Foxwoods Before the Storm

On a business trip to Boston and I had a day to kill before Hurricane Irene hit New England. So I decided to head down to Foxwoods in Connecticut, which is running deep stack tournaments at 6pm every night. The WPT Poker Room at Foxwoods is advertised as the largest poker room on the East Coast, so I figured it could be a bit of an eye-opener for me, having played poker in a small tribal casino as my first casino experience just a few weeks back and the only other casino I’d been in being Spirit Mountain.

I got to Foxwoods with some time to kill before the tournament and went downstairs to where the cash action is. Lots and lots of cash action. There was a short wait for a seat at a $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em  table; I got my WPT Poker Room card and some chips.

The games at Foxwoods were definitely not as soft as Spirit Mountain. I managed to lose my first stack with a made straight on the flop hoping that nobody had already made the bigger straight draw. Got it all back when I doubled my stack holding 5x5x with KxKx on the board and the big stack thought I was completely bluffing. Then I managed to lose the whole thing, with my last hand being A7. The board gave me a pair of aces and wheel draw but Kx2x actually made the wheel. I went to get a late lunch.

When I was ready to face the music again, I happened into the start of a $1/$2 Pot LImit Omaha Hi-Lo game and signed up. This session went incredibly well. A three-card run in one hand turned into a straight that won me a double-up, and I caught another couple big hands, nearly quadrupling my buy-in. I actually threw down a hand with both Broadway and wheel draws after a turn bet from across the table that would have cost me about two-thirds of the profit (above the buy-in and the two stacks I’d lost in Hold’em) because I figured I needed to slow down for a second. As it turned out, the wheel came through and I probably could have added another couple stacks because I would have scooped the pot and both the other players were nearly all-in.

Success is fleeting, however. The tournament, a $15,000 guarantee with about 140 players didn’t last very long for me. I could only console myself with the fact that I wasn’t the first person out of the game. It was off to my hotel to get some sleep after that.

Back out to Foxwoods for the morning turbo. Took a bit of a hit after an OK start, but made it to the second table out of 50 entrants. Picked up AxKx in the big blind. After a big raise from a mid-position player and an all-in from button, if I got lucky, I might triple my stack. The raiser was largest stack, both were bigger than me. I called all-in, and the big stack called. The big stack also had AxKx, the button held AxAx which held up, taking me out in 15th. First place paid $917.

The morning bounty tournament was still in the first level, so I bought in there. I plugged along with about the starting stack as the average chip level went up, then took a hit that put a mark on my stack. By the time the blinds were up to 500/1000/150 I was down to about 7bb. I shoved with AQ and got called by someone who could afford the chips to race with TxTx (who I’d knocked out of the turbo game earlier). I placed 14th of 42. The prize pool was $5,149, with $1,803 going to first and just six players paid.

I’d lasted long enough that the early afternoon turbo was beyond it’s buy-in, so I got lunch and some goodies for friends back home, dragged things back to the car, then stepped downstairs to the cash games again.

I haven’t ever played much 7-Card Stud. My advice is, do not make your first live experience against a bunch of geezers at someplace like Foxwoods in a Fixed Limit $1/$5 game. I made a couple of blunders that marked me as a neophyte in the first couple of hands. Seriously, people were laughing. I managed to get a little bit of respect (and some chips) back with a sneaky move and a flush, but mostly the stack went down and down. The slower speed of the game did kill some time, though. I killed some more watching people play Sic Bo.

Finally, the $20,000 guarantee tournament. Our table started out laughably short-handed with just four players despite being set up for ten. People started to filter in as time went on. I pulled an iron out of the fire on one hand when a short-stacked player who had announced she was “on tilt” and I both seemed to have paired a Kx on the flop. Hers was presumably better than my KxTx until the river when I called her all-in as the Tx hit. My turn came later, when AxJx and an Ax on the board ran into a set of 3x with two of them on the board after the turn. That knocked me down to about a quarter of the starting stack and I was out relatively soon, in 98th place of 140. The prize pool was more than $27,000, with fourteen places paid and more than $7,700 to first place.

Back to Portland.

