Posts Tagged ‘pot limit omaha’

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

September 12, 2018

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

Things we will be doing:

*eating lots of local food

*swamp tour

*crossing the Mississippi River on a ferry

*playing poker at Harrah’s in N.O.

*driving across the Lake Pontchartrain bridge

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

*maybe visit some NASA stuff

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

*visit the JFK Memorial in Dallas

*watch the Mariners play the Rangers in Globe Life Park

*eat some Texas BBQ

*play poker at Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joker: *laughs*

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

Joker: Why do you want a call so bad?

Me: I don’t want a call.

Joker: You have a set of queens?

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

He eventually puts me all in.

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

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

Final Score: -$237

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Poker Live Blog

August 29, 2018

Someone asked me yesterday, “do you even blog anymore?”

Yes. Yes I do. But I was losing every time I blogged lately so I was cutting back for a bit. I’ll be more active again, starting tonight.

Because it’s not like not blogging worked out great for me. Here are last week’s results:

  • Sunday: +$18
  • Tuesday: -$74
  • Wednesday: -$1500
  • Thursday: -$249
  • Friday: -$132
  • Saturday: -$1024

Pretty cool week that turned what was looking to be a pretty good month into a mediocre one. And with three days and three sessions left in the month – and one big bet game – things can still change quite a bit.

At 6 PM, it is just me, The Man, and Part-Time sitting with chips in front of us and…

…we are dealing.

This is going to make blogging pretty difficult until we pick up some more players.

6:19 PM: Preflop stickiness is working out for me so far. I’ve 3-bet three times and got zero folds until I barreled postflop.

A good, higher stakes reg just sat down to my immediate left. That’s not cool. Hit&Run just walked in and doesn’t seem too interested in playing short-handed or with the current lineup.

Defend AT75 with hearts for $15 and three of us see flop. It’s A86 rainbow and it checks around. The turn is a 3 and The Man leads out for $40. I have decent straight draws and top pair and with a rainbow on board I’m not vulnerable to flushes not be river. I decide to make it $140 and Part-Time folds. The Man calls and we both check on the river when it pairs the 8. My AT is good.

6:33 PM: I open $15 with AAK8 with hearts, button calls, Part-Time calls, and The Man makes it $75 from the big. I pot to $255 and only The Man calls. He has like $600 behind, so there are some boards I don’t want to play for stacks on but the 963 rainbow is pretty safe vs his range. I bet $300 and he folds.

That’s a max bet on the flop and maybe that’s bad, but it is a little less than 60% of the pot. But I wonder… my hand is a bit face up and when I max bet on flop, I pretty much limit his continuing range to hands that have me beat or very strong draws. It is kind of a weird spot since he has a bit more than a pot-sized bet left. It seems unlikely I can milk him here and I don’t want to walk him into a winner in a pot that’s already large.

6:43 PM: Some new developments since my last post… we got a new puppy. His name is Albus… but he also goes by Big Al, Albie, Albert, The Wizard, Wiz, Dumbledore, Dumblydore, and Dumbo!

And here is how Hammy feels about his new brother:

On Sunday we went whitewater rafting on the Tieton River with a group of friends and family. We did this same river in late September of 2016 and it was amazing. I don’t know what made it different this time, but the river was much tamer. In 2016, it was basically all whitewater with many moments of excitement and this past trip had lots of floating time and only a few good rapids.

Some pre-rafting pics:

7:31 PM: A random walks in! Hit&Run takes a seat! Another player sits down! We are 7-handed now and I’m pretty sure one of them has ZERO clue.

And John Kim makes us 8-handed! I’m going to play PLO for longer than two hours tonight. Yay!

7:40 PM: And my read is correct… player I thought had no clue 3-bets with KQQ6 one suit, calls off a pot-sized 4-bet and gets stacked in his first orbit after flopping a bad flush draw vs AAxx. I’ve seen him get deep in 15/30 but he sat with $300 here and reloaded for another $300.

7:55 PM: Game is now full. I have to admit I did not see that coming when we were still playing 4-handed thirty minutes ago.

I would say three players in this game are absolutely dead money and it will be a race to get it because it will go fast.

8:38 PM: Ever since the game filled up, I’ve had few playable hands and zero interesting spots.

I brought back an oldie today: I took a cold shower. Once upon a time, I decided to take the 30-day Cold Shower Challenge. I thought I blogged the experience but I can’t find it while searching on my phone (maybe those of you on a PC will have better luck?). I didn’t complete it. I think I got about 30-40% of the way through and convinced myself it wasn’t worth it.

Why do this, you ask? I can’t remember. Google it and there are all sorts of benefits that can happen.

I’m doing this again purely for the challenge of it. I want to finish it. Because I’m a sicko. Because nothing wakes me up like a splash of cold water in my face.

Day #1 complete. Before jumping in the water, I stood there for about two minutes like am I really going to do this? Am I doing this? Finally I mustered up the courage and hopped in. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered it. But really that first shower is spent mostly soaping and shampooing while the cold water hits your calves and rinsing off as quickly as possible.

