Posts Tagged ‘texas hold em’

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Marathon Monday? Does the Santa Claus Game Live? (Live Blog)

December 17, 2018

I guess we will find out. Thanks in part to traveling plans from both Radio Mike and myself, the game has not gone since the 26th of November, a solid three weeks ago. These things happen, but the overall lack of interest last week is what is most concerning. We were never even close to starting a game.

There are currently 7 names on the list for today which is more than we ever had last week and I know that Chief Wiggum and Radio Mike will be there at noon and willing to start short-handed. I guess we shall see what happens.

Saturday I said I was going to play at Fortune and I did end up going out there. When I arrived they had all 15 tables full of games and only one 20/40 game running. That was super bad news. I was like 6th on the list and the one game going didn’t look super appealing. Still, we drove all that way to play some poker.

Against my better judgement, I sat down in the 1/3 no limit game while waiting for a seat in something I actually wanted to play. When I’m warming up though, I would rather play in something of little consequence – i.e. 4/8 Hold’em or Omaha. Something that will have little affect on my results for the day. While the NL game is relatively small, I always seem to get involved in pots for my entire stack. I guess I don’t have much of a small ball style and the fluctuations, even in the short amount of time I usually play, are more than I’m looking for in a warm-up.

Case in point: super active and aggressive player opens to $12 and a loose, somewhat aggressive player calls on the button. I look down at AK of spades and make it $46 to go. The opener folds but the button calls. Stack sizes are $300 effective to start the hand.

Flop is 542 rainbow, but no spade. It’s a bad flop for my actual hand, but my range consists of a lot of overpairs, so it’s a good flop for my range. Also, I think his range is not going to be very pair heavy. I saw him 3-bet this same opener and then get 66 bigs in pre with 88. He was up against AA that hand, so maybe he will play his medium pairs less aggressively after coming so close to punting $200 (he flopped a set), but considering his opponent was raising basically every hand, I thought both his 3-bet with 88 and stack off were plenty reasonably. So if he’s 3-betting 88+, he’s not hitting this flop very often, and I’m not sure he would call $46 pre with 22-55, but it’s certainly possible. So I have a range advantage here and I also think my opponent might take stabs with little equity if I check to him. So I check and he bets $85. I jam for $253. He tanks forever… long enough for me to put multiple things on my Amazon wish list. Unfortunately, he comes out of it with a call.

The turn is a 7 and the river is a queen and I assume my AK high is probably not going to win this pot. I am right. He has 76 and I’m felted.

I’ve done the math on this spot and he is correct to call it off here. Pot is $442 and it costs him $168 more to call, so he’s getting 2.63 to 1 and needs about 27.5% equity to break even. Against my actual hand, he’s a favorite here – assuming he’s suited with a backdoor flush draw (I can’t remember). But even if he’s offsuit, it’s basically a coin flip.

Even when I’m at the top of my range (i.e. over pair with a flush blocker), he still has over 36% equity.

I still like my line a lot here. He’s basically stabbing with the top of his whiffing range and if he’s betting this hand when he’s so likely to get jammed on, it makes me think he would stab when he seemingly has little equity also and in those cases, I just win the pot right there.

I had another $200 in my pocket and I whittled that all the way down to like $130 and 4-bet jammed with 66 and lost a race with AK.

I waited about another hour for 20/40, but the game looked shitty to me and a second game wasn’t on the near horizon and when my wife asked if just wanted to leave, I pondered for a while, and decided that yes, I did want to leave.

So my day ended -$500 and I didn’t even play an hour of poker.

Yesterday was a day off for me and I spent it making beef stroganoff, cleaning and packing for our move, dabbling in some online poker, and continuing our mission to rewatch the entire “Game of Thrones” series before the final season in April.

12:39 PM: Welp. Not sure how much of a Marathon Monday this is going to be. This game got off to a very weak start. I am playing 5-handed with Frankenstein, Chief Wiggum, Radio Mike and a nitty reg – and we are not likely to get much traffic for this game for many hours.

Not sure what I will do if this game breaks. Maybe I will continue marathoning in 8/16. Maybe I will go to Fortune. Maybe I will go home and play online. Maybe I won’t play at all.

One hand of note so far: I’m the button straddle, Wiggum raises his big, I 4-bet with KJhh and he calls.

Flop is J95 with one heart. He check-raises me and I call.

Turn is a king and I get 3-bet after raising him. Eek. I guess I just call?

River is a blank and I call again and win showdown against AA.

Also of note, I finally started working on organizing all my poker posts. I have created pages for PLO cash games, tournaments, various cash games, rants, Marathon Mondays, and WSOP events. I’d link all of them but the WordPress app won’t let me. You can scroll down the right side of the page and see them for yourself. I have backlogged through October of this year.

1:03 PM: Sigh. The nit just took an 8/16 seat when it was his turn. We are now 4-handed and I can already hear Radio Mike wavering, literally: “do you guys want to do this?”

Part-Time with perfect part-timing! He makes us 5-handed just as the other three players are agreeing to convert to a new 8/16 game and fill the table up.

It seems like everyone else is still leaning towards converting but since they asked my opinion, I said I want to keep playing this game and I know Part-Time prefers it also.

Still, if we don’t pick up another player soon, I suspect we will wind up converting, especially if I’m winning. 😂

1:22 PM: We somehow picked up a 6th player and first time he’s on the button dealer tells him to put $20 out and he balks. Dealer says it’s mandatory and he replies: “Bullllshiiit. They might think it’s mandatory.”

That’s because it is, pal.

I have a feeling this guy might not be here long. I’ll set the over/under at 30 minutes.

1:44 PM: 7-handed! This game might actually make it.

2:20 PM: Amazing. The game is full. I am running pretty shitty so far, whiffing straight draws, bricking with AQ multiple times, and losing with QQ to A9.

In other bad news, the 8/16 game is on the verge of collapse. While this might seem irrelevant, it is bad for this game, because it will be the scapegoat for why 8/16 is breaking so early.

It’s probably true, but it’s also pretty annoying because half this table wouldn’t even be here right now if the 10/20 wasn’t running. We started this thing 5-handed and kept it going 4-handed. The 8/16 players won’t even play 7-handed. And therein lies the real problem. If they were willing to play short-handed the games could coexist long enough for both of them to fill up, but they won’t… so it’s the red chip game’s fault.

Ugh.

Shit Man and Joker are in the game now.

Here’s a hand that had a very unexpected result: I’m the button straddle with T3 of spades and there are four callers to me. I check.

Flop is A52 with two spades. The small blind leads, Shit Man calls, Wiggum calls, and I raise. Here’s where things get funny: the flop bettor folds, Shit Man calls, and Wiggum folds! Unreal. Shit Man should have the weakest range of all three, so I can already feel that I won’t have to improve to win this pot.

Sure enough, turn is the queen of diamonds and he just check-folds.

2:44 PM: Not that Shit Man is a good candidate to run bluffs on. He’s the straddle and it folds to me in the hi-jack, so I pop it with J9ss and triple barrel on A8728 and he calls me down with 73.

3:36 PM: Straddle with 87o and there’s a raise and callers in front of me.

Flop is A72 rainbow. Checks to me, I bet and only Shit Man calls.

He wins with 96… because I make two pair on the turn and he rivers a 5.

Uh. Okay.

4:25 PM: Oh my God. I’m in the torture chamber. I haven’t won a pot since getting that semi-bluff through over two hours ago – and it’s not like I was running good before that.

My image is HORRIBLE right now. Lots of good starters + multi-way action + whiffing every board = maniac image.

I finally decided to run with one of my airballs. I 4-bet with AJ after Joker 3s and Frankenstein call.

With five of us in there, Frankenstein donks on 775 with two spades and since I’m always continuing (with ace of spades in my hand, and I’m repping an overpair, and I’m next to act… I raise it and clear out the rest of the field. He calls.

Turn is a great card for my range: a king. So now a decent portion of hands I was bluffing with (AK, KQ, KJs, KTs) are ahead of his likely medium pair. He check-calls again though.

I’m planning to give up on blank rivers, but I will be betting any face card or ace that doesn’t pair the board… because that card further strengthens my range. It’s a ten. So I bet and he calls with 88.

Sigh.

I knew it was unlikely to get through since I haven’t shown down a winner in hours – and believe me, people actually make strategic decisions based on their opponent’s variance. For instance, if I was crushing the game today, I think he would be far more likely to fold 88 here.

But alas, I am showing down very few winners, so my fold equity is extremely low right now. I might as well just save the damn bets.

I am now down approximately $650.

5:50 PM: I don’t have much of note to add since my last update – I’m down a little bit and I reloaded – but the game is very alive and well. We are currently full again with four names on the list. Plus 8/16 started again and has a list of its own. Perfect harmony!

7:02 PM: Ugh. For the second time in four days I had an insulin pump emergency. In three years of using the Omnipod, this incident was a first for me. I changed my pod, filled a new one up with 150 units of insulin, activated it, then sat back down at the table, gave myself a bolus… but instead of giving myself a bolus, I accidentally deactived my pump.

And that’s that. Once you deactivate a pump it cannot be used. So my pump was wasted. 150 units of insulin wasted. And I didn’t have a replacement with me.

So I had to drive home and get one… and hope I didn’t get picked up in the meantime. So I took off after my straddle to maximize my time away from the table… but then I forgot my phone and had to come back and get it.

I made it back in time. Unfortunately, my status in the game was never in any jeopardy because there was no list when I took off and two players left while I was gone.

We are currently 7-handed. I experienced a minor rush right before I left, but I wasn’t able to really appreciate or document it because I was on hold with Omnipod customer service and thinking up a game plan.

Uh, so yeah… I’m just going to carry three extra pods around with me now.

Lesson learned.

9:45 PM: I have called my session early on account of burnout. Sometimes you just have to realize you are totally checked out to what’s going on and either rediscover your a-game or go home. I went with the latter option tonight… mostly because I had already played 9+ hours.

Final Score: -$1127

Commencing long overdue Blade Runner marathon.

PLO on Wednesday.

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$15/$30 Fridays! (Live Blog)

December 14, 2018

It looks like the 15/30 game is alive and well on Fridays again. With the game scheduled to start at 4 PM, there are a staggering 26 names on the list! I don’t know what to make of that, but clearly having a scheduled game start makes it much easier to get something off the ground than trying to start it from scratch every day. On a day to day basis, it seems like we can’t get five people interested in a 15/30, so 26 is pretty mind-boggling to me. It will be interesting to see how much of that list is real. Even if a third of those names are flakes or no shows, that’s still enough players for two full games. I’m excited to see what happens, but I’m one of the first nine names, so I’ll be playing regardless.

Yesterday I was planning to play PLO at 6 PM, but I woke up at 7:45 AM for a dentist appointment after staying up late, traveled 2+ hours round trip to go to that appointment and made it back home a little after 4 PM.

