Posts Tagged ‘PLO’

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PLO Wednesday Highlights (Live Blog)

October 31, 2018

This is going to be tough. I almost sliced half my thumb nail off last night while doing the dishes so I have multiple bandaids holding it in place. I’m fine, but the bandaids make it harder to type on my phone because I use thumbs to type and my keypad doesn’t register when I touch with the bandaid. So I got some weird typing going on.

I spent Sunday traveling home from Lincoln City and I tried playing in The Santa Claus Game (more on that next week) at Palace on Monday, but after six hours of coughing into my shirt, blowing my nose constantly, and clearing my throat repeatedly, I felt bad for even being in the building. I called it a night as a -$85 loser – my 7th straight losing day at Palace (for -$3050 in total), a streak I am very much hoping to end tonight.

In fact, even after the month-saving score in the Big O event at Chinook Winds, I’m only up a few thousand for the month, so this could be a real make-or-break-it session as far as the arbitrary time frame of October 2018 is concerned.

Today’s starting lineup: Twinkie, solid reg, Crypt Keeper, nit, Lee Markholt, nit, aggro reg, His Airness

Not the greatest, but His Airness automatically makes any game good.

6:21 PM: So here’s something cool that happened to me today. This little guy was outside by himself rolling around in the autumn leaves on the ground, long after our other dogs had ventured back inside:

Next thing I know he’s at the front door whining hysterically and my first thought is that he was scared because I left him out there on his own (although he stays behind by himself frequently with no problems) so I picked him up to comfort him and felt a sharp pain in my finger and involuntarily dropped him on the ground.

I saw that he was covered in those helicopter leave things that have a bit of sharpness to them so I started picking them out of his fur, figuring that was the problem and also what poked me… but when I was done he was still whining incessantly.

So I started looking again and that’s when I saw a yellowjacket stuck in his fur, crawling around on his belly… and everything made sense.

*shivers*

I hate bees. HATE them. I stepped on a hive when I was a young child and got stung many, many times and I’ve probably been stung more than average since then.

This removal was going to be a two-human job. I pinned him down and my wife grabbed the wasp off him with a paper towel because no way in hell am I touching that thing again.

Our dog seemed a little off afterwards so I called the vet as a precaution but they just told us to look for swelling and I never saw any. He doesn’t seem like he’s in any pain.

But I’m sitting here reading about how yellowjackets can sting multiple times and inject poisonous venom, so… it’s a bit concerning, but my wife assures me he is doing just fine.

So yeah, I got stung by another bee today.

Super cool.

7:04 PM: Notable hands so far:

Lee Markholt opens to $15 and Twinkie and I both defend our blinds.

I have the T974 double suited so when the flop comes J65 with two clubs (my suit), I bet out $30 when it’s my turn. Lee folds and Twinkie calls.

The turn is a red 8, giving me the nuts with multiple redraws. I bet $80 and he calls again.

The river is an ace and he check-calls $125 this time.

Solid start to my night.

Nit raises after limpers to $20 and multiple players call, including me with AKdd77 on the button.

The flop is J74 rainbow and The Crypt Keeper leads out from the big blind into the entire field for $150. The nit calls, which is super alarming, and Twinkie calls also.

I am totally lost. It seems like I have a big hand, but something feels off. I’m obviously fading straight draws here, but TCK and the nit have sets of jacks in their range. I think I can safely rule that holding out of Twinkie’s range. I’m tempted to punt in a $450 bet and I’m tempted to call, but I’m confused. I don’t know what to do and since the consequences of this ending badly for me are my whole stack, I just fold it.

The turn is a 5 and it checks to Twinkie and max-bets $300. Crypt Keeper folds but the nit calls.

River is a ten and now the nit leads for the max of $300, which is almost all in for him.

Twinkie says, “you have the nuts, right?” and ends up folding (what is later revealed to be 8665).

I honestly don’t know if my flop fold is good here, but one thing is for sure, both of the players that saw the river ended up with better hands than I had. I think I would have called the flop if there was a diamond, but I’m really not sure what the best approach is there.

7:24 PM: The aggro player just raised the river with 99xx on TT299 and then folded face up when one of the nits 3-bet the $300 max!

So sick. The nit courtesy showed the quad tens.

It’s such a sick fold, but is really super easy if you take 60 seconds to think about it. The dude is a total nit, so he’s only 3-betting the virtual nuts on the river and with all four nines accounted for the only logical hand (that isn’t quads this dude could even feasibly 3-bet with is T2 and he is literally never doing it with a hand that weak. He has quad tens. Every time.

So… amazing fold… but it’s pretty routine if you can calm your emotions enough to realize that you have quads and you’re never winning.

Well executed.

7:38 PM: Crypt Keeper just won a 4-way all in pot with top set and now has almost $3000 in front of him and the nit with quad tens also has nearly $2500, so this game is trending poorly and I’m only up $100 or so at the moment.

7:47 PM: I limp along late with a junky KKJ4 subtle suited and all I need to do is a fade a patented annoying button raise from Crypt Keeper and he obliged by limping along also. Both blinds check.

Flop is AK2 rainbow and I bet $30 when it checks to me. Everyone folds but His Airness comes through with a check-raise to $105 at the last second. Bless him. He has a little over $200 so I put him all in. He wants to run it twice but his set of 2s can’t run me down on either run out.

