Posts Tagged ‘pot limit omaha’

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LAPC Schedule @ Commerce and some PLO hands

January 16, 2019

I haven’t posted in a week, so I guess I should do some updating. My last live blog was on Friday and I returned to Palace on Saturday for some more $15/$30 and did something that doesn’t happen too often to me: I turned +$1000 into a losing day, finishing at -$114 for the day after just under seven hours of play. I got off to a pretty good start, even hitting a High Hand, but I lost every pot I played for the last 2-3 hours of the day.

With the Santa Claus Game officially dead at Palace on Mondays, I decided to make my first trip to Fortune in 2019 and I was pretty distraught to arrive there and see only one $20/$40 game in action. When I left my house their app listed two $20/$40 games so that was an unpleasant surprise. I endured over an hour of $4/$8 before they started a second $20 game. I’m happy to report I didn’t have to wait until September to book my first win at Fortune this year! I finished at +$1053 after 6.5 hours (and -$9 in 1.5 hours of $4/$8).

The game was mostly bad, so I was pretty happy to book a two rack win. I happened to run pretty good in the brief window when the game was kind of juiced, but Free Throw and Sandman showed up and sat on my left and the game went right back in the shitter.

That brings me to Wednesday’s PLO game. When I showed up there were 14 names on the list, but we started with 8 players and it did not look promising at all. The lineup was Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, The Crypt Keeper, Hit&Run, an aggressive regular, myself, a random and one of the floors at Palace. So the game wasn’t full and half the players were either hit and run artists or very non-regular and not likely to fire multiple bullets.

My first notable pot came up when Hit&Run made it $15, I 3-bet to $40 on the button with AA44 single suited, it folded back to him, and he capped the preflop betting at $125.

Flop comes down Q93 with two clubs and he pots for $250 and only has $154 behind, so we go ahead and get the rest of his stack in and run it twice. Turns out he has AA also and the first board runs out a chop, but he makes Broadway on the second one and gets 75% of the pot.

We did get a full game around 6:30 but it wasn’t destined to stay that way for long.

My second notable pot there were multiple limpers and I had a pretty ugly QJ54 single suited in the big blind and it cost me $2 more and my hand is so weak multi-way that I didn’t even want to flick it in there… but I did.

The flop is AJ9 with two hearts and the player on my left (a very green PLO player) bets $20, the random guy calls, and I decide to take one off here with a queen high flush draw because I don’t think either of these guys understand hand values very well in this game.

The turn brings in my flush and I check and overcall $40 this time. I actually love my hand here as a $40 bet is pretty weak and a call is even weaker. I think it’s all transparent enough that I can maybe even make an exploitative raise, but my standard play is to be cautious in these spots, so that’s the route I ended up taking.

The river is a clean king of spades and this time I’m facing another super weak bet and call of $50. Again, I make the safe play with what is obviously the best hand and just call and sure enough the bettor turns over a small flush and the caller can’t even beat that so I win the pot.

Here’s a weird one: I limp along with a junky KJT6 single suited and decide to bet $20 on the flop when the board comes down AT9 with one diamond (my suit) and three players call me, including one on the button. Whoops. This flop bet is a rare bluff with air from me in a multi-way pot, but I thought I just had to get through one player on the button and, well, that was a bad read.

Turn is the jack of diamonds, giving me a king high flush draw and two pair, and Hit&Run leads out for the full pot of $115. This may be precarious as I’m not drawing to the nuts in any direction, but I feel like I have too much equity here to fold, so I make the call. Button also calls but the fourth player folds.

River is a queen and I’m pretty shocked when Hit&Run checks because he’s supposed to have Broadway when he pots the turn. Well, I have the nuts now, so I don’t see any reason not to bet even though it seems likely I’m splitting with one of these yahoos. I bet $130 and they both fold! That’s when the Palace floor says he flopped a set of nines (and folded the turn) and the button says he had a set of tens. Wow.

Part-Time opens to $15, Slimer calls, I call with AQJ3 single suited and some others tag along also. It checks to me on the AT9 two diamond flop, so I fire $60 into $100 since I have top pair, the nut flush draw, and an open-ended straight draw. The Crypt Keeper check-pots it for $320 and it folds to me, so I put him all-in and we run it twice. When he asks if I have a set and I say no, he suddenly looks like he hates his hand because he must be on a draw that I have crushed. I make two pair on the first board and the nut flush on the second one to scoop a $1200 pot.

