Desperate Attempt Or Canny Move?

Aces Players Club $10K Guarantee Satellite (3,000 chips)

I was just planning to buy in at full price but I got there early and there was a game about to start, so I joined up. I could have saved my money.

First hand I was SB, with [kx 7x]. About five players limped in, I dropped another 25 to call, BB checked and the flop made me two pair with (I think) [kx 7x tx]. I checked (probably a mistake) and that went around, with [9x] on the turn. I opened with 400 and UTG went all-in. I called and she flipped [jx 8x]. It was not to be the first jack-high straight that caused me trouble this evening.

2 minutes, 1 hand. Finished 9th of 9. -100% ROI.

Aces Players Club $10K Guarantee (10,000 chips)

Had a hard couple of early rounds with every move I’d make just not connecting with the cards. Mucho folding involved. By the middle of round three, I was down to half the starting stack when I played [qx tx]. By the turn, I had Broadway, there wasn’t a flush in sight, and I was all-in. A caller doubled me up to about starting.

Played [5c 7c] aggressively with two clubs on the flop and ended up with 3,300 in the pot before I shut it down. Two other players stayed in and the winner connected for a pair of jacks with [ac jc], so I’m rather glad there wasn’t a club on the turn.

Just after the break I got [6x 6x] in CO and managed to steal the blinds, which put me up to just about even (15,000 chips, including the starting stack and 5K add-on).

The bottom card of my [ax tx] hit top pair on the flop and I managed to pick off another 2K, but I lost 3,400 on [ax qx] when I folded to a bigger stack’s all-in on the [ax 4x 5x] flop. He showed [ax 5x] in a showdown with another player.

Finally managed to get some significant upward movement by calling a smaller stack’s all-in with [jx tx]. He flipped over [9x 9x] and we went all the way to the river before [tx] turned up. That put me up to 19K.

Then, of course, I picked up [Ac 9x] and raised. The flop was [9c 4c 4x] and a big stack at the other end of the table raised 5K. I had to call to see if I could pick up more clubs or better yet a [9x]. What I got was a [6x]. He raised again and I had to fold. That left me with about 12,500 chips as we went into the second break.

Blinds started at 500/1,000/25 after the break and action was moving pretty fast, both with people waiting to make their moves and with three players not even back at the table as action started. I was on my second time as SB when I got [9x tx] and called to see the flop. The flop was low and made me top pair with [tx 8x 6x], so I was all-in. My stack wasn’t enough to scare anyone off, though, and BB called me with [qx jx]. I made two pair on the turn, but that made his straight, and the river failed to float my boat.

4 hours. Finished about 40th of 80. -100% ROI (-140% buy-in, including add-on and door fee).

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.

The Big Play

Ace of Spades $10K Guarantee Satellite (1,000 chips)

I’d already bought in for the game but DV hadn’t arrived yet and I decided to play for his seat since they were trying to round up a couple of players for the last satellite. I didn’t keep track of the cards, but I took a chunk of the stack from the woman opposite me early on, then another couple of medium-sized chunks from around the table before. As the match dragged on past the big game’s starting time, the staff was anxious to get the tournament under way and they jumped the blinds up, which led to the quick elimination of several players, with most of the chips going to two guys at the other end of the table. Eventually, they got into a hand and I was heads-up with a significant chip disadvantage. We got moved to another table since the one we were at was needed for the $10K. I managed to get even or a little bit ahead in heads-up by some good cards and some bluffing, then the tournament was starting and since both the other player and I were already bought-in we just chopped the prize money. DV had to pay his own way in to the big game.

6 players, tied for first. +200% ROI.

Ace of Spades $10K Guarantee (7,000 chips)

Right off the bat there was an announced “dealer appreciation fee” of 10% of the buy-in, which  got you an additional 2K in chips. It’s pretty hard to ignore a nearly 30% increase in the stack size for that price, but I felt it was a bit sleazy to not make it known up-front. I hope it’s not something that spreads to other venues.

I sat in seat 1 of table 2 the entire game.

I caught [ax ax] on my third hand and steadily increased my opening bets against seat 4 in SB. Checked on the river and SB bet 1K. I raised to 2K (we were still at 25/50 for blinds) and he called but the aces held and I was up to about 13K.

Pressing hard with [ac kc] won another several hundred shortly thereafter.