8:02 PM: I complete with JJ86 single suited from the small blind in a multi-way pot.

Flop is 754 with two hearts. I flopped the nuts. I have clubs and no hearts in my hand so I start off with a check. Lee bets $25 and three players call him.

I fold.

BOOM.

8:28 PM: Pretty sure this is a disaster, but I dunno. There’s a raise of $15 and some calls in front of me. I call with AA64 no ace high suits.

Flop is A43 all hearts and it checks all the way around.

The turn is a blank and Twinkie bets $70 with only me and Crypt Keeper behind him. I think this is probably a fold. He’s betting almost full pot and there is only one card to go. I suppose he could have the naked king of hearts here but he probably has a flush and I’m not likely to call a pot-sized bet unimproved on the river. But I put in the $70 and now Part-Time check-raises all in for $215. Twinkie folds. I take a little bit of time to math but if I’m willing to put in $70 I should be willing to call another $145 now that the pot is substantially bigger.

I’m getting 3 to 1, so I need to win about 25% of the time and I’m winning less than 20% of the time since I’m blocking one of my outs (the 4). Plus, as an added bonus, there is no more money to be won on the river when I get there.

The Gods don’t bail me out and I lose to Part-Time’s king high flush.

9:11 PM: Ugh. We are 7-handed now and with His Airness gone the action has really died down. It’s just after 9 and I’m already thinking about calling it. The game just isn’t good anymore. Two of my six opponents are better than I am and another two are total nits. And a fifth player folded QUADS. On top of that, all four big stacks are on my left.

I’m not sure any of these conditions are ideal for powering through.

9:31 PM: Here’s how good this game is. Heads up pot, one player bets pot on QT8 and the other guy folds QQT8 face up. Or something of that nature. He had a set and the other two pairs also. Just done with it.

Same opponent. I have A883 double suited and I bet $100 on K839 with a front door heart draw present. He calls. River is the king of hearts and I check to him because maaaaaybe I can get this guy to bluff one time, but also for pot control because the dude is a fucking nit… and he checks back with 33.

YAWN.

10:22 PM: Game actually went down about 45 minutes ago. I guess everyone thought it was as bad as I did. Lee racked up to leave and as soon as he did that Part-Time took off and another player announced he was done. I already was over it so I wasn’t about to play 4-handed.

On the bright side, my Palace losing streak is over.

Final Score: +$145

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PLO Live Blog (4/6/18)

April 6, 2018

Going to attempt a PLO live blog. Opener coming soon.

6:10 PM: Things are getting off to a slow start here. When I put my name up hours ago, I was 9th on the list, but there are currently only seven players starting the game.

Current lineup: two players I don’t know, an Invisible Man level nit, Mister Magoo, His Airness (super maniac) and a strong higher stakes reg from Muckleshoot. Two spots in the game. I’m not going to grind it out if they leave. $15/$30 game looks pretty attractive if this game fizzles out.

I told myself I was going to play tighter than normal and I already unnecessarily torched chips in a pot. On the other hand, I opened JJ55 with diamonds and put zero bets in on flop and turn on a board of 765d8d8 in a multiway pot before calling Mister Magoo’s $45 river lead and losing to 77. Not a good end result but feels like I lost the minimum.

6:23 PM: Pretty good last couple of days, despite some rather unfortunate circumstances.

Wednesday I won $1706 in five hours of $15/$30, which is nice, but I only played five hours because the game broke at 11:30 PM. I prefer to play 8+ hours and generally want to stay until 2 AM. Games breaking early are what my nightmares are made of.

More good and bad news yesterday. The good news is I booked another $915 win but the game was absolutely terrible and, even though I was planning to play a shorter session, it broke before I was going to leave… at 7:15 PM.

Gulp. The results are obviously good, but the $15/$30 game being weak and dying early? Not so much. Missing Radio Mike already!

6:41 PM: Felted $500. Magoo and Airness limp and I limp along with A9cc77, SB makes it $15 and at least four of us see 984hh flop. Turn is Ad and SB leads $65; Magoo and Airness call and I pot it for ~$275, which is basically all in for me. I already know small blind is raising too many hands pre and the other two yahoos could have anything. Small blind calls and so does Magoo. Okay, no heart please. River offsuit 4. We all check. Magoo tables KQT all hearts… with a 4 dangler. Because that’s what Mister Magoo does – puts his chips in terribad and then stacks the pot in front of him.

7:11 PM: Magoo and His Airness have around $1k each now, so I reloaded for that much.

Players in this game complaining about how bad the $20/$40 LHE game is at Fortune – and that everybody knows everybody there. Whatever that means. What poker room doesn’t have regulars that know the other regulars? I’ve played enough at Fortune to know that the game can be pretty lame at times, but it’s not that bad. Certainly beatable. Then again, I guess I could see how “fun” players would be turned off. But what do you expect? The higher the stakes get, the more serious everyone is. Still, Fortune has plenty of “fun” players and the games can get really good there.

7:54 PM: First, a poker hand: someone opens and there are two callers, I call with Q765 double suited, a hand I should probably be folding. Flop is 664cc and His Airness leads out $70 and I’m the only caller. We are both over $1k deep at this point and he’s super bluffy so I don’t love raising here. Turn is 9c and he checks it over to me. I bet $130 and he snap calls. River is a queen, which basically gives me the nuts. I bet $200 and he snaps again and I have to wonder if I should have sized up.

