Wild Kingdom: Hands 41-60

Bovada $500 PLO8 Bounty

Forty hands into an online PLO8 bounty tournament with 65 entries. On my table (I’m player 21), three bounties have already been claimed (I got one on hand 19). You can get a feel for just how aggressive the field is (and possibly just how bad some of the players are) by the fact that more than half the field has been eliminated already. I started in the middle of the 30/60 level, each level is lasting about seven or eight hands. PLO has more players to the flop and more post-flop action than NLHE, so hands tend to last longer, and these are full-ring tables unlike the 6-Max hand-by-hand.

At the end of Thursday’s installment, I’d lost some ground, but was still at double the starting stack. With half the players gone, that’s about chip average.

A note for anyone who’s interested in how the numbers for these charts (and the charts themselves) get cranked out. I wrote a tool using an old-school software development tool called Adobe Director. It’s so old that the first versions I used came on big bunches of floppy disks. But it has fantastically simple text parsing and file input/output, so I wrote a tool to parse a Bovada hand history file and create two new files: an HTML file with the tables, showing players, cards, stacks, and blind levels, and a text file with statements in the Poker Query Language (PQL) used by ProPokerTools. The PQL statement for each hand could be input into the PPT’s online PQL Runner (or into their desktop Odds Oracle application). The PQL cranked out chances for the cards dealt to the player to have the best high (winsHi or tiesHi) or best low (winsLo or tiesLo) hand, as well as their overall equity (riverEquity) . You can see in the sample below the results for the cards as dealt for Hand 41 for CO, D, SB, and BB, and below that how it translated into the chart. Values for subsequent streets of action were created by modifying the PQL statement.


HAND 41125/250637A2

D has what looks to be a strong hand, at least for a high. A suited ace, with a pair in the top half of the ranks. He has only 1% equity in the pot to start with, however, because a) he has no low; b) the other two nines are dealt out, making it impossible for him to get a set, and two other players have higher pairs; c) only three spades remain in the deck, making his flush draw more difficult; d) only one ace and one king are undealt, and even if both cards show up to make two pair and that’s the best hand, he’d potentially be splitting the pot with HJ. Nonetheless, he limps into the pot, along with four others. UTG1 folds a hand that has 17% equity, more than anyone except SB (19%, with the nut low, suited ace, and a pair) or BB (25% with a pair and no low). SB checks his monster and everyone checks behind. SB finally makes a 250 bet after his set is behind on the turn, BB folds, UTG and I call. UTG misses his draws for a straight and a flush on the river, SB’s set stays good and he bets another 250. UTG calls with the pair of aces, my 6532A low isn’t perfect but I call and take half the pot.

HAND 42125/2509A3K5

Pre-flop, UTG2 has 24% equity in the hand overall—more than twice the average of 11%—though he has no low. BB, UTG3, and CO, essentially tied for the most equity in any possible low pot, have 18%, 10%, and 8% respectively, because their best draws are to low hands. Action folds to UTG3, who limps in, along with CO. The three players check the flop. BB checks the turn and UTG3 makes a min-bet with a pair of aces. CO’s low card is counterfeit and he folds, leaving BB to make the call. With CO out of the hand, no card can come to prevent BB from at least splitting the high, and he still has a chance for the low. The river gives BB two pair but ruins his low, which goes to UTG3.

HAND 43125/2504598J

BB’s low drawing hand with a suied ace has 42% equity, about as much as you’re ever going to get in a nine-way PLO8 hand. Which is sad, because everyone folds to SB, who limps in. SB check-calls a bet of 500 on the flop as he picks up top pair and a straight draw. SB calls another 1.5K on the turn, with top two pair, then folds his share of the pot to an all-in from BB, who takes in 4.5K. SB loses half his stack.

HAND 44125/2502483

UTG and CO limp into the pot. Everyone checks the flop. I can’t know in BB I’ve got the best high but I’m secure with my low, and pots 875 on the turn, getting folds from both of the other players.

HAND 45125/250A283

UTG3 and SB (me, again) limp in. BB starts out with a pair of kings and an ace, with a not-horrible low draw, but SB flops the world, with a set and a flush draw for the high. I pot to 750 and get called by UTG3. The turn makes a flush for me and gives both of us the same 8432A low., but I pots to 2.3K and UTG3 gives it up. He’d only lose chips to call, anyway, since he’d be quartered.