Wyld Stallions

D’s Dealer’s Choice

I hadn’t played with the guys at this table for a few weeks due to a trip out of town and a holiday, but I was looking forward to it because I came armed with several new games I could use to annoy the ever-whiny A, who still bitches and moans about me introducing Badugi several months back. There were only three of us to start with, which made it perfect for Chinese Poker, which I’d seen at the Encore the other night but hadn’t ever played. Two other games I’d never played but cracked open for the night were Sweten—a split-pot combination of 5-Card Draw and Omaha that I heard about in an interview with Greg Raymer on an episode of Dennis Phillips’s Final Table podcast—and Double Flop Hold’em.

I was severely beaten during a round of B’s favorite: Kings and Little Men, where I ended up putting $28 into the pot after losing with two 2s in my hand and a 2 on one of the crosses. Combined with earlier losses, I was down almost $80 in a quarter-ante game (although they’re still telling tales of the night a K&LM pot went over $700) until I won almost the whole thing back in a single hand of unadulterated Pot-Limit Omaha.

I really hate wild cards.

3 hours. ROI: -20%.

Casino Virgin

Despite the fact that in the past eleven weeks I’ve played forty tournaments, a couple city-sanctioned “timed tournaments without one blind level” and a few home cash games, I had never played poker in an actual casino until last night.

I’m still not sure that’s not true, because the casino I played in was a tribal establishment where the “Poker Room” was more of an alcove off the rows and rows of slot machines in the main hall. There was a single table playing $1/$3 Limit Hold’em at 10pm on a Sunday and I put my name on the list, went to the bar to get a beer, and waited for someone to get tired or broke. I read news on my iPhone for about thirty minutes, then took my place with $60 between the oldest player at the table and a lady with an impressive rack of $5 tokens.

I played tight for the most part—it took me a while to figure out the betting structure of $8 max raise—although I did pull down one pot with a complete bluff holding 8T when an Ax hit the turn. I managed to get up to about $90 before a couple of good hands were outdrawn and I tumbled to only $25.

I split a large pot holding K9 with the oldest player on the same ranks but unsuited, then played A6. Several players were in for calls of $16 on a flop with QJx8x. I stayed in with one other player for the turned T. He pushed to the max and I called plus put in my last chip when a K hit the river. I thought for sure he’d hit the flush when I turned over my ace for the straight, but he had Qx9x for a pair on the flop and a straight on the turn, but I’d snuck through with the Broadway draw. With the money from the other players’ early action I more than doubled up and left at midnight with twice what I’d bought in with.

90 minutes. ROI: 100% (including tips).

May Live Tournament Statistics

May got off with a bang, starting with a pair of first-place finishes in consecutive live tournaments over a couple of days and a profit pulled out of the fire in a shootout between them. Time to assess the rest of the month.

Although it looks like I’ve been losing steadily for most of the month, my ROI’s only been below +100% for less than two weeks, because most of the tournaments on the right half of the chart have taken place this week. The last profit shown (in the 10PM Turbo at Aces) was just Monday night. Hopefully, the rest of the weekend will go a little better.

My cash percentage is 25%, but the buy-ins in the puffmammy Main Event and the Ace of Spades $10K guarantee put a bit of a dent in things. ROI, was over +250% after the first two events is down to +2% after last night.

Omaha, Yo!

Cake Poker Odesa Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Max (20bb)

Just a very lucky first hand that didn’t look like much: KQJ5. I was BTN and put in 1bb as dead big blind. CO limped in, I checked, SB raised to 5bb, CO and I called. Flop was A7K and SB bet out 8bb. CO folded, I called, and the turn gave me an ace-high straight with T but put a flush draw on the board. It also ruled out a low. I had 13bb in already and SB bet enough to put me all-in to call. I gave the straight a shot, a 5 came on the river, and SB showed K6TA for two pair. I took the entire pot and left.

1 hand, 1 minute. +23bb.

Cake Poker Odesa Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Max (20bb)

Turnaround from the previous game. In BB for the first hand with AQT2. You’d think it would look good, double-suited with a setup for the low. Holding QAT2, I called a raise to 2bb along with two others and the flop was 8A8. Not looking good for a low for me. I bet 2bb to see if I could take it but only one of the three other players dropped out. 2 turn game be aces up with a queen kicker and I opened with another 2bb. Both players stayed in. The river was 9, of no help whatsoever. I checked, then folded when BTN bet 8bb. He showed an eight for a winning set, UTG showed aces up with a king kicker.

