Saturday, September 12th, 2009

TR Day 9

Two friends from different online circles arrived today, Henry from my ‘MMO friends’ and Quiksand from FOFC/FOBL. I’m happy to steal a little of Quik’s thunder and report that he cashed in the $700+$70 NLHE event that ran today, and will be playing in the final 27 as part of day 2 tomorrow. 350ish entered, 35 paid IIRC. Congrats Quik, take it down!

I arrived today around 3:30 and got on the list for a 2/5 PLO game that was going. I sat at 10/20 limit for about 5 hands, dropped $70, and got called for the PLO game. I won a $200ish pot on my very first hand at the PLO game(9875 in the big blind, 643 flop, 7 turn, took it down on the turn).

I play around for awhile at 2/5 but never get up more than $300. I play scared in two pots as the game gets real big, folding the second nut flush out of position against a guy who liked to steal a good deal, because I knew he would fire twice no matter what and I would have to commit my stack to see if I was good. Against this player at 1/2 I would have not folded. The game was just playing very big, with most pots getting up over $100 preflop, it was a very solid, aggressive game, at least for my skill level. I end up picking up and cashing out when I go to eat instead of leaving my chips at the table. I’m up $215 when I cash out.

After dinner I get on the list for 1/2 PLO. I sit at a 1/2 NL game and play about 10 hands. I drop about $90 with KQ losing to AK on a K88 board, and get called to the 1/2 game. I buy in for another $100 to get to the max buyin. There are 3 or 4 big stacks and lots of short stacks. 1/2 PLO is $500 max buyin, i’d say that 4 of the players had less than $200 in front of them the entire time. I have a few all in confrontations, all agaisnt short stacks. A 13 card nut straight draw on a 2 diamond board, I hit the straight and stack a guy who had $150. AKJx with a suited ace,flop QTx with two of my suit, all in vs a guy with $200 and i hit my giant draw. That was how I built most of my stack, nice and boring and safe.

One strange hand worth mentioning… I have KQT7, KT Hearts. I see a flop 4 ways for a raise, I just call out of the big blind. Flop comes QJx with two hearts. While I’m deciding whether to bet or check someone in mid position fires out a pot sized bet(around $30 I believe). Myself and the guy to my left both have not acted, the dealer knows its on me too. I decide to check/call though. Another guy calls as well. I decide to lead the turn, a total blank, betting $75. Only the guy who bet earlier calls. The river is an offsuit king, leaving me with top two on a KQJ board. I ponder a bet, in my own little world after briefly looking at my opponent. I debate bet/folding vs check/calling, and decide to bet/fold. I bet $100. When I look up I see my opponent has already bet $225. I’m genuinely confused. My opponent says he thought I checked. The dealer says I didn’t, calls it a $100 bet and a raise to $225, back to me. Honestly, I should have just check/called in the first place. The guy was firing constantly on the end no matter what he had. He’d bluff into me 100%. I just wasn’t thinking clearly enough on that decision. But anyway, I call the $225, he throws his hand away before I even show. When I show top two, he gets upset and leaves, apparently thinking he could have raised bigger and I guess convinced I checked(no way in hell did I do anything that could be construed as a check, I feel vindicated on this point by the fact that he bet out of turn with two people to act before him earlier in the hand). Anyway, my 2 pair is good and I win a pretty nice sized pot.

At that point I was up about $800 in this game and 1k on the day. I drop $200 when a set gets outdrawn and cash out when the game breaks around 4am. In for $600, cashing out $1230.

DAY: +$850
TRIP: +$850

I didn’t make a lot of moves in this game… others were doing more than enough of that, it was totally a play solid and get paid off type of game.

After the super aggressive 2/5 game today, I’m forced to admit that I can really only comfortably play 2/5 if the game is fairly passive or has a couple huge soft spots. Tomorrow if 2/5 is the only game going I will likely play NL instead and just wait for a 1/2 game to go. For a long time tonight there were two 1/2 games going though, so i’m optimistic. The 2/5 game tonight I really don’t think i would have been comfortable in unless I was willing to commit $3000-$4000 (3 or 4 full sized buyins) to the game.

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Friday, September 11th, 2009

TR Day 8 – PLO Tournament

I arrive shortly after the 1pm $350+$50 gets underway. There’s 15 tables going, that’s a pretty good sign. We end up with 151 entrants. Starting stack is 8k chips, level one blinds are 25/25, and the levels are 40 minutes long.

Level 1: I end the level with 8200 chips. The entire table is limping most hands, only occasional preflop raises. Lots of action after the flop, I’m not getting involved with anything speculative here. There appear to be many super soft targets here, and a couple loose guys that get aggressive post flop.

Level 2: 25/50 blinds. I play smallball and chip up to 10,000 chips. I play my good hands fast and that’s about it. No one at my table has busted yet.