I’m looking forward to seeing this through and when I get a chance I’ll look up the benefits again myself.

8:53 PM: I knew if I got sidetracked there would be action.

First, two of the dead money players get it all in on the turn vs the higher stakes guy and they both felt to him. Yippee. On the bright side, they both reloaded (though Hit&Run felted again as I was typing this).

Then, I open KK44 double suited and get lots of callers.

Flop is KQ9 rainbow and I decide to check and see what happens. One of the dead players bets $100, which is close to pot-sized, and I’m the only caller.

Turn pairs the queen and I go ahead check it because I don’t think this guy has any clue. He bets $100. That’s a bit disappointing and now I feel like I have to size down on my check-raise and only make it $250 to go. He snaps.

River is another queen. Sigh. That’s not a bad card because I’m worried about quads; it’s a bad card because I think this dingbat was going to call $300 on the river with JT. I bet $100 and he calls.

Very next hand I open with QJT9 with spades and get multiple callers again.

Flop is T83 with two spades. We have a pair. We have a wrap. We have a flush draw. Yum yum. I bet $60 and it folds to The Man in the small blind and he check-raises to $215, leaving himself with just over $300 behind. With no one else in, this is a great spot to get it in and play for stacks so I make it $515 and…

…he folds.

What. I decide to show and he says he had a set of 8s.

🤯

9:14 PM: Open-limo AJT4 double suited, there’s another limp and the good player makes it $15, and seven of us see the flop.

Flop brings the Q82 with two hearts. I have the nut flush draw and a gut shot and lead out for $60. Only the solid player calls me.

Turn is a black king. I have no idea what to do here against this player. I have a massive draw now. I also have the ace and jack of hearts and the queen of hearts is on board. He probably doesn’t have a flush draw and there weren’t many good straight draws on the flop… maybe a hand like JT9x with the T9 of hearts? Also, we are both deep. I don’t want to pot it and face a $300 raise and totally telegraph my hand by calling. But then check-calling feels pretty face up also. I dunno. I guess it might be best to barrel and put more money in the pot with a hand that makes the nuts on the river a lot… plus he can fold if I bet. He can’t fold if I check.

So I check. He checks back?

Huh.

River is a 2, pairing the board. I don’t have enough history with this dude for him think I will play a set this way, so if I bet river he’s going to think it’s a bluff. Always.

I give up and he bets $60 and I fold.

>Someone educate me here.

9:44 PM: Pot of the night alert:

I open with AKQ5 double suited and people call me.

Flop is KQJ with one of both of my suits on board and it checks around.

The turn is the ten of clubs. Now I have the nuts, top two pair, and the second nut flush draw. Part-Time leads out for $50, the next guy calls and I feel like I should want more money to go in this pot. I make it $250 to go. That clears the field. Part-Time makes it $550 to go and the other guy goes all in for just over $600. Okay, maybe I didn’t want more money to go in. It’s obvious that Part-Time has the nut flush draw with his straight… but I’m committed to seeing the river so I call and…

…it’s a king! I have the nuts. What a luck box. Part-Time checks, I bet $300 (dumb) and he folds. I should just size down and make sure he puts more money in the pot. If I bet $100 it’s brutal to fold there.

Bad raise? Great result! $1800+ pot my way.

10:55 PM: Playing 5-handed now and I open to $15 with AJK one suit. Yeah. I didn’t look at my fourth card. I’ve seen enough. Two players call.

Flop is T74 rainbow. Checks to me and since I have zilch with my three cards I look at the last one: AAKJ. Pretty solid. I decide to bet $20 and they both call.

Turn seems great: it’s a queen. Now I have aces with a broadway wrap. I bet $80 and button pots it to $345. That’s unfortunate. Other guy folds and she has maybe $300 left. I call.

River pairs the 4 which could be good and I feel optimistic when she bets $125 instead of her remaining chips. That gets her QQxx paid off.

11:24 PM: Random dude I’ve never seen sits down with $500. This always makes me happy.

11:43 PM: Button limps, SB makes it $10, I call with an ugly T993 one suit. Not sure what I’m doing here.

3-ways to the KK2 two diamond flop. SB leads $25 and I decide to make it $65. This is a pure bluff. It is swiftly interrupted when the button calls. SB folds.

Turn is the Ace of diamonds. I now have a flush and I’m pretty sure my opponent has a king. I check and he bets $90. I call, planning to re-evaluate on the river.

The river is some card. I check and he checks back.

We good!

12:08 AM: Good lord. Raised pot 5-ways. I have 9876 on 865 with two spades. Someone leads $50, I make it $150, loose terrible player calls, so does flop bettor.

Turn is 2d giving me a flush draw. I bet $300 and loose terrible player is my only action.

River is ace of spades. I check and he bets $300. Pretty comical. Notice how if he has a flush he put in $450 drawing to a non-nut flush. Of course, he’s plenty capable of doing exactly that. I have the 6 of spades in my hand, which isn’t a huge blocker, but it does block some of his pair plus straight draw/flush draw type hands. This dude is a loose cannon. I should probably fold. He can have all the flushes, even the shitty ones.

