Posts Tagged ‘limit hold em’

h1

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

November 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I highly recommend checking his blog out:

Daniel’s Poker Shenanigans

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

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

Edit: button capped the flop

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

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

Wow! What an escape!

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

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

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

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

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

What?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sick!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s pretty frustrating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This time we both check.

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

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

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

6:41 PM – JOKER TAKES A WALK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We didn’t see him again for 20 minutes.

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

Yikes. No wonder he’s pissed.

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

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

Eek!

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

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

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

Come on.

8:58 PM – NICKNAME CHANGE ALERT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will post a final score when I cash out.

2:35 AM – Final Score: +$1400

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

h1

My Nightmare Week of Poker

October 22, 2018

“And it just continues…”

That’s a quote from Dave Niehaus, long time radio guy for the Seattle Mariners, during their epic run to the playoffs in 1995.

I swear every time I lose a hand I can hear Niehaus saying that in my head. But it doesn’t have the same good vibes. Not even close.

I’ll dig a little deeper into what’s going on later, but I have already done some research to see when the last time I had four straight losing sessions of -$450 or worse and I had to go all the way back to January when I was at Commerce and the negative variance drove me away from poker to a day at Disneyland by myself instead.

So yeah, it’s once or twice a year level downswing going on.

I know I had a miserable WSOP this year, but tournaments are tournaments – you are going to go through insane cold stretches. Cash games are much more consistent. Plus I did well in the cash games while I was in Vegas and that helped ease the pain.

I decided to take a break from live blogging in the hopes that I could turn things around by increasing my focus rather than constantly writing between hands. I took notes though so I could post some of the more interesting and critical pots.

Thursday I went -$82 in 4/8 LHE while waiting for PLO to start.

We started PLO short-handed so this first hand takes place 6-handed.

Aggro player opens to 10, I call from the cutoff with KJhh55 and 3 of us go to the flop.

I flat his 20 lead on the AT5 with two clubs flop. The PFR is overly aggressive so he isn’t heavily waited towards sets here, but I don’t want to play a massive pot with bottom set. If we end up getting a bunch of chips in, it will basically never be a very good thing for me. So I call.

Turn is an offsuit 7 and now he bets $25 into $70. That’s way too weak not to raise. I make it $80 to go which is pretty small also but I’m sort of gambling here, hoping to keep him in the pot and planning to navigate the river well. He calls.

No need to worry about tough decisions on the river because a queen gives me the nuts. He check-calls $150 pretty quickly. I have to imagine my set was good but I’m very curious about what he had here. Maybe AQxx?

Someone makes it $15 and I call from the small blind with AKQT double suited. It’s a hand I can 3-bet with, but my recent studying argues that you should prefer to keep the pot multi-way before the flop, so while I could make a small raise here and probably still get multiple calls, flatting here guarantees everyone will call and reveals almost nothing about my hand strength, so I just call and we do see the flop multi-way.

The flop is K54 with two diamonds, so I have top pair with the nut flush draw and three good kickers. Sets on this board are unlikely; I’m blocking KK and 55 and 44 shouldn’t be in many hand combos, although some of this guys are absurdly loose. I don’t mind playing a big pot against straight draws or kings up here. I lead out $35 and I’m willing to play for my whole stack here, I think. Crypt Keeper and the worst player at the table call.

Turn is a jack, so now I have top pair and a MASSIVE draw: a broadway wrap and the nut flush draw. I bet $150 and Crypt Keeper makes it $450. Other dude folds and I started the turn with just over $700 and I’m never folding, so I stuff it in there.

He immediately hates it. How could he? Let’s examine this situation: there is around $1325 in the pot and it costs him $261 more to call. He’s getting over 5 to 1 to call with a hand he thought was worth raising the turn. He only needs to win about 17% of the time to break even here.

So obviously he folds. What a gift. Can you even imagine what kind of hand he would take this line with? I haven’t run any sims but I doubt there’s a hand he could possibly do this with that doesn’t have at least 17% against my exact hand.

Just crazy.

I call $15 with 6544 double suited (so there are some hands that produce small sets) and it goes multi-way to K84 with two clubs. There are a couple players that have position on me, so I check and it checks around.

The turn is an ace and a tight player (that wasn’t the PFR) bets $55. I call and so does Crypt Keeper.

River is a 3 and they both check to me. The flush draw missed and the only straight is 52, so a bet feels pretty mandatory. It’s hard to imagine either of them playing a bigger set this way, but I’ve seen the player that bet the turn make some ridiculously tight river checks, so I do consider knuckling back… but I can’t do it. I bet $100, TCK folds, and the nit calls with KK.

Sigh.

Joker makes it $20 after at least one limper and I call on the button with AQ86 with clubs.

I believe five of us see the T42 with two clubs and a spade flop. I have a naked nut flush draw here, which isn’t much of a hand, but when they all check to me on the button, I bet $80 because it seems unlikely I won’t be able to barrel my way to victory here with this much weakness in front of me. I’m quite surprised to see Joker call. You’d think as the PFR if he had any semblance of a hand he’d probably bet the flop and if he has a draw I know it can’t be much of one. Another player also calls.

The turn is the 7 of spades, so now I have a double gutter to go with my flush draw. It’s a pretty good card because it gives me extra equity, but it does open up a spade draw. This time I bet $300 when they both check to me. My line makes sense. If I had a good made hand here I would want to charge the max to draw out on me. Joker calls again.

The river is the 3 of spades, leaving me with ace high. I’m not sure what I would do here if Joker checked it – the backdoor flush and some straights got there – but he decided to lead out for the $300 max. It’s a decent spot to bluff in. How much do I like a set of tens now? Not much. But it doesn’t matter because I have nothing, so I just fold rather than torch $600 trying a potential rebluff.

Those are the only hands I thought were worthy of sharing, but I was basically ice cold all night long. Even with the $450 gift from The Crypt Keeper I finished -$498 after nearly nine hours of play.

Friday I was hoping to show up to Palace around 4 and get the 15/30 game off the ground. I ended up getting there around 5 and 15 minutes later I was pulled out of an 8/16 seat because Flea agreed to play 3-handed with Radio Mike and me to help get the 15 game off the ground and hope seats would eventually fill up. There were probably four or five other guys that play 15/30 in the building but none of them like to play short-handed. They’d rather sit in small games than play short-handed for 15 minutes so we can get a bigger game going. It’s honestly pathetic.

Well, Flea did play with us. For about 30 minutes. I managed a small profit, but Radio Mike was stuck $600 and Flea had basically all of it. So he smacked us for +$600 and then said he wanted to take a break. He disappeared for about 15 minutes and then sat back down and acted like we were all waiting for more people to sit down before we started playing again. No, motherfucker, let’s go. I’m not going to lie. I started lighting him up, saying how I gave up my seat in 8/16 because he said he wanted to play 15/30 with us and now I’m sitting there with my thumb up my ass sixth up on the list instead of playing poker. I was pissed. More so for Radio Mike. If I was the one stuck $600 and he abruptly quit on me like that… man… I can handle bad beats, horrible variance, people being idiots extremely well – at least externally – but stuff like this I cannot abide. It’s a total chickenshit dickhead move. Just when Flea was starting to seem like he might not be a total scumbag, he pulls this move.

So since we are sitting there and not playing and Palace only has one open table left, The Man brings over a bunch of a blue chips and asks if he can start an 8/16 game. I’m fine with it because we obviously aren’t going to play red chips and no one was filling seats. I just want to play poker. But as soon as Radio Mike and I agree to the 8/16 game, Flea starts saying he wants to keep playing 15/30 and acts like Radio Mike is the reason we aren’t playing anymore.

Then he says, “fine, I’ll just play Mike (that’s my name) heads up.”

Yeah fucking right buddy. Sure you will.

So that 8/16 game got off the ground and I got absolutely pummeled to the tune of -$600 before switching tables twice and making a comeback. The Leak and I had something come up and ended up leaving after only four hours and I somehow managed to finish at -$12 which felt like a miracle and ended my stretch of $450+ losses.

When you consider -$12 as a turnaround, you know things have been going bad.

Saturday my motivation was seriously lacking. My plan is to alternate between playing 20/40 O8 at Muckleshoot and 20/40 LHE at Fortune on Saturdays and this past weekend it was time for a Muckleshoot appearance. However, as late as 2 PM there was no one on the list and only a couple players on the list just after 3, so I took the easy route – like I do way too often – and went to Palace in the hopes of playing in the 1/3 no limit hold’em game.