Had [kx 5x] on the BB and caught top pair on the flop. The board straightened out with [kx 8x 7x 6x] by the turn, and I hung on. [5x] hit the river and I ended up takig down the pot from what was probably a stronger king.

Player [7c 9c] and hit second pair on a flop with an [ax]. I made a good-sized raise and everyone went away.

Lost about 1K after raising with [ad 7d], but I was up to 17K at the 90-minute mark.

Playing [qx qx] with an [ax] on the flop cost me about 3K. I made up for it playing [qx tx] in a hand with five players in for 800 pre-flop. The first cards were [kx jx 8x] and I bet out 1,500, which got folds from everyone.

Lost a big hand with [ac kx] when my straight and flush draws didn’t make it and a full house did.

At two hours into the game I was down a bit, to 15,650, but made it to 22K by the second break.

I’d played [7x 7x] and stayed in with a board of [3x ax 6x 3x]. When [7x] hit the river, a short stack in seat 8 went all-in and I called him, with my full house being best hand.

DV wasn’t doing so well, down to about 10bb. After this, no players were allowed to rebuy, I did the add-on for 50% of the buy-in and 7K in chips (not nearly as good a deal as the “dealer appreciation”).

Open-raised to 1,500 with [ax qx] and took the blinds on one hand, then lost 3,500 calling an open-raise by seat 4 (who had speedily recovered from our initial meeting) with [kx jx] when the flop went nowhere. [kx jx] lost me another K shortly thereafter, and perhaps I should have noticed a pattern here.

Blinds were up to 300/600, I raised to 1,500 with [ax jc] and got three calls. Everyone checked to the river and nobody got anything. Nobody else even had an ace.

[ax 7x] again cost me 1,500 after I opened and nothing hit on the flop.

My last hand was [kx jx]. A new player had been moved into seat 2 and taken out two from our table in a short span. I raised after getting top pair with a [kx] on the flop, he went all-in, I called and he showed [ax kx], which held through the river.

DV actually laster a while longer than I did, but was still out well before the money.

4 hours. Placed around 50th in a field of 79. -100% ROI (-180% buy-in including door, dealer appreciation, and add-on).

Aces Players Club 1 Re-Buy (7,000 chips)

Took in 800 early on pairing my nine with [9x tx] on the flop. Ditto with [ax jx] and jacks. Forty minutes in I was up to about 9,300.

[4x 5x] in the BB raised and checked down to the river won me 1K when my paired [4x] was the best hand. By the first break I had crept up to 10,400.

A lucky pull with [8c tc] on BB made me over 5K when I hit a pair of tens with a straight draw on the board as well. that severely hurt the player three seats to my right, but he came back with an all-in against my raise with [8x 8x]. I called, he showed [ax jx], another [8x] came on the turn, and he never paired but the rest of the board made him a jack-high straight and he took back several thousand.

Only about 10,800 at the 160-minute mark.

I played [kx qx] strong but two seats to my left the big stack at the table went all-in after the flop [jx tx 8x] and I didn’t pull the trigger, losing over 6K. Busted out on the next hand when I called an all-in from the guy who’d busted my eights, and he showed [ax qx] against my [ax jx]. Both of us paired our non-ace cards, but that wasn’t good for me.

2.25 hours. Placed 16th or 17th in a field of 23. -100% ROI (-120% buy-in including door).

Omaha, Yo!

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

Just a very lucky first hand that didn’t look like much: [kd qh js 5h]. 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 [ac 7d kc] and SB bet out 8bb. CO folded, I called, and the turn gave me an ace-high straight with [tc] 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 [5s] came on the river, and SB showed [kh 6d td as] 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 [ah qc th 2c]. You’d think it would look good, double-suited with a setup for the low. Holding [qc ah th 2c], I called a raise to 2bb along with two others and the flop was [8s ah 8c]. 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. [2d] turn game be aces up with a queen kicker and I opened with another 2bb. Both players stayed in. The river was [9h], 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 [qc 9d ts 7s] next hand on SB. I limp in after two others, BB raises to 2bb, and everyone calls. [as ks 7c] puts me one card from the nut straight or a flush. I open with 4bb, BB calls, and the other two fold. The turn [3d] gives me nothing and I fold to a bet that puts me all-in, which was probably a mistake.

