Mobbed Up

The Caesars Palace Kick-Off Classic Seniors tournament was a small affair, just 43 entries, but it had a decent prize pool because of the $350 entry fee.

I flew down to Las Vegas on the morning of September 11 (whee!) after working until midnight Monday. Got a couple hours of sleep at home before I headed to the airport, then another 45 minutes or so on the plane. I did the $50 upgrade to first class so I could take advantage of the leg room and wider seat. Got in a cab from McCarran International to Caesars, and checked in on the number of registrants at the poker room cashier.

I’d made some calculations about what the payouts would be at various numbers of players, because some of the events had been rather small–@CLVPoker had been tweeting that they’d been having to add money to the prize pools for the series–and I figured that if there were just a handful of entries I’d just wait for the noon $130 $15K guarantee tournament. Even with only 13 players registered ahead of me at ten minutes before start, I figured the median payout would be worthwhile, and there were more than two hours for late registration and re-entry.

I picked up some chips with [ax ax] on my third hand in the big blind. Forty-five minutes into the game, I’d lost ground, but still had 20,000 (100BB) of my original 25,000. The tournament had 38 entries by that time, although 4 had already fallen by the wayside.

My original seat had me placed next to a “New Yawk” guy with one of those personalities that you either love or that rubs you the wrong way. He was quite effusive when he was picking up chips, but a guy at the far end of the table with a Mexican flag on his ball cap who’d lost several big hands then cracked New Yawk’s aces with a flopped set of threes and doubled up. On his next BB, there were a couple of limps and when the dealer asked him about his option, New Yawk contemptuously threw his blind chips in the middle to check, which wasn’t particularly impressive considering that we were at 100/200, with the smallest chips in play being 50s.

Then I made one of the stupid mistakes that seem to be my hallmark in Vegas tournaments. I picked up the Mutant Jack hand and intended to 3x raise to 900 but my mouth started to say “thousand” instead of “hundred.” I didn’t quite finish the word, but a ruling from the floor made it stand so a big chunk of my chips were in. I got called and hit the nut flush draw, then shoved to try to get a fold, but got called and ended up losing half my stack. Fortunately, I managed to recover fairly quickly, and 100 minutes into the game (and aces again as big blind) and I was back over starting stack.

At the first break, there were 34 or 42 entries remaining and the chip average was just under 31,000. I had only 25,800, but that was still 43BB, so things were going fine, so far as I was concerned.

Just after the break I knocked out a player with [ax kx] v [qx jx] and essentially doubled to more than 50,000. Registration closed shortly thereafter, at the aforementioned 43 players and a prize pool of $12,513.

The next hour was very quiet for me. I wasn’t picking up any hands. There was a very aggressive Asian woman in the spot where the Mexican guy had been seated earlier (he was still playing at another table, New Yawk had eventually succumbed). Nothing much was coming my way for cards but we were down to about 25 players and I had 49BB. The Asian lady in seat 10 had 80BB and was the chip leader. It seemed like most everyone knew either each other or the dealers reasonably well, so I felt a little odd-man-out, but it didn’t bother me.

A friend messaged me to ask what the table was like; this was my reply: They’re old people. They play like old people mostly. Like I am these days.

A little bit later, I raised with [ax jx] and ended up at the river of a [8x 4x 6x 4x tx] board and three-barreled it to take down the pot, putting me up around 58,000, only to have a KarmaBiteâ„¢ cut me in half by breaking my [tx tx] with [4x 4x] hitting a straight.

Five hours in and I was down under the starting stack, with just 21,000 chips and not even 11BB. My all-in lucky catch was with an [ax 2x] shove from BTN. SB called with [ax tx]. A deuce hit the flop and doubled me up. Just a little bit later and with even more chips I raised [kx kx] 5x from early position with 15BB behind and the lady in seat 10 shoved. I called and she flipped over [5x 2x]. My heart just about stopped as the board ran out [6x 5x 3x 3x 3x]. That put me up over 90,000, nearing twice the chip average. Seat ten went on a quick rampage and knocked out a player with a similar-sized stack, going back up to 120,000 or so.

16 players left five-and-a-half hours in. 101,000 chips and 34BB for me. 5 more were out in the next half-hour and I’d climbed to 120,000 (30BB). Then 150,000 just before dinner break. We were at the final table just before break and there was some talk about not taking the break but I, for one, was ready and we still had four or five players to go before the money bubble (only five places paid).

Ran across the street to The Quad (my go-to home in Vegas) on dinner break to check into my room and dump my bag. Sat for a little bit, called my wife, then got back to work.

The big hand of the night was against the woman who’d doubled me up earlier. I had A8s and called a 4x raise of 24,000 from BB, then bet 25,000 on a rainbow flop of [7x 9x tx]. She shoved 50,000 and I thought about it for a little bit before I called. She had [kx qx], so I was extremely fortunate that the high end of my straight draw didn’t come through. Neither of us paired. She seemed a little shocked that I called, but she was out in 9th place and I had over 20% of the chips in play.

Most of that went away in just a few minutes when my [qx qx] were beat by [kx jx]. That loss knocked me down from 216,000 to 80,000 (10BB). Doubled back up against the same guy with [tx tx] v [ax tx]. Then I knocked out a player holding [ax tx] with [kx 9x]. Twenty minutes after losing my big stack, I was back up to 200,000 (20BB by then) and we were at six players. There, we made a deal to pay sixth place $500, with each of the top 5 contributing $100. Picked up [ax ax] in SB this time and knocked out #6. One of the guys had to borrow $100 until payouts to pay off the bubble boy (are there bubble boys in a Seniors tournament?). I was the chip leader with well over 300,000.

20130911 Caesars Palace Kick-Off Classic Seniors

Maximum stack for Poker Mutant during the Caesars Seniors tournament

 I knocked out a player and we were down to 4. Then I lost a fairly large amount of stacks to another player with (I hate to admit it) [ax jx], against [ax qx]. That evened out the stacks quite a bit. A player from Arkansas who’d been chip leader before I took over and who seemed to have a fair amount of respect from everyone involved (more on that in a second) agreed to a 4-way even chop and we stopped a little more than nine hours in, with each of us getting $2,700 ($2,800 payout minus the $100 we’d paid to the bubble).

It was nice to finally have some vindication with a decent cash in Vegas. Yes, it was fewer than 50 entries, the buy-in was only $350, it was a Seniors tournament, and it wasn’t even my biggest cash, but it got me my entry into the Hendon Mob database.

It was an anxious week before the entry showed up and, of course, it had its own pluses and minuses. I knew when we chopped that the actual dollar values weren’t going to be recorded there. Caesars doesn’t facilitate chops, the tournament director randomly assigned places to the four of us, we got the payouts we were randomly assigned, and we just had to trust that the guys getting paid more weren’t going to walk away from the cage and out the hallway into the main casino before they shared their portion of the chop. The perverse part of that was the guy from Arkansas and I got the bottom two rungs of the payouts, despite having had more chips than the other two. So my Hendon Mob winnings so far are about half my actual winnings. The plus of the listing is that once I could look up my table mates, I could see that the guy from Arkansas was the 2004 WSOP Seniors tournament gold bracelet winner. So that was kind of interesting.

My BLUFF Power Rank is currently 74,550. Watch out 74,549!

I played a tournament that evening at the Venetian, tried a Turbo game on Carbon, then went to the Wynn’s noon game the next day where I only got through a third of the field of 24 before I busted. I did have an enlightening walk behind the Strip hotels past the under-construction Linq project with several thousand dollars in my pocket on my way to the bank, feeling a little leery as I walked past this property (which riders on the Linq should have a great view of).


FOR RENT: “Clean”, 1 BR, walking distance to Strip hotels

 Mostly played on Carbon for the week after I got home. Made it to 146th of 879 in a $175K Poker Maximus tournament for a min-cash but didn’t hit in anything else but a regular PLO8 game for just a few dollars. made it to 5th place in a $10K at Final Table, then 4-tabled Poker Maximus tournaments on the final Sunday, getting in late to the $250K and making it to the top third of the field, getting knocked out of the $40K and $50K, then making it within 20 places of the money in the $75K (162/967, top 17%). Hosted a small PLO/PLO8/Big O/Courcheval mixed tournament in the Catsino and was close to a win but had my big lead HU disappear. It’s going to be a couple of quiet weeks busy with work stuff, but I’m hoping to make a trip to Reno for the Fall Pot of Gold after that.

Assume the Position

You might think that because I haven’t posted anything for nearly two months that things hadn’t been going very well. For part of the time, that might have been true–although that wasn’t a poker-related “not going well”.

The home game tournament series I play in has been on hiatus since before the WSOP, with the only event being a six-handed deepstack mixed Omaha tournament I put together (PLO, PLO8, Big O, and Courcheval, changing each level, a lot of fun). I won that.

Followed up the Carbon Poker blow-off with a deep run in a $1K 6-Max online game, then a 2nd and a 1st, for 1300% and 1800% profit, respectively. I made a small cash in a 1,000+ player field, then hit 3rd in a $1K. Because of other life things, I wasn’t playing live much (or getting much done on my WSOP database), though, which is where my bigger wins have come. Then I was in the top 4 chop of a $10K at Aces Players Club, for 1,400% profit, and took 2nd two weeks later in a 5-way chop of the same tournament for 1,200%.

Sunday, I got home from work and jumped right into the opening hands of Poker Maximus VI Event #8, a $70K guarantee. More on that below.

Had to miss the $50K reopening tournament for The Final Table in their new location. Stupid job.

But it’s back down to Las Vegas tomorrow morning for the Caesars Palace Kick-Off Classic Seniors Tournament, unless it’s got just a few people signed up by the 10am start, in which case I’ll save my energy for the noon $15K guarantee. There are a couple Maximus events in the evening if I bust one or both of the Caesars games, then there’s another $15K on Thursday.

