Posts Tagged ‘no limit hold em’

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Plays of the Week – August 11th, 2018

August 11, 2018

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

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

That was mostly correct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Come on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hand of the Night

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

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

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

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

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

Some views from the summit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s why hands like this happen:

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

It comes down Q65 rainbow and I check-call.

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

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

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

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

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

So nasty!

So yeah… this game is JUICED UP.

Which makes this next hand pretty special:

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

What.

The.

Hell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CRUSHING!

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

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

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Muckleshoot 5th Sunday NL Deep Stack Tournament (LIVE BLOG)

July 29, 2018

I will be doing a live blog of the $400 5th Sunday no limit hold’em event at Muckleshoot today. It’s a pretty sick one: $400 buy in and only $20 of that goes to the house. At least that’s what it says on PokerAtlas. It’s pretty hard to believe. If so though, that’s amazing.

More info on the Muck tourney later. First, a look at this past week:

Monday +$825 in 7.5 hours of 8/16 LHE

Tuesday OFF

Wednesday +$873 in 4 hours of 1/3 PLO and -$96 in 3 hours of 8/16 LHE

Thursday +$104 in 17 minutes of 4/8 LHE and -$120 in 5 hours of 8/16 LHE

Friday -$597 in 90 minutes of 8/16 LHE

Saturday OFF

The biggest takeaway here is that I played zero minutes of 15/30. Have we officially reached a point where 15/30 isn’t even a thing anymore? I’m going to have to wait until October to play in that game regularly again?

Friday was the worst. Obviously I had a miserable mini-session, but I walked in to the casino, saw that 15/30 wasn’t going to happen on a Friday night, and I just didn’t really want to be there. It’s easy to win when you’re tired or unengaged, but losing? That’s way tougher. Down three racks in 90 minutes, in a game I don’t even want to play, losing to KQ with A2 when I check-raise my opponent on the A74 rainbow flop? Yeah, I’m out of here.

I’m not opposed to powering through tough sessions – in fact, it can be a welcome challenge at times. I’ve turned four rack deficits into solid wins on multiple occasions. But I just didn’t want to play 8/16 on a Friday night. It’s depressing.

Not a bad week overall, but I am sad about the current state of poker in Lakewood. It was really nice not having to drive out to Fortune for half a year.

Muckleshoot tournament info: $400 buy in, unlimited re-entry for 2+ hours, 25k stacks with blinds starting at 100/100, and 30 minute levels.

I’ll be back with notable superstars in the field today, but one thing I know for sure is this:

TORMUND IS IN THE BUILDING.

10:16 PM: Field is pretty sparse to start. Flexxx commented on my post on Facebook saying something about Tulalip having a $300 buy in tournament with $10k added to the prize pool. That might explain the small crowd here at the moment, but with two hours to register there is plenty of room to grow.

Bill W is only notable here that I can see. I see lots of PNW tourney regs though.

10:40 PM: This shouldn’t even be a notable hand but it is just because of how ridiculous it is. There’s a post in the hijack and the button makes a standard 6x raise (lol) to 600. I defend with 98 of clubs and hijack also calls.

Flop is 943 with one club. We check to button and he bets 2k into 1900 (lol). It’s such a giant bet on a really dry board I actually laugh out loud and shake my head, but I do call and the hijack folds.

Turn is a queen and we both check.

River is a seven. I’m happy to show down here and I think I get more value by check-calling on this runout, so that’s my line. He bets 2500 and I call. I’m good.

10:48 PM: This is more familiar: player opens to 300, there’s a call, I call with AJ and five of us see the flop.

Board comes down J73 and it checks to me. I bet 800 into 1600 and only one player calls. It is worth noting that this player is the first cold caller of the raise, so he checked the flop after the PFR checked. Which means he was likely content to let the flop check around.

Turn pairs the jack. He checks to me and I bet 1300. It’s a small bet. I want him to stick around with a weak hand or do something stupid. He seems to take the latter route by check-raising me to 3100. I call obviously.

River is a ten and he leads out 5200. No need to raise here. I feel like I’m bluff catching almost always, so I never expect him to call if I raise and I will be shocked if has anything good here. I call.

He turns over 33 for a full house. Wow. Obviously a pretty bad cooler spot, made worse by the fact he checks the flop after the PFR checks and gives four opponents a chance to see a free turn. Why anyone would do that is beyond me – it just makes no sense.

But people playing in a way that makes no sense is something that makes total sense to me.

I just won a nice 3-bet pot with AK though so despite that -8k hand I actually have over 30k right now.

11:15 AM: One limper, button makes it 1200, I make it 3600 with QQ from the small blind, the limper calls (!!) and the button sails 75+ bigs in the middle. I was planning to call a jam when I 3-bet, so I tank briefly just because there’s a third player still in the pot and then I reshove. The limper starts tanking, long enough that I turn to Bill W on my direct left and give him a ‘wtf is happening right now’ look. He eventually folds.

Button shows AK. Well, this is a pretty unnecessary 170 big blind flip.

Board runs out 654… J…. A.

Just sick. Instead of 48k (240 bigs) I now have 8.2k. That’s still 41 bigs, but it’s almost 1/3 of the starting stack and that’s when I start looking at the tourney screen wondering how long re-entry is open for.

Speaking of re-entry… Tormund is on his second bullet. I don’t know the exact details but it involved a “seven deuce” and cards being rammed up bodily orifices you’d rather not have any company.

The poker gods just refuse to give the kids a break.

12:06 PM: Not playing tight with 20-30 bigs during the re-entry period, so when someone makes it 1200 after a limper I go ahead and defend the 4x raise with J8o. I’m looking to catch any reasonable piece and get it in here. Three of us see the flop.

Flop comes down T93 with two diamonds (I have 8 of diamonds). I don’t expect to have much fold equity here so I go ahead and let the PFR c-bet (2500), other guy folds, I jam 5700 and he starts tanking (lol). I love it. I’m probably against an ace high hand here, so all my pair outs are likely live here and, by golly, this guy might actually make a ridiculous lay down. He finally talks himself into calling by saying he thinks I’m on a draw (like I’d play a made hand differently?) and I turn a straight against his A2 of spades.

Back up to 12.4k. Kind of awkward. Two minutes before re-entry ends and my stack is now too big to punt or forfeit – but half the starting stack I could sit down with for another $400. I guess I’m rolling with this bullet.

Tormund heading to break with 37k. I also spotted Minh Cash in the field.

12:39 PM: Hijack opens to 1100 at 200/400/400 and cutoff and button both call. I’m in the small blind and before I even look at my cards I’m already thinking this would be a nice spot to squeeze. I do need a bit of a hand though because the button has proven to be loose and reckless. I look down at 88. I’d say that qualifies. I ship in 11.6k. The opener and cutoff fold and the button calls, as expected.

This time my 88 holds vs his 66 and I double up.

