Posts Tagged ‘pot limit omaha’

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May 2019 Week 2 Poker Wrap-Up

May 13, 2019

So in lieu of the live blogging, I took some notes during my sessions on the key pots I played so that I could possibly write about them later if I decided to do a review of my sessions.

Wednesday @ Palace

I went in a little early on Wednesday to get a few hours of 8/16 in before the PLO game started and only two hands really stuck out to me from the session, mostly because Part-Time continues to run insanely pure against me. I can’t even imagine what he thinks about it all, but I picture him going to sleep and having dreams about playing pots against me because he seems to cooler me or get there any time we lock horns. It must feel like free money to him.

On the first hand, there are some limpers, he raises from the small blind and I defend with 33 from the big blind. The flop comes down T83 with two clubs and three of us end up putting in a raise on the flop with Part-Time the one capping the betting. The turn card is an ugly six of clubs, completing the flush draw and a 97 straight, so I’m pretty happy to not get raised after it checks to me and I bet. I still have two opponents when the river is a 7. I have Part-Time squarely on an overpair at this point and I’m picking up vibes from the other guy in the hand that he doesn’t have a straight, so I go for some savage value here and only Part-Time calls. I table my set and then he tables a set of eights because obv.

The other hand of note, I raise with KT of spades under the gun and get 6-way action to a flop of QJJ with one spade. I decide to c-bet this flop and I get a call from the small blind before Part-Time check-raises from the big. He would play a jack this way, so I’m just looking to make the best hand now. I call and so does the small blind. The turn is the ace of spades, giving me the nut straight and a Royal Flush draw that will be worth over $10,000 if I can find a queen of spades on the river. Part-Time checks and I bet. I think the ace is a reasonable card to check-raise if you have a jack or better, so when he just calls it seems clear that I have the best hand. The other player folds. The river is a 4 and now Part-Time donks out.

What?

I basically always have the MUBS at this point when I play a pot with Part-Time and when I called on the flop, I was thinking about how I’m probably still going to lose if I make my hand and now here I am getting donked into on the river after being check-called on the turn. But since he called a raise from the big blind in a 6-way pot, he might have all the jacks in his range and that gives him way more combos of trip jacks than full houses and because of the board texture and the action, most of the hands that make boats are unlikely anyway. In fact, I think we can safely eliminate AA, QQ, JJ, and 44 from his range and when we do that, that leaves us with 72 combos of trip jacks and 18 combos of full houses. Even if we put some of the junkier offsuit jacks into his preflop folding range, he still clearly has trips here far more often than boats, especially considering how the turn action went. I didn’t need to do all this combo counting at the table – it’s pretty intuitive – to put in the raise, so I jacked it up and when he just calls I’m obviously never losing, but this is Part-Time vs Dark Knight so of course he turns over QJ here.

Result: -$18

PLO started at 6 PM and it was mostly uneventful for me. I gradually grinded to about +$400 before things started to sour. I managed to go on a four hour stretch without winning a single hand and bottomed out at -$600.

The first hand that started my downward trend I have K9xx in a limped pot from a blind, bet $20 on K92 rainbow, and my only caller is one of the McPoyle brothers from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

The turn is a 6 and when I lead $50, McPoyle makes it $165 and this spot sucks because I think he’s capable of doing this with hands like K6 and maybe as bad as 62. In other words, he doesn’t know what he’s doing and if he has me beat here, I probably just have to pay it off. I call. The river is a ten and when we both check I assume I’m probably winning the pot, but he ends up showing a set of 9s.

I’ve put $1100 on the table and I only have about $370 of it left when I double through McPoyle while holding A665 with a suited ace in clubs and get it all in on a board of J74cc8 and hold even when the board pairs on the river.

Shortly after that, I get a rather large bluff through with KT97 on a board of QJ54 and get my opponent to lay down AA76 face up so I’m back to over $800 in my stack when this hand comes up:

It’s a raised pot and I have 9766 with a suit on a board of T86 rainbow and wind up getting all $800 of it in against The Crypt Keeper on the flop. There’s a third player also all-in, but he only has about $200 of it, so the side pot is way more important here. I have the nuts and bottom set for a redraw, but I’m not loving the spot. Crypt Keeper obviously has the nuts also and probably has a redraw with it and the other guy wanting to get his stack in is concerning as well. We run it once… the turn is an ace and the river is a queen and Crypt Keeper winds up scooping it all with J97x and felting me. The other player had 88 in his hand, so my scooping outs were actually pretty minimal, even for the side pot. That left me dusted and since the game was short-handed, not great, and it was almost 1 AM, I just called it a night.

