypt Keeper leads out from the big blind into the entire field for $150. The nit calls, which is super alarming, and Twinkie calls also.

I am totally lost. It seems like I have a big hand, but something feels off. I’m obviously fading straight draws here, but TCK and the nit have sets of jacks in their range. I think I can safely rule that holding out of Twinkie’s range. I’m tempted to punt in a $450 bet and I’m tempted to call, but I’m confused. I don’t know what to do and since the consequences of this ending badly for me are my whole stack, I just fold it.

The turn is a 5 and it checks to Twinkie and max-bets $300. Crypt Keeper folds but the nit calls.

River is a ten and now the nit leads for the max of $300, which is almost all in for him.

Twinkie says, “you have the nuts, right?” and ends up folding (what is later revealed to be 8665).

I honestly don’t know if my flop fold is good here, but one thing is for sure, both of the players that saw the river ended up with better hands than I had. I think I would have called the flop if there was a diamond, but I’m really not sure what the best approach is there.

7:24 PM: The aggro player just raised the river with 99xx on TT299 and then folded face up when one of the nits 3-bet the $300 max!

So sick. The nit courtesy showed the quad tens.

It’s such a sick fold, but is really super easy if you take 60 seconds to think about it. The dude is a total nit, so he’s only 3-betting the virtual nuts on the river and with all four nines accounted for the only logical hand (that isn’t quads this dude could even feasibly 3-bet with is T2 and he is literally never doing it with a hand that weak. He has quad tens. Every time.

So… amazing fold… but it’s pretty routine if you can calm your emotions enough to realize that you have quads and you’re never winning.

Well executed.

7:38 PM: Crypt Keeper just won a 4-way all in pot with top set and now has almost $3000 in front of him and the nit with quad tens also has nearly $2500, so this game is trending poorly and I’m only up $100 or so at the moment.

7:47 PM: I limp along late with a junky KKJ4 subtle suited and all I need to do is a fade a patented annoying button raise from Crypt Keeper and he obliged by limping along also. Both blinds check.

Flop is AK2 rainbow and I bet $30 when it checks to me. Everyone folds but His Airness comes through with a check-raise to $105 at the last second. Bless him. He has a little over $200 so I put him all in. He wants to run it twice but his set of 2s can’t run me down on either run out.

8:02 PM: I complete with JJ86 single suited from the small blind in a multi-way pot.

Flop is 754 with two hearts. I flopped the nuts. I have clubs and no hearts in my hand so I start off with a check. Lee bets $25 and three players call him.

I fold.

BOOM.

8:28 PM: Pretty sure this is a disaster, but I dunno. There’s a raise of $15 and some calls in front of me. I call with AA64 no ace high suits.

Flop is A43 all hearts and it checks all the way around.

The turn is a blank and Twinkie bets $70 with only me and Crypt Keeper behind him. I think this is probably a fold. He’s betting almost full pot and there is only one card to go. I suppose he could have the naked king of hearts here but he probably has a flush and I’m not likely to call a pot-sized bet unimproved on the river. But I put in the $70 and now Part-Time check-raises all in for $215. Twinkie folds. I take a little bit of time to math but if I’m willing to put in $70 I should be willing to call another $145 now that the pot is substantially bigger.

I’m getting 3 to 1, so I need to win about 25% of the time and I’m winning less than 20% of the time since I’m blocking one of my outs (the 4). Plus, as an added bonus, there is no more money to be won on the river when I get there.

The Gods don’t bail me out and I lose to Part-Time’s king high flush.

9:11 PM: Ugh. We are 7-handed now and with His Airness gone the action has really died down. It’s just after 9 and I’m already thinking about calling it. The game just isn’t good anymore. Two of my six opponents are better than I am and another two are total nits. And a fifth player folded QUADS. On top of that, all four big stacks are on my left.

I’m not sure any of these conditions are ideal for powering through.