Level 3: 50/100 blinds. I limp from the button with AK96 with a suited ace, and we go to the flop many ways. Flop comes 866. I check, the big blind bets 500, and I am the only caller. The turn gives me the nut flush draw with a low club. BB checks, I bet 1500 and the BB calls. The river is a fairly harmless looking jack. The BB now leads out for 4500 chips. I’m not willing to commit that much of my stack with bare trips. If he was bluffing good on him. I end the level with 7000 chips.

Level 4: 75/150 blinds. I win one noteworthy pot playing bluffcatch. Another big limped pot, I’m in with AJxx double suited(sad that I can’t remember the other two cards!). Flop comes AJ5 with two hearts. I don’t have hearts. the flop checks around. Turn is a four, giving me top two. I bet about 3/4 of the pot and get called only by one player who i have position on. The river is another 4 and she comes out betting. It smells like a nuts or nothing type of bet on the river, and I make the call. She has a busted heart draw and I take a decent pot. I end level four with 9500 chips.

Level 5: 100/200 blinds. Big hand here… I limp QQxx along with about 7 others. Flop comes QJ8 rainbow. There’s a bet from early position and 2 callers. I can’t help but assume the nuts are out there, and I call. Turn is a king. There’s an all in from a short stack for less than half the pot. There’s a caller in front of me… I decide to make the call again, I’m committing a lot of chips to this hand but I’m getting better than 6:1 here. River is a jack. The guy in front of me shoves what little he has left into the middle and I call. The initial aggressor has ATxx… no T9, just a gutter that hit. The guy in front of me that shoved the river shows KKQx, hitting a higher set on the turn. Ok then. I’m down to 2k chips at this point. I’m just looking for a way to get my money in a few times. I see QQJ8 double suited. There’s a raise and 3 callers in front of me, I shove all in and 3 people call. AAxx, a random low four cards, and TTxx… the flop is 3 low clubs. One of my suits is clubs. I quadruple up. I end the level with around 9000 chips.

Level 6 & 7: I putter around badly in these two levels, about halfway through level 7(200/400 blinds) I get moved to a new table. I play tight for a little while to see how the table is playing. Certainly not 7 limpers every hand. I have 8000 chips after level 7.

Level 8: The average chip stack is now well over 20k, and the blinds are 300/600. I start raising a lot more, looking for spots to try to double up. I pick up a few pots potting it after one limper. With 10k in chips, I get AAK8 double suited in the big blind. There’s a raise to 1500 from mid position, everyone else folds, and I re-pot it. MP folds and I drag the pot. I end level 8 without having shown down anything. i’ve got 12,000 chips, there are 40 players left. Either 15 or 18 pay, there was some confusion on that. The average stack is over 30k.

Level 9: 400/800 blinds. The blinds hit me pretty quickly and I drop down to 10k chips. I steal one pot preflop to get back up a little. Then i catch KQJ7 in late position. There’s one limper, and I pot it. The limper calls. There’s 7200 in the pot and I have about 7k left. The flop comes A88. limper checks, I debate a little and check. The turn is a blank. limper checks again, and I move all in. Limper folds and I am up to 14.5k. Next orbit, in the small blind, I have TT87 with diamonds. A couple people limp, I limp in the SB, BB checks. Flop J96 with two spades. Not ideal, but I’m still less than half the average stack here. I check, there’s a bet, and I check-raise the size of the pot. It leaves me with only about 3k left, I’m going to shove any turn. I’ve got 14 straight outs, though if someone has spades I’ve only got 9 good outs, and there are higher straight draws that could hurt me. The bettor calls. The turn is a 6, I put in the rest of my chips, he calls. He shows AJT6, for a bare top and bottom pair, no flush draw. There’s one ten left in the deck that could save me, but it doesn’t come, and I’m out about 30th.

Fun tournament, I was a little off my game early with the whole 8 players limping every hand thing. A couple times I would put in a raise of 5 or 6 times the big blind after a some limpers and would still get 8 way action. That put me in an awkward position, because I would be committing 5-10% of my stack to make that kind of raise early on, and in really weird spots when it went 6 or 7 ways to the flop and I didn’t flop the nuts. I limped along some in mid and late positions with hands that could flop big, suited aces with some other coordination, bigger pairs, etc.

I didn’t play any cash, choosing to head home and watch Georgia Tech/Clemson and the NFL opener. In the Borgata thread on 2+2, I noticed that there were 3 PLO games going later that night, it would have been fun to play there, but I *really* look forward to Georgia Tech/Clemson, and would have been watching TV more than playing poker, so I did the smart thing and left.

DAY: -$400 (the tourney entry fee)
TRIP: $0

Exactly breakeven, har. Hopefully there will be lots of PLO Friday and Saturday, and hopefully I will play well!

