Posts Tagged ‘texas hold em’

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$2/$5 NL 😮 @ Palace 4/21/2018 (Live Blog)

April 21, 2018

Yesterday I made a very unceremonious return to Fortune and a had a day to forget. I got absolutely throttled. When I cashed out I thought I was booking a record loss, but I thought I was in for $4500 when I was only in for $4000 so I actually came up just shy of my loss single-session loss of all-time. However, I did punt a full buy-in in the 1/3 game before moving to 20/40 and finished -$245 there and combined with my -$2135 at 20/40, my overall -$2380 day may very well be the worst day I’ve had since my poker career (re)started in 2011. I believe my worst session in that span is -$2300, but I’m not sure what my worst overall day is – I think it was yesterday.

As I mentioned, I absolutely punted my first $300 in the 1/3 game. I’d share details of the hand, but it was so bad, I’m just going to save some face here. Needless to say, it started my session off with a bad taste and I was immediately wondering if I should be even be playing poker. I feel like I play a very good, solidly profitable B-Game and my C-Game almost never shows up, but this 1/3 pot was 100% C-Game and I was just getting started.

My 20/40 session was absolutely miserable. The game wasn’t good and I was running insanely bad. I lost a monster pot where I had A5hh on a KQ9hhh flop where it was two bets five ways preflop, on the flop, and on the turn, before the board paired on the river and I lost to Q9. A solid $800 pot in the wrong direction and that pretty much summed up my session. I won one nice pot when I made kings full of aces with AK and hit one meaningful draw in a decent pot and the rest of my made hands were beat or outdrawn all night and I was whiffing like Mike Zunino in his return to the Mariners lineup last night on all my other draws and unmade starting hands. The frustration levels build quickly when every pot you play is heads up or 3-handed and you are outflopped or outdrawn or picked off every single time.

I wasn’t feeling it. I was running bad and felt physically beat down by the variance, the game wasn’t particularly great, and I had to admit I was playing my C-game. I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but when I’m running super bad, I feel very transparent. Like I never have anything and they all know it – because it’s true. I’m just missing every single flop. I decided to jet after less than six hours of play and, after dropping The Leak off at Palace, I was home before 10 PM on a Friday night. That doesn’t happen very often.

I’m off to a very lazy, unproductive start to my Saturday. I’ve basically done nothing but drink coffee, play MLB The Show on my PS4, and take a shower.

Checking in on Bravo now and I see Palace has nine games going, but no 15/30 and, holy shit, there is only one person on the list for that game. They do have a 2/5 NL game going though. Jesus. Please don’t let this be the expectation on Saturdays going forward. If 15/30 only goes Thursdays through Mondays, I can live with that. But no 15/30 on Saturdays is insanely bad for my bottom line.

I just had the briefest of thoughts to publish this and not even go play, but there are two 8/16 games going and I suppose it’s better to go play in one of those than to sit at home being lazy. So off I go… and hopefully the 15/30 will start before 5 PM.

2:43 PM: Ouch. The Leak sent me to pick up a medication for her and I’ve been told it’s going to be 30 minutes and she will have my ass if I don’t get it, so session EpTA pushed back to 3:30ish.

3:51 PM: Fresh off a C-game performance, I was dangerously close to being triggered out of even playing today. I left my house to pick up a prescription for my wife around 2:10 on my way to Palace and one hour and forty minutes later I am just now walking in to Palace and I didn’t even get the damn prescription.

Safeway’s pharmacy ended up wasting 30 minutes of my time before telling me they didn’t even have the fucking thing in the building and since we need it today, I went searching for other options… and came away empty-handed.

Fortunately, my wife mercifully accepted the baton and took the reigns on this task and let me go play poker. One more run around and I think I was done for the day. I was very close to being irrecoverably tilted.

To recap, it took me 100+ minutes to get to a destination seven minutes from my house and I didn’t even accomplish the task I was set out to do.

Seats open in the 2/5 game and it’s tempting to sit down in that lineup, but I can’t bring myself to participate in that game’s existence when the 15/30 game isn’t running. I’m currently 4th up for 8/16 and there are only four names on the list for 15/30.

Slow Saturday.

4:25 PM: Welp. I caved. I just kept looking at the 2/5 NL lineup and wanting to sit down and then one of the floors came over and pushed me over the edge by saying whether I play or not isn’t going to make much of a difference and my objective should be to make money, not be a little bitch. 😂

He made a lot of sense.

Lineup: Part-Time, a nitty reg, a bad reg, that douchey guy that was ganging up on me with The Flea, and three players I’ve never seen.

I’m far from a NL expert, so no clue how this is going to go but I suspect I should be a favorite simply by playing tight and solid. I play exploitive poker though, so that’s where there’s potential for things to go poorly.

4:39 PM: Yeah. This is pretty much how no limit goes for me. I open to $15 with 87dd and c-bet $25 in a 3-way pot on K93. One player calls and the 9 pairs on the turn. He seems weak and I think he has a lot of gut shots and pairs less than the 9 in his range. I fire $50 and he calls again. I still think his range is the same on the river when an ace comes and this is a good card for me to fire a third bullet. I don’t need to size big here since I think he’s weak, so I push out $80 and he SNAP calls me with 43o.

I’ve been in this game for four hands and I’ve never seen this guy in my life.

I sat down with $500 in play and $500 on the side but after seeing that, I have it all in play now.

Uneventful hand here but notable because a different player just limped under the gun with Q7o.

4:49 PM: And the player that just picked off my $170 quadruple bluff with bottom pair, on a favorable board texture for me, just left… because that’s how much the Poker Gods are shitting on me this weekend.

That genius is replaced my John Kim, whom definitely knows how to play this game better than I do. 😴😴

4:57 PM: A hand I wasn’t involved in:

Button straddle to $10, three calls, someone makes it $100, the third caller calls. Board is al raggedy and I think it checks on flop and turn before there’s an $80 bet and call. 72ss (bottom pair) beats K6 high.

A hand I was involved in:

I 3-bet KK from SB to $35, bet $30 on 882 flop and lose to A9o.

Standard for me in live no limit hold’em.

Mister Magoo takes our open seat!

5:22 PM: open $15 with Q9dd and nit min-raises to $30, one other calls, and I call also. Flop is JJx with Jd and we all check. Turn is the Td, giving me an open-ended straight flush draw, and the big blind leads out $20. I’m super tempted to raise here and I suppose I can still have jacks in my range, but I decide to just call and the PFR makes it $80. The other player folds and maybe I have some fold equity here if I suddenly make a big raise, but I don’t know what the best play is so I just call and…. whiff.

He tables KK behind.

5:26 PM: 15/30 is on the verge of starting and the game looks worse than the one I’m playing so it’s quite a dilemma. I want to support the 15/30 and not the 2/5, but it’s obvious which game is better.

5:39 PM: Yikes. I made decision to move and then this happened:

Two limps, John Kim makes it $20, I call with AJo from the cutoff, and five of us see the flop.

AQx

They all check to me and I bet $60. Everyone folds and JK calls. We are not concerned.

AQxJ

He checks and I bet $125. He makes it $300, leaving around $250ish behind. Don’t really see how I can fold here but I’m also wondering if I’m really about to lose a $1300+ pot right before I move. I didn’t love the spot but I also knew I wasn’t ever folding, so I stopped thinking about what he could have and put my whole stack in. He calls and doesn’t seem to love it.

I say, “two pair.”

“Me too.”

“Ace Jack.”

“That’s good.”

I hold vs QJ and then I move to 15/30 and apologize to him for the brutal hit and run.

5:49 PM: No real notables in the 15/30 game: The Queen, one huge fish, and a couple Palace regs.

It’s not a great game change, but it’s my duty to make this game thrive and I am much, much, MUCH better at LHE than NL.

6:38 PM: A couple notes:

First, No limit pots are more interesting than limit pots and probably provide better content. I’ve been playing 15/30 for about 40 minutes with zero hands of note.

Second, my attention is currently divided between poker, the Mariners game, and the Chris Sale-Sean Manaea matchup in Oakland – but I will try to provide some hands here.

Lastly, the 2/5 game just broke. It was full with five on the list like 20 minutes ago. That’s an amazing collapse.

7:32 PM: QT < Q9 on Q65; JJ < 33; Paxton just gave up three runs.

Goddammit!

7:36 PM: Oh man. J.Cole’s song “Bracket” about taxes is really speaking to me right now.

8:27 PM: Okay. Well, I watched almost all of Sean Manaea’s no hitter on my phone which makes it really hard to blog at the same time.

Regular updates incoming again.

While I was watching, I called the worst player at the table down on 98349 with KJ and won and then I bluffed him with 76 on A282A.

We have added The Flea to the lineup and his douchey partner from the other day.

Time to focus up and will the Mariners to victory from my peripheral.

8:52 PM: I won a notable pot before this but I can’t remember what it was.

Anyways, I raise under the gun with KQhh and only the Flea defends. Flop is Q42 rainbow and he check-raises me, I call and then raise on the 9 turn and he 3-bets me. Sigh.

River pairs the 2 and he pauses for like 30 seconds and I finally say, “I’m calling if that will help you make your decision.” He checks, so I bet and he calls with Q9 and that’s good. I guess he did have something to think about, but it’s a 5-10 second think, not half a minute. Looks like I let the constant camera time distract me from taking a free showdown and instead made an ill-advised bet.

10:14 PM: Game is jammed up now and I’m running super pure. Like whole table is jealous pure. I’m hitting everything and it’s all happening way too fast to keep track of.

Some hands I remember:

3-bet AJhh and flop flush and get action from three different players. Open AA and flop top set and get paid off. T8ss on 97×6. 65dd on 977dAdTd. Open KT and get the QJ54A runout.

Needless to say, I am up heaps now.

10:38 PM: Fast and furious. As I was typing that last update these two hands happened:

Flea limps, I raise AT, new crazy (possibly drunk) player 3-bets, Bingo Man calls, and so do we. Flop is QTT with one diamonds. Everybody checks, which is something I was not expecting to happen. Turn is an ace and Bingo leads out, I raise, the new player calls $60 cold, Bingo 3-bets, and I cap. River is king of diamonds and now the new player raises me, Bingo calls, I 3-bet and only one of them calls. This monster pot goes my way.

One hand after The Flea calls my wife “bad luck” because I finally lost a pot just after she came to visit, Flea raises some limpers from the small blind and I defend with K6o.

Flop: KK6 two hearts

Flea bets and I flat to keep the limpers in. They all call. Turn is jack of hearts and now Flea checks, I bet, button calls, and Flea raises. Pretty easy 3-bet here and Flea caps it, with the button still in as well.

River is a queen and Flea still leads. Is it too passive to call here? We are now losing to KQ and KJ and he never plays AK this way. I ended up raising and getting raised again and losing to KJ so now I’m on a break counting combos.