Would he bluff non-flushes here? I think he’s capable.

I ended up calling and hating it. He shows me a ultra disgusting TT73 with spades.

Lord have mercy.

I’m kind of ready to go home but this super torcher has over $3k in front of him now. He’s one of the players I said was drawing dead earlier. He still is… if this game keeps going.

1:31 AM: Well, the game broke and dude escaped with over $3000. Pretty sick.

I was up around $2700 at one point but had to settle for a +$1650 and I can’t be mad about that.

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Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace 8/22/18 Live Blog

August 22, 2018

1/3/5 PLO action starting in 13 minutes!

5:49 PM: Currently 12 names on the list. I see four players here right now, but one of them is The Man and he’s still working. The Riddler is on the list and he’s confirmed not playing – at least to start the game. I recognize three of the other six names and none of them are present.

Looks like a slow start.

5:57 PM: I spent Sunday and Monday at Safeco watching the Mariners fight for their playoff lives against the Dodgers and Astros.

The game against the Dodgers was dead on arrival, when the Mariners pitted Roenis Elias – fresh off four rehab starts in which he never made it through two innings – against Clayton Kershaw, the best starting pitcher of the past decade. The Dodgers clobbered Elias in the 1st and never recovered, losing 12-1 and putting position players on the mound. On the bright side, I got to watch an all-time great (Kershaw) do his thing and then Zac Rosscup came in for the 9th and pitched an immaculate inning.

An immaculate inning is when a pitcher throws nine pitches, all strikes, and strikes out the side. They are less common than a no hitter and yet I saw Kenley Jansen throw one last May at Dodger Stadium. Less than 100 immaculate innings in MLB history and I’ve seen two of them. Pretty cool!

Monday was a much better game. The M’s were playing catch up after a 3-run 3rd that saw them trailing 4-1, but it was tied after six innings and then Robinson Cano hit a super clutch 3-run bomb in the bottom of the 8th to break the tie and Edwin Diaz did his thing in the 9th to close out the win. Very exciting!

I popped into Palace after the game on Monday but I was 4th up for 8/16 so I sat in a 4/8 game and there was a younger guy I’ve never seen before talking shit to everyone and acting like a hot shot. It’s one thing to be arrogant, but it’s something else to belittle every person at the table.

I wasn’t having it. Do I want my 8/16 seat? No, no I do not. Recycle me. I have a mission to complete.

When I decided I wanted to ruin this guy’s night he had about $400 in front of him. I eventually moved to his direct left and I had to reload another $300, but I was playing some serious target poker, 3-betting him with garbage and raising him on the flop with any piece of the board. One time I had bottom pair and he had a set and someone else did too. It was beautiful.

He felted the $400 and bought another $200, but he left the game after I 3-bet him with 85hh and barreled off on the K4358 runout.

I won another hand after that and cashed out +$18. I was pretty pleased with myself. I just hope he didn’t get in a car accident on his way home.

6:36 PM: Key hands while I was typing that:

One limper, I make it $20 on the button with a raggedy QQ63 one suit. The man calls from the small, Part-Time calls from the big and the limper calls.

Flop is K54 rainbow and it checks to me. I have a bad straight draw and a backdoor flush draw. Seems like checking is okay.

Turn is the queen of spades. The Man leads out for what looked like pot and the limper goes all in for $222. I have the second nuts and a bad straight draw. It’s definitely enough to get it in here. I max raise to $522, leaving myself with dollars behind. The Man folds and we agree to run it twice.

He has 8763 and a flush draw.

We both make a six high straight on the first board but I make a full house on the second one to get 3/4 of the pot.

New player opens to $10, one caller, I make it $45 with AAKJ one suit and only the opener calls.

Flop is KQ6 with two clubs and we get it all in for his stack. I have the nut flush draw.

We run it twice and I make the nut flush on the first board and he makes a straight with JT99 on the second board. We split that one.

I complete the big blind with 88xx in my hand.

Flop is A84 rainbow and I bet $15 into $20 and get two calls.

Turn is a 7 and completes the rainbow. I decide to check and see what they do. The first one bets $25 and the other player calls. They both have less than $200 behind and I’m not sensing strength. $25 is a pretty weak bet into a $75 pot. I make it $150 and they both go all in!

We run it once and the river is a 4. I snap roll my hand and one of them says, “wow I got lucky” and rolls A44x and the other guy flashes 77.

Wth.

After that flurry of events, I am down about $120.

6:55 PM: We have picked up three players and are now 7-handed.

7:20 PM: Call a $15 raise with AQJ3 one suit and it’s five of us to the flop.

Flop is AK8 and it checks around.

Turn is a jack and the PFR leads a weak-ish $30. I decide to call.

River is an ace, giving me the second nuts and he bets $100. He only has like $125 behind… I have the second best hand possible… it would seem silly not to raise… however, I was sort of leaning towards calling. But I kept coming back to the flop check and I just thought it would be too absurd to check the flop with AK against four opponents. It just made no sense. I put him all in and he snap rolls AK before calling. Lol.