Second, a baseball story: Radio Mike checks in from Cheney Stadium and asks if I can check the radio broadcast and make sure it’s playing online. I agree, as long as he works a “Dark Knight” into his play-by-play in the next inning.

They come back from commercial and he opens with a reference to last night’s massive rain delay: “A lot can change in one day: yesterday, lots of rain, dark night…” Gotta love it.

Also, he just mentioned that Shohei Ohtani hit his third homerun of the season tonight and said that Ohtani was “sandbagging” everyone in spring training. Spoken like a true poker player!

8:15 PM: Big connection alert!

There’s a raise to $20 and all the important people are in. I call with A4hh55. Flop is a beautiful Q63hh, giving us the nut flush draw and an open-ender. Everyone checks to me and I bet $80 into $120 and I’m quite surprised to get three callers. No worries: 8 of hearts on the turn and His Airness leads right out for $200. God bless him. Player in between folds and he only has $400 behind, so I make it $500, he calls and then check-calls the rest when the board pairs on the river and I’m still good.

Just like that, my -$500 start is now $1000 sugar and the right people are still in the game with decent stacks.

Forgot to mention that His Airness snap-reloaded for $1k.

9:28 PM: Nothing notable to report, other than His Airness busted and left. He is replaced by Hit&Run, whom has already felted his initial buy in, which means we are in no danger of him booking a quick win at the moment. I don’t think I’ve seen the turn since my last update.

10:38 PM: Discontinuing the blog for the night. I’ll post a wrap up on this one when I’m done but I just don’t think PLO cash makes for a very good live blog. It’s been almost 2.5 hours since my last notable hand. I doubt I’m playing super late, but there are still three names on the list for this game.

11:15 PM: A new hand!

Here’s a hand that illustrates how clueless I am when it comes to proper preflop play a) when the stacks are deep, b) a good player is in, and c) my hand will be face up, d) max bet/raise is $300 each time.

The good Muck reg opens under the gun and I’m next to act with AA72 double suited. Here’s how many times I’ve 3-bet today: 0. So I think flatting is my best play. This is a pretty good AA hand, but not super premium. I can make two nut flushes, but my cards are otherwise unconnected. I might as well just call, disguise my hand, and let the yahoos in behind me and spring to life when I flop well.

I flat. Next player makes it $50 and folds back to UTG and he makes it $165. At this point it’s worth noting that the preflop betting is capped – I cannot raise. I call the $165 and so does the other player. There is now $500 in the pot and max bet size is $300.

766 rainbow

The good Muck player leads $300 and we are still like $2k deep and there’s a player to act behind me, so I call. The other guy folds. This is a pretty good spot. His hand looks like a big pair, with good connectors – maybe even AA – and my range looks much larger and can have middle rundowns like 8765 double suited. I am not too worried about being beat here and I expect him to check-fold turn a lot and that’s exactly what happens.

Solid result but I can hardly say if I played it good or not.

Wrap Up:

Forgot to post this when I finished. I basically only played one more interesting pot the rest of the night and, much like every other big pot I played, it is questionable whether or not I should even be in the hand.

I limp in with KQJT all clubs. I think if this hand was a badugi, I would still play it, so the fact that it’s all one suit is pretty much the same thing, but slightly better because even though I have four clubs there is still some flush potential. But should I call a $35 raise in a 7-way pot with it? I’m less convinced that’s a good idea, but it does seem like it will be relatively easy to play after the flop. So with $245 in the pot we see a flop of K96 with two clubs. Well, I don’t see a way out of this one. The question is, how fast should I be playing this hand? Well, I have top pair, a gut shot wrap, and the second nut flush draw. One of the bright sides about having four clubs is that if someone does have the nut flush draw and decides to gamble, I’m blocking it pretty hard and I’m in great shape against someone that wants to do something stupid with two pair and I suspect I’m in okay shape against a set. I’ll check some of these matchups out in a bit. Anyways, it checks to me and I decide that playing my hand like it’s the best is the my optimal line and lead out for $200. The preflop raiser calls and a splashy, fun player makes it $500 to go with a little over $200 behind. Mister Magoo goes deep into the tank and I’m quite deep with him and he runs so pure I’m not sure I want him to get in there. He reluctantly folds and it folds back to me. I don’t necessarily want the PFR to hang around and I’m obviously willing to play for the splashy player’s stack, so I reraise to $800, the PFR folds and we decide to run it one time.
Turn card is a jack, giving me the nut straight, and the river is a ten, which drastically reduces my hand strength (any Qx hand ties me and AQ beats me now). Fortunately, I am up against a naked set of sixes and scoop this monster pot.

Just ran some simulations on this spot and it’s quite interesting. I can’t really imagine any way I can ever fold this after the flop, but heads up against the set, assuming he has no clubs in his hand, I’m the slightest of favorites. In fact, it’s so slight, it’s basically just a coin flip. Mister Magoo claimed to have the nut flush draw and if he had decided to tag along (which is typical of him – even facing $500 cold) then my winning chances drop all the way down to 26% (though still better than Magoo’s chances). Getting it in heads up here is clearly profitable, so I’m okay with my line, but it’s definitely nice to be on the right side of the end result.