What I didn’t know was that the game started at 5 PM. I thought as soon as the list got long enough they fired off, so when I got there at 3:15 PM I was informed that it would be almost two hours before that happened. Ugh. So I ended up playing 4/8 for almost two hours. Gross. I won exactly $1.

Here are some of the notable hands from my NL session:

Lady opens to $20 and another player flats. I have QQ on the button. I don’t know any of these players well enough to know their tendencies, so I can’t think of many good reasons not to reraise with QQ here. I make it $75 to go and I will not be folding to jams and it would have to take some serious evidence for me to fold after the flop. They both end up calling. I started the hand with less than $300 and they both had less than me.

Flop is 872 with two diamonds and they both check. There is around $225 in the pot and I have $190 left, so a jam is reasonable here. I’m not sure it’s the most profitable line. I actually can’t make any reasonable bet on the flop without making the turn extremely awkward, so I size very small at $50 hoping to get some action and taking my chances that I might get outdrawn. The lady check-raises to $100 and the other player calls. Woah. Wasn’t expecting that. But as I said earlier, I’m never folding, so now I have a clear jam spot and ship all $190 in and they both call!

The turn is a diamond (I have the queen of diamonds) and the river is a queen, so I end up with top set. The lady turns over KK and the other guy mucks, but eventually claims he had AA. He never showed his hand to anyone, so who knows. Everyone else at the table seemed to take his word for it, but I find it very hard to believe – especially after his opponents table KK and QQ. Most people are going to show their AA when they get cracked at these stakes, but even more so when KK and QQ are both out in the same hand. Mark me up as a nonbeliever.

This hand caused quite a stir at the table, with some of the players acting like I just successfully landed on the moon by winning this pot and the lady looking at me like I’m the biggest idiot she’s ever laid eyes on. Meanwhile, I’m sitting there wondering if I’m the only one that’s ever played poker before. What am I supposed to do with QQ on an 872 after getting called in two spots pre with less than a pot-sized bet left after the flop? It’s about as standard as standard gets.

Don’t worry, folks! Punts incoming.

It was basically all downhill for me from there. I lost almost every pot I got any resistance in and I doubled barreled with QJ after checking back the flop as the PRF on the 965T2 board. I bet a little less than pot on the river so it stung a bit when I got called by JT.

And just as they were starting a 15/30 game, this hand came up:

I open to $10 with A2hh and the player on my left makes it $20 and everyone else folds. I suppose I could play chicken here and repop it but I’m happy to play a flop for such a good price.

The flop is K32 with one heart. I check and he bets $25. I have enough that I can’t really fold here, but I don’t think my hand plays very well as a check-call. I have bottom pair and every card that isn’t an ace or doesn’t pair the board is going to be an overcard to my hand. I think this is a good hand to bluff with, especially on this board. I have found that attacking king high, disconnected boards is a good strategy in no limit hold’em. Think about what hands he can 3-bet with pre that are happy to call a check-raise on this board. AA, KK, and AK are the top ones. I suppose he can have some KQ and maybe KJ in there. Even hands as strong as QQ are going to have a hard time calling. I think that’s a pretty narrow range of hands that are happy to continue. Meanwhile, I’ve shown that I’m capable of having hands like K2 suited here. I make it $80 to go and he does end up calling.

I think that weights him towards a pair of kings so I’m planning to give up on the turn when I don’t improve or pick up outs. The turn is the 4 of hearts, giving me a pair and a straight flush draw. The pot has just under $200 in it now and his stack is slightly bigger than that. I put him all in. I think I’m going to get a lot of folds here, maybe even from hands as good as AK, but even when I do get called, I’m going to win the pot around 25% of the time by making two pair or better. He ends up tanking forever and I really think he’s going to end up folding, but he finally calls it off with KQ and the river pairs the 4, so I end up turning an early +$500 start into a -$349 finish.

The 15/30 game was AMAZING. There were no less than four players having a competition to see who could torch off their chips the fastest and in the most hilarious fashion. It was a total zoo. I won a large pot with KQ on a QJTccXXc runout where I had four opponents on the river and somehow still had the best hand after the flush got there and I won another decent one where I rivered a straight with AK. The rest of my time in this game was pure torture. I loosened up a little in some spots to play pots in position with the spewers, but for the most part my starting hand selection was pretty rigid and basically every time I played a pot I flopped absolutely nothing. When I flopped something as good as a gutshot it felt like I had a set. Not really, but I was just excited to have some piece of the board. I kept getting quality big ace hands (AJ+, ATs+) and all they did was cost me chips. I’d put in four bets before the flop, pay one or two bets to see the turn in a bloated pot when I flopped nothing, and just fold, fold fold folfdlfa=ffold fol! It was brutal.

Also, this happened:

Someone sent me that video and I wish they had let roll a little longer because I was seconds away from saying, “uh, I’m not leaving.” Like I’m going to leave $2500+ in an abandoned poker room because someone burnt some toast. Pffffft.

This hand pretty much defines my week:

I open with A7dd, there’s a call, Joker 3-bets, spewer caps on the button and we all call.

Flop is 743 with two spades and one heart. It checks to the button, I raise, one fold, Joker calls two cold, and the button calls.

Turn is the 9 of hearts. I bet and they both call.

River is the 7 of hearts. I bet, Joker almost looks like he’s going to raise, but ends up calling and the other guy folds.

I roll my hand and he rolls the AQ of hearts. I don’t really understand the flat call on the river and when he does call, it makes me think my hand is good, so it felt like a mini-slow roll. It’s pretty obvious the button doesn’t have anything so there’s no reason to go for an overcall. While I’m capable of showing up with sets of 4s and 3s here, I think rivering the nut flush still warrants a raise in this spot. Anyways, it’s pretty sick to flop a 7, make him call two bets cold on the flop, hit another 7, and still find a way to lose to AQ. But that’s my gift lately.

I finished that 15/30 session at -$674, which put my total losses for the day over $1000.

So this is what my last 8 days look like now:

10/12 -$790
10/13 -$1440
10/14 OFF
10/15 OFF
10/16 OFF
10/17 -$449
10/18 -$580
10/19 -$12
10/20 -$1022

-$4293 over an 8 day stretch. I’m not 100% positive about this, but I think that’s my worst week of poker ever, as far as cash games go.

I’ve been studiously tracking my results since June of 2011 and even though I had a day job until fall of 2016, I’ve basically played full-time hours for 7.5 years now. The worst month I’ve ever had was -$4219 in August of last year. I’ve only eclipsed -$2000 one other time. So that kind of puts this past week in perspective. This last week was worse than the worst month I’ve ever had. That is pretty sick.

This is what October cash games look like:

I had a +$2k PLO session earlier this month and I took second in that tournament on Global last Tuesday, so it hasn’t been all bad. I currently sit at -$1100 for the month so I’m not in serious jeopardy of challenging my all-time worst result.

Also, when I go through stretches like this, it’s important to remind myself of the bigger picture. Here’s what that looks like:

This brutal stretch is just a little blip on the radar of the poker life.

I will be headed to Lincoln City, Oregon tomorrow though and I’ll be playing in about $1500 worth of buy ins, so I have a chance to save the month of October or keep piling up the negative results.

h1

$20/$40 Limit Hold’em @ Fortune (Live Blog) and the Best Night of Radio Mike’s LIFE

October 13, 2018

I will be playing some 20/40 limit Hold’em at Fortune tonight, but first I’m sitting on the sidelines so I can recap the last couple of nights.

On Thursday, I stayed home to play the LHE events in the Eagle Cup on Global Poker.

It was a nightmare session. My plan was to play the three Eagle Cup events (with $11, $33, and $55 buy ins), the nightly $5 no limit rebuy, a 6-max PLO rebuy, and the dinky nightly $11 LHE.

First off, in the $5 rebuy, I got in 8 bullets, which is somewhere near my all-time record for that event. I think I may have been in 9 bullets previously but I’m positive I’ve never been in 10. My strategy during the rebuy period is to go all in preflop with any reasonable hand until I double up at least once and if that doesn’t happen as the rebuy period nears its end, I start jamming super light and sometimes it gets pretty ugly.