Anyway, I was reasonably pleased with my performance in my first Maximus event, the first online tournament I’ve played for $100+ stakes since before Black Friday. I did something I’ve tried in tournaments before, using the field size and position stats to track my progress throughout the game. Sadly, they’re not part of the hand history data stream, so PokerTracker doesn’t store them, but they make an interesting accompaniment to the hand history.

Carbon Poker Poker Maximus #8 $70K NLHE

The top graph shows the number of players in the tournament (green) and my position in the tournament (blue). The red line shows the bottom of the cashing field, based on the final number of payouts (which wasn’t finalized until the end of the re-entry period).

The second graph is very similar, but shows my position in relative, rather than absolute, terms.

I entered about 15 minutes into the game, just after the beginning of the second level. My participation was 200 hands, I’m not going cover every one this time.

Hand 4 [js jc] CO T4,925 15/30
As you can see, there’s a huge drop from a mid-range field position very early on. UTG min-raises and action folds to me. I re-raise to 200, BB flats, and UTG re-raises to 460. I call and BB follows along. Almost 1,400 in the pot and the flop is [7d 5c 3d]. BB checks, UTG bets 697, and both BB and I call (not in that order, naturally). Pot is 3,500. The turn is [ac], BB checks, UTG bets half pot, and I realize that I’m beat and fold with T3,800 left. BB shoves and gets called by [ad ah] for a real cooler, since he had [7h 7d] and top set on the flop. He’s busted with the [td] on the river. My chip stack is still 126BB, but I drop to 293/322 on the leader board since most of the other players haven’t lost 25% of their chips yet.

Hand 7 [qd td] UTG2 T3,768 25/50
I open for 150 and HJ flats along with BB. The flop is [ah ac as], BB checks and I c-bet 200. HJ just calls; BB folds. [5c] turn, check-check. [7h] on the river and I make another stab for 418, HJ calls and shows [8h 8c]. With 3,000 left, I drop to 315/327.

Hand 13 [qh qs] CO T2,863 25/50
This is the hand where the poker gods smiled on me. UTG, the winner of Hand 4, opens to 125. HJ calls and I re-raise to 475. UTG four-bets to 950. HJ folds and I get stubborn, going all-in. Naturally, exactly one round after having aces against my jacks when I’m in CO, he has [ah ac] and calls, with 6,309 behind. The board runs out [7c 9s 8h tc] to the turn, which gives me as good a chance as I can have on the river, then [qd] spikes and I double up to over 5,900, which puts me in the top quartile of the leader board.

Hand 19 [jc js] BB T5,926 50/100
Jacks again. Maybe they won’t lose this time. What am I saying? Of course they will. The CO min-raises to 200 from 62BB and I just call. [2h 2c tc] on the flop. I bet 300 that gets called. [ac] turn and I try with a 400 bet, but get raised to 1,200 and call hoping for a flush. [8h] river, I check-fold to a bet of 2,250. Back down to the bottom quarter, but the amount of differentiation means that’s not all that bad.

Hand 27 [kd ad] UTG T4,176 50/100
Someone else’s turn to lose with jacks. I raise to 300. UTG3 re-raises to 800 and it folds to me. I shove 42BB, UTG3 calls with [js jc], and I get two pair by the turn, doubling up and leaving UTG3 with 7.5BB. The win puts me in the top 20% of the (then) 380-player field for a brief time.

Hand 37 [ah 5c] BB T8,202 60/120
The guy who lost to my AK opens to 300 from UTG2 and I defend. He bets 280 on the [tc qd 3s] board, and I call, as he has less than 1,000 behind. [9s] on the turn, and I put him all-in. He calls with [as kc] and doubles up, but I’m still in pretty good shape.

Hand 44 [ts ks] UTG1 T6,704 75/150
I open to 450 and get flatted by UTG2 and SB. The flop looks fantastic: [kc 9h kh]. SB checks, I bet 800, and get called by SB. [8d] on the turn and SB checks again. I bet 1,600 and he calls. [7h] river, and he checks. I’m beat by a few hands, now, including [jx tx] or even [5x 6x], but I check and I was behind from the beginning as he held the second nut trip hand: [ks qh]. Drop back down below starting stack and into the bottom 20%. Still 26BB.

Hand 45 [9d 9s] UTG T3,854 75/150
Open to 450. Action folds to SB who shoves 1,642. I call and the board runs out [6s 5d 6hjh jc], the short stack has a decent-but-not-good enough [qs ks] and his chips take me back up over starting stack.

Hand 48 [as qh] BTN T5,421 75/150
UTG2 opens to 525 and I raise to 1,200. He folds.

Hand 51 [ad 6d] UTG3 T6,151 100/200/20
I open for 600. Everyone folds.

Hand 54 [ah jc] UTG T5,971 100/200/20
I open to 600. Everyone folds.

Hand 56 [5h 5c] SB T6,811 100/200/20
HJ min-raises and both blinds defend. The [8h 5s ks] flop makes my set, I check, BB checks, and HJ stabs at it with a bet of 690. I raise him to 2,000 and they both fold.

Hand 59 [td th] HJ T8,421 100/200/20
UTG min-raises and I call, sort of wanting to make sure there isn’t too many over cards on the flop with tens. SB jams of almost 3,350. That gets rid of BB and UTG, and I take it head-on against [9d 9s]. I’m liking the [ts qh qd] flop, bust the same guy for the second time, and add 17BB to my stack, which puts me back near the top 10%.

Hand 78 [qd kc] UTG2 T11,095 150/300/30
I raise to 900 and everyone folds.

Hand 85 [ad kd] CO T12,145 150/300/30
Open to 900 and the blinds fold.

Hand 101 [5d td] SB T10,858 200/400/40
Everyone folds and I call the BB. He checks and we see the [5s jd 4d] flop. That’s pretty good for me. I bet 700 and he calls. The turn is [9d]. I check and let him bet 1,280, nearly a quarter of his stack, into my flush. I raise him all-in—I have him covered by 3,000—and he calls with [3c 2d]. I can’t figure it out but I win a pot of 16,500.

Hand 102 [jc ad] BTN T19,643 250/500/50
Just antes and a big blind in the pot before action. UTG1 min-raises, I flat, and we’re HU. Flop’s [2d 5c 7h] and we both check. [ks] on turn, UTG1 bets 1,250 and I let it go.

Hand 115 [ad ah] UTG2 T17,243 250/500/50
I make my standard 3x raise from middle position. Nobody wants to play.

Hand 118 [ah qs] BB T18,243 250/500/50
UTG1 min-raises with a stack slightly larger than mine. Action’s back to me and I 3-bet to 3,000. He calls and the flop’s [ks qh jd]. I jam on him, thinking he would have more than min-raised with [ax kx]. He folds and shows [ac jc] (the Mutant Jack loses again!) snarkily asking if that’s the only move I have. As if I’ve been all-in in this tourney on a regular basis. I’m up in the top 20% of the field again, but it’s going to be for the last time. All (or mostly) downhill from here.

Hand 120 [kd as] UTG T21,493 250/500/50
Raise to 1,500 and everyone folds. Easy game, no?

Hand 127 [kh ac] UTG2 T21,373 300/600/60
I’m officially a cardrack. I open to 1,800 and everyone folds.

Hand 129 [8s as] UTG T22,333 300/600/60
Open for 1,800 and everyone folds.

Hand 133 [kc qh] CO T22,573 300/600/60
HJ bets 1,800 and I call. We see the [ah js 2d] flop HU, he bets 2,120 and I fold despite the tempting (to me, at least) Broadway draw.

Hand 136 [jc ah] UTG2 T20,593 300/600/60
Open to 1,800 and everyone folds.

Hand 150 [js ac] HJ T20,053 400/800/80
I’m 55th of 166 players at this point. Not trying to do anything fancy, we’ve still got more than 50 players to go before the bubble. UTG3 raises to 1,800 and I flat. We see the flop HU, it’s [6h 6c 9h]. He bets at it and I fold. The loss drops me down to 68th position.

Hand 151 [9d 9h] UTG3 T18,373 400/800/80
I continue my 3x raises with a bet of 2,400 and get called by BTN. The flop is [kc 4d 6d] and I bet 3,000 at it only to get shoved on by a stack covering me. I fold and drop out of the cashing field, to 109th.

Hand 159 [as js] CO T11,213 400/800/80
Time for the Mutant Jack to do it’s thing. I open-shove with 14BB and get called by a stack of 59BB with [kh jh] in SB. The board runs out an unnecessary flush for me and I double back to 49th and the middle of the cash field, with 156 to go.

Hand 179 [7s 7d] BB T18,846 500/1,000/100
As other players have chipped up and I’ve lost 20 hands of blinds and antes, my position in the field has dropped to 76th. We’re still almost 40 spots from the money bubble. Normally, I don;t like playing a pair as low as sevens on an almost full table, but I am BB. Action folded to one of the very short stacks at the table, CO with just 7BB. He shoves for 6,440. BTN and SB fold (they both have decent-sized stacks). I stand to lose a third of my stack if I lose, but I figure he’s in desperation mode and I might have the better hand by a margin. He has [qs jd], he doesn’t pair (an ace hits on the flop, so I’m glad he didn’t hit that), and I get a little bump.