All in all, I didn’t think I played amazing and most of the big pots I won were with hands I think I could have justified folding preflop. This session was a good example of why I drastically prefer limit hold’em to big bet games. In general, poker can be a boring game, with a slow pace, and playing solid winning poker requires that you fold tons and tons of hands and spend most of your time sitting out while everyone else gambles. In the big bet games – especially PLO – this is even more amplified. I go through some dry spells in LHE, for sure, but it seemed like I went two hours between every interesting hand I played last night and I think I even played looser than is recommended for my current talent level. I did watch the good player from Muckleshoot play a lot of hands. No one would dare classify me as a tight player (if they actually pay attention) in limit hold’em games and almost all the extra hands I play are entirely to exploit situations and increase my profits. I’m sure this is what the Muck player is doing in PLO, but I don’t think I’m good enough to play loose against multiple opponents with super wide ranges, especially since almost every pot is raised before the flop. But he seems to do it quite well and frequently ends up with some huge results. One day!

Final Result: +$2270

Pretty amazing result considering how card dead I felt. Wouldn’t have guess I’d end the first week of April up $5k after punting $1600 on the 1st, but that’s why you don’t sweat the bad days! It’s just one day.

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A Reprieve & PLO Pressure (Live Blog)

January 31, 2018

Anyone following my blog knows that my second trip to California for the LAPC did not go well. In fact, it was the worst poker trip I’ve ever had – from a money lost standpoint. Maybe I’ve had worse trips. Back in 2009 – in the middle of a relapse – I basically punted my entire bankroll to Cherish Andrews in a no limit hold’em cash game at the Fall Round Up in Pendleton, Oregon. For some reason, she was incapable of folding top pair against a drunk dude putting max pressure on her. Stubborn! She has gone on to be a known quantity in the poker world – she has over $570K in lifetime scores, including two big WSOP final table cashes ($210k, $142k) – and I went on to call my parents to tell them that I was drinking again, I was officially broke, and I was in another state and needed gas money to get home. That was one of my many rock bottoms, so maybe it was a worse trip, but I did lose less money than I did last week.

When I got home from Los Angeles on Sunday, I was down $4700 for the month, with three days to go and in serious jeopardy of having my worst month ever (last August I lost a little over $4200). As someone that makes their living playing poker and understands the big picture and the various swings that can happen in the short term, I’m not really sweating losing sessions, weeks, or even months. These things happen – it’s part of the gig. But it’s obviously preferential to win, regardless of whatever your arbitrary stopping point is.

When I arrived home Sunday, my wife wanted to go play live poker, so I decided to stay home and check out what Global Poker had going that night for their Grizzly Games series. I played all three pot limit Omaha events scheduled and took 2nd of 174 in the $11 rebuy for +$638.20. Global gives out trophies, hats and shirts to winners of their series events, so I was pretty disappointed to not take it down, especially since I had five times as many chips as anyone else at the final table. But one player knocked the whole final table out and pulled even with me and then basically won every critical pot heads up. Oh well. I was pretty happy to have some tournament success after my terrible week and getting a little less stuck for the month.

The next day I returned to my home court at Palace and booked a decent +$386 win in the $15/$30 game, but the game broke super early (at 3:15 PM) and I had to play $8/$16 the rest of the day. I guess that’s a good thing because now that I was playing in the smallest limit I play regularly, my run good switch was officially activated and I had a very good session, to the tune of +$1339.

I did whiff on all three limit hold’em events in the Grizzly Games on Global Monday night, which was extremely disappointing because I was looking forward to those events so much I had them written down on my personal calendar. I have to say it was pretty difficult to 3-table on an iPad while playing live poker, but I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, the wifi at the casino went down when I was short in one of the tournaments and by the time I got a connection back, I was out! I had to resort to playing on my iPhone 5 using my Verizon connection for my last event and it was pretty brutal. I couldn’t figure out how to size the table properly and I accidentally folded KK preflop in a hand I would have quadrupled on against JJ, KQ, and some other random hand. I picked up KK again a few hands later and ended up busting after losing to a full house on a queen high board against a hand I never even saw because my opponent’s hand was off the screen. So yeah, a pretty shitty experience of something I was really looking forward to. My own fault for trying to multi-table while playing live poker.

Regardless, it was a good Monday and I could actually see potential for a complete redemption. I’m playing some small stakes PLO on Global Poker right now as I get ready for my day, but I am now down about $2300 for the month with one live PLO session at Palace to go. And winning $2300+ in that game is a real possibility. I’ve played 19 sessions of PLO at Palace with an average win of +$592 and two sessions where I have won more than $2300. Pressure’s on!

I’m heading to yoga in a few hours and then I’ll be live blogging my PLO session at 6 PM. Check back then!

6:06 PM: Just got to Palace and this game is struggling to get off the ground. I won about $110 in my online PLO session so my magic number tonight is +$2300.

Anyone that thinks yoga is not much of a workout take this into consideration: I left my house with a blood sugar over 200 and by the time yoga was over, I was below 80 with a down arrow – or on the verge of passing out, even after drinking a full Gatorade. So yeah, pretty intense stuff, especially after taking a couple weeks off.

