Posts Tagged ‘pot limit omaha’


PLO Wednesday Highlights (Live Blog)

October 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

So yeah, I got stung by another bee today.

Super cool.

7:04 PM: Notable hands so far:

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

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

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

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

Solid start to my night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So sick. The nit courtesy showed the quad tens.

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

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

Well executed.

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

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

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

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

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

I fold.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Final Score: +$145


$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.


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.


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!



My Nightmare Week of Poker

October 22, 2018

“And it just continues…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just crazy.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah fucking right buddy. Sure you will.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t worry, folks! Punts incoming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, this happened:

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

This hand pretty much defines my week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what October cash games look like:

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

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

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

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


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

October 17, 2018

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

A bit of a recap of my last few days:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Venom – 3/10

Then I picked these little bros up from their haircuts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The river is an offsuit 2 and we both check.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Score: -$449

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


1/3/5 PLO @ Palace with special guest Lee Markholt

October 10, 2018

Woah. It’s not everyday you walk into your local casino and a top 5 player in Washington state history is in your game.

Seriously, look him up: Hendon Mob

He ranks 4th all-time in the state in tournament cashes and is one of the most successful and long-lasting pros to come from Washington. He has multiple appearances on T.V., including a WPT Main Event title.

Pretty cool to have him in the game, but also… not cool.

Rest of the starting lineup: Crypt Keeper, new reg, Part-Time, Baseball Guy, Big Baby, nit, and The Man.

Cards are in the air!

6:10 PM: If you are here for the poker, I’m going to steer you in the direction of the A Star is Born review I published today. The movie is phenomenal. I urge you to read what I wrote about it and go see it ASAP!

A Star is Born is the Best Movie of 2018

6:20 PM: Lee almost immediately loses a massive pot to Part-Time. I was typing as this one was brewing but Part-Time flopped the nut flush draw with some straight draws and all the money eventually got in and he ended up making the flush and holding up when the river paired the board.

6:29 PM: First notable pot, Part-Time limps in and it folds to my big blind and I complete with AKccT3dd. I could (and maybe should) raise it here, but bloating the pot out of position with zero fold equity could create some tricky situations after the flop.

The first three cards are AT4 with two clubs and one diamond. It’s a monstah! I have top two pair, the nut flush draw, and a backdoor diamond draw. Unfortunately, I only have one opponent and a dinky pot out there. I bet $5, Part-Time makes a cute raise to $10, and I 3-bet to $30. He calls.

Turn pairs the ace, giving me the nuts. I bet a weak-looking $20, hoping it might entice him into doing something stupid. He just calls though.

The river is the 3 of clubs. I now have the nuts, the third nuts, and the nut flush. It’s hard to imagine what he could have here, but I assume he either has an ace or made the flush and bet $65, which is pretty near pot-sized and he snap calls and I win the pot.

6:52 PM: Here’s a reminder why you don’t play trash hands in PLO.

The Man limps in and I try to isolate him and take control of the hand by making it $20 with T866 no suits from the cutoff and a decent regular calls on the button. The Man also calls. Ugh. So now I’m out of position with a weak hand. Wonderful.

The flop comes 987 with with two clubs. I flopped a straight. So naturally, I check when it’s my turn, the button bets $45, The Man calls, and I… fold.

I mean seriously. How can you justify playing a hand when you flop a straight with it and check-fold? You can’t. Yet, I’m sure that’s the correct play on the flop and all that does is reinforce the fact that this hand should be tossed into the muck before the flop, even if a somewhat attractive situation arises.

7:39 PM: Limpers in front of me and I call with KK98 with diamonds.

Six of us see the A42 all diamond flop and everyone checks to me. I bet $15 into $35 and the small blind and Big Baby call.

The turn pairs the 2, which is mildly annoying, but they both check again and I bet small at $30 and they both call again.

I’m thinking about whether or not I will be betting the river and I’m leaning towards yes because both my opponents are very loose players with absurdly light calling standards, but… the river is a king! I now have what really feels like the nuts and I size up because I don’t care if they have stronger hands now. I make it $110 and the first guy tanks for a long time (he’s the dude that called me for $175 and then $300 with A832 on 854Q4 last week), but he eventually calls and Big Baby snap calls.

