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 8x8x were no good against his TxTx. 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 67 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 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.

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 JT, which I overplayed on a two-way straight draw flop of Q9A, and with Q 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: 2T. 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 7K 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 AK. The flop, though, was 53Q 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 9T 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 8A7. 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 6 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. J on the river improved my straight but did nothing for SB’s Q6 and I was up to 5,865 at the first break. I bought the add-on for another 3K.

99 cost me almost 800 when I went up against KQ (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 A2 on the BB a bit later. UTG2 raised to 180, I was the only caller. The flop was 2A7 and I checked to get a 300 bet from UTG2. I just called. 9 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 QA but the 3 on the river sealed his fate and I came out with just under 13K. I raised to 180 on my SB with 24 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 43 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: 562. 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 26 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 AK 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: Q98. I was two cards off of anything. It was checked around to me and I gave it a check myself, getting K 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 98, but then the river card turned out to be the A 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 JK at 100/200. I raised to 600 and got an all-in call from HJ, one of the 5K stacks. I called, he showed 44, I hit J on the turn but the entire board was 87J65, giving him the straight and 11K out of the pot. I can’t fault that call.

AJ 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 565 that promises a nut flush which we both check, 2 on the turn which gets a bet of 200 from HJ and a call from me, and 6 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 9T 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 QQ and I was a 1:4 underdog. That disparity increased to 1:19 after the AA5 flop, and it never got better. Down to 17, 155.

44 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—8TT—but I bet another 500 and got another call. 5 on the turn looked harmless but it was still an over card to me. I checked and HJ bet 1,950. I called. J 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 AK.

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 4K. UTG1 min-raised, BTN went all-in for only 409, I called. I made top pair with 39K for the flop and bet 900, with UTG1 calling. The 8 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 T was a bit concerning and I checked it, but called the bet of 2,100 from UTG1. BTN just had 8J, and UTG1 had nothing real until the river with TA. The win put me up just over 27K and moved me back near the top ten.

Lost out again with QJ 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 A49 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 88. BB re-raised to 4,500 and I shoved to 13,869. BB called with 14K behind and showed KK. For a second, it looked luke I might get lucky, with 66T7 by the turn, but the river 4 killed that chance.

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


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.

End of An Era, Pt. 5

Full Tilt Step 1 Turbo (1,500 chips)

Trying to get back on the ladder. Again. Once again it goes poorly. Hand twelve is black eights 88. I’m down to 1,230 at 30/60 in CO. Two players ahead of me limp in, I raise to 180, both the limpers call. The flop is T45. UTG3 bets the pot (630), HJ surrenders, I raise all-in for 1,050. UTG3 calls and, of course, he has top pair with 7T. Nothing useful comes and I’m gone.

12 minutes, 12 hands. 9th of 9 players.

Full Tilt Crestline Gate Shallow

Won 4BB my first hand with KQ but lost 8BB with KK when I laid it down after A showed on the flop and some aggressive raising from my opponent.

9 minutes, 14 hands. -19%ROI.

Full Tilt Deerline Shallow

Playing concurrently with the Crestline Gate game. Lost my entire buy-in in three minutes. Called a bet that put me all-in with KA and was up against QQ. Lost the race.

3 minutes, 5 hands. -100%ROI.

Full Tilt Dry Gulch Shallow

Picked up this game after Deerlodge and while still playing Crestline Gate. Went all-in to call SB and was followed by BTN. I was the worst of three pocket pairs: TT vs. AA vs KK. The aces held.

2 minutes, 3 hands. -100%ROI.

Full Tilt Del Monte Shallow

Began play here just after busting out of Crestline Gate. Lost 7BB a few hands in then almost got even by hand 25. Started sinking again on 30 with 44 and was out with T9 that almost made a flush or straight.

31 minutes, 36 hands. -100%ROI.

End of An Era, Pt. 4

Full Tilt Round 1 Freeroll (1,500 chips)

Another run at a freeroll. Doubled up on the second hand with TA in SB. UTG2 was all-in for 1,605. I called with 1,470. He showed QK, the flop had A in the middle, and it was over by the river.

