Posts Tagged ‘gambling’


Marathon Session Alert!! 4/26/2018 (LIVE BLOG)

April 26, 2018

Cards are in the air! I’m committed to 12 hours today. First update coming soon.

Per usual, I took Tuesday and Wednesday off from the live pokers, but I did play a decent tournament slate on Global Poker Tuesday evening and I was having a miserable go of it, losing in spectacular fashion, before going deep in my last tournament standing for a possible day saver, and then this happened:

That’s my best cash on Global to date and gets me back a little closer to peak online bankroll position, which is nice because Global has their series coming up next month: THE RATTLESNAKE OPEN.

I’m not sure how many Rattlesnake events I’m going to play because we are going to be super busy next month, but I’m targeting the limit hold’em day, PLO days, and Main Event day for sure. I’d like to take a real shot at the tournament leaderboard but chances are I won’t be able to play enough.

12:44 PM: When playing loose goes wrong:

Everyone limps and I limp along on button with 76o and the small blind raises and all eight of us see the 764 rainbow flop. The first limper leads out, there are multiple callers, I raise, and then one of the original callers thinks it’s time to reveal his hand strength (or pump his straight draw), and we all call. Unfortunately, he fires the turn, which means I’m probably losing, so I call him down when the board runs out with a queen and a 9 and he shows me 44.

Next hand, the button straddles, four players call, and I feel like gambling with the K7ss and five of us get it capped on the T96 with two spades flop. The turn is a blank and the flop aggressor bets and everyone calls. River 3 of spades and now someone else leads and the aggressor says, “is that a spade?” before raising and my hand feels like a call only here. That player ends up showing A6 of spades and the genius that bet the river, in true backwards fashion, shows 87 for a flopped straight that he check-called the turn with when the whole field had one bet in and then leads river when his nightmare card falls. Well done, sir.

1:02 PM: I thought it would be busier in here since they are giving away $1500 per hour in High Hands, but there are currently three 8/16 games going (11 tables total) but a very weak list for 15/30. Still, I expect that game to start in the next hour or so.

Starting lineup in my 8/16 game features no notables, some 8/16 regs, one certified maniac (on my direct left 🤦🏻‍♂️), and a few players I don’t really know.

2:13 PM: Mostly just bleeding at the moment while my ATs and better keep whiffing and my pairs are topping out at 77.

One good connection: multiple limpers, I call with 66, one of blinds raises, we all call. Flop is T22 and the PFR bets, there’s two calls, and I think I have to peel here, not just mathematically, but also because I have the best hand some of the time. The turn is a 6 and the PFR checks, which is unfortunate because he once chastised me for making a standard preflop defend with A2o and basically said I’m no different than anyone else that plays here, so I would have really enjoyed seeing his reaction here if he had a big pocket pair. Alas, someone else bets and two players wind up calling my raise and river bet.

I am down about $200 at the moment and the 15/30 list is still weak and not that close to starting.

2:27 PM: A note about exercising: is there anything harder to start doing, yet so overwhelmingly gratifying? I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m dangerously close to getting into a groove. I woke up at 8:30 AM today and went to the gym before my session and put in my biggest workout yet and it felt AMAZING.

Also, how annoying are people that exercise regularly and go on and on about how beneficial and gratifying it is? Seriously, it’s obnoxious, but it’s worth the effort – and that’s something I know even when I’m idle.

I’m hoping I can continue this trend (and I’ve gone to 3 of the last 4 yoga sessions after falling off a cliff) because I think being in shape both mentally and physically can only help improve my chances of posting huge results at the WSOP.

3:34 PM: Playing short-handed before moving to the main game, I defend the KTo against a player that is unlikely expanding his raising range appropriately. But still, when I see the AJ7 with two spades (I have Ks), I think my hand plays better attacking than trying to get there, so I check-raise and he calls pretty quickly. The turn is a 9 and I continue my story but get snap called again. I’m planning to give up on river unimproved but one of the reasons I choose this hand to bluff with is because good cards like eights can river and we can bet for value. I bet and tell The Man sitting next to me propping the game, “he’s not going to like this one” and table my winning straight.

I’m in the main game now playing with The Leak, which I prefer to playing with The Queen because even though our pots go to the same household at least we play poker against each other.

Currently down about $150 and there are a sad-looking four names on the list for 15/30. That game isn’t starting until the working folk start rolling in – could be a few hours.

5:07 PM: Pretty uneventful last few hours. I just moved back to the third game and wish I had never moved. I thought it was breaking for sure and The Man helped keep it alive by propping 4-handed. Hopefully he lost less than $600!

15/30 now has 8 on the list, but two of them are call ins. I’m guessing it starts before 6, but much later than that and I’ll probably pass because I can only play until midnight.

5:29 PM: Here’s a fun one: limpers everywhere, I raise AK on button, calls everywhere. Flop is KJ6 with two spades and one of the limpers donks into me, I raise and two players cold call. Turn is kind of bad: 8 of spades. I don’t have any spades, so when it checks to me on the turn, I’m planning to bet-fold, but they all just call. River is a queen and they all check to me again but I think this is a pretty optimistic value bet, so I check behind expecting to win most of the time and immediately announce my hand. As basically always happens when I try to courtesy roll out of turn I wind up losing the pot. The second player tables 88… with no spade (obviously). Just takes two to the face on the flop and smacks it on the turn… and then plays the big bet streets to perfection.


6:27 PM: I don’t know what it is, but the hands I lose seem so much more interesting than the ones I win.

There’s a button straddle and a post in the cutoff. It folds to me in the hijack and I can’t resist putting the 3-bet out there with QTo and they both call. Flop is AJ9 with two clubs, I bet, the poster raises, and the button cold calls. I call also. Turn is the 8 of clubs. I check, poster bets, button calls, I raise, poster calls, and now the button 3-bets. Sigh. This is bad news but I do have a strong hand and the ten of clubs gives me an open-ended straight flush draw, so I have two outs if I need them. I call, river bricks and he shows me the nut flush.

I defended the 65o, flopped a pair and turned two pair against a likely big pair and won a decent pot. Yawn.

Somehow I am up a little bit even though I’m only posting hands I lose. That’s why I thought I should mention the 65 suck out.

6:52 PM: Two limps, I raise ATo, the big blind 3-bets, and we all call. Flop is T95, everybody checks to me, I bet, button calls, SB raises, BB calls all in, and one of the limpers cold calls, I reraise and everyone calls. Turn pairs the 5 and now the flop cold caller leads out. 🤦🏻‍♂️ It’s one of those reactionary leads where someone is so shocked to hit their magic card that they just bet without really thinking about what the best line is (I would obviously bet this card). With that in mind, I call down, expecting to lose and he winds up showing me… A5o. Groan.

Stuck now. And we are reaching the point where I’m not really willing to move up in limits this late inmy session.


$2/$5 NL 😮 @ Palace 4/21/2018 (Live Blog)

April 21, 2018

Yesterday I made a very unceremonious return to Fortune and a had a day to forget. I got absolutely throttled. When I cashed out I thought I was booking a record loss, but I thought I was in for $4500 when I was only in for $4000 so I actually came up just shy of my loss single-session loss of all-time. However, I did punt a full buy-in in the 1/3 game before moving to 20/40 and finished -$245 there and combined with my -$2135 at 20/40, my overall -$2380 day may very well be the worst day I’ve had since my poker career (re)started in 2011. I believe my worst session in that span is -$2300, but I’m not sure what my worst overall day is – I think it was yesterday.

As I mentioned, I absolutely punted my first $300 in the 1/3 game. I’d share details of the hand, but it was so bad, I’m just going to save some face here. Needless to say, it started my session off with a bad taste and I was immediately wondering if I should be even be playing poker. I feel like I play a very good, solidly profitable B-Game and my C-Game almost never shows up, but this 1/3 pot was 100% C-Game and I was just getting started.

My 20/40 session was absolutely miserable. The game wasn’t good and I was running insanely bad. I lost a monster pot where I had A5hh on a KQ9hhh flop where it was two bets five ways preflop, on the flop, and on the turn, before the board paired on the river and I lost to Q9. A solid $800 pot in the wrong direction and that pretty much summed up my session. I won one nice pot when I made kings full of aces with AK and hit one meaningful draw in a decent pot and the rest of my made hands were beat or outdrawn all night and I was whiffing like Mike Zunino in his return to the Mariners lineup last night on all my other draws and unmade starting hands. The frustration levels build quickly when every pot you play is heads up or 3-handed and you are outflopped or outdrawn or picked off every single time.

I wasn’t feeling it. I was running bad and felt physically beat down by the variance, the game wasn’t particularly great, and I had to admit I was playing my C-game. I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but when I’m running super bad, I feel very transparent. Like I never have anything and they all know it – because it’s true. I’m just missing every single flop. I decided to jet after less than six hours of play and, after dropping The Leak off at Palace, I was home before 10 PM on a Friday night. That doesn’t happen very often.

