Posts Tagged ‘muckleshoot spring classic’

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$300 No Limit Hold’em – Muckleshoot Spring Classic (Live Updates)

March 29, 2019

I haven’t played much poker this past week leading up to the Spring Classic series.

On Sunday, we went hiking in Astoria, Oregon and that took up our entire day basically.

On Monday, I went to a home game and played $1/$2 no limit Hold’em and played some of the worst poker I’m capable of playing. I really can’t say otherwise. Everyone was there having a good time and drinking a ton and I was cold stone sober playing way too many hands, trying to win every pot, and bully my way through a lineup that wasn’t thinking much about folding. So I basically punted $600.

Marlo, one of the all-time maniacs, was in the game and we played a hand where I had raised preflop with QJ and he raised me on a J53 two spade flop and I called. The turn was a ten and I check-called again. The river was a spade and that got me a free showdown against… JT.

Then we played a 3-bet pot where I flopped top pair when he had AA and I lost all my chips because I’m just never folding top pair against this guy in a pot that is already bloated.

Those two pots accounted for over half my losses for the night, so there was some bad luck sprinkled in with what was mostly just bad play.

On Tuesday, I saw Jordan Peele’s Us for the second time and then had my final fantasy baseball draft of the year.

On Wednesday, I got most of our taxes done, we finished rewatching Game of Thrones and I stayed home to play poker online for one final tune up before this series.

It was another gruesome online session. I led off by stone bubbling the first tournament I played. With 28 left and 27 players cashing, it folded to the button who had been super active. He opened to 2.2x and I jammed with AT from the small blind and he snapped with AJ and held to bust me.

In the second tournament, with 38 players left and 27 cashing, it folds to the small blind and he ships 9.5 bigs and I call from the big with KTo. He shows J2o and that monster spikes a 2 on the turn to win the pot and leave me with 4.5 big blinds. I busted in 35th a short while later.

In my third tournament, with 18 players left and 9 cashing, a player opens to 2.5x and I jam 12bb with 99 and he calls with QQ and I bust again.

In the $5 rebuy, on the last hand of the rebuy period, I get about 11bb in with KK against two opponent I have barely covered and they have AK and A4 – for a combined two outs – and find an ace. That leaves me with 305 chips and one of the smallest stacks I can possibly add on to. Obviously, I’d rather bust and rebuy for a full stack before I add on, but nope.

The first hand after the break, I jam my 11bb stack in with 55 and get called by AQ. Pretty standard stuff, but considering the day I’m already having, watching the board come out 643-J-Q just seems crueler than usual.

I did make a run in one tournament, dominating when the stacks were deep, and I was 1st in chips with 23 left. By the time we were down to the bubble – 16 left with 15 cashing – I was 7th in chips.

I did make the final table in that one, but I called an 8bb shove with JJ and lost to A9 and jammed my remaining 7bb in with 66 and lost to AK to fizzle out in 7th place after starting the table 3rd in chips.

I did not meet my goal to play 100 tournaments before the Muck series started, but here’s how I did for the month:

47 tournaments
10 cashes (21%)
5 final tables (10.6%)
2 1st place finishes

Those numbers seem decent, but my total ROI was 2%. I felt like I ran insanely bad overall during this stretch, so I guess turning a profit – even if it was basically nothing – is a bright side? Most of my cashes were pretty meaningful, so that helped, but I only cashed in the smaller buy in tournaments.

Yesterday was the real Opening Day for Major League Baseball and my wife and I kept up tradition by attending the Mariners home opener for the 7th season in a row! And someone we played Home Run Derby against one of the best pitchers in baseball (Chris Sale).

10:39 AM: Sitting down about 6 minutes into Level 2 with blinds at 50-100. Starting stacks are 12k, levels are 30 minutes, and the board is claiming 205 people have entered so far.

I somehow don’t know anyone at my table by name. I do recognize a couple faces but I don’t know anything about their games.

Keep checking back here for stack updates and some hand histories.

11:48 AM: Blinds are 100/200, under the gun opens to 550, I call with 77, and a blind also calls.

Flop is 532 with two spades and the PFR leads 900. Not folding here obviously. I call and so does the blind.

Turn pairs the 5 and the PFR bets 2900. Pretty tough spot. That’s a pretty meaty 2/3 pot bet. I debate it quite a while and strongly considering folding but ultimately decide I can call here and re-evaluate on the river. The blind folds.

I watch him cut out a river bet that is like 75% of his stack before looking at the last card and seeing that I rivered a full house.

Well that makes things easy. I shove and can’t help but starting smiling when he tanks. When I see that he’s about to fold, I say, “wow you must have had a really big hand,” trying to maybe induce a very light call but he still folds.

So I’m up to over 20k when this next hand comes up. Let me preface this by saying that the opener in this hand is running insane hot. He kept raising the same player so much that the other guy eventually punted 60+ bigs pre with 52 suited and ran into AA. He’s just had it every time.

He min-raises in early position, someone calls, and I call with TT from the small blind. I’m not scared of the “run good” here, I’m just calling because I want to play a lower variance spot. The big also calls.

So four of us see the KT3 rainbow flop and it ends up checking around. Groan.

Turn pairs the 3, giving me a full house and opening up a club draw. I bet 800 and the PFR and first caller both come along.

We are rooting for a river club and there it is! 2 of clubs! I bet 1800 and now the PFR makes it 4000. Bingo. Other guy folds and I think for a while and make it 11.8k. He shoves. Wtf. I think I have like 6-7k behind and maybe I should at least think for two seconds before saying “call,” but I snapped it off and he showed me KK.