Hand 183 [qh ks] HJ T25,606 600/1,200/120
I open for 3,600, with the two larger stacks at the table having folded already. CO shoves for 17,100, gets an all-in call from BTN, and another all-in from BB. BB’s the smallest stack, with just 4BB before paying for the hand. SB was the most worrisome, since he had a stack just smaller than mine, but he folded. BTN has 9BB, and CO has 14BB, two-thirds my own stack. The pot has more than 36,000 in it, I’m getting 2.7:1 on my money, but if I lose (With KQ? Nah.), I’ll be down to 4BB with 31 places to go before the money. I fold, and as you might expect, everyone beats me. CO has AJ, BTN has KK, and BB has A6. The ace on the flop gives the whole thing to CO, but four spades roll out by the river and my king was the only spade of the four hands. A win would have put me at nearly 58,000.

Hand 186 [qd kd] UTG1 T21,646 600/1,200/120
I open to 3,600. SB calls. The flop is [8c ks js], SB checks, I bet 6,000, and he piles on 25,000, putting me at risk. I’m obviously not going to make the same mistake as in the previous KQ hand, so I call. He has [qh kh] and we chop the pot.

Hand 187 [jc as] UTG T22,666 600/1,200/120
Open to 3,600. UTG2 shoves for 11,200. CO is all-in with just 4,300. I call with 11,450 behind. It’s me v [7h 7s] and [kh kd]; behind everyone, as usual. Both pairs hold up (with the kings getting a set on the flop) and I end up behind both of the other players in the hand, dropping down to 101st place, outside the cashing field with just 15 players before the money.

Hand 199 [as 6s] HJ T6,410 750/1,500/150
The cards have not been kind. Nor have the blinds. I have, however, managed to outlast enough bust-outs over the past dozen hands that I’ve reached the money with 4BB. Action folds to me, and I shove, getting called by BB, who started the hand with 34BB. He has [8c 9d], the flop is [qs qh ah], and I win the hand.

Hand 200 [qh kh] UTG3 T14,770 750/1,500/150
UTG1 opens to 4,000 from a 25BB stack, and I shove 10BB. SB (who I’d doubled through in the previous hand) shoves 29BB, and UTG1 gets out of the way. I’m racing against [8d 8s] and I lose, going out with a min-cash.

VPIP for this tournament: 17.2%. I won 48% of the hands where I saw the flop, went to showdown with 61% of the hands where I saw the flop, and won 64% of the hands when I went to showdown.

Four hours. 200 hands. 92nd of 710 entries. +82.6% profit.

My Big, Fat Chip Blowoff

Carbon Poker $1.5K Guarantee Deepstack (T5,000)

Sometimes you can’t win. Sometimes you can’t lose, even when you’re trying very very hard. I started playing this Deepstack at 9:30am, not realizing that it ran for eight hours or more and I had to be at work in six. Then I ran insanely great. Of course.

Hand 16 [8h 9h] UTG3 20/40
I won the blinds in first couple hands with raises, then lost a little bit over the next dozen or so, so I start the hand with 4,660. Three folds ahead of me, I open to 100 and get re-raised by BB to 320. I call and we see the flop HU: [3s kd 7d]. BB bets 495 and I fold.

Hand 24 [kh td] CO 30/60
I’ve paid a couple of blinds since losing Hand 16, and I’ve been moved to a new table. HJ limps in and I call. BTN raises to 220, getting a call from BB. HJ folds and I call to hit top pair on [2c tc 9h]. 750 in the pot; BB checks, I bet 500, BTN folds and BB raises me to 1,000. I call. The turn is [3h]. I have 3,060, BB has me covered by about 700, and there’s 2,750 in the pot. He puts out a bet of 1,375 and I shove all-in with my one pair. He calls with the [qc 6c] flush draw and the river [8h] wins me a pot of nearly 9,000.

Hand 31 [5c 5d] CO 30/60
We’re playing with only seven at the table, so I’m back in the same spot I was in the last major hand. The player I nearly wiped out recovered almost immediately with [ax kx], although he’s a long way from healthy, and he’s BB again. HJ open-raises to 120, I call, BTN three-bets to 400, and I’m the only caller. The flop is [6s 8s 3h] and I check-call a bet of 650. With [tc] on the turn, though, I fold to a 1,200 bet from BTN, and I’m down to 7,730.

Hand 32 [as 8c] HJ 30/60
I shouldn’t even be playing this hand, but action folds to me and I raise to 150. BTN calls, the flop is [7h 5h 2s] and I bet 250, only to get raised to 917. I fold.

Hand 38 [7d ad] UTG 30/60
I raise to 135, get a call from BTN, see a [9h ah kc] flop. bet 200, and win.

Hand 62 [td 8d] UTG1 60/120
No significant wins or losses for another couple dozen hands. My stack has lost a little wind, I’m down to 6,865. THere are three other stacks at the table (eight-handed) with more than me, and one right behind me. I limp in and it’s three-way to the flop with me and the blinds. The flop is [kd 5d ts]. Both blinds check and I make a half-pot bet of 200, which gets called by both of them. [8h] on the turn gives me two pair, with flush and full-house draws, so when it gets checked to me again, I bet 620 into the pot of 960. SB comes along, and I make the flush with a [9d] river. SB checks again, I bet 900, and he calls with [ks qc]. The win puts me back up over 9,000 again.

Hand 63 [jh jd] UTG 60/120
I raise to 400, getting calls from UTG2, CO, and BTN, all of whom I have covered. The flop is [4h 7s 9h]. I bet 800, CO calls, and BTN puts in almost 3,600, leaving 740 behind. I re-raise all-in, CO folds, and BTN calls with his set: [9d 9s]. The [3h] turn keeps a flush draw possibility alive, but I catch a better set instead with [js] on the river, and I’m over 15,000.

Hand 71 [qc tc] UTG 60/120
I raise to 300, get called by BTN, and the flop is [4h 5s 7c]. U c-bet 425, get called, see [3h] on the turn and check-fold to a bet of 720.

Hand 72 [7c 3h] BB 60/120
UTG2, CO and SB limp into my pot. I hit bottom pair on the [6s 3c 9c] flop. CO opens with a bet of 240 post-flop and everyone calls. The turn is a scary [ac], I bet this time for 400 and only UTG2 calls. The river is [jh], we both check, and my pair of threes wins a pot of 2,240.

Hand 73 [4c 5c] SB 60/120
UTG1 limps in, followed by UTG2, CO, and both of us in the blinds. The flop gives me a flush draw and a gut-shot straight draw: [kc 8c 7s]. Action checked to UTG2, who bet 450. I called, along with UTG1. The flush came for me with [9c] on the turn. I overbet the pot, putting in 2,710, which was the remaining number of chips in UTG2’s stack (and more than half the stack of UTG1), leaving nearly 13,000 behind. UTG1 folded and UTG2 called with two pair: [8h 7h]. [qc] on the river. That pushed me over 20,000.

Hand 75 [ac 6c] CO 60/120
UTG2 min-raised to 240 and HJ three-bet to 720. I called, BB came along, and UTG2 matched it. By this point, I was chip leader at the table with more than twice what anyone else had. The flop was [jd 7c 3h], HJ opened with a bet of 2,205 and I folded. The hand ended with BB making two pair on [7s 9h]to beat [qh qs] for a pot of 12,000.

Hand 80 [5d tc] BB 80/160
BTN opened to 365, SB called, and I followed along. The flop was [3d qc 6c] and it got checked around. The turn was [2c], SB checked, I bet 550, and BTN called. Missed my flush on the [kd] river, which was just as well; we both checked it and my BTN won with [ac 7s].

Hand 84 [3d 2d] HJ 80/160
WHat can I say? I’m a sucker for this hand and it costs me. UTG4 was all-in for 50. I raised to 400 and BB called. I have 18,000 behind vs 5,600. The flop is [6c ad 3h] and I make bottom pair. BB bets 1,280 and I call. There’s pots of 200 and 3,290 and [ts] comes on the turn. BB goes all-in for 4,325 and I fold my threes, only to see BB with [qs 8s] and UTG4 with [jc 8c]. [5c] on the river and I would have won it. Grrr. Down to 16,740.

Hand 85 [th ad] UTG2 80/160
We’re seven-handed again. Smarting from my laydown in the last hand, I open-raise to 400, getting a call from CO. The flop is [9d 4h 2d]. I bet 600 and get called again. [jh] on the turn and we both check. I pair my kicker with [ts] on the river and bet 1,000, getting a call from [ah qh] and seeing how lucky I was on that last card.

Hand 89 [jc jh] BB 80/160
Starting with 19,500, seven at the table, only one other player with anything close to my stack. The other large stack limps in UTG1. CO raises to 440, I three-bet to 1,000 and get a call from UTG1. CO folds. The flop is [qc 6c 5h] and I bet 1,200. UTG1 raises all-in and I fold.

Hand 96 [2s 2h] BB 100/200
I’m about 2,500 off the chip lead with 17,000 after my blind’s paid. The chip leader in UTG2 limps in along with UTG3 and CO. I flop the set on [8h 7s 2c] and action checks to CO who bets 400. I raise to 1,300 and get called by CO. [qs] on the turn gets checked by both of us. The [ts] river is a little disquieting, but I bet 2,720 (everything CO has left) into the 3,500 pot and win the hand.

Hand 115 [ah qc] SB 100/200
Still around 19,000. My nemesis has caught wind and has 10,000 more, but the other five players at the table combined don’t have as much as we do. Nobody under 10BB, however.  UTG2 limps and I raise to 500. He calls and we’re HU to the flop. I’m not happy about the [7d 4d 8d] but I c-bet 650 and get a call. [td] on the turn and I’m ready to give it up. I bet 1,000, he calls, there’s an [8s] on the river, I check, he bets 3,000 and I’m out.

Hand 117 [ad qh] CO 125/250/25
Again with the ace-queen. I open to 600 and the bigger stack (although he’s lost several thousand in the past couple hands) calls from BB. This time the flop is a suit I have, at least: [7h kh 5h]. He checks, I bet 850, and he folds, so I win a small pot for a change.