There are three combos of JJ, one combo of 66, and three combos of KJ. He can possibly have flushes and AK up until he caps the turn. If he happened to be losing his mind with KQ on the turn then that’s another three combos I’m losing to on the river. 66 is pretty unlikely, so it’s 50/50 on my river decision and I think the presence of the third player calling one bet but possibly not two, means I should lean towards calling. Plus, the KQ factor.

Obviously insanely unlucky, probably because The Leak was sitting behind me (seriously, who comes by and just completely extinguishes a heater?) but also likely a bad river decision on my part as well.

12:05 AM: Flea opens cutoff, I 3-bet QQ on button and both blinds come along and Flea calls.

J75 with two hearts and there are fireworks. I put in the first raise but the big blind 3-bets and Flea caps, plus the small blind is still in.

Turn is a blank and Flea still bets. This is a spot where I used to raise 100% of the time but now I’ve learned to be more cautious. Sure, there are going to be times when I’m ahead and wind up losing to one of the blinds because I just called on the turn, but more often I’m behind here and having to put in four bets to get to showdown is brutal. So I just call and so do the two others.

River is a 7 and everybody checks to me. I should be good here now and I probably have a value bet, but I take the safe route and check back. They table KJ, 65hh, and AJ and my queens are good.

Another interesting spot, or maybe not interesting at all: straddle pot and I have QJss and five of us put in five bets pre.

Flop is A74 no spades. There’s a bet and three calls back to me and I’m getting 29 to 1 here, closing the action. I know I call if there’s a spade on board, but what about an 8 or a 9? Does that make it an auto-call or should I see the turn in this exact spot?

I don’t know the answer to that so I should probably investigate. Either way, I don’t know what’s grosser, calling or folding here.

2:01 AM: That’s a wrap. Today was basically polar opposite of yesterday. Almost all my pocket pairs held up, I was drawing well, and flopping good.

Final result: +2820 (in 15/30) and +$520 (in 2/5 NL) for +$3340 total.

And that’s how you tell a record bad session to go F itself.

We are meeting friends for lunch tomorrow in Renton and doesn’t seem like playing poker is really on the docket. We have another doctor appointment in Kirkland late afternoon on Monday so that’s going to delay my Monday session considerably but Radio Mike said he’s playing so I’ll try to get in his game by 6 PM if I can.

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$15/$30 @ Palace 4/19/2018 (Live Blog)

April 19, 2018

2:30 PM: Perfect timing. Walked into Palace as they are putting chips on the table to start a 7-handed $15/$30 game and immediately get a seat.

One limper and I’m setting the tone on the first hand with a button raise with 76hh and the big blind 3-bets me. 3-ways to 943hh flop and I cap with the big blind. My free card/value raising play doesn’t slow him down and I call on ten turn and fortunately my massive draw comes in with one of my disguised straight outs and I get a double bet from my opponent on the river.

Peaking!

2:36 PM: Today’s starting lineup: The Flea, bad semi-reg, new player that is obnoxious in a small sample, nitty reg, John Stockton (the assist leader!), Part-Time, and another Palace reg.

Early, favorable clash with The Flea as I open with ATss and he 3-bets from the big blind. Flop is KTTdd and he bet-calls and then donk-calls Jd turn. River is a blank and he says, “dang it, I missed,” and checks. He’s all about playing games so it’s up to me to determine if he’s trying to induce a bet with AQ or not; I’m positive he doesn’t have a flush but I could see him playing AQ this way. I go for the bet because checking back is pretty criminal, he calls and my hand is good.

But he evens the score pretty quickly. We cap pre when I open QQ from the cutoff and he’s in the big blind. Flop is QTx and he check-calls before leading out when an ace turns. I pop him and he calls and catches a magic jack river, leads out and I lose to his AK. He then starts blabbing about how he had the best hand the whole way and should have 3-bet me on the turn… standard Flea speak. I, of course, due my extensive mum poker training, say nothing.

The new player in the three seat that I said seems obnoxious is saying something about me “raising his big blind three fucking times in a row” and that means I will be raising his next big blind like 80% of the time because if I’m getting under someone’s skin, I’m going to stay there as long as I can.

3:53 PM: Here’s a standard Flea move that drives me nuts: I check and some absurd amount of time goes by and he finally asks the dealer if I did anything. Yes bud. I did something. I don’t need the camera to stop on me for 20 seconds every time the action is on me. Let’s fucking go. I would absolutely hate playing with this guy if i didn’t enjoy seeing him lose so much. It’s a delicate balance.

We are 7-handed now and it’s a weak seven. This game is on the ropes but this is a group I would love to play some 6-handed, no chopping poker with.

🙏🏻 Poker Gods

3:59 PM: Some fun pictures from this past week.

Here’s The Joker:

Can you even imagine what is going through his head when he picks that hat out and leaves his house? Or how he walked into a store somewhere and decided that’s the hat he wanted to buy?

Here’s The Riddler:

If someone said The Riddler rode a motorcycle I think I would have bet my entire bankroll on the NO. It’s not Halloween and April Fool’s Day was three weeks ago, so… this is an actual thing?

4:25 PM: Pretty amazing when two people I have never said a word to in my life are openly rooting against me in every pot I play. Can’t say I mind, I just don’t get it. Quiet, confident and aggressive must just be an annoying combination to some people. 🤷🏻‍♂️

4:51 PM: We have a cry baby! The two guys rooting against me limp in and I limp along on button with A9o. Flop is K9x with two clubs and the first guy limps, Flea pump fakes a raise and calls and I call behind. Same action on blank turn. Like exact same, pump fake and all. I don’t see a good reason to fold here so I call and spike the 9 on the river. Dude still leads, Flea calls, and I raise. First guy goes into a 60 second fit before calling and Flea folds KJ face up. Other guy hasn’t stopped crying about that hand since and immediately racked up his chips like losing one hand on the river was just too much to handle.

Thanks for not raising, Flea!

5:01 PM: Might have just broke the game with that A9 hand. Seat three racked up and is now MIA and Flea just cashed out.

That leaves us in special no chopping territory.

I open J2dd (👀) from the cut and John Stockton defends his big. He donks on the 832 one diamond flop and I have a debatable raise here but I just call. Turn is a pretty nice ace of diamonds and he still bets which is sort of comical. This is obviously a great card for both my range and my actual hand, so I raise it and he snap calls. River 8 of diamonds! He check-calls and I win the pot with my flush.

Sigh.

This game broke.

What to do…

These players are talking about starting a 2/5 spread game and the last thing I’m going to do is support the birth of that game from the ashes of my 15/30 game.

I’ve said many times I don’t want that game at Palace because it seems like it would hurt the 15/30 game and, well, the first time they spread it I was in a full 15/30 and half my table left for 2/5 and we didn’t even play another hand the rest of the night. Needless to say I was fuming and I resisted the urge to blast the staff on my blog but not so much on Facebook.

I’m sure the game is plenty profitable and it might be worthwhile to jump in it, but I’d rather just see it die and go away.

Seems like my current options are play 8/16 and hope 15/30 starts back up later, fight through traffic to play 20/40 at Fortune, or go home.

5:38 PM: Looks like +$610 for 15/30 and I’m third up for 8/16. I’m gonna leave my chips on the table in the hopes this game starts again later.

6:11 PM: Just sat down in 8/16. Lineup: John Stockton, The Man’s wife, decent 15/30 reg, three players I don’t know, and two Palace regs I know as 4/8 players.

6:49 PM: 15/30 is about to restart. I have to admit… the list looks pretty unappetizing.

On the bright side, some good news: apparently J.Cole has a new album coming out at midnight (9 PM Pacific) tonight. This is pretty notable because J.Cole is a top five rapper currently. Can’t wait to see what he has in store!

7:02 PM: Ugh. Rough game start here. Bingo Man flaked now six players, including The Queen 🤦🏻‍♂️, are sitting here twiddling their thumbs. If this doesn’t get off the ground, I’m going home.

7:07 PM: Restarting 5-handed. And it’s weak. Someone might need to find a real job.

7:19 PM: So here I am playing 6-handed 15/30 and Taz, His Airness, Bingo Man and four other players that have played in this game are all still in 8/16. Such a bad omen.

7:42 PM: Full game now and The Atom is on his way here to ruin my J.Cole listening party.

Missing flush draws like a boss today.

8:52 PM: Nothing exciting to report. Game is pretty subpar. The Atom is in the game now, sitting as far away from me as possible and J.Cole’s album should be available in about five minutes, so he should be seat-changing over my way any minute.

A hand: bad player limps, I try to iso from the button and both blinds raise me. Who knows what they have because everyone checks to me on KTx flop and the preflop capper check-folds. The small blind ends up calling me down after I fill up and I’m still up for a high hand with 5.5 minutes to go.

9:10 PM: Folds to me on the button with The Atom in the big blind. I look at him and he’s shaking his head no. I look down at JJ and shake my head yes. Raise it! He defends. Flop is 655 and he check-calls. Turn is a blank and I think I get check-raised a decent amount here so I’m not surprised when it happens. The dynamic here might call for a 3-bet but it has been a long time since I’ve played with The Atom and bluffing in this spot is something I haven’t seen much, so I give him some credit and call down. River is a 9 and he says “9” and I table my hand and it’s good.

John Kim just walked in and saw me typing and said he knows exactly what I’m doing every hand because he’s been reading my blog.

You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Also, Apple Music is picking a great time to malfunction. J.Cole listening party on hold.

9:38 PM: What. The. Hell. Tight-solid player opens and I 3-bet AJss on button, bad player calls from the blinds, and the nit caps it. Flop J95, nit bets, I flat, and so does the other player. Turn is a ten and they both check to me. I bet, call, tight player check-raises, I snap fold (?!), and the other player calls him down on blank river. He rolls AQ high and the loose player wins with 54.

HUH?

This is what I like to call a protected pot. Meaning, because of the presence of the loose player, bluffing in the tight player’s spot makes zero sense. You see what he got called down by. That’s why you don’t make moves like this in spots like this. You show the calling stations the best hand, not try to power your way through pots with fancy plays.

I know it’s my own fault for folding here but it’s a total boneheaded play that cost him two extra big bets and cost me the entire pot.

10:38 PM: Raise under the gun with AQss, next player calls, maybe a blind. Flop is AQx; I bet and he calls. Turn Queen; I bet and he calls. 8 on river and we have life! We wind up putting in four bets each on the river and he shows me… AQ. 😴😴😴

This one’s more exciting: bad player limps, I raise KQss on button, small blind 3-bets and the bad player caps. Flop is queen high with two spades and we cap it again. Turn jack of spades and the bad player is check-calling now and does so again when the queen pairs on the river. My flush beats his KK.

