Posts Tagged ‘palace poker room’

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PLO @ The Palace (11/28/18)

November 29, 2018

I’ve come to the decision to stop live blogging my PLO sessions. Interesting situations just don’t come up often enough. Most hands are pretty cut and dry. There’s a preflop raise and then there’s a flop bet and the hand is over.

Last night was a prime example of why I quit writing during PLO sessions. The game lasted a whopping 3.5 hours and I only played three pots that I thought worthy of jotting down.

I’m surprised the game broke so early in the night considering it started out full and strong enough. Starting lineup featured Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, Twinkie, Lee Markholt, one other PLO regular, and three randoms… plus a list.

Later in the night, Kate Hoang made an appearance in the game. That’s notable because we suddenly had a combined 11 World Series of Poker final tables in the game – and that’s just the ones I know about: Lee has 6, Kate has 3, and I have 2. I’m not positive about this, but I’m guessing that’s a Palace record for a single game.

Anyways, here are the only interesting hands I played on Wednesday:

Lee limps in, I make it $20 with AKQ3 single suited, a regular calls and so does Lee. I’m not stoked about isolating Lee with this hand, but it’s definitely a hand I’m trying to play with a suited ace and I don’t really think I should be limping it.

Flop is A64 rainbow, I bet $35 and only the regular calls.

Turn is a ten and my opponent is pretty sticky. My hand isn’t all that great, but I do have a gutshot to the nuts, so I go ahead and take a free card.

The river is a jack, giving me the nuts, and he checks again. There’s like $130 in the pot and he doesn’t seem strong at all, so I bet $25, hoping to either get paid off by a weak hand or maybe even induce a raise. He just calls though and I win the pot.

Yes, that was one of the three most interesting hands I played all night.

This is the very next hand and I open to $15 with KQJ5 double suited, there’s a call, and the regular from the last hand is on the button and quickly makes it $60. My hand doesn’t qualify for Tommy Angelo’s Waiting for Straighters strategy, but I decide to call anyway because I didn’t read that article until after I got home. The other player calls as well.

Flop is QJ7 with two diamonds which are not one of my suits. I do have a backdoor flush draw though. I also have top two. I’m honestly not sure what my plan is when I check on the flop. The player in between donks out for the full pot of $185 and the regular on the button folds. I have to admit I was pretty lost here. I think I had about $625 behind and I believe he had me covered. I suspected I probably didn’t have any fold equity and it was pretty brutal not having any diamonds in my hand, but I did have a king for a straight blocker at least. Holding top two, it was pretty unlikely I was up against one of the big sets and I saw this player check-min-raise with middle set earlier, so I felt like I probably had the best hand. The question was, did I want to play a $1400+ pot with a naked top two on a super wet board? Honestly… not really. I tanked for quite a long time, but ultimately I decided I had to go with and made it $485, leaving myself with around $140 behind. I’m still not sure about it, but apparently it was the right decision at this exact moment because something really unexpected happened: he folded.

This is a 3-bet pot to $60 preflop and I have double suited KKJ5 in the small blind. Five of us see the flop so there is $300 in the middle when the A42 with two clubs board rolls off. The ace of clubs is on board, so I have the nut flush draw here. I’m in the worst position and I’m deep with some of the remaining players, so I start by checking, the next player pots for $300 and Kate goes all-in for around $225. It folds back to me. The other player has around $100 behind, so this is just a math problem. I tanked for some time at the table trying to figure it out.

There was $300 in the middle before the flop and the flop action added another $525. It costs me $300 to continue in a pot of $825, but technically, if I’m going to continue with the hand, I’m going to put the other player all-in since I’m never folding on the turn, so my actual pot odds are $400 to win $925, or roughly 2.3 to 1. That means I need to win around 30% of the time to break even here. For the sake of simplicity – especially at the table – I use the method of multiplying the number of outs I have on the flop by four to determine how often I improve my hand. This isn’t exact, but it’s close enough. For example, if I have nine outs to a flush, I’m going to improve to a flush by the river roughly (9×4) 36% of the time. That would make this a clear call. Unfortunately, things aren’t that clear. It’s probably safe to assume that I don’t have the best made hand at the moment. The real questions are, how live are my set outs and how likely is it that at least one of my opponents has a flush draw? Since neither of these players 4-bet before the flop, I think it’s safe to assume a set of aces is not out there. I’ve never seen Kate play PLO so I don’t really know what her range looks like, but I think the other player can show up with the small sets here and maybe even a straight. He seems loose enough to put $60 in preflop with those hands. If I had to guess what I’m up against exactly though, I would guess someone usually has aces up and someone has a flush draw, possibly with a little extra equity. If that’s true, my kings are live, but I could be missing up to three flush outs. That would give me around eight outs twice and a roughly 32% chance of improving to a set of kings or a flush by the river. Add in the fact that I’m going to backdoor a straight some percentage of the time and I think I’m supposed to call here, but it’s very close. If a straight and a flush draw are out, it’s arguably a fold, but my backdoor Broadway and full house draws make it pretty close.

In the moment, I decided that I needed to improve and that I was almost certainly missing flush outs and thought I might not be getting the right price, so I folded. The board ran out with two clubs that didn’t pair the board and Kate won with a jack high flush holding JT86. I never got to see what the other player had.

I would love to see someone actually figure this spot out, but now I’m guessing it’s probably a call – and not just because I got there.

That would have been a nice $925 extra to cash out at the end of the night, but for a 3.5 hour session, I wasn’t mad about finishing at +$527 considering I had very few favorable situations and no big confrontations.

My current plan is to combine both PLO sessions on Wednesday and Thursday into one post, but I’m not optimistic the game is going to go tonight so I’m just going to go ahead and publish now. There are currently three names on the list and I heard one of those players say he was going to Muckleshoot tonight. Plus the PLO game hasn’t gone for the last three Thursdays. I thought it was a stretch to try and spread this game twice a week and my intuition looks spot on. It definitely hasn’t helped that The Crypt Keeper has been in Vietnam for the last several weeks, especially since a couple of his friends also stopped showing up when he left. I think PLO can flourish spreading it once a week, but starts to get spread thin if you try to do it more than that. Lakewood just doesn’t have the player pool for it and while the game has drawn in a decent amount of outside players, I don’t think there is enough interest to spread it multiple days a week.

Just look at the 15/30 game. It started off super strong, going once a week on Mondays, then we started expanding it to the point where it was running almost every day… and now it has reached a point where it is reliably running zero times a week. It is dead. With that said, there was discussion with The Man last night about trying to revive it, with the plan of spreading it on Friday nights starting at 4 PM. That makes a lot of sense to me. I think it would do well there as a once a week game.

It’s looking like this will be the fourth straight Thursday that the PLO game doesn’t run, so I might need to find a new option for this night of the week. I can’t really justify waiting around until 6 PM to see if the game is going to go or not. I think Thursday nights are usually good at Fortune, but I also might opt to stay home and play online… what I’m going to try not to do is play 8/16 when I know I really don’t want to.

Note: Just to be clear, I’m still going to blog about my PLO sessions, I’m just not going to do it while I’m playing like I do with Hold’em. I will take notes and write about it later like I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

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Marathon Monday: 10/20 with Button Straddles!

November 26, 2018

I’m a little unsure what to expect today. The long holiday weekend might be an action killer. There are currently 4 names signed up for the straddle game starting in an hour and one of those names might be “Monday @ noon.” Also, there are always a couple of flakes on the list at the start of the day, so this is looking really bad right now. On the bright side, there is an 8/16 game going already, so heading to Palace at noon won’t be a total waste of my time. Hopefully we can get the red chip game off the ground by 2 PM. My hopes are not high for noon.

Last week wasn’t much of a poker week for me. Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family and Saturday we celebrated with my wife’s side of the family. We didn’t play any poker on either of those days. Well, that’s not entirely true. There was an impromptu house game tournament on Saturday and I ended up chopping this 7-handed $20 buy-in heads up for +$30! Yesterday we had a medical appointment in Kirkland and then went to a Mayan Ruins themed Escape Room in Gig Harbor at 4 PM. We did not escape… and that brings my career record in escape rooms to 0 for 4. It’s pretty aggravating because I feel like I should be smart and clever enough to get out of these rooms on a regular basis and so far… none.

Friday I did play poker. If you read my last blog you know that I’m on fire and have a couple of cool streaks going. I have won eight sessions in a row and I have had a +$1000 upswing in eight sessions in a row. I managed to keep one of those streaks alive on Friday. I started my session off down $400 and I ended up peaking at over +$600. That qualifies as a +$1000 upswing in the session. Unfortunately, I followed that upswing with one of those nightmare sequences where it feels like I’m raising every other hand preflop but never winning a pot and never showing a hand. It’s the kind of thing that makes you look like a total maniac or someone on extra hard tilt. And yet, I’m just playing my normal game, while getting a very above average distribution of high quality starting hands and whiffing the flop or getting outdrawn with all of them. I didn’t even turn over a losing hand to save face. I just let the image ride. But I was tired, nearing reload status, and almost nine hours into my session, so I swallowed the loss and finished at -$282 and my winning streak ended at eight sessions.