And I’m out.

I re-entered but I’m third alternate right now with the 100/200 and 200 big blind ante starting in about two minutes.

12:21 PM: Eek. First glance at my new table and it is substantially tougher than my first one.

12:29 PM: I open to 500 early with AK and get two callers.

Flop is QJ5 with two hearts. I decide not to c-bet this flop and the in position player bets 1100 into 1700 and the other guy folds. As played, I think I’m fine check-folding here against this bet size. But I have the king of hearts in my hand and decide to peel.

Hey, the turn is a ten! Let’s check it over to him so he can check behind. Done and done.

River is the 9 of hearts. I give some serious consideration to checking here. My opponent is quite the nit, so it’s hard to find hands I get value from. All the KQ, KJ, and KT combos, I guess? It is probably worth noting I am blocking those hands a bit. I don’t think he’s the kind of player that would hero call with two pair here.

I have the king of hearts so I’m blocking some flushes, but he can have all the ace high flush combos except AKhh, AJhh, A5hh, and A9hh. Interestingly, all the reasonable queen high flushes are blocked except AQhh and QThh and both of those hands would have had to make a pretty sick check back on the turn. Plus, he can probably show up with some other, smaller flushes here.

All in all, I think it’s a close spot and I’m not sure this player would bluff the river very often if I checked to him.

Ultimately, I decide to bet 1700 and he makes it 3700, which is basically a min-raise. I don’t think he’s trying to bluff me off straights and he’s never raising a straight on the river here, so I just go ahead and fold it even though it is quite painful.

12:59 PM: Insane. My table broke and I got moved back to my starting table just in time to see the dude that stacked me get heaps in the middle pre with AA again – this time against QQ – and stack another player. He now has well over 100k and looks to have about 10x the starting stack!

So sick.

I’m sitting on 24bb currently.

1:43 PM: Back over 40bb after stacking A3 with AQ when we both turned an ace in a raised pot and then I rivered a one card flush against TT when I opened QdT, c-bet A66dd, checked back 7d and called 1700 on 8d.

Scratch that… blinds went up and my stack is now 30bb.

2:27 PM: 8 levels down. 131 remaining of 274 runners. I have 20k coming back to 400/800 and average stack is 25k.

Top 40 cash.

2:49 PM: Middle position min-raises, small blind calls and I look down at QQ in the big. I make it 5000 to go. The opener folds but the small blind calls.

Flop is A87 rainbow and he donks out 3500. Pretty weird. I can’t really fold here but this bet is like 20% of my remaining stack. I call.

Turn is a jack and we both check.

River is a total blank and he leads out 4500. This is another pretty weak-looking bet, but it does represent over 40% of my stack. I think about it for a bit, but ultimately, I’ve faced two weak bets and one check, so… I have to put the call in, right? I call and he shows 55 and my hand is good.

Stack size is peaking and I’m back over 40 bigs.

3:20 PM: Player shoves 7.6bb and another player calls, leaving herself with like 20bb behind. I look down at 99 and I have her covered. I don’t think she’s calling with a huge hand, hoping to trap someone behind her so I go ahead and stuff it, expecting her to fold most of the time and leave around 11bb of dead blinds in the middle.

Everyone else folds and so does she.

Perfect. I’m heads up against A6dd playing for a 25bb pot, but the door card is an ace and there is no magic nine for me.

I have 25bb after that unfortunate hand.

3:44 PM: Blinds went up and then I had T6o on 654ccAcT in a blind vs blind hand that we checked until the river when he came out with a meaty 80% pot bet. Fold? No. I call and he has K5 of clubs.

15bb now.

4:09 PM: Open 2.5x under the gun with QQ, a player calls, and the big blind jams for a little over 10bb. I reshove and the other player folds.

It’s a race against AKdd. I flop a queen, but he flops a flush draw and rivers a diamond and the board didn’t pair.

That left me crippled after posting the big blind and the big blind ante and I got all in with K7 on that hand and busted out.

Heading to Palace now for some 15/30, but might have to fight through some brutal traffic to get there.

5:53 PM: Just now sitting down in 8/16 and I’m second up for 15/30 with a flake ahead of me.

6:24 PM: A classic 8/16 hand: I open AJo, a dealer here 3-bets me for the third time in less than half an hour, and the big blind caps it. We call.

Flop is A65 with two diamonds. We all check.

Turn is a jack. The big blind leads, I raise and he calls.

River is the 7 of diamonds and he donks. Huh? The ace of diamonds is on the board. The jack of diamonds is in my hand. So… I’m losing to KQdd and QTdd only? Or random big blind capping spazz?

I think my hand is too good to call here and the range of hands I’m losing to way too narrow, so I raise and he snap 3-bets me. I call and he shows…

98 offsuit.

😱👀🤯

6:39 PM: Sitting in 15/30 now.

Lineup: Radio Mike, Ducky, FBI Guy, and four randoms

7:50 PM: I open JJ, Mighty Mouse defends his post, and both blinds call.

Flop is 952 rainbow. I bet, Mighty Mouse raises, both blinds call, I 3-bet and everyone calls.

Turn is a 4 and this is one of those weird spots where I expect to get raised on the turn a lot. I’m not really sure why, but when both blinds cold call the flop and the turn card improves the texture of the flop board a little, I just think I’m losing now more often than usual.

Still, I don’t really see how I can check here, so I bet, Mighty Mouse calls, Ducky check-raises, and the big blind folds. I don’t have to be drawing dead here, so I call and so does MM.

