Posts Tagged ‘LAPC’

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2020 LAPC Event #6: $600 H.O.R.S.E.

February 6, 2020

On Tuesday I showed up for this event only to discover that I had my days mixed up and the $600 Stud Hi tournament was that day. I was on the fence about that one when I headed down to LA, but I showed up that day to play a tournament so I hopped in.

I decided not to blog that one just to switch up my mojo and when I got off to such a blistering start that my tablemates couldn’t help but express their jealousy I thought maybe I was going to do a typical Dark Knight thing: crush a tournament I didn’t really plan to play.

Alas, it doesn’t matter much how you start, it’s all about how good you run/play when the limits are large. I ran pure for the first three levels but after that, not much good happened for me and I whimpered along to a 19th place finish – ten spots off the money and my second straight day of wasting 10+ hours to outlast nearly 80% of the field and still not really sniff a cash.

Yesterday, my wife and I decided to go to Universal Studios and it was amazingly empty so we didn’t have to wait in hardly any lines. Last time I was here, the Jurassic World ride had just opened and had a line with a three hour wait basically all day… so I didn’t bother going. Yesterday, we waited maybe two minutes after walking through the queue.

Some pics:

We capped our night with dinner at the Italian restaurant on the Universal City Walk and a viewing of Bad Boys For Life.

I dropped my wife off at the airport this morning and now it’s back to business. This is my last chance for redemption. I can’t play the Draw Mix tourney on Friday because it’s a 2-day event and I fly out early Saturday, so this is my last hurrah this trip.

20k starting stacks, 40 min levels

Let’s.

Go.

First Break

Card dead first three levels. I defended QJo in Hold’em and got the KT9 flop and a check-raise in on the turn during the first level and that’s the only cool thing that’s happened so far. I’ve played zero O8 hands, zero Razz hands, and zero Stud Hi hands so far.

18k coming back to 400/800 betting limits.

Second Break

Groan. I was up to about 28k before an ugly last couple of hands in Limit Hold’em before the break.

Hand #1: Guy opens, I 3-bet AQo, Frank Kassela caps from SB, BB calls it off, and four of us see a 952 flop. Frank bets and we all call. Turn is a jack and it checks around. River pairs the 9 and Frank gets called in one spot and his TT is good.

Hand #2: Very next hand, Ari Engel opens from lojack, I 3-bet AQo again, Frank caps button, and the three of us see KKx flop. It checks around. Turn is an ace, Ari leads, I call, and Frank overcalls. River is a blank and Ari still bets. I hate my hand. I think AQ is one of the worst hands Ari would value bet in this spot and I don’t think he’s ever bluffing here, so I figure I’m rarely scooping this pot. I think Frank is capable of checking back a king on the flop, but I’m guessing he’s usually betting, so I figure I have him beat. I’m getting almost 11 to 1 though, so I torch off the 1200, Frank folds AJ behind me and Ari tables the K8hh.

19k coming back to 800/1600 limits.

Third Break

I have crumbs. Tournaments are so weird. It’s pretty rare for me to string together multiple days in a row in cash games where I never have an extended upswing but in tournaments it can be like clockwork. I think I had a two hour period this whole series where I can say I ran well.

I’ve played almost 40 hours in tournaments the past 10 days.

The rest of the time I’ve lost most of the important hands I’ve played with a random pot that goes my way every few hours or so.

Blah.

More of the same these last three levels. I start with 74-3 in Razz and an opponent with a 9 up gets all her chips in. She makes a QT low. I can’t beat it.

I have 8bb in LHE when Ari raises from SB. I defend 64dd and we see a flop of 932dd. He bets, I raise, he calls. Turn is Ks and he check-calls. River is the Js and I have one big bet left. I decide to save it and check back. He’s never folding anything with showdown value. He tables… Q6o. I know he was calling but it’s still just sickening.