Starting lineup for PLO: The Riddler, His Royal Airness, Megaton (reconsidering that nickname), Action Bronson (still MIA), and a PLO-only regular. Blackjack is standing on the sideline watching the game and my guess is he’s gonna fire some bullets at it some time tonight.

I’m sitting down with $500 ($1000 max buy) while I see who sits with what and feel the game out. I’ve already picked off a river bluff from His Airness and then called a river check-raise in a stupid spot against the PLO reg.

6:26 PM: I have $1500 in big chips in my pocket but no one sat with more than $500 so they remain there for now.

I just “sucked out” in a decent-sized limp pot from the SB with AJ83dd vs A874 on A93d4dJ.

6:30 PM: The Riddler has felted already and Blackjack sat down just like I thought he would.

6:38 PM: Thanks to the overlay from The Riddler, I have now topped off to nearly $1K to cover the players he donated his stack to.

6:57 PM: The Riddler has felted again and he’s all but defeated. Action Bronson is trying to be encouraging: “If [Megaton] and I can play in this game, you can play in this game too.” I can’t help but chime in: “Yeah man. If [Action Bronson] can hold on to his chips for 20 minutes you should be able to also.”

7:04 PM: The Riddler doubled up and got max action on the river in a spot where he should never be getting called. He is back over $1K.

7:08 PM: It’s so tempting to want to play every hand in this game because half the table has no fold button. It is painful to watch from the sidelines as people pay off massive river bets with hands that are bluff-catchers at best.

7:42 PM: Unfortunate spot: Pot is pretty decent-sized already and I called $50 with QdJdKc3c on KQ9dTd and Blackjack check-raises to $150, which is over half his remaining stack, and His Airness makes it $300. I have top two with an open-ended straight flush draw. My current straight is clearly no good, but I think all my redraws are. I reluctantly call and the river pairs the board… with a ten. Blackjack is all in and His Airness makes a wimpy $50 bet that I just can’t fold to against him… just in case, by some miracle, I am getting half of the side pot. Raising here is a consideration but I’m almost certainly losing the main pot and Hia Airness isn’t exactly a candidate to fold AJ here. I call and they split the pot with AJ. Ugh. Blackjack did have AJ with the nut flush draw so maybe this is closer to a fold than I think.

8:23 PM: Megaton booked a solid win and immediately bounced. As I mentioned earlier I don’t love my name for him and I’m not sure why it took so long for this to click, but he’s the hit and run king… so he will be Hit-Run from now on.

An $8/$16 reg is trying PLO out for the first time. And the poker room manager, aka The Man, is also in the game now, in full suit and tie.

8:57 PM: Clashing with His Royal Airness like I’m aiming to do. I put in $10 from the small blind in a 7-way pot with Kh3hTd3d, which is an absolutely terrible hand. I should be folding here but I’m seeing a flop for some reason. It comes down 642 two hearts and one diamond. Since I have the second nut flush draw and two nut straight blockers I lead out for $40 and only His Airness calls. The turn is Qd and I decide to check-call. I don’t expect to shake him and I have two flush draws and neither of them are to the nuts. I’m going to try and make a hand and go from there. So I call $75 or whatever he bet. River is beautiful: ace of hearts. I have the nuts! His Airness is reckless so I go for a check-raise here. He bets $175 and doesn’t take long to call my max raise to $475 with QJhh.

9:22 PM: I just folded the second nuts in a really weird spot. I’ll come back to that hand later tonight.

9:33 PM: His Airness is felted. Action Bronson cashed out. The $8/$16 player felted a bunch and then won a monster pot when I was gone and now has around $1800 in front of him. I can’t call what his next move will be: booking the win now that he has sugar in a game he’s never played or play out the current adrenaline rush he’s feeling right now.

10:19 PM: I defend a raise with KT88 with spades and the flop is AQ2 with two spades, giving me the nut flush draw and a gut shot. I check-call a 60% pot bet and three of us see the turn. It’s the 5c and the overcaller bombs it for $290. I’m planning to fold if Blackjack folds, but he calls and I now have twelve outs but three of them are dirty (Qs, 5s, Jc), and I think it’s pretty close here. With implied odds, against two players new to PLO, I lean call, but against experienced players I would probably fold here. I call and brick and they both had 43 but one of them rivers a club flush.

11:16 PM: Just punted $400+ with AQ95 spades and diamonds on J86sd4s2 against a player brand new to PLO that probably wouldn’t even consider folding two pair here. Probably should have just saved the $250 on the river bluff though.

11:28 PM: Just 3-bet The Man to $40 with AQQ6 double suited and he immediately makes it $120. I call and the flop is K54 and we both check. Turn pairs the king and we both check again. River is a jack and he bets $100, less than half the pot and I think if he has me beat here, he’s earned a call with this super passive line. I call and he has the hand he repped pre with AAxx.

11:44 PM: A fun $8/$16 player with no PLO experience opens to $15, I call with KK53 one suit, another player calls. Flop is KT4 and it checks to me. I bet $25 and only the fun player calls. Turn pairs the 4, I bet $60 and he check-raises me to $200. Yum yum. I flat because if he is bluffing then I want him to fire the river when he misses or when he gets there and if he’s not bluffing, I’m going to get $600 on the river anyway. If he has 44, bless his soul. River is a blank. He bets $300, I make it $600 and he calls with TT.