Got a straight-heavy Q9T7 next hand on SB. I limp in after two others, BB raises to 2bb, and everyone calls. AK7 puts me one card from the nut straight or a flush. I open with 4bb, BB calls, and the other two fold. The turn 3 gives me nothing and I fold to a bet that puts me all-in, which was probably a mistake.

An odd little 4525 for my third hand. I min-raise and SB comes along. I get almost nothing on the flop of Q2J but I go all-in for 6bb when SB bets 5bb. He’s got my pair with better kickers, another pair, and a flush draw: 24J7. I’m praying for a 5x that never comes. Instead, we get AQ, which makes the deuces irrelevant.

3 hands, 3 minutes. -20bb.

Cake Poker Odesa Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Max (20bb)

One hand makes the session. I’m BB on my fourth hand with T2JK. I’m heads-up with a limper. I hit two pair on the AJK flop and bet 2.5bb. HJ raises to 6.3bb and I call. I make a nut flush draw with 6 on the turn to go along with my potential full house or straight. I check, HJ puts me all-in to call and I pull the trigger. The river is J and my full house beats his 7QT8 straight.

5 hands, 4 minutes. +16.9bb.

Cake Poker Odesa Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Max (20bb)

Straight and flushes in 465T. On SB on my third hand of the session. Five players in for the price of the bb. I make top two pair with the 753 flop and open with a 1bb bet. Only the BB drops out. T for the turn gives me a higher pair of pairs and I bet half the pot, 4.5bb. HJ drops out, so only three of us are there for the river card: K. I check, UTG checks, CO bets 15bb, and only I make the all-in call. CO has 3869 and may have miscalculated his hand. He only had a pair of threes but with three cards in his hand he had a ten-high straight. Easy to do in Omaha.

I lost 12bb on the next hand, got nearly 10 back the hand after thatm then lost four more before I left.

5 minutes, 6 hands. +21.3bb.

Cake Poker Odesa Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Max (20bb)

A brief day of PLO wins came to a close with this crazy hand. I was UTG with 9Q45. Not a hand that gets into the books as the one you should play with. I limped in, HJ called, CO raised to 3.5bb, BTN called (and had already been forced with a small dead blind), the blinds and I called. Only HJ folded, and pre-flop there was 19bb in the pot. The flop cards were 63J. I had a sort of open-ended straight draw but not much else, and there was a flush draw on the board. The blinds checked and I bet out 4bb, nonetheless. CO called, but BB went all-in. I had squat so far, but I called for less. CO called, as well. BB had the nut flush, big-time with TA96. He even had three cards to a straight flush. CO was keeping BB from getting a royal flush with KAAK, and he had the best made hand at the moment, but he didn’t really connect with anything on the board. Q on the turn gave me an actual pair but didn’t do much for the hand as a whole. Then 4 for the river made me two pair and won me the main pot of 55.5bb.

6 minutes, 7 hands. +34.5bb.

Omaha, Ho

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

I decided to change things up a bit, in part because the relatively few NLHE games on Cake are often full. So I tried out the lowest-stake PLO table, buying in for 40bb.

There were five players at the table. I was UTG and paid the bb to play, drawing a decent AJTT. I raised to 2bb and all but one player called. The flop gave me top two pair with J3A. The blinds checked, I potted to 8bb. BTN raised all-in to 8.25bb; BB was all-in for 1.5. BB flipped over 5625 and BTN showed 23K7. Inside straight and a flush draw, I was slightly favored over both. 3 fell on the turn and shifted the balance to BTN with a set, but I made a full house with J on the river and took 24.5bb. That knocked out two of the players at the table.

All the spots had filled back up a little later when I got J99K on BTN. Three players ahead of me called, I called, and only theSB sat the hand out. I made middle set on the 89J flop. Action checked to me and I bet half the pot, 2.75bb. Only one player dropped out. I got a great present with the turn J. Once again action checked to me and I half-potted for 8.25bb. Two players dropped out but CO stayed in. A fell on the river. CO checked, I potted for 33bb, CO called and showed 4QK3 for a flush that was great on the flop. I took in a total pot of 92.5bb and called it a session.

