Still Alive

Nine years ago on December 12th the Poker Mutant just about died from complications brought about by a broken leg a couple months before, if you can believe that. According to the doctors, he beat the odds then. Now he plays the long shots in poker.

Carbon Poker $200 HORSE Freeroll (1,000 chips)

Didn’t even make it out of “H”. My KxTx Broadway straight managed to beat trip queens but fell to an ace-high heart flush completed by 68 in the third player’s hand.

Four minutes, seven hands. 2,623rd of 2,626 entries.

Portland Players Club $250 Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Had some success early on, then was the short stack by the time we got to the final table. Some luck kicked in there, though, and I started pulling in chips as the first couple of players fell away. Then I got into a tussle with one of the big stacks and got caught up short.

 Two hours and fifteen minutes. -100% ROI. 7th of 24 players.

puffmammy 2011/12 Event #12 (1,800 chips)

A brutal night on the home turf. Lost my first stack to WA in record time when he pulled out a better kicker on the same set I had, then lost the next stack to him in much the same way only his better set kicker turned into a full house.

Forty minutes. -100% ROI. 7th of 7 players.

Portland Players Club $200 Freeroll (2,000 chips)

I’d been thinking that if the puffmammy game got over soon enough, I’d head over to Deuces for another Win the Button tournament, but we were done before 10 and since I’d already paid my door fee at PPC in the morning (only $5 for the early game) I zoomed over there as fast as I could. I was just before the first break, and CB took my money for both the add-ons, so I sat down with 8,000 chips. I got to the table for just a single hand, which I didn’t play.

Things went fairly well from there. The freerollers who hadn’t done well and hadn’t added-on were getting knocked out. With 8K in chips, I was actually starting off above the chip average and there were a couple of loose players at the table. Play went pretty fast and we made the final table in what seemed like record time. Then again, I hadn’t played the first hour of the tournament.

Eventually it was just me and C—one of the PPC regulars—and we agreed to chop it. I had about a 7:5 lead but we did it evenly, after we’d agreed to reserve a cut for the dealer and paid nominal money to fourth and fifth places, the amount of money wasn’t exactly earth-shattering. But for me it made up for the ugly puffmammy loss.

One hour and forty-five minutes. +340% ROI (even chop of first two prizes). 1st of 21 players.

The Final Table PLO8 (5,000 chips)

I’d been itching for an Omaha tournament for a while and finally headed out to The Final Table for a scratch. Ran into Encore manager SG while I was signing up and mentioned that I liked FT’s receipt system.

The tourney started off incredibly well for me. In the first round there were three post-flop all-ins ahead of me. I had K with a suited kicker and there were two diamonds on the flop, including A. Too much money in the pot not to call. I made the flush on the river and took in a pot of nearly 20,000 chips.

My count went steadily down from there, though, and soon enough, I was forced to re-buy. Then that stack started to dwindle away, and by the first break I was down to about 1,800 chips, dwarfed by the 5,000 chip add-on (if that hadn’t been a single chip). Finally, I started to turn things back around and swiftly built up over the chip average, but all it took to get busted out was a missed straight and flush to knock me out again.

One hour and forty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 22nd of 27 players.

Gold Card

Cake Poker 2d Gold Card $500 Guarantee 6-Max Freeroll (2,000 chips)

I’ve had this Gold Card player bonus for ages but never seemed to find one of the tournaments where I could use the thing. Then, the other day, I got an email notification and voila! there I was.

The event was an unlimited re-buy format, with an add-on. I had exactly one Gold Card, I wasn’t in a position to do either, so I didn’t exactly have high expectations. Then again, my opening had was UTG1 with QA and I re-raised UTG’s raise of 40 to 80 (starting blinds were 10/20). SB and UTG called, the J2T flop gave me a Broadway draw and not much else. UTG bet the pot for 260 and I called, with SB following along. K made my straight on the turn and I bet the pot—now 1,040 chips—after action was checked to me. Both of the others folded, and I was up 700 chips for the second hand.

I won another few hundred chips over the next hands, then got AQ again as UTG. I raised to 80, got a re-raise to 140 from CO, three-bet to 400 after everyone else cleared out, then got called. The flop was 526 and I bet another 400 to open, getting a call. 9 on the river was not the card I wanted to see, I checked, CO went in for 815 with just 385 behind, and I had to fold, leaving me with just a tad more than the starting stack.

I slid all the way down to 1,705 over the next hands. Then, for some reason, I called a UTG raise to 60 (at 15/30) in BTN with just 8Q. Both blinds got out of the way and we were heads-up. I made middle pair on the 5A8 flop but it didn’t look promising. UTG bet just 30 (with a stack of 5,300), though so I decided to give the impression of strength by raising to 255. He called. So much for the impression.

Then again, the Q on the turn actually gave me a decent hand. UTG checked, I put out 675—about half my stack—and he called. The last card was K, putting an end to any flushes but making possible any number of better hands from standard starting ranges. I pushed after the check with my two pair, nonetheless and, UTG folded. It wasn’t a double-up but it made a big difference.

I got out of danger territory five hands later with JK as SB. I’d lost about 400 chips in the intervening hands, blinds were 25/50. UTG1 (the player I’d just taken 1,000 chips off of) called. CO called. I raised to 175, pushing out BB. UTG1 and CO called. The flop hit me hard: TAQ. I had the best straight, but I checked the flop and everyone else was cautious, as well. 2 on the turn put a backdoor flush out of my reach (which turned out to be a good thing) but opened the possibility of two flush draws making it. I opened with a bet of 288, got called by UTG1, and forced CO to fold. I wasn’t particularly happy about the 2 on the river pairing the board, but I pushed all-in with 1,827. That was more than half the stack of UTG1, but he called and showed A7. My straight was good.