The first guy tells me he flopped a flush and turned a boat, but I don’t believe a word he’s saying. I can buy the flush part, but I was going to bet money on the river that he didn’t have a full house. I mean he’s proven that he could call with a naked ace here.

8:22 PM: Five limpers and Crypt Keeper juices the pot from small blind to $25 and I defend the big blind with KTssQQ, happy to play a multi-way pot here. All five limpers also call.

With $175 in the pot, we get a flop of Q65 with two diamonds and I fire $130. Big Baby and The Man call and then I’m kind of shocked to see Crypt Keeper also call. It seems like if he had a hand he call in this spot with he would be leading the flop a lot. Interesting.

The turn is the 9 of diamonds, which is absolute murder for my hand. Someone is ahead me now, whether it’s with a flush or a straight. I am ecstatic to see it check around.

Unfortunately, the river is a king and Crypt Keeper leads out for $150. He should never be bluffing into Big Baby and The Man here, so whatever he has, it has me beat. I’m guessing he has at least a straight, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a modest flush with it as well. I fold and Big Baby is the only caller. Crypt Keeper turns over J7dd8X for the win. I wish I would have noted what his fourth card was to see what he deems worthy of raising from the small blind in that spot.

8:36 PM: The Man limps, I make it $20 with double suited AAQ7 and unnamed dude from the previous hand makes it $60, folds around to The Man and he calls. There’s another raise left here, so I can get most of that guy’s stack in pre and maybe, just maybe, The Man will fold in this spot… for the first time ever. The first guy calls and, against all odds, The Man does fold, leaving $60 of his precious dollars out there.

My remaining opponent has maybe a third of the pot behind so I just bet $300 dark and we are going to see all the board cards if he calls.

Dealer brings the flop and I’m typing on my phone while he starts tanking and eventually look up to see a board of AQ9 rainbow. Well, that’s nice. Of course, my boy doesn’t let me down and he puts the rest of the chips in, we run it once, and I have a brief scare as the turn makes JT the nuts, but the river pairs the 9 and my hand is clearly the nuts again.

A few hands later, I’m in a multi-way raised pot with AT97 with a suited ace. Flop is AJ9 with two hearts. My favorite current villain fires $25 on the flop and The Man calls on the button. I think my hand is normally a strong folding candidate, since I have no hearts, but the bet is weak relative to the pot size and the call isn’t strong either. I’m taking a card off and proceeding with caution.

The turn is a ten, giving me a better two pair, but making a number of straights. I check and they both also check. I am quite happy about that.

River is the 2 of spades. My hand isn’t really strong enough to bet here, so I check, planning to call any reasonable bet, but my boy bombs it for the full pot. The Man folds and the action is back on me. I have a pure bluff catcher here, but it seems incredibly unlikely that he would bet the flop and then check any of the straights on the turn. My main dilemma is that he could possibly play a set this way. Maaaaybe AJ. On the other hand, I’m blocking all those holdings. I think I have to call here. So I do. He shows AKKx and I win the pot.

10:06 PM: I have gone cold. The game has changed a bit. Part-Time and Big Baby are out. John Kim and new plo regular are in. Crypt Keeper has over $2k. I have around $1700. Tight-solid guy on my left has around $2500. Lee Markholt has around $2200. Needless to say, the looser players have been getting abused.

I come back from a short break to post in the cutoff and it’s raised to $15 in front of me, there’s a call, and I defend with KK96 with diamonds.

Five of us see the A88 with two diamonds flop and they all check to me. I believe the button also called here preflop, but when the PFR and TCK both check to me, I think this is a good hand and board to stab at. I bet $55 and only the PFR calls.

The turn pairs the ace, so now I’m looking at a board of A88A. He checks to me and I don’t see any reason to bet here. I might have the best hand. If I have the best hand, I also have the best draw. I can’t imagine he’s going to fold a better hand than mine. So I check back.

The river is the 5 of diamonds and he checks to me again. Now I feel like I have a hand I can bet. He needs AA, A8, A5, 88, 85, or 55 to beat me. Nothing he has done in this hand has led me to believe he can have any of those hands. If he has an ace, I expect him to call here. I bet $75 but he folds.