Someone flopped a set on me for the third time this tournament but then I won a couple of pots with a c-bet after that.

Currently sitting on 27.8k.

1:12 PM: Two limpers at 300/600/600 and I make it 2600 with 77. I get it through the rest of the field and the first limper, but the bad loose player takes a flop with me. No surprise there.

Flop is AAK. And here’s the beauty of having a massive range advantage: he checks to me and I bet 1100 into 7300 and he folds.

2:18 PM: I chipped down a bit when I defended A3 of spades and flopped an ace and a backdoor flush draw. I called two streets before getting a free showdown and losing to AT.

But then I opened AA under the gun, got a caller, and a big blind defend.

Flop was AT9 rainbow and with 7200ish in the pot, the big blind led out for 2800 and had about 7k back. I had about 17k myself. I don’t want to blow either of these guys off their hands, as I’m really only vulnerable to gutshots (and I think we can assume the blind doesn’t have one of those), so I just call and so does the other player.

The turn is a queen, which is one of the worst cards for me. It improves some straights and makes my hand more vulnerable. The blind jams for 7200 and I go ahead and reshove myself. The other guy folds and I have my opponent drawing dead with two pair.

I have 33k coming back to 1200 big blind. Tormund claims to have more chips than that, but can’t come up with a rough number.

3:00 PM: Open JJ to 2500 at 600/1200 and Bill W jams for a little less than 20k. Folds back to me and I have a pretty trivial call here, but I take a few seconds just to make sure. I put it in there and hold vs AQ.

Peaking at 52k. That’s about average now…

Look at this ridiculous stack at my table:

4x average is pretty massive at this stage of a tournament like this one.

3:16 PM: Defend T7cc. Flop is J97 with two diamonds and one club. I elect to check and he jams for 12k – a little more than pot.

Eh. I hate my line already. I should have just put him all in myself. I flopped well enough to contend for his stack size here, but I prefer having hands like AK, AQ, and KQ fold rather than forcing themselves to showdown.

I end up calling and he’s actually in really good shape with 88. He has me beat, he’s blocking two of my straight outs, and my two pair makes him a straight. Pretty gross. His hand holds up and while I’m pretty sure he would have called a donk-jam, I think I still prefer that line.

Anyways, I lose 15k on that one and I’m back down to 32k.

3:38 PM: Down to 36 players now. 12 cash. Minh Cash on my immediate right now with a Minh Cash kind of stack.

3:49 PM: Minh Cash doubles! He is now over 35k.

4:38 PM: Blinds keep going though me without winning any hands. Down to 12 bigs but it did look like Tormund got a big double.

5:05 PM: Coming back to 1500/3000 with exactly 10 bigs. Tormund coming back to 30+ bigs.

5:18 PM: Minh Cash is facing a button jam and a small blind jam holding AJ, for about 10 bigs effective, and… decides to call it off. He’s up against 99 and AK.

Jack of hearts in the window, followed by two small hearts. Minh Cash has the ace of hearts to boot. He holds and more than triples.

Very next hand, button is crippled and jams 4000. Minh Cash calls and I call Q9o. This a pretty standard spot to check down and never bluff. Board runs out AK2-4-J and Minh Cash says, “I can’t win,” so I table my hand and the button wins with 33. But I saw Minh Cash’s hand. He had 84. I’m like, “what’d you have?” because maybe my eyes deceived me, but he confirms the 84 and I’m like “dude.” So the button winds up quadrupling instead of busting.

I get a few jams through with KQ and A3, but I pick up the 77 and dude’s hands are shaking as he calls. Tormund said he wanted to sweat my all in, so I say, “Tormund, I’m all in with the worst hand” before the cards are turned over… because I already know.

Sure enough, he tables the TT and that holds and I bust out in 20th, eight spots shy of the money.

What a brutal stretch this is.

Tormund is well above average with 19 left now and that’s pretty cool because I have 30% of him.

No Tormund Shuffle today please. 🤞🏻

5:31 PM: Someone jams AT into Tormund’s KK and he busts that player to chip up over 200k. 18 players left now.

6:52 PM: They are down to 13 left and playing hand-for-hand. Tormund is at 210k with average stack at 182k.

I forgot to mention there were 95 total runners in this event. Also discovered that $20 entry fee wasn’t a real thing. PokerAtlas made it seem like they might only take $20 out, but the admin fee is $20, plus there’s $20 taken out for the dealers and $10 taken out for the Tournament of Champions. So they are actually taking out $50, not $20.

7:02 PM: Tormund is in the money! Our boy has dipped below average stack though.

7:29 PM: Tormund getting comfortable at the final table:

10th place pays $950.

Minh Cash is also in there, sitting with about average stack. Tormund has about ten bigs.

A brief interview: tormund-interview-1.m4a

7:54 PM: Ugh. Just saw Minh Cash get all the chips in on a JT8 flop vs 77 and the board runs out JT8-T-7. I can feel his pain from here. He has about 75k in front of him and the other player has over 250k now. Really, really gross. So brutal.

8:11 PM: A little redemption for Minh Cash when he jams KK and the same player calls it off with 88 and the kings hold.

I was going to update his new stack size but he was on the turn facing a jam from… Tormund. Minh Cash winded up folding.

8:22 PM: Sigh. Tormund runs KK into AA. We are on crumbs.

He’s all in for less in the big blind and triples with K8 of spades.

Next hand, it folds to him in the SB, he jams 37k and BB folds.

Back to 53k!

8:49 PM: Tormund jams < 2 bigs on button and his A2 loses to A9. He busts in 9th for $1050, giving me a tiny rebate on my buy in back.

Minh Cash is still in there with 8 left, but we are out. Good luck, Minh Cash!

I probably won’t play any poker until Thursday.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Mariners vs Astros with FanBoy on my birthday. My goal is to get a disabled Jose Altuve’s autograph because, let’s be real, he has nothing better to do.

Tuesday I’m having a movie marathon day. I’m going to start out with Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, then Uncle Drew, and finishing with Ant-Man and the Wasp. Not the most exciting lineup but it should be funny at least.

Wednesday we are having a Leak Day. That starts out with an early morning hike near the Lewis River by Mt. St. Helens. Not sure what the rest of the day will entail, but we will do whatever she wants.

So that leaves Thursday as my next play day and that probably means I’ll head to Fortune or maybe the Little Creek NL cash game.

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Hand History Highlights

July 23, 2018

So I didn’t end up blogging during two pretty epic sessions. I had a +$2666 PLO session that I didn’t blog any hands from and this past Saturday was possibly the craziest 8/16 game I’ve ever participated in.

The Triple Up

I always sit down in PLO with between $500 and $800 on the table and $1000+ in black chips in my pocket for swift and discreet top offs and reloads. I wouldn’t need those extra chips for this session.

