A couple of tournament droughts have been broken with a short flurry of cashes, just in time for the holidays. 5 cashes in 13 tournaments so far this week, with 11th and 5th in a couple 100+ entry games, my first win (heck, my first cash) in a long time at the home game that got me into NLHE a few years back, and a couple wins in non Hold-’em games. I played a $6,500 guarantee at Encore Club yesterday, busted out after losing half my stack in a A?K? v A?A? showdown, then chopped a small Big O game at Portland Players Club heads-up. And the night before, there was this.
Bovada PLO8 Quadruple-Up (T1,500)
I like these kinds of Survivor-style tournaments. A quarter of the entries get 300% profit. And I really love PLO8. But there were some peculiarities.
Hand 5 7♠4♦A♠3♥ UTG T1,410 10/20
I called with my suited ace and a couple of low cards; CO and SB were along for the ride and the flop hit T♥6♣4♠. Everyone checked, a Q♥ hit the turn and SB bet 20, which I called. We were HU. 7♣ on the river. A bad two pair and second-nut low for me was enough to call SB’s bet of 40 on the river. He showed 6♠J♣K♣5♦ and I scooped the pot.
Hand 6 T♠6♠A♣2♠ SB T1,530 10/20
CO limped in but BTN raised to 90 with 5♥A♦T♦A♥. I called with my potential low, and CO came along with Q♣4♦9♥Q♠. We checked through to the turn and the board read K♣5♣9♣Q♦. CO bet 40 with his set of queens, BTN came along, and I folded since there was no possible low any longer. BTN called a big bet with trips when a 5♦ hit the river, but the full house took it.
Hand 8 T♠9♥J♥8♥ UTG1 T1,420 20/40
Table change. I limped in, then called a raise from CO along with BTN and BB. We got to the turn with checks on a board of 8♣5♦2♠4♣, BTN made a bet of 340 with K♥4♥A♣6♣ and stole it away with third pair and double gutter draw.
Hand 10 8♥5♠A♥T♥ SB T1,340 20/40
Three limpers, me, and BB got to a flop of 6♥3♥8♦. UTG (2♥6♣8♠2♣) bet 200 on top two pair and I called, along with BB (9♥4♠J♠5♣) and his double gutter. J♦ for the turn and I called another 400 from UTG, but BB dropped out, probably a mistake as he was favored for the high. I had a bad low, but was the only one of the three of us with scoop possibilites. a 3♠ on the river gave me two pair, but inferior to UTG’s, and I took the low.
Hand 11 A♥4♥K♦J♥ CO T1,500 20/40
I didn’t notice it at this point, but we were six-handed at the table (seats 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, and 9 were occupied). Nobody had been knocked out on the last hand, no new players had been brought in. As SB on the last hand, I should have been BTN this hand, but the button skipped over me and went from seat 9 on hand 10 to seat 2 on hand 11. This pattern continued throughout the tournament. I hadn’t even seen it before, but it would cause some trouble later in the game, and was particularly punishing to players in the wrong positions on tables with six or eight players. Anyway, I called, along with SB and then bet pot on the J♣A♦Q♠ flop to take the hand.
Hand 12 J♠5♣A♣K♦ UTG T1,580 20/40
I was HU with BB and the flop was Q♦6♣T♦. I called 40 on the flop on my draw, he had 6♦2♣7♣Q♣ and two pair, but we were pretty much dead even on the odds calculator. 3♠ on the turn, but he kept it small at 40 and I called. Any ace, king, or jack locked it up for me, and K♣ came on the river. He bet 40 again, I potted it, and he folded.
Hand 13 J♠J♥Q♦T♥ SB T1,760 20/40
HJ and BTN limped in and I called. 7♥J♣9♠ gave me top set and an open-ended straight draw, so I opened up for the pot and won.