I didn’t have much of a stack after adding on after the rebuy period closed and in the first orbit after the break, my KK got outflopped by a big blind defend with 97 and that was GG for me.

In the $11 Eagle Cup I busted out without ever winning a hand. I actually ran pretty good, flopping extremely well, but I couldn’t fade a river. Not once. The draws got there… every. single. time.

I was crushing in both the $33 and the $55, sitting on a top 10 stack for most of both tournaments. I can’t remember what happened in the $55, but as we were approaching the bubble of the $33, a player with about 7bb opened from the lojack, the cutoff called, I 3-bet AJ of clubs on the button and they both called.

The flop was QT7 with two clubs – about as good as I could ask for without flopping a made hand. It checks to me, I bet and the shorty check-raises me and I get him all in for a little less than 4bb on the flop. He has K7o. It holds.

What.

With 28 players left and 27 making the money, the same player opened from the lojack again and I 3-bet with JTcc on the button.

We went heads up to a flop of JJ2 with two spades and he check-raised me again. I flatted the flop to raise the Kd turn and he bet-called.

The river was the 4s and he leads right out. I have 1.25 big bets left so if I raise and he has me beat, I eliminate myself in 28th place. So I call and he has the AQss.

Fortunately, I folded my way to the money with less than half a big blind. I ended up quadrupling up with T9o under the gun before busting in 22nd with the same hand from my big blind.

Meanwhile the dude that walked on water against me in those two critical pots went on to finish in 2nd. Of course!

I can’t remember any brutal connections in the $55, but I fizzled out after the bubble burst and finished in 17th place for $100. Yippee.

Even with the two cashes in the two biggest events I played, I still booked a small loss for the night.

Last night we got the 15/30 going around 6:45 PM and the most notable thing about that session was this:

Radio Mike had the best night of his life. Not just in poker, but best night of his entire life. Period. He searched through his mental Rolodex and said he couldn’t think of a single day in his life that made him happier. Not his first wedding night. Not his second wedding night. Not the day he opened his acceptance envelope to the University of California. Not the times he filled in for Rick Rizz to call some Seattle Mariner games.

This is it. This is the pinnacle. He managed this personal best 15/30 win even after running KK into QQ on a KQQ4J board. I went to grab him some empty racks after that hand and he was like, “NO. I can do this.”

Congrats buddy.

Meanwhile, I have nothing interesting to say about my session. I was mostly floating around even for many hours before the wheels just fell off completely.

It did make me think as I was driving to Fortune today. What adjustments should one make when you are running atrociously? Basically what I’m thinking of is when I’m getting a normal or above average distribution of good hands before the flop and raising a lot of pots, but never connecting with the board and almost always having multiple opponents to deal with.

Do you start raising less hands? Do you play less exploitively? Do you start checking your entire range on the flop since you never have a hand?

I do not think it is correct to stop raising hands I would otherwise always raise. It is gross… to be consistently aggressive before the flop and feel like you never have something you can bet after it, but playing passively isn’t making a proper adjustment, it is simply playing poorly.

I do think it’s okay to play less exploitively when your credibility is shot and your image is horrible. When you are playing exploitively, you are playing a wider range and you need to get folds more often than when you are only playing a tight-solid range. But when it seems like you are spewing chips left and right, you aren’t going to get those folds and opponents will be more emboldened than usual to make plays at you.

Anyways, that’s what I was thinking about last night as I was getting smashed on and again as I was driving out here. I lost about $800 overall last night.

I’ve been in this 20/40 for an hour now and lots of interesting things have happened: I’ve already established myself as a maniac and as the table alpha and put someone on tilt after we played this hand:

I have the small on the button and there are two big blinds. We are short-handed so when under the gun raises here it’s similar to a hijack open, except there is more dead money than usual and his range should be even wider. So when I look down at A8hh on the button it looks like a clear 3-bet to me and we go heads up to the flop.

It is 973 with one heart. My image is already bad so I elect to check back here and see if I can get a sexy turn card. Also, my hand is one I’d prefer to show down most of the time so by checking back I don’t have to call three barrels, plus I induce bluffs.

The turn is an 8 and this feels like a clear bet when he checks to me, but I know my range looks super weak here (whiffed big cards) so when I bet, I’m almost expecting this: he check-raises me. I call and I’m planning to call river too.

The river is an ace and he check-calls and does that thing where he’s in disbelief so I twist the needle by saying, “oh don’t act like my 8 wasn’t good. If you can beat that show it.” He says something back mockingly and shows his neighbor his hand (which means he probably had me beat) but doesn’t show me. On the bright side, he’s clearly steamed. He asked to be dealt out the next hand.

5:51 PM: I spent the first hour of play writing this post and I spent the last hour in contact with Apple Support trying to connect a new earbud to my AirPods. That was a no go.

It has been a very active two hours for me, as I have been playing a very high variance style, opening a lot of hands and bluffing more than usual because the pots are almost always heads up or 3-handed.

It hasn’t gone that well. I ran K2ss into A2 a few orbits ago on Q9224. That was annoying. I’m down a little over $500 at the moment.

It’s a little harder to write updates in this game because it is super fast-paced and there always seems to be one or two players walking, so I almost always seem to be involved in pots.

We’ll see how it goes though.

6:24 PM: I’m not sure if the main game is any better than the one I was in, but I was having a hard time at that other table.

So now I have some players I know on my left: FanBoy and Sgt. Rock.

FanBoy is immediately threatening me: “Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? Barbecue Bat!”

Normally the thought of him doing stupid things behind me would be music to my ears but I’m running so cold and my decisions have been so difficult my last several hours of play that I’m not really embracing this promise of high variance poker action.

Of course, he’s probably all talk and will play his normal, boring abc game. Well, until he reads this!

I just raised three hands in a row and got very little resistance. Ah yes. This is more my speed.

7:40 PM: I am frustrated. This has been a tiresome session. I have spent all of it between -$500 and +$100, but almost all of it on the stuck side of things. Every time I get back over the hump stupid things happen.

I just got rivered in big pots by the same player in the same orbit. First my K9hh loses to A5cc on 954T5 and then he opens early with T9ss, caps the 987 flop, check-calls the king turn, and donks the 6 river to beat my AA.

Pretty damn annoying.

8:18 PM: Q8ss vs Q4 on Q8675. TT < 44. Approaching -$800 now. This is so silly.

8:32 PM: Here’s a win if I’ve ever seen one: I open early with QQ and FanBoy 3-bets me. I call and we are heads up to a flop of 975. I check-raise and he flats.

Turn is a jack and he raises my bet. I call down on a brick river, sighing openly while saying, “I can only beat AJ.”

The bad news is he doesn’t have AJ.

The good news is he does have QQ.

For those of you counting at home, that’s a net profit of $12 for the hand.

The comeback is on!

8:49 PM: Highlight of my night right here: there’s a limp fest in front of me and get hyper speculative with the ole K8o on the button. The blinds are cool and decide not to punish me.

The flop is KJ8 with two diamonds. One of the limpers bets, I raise, the blinds fold, and two of the other limpers cold call. So does the initial bettor.

Okay, now we need to dodge.

8 of clubs on the turn. Wonderful. Now I need them to hit their draws! I bet and only one of them calls. What the hell? One of the cold callers and the flop bettor folded. Wtf is that? Cold call two and the 8 pairs and we can’t continue now? I guess they both had jacks, a holding that just got substantially worse against top pair.

River is the 4 of clubs and my opponent just power folds.

That got me up for High Hand… which amusingly held up for 12 minutes but now JJJAA is up there. Damn.

8:58 PM: FanBoy finally showing how he got the name:

9:15 PM: Woah. I am heating up.

QQ good, AK gets lucky vs KJ on QJx9T, and then AA wins a huge pot that was capped 3-ways pre and 3-bets 3-ways on the flop.

Almost even again!

Just needed The Legend in the box to activate my run good.

9:41 PM: Well I worked my way all to the black but this is why I can’t have nice things – and also why you shouldn’t poke the bear.

Folds to my button and I open 84cc because I have FanBoy and Sgt. Rock in the blinds and they fold around 130% of the time, but FanBoy 3-bets and says, “put this on the blog!”

I call and we go to a flop of Q63 with one club. He leads, I raise, he 3-bets and I call because I can smell something and I can turn good cards.

The turn is an ace and I decide to give it up and he tosses the J9 of diamonds in my face.

Goddammit.