Then I have < two bigs left and call Ari’s raise with K9o. Three others tag along. Flop is A54 and it checks to a nit on the button and he bets. I text my friends that I’m out. Everyone else folds and he shows AJ but then the board runs out 9-9!

Quintuple!

Then I had a bad o8 orbit where I opened twice, bricked and folded.

3500 coming back to 300/1500/3000

Need things to go exceedingly well for me to get back in this thing and not have a BUSTED update in the next few minutes.

BUSTED

A fitting end to my series. I start with A5-4 in Razz with a 5 and 4 dead and all the deuces and treys live. Ari opens with his 5 up, I 3-bet and he calls. I catch a 3 on 4th and he gets a 7. I bet he calls. I pair the 3 on 5th and he gets a deuce. He leads and I’m all in.

His final hand is Q752x.

I can’t beat it.

My board runs out A5-433K-3.

And I’m out. And I’m done for this trip. I don’t fly out til Saturday so I’ll probably play cash tomorrow but I’m actually going to look into flights for tonight.

Get fucked, L.A.

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LAPC 2020 Event #4: $600 Omaha 8/B

February 3, 2020

And… we’re back. I played 40/80 cash all day on Saturday and bounced back from an early -$2k start to finish at +$2575 and get February off to a solid start.

Yesterday was the Super Bowl so I headed to the movie theater for entertainment and caught a couple of Best Picture nominees in Jojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari. I won’t post my thoughts on those movies before the Oscars so I’ll just say this: Jojo Rabbit is probably a top ten 2019 movie for me and Ford v Ferrari was better than I thought it was going to be – certainly in my top 20 and probably in my top 15.

This event started at noon and is actually a 2-day event, something I didn’t know before coming down here, and this info has thrown a wrench into my plans. I was going to play the $600 Draw Mix tourney on Friday but I fly out early Saturday so I can’t play that one now. I could change my flight to Sunday but I’d rather not travel on Oscar day.

20k starting stacks, 40m levels, blinds starting at 100/100.

Check back here for stack updates on breaks every couple hours or so.

First Break

Not a bad start considering some of the run outs I’ve had so far:

AQ63 vs A32 on Q6228

AJ42 vs A842 on AAK68

AA32 vs A73x on 86452

I did have one lucky one that went my way when I raised one limper with double suited A632 and then he donked into me on JT3ss. I had two players behind me and decided to raise to possibly clear out some duplicate backdoor lows and take a likely free card if I brick the turn against a passive player. And if everyone calls two bets, I’m fine wit that because I have the nut flush draw here – AND BOTTOM PAIR. The other two players do fold though and I check back the 5 turn. I think betting here could be fine since I’m not getting scooped on the river very often, but I know if I brick this guy isn’t folding so I might as well wait until I have the best hand to put more money in. I check back and the river is a 4 and he check-calls and I scoop.

25.4k

The most chips I’ve had in three tournaments so far is 133% of the starting stack so I have a chance at a peak series stack on the next pot I win. 😂

Pretty sad, but you gotta start somewhere.

Second Break

Card dead this stretch but I did reach a series peak stack of 145% (29k) but I’ve dwindled back down after getting scooped on the first hand back from break. I had a couple of interesting hands but I don’t have time to talk about them.

20.5k

Third Break

Well, I haven’t made it this far yet, so that’s something. But variance is not being kind to me and I can’t take advantage of the punts. Dude calls my 3-bet cold with KK93 and then calls down on T824J in a 3-way pot when I have AQT3 double suited. A different guy opens button when I have AA52 in the big and gets the KQ86T runout with QJ76 and scoops me. Blah.

I’m ready for my first rush of this series… right… now.

15.5k coming back to 1000/1500 blinds.

91 entrants. 12 cash. 56 left and I think we play to the money today.

Fourth Break

Momentum!

Found a nice scooper with AK64 on AK32Q and peaked at around 43k but lost a couple non-showdown hands before the break.

30.5k coming back to blinds of 1500/2500 with 38 players left.