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Thursday, September 10th, 2009

TR Day 7

I get down to the casino around noon to fix up my gambling schedule for the tourney tomorrow. I register for the PLO tourney, its $350+$50, starting at 1pm tomorrow. The schedule says they play down to 27 on Thursday and finish it off Friday, but that might be subject to change since this’ll be smaller than the NLHE tourneys.

The pink chip O8 game starts up right as I get into the poker room after eating lunch, I buy in for $500 and sit down around 1pm. the next 6 hours of O8 are simply excruciating. I never get ahead by more than $50. i miss draw after draw after draw. I take walks around the casino to stay level and not tilt, I stay tight, never getting off my game and playing a lot of bullshit hands(there’s no crazy gamblers in this game, its the more standard ‘take advantage of people drawing to the 3rd nuts’ style of O8).

I take a couple split pots in my first hour of play, but from 2pm to 5pm the only pots that come my way are a horrible pot where I have a no bust nut low draw, hit a non A2 nut low and get quartered, and a pot where I flop top two pair + nut low in a shorthanded raised pot and get pretty aggressive, getting quartered by the nut low and a set, and lastly getting 1/6th of the pot when three people share the nut low.

Around 5:30 I put $200 more on the table as I’m about to bust. I make some money splitting two pots in a row. Around 7:30 I’ve still not scooped a single hand, I’ve got $200 in front of me and a 1/2 PLO game is starting. I cash out, take a short break to eat a quick dinner, and get into the 1/2 PLO game. its only 5 handed at first, and we play 1/2/5 (forced $5 3rd blind that everyone agreed to). Everyone is playing as tight as they would full it seems, I buy in for $500 and I chip up $100 or so taking down unwanted pots(and hitting once and getting a couple calls). The 1/2 game fills up, but they call for the 2/5 game to get started too… well, about half the names on the 2/5 list are in the 1/2 game. There’s a lot of confusion over the next orbit, but in the end the game breaks as people leave to fill the 2/5 game.

I get on the 2/5 list, I’ve got about $650 in front of me. The game is full for a long time, I kill probably 30 minutes just reading news on my phone before finding a 1/2 game. That game breaks too(I showered I swear), and I move next to the 10/20 OE game, which is 5 handed, I make it 6. I run hot, very quickly scooping 3 small pots and I end up with $800 in front of me by the time I get called to 2/5 PLO.

trip defnining hand

i’ve posted a few other hands that kinda define my trip so far… two AAxx hands cracked by OESD’s in $1000 and $1600 pots, and a $900ish pot in NLHE that I won with 52s. Well, here’s defining hand #4:

Very first hand at 2/5 PLO, I post in mid position and get dealt QJ77, suited to the queen of spades. A couple people limp, I check, a few more limp and someone min-raises to $10. Everyone calls. i don’t remember how many see the flop, 7ish for $10? I flop near perfect, AKT, AT spades. I’ve got the nut straight with a redraw to the second nut flush. Lets dance! I actually can’t remember how I played it, we ended up all in real fast… I think I put a bet in, got raised, re-potted, got re-raised all in and I’m all in with a guy who has about $500.

He has KK9x, king high spade draws. only way it could have been worse if he had KKQJ heh. I’ve got the nuts + a redraw, and holy hell I’m a 40/60 dog. Well, I fade the spades and set and win a $1400 pot on my very first hand.

I play a couple more hands where some money is moved around, a frustrating $500 pot(only $180ish of it mine, all in vs a short stack w/ some dead money) where i have the nut straight + a flush draw and my opponent has the nut straight with 2 outs to a higher straight, and hits his 2 outs to take it down.

Last hand of the night, a new dealer is coming and I don’t want to pay the time, so this is it for me. I have KQT8 single suited and see a flop on the button. Flop comes QJ6, two spades, the flop checks around(5 handed or so?). Turn is an 8, guy bets $20, I call, as does one other. Now that I think about it, we might have been 7 or 8 handed… or i am forgetting the exact bet sizing. But after a bet and two callers there’s about $100 in the pot. river is the 3 of spades, completing a flush draw, i have no flush. Both opponents check to me, I decide to rep the flush and bet $70. I take the pot down. The opponent that led the turn showed a straight and a ten high flush. Asked about folding the flush for one bet on the river, he said “when two of you called me I knew my spades were no good.” Yup, no good at all, friend.

After getting up to $1400 on that first hand, I got up to abut $1700 at one point, but lost a few hands, dropping as low as $1200… I end up cashing out $1500. Solid play and one big all in hand in PLO help to cancel out the god awful O8 run and leave me nicely up on the evening.

Day 7: +$500
Trip Total: +$400

Coincidentally, tourney is exactly $400 tomorrow. So if I don’t cash, I’m breakeven, if I do, well that would be awesome.

