Posts Tagged ‘The bicycle casino’

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A Trip to Hell and Back

February 6, 2019

My last post was on Saturday when I played the no limit HORSE tournament and I had mentioned that I was considering going to Vegas for Super Bowl Sunday.

Well, I did.

And let me just say it is the worst decision I’ve made in 2019. So dumb.

Did I really even want to go? No. Not really. Why the hell would I make a 7+ hour round trip to play poker when there are plenty of amazing games all within a 15 mile radius of where I’m staying in L.A.? So I can watch a game I don’t give one shit about? I mean… I had already bet on Patriots when there were eight teams left and I hedged with the Rams in the actual title game, so I was guaranteed to make a little money, but still… I don’t care about watching the Super Bowl.

I suppose the theory was the games would be packed with tourists during Big Game Weekend and, while that maybe have been correct for Friday and Saturday, the poker room saw a mass exodus right before kickoff.

There was one 40/80 game and it was not good at all. I was looking around the table and I was pretty confident there was only one possible donator in the game. I was going to drop down to 20/40 but then I ran an ace high flush into a straight flush against the loose player and lost six big bets on turn and river and suddenly I felt like I had to stick around in this game a little longer.

Then the one loose guy shows me 99 on A76T9 in a massive pot when I had AK.

Then TT vs JJ in a big pot where we both had overpairs the whole way.

Then A4 vs 22 in a blind vs blind, no preflop raise pot on A62KJ. Fortunately, that hand went check-call, check-check, and check-call. I was really trying to sell weakness with top pair and, uh, I guess I got lucky I decided to take that line.

Then I opened KT suited and got heads up against the big blind on a T925T board when he had 99.

I mean, come on.

Finally, I 3-bet KK and got the J22JA runout against AJ. Again, sort of lucky because my opponent just calls flop and turn before I check-called river.

But by that point, I had won a single pot of significance when my JJ rivered a set against QQ (again, one bet on each street postflop somehow though) and I was stuck almost $2200 and I knew the goddamn game wasn’t any good. So what the hell am I even doing?

I picked up just shy of two hours of play and swallowed the -$2186 bludgeoning. Granted, it’s only a couple of racks in that game, but that financial loss is still pretty meaningful to me.

I was on flaming white hot tilt because here I am running ultra bad in a shitty game… in Vegas?… when I could have just stayed in L.A. and maybe get barbecued there as well, but at least I’d be in a good game and feel like my chances of turning things around quickly were highly possible.

Part of me wanted to blame Flipper for dragging me along on this dumb ass trip, but ultimately, I know I’m an adult capable of making my own decisions and I could have just said no, like my instincts were screaming to.

So this was my own fault. And nothing pisses me off quite like my own dumb mistakes.

It didn’t help that part of the allure was being able to make MLB bets while I was in Vegas BUT as anyone with any sort of foresight might be able to determine, the sports books were outrageously packed. I wasn’t about to wait in a line of 300 people to place bets.

Not that the Westgate Superbook had MLB win totals posted anyway. Nor did Bellagio.

What a waste.

So what did I do with my day in Vegas? I skipped out in the first quarter of the Super Bowl and took an Uber to a movie theater to watch Free Solo on an IMAX screen. I’ll post a review later but let me just say right now that it blew my head off. What an unbelievable story.

And then we went back to L.A. So… basically, I went on a 7+ hour road trip to dump $2200 in a bad game and not fight for it and watched a movie.

Stellar.

Never again.

Monday was the $570 Omaha 8 tournament in the LAPC and I had an amazing table draw.

One guy was playing almost every hand and raised blind under the gun at least four times, even when the blinds were getting big.

Another guy couldn’t even read the board.

Naturally, I couldn’t take advantage of the situation in the slightest. None of my hands were connecting hard and a lot of my good two-way hands were getting scooped when I had marginal hands for high because multiple players were in there with total junk that made better high hands.

It was frustrating.

The pot that crippled me found me defending the big blind with A732 with a suited ace against the loosest player at the table.

The flop was a very sexy J54 and I check-raised and barreled/punted off on Q-T runout. He called me down with KJ72. I think this is a fine line, but I called it a punt because this dude is not folding anything reasonable (or unreasonable, for that matter) and I should probably go passive when I brick the turn.