Fifth Break

No justice in poker. I might still be in this thing but I haven’t run even remotely decent.

I got up over 45k when I had AK82hh on 962hhJTh board in a 5-way limped pot, but I was short so I wasn’t pushing the action and no one called my river bet.

And then pain.

First, I limp along with J542 double suited on the button and raise a bet from the cutoff on T65ss. I’m just trying to clean up outs by getting this heads up if I can. Everyone else folds and he just calls. Mission accomplished. Turn is a 3 and he donks into me. Kind of strange but it seems like he should have at least 42 here also, so I just call. River is a beautiful ace and he still leads. I go into a long enough tank that this dude probably thinks he’s getting the whole pot no matter what I have and I just think he has to have 42 here also so I just call to prevent myself from losing extra chips when I’m in a worst case scenario. He turns his cards over and emphasizes the 42 in his hand. I’m showing my 42 also and the dealer is trying to figure things out and my opponent does that thing where they get all annoyed and say, “it’s a chop,” so it’s up to me to mention that this fucking guy has a 7 in his hand and I end up getting quartered.

Then I get quartered again with AK72hh on 766hh59 against AQ92. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Then I get scooped when I have AT82 vs an all in opponent (4bb) holding AQ32 on AT8JK.

I went all the way down to 15.5k but I got some mercy folds with AAKTdd when two players called pre and I put my tourney life on the line on a 773dd flop. Definitely happy to win that one uncontested.

25k coming back to 2000/4000 blinds and 28 players remain.

BUSTED

Today couldn’t have been more agonizing. I would have rather busted out six hours ago. I ran like shit all day and won just enough pots to keep me alive but almost every hand I played had a comically horrible outcome.

On the hand that crippled me, the cut opens and I defend with AK74. Flop is AT3 and I check-call a bet. Turn is a king and I donk out and he calls. River pairs the ten and I bet and he raises. I go into about a two minute tank but I know I’m beat here because he’s never bluffing so I’m mostly just cursing my unending brutal bad luck. Part of me just wants to toss my last two bigs in and make the call but that’s just a give up, so I finally fold. He didn’t show but after we redrew for finally three tables, he told me he had AT which is exactly what I thought he had. So fucking sick.

I fold to my big blind and put my last chips in vs utg raise without looking. I turn over KQJ9 which isn’t bad and I even make trip jacks but he has AJ22 and I busted out in 21st, nine spots off a cash, despite running like dog shit all day long.

Sigh.

HORSE tomorrow.

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LAPC Event #3: $400 T.O.E. (Stack Updates)

January 31, 2020

What’s T.O.E.? Well, it’s 2-7 Triple Draw, Omaha Eight or Better and Stud Eight or Better.

The rest of the details are the same as the first two tourneys: 15k start, 30 min levels, no re-entry, etc.

I slept miserably last night and woke up later than usual so we have an ETA if roughy 2 PM right now so we are going to miss the first two levels. That’s pretty sad because I expect to have a pretty large edge in 2-7. If the field is reasonably sizable I’d imagine only a handful of people are playing 2-7 on any regular basis. I play it all the time and I’ve had to learn the hard way how easy (and costly) it is to make mistakes in this game. If you don’t play it regularly and never study it, chances are you are going to SUCK. Needless to say, it would be ideal to play as many hands of 2-7 when this event is at its softest and loosest.

But here we are.

Ducky has departed for SeaTac and Fanboy said something about “buying” Palm Springs, so this one is just going to be Joker and myself.

I feel like I should point out that my group is currently a combined 0-8 in tournaments so far this trip.

I went +$421 in the Mix at The Bike on Wednesday night and +$1617 in the Commerce Mix last night, so apparently I am actually capable of stringing some winning hands together. Check back here for stack updates every break and hopefully one of us can finally do something interesting today!

First Break

Well, I only got half an hour of play in before the first break and in typical tournament fashion I had almost zero playable spots. We actually started with 2-7 Triple Draw and I folded 6 of 6 hands, including giving the big blind a walk twice when I was in the small blind. That was kind of painful, but I’m not going to go out of my way to get involved with weak holdings. That’s what they do!