HAND 46125/25049Q62

UTG and UTG2 both have suited Ax2x hands for the best low draw, though UTG2 has a better backup low. UTG inexplicably folds, leaving UTG2 and HJ limping into the flop along with SB. SB makes top set on the flop and bets half pot, getting a call from BB, with middle pair, a backdoor straight draw and a flush draw. UTG2 folds his low draw, which looks a little vague. HJ has bottom two pair and the nut flush draw and goes all-in for 2.1K. SB raises to 5.1K. BB folds. Until those folds, HJ doesn’t have a chance to win a low pot, but now he’s in contention for the low, if there is one. The turn keeps that possibility alive, then the river brings in a flush that counterfeits SB’s set while also making a low, and HJ scoops the pot.

HAND 47150/3009355Q

It’s odd to think that UTG’s low rundown hand could have a 0% chance of making the low hand, but all four of the aces are dealt, so there’s nothing that can counterfeit one of them as a low. It won’t matter in this hand anyway. Only UTG3 folds pre-flop (with just 1% equity as dealt). I have top pair and a straight draw as CO, UTG2 has bottom two pair. Action checks around to D, with the nut low draw, who bets 900. UTG and UTG1 are the only callers, with an open-ended straight draw and flush draw, respectively. The flush comes through on the turn for UTG1, D’s still drawing to a low. UTG1 bets just 600, getting calls from D and UTG (who’s drawing dead). On the river, UTG1 bets another 600 but this time nobody calls and he wins the hand.

HAND 48150/300

After a hand of carnage, there’s often a lull, and this was one of those hands. UTG raised to 1.1K with his aces (and 42% equity) and everyone folded behind him.

HAND 49150/30048J99

UTG in this hand has a pretty good low draw and pots to 1.1K, getting calls from me (in HJ) and CO. UTG goes all-in for 2.6K on the flop, both CO and I call, though my low is broken, I do have a bad flush draw and a backdoor flush possibility. CO has the nut heart draw and a made pair. The turn gets checked, as my chances get smaller and smaller, then the river kills any possibility of a low and CO pre-flop pair of tens makes the best hand and picks up a bounty for player 49, who’s eliminated in 37th place.

HAND 50150/3002T2KA

I limp in and I’m HU on the flop with BB. My chance of a low as dealt is 0.47%, but with most everyone else out of the field, I’m the only one with any chance and it’s about 50%. The flop makes a better pair for BB, but my flush draw has me in the lead for the best high by the river. The turn seals my flush as the best hand, but BB bets 300 on his straight draw and I call it.He bets another 300 on the river after making a straight, and I just call, because I do just have the fourth-best flush, and there is a possibility of a full house.

HAND 51150/300J5TAT

The first three players to act fold (not really sure why HJ’s folding here, with a suited ace and Ax2x; what’s he waiting for?), and everyone else limps in. D hits the big time with top set on the flop and calls a bet of 1.2K from CO, who has a gut-shot Broadway draw, as well as middle pair and an over pair. SB comes along with low cards and an open-ended straight draw. On the turn, D bets 1.8K, SB folds due to a timeout, and CO calls. CO goes all-in with a full house on the river, but D has a better full house and takes the pot and a bounty.

HAND 52150/300769K

CO and SB are the only limpers into the pot, despite HJ’s decent low draw and suited ace. SB checks the flop. I have a straight in BB with no equity and pot to 900. CO just calls with the nut flush, and SB folds (SB’s 1% chance for a win would be if the turn and river are running 6s, 7s, or 9s, giving him a full house). I thinks his straight might be good and bet 2.7K. CO disabuses me of my belief and pots to 10.8K. I folds.

HAND 53200/400TAA74

HJ, CO, and SB limp in. HJ opens after the flop with trips for 700. CO shoved for 2.8K. I folded SB, BB folded, HJ called. The turn gives HJ a full house, the river makes a low for CO and they split the pot.

HAND 54200/4009AQQJ

HJ and CO fold. SB folds because of a timeout, otherwise he’d probably be in because he has the low draw. UTG and D (me) limp. BB folds, despite not having to put any money in. Chances for a low are slim on the flop, UTG bets 400 and I call. There’s no low after the turn, I have the hand locked with the river giving me enough guts to bet 3K on the river, waving off UTG.

HAND 55200/400898

UTG calls, HJ calls, and I call with less-than-average equity because I’m a sucker for these weird mid-range run-downs. Amazingly, with half the other players folded out, I have a 50% chance of making the best high hand by the river. Things are even better after I get trips on the flop. HJ makes a bet of 900 with his aces. I have a flush draw—the only flush draw to be made. I have trips. I have a gut-shot straight draw to the ten. And I have three live cards to a full house with eights over. I pot to 4.5K and take the hand.