I went to lay down for a bit and next thing I know I’m waking up at 5:45 and not going to make the game start. Plus, I wasn’t really feeling up to immediately jumping in a poker game after being asleep for almost two hours. With only 10 names on the list, I wasn’t sure the game was going to be too strong and I ended up not going at all.

In fact, while it did start, I saw on Bravo that it was dead by 9:30 PM.

Instead, I stayed home and organized my 500+ collection of DVD/Blu-Rays, transferring them from their cases and putting them into binders by category. My big grey recycling bin is now overflowing with empty DVD cases. The process saves a ton of space, but it was also quite soul-sapping. I must have thrown away over 90% of the bonus material discs I had. It feels wrong and I sort of want to keep them, but the reality is… I never watched any of that stuff anyway. It’s also pretty revolting to think that I’ve probably spent over $10,000 buying movies in my lifetime, especially when you consider how infrequently I watch most of them and how many of them will never be watched again for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number is well over 25%, but when we have kids, maybe they will wind up watching all of them. I dunno.

Here’s how much space they took up before (plus at least four cabinet drawers):

Here’s how much space they take up now:

And here’s this picture, just because:

3:34 PM: I’m currently playing 4/8 while I wait for the 15/30 to start and I found this hand to be rather amusing:

There are multiple limpers, button raises, I call BB with ATdd, and limpers all call.

Flop is 766 with two diamonds. I decide to donk out because I feel this is the best way to get multiple bets in on the flop. I’m not looking to check-raise the button and possibly find myself heads up. It’s not the worst if that happens but I don’t think it’s the best either. I get called in a few spots, including the button.

Turn is the 2 of diamonds and this time my only customer is the button.

The river is a 7, double pairing the board, but that’s not a concern as we clearly still have the best hand and it looks like he’s going to call. So I bet and he does call, but then he turns over the 86 of spades. Say what?

The very next hand I get to the river for free from the small blind with A3 on J823A and a 92 year old 4/8 regular calls my bet and turns over 75 high.

I gave him his $8 back.

I will be back with a starting lineup and remaining list in about 25 minutes.

Starting Lineup: random, 8/16 reg, Part-Time, red chip reg I haven’t seen in a while, nitty reg, random, Chief Wiggum, and No Hair

There are four remaining names on the list and I think zero of them are here. Yikes.

I thought the list might have a lot of fat on it, but geez. Oh well, traffic should be good all night.

I give this starting lineup a C and that’s because there are two randoms in it.

On the plus side, 7 of 9 (not the randoms) now have 25/50 Overs buttons.

And one of the randoms just switched to 4/8 Omaha… because that’s what people do… sit in 15/30 for an orbit and drop to a 4/8 split pot game.

But Flea just walked in the door as the seat opened and he was first on the list as a call in.

I now give this game a B-.

4:25 PM: This random lady at my table just brought a partially smoked cigarette back inside with her. That is a crime against humanity. What kind of person does shit like that?

4:51 PM: Flea opens under the gun, Part-Time cold calls, and I defend 86cc from the big.

Flop is Q86 with two hearts and I decide to just check-call on this street and check-raise on most turn cards since Part-Time is still in also.

Turn is the 5 of hearts and I do check-raise when Part-Time quickly folds. Flea does his typical Hollywood shenanigans before eventually calling.

River is the 6 of hearts. Flea is definitely the kind of player that will raise me on the river with one card flushes so leading out has merit, but I decide to check-raise instead and wind up getting four big bets in on the river because, as mentioned, Flea is the kind of dude that would 3-bet here with worse way too often. He calls and I’m good and apparently I got “lucky” because it sounds like he has 55 here.

6:00 PM: Some random I don’t know just sat down but NoHair knows him and he is very excited about his presence.

6:06 PM: Defend my big with A6 of clubs in a 3-way pot and check-raise Part-Time and Flea on T63ccd and we wind up capping it 3-ways.

Turn is the 8 of diamonds and I go back into passive form, Part-Time also checks – which is weird since he bet and raised on the flop – and Flea bets. I call and now Part-Time check-raises. Geez. Do I need to explain how weird it is for us to cap the flop and then for him to try and check-raise the one player that was just calling? It’s crazy. Flea has just over three big bets to start this street so get gets it in there and that allows Part-Time to cap it.

Ouch. I have now put four big bets in on the turn.

No worries. 7 of clubs on the river and I get all of it. Flea had 97 of diamonds and Part-Time claims a set, which makes sense.

My first hand against the new player, I complete small after one limper with QTo and he raises the big blind and triple barrels on Q54J4 with A7dd which never had any sort of draw. I like him already.

6:27 PM: I open A9ss, the new guy 3s, button caps.

Flop is 962 with two hearts and one spade. New guy donks, button folds, and I’m loving the situation, but I just call.

Turn is another 9. Now I check-raise and he calls.

River is an offsuit 7 and he raises after I bet. Huh? I start tanking, wondering how I can ever just call here but I talk myself out of it and just call. He has the hand you’d expect him to have: 92 suited.

7:31 PM: Yikes. They are starting a second 15/30 game. Not really sure how I feel about that, but I didn’t bring an extra insulin pump for some reason and my current one is nearly expired so… I might need to drive home and grab one. A second game at least means I won’t have to wait forever if I wind up having to leave and get picked up.

8:05 PM: Frankenstein is in the game! And just as they start a second game, this table starts to crumble. We have lost three players since the other game started.

The maniac new player is still here but he’s been racked up for a while and looks like he could leave any second, especially if people keep departing this game.

I straddled on my button an orbit ago and in the interest of creating a livelier atmosphere. That investment only cost me $225 when I flopped a pair, turned a gutter, and bricked the river.

Fortunately, I flopped top two with AK in a 5-bet pot from my big blind and then I had JJ in a 5-bet pot from my small blind on a final board of Q54QJ, but I was pushing the action the whole way that hand and no one called me on the river.

8:29 PM: Jesus has been resurrected… with his first public poker appearance since the WSOP. He is not in my game yet – he’s in the feeder – but he is very anxious to get over here and do something dumb enough to get blogged about. I can’t wait!

9:06 PM: Frankenstein vs The Dark Knight:

I come back from a break and post, someone raises in front of me and I 3-bet with QTo because I want the button and blinds to fold, but Frankenstein calls from the small.

Flop is 955 and they both check-call. That’s not surprising so I’m planning to barrel off on a lot of turns but it’s a queen and I bet for value. Now Frankenstein check-raises me. Eww. I shouldn’t be good here but I have a hand I’m not really supposed to have and I’m unsure about it all, so I call down and he shows the QJ. So thin!

A few hands later, I open AA and he 3-bets me in position. I just call.

Flop is Q65 and I check-raise.

Turn is an ace and I’m pretty surprised when he raises me here. I raise back and he calls.

River pairs the board and he calls my bet again and flashes me the case ace.

The new manic and NoHair have left and been replaced by Mr. Plow and Mighty Mouse.

9:47 PM: You know you’re a special kind of sicko when you look down at the QTo in the big blind and it folds to the button and you’re hoping he raises because you just want to play poker. He does raise! His first open from the button tonight. I happily defend.

Flop is JTx and I check-raise. He calls, but it looks like he wanted to raise, so I’m on alert.

Turn is a great check-calling card anyway – a king – so that’s what I do.

River is an ace and I lead out and he says, “did you hit your only out again?”

He calls, I table, and he says, “yep, that was your only out. Stone cold dead again and you got your one out.”

I guess I still lose when a 9 comes? I don’t actually say anything when people start saying dumb stuff like this. I just let them vent and sit there quietly.

I guess this is the other hand I was drawing “stone dead” on:

I open JTdd, he defends big blind and then I barrel all three streets on K76d8d9.

Stone dead.

10:11 PM: I lead in a multi-way limped pot from small blind with 97 on Q86 rainbow and get raised in two spots. I call.

Turn is an offsuit 5 and I decide to lead out because I want Frankenstein to call before the other player raises with his super itchy trigger finger, but Big Frank folds and the other player just calls.

River is a jack. I lead, he raises, I snap-3-bet and he caps it. I groan audibly because I immediately see how likely it is for him to have the nuts here, as T9 flopped a double gut shot. I call and he does show me that hand.

10:25 PM: Folds to button again and he opens. I defend A3ss.

Flop is Q82 with one spade. We both check.

Turn is the jack of spades. I bet and he calls.

River is the 7 of diamonds. I bet… he tanks… he folds!

I was probably drawing stone dead there too.

11:15 PM: I am officially without an insulin pump. My blood sugar is currently 170. This should be interesting. At this point, if I go home, I’m not coming back.

12:10 AM: Finally a clash with Jesus. He opens utg, I 3-bet with KK, big blind calls, and so does Jesus.

Flop is 752 and Jesus check-raises me. Other guy folded and I flat to raise the turn.

It’s a 9. He 3-bets. Sigh.

River is a 7 and he still bets. So basically what he’s saying is: he has AA, he has quads, or he raised under the gun with 55 or 22… or he binked the turn. I call and he shows quad sevens.

I open A8hh and Mighty Mouse defends his big blind.

Flop is 642 rainbow and we both check.

Turn is an 8 and Mighty Mouse leads out saying, “I think I’m betting the best hand.” I’m not so convinced, but I just call.

River is an ace and he checks to me. I bet and he immediately raises me. Ouch. Okay, let’s think about this. This is a strong line, but my hand looks like one pair of aces (or a bluff) so if he has two pair, I think check-raising this river is a good line. I tank for a while but eventually conclude I’m still beating way too many hands. I 3-bet, he calls and I’m good.

12.40 AM: I decided to call it a night rather than let my blood sugar get out of control, even though there were still two full games running.

Final Score: +$713

Fortune 20/40 tomorrow.

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Pot Limit Omaha & Big Announcement (Live Blog)

December 12, 2018

First off, let me catch you up. It’s been a week since my last blog, which is one of the longest droughts here since I started posting regular poker content. My bad. I didn’t much feel like blogging my last night in L.A. and I played truncated sessions on Saturday and Monday, the latter because the 10/20 Santa Claus Game did not go (for the second straight week – yikes!).

Thursday was my last night in L.A. and I played a 15/30 Mix at The Bike. The game was a mix of 5-Card Omaha (high only), 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, Badeucy, Badacey, and Archie. I got over 9.5 hours of experience and finished at +$1015, a decent enough score to transform my trip from a moderate disaster into a more neutral affair.

That wrapped up my time in California for the year and it was pretty disappointing. I went 0 for 8 in tournaments in the Golden State for a total loss of $3000 and cash games weren’t much better as I finished -$1447 over 60 hours. Most of that damage was thanks to a -$2253 performance in just under two hours of 40/80. Whoops. That’s an overall loss of $4447 in Cali over 100+ hours total. I’m hoping to play a huge slate in the LAPC next month (I’ll post my schedule wish list sometime soon) and looking forward to getting off to a hot start on the road next year.

