Posts Tagged ‘limit hold em’


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


9:28 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


Plays of the Week – August 11th, 2018

August 11, 2018

I’m back! I apologize for the brief hiatus, but I wanted to try something different this week: jotting down notes from my sessions and posting the best hands all at once in an end of the week summary. I enjoy doing live blogs of my sessions, especially when the characters are out in full force, but lately things have been going poorly (plus the 15 at Palace hasn’t been regular) and I wanted to shake things up and try something different.

As I noted in my last post – when I quit midday on Saturday – it was unlikely that I would play any poker Sunday through Tuesday.

That was mostly correct.

We spent Sunday at Emerald Downs for my niece’s birthday. I’m sure it’s going to break my dad’s heart to read this, but I don’t get it. One of my dad’s fondest memories of his own dad is going to the track together and betting on horses. We never did this while I was growing up so it never became a tradition for us.

As someone that gambles for a living, gambling on things I know nothing about – or in games with a negative expectation – doesn’t appeal to me. It actually physically pains me to watch my wife on the rare occasions when she wants to play in the pit or on a slot machine. I don’t find it fun and when you remove the “fun factor” all that is left is a -EV gambling situation in which you will never, ever win in the long run.

Betting on horses seems similar. I don’t know anything about the horses or their jockeys or their caretakers, or any of the factors that might come into play when you’re trying to find an edge. If I’m betting, I’m simply clicking buttons or picking names I like. But at least I can see the fun in it. It’s kind of like betting on baseball, but in baseball I’m aware of all the key components (not that it helps me any) and I genuinely enjoy watching the sport, money on it or not.

But then I tried to make a bet on the computer systems they have set up and I couldn’t even figure out how to find the race I wanted to bet on. I felt like I was reading gibberish. That’s not fun. We ended up having our niece and nephew bet on some horses for us and a horse named Little Joker (of course) came through with a first place finish and booked us a win for the day, but we were firing tiny bets. I guess it was kind of fun, but if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t feel like I was missing out on anything if I never went to another horse track for the rest of my life.

My plan on Monday was to visit Radio Mike at Cheney Stadium and take in a Tacoma Rainiers game. In a happy coincidence, possible future Hall of Famer Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners was starting his rehab with the Rainiers that night after an 80 game suspension for PED use. So suddenly this random game I was going to became an PNW event.

Normally when I visit Mike at Cheney, I sit in the broadcast booth with him and watch the game and we can chat in between innings, but because of Cano’s presence, this guy was at Cheney and asked Mike if he can sit in the booth with him and thus Joker and I were ousted to the stands with the rest of the pleebs.

But not before I snapped a selfie that found it’s way on the Mariners broadcast that night!

After the game, we stopped back in the booth and chatted with Mike for a while and by the time we finally left, the players were coming out of the clubhouse and, with no other obvious exit in sight, Joker and I followed Ben Gamel to the player’s exit where a group of fans were waiting and mobbed him for autographs while letting us pass them by with a mere, “good game tonight.”

I mean… I can understand them mistaking me for a triple A ball player… but this guy?


Come on.

I decided to pop into Palace on my way home and play a mini-session with one goal: make $400 and leave.

I didn’t know I was going to make a highlight reel post at that time, so I didn’t jot any hands down from that session, but it was actually a pretty wild one. The game was pure action. I described it to Joker like this: Everyone is playing like it’s a race to see who can lose all their chips the fastest and so far I’m winning. I was down $400 right off the bat and it was looking like reaching my goal was going to be extremely difficult. And yet… after less than three hours of play, I cashed out +$565. Pretty sick.

Tuesday I did not play poker. I went and saw Mission: Impossible – Fallout with Uncle Leroy and then ran errands for the rest of the day before watching Felix Hernandez pitch his way out of the Mariners rotation by getting lit up by the Texas Rangers.

Wednesday, I was back in action, for some pot limit Omaha at Palace.

But first! The Man talks me into taking a seat in 3/6 limit hold’em because of the Happy Hour Hand promo and I got a swift reminder of why I never, ever play that limit while I’m waiting for a seat. I raise it up with AA and bet all three streets on a board of 63239 with one opponent calling me down. No flush is possible and I never get raised, so obviously I’m winning this pot, but then my opponent tables… 63. What. I’m not above playing 3/6 while I wait, but I just hate it because no one ever actually plays poker. Anyways, despite this debacle, I still finished +$17 and my 2018 win rate in 3/6 limit hold’em is now a monstrous 9.13 big bets per hour over 67 total minutes.

PLO got off to modest start. My first notable hand came up when I had A6xx in a raised pot and the flop came down 66A. I made the mistake of checking and my opponents all got to see the turn for free. I bet like $30 on the turn, which was a ten and two players called. The river was another ace and I was first to act. There was a flush draw available on the turn, so there was some chance my opponents were drawing, but otherwise, they probably had an ace, and I thought AT was a real possibility. I also thought if I checked, someone with AK would have a pretty hard time not betting for value. Basically, even though I had the second nuts here, I thought my most profitable line was check-calling. I save money and avoid tough decisions when the nuts is out there and my opponents might bluff missed draws or take themselves to value town with trip aces. So I checked, one of them bets a smallish $60, I call, and he does show me the AT. I flash my A6 and that guy is in disbelief for the next five minutes.

I spent most of the night up around $500 but then I had a couple of gross connections with The Man.

We were playing short-handed, but I was opening a bit too wide here with the J766, especially since the game was playing pretty loose and sticky. Basically, I’m rarely stealing the blinds or playing a pot heads up in position, so this is a hand that is going to play like garbage after the flop in a bloated pot and is better off sent into the muck.

It ends up going 3 or 4 ways to the flop and I don’t have position. It’s already a disaster. The board is decent though: J75 with two diamonds. I have top two pair and a jack high flush draw. It’s a pretty good hand, but not exactly one I’m looking to get stacks in with. I can bet though and I fire out $30 or so and The Man makes it $120 to go. I have a pretty good feeling that my two pair is good here, but if that’s the case then my flush draw is definitely not good. We are way too deep to gamble for stacks on the flop, so this is actually a pretty gross spot. If I don’t like my flush draw, I’m not going to have many run outs I love here. Any diamond is questionable, any straight card around the 75 is bad, any overcard could make a better two pair. Basically I only love jacks and sevens. Everything else is suspect. With that in mind, I should probably just fold to the flop raise, but I ended up calling.

The turn was a small diamond and I check-called about a half pot bet.

The river was a brick and I liked my hand when The Man decided to give up and check back, but he was being cautious with a king high flush and won the pot saying, “I think you are capable of checking the nut flush there.” He’s not wrong, but I’d still bet his hand.

A short while later, I’m raising it up on the button with the J987 double suited and I flop pretty huge: Q65 with two hearts, giving me a nut wrap and a straight flush draw. I bet the flop and The Man calls me from the small blind.