10:23 PM: It’s funny this hand starts off with me limping under the gun with ATddT3 and thinking it’s a bit loose. I literally just got done reading about how if you have a hand with a suited ace and a pair then you want your pair to not be suited with the ace. That way half the time you flop a set, there will be at least one card to your suit on the flop. I just read that before this session.

But here I am limping in the worst possible position and breaking the rule. Not only that, but my side card is basically worthless. So I limp, next player limps, John Kim limps, the small blind makes it $20, and only two of us call.

The flop is T84 with two diamonds. Holy shit. It’s the miracle flop. It’s what PLO players dream about. Seems hard for the PFR to want to bet this board, but he fires out $50, I make it $120, and John Kim calls! So does the PFR. Wow!

Turn is a black 2. Amazing. The board texture is the exact same. I bet $225 and they both call again! Well I know what I don’t want. I don’t want any non-diamond 7, 9, Jack, or Queen. A 6 could also be ugly.

The river is a 9… of diamonds! I bet $300, John Kim tanks for a while and eventually folds (a flush – and I believe him) and the PFR snap calls with a King high flush.

What a pot!

But I probably should have open-folded pre. Next time!

10:38 PM: The Godfather is in the building. This is a nickname that goes way back before my blog became a thing. The Godfather is a legendary spectator of Kitsap County poker games. For years, it seemed like he spent more time watching poker from the rail than actually playing poker. That’s how he earned his nickname because it seemed like the only reason he was in the building was to make sure that the dealers were taking the correct rake.

And thus The Godfather was born.

But he’s here playing poker tonight. He’s next up for PLO, but… I suspect he might not be coming over. This is what his stack currently looks like in the 8/16 game:


11:00 PM: Well, we didn’t get The Godfather and the action in the 8/16 game is so good that multiple players passed on PLO seats, including Mr. Plow and Mighty Mouse. So the PLO list just went from seven deep to three – and I think all three of those guys recycled.

We did, however, get a different Kitsap County legend: Godzilla. Here’s the thing: the dude has the physique of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, short arms and all. I can’t help but think of the infamous carnivore when I watch him walk around the room, searching for plant-eaters to swallow. I considered calling him T-Rex and I also considered Barney and while this player is definitely a friendly dinosaur, I can’t imagine Barney’s playing style lining up with his. He’s a hyper loose and aggressive player and thus I will dub him Godzilla.

Welcome to the club, buddy.

I actually have lots of history with Godzilla from back in my Kitsap days but it has been a long time since we clashed regularly.

Lineup update: Crypt Keeper, solid reg, player that has been trying to donate to me, Godzilla, The Man, nit, Lee Markholt, new reg that has been player very aggro

12:04 AM: Lee Markholt has left the game and we never put bets in on the same hand on the same street after the flop. Zero clashes.

12:21 AM: The Godfather has made his way to PLO. He just booked a $1600+ winner in 8/16 and it’s not like he was even playing that long. He was the main beneficiary of The Santa Claus Game.

12:46 AM: Eek. My recent nemesis just smacked Godzilla and The Godfather both.

First, he makes a straight with A985 vs JJxx and the nut flush draw after being the third player to put in $400 on the J76hh flop. The board runs out J769K. That felts The Godfather and puts a hurt on Godzilla.

Then he has JJ vs Godzilla’s AKJx on KJ83x where Godzilla also has the nut flush draw on the turn.

My boy now has over $3500 in chips in front of him and he tends to go out of his way to play poorly against me.


12:55 AM: The Leak just tortured me by sitting down in the PLO game for the briefest of moments before the floor mercifully called her name for 8/16 and she actually took the seat.

1:18 AM: I just walked over to have a few bites of The Leak’s salad and she whispered in my ear, “if you look at me the wrong way, I’m going back over there.”

1:51 AM: My first good hand in what feels like hours, the active and aggro player opens to $15, I make it $40 with KKQhJh, and the Crypt Keeper caps the preflop betting by making it $120. The Godfather and The Man call $120 cold! The aggro player and I also call and there is $600 in the middle and five players seeing the flop.