Hand 123 [9d 8s] BB 125/250/25
Limps from UTG, UTG1, and SB. Part of the flop hits me: [qc 9c 4h]. SB bets the pot (and goes all-in) for 1,200 and I call to see where it might go; UTG1 is out. SB has [jh qh], I fail to improve, and he wins the pot. Back down to 16,000.

Hand 126 [jc ad] CO 125/250/25
I open to 600 and SB calls. The flop is [5d kc 2c] and we both cautiously check. [ks] makes a pair on board and SB makes a stab at it with a bet of 750. I call. Trips on the board with [kh] for the river and SB tries to rep at least a full house with a bet of a big chunk of his stack: 2,100 with 5,700 behind. I call and beat his [jd qc].

Hand 128 [ad 8d] UTG3 125/250/25
UTG2 limps (with 10BB behind) and I raise to 650. CO calls along with UTG2. [3c 3s qd] on the flop. Action checks to CO (I know, I should have bet) and he puts out 500. I call. [4c] on the turn and I make a very small bet of 250 for some reason. UTG2 (who I beat on the last hand) puts in half his remaining stack and I fold.

Hand 130 [ac 7c] UTG 125/250/25
I bet 650 and CO goes all-in for 6,250. I call with 12,400 behind and he has [ah kc]. I get two clubs on the flop but no more.

Hand 131 [th 8d] BB 125/250/25
Action folds to SB who goes all-in for 1,750. I’ve got almost exactly pot odds if he’s got a weak ace, and I call. He flips [4c ah] and catches an un-needed [4h] on the river.

Hand 148 [jc kh] UTG 150/300/30
Down to 10,300. I open to 750 and it gets through everyone except BB, who calls. The flop is [2c 7h 6c]. We both check. The board pairs with [7d] on the turn, BB bets 900 and I call.   [ah] on the river has us both checking and I take the pot against [tc kc]. Fortunately, both the cards that would have made a flush and helped me out were already in our hands.

Hand 156 [as ah] UTG 200/400/40
After having my aces cracked at the Venetian the other day by [9x 4x], I had no inclination to slow-play these. I raised to 825 and got calls from UTG2 (with about 400 more chips than I had) and BB (with about half my stack). The flop was [th js 5d] which was a little concerning because of the jack-ten. BB and I checked, UTG made a “take it down” bet of 2,250 into the 3,000 pot, BB folded, and I jammed for my remaining 11,750. UTG2 called, drawing pretty thin with [jc ac]. The win put me over 26,000.

Hand 167 [ad 7s] HJ 200/400/40
I open for 900 (24,000 behind) and get a call from BB (14,500). The flop is [5c 3c js] and we both check it. [8d] on the turn and we’re checking again. I call his bet of 2,360 on the [2d] river and he shows [kc ks].

Hand 169 [qh ac] UTG2 200/400/40
I open to 950, get called by UTG3 (who’s one of the two stacks covering me at the table), then CO shoves for 11,185. I re-shove after action folds to me and UTG3 gets out of the way. CO has [qs 5s], the board runs out [6h 6c td tc jc] and I’m up to 34,750.

Hand 174 [as 9s] BTN 250/500/50
I’m once again the table leader, and am actually at the top of or near the top of the leaderboard for the tournament. UTG1 opens to 1,195 (22,500 behind), I call (35,500), and BB comes along (20,300). The flop is [3h 6s ah]. A check from BB, bet of 2,400 from UTG1, and I call, with BB bowing out. [jc] on the turn and UTG1 is in for another 5,100. I call again and the pot is over 19,000. The river is [8s]. All I have is the aces, but I call the all-in bet of 15,000 and catch the bluff with [jh 9h] to profit nearly 25,500. His comment after getting knocked out is: “ew dont bluff that guy.”

Hand 175 [tc jh] CO 250/500/50
Starting the hand as overwhelming chip leader with more than 62,000. I open to 1,100 and BTN re-raises to 2,000 (20,250 behind). We’re heads-up to a [5c 7c 8h] flop. I check and he half-pots 2,600. I call and [8c] hits the turn. I check-call his 6,400 bet. A [9c] completes both my straight and my flush. I put him all-in to call (11,250, about half the pot) and he folds. Over 74,000.

Hand 190 [tc ah] CO 250/500/50
One player at my table has a third as many chips as I have, there are three empty seats. Action folds to me and I raise to 1,600. BTN goes all-in with 9,115, I call against his [ac js] and lose.

Hand 197 [tc jc] CO 250/500/50
Starting with 62,500. UTG (26,000 behind) limp-calls after I raise to 1,250. The flop is [kd 6d td] and we both check. [qh] on the turn fives me up and down straight draws in addition to my third pair and I win with a bet of 1,350 after it’s checked to me.

Hand 209 [9h 7h] UTG2 300/600/60
I opened to 1,400 and was re-raised to 3,100 by UTG3. We were HU to a [2h 4c ah] flop and I went all-in over his remaining 18,430. He folded.

Hand 223 [6d ad] BTN 400/800/40
CO opens to 2,400 and I call, then SB puts about a third of his stack in to 8,800. BB and CO fold, I call, and I pick up bottom pair on a [ts 9s 6c] flop. He goes all-in and I call with 42,000 behind. A [qh kh] run-out gives him an unnecessary straight.

Hand 234 [qc qd] UTG1 400/800/80
I’m at a new table for my first hand. I open to 2,500, action folds to BB who puts in about 40% of his stack: 6,970. I re-raise him all-in and he calls with [ad kd]. He gets two diamonds on the flop but I dodge the bullets and knock him out to get back up over 55,000.

Hand 238 [tc td] BTN 400/800/80
UTG1 is all-in for 1,250 and UTG2 sees an easy opportunity to pick up some chips, so he shoves for 26,400. Everyone behind him has more chips but not so many that a loss wouldn’t hurt. I reshove, though, and both the blinds drop out, so I have 27,700 no matter what happens. The small stack has one of my outs with [th jc]; the bigger stack has [ah kd]. I dodge all sorts of bullets with nothing higher than two queens showing. The small stack nearly makes a straight but I knock both of them out and I’m over 77,000.

Hand 243 [9c ad] BB 400/800/80
UTG1 limps in and the flop is [5s qc qd]. I check-call his 1,600 c-bet, we both check on the [3d] turn, and neither of us bets the river [td]. He has [ac 4c] and I take a small pot.

Hand 248 [ah 8h] UTG1 500/1,000/100
I start with 85,600. BB his within a thousand or so, the closest stack below that is 30,000 down. I min-plus raise to 2,200 and get a call from SB, with 54,000 behind. The flop looks good, [7h jh 6d], and I put out a substantial bet of 4,000, two-thirds of the pot. SB check-calls. We both check the [qc] on the turn, and I brick out on the river [4d]. SB puts out a small 2,000 and at 8:1 I have to call in the hopes that ace-high is enough. He has [9c js] for top pair on the flop and I drop below 80,000.

Hand 255 [ts tc] UTG1 500/1,000/100
Open to 3,500 in the same position as the last hand except that SB now 70,000 chips, just a few thousand less than me instead of 30,000 below. SB calls, the flop is [9c 7s 5c] and I bet two-thirds of the 8,700 pot: 6,000. SB shows [as ks] as he folds.

Hand 257 [jc 9h] BB 500/1,000/100
HJ opens to 2,000 with just 16,000 behind. I call to defend. The flop is [tc th 8s], and assuming my open-ended straight draw looks better than what I’m going to assume is a high ace, I put him all-in. He folds.

Hand 260 [jc kd] CO 500/1,000/100
HJ opens with a min-raise and I’m the only caller. We both check the [as tc jh] flop, then the [2s] turn, and finally on the [2h] river he bets the minimum of 1,000] I’ve got second pa, I call, and he shows [5s ah] for the win.

Hand 284 [kd 2s] BB 600/1,200/120
I’m second in chips at the table with 82,800. The table leader is the tournament chip leader at 98,000 and third place at our table has 72,000 on BTN. Only one of the other six players has more than 50,000. UTG1 min-raises to 2,400, SB and I call. The flop is [ks td 4d]. SB checks and I slam it home, putting them both at risk if they call (they have in the low 40s). UTG1 folds, SB calls with [qs jc] and the open-ended straight draw, but loses with a run-out of [7s tc]. The win makes me tournament leader with 130,600.

Hand 285 [ks qd] SB 600/1,200/120
UTG limps and UTG1 makes a small raise to 2,845. HJ calls the raise and I shove 130,500. Everyone folds and HJ shows [3d 3s].

Hand 286 [td 9d] BTN 600/1,200/120
HJ, with only 20,250, open-raises to 3,000. CO folds and I re-raise to 40,000, covering the SB and all but 1,400 of the BB. Everyone folds.

Hand 289 [as ad] UTG2 600/1,200/120
The hand that you hope for after anoying people with your big-stack shoves. Action folds to me, I just limp in, SB calls, and BB checks. They both have about 50,000 vs. my 140,600. The flop is certainly good for my hand: [ac 7s 9d], but when I make a min-bet they both fold. Maybe I should have shoved pre-flop again.

Hand 292 [3d 4s] BB 600/1,200/120
CO min-raises, BTN calls, and I call. CO is the larger stack, with 44,000. The flop is [6d 2h 7c]. I bet 4,000 and they both fold.

Hand 293 [8c 8s] SB 600/1,200/120
UTG raises to 2,400 with 25,600 behind. HJ calls with 42,400 back. I shove again with 153,000; SB is yet to act but has less than HJ. Everyone folds; HJ shows [ad jh] and makes a comment about shoving with 100BB. I think with the effective stack (his) it’s only 36BB.

