Posts Tagged ‘poker’

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$15/$30 Fridays @ Palace – 12/21/2018 (Live Blog)

December 21, 2018

I will be blogging today… at some point.

Game starts at 4 PM and I didn’t have time to write a preamble today, so it will be a work in progress as the game is starting.

Preamble: So Wednesday night was an insane night of pot limit Omaha. The game started very juicy with Hit&Run, Part-Time, Animal, and Big Baby all in attendance.

Animal is always fun to watch and on this day he was in special form. He felted on the first hand dealt. A short while later he had QQxx on Q33 vs Big Baby and lost to a 3 on the river and felted again. In the first 80 minutes of the game, he dusted $3680 and then he reloaded another $800.

Somehow he turned that last $800 into this:

He’s actually up for the night here after being stuck almost $4000 at one point. His night didn’t end here though. He eventually turned this into $300 left sitting in front of him after a pot played out… but he won that pot and he did end up cashing out around $2000 after having one of the biggest roller coaster sessions I’ve ever seen.

Plus he gave an all-time great quote, when being asked if he wanted to hold his seat after felting his third bullet (for $1680 total): “How can I leave a game where I’m losing $800 every ten minutes?”

Meanwhile, after he overlayed the entire table with $3700, I was sitting there with $200 more than I started with. Most of it went to Hit&Run and guess what he did with it? Took his happy ass out the front door.

There was so much bloodshed and carnage in this game, there were literally dead bodies everywhere. I couldn’t step anywhere without slipping on the skull of a fallen warrior.

And yet… none of these carcasses were left behind because of me. I basically just sat and watched from the sidelines all night in total awe… and quite a bit of jealousy.

Here’s a pot I wasn’t involved in:

That’s over $2k in the middle before the flop. Five players in for $405 each. Guy in seat four was super stoked when he was able to make it that much (with an obvious AA hand) and then he got called in four spots and I could actually see the moment when his soul left his body.

The Crypt Keeper ended up winning this monster with a solid QQ93 when he rivered a straight flush after getting the rest of his chips in on this flop.

I took some notes on hands I though I might talk about but there isn’t anything too interesting.

Here’s one: I limp along with 8752 single suited (because Animal limped) and five of us see the 987 two heart flop. I have bottom two pair, plus a worthless gutter and a bad flush draw. Altogether, it’s not good in a multi-way pot. But Animal leads out $25, so I call and then two players call behind me. Ugh.

The turn is a 4, which doesn’t change anything, and somehow it checks around.

The river is an offsuit deuce and Animal bets the pot for $130. Normally, I would just snap fold in this spot but both Hit&Run and Big Baby are showing their hands to their neighbors, totally telegraphing folds, so suddenly I’m in a heads up spot against someone that checked the turn with three opponents when the board texture didn’t change.

Twinkie is dealing and I say to him, “I don’t see how I can fold here,” nodding to the other two dingbats, “but I can’t even beat nine deuce.”

I make the call and… my hand is good!

I took a note on a hand where I was able to 4-bet to $140 pre with AAK9, but I got called in two spots and then check-folded on a T43 two tone flop that whiffed me. I took a note because winning hand was 9973 single suited (he made a flush). Also worth noting is that I was able to 4-bet this hand because the 9973 3-bet it.

Lock the doors! There were already four legit punters in the game and I was happy to see we had a fifth.

My biggest pot was when I had AKQT vs Animal on a board of QJ9Kx where I got either a pot-sized bet or $300 (the max bet) from him on every street after the flop.

I call a raise with AJJx single suited to the ace on the button – a hand worthy of 3-betting if 3-betting had any fold equity in this game (which it doesn’t) – and the flop is AKT. There’s a bet of $25 and a call. It’s all pretty weak and with two straight blockers in my hand I just go ahead and pot it.

It’s a pretty standard play, but this is not a standard spot because I know my image is pretty tarnished at the moment. I’ve been losing and I just got picked off for a $300 bluff on the river the hand right before this one. So I wasn’t sure it was going to get through even though it seemed like a super obvious spot.

It did get through though.

When it was all said and done, Billy Dubz smacked the shit out of this game even though he was the last player to get a seat. Here’s a look at his disgusting stack a short while before he took off:

Just a nice little $5000 sitting under the Christmas Tree in front of him.