Running pretty good tonight. 👍🏻

8:10 PM: We have a full game. Well, sort of. The Man is having a rough time, giving all his chips to Part-Time for some reason. That sucks because Part-Time could leave any minute… with the $2k+ that’s in front of him right now.

There are now four Palace staff members in the game.

8:44 PM: Another nice connection: call a raise multiway with AQT9 on the button.

It’s like 5- or 6-ways to KQJ and the PFR bets $30, the next player calls, and I make it $125. The small blind jams for $149 and the other two players fold. We run it once. He makes a running flush with KKxx.

I’ve folded 7655 on Q66x (vs QQ) and K876ss on KKJss4 (vs JJ) so I’m playing pretty well but the run bad is pretty real tonight.

I’m about -$555.

9:13 PM: Okay. Frustration is building. I just lost a pot when I should have folded the flop. That’s more annoying than losing the pots I’m supposed to win.

I’m -$800 now.

I just moved to the left of someone that came in drunk. He just felted $600+ in the five minutes I was clearing my head outside.

9:21 PM: Eh. Part-Time left with all the chips. The drunk guy felted, rebought $500, and decided not to play.

I reloaded and s1 has a lot of chips, but the other remaining players have an average stack of like $400.

10:00 PM: Obviously. I open AKQJ with one suit. One caller.

Flop J52 with two diamonds. I bet $15 and my opponent makes it $45. I have KQ of diamonds, so second nut flush draw. This is a pretty good flop for me but it’s also pretty easy to be dominated. Certainly the nut flush draw is a decent part of his raising range. But I’m stuck $1000 and looking to play a big pot and make it $175 to go. He tanks for a while and calls.

Turn 4. I bet $300 and he puts me all in for $450-ish total. I call.

We agree to run it twice.

He shows me AJ33 with nut diamonds and I just fold my hand and walk out the door.

GG.

-$1500

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Pot Limit Omaha @ Palace (Live Blog)

August 15, 2018

Blog starting soon. 1/3/5 structure for this game. I’m starting with $600 on the table and the $1400 on top in my pocket for reserves.

Slow start already. This could end up being an unexpected 8/16 session. There are currently only five stacks on the table at the moment.

6:13 PM: Cards are in the air 5-handed. Part-Time and The Man have stacks on the table. Someone I’ve never seen in my life just sat down (with $200).

Pot A! Open to 15 with AT87 all clubs (lol) and two players in position call.

Flop 962 with two clubs. I bet 25 and they both fold.

6:18 PM: I published my last post on Saturday afternoon and I was about to play a 15/30 session. It went quite pure. I cashed out +$2680. I started off thinking I might post some hands but decided against it.

However, I did jot this one down. Someone opened and I flatted with AA from the big blind.

I had already been caught bluffing in a big blind defending spot so I thought check-raising the 433 flop wouldn’t look too credible. I barreled off on the 5 turn and queen river and suddenly my opponent was raising me. I SNAP 3-bet it. Like the instant he crossed the line I threw $60 more in the pot. I’ve never been so confident about 3-betting one pair (technically two pair) on the river. He called and my hand was good.

That’s all I have to report from that magical session. I ran pretty good. That’s all there is to say. It was my first win of $1k+ in the Palace 15/30 since May 11th, almost three months ago. That seems pretty bad, but I was in Vegas for about six weeks of that time and the 15/30 hasn’t been going very regularly. But still, in the three months before that $1k+ 15/30 win on May 11th, I had fourteen $1k or better wins in the Palace 15/30. 14!

6:34 PM: Someone blind raises to $10, Part-Time calls, The Man makes it $15, and I cap the preflop betting by making it $50 with AKJ3 double suited. Part-Time and The Man both call.

Flop is K42 with two spades (I have hearts and clubs) and Part-Time leads out full pot. Eh. Pretty easy fold I guess. I have top pair and a bad gutter, but not much else going on. Anything he’s potting the flop with probably has me in pretty rough shape.

6:49 PM: We are 8-handed but it’s a very weak 8-handed game. Part-Time and Hit&Run, as their names indicate, are usually not long for the game. Hit&Run has already doubled up, so he’s one decent pot away from leaving. There are two other noob players. One of them has less than $400 and the other has played this game multiple times but never for even as long as an hour.

We just filled the game with a ninth player but I’ve never seen him before and he has less than $200.

It’s a full game that could easily be 5-handed in less than an hour. I’ll check in at 7:50 and see where we stand.

6:57 PM: Oh snap. The Joker is on the list as a call in.

7:16 PM: And we’re off! 7-way action for $5. I have KK86 one suit in middle position. It’s super marginal but if I can see the flop cheaply good things can happen against this crowd.

Flop is AK9 with two hearts. One of the noobs leads $30 into $35 and he started with less than $200, so I’m happy to play for his stack. I make it $100 to go and Hit&Run calls it cold. The noob calls, leaving himself $65 behind lol. That’s actually poor planning on my part. If he 3-bet the flop all in I would not have the opportunity to 4-bet since I raised it $70 and his all in would only be a raise of $65 – not enough to reopen the betting for me. I need to be more aware of that stuff.