Scrappy Doo in the game.

12:14 AM: I’m running pretty hot. Flush draws coming in, getting free cards in raised multiway pots with 44 on K65 and going running 3-7. Running pure! Which is fortunate because I’ve been completely checked out of the game.

One thing I have noticed is that the tight-solid player seems to be on a different gear tonight. Not sure what’s going on. I’ve seen him drunk before and he’s not drunk, but he’s definitely playing like he is.

I saw him cap flop and cap turn on QT56 board with the table fish and couldn’t beat QT at showdown and then on the hand I had 44 on K6537 he bet river with A7 after five people put money in on the turn.

I feel pretty comfortable pegging him as a nit but he’s playing way outside the box the last few hours.

2:01 AM: Done updating for the night. Obviously using my remaining energy to focus on the hands I’m playing and not writing about them. I will post a final update when I cash out, which will be soon.

2:12 AM: Well this hand I have to talk about. Scrappy Doo raises, someone calls, drunk guy 3-bets, Part-Time calls and I defend 98hh in the big. Flop is T66 and I check-call a bet and three of us see the magic 7 on the turn. I check-raise and only Part-Time calls. 30/60 Overs now, 5 on river and he donks. WHAT?! I am perplexed. It’s an absolutely horrible lead if he has me beat. It makes no sense. So I have to raise, right? I pull the trigger and he snap-calls with 55.

What? How? Why?

Solid unbelievable runout at the tail end of my night. I mean wtfffffffff.

3:09 AM: Finished +$1258 for the day which seems good since I had a solid stretch where I seemingly lost every hand on the river, including that absurd 98 vs 55 (a $660 swing!).

We have a medical consultation in Kirkland at 1 PM tomorrow so it looks like I will finally put in my first session of 2018 at Fortune.

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$225 No Limit Hold’em Tournament @ Palace (Live Blog)

April 15, 2018

Cards are in the air! Particulars and live updates coming soon!

10:18 AM: Tournaments like this are few and far between in the Tacoma area.

Everyone starts with 10k in chips and blinds are 25/50, so we all start with 200 big blinds, which is pretty deep and made even deeper with 30 minute levels and decently stair-stepped levels. House added $2500 but they are also keeping $25 out of every buy in.

This should be a much softer field than your average $225 buy in tournament and it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the biggest buy in of the year for a decent amount of these players. I haven’t taken much of a look at the field yet but I would imagine most of the best local players were in Pendleton, Oregon playing their main event this weekend.

My table is 10-handed and I recognize four of my opponents: two small stakes Palace regs, one of my WSOP backers, and one of my former Palace co-workers.

One thing we should all keep an eye on is a rare poker appearance from The Legend. With over $2.2 billion in online cashes, his presence in this field is notable. I have him at about -850 to take first outright.

11:00 AM: First notable hand: player that looks brand new min-raises at 50/100 and I have AK in the big. Raising seems like the obvious play here but I don’t like it. This dude seems wildly unpredictable and playing a huge pot out of position against someone that probably understands very few concepts sounds like a high variance spot. I just call.

Flop is all middle cards, like 975 and we both check. Turn is a blank and I bet 300, which is a value bet. I am 95% sure I have the best hand. He calls. River is 7s and I bet 500, another value bet. He says raise and I announce call as soon as he states an amount (1500). Unfortunately, he also has AK.

11:38 AM: Start hand with 6800 at 150/300 and I open with AJ and the noob is my only caller. Flop JT5; I bet 1000 and he puts me all in. Super turbo snap call. He shows JT and that holds.

Second bullet.

11:46 AM: Second bullet going well. KQ < A7 on 953KA and then J5o big blind < T9 on JT7QT facing a min-bet on every street.

Down to 5800 already.

11:53 AM: Okay, I’m pretty triggered. Down to 4300 now. This is the one pot I’ve won so far: one limper at 25/50, I make it 200 with KK, he calls and then check-folds after the flop. I’ve lost every other hand I’ve played. So I have less than half the starting stack on my second bullet in a field that is as soft as it gets. Pretty huge wasted opportunity if I dust two bullets without ever having more than the starting stack in the easiest tournament I’ll play all year.

11:59AM: Open to 700 under the gun with 99 and a stack of 4300. Kind of a weird spot with no antes. This is a pretty obvious open-jam, but with only 450 in dead money, I think making a standard raise here might be okay. I’m obviously getting it in against a reraise. Button winds up calling me and then I bet 1000 on a flop of Q22 rainbow. I don’t think this is ever a bluff, so even though I was never going to fold this hand, I think getting it in here with a likely two-outer is pretty terrible when I still have about 10 bigs behind.

Edit: I bet 1k on flop and they jammed on me.

That was last round though. I now have 2600 at 200/400 and I’ll be jamming my whole range now.

12:09 PM: And that’s that. Jam KQ under the gun, smaller stack calls with JJ, and the small blind tank-calls with A3 and, of course, I beat the jacks but not the A3 so now I’m walking around the building wondering how I could squander such a ripe opportunity.

I mean… you can’t win them all and cashing tournaments is hard, but goodness, I want a redo!!

12:40 PM: Steam has cooled a little. Currently on the list for 8/16, 15/30, 30/60, and 2/5 no limit. This is the first day Palace is trying to spread a no limit cash game and so far there are three names on the list and one of them is the acting floor. 😂 Not expecting that to happen any time soon.

There are seven names on the list for 15/30 and eight on the list for 30/60, but I think I’m the only one that’s actually here. I doubt that game goes any time soon and probably not at all today.

I guess I’ll post cash game updates and monitor some tourney chip stacks. Both my backers are still in: Chief Wiggum and Gargoyle (?). Aquaman and The Legend are still in. Cobra has chips.

1:03 PM: Scratch that, The Legend is out. I heard he turned the nut flush and got it in vs bottom two and his opponent rivered a full house.

Poker is hard.

Aquaman has around 40k and my other friend, I’m going to call him Kung Fu Panda, has around 30k.

Blackjack still in the field – looks like he had about 15k.

1:31 PM: 8/16 is starting 7-handed and the 15/30 isn’t particularly close. Part-Time and a few semi-regs in the game, plus one Palace floor I’ve only seen play 4/8.

Down to 63 in the tournament. 10 get paid.

2:09 PM: 50ish left in tournament. Some updates:

  • Chief Wiggum 10k
  • Gargoyle 13k
  • John Kim HEAPS
  • Aquaman 50k
  • Black Turtle 11k
  • Blackjack 13k
  • Cobra 30k
  • Kung Fu Panda 13k

Rocksteady has joined the 8/16 game and Part-Time was like “What’s my muthafuckin’ name?!” and played less than two orbits before cashing out.

2:25 PM: Call a raise after multiple limps with 66 and it’s 6-ways to flop and I get it capped on 643 two spade flop 5-ways. Turn is the 7 of spades and I just call a bet and then fold 8 river to a bet and call. They chop it up with A5 and 75.

2:48 PM: 15/30 starting. Finish 8/16 -$17. Stack updates:

  • Aquaman 43k
  • Black Turtle 9k
  • Blackjack 15k
  • Chief Wiggum busted
  • Cobra 41k
  • Gargoyle 32k
  • John Kim 35k

Just walked over to see Kung Fu Panda all in with KK vs AQ pre but ace on flop and he’s busted.

15/30 starting lineup: Chief Wiggum, Rocksteady, Kung Fu Panda, and four regs that are mostly decent.

The Queen takes the last open seat. 🤦🏻‍♂️

3:05 PM: Let’s start this off right! I open QJo, Rocksteady 3-bets from small blind and The Queen calls from the big. Last time I played 15/30 with The Queen she played the tightest I’ve ever seen her play… by far. So she has a big hand. Flop is T96 with two diamonds and they take turns raising while I call. Turn is a king and Rocksteady still leads out and The Queen raises. I call it cold because I don’t bet The Queen heads up and I should make more money by keeping Rocksteady in. Unfortunately, he folds and then the board pairs on the river and I lose to her KK.

Gargoyle just busted which also means that Chief Wiggum is leaving the 15/30 game.

3:20 PM: Another fun hand: open KTdd, The Queen and Kung Fu Panda are the only callers. Flop is AQ6 with two diamonds, I bet and they both call. Turn is a brick and I don’t see any good reason to bet here, so I check, The Queen bets and Kung Fu Panda raises. I can’t fold here, so I call and The Queen reraises and comes out on the nice side of variance again when the river comes safe.

31 left in tournament. Updates:

  • Aquaman 65k
  • John Kim 25k
  • Cobra 35k
  • Blackjack 24k
  • Black Turtle busted
  • Gargoyle busted

Aquaman enjoying his deep run:

3:39 PM: Someone came to play today. By far the most prominent regular without a nickname just 3-bet me in b2b hands and showed some spunk postflop.

First hand I open QJ, call his 3-bet and then check-raise AK4 flop. He calls. I bet 3 turn and he calls again (we are playing 25/50 Overs). Obv giving up now, we both check river and he shows… 55? Huh?

Very next hand I open AT, there’s a call, he reraises and we both call. I whiff flop and check-fold and he barrels turn and other guy folds and he shows T7ss for ten high. Okay.

4:10 PM: Just did a lap around the tournament area and saw Aquaman facing an all in on the river on a board of Q98Jx and he called pretty quickly and the all in shows KT. Aquaman shows his QT and does a quick glance at his stack and sees that he’s covered. Pretty brutal runout considering he started the hand from the big blind in a limped pot. 🤷🏻‍♂️

John Kim just hit the rail also.

That leaves Cobra and Blackjack as the last two players standing that I’m following. There’s also a Palace dealer that I used to work with still in, so I’ll keep an eye on him too. They are down to 23.

This 15 session has had a rough start as I’ve won zero notable pots and am already down $700+.

4:25 PM: Sigh. It’s just one of those days, huh? Open cutoff AK and button 3-bets. I just flat as is my play with 100% of my range when I’m heads up and out of position. Flop AKT, we are in 25/50 Overs; I check-raise and he calls. Turn 9. I bet and he raises. Seems like my hand is pretty strong, but it is actually in pretty bad shape on this bird texture against this line. I just call and check-call river and lose to KK.Just a terrible start in what I would call a below average 15/30 game.

4:39 PM: Down to two tables. Cobra busted. Blackjack and the Palace dealer our last hope! Meanwhile I’m stuck $1k already after punting two bullets, threatening to match my terrible dayon April 1st.

5:14 PM: Just heard the floor say a deal has been proposed in the tournament: 15-way chop and 10% to the dealers. From what I heard, only one person said no. Holy shit. That is an amazing lack of gamble. I’m not rooting against the dealers to do well here but 10% is a lot for a $225 buy in and peer pressuring the tip amount gets a huge thumbs down from me. It’s a good way to make someone look like an asshole when it is really matter of personal preference.