Result: -$1082

Thursday @ Red Dragon

Ducky and I headed to Red Dragon to play some 20/40 Mix and I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before: I lost almost $1000 while waiting for the game I wanted to play in to start.

Let me preface this by saying that the PLO game at Red Dragon is borderline ridiculous. I’m not talking about the action in the game… I’m talking about the structure of it. It’s a 1/3 game, so the blinds are $1 and $3, but it’s $5 to come in just like at Palace, but in this game the maximum buy in is $300, so the most you can sit down with is effectively 60 big blinds. That’s already really shallow, but in the game I was playing, almost everyone (myself excluded) was straddling to $10 on the button. This effectively reduces the maximum buy in to 30 big blinds and if a pot gets raised preflop, stacks are going in on the flop if anyone has a piece. I’m sure the game is still plenty beatable, but this structure definitely increases the short-term luck factor and probably drastically decreases a good player’s edge overall.

First hand that cost me my stack, I have AKQT with a suit in a straddled pot and make it $40 to go. I get two callers and flop a king high flush draw on 972 with two spades. I pot the flop and get it in against both my opponents. That’s obviously not good. One of them probably has the nut flush draw, so I’m likely in bad shape here. The turn pairs the 2 and the river is a 6, so I miss everything. One guy had the nut flush draw and made trip twos but the third player had 985x with no spades and his hand and scoops everything with a straight.

Second hand that cost me my stack, I make it $40 again with KKT9 with a suit and get two callers. I pot and get it in on Q83 rainbow and both players call. The turn pairs the 3 and the river is a 9. I’m up against AKKT and JT9x and the same player that stacked me in the first hand does it again by rivering another straight, even though I chop with a jack and three of his tens are blocked. Sigh.

My third time (nearly) getting stacked, it is not straddled, but there are three limpers, and I pot it with AKKT with a suited ace in clubs, and two players call. I bet 2/3 pot on AQ3 with two clubs and get one caller. We are super shallow after the flop betting, so I put him all in even though the turn pairs the queen and he has KQ53. So after thinking I kind of smashed the flop, I suddenly have one out to win this pot. It doesn’t come.

I think I lose another smallish pot before deciding I’d rather sit around and wait for Mix to start than to keep felting buy ins in this PLO game.

Result: -$978

The players on the Mix Game list weren’t willing to start short-handed so that’s what led to my PLO debacle. I actually started playing PLO at 2:55 PM and we didn’t start the Mix Game until 6:05 PM so it was a brutal (and painful) wait. In fact, I spent nearly an hour just sitting at an empty table.

But we did end up playing Mix and, goodness, I did not have a fun time. I spent most of the night losing every key pot I played and I think I bottomed out at -$1400 which certainly had me contending for my biggest overall loss in a single day.

We are playing 2-7 Triple Draw and an early position player opens, gets two callers, and I 3-bet from the small blind with 7652x, a pretty smooth one card draw to a seven. My opponents all call and wind up drawing 3, 2, and 2. I don’t improve after the first draw and maybe that means I’m supposed to check here out of position against a field, but I bet and got raised by the 3-card draw and both other players called. I called also. The raiser patted behind me and the other guys drew two again. On the second draw, I spiked a 4, giving me the fourth best deuce hand you can make and I was able to check-raise the field. The other pat hand raised back, clearing the field, and I capped it. We both patted again and I bet the river and got raised. He’s definitely saying he has the nuts or close to it, so I just call and sure enough he drew three to a wheel on the first draw. Pretty sick. It seems like I might have lost some unnecessary big bets here, but I’m not sure. If he made an 85, would he just call my check-raise and let the other guys keep drawing for one more bet? Would he just call with an 86? I’m not sure. I don’t know the player at all. I wonder what I would do in his spot. It should be pretty intuitive that I had a good one card draw and when I check-raise the field after the second draw, I clearly made my hand… and he still raised me. Maybe I should just be calling down at that point, even with a seven?

I was running pretty unlucky in general by this point already, so that hand definitely left my ears ringing a bit, but it wouldn’t even be the most frustrating pot I lost that night.