The turn bricks me and I am planning to barrel off on this one, so I fire a second bullet and The Man calls again.

The river is the 2 of hearts. The Man checks and I check back, hoping my modest flush is good. It is not. I didn’t see the rest of his hand but The Man ends up winning this pot with the T3 of hearts. I wish I got a better look at his hand and how he arrived at the river because a naked ten high flush draw would be pretty brutal to lose to.

There was another pot I played against The Man that started off with a $5 bet on the flop and ended up with me facing a pretty large raise on the river holding the second nut flush. This flush came in backdoor, so it was a bit less likely for him to have the hand he was repping, but in Omaha it’s much easier to back into something you weren’t initially drawing to and the minbet on the flop could entice more floats than usual. Also, I would expect him to never raise non-nut flushes here because that would be pretty silly. So it basically comes down to if I think he’s bluffing often enough here. It felt pretty gross because it seemed like he probably isn’t bluffing a lot here, but my instincts were saying call so that’s what I did and he ended up having the nut flush blocker and a bluff.

Hand of the Night

We are still short-handed at this point and The Man opens with a raise to $15, the small blind calls, and I make it $45 to go with T987 double suited and they both call.

The flop is what PLO dreams are made of: 965 with two clubs and a spade. I flopped the nuts, with multiple straight redraws to the nuts, a straight flush draw, and a backdoor flush draw. Let’s. Go. I bet $80, The Man calls, and the small blind pots it to $380. I go all in for less than the max bet of $680, The Man folds and I agree to run it twice with my opponent. The turn pairs the board on the first run out and I make a bigger straight on the second runout and… scoop it all!

I doubled up and then some in that pot and the small blind never took another hand and the game broke shortly after so I finished at +$883 in my PLO session.

Thursday morning I had an appointment with my endocrinologist in Bremerton and The Leak went with me and we decided to put our newfound interest in hiking to the test at Green Mountain, a trail we failed to complete in two attempts years ago when we still lived in Kitsap County.

It was a bit of a challenge – mostly because of the 85 degree heat – but we got it done this time!

Some views from the summit:

We got back to Lakewood around 6 PM and I was in need of a short nap because I was planning to play until 4 AM that night.

15/30 didn’t get off the ground, but we were blessed with a bit of that early Christmas action. I’ve mentioned it before but The Santa Claus Game is full of button straddling, bloated pot sizes, and lots of gambling.

In this hand, I’m the button straddle holding 88 and five players call before the action is back to me. I think this might be a pretty close spot because how well does 88 play against five opponents? But I obviously have the best hand and I do have the button, so I go ahead and raise it. Santa 4-bets it when it’s back to him and I go ahead and 5-bet cap it.

There are thirty bets in the middle when the flop comes down 322. Someone donks on the flop, I raise, the big blind cold calls, and the donker also calls.

The turn is a 4 and the flop bettor donks again. I raise it again. The big blind is really unhappy about the action, but winds up folding and my lone opponent calls.

The river is a king and betting is probably recommended here when he checks to me, but the pot is massive and I’ll be happy about winning it even if I miss a little value here. I check back and my hand is good.

I gave the key opponent in this hand the nickname of The River Man once upon a time, but that name is pretty bad and I’m going to discontinue it and refer to him as the maniac for any hands he’s in for the rest of this session.

Anyways, there are multiple limpers and the maniac raises, I 3-bet with AK from the small blind and it ends up getting capped.

It’s mulitway action so I check the 873 with two clubs flop and peel for one bet with the ace of clubs in my hand. It’s worth noting that someone bet into the maniac on the flop and he just called…

…because that says a lot about his hand strength when the turn is the king of clubs and it checks to him and he bets and the button calls. This is my absolute nut card. I now have top pair top kicker and the nut flush draw. When the maniac calls on the flop I think I can safely rule out any flushes and since everyone else checked to him, I don’t think they have flushes either. I go ahead and raise it. The big blind cold calls and the maniac and button also continue.

The river pairs the 7 and I’m not really sure where I stand now, so I check, the maniac bets and I’m the only caller. He tables two small cards. It looks like 32 of clubs so I ask the dealer for clarification and she pulls in 22 and I’m good.

And that’s why hands like this happen:

Button straddles, I 3-bet 77 from the small blind and it ends up getting capped at five bets with at least four of us seeing the flop.

It comes down Q65 rainbow and I check-call.

The turn is a 9 and the flop bettor checks to the maniac and he winds up betting after just calling on the flop. I feel like 77 is doing very good against his range here as he is always raising a queen on the flop, so I check-raise. The flop bettor cold calls (gross) and the maniac 3-bets it! Sick. We both call.

The river pairs the 5 and it checks to the maniac and he tables 97o when it’s his turn to act and ends up winning the pot with a very standard 3-betting hand on the turn.

Button straddles and it gets 5-bet capped again and this time I’m holding the A8 of spades. The flop is A72 with two spades and four of us wind up putting in four bets.

The turn is a 5 and the big blind is still leading, so I call and the maniac puts in another raise on the button. The blind just calls and I call also.

The river is a 3 and it checks to the maniac. The big blind calls and I’m positive that he at least has me beat, so I fold and the maniac tables 54o.

So nasty!

So yeah… this game is JUICED UP.

Which makes this next hand pretty special:

I open with 44 and the maniac calls me in position. The flop is K54 and he folds the instant my hand starts to reach for chips.




I open with A8 of diamonds and get some callers. The flop is A42 with two spades and the big blind donks into me. I raise and he calls.

The turn is the 8 of spades and now the blind check-raises me. Pretty gross. My hand seems like it should be strong, but the two biggest drawing hands (spades and 76) got there, so I just call.

The river is a blank and I call a bet… and my opponent tables one of the most shocking hands he possibly can: pocket eights. The good ole one outer.

I ended up finishing this 7.5 hour 8/16 session at +$255.

Last night was a total disaster. I ran about as bad as you can.

There was a 4-bet pot where I had JJ on QJ4 rainbow and lost to Q6 of diamonds.

That about sums up how my night went. I missed every single flush draw I had the entire night and my opponent’s seemed like they always hit theirs against me. I did flop a flush twice and I got zero action both times.

I went -$571 in 76 minutes of 8/16 before the 15/30 game got started and I didn’t run any better there… I just lost more slowly, finishing at -$607 in 6.5 hours despite hitting a $200 High Hand.

That was a pretty lousy finish to what started off as a pretty good week.

All in all, I’m sitting at +$542 over 23 hours heading into today’s action.

On the bright side, this happened while I was writing this post:


Just got word that Palace already has 15/30 going so that’s where my day is going to start and hopefully end. If that game fizzles out early we will probably shoot up to Fortune.

No live blog tonight, but maybe I will post highlights later.