I’m UTG with QdJd8d8. I decide to limp in because I want to play, but I don’t want to bloat the pot from early position and risk getting 3-bet. I don’t mind limp-calling with it and going from there. So I limp in, someone does raise it and six of us go to the flop for $25 each.

Pot is $150 and it checks to me on Td9d3. Now I’m pretty happy to get it in and I start trying to build the pot by leading out for $80. Tormund raises me a couple of stacks and John Kim pots it. Everyone is about $800 deep on the flop and though I’d rather get this in heads up (3-way action could indicate a set and a bigger flush draw), I decide to go with it. All three of us get our stacks in and agree to run it twice.

First Board: Td9d3-X-K

Second Board: Td9d3-Xd-Y

I scoop this $2400+ monster pot in the first 30 minutes of the session. John Kim had TT. Not sure what Tormund had. My diamond draw was obviously the nuts, so folding here would have been a catastrophe.

Leveling Up

It’s been five days since this session, so some of the finer details are lost on me. In this pot I had A873 with nut hearts. I believe this pot was limped around preflop.

The flop is JT3 with two spades and one heart. Everybody checks.

The turn is the four of hearts. It checks to me and I decide to bet my pair plus nut flush draw plus weak gutter and this much weakness in front of me. I bet $20 and the player on the button – the most experienced and possibly the best PLO player in the game – makes it $85 to go.

Everyone else folds.

I’m not buying it. What hand other than 44 in the hole can really justify a value raise here? There’s two spades on the flop and sets are vulnerable to the straight draws around the jack and ten, so I’m basically eliminating non-44 sets from his range when he checks back the flop. I think I can remove JT for the same reasons. I don’t think he has a strong made hand and I suspect he thought the same about my range and that’s the main reason he was raising me.

Time to level up. This isn’t like hold’em where I can check-call with bottom pair some of the time. If he has a good bluffing hand like 7665, I’m still losing to that if neither of us improve.

It’s worth noting at this point that I thought he raised me to $105 based on how his chips were positioned, so I wasn’t trying to put max pressure on him when I made it $310. But I do end up potting it because I can only make it $280. He ends up calling.

The river pairs the 4 and misses both flush draws. Seems like a very safe card to continue my story and since I don’t think he has much and I want to look like I might want a call, I bet $200 and he tanks for a tiny bit before folding.

A friend and I were talking about the final table of the WSOP and all the close spots that came up. Like Tony Miles huge bluff with the 75. If John Cynn calls there he’s a genius hero. He just won the WSOP Main Event. If he calls and Tony Miles shows… jacks full or something of that nature, John Cynn looks like an idiot for doubling his opponent up with such a weak hand.

These spots come up all the time, especially in big bet poker. This PLO hand I just posted is a good example. I felt like a gangster after that hand. My analysis was solid and led me to good conclusions and a nice pot when I didn’t have anything. But what if he had a four and a flush draw and decided to call it off on the river with trips? Am I an idiot now? Naw. I analyzed correctly and got unlucky. But what about when he has threes full? How cool do I feel punting $500+ in this pot that had $30 in it on the turn?

And that’s what makes poker so fun, deep, and exhilarating!

Running Good

I open with KKJ4 double suited and three players call. Flop is 99x and I decide to check back when it’s checked to me.

Turn is the ten of diamonds and one of the blinds leads out $20 into $50 and one other player calls. I have a gut shot, a weakish flush draw, and an overpair. Also, neither of my opponents are experienced PLO players. I don’t trust their abilities to determine hand strengths in this game. I decide to peel and see what happens on the river.

It’s the king of diamonds, giving me the nut full house and bringing in the flush. The first guy leads out for $40, the second player calls again and I make it $135 to go. The first player tanks for a bit and then jams on me for $300+ and the other guy folds. I call and beat his T9.

Obviously I got super lucky here but that river action is what I’m thinking of when I say I don’t trust their ability to read hands or recognize relative hand strength.

The Craziest 8/16 Game Ever

By the time I got to the main game I had already hit a High Hand for $400, so I moved over with about $1000 in chips.

And then I found out they were playing 16/32 Overs. What? I’ve legitimately never seen or heard of that happening in a Palace game. But I was excited because pretty much everyone at the table had a button. And the pots were MASSIVE.

The first time I saw someone try to raise the turn to $64 with blue chips, I immediately went and got myself $500 in red, to make betting on the big bet streets swift and easy.

First, A Hand

This hand happened at a previous table, but it’s important to note because the main villain is in the main game when I get there.

This player had already proven to be speeding around a little bit, so when he opens and one other cold calls, I 3-bet 77 on the button. He caps it. We go 5-handed to the flop.

It’s Q74 with two diamonds. He leads out, there’s a call, I raise, the small blind calls cold, and the other two call.

Turn is a 6 and the speeder and small blind both check-call.

River is an 8 and the small blind leads out. He definitely has some fives in his range so I’m not happy about this, but then the preflop capper raises! I know he’s been speeding around, but he capped it preflop! And bet the flop! What is he trying to say he has? He doesn’t look like he’s bluffing, plus I have the small blind to deal with also, so I muck my hand in disbelief. The small blind calls and flashes 86 of diamonds (good lead, champ) and the speeder tables…

…wait for it…

…oh my god it’s so good…

…T9 offsuit!

Wow. MAGA indeed.

So yeah. That guy is in this crazy 16/32 game and so is a newer player that has a big mouth and a very itchy trigger finger. In fact, I counted five maniacs/spewers sitting in a row before I even sat down. I was practically hyperventilating in anticipation while I was waiting to move to the table. What if all the money’s gone?! I didn’t even know these psychos were playing for double the stacks after the flop.

So I finally get my seat in this insane game and The Flea is sitting on my right and we have a quick and abrupt conversation.

Flea: Did you just get back from Vegas?

Me: Nope.

Flea: Oh, I thought that was you that was in Vegas.

Me: Nope.

A Bad Beat Story

I open AA under the gun. One psycho raising every hand 3-bets me and the psycho with T9o caps it.

Flop is AK3 and we all check.

Turn is a blank. I bet and they both fold.

Foul Deck

This game is jammed up and I’m in there speculating with the T9 of spades in a raised pot on the button. There’s like 13 people in the pot.

Flop is J62 with two spades and there’s a flurry of action. Guy in s4 donks, Flea raises, I call it cold, FanBoy’s girlfriend (I’ll call her FanGirl for the rest of this hand) calls cold and six of us see the turn for two bets.

It pairs the jack and brings in the flush. Everyone checks to me, I bet, FanGirl check-raises, and s4 cold calls with what is clearly three jacks. It seems like FanGirl has a flush and if that’s true, I kind of have to lean towards bigger flushes than I have. She can have all the ace high, king high, and queen high flush combos and she may be folding junky suited hands like 83 of spades. So I play it cautious and call.

River pairs the six, FanGirl checks, s4 bets, I basically snap fold and she pays it off. He wins with KJ.