Since I was landing back in Seattle around 1 PM on Friday, I urged The Man to push the restart of the 15/30 game on Fridays at 4 PM up a week and it got back off the ground easily and was still going strong with a list when I left just after midnight. The Palace red chip games are the best for blogging and Friday night would have made for good material, but I was jet lagged and coming off a poor night of sleep on top of that and playing poker at all was questionable enough without trying to add writing to the mix. The entire table was playing 25/50 Overs for a good portion of the night so I started with $3000 in front of me and was having a very good session until cooling off towards the end of the night. I finished at +$703 after 8+ hours. There are already seven names on the list for this upcoming Friday. If you want to play a red chip LHE game in Lakewood, call and put your name up!

Saturday I went to Muckleshoot to play in the 20/40 limit Omaha 8 game and it got off to a brutal 5-handed start and stayed that way for nearly two hours. The game wasn’t good and I had made the decision to migrate elsewhere (i.e. Fortune), apologized to the other four players, racked up my chips, passed on my next big blind, and then a new player finally sat down. And a few minutes later, so did another one. I unracked and continued to play and eventually the game filled up. However, my wife was with and she was clearly not into playing 4/8 at Muck and contacted a friend of hers to go hang out for a bit. I decided to call it a night when she came back because I wasn’t super into my session and I could tell she didn’t really want to play anymore either. I finished at -$547 after just over 5 hours of play.

Sunday was just an errand and relaxing day with my wife.

Monday I was planning to put in a Marathon Monday session and blog it, but the game didn’t even come close to starting. Radio Mike was in Vegas, Joker has a day job or some dumb shit, and Chief Wiggum was MIA for whatever reason. It can be hard to get a game off the ground when multiple key pieces are missing and the general day time crowd at Palace isn’t itching to jump up in stakes or start short-handed. This game would probably work better with a 4 PM start, but it’s probably more likely to just die a swift death. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s no longer a thing by January.

Yesterday was my day off, so I went to see Creed II and my list of movies I’ve seen and haven’t reviewed has grown quite large. I will probably post my ratings in the next week or so.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have arranged with The Bike to get on their streaming poker show Live At The Bike on Wednesday, January 23rd. I will know more as the date gets closer, but they locked up three seats for me, so Radio Mike and Joker will be on the show with me. That’s the max the host would guarantee me, but Frankenstein will also be travelling with me and possibly Tormund and FanBoy as well. I think the game is going to be 20/40 limit hold’em.

Here are a bunch of links to LatB stuff so you can start following the show now and have things figured out by the time I appear on it:

Live at The Bike live stream
Live at The Bike on YouTube
Live at The Bike on Twitch
Live at The Bike Twitter

Should be fun!

PLO starts at 6 PM tonight and there are a staggering 17 names on the list already. I’m very happy to see that because the game had been fizzling out a bit before I left for Cali.

Check back for live updates at 6!

5:21 PM: Driving to Palace now. List has 19 players on it. Very curious to see what it looks like when the dust settles after 6.

Starting Lineup: 8/16 reg, random red chip non-reg, Big Baby, nitty reg, Charlie Hustle, Part-Time, plo reg, The Crypt Keeper

Seems pretty good. Nice to see Crypt Keeper back. He’s not particularly good for the game, but when the player pool is small and flimsy, you need your regulars in seats. Also, for whatever reason, there are 2-3 players that were coming every session but stopped showing when TCK was in Vietnam. Two of them are playing right now. The two non-regulars probably won’t be in the game long, but there are already two huge spots in the game and they both have $700+.

Let’s go get it.

6:21 PM: After the dust settles we have a full game and four remaining players on the list, so 19 was really 13, which is actually pretty damn good.

I made the nuts on the turn with no redraws against Big Baby and decided to flat and raise rivers, but the river brought a 4-card straight and he check-folded. Boo.

6:32 PM: I limp early with AKJ9 rainbow, Big Baby makes it $20, big blind calls, and so do I.

Flop is K73 and it checks around.

Turn is a 4 and I bet $30 into $60 and only Big Baby calls.

River is an offsuit ace. I bet $100 and I go from thinking he’s going to fold to thinking he’s going to call to getting raised to $400. I think about it for less than 0 seconds and call. He tables AQQ6 and I win the pot.

6:46 PM: Weird, my big announcement I posted earlier disappeared. Not sure how/when/why that happened, but it’s back now. Scroll up. It’s in big, bold letters if you missed it.

6:51 PM: Nit limps, I make it $20 with AAQ7 double suited to the aces and Big Baby plus the limper call.

Flop is J76 rainbow with one of both of my suits and I’m planning to check back but Big Baby leads for $40 and I call.

Turn is the queen of diamonds, giving me two pair and putting two diamonds on board (which I don’t have). He bets $145 and I call again.

River is an offsuit 8 and I call $200 this time. I’m never folding queens up here against a dude that has no clue about proper hand strengths. Unfortunately he has the JJ85 here and evens the score.

7:36 PM: Charlie Hustle with a classic Charlie Hustle moment: after calling in a raised pot preflop, everyone folds to the PFR on A74 rainbow and the PFR claims he had AA. Charlie Hustle says he had the last ace. No one acknowledges him, so he says it again. By the time he says a variation of the same thing a third time, I have the counter going. SIX! Six times he feels the need to mention he had the last ace after check-folding the flop.

Good job, buddy.

8:14 PM: I lost a big pot to Crypt Keeper when I flopped a set and he turned the nut flush, but I rebounded by making the nut straight in back-to-back hands against Charlie Hustle, although he eventually folded in both hands.

But what I really wanted to say is that no one has left this game yet. Yeah, I know… it has only been 2.33 hours, but still… I think that might be a Palace PLO record.

The list is now six deep with the one and only Joker second up.

8:43 PM: Oh no, looks like Charlie Hustle might have to stick around tonight!

Multiple limpers in front of me and I look down at AA42 with no suits. I’ve reached a point where I’m basically always raising with my AA hands, but I think this is a good spot to just call. I can make it $30 here but no one is going to fold and I’m going to be in a bloated pot with a hand that plays poorly multi-way. Plus limping here gives my limping range some balance on ace high boards as my opponents won’t be able to rule out top set in the future if I can show this hand down.

There is no raise pre and seven of us see the A83 two diamond flop. Charlie Hustle bets $15 when it checks to him and I makes it $60. That clears the rest of the field and he calls. This is a sexy spot. I have the ace of diamonds in my hand, so not only can I rep the nut flush on future streets, but it also drastically decreases the chances that Charlie Hustle is NOT on a draw. That means I have him smashed and he’s going to pay off.

Turn is a 2 that puts two spades on board and he check-calls $130.

The river is the 9 of spades and he checks to me. The backdoor flush got there but I think he has to lead flushes here, so I feel pretty good betting for value with my set but I size down at $150 to a) not punt a max bet when he has a flush some of the time and b) increase the chance that I get paid off by his sets. Because that’s what he has here. I don’t think he’s showing up with two pair very often.

He snap calls and my hand is good vs 88xx.

Meanwhile, The Crypt Keeper is so buried on my immediate left in seat 9 that he’s not even bothering trying to protect his cards when he looks at his hand. Actually, that doesn’t do it justice: he’s literally lifting his cards so that I (and probably seat 7 also) can see all four of them easily if we were so inclined – it’s not a matter of not protecting them, he is basically broadcasting them to us.

I’m not looking. Not my style. But sometimes it’s hard not to accidentally catch a glimpse.

9:17 PM: I can’t remember how we got here but…

That’s my hand, there is like $2.5k in the middle (my hand is blocking $800+ in front of me) and the board is Jc5sKcQd.

Turn action: Big Baby bet $35, Charlie Hustle called, I pot to $175, button goes all in for $235, Big Baby makes it $535 (!), Charlie stacks off, and I cap it at $835. Big Baby calls.

I have the nuts with the nut redraw and there are heaps of chips in the middle. I’m surprised at the turn action – not that Big Baby is punting $800+ with the same hand and (probably) no redraw – but that the other two players put their whole stacks in. I obviously do not want to see the board pair.

River is… a ten. Eww. Now any hand with an ace and a Broadway card has a straight but at least I still have the nuts.

Charlie Hustle had KK and the button had QQ so I’m splitting this monster with Big Baby who did, indeed, have the naked AT.

That hand finally knocked the first two players out of the game and for some reason Joker passed on his seat.

I guess this is that reason:

10:05 PM: Eww. Slimer is in the game now and there is no list.

Also, Big Baby is dusted… because this just happened:

He opens to $15, there’s a call, I call QQ33 single suited and there are four or five of us to the flop.

Board is QT5 with two clubs. He pots, I pot, he pots and is all in. We run it once and my hand holds up against a naked AA.

One seat open. Game condition just went from very good to mediocre. Mr. Plow also in now.

10:41 PM: The Man is in the game! He limps this hand, I make it $20 with KKT8 single suited, The Crypt Keeper makes it $35, it folds back to The Man and he makes it $50. That’s a cap, folks. We both call.

Oh, there’s a fourth player in also. I know that because I led out for $120 into $200 on the K32 two club flop. Crypt Keeper is my only customer.

Turn is the jack of diamonds, so now there are heaps of draws to dodge. I bet the pot and he calls.

River pairs the deuce. Praise the Gods. He obviously has some sort of draw here so I don’t think he’s ever calling. My only hope to get more money in the pot is to check and hope he bluffs at it. That’s probably unlikely – my hand seems pretty face up – but it’s worth a shot. He checks back and I win the pot.

11:23 PM: Slimer is gone already but the game is full again and there are four names on the list! I have a dentist appointment at 10 AM in Kitsap County and my alarm is set for 7:45 AM, so I’m not sure how late I will be staying tonight. I think I can push it until 1 AM without wrecking my entire day tomorrow.

12:10 AM: Alright, I’m tired so I’m playing my last orbit. I will post if anything exciting happens.

12:18 AM: Nothing to report.

Final Score: +$1060

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WSOPc @ The Bike – $400 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

December 4, 2018

My apologies. I’ve been a bit blog-lite this past week. I played a very truncated PLO session on Wednesday and then I ended up taking Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday completely off, as I’ve been busy starting the process of buying a new house and spending time with my wife before traveling to Los Angeles yesterday.

I did play nine hours at Fortune on Friday and I initially kept some notes thinking I might blog some hands later but I wound up having a pretty epic stretch of being card dead before losing with all my playable hands for most of the night. I was down between $800 and $1200 basically the whole session before heating up right as I was planning to leave. I somehow salvaged a +$42 day. I’ll take it.

That brings my win rate in the Fortune 20/40 game up to a respectable -$93/hour in 2018. To be fair though, my total 2018 volume in that game amounts to about 1.25 weeks of play – and I’ve had plenty of terrible weeks in my time, so it’s nothing to be discouraged about.

I arrived in L.A. around 3 PM and a friend from high school picked me up from LAX and we headed to The Bike to watch Monday Night Football and catch up with each other, so I didn’t get in a poker game until around 8:45 PM, which is a super late start for me.

