Posts Tagged ‘mixed games’

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August 2019 Poker Wrap-Up

September 4, 2019

I spent the last few days of August in Los Angeles, playing at The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens because they were hosting a $2100 H.O.R.S.E. tournament in their Legends of Poker series. I played that tournament on Friday and I already wrote about it in this post so if you missed it the first time around, you can click that link and go read how awesome I did in that event.

I got into L.A. on Wednesday just after 4 PM and started my trip off by… taking an extended nap. I wasn’t in action until 7 PM but I immediately got a seat in a 40/80 Limit Hold’em game. They had two games going at the time and the feeder game wasn’t particularly attractive as they had three props and a host playing in the game.

In my first orbit I have KK in late position in a 4-bet 5-way pot and one of the props was the preflop capper and leads out on a T95 flop. I raise it and all four opponents call. It checks to me when the ten pairs on the turn and I don’t see any reason to check here, so I bet and only two players call. I’m loving my hand now. The river pairs the nine and it checks to me again. I bet, the player in the blinds fold, and now the prop suddenly loves his hand and check-raises. I’m not folding here, but I also realize my hand is probably not winning. I put in the call and he shows me AA. It’s a bit of a strange line from him, but I really love his river check-raise, as once the player that can actually have tens and nines in his range folds, he knows he has the best hand because I’ve been saying I have a big pair ever since I 3-bet before the flop.

That was a nice start to my session, but I had a chance to get some back when I defended the KQ of spades in a 4-way pot and flopped a flush draw on T72. It was bet and raised back to me, so I just called and the PFR 3-bets it. Then the turn paired the ten and PFR and I both check-call. Three of us saw the 6 of clubs on the river, so I check-folded, but the preflop raiser check-called with… 98 of spades. You can never be too careful (other player had KT).

There’s a raise and three calls in front of me, so I cold call on the button with 76 of spades and we go 5-ways to a flop of J86 with two hearts and no spade. The PFR bets and it’s not my favorite kind of board to peel on with no backdoor flush draw, but this pot is bloated, so I take a card off. Three of us see the turn and I make two pair and raise it up when the PFR bets. She responds with a 3-bet and that kind of sucks, but you never know how unknown players are going to play their overpairs, so I’m showdown bound here. We are heads up to the river and I now have a full house on the J8676 runout. I’m sure there’s plenty of good arguments for a raise here, as she clearly has more combos of AA-QQ (18) than sets of jacks or eights (6), but my superficial read is that this player is competent and is not raising the turn with one pair, so I just call and she does show me JJ.

Yup. Great start to my trip. I’m stuck $1k in two hours.

But it did get better. Much, much better. I moved to the main game and got to enjoy the beautiful sight of multiple players limping in at the 40/80 level. My hot streak isn’t as interesting as my bad start. My big pairs just all held up. For hours. I peaked at +$2600, but got cold again during the last couple of hours of my session, including these two hands:

I have TT in a 4-bet pot and put in multiple bets against the other preflop aggressor on a 762 two spade flop. He’s check-calling on the 4x turn, so I have a pretty good idea where I’m at. The river is an ace, however, and I think an ace high flush draw was one of his most likely holdings, so I’m pretty happy when he checks to me and I’m able to check behind… but not quite as happy when he shows the AK of spades for the win.

It folds to Jonathan Ing on the button and he opens for a raise. Jonathan is notable because he’s the host of the mid-stakes Limit Hold’em games at The Bike and he was also the second player to complete my Coast-to-Coast Challenge when he did it on our Live at The Bike stream. Anyways, when he opens on the button, I expect him to be wide, so I 3-bet with Q9 suited and we take a flop of 987 rainbow. I bet and he calls. The turn is a jack and I check it over to him and he bets. I think Jonathan is capable, so I’m not automatically giving him credit for a straight here, plus I have a gutshot of my own, and make the call. The river is a 6 and that puts another one card straight on the board, but I check-call again and he did, indeed, get there with 55.

I didn’t stick around much longer after that and called it a night around 3 AM with a $924 profit.

I made it back to the casino around 4 PM on Thursday and decided to play some 20/40 Mix for my session because the 40/80 game looked prop-heavy again and there was only one table this time.

I walked to the casino and crossed the underrated and gorgeous L.A. River on my way.

I only took a couple of notes for this session.

I open with KTT8x in Drawmaha from the button and both blinds call. The flop is J94 with two diamonds and both players check-call. They draw 2 and 3 and I keep TT8 with one diamond. The turn is the 3 of diamonds and I draw the 8 of diamonds and the 7 of clubs, so I now have two pair in my hand and straight and flush draws on the board. It checks to me and I bet, but the small blind check-raises me and I don’t have a made hand on the board so I just call and the river pairs the 9. I call again and get scooped by JJJ4x. He even had my diamond draw covered. Pretty brutal.

I defend in Badacey with 754xx and draw two vs two players. I’m not even sure if this is a reasonable defend, but here we are. I pick up the 2 of clubs and pitch my 7 of clubs and draw two again with 542 now. They draw one and two. I make a 5432 Badugi and plan to check-raise, but it’s bet and raised back to me. I should probably be raising anyway because the chances that I am freerolling are pretty high, but I just call and try to make an A-5 hand. We all draw one. Bingo. I get an ace to make a wheel to go with my #5 Badugi. Seems pretty good to me. Since everyone was still drawing a card on the last draw, I lead out and I’m surprised when the first guy raises and the other player cold calls. I’m sure there are some things that could go wrong here, but I’m not sure I’ve ever made a hand this strong in Badacey, so I put in the 3-bet and they both call. The first guy shows 6532A with a 632A Badugi and the other player just flashed a 6432 Badugi but not his last card. Pretty nasty, but a very sexy, session-defining scooper for me.

