Posts Tagged ‘omaha’

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Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace (Live Blog)

August 15, 2018

Blog starting soon. 1/3/5 structure for this game. I’m starting with $600 on the table and the $1400 on top in my pocket for reserves.

Slow start already. This could end up being an unexpected 8/16 session. There are currently only five stacks on the table at the moment.

6:13 PM: Cards are in the air 5-handed. Part-Time and The Man have stacks on the table. Someone I’ve never seen in my life just sat down (with $200).

Pot A! Open to 15 with AT87 all clubs (lol) and two players in position call.

Flop 962 with two clubs. I bet 25 and they both fold.

6:18 PM: I published my last post on Saturday afternoon and I was about to play a 15/30 session. It went quite pure. I cashed out +$2680. I started off thinking I might post some hands but decided against it.

However, I did jot this one down. Someone opened and I flatted with AA from the big blind.

I had already been caught bluffing in a big blind defending spot so I thought check-raising the 433 flop wouldn’t look too credible. I barreled off on the 5 turn and queen river and suddenly my opponent was raising me. I SNAP 3-bet it. Like the instant he crossed the line I threw $60 more in the pot. I’ve never been so confident about 3-betting one pair (technically two pair) on the river. He called and my hand was good.

That’s all I have to report from that magical session. I ran pretty good. That’s all there is to say. It was my first win of $1k+ in the Palace 15/30 since May 11th, almost three months ago. That seems pretty bad, but I was in Vegas for about six weeks of that time and the 15/30 hasn’t been going very regularly. But still, in the three months before that $1k+ 15/30 win on May 11th, I had fourteen $1k or better wins in the Palace 15/30. 14!

6:34 PM: Someone blind raises to $10, Part-Time calls, The Man makes it $15, and I cap the preflop betting by making it $50 with AKJ3 double suited. Part-Time and The Man both call.

Flop is K42 with two spades (I have hearts and clubs) and Part-Time leads out full pot. Eh. Pretty easy fold I guess. I have top pair and a bad gutter, but not much else going on. Anything he’s potting the flop with probably has me in pretty rough shape.

6:49 PM: We are 8-handed but it’s a very weak 8-handed game. Part-Time and Hit&Run, as their names indicate, are usually not long for the game. Hit&Run has already doubled up, so he’s one decent pot away from leaving. There are two other noob players. One of them has less than $400 and the other has played this game multiple times but never for even as long as an hour.

We just filled the game with a ninth player but I’ve never seen him before and he has less than $200.

It’s a full game that could easily be 5-handed in less than an hour. I’ll check in at 7:50 and see where we stand.

6:57 PM: Oh snap. The Joker is on the list as a call in.

7:16 PM: And we’re off! 7-way action for $5. I have KK86 one suit in middle position. It’s super marginal but if I can see the flop cheaply good things can happen against this crowd.

Flop is AK9 with two hearts. One of the noobs leads $30 into $35 and he started with less than $200, so I’m happy to play for his stack. I make it $100 to go and Hit&Run calls it cold. The noob calls, leaving himself $65 behind lol. That’s actually poor planning on my part. If he 3-bet the flop all in I would not have the opportunity to 4-bet since I raised it $70 and his all in would only be a raise of $65 – not enough to reopen the betting for me. I need to be more aware of that stuff.

Turn is a black 8 and the noob puts his last $65 in. I make it $365 to go and Hit&Run puts me all in for just a bit more. We agree to run it once and I don’t have to worry about what they have as the river pairs the 8.

For show, Hit&Run shows QJT2 with hearts, for an inside wrap and a flush draw that missed.

Nice $1k pot to start my night.

8:00 PM: The Man opens $15, I call with T986 double suited, and five or six of us see the JT7 flop. I have the joint and it checks to me. I start with a bet of $50 and only one player calls, in position.

Turn is the 4 of diamonds, giving me a flush draw to go with the current nuts. I make it $150 to go since it seems like he has a good drawing hand. If he was freerolling me, I think he’s raising the flop. He calls.

River pairs the ten. I check and he bets $225. I snap call. He shows me JJ.

I’m not sure how frequently he bluffs his AKQx type hands, so maybe my snap call isn’t that great. I have a ten though so I’m blocking full houses and I don’t think this guy is calling $150 on the turn with a naked two pair. I feel like I’m losing to JJ and 77 mostly and maybe some two pair combos that have other outs.

This is probably bad, especially since his bluff frequency is probably way too low.

8:43 PM: In a five minute span we went from a full game with two on the list to a 7-handed game and no list.

8:50 PM: Possible punt alert. Multiple limps in front of me and I make it $30 with AQQ6 double suited and three of the limpers call.

Flop is JT7 with a spade and a heart and Part-Time leads $125 with The Joker calling. They are both deep so I decide to take a card off with a gut shot to the nuts and two quality backdoor flush draws. Plus, I can possibly bluff on 9s or aces. I call.

Turn is the 9 of hearts and they both check to me. I max bet for $300 and Part-Time snap calls. Gulp. I only have $150 behind so I’m suddenly hating my flop float. How good are my backdoor draws if I have to call a pot size bet for 75% of my remaining stack on the turn? Stupid. That’s not what happened but if the turn was a 2 of hearts or spades, I’m going to have to call $300 here.

Anyways, Joker folds and I’m obviously not planning to fire my last $150 into a $700 pot after getting snapped on the turn. I whiff and check back. Part-Time wins with Q98x.

Definite punt. Dumb dumb dumb.

10:00 PM: The Riddler is making us 6-handed and The Man is absolutely murdering the game tonight:

10:32 PM: I haven’t played very many notable pots since the game got short but The Riddler’s presence has sparked an all out needling war that no one is really in the mood for because The Man is winning all the pots.

10:39 PM: The (other) players have all agreed to switch the game to Big O. I have almost no experience in this variant so this could get ugly.

I finished the PLO portion of tonight’s session at -$119.

Just looked up my stats and I have played 2.25 hours of Big O lifetime.

10:56 PM: I just looked at the player on my left… and he was reading my blog.

Then I looked on my right and that player was reading my blog.

And the player on his right… was reading my blog!

Wow. That’s a first.

And… it took 15 minutes for a $2000 pot to break out and bust two players.

11:11 PM: Joker wanted me to share this one:

Final board is AKJ-4-4.

Joker had KK326.

The Man had A44T9.

On the turn, Joker has set over set, the nut flush draw, and the nut low draw… and lost.

I heard the flop checked around and I missed the turn action but on the river Joker led $100 and called a raise to $400, but that’s beside the point. What are the chances he gets scooped on the river?

About 2%.

11:42 PM: I played a hand. I had AKKQJ double suited in the small blind and got to see the flop for $5.

Flop was 543 with two diamonds, giving me the nut flush draw. I have no intention of putting any money in this pot, but the flop checks around…

…and the turn is the queen of diamonds. I have the nuts. I bet pot. Two players call.

River is an offsuit ace. I bet pot for $100 and they both call again.

I get half and they quarter each other with wheels.

12:47 AM: Complete from the small blind with AQT54 double suited and The Riddler makes it $25 from the big blind. Four of us call.

Flop is TT6 rainbow and I lead out for $80. Everyone folds except The Man.

Turn is a queen and I’m pretty sure he has at least a ten, so I make it $200. He makes it $500. I have just over $800 left so I make another max raise and he calls.

We both have QT. He has a king to scoop and I have an ace to scoop.

River: Ace.

$1600+ pot my way.

1:02 AM: I limp early with JT432 double suited and five of us see the AJ5 with two diamonds flop. I have a pair, an inside wrap with all the nut low draws and a flush draw. I bet $25 when it checks to me and three players call.

Wow. Wasn’t expecting that. Turn is a black six, giving me an uncounterfeitable nut low and adding some extra straight outs for high. I bet the pot when it checks to me, the next player makes it $300 to go, the guy after him is all in for less, The Man reluctantly folds and it’s back to me. I have a monster and the player making it $300 isn’t that bright so I have an easy max-raise to $600. He calls.

The river pairs the jack, I max bet and he goes all in for a little bit more. I call.

I split with the dolt in the side pot putting $600 in on the turn with a naked set and get quartered in the main pot when the other player shows up with a 32 low.

Pretty amazing board to lose money on.

2:34 AM: Another cool runout. I have AQJ53 on 642 with two diamonds. I have nut high and nut low with a flush draw. Turn is a 4 and my opponent has 44 in his hand.

Meanwhile, The Man bets $300 on turn and river on a board of J858Q and gets called by my opponent from the last two hands. The Man tables J8 and his opponent tables a naked A2… with no low possible.

πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

πŸ”₯πŸ”₯$600πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

2:56 AM: Down to four players: Joker, The Man, me, and the guy whose chips all three of us are trying to take. He has a little over $700. I’m ready to go home. I’m tired. I’m hungry. I have a car appointment at 10 AM… but this guy has no chance to cash out if we keep playing and it only takes one hand to get it all, so… here we are.

3:49 AM: I wasn’t thrilled about the game switch to Big O but I’m happy we did that. I felt waaaaay more comfortable playing than I had in the past and it’s not just because I won this session. I just felt good about the decisions I was making. I wouldn’t mind playing a half PLO/half Big O game in the future.

Big O Final Score: +$1114

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The Poker Gods Give Me A Break

June 23, 2018

But first…

Wednesday was the $1500 Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP and while it’s not my favorite tournament – I play LHE all year long and really enjoy the mix game events here – it is definitely my best game. I don’t know how cool it is to call yourself an expert at something but it’s definitely the variant I’m closest to having that status.

So needless to say, it’s one of the absolute must plays on my schedule and probably the event I have a best chance at a bracelet in because I also have extensive short-handed experience.