10:57 PM: Bring The Legend back! Seriously. I can’t win a meaningful pot with anyone else, but I won like $1k while he was here. Back to whiffing everything!

Stuck around $300 now.

11:07 PM: What the fuck. Folds to me with small blind on button and I raise without looking.

Big blind check-calls me on flop and turn on AA8Q before donking on the 4 river.

I guess it’s time to look. I have A3o. Part of me wants to call but how the hell do I not have the best hand here? I raise it and he snap-calls with A9, a kicker that plays.

Stuck over $500 again. This is a total joke.

Defend KQ heads up and run into AQ on Q526T. It’s honestly comical sometimes.

11:35 PM: A raise and three callers in front of me and I have AA in the big. I jack it up.

Flop is K62 with two clubs and it gets capped.

She rivers a flush.

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU MAKE A FLUSH?

They make it look so easy. I’ve missed 100% of my flush draws tonight.

Very next hand I have 88 in the small blind against a button open. He’s all in for 3 small bets with AK.

J625… K

I actually thought I was going to win that one because the pot was so small.

I am now stuck over $1k… again.

What a fucking nightmare this is.

11:42 PM: Open AThh, someone 3-bets, and we go to a T82 flop. I check-raise and he flats.

Turn is a 4 and I bet and call his raise.

River is a King. I check-call and he shows AK. Granted, he turned a flush draw so it wasn’t a total punt, but still.

And then as I’m being shown this fucking hand on the river the waitress comes up and tells me they can’t make the food I ordered.

That officially sent me outside to clear my head. I am seriously debating if I even want to keep playing. I’ve already played 8+ hours which is usually my goal, so it’s not like if I reload I’m going to grind it out for six more hours.

I have to admit I’m kind of peeved right now. Which makes me think I should maybe call it a night.

12:11 AM: I was making a little bit of a comeback so of course this hand comes up to fuck things up.

Open A9cc, one flat in position and both blinds defend.

Flop is AK8 with two clubs. It’s the fucking world. What can go wrong?

I bet and they all call.

Turn is a brick and now the in position player raises when I bet. The blinds both fold and I’m sitting there thinking about rage 3-betting because how the hell can I be beat every single meaningful pot? And can I possibly miss another flush draw?

Of course I can. And I will. I don’t pull the trigger on the torchy 3-bet but I do call and whiff and then pay off AK on the river.

Great flat pre. Very expert. You got me.

12:19 AM: Just got an “F bomb” warning because I guess that’s where I’m at right now.

Spewer opens, there’s a call, I 3-bet AQ, and FanBoy calls it cold.

It’s like 5-way action for 3-bets to the AK3 two heart flop and I bet and of course FanBoy pops me, a blind calls, and I just call also.

Turn is a brick and we check-call again.

The river is a Queen and I check, FanBoy bets, other dude folds and I turn to him and say, “I’m at the very top of my range but I’m sure I’m still losing” and check-call. He rolls over AA and I say, “it’s so fucking sick.”

I’m back outside. The only reason I didn’t cash out yet is because I wanted to type this up before telling The Leak we are leaving.

So you want to be a professional poker player?

Final Score: -$1440

The bad run at Fortune continues. This is what my 2018 looks like here:

-$2135 in 5 hours

-$2226 in 6.25 hours

-$808 in 4 hours

+$97 in 10.5 hours

-$1440 in 9 hours

It’s a super small sample. Totally meaningless. I’m sure I’ve had similar runs many times in my years of playing poker.

But I can’t help but feel like every time I come here I just get TORTURED.

And I do. That’s a spewing rate of -$189/hour playing poker at Fortune this year.

No wonder I’ve been staying away.

Goodness.

UPDATE: I really want to put these results in perspective. In the grand scheme of things, they are utterly meaningless, as I mentioned before. But I want to clarify. Those five sessions add up to 34.5 hours for the entire year. That’s less than one week of playing poker for me. That’s less than 2% of the total volume I will put in for an entire year. So as ugly as it looks, it is just noise.

My volume at Fortune has gone from semi-regular to nonexistent. I have played 5 sessions of 20/40 at Fortune this year. Last year I put in 25 plays and overall I have put in 45 sessions of 20/40 at Fortune lifetime. My first session of 20/40 there dates back to May of 2016, so in the roughly 29 months Fortune has been open, I have put in only put in around 10% of my total 20/40 volume there in the last 10.5 months.

In other words, this “year long” torture chamber is only a blip on the radar of my total volume at Fortune. There’s definitely a lingering affect going on, but when you take a step back, it’s easy to see that it is just variance.

My overall results, despite this horrendous run, are still pretty good. My win rate in the Fortune 20/40 has gone from a sexy $47.26/hour to a still respectable, but not very attractive $23.42/hour. I would wager that I’m more likely to be a 1 BB/hour player than a 0.6 BB/hour player, but my overall sample size is still too small to really determine much of anything.

I’ve mostly been able to justify not driving 30+ minutes to play in a tougher 20/40 game by having games close to home that I can expect to earn as much or more in. Unfortunately, since I’ve been back from the WSOP the 15/30 game that was running almost daily before summer has become more of a once a week game. On the other hand, we are now playing PLO twice a week and the 20/40 O8 game at Muckleshoot has become a good opportunity on Saturdays. That gives me four playing days a week where I don’t even need to consider driving out to Fortune.

Still… I’m not really one to back down from a challenge. I know the game is tougher at Fortune. The crazy thing about this year is that I have been experiencing insane variance whenever I play there. While that is not notable in itself, what is notable is the fact that 20/40 pots are generally heads up or 3-handed affairs. It’s not like games at the Palace where every pot is contested with 5+ players. Games like that have high variance. When every pot is heads up or short-handed, the variance should actually be less severe. But I have had the opposite experience this year. Clearly. The vast majority of the time I have been in a heads up pot with a strong hand at Fortune, I have found a way to lose – and it has been messing with my head.

I don’t really plan to increase my volume at Fortune going forward, but it does seem like I should try to play there at least twice a month. One thing is for sure: I definitely need to get this monkey off my back… with a signature Dark Knight huge win!

h1

15/30 Limit Hold’em – 10/5/18 Live Blog

October 5, 2018

Today is starting off better than I expected already. The Leak and I were driving to Palace and there were only two players on the 15/30 list @ 3 PM. That’s not very promising. I would have guessed a game start of around 6 or 7 PM. But then I walked in the door and the game was starting!

We are currently 8-handed with a starting lineup of: total maniac, Part-Time, nit, Fleabag, Rain Man, nit, non-reg.

Heads up vs Part-Time: I open AQss and double barrel AQ5ddd after he cold calls preflop, but he raises me on the turn and I call down and lose to K4dd.

Pretty cool!

3:22 PM: Yesterday I went -$170 in 1.5 hours of 4/8 limit O8 and then +$925 in 6 hours of PLO.

Here are the two most interesting pots I played in PLO yesterday and they happened on back-to-back hands:

I limp early with JTdd77, there’s another limp, Big Baby makes it $20 to go on the button, and one of the blinds and both limpers call.

Flop is 854 with two diamonds. I have a decent flush draw and two blockers to the nuts so it seems like a good hand to bluff the flop with. I lead out $55 into $80 and the player on my direct left makes it $110. Everyone else folds. Let’s think about this: what kind of strong hand makes a min-raise here? I would say not many. So my plan is to call this bet and re-evaluate on the turn. I don’t want to bloat this pot on the flop against someone I think is highly unpredictable and might go crazy with a naked ace high flush draw. Also, it is feasible that I would play some naked straights this way.

Turn is the Queen of clubs, giving me some actual straight outs. I do not think my opponent has much and I can still rep the straight so I bet $175 and he tanks forever and eventually calls.

I don’t particularly want to make my flush here. I think if the board bricks off I will usually win this pot with a max-sized river bet.

The 4 pairs on the river and I would say that qualifies as a good card for my plan. I bet $300 and this time he tanks even long than he did on the turn but… calls it off… with… A832 no diamonds.

That was enough for The Crypt Keeper to blurt out, “what the hell?” after I showed and he tabled his hand.

So I lost nearly $600 on that pot and then this hand comes up:

There are two limpers, Crypt Keeper makes it $25, Big Baby makes it $90, and I have AA98 with clubs on the button. I make it $390 to go (more on that in a sec), which gets about 40% of my stack in the pot before the flop with Aces. That’s a pretty good result. Big Baby is my only caller.

