Posts Tagged ‘Poker Tournaments’

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2018 Results

January 7, 2019

Volume Goals

play 1800 live hours

1800 is 150 live hours a month. Technically, I should be striving to play 160 hours a month, but considering how much time I spent playing online poker and studying poker, 1800 live hours is plenty. I met this goal by playing just shy of 1818 live hours of poker last year.

play less than 33% of live cash game hours at $8/$16 or lower

The gist of this goal is to put my days of playing lower stakes limit hold’em behind me. I spent way too much time at the $4/$8 level and I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake. Fortunately, $15/$30 was going regularly during the first half of 2018 and PLO has become a twice a week game. The $15/$30 sort of fizzled for a bit late in the summer, but seems to be making a comeback. I spent less than 25% of my live cash games hours at $8/$16 and lower. To be exact, 20% of my hours were in $8/$16 and 3.9% were in $6/$12 and lower. That means almost 75% of my cash game volume was at $15/$30 or higher (and I consider the PLO games to be in this category). That’s a good place to be.

play 500 hours of PLO (online and live)

Altogether I played 620 hours of PLO in 2018, with 377 hours in online cash games, 180 in live cash games, and just over 60 hours in tournaments. In addition, I played 17.5 hours of Big O and 121 hours of limit Omaha 8 or Better.

play one mixed game session a month

I wanted to play in more mixed games last year and I suppose I did, so I guess I achieved my goal, but I find myself a bit unsatisfied. I played 270 hours of poker in games that were non-Hold’em and non-Omaha. However, I only played 36 hours in home mixed games and that’s really where I wanted to increase my volume. In fact, I haven’t played in a home game since May of 2018 when I’d ideally like to do so at least once a month. I also played 55 mixed game hours in casinos, plus another 114 hours in tournaments. Lastly, in December I was introduced to an online training site that specializes in mixed games and logged an additional 64 hours of mixed game training in the last month alone. All in all, I put in substantially more hours here than my goal, but I’d like to play in more home games.

take more shots

I am notably nitty with my bankroll and my goal here was to step outside of my comfort zone a little bit more in 2018. I can’t really say I did that too much. I played just over 48 hours in $30/$60 or higher, but only 8 of those hours were at the $40/$80 level. $30/$60 is still in my wheelhouse, so really it’s just the 8 hours where I was legitimately shot-taking and my one Hold’em session was cut very short on account of all the pain from losing so much money so fast. I did play first tournament buy-in of more than $1500 though and it was the $10k Main Event!

play at least one online tournament a week

My goal was 52 online tournaments and I wound up playing 234 of them.

play a bigger WSOP schedule

Previously, the most events I played in a series was five tournaments in the 2017 WSOP. This past year I played in 10 WSOP events, plus 2 daily deep stacks at the Rio and another 10 non-WSOP events for 22 tournaments total during the summer.

play 100 hours of NLHE cash (online and live)

I played 61 hours in NL cash games with 41 of them coming online and only 20 live. Maybe some day I’ll round out my rather diverse repertoire by including the most popular form of poker in the world, but no limit Hold’em is still the last game I’m looking to play when I walk into a casino.

Win Rate Goals

1.25 big bets per hour at $15/$30 limit Hold’em

I remember when I started writing my 2018 Poker Goals, I thought I might be reaching to hit 1.25 BB/HR because I started the year off so poorly at this limit. Well, I sure turned that around, finishing at an absurd 1.96 BB/HR in the game I put by far the most volume in. It’s probably worth noting that I play with an Overs button basically 100% of the time they are in action, so a decent amount of these hours were played with multiple opponents playing $25/$50 with me and a handful of times the whole table had buttons.

1 BB/HR at $20/$40 (and higher) LHE

My struggles in bigger games were pretty well documented last year, but my volume was also way down. The presence of a regular $15/$30 game locally meant that I rarely made the trip to Renton in 2018 and I wound up playing a mere 93 hours of $20/$40 LHE and only 61 of them were at Fortune. Altogether I played only 127 hours at $20/$40, $30/$60 and $40/$80. Compare that to 2017 when I played almost 200 hours just at Fortune. I finished at -1.1 BB/HR at $20/$40 and up (for limit Hold’em) and I didn’t book my first win at Fortune until early September. Gross.

1.25 BB/HR at $8/$16 (and lower) LHE

I thought this number could see a lot of variance due to low volume, but I actually finished pretty close to my goal at 1.05 BB/HR.

$50/HR at $1/$3/$5 PLO

This was basically a goal just for the PLO game at Palace because of the weird blind structure with a $3 big blind but it’s $5 to see the flop. My goal for the year was to run half as good as I did in 2017 ($100/HR) because I thought my previous results were probably unsustainable. Well, I finished 2018 at $86/HR in the same game, so who knows… maybe it isn’t unreasonable to be winning this much.

10 bb/HR in live PLO

My goal was to make 10 big blinds per hour in live PLO games outside of Palace but I ended up playing only 4 hours in such games and lost a grand total of $1!

1 bb/HR in online $0.25/$0.50 6-max PLO

I got crushed in this exact game in 2017 (to the tune of -26 big blinds per hour!) so I really just wanted to finish 2018 in the green. I did! I put in the second most hours at this PLO limit and finished at 3 bb/HR. I still don’t think that’s particularly good but compared to 2017, it’s a massive step forward.

5 bb/HR in online PLO

I barely met this goal, finishing at 5.37 bb/HR for all my online PLO volume. While I met my goal at the $50 6-max level, I put most of my volume in at the $100 6-max and finished at -7.7 bb/HR there. I put in my third most hours at $50 full ring and that’s where my overall number got a boost by posting a rate of 36 bb/HR.

10 bb/HR in any no limit Hold’em cash game

I finished at a measly 1.5 bb/HR here over a low amount of volume. I did post a 5.6 bb/HR rate online in the bulk of my hours, so that’s something.

50% ROI in live tournaments

2018 felt like a borderline disaster in tournament poker, mostly because I cashed just 3 of 22 tournaments over a long, brutal summer and went 0 for 10 in WSOP events, including a $10,000 brick in the Main. Plus, my three cashes were all small, with my biggest cash being just slightly bigger than my average buy in for the entire summer. Ugh. It was just all pain. I did, however, finally have a breakthrough year in the Muckleshoot Classic series, finishing 1st for $20k in a $300 no limit Hold’em tournament, cashing five times total, and winning Player of the Series in the spring for an additional $6k. I also finished 1st in my first ever Big O tournament for $4900 at Chinook Winds in Oregon. Those three scores basically saved my year and I managed to avoid my first losing year of tournament poker ever by posting an 11% ROI in 2018.

30% ROI in online tournaments

I finished 2018 with a 70% ROI in online tournaments. Some other notable stats: I cashed in 49 of 234 total tournaments (20%) with 9 1st place finishes and 5 runner-ups – that means I finished 1st or 2nd almost 29% of the time I cashed. That’s pretty sick. My biggest score was a 1st of 166 in a
$100 Rattlesnake Open event on Global Poker for $3600. That win got me a cool write up in PokerNews.

Mixed Games

I didn’t make a win rate goal for mixed games, but I played enough hours in them that it’s worth noting: I finished at 0.47 BB/HR overall but 1.17 BB/HR in live games.

Life Goals

-reach a new bankroll peak
-clear credit card debt
-pay off final student loan
-visit a new MLB stadium
-play poker in a new part of the U.S.
-meditate every day
-do yoga twice a week
-run/jog more
-lift twice a week
-drink more water, drink less soda
-eat better and smarter, less fast food
-bring my average blood sugar below 150
-bring my A1C below 7
-less distractions
-no toxic chatting/arguing/debating
-keep blogging about poker
-read Jared Tendler’s books
-study mix games
-watch at least two vlogs a week
-read about mindfulness/meditation

I’m not going to go through these one by one. I think I did get healthier in 2018, but not as much as I would like. I went to the gym more than in years past, but not consistently and while I was doing yoga and meditation pretty consistently in the first half of the year, I was done with both by the end of summer. I played poker in Oklahoma and Mississippi for the first time. We went to MLB games at Minute Maid Park in Houston and Globe Life Park in Arlington, both in Texas. My studying was pretty good in 2018, but I could be more consistent and organized. I never picked Tendler’s mental game books back up and I clearly need to. I also did not reach a new bankroll peak despite having another very good year of playing poker. Lots of room for improvement in just about everything here. I did keep up a consistent blog though. Yay!