I don’t expect to play any cash games tomorrow. If I bust out of the PLO tourney, I’m really excited to see Georgia Tech/Clemson, and to watch the opening NFL game of the year and will almost certainly head back to the hotel for football instead of playing any more.

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Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

TR Days 5 & 6

Monday:

I arrive around 7pm and get in the pink chip omaha game, buying in for two racks($500). My seat is to the direct left of one of the crazy gamblers mentioned in earlier day reports. This is the guy that will cap any 4 every hand preflop if allowed(and with 9 other players gunning for him someone is usually willing to cap pre with a good hand of course), but will then play seemingly solid poker postflop. So I sit down and prepare for the roller coaster ride.

It never really comes, or its a small one I guess. I win one pot that’s bigger than a racks worth of chips, I don’t think I ever get down more than $50, but that big win was when I was breakeven and I never could build from it. I fluctuate between breakeven and up $300 for 5 hours, eventually cashing out up $100, booking a small win.

A couple hands that occured back to back:

I’m dealt AAK2 double suited UTG, spades and clubs. Crazy gambler is actually sitting out this hand. An aggressive player who was frequently capping w/ crazy gambler raises from late position, button 3-bets, two people cold call, I cap, and we go 5 ways to the flop capped. Not unusual at all in this game. Flop comes 984 with two spades, giving me nut low and nut flush draw. I bet the flop and everyone calls. The turn is the ace of hearts. Not the best card, I still have the nut high but my low is busted. Nonetheless, I bet out and again the entire table calls. The river is an offsuit king. I check/call a bet and lose to JTxx. Ah well.

Next hand, crazy gambler is back from a break and posts his big blind, so I’m UTG again. I get KKQ8 double suited and limp in, happy to try to set mine in this kind of game. Someone is willing to cap with the crazy gambler and we go 6 ways to the flop for 4 bets. Flop Q95 with two diamonds, I have diamonds. I’m pretty much seeing the river unless the board pairs on the turn. There’s only one bet on the flop, which everyone calls, 6 ways to the turn, 30 small bets in the pot. The turn is an offsuit 7, putting a second flush draw on the board that I don’t have, and completing a straight and adding a low draw. We go 6 ways to the river for one more bet, pot is now 21 BB. River pairs the 5, completing neither flush. We check around, no one had a 5, no one had a straight, no one had AA, and of the 3 other hands that got shown down, no one even had two pair, lots of flush draws and low draws. I drag a 21 BB pot with kings up.

Tuesday:

Bones marathon on TNT, Tennis, sleep. I have been waking up at like 3 or 4pm and playing until 5am, which is fine and a lot of fun(though it kinda toes the line between playing to win and having fun on vacation, I always give back some money before I leave because I want to play as much as possible while I’m up here, instead of quitting right when I know I’m getting a little tired or not playing my best anymore). Anyway, there’s a 1pm PLO tournament I want to play Thursday, and I have friends in town for the weekend so its time to make sure I’m awake during the daytime again ;)

Monday/Tuesday: +$100
Trip Total: -$100

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Monday, September 7th, 2009

TR Day 4

Made it down to the casino around 5pm, sitting down at a 1/2 PLO game after taking some time to eat first.

The game didn’t last long. There was a guy having a lot of fun and chatting and raising blind every hand. He would tell the table how many cards he’d looked at, and occasionally even what they were. He hit *everything*. He won $1500 in about an hour and the game broke very soon after he left.

I only played one noteworthy hand. I’ve got $500. I’m in middle position with AAK2 double suited. An early position player raises to $10, I call as do a few others(pot should be $8 but the guy stuck in $10 and no one caught it). Crazy guy looks at two cards, announced that they are very pretty, and pots it to $60. Its folded to me, but that’s enough for me to get almost half my stack in preflop with double suited aces against a guy who hasn’t even seen all four of his cards… pot! Everyone else folds. Crazy guy says “I really like my first two cards, I call.” He hasn’t seen his last two cards yet if he’s to be believed(he hasn’t appeared to have lied yet). Flop is Q75 rainbow. Crazy guy says “I’ll let you put your money in before I see the last two cards if you want. I have AJ spades so far.” The queen on the board is a spade. I shove. He looks at his other two cards and says “well I apologize if I suck out on you but I have to call” He tables AJ64 with AJ spades. Turn 5, river 3. His straight takes the pot. C’est la vie.

I rebuy but the game breaks within the next 30 minutes.