Super-Sized Marathon Saturday – $15/$30 @ Palace (Live Blog)

August 4, 2018

It’s a modern miracle!

At 10:15 this morning, I woke up to the Bat Signal:

“How are you not in this game?”

15/30 is still going from last night… with at least two players that are still there from when I left last night.

I’m about to hop in the showers and be in action by 11.

Ready for a huge day! Let’s get one!

11:19 AM: Oh, it’s so beautiful. I left at 2 AM last night and there are four people still here!

Current lineup: Mr. Plow, Little Creek floor, massive fish, new guy that was here when I left and looks strung out, Part-Time, another new guy that was here when I left, Fleabag, and a non-reg that plays some big bet games. Mr. Plow and Flea also still here from last night.

8 of 9 players have 25/50 Over buttons.

It’s like a dream come true.

11:22 AM: Huge credit has to be given to The Man here. Palace had one open table when he started this game last night. It was a super sketchy start. I didn’t have much faith in it. We started 4-handed and I didn’t think one of the players was going to play. Meanwhile, there were like 12+ names on the 4/8 list. From a business standpoint, starting a 4/8 game is a total no brainer. So I really, really appreciate the sacrifice. He knows I’ve been frustrated lately and he 100% made this play to keep Joker and myself happy.

The game was never super strong last night, even when it was full, but here it is Saturday before noon and it’s still going. I guess they played 4-handed for hours and hours… and now it is full again, with a chance to go all day long.

Just goes to show that having a thriving 15/30 game is all about getting the cards in the air. We started with a flimsy 4-handed game 18 hours ago and it’s still going strong!

11:30 AM: Last night was another bad session for me. Playing short-handed and losing every time you have AK and AQ doesn’t help your bottom line very much.

Some major highlights:

5-handed, UTG opens, Joker cold calls, button calls, I 3-bet with JJ from SB, Rosanne calls from the big and everyone else calls also.

Flop is KJ2 with one diamond. I bet and they all call.

Turn is the 8 of diamonds. I bet and it’s three or four of us to the river.

River is the 7 of diamonds. I think briefly before firing a bet. I realize one of the more common drawing hands (T9) got there and backdoor diamonds are somewhat of a concern. The king of diamonds was on the flop and I have the jack of diamonds, so some of the best suited hands are blocked, but hands like AQdd, ATdd, QTdd, T9dd, A2dd, and Q9dd are all hands that make sense getting to the river.

I think my hand is too strong to check here though, so I bet, Rosanne raises and Joker calls $60 cold.

I hate it, but pot is massive, so I call and Rosanne tables 77 for a rivered set… that’s a good start… but Joker calling down and calling a raise on the river looks like a draw that got there so I wait him out… and he tables 43 of diamonds.

Just. Wow.

Another fun one: I straddle on the button and it’s 4-bets back to me with AQ, one of the blinds caps it and there are at least 20 bets in the middle heading to the Q83, two hearts, one diamond flop. It gets capped again and I put in none of the action. I’m just holding on for dear life.

Turn pairs the queen though and now I like my hand a lot. The blind driving the preflop and flop action slows down and checks, another player driving the action on the flop bets the turn, Santa Claus raises after doing nothing but call on the flop, and now I LOVE my hand – I 3-bet. The player in the blind reluctantly folds what was probably KK, the turn bettor calls, and Santa calls also. There are heart and diamond draws I’m looking to fade, and I’m slightly worried the turn bettor has 88 after helping cap flop and sticking around here.

River is the ten of diamonds. They both check to me. I bet and get check-raised by the guy going crazy preflop and on the flop.

This is the final board: Qh8d3h-Qd-Td.

This is the hand I lose to: 4d2d.

He was driving the action on the flop.

It was all pretty bad, but those were the two best ones. At the end of the day I was looking at -$868 in 15/30 and +$187 from 8/16.

11:48 AM: And it’s like yesterday never ended. Two idiots limp, I raise AA on the button, and four of us see the flop.

We are in Overs.

Idiot 1 donks on K95, Idiot 2 raises, and I 3-bet. They both call.

Turn is a 6 and now Idiot 2 check-raises me with Idiot 1 still hanging around.

River is a ten and both of us pay off Idiot 2’s 96 suited.

No justice. All pain.

Going to need to focus on deep breathing and medding today. You know you have a lot of accumulated tilt when you are showing your emotions 30 minutes into a session.

Get it together, DK.

12:15 PM: Some justice:

Flea gonna Flea. Limpers, he pops it on button, I defend with QT and it’s multiway to the flop.

KJ9 with two spades. Ding ding ding! I donk. I know Flea will bet, but I also know he will get into a leveling war with me even though there are ten other players in the pot with us. I can check-raise him here, but then the other players have to call two bets cold. I’d rather collect the flop bets from the other players before making it 3-bets when Flea inevitably raises me because he seriously can’t help himself – he is the king of jamming the flop with little or no equity. So I bet and that’s exactly what happens.

Three of us to the 8 of spades on the turn. Not my favorite card, but I do have the ten of spades as minor back up. I bet, middle player calls, and Flea folds.

River is a 7. I bet and I’m good vs JT.

Flea opens, I 3-bet A6ss, and Part-Time calls from big.

I bet A64 all heart flop and Flea calls.

Turn is a T and now he check-raises me. I call.

River king. He bets, I call and I’m good vs KhJ.

A somewhat reasonable line from Flea but God bless his soul.

12:49 PM: This is what my dreams are made of… someone messages me on Facebook:

“Where is this Palace place and is there a seat open right now? I’m at Fortune.”

Yes. More of that please.

1:21 PM: AK-AQ curse still alive and well. Cutoff opens, I 3 with AK on button. Flop K83. Pretty tough board to win with AK heads up. Take it A6 of clubs.

1:44 PM: Flea gonna Flea. Tight-solid players raises, he calls. Others are in the pot also.

Flop is QT8, two spades, one diamond. I didn’t see the action.

Turn is J of diamonds. Tight-solid player bets into two opponents. I think he has AK here, like, always. Flea raises. Part-Time cold calls. Tight-solid 3-bets. No surprise there. Flea caps! Part-Time folds.

River 6 of diamonds. Tight-solid is apparently unaware of the levels of spew Flea is capable of and decides to check-call AK of spades here. Flea tables J9.

Totally clueless.

More Palace fun: 6-way limped pot and the flop is AQ3 all spades. It checks to Part-Time and he folds, seat five checks, Flea folds, s7 folds. We just went from 6-handed on the flop to 3-handed on the turn without a bet going in.

That is all.

2:19 PM: Damn. After at least 15 straight hours of playing and no sleep, Flea felts, says goodbye to everyone and then spends 15 minutes at the cage trying to get money.

It’s a no go.

Have a nice day, good buddy. Drive safe.

Suddenly we are 7-handed, but at least everyone has a decent amount of chips.