9:31 PM: Here’s how good this game is. Heads up pot, one player bets pot on QT8 and the other guy folds QQT8 face up. Or something of that nature. He had a set and the other two pairs also. Just done with it.

Same opponent. I have A883 double suited and I bet $100 on K839 with a front door heart draw present. He calls. River is the king of hearts and I check to him because maaaaaybe I can get this guy to bluff one time, but also for pot control because the dude is a fucking nit… and he checks back with 33.

YAWN.

10:22 PM: Game actually went down about 45 minutes ago. I guess everyone thought it was as bad as I did. Lee racked up to leave and as soon as he did that Part-Time took off and another player announced he was done. I already was over it so I wasn’t about to play 4-handed.

On the bright side, my Palace losing streak is over.

Final Score: +$145

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Chinook Winds $600 No Limit Hold’em Main Event (Stack Updates)

October 27, 2018

I wasn’t going to blog at all because I’m still sick, but I’ll at least post stack updates here. I might post a hand here and there but I won’t be posting any in depth analysis.

Starting stacks are 40k with blinds currently at 50/100. Massive amounts of play in this one. Plus there is a $200 add on for 30k more chips if you make it to level 7.

I’ve already seen a 6x and a 12x (from the cutoff!) open at my table, which is just absurd.

1:09 PM: A7ss > AA on T7476 in a 42k pot.

He min-raised my open pre and put minimal pressure on me before I turned the best hand.

2:09 PM: 64k coming back to 150/300/50.

2:34 PM: Notables in the field: Tormund, Flexxx, Solomon Grundy, Frankenstein, three Muckleshoot dealers, Kitsap local, Oregon superstar Max Young…

Twinkie BUSTED

3:46 PM: 54k after L4.

Tormund 52k

Frankenstein 110k

5:51 PM: 67.6k heading to dinner break. Also made it to the add on period so I paid $200 for another 30k in chips.

Dark Knight 97.6k

Frankenstein 200k

Tormund 60k

7:13 PM: Huge pot. I get a free play with KT and get the TT5 flop vs QT. We end up putting in like 50k each on the turn. I didn’t love it because that is heaps and the dude was playing tight and scared but I couldn’t discount the fact that he might be overplaying worse tens.

I was in the big blind and I can have a bunch of weak tens in my range, so I jammed and prayed he had something slightly worse.

He did. The 2 bricked the river and I now have over 160k.

8:21 PM:

Dark Knight 160k

Frankenstein 97k

Tormund 40k

9:00 PM:

Tormund BUSTED

Kitsap Player BUSTED

Solomon Grundy BUSTED

2 of 3 Muck dealers still in

9:52 PM:

Frankenstein BUSTED

10:12 PM: 184k after 10 levels coming back to 1500/3000. Two more 50 minute levels tonight.

375 entrants

268 add-ons

$242,961 prize pool

45 players cash

$1360 to 45th

$51,022 to 1st

Board says 224 left, but it said that a long time ago so I’m sure that’s not accurate.

11:57 PM: Right as TD pauses the clock to announce it’s bagging time, I open 2.5x with 22 bigs on button holding 77 and I’m never folding pre. The big 3-bets to 7 bigs and I jam. She mini-tanks and calls it off with ATss and binks a ten on the river.

A little bittersweet. I basically busted on the last hand of the day but it could be worse. I could come back tomorrow and play for several hours and still not cash… now I can at least wake up and immediately head back to Tacoma.

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$160 Big O @ Chinook Winds (Stack Updates)

October 25, 2018

First Big O tournament of my life. I’m excited! It should be fun and different. I will be surprised if I only fire one bullet in this thing. The $600 NL bounty is still open for 1.75 more hours so there’s some chance if I bust quickly in this I will hop in that.

Starting stacks are 12k with 30 minute levels and blinds starting at 25/50.

I have never cashed a tournament at Chinook Winds so it would be cool to break that streak sometime this trip.