As expected, the game fizzled quickly. Hit&Run booked it with over $2k and multiple players quit early, including Part-Time with basically all the chips (over $4k!)

That left 6 of us at 9 PM and by 9:18 the game was 100% dead. Geez. I’m a little concerned about the Palace PLO game. The Thursday game is basically dead already and I don’t care about that too much, but I would be pretty devastated if the Wednesday game also dried up. It is typically pretty decent, but this is a really bad look considering I’m a key player and I’m going to miss the next three Wednesday sessions as I’ll be in Los Angeles playing in the LAPC. Plus The Man is claiming he’s not playing any poker in 2019.

Fortunately, the big pot against The Crypt Keeper gave me a solid +$980 for the night and made the super short session much easier to swallow.

Speaking of the LAPC… here’s what my schedule looks like:

Monday, 1/21: $350 Omaha 8
Tuesday, 1/22: $350 Triple Stud
Wednesday, 1/23: $20/$40 on Live at the Bike
Thursday, 1/24: $350 Stud 8

Wednesday, 1/30: $350 Limit Hold’em
Thursday, 1/31: $350 H.O.R.S.E.
Friday, 2/1: $350 T.O.E.
Saturday, 2/2: cash games
Sunday, 2/3: cash games
Monday, 2/4: $570 Omaha 8
Tuesday, 2/5: $570 Stud
Wednesday, 2/6: cash games
Thursday, 2/7: $570 H.O.R.S.E.
Friday, 2/8: $570 2 to 7 Triple Draw

I have some tournaments I’m interested in playing later in February also, but this is already a lot of time away from home for a non-WSOP event so I’ll have to really be crushing it to justify flying back a third time. Commerce does have extra prizes for not only overall Player of the Series, but Mix Game Player of the Series as well and they pay out a lot of spots. So if I’m in the running there, maybe I will be back for the $1k events.

I intended to play poker today (Thursday) but my wife and I went hiking this morning and when we got home we were both so wiped we basically lounged around all day, alternating between falling asleep and watching six episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an excellent show on Amazon Prime about a housewife in the 1950s that stumbles into stand up comedy when her marriage falls apart. Rachel Brosnahan plays Mrs. Maisel and unsurprisingly she has won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Music or Comedy for two years running. She is spectacular! The show is a strong recommendation from me as I near the finish line of season one.

I will be playing $15/$30 at 4 PM so expect another blog at that time.

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First Blog of 2019: PLO @ Palace

January 2, 2019

Amazingly, we still don’t have internet in our new home. I could go on a rant about my recent experience with Dish but I’m guessing a decent amount of people have had terrible experiences with the various cable companies (Dish isn’t my first run in – ๐Ÿ–•๐ŸปComcast!).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emergency ejection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy 2019 ya’ll. Let’s get it.

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

    I think there were 20 names on the list when I got here and that has been whittled down to a full game and 4 players waiting. One of the no shows was Big Baby. ๐Ÿ˜ž

    I give this starting lineup a C+.

    6:23 PM: Some funny hands:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Oh how the fibers of my being loathe him.

    He is the worst.

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

    Seriously. Fuck that guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That’s it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now I go home and pray for internet tomorrow.

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    PLO @ The Palace (11/28/18)

    November 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Heater is Official: Pot Limit Omaha Hands

    November 23, 2018

    Wednesday didn’t start out all that promising. The PLO game at Palace was 6-handed to start and stayed that way for quite some time, with multiple players on the list initially passing on coming over.

    Starting lineup was Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, Lee Markholt, Hit&Run, a mega nit, and myself.

    The First Hand

    I sat down with $700 on the table and on the first hand dealt, I picked up the AKdd63hh and decided to limp along. This is a pretty marginal hand but playing 6-handed if I’m going to play it, I should probably raise it. Honestly, I should probably just be folding it. I guess I wasn’t in the rhythm of things yet. But against very predictable opponents, I think it can be okay to limp along with some weak hands with nut potential and try to play cheap pots in position. This hand would look a lot nicer if it was double suited to the ace and the king. Action gets to Hit&Run in the big blind and he makes it $15 to go and all us passive limpers call.