Also, a new player I’ve never seen play bigger than 4/8 just sat down with at least $1500. That can’t be bad for the game.

2:30 PM: I feel like I should mention something good happening so… aces held up heads up vs QQ.

2:44 PM: Sigh. What a joke. Game just went from 7-handed to 0-handed in five minutes.

So lame. On the list for 1/3 NL now.

+$110 in 15/30.

3:58 PM: 1/3 is super lame. Most of these pots are heading to flops with $12 in them.Muckleshoot just started a 20/40 O8 game. I’m on the fence… I’m tired… I’m annoyed… I might just go home… but I also know I won’t be playing Sunday, Monday or Tuesday so it’s hard to just toss an entire Saturday aside.

But sour mood plus tired is not a very good recipe for poker success so I probably will just go home.

4:25 PM: Confirmed done for the day. I’m definitely experiencing some burnout. After a miserable WSOP, the games in Lakewood are no longer reliable and I’ve run poorly when they have gone. I’ve basically been bleeding out since May and it’s a bit depressing. This is why people that play poker for a living never recommend this career path to anyone else. These stretches can be brutal and really ware on you. My motivation is seriously lacking right now. I want to go to Palace and play 15/30 and if that doesn’t happen, I just feel like sulking. It’s pretty gross.


Live Poker Live Blog @ Fortune

August 2, 2018

I’m not sure where I’m going to play tonight. My initial plan was just to head straight to Fortune and be in a game by 4 PM, but a) I was behind schedule and b) Palace had ten on the list for 15/30 as I started heading north on I-5.

I’m currently at Palace playing 4/8, but I’m going to take off and head to Fortune if the 15 game hasn’t started by the time I’m done writing my blog opener.

As I mentioned previously, I did not plan to play poker Monday through Wednesday but something strange happened on Tuesday. My plan was to watch three movies at the theater, starting with Teen Titans Go! To The Movies at 11:30 AM. I’ll post my thoughts on the film in the future, but what happened after the movie was kind of alarming.

Before I stood up to leave, I started to feel dizzy. That didn’t seem too abnormal, but it lingered and when I tried walking out of the theater, the sensation stayed with me and I felt like my body wanted to topple over.

I sat in the theater lobby for several minutes waiting for things to clear up and they just didn’t. Okay. I wasn’t watching anymore movies and I was starting to feel concerned. I googled ‘vertigo’ and started reading up on what I thought I might be experiencing.

I didn’t feel comfortable driving – even across the street to Palace – so I walked to the casino where I could at least be in view of people that knew. I informed one of the dealer’s about what was going on and then I did something stupid and helped them start an 8/16 game.

It fizzled quickly and soon I was playing 6-handed poker while experiencing a new, disturbing physical sensation.

It went well. I played fine, but I was getting good starters in a short game and I won zero pots. After 49 minutes, I lost every hand I played and was -$365. Uh. What the hell am I doing? I didn’t plan to play poker and I was just killing time, so I picked up and felt like I was okay to drive home.

I did feel a bit nauseous, so I ended up taking a nap for a few hours and everything has been fine since then. But still, pretty weird and slightly concerning. Vertigo? Dehydration? Heat exhaustion? I don’t know. I can’t say I’m super worried just yet, but if it happens again I will definitely go see a doctor.

Anyways, my various medical ailments aside, I thought it was worth mentioning my brutal mini-session.

That makes me -$963 over my last 2.5 hours of 8/16. I’m guessing that has to be up there with the worst consecutive 2.5 hours of 8/16 I’ve ever had.

Some other interesting notes before I publish:

-Jose Ramirez, of the Cleveland Indians, is tied for the AL lead in homeruns and stolen bases. He’s looking like a virtual lock for a 40/40 season, something that hasn’t happened outside of The Steroid Era.

-Felix Hernandez is pitching for his tournament life tonight and it’s not a secret. He knows it. Jerry DiPoto knows it. We know it. What a shit ton of pressure for someone that has really struggled this year.

I feel for Felix. The fans are turning on him like he didn’t carry the franchise basically on his own for the past decade. He’s struggling bad and it sucks and something has to be done in the midst of a playoff race, but let’s not forget what The King has meant to our team.

-Speaking of playoff races, we bought flight tickets to New York City for the AL Wild Card Game. It’s a bold move: the Mariners are now tied with the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot and the schedule is about to get brutal: 20 of the next 29 are against the Astros, A’s, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers, all postseason caliber squads. But I have faith and I refuse to miss it if we make it.

Let’s go, M’s!

5:21 PM: Welp. I’ve given 15/30 an hour to start (40 more minutes than I planned to) and it doesn’t look close. The names are there but they are all playing 8/16 and no one seems particularly concerned with starting it. I’m out.

And there is NFL on TV. My God. It’s early August. There are 11 teams in the playoff picture in the National League.

Stop the madness.

5:40 PM: Ugh. Every part of my being doesn’t want to have to drive to Renton to play poker but I need to get in some red chip games. Officially driving to Fortune… I’ll be back in action in ~45 minutes.

6:37 PM: Back in action, sitting in 8/16 @ Fortune. I am fifth up for 20/40. I did kind of want to play 1/3 NL as my warmup, especially after spotting The Riddler in a game, but this 8/16 is short and looks promising. I’ll stay here for now.

I went +$60 in my one hour of 4/8 @ Palace and was the recipient of what felt like a record amount of passive criticism from my white chip table mates:

He’s raising A7 offsuit?”

“Three bets with KJ offsuit?”

I did have one cool hand where I 3-bet a dude that was raising way too many hands (hence 3-betting KJ) with AJo and triple barreled for value with ace high. He called me with A3 high and I looked at Blackjack, sitting at the table, and said, “not a bluff.”

6:48 PM: Time to talk about the elephant in the room: things have not gone well for me at Fortune in 2018. I have played seven “sessions” and I have booked a win exactly zero times. I’m -$5256 overall during those plays. That’s a “win rate” of -$260/hour!

To be fair, it’s only 20 hours total. That amounts to about two full sessions. I am -$4361 in the 11 hours of 20/40 I’ve played here this year. So I’ve undeniably been smacked around the last two times I’ve sat in that game.

So yeah, definitely looking to turn that around tonight. And if not, at least show the fortitude to power through and play the number of hours I plan to. FanBoy says it is criminal to leave before 3 AM and also claims the 20/40 games have been off the chain lately.

So that’s my plan. Play my best until I’m ready to go home around 3 AM.

6:59 PM: The Joker is at the Mariners-Blue Jays game tonight and if you’re not familiar with this seemingly non-rivalry I can assure you that there is nothing more annoying, as a Mariners die hard, than watching the Blue Jays play at Safeco Field. I don’t know if they all come from Canada or if they already live in the Seattle area, but Jays fans come out in droves for games in Seattle. It is no exaggeration to say that they outnumber Mariners fans like 5 to 1.