Another great opportunity hit five hands after that. I was BB with 44. UTG1 raised to 100. BTN and I called. The flop was 44K. I checked it, UTG1 checked it, BTN put out a tentative bet of 50. I bet half the port for 263, UTG1 called, and BTN went away. 5 on the turn and I still had four of a kind. I checked and let UTG1 take the lead with a bet of 451. I put more than half my stack in as a raise: 2,254. He pushed for 3,927, a bit less than half my chips. I called and he showed KK. A great hand—and a winner if he could catch the last king on the river—but behind me for the moment. The last card was J, and I was up to 9,270 at just over 15 minutes into the game.

I diled for more than half an hour, ranging between 9,000 and 13,000 chips as the blind levels crept up to 200/400/40. By my next significant hand, I had just 9,003 chips at a five-handed table with one player just under 4,000 and three others ranging from 20,500 to 31,600. I was dealt QA on BTN. UTG (with 29,000 chips) called the big blind, CO (the largest stack) raised to 2,000, and I pushed all-in. SB (the smallest of the big stacks) folded, BB (the short stack) called, and UTG called. The big stack abandoned his 2,000 raise. Everyone flipped and BB showed K2, with UTG displaying 77. I was more likely than either of the others to win but I was still on the wrong side of the coin flip. The 3J2 flop put me in positive territory—at least as far as stats go—and my win was sealed with 8 on the turn. The win put me at 24,326 chips.

I didn’t have to wait as long for another bump, although it wasn’t nearly as large, either. Blinds were up to 400/800/75, I was BTN with KQ and third in chips at the table. UTG (with a couple thousand fewer chips than my 28,000) raised to 2,400. The two big stacks folded. I called, SB folded, and the short stack (with just over 5,500) called. The T99 flop didn’t exactly hit me, but I did have an inside straight draw. Everyone checked. The turn Q gave me top pair and a decent kicker (plus my draw), and when BB pushed and UTG folded, I had to call the extra 3,150. BB showed the same pair, suited but with a bad kicker: Q3. The K on the river sealed the elimination and put me up 8,725 chips.

It was about ten minutes later that I broke the 40,000 barrier. Blinds were 500/1000/100, I was BTN with QQ and just over 30,000.SB and UTG1 were under 10,000, UTG had 40,000, CO was about 35,000, and BB was lording it over the table with almost 100,000. UTG folded, the short stack in UTG1 called, CO folded, and I raised to 5,000. SB pushed for 10,180, BB and UTG1 folded, and I called, to see KA. The flop was against me, with KT4, but the turn resurrected flipped the odds with Q. Just a 9 on the river and I was up to 42,816.

Twelve hands later, the other short stack and a couple other players had come and gone. The big stack two positions to my left was sitting on 141,000 chips. Immediately to my left was a stack of 75,000. There were two of us in the 40,000-45000 range and two more between 20,000 and 25,000. Blinds were up to 600/1,200/120. I was BTN again, with A9. UTG folded and UTG1 put 4,920—about a quarter of his stack—into play, with only 720 in the pot. CO folded and I called; the blinds folded. The flop was 3Q8 and the small stack pushed with 15,816. With the big stacks out of the way, I didn’t feel bad about calling and saw he had a 9J. I was ahead, but he did have a potential straight draw as well as a backdoor flush draw. The turn, though, was 2 and the river was K, so neither possibility quite made it and I was over 65,000.

That success didn’t last long. Just two hands later I raised UTG to 5,000 with 99. Everyone got out of the way except for BB, the other short stack with 25,000 who pushed all-in. I called and was running against KA. The board ran out KJ856 and I was back below where I’d been two hands before.

Three hands in a row just six hands later put me into major contention. Blinds were 800/1,600/150. BTN had 34,000 chips, SB had 64,000, BB was the player who’d knocked me down, with 55,000. I was UTG with 34,000 (yes, I’d lost even more chips). UTG1 was over 92,000 and the big stack was CO at 138,000. I got dealt AA and just called, with UTG1, BTN, SB following along. BB checked his option. The flop was 268 and SB bet 4,450. BB folded and I pushed for a total of 31,861. Everyone folded and I took a pot of 11,600.

My next hand as BB was AK. Action folded to BTN who bet 4,050. SB folded. BTN had me out-chipped by nearly 10,000. I pushed again and he called with JQ. Nearly 92,000 in the pot and the flop was 5K6. I won it with a 2 on the turn but the river A wasn’t bad to see. I was a second at the table by a small amount.

AT came to me next as SB. The stack I’d just broken down went all-in with 12,442 chips. I went all-in rather than just calling, hoping that BB who I just barely had covered wouldn’t call. He folded and I was up against 9T. The JQA flop opened up the possibility of a chop, but no Kx appeared and I eliminated the player to put me over 106,000.

Four hands later (1,000/2,000/200) I was BB again (we were still five-handed). There hadn’t been a lot of chip movement, I was around 103,000, the big stack had 134,000, the guy between us had 87,000, and there were two stacks of 42,000 and 50,000. My cards were TT. UTG called, then action folded around to me and I raised to 10,000. UTG called. The flop was 5K3 and I raised the stakes with a 20,000 bet. UTG called again. The turn was 2. I checked, UTG bet 31,000. I was reasonably sure he didn’t have a Kx and unless he’d bet 10,000 pre-flop with 5x3x, I was reasonably sure I was ahead, so I called. The river was a Q. I checked again and UTG went all-in. There was more than 150,000 in the pot—61,000 of it was mine—I called and he flipped 56 for a bluff gone seriously wrong.

With 192,000 chips, I was the tournament leader.

I managed to hold onto the lead for about thirty hands, despite a slowly decreasing stack. Most of the other players near the top were experiencing the same phenomena. The player to my right went on a streak just as we hit the two hour mark, overtaking me by winning a 61,000 chip pot in one hand, then scoring a knockout against another similarly-sized stack that had just arrived at the table six hands later which put him over 310,000.