    Flop is KQ6 with two diamonds. I have top and bottom pair with the nut flush draw. Hit&Run leads out for full pot and Charlie Hustle calls. Charlie Hustle has some pretty massive preflop leaks, but postflop he plays a very nitty style. When he calls here, he probably has a very strong draw and he may have a strong made hand. Hit&Run started the hand with just over $500 and Charlie Hustle had $1000. I definitely have enough hand that I can raise and get it in here and maybe I should, but I opt to just call and see what develops.

    Turn is a total brick, Hit&Run bets the max of $300 and Charlie Hustle calls. I just called again, but in retrospect, I think this is a pretty clear raise. Hit&Run had less than $200 left after his turn bet and at this point, I think it’s safe to assume that Charlie Hustle is on a draw. It would be strange if he was near-nutted on a wet board and decided to call twice when it was obvious that I was probably drawing. But then again, Charlie Hustle does not look comfortable in huge pots. This guy’s entire sessions are based around making $500 in the least turbulent fashion possible. I could already see that this situation had his breathing accelerated. But I have seen him show up with very big hands when he was clearly nervous. Still, it seemed like he is more likely to be drawing here than to have a made hand better than mine and since Hit&Run has like $150 left and I can’t imagine many rivers I’m going to fold against him (if Charlie Hustle folds in front of me), I should just make it $600 here to create a side pot with Charlie Hustle and also increase the chance that he pays me off if he has a flush draw and we both make diamonds on the river.

    But I just called and the river was the 9 of diamonds. They both check to me and I go $300, Hit&Run folds, and Charlie Hustle goes into the tank. It seems like I’m probably not going to get paid off here. Not only do I have the nut flush, but I also have the king of diamonds in my hand, so the best hand he can have is a jack high flush. I was wondering what I would do if I had a hand I could arrive on the river with holding the naked ace of diamonds in my hand. Honestly, I don’t think I’d bluff with it. Not when Hit&Run has $150 left in a pot that has reached over $1000 and not when it seems like Charlie Hustle was drawing, most likely to a flush… so I don’t think I’m ever bluffing in this spot. But the longer he takes and the faster he starts breathing, the more I realize this pompous nit is actually going to give me another $300 with the third nuts (at best). It’s a really tough spot for him because if he calls off $300 here and is wrong, he might actually have to stay and play a session and that would be a real shame. He does stick the $300 in and I’m up over $1000 after one hand of poker.

    I messaged The Joker and Radio Mike and told them I was on for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge with a massive head start, but I was informed that The Challenge is only relevant in limit games.

    Okay, fine.

    Bluff Catcher or The Nuts?

    There are limpers and I raise to $30 on the button with a single suited AA53 and get three callers. Flop is T92 rainbow with one of my suit and we all check. Turn pairs the 2 and puts a flush draw (not mine) on board. Part-Time leads out $100, someone else calls, and I call also, planning to re-evaluate on the river and probably call bricks if the other player folds. But the river is an ace and I don’t have to make any decisions. They both check to me and fold when I bet $225. Considering I thought it was very likely I already had the best hand, that seems like some pretty bad sizing on my part. I can and probably should go as small as like $60 here. That’s a tough sizing to fold to if they have anything remotely decent.

    The Dark Knight vs Lee Markholt

    I raise one limper to $20 with a single suited QJT9 and Lee makes it $70 on the button. The small blind calls and I call also. Lee has at least 200 big blinds to start the hand.

    The flop is KQ4 with two clubs and I think I should just be taking the lead here since I flopped a wrap and a flush draw. Lee is going to have AA a lot and if he does have that hand, he’s going to hate this flop and check back a lot. He might bet AA combos that have the nut flush draw, but mostly he will be checking back. He’s also not going to be 3-betting very many KK combos before the flop. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but he will be calling with most of his KK hands so the chances that I get raised on this flop by him are pretty small, plus I have enough hand that I can stand a raise anyway. However, I decided to check and Lee did check back.

    Also, for all that analysis, it’s worth noting that this is a 3-handed pot. I’m trying to envision who the third player in the pot was, but I can’t recall. There were only a couple reasonable players in the game though and none of them were sitting in the nine seat at any point in time, so when the small blind calls $70 cold here it isn’t too alarming and probably represents a pretty wide range still.