I was debating what limit I wanted to play because I typically play down when I know I’m going to be playing a shorter session than usual and I wasn’t about to play until 5 AM. But I swallowed the “it’s all one long session” pill and sat in the 20/40 game.

Again, I was insanely card dead. I raised some hands on the button and 3-bet from the small blind against a button open a couple of times, but nearly 3.5 hours deep into my session I realized I had played about five hands total outside of those wider range spots.

My image was mega-nit. And yet, I couldn’t get a big blind defend to fold 84o on K74QK when I had AJ. Granted, I saved the third barrel on the river, but I didn’t think a board-pairing card was going to get a fold from any pairs he had and I beat all his missed draws anyway… but so went my session.

My only notable pot was capped 4-ways preflop with AKss and getting called down by two players on K94ccJc6. That was the highlight of my night.

I finished at -$369 after just over four hours of play.

But I ran into Sandman who was playing in the short-handed 40/80 game and after my feeder game died and I quit, we sat around and bullshitted for an absurd 2+ hours.

So today is the last flight of the $400 no limit hold’em event in the World Series of Poker Circuit series going on at The Bike this week. I honestly have no clue what any of the structure looks like. I’m just going to show up at 4 PM and go for it.

I will post stack updates here and some key pots. The HORSE tournament I’m playing tomorrow also doesn’t start until 4 PM, so if I don’t go super deep in the Monster Stack I will definitely be hopping in some cash games tonight.

4:12 PM: Fought through traffic and am a bit late. Particulars in a few. Comedian Norm MacDonald is in the field. I know this because the cage was gossiping about it as I was registering.

4:23 PM: 30k starting stacks with blinds starting at 25/50 and 30 minute levels. I haven’t looked at the actual blind structure, but I imagine it’s at least reasonably stair-stepped.

First hand at this table is 3-bet preflop and then 3-bet on a flop of J93hh with bets going in on turn and river on a final board of J93hh63h and the hands are KJo and QJo. 🤯

So very next hand I open 88 and get three callers. I bet 60% on 773cc flop and the guy with KJ the previous hand makes it 900. Yeah, I’m sure. After the display last hand I’m not inclined to do much folding here, so I call and end up calling down on a 773ccK2 runout and he showed me the KTo. Good job, dude.

He’s on my direct left so this could be annoying. But in my very small sample so far, he appears to be more likely to be a punter than an adept LAG crusher. TBD.

4:43 PM: Well, this is cool. Really fucking cool. Dude on my right makes it 250 at 50/100, I call with 77, possible punter calls, and so does big blind.

Flop is 753 rainbow and when it checks to me it seems bad not to bet but I just know the guy on my left is betting, so I check. He bets 800, the big calls, and now the PFR makes it 2200 with about 13k to start with on the flop. I make it 5600, the other two fold, and he jams. I snap.

He turns over 65 of spades. Turn 4. River 8.

I also lost with JJ to the speeder when he had AK, so I now have 11,025 left of my 30k starting stack.

No justice.

I still have 100+ bigs, so lots of play left, plus I’m willing to fire two bullets in this thing… at least… but wtf. I’ve been playing 30 minutes and I’ve already fumbled a massive punt attempt. So annoying.

4:56 PM: Raise to 300 and call in front of me. I call with QJ suited and five of us see the Q74 two tone flop. It checks to me and I bet 1000, the possible punter makes it 2500 on the button and it folds back to me. I stuff it in his face and he says, “here’s your double up” and calls with Q9 of clubs which somehow doesn’t beat me.

Back up to 22.7k.

I don’t think I want to bust at this table. It seems pretty good.

5:53 PM: Middle position player limps, I make it 850 at 100/200 with QQ, punter calls, folds to MP and he jams for 17k!

So this guy is on his second bullet and came to the table saying he lost set under set. I’ve already seen him get picked off once and complain that no one folds at our table. Then a short while later, one player limped in and he just jams 17k on the button.

So… this jam is super fishy. I debate whether it’s better to fold and not play such a high variance spot when I have so many spewers at my table, but I can’t justify it. I call.

He tables 99.

Board runs out 87294.

Awesome.

I’m down to like 5500 after that.

Two hands later, there’s a limp, a raise to 700 and I have AJo. Honestly, jamming 25+ bigs here is a little spew, but I’m not looking to grind out this short stack when I can just rebuy if I bust, so I stuff it in there and the punter behind me, with zero chips invested in this pot, calls it cold. Everyone else folds.

I say, “well, you can’t call me with worse” as I table my hand.

He responds, “No, you have me crushed” and tables KJ of clubs.

QQ7KQ.

Good fucking game.

Whew.

I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty steamed up right now. I have four hours to re-enter and I can sit down with 150 bigs for the next 45+ minutes, but I’m not really sure I want to.

It’s a damn shame I can’t automatically sit at the same table. That shit was a gold mine.

I’m going to walk around for about 20 minutes and see if I still want to murder someone.

6:30 PM: Well, I was wavering on re-entering or not and the deciding factor was this Monster Stack tournament is going to stretch into Thursday if you go super deep.

As most of you that follow my blog know, I’m not one to target no limit hold’em events. The main reason I came here this week was to play the HORSE and O8 tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday.

Even though the prize pool for the Monster Stack is going to be substantially larger, I’d rather spend my time playing a mixed event. Plus, I have a way better chance of winning a ring in HORSE.

So I’m going to play cash tonight.

I’m currently debating whether I want to play 20/40 at The Bike or check out the 25/50 at Hustler or possibly the 20/40 mixed game at Hollywood Park if that game is running.

7:42 PM: Sandman and I took an Uber to Hollywood Park Casino. I’m taking a seat in 30/60 Mix with a rotation of Archie, Badeucy, Badugi, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razzdeucy, and Badacey.

This is probably not going to be a good game to live blog, so I may not be doing any updates for the rest of the night. I shall see. I’m sitting down with $2500.

8:01 PM: Good start. 3-bet 7542x with a tri (three to a Badugi) in Baduecy and wind up with a pair and no Badugi after three draws. 👍🏻

8:37 PM: Oh my goodness. The dealer abuse going on in this game is absurd. These guys obviously have very little experience dealing these very non-standard games and they are getting lit up with every mistake. It’s pretty frustrating.

It’s pretty cool all you pricks know how to play these games, but uh, it might take a few tries for a dealer that’s never dealt a game to figure it out – especially when it goes beyond “deal four cards face down.”

But… I’m in Inglewood… so I’m just going to sit here quietly. 🤐

9:30 PM: Sandman sits in the game and one of the players says, “there’s two of you now,” which I think is a statement that we are doppelgängers?

I’m running pretty below average so far. I’m starting good, holding like 80% of a near nut hand and bricking out in the 5 card games.

I just had 652Ax with a tri in Badacey and got three callers pre-draw and all three opponents drew three cards each. So I obviously got zero pieces of that one.

10:24 PM: Here’s a bet I would have lost: Sandman is younger than me. Not just younger than me, but substantially younger than me. Like 7 years. I thought he was my age. Maybe older. The guy doesn’t look a day older than 43 (I’m 36).

10:59 PM: Sandman and I are in Southern California. He’s wearing an LA Dodgers hat and I’m wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers hat. We are both from Seattle. No one else has Dodgers gear on.

Go figure.

Someone brought up the fact we have the same hat on and this somehow led to me blurting out, “I hate the Dodgers,” while wearing their hat… in Inglewood, California.

Probably not my best idea. I might as well waltz into Fenway with a Boston jersey on and say, “Fuck the Red Sox!”

I mean… it’s not that bad, but still… not smart.

11:27 PM: Here’s an Archie hand and let me preface this by saying I have almost zero clue what proper strategy is in this game. You are dealt five cards and there are three draws. You need 6s or better to qualify for high and an 8 or better or qualify for low. It’s a split pot game and you want to scoop.

One player limps and Sandman raises. I have QQ44x on the button. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do here. It’s a decent high hand but it has little scooping potential.

I decide to call though.

They both draw two and I draw one. That seems promising. So I call when Sandman bets and so does the other guy.

Sandman bets again and I call even though I bricked. So does the other player.

I make queens full on the second draw and on this street they both check-call me and draw two again.

It checks to me again after the last draw and I obviously bet. The original limper calls and Sandman folds. I table my hand and it’s a scooper but he looks flustered and turns over… AAA?

Wait… what? Did he limp in with three aces? Was he drawing to something else and end up making three aces? He drew two on every street, but he never showed any aggression. I’m not going to pretend like I have a good grasp on this game yet, but all of that seems weird to me.

That was my largest pot of the night so far and I have no clue if it was standard or a punt attempt I got lucky on.

🤷🏻‍♂️

11:51 PM: Praise Jesus. 2-7 Triple Draw, I open with 7542x, the button 3-bets, small blind calls, and I cap.

SB takes two, I take one, and button takes two.

I pair the 7, but I fire again and we draw 2, 1 and 1.

I pair the 7 again. Ugh. I still bet and this time I decide to stand pat after the SB draws one. This is called a snow, or in laymen’s terms, a bluff. I’ve seen three 7s already which drastically reduces the strong hands they can make. So I’m standing pat and bluffing, hoping they brick out.

The button ends up drawing one also and somehow I get two folds when I bet. Phew!

Sometimes when you can’t ever make your draws at the nuts you just have to pretend like you already have it.

I don’t know if that’s the greatest snowing spot, trying to fade two one card draws, but it worked!

2:35 PM: I’m basically done writing for the night but this hand is worth mentioning.

We are playing Badugi. Sandman opens in front of me, I 3-bet with A73x, and the guy on my left calls 3-bets cold. Sandman caps it.

Sandman stands pat, I take one, and the guy on my left draws three. THREE!

That’s all I really wanted to say, but I guess the rest of the hand is pretty interesting.

Sandman bets after the draw, I call unimproved and so does the third player.

Pat. One. THREE!

Sandman leads again, I call unimproved, and the other guy raises! Sandman calls. Eh. Not sure what to do here, but I decide to give it up. I should probably call. When Sandman just calls I’m probably drawing live against him and the other dude has obviously proven to be clueless and spewy in this game.

They both stand pat and action goes check check on the last round. The guy on my left made a rough ten and Sandman wins with a 9.

But if I was taking a drink of something I think I would have spit it out all over the table when that guy called three bets cold and then drew three. Holy shit.

4:07 PM: Not sure if playing that mix was the best use of my time. I finished -$259 in 8 hours of playing games I’m not proficient in. It was fun though. I like playing something different once in a while, but if my goal is to maximize my earn while I’m here… eh. I’m better off playing LHE, PLO, or O8.

HORSE @ 3 PM tomorrow. I’m good at all those games. Let’s get a RANG.

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Marathon Monday: 10/20 with Button Straddles!

November 26, 2018

I’m a little unsure what to expect today. The long holiday weekend might be an action killer. There are currently 4 names signed up for the straddle game starting in an hour and one of those names might be “Monday @ noon.” Also, there are always a couple of flakes on the list at the start of the day, so this is looking really bad right now. On the bright side, there is an 8/16 game going already, so heading to Palace at noon won’t be a total waste of my time. Hopefully we can get the red chip game off the ground by 2 PM. My hopes are not high for noon.