I’m off to a very lazy, unproductive start to my Saturday. I’ve basically done nothing but drink coffee, play MLB The Show on my PS4, and take a shower.

Checking in on Bravo now and I see Palace has nine games going, but no 15/30 and, holy shit, there is only one person on the list for that game. They do have a 2/5 NL game going though. Jesus. Please don’t let this be the expectation on Saturdays going forward. If 15/30 only goes Thursdays through Mondays, I can live with that. But no 15/30 on Saturdays is insanely bad for my bottom line.

I just had the briefest of thoughts to publish this and not even go play, but there are two 8/16 games going and I suppose it’s better to go play in one of those than to sit at home being lazy. So off I go… and hopefully the 15/30 will start before 5 PM.

2:43 PM: Ouch. The Leak sent me to pick up a medication for her and I’ve been told it’s going to be 30 minutes and she will have my ass if I don’t get it, so session EpTA pushed back to 3:30ish.

3:51 PM: Fresh off a C-game performance, I was dangerously close to being triggered out of even playing today. I left my house to pick up a prescription for my wife around 2:10 on my way to Palace and one hour and forty minutes later I am just now walking in to Palace and I didn’t even get the damn prescription.

Safeway’s pharmacy ended up wasting 30 minutes of my time before telling me they didn’t even have the fucking thing in the building and since we need it today, I went searching for other options… and came away empty-handed.

Fortunately, my wife mercifully accepted the baton and took the reigns on this task and let me go play poker. One more run around and I think I was done for the day. I was very close to being irrecoverably tilted.

To recap, it took me 100+ minutes to get to a destination seven minutes from my house and I didn’t even accomplish the task I was set out to do.

Seats open in the 2/5 game and it’s tempting to sit down in that lineup, but I can’t bring myself to participate in that game’s existence when the 15/30 game isn’t running. I’m currently 4th up for 8/16 and there are only four names on the list for 15/30.

Slow Saturday.

4:25 PM: Welp. I caved. I just kept looking at the 2/5 NL lineup and wanting to sit down and then one of the floors came over and pushed me over the edge by saying whether I play or not isn’t going to make much of a difference and my objective should be to make money, not be a little bitch. 😂

He made a lot of sense.

Lineup: Part-Time, a nitty reg, a bad reg, that douchey guy that was ganging up on me with The Flea, and three players I’ve never seen.

I’m far from a NL expert, so no clue how this is going to go but I suspect I should be a favorite simply by playing tight and solid. I play exploitive poker though, so that’s where there’s potential for things to go poorly.

4:39 PM: Yeah. This is pretty much how no limit goes for me. I open to $15 with 87dd and c-bet $25 in a 3-way pot on K93. One player calls and the 9 pairs on the turn. He seems weak and I think he has a lot of gut shots and pairs less than the 9 in his range. I fire $50 and he calls again. I still think his range is the same on the river when an ace comes and this is a good card for me to fire a third bullet. I don’t need to size big here since I think he’s weak, so I push out $80 and he SNAP calls me with 43o.

I’ve been in this game for four hands and I’ve never seen this guy in my life.

I sat down with $500 in play and $500 on the side but after seeing that, I have it all in play now.

Uneventful hand here but notable because a different player just limped under the gun with Q7o.

4:49 PM: And the player that just picked off my $170 quadruple bluff with bottom pair, on a favorable board texture for me, just left… because that’s how much the Poker Gods are shitting on me this weekend.

That genius is replaced my John Kim, whom definitely knows how to play this game better than I do. 😴😴

4:57 PM: A hand I wasn’t involved in:

Button straddle to $10, three calls, someone makes it $100, the third caller calls. Board is al raggedy and I think it checks on flop and turn before there’s an $80 bet and call. 72ss (bottom pair) beats K6 high.

A hand I was involved in:

I 3-bet KK from SB to $35, bet $30 on 882 flop and lose to A9o.

Standard for me in live no limit hold’em.

Mister Magoo takes our open seat!

5:22 PM: open $15 with Q9dd and nit min-raises to $30, one other calls, and I call also. Flop is JJx with Jd and we all check. Turn is the Td, giving me an open-ended straight flush draw, and the big blind leads out $20. I’m super tempted to raise here and I suppose I can still have jacks in my range, but I decide to just call and the PFR makes it $80. The other player folds and maybe I have some fold equity here if I suddenly make a big raise, but I don’t know what the best play is so I just call and…. whiff.

He tables KK behind.

5:26 PM: 15/30 is on the verge of starting and the game looks worse than the one I’m playing so it’s quite a dilemma. I want to support the 15/30 and not the 2/5, but it’s obvious which game is better.

5:39 PM: Yikes. I made decision to move and then this happened:

Two limps, John Kim makes it $20, I call with AJo from the cutoff, and five of us see the flop.


They all check to me and I bet $60. Everyone folds and JK calls. We are not concerned.


He checks and I bet $125. He makes it $300, leaving around $250ish behind. Don’t really see how I can fold here but I’m also wondering if I’m really about to lose a $1300+ pot right before I move. I didn’t love the spot but I also knew I wasn’t ever folding, so I stopped thinking about what he could have and put my whole stack in. He calls and doesn’t seem to love it.

I say, “two pair.”

“Me too.”

“Ace Jack.”

“That’s good.”

I hold vs QJ and then I move to 15/30 and apologize to him for the brutal hit and run.

5:49 PM: No real notables in the 15/30 game: The Queen, one huge fish, and a couple Palace regs.

It’s not a great game change, but it’s my duty to make this game thrive and I am much, much, MUCH better at LHE than NL.

6:38 PM: A couple notes:

First, No limit pots are more interesting than limit pots and probably provide better content. I’ve been playing 15/30 for about 40 minutes with zero hands of note.

Second, my attention is currently divided between poker, the Mariners game, and the Chris Sale-Sean Manaea matchup in Oakland – but I will try to provide some hands here.

Lastly, the 2/5 game just broke. It was full with five on the list like 20 minutes ago. That’s an amazing collapse.

7:32 PM: QT < Q9 on Q65; JJ < 33; Paxton just gave up three runs.


7:36 PM: Oh man. J.Cole’s song “Bracket” about taxes is really speaking to me right now.

8:27 PM: Okay. Well, I watched almost all of Sean Manaea’s no hitter on my phone which makes it really hard to blog at the same time.

Regular updates incoming again.

While I was watching, I called the worst player at the table down on 98349 with KJ and won and then I bluffed him with 76 on A282A.

We have added The Flea to the lineup and his douchey partner from the other day.

Time to focus up and will the Mariners to victory from my peripheral.

8:52 PM: I won a notable pot before this but I can’t remember what it was.

Anyways, I raise under the gun with KQhh and only the Flea defends. Flop is Q42 rainbow and he check-raises me, I call and then raise on the 9 turn and he 3-bets me. Sigh.

River pairs the 2 and he pauses for like 30 seconds and I finally say, “I’m calling if that will help you make your decision.” He checks, so I bet and he calls with Q9 and that’s good. I guess he did have something to think about, but it’s a 5-10 second think, not half a minute. Looks like I let the constant camera time distract me from taking a free showdown and instead made an ill-advised bet.

10:14 PM: Game is jammed up now and I’m running super pure. Like whole table is jealous pure. I’m hitting everything and it’s all happening way too fast to keep track of.

Some hands I remember:

3-bet AJhh and flop flush and get action from three different players. Open AA and flop top set and get paid off. T8ss on 97×6. 65dd on 977dAdTd. Open KT and get the QJ54A runout.

Needless to say, I am up heaps now.

10:38 PM: Fast and furious. As I was typing that last update these two hands happened:

Flea limps, I raise AT, new crazy (possibly drunk) player 3-bets, Bingo Man calls, and so do we. Flop is QTT with one diamonds. Everybody checks, which is something I was not expecting to happen. Turn is an ace and Bingo leads out, I raise, the new player calls $60 cold, Bingo 3-bets, and I cap. River is king of diamonds and now the new player raises me, Bingo calls, I 3-bet and only one of them calls. This monster pot goes my way.

One hand after The Flea calls my wife “bad luck” because I finally lost a pot just after she came to visit, Flea raises some limpers from the small blind and I defend with K6o.

Flop: KK6 two hearts

Flea bets and I flat to keep the limpers in. They all call. Turn is jack of hearts and now Flea checks, I bet, button calls, and Flea raises. Pretty easy 3-bet here and Flea caps it, with the button still in as well.

River is a queen and Flea still leads. Is it too passive to call here? We are now losing to KQ and KJ and he never plays AK this way. I ended up raising and getting raised again and losing to KJ so now I’m on a break counting combos.