An odd little [4d 5d 2s 5c] for my third hand. I min-raise and SB comes along. I get almost nothing on the flop of [qh 2h jd] 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: [2c 4h jh 7h]. I’m praying for a [5x] that never comes. Instead, we get [ac qc], 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 [tc 2d jd kd]. I’m heads-up with a limper. I hit two pair on the [ad js ks] flop and bet 2.5bb. HJ raises to 6.3bb and I call. I make a nut flush draw with [6d] 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 [jc] and my full house beats his [7s qc th 8h] straight.

5 hands, 4 minutes. +16.9bb.

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

Straight and flushes in [4d 6d 5d ts]. 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 [7c 5h 3h] flop and open with a 1bb bet. Only the BB drops out. [tc] 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: [ks]. I check, UTG checks, CO bets 15bb, and only I make the all-in call. CO has [3d 8s 6d 9s] 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 [9c qh 4c 5c]. 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 [6d 3s js]. 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 [ts as 9s 6s]. He even had three cards to a straight flush. CO was keeping BB from getting a royal flush with [kd ac ah ks], and he had the best made hand at the moment, but he didn’t really connect with anything on the board. [qc] on the turn gave me an actual pair but didn’t do much for the hand as a whole. Then [4d] for the river made me two pair and won me the main pot of 55.5bb.

6 minutes, 7 hands. +34.5bb.


Puffmammy 2010/11 Main Event (6,000 chips, 1 Re-Buy, 1 Add-On)

There was only a faint chance that I could make up the 42-point deficit in the league standings to retake the Player of the Year lead with this final game of the series and three things had to happen:

  1. At least eighteen players needed to show up to create a point spread wide enough to make it possible for me to catch DV.
  2. DV needed to go out before anyone else (with eighteen players) or very early (with more).
  3. I needed to take first place to pick up the extra bonus points awarded.

A few other scenarios were possible but incredibly unlikely. If we’d had 20 players, either first or second would have put me back on top if DV busted first; we would have needed 24 for me to do it with a third-place win.

As it was, although it looked like there were going to be 18 players a few hours before the event, a last-minute cancellation meant that the POY pot was out of reach. The unlikeliest of the three was DV going out early, because he hadn’t gone out first in any event all year, and had only gone out in second or third positions about one out of seven games. Naturally, last night was the night he re-bought first and busted out first.

As to item three, I got an early chip lead at the table, but then called an all-in from WA and my [8x 8x] were no good against his [tx tx]. It only busted me down to a little above the starting stack, which was better than some, but it presaged a series of bad calls and cards that ended up with me calling an all-in from KN (with I can’t remember what), that left me with a single 25 chip.

I sadly re-bought up to 3K and ran into difficulty once again, with KB sitting on a big stack of chips directly to my left. I’d lost a 1K chip almost immediately playing a suited gap card against a raise from T, but KB snapped things off with an all-in that I had to fold to.

The end snuck up on me. I had [6d 7d] on BB and got a couple of diamonds on the flop, then went all-in. KB called me and I hit the ace-high flush on the turn and thought I’d won, but another [ax] made KB’s full house, which came crashing down around my ears and I was out for the night in eleventh place, even falling into third-place for the season behind KN, who took second in the Main Event behind KB who was moving up strongly as fourth.

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 [ah jd td th]. I raised to 2bb and all but one player called. The flop gave me top two pair with [js 3h as]. The blinds checked, I potted to 8bb. BTN raised all-in to 8.25bb; BB was all-in for 1.5. BB flipped over [5c 6h 2d 5d] and BTN showed [2s 3s ks 7c]. Inside straight and a flush draw, I was slightly favored over both. [3d] fell on the turn and shifted the balance to BTN with a set, but I made a full house with [jh] 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 [jh 9c 9d kh] on BTN. Three players ahead of me called, I called, and only theSB sat the hand out. I made middle set on the [8s 9s js] 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 [jd]. Once again action checked to me and I half-potted for 8.25bb. Two players dropped out but CO stayed in. [ad] fell on the river. CO checked, I potted for 33bb, CO called and showed [4h qs kd 3s] 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 [8h kc as qh] and two of us limped in with the BB to see the flop. [2d 8c ks] 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 [8d 7s kc qs] 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—[qd 3h ts]—although the queen and ten could fit into a straight. Everyone checks and I’m wondering if my pair of queens is good. [7c] 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 [4s] on the river is a brick, but I check, BB checks, and he shows [ad 9h 8s 8h]. He’s been behind since the flop. I take 13bb and I’m up over 35%.