With my phone records dating back to August of 2014, Chinook Winds is my 4th worse location and bricking every tournament here would make it my all-time worst. Only places I’ve lost more money at during that span are Commerce, Tulalip, and Aria.

Commerce is my worst during that stretch which is crazy considering I have a $5000+ cash there. Yikes.

1:00 PM: Cards are in the air!

1:55 PM: I see a flop of J65ss with AsQsJ92 with 5500 in the middle already and a player all in. I bet 3500 and one player on the side calls.

Turn is the ten of spades, giving me the nut flush and I still have the nut low draw. I go all in for 6800 and my remaining opponent tanks for a bit before calling it off with…

AQT32 with no spades. Lol. What a torch.

River is a 4 and he escapes with a quarter of the pot. Other player busts.

Up to 19k.

2:33 PM: Last hand before break:

Open to 425 at 75/150 with AK442 double suited and torcher from last hand is my only caller.

Flop is 854 rainbow and I bet 1k and he calls again.

Turn is a king that completes the badugi on board and he folds when I bet 3k.

That puts me at 22k during first break.

3:24 PM: Pretty sick one here:

I look down at AA83 and only sweat the suit of my fifth card. It is a diamond, which gives me a suited ace and weak hearts. There is an open to 600 at 100/200 and I make it 2250 and I still haven’t looked at my last card. He calls, leaving himself with over 12k behind.

Flop is J44 rainbow and he checks to me. I bet 4k and he jams on me. Uh. Guess I better look at that last card.

It’s the 4 of diamonds. Wow. I snap.

He has AAK73.

The turn is a king for a minor sweat, but I fill up with an 8 on the river to scoop the pot.

It really makes me wonder what I would have done if I didn’t look down at a 4. I would probably be inclined to put him on a 4 or jacks full. But before looking, my initial thought was that I probably have to go with it anyway so I think I wind up calling. But what a sick Sarge* card!

*Sarge card is a term coined after a famous PNW local Omaha player that routinely doesn’t look at his last card until he absolutely has to. In this case, I had a premium hand w/out even looking at my fifth card so it didn’t affect any of my decisions until I got jammed on.

I have just under 50k now. Next biggest stack at my table is 23k.

4:02 PM: Eek. 3-bet with AT532 double suited to 3k and big blind and original raiser call.

Flop is J64 rainbow and they both go all in in front of me; one for 9k and the other for 9600. Easy call here.

Board runs out J6479 and my opponents’ hands are A6442 and AK852, so I end up getting 1/6 of the pot while the guy with the worst equity on the flop gets 2/3.

Just got to second break with 51.8k and paid $80 for another 10k, so I will be over 60k coming back to 300/600 blinds.

4:35 PM: Last hand before the break is worth mentioning. There are two limpers at 200/400 and the button pots it for 2200 and she has less than 1500 behind, so when I look down at AJT32 I make it 5000 to isolate and see all five board cards, but the second limper ends up calling!

We check it down on 852QQ and he shows… 86542, which blew my mind. I got half of the whole pot with the nut low and the all in had a queen for half of the main pot.

But wow at that call. 🤯

5:03 PM: Registration is closed.

154 entrants

74 add-ons

~84 left

$26,656 prize pool

27k avg stack

I have 84.6k

Not sure how many cash, as the prizes haven’t been posted yet.

5:17 PM: I lead 2k from small blind on AQ7cc flop with AQ852 and a torcher calls

Turn pairs the queen and I bet the full pot. He snap calls again.

River is the 8 of clubs. I put him all in and he calls with KJ532.

They are trying to punt hard in this thing.

6:09 PM: Third break: 82.7k

Twinkie is busted.

7:05 PM: I bet 6000 on the flop with AKQT9 double suited on a flop of K92 with two clubs, giving me top two, the nut flush draw and a gut shot. The lone limper in the hand calls and the other blind jams for 11,800, leaving me with an option to call only, so that’s what I do. Other guy tries to jam but is told he can only call.