Blinds were 2,500/5,000/500 and we were five-handed again. I had 145,000 chips as UTG1, a new player had just moved onto my left with 45,000. The other three players had all been at the table for a while, with BTN holding 131,000, BB 115,000, and UTG still just over 300,000 (SB was dead). My hand was 7A and when the big stack folded I min-raised to 10,000. The only caller was BB. The flop was KKA, BB checked and I checked behind. 2 on the turn, BB checked, I bet 22,500, and BB re-raised to 45,000. This is where I made my mistake. Of course he had the Kx; I went all-in, he called and showed KJ. I got two pair with the river 7 but that didn’t beat a set of kings. I lost 115,000 chips and was down to about 30,500, short stack on the table now with a stack of over 230,000 ahead of the 300,000 stack.

I was UTG on the next hand with JA. Not a Mutant jack, but okay for a short-stack hand. I went all-in and got a call from the biggest stack in BB with 94. He hit top pair on the flop: 975 and it looked like it was curtains, but the turn was A and the river made me two pair with J. I was back up to 65,000.

23 on BB the next hand didn’t look quite as like likely to win, but I got a walk and won 4,500 chips in antes and the small blind.

I was still on a stack of only 14bb. The next hand as SB, I got A8. The big stack (still with 270,000 chips) raised to 15,000 from BTN after UTG and CO folded. I pushed with just under 69,000, BB folded, and the big stack called with JT. Both of us missed the 296 flop. The 7 on the turn gave him a possible gut-shot straight draw, but mine was open-ended. Nothing came through, though, except for a board pair, with 7 for the river, and suddenly I was back up over 145,000.

A few hands later, I got AK as BB. UTG—with a stack just a little smaller than mine—opened with a min-raise (at 2,500/5,000/500)—and action folded to me. I pushed, BB folded, and I snagged another 14,500 chips.

My SB on the next hand was 57. UTG and CO called, I called, and BB let it ride. Only the largest stack sat the hand out. The flop was 258 and I was assuming middle pair 0n that board was at least a contender. I opened with a feeler of 5,000, only UTG—the short stack at the table with about 30,000—called. Q on the turn and I continued pressing with another 5,000 bet. He called again. The river gave me 7. It was as good as it was going to get with this hand and I bet the pot, for 42,500. With only 20,000 left, UTG folded and I was up to 185,000.

Getting tricky with bad cards can become a bad habit, though. My next BB was at 3,000/6,000/600 and I was dealt 25. Action folded to the big stack—now down to only 200,000—and he raised to 12,000. Like a fool, I followed along, hitting the bottom end of the 982 flop. SB bet 18,400 and I called, only to see K on the turn. We both checked. The Q on the river gave him the opening to push all-in and I had to fold, losing 31,000 on a hand that should have been thrown away.

I took another hit trying to play 2A. I four-flushed by the turn but with the lowest possible diamond flush. By two hours and fifteen minutes into the match, I was back down to 122,000.

Three of us saw the flop after a min-raise to 12,000 with me in SB holding J9. I had an inside straight draw on the 6KQ flop and opened with 12,000. One player called. K on the turn didn’t do me any good, but I opened with another 12,000 and got a fold with my bluff to win 39,000 chips.

A min-bet from BTN with K8 took down the blinds and antes on the next hand and moved me back up to 177,000 chips.

I called with a similar 8K on the next hand as CO. SB called and BB checked. The A68 board wasn’t ideal for me, but I did have a piece and position. BB (short stack at the table with 75,000 at the beginning of the hand) bet 8,000 and I re-raised to 30,400. SB folded and BB gave it up. I was over 200,000.

Four hands later, I was already back under 180,000 (with blinds at 4,000/8,000/800) when I got QK as SB. I was second in chips at the table, with the former big stack still bigger at 190,000+. There were three stacks of about 140,000 to 150,000 and one just over 50,000. UTG raised to 20,400 and action folded to me. I called; BB called. 66,000 in the pot and the flop was Q24. I pushed 158,000 chips into the middle (or, rather, pushed a button) and the others folded. I didn’t want to see any more cards on that hand.

With 223,000 chips, I was about 30,000 ahead of anyone else at the table. I wasn’t the tournament chip lead, but I was in the top ranks again, and the field had narrowed considerably from the original 564 entries. I hadn’t rebought or added on (I’d seen one player rebuy six or seven times after repeatedly going all-in on every hand). I’d managed to almost immediately come back from a devastating loss of nearly 80% of my chips, an ability I rather pride myself on (I once managed to build from 55 chips to more than 30,000 after losing 99.5% of my chips AxQx v. AxKx). But pride goeth before a fall (or a devastating chip loss) as they say.

That loss came at the 5,000/10,000/1,000 level, after about two hours and twenty-five minutes of play. I was big stack at the table, with 196,000 chips, after the guy who’d just taken a pot of 20,000 to move ahead of me had been moved for table balancing. I got 22 as BB, action folded to SB (with the second-largest stack) who went all-in and I called with just 17,680 behind. He flipped A4 and we were in a true 50%-50% coin flip for a pot worth 360,000. The flop of 633 gave me a 4:3 advantage, then the flush possibilities of a 7 turn drew us even again. He didn’t get the flush, though. He got a 5 for the river straight.

I dropped down to 11,680 after giving up my SB on the next hand with Q9, but I pushed from BTN with 3A and got two callers, which tripled me up after SB pushed BB out with an all-in bet on the turn when he made a pair of nines, only to lose to my ace pairing on the river (the three paired on the flop). Still, I had less than 4bb in a six-handed game. My last hand, I shipped with a weak king, was called by a less-weak king, and lost when his kicker paired on the flop.

147 minutes. 215 hands. 22nd of 564 entrants. infinite ROI, won 0.5% of prize pool.

Omaha, Yo!

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

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

1 hand, 1 minute. +23bb.

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

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

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

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

3 hands, 3 minutes. -20bb.