There are three combos of JJ, one combo of 66, and three combos of KJ. He can possibly have flushes and AK up until he caps the turn. If he happened to be losing his mind with KQ on the turn then that’s another three combos I’m losing to on the river. 66 is pretty unlikely, so it’s 50/50 on my river decision and I think the presence of the third player calling one bet but possibly not two, means I should lean towards calling. Plus, the KQ factor.

Obviously insanely unlucky, probably because The Leak was sitting behind me (seriously, who comes by and just completely extinguishes a heater?) but also likely a bad river decision on my part as well.

12:05 AM: Flea opens cutoff, I 3-bet QQ on button and both blinds come along and Flea calls.

J75 with two hearts and there are fireworks. I put in the first raise but the big blind 3-bets and Flea caps, plus the small blind is still in.

Turn is a blank and Flea still bets. This is a spot where I used to raise 100% of the time but now I’ve learned to be more cautious. Sure, there are going to be times when I’m ahead and wind up losing to one of the blinds because I just called on the turn, but more often I’m behind here and having to put in four bets to get to showdown is brutal. So I just call and so do the two others.

River is a 7 and everybody checks to me. I should be good here now and I probably have a value bet, but I take the safe route and check back. They table KJ, 65hh, and AJ and my queens are good.

Another interesting spot, or maybe not interesting at all: straddle pot and I have QJss and five of us put in five bets pre.

Flop is A74 no spades. There’s a bet and three calls back to me and I’m getting 29 to 1 here, closing the action. I know I call if there’s a spade on board, but what about an 8 or a 9? Does that make it an auto-call or should I see the turn in this exact spot?

I don’t know the answer to that so I should probably investigate. Either way, I don’t know what’s grosser, calling or folding here.

2:01 AM: That’s a wrap. Today was basically polar opposite of yesterday. Almost all my pocket pairs held up, I was drawing well, and flopping good.

Final result: +2820 (in 15/30) and +$520 (in 2/5 NL) for +$3340 total.

And that’s how you tell a record bad session to go F itself.

We are meeting friends for lunch tomorrow in Renton and doesn’t seem like playing poker is really on the docket. We have another doctor appointment in Kirkland late afternoon on Monday so that’s going to delay my Monday session considerably but Radio Mike said he’s playing so I’ll try to get in his game by 6 PM if I can.


$15/$30 @ Palace 4/19/2018 (Live Blog)

April 19, 2018

2:30 PM: Perfect timing. Walked into Palace as they are putting chips on the table to start a 7-handed $15/$30 game and immediately get a seat.

One limper and I’m setting the tone on the first hand with a button raise with 76hh and the big blind 3-bets me. 3-ways to 943hh flop and I cap with the big blind. My free card/value raising play doesn’t slow him down and I call on ten turn and fortunately my massive draw comes in with one of my disguised straight outs and I get a double bet from my opponent on the river.


2:36 PM: Today’s starting lineup: The Flea, bad semi-reg, new player that is obnoxious in a small sample, nitty reg, John Stockton (the assist leader!), Part-Time, and another Palace reg.

Early, favorable clash with The Flea as I open with ATss and he 3-bets from the big blind. Flop is KTTdd and he bet-calls and then donk-calls Jd turn. River is a blank and he says, “dang it, I missed,” and checks. He’s all about playing games so it’s up to me to determine if he’s trying to induce a bet with AQ or not; I’m positive he doesn’t have a flush but I could see him playing AQ this way. I go for the bet because checking back is pretty criminal, he calls and my hand is good.

But he evens the score pretty quickly. We cap pre when I open QQ from the cutoff and he’s in the big blind. Flop is QTx and he check-calls before leading out when an ace turns. I pop him and he calls and catches a magic jack river, leads out and I lose to his AK. He then starts blabbing about how he had the best hand the whole way and should have 3-bet me on the turn… standard Flea speak. I, of course, due my extensive mum poker training, say nothing.

The new player in the three seat that I said seems obnoxious is saying something about me “raising his big blind three fucking times in a row” and that means I will be raising his next big blind like 80% of the time because if I’m getting under someone’s skin, I’m going to stay there as long as I can.

3:53 PM: Here’s a standard Flea move that drives me nuts: I check and some absurd amount of time goes by and he finally asks the dealer if I did anything. Yes bud. I did something. I don’t need the camera to stop on me for 20 seconds every time the action is on me. Let’s fucking go. I would absolutely hate playing with this guy if i didn’t enjoy seeing him lose so much. It’s a delicate balance.

We are 7-handed now and it’s a weak seven. This game is on the ropes but this is a group I would love to play some 6-handed, no chopping poker with.

🙏🏻 Poker Gods

3:59 PM: Some fun pictures from this past week.

Here’s The Joker:

Can you even imagine what is going through his head when he picks that hat out and leaves his house? Or how he walked into a store somewhere and decided that’s the hat he wanted to buy?

Here’s The Riddler:

If someone said The Riddler rode a motorcycle I think I would have bet my entire bankroll on the NO. It’s not Halloween and April Fool’s Day was three weeks ago, so… this is an actual thing?

4:25 PM: Pretty amazing when two people I have never said a word to in my life are openly rooting against me in every pot I play. Can’t say I mind, I just don’t get it. Quiet, confident and aggressive must just be an annoying combination to some people. 🤷🏻‍♂️

4:51 PM: We have a cry baby! The two guys rooting against me limp in and I limp along on button with A9o. Flop is K9x with two clubs and the first guy limps, Flea pump fakes a raise and calls and I call behind. Same action on blank turn. Like exact same, pump fake and all. I don’t see a good reason to fold here so I call and spike the 9 on the river. Dude still leads, Flea calls, and I raise. First guy goes into a 60 second fit before calling and Flea folds KJ face up. Other guy hasn’t stopped crying about that hand since and immediately racked up his chips like losing one hand on the river was just too much to handle.

Thanks for not raising, Flea!

5:01 PM: Might have just broke the game with that A9 hand. Seat three racked up and is now MIA and Flea just cashed out.

That leaves us in special no chopping territory.

I open J2dd (👀) from the cut and John Stockton defends his big. He donks on the 832 one diamond flop and I have a debatable raise here but I just call. Turn is a pretty nice ace of diamonds and he still bets which is sort of comical. This is obviously a great card for both my range and my actual hand, so I raise it and he snap calls. River 8 of diamonds! He check-calls and I win the pot with my flush.


This game broke.

What to do…

These players are talking about starting a 2/5 spread game and the last thing I’m going to do is support the birth of that game from the ashes of my 15/30 game.

I’ve said many times I don’t want that game at Palace because it seems like it would hurt the 15/30 game and, well, the first time they spread it I was in a full 15/30 and half my table left for 2/5 and we didn’t even play another hand the rest of the night. Needless to say I was fuming and I resisted the urge to blast the staff on my blog but not so much on Facebook.

I’m sure the game is plenty profitable and it might be worthwhile to jump in it, but I’d rather just see it die and go away.

Seems like my current options are play 8/16 and hope 15/30 starts back up later, fight through traffic to play 20/40 at Fortune, or go home.

5:38 PM: Looks like +$610 for 15/30 and I’m third up for 8/16. I’m gonna leave my chips on the table in the hopes this game starts again later.

6:11 PM: Just sat down in 8/16. Lineup: John Stockton, The Man’s wife, decent 15/30 reg, three players I don’t know, and two Palace regs I know as 4/8 players.

6:49 PM: 15/30 is about to restart. I have to admit… the list looks pretty unappetizing.

On the bright side, some good news: apparently J.Cole has a new album coming out at midnight (9 PM Pacific) tonight. This is pretty notable because J.Cole is a top five rapper currently. Can’t wait to see what he has in store!

7:02 PM: Ugh. Rough game start here. Bingo Man flaked now six players, including The Queen 🤦🏻‍♂️, are sitting here twiddling their thumbs. If this doesn’t get off the ground, I’m going home.

7:07 PM: Restarting 5-handed. And it’s weak. Someone might need to find a real job.

7:19 PM: So here I am playing 6-handed 15/30 and Taz, His Airness, Bingo Man and four other players that have played in this game are all still in 8/16. Such a bad omen.

7:42 PM: Full game now and The Atom is on his way here to ruin my J.Cole listening party.

Missing flush draws like a boss today.

8:52 PM: Nothing exciting to report. Game is pretty subpar. The Atom is in the game now, sitting as far away from me as possible and J.Cole’s album should be available in about five minutes, so he should be seat-changing over my way any minute.

A hand: bad player limps, I try to iso from the button and both blinds raise me. Who knows what they have because everyone checks to me on KTx flop and the preflop capper check-folds. The small blind ends up calling me down after I fill up and I’m still up for a high hand with 5.5 minutes to go.