We are playing 2-7 Razz, someone completes with an 8 up in early position, another player calls, I make it $40 to go with 82-3, and a super splashy player calls $40 cold with a ten up. The 8 up calls, the other guy oddly folds, and the three of us head to fourth street. I catch a 7, the ten catches a 6, and the 8 gets a 4. I have the betting lead and the best board showing, so I bet, but it’s worth noting that the 84 is usually drawing smoother than me at this point. They both call. On fifth, I pair the 7 and their boards are T66 and 84K. We all bricked, but the dude with the made king fires a bet and I’m tempted to raise here, but as I mentioned earlier, he probably has a better draw than me anyway, so I just call. So does the T66! I catch another 7 and the 84K catches an ace (the worst card in this game). The other guy must have caught another pair or a face card because the player with the made king fires another bet and we both call again. Yes, this hand is pure insanity. I can’t wait to see how the dude with the T66J showing beats me in this hand. I get a 4 on my last card and make an 87432 and expect to be winning this pot most of the time now, but it’s not such a monster that I’m going to raise when the 84KA fires another bet on 7th. I call and so does the other guy that I have board locked.

I have my earbuds in and the river bettor says something after we call. I thought he might have said he had an ace and that makes sense because he doesn’t seem to want to turn over his cards. I wait him out a little longer and he’s still not showing so when the other guy tables his hand, I show mine as well. Then, after successfully getting us both to show our hands out of turn, this dickbag reveals a made 86 and I couldn’t help but blurt out, “why are you just now turning over that hand?” He said that he said he had an 8. Okay. Who gives a fuck what you said. Turn that shit over. We were both obviously sitting there waiting for him to do something. And then I end up showing because I don’t want the other player to think I’m slow rolling him. Dude makes an 86 and just gets called in two spots and doesn’t know it’s basically the nuts?

Note: The only thing I actually said out loud was what I put in quotes, but I was definitely thinking all the rest and the fact that I was pissed about it wasn’t exactly a secret. I mean… I’m already getting smashed in the game and now I’m being slow rolled in a massive pot? Ducky actually tried to defend this prick later, saying that he didn’t think it was that bad of a slow roll and I’m like HUH? Okay, he said he had an 8? That’s nice. Prove it maybe? If I heard him I would have said “me too” but I didn’t, so after he says something and neither of us react, it’s time to show the cards. Anything after that is egregious IMO.

I was honestly mad enough that I was tempted to call it a night, but after getting some fresh air, doing some breathing, and reminding myself there was a guy in there calling raises and reraises with a ten up in Razz games and literally giving money away, I was able to collect myself and make a nice recovery for the night.

Another 2-7 Razz example with the maniac: I raise with 54-3 and he calls me down on these runouts:

Me: 54-3723-x
Him: xx-7KT9-x

Bless his heart.

And one more hand just to show how it felt like the Poker Gods were conspiring against me on this night:

We are playing A-5 Triple Draw and I defend a raise with 642. All three of us draw two. I improve to a one card draw and decide to lead out and they both call. I draw one and they draw two again. I make a 6, bet and they both call. I pat and they draw two again (!). I bet and get a call, so I table my hand and that’s when the dealer is like, “there’s another draw left.” During the third draw, the dealer had to shuffle the burns and the muck to complete the action. This leads to an extensive argument and literally not one person at the table is in agreement with me, so I’m sitting there replaying the action in my head, wondering if I’m the only person that can count to three. Even Ducky is chiming in saying he thinks there’s another draw when he wasn’t even paying attention to the damn hand. What a good friend! Finally the dealer asks me if I want him to call the floor over and I just say no and let this dude draw for a fourth time against me while my hand is face up, figuring that if he missed, we can just move on. Fortunately, he did miss, but if he didn’t… yeah, we’re going to take a look at those cameras.

Result: -$352

Friday @ Palace

First hand of the day I 3-bet with AK and get a K97 rainbow flop against Master Splinter and Part-Time. We are in Overs and they both call. The turn is a blank and I get check-raised by Splinter. I call him down and there will be no Coast-To-Coast for me because he has a set of sevens.

And that sets the tone for my whole session. I won some raise-and-take-its and some raise-and-c-bet pots, but they were few and far between and I didn’t win my first showdown for 3+ hours. And then I won three straight. I think I bottomed out at -$1200 but rallied all the way back to nearly even before shit hit the fan all over again and I found myself all the way back down to -$1400.

Fortunately, I heated up towards the end of the night when the game got short.

Result: -$360

Saturday @ Palace

I actually got off to a decent +$500 start on Saturday, but it was short-lived. I had a lot of medium and big pairs and I can only remember winning with one of them. I’m talking like 1 for 15 with TT+. I had some hand examples from this session, but they are basically just bad beat stories and I’m ready to wrap this post up.