River is a 6 and I fold to a bet, but Mighty Mouse pays it off and Ducky shows A3.

10:03 PM: There is a straddle, Ducky calls big blind and it folds to me in the hijack with The Invisible Man in the cutoff, so I 3-bet with the A8 of hearts. They both call.

Flop is AKJ rainbow but no heart. I bet and they both call in Overs.

Turn is a 6, putting a second club on board and Ducky check-raises me. I don’t love it, but it’s a bit weird so I’m not folding my hand. His range is notably weak when he just calls from the big blind with the straddle on and this board smacks my range, so he really shouldn’t be check-raising me very often. Even if he has a hand like K6 suited he won’t be doing that great against my range here. All that considered, I’m a bit taken aback to get check-raised here. I call.

The river is an offsuit 2 and he checks. Say what? I highly doubt he’s trying to check-raise me here, so what is going on? I think he turned a flush draw to go with a flopped pair. That’s what I think is going on and I’m not about to let him off the hook by checking behind. I think my read is on point and I want to punish him. He check/calls and my hand is good.

I open KQo a while later from the cut and Mighty Mouse 3-bets from the small blind. I call.

Flop is 876 with two hearts. I think it favors my range, so I go ahead and peel with the king of hearts in my hand as backup, but I’m seeing the turn with nefarious plans here.

It’s a ten. He bets, I raise, he folds.

Easy game.

I’m tired so I will be leaving after the Mariners game is over.

Check back for a final score and I will have a stack update thread for the $400 event tomorrow.

Final Scores

8/16: -$139

15/30: +$12

Crushing faces.

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Your Muckleshoot Spring Classic Player of the Series is…

March 22, 2018

…me!

Ship that extra $6000 my way!

But not without controversy.

I’m going to tell this story how it happened, even though it will probably upset some of the parties involved. Because maybe they are going to look bad. But that’s not my fault. It’s their fault.

So heading into Day 2 of the Main Event, I was in first place by myself in the Player of the Series standings. 34 players were returning for Day 2 and I knew that if I didn’t add to my point total by final tabling, there were a couple guys still in that could pass me if they finished in 8th or better. I also knew that if they played down to a single winner, the winner would get 150 points plus whatever participation points they had and that person could pass me also.

Well, I busted out in 29th for no additional PotS points and I didn’t want to stick around much, so I headed to Fortune to kill a few hours playing $8/$16 and planned to head back to Muck when they reached the final table and make sure I wasn’t the victim of any shenanigans. I was messaging Flexx via Facebook and he was keeping me in the loop of what was going on. While I was playing, The Leak messaged me and basically summoned me home, saying she hadn’t seen me all week and she wasn’t wrong, so I decided to go home instead of playing a cash game I wasn’t really interested in and sweating a final table I wasn’t playing at.

So I headed home and Flexx kept me in the loop of what was going on in the Main Event. One of the guys that could catch me busted out in 17th. The other guy that could catch me ended up final tabling and passing me in points, but as I mentioned in a previous blog, you had to enter four tournaments in order to qualify for Player of the Series (more on that later) and he didn’t do that and couldn’t qualify. Ouch for him.

Of course, this was information I was getting from Flexx, not from anyone actually running the series, so while it seemed somewhat reliable I wasn’t exactly banking on it just yet. I would need official word before I got truly excited about it, but my understanding was that the only way I could fall behind on the series leaderboard was if someone that had played in at least four events ended up finishing in at least second place. I suppose if there was an even chop there was some way I could be passed, but it seemed unlikely.

A little before midnight on Monday I got a phone call from Flexx saying they were doing a 4-way chop and that he didn’t want to collude with the points to take first place in the Player of the Series race. I am very non-confrontational, especially when taken by surprise, so I didn’t really know what to say to him. He was acting like he was doing me a favor by not cheating and taking enough points to pass me and even asked me to give him $500 for doing me this huge solid. I was admittedly bewildered and didn’t really know what to make of it. Since when does someone ever intentionally cost themselves thousands of dollars so that someone else can have it? I was taken aback, not able to fully absorb what was happening in the moment and told him I would consider it.

It didn’t take me long to realize it didn’t make any sense and that I should definitely NOT be giving him any of my money. He had mentioned something about he could play it out and maybe win it and pass me legitimately and it occurred to me that that is exactly what he would do if he had any real chance in this tournament still. There’s no way he’d be chopping if his chances of finishing first were greater than his chances of finishing fourth (more on that later).

Anyways, I went to bed thinking that I had won Player of the Series and that I would be not giving Flexx $500. Still, I wouldn’t really believe it until someone from Muckleshoot told me it was true.

Tuesday I went to see Red Sparrow with a friend and before I left my house, I had tagged a Muckleshoot employee in a Facebook poker group and asked him to post the final standings. Someone made a disturbing comment, they said: “[Flexx] won POS … I believe..?” This was on my mind as I was watching the movie and I was having a really hard time paying attention. When my Dexcom warned me of low blood sugar, I used it as an excuse to step outside, get some popcorn, and check to see if the standings were posted yet. That’s when I saw it:

1. K.Seachao 152 points
2. M.Coombs 150 points

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I was boiling mad. It shouldn’t have been possible. And it was exactly what Flexx had called me the night before to insure me would NOT happen. And yet there it was. He was first and I was second.