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

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

5 hands, 4 minutes. +16.9bb.

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

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

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

5 minutes, 6 hands. +21.3bb.

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

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

6 minutes, 7 hands. +34.5bb.

Omaha, Ho

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

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

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

8 minutes, 11 hands. +63.25bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 minutes, 11 hands. -20bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

7 minutes, 7 hands. +39bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

14 minutes, 19 hands. -40bb.

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

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

1 minute, 2 hands. -40bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

14 minutes, 12 hands. -16bb.

Cake Poker Darwin 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

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

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

4 minutes, 4 hands. +58.25bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

7 minutes, 5 hands. +22bb.

Cake Poker Darwin Pot-Limit Omaha

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

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

14 minutes, 11 hands. -40bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

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

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

12 minutes, 14 hands. +18.3bb.

Cake Poker Odesa 6-Max Pot-Limit Omaha

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

21 minutes, 21 hands. +26bb.

A Piece of Cake

Cake Poker Rome Turbo 6-Max

Had 55 and the bottom end of four to a straight but got caught by sixes that made a set.

11 minutes, 20 hands. -30BB.

Cake Poker $2,000 Guaranteed Rebuy & Addon (1,500 chips)

This went bad quickly on the third hand when I got greedy with 68. There were four player in for 167 each pre-flop. The flop was 396 and I bet half the pot (349) after UTG checked. HJ called, but CO raised all-in to 1,183. That forced out UTG but I called and so did HJ. Amazingly enough, I had the best had of the lot; HJ held TK and CO had AQ. My sixes and flush draw were in the lead 7:3 over the other players. 4 for the turn gave me an even better lead. But the Q on the river yanked it away and dropped me down to 130 chips. That was gone in another couple hands.

I bought back in but it was only marginally better.

23 minutes, 22 hands. 2 buy-ins.

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.

The Midwest

Cake Poker Daily $800 PLO/8 Guaranteed (3,000 chips)

Tried this for a lark. First online cash play since Friday.

My first hand was TJ6Q as UTG in ten players at 10/20. I raised to 45 and there were three callers. Flop was JJ7 making me a set, and I half-potted to 105. One call. 3 on the turn, I bet the pot (420) and got a call. 2 for the river, we both checked, my set was the high hand and the other guy got a low. Most of the money in the pot belonged to us, so we only made a 60 chip profit.

Got 5J46 on the big blind. UTG raised to 70 and got three calls. SB re-raised to 440. I called and everyone already in the hand stayed in, so there were six players to the see the A87 flop. I had a low straight draw, when SB went all-in for 2,540 I called. UTG went all-in for less than the bet, UTG1 called, there was a fold, and BTN was all-in for another 10 chips. I called and UTG1 called. Turn was J, which didn’t do much of anything for me, but UTG1 raised his last 70 chips and I called with mine (he’d been the low I split the pot in the last hand). BTN showed AK65 for a pair of aces and one of my straight draws. SB had 3AJT for aces and jacks and an inside straight draw to the Jx. Things were looking grim for any real hand for me. UTG, with 3QKQ had to hope for a Tx to make Broadway to win. UTG2 had 9QTK to fill in the gap between the nut straight. The river was 4. Amazingly enough, I had a low hand with A4567 and took back my 70 chips from the last round of betting. BTN had the same low, and we split the rest of the low pots, with me taking a total of 3,905.

The fourth hand, I picked up QA53. I raised to 70 from BTN, SB re-raised to 120, UTG2 three-bet 460. Both SB and I called. 82T on the flop gave me the nut flush draw. I potted it to 1410, SB called for less, UTG2 went all-in for more than 5,500 and I called all-in. SB had J76A for not much of anything, UTG2 showed 48A2 for two pair. The turn and river were unclubbed: QK, turning SB’s not much into Broadway. He got the main pot of 5,130; the two-pair took 4,210 (a good bit less than he’d started the hand with, but then I got nothing).

5 minutes, 4 hands. First player of thirty permanently out because I refuse to rebuy.

The Slice

Cake Poker $25,000 Guaranteed Semi-Final, 20 Seats Guaranteed (2,000 chips)

I decided to play this tournament because it looked as if from the early stats that the overlay would be pretty good for twenty guaranteed seats. I’d intended to use this part of my Cake bankroll to make another run at the Irish Open Semi-Final but the last couple of weeks of March it didn’t look like there would be enough people playing the satellites to actually award a seat in the monthly final. So, go for the money.

My second hand I was on the BB. UTG3 opened with a min-raise to 40. Action folded to me with J4 and I called. The flop was spadey: 7K8. I bet 60, getting a call. Q hit the turn, which wasn’t helpful, but I continued with a 60 bet. UTG3 raised to 120 and I called. My flush came through with a river 6 and I made a pot-sided bet of 450. UTG3 called, showed a pair of queens with JQ and I took in a 680 chip profit.

Ten minutes later I picked up the same amount, this time from SB with A9. Three players limped in and I raised to 50. BB folded but all of the limpers called. 84A on the flop gave me top pair and I bet 200. Only UTG called this time. The turn was 2, and I checked but UTG bet 310. I called. The river card was T. I checked again and this time UTG didn’t try anything. He showed 8K. I was up to about 3,500.

My next hand on the button was QK. CO limped in for 30; I raised to 75. BB called and CO folded. Top pair on the flop again with 38Q. BB checked and I bet an amount almost the size of the pot: 175. BB raised to 448, with only 877 behind. I re-raised to 721 and BB called. It was a 6 on the turn, BB went all-in for his last 604. I called and he showed Q9. The 3 on the river paired the board and gave us both queens and threes but my king gave me the win and a total of more than 4,900 chips.