Turn is an ace and since I’m never folding here and the other guy only has about 30k left, I go ahead and lead pot, putting him all in, because if he folds here I will be happy about it.

He tanks forever and does fold.

The all in has a set of deuces and a low draw but the river pairs the 9, giving me a boat and a monster scooper!

Sick thing is if I sized slightly less on the flop this lot would have been 60k bigger.

Short while later, I end up getting all in 3-ways on 864 with AT973 vs A7544 and A883x…. and the board runs out ten and jack and I get 3/4 of another monster pot.

114.7k

48 players are left and average stack is 47.5k. $6864 up top for 1st and 18 players will cash.

7:53 PM: 121k on dinner break. 42 left. 54.3k is average.

9:13 PM: Yuck. I just got switched from a soft table where I had a dominating chip lead to a table where I’m third in chips and have the only WSOP bracelet winner in the building on my direct left.

Chip lead at my table has like 350k! 😮

I have 127.5k with 33 left. Average stack is 69k.

9:29 PM: Busted someone. 178.5k with 25 players left.

TORMUND SIGHTING!

9:47 PM: 20 players left with 18 cashing and someone just folded AQ532 with a suited ace to an open because “I’m not going out in 19th or 20th.”

10:08 PM: We are hand-for-hand now and the floor gets done saying that anyone that gets up and watches another table gets a one round penalty and as soon as the first hand is done two players at another table get up to spectate and are given a one round penalty. 😂

10:39 PM: Cashed it! 17 players left. Everyone gets at least $350.

11:32 PM: Busted someone. 12 left. 161k. Average is 215k. GTD $498.

11:45 PM: Peaking at 221k with 11 left.

11:53 PM: Stacked another player. My AQ932 double suited makes a wheel vs his AAQJ9 double suited.

Peaking at 312k with 9 left.

12:14 AM: It’s official! I have final tabled the first Big O tournament I’ve ever played!

Peaking at 330k and GTD at least $914 now and get this gem:

Looks like I’m tied for 3rd in chips. Unfortunately I have the chip leader (and best player as far as I can tell) on my immediate left.

Note: I’m slightly above average with 16 bigs, but the stacks smaller than me all have between 8 and 12 bigs, so it’s not like I’m at a big advantage right now. I could easily be the next player out.

12:33 AM: I don’t blame the staff for having a tip box by the payouts but… I imagine most players did the $10 dealer appreciation (6.25% of the initial buy-in) plus they are taking out an additional 3% for the staff from the prize pool.

That means that if no one leaves an extra dollar, the staff will be well compensated anyway… more so than your typical big field tourney staff.

1:10 AM: Players are busting in SICK fashion. There are 5 left. I am second shortest. $1716 GTD now.

1:25 AM: Sick double. I defend a min-raise with Q5532 with spades and three of us see the Q83 two spade flop. I only have 135k so I jam it in with my two pair, queen high flush, and bad low draw. I get called by a player with A64 with nut spades, so I’m in pretty rough shape but somehow the board runs out A and 4 and I scoop with a wheel.

So sick!

Just busted another player when my AQ762 makes queens up and nut low to crack his AAxxx hand.

We are currently looking at ICM chop and I have the most chips at the moment.

Nope. Game on!

I could have locked up $4900 if everyone agreed there, but someone decided to play.

4th is currently $2290.

1:43 AM: ICM chopping 3-ways and I have the chip lead. I’m taking $4999 for my efforts today.

We reassembled my piece of cheese game changer, but I can assure you I did not have four spades in my hand!

Leggo!

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$160 Omaha 8/B @ Chinook Winds in Lincoln City, Oregon (Stack Updates)

October 24, 2018

Cards will be in the air at noon. $160 gets you a 12k starting stack, with blinds starting at 25/50 and 30 minute levels. They are guaranteeing a $15,000 prize pool, so they need 94 entrants to avoid an overlay and this event has no re-entry. Looks like 100 have already registered though.