Top 5 Sessions of 2018
1. +$6754 in 16 hours of $15/$30 at Palace
2. +$3690 in 6.5 hours of PLO at Palace
3. +$3429 in 4 hours of $30/$60 7 Card Stud at Bellagio
4. +$2820 in 8 hours of $15/$30 at Palace
5. +$2795 in 10.5 hours of $15/$30 at Palace

Worst 5 Sessions of 2018
1. -$2253 in 2 hours of $40/$80 at Commerce
2. -$2226 in 6.25 hours of $20/$40 at Fortune
3. -$2135 in 5 hours of $20/$40 at Fortune
4. -$1976 in 9.5 hours of $20/$40 Omaha 8/B at Muckleshoot
5. -$1714 in 11.5 hours of $10/$20 (with button straddles) at Palace

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First Blog of 2019: PLO @ Palace

January 2, 2019

Amazingly, we still don’t have internet in our new home. I could go on a rant about my recent experience with Dish but I’m guessing a decent amount of people have had terrible experiences with the various cable companies (Dish isn’t my first run in – 🖕🏻Comcast!).

Allegedly, we are scheduled for installation (activation?) tomorrow, but since this is our third scheduled install, I’m not exactly holding my breath. It’s also the last chance for Dish to remain our cable company. I’m hoping they come through because even though it repulses me to keep giving them our business at this point, I really don’t want to have to shop around and go even longer without internet when I already own a Dish modem/router.

Needless to say, I’ve been without a connection in my home for almost two weeks now. That makes things… difficult. I can’t type these blogs on a keyboard – I have to do it on a phone (as I am right now) and that’s why I’ve gone off the grid during this transition. I just don’t feel like typing these long preambles on my phone.

It’s also annoying because all my spreadsheets are connected via the net between all my various devices and Excel functions much friendlier on a PC than a mobile device. So I feel like I’m behind on all my accounting and just disorganized electronically altogether.

Plus, after putting in more cash game volume in the first three weeks of December on Global Poker than I had in any other month in 2018, I have played a grand total of one hour since my internet disappeared on the 21st.

While we do have unlimited data with Verizon, we don’t seem to get a great signal in our house – it is usually one bar and peaks at two bars. Not good.

But I’m powering through today, even though I don’t particularly like live blogging PLO cash games. As I’ve said many times before, it’s a lot of sitting on the sidelines and watching – more so than in limit hold’em.

So… my last post was on the 21st of December, huh? Eek.

I have played four live sessions since then and it has been a rather miserable experience.

After finishing -$1323 in my last post and taking four straight days off for Christmas celebrations, I was back on the grind last Wednesday for a -$1303 showing in 6.5 hours of PLO.

It’s pretty rare that I can walk away from a session and confidently say that I was playing my C-game but this was one such occasion. I already felt like I was off beforehand, but when I mistakenly 3-bet with A4J9 (single suited to the jack) thinking I had AAJ9 (single suited to an ace) and found myself calling down (for $800 total) on AT8(rainbow)2A, I knew something was wrong. I recognized my mistake before the flop came and it was frustrating to see The Crypt Keeper lead into five opponents on that flop (when I’m supposed to have aces!) and then feel like I need to call down because we wound up heads up after the flop action. I think my postflop play might be defensible (TCK had AT here but he’s capable of having all the various straight draws also), but I also know I lost $850 on a hand I would have folded preflop if I knew what I fucking had.

A while later, I opened on the button with a marginal hand and realized I was actually calling an under the gun raise. I mean… what am I doing with my life? I didn’t stay much longer than that. The game was good, but my game was not.

Emergency ejection.

I took Thursday off and was eager to be back in action Friday for some $15/$30 limit hold’em.

  • I got smacked. I wasn’t super active but I lost what felt like every pot I played, missing whenever I was drawing while they never seemed to miss no matter how thin they were drawing. I was overwhelmed with accumulated tilt and quit at 8:30 PM on a Friday after 4.5 hours of play.
  • Yikes.
  • I finished at -$1334, the first time I’ve ever posted three straight losses of $1000+ in my entire poker history (and mind you, this was actually three straight of -$1300+).

    I have started working on my 2018 results post and I’m thinking about my 2019 goals and it’s pretty clear that while my mental game is substantially stronger than the average player (especially in this area), there is still so much room for growth and learning. It will be an area of focus for the new year because while I think quitting when I recognize I’m not playing well for whatever reason (i.e. my PLO quit above) is a good thing, quitting because I’m upset about variance is simply unacceptable. While it’s better to leave than sit and steam, possibly hemorrhaging chips, I should have a better grasp on the concept of variance and it should have little affect on my mood – it’s just part of the game.

    Saturday seemed like another good time to take a breather but The Man informed me that he wants to spread $15/$30 on both Fridays and Saturdays at 4 PM and if that’s his desire I sort of have to the first in line to make sure it happens.

    I clocked in for some Saturday $15/$30 and was happy to see the game start and stay solid until I left. I booked a feel good win of +$585 after 9 hours of play.

    Sunday was another day off and I wasn’t sure what Monday was going to be. Being New Year’s Eve, I wasn’t positive the Santa Claus Game was going to go and it didn’t come close to starting… for the second straight week… granted, both days were holidays of sorts (Christmas Eve the week before), but I have a feeling the coup de grace has arrived. If it doesn’t go next Monday we can officially proclaim it deceased.

    With no $10/$20 straddle, I ended up playing $8/$16 and I was very non-committal about it. I really wanted to ditch the game and go watch Aquaman but the theater where I’m an A-List member was sold out and while I was tempted to actually pay to go to theater next door, I resisted the urge and stayed put.

    But I did leave when my wife got off work and booked a +$35 in 6 hours in my last session of 2018.

    So here we are in 2019. I’m anxious to share my 2018 results and post my goals for the new year, but it’s not going to happen until I can sit at a computer and do some typing. Hopefully that issue will be resolved tomorrow. If not, it’s probably going to be another week or so.

    There are currently 17 players signed up for the PLO game start at 6 PM. I will be back with a starting lineup around that time and hopefully lots of interesting hands to post after that.

    Happy 2019 ya’ll. Let’s get it.

    Starting Lineup: Guy I know from Kitsap, Part-Time, PLO reg, LHE reg, Charlie Hustle, Hit&Run, 8/16 reg, and Lee Markholt

    I think there were 20 names on the list when I got here and that has been whittled down to a full game and 4 players waiting. One of the no shows was Big Baby. 😞

    I give this starting lineup a C+.

    6:23 PM: Some funny hands:

    One hand after I pot Lee on the K84 rainbow flop with KQJ8 single suited in a raised pot (he folded), he raises from the small blind and says, “let’s try this again.”

    Flop 873 with two diamonds and Lee check-calls a pot-sized bet from Part-Time and then does so again on a black ten turn. River is another straight card and Lee check-calls $300. Part-Time tables KQT9 for the nuts and Lee says “you have no idea how lucky you got,” while tabling Ad8d8, and then mutters quietly, “you fucking…”

    And I start laughing out loud because it’s funny to hear someone so accomplished cursing at a Palace regular. But then I feel bad because no one else heard him curse and it seems like I’m just laughing at him losing a big pot.

    I call $15 on button with J987 single suited and bet $60 on a 942ss flop when everyone checks to me. I have top pair and a weak flush draw here, which seems good enough to stab with. Part-Time and Charlie Hustle both call.

    I’m already basically done with the hand… unless I make top two on the turn… which I do. They both check-call a $270 pot-sized bet. Yikes. I have spades, but I don’t want to see one.

    River is the king of spades. Part-Time checks, Charlie Hustle bets $300 and I snap-fold my flush. Part-Time goes into the tank, but really he’s just waiting for me because he didn’t realize I folded so fast. When prompted he quickly folds also.

    Charlie Hustle turns over one card – the ace of spades – and says, “you like that, Lee?”