8 minutes, 11 hands. +63.25bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

Went up a rung of blinds for the next game, buying in for just 20bb. Third hand I was dealt was 8KAQ and two of us limped in with the BB to see the flop. 28K gave me a decent-looking two pair without any flush or straight draws, I bet half the pot—1.8bb—and took it down, which put me slightly ahead after the first couple of hands.

Got 87KQ on SB. UTG raised to 2.3bb, I called along with BB. The rainbow flop here is almost as good for me as the one above—Q3T—although the queen and ten could fit into a straight. Everyone checks and I’m wondering if my pair of queens is good. 7 on the turn gives me two pair again, no chance for a flush on the board, and a couple of straights are possible but not made. I open with a bet of 3.5bb, the BB calls, and UTG drops out. I’m pretty sure the 4 on the river is a brick, but I check, BB checks, and he shows A988. He’s been behind since the flop. I take 13bb and I’m up over 35%.

Next hand is double-paired: K88K. I raise to 2.5bb from BTN and the blinds fold.

High-paired and connect-suited: K8K9. I raise to 2bb in CO. Blinds fold.

Three-flushed with a spread of six: 8J69. I limp from UTG, a new player in HJ checks his buy-in, BTN limps, SB raises to 2bb. BB folds, everyone else calls. The flop is flush- and stright-heavy with 978. Two pair for me with straight draws on either end. Everyone checks. The turn is 2, which gets checked around as well. J on the river makes the flush on the board. I toss a bb bet out and everyone folds. Bizarre. My profit is 6.4bb and I’m up almost 17bb for the session. I should leave but I guess I decided to try to double my investment.

Double-suited with a high connector (QK49) on the big blind. One limper and the flop is 4JQ, giving me top and bottom pair asa well as a flush draw. We both check and I make my flush on the turn with 2. I bet a bb and HJ folds.

On BTN holding a seemingly big hand with a big pair and a large suited connector. Five of us limp in to a 5TK flop. I’ve got top set right off the bat. Everyone checks around to me and I should bet this but don’t. 9 improves me to a straight. HJ bets 3.5bb and I raise to 15.5bb. Everyone between us gets out of the way. He re-raises to 2.75 and I call, leaving about 9bb behind. Q on the river doesn’t improve my hand but it doesn’t make it any worse. HJ bets to put me all-in and I call, he shows QAJ9 for the ace-high straight. We were chopping it until that last queen.

10 minutes, 11 hands. -20bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

Back down to the small stakes for a couple of games. Bought in for 40bb. Hand six here was small-paired and small gap-suited: 757A. I was UTG and limped, HJ limped, BTN min-raised, both the blinds, myself, and HJ called the raise. Got my two-pair-on-the-flop with QA5. SB bet 2bb, BB called, I raised to almost the full pot: 10bb. BTN called and both the blinds folded, making it heads-up. 2 on the river didn’t change anything for me, I went all-in for 25.25bb and got a call from BTN, who had a couple of routes to a straight draw with TKTJ. Heck, even another Tx would give him a better hand, but I was ahead 4:1. 3 on the river made me glad he hadn’t had spades. I took my 79bb pot and went home.

7 minutes, 7 hands. +39bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

A pattern starts to become visible in these sessions of minimal movement with a bit swing up or down. Down in this case. Bought in for 40bb. Nineteenth hand, I was down just 2.5bb from where I’d started. and got four to a wheel with a suited ace. I limped in from CO and four of us saw the flop. Nut flush draw  and a six-high inside straight draw with 66Q but there was a potential full house—or four-of-a-kind—on the board. BB bet 4bb, I raised to 8bb, two others got out and BB re-raised to 28bb. I called, with 8.5bb behind. Hit my flush (and pointless straight) on the turn with 3. BB bet 1bb, I went all-in (what else?) and he called to show a full house with A693.

14 minutes, 19 hands. -40bb.

Cake Poker Perth 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

I’ve gotten the impression that I sort of liked H/L games playing D’s bi-weekly cash game but something about playing it online just left me feeling stupid. Maybe it was because I had KAAK on my second hand here (with a 40bb buy-in) and I busted out. I was BB, BTN raised to 3.5bb, SB called, I re-raised to 14bb and got a call from BTN. Flop gave me the nut flush draw with Q37. I checked instead of raising and BTN followed along. 8 on the turn looked inoffensive. I checked, BTN bet enough to put me all-in and I called. He showed JJ88 and the 6 hit on the river. Nothing really to do with the H/L game structure, really, I just decided to concentrate on pure PLO.