Last week wasn’t much of a poker week for me. Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family and Saturday we celebrated with my wife’s side of the family. We didn’t play any poker on either of those days. Well, that’s not entirely true. There was an impromptu house game tournament on Saturday and I ended up chopping this 7-handed $20 buy-in heads up for +$30! Yesterday we had a medical appointment in Kirkland and then went to a Mayan Ruins themed Escape Room in Gig Harbor at 4 PM. We did not escape… and that brings my career record in escape rooms to 0 for 4. It’s pretty aggravating because I feel like I should be smart and clever enough to get out of these rooms on a regular basis and so far… none.

Friday I did play poker. If you read my last blog you know that I’m on fire and have a couple of cool streaks going. I have won eight sessions in a row and I have had a +$1000 upswing in eight sessions in a row. I managed to keep one of those streaks alive on Friday. I started my session off down $400 and I ended up peaking at over +$600. That qualifies as a +$1000 upswing in the session. Unfortunately, I followed that upswing with one of those nightmare sequences where it feels like I’m raising every other hand preflop but never winning a pot and never showing a hand. It’s the kind of thing that makes you look like a total maniac or someone on extra hard tilt. And yet, I’m just playing my normal game, while getting a very above average distribution of high quality starting hands and whiffing the flop or getting outdrawn with all of them. I didn’t even turn over a losing hand to save face. I just let the image ride. But I was tired, nearing reload status, and almost nine hours into my session, so I swallowed the loss and finished at -$282 and my winning streak ended at eight sessions.

I booked a trip to Los Angeles to play some events at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at The Bicycle Casino during the first few weeks of December. I’ll be flying to L.A. next Monday and playing the $400 no limit Hold’em Monster Stack on Tuesday, the $400 H.O.R.S.E. on Wednesday, and the $400 limit Omaha 8/Better on Thursday. I thought the limit events were all one day, but they are actually two day events and I have a flight booked for Friday afternoon, so I’m actually unsure about the O8 tournament. I might just end up playing cash games on Thursday.

Hopping in the shower and heading to Palace shortly.

12:28 PM: I wasn’t sure the game would start on time, so even though it’s kind of weak, I’m happy to say cards are in the air already.

Starting lineup: new regular, Flea, Chief Wiggum, Rain Man, non-regular, Radio Mike

12:50 PM: First big clash: Flea straddles, Wiggum calls, I 3-bet AQ from big, Frankenstein 4-bets from UTG, and four of us call.

Flop is Q42 rainbow and I’m looking to check-raise Frankenstein but he checks back. Fortunately the first cold caller bets, Flea raises, Wiggum cold calls, and now I 3-bet. The non-reg and Flea call, but Wiggum caps it. Ugh. His line absolutely reeks of a set, but the pot is so massive now that we have to see a turn card.

The turn is a jack and Wiggum fires into the field. I think it’s reasonable to fold here since I am drawing dead a lot, but there’s one caveat: Wiggum is capable of showing up with some junky suited hands. It is possible he has Q4 or Q2 suited here, but I suspect he might play those hands differently on the flop, leading out with them or 3-betting initially rather than trying to keep everyone else in the pot.

I decided to call anyway and so did the two others still in.

River is a king and now when he fires out again I have a pretty simple fold, even with the size of the pot, because he’s never bluffing here and there’s just no way he’s playing worse than AQ this way. Someone else calls and he shows a set of 4s.

1:15 PM: Game is full with a list!

1:17 PM: Radio Mike 3-bets from the small blind and it folds to me in middle position. I look down at AA and make it 4-bets in my mind but for some reason I only put $30 in the pot (a call). That allows three players to call behind me for 3-bets. Maybe 4-betting doesn’t change anything, but this is definitely not ideal.

Flop is K75 with two spades, Mike leads out, I raise, and Frankenstein 3-bets. That clears the rest of the field and if Frankenstein has me beat here I’m just going to lose an extra big bet on the turn because I’m not about to let him free card play me. I cap it and they both call.

Turn is a blank and I get two callers, which means I almost certainly have the best hand.

River is an 8, which completes some funky draws and two pair hands, but I bet anyway and Mike calls. Looks like Big Frank was definitely planning to take a free card on the turn.

2:25 PM: Bulletproof is in the game. First time I’ve actually been able to use that name while I’m blogging. For further explanation, check out the Blog Nicknames page I’ve started. I’ve only done a few of them but Bulletproof is one of them.

3:16 PM: Part-Time continues to run obnoxiously good against me when he’s drawing basically dead. I have A6 of spades on the KQ5 all spade flop and he beats me with KJ.

I was thinking we might not survive the midday lull but Part-Time and Santa Claus have made us 8-handed.

3:29 PM: False alarm on Santa Claus. He sat down with $1000 then disappeared and his chips were removed before he came back.

One player is racking up now and that could make us 6-handed and a 6-handed game is not likely to survive the lull.

I got an email from Red Box saying that all rentals are $0.16 today so I guess if this game breaks I’m going to rent like 4 movies and see how many I can watch tonight.

3:48 PM: False alarm again. Santa Claus is here. The player that racked up did leave but we picked up another walk in so… 8-handed!

4:38 PM: I have to come clean about something. I made what I think might be the second worst fold of my poker career today.

But since you’ll probably be curious, here’s #1 first:

This was many, many years ago in a 4/8 game. It’s a 3-handed pot and after going all the bets on the flop, raising the turn and still getting re-raised, I decided to fold AA on a board of K777. Not only did I fold it, but I made sure everyone saw the genius lay down I was making.

They both had a king.

I can’t remember feeling more embarrassed at a poker table… but this next hand, from earlier today, comes pretty close:

It gets capped at least 5-ways pre and capped 4-ways on the JT7 rainbow flop. I have JJ.

Flea and I have been pushing the action on the flop so when the turn is an 8, Flea bets, gets called twice, and then a new aggressor check-raises the field, it’s fairly obvious that person has a straight, right?

Right???

So when the river is a 5, I decide to fold instead of overcall and put one more bet in this 32.5 big bet pot. I can be wrong 97% of the time and calling is still profitable… so what the fuck happened? I pitched my hand and the dude check-raising the turn wins with a set of tens.

It’s a nearly unforgivable mistake, but it’s Marathon Monday and I can’t afford to let myself tilt or quit so early in the day.

But Jesus. I can’t believe that actually happened. And I can barely believe I’m sharing it.

Actually, upon further thought, I think this was my worst fold ever. The 4/8 pot was less than $200. This pot was over $600. And it cost me $20 to call and take it.

Ughhhhhhhh

4:50 PM: 30 bets go in the middle preflop and I get the QTT flop while holding the KT of diamonds and it gets capped 5-ways.

The turn is a queen and, determined not to repeat previous mistakes, I call down and lose to Q2.

I am down less than $100. I feel like I am down $1200.

4:56 PM: I am down $6 actually. I took two full laps around the building and I’m going to pretend like I just got here.

5:49 PM: Running better. I call a punter down on 7227A with A6 and donk river vs JJ.

Then I get the K88 flop heads up with 83cc in the straddle and my opponent caps flop with me and still bets the turn, allowing me raise again, so that was nice.

6:00 PM: Santa Claus makes it 3-bets from the small blind, I 4-bet with JJ, Bulletproof calls on the button and Santa caps it.

Flop is AK7 and Santa checks so I bet because he can literally have anything here. That gets Bulletproof out and Santa calls.

I’m planning to show down now but the turn is a jack and he donks out. I raise it and he 3-bets. Ugh. I call and as I do that he says, “partner, if you got this one beat, I guess it’s not my night.”

I feel like he’s being genuine and that means he doesn’t have the nuts, so when the river bricks, I feel pretty good putting in another raise. He might have aces or kings but he’s much more likely to have AK.

He calls and shows 77.

6:16 PM: What a day this is. So Palace has a dumb promotion called the Happy Hour Hand where they draw two cards and put them up on the board and if you win a showdown with those exact two cards, you win the jackpot money. This promo is in play from 7am – 11am and 12am – 2am, plus 3pm – 6pm on non-High Hand days.

So today there is no High Hands and the Happy Hour Hand was $600 if you win with the 4 of hearts and the 2 of clubs. I don’t know how long this has been going on… maybe 18 months? I’ve never even been dealt the Happy Hour Hand… as far as I know. Usually it’s some garbage like the 42o and it’s not even on my radar.

I’ve been getting some 42o today so it’s been more relevant than usual and this time when I looked down at the 42o it was $30 to me and I looked back and, by God, I had the magic hand. I called $30 cold.

Okay, not really sure why I’m doing that. There are all kinds of garbage suited hands that can make straight flushes (for a $400 jackpot) that I fold routinely, even for one bet, so why am I calling here? I think I just got wrapped in the moment of actually having the hand and knowing about it.

So we go to the flop and it’s something like QT6 with two hearts. I’m debating how I can ever possibly continue here, but then it checks around.

The turn is the 2 of hearts. Flea bets, he gets called, and I raise because I want the other players with nothing invested to fold their weak one card flush draws. Flea and the other player both call.

The river is a heart! We have life! I have to win a showdown and everyone has to show their hands so I let them show in turn and the second player has a set of tens… with a heart in his hand. Dammit.

I told Joker and Radio Mike that I had the Happy Hour Hand and that’s when the topic of the current time is brought up. It’s 6:15. The promo ended at 6, so I just torched $70 with the 42o for absolutely no reason.

I guess that’s my fault somehow? The times are clearly posted, but so is the damn hand. If I look back and the hand is taken down, I just fold and move on with my life. I’m barely ever thinking about this promo, so I’m not paying attention to what time it is. I turn around, see I have the hand, and play it. I’m supposed to turn around and check the board and then check what time it is, all while letting no one know I have the bonus hand?

Fuck that and fuck this promotion.

I’m not really mad but it is a bit annoying that they didn’t take the hand down at 6.

6:39 PM: It’s not all that bad though. Just look at this hat The Joker is wearing:

If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.

7:20 PM: Tormund chiming in from the sidelines:

8:41 PM: Game is super loose and juiced right now, with players calling $40 cold with monsters like 43o and A5o but showing down winners.

I got stuck in a seriously bloated pot where I had to call three bets cold on the turn with the nut flush draw… and bricked.

Then there was this gem: it’s raised and multi-way to me in button with 96o and I defend the straddle.

Flop is 976 with two hearts and one diamond. Flea is the PFR and leads out, I raise, Radio Mike cold calls, Flea raises back, and I cap it.

Turn is the 5 of diamonds and we both call again.

River is the 8 of hearts. It checks to me. I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’m not about to bluff at this and get scooped somehow so I check back.

Radio Mike has 96 of spades. Flea has A7 of diamonds. We all chop.

Sometimes you just have to get 4-bets in 3-ways with the A7dd on 976hh. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Joker, Radio Mike, and I are all stuck in this game somehow right now.