When I walked back in the theater, I was pretty relieved to hear my friend say, “it’s still as bad as it was before” and I said “let’s go then.” I could barely concentrate on the movie before but now I was fuming. There was no way I was going to finish watching it.

Time to put The Dark Knight’s detective skills to work.

Adding up the remaining points available for the final four players and dividing by four, I discovered that it was possible that Flexx could pass me. He could get 127 points for the chop plus 25 points for participation. That did equal 152. But the only way this should be allowed to happen was if the prize pool was also divided up evenly. If someone got more money than anyone else, then they were indisputably the winner of the tournament and should receive first place points. Or, at worst, the remaining points should be divvied up by the same percentages that the prize pool was. If this sounds like too much work for the staff, well, boo fucking hoo. There are thousands of dollars on the line and staff laziness shouldn’t be a factor in who wins Player of the Series.

So I asked them to post the payouts and saw that someone got $35k, two players got $30k, and Flexx got $25k. There is no way he should have or could have passed me in points.

I called to protest. I was told that’s how they always divide up the points and I immediately called bullshit. Literally four days earlier when I won the Friday night tournament, I got twice as much money as the other players so I got first place points and they divided the rest of the points up evenly. That makes a lot of sense. I was the clear winner of the tournament so I got first place points. They all got the same amount of money so they all got the same amount of points. Good job, Muckleshoot staff! Now what’s this crap you’re telling me about how this is how you “always do it?” The tournament director was silent for a bit and then said he would get back to me.

I’m happy to report they called me back rather quickly and said that I won Player of the Series. I wish I could applaud them for fixing it in a rather timely fashion, but it’s hard to commend them for not allowing me to be screwed out of $2000. If I didn’t question the final standings, I would have lost $2000. If I accepted the TD’s attempt to dismiss me by saying “that’s how we always do it” then I would have lost $2000.

So no, I’m not exactly grateful about it because I’m not sure that it was an honest mistake. They were either standing by while I was getting screwed over or they need to be more in tune to what’s actually happening. I shouldn’t have to overcome laziness or turning a blind eye in order to win Player of the Series – and no one else should ever have to worry about it either.

After I walked out of the movie, I went to Palace to try and handle this situation and ran into John Kim (more on him later), the guy that ended up taking the lion’s share ($35k) of the 4-way Main Event chop, and he told me a much different story than the one Flexx was trying to sell me. He said that Flexx was doing everything he possibly could to make sure he won Player of the Series. Unfortunately, this sounds more like the Flexx I know than the one that was telling me “I don’t care about Player of the Series” and “I hope you win it.” It makes me think that his phone call to me was an attempt to net an extra $500 in case he didn’t win PotS (note: even after talking to Flexx after posting this, I still don’t get why he thought I should give him $500). John also told me he shouldn’t have made the deal because he had over 3 million in chips, the other two had around 2 million, and Flexx only had about 500k (like I said, Flexx wouldn’t be chopping if he wasn’t on the ropes).

(Note: Flexx says these chip counts are wrong. Maybe they are. I was told what they were and kind of estimated but the impression was John K had lots of chips and Flexx was the short stack by a decent margin so the point remains – no one was doing me any favor).

So am I happy that I won Player of the Series? Of course! It’s an extra $6000! But it does feel a bit tainted since I had to call a referee timeout and get a reversal from New York in order to win it.

Do I think I deserve Player of the Series? Honestly? Not really. The requirement that you have to play at least four events to qualify is absolutely silly. The Wednesday, Thursday and Friday tournaments start at noon. How many people with day jobs can realistically make the four tournament requirement without requesting time off from work? Someone could work those three days, win the $500 and Main Event back-to-back and not be eligible for Player of the Series.
That is simply garbage. Perhaps a better requirement is that you have to cash at least two events? It makes sense that in order to be Player of the Series, cashing in multiple events should be more important than playing a certain amount of events. If this was the case, then Flexx wouldn’t have even been in contention to swoop in for a possible win and I wouldn’t have even won it.

John Kim played a better series than I did. He not only won the Main Event, but he also final tabled the $300 event that I won. And the guy played his ass off. He made some mistakes at the $300 final table, but I have no doubt that he played better than I did to get there. He’s an accumulator and I’m a survivor and if I had to pick what style I admire more, I definitely think the accumulators are playing better poker. Plus, after telling me that he regretted his play at our final table, he went out and shipped the Main Event instead. Congrats dude! He also passed me in points and would have won Player of the Series if he had played in at least four events. Not my fault, but it does seem pretty shitty.

Tommy Kivela also passed me in points. He had a sick week. We both final tabled the Little Creek Main Event on Sunday, we both final tabled the Limit Omaha 8 or Better tournament at Muckleshoot, then he was part of another final table chop and capped off his ridiculous week by finishing 7th in the Muckleshoot Main Event. I would have been okay losing Player of the Series to Tommy because he had an amazing week, but he didn’t play in four events either. I noticed that I didn’t get participation points for the Omaha event, so if Tommy missed out on winning Player of the Series because the Omaha didn’t count as an entry, well, then that’s just total crap.

Josh Sepulveda also had a huge showing at this series. I’d never heard of or seen this kid before but I was incredibly impressed with his play. He looked pretty young, probably in his early or mid twenties and if this series was any indication, he has a bright future ahead of him – at least in no limit hold’em tournaments. He played the hyperLAG style to perfection and almost always had a mountain of chips in front of him and any time I saw him lose a big pot, he was right back in the thick of it, winning those chips back almost immediately. Because of his super loose and aggressive style, I was forced to play extremely snug or get into high variance leveling wars with him, and I chose to take the former route and I have to say, at times, it was rather humiliating. Josh ended up chopping with the other three players in the $300 event that I won and he made a deep run in the Main Event, busting in 17th I believe. Josh didn’t pass me in points, but he sure impressed the hell out of me and if I had to say which one of us played better, I’d say he did. I have a feeling he will be doing big things in the near future.