Hand 14 J♠7♠A♥A♣ CO T1,880 20/40
I know some people like to barrel out with aces, but I like to see flops and only one of the six players at the table wasn’t in the hand to the flop of 8♣T♠5♥. SB bet 40 with 6♥Q♥Q♠7♦ and all the limpers called. I had the over pair and gut shot straight draw to a jack, SB was open-ended with queens, The button had a second-nut low draw and a ten, BB was open-ended with seven through ten, and HJ had a pair of kings and a five. The A♠ on the turn put me in the lead for the high with a set. SB bet 40 again and got calls until BTN potted with 4♠T♦2♠3♦ giving him a low flush draw, and a low that couldn’t be counterfeited. SB folded, BB gave up with just the straight draw and and unlikely low. HJ, with the nut flush draw (5♠K♠K♣2♦) made a tight lay down, which was good because there were only three spades left in the deck. I called. 6♣ on the river. BTN tries to steal the pot with a shove, I cross my fingers and hope my set is good. Fortunately, his bet on the turn got out the winning hands, and I take the high.
Hand 16 J♠Q♠8♦7♣ SB T2,060 30/60
Not having to play big blinds makes poker easier. I went from UTG on hand 15 to SB here. I limped in with UTG1 and saw it through to the turn with T♣T♦J♣4♦ on the board, then BB and I both folded to a bet. UTG1 didn’
t have anything: 9♣K♦A♥5♠.
Hand 17 Q♥Q♠A♠K♣ CO T2,000 30/60
I limped in, saw a 6♣5♣4♣ flop, then folded after a bet and a call with no flush draw and no low.
Hand 18 A♣7♠6♠A♥ UTG3 T1,940 30/60
Up to a full table at this point, which means that at least every other round everyone has to pay the big blind (so long as the table stays full). I call, along with CO and SB. The flop is A♦J♦5♦. I got no diamonds, but I do have aces. CO bets 120 with and I come along with the top set. We check a 3♦ turn. 5♣ on the river, and he bets 480. There’s no possible low, I have the second nuts, and I shove. He calls with the third nuts (K♠J♥J♣8♣) and he’s out.
Hand 19 3♥3♦A♣T♦ UTG T3,500 30/60
I have the diamonds this time. Four players get to the flop of 7♦8♦9♦ and I bet pot to clear the field.
Hand 20 6♦4♣2♦5♥ SB T3,680 30/60
BB skips over me again. This low wrap looks pretty nice. I call 120 from UTG after a 3♦K♣7♠ flop, then we check the J♦ turn and T♥ river. I’m bailing on any bet. At showdown he has 4♥A♥9♦2♠ and ace high takes it.
Hand 22 3♠5♦A♠3♥ UTG T3,500 30/60
I limp in along with UTG1 and SB, then BB raises to 300 with 4♠A♥8♦T♠. Not a strategy I’d recommend with a not-particularly-good low, no nut flush draw, and not a lot of straight possibilities. I called, along with UTG1 (A♣7♣J♠K♠. SB bowed out. The flop was 9♠2♠2♥. BB bet 480, with 540 behind. I potted to 2,400 and UTG1 dropped out. BB called (I don’t know why), and the board ran out with 6♣Q♠. I had the nut flush for the high and took the hand.
Hand 28 4♣A♣3♠5♦ UTG2 T5,070 40/80
Wow! Six PLO8 hands without playing! It’s like a record. Five of eight players to the flop. 4♦7♠Q♣ on the flop. I called a bet of 240 from HJ and we saw K♠ on the turn HU, then I folded to another bet.
Hand 29 A♣A♠Q♣A♥ UTG T4,750 40/80
Not a hand I’d normally play in PLO8, but it was worth the price of admission to see the flop of 7♥T♦8♥. I folded to a bet from BB, who ended up knocking out two players after top set on the flop turned into a flush.
Hand 30 6♦2♠5♥Q♥ SB T4,670 40/80
I’m one of the chip leaders in the tournament, if not the chip leader, and I’m ahead of the rest of my table by more than a thousand. Big blind skips over me again. UTG and BTN limp in, I call, and the flop is 5♣8♥7♣. I’m open-ended but just check and everyone follows along to the J♦ turn. UTG1 opens for 160 and the other three of us call. Q♠ on the river, UTG1 bets just 80 holding A♣K♥K♣K♦ (i.e. just the pair in his hand). Everyone calls, I take the high with two paid and BTN’s 4♣K♠J♣A♦ does the low honors.