1 minute, 2 hands. -40bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

Only won a couple of hands in this session, not enough to right my boat but had to get out before I got even or lost everything. Only significant hand came when I was down almost 25bb from my 40bb buy-in. Got 8437 in UTG, a hand rife with unexpected straight and flush possibilities. I limped, BTN limped, SB min-raised, and three of us called. Hit two pair on the A34 flop and called the SB’s 1bb bet along with BTN. Q came on the turn and I called another 1bb bet from the SB, though I suspect I should have been scared. BTN opted out. 2 for the river either gave him a flush or it didn’t and I called another 1bb bet. He showed a great hand: TTJA. The problem was that it wasn’t a great board for that hand and my crappy low two pair was better. I got out a couple of hands later.

14 minutes, 12 hands. -16bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

Bought in for 40bb, First hand was low-paired and half-suited: K422. I was in for the bb as CO with five players. UTG called, I checked, BTN raised to 4bb, everyone called but SB. 75K on the flop gave me top pair and a low flush draw. Everyone checked. Turn T did nothing for me, but it meant there were no straights on the board yet. BB and UTG checked but I bet 5bb. Everyone called and the pot was up to 36.5bb. Made my nearly-straight-flush with 6 on the river. BB checked, UTG bet 1BB, I just called in case there was a higher flush, BTN and BB called. UTG  had a seven-high straight, BB had a set of sixes, BTN just had a pair of kings (albeit with a better kicker than I had). Won 28bb.

988Q for hand two. I limped from UTG and was heads-up with BB. Hit a set on the flop with 938. BB bet a bb and I potted to 3.25bb. He re-raised to 12.25bb and I called. 4 turn didn’t mess things up for me. When BB went all-in for 9.5bb I called and saw his set of threes. With 3753 he had a potential nine-high straight, but I had him about 7:1. 5 maintained the status quo and I grabbed 20.25bb of profit.

I played a couple more hands and won both of them, too (though for lesser amounts) then got out and banked it.

4 minutes, 4 hands. +58.25bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

After the success of that outing, I stepped it back up to the higher-stakes tables. Kept the buy-in at the 20bb minimum and drifted along for a couple of hands as long as the flop in each case. I was down about 4bb by hand 5 when I got a three-suited four-straight: 9TJQ in HJ. I limped, CO raised to 4bb, BB three-bet to 13bb, I called, CO called. My stack only had 3bb left. My flush hit on the flop with 35A. I could be beat with a suited K or 23 in someone’s hand but it didn’t seem likely. BB checked, I tossed in my last 3bb, and BB felt he had to call to keep me honest, I guess. Then again, with a stack of 115bb, I guess he could afford to. He showed 66TT and needed two runners to win, which he didn’t get. I took in a profit of 26bb and left.

7 minutes, 5 hands. +22bb.

Cake Poker Darwin Pot-Limit Omaha

Winning was fun! It put a whole new perspective on poker. Because some of the other tables were full, I sat down at the full-sized low-rent tables for a bit. Did my usual of lying in wait through the blinds to the flop with hands I liked. I was down to 29bb from my original 40bb buy-in when I got KKT3. I called from UTG and was heads-up against the BB. The flop was 79T, BB checked and I bet 1.25bb, half the pot. BB called. J on the turn and I had a gut-shot straight draw. We both checked. J on the river and it was checked to me again. I bet 5bb, got re-raised to 20bb, then called to see BB had 9KJ3 for a full house.

Had two pair get knocked out by a five-high straight made on the flop the next hand.

14 minutes, 11 hands. -40bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

Started off well with 8A35 in BB. UTG raised to 2.7bb, I was the only caller. The flop gave me top and bottom pair: 843. I bet 1bb and got a call. The 7 turn put the nut flush in my reach; I checked and got a check from UTG. A on the turn improved by two pair and I bet another 1bb. UTG called, showed ATTQ for only the aces. I earned 4.6bb.

Three hands later, 37KA as CO. Two limpers ahead of me, I called, and both blinds were in. Once again, I caught two pair on the flop of 237. Action checked to me and I bet half the pot: 2.5bb. Only HJ called. T for the turn, HJ checked, and I checked, seeing as I did have only middle two pair. The river card was J. We both checked, and HJ showed QJQ9. I profited about 6bb.