I definitely think the Player of the Series race needs to be tweaked and more closely moderated. The four event qualification should be replaced by a minimum of two cashes and, for goodness sake, if you’re going to have an Omaha event, it should count as an entry and be eligible for points. It shouldn’t be advertised as part of the series if it’s not actually part of the series. Finally, the points should be awarded carefully and consistently. There are thousands of dollars on the line in this race and being wishy washy and hands off about how they are distributed is a good way for something like this to happen. Maybe someone important from Muckleshoot will read this and make the necessary changes or maybe they won’t. If they do, I’ll go ahead and add that they absolutely need to have a pot limit omaha event. It’s 2018 for crying out loud. We are still playing five no limit hold’em events?? Really?

I’m not mad at Flexx for being Flexx. It’s hard to be mad when I have an extra $6000 in my pocket now! I half expect him to read this and think he’s still drawing live at that $500 he asked me for.

Lastly, what a monkey off my back. I can finally stop marking the Muckleshoot Classic on my calendar as my semi-annual donation to the local player pool. The Muck went from being my all-time worst location to… somewhere in my top 5. I have to say I enjoy my tendency of taking my worst locations and turning them around with massive statements. I hope it’s something I can continue to do in the future. Next up: Commerce!

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Muckleshoot Spring Classic $300 No Limit Hold’em (Updates)

March 16, 2018

As expected, I didn’t get to sleep until super late Wednesday and then, on top of that, I woke up multiple times throughout the night, so I made the prudent decision of skipping the $200 no limit hold’em tournament yesterday and basically took the day off instead, writing my MLB win totals post and watching March Madness games.

I actually did wind up playing a decent slate of online tournaments on Global Poker:

  • $5.50 $5K GTD NLHE Rebuy
  • $33 $8K GTD NLHE 2R/1A
  • $5.50 $750 GTD PLO Rebuy
  • $55 NLHE (deep)
  • $11 $250 GTD Limit Hold’em
  • $22 NLHE 2R/1A
  • $11 $500 GTD PLO 2R/1A

*note: 2R/1A means two rebuys and one add on.

I ended cashing in 3 of my 7 events, final tabling both PLOs, finishing in 5th and 3rd. I also took 11th in the $8K GTD. I was making a decent run in the $5K rebuy but ran KK into AA for 30 bigs each.

All in all, a small little profit for the day while I was relaxing at home watching basketball.

I honestly kind of hate the Muckleshoot Classic series. It is unbelievable that in the 6+ years I’ve been playing in it they have basically made no adjustments. It is still a five day series that has five no limit hold’em events. Ugh. A little variety couldn’t possibly hurt. It’s probably asking too much to expect them to do an 8-Game tournament or a H.O.R.S.E., but not having a PLO event on the schedule in 2018 blows my mind. You’re telling me a $200 PLO with re-entries event wouldn’t be wildly popular?

Of the five events, I think the $750 Main is the only must play and the only one I actually look forward to. I basically never play the whole series and almost always skip the $500 tournament.

There is the $200 limit Omaha 8 or Better tournament, but they treat it like a bad step child they hope no one notices. It doesn’t get its own day of the series. Instead, it’s buried at 7 PM on the first night and they think it’s so prestigious it doesn’t even qualify for points in the Player of the Series competition. In other words, it’s not really part of the series.

Eh. I don’t expect them to make changes at this point. I asked for a PLO tournament a year or two ago and made a good argument but nothing changed and maybe it never will. I’m sure the no limit hold’em specialists love this series, but I’m close to the point where I may start coming out for the Main Event only.

The Leak accompanied me to the Muck today and this will probably be one of maybe three tournaments she’ll play all year. I asked my CPA if we could write her tournament buy ins off as a charitable donation earlier this week and was informed that we cannot.

Cards will be in the air in about 15 minutes. I will be posting stack updates and some hands here and there.

12:06 PM: We appear to have started with 12k in chips, but I’m not entirely sure because I have 10.5k after triple barreling TT28T with J9 and getting picked off by AQ.

12:18 PM: Woah. The Leak just messaged me saying she doubled up already. Crazy! Details to come.

Puget Sound legends Rep Porter and Lee Markholt making appearances. When I call people legends I’m usually joking but these guys are legit superstars. Rep has three WSOP bracelets, Lee has a WPT title, and both of these monsters are in the top 5 of the Washington state all-time money list.

One seat at my table remains open and I recognize two of my eight current opponents. One is a Muck regular that ranks near me on the Washington state money list and the other is someone that plays at Palace that recently hit a massive Royal Flush jackpot and is someone I want at my table in limit hold’em.

12:33 PM: The Leak tells me she had AA and let her opponent bluff of his stack. No info on board texture or his hand though.

12:40 PM: Everyone asks me why I don’t play more no limit hold’em. It’s because I hate it. The pace of the game… all the posturing… Jesus, can we just get on with it? I know there are some spots that require some real thought, but the guys that take 20+ seconds every time they have anything but a standard fold spot are just terrible humans.

1:01 PM: Forgot to mention this but I ended yesterday’s March Madness action in 31st place of 31 entries in the bracket pool I’m in. I don’t know about you but I find that level of sucking quite impressive.