That hand left me with about one big bet as registration was closing. I had an opportunity to forfeit my stack and sit back down after registration closed with 15 big bets. I dunno. Thats pretty borderline. I asked tournament director Matt Savage if I could have the same seat if I forfeited and he said it would be a random draw.

I decided not to re-enter. First hand after the break, the mega loose player raised blind under the gun and I got my last 1100 in with AAK8 with suited ace, both blinds call and four of us see the flop, which is probably two too many opponents for me to get any piece of this pot.

The board runs out J83d5dJd, giving me the nut flush, but pairing the board as well. Of course, the blind raiser has the monstrous QJ83 and I’m one of the first ten or so players busted out of the tournament.

GG.

Then I sat down in a 20/40 Stud game about 90 minutes later and picked up $615 sugar on the first hand I was dealt in, drawing insanely live for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge, but it wasn’t meant to be. Somehow I managed to finish that session at -$555 in 2.75 hours.

Speaking of The Coast-to-Coast Challenge, Free Throw became the third player enshrined, going the distance in an 8 hour 20/40 session at Fortune for +$1k last night.

I spent yesterday at The Bike playing 40/80. I got off to a nice +$1500 start but then things went sour for a really long time and I spent most of the session stuck, bottoming out around -$1500.

The most curious thing that happened last night didn’t involve any hands. The Bike employs hosts for the different limits and multiple prop players. The hosts get to sit in the games indefinitely, but the props only get to fill seats when there is no list.

I got a front row seat to see the politics of this play out for a little bit. Apparently one of the props cut in front of two other props to jump back in the game and the host took exception to this and things got palpably heated between them.

Fast forward to a few hours later, when the host has gone home for the night, and the game is now full with no list and three props are playing.

A few players went walking and then the first person to leave the game… was a prop player.

And then the second player to leave the game… was a prop player… the same one arguing with the host earlier about getting in the game.

Meanwhile, one of the players walking… is a prop player.

So our 9-handed game quickly became 5-handed after two players left and two players disappeared – and 75% of the people leaving holes in the game are paid prop players.

Wait. What’s their job description again?

I thought it was pretty impressive to see the one prop getting in a public spat trying to get in the game and then abandoning it when it needed her most.

I’ll give the walking prop credit for coming back and playing deep into the night short-handed. We played with 5 or less until about 3 AM.

I finally got hot again when it was down to three of us and booked a +$1708 after 10.25 hours of play.

I’m playing at The Bike today. I’ve been playing about 3.5 hours already and got off to a decent start but then I dwindled and running QQ into KJ and… KJ… on QT5ss9sJ was enough to put me in the red. I once again bottomed out around -$1500, but they let me win my last two contested pots and now I’m stuck less than $400.

Scratch that… just ran KQdd into 88 in a kill pot on Q839J (yay, free showdown!).

Not planning to live blog this session, but I might post some hands if the urge grabs me and I’ll certainly post a final score when I’m done here.

With my HORSE event starting at 1 PM tomorrow, I’ll probably only play until around 1 or 2 AM.

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No Limit H.O.R.S.E. at the LAPC – Say What?

February 2, 2019

Honestly, I was skipping this event. I love HORSE. It’s my favorite game. But I don’t love no limit. I prefer limit structures, for all sorts of reasons, but mostly because I’m way better at them. Also, this tournament starts at 4 PM on a Saturday. Considering what I can make in a cash game on a weekend night (more on that later), why would I want to fire in a $350 tournament that starts late and might even last two days?

I wouldn’t. I would not want to do that.

But then I was at The Bike yesterday and someone recognized me from the LAPC and lured me into his conversation and asked me about the NL HORSE. I said something along the lines of “I’ve never played no limit for most of these games” and his friend that he was talking to (that was playing in the huge NL game on Live at The Bike) said, “yeah, that’s a good reason not to play it. I’ll take the under on 5% of the field having played a hand of no limit Razz.”

That basically translates to: don’t be such a pussy.

Okay, fine. I’ll be there.