The flop is pretty decent for my hand: JT8 with two clubs. Big Baby leads out $200 and I make it $500 trying to get all the chips in. He just calls though.

The turn is a blank and I have a little less than $200 behind. He checks to me. It seems like my hand should not be good after he bet-calls $500 on the flop and I brick the turn. So I check behind and take a river before deciding if I want to put the rest in.

River is the 9 of clubs. Yay! I bet the rest of it and he calls it off with AA62 and no clubs. I guess it makes sense that he has AA, but what a crazy hand to bet-call off $500 on the flop with.

So yeah, after losing a big pot to a crazy bluff catcher, I felt like I was one club away from turning $1500 into $0 in two hands.

Fortunately, I was freerolling in that last hand and got there – a session saver!

Ugh. Flea just cashed out. That left us 6-handed (plus Part-Time MIA) with two nits in the game. That’s what I call the Danger Zone.

Fortunately, a random dude just sat down with $700.

4:42 PM: Rough start today. I’m down about $400 after winning a couple small pots. Here’s the highlight of my day so far:

Maniac limps, I raise cutoff with K2dd, button calls, so does a blind.

Four of us to the Q97 with two diamonds flop. That’s good enough for me to bet and I get popped by the button and the rest fold out. I call.

Turn is a blank and he does that rapid fire bet where he’s not even thinking about what’s going on (because he has a draw) so I’m already thinking about calling the river if it comes bricky.

The river pairs the 7 and I don’t have to make the call because he just gives up and my king high is good.

4:53 PM: This game is pretty bad now. My last four blinds have been chopped (I had AA in one of those hands). Radio Mike replaced the maniac and we are 8-handed now.

5:19 PM: First battle with Radio Mike: he opens cut, I 3-bet K2 of spades from small blind and he calls. I double barrel on 997-5 before checking the Queen on the river. He checks back… with QJo.

😐✋🏻🧢

5:48 PM: Radio Mike 2, Dark Knight 0

Open 55, Rain Man cold calls, Radio Mike defends.

Flop is 882 with two spades and only Radio Mike calls.

Turn is a 4 and I still feel like I’m good here. My plan is probably to check river if he calls because I’ve seen him slow play big hands to the river in heads up spots, especially against me. He calls.

River is a third 8 though. Can’t imagine what hands he’d play this way that I’m losing to and it seems like I should go for value against 2x and Ax hands, so I bet and he check-raises and I’m pretty sure that is always quads but I’m not folding here either. He shows the 86.

In other news, Rain Man has flopped a set on me three times already, which seems like every time I’ve played a pot against him. I’ve had top pair all three times and twice I rivered trips so he’s basically owning me today.

And then this happens: I open Q8ss and button and Rain Man call.

We check down on J985J and I go for value on the river after Rain Man checks a third time because how the hell can I ever be losing here, but Rain Man has A9 and calls.

Good lord.

Open AJ and a nit 3-bets me and of course I get a jack high flop and clean run out so I’m forced to call down, knowing I’m rarely ever winning with the top of my range here. He has QQ.

Yup. I’m really annoyed right now.

6:06 PM: Sigh. Now we are 6-handed with two nits in the lineup and I am stuck almost $700.

Where are the 9-to-5ers?

6:39 PM: We are down to 4-handed and the first hand of non-chopping I have AA in the big blind and get the Q9958 board against the small blind’s 95.

Yup. I’m over it. I’m going to go watch the 7:20 showing of A Star Is Born.

I might be back later.

Final Score: -$881 in 3.5 hours

I will continue this later if I come back and play after the movie.

Update: The next two showings of A Star Is Born are both sold out so I will not be seeing that tonight but I am also not going to be returning to the casino.

I think I woke up roughly five times during the night and never felt well-rested today. Radio Mike suggested making a trip to Fortune but I’m tired, steamy, and buried – and none of those things suggest I should keep playing poker tonight. I was willing to gut it out at 15/30 locally, but I have no desire to travel or play 8/16, so I’m just watching playoff baseball at home now.

I will be back in action at Muckleshoot for some 20/40 Omaha 8 tomorrow around 3 PM.

h1

Muck Fall Classic is Here! $200 LIMIT Hold’em (Live Updates)

September 23, 2018

Already messing up. Even though my phone calendar and my online poker schedule both listed this tournament as starting at 10 AM, I somehow got it in my head that it started at 11 AM… so here I am showing up exactly on time… an hour late!

Starting stacks are 12k and blinds are now 75/150 as I sit down at the beginning of level 3.

I hear the defending PLAYER OF THE SERIES is in the building now. Oh wait, that’s me! I already spotted the whole field a two event head start, so it’s probably going to take an extraordinary run to get into contention this time.

Cards in the air! Let’s go.

11:17 AM: Notables in the field: Radio Mike and Joker at the same table, Chief Wiggum, some other regulars… but honestly, not a lot of recognizable faces.

And on that note, Sandman hits the registration desk.

11:27 AM: First pot I play at my table is a doozy. Five players limp and I jack it up with the KQhh from the big. Gambol!

Flop is K52 with two spades and one heart. I lead, there are two calls and two folds, and a lady on the button raises it. This was not the kind of flop I was expecting to get much action on so I’m kind of bewildered, but I prefer to play heads up here so I raise it back and the first caller caps it! The other guy calls and so does the button. Not really sure how I can ever have the best hand here, but I’m going to hang on.

Turn is the jack of diamonds and I’m happy to see it check to the button and she bets. When the flop capper checks here, he’s basically always on a draw and the other player’s range is capped and weak. So I’m dodging spades and hoping I can beat the button now. We all call.

River is the 8 of clubs and everyone checks. Button looks like she wants to table out of turn (or maybe it is in turn here) so I let her show a K3o before I table the winning hand and collect the pot.

11:44 AM: Wow, my table is clueless. I limp early with the A6ss and UTG+1 raises, bad and loose player 3-bets button, lady from before calls small blind and I call also. It’s a bit loose from up front but I want to play pots against this field while the blinds are small.

Flop is 775 with two spades and the small blind leads right out, I call, UTG+1 calls, button raises, small blind 3-bets, I call, other guy folds and button calls.

Turn is the 8 of clubs. SB bets and we both call.

River is 9 of spades. Flush got there and so did a one card straight (and I have both draws) and the small blind still bets. I already have zero respect for either player in this hand and I fully expect my hand to be good most of the time but it seems like a clear spot to go for the overcall from the likely overpair on the button rather than raise and possibly face a 3-bet when I’m beat. I call and so does button. Lady turns over JJ. Button snap-rolls KK before I can table my hand.

Very next hand, I defend an UTG raise in a 6-way pot with 84 of hearts.

Flop is 652 with two hearts. We has MONSTER. I check-raise the field, they all just call, and five of us see the turn.

It’s an ugly, ugly brick: the ace of clubs. I would bet a lot of turns but this is not one of them. I am keeping a check-raise in my back pocket depending on how the turn plays out. If UTG bets and everyone calls, I have about a 30% chance of improving and my fair share of pot equity is 20% and I make money by raising, even if only three players call. A clear value raise in a cash game, but maybe not great in a tournament where pushing every edge isn’t as important as maintaining a chip stack. As it turns out, UTG bets and only the loose player in the cutoff calls, so I just call also.

River is the 2 of clubs. Boo. UTG bets and wins with AKo vs A7o. Sheesh.

That’s 61% assuming I never get either of them to fold better and actually, from what I’ve seen, they are probably not folding on bricky run outs, especially the dude with A7.

~17k on first break.

12:19 PM: Pretty sure this is a career first for me: antes in a limit event (Stud variants excluded). Interesting. I think I like it. I’m curious to see if anyone adjusts their stealing and defending strategies, especially as the blinds get large.

Stack updates at first break:

Chief Wiggum 19k

Joker 17k

Radio Mike 13k

Sandman 11k

12:27 PM: Woah. Daniel O, no limit hold’em specialist, making an appearance in the limit hold’em event! And he sits at my table!

“I’m just warning you,” he immediately cautions, “I don’t care at all.”

Punting words if I’ve ever heard them.

12:50 PM: UTG opens, I 3-bet AKo next and cutoff calls.

Three of us to the KJ7 flop and they both call my bet.