As for myself, I finished +$174 and felt like I lost $2000. Stacks were seriously being handed out like candy on Halloween night and I wasn’t allowed to go trick or treating.

Yesterday we had to go to Sumner to sign the closing papers for our new house and since we were already halfway to Fortune that’s where we decided to play last night.

My session started off unexceptionally, but I eventually hit some hands and then I wasn’t missing much at all.

My night climaxed with this insane pot: there’s an early raise, a couple callers, and I 3-bet with JJ from the big blind and everyone calls.

Flop is KJ2 all diamonds and I get called in three spots after I bet.

The turn pairs the 2 and fireworks start exploding. I bet, next guy raise, and both other players cold call. I 3-bet and they all call.

Before the river, I’m sitting there thinking how I have the nuts in this monster pot and the only card I really don’t want to see is a king.

And then there it is. The king pairs on the river. Unreal. That leads me check and it checks to last position and he bets. We all pay off. He has a 2, player on my right has the nut flush and the other player has a 2 also. My hand is good and I win this monster!

I was pretty hot after that and only running AJ into 99 on A97Jx in my last orbit could keep me from reaching my wishful goal of making $2500 for the day. I had to settle for a +$2413, which is my best win at Fortune in 2018 and puts me within striking distance of reaching the black for the year there! I’m not sure I will play there again this year though, as we will be super busy with moving and celebrating the holidays for the rest of the year.

Starting Lineup: Radio Mike, decent reg, maniac, nitty reg, non-reg, bigger game reg, non-reg, and Shit Man.

Pretty light on names, but there are four players in this game that are regular (or special) enough that I should give them names. Maybe I will today.

There were 27 names on the list for a 4 PM start and after the dust has settled, we have a full game and NO list. 😂

7 of 9 starting the game are playing 25/50 Overs.

4:29 PM: First big clash: open under the gun for the third time (on Radio Mike’s big blind), this time with KQss. Maniac calls, button calls, Shit Man 3-bets small blind, and I cap because I like my hand multi-way and have position on the 3-bettor. Maniac calls, but the button folds for some reason, and three of us head to the flop.

Board is Q54 with two spades. Shit Man leads, I raise, maniac folds, and we get it capped heads up. I don’t think my queen is good here, but I have a big draw and I will check behind if I miss and he checks to me on the turn.

But I don’t miss. I pair the queen and he check-calls and then make the flush on the river and he calls again.

That steams him up nice and good, enough to ask for an Overs button and now whole table has them.

5:17 PM: Radio Mike opens late, I 3-bet AJdd from cutoff, the button calls, and Mike calls.

Flop is Q42 all diamonds. Radio Mike donks, I raise, and he calls. We are heads up.

The turn is a nice, action-killing 7 of diamonds. He checks, I bet, and he literally turns over QQ. I wish I snapped a pic of this bozo turning his hand face up and then calling.

The river is an 8 and he checks again. I tank for a bit, enjoying the moment, acting puzzled, and put a bet out. He still calls!

I just asked him if he would have bet if the river paired the board and he says, “of course.”

I reply, “that’s a dumb bet. I’m just going to fold worse hands and raise you with quads.”

I raise under the gun (for the 5th time in 7 rounds) with TT and only Shit Man calls from the small blind.

He check-raises me on the T42 flop and I call to raise the turn.

It’s an 8 and goes as expected, but with a patented Shit Man “shiiiiit, man” before he calls.

He pays off on river (with JJ) and spends the next five minutes mumbling curses while shooting me angry glances.

5:53 PM: Preamble is finished. Scroll back up and read it!

Blackjack wanted me to do him the favor of dropping a link to a vlog he did for his recent cruise through the Caribbean. Check it out in the link below:

Blackjack’s Caribbean Cruise on YouTube

6:52 PM: Okay, I guess I’m taking a little break after typing nonstop on my phone for 2+ hours when I first got here. Also, nothing too exciting has happened. I’ve opened and 3-bet a number of suited Broadway hands and whiffed or lost all of them.

We have lost a couple players from the game and filled those seats and now have a list of 5 waiting for seats.

7:19 PM: Alright.

I’m handing out some nicknames.

First up, we have two players that I play with quite regularly that I always refer to as “nitty regulars.” Actually there’s a third one that sometimes plays the 20/40 O8 at Muckleshoot but usually just plays 4/8 everywhere. They are all basically the same player, just folding most of the night and taking up space. They aren’t threatening. They aren’t dangerous. They are just there. In fact, they are so similar that their real names are exactly the same, except for the one vowel in it.