The board comes down Q97 rainbow with one heart and it checks to Crypt Keeper and he bets $300, which is almost his entire remaining stack. I probably would fold here anyway but The Godfather makes my decision super easy by check-raising to $600. Everyone else folds and they agree to run it twice.

The Crypt Keeper ends up scooping with… J976 double suited… unimproved on both boards.

Say what?! That cold four bet! Also, what the heck is The Godfather jamming with? One of the boards had a ten on the river which seems like it would improve any reasonable drawing hand Godfather could have (and would have given me the nuts on that board).

Well that was lame. Instead of punting off his stack with a piece of cheese like J976, The Crypt Keeper is now sitting with over $1300 again on my direct left.

2:11 AM: The Leak is back in the game and she is quickly all in on the flop with AT97 with nut clubs on J83 with two clubs. It’s a monster draw, but for some reason she says she only wants to run it once and her opponent ends up rivering quads.

After the hand, she says, “I’ve never run it twice before. I don’t know what to do.”

I respond with, “running it twice helps reduce variance,” as she digs into her purse for a reload.

She deadpans: “I’ll run you over twice.”

3:39 AM: I think I’m about to wrap this up here. We are 5-handed and one player is leaving. We have been chopping all night so when it folds to The Leak in the small blind and she makes it $15 to go, I figure she is just doing it to be funny but then she says we are playing now. And then I look down at AAT5 double suited. Of course I do. My wife has felted $200 twice and she bought a third $200 bullet and now has over $700 in front of her. So I do what you should do when your wife raises you in a heads up pot and you have double suited aces… I fold.

I have zero interest in playing 4-handed big bet poker with The Leak.

I am racking up to leave now.

Final Score: +$1940

10:00 AM: I ended up cashing out around 4 AM and I didn’t immediately go to bed. Now I have a 90 minute massage in half an hour that I am probably going to struggle to stay awake during. Normally, I would be headed back to Palace for more PLO @ 6 PM, but Global Poker is running its 2nd annual Eagle Cup series right now and tonight all the tournaments are limit Hold’em. I’m not really focusing much on playing on Global these days – since they stopped allowing Washington state residents to depost – but there’s no way I’m not making their big limit Hold’em tournaments a priority. I won’t go as far as to say I’m the best LHE player on the site, but it’s hard to imagine there are many players that play more LHE than I do and with more success. The LHE cash games very rarely run and when they do, it is almost always at micro stakes. I expect to do way better than my fair share in these tournaments. Of course, I’ll probably end up going 0-3. My lifetime record in LHE tournaments on Global Poker is 5 cashes in 21 tries (23%) for a 26% ROI. I have won their nightly LHE tournament three times, but I am 1 for 6 in their series events with my one cash being a min-cash for 39th place. I’m looking to do big things tonight. The first tournament starts at 5:30 and the last one starts at 6:30, so I expect to be playing until at least 9 PM (Global tournaments have very quick structures). If I’m done playing at a decent time tonight, I will head to Palace for more PLO.


Palace PLO Wednesdays! (10/3/18 Live Blog)

October 3, 2018

Showed up to Palace a little early today to watch the AL Wild Card Game. It didn’t take long for Aaron Judge to make it a 2-0 game. I really like Aaron Judge but I really hate the Yankees so I’m on Team Oakland tonight. I had over on the Yanks and over on Luis Severino’s win tally, but the regular season is over and I can officially stop rooting with my wallet.

Go A’s!!

List for PLO includes The Crypt Keeper, The Man, Part-Time, Hit&Run, and…

HIS ROYAL AIRNESS! And he’s already in the building so there’s no smoke and mirror potential there. The guy is going to play some 4-card poker tonight.6:11 PM: Official starting lineup: His AIRNESS, Part-Time, couple of random guys I don’t know (one of them is drinking beer and the other one looks like he’s about to knit a sweater), The Man, decent player that has been in this game lately, and The Crypt Keeper.

Pretty solid mix of tight players and a couple super loose ones.

His Airness just felted. We have played four hands.

6:31 PM: This seems like a missed opportunity: Airness opens $15, Part-Time calls, I call with 8866 double suited from the small blind and big blind also defends.Flop is 877. It’s reasonable to lead out here but His Airness c-bets recklessly, so a bet is always going in, regardless of what he has. He bets $25, Part-Time calls and I make it $65 to go from out of position. That looks pretty nutted but they both call anyway.