Well, I woke up on Wednesday feeling like absolute shit, feeling like I hadn’t slept at all the night before and showing obvious signs of an upcoming cold.

I decided not to play the event.

Things were going bad enough without me compounding matters by playing a $1500 event when I was under the weather, so I did something very painful to my soul and made the decision to skip it.

I ended up sleeping until about 3 PM and my wife and friends were giving me updates that were all less than starting stacks… I could still sit down with more than they had! I started to get the itch… and I was feeling better, wasn’t I?

Still, it didn’t seem like my best idea so I started reaching out to people and telling them the circumstances and asking if they wanted to gamble on 10% of my action.

I also contacted my normal backers and told them the situation and said I’d understand if they wanted to sit this one out or reduce their normal piece. They said they wanted it all.

Okay then. Game on.

By the time everyone got back to me, I had sold 60% of myself in my best game at no markup, but it seemed fair considering I was going to sit down with 15 big bets. An example of how short that is, it would be like sitting at $4/$8 with $120 and hoping you don’t go broke. Except in this $4/$8 game the blinds are going up every hour!

Plenty of people will sit in a $4/$8 game with $100 but anyone that has any understanding of variance knows that is utterly ridiculous. I never sit down in a limit structure with less than 37.5 big bets.

So yeah, my back was kind of against the wall. I was certainly more likely to bust early than actually run a stack up so I was okay only having 40% of myself.

It started off pretty miserably. First hand I played I opened KQ and got four way action.

Flop was very good: Q43 with two hearts. I bet, the first cold caller called, and Robert Campbell – a well-known and successful player – raised on the button. The blind folded and it was back on me. In a cash game, this is a snap 3-bet, but in a tournament where your chips are so much more important I think calling has merit. If we were heads up, that’s probably what I’d do, but with the player in between I think I have to try and raise him out. He folds to my raise but Robert 4-bets it. Gulp. I call.

Turn is the 6 of hearts. I do not have a heart in my hand and, not that it matters much now, the queen on the flop is a heart. On the flop it seems like his most likely holdings are flush draws, sets, and AQ. It would be pretty unlikely for him to overplay a worse queen like this, unless it was a combo draw and we know that’s not possible.

It seems pretty optimistic to come up with hands we are still beating so I check-fold.

If the turn bricked, I would have check-called this hand down, but when the flush gets there we are only beating bizarre overplays from someone I think is likely solid.

I ended up getting all the way down to 1825 which was like six big blinds.

I opened the QJhh and the big blind defended. I had 25 left behind when he check-raised me on the turn and bet river on Q74dd9d4 but the river counterfeit his 9s and 7s and I doubled up.

A bit later, I opened the KQ and the same player defended his big blind.

Flop was KJ9 and he check-raised me.

I’m content to call down here but when I made trip kings on the turn I felt like my hand was too good not to raise against a big blind defending range. So I popped it and he 3-bet me. Godammit. That is not good. I called.

He bet the river dark. Unfortunately for him it was a 9, double pairing the board. I raised my full house, once again leaving myself with 25 behind and he ended up folding JJ face up. Yikes.

Yeah. That dude hates me.

My biggest hand on Day 1, Robert Campbell opens in early position, I 3-bet QQ, and Humberto “the shark is hungry” Brenes 4-bets, and Campbell is all in.

The flop is dry and favorable and I check-call Humberto.

The turn gives me top set and I get a check-raise in.

The river is a blank, I bet and Humberto calls for less with TT. Robert turns over Q9 and I bust both of them.

A little bit of an oversight on my part there. I think check-calling down with QQ is fine in a tournament against a tight player’s 4-betting range, but if I knew how short Humberto was I would have tried to get the chips in as soon as possible. Think about the disaster this hand is if he checks back the turn.

I ended up bagging 26.5k and sat slightly above average heading into Day 2.

I had QQ eight times and made a set on four of them. Sounds amazing, but I lost with one of those sets and won with a c-bet on two of them. My only good pot with all those Queens was the double KO.

I had AA and KK zero times. 88-JJ once.

Variance is weird.

But I sure did have that one dude’s number. I rivered him in another big pot with A8ss on Q86sKs8 and he said something about how pure I’m running as I’m sitting there 0 for 7 in WSOP events.

Day 2 started off great. I was peaking at around 35k after 3-betting 99, checking back the king high flop in a 3-way pot and then binking my set against Sean Berrios’ top pair and getting extra double bets.

He would get his revenge soon enough.

Sean opens from middle position and I 3-bet the KQ of clubs on the button.

We went heads up to the KTT one club flop and he check-raised me. I don’t see much merit in raising here so I plan to call down unimproved and that’s what I do when the board runs out KTT67.

I’m pretty happy to hear him say, “Oh, I was trying to steal it,” but I’m not happy when he rolls over the 98 of clubs for a rivered straight.

Actually I’m shocked. Stunned. In disbelief.

Crushed.

Welcome to my 2018 World Series of Poker.

Nope, I’m not gonna chip up to 50k and cruise to my first cash of the series, picking off this torchy bluff line.

I’m going to lose this crucial pot and then never win another hand.

It’s not just that he chose this hand to bluff with. Whatever. Maybe he thinks I’ll fold AQ? 88? Who knows. But why does it have to get there?

Just look at this shit!! Just look at it.

5%! FIVE FUCKING PERCENT.

My series was already going so miserably and it looked like I finally might break through and this hand totally Shang Tsung’d me. And I knew it.

I fucking knew it.

It’s not like my game fell off a cliff or anything but I just knew I was done and I wasn’t wrong.

I opened 77, got 3-bet, peeled the JT6ss flop with 7s in my hand, and folded when the third player donked the 9s turn, even though I had a straight flush draw. Both players ended up having KQ and one of them had a big spade, exactly why I decided to fold even though I sort of improved.

Then I defend 88 and check-called Q76T board before folding on the J river when it seemed like I’m losing to way too much of his range.

Finally I busted when I opened four bigs with Q8 suited and failed to improve against 44.

I busted about 50 spots off the money, bringing my WSOP score to 0-8. Solid.

A few blog regulars did cash the event though: Snowflake (81st), Rocksteady (69th), and Sandman (21st).

I was still sick, so I jetted as soon as I busted and spent most of the day in bed, hoping a day of rest would have me feeling better.

It didn’t. It’s Friday night as I’m writing this and I seem to be getting worse rather than better.

But that didn’t stop me from heading to the Bellagio to see if I could turn my summer around with some cash game action.

I was mostly planning to play $20/40 LHE, but the list was absurdly long and there was a $30/$60 7 Card Stud game going and I had never played in a live Stud game before and I was feeling pretty excited about it. I checked the lineup out and they didn’t look like wizards so after booking a small win in $20/$40 Limit O8, I took my seat.

And I smashed their faces in. I absolutely crushed the game, putting a much needed large dent in my losses for the trip by booking a +$3480 in a little less than four hours of play.

Okay, I ran pretty pure. I made straights and flushes when I needed to. I made two pair when I fell behind. Almost all my big starting hands held up. I got good action both times I started rolled up. I also caught perfect a few times when I was missing key outs.

But I also played really well. I picked off bluffs and seemed to always have a really good sense of where I was at in hands despite having very little Stud Hi experience.

It was a pretty amazing session and it looked like this when I was done:

The game started fizzling out and I played as short as 3-handed for quite some time but after realizing we weren’t going to pick up players, I decided to cash out – not jump in another game – and book a much needed feel good win and take my sick ass home (after an impromptu 90 minute massage) and rest up for the $470 Triple Stud tourney at Aria tomorrow morning at 11 AM.

I will publish this before I head out tomorrow and post live tourney updates here.

Stay tuned!

11:45 AM: Fashionably late to the Aria, sitting down with 20k at 200/400 betting limits. Lots of play.

I have a good feeling about today.

11:54 PM: LOL. First pot I play is Stud 8. I’m heads up with 76-58 against xx-3K and get scooped after my board runs out 76-58JJ-T and he makes threes full of fours somehow.

πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

Assuming his hole cards…

Yup. Staying consistent!

12:43 PM: Thought about this earlier and meant to post it but forgot. Yesterday the tournament on my schedule was the $2500 Stud 8/Omaha 8 tourney at the WSOP. Obviously I didn’t play it. I just want to put my cash game score in perspective.

I would have had to finish 16th or better in that WSOP event to make more money than I did in four hours of cash play yesterday. And if I did manage to finish 16th or better, that would probably happen on Day 3 of the tournament, after 20+ hours of play and two full nights of sleep.

Thank you Poker Gods for the quick fix.

πŸ’‰πŸ’‰

1:22 PM: This is kind of bizarre. I have 22.1k on first break… more than the starting stack. Weird.

The champ is in the building. Kung Fu Panda, now known as FanBoy, is sitting down with 20k in level 5 after playing until 7 AM yesterday. Sounds like A-game to me so I obviously I swapped 10% with him.

2:23 PM: Interesting Stud 8 hand. Some details may be inaccurate here. I raise a complete with a 6 up, an ace buried, and three spades in my hand. Guy behind me raises again with an ace up and three of us see fourth street.

The ace up catches a 9, I catch a queen, and the other player bricks also. Everybody checks.

On 5th I have JsAs-6sQxTx, the guy with xx-A98 bets and the third player folds. My hand is pretty bad here but… so is his. I don’t care what he has in the hole, it can’t be very good. I call.

He catches a 4 on 6th, which sucks because now I’m like I getting freerolled but I call feeling like my hand is likely good for high unimproved.

I was going to call without looking on 7th, so when he checks, I check back without looking. Eh. I can fire a bet here if I catch a king. He ends up showing a pair of 5s and no low so I’m drawing super live to scoop but I turn over a five of my own and he scoops instead.