I booked a trip to Los Angeles to play some events at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at The Bicycle Casino during the first few weeks of December. I’ll be flying to L.A. next Monday and playing the $400 no limit Hold’em Monster Stack on Tuesday, the $400 H.O.R.S.E. on Wednesday, and the $400 limit Omaha 8/Better on Thursday. I thought the limit events were all one day, but they are actually two day events and I have a flight booked for Friday afternoon, so I’m actually unsure about the O8 tournament. I might just end up playing cash games on Thursday.

Hopping in the shower and heading to Palace shortly.

12:28 PM: I wasn’t sure the game would start on time, so even though it’s kind of weak, I’m happy to say cards are in the air already.

Starting lineup: new regular, Flea, Chief Wiggum, Rain Man, non-regular, Radio Mike

12:50 PM: First big clash: Flea straddles, Wiggum calls, I 3-bet AQ from big, Frankenstein 4-bets from UTG, and four of us call.

Flop is Q42 rainbow and I’m looking to check-raise Frankenstein but he checks back. Fortunately the first cold caller bets, Flea raises, Wiggum cold calls, and now I 3-bet. The non-reg and Flea call, but Wiggum caps it. Ugh. His line absolutely reeks of a set, but the pot is so massive now that we have to see a turn card.

The turn is a jack and Wiggum fires into the field. I think it’s reasonable to fold here since I am drawing dead a lot, but there’s one caveat: Wiggum is capable of showing up with some junky suited hands. It is possible he has Q4 or Q2 suited here, but I suspect he might play those hands differently on the flop, leading out with them or 3-betting initially rather than trying to keep everyone else in the pot.

I decided to call anyway and so did the two others still in.

River is a king and now when he fires out again I have a pretty simple fold, even with the size of the pot, because he’s never bluffing here and there’s just no way he’s playing worse than AQ this way. Someone else calls and he shows a set of 4s.

1:15 PM: Game is full with a list!

1:17 PM: Radio Mike 3-bets from the small blind and it folds to me in middle position. I look down at AA and make it 4-bets in my mind but for some reason I only put $30 in the pot (a call). That allows three players to call behind me for 3-bets. Maybe 4-betting doesn’t change anything, but this is definitely not ideal.

Flop is K75 with two spades, Mike leads out, I raise, and Frankenstein 3-bets. That clears the rest of the field and if Frankenstein has me beat here I’m just going to lose an extra big bet on the turn because I’m not about to let him free card play me. I cap it and they both call.

Turn is a blank and I get two callers, which means I almost certainly have the best hand.

River is an 8, which completes some funky draws and two pair hands, but I bet anyway and Mike calls. Looks like Big Frank was definitely planning to take a free card on the turn.

2:25 PM: Bulletproof is in the game. First time I’ve actually been able to use that name while I’m blogging. For further explanation, check out the Blog Nicknames page I’ve started. I’ve only done a few of them but Bulletproof is one of them.

3:16 PM: Part-Time continues to run obnoxiously good against me when he’s drawing basically dead. I have A6 of spades on the KQ5 all spade flop and he beats me with KJ.

I was thinking we might not survive the midday lull but Part-Time and Santa Claus have made us 8-handed.

3:29 PM: False alarm on Santa Claus. He sat down with $1000 then disappeared and his chips were removed before he came back.

One player is racking up now and that could make us 6-handed and a 6-handed game is not likely to survive the lull.

I got an email from Red Box saying that all rentals are $0.16 today so I guess if this game breaks I’m going to rent like 4 movies and see how many I can watch tonight.

3:48 PM: False alarm again. Santa Claus is here. The player that racked up did leave but we picked up another walk in so… 8-handed!

4:38 PM: I have to come clean about something. I made what I think might be the second worst fold of my poker career today.

But since you’ll probably be curious, here’s #1 first:

This was many, many years ago in a 4/8 game. It’s a 3-handed pot and after going all the bets on the flop, raising the turn and still getting re-raised, I decided to fold AA on a board of K777. Not only did I fold it, but I made sure everyone saw the genius lay down I was making.

They both had a king.

I can’t remember feeling more embarrassed at a poker table… but this next hand, from earlier today, comes pretty close:

It gets capped at least 5-ways pre and capped 4-ways on the JT7 rainbow flop. I have JJ.

Flea and I have been pushing the action on the flop so when the turn is an 8, Flea bets, gets called twice, and then a new aggressor check-raises the field, it’s fairly obvious that person has a straight, right?

Right???

So when the river is a 5, I decide to fold instead of overcall and put one more bet in this 32.5 big bet pot. I can be wrong 97% of the time and calling is still profitable… so what the fuck happened? I pitched my hand and the dude check-raising the turn wins with a set of tens.

It’s a nearly unforgivable mistake, but it’s Marathon Monday and I can’t afford to let myself tilt or quit so early in the day.

But Jesus. I can’t believe that actually happened. And I can barely believe I’m sharing it.

Actually, upon further thought, I think this was my worst fold ever. The 4/8 pot was less than $200. This pot was over $600. And it cost me $20 to call and take it.

Ughhhhhhhh

4:50 PM: 30 bets go in the middle preflop and I get the QTT flop while holding the KT of diamonds and it gets capped 5-ways.

The turn is a queen and, determined not to repeat previous mistakes, I call down and lose to Q2.

I am down less than $100. I feel like I am down $1200.

4:56 PM: I am down $6 actually. I took two full laps around the building and I’m going to pretend like I just got here.

5:49 PM: Running better. I call a punter down on 7227A with A6 and donk river vs JJ.

Then I get the K88 flop heads up with 83cc in the straddle and my opponent caps flop with me and still bets the turn, allowing me raise again, so that was nice.

6:00 PM: Santa Claus makes it 3-bets from the small blind, I 4-bet with JJ, Bulletproof calls on the button and Santa caps it.

Flop is AK7 and Santa checks so I bet because he can literally have anything here. That gets Bulletproof out and Santa calls.

I’m planning to show down now but the turn is a jack and he donks out. I raise it and he 3-bets. Ugh. I call and as I do that he says, “partner, if you got this one beat, I guess it’s not my night.”

I feel like he’s being genuine and that means he doesn’t have the nuts, so when the river bricks, I feel pretty good putting in another raise. He might have aces or kings but he’s much more likely to have AK.

He calls and shows 77.

6:16 PM: What a day this is. So Palace has a dumb promotion called the Happy Hour Hand where they draw two cards and put them up on the board and if you win a showdown with those exact two cards, you win the jackpot money. This promo is in play from 7am – 11am and 12am – 2am, plus 3pm – 6pm on non-High Hand days.

So today there is no High Hands and the Happy Hour Hand was $600 if you win with the 4 of hearts and the 2 of clubs. I don’t know how long this has been going on… maybe 18 months? I’ve never even been dealt the Happy Hour Hand… as far as I know. Usually it’s some garbage like the 42o and it’s not even on my radar.

I’ve been getting some 42o today so it’s been more relevant than usual and this time when I looked down at the 42o it was $30 to me and I looked back and, by God, I had the magic hand. I called $30 cold.

Okay, not really sure why I’m doing that. There are all kinds of garbage suited hands that can make straight flushes (for a $400 jackpot) that I fold routinely, even for one bet, so why am I calling here? I think I just got wrapped in the moment of actually having the hand and knowing about it.

So we go to the flop and it’s something like QT6 with two hearts. I’m debating how I can ever possibly continue here, but then it checks around.

The turn is the 2 of hearts. Flea bets, he gets called, and I raise because I want the other players with nothing invested to fold their weak one card flush draws. Flea and the other player both call.

The river is a heart! We have life! I have to win a showdown and everyone has to show their hands so I let them show in turn and the second player has a set of tens… with a heart in his hand. Dammit.

I told Joker and Radio Mike that I had the Happy Hour Hand and that’s when the topic of the current time is brought up. It’s 6:15. The promo ended at 6, so I just torched $70 with the 42o for absolutely no reason.

I guess that’s my fault somehow? The times are clearly posted, but so is the damn hand. If I look back and the hand is taken down, I just fold and move on with my life. I’m barely ever thinking about this promo, so I’m not paying attention to what time it is. I turn around, see I have the hand, and play it. I’m supposed to turn around and check the board and then check what time it is, all while letting no one know I have the bonus hand?

Fuck that and fuck this promotion.

I’m not really mad but it is a bit annoying that they didn’t take the hand down at 6.

6:39 PM: It’s not all that bad though. Just look at this hat The Joker is wearing:

If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.

7:20 PM: Tormund chiming in from the sidelines:

8:41 PM: Game is super loose and juiced right now, with players calling $40 cold with monsters like 43o and A5o but showing down winners.

I got stuck in a seriously bloated pot where I had to call three bets cold on the turn with the nut flush draw… and bricked.

Then there was this gem: it’s raised and multi-way to me in button with 96o and I defend the straddle.