They are so indistinguishable as players I have decided to call them Huey, Dewey, Louie. It doesn’t matter which one is which. They are interchangeable so I will refer to each one however I feel like at the time.

There is one caveat here. Two of these triplets will drink on rare occasions and when that happens both of their games go haywire and they play a lot of hands and bluff too much. It doesn’t happen often but it is special when it does.

Second up, there are two regulars, one at Palace and one at Fortune, that I always see wearing a necklace with a large tooth dangling from it. I’m not sure what creature these teeth come from, but I have decided to call these guys Fang and Tusk of the Shark Tooth Mafia.

Fang will be the guy from Palace. He’s in 8/16 now and on the list for this game. He’s wild, loose, aggressive and sometimes hopelessly bluffy, but I’ve also seen him play pretty solid. Still, I usually think of him as a borderline maniac.

Tusk is the exact opposite. People actually make fun of him for being the ultimate nit. Maybe the nittiest of them all. He’s a 20/40 regular at Fortune.

Huey and Dewey are both in this 15/30 game and Fang is next up to take a recently vacated seat.

Lastly, and I’m adding this after submitting this last update and getting approval from Radio Mike, there is a fourth player (that I refer to as a decent reg) of the same ethnicity as Huey, Dewey, and Louie and while I was tempted to call him Scrooge McDuck, I have settled on their Uncle Donald instead, particularly because he sort of looks and sounds like Donald Duck.

Updated lineup: Radio Mike, Fang, semi-reg, Huey, Donald Duck, regular, Dewey, Shit Man

8:34 PM: Folds to me on button and I look down at 86 and raise. Fang calls from small blind and big defends also.

Flop is J85 with two diamonds and both players check-call me.

Turn pairs the 8 and now Fang check-raises me. Other guy mucks and I 3-bet it.

River is the 2 of diamonds and he check-calls with… 43 of diamonds.

Well done, Fang. Solid nickname debut. You didn’t let me down.

Ugh. I started off hot today, wondering if I might be in line for completing the Coast-to-Coast Challenge. Welp. It’s safe to say I’m not anymore. Stuck $500 all the sudden.

9:23 PM: More gross stuff. Open AQss, two callers, Donald Duck with position.

Flop is Q77 rainbow and he raises my flop bet. I call and we are heads up.

Turn is ten of clubs. Now it’s my turn to check and then raise. He calls.

River is another club. I bet and he snap-raises. This is a fold. Clear as day fold. He doesn’t have it in him to bluff-raise this river against my line. But I pay it off anyway and he shows the KQ of clubs.

9:42 PM: Huey opens under the gun and it folds to me with AQo on the button. This is actually pretty borderline. I think AQo is the worst hand I’d 3-bet in this spot and I would actually fold here some percentage of the time. But this time I 3-bet and he calls.

Flop is QTx and I call after he check-raises me. I am not planning to raise the turn in this instance.

Turn is a king and he checks to me. It would be super weird for him to check-raise this card, so I bet and I’m probably going to show down on river if he calls. He does.

River is a 9 and he checks to me and I’m sitting there laughing to myself because I don’t beat a fucking thing and check back. He shows QT suited and wins the pot.

I also had A6 suited vs A2 on AK723 and then had T9cc on AJ7cc9 vs Ax and couldn’t improve.

Definitely not running good right now.

10:52 PM: Open AQo, Donald Duck calls, and Fang 3-bets the small. I cap and both call.

Flop is AA3 with two hearts. Fang check-raises me and we cap it heads up.

Turn is the 7 of hearts and he leads out. He only has 1.5 big bets left, so I raise him and he calls.

River is the 5 of hearts. Both my cards are black. He bets his last $25 and I call. He shows AQ also, but his AQ has a heart.

The Gods are laughing at me.

12:26 AM: Welp. I think I’m about done here. I’m 8+ hours deep and all I’ve done is lose every hand for about the last seven hours.

My last fun hand: it’s raised and multi-way before the flop so I call with 98 of diamonds from the small blind and six or seven of us see the 883 two club flop.

I start with a check, Shit Man (the PFR bets), Puss-In-Boots raises next to act and clears the field to me, I raise, Shit Man folds and Puss caps it.