Fourteen hands in, it was 77Q3 on BTN. I called after action folded to me, SB raised to 3bb, the BB folded, and I called to go heads-up. Hit a set with the flop of 8QQ. SB checked and I raised to 3.5bb, was re-raised to 7bb, and went all-in for about 26bb. SB folded and I took in 10bb profit.

12 minutes, 14 hands. +18.3bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

Another excursion on the same table a couple of hours later. Nothing really happened for twenty hands, then I picked up a not-especially-choice 7QT4 as HJ. Still, it was double-suited, and I limped in. CO and SB limped but BB raised to 5bb. I was the only caller. The 4QQ flop made me a full house and I was more than happy when BB led out with a 6bb bet. I went all-in with 18.6bb, fully expecting BB to call from his 60bb stack, and he complied, showing an already-dead K79J. The 5 and 3 that hit the board were irrelevant, and my stack was up to 46bb, so I left.

21 minutes, 21 hands. +26bb.

Hands Chopped Off

D’s Dealer Choice Game

Quite the turnaround from the weekend tournament. Three hours of mixed games essentially wiped out the cash game profits from the other night. I won two hands, one of them because D convinced everyone to evaluate a Badugi hand incorrectly and the other only marginally because I split the low of an Omaha pot with Ax2x3x4x5x. Down 2.5 buy-ins.

Since it was close by, I stopped by The Final Table to see if they had enough people for their advertised 11pm turbo but there were just a couple tables playing. Ran into one of the dealers I’d originally met at PPC who was managing the place and who actually remembered the card cover I’ve often used, which is the helmet from my Simpsons®-brand Professor Frink figurine.

Professor Frink & Accessories

Roots

Portland Players Club $1,000 Guarantee Freeroll (4,000 chips)

I hadn’t been in PPC since the middle of last May, preferring the comfier chairs of Aces, but a Facebook invite from their new owner and the potential for nearly-free money lured me in. The format allowed for re-buys during the first hour and an add-on, all for 4K in chips. About 70 players started.

I caught a big break early on in a four-way all-in holding JxJx. Two players had drawing hands but the guy in seat 1 had AxAx. The board had other ideas, however, and drew out to a jack-high straight, giving me a pot of about 17K. By the time of the first break I was at 19K.

Playing JQ and the board turned up some more diamonds. A king-high flush gave me another win that put me up to 30K. At the 140-minute mark, I was up to 40K.

I thought I’d lost a big stack with QxQx when an all-in matched the cards in his hand for two pair, but a pair of twos on the board gave me a second pair, as the dealer pointed out. He got a good tip later. That hand put me up to 75K and I was starting to dominate the table. I took a look around during the second break and I’m pretty sure I had the biggest stack in the room.

An hour after I was at 40K I hit the 100K mark. We’d started with eight tables; by the time it was consolidated to two I had 101K.

The blinds were getting up there and several of my hands failed to connect, with me just letting my raises go rather than trying bluffs, but at the four-hour mark I was down to 89K and there were a couple of other stacks at my table that were close to or possibly even larger. I lost another 6K to the woman on my left when I tried to play bottom pair on the flop from K5.

At the third break, I was down to 83K, but still one of the larger stacks. Not dominating any longer. The first hand after the break, though, I picked up AxKx and managed to bust out two smaller stacks, boosting me up to 110K.

Got into it with the big stack on my left with 53 that double-paired on the turn. The woman on my left was all-in, I had called and had 30K in the pot and was ahead of her 8x8x until she made a set on the river and took it down. Even so, with some more wins I was sitting on 170K when we redrew seats for the final table four hours and forty-five minutes into the match.

The woman who’d doubled up through me earlier had been seated directly on my right for the final table and had a healthy stack. She went all-in with about 70K and I called her with JxJx. She flipped over 9x9x, I made a set on the flop and I was up to 247K.

I caught another player all-in with 9x9x while I was holding TxTx, then took out the second-largest stack at the table when he shoved with AxKx and I had AxAx in the big blind. Incredibly good luck.