I open with A443 with two spades in Omaha 8/B and someone calls on the button. The flop is A85 with two spades and we end up capping it. I have top pair with the nut flush draw and the third nut low, so I’m pretty happy about this spot. The turn is a 9, I bet and he calls. The river is a jack and we both check. He shows AT42 (no spades) and that is going to scoop me somehow.

I played until just after 1 AM and booked a $881 win.

I busted out of the tourney on Friday before they even posted the prize pool and I hopped in a 40/80 Mix game around 5 PM, but I didn’t take any notes and I finished that session +$1036, calling it an early night because The Leak (my wife) was on her way to our hotel from LAX.

On Saturday, I started out with some 20/40 LHE and then moved up to 40/80 LHE, but then I saw actor James Woods sitting in a mix game about to start and I inquired about what was going on because my name was on the 40/80 Mix game and I was told they were starting a 50/100 game with some Hollywood folks. I’d never played that big before, but I couldn’t resist. I took a seat.

In addition to James Woods, Carol Fuchs and her husband Martin Shafer were also in the game. I’ve been running into Carol in mix game tournaments over the last several years, but I’d never met her husband before or knew anything about him. I do now. He’s a co-founder of the film company Castle Rock Entertainment and they’ve put out over 50 movies since the late 80’s, including notable films like The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, A Few Good Men and The Polar Express. They also made The Ghosts of Mississippi, a film that got James Woods one of his two Oscar nominations. In addition, Seinfeld is listed among the T.V. shows they have produced. So… no one in this crowd is doing too bad in life.

I had a blast playing in this game, as everyone was super friendly and it was cool to see Carol and Martin playing straight up poker against each other. I also got to hear some interesting tidbits about some of their movies. Like how Stephen King walked out in the middle of their screening of Misery and everyone was freaking out because they thought he hated it. When they asked him about it later, King said he “loved it” and “was just scared” (because he knew the hobbling scene was coming up). They also told me that Bette Midler was their first choice for the role that eventually won Kathy Bates an Oscar.

There was also a lot of talk about Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and they all hated it. Martin and Carol walked out of it and James Woods brought it up as offensive at multiple times during this session. Apparently, people in Hollywood – people that knew Sharon Tate – aren’t very enamored with QT’s revisionist history. I told them I liked it, but thought the ending was weird… because… it was. The whole concept is weird, honestly, and I’m not surprised that some in the industry are taken aback by it.

On to the poker…

The game is 2-7 Drawmaha and Martin Shafer opens, James Woods calls, and I 3-bet with T9853 single suited. They both call and we see a flop of 873 with two clubs. I have two pair and a flush draw and Woods helps me get three bets in on the flop. I pat and they both draw one. The turn is a 9 and Woods is my only caller. The river is a club and he pays my flush off with 33 in his hand. It’s always nice when you are freerolling for a scoop and get there.

2-7 Drawmaha again and this time I cap on the button with 98643 and four diamonds in my hand. The flop is AJ2 with two diamonds and two players call. I pat and they both draw one. The turn is a ten and only Carol calls. The river is a queen, giving me a straight to go with the obviously good low in my hand and Carol calls again and can’t beat any of it.

I’m up $2k early on and I’m pretty excited about it, but then the dreaded game of Archie comes along and I whiff straight draws with four low cards in my hand three pots in a row and lose back $1k just like that.

Stud 8 with three down cards, Carol opens with a king up and I raise with AK9ss-A. Tom Schneider, winner of four mix game WSOP bracelets defends with the 2d up. I pitch the king and keep the A9 of spades. I catch a 5, Carol gets a 3 and Tom gets the 7 of diamonds. I bet here, but it’s probably more of a check, especially when Tom catches an on suit low card after calling 3-bets on 3rd street. They both just call though. Carol leads out when she picks up an ace on 5th and I raise with my A9-A56 because Tom caught a jack and I’m really dumb. Tom doesn’t fold and this is starting to look pretty bad for me. I make aces and fives on 6th and that puts my board in the lead. I check to Tom who has three low cards showing now, he bets, and Carol raises. I probably should have been able to figure this out on 5th street, but I didn’t even think about it. When she opens with a king and leads out on 5th when she catches an ace, she obviously has the case ace in the hole. I’m probably in bad shape against her and I should have just called on 5th street… maybe even folded. I can see the light now and toss my hand into the muck and she does have aces and kings… just as she should.

Regular Drawmaha, James Woods limps, I raise with AAKK6 double suited, Schneider 3-bets me, Woods folds, and I cap it. The flop is Q65 with one of each of my suits. I bet and he calls. He draws three and I draw one. The turn is the 3 of spades and he check-calls me again. The river is the jack of spades and this time he leads out, I raise it, he calls, and I scoop the pot. Take that, bracelet winner!

I reached a peak of up around $4000, but I lost some back and I didn’t stick around too much longer after James Woods left (and Carol and Martin were long gone). I ended up booking a +$3186 win in the biggest game I’ve ever played in. Not too bad, but nothing special either. Also, I lost $600 in 30 minutes of 40/80 LHE earlier, so my total win for the day was closer to $2600.

The Leak thinking about getting her leak on.

We initially planned to go to Universal Studios on Sunday – mostly because I wanted to go on the new Jurassic World ride and Dina has never seen the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – but I checked on their app and the lines were already pretty insane, particularly the three hour wait for the Jurassic World ride. I mean, come on. That is just outrageous. How good can it be? (I watched a YouTube video of the ride and, well, it seems pretty cool, but it’s not that different from the previous version).

So we headed to The Bike instead and I played some more 40/80 Mix with Mr. James Woods.