Turn is a blank and my lead gets raised again. I think this is a call here but I’ve seen him raise lighter in these spots and check behind on the river. He’s capable of still having a flush draw here. I decide to 3-bet but I’m not sure I love and I know I don’t when he caps it again.

I call down and lose to 33.

I recently reloaded another $1k but I’ve already played a full session and I’m not planning to dig deep into the night. This will be my last orbit, regardless of what happens.

Final Score: -$1323

I am not sure when I will be playing poker again. It looks like Wednesday from here. We are going to be super busy with the Christmas and New Year holidays plus moving into a new home on top of that.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Marathon Monday? Does the Santa Claus Game Live? (Live Blog)

December 17, 2018

I guess we will find out. Thanks in part to traveling plans from both Radio Mike and myself, the game has not gone since the 26th of November, a solid three weeks ago. These things happen, but the overall lack of interest last week is what is most concerning. We were never even close to starting a game.

There are currently 7 names on the list for today which is more than we ever had last week and I know that Chief Wiggum and Radio Mike will be there at noon and willing to start short-handed. I guess we shall see what happens.

Saturday I said I was going to play at Fortune and I did end up going out there. When I arrived they had all 15 tables full of games and only one 20/40 game running. That was super bad news. I was like 6th on the list and the one game going didn’t look super appealing. Still, we drove all that way to play some poker.

Against my better judgement, I sat down in the 1/3 no limit game while waiting for a seat in something I actually wanted to play. When I’m warming up though, I would rather play in something of little consequence – i.e. 4/8 Hold’em or Omaha. Something that will have little affect on my results for the day. While the NL game is relatively small, I always seem to get involved in pots for my entire stack. I guess I don’t have much of a small ball style and the fluctuations, even in the short amount of time I usually play, are more than I’m looking for in a warm-up.

Case in point: super active and aggressive player opens to $12 and a loose, somewhat aggressive player calls on the button. I look down at AK of spades and make it $46 to go. The opener folds but the button calls. Stack sizes are $300 effective to start the hand.

Flop is 542 rainbow, but no spade. It’s a bad flop for my actual hand, but my range consists of a lot of overpairs, so it’s a good flop for my range. Also, I think his range is not going to be very pair heavy. I saw him 3-bet this same opener and then get 66 bigs in pre with 88. He was up against AA that hand, so maybe he will play his medium pairs less aggressively after coming so close to punting $200 (he flopped a set), but considering his opponent was raising basically every hand, I thought both his 3-bet with 88 and stack off were plenty reasonably. So if he’s 3-betting 88+, he’s not hitting this flop very often, and I’m not sure he would call $46 pre with 22-55, but it’s certainly possible. So I have a range advantage here and I also think my opponent might take stabs with little equity if I check to him. So I check and he bets $85. I jam for $253. He tanks forever… long enough for me to put multiple things on my Amazon wish list. Unfortunately, he comes out of it with a call.

The turn is a 7 and the river is a queen and I assume my AK high is probably not going to win this pot. I am right. He has 76 and I’m felted.

I’ve done the math on this spot and he is correct to call it off here. Pot is $442 and it costs him $168 more to call, so he’s getting 2.63 to 1 and needs about 27.5% equity to break even. Against my actual hand, he’s a favorite here – assuming he’s suited with a backdoor flush draw (I can’t remember). But even if he’s offsuit, it’s basically a coin flip.

Even when I’m at the top of my range (i.e. over pair with a flush blocker), he still has over 36% equity.

I still like my line a lot here. He’s basically stabbing with the top of his whiffing range and if he’s betting this hand when he’s so likely to get jammed on, it makes me think he would stab when he seemingly has little equity also and in those cases, I just win the pot right there.

I had another $200 in my pocket and I whittled that all the way down to like $130 and 4-bet jammed with 66 and lost a race with AK.

I waited about another hour for 20/40, but the game looked shitty to me and a second game wasn’t on the near horizon and when my wife asked if just wanted to leave, I pondered for a while, and decided that yes, I did want to leave.

So my day ended -$500 and I didn’t even play an hour of poker.

Yesterday was a day off for me and I spent it making beef stroganoff, cleaning and packing for our move, dabbling in some online poker, and continuing our mission to rewatch the entire “Game of Thrones” series before the final season in April.