    Lee responds, “you gotta show more than one card if you want people to think you’re bluffing.”

    I gave it zero thought because he’s literally never calling $270 on the turn hoping he can represent a flush if a spade hits on the river… in a 3-way pot.

    Some people might have that kind of creativity and gumption… but Charlie Hustle is not one of them.

    6:59 PM: Charlie Hustle just called a big river bet and stood up and cheered after he won the pot.

    Oh how the fibers of my being loathe him.

    He is the worst.

    7:33 PM: Charlie Hustle is up $1500 already so obviously he’s out of here. Weird how that works out. His wife is always hurrying him out of here when he wins big early. I’m not a big fan of the hit and run artists, but people are welcome to do whatever they want with their money… but don’t insult our intelligence with your bullshit. Just get up and leave. We don’t need to hear an excuse every time.

    Seriously. Fuck that guy.

    He is replaced by some dude I don’t think I’ve ever seen before… sitting down with $200.

    9:01 PM: Random blind on blind violence from the blinds between me and Lee. We both see the flop for $5 and I have an ugly JJ84 triple suited (three clubs) but get the KJ6 rainbow flop. Lee leads out for $25 and I make it $80 to go. He calls pretty quickly.

    Turn is the 5 of hearts and he check-calls $210, which surprises me.

    River is a queen and it looks like he’s going to bet it but ultimately checks. It’s tempting to go for value but really I’m targeting 66 only – that’s pretty narrow. He’s not going to call me with two pair (on the turn even – unless he picked up a flush draw). If he didn’t have a set he probably has a big straight draw and that might have come in. I don’t think he would check river with straights very often but I also don’t think he’s calling often enough to go for max value, so I check back and he does have 66 (with a jack blocker! And the nut heart draw!)

    10:51 PM: Card dead here and this game is fizzling early tonight. We are currently 7-handed, with Part-Time absolutely crushing the game and Twinkie has joined us.

    Speaking of Twinkie, it’s time for a name change. I hate it. I always have. Someone suggested Scarecrow to me and I loved it… but I somehow ended up going with… Twinkie? Huh.

    No. Sorry buddy. You are The Scarecrow. Embrace your Bat-villainy. Not many people get to be part of my actual Rogue’s Gallery. It’s okay. We are still friends.

    Since I’ve sat back down at the table Scarecrow has put multiple hundreds of dollars into basically every pot I’ve witnessed so far. He’s certainly worthy of a better name than Twinkie.

    11:19 PM: Someone said I haven’t been updating much but this is what most of my hands have looked like: raise to $20 with AKJ9 single suited to the ace, get four callers, check-fold 877 flop. That’s basically been the gist of it.

    But here’s one: I open AKQJ single suited and get two callers. Flop is KQQ and since I’ve checked the flop after raising like ten hands in a row, I go ahead and stay consistent with the new norm and check this one as well. It checks through in a 3-handed pot.

    Turn is a blank and the big blind leads out for near-pot. I call, other player folds.

    Seems like the jig could be up here but he still leads for $150 on a blank river. I make it $400 and he folds.

    That’s it.

    12:28 AM: Same opponent and this time I have QJJ5 double suited and he leads $30 on J77. I make it $125. He calls.

    Turn is a 6 and he check-folds to a $200 bet from me. I thought playing this hand fast might confuse him into a payoff – if he has a 7 – but alas, $125 is all the action I could muster.

    1:29 AM: Ugh. What timing. I open AJ97 double suited and get 3-bet to $50.

    Four of us see an A86 rainbow flop and I lead out for $110. The PFR calls and so does another player.

    Turn is a jack and I bet the $300 max and now the PFR raises another $300. Gross. The third player stacks off for less than $300 total and I call and then call for another $200 when I make three pair on the river. He has AA.

    And I was planning to leave soon anyway, so I player another orbit or so and cashed out for a final tally of +$16.

    Wonderful. Nothing like losing all your profit at the buzzer.

    Now I go home and pray for internet tomorrow.

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    Pot Limit Omaha & Big Announcement (Live Blog)

    December 12, 2018

    First off, let me catch you up. It’s been a week since my last blog, which is one of the longest droughts here since I started posting regular poker content. My bad. I didn’t much feel like blogging my last night in L.A. and I played truncated sessions on Saturday and Monday, the latter because the 10/20 Santa Claus Game did not go (for the second straight week – yikes!).

    Thursday was my last night in L.A. and I played a 15/30 Mix at The Bike. The game was a mix of 5-Card Omaha (high only), 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, Badeucy, Badacey, and Archie. I got over 9.5 hours of experience and finished at +$1015, a decent enough score to transform my trip from a moderate disaster into a more neutral affair.

    That wrapped up my time in California for the year and it was pretty disappointing. I went 0 for 8 in tournaments in the Golden State for a total loss of $3000 and cash games weren’t much better as I finished -$1447 over 60 hours. Most of that damage was thanks to a -$2253 performance in just under two hours of 40/80. Whoops. That’s an overall loss of $4447 in Cali over 100+ hours total. I’m hoping to play a huge slate in the LAPC next month (I’ll post my schedule wish list sometime soon) and looking forward to getting off to a hot start on the road next year.

    Since I was landing back in Seattle around 1 PM on Friday, I urged The Man to push the restart of the 15/30 game on Fridays at 4 PM up a week and it got back off the ground easily and was still going strong with a list when I left just after midnight. The Palace red chip games are the best for blogging and Friday night would have made for good material, but I was jet lagged and coming off a poor night of sleep on top of that and playing poker at all was questionable enough without trying to add writing to the mix. The entire table was playing 25/50 Overs for a good portion of the night so I started with $3000 in front of me and was having a very good session until cooling off towards the end of the night. I finished at +$703 after 8+ hours. There are already seven names on the list for this upcoming Friday. If you want to play a red chip LHE game in Lakewood, call and put your name up!

    Saturday I went to Muckleshoot to play in the 20/40 limit Omaha 8 game and it got off to a brutal 5-handed start and stayed that way for nearly two hours. The game wasn’t good and I had made the decision to migrate elsewhere (i.e. Fortune), apologized to the other four players, racked up my chips, passed on my next big blind, and then a new player finally sat down. And a few minutes later, so did another one. I unracked and continued to play and eventually the game filled up. However, my wife was with and she was clearly not into playing 4/8 at Muck and contacted a friend of hers to go hang out for a bit. I decided to call it a night when she came back because I wasn’t super into my session and I could tell she didn’t really want to play anymore either. I finished at -$547 after just over 5 hours of play.

    Sunday was just an errand and relaxing day with my wife.

    Monday I was planning to put in a Marathon Monday session and blog it, but the game didn’t even come close to starting. Radio Mike was in Vegas, Joker has a day job or some dumb shit, and Chief Wiggum was MIA for whatever reason. It can be hard to get a game off the ground when multiple key pieces are missing and the general day time crowd at Palace isn’t itching to jump up in stakes or start short-handed. This game would probably work better with a 4 PM start, but it’s probably more likely to just die a swift death. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s no longer a thing by January.

    Yesterday was my day off, so I went to see Creed II and my list of movies I’ve seen and haven’t reviewed has grown quite large. I will probably post my ratings in the next week or so.

    BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

    I have arranged with The Bike to get on their streaming poker show Live At The Bike on Wednesday, January 23rd. I will know more as the date gets closer, but they locked up three seats for me, so Radio Mike and Joker will be on the show with me. That’s the max the host would guarantee me, but Frankenstein will also be travelling with me and possibly Tormund and FanBoy as well. I think the game is going to be 20/40 limit hold’em.

    Here are a bunch of links to LatB stuff so you can start following the show now and have things figured out by the time I appear on it:

    Live at The Bike live stream
    Live at The Bike on YouTube
    Live at The Bike on Twitch
    Live at The Bike Twitter

    Should be fun!

    PLO starts at 6 PM tonight and there are a staggering 17 names on the list already. I’m very happy to see that because the game had been fizzling out a bit before I left for Cali.

    Check back for live updates at 6!

    5:21 PM: Driving to Palace now. List has 19 players on it. Very curious to see what it looks like when the dust settles after 6.