    The turn paired the king and, again, I can justify betting here when the small blind checks and maybe it’s mandatory at this point, but I checked again and Lee bet $140. The other player folded and I tanked for a while before calling. I thought it would be super unlikely for him to have two pair on the flop and have a boat now and there was 0% chance he flopped a set.

    River is the 2 of clubs, giving me a queen high flush. As played, there is really no sense in betting here. Lee is not going to call me with any worse hands. I don’t think we have enough history for him to even consider that I’m ever bluffing here. He will, however, raise me if he does happen to somehow have a full house and he will certainly call me if he rivered a better flush. Also, my range seems to be pretty capped here. I would imagine he assumes I never have a full house the way I played this hand, so maybe he will bluff worse hands when I check, but with the $300 max bet, he will probably just check back when I have him beat and that’s okay. He does check back and my flush is good. He shows me the AAKx with the naked ace of clubs and says he didn’t think he could get me to fold a flush since I probably didn’t believe he had a king… and he was right.

    I don’t hate my line in this hand, but I’m guessing leading out on the flop is probably the correct play.

    Minimizing with The Nuts

    I open AAJ7 single suited from early position and two players call. The flop is A82 rainbow. I bet $30 into $45 and the next player, a non-reg in this game and a weak player in hold’em, min-raises me to $60. The other guy folds and this board is as dry as it gets, so I just call. Turn is a king and we both check. Well, that’s annoying. I just let this rookie free card play me in pot limit Omaha when I have the nuts… on a board where no one should ever be raising for a free card. River is a queen and I decide to check again because now the nuts have changed and if he has something I figure he might bet facing a another check. He checks back… with QQ in his hand and who knows what else. I haven’t played PLO with this guy before, but I was pretty shocked to see him check back a set after I check to him twice.

    I have no idea what was going on there but I’m obviously not a fan of my line. This dude takes very unorthodox lines in hold’em so I shouldn’t be surprised when he min-raises flop here with nothing and then checks a lot. It makes no sense but this player has never made sense. I’m not sure what my maximizing line is here against him, but I’m guessing small raises and bets are a good way to get more money in the pot even though I have the deck crippled on the flop.

    Someone is Winning a Monster

    There are limpers and I make it $25 from the small blind with AKK6 single suited to the ace. They all call. The flop is KQ3 with two hearts and one diamond, giving me top set, a backdoor nut flush draw, and an ace, which is not insignificant, as it is a straight draw blocker. I decide to start with a check as I will be checking the flop very frequently when I raise from the small blind and I want to balance my checking range with some strong hands. It may not be necessary for me to balance my ranges in this particular game, but I did it anyway here. It checks to the button and he bets $85. I make it $300 to go and that’s when things start to get crazy. The initial limper in the hand now calls $300 cold and the action is on Mr. Plow and he’s admiring the action going on around him, chuckling about the insanity of it all and that seems like a prelude to folding, but then he says, “I don’t see how I can fold here” and jams for ~$470. Action is back on the button and he asks, “can I raise?” and the answer is yes. Technically, the $470 is not considered a raise of my bet. I made it $215 more and Plow’s all in is only $170 more than my bet and needs to be at least $215 more to be considered a raise. However, I reopened the betting to the button with my initial raise to $300, so he can still raise. If he called though, I would not be able to raise because I’d technically be raising myself and that is not allowed. Confusing? The button does raise, going all in for over $700 and with one raise left I raise again to make sure the other player has to go all in to stay in the pot also. I have everybody covered and my three opponents are all in for ~$800, $470, and $730, respectively.

    There is around $2900 in the middle and while I have the nuts, my hand is very vulnerable to straight draws and flush draws here, so I’m happy to run it more than once, but that gets shut down pretty quickly and everyone only gets one shot at a piece of this monster pot.

    The turn is a 3, immediately pairing the board and hopefully giving me a lock winner. I say hopefully because this crowd is certainly capable of punting with bottom set in this spot and if you follow my blog you know I’ve taken that beat before. Fortunately, no one has quads and my hand holds up to win everything. One of the players flashed a set of queens, but I didn’t see what anyone else had.