Blackjack just busted in 13th, which leaves the Palace dealer as my only rooting interest remaining. Looks like it’s going to be a boring final table… if there even is one.

5:28 PM: One good hand: hijack opens, I 3-bet A9hh from cut and he calls. Flop is K63 two spades one heart and he check-calls $25. Turn is 5 of hearts and he donks $50. I feel like this is a weak probe with a hand that turned a pair or more outs, like A4ss or A5ss (or maybe I’m just steaming), so I make it $100 and he calls. Fortunately, river is the 3 of hearts and I can bet for value but he folds, confirming my suspicion that he was weak.

6:04 PM: Fun session. Open button with A7 and spray off four bets on AK6ss flop and call down on 8-A runout vs AQss. Just getting smashed today.

The game is not good so I’m actually considering just taking the L and heading home.

6:40 PM: Yup. Calling it a night. Cashing out -$1463 for 15/30, which puts me at a solid -$1920 for the day. I’d have to scroll through my records but I’m pretty sure that’s my second worse day of 2018.

Happy to report they are playing this tournament out. They are down to six players now and the Palace dealer is still in. Take a look at this focus!

Sounds like they are chopping 6-ways and I’m out of here. The super green, brand new player that bluff-raised me with AK earlier is getting most of the money.

God bless America.

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Thursday Poker: $15/$30 LHE @ Palace on 4/12/2018 (LIVE BLOG)

April 12, 2018

Schedule for this week going as planned. I showed up for PLO @ Palace last night and played what was probably my worst poker of the year. I finished -$800, which doesn’t seem too bad, but I played less than four hours and I felt like I gave it away. I got pretty unlucky once when I flopped a set of tens on a dry board vs a set of kings against a relatively short stack, but the rest of my session I lost chips in spots that were entirely unnecessary and I basically punted my last $150 because… I wanted to leave? I had another $1200 in black chips in my pocket, but the game was quite bad – no His Airness, Mister Magoo was unimpressed with the game also and left early, and Hit&Run didn’t show up until I was over it. Plus, I wasn’t playing good, so I made the wise decision to leave, even though I was 3rd (and possibly 1st) up for the $15/$30 game. Eh. Chalk up the loss and come back the next day when I can start fresh and give it my best.

Everything else aside, I was pretty happy to see the $15/$30 game going with a strong list, but I got word that it broke before midnight, which is not great.

I have an hour massage at 1 PM and then I’m heading straight to the casino. There are currently two 8/16 games going with four players waiting for 15/30 and I’m hoping by the time I get there at a little after 2 PM, they will be pretty close to starting 15/30.

Check back here around 2:30 for live updates!

2:22 PM: And we’re off! There are now three 8/16 games going with only five names on the 15/30 list and it’s not a list that looks like it’s going to start anytime soon. It’s still early though!

I’ll be keeping an eye on what’s happening at Fortune, but I probably won’t end up going there. I stopped taking the medication I use for anxiety a week or two ago and I can feel it trying to creep back when I’m driving, particularly when things get congested. I have zero desire to use meds as a crutch for the rest of my life so this is a problem I’m trying to face head on and hope I can just beat it into submission.

Alas, Fortune has two 20/40 going but I probably won’t be driving there by myself today, even if 8/16 ends up being my only option.

2:30 PM: Solid start to my 8/16 session. I pick up AK in the cutoff first hand, raise it up, peel on Q43 rainbow, jack it up on king turn and check back against two opponents on 9 river, that also brings in a backdoor flush… and small blind tables a set of threes.

No blog regulars in my starting lineup. Only one player in the game that I have any significant history with – maybe even three that I have zero hands with.

3:07 PM: Third game broke and I just moved from a bad main game to what seems like a good feeder. Three regulars in this game, none with nicknames though, and still three players I’ve never seen before.

Flopped a set of 5s against an obvious overpair for a big pot and then got two big bet streets of value with 88 (no diamond) on QT3ddd49 against someone that was basically playing his AK face by capping pre and checking every street postflop.

Still only five names on 15/30 list. 😐

Almost missed him… FBI Guy is in my game.

3:47 PM: Every once in a while I go through a little funk where I feel like I’m suffering from what I can only term as “poker depression.” This can obviously happen when you’re getting creamed for an extended period of time, but right now I feel like I’m experiencing it because the games have been kind of blah lately. The 15/30 still isn’t close to starting and I’m sitting in a rather lame 8/16 game. The Queen just sat on my immediate left and I opened with 87hh and she was my only caller and I never bet against her, so I turn an open-ended straight flush draw but she ends up winning showdown with queen high. It’s moments like that where I think: what the fuck am I even doing here? I don’t want to play 8/16 and I definitely don’t want to play in a below average 8/16 game.

This would be a good example of why poker pros advise against other people quitting their jobs to play poker. It it usually more grueling than glamorous. The bonus of doing this for a living is that I don’t have to be here if I don’t want to be, but my volume is already low lately, so… guess I’m gonna grind it out and hope that 15 game gets off the ground at a decent time.

4:03 PM: Complain about the game condition and right on cue: under the gun opens, two call, MP 3-bets, I call 99 from SB and it gets capped five or six ways. Under the gun checks a J76 flop and the preflop 3-bettor bets flop. I’m next to act and I can check-raise the rest of the field out possibly, but I feel I’m against two strong ranges and I’ve seen UTG player check big hands on the flop plenty of times, so I’m going to play my hand like a weak draw for the time being. Everyone calls.

Turn is a three and it checks to MP again and, interestingly, she pauses and hesitates long enough before betting that I think she’s weak here. I call and so does everyone else.

River pairs the three and I check-call after she snap bets river and one other player also calls. She tables 76 for a counterfeit two pair, I table my hand and it’s good.

Kind of weird that I picked up weakness when she was actually strong and kind of hilarious that she fires river against four opponents when her hand crumbles to pieces.

But yeah, when people are 3-betting 76 suited when three people have already voluntarily raised and called, the game might actually be pretty decent.

4:26 PM: I’ve noticed a certain phenomena with a particular player. He plays pretty well overall, but flies completely off the handles in pots against me.

Last time I played 15/30, I sat down and he had five racks and lost almost all of it to me in spots where I was thinking “what are you doing?”

Two examples from today:

We put in four bets on 733hh flop in a 3-way pot, turn 5, I call, river 7, we all check and he has a total airball and I win with A6hh.

Just now, he limps utg, I raise TT, a tighter player 3-bets small blind, and I put the cap on five ways. Flop is 853 and everyone check-calls me. Turn pairs the 3 and my new best friend donks and I raise the rest of the field out. He sort of chuckles and then 3-bets me and I call. River is a blank and we both check. He shows J4hh and there is only one heart on the board.

Huh? I promise we are not brothers and I pray he doesn’t read my blog.

Always amusing when someone is trying to outplay one person when the pot is multiway.

4:48 PM: Taz showing off his spazzy side here. He opens, I 3-bet 88 and he caps with four other players sticking around. Flop is sexy: QJ8ss. He, and some others, check-call when jack pairs on turn and then Taz check-raises 4s river and caps when I 3-bet and I’m a bit perplexed but when he tables 44 it makes some sense I guess?

Is it too late to erase my whining earlier?

5:11 PM: Just finished +$601 in that “bad” 8/16 game and 15/30 is now starting 8-handed.

Starting lineup: random that looks splashy, bad reg I know from Kitsap, another wild player, a nitty reg on my left, Taz, FBI Guy, and the dude that keeps leveling himself against me.

5:29 PM: We’ve seen how my buddy plays his air, let’s take a look at a big hand:

I raise one limper with AQo and this guy 3-bets from big blind and I cap it. Three or four of us to KK8dd flop and they all check to me. I decide to bet with Ad in my hand and two check-call. Turn is a diamond and I check back. River ace of clubs and I call a bet from big blind and he shows KQcc.

Obviously super aware of his image.

6:01 PM: Good read on the guy in s1. He opens from MP and ends up showing me a set of deuces, which is whatever, but just now, one player limps, he raises cutoff, I call KJo (mistake; should 3-bet given read) and check-call him on QQ33 and river is another queen and I wind up chopping with his 72o.

🤤🤤🤤

6:52 PM: Going out of my way to mix it up with s1 by 3-betting the 65dd and wind up riling Taz up instead. He calls it cold from the small blind and I c-bet A74 rainbow flop. They both call and the turn is a jack. This is a clear check. So obviously I bet and get check-raised before rivering the nuts.

There’s an important takeaway here: just because you won a hand doesn’t mean you played it well. Taz is never folding the turn here and I’m never bluffing my way to victory, so my turn bet is just a pure torch. It’s okay to find mistakes in hands you won.

7:17 PM: Second 15/30 game about to start. Maybe it’s the whole people have jobs thing that is going on during the day. 😂

8:04: John Stockton with another big pot assist. I open KJ and he 3-bets button. I call and check-raise KJ3 flop and he 3-bets. I expect to get a check-raise in on turn frequently so I just call. Turn pairs the king, giving me the nuts, and I think this is a card he can actually check back, so I lead and, if he does have a hand like AK, he’s going to raise anyway. That’s what happens and I get 3-bets in again. River is a blank that brings running spades in and he raises me again! I raise and he winds up tabling QTss. I mean, pretty unlucky connection for him, but goodness he just blasts off chips to me. No caution.

8:41 PM: Back-to-back monster pots:

Multiple limpers, there’s a raise, I call 66 on button, Taz 3-bets small blind, and it gets capped six ways. Flop is KT6 with two hearts and it’s capped four ways. Turn is a jack and Taz is still leading. Two calls. I’m getting worried about a set but I still have to raise here. He snap 3-bets, Kitsap player calls, and I’m bowing down into call mode now. River is a Q and it goes bet and raise in front of me and I have a trivial fold. They split. Taz AQhh and Kitsap player AJ.

Next hand Taz is on mega steam and straddles button with all the raises lined up ready to go in. Callers in front of me and how lucky can I be to look down at AA? I raise and I know I’m getting five bets in five ways pre. 🙌🏻

Flop KQT. Hate it. It goes bet and raise in front of me and my hand has been reduced to call down mode already. Turn is uglier: 9. I call and I’m heads up to river which brings in the spade draw and gets me a free showdown vs AJ.

9:03 PM: John Stockton to the rescue! One limp, fold tells behind me, I raise A8ss, and it’s four of us to 864 flop. Stockton leads, I raise, and still four of us to king turn. They all check-call me. River is another 8 and Stockton decides to go for the ole check-raise instead of leading out and allows me to get three bets in again. But wait! This is John Stockton we’re talking about here. Hall of Famer. All-time assist leader! He caps it and rolls over 87 for the L.