By the fourth break I had about 475K in chips. The blinds were 4,000/8,000, we were down to three players, and I was raising every hand I could with opening bets of 25K, which was over half the stack sizes of either of the the other two players. Barring a double-up, they had only a few hands each left before they were blinded out, and they proposed a chop that left me first place with them splitting second and third. I had no problems with that.

After paying the door fee, an add-on, and a tip for the dealer (plus a couple of Diet Cokes) my ROI was +450%.

Portland Players Club Shootout

Since I’d already paid my door fee for the day, I figured I’d go back over to PPC for the last tournament, but while their 7pm game was going strong, I was only the second person signed up for the 9pm turbo when I got there at 8:45. It wasn’t promising and I waited around for one of the shootouts to start, playing Tonk with the owner and a couple of the dealers.

Supposedly, you buy into the shootouts for 25-50BB but it seemed as if some of the players re-loaded above the top level after the game had been going for a while. Just sayin’. I bought in for 30BB. The game was set to play for 90 minutes.

Took a massive hit on my first hand holding 2x2x in the BB. Hit a set on the flop, got into a bidding war with a 50BB stack at the end of the table and he beat me holding 6x6x when his set made it on the river. I lost about two-thirds of my stack right there.

Not too long afterward, though, I played 79, went all-in after making middle pair with the nine, made a set on the turn, and got back up to 20BB.

Another suited gapper (68) made two pair for me but another player’s pocket QxQx tripped on the flop and cut me back down to less than 8BB.

I slow-played JxTx on a flop of JxJxTx and managed to get two callers for a triple-up on my full house.

Another JxTx doubled me up against a two-paired AxKx and KxKx when I hit a Broadway straight.

My hand of the night was JxJx but it beat me when someone else played it against my AxQx. I lost 20BB but was still had over 25BB in my stack after the previous windfalls. Lost another 5BB on A8 when I missed the flop completely and utterly.

Three spades on the flop and KKx in my hand meant I was all-in against a big stack. He called, the A hit on the turn and I was way ahead for the night, with a half hour to go on the timer I had nearly 90BB, triple my buy-in. I should probably have just sat on it, paid my blinds, and waited for the buzzer.

I was sort of intending to do that, and dumped AxKx with two all-ins ahead of me. Pocket 8x8x took it down, but there was a Kx on the flop and I could have made more. That’s probably what got me antsy.

I called a 30BB all-in holding QxQx, they showed AxKx, pulled an ace, and I was still ahead of where I’d begun but not as much.

Time ended soon after. I’d paid my door fee earlier, after a tip to the dealer and a Diet Coke I had +85% ROI.

Overall for the day: +262% ROI.

End of An Era, Pt. 7

Full Tilt Flash Rush

Sat quietly for 35 hands, then open-raised to 2.4BB with JA from HJ. BTN re-raised to 8BB and I called. Flop was 479, I bet 5.2BB, BTN raised to 16BB and I called. 7 for the turn. I bet all-in with 27.4BB and BTN folded, earning me 22.2BB.

Made my big killing with AA on BTN. HJ limped in, I raised to 3.2BB. Only called was HJ. Flop hit 84Q. HJ checked and I bet 2.8BB, getting re-raised to 5.6BB, which I three-bet all-in for 70.8BB. HJ called quick and showed QK. I took in 139.8BB total. Hung around for a while after that without managing to lose it but I should have exited and banked the profit before doing anything else.

32 minutes, 67 hands. +124BB.

Full Tilt Flash Rush

Just minor losses and fewer wins for fifty hands here, then I picked up JK as UTG3. Open-raised to 2BB, got calls from BTN and the blinds. Flop was T23 and we checked all around. 2 for the turn. I opened with 3.2BB bet, only SB stayed in. 8 on the river and I had second nut flush. SB went all-in and I had to follow. Of course he had the A.

Re-bought and laid low again for forty hands. Got QQ as UTG and raised to 2.2BB. UTG1 immediately three-bet to 8.6BB and everyone dropped out until it got round to me again. I four-bet to 46.8BB and this time UTG1 just called. The flop was 4TA and I put him to the test with an all-in of 42.4BB. He folded.

Nothing else really dramatic. I did manage to draw out 19BB from a pair of jacks by weak-playing some aces. I didn’t quite manage to make my original buy-in back.

40 minutes, 158 hands. 2 buy-ins. -28BB.