The more I thought about it, the more excited and intrigued I got. It seemed like people would be flying out of this tournament because they’d be going all in in terrible spots or just because they are totally lost and I thought it would be a good idea to have unlimited rebuys until registration closed. Sure enough, there are unlimited rebuys.

Good. Now if I do something really stupid, I can just buy back in. I’m not going to be looking to punt my stack around and hope to get lucky, but I am willing to fire up to four bullets in this thing if I’m enjoying myself.

I also got to thinking about all the ways the big bet structure could change how the various games are played.

Let’s imagine a Razz hand. Someone opens with a 5 up and you look down at A2-3. For simplicity sake, let’s assume all cards are live. Pretend your opponent has 34-5. How big of a favorite do you think you are?

Here’s the answer:

You have the nut starting hand and you’re basically coin flipping.

Even against a rougher hand you’re not a huge favorite:

I’m not really sure how this should affect my strategy in a big bet structure, but against a large field of inexperienced and unpredictable players, I don’t think pushing small edges is going to be ideal. If someone opens and you 3-bet, they are unlikely to fold and look how big of an impact 4th street has on the equities:

Just like that, you go from a slight favorite to a sizable dog – even when your opponent catches a mediocre card like a 9. Unlike in limit, where you should usually still call here, they can bet enough to make your continuing decisions much tougher.

So the question is… when the stacks are deep, do we want to be bloating the pot on third street?

I don’t know. I think I’m going to be playing cautiously, mostly because I expect my opponents to have no clue what they are doing and that unpredictability is drastically going to increase everyone’s variance.

I feel like Hold’em, Omaha 8, and Stud Hi should come somewhat naturally to me in the big bet structure. Big pairs are going to be boss in Stud Hi.

Stud 8? No clue. I have a hard enough time trying to play that game well with a fixed betting structure. Honestly, my goal in this variant will just be to avoid losing heaps of chips. I’m just going to fold all the hands (not really)(but seriously, maybe).

I’m going to spend the next hour or so continuing to run sims in the various games to get a better grasp on my equities in certain spots.

But first, let me tell you about yesterday.

I checked in to The Bike just after 4 PM and immediately got a seat in a $40/$80 limit Hold’em game. Kiddie gloves are off. With a good amount of equity coming our way from the sell of our previous house, I don’t feel like I’m taking a shot at this level. I can play in it. I mean, shit, I haven’t even really gotten used to the swings at $20/$40 yet, but whatever.

Before I had chips, I was down $250. I played another pot in my first orbit and flopped a pair against an underpair but they turned a set… in a 3-bet kill pot.

Before I posted my first blind I was stuck $850.

Before I posted my second blind I was stuck $1400.

Before I won my first pot, I folded 44 to a raise and then watched the action go off multi-way and get 3-bet only to see this flop roll off:

That’s a pretty sick feeling when you’re stuck a rack and a half already, still looking for Pot A.

I started having flashbacks to my first $40/$80 session ever when I lost almost $2300 in less than two hours and rage quit because my body was literally shaking from tilt.

The good news was… I didn’t feel anything like that. I mean… I wasn’t thrilled about being stuck a mortgage payment in my first 15 minutes of play, but I was thinking about reloading, not bolting for the door and spending the next day walking around Disneyland by myself.

I didn’t buy more chips and I started winning a pot here and there but I was still stuck about $1500 three and a half hours into my session when momentum started to swing my way.

I picked up AA in a kill pot and it got raised in front of me. I jacked it up and the killer and raiser both called.

Flop was 992 with two spades and they both check-call a bet.

The turn is the 5 of spades and the killer leads out. The other guy folds. I’ve already established that the killer is the loosest (and probably worst) player at the table, however I did see him check-call flop in a similar spot earlier and then donk the turn with flopped trips. So I know he’s capable of having trips here (and probably flushes) with this line, but I also know he’s not be trusted. I call.

The river is a very unfortunate 4 of spades, putting four spades on the board and none in my hand, and he bets again. But I’m not folding AA in huge pots for one bet to a wild player, so I pay it off and he can only show a 53 with no spades and I drag a big one.

Then I get moved to the main game and one of my first hands I pick up AJ of clubs in a 6-way raised pot and flop the nut flush draw on a T76 board. I get three bets in on the flop and five of us see a turn that gives me the nuts. That clears the field down to three and my hand stays nutty on the river and I get one caller.