9:17 PM: Holy shit I’m running bad with big hands. Just got four bets in pre with TT and run it into KQ on QJTJQ. 🤦🏻‍♂️

9:34 PM: I’m having a decent 15 session but only because John Stockton keeps showing up with the sick alley-oop passes.

Okay, I have now flopped a set with three straight pocket pairs and this time I got the win despite another ugly runout: 76289. Fortunately I got it to heads up after the flop and I’m pretty sure they had a flush draw only.

10:13 PM: Feeder game is off the chains right now, with chips flying into the pot like crazy. Taz just left my game to go there and we picked up a bad reg and…

Snowflake.

As far as I know, Snowflake is the best limit hold’em player that still resides in Washington state. I’ve only played with him a handful of times but I’ve heard he’s a solid winner in limits as high as 100/200 that he plays when he goes to Commerce. The few times I have played with him, I have been impressed. He’s not a tight-solid abc type of player – he’s in there exploiting. Definitely not someone I’m happy to see sit down at my table.

10:53 PM: Joker at my table now. I raise under the gun with AA and he 3-bets and we are heads up so I just call. 30/60 Overs now. I check-raise him on 995 and he calls. Turn is a 4; I bet and he raises. Wonderful. Got him right where I want him. I 3-bet. Then he caps it. Really? If he caps here with KK-TT he’s just an idiot so now I have to think I’m beat and just call down and he shows me the T9cc, a great hand to attack my weak under the gun opening range.

😴😴😴

11:43 PM: Made the mistake of bringing up hip-hop with Snowflake and we haven’t stopped talking rap music for an hour now.

I’m running pretty bad. Lost flush under flush and then this gem.

Cutoff opens, Scrappy Doo raises button and I cap QQ. Flop is QJx and I check-raise Scrappy and they both call. Turn is a 9; I bet, cutoff calls, Scrappy Doo raises, I 3-bet and the cutoff ca- wait… what’s he doing? Capping? This nit is capping it?! Noooo! Scrappy folds and I check-call river and lose to KT.

I’m close to even for this 15/30 game which is bittersweet. I’m losing with some monster hands so I guess I’m somewhat thankful I’m still up?

12:48 AM: Flop a set of 7s against Snowflake and he doesn’t even call me with top pair on the river.

Raise one limper with AK and the small blind donks out on A24 two diamonds and then check-raises me on the turn while doing that thing where he’s showing his neighbor his cards like “can you believe this fucking hand I have?” I suppose that could be my cue to fold, but I have an ace and a king so I call. River king. It would be way too passive to not raise here so I go ahead and do that I’m happy when he just calls and unhappy whenhe tables 53.

1:44 PM: Snowflake and I seem to have a lot in common. Girl next to us is trying to describe some tool to us so we can tell her what it is and we are both like “I dunno,” and Snowflake says “the only things I know about are music, movies, and sports. And poker.”

And I’m like:

Did we just become best friends?

2:11 AM: No, I think not. He opens cut, I 3-bet KK and we get it capped on T65 two clubs and I feel like I should be calling down now because I think my range looks super strong and he should know that. He barrels off on A and T run out and shows me… KQ of clubs, which is a bit surprising.

2:21 AM: Been waiting for this to happen: I missed the action up until showdown, but The Flea is out of position on the river on a king high board and it goes check-check and he turns QQ face up and places a chip on his card to tip the dealer as he pushes his cards forward and… the other player turns over KT.

YES. He’s had that coming for a while.

Well, this session is just never going to get off the ground. I 3-bet QQ and someone caps it. Flop is T85 and I’m the only bettor. The preflop capper calls me down before raising me on a final board of T8566 and I call and lose to TT. I am now stuck about $20 in this 15/30 session and I’m ready to call it a night.

2:50 AM: From The Joker:

😂😂😂😂😂

3:28 AM: Cashed out +$136 for the 15/30 session and finished +$737 for the day. I guess a decent result considering how many monster hands I lost with in the bigger game.

Not really sure what my plan is tomorrow. We are supposed to go out with my wife’s side of the family but she was sick tonight and if she needs to stay home I’m not really sure how that will affect our day. Next for sure blog will be on Sunday for the $225 tournament!

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Minithon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace 4/2/2018 (Live Blog)

April 2, 2018

As I figured it was a late start today. We didn’t get back from Bellevue until after noon and I took a nap until about 2:30 PM.

I was thinking of not blogging today, mostly because a friend from Kitsap (The Atom) is coming to play and is liable to talk my ear off and make this a difficult task, but the lineup and list have made me feel like I should be blogging.

Starting lineup: The Tick (he’s back!), FBI Guy, Taz, The River Man, couple loose players, and a Palace reg I’ve never seen play this big.

4:28 PM: Solid start. I raise a bunch of limps with AQo on the button and Taz donks from UTG on A83cc which usually means a strong hand but doesn’t always mean I’m beat. We end up putting in three bets on the flop three ways and I call down on A83x8 runout and outdraw his A3.

Two limps, I raise KJo on button. Flop is AQ9 and only the dude playing up for the first time calls me. He reluctantly check-calls 8 turn and he’s not being deceptive so I fire the third barrel when I miss everything on the river and he folds JJ face up.

5:13 PM: Light bulb moment! 💡A rather new reg that started coming in for PLO and now plays 15/30 regularly finally has a name. I was looking for someone that constantly wanders into danger and always escapes unscathed. This player is always getting in terrible spots in PLO and plays way too many hands at LHE but his results have been quite good even though he doesn’t play well after the flop either. It has been an extended run of good fortune that kind of boggles my mind. He is Mister Magoo (thanks Bad Boy!).

5:30 PM: Here’s a river spot I’m unsure of. I have bet flop and turn with TT on a board of Q98ccs6sQs and I still have four opponents on the river. The repeat queen is obviously nice and the backdoor flush can be made with a pair of mines on the flop. Two players have checked to me and two players are yet to act. I think it’s close and probably closer to a bet, but I check and win the pot.

5:36 PM: I just raised five hands in a row (AQ, AJdd, AJss, KQss, JTo), c-bet all of them, triple barrel bluffed one of them, and lost every single pot. So my image just got a nice boost that could be aided if I can actually make a damn pair at some point in time.

6:22 PM: Well, we started with a pair, but my 88 is < Magoo’s QQ and fortunately the damage is limited as he flats pre, flats jack high flop, bets turn and checks back king river.

Coolered by The Tick: get a free play with QTo and the QQJ flop vs his QJ and more minimal damage as he waits til river to raise me.

Down about $350 so far.

6:41 PM: Weak-tight predictable player limps cut, I raise 95hh on button, both blinds call. Flop 973 rainbow, Sb donks, I raise and we are heads up. Turn ace and I’m bet-folding here but he just calls. River blank and pretty obv check back spot here and he shows A6 of clubs (with no club on flop). 🤦🏻‍♂️

7:05 PM: FBI Guy hit and ran the hell out of this game, winning about $2000 in less than three hours and wasting no time taking it out the door. He is replaced by The Atom, which is a definite downgrade.

7:34 PM: Had to scroll back to see when the last time I won a pot was. Time stamp at 5:30, two hours ago. Solid. Full disclosure: I 3-bet a button straddle and double barreled AQ high and got a fold, but does that really count?

Just double barreled A2dd on J774 and got folds again. I suppose the dry spell is over, but those are hardly pots.

8:11 PM: Magoo opens cutoff, I 3-bet KdQh from small blind, and he caps. We are heads up in 30/60 Overs now. Flop Q66 two diamonds and I debate check-raising but then I remember his soft ass line with QQ earlier and I decide to check-call down. I check-call Jd turn, and check-call king river and end up chopping with his very own KQo.

And then I tipped a dealer I don’t even know personally a $1 for this pot I just won $5 in. In retrospect, that seems a bit unnecessary.

8:35 PM: Geez. Open the AcKh and spike a perfect Ah on the turn after c-betting Q42hh, but I get check-raised by a passive player and wind up paying off unimproved on the river and losing to her flush.

8:48 PM: There’s a raise and a call in front of me and I call 55 on the button. 5-way action to 652 flop and all the bets go in 3-ways. I was really hoping to get heads up with Magoo to activate 30/60 Overs, but Bingo Man is going nowhere. Turn pairs the 6 and Magoo bets, I raise, and now Bingo Man cold threes from the big blind position. Gulp. Magoo calls and I cap, although I’m a bit unsure at this point. Anything less than sixes full feels like an overplay at this point. Maybe deuces full? A naked 6? They both call my cap. I’m unsure what I’m going to do if Bingo Man leads river, but they both check and call and I win a monster. Magoo had AA and couldn’t find his way out of this one – no matter how many times he was told he was crushed.

Tormund Giantsbane (“Game of Thrones” reference) in the game now. He’s a prominent player from the Shelton area that would have beat me in the Muckleshoot Player of the Series if he played at least four events. He also plays in the big mix game at Muck occasionally. He has been showing up more and more at Palace lately for PLO and 15/30.

9:23 PM: Today is blog LEGEND Radio Mike’s last session of the offseason. Offseason, you say? Yes. Starting this week, Mike will go back to his day job as the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers, the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

I have to say, I have really enjoyed playing with him these past several months. He’s become one of my best friends in poker. He can talk shit with the best of them and makes me laugh all the time. Plus, anyone that can keep up with me talking baseball is a huge rarity and a GIANT plus. He prefers to keep his day job private, but he has learned that you can’t play poker with me and not talk baseball and, deep down, I think he appreciates having someone around that’s on his level as far as our favorite sport goes.

Mike is a way above average player in these games, so his absence isn’t going to hurt the games any, but it’s going to suck not having him around the next six months – even if it does signal the return of the best game in the world.

It’s been a pleasure, sir! Go Mariners!

10:58 PM: As expected, Atom has been talking to me a lot making it hard to update and now Tormund is chiming in too with a lot conversation. He’s also struggling to get on my blog on his phone right now, so when you read this later just understand that the first rule of Fight Club is we don’t talk about Fight Club. I’m not always kind about opponent play and I’d prefer these people don’t know I’m writing about them. And yes, I know I’m sort of the one that brought it up!

I’ve made a bit of a comeback but I’ve had some brutal run ins with The River Man in big pots. He’s been all in against me four times and has felted zero times. One time was a big multiway pot where it was capped pre abs obvious post that I had the best hand with 99 on J8462 but he was all in for $20 on the river, I made it $50 after someone else called and got an extra $30 from that player but The River Man produced 75 for a straight. A while later I get a free play with K9 and we get his stack in on A99 and he has…A9.

11:32 PM: A couple of weird spots with KK. First hand I 3-bet button and Tick caps out of position. Flop QJ4. We are now losing to AA, QQ, and JJ. He bets and I raise it anyway. Turn is 8c and he donks. I honestly don’t know what to make of this but it will make sense soon enough. I call and call again on blank river and he shows ATcc. So he turned a double gutter and a flush draw and bet out.