I won a small pot with KJ95 double suited when I opened from the button and flopped top two, but that’s all I have to report so far.

Dark Knight 14.6k

Joker 13k

Second Break

Holy hell. I have all the injustice tilt. I am not allowed to win pots in tournaments right now. I’ve won three hands today but only one of any significance and, honestly, it was basically a punt on my part. I’ll say this much: there were raises on two streets and my hand at showdown was J7643 in 2-7. Super gross.

Here’s another absolutely sick 2-7 hand: I open with 8652 and guy behind me 3-bets, and I 4-bet. I draw one and he says, “whoops” and draws two. I bet dark and he calls. I draw one and… he pats?! Wtf. I brick and check and… he checks back?! Good God, what kind of garbage am I about to lose to? I make a J8 on the third draw and part of me thinks maybe? He checks back and shows T98xx.

I can’t even fathom it. This is why I was excited about 2-7 today… but I am super crippled. I got all in on the last hand before break drawing to three scoop outs with a nut low draw. I made the low, so I survived but both of my opponents had A4 for the same low so I only got 1/6 of the pot.

Dark Knight 1800

Joker 18.8k

I have three big blinds now so this could be quick for me.

Dark Knight BUSTED

What a joke this is. I double up utg on the last hand of Omaha 8 and then we move on to Stud 8.

I’m bring in with A2-5 and some ding dong opens with K3-3 and we eventually get all my chips in on 5th and going into 7th I have A2-5456 vs K3-3K2x (edit: he had K3-3J2x on 6th and rivered a 2) and I brick 7th and he catches two pair. No double.

Then I lose a smallish pot where I give up on 5th and then former LAPC co-TD Justin Hammer opens with a 7 up in front of me. I have 95-A with two diamonds and only three big blinds so I decide to go with it and we get all in on 4th and he shows 97-79 and all I have at showdown is a pair of 5s.

So I’m out. And I’m pretty bitter about it. I haven’t even been close to being in one of these things yet.

Joker still in with a starting stack. I’ll keep his progress updated here. I’m going to bang my head against a wall for about an hour before I decide what cash games I’m going to play tonight.

My next tournament isn’t until Monday so I won’t have any new posts until then.

🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

Update:

Joker BUSTED

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2020 LAPC Event #2: $400 H.O.R.S.E.(Stack Updates)

January 30, 2020

Same details as yesterday. Just Joker and me in this one. Radio Mike doesn’t play mix and, after showing up three hours late and busting in 15 minutes, Ducky claims that “tournaments are boring.” So… he’s sitting this one out. However, FanBoy has arrived in LA and says he’s “coming for [me].” So I guess we have three sweats today.

We took our time getting ready and our ETA is about 1:30, so we are looking to sit down sometime just after the start of level 2… which is actually the same structure as level 1.

First Break

A decent start so far. I’ve won some small pots and got half a big multi-way Stud 8 pot with a queen high flush.

Dark Knight 20k

FanBoy 18k

Joker 12k

Update

Ducky couldn’t handle my ribbing and has decided to torch another $400 by registering this tournament.

Second Break

Not a good stretch for me. I had some good Razz starters that turned to dust and basically played no other hands. I’m back to starting stack.

Dark Knight 14.2k

Ducky 17k

Joker 14k

Fanboy 15k

Third Break

Still card dead. I had a dumb Stud 8 hand where I’m drawing to a better low than my opponent and make 8s and 4s instead but get scooped by a very disguised three of a kind.

I also had KQdd in Limit Hold’em when I had nine bigs and UTG raised and UTG+1 3-bet… I was next to act and decided to pitch it. It ended up getting capped 3-ways and then this was the board on the turn:

One of the guys in the pot had TT with a diamond so I didn’t fold a Royal Flush but the 4d on the river would have more than tripled me up…. because if I go with the hand, I’m capping it and I’m never folding.