He lost another pot after that and left and we are now 5-handed. I’m playing with the PLO reg, The Riddler, The Man, and a fun, new player. The reg is racked up and looks like he’s ready to go, but it’s unlikely this game will break if the fun player wants to play 4-handed. Also, The Riddler still has chips in front of him. He’s no longer losing at the impressive $1500/hour clip he started the session out with, but it’s been a steady $50/hour drip since his double up.

12:03 AM: The Man just filleted the fun player and he left for $8/$16 and the reg said he doesn’t want to play with the remaining three of us. And I made sure he saw that The Riddler still has chips and he still wanted to quit for some reason.

Game over.

Didn’t meet my goal. I’m starting off 2018 with a loss. Final update when I get home.

Thursday, 1:50 P.M.: So I ended up doing something unexpected last night. The PLO game ended around midnight, but I wanted to eat before I left, so I ordered pho and then found myself sitting in a $4/$8 game. I was just going to eat and go home, but the Happy Hour High Hand from 12:00 AM to 2:00 AM was $600 and two black queens and then Captain America, The Riddler, and Blackjack all gravitated to my table and I felt compelled to play a mini-session and found myself leaving a little after 3 AM. I ended up making $51 for my troubles but when I woke up after noon today, I have to wonder what the heck I was thinking.

I finished my PLO session at +$645 which was okay, but far below my goal and thus I have started out 2018 in the red with my first losing January since at least 2010. But a -$1700 tally is far better than the -$4700 I was at a few days ago, so… bright side?

Back to the hand I mentioned earlier but didn’t type out – where I folded a king high flush in a tough spot. Here’s what happened:

Someone opens for $10, there’s a call, another player makes it $35, there’s another call, and I call with KK double suited (I can’t remember my side cards anymore). At least five of us see the flop for $35. The flop is QJx with two clubs and it checks around. The turn is the 8 of clubs, which gives me the third nut flush (T9 of clubs is a straight flush). It checks to His Airness and he makes a rather puny bet of $50. I call next to act. I expect to have His Airness beat and drawing dead most of the time, but raising doesn’t make a ton of sense. I’m willing to take my chances and let some players overcall with worse hands. One player does call and then the preflop 3-bettor – after checking both the flop and the turn – now bombs it for like $300. His Airness quickly folds and action is on me. Calling two max bets (he has at least another $300 behind) with the third nuts in PLO is generally not a good idea, but I’m sitting there asking myself if this guy would really 3-bet preflop and then check the flop in a 5-way pot with a good draw to the nuts and then check it again on the turn after making his hand when no one showed any interest on the previous street. That’s a really hard sell. But then I have to ask myself if this player is capable of bluffing in this spot. Meaning, if he has the naked ace of clubs, is he capable of bombing the pot here knowing how reckless the player that bet the turn is? I don’t think so. His Airness is not folding many flushes here and I think this player has to realize that. I sized him up and he looked uncomfortable. But he looked like he wanted to look that way. I folded and I felt good about it, but I was curious. I decided to ask that player when he was leaving about that hand to see what he would say and he said he had it. I believed his story.

I decided to go to the University of Washington vs Arizona State basketball game tonight and I’m excited but kind of sad about it because Palace has some sick promotions going on the next three days. Starting today at noon, they are giving away $1500 an hour in high hands until midnight (and doing it again Friday and Saturday) and added $10,000 to their highest Royal Flush which was already over $10,000. Not a great day to have other plans, but I will be putting in the marathon sessions on Friday and Saturday!

h1

PLO Wednesday!

October 27, 2017

Wednesdays are Pot Limit Omaha day at Palace in Lakewood, but the game doesn’t start until 6 PM and I had to be up early the next day, so I tried to be at the casino by 4 PM so I could leave around midnight and still get about eight hours of play in.

This meant I was going to do some game-hopping. I was like 4th or 5th up for $8/$16 limit Hold Em but $6/$12 limit O8 had a seat open, so I started with some split pot four card poker.  The game was unreal – one of the best O8 games I’ve ever seen.  There was only one other player folding before the flop and she limped with 9883 in a kill pot, so who knows what kind of hands she’s not playing.  That’s a lot of dead money in every pot.  I did win about $70 but I ran far below average in the few hours I was playing, considering how much overlay there was in every hand. 

There were a number of pots I got unlucky on – specifically my premium suited A2 hands were coming up with no pieces – but this was probably my favorite hand of the session: everybody is in for one bet, I call 9932 single suited on the button.  The flop comes A85 rainbow and it checks to me and I bet my nut low.  One of the blinds calls, a limper raises and both of us call.  The turn pairs the Ace, the middle player bets, I call, and now the other guy check-raises.  We both call.  The river is another Ace and it is a bet and call to me.  I actually say out loud: “can you ever have 88 here?” before calling and to my pleasant surprise the bettor has 55xx with no low and the other guy has the nut low, so the fives full are counterfeit and I win the high with Aces full of nines and split the low.  The player with the 55 verbally expresses his pain and misfortune and all I can think is “wtf are you doing on the river, buddy?”

$1/$3 PLO starts at 6 PM and the lineup is amazing, but I get off to a terrible start by making a loose flop call that ends up costing me around $400 when the turn greatly improves me to an expensive second best hand.  It’s one of those spots I look back at and realize I’m still not very good at this game.  “Small” mistakes can lead to huge losses in big bet games.  