Me, to FanGirl: How big was your flush?

FanGirl: Ten high.

Me: Uhhh… I had a ten high flush.

FanGirl: 97 of spades.

Me: 👀

Sorry Ass Dealers

I’m not going to lie, I felt a little bad for the dealers during this game. But only slightly. It wasn’t the easiest game to manage. There was criticism, lots of cursing, some dealer abuse. One player in particular was a real difficult customer. But he was also the main catalyst in the game.

I tried to prime the dealers as they sat down. “Just deal and pretend like you can’t hear anything.”

Well, the catalyst ends up losing a pot and calls the dealer a “sorry ass dealer” and the floor happens to hear something as he’s walking by and it’s repeated what he said and now he’s getting kicked out. On his way out, he grabs a stack of blue chips and tosses it across the room and then says “fuck you” and “suck my dick” to everyone on his way out.

And yes, his ejection totally ruined the game. It went from being off-the-charts good to being pretty good.

I was crushing this game at one point and my stack looked something like this:Unfortunately I started running absurdly bad and wound up cashing out +$202 (and that includes the $400 I got for High Hand. Yikes!). It was quite an epic collapse. I think I may have been +$1500 at my peak.

Sick Cameo

A rare in-season appearance from the legend Radio Mike: I told him I had to snap a pic because I’d never seen him with so many chips in front of him (those racks are seat 2’s).

WSOP Main Event Bust Out Hand

I’ve been interested in messing around with solvers and I wound up downloading a free trial of PokerSnowie and while I haven’t sunk my teeth into the intricacies of the software I did try to run a sim of the hand I busted out on in the WSOP Main Event.

The numbers aren’t exact (I start the hand with the same number of blinds) and I didn’t bother adjusting irrelevant stack sizes. I’m covered by my one opponent and that’s all that matters.

To recap, I opened with KK under the gun, it folded to the big blind and he defended. Flop was 763 with two diamonds and he check-raised my 8k bet to 25k. While I did consider checking back the flop, facing the check-raise is the first interesting spot in the hand.

PokerSnowie’s suggestion:PokerSnowie suggests calling 100% of the time. As you know, I jammed and busted to 63o. What’s interesting about that screenshot, is that even though the AI suggests 100% call, the EV of calling and raising are pretty similar. I’m not sure what to make of that and I haven’t figured out how to analyze that further.

So let’s pretend I called and the turn was a black ace, as it was. And let’s pretend my opponent goes for a bet size of about half-pot, a reasonable assumption considering I would still have 1.7x pot behind after the flop action. Here’s what PokerSnowie suggests:

Both calling and raising have negative expected values. It’s a 100% fold… and I continue on in the Main Event with 46 bigs and plenty of play for the rest of Day 3.

Conclusion? I can now sleep easily at night knowing that I did, indeed, punt my way out of the 2018 Main Event.

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Muckleshoot $300 NL 4th Sunday (Live Blog)

July 22, 2018

10:26 PM: Making an appearance at Muckleshoot in an attempt to increase my live tournament volume. $300 buy in gets you 25k in chips with blinds starting at 100/100 and 30 minute levels.

I already bluffed off 20% of my stack after getting a free play from the small blind with Q9o.

I lead out for 200 in a 4-way pot on T86 and only the small blind calls.

Turn is an ace. I check, not really planning to call very often. He bets 500 and I’m not surprised to see him bet. None of the draws improved and it’s pretty hard for him to have made hands that can stand a raise, so I make it 1700. He calls.

River is king. I bet 2100 and he snaps with A6. Bad result but I’m fine with my line there.

Dealer just told me I can’t have my headphone charger on the table. I use it as a card protector so I’m pretty annoyed. She asks, “is it an electronic?” I respond, “yes, it’s a card reader.”

A little help, Big Daddy?

I recognize a few players at my table. I’ll give one a nickname, since he pops into Palace on occasion and always plays the same local tournaments I play. I will call him Minh Cash.

Looking around the room to see who else in here. I see Bill W and Solomon Grundy but that’s it. Field is kind of small so far. Only six tables in play and all of them have multiple open seats. Registration is open for another 95+ minutes though.

10:51 AM: Defend 3x raise in 4-way pot from small blind with KTo (note: small and big are both 100).

Flop is T74 with two spades. It checks around.

I lead 600 on deuce turn and only the cutoff calls.

River is an ace. A card players will bluff on a lot. If I had the best hand on the turn, I still expect to have the best hand most of the time. I’m losing to nut flush draws that checked back on the flop in position and A7, A4, and A2. Basically I expect him to be bluffing a lot if he bets, so I snap call his 1300 and I guess we’re going to have to include 53 in his preflop cold calling range now.

18.5k

Bright side: unlimited re-entry for 90 more minutes!

11:04 PM: Minh Cash coolered for stacks in a 5-bet pot with his QQ running into AA.

11:23 PM: More bluffing. Open 98hh. C-bet total air. He calls on K32. Turn blank. River ace. Prompts me to bet again. He calls with K6.

Had another weird spot. SB makes it 800 after multiple limps. I defend A3dd.

Four ways to 762 one diamond, one spade flop. Everybody checks.

Turn 3 of spades. I bet 1600, button calls and SB makes it 4100. Really weird spot. Hard to imagine what good hands he plays this way. Probably not overpairs. Sets make some sense, I guess. Spade draws? Probably not with that small of sizing, out of position against two players. He’s been playing pretty aggro so I’m tempted to stuff it on him, but I reluctantly muck instead. So does the button.

Defend 76cc in 5-way pot. Flop is AK3 with two clubs. It checks to cutoff and he bets 1100. He probably has the weakest range of anyone besides me (this is 53 guy), so I jam it on him. Everyone folds.

11.6k

My image is horrible right now, so time to tighten up for a bit and go for extra value when I have something.

11:47 AM: A5hh whiffs on J76hh4-2. Poker is so annoying sometimes.

12:18 PM: Decided to jam the QJdd with 30ish bigs against what I knew was a strong hand. I was planning to forfeit my stack if I was going to L5 with 20-30 bigs, so I just gambled here and tried to double up. He had AA. And I flopped a king. That was the extent of the sweat for me.

Starting 200/400 with 25k now on bullet #2.

12:28 PM: New table has Bill W on my direct right and a player that has 120k somehow.

12:54 PM: Mentioned to Bill W that today is my 8 year anniversary since my last drink… and that got him started telling me all kinds of stories that blew my mind.

If you don’t know, Bill W runs an addiction/recovery center. My nickname originates from one of the founders of AA, so while that name might seem like I’m poking fun at what he does, as someone that has dealt with repercussions of alcoholism since I was in high school, I actually have a tremendous amount of respect for him.