I get on the list for the pink chip O8 game, that’s 7.5/15 limit. The main game looks crazy. A must move starts up short handed, I buyin for a rack of pink chips($2.50 chips, a rack = $250). I’ve got about $350 when I move over to the main game. Amazingly I cannot remember any really significant hands from when I chipped up. I was aggressive and hit some hands. The game was so so loose, old school limit game really. Any hand that was less than 7 ways to the flop was a surprise, even for a raise. I played tight enough(i saw a lot of flops but didn’t chase much but the nuts) and hit a few hands. A good pot was well over a rack of chips. at around 1am I had over 3 racks in front of me, I’d gone from $250 to about $850 and was actually up for the day. As I tend to do live, I started playing too many hands when i got way up. I stopped myself from doing that after I had dropped back down to $700 though and still had a nice win in front of me.

Then the limit gods decided that they hated me.

I pay off big time in a 3-way pot with the 2nd nut low and 3rd nut flush, finding nut high/nut low. I have AQ53 with a suited ace. I raise and we go to the flop 9 ways. Flop T42 with one heart. Someone bets, I raise, and we are 6 ways to the turn for 2 more bets. Turn is the jack of hearts, giving me nut no bust low draw(any low card gives me the nut low since I have A35), the nut flush draw, and a gutshot to broadway. I bet out, all 5 opponents call. The river is an offsuit ten. Its checked around, and pocket kings wins the pot. Baffling, and excruciating.

Then a familier face sits down. Its the guy from TR day 3 who blind raised to $10 preflop every single hand of PLO. I had talked to a guy from that table earlier in the day and learned that he will cap preflop and on the flop literally every single hand if allowed in limit O8. This holds to form. We endup playing a number of pots that go 7 ways capped to the flop and 4 ways capped to the turn… just insane stuff.

I don’t win a single hand during this madness, and lose two that hurt badly. One I see a flop on the button with AQQ4 and a suited ace. Flop K76 with one of my suit, after being 3-bet preflop, its just one more bet to see the turn. Turn is a queen, giving me second set. Crazy guy bets, I raise, and we go 4 or 5 ways to the river for two more bets. River is an 8 and its a bet, raise, and re-raise beforeit even gets to me. I muck in disgust.

Another hand I flop the nut low draw w/ A2 in a 7 way capped pot preflop, go to the river to have my low counterfieted.

Long story short, I decide to get up from the pink chip game when I get down exactly to $250, my buyin.

I did give a little back playing poorly, but this was the first day I felt a little frustration, getting my money in in massive +EV situations against guys just dicking around raining chips into pots for me and whiffing huge draws and/or getting sucked out on when massively ahead. It happens obviously, high variance games, but today was frustrating.

SUNDAY: -$500
TRIP TOTAL: -$200

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Sunday, September 6th, 2009

TR Day 3

Saturday:

Another evening where I didn’t make it down to the casino until a bit later than normal. I had to catch some of Mizzou/Illinois and watch Georgia lose, a very fun first Saturday of the college football season.

PLO was going when I arrived around 8pm and was still going strong when I left around 1am. It was 1/2 last night, a legit 1/2 (as opposed to a 1/2 with a $5 bring in to keep the math a bit simpler). So you could limp for $2 or raise to $8 preflop. For the first 2 hours I played decent small pot poker, stealing a couple pots in position, but without making any big hands it just takes one bad move. I’m down a little thanks to trying to take a pot away from a lady who flopped middle set and called the turn and river as I tried to push her off her hand.

Around 10pm crazy player #1 sits down 3 seats to my left. A boistrous young guy who bugs me a little early on, his initial impression striking me as that of a douchebag 1/2 NL player, but after the first impression he settles down and chats a bunch and turns out to be a perfectly nice guy who just happens to be willing to gamble all in with any 4 cards. And shortly after he sits down a guy sits two to my right who is an even bigger gambler. I’ve played with this guy before, I know he’s good post flop, hard to push off a hand, bets a lot, is willing to gamble super light at times, and he likes to play bigger pots… he open raises every single hand for the next 3 hours. He makes it $10 if anyone has limped. If someone has raised to $7 or $8 before him, he’ll make it $15 about half the time. The game all of a sudden gets a lot bigger, and a lot wilder, as very often we go 7 way to the flop for $10 in a game with a $500 max buyin.

Similar to Friday night I get down $200 seeing probably too many flops without contesting them postflop, and buy back up to $500.

Big hand of the night:

I get one of the few hands worth getting truly excited about preflop… AAJT double suited. I’m UTG and raise to $7. Crazy gambler #1 raises to $20, and two people call, a new player and crazy gambler #2. I’ve got a $500 stack and all 3 have the same or more. I hate the thought of putting 20% of my stack in with AA out of position, but this game has just been insane. there is a higher than normal chance of someone deciding to go all in. So I re-pot and stick in $105′ish. Crazy Gambler #1 counts out his stack and thinks awhile, asking how much I have behind, but just calls. Damn! The other two players very quickly call. We go 4-ways to the flop, I’ve got $400 left, pot is $400. I’m shoving any flop at this point I think.