Things went to hell at the half-hour mark. Action folded around to me in CO at 25/50 holding TT. I raised to 200, was re-raised by B to 650, and both the blinds folded. I called and the flop was Q54. I checked, B bet 800, and I called, thinking B had something like AxKx and was trying to push me off. 4 on the turn and I stepped into it even further, with a 580 bet. B called. The river was A, I checked, B bet 650, and I called, only to see him flip QQ. I lost almost 2,700 chips, taking me down to 1,618.

Fortunately, I was able to recover within less than ten hands. I was in SB with AJ at 50/100. Action folded to the button who went all-in for 3,006, twice as many chips as I had and about half the stack of BB. I called, then so did BB. B had 77, BB held JJ, so I had a chance. I got my ace on the 29A flop, nothing came through for the other players, and I tripled up to 4,629.

My pattern for the next sixty hands was to maintain at about 4,500 or 5,000 chips for 15 hands, get busted down to 2,500 chips for a few hands, double up, and repeat. Not exactly where you want to be when the blinds are running 300/600/50. I finally broke out on a hand where I was CO. I raised to 2,000 holding AA. BB went all-in for 4,010 and I called, with 146 behind. BB flipped JJ. He came one 8x away from getting a straight, but the aces held up and I made it to 8,866.

Three hands later I had a pair of tens again but this tie they didn’t get shot down by queens. BB was all-in with only 137 chips. I had TT in UTG1 and min-raised to 1,200. Everyone folded and I was heads-up with the all-in. The board looked familiar—Q6445—but the BB had 7K and was out. I was pretty solidly in the top 20 by this time.

A walk on my big blind a couple hands later netted me 850 with 26 and put me over 10K just before the second break.

It took about twelve more minutes to get the final elimination. I got down as low as 8K but finished with just over 12K.

132 minutes, 138 hands. Tied for “1st” with 19 out of 86 players.

Cake Poker $25,000 Guaranteed (5,000 chips)

Fifty minutes after the end of the Semi-Final, the real match began. The first half-hour was uneventful, with my stack bumping between 5,000 and 5,500 chips.

Blinds were 25/50 and I was UTG3 with 77. Action folded to me, I raised to 125, B called, and SB raised to 413. I called and B followed along. The flop put two over cards out—JT2—and it got checked all around. The 5 on the turn didn’t change things much. SB checked again, I put out just 100 into a pot of 1,289. B and SB came along. 7 on the river gave me a set and when SB checked again I bet 500. That forced B out but got a call from SB who showed 99. I was up to 6,851.

I was the only caller on the next hand, holding JT heads-up against BB. The 8K9 flop gave me an open-ended straight draw, so I bet 200, which bought me the pot.

In UTG1 on the next hand I had an unimpressive 44. I limped in, UTG2 raised to 400, UTG3, B, and I called. The four of us saw a 824 flop. I bet 500, UTG3 was the only caller. An A turned over next, I bet 1,000 and UTG3 followed along. 9 for the river. I checked, wanting to see if he’d bet out more but he checked as well, then showed KK. That put me up over 9,800.

On my next BB, I had the Q7 “internet hand.” There were two limpers, I checked, and the flop was 59Q. I bet 200 on my top pair, UTG2 called, and HJ folded. The turn was 3 and I bet another 200 and got another call. I felt fairly secure with the river 6 and bet 101 to leave an even 9,000 behind. UTG2 raised all-in for 2,889 and I called. He only had a TJ and my queens were good enough to bring me up to 13,140.

I promptly lost 2,400 on the next hand with 9A. I had top pair on the AT7 flop but BB picked up two pair with T7.  6 on the turn gave me a flush draw but it didn’t come through.

I spent the next fifty minutes ranging a couple thousand chips on either side of the 10K mark. I was down to my lowest point just under 8,300 when I got fours on the button at 150/300: 44. UTG1 raised to 600, action folded to me and I made a big raise to 2,000. That pushed the blinds out. UTG1 went all-in for 9,862, and my all-in call was about 1K less. He turned over AK. The board was Q8Q33, and I doubled up to just over 17K. This briefly put me in the top six.

Over ten minutes I slid down to 12K, then popped back up to about 17K with an A7. I was at about 16,500 at the end of the second hour.

Just after coming back from the break, I thought I was in pretty good shape when I got KK in UTG. Blinds were 200/400/40, and I opened with a raise to 1,000. I got calls from UTG4, HJ, B, and BB. The flop was 89T and I bet 2,000 after BB checked. That got a call from UTG4, HJ folded, then B went all-in for 19,171, about 6K more than I had. BB folded, I called, UTG4 folded, and B showed 99 for a flopped set. Q showed on the turn, making Jx good for me as well as Kx but the last card was 7. Could I have raised enough to keep the nines from playing the hand? Could I have been smart enough to have folded the kings after the all-in raise? Maybe next time.

124 minutes, 117 hands. 67th place out of 159 (30 places paid).

Good Thing There’s Bounties

Full Tilt $20,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Just five minutes in and I make top pair from the SB holding JQ on a safe-looking J32 flop after four of us have limped in. I bet out 100 as first to act, getting two callers. 6 for a turn and I bet out 300 more, again two calls. 2 is the river and I check, BB checks, UTG2 puts both of the blinds all-in to call, and I do. He’s been holding a set with 33 in the pocket from the flop.

Out 622 of 714.

Full Tilt $9,000 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

A big one that got away from me. I had quite a setback on my 12th hand, holding QT on the button at 25/50. There was a raise and a call to 175 ahead of me and I probably should have ejected, but I saw the flop of A3Q and decided to play it. UTG1 bet 250, UTG2 wisely got out, I called, and 4 appeared on the turn. Another 250 from UTG1 and myself, 5 at the river and I called his last 250 bet before he turned over 6A. That knocked me down to 735.

I’d dropped to just 435 ten hands later after some other action and JT came into my hand. UTG called the blind of 60, UTG1 raised to 120, UTG2 called, I (UTG3) decided to make a move and made my tiny shove. That got called by UTG, UTG1, and UTG2. My role in the hand was over as I watched the flop roll out 388. UTG1 went all-in and drove the other two players out, then showed AQ, so any chance of a flush I had was shot; I needed a pair. J showed up on the turn and an inoffensive 5 was the river. I bounced back to 1,830.