Turn is a 3 and it kind of feels like Part-Time has a 7 so I size up enough to make sure I get the rest of my stack in on the river (I started with around $500) and bet $140. Unfortunately, they both fold.

Some massive dude going by Big Baby (not my creation) just sat down with $1k and he looks like someone that is going to be putting chips in the pot.

6:58 PM: Big Baby 1, Dark Knight 0I make a pot-sweetening raise with bad double suited aces to $20 after four limpers from the small blind. All the limpers call.

I bet $75 into $100 on QJ5 holding the nut flush draw and only Big Baby calls.

Turn is a red 8 and I check-call $75.

River King and we both check. He wins with QJxx.

Big Baby just won a potentially game-changing pot against The Man and His Airness. The Man wins that one and this game could get ugly real quick.

7:11 PM: Big Baby opens to $15 and I try to isolate to $35 with QJT5 double suited, but both randos call and The Crypt Keeper caps it at $50 (which, in retrospect, isn’t even a legal raise size – it has to be at least $55). 5 or 6 of us call.Flop is QTx with two spades and it checks to me. I bet $150 and that is close to pot-sized and only one of the randos calls.

I’m looking for a blank turn so I can max bet for most of his stack. The 4 of hearts is a beauty. I bet $300 and… he goes all in for $11 more.

We run it once… because he has me smashed with ATssTx.

My two-outer doesn’t get there and I am officially bleeding.

I am down $700 but Big Baby has almost $2k on my immediate right.

7:52 PM: The whole table limps and His Airness makes it $20 from the small blind and we all call.

There is $180 in the pot. There is no muck.

My hand is AsQs88.

The flop is K82 rainbow with one spade and His Airness checks. Big Baby balks at it so the action is on me. My hand is basically a monster here but also hard to get action. I size decently at $110 – not big enough that no one can call but but small enough that someone can float me with impunity and pick up huge equity on the turn. Everyone with position folds and Part-Time check-raises the max from the big blind.

Unfortunately, this pushes Big Baby out and I put Part-Time all in for a little more and I ask how many times he wants to run it and he “doesn’t care” so I’m only running it once.

The board runs out clean and I win a much needed pot.

Only down $400 now.

Part-Time is out of here and Villain takes a rare seat in the game.

8:08 PM: Oh my. Big Baby is racked up like he’s leaving. He has over $3k in front of him. Please say it isn’t so, Big Baby!

8:18 PM: So frustrating. Raised multiway pot again and I have QT99 double suited in the big blind.

Flop is 986 with one diamond. Not super worried about T7s and 75s here so I lead out for $105 and only a random and Big Baby call.

Turn is a 2d to give me a flush draw with everything else I have going for me. Big Baby donks out $200. I think this is a raise. He doesn’t strike me as the type of player savvy enough to check-call straights on the flop and bet out on safe turns. I call though and I fucking hate it now. Other dude calls also.

River is a Queen and Big Baby leads $200. Dude on my left is feigning fold so I call and then the dude behind me makes it $500.

Sigh. We both fold. He shows J3dd which is even more annoying because I had a Queen high flush draw. Meanwhile Big Baby is saying, “pair the board.”

Fuck. What a catastrophe.

I mean maybe that dude just takes $500 to the face with Jd3dTx but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have made him have to.

And now Big Baby is gone. With over $3k in chips.

His Airness is still here which is nice, but he’s short.

The two randoms have a lot of chips but they have been playing decently.

Mr. Plow is next up for this game but he’s never played it as far as I know and I’ll believe it when I see it.

And the random in s6 that beat me in that last pot another $3k off the table.

I’m steaming now. His Airness felts and leaves and I might just rage quit.

8:31 PM: And the random in s5 hit and runs also!

Now it’s just seven of us, sitting here miserable because we all got smashed and now the game is on the verge of SUCKING.

8:32 PM: We have life! Another random I’ve never seen before sits down… with $200. Yawn.

Will he run it up to $1500 and leave?

Stay tuned.

9:15 PM: Uneventful happenings on the felt, but The Man just told me about a sick, awesome bet he made in college. He bet one of his friends that the Mariners would win the World Series before the Cubs and with every year that passed without one of those teams winning it all, they each deposited $100 into a joint account.