After the hand I say, “wow, you were stronger than I thought.”

This hand seems pretty suspect and I can’t really put into words very well how I arrived at the river or even understand why myself… but since I got there with 18+ outs to scoop I feel like my instincts were spot on here. I don’t know if that makes it a good play or not though.

3:05 PM: 29.6k after seven levels, playing 800/1600 betting limits now.

3:41 PM: Sandman in the field with the max late reg – something you can do when you have a $70k cash under your belt already.

4:29 PM: The collapse is on. After going so card dead I put in one big bet over a 100 minute span, I have A2-2KQK-A in Stud Hi against a queen up on 3rd and lose to three nines somehow.

I now have 13.4k. Will it be like every other tournament I’ve played this summer where once it starts to go downhill it never stops? Or will start a new trend of clawing my way back into contention?

Stay tuned!

4:46 PM: 19.7k coming back to 1500/3000 betting limits.

Sandman registered an hour ago?

Here’s his stack:

That’s about 50k. I swear some people just have that good mojo for the whole summer. To be fair, it was me the last two years, but… I’m still pretty jealous!

4:56 PM: Big scooper in Stud 8. Peaking!

33.6k.

5:21 PM: Razz has been absolute murder on my stack. We’ve been playing almost six hours and I’ve won a single hand of Razz – and that includes winning on third street. I’ve had lots of Stud Hi monsters in Razz… usually when I’m the bring in. I’ve had rolled up 7s. What I never have is a winning hand.

26.2k after yet another winless round of Razz. Primed to run good in the $1500 Razz tomorrow?

5:29 PM: A gem from last round of Razz:

Lots of low cards out so I just call with 65-4 after a 3 opens to 2000. Guy behind with an ace raises all in for 2600 total and we both call.

We check to 7th street.

Me: 65-4QT2-9

All In: xx-AT73-x

Third Player: xx-3Q97-x

On 7th, the third player bets and I instantly go to fold my hand and then stop myself. Why? I actually paused because I had to make sure I didn’t have this dude board-locked. I didn’t, so I folded because it makes zero sense to bet a rough hand here with no side pot. He turns over a 98. Lol. What? Fortunately the all in had that beat and I didn’t have to flip any tables over.

Crazy Stud Hi hand as I’m typing this:

9h up opens and I defend 7s6s-3s from the bring in.

On 4th, he catches an ace but I make open 3s and opt for the full double bet. He calls.

On 5th, I brick and he catches open aces! Wow. Nice hand, buddy.

But wait! He checks. Uhm okay, I check too.

And… I make open trips on 6th. I bet and he folds. Well played, sir.

6:00 PM: Peaking! 38k but below average.

And… back to Razz we go. 😒

6:08 PM: Yup. Lost a big Razz pot. Standard. Down to 19.1k. WTH.

6:16 PM: 17.4k on break coming back to 3000/6000 betting limits. 30 left. 11 cash. I’m in bad shape. Still can’t win a goddamn Razz hand.

6:36 PM: What a joke this is.

One hand of Razz left after the break. There’s a limp, I complete with A2-5, Sandman calls with a 3, another player calls, and the limper calls.

Sandman catches a 2 on 4th, I catch a 7, and the other two brick out. Sandman leads, one player calls, and I have two big bets left and I’m never folding before 7th, so I go ahead and raise it, Sandman calls, and the other player folds.

On 5th he catches a 4 and I catch a jack. He puts me all in and I call.

I ask if he has a pair and he says no, but he’s got a nine. Okay, that’s good news.

Me: A2-57JJ-x

Sandman: 96-3247-8

I need a three or a four. I look down at a no liner (ace, deuce, or three), but it’s an ace and I take my happy ass out of the poker room and immediately head for the parking lot.

I was planning to play the $1500 Razz at the WSOP tomorrow but a) I am undeniably sick and b) after winning one Razz hand in seven hours today, I’m not sure I want to.

I’m going to go home, rest up, try to improve my health, and see how I’m feeling in the AM.

Good day all.

.

h1

$600 Limit Omaha 8 @ Venetian – Day Two: A Deep Run! (LIVE BLOG)

June 19, 2018

My latest update was Friday after busting the Golden Nugget 8-Game Mix much earlier than I wished. I ended up going back to our house and resting up. It seems weak, but I was harboring a secret.

Saturday I flew back to Seattle and headed to Anacortes for my niece’s graduation/18th birthday party and surprised my whole family by showing up when I had told everyone I wouldn’t be able to make it.

The Leak and I want to have a baby and with potential parenthood somewhere (hopefully) in our near future, I thought this could be the last (and first) time I could stay for the whole WSOP for maybe several years.

I was going to be selfish and not come home for this monumental event in my niece’s life. I justified it by thinking back to when I was her age and how much I cared if my aunts and uncles showed up for any of that stuff. I didn’t and they didn’t.

But I sure felt bad about it and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I had to be there, so I booked a round trip flight and got to spend this special day with my niece and the rest of my family and see my wife for the first time in 2+ weeks!

Congrats to Lexie! You have grown into a wonderful and absurdly mature young woman and I’m sure you will continue to do amazing things in your next phase of life at Portland University!

I was back in Vegas by midnight and Sunday morning I fired in the $1000 No Limit Hold’em Double Stack tournament.

I doubled up early when I opened with AJ of spades and c-bet the 882 two spade flop in a heads up pot. My opponent called. I turned the nut flush with the ten of spades and my opponent raised my 750 bet to 2000. I’m only losing to 88, 22, TT, and maybe T8 suited here so I expect to be winning most of the time here. I called and I was planning to check-call the river, but when he sized at 2500 and I studied him I decided that not only did I probably have the best hand but I was pretty sure he would call a jam also. He did and I was good.

What a great start!

Unfortunately that was my peak and I basically lost every pot I played after that.

Some of the key ones:

Under the gun opens to 350 at 75/150, there’s a flat and I look down at JJ. Kind of hate 3-betting JJ here, but with two players in and the opener only having about 20 bigs to start the hand I am quite happy to get it in against him, so I make it 1500 to go, planning to call a jam.

I did call a jam. But it came from a cold 4-bet all in of 40 big blinds from the small blind. The other two players folded and I was up against KK and failed to catch up.

I had already decided to call a jam when I 3-bet the JJ, but the plan was to call a 20bb jam, not a 40bb jam – that’s quite a difference and the range of hands that cold four from the blinds is much narrower than the ones the 20bb player might stack off with. I am definitely not enough of a NL tourney wizard to know the the definitive response but I suspect it’s closer to a fold than I initially thought. The problem at the time was I could lose 40bb and still have over 100bb and I was willing to flip at that point, if it indeed was a flip.

Alas, that started a pretty steady decline that culminated in a blind vs blind confrontation that saw it fold to me in the small blind and I looked down at AT against a very aggressive player in the big blind. He was super active and 3-betting a lot of hands, so when I raised it up I knew I was stuffing it on him if he 3-bet me. Sure enough he did, so I jammed it. I knew he had less chips than I did and he could easily eyeball my stack and see that that was the case and this prick still asked the dealer to count down my stack and made me wait a good twenty seconds before calling with… POCKET ACES.

What a douche.

I flopped a Broadway gutshot and I was pretty sure karma was going to bring it in but I bricked out and losing these 30 bigs left me with about 6-7 big blinds and I got my last 5.5 bigs in with AK vs 55 and lost the flip.

Just like that I was out in level 5 of a tournament I had doubled up early in. So goes my summer.

That was enough poker for me on Sunday but Tormund ended up making a deep run in the Double Stack, eventually busting in 542nd place for a min-cash.

Yesterday the $600 Limit Omaha 8 tournament at 4 PM at Venetian was my play.

I had nearly double starting stack in level 2 and by level 8 I was messaging The Joker wondering why my momentum seems to fall off a cliff after level 5 in every tournament I play this summer. Pretty much right after I did that things started to turn around for me and I ended up bagging 45.5k and coming back to blinds of 2000/4000 about 30 spots off the money.

I’m sure I have plenty of hands to talk about but this is the only one I’ll mention because it cracked me up.

Someone opens and I 3-bet with A236 all hearts on the button and he just calls. Not too sure about this play but I’m playing and I think playing heads up in position makes more sense than letting the blinds call cheaply, but I really don’t know.

Flop is 532 with two spades. Pretty bad for me, but I do have two pair and the second nut low. I’m getting scooped by A4 but that’s about it. He ends up betting all the way down on 532ssKs8s and I hate it… I hate it a lot… but he turns over AA87 with no spades. What.

I scoop.

Then he proceeds to stare daggers at me for the next several hours and eventually I just start busting out laughing. Like wtf. Is he bluffing on that hand? Using his two aces as blockers to A4… or does he have zero clue? Probably the latter.

Anyways, I bagged 45.5k and started today off extremely active. I’ve been involved in a lot of big pots. My stack peaked at 97.5k and fell all the way down to 25k after I opened AJ83 with hearts and the small blind 3-bet me. I decided to barrel off when I raised the KJ9hh flop and the board bricked me off with a 7 and a 9 and my opponent did not let his AA go. Holy hell. What a torch. Like 20 spots off the money when I was healthy. I mean, I think my line is fine but I need to save the 10k on the river bet. Once he calls the turn and the board pairs, he’s never folding, especially since I’m the one with the nut flush draw.

The next hand I opened AKK6 and a short stack raised me and I put him all in. He had AT53 and the board ran out Q5342. Pretty unreal.

That left me with 25k and I got that all in when the button opened my blind and I 3-bet A732 and bet dark and eventually got it all in on the turn and my aces and deuces with a 73 low was good for a double.

I flopped a full house a few hands later in a multiway pot and that brought me back up to 81.5k and I’m reminding myself not to get fancy and especially not to bluff calling stations.