10:06 PM: Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and keep calling. I’m in the straddle with 87o and it’s 5-bets to me, so obviously I put in another $30.

Flop is T93 with two diamonds and I have to call a raise cold without a diamond in my hand.

Flea donked into Joker on the flop and donks again when the 8 of diamonds turns. Joker just calls and I call also. So does a 4th player.

That player donks on the 6 of club river and now Flea and Joker both fold, so I call and I LOVE my hand now. He immediately says, “you’re good” and I turn my straight over for the full pot.

1:08 AM: Almost forgot to post a wrap up. Not much going on of note the last few hours, for me at least. I dropped down to -$400 but recovered and finished with a…

Final Score: +$382

Not bad considering I folded the winner in a $600 pot when I was already down almost $500. That kind of thing can derail an entire session and I kept it together for a full 12+ hours.

I rented three movies on my way home so I guess that’s my plan for tomorrow. I’ll be back in action Wednesday and Thursday for some pot limit omaha.

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Marathon Monday: The Santa Claus Game – 10/20 with Button Straddles!

November 19, 2018

But is it really The Santa Claus Game? Santa didn’t even come down the chimney last week. He left all the kids disappointed and lots of cookies and milk went untouched. Actually, in the four weeks The Santa Claus Game has been running, I believe Santa has played less than 8 hours total. I’ve played 40. This game is supposed to be hosted at the North Pole, not Gotham City. I dunno. Can I really justify naming a game after someone that has played in it less than 20% of the time it has been running? I like the name. It has a nice, jolly ring to it. I don’t like that after badgering the staff to make this game happen, it’s not a priority for Santa Claus to play in it. Shoot, it hardly seems like it’s even on his radar. I realize that people have day jobs and lives outside of the poker room, but come on dude.

I mentioned in my post on Saturday that I would be making a trip to Fortune for some 20/40 LHE action, hoping to put a dent in my rather large red number for the year.

It was a very bittersweet session. At one point, I had activated pure God Mode. I was crushing, winning every critical pot and running absolutely pure for hours.

Here’s an example:

I’m at the zenith of my run good, having just shown down AA twice in monster pots in a very short amount of time, coolering KK in one of those hands, when I open with 65dd from the cutoff, Sgt. Rock 3-bets me from the button – which is going to happen very seldom – and a loose player I have all steamed up already calls from one of the blinds.

The flop is 963 with two clubs and the blind donks right out. I think he’s capable of leading with draws and weak pairs here and while Sgt. Rock can certainly have overpairs, I raise this flop bet because I want him to fold his unpaired overcards if he whiffed the flop and play this pot heads up in position against the steamer. Unfortunately, Sgt Rock 3-bets and we both call.

The turn is a non-club 2, a very good continuing card for my hand as I now have straight outs in addition to my trip and two pair outs. Both of us check-call Sgt. Rock again.

The river is the 5 of clubs. Not exactly the card I wanted to drill as it completes the flush and puts four to a straight on the board. However, when the blind checks, I expect to have the best hand most of the time. There’s a chance he would check a better two pair because straights and flushes got there, but if that’s the case, I’m never going to get raised by him. He has to lead flushes in this spot and I suspect he would probably bet straights too. It’s slightly thin, but with the check in front of me, I think I have a value bet here. I’m not worried about Sgt. Rock. He never has me beat unless he has exactly 99 or happened to be emptying the clip with a big flush draw. Again, he’s never raising his sets on the river and if he does raise (with a flush), I have a very easy fold. If the steamer check-raises, I’m calling though. Sgt. Rock folds to my bet and the blind starts grumbling about how I “bingo every hand” like I haven’t been showing down nothing but premium holdings up until this point… and then he pays me off with a hand that was worse than what Sgt. Rock folded.

At that point, I had no less than five players on full-blown, throwing-their-cards-in-anger tilt. It was beautiful.

Unfortunately, the composition of my table changed and then the game also changed. I think I was up over $3000 at my high point. But then the whole table was clamoring for an automatic straddle game.

As you can see by today’s upcoming session, I’m not opposed to an auto-straddle game. However, being up over $3000, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to drastically increase my variance by posting a $40 straddle every orbit… a straddle that I’m going to defend liberally before the flop and that is going to put me in a lot of tricky, priced-in spots after the flop. Also, I’m going to be attacking other people’s straddles aggressively with hands I might fold preflop in other situations. For instance, if it is folded to me in middle position, I am highly incentivized to 3-bet a hand like A9o when I would fold the same hand when it’s folded to me in the same position in an unopened pot. But with the extra $40 out there and leverage to get the big blind out by making them have to call an extra $40 (instead of the normal $20), the situation becomes a lot more attractive. So you defend liberally and attack wider. I still think I have an edge in straddle games, but edge or not, the variance is drastically increased and things can get really ugly really fast.

For a while, the straddle game wasn’t affecting my session much, but heading down the stretch things started to go awry and I ended up losing somewhere around three racks back. Pretty annoying because when the game was playing normally, I was approaching a record win at Fortune. My personal best win at that location is +$3275 and if I wasn’t past that at some point Saturday, I was definitely within sniffing distance.

Alas, I finished the day at +$1675, which is a solid and somewhat satisfying dent in my deficit, but ultimately, a rather disappointing final result.

I had a miserable day of online poker yesterday, losing over $600, which is roughly 25% of what used to be my bankroll on Global Poker. Nothing like putting significant time into studying a game and then posting your worst results ever. I definitely had some c-game spots, but no one could accuse me of running good. I was going to post some of the key hands I played, but it’s already 11:16, I haven’t showered yet, and I need to be at Palace by noon, so I have to get moving. I’ve been playing mostly PLO 100, but after getting blasted yesterday, I think I might have to drop down to PLO 50 until I build back up again. I’m not too worried about playing “above my (online) bankroll” but I don’t have the option to reload on Global so I can’t be totally reckless.

Hopping in the shower. Publishing at noon. After a very rough game start last week, there are currently a very promising 11 names on the list for today.

12:14 PM: Pretty sexy starting lineup: Flea, Chief Wiggum, Part-Time, SUPER DAVE, Radio Mike, random, same Kitsap guy from last week

I’m playing 20/40 Overs with Flea, Wiggum, and Part-Time, so I bought in for twice as much as I normally do.

12:30 PM: Decent start so far. I brick flush draw in 3-bet multi-way pot and pick off Flea’s river bluff with AJ high. Then I 3-bet ATo and let Wiggum barrel off with A3 on A9646.

I ran out of time this morning, but I was going to mention that I was getting berated by one of the PLO 50 regs on Global Poker yesterday. Granted, he saw all the c-game I mentioned before, so I can’t blame him too much, but the hand that set him off is pretty perplexing.

I saved the hand history on my computer at home, but I don’t have it on my phone and the exact details are going to escape.

The gist is that I opened with a double suited KJxx hand, they 3-bet on the button, one of the blinds called, and I decided to call also.

The flop was KJx with two diamonds, so I had top two on a wet board. The blind led out for less than half pot and my stack-to-pot was small, so I had no choice but to get it all in here (I think), so I jammed, and the button tanked forever before calling and the blind also called. The button had KK and the blind had the nut flush draw and binked it.

Then the button spent the next 15 minutes berating me for my flop play. I’m no expert, but I don’t know what choice I have here in a 3-bet pot. I have top two, so sets of kings and jacks are unlikely. The button is obviously far more likely to have AAxx here than the hands that have me drawing dead, but what do I know.

NOTHING. I know nothing, according to that player.

He even made a comment saying something like “pokerbydarkknight.com” and I was super tempted to drop my actual blog link.

Granted I don’t know anything about this player either, but it’s always amusing to me when someone sums up your entire poker ability because of one hand or one session. This dude has no idea what kind of player I am or what I’ve accomplished. Like I said, I don’t know anything about this person either, but someone playing regularly at the top end of micro-stakes talking down to me is hilarious.

Just had button straddle with 82cc in a multi-way pot. Flop is 753, all clubs. Wiggum leads at it, there’s a caller, I raise, Wiggum 3s, and I’m sensing lots of strength, so when the caller drops out, I call also and I’m planning to call down but the river is another club and he still fires. Well, I already thought he might have flopped a flush, but if he didn’t, he sure has me beat now. I fold and he shows JTcc.

1:06 PM: SUPER DAVE was MIA for the first 45 minutes of the game and is already felted and gone. I think he contributed less than $500 today.

There is some tatted up random that looks like a punter in the game and the first hand I see from him, he calls $30 cold from middle position and then bets turn and river on AT5QQ after the flop checks through. I check-called down with KK after 3-betting pre from the big blind and getting an ace high flop against a field and he showed me the ole T3 suited.

Punter confirmed.

2:55 PM: Break from writing as I ate breakfast and spoke to a home loan agent.

Sick recent hand: new player in the game (that I just paid $400+ to for OFC last week) raises from early position, I 4-bet TT, straddle and a blind call, and he caps it at 5-bets.

Flop is pretty decent: T55 with two clubs. I get it capped with help from the PFR and the big blind tags along also, which is cool because I have him marked for a 5 and maybe he’ll overplay it on the turn.

That’s where things get weird: The turn is a small card and the PFR still bets. Wow. I raise it, the blind calls it cold, and the PFR 3-bets it. Holy shit. I cap it and the blind folds. That’s actually bad. I thought he had a 5 and I highly doubt he’s capable of folding one. It’s bad because it drastically increases the chances that the PFR actually has quad 5s. Yeah, there’s only one combo of 55, but he’s taking an absurdly aggressive line here with any other holding.

The river is a king and I am quite relieved to see him check and then just call.

He had AA, which is a bit crazy.

The $400+ I gave him last week feels a whole lot less painful now.

4:35 PM: Sometimes there aren’t a lot of interesting situations. I’m the straddle with T5o and a middle position player raises and I’m the only caller.

He leads out on the 555 flop and I raise him because me raising any hand here is absolutely ludicrous and I’m hoping it will lead to unwarranted action.

Unfortunately he just calls and then check-folds on a 9 turn, which is equally ludicrous.

Part-Time is gone and we have gained Blackjack and a certified lunatic (with an Overs button!).

4:58 PM: Oh yay! Good blog content. I open early with 88 and Wiggum 4-bets it and four of us see the flop.

I check-raise on 983 rainbow, the Kitsap player calls it cold, Wiggum 3s and I cap it.

The turn is a king and now things get interesting. I lead, the Kitsap guy goes all in for $40, and Wiggum cold 3-bets it. What the heck? Limit is a fast-paced game where decisions should be pretty instantaneous, but this one put me in the tank. I came out of it with a call and then I check-called river also.

Wiggum had KK. The other guy had 33.

What a sick cooler hand.

5:08 PM: It’s Santa Claus time! He sits down and takes a hand under the gun and makes it 3-bets without looking.

Merry Christmas!

6:19 PM: Running salty all the sudden.

First, I have KQ in the straddle in a 3-bet pot vs KJ on K747J.