Hand 295 [td qh] CO 600/1,299/120
My problem here was that we were still a bit away from the money and I needed to go to work. As someone pointed out later, I could have just set myself to sit out and coasted to whatever point in the money my leading chip stack would have taken me, but with some other things going on in meat-space, I thought about that and promptly forgot it, and instead set about trying to knock as many people out before blowing off my stack—which wasn’t as easy to bring myself to do as I thought it would be. I did manage to make a start here. I open-raised to 5,000, was raised to 17,760 by BTN, and called. I checked the [4h 2s 7s] flop and folded to an all-in bet of 48,325.

Hand 311 [ts ac] HJ 750/1,500/150
By this point in the contest, I was back up to 153,450. We had six players at the table: CO and SB had over 80,000, BB and UTG had in the low 60s, and BTN had 44,000. I did my ace-shove, the BTN short stack called, and I was HU v [kd ks]. It looked like I might slip down close to 100,000 on the [3s 7c 7d] flop, but [ah] on the turn and [3d] on the river just pushed me over 200,000.

Hand 328 [td 8d] HJ 750/1,500/150
Despite a couple of losses, I was still up over where I was when I beat the kings, but time was running short. I opened to 6,000, called an all-in from BTN of 30,350, and lost to [js ad].

Hand 343 [2h as] SB 750/1,500/150
It takes some serious boneheaded play to get rid of chips when people are scared of your stack. With 185,000 chips, I had more than twice all but one other player at the table, and I had half again his stack. I went all-in and BB (92,500 chips) had the nerves to call. And [ks kh]. His pair held and we swapped stack sizes.

Hand 344 [6d 4d] BTN 750/1,500/150
This time, I called an all-in from BB after limping and found myself up against [ad tc]. I paired the four on the flop, which must have made him nervous until the ace on the turn, and successfully managed to slide down to 35,000.

Hand 346 [9h 9d] HJ 750/1,500/150
Best-laid plans, you know? I’m all-in again and get called by the guy I just doubled up from BTN. He has [6h 6d], the board runs out [5h 5c 5s 3s 8s] and my full house is better.

Hand 348 [th jd] UTG1 750/1,500/150
Just eight minutes before I have to leave for work: gotta shave and put on the uniform. All in! [ah ks] calls from UTG3 and has me covered by about 9,000. I catch top pair on the [jh 7h 3h] flop, but the [4h] turn manages to accomplish the mission before I double-pair with a [tc] river. Narrow escape! I almost had 150,000 chips again.

VPIP for this tournament: 27.8%. Higher than usual because when I had the lead (and when I was blowing off chips) I was getting involved a lot. I had aces and queens twice and jacks three times. No kings.

Five hours and twenty minutes. 348 hands. 18th of 247 entries. +173% ROI (first place paid +5,381.8% and yes, I am regretting forgetting about the “sit out” option).

Another Round

Carbon Poker Super Bowl Pick-the-Winner $5,000 Freeroll

All you had to do to get an entry into this freeroll was to pick the winner of the Super Bowl, and since I know nothing about sports I figured I had a 50/50 chance of getting a ticket. The early buzz I’d heard had the Giants as the underdogs, so I picked them, figuring that the field might be smaller if more folks were choosing the likely winner. And New York won, so I got my ticket.

Amazingly enough, for a freeroll with a $1,300 first prize, the game wasn’t even half full. The four-times-daily $200 freerolls on Merge have fields of 5,000—even the HORSE tournament gets more than 2,000 every day—but this event was capped at 2,000 and only had 712 entries. Either it wasn’t advertised very well (although I saw it) or everybody picked the Patriots.

This game followed a typical trajectory for me: a zoom to the top, followed by a crashing defeat.

My first success (A on the graphic) came just five hands in, with the hand known here in Portland as “The Butcher”: [td qc] (not specifically those two cards, but any QT combo). I was in CO and raised to 50 after one limper. The BB and limper came along. The [9d 4h js] flop gave me the open-ended straight draw, and after a bet of 160 from the limper I just called in position. BB folded. The [8h] turn card made my nut straight. The limper bet into it for 480 and I shoved for 1,760, which he called leaving only 30 behind. He was drawing dead, with [jc kh] for just top pair. If he’d been suited in hearts, I would have been gone with the [ah] on the river, but instead I picked up a pot of 4,000 chips, double the starting stack. I was tournament chip leader.

Two hands later as UTG3 (B), I snagged [tc th]. UTG 2 raised to 70, I re-raised to 220. BTN called, the blinds folded, UTG2 shoved. Both UTG2 and BTN were below the starting stack value; if I lost with my pocket pair I’d just be at starting stack again. I went all-in and BTN was all-in, showing [9d jh]. UTG2 had two overs to my pair: [ac qs], and was statistically slightly favored over me (41% v 38%) with the third player involved (who had a 21% chance). The flop was mercifully low: [5d 7s 4d]. Another [7c] broke the possibility of a backdoor diamond flush, then a [3d] on the river solidified my knockout of both players. At 7,680 chips, I was the tournament leader on hand seven.

It only lasted a short time. On hand 15 (C) I had [kh jc] in HJ. Action folded to me, I raised to 75, CO re-raised to 240, the blinds got out of the way, and I called. The flop was perfect: [4h kd jh]. I was ahead of aces. I checked to see how much he’d commit and he bet 393. I shoved way over the top for 7,710 and he called off the rest of his stack for a total of 2,210, showing that he did indeed have [as ah]. I was 69% good. Until the [ac] on the turn, of course. Then I was drawing dead. Still, I was in the top chip stacks in the tournament, with 5,500, nearly three times the start, just ten minutes in.

I lost a little ground for a while after that setback, going as low as 3,650 chips over the next thirty-five hands. Then I got [9h 7h] in UTG1 (D) and raised to 120. HJ called me and we were heads-up at the flop. [9d tc 3c] gave me middle pair and I bet 250, getting a call. [8d] turn set me up for another straight draw and I bet 600 into the 830 pot. HJ shoved for 2,551. I really didn’t think he’d hit the board; I risked all but 1,300 chips to make the call and see his [5h 5c]. He was drawing pretty thin. The river was [6h], which actually made my straight, unnecessary as it was. I was back in contention, although not in the uppermost chip ranks.

Another fifty hands went by before I made another jump (E). It came in a series of three hands about an hour and fifteen minutes into the game. Blinds were 100/200, I was UTG1 with [5d 7d] and limped after a fold from UTG. HJ limped, but BTN pushed all-in for 1,880. The blinds folded. I had both the all-in and the other limper covered by about 4,000 chips. I didn’t figure the limper would enter the action after me, so I called. The limper folded and I was heads-up against [js as]. Isn’t the Mutant jack my hand? It appeared as if it was, because right away there was a flush draw on the board with [9d 2d ts]; I was actually slightly ahead. [kc] for the turn gave him the Broadway draw and flipped the odds back to 65%/34% in his favor. Then I hit the second-to-the-least pair with [7h] on the river and made another knockout.

A player who’d joined the table twenty hands earlier with under 1,500 chips had been hanging on despite the 100/200 blinds by going all-in. I hadn’t felt able to call, even when I’d raised pre-flop. Just after beating the Mutant Jack, I was SB with [jd td] and finally called his all-in of 930. Another limper who was the only stack larger than me at the table called. The flop was [qc ts 9h] giving me the open-ended straight draw and second pair. UTG2 and I both checked to the [9s] turn and [6c] river. UTG2 missed the flush with [as 8s] and the best hand was the short stack’s [qd kc]. I’d come to regret not having called to see if I could have knocked that stack out earlier.

The next hand proved lucrative, however. On BTN with [6h ah] and just over 8,000 chips, I limped in after the big stack (10,500+ in UTG1) and BB. I made middle pair on the [7d 4d 6c] flop and after it was checked around to me, I shoved. He called with the nut flush draw [ax 3x] but two spades showed up on the turn and river, so I doubled up to over 16,770 and was back in the top stacks in the tournament. Two pair with The Butcher on the next hand knocked out another player put me up to 19,000 chips, then I picked another 500 off the guy who’d doubled me up, leaving him with just over 2,000 chips. My attempt to take him out a few hands later would double him up when [kh jh] missed against his [8d 8s].

I managed to climb (with ups and downs of 2,000 to 3,000 chips) to 22,600 before I hit a big snag (F). Both the stacks I’d doubled up above had managed to climb up to 11,000+ chips. The first-mentioned (who’d joined the table with 1,500 chips) shoved from UTG1 and I called him from UTG2. A short stack in CO called all-in, and it was [ac kd] (short stack) v [8d 8h] (doubled-up stack) v [qh jc] (me). The board almost ran out a straight with [3c 6s 7c 4s 2s] that would have been topped with one of the eights. That loss just about cut me in half, and put the former short stack over 25,000.

I got back into the top thirty spots about 15 hands later with [ac jh] on the button (G). Blinds were 250/500/50 and HJ shoved for 9,500 after all action folded to him. The stack I’d doubled up between us folded, SB had about 3,500 chips and BB had 15,500. I shoved and they both folded; HJ showed [jd js] and I was on the wrong end of a 70%/30%  showdown. The [ah] showed up on the flop, though, and my opponent was down to hoping for that last jack to show up, which it didn’t. So I popped back up to where I’d been eight minutes before. A strong bet after I made second-nut flush not long after put me within spitting distance of 30,000 chips (H). That lasted all of two hands (I). I had [ac qs] in UTG2 at 300/600/75. UTG folded. UTG1 was the short stack that had climbed back from under 1,000 to 25,000 now. He limped in and I raised to 2,000, which he was the only player to call. The flop was [9h 2h 6c], I had position on him and he went all-in. I’d suspected him of shoving light on a lot of his road to recovery, so I followed along for all but 3,000 of my chips. Then he flipped over [9s ts] and I had just a 22% chance of not being crippled. The [9d] showed on the turn and I was doomed. He had 52,000 chips and the tournament lead. I didn’t last long after that (J), ending up seventy places out of the money after going all-in with [th ks]. [qc ah] won that hand.