Turn is a black 8 and the noob puts his last $65 in. I make it $365 to go and Hit&Run puts me all in for just a bit more. We agree to run it once and I don’t have to worry about what they have as the river pairs the 8.

For show, Hit&Run shows QJT2 with hearts, for an inside wrap and a flush draw that missed.

Nice $1k pot to start my night.

8:00 PM: The Man opens $15, I call with T986 double suited, and five or six of us see the JT7 flop. I have the joint and it checks to me. I start with a bet of $50 and only one player calls, in position.

Turn is the 4 of diamonds, giving me a flush draw to go with the current nuts. I make it $150 to go since it seems like he has a good drawing hand. If he was freerolling me, I think he’s raising the flop. He calls.

River pairs the ten. I check and he bets $225. I snap call. He shows me JJ.

I’m not sure how frequently he bluffs his AKQx type hands, so maybe my snap call isn’t that great. I have a ten though so I’m blocking full houses and I don’t think this guy is calling $150 on the turn with a naked two pair. I feel like I’m losing to JJ and 77 mostly and maybe some two pair combos that have other outs.

This is probably bad, especially since his bluff frequency is probably way too low.

8:43 PM: In a five minute span we went from a full game with two on the list to a 7-handed game and no list.

8:50 PM: Possible punt alert. Multiple limps in front of me and I make it $30 with AQQ6 double suited and three of the limpers call.

Flop is JT7 with a spade and a heart and Part-Time leads $125 with The Joker calling. They are both deep so I decide to take a card off with a gut shot to the nuts and two quality backdoor flush draws. Plus, I can possibly bluff on 9s or aces. I call.

Turn is the 9 of hearts and they both check to me. I max bet for $300 and Part-Time snap calls. Gulp. I only have $150 behind so I’m suddenly hating my flop float. How good are my backdoor draws if I have to call a pot size bet for 75% of my remaining stack on the turn? Stupid. That’s not what happened but if the turn was a 2 of hearts or spades, I’m going to have to call $300 here.

Anyways, Joker folds and I’m obviously not planning to fire my last $150 into a $700 pot after getting snapped on the turn. I whiff and check back. Part-Time wins with Q98x.

Definite punt. Dumb dumb dumb.

10:00 PM: The Riddler is making us 6-handed and The Man is absolutely murdering the game tonight:

10:32 PM: I haven’t played very many notable pots since the game got short but The Riddler’s presence has sparked an all out needling war that no one is really in the mood for because The Man is winning all the pots.

10:39 PM: The (other) players have all agreed to switch the game to Big O. I have almost no experience in this variant so this could get ugly.

I finished the PLO portion of tonight’s session at -$119.

Just looked up my stats and I have played 2.25 hours of Big O lifetime.

10:56 PM: I just looked at the player on my left… and he was reading my blog.

Then I looked on my right and that player was reading my blog.

And the player on his right… was reading my blog!

Wow. That’s a first.

And… it took 15 minutes for a $2000 pot to break out and bust two players.

11:11 PM: Joker wanted me to share this one:

Final board is AKJ-4-4.

Joker had KK326.

The Man had A44T9.

On the turn, Joker has set over set, the nut flush draw, and the nut low draw… and lost.

I heard the flop checked around and I missed the turn action but on the river Joker led $100 and called a raise to $400, but that’s beside the point. What are the chances he gets scooped on the river?

About 2%.

11:42 PM: I played a hand. I had AKKQJ double suited in the small blind and got to see the flop for $5.

Flop was 543 with two diamonds, giving me the nut flush draw. I have no intention of putting any money in this pot, but the flop checks around…

…and the turn is the queen of diamonds. I have the nuts. I bet pot. Two players call.

River is an offsuit ace. I bet pot for $100 and they both call again.

I get half and they quarter each other with wheels.

12:47 AM: Complete from the small blind with AQT54 double suited and The Riddler makes it $25 from the big blind. Four of us call.

Flop is TT6 rainbow and I lead out for $80. Everyone folds except The Man.

Turn is a queen and I’m pretty sure he has at least a ten, so I make it $200. He makes it $500. I have just over $800 left so I make another max raise and he calls.

We both have QT. He has a king to scoop and I have an ace to scoop.

River: Ace.

$1600+ pot my way.

1:02 AM: I limp early with JT432 double suited and five of us see the AJ5 with two diamonds flop. I have a pair, an inside wrap with all the nut low draws and a flush draw. I bet $25 when it checks to me and three players call.

Wow. Wasn’t expecting that. Turn is a black six, giving me an uncounterfeitable nut low and adding some extra straight outs for high. I bet the pot when it checks to me, the next player makes it $300 to go, the guy after him is all in for less, The Man reluctantly folds and it’s back to me. I have a monster and the player making it $300 isn’t that bright so I have an easy max-raise to $600. He calls.

The river pairs the jack, I max bet and he goes all in for a little bit more. I call.

I split with the dolt in the side pot putting $600 in on the turn with a naked set and get quartered in the main pot when the other player shows up with a 32 low.