AT on the next hand. We’d lost a the guy who’d played the previous hand with me to re-shuffling and I was UTG1. I open-min-raised to 160, getting four callers. The flop was 379, probably making someone happy but the blinds just checked and I bet 200 to open. Only the big blind dropped out. K on the turn was interesting and I opened with another 200, inducing everyone to fold and making me an easy 1,245 profit, which put me just over 3,000.

Nothing much happened for twenty minutes. I’d drifted down to 2,250 chips when 77 came into my hand. It’s not my favorite pair of cards but I was at less than 19BB and the Andy Bloch “Tournament Checklist” is all about going all-in with the small pairs when you’re getting short-stacked. Did I listen? No, I raised to 300 and there were three callers. The flop was 322. Checks from the blinds and this was where I shipped it, for 1,950. SB called, BB raised all-in to 2,750, then SB called that. SB had A4 for a one-ended wheel draw, BB had us seriously in trouble with 52 and a set. 8 shoed for the turn, giving me a chance for a backdoor flush, and the river A completed it. I took in 7K (but significantly did not learn me lesson about shipping with small pairs, something that comes back to bite me later).

The last significant hand was my final one, forty minutes later. I still had only 6,675. Blinds were 120/240/25 and I was BB. Picked up AQ. UTG3 goes all-in for 8,374 and I call. He’s got KQ, so I’m good unless he catches diamonds or a Kx. The flop is 93J and anything else is irrelevant. Could have gone the other way but it didn’t.

98 minutes, 87 hands. 1 bounty collected. ROU: -85%. Finished 829 of 3,687 players.

Full Tilt $20,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Another one-minute wonder. Called the 120 min-raise of UTG3 from BB on the second hand, flop was 972; I bet 120, he raised to 660; I three-bet to 1,200; he called. J on the turn; I’ve got 180 chips, an inside straight draw, and an ace. Might as well. He calls with the AJ. 9 for the river. I’m sort on my flush and short on my straight and out of the game.

One minute. Two hands. 1,013th of 1,196 players.

Full Tilt $36,000 Rush Guarantee Rebuy (1,500 chips)

Six minutes in with most of my starting stack I get 77 again, this time in late position on the button. Two players limp in. I raise to 300, ten times the big blind. BB and UTG2 call. The flop shows up with 6QT and everyone checks. Another 6 on the turn. UTG2 opens with 340 and I call. BB has the sense to bail. Another over card on the river. K and UTG2 bets 810 to put me all-in if I call. I bail.

That whittled me down considerably. I’m at 660 13 minutes into the game when I get QQ. UTG raises the big bet three times to 120. I re-raise to 280 but should probably be all-in here. SB calls, BB is all-in for 1,245. UTG calls, SB raises all-in to 1,560. UTG calls. Three all=ins. Here’s the cards. SB 88, BB AK, UTG: JA. I was a 43% winner so far. The flop’s fine: 569. It put a lot of diamonds on the board for BB, as well as a straight possibility for SB. The 4 for the turn didn’t change anything, my win percentage was up to 57%. The 7 on the river completed the straight, though. Maybe an all-in pre-flop would have induced the eights to fold.

14 minutes, 37 hands. 683rd of 1,324.

Cake Poker Series 2011 Super Satellite (1,500 chips)

Nothing to say about this. I was stuck just below the starting stack size twenty-odd minutes in, got priced in with TA and shoved, with J9 and KQ calling—altogether we made a long straight—and the hearts won out.

24 minutes, 17 hands. 8th of 16.

Full Tilt 90-Player KO Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

No movement for twenty-five minutes here, I was in CO at 3,270 with the blinds up to 60/120 when everyone ahead of me folded. I held 98 and min-raised to 240. Button and BB called. The flop just gave me bottom pair: JA9. BB checked and I bet 180. B called, and BB was gone. The turn was 2, giving me an ugly flush draw. I checked and B bet 600. Calling left me 2,250 behind. A tantalizing A hit the river. I bet 1,000, concerned about pocket jacks making a full house. B must have thought he had it but he was far behind with JQ. That picked me up 2,300.

QQ made me the next jump a dozen minutes later. UTG3 raised to 540 at the 120/240/25 level. I was on the button and re-raised to 2,500, about half my stack. The blinds folded and UTG3 four-bet all-in to 3,540. I called with 1,740 behind and he showed JJ. The flop went my way with 6KQ, and he was out. I was at 9,450. First bounty.

I caught one of the mid-sized stacks trying to pull something three hands later. I limped for 240 in after UTG called, CO called and SB as in. The flop was 63T and everyone checked. J hit on the turn. SB bet 480, BB and UTG folded, I called and CO was out. The river was 4 and SB checked. Worried about a flush, I checked too, but SB had 8J, so I had the best of it and was just short of 11,000.

Just eight hands later I was UTG2 at 200/400/50. I open-raised to 800 with QT and the only caller was SB. Got a pair in the T6J flop. SB bet 1,200 and I called. A turn 9 gave me second pair and a straight draw. SB bet another 1,600 and I called again. I made trips on the river with T and when SB checked I shoved all-in. Amazingly enough, he called with 44. That put me over 18K and made a second bounty.

The end was fast and violent just five hands later. I was UTG with 17,790, holding 77. Blinds were at 250/500/50 and I opened with a raise to 1,250. A slightly smaller stack in UTG1 was the only caller, so that was good. The flop was a promising 528 and I bet another 1,250 but I probably should have gone bigger. UTG1 called. The A on the turn pretty much shut things down as far as I was concerned. Flush draw and an ace on board? I checked and then folded after UTG1 bet 6,150. That took me down 2,550.