They made that bet in 1991.

The Cubs finally won in 2016.

So cool.

Except the Mariners not winning part.

The AL Wild Card Game was a dud, but the bright side is that it now sets the Red Sox and Yankees to meet up in the postseason for the first time in 14 years.

What? Has it really been that long? Yes. They haven’t battled when it mattered most since the infamous 2004 ALCS when the tides changed forever.

So… I guess that’s kind of cool. And the nice thing is this historic match is happening in the Division Series and not the ALCS. No matter how much history there is here I never want to see the Red Sox or Yankees advance in the playoffs.

Go Astros.

Go Indians.

9:37 PM: There is hope on the horizon: Animal is first up on the list.

9:59 PM: Call a $15 raise from The Man with 8776 double suited and we go to the flop multiple ways.

K33 rainbow isn’t interesting… to anyone. It checks around.

Turn is pretty cool: 7 of hearts, giving me a pretty nutted hand and opening up a heart flush draw. The Man bets $40, I call hoping to keep some players in (and avoid destruction when The Man is slow playing KK on the flop), and Villain is the only other caller from the big blind.

River is the 9 of spades and they both instantly check to me. That seems weak so I keep it reasonable at $75 and Villain snap-calls and I wish I had sized bigger.

Meanwhile, Animal is still first up. Uhm, doesn’t The Crypt Keeper have a horror anthology to host somewhere? Gtfoh, buddy.

10:53 PM: Animal sits down with almost $1300 in chips. The maximum buy in is $1000. No one say anything.

Dealer is making him take chips off the table now. 😡

11:21 PM: 3-bet AA52 with clubs to $40 and get three callers. Hit a nice flop of J43 with one club and bet $90 but nobody wants to play.

11:42 PM: The Palace dealer I’ve been wanting to give a name to and I have settled on a name. He is Twinkie. And he’s a white dude, so that’s not some kind of racially charged nickname. He’s just a skinny, goofy looking white guy that Billy Dubz decided to call Twinkie and I was like…



So Twinkie is in the game now and The Man is gone.

Also, Twinkie is the one person that has committed to go to Chinook Winds with me. So he definitely needed a name.

I have a place booked for the 23rd through the 28th. I wanted to be there for the O8, Big O, and Main Events.

12:27 AM: Holy shit. Mr. Plow is in the PLO game. I thought it was all show. I didn’t think he’d actually sit down. He has $500 in front of him… and I’m assuming very little clue how to play this game, but we shall see.

1:15 AM: It’s not a coincidence that as the night wears on my material dries up. I haven’t been very involved and the craziness has basically stopped. Animal and His Airness are both gone now and that automatically halves the average pot size. Mr. Plow has been playing conservatively as he gets his feet wet in this game. The Crypt Keeper is basically napping in between hands.

I will probably be leaving shortly. It’s late and this game isn’t too attractive.

1:43 PM: Wow. I picked up to cash out and three players immediately quit the game. LOL. That sure makes me feel good.

Anyways, this fires back up at 6 PM tomorrow and I’ll be here for that. I will probably actually be here at 2 PM for the first game of the MLB Division Series.

Final Score: -$280

Not too bad considering I was -$1000 at one point and it never felt like anything good really happened.


Nickname Fest: PLO @ Palace (LIVE BLOG)

September 26, 2018

I really didn’t plan to blog tonight. It’s going to be a time-restricted session and I will probably be blogging all weekend but…

I’m not sure I’ve ever played in a lineup where every single player had a nickname.

Tonight’s PLO lineup: Animal, John Stockton, The Man, Mr. Baseball, The Riddler, Part-Time, Santa Claus, and The Crypt Keeper.

My oh my… as Dave Niehaus used to say.


7:00 PM: Well I didn’t make this post to not write any hands but the first hour has been a whole lot of whiffing for me. However, I am working on a trip report for the rest of our trip that I will copy and paste here shortly for everyone to read.