Very next hand, after reloading, I 3-bet an AA hand to $50, bet $120 into $150 on the 963 rainbow flop in a three way pot and then stack off when the blind check-pots it.  I dunno… maybe this is a fold?  At best, I’m against a random two pair hand, but I’m more likely against a set or something like 9876.  I might have to look at this spot closer because when I bet the $120, I thought I was committing myself and maybe that’s not exactly true.  Anyways, I’ve been playing less than 30 minutes and I’m already down $800and that’s a bad spot to be in a game where lots of players love to hit and run and the game tends to not have very long legs; a four hour spread is not uncommon.

Next interesting spot I try to isolate a fun player with KK52 with hearts and both blinds call, as does the limper.  The flop is an amazing AK9hh, giving me middle set and the nut flush draw and I bet $40 into $80 when they check and only the limper calls.  The turn is a black ten – one of the few cards I hate – and he checks but doesn’t seem strong, so I confidently bet $85 and he calls again.  The river is a black 8, which doesn’t really change anything, and I bet $125 and he folds.

I call a min-raise from the big blind with K5ssJJ and bet $20 into $50 when I flop the nut flush on AT4.  A middle position player calls and so does the small blind and then we all check when the Ace pairs on the turn, an absolutely terrible card for me.  The river is a 9, the SB checks and I check for pot control and to throw the action player some rope because he bluffs a lot.  He bets $75 and the SB calls and now I’m perplexed.  The river bettor can easily be bluffing, but can the SB ever be check-calling a full house?  It seems unlikely, and I doubt he’s folding flush to this particularly gut, so I don’t see how I can fold the nut flush in this spot.  I call and they both show full houses.  The river bettor has A9 after flopping a Jack high flush and the small blind has 99 after flopping a nine high flush. Pretty sick run out and super unfortunate because the player with A9 is the type that will pay off for the max with a Jack high flush.

I then got AA97 all in preflop for about $500 effective and was pretty fortunate when his AAxx hand flopped a flush draw and bricked out for a chop. I later stacked this same player when I had T766 in the big blind and got him all in on a Q96 flop vs his 987x hand.

My last key PLO pot was perhaps a missed opportunity. I limped behind with AK73 doubled suited on the button and one of the blinds made it $15 to go. Four of us saw a flop of KK4 with two clubs and they all checked to me. I bet $20 and only the preflop raiser called. The turn was a ten, I bet $60 and he called again. I thought he had naked Aces or maybe a hand like QQJx, so when the river came an Ace, I can’t say I was overly excited about it. Granted, I’m blocking AA, but just because you’re blocking a hand doesn’t mean they can never have it. Still, it would be ludicrous to check my hand behind, so I bet $100 and I wasn’t exactly thrilled when he check-raised me to $300. I then did what no respectable player should ever do: hemmed and hawed about my misfortune before calling with the second nuts and winning the pot (he had JTT9). My antics are deplorable here, but really, no reasonable player would check-raise the river with his hand so while my fear of losing to AA here might be valid in a normal game, this one is full of all sorts of wonderful surprises.

I won solid pots on the last two hands I described and chipped away at my early deficit and managed to book a small profit of $101 when the game broke at 10 PM.

I was considering calling it a night since I was planning to leave around midnight and I loathe playing short sessions. Plus, I had a doctor’s appointment early in the morning, but my wife was still wanting to play and the $8/$16 game looked pretty good with some unfamiliar faces. “Allow me to reintroduce myself – my name is…”.

The game had some empty chairs and one of the first pots I played, I opened with K9 of clubs and barreled all the way when I flopped a flush draw and rivered a club. I didn’t show my hand, but I couldn’t help but notice one of the players (not in the hand) staring daggers at me the whole time. I don’t consider myself cocky, but I’ve been doing extremely well at limit Hold Em for many years so I carry myself with a lot of confidence at the table. I think this sometimes puts a target on my back and I’m perfectly okay with that. When people try to go out of their way to beat me or show me up, it’s usually pretty advantageous to my bottom line. Anyway, I could sense I was about to enter into an ego battle with this guy. I’d like to think I don’t play with ego, but I am aware of when other people are and I try to adjust accordingly.

The first hand I play against this guy, I open from the hi jack with 98 of spades and only the two blinds call, including him. The flop is 772 with one spade and they both check-call my continuation bet, which is not surprising as this board doesn’t induce many folds – people will literally call with any two cards. Because of this dynamic, I will typically double barrel my bluffs on the turn even when I miss completely – and I don’t have a lot of bricks. Any J, T, 9, 8, 6, 5 or spade give me a pair or a draw, and cards like Aces, Kings, or Queens are good bluffing cards. Needless to say, I’m betting a lot of turns when I’m not sensing any strength from my opponents. A Queen hits the turn, I bet, and I’m now heads up with my man. The river is an Ace and he quite mindlessly leads out. I already know the guy is going to try to outplay me and he looks blatantly weak, so I feel this is an easy bluff-raise spot, something that basically never comes up on the river in limit Hold Em. I raise, he folds, and I can’t resist the urge to show him the 9 high. Sometimes you gotta give them what they want.

One of the downsides to showing a hand like that is that it raises the stakes of the ego battle a little. Rather than looking for a spot or two to show me up, this dude is now 100% gunning for me and has moved two seats to my left. We definitely prefer to have him on our right under these circumstances.