It’s embarrassing. It’s disgusting. It’s absolutely true.

Two or three years ago, it prompted Felix Hernandez to yell, “this is my house!” after shutting the Jays down.

Anyways, Joker is aware of this issue and is well prepared for the situation. Here’s a look at the sign he prepared for tonight’s game:

7:25 PM: Strange hand during my 8/16 warmup: under the gun limps, I raise KQ of spades, some others call.

It’s like six of us to K42 with two clubs and one diamond. I bet and only the button and utg limper call.

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

River pairs the deuce and brings in the diamonds and now utg donks. Pretty comical. I’m presumably only losing to suited A2 hands and 4x hands that went running diamonds – the king on the flop was a diamond.. I call and the button overcalls. Okay…

…under the gun tables 32 offsuit, so we quietly thank the gods he exists, and then the button tables Q8 of diamonds. Wow. This game might be okay.

7:46 PM: Chatter at my table, re: Felix Hernandez:

“Goddamn Felix.”

“They should just cut him or DFA him.”

“Coughed up the lead already.”

“I just don’t get it. Why do they keep marching him out there?”

So annoying.

First off, Seager had a double play ball there.

Secondly, why is he throwing 0-2 pitches over the middle?! Goddammit!

7:58 PM: Meanwhile, over at Cheney Stadium:

July 31st was The Man’s birthday and a bunch of Palace folk headed to the Tacoma Rainiers game tonight to celebrate. I did receive an invite to this shindig but while being a professional poker does allow me to take whatever days off I want, I do have to make money at some point in time and well, the last few months have been rough. I basically already took five of the last six days off, so an impromptu trip to a minor league baseball game on a Thursday night seemed like bad time management.

Anyways, that’s Radio Mike and The Man in the play-by-play booth at Cheney pretending to be on the air. I know they aren’t because I have begged Mike to let me get on there with my overwhelmingly extensive baseball knowledge and he won’t budge. I’ve taught him everything he knows about poker, so you’d think it’s the least he could do. Alas, I guess I have to win a bracelet before that happens. Shoot, I had to make a WSOP final table before the guy even gave me a follow on Twitter!

8:29 PM: Starting a third 20/40 game now. Solid warmup: +$541 in just under two hours of 8/16.

As predicted, Joker makes the Root Sports broadcast:

8:49 PM: Good start to 20/40… I guess. Someone opens, I 3-bet 99, button cold calls.

Flop is JTT and I decide to check and overcall.

Turn is a queen, button bets, other guy folds and it seems silly to fold when picking up extra equity, but this spot is pretty gross. I call.

River is an 8. This board smacks his range pretty hard so it’s not super unlikely I’m beat here but I do think I have to lead here. I bet and he calls with… AA.

9:47 PM: Had about an hour of being card dead, occasional 3-bet of a late position open and losing. Then button opens, SB 3s, and I cap with 99.

Flop is 976 with two spades. SB donks, I raise, he raises, I cap. Button is still in there calling.

Turn is ace of clubs; I bet, they call.

River is the 3 of spades. Pretty gross. I’m pretty sure small blind is made so just have to fade the button here. I bet, button calls, SB folds QQ and I’m good.

Very next hand, it’s 3-bets to me and I have KK in the small blind. I cap. It’s three of us to the flop. Big blind calls the cap but the original opener makes a weird fold.

JT3 with two clubs on flop. I bet, BB calls, button raises, I call, and BB folds (another wtf moment). It’s pretty standard to 3-bet and keep my finger on the trigger here but I know the button knows my small blind capping range is nutted, so I just call down and he shows me AA.

10:00 PM: The Riddler comes up to my table when we are 5-handed and (audible to the whole table) asks: “how’s your game?”

How the hell am I supposed to answer that question? Just such a silly thing to ask when everyone can hear the conversation.

10:09 PM: New music tonight: Travis Scott, Mac Miller, H.E.R., YG, and Iggy Azalea… in that order of interest. Travis Scott is really next level, by far the best of the non-rapper/mumble rapper crowd.

Moved to one of the main games. Lots of history with basically everyone here. FanBoy and FanGirl both in it, a Palace reg… only one player I don’t recognize.

10:16 PM: FanBoy switches tables with one of the biggest nits at Fortune.

And on the day I buy my ticket to NYC for the Wild Card Game, the Mariners drop out of the second Wild Card spot for the first time since… May?

10:53 PM: Flipper is in the building. The Joker is in the building. Hopefully his presence doesn’t have the same affect on me as it did on the Mariners. FanBoy is out of the building.

10:59 PM: Joker’s stupid face already causing problems for me. I open AJ, only FanGirl defends her big blind and then check-calls me down on JJ5KT with AQ.


And then AA vs 66 heads up on T867T.

Dude’s not even in my game yet.

11:12 PM: Standard private exchange between Joker and Batman:

Right after I post that screenshot, I open AK from cutoff, the nit 3s from SB and I call.

Flop is K53. I put one raise in and she snap-raises. I call down and she shows me AA!


12:03 AM: Poker just hates me. One limper, I raise AQ, BB defends, limper 3s, I call.

Flop is Q73. He bets, I raise, he calls.

Turn 6, he check-raises. So gross. I call down. He has KK.

12:28 AM: Pretty amazing. Joker opens button, I 3 with TT, he calls.

Flop is A73 with two hearts. I bet-call and lose to T8 of hearts on the river.

Few hands later, limper, Joker raises, I 3 KK, and it’s four of us to JT9. The limper donks, Joker calls, I raise, blind calls and the donker calls.

Turn is a blank and the donker donks again. Joker folds and I just call. So does the player in the blind.

River is another brick and they both check to me. I don’t see how I can’t bet here. How can I possibly be beat? I bet and say to Joker, “if I lose this hand I’m going to be pissed.” The blind calls and the other guy folds. I table and the player in the blind tables JT.

What a joke. No 3 AM for me. This game is shitty, I’m tired, and now I’m down over $700. Literally the moment Joker walked in the building I started bleeding out and losing with the top of my range every hand.


My goal for the night was to persevere. It seems like I didn’t do that, but I don’t think persevering after midnight, in a bad game, 40 minutes from home is the time and place. I’m disappointed, but there’s not really much you can do when all your biggest hands are losing.

-$808 in 20/40, which puts me at -$207 for the day and continues a brutal small sample size in 20/40 at Fortune this year.

Poker will be happening Friday and Saturday. I’m not sure where yet. I was leaning Fortune but man it’s been painful out here.