12:39 PM: Welp. Not sure how much of a Marathon Monday this is going to be. This game got off to a very weak start. I am playing 5-handed with Frankenstein, Chief Wiggum, Radio Mike and a nitty reg – and we are not likely to get much traffic for this game for many hours.

Not sure what I will do if this game breaks. Maybe I will continue marathoning in 8/16. Maybe I will go to Fortune. Maybe I will go home and play online. Maybe I won’t play at all.

One hand of note so far: I’m the button straddle, Wiggum raises his big, I 4-bet with KJhh and he calls.

Flop is J95 with one heart. He check-raises me and I call.

Turn is a king and I get 3-bet after raising him. Eek. I guess I just call?

River is a blank and I call again and win showdown against AA.

Also of note, I finally started working on organizing all my poker posts. I have created pages for PLO cash games, tournaments, various cash games, rants, Marathon Mondays, and WSOP events. I’d link all of them but the WordPress app won’t let me. You can scroll down the right side of the page and see them for yourself. I have backlogged through October of this year.

1:03 PM: Sigh. The nit just took an 8/16 seat when it was his turn. We are now 4-handed and I can already hear Radio Mike wavering, literally: “do you guys want to do this?”

Part-Time with perfect part-timing! He makes us 5-handed just as the other three players are agreeing to convert to a new 8/16 game and fill the table up.

It seems like everyone else is still leaning towards converting but since they asked my opinion, I said I want to keep playing this game and I know Part-Time prefers it also.

Still, if we don’t pick up another player soon, I suspect we will wind up converting, especially if I’m winning. 😂

1:22 PM: We somehow picked up a 6th player and first time he’s on the button dealer tells him to put $20 out and he balks. Dealer says it’s mandatory and he replies: “Bullllshiiit. They might think it’s mandatory.”

That’s because it is, pal.

I have a feeling this guy might not be here long. I’ll set the over/under at 30 minutes.

1:44 PM: 7-handed! This game might actually make it.

2:20 PM: Amazing. The game is full. I am running pretty shitty so far, whiffing straight draws, bricking with AQ multiple times, and losing with QQ to A9.

In other bad news, the 8/16 game is on the verge of collapse. While this might seem irrelevant, it is bad for this game, because it will be the scapegoat for why 8/16 is breaking so early.

It’s probably true, but it’s also pretty annoying because half this table wouldn’t even be here right now if the 10/20 wasn’t running. We started this thing 5-handed and kept it going 4-handed. The 8/16 players won’t even play 7-handed. And therein lies the real problem. If they were willing to play short-handed the games could coexist long enough for both of them to fill up, but they won’t… so it’s the red chip game’s fault.

Ugh.

Shit Man and Joker are in the game now.

Here’s a hand that had a very unexpected result: I’m the button straddle with T3 of spades and there are four callers to me. I check.

Flop is A52 with two spades. The small blind leads, Shit Man calls, Wiggum calls, and I raise. Here’s where things get funny: the flop bettor folds, Shit Man calls, and Wiggum folds! Unreal. Shit Man should have the weakest range of all three, so I can already feel that I won’t have to improve to win this pot.

Sure enough, turn is the queen of diamonds and he just check-folds.

2:44 PM: Not that Shit Man is a good candidate to run bluffs on. He’s the straddle and it folds to me in the hi-jack, so I pop it with J9ss and triple barrel on A8728 and he calls me down with 73.

3:36 PM: Straddle with 87o and there’s a raise and callers in front of me.

Flop is A72 rainbow. Checks to me, I bet and only Shit Man calls.

He wins with 96… because I make two pair on the turn and he rivers a 5.

Uh. Okay.

4:25 PM: Oh my God. I’m in the torture chamber. I haven’t won a pot since getting that semi-bluff through over two hours ago – and it’s not like I was running good before that.

My image is HORRIBLE right now. Lots of good starters + multi-way action + whiffing every board = maniac image.

I finally decided to run with one of my airballs. I 4-bet with AJ after Joker 3s and Frankenstein call.

With five of us in there, Frankenstein donks on 775 with two spades and since I’m always continuing (with ace of spades in my hand, and I’m repping an overpair, and I’m next to act… I raise it and clear out the rest of the field. He calls.

Turn is a great card for my range: a king. So now a decent portion of hands I was bluffing with (AK, KQ, KJs, KTs) are ahead of his likely medium pair. He check-calls again though.