Next hand is double-paired: [kc 8s 8d kd]. I raise to 2.5bb from BTN and the blinds fold.

High-paired and connect-suited: [kh 8s kc 9s]. I raise to 2bb in CO. Blinds fold.

Three-flushed with a spread of six: [8h jd 6h 9h]. 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 [9c 7c 8c]. Two pair for me with straight draws on either end. Everyone checks. The turn is [2c], which gets checked around as well. [jc] 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 ([qd kd 4h 9h]) on the big blind. One limper and the flop is [4c jh qh], giving me top and bottom pair asa well as a flush draw. We both check and I make my flush on the turn with [2h]. 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 [5h td kc] flop. I’ve got top set right off the bat. Everyone checks around to me and I should bet this but don’t. [9h] 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. [qs] 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 [qd ad js 9c] 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: [7c 5c 7h ad]. 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 [qs as 5h]. SB bet 2bb, BB called, I raised to almost the full pot: 10bb. BTN called and both the blinds folded, making it heads-up. [2h] 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 [ts kd td jh]. Heck, even another [tx] would give him a better hand, but I was ahead 4:1. [3s] 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 [6h 6d qd] 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 [3d]. BB bet 1bb, I went all-in (what else?) and he called to show a full house with [as 6c 9s 3c].

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 [kd ac ah kh] 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 [qh 3h 7c]. I checked instead of raising and BTN followed along. [8c] on the turn looked inoffensive. I checked, BTN bet enough to put me all-in and I called. He showed [jc js 8d 8s] and the [6d] 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 [8c 4c 3h 7c] 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 [as 3c 4s] flop and called the SB’s 1bb bet along with BTN. [qh] came on the turn and I called another 1bb bet from the SB, though I suspect I should have been scared. BTN opted out. [2s] for the river either gave him a flush or it didn’t and I called another 1bb bet. He showed a great hand: [ts tc jd ac]. 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: [kd 4c 2h 2c]. I was in for the bb as CO with five players. UTG called, I checked, BTN raised to 4bb, everyone called but SB. [7c 5c kh] on the flop gave me top pair and a low flush draw. Everyone checked. Turn [td] 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 [6c] 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.

[9h 8h 8c qd] for hand two. I limped from UTG and was heads-up with BB. Hit a set on the flop with [9s 3h 8d]. BB bet a bb and I potted to 3.25bb. He re-raised to 12.25bb and I called. [4c] 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 [3c 7s 5d 3d] he had a potential nine-high straight, but I had him about 7:1. [5s] 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: [9s tc jh qc] 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 [3c 5c ac]. I could be beat with a suited [kc] or [2c 3c] 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 [6s 6c ts th] 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 [kc kd ts 3h]. I called from UTG and was heads-up against the BB. The flop was [7c 9h td], BB checked and I bet 1.25bb, half the pot. BB called. [jc] on the turn and I had a gut-shot straight draw. We both checked. [js] on the river and it was checked to me again. I bet 5bb, got re-raised to 20bb, then called to see BB had [9c ks jd 3d] 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 [8c ah 3h 5h] in BB. UTG raised to 2.7bb, I was the only caller. The flop gave me top and bottom pair: [8h 4s 3c]. I bet 1bb and got a call. The [7h] turn put the nut flush in my reach; I checked and got a check from UTG. [ad] on the turn improved by two pair and I bet another 1bb. UTG called, showed [as td tc qh] for only the aces. I earned 4.6bb.

Three hands later, [3c 7s kh as] as CO. Two limpers ahead of me, I called, and both blinds were in. Once again, I caught two pair on the flop of [2s 3h 7h]. Action checked to me and I bet half the pot: 2.5bb. Only HJ called. [td] for the turn, HJ checked, and I checked, seeing as I did have only middle two pair. The river card was [jd]. We both checked, and HJ showed [qh js qd 9h]. I profited about 6bb.

Fourteen hands in, it was [7c 7s qc 3c] 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 [8d qs qh]. 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 [7d qc td 4c] 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 [4s qs qd] 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 [kc 7h 9h jc]. The [5h] and [3h] that hit the board were irrelevant, and my stack was up to 46bb, so I left.