I have 72k now and there are 35 players left. I am waiting to publish this until we are either in the money or I’m out. It would hurt too much to put the sweat on and then immediately bubble this thing.

Update: I still have 73k and there are 27 players left. We are redrawing for the final three tables and I just eyeballed all the stacks and I see about 5-6 that have 40k or less. It’s gonna be a race to the finish!

I really want to cash this thing just to stop the bleeding but my eyes are on first place. A min-cash in this thing doesn’t help my bottom line out too much. I need to ship it!

Playing in front of the stands (with not one person in them) and we aren’t even in the money yet!

6:22 PM: What a gift. One player limps, a short stack goes all in for 7k, the small blind is also short and calls the 7k and I call 1k more with J843. The four of us see the QT2 flop and everybody checks.

The turn is a 9, giving me the second nuts, while opening up a club flush draw (I have a jack high one). Eliminating players is obviously important but this pot is super critical to my stack so I bet to protect my hand and the limper calls and the small blind calls all in for less.

We do not want to see a club! River: 7 of diamonds! I bet, the limper folds, and my straight is good for everything, busting two players.

I now have 120k and there are 23 left.

6:59 PM: Please, please, PLEASE don’t. We are still at 23 and the collapse is on.

Folds to me in small blind, I raise AQ82 with spades. I double barrel J64ssK4 and check-fold river and he flashes me two jacks. Could have been worse, I guess.

Very next hand, someone opens and I 3-bet AAK5 with a suit on the button. I bet flop and then check down when the board runs out Q5267 and get scooped by A962.

Down to 72k.

7:10 PM: Without actually standing up and checking out all the stacks, I can see three people shorter than me, so I definitely have life here.

Sigh. And one of them just doubled as I typed this. Ugh.

7:19 PM: Whew. What a relief. We are in the money! I’m still in bad shape, so super happy to sneak in. Now I’m publishing and hopefully can start some run pure.

Let’s. Go.

7:28 PM: First hand after bubble bursts I post my big blind at 5k/10k with 60k to start. One player and SB limp, I check QT98 double suited.

Flop is A85 all hearts. I bet my queen high flush and only the limper calls.

Turn pairs the 5, I bet and he calls.

4 on river. I’m all in for less than a big bet, he calls and shows 5433 and his rivered boat sends me to the rail.

21st for $1200ish.

Wonderful. Published for five minutes and the sweat is over.

A bubble may have crushed my soul, so I guess I’m somewhat happy to cash something but this could have gone so much different. I could have saved 15k on that AJhh vs AA hand – or, God forbid, binked a heart or a straight for a huge scoop. Getting scooped back-to-back when I has AQ82 heads up vs the blind and AA5x heads up on the button absolutely derailed me.

FUCK!

My wife will be landing at midnight tonight and both of us will be playing the $1500 Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP tomorrow at 11 AM. It’s my best game and a tournament I have cashed two years in a row and plan on winning a bracelet in some day. Friday?

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It’s Been A Long Time

June 14, 2018

I shouldn’t have left you…

…without a sick blog to sweat to…

Opener coming soon.

Currently playing $20/$40 Stud 8 and Omaha 8 mix cash game at the Rio with Jesus and he was badgering me about not blogging anything lately, so here I am.

I mean… it’s been pretty brutal. I haven’t had anything but pain to write about so far.

So when I last left you I was busting out of the WSOP $1500 8-Game Mix in sad fashion. I ended up playing $20/$40 o8 at the Rio that night because Tormund was making yet another deep run in the Daily Deep Stack.

He took third. For nearly $13k. So that’s four entires into the Daily Deep Stack with fields of 750+ each time and Tormund has finishes of 8th, 17th, and 3rd.

Unreal.

I took that pic of him above with the shiny fedora on and dubbed him a Daily Deep Stack legend on Facebook.

My cash game session was ho-hum. I played 4.25 hours and lost $119.

On the 10th I played the $470 HORSE tournament at Aria and once again never had any momentum in a great structure. I was so short bearing the end of registration that I was playing super loose trying to bust or luckbox my way back into contention.

Alas, I won the pots I got all in on and had over 11k when registration closed, a perfectly awkward stack to continue with.

It didn’t get me far. I busted shortly after registration closed and went to sulk for the rest of the night.

Actually I moved all my stuff from the time share I’d been staying in for two weeks to the Airbnb house we are going to be staying in the rest of the summer.

On the 11th, I had decided to not play the WSOP $1500 Stud 8 tournament but when I arrived at the Rio I decided to man up, sold an extra 30% of my action and took a seat.

After four levels, I had nearly doubled my stack. It was weird having things going well for once, but then my table broke and it was like my doom switch was immediately activated.

I was posting updates on Facebook since I wasn’t blogging and he’s a screenshot of the downfall:

Double my stack at second break and out before the third break. Truly amazing.

Then I sat down in PLO and ran second set into top set 45 minutes into my session and felted $500.

Geez-Us.

Yesterday I ended up late regging the $250 no limit hold’em Low Roller at Planet Hollywood. Totally unplanned.

I lost my first bullet pretty quick but I managed to survive all the way to the money! A cash!

The event was multiple flights and my flight had 253 entrants with 31 cashing and 16 players advancing to day 2.

I had a pretty small stack the whole day and then won a flip with 55 vs AJ and busted the same player when my KK held against his A6. Suddenly I had 30 bigs.

Nothing exciting happened for a while, but I did sneak into the money. I had about 15 bigs when it folded to me on the button and I looked down at an ace and jammed without looking at my second card – a correct play as I should be jamming any ace on the button here – and the small blind called and his 77 held, leaving me with less than two bigs.

I ended up getting them in a few hands later with J8hh and lost to 62o, even though I had twenty outs on the turn.

Good for a $625 cash, but I was in for $500, so…

I played some cash games last night and had a decent session, winning $820. Combined with my tiny cash it was my best day of the trip and I didn’t even make $1000!

7:49 PM: Really stupid Stud 8 hand: I open with AcK-Kc with an ace up behind me. He just calls and so does the bring in.

On 4th street, the ace immediately pairs and I catch the 4 of clubs. I’m quite certain he does not have two pair and it’s probably bad but I continue because I have a three flush and the bring in bricked.

On 5th, I catch a king! Everybody checks to me and I bet. I think they both call.

The both check and call on 6th also.

The aces check in the dark on 7th and the other guy checks also, but I don’t fill up, so I check back myself and show my three kings.

The guy with aces actually bitches about my hand before looking at his last card and slow rolling me with fives full of aces.

Fuck. You. Buddy.

I got moved to the main game and have already whiffed a couple big draws in Stud 8 and find myself ready to leave. This game is trash compared to the one I came from the Golden Nugget’s 8-Game tourney starts at 11 AM.

8:09 PM: So fucking over it.

Start with Ad3d-Qd in Stud 8. King limps with a king dead and I complete. The bring in defends with a 6 up.

I catch an ace but the bring in pairs open sixes. The other player bricks, I bet, the bring in says “so fucking brutal. I put you on two aces in the hole” and then calls. I’m a little concerned.

But on 5th street I make open aces and he catches a five and I am no longer concerned. I bet, he calls.

On 6th, I brick and he pairs his five. Are you fucking kidding me? I’m concerned again. He checks to me and I decide to check back.

On 7th the dealer “accidentally” deals both of our cards face up and we both catch jacks. There’s some commotion but we can still play the hand out and he checks to me and I don’t see how I can check back now, so I bet and he snap calls me with sixes full of fives.

To recap, in less than thirty minutes, my opponent caught extremely good on 4th only for me to catch my miracle card on 5th and I still found a way to lose both pots.

Amazing.

I started off pretty good so I only lost $386 total but I have some pretty serious accumulated tilt going on and an early start tomorrow so I’m fine calling it yet another early night.

It’s no secret that this has been an incredibly disappointing and frustrating trip for me so far and I’m having some difficulty powering through right now.

I have two cashes in thirteen tournament bullets – in the two smallest events I’ve played – and both of them were min-cashes.

It all adds up to a sexy -90% ROI.

Cash games haven’t been spectacular either. I’ve played more hours than I did all last WSOP but it hasn’t amounted to much and I’m yet to really play a full session (my longest is < 6 hours). I’m running at $14.65/hour but I haven’t played much and that’s a paltry win rate for the stakes I’m playing.

Well, that’s my update for the week.

$250 8-Game Mix tourney at Golden Nugget at 11 AM tomorrow after a good night’s rest. I actually won this tournament in 2016 and a repeat would be pretty good timing this year!

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Aria $470 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8/Better (Live Blog)

June 2, 2018

So yesterday I didn’t have much of a plan and around 3-4 PM The Leak and I decided we were going to play cash games at Bellagio, but I dropped her off at the B and then parked our car at Planet Hollywood to skim on parking costs.

She informed me that the $20/$40 Limit Hold’em list was almost 25 deep and since I was walking through Planet Hollywood I decided to check out the $300 Triple Draw Mix (Badugi, 2-7, A-5) tournament I thought about playing. Well, it was 4.5 hours deep, but registration was still open and I could sit down with 15 bigs. Plus, I spotted Kevin Gerhart, a Run It Up warrior, in the field and asked him if he had less than the starting stack. He said “yes” and I thought, Hell, if this guy still thinks he has a shot, I might as well take one.

I actually managed to win some pots to start off on the right track, getting my 15k up over 30k but I lost a critical 2-7 hand that I never recovered from.

In the hand in question, I opened drawing one to a smooth 8 and a player I thought was capable called my raise and then patted after the first draw. I picked up on something that made me think he was snowing and when I made a pair of 8s after the last draw and he still bet, I gave serious thought to check-raising, but didn’t pull the trigger. He tabled a pair of 6s after I folded.