Flop is 976 with two hearts and one diamond. Flea is the PFR and leads out, I raise, Radio Mike cold calls, Flea raises back, and I cap it.

Turn is the 5 of diamonds and we both call again.

River is the 8 of hearts. It checks to me. I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’m not about to bluff at this and get scooped somehow so I check back.

Radio Mike has 96 of spades. Flea has A7 of diamonds. We all chop.

Sometimes you just have to get 4-bets in 3-ways with the A7dd on 976hh. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Joker, Radio Mike, and I are all stuck in this game somehow right now.

10:06 PM: Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and keep calling. I’m in the straddle with 87o and it’s 5-bets to me, so obviously I put in another $30.

Flop is T93 with two diamonds and I have to call a raise cold without a diamond in my hand.

Flea donked into Joker on the flop and donks again when the 8 of diamonds turns. Joker just calls and I call also. So does a 4th player.

That player donks on the 6 of club river and now Flea and Joker both fold, so I call and I LOVE my hand now. He immediately says, “you’re good” and I turn my straight over for the full pot.

1:08 AM: Almost forgot to post a wrap up. Not much going on of note the last few hours, for me at least. I dropped down to -$400 but recovered and finished with a…

Final Score: +$382

Not bad considering I folded the winner in a $600 pot when I was already down almost $500. That kind of thing can derail an entire session and I kept it together for a full 12+ hours.

I rented three movies on my way home so I guess that’s my plan for tomorrow. I’ll be back in action Wednesday and Thursday for some pot limit omaha.

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My Nightmare Week of Poker

October 22, 2018

“And it just continues…”

That’s a quote from Dave Niehaus, long time radio guy for the Seattle Mariners, during their epic run to the playoffs in 1995.

I swear every time I lose a hand I can hear Niehaus saying that in my head. But it doesn’t have the same good vibes. Not even close.

I’ll dig a little deeper into what’s going on later, but I have already done some research to see when the last time I had four straight losing sessions of -$450 or worse and I had to go all the way back to January when I was at Commerce and the negative variance drove me away from poker to a day at Disneyland by myself instead.

So yeah, it’s once or twice a year level downswing going on.

I know I had a miserable WSOP this year, but tournaments are tournaments – you are going to go through insane cold stretches. Cash games are much more consistent. Plus I did well in the cash games while I was in Vegas and that helped ease the pain.

I decided to take a break from live blogging in the hopes that I could turn things around by increasing my focus rather than constantly writing between hands. I took notes though so I could post some of the more interesting and critical pots.

Thursday I went -$82 in 4/8 LHE while waiting for PLO to start.

We started PLO short-handed so this first hand takes place 6-handed.

Aggro player opens to 10, I call from the cutoff with KJhh55 and 3 of us go to the flop.

I flat his 20 lead on the AT5 with two clubs flop. The PFR is overly aggressive so he isn’t heavily waited towards sets here, but I don’t want to play a massive pot with bottom set. If we end up getting a bunch of chips in, it will basically never be a very good thing for me. So I call.

Turn is an offsuit 7 and now he bets $25 into $70. That’s way too weak not to raise. I make it $80 to go which is pretty small also but I’m sort of gambling here, hoping to keep him in the pot and planning to navigate the river well. He calls.

No need to worry about tough decisions on the river because a queen gives me the nuts. He check-calls $150 pretty quickly. I have to imagine my set was good but I’m very curious about what he had here. Maybe AQxx?

Someone makes it $15 and I call from the small blind with AKQT double suited. It’s a hand I can 3-bet with, but my recent studying argues that you should prefer to keep the pot multi-way before the flop, so while I could make a small raise here and probably still get multiple calls, flatting here guarantees everyone will call and reveals almost nothing about my hand strength, so I just call and we do see the flop multi-way.

The flop is K54 with two diamonds, so I have top pair with the nut flush draw and three good kickers. Sets on this board are unlikely; I’m blocking KK and 55 and 44 shouldn’t be in many hand combos, although some of this guys are absurdly loose. I don’t mind playing a big pot against straight draws or kings up here. I lead out $35 and I’m willing to play for my whole stack here, I think. Crypt Keeper and the worst player at the table call.

Turn is a jack, so now I have top pair and a MASSIVE draw: a broadway wrap and the nut flush draw. I bet $150 and Crypt Keeper makes it $450. Other dude folds and I started the turn with just over $700 and I’m never folding, so I stuff it in there.

He immediately hates it. How could he? Let’s examine this situation: there is around $1325 in the pot and it costs him $261 more to call. He’s getting over 5 to 1 to call with a hand he thought was worth raising the turn. He only needs to win about 17% of the time to break even here.

So obviously he folds. What a gift. Can you even imagine what kind of hand he would take this line with? I haven’t run any sims but I doubt there’s a hand he could possibly do this with that doesn’t have at least 17% against my exact hand.

Just crazy.

I call $15 with 6544 double suited (so there are some hands that produce small sets) and it goes multi-way to K84 with two clubs. There are a couple players that have position on me, so I check and it checks around.

The turn is an ace and a tight player (that wasn’t the PFR) bets $55. I call and so does Crypt Keeper.

River is a 3 and they both check to me. The flush draw missed and the only straight is 52, so a bet feels pretty mandatory. It’s hard to imagine either of them playing a bigger set this way, but I’ve seen the player that bet the turn make some ridiculously tight river checks, so I do consider knuckling back… but I can’t do it. I bet $100, TCK folds, and the nit calls with KK.

Sigh.

Joker makes it $20 after at least one limper and I call on the button with AQ86 with clubs.

I believe five of us see the T42 with two clubs and a spade flop. I have a naked nut flush draw here, which isn’t much of a hand, but when they all check to me on the button, I bet $80 because it seems unlikely I won’t be able to barrel my way to victory here with this much weakness in front of me. I’m quite surprised to see Joker call. You’d think as the PFR if he had any semblance of a hand he’d probably bet the flop and if he has a draw I know it can’t be much of one. Another player also calls.

The turn is the 7 of spades, so now I have a double gutter to go with my flush draw. It’s a pretty good card because it gives me extra equity, but it does open up a spade draw. This time I bet $300 when they both check to me. My line makes sense. If I had a good made hand here I would want to charge the max to draw out on me. Joker calls again.

The river is the 3 of spades, leaving me with ace high. I’m not sure what I would do here if Joker checked it – the backdoor flush and some straights got there – but he decided to lead out for the $300 max. It’s a decent spot to bluff in. How much do I like a set of tens now? Not much. But it doesn’t matter because I have nothing, so I just fold rather than torch $600 trying a potential rebluff.

Those are the only hands I thought were worthy of sharing, but I was basically ice cold all night long. Even with the $450 gift from The Crypt Keeper I finished -$498 after nearly nine hours of play.

Friday I was hoping to show up to Palace around 4 and get the 15/30 game off the ground. I ended up getting there around 5 and 15 minutes later I was pulled out of an 8/16 seat because Flea agreed to play 3-handed with Radio Mike and me to help get the 15 game off the ground and hope seats would eventually fill up. There were probably four or five other guys that play 15/30 in the building but none of them like to play short-handed. They’d rather sit in small games than play short-handed for 15 minutes so we can get a bigger game going. It’s honestly pathetic.

Well, Flea did play with us. For about 30 minutes. I managed a small profit, but Radio Mike was stuck $600 and Flea had basically all of it. So he smacked us for +$600 and then said he wanted to take a break. He disappeared for about 15 minutes and then sat back down and acted like we were all waiting for more people to sit down before we started playing again. No, motherfucker, let’s go. I’m not going to lie. I started lighting him up, saying how I gave up my seat in 8/16 because he said he wanted to play 15/30 with us and now I’m sitting there with my thumb up my ass sixth up on the list instead of playing poker. I was pissed. More so for Radio Mike. If I was the one stuck $600 and he abruptly quit on me like that… man… I can handle bad beats, horrible variance, people being idiots extremely well – at least externally – but stuff like this I cannot abide. It’s a total chickenshit dickhead move. Just when Flea was starting to seem like he might not be a total scumbag, he pulls this move.

So since we are sitting there and not playing and Palace only has one open table left, The Man brings over a bunch of a blue chips and asks if he can start an 8/16 game. I’m fine with it because we obviously aren’t going to play red chips and no one was filling seats. I just want to play poker. But as soon as Radio Mike and I agree to the 8/16 game, Flea starts saying he wants to keep playing 15/30 and acts like Radio Mike is the reason we aren’t playing anymore.

Then he says, “fine, I’ll just play Mike (that’s my name) heads up.”

Yeah fucking right buddy. Sure you will.

So that 8/16 game got off the ground and I got absolutely pummeled to the tune of -$600 before switching tables twice and making a comeback. The Leak and I had something come up and ended up leaving after only four hours and I somehow managed to finish at -$12 which felt like a miracle and ended my stretch of $450+ losses.

When you consider -$12 as a turnaround, you know things have been going bad.