I got off to a rough -$1k start, mostly because I lost a big Stud 8 pot. I started with A2-3 in a raised 5-way pot and caught a 5 on 4th street with no 4s visibly dead. A player with A8 up bets and I raise it and two others call, as does the bettor. I brick on 5th street and get squeezed for 3-bets by boards showing 575 and 632. The player that had A8 up caught a 4 before folding on this street, so one of my scoop outs is dead now, but this pot is so big and I already had one bet in on 5th, and I’m not seeing a great reason to fold yet. But then I brick again on 6th and their boards look like 5575 and 632x now. The board with trips leads out and I don’t want to get squeezed again, so I make a reluctant fold. They complete the hand and since I was in last position, I can look at the top card on the deck and see what my card would have been, so I take a peak and it was a four! That was only good for half the pot though as the 5755 board had fives full of sevens and the other player had 7632A for their low.

I got all of that back when I got involved in a 4-way Archie pot with a one card flush draw and got there on the last draw and got paid off by all three opponents, none of which had a low or a better high hand.

Playing regular Drawmaha, three players limp in, and I complete with AAK92 single suited in the small blind and the big blind checks. I’m not an expert in this game, but my intuition says that even though I probably have the best Draw hand before the flop/draw, my hand and position aren’t good enough to raise in what is surely going to be a 5-way pot. Also, I’ve noticed a tendency for people to limp or cold call in live mix games with pat Draw hands like straights and flushes to encourage multi-way action, so that’s worth keeping in mind. The flop is 334 with one of my suit and it checks to James Woods. He bets, the button calls, I call, and now the big blind check-raises. We all call. I have the 2 of spades in my hand and that gives me a gutshot with a backdoor flush draw, but I feel like the straight draw might be near worthless here and decide to focus on trying to improve my Draw hand. I draw three and the other players all draw two each. I add 773 to my hand the turn is the 5 of spades, so I now have aces up in my hand and trips on the board. That’s a nice development, but with three other players in the pot, I still don’t love my Omaha hand. The big blind can easily have 44 here and someone with the case 3 can have a full house. I decide to check-call and this time it is James Woods that bets. Everyone else calls also. The dealer only has one card left, so he can’t burn and bring a river. That means the last card remaining is shuffled with the two burn cards and the dealer burns and brings a river. It’s a queen and we all call James Woods when he bets. He shows Q43xxx and that’s good for the Omaha half, but my aces up are good for the Draw half. We take a look at the other two burn cards and one of them was a 7! I was 33% to scoop this monster on the river!

Later we are playing 2-7 Drawmaha and the player on my left shows me his hand and asks me to tell him if he did the right thing later. He shows me T9873 with spades on a flop of 882 with two spades. He has a monster. I wasn’t really paying attention to the action up to this point, but I would imagine he’s putting in all the bets if he can. And then he pitches the 3 of spades to draw one and I tried to not let my jaw drop in shock. This is a guy that is literally wearing his WSOP bracelet on his wrist! Remember, this is 2-7 Drawmaha and the goal in this game is to make the best 2-7 holding in your hand and the best Omaha hand on the board. A pat 10 is pretty good, especially when you flop a big Omaha hand. Maybe he thought it was regular Drawmaha? But this is like the third or fourth hand of 2-7, so… I dunno. Anyways, he draws a king and I’m like, “wow.” The hand goes to showdown and someone draws a better low and another player has A8 for the Omaha half. I told him his mistake (because he asked) and it was determined that he would have gotten scooped anyway… but that’s not necessarily true. The turn is the same, but the river would have been different if he didn’t draw. Amazing.

It folds to James Woods in the small blind while we are playing Badugi and he raises. I look down at 652x and put in a 3-bet and he calls. He pats, which surprises me, and I draw one. He bets and I call. He pats and I draw one again. I improve to A52, but I’m still drawing to a Badugi. He bets and I call. He virtually bets in the dark, stares me down, and I fail to improve. I also fail to give this hand any logical thought and toss it in the muck. That’s when he shows me four hearts in his hand. Honestly, I’m embarrassed about this fold. If I would have taken a minute to think about how this hand played out, I would have realized that Jimmy can’t really have a Badugi here. When I 3-bet before the first draw, he just called me. He may play a weak Badugi this way, but he almost certainly wouldn’t bet such a weak hand after the last draw and the fact that he smoked it makes it even more likely that he doesn’t have shit. Anyways, we all got a good laugh out of his successful bluff and when I raised him on the next hand, he guffawed, “oh oh, he’s mad at me now. ‘I never liked any of his movies anyways!'”

I was super card dead for most of this session and floated between +$300 and -$300 for most of the day with only three mini-rushes in any direction, two of them downwards. I finished at -$848 and booked my only losing day of the trip, mostly because I let James Woods bluff me in a $560 pot.

All in all, I lost the tournament I went to L.A. to play, but I only had 40% of myself and I won $4566 in the cash games. I left for California stuck almost $2k for the month and managed to finish with a profitable August and that is a pretty satisfying result.

August Poker Highlights

*Beating Steve Garguile heads up in an All-Star tournament
*Playing in the biggest game I’ve ever played in and booking a solid win
*Playing 16+ hours with James Woods and other Hollywood movie people
*Clutching up during my Cali trip to turn my month around
*Winning in every live mix game session I played (+2.8 BB/hour)

August Poker Lowlights

*Getting crushed at Palace (-$4600)
*Getting crushed in online mix games (-2.72 BB/hour)
*Busting the $2100 H.O.R.S.E. tournament before the prize pool was posted
*Being stuck for most of the month

On Deck in September

*It: Chapter 2!
*Puyallup Fair
*Fall Coast Classic at Chinook Winds in Lincoln City, Oregon
*Adoptapalooza at Mud Bay in Gig Harbor (are we coming back with a third dog?)
*Overnight trip to La Center in southern Washington for 20/40 and 30/60 LHE action

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Legends of Poker: $2100 H.O.R.S.E. @ The Bike – Stack Updates/Live Blog

August 30, 2019

Stack updates and notable hands here.