Fifth hand grabbed me even more chips. Q3 in CO. Five of us limped in, A2K gave me second nut flush draw, I called HJ’s bet of 30, the blinds folded, and UTG1 called. 8 made my flush, UTG1 checked, HJ bet 30 again and I raised to 100. Both UTG1 and HJ came along. A scary K hit the river, making several full house possibilities, but I didn’t think either of them had it. UTG1 checked, HJ was all-in for 1,325, I went all-in (UTG1 only had 15 more than HJ), UTG1 folded. HJ had a set of kings, but that didn’t touch my flush. That popped me over 4,700.

My 33 that made twos full of threes by the river was bested by TT a few hands later, though, costing me 1,200, and on the very next hand an ill-advised all-in call with AJ burned me for nearly 3,000 chips when KK showed up for the showdown. I was down to 910 after that.

I managed to briefly recover two hands later with something similar to what had gotten me started: TA. I had 1,000 even on BTN, we were still at 15/30. HJ raised all-in to 935. I went all-in. BB—who’d taken me down with the kings a minute earlier, called. We flipped the cards over, BB had kings again: KK. HJ was in bad shape with KQ. The flop showed some promise: 235. Any ace, any four, a couple more hearts…I could even still get a straight flush. The turn 7 didn’t do me any good but I got my A on the river (h/t Barry Greenstein). The pot netted me nearly 2,000 chips.

All of which I lost three hands later with AK. Blinds were 20/40. I raised to 100 from UTG1. The guy with kings was CO and re-raised to 360, getting a call from BTN. I re-raised to 1,020; CO and BTN were in. The flop looked good: AQA. At least so long as he didn’t have a Qx. I bet my last 1,900 and got a call. He had the Mutant Jack: AJ. Nearly 7K in the pot, I was a 4:1 favorite to win. 8 for the turn. J for the river. Nobody named their book for that.

18 minutes, 14 hands. Placed 4,564 of 6,983 players.

Full Tilt $1 Main Event Satellite (1,500 chips)

BAM! Out of the gate, picked up steam with a win holding K8 on BTN. Four of us to the flop after a raise to 80 from UTG. K6T and everyone checked to me. I bet 180, getting a call from only BB. 9 on turn and I bet another 700 (with only 540 behind), driving off BB and netting me 440.

K8 was mine again in CO, five hands later. Action folded to me, I raised to 100. BTN and SB called. I made top pair on the 682 flop, SB bet 200, I called, BTN folded. An 8 for the turn made a set but SB (who had me covered by thousands) bet 550. I raised all-in for 1,515 and he called, showing a weaker kicker: 85. harmless 7 on the river and I was up to 3,780.

That was my apex, though. I raised a limp by UTG1 to 200 as UTG2 at 40/80. 4 callers. Low cards on the flop: 936. UTG bet 700 and I raised to 1,500, putting him on a pair to the board, which I could beat. Three folds, then a call from UTG. 2 for the turn and UTG checked. I bet 1,960 all-in. UTG called with just 130 behind, then dropped 98. I was just about there, but then 8 showed up, giving him two pair and knocking me out.

18 minutes, 21 hands. 85th of 201 players.

End of An Era, Pt. 3

Full Tilt Satellite to the $200K Double Deuce (1,500 chips)

Two of the players at my initial table were eliminated in the third hand by the guy on my left, then a couple hands later I falled him down to the river with a pair of jacks and took over 600 chips from him when his busted straight was exposed. He got moved to a new table right after that and I was left as chip leader for a bit with 2,700 chips.

Got JA on SB at 30/60 fifteen minutes into the game and three-bet to 400 after a raise and a call to 150. There were three of us who saw the flop of JTK. I bet all-in for 2,550, getting a call from a small stack of 1,015 who then showed the straight with 9Q. Fortunately for me, Q came on the turn and the 8 river card went nowhere. That put me up to 4,800. Got moved to a new table for the next hand.