I’m planning to give up on blank rivers, but I will be betting any face card or ace that doesn’t pair the board… because that card further strengthens my range. It’s a ten. So I bet and he calls with 88.

Sigh.

I knew it was unlikely to get through since I haven’t shown down a winner in hours – and believe me, people actually make strategic decisions based on their opponent’s variance. For instance, if I was crushing the game today, I think he would be far more likely to fold 88 here.

But alas, I am showing down very few winners, so my fold equity is extremely low right now. I might as well just save the damn bets.

I am now down approximately $650.

5:50 PM: I don’t have much of note to add since my last update – I’m down a little bit and I reloaded – but the game is very alive and well. We are currently full again with four names on the list. Plus 8/16 started again and has a list of its own. Perfect harmony!

7:02 PM: Ugh. For the second time in four days I had an insulin pump emergency. In three years of using the Omnipod, this incident was a first for me. I changed my pod, filled a new one up with 150 units of insulin, activated it, then sat back down at the table, gave myself a bolus… but instead of giving myself a bolus, I accidentally deactived my pump.

And that’s that. Once you deactivate a pump it cannot be used. So my pump was wasted. 150 units of insulin wasted. And I didn’t have a replacement with me.

So I had to drive home and get one… and hope I didn’t get picked up in the meantime. So I took off after my straddle to maximize my time away from the table… but then I forgot my phone and had to come back and get it.

I made it back in time. Unfortunately, my status in the game was never in any jeopardy because there was no list when I took off and two players left while I was gone.

We are currently 7-handed. I experienced a minor rush right before I left, but I wasn’t able to really appreciate or document it because I was on hold with Omnipod customer service and thinking up a game plan.

Uh, so yeah… I’m just going to carry three extra pods around with me now.

Lesson learned.

9:45 PM: I have called my session early on account of burnout. Sometimes you just have to realize you are totally checked out to what’s going on and either rediscover your a-game or go home. I went with the latter option tonight… mostly because I had already played 9+ hours.

Final Score: -$1127

Commencing long overdue Blade Runner marathon.

PLO on Wednesday.

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$15/$30 Fridays! (Live Blog)

December 14, 2018

It looks like the 15/30 game is alive and well on Fridays again. With the game scheduled to start at 4 PM, there are a staggering 26 names on the list! I don’t know what to make of that, but clearly having a scheduled game start makes it much easier to get something off the ground than trying to start it from scratch every day. On a day to day basis, it seems like we can’t get five people interested in a 15/30, so 26 is pretty mind-boggling to me. It will be interesting to see how much of that list is real. Even if a third of those names are flakes or no shows, that’s still enough players for two full games. I’m excited to see what happens, but I’m one of the first nine names, so I’ll be playing regardless.

Yesterday I was planning to play PLO at 6 PM, but I woke up at 7:45 AM for a dentist appointment after staying up late, traveled 2+ hours round trip to go to that appointment and made it back home a little after 4 PM.

I went to lay down for a bit and next thing I know I’m waking up at 5:45 and not going to make the game start. Plus, I wasn’t really feeling up to immediately jumping in a poker game after being asleep for almost two hours. With only 10 names on the list, I wasn’t sure the game was going to be too strong and I ended up not going at all.

In fact, while it did start, I saw on Bravo that it was dead by 9:30 PM.

Instead, I stayed home and organized my 500+ collection of DVD/Blu-Rays, transferring them from their cases and putting them into binders by category. My big grey recycling bin is now overflowing with empty DVD cases. The process saves a ton of space, but it was also quite soul-sapping. I must have thrown away over 90% of the bonus material discs I had. It feels wrong and I sort of want to keep them, but the reality is… I never watched any of that stuff anyway. It’s also pretty revolting to think that I’ve probably spent over $10,000 buying movies in my lifetime, especially when you consider how infrequently I watch most of them and how many of them will never be watched again for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number is well over 25%, but when we have kids, maybe they will wind up watching all of them. I dunno.

Here’s how much space they took up before (plus at least four cabinet drawers):

Here’s how much space they take up now:

And here’s this picture, just because:

3:34 PM: I’m currently playing 4/8 while I wait for the 15/30 to start and I found this hand to be rather amusing:

There are multiple limpers, button raises, I call BB with ATdd, and limpers all call.