Saturday my motivation was seriously lacking. My plan is to alternate between playing 20/40 O8 at Muckleshoot and 20/40 LHE at Fortune on Saturdays and this past weekend it was time for a Muckleshoot appearance. However, as late as 2 PM there was no one on the list and only a couple players on the list just after 3, so I took the easy route – like I do way too often – and went to Palace in the hopes of playing in the 1/3 no limit hold’em game.

What I didn’t know was that the game started at 5 PM. I thought as soon as the list got long enough they fired off, so when I got there at 3:15 PM I was informed that it would be almost two hours before that happened. Ugh. So I ended up playing 4/8 for almost two hours. Gross. I won exactly $1.

Here are some of the notable hands from my NL session:

Lady opens to $20 and another player flats. I have QQ on the button. I don’t know any of these players well enough to know their tendencies, so I can’t think of many good reasons not to reraise with QQ here. I make it $75 to go and I will not be folding to jams and it would have to take some serious evidence for me to fold after the flop. They both end up calling. I started the hand with less than $300 and they both had less than me.

Flop is 872 with two diamonds and they both check. There is around $225 in the pot and I have $190 left, so a jam is reasonable here. I’m not sure it’s the most profitable line. I actually can’t make any reasonable bet on the flop without making the turn extremely awkward, so I size very small at $50 hoping to get some action and taking my chances that I might get outdrawn. The lady check-raises to $100 and the other player calls. Woah. Wasn’t expecting that. But as I said earlier, I’m never folding, so now I have a clear jam spot and ship all $190 in and they both call!

The turn is a diamond (I have the queen of diamonds) and the river is a queen, so I end up with top set. The lady turns over KK and the other guy mucks, but eventually claims he had AA. He never showed his hand to anyone, so who knows. Everyone else at the table seemed to take his word for it, but I find it very hard to believe – especially after his opponents table KK and QQ. Most people are going to show their AA when they get cracked at these stakes, but even more so when KK and QQ are both out in the same hand. Mark me up as a nonbeliever.

This hand caused quite a stir at the table, with some of the players acting like I just successfully landed on the moon by winning this pot and the lady looking at me like I’m the biggest idiot she’s ever laid eyes on. Meanwhile, I’m sitting there wondering if I’m the only one that’s ever played poker before. What am I supposed to do with QQ on an 872 after getting called in two spots pre with less than a pot-sized bet left after the flop? It’s about as standard as standard gets.

Don’t worry, folks! Punts incoming.

It was basically all downhill for me from there. I lost almost every pot I got any resistance in and I doubled barreled with QJ after checking back the flop as the PRF on the 965T2 board. I bet a little less than pot on the river so it stung a bit when I got called by JT.

And just as they were starting a 15/30 game, this hand came up:

I open to $10 with A2hh and the player on my left makes it $20 and everyone else folds. I suppose I could play chicken here and repop it but I’m happy to play a flop for such a good price.

The flop is K32 with one heart. I check and he bets $25. I have enough that I can’t really fold here, but I don’t think my hand plays very well as a check-call. I have bottom pair and every card that isn’t an ace or doesn’t pair the board is going to be an overcard to my hand. I think this is a good hand to bluff with, especially on this board. I have found that attacking king high, disconnected boards is a good strategy in no limit hold’em. Think about what hands he can 3-bet with pre that are happy to call a check-raise on this board. AA, KK, and AK are the top ones. I suppose he can have some KQ and maybe KJ in there. Even hands as strong as QQ are going to have a hard time calling. I think that’s a pretty narrow range of hands that are happy to continue. Meanwhile, I’ve shown that I’m capable of having hands like K2 suited here. I make it $80 to go and he does end up calling.

I think that weights him towards a pair of kings so I’m planning to give up on the turn when I don’t improve or pick up outs. The turn is the 4 of hearts, giving me a pair and a straight flush draw. The pot has just under $200 in it now and his stack is slightly bigger than that. I put him all in. I think I’m going to get a lot of folds here, maybe even from hands as good as AK, but even when I do get called, I’m going to win the pot around 25% of the time by making two pair or better. He ends up tanking forever and I really think he’s going to end up folding, but he finally calls it off with KQ and the river pairs the 4, so I end up turning an early +$500 start into a -$349 finish.

The 15/30 game was AMAZING. There were no less than four players having a competition to see who could torch off their chips the fastest and in the most hilarious fashion. It was a total zoo. I won a large pot with KQ on a QJTccXXc runout where I had four opponents on the river and somehow still had the best hand after the flush got there and I won another decent one where I rivered a straight with AK. The rest of my time in this game was pure torture. I loosened up a little in some spots to play pots in position with the spewers, but for the most part my starting hand selection was pretty rigid and basically every time I played a pot I flopped absolutely nothing. When I flopped something as good as a gutshot it felt like I had a set. Not really, but I was just excited to have some piece of the board. I kept getting quality big ace hands (AJ+, ATs+) and all they did was cost me chips. I’d put in four bets before the flop, pay one or two bets to see the turn in a bloated pot when I flopped nothing, and just fold, fold fold folfdlfa=ffold fol! It was brutal.

Also, this happened:

Someone sent me that video and I wish they had let roll a little longer because I was seconds away from saying, “uh, I’m not leaving.” Like I’m going to leave $2500+ in an abandoned poker room because someone burnt some toast. Pffffft.

This hand pretty much defines my week:

I open with A7dd, there’s a call, Joker 3-bets, spewer caps on the button and we all call.

Flop is 743 with two spades and one heart. It checks to the button, I raise, one fold, Joker calls two cold, and the button calls.

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

River is the 7 of hearts. I bet, Joker almost looks like he’s going to raise, but ends up calling and the other guy folds.

I roll my hand and he rolls the AQ of hearts. I don’t really understand the flat call on the river and when he does call, it makes me think my hand is good, so it felt like a mini-slow roll. It’s pretty obvious the button doesn’t have anything so there’s no reason to go for an overcall. While I’m capable of showing up with sets of 4s and 3s here, I think rivering the nut flush still warrants a raise in this spot. Anyways, it’s pretty sick to flop a 7, make him call two bets cold on the flop, hit another 7, and still find a way to lose to AQ. But that’s my gift lately.

I finished that 15/30 session at -$674, which put my total losses for the day over $1000.

So this is what my last 8 days look like now:

10/12 -$790
10/13 -$1440
10/14 OFF
10/15 OFF
10/16 OFF
10/17 -$449
10/18 -$580
10/19 -$12
10/20 -$1022

-$4293 over an 8 day stretch. I’m not 100% positive about this, but I think that’s my worst week of poker ever, as far as cash games go.

I’ve been studiously tracking my results since June of 2011 and even though I had a day job until fall of 2016, I’ve basically played full-time hours for 7.5 years now. The worst month I’ve ever had was -$4219 in August of last year. I’ve only eclipsed -$2000 one other time. So that kind of puts this past week in perspective. This last week was worse than the worst month I’ve ever had. That is pretty sick.

This is what October cash games look like:

I had a +$2k PLO session earlier this month and I took second in that tournament on Global last Tuesday, so it hasn’t been all bad. I currently sit at -$1100 for the month so I’m not in serious jeopardy of challenging my all-time worst result.

Also, when I go through stretches like this, it’s important to remind myself of the bigger picture. Here’s what that looks like:

This brutal stretch is just a little blip on the radar of the poker life.

I will be headed to Lincoln City, Oregon tomorrow though and I’ll be playing in about $1500 worth of buy ins, so I have a chance to save the month of October or keep piling up the negative results.

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1/3/5 Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace (10/17/18 Live Blog)

October 17, 2018

As I write this (at 1 PM), PLO is quite some time away from starting, but there are currently 15 names on the list and I’m not exactly sure where I am on it. I’m praying that I start the game because it is super important to be in there from the jump. The action is usually at its best in the early goings, plus waiting on the sidelines for a game that already starts pretty late is absolutely brutal.

A bit of a recap of my last few days:

If you followed my post on Saturday about my session at Fortune, then you know I reached boiling levels of steaming. I feel like the gap between my c-game and my a-game is not that large – much, much smaller than the average player. For instance, my starting hand selection is so ingrained at this point that when I’m at my absolute worst, I don’t deviate much from my a-game starting hand selection. Those ranges are virtually identical, although I can concede that there might be a little bit of slippage. My post-flop game definitely suffers more. When emotions cloud my rational thinking, I make sloppier decisions and I know for a fact that I start calling down lighter. The biggest symptom that I’m on legitimate tilt, however, is how I feel. Nobody likes losing, but I feel like I stomach it really well, so when I actually start to physically feel the pain of what’s happening, I know I’m in bad shape. That’s where I was at Saturday night. So I took the last three days off – a rare occurrence for me when I’m not on vacation or swamped with non-poker plans.

We spent Sunday with family and friends and ended up having dinner at a restaurant in Renton called Melrose Grill. It was sooooooooo good! Highly recommended! We ordered a sausage platter, two porterhouse steaks, a ribeye steak, beef stroganoff, plus apple crisp and creme brulee for dessert. Everything was perfection. The steaks were juicy and full of flavor and the beef stroganoff was particularly mind-blowing – easily the best I’ve ever had. If you find yourself in the Renton area or just want to try a new restaurant, definitely check this place out.