Flop: 7d 6s 6c — I have spades and diamonds, two backdoor draws. Ugh. Not ideal. But I’m not check/folding against the two crazy gamblers here. I shove for $400. Crazy gambler #1 folds. New guy thinks for some time and calls, crazy gambler #2 insta-calls. New guy has about $35 more, so they are not all in. I don’t notice this in the insanity and tell everyone on my side of the table what I have. I show my hand to a neighbor while I wait for the cards to run out, and the dealer mentions to me that they are not all in and there is still action to go. I apologize profusely and feel like an asshole. Everyone says its no big deal, and there’s only $35 behind in a $1600 pot, so its not, but I say to the table that I know its terrible form and apologize again.

Turn 3d, so if I’m not drawing dead to a boat I’ve got some flush outs now. Both players check. The river is an offsuit 4. crazy gambler #2 sets new guy all in, who calls for his last $35 but says “I can’t beat AA but I can’t fold now I guess.” CANT BEAT AA!?!? JT98? T98? I have no idea how many outs I was fading for that guy, he never said what he had but from his reaction I got the feeling he might not even have had a wrap. I dunno. Crazy gambler #2 shows…. wait for it… 8852. Once I turned the diamond draw he had 8 outs to win the pot on the river, 6 OESD outs and two 8’s. My mouth drops open, I would have bet my life on him having a 6.

He scoops a $1600 pot and I’m down $700. I rebuy for $500 more and am in retrospect very pleased with how I handled it. Its PLO, people are gonna gamble. If I hadn’t won so big yesterday maybe I take it badly, I dunno, but I know that shoving AA unimproved is always a dangerous play. I fold my blinds and am feeling ready to go again by the time my button arrives.

I lose $175ish more with the 3rd nut flush later on. I see a flop in position with a double suited hand, something like AQ76 A7 spades/Q6 clubs, this is one of those 8 people to the flop for $10 hands. The flop has a 6 and two clubs, and checks around. I make my flush on the turn but 8 handed or whatever I’m not looking for two streets of value here. The turn fully checks around. The river is a 4th club, and it does make a straight flush possible. Everyone checks to me again and I make a $60 valuebet, thinking that a worse flush might call by now, or maybe even a straight. The preflop raiser thinks for awhile and raises $100 more. He seems like a solid, thinking player and I think its very very possible that he’s got me on a middling flush and thinks I’ll fold. So I debate a little but never seroiusly consider a fold. i call, opponent shows AK clubs. I’m very confused as to why he didn’t put out a bet at any point in the hand, but he probably won as much as he could have playing it the way he did.

I never really make any back up after this, and cash out about $300 at 1am and come home. I hated leaving before the game broke but didn’t want to drop another stack and/or stay way too long while stuck and risk not playing my best.

Day 3: -$1000
Trip Total: +$300

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Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Day 2 Live Play

After not getting enough sleep, working for a couple hours and then taking a mid-afternoon nap, I finally got my lazy ass down to the Borgata around 7:30pm Friday night.

When I arrive there is 1 table of 2/5 PLO going. I sit and buy in for $500. Its 6-8 handed for about 4 hours, very briefly going full but short and on the verge of breaking constantly. I was hoping for more, hopefully Saturday will be better as far as keeping the game together for longer.

I feel pretty timid at first. I see some spots where i call a $20 raise in position and feel like I see a decent spot to float a c-bet but err on the side of caution for the most part, bleeding away chips in limped pots or calling a raise in a multiway pot and folding a lot. I get down $200 fairly quickly and buy back up to my original $500 stack. The first hand I get involved in past a meek flop fold has the CO open limping, i raise 8763 single suited on the button. Flop A84, CO checks, I bet, CO calls. Turn is a 9, CO checks, I bet, CO shows me Axx4 and folds. My timid image pays off for me as the CO comments that I haven’t been firing out a lot and assumes I had a set.

Awhile later I limp KQ73 double suited on the button, 5 or 6 ways to the flop, which comes AJ2 with 2 diamonds, giving me a 12 outs to the nuts(Ad on the board, nut flush draw + gutshot). MP leads out for $30, CO calls, I call. Turn is the ten of diamonds, giving me the nut flush. Both check to me, I bet $75, MP calls, CO folds. River is a blank, MP checks, I bet $150, MP shows AA and folds.

I win a $350 pot a little while later with the 2nd nut straight, inducing a river bluff from a missed flush draw and playing bluff catch. I slowly work my way up to an $800 stack(in for $700, just up $100).