Same orbit, I’m in the big blind with KK again and Bingo Man has opened cutoff and Tick cold-called button. I 3-bet and Bingo caps. I cap with Bingo on Q42ss flop and decide to go into call down mode. I check-call 4 turn and 7s river and I’m kind of surprised to see him turn over AKss for a rivered flush.

I somewhat reluctantly agreed to chop jackpots with The Atom earlier and he just turned over quad threes for $400 and shipped $175 of it my way. Chopping jackpots is just something that’s not really on my radar and I play with people I’m friends with all the time and we never do that, so just kind of caught me off guard, but hey, he helped me inch a little close to even!

Down about $500.

12:58 AM: I have to admit to some punting. First I defend the A6o from a cutoff open from Bingo Man and decide to make a loose peel on 973. The turn is a 5 and I think this is a good card to check-raise against what should be a pretty wide range. He thinks long enough that I think I have some fold potential on river if I brick out, which I do. I fire and he calls begrudgingly with KK.

Another blind defend against a Bingo cutoff open. I have K5o and he just got spanked the previous hand so I thought there was some spew potential here. I check-raise the KT4 flop, but he 3-bets and I’m just calling down now. Oh wait, no I’m not. We just binked a five! I check-raise again, he 3-bets, and I cap it. Hold up. What? I cap it? I dunno… that’s pretty optimistic. I must realize that on the river, which is a queen (a bad card) and check-call and lose an unnecessarily large pot to KT.

1:10 AM: I make an early raise with T9cc – not a standard open for me but mixing it up here. Bingo Man and The Tick call from the blinds. I c-bet the 822c flop, realizing I’m never getting immediate folds here. They both call. Turn is 7c, an excellent card to double barrel; Bingo calls and Tick check-raises. Oh please just let me spike this on him. Hallelujah! The river is a jack and we put in all the bets because I feel like I’m only losing to J2, 82, and 72 and if he has one of those hands he just gets to win a big one. He shows me the 82hh.

More punting or bad luck? Or a little bit of both? 🤷🏻‍♂️

1:25 AM: Feels like I’m running really, really bad (and not playing A-game to boot), but I’m only down around $400. Not too terrible. The game isn’t amazing right now so I’m feeling like calling it a session and going to bed at a decent time.

2:58 AM: Well that was a surprising end to the night. I had decided to play my last orbit and I was all racked up about to book a loss of about $300 when I picked up KK with an early open from Rocksteady and a cold call from Bingo Man in front of me. I 3-bet and Rocksteady caps. Flop is queen high and we go three bets there and I once again get beat into submission holding the mighty pocket kings and go into call down mode. Rocksteady puts the brakes on when the river is a king though and check-calls and shows me that I snapped of his AA.

Very next hand, Tick limps, I raise with A9o and both blinds call. Flop is T8x and Tick donks. I think A9 turns too many good cards to fold here, so I peel one off and spike an ace on the turn. He still leads into me with another player behind and I just call him down and he shows KT. This seems to be a pretty standard Tick line, where he continues to fire when the board texture starts to favor my range more than his. It’s kind of confusing, but he shows up with marginal hands so often in these spots that I wonder if I should be exploiting it more by raising the big bet streets more often when I only have one pair hands. I feel like I’ve built up the kind of dynamic with him where he’s never folding pairs against me, so raising should make me an extra big bet usually.

Here’s another strange hand vs The Tick that illustrates this tendency but doesn’t quite call for a more aggressive approach. He opens from the cutoff and I 3-bet him from the button with Q8hh. He caps. Flop is AKQ and I wind up calling him down unimproved when he fires all the bullets. I don’t have any tangible explanation for this call down because it seems like we are losing so often against a capping range that barrels off here, but there I am on the river calling a bet. I feel like I’m picking up something subconsciously telling me he’s not as strong as he wants me to think he is. Like when he caps pre, it’s done with a force and quickness that wants to exude strength that doesn’t really exist. And the timing and nature of his betting after the flop is giving off faux strength also. I’m not huge on physical tells, but when my instincts are telling me to take lines or make calls that don’t otherwise make sense, I figure it has to do with something I’m seeing – even if I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. So I call down here and he shows me 88, which kind of boggles my mind. What hands does he think I’m going to call flop and turn with and give up on river?

Anyways, those suckouts with KK and A9 propelled me into the green and peak stack status and I managed to post a decent +$725 in what I felt was a pretty mediocre session where I felt I made more mistakes than usual. Cut that April deficit in half!

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$540 No Limit Hold’em $200K GTD on Global Poker! (LIVE BLOG)

April 1, 2018

Pretty exciting happenings on this Easter Sunday!

First off, Global Poker is offeringa ridiculous $540 buy in no limit hold’em tournament with a $200K Guarantee. On Easter Sunday. They need 400 entrants to meet the guarantee and there are currently only 152 signed up with about two hours before game time. The tournament has a pretty sexy structure. Everyone starts with 20,000 in chips and blinds start at 10/20 and stair step every 15 minutes for the first several levels before going up every 12 minutes thereafter. So yeah, you start with 1000 big blinds. Extra deep. There is a $70 satellite at 1 PM that I may or may not play. It’s a super fast structure and they give away 20 seats. I might take a shot at it.

I’m currently playing a $110 tournament starting with 10,000 in chips and a decent structure. I have Tizull at my starting table and he’s streaming live on Twitch while he’s playing, so I’m obviously watching that as I’m playing.

The Joker is playing Day 2 of the Run It Up Reno Main Event today. I told him to keep me in the loop so I can post updates here all day long. His starting table has a few good players: RIU vet Albert Ng, tournament grinder Jesse Capps, and notable streamer Jamie Staples. He said Jamie is filming everything, so if you go check out his stream (not sure where it’s live) you can probably catch a lot of Joker today.

Finally, it’s Sho Time! Two way star Shohei Ohtani makes his MLB pitching debut at 1:10 PM against the Oakland Athletics today! I can’t wait to see how he does – especially since he is on two of my fantasy teams!

Anyone that wants to sweat my online play can get on Global and check out these tournaments:

12:43 PM: Welp. I decided to sign up for the $77 satellite for the $540 tournament and then decided not to and got the welcome news that I’m not allowed to unregister. So… I guess I’m playing it!

Also just sat at a 1/2 PLO table with Tizull.

12:49 PM: Update from The Joker: he was moved to a different table and now has Ronnie Bardah (record holder for most consecutive WSOP Main Event cashes) and Twitch streaming legend Lex Veldhuis on his right! Jesse Capps also moved along with him. Not getting any easier!

12:57 PM: Okay, I guess I did unregister the satty. Weird. It said I couldn’t like five times. I guess because I already did! Shrug.

1:18 PM: Just felted a buy in in PLO when my AQJ9 double suited ran into 44xx on J94 rainbow. Goodbye $200! I’m a little below starting stack in the $110 tourney.

The Joker just sent word that they are in the money in Reno. Congrats bud!

1:33 PM: Going well so far! Down 2.5 buy ins at PLO and down to ten bigs in the $110 tournament. But at least Ohtani looks great!

1:36 PM: And we’re felted 3.5 buy ins at 1/2 PLO and done with that.

1:38 PM: Basically doubled in the $110 with A6ss > QJ all in pre. Peaking at 12K.

1:40 PM: It’s all bad. Just lost AQ < JJ and down to 4 bigs. And Ohtani just gave up a 3-run homer. GREAT START TO MY DAY.

1:43 PM: Tilt level is extreme right now. Everything falling apart all at once. I’m watching this stream and watching Ohtani give up that bomb and The Leak is trying to talk to me, asking me if I can help her get plants out of the car, while I’m sitting here with a four big blind stack in the $110. Total input overload. I can’t handle it right now!

Woah. Just jammed 3.5 bigs with Q4hh and got called in two spots by AQ and AK. Flop 942 two hearts. Hello! Queen on turn. King of hearts on river. Triple up! 12.2K at 400/800.

1:54 PM: Good news from Reno: The Joker is chipped up with 370K @ 3000/6000 and 62 players left.

2:00 PM: On break in the $110 and coming back to about ten big blinds. Something really tilting that Global Poker does in cash games is if you bet all in on the river and get called, the reload prompt will show up as soon as they call… like before showdown. It feels something like this: “click – you’re fucked. Would you like to reload? Oh, and by the way, here’s how you lost.”

I played $15/$30 Mix until 3:45 AM last night and I won a measly $100. I was up around $800 at my peak and I wasn’t too thrilled with the game mix. They kept taking out all the Stud games (which I was crushing in) and we played basically all games I’ve only played in this mix (Badeucy, Archie, 2-7 Drawmaha). Of course, my inexperience in these games led to a solid $200 mistake where I kept an ace in Badeucy thinking I had a good badugi and was informed at showdown that the ace is high both ways. I was up about $500 heading to the last game and lost $400 in the last orbit, whiffing everything in Badeucy. Solid! I definitely like playing mix games, but the main reason I want to play mix is so that I can get more experience in games I basically only play at the World Series of Poker, so taking out the Stud is very, very annoying. In fact, I’m not planning to play any events that have Archie, Badeucy, or Dramaha, so cutting all the relevant games out of the mix is really brutal.

Just lost with AQ to JJ again. We are super short again. Back to 4 big blinds. Yawn.

2:27 PM: And I’m out of the $110. Got my last 2.5 bigs in with K6o and get calls from Q7o and J7o. It looks great for a triple up on 8628 but the jack spikes on the river and I get to focus on the $540 tournament starting in one minute.

Only stuck $850+ for the day so far. Not that bad. Sigh.

2:55 PM: Last half hour has been better. Off to a good start in the $540 event, currently sitting at over 23K stack and at a pretty good table with no known crushers, according to Sharkscope and at least one player that seems intent on torching off his stack.

Update from Reno: Joker has 300K with average at 255K and 49 players left.

And Kyle Seager just made up for a bases loaded strikeout by getting a lucky hop over Yonder Alonso’s head for a game-typing RBI single.

And my boy Shohei is currently in line for the win in Oakland. Need him to pitch one more inning for a possible quality start though and he was at 80+ pitches in his first MLB start, so seeing him in the bottom of the 6th seems unlikely.

3:03 PM: Just picked off a big river bluff from the torcher at my table and he vowed to play every hand I’m in from now on. Very next hand I limp with 55 for 60 and he jams 13.5K next to act with four players to act behind him. Folds to me and I type: “how much time bank should I use before calling with AA?” and end up folding. Very next hand… is it possible? A dream come true? I have AA. I limp again for 60 and… he folds. Bad beat! But wait, it gets worse. One other limps, big blind checks and I bet 85 into 210 on J99 flop. Other limper calls and I check-call 190 on king turn. River double pairs the board with another king and we both check and I lose a very small pot to QT. 27.4K @ 30/60.