Next hand, I was in the big blind with just 24. There was a raise and call to 1,000 and I decided to see if my low cards would hit anything, with pot odds of 6.3:1. The flop was T6T, when the initial raiser bet 3,650 I got out of there pronto.

Still, I had 14,190 in the small blind. Suited connectors: 98. That looked good. The only player into the pot ahead of me was UTG1, who’d min-raised to 1,000. I called. The flop gave me a dangerous pair: 8AA. I bet 750 and got called by UTG1. The A showed on the turn and I had a full house. Did he have the other ace? I bet 1,000 and he smooth-called. 3 on the turn didn’t change anything. He needed the fourth ace or a pocket pair better than eight to beat me. He bet 7,500, I called, and of course he had AJ. I was down under 4,000.

The last hand for me was at 300/600/75.  I had KQ in UTG1 and went all-in for 4,815. What’s Andy Bloch say? Fewer than 10 big blinds? Check. Open-raise with KxQx? Check. UTG2 called, everyone else dropped out and I was up agains the Mutant Jack: AJ. The board was tantalizing with 2T898 but I didn’t make the straight or the flush and I was someone else’s bounty.

66 minutes, 77 hands. 2 bounties, no prize, ROI of -70%.

Cake Poker Internazionale 6-Max (20BB)

66 on the third hand in CO. Open-raised to 3BB, called by SB. Flop was 8Q8 and we both checked to the turn 7. SB bet 4BB and I called. 7 river card counterfeited my pair and I was playing the board. Another 4BB bet from the SB and I folded.

88 a little later in HJ and UTG raised to 3BB. I re-raised to 7BB and everyone folded. I was still stuck 6BB.

Down to 7.5BB fifteen minutes in and picked up A6 in the CO. UTG raised to 2BB, I called and B did as well. Flopped well with A86, HJ and I checked, B put out a bet of 7BB. That was the end of it for HJ but I called all-in for less than the bet. He flipped 98 and the race was on. No diamonds on the turn or river—Q5—and my two pair held up. Just down by 2BB now.

I was on the BB with 78. Min-raise from HJ and a call from CO. I went along and got bottom pair in the Q7J flop. I opened with a bet of 2BB, HJ raised to 5BB and I called for some reason. A on the turn and it didn’t take the 3BB bet from HJ to get me out of there. Back down to 12BB.

In HJ with K4. Min-raised with a call from CO and re-raise to 6BB from B. I’m the only caller. The flop is 56T. I check and B shoves his entire stack of 185BB into the ring. I call for some reason and he shows QQ. T makes the turn and my hopes for a backdoor flush are gone. The river J ends this session.

Full Tilt $9,000 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Started off with a bang eight minutes into the game with KJ on the button. UTG1 limped in and HJ min-raised to 80. I re-raised to 140, getting calls from SB, UTG1, and HJ. The flop was 55A, SB checked, UTG1 bet 400. There was a fold from HJ and I re-raised to 800. SB folded, UTG1 re-raised to 1,675, and I made a dangerous call that left me with 80 chips. He had a set with 57. The 4 on the turn looked grim, then a safe 8 made the river and I doubled up plus I got a bounty.

A similar hand on the button ten minutes later got me into trouble. Three limps were ahead of me with KT. I raised to 250, which got a call from SB and a re-raise to 450 from BB. UTG3 called, I called, SB called. The flop was AQ7. SB checked and BB bet 1,410 all-in. UTG3 fled the scene, I called, and SB folded. BB was way ahead and had me dominated with with AT but a Jx could put me on top. Didn’t happen, though, and I lost 1,860 chips.

The blinds were 30/60 a little later, I was still around 2,500 chips and got 97 in UTG2. UTG raised to 120, I called, and BB was in. The flop of JTQ gave me flush and open-ended straight draws. BB checked, UTG went all-in for 1,205, I called rather than go over the top, because BB had me by 1K. BB folded anyway and I was heads-up against two pair: TQ. K for the turn gave me my straight but opened up the flush for him. The river was 6 and I took another bounty, as well as 1,475 chips, which put me up to 3,995.

Speculating on some unsuited ace hands cost me over the next quarter-hour, so I was down to 3,115 when I got KK as UTG. I min-raised to 160, getting four callers. The flop was 965. SB opened with a 240 bet that got BB to fold. I raised to 1,500, enough to put SB almost all-in but not necessarily scary for the others. They both folded, though, then SB pushed for 1,680. I paid the extra 180 and he showed a gutshot straight and an ace: A7. He got his ace on the turn with A but that gave me four to a flush, which came in the shape of a 9. Up to 5,435 and another bounty.

On the 60/120 big blind with A9. B raises all-in to 683. SB calls. I call. The flop gives me top two pair: A92. Right now I’m beating AxKx. SB checks and I go all-in for 5,142. SB folds, B has QA, and the rest of the hand is irrelevant. I have almost 7,200 chips and another bounty.

Took a big hit on the big blind again at 100/200. Q9 in my hand; not one of my favorites. Action folded to the button, who raised to 700. I called and we were heads-up. The flop looked pretty good—7J7—and I opened with 750. B went all-in for 2,670 and I called. An 8 showed on the turn but the queen-high straight was going to be harder and pointless with TT in B’s hand. The last card missed me: 5 and I was down to about 4K again.

I made a couple of attempts over the next ten minutes but nothing panned out. Finally, I got 44 in UTG3. Action folded to me, I followed Bloch’s instruction on what to do when you’re under 15 blinds and open-raised all-in with the low pair. Everyone but the BB folded. He showed TT. The board ran out 82343 and I came an Ax or a 6x away from a straight, but I was bounty-bait. The other part of the goal on Bloch’s “Tournament Checklist” is to win with that move.

105 minutes, 100 hands. 3,831 players and I made 939th. Four bounties and ROI -39%.