    They are Punting

    I raise with KJT8 single suited and get some callers. The flop is QT9 with two hearts and one diamond and since I’m out of position against two opponents and I’m deep with one of them, I decide to check and see what happens. While I do have the nut straight and a backdoor flush draw here, my hand has minimal chances of improving and this board is very wet. I’m not looking to play a massive pot here. Someone bets after I check, the deep-stacked player folds, and a shorter stack calls. Okay, with the deep-stacked player out, I don’t mind playing for stacks now. I pot it to $135 and they both call.

    The turn is a wonderful black 4 and I make it $300 which is enough to put them both all in and they stack off.

    The river pairs the 9 and not only do I not lose on that card, but I’m not splitting with anyone either. It’s another $1000+ pot my way.

    But… I have Blockers!

    There are limpers again and I raise from the big blind with AKJT single suited to the ace and everybody calls.

    Flop is AKJ and this is not a great flop for me, even though I did pair every card. I start with a check, someone bets $25, and everybody else folds. I am pretty happy with that result, as I’m now heads up, and his bet of like 30% pot doesn’t exude strength. I can easily have the best hand here. I call.

    Turn is a ten, so I now have the ever elusive four pair. We both check.

    River pairs the jack, which gives me the third nuts. I’m only losing to AA and KK and that’s not much of a consideration since this player limped in preflop. I also realize that the way this hand has played out he either had total air when he bet on the flop or he probably has a full house now, so I bet full pot and then something inexplicable happens: he raises the maximum. What. I start tanking, but quickly stop myself because it’s absolutely silly. I’m never folding here with all the blockers that I have and knowing that I only lose if he limped in with AA or KK. I call. He does have KK! What in the world.

    My Worst Hand of the Night

    There are multiple limpers in this hand and I complete from the small blind with QTss88.

    The flop is AKJ and all spades. It’s a pretty decent flop for me as it gives me a Royal Flush. I check and it checks to the button. He bets $25, I call, and so does Charlie Hustle. I think this flop line is reasonable, but…

    …the turn is the 4 of hearts and now I should be leading out. When Charlie Hustle calls on the flop, it’s clear that he at least thinks he’s drawing to the nuts, or maybe he flopped a flush also. However, he’s not going to bet either of those hands and after getting called twice on the flop, the button is not going to continue firing with many hands. It’s a total botch job on my part and I practically throw up in my mouth with immediate realization when it checks around.

    The river is a red 7, I lead out $60 and both players fold. I showed my hand and that was pretty dumb because now the other two players can make up hands they had that I missed maximum value against. Charlie Hustle claims AK and the other guy says he had a set of kings. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but either way, my line in this hand is absolutely horrible. I think checking on the flop is defensible, but checking the turn is absolutely horrible. There’s really no excuse for it. It’s pretty impressive to flop a Royal Flush and have end wind up as the worst hand you played all night.

    Final Score: +$3690

    Yep. I’m on a heater. That cash game downswing I was on? Firmly in the rearview now. I can actually see the full scope of it. It stretched from October 12th to November 8th, 113+ hours of pure torture, to the tune of -$5832.

    Since that last session on November 8th, I have been absurdly hot, starting a different kind of streak. For one, I have won eight sessions in a row. More impressively, I have had a +$1000 upswing in every single one of those sessions, even when I was playing 4/8!

    All in all, I am now on a torrid +$12k heater over my last 8 days of poker.

    Insane.

    h1

    $1$/$3/$5 PLO – Notable Pots (11-14 and 11-15)

    November 17, 2018

    So my plan was to note some hands during my live PLO sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, but for whatever reason, the game didn’t go on Thursday night. I know The Crypt Keeper will be in Vietnam for a few weeks, but none of the newer regs showed up on Wednesday and they weren’t on the list for Thursday either. I checked on Bravo all day and I didn’t see the list grow past two (myself included) until after the designated 6 PM start time, so I took my name off and stayed home to play online instead.

    Here’s the starting lineup from Wednesday’s game: Twinkie, Part-Time, nitty baseball guy that will leave if he gets up $500, two 8/16 Regs that don’t play this game, Lee Markholt, another nitty non-reg, and Hit&Run

    I keep referring to this PLO regular as the nitty baseball guy that likes to hit and run and that’s a mouthful. He plays the PLO every week so I need to give him some kind of name. I’ll just call him The Collector from now on since that seems to be his main hobby.