21 minutes, 21 hands. +26bb.

Chip Leader Flirtation

Carbon Poker $2,000 Guarantee (2,000 chips, 1 Re-Buy, 1 Add-On)

Haven’t been playing many tournaments online lately but I tried this one on a whim after my live successes over the past week.

I joined the game in progress part-way through the first level and ended up at a short-handed table to begin with. My second hand was [js tc], which I overplayed on a two-way straight draw flop of [qd 9s as], and with [qh] on the turn and nothing better I had to give it up and abandon ship to the guy with trips. I was down to 1,670 early on.

My first BB was the Doyle Brunson hand: [2s tc]. No thanks, and the raises to nearly 300 ahead of me made it an easy lay-down. I dropped several more hands of the same ilk.

Nine hands in I had a something a little tasty, a [7d kd] UTG. I raised 3x the big blind to 90, got two callers, then BB went all-in with his already-swollen stack of 5,722. I put my remaining 1,535 up against it and everyone else folded. BB flipped over [as ks]. The flop, though, was [5d 3d qd] and he was dead at that point. I doubled up and we moved on.

A few hands later at a new table, I picked up [9s th] on BTN. Two players limed in for 40 ahead of me, I limped and both the blinds were in. I hit an open-ended straight draw on the flop with [8c as 7s]. A big stack in BB bet 150, UTG1 called, CO folded, I raised to 500, SB called, BB folded, and UTG1 called. 1,850 in the pot when the [6h] made my nut straight on the turn. It was checked to me and I bet half the pot. SB was all-in for 1,410, UTG1 folded, and I had to call. [jd] on the river improved my straight but did nothing for SB’s [qs 6s] and I was up to 5,865 at the first break. I bought the add-on for another 3K.

[9h 9d] cost me almost 800 when I went up against [kc qh] (one of my favorite hands) which made a full house by the turn. That was just some stupid betting on my part.

I got a little tricky with [as 2c] on the BB a bit later. UTG2 raised to 180, I was the only caller. The flop was [2s ah 7s] and I checked to get a 300 bet from UTG2. I just called. [9s] gave me a potential nut flush on top of my two pair. I hoped he didn’t have another card to go with his ace and checked. He bet 660 and I raised to 2,500. That left me with 4,715 behind, which was coincidentally equal to his bet and remaining chips. He pushed all-in and I called. He had the better ace with [qc ad] but the [3c] on the river sealed his fate and I came out with just under 13K. I raised to 180 on my SB with [2c 4c] and BB called; I made a pair of twos on the flop and bet another 180, BB folded, and I was over 13K.

About forty minutes into the game, I had a less-than-ideal [4s 3c] as SB at the 50/100 level. There was a stack of 16K on my right as BTN, CO and I were both at about 12K, BB and UTG2 were in the 5.5K range, UTG1 was sitting on a little more than 10K and the short stack was UTG with 1,400. CO called, BTN called, I limped in, and BB checked. The flop fit me like a glove: [5c 6h 2c]. I checked. BB bet 266, two players folded, and I raised to 1,198. He re-raised all-in to 5,742 and I called. He did have two pair, with [2d 6d] but the turn and river only had high hearts and he was out. 18,242 in the stack.

The very next hand was a monster for me, with [ad ks] on BTN. I was already in one of the top five slots on the leader board. UTG limped for 100, HJ called, I raised to 500. BB folded (no SB this hand) and both of the other players called. The flop wasn’t particularly good for me: [qs 9d 8d]. I was two cards off of anything. It was checked around to me and I gave it a check myself, getting [kc] on the turn. Another 100 bet from UTG, another call from UTG2, and I decided to test the water with a raise to 2,000. UTG immediately shoved to 9,936 all-in. UTG2 fled the scene. I had an interesting dilemma, because while I did have the better kicker on the king, there were straight possibilities, double pairs, etc. But I had the bet covered and I’d still have almost 8K if it didn’t work. I was in bad shape, because he had [9s 8s], but then the river card turned out to be the [as] and I won the pot of 21.5K, putting me over 29K total and about 10K ahead of anyone else in the tournament.

Top prize in the pot was over $620, with $450 for second and so on.  It would be a great week if I could pull this off. So how did I blow it?