Full Tilt $20,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Just nine hands and nothing of note here. I was down about 300 from a KQ play. My last hand was 88. I raised all-in after a single limp at 30/60 for 1,230. The button isolated me by going all-in for more than 4K., showing KK. By the turn I had a little bit of hope with 6JT9 showing but a queen would give a straight to the kings. Instead, he got trips with a river K.

Four minutes. 1,385 players, finished in 617th.

Full Tilt 90-Player Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

Surprised I lasted as long as I did in this game. I was steadily downhill and under the starting stack for forty minutes until a Mutant Jack rescued me. Got AJ in the big blind at 60/120 holding 1,845 chips. UTG called and everyone else folded. I raised to 725. He three-bet to 1,330 and I shoved for 1,845, getting a call. Naturally, he was pleased, he had AA and I looked like a goner. The 455 flop gave me some life, though. I hung in suspended animation through the 8 turn, then T came on the river and I doubled up, leaving UTG with a little more than 3BB.

Got my own comeuppance in short order four hands later when I had KK as HJ. Blinds were up to 80/160 and UTG min-raised. I re-raised to 995. UTG and I were heads-up after some folds, and he went all-in for 3,010. I called with 985 behind and he showed TT. The first card out was T, with 37 making another nice flush draw for me, but it was JJ on the last two streets and I wasn’t the one with a full house.

I managed to build back up to about 1,800 but the blinds were getting big and I was down to 1,240 at 200/400/50 when I tried to make 8K work for me. UTG raised all-in to 800, UTG1 and SB called, and I re-raised all-in. UTG1 called with more than 11.5K left, SB called holding another 27.5K. The board was Q6797 with the big stacks checking it down to the river. Nobody had much of anything 9A for BB, AT for UTG, but SB had a TQ and the queen pair was good enough to take it.

63 minutes, 57 hands, one bounty. 32nd place of 90 players. ROI -85%.

Down Bound and East

Full Tilt $36,000 Rush Guarantee Rebuy (1,500 chips)

Fatally short. So short that the client didn’t record the final (fifth) hand. 1,024th place out of 1,279 players. One minute.

Full Tilt 90-Player Sit & Go (3,000 chips)

Is frustration setting in? I’m busting out in early minutes far too soon, far too often. This is another five-hand session. It last longer that the previous one, but only because it’s not a Rush tournament. I have JK on the button, blinds are only 15/30 and I still have nearly 2,900 chips. One player limps in, I raise to 75, BB calls as does the limper. 5J8 gives me top pair, both players check to me, I make a 240 bet, BB re-raises to 480, the limper folds, and I call. 8 on the turn, BB bets 1,200, I don’t believe him, and I’m all-in for 2,340. He calls, and I’m right, he’s semi-bluffing with Q9. Then the Q hits the river and I’m out 89th of 90 players.

Full Tilt Scheduled Tournament (3,000 chips, 03/29 00:32)

Lucky off the bat, picking up JA on the first hand after joining this game in progress at 25/50. I was BB, HJ raised to 150, CO re-raised to 250, I called, followed by HJ. 82J and I’m in the same position I was in the previous game, with top pair and nothing better in sight. I bet the pot—775—and get a call from HJ. CO drops out. A troublesome K shows up for the turn and I check it to HJ who checks along. A on the river gives me two pair but makes a potential flush. I put in only 500 and get called by HJ, who’s just got the lower of my two pairs, with JQ. I win 1,800.

QJ works out great for me five hands later at 30/60 from UTG3. UTG calls, I raise to 150, and there are four calls (HJ, CO, BB, UTG). I hit top pair on the Q64 flop and raise BB’s 120 bet to 450. Only BB and UTG see the turn with me; there’s 2,130 in the pot. The card is 6, both of the players ahead of me check, and I check to see another free card in case someone hit a 6x. The river is 5, BB checks, UTG makes a little 120 bet, I call and BB gives up. UTG has Q5, but his kicker (and second pair) is counterfeited, so my kicker wins me the hand and puts me over 6,400.

That’s about the end of the good news, though. Forty minutes go by before I make another hit with 67, and the 780 I make there is well short of the 1,000 I’ve lost in the meantime.

Then on the next hand I pick up a dangerous pocket pair in UTG1: 77. I call the 160 big blind, UTG2 calls, SB raises to 800, BB folds, and I should fold here but raise to 1,600 instead. UTG2 goes all-in for 4,200. SB only has another 40 and goes all-in. Now I should really fold and keep my 4,641 but I stupidcall. BB has me beat with 99. UTG2 has one over card: T9. The board misses all of us: 25KQ2 and nearly 13K goes to BB.

The end comes just seven hands later in an ignominious manner. I call 160 with KA from UTG2 and see the flop with the blinds. 872 on the flop. Everyone checks to the 3 on the turn. Checks all-around to a 8 river. SB bets 800, BB calls, I raise all-in for 1,601, SB re-raises to 2.720. BB folds. SB has 33, made a set on the turn.

57 minutes, 76th of 209 players.

Full Tilt $9,000 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Bought in well after the beginning of the game Didn’t manage to get anything for nearly half an hour until I picked up JA as UTG3. UTG2 limped in for 50 and I raised to 125. CO came along and everyone else dropped out. Flop was 8T2, I bet 100, CO raised to 450 and I called to see a Q turn give me a flush draw. I pushed all-in and got a call, with CO showing AT. No flush, just 7 for the river and I was out.

Did a second entry, lost 1,200 with TT on hand three. Out on the next hand.

Out in 1,689th and 1,921st out of 2,028 places.

Full Tilt Rush Flash (40BB)

Three good hands in here. It’s hard to wrong with AA (although it can happen) and I just about doubled up for 40 big blinds after busting out once. I was lucky, because there was a set of 8x on the board. 8A netted me another 33 big blinds. After flushing on the flop with K9 and getting 25 big blinds, I took my money and went home with a profit of 28 big blinds.