9:10 PM: Folds to me on the button with The Atom in the big blind. I look at him and he’s shaking his head no. I look down at JJ and shake my head yes. Raise it! He defends. Flop is 655 and he check-calls. Turn is a blank and I think I get check-raised a decent amount here so I’m not surprised when it happens. The dynamic here might call for a 3-bet but it has been a long time since I’ve played with The Atom and bluffing in this spot is something I haven’t seen much, so I give him some credit and call down. River is a 9 and he says “9” and I table my hand and it’s good.

John Kim just walked in and saw me typing and said he knows exactly what I’m doing every hand because he’s been reading my blog.

You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Also, Apple Music is picking a great time to malfunction. J.Cole listening party on hold.

9:38 PM: What. The. Hell. Tight-solid player opens and I 3-bet AJss on button, bad player calls from the blinds, and the nit caps it. Flop J95, nit bets, I flat, and so does the other player. Turn is a ten and they both check to me. I bet, call, tight player check-raises, I snap fold (?!), and the other player calls him down on blank river. He rolls AQ high and the loose player wins with 54.


This is what I like to call a protected pot. Meaning, because of the presence of the loose player, bluffing in the tight player’s spot makes zero sense. You see what he got called down by. That’s why you don’t make moves like this in spots like this. You show the calling stations the best hand, not try to power your way through pots with fancy plays.

I know it’s my own fault for folding here but it’s a total boneheaded play that cost him two extra big bets and cost me the entire pot.

10:38 PM: Raise under the gun with AQss, next player calls, maybe a blind. Flop is AQx; I bet and he calls. Turn Queen; I bet and he calls. 8 on river and we have life! We wind up putting in four bets each on the river and he shows me… AQ. 😴😴😴

This one’s more exciting: bad player limps, I raise KQss on button, small blind 3-bets and the bad player caps. Flop is queen high with two spades and we cap it again. Turn jack of spades and the bad player is check-calling now and does so again when the queen pairs on the river. My flush beats his KK.

Scrappy Doo in the game.

12:14 AM: I’m running pretty hot. Flush draws coming in, getting free cards in raised multiway pots with 44 on K65 and going running 3-7. Running pure! Which is fortunate because I’ve been completely checked out of the game.

One thing I have noticed is that the tight-solid player seems to be on a different gear tonight. Not sure what’s going on. I’ve seen him drunk before and he’s not drunk, but he’s definitely playing like he is.

I saw him cap flop and cap turn on QT56 board with the table fish and couldn’t beat QT at showdown and then on the hand I had 44 on K6537 he bet river with A7 after five people put money in on the turn.

I feel pretty comfortable pegging him as a nit but he’s playing way outside the box the last few hours.

2:01 AM: Done updating for the night. Obviously using my remaining energy to focus on the hands I’m playing and not writing about them. I will post a final update when I cash out, which will be soon.

2:12 AM: Well this hand I have to talk about. Scrappy Doo raises, someone calls, drunk guy 3-bets, Part-Time calls and I defend 98hh in the big. Flop is T66 and I check-call a bet and three of us see the magic 7 on the turn. I check-raise and only Part-Time calls. 30/60 Overs now, 5 on river and he donks. WHAT?! I am perplexed. It’s an absolutely horrible lead if he has me beat. It makes no sense. So I have to raise, right? I pull the trigger and he snap-calls with 55.

What? How? Why?

Solid unbelievable runout at the tail end of my night. I mean wtfffffffff.

3:09 AM: Finished +$1258 for the day which seems good since I had a solid stretch where I seemingly lost every hand on the river, including that absurd 98 vs 55 (a $660 swing!).

We have a medical consultation in Kirkland at 1 PM tomorrow so it looks like I will finally put in my first session of 2018 at Fortune.


$225 No Limit Hold’em Tournament @ Palace (Live Blog)

April 15, 2018

Cards are in the air! Particulars and live updates coming soon!

10:18 AM: Tournaments like this are few and far between in the Tacoma area.

Everyone starts with 10k in chips and blinds are 25/50, so we all start with 200 big blinds, which is pretty deep and made even deeper with 30 minute levels and decently stair-stepped levels. House added $2500 but they are also keeping $25 out of every buy in.

This should be a much softer field than your average $225 buy in tournament and it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the biggest buy in of the year for a decent amount of these players. I haven’t taken much of a look at the field yet but I would imagine most of the best local players were in Pendleton, Oregon playing their main event this weekend.

My table is 10-handed and I recognize four of my opponents: two small stakes Palace regs, one of my WSOP backers, and one of my former Palace co-workers.

One thing we should all keep an eye on is a rare poker appearance from The Legend. With over $2.2 billion in online cashes, his presence in this field is notable. I have him at about -850 to take first outright.

11:00 AM: First notable hand: player that looks brand new min-raises at 50/100 and I have AK in the big. Raising seems like the obvious play here but I don’t like it. This dude seems wildly unpredictable and playing a huge pot out of position against someone that probably understands very few concepts sounds like a high variance spot. I just call.

Flop is all middle cards, like 975 and we both check. Turn is a blank and I bet 300, which is a value bet. I am 95% sure I have the best hand. He calls. River is 7s and I bet 500, another value bet. He says raise and I announce call as soon as he states an amount (1500). Unfortunately, he also has AK.

11:38 AM: Start hand with 6800 at 150/300 and I open with AJ and the noob is my only caller. Flop JT5; I bet 1000 and he puts me all in. Super turbo snap call. He shows JT and that holds.

Second bullet.

11:46 AM: Second bullet going well. KQ < A7 on 953KA and then J5o big blind < T9 on JT7QT facing a min-bet on every street.

Down to 5800 already.

11:53 AM: Okay, I’m pretty triggered. Down to 4300 now. This is the one pot I’ve won so far: one limper at 25/50, I make it 200 with KK, he calls and then check-folds after the flop. I’ve lost every other hand I’ve played. So I have less than half the starting stack on my second bullet in a field that is as soft as it gets. Pretty huge wasted opportunity if I dust two bullets without ever having more than the starting stack in the easiest tournament I’ll play all year.

11:59AM: Open to 700 under the gun with 99 and a stack of 4300. Kind of a weird spot with no antes. This is a pretty obvious open-jam, but with only 450 in dead money, I think making a standard raise here might be okay. I’m obviously getting it in against a reraise. Button winds up calling me and then I bet 1000 on a flop of Q22 rainbow. I don’t think this is ever a bluff, so even though I was never going to fold this hand, I think getting it in here with a likely two-outer is pretty terrible when I still have about 10 bigs behind.

Edit: I bet 1k on flop and they jammed on me.

That was last round though. I now have 2600 at 200/400 and I’ll be jamming my whole range now.

12:09 PM: And that’s that. Jam KQ under the gun, smaller stack calls with JJ, and the small blind tank-calls with A3 and, of course, I beat the jacks but not the A3 so now I’m walking around the building wondering how I could squander such a ripe opportunity.

I mean… you can’t win them all and cashing tournaments is hard, but goodness, I want a redo!!

12:40 PM: Steam has cooled a little. Currently on the list for 8/16, 15/30, 30/60, and 2/5 no limit. This is the first day Palace is trying to spread a no limit cash game and so far there are three names on the list and one of them is the acting floor. 😂 Not expecting that to happen any time soon.

There are seven names on the list for 15/30 and eight on the list for 30/60, but I think I’m the only one that’s actually here. I doubt that game goes any time soon and probably not at all today.

I guess I’ll post cash game updates and monitor some tourney chip stacks. Both my backers are still in: Chief Wiggum and Gargoyle (?). Aquaman and The Legend are still in. Cobra has chips.

1:03 PM: Scratch that, The Legend is out. I heard he turned the nut flush and got it in vs bottom two and his opponent rivered a full house.

Poker is hard.

Aquaman has around 40k and my other friend, I’m going to call him Kung Fu Panda, has around 30k.

Blackjack still in the field – looks like he had about 15k.

1:31 PM: 8/16 is starting 7-handed and the 15/30 isn’t particularly close. Part-Time and a few semi-regs in the game, plus one Palace floor I’ve only seen play 4/8.

Down to 63 in the tournament. 10 get paid.

2:09 PM: 50ish left in tournament. Some updates:

  • Chief Wiggum 10k
  • Gargoyle 13k
  • John Kim HEAPS
  • Aquaman 50k
  • Black Turtle 11k
  • Blackjack 13k
  • Cobra 30k
  • Kung Fu Panda 13k

Rocksteady has joined the 8/16 game and Part-Time was like “What’s my muthafuckin’ name?!” and played less than two orbits before cashing out.

2:25 PM: Call a raise after multiple limps with 66 and it’s 6-ways to flop and I get it capped on 643 two spade flop 5-ways. Turn is the 7 of spades and I just call a bet and then fold 8 river to a bet and call. They chop it up with A5 and 75.