Sigh. That’s what I call having really good poker sense but not enough experience to know how to capitalize on it in a variant I’m not super familiar with.

I ended up busting in 17th or 18th place which was about ten spots off the money in what was a pretty small field of less than 70 runners.

Then I headed to Bellagio and immediately got a seat in a $40/$80 Limit Hold’em game. For those that follow my blog closely, you will know that I’ve only played a game this big once in my life and it was an utter disaster at Commerce back in January this year.

I suppose this session went better, but the game I was in wasn’t great most of the time. I played a little less than six hours and started off poorly down over a rack immediately and then around even for the rest of the time.

I did briefly play with Humberto “the shark is hungry” Brenes and Chau Giang, a former nose bleed stakes regular and likely future Hall of Famer, for an extended period of time, although he spent a lot of time out of his seat.

I would have booked a small win but I made a time game mistake. With the dealer push coming up in a few minutes, I posted my big blind knowing I wasn’t going to pay for the next half hour. Since I wasn’t going to finish the orbit I was about to pay the blinds for without paying more time, I should have just left right then.

Instead, I posted my big blind and my good friend The Crypt Keeper (whom hasn’t made a blog appearance in forever) raised under the gun and I defended with JTo.

I check-called the T9x flop, knowing his UTG opening range is weighted towards extremely strong hands and then I check-raised the turn when I made top two pair. He thought for a bit and then called.

The river was a king, which is an amazing card for his continuing range. I’m basically only beating AA and an optimistic line with AK at this point. Maybe AJ. No value in betting here and I can actually probably even check-fold against The Crypt Keeper because his bluff frequency is close to zero. I call though because that’s what you’re supposed to do and he shows me QQ for a straight.

I posted my small blind and played my button before the dealer change and then couldn’t take any more hands because I wasn’t paying time.

So I donated $360 to my buddy on a hand I shouldn’t have even let myself be dealt in on and that was the difference between a win and a loss yesterday.

-$230 in 5.5 hours which drastically increases my lifetime $40/$80 win rate to -$328/hour.

My plan was to play this Aria tournament today but we got in pretty late last night so I had to force myself out of bed and I did take my sweet time getting here.

I sat down about an hour after it started, but the structure is super deep and good, so still massive amounts of play.

Starting stacks are 20k and blinds were 100/200 when I sat down.

Blinds are now 150/300 and I have a little less than 22k with no super interesting hands of note yet. I recognize three players at my table, including a bald guy rocking a mullet – a look I would strongly recommend to Radio Mike if he’s reading this – but nobody I know by name.

Finally, some shoutouts before I publish:

-Snowflake got a nice cash (48th) in the $1500 O8 and The Sandman min-cashed it.

-Tormund hit and ran the shit out of Johnny Chan and Robert Mizrachi last night, sitting down in a big mix game during the Big O portion and won a roughly $5k pot and then immediately left when the game switched. LOL. I bet they were PISSED.

-Trey (or Goatluv), a dealer from Fortune made a deep run (46th) in the WSOP Casino Employee event.

-Hal, a floorman from Palace is deep in the $600 Venetian No Limit Hold’em Deep Stack Event. He reported that there are about 230 runners left out of a starting field of about 1600 and 154 spots pay. Looks like he’s starting Day 2 with about 30 bigs, which isn’t a big stack, but definitely workable. Good luck, Hal!

-Pacific Northwest Omaha superstar Kate Hoang is doing what Kate does: crush Omaha tournaments at the World Series of Poker. She is still alive with 36 left in the $1500 O8 and her stack looks to be about middle of the pack to start Day 3. Good luck, Kate!

Also – and I’m sure Kate will appreciate this 😳 – I spotted this gem of a thread on Facebook with 400+ comments of guys drooling over her.

1:21 PM: Today is a sad day. The Leak is leaving me for Washington and we won’t be seeing each other for the longest period of time since we first started seeing each other over six years ago.

I am going to miss her terribly and I can’t say enough what an amazing support system she is for me and my poker career. It takes a special person to let their husband disappear to Vegas for six weeks and grind poker tournaments while she’s at home and working. I try not to lose sight of the fact that I play a game for a living and I really do appreciate my wife letting me pursue this dream of mine.

I love you so much honey. I will try my hardest to make this time apart worth it!

1:31 PM: So I thought Bellagio had some pretty ridiculous MLB World Series futures, but when I was registering for this tournament in the Aria sports book I saw something that blew my mind.

They have the Mets at 10-1 to win the World Series and the Braves at 40-1.

Holy shit.

The Mets are a game below .500 with their ace on the disabled list and the Braves are in first place in the NL East and look like a much stronger team with a very good farm system that can help the big league club via promotions or as trade chips for someone like, I dunno, Manny Machado.

This line is stupid. I can’t comprehend what they are thinking.

I fired $100 on the Braves and $50 on the Mariners at 50-1.

πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ’΅πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

1:58 PM: Aria has the stream of the $3k Shootout on a TV and former Main Event champs Joe Cada and Joe McKeehan are at a final table full of sunglasses. Uhm. I like their chances.

2:08 PM: Just got word from Hal that he busted the Venetian tourney in 151st for a nice little cash to start his trip out. Congrats! Seat open at Aria, buddy!

2:17 PM: Wonderful. One opener at 300/500 blinds and I defend KKQ3 one suit and check-call on the K52 rainbow flop. Turn pairs the 5 and I get a check-raise in. River is an ace.

Sigh. What a horrible card. The low gets there and AA improves. I think for a while and maybe I make a mistake: I bet. I was thinking it’s pretty easy for him to have a hand he can call with that has a counterfeit low and my bet really only stings when he shows up with exactly AA. Of course that’s what he has though.

Actually it’s worse. He has AAT9. He doesn’t even have a low draw and the only way he can get any piece of this pot is with an ace. Ugh.

Momentum still evades me on this trip so far. Back to starting stack.

2:58 PM: Last hand before break I open from the cutoff with Q532 one suit. Big blind defends and donks on 986 two spade flop. I have good draws heads up in both directions but I elect to go with a call on this board texture. Turn is 7 of spades, giving me the third best low and a queen high flush. He bets, I raise, and he calls. River is my nut card: an offsuit ace. I now have a big flush and the nut low and he check-calls and I scoop a nice pot.

27.7k heading to 400/800 blinds.

3:22 PM: Unfortunate connection against the big blind. I have AT83 on QJ9 vs KTxx. On the bright side, I raised flop and checked back turn before calling on river. Back to starting stack.

3:29 PM: Registration is closed. 144 entrants. 126 left. $17.5k for 1st!

4:02 PM: Had a big connection with AK93 from the small blind. Limped pot and I lead out on 652 two diamond flop and two players call me. I have the nut low with a king high flush draw, so… loving this situation.

Turn is an offsuit 8 and things get funky. I bet and both players raise. I’m not really sure how to react to this, but I’m definitely not folding. I do feel like I can be getting quartered a lot of the time, even when I make my flush, but I still have a pretty robust hand.

Here’s a surprise: the river is the ace of diamonds. Okay, so I guess I had the nut flush draw. I also have a live three but that’s probably not a scoop card. Still, I should lead here because I’m guaranteed half and check-raising is dumb. I bet and only the button calls. He has 6432 for the nut low and the other guy claims to have had 74 in his hand.

This was a decent half pot but I chipped back down right away when I decided to give up my AJ54 when I paired my 5 on A925 rainbow board against a player that bet/3-bet the flop. She showed AA when I folded.

20.4k

Side note: the tournament area is not in the poker room, but out near the slots and cigarette smoke keeps wafting up my nostrils. So fucking disgusting. Can we please make this garbage illegal already? Yes, wishful thinking in a casino environment but breathing second hand smoke has to be my number one pet peeve.

4:20 PM: Sometimes you have to go gangster on them. One player limps, the button raises, and I make a very borderline defend with 7763 one suit.

Flop is KKJ two clubs and the button bets when it’s checked to him. I decide to raise as a bluff with my club draw as the remotest of backups if I get action. I think this is a good board to attack on and my hand is pretty worthless, so I can happily let it go if I get raised at any point. He calls.

Turn is the queen of clubs and he calls again when I bet my flush.

River is a blank and while I’m happy I haven’t been raised, my hand is not good enough to bet for value. I check and I’m probably going to call if he bets, but he checks back and my flush is good.

He is not happy.

Just switched to a new table and I only know one player. They call him Taxi. I chopped the Golden Nugget 8-Game Mix with him in 2016.

Peaking at 31.2k and coming back to 1000/1500 blinds after a break in a few minutes.

4:30 PM: Dealer in the box at my new table just interrupted a conversation about the outrageous rake (15%) in these tournaments and claimed that very few casinos in Las Vegas actually make money and a direct quote about Aria specifically: “this casino is so far in the hole it’s not even funny.”

Wouldn’t that be something?

5:14 PM: Kate Hoang update: she just took the chip lead with 21 left. Holy shit!

Meanwhile I’m peaking at 38.5k.

6:08 PM: Pretty unfortunate run out here: I have AK63 on 642TJ vs AK3J with a third player calling down with A852. Had a pretty good handle on 3/4 of that one and it slipped away on the river.

Just opened A754 from hi-jack and had to give up on QJ33K when I missed my flush draw and checked back the turn.

24k coming back to 2000/3000 blinds.

Blah.

6:54 PM: With the blinds at 2000/3000 I open with AJT2 with a suit and someone 3-bets me. I start the hand with 21k so I consider capping it, but I supposed there are flops I can give up on and preserve chips. I call.

Flop is KT3 and I check-call with my pair, gut shot and back door nut low draw.

Turn is a 6 and with only 9k left and multiple decent draws, I go ahead and get it all in there. He calls and tables AAK7.