Turn is a ten and I go into check-call mode because I think my hand is doing not great against the cutoff’s cold-calling and continuing range. Other guy also calls down and the cutoff shows AQ.

1:09 PM: Forgot to congratulate Joker on his 9th place finish in yesterday’s no limit Hold’em event. He picked up $2800 and got himself on the Player of the Series leaderboard.

1:12 PM: Sandman is hitting the registration desk for a re-entry.

Some non-poker run bad that has happened to me lately:

•on what I believe was our last hiking trip before this vacation to the southeast, I went to use the restroom in an outhouse and ever-so-slightly tilted my head downwards and watched in horror as my $250 sunglasses slid off my hat, right down the toilet and disappeared into, well, somewhere quite disgusting. The hole was so deep they were completely unrecoverable and I’m not sure I wanted them back anyway.

•at the Mariners-Rangers game on Friday night I was once again using the restroom and my AirPods fell out of my jacket into the stall next to mine. I thought I heard the sound of multiple things hitting the ground and that is a thought that haunts me now. But at the time, my charging case landed closed and I didn’t bother to look inside it. I didn’t use them again until we boarded our plane late last night and realized that that other sound was one of my ear buds falling out and disappearing forever. So now I have AirPods with a single ear bud.

•and then I left my current favorite Mariners hat on the plane last night.

•PLUS I lost my driver’s license before we left for our trip, a fact that Joker just reminded me of as I was standing here typing this on break. Speaking of losing my driver’s license, that got me a full – and I mean FULL – body pat down at the airport last night when I tried to sneak by security with an expired ID.

Stack updates on second break:

Dark Knight 16.1k

Daniel O 14.5k

Chief Wiggum 17k

Joker 22k

Radio Mike 14k

Sandman 12k

1:34 PM: First hand back I open KK UTG and get two callers.

Jack high, uncoordinated flop and I bet and get one call.

Queen on turn and I check-raise and get called on blank river for a nice pot to start level 7.

That puts me over 20k.

2:19 PM: Widening my opening range as the blinds increase and my table doesn’t seem to be adjusting too much. I opened 95dd and c-bet total air and got a fold. Then I opened T9o from the lojack and got a big blind defend and the 876 flop. Not bad. He called flop and turn before folding river.

Finally, under the gun limps, I raise AA, and two players call.

Flop is AT3 with two clubs and only UTG check-calls.

Turn is the 3 of clubs, so the flush gets there and I fill up. Dreams! He leads out and I get two big bets on the turn.

Then I get unlucky…

…by making quads!

Because now he loses to any random Ax hand and finds a check-fold as he shakes his head with whatever he bet-called the turn with.

Peaking at 26.1k.

Not sure if player count is accurate, but it says 129 entered and there are now 84 left.

That makes an average 18.4k.

Updated counts on break:

Radio Mike 15.3k

Daniel O 14.6k

Joker 6.8k

Chief Wiggum 22k

2:53 PM: Folds to me in small blind and I raise KTo and the big defends.

Flop is K95 with two spades and we go four bets and I’m not happy about it. First flop raise doesn’t mean much, but when he caps it, I’m in trouble.

I check-call a bet on a blank turn and we both check the 4 of spades river and I get a ridiculous free show down vs 95hh.

Down to 18k though.

Sigh. What a set up.

Also, I should point out that Radio Mike is largely responsible for Joker’s diminished chip stack.

3:12 PM:

Joker BUSTED

3:34 PM: Sheesh. Lose one pot and all my momentum is gone. Blinds have gone through me a couple times and I’m down to 13k.

Meanwhile, Daniel O calls a raise on the button in a multiway pot with 33 and gets the 322 flop against an overpair and somehow gets four bets on the flop and still gets bet into on the turn.

That hand puts Daniel around 38k.

MUST BE NICE.

3:40 PM: Just got moved. I recognize no one at this table and I have the shortest stack. I opened ATo and whiffed and defended KTss and whiffed.

I am on fumes. Just like that.

3:50 PM: Raise one limper in button with 77 and 4.8 bigs. We are looking to get all the chippies in, but a blind and the limper call and then both check-fold on J76. What a waste!

Very next hand, early open and I 3-bet KK from the cut. Early player calls and then checks dark so I bet dark.

He calls on QQ5 rainbow and checks to me again on a blank turn. I have less than three big bets left, so my decision on the turn is essentially for my tournament life. If I bet and am not winning, I am out, so I check back since I’m either way ahead or way behind and betting could eliminate me.

River is a blank and I pick off a bluff and am back up to 19.8k after having less than 5k a few hands ago.

4:01 PM: Unreal. Table breaks after hand I pay my big blind and I get moved to a new table where I have to post the big blind again. Yes. Back-to-Back. In a structure where the big blind antes for everyone.

🤦🏻‍♂️

I didn’t win either of those pots so there goes four critical blinds.

Radio Mike and Sandman at my new table. This is easily my worst table draw of the day.

4:36 PM: And I have dwindled down to one big blind about to have the button after playing zero notable pots in 3+ orbits.

4:42 PM: This is gross. Nothing but rags. Someone enters the pot before me every hand. It is going to be really, REALLY sick if I have to take a 75-minute dinner break with less than one big blind.

2 minutes, 45 seconds…

4:49 PM: I went all in on the last hand before dinner and did not win.

Dark Knight BUSTED

Radio Mike has a small stack and Sandman, Chief Wiggum, and Daniel O are all still in.

I’m not sticking around but I’ll post some updates if someone sends them to me.

✌🏻

h1

15/30 Live Blog: The Return of a Legend

September 7, 2018

It’s a huge day for poker in the Pacific Northwest. An absolute legend has returned to the Palace felt after a roughly six month hiatus doing whatever it is he does when he’s not crushing poker games for a living.

Radio Mike is back.

This is actually a big deal. Not just for my own self-amusement, but also for the livelihood of the 15/30 game at Palace. It is an extra player that will be there to play almost every day for the next half year. Between Radio Mike and me that’s 22% of a poker game! Not bad.

Seriously though. I’m stoked to see him back. There are few things I enjoy more than watching my good friends get smoked playing poker while pretending like I’m not rooting for them.

Welcome back, bud!

I played an epic session at Fortune last night, but I’ll get to that later. I’m currently sitting in my car waiting for my blood sugar to get to a point where I can drive a motor vehicle and then I’ll be headed to Palace where there are 9 people acting like they are ready to play with red chips tonight.

I should be in action in the next half hour or so.

5:14 PM: Boom. Walk in the door and they are immediately firing the 15/30 game. That’s what I call perfect timing. Well, perfect timing would be waking in with the game already started and one seat open.

Not sure how late I’m willing to play tonight. I slept less than five hours and I’m playing the Main Event at Little Creek tomorrow with an 11 AM start time.

5:19 PM: Alright. I’m going to try to talk about last night’s session before things get too crazy here. I didn’t get in the 20/40 until 8:30 PM and I had every intention of playing deep into the night, but I had no idea how degen I was going to get.

It was an epic session. Perfect for blogging. Lots of characters in attendance, including FanBoy, Snowflake, and an ultra surprise appearance from noted Bat-Villain Two Face.

For those of you that read my blog regularly, you know that Two Face actively avoids playing poker with me. He never plays 15/30 when I’m here. Never plays PLO. Yet spends all his time exuding hot shot bravado.

However, when I walked into Fortune last night and saw him with $4k in front of him in the 20/40, well, first I was stunned, but I also knew he wasn’t going to leave.

He sure didn’t. I played in his game most of the night and he was still there when I left at 7:15 AM.

I told you I got my degen on.

For the better part of the night I had a total maniac on my direct right and I was ice cold for hours, folding everything dealt to me and losing the few times I did get involved.

Some gems:

-Before I knew he was a total lunatic trying to win every single pot, I 3-bet him with AT of clubs and double barreled on K548 and folded when he check-raised me. Then he slammed the Q3o down face up right in front me.

-This one gets capped (by him) with 5 players preflop. I have AJcc and I call him on flop and turn on T93T with no flush draws present and I’m ecstatic that everyone else has exited the pot. River is a 4 and I call again and he shows 84ss!

-I 3-bet JJ and bet all streets on K87KQ and he has Q7o.

Those were the best ones I was involved in, but he had all sorts of epic hands against everyone else, especially Two Face. They were officially at war, to the point where the maniac purposefully tried to fold his cards onto Two Face’s live, unprotected hand. It was a near miss. No warnings from the dealer. I was loving it.