1:30 PM: 9150 on first break coming back to 100/200. The Leak has a ridiculous 36k stack.

Some other notables in the field: The Riddler, Bill W, Flexx, Slimer, Sandman, Solomon Grundy, decent amount of Palace regulars.

2:10 PM: Sick hand at my table not involving me: JJ vs 22 on J6225. 😮

Probably worth mentioning this now. We spent the first 20 minutes of this level talking about Global Poker and one of my tablemates was trying to sell his conspiracy theory that Global’s software “isn’t rigged,” but that “it’s not random,” and “more bad beats happen there than anywhere else” he’s ever played.

Then this JJ vs 22 hand happened and I said, “yup, that sort of thing never happens in real life.”

2:48 PM: Super card dead for first three hours so this was a nice reprieve: I open 500 with AA and button calls. Flop T98 with three diamonds, giving me the nut flush draw with my overpair. I started the hand with about 9k and there’s basically no scenario where I’m ever getting away from it. I bet 1000 and he calls. Turn pairs the 9, I bet 2500 and he calls. Ace on river relieves any concerns of being beat (not that I thought I was) and I stuff it for 5k. He doesn’t think too long before calling with AT and giving me a full double to 18.5k. Peaking!

3:27 PM: I have about 19k and The Leak has 39k on second break and coming back to 300/600 with big blind anteing an additional 600 each hand.

3:55 PM: One limper, SB completes, and I make it 2200 with QQ and the limper calls. Flop is K82 and I let him bluff off 7k with AJ by check-calling all three streets. He didn’t think about his decisions at all and kept the bets small (2k, 2k, 3k) so it was a pretty easy call down.

4:24 PM: Ouch. My table broke and my new table probably has 5-6 guys that are better than anyone else at my last table. Bad beat.

4:46 PM: When the small blind calls and you look down at QJ suited and think, “well, I can’t not raise this” and then they jam and you’re both 25+ bigs deep. 🤢🤢🤢

5:06 PM: The Leak and I are both in the 26k-28k range heading to dinner break. Blinds will be 600/1200 when we resume in 40 minutes.

6:55 PM: Didn’t play a hand forever and then a flurry of action.

I defend Q8ss, flop top pair on a super wet boar, but only get one street of action.

I open AQ and get jammed on by a short stack with KT and bust him.

Super active and hyperLAG opens to 4500, I flat with ATdd. I would have 3-bet jammed this on him a while ago, but I had chips all the sudden and wanted to take a flop with him. I call 7k on T52hhd and then bet 12k when the 2 pairs and gives me the nut flush draw, prepared to call a jam, but he folds.

7:26 PM: Open 4500 with AK and button calls. I c-bet T82 flop for 5k and he calls. Turn is an ace and I check-call 9k. River queen and I check-call 14k and he shows 33.

Peaking at 98k, coming back to 1200/2400. The Leak has 46k. There are seven tables left and less than 63 players. Can’t see how many cash or how many started.

7:52 PM: The Leak has busted. We are down to six tables and apparently 41 players cash. The money bubble is approaching.

Meanwhile… Virginia is in serious jeopardy of becoming the first #1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Obviously, they are my champions.

8:24 PM: Down to 5 tables… four spots off the money.

It took 8.5 hours but someone is finally lighting me up for wearing a Blair Walsh jersey in a Seattle casino.

8:49 PM: Hand-for-hand, I’ll have 12 bigs after posting big blind and ante this next hand.

9:03 PM: Cashed it and then snap-doubled with 55 vs AK. Peaking at 105k.

9:20 PM: Freeroll is on. Under the gun opens and I jam 15 bigs on button when AQ and spike a queen vs AK for the full double.

197k now! 😮😮😮

9:36 PM: Four tables left.

9:48 PM: Open 21k @ 4k/8k and 8k ante with AA and someone flats in position. Flop 754 two hearts, I lead 30k (never folding), he jams, and I dodge his flush draw with AThh.

317k!

9:55 PM: Call a 5 BB jam from the big with Qc8. He shows A6ss and turns aces up but I river a four card flush with my Qc to bust him.

389k with 25 left. Average stack is 160k.

10:33 PM: Open 26k with A6cc from cutoff with big blind having 95k behind at 5k/10k. I would actually hate it if the big jams on me because he’s been playing kind of snug, so when that does happen I’m ever-so-slightly unprepared but after doing some shoddy math, I decide I have to go with it. He tables KQo and has a gut shot, flush draw, and two overs on the turn and bricks it all.

519k with 18 left.

The homie Christian is dealing and asked for a shout out and I kind of have to honor that request since he delivered that AQ > AK suck out to set this rush into motion.

A Kitsap County area player (and former softball teammate of mine) is at my table now making a deep run, something he’s done consistently over the past three Classic series. Kudos to him!

11:16 PM: Reshoved over a 10bb jam with AQ and the short stack has KK and doubles through me.

261k. Puts me close to average now with 16 left.

11:25 PM: Defend < 3bb open with A5dd and it checks around on A86hhh flop. I check-call 2.5bb on jack turn and inexplicably get a free showdown on jack river vs… AcKh!

Lost the pot but minimal damage vs his holding.

Down to 180k though.

Players busting all over the place. I think we are down to ten now, on the final table bubble.

Scratch that. 11 left.

11:52 PM: Chipped down in a blind vs blind situation but just made final table with a paltry 116k.