The table is about to break, we’re 6 handed, one guy is leaving, another doesn’t want to play 5 handed, and 4 handed is right out. On the last hand I’m in the big blind. UTG blind raises to $10(no straddle allowed in NJ). The button raises to $30. SB calls, I look down at KTT7, K7 suited, and call. UTG calls. The flop comes T53 with two clubs. We check to the button raiser who bets $100. I decide not to screw around at all and check-raise to $400. After my c/r I have $300ish left, I have the button covered by $100 or so. Button thinks for a little while, asks how much I have behind before calling. The turn is an ace, I shove and button calls. I fear AA w/ the nut flush draw. River is a blank of some sort, I show my set, caller mucks. He says he had the nut flush draw and a gutshot.

I leave the PLO game with $1500, up $800. Its a little before midnight. I waitlist a 10/20 O8 game(normally the OE game but they decided to drop the stud) but it doesn’t look like I’m going to get called for awhile. i cash in most of my chips and sit down at a 1/2 NL game.

I chip up from $300 to $500 during my first hour or two, nothing memorable really. Big hand of the night: Someone raises to $8 in middle position, a couple callers, I call on the button with 52 spades(just because, that’s why), blinds call, i think we’re 5 or 6 ways to the flop. Flop comes 943, 43 spades. One of the blinds leads out for $20, the preflop raiser makes it $50, folded to me, I debate simply shoving but feel like the stacks are a bit too deep for that. I end up raising to $200 and feel like I’m obviously committed for my stack at this point. The lead bettor folds, but the raiser thinks for awhile and calls. The turn is the 7 of spades, giving me the flush. Raiser checks to me, I shove, trying to figure out what my opponent could have. If he had an overpair i can’t believe he’d just call the flop raise, a set surely pushes, and when he doesn’t insta-call my shove it becomes obvious he doesn’t have a flush. I really have no idea… but after thinking for awhile he says “well you’re probably ahead” and calls. He tables TT with the ten of spades(WTF!?!?). I dodge a 4th spade and win another giant pot.

I play NL for another 4 or 5 hours without much changing. I bluffed about $250 off in one hand, betting 3 streets into a guy on an all diamond flop with AK unimproved, Ace of diamonds, getting called by bottom set all the way. I win a $500ish pot off a drunk guy who just got done with a bachelor party. He was raising to $30 preflop with some frequency and making huge overbet shoves on a lot of flops. So he raises to $30, I call him with AJs, flop AJx, he bets $20 on the flop, I call. He insta-shoves the turn, I call and my top two pair beats his AK.

I cash out of the NLHE game with $1100, a tidy $800 profit in NL to go with the PLO win from earlier in the evening.

Day 2: +$1600

Overall: +$1300

I am really hoping PLO runs for longer tomorrow.

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Friday, September 4th, 2009

Day 1 Live Play

I hate getting up early, so I usually leave late/arrive super late for these trips. Today I was up at 10am and out of the house by noon, a time that I hoped would be good enough to beat the DC traffic driving up from North Carolina to Atlantic City.

I did ok, but not great. I hit the DC area around 3:30 which is not early enough. The fact that Baltimore immediately follows as you head up up I-95 after Washington, DC makes that stretch of driving a complete nightmare. I listened to an entire 2+2 pokercast during this stretch, but eventually got out of that mess and got up to my hotel around 8pm.

I decided to head down to the casino and play on my first night. No PLO running, and the 10/20 OE game broke up shortly after I arrived. I ended up sitting in a new 10/20 LHE game. The game I got in was a must-move, the 3rd 10/20 game feeding two main games. For about 90 minutes(3 dealers worth of time…) we were 5-6 handed. I got down $150 early making some light plays like I would normally make online in shorthanded blind defense before I got in a groove and adjusted to the fact that these guys live knew that they needed to adjust 5 handed, but not nearly to the level that one might find in an online game. I was aggressive on the button and 3-bet over some steal raises out of the blinds and won more than my fair share of small pots.

I was up a couple bets when I got called to the main game. I get a seat to the left of a guy that I recognize and remember playing against before. This is a bit odd since I only play up here 3-4 weeks a year. I thought I recognized him as I sat down as I saw his chips stacked not in the normal stacks of 20 but in stacks of 50-60 instead. When he played 8 of his first 10 hands, raising most of them preflop, i was sure it was him. I was glad to have position on the dude, but I have a hard time playing against him. If he folded a little more often in early position I’d probably categorize him as a very good LAG.

Anyway, I end up playing extremely tight for most of my LHE play as a result. Many of the other players loosen up to try to take pots off the LAG, and god knows isolation raises aren’t going to work often. In one early hand I 3-bet Mr LAG with KJs on the button he caps, flop AQx, one of my suit. I call a bet on the flop and fold on the turn, he shows me KK. Another hand I 3-bet TT and fire on a QJx board, getting only one caller(of the 3 that called preflop), an older guy who telegraphed his actions quite a bit. I fired the turn to see if he’d raise me, but he check/calls. On the river, pairing the queen (QJxxQ where xx are very safe looking cards). My oppenent looks like he wants to just open fold, picking up his cards and sighing before checking. I bet/he shows a jack and folds.