Enemy Territory: $20/$40 @ Fortune

July 19, 2018

No. Fortune is not really the enemy, but it is a pretty foreign location to me at this point. I have logged 14 total hours at Fortune in 2018. Once I stopped in while waiting for the Muck Main Event to finish, once I stopped in before seeing Kendrick Lamar at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn, and once I stopped in briefly before heading to a home game. That brings the number of sessions I’ve played at Fortune because I planned to play a session at Fortune in 2018 to a grand total of one. I played a five hour session of 20/40 and got a swift kick in the ass to the tune of -$2135.

The reason my volume there has fallen off a cliff – despite good results: 1.47 BB/HR in 2017 – is because Palace hasn’t really given me a reason to go play anywhere else.

That seems to be changing. 15/30 is hit or miss at this point and The Leak and I stopped in Palace today, but we were playing in a lame short-handed feeder 8/16 game, the main game looked even worse, and 15/30 was probably hours away.

So I could stay and play 8/16 short-handed with my wife… or head to Fortune where they already have two 20/40 games going. There is no list for 20/40 so I won’t be surprised to walk in and see a 4-handed feeder game going, but hopefully it’s closer to being full. I like playing short-handed but not necessarily at the start of my sessions and the more players in the 20/40 games the more likely it is that at least one of them is pretty good.

4:30 PM: I don’t have many nicknames for players at Fortune. Just a couple. There are two full games going right now. Neither of them look very good though.

I do have some new nicknames for some Palace players though.

First off, the most overdue nickname ever. This player is one the top regulars at Palace and probably employs the tight-solid strategy better than any Palace regular when he’s on his A-game (i.e. not drinking). Note: Joker and I are not tight-solid players. He’s one of the good guys. He’s small in stature, but stocky.

I introduce you to Mighty Mouse.

Second nickname is for a player that is a sometime regular. I’ve seen him disappear for long periods of time but when he plays he comes in often. His style used to give me fits: he borders on maniacally aggressive but is a tad more selective and restrained than the true psychos. Still, I admire his tenacity – he unrelentingly attacks weakness. He is a bit hard-headed and can be easy to trap though.

Once upon a time, I thought of the perfect name for this player but I have since forgot. If I ever remember, I will probably change it, but for now, this player will be called Mr. Plow, as in Homer Simpson’s moniker when the streets of Springfield were covered in snow.

Finally, a name change. Action Bronson is a fitting moniker for that player, but a) it’s slightly obscure and b) I have something better.

When this player is in the game, the pots automatically get bigger, maybe even double in size. He’s a huge advocate of button straddles and almost always gets the whole table on board with it. In fact, he won’t even play 15/30 because he claims that 8/16 with straddles is a much better game. Not really sold on that. You can loosen a 15/30 up just like you can an 8/16, but whatever. Also, this player is the only one I’ve seen, maybe in history, that habitually plays his big blind, small blind, and button as his last three hands of a session before picking up and leaving. 100% of the time. He’s a game-changer. Someone is going to have a good session when he sits down (once in a while it’s him) because every pot is like a splash pot. I know it’s the middle of summer right now but it always feels like Christmas when he’s at the table.

He is Santa Claus.

5:41 PM: There are two full 20/40 games going at Fortune. I’ve moved twice already. The games seem pretty typical at the moment. What that means is that most pots are heads up or 3-handed.

Only notable hand I’ve played so far was when I 3-bet Q9o on the button after the same player opened three hands in a row, just as a way to say: not on my watch.

He check-raised me on a queen high flop and I called there and turn before betting river when he slowed down. He paid it off and my message was sent.

I have played with four of the players at my table. One of them is definitely good, two of them are probably small winners, and the other is likely a small loser. Three players I don’t know have over $3000 in front of them.

Also, I have already folded AQ preflop.

5:52 PM: Yesterday I played PLO at Palace. I got tuned up pretty good in 4/8 Omaha 8 and 8/16 while I was waiting. I went -$453 in 90 minutes of play. It was spectacular.

Fortunately PLO went much better. I finished at +$2663. I have some hands I want to type out, but I’ll wait until I’m on a break or when I get home, so I can focus on what’s happening in front of me.

6:00 PM: Just saw a player show down 75o after limping in under the gun. So…. that’s good news.

6:24 PM: Rigged. I open KJdd, good player 3-bets, loose player calls small blind, and I call.

Flop is KT3 with two diamonds. I decide to go with check-raise and it gets capped 3-ways.

Not planning to lead many turns and the ace of clubs is definitely a check-call. Good player bets and we both call.

River is 2c. I check-fold and the loose player pays off with AQ. Good player has a set of 3s.

Just heard the player on my right call the dealer a “cunt” under his breath. That’s pretty cool. Poker is full of all sorts of wonderful people.

6:54 PM: Solid connection. I check-raise the QJxK board with KJ against the fishiest player at the table. He has QQ. Great timing. Currently working on -$500.

7:44 PM: Approaching -$1000. I’ve won one small pot in the last 2+ hours.

I’ve had a lot of late position open/big blind defend spots against s1 and he has won 100% of them so far. That’s been pleasant.

But as I was typing this I 3-bet AK on button and barreled off on KJ2Q2 and never got check-raised! Back to -$600.

This game is about to get juicy though: The Invisible Man just sat down.

8:15 PM: Cutoff opens, I 3-bet AT, he calls. He donks on AKQ so I just call down on AKQ73 runout. He has A7.

Under the gun opens, fish calls, I defend AKss. Hard not to 3-bet with the fish in there but I hate giving away my hand strength out of position and narrowing my range. When I call, I can still have anything.

So when I check-raise the 822s flop, I can reasonably rep trips, or an eight. They both call flop. I feel like I’m good.

Turn 3 of spades. I bet, UTG calls, and the fish folds.

River 8 and I have to chop this stupid pot with A9.

Everything is going swimmingly.

8:46 PM: Defend QT in 4-way pot. Flop is KJx rainbow. Two of us call. Turn 3. I’m the only caller. River 7. Check, check. He shows A3o.

Nice line, DK.

Wish this pot was heads up instead. Might have to re-examine this spot but it seems bad to isolate with queen high out of position on KJx against someone that raised multiple limpers.

8:54 PM: Good lord. Defend QQ heads up. Check-call T53. Check-raise 4. Check-call 2. Lose to A5.


9:15 PM: Just took a steam walk to clear my head from this super annoying session I’m having and received what was the coolest text message I’ve ever read. Maybe some day soon I will share it.

Came back and posted in the cutoff. Multiple limpers, I check 54o, and then bet the A34 flop when everyone checks to me. I somehow get five players to fold. One of them says to me, “easy game.”

Yeah man. Totally. Just running this shit over right now.

9:21 PM: Sigh. Finally get a good run out. Defend 74dd vs button open and SB call, check-raise A54dd flop, button folds, SB calls. He check-calls down on A54dd43d.

Very next hand, there’s two limps, I raise AK from SB and it’s four way action to A86.

Fast forward to the river and I’m getting scooped by A7.