Hand 32 4♦A♦6♠3♦ UTG T4,990 40/80
Suited ace and four cards six and under rates a limp from me, with UTG1 and SB calling. Everyone checks through to the river, with the board running out 3♠8♦K♥K♦J♠. UTG1 has J♦Q♠T♠5♠ and his jack makes a better second pair to the kings than my three. He scoops.
Hand 33 J♣8♣9♥A♥ SB T4,910 40/80
No big blind again. Seven players and all but UTG and BTN limp in. We all check the flop, the board reads T♦J♦3♣8♠ on the turn, and I open to 200, getting calls from BB and CO. I have two pair, open-ended with no low and no flush draws. I bet 200. BB holds A♣2♣5♥9♦, with a good shot at the low if it comes, and not much else. CO’s got 4♦3♥6♦8♦, with a flush he may not be too proud of and an unimpressive low. They both call. The river is K♠, everyone checks, and my two pair is good for 720 profit.
Hand 35 2♣Q♦A♥8♦ UTG1 T5,630 50/100
It seemed like a good hand. I limped into the pot HU with BB, got 6♠A♦6♣ on the flop, J♣ on the turn, and folded to a bet of 250. BB had 4♦2♥5♣T♣ for a good low draw and club flush draw.
Hand 36 5♦Q♣K♦9♦ BB T5,530 50/100
At last a big blind! UTG and BTN limped in, 8♦6♠2♣ hit the flop, and UTG bet 175 holding 3♠J♥T♠T♣ with just an over pair. BTN called with 3♣5♥3♦J♥ and the gut shot straight draw, and I had my own straight draw so I called. An 8♠ on the river got a bet of 437 from UTG, and a fold from the rest of us.
Hand 37 T♠7♥Q♠J♥ BTN T5,255 50/100
Eight players and only one of us doesn’t limp into the pot. 4♠4♥6♠ on the flop. UTG2 opens up for 350 with 5♠8♦4♣6♦ for a full house and everyone folds but BB, who goes all in with Q♥8♠3♠A♣ and second nut low draw. 2♦K♦ on the turn and river, and they chop the pot up.
Hand 38 Q♠T♠5♣5♦ HJ T5,155 50/100
Everyone but UTG limps in. Q♦7♥K♠ for the flop, and I have bottom two. SB bets 700 and everyone folds except UTG1, who raises to 2,800. SB goes all in with his last 215 chips. The rest of the board is K♦2♠ and both players (SB: J♦K♥Q♣A♠, UTG1: 7♦6♣7♠6♦) make full houses. SB sucks out on UTG1 with the running kings.
Hand 39 A♦5♠Q♠2♠ UTG2 T5,055 50/100
It’s UTG, me, UTG3, CO, BTN, SB and BB to the flop. Q♦3♦6♣. Nobody bets. 5♦ on the turn makes my low and I bet pot, nobody calls (maybe because I’ve got the A♦).
Hand 41 9♠5♦J♥A♥ SB T5,655 50/100
BB skips over me again. It’s really punishing to the players it hits every round. Four limpers and BB to the flop. It’s A♦3♣2♥. I check. BB with J♠6♥A♣8♦—also known as not a whole lot—bets 200 and gets calls from three players, including me. The turn is T♥ and I’ve got a flush draw now. I check again. BB bets 300. UTG1 calls with Q♠A♠K♣5♣ (Broadway draw, 2nd nut low draw), and UTG3 has 5♥8♠T♣2♠ (just second pair and second low draw). The 7♥ river completes my flush and I pot to 2,500, getting folds from BB and UTG1. UTG3 calls all in for with the same low everyone had and gets quartered when I take the high. He does come out ahead of where he’d have been if he folded, but he loses nearly a third of his starting-sized stack in the process.
Hand 42 K♣6♣3♥6♠ CO T7,380 50/100
Eight players at the table. Everyone but HJ to the flop. 3♦8♣5♣. UTG1 leads for 700 with 9♣4♠K♦2♦ and gets called by three players, gets an all in for less from SB (2♣A♦2♥K♠, with a legitimate hand), and folds from BB and UTG. The A♣ on the turn gives me the nut flush, and when UTG1 goes all in for 275 (now holding the nut low), he gets called by UTG2 (3♠A♥Q♣8♥) who has only 225 to back up his two pair and bad low draw. I pot for 5,248, BTN is all in to call with 2♠J♣A♠T♠ and another bad low, then UTG2 goes all in. The river is 9♠, there’s no more action since everyone in the hand is all in except for me. I take the high from the main pot and three sides, BTN gets the second and third side lows (losing about 1,000 chips overall), UTG1 gets the main and first side low (gaining 1,500). SB and UTG2 are gone, I win about 1,700.