The tournament went on for another three hours. Both the small stack who’d risen to 50,000 and the player I’d knocked down to 2,000 with a double-up made the final table.

Two hours, 183 hands. 98th of 712 players.

Encore Club $10,000 Guarantee

I’ve really got to try to come up with some better way of recording what’s going on in live games. I don’t know if it was the lesson taught to me by the loss of the lead in the noon online game or what, but I somehow managed to once again make it to the end of a $10K at Encore. What I do remember is that one player—who looked sort of like a drunk Nathan Lane—kept shoving over my raises and that eventually, once we were at the point where the payouts were over $1,000, I called him with [qx 8x]. He showed [ax 4x] but I hit the queen on the flop and sucked a couple hundred thousand in chips into my stack (the picture below is about 250,000).

He had a friend with him who kept trying to help stack his chips for him and who he kept kicking. I was tempted to ask that only players and staff be seated at the table, but I held my tongue. Around 3:30am, everyone was still within a range of a 200,000 chips, the blinds were 8,000/16,000/3,000 and a chop for a little over $2,400 each was proposed and accepted. And once again, I forgot to take a picture of the screen.

It’s off to The Palazzo for a couple days of the 2012 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza I for me. I’ll be posting Twitter updates @pokermutant.

Here’s the official screen capture of the end of the tournament.

Eight-and-a-half hours. +465% ROI. Four-way chop with 69 entries.

Loss Weekend(s)

Looks like I’ve got some serious catching up to do. Here, first of all, but really at the tables.

The Final Table Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Another one of those PLO8 experiences where you get a wad of chips early on only to lose them, re-buy (resolution broken again), make it to the add-on break, then bust out half-way through the first round after the break.

Eighty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 26th of 28 entries.

Carbon Poker $200 Guarantee HORSE Freeroll

In the interests of getting this update done, not going to bother with a hand-by-hand for this brief game.

Thirteen minutes, 15 hands. 2,566th of 2,798 entries.

The Final Table $1,000 Guarantee

Didn’t rebuy. First player permanently out.

Sixty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 39th of 39 players.

The Final Table Big “O” 5-Card Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

I hadn’t played Big “O” as a tournament before this, but I’d been intrigued by it and my early exit from the $1K Guarantee gave me the chance to give Final Table’s alternate Friday early afternoon game a try. I did reasonably well, I think, except for the part about not making any money.

Two-and-a-half hours. -100% ROI. 16th of 34 entries.

The Final Table $10,000 Guarantee

It’s the game I was waiting for. Didn’t make it as far as the second break.

Three hours. -100% ROI. 107th of 144 players.

Portland Players Club $200 Guarantee Freeroll

Wandered over to PPC after I got booted from the $10K. Came in a few minutes late but started to pick up chips and made it to the bubble. Dropped my median ROI by a bit.

 Two hours. +0% ROI. 5th of 24 entries.

Portland Players Club $250 Guarantee

It was the first anniversary of the new regime at PPC and CB had a bunch of prizes added to each of the day’s tournaments. The early game had a month’s pass added to first place; I only made it about half-way through the field.

Two hours and fifty minutes. -100% ROI. 21st of 44 entries.

Portland Players Club No Limit Hold’em

Slid over to the well-in-progress second tournament of the day. I did not last long.

Ten minutes. -100% ROI. 9th of 9 players.

2011/12 Puffmammy Poker Tour Event #14

Couldn’t play the later PPC events on their anniversary because of the home league game. Busted out twenty minutes into the tournament after I was out-kicked by WA. Re-bought (resolution doesn’t apply to the home game), then busted the next two players myself within an hour. Several reversals of fortune happened: I ended up in second place to JT, the first of the players I busted out. The two payouts went to two of the three players who re-bought. Median ROI dropping like a rock.

Three and a half hours. +62% ROI. 2nd of 7 players.

Oak Tree Casino 2-10 Spread Limit Hold’em

After the home game, I headed up to Woodland to see if I could get into some Omaha but there wasn’t anything going. Played spread limit for the first time.

Two hours. +8 big blinds.

Aces Players Club $1,500 Guarantee

I’d really like to play the noon game at Aces more often but it’s just gotten so large that I can’t make obligations in the early evening if I go deep. Not that I did here, but I don’t plan to go home early.

One hour and fifty minutes. -100% ROI. 30th of 44 players.

Encore Club $10,000 Guarantee

This was my first big game at Encore for the new year and I managed to hold on through round 12. I avoided a nasty encounter on the last hand before the second break that would have busted me; my hand was strong but wouldn’t have won. By the fifth hour, I was up to more than 125,000 chips; more than half-again the chip average at that point. Then in the middle of the hour I lost all but 16,000 of it in a hand I can’t recall at this time but likely one of those scenarios where I probably shoved incorrectly. I was out less than two minutes later.

Five hours and fifteen minutes. -100% ROI. 24th of 112 players.

D’s Dealer’s Choice

This is usually a money hole for me,  but surprisingly I came out on top for a change. A couple good hands of Omaha made my day.

Four hours. +50 big blinds.

Oak Tree Casino Limit Omaha 8

In my constant search for Omaha action, I drove up for one of the morning tournaments. I have to say, the lack of info screens, low number of chips, and the small size of the field doesn’t really make it worthwhile for me.

Two hours. -100% ROI. 10th of 28 players.

Portland Players Club $200 Freeroll

Nothing like a late-night game at PPC. I mean that quite literally. It can be sort of crazy when people who bust out can re-buy and immediately have more chips than your stack after you busted them.

Two hours. -100% ROI. 11th of 23 players.

Encore Club $1,000 Guarantee

Another game that ended for me half-way through the round after the add-on. Got my double-stamp for the day, though.

Eighty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 27th of 32 entries.

Encore Club $5,000 Guarantee

Didn’t even make it to the add-on in this game.

One hour. -100% ROI. 112th of 117 entries.

Oak Tree Casino 3-6 Hold’em

I had an hour after the $5K before another tournament started. I figured Oak Tree might have some Omaha running on a Friday night and I headed up there instead of waiting. Big mistake. I’d forgotten about their grand opening celebration, they were giving $500 away each hour in a drawing, and every table was packed. Every waiting list was packed—except for 15-30 HE, and even that had a waiting list—there was only one Omaha table, and I was about #15 on the list. As it was, I could have made it back to Encore before anything opened up. I went in on a table, made a little bit, lost a little bit, then players started drifting away after the last drawing of the night and it broke.

One hour. -10 big blinds.

Oak Tree Casino 2-10 Spread Hold’em

I took a seat at this table despite my best judgment.

One hour. -130 big blinds.

Encore Club $10,000 Guarantee

If you’ve made it down this far you know that it’s been a little while since I posted a win. More importantly, it’s been a while since I posted a substantial win. Surprisingly, my In The Money (ITM) percentage hasn’t faltered much; although there are a lot of games listed in this one post, they were played over a period of three weeks and represent a fairly small number compared to the total number of tournaments in my database. But I can’t live forever on past winnings. So I resolved to play this past week’s $10K at the Encore very tight at the beginning.

It didn’t help much. Before the first break, I was down to just over 20% of the starting stack. I did manage to chip back up to 7,500 by the break, then did the add-on, but it was rough, as the most premium hand I’d gotten was [tx tx]. Then, in round 6 on my big blind, I looked down at [qx qx] and decided to go for it. UTG raised, there were a couple of calls, and I shoved with about 10,000 chips. Everyone folded but UTG, he flipped [kx kx], they held, and I was out.

Three hours and forty minutes. -100% ROI. 58th of 80 players.

Encore Club $500 Guarantee

Hung around the club this time for the next game.  Don’t remember much about it. Maybe I’m going to start keeping notes again.

Two hours and ten minutes. -100% ROI. 16th of 27 players.

Encore Club Midnight Madness

Not a big field. Not much money. Not a very good showing. At least I didn’t re-buy.

Twenty-one minutes. -100% ROI. 6th of 7 players.

So, a couple weeks of garbage in there cleaned out. On the definite up side, though, a shout out to reader DS who came up to me between games at the Encore on Saturday and said hello after she’d spent a little time to figure out just who the Poker Mutant is (it’s not that difficult now that I’ve grown my beard back). When someone with more success than you have takes the time to say hello, you really can’t complain.

Speaking of which, this next week I get to host a visit from a WSOP bracelet winner and someone who was in the top dozen of the Bluff 2010 Player of the Year list (they’re the same person).


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

I called UTG with [9d 3d] and got a flop of [jd qh ah]. BB and I checked it through the [5h] turn and [ac] river and split the pot with his [9s 4c]. Won a couple more hands with just bets holding king-high. No pots of any real size happened in Hold’em, the biggest was 250 when my pocket nines won.

I won a big hand at the beginning of Omaha Hi-Lo, then got rocked back down to 600 chips. I was down to under 400 when I played [6s 8s 4h js] from UTG1 and caught the full house on the [6c 6d 4s] flop. [qd] hit on the turn and I bet into it but [qh] on the river slowed me down a bit with four players going to showdown. I picked up a pot of 630.

Lost big with a flopped full house on the next hand when my deuces full of nines were beat on the turn by deuces full of aces, exactly the type of situation I’d been concerned about in previously. The river [5h] actually gave me two beaten full houses because I had a five, as well.