2:48 PM: 15/30 starting. Finish 8/16 -$17. Stack updates:

  • Aquaman 43k
  • Black Turtle 9k
  • Blackjack 15k
  • Chief Wiggum busted
  • Cobra 41k
  • Gargoyle 32k
  • John Kim 35k

Just walked over to see Kung Fu Panda all in with KK vs AQ pre but ace on flop and he’s busted.

15/30 starting lineup: Chief Wiggum, Rocksteady, Kung Fu Panda, and four regs that are mostly decent.

The Queen takes the last open seat. 🤦🏻‍♂️

3:05 PM: Let’s start this off right! I open QJo, Rocksteady 3-bets from small blind and The Queen calls from the big. Last time I played 15/30 with The Queen she played the tightest I’ve ever seen her play… by far. So she has a big hand. Flop is T96 with two diamonds and they take turns raising while I call. Turn is a king and Rocksteady still leads out and The Queen raises. I call it cold because I don’t bet The Queen heads up and I should make more money by keeping Rocksteady in. Unfortunately, he folds and then the board pairs on the river and I lose to her KK.

Gargoyle just busted which also means that Chief Wiggum is leaving the 15/30 game.

3:20 PM: Another fun hand: open KTdd, The Queen and Kung Fu Panda are the only callers. Flop is AQ6 with two diamonds, I bet and they both call. Turn is a brick and I don’t see any good reason to bet here, so I check, The Queen bets and Kung Fu Panda raises. I can’t fold here, so I call and The Queen reraises and comes out on the nice side of variance again when the river comes safe.

31 left in tournament. Updates:

  • Aquaman 65k
  • John Kim 25k
  • Cobra 35k
  • Blackjack 24k
  • Black Turtle busted
  • Gargoyle busted

Aquaman enjoying his deep run:

3:39 PM: Someone came to play today. By far the most prominent regular without a nickname just 3-bet me in b2b hands and showed some spunk postflop.

First hand I open QJ, call his 3-bet and then check-raise AK4 flop. He calls. I bet 3 turn and he calls again (we are playing 25/50 Overs). Obv giving up now, we both check river and he shows… 55? Huh?

Very next hand I open AT, there’s a call, he reraises and we both call. I whiff flop and check-fold and he barrels turn and other guy folds and he shows T7ss for ten high. Okay.

4:10 PM: Just did a lap around the tournament area and saw Aquaman facing an all in on the river on a board of Q98Jx and he called pretty quickly and the all in shows KT. Aquaman shows his QT and does a quick glance at his stack and sees that he’s covered. Pretty brutal runout considering he started the hand from the big blind in a limped pot. 🤷🏻‍♂️

John Kim just hit the rail also.

That leaves Cobra and Blackjack as the last two players standing that I’m following. There’s also a Palace dealer that I used to work with still in, so I’ll keep an eye on him too. They are down to 23.

This 15 session has had a rough start as I’ve won zero notable pots and am already down $700+.

4:25 PM: Sigh. It’s just one of those days, huh? Open cutoff AK and button 3-bets. I just flat as is my play with 100% of my range when I’m heads up and out of position. Flop AKT, we are in 25/50 Overs; I check-raise and he calls. Turn 9. I bet and he raises. Seems like my hand is pretty strong, but it is actually in pretty bad shape on this bird texture against this line. I just call and check-call river and lose to KK.Just a terrible start in what I would call a below average 15/30 game.

4:39 PM: Down to two tables. Cobra busted. Blackjack and the Palace dealer our last hope! Meanwhile I’m stuck $1k already after punting two bullets, threatening to match my terrible dayon April 1st.

5:14 PM: Just heard the floor say a deal has been proposed in the tournament: 15-way chop and 10% to the dealers. From what I heard, only one person said no. Holy shit. That is an amazing lack of gamble. I’m not rooting against the dealers to do well here but 10% is a lot for a $225 buy in and peer pressuring the tip amount gets a huge thumbs down from me. It’s a good way to make someone look like an asshole when it is really matter of personal preference.

Blackjack just busted in 13th, which leaves the Palace dealer as my only rooting interest remaining. Looks like it’s going to be a boring final table… if there even is one.

5:28 PM: One good hand: hijack opens, I 3-bet A9hh from cut and he calls. Flop is K63 two spades one heart and he check-calls $25. Turn is 5 of hearts and he donks $50. I feel like this is a weak probe with a hand that turned a pair or more outs, like A4ss or A5ss (or maybe I’m just steaming), so I make it $100 and he calls. Fortunately, river is the 3 of hearts and I can bet for value but he folds, confirming my suspicion that he was weak.

6:04 PM: Fun session. Open button with A7 and spray off four bets on AK6ss flop and call down on 8-A runout vs AQss. Just getting smashed today.

The game is not good so I’m actually considering just taking the L and heading home.

6:40 PM: Yup. Calling it a night. Cashing out -$1463 for 15/30, which puts me at a solid -$1920 for the day. I’d have to scroll through my records but I’m pretty sure that’s my second worse day of 2018.

Happy to report they are playing this tournament out. They are down to six players now and the Palace dealer is still in. Take a look at this focus!

Sounds like they are chopping 6-ways and I’m out of here. The super green, brand new player that bluff-raised me with AK earlier is getting most of the money.

God bless America.


Thursday Poker: $15/$30 LHE @ Palace on 4/12/2018 (LIVE BLOG)

April 12, 2018

Schedule for this week going as planned. I showed up for PLO @ Palace last night and played what was probably my worst poker of the year. I finished -$800, which doesn’t seem too bad, but I played less than four hours and I felt like I gave it away. I got pretty unlucky once when I flopped a set of tens on a dry board vs a set of kings against a relatively short stack, but the rest of my session I lost chips in spots that were entirely unnecessary and I basically punted my last $150 because… I wanted to leave? I had another $1200 in black chips in my pocket, but the game was quite bad – no His Airness, Mister Magoo was unimpressed with the game also and left early, and Hit&Run didn’t show up until I was over it. Plus, I wasn’t playing good, so I made the wise decision to leave, even though I was 3rd (and possibly 1st) up for the $15/$30 game. Eh. Chalk up the loss and come back the next day when I can start fresh and give it my best.

Everything else aside, I was pretty happy to see the $15/$30 game going with a strong list, but I got word that it broke before midnight, which is not great.

I have an hour massage at 1 PM and then I’m heading straight to the casino. There are currently two 8/16 games going with four players waiting for 15/30 and I’m hoping by the time I get there at a little after 2 PM, they will be pretty close to starting 15/30.

Check back here around 2:30 for live updates!

2:22 PM: And we’re off! There are now three 8/16 games going with only five names on the 15/30 list and it’s not a list that looks like it’s going to start anytime soon. It’s still early though!

I’ll be keeping an eye on what’s happening at Fortune, but I probably won’t end up going there. I stopped taking the medication I use for anxiety a week or two ago and I can feel it trying to creep back when I’m driving, particularly when things get congested. I have zero desire to use meds as a crutch for the rest of my life so this is a problem I’m trying to face head on and hope I can just beat it into submission.

Alas, Fortune has two 20/40 going but I probably won’t be driving there by myself today, even if 8/16 ends up being my only option.

2:30 PM: Solid start to my 8/16 session. I pick up AK in the cutoff first hand, raise it up, peel on Q43 rainbow, jack it up on king turn and check back against two opponents on 9 river, that also brings in a backdoor flush… and small blind tables a set of threes.

No blog regulars in my starting lineup. Only one player in the game that I have any significant history with – maybe even three that I have zero hands with.

3:07 PM: Third game broke and I just moved from a bad main game to what seems like a good feeder. Three regulars in this game, none with nicknames though, and still three players I’ve never seen before.

Flopped a set of 5s against an obvious overpair for a big pot and then got two big bet streets of value with 88 (no diamond) on QT3ddd49 against someone that was basically playing his AK face by capping pre and checking every street postflop.

Still only five names on 15/30 list. 😐

Almost missed him… FBI Guy is in my game.

3:47 PM: Every once in a while I go through a little funk where I feel like I’m suffering from what I can only term as “poker depression.” This can obviously happen when you’re getting creamed for an extended period of time, but right now I feel like I’m experiencing it because the games have been kind of blah lately. The 15/30 still isn’t close to starting and I’m sitting in a rather lame 8/16 game. The Queen just sat on my immediate left and I opened with 87hh and she was my only caller and I never bet against her, so I turn an open-ended straight flush draw but she ends up winning showdown with queen high. It’s moments like that where I think: what the fuck am I even doing here? I don’t want to play 8/16 and I definitely don’t want to play in a below average 8/16 game.

This would be a good example of why poker pros advise against other people quitting their jobs to play poker. It it usually more grueling than glamorous. The bonus of doing this for a living is that I don’t have to be here if I don’t want to be, but my volume is already low lately, so… guess I’m gonna grind it out and hope that 15 game gets off the ground at a decent time.