1:09 PM: Bill W limps UTG, I make it 1700 at 300/600 and we go 4-ways to J94 flop. I don’t really like c-betting with my stack size, so I check, the first caller bets 3000 and the other two fold. Not to sure about this spot. It costs me 3000 to win a pot that has 11.3k in it so I’m getting almost 4 to 1 on a call. The board is coordinated around the J9 so there’s no guarantee both my cards are live. The bet size is pretty small in relation to the pot, so I go ahead and speculate.

Turn is a ten. Let’s. Go. I check. He puts me all in and I snap. He tables 44.

River: Ten.

GG.

Pretty solid showing. Two bullets and I never had more than the 25k starting stack.

👍🏻

That’s probably all the poker for me today. I don’t want to jump in a cash game right away so I’m not heading to Fortune and Palace doesn’t even have an 8/16 game yet.

I plan to make a post of my “highlight reel” for my PLO session on Wednesday and the insane 8/16 game I played in at Palace on Friday night.

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Palace $5000 Freeroll (Live Blog)

July 17, 2018

This could be a short post if I can’t bring myself to adjust properly to these fields.

Details coming shortly… looks like 60 players to start.

7:04 PM: I mostly took yesterday off but I did play the $5.50 Rebuy on Global, the $33 $10K GTD, and the $11 6-Max nightly Limit Hold’em.

I was cruising in the rebuy until I opened KT, a player with good results flatted in position, I c-bet the T43 flop and he crammed it on me. I snap called and he showed 63 of clubs. What? Turn: Kc. River: 3.

No clue what happened there. Dude has a 70%+ ROI over 750+ tournaments so… what was this? I have no idea, but it cost me the tourney chip lead and apparently all my momentum as I busted out of the money.

I did win the limit hold’em though. 1st of 25 for a whopping +$101.50.

🙌🏻

7:10 PM: Cards still not in the air. 2k staring stacks with blinds starting at 5/10 with 15 minute levels. I know FanBoy is out there somewhere. Not too sure about anyone else.

7:41 PM: 2275 starting 25/50 blinds. Nothing too exciting to report. I’ve been playing loose and aggressive, but nothing spewy.

7:48 PM: KJ v KQ on T73K5. 1800.

8:10 PM: Down to 12 bigs on the button, with blinds doubling in three minutes.

Time to get it in.

Jean Segura though. MVP!

8:33 PM: QJ > 77 > AK all in pre for ten bigs. Sitting on 5900 at 200/400 with 50ish left.

8:46 PM: Min-raise to 800 with JThh and BB defends with 1100 behind. Flop is 854 with two hearts and I put him all in. He snaps… with… AK. 🤔 Okay…. he holds.

2800 at 400/800 lmfao. 40 players left and average stack is 5 big blinds. 👍🏻

Wait, why am I here?

9:00 PM: Jam two bigs from cutoff and get folds around. Lol.

Jam 3.5 bigs after a limper with A6ss. He tank-calls (lol) with KQ. KK33x.

GG.

Never again.

9:07 PM: Jean Segura wins the MLB All-Star Game MVP with a clutch go ahead 3-run bomb.

9:09 PM: Wait. What? Alex Bregman? Because he hit a solo shot that won the game? What?

Nice job, Diaz.

9:11 PM: 15/30 on the verge of starting… so I think I’m staying here to play… for now.

I’m working on a wrap up post for my Vegas trip, but haven’t had much time to focus on it. Hopefully I’ll have that up within a week.

Spoiler Alert: it’s ugly.

The Joker on the All-Star Game MVP:

9:26 PM: 15/30 going 7-handed. Starting lineup: Scrappy Doo, Part-Time, a new somewhat wild player that’s good action, a loose-passive older regular, FanBoy, a solid regular, and myself.

9:33 PM: Blinds just went up to 2000/4000 in the freeroll. There are 17 players left. The average stack is 9500. That’s barely two big blinds. Three spots pay.

🤯🤯🤯

I honestly can’t wrap my mind around how ridiculous it is.

10:07 PM: 15/30 is 6-handed and that means I probably won’t be blogging too much because the action is too fast and furious.

10:44 PM: Game is full now. The Invisible Man is in. Plus another super LAG player.

11:42 PM: Nothing worse than getting pwnd by The Invisible Man. I mean he’s such a nit it’s disgusting. So here I am in the small blind with Q3 on a final board of A2336.

I’m the small blind and he’s the big blind. Pot started 3-ways and it checked around on the flop. I led out with my trips on the turn. There was a spade draw available on the turn, so I guess he can have that, but this is a limped 3-way unraised pot and we are in Overs. Hard to imagine him calling with a spade draw on a paired board.

Like I said, so here I am on a final board of A2336 and he’s raising me. I practically want to fold but then I start thinking he could play a 3 this way and I beat most of the threes and since he got a free play from the big and a free turn, all of them are in play.

I call and he shows 54o.

Heads up vs FanBoy. He opens button, I defend K2 of diamonds.

Flop is J95 with two spades and he checks back.

Turn is 7 of spades and I bet as a pure bluff. He calls. Okay, I’m looking to fade spades on the river but I should have a lot of good cards to bluff on, like tens, 6s, 8s, maybe board pairs…

River is a king. Now I can show down. He has some good kings in his range, so I check and call and he shows me AQ high and says, “you’re the man” while making eye contact with Snowflake as if to say: You see this shit?

1:51 AM: Open A5o from the cutoff and both blinds defend.

I bet 852 flop and the small calls, but a speeder in the big check-raises. I have enough hand here against this player to 3-bet and I definitely prefer to play this hand heads up, so I raise it up. The small blind folds and the big blind caps it. Hmmm… okay.

Turn is a queen and he checks it to me. It’s quite tempting to bet here but I really don’t want to get check-raised and I have a pretty good idea what his range is here. I check back and I’m planning to call on rivers that don’t improve 76.

River is a 9. Sigh. He bets and I stick to my plan and fold. Obviously I can be beat anyway, but when his most likely drawing hand gets there (the flop was rainbow), I think he has too many hands now that I’m losing to to make calling profitable. Even the gutshots like 98 and 97 improved to a pair. Obviously the 43 missed but there was one hand I totally overlooked: the 64 double gutter. That hand also missed. I think I’m still okay with the fold though. It seems like strong hands on the flop and 76 are his most likely holdings.

2:22 AM:

Flummoxing the FanBoy

There’s a limper, FanBoy raises and I look down at the QT of clubs on the button. I like to 3-bet with suited Broadway hands when I’m in position a lot because when you take charge of a pot good things can happen. Two players call and FanBoy caps it.

Flop is AT6 and everybody checks to me. I love it. I know FanBoy has JJ-KK and if any of the yahoos call me I think he’ll fold a lot. I bet, the other two both call and FanBoy snap-folds. Hahahaha. I feel like I’ve already won.

Turn is a blank and only the small blind calls me. He’s pretty unlikely to have an ace here since he should be trying to check-raise the other two out on the flop.