Just like that, I go from -$1500 to +$1200 in about 15 minutes!

Sick swings in this game.

I lost some dumb hands every now and then after that, but it was mostly smooth sailing for me the rest of the night.

My final score? +$5035 in 11.5 hours!

That’s good for my second best cash game session ever.

What a great start to my trip and a great first day of February, right on the heels of a +$10k month of January.

Feels good man.

Alright, it’s 2:15 PM right now, so I’m going to study up for the next hour or so and then get ready to head to Commerce.

Check back here after 4 PM for stack updates in the NL HORSE tournament and I’m sure I’ll also have some hands to write about.

4:11 PM: Might be hard to blog this. My table is 4-handed. There are 8 players in the tournament total. 😂

I can say I won 6 of the first 8 hands, all in Stud Hi, and two of them were pretty sizable.

Starting stacks are 12.5k but blinds are 25/50 with a 25 ante and 25 bring in with 20 minute levels.

A third table just got cards in the air. Looks like we are up to 15 entrants!

5:25 PM: Steadily building. I feel very comfortable with the format and my table draw. There are six levels before the first break so I’m just going to type up the most interesting hand I’ve played real quick.

Stud Hi, 25 ante, 75 bring in… I start with K6ss-9s and someone limps in front of me with a ten up. There’s a king and six up, but all the spades are live. I make it 300. The king and ten up call.

On 4th street, the king catches a 5 of spades and leads out for 600. Ten catches a blank and I get the four of spades. I like it. I like it a lot. The ten folds and I decide to just flat. Maybe I can raise to get it in here, but we feel too deep still.

On 5th, I catch the ace of clubs and he gets another small spade. That’s annoying. I check to him and he bets 2000, leaving himself with around 8-9k behind. I think this is a pretty silly bet when I catch an ace because… I stuff it in his face.

How much do you like a pair of kings here? Shoot, how much do you like kings up?

He tanks for a while and says “kings up no good” and mucks it.

Sims coming…

Interesting. I would have thought I’m a bigger favorite on 4th street. When I get it in on 5th, I certainly don’t think I have an equity advantage, but the ace is such a good card to bluff with. He said he had two pair, and maybe he did, but it’s worth noting that my equity on 5th jumps up to around 41% if he just has a pair of kings.

First Break: 16.9k

Coming back to 75 ante (in all the games!), 200 bring and 250/500 blinds for the flop games.

Registration is closed and I’m healthy on bullet #1! Leggo.

Second Break: 6800

I’m pretty sure I didn’t win a hand for the entirety of those four levels.

Oh wait. That’s not true. I was all in for my tourney life in Razz with 92-4J7T against a board of xx-J78J and I had bet somewhere around 2.5x the size of the pot. I have a board lock, but it’s pretty obvious he’s drawing to an 87 here and you know what? I don’t want to be called. If I make a normal sized bet and he calls, I could find myself in a really weird spot on 7th street. He doesn’t know I have a 9 buried, so that’s nice, but still… I don’t want to face any pressure or lose this pot with another card.

It’s probably a good thing I jammed because he tanked for like two minutes with his junky board facing a huge oversized bet.

Of course I got short just in time for Stud 8. It seems like I should be jamming my whole range, but it’s weird because the starting pot size is smaller in the Stud games.

I’m basically trying to survive until Hold’em unless I find a super obvious spot to get it in.

I folded K3-K under the gun with only one small card out, but it was an ace. I’m probably supposed to get it in here but I don’t know, so I fold.

Then a 5d opens and a 5h calls. I have Qh2h-Ad and I don’t know what to do, so I fold.

There are two hands of Stud 8 left after the break and then I will have the small blind in Hold’em with approximately 4-5 bigs (unless I bust or double first).

67 entrants, 35 left, 9 cash, with $6250 for 1st.

I have about 25% of the average stack so…

Let’s run it up?

8:00 PM: I make it to Hold’em and I have 4.5 bigs after posting my small blind. Someone opens to 2.5 bigs, I jam with 66 and he calls wi-

Wait. He’s tanking. Wtf? Am I really going to win this pot without running the cards? What does he have to think about here? Nothing. He has nothing to think about. It’s a snap-call.