River 9. Good game.

That bust out was with about 50 players left and makes three straight events where I never had much momentum.

On to the next one.

Headed to the Rio after that to sweat Kate a little and possibly play some cash games. Kate is currently third in chips with 15 players left.

8:28 PM: Sitting down in a $20/$40 Omaha Hi-Lo cash game with Tormund.

I believe Kate just final tabled the $1500 O8 event. I just got a notification that it will be streaming on Twitch. I will be tuning in.

False alarm: they are streaming the $100k High Roller on Twitch.

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Pot Limit Omaha – Where Nobody Knows What They’re Doing

January 13, 2018

The PLO game at Palace on Wednesdays has $1/$3 blind structure but it is $5 to come in, so it plays more like a $2/$5 game. The max buy in is $1000. My strategy when I initially sit down is to buy $500 in green and red chips and keep $1500 in black chips in my pocket. I like to start with a shorter stack while I get a feel for how the game is playing and see what the other stacks look like after a few orbits. If some of that action players double up or max buy, I will top off myself, unless I’ve already doubled up. Also, Washington state law has a cap at a bet and three raises and the max bet in Washington is $300, so while the game is pot limit, it does have some restrictions.

I don’t think I’m an expert PLO player. Shoot, I don’t even think I’m proficient – I think I would struggle in a lineup full of competent players. Fortunately, the typical Palace lineup is ultra juicy and I’ve been able to murder this game even though I don’t think I’m particularly good. I make some really dumb mistakes at times and in the interest of authenticity, I will usually post those hands.

Session 1 – January 3rd, 2018

I limp along on the button with TT95 double suited. This is a pretty poor hand. I’m only playing it because there are people in the pot I want to gamble with and it’s $5 to call. I’m definitely not looking to play a big pot with a flush. The flop comes down T96 rainbow, giving me top set and a backdoor flush draw. One of the limpers leads out for $20 – which is probably near pot – I call and so does the small blind. The turn is the Qc, giving me a flush draw to go with my set and both players check to me. I think this is a good spot to bet in a typical PLO game, but the thing I love about the Palace game is that these guys are simply incapable of folding. I really think the flop bettor has 87 and I don’t think he’s going to fold it, so I decide to check back and see a free river. I brick, the flop bettor makes it $45, I fold, the small blind calls and the bettor wins with 87xx.

I raise in MP with AQT2 double suited and four of us see the KT9 two spade flop. I have no spades in my hand and this board is super wet, so I check and it checks around. The turn is the As and it checks to me again. I only have one player to act behind me and I would imagine he would bet his straights and good flush draws, the two players in front of me have checked twice, so I bet $60 and wind up taking it down. Not too interesting except I’m surprised to get zero resistance on this board.

Someone makes it $15, His Airness (one of my all-time favorites) calls and so does the other action player. I call with KK73ss on the button and 5 of us see a flop of 954 with one spade. It checks around. The turn is the 6 of spades, giving me the second nuts and a king high flush draw. His Airness leads out $60, it folds to me, I make it $140, it folds to him, he makes it $280, and I call. The river brings my flush in, he makes a blocker bet of $80 and I make it $260, worried that I might lose him if I go for max value. He calls and my flush is good.

I can’t remember who my opponent was in this hand, but I wish I did because it’s a classic. I forgot to note where I am in this hand, but I’m guessing I was in one of the blinds. I call $20 with JTss88. Four of us see the flop and I lead $50 on T96 rainbow. One player calls me and I bet $130 on the 2 of club turn. He calls. The river is the Qc, giving me a straight, but completing a backdoor flush. I decide to check and pick off bluffs or misguided value bets. He bets $205. I call. He shows… Ac7cK7.

A player I will refer to as Slimer (for reasons that need not be mentioned) makes it $15 blind from UTG, His Airness calls, I make it $50 with QcJcJs9s from middle position and both of them call. The flop is Tc8cXs and it checks to me. I have a wrap, straight flush draw, and an overpair, so I bet $100. Only His Airness calls and then he donks $120 when the ten pairs on the turn. I’m not buying it. I make it $420 and he folds 7c6c face up. 9 of clubs on the turn one time?! I wrote these notes a week ago, so I don’t remember all the particulars. I’m sitting here typing this and wondering if raising the turn is really my best line, but I’m guessing the stacks were shallow enough that I determined I was willing to play for everything and didn’t want to do any guessing on the river.

This was a totally insane hand. I didn’t choose to write about it because I was in the pot, but because of how crazy it was and some of the questions it raises. Someone makes it $10, the pot is already mulitway, and I call with AJ75 with a suited ace on the button. The flop comes down 432 rainbow giving me the second nuts with a redraw to the nut straight and a backdoor nut flush draw. It checks to the player on my right and he bets $35. I call, Pay-Off Pete calls in the small blind, and now the big blind makes it $235. It folds to the flop bettor and he makes it $535 ($300 max bet in play now). I snap muck and it folds back to Peter. In a shocking development, Peter makes it $835 and the flop betting is now capped. The other two players both call. The turn is the 8h, Peter goes all in for $202 and both players call again. The river pairs the 8 and the big blind bets $300 and the other player calls. The main pot has ~$3200 in it and the whole pot is now $4000! The big blind scoops it all with 44xx. He flopped a naked set of 4s and turned a flush draw before filling up on the river. Peter and the other player both had 65xx with no redraws.

Just bonkers. The big blind had the opportunity to close the action on the flop for $35 with two possible straights on board and three players invested in front of him already. Instead, he raised with the 4th best hand on the flop (granted, I’d rather have his hand than mine) and wound up having to pay $800 more to see the turn! And over $1000 total before he finally made the best hand. Just sick.

And I think Peter should have folded on the flop, as played. He opted to check-call with the nuts originally to avoid a high variance line before seeing the turn and by the time it came back to him it was $535 to go and it was obvious that at least one – if not both – of his opponents had the same hand he did. And while he had a pair of 4s with his straight, he had no actual redraws. He had $45 invested at this point and had to risk over $1000 to win, at best, half of what was in the pot – with basically no chance to win it all. There is just no way that’s a profitable play. Sometimes you flop the nuts in PLO and the best play is folding.

We are playing 4-handed at this point, Peter limps in, I limp on the button with KQ93dd, one of the blinds makes it $15 and everyone calls. The flop is AJT with two diamonds giving me the nut straight and the nut flush draw. It checks to me, I bet $25, and only Peter calls. The turn is a king and I bomb it because I want to charge Peter the max if he turned a straight and I’m freerolling. The river bricks though and he leads pot, I go all in, etc. and he escaped with half the pot with his ugly QTxx or whatever he had… all I remember is that it was super gross!

I ended up finishing this session +$1380

Session 2 – January 10th, 2018

This session had all the potential to be my biggest losing session in any game ever.

In my first disaster hand, Action Bronson limps, another action player limps, a good player makes it $25, and I call with AKJ5 with a suited ace. Five of us see the QT5 rainbow flop. I have bottom pair, a broadway wrap, and the backdoor nut flush draw. Action Bronson pots it for $125 and it folds to me. I’m only $600ish deep at this point, so I make it $425 to commit, he puts me all in. He has KJT9 which is actually a big favorite over my hand. I just ran the odds and he’s 50% to scoop and 23% to tie, which means my scooping chances are only 27% (and I did this calculation assuming has no backdoor flush draw). So I actually got it in pretty bad here and wound up getting stacked.

This is right after that last hand, so I’m on a fresh reload and reconsidering my approach. I don’t 3-bet in this game a lot, but by this point, it’s clear to me that the good player is constantly trying to isolate Action Bronson and the other active player and doesn’t necessarily have great hands when he’s doing this. So when Action Bronson limps and this guy makes it $20 again and another player calls, I decide to 3-bet with AQQ5 double suited to $85. Action Bronson folds, but the last two players call. The flop is T32 rainbow and since there is over $250 in the pot and I started the hand with $500ish and the board is super dry, I just bomb it to commit myself. They both fold. Eh. Maybe not the right line of thinking on the flop. The board is super dry, so a pot-sized bet is kind of ridiculous, as I’m only likely to get action from hands that flopped sets or big straight draws. I suppose I was just happy to take the pot down right there and not have to do any guessing on future streets, but I’m not sure it’s the right approach.

Active player (a major regular – I just haven’t thought of a good name yet) felted a hand or two ago and reloaded for $200 in red and opens to $15, the good player tries to isolate from the button to $35, the small blind calls, and I defend JJT7 double suited from the big blind. The flop comes down T85 giving me an overpair, a bad gutshot, and two backdoor flush draws. The active player leads out for $50 and the good player just calls. It folds to me. Since the good player is just calling here, I don’t expect him to have a hand that can stand a raise and the active player could literally have plenty of hands I’m doing well against and started with $200 and only has $115 behind now, so I decide to make it $225 expecting to get all in with the active player in a heads up situation. It almost goes to plan. The good player does fold… after the active player calls with $200 in green chips that he had hiding behind his stacks of red! So now I’m playing against a $400 effective stack instead of a $200 effective stack! Turn pairs the 5 and gives me a flush draw, so I put him all in and he calls me with… JJT7! The exact same hand! Minus a flush draw. I miss my freeroll and we chop the pot up. I had told this player last week that he needed to keep his big chips visible at all times so I now take this opportunity to give him a friendly remind of why he’s supposed to do that.