    Edit: Someone suggested the nickname Charlie Hustle after I posted this. It’s perfect. It fits both the baseball theme and the hit and run theme. Credit to Kyle Barkus for the great suggestion.

    After spending a lot of time studying PLO and really improving my game over the past week, I was excited to play live again and try out some of my new tricks, but it ended up being a pretty disappointing session. I was very card dead for most of the night and didn’t have much opportunity to take advantage of my newfound knowledge and then once the game got short-handed – where all my study has been focused (for 6-max games) – the game broke pretty quickly.

    Here are the key hands from my live session on Wednesday:

    I limp along on the button in a multi-way pot with KK62 single suited to a king. This is a pretty shitty hand to raise in a game where none of the limpers are folding preflop because this hand is going to flop very poorly. I’m basically looking to make a set and that’s about it. So the K74 with two clubs flop was pretty nice. A bad player leads out for $30 and I make it $105 to go. That gets us heads up. The turn card is a 7, filling me up, and he check-calls $110. The river is a ten and he check-calls $155 and shows a set of fours after I table the winner. I expect this player to blast off with sets, so I was pretty surprised to see his holding, but I didn’t think he could be very strong here and that’s why I didn’t go for max value.

    There are a series of limpers in front of me and I make it $20 with AA86 rainbow and they all call. The flop is AQ9 with two hearts and by this time The Man is in the game and he donks the flop for $65, I make it $250 to go and… everyone folds… including The Man as he flashes 99. Ugh. Not much I can do here but play my hand face up. This board is way too wet to get cute on in a multi-way pot. I suppose I could gamble by calling and see what happens. Maybe someone else will raise? That would be sexy. However, there are going to be some turn cards that will be really difficult to navigate. Maybe there is some merit to calling in this spot. Something to think about.

    Sandman has made a surprising appearance in Palace by this point and this is the one of the first hands he gets dealt in. I wasn’t involved so some of the details are missing here, but most of the key elements are accurate. For instance, I know for a fact that Lee Markholt raised one limper to $20, Sandman 3-bets on the button to $70, The Man and Charlie Hustle call it cold from both blinds and Lee also calls.

    I completely missed the flop action on this hand but I was tuned back in when The Man and Sandman managed to eventually get 200bb each in the middle by the turn. The board was AQxx and The Man had AQxx plus the nut spade draw and Sandman had KJ83 double suited (what) which was a king high spade draw and a gutshot. As far as I know he had three outs: the non-spade tens. They ran it once and Sandman somehow drilled the ten and won a $2500 pot on what sure looked to me like a massive punt attempt. Sandman said something about having 6 outs, but that doesn’t really make any sense. Maybe there was an 8 or a 3 on the board that gave him two more outs. Regardless, it was a pretty shocking hand and an unbelievable result.

    I felt bad for The Man. He was around 90% to win a $1000 gift from Sandman and… nope. So gross. Even more shocking was how tight Sandman played after this pot. KJ83 double suited is a really ambitious 3-bet here and the postflop play was pretty wild also. After seeing that, I was expecting to see him playing a wild and aggressive game all night, but he locked it down. I don’t really get what was going on here.

    Sandman makes it $15, two players call, and I squeeze to $70 with AQJ6 double suited. This hand is notably better than the one Sandman 3-bet in the previous hand as I have two big suits and I block 4-bet ranges by holding an ace. Lee Markholt calls it cold (annoying), Sandman folds, and one of the weaker players calls.

    The flop is 443 with two clubs, giving me a queen high flush draw. I’m not too sure about this spot. I’d like to know what the solvers suggest here. Generally speaking, if you flop a flush draw in a 3-bet pot starting with 100bb you are committed to the pot. However, I’m not sure if that applies if the board is paired. I would imagine when the board is 443 it is less of a concern, but I’m not sure. I can’t remember exactly how much I started the hand with but my stack-to-pot ratio was at least 3 to 1 and I know this because I decided to bet $130, Lee folded, the weak player check-raised me, and I decided to go with my draw, getting him all in for $613 total. We ran it once and he had a triple suited (meaning three of one suit) Q984 (so gross) and I was drawing dead when the queen on the turn filled him up.