What I didn’t love was watching one of the dealer’s taking the drop when we were 5-handed to see how much they were taking before I inquired about a reduction. Granted, I was playing deeper into the morning than I ever do, so I thought my eyes might be deceiving me, but it sure as shit looked like they were taking two red chips out of the pot and dropping $3 and $2 and putting nothing back in the pot. So that’s $10 out of the pot, $5 down the hole, and $5… in their tray.

What.

I watched this happen about three times before discreetly informing the floor and he disappeared into surveillance for roughly a half hour before returning and telling the new dealer to stop taking a drop.

Wow.

I wasn’t seeing things. Now I don’t think this dealer was trying to steal necessarily but… they were definitely robbing us, whether intentionally or not. Good grief. I think the floor handled it well and I don’t know what happened to the dealer.

Anyway, I spent most of my night sitting next to the torcher on my right super ice cold and stuck about $800-$1200 most of the night and finally started to get hot around 6:45 AM playing 3-handed.

I went on a little heater and suddenly I was +$93 and very happy about it. I cashed out at 7:15 AM for my first win in the 20/40 at Fortune in 2018. Sheesh.

6:21 PM: Starting lineup for today’s 15/30 game: Radio Mike, unknown, Joker in here now, the new super loose regular (my goal is to have a name for him before day’s end), random semi-reg, Flea, and two nits.

I’ve been abusing Flea. I’ve already won like five sizable pots off him.

My favorite: I raise one weak limper on the button with 55 and Flea and the limper call.

Flop is T64 and it checks to me. I think it’s close between betting and checking here. A spot worth really investigating actually. I hate getting check-raised here and I’m always seeing the turn because there are good cards for me there. So maybe this is a good hand to include in my checking back range?

I bet though and Flea check-raises me and I call.

Turn is an ace and he leads out, which I think is a pretty huge mistake. Flea doesn’t have to have a strong hand to check-raise me on the flop and the ace is obviously way better for my range. I go ahead and exploit this dynamic by raising the turn and…

He folds!

I’m off to a fast start, up like $500 already, mostly courtesy of The Flea.

8:04 PM: Well I have a new nickname. Not the one I was aiming for, but one I’ve been needing to develop. This guy is a total maniac. He always sits down and wants to play the highest stakes possible but he rarely sits down with enough chips to do so. Like, he’ll sit down in 15/30 with $400 and ask for a 25/50 Overs button.

But he certainly plays like he has $2000 in front of him, raising and betting liberally with extremely wide ranges.

And sometimes he does have $2000 in front of him. On Wednesday, he was the maniac in the PLO game. He accomplished incredible feats that night.

First, he sat down with $500, ran it up to $1700, added on $200, and had $0 in front of him in less than a half hour.

Later, he turned $3400 into $0 in about 15 minutes.

It was an impressive display – both in running it up so quickly and also in making it disappear just as fast.

He plays like a total animal. And I’ve decided that’s what I should call him:

Animal

And Animal has joined us in the 15/30 and so has Part-Time and Mr. Plow. Four of us are now playing 25/50 Overs and I’m the first one to get punished when I open K7 suited and get raised by Joker and call him down on K99T4 when he has AK.

9:17 PM: I mean I was kind of in desperate need of some material but did it have to be like this?

I open QThh under the gun, someone 3-bets, and there are callers.

The flop is 643 with two hearts and I’m happy to put some money in on this flop but it checks around.

The turn is a beautiful ten of clubs and Mr. Plow leads out into three or four opponents from the big blind. I make it $60 to go and that clears the rest of the field. He starts tanking… actually sizes me up… and eventually puts the call out.

River is the ace of diamonds. He donks. I call. He tables…

AJ offsuit. What in the world?

At least he took the time to look me up and down before calling with ace high. 👍🏻

10:22 PM: Button straddles, Animal calls, Mr. Plow 3-bets and I 4-bet from hijack with K8hh. No respect for the ranges in this hand so far and I’m hoping to knock Joker out but the jerk comes in with a 5-bet cap and now five of us are seeing this flop for $75 each and I have K8 and two players have position on me.

Doesn’t… seem… great.

The flop isn’t bad though. 872 with two spades. I decide to donk into Joker. This gets a bet in on the flop and he will frequently raise and potentially limit the field and that’s a good thing, even if I don’t have the best hand. Joker just calls, so does button, Animal check-raises (with one small bet behind), Mr. Plow calls two cold, and I 3-bet to try to get the other two yahoos out but they aren’t going anywhere and this pot just keeps getting bigger.

Turn is an offsuit king. Oh my. I really couldn’t ask for a better card. I bet and they all call, with Animal all in on the flop.

River is an ace and Mr. Plow donks right out. I’m not super concerned about being beat here but I don’t think it’s a great spot to raise either, so I call. Other two guys fold, Plow tables AT and I’m good for this whole monster!

When gambling goes right, folks.

1:25 AM: Wow. I didn’t realize I’ve been this sidetracked. 3+ hours without an update?! My bad. I mean nothing too excited has happened. Joker 4-bet me with Q9hh when I had JJ and got a nice little Q83T4 runout to get paid off.

Actually Joker and Radio Mike played an epic hand where Joker rivered a full house after Radio Mike turned a straight flush. I wasn’t paying too much attention to it but I can still see Joker’s blood stains on the table.

We are down to 7-handed now. Flea has heaps of chips (well, $2k+) or else I’d probably be home resting up for tomorrow’s event already. He’s in lock down mode though but there are still two certified spewers in action.

I’ve really been battling with the nickname for this new, crazy regular and I’ve had a couple I’ve kind of liked. I was thinking The Terminator because he’s always after you and no matter what, you can’t ever kill him – he just keeps going to the ATM for more.

But it didn’t have that magic ring to it. I’m saving it. This dude is Iron Man. Same concepts apply sort of – he’s a machine that keeps going and seems to have Tony Stark’s bankroll – but really, the 250 hours this dude put in last month would make Cal Ripken Jr. proud.

I hope this ubiquitous presence isn’t a fleeting thing and I’m not wasting yet another nickname on someone that is just going to disappear in a month. For now, expect Iron Man to be in almost every hand I post from Palace.

2:22 AM: I always hate to do it when the game is really good, but I called it a night. I was having a pretty great session but lost some momentum at the end, mostly because my pocket jacks kept losing to Qx in bloated pots when a queen was the only overcard on board.

Final Score: +$1185

After a -$2k day on the 1st of the month, I am back in the green for September. No bad. This is later than I wanted to be out which means I almost certainly won’t be there for the start of the Little Creek Main Event tomorrow. My current hope is to leave my house around the time the tournament is starting and arrive early in level 2.

Stay tuned. I will blog it.

h1

8/16 @ Palace – 8/30/18 (Live Blog)

August 30, 2018

As promised, here we are again. I will blog today’s session even though it will probably be all 8/16. There are three 8/16 games going and only two of us up for 15/30. Pretty ridiculous. Maybe one will fire after the day jobbers get off.

Ultimately made the decision to stay local because we are going hiking early tomorrow.

Starting lineup: The Leak, Grumpy, someone I will call Villain since he wears a hat that says ‘Villain’ on it, and some other randoms.

First notable hand, it folds to me in cut, I raise with 88 and the button and small blind call.

Flop is 763 and they both check-call.

Turn is a king and only the small blind calls.

River is a queen and I go for thin value and he calls with a 7.

Grumpy opens (one hand after taking a horrible bluffing line vs my wife), one other calls, and I decide to flat with A5hh on the button and the big comes along also.

Four of us to 442 one heart flop and they all check to me. I bet and two players call, including Grumpy.

Turn is the T of diamonds and it checks around.

River is a 6 and now Grumpy leads. Other guy folds. He’s basically always bluffing here but… how often is he bluffing with a better ace high? AK, AQ, and AJ are all possible. He could have a ten, but I think he usually just donks a pair on the turn.

I’m getting roughly 6 to 1 on the river so he needs to show up with worse as little as 14% of the time. I’m sure he does. I call. He tables QJdd and I win. My main concern is whether or not I should raise this river. I’m thinking not. He never folds a pair and I think he calls AJ+ a decent amount. Plus my line is not credible at all. He’s probably not thinking very deeply, but I basically never have a hand that can/should be raising the river, except maybe 66 and I’m betting that on the turn almost always.