I call $15 on the button with JTT8 double suited and it checks to me on the JT6 all club flop. I don’t have clubs, but I do have a set and I like the fact that everyone checked to me. I bet $50 so I’m guessing there were four or five of us that saw the flop. I get called in two spots. One of the players is a bad LHE player that I’ve never seen play PLO and the other guy is a PLO reg that I don’t expect to have a big hand here. The turn is an 8 and now the second player leads out for $50. I thought they both might have weak flushes on the flop and now that one of them has checked twice and the other is making a very weak bet, I decide to put the pressure on with a raise to $250. It feels like a stroke of genius until the first player goes all in for $519 and now I’m sitting there wondering how I can possibly be so bad at this game. The second player folds and it’s back on me. I ended up trying to do some math while at the table, but I have to admit it’s not a strong suit of mine. I ended up calling it off, but I’m almost sure this is a fold. I’m blocking my outs pretty hard, having both a ten and an 8 in my hand. I’ll do the math now though. I will assume there was $75 in the pot preflop, $150 more on the flop, $300 plus $519 on the turn for $1044 total and it costs me $269 more to call. I’m getting roughly 3.88 to 1 to call and I have 8 total outs (the third player in this pot actually folded 66, so I’m in much worse shape than I think). I need 5 to 1 to call, so I’m coming up short. He always has the nut flush here and I’m not getting the right price. If all my outs were clean, calling is close enough to correct that it would be fine to continue, although finding myself in this predicament at all seems like pretty poor hand planning. I called it off and whiffed. I think my line of thinking on the turn is reasonable, but I had played less than an orbit with this guy and I really have no clue what his tendencies are. You just don’t see someone flop the nut flush in a multiway pot and check it twice very often in PLO. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Another disaster hand: I didn’t write details for this hand, but I can paint a picture. I have KQJ9 with a suited king and I believe I 3-bet this hand preflop. The flop was 953 with two spades, giving me top pair with three overcard kickers and a king high flush draw, and I made a bet of probably 60-75% pot and only the player on my right called. The turn was an offsuit 6 and I decided to bet again and he check-raised me $300 more. I called it off and we both checked when the 3 paired on the river. He shows A42x with no spades.

I’m running pretty pure at this point and find myself in the game for $2000 and I have $150 of it left in front of me. I did buy another $1000 in black chips, but they are still in my pocket, but I haven’t put any of them on the table yet because I’m unsure if I’m really willing to lose $3000.

I end up finding a spot to 3-bet with AKT7 from the small blind and commit myself before the flop in a 3-handed pot. I bet the rest of it in the dark and manage to go runner runner flush with the T7 in my hand to triple up.

I eventually build that $150 stack up to $1450, without reloading, before my next catastrophe.

I have AA54 with a suited ace and I decide to limp in UTG. A 3-bet in this game is super rare, so if I make it $15 UTG what will usually happen is I’ll be playing out of position in a 5- or 6-way pot. So by limping this hand (and I have a limping range in this game), I might have an opportunity to make a big 3-bet if someone else raises. The next player to act makes it $20 and he picks up two callers. I can only make it $100 and I feel like all three players are going to call and my hand will be kind of face up, so I just call. The flop is K32 with one spade. The PFR has never played PLO before, so I expect him to c-bet his entire range here – he does. The other two players fold and I am very happy to play for stacks (~$400 effective at hand start), so I pot it and we end up getting it in. Unfortunately he has KK in his hand and I whiff everything even though I turn a spade draw as well.

This was the last hand of the night. I’ve built back up at this point and I open with KK66 double suited. I get some callers and the big blind makes it $70. I call and so do the others. The flop comes down T82 with two spades and one club and it checks around. The turn pairs the deuce and gives me a flush draw and it checks to me. I bet about 70% pot and it folds back to the big blind. After 3-betting pre and checking twice postflop, he now decides to pot. He had around $600 to start the hand and his line doesn’t really make any sense, so I don’t see any way I can consider folding here. After his pot-sized raise, there’s not enough left behind for decision-making, so I put him all in. He calls and the river doesn’t change the board texture. He tables AsJs9X and my KK is good. So he flopped the nut flush draw and an open-ended straight draw in a bloated pot and decided to check on the flop… and it cost him the pot. And his stack. I would have folded to any reasonable bet on the flop.

Thanks to that last hand I managed to finish the night -$111 after being stuck $1850 at one point. Felt like a huge win for me. I realize some of these hands are pretty unconventional, but I’m constantly playing this game with inexperienced players with questionable card sense. I would play much tighter and take different lines against a lineup of competent players, but the money just splashes around so fast in this game, I feel like I have to try to get it while it’s there. It’s pretty rare for the PLO game to last more than four hours and it’s not uncommon for someone to double up and leave after playing for less than an hour. I can’t really say that I know what I’m doing but I think I make good adjustments in this game texture and my results in it have been tremendous.

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$1/$3 PLO Session @ Palace

October 12, 2017

I always have blog ideas running through my head and I don’t always execute them, but my poker blogs are almost always my most popular ones and I’ve been thinking of ways to write about poker that is interesting to read and isn’t too time-consuming for myself. Sometimes I will write about a whole tournament series I play and it takes me like a week to write it and I imagine it can be exhausting to read. So I had the idea of writing about my day-to-day sessions and just noting the biggest and most interesting pots I played. I don’t know if this will be a continuing trend or not – or if it’s even going to be entertaining – but I’m curious to see what kind of response it gets.

So yesterday I went to the Palace in Lakewood without much of a plan of what I was going to play. When I got in the shower around 3:30 PM there was a full $6/$12 Omaha 8 or better game with 6 people on the list and that looked promising enough. This a new game to the Palace spread and I hadn’t played it yet, so I was pretty happy to see that it was going strong and that I was going to be able to get some playing time in.

When I arrived at the Palace around 4:15 however, the $6/$12 O8 game was 5-handed and within seven minutes of me sitting down two players busted and another one left and then the game broke when one of the three remaining players took a $4/$8 hold em seat. I don’t know if the earlier list was misleading or not – or if my timeline is a bit off – but the game went from 9 seated players with 6 waiting to dead in roughly an hour. I played about two short-handed orbits and lost $2 before having to move on to other things.

When I arrived I had put my name up for the $1/$3 PLO game starting at 6 PM and for $8/$16 hold em, which is my main game. I got a seat in the second $8/$16 game around 4:50 PM and kept my name up for PLO, not really sure if I was going to play or not. There were like 20 players on the list and I wasn’t one of the first 9, so I would be making my decision based on who was playing and how long I had to wait to get in.

I’ve been reading Tommy Angelo’s Painless Poker the last few days and in an effort to refocus myself at the table, I set some new goals for my session. First off, I set a timer to take a break every hour. It’s seriously important to get up from the table at least once every two hours or so and walk around a little bit and take your mind off the game – even if it’s just for a few minutes. I chose 60 minutes because of my second goal for the night: to not be distracted by my phone while I was playing. Set timer, put phone away, and don’t look at it again until the timer went off. It was obviously easier to remember hands for one hour than it would be to remember them for two hours. And my last goal for the session was to look left for playing and folding tells on the opponents with immediate position on me. This is such an underrated observation and I can admit I don’t use it often enough. Last night I got crystal clear tells on the two players to my left and I always knew if they were going to play or not based on what they did after they looked at their cards. This is pretty important when you’re thinking about limping behind with a marginal hand from the hi jack or cut off or isolating a weak limper by raising when you’re not the button. For instance, a weak player with a wide limping range called from middle position and I was in the hi jack seat. I saw that the button was planning to play his hand and I looked down at AJ offsuit. This is a clear raise, regardless, but had I looked down at sometime like QT off, I would have elected to just fold. The button ended up 3-betting me and I check-folded when I bricked the flop.

I only played $8/$16 for about 90 minutes, so I didn’t have a lot of interesting hands, but these were my key pots for the session:

-Several limpers, I raise A9 of clubs from the small blind. Flop comes King high with two clubs and I have a clear lead for value with my nut flush draw and I get three callers. The turn bricks me and I elect to check-call now since I feel I don’t think I’m getting many folds and there is not enough players to bet my draw for value. The river is a 4 of clubs and I lead out, the turn bettor calls, and last position raises. I make it three bets and get paid off by the last player and win my first sizable pot of the night.

-I complete 95dd from the SB after a few limpers and check-raise the 975 flop. Heads up to the 2 on the turn, I bet and he calls. The river is an 8, which isn’t ideal, but I feel confident that he has a 9 with a decent kicker and while he could have 98, he will never raise the river with it. It’s possible that he could have 76 suited or JT, but this is a player that I can snap-fold the river to if I get raised and his body language and timing is in total pay off mode, so this is an easy value bet and my hand is good.

-After taking a break, I post in late position and get the 93 offsuit, a player limps, a good player raises, and I’m never folding for one more bet after posting in the cutoff, so I call and four or five of us see the 954 flop. The player from the previous hand donks out, the good player just flats (which is never a made hand), and I call. The flop bettor is very straight forward, so I feel my hand is never good here, but the pot is too big to fold just yet. The turn card is a 7, which may give me additional straight outs and I call a bet after the preflop raiser folds. The river is a 3, giving me two pair, and he bets again. This is kind of an interesting spot and I took some time thinking about it. This player doesn’t strike me as the kind that will bet the river when the one card straight gets there, if he doesn’t have it, so I didn’t think I could raise. At the same time, I couldn’t really come up with any hands he would take this line with that have a six in them. Confused, I decided to just call and I won the pot after he showed 54 suited. And of course, I look like a maniac because by the time the hand ends no one remembers that I posted, but they will remember that I called a raise with 93 offsuit and I’m okay with that.

I finished my $8/$16 session up $261 and moved on to PLO around 6:10 PM after a number of people didn’t show and I got a spot in the starting lineup, which looked irresistibly juicy to me.