    This is definitely a hand I want to look into further because I’m not 100% on my 3-bet pre or my flop action. I could have played it perfect or it could be a total punt. TBD…

    Two players limp and I make it $20 with a single suited KQT8, Lee calls from a blind, and both limpers call. The flop is TT8 and I do something atypical and decide to check back. The turn is another medium or small card (meaning I still have the nuts) and Lee leads out for $30, a random makes it $125 and there’s no sense hiding information any longer (if I call Lee is still going to be done with the hand here), so I make it $325, the other player calls and then stacks off for ~$150 on a river card that still has me nutted.

    I raise a limper to $20 with AAK4 single suited to the king and we go multi-way to the A76 two heart flop. I flopped top set and the nut flush draw. It is quite sexy. Since I have the deck pretty crippled here, I decide to size smaller and bet $20 into $80, picking up two callers. The turn is a black king and now I go full pot and one bad player calls. The river is a 9 and for some reason I decide to bet $200 instead of the max and he pays off pretty quickly while grumbling that I always have him beat. This time he shows a set of sixes. This dude is a massive punter and this is now twice he’s shown a lot of restraint against me with a set.

    By this point, the game has fizzled out quickly and we are down to 4-handed for this last pot. The guy paying me off with sets opens to $15, I 3-bet from the small blind to $40 with AQT3 single suited to the ace and he calls. I lead $60 on the J94 rainbow flop with one of my suit on the board and he calls.

    The turn is the 8 of clubs, giving me the nut straight with the nut flush redraw. I felt my opponent was going to bet a lot of the time if I checked, so I went with that line and he fired $160. I max-raised to $460 and he called.

    The river paired the board with a 9 and I decided to go for a check-call here, but he checked behind, making me think I won the hand, but he also had QT in his hand. In fact, he had AQT9 (no clubs). I think this is a pretty easy river bet for him. It should be fairly obvious that I have the nut straight here, so firing a $300 bet on the river is basically a freeroll for him, especially since he actually has the board-pairing card in his hand. This was the third time I had the nuts in a massive pot against the same hand and the second time I was freerolling for the whole pot and bricked.

    I wrapped the session at +$465 and I was pretty pleased with that result considering I spent most of the session down around $500-$800 and I was still stuck when most of the loose money was gone.

    As a bonus, I will include some of the sicker hands I played at $100 PLO 6-max online this week:

    This is such a sick hand. I open 3.5x from cutoff with AKJ5 rainbow and the big blind defends. The flop is QT6 rainbow, which gives me a Broadway wrap. With a stack-to-pot ratio of over 40 to 1 (we are both 300+bb deep to start the hand), I go ahead and bet full pot and he check-raises me to 22.5bb. We are way too deep to play for stacks here, so I just call. The turn is a 5, putting two spades on board, and he bets 73% of the pot and I call. The river is a red ten, giving me the nut straight, and somehow I get him to put 252 big blinds in on the river with a hand that isn’t AK. Wow. That’s a mind-boggling punt on the river. This was the biggest pot I won online this week.

    I thought I might be punting on this hand and maybe I was, but let’s see. MP opens to 3.5x, button calls, and I have AK54 triple suited to the ace in the big blind. Solvers say this hand type (unpaired, single suited, disconnected A-high 2-card broadway, suited ace) is calling 24% of the time and folding 76% of the time in this exact spot and since I’m triple suited and have two small cards, I’m clearly in the folding bucket. So that answers my first question: this is a punt. I’m not even supposed to be in the hand, so whatever happens afterward is just compounding my original mistake. But wait! It gets better! The flop is Q54 with two diamonds. I have bottom two pair and the naked king of diamonds in my hand. It checks to the PFR and he bets full pot. The other guy folds and… I decide to see the turn. Yikes. The turn is the ace of diamonds, so now I have three pair and the nut flush blocker. I bet out full pot and then something insane happens: he min-raises me. My turn bet was $33 and I have $52 behind and I am utterly flabbergasted. With the king of diamonds in my hand it really doesn’t make much sense that I’m getting raised here. If he had a flush and decided to go with it, you’d think he’d just pot it. Well, I have three pair and I’m confused, so I decide to go with it and jam the rest in. He calls… with… AT63 no diamonds. Unfortunately, the river is a 6 and he makes a bigger two pair and wins this 200+bb pot.