Twinkie drove down here with me, so he’s playing this event today. I’m sure there will be a couple others I recognize.

I was welcomed by a sore throat this morning so looks like I’m developing a cold just in time for me to kick off this series.

👍🏻

I will be posting stack updates here and maybe some hands here and there if they are interesting enough.

Leggo.

12:02 PM: First hand is notable because on a final board of Q6294 and four hearts on the board, a player check-raises the river with a naked two pair. Uh. He got scooped. I’m honestly not sure if he did it on purpose or not. TBD…

12:16 PM: Solomon Grundy sighting!

Oh man. Guy on my right is a motormouth. He hasn’t stopped talking for 20 straight minutes and he keeps looking at me for interaction. He’s a nice, happy dude just trying to have fun playing the great game of poker, but… I can’t handle all that.

Headphones going in.

Just saw QQxx vs 88xx on Q98Q8 and the river only went two bets. What in the world?

And now that I have my headphones in dude on my right is touching me when he’s talking.

Please make it stop.

12:32 PM: This is brutal. This guy literally just introduced himself, mentioned my headphones and basically said, as politely and non-passive aggressively as possible, that he “talks a lot” and that my headphones aren’t going to save me.

12:45 PM: And now he found a commonality. He asked where I’m from and I said Bremerton and then he asked me about Chips Casino, which is basically where I started my path toward playing poker full-time. Then he mentions Palace in Lakewood and that he helped run it in 2012, and that Big Daddy used to work for him, and that he’s responsible for getting Freddie’s closed and starting High Hands in Pierce County.

So now we actually have something to talk about.

Wonderful.

Gosh dammit.

12:53 PM: Things have been going well so far, so I have little to complain about, but here’s my first annoying runout:

I raise a bunch of limpers with A42x with a suited ace (haven’t looked at my last card) on the button and bet the Q87ss flop when I flop the nut flush draw and nut low draw with backup. I get three callers on the flop.

The turn is a jack and I decide to keep firing because I don’t think I’m likely to get check-raised and I don’t mind continuing to build the pot with my draw. Plus, I might have a pair! I only get one caller now.

River is an offsuit king and I can tell he’s prepared to call the river, so I look down hoping to see a ten, as any one pair hand is probably too weak to value bet here, but I have a 7 and check back.

He wins with KK96ss.

Looks like a pretty good flop for his hand, yeah? How about no?

1:14 PM: Radio Mike just messaged me saying he hopes the guy on my right and I both make deep runs to the final table “connected at the hip like Siamese twins.”

What a jerk.

1:31 PM: First Break:

Dark Knight 12.2k

Twinkie 12.275k

1:53 PM: Here’s a spot that I think should be standard but I’m sure a lot of people routinely botch:

There are some limpers and I check Q977 in the big blind.

Flop is 762 with two clubs. I have top set. The small blind checks, I check, and it checks around.

The turn is the 8 of clubs. The small blind bets and I fold.

Good riddance.

2:05 PM: Guy on my right is embarrassing me now. There’s a discussion going on with the dealer about poker players being optimistic.

Dealer: Of course poker players are optimistic; you all think you are going to win this tournament.

Guy on my right: None of us think we are going to win this tournament.

Guy on my right: You know who’s going to win this tournament? This guy (points to me). He’s the best player at this table and I could tell that after 45 seconds.

Me: Uhhh….

Guy on my right: I’ll tell you this much: I’d swap 10% of me for 5% of you (and he has more chips). That’s how confident I am about that.

Me: Uhm.

I mean, that’s nice of him and all, but it is embarrassing. I don’t want that kind of attention and it’s a little disrespectful to the other players at the table.

3:18 PM: No super interesting hands these last three levels but I suppose it was slightly profitable for me.