River is the jack of diamonds. Ugh. That’s a good card for his range, so when he checks to me, I check back and he shows 63, for a pair of sixes and I win the pot.

FanBoy is tuned out so I ask him what he folded as the cards are collected and the pot is pushed to me. He says, “Jacks” and I say “ahhh… good fold” and then he asks what I had and I won’t tell him.

I’m sorry John, I don’t remember.

He eventually uncovers that I had the ole QT of clubs and he is not pleased and claims he will call me down now forever. It’s always fun when you play poker in a way that people think is… unconventional. If only I could play in a way that made it easy for everyone else. 🤷🏻‍♂️

2:39 PM: FanBoy gets a modicum of revenge when he gets AA vs TT and my QQ, but a K42ccK3c board gets me a free card on the flop and a free showdown.

Sigh. Open 65cc, get the J4c3c flop heads up vs the big blind. He calls flop and the ace on turn gives me some nice fold equity but he calls again there too. I barrel off on the 9 river and he snaps with QQ.

Open QTdd and only the blinds call. Flop is QJ3 with a diamond. The big leads, I raise, the small calls, and so does the big. Turn is a 2. I bet and they both call. River is a 5. Nice clean runout, safe for value betting. I bet and only the small blind calls. I table and then the tables J5.

Running good all the sudden.

3:19 AM: Session saver? I open TT on button and only the big defends. I’m pretty exited when he check-raises me on the JT4 flop. I call and jack him up on the turn and he calls. River… ten! He pays me off and so does Uncle Leroy. $100 Jackpot! About 3 minutes after the floor said we couldn’t turn the PSJ drop off 6-handed.

That’ll teach him.

4:04 AM: After that bad stretch earlier I was kind of surprised to see that I was down $800, so I guess I should take some solace in the fact that I just cashed out -$28.

Add the $40 last longer bet I won from FanBoy in the freeroll and I had an ever so slightly profitable night.

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$225 No Limit Hold’em Tournament @ Palace (LIVE BLOG)

July 15, 2018

Firing off in the $225 monthly no limit hold’em tournament @ Palace. All the top players in the area seem to be here. I see The Joker, Flexxx, Bill W, FanBoy, Flipper, The Legend (dealing), The Riddler (flooring), The Crypt Keeper,

Starting stacks are 10k and blinds are currently 50-100 in L2.

My starting table has FanBoy, Flexxx, and multiple other players I know. Not a great draw in this field.

10:58 AM: Flexxx basically immediately challenged me to a last longer bet and then he modified it to first one to rebuy, heavily swinging the odds in his favor. I declined.

Flexxx’s open seat has been filled by Bill W.

11:09 AM: Tormund’s fiery locks have shown up for level 3.

Open to 250 with KTo. Splashiest player at the table calls.

Flop is T98. I bet 325 and he calls.

Turn is a 7. I figure this player will be pretty straight forward and transparent in this spot, so I bet 500, not necessarily for value or as a bluff, but to charge when I’m ahead and make his decision-making more pure most of the time. He calls.

River is an ace and I’m pretty happy when it checks around. I table my hand and he doesn’t like what he sees, but then he looks at his hand again and now he likes what he sees because he has T6 of hearts.

11:17 PM: Bill W and FanBoy just punted their stacks in the same hand, so three players have already felted at my table but I’m obviously below starting stack still.

The bet-sizing in this tournament kills me. There will be no speculating, floating or trying to outmaneuver these people because every preflop raise is > 3x and every postflop bet is at least 75% of the pot size.

11:27 PM: On that note, here’s a punt from me:

Two limps, guy that opened 5.5x from the cutoff the previous hand makes it 700 this time, I decide to gamble with the 87 of clubs from the small blind and the big blind and both limpers call.

Flop is A54 with two clubs, giving me a straight flush draw. I’m planning to pile it here and the PFR bets 4000, so I should probably just fold, but I don’t mind gambling here during he rebuy period, so I stuff it for 7700. One of the limpers calls and the original bettor tries to go all in. I say he can’t go all in and five different people tell me I’m wrong. No need to argue. Just call the floor over. Nope, he can’t raise. Also, I tabled my hand out of turn. Twice. So… maybe I don’t really know what’s going on.

Turn pairs the 5 and the PFR bets, other guy folds, and he tells me I have one out. I don’t hit it. His AA is good.

New table has The Crypt Keeper and Two Face at it. Sitting down with 33 bigs.

11:47 PM: 3-way all in at my table: AK vs AK vs JJ with two of them getting 30+ bigs each in. Two Face has the JJ so we are rooting for lots of aces and kings and… there’s an ace in the window! Crypt Keeper stays alive and Two Face busts out. Everything is right in the world.

12:08 PM: Sitting on 6400 coming back to 200/400 blinds. Coming back from… a thirty minute break. What in the actual fuck? THIRTY MINUTES? What kind of cruel punishment is this? Wtf am I going to do for the 25 minutes after I use the bathroom? This is brutal. And incredibly unnecessary.

12:12 PM: This is my second time playing this tournament and so far I have spent roughly 95% of both tournaments on some level of tilt. I haven’t been adjusting to this field very well. It’s very, very soft and I know my skill edge is immense, but it bums me out that that edge is basically just making better preflop decisions. I can’t get in there with wide ranges and try to punish them. When I do that, I’m just punishing myself because they don’t fold and the bet sizes are way too big and the stack-to-pot ratios are way too small.

Get it together, Dark Knight.

12:43 PM: One of the first hands back from break, a loose player open limps the cutoff, and I look down at A6o on the button. I should probably just jam it here but I opt to make it 1100 and one of the blinds and the limper call. So now the pot is 3300+ and I have 5400 behind holding A6 offsuit with two opponents. Seems pretty bad.

Flop is A85 with two hearts and they check to me. I bet 1500 and only the cutoff calls.

Turn is a deuce and I go ahead and pile when he checks. He thinks for two seconds before calling with… 74. By some miracle, I somehow dodge all seven of his outs with one card to go and double up.

Poor execution. Great result.

1:01 PM: So lame. Open 77, two callers. C-bet 855 flop and one calls. Turn ace, I bet 1800 and he min-raises. I fold.

Open K9hh, two callers. Flop is T7x with two hearts. The blind leads out for 5400, leaving herself with 400 behind. I call. Let’s gamble. Other guy calls also. Sigh.

Turn 8. She checks, I bet my last 3300 knowing I’m also getting called but also knowing I’m never folding. They both call.

Blind has Q8 of hearts and the other player has QTo. 4 of clubs.

GG.

Second 8/16 game is starting and that sucks because it means it will be that much harder to get a 15/30 off the ground later.

Sigh.

My home casino is depressing me. Before I left, the 15/30 game was really waning. It went from going every day and starting at a decent time to struggling to get off the ground most days and not starting until pretty late… like 7 or 8 PM.