Then I have KQ in another 3-bet pot vs K8 on K96x8, all while a maniac is in total punt mode, bet-capping the flop and betting the turn with J9 out of position. Meanwhile, Radio Mike is showing up with K8 suited under the gun here for some reason.

Then I have Q8 suited in the straddle and bet a T84 rainbow flop and lose to K5. It’s the same maniac that had the J9 in the previous hand. So he spikes his miracle card and just check-calls and then lets me check back the river and show down for free.

It’s funny how some people are completely unaware of their image and how to exploit it. In one hand, he’s driving the action with middle pair on a wet board out of position against three opponents. And in the other hand, he’s turning a top pair that is totally unconnected from anything on the flop and… check-calls?

🤯

7:00 PM: Groan. I have T9dd in the small blind and call $20 first to act. The pot gets 3-bet and six or seven of us see the flop.

Someone bets the KJ7 one diamond flop, maniac raises, I cold call, so do Joker and Blackjack.

Five of us to the queen of diamond turn. I decide to check-raise the maniac, even though it’s tempting to lead right out and let everyone call a bet. But this pot is already massive and I want to charge anyone with a naked ace, ten, or 9. So I check-raise and Blackjack makes it $50, which allows me to cap it and charge the maniac in a side pot.

The river is a 9. I bet and the maniac folds and I have to split this monster pot with Blackjack’s T7.

Come. On. Fucking Cougs.

8:21 PM: I defend big blind with 76o, it gets raised and goes multi-way.

Flop is 742 with two diamonds. PFR bets, maniac raises, I’m not folding yet, and it winds up getting capped.

So when the turn is the 2 of diamonds, bringing in the flush and killing my two pair outs, I’m prepared to check-fold but it ends up checking around somehow.

That gives me a free 7 on the river with a hand I was going to fold and I end up winning this pot.

Joker, Radio Mike, and myself have created a challenge. It might already be a thing in poker, but it’s a new thing amongst us.

Here it is: it’s the Coast-to-Coast Challenge. This means sitting down in the game and never being stuck. You have to win the first time you put chips in a pot and you can never be stuck from that point on.

Since we’ve all made ourselves aware of The Challenge, none of us (and no one else that we’ve noticed) have pulled it off. I’ve definitely done it. I mean I have to have, right? I’ve played like 25,000 hours of live poker in my life. One time I posted my big blind on the first hand I got and won a $2200 Royal Flush jackpot. I think that counts? But it’s the only time I’m certain of.

Anyways, Joker was over two hours deep in his session and was drawing live on completing The Challenge when this hand came up.

I 3-bet some cold callers with KK, Joker defends his straddle, and the other guys call also.

Flop is TT8 and I bet, Joker raises, there’s a cold call, and I just call.

Turn is a king and I check-raise after Joker bets and the other guy calls. Joker calls but the third player drops out.

River is an ace and he calls my bet with a ten.

That confrontation put Joker in the Danger Zone and he went negative for the day not much later.

Not today, buddy.

8:55 PM: I 4-bet JTcc pre from middle position and I’m hoping it gets capped because there are like seven players in the pot. It does get capped.

Flop is 654 with two clubs and it gets capped again. I don’t think anyone folds.

The turn is a 2 and Santa Claus is the only bettor, but there is still no folding.

The river is the 3 of clubs and one of the blinds donks out. There are calls, I raise it, there might be another call, and the original bettor 3-bets it. Brutal. We all call and he tries to flip his hand over and the only card that lands face up is the 6 of diamonds. Well, that’s just beautiful. Send this monster my way. He had 76 and didn’t see the flush.

I am approaching crushing levels today.

10:39 PM: Nothing too exciting lately. I won another massive pot with a rivered flush.

There was this one: there’s a call, I raise with A9ss and then triple barrel against a straight-forward player on A65ccAcT and get check-raised on the river. So I folded. She showed me the ten of clubs when the whole table was begging her to show a bluff.

11:22 PM: Radio Mike takes off after a wimpy 11+ hour session and is replaced by Rosanne, which is pretty awesome.

What’s not awesome is when she shows me K7dd after calling $30 cold from the cutoff on her first hand dealt in on a final board of AQJTx. I had AA. I even had a pivot on the flop when a blind donked but she called two bets cold like a champ and instabinks.

11:52 PM: My dreams of total domination today have been expunged.

First my A6cc runs into the mighty 53 on a 65264 runout.

Then I have AQss in a 5-bet pot and after the 654 flop gets checked multi-way I have a chance to isolate Rosanne when she donks the ace turn but she responds with a 3-bet and then owns me with a value bet on the 8 river with AK.

Eek!

Godzilla in the game now.

1:00 AM: This game is insanely juiced right now. I just passed 13 hours of play and I don’t see how I can even consider leaving. The action is so crazy I decided to break out the old Donkey Tracker.

After sliding back a bit, I just had another heater and I might be peaking again.

I am done blogging for the night. My energy level is super low and I need to use all of it to keep my head in the game.

I will post a final score when I’m done and maybe the stats of these maniacs.

3:45 AM: Just wrapped up a 15.75 hour session and I am hurting but the game was so absurd.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. This is Joker vs random drunk maniac.

Joker has T9 and gets the 876 flop capped. Then they cap it on the 9 turn. And since you can never be too careful, they cap it again on a king river. His opponent has K7. Joker was just reliving this hand as we were cashing out and said he can’t think of another time where he capped every street after the flop.

A sick hand from me: we are short-handed at this point but the game is super loose. The drunk maniac is in the straddle and I call with JTdd from the small blind. That lets the rest of the field come in for two bets before the imbibed guy raises it and I 4-bet and get it capped.

Flop is AQ8 with one diamond and I go ahead and play my hand like it’s the nuts because, shit, it might be. I have two opponents and there’s plenty of doubt about whether either of them have an ace or a queen. All my cards might be live. We cap it again.

Turn is the 9 of diamonds. No waiting. With a straight flush draw as an added bonus. They both call again.

River is the king of diamonds. We have hit gin. Straight flush. Not only that, but the big blind makes a flush also with 85dd and we get three bets from him. Plus a $400 jackpot.

Two calls in front of me, I jack up A9ss in the straddle.

Flop is A93 and I get check-raised by the small blind and Rosanne cold calls. I just call, planning to raise the turn, but…

…after a 5 hits, the blind leads and Rosanne raises. I make it 3-bets and they both call.

River is a ten and Rosanne check-raises me! So nasty. I don’t know what it is, but this is enough aggressive action that I have to concede I might be beat. I call and so does the other guy. She has AT. He had A5.

FINAL SCORE: +$2320

Marathon Monday indeed. Time to go die in my bed.

Bonus: I stopped using the Donkey Tracker when the game started to deteriorate and got short-handed, but here are some player stats from when I was doing it:

Rosanne 98% VPIP, 10% PFR

Random 72% VPIP, 17% PFR

Random 2 78% VPIP, 32% PFR

Joker 53% VPIP, 26% PFR

For what it’s worth, if the straddle isn’t raised and the button checks, that’s not considered Voluntarily Put $ In Pot, so I’m pretty sure that’s how Rosanne dipped below the Holy Grail of 100% VPIP.

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Marathon Monday – The Santa Claus Game: $10/$20 with automatic button straddles!

November 12, 2018

12:14 PM: Rough game start here: we are 5-handed with Frankenstein propping the game like a true sicko. When I was flooring here I didn’t even prop 8/16 games because it was too volatile and expensive for such short sessions. So… good on you, Big Frank! I hope he doesn’t get barbecued… not saying he’s at a disadvantage, but these things happen and I know from experience that is substantially more irritating when you are on the clock and have to give up your seat when the game fills.

Starting lineup: Frankenstein, a Kitsap County regular, dude that has been coming in recently, and Part-Time.

There were three other players that were signed up for the game but are still playing 8/16 because they “don’t want to play short-handed.” Uh, okay. If you idiots sat down we’d be 8-handed and the game would be even likelier to fill up and create a list.

12:32 PM: So… I had AA three times in the first 15 minutes of this 5-handed game. Here is how each hand played out:

#1 – I 3-bet AA, Kitsap guy 4-bets the straddle and I call. I check-call 975 flop and check-raise 9 turn and bet blank river to cooler his TT.

#2 – I 3-bet AA and all four opponents call. Flop is TT6 rainbow and they all call again. Turn is a queen and I’m very concerned about being beat here, but I want to show my hand down, so I check to see what happens and the button straddler bets. I’m the only call, so I check-call 8 river and lose to T4o.

#3 – I 3-bet AA and there are a couple callers, including Part-Time. Flop is A32 with two clubs, I bet and PT calls. Turn is an 8 and I expect Part-Time to bet way more often here than is reasonable, especially since I have the deck crippled. So I check-raise and we end up capping the turn. I swear if this dude shows me 54… River is the king of clubs, so the flush gets there, but my hand is worth at least one more bet and I still get raised. Fuck. Really? Considering the events of last week’s PLO game, I just might blow a gasket if I lose this pot to fucking Part-Time.

So I call and he rolls his hand super confidently and the first card I see is the 8 of clubs and I assume that I lost to a flush and I actually have to get out of my seat and look at his hand to see that he has a set of 8s. I win! And, even though I was super irritated with Part-Time’s invincibility against me last week, I still apologized for the mini-slow roll.

1:02 PM: We are now 7-handed and The Joker is in the game. And after all the credit I gave Frankenstein in my initial write up, I have now learned that he is actually off the clock. So I’m less impressed, but it’s still cool that he’s playing.

I’ve mentioned my friend Daniel O in my blog before. We traveled to Chinook Winds together last year and I see him at various local tournaments. He has started his own poker blog. He’s a part-time player that focuses on no limit hold’em, both tournaments and cash games.

He has a background as a professional writer and used to cover the World Series of Poker (and other series) for PokerNews, so his writing style is extremely articulate and insightful.

For someone that plays recreational hours and works a full-time job, his understanding of no limit concepts is impressive and I feel like reading his thought process has improved my own game.

I highly recommend checking his blog out:

Daniel’s Poker Shenanigans

1:24 PM: One more hand from earlier in the day:

I defend 63 suited and three of us see a flop of T63 rainbow. I lead out, Kitsap dude calls, button raises, I 3-bet, and the button calls, with Kitsap guy coming along.

Edit: button capped the flop

Turn is a king and I’m planning to check-raise the button here, but it inexplicably checks through.

I’m planning to bet for value on most rivers, but I’m wary of the 54 straight draw, so I’ll probably check-call 7s and 2s here. However, the river crushes my hand anyway and pairs the king. So I check, the Kitsap player bets and gets called by the button (weird), I fold face up to show how unlucky I got and then TT gets tabled!

Wow! What an escape!

1:50 PM: Forgot to mention how my sessions over the weekend went.

I ended up +$609 in the 20/40 O8 game at Muckleshoot on Saturday in 9 hours of play. It was bittersweet. On one hand, I booked a win and that was cool. On the other hand I was up at least $1800 at one point so the final result was super disappointing.