4:03 PM: Complain about the game condition and right on cue: under the gun opens, two call, MP 3-bets, I call 99 from SB and it gets capped five or six ways. Under the gun checks a J76 flop and the preflop 3-bettor bets flop. I’m next to act and I can check-raise the rest of the field out possibly, but I feel I’m against two strong ranges and I’ve seen UTG player check big hands on the flop plenty of times, so I’m going to play my hand like a weak draw for the time being. Everyone calls.

Turn is a three and it checks to MP again and, interestingly, she pauses and hesitates long enough before betting that I think she’s weak here. I call and so does everyone else.

River pairs the three and I check-call after she snap bets river and one other player also calls. She tables 76 for a counterfeit two pair, I table my hand and it’s good.

Kind of weird that I picked up weakness when she was actually strong and kind of hilarious that she fires river against four opponents when her hand crumbles to pieces.

But yeah, when people are 3-betting 76 suited when three people have already voluntarily raised and called, the game might actually be pretty decent.

4:26 PM: I’ve noticed a certain phenomena with a particular player. He plays pretty well overall, but flies completely off the handles in pots against me.

Last time I played 15/30, I sat down and he had five racks and lost almost all of it to me in spots where I was thinking “what are you doing?”

Two examples from today:

We put in four bets on 733hh flop in a 3-way pot, turn 5, I call, river 7, we all check and he has a total airball and I win with A6hh.

Just now, he limps utg, I raise TT, a tighter player 3-bets small blind, and I put the cap on five ways. Flop is 853 and everyone check-calls me. Turn pairs the 3 and my new best friend donks and I raise the rest of the field out. He sort of chuckles and then 3-bets me and I call. River is a blank and we both check. He shows J4hh and there is only one heart on the board.

Huh? I promise we are not brothers and I pray he doesn’t read my blog.

Always amusing when someone is trying to outplay one person when the pot is multiway.

4:48 PM: Taz showing off his spazzy side here. He opens, I 3-bet 88 and he caps with four other players sticking around. Flop is sexy: QJ8ss. He, and some others, check-call when jack pairs on turn and then Taz check-raises 4s river and caps when I 3-bet and I’m a bit perplexed but when he tables 44 it makes some sense I guess?

Is it too late to erase my whining earlier?

5:11 PM: Just finished +$601 in that “bad” 8/16 game and 15/30 is now starting 8-handed.

Starting lineup: random that looks splashy, bad reg I know from Kitsap, another wild player, a nitty reg on my left, Taz, FBI Guy, and the dude that keeps leveling himself against me.

5:29 PM: We’ve seen how my buddy plays his air, let’s take a look at a big hand:

I raise one limper with AQo and this guy 3-bets from big blind and I cap it. Three or four of us to KK8dd flop and they all check to me. I decide to bet with Ad in my hand and two check-call. Turn is a diamond and I check back. River ace of clubs and I call a bet from big blind and he shows KQcc.

Obviously super aware of his image.

6:01 PM: Good read on the guy in s1. He opens from MP and ends up showing me a set of deuces, which is whatever, but just now, one player limps, he raises cutoff, I call KJo (mistake; should 3-bet given read) and check-call him on QQ33 and river is another queen and I wind up chopping with his 72o.


6:52 PM: Going out of my way to mix it up with s1 by 3-betting the 65dd and wind up riling Taz up instead. He calls it cold from the small blind and I c-bet A74 rainbow flop. They both call and the turn is a jack. This is a clear check. So obviously I bet and get check-raised before rivering the nuts.

There’s an important takeaway here: just because you won a hand doesn’t mean you played it well. Taz is never folding the turn here and I’m never bluffing my way to victory, so my turn bet is just a pure torch. It’s okay to find mistakes in hands you won.

7:17 PM: Second 15/30 game about to start. Maybe it’s the whole people have jobs thing that is going on during the day. 😂

8:04: John Stockton with another big pot assist. I open KJ and he 3-bets button. I call and check-raise KJ3 flop and he 3-bets. I expect to get a check-raise in on turn frequently so I just call. Turn pairs the king, giving me the nuts, and I think this is a card he can actually check back, so I lead and, if he does have a hand like AK, he’s going to raise anyway. That’s what happens and I get 3-bets in again. River is a blank that brings running spades in and he raises me again! I raise and he winds up tabling QTss. I mean, pretty unlucky connection for him, but goodness he just blasts off chips to me. No caution.

8:41 PM: Back-to-back monster pots:

Multiple limpers, there’s a raise, I call 66 on button, Taz 3-bets small blind, and it gets capped six ways. Flop is KT6 with two hearts and it’s capped four ways. Turn is a jack and Taz is still leading. Two calls. I’m getting worried about a set but I still have to raise here. He snap 3-bets, Kitsap player calls, and I’m bowing down into call mode now. River is a Q and it goes bet and raise in front of me and I have a trivial fold. They split. Taz AQhh and Kitsap player AJ.

Next hand Taz is on mega steam and straddles button with all the raises lined up ready to go in. Callers in front of me and how lucky can I be to look down at AA? I raise and I know I’m getting five bets in five ways pre. 🙌🏻

Flop KQT. Hate it. It goes bet and raise in front of me and my hand has been reduced to call down mode already. Turn is uglier: 9. I call and I’m heads up to river which brings in the spade draw and gets me a free showdown vs AJ.

9:03 PM: John Stockton to the rescue! One limp, fold tells behind me, I raise A8ss, and it’s four of us to 864 flop. Stockton leads, I raise, and still four of us to king turn. They all check-call me. River is another 8 and Stockton decides to go for the ole check-raise instead of leading out and allows me to get three bets in again. But wait! This is John Stockton we’re talking about here. Hall of Famer. All-time assist leader! He caps it and rolls over 87 for the L.

9:17 PM: Holy shit I’m running bad with big hands. Just got four bets in pre with TT and run it into KQ on QJTJQ. 🤦🏻‍♂️

9:34 PM: I’m having a decent 15 session but only because John Stockton keeps showing up with the sick alley-oop passes.

Okay, I have now flopped a set with three straight pocket pairs and this time I got the win despite another ugly runout: 76289. Fortunately I got it to heads up after the flop and I’m pretty sure they had a flush draw only.

10:13 PM: Feeder game is off the chains right now, with chips flying into the pot like crazy. Taz just left my game to go there and we picked up a bad reg and…


As far as I know, Snowflake is the best limit hold’em player that still resides in Washington state. I’ve only played with him a handful of times but I’ve heard he’s a solid winner in limits as high as 100/200 that he plays when he goes to Commerce. The few times I have played with him, I have been impressed. He’s not a tight-solid abc type of player – he’s in there exploiting. Definitely not someone I’m happy to see sit down at my table.

10:53 PM: Joker at my table now. I raise under the gun with AA and he 3-bets and we are heads up so I just call. 30/60 Overs now. I check-raise him on 995 and he calls. Turn is a 4; I bet and he raises. Wonderful. Got him right where I want him. I 3-bet. Then he caps it. Really? If he caps here with KK-TT he’s just an idiot so now I have to think I’m beat and just call down and he shows me the T9cc, a great hand to attack my weak under the gun opening range.


11:43 PM: Made the mistake of bringing up hip-hop with Snowflake and we haven’t stopped talking rap music for an hour now.

I’m running pretty bad. Lost flush under flush and then this gem.

Cutoff opens, Scrappy Doo raises button and I cap QQ. Flop is QJx and I check-raise Scrappy and they both call. Turn is a 9; I bet, cutoff calls, Scrappy Doo raises, I 3-bet and the cutoff ca- wait… what’s he doing? Capping? This nit is capping it?! Noooo! Scrappy folds and I check-call river and lose to KT.

I’m close to even for this 15/30 game which is bittersweet. I’m losing with some monster hands so I guess I’m somewhat thankful I’m still up?

12:48 AM: Flop a set of 7s against Snowflake and he doesn’t even call me with top pair on the river.

Raise one limper with AK and the small blind donks out on A24 two diamonds and then check-raises me on the turn while doing that thing where he’s showing his neighbor his cards like “can you believe this fucking hand I have?” I suppose that could be my cue to fold, but I have an ace and a king so I call. River king. It would be way too passive to not raise here so I go ahead and do that I’m happy when he just calls and unhappy whenhe tables 53.

1:44 PM: Snowflake and I seem to have a lot in common. Girl next to us is trying to describe some tool to us so we can tell her what it is and we are both like “I dunno,” and Snowflake says “the only things I know about are music, movies, and sports. And poker.”

And I’m like:

Did we just become best friends?