Flop is 766 with two diamonds. I decide to donk out because I feel this is the best way to get multiple bets in on the flop. I’m not looking to check-raise the button and possibly find myself heads up. It’s not the worst if that happens but I don’t think it’s the best either. I get called in a few spots, including the button.

Turn is the 2 of diamonds and this time my only customer is the button.

The river is a 7, double pairing the board, but that’s not a concern as we clearly still have the best hand and it looks like he’s going to call. So I bet and he does call, but then he turns over the 86 of spades. Say what?

The very next hand I get to the river for free from the small blind with A3 on J823A and a 92 year old 4/8 regular calls my bet and turns over 75 high.

I gave him his $8 back.

I will be back with a starting lineup and remaining list in about 25 minutes.

Starting Lineup: random, 8/16 reg, Part-Time, red chip reg I haven’t seen in a while, nitty reg, random, Chief Wiggum, and No Hair

There are four remaining names on the list and I think zero of them are here. Yikes.

I thought the list might have a lot of fat on it, but geez. Oh well, traffic should be good all night.

I give this starting lineup a C and that’s because there are two randoms in it.

On the plus side, 7 of 9 (not the randoms) now have 25/50 Overs buttons.

And one of the randoms just switched to 4/8 Omaha… because that’s what people do… sit in 15/30 for an orbit and drop to a 4/8 split pot game.

But Flea just walked in the door as the seat opened and he was first on the list as a call in.

I now give this game a B-.

4:25 PM: This random lady at my table just brought a partially smoked cigarette back inside with her. That is a crime against humanity. What kind of person does shit like that?

4:51 PM: Flea opens under the gun, Part-Time cold calls, and I defend 86cc from the big.

Flop is Q86 with two hearts and I decide to just check-call on this street and check-raise on most turn cards since Part-Time is still in also.

Turn is the 5 of hearts and I do check-raise when Part-Time quickly folds. Flea does his typical Hollywood shenanigans before eventually calling.

River is the 6 of hearts. Flea is definitely the kind of player that will raise me on the river with one card flushes so leading out has merit, but I decide to check-raise instead and wind up getting four big bets in on the river because, as mentioned, Flea is the kind of dude that would 3-bet here with worse way too often. He calls and I’m good and apparently I got “lucky” because it sounds like he has 55 here.

6:00 PM: Some random I don’t know just sat down but NoHair knows him and he is very excited about his presence.

6:06 PM: Defend my big with A6 of clubs in a 3-way pot and check-raise Part-Time and Flea on T63ccd and we wind up capping it 3-ways.

Turn is the 8 of diamonds and I go back into passive form, Part-Time also checks – which is weird since he bet and raised on the flop – and Flea bets. I call and now Part-Time check-raises. Geez. Do I need to explain how weird it is for us to cap the flop and then for him to try and check-raise the one player that was just calling? It’s crazy. Flea has just over three big bets to start this street so get gets it in there and that allows Part-Time to cap it.

Ouch. I have now put four big bets in on the turn.

No worries. 7 of clubs on the river and I get all of it. Flea had 97 of diamonds and Part-Time claims a set, which makes sense.

My first hand against the new player, I complete small after one limper with QTo and he raises the big blind and triple barrels on Q54J4 with A7dd which never had any sort of draw. I like him already.

6:27 PM: I open A9ss, the new guy 3s, button caps.

Flop is 962 with two hearts and one spade. New guy donks, button folds, and I’m loving the situation, but I just call.

Turn is another 9. Now I check-raise and he calls.

River is an offsuit 7 and he raises after I bet. Huh? I start tanking, wondering how I can ever just call here but I talk myself out of it and just call. He has the hand you’d expect him to have: 92 suited.

7:31 PM: Yikes. They are starting a second 15/30 game. Not really sure how I feel about that, but I didn’t bring an extra insulin pump for some reason and my current one is nearly expired so… I might need to drive home and grab one. A second game at least means I won’t have to wait forever if I wind up having to leave and get picked up.

8:05 PM: Frankenstein is in the game! And just as they start a second game, this table starts to crumble. We have lost three players since the other game started.

The maniac new player is still here but he’s been racked up for a while and looks like he could leave any second, especially if people keep departing this game.

I straddled on my button an orbit ago and in the interest of creating a livelier atmosphere. That investment only cost me $225 when I flopped a pair, turned a gutter, and bricked the river.