7:09 PM: So much for that. Just got in an awkward spot where Animal leads turn and everyone else’s ranges are capped after the flop checks through in a raised pot and I isolate him with a weak aces up hand figuring it will clear the field. He’s kind of short so my raise to $260 is more of a $180 call against someone that is super duper wide and reckless. Unfortunately he has the same hand, but with the nut flush draw and we only run it once and he binks the flush.

Very next hand I defend a UTG raise from John Stockton in a multiway pot with KQ32 double suited.

The flop is KK6 with two spades and he leads $40 and the field folds. I’m happy to get it in against him and after I check-raise him he 3-bets and I jam for a minimal amount and he says, “I don’t know if I even want to call now,” so for the briefest of moments I think I have him crushed. But then he does call and shows the AK94. I started the hand with $285ish, so we weren’t particularly deep. We run it twice and he wins both of them.


-$600! Solid start.

Santa Claus has been replaced by John Stockton’s buddy that has never played in this game before, as far as I know.

Trip Update

In my last blog post I posted updates of our trip through our stay in Houston.


We left Houston early on Thursday afternoon and started our drive towards Dallas.

Well, sort of. We were stopping off in Waco, Texas first to see the Magnolia Stores by Joanna and Chip Gaines. I don’t know anything about them other than that they are notable television personalities. But Magnolia was definitely high on my wife’s list of things she wanted to see.

The store had some cool things in it, but that didn’t interest me too much. The area around the store was really nice. Beautiful. They have done a nice job of making the store a destination stop, complete with iconic silos, great scenery and a play area and food trucks out back that create an almost fair-like vibe.

Here are some pics:

Also in the Waco area is the campus of Baylor University. Very, very nice. We drove through it three times and the pictures I took really don’t do it justice.

From Waco, we were on our way to Dallas to stay two nights and watch a Mariners vs Rangers MLB game in Arlington.

All in all, it was about five hours of driving on Thursday and we were pretty wiped when we got to our hotel.

Our first night in Dallas I believe we got some authentic Texas BBQ and it was amazing, but it is also the only time we didn’t take food pics our whole trip.

Even though I was exhausted I couldn’t resist the drive to Oklahoma to play some poker and I already blogged that session.


On Friday we made an effort to try some Tex-Mex cuisine for the first time and went to a place called Mia’s where they had mandatory valet parking.

As I noted in my blog post at Winstar the locals were saying the Rangers game was “100%” to be postponed. That means it is always getting cancelled and there is no room for error.

Fortunately they were wrong. Sort of. It was raining pretty hard when we got to the stadium area. Hard enough that I was pretty sure we were going to miss this game. But it stopped pouring as I was walking around the Globe Life Park area checking out the Dallas Cowboys stadium, an interesting place called Texas Live! and the site of the new stadium they are building for the Rangers, set to open in time for the 2020 season.

New stadium site

Cowboys Stadium

Texas Live!

I guess missing letters is a thing?

I made my way into the stadium and did a loop while The Leak was hanging out in the car still.

Here’s what the park looked like when I walked in:

Nolan Ryan:

Insane food:

With insane prices:

The Mariners showed me zero love before the game this time… because no one was on the field until ten minutes before game time.

Game on!

Rocksteady and his buddy actually joined us for this game. He is in the process of relocating to the Dallas area, permanently. R.I.P. to another blog regular. On the bright side, he can still play poker in Oklahoma and that is a short 75 minute drive away.

We saw another stinker. Mariners got crushed and it was never close. The coolest things we got to see were Adrian Beltre hit a 3-run bomb and Joey Gallo literally blast one into orbit.

And then the rain started. And it got heavy. Fast. I knew it was a wrap. The outfield had a lake in it with minutes.

We hung around for a short time, mostly just staring in awe and not wanting to drive in that mess.

Then I braved the drive home and drove 35 mph on the 70 mph interstate freeway like the locals.

The game still wasn’t called over an hour later when we got home, but they did eventually call it a wrap in the top of the 7th, making it plenty official.

I learned a fact that blew my mind: it was the first MLB game in Globe Life Park history to ever start, but stop short because of weather. 23 years… with sudden downpours like this possible… and… never?

Unreal. I got to witness baseball history.



This was leaving day and we were pretty stoked about it. But we had a lot of time to kill after checking out of our hotel and we met up with Rocksteady again to do an Escape Room together.