HAND 56200/400

UTG2 pots his double-paired hand to 1.4K and takes the blinds without contest.

HAND 57200/4006TJ23

UTG has aces and pots to 1.4K, leaving only 2.2K behind. Action folds to BB, who re-pots a Broadway run-down with two suits. UTG calls all-in and goes HU with 75% equity in the hand. There are three qualified low cards on the board by the river, but the six invalidates UTG’s low and BB has only one qualified card in his hand. UTG’s aces don’t come into play: his jack and six make two pair on the flop and he gets a double.

HAND 58200/400TJ6

UTG tries to limp in, everyone else folds to D, who min-raises to 800 with his pair of kings and no low draw. BB and UTG call. Both of them check the flop, then D fires for 2.6K. UTG has the best chance for a high hand, despite D’s made pair. A couple of aces for top pair, a couple of queens for Broadway, the last four for a set…hard to realize that facing a bet for more than a third of your stack and no pair. D takes the hand.

HAND 59200/40083585

Everyone except for UTG1 and UTG2 sees the flop for minimum price. Despite BB’s over pair to the flop, he’s not favored for the high with the other kings already dealt; CO has the low locked up well. Everyone checks the flop. On the turn, everyone checks to CO, who bets his low for 800. SB has the five and a flush draw and calls with precious chips from his short stack. BB keeps on with his kings, which have picked up some equity with just one card to go The three players check the river and SB’s trip 5s pick up the high pot, with CO having the only low.

HAND 60200/4003388

UTG, UTG2, and D join me in seeing the flop. Not really sure why UTG1 folds preflop; it’s good for him that he did, but it’s really a hand he should be playing with more preflop equity than any of the others. The flop looks good for me with trips and a flush draw, but I check it. UTG2 opens to 1.8K and I’m the only caller. I really don’t know how I avoided going broke on this hand; UTG2 had far more chips than I did, I have what seems to be a decent hand, but I check-fold to a 2K bet on the turn and escape relatively inexpensively.


Still running 60% VPIP. Still no pre-flop raises. Three showdowns, lost one, took all of another, and got a low. Won four pots without showdown, more than a quarter of the hands I put money into.

Overall, nine of the twenty hands went to showdown, and there were six made lows (one of which was in a hand that went to the river but not to showdown). Ten high-pot hands had pairs (six of them tens or better), and ten winning hands had suited aces. Only two of the made low hands had A2 combos.

More PLO8 tomorrow.

My Time is Coming: Week 15 or Beatdown

Not exactly a stellar week on the felt. Maybe I should pack the whole poker-playing thing in and just write about poker instead. Oh, wait….

Final Table Portland Poker Classic $100K NLHE

I had some hopes for making some money in this to take down to Las Vegas at the end of the month, and for nine hours or so, things went pretty well.

Action got started at our table with just two players, with a third sitting down relatively soon and the rest of the seats taken as people wandered in. My friend BP was on my left, and was having issues with the player on his left.

I hit a little snag after flopping a set of fives and trying to trap, then losing to a flush. BP was struggling, and eventually I knocked him out. Got a table change off the fold-up to a real table, and things ran good. Six hours in, I was well over chip average with 100K. Then on a BB hand, I called a raise with 64 and went heads up to a flop where I had a gutshot straight flush draw. The raising player tried to shake me off on the flop, then went all in on the turn. I called for most of my chips, he had QxQx and I made the flush on the river, knocking him out and putting me at about twice chip average, with more than 160K.

20160430 Final Table $100K max chip stack Took a couple hits, clawed my way back up to 140K, then at the 3K/6K level, I made an UTG raise to 17K, had a stack go all in for 93K in middle position, and called witih AK against aces. That table broke almost immediately.

I had some hope. Even with less than 8BB, I’d just watched RB—the guy who eventually won the tournament, though I didn’t know that at the time, obviously—go from 40K to 200K in the course of an orbit. I missed my big chance, though, by laying down Kx9x (offsuit) in early position and watching the flop run out two kings, with a slightly larger stack in late position nearly tripling up with Kx8x. My nine would have played. I was out the next hand with: Kx8x. Lightning did not strike twice. Made it to within about 20 places of the money.

Eight hours and forty-five minutes. 42nd of 240 entries.