I was down to 277 chips but still active with [4d jc 2c 3d] in the BB. A player was all-in for  60 and there was a call ahead of me. The flop was [2d 8d 5s], I bet , the other caller folded, and the all-in player flipped [ac 6s 5c js]. I had a nearly 50% chance of scooping the pot, and I did when the [6h] came on the river. Not exactly a big win, though.

Razz was my downfall. I ended up mostly all-in with [6c 4c as 6h 7c] but got high cards on sixth and seventh streets. A deuce would have tied me with the winner, but he had two of them.

Seventeen minutes, 33 hands. 2,476th of 2,546 entries.

The Final Table $1,000 Guarantee, +$200 First Place

Really can’t remember this one. It was the last of the +$200 for first place games I could make in the year, I re-bought but didn’t add on because I had a bunch of chips, then I busted out not long after the break.

Ninety minutes. -100% ROI. 40th of 43 players.

The Final Table Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Got into the PLO8 game a little late but did reasonably well, including my usual variant stack. Made it to the final table and got into a couple of hands with C, winning one big pot but eventually losing it all well before the money.

Two hours and forty minutes. -100% ROI. 9th of 27 players.

Oak Tree Casino Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

I’d had reasonable results at Foxwoods playing Omaha Hi-Lo, and I figured if I could do well there, I should be able to do okay at the new Oak Tree Casino in Woodland. I wasn’t disappointed. Sitting in the game for an hour I picked up a tidy profit and moved on to my next task for the day.

One hour. +29 big blinds.

2011/12 Puffmammy Event #13

Action was tough and I did not last long beyond the re-buy period end, but I did manage to snag one of the bounties, the only player not in the money to do so.

Ninety minutes. -67% ROI. 8th of 9 players.

Oak Tree Casino Limit Hold’em

There were seven names on the board for Omaha, but they weren’t opening up a table. Finally, I sat down at a Hold’em table and proceeded to prove to myself how much more I like tournament Hold’em over cash games.

Two hours. -33 big blinds.

Encore Club Pot Limit Omaha

Really, I shouldn’t have even been playing this tournament. My plan was to check in on the size and head to Oak Tree if it was small (which it was) or at the very least wait until the $1,000 guarantee game at 8pm. My failing for playing games I don’t get to play often took hold, though, so I signed up and ended up being the first man permanently out (after a rebuy).


Forty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 8th of 8 players.

Encore Club $1,000 Guarantee

Was doing pretty well then made an extremely bad call with the bottom end of four cards to eight-high straight on the board. My opponent had nines, of course, and I lost 80% of my stack. Eventually, I called an all-in with [as qs] and the guy I’d called said “Good luck, sir” before flipping his [ax kx], then conceitedly told the rest of the table at length as I walked away that the ace-queen was the “parking lot hand.” I didn’t bother to tell him that he was—even with his dominating hand—only 7:3 against. I knew my chances.

Oak Tree Casino Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Wandered back up to Woodland to see if I could recoup some of the day’s losses. At first, it looked like I’d just be adding to them—at one point I was down to only about 40% of my original buy-in—but I got back in the game and started pulling in pots, particularly from one player who I think thought he’d had me pegged as a fish in the beginning. I may be a fish, but some of us have small, sharp teeth.

Two hours. +37 big blinds.

Carbon Poker $200 HORSE Freeroll

Things started off on the wrong foot when Carbon’s client didn’t respond to my click for a call fromUTG with [5d qd] and sat me out. I would have made top and bottom pair on the flop and beaten the ace-high that won the hand. Made it up a bit on the next hand by hitting Broadway from [td jd], then lost my winnings when my two pair was beat by a better two pair.

A river [5s] gave a full house to a player in the second hand of Omaha Hi-Lo, knocking me down below half the starting stack. I pulled back a little on the next hand with [2d 3d ts ac], making two pair with the ace and deuce for a chop of the high hand and taking all of the low because I had the trey.

My “garbage hand” [3d 2s 9h 7d] not only gave me the low on the next hand but it made a ten-high straight, beating the eight-high of my opponent. I won parts of the next several pots and by the time we hit Razz, I was back up over 1,200 chips. I won one pot in Razz, but I’d crashed back to 680 chips by the time Stud began.

A set of threes (with one hidden) pushed me back into contention for a bit, but a full house in Stud Hi-Lo brought me down.

Thirty minutes, 40 hands. 1,802nd of 2,955 entries.

Ace of Spades

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

My PPC player’s card was full of stamp so I had a free entry into the club for my first live tournament of the month (I played an online HORSE freeroll on Carbon earlier in the morning). Did well at first then ran into a bit of difficulty and busted out well short of the first break. I broke the rebuy rule (again), then caught some wind, with both good cards and some judicious play. I turned my 6,000 rebuy stack into 21,000 by the break, more than twice the chip average, and probably a little above the other stacks at the table.

Solidly into the next level, I was between 30,000 and 40,000 chips when I picked up [ax ax] and raised from early position, getting several callers. The [as] showed on the flop, and another player and I were eventually heads-up, with him at risk with a spade flush draw against my made set. The board didn’t pair and he pulled his spade out on the river, which cut me down to about 15,000 as we were getting close to the end of the 400/800 blind level. A short while later, I was trying to double through the same player with an open-ended straight draw against his pair of aces but his pair held (he did lose a hand in-between to someone else when he had [as] and was drawing to another flush).

I need to go back to my “no rebuy” rule.

Two hours and fifteen minutes. -100% ROI. 11th of 25 players.

They Play H.O.R.S.E, Don’t They?

Carbon Poker $200 Guarantee H.O.R.S.E Freeroll

I’ve been playing the four daily Carbon Poker freerolls whenever I can, and one of the tournaments that fits into my schedule better than others is their H.O.R.S.E. game. which is great, because I have been getting increasingly interested in other forms of poker.

The games are relatively hard to beat, because while they tend to get 2,500 to 3,000 entrants, they only pay a couple dozen spots, so you really have to battle and get lucky to get even a small piece of the $200 guarantee. I started off placing in the mid-range, but in my most recent outing, I got up to the top 10%, where I’d be getting paid if it wasn’t a freeroll.

These particular tournaments cycle through Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, 7-Card Stud, and 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo, with the game changing every six hands. Everything’s played as Limit, which makes committing to draws a bit easier, and there are eight players to the table.

I sat out a few hands of Hold’em at the opening level of 20/40, then woke up with [ac ad] in SB. Two limpers; I raised, BB and the limpers called. The flop gave me the nut full house: [as 6d 6h] with only pocket [6c 6s] beating me, and I opened, BB called, UTG1 called, CO raised, I reraised, BB and UTG1 dropped out, CO made the final raise to 80, and I called. The [9h] turn opened a very small possibility for another hand that could beat me (and the pocket sixes), a backdoor straight flush, but it seemed unlikely something like [7h 8h] or [8h th] would have stayed through the previous betting. This time we ran it up to 120. Ditto for betting after a [4d] on the river. As it turns out, with [kc 6s] he didn’t have better than a set, and he only had a 4% chance to beat me. Another 120 went into the pot after the river’s [4d] sealed the win for me, and I took in 840 chips.

I went out on a limb during the first round of Omaha Hi-Lo with [9h 6h 3c 5d], hoping that if [ax 2x] showed up I might snag the low, but I dropped 210 in a four-way race to the river.

A couple hands later, though, an inauspicious [qd 4s 8h ks] did me some good. Pre-flop action raised the bet to 60 and five players saw the flop of [jc kd 2c]. BB checked to me and I bet 30, with one fold and 0ne call after me, a raise from CO, calls fromBB and me, and a call from HJ. The turn was [3s] and it got checked around to CO who bet, but everyone called. The river [td] ruled out a low hand, which wasn’t my intention anyway, although I only had king high. Checks went around to CO again, who bet 60. BB folded but me and HJ stayed on. CO had a busted low hand with [jc kd 2c 3c td]; HJ had a pair of kings like me, but with kicker problems and believe it or not, a single pair took the entire pot of nearly 1,000 chips in an Omaha game.

My next hand was [k5 2c qd kc] and I made it through betting rounds of 90, 90, and 60 to the river with nothing better than a pair of threes on the board and a five paired from my hand for the high, but because I held on, I caught the low hand and 382 chips.

The second hand of Razz won me 120 chips on the first round of betting. There was only one call after the bring-in and both other players folded after my completion with [9c 3d 7d].

I won an actual hand the next hand. Antes were 5, bring-in was 15, Completion/Small Limit was 50, and Large Limit was 100. I was third to act, with [ts 4c 8c], and called the bring-in after UTG1. Four of us made it to fourth street. Bring-In (BI) was showing [kh 7c], UTG1 showed [5d 2h], I added [ah], and UTG4 showed [kd 3h]. UTG1 led off with a bet of 50 and only BI folded. On fifth street, UTG1 showed [5d 2h th], I had [ts 4c 8c ah 5h], and UTG4 was showing [kd 3h 9h]. I was first to act, betting 100, with a call from UTG4 and a fold from UTG1. A [jh] for me and [3s] for UTG4 slowed us both down on sixth street—my “low” went to ten—but with [6d] down on seventh, I bet 100 and got called but UTG4 wasn’t even close, with two pairs in his hand and his best low a king-high.

I sat out the las two hands of the Razz round, getting high cards both times, then we were into 7-Card Stud. The first was a throw-away, but I had pocket [4d 4c] with [6s] showing at 10/25/100/200. Only UTG ([qs] showing) and I called BI ([2s] showing). Fourth street gave both BI and UTG aces ([ah] and [ac], respectively) but I picked up [4h]. One of the folded players had [as] showing. UTG bet, I raised, BI folded, and we went to the max for 400 chips. I’d started the hand with 2,350 chips but UTG had only 630 to begin with, and after fifth street he was all-in. My hand ran out [4d 4c 6s 4h 3s 8c 5s], missing the straight and full house possibilities (as well as the four-of-a-kind). UTG had a respectable [7d qc qs qc js 6c ad] two pair by seventh street, but he fell and I took him out.

