Posts Tagged ‘gambling for a living’

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LAPC $570 H.O.R.S.E. @ Commerce

February 7, 2019

Chip counts here throughout the day. Maybe some hand histories.

I forgot to post a final score for my 40/80 session last night. Once I got stuck, I never recovered, fluctuating between -$1500 and -$500 for the rest of the night.

Well, at least until I took a break, sat back down and posted my big blind. Someone limps, a good prop player raises, a loose and bad player cold calls, and I look down at AQ offsuit. I don’t mind a 3-bet here, but I also don’t mind a call. It’s nice to have some good hands like AQ in my calling range from the big blind. Plus, AQo doesn’t play all that amazing in a 3-bet pot out of position against three players. So I call.

Flop is Q97 with two diamonds. I have the ace of diamonds in my hand. This is a slam dunk check-raise, so I go ahead and take that line and the prop player just calls and allows the loose player to call behind him for one more bet. I would expect him to raise anything better here.

And if he doesn’t, I would expect him to raise me on the turn. It’s a black ten. I bet and they both call.

River pairs the 9. As long as the loose player didn’t stick around with one of those, I expect to win this pot. I bet and only the prop player calls. I have the effective nuts here. Nothing he would play this way beats me and I am desperate need of a nice pot and some upward momentum.

And then he turns over pocket kings.

That sends me into shock and I collapse from heart failure. Or low blood sugar. Oh yeah, that’s my thing.

After they stab glucose into my fatty tissues and revive me, I finish out the orbit and cash out -$2060 for the day after 8+ hours of poker.

The game was pretty good, but I didn’t see much point in reloading since I wasn’t planning to play much longer and I just called it a night instead.

Starting stacks in this HORSE are 15k with 40 minute levels. I have Carol Fuches and Ron Ware at my starting table.

First Break: 12,475

Not a great start. I won a couple of Stud 8 pots with split aces, but they were both small. I didn’t win any hands in Hold’em, Omaha or Razz, but I also didn’t lose any big pots.

My most notable hand came up in Stud when Ron Ware completed with the 8 of spades up. I have A6dd-A, isolate, and he calls.

I catch a blank on 4th and he makes another spade. I bet, he calls.

Another blank for me on 5th and another spade for him. My hand isn’t developing and his board is a disconnected three flush. I’m going to get raised a lot when I bet here, I think, so I check it over. He checks back.

I make aces and sixes on 6th and he catches the jack of clubs. I’m pretty sure I have to lead here, so I bet and now he raises me? Okay. My hand is too good to fold, so I’m paying this off.

I brick 7th and check-call again. He shows me a flush and I’m pretty sure he had it on 5th street. Interesting check back.

Second Break: 9175

I just went on an epic cold stretch in this tournament. I won a couple pots in Stud 8 in the first few hands after arriving late in level one and here’s what happened before I won my next pot (didn’t even steal blinds or antes):

-four full 40 minute levels passed

-nine different variants passed

-3+ hours passed

At least I wasn’t active and losing every hand I played. I was just ice cold. In fact, I only lost one pot of significance, but it was a doozy:

We are in limit Hold’em and the cutoff opens. Folds to my big and I defend with JJ.

Flop is QJ8 with two hearts and one diamond. It checks around. Gross start.

Turn is the ace of clubs and I highly doubt he’s going to check that card, so I send it over again. He does bet and now I raise and he calls.

River is the ten of hearts. A very bad card for me, but I’m considering going for some very thin value. I decide against it and check. He bets. I expect most players to bet this flop with AK, a flush draw, or any straight draw against a single big blind defend, so not really sure I can fold, but at the same time, I don’t expect to be winning very often.

I make the crying call and this guy shows me the K7 of spades.

Oh.

My.

God.

The hand that finally broke the cold stretch is back in Stud 8. Ron Ware limps a king, guy on my right limps, and I decide to come along with a very marginal AhTh-5d with no hearts or pair cards dead.

No one raises and I catch the Qh on 4th. Ron bets with K9 showing and I peel.

On 5th he catches a blank and I get the 6h. I call a bet again.

6th street is the Ks for me. I call another bet.

On 7th I somehow catch a jack and make a Broadway straight. Amazing. Ron check-calls and is in disbelief when I show my hand. He shows kings and nines, but can’t produce a full house and I scoop a much needed pot.

I played one more hand of note, 3-betting to isolate with 88 in limit Hold’em, but I picked up two additional hitchhikers.

I tried to peel the AAT flop for a single bet, but a flurry of raises pushed me out and AT ended up scooping vs A8.