Full Tilt $4,500 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Had a brief dip for a couple of hands at the beginning then with 1,830 chips and QA in my hand as SB I open-raised to 50 from 10/20. BB came along. Flop was a safe 3A7, I bet 100, BB went all-in for 2,340, and I called. He had bottom pair with T3. Two 4x showed for the turn and river and I was up to 3,680.

Had a few smaller wins after that but my participation was short. I had my own T3 in the BB at 20/40, with 4800 chips. Four players limped in and I checked my option. The flop looked good: 835. SB bet 200, I called, UTG went all-in for 5,760, and I was the only caller.He had 98 for top pair but I was a slight statistical leader going into the turn. That, unfortunately, was 9. Now I needed to make the flush or a 7x for a straight. It was 6 on the river, though, and I was out.

28 minutes, 29 hands. Finished 1,179 or 1,591 players. No bounties.

Full Tilt Flash Rush

Was down over 26BB (out of 80 to start) after 23 hands and got incredibly lucky on the river. Had K6 on BTN, open-raised to 2.2BB, BB re-raised to 3.8, I called, and I hit top pair on K57. BB checked, I bet 8BB, BB re-raised to 16, and I was all-in for 48.6. BB called and showed AA. Q for the turn seemed to spell doom, but my kicker paired the 6 river card, so I was positive again, with a win of 46.6BB.

Managed to increase it to a profit of more than 52% but didn’t get out for some reason. Then I overplayed JK against QQ—which drew a set on the flop—and lost nearly 58BB.

K6 came through for me again, putting me back into positive territory briefly, but AT lost out to a pair of kings, then my flopped set of jacks hit a set of aces on the turn and I was out.

23 minutes, 81 hands. -80BB.

Full Tilt Flash Rush

Skimmed along at the break-even point for most of this first game after the news of Black Friday broke. Only one win or loss greater than 6BB for eighty hands. Then, in the BB, I had 26 and two limpers ahead of me. The flop gave me two pair—6K2—but it was a bit weighted for a flush. Everyone cheched to the A on the turn. Everyone checked again. River was 8. SB went all-in for 54BB with a pot of only 3BB. It seemed like a steal, but it wasn’t. When I called he had the nuts: QJ.

I still had about 4BB left but that went away on the next hand.

21 minutes, 88 hands. -80BB.

Full Tilt Flash Rush

Got down more than two-and-a-half buy-ins in this last outing on the Rush tables for who knows how long. Managed to gain a little back with TQ outdrawing flopped double-paired KA to a club flush on the river.

39 minutes, 169 hands. -39BB.

Full Tilt $2,500 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

The first thing I noticed on this tournament is that the guarantee has been dropped from its usual 10K to a quarter of that. Why am I playing it? How am I playing it? Apparently, the software updates haven’t caught up to me yet by this time Friday eventing. As for why, if the money’s just sitting there on Full Tilt, why not? It’s not like I’ll be able to get it any time soon.

I’m down to 1,365 after a few minutes, with K2 on BTN. I min-raise to 60, both blinds call. Flop is good-ish with 6K5. Both blinds check, I bet 180, BB calls. 9 for the turn, checks from both of us. 9 on the river. BB checks, I bet 300, he calls and his king kicker isn’t great but it’s better than mine: [kq]7. Down to 825.

I go all-in with 720 and KT from UTG1, A9 calls from BB, and I double up when I pair the ten on the flop. Then I take another hit down to 900 a quarter-hour in. A couple of good hands let me eke back up over 1,400 before I hit paydirt at the half-hour mark.

Blinds are 30/60. UTG1 limps in. I had AK as HJ and raise to 210. BTN and UTG1 call. Flop is ugly, with someone else’s flush draw and only an inside straight draw for me: Q2T. UTG1 checks, I go all-in for 1,167. BTN has only 875 and calls, he’s got a set: TT. My straight comes through on the turn with J. If UTG1 had the flush draw, they’d have been unhappy to see the A on the river. I take the pot and I’m up to 2,762. The EV graph in PokerTracker did not like that move.

I make another 500 with KA two hands later, then 600 with 75 a couple hands after that. That was pretty much the peak, though, and after that it was mostly downhill.

41 minutes, 124 hands. Finished 129 of 559.

And that was my last game on Full Tilt for a while.