About ten minutes had gone by, with me still far ahead of anyone else in the game. My table had a player with about 20K, one with 10K, three with between 5K and 6K and three with 3K down to 800. I was UTG with [jh kd] at 100/200. I raised to 600 and got an all-in call from HJ, one of the 5K stacks. I called, he showed [4h 4s], I hit [jc] on the turn but the entire board was [8d 7h jc 6h 5s], giving him the straight and 11K out of the pot. I can’t fault that call.

[as js] Mutant Jack two hands later. Two limpers, I raise to 1,000, get one call from HJ (with a stack of 10K), a flop of [5c 6s 5s] that promises a nut flush which we both check, [2h] on the turn which gets a bet of 200 from HJ and a call from me, and [6d] on the river which gets checked, bet for 200 by me, then raised to 3,400. I’ve got nothing there but the high card for two low pairs. And I’m down to 25K.

I managed to stay above 20K for another ten minutes, then had a sumptuous [9h th] as HJ. I was still the biggest stack at the table with 22.5K but I was down around tenth overall. Blinds were 125/250/25 and UTG2 pushed with 5,350. I was the only caller, he showed [qd qs] and I was a 1:4 underdog. That disparity increased to 1:19 after the [ad ah 5s] flop, and it never got better. Down to 17, 155.

[4c 4h] UTG pushed me back above 20K. I raised to 500 and got HJ (with a nearly even stack) to call. The flop had lots of danger cards—[8h ts th]—but I bet another 500 and got another call. [5c] on the turn looked harmless but it was still an over card to me. I checked and HJ bet 1,950. I called. [js] on the river got another check from me, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do if HJ bet, but he checked and showed [as kh].

Managed to hold on for another twenty minutes in a position that would be just out of the money (below 20)if the game ended immediately, as players were eliminated. Blinds were 150/300/25, I was BB with [4c ks]. UTG1 min-raised, BTN went all-in for only 409, I called. I made top pair with [3h 9d kc] for the flop and bet 900, with UTG1 calling. The [8d] for the turn didn’t mean much to me and I bet another 900, getting raised to 1,800, which I just called. The river [tc] was a bit concerning and I checked it, but called the bet of 2,100 from UTG1. BTN just had [8h jd], and UTG1 had nothing real until the river with [th ah]. The win put me up just over 27K and moved me back near the top ten.

Lost out again with [qh jc] in UTG at 200/400/50. I lead off with a bet of 800, and was raised to 8,420 by the table’s 40K big stack at BTN. Naturally, I called it. The flop was [ah 4h 9s] and I checkedBTN bet another 6,420 and I had to call it off with my nothing.

From 19K after that hand, I was chopped down to 14K over the next ten minutes, playing marginal stuff. Finally, I had a pair, although not a particularly good one. At 250/500/50, I raised to 1,500 with [8c 8s]. BB re-raised to 4,500 and I shoved to 13,869. BB called with 14K behind and showed [kc kh]. For a second, it looked luke I might get lucky, with [6c 6h td 7d] by the turn, but the river [4c] killed that chance.

107 minutes, 99 hands. Finished 56th of 197 players.


Aces Players Club Turbo (5,000 chips, 1 re-buy)

I didn’t keep notes on this tournament, although I really should have.

Started off at table 2. This being a late-night turbo game, there were multiple all-ins from the beginning. I tried to stay out of it for the most part but got tangled up in a hand with (if I remember correctly) a good pair after losing several raises and ended up re-buying.

I moved to newly-constituted table 4 immediately upon buying back in, sitting in seat 9. There were a couple of young what-seemed-to-be-foreign-students in 6 and 7. Then a dapper guy with a lot of chips was moved into 8 and my cards hit a cold spell. Fortunately for me, he was moved again within a few minutes. Seat 6 was on a bit of a tear, but not a good one for him as he ended up felted not long after 8 was moved away. He re-bought but before he could play a hand the tournament director informed him that he’d already re-bought and the late-night turbo (in the interests of shutting down before dawn) doesn’t allow more than one.So a dead stack was placed next to his friend, who seemed very unsure of himself. It was just then that I caught a great run of cards, the blinds started reaching the dead stack, then the unsure foreign guy, then me, and within four hands unsure foreign guy’s stack (which he’d just replenished with a re-buy) was in front of me, along with a lot of chips from elsewhere on the table. We hit the break, played a few more hands, and then the table broke and I moved to table 1 seat 9.