It was Escape The Room in Dallas and we did The Apartment… with a group of six strangers. That was kind of lame and the first ten minutes or so were pretty chaotic as everyone went off in different directions and figuring things out in a very unorganized manner.

It mellowed our though and, with way too much help from the host, I participated in a successful escape for the first time ever, bringing my career total to 1 of 3! But it really feels more like 0 for 3. Not gonna lie.

Mark that up as another escape room I give a thumbs up to though.

After that we had a couple more hours to kill and decided to watch a movie in an abandoned mall and since the times for most of the movies I hadn’t seen didn’t work out, I watched Searching for the second time because I thought my wife would really enjoy it.

8:22 PM: Running brutal with top set here. I lost with it three times in a row before finally picking one up with a c-bet in a raised pot.

I was on a pretty short stack and feeling pretty punty when I called with the 6542 one suit on the button against a Crypt Keeper raise and multiple limpers.

Flop was 432 rainbow and everyone checked to me. I bet the pot which was $120 and almost my entire stack and figured it’s always folding around, but John Stockton gave me a play and a we got it in on the turn. I had turned a flush draw but so did he and I needed to dodge a diamond on the turn against his KT53 and I managed to do so and double up.

8:47 PM: I limp along in the cut with AKT3 no good suits and John Stockton raises on the button.

A few of us see the flop but Part-Time is the only caller of $40 on AT8 with two clubs and its back to me. I feel like I have the best hand, but I’m quite vulnerable and my opponent is wildly unpredictable. I decide to call.

Gin: an ace. We have the nuts. I would lead against a lot of players here, but not JS. I think he’s going to bet a lot of the time and he doesn’t disappoint by betting the pot: $170. Part-Time folds and I jam for $355 or so. He tanks and calls it off with QJJ9. He has the Q9 of clubs which gives him one straight flush out. We run it once, he misses, and I double up again.

9:01 PM: I open AA99 one suit under the gun to $15, there’s a call, Riddler makes it $65, The Man calls and it is back to me. Riddler and I have decent stacks and The Man is super deep. It’s a snap-4-bet spot but I am also aware of how loose The Man is in spots like this. I haven’t seen him fold much. Sure enough, Stockton and Riddler fold when I pot to $275 and The Man knows he should to, wants to even, but just can’t do it. He calls the $275.

Sheesh. I really might need to change his name to High Variance. Somehow, in our entire history of playing together, I have managed to avoid getting screwed in this spot. I think we have gotten heaps in preflop when I have AAxx and he has folded to my flop bet every time. This has happened at least three times now.

Flop is QT3 with two spades (I have none) and I bet $300 and he mercifully folds again.

9:34 PM: It’s been a while since this hand happened so I forget the preflop details but I must be in a blind because I’m out of position with AT87 double suited on a flop of J96 rainbow and it checks to Part-Time and he bets $25 and The Man calls. I don’t sense strength and I feel like I can barrel a lot of turns so I make it $125 and they both call rather quickly. Alright.

Turn is an ace. I am quite happy to bet this card. I still have all my drawing equity and I could easily have the best hand now too. I bet $300, Part-Time folds immediately, but The Man thinks for quite a long time before making it $600. Ouch.

Now it’s my turn to think. I’m not folding. But I have $800+ behind and I’m wondering if I should stick it all in here to get max value if I get there. I eventually conclude I will fold the river if I miss and save the $500+ I have back. I call.

And obviously I get there with a ten. And obviously he folds when I fire $300. I think my line is fine, maybe good even, but it’s just amusing that I would have maximized by taking the other route.

10:44 PM: This game has dried up drastically. We are down to 6-handed play: me, The Man, Crypt Keeper, Mr. Baseball, random and a tight player. Not great. Chops are happening. I was planning to leave at midnight or so, but 10:45 is starting to look like a reasonable option.

11:08 PM: Yep. That was a wrap. I decided that I didn’t want to grind out an hour or two longer in a 5 out of 10 game when it used to be a 10 out of 10 when I can go home early, play some PS4, and still get a good night sleep before tomorrow’s 10 AM start for the $200 Omaha 8 tourney in the Muck Series.

See you then.

Final Score: +$1115

Not bad for starting out -$1k.