    Starting Lineup: 8/16 reg, random red chip non-reg, Big Baby, nitty reg, Charlie Hustle, Part-Time, plo reg, The Crypt Keeper

    Seems pretty good. Nice to see Crypt Keeper back. He’s not particularly good for the game, but when the player pool is small and flimsy, you need your regulars in seats. Also, for whatever reason, there are 2-3 players that were coming every session but stopped showing when TCK was in Vietnam. Two of them are playing right now. The two non-regulars probably won’t be in the game long, but there are already two huge spots in the game and they both have $700+.

    Let’s go get it.

    6:21 PM: After the dust settles we have a full game and four remaining players on the list, so 19 was really 13, which is actually pretty damn good.

    I made the nuts on the turn with no redraws against Big Baby and decided to flat and raise rivers, but the river brought a 4-card straight and he check-folded. Boo.

    6:32 PM: I limp early with AKJ9 rainbow, Big Baby makes it $20, big blind calls, and so do I.

    Flop is K73 and it checks around.

    Turn is a 4 and I bet $30 into $60 and only Big Baby calls.

    River is an offsuit ace. I bet $100 and I go from thinking he’s going to fold to thinking he’s going to call to getting raised to $400. I think about it for less than 0 seconds and call. He tables AQQ6 and I win the pot.

    6:46 PM: Weird, my big announcement I posted earlier disappeared. Not sure how/when/why that happened, but it’s back now. Scroll up. It’s in big, bold letters if you missed it.

    6:51 PM: Nit limps, I make it $20 with AAQ7 double suited to the aces and Big Baby plus the limper call.

    Flop is J76 rainbow with one of both of my suits and I’m planning to check back but Big Baby leads for $40 and I call.

    Turn is the queen of diamonds, giving me two pair and putting two diamonds on board (which I don’t have). He bets $145 and I call again.

    River is an offsuit 8 and I call $200 this time. I’m never folding queens up here against a dude that has no clue about proper hand strengths. Unfortunately he has the JJ85 here and evens the score.

    7:36 PM: Charlie Hustle with a classic Charlie Hustle moment: after calling in a raised pot preflop, everyone folds to the PFR on A74 rainbow and the PFR claims he had AA. Charlie Hustle says he had the last ace. No one acknowledges him, so he says it again. By the time he says a variation of the same thing a third time, I have the counter going. SIX! Six times he feels the need to mention he had the last ace after check-folding the flop.

    Good job, buddy.

    8:14 PM: I lost a big pot to Crypt Keeper when I flopped a set and he turned the nut flush, but I rebounded by making the nut straight in back-to-back hands against Charlie Hustle, although he eventually folded in both hands.

    But what I really wanted to say is that no one has left this game yet. Yeah, I know… it has only been 2.33 hours, but still… I think that might be a Palace PLO record.

    The list is now six deep with the one and only Joker second up.

    8:43 PM: Oh no, looks like Charlie Hustle might have to stick around tonight!

    Multiple limpers in front of me and I look down at AA42 with no suits. I’ve reached a point where I’m basically always raising with my AA hands, but I think this is a good spot to just call. I can make it $30 here but no one is going to fold and I’m going to be in a bloated pot with a hand that plays poorly multi-way. Plus limping here gives my limping range some balance on ace high boards as my opponents won’t be able to rule out top set in the future if I can show this hand down.

    There is no raise pre and seven of us see the A83 two diamond flop. Charlie Hustle bets $15 when it checks to him and I makes it $60. That clears the rest of the field and he calls. This is a sexy spot. I have the ace of diamonds in my hand, so not only can I rep the nut flush on future streets, but it also drastically decreases the chances that Charlie Hustle is NOT on a draw. That means I have him smashed and he’s going to pay off.

    Turn is a 2 that puts two spades on board and he check-calls $130.

    The river is the 9 of spades and he checks to me. The backdoor flush got there but I think he has to lead flushes here, so I feel pretty good betting for value with my set but I size down at $150 to a) not punt a max bet when he has a flush some of the time and b) increase the chance that I get paid off by his sets. Because that’s what he has here. I don’t think he’s showing up with two pair very often.

    He snap calls and my hand is good vs 88xx.

    Meanwhile, The Crypt Keeper is so buried on my immediate left in seat 9 that he’s not even bothering trying to protect his cards when he looks at his hand. Actually, that doesn’t do it justice: he’s literally lifting his cards so that I (and probably seat 7 also) can see all four of them easily if we were so inclined – it’s not a matter of not protecting them, he is basically broadcasting them to us.

    I’m not looking. Not my style. But sometimes it’s hard not to accidentally catch a glimpse.

    9:17 PM: I can’t remember how we got here but…

    That’s my hand, there is like $2.5k in the middle (my hand is blocking $800+ in front of me) and the board is Jc5sKcQd.

    Turn action: Big Baby bet $35, Charlie Hustle called, I pot to $175, button goes all in for $235, Big Baby makes it $535 (!), Charlie stacks off, and I cap it at $835. Big Baby calls.

    I have the nuts with the nut redraw and there are heaps of chips in the middle. I’m surprised at the turn action – not that Big Baby is punting $800+ with the same hand and (probably) no redraw – but that the other two players put their whole stacks in. I obviously do not want to see the board pair.

    River is… a ten. Eww. Now any hand with an ace and a Broadway card has a straight but at least I still have the nuts.

    Charlie Hustle had KK and the button had QQ so I’m splitting this monster with Big Baby who did, indeed, have the naked AT.

    That hand finally knocked the first two players out of the game and for some reason Joker passed on his seat.

    I guess this is that reason:

    10:05 PM: Eww. Slimer is in the game now and there is no list.

    Also, Big Baby is dusted… because this just happened:

    He opens to $15, there’s a call, I call QQ33 single suited and there are four or five of us to the flop.

    Board is QT5 with two clubs. He pots, I pot, he pots and is all in. We run it once and my hand holds up against a naked AA.

    One seat open. Game condition just went from very good to mediocre. Mr. Plow also in now.

    10:41 PM: The Man is in the game! He limps this hand, I make it $20 with KKT8 single suited, The Crypt Keeper makes it $35, it folds back to The Man and he makes it $50. That’s a cap, folks. We both call.

    Oh, there’s a fourth player in also. I know that because I led out for $120 into $200 on the K32 two club flop. Crypt Keeper is my only customer.

    Turn is the jack of diamonds, so now there are heaps of draws to dodge. I bet the pot and he calls.

    River pairs the deuce. Praise the Gods. He obviously has some sort of draw here so I don’t think he’s ever calling. My only hope to get more money in the pot is to check and hope he bluffs at it. That’s probably unlikely – my hand seems pretty face up – but it’s worth a shot. He checks back and I win the pot.

    11:23 PM: Slimer is gone already but the game is full again and there are four names on the list! I have a dentist appointment at 10 AM in Kitsap County and my alarm is set for 7:45 AM, so I’m not sure how late I will be staying tonight. I think I can push it until 1 AM without wrecking my entire day tomorrow.

    12:10 AM: Alright, I’m tired so I’m playing my last orbit. I will post if anything exciting happens.

    12:18 AM: Nothing to report.

    Final Score: +$1060

    h1

    WSOPc $400 HORSE @ The Bike – LET’S GET A RANG (Stack Updates)

    December 5, 2018

    2:41 PM: Ubering to The Bike right now with an ETA of 3:02 PM, so I’ll be just in time for a slightly late start.

    Yesterday that $400 Monster Stack had a brutal $70 admin fee. 17.5% taken out is always lovely. It is the same today.

    Looks like we will be starting with 15k in chips and blinds at an odd 50/75 for the flop games and 25 ante for the Stud games. Betting limits will be 75/150 in the first level and levels are 30 minutes long.

    This is supposed to be a two day event and we are playing up to 20 levels today, but the structure sheet only has 14 listed levels so maybe it is really a single day tournament. 20 levels would take us to about 2 AM tonight. Not really sure what to expect as far as that goes. If we reach a final table at 11 PM, I would definitely not want to come back the next day to play it.

    Of course I have to get there first.

    There is unlimited re-entry through the first 12 levels and, unlike yesterday, I will be firing multiple bullets if I’m unlucky enough to bust early in a limit structure.