2:11 AM: No, I think not. He opens cut, I 3-bet KK and we get it capped on T65 two clubs and I feel like I should be calling down now because I think my range looks super strong and he should know that. He barrels off on A and T run out and shows me… KQ of clubs, which is a bit surprising.

2:21 AM: Been waiting for this to happen: I missed the action up until showdown, but The Flea is out of position on the river on a king high board and it goes check-check and he turns QQ face up and places a chip on his card to tip the dealer as he pushes his cards forward and… the other player turns over KT.

YES. He’s had that coming for a while.

Well, this session is just never going to get off the ground. I 3-bet QQ and someone caps it. Flop is T85 and I’m the only bettor. The preflop capper calls me down before raising me on a final board of T8566 and I call and lose to TT. I am now stuck about $20 in this 15/30 session and I’m ready to call it a night.

2:50 AM: From The Joker:


3:28 AM: Cashed out +$136 for the 15/30 session and finished +$737 for the day. I guess a decent result considering how many monster hands I lost with in the bigger game.

Not really sure what my plan is tomorrow. We are supposed to go out with my wife’s side of the family but she was sick tonight and if she needs to stay home I’m not really sure how that will affect our day. Next for sure blog will be on Sunday for the $225 tournament!


This Week’s Poker Schedule (4/9/2018)

April 10, 2018

Going through one of those stretches where lots of random stuff is filling my calendar instead of playing poker. As I noted last week, I spent this weekend attending a celebration of life for my wife’s parents, so I didn’t play at all Saturday or Sunday*. It’s always interesting gaining a new perspective and experiencing something entirely different from the culture I’ve grown up in. Not to mention actually participating in the process and not understanding anything that is being said and worrying that I might disrespect someone unintentionally because I’m uneducated in their customs, or simply because I’m clumsy in executing them. For instance, you’re supposed to crouch down any time you walk past a monk, which I’m sure I didn’t do a number of times. Then I accidentally cut a monk off when we were walking in the same direction and we both insisted that the other go first. So I went first because I didn’t know if it was worse to cut him off or to try and outdo him in a politeness battle. Either way, I’m pretty sure someone in the room saw this infraction and was shaking their head.

Still, it was a great experience and I’m happy to honor my in-laws and I think it’s amazing that they wanted me involved in the ceremony. Not just involved as in I got to sit with everyone, but involved as in I was part of the inner circle of immediate family that participated in spoon-feeding both my wife’s mom and dad while the monks were chanting!

Here are some photos and a video to give an idea of what it looked like:

*though I did manage to watch every pitch of Shohei Ohtani’s ridiculous outing on Sunday. 6+ innings with a perfect game, 12 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 1 hit? On 91 pitches? After hitting .389 with 3 homers for the week? This dude is INSANE! “As advertised” does no justice to what this kid has done so far this season.

Monday night I played in a $5/$10 dealer’s choice house game and it was a lot of fun. I am happy to play at a third of my normal stakes if I’m playing games I don’t normally get to play. They don’t spread any razz, stud, stud 8, 2-7 triple draw, or badugi in any Washington casinos, so this is basically the only way to gain actual playing experience. I had a pretty good night overall, but ended up -$195 because I made the dreaded mix game mistake of playing a really big pot in a big bet game and setting myself up to get freerolled.

We were playing Big O8 and I started with over $400 and made what had to be a terrible call with a double suited hand that had 8432 in it and no ace from the small blind. To be fair, I have done zero studying of this game, so it’s not too surprising that I could make some mistakes, but that’s why I should just fold everything that doesn’t seem like a super obvious play (like suited A23xx hands) instead of setting myself up to get stacked in a game I have basically no experience in. Well, I called a small raise with this super marginal hand and saw the 433 with two diamonds flop. I checked on the flop, the PFR bet $15, the button called and it was back to me. I had no idea what to do. After thinking I should maybe just take a passive line and keep the pot small, I ended up convincing myself that if I potted it now I would probably just take it down and not have to split with a low (as I have basically no low draw), so I made it $76 and only the PFR calls. The turn is the 2 of diamonds. I am now only losing to 44 and A5 of diamonds for high, but my low draw has been reduced to a live 8. I have now successfully set myself up to get freerolled and I decide to try and pot control by checking, but my opponent is not letting that happen and bets $150. I call and I hate it. The river is an ace and he puts me all in and I don’t see how I can fold now after calling turn and leaving myself with less than $200 behind. I pay it off and I’m expecting to chop the vast majority of the time, but he shows A63xx with nut diamonds for a live 6 low (which beats my live 8) and a rivered boat to scoop everything. Absolutely sickening. I feel like I should have folded this hand preflop, but I have no concept of what I should have done after flopping a full house with very little scoop potential and no redraw to speak of. Keep it small and try to get to showdown? Check-call flop and check-fold turn? I honestly don’t know.

But that pot was my whole night. Instead of winning a few hundred dollars because I played well all night long, I lost a few hundred dollars because I played one hand poorly.

Tuesdays are basically always my day off and I spent it watching A Quiet Place, making dinner, and going to the gym with my wife. Now I’m writing this post and playing a couple online tournaments.

Tomorrow I will likely be playing PLO @ Palace but that doesn’t start until 6 PM and who knows how late it will go.

Thursday I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ve been occupied lately, but that hasn’t stopped me from checking in on Bravo and the 15/30 LHE game at Palace hasn’t gone three days in a row. Radio Mike going back to his day job and Joker and I being busy outside of poker lately hasn’t helped at all, but I can’t help but feel that interest in the game is somewhat waning. I hope I’m being dramatic, but there’s some things at play here. There have been multiple times where there have been tons of names on the list and the game just doesn’t go and that kind of sends a message to the players that starting the games they want to play in are not a priority. That’s a good way to make players give up on the game or just go elsewhere. Also, there have been some regulars complaining about the lack of action in the 15/30 game and that it’s not a “fun” game and have been boycotting it and encouraging others to play 8/16 and straddle every hand. I don’t really get that concept. You can straddle and gamble at 15/30 also and do what you can do make the game better, so my only real takeaway is these guys want to splash around at a smaller limit and they are trying to get other players to follow suit. Lastly, this Sunday Palace is going to be spreading 2/5 no limit hold’em for the first time. This is obviously not going to help the 15/30 LHE game gain any traction and it very well could kill it altogether. Who knows.

[Edit: I take that back. There’s a chance that it could help. If 15 people come in to play 2/5 NL and there are only 9 seats, that’s six players that could fill a 15/30 seat while they wait. Shrug.]

What I do know is that I’m not about to go back to playing 8/16 every day, so if I have to start travelling to Fortune to play in bigger games again, then that’s what I’m going to have to do. A daily 15/30 in my backyard is a dream, but I’m definitely starting to get concerned about it.

I’m less concerned about the game going on Friday, but my weekend is going to be dominated by family again. My wife has a cousin from San Diego visiting right now and her family wants to take him to The Met in Seattle and I feel like I should go with.

Saturday I have what I hope to be my final meeting with my CPA to complete my taxes. What an ordeal that has been. I won’t get into all the details, but the amount of money I’m supposed to pay the IRS has been very inconsistent and my CPA teased me with a final number that was so amazing I wasn’t surprised to discover a huge oversight when I checked her work and the amount I owed was actually more than five times what she quoted me. Groan. I am confident now that we have sorted out all the details and everything is in order.

After that, we are meeting up with my parents because my aunt and uncle are in town. I guess tentative current plans are to go to Little Creek Casino, but if I play any poker it won’t be a working session, it will be a I-might-have-to-leave-any-minute session which means I won’t be playing anything worthwhile.

Sunday Palace is having a $225 no limit hold’em tournament that starts at 10 AM. I haven’t looked at the structure too much, but I don’t really care. It should be fun! That’s the same day that Palace will be unveiling the 2/5 no limit cash game. If I have to choose between 15/30 and 2/5 I’m definitely playing 15/30, but if my options are 2/5 or 8/16, I might have something to think about, depending on the lineups.

That’s my upcoming week! I will try to blog on Thursday and probably for the Palace tournament on Sunday as well. You may have noticed that I got my own domain: and I also have access to new features for my blog so I will be working on giving the blog a sleek, new look, but when I will actually have time to do any of that is TBD. I’m also putting the final touches on my WSOP schedule so I’ll be posting that in the next week or so.

Stay tuned!


PLO Live Blog (4/6/18)

April 6, 2018

Going to attempt a PLO live blog. Opener coming soon.

6:10 PM: Things are getting off to a slow start here. When I put my name up hours ago, I was 9th on the list, but there are currently only seven players starting the game.

Current lineup: two players I don’t know, an Invisible Man level nit, Mister Magoo, His Airness (super maniac) and a strong higher stakes reg from Muckleshoot. Two spots in the game. I’m not going to grind it out if they leave. $15/$30 game looks pretty attractive if this game fizzles out.