This is actually considered Day 2 of this event. A few weeks ago, they ran a series of mixed game satellites and I considered coming out to play them, but I didn’t think it was worth the trip expenses to play them and possibly not even qualify. Anyways, those satellites were considered Day 1 of this event and it looks like 32 players total (~8 per flight) advanced to Day 2 and only a handful of them get to bring sizable stacks with them.

For those of us registering today, it is $2100 to buy in and we start with 180,000 in chips with blinds starting at 1500/3000. That gives us a total of 60 big blinds – or 30 big bets – so not a ton of play, but the pros with huge bankrolls are probably happy that the first level is going to be critical.

I’m sure there are going to be plenty of faces I recognize in the field but I’ve been playing and studying mix games a lot lately and I feel as confident as I ever have sitting down in a H.O.R.S.E. tournament. The stacks are small enough that getting off to a good start is going to be pretty crucial, so some early run good would be nice.

Levels are an hour long and our first (and only) break is after level 4, so I will post stack updates after critical pots here, but whatever hand histories I post will be pretty results oriented with no real analysis because I don’t have time for all that while I’m playing.

Let’s get it!

12:48 PM:

Slow start to cards in the air here.

Notables in the field: Allen Kessler, Frankie O’Dell, Daniel Ospina, Shirley Rosario, David Brookshire

I only have experience with one player at my table and he’s a straight forward nit. I sniped another player’s name and he has less than $15k in tourney cashes. The other players at my table look like favorable spots. 3 of my 5 current opponents satellited in.

12:50 PM:

Sigh. My table broke before we started. I am now at Daniel Ospina and Tim Frazin’s table. This table looks way more competent in general. Not cool. Oh well.

12:56 PM:

And we add Frankie O’Dell. LOL. Only two bracelet winners at my table now. NOT BAD.

End of Level 1

Took me an hour to win my first pot. I had a couple of good starters in Razz that bricked out.

Key pots:

Open KTcc, get 3-bet and then big blind caps it. We call. Flop is K86ddc and we both call big blind’s bet. I’m planning to call down here on most runouts. Turn is another 6 and the big bets, I call and then the other player raises. Big blind folds and I think about it for a while before folding. Seems like a weird spot to bluff and I’m not beating any value hands, so folding seems right.

Defend utg open with AQo. Flop is KK9 and I check call. Turn is a 3 and I check-raise. I might have the best hand here, so this is a mergy bluff. He calls though and the river is a small card and I don’t think he’s ever folding better after calling turn, so I check and he checks back and my hand is good!

That’s the only pot I’ve won so far.

134,500

End of Level 2

Defend QQ53ss and lead out on T94 rainbow in 3-way pot. Both players call. I check on 2x turn and the PFR leads, Ospina calls, and I call. River pairs the 4 and when Ospina folds, I call because the low bricked and I’m only losing to AA, A24x and A34x type hands. He has AA3x though.

AAJ6ss vs AJ85 on AT3ssT2 (annoying/unlucky chop)

(AT)-68T9-(3) vs (23)A4KJ-(Q) in Razz (super lucky dodge/scooper)

114,500

More notables: Miami John, Carol Fuchs, Jeff Madsen, Max Pescatori, David Levi

End of Level 3

(Ah2)-7h72hQh-(K) vs (xx)-5s4s48-(x) and (xx)-Qc4cJcKc-(x) – they have flush and low and I brick my flush/full house draw

(2-5)-2-8 vs (xx)-T-T in Razz. Hallelujah! I had like 5 big bets for this hand)

79,500

Pretty fun.

End of Level 4

Table broke. New table still has Frankie O’Dell but also has the guy with < $15k in cashes and just looks a little better in general.

3-bet a middle position open with AxKd in Hold’em and c-bet QdJd8x. Check back on 5d and we both check on 3x river and I lose to JTo with no diamonds. 🙄

I get my last 20k or so in with (4-8)-7-T-5 vs (x-x)-7-9-3 in Razz and finish with 87542 but he has 87532 for the perfect FU to cap my exit from a tournament that I never even had a hint of life in.

I basically won two meaningful pots in almost four hours of play and neither of them were good spots.

That was not fun. Back to the cash games.

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First Red Dragon Trip & 15/30 Live Blog

April 26, 2019

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been feeling a serious lack of motivation while I’ve been slumping through my second losing month of the year. It’s April? The fourth month of the year? I’m sitting here with less than 20% of the winnings I had by this point last year. Granted, I had an epic February in 2018 and followed that up with a $25k+ series in the Muckleshoot Spring Classic. Winning one of those tournaments can’t be expected to happen every year.

It’s not really even the losing that has gotten me down. The local game selection has been depressing. Even though we moved in late 2018, Palace is still the closest poker room to my house and where I prefer to play, but the games I’ve relied on for my bottom line have dried up substantially. The 15/30 was running almost every day in April of last year and now Friday nights are the only day I know it’s going to go and even then it’s started to feel shaky lately. PLO was running twice a week and used to be mind-boggling good action. That game has gotten progressively worse, to the point where it’s almost all regulars (and multiple pros) and last week it was dead before 9 PM. I couldn’t even jump in an 8/16 game to get a full day of work because that game was dead already too. PLO has basically zero chance to survive the summer when a number of the players keeping it alive disappear to Vegas for the WSOP. I didn’t even bother showing up this past week and I might shift my priorities elsewhere on future Wednesdays. I mean… I want to do my part to keep it alive, but I don’t have much interest in locking horns with some of the best players in the area for a couple hours every week, hoping some live ones will sit down with us.