    I will post stack updates here, for sure, and maybe the occasional notable hand, but I want to focus more on my table than on writing, so don’t expect many hands, but check back for progress updates!

    3:09 PM: Everyone standing in line with me to register is at my starting table, including two ladies that have 50% of each other (as heard as they were standing in line). One of them is Carol Fuchs, an accomplished mixed games player with over $520k in lifetime tournament cashes. I’ve played HORSE with Carol before.

    I actually recognize a lot of the players in this field. Other notables: Miami John Cernuto, Allen Kessler, Frankie O’Dell, and Wendy Freedman – all with over a million in tourney cashes. Plus Wayne ‘Kevin’ LaMonica, a total maniac that took 2nd in the $1500 HORSE when I finished 5th at the 2017 WSOP. Also, one of the players from the 30/60 mix just sat down in the field.

    My starting table seems reg heavy, but so does the whole field really.

    3:47 PM: I mention that I’m not supposed to recognize half the field when I come from out of state and Carol asks me where I’m from and I say, “Washington.”

    She says, “you don’t say…” and I realize I have been trolled because…

    UW vs #1 Gonzaga in Spokane at 8 PM (Pacific) tonight on ESPN. My boys are 15.5 point DAWGS so not a lot of hope here but still… a very exciting game for my alma mater tonight.

    5:00 PM: Just above starting stack after four levels and coming back to betting limits of 250/500.

    I won a good multi-way Stud pot and scooped a heads up pot, blind vs blind, in O8 with AQ83 on Q72J8.

    That’s pretty much the extent of my excitement so far.

    7:10 PM: 26.5k after 8 levels coming back to betting limits of 600/1200.

    Most notable hand last four levels: Stud Hi, guy on my right completes with a 6 up and I raise with A4-4 with two clubs and all my cards live. This clears the rest of the field.

    He is pretty early so I think he is more likely to have a big pair in the hole than split sixes and the fact I have an ace is a big factor here.

    So when he pairs his 6 on 4th and puts a 1000 chip in the pot, I put a 500 chip in to call. Technically he can bet 1000 here because he has an open pair on 4th but he didn’t say anything and I’m guessing a single over-sized chip defers to the normal limit. The dealer gives him change and he starts to protest but quickly realizes he has no argument and we got to 5th street…

    …where I catch a 4 and make trips. He still bets and while I do think I’m leading here a lot against two pair, I decide that I’m going to call down unimproved and save a couple bets when he actually does have trips.

    I do brick out and he fires 5th, 6th, and on 7th he bets without even looking at his card. Eek. I never improve but I call and I’m good against KK66x.

    9:21 PM: It looked like I was going to fizzle right out of this thing but the last two levels were a heat stroke for me.

    57k after 12 levels. Registration will be closed after this break. We are coming back to betting limits of 1500/3000.

    11 PM: 76k after 15 levels coming back to 3000/6000 betting limits.

    Board says there are 30 players left. I think it said 12 cash with $9600 up top for 1st. Average stack is 48.5k.

    Frankie O’dell is at my table now. It’s my first time I’ve ever played with him.

    Here are some highlights:

    “I’m on the Mount Rushmore of that shit.” – in reference to Omaha 8 or better.

    “People don’t go five bets with me, bro.” – after he gets in a cut off vs big blind raising war holding AA33 and busts a short stack that had QQ32.

    Hopefully there is more to come.

    12:05 AM: There is no better feeling than the swift death. I came back from break and played the first three hands of Omaha. And lost all of them. Just like that I went from 76k to 43.5k and was suddenly below average for the first time in many levels. Maybe ever.

    Then I defended in Stud 8 with 54-2 and caught an ace on 4th but my board ran out 254 while he was showing xx-6K6K on 6th.

    That hand left me crippled and with three small bets left, I got it in with 75-A in Stud 8, got three callers, caught a jack on 4th and got isolated by a guy with 75-63 and he immediately drilled the 4 on 5th.

    That busted me in 22nd, ten spots off the money.

    It’s the best. Playing all day and busting just shy of the money. I love it.

    That’s it for me tonight and since I can’t play a day 2 in the Omaha 8 tournament, I will not be winning a WSOPc ring this trip.

    Most likely I will be playing cash all day tomorrow then flying back on Friday in time for the (hopefully) resurrection of the 15/30 game at Palace at 4 PM.

    h1

    WSOPc @ The Bike – $400 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

    December 4, 2018

    My apologies. I’ve been a bit blog-lite this past week. I played a very truncated PLO session on Wednesday and then I ended up taking Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday completely off, as I’ve been busy starting the process of buying a new house and spending time with my wife before traveling to Los Angeles yesterday.

    I did play nine hours at Fortune on Friday and I initially kept some notes thinking I might blog some hands later but I wound up having a pretty epic stretch of being card dead before losing with all my playable hands for most of the night. I was down between $800 and $1200 basically the whole session before heating up right as I was planning to leave. I somehow salvaged a +$42 day. I’ll take it.

    That brings my win rate in the Fortune 20/40 game up to a respectable -$93/hour in 2018. To be fair though, my total 2018 volume in that game amounts to about 1.25 weeks of play – and I’ve had plenty of terrible weeks in my time, so it’s nothing to be discouraged about.

    I arrived in L.A. around 3 PM and a friend from high school picked me up from LAX and we headed to The Bike to watch Monday Night Football and catch up with each other, so I didn’t get in a poker game until around 8:45 PM, which is a super late start for me.

    I was debating what limit I wanted to play because I typically play down when I know I’m going to be playing a shorter session than usual and I wasn’t about to play until 5 AM. But I swallowed the “it’s all one long session” pill and sat in the 20/40 game.

    Again, I was insanely card dead. I raised some hands on the button and 3-bet from the small blind against a button open a couple of times, but nearly 3.5 hours deep into my session I realized I had played about five hands total outside of those wider range spots.

    My image was mega-nit. And yet, I couldn’t get a big blind defend to fold 84o on K74QK when I had AJ. Granted, I saved the third barrel on the river, but I didn’t think a board-pairing card was going to get a fold from any pairs he had and I beat all his missed draws anyway… but so went my session.

    My only notable pot was capped 4-ways preflop with AKss and getting called down by two players on K94ccJc6. That was the highlight of my night.

    I finished at -$369 after just over four hours of play.

    But I ran into Sandman who was playing in the short-handed 40/80 game and after my feeder game died and I quit, we sat around and bullshitted for an absurd 2+ hours.

    So today is the last flight of the $400 no limit hold’em event in the World Series of Poker Circuit series going on at The Bike this week. I honestly have no clue what any of the structure looks like. I’m just going to show up at 4 PM and go for it.

    I will post stack updates here and some key pots. The HORSE tournament I’m playing tomorrow also doesn’t start until 4 PM, so if I don’t go super deep in the Monster Stack I will definitely be hopping in some cash games tonight.

    4:12 PM: Fought through traffic and am a bit late. Particulars in a few. Comedian Norm MacDonald is in the field. I know this because the cage was gossiping about it as I was registering.

    4:23 PM: 30k starting stacks with blinds starting at 25/50 and 30 minute levels. I haven’t looked at the actual blind structure, but I imagine it’s at least reasonably stair-stepped.

    First hand at this table is 3-bet preflop and then 3-bet on a flop of J93hh with bets going in on turn and river on a final board of J93hh63h and the hands are KJo and QJo. 🤯

    So very next hand I open 88 and get three callers. I bet 60% on 773cc flop and the guy with KJ the previous hand makes it 900. Yeah, I’m sure. After the display last hand I’m not inclined to do much folding here, so I call and end up calling down on a 773ccK2 runout and he showed me the KTo. Good job, dude.

    He’s on my direct left so this could be annoying. But in my very small sample so far, he appears to be more likely to be a punter than an adept LAG crusher. TBD.

    4:43 PM: Well, this is cool. Really fucking cool. Dude on my right makes it 250 at 50/100, I call with 77, possible punter calls, and so does big blind.

    Flop is 753 rainbow and when it checks to me it seems bad not to bet but I just know the guy on my left is betting, so I check. He bets 800, the big calls, and now the PFR makes it 2200 with about 13k to start with on the flop. I make it 5600, the other two fold, and he jams. I snap.