Coming back to 500/1000 betting limits with about ten big bets. Registration will be closed after this break.

BUSTED

One of the first hands back, I lose a 3-bet pot with AK to 33 after c-betting Q86 and giving up on 5-6 runout.

The hand that cripples me, I open AA74 double suited aces from under the gun in Omaha 8 and only the blind defends.

Flop is 854 with two hearts, so I have an overpair, gut shot, the nut flush draw and a weak low draw. I bet and he calls.

Turn is the 2 of clubs. He checks and I think for a while about whether or not I should bet here. I’m blocking A3 pretty hard and I’d expect him to lead that hand anyway. I decide to bet and he jacks me up. I call.

River gives me top set and a live 7, but I’m getting scooped by almost any 3x hand now. Maybe it’s a fold, but pot is big so I call and pray for a piece. He has 63 and that scoops me.

That left me with less than 2.5 bigs, which I got in two hands later with K643 double suited in a 3-way pot. I made the nut low but bricked a flush draw and had to settle for half the pot.

I opened under the gun in Razz with 63-4 and almost no low cards out and it folds to the bring in. He has a queen up and I know he’s going to bust me. I just know it.

He does call and shows A5 in the hole.

Amazingly, I make an 86 on 5th and he’s caught nothing but face cards and he’s drawing dead already.

A short while later, I open the 84-3 and get multi-way action. On 5th street I have 84-3J9, Ron Ware has 4Q5 showing and Craig Chait has 2QA. Craig has bet and Ron has called. I have 1.5 big bets left and while I do have the best made hand at the moment, I’m pretty sure I’m a favorite to get stacked here… so… obviously I go with it.

I pair the 9 and they both improve and that means I am drawing dead here like 99% of the time.

GG

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A Trip to Hell and Back

February 6, 2019

My last post was on Saturday when I played the no limit HORSE tournament and I had mentioned that I was considering going to Vegas for Super Bowl Sunday.

Well, I did.

And let me just say it is the worst decision I’ve made in 2019. So dumb.

Did I really even want to go? No. Not really. Why the hell would I make a 7+ hour round trip to play poker when there are plenty of amazing games all within a 15 mile radius of where I’m staying in L.A.? So I can watch a game I don’t give one shit about? I mean… I had already bet on Patriots when there were eight teams left and I hedged with the Rams in the actual title game, so I was guaranteed to make a little money, but still… I don’t care about watching the Super Bowl.

I suppose the theory was the games would be packed with tourists during Big Game Weekend and, while that maybe have been correct for Friday and Saturday, the poker room saw a mass exodus right before kickoff.

There was one 40/80 game and it was not good at all. I was looking around the table and I was pretty confident there was only one possible donator in the game. I was going to drop down to 20/40 but then I ran an ace high flush into a straight flush against the loose player and lost six big bets on turn and river and suddenly I felt like I had to stick around in this game a little longer.

Then the one loose guy shows me 99 on A76T9 in a massive pot when I had AK.

Then TT vs JJ in a big pot where we both had overpairs the whole way.

Then A4 vs 22 in a blind vs blind, no preflop raise pot on A62KJ. Fortunately, that hand went check-call, check-check, and check-call. I was really trying to sell weakness with top pair and, uh, I guess I got lucky I decided to take that line.

Then I opened KT suited and got heads up against the big blind on a T925T board when he had 99.

I mean, come on.

Finally, I 3-bet KK and got the J22JA runout against AJ. Again, sort of lucky because my opponent just calls flop and turn before I check-called river.

But by that point, I had won a single pot of significance when my JJ rivered a set against QQ (again, one bet on each street postflop somehow though) and I was stuck almost $2200 and I knew the goddamn game wasn’t any good. So what the hell am I even doing?

I picked up just shy of two hours of play and swallowed the -$2186 bludgeoning. Granted, it’s only a couple of racks in that game, but that financial loss is still pretty meaningful to me.

I was on flaming white hot tilt because here I am running ultra bad in a shitty game… in Vegas?… when I could have just stayed in L.A. and maybe get barbecued there as well, but at least I’d be in a good game and feel like my chances of turning things around quickly were highly possible.

Part of me wanted to blame Flipper for dragging me along on this dumb ass trip, but ultimately, I know I’m an adult capable of making my own decisions and I could have just said no, like my instincts were screaming to.

So this was my own fault. And nothing pisses me off quite like my own dumb mistakes.