Pretty amazing board to lose money on.

2:34 AM: Another cool runout. I have AQJ53 on 642 with two diamonds. I have nut high and nut low with a flush draw. Turn is a 4 and my opponent has 44 in his hand.

Meanwhile, The Man bets $300 on turn and river on a board of J858Q and gets called by my opponent from the last two hands. The Man tables J8 and his opponent tables a naked A2… with no low possible.

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

🔥🔥$600🔥🔥

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

2:56 AM: Down to four players: Joker, The Man, me, and the guy whose chips all three of us are trying to take. He has a little over $700. I’m ready to go home. I’m tired. I’m hungry. I have a car appointment at 10 AM… but this guy has no chance to cash out if we keep playing and it only takes one hand to get it all, so… here we are.

3:49 AM: I wasn’t thrilled about the game switch to Big O but I’m happy we did that. I felt waaaaay more comfortable playing than I had in the past and it’s not just because I won this session. I just felt good about the decisions I was making. I wouldn’t mind playing a half PLO/half Big O game in the future.

Big O Final Score: +$1114

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Plays of the Week – August 11th, 2018

August 11, 2018

I’m back! I apologize for the brief hiatus, but I wanted to try something different this week: jotting down notes from my sessions and posting the best hands all at once in an end of the week summary. I enjoy doing live blogs of my sessions, especially when the characters are out in full force, but lately things have been going poorly (plus the 15 at Palace hasn’t been regular) and I wanted to shake things up and try something different.

As I noted in my last post – when I quit midday on Saturday – it was unlikely that I would play any poker Sunday through Tuesday.

That was mostly correct.

We spent Sunday at Emerald Downs for my niece’s birthday. I’m sure it’s going to break my dad’s heart to read this, but I don’t get it. One of my dad’s fondest memories of his own dad is going to the track together and betting on horses. We never did this while I was growing up so it never became a tradition for us.

As someone that gambles for a living, gambling on things I know nothing about – or in games with a negative expectation – doesn’t appeal to me. It actually physically pains me to watch my wife on the rare occasions when she wants to play in the pit or on a slot machine. I don’t find it fun and when you remove the “fun factor” all that is left is a -EV gambling situation in which you will never, ever win in the long run.

Betting on horses seems similar. I don’t know anything about the horses or their jockeys or their caretakers, or any of the factors that might come into play when you’re trying to find an edge. If I’m betting, I’m simply clicking buttons or picking names I like. But at least I can see the fun in it. It’s kind of like betting on baseball, but in baseball I’m aware of all the key components (not that it helps me any) and I genuinely enjoy watching the sport, money on it or not.

But then I tried to make a bet on the computer systems they have set up and I couldn’t even figure out how to find the race I wanted to bet on. I felt like I was reading gibberish. That’s not fun. We ended up having our niece and nephew bet on some horses for us and a horse named Little Joker (of course) came through with a first place finish and booked us a win for the day, but we were firing tiny bets. I guess it was kind of fun, but if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t feel like I was missing out on anything if I never went to another horse track for the rest of my life.

My plan on Monday was to visit Radio Mike at Cheney Stadium and take in a Tacoma Rainiers game. In a happy coincidence, possible future Hall of Famer Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners was starting his rehab with the Rainiers that night after an 80 game suspension for PED use. So suddenly this random game I was going to became an PNW event.

Normally when I visit Mike at Cheney, I sit in the broadcast booth with him and watch the game and we can chat in between innings, but because of Cano’s presence, this guy was at Cheney and asked Mike if he can sit in the booth with him and thus Joker and I were ousted to the stands with the rest of the pleebs.

But not before I snapped a selfie that found it’s way on the Mariners broadcast that night!

After the game, we stopped back in the booth and chatted with Mike for a while and by the time we finally left, the players were coming out of the clubhouse and, with no other obvious exit in sight, Joker and I followed Ben Gamel to the player’s exit where a group of fans were waiting and mobbed him for autographs while letting us pass them by with a mere, “good game tonight.”

I mean… I can understand them mistaking me for a triple A ball player… but this guy?

img_3883

Come on.

I decided to pop into Palace on my way home and play a mini-session with one goal: make $400 and leave.

I didn’t know I was going to make a highlight reel post at that time, so I didn’t jot any hands down from that session, but it was actually a pretty wild one. The game was pure action. I described it to Joker like this: Everyone is playing like it’s a race to see who can lose all their chips the fastest and so far I’m winning. I was down $400 right off the bat and it was looking like reaching my goal was going to be extremely difficult. And yet… after less than three hours of play, I cashed out +$565. Pretty sick.

Tuesday I did not play poker. I went and saw Mission: Impossible – Fallout with Uncle Leroy and then ran errands for the rest of the day before watching Felix Hernandez pitch his way out of the Mariners rotation by getting lit up by the Texas Rangers.

Wednesday, I was back in action, for some pot limit Omaha at Palace.