Monday was a full day off for me and that started at the gym, before staying home to watch game 3 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Brewers, but as so often happens on my “days off,” I ended up on Global Poker, participating in their Eagle Cup events. Monday had three no limit hold’em events: $3 rebuy, $10 rebuy, and $30 rebuy. That means you can rebuy unlimited times for the first hour of each tournament. I started the day with just over $1100 on Global, so while I could gamble it up in the $3 and, to a lesser degree, the $10, it would be pretty reckless of me to play wildly in the $30 with my current online bankroll size. I also played the nightly $5 rebuy, the nightly $11 limit hold’em, and a $55 multi-table tournament. I busted 3 bullets in the $5 rebuy, 6 bullets in the $3 rebuy, and 3 bullets in the $30 rebuy. I finished 4th in the $11 LHE, but I needed to finish top 2 to cash (LOL). I also busted nearing the bubble of a couple of other ones.

I got in two bullets in the $10 rebuy and made a deep run. I had a very ugly spot come up somewhere near the money where I made a borderline all in call with AJ of diamonds, largely because only one stack behind me could do damage to me. Well, that player ended up jamming on me and even though it was for heaps and I was likely crushed, I was getting a pretty attractive price and ended up calling off about 75% of my relatively large stack. He had AA and I didn’t win.

Suddenly, I was in the bottom 20%, but then I got scalding hot. I think after that hand, deep in the event, I picked up AA at least five times. I won almost every all in confrontation I can think of, leading up to the final table. After that punt/cooler, I could seem to do no wrong and I rode that hot wave all the way to the final two players and found myself heads up for an Eagle Cup trophy.

I couldn’t have had a softer opponent. We started with relatively even stacks, but I had already surmised that this player was playing above his normal stakes and was playing for considerably more money than he ever had on Global Poker. Some people might rise to the occasion, but he had already proven to be incredibly timid. My approach heads up was to make a small raise every button and bet 1/3 pot on every flop. This sequence had an immediate success rate of around 85%. It was absurd. You’d think he would adjust, but he never did. He just kept folding and folding and folding. Eventually, I realized I could min-raise pre and lower my c-bet sizing as well. This saved me chips in the rare spots where he called the flop and I decided to give up. I was also able to size up when I felt it was necessary without worrying that I was tipping my hand strength. When I was in the big blind, I played much more passively preflop, only raising my better hands. He called a lot more frequently on the button and also peeled on the flop more often. My strategy was to check a lot preflop and min-bet the flop 100% of the time. This had a success rate greater than 50%, which is absurd. He was so passive overall, that when he did fight back, it was easy to fold anything marginal because he was just handing me the victory by folding so much.

Needless to say, I used this strategy to grind him all the way down to 3 big blinds.

And then I didn’t win the tournament. It was a true stunner. I absolutely dominated him, but we got all in 7 times and he went 5-0-2 in those hands and that was all he needed to pick up the victory. I can’t say I was devastated or anything, but I was pretty shocked, and it would have been cool to add to my trophy case:

Yep, there they are, tucked away, on top of our refrigerator, behind the wine bottles. My wife is so proud of me!

Still, 2nd of 388 players is always cool and so is $1152.21 for an $11 buy in!

Tuesday I went to see Venom and you can read the review I posted this morning below:

Venom – 3/10

Then I picked these little bros up from their haircuts:

After that, I watched baseball all day and played more poker on Global, booking a 1st place in the nightly $11 PLO tournament for $256.

It is now 10 past 5 PM and I will be headed to Palace after I refresh with a cup of coffee.

6:02 PM: I’m in! Lots of flakes, as expected.

Starting lineup: The Lawnmower Man, nitty plo reg, Muckleshoot reg, nitty baseball guy, aggro plo reg, Part-Time, unknown, The Crypt Keeper

The Lawnmower Man is a new name, but apparently he’s a regular at Muckleshoot and has a similar nickname that naturally leads me to Stephen King’s novel title. I’ve played with him once in the 15/30 at Palace but multiple times in the 20/40 O8 at Muckleshoot, so we cross paths enough to warrant the name, especially if he starts playing in this game regularly.

I hear The Lawnmower Man is someone you build games around, so he’s a welcome sight. The rest of this lineup is not great.

6:32 PM: Welp. I felted $600 already. I’m pretty sure it was a colossal fuck up, so that’s all I’m going to say about that. I usually share when I make mistakes but this one I’d rather digest on my own and learn from rather than getting a bunch of messages from different people weighing in with their unwanted opinions.

Just the start I was hoping for after two brutal live sessions!

6:48 PM: This one I will share. It’s a multi-way pot opened by The Crypt Keeper and I call from the cutoff with AJ77 with three hearts in my hand. It’s pretty speculative, but…

The Q96 all heart flop makes it a bit more nutty. The Crypt Keeper leads with a bet of like $50 on the flop and I’m next to act. Here’s what’s going to happen if I make a large raise here: everyone is going to fold.

If TCK has top set and a flush we are probably going to get it in, but barring that, he’s probably just going to fold, so I’m going to gamble here… by calling. The nitty player on the button overcalls and everyone else folds.

The turn is a brick and TCK bets $65. It’s pretty small, definitely not indicative of a very strong holding, so I stay consistent with my plan to hide information. I’m guessing neither of these guys would expect to play the nuts this way. I can’t remember taking a line like this that I know they have seen. The button overcalls again.

I know I will have to tread carefully if the board pairs, but fortunately it’s a super bricky offsuit deuce on the river – a true beauty. TCK bets $65 again. Since I don’t think TCK will put me on the nuts very often here, I don’t see any point in milking him with a small raise. I think he sniffs that out.

I make it $300 to go. I just don’t think my line looks very credible, given our history. Maybe he can put me on a set with the naked ace of hearts? I don’t really know what other hands would make sense to bluff with here. My plan works and I get max value from a player that would typically never pay off in this spot.

7:15 PM: I limp early with a marginal JT99 with no suits. I’m sure I should be folding this in a game that almost always has a preflop raise, but here we are. The unknown does make it $20 on the button and we go multi-way to the flop.

Here’s how you make a marginal hand look premium: the flop is 998 with two diamonds. I have the super nuts, but interestingly enough, in 4-Card poker, any card that could make a straight flush is a legitimate concern. Surprisingly, The Crypt Keeper leads right out from the small blind for $50 and I’m next to act. Considering our recent history, I decide to immediately raise to $125. The field folds and I do get a snap call from TCK but he folds to my $200 bet on the Queen turn. QQJT one time! Come on.

7:23 PM: Here’s a hand I wish I played before I felted: I open with AAQT double suited from under the gun and get multiple callers.

Flop is 975 with two clubs, giving me the nut flush draw. I’m out of position against everyone and I don’t want to play for stacks here, so I check which puts some nut flush draws in my check-calling range which I think is a good balancing play. It checks through.

The turn is an offsuit King, I check again and the dude that stacked me in that first big pot bets $40. I am the only caller.

The river is an offsuit 2 and we both check.

He shows a set of 9s! Woah. I get the flop check, but that is an ultra conservative check back on the river. Needless to say, playing for stacks earlier against this player with the hand I had was a clear mistake.

7:45 PM: Crypt Keeper raises some limpers, Lawnmower Man calls, and I call AKss88 on the button.

Six of us see the AK3 two diamond flop and it checks to Lawnmower Man and he bets $100 into $120. TLM has around $500 going to the flop so I think I want to raise and potentially play an all in pot with him. I make it $300, the rest fold and he does jam it. He says he wants to run it once and shows… KKJ9. Gulp. I have two outs. I don’t hit one of them and suddenly I’m back to -$500.

8:10 PM: This game is fizzling quickly. We are suddenly 7-handed and all the weakest players have either busted or left. The unknown has been MIA for a while so we are actually 6-handed.

But wait! As I type this, an older Asian man I don’t know is coming over from 8/16. That can’t be a bad thing.

This game fizzling out early is not a good way to hook The Lawnmower Man during his first session. Leave him unimpressed and he might not ever come back. Fortunately, he said his word of mouth was Lee Markholt so that means he might actually show up again even if he sees the worst possible representation of this game tonight.

8:23 PM: Blackjack is also sitting in the game now and he combines with the older guy to put an additional $430 on the table. We got a couple of shot takers in the game! But at least they are filling seats. That makes us 8-handed now, although two players have been missing for some time.

8:35 PM: Mr. Plow is here to save the day. Not only is he taking a seat, but he fills up the game minutes before superstar Lee Markholt walks in the door. Have a seat on the bench, champ!

Lee just sat down in 8/16. Man, I want to take and post a picture so bad. I bet he plays to crush too. What a stud.

8:56 PM: And the MIA player has been picked up and replaced by a legend: Lee Markholt is in the game.