#Team10Bigs

Second final table of the series and third one in the last week? Seems decent for someone that doesn’t really play tournaments. And thank goodness the limit O8 tourney doesn’t count otherwise I’d be in the running for the $6k top prize for Player of the Series. 🤦🏻‍♂️😡

12:01 AM: I’m starting FT with the shortest stack and 2.5 bigs about to go through me. Will definitely be looking to get it in this next orbit.

12:08 AM: Ouch. Blinds went through me and then went up.

But… as I was typing that, I stacked off with ~3.75 bigs with A6cc and doubled through… AT! Christian is my magic dealer! Back up to 200k(10 bigs).

12:39 AM: Sick double with QQ vs AK all in pre with a K66 flop. Queen on turn! Let’s. Go. Back up to around 500k coming back to 15k/30k.

12:55 AM: MP opens to 60k, I flat AJo and we both check on KQ2 all club flop (no club in my hand). Turn is Td and he bets 85k. If he flopped a flush, god bless him but I’m not going to mess around on this board texture. I jam, he snaps. Uh oh. He rolls KJ with Jc and bricks out.

We are chip leading over a milly. Still nine players left.

My opponent mutters something about how trapped I was and I’m thinking “yeah, nice check, buddy.

1:10 AM: One player busts and then I open A9ss and a < 10bb stack jams on me and I double him up when his AQ holds.

785k.

1:10 AM: Huge double. Flat AJcc and get it in on J54hh vs 98hh and hold in 1 million pot.

1.7 million

6 left.

1:39 AM: Winner. $20k

2:15 AM: Ended up getting $20k with 5 players left. 1st was $24k so it was an easy deal for me to make. One double up for any of them would have drastically leveled the playing field so very happy to lock up the $20k.

Registered for tomorrow and planning to show up in level 3 or 4.

h1

2015 Poker Goals – March Wrap Up

April 3, 2015

Every month I’m going to reflect on the previous month of poker and see how well I’m doing at accomplishing my 2015 goals:

Log 1200 live hours

As I noted in my February Wrap Up, I have upped my goal from 750 hours to 1200 hours. Since I’m frequently playing when I’m working, I am still able to play nearly full-time hours despite having a day job. In March, I played an absurd 174 hours, my largest output since the first half of 2012 probably. That kind of pace is unlikely to continue, but I think I can average about 120 hours most months.

focus on how well I played, how well I controlled tilt, and how well I paid attention to game flow instead of how well I ran.
continuing taking notes throughout all my sessions and combing through them later.

One of these days, I will really start paying attention to the game when I’m playing. It is quite easily one of my biggest weaknesses. I kept accurate notes for most of my $8/$16 sessions, but I continue to struggle to pay attention when I’m not in hands.

I’m also learning how to go through my notes in a more efficient manner – skimming past hands that seem totally standard and focusing on the ones that gave me trouble. It should be noted that the statistics I’m about to post are for $8/$16 sessions only and don’t include notes from one of my more important sessions of the month – where I started off stuck $700 and stayed in the feeder game playing short-handed for several hours (and thus unable to take notes between hands). I ended up crushing the short-handed game and then went on an absurd run after the game broke and I finally made my way to the main game. At that point, with so many hands unrecorded – and it being the first of the month – I decided to continue not keeping notes for the session. So for a period where I went from stuck $700 to cashing out over $1300 sugar, I have no hands logged for an absurd amount of positive variance. I also played 65 hours of $4/$8 where I did not keep notes.

Here are the hands I have decided to track to keep variance in perspective:

AA – 4/8 (50%)
KK – 4/12 (33%)
QQ – 7/14 (50%)
JJ – 7/12 (58.3%)
TT – 4/8 (50%)
77-99 – 14/43 (32.5%)
22-66 – 8/28 (28.6%)
All Pairs – 52/125 (41.6%)
Sets – 16/18 (88.9%)
AK-AQ – 25/65 (38.5%)
AKs-ATs – 12/30 (40%)
KQs-KTs – 5/13 (38.5%)
QJs-JTs – 4/17 (23.5%)
Flush Draws – 19/40 (47.5%)

Thoughts: Running at over 40% for all my pairs seems like a pretty favorable result. Running at less than 50% for AA-QQ is definitely below average, however. It’s also worth noting that I made a set 18 of the 125 times I played a pair, or 14% of the time – which is almost exactly average. More importantly, I almost never lost with my sets and I nearly always got an abundance of action when I had one. I’m curious to see how the smaller suited Broadway hands do going forward. I completed nearly half of my flush draws which is a highly favorable result – although I lost some of those hands. Between the sets and flush draws – and running above average with my pairs overall – I would have to say variance was mostly on my side in March.

spend less than 20% of my total hours in 4/8 games

I played 66 of 150 cash game hours at the $4/$8 level – or 44%. However, subtracting 34 hours as a floor man, that total becomes 32 of 116 hours – or 27.6% – a reasonable result. For the year, I’ve played 191 of 403 total hours (47.4%) and 95 of 308 (31%) of my non-working hours at the $4/$8 level. Including my tournaments hours, it probably comes pretty close to my 20% target.

log 100 hours of spread limit

I played some small stakes NLHE when I was in Vegas this past month and my conclusion is that I’m still not very good at that format of poker. Obviously, at 11 hours of play logged for the entire year, this is an incredibly small sample size, but the results are consistent with an ongoing pattern of performing poorly in no limit cash games. In Vegas, I lost every session I played and it should have been worse – I jammed 100+ bigs preflop with 99 vs AA and rivered a straight. Over my past 163.5 hours of no limit/spread limit, I’ve won slightly less than 50% of my sessions and I’m running at almost -10 big blinds per hour. I have been unlucky in some hands, for sure, but the biggest problem I’ve identified is that I play overly aggressive and try to win every hand I play rather than being selectively aggressive and picking my spots more wisely overall. Starting this month, I want to log at least one 8-10 hour session of no limit and focus on correcting these mistakes.