There were seven players at the new table; I was in third place behind stacks of 7,500 and 5,250, with another stack about my size and the other three running from 1,000 to 2,600. Got 77 in BB and when action folded to the SB who went all-in for 1,797 I called. He showed TJ and I was in trouble on the flop when it came out T64. Then the turn 5 game me hope and 3 rier sealed the deal for my straight. Not exactly how I would have expected to win that hand, but I’d take it. Up over 6,600.

Back in the BB at 50/100 ten minutes later and I had A9. UTG called. The big stack at the table with 13K was UTG1, who raised to 450. I called and UTG called. The flop was TK8, I bet 450, UTG went all-in for nearly 4K, UTG1 called and I gladly folded. UTG held top pair with KQ and UTG1 had crap with 7J. Who knows what he was doing.

Another ten minutes, another BB. 80/160 with K4. I’ve got about 5K, with the two larger stacks at the table of 9,700 and 8,100 on my right in SB and BTN. HJ, CO, BTN, and SB all limped and I checked to see what would come of this not-promising hand. 87K hit the flop and after SB checked I made a pot-sized bet (800) on my kings. Everyone folded to the SB, who called. 9 on the turn, check from SB, pot-sized bet (2,400, now) from me, call from SB. 9 on the river, check from SB, check from me, he shows 7J and I take in 3,840. He’s the same player I took my first pot from. Life’s different in non-cash games.

I was over 8K at the 100/200 level when I had a serious turn-around with KQ as HJ. UTG limped, I raised to 500. BTN, BB, and UTG called. The flop wasn’t auspicious: 925. Action checked to me, I bet 300, BTN folded, and the other two players called. A on the turn gave me the nut flush draw. BB checked, UTG went all-in for about 3,200, and I called. UTG had two pair with 2A. My club didn’t show and I was down to 4K.

I was down to less than 3K ten minutes later at 150/300/25, in SB with TA. UTG1 raised to 1,500, I went all-in, and he called, showing JJ. It was a nail-biter after the QJ7 flop, with his trips and my straight draw. The turn 9 gave us a chance of a chop. But pairing my ace with A for the river didn’t do me any good.

58 minutes, 67 hands.

Full Tilt Satellite to the $200K Double Deuce (1,500 chips)

One hour later. Got chopped down to 950 chips in the first fifteen hands, then managed to parlay TA into a win of 1,175 when a pair of fours didn’t believe I had an ace.

Lost 1,300 playing 67 and a straight draw from BB against a set of tens, then won 2,300 two hands later with KJ going all-in and flopping two pair against callers with AQ and A4.

Proceeded to lose nearly 3,000 over the course of two nearly consecutive hands shortly thereafter when a Mutant Jack beat my A7, then a pair of fives became a set on the turn after I’d flopped a pair for my jack. That put me on life support, down under 1,000.

Everything went into the pot with 57 in UTG. BB with 99 called, there were no clubs on the board, my only concession was a 7 for the river.

38 minutes, 47 hands. Finished 30th of 76.

End of An Era, Pt. 1

Full Tilt KO Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

Didn’t last long here at all. Got caught with a stupid call holding KQ with K on the board against pocket aces.

13 minutes, 12 hands. 75th of 90 players.

Full Tilt Mach 10 Rush

Got up as high as 125% of my buy-in but put my flush up against a full house on the fortieth hand and lost my all-in.

10 minutes, 40 hands.

Full Tilt KO Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

A lacklustre showing here, I feel. I did briefly get up as high as 8K, but was quick to lose that and get knocked back down to about 4K. My JT didn’t quite make a straight on the last hand.

46 minutes, 44 hands. 31st of 90.

Full Tilt Flash Rush

Never got ahead at all here. Three hands near the end wiped out my buy-in: QK, JK, and AJ.

6 minutes, 26 hands.

Second Hand Smoked

Cake Poker $1,000 Guaranteed Turbo 6-Max (3,000 chips)

Bought into this game 20 minutes in, with blinds already at 50/100. Got K2 on my first dealt hand and called but folded to a 450 raise from my immediate left. Next hand was KK in HJ. UTG folded, I raised to 300. Everyone folded around to BB who was all-in for 2,900. I went all-in to call and he showed 8A. The cards ran out JTJ3A and the river cracks my kings.