9:15 PM: I’ve been super inactive but I just watched Blackjack get it in on the KQJ flop and the board runs out KQJ-J-A which seems bad for the AT Blackjack obviously has but the KcTc in his hand makes a running ROYAL FLUSH. I think that’s gonna work. I confirmed that was the first Royal Flush he’s ever made in his life in any game. I should have snapped a pic for the kid!

10:01 PM: Two clashes with Mr. Plow:

First hand I limp along late with QJT5 double suited and he makes it $30 to go. Two of the three limpers call, myself included, and we go to a 982 with two club flop. I have the QJ of clubs in my hand so I have a monster draw. I don’t expect Mr. Plow to show any caution so I check to let him c-bet (for full pot) before making it $400 and ready to play for $1000 each.

He folds and since I have queen high I’m okay with that.

I’ll post the other hand later. Blackjack and I are currently playing 3-handed PLO with Lee Markholt. Like total idiots.

10:47 PM: I asked Radio Mike to snap an indiscreet pic of this epic moment in Palace poker history, so apparently he walked next door and took this gem:

11:00 PM: Last hand of the night: Lee makes it $10 on button, I flat with KQJT double suited because… blackjack makes it $30, Lee calls, now I make it $120 which basically puts BJ all in and I’m hoping I can get a fold from Lee and flip for $125… but he calls.

Gulp. Lee and I are both deep. This could be bad.

Flop is K53 with two hearts. I lead for $165, BJ calls for crumbs and Lee calls the full bet. Omg.

Another king on the turn bails me out. Lee just never has a set here so I feel great leading for $300. Lee snap-folds and BJ says he wants to run it once and immediately rolls over K642 with hearts. The river is a heart and he triples up and the game is dead.

Fortunately, Lee’s flop call earned me a small profit on the hand.

Other hand with Mr. Plow, I have forgotten many details now but has AKxx on K77 and check-called $15 before check-calling $40 on an ace turn and then betting $125 when I somehow rivered aces full of kings. It’s funny how you can go from hoping someone doesn’t have something (a seven) to hoping they do have it. It seems optimistic to think someone can call with a 7 here for full pot, but my boy Mr. Plow is not the type to be bullied. He pays it off and I’m good.

Final Score: -$449

Geez, I hope tonight isn’t a preview of what tomorrow is going to look like. This PLO game has been running every Wednesday for 18 months now and I think tonight was the worst lineup I’ve played in. Not only that, but it never picked up and fizzled out early.

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15/30 Limit Holdโ€™em – 10/5/18 Live Blog

October 5, 2018

Today is starting off better than I expected already. The Leak and I were driving to Palace and there were only two players on the 15/30 list @ 3 PM. That’s not very promising. I would have guessed a game start of around 6 or 7 PM. But then I walked in the door and the game was starting!

We are currently 8-handed with a starting lineup of: total maniac, Part-Time, nit, Fleabag, Rain Man, nit, non-reg.

Heads up vs Part-Time: I open AQss and double barrel AQ5ddd after he cold calls preflop, but he raises me on the turn and I call down and lose to K4dd.

Pretty cool!

3:22 PM: Yesterday I went -$170 in 1.5 hours of 4/8 limit O8 and then +$925 in 6 hours of PLO.

Here are the two most interesting pots I played in PLO yesterday and they happened on back-to-back hands:

I limp early with JTdd77, there’s another limp, Big Baby makes it $20 to go on the button, and one of the blinds and both limpers call.

Flop is 854 with two diamonds. I have a decent flush draw and two blockers to the nuts so it seems like a good hand to bluff the flop with. I lead out $55 into $80 and the player on my direct left makes it $110. Everyone else folds. Let’s think about this: what kind of strong hand makes a min-raise here? I would say not many. So my plan is to call this bet and re-evaluate on the turn. I don’t want to bloat this pot on the flop against someone I think is highly unpredictable and might go crazy with a naked ace high flush draw. Also, it is feasible that I would play some naked straights this way.

Turn is the Queen of clubs, giving me some actual straight outs. I do not think my opponent has much and I can still rep the straight so I bet $175 and he tanks forever and eventually calls.

I don’t particularly want to make my flush here. I think if the board bricks off I will usually win this pot with a max-sized river bet.

The 4 pairs on the river and I would say that qualifies as a good card for my plan. I bet $300 and this time he tanks even long than he did on the turn but… calls it off… with… A832 no diamonds.

That was enough for The Crypt Keeper to blurt out, “what the hell?” after I showed and he tabled his hand.

So I lost nearly $600 on that pot and then this hand comes up:

There are two limpers, Crypt Keeper makes it $25, Big Baby makes it $90, and I have AA98 with clubs on the button. I make it $390 to go (more on that in a sec), which gets about 40% of my stack in the pot before the flop with Aces. That’s a pretty good result. Big Baby is my only caller.

The flop is pretty decent for my hand: JT8 with two clubs. Big Baby leads out $200 and I make it $500 trying to get all the chips in. He just calls though.

The turn is a blank and I have a little less than $200 behind. He checks to me. It seems like my hand should not be good after he bet-calls $500 on the flop and I brick the turn. So I check behind and take a river before deciding if I want to put the rest in.

River is the 9 of clubs. Yay! I bet the rest of it and he calls it off with AA62 and no clubs. I guess it makes sense that he has AA, but what a crazy hand to bet-call off $500 on the flop with.

So yeah, after losing a big pot to a crazy bluff catcher, I felt like I was one club away from turning $1500 into $0 in two hands.

Fortunately, I was freerolling in that last hand and got there – a session saver!

Ugh. Flea just cashed out. That left us 6-handed (plus Part-Time MIA) with two nits in the game. That’s what I call the Danger Zone.

Fortunately, a random dude just sat down with $700.

4:42 PM: Rough start today. I’m down about $400 after winning a couple small pots. Here’s the highlight of my day so far:

Maniac limps, I raise cutoff with K2dd, button calls, so does a blind.

Four of us to the Q97 with two diamonds flop. That’s good enough for me to bet and I get popped by the button and the rest fold out. I call.

Turn is a blank and he does that rapid fire bet where he’s not even thinking about what’s going on (because he has a draw) so I’m already thinking about calling the river if it comes bricky.

The river pairs the 7 and I don’t have to make the call because he just gives up and my king high is good.

4:53 PM: This game is pretty bad now. My last four blinds have been chopped (I had AA in one of those hands). Radio Mike replaced the maniac and we are 8-handed now.

5:19 PM: First battle with Radio Mike: he opens cut, I 3-bet K2 of spades from small blind and he calls. I double barrel on 997-5 before checking the Queen on the river. He checks back… with QJo.

๐Ÿ˜โœ‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿงข

5:48 PM: Radio Mike 2, Dark Knight 0

Open 55, Rain Man cold calls, Radio Mike defends.

Flop is 882 with two spades and only Radio Mike calls.

Turn is a 4 and I still feel like I’m good here. My plan is probably to check river if he calls because I’ve seen him slow play big hands to the river in heads up spots, especially against me. He calls.

River is a third 8 though. Can’t imagine what hands he’d play this way that I’m losing to and it seems like I should go for value against 2x and Ax hands, so I bet and he check-raises and I’m pretty sure that is always quads but I’m not folding here either. He shows the 86.

In other news, Rain Man has flopped a set on me three times already, which seems like every time I’ve played a pot against him. I’ve had top pair all three times and twice I rivered trips so he’s basically owning me today.

And then this happens: I open Q8ss and button and Rain Man call.

We check down on J985J and I go for value on the river after Rain Man checks a third time because how the hell can I ever be losing here, but Rain Man has A9 and calls.

Good lord.

Open AJ and a nit 3-bets me and of course I get a jack high flop and clean run out so I’m forced to call down, knowing I’m rarely ever winning with the top of my range here. He has QQ.

Yup. I’m really annoyed right now.

6:06 PM: Sigh. Now we are 6-handed with two nits in the lineup and I am stuck almost $700.

Where are the 9-to-5ers?

6:39 PM: We are down to 4-handed and the first hand of non-chopping I have AA in the big blind and get the Q9958 board against the small blind’s 95.

Yup. I’m over it. I’m going to go watch the 7:20 showing of A Star Is Born.

I might be back later.

Final Score: -$881 in 3.5 hours

I will continue this later if I come back and play after the movie.

Update: The next two showings of A Star Is Born are both sold out so I will not be seeing that tonight but I am also not going to be returning to the casino.

I think I woke up roughly five times during the night and never felt well-rested today. Radio Mike suggested making a trip to Fortune but I’m tired, steamy, and buried – and none of those things suggest I should keep playing poker tonight. I was willing to gut it out at 15/30 locally, but I have no desire to travel or play 8/16, so I’m just watching playoff baseball at home now.

I will be back in action at Muckleshoot for some 20/40 Omaha 8 tomorrow around 3 PM.

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Last Live Blog Before Hiatus – 1/3/5 PLO @ Palace

September 12, 2018

I’m putting in a last minute session before we head off on a 10 day trip through New Orleans, Houston, and Dallas starting tomorrow.

Things we will be doing:

*eating lots of local food

*swamp tour

*crossing the Mississippi River on a ferry

*playing poker at Harrah’s in N.O.