That’s not the casino’s fault but they also started charging for food and took away rakeback.

And then while I was gone, they increased the PSJ drop.

Jesus. Bad news on top of bad news. In a matter of months, the changes made here have effectively shaved $7-$10 off my hourly winrate… on top of the 15/30 not running regularly. It’s brutal.

And it’s not going to stop. Ten years from now, the majority will still be playing 4/8 and they will be taking $10 a hand. That day might come even sooner.

It’s an ugly cycle because as the rake and PSJ gets higher and higher the players are conditioned to realize that their only chances of actually winning anything are by hitting the jackpots and high hands they are paying for every hand… but a big reason they can’t beat the games is because they are getting raped by the drop.

I get it from the casino’s perspective. And for most players this model probably makes the most sense. But it really does take the pureness out of the game and makes it incredibly tough for anyone trying to make money playing poker. You have to be playing at least 15/30 that to be feasible now and unfortunately that game is no longer something I can rely on.

2:01 PM: Crypt Keeper and Bill W have abandoned ship. Joker is threatening to leave. The 15/30 is that much further from starting. I really have no desire to grind 8/16 with a $7 drop unless I’m waiting for something else. This sucks. I might leave too.

2:32 PM: Pretty cool start to my session. I’m down almost $300 already and not much has gone right, especially this hand:

I cold call along on the button in a multiway pot with J9 of clubs. I flop an open ender with a flush draw, make my flush on the turn and lose to KcJ on the river.

Notables still in the tournament with 31 left: Flipper, Part-Time, Flexxx, and FanBoy, plus three Palace dealers still in the field.

Elmer, Tormund, and The Queen in my 8/16 game.

2:45 PM: I have been informed by a few people that saying the “rake” increased is misleading and untrue. They are right. I went back and edited some words to make my statements accurate. It’s the PSJ drop that has increased and that is technically a neutral drop since (almost?) all of it comes back to the players. Still, I’m personally not happy to see more money coming off the table every hand. Especially on the heels of rakeback disappearing and food comps changing.

Good for the room. Fine for the recreational players. Not great for me.

2:51 PM: Open JJ from MP, Elmer cold calls, The Queen calls from the small, and big blind defends.

Flop is J82 rainbow. Beautiful. I bet flop and the two blinds call and I’m thinking ‘pretty much fading T9 only here.’

Turn is a queen. Lol. I bet, The Queen calls, and the big blind check-raises me. Lol. Way too high in my range to call, especially with a third player in between, so I 3-bet, she folds and he just calls.

That’s good. He is capable of flatting here and raising the river though, so I’m not 100% sure I have the best hand.

He check-calls a brick on the river though and I win the pot.

3:20 PM: Sigh. Floors are trying to start the 15/30 and I definitely appreciate that, but the execution was bad. Tormund flaked and then two others followed suit. Now I’m sitting here with Joker, FBI Guy, and one other and FBI Guy is 0% to play 4-handed. So I’m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs and my former 8/16 seat is occupied.

Looks like I’ll be going home instead.

3:27 PM: There’s hope! Part-Time somehow turned 60 bigs into 0 bigs and is now sitting in the 15/30 game and I guess Tormund has been guilted into turning his blue chips into red ones.

False alarm: Tormund is staying put. Joker thought someone was coming over but they just cashed out and left the building instead. We are now sitting here 5-handed and not playing.

3:32 PM: Almost a dream spot. Playing 5-handed with no PSJ drop, a $1 rake, and no chopping. Lineup is not great but we are playing poker!

3:55 PM: Joker playing some fantasy poker. He’s saying he would have beat my red 99 with T8o if I didn’t 3-bet it preflop or lead out on the 532 flop. Obviously he wouldn’t be in there from the big blind if I did any of those things.

Right?

Nice parlay: I open AQdd, Joker raises, FBI Guy calls and I call. Flop is king high with two spades and a diamond. Joker bets, FBI calls, and I check-raise. Joker folds but FBI calls.

Turn is 6 of diamonds. I bet and he folds JJ face up.

4:31 PM: Flipper, Flexxx, and FanBoy all still in with 16 left. All are short as they approach the bubble of 10 paid.

4:55 PM: A rare photo of The Invisible Man:

He’s been in this 5-handed game for 30+ minutes and his VPIP is still at 0%.

5:26 PM: Flipper and FanBoy bust 13th and 12th. Flexxx still in there with a chance to stone bubble.

15/30 is 8-handed now. First pot of full game: unknown player opens, I 3-bet TT and he calls. I double barrel KJ66 even though it feels like I could be losing a lot here and he calls both streets. River is a queen and now I’m losing like 85% of the time. I check back. He shows AQ.

7:03 PM: Interesting hand: someone raises, there are three callers, I have 44 on the button and call, FanBoy and Joker defend the blinds.

Flop is 764 and there is lots of action in front of me. I make it three bets and FanBoy cold calls from the small, Joker calls, they all call.

Turn is a king and now I get check-raised by FanBoy and that clears out all but one of them. He called two bets from the small blind so I expect him to show up with 77 and 66 a decent amount. I’d be surprised to see sets and there was no flush draw on the flop so a flush draw that turned a pair is out. I decide to just call.

River is a 9 and now FanBoy checks. So does the other player. I can’t check a hand this good so I bet, FanBoy calls, and flashes me the K7 of clubs before tossing it.

This 15/30 game filled up with Rosanne and a couple other key players so it’s nice and juicy now.

7:26 PM: Flexxx has a pretty massive chip lead with 7 left and has his over-the-ear headphones on to block out all the chop chatter.

And would you look at that:

Just look at it.

8:16 PM: Flexxx picks up a nice score as part of a 5-way chop.

8:39 PM: Joker opens under the gun, it folds to me in the small blind and I 3-bet 99 and he calls.

Rosanne says, “let’s see who can outbluff who.” It’s funny because there’s some truth to that… but probably not when he opens under the gun and I 3-bet the small blind in a full game. Lol.

8:47 PM: There’s a raise, calls, I 3-bet AK of clubs on button, Joker caps from the big.

Flop is 653 two clubs. Joker leads, opener raises, I 3-bet and they both call.

Turn pairs the 6, they check to me and I do something absurd: I bet. Joker check-raises and the other player 3-bets. I decide to continue because the pot is massive.

8d on river. Joker check-calls and his AA loses to A6.

Yeesh.

9:01 PM: FanBoy heroes it off. I raise one limper with K6 of spades and FanBoy 3-bets it.

Flop is A62 with one spade and I put a check-raise in.

Turn is another spade. I bet and he calls.

He seems pretty determined to show this one down so when I brick the river we both check and he tables 77.

NICE HAND, BUD.

9:49 PM: Joker just lost his shit. He has A9 on T87J board and it goes multiple bets on the turn. River is a queen and he says, “I think that card saved me.” Other player rolls over K9. Someone says, “no, that card kill you.”