Last Thursday I did something I’ve been wanting to do and checked out the Red Dragon poker room in Mountlake Terrace, a few exits north of Shoreline. I was extremely impressed. It’s a nice, cozy room and they were super busy. The real reason I went out there is because I heard they had a 20/40 Mix Game that spreads quite regularly. Ducky and I made the trip and pretty much as soon as we walked in they fired up the 20 Mix game. We started off with a mix of Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, Omaha Hi, Razz, Badugi, Omaha 8, Stud 8, and Double Board Omaha. Later, we added Big O and Ace-to-Five Triple Draw and removed some of the other Omaha games.

I don’t consider myself a mixed games wizard, but I was astonished at how soft that starting lineup was. I knew I was the best player in the game and I couldn’t even find a variant I thought someone might be better than me at. That might sound arrogant, but I like to think I make honest assessments. Part of the reason I’ve lost interest in the PLO game at Palace is because I know there are always multiple players better than me in it now. Anyways, almost the whole table in this mix game was playing exceptionally loose and the one guy I thought might be competent before the game started seemed like he was going out of his way to play horribly, particularly against me – like he wanted to put a gross one on me. I’m talking cold calling raises and drawing four cards kinds of gross. Fortunately, that bad beat never happened and I basically had that guy’s number the entire session.

I raced out to a +$2500 start and that wasn’t hurting my confidence any, but while I knew I was running good, I could also see the plethora of horrendous mistakes everyone else was making that helped get me to that lofty cushion. My heater extinguished, however, and I eventually got ice cold and the game got progressively worse throughout the night. It seemed like every time someone left or busted out, they were replaced by a better player and by the end of the night, I was looking around the table and thought everyone was mostly competent. So Ducky and I took off and I had to settle for a +$997 day.

I am looking forward to going back and plan to make a trip to Red Dragon at least once a week as part of my regular routine – even though it’s an absolutely brutal commute.

Last Friday I booked a -$1236 in a good 15/30 game and then I finished 16th in the Main Event of the Little Creek spring series on Saturday. That was yet another deep run that didn’t amount to a cash. Maximum amount of time wasted. Goodness that’s getting old.

I’ve come to the realization that I have a mental game weakness when it comes to busting out of tournaments. If I played 11 hours of 15/30 and lost $560, I wouldn’t be happy about it, but most of the time, I can just chalk it up to a poor day at the office and shake it off. But when I spend 11 hours playing a tournament and don’t cash… well, I find that EXTREMELY upsetting.

Or maybe it’s just because I haven’t been having any good results.

I have now fired 22 bullets in 17 tournaments this year and I have two cashes to show for it. Sort of. One of those cashes was in a tournament I fired two bullets at and I ended up with a net loss. The other cash was in a daily tournament… at a bowling alley… and I have to include that because if I don’t, then I haven’t cashed for a profit in a single tournament in 2019. I am currently down almost $7300 in tournaments this year for a sexy ROI of -91%.

Could this be the year that I finally lose money in tournament poker?

That reminds me… who wants to buy my World Series of Poker action?

Seriously. I’ll be selling a package here shortly when I get a better idea of what my schedule will look like. Uhm… I’m due?

Saturday was my last day playing poker in a casino, so that’s pretty much it for poker updates.

I posted some movie reviews yesterday. I’ve also been updating my TV Show Ratings and 2019 Album Ratings. It seems like most people have no idea what new music to listen to, so check that out if you want to stay up to date on good new content. ScHoolboy Q released a new album last night, so that’s what I’ll be listening to today.

I saw Avengers: Endgame last night. I’m going to see it again on Tuesday before writing about it, so here’s my quick, no spoilers thoughts: it was fucking awesome.

I will be live blogging my 15/30 session tonight, but it will also be the MLB debut of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., so I’ll be watching the Blue Jays game on my iPad while I’m playing for the first 3+ hours of my session.

Starting Lineup: Megaphone, Chief Wiggum, Part-Time, Ducky, and four non-regs

4:23 PM: I’m on tilt already. First off, Palace’s WiFi connection is fucking worthless. I can’t even watch Vlad Jr.’s debut on my iPad because it won’t connect so I’m watching it on my phone… which means I can’t type at the same time.

  • Also, first hand of the session, Wiggum straddles on the button, I 3-bet AK of spades from the big blind and somehow six of us wind up putting in five bets each before the flop.
  • The board runs out A76sTsT and I wind up losing to someone’s T8 offsuit after flopping top top and turning the nut flush draw. That same player CRUSHED me last week and hit and ran the game for around $1500+ in less than 90 minutes. She’s well on her way to doing same shit today. Pretty cool.
  • So… instead of winning a $700+ pot on the first hand of the day and having a nice cushion for my first Coast-to-Coast performance, I lost this monster pot to someone that is probably going to jet before 6 PM.
  • Sigh.
  • 4:40 PM: And I just lost to her again: flop top pair with JTdd, turn a flush draw, and lose to bottom pair. I have literally lost ten pots in a row to her, dating back to last week, and I don’t think she outflopped me in a single one of them. Wtf.

    5:23 PM: Ducky opens, the lady crushing me 3-bets, I call from the small blind with two jacks, and it’s 4-way action.

    Flop is 982 and it checks around.

    Great start.

    Turn is a king and I think that’s a card I should send around and it checks to my boss and she bets. I’m content to show this down with passive action so I call and that leaves us heads up.