*driving across the Lake Pontchartrain bridge

*watching the Mariners play the Astros at Minute Maid Park in a game that will mean jack shit

*maybe visit some NASA stuff

*stop in Waco, Texas to check out Joanna Gaine’s Magnolia store

*visit the JFK Memorial in Dallas

*watch the Mariners play the Rangers in Globe Life Park

*eat some Texas BBQ

*play poker at Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma

PLO is off to a slow game start. 12 names were on the list – and I was #10 – but there are currently only five seated players.

6:06 PM: Up to 8 players now, but cards still not in the air yet. Starting lineup: Fortune dude, HIS ROYAL AIRNESS, non-Reg, Mr. Baseball, Part-Time, The Crypt Keeper, random and… The Man makes us full.

Not sure how late I’m going to play tonight. We have to be on a bus to the airport at 4:30 AM, but I do have like seven or so hours to sleep on a plane tomorrow, so getting a good night’s sleep isn’t super important. Still, I can’t imagine I will play too far past 11 PM.

6:53 PM: Only interested hand so far: I 3-bet to $65 with AAJ9 and a suit on the button and only the Fortune guy calls.

We see a flop of Q77 rainbow and I decide to check back and avoid fancy check-raises and induce some bluffs.

Turn is the 6 of clubs, putting two clubs on board and he bets $100. I call.

River pairs the queen and he sizes at $100 and I snap and win the pot.

Am I going to check my way to a loser some of the time by taking this line? Sure. But I think in this specific spot checking the flop netted me an extra $200 and that’s exactly what I was going for.

7:59 PM: I made a call of a pot-sized bet on 988cc2c4d with both the Ac and Kc in my hand and lost to 82xx. Part-Time sized pretty small on the turn and then went for my throat on the river. My instincts were saying ‘fold,’ so who knows why I decided to call.

Anyways, that has me sitting at roughly -$300 and that’s a damn shame because chips are flying in this game. Two players have stacks of more than $2000 already and a third has over $1500 – and this game has a max buy in of $1000. His Airness is in multiple buy ins already and has about $150 left. That’s a lot of loose chips that have been splashed around to stacks that are most likely going to lock them up.

So this is my last for sure blog until I play the $200 limit Hold’em event in the Muckleshoot Fall Classic series on the 23rd.

However, I will almost certainly be playing a night or two at Harrah’s in New Orleans and I think it would be cool to cross into Oklahoma to play a session at the Winstar. Not even really sure what they spread at either place but I will probably blog if I do play some poker in the South.

8:34 PM: The Man and His Airness are out and John Stockton and Joker are in. Chips were spraying all over the place with someone all in basically every hand and somehow I’m down $550.

8:54 PM: Action was taking so long on the turn on a monster pot that I actually got to walk around and look at the cards of everyone involved. Three different players put $700+ in on J43ss6. Joker had 765x; Part-Time had K95Xss (safe to say his fourth card was not a 7); John Stockton had 4452; and Hit&Run was a fourth player deep in the tank with $270 in the pot and facing another $600 to call with… AT87 with three spades in his hand!

After about five minutes, he said, “fuck it” (literally) and stuck another $600 in the pot.

Somehow Joker is the only one with the nuts and there is $3000 in this pot. He needs to dodge a spade, jack, four, three, six and five. Seems like a tall task, but there are eight spades dead, three fives dead, two sixes dead, and three fours gone. There might be some spades and board pairs that repeat, but it looks like Joker is dodging 15 outs tops with one card to go in this huge monster pot.

River is a 5. Hit&Run makes the nut straight with his 87.

And then leaves. Because that’s what he does.

And now I’m sitting here playing 6-handed with Joker, The Crypt Keeper, Mr. Baseball, and John Stockton.

This game sucks. I was only staying long enough to write this update.

I will be mostly MIA until the 23rd so don’t expect any updates while we are gone, but I do think I will make a post from one of the casinos down south and I’m looking forward to playing somewhere I’ve never been before.

If you haven’t done so already, you can click the follow button down below somewhere and get notifications when I start posting again.

9:42 PM: One final hand before I sign off: I open AQJ5 with one suit under the gun and get two callers.

Flop is QJ4 rainbow and I push my remaining stack in the middle and the dealer says I can only bet $45. Well that’s some bullshit. Joker decides to call my pot-sized bet.

Turn is an 8 and I bet $150 of $310 total and he starts tanking and then the banter starts.

Me: Dude, if you have T9 just put it in already.

Joker: *laughs*

Me: This is my last hand. Whether you felt me or double me up… or just fold now.

Joker: Why do you want a call so bad?

Me: I don’t want a call.

Joker: You have a set of queens?

Me: I’d take a call with a set of queens.

He eventually puts me all in.

Me, to dealer: If he has T9 here I want him barred.

We agree to run it twice and I fill up on the first board and the river is an offsuit 6 and I end up scooping it all.

Final Score: -$237

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$2/$5 NL ๐Ÿ˜ฎ @ Palace 4/21/2018 (Live Blog)

April 21, 2018

Yesterday I made a very unceremonious return to Fortune and a had a day to forget. I got absolutely throttled. When I cashed out I thought I was booking a record loss, but I thought I was in for $4500 when I was only in for $4000 so I actually came up just shy of my loss single-session loss of all-time. However, I did punt a full buy-in in the 1/3 game before moving to 20/40 and finished -$245 there and combined with my -$2135 at 20/40, my overall -$2380 day may very well be the worst day I’ve had since my poker career (re)started in 2011. I believe my worst session in that span is -$2300, but I’m not sure what my worst overall day is – I think it was yesterday.

As I mentioned, I absolutely punted my first $300 in the 1/3 game. I’d share details of the hand, but it was so bad, I’m just going to save some face here. Needless to say, it started my session off with a bad taste and I was immediately wondering if I should be even be playing poker. I feel like I play a very good, solidly profitable B-Game and my C-Game almost never shows up, but this 1/3 pot was 100% C-Game and I was just getting started.

My 20/40 session was absolutely miserable. The game wasn’t good and I was running insanely bad. I lost a monster pot where I had A5hh on a KQ9hhh flop where it was two bets five ways preflop, on the flop, and on the turn, before the board paired on the river and I lost to Q9. A solid $800 pot in the wrong direction and that pretty much summed up my session. I won one nice pot when I made kings full of aces with AK and hit one meaningful draw in a decent pot and the rest of my made hands were beat or outdrawn all night and I was whiffing like Mike Zunino in his return to the Mariners lineup last night on all my other draws and unmade starting hands. The frustration levels build quickly when every pot you play is heads up or 3-handed and you are outflopped or outdrawn or picked off every single time.

I wasn’t feeling it. I was running bad and felt physically beat down by the variance, the game wasn’t particularly great, and I had to admit I was playing my C-game. I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but when I’m running super bad, I feel very transparent. Like I never have anything and they all know it – because it’s true. I’m just missing every single flop. I decided to jet after less than six hours of play and, after dropping The Leak off at Palace, I was home before 10 PM on a Friday night. That doesn’t happen very often.

I’m off to a very lazy, unproductive start to my Saturday. I’ve basically done nothing but drink coffee, play MLB The Show on my PS4, and take a shower.

Checking in on Bravo now and I see Palace has nine games going, but no 15/30 and, holy shit, there is only one person on the list for that game. They do have a 2/5 NL game going though. Jesus. Please don’t let this be the expectation on Saturdays going forward. If 15/30 only goes Thursdays through Mondays, I can live with that. But no 15/30 on Saturdays is insanely bad for my bottom line.

I just had the briefest of thoughts to publish this and not even go play, but there are two 8/16 games going and I suppose it’s better to go play in one of those than to sit at home being lazy. So off I go… and hopefully the 15/30 will start before 5 PM.

2:43 PM: Ouch. The Leak sent me to pick up a medication for her and I’ve been told it’s going to be 30 minutes and she will have my ass if I don’t get it, so session EpTA pushed back to 3:30ish.

3:51 PM: Fresh off a C-game performance, I was dangerously close to being triggered out of even playing today. I left my house to pick up a prescription for my wife around 2:10 on my way to Palace and one hour and forty minutes later I am just now walking in to Palace and I didn’t even get the damn prescription.

Safeway’s pharmacy ended up wasting 30 minutes of my time before telling me they didn’t even have the fucking thing in the building and since we need it today, I went searching for other options… and came away empty-handed.

Fortunately, my wife mercifully accepted the baton and took the reigns on this task and let me go play poker. One more run around and I think I was done for the day. I was very close to being irrecoverably tilted.

To recap, it took me 100+ minutes to get to a destination seven minutes from my house and I didn’t even accomplish the task I was set out to do.

Seats open in the 2/5 game and it’s tempting to sit down in that lineup, but I can’t bring myself to participate in that game’s existence when the 15/30 game isn’t running. I’m currently 4th up for 8/16 and there are only four names on the list for 15/30.

Slow Saturday.