It didn’t help that part of the allure was being able to make MLB bets while I was in Vegas BUT as anyone with any sort of foresight might be able to determine, the sports books were outrageously packed. I wasn’t about to wait in a line of 300 people to place bets.

Not that the Westgate Superbook had MLB win totals posted anyway. Nor did Bellagio.

What a waste.

So what did I do with my day in Vegas? I skipped out in the first quarter of the Super Bowl and took an Uber to a movie theater to watch Free Solo on an IMAX screen. I’ll post a review later but let me just say right now that it blew my head off. What an unbelievable story.

And then we went back to L.A. So… basically, I went on a 7+ hour road trip to dump $2200 in a bad game and not fight for it and watched a movie.

Stellar.

Never again.

Monday was the $570 Omaha 8 tournament in the LAPC and I had an amazing table draw.

One guy was playing almost every hand and raised blind under the gun at least four times, even when the blinds were getting big.

Another guy couldn’t even read the board.

Naturally, I couldn’t take advantage of the situation in the slightest. None of my hands were connecting hard and a lot of my good two-way hands were getting scooped when I had marginal hands for high because multiple players were in there with total junk that made better high hands.

It was frustrating.

The pot that crippled me found me defending the big blind with A732 with a suited ace against the loosest player at the table.

The flop was a very sexy J54 and I check-raised and barreled/punted off on Q-T runout. He called me down with KJ72. I think this is a fine line, but I called it a punt because this dude is not folding anything reasonable (or unreasonable, for that matter) and I should probably go passive when I brick the turn.

That hand left me with about one big bet as registration was closing. I had an opportunity to forfeit my stack and sit back down after registration closed with 15 big bets. I dunno. Thats pretty borderline. I asked tournament director Matt Savage if I could have the same seat if I forfeited and he said it would be a random draw.

I decided not to re-enter. First hand after the break, the mega loose player raised blind under the gun and I got my last 1100 in with AAK8 with suited ace, both blinds call and four of us see the flop, which is probably two too many opponents for me to get any piece of this pot.

The board runs out J83d5dJd, giving me the nut flush, but pairing the board as well. Of course, the blind raiser has the monstrous QJ83 and I’m one of the first ten or so players busted out of the tournament.

GG.

Then I sat down in a 20/40 Stud game about 90 minutes later and picked up $615 sugar on the first hand I was dealt in, drawing insanely live for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge, but it wasn’t meant to be. Somehow I managed to finish that session at -$555 in 2.75 hours.

Speaking of The Coast-to-Coast Challenge, Free Throw became the third player enshrined, going the distance in an 8 hour 20/40 session at Fortune for +$1k last night.

I spent yesterday at The Bike playing 40/80. I got off to a nice +$1500 start but then things went sour for a really long time and I spent most of the session stuck, bottoming out around -$1500.

The most curious thing that happened last night didn’t involve any hands. The Bike employs hosts for the different limits and multiple prop players. The hosts get to sit in the games indefinitely, but the props only get to fill seats when there is no list.

I got a front row seat to see the politics of this play out for a little bit. Apparently one of the props cut in front of two other props to jump back in the game and the host took exception to this and things got palpably heated between them.

Fast forward to a few hours later, when the host has gone home for the night, and the game is now full with no list and three props are playing.

A few players went walking and then the first person to leave the game… was a prop player.

And then the second player to leave the game… was a prop player… the same one arguing with the host earlier about getting in the game.

Meanwhile, one of the players walking… is a prop player.

So our 9-handed game quickly became 5-handed after two players left and two players disappeared – and 75% of the people leaving holes in the game are paid prop players.

Wait. What’s their job description again?

I thought it was pretty impressive to see the one prop getting in a public spat trying to get in the game and then abandoning it when it needed her most.

I’ll give the walking prop credit for coming back and playing deep into the night short-handed. We played with 5 or less until about 3 AM.

I finally got hot again when it was down to three of us and booked a +$1708 after 10.25 hours of play.

I’m playing at The Bike today. I’ve been playing about 3.5 hours already and got off to a decent start but then I dwindled and running QQ into KJ and… KJ… on QT5ss9sJ was enough to put me in the red. I once again bottomed out around -$1500, but they let me win my last two contested pots and now I’m stuck less than $400.

Scratch that… just ran KQdd into 88 in a kill pot on Q839J (yay, free showdown!).

Not planning to live blog this session, but I might post some hands if the urge grabs me and I’ll certainly post a final score when I’m done here.

With my HORSE event starting at 1 PM tomorrow, I’ll probably only play until around 1 or 2 AM.

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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!

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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

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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.