But he folds and I double up without a showdown. Holy shit.

Very next hand he opens again and the cutoff jams for slightly more than what I have. I look down at AK of spades and with my 10 big blind stack there is nothing to think about here. I put all my chips in. Opener folds and I’m in a race against…

AA.

Goddammit.

I don’t know why, but I feel pretty good about it and then I flop a flush draw and feel like I doubled up already.

But then… I brick out? How is that even possible?

Sigh.

Flipper convinced me to make a road trip to Vegas for Super Bowl Sunday and lured me with MLB Futures betting possibilities and, I mean, I’m not capable of saying no to that, so that’s what I’m doing tomorrow.

Which means I’m done playing poker today. We are probably going to be leaving pretty early, so I’m going to take it easy and go catch The Green Book at the theater and then head back to my spot.

No idea what my poker plans are tomorrow but I’ll be back in LAPC action on Monday for the $570 Omaha 8 or Better tournament.

Bricking is so fun!

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I Will Be on Live at The Bike Tonight!

January 23, 2019

I have arranged with The Bike to get on their streaming poker show Live at The Bike tonight. They locked up three seats for me, so Radio Mike and Joker will be on the show with me. 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

I imagine the best place to watch it live will be on Twitch. I’m not sure the best way to watch the show after it airs though. I think you need a subscription one way or the other.

I believe we start playing at 5:30 PM PST and the stream starts at 6:00 PM PST with a half hour delay.

As many of you know, Radio Mike is the radio broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners AAA affiliate Tacoma Rainiers. Since he is a professional broadcaster he is considering trying to get in the booth with the commentators for a brief period of time. I am praying for this to happen, although he ensures me that “you’re not going to like it if I get in there.”

Then again, as I’m typing this he is now saying he might not do that. I think that would be a poor decision. Please, please get in the booth, buddy.

We ended up playing at The Bike last night after I busted out of the tournament and I went +$69 in 1.5 hours of $20/$40 LHE and then +$161 in 3.5 hours of $20/$40 Mix.

Come check the show out at 6 if you can. I will definitely not be blogging while I play today, so this is it.

Also, I’m not going to try and play my A-game on this stream. I’m planning to loosen up and be a little more creative for the sake of entertainment.

Wayne Chiang and Ronnie Bardah will be doing the commentary. I don’t know much about Wayne, but Ronnie is a LHE legend and also gained lots of attention for cashing the Main Event five years in a row and as far as I know that is still a record. Ronnie was briefly playing $20/$40 with us and said he might be talking a little shit on the broadcast but that it’s all in good fun. Joker ensured him that people have been berating his game for years already.

Should be fun!

Also, if this stream brings new people to my blog, please feel free to bookmark or favorite as I post very consistent poker content.

Lastly, although we are already playing, The Coast-to-Coast Challenge will start fresh on the show and even though the show is on the air less than six hours, never being stuck on the show will get a special exception and be considered a Bronze Level completion of The Challenge.

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WSOPc $400 HORSE @ The Bike – LET’S GET A RANG (Stack Updates)

December 5, 2018

2:41 PM: Ubering to The Bike right now with an ETA of 3:02 PM, so I’ll be just in time for a slightly late start.

Yesterday that $400 Monster Stack had a brutal $70 admin fee. 17.5% taken out is always lovely. It is the same today.

Looks like we will be starting with 15k in chips and blinds at an odd 50/75 for the flop games and 25 ante for the Stud games. Betting limits will be 75/150 in the first level and levels are 30 minutes long.

This is supposed to be a two day event and we are playing up to 20 levels today, but the structure sheet only has 14 listed levels so maybe it is really a single day tournament. 20 levels would take us to about 2 AM tonight. Not really sure what to expect as far as that goes. If we reach a final table at 11 PM, I would definitely not want to come back the next day to play it.

Of course I have to get there first.

There is unlimited re-entry through the first 12 levels and, unlike yesterday, I will be firing multiple bullets if I’m unlucky enough to bust early in a limit structure.

I will post stack updates here, for sure, and maybe the occasional notable hand, but I want to focus more on my table than on writing, so don’t expect many hands, but check back for progress updates!