Probably the most notable thing that happened in this session was that we had a full game with three on the list when a big pot happened where FanGirl lost with trips to a flush on the river. After losing that pot, she didn’t take her big blind and quit the game. FanBoy announced that he was out too. Then Huey says he doesn’t want the big blind either. The next player takes his stub of chips and leaves the table. I post the big blind, but the player in seat 7 is frustrated, shaking his head, and decides to quit too. Just like that, five players have vanished. The floors have no clue about the crisis happening on our table, so they are taking their sweet time trying to fill the one seat they think we have open and I watch in horror as the first two players on the list end up passing on the game. I was willing to keep playing, even as short as 3-handed, but needless to say, we never got dealt another hand. How does that happen? Full game with three on list to a broken game in the span of a single hand. Absolutely sick.

Result: -$458

One of my good friends walked into the casino and I decided to hang out for a few extra hours and play some 4/8 with him. I ended up hitting quad fours for a $152 jackpot. And then I committed a white chip sin and took my opponents to Value Town on the river because that extra $16 I win in a jackpot hand is $16 that can pay for my Apple Music membership this month. It all adds up and I’m not one that thinks it is okay to draw arbitrary lines of decency when it comes to betting or checking bonuses. I’ve actually seen people bark at someone for betting a potential high hand on the river against them. Like dude… that might not even hold up. Let’s all calm down and play poker.

Result: +$88

Yup. That was a miserable week. What went right? Anything? I got off to decent starts in PLO on Wednesday and 15/30 on Saturday, but I spent almost my entire week losing my ass in every session I played. I mounted some comebacks and limited the damage a little bit, but this was one of the most trying weeks of cash game poker I’ve ever played.

When I said I wanted to change things up on my blog, I’m not sure this is what I had in mind. This took way longer to write than I was hoping for. But then again, I guess I had some abnormal stories. On the bright side, I got my volume way up.

Final Results: -$2956 in 44.25 hours

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First Red Dragon Trip & 15/30 Live Blog

April 26, 2019

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been feeling a serious lack of motivation while I’ve been slumping through my second losing month of the year. It’s April? The fourth month of the year? I’m sitting here with less than 20% of the winnings I had by this point last year. Granted, I had an epic February in 2018 and followed that up with a $25k+ series in the Muckleshoot Spring Classic. Winning one of those tournaments can’t be expected to happen every year.

It’s not really even the losing that has gotten me down. The local game selection has been depressing. Even though we moved in late 2018, Palace is still the closest poker room to my house and where I prefer to play, but the games I’ve relied on for my bottom line have dried up substantially. The 15/30 was running almost every day in April of last year and now Friday nights are the only day I know it’s going to go and even then it’s started to feel shaky lately. PLO was running twice a week and used to be mind-boggling good action. That game has gotten progressively worse, to the point where it’s almost all regulars (and multiple pros) and last week it was dead before 9 PM. I couldn’t even jump in an 8/16 game to get a full day of work because that game was dead already too. PLO has basically zero chance to survive the summer when a number of the players keeping it alive disappear to Vegas for the WSOP. I didn’t even bother showing up this past week and I might shift my priorities elsewhere on future Wednesdays. I mean… I want to do my part to keep it alive, but I don’t have much interest in locking horns with some of the best players in the area for a couple hours every week, hoping some live ones will sit down with us.

Last Thursday I did something I’ve been wanting to do and checked out the Red Dragon poker room in Mountlake Terrace, a few exits north of Shoreline. I was extremely impressed. It’s a nice, cozy room and they were super busy. The real reason I went out there is because I heard they had a 20/40 Mix Game that spreads quite regularly. Ducky and I made the trip and pretty much as soon as we walked in they fired up the 20 Mix game. We started off with a mix of Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, Omaha Hi, Razz, Badugi, Omaha 8, Stud 8, and Double Board Omaha. Later, we added Big O and Ace-to-Five Triple Draw and removed some of the other Omaha games.

I don’t consider myself a mixed games wizard, but I was astonished at how soft that starting lineup was. I knew I was the best player in the game and I couldn’t even find a variant I thought someone might be better than me at. That might sound arrogant, but I like to think I make honest assessments. Part of the reason I’ve lost interest in the PLO game at Palace is because I know there are always multiple players better than me in it now. Anyways, almost the whole table in this mix game was playing exceptionally loose and the one guy I thought might be competent before the game started seemed like he was going out of his way to play horribly, particularly against me – like he wanted to put a gross one on me. I’m talking cold calling raises and drawing four cards kinds of gross. Fortunately, that bad beat never happened and I basically had that guy’s number the entire session.