    He turns over 65 of spades. Turn 4. River 8.

    I also lost with JJ to the speeder when he had AK, so I now have 11,025 left of my 30k starting stack.

    No justice.

    I still have 100+ bigs, so lots of play left, plus I’m willing to fire two bullets in this thing… at least… but wtf. I’ve been playing 30 minutes and I’ve already fumbled a massive punt attempt. So annoying.

    4:56 PM: Raise to 300 and call in front of me. I call with QJ suited and five of us see the Q74 two tone flop. It checks to me and I bet 1000, the possible punter makes it 2500 on the button and it folds back to me. I stuff it in his face and he says, “here’s your double up” and calls with Q9 of clubs which somehow doesn’t beat me.

    Back up to 22.7k.

    I don’t think I want to bust at this table. It seems pretty good.

    5:53 PM: Middle position player limps, I make it 850 at 100/200 with QQ, punter calls, folds to MP and he jams for 17k!

    So this guy is on his second bullet and came to the table saying he lost set under set. I’ve already seen him get picked off once and complain that no one folds at our table. Then a short while later, one player limped in and he just jams 17k on the button.

    So… this jam is super fishy. I debate whether it’s better to fold and not play such a high variance spot when I have so many spewers at my table, but I can’t justify it. I call.

    He tables 99.

    Board runs out 87294.

    Awesome.

    I’m down to like 5500 after that.

    Two hands later, there’s a limp, a raise to 700 and I have AJo. Honestly, jamming 25+ bigs here is a little spew, but I’m not looking to grind out this short stack when I can just rebuy if I bust, so I stuff it in there and the punter behind me, with zero chips invested in this pot, calls it cold. Everyone else folds.

    I say, “well, you can’t call me with worse” as I table my hand.

    He responds, “No, you have me crushed” and tables KJ of clubs.

    QQ7KQ.

    Good fucking game.

    Whew.

    I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty steamed up right now. I have four hours to re-enter and I can sit down with 150 bigs for the next 45+ minutes, but I’m not really sure I want to.

    It’s a damn shame I can’t automatically sit at the same table. That shit was a gold mine.

    I’m going to walk around for about 20 minutes and see if I still want to murder someone.

    6:30 PM: Well, I was wavering on re-entering or not and the deciding factor was this Monster Stack tournament is going to stretch into Thursday if you go super deep.

    As most of you that follow my blog know, I’m not one to target no limit hold’em events. The main reason I came here this week was to play the HORSE and O8 tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Even though the prize pool for the Monster Stack is going to be substantially larger, I’d rather spend my time playing a mixed event. Plus, I have a way better chance of winning a ring in HORSE.

    So I’m going to play cash tonight.

    I’m currently debating whether I want to play 20/40 at The Bike or check out the 25/50 at Hustler or possibly the 20/40 mixed game at Hollywood Park if that game is running.

    7:42 PM: Sandman and I took an Uber to Hollywood Park Casino. I’m taking a seat in 30/60 Mix with a rotation of Archie, Badeucy, Badugi, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razzdeucy, and Badacey.

    This is probably not going to be a good game to live blog, so I may not be doing any updates for the rest of the night. I shall see. I’m sitting down with $2500.

    8:01 PM: Good start. 3-bet 7542x with a tri (three to a Badugi) in Baduecy and wind up with a pair and no Badugi after three draws. 👍🏻

    8:37 PM: Oh my goodness. The dealer abuse going on in this game is absurd. These guys obviously have very little experience dealing these very non-standard games and they are getting lit up with every mistake. It’s pretty frustrating.

    It’s pretty cool all you pricks know how to play these games, but uh, it might take a few tries for a dealer that’s never dealt a game to figure it out – especially when it goes beyond “deal four cards face down.”

    But… I’m in Inglewood… so I’m just going to sit here quietly. 🤐

    9:30 PM: Sandman sits in the game and one of the players says, “there’s two of you now,” which I think is a statement that we are doppelgängers?

    I’m running pretty below average so far. I’m starting good, holding like 80% of a near nut hand and bricking out in the 5 card games.

    I just had 652Ax with a tri in Badacey and got three callers pre-draw and all three opponents drew three cards each. So I obviously got zero pieces of that one.

    10:24 PM: Here’s a bet I would have lost: Sandman is younger than me. Not just younger than me, but substantially younger than me. Like 7 years. I thought he was my age. Maybe older. The guy doesn’t look a day older than 43 (I’m 36).

    10:59 PM: Sandman and I are in Southern California. He’s wearing an LA Dodgers hat and I’m wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers hat. We are both from Seattle. No one else has Dodgers gear on.

    Go figure.

    Someone brought up the fact we have the same hat on and this somehow led to me blurting out, “I hate the Dodgers,” while wearing their hat… in Inglewood, California.

    Probably not my best idea. I might as well waltz into Fenway with a Boston jersey on and say, “Fuck the Red Sox!”

    I mean… it’s not that bad, but still… not smart.

    11:27 PM: Here’s an Archie hand and let me preface this by saying I have almost zero clue what proper strategy is in this game. You are dealt five cards and there are three draws. You need 6s or better to qualify for high and an 8 or better or qualify for low. It’s a split pot game and you want to scoop.

    One player limps and Sandman raises. I have QQ44x on the button. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do here. It’s a decent high hand but it has little scooping potential.

    I decide to call though.

    They both draw two and I draw one. That seems promising. So I call when Sandman bets and so does the other guy.

    Sandman bets again and I call even though I bricked. So does the other player.

    I make queens full on the second draw and on this street they both check-call me and draw two again.

    It checks to me again after the last draw and I obviously bet. The original limper calls and Sandman folds. I table my hand and it’s a scooper but he looks flustered and turns over… AAA?

    Wait… what? Did he limp in with three aces? Was he drawing to something else and end up making three aces? He drew two on every street, but he never showed any aggression. I’m not going to pretend like I have a good grasp on this game yet, but all of that seems weird to me.

    That was my largest pot of the night so far and I have no clue if it was standard or a punt attempt I got lucky on.

    🤷🏻‍♂️

    11:51 PM: Praise Jesus. 2-7 Triple Draw, I open with 7542x, the button 3-bets, small blind calls, and I cap.

    SB takes two, I take one, and button takes two.

    I pair the 7, but I fire again and we draw 2, 1 and 1.

    I pair the 7 again. Ugh. I still bet and this time I decide to stand pat after the SB draws one. This is called a snow, or in laymen’s terms, a bluff. I’ve seen three 7s already which drastically reduces the strong hands they can make. So I’m standing pat and bluffing, hoping they brick out.

    The button ends up drawing one also and somehow I get two folds when I bet. Phew!

    Sometimes when you can’t ever make your draws at the nuts you just have to pretend like you already have it.

    I don’t know if that’s the greatest snowing spot, trying to fade two one card draws, but it worked!

    2:35 PM: I’m basically done writing for the night but this hand is worth mentioning.

    We are playing Badugi. Sandman opens in front of me, I 3-bet with A73x, and the guy on my left calls 3-bets cold. Sandman caps it.

    Sandman stands pat, I take one, and the guy on my left draws three. THREE!

    That’s all I really wanted to say, but I guess the rest of the hand is pretty interesting.

    Sandman bets after the draw, I call unimproved and so does the third player.

    Pat. One. THREE!

    Sandman leads again, I call unimproved, and the other guy raises! Sandman calls. Eh. Not sure what to do here, but I decide to give it up. I should probably call. When Sandman just calls I’m probably drawing live against him and the other dude has obviously proven to be clueless and spewy in this game.

    They both stand pat and action goes check check on the last round. The guy on my left made a rough ten and Sandman wins with a 9.

    But if I was taking a drink of something I think I would have spit it out all over the table when that guy called three bets cold and then drew three. Holy shit.

    4:07 PM: Not sure if playing that mix was the best use of my time. I finished -$259 in 8 hours of playing games I’m not proficient in. It was fun though. I like playing something different once in a while, but if my goal is to maximize my earn while I’m here… eh. I’m better off playing LHE, PLO, or O8.