And Ohtani just pitched a very quick 6th inning! Let’s goooooooooooo!

3:14 PM: Dammit. The player gunning for me and eager to give me his entire stack just got moved to balance tables. Unlucky (or lucky – who knows).

3:17 PM: Sigh. Just lost a big one in the $540. One limper, I make it 4x with 65ss and he calls. Flop is 763 with one spade. I bet 400, he makes it 1100 and we are happy to call here. Turn is a 9 and we both check. River is a 6 and he bets 2000 into about 3000. I feel like my hand is too good to call here, right? But… what do I get called by? Thing is… I think a raise here looks bluffy from me considering the board texture, so I think a decent-sized raise gets paid off by a decent amount of hands I beat. I make it 8200 and he snaps with 33. Whoops. Down to 17.4K @ 50/100.

Well, that was a bit spewy. Why fold and move on to the next hand when you can dust off 33% of your stack with 65? Stupid.

3:33 PM: First break of the $540. Wow. Global met the guarantee. 419 entrants. I really didn’t think that would happen.

Dee Gordon just hit a go-ahead homerun in Seattle. DEE GORDON. He hits like two bombs a year. And Haniger with the 2-run bomb! LETS GO MS!

And I just called off almost 100 bigs pre in a rebuy with 99 vs AA and doubled up with a flopped set. LOL. Rebuys.

3:41 PM: Back to 23K in the $540. Opened Q8ss and got called in two spots. C-bet J76cc flop and they both called. I give up and check ace turn, which checks around. River is a queen and it checks to the button who bets full pot. Small blind folds and it’s up to me. This line seems super bluffy to me, unless he’s floating flop with KT, which is somewhat hard to swallow. Plus, after it checks to him on turn and river, does he really think he’s getting paid off for a pot-sized bet with a good hand? I call and I’m good vs 54.

3:56 PM: Joker picks off a bluff with KJdd on T84ddAhAc to chip back above average. Sick call!

388 left in the $540. $40.2K up top. 54 cash.

4:08 PM: Mariners win! Eddy Diaz with the three up three down three strikeouts save. A Kimbrel! Meanwhile, Angels bullpen is trying to mess up Shohei’s win. Athletics have the bases loaded with the winning run up and one out.

Just doubled in the $11 rebuy. Made it 5.5x with KK and get one caller. Flop is QT9 all hearts. I jam 2600 into 1300 with Kh in my hand and they call with T8dd. Snap bangs the ten on the turn, but ace of hearts on the river to dodge the fuckery.

4:17 PM: Reno update: Joker has 275K with average stack at 400k coming back to 8k/16k blinds. 31 left.

Also, Angels hold on to give Shohei Ohtani his first MLB win.

4:30 PM: Two hours into the $540 and basically nothing has gone right for me. My 1000 big blind starting stack is all the way down to 14 bigs.

4:51 PM: Boom! Doubled in the $540 with AQ > AJ. Back over 20K and 20+ bigs!

5:12 PM: Hanging in with 20 bigs in the $540. Just tripled up with AK > A6 and AJ in the $11 rebuy. 42 left in that one and 27 cash. I’m 18th. $5 Rebuy started at 5 PM and I already tripled with AA in that one. Joker just checked in. He’s at 495k at 10k/20k blinds with 21 left. It’s getting serious!

5:27 PM: Sigh. Just doubled the same player twice seven spots off the money in the $11 rebuy. First time he jams 2.5 bigs from small blind and rivers an ace with A2 after I spike an 8 with 84. Next hand he jams ~7 bigs from button and I reshove with A7o and he spikes a 3 on the turn to beat me with A3. WTF. Now I have less than 7 bigs seven spots off the money. But I do have the button.

5:33 PM: Joker has made the final two tables of the Run It Up Reno Main Event! 578k with average stack at 700k. $56k up top!

I’m currently at 9 bigs in the $540 with 164 left. Four spots off the money in the $11 with no chips.

Just doubled twice in the $11. Back to 20+ bigs two off the money.

Just had KK and TT this past orbit in the $540 and my < 10bb jams did not get called.

5:47 PM: Huge Joker update: he just won two sizable pots to chip up over 1M with 16 players left and average stack at 780k!

Just cashed the $11 tournament myself. Not quite as exciting, but… I am going to make at least $9 in this tournament.

5:57 PM: FUCK. Just busted the $540. Talk about never having momentum after the first two levels. Dwindled all the way to 4.25 bigs and jammed A4 suited and lost to KQ. Wonderful.

Still alive in the $11 and I have a top 40 stack in the $5 rebuy, but there will be no saving this day at this point. I have lost over 1/3 of my online bankroll today. Solid!

6:09 PM: Real Joker update:

Peter Lynn Eliminates An Opponent

6:39 PM: Just final tabled the $11 tournament. Started with 173 players, but I’m struggling to find the joy in the accomplishment right now. Immediately lost a player and I am 5 of 8 left.

Update from Joker, on a crazy hand from Chris Moneymaker: “He 3bets pre and then triple barrels a jack high board shoving the river and the kid folds AJ for 500k shove into about 1.5m. Backdoor flush got there but that’s it. He shows KJo. He goes ‘I had the best. You had QJ or TJ.’ Felt like he has KK at worst. I don’t blame the kid for just check calling down but man.. so gross to have him show you that.

And that’s how you win the World Series of Poker Main Event folks!

6:52 PM: Sigh. Jam ~8 bigs under the gun with ATo and get called by 77 and we’re out in 7th for $123.20. YAWN. Currently 117 of 157 left in the $5 rebuy and I’m not regging anymore tournaments. Calling it a day and hanging out with The Leak when I bust (or win) this one, but I will post updates from The Joker in Reno when I can. He’s currently on dinner break for an hour.

7:28 PM: I’m in the money of the $5 rebuy and didn’t even realize it. I currently have just over 20 bigs. I sat down in a $0.50/$1 PLO game and it took me less than five minutes to lose a full buy in with a straight plus nut flush draw that gets outdrawn by a bigger straight draw. Sigh. Running amazing in the 4-card game today!

7:46 PM: Cards back in the air in Reno. 15 left. Next jump at 12. Everyone gets $2150 at the moment.

I am 37 of 58 left in the rebuy.

8:14 PM: Ugh. I’m so steamy. Just busted the $5 rebuy in 42nd for a measly $31 when I jammed a little less than 10 bigs with 77 and KK called and held. Holy cow. What an epic bad day. I lost $1566.79 despite cashing half the tournaments I played and even final tabling one of them. Of course, I whiffed the two big ones and got absolutely SMASHED in the PLO streets. I won like one decent pot the whole time I played and got stacked multiple times in quick fashion. Just sickening. I torched off about 40% of my online bankroll today, which is hard to swallow, but it doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. I knew I was playing high variance with the online roll by playing in a $540 tournament, but losing 6.5 buy ins in PLO at stakes bigger than I typically play was the real kicker. Oh well. I’ve been in much worse shape than I just left myself in. I’ll be back!

Time to focus on quality time with my wife, but I will post updates on The Joker’s super deep run in the Main Event here whenever he messages me them and The Leak allows for it. Stay tuned!

9:17 PM: Joker has final tabled the Run It Up main and he’s above average! What a sick run.

10:19PM: 8 left in Reno. Joker has 14 bigs.

10:24 PM: He ladders! 7 left. He’s guaranteed $5600 at this point and I’m pretty sure that’s a career high score for him. Achievement unlocked. Leggo.

11:07 PM: Watching the live stream of the final table now. It’s on Twitch… search for Run It Up and it should come up. Looks like multiple people are hosting it. JOKER!

11:25 PM: I put the jinx on him. I got to watch about 15 minutes live before he got it in with AK vs 33 and lost the flip to bust in 5th. I heard Jamie Staples say he has 17k locked up now, so I’m guessing Joker gets somewhere around $10.5k for his 5th place finish. Sick run, dude! Congrats.

A little post-day wrap up coming shortly.

So March 2017 was an amazing month for me. I had the best cash game month of my entire career and I coupled that with my fourth largest cash ever in a tournament. All in all, it amounted to a net profit that is the second best month I’ve ever had, just behind June 2016 when I had back-to-back $32K+ scores. I did cash the WSOP H.O.R.S.E. for $45k last year, which is my biggest cash ever, but I gave up 40% to my backers, so June 2017 only ranks as my third best month as far as personal net profit goes.

Off to a stellar start in April – already stuck $1500+! I love it. Sometimes it’s fun to start with a nice hole and dig my way out of it. Granted, anything I have on Global Poker started with a $300 deposit, so it all feels like gravy to me anyway and doesn’t hurt my bottom line. It’s kind of silly to play a $540 buy in with a $3500 bankroll, but it’s even sillier to worry about $540 when I’m overolled for that BI size in real life, so… gotta go for it. They’ve only had one tournament like that in the entire time I’ve played on Global so far.

I have a doctor’s appointment at 7:30 AM in Bellevue tomorrow and I probably won’t be home until around noon and there’s no way I’m going to play poker before taking a nap, so no clue what time I will start playing tomorrow or if I even will at all. This weekend my wife’s parents are having a huge celebration that is big in the Cambodian culture and we will be occupied with that all day Saturday and Sunday. It’s looking like I’ll only be playing full sessions on Thursday and Friday this week. I will try to get down to the casino at a reasonable time tomorrow, but I’m not going to push it if I’m not feeling up to. I have to wake up at 5:00 AM and I’m still up now, so my whole day might be screwed up. I’m definitely taking Tuesday off and going to see Ready Player One and I’m signed up for PLO on Wednesday but the way my schedule is currently looking I’ll probably head to the casino much earlier than the 6 PM start time for that game.

That’s all for today. Congrats again to Peter for a spectacular run and a great sweat!

Peter’s Elimination Hand (link here so they don’t get mad at me for sharing the picture below)

Oh man, you can see it all in his face:

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Friday Frenzy: $15/$30 @ Palace 3/30/18 (LIVE BLOG)

March 30, 2018

3:19 PM: A little bit of a late arrival to Palace. We slept in ridiculously late for no good reason.

I ended up taking Tuesday off, as planned, but did play ten tournaments on Global Poker and managed one measly cash.

I also took Wednesday off from live poker but ended up playing on Global again. I got off to a similarly terrible start and was 0-6 while making decent runs in my last two events standing. Well, those ended up very well:

That makes 11 or 12 titles on Global and both of those scores were my best ever on the site. I also won 300 big blinds playing $1/$2 PLO and $0.25/$0.50 PLO cash games. All in all, a pretty great day online which has my Global bankroll at its peak and primed to play in their $200K GTD $540 event this Sunday – with an amazingly deep (1000 bigs to start!) structure.