Fortunately, I flopped top two with AK in a 5-bet pot from my big blind and then I had JJ in a 5-bet pot from my small blind on a final board of Q54QJ, but I was pushing the action the whole way that hand and no one called me on the river.

8:29 PM: Jesus has been resurrected… with his first public poker appearance since the WSOP. He is not in my game yet – he’s in the feeder – but he is very anxious to get over here and do something dumb enough to get blogged about. I can’t wait!

9:06 PM: Frankenstein vs The Dark Knight:

I come back from a break and post, someone raises in front of me and I 3-bet with QTo because I want the button and blinds to fold, but Frankenstein calls from the small.

Flop is 955 and they both check-call. That’s not surprising so I’m planning to barrel off on a lot of turns but it’s a queen and I bet for value. Now Frankenstein check-raises me. Eww. I shouldn’t be good here but I have a hand I’m not really supposed to have and I’m unsure about it all, so I call down and he shows the QJ. So thin!

A few hands later, I open AA and he 3-bets me in position. I just call.

Flop is Q65 and I check-raise.

Turn is an ace and I’m pretty surprised when he raises me here. I raise back and he calls.

River pairs the board and he calls my bet again and flashes me the case ace.

The new manic and NoHair have left and been replaced by Mr. Plow and Mighty Mouse.

9:47 PM: You know you’re a special kind of sicko when you look down at the QTo in the big blind and it folds to the button and you’re hoping he raises because you just want to play poker. He does raise! His first open from the button tonight. I happily defend.

Flop is JTx and I check-raise. He calls, but it looks like he wanted to raise, so I’m on alert.

Turn is a great check-calling card anyway – a king – so that’s what I do.

River is an ace and I lead out and he says, “did you hit your only out again?”

He calls, I table, and he says, “yep, that was your only out. Stone cold dead again and you got your one out.”

I guess I still lose when a 9 comes? I don’t actually say anything when people start saying dumb stuff like this. I just let them vent and sit there quietly.

I guess this is the other hand I was drawing “stone dead” on:

I open JTdd, he defends big blind and then I barrel all three streets on K76d8d9.

Stone dead.

10:11 PM: I lead in a multi-way limped pot from small blind with 97 on Q86 rainbow and get raised in two spots. I call.

Turn is an offsuit 5 and I decide to lead out because I want Frankenstein to call before the other player raises with his super itchy trigger finger, but Big Frank folds and the other player just calls.

River is a jack. I lead, he raises, I snap-3-bet and he caps it. I groan audibly because I immediately see how likely it is for him to have the nuts here, as T9 flopped a double gut shot. I call and he does show me that hand.

10:25 PM: Folds to button again and he opens. I defend A3ss.

Flop is Q82 with one spade. We both check.

Turn is the jack of spades. I bet and he calls.

River is the 7 of diamonds. I bet… he tanks… he folds!

I was probably drawing stone dead there too.

11:15 PM: I am officially without an insulin pump. My blood sugar is currently 170. This should be interesting. At this point, if I go home, I’m not coming back.

12:10 AM: Finally a clash with Jesus. He opens utg, I 3-bet with KK, big blind calls, and so does Jesus.

Flop is 752 and Jesus check-raises me. Other guy folded and I flat to raise the turn.

It’s a 9. He 3-bets. Sigh.

River is a 7 and he still bets. So basically what he’s saying is: he has AA, he has quads, or he raised under the gun with 55 or 22… or he binked the turn. I call and he shows quad sevens.

I open A8hh and Mighty Mouse defends his big blind.

Flop is 642 rainbow and we both check.

Turn is an 8 and Mighty Mouse leads out saying, “I think I’m betting the best hand.” I’m not so convinced, but I just call.

River is an ace and he checks to me. I bet and he immediately raises me. Ouch. Okay, let’s think about this. This is a strong line, but my hand looks like one pair of aces (or a bluff) so if he has two pair, I think check-raising this river is a good line. I tank for a while but eventually conclude I’m still beating way too many hands. I 3-bet, he calls and I’m good.

12.40 AM: I decided to call it a night rather than let my blood sugar get out of control, even though there were still two full games running.

Final Score: +$713

Fortune 20/40 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

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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.

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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

PLO @ The Palace (11/28/18)

November 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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