In this hand, an early position player raises, another cold calls, and I have 88 on the button. I can definitely three bet here, but I feel like the under the gun player is tighter with his aggression and decide to just flat. The small blind calls, as does our new buddy in the big blind. The flop comes down T63 rainbow and everybody checks to me. This is an obvious bet. The SB calls, our friend check-raises and both players in between cold call. Well, I wasn’t expecting that. I call and the five of us see the Jack of hearts on the turn, putting two hearts on board. Everybody checks to me again. At this point, I don’t really know what’s going on. Someone could definitely have a T or a J, so I check back. The river is the Ten of hearts, completing the backdoor flush and I get checked to again. This is a super thin spot, but when you really think about it, it seems apparent that I have the best hand. The problem is, can I get called by worse? I certainly think so. I doubt anyone would check trip tens on the river even though the backdoor flush came in and it seems pretty obvious that the two early position players have nothing, so I’m targeting the blinds with a value bet here. I’m almost certain the big blind has a weak pair here and that he will pay it off, so I bet. He does call and so does the preflop raiser, but I confidently table my hand and win the pot.

I’m not done with this guy quite yet. It folds to me on the button and I raise with 98o and he three bets from the small blind. I call and he checks to me on the 854 with two diamonds flop. He checks and is holding his chips across the betting line waiting to call like he is never folding. I bet, he calls. Turn is the 3 of diamonds and he does the same thing. I bet, he calls. River is the 9 of diamonds, putting four diamonds on board and giving me top two pair. He does the same thing he’s done on the flop and turn and waits for me to act, but I have no diamond so I check behind. And then he bets. I look at the dealer like WTF and I can see that he wasn’t watching the river action and now the big blind is yelling at me for saying he checked when he didn’t do anything. Yeah, okay buddy. I’m new here, I have no idea what’s going on. The floor gets called over and since I’m not sharing my side of the story I know it’s going to be ruled a bet because the dealer wasn’t paying attention, so I just put the call out there expecting to pick off a bluff the majority of the time anyway and that’s exactly what it is and I win the pot. Then I have to listen to his yammering about saying he checked when he didn’t do anything, even though after my initial objection I haven’t said anything about it.

I play one more hand with this dude before he physically threatens me. I have the QT of spades and call his raise from the big blind in a multiway pot. The flop basically bricks me completely except for the Jack of spades and I get trapped for a cap on the flop on the off chances that I can hit a backdoor Royal Flush for $35,000. Yes, that’s a real number. The Spade Royal Flush is over $35,000 right now at the Palace in Lakewood. I’m not going to be the dude that folded a $35k Royal because I didn’t want to make loose calls on the flop with only backdoor potential. Anyways, as I’m getting owned for the four bets on the flop, I tell the player capping it on my right “this could be ugly” – an advance quasi-apology in case I end up winning this pot with a hand I would almost always fold.

I missed the turn and did not continue, but after the hand, the dude I’ve been battling with says something to his friend in their language and then says things like “I don’t like that shit” and “that’s why I moved over here” in English. I can’t help but feel like he’s talking about me and because of my comment to the other player during the last hand, I kind of feel like he’s insinuating that we are cheating in some way and attacks against my integrity are about the only thing I won’t put up with while playing poker.

So I say, “wait, why’d you move over here?”

He responds aggressively with “am I talking to you?”

“No. I just wanna know why you moved over here.”

This goes on for a little bit and he doesn’t share what he said to his friend, but continues to talk loudly to me and say things like “I’m the wrong one to mess with.” I dunno. I’m never looking to fight anyone, but if someone is accusing me of cheating we are going to have a conversation about it because I pride myself in playing a very fair poker game.

The floor comes over due to the commotion and now the guy is telling me I’ve been playing “straight up” and acting like he wasn’t talking about it.  Eh.  Whatever.

He ends up leaving soon after and that’s too bad because he probably would have enjoyed watching me get massacred from that point on.

First, my AQ loses to TT on a AJ5TJ run out where the TT player has to put three bets in on the flop before spiking his set.

Then I get four bets in on the turn with J8 vs 87 on 8328 against a guy that has no clue what his hand value is and he gets bailed out by a 3 on the river for a split pot.

Finally, a hand so unbelievable it will seem like I have to be making it up – but I have witnesses!

We are playing 5-handed now so I have little respect for a cut off open and I three bet with KT offsuit.  Both blinds come along and the cutoff also calls.  The flop is QTT and I bet when it checks to me, the SB calls, the cutoff raises, I three bet and both players call.  The turn is a 6 of spades, putting two spades on board, and the cutoff donk again.  I raise, the SB calls two bets cold and the cutoff now folds.  Lol.  The river is the 7s, completing the backdoor flush and the small blind leads out.  I kind of thought he had a ten and the only missing ten was the spade so it seemed pretty likely his trips backdoored a flush and I just called.

He shows the 93 of spades.

To recap: he called three bets cold from the small blind before the flop; he pays three bets on the QTT one spade flop to see the turn; and he calls two bets cold on the turn when he finally has a prayer.

God bless him.  Poker is far from dead.

I ended the $8/$16 session down $85 and called it a night with a meager win of slightly less than +$100.