I told myself I was going to play tighter than normal and I already unnecessarily torched chips in a pot. On the other hand, I opened JJ55 with diamonds and put zero bets in on flop and turn on a board of 765d8d8 in a multiway pot before calling Mister Magoo’s $45 river lead and losing to 77. Not a good end result but feels like I lost the minimum.

6:23 PM: Pretty good last couple of days, despite some rather unfortunate circumstances.

Wednesday I won $1706 in five hours of $15/$30, which is nice, but I only played five hours because the game broke at 11:30 PM. I prefer to play 8+ hours and generally want to stay until 2 AM. Games breaking early are what my nightmares are made of.

More good and bad news yesterday. The good news is I booked another $915 win but the game was absolutely terrible and, even though I was planning to play a shorter session, it broke before I was going to leave… at 7:15 PM.

Gulp. The results are obviously good, but the $15/$30 game being weak and dying early? Not so much. Missing Radio Mike already!

6:41 PM: Felted $500. Magoo and Airness limp and I limp along with A9cc77, SB makes it $15 and at least four of us see 984hh flop. Turn is Ad and SB leads $65; Magoo and Airness call and I pot it for ~$275, which is basically all in for me. I already know small blind is raising too many hands pre and the other two yahoos could have anything. Small blind calls and so does Magoo. Okay, no heart please. River offsuit 4. We all check. Magoo tables KQT all hearts… with a 4 dangler. Because that’s what Mister Magoo does – puts his chips in terribad and then stacks the pot in front of him.

7:11 PM: Magoo and His Airness have around $1k each now, so I reloaded for that much.

Players in this game complaining about how bad the $20/$40 LHE game is at Fortune – and that everybody knows everybody there. Whatever that means. What poker room doesn’t have regulars that know the other regulars? I’ve played enough at Fortune to know that the game can be pretty lame at times, but it’s not that bad. Certainly beatable. Then again, I guess I could see how “fun” players would be turned off. But what do you expect? The higher the stakes get, the more serious everyone is. Still, Fortune has plenty of “fun” players and the games can get really good there.

7:54 PM: First, a poker hand: someone opens and there are two callers, I call with Q765 double suited, a hand I should probably be folding. Flop is 664cc and His Airness leads out $70 and I’m the only caller. We are both over $1k deep at this point and he’s super bluffy so I don’t love raising here. Turn is 9c and he checks it over to me. I bet $130 and he snap calls. River is a queen, which basically gives me the nuts. I bet $200 and he snaps again and I have to wonder if I should have sized up.

Second, a baseball story: Radio Mike checks in from Cheney Stadium and asks if I can check the radio broadcast and make sure it’s playing online. I agree, as long as he works a “Dark Knight” into his play-by-play in the next inning.

They come back from commercial and he opens with a reference to last night’s massive rain delay: “A lot can change in one day: yesterday, lots of rain, dark night…” Gotta love it.

Also, he just mentioned that Shohei Ohtani hit his third homerun of the season tonight and said that Ohtani was “sandbagging” everyone in spring training. Spoken like a true poker player!

8:15 PM: Big connection alert!

There’s a raise to $20 and all the important people are in. I call with A4hh55. Flop is a beautiful Q63hh, giving us the nut flush draw and an open-ender. Everyone checks to me and I bet $80 into $120 and I’m quite surprised to get three callers. No worries: 8 of hearts on the turn and His Airness leads right out for $200. God bless him. Player in between folds and he only has $400 behind, so I make it $500, he calls and then check-calls the rest when the board pairs on the river and I’m still good.

Just like that, my -$500 start is now $1000 sugar and the right people are still in the game with decent stacks.

Forgot to mention that His Airness snap-reloaded for $1k.

9:28 PM: Nothing notable to report, other than His Airness busted and left. He is replaced by Hit&Run, whom has already felted his initial buy in, which means we are in no danger of him booking a quick win at the moment. I don’t think I’ve seen the turn since my last update.

10:38 PM: Discontinuing the blog for the night. I’ll post a wrap up on this one when I’m done but I just don’t think PLO cash makes for a very good live blog. It’s been almost 2.5 hours since my last notable hand. I doubt I’m playing super late, but there are still three names on the list for this game.

11:15 PM: A new hand!

Here’s a hand that illustrates how clueless I am when it comes to proper preflop play a) when the stacks are deep, b) a good player is in, and c) my hand will be face up, d) max bet/raise is $300 each time.

The good Muck reg opens under the gun and I’m next to act with AA72 double suited. Here’s how many times I’ve 3-bet today: 0. So I think flatting is my best play. This is a pretty good AA hand, but not super premium. I can make two nut flushes, but my cards are otherwise unconnected. I might as well just call, disguise my hand, and let the yahoos in behind me and spring to life when I flop well.

I flat. Next player makes it $50 and folds back to UTG and he makes it $165. At this point it’s worth noting that the preflop betting is capped – I cannot raise. I call the $165 and so does the other player. There is now $500 in the pot and max bet size is $300.

766 rainbow

The good Muck player leads $300 and we are still like $2k deep and there’s a player to act behind me, so I call. The other guy folds. This is a pretty good spot. His hand looks like a big pair, with good connectors – maybe even AA – and my range looks much larger and can have middle rundowns like 8765 double suited. I am not too worried about being beat here and I expect him to check-fold turn a lot and that’s exactly what happens.

Solid result but I can hardly say if I played it good or not.

Wrap Up:

Forgot to post this when I finished. I basically only played one more interesting pot the rest of the night and, much like every other big pot I played, it is questionable whether or not I should even be in the hand.

I limp in with KQJT all clubs. I think if this hand was a badugi, I would still play it, so the fact that it’s all one suit is pretty much the same thing, but slightly better because even though I have four clubs there is still some flush potential. But should I call a $35 raise in a 7-way pot with it? I’m less convinced that’s a good idea, but it does seem like it will be relatively easy to play after the flop. So with $245 in the pot we see a flop of K96 with two clubs. Well, I don’t see a way out of this one. The question is, how fast should I be playing this hand? Well, I have top pair, a gut shot wrap, and the second nut flush draw. One of the bright sides about having four clubs is that if someone does have the nut flush draw and decides to gamble, I’m blocking it pretty hard and I’m in great shape against someone that wants to do something stupid with two pair and I suspect I’m in okay shape against a set. I’ll check some of these matchups out in a bit. Anyways, it checks to me and I decide that playing my hand like it’s the best is the my optimal line and lead out for $200. The preflop raiser calls and a splashy, fun player makes it $500 to go with a little over $200 behind. Mister Magoo goes deep into the tank and I’m quite deep with him and he runs so pure I’m not sure I want him to get in there. He reluctantly folds and it folds back to me. I don’t necessarily want the PFR to hang around and I’m obviously willing to play for the splashy player’s stack, so I reraise to $800, the PFR folds and we decide to run it one time.
Turn card is a jack, giving me the nut straight, and the river is a ten, which drastically reduces my hand strength (any Qx hand ties me and AQ beats me now). Fortunately, I am up against a naked set of sixes and scoop this monster pot.

Just ran some simulations on this spot and it’s quite interesting. I can’t really imagine any way I can ever fold this after the flop, but heads up against the set, assuming he has no clubs in his hand, I’m the slightest of favorites. In fact, it’s so slight, it’s basically just a coin flip. Mister Magoo claimed to have the nut flush draw and if he had decided to tag along (which is typical of him – even facing $500 cold) then my winning chances drop all the way down to 26% (though still better than Magoo’s chances). Getting it in heads up here is clearly profitable, so I’m okay with my line, but it’s definitely nice to be on the right side of the end result.

All in all, I didn’t think I played amazing and most of the big pots I won were with hands I think I could have justified folding preflop. This session was a good example of why I drastically prefer limit hold’em to big bet games. In general, poker can be a boring game, with a slow pace, and playing solid winning poker requires that you fold tons and tons of hands and spend most of your time sitting out while everyone else gambles. In the big bet games – especially PLO – this is even more amplified. I go through some dry spells in LHE, for sure, but it seemed like I went two hours between every interesting hand I played last night and I think I even played looser than is recommended for my current talent level. I did watch the good player from Muckleshoot play a lot of hands. No one would dare classify me as a tight player (if they actually pay attention) in limit hold’em games and almost all the extra hands I play are entirely to exploit situations and increase my profits. I’m sure this is what the Muck player is doing in PLO, but I don’t think I’m good enough to play loose against multiple opponents with super wide ranges, especially since almost every pot is raised before the flop. But he seems to do it quite well and frequently ends up with some huge results. One day!

Final Result: +$2270

Pretty amazing result considering how card dead I felt. Wouldn’t have guess I’d end the first week of April up $5k after punting $1600 on the 1st, but that’s why you don’t sweat the bad days! It’s just one day.