Yup. Easy game.

9:39 PM: One thing I definitely do miss about playing at Fortune is that, for the most part, people leave me alone. I’m all for creating a friendly, fun, and entertaining atmosphere at the table. I think it’s much, much better for poker and makes it more enjoyable for everyone. But if I was being completely honest, I would rather just listen to music than socialize all day long. Most of the time.

I listen to audio books when I’m driving so the only time I have to really listen to music is at the gym or when I’m playing poker. And these days there’s so much stuff coming out all the time that it’s hard to keep up… especially if I’m never checking it out the 40 hours a week I’m sitting at a poker table.

So yeah, it’s been nice to just sit here for 5+ hours of uninterrupted musical enjoyment.

Now I can listen to The Internet’s new album without having to pause it after every hand to courteously listen to the sixth street talk I have no interest in.

9:52 PM: FanBoy texting me that 15/30 at Palace is jamming. Everyone has Overs. Ugh.

There’s a big difference between the Palace 15/30 and the Fortune 20/40. It’s pretty huge actually. You could randomly take any player off the 20/40 here and they would almost always be a top 5 player at Palace. It’s just night and day really.

10:11 PM: Raise button with QQ. K22 flop. I end up folding turn. Small blind wins with K6o.

It’s all so gross I’m struggling to stomach it right now.

Defend J9. Flop 964. He has 44.

Can’t. Take. Much. More.


10:45 PM: Middle position opens JTo. I 3-bet AA on the button. He wins.

Massive pot: I have QJhh in MP after limpers, I raise and it gets capped 7-ways.

I peel one off on 872 with one heart. All seven players are still in.

Turn is a queen. Someone donks, two calls, I raise. One player cold calls but I do get two folds. 🙌🏻 The other two just call. I like my hand but I’m definitely not sure about it.

River ace. It checks around. Turn donker has KQ.


10:59 PM: JJ v KK. That’s all.

11:02 PM: 88 v QQ on 9 high board.

11:03 PM: TT v KK on AAxxx.

I’m going to lose all my chips tonight.

11:11 PM: Legit just steam-punted $100 and that is my cue to get the hell out of here.

I was able to carry all my chips in one hand to cash out. Not sure how many times that’s happened in a limit game in the past five years, but it’s probably less than three.

I was pretty sure this was going to be a record loss, but this is what I have remaining from a $3000 buy in:

That’s a final score of -$2226, less than $100 away from being an all-time worse loss.

I guess my pain threshold kicks in somewhere around -$2k these days. Once I hit that number, I can really start to feel it physically and any series of negative variance afterwards is enough to make me want to quit.

This isn’t really a good thing. Increasing my pain threshold is something to work on, especially as I continue to move up in limits. I can’t really play 40/80 and start to think about giving up at -$2k.

So yeah. That’ll teach me to think I can go somewhere besides Palace to play poker. Home field advantage is a real thing and after posting back-to-back $2k losses in the 20 at Fortune, I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t go back there the rest of the year.


Binions $585 H.O.R.S.E. Championship (LIVE BLOG)

June 28, 2018

Just sat down in the $585 HORSE Championship at Binions.

I punted this tournament so hard last year I decided to immediately book a flight home and ended my trip.

To illustrate how big of a punt this was, let me tell you about the structure of this event. It’s ridiculous. Starting stacks are 50k with blinds starting at 75/150 and stair-stepping every 40 minutes. That’s a starting stack of 333 big blinds… in a limit tournament… with 40 minute levels… and a soft field!

Making Day 2 in this one seems like a layup. I lasted five hours. It was unbelievable. I obviously didn’t run good, but I’m also sure it was the worst I played the whole summer and I felt like it was a huge wasted opportunity.

Granted, I could have re-entered in Day 1B, but I was so mad at myself I was just… done. Plus, I was really disappointed with the turn out. I can’t remember exactly how many showed up for Day 1A last year but it was definitely less than the 50 players that are already here for Day 1A today.

Not sure if I’ll be posting hands regularly or not, but I will at least post stack updates here on the breaks.

My buddies Tormund and Flipper (formerly known as The Atom) are carrying a 50k stack to Day 2 of the Tag Team event in the WSOP. That puts them in the top 75 stacks of 250ish remaining players. I believe I saw that 150 or so players cash. They got it in with 99 vs JJ late last night and managed to find a 9 on the turn to survive. I’ll update their progress throughout the day. I believe cards were in the air five minutes ago.

The Leak also fired the $1k Ladies Event at the WSOP this morning and I’ll post updates on her status as well. Starting stacks were 5k in that one.


1:17 PM: Wow. I do not have good news.

The Leak is out.

Flipper and Tormund are out.


I have 52.4k on the first break. Nothing really notable the first few levels.

3:13 PM: Okay, Mariners game is over (Sweep!) so I can update a bit more frequently.

Here’s a funky stud hand I’m not sure about.

A 7h up raises, I reraise with split aces, and the bring in calls with a 4 up (what?).

I catch a blank on 4th, the bring in catches a king, and the 7h catches a 3h. I still lead and I’m surprised when the bring in raises. The 7h calls it cold and I call, but I’m kind of baffled at this point.

On 5th I make aces and nines (hidden), but the bring pairs open kings and the 7h3h catches the Kh. The kings lead and the three flush raises. I think I’m supposed to exit here. When the bring in raised on 4th, I thought he paired a king (or he has rolled up fours?) and the three flush is saying he doesn’t care about any of that. But then I start thinking about hands that he might raise on 5th that I’m still beating, like a pair with a four flush, plus he has the Kh showing making it less likely the other player has three kings. All my outs are live, so I call it cold. The kings call also.

Everybody bricks on 6th and we all put in one bet.

On 7th, I don’t improve and the three flush board still bets and I feel like he can never be bluffing at this point, so I fold and he gets check-raised by the kings and loses to kings full of fours. The three flush shows rolled up 7s and I’m pretty sure I messed this hand up on 5th and should have stuck with my first instinct.

In LHE, I 3-bet KK and my opponent donks into me on the Q93 flop. I decide to flat and raise the turn, but the turn card pairs the queen and I decide to call down. He ends up showing me 99! Unlucky but somehow managed to matrix my way to minimum damage.

I bounced back by playing an Omaha 8 hand questionably. Okay I played it bad. I opened AJ93 badugi, got 3-bet, and then called down on a 887QT runout (don’t worry, I donked the river at least). Everyone has been playing O8 really wild at my table so there’s some chance my low draw was good for half and my gut shot is ultimately what made me call and… BINK!

Then I won multiple Razz pots.

Currently sitting on 58k after six levels.

3:45 PM: I saw Sandman talking to the floor man and thought he was signing up to play, but then he disappeared.

I coaxed Flipper into late regging this thing and he got here only to find out that they are taking alternates! So that explains what happened to Sandman.