Last night The Leak and I attended the Seattle Mariners home opener for the sixth consecutive year.

What a game! King Felix was amazing, going 5+ scoreless against a very good Indians team and Corey Kluber’s one mistake to Nelson Cruz was the difference in the game, a 2-1 Mariners win! Great way to start the year, edging out one of the two best starting pitchers in the American League.

3:49 PM: Started off with a $4/$8 warmup and played a fun hand where I 3-bet AQhh multiway from the small blind, call a cap, check-call J98hJ board and shrug-call blank river heads up and win against king high – and then spent the next ten minutes getting berated by that player, before leaving for $15/$30.

$15/$30 starting lineup: lady that had been coming in recently then disappeared for a while, Chief Wiggum, a rather annoying non-reg that Hollywoods almost every hand, a total unknown, a classic maniac, and a couple of nits.

4:50 PM: Nothing too exciting so far. We lost the maniac already, which sucks. I’ve picked off some bluffs and have a little sugar right now.

Dealer is asking me if I have any nicknames for seat four and I don’t. Not because he’s not deserving of one – he is quite special – but just because he doesn’t play much. The dealer suggested “The Pest” or “The Flea” because he super annoying. I won’t say who this dealer was, but it definitely was NOT The Man’s wife. Seriously, I don’t even think she works today.

I think my most interesting hand came against seat 4 when I opened button with QTo. Flop is KTx and we both check. Turn is a blank and he checks, acts like he’s going to fold, and then says, “maybe I can suck out” and calls. River is a ten. He checks and feigns fold again and snap calls when I beat and shows how unlucky he got with K4. Almost played me like a fiddle!

Speaking of fleas, it has been a few weeks since I’ve seen The Tick in here. Please come back! It will turn around, buddy!

5:14 PM: Hmmm… maybe he is The Flea. I open cutoff with JJ, Flea 3-bets big blind and I cap. Flop is ATx, he leads, and I call. Turn king, he bets and I call. River ace, we both check, he turns over K6ss and puts a $1 on his cards to tip the dealer before I do anything – a move straight out of the Douchebag Handbook.

Some wonder how I can have a win rate so high in this game and it’s literally because people go out their way to give me chips.

6:00 PM: I guess Palace is spreading PLO on Fridays @ 6 PM now. When I got here I put my name up, but I thought I was signing up for next Wednesday. Not planning to hop in at the moment, but I may change my mind after comparing the lineups.

I’m a bit of a weirdo when it comes to stuff like this. I came to the casino planning to play $15/$30 LHE and it’s really unlikely I’ll switch gears now and play PLO out of the blue.

But some lineups you can’t resist. There is already one player sitting down that is really good at PLO, so I’m leaning no at the moment.

6:15 PM: Just got back from my second run to the gas station to get The Leak something for her allergies and incoming cold and pick up JJ on my second hand and… go running quads to secure the top High Hand spot with 5.5 minutes left. Leggo!

6:37 PM: Naw. I’m not calling him The Flea. It fits but someone has to be Hollywood and this guy is the biggest actor I come across here.

Hollywood straddles, big defends, I 3-bet QTss and they both call. Flop is Q43 two diamonds and one spade, I bet, Hollywood raises, big calls, I 3-bet and they both call. Turn is 9s, I bet and both call. River is a lovely ace of spades, I bet and Hollywood raises. I reraise and he goes into his whole routine and feigns a muck which I thought meant he was eventually capping it… but then he did something weird… and folded.

Also, ship that High Hand for +$220!

7:33 PM: Couple of tough pots in a row. I have QQ in the big blind and the lead on JT9dd6d (with Qd) in a pot that was capped pre and 3-bets on flop. I get two callers there and the river is an ace. I check, UTG bets, and the cutoff calls. This is also the first street that’s been in Overs, so I’m facing a $60 bet. Kind of painful but I just don’t think I’m ever good here. I fold and AA beats TT. 😮

Very next hand, there’s some limping, button raises, I 3 with the KQhh from SB and all call. Flop is QT6 two diamonds. I bet, Hollywood raises, cutoff cold calls, I 3, Hollywood caps and we all see diamond turn. I check-call. I check ten river, Hollywood checks, cutoff bets, I call, Hollywood raises and I end up folding. Hollywood wins with J9dd.

8:00 PM: It’s always fun when you can sense the whole table rooting against you. Audible groans from people that weren’t even in the hand when I win a pot. Someone turning over an ace high when I give up on the river and someone else not in the hand chiming in with a giddy “that’s good!”

And just now, a “get him” when the third player in the pot folds.

I’m not complaining. I actually really do enjoy it.

🤷🏻‍♂️

8:26 PM: Just ran AQ into 66 on Q64 flop. I am basically even… with the High Hand… which makes the fact that multiple people are openly rooting against me all the more hilarious. I mean… I’m used to it when I’m crushing, but not as much when I’m running really mediocre.

9:40 PM: This place is about to riot because there are 19 players on the list for $15/$30 and they are not starting a second game. There are four $8/$16 games going and basically the whole list is in those games.

I have to admit, if I showed up late and got locked out with 19 on the list and there was no second game in sight… I’d probably just start going to Fortune instead. I’m not making a recommendation but there’s no way I’d be cool with that.

Man, I’ve had this situation where s7 opens from the cutoff and I’m the only caller from the big blind come up about five times and every single time he’s flopped top pair or better. I’ve had top and middle pair a few times and every time I think he can’t always have it and he always does.

And with that latest matchup, I am now stuck… and this game sucks. There are no spewers. No maniacs. No world beaters either, but still.

And as I type that, there’s a straddle and a 5-way pot for three beats each. 😂

9:54 PM: Some odd Overs dynamics: under the gun limp and I reluctantly check the JTdd. Flop is Q99 and I’m actually planning to check-raise, but he checks back. I’m obviously bluffing the turn here but hey, I just made a straight and there’s less than $25 in the pot. I think it’s clear he’s rarely calling $60, so I check again and he checks back. River is an ace and I didn’t take this line to start betting now. I check, he bets $60 and I can’t even contain my grin at the hilarity of it. I raise and he snap-calls and I somehow get him to put $120 into a $22 pot on the river. 💪🏻

10:05 PM: Here it is again: s7 opens cutoff and I defend AQhh heads up. I check-call down on KQ3J6 and he shows KJ.

Every time? EVERY TIME?

I am up less than $100 overall and I’m probably down $500 in this defend vs cutoff scenario alone.

10:45 PM: I am putting on a clinic on how to lose money playing out of position tonight. Two limps, button raises, I 3-bet AQ and they all call. Flop is TT8 with two clubs and I check-call button and three of us see 6c turn. I have Ac so this is an easy check-call. We are heads up and the river is a queen. I think leading has merit but I end up check-calling another $60 and he shows me the T9hh. Sigh.

11:25 PM: The Joker is at Run It Up Reno and just bagged 188k (47 bigs) in the Main Event, which is way more exciting than anything happening at my table. Good luck Pesky!

11:35 PM: Running AWESOME! I’m straddling on the button because this game is trash right now and needs action. Hollywood calls and says “oh, he straddled, I raise!” but dealer won’t let him, someone else raises, I look down at KK and know I can get five bets in without revealing my hand strength so I call and they put the bets in for me. They both check to me on 754 flop and Hollywood check-raises and caps when I 3-bet and the other player is in there too. Turn is a 6 and we all check. River is a 3. A fucking 3. And I have to chop this pot with AQ and KQ. Solid lines from both these champions.

I mean they are both trying pretty hard to torch off their chips here but I think I have to bet the turn. They both raised and reraised preflop and I can have anything, especially straights. That makes this a mandatory turn bet for my range, even if it’s not a great card for my actual hand. Plus, when they both check, I have no good reason to think I’m beat anyway. KQ turned a flush draw but maybe the AQ folds?

The dealer from earlier said she likes The Flea better. She’s right. Hollywood doesn’t even come close to describing how annoying this dude is.

11:56 PM: Small victories! Seat 7 opens cutoff and I defend my big blind with 55. We’ve seen this about seven times already with the same outcome. Flop is 742 and I check-raise… he tanks long enough before calling that I know I got him this time. Turn 3, I bet and he folds! HE FOLDS!

Meanwhile, he has like $130 in front of him, which is goddamn amazing considering I’ve given him $500 of my own chips.

12:02 AM: Well it’s a new day now so they decided to finally start the second $15/$30 game. I’m on the move list because my game is epic bad, but if I move tables I won’t be able to take The Flea’s chips and that’s something I really want to do. It’s a close call. The other game is substantially better. At least three players worse than anyone in my current game.

12:07 AM: My mind is kind of blown right now. I said earlier that I haven’t seen The Tick in weeks. Well, he’s here. And he’s been here since before I got here. It’s funny… I was looking at him earlier and I thought That sure looks like a respectable version of The Tick. But I didn’t think it was actually him. It’s the first time I’ve seen him without a hat on and he’s wearing glasses. And he’s sticking to $8/$16. God bless him.

12:22 AM: Sigh. The good news is I moved to the second game. The bad news is someone I wanted to play with took my old spot. Then, after no one left my previous game for 3+ hours, two other players cashed out and took another player I wanted to play with. 🤦🏻‍♂️

There is still a maniac in the second game. I believe I called him The River Man in my last blog. Plus there’s another player I don’t recognize and that’s always a good thing. The rest of the table is filled out with decent regs, including The Invisible Man.

12:29 AM: Amazing! Another player left and now three of the four players I came over to play with are in my old game. Is this real? Seriously. No one left that game for the last 3+ hours and three people have left in the ten minutes since I switched tables. I swear, sometimes the poker gods just hate you.

12:51 AM: The bad news is The River Man is almost out of chips. The good news is he just doubled up. The bad news is he doubled upthrough me. 🤦🏻‍♂️

12:59 AM: I just saw something crazy. The River Man raised pre and everyone checked Q55. The turn was a ten and the big blind led out and The Invisible Man raised (after open-limping) and the big blind called. River was a blank and the big blind check-called and The Invisible Man shows KJ high. 😮😮😮 A stone cold three big bet bluff! Never seen that from him before. And apparently this detour from his comfort zone was too much to handle because he literally didn’t take another hand and cashed out instead.

1:40 PM: I was eating chicken wings while playing 6-handed so no updates, but Peter “The Joker” Lynn checked in from Reno with a printout of chip stacks after Day 1A of the Main Event:

Joker in 9th and some random with the chip lead.

8:34 AM: Whoops. Forgot to post a wrap up. Not a very good session. Never had any upward momentum. Any time I got ahead I’d lose pots. On the bright side, I didn’t lose pots all day either.

Final Score: -$90