It’s funny how one hand can stick out as a turning point, but I was running pretty pure until this one came up and steadily dripped from that point on… a total momentum killer.

I had AQ43 double suited in a kill pot that I raised and got multi-way action on.

The flop was AQ2 rainbow… and I only got one caller, but he found a way to scoop me with 9765.

What?

The flop call is pretty mind-boggling. I usually refer to this player as a nit, so… I don’t know what’s going on here. He has zero scoop potential and his low draw is very suspect. He’s basically praying for half the pot.

He actually has a surprising amount of equity against my specific hand:

But when you consider the object of the game is to scoop the whole pot and you see that I scoop 605 times compared to his 28, or 95.5% of the total scoops, maybe it is as disgusting as I thought it was.

I wasn’t planning to play poker last night, but one of my best long-time friends messaged me and inquired if I wanted to play. He never plays poker, so even though I really wanted to take the night off, I agreed to meet up.

That led to me playing the longest 4/8 session that I’ve played in almost 18 months… back when I took a “day off” with my wife during the 2017 WSOP and we played a super casual 12+ hour marathon session with white chips.

So how did my 6.5 hours of of 4/8 action go? I finished +$897! A perfect time to run hot. I played a shit ton of hours of 4/8 before early 2015. I mean thousands and thousands of hours. Maybe 15,000 hours. It’s gross, I know. So a $900 win is far from the best I’ve ever done, but it’s big enough that I did some research to see when the last time I posted a 4/8 win like that was.

I couldn’t find it. I lost my phone in the Yakima River in July of 2014 and lost all the poker data I had logged from summer of 2011 to that point because I didn’t have it saved in any sort of cloud.

I do have spreadsheets with my cash game results dating back to January 2013 and I had to go all the way back to May 31st, 2013 to find a likely $900+ win in what was probably a 4/8 game. It’s just listed in my “cash games” section, but since it was a Friday night in 2013, there’s about a 97% chance I was playing 4/8 LHE.

So maybe my biggest white chip win in 5.5+ years.

Sick!

3:01 PM: We picked up Radio Mike to make us 6-handed but we’ve had no traffic and this game has almost no chance to survive the typical lull that occurs from 3pm to 6pm.

I have an invite to a 5/10 mix game at 7pm and I was on the fence about it, but now it’s looking like I’m at about 95%.

4:12 PM: Hard to post hands while we are short-handed, but here’s one:

I get 5-bets in 6-ways with two red kings. Flop is 753 with two spades. I bet, Joker raises – as the PFR 4-bettor so he has all the big pairs in his range – and Radio Mike calls two cold. I 3-bet and they both call. I’m quite happy to reduce the field by 50% and I know I have Joker beat, so I’m liking this situation.

The turn is the 8 of spades, which is a really good card for Radio Mike’s range. I very reluctantly check when it’s my action and Joker checks behind.

The river pairs the 8 and Radio Mike leads out. I would be shocked if he’s ever bluffing here but I didn’t check back the turn to fold the river, so I call, Joker folds, and Mike tables A2 of spades.

I know I won with aces a couple times earlier and I just flopped a set of kings and got max flop action and two more big bets from Frankenstein on K32AT, but my big hands in straddle games have been killing me. I’ve booked two small losses and one huge loss in three tries – and I’m stuck about $350 right now – and it’s largely because I can’t string together these key pots with my big hands. It feels like a lot of win one and then lose three going on.

It’s pretty frustrating.

4:53 PM: Building back up so I get the standard, momentum-killing 4-bet pot with QQ and the T64A2 runout vs AJ.

Interesting development: Twinkie just made us 6-handed, sitting down with $900. Since he’s the host of the mix game I’m invited to tonight, I’m not sure what to make of it. Granted, he’s not actually sitting down. His chips are just sitting there and he’s MIA, but… I wonder. 🤔

5:43 PM: Twinkie is officially in the game, but I do think he’s still planning on hosting. This game has never been full and isn’t particularly great right now so I’m not committed to staying here. Playing some different variants sounds a lot more fun.

Interesting hand: I defend with 98o, Joker 3-bets and five of us see the QJ3 two club flop. Joker checks to the button and he bets, so I’m getting around 16 to 1 to call with my gutshot… but my gutshot also makes AK and K9 a straight, so it’s pretty sketch. I also have the 9 of clubs in my hand for some backdoor flush possibilities. It’s a clear call but I am wary of the dangers. Joker also calls.

Turn does give me the straight with a ten and I opt to check-raise the button and am very happy to see Joker fold. Button calls.

River is an ace giving any king a better straight. I think I’m okay bet-folding this spot. I’m already repping a straight on the turn and it’s highly likely my straight has a king in it, so it would be a really sick spot for him to bluff-raise the river. I think he has to always have it if that happens. So I fire a value bet and he calls and shows the set of 3s I sucked out on and I win the pot.

6:11 PM: Fun/annoying spot vs Radio Mike. I 3-bet with TT and pick up two callers, including Mike on the button in the straddle.

Flop is K94 with two diamonds and I bet and call when Mike raises me and we go heads up to an ace turn.

This time we both check.

River is a blank and I’m pretty sure he has a king and I’m pretty sure he will call one bet with it, so I check it over and now he bets. Here comes some fancy play syndrome: I think if I check-raise here he might fold a king, thinking that I whiffed my turn raise and now I’m unleashing the trap. It’s not an unheard of line from me and Radio Mike is more prone to trying to make good folds than some people so I go ahead and pull the trigger. He starts tanking and nodding is head while looking at me, so I flash a big smile back that says, “yep, that just happened.”

And he folds… then asks to see the bluff and I go ahead and oblige him.

6:23 PM: Twinkie just left but we picked up four players and now have a full game for the first time all day. And… His Royal Airness is on the list as a call in. Nope. We aren’t going anywhere.

6:41 PM – JOKER TAKES A WALK

I’m pretty sure I have the preflop details right but it is bewildering if I do. Joker 3-bets from SB, there are three callers, and I 4-bet with KT of spades from the cutoff and Joker 5-bet caps it, so six of us have put in $50 preflop.

The flop is AQQ with one spade. Joker leads, seat 8 raises, Radio Mike and seat 2 cold call and it’s on me. I could be drawing dead here, but the pot is so massive that I’m just going to take my chances… plus I do have a backdoor Royal Draw that I’m going to hit once every ten years or so. I call and five us head to the turn.

It’s the king of clubs. A pretty damn good card for me. This time it checks to s2 and he bets and we all call.

The river is a blank and now s8 bets when Joker checks.

So… Joker 3-bet and 5-bet pre and then bet the flop and called a raise. Seat 8 called 3-bets pre, raised the flop, check-called the turn, and now he’s donking on a total blank on the river.

But wait! Radio Mike calls and now seat 2 jacks it up, prompting folds from me and Joker (who flashes Q8 – lol what?). Seat 8 calls, Mike folds, and seat 2 tables… AJ! Then seat 8 tables QJ to win the pot.

The very next hand I have J9 of clubs and check-call Joker on flop and turn before check-raising river on QTxx8 – the second time I’ve check-raised him on the river and shown him J9 suited in a very short amount of time…

That prompted him to fire his cards into the muck like a 53 mph fastball and sprint out the front doors.

We didn’t see him again for 20 minutes.

It was during that time that I realized the mega punty raise from the AJ on the river of the previous hand actually cost him half of that massive pot. At the time, I saw QJ and assumed he folded a loser, but then I remembered the kickers didn’t play.

Yikes. No wonder he’s pissed.

But seriously… what’s up with that Q8 5-bet?

7:09 PM: Sick hand. Bloated pot pre. I’m out of position against four players that all look like they are punting in a 5-bet pot. So I check-call with AK on 943 and there are three of us to the king turn. I bet out at the exact same time as the player behind me but it ends up staying at one bet and it is still 3-handed. River pairs the king and I bet and the aggressor starts complaining like I just sucked out. I assume he was punting with 43 or something (he just showed me 73ss in a 5-bet pot) but turns out… he had aces!

Eek!

7:29 PM: His Airness is in the game and the Bravo app has attracted Snowflake to the building.

8:38 PM: Snowflake is in the game now and as he sits down he’s on the phone talking about he can outshoot Michael Jordan from the free throw line.

Of course I’m not letting him get away with that nonsense so I call him out and he claims MJ didn’t even shoot 80% from the line and I call bullshit on that and somehow I end up losing $5 because I took the over on 84%. Wait, what? How did we go from 80% to 84%? Pretty dumb, but I still liked my side and MJ shot 83.5%.

Come on.

8:58 PM – NICKNAME CHANGE ALERT

Due to recent events and popular demand, I am forever changing Snowflake’s nickname on my blog to Free Throw.

It seems fair. I’ve played maybe 30 hours with him lifetime and I think he’s talked about how good he is at shooting free throws for 25 of those hours.

10:21 PM: This game has been off the chains for hours now but most of the hands I’ve played have been pretty straight forward. Here’s one that had potential to get ugly:

I’m the straddle with 52o and it’s $40 back to me, I defend, and it gets 5-bet like four or five ways.

Flop is 532 rainbow and it gets capped again without me putting in a bet or a raise.

Turn is an ace and I’m calling one bet here but someone leads out and His Airness blows me out.

The river pairs the ace to crush my hand anyway, but His Airness has 64o for the flopped nuts!

It would have been interesting if the turn was a blank. If there was action in front of me, I am just calling down, but if it checked to His Airness and he bet… well, I’m raising his ass… so… disaster averted!

11:05 PM: Free Throw defends small blind, I call with JThh, there are multiple callers, His Airness raises from the straddle, I 4-bet and we get 5-bets in a billion ways. I am pleased.

Flop is K94 with one heart and I have to check-call three bets cold to stay in this monster. The 3-bet comes from Free Throw in the small blind and that winds up being the last aggressive action on the flop…

…so when I drill the fucking queen on the turn and Free Throw checks I take the betting lead. There are some calls and His Airness jacks it up. I 3-bet and get two callers. The board is total rainbow so I’m only vulnerable to board pairs.

It’s a clean 5! I bet and cooler His Airness’ pocket nines for a massive pot.

I’ve won a series of pots since then and have momentum in a straddle game for the first time in four straddle sessions.

Also, that JT vs 99 hand sent His Airness out the door, which is pretty unfortunate. We still have a full game but there is no list now.

12:33 AM: I am done blogging for the night. I definitely seem to lose writing steam around ten hours into my sessions.

We are currently 7-handed with Joker, Free Throw, and some randoms.

Not sure how much longer I will play. I am seeing Overlord at 11am tomorrow, plus I’d like to be otherwise productive… like making my wife a dinner and, for goodness sake, going to the damn gym.

I will post a final score when I cash out.

2:35 AM – Final Score: +$1400

Edit: In the hand at 1:24 PM, the button capped the flop, which is why I tried to check-raise the turn and was surprised it checked through.