I raced out to a +$2500 start and that wasn’t hurting my confidence any, but while I knew I was running good, I could also see the plethora of horrendous mistakes everyone else was making that helped get me to that lofty cushion. My heater extinguished, however, and I eventually got ice cold and the game got progressively worse throughout the night. It seemed like every time someone left or busted out, they were replaced by a better player and by the end of the night, I was looking around the table and thought everyone was mostly competent. So Ducky and I took off and I had to settle for a +$997 day.

I am looking forward to going back and plan to make a trip to Red Dragon at least once a week as part of my regular routine – even though it’s an absolutely brutal commute.

Last Friday I booked a -$1236 in a good 15/30 game and then I finished 16th in the Main Event of the Little Creek spring series on Saturday. That was yet another deep run that didn’t amount to a cash. Maximum amount of time wasted. Goodness that’s getting old.

I’ve come to the realization that I have a mental game weakness when it comes to busting out of tournaments. If I played 11 hours of 15/30 and lost $560, I wouldn’t be happy about it, but most of the time, I can just chalk it up to a poor day at the office and shake it off. But when I spend 11 hours playing a tournament and don’t cash… well, I find that EXTREMELY upsetting.

Or maybe it’s just because I haven’t been having any good results.

I have now fired 22 bullets in 17 tournaments this year and I have two cashes to show for it. Sort of. One of those cashes was in a tournament I fired two bullets at and I ended up with a net loss. The other cash was in a daily tournament… at a bowling alley… and I have to include that because if I don’t, then I haven’t cashed for a profit in a single tournament in 2019. I am currently down almost $7300 in tournaments this year for a sexy ROI of -91%.

Could this be the year that I finally lose money in tournament poker?

That reminds me… who wants to buy my World Series of Poker action?

Seriously. I’ll be selling a package here shortly when I get a better idea of what my schedule will look like. Uhm… I’m due?

Saturday was my last day playing poker in a casino, so that’s pretty much it for poker updates.

I posted some movie reviews yesterday. I’ve also been updating my TV Show Ratings and 2019 Album Ratings. It seems like most people have no idea what new music to listen to, so check that out if you want to stay up to date on good new content. ScHoolboy Q released a new album last night, so that’s what I’ll be listening to today.

I saw Avengers: Endgame last night. I’m going to see it again on Tuesday before writing about it, so here’s my quick, no spoilers thoughts: it was fucking awesome.

I will be live blogging my 15/30 session tonight, but it will also be the MLB debut of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., so I’ll be watching the Blue Jays game on my iPad while I’m playing for the first 3+ hours of my session.

Starting Lineup: Megaphone, Chief Wiggum, Part-Time, Ducky, and four non-regs

4:23 PM: I’m on tilt already. First off, Palace’s WiFi connection is fucking worthless. I can’t even watch Vlad Jr.’s debut on my iPad because it won’t connect so I’m watching it on my phone… which means I can’t type at the same time.

  • Also, first hand of the session, Wiggum straddles on the button, I 3-bet AK of spades from the big blind and somehow six of us wind up putting in five bets each before the flop.
  • The board runs out A76sTsT and I wind up losing to someone’s T8 offsuit after flopping top top and turning the nut flush draw. That same player CRUSHED me last week and hit and ran the game for around $1500+ in less than 90 minutes. She’s well on her way to doing same shit today. Pretty cool.
  • So… instead of winning a $700+ pot on the first hand of the day and having a nice cushion for my first Coast-to-Coast performance, I lost this monster pot to someone that is probably going to jet before 6 PM.
  • Sigh.
  • 4:40 PM: And I just lost to her again: flop top pair with JTdd, turn a flush draw, and lose to bottom pair. I have literally lost ten pots in a row to her, dating back to last week, and I don’t think she outflopped me in a single one of them. Wtf.

    5:23 PM: Ducky opens, the lady crushing me 3-bets, I call from the small blind with two jacks, and it’s 4-way action.

    Flop is 982 and it checks around.

    Great start.

    Turn is a king and I think that’s a card I should send around and it checks to my boss and she bets. I’m content to show this down with passive action so I call and that leaves us heads up.

    The river is a jack! I check. She checks. And shows ace fucking king. Holy shit. How is that a thing? It’s not like she’s giving me air. She bet heads up in the last pot, so… wtf? It’s just the Poker Gods randomly messing with me? “Even when you win… you lose.”