Hand 46 6♥A♠2♦4♠ HJ T8,922 60/120
In a quadruple up, in a pot limit game with no antes, and nearly six times the starting stack, I shouldn’t really do anything. But I called an UTG (K♣A♣T♣J♠) raise to 360 with my low cards and spade draw, and BB (7♦2♥5♦6♠) came along. The flop was pretty good: 4♣3♠7♠. BB had the straight and bet pot (1,140). UTG folded his high cards, I potted, BB was all in to call, and 9♦8♥ came out to give us a small high/low chop.
Hand 48 8♦4♠J♥J♠ BB T9,132 60/120
I’m no longer even chip leader at the table, as the player in BTN has more then 10K. Three of the seven players have less than starting stacks, though. I’m in seat 1, and seat three has been tanking every single hand before folding, even though we’re a long way from the chop. The shortest stack at the table, with less than 900 chips, CO limps in with 9♣5♥A♣6♥. The flop is good to him: 9♥2♣3♥, I check, he bets 240, I call just to see what happens. 3♠ on the turn, he shoves, I call, 7♥ river and he scoops. That’s what happens on the rare occasion when I have to play BB.
Hand 50 6♣2♣4♣3♦ HJ T8,248 80/160
I limp in, CO raises to 720, everyone else folds, and I try to knock out another short stack by calling. The flop is Q♦9♥4♥, not the best hand for a bunch of low cards, and I fold when he puts in his last 500 chips. He has A♥T♣5♥A♠.
Hand 51 A♥3♥A♣T♥ UTG1 T7,528 80/160
Despite what the guy with the short stack had last hand, rolled-up aces are not a particularly strong hand in PLO8. I limp in, as does UTG2 and SB. The T♣2♠5♦ flop gives me hope, I pot to 640 and at the turn I’m HU with SB (4♦T♦3♠4♠). The A♠ on the turn isn’t actually very good for me, but I pot after the SB checks, he’s all in to call, and J♠ on the river fails to connect up a full house for me. He has a flush and a wheel, and I’d dropping like a rock, losing 4K over four hands.
Hand 52 9♣8♣J♦5♣ BB T5,820 80/160
I am still near the 4x threshold for making the chop. But there’s something about actually having to pay the big blind. CO raises to 480 with Q♠Q♦2♥K♥ and I call. The flop of K♦A♦2♠ isn’t good for my middle, clubby cards, and I fold to a bet of 480.
Hand 55 2♥A♠2♣T♣ UTG1 T5,340 80/160
I limp in with UTG2 and SB. The flop gives me a low set with 2♠K♦4♣. We all check and 7♦ makes a possible low. BB bets minimum with T♥6♦5♥3♦ a lot of scoop prospects, and everyone calls. J♣ for the river and BB bets small again. I raise to 600, and only UTG2 ([Q♥3♠A♦4♠) with his nut low calls. We split the pot.
Hand 56 A♠5♦8♦2♦ BB T5,740 80/160
Two limpers. No bets until the river when the board reads 4♦J♥7♣9♦8♥. I bet 560 on the low, CO calls. He has 3♦6♠9♠A♣ for a pair of nines and second low, I win the low and my pair of eights lose the high.
Hand 58 A♣Q♦2♠8♠ HJ T5,860 100/200
I limp. HU with BB holding 2♦3♣2♥Q♥. Flop A♦A♠5♠, he check-calls my 500 bet. We check 5♣ and K♦ to the river, no low comes for him and my trips win the pot.
Hand 59 A♠Q♦6♦7♠ UTG1 T6,660 100/200
Four of us go to the flop. 4♠3♣2♠ gives me the nut flush draw and some straight possibilities, so when SB bets 600 I call. We see the 4♣ on the turn HU. SB has the straight with 6♠5♥7♦5♣ and bets 1,000. I follow along and get the flush on the K♠ river. He bets another 1,000 and I call. My flush takes the high and he’s screwed on the low without an ace, losing three quarters of his stack in the hand.