    HORSE @ 3 PM tomorrow. I’m good at all those games. Let’s get a RANG.

    h1

    $160 Big O @ Chinook Winds (Stack Updates)

    October 25, 2018

    First Big O tournament of my life. I’m excited! It should be fun and different. I will be surprised if I only fire one bullet in this thing. The $600 NL bounty is still open for 1.75 more hours so there’s some chance if I bust quickly in this I will hop in that.

    Starting stacks are 12k with 30 minute levels and blinds starting at 25/50.

    I have never cashed a tournament at Chinook Winds so it would be cool to break that streak sometime this trip.

    With my phone records dating back to August of 2014, Chinook Winds is my 4th worse location and bricking every tournament here would make it my all-time worst. Only places I’ve lost more money at during that span are Commerce, Tulalip, and Aria.

    Commerce is my worst during that stretch which is crazy considering I have a $5000+ cash there. Yikes.

    1:00 PM: Cards are in the air!

    1:55 PM: I see a flop of J65ss with AsQsJ92 with 5500 in the middle already and a player all in. I bet 3500 and one player on the side calls.

    Turn is the ten of spades, giving me the nut flush and I still have the nut low draw. I go all in for 6800 and my remaining opponent tanks for a bit before calling it off with…

    AQT32 with no spades. Lol. What a torch.

    River is a 4 and he escapes with a quarter of the pot. Other player busts.

    Up to 19k.

    2:33 PM: Last hand before break:

    Open to 425 at 75/150 with AK442 double suited and torcher from last hand is my only caller.

    Flop is 854 rainbow and I bet 1k and he calls again.

    Turn is a king that completes the badugi on board and he folds when I bet 3k.

    That puts me at 22k during first break.

    3:24 PM: Pretty sick one here:

    I look down at AA83 and only sweat the suit of my fifth card. It is a diamond, which gives me a suited ace and weak hearts. There is an open to 600 at 100/200 and I make it 2250 and I still haven’t looked at my last card. He calls, leaving himself with over 12k behind.

    Flop is J44 rainbow and he checks to me. I bet 4k and he jams on me. Uh. Guess I better look at that last card.

    It’s the 4 of diamonds. Wow. I snap.

    He has AAK73.

    The turn is a king for a minor sweat, but I fill up with an 8 on the river to scoop the pot.

    It really makes me wonder what I would have done if I didn’t look down at a 4. I would probably be inclined to put him on a 4 or jacks full. But before looking, my initial thought was that I probably have to go with it anyway so I think I wind up calling. But what a sick Sarge* card!

    *Sarge card is a term coined after a famous PNW local Omaha player that routinely doesn’t look at his last card until he absolutely has to. In this case, I had a premium hand w/out even looking at my fifth card so it didn’t affect any of my decisions until I got jammed on.

    I have just under 50k now. Next biggest stack at my table is 23k.

    4:02 PM: Eek. 3-bet with AT532 double suited to 3k and big blind and original raiser call.

    Flop is J64 rainbow and they both go all in in front of me; one for 9k and the other for 9600. Easy call here.

    Board runs out J6479 and my opponents’ hands are A6442 and AK852, so I end up getting 1/6 of the pot while the guy with the worst equity on the flop gets 2/3.

    Just got to second break with 51.8k and paid $80 for another 10k, so I will be over 60k coming back to 300/600 blinds.

    4:35 PM: Last hand before the break is worth mentioning. There are two limpers at 200/400 and the button pots it for 2200 and she has less than 1500 behind, so when I look down at AJT32 I make it 5000 to isolate and see all five board cards, but the second limper ends up calling!

    We check it down on 852QQ and he shows… 86542, which blew my mind. I got half of the whole pot with the nut low and the all in had a queen for half of the main pot.

    But wow at that call. 🤯

    5:03 PM: Registration is closed.

    154 entrants

    74 add-ons

    ~84 left

    $26,656 prize pool

    27k avg stack

    I have 84.6k

    Not sure how many cash, as the prizes haven’t been posted yet.

    5:17 PM: I lead 2k from small blind on AQ7cc flop with AQ852 and a torcher calls

    Turn pairs the queen and I bet the full pot. He snap calls again.

    River is the 8 of clubs. I put him all in and he calls with KJ532.

    They are trying to punt hard in this thing.

    6:09 PM: Third break: 82.7k

    Twinkie is busted.

    7:05 PM: I bet 6000 on the flop with AKQT9 double suited on a flop of K92 with two clubs, giving me top two, the nut flush draw and a gut shot. The lone limper in the hand calls and the other blind jams for 11,800, leaving me with an option to call only, so that’s what I do. Other guy tries to jam but is told he can only call.

    Turn is an ace and since I’m never folding here and the other guy only has about 30k left, I go ahead and lead pot, putting him all in, because if he folds here I will be happy about it.

    He tanks forever and does fold.

    The all in has a set of deuces and a low draw but the river pairs the 9, giving me a boat and a monster scooper!

    Sick thing is if I sized slightly less on the flop this lot would have been 60k bigger.

    Short while later, I end up getting all in 3-ways on 864 with AT973 vs A7544 and A883x…. and the board runs out ten and jack and I get 3/4 of another monster pot.

    114.7k

    48 players are left and average stack is 47.5k. $6864 up top for 1st and 18 players will cash.

    7:53 PM: 121k on dinner break. 42 left. 54.3k is average.

    9:13 PM: Yuck. I just got switched from a soft table where I had a dominating chip lead to a table where I’m third in chips and have the only WSOP bracelet winner in the building on my direct left.

    Chip lead at my table has like 350k! 😮

    I have 127.5k with 33 left. Average stack is 69k.

    9:29 PM: Busted someone. 178.5k with 25 players left.

    TORMUND SIGHTING!

    9:47 PM: 20 players left with 18 cashing and someone just folded AQ532 with a suited ace to an open because “I’m not going out in 19th or 20th.”

    10:08 PM: We are hand-for-hand now and the floor gets done saying that anyone that gets up and watches another table gets a one round penalty and as soon as the first hand is done two players at another table get up to spectate and are given a one round penalty. 😂

    10:39 PM: Cashed it! 17 players left. Everyone gets at least $350.

    11:32 PM: Busted someone. 12 left. 161k. Average is 215k. GTD $498.

    11:45 PM: Peaking at 221k with 11 left.

    11:53 PM: Stacked another player. My AQ932 double suited makes a wheel vs his AAQJ9 double suited.

    Peaking at 312k with 9 left.

    12:14 AM: It’s official! I have final tabled the first Big O tournament I’ve ever played!

    Peaking at 330k and GTD at least $914 now and get this gem:

    Looks like I’m tied for 3rd in chips. Unfortunately I have the chip leader (and best player as far as I can tell) on my immediate left.

    Note: I’m slightly above average with 16 bigs, but the stacks smaller than me all have between 8 and 12 bigs, so it’s not like I’m at a big advantage right now. I could easily be the next player out.

    12:33 AM: I don’t blame the staff for having a tip box by the payouts but… I imagine most players did the $10 dealer appreciation (6.25% of the initial buy-in) plus they are taking out an additional 3% for the staff from the prize pool.

    That means that if no one leaves an extra dollar, the staff will be well compensated anyway… more so than your typical big field tourney staff.

    1:10 AM: Players are busting in SICK fashion. There are 5 left. I am second shortest. $1716 GTD now.

    1:25 AM: Sick double. I defend a min-raise with Q5532 with spades and three of us see the Q83 two spade flop. I only have 135k so I jam it in with my two pair, queen high flush, and bad low draw. I get called by a player with A64 with nut spades, so I’m in pretty rough shape but somehow the board runs out A and 4 and I scoop with a wheel.

    So sick!

    Just busted another player when my AQ762 makes queens up and nut low to crack his AAxxx hand.

    We are currently looking at ICM chop and I have the most chips at the moment.

    Nope. Game on!

    I could have locked up $4900 if everyone agreed there, but someone decided to play.

    4th is currently $2290.

    1:43 AM: ICM chopping 3-ways and I have the chip lead. I’m taking $4999 for my efforts today.

    We reassembled my piece of cheese game changer, but I can assure you I did not have four spades in my hand!