    The river is a jack! I check. She checks. And shows ace fucking king. Holy shit. How is that a thing? It’s not like she’s giving me air. She bet heads up in the last pot, so… wtf? It’s just the Poker Gods randomly messing with me? “Even when you win… you lose.”

    5:49 PM: Raise some limpers with KJ of hearts and then c-bet 4-handed pot on T93 rainbow.

    The turn is a queen and I’m pretty stoked when Megaphone check-raises me since we are in Overs now and I get to make it $150. He calls.

    The river is another ten and that’s not cool, but when he checks it over, I go for value and he just calls and then mumbles about how “gut shot was his only out,” which could only be true if he had, uh, 93?

    Anyways, after spotting them a rack immediately, I’ve been given a reprieve on my session after these last couple hands and get to start fresh.

    6:31 PM: This game is flimsy already. We already have an open seat and no list and half this lineup could up and leave at any moment.

    On the bright side, Flea finally decided to make a return to red chip games.

    7:45 PM: Here’s a list of hands that its impossible to win a pot with: AK, AQ, AJ.

    Megaphone is at his Megaphoniest. He’s been running extremely good and garbage hasn’t stopped spilling out of his mouth for hours now. One time, he was rambling and I looked up to see that not one player was listening to him and then I caught the dealer looking off into space like “lawd, save me” and I burst into laughter.

    Nothing exciting to report. I’m getting a decent amount of big aces and losing with all of them. That sums up my first four hours so far. Currently sitting near -$500 again.

    7:54 PM: In related news, my phone is almost dead, I don’t have a portable charger, and the USB ports at my table aren’t working.

    8:53 PM: Here’s how good I’ve been running the last three months:

    I come back from a break talking to my wife on the phone and see like $600 in chips sitting between me and seat 9 and then Taz comes over and says “these are going here” motioning to me and I’m wondering if someone thinks I won a High Hand or something… and then he says, “I should just leave them here” and I respond, “I don’t get it” and finally it dawns on me that those are his chips and he’s making a joke that I’m going to win them from him anyway so why waste time and I’m like “bro, you haven’t been around here for a while, huh?”

    9:49 PM: Someone limps, I raise KK, there’s a call, button 3-bets and I cap this 4-way pot.

    I bet flop and turn on QT53 and still have three opponents when another queen hits the river. I don’t think any of them have one, so I go for value and get called in two spots! My hand is good and I have sugar for the first time today.

    Not bad. I was -$800 less than two hours ago.

    10:12 PM: Heater alert! I followed that KK hand up by flopping top set with AA in a multi-way 3-bet pot and then flopping a full house with 82 suited from the small blind in a limped pot and getting way too much action when my hand seemed pretty face up.

    Suddenly I am up $700.

    11 PM: Welp, this game is on the ropes. We are now 5-handed. Nice surprise from that aces full hand from earlier. It went up for High Hand with 19 minutes to go so I forgot all about it and it held up! Send an extra $400 my way.

    I’m not going to try and blog and play short-handed so I’ll post a final tally when we wrap things up here.

    Final Score: +$2085

    Short-handed was good to me, even with Ducky getting a J32 flop with JJ vs my 33 in a blind vs blind hand when we were 4-handed.

    Feels good though. Good enough to put my month back in the black.

    h1

    $175 HORSE @ Wildhorse in Pendleton Sweat Post

    April 9, 2019

    Wow. I’m already shellshocked. First off, this is only a $175 buy in. I’m not really sure why they would make the Omaha 8 a $230 BI and drop the cost on this one. They are in the same ballpark in my eyes.

    Okay, whatever though. That’s not going to dissuade me from playing. But imagine sitting down in level one with 20k and learning that blinds are 200/400! We are starting with 50 big blinds. And they advertised double chips for all their events! What kind of shitty structure did it used to be?

    Yesterday, the O8 event starting with 20k chips but blinds started at 100/200. I ended up making a deep run on my second bullet and with 40 players left – and 20 cashing – the average stack was 10 big blinds. Not like doubling the chips did much good there either.

    This is going to get really dumb really quick.

    My O8 event was a frustrating experience. I went two hours before I got any piece of a pot and I was down half my stack at the first break and I had only played like five hands.

    I never got any momentum going and busted at the buzzer before re-entry closed, so I bought back in and sat down with 16 big blinds on my second bullet.

    I immediately chipped up and was running good enough that the player on my right kept saying, “how are things going today, Mike?” and I was sitting there thinking, “uhm, well, I’m on my second bullet and we are still super far away from the money so… let’s save the run good needles for when it actually means something?”

    Sure enough, I peaked around 60k, which was about double average at the time, and that was the last of any momentum for me.

    Several hours later, I’m sitting on a short stack ten spots off the money and get my last 4+ bigs in with AQJ3 with a suited ace against AKJ4 and find no love.

    I’ll post stack updates here and maybe some hands on the break. Betting limits are already up to 500/1000 so going to need momentum early to stay relevant in this one.

    1:11 PM: Nothing like limit Hold’em to torch my stack. I defend 62hh in a multi-way pot and have to put in three bets on A43hh before calling another bet on 8 turn and bricking out. Then I get limp-raised in the next pot with AKhh in my small blind and check-call a brick flop 3-handed before check-folding turn.

    Just like that, half my stack is gone… because this structure is 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    1:33 PM: Sitting on exactly 10k after three levels for half a starting stack. I would hate to give up if I bust out before registration closes but the structure is so bad I’m not sure I can justify it, even at such a low price point.

    2:04 PM: Uhm. Can we play Razz all day? I’ve seen three different players limp with a face card up. Not defend their bring in. Voluntarily limp.