continuing reading about mental game, develop mental game profiles, and improve my c-game

focus my learning — don’t study multiple variants at the same time or games I’m not playing frequently

I finally finished the series of questions in Jared Tendler’s The Mental Game Of Poker designed to pinpoint potential problems and give an outline of my current mental game. This can be referred to and adjusted as I improve or discover new concerns over time. Working on this had halted my reading for the most part, but I should be able dedicate time for that soon. With the Pendleton Spring Round Up and World Series Of Poker coming up, I’ll probably adjust my focus to studying Omaha 8 or better and tournament play over the next few months.

treat poker like a job with set hours and not like a hobby

With 445 hours in roughly 12 weeks, I have been playing full time hours despite the fact that I work 20-30 hours a week on top of that, so my poker playing is like a second job these days. My work off the tables has suffered a bit, but for the most part, I’m taking my poker time very seriously and putting in the hours unless I feel like I’m not playing near my A-game.

watch opponents closely in tournaments and develop exploitative styles for each of them instead of playing laggy for laggy’s sake

take my time in critical pots and really think things through before acting

set a new career high tournament score

I played 5 tournaments last month, but one of them was a freeroll and two others were very small, local tournament, so I’ll focus my attention on the bigger events I played.

I played the $150 daily tournament at the Venetian and I dominated my table for most of the day, feeling like I was really playing well. I got lucky in some spots to dodge a couple coolers, but I consistently increased my stack throughout the event without much resistance until I got in a blind vs blind situation late where I flopped trip aces and my opponent turned a gutshot straight. I ended up betting the turn, re-raising my opponent when he raised me, and ultimately calling off against his 5-bet jam. I had completed with A8 from the small blind so I figured my opponent was never giving me credit for an Ace – and I surely wasn’t giving him credit for one – and I had a decent amount of outs against any hand that was beating me. In retrospect, calling his initial raise makes a lot of sense because I’m not getting action on a 3-bet unless he’s committed to a bluffing line or I’m crushed. Instead, I lost a decent portion of my stack on the hand and my momentum disappeared soon after. I managed to make the final table, but ultimately busted out in 9th in a tournament that paid 8. I busted when I shoved my short stack from the button with the big blind away from the table. I don’t even remember my hand, but the small blind woke up with AJ and that was good enough to bust me. It was my second final table in a medium-sized tournament that didn’t even pay. Even though the end result was poor and I may have misplayed a big pot, I felt very good about my overall play and thought the style I chose for this event would be profitable in the long run.

I followed that deep run up by playing in the Muckleshoot Spring Classic $750 Main Event and finished 14th of 226 runners, ending a nearly year long drought of not cashing in a $150 or higher tournament. Once again, I played well and ran pretty good before getting cold late and losing a couple crucial pots. Midway through the tournament I was moved to an extremely tough and loaded table: multiple WSOP bracelet winner Rep Porter, Adam Coats – who got TV time on ESPN during the main event and made multiple deep cashes in the 2014 WSOP – and a couple of other local players I’m pretty sure play for a living. Not only did I outlast all four of these tough players but I held my own in a couple of difficult pots against Rep, including one where he put me in an extremely tough spot and I found the correct call. And then I busted him. It’s not that I beat a top pro in a couple of pots, it’s that I was able to make the correct decisions because I knew what he was thinking and how he perceived me and that is something to be happy about. Obviously, I was a bit disappointed to fall just short of some serious money ($45,000 for 1st!) and I had a very real chance of crossing off my goal of a new career high tournament score, but I feel like my tournament play is improving and things are trending in the right direction. I feel something big is about to happen. I believe.

double my current bankroll size

maintain a 1 BB/HR win rate at 8/16

start playing 20/40 regularly by end of year

I finally had a month where my bankroll saw serious growth. It’s probably been a year or longer since I’ve seen a 10% increase in a single month, but I did much better than that in March. Doubling the bankroll I started 2015 with should be a very attainable goal and honestly, I hope to do much, much better.

I had an amazing month of $8/$16, running at 3.48 BB/HR for the month overall, and an absurd 5.27 BB/HR in the $8/$16 at the Palace in Tacoma. It was a month where I set a new personal record for an $8/$16 win on the 1st of the month – and then I absolutely annihilated that new record just a couple weeks later when I had this session:

For the year, I am now running at:
1.68 BB/HR in $8/$16 LHE
1.04 BB/HR in $4/$8 LHE
1.3 BB/HR in all limit games

In April, I will be making a 4 or 5 day trip to Pendleton, Oregon for the Spring Round Up – a tournament series I haven’t attended since Fall 2012 and never with a sizable bankroll – and I am currently planning on playing the $225 O8 and $225 H.O.R.S.E. tournaments. I may play a few other events, but I’ll likely focus on cash games the rest of my stay. Also, anyone interested in buying up some of my WSOP action, I’m ready to start selling. You can e-mail me at maccent17@gmail.com or PM me on Facebook. I’m currently planning on playing the Casino Employee Event and the Colossal, but I will be there for at least a week and if things go really well, I would be interested in increasing my stay.

Here’s to more run good!