    Well, now I know that guy is a total maniac and by the time this next hand comes up (not that much later) he has turned a 435bb stack into an 83bb stack. I open the button with KJ98 double suited and he 3-bets the big blind to 11bb and I call. The flop is AA3 with two spades, giving me a jack high flush draw. He leads out for full pot. As I mentioned earlier, you generally have to go with it when you flop a flush draw in a 3-bet pot and start with 100bb, but it becomes a serious question when the board is paired… and when the board is paired with two aces, it’s probably suicidal. However, this dude is a proven lunatic, so I pot it and he stacks off for 72bb on the AA3 two spade flop with… a single suited 8775 and no spades in his hand. I have nothing on an AA3 board and I am a 55% favorite. It’s insane that he’s 3-betting that hand preflop. It’s insane that he’s potting the flop. It’s insane that he’s getting 76 big blinds in on that flop. It’s absurd that I have no fold equity on the flop and actually have to win a show down. Fortunately, the turn is a jack and that holds up to scoop the pot. What a maniac.

    Last night we went to Palace and I played 8/16 all night. Most of the 15/30 regs (Joker, Radio Mike, Flea, Mighty Mouse) were MIA, so the bigger game never got off the ground and I’m beginning to accept the fact that 15/30 at Palace is no longer something I can rely on… even on Friday nights. Somehow I managed to turn a brutal -$600 start into a +$1040 finish – a ridiculous +$1600 swing at the 8/16 level.

    Including last Sunday, that puts me at a very strong +$3776 for the week in live games. I’m still a few thousand dollars short of my previous peak, but I’m definitely trending in the direction of finally busting out of this slump.

    Today I will be biting the bullet and returning to Fortune for some 20/40 action. For the year, I sit at -$6870 over 46 hours there and I think it would be cool to try and focus on getting that number back in the green before the year ends. I definitely haven’t been making playing at Fortune a priority this year, but with the 15/30 game at Palace all but dead, I need to start pushing myself to drive to Renton. It’s hard to justify spending my Friday nights playing 8/16, no matter how good the game is.

    I will be in 20/40 action by 4 PM today, but I won’t be blogging. With my goal of turning my results at Fortune green for 2018, I want to give it my all and that means focusing on every hand, rather than typing on my phone when I’m not involved.

    h1

    PLO Wednesday Highlights (Live Blog)

    October 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    *shivers*

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

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

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

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

    So yeah, I got stung by another bee today.

    Super cool.

    7:04 PM: Notable hands so far:

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

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

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

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

    Solid start to my night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So sick. The nit courtesy showed the quad tens.

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

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

    Well executed.

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

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

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

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

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

    I fold.

    BOOM.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    YAWN.

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

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

    Final Score: +$145

    h1

    $160 Big O @ Chinook Winds (Stack Updates)

    October 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

    1:00 PM: Cards are in the air!

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

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

    AQT32 with no spades. Lol. What a torch.

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

    Up to 19k.

    2:33 PM: Last hand before break:

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

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

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

    That puts me at 22k during first break.

    3:24 PM: Pretty sick one here:

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

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

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

    He has AAK73.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But wow at that call. ๐Ÿคฏ

    5:03 PM: Registration is closed.

    154 entrants

    74 add-ons

    ~84 left

    $26,656 prize pool

    27k avg stack

    I have 84.6k

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

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

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

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

    They are trying to punt hard in this thing.

    6:09 PM: Third break: 82.7k

    Twinkie is busted.

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

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

    He tanks forever and does fold.

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

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

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

    114.7k

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

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

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

    Chip lead at my table has like 350k! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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

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

    TORMUND SIGHTING!

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

    10:08 PM: We are hand-for-hand now and the floor gets done saying that anyone that gets up and watches another table gets a one round penalty and as soon as the first hand is done two players at another table get up to spectate and are given a one round penalty. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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

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

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

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

    Peaking at 312k with 9 left.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So sick!

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

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

    Nope. Game on!

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

    4th is currently $2290.

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

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

    Leggo!