    2:42 PM: Was down to crumbs and managed to double up a couple times.

    Back up to 7600 with limit Hold’em coming up next hand! This is a superficial statement but I think LHE is the worst game to be short in when you are playing HORSE.

    2:53 PM: Folds to me on button and I raise with K9 of clubs with less than 4 big blinds.

    The big blind defends and I bet the flop without looking at it when he checks to me. He raises to put me all in and I call.

    Board is QQT and he has Q8 so that’s not cool.

    Turn is a jack!

    River is a king!

    Double up. Back to 9700, giving me 8 big blinds.

    3:22 PM: Registration is closed and I’m still on my first bullet. Unfortunately, I’ll be coming back to 5900 with betting limits at 1500/3000.

    3:49 PM: Got moved tables and found myself under the gun playing LHE with just over two big blinds. Fortunately, I picked up 44, but I got two callers and the K65 flop and one of my opponents had 77. The turn gave him a set, which is actually a good card for me, but I bricked the river.

    Fun times. Next event is no limit Hold’em on Thursday.

    h1

    LAPC: $350 Triple Stud Stack Updates

    January 22, 2019

    Gonna focus on Stack Updates here only and not posting hands constantly.

    Same structure as yesterday. Triple Stud rotates every eight hands between Stud, Stud 8 or Better, and Razz

    No Radio Mike or Frankenstein today. Same notables as yesterday.

    First Break: 14.5k

    We are coming back to 300/600 betting limits. Razz went horribly for me. I started with a couple monsters and got super rough runouts. Fortunately I just sucked out in Stud 8 in a pretty gross spot when I backdoored deuces full against someone I think made three jacks on 4th street.

    Second Break: 13.6k

    Betting limits will be 600/1200 when play resumes. I won a big Stud 8 pot early on during this last stretch and that’s about it. I still haven’t won a Razz hand in this tournament. I’m getting some good starting hands but my runouts have been way below average.

    In other news, EDGAR MARTINEZ IS A HALL OF FAMER! So awesome! I actually got a little teary-eyed watching it be announced. It’s pretty silly he had to spend a decade on the ballot waiting to get in when he’s quite clearly one of the 50 or so best hitters to ever live. Congrats to Edgar! Second Mariner ever elected!

    Third Break: 26.7k

    Betting limits are 1200/2400 after the break. Finally had a spurt of positive momentum and won my first Razz hand!

    This tournament got 125 runners – down from the 186 that showed up for Omaha 8 yesterday.

    77 players remain and 16 of us will cash. There is $9500 up top for first place.

    Average stack is 20.2k so I’m in much better shape than I was at this point yesterday.

    BUSTED

    It was a solid drip since the last break but the hand that broke me is in Razz. Dude limps with a 9 up and I raise with 72-5. He makes an open pair and I still can’t beat his fucking hand.

    On 5th street…

    Me: 72-5J5

    Him: xx-944

    I should just fold right there. I think I only called because it made me sick to let him win with a 9 and a pair on his board. It can’t be strategically sound to continue here. This is pure emotionally driven spewage.

    On 6th street, I catch an ace (heeeeey!) and he picks up a ten. So he now has four upcards and only one of them is a good one. I call again.

    I pair the 7 on 7th and then I make another dumb, emotionally driven mistake by betting the river when he checks to me.

    Here’s something that’s never going to happen: guys that limp in and call raises with 9s up in Razz are not folding on 7th street in big pots. You are going to have to show them the best hand. I couldn’t do that and I think I lost three big bets here I shouldn’t have.

    Two hands later, he limps in again and I get 3-way action on my last 2200 starting with A3-4 in Razz.

    He bets the other player out on 6th and I have a made 87 against a 98 with one card to go. He improves to an 86 and I brick and that’s that.

    GG.

    Pretty steamed up right now. Nothing upsets me more than making dumb mistakes.

    I will definitely play some cash games tonight as I will be playing on LIVE AT THE BIKE tomorrow and I don’t plan to be there until around 2 PM and the show doesn’t start airing until 6 PM. I will post details on how to watch tomorrow.

    I’m not going to blog my cash game session tonight.

    h1

    WSOP $1500 8-Game & My First Cash of the Summer!

    June 9, 2018

    No, not in a WSOP event. After my super disappointing finish in the $1500 HORSE, I just went back to my condo and stayed there the rest of the day taking it easy and relaxing.

    I was planning to play cash games all day yesterday but I heard The Orleans had a $150 8-Game tournament in their series and it sounded like the perfect warm-up for my next WSOP event.

    The Atom and myself showed up for the start of the tournament and The Joker and Tormund made appearances a few hours later. With 80 players (of 133 entrants) remaining, I was the only one left standing – far away from the money at 18. Nice showing, fellas!

    I don’t have much to say about this tournament until the very late stages, specifically with four tables left, roughly six spots off the money.

    I had a pretty healthy stack at this point, but even so, chips can disappear quickly, especially if you have big confrontations. We are playing limit hold’em six-handed and I open with 44 under the gun. Honestly, it’s a bit loose. I don’t know that I would consider it standard and I think folding here is pretty defensible, possibly even recommended. For instance, if I was in a loose, six-handed cash game, I would always fold 44 under the gun. But in a tournament, with most of my opponents playing on the tighter side, I think it’s okay. So I open the 44 and the lady on my direct left does a little bit of a stutter step like she is considering raising me but winds up cold-calling instead. We go heads up to the flop.

    It is very, very sexy. KJ4. I bet. She raises. Oh sweet baby Jesus, it is my lucky day. No need to get coy here. I can eyeball her stack and see that she will be very close to all in if we play this hand out, so I go ahead and re-raise, knowing she’s going to have to call me down basically all the time if she has a hand. She calls my 3-bet.