Joker responds, exacerbated, “you all fucking kill me.”

I tried to snap a pic of what that face looks like but you have to draw the line somewhere.

10:04 PM: Player in s8 wins a pot and player in s9 puts his $5 small blind in but it goes into the shuffler and he gets the dealer’s attention to get it out before it shuts and the dealer goes into the shuffler, fishes it out, drops it in their box and says “thank you.”

I look at the small blind and he’s just sitting there with his hand on his chin rolling his eyes.

12:06 AM: Obviously running out of steam, both in writing and playing. I think it’s time to rack up and call it a night soon.

2:43 AM: Powered through another 2.5 hours. Riddler stopped in and tried to 3-bet bluff me on the river when I made a flush because FanBoy bluff-raised him on the river with a total airball.

Bullet #1 -$225

Bullet #2 -$225

8/16 -$195

15/30 +$820

h1

Main Event Day 3 – Sweat Post

July 7, 2018

There it is. My worst table draw yet. I’m starting the day with 51 bigs, so I’m far from the danger zone, but the five players on my left are all more accomplished than I am and four of them have me covered.

Josh Arieh has almost $8 million in career earnings and at least two WSOP bracelets that I saw, plus a (infamous?) 3rd place finish in the 2004 WSOP Main Event.

Max Altergott is a German high roller that seems to have disappeared from the live scene mostly over the last few years, but I’d guess he’s been playing a lot online.

Stanley Lee has a 3rd place finish in the WSOP Monster Stack and various other NL results that back that effort up.

Dustin Goff seems to have had all his success in the past month, so he’s probably feeling very confident.

The table chipleader is on my immediate right and seems to have very little live experience. That’s a plus, but I’m not in a great position to abuse him.

The player in seat 9 has no recorded cashes… and a short stack.

I imagine the tables in Brasilia will be breaking after the Pavilion, but I’m not sure. I wouldn’t mind seeing this table break early, but you always have to be careful what you wish for. Fist bump as you bag your chips and you might find yourself headed to a televised feature table with Phil Ivey and his mountain of chips and… his sunglasses. Sunglasses!!!

Chances are this lineup is not going to let me get away with opening 15% of my starting hands, so I will have to pick my spots wisely.

Chief Wiggum bagged up a stack of 56.2k and he’ll be tangling with Washington state notable Darren Rabinowitz.

Cards in the air in an hour. Stack updates here and on Facebook and I’ll post some notable hands here on breaks if I have time.

Let’s get it.

11:29 PM: Huge pot brewing:

Arieh re-jams here on T53cc.

Wow. S1 lays down AK of clubs, Arieh has 55, and s4 has AT! What a punt.

Josh Arieh sitting on over 400k now.

1 PM: I stacked the shortest stack at the table when he jammed KQ into my AA.

I just 4-bet jammed over a button open and small blind 3-bet with QQ right before the break. Button makes it 5k, small blind makes it 16k. I had about 130k and I’m not sure if I have any other reasonable line. They both folded.

I’m at 153k on break. Chief Wiggum has 63k.

Two other interesting hands I wasn’t involved in:

Two players limp and Josh Arieh makes it like 5.5x. Max Altergott on his immediate left makes it 18k, the limpers fold, and it’s back on Arieh. He starts breathing super heavy and when he makes it 55k I can see his hands shaking. Max stares him down for quite some time. I’m sure he sees what I’m seeing. Stuffs it on him. Arieh snap folds. (Later he says he won’t be lasting long if he keeps putting 55k in with T6 of diamonds.)

A bit later, Max raises under the gun and Arieh defends the big blind. Arieh check-raises the A62 flop and Max calls. They both check the turn. Josh makes a sizable bet on the river. He is breathing normal and looks calm. Max looks him over for a very long time. Looks at his legs and feet. Leans over and looks at his neck. It’s brutal. He makes the call after like four minutes. Arieh asks the dealer, “can I turn over my cards now?” and then tables A6 and immediately puts Max’s call in his stack and then says something about “maybe my live tells aren’t so obvious, huh?”

I don’t know about that. He looked completely different on both hands. I’m not really planning to make moves on Arieh because of this. My only real takeaway is that I’m never bluffing Max Altergott. Holy shit. I can’t be looked over for five minutes and not want to murder someone.

1:26 PM: Jack Effel just announced they are planning to have us play to the money tonight.

These guys and their waters. I can barely move. Wth.

2:22 PM: So bitter. I’m running at 16% VPIP and 5% PFR for the day, so obviously 63o defends when I raise KK under the gun. Flop is 763 with two diamonds. He check-raises me and I’m not deep enough to even consider folding. I jam and the board runs out clean for him.

Sigh.

So sick.

It hurts.

Now I have an 18 hour drive to Seattle that I’m ready to start five minutes ago.

Thanks for sweating everyone.

2:50 PM: Ugh. I dunno. Maybe I don’t have to go broke here. I’m not going to beat myself up about going bust with KK and I really am not interested in hearing anyone else’s take on the situation, but I’m going to reevaluate it anyway.

I started the hand with something like 150k, so I have a bit over 60 bigs. I make it 6k at 1200/2400 and he defends with 63o which is obviously horrible. I’m opening under the gun and I’ve been playing very tight. His defend is straight up terrible.

The flop is 763 with two diamonds. I have the king of diamonds. I’ve been playing a lot of small ball and I strongly considered checking back this flop (goddammit why didn’t I?), but I also thought there are too many turn cards I will hate, so I bet 8k and he made it something like 25k.

At this point I have 14k of 150k invested and still have 136k (56 big blinds) behind. The pot size has now ballooned to about 50k. I am never, ever folding on the flop, so the question is, do I call and reevaluate on the turn or jam it in here?

If I call, the pot will be about 67k and I’ll have 119k behind. Its hard to imagine folding the turn if the board comes clean. The problem is when it doesn’t come clean… like 4s and 5s and diamonds. Those cards are obviously better for his range and I can actually be folding the best hand a lot of the time.

That’s what was going through my head when I decided to jam. If he has me beat, he has me beat, but I won’t have to play any guessing games on bad run outs.

Checking back KK on this flop isn’t a must, but it does make those bad turns and rivers easier to navigate. Let’s say I check back and the turn comes the ace of clubs like it did. He actually might try to check-raise me there and if he does, I’m probably checking back that card also and looking to show down as cheap as possible on the river. If he leads, I can call a smallish turn bet and reevaluate on the river, probably calling smaller bets and folding more often to more polarizing ones.

Pretty frustrating spot. Annoying that he defended the 63o and even more annoying that I took the flop line that got him max action. I mix in some flop checks with strong hands so it sucks that I didn’t take that line here. I’d still be in there.

Oh well. I’m obviously extremely dejected but I can’t wait to take another shot next year.