There were like 40 people here for Day 1A last year, a super disappointing turnout, so it’s been pretty shocking to see 88 players come out to play Day 1A this year. I imagine the field will be similar for Day 1B tomorrow, for about roughly 180 players and a prize pool approaching $100k.

My table appears to be really loose, aggressive, and bad. Reminds me of how I played last year. A bunch of dudes trying to bully what they think is a soft field.

4 PM: Stud 8, 8 up opens, I 3-bet 9A-A, a small up card calls and the bring in calls also.

I catch a 7 on 4th, one of the lows bricks, the other catches an offsuit 8, and the 8 catches a 9. Pretty good street for me. I bet and everybody calls.

On 5th, the 89 makes open 9s, I catch a jack, and the two low boards are bricky, so when the 9s lead out, raising to get heads up even though he likely has two pair makes sense to me. I raise, the two others fold, and he calls.

I plan to check back on 6th unimproved but I make open aces instead and value bet through 7th and get paid off to scoop my biggest pot of the tournament.

The Leak is in action in the Daily Deep Stack at the Rio. I’ll update her progress there.

Flipper got a refund and is across the street playing cash at the Golden Nugget.

5:45 PM: Wonderful. 60 minute dinner break with zero desire to take a break after getting torched in LHE.

Blinds 500/1000, someone opens, I 3-bet QQ from cutoff, button 4-bets, we both call. Flop is T32. We both check-call.

Turn pairs the 2. We both check-call.

River ace. We both check and the button still bets. Kind of weird unless he had AA the whole time or was trying to punt. Other player folds so I’m definitely calling.

He shows me AJ offsuit.


Very next hand I lose a big pot with AKdd vs KK.

Peaked at like 75k and suddenly I have 54.5k.

What a joke.

7:12 PM: The brutality continued after dinner and I bottomed out at 36k before winning a couple Razz pots. I’m back up over 41k now.

Sandman finally gets a seat… in round 10… at 1200/2400 limits… at my table.

He has more chips than me.

7:20 PM: Sandman just won a very big Stud pot. He has way more chips than me. Wth.

7:22 PM: Split kings < buried tens. 33k.


7:49 PM: Open A2-3 in Stud 8, some goon with TT-9 3-bets, we get another caller, so I just call. The 9 catches a 3 and the other guy bricks, so I bet when I pick up a 4 and only the TT-93 calls.

On 5th I catch a 7 and the freeroll is on. He calls.

I make 7s on 6th and he pairs his 3 and decides it’s a good time to get 3.5 big bets in for the rest of his stack even though he’s 0% to scoop the pot.

I don’t catch an ace, seven or five and his tens and threes are good for half.

Thanks for trying though.

Just got stubborn with Sandman in Stud 8 holding 66-5K9K-A when he has xx-A943-x showing. He gave up on 6th when I made open kings and let me show down for free because… I was scooping!


8:17 PM: The Leak is making a serious run in the Rio Daily Deep Stack. She has 265k with blinds at 3000/6000 and 181 left. I think she said 150 or so cash. The Riddler is also still in the Daily and he apparently has a big stack too.

UPDATE: The Leak has cashed the Daily Deep Stack. She will have a Hendonmob profile! Congrats babe!

8:40 PM: Busted a player in Razz and now I’m back over 50k.

Sandman just doubled up… to 11k.

8:50 PM: Groan. Huge 3-way Razz pot:

Sandman: xx-2K28-x

Me: 52-7Q98-Q

Third Player: xx-644T-x

Bets go in on every street with Sandman all in on 5th. Third player turns over A28 for the scoop. I had a slight lead on 6th in a 40k pot and now I have 30k on break.

9:08 PM: Peaking! I have 33-K in a 4-way pot and spike a 3 on 4th. I check, the last player with a jack up bets and I check-raise, a player with 8c6c 3-bets, and the jack folds. Feels like a flush draw to me, so my plan is to call and…

Bet when he bricks on 5th. He calls.

I make open kings on 6th (a full house) and he has 8c6cJJ showing… and calls… and then calls again on 7th.

I now have 86k. Game on.

9:59 PM: The Leak just ran QQ into AA… flopped a set… and lost to a rivered set. She has 70k now which is probably ten bigs or so.

10:46 PM: Last hand of Razz and middle position raises with a king up. Some people are startled but no one says anything.

Me: 86-5797-T

Him: xx-KQ39-x

Sick thing is I don’t have him board locked but he’s probably been drawing dead since he clearly thinks he’s playing Stud. He put in multiple small bets on 3rd and 4th and big bets on 5th and 6th before seeming to realize his mistake.

A very nice gift.

I lost a couple big Stud pots after that so I still only have 97k.

11:10 PM: I have 92k with 37 players left. 119k is current average stack. Three more levels tonight and I need to make a late push because if I bust this I’m not sure I can do another 14 hour day of HORSE.

The Leak has ran her 70k stack back up to 250k. There are 69 left in the Daily Deep Stack and I believe The Riddler is also one of those players.

Correction: The Riddler out in 61st place.

11:37 PM: Look at The Leak go!

Meanwhile I’m peaking at 117K. Creeping up on an average stack!

11:50 PM: Fun LHE hand I wasn’t involved in. Button opens, small blind 3-bets, button calls.

Flop is A83 with two clubs. Small blind bets and button calls.

Turn is 2 of clubs. Small blind check-calls.

River blank. They both check. Small blind shows KcJ. Button immediately expresses disbelief, flashes J9 of SPADES, and says “you all saw that, right?” like the small blind was the one on a pure torch. Button left himself with 1.25 big bets, which may have won him the pot if he put it in on the river.

I am above average at 170k now. Two more levels!

12:06 AM: The Leak busts in 43rd when her QQ runs into KK.

Nice run baby!! Congrats!

12:16 AM: I just took the sickest, sickest SICKEST Razz beat ever.

Someone opens, middle position calls with a QUEEN up, I call A7-3

On 4th I catch a 5, the opener catches a ten, and the queen catches a 2. I bet, they both call.

On 5th I catch a king, the ten catches good and the queen catches a 6. The ten leads and we both call.

On 6th the ten catches bad, I catch a 6, and the queen catches a ten… AND BETS.

I cant fucking believe my good fortune. I raise the other guy out and this dip shit calls.

On 7th, I don’t improve but I have a 76 so I bet it and HE RAISES ME.


I call. He shows a 65.


I have 85k after losing this 238k pot.


I am literally BOILING right now.

How is this my summer?

12:41 AM: And after playing at the same table for 13+ hours I get moved to balance with 30 minutes left so I don’t even get a chance to double through the jackass that got me.

12:56 AM: I’m out. What a day. Lose a 240k pot for a top 5 stack in the most ridiculous fashion ever in the second to last level of the night and then bust with 15 minutes left in the day.

Good night.