Stacks at second break:

Dark Knight 14.5k

Twinkie 15.9k

Solomon Grundy 7.5k

Also, there has been a Flexxx sighting, I don’t know his stack size.

3:28 PM: Cool thing about playing in Lincoln City is that this is what your breaks can look like:

3:48 PM: What the hell is going on here?

Two limps, I complete with K652 double suited from the small, big blind checks.

Flop is K63 all hearts, I check, the other blind bets, and the limpers both call. My hand looks like it has potential, but all of it is super marginal and the pot is pretty small, so I fold.

Turn pairs the 6 and now I’m wishing I had my hand back. The big blind still bets, which is kind of weird, there’s a call and the next player raises. Now the big blind 3-bets, the middle player calls, and the other guy is all in for just under three big bets.

I have no clue what’s going on.

River is a queen and it goes bet and call.

Before the big blind turns over his hand, I say, “wow, I had K6 here.”

Big blind rolls 33xx, next guy rolls Q6xx, and the last guy has KKxx.

Holy shit! What a sick connection. And how credible does my hand sound after everyone shows? Lol.

4:14 PM: Open cutoff with AKJT double suited, hoping to just steal the blinds. The small blind calls and the big blind 3-bets, leaving himself with one small bet behind. No sense in 4-betting it since the small is clearly not folding, so I call and then the small blind 4-bets! Well, this got ugly real fast. Now the big is all in and I’ve been stair-stepped into a 4-bet pot with a hand that is barely worth one bet. I call again.

Flop is 533 with two clubs. Small blind leads out, the big is already all in and neither of my suits are clubs, so I just fold?

Sigh.

The small blind ends up showing 6432 which is a little weird and the big blind was on a total punt with KQJ4. Turn is a 6 and that ends the hand but it does cost me 2400 in chips in rather bizarre fashion.

4:21 PM: Mercy! My table broke and I no longer have the chatterbox on my direct right. I can now listen to music in peace and mind my own business.

I do have Flexxx at my new table though.

4:43 PM: 3-bets four ways before the flop and I have A862 with a suited ace and I get a pretty good flop for the situation with the board coming J86 rainbow, giving me the but low draw, bottom two, and the backdoor nut flush draw. The big blind donks, the original PFR folds, I raise, the small blind calls two bets cold, and the big flats.

Turn is a queen and they both check to me. I have less than two big bets left and I’m not sure I have the best high hand here, so I check back.

River comes a fucking ace. So now my low is nonexistent, plus clubs backdoored (not my suit). The small blind leads out, the big folds, and it feels like a pretty easy fold, but I start looking at the size of the pot and reluctantly toss out the call. He has A632 and my high is good.

Sigh. Seems like a good result but I lost half the pot on the river.

Then a series of suited A2xx and A34x hands got scooped and I was left with crumbs.

I make it 1600 from the small after one limp with AAQT, leaving myself with 75 behind. The big blind and limper both call.

The flop is an absolutely beautiful AJJ but the limper goes runner runner for a low with QJ32 and I have to settle for half of the main pot.

That leaves me with 2500 on third break and I will be coming back to a stack of 2.5 big blinds on the button.

5:11 PM:

Dark Knight 2500

Twinkie 24.8k

Flexxx 30k+

Solomon Grundy 15k

I will be all in sometime this next orbit.

5:45 PM: And I’m out. My all in gets scooped because someone had to limp the J532 from middle position and got the A33 flop.

Looks like 152 entered and I managed to bust in the first 33% so pretty good read from that dude calling my shot to win the tournament.

My health is less than 80% and likely to get worse, so I’m going to head back to my AirBnB and watch the World Series (and probably fall asleep) for a little bit. Maybe I’ll go play some live later if I’m feeling better.

Twinkie is still in with 21.4k. I’ll post his status if he sends me updates.

Solomon Grundy busted just before me and Flexxx was healthy at my table when I left.

6:50 PM: Twinkie sitting on 38k at dinner Break with less than 80 players left.