3:09 PM: Everyone standing in line with me to register is at my starting table, including two ladies that have 50% of each other (as heard as they were standing in line). One of them is Carol Fuchs, an accomplished mixed games player with over $520k in lifetime tournament cashes. I’ve played HORSE with Carol before.

I actually recognize a lot of the players in this field. Other notables: Miami John Cernuto, Allen Kessler, Frankie O’Dell, and Wendy Freedman – all with over a million in tourney cashes. Plus Wayne ‘Kevin’ LaMonica, a total maniac that took 2nd in the $1500 HORSE when I finished 5th at the 2017 WSOP. Also, one of the players from the 30/60 mix just sat down in the field.

My starting table seems reg heavy, but so does the whole field really.

3:47 PM: I mention that I’m not supposed to recognize half the field when I come from out of state and Carol asks me where I’m from and I say, “Washington.”

She says, “you don’t say…” and I realize I have been trolled because…

UW vs #1 Gonzaga in Spokane at 8 PM (Pacific) tonight on ESPN. My boys are 15.5 point DAWGS so not a lot of hope here but still… a very exciting game for my alma mater tonight.

5:00 PM: Just above starting stack after four levels and coming back to betting limits of 250/500.

I won a good multi-way Stud pot and scooped a heads up pot, blind vs blind, in O8 with AQ83 on Q72J8.

That’s pretty much the extent of my excitement so far.

7:10 PM: 26.5k after 8 levels coming back to betting limits of 600/1200.

Most notable hand last four levels: Stud Hi, guy on my right completes with a 6 up and I raise with A4-4 with two clubs and all my cards live. This clears the rest of the field.

He is pretty early so I think he is more likely to have a big pair in the hole than split sixes and the fact I have an ace is a big factor here.

So when he pairs his 6 on 4th and puts a 1000 chip in the pot, I put a 500 chip in to call. Technically he can bet 1000 here because he has an open pair on 4th but he didn’t say anything and I’m guessing a single over-sized chip defers to the normal limit. The dealer gives him change and he starts to protest but quickly realizes he has no argument and we got to 5th street…

…where I catch a 4 and make trips. He still bets and while I do think I’m leading here a lot against two pair, I decide that I’m going to call down unimproved and save a couple bets when he actually does have trips.

I do brick out and he fires 5th, 6th, and on 7th he bets without even looking at his card. Eek. I never improve but I call and I’m good against KK66x.

9:21 PM: It looked like I was going to fizzle right out of this thing but the last two levels were a heat stroke for me.

57k after 12 levels. Registration will be closed after this break. We are coming back to betting limits of 1500/3000.

11 PM: 76k after 15 levels coming back to 3000/6000 betting limits.

Board says there are 30 players left. I think it said 12 cash with $9600 up top for 1st. Average stack is 48.5k.

Frankie O’dell is at my table now. It’s my first time I’ve ever played with him.

Here are some highlights:

“I’m on the Mount Rushmore of that shit.” – in reference to Omaha 8 or better.

“People don’t go five bets with me, bro.” – after he gets in a cut off vs big blind raising war holding AA33 and busts a short stack that had QQ32.

Hopefully there is more to come.

12:05 AM: There is no better feeling than the swift death. I came back from break and played the first three hands of Omaha. And lost all of them. Just like that I went from 76k to 43.5k and was suddenly below average for the first time in many levels. Maybe ever.

Then I defended in Stud 8 with 54-2 and caught an ace on 4th but my board ran out 254 while he was showing xx-6K6K on 6th.

That hand left me crippled and with three small bets left, I got it in with 75-A in Stud 8, got three callers, caught a jack on 4th and got isolated by a guy with 75-63 and he immediately drilled the 4 on 5th.

That busted me in 22nd, ten spots off the money.

It’s the best. Playing all day and busting just shy of the money. I love it.

That’s it for me tonight and since I can’t play a day 2 in the Omaha 8 tournament, I will not be winning a WSOPc ring this trip.

Most likely I will be playing cash all day tomorrow then flying back on Friday in time for the (hopefully) resurrection of the 15/30 game at Palace at 4 PM.