Instead, I’m taking less than 8 bigs to the next level.

Dark Knight 8k

Fanboy 22k

Ducky 8k

Joker 9k

BUSTED

Poker tournaments are so brutal sometimes. I get moved to a new table where I’m the shortest stack and they greet me with three straight bring ins when we are playing Razz and then I finally get a playable hand holding 65-7 but there are two 8s, two aces, and two deuces dead. One of the 8s opens and Barbara Enright raises with a deuce up. I’m next to act with an ace still behind me. Sigh. I’m starting rough and half the outs I have to the best hands I can make are already accounted for. I feel like that makes this a fold but I honestly don’t know. I had like 5-6 bigs at this point. I ended up mucking.

Then I anted all the way down to 3500 (2.33 bigs) and finally had half the table fold to me in Stud holding a AT-K. I decided to go with this one and someone with a 9 up put me all in after thinking about it for a while. He had K9-9 and I caught a bunch of totally worthless cards and busted out.

Ducky busted a little bit before me and Fanboy was on fumes when I left the room. No idea what Joker has but he’s probably not in great shape either.

We all suck.

I’ll post updates on how Joker and Fanboy are doing.

Update

Joker BUSTED

Update

Looks like Joker and I are starting a 20/40 Mix with James Woods, Ron Ware, and Miami John

Update

Fanboy BUSTED

Confirmed we all do suck. Fanboy in 60/120 LHE now, Radio Mike and Ducky in 20/40 LHE, and Joker and I still in 20/40 Mix.

$400 T.O.E. tomorrow.

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2020 LAPC: $400 Limit Hold’em Tournament

January 29, 2020

I started my trip off with a -$464 in some 20/40 LHE last night. It was one of those instances where I didn’t really want to play and then I go play anyway and book a loss and wonder why I do this to myself. The loss isn’t big, or even noteworthy, it’s the nit listening to myself that bothers me.

I woke up at 8am and spent the next 8+ hours in travel mode. We were talking about putting in a session around 5:30 PM and the 12 mile commute to The Bike was a solid 45 minutes or so and it wasn’t looking like I would get in a game until 6:30ish and I didn’t really want to play past midnight… so what was I doing? I thought they might get their 25/50 mix game off the ground and that’s what ultimately pushed me out the door. But that never happened. And for most of the time I spent playing 20, the games were pretty blah. Of course, it didn’t help much having my friends Radio Mike and Ducky at my tables most of the time.

But then I got moved to the third table – the main game – and suddenly the game looked pretty ripe. I saw six different players at the table employing limping into their strategy and some of them were showing up with some LOL hands.

My favorite hand of the night: two players limp in and I check my option with 98dd. The flop is A83 with two clubs. I bet and the second limper calls. The turn is a 6 and it goes bet-call again. The river is a 4 and I don’t see much value here, so I check it over to him and he checks back. I table my hand. The dealer pulls my cards in and shows my 5-card hand and my opponent stares at it for a solid 10+ seconds. I’m not sure what all the theatrics are for in this micro pot but it seems pretty obvious that my hand is good and then he confirms this by flipping over an 8 so I guess he’s just slow folding because he’s annoyed that I have him outkicked here? Another 5-8 seconds go by before he flips over a ten and wins the pot. I have no history with this player so I don’t know wtf is going on here but wow.

Unfortunately, I was too tired and it was approaching midnight so I didn’t get a chance to play much in what looked to be a juicy game. I didn’t want to push myself on my first day here and start my first tourney wishing I had gotten more sleep.

The Limit Hold’em tourney starts in about an hour. Ducky got buried last night and played until the early morning hours trying to get even (and booked a $500 win!) so he will not be joining Radio Mike, Joker, and myself for this $400 LHE event – at least not for the start of the tourney. I think he tumbled in around 9am and late reg closes around 4, so I’ll be pretty surprised to see him sign up today.