Hand 60 J♦7♥6♠Q♣ BB T9,860 100/200
Three limpers and BB to the flop. Q♦8♣J♣ and I bet pot on my top two pair. Everyone folds except for the guy I beat in the last hand, who’s all in for 1,100 with A♣3♣8♥9♦. Lots of straight draws and the nut flush. None of them get there with the 9♥2♥ by the river, though, and my queens and jacks are better than his nines and eights.
Hand 64 2♠A♠7♥A♣ SB T11,656 125/250
A decent starting hand. Only six players at the table. CO limps, I call, and three of us get a 3♣Q♥9♦ flop. No low, but I bet 750 on my aces and everyone folds.
Hand 69 Q♠7♥A♥J♠ CO T12,031 125/250
I’m taking my own advice and mostly sitting back to let people chew each other up at this point. I limp with UTG1, flop a good flush draw and top two pair with 4♠Q♦A♠. It’s checked to the 5♥ turn, I bet 875 with both the flush draws, and everyone folds.
Hand 73 9♣K♠5♦4♠ BTN T12,406 150/300
Action folds to me. We’re close to the chop and since both of the players in the blinds (including the habitual tanker in BB) have less than three big blinds left, I min-raise. SB is (I think) legitimately disconnected, and his A♦6♠A♠J♣ is folded. BB tanks, time banks, then folds 4♣T♠K♦T♦.
Hand 76 T♠2♠2♦6♦ UTG T12,856 150/300
I limp in with my deuces, wait until I have the flush on the 4♦6♣9♦T♦Q♥ board, bet 300 on the turn and get a call from BB, then scoop against two pair.
Hand 77 4♠8♦K♦3♦ SB T13,606 150/300
I didn’t enter the pot, but I deliberately folded my blind to BB, the shorter of the two stacks on my left, just to punish the UTG tanker as we were within a couple bustouts of the chop. One of the other players messaged “wtf?” but I got a couple of acknowledgements after aI explained what I’d done.
Hand 78 8♠4♥K♣4♠ CO T13,456 150/300
Even though he wasn’t in the hot seat, the tanker couldn’t really wait much longer. He was on SB with just 450 chips left; only one blind if he folded. I limped in, SB called (when he should have just shoved) and the flop was 7♦T♠J♥. SB checked, BB bet 300, I folded, and SB had to go all in or only have 150 left. BB won the hand and SB went out on the bubble after tanking every hand for an hour.
Hand 81 Q♥K♦J♠T♦ BB T12,856 200/400
CO was in the hand to the flop of Q♣A♦8♥, I checked, he checked, I hit the straight and nut flush draw on the 9♦ turn and he folded 7♥2♦A♥6♠ to a bet.
Hand 86 5♣4♣J♠5♦ BTN T13,656 200/400
The short stack in SB was starting with less than one blind so he was very lucky the blinds were skipping positions. The next player out would get the overage of $15 instead of a full $20. I called just to keep him honest and he folded. BB and I checked it to the river: 6♥K♠4♥8♦A♠. We chopped the small blind, with me taking the low.
Hand 87 A♠4♥K♥A♥ HJ T13,576 200/400
I limped in HU with BB, bet 1,000 on the 2♠6♥7♥ flop, and he folded K♣T♦7♦3♥.
Hand 90 9♦9♣5♣7♠ BTN T14,556 200/400
Not a hand I’d normally play, but the short stack was in all in for just 170. I limped in with two other players and everyone checked it to the river: 6♠9♥8♦2♠K♠. The short stack lost the hand (though he tripled his money), we all collected our chop. and that was it.
I don’t know that I’ve ever looked at my VPIP in PLO8. A full 50% in this tournament. I won at least a portion of the pot in 27 hands, 60% of the hands I played and a full 30% of the hands in the entire tournament. 21 of my played hands went to showdown (47%). I won a portion of the pot in 17 of the 21 showdowns (81%). Eight of the 17 showdown wins were scoops (47%), I took 3/4 of the pot in one showdown, and the other eight showdowns won were split evenly between high and low pots.
90 hands. Two hours and fifteen minutes. ROI: 264% including fees.