3:26 PM: Back-to-Back-to-Back hands, same opponent:

Hand 1: limpers, I raise JJ from SB, BB folds, they call.

Flop J93, I bet, dude looks like he wants to raise and calls, so does button.

Turn is a queen and now he does raise me. Obviously I’m vulnerable to straights here but I thought he wanted to raise flop (because he was strong) and I feel very good 3-betting my hand. He just calls.

River pairs the 9 and he calls me. Hard to imagine what strong hands he can have there, so maybe just the case jack?

Hand 2: Same guy limps and I raise AKo on the button and four of us see the flop.

A93 with two spades. My dude donks, I raise and we are heads up.

Turn and river both run out aces and he check-calls both streets and I show him my quads… which also makes the top High Hand with under two minutes left.

Ship $400!

Hand 3: I open AJ, button calls, and my new pal three bets from one of the blinds. He’s probably fed up. We both call.

Flop is QT6 all spades. I have the ace of spades. He bets and I raise. He calls.

Turn is the King of diamonds and now he check-raises me. Well I have the ace of spades and the queen of spades is on board, so how many hands is he 3-betting pre that made flushes? Probably not many. Maybe none. I 3-bet it and he calls.

River is a blank and he pays me off again and shows KK with a spade. Yikes. Pretty unlucky and a brutal stretch for this guy and that was all of his chips and the end of his session.

3:50 PM: Open QQ, callers, The Leak 3s from the blinds and I cap it.

Four of us to the J74 two spade flop. SB donks, Leak calls, I raise, and three players call.

Turn is a blank but puts two hearts on board and the SB donks again. The Leak folds and I raise again and we are heads up.

The river is the ten of hearts and he checks to me. I’m certain he had a jack and I thought he might have donked the turn because he added a flush draw with his pair. Plus he can have JT. I decide to check back and he shows JT with no hearts. Nice line, sir.

4:09 PM: MLB NERD ALERT! Shohei Ohtani is pitching on Sunday! Yes!

4:30 PM: If it wasn’t obvious already, I’ve been playing with 6 or less players the whole time and now we are 3-handed… and they are dropping $5 a hand.

Honestly, that’s ridiculous. I really like playing short-handed but I don’t think I can justify playing 3-handed with a $5 drop… just out of principle… even if the other two guys are total punters.

4:46 PM: I have been moved to old timer’s game. The Queen is here and a bunch of older guys with grey hair. There is one big spewer in the game but The Leak is definitely in the better of the two full games.

It’s definitely not a great game I’m in, but I do find some joy in beating up on the nitty old guys.

Pretty good chance I’m going to play even more aggro than usual, especially if it seems to be getting under their skin.

5:01 PM: Adjusting well already! Open UTG with AJo and two call. I get popped by the button on the AQ32 board and call because he can have A2 and A3 and then the 3 pairs on the river and I call just in case he has A2 (which i still don’t beat) and he shows me QQ.

🤦🏻‍♂️

Defended blind with Q7dd and decide to lead into field on AT9 all diamond flop. I get called in four spots and the board pairs the 9 first and then the ten on the river. I check and it checks around and somehow I’m good.

5:10: Here’s a gem. I limp along with 22 and six of us see the KT4 flop and we all check.

Turn is a 2 (!) and The Queen leads out, next guy calls, and it’s up to me with two players behind me. I decide to call because a) the pot is small, b) If I raise and only The Queen calls, we don’t bet heads up, and c) whatever I lose by raising I think I can make up in an overcall. So I call and one calls behind.

River is an 8. No flush possible. It checks to me, I bet and then the player behind me raises! Other two fold. If he has 88, he gets to win four bets from me. I 3-bet and he calls.

I’m good but what is great about this hand is that he flashes me a king. A king! So… with six players in the pot and four checks in front of him, he checks top pair. Then he calls the turn and finally decides to spring his trap on the river.

As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy torturing nits, so when under the gun raises, three people call, and a nit 3-bets from the cutoff, I get splashy on the button with 75 of clubs. It gets capped.

Flop is 864. Yessir!

One player has KK and the other has QQ. They are not happy. Actually the guy with KK is pissed. I’m sitting on his left and I turned my music off just so I could listen to him curse to himself and criticize my preflop play.

6:32 PM: Open AKdd and a loose but passive player behind me 3-bet and a super loose player calls from a blind. I just call.

Flop is K74 one diamond and we all check.

Turn pairs the 4 and gives me the nut flush draw. I bet and they both call.River is an 8 and now I get check-raised by the blind and he does that thing where he’s talking to someone as I pay him off, so he doesn’t know it’s time to show this beauty yet. Someone prompts him and he does that sick move where he keeps talking and does the whole no look show where he gets to beat me in this big pot and act like it’s the easiest thing he’s ever done in his life.

Lol. He has 43ss and I lose.

7:08 PM: Palace currently has 1 of 14 active TVs on the most important series of the MLB season for the Mariners. Meanwhile 8 TVs are on this Seahawks preseason game that means jack shit. And some people wonder why I can’t stand Seattle fans, in general.To be fair, two more TVs are on the Mariners now as I typed this.

But the sound of the Seahawks game is on. Preseason football = volume. You know what else gets volume? Nothing. Not the World Series. Not even the World Series of Poker.

I hate football. So much.

In other news, I completed Day 2 of my Cold Shower Challenge. It wasn’t too bad today. I got in and it was freezing so I tried to make it a tad warmer and it overcorrected. Then I turned it cold again and I was in and out in less than four minutes.There was a bit of a temperature shift while I was showering so it felt a little cheap today.

My eventual goal with this is to be able to stand under very cold water and just be in peace.

8:02 PM: More strategic soft collusion 🤦🏻‍♂️:

I open AKcc, two cold callers and both blinds come along.

Flop is 873 rainbow with one club and I check this flop. The button bets and everyone comes along.

Turn is a King and now The Queen donks from the big. My first instinct is to raise, but that’s not my best way to maximize. I know I lose the pot more often by calling but that’s what I do and everyone comes along!

River pairs the 8 and The Queen still leads and I’m the only caller. She has KJ.

I don’t feel great about this dynamic and how I exploit it, but it is what it is and I’m here to make the most money possible and if I can avoid being heads up with the one person in the world I don’t bet against, I’m usually going to take that route.

8:19 PM: Not sure what the appropriate response is here. I have TT on 543hh flop as the PFR. The first limper donks, I raise, the big blind calls, and the limper 3-bets, but when he does so he puts four bets out there. I call the 3-bet but the big blind is totally clueless as to what’s going on and sees four bets out there and puts his own four bets out to call… meanwhile the dealer is correcting the first guy and now the big blind is trying to take his last bet back but before he does that the dealer says, “now it’s capped.”

And suddenly I’m putting an extra small bet in when nobody really capped it.

Not a huge deal but I’m pretty sure I’m losing on the flop so it’s not a welcome miscue.

I’m not sure whose fault this is or what can be done about it and I don’t care too much but it is annoying that the limper somehow got four bets to go in on the flop when he didn’t even have that option.

EDIT: I just realized I never said what he had… because it wasn’t the point of the story… he limped in early position with the mighty 62 of hearts.

9:14 PM: I’M IN TOTAL SHOCK RIGHT NOW. EMINEM JUST DROPPED A NEW ALBUM TONIGHT WITH ZERO ADVANCE PROMOTION. TOTALLY OUT OF NOWHERE.

9:28 PM: Blog updates are cancelled for the rest of the night. I wasn’t expecting an event album to drop. I’m not going to be able to play poker, live blog, and listen to this new Em album intently all at the same time. Something has to give. I will post a final score when I’m done playing tonight.

9:48 PM: Okay, Joker says I’ve reached a new peak by cancelling a live blog because of an Eminem album so… I’ll post the hands I feel like I have to talk about. Like this one:

Limper or two, I raise AA, both blinds call and five of us see the 443 rainbow flop. I bet and three players call, including both blinds.

The turn is an 8 and it checks to me and I decide… to check back. Not like my hand is vulnerable here.

River is a king and they all check to me again. I bet, the small blind calls, and the big blind check-raises. I practically want to give him a standing ovation. This line is so unorthodox I can’t even consider folding but wow. I call and he has K4. Well done, dude.

Final Score: +$1145