    The turn is a 6. I bet and she calls.

    The river is a ten. I bet and she says “I’m all in.” I thought she had less than my bet, so I just snap-roll my hand without saying anything. And she snap-rolls her hand.

    She has AQ for a rivered straight.

    How? We put in three bets each on the flop! How does she have a straight? What in the world? I mean, I sort of get it. It’s a reasonable hand to bluff with on the flop. I might fold smaller pairs and some other hands, plus she usually has decent equity when called. Maybe she takes a free card when I just flat. But when I raise flop and bet turn it is just max pain for me on the river. There are 5.5 small bets after the preflop betting, so after the flop action there are 11.5 small bets. On the turn, she is getting 6.75 to 1 to call with what looks like four outs. My hand looks a lot like AK, KJ, and sets – and my combos of KQ are reduced by her holding, plus I might not play that hand so fast in such a critical spot. Seems like a pretty standard fold on the turn for her.

    But she didn’t fold and instead I’m losing this insanely important monster pot nearing the bubble to a rivered gutshot.

    Then the dealer counts out her last bet and realizes it is a few thousand more for me to call. He looks at me, expectantly and I’m like “what?” He says it’s “xxx more,” and I say, “Okay, I never said ‘call.'”

    Is this my classiest moment at the poker tables? No. No it is not. I’m not proud of it. But I have to say I was pretty devastated at the moment and having already lost a huge pot in horrible fashion, I wasn’t eager to put chips in the pot I never committed to.

    A floor gets called over (the actual TD is on break) and the situation is explained and I am still refusing to pay the last partial bet and some dick at the table pipes in saying I should get a penalty for exposing my hand out of turn and the floor actually listens to him and issues me a one round penalty.

    I was so thrown by this decision that I was rendered speechless and didn’t even bother fighting it because I was so mad I wasn’t sure what I would say in the moment. It didn’t even occur to me until later that my opponent also exposed her hand with action still pending. There is no logical way to give me that penalty without also giving her one.

    Well, I had about 11k in chips and the big blind was 4k and I had to sit out a full orbit. When I was able to play again, my 11k had turned into less than 4k, which was less than one big blind.

    Somehow I managed to spin that up and eventually had as many as 160k in chips.

    I played a stud hand extremely poorly and a razz hand quite questionably and those two hands essentially cost me a very deep run.

    Instead I busted in 11th for $380. Crumbs. But it is my first cash of the summer.

    My friends and I went to The Saw Escape Room last night and it was a blast, but a little overpriced since I requested a private tour. We sucked though, getting through less than half of the rooms in time, although two rooms were basically buzzer beaters we were on the wrong side of. Lots of fun though! Check it out if you are in Vegas and a fan of the films.

    Joker and I are about to head to the Rio to play the $1500 8-Game and I feel really good about it. It’s nice to iron the kinks out in a $150 event so I don’t make the same mistakes when the stakes are 10 times bigger.

    Leggo.

    3:05 PM: Walking towards registration on our way in, I spot Rep Porter a few strides ahead of us and ask if we can borrow his diamond card real quick (to skip the line). He actually stopped and started looking for it! What a guy. I told him I was kidding though.

    A little bit of a late start here. Only three players at my table at the moment and one of them is Miami John Cernuto. I’ve actually played with him a decent amount. He’s not really someone I expect to put me in many tough spots.

    We are 4-handed now and this tournament plays 6-handed. I’ve scooped a couple smallish o8 pots already.

    3:34 PM: New player at my table: Sandeep Vasudevan. I recognized that name from the HORSE tournament and, sure enough, he went deep in that, finishing 6th for a career high score of $33k.

    He also has two WSOP Circuit rings, including one last month in pot limit Omaha (the other was a no limit hold’em ring in 2013). So he’s fresh off two of the biggest scores of his life and I imagine his confidence is riding high.

    3:48 PM: Scott Blumstein, the latest Main Event champ is seated directly behind me.

    3:59 PM: Dang. Guy was getting a back/shoulder massage with his ass crack totally exposed and the masseuse with a direct view the whole time. I wanted to snap a pic but I couldn’t do it discreetly.

    4:14 PM: Just got absolutely abused in no limit hold’em. I started with over 8k and I now have a touch over 4k. I think I opened four pots and for 3-bet every single time. I flopped two pair with KJ suited when my opponent flopped the nut flush. He slow played it and check-called flop and turn so I was able to check back on river.

    I also defended my blind once and I started to think: I’ve folded some hands and I can think of five I played. We did the math: we played nine hands of no limit hold’em – you’re supposed to play six. Pretty cool, especially since it was such a profitable variant for me.

    First hand of Stud high I start with a four flush and brick it. I did pick some chips back up with AA-K and rolled up jacks, but I didn’t get past 5th street either time.

    I have a sad 4225.

    4:52 PM: Sigh. PLO. Sandeep bluffs off his whole stack the hand previous, so he’s pretty short to start this next one. He opens to 200 at 50/75 blinds. I make it 675 with AKKJ one nut suit and he calls.

    Flop 642. I bet pot (1425) and he’s all in for 1625 total. He rolls QQ75.

    Board runs out 642A3 and he wins.

    Down to 2550. Pretty stoked.

    5:08 PM: 2850 on first break.

    5:31 PM: Joker had 1000 in chips on break and we set the over/under on number of us surviving to the next break at 0.5.

    We both liked the under side.

    A few hands of 2-7 left and I will definitely be looking to get all in and double up in no limit hold’em.

    5:50 PM: Joker has tripled up. I played zero hands of NL. I am down to 1550.

    6:11 PM:

    6:16 PM: Busted.