I’m still up about $50 after a couple hours, when it all goes to shit in a couple hands.

i raise KQs from mid-position and am 3-bet by a semi wild player who has position on me. I call the 3-bet and we’re heads up to the flop. Flop KQ8, I check/raise and he just calls. I bet the turn and he raises, I 3-bet and get capped. I check/call the river and lose a pretty big pot to pocket 8s.

A few hands later I have 66 in the big blind, about 17 people limp before the LAG raises, I call as do all 17 people. Flop KJ6 two hearts. I check-raise the flop and we go about 12 ways to the turn. turn is the ten of hearts and i puss out and check/call a bet, no explanation for that. The river is the queen of hearts and I check/fold. LAG shows AA with the ace of hearts.

I end up getting up soon after, down $300 at 10/20 LHE. Even with position on the LAG, I just didn’t feel like dealing with it in a game that isn’t my best game anymore. The entire table wants to show up the LAG and the action behind me is so unpredictable. I ended up taking my $200 to a 1/2 NL table and goofing around for a few hours. No hands worth mentioning here.

A couple observations though:

1) Why in the world do so many males in their 20s expect their girlfriend’s to steal a chair from another table and watch them play poker for hours? How many women really enjoy this? Is it *ever* not weird and awkward? I do appreciate the attractive young lady sitting with her boyfriend across from me for an hour or so at 1/2 though. A nice low cut top and she was basically leaning over the entire time to whisper with her boyfriend. NL is slow and boring, I’m not above staring to pass the time.

2) As someone who avoids confrontation in general, I’m probably never equipped to argue with a stereotypical aggressive new yorker(or at least my perception of this stereotype as a southerner). At 4am I’m *really* not equipped to argue with Mr Aggressive Homer Yankee Fan as he makes the case that CC Sabathia’s whale-like frame is built perfectly to support a pitching career into one’s late 30s.

Hopefully PLO goes today. -$300 on the trip at this point.

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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

August Review

First Half of August = good

Second Half of August = bad

In the end I finished down $68 for the month in poker play, but cleared much of a $200 bonus and had rakeback and such carry me along for the month, so my bankroll grew nonetheless.

Graph

I played far fewer hands in August than I did in July. The reasons are twofold. 1) I spent 5 days in Atlanta and played under 50 hands over those 5 days. 2) Playing when you’re losing sucks. I need to do a better job of riding out the streaks, too many recent sessions I get down a quick 2 buyins and my mindset is already screwed beyond repair. Quitting is the right move in these cases, its better than tilting. But I need to get to the point where I can put in the time/hands to slog through these bad stretches anyway.

I played some yesterday and got killed again, and am officially dropping back down to $25 PL for awhile. BUT, that won’t happen for a couple weeks. Why? Atlantic City, baby.

I’m leaving tomorrow for Atlantic City and will be there from Sept 3rd-14th. From what I hear 1/2 PLO runs pretty regularly over the weekends so I’m looking forward to at least 4 or 5 days of solid PLO play at the Borgata. I’ll spend the rest of my poker time at 10/20 limit holdem and the 10/20 OE game, or whatever remnants of it happen to be running(a pink chip O8 game some nights I hear?)

So anyway, live play is more ‘vacationy’ for me, I don’t get to do it too often. I have a good chunk of change set aside for this vacation, enough for a number of 1/2 buyins, and I’m very much looking forward to playing live. Expect updates throughout the next couple weeks of course.

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Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Its like I never left

I was a lot busier in Atlanta than I expected to be. 9-5 workdays were more like 9-7, and when you meet someone you haven’t seen in nearly two years at 7:30 for dinner, you might not finish catching up until 11pm. I played one night of breakeven poker in the hotel but I only played for 30 minutes or so. It was a good trip as far as catching up with people and putting in some work hours though.

First session back at home… 200 hands, -$85, All in EV would have me +$30 (two noteworthy all ins, 75/25 and 60/40, lose both). Since August 12th I’m now down $790, all in EV has me down $175. I notice my cat sleeping peacefully over on my bed right now… do the poker gods accept feline sacrifices? ;)

I’m pretty much looking at a breakeven August at this point, + rakeback/bonus money.

Really after a 1k month at $25 an $50 PL in July a breakeven month isn’t a terrible thing, but I am a bit worried about my mindset as this streak continues. I’m fine when I first sit down to play and can play my A game as long as I’m focused, but as soon as something doesn’t go my way I just am immediately in a “Oh more of THIS” funk and am no longer playing my A game. not tilting away stacks, mind you, just not playing my best anymore, which is not a good thing.

It might be time to brush up on my Tommy Angelo.

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