I actually created this game. Well, sort of. I really felt like the entire Seattle and Tacoma area was missing out by not spreading a PLO game anywhere. I think they spread it in Tulalip and maybe at Snoqualmie, but those are two casinos that I never go to and I think the PLO games there play big. So an entry level PLO game was entirely missing from the greater Seattle area. My idea was to spread a $1/$2 game with a $300 max buy in. It seemed like it would be very popular and stakes people could stomach while trying to learn the game. Well, I got the Palace to spread PLO, but they made it a $1/$3 blind game with a $5 bring in and $500 max buy in. So the blinds were in the realm of what I was going for, but because of the $5 bring in, the game was going to play about 2.5x bigger than what I had in mind. In other words, this is no entry level game and it probably wasn’t going to attract any $4/$8 hold em players. And honestly, it’s bigger than I’m comfortable playing. If it attracted mostly solid players with more experience than me, I probably would never play it, but fortunately it tends to be pretty soft and even some of the more experienced players seem to make what appear to me to be clear, massive errors.

As I’ve said, I’m no PLO expert. I have less than 15 sessions of live play lifetime, so I will make mistakes in the hands I share. I’m still in the early stages of learning and I tend to play a very passive, low variance game. For instance, I’m not apt to 3-bet many hands, especially when I’m out of position, because the players in this game just don’t fold. That may seem like a good argument for 3-betting very good hands, but since I lack experience, I’d rather navigate smaller pots with a bigger edge after the flop than bloating them preflop when I’m not a huge favorite against a wide range of holdings.

-My first key pot was entirely exploitive. A very loose and active player opened to $10, there were some callers, and I called with 9764 single suited on the button – a very marginal holding, but my goal is to play as many pots in position against this player as I can. I got a very sexy 532 rainbow flop and I ended up stacking the preflop raiser for about $400 when he slow played his flopped wheel and check-raised me on the turn.

-My next interesting hand came up when I limped the small blind in a 6-way pot with AKT6 with the AK of hearts. The flop was QTT with two clubs and a heart and I led out for $15, which was about half pot. One player called and the button made it $40 to go. I don’t love this spot because he should have QT a lot, but it’s way too early to consider a fold yet and I have nut kickers with my ten, so I call. The turn brought the Jack of hearts, giving me a straight and a Royal Flush draw and I check-called a bet of $100. The river was a K and I decided to lead out for $175 fearing he might check back and got snap-called by… AT42, no clubs! Yes, this game is pretty soft, folks!

-I got another cheap flop from the blinds with K754 and led out for $15 on the K77 with two hearts flop. I got called in a couple spots and decided to turn my hand into a bluff catcher when the Ah hit the turn. I check-called $75 on the turn – heads up now – and then $100 on a blank river and lost to AK7X. Pretty unfortunate situation, but I felt like I lost the minimum, especially with his river sizing.

-Here’s a bad play that worked out well. I decided to limp in with the ATss62dd, which is not only a weak hand, but doubly bad considering I had two active and aggressive players to my left. Of course I got punished by a $20 raise and ended up seeing the flop 6-handed. The board came out K72 with two spades and I decided this was a good board to lead out on with my pair plus nut flush draw. With the King of spades on board I didn’t think I was likely to get popped unless someone had a set of Kings or sevens and I suspected I had plenty of fold equity. In an effort to keep my opponents’ ranges wider, I have been making smaller bets than everyone else in the game and led out for $65 into $120 here. I picked up one caller and had position for the 7 on the turn, which felt like a good card to barrel for $110 and I picked up the pot.

-I open to $15 from late position with AKQ2 with a nut suit. Both blinds call and I bet $20 on the JTX with two clubs flop. The big blind check-raises to $60 and while I like my wrap, I don’t have a flush draw, so I just flat his raise. The turn is a 9 and he leads out and seems flabbergasted when I jam on him for about $320 effective. He calls and my straight holds up.

-I raise a series of limpers to $20 with QJ98 with two clubs on the button. Five players call and we see a very sexy flop of T92 with two clubs, giving me a pair with a 17-card straight draw and a flush draw – an absolute monster. I bet $75 when it is checked to me and I’m willing to get all the chips in if I have to, but instead I just get three callers. The turn is an ugly 6 of diamonds and one of the callers leads out for $300 (which is a max bet). A player in between folds and now it is on me. The turn bettor has about $225 behind and the other player in the hand looks like he’s going to fold. It’s pretty obvious that my opponent has 87 and since it seems like the other player is going to fold, it doesn’t make sense to put in the remaining $225 before hitting my hand, so I just call and then fold when the river comes a 2. He ended up showing the 87 and while I don’t know what his other two cards were, the chances of me losing this pot to an 87 are insanely small!

-I make another loose call with the KTT7 with two spades on the button when the LAG (loose-aggressive) player opens to $15. The flop comes K72 with one spade and I raise his flop bet of $40 with a caller in between to $130. He calls, the other player folds, and I bet $300 on the 3 of spades turn. He calls again and then folds when the river bricks out and I bet $200. I actually didn’t think he had much of a hand to call with, which is why I sized down, but maybe this would have been a good spot to experiment with a funky bet size like, say, $50 and see if I could get the LAG to spazz out.

-I raise one limper to $20 with AKJJ with a nut suit and get multiple callers to see the J62 rainbow flop. There was either $100 or $120 in the pot and this board was super dry, so I sized very small at $30 hoping to sell a weak hand and possibly induce some unwarranted aggression. I got my wish when the most experienced (and who I think is the best) player in the game popped me to $90. Everyone else folded and with my only concern being the gut shots around the 62, I felt like protecting my hand wasn’t a priority and instead decided to sell a weak made hand like AA that he could push me off later by simply calling his raise. I also felt like this player would know I was nutted if I 3-bet the flop and would fold a lot of his range. The turn card was a ten of clubs, opening up straight draws and a back door flush draw, and I checked again and then put him all in after he bet $200. He unhappily called and I stacked him when the river paired the board.

-I open the button with KK42 double suited to $15, the small blind calls, and the big blind reraises to $50. I just call and so does the small blind. The flop comes down AKX with two hearts, giving me middle set and the nut flush draw. I actually saw a player at the final table of one of the WSOP PLO tourneys fold KK in this spot earlier this year, but the big blind is overly aggressive and doesn’t necessarily have to have AA when he 3-bets here. However, when he leads out for $40 on the flop, the only reasonable play for me is to simply call. I don’t want to get all in against a set of aces here and if he doesn’t have AA, then I have him annihilated and might as well let him continue spewing money into the pot. In real time, however, I didn’t think this through and decided to raise to $130 and ended up getting two folds, immediately realizing my mistake.

-As I said, I don’t always play good when I play PLO, so I’ll include my absolute worst hand of the night and one of the worst hands I’ve ever played in live PLO. I limp in early position with J976 single suited, which would be marginal even on the button, but is specifically terrible here as I have two active and aggressive players on my direct left. Fortunately they both limp along, but the big blind punishes everyone by making it $30. Seeing as how I’ve already made a mistake by playing in the first place, it would be smart to just give up the $5 and let this go, knowing I’ll be playing out of position against three players with a bad hand, but… I call? The flop comes K75 giving me a pair, a gut shot, and a backdoor flush draw and the PFR (preflop raiser) leads out for $120. We are both super deep here and I should be in decentb shape against his range, so I call, which would be fine if this were a heads up pot… but it’s not. One of the players behind me goes all in for $390, another short stack goes all in for ~$120, and the PFR folds. So now I’m looking at a pot of ~$900 and it’s $270 for me to call. Considering my hand, this is an easy fold… but I’m not done making huge mistakes yet! I’m not sure what I’m hoping my two opponents have, but I somehow talk myself into thinking I have some sort of reasonable equity here and make an atrocious call. The board bricks out for me and the bigger all in player wins with his 55. Just an all around horrifyingly bad hand by me and I got exactly what I deserved – a hand I should have folded turned into a $400+ loss.

-My final big pot of the night ended up being one of the craziest PLO hands I’ve ever played. I raised to $20 after a limper with As8sKcQc and bet $20 after seeing a flop of K94 with a club and a spade heads up in position. My opponent check-raised me to $75 and since 99 was the only hand I was in terrible shape against, I decided to see a turn with a good amount of back door equity. The turn brought the Ten of clubs and my opponent checked to me. I could see K9 checking this turn, or even a set of 9s, and maybe I should frequently represent the nut straight here, especially since I have a king high flush draw and a couple of gut shots to the nuts. It’s unlikely I will get check-raised very often, so I think betting has plenty of merit, but I decided to take my free card and got a very pleasant Jack of clubs on the river, giving me a King high straight flush. My opponent led out for $90 in what was a $190 pot. I made it $325 and due to some miracle from the poker gods, he decided to reraise me to $525. After going into the tank for a little bit and thinking about his bet sizing, I realized he didn’t even make a legal raise (he raised me $200 after I raised his initial bet $235) and made him put in another $35 before I made it $860 total. At this point, he started berating himself for misreading the situation. He had the A of clubs and the 8 of clubs in his hand and thought that he was blocking the 87 of clubs and Q8 of clubs for the only straight flushes and now realized that KQ of clubs also made a straight flush and that it was the only thing I could possibly have. He was right. I could never have anything else. I would never turn the naked Q of clubs into a bluff here when my opponent had already put $560 in on the river with at least an Ace high flush (he could have 87 of clubs himself) when I can only make it $300 more. It seemed like he wanted some mercy and really took a lot of time to call that last $300 to the point where multiple people at the table were complaining about it. But he did call and I won a sick $1800+ heads up pot.

I ended up finishing the PLO session up $1900 even though I made plenty of mistakes. I thought this blog idea would be fun, but here I am sitting at 3500+ words and a couple hours wasted and thinking maybe this isn’t a great concept. My goal was to spend 10-15 minutes writing about my session and I have far exceeded that. So… enjoy this post! It will probably be the last of its kind!