4:25 PM: Welp. I caved. I just kept looking at the 2/5 NL lineup and wanting to sit down and then one of the floors came over and pushed me over the edge by saying whether I play or not isn’t going to make much of a difference and my objective should be to make money, not be a little bitch. ๐Ÿ˜‚

He made a lot of sense.

Lineup: Part-Time, a nitty reg, a bad reg, that douchey guy that was ganging up on me with The Flea, and three players I’ve never seen.

I’m far from a NL expert, so no clue how this is going to go but I suspect I should be a favorite simply by playing tight and solid. I play exploitive poker though, so that’s where there’s potential for things to go poorly.

4:39 PM: Yeah. This is pretty much how no limit goes for me. I open to $15 with 87dd and c-bet $25 in a 3-way pot on K93. One player calls and the 9 pairs on the turn. He seems weak and I think he has a lot of gut shots and pairs less than the 9 in his range. I fire $50 and he calls again. I still think his range is the same on the river when an ace comes and this is a good card for me to fire a third bullet. I don’t need to size big here since I think he’s weak, so I push out $80 and he SNAP calls me with 43o.

I’ve been in this game for four hands and I’ve never seen this guy in my life.

I sat down with $500 in play and $500 on the side but after seeing that, I have it all in play now.

Uneventful hand here but notable because a different player just limped under the gun with Q7o.

4:49 PM: And the player that just picked off my $170 quadruple bluff with bottom pair, on a favorable board texture for me, just left… because that’s how much the Poker Gods are shitting on me this weekend.

That genius is replaced my John Kim, whom definitely knows how to play this game better than I do. ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด

4:57 PM: A hand I wasn’t involved in:

Button straddle to $10, three calls, someone makes it $100, the third caller calls. Board is al raggedy and I think it checks on flop and turn before there’s an $80 bet and call. 72ss (bottom pair) beats K6 high.

A hand I was involved in:

I 3-bet KK from SB to $35, bet $30 on 882 flop and lose to A9o.

Standard for me in live no limit hold’em.

Mister Magoo takes our open seat!

5:22 PM: open $15 with Q9dd and nit min-raises to $30, one other calls, and I call also. Flop is JJx with Jd and we all check. Turn is the Td, giving me an open-ended straight flush draw, and the big blind leads out $20. I’m super tempted to raise here and I suppose I can still have jacks in my range, but I decide to just call and the PFR makes it $80. The other player folds and maybe I have some fold equity here if I suddenly make a big raise, but I don’t know what the best play is so I just call and…. whiff.

He tables KK behind.

5:26 PM: 15/30 is on the verge of starting and the game looks worse than the one I’m playing so it’s quite a dilemma. I want to support the 15/30 and not the 2/5, but it’s obvious which game is better.

5:39 PM: Yikes. I made decision to move and then this happened:

Two limps, John Kim makes it $20, I call with AJo from the cutoff, and five of us see the flop.

AQx

They all check to me and I bet $60. Everyone folds and JK calls. We are not concerned.

AQxJ

He checks and I bet $125. He makes it $300, leaving around $250ish behind. Don’t really see how I can fold here but I’m also wondering if I’m really about to lose a $1300+ pot right before I move. I didn’t love the spot but I also knew I wasn’t ever folding, so I stopped thinking about what he could have and put my whole stack in. He calls and doesn’t seem to love it.

I say, “two pair.”

“Me too.”

“Ace Jack.”

“That’s good.”

I hold vs QJ and then I move to 15/30 and apologize to him for the brutal hit and run.

5:49 PM: No real notables in the 15/30 game: The Queen, one huge fish, and a couple Palace regs.

It’s not a great game change, but it’s my duty to make this game thrive and I am much, much, MUCH better at LHE than NL.

6:38 PM: A couple notes:

First, No limit pots are more interesting than limit pots and probably provide better content. I’ve been playing 15/30 for about 40 minutes with zero hands of note.

Second, my attention is currently divided between poker, the Mariners game, and the Chris Sale-Sean Manaea matchup in Oakland – but I will try to provide some hands here.

Lastly, the 2/5 game just broke. It was full with five on the list like 20 minutes ago. That’s an amazing collapse.

7:32 PM: QT < Q9 on Q65; JJ < 33; Paxton just gave up three runs.

Goddammit!

7:36 PM: Oh man. J.Cole’s song “Bracket” about taxes is really speaking to me right now.

8:27 PM: Okay. Well, I watched almost all of Sean Manaea’s no hitter on my phone which makes it really hard to blog at the same time.

Regular updates incoming again.

While I was watching, I called the worst player at the table down on 98349 with KJ and won and then I bluffed him with 76 on A282A.

We have added The Flea to the lineup and his douchey partner from the other day.

Time to focus up and will the Mariners to victory from my peripheral.

8:52 PM: I won a notable pot before this but I can’t remember what it was.

Anyways, I raise under the gun with KQhh and only the Flea defends. Flop is Q42 rainbow and he check-raises me, I call and then raise on the 9 turn and he 3-bets me. Sigh.

River pairs the 2 and he pauses for like 30 seconds and I finally say, “I’m calling if that will help you make your decision.” He checks, so I bet and he calls with Q9 and that’s good. I guess he did have something to think about, but it’s a 5-10 second think, not half a minute. Looks like I let the constant camera time distract me from taking a free showdown and instead made an ill-advised bet.

10:14 PM: Game is jammed up now and I’m running super pure. Like whole table is jealous pure. I’m hitting everything and it’s all happening way too fast to keep track of.

Some hands I remember:

3-bet AJhh and flop flush and get action from three different players. Open AA and flop top set and get paid off. T8ss on 97×6. 65dd on 977dAdTd. Open KT and get the QJ54A runout.

Needless to say, I am up heaps now.

10:38 PM: Fast and furious. As I was typing that last update these two hands happened:

Flea limps, I raise AT, new crazy (possibly drunk) player 3-bets, Bingo Man calls, and so do we. Flop is QTT with one diamonds. Everybody checks, which is something I was not expecting to happen. Turn is an ace and Bingo leads out, I raise, the new player calls $60 cold, Bingo 3-bets, and I cap. River is king of diamonds and now the new player raises me, Bingo calls, I 3-bet and only one of them calls. This monster pot goes my way.

One hand after The Flea calls my wife “bad luck” because I finally lost a pot just after she came to visit, Flea raises some limpers from the small blind and I defend with K6o.

Flop: KK6 two hearts

Flea bets and I flat to keep the limpers in. They all call. Turn is jack of hearts and now Flea checks, I bet, button calls, and Flea raises. Pretty easy 3-bet here and Flea caps it, with the button still in as well.

River is a queen and Flea still leads. Is it too passive to call here? We are now losing to KQ and KJ and he never plays AK this way. I ended up raising and getting raised again and losing to KJ so now I’m on a break counting combos.

There are three combos of JJ, one combo of 66, and three combos of KJ. He can possibly have flushes and AK up until he caps the turn. If he happened to be losing his mind with KQ on the turn then that’s another three combos I’m losing to on the river. 66 is pretty unlikely, so it’s 50/50 on my river decision and I think the presence of the third player calling one bet but possibly not two, means I should lean towards calling. Plus, the KQ factor.

Obviously insanely unlucky, probably because The Leak was sitting behind me (seriously, who comes by and just completely extinguishes a heater?) but also likely a bad river decision on my part as well.

12:05 AM: Flea opens cutoff, I 3-bet QQ on button and both blinds come along and Flea calls.

J75 with two hearts and there are fireworks. I put in the first raise but the big blind 3-bets and Flea caps, plus the small blind is still in.

Turn is a blank and Flea still bets. This is a spot where I used to raise 100% of the time but now I’ve learned to be more cautious. Sure, there are going to be times when I’m ahead and wind up losing to one of the blinds because I just called on the turn, but more often I’m behind here and having to put in four bets to get to showdown is brutal. So I just call and so do the two others.

River is a 7 and everybody checks to me. I should be good here now and I probably have a value bet, but I take the safe route and check back. They table KJ, 65hh, and AJ and my queens are good.

Another interesting spot, or maybe not interesting at all: straddle pot and I have QJss and five of us put in five bets pre.

Flop is A74 no spades. There’s a bet and three calls back to me and I’m getting 29 to 1 here, closing the action. I know I call if there’s a spade on board, but what about an 8 or a 9? Does that make it an auto-call or should I see the turn in this exact spot?

I don’t know the answer to that so I should probably investigate. Either way, I don’t know what’s grosser, calling or folding here.

2:01 AM: That’s a wrap. Today was basically polar opposite of yesterday. Almost all my pocket pairs held up, I was drawing well, and flopping good.

Final result: +2820 (in 15/30) and +$520 (in 2/5 NL) for +$3340 total.

And that’s how you tell a record bad session to go F itself.

We are meeting friends for lunch tomorrow in Renton and doesn’t seem like playing poker is really on the docket. We have another doctor appointment in Kirkland late afternoon on Monday so that’s going to delay my Monday session considerably but Radio Mike said he’s playing so I’ll try to get in his game by 6 PM if I can.