But first! The Man talks me into taking a seat in 3/6 limit hold’em because of the Happy Hour Hand promo and I got a swift reminder of why I never, ever play that limit while I’m waiting for a seat. I raise it up with AA and bet all three streets on a board of 63239 with one opponent calling me down. No flush is possible and I never get raised, so obviously I’m winning this pot, but then my opponent tables… 63. What. I’m not above playing 3/6 while I wait, but I just hate it because no one ever actually plays poker. Anyways, despite this debacle, I still finished +$17 and my 2018 win rate in 3/6 limit hold’em is now a monstrous 9.13 big bets per hour over 67 total minutes.

PLO got off to modest start. My first notable hand came up when I had A6xx in a raised pot and the flop came down 66A. I made the mistake of checking and my opponents all got to see the turn for free. I bet like $30 on the turn, which was a ten and two players called. The river was another ace and I was first to act. There was a flush draw available on the turn, so there was some chance my opponents were drawing, but otherwise, they probably had an ace, and I thought AT was a real possibility. I also thought if I checked, someone with AK would have a pretty hard time not betting for value. Basically, even though I had the second nuts here, I thought my most profitable line was check-calling. I save money and avoid tough decisions when the nuts is out there and my opponents might bluff missed draws or take themselves to value town with trip aces. So I checked, one of them bets a smallish $60, I call, and he does show me the AT. I flash my A6 and that guy is in disbelief for the next five minutes.

I spent most of the night up around $500 but then I had a couple of gross connections with The Man.

We were playing short-handed, but I was opening a bit too wide here with the J766, especially since the game was playing pretty loose and sticky. Basically, I’m rarely stealing the blinds or playing a pot heads up in position, so this is a hand that is going to play like garbage after the flop in a bloated pot and is better off sent into the muck.

It ends up going 3 or 4 ways to the flop and I don’t have position. It’s already a disaster. The board is decent though: J75 with two diamonds. I have top two pair and a jack high flush draw. It’s a pretty good hand, but not exactly one I’m looking to get stacks in with. I can bet though and I fire out $30 or so and The Man makes it $120 to go. I have a pretty good feeling that my two pair is good here, but if that’s the case then my flush draw is definitely not good. We are way too deep to gamble for stacks on the flop, so this is actually a pretty gross spot. If I don’t like my flush draw, I’m not going to have many run outs I love here. Any diamond is questionable, any straight card around the 75 is bad, any overcard could make a better two pair. Basically I only love jacks and sevens. Everything else is suspect. With that in mind, I should probably just fold to the flop raise, but I ended up calling.

The turn was a small diamond and I check-called about a half pot bet.

The river was a brick and I liked my hand when The Man decided to give up and check back, but he was being cautious with a king high flush and won the pot saying, “I think you are capable of checking the nut flush there.” He’s not wrong, but I’d still bet his hand.

A short while later, I’m raising it up on the button with the J987 double suited and I flop pretty huge: Q65 with two hearts, giving me a nut wrap and a straight flush draw. I bet the flop and The Man calls me from the small blind.

The turn bricks me and I am planning to barrel off on this one, so I fire a second bullet and The Man calls again.

The river is the 2 of hearts. The Man checks and I check back, hoping my modest flush is good. It is not. I didn’t see the rest of his hand but The Man ends up winning this pot with the T3 of hearts. I wish I got a better look at his hand and how he arrived at the river because a naked ten high flush draw would be pretty brutal to lose to.

There was another pot I played against The Man that started off with a $5 bet on the flop and ended up with me facing a pretty large raise on the river holding the second nut flush. This flush came in backdoor, so it was a bit less likely for him to have the hand he was repping, but in Omaha it’s much easier to back into something you weren’t initially drawing to and the minbet on the flop could entice more floats than usual. Also, I would expect him to never raise non-nut flushes here because that would be pretty silly. So it basically comes down to if I think he’s bluffing often enough here. It felt pretty gross because it seemed like he probably isn’t bluffing a lot here, but my instincts were saying call so that’s what I did and he ended up having the nut flush blocker and a bluff.

Hand of the Night

We are still short-handed at this point and The Man opens with a raise to $15, the small blind calls, and I make it $45 to go with T987 double suited and they both call.

The flop is what PLO dreams are made of: 965 with two clubs and a spade. I flopped the nuts, with multiple straight redraws to the nuts, a straight flush draw, and a backdoor flush draw. Let’s. Go. I bet $80, The Man calls, and the small blind pots it to $380. I go all in for less than the max bet of $680, The Man folds and I agree to run it twice with my opponent. The turn pairs the board on the first run out and I make a bigger straight on the second runout and… scoop it all!

I doubled up and then some in that pot and the small blind never took another hand and the game broke shortly after so I finished at +$883 in my PLO session.

Thursday morning I had an appointment with my endocrinologist in Bremerton and The Leak went with me and we decided to put our newfound interest in hiking to the test at Green Mountain, a trail we failed to complete in two attempts years ago when we still lived in Kitsap County.

It was a bit of a challenge – mostly because of the 85 degree heat – but we got it done this time!

Some views from the summit:

We got back to Lakewood around 6 PM and I was in need of a short nap because I was planning to play until 4 AM that night.