    5:49 PM: Raise some limpers with KJ of hearts and then c-bet 4-handed pot on T93 rainbow.

    The turn is a queen and I’m pretty stoked when Megaphone check-raises me since we are in Overs now and I get to make it $150. He calls.

    The river is another ten and that’s not cool, but when he checks it over, I go for value and he just calls and then mumbles about how “gut shot was his only out,” which could only be true if he had, uh, 93?

    Anyways, after spotting them a rack immediately, I’ve been given a reprieve on my session after these last couple hands and get to start fresh.

    6:31 PM: This game is flimsy already. We already have an open seat and no list and half this lineup could up and leave at any moment.

    On the bright side, Flea finally decided to make a return to red chip games.

    7:45 PM: Here’s a list of hands that its impossible to win a pot with: AK, AQ, AJ.

    Megaphone is at his Megaphoniest. He’s been running extremely good and garbage hasn’t stopped spilling out of his mouth for hours now. One time, he was rambling and I looked up to see that not one player was listening to him and then I caught the dealer looking off into space like “lawd, save me” and I burst into laughter.

    Nothing exciting to report. I’m getting a decent amount of big aces and losing with all of them. That sums up my first four hours so far. Currently sitting near -$500 again.

    7:54 PM: In related news, my phone is almost dead, I don’t have a portable charger, and the USB ports at my table aren’t working.

    8:53 PM: Here’s how good I’ve been running the last three months:

    I come back from a break talking to my wife on the phone and see like $600 in chips sitting between me and seat 9 and then Taz comes over and says “these are going here” motioning to me and I’m wondering if someone thinks I won a High Hand or something… and then he says, “I should just leave them here” and I respond, “I don’t get it” and finally it dawns on me that those are his chips and he’s making a joke that I’m going to win them from him anyway so why waste time and I’m like “bro, you haven’t been around here for a while, huh?”

    9:49 PM: Someone limps, I raise KK, there’s a call, button 3-bets and I cap this 4-way pot.

    I bet flop and turn on QT53 and still have three opponents when another queen hits the river. I don’t think any of them have one, so I go for value and get called in two spots! My hand is good and I have sugar for the first time today.

    Not bad. I was -$800 less than two hours ago.

    10:12 PM: Heater alert! I followed that KK hand up by flopping top set with AA in a multi-way 3-bet pot and then flopping a full house with 82 suited from the small blind in a limped pot and getting way too much action when my hand seemed pretty face up.

    Suddenly I am up $700.

    11 PM: Welp, this game is on the ropes. We are now 5-handed. Nice surprise from that aces full hand from earlier. It went up for High Hand with 19 minutes to go so I forgot all about it and it held up! Send an extra $400 my way.

    I’m not going to try and blog and play short-handed so I’ll post a final tally when we wrap things up here.

    Final Score: +$2085

    Short-handed was good to me, even with Ducky getting a J32 flop with JJ vs my 33 in a blind vs blind hand when we were 4-handed.

    Feels good though. Good enough to put my month back in the black.

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    Cali Trip Report and PLO Hands

    February 13, 2019

    img_5847

    So I’ve basically been in Los Angeles for three weeks straight with a little mini-trip home for a weekend in between.

    To illustrate, I’ve played 5.5 hours at Palace (my home court) since January 18th.

    I’ve been gone a lot. And I feel discombobulated. Unorganized. Tilty even?

    I was playing on Global Poker last night and after establishing a new record number of bullets fired in the $7K rebuy, I actually had to unregister some tournaments because I knew I was in total C-game mode. Somehow I managed to take 3rd in the $5.50 PLO rebuy to almost salvage my night.

    I’m totally off my routine and I have to admit it’s throwing my shit off completely. I’m excited to get back into the routine of normal life and start being productive again.

    But first! A recap of my Cali trips:

    • 1/20: +$135 in 5 hours of 20/40 LHE @ Commerce
    • 1/21: 18th of 186 for -$120 in $350 Omaha 8 tournament @ Commerce
    • 1/22: -$350 in Triple Stud tourney @ Commerce
    • 1/22: +$69 in 1.5 hours of 20/40 LHE @ Bike
    • 1/22: +$161 in 3.5 hours of 20/40 Mix @ Bike
    • 1/23: +$1945 in 10.5 hours of 20/40 LHE @ Bike
    • 1/24: -$350 in Stud 8 tourney @ Commerce
    • 1/24: +$4 in 2.5 hours of 8/16 Stud 8/Big O @ Commerce
    • 1/25 to 1/29: back in Washington
    • 1/30: -$700 in Limit Hold’em tourney @ Commerce
    • 1/31: -$350 in HORSE tourney @ Commerce
    • 1/31: +$1235 in 5.5 hours of 40/80 LHE @ Commerce
    • 2/1: +$5035 in 11.5 hours of 40/80 LHE @ Bike
    • 2/2: -$350 in NL HORSE tourney @ Commerce
    • 2/3: -$9 in 1 hour of 20/40 LHE @ Bellagio
    • 2/3: -$2177 in 2 hours of 40/80 LHE @ Bellagio
    • 2/4: -$570 in Omaha 8 tourney @ Commerce
    • 2/4: -$555 in 2.75 hours of 7 Card Stud @ Commerce
    • 2/5: +$1708 in 10.25 hours of 40/80 LHE @ Bike
    • 2/6: -$2060 in 8.25 hours of 40/80 LHE @ Bike
    • 2/7: -$570 in HORSE tourney @ Commerce
    • 2/8: Day off
    • 2/9: +$20 in 9 hours of 20/40 LHE @ Bike
    • 2/9: +$184 in 4.75 hours of 40/80 LHE @ Bike

    Cash games: +$5695 in 78 hours

    Tournaments: -$3360 in 48 hours

    Meh. You can do the math there. It was an okay trip, but when you factor in expenses it basically equates to a huge waste of time… except one thing! I got a lot of experience at the 40/80 level. That is valuable.

    Actually…. if you erased that insane trip to Las Vegas from my results ledger, it would look a whole lot better. Not amazing… but I could probably at least label it a good trip.

    Gosh damn Flipper.

    The tournament side of things was a massive disappointment. I cashed only one time in eight events – which is only slightly below average – but I was in two bullets when I cashed and still managed to lose money in the event. More annoyingly, I never made an actual interesting run in any of the LAPC events. I never had a stack at a stage of the tournament where I really thought I had a chance to do some serious damage.

    Sometimes it makes you wonder… why bother?

    Sigh. Next year!

    I’m back at Palace tonight for some PLO. I’ll jot notes and post some hand histories later and probably publish tomorrow (Thursday).

    Starting Lineup: Kitsap Reg, 8/16 Reg, Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, Hit&Run, JOKER, Lee Markholt, Crypt Keeper

    Notable Pots:

    I make it $15 with AAJ2 with a suited ace in clubs and get 5-way action to the Q54 rainbow flop. I start with a check, Hit&Run bets $75 and everyone else folds. It’s not a great spot, but I’m against a player that can have a hand as weak as a pair of queens with no draws here. Plus I do have a gutshot and a club is on the board. It’s not much of a hand, but I think I have to continue here.

    The turn is the king of clubs, giving me the nut flush draw and another gutshot, and I have a very easy check-call when he makes a weak-looking bet of $125. I can’t remember what the stack sizes were at this point, but there’s probably some merit to check-potting here. His bet size seems like weakness, so I think I might have a decent amount of fold equity here and I have a lot of outs when I do get called, but Hit&Run makes some super marginal calls and he’s not the kind of player I’m trying to get to fold better hands. I just call.

    The river pairs the 4 and he makes another bet in the $125 range and that card and bet size gives me the snappiest of calls. That sizing was already weak on the turn, so it’s pathetic on the river. He shows QJ75 (with bad clubs) and the 4 counterfeited his two pair and gives me a winner. Like I said, that’s a hand that should be folding if it gets raised to $425 on the turn and I honestly don’t think he’d make that lay down so that’s why I just check-call instead of trying to exploit the weakness I was sensing.

    I believe I limped along with the TT86 with clubs in this hand and bet $10 when it checked to me on the Tc9c6s flop. I had top set, a gutshot, and a bad flush draw and the 8/16 Reg check-called. The turn brought the only club I wanted to see – the 7 – and gave me a straight flush. I bet $20 and he check-called again. I remember sizing down in this spot because I had just played a hand against the same player where I took a much stronger line and thought he might incorrectly smell weakness here. The river brought a blank and I decided to pot it and he folded.

    There’s a series of limpers and Part-Time makes it $30 on the button. I call with KQT9 with a suit and most of the others call as well. Flop is Q86 rainbow and it checks around. The turn completes the rainbow with a ten and gives me top two pair. Despite the lack of flush draws, the board is pretty coordinated here, so I send it around again and the Kitsap guy bets $125 and everyone else folds. It’s not a great spot and I think folding might actually be best here, but I decide to see another card. The river is a blank and we both check. I show my top two pair and then five minutes later he shows me top set.