20160430 Final Table $100K

Bovada $500 PLO8 Turbo

Increased my stack by 50% buying in late, flopping the nut flush and winning the low on a side pot on the second hand I was dealt (42K2 with a flop of 2A7) then out two hands later with 27AT when a river ace counterfeits my turned low.

Five minutes. 4 hands. 34th of 49 entries.

Bovada $300 O8

Got in with 15 big bets, called a raise in a multi-way pot with 7A26 and got in too deep to extricate myself.

Fourteen minutes. 6 hands. 37th of 41 entries.

Bovada O8 Bounty

Just a steady downward drift from starting stack, but at least I lasted longer than the other two tournaments.

Forty minutes. 20 hands. 18th of 18 entries.

Bovada 0.1/0.25 & 0.05/0.1 NLHE Zone 6-Max

Do you want to hear about how a river queen gave the guy with trips four of a kind against my flopped full house? Well, I don’t want to talk about it, either.

Six sessions. One hour and forty minutes. 277 hands. -360BB.

Bovada 0.1/0.25 PLO8 6-Max

Big hand in the first session was A52Q, made the flush and the low against a guy who went all-in on a turn where the board was 6576 with 33AJ. In the second, I lost most of my buyin when SB raised 3-bet me preflop and I put him all in. I had J2AK, he called off with 5436. That’s about as even as it gets.

Two sessions. Sixty-eight minutes. 69 hands. -7BB.

The Game 1/2 NLHE

The first hour went well then got in a multi-way straddled pot with 34 and flopped a gut-shot straight flush draw on a 578x board. A player in early position check-raised to $75 and three of us ended up all in. The player who’d pushed to $75 turned over 9xTx, thinking somehow that she had a made straight. One of the players who folded had a six, and the other guy who didn’t fold had 6 and made the straight on the turn.. Obviously, no heart came or I wouldn’t be whining about people who can’t read the board.

Ninety minutes. -100BB

Puffmammy NLHE

The now-infrequent home game where I first started playing NLHE. Got into it early with BW, the eventual winner. He took a bunch of chips off me in the second round and I got them back on the next hand, then he took me again not long after. I did get the high hand, but overall a poor showing.

Two and a half hours. 5th of 7 players. -69% ROI.

20160503 Puffmammy

Encore Club $1.5K NLHE

Managed to get to Encore by the break after the home game bustout. Just about made the final table.

One hour and forty minutes. 11th of 29 entries.

20160503 Encore $1.5K

Encore Club $500 NLHE

Third tournament of the night was not a charm.

Fifty minutes. 9th of 11 entries.

20160503 Encore $500

Final Table $1K NLHE

Just did my basic buyin with no addon. These are still suffering from the early cash table starts; today’s was right on the guarantee. The player in seat 6 was playing just about every hand and winning. I took off one chunk when I raised KxQx and he called with Ax6x but I didn’t make it even half-way through the small field.

Two hours and forty-five minutes. 12th of 22 entries.

20160505 Final Table $1K

Final Table First Friday $20K

PDX Poker Encore Club announced a $20K opposite Final Table’s monthly event, with $80 buyin/live rebuy and $40 addon versus Final Table’s $100 buyin/rebuy and $50 addon. So I get to Final Table and sit down at the table and don’t notice that they’ve changed it to a live rebuy. Frankly, if I had noticed that before I handed over my money, I would have turned around and gone to Encore PDXPC (even though this will be my last Final Table $20K until at least August), since the max buyin there is $200 instead of $250. And I suspect the prize pool there might top Final Table’s as well.

I had Nu on my immediate left, and he went to work, as usual pulling in some big pots. I was quietly building my stack, then limped into a hand and made a pair of sizes on a straighty board. Nu and another player had called, at showdown I had the sixes with a king kicker, Nu had a pair on the flop with 4x5x and rivered two pair. The end for me came with QxQx. I raised to 600 from UTG1 after UTG limped at 75/150. Nu called along with several others. The flop was Tx4x2x rainbow. I opened to 2K, Nu called, and a short stack in BB shoved for a little over 4K. I had another 7.5K and shoved over. Nu contemplated a bit, speculated that I had an over pair (correct, sir!), called off about half his stack and showed 9xTx. The short stack had AxTx. The turn was a blank. The river was a nine and Nu took the whole pot. I went home.

Kind of wishing I’d gone to Portland Players Club to catch some Friday night Big O. It’s been a long time. I busted just a little too late to call Chad to let him know I was coming.

One hour. 72nd of 74 entries, but out waaaay before break.

20160506 Final Table $20K

Live rebuys will be the death of Portland poker. Mark my words.