15/30 didn’t get off the ground, but we were blessed with a bit of that early Christmas action. I’ve mentioned it before but The Santa Claus Game is full of button straddling, bloated pot sizes, and lots of gambling.

In this hand, I’m the button straddle holding 88 and five players call before the action is back to me. I think this might be a pretty close spot because how well does 88 play against five opponents? But I obviously have the best hand and I do have the button, so I go ahead and raise it. Santa 4-bets it when it’s back to him and I go ahead and 5-bet cap it.

There are thirty bets in the middle when the flop comes down 322. Someone donks on the flop, I raise, the big blind cold calls, and the donker also calls.

The turn is a 4 and the flop bettor donks again. I raise it again. The big blind is really unhappy about the action, but winds up folding and my lone opponent calls.

The river is a king and betting is probably recommended here when he checks to me, but the pot is massive and I’ll be happy about winning it even if I miss a little value here. I check back and my hand is good.

I gave the key opponent in this hand the nickname of The River Man once upon a time, but that name is pretty bad and I’m going to discontinue it and refer to him as the maniac for any hands he’s in for the rest of this session.

Anyways, there are multiple limpers and the maniac raises, I 3-bet with AK from the small blind and it ends up getting capped.

It’s mulitway action so I check the 873 with two clubs flop and peel for one bet with the ace of clubs in my hand. It’s worth noting that someone bet into the maniac on the flop and he just called…

…because that says a lot about his hand strength when the turn is the king of clubs and it checks to him and he bets and the button calls. This is my absolute nut card. I now have top pair top kicker and the nut flush draw. When the maniac calls on the flop I think I can safely rule out any flushes and since everyone else checked to him, I don’t think they have flushes either. I go ahead and raise it. The big blind cold calls and the maniac and button also continue.

The river pairs the 7 and I’m not really sure where I stand now, so I check, the maniac bets and I’m the only caller. He tables two small cards. It looks like 32 of clubs so I ask the dealer for clarification and she pulls in 22 and I’m good.

And that’s why hands like this happen:

Button straddles, I 3-bet 77 from the small blind and it ends up getting capped at five bets with at least four of us seeing the flop.

It comes down Q65 rainbow and I check-call.

The turn is a 9 and the flop bettor checks to the maniac and he winds up betting after just calling on the flop. I feel like 77 is doing very good against his range here as he is always raising a queen on the flop, so I check-raise. The flop bettor cold calls (gross) and the maniac 3-bets it! Sick. We both call.

The river pairs the 5 and it checks to the maniac and he tables 97o when it’s his turn to act and ends up winning the pot with a very standard 3-betting hand on the turn.

Button straddles and it gets 5-bet capped again and this time I’m holding the A8 of spades. The flop is A72 with two spades and four of us wind up putting in four bets.

The turn is a 5 and the big blind is still leading, so I call and the maniac puts in another raise on the button. The blind just calls and I call also.

The river is a 3 and it checks to the maniac. The big blind calls and I’m positive that he at least has me beat, so I fold and the maniac tables 54o.

So nasty!

So yeah… this game is JUICED UP.

Which makes this next hand pretty special:

I open with 44 and the maniac calls me in position. The flop is K54 and he folds the instant my hand starts to reach for chips.

What.

The.

Hell.

I open with A8 of diamonds and get some callers. The flop is A42 with two spades and the big blind donks into me. I raise and he calls.

The turn is the 8 of spades and now the blind check-raises me. Pretty gross. My hand seems like it should be strong, but the two biggest drawing hands (spades and 76) got there, so I just call.

The river is a blank and I call a bet… and my opponent tables one of the most shocking hands he possibly can: pocket eights. The good ole one outer.

I ended up finishing this 7.5 hour 8/16 session at +$255.

Last night was a total disaster. I ran about as bad as you can.

There was a 4-bet pot where I had JJ on QJ4 rainbow and lost to Q6 of diamonds.

That about sums up how my night went. I missed every single flush draw I had the entire night and my opponent’s seemed like they always hit theirs against me. I did flop a flush twice and I got zero action both times.

I went -$571 in 76 minutes of 8/16 before the 15/30 game got started and I didn’t run any better there… I just lost more slowly, finishing at -$607 in 6.5 hours despite hitting a $200 High Hand.

That was a pretty lousy finish to what started off as a pretty good week.

All in all, I’m sitting at +$542 over 23 hours heading into today’s action.

On the bright side, this happened while I was writing this post:

CRUSHING!

Just got word that Palace already has 15/30 going so that’s where my day is going to start and hopefully end. If that game fizzles out early we will probably shoot up to Fortune.

No live blog tonight, but maybe I will post highlights later.

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PLO Live Blog (4/6/18)

April 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8:15 PM: Big connection alert!

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

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

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

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

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

11:15 PM: A new hand!

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

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

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

766 rainbow

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

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

Wrap Up:

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

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

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

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

Final Result: +$2270

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

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A Reprieve & PLO Pressure (Live Blog)

January 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game over.

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

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

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

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

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

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