    Leggo!

    h1

    $160 Omaha 8/B @ Chinook Winds in Lincoln City, Oregon (Stack Updates)

    October 24, 2018

    Cards will be in the air at noon. $160 gets you a 12k starting stack, with blinds starting at 25/50 and 30 minute levels. They are guaranteeing a $15,000 prize pool, so they need 94 entrants to avoid an overlay and this event has no re-entry. Looks like 100 have already registered though.

    Twinkie drove down here with me, so he’s playing this event today. I’m sure there will be a couple others I recognize.

    I was welcomed by a sore throat this morning so looks like I’m developing a cold just in time for me to kick off this series.

    👍🏻

    I will be posting stack updates here and maybe some hands here and there if they are interesting enough.

    Leggo.

    12:02 PM: First hand is notable because on a final board of Q6294 and four hearts on the board, a player check-raises the river with a naked two pair. Uh. He got scooped. I’m honestly not sure if he did it on purpose or not. TBD…

    12:16 PM: Solomon Grundy sighting!

    Oh man. Guy on my right is a motormouth. He hasn’t stopped talking for 20 straight minutes and he keeps looking at me for interaction. He’s a nice, happy dude just trying to have fun playing the great game of poker, but… I can’t handle all that.

    Headphones going in.

    Just saw QQxx vs 88xx on Q98Q8 and the river only went two bets. What in the world?

    And now that I have my headphones in dude on my right is touching me when he’s talking.

    Please make it stop.

    12:32 PM: This is brutal. This guy literally just introduced himself, mentioned my headphones and basically said, as politely and non-passive aggressively as possible, that he “talks a lot” and that my headphones aren’t going to save me.

    12:45 PM: And now he found a commonality. He asked where I’m from and I said Bremerton and then he asked me about Chips Casino, which is basically where I started my path toward playing poker full-time. Then he mentions Palace in Lakewood and that he helped run it in 2012, and that Big Daddy used to work for him, and that he’s responsible for getting Freddie’s closed and starting High Hands in Pierce County.

    So now we actually have something to talk about.

    Wonderful.

    Gosh dammit.

    12:53 PM: Things have been going well so far, so I have little to complain about, but here’s my first annoying runout:

    I raise a bunch of limpers with A42x with a suited ace (haven’t looked at my last card) on the button and bet the Q87ss flop when I flop the nut flush draw and nut low draw with backup. I get three callers on the flop.

    The turn is a jack and I decide to keep firing because I don’t think I’m likely to get check-raised and I don’t mind continuing to build the pot with my draw. Plus, I might have a pair! I only get one caller now.

    River is an offsuit king and I can tell he’s prepared to call the river, so I look down hoping to see a ten, as any one pair hand is probably too weak to value bet here, but I have a 7 and check back.

    He wins with KK96ss.

    Looks like a pretty good flop for his hand, yeah? How about no?

    1:14 PM: Radio Mike just messaged me saying he hopes the guy on my right and I both make deep runs to the final table “connected at the hip like Siamese twins.”

    What a jerk.

    1:31 PM: First Break:

    Dark Knight 12.2k

    Twinkie 12.275k

    1:53 PM: Here’s a spot that I think should be standard but I’m sure a lot of people routinely botch:

    There are some limpers and I check Q977 in the big blind.

    Flop is 762 with two clubs. I have top set. The small blind checks, I check, and it checks around.

    The turn is the 8 of clubs. The small blind bets and I fold.

    Good riddance.

    2:05 PM: Guy on my right is embarrassing me now. There’s a discussion going on with the dealer about poker players being optimistic.

    Dealer: Of course poker players are optimistic; you all think you are going to win this tournament.

    Guy on my right: None of us think we are going to win this tournament.

    Guy on my right: You know who’s going to win this tournament? This guy (points to me). He’s the best player at this table and I could tell that after 45 seconds.

    Me: Uhhh….

    Guy on my right: I’ll tell you this much: I’d swap 10% of me for 5% of you (and he has more chips). That’s how confident I am about that.

    Me: Uhm.

    I mean, that’s nice of him and all, but it is embarrassing. I don’t want that kind of attention and it’s a little disrespectful to the other players at the table.

    3:18 PM: No super interesting hands these last three levels but I suppose it was slightly profitable for me.

    Stacks at second break:

    Dark Knight 14.5k

    Twinkie 15.9k

    Solomon Grundy 7.5k

    Also, there has been a Flexxx sighting, I don’t know his stack size.

    3:28 PM: Cool thing about playing in Lincoln City is that this is what your breaks can look like:

    3:48 PM: What the hell is going on here?

    Two limps, I complete with K652 double suited from the small, big blind checks.

    Flop is K63 all hearts, I check, the other blind bets, and the limpers both call. My hand looks like it has potential, but all of it is super marginal and the pot is pretty small, so I fold.

    Turn pairs the 6 and now I’m wishing I had my hand back. The big blind still bets, which is kind of weird, there’s a call and the next player raises. Now the big blind 3-bets, the middle player calls, and the other guy is all in for just under three big bets.

    I have no clue what’s going on.

    River is a queen and it goes bet and call.

    Before the big blind turns over his hand, I say, “wow, I had K6 here.”

    Big blind rolls 33xx, next guy rolls Q6xx, and the last guy has KKxx.

    Holy shit! What a sick connection. And how credible does my hand sound after everyone shows? Lol.

    4:14 PM: Open cutoff with AKJT double suited, hoping to just steal the blinds. The small blind calls and the big blind 3-bets, leaving himself with one small bet behind. No sense in 4-betting it since the small is clearly not folding, so I call and then the small blind 4-bets! Well, this got ugly real fast. Now the big is all in and I’ve been stair-stepped into a 4-bet pot with a hand that is barely worth one bet. I call again.

    Flop is 533 with two clubs. Small blind leads out, the big is already all in and neither of my suits are clubs, so I just fold?

    Sigh.

    The small blind ends up showing 6432 which is a little weird and the big blind was on a total punt with KQJ4. Turn is a 6 and that ends the hand but it does cost me 2400 in chips in rather bizarre fashion.

    4:21 PM: Mercy! My table broke and I no longer have the chatterbox on my direct right. I can now listen to music in peace and mind my own business.

    I do have Flexxx at my new table though.

    4:43 PM: 3-bets four ways before the flop and I have A862 with a suited ace and I get a pretty good flop for the situation with the board coming J86 rainbow, giving me the but low draw, bottom two, and the backdoor nut flush draw. The big blind donks, the original PFR folds, I raise, the small blind calls two bets cold, and the big flats.

    Turn is a queen and they both check to me. I have less than two big bets left and I’m not sure I have the best high hand here, so I check back.

    River comes a fucking ace. So now my low is nonexistent, plus clubs backdoored (not my suit). The small blind leads out, the big folds, and it feels like a pretty easy fold, but I start looking at the size of the pot and reluctantly toss out the call. He has A632 and my high is good.

    Sigh. Seems like a good result but I lost half the pot on the river.

    Then a series of suited A2xx and A34x hands got scooped and I was left with crumbs.

    I make it 1600 from the small after one limp with AAQT, leaving myself with 75 behind. The big blind and limper both call.

    The flop is an absolutely beautiful AJJ but the limper goes runner runner for a low with QJ32 and I have to settle for half of the main pot.

    That leaves me with 2500 on third break and I will be coming back to a stack of 2.5 big blinds on the button.

    5:11 PM:

    Dark Knight 2500

    Twinkie 24.8k

    Flexxx 30k+

    Solomon Grundy 15k

    I will be all in sometime this next orbit.

    5:45 PM: And I’m out. My all in gets scooped because someone had to limp the J532 from middle position and got the A33 flop.

    Looks like 152 entered and I managed to bust in the first 33% so pretty good read from that dude calling my shot to win the tournament.

    My health is less than 80% and likely to get worse, so I’m going to head back to my AirBnB and watch the World Series (and probably fall asleep) for a little bit. Maybe I’ll go play some live later if I’m feeling better.

    Twinkie is still in with 21.4k. I’ll post his status if he sends me updates.

    Solomon Grundy busted just before me and Flexxx was healthy at my table when I left.

    6:50 PM: Twinkie sitting on 38k at dinner Break with less than 80 players left.