Check back here for stack updates for all three of us and maybe some notable hands if I feel like sharing and have the time.

Details: 8-handed play, 15k starting stacks, blinds starting at 100/100, 30 minute levels

My table is 6-handed right now and I don’t recognize anyone.

First Break: Rough start for me. I lost a third of my stack before winning a pot, whiffing a 3-bet pot with AQss on 962ss, whiffing a 4-bet 3-way pot with KTdd on JJ9dd, and the grossest one: QQ vs 77 in a 4-bet 4-way pot on T5347.

I finally got one when I defended K8o 3-ways and got the K84sss flop and got a check-raise in on the turn and my hand was still good on the 7-7 runout vs Kx. Then I defend 65o 3-ways, donked the 642 flop, bet the 9 turn and picked off a bluff on the King river vs 55.

I’m coming back to 13.4k and blinds of 200/300.

Joker 10k

Radio Mike 14.6k

Ducky 😴😴😴

Second Break: I just won my first pot… outside of a big blind defense. That means I’m losing with all my best hands… including, over the last 90 minutes, JJ vs 99 on 997 in a 4-bet 3-way pot (I got off the hook for 1.5 big bets post on that one though) and AT vs 65o on T5546.

I’m pretty frustrated and I think it has cost me some bets. For instance, on that AT vs 65 hand, I had opened preflop and my opponent called a raise from the small blind, so while he probably shouldn’t show up with trips or an overpair here very often, the fact that he is check-raising me means he has it. At least this guy does. He’s not bluffing here. So why do I call down then?

Currently collecting myself on break with a reminder to not waste bets when I’m obviously toast.

I’m coming back to 10k with blinds going up to 300/600. Time for some run good!

Dark Knight 10k

Radio Mike 24k

Joker 24k

Ducky… 15k! Yup he made it in.

BUSTED

First hand back, I open AT on the button and lose half my chips to the small blind’s KT when he makes two pair.

Then I get my last four bigs in 4-ways with A8dd and get a dreamy looking AK4dd flop, but the turn is a king and two of my opponents have one of those cards and show the unsurprising bad news when the river bricks me.

Not sure what I’m going to do now. I’ll probably wait to hop in a cash game until after my wife gets off work and we talk, but I will post stack updates for all three of my friends that outlasted me. 😂

Update:

Ducky BUSTED

Joker BUSTED

Radio Mike avg stack with 48 left

Ducky and I are playing some 20/40 Mix at Bike and I have lost every hand I’ve played so far.

Update: Radio Mike busted in 24th, nine spots of the money. We all suck.

$400 HORSE tomorrow.

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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

h1

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

February 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

Okay, fine. I’ll be there.

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

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

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

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

Here’s the answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But first, let me tell you about yesterday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sick swings in this game.

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

My final score? +$5035 in 11.5 hours!

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

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

Feels good man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sims coming…

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

First Break: 16.9k

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

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

Second Break: 6800

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have about 25% of the average stack so…

Let’s run it up?

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

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

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

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

AA.

Goddammit.

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

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

Sigh.

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

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

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

Bricking is so fun!

h1

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

January 31, 2019

12.5k to start with 100/200 betting limits.

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

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

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

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

The turn was a 9 and the button called again.

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

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

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

Oh. Yeah. He had QT for a straight.

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

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

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

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

🤯

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

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

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

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

Momentum! One time please!

First Break: 9.7k

Second Break: 19.8k

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Third Break: 18.8k

Betting limits will be 1200/2400 after the break.

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

$11.8k up top for 1st place.

BUSTED

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

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

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

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

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

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

I got called in two spots.

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

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

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

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

Razz is impossible. Poker is hard.

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

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

For studying purposes:

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

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

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

Ah well.

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

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

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

My mind is honestly blown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She tables QQ!

Sometimes you feel like you won even when you lost.

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

h1

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.

h1

LAPC Schedule @ Commerce and some PLO hands

January 16, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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