This table is sort of like a blur at this point. I had one of the bigger stacks at the table and just slowly grew things. Mr. Loud was seated in 6, across from me again, yammering on about how I was going to double up his chip stack. He almost seemed to lick his lips when I went to showdown holding [3s 4s] on a flush draw with a player from the other end of the table for about 5K. He and a loud guy who’s a regular seated in 4 were harassing seat 1, who was partially blind. When seat 4 asked him what he thought he was doing at one point, he mentioned he had a hard time seeing, got a quick apology, then the harassment continued. He was busted not long after and left with a sarcastic “Thanks for making the evening fun.” The pair focused their attention on me at one point, when Mr. Loud called me “son” and I said that I was probably a good bit older than he was. Loud, Jr. started in about how Loud had seen way more hands than I ever had (probably true). The bravado was pretty ludicrous considering that my stack was several times larger.It’s not the quantity of the hands that counts.

By the final table, when I just moved to seat 7, I had about 60K in chips. Seat 6 was a guy from Alaska who’d been the big stack when he was next to me at table 3, where he’d started a long discussion/argument when one of the guys he’d knocked out refused to shake his hand. Most of the table (loudly) endorsed the non-shaking position. By the final table, Alaska was on the ropes and a bit down from his cheerful demeanor a couple of hours earlier. He was out in ninth place not long after the table voted to pay all nine. I picked a couple of prime spots and kept building. The turning point was probably a hand in which Mr. Loud (now seated in 9) was involved. He’d doubled up a couple of times, the blinds were 5K/10K, I had about 90K, I think, and was on the BB. My hand was [ah 6h], there was a raise from down the table to 20K, I called, Loud called, and the flop was something like [4x 7x 8x], rainbow suits. I believe it got checked around to Loud, who went all-in for 28K. The guy from down the table folded, but I had enough chips to make the call and leave me with 40K or so. He flipped something like [jx tx], a [qx] hit the turn, then [2x] for the river and my ace-high took the pot, much to the consternation of Loud and his railers, not to mention the folder, who I overheard telling one of his friends that he’d have hit a hand if he could have called the raise. Over my shoulder, I heard cries of “He wasn’t supposed to call me!” but with 60K in the pot pre-flop, I wasn’t letting go of the ace or the straight draw.

I was sitting on a stack of 195,000 by the time we got to three-handed play: 78% of the chips in play. Not quite the disparity I’d had in my last tournament, but then there were only 35 players in this game. I honestly don’t remember the last hand. I think it might have been [kx qx]. I called UTG’s all-in from SB, BB called, with exactly the same number of chips in his stack as UTG, and when the cards were out I’d knocked both of them out so they split the pot and I took home first place again.

I wish I knew what I was doing right.

261% ROI on the evening, above entry fee, buy-ins, dealer tip and (ugh) Diet Pepsi.

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 [ax 2x 3x 4x 5x]. 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


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 [jx jx]. Two players had drawing hands but the guy in seat 1 had [ax ax]. 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 [jd qd] 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 [qx qx] 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 [kc 5c].

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 [ax kx] and managed to bust out two smaller stacks, boosting me up to 110K.

Got into it with the big stack on my left with [5h 3h] 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 [8x 8x] 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 [jx jx]. She flipped over [9x 9x], I made a set on the flop and I was up to 247K.

I caught another player all-in with [9x 9x] while I was holding [tx tx], then took out the second-largest stack at the table when he shoved with [ax kx] and I had [ax ax] 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 [2x 2x] 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 [6x 6x] 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 [7h 9h], 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 ([6c 8c]) made two pair for me but another player’s pocket [qx qx] tripped on the flop and cut me back down to less than 8BB.

I slow-played [jx tx] on a flop of [jx jx tx] and managed to get two callers for a triple-up on my full house.

Another [jx tx] doubled me up against a two-paired [ax kx] and [kx kx] when I hit a Broadway straight.

My hand of the night was [jx jx] but it beat me when someone else played it against my [ax qx]. I lost 20BB but was still had over 25BB in my stack after the previous windfalls. Lost another 5BB on [ad 8d] when I missed the flop completely and utterly.

Three spades on the flop and [ks kx] in my hand meant I was all-in against a big stack. He called, the [as] 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 [ax kx] with two all-ins ahead of me. Pocket [8x 8x] 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 [qx qx], they showed [ax kx], 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.