    There’s a raise from early position and multiple callers and I defend the big blind with AQ52 single suited with spades. The flop is K43 with two spades, giving me a wheel wrap and a queen high flush draw. I decide to start with a check, the PFR checks, Joker bets $50, it folds to Part-Time in the small blind and he calls, and with somewhere around $600 in front of me I’m going with the hand and pot it. Joker makes what looks like a painful fold, but Part-Time almost immediately puts me all in. He has a set of fours and only wants to run it once and the turn card pairs the board and just like that I am felted.

    I reload for $800 and it doesn’t take long for me to raise it up to $30 with AAK6 single suited with hearts and get it all in again with Part-Time on the T73hh flop. I bet $125 on the flop and by doing so, I knew I was committing myself to seeing all five cards, so we ran it once again. Part-Time has a set of 7s this time, someone says they folded three hearts, but somehow I river a flush anyway. Not that it matters. The board immediately paired on the turn and I’m felted again.

    I was having a pretty middling session up to that point and just like that, in about 15 minutes, I lost around $1500 in two hands. I took a lap around the building and decided that I couldn’t possibly quit at 9 PM, three hours into my first session back in Washington, so I reloaded another $1000.

    I make it $20 with an AA hand and can’t recall either of my side cards. Maybe because the flop was A82 rainbow and I didn’t them? I bet $20 and both Part-Time and the Kitsap player call. Turn is the ten of spades, opening up a flush draw and a lot of straight draws, so I pot it this time and only one player calls. The river brings in the flush, but it’s a 2! I’m pretty sure my remaining opponent has a hand he can call with so I bet $200 and he does call… and shows a set of 8s and the nut flush. Yikes! It’s nice to win a pot here, but after the hand all I can think about is how I would have doubled up if Part-Time had his hand.

    By now, Aquaman has made a very surprising appearance in this game and he gives me a very kind assist in this next pot. Someone opens to $15 and I call with JT75 double suited from the blinds. The flop is K96 rainbow, but has one of each of my suits on board, plus I have a sneaky double gutter that only makes nut straights. I check, there’s a $75 bet, Aquaman calls, and I’m happy to continue here as well. The turn completes the rainbow with a blank-looking 3, but that card actually gives me the elusive triple gutshot! I check, the flop bettor fires $200 on the turn, and Aquaman calls again, leaving himself with just under $300 behind. The fact that Aquaman just calls here instead of jamming leads me to believe he’s on a draw, so he probably has at least one of the same straight draws as I do. Still, I don’t see how I can fold here so I call and I’m desperately rooting for a 4 on the river because that card will look like a total brick. I’m planning to check-raise 4s and lead with 8s and queens. The river is an 8, I bet $300 and they both end up folding. Later, Aquaman asks if he would have potted the flop or turn would I have called and says he had a set of 9s. Uhm… hell no, I wouldn’t call.

    There’s a series of limpers to me in the big blind and I make a pot sweetener raise to $20 with AKJT double suited and they all call. The flop is an incredibly sexy AQ8 with two clubs and a spade, giving me ALL the draws… plus top pair. I bet $60 and get calls from Charlie Hustle and Joker. The turn pairs the 8 and that card is a bit annoying to me because if either of these guys has an 8 it basically destroys my hand. However, my hand still looks like it could be AA, so I bet out $125 and Charlie Hustle immediately calls. Sigh. I’m done with it. The river is a ten and that gives me a straight and I am not planning to call a bet here. Part of me is tempted to pot it if he bets (since I can still have AA) but even though this guy has a lot of nitty tendencies, I don’t ever see him make big folds. We both check and he shows A8. I can’t remember his exact side cards, but I ran a sim on this hand and my equity vs his A8 on the flop is over 70%. Pretty disgusting.

    I had a -$233 showing while playing 8/16 before PLO started and finished PLO at -$394. Considering I was stuck $1700 for the day one point, I was pretty happy with that end result.

    h1

    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.

    h1

    First Blog of 2019: PLO @ Palace

    January 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Emergency ejection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy 2019 ya’ll. Let’s get it.

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

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

    I give this starting lineup a C+.

    6:23 PM: Some funny hands:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Oh how the fibers of my being loathe him.

    He is the worst.

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

    Seriously. Fuck that guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That’s it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now I go home and pray for internet tomorrow.

    h1

    PLO @ The Palace (11/28/18)

    November 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.