The next hand went almost as well. [ac 7d 7s] with me as UTG and just three of us to fourth street, with my disguised pair against a showing [4c] and [jh]. BI got [kc] and UTG1 got [qd], but I picked up [7c] for a set and opened with a 100 bet. UTG1 called but BI dropped. Fifth street only gave me [ts] and UTG1 [6s], when I bet 200 he folded.

I started the next hand with 3,284 chips, which must have made my head fuzzy, because I got all the way to seventh street with [7s 9h ks jc ac 2c 8c]. No pair, no straight draw after sixth street, no flush after fifth, just calls of two 200 chip bets. I only lost 435 (including ante) but what was I thinking?

By the next hand, things were clear again. My cards as UTG2 were a draw-heavy [6h 7c 5c]. There were three nines and four diamonds showing among the eight players, with only one higher than a ten. Five saw fourth street (BI with [3d], UTG with [4d], UTG1 with [td], me with [7h], and CO with [qc]). Action folded to me and naturally, I bet 100 on my two pair. Everyone folded, except for UTG1. [6s] hit me on fifth street; UTG1 got [8s]. I had most of the cards he needed for a straight between the [5h] and [8s]; three of the [9x]s he needed above the [8s] were showing on the board; he needed runner-runner for a flush. I bet 200 and he just called. Seventh street made me a full house: [7d]. Meanwhile, UTG1 got another [8d]. He led the betting, I raised to 400, and he didn’t re-raise. The only card that could have improved my hand was the [7s] but I got [3h] instead. UTG checked, I bet 200 and got a call. His hand was [8d ad td 5h 8s 8h 2h], and he’d been behind at every street, although he’d done as much as he could to keep the losses to a minimum. I was fortunate he hadn’t hit [ax], [tx], or [5x] on seventh street. The pot was 2005 chips.

I was on a roll with Stud. On the next hand, two of us went to showdown without any bets after fourth street. My hand was [9h js 9s tc 6s kc 8h] for just a pair of nines, but the other guy went all the way with [5c 2c 5d 3c 7s ks ad], or a pair of fives.

Not to say that I couldn’t lose. My chip balance was up to 4,250 and I went to showdown with a player starting with just 570. He was half-in after fourth street, with [8s 9h] showing. There wasn’t any more betting until after seventh street. My hand had run out with [7s kh th 5h ac ts 8c]. He was showing [8s 9h 9c 6c] and I though I might be able to get away with another pair-over-pair win. He called, though, because his seventh street card improved his hand and gave him [as 3s 8s 9h 9c 6c 3d]. It was about here that one of the players started complaining that the site was giving me cards I couldn’t expect in live play.

So I was rather glad a couple hands later to pick up [8d 8c td]. The bigmouth was BI with [3h] showing and completed for 150. UTG1 (with my [8s]) and I called. BI got [ks] and checked. UTG1 got [9c] and checked. I made a set with [8h] and bet 150. Both of the other players came along. Fifth street made things tricky. While bigmouth BI got [2s], UTG1 got a showing pair with [9s]. I got [ad]. Potentially, there was a bigger set out there, but I bet 300 and got calls from both players. Sixth street complicated things even more, with [kd] for BI, and just [4d] and [4s] for UTG1 and me. I was last to act after two checks and just let it lie. Seventh street’s [qc] didn’t improve me and surprisingly, everyone checked again. When the cards came out, BI had [ac tc 3h ks 2s kd 7c] for not much from the beginning, UTG1 had just missed flush and straight draws with [qs ts 8s 9c 9s 4d 6c], and my set of eights won a pot of 1,920. The next hand was 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo.

I won the second hand with a bet on fifth street, with a strong [2h kc ah 6h as]. I had almost 5,000 chips and nobody else at the table had more than 1,500.

The Hold’em round didn’t do me much good, and I folded the few hands I did play for the most part, dropping to 3,450. Meanwhile, another player with a stack the same size had been moved to the table, another had climbed up to 3,500, and a big stack with more than 9,000 was sat immediately behind me in the action. Then I picked up [ks 9s] as SB. One of the other similarly-sized stacksin CO limped in for 200, I raised to 400, and only CO called. The [6h 8h 9h] flop gave me a troublesome top pair, but I bet 200 and CO called. Same thing only for 400 chips after the [jd] turn card. The river [kc] gave me two pair and I bet another 400, getting a call and seeing I was up against [8d jh]. The pot was 3,000 chips. This sent the bigmouth into a paroxysm, claiming I’d sucked out. When I pointed out that I had top pair on the flop, one of the other dumbos chimed in to claim I hadn’t. Apparently, some people just aren’t paying attention.

I folded the rest of my Hold’em hands and we were back to Omaha Hi-Lo. On the first hand, I went too far down the road to revenge, trying to knock out the bigmouth (who had only 612 chips v. my 5,100) only to double him up. I had [jh as ac 9h], which seemed as if it might be promising, but the board ran out [jd 7c kc jc 8c], giving his [3c 4c 9s qd] the best hand by the turn when he was all-in. Other contributions to the pot actually nearly quadded the little sucker.

The next hand got rid of him, though. It was a complicated five-way hand with four players all-in. Short stack in SB was in for just the ante of 25. UTG called the 250 BB, I called from UTG1 with [8h jc kd 7h], bigmouth in BTN called, BB raised to 500, and everyone who could called. The flop was [5h 8d js], giving me top two pair. BB bet 250, UTG called, I raised, BTN called, BB and UTG called. [6d] on the turn gave me an open-ended straight draw. This time, BB bet first for 500. UTG and I called, BTN raised, BB re-raised all-in for a total of 1,096. UTG called the re-raise, then I added another 500. BTN stuck in his last 149 chips and UTG called. [8c] on the river gave me the second nut full house. UTG checked to me with just 379 chips left, and I bet 500, which he called. There were four pots to settle. The first was split between me and UTG. My full house won the high pot, he had the nut low with [4d 2c ah 5s] and we each took 826. There was a very small side pot including the bigmouth who had [6h 3d as jh] and had just blown the couple thousand chips he’d won on two pair and an iffy low. UTG and I split about 80 chips each from there. The first side pot had nearly 8,000 chips in it and included BB, who had a great low hand with good pre-flop possibilities: [2s 5c ac 3c]. BB and UTG quartered the low pot of 1,981 each and I took 3,982. We did the same with the 800 chip primary pot. All that work for a couple thousand chips profit, most of which went to the big stack when I folded my next hand.

A little ground was made up on the next hand. I was BB and there were four callers who saw the flop of [9s 6d jd]. Everyone checked through to the [4h] turn and everyone checked again. [tc] on the river gave me the nuts with a king-high straight, and I opened with a bet of 500, which was only called by one player, who showed a set of tens at showdown. He had me outchipped, so it didn’t cost him that much.

He got it back in spades on the next hand. Or, rather, he got it back in a six-high straight. I ventured out with [9s 5d ah 3h]: a decent if not perfect low hand. but the board ran [ac 5s 3d 2d kc], counterfeiting all of my low cards. My three pair was no match for [4d 6c 7s td], which scooped more than 6,200 chips and knocked out two players.

An all-in call of 479 pre-flop was as far as I went with the next hand, which I folded after a bet on the river. I was down to 3,269 by the end of the Razz round before I managed to pick up another pot. I was dealt [ac jd 2c], ante was 30, bring-in was 75, and limits were 300/600. Two players ahead of me called the bring-in (S1), then I completed the bet to 300. I got one caller (S8: [5h]), BI dropped out and the two limpers (S3: [js] and S5: [jh]) called. The limpers got [5d] and [5c] on fourth street, I got [4s], and S8 picked up [3h]. With the lowest hand, I opened for 300 and only S5 folded. On fifth street, S3 got [7d], I picked up a pair with [as], and S8 was hit with [kc]. I figured nobody needed to know I was still short of a good low, so I bet 600. S8 folded and S2 called. Sixth street improved things a bit, putting a [9s] out for S3 and [6h] for me, but I checked. I was still jack-high. Our down seventh street didn’t help me any, with another pair (even if it was a low pair): [2s]. Fortunately, when I bet another 600, S3 folded and I took a 4,215 chip pot.

Seven hands went by in 7-Card Stud before I went any further than fourth street. I was heads-up on sixth at 40/100/400/800 with [5h 4d ah kc 9c kd] against [js 7s 6d tc] showing when my opening bet of 800 and visible pair of kings induced a fold.

I lost a massive pot just a couple hands later in 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo. I ran down to the river calling bets at 40/125/500/1,000 with [5c qh qc 4h 7s 5d 6d] and no better than pair until sixth street, when I was up against a visible [2d 7d kd jh]. I had three outs on seventh street (one of the fives was showing for S8) that could beat the likely flush, which is what S5 had. Lost 4,040 chips on that one.

Tried to make by own flush on the next hand. It ran out [js ad 8d 2s 9d kd ah] and my pair of aces chopped the pot with the only other player for the low. No gain there.

Finally, the next hand, I managed to pull out of the dive. By fifth street, I was heads-up with a pair and a straight flush draw: [9s 8d 7d td 9d]. My opponent looked like he was headed low and straight with [2h 4c 5c] showing. He had me outchipped and was just calling my bets; after fifth street, I had only 412 behind. When I picked up a straight with [jc] on sixth street, I was all-in and he called, even though he only had a [5h]. When his cards flipped, he was showing [qh 3h 2h 4c 5c 5h]. He needed the flush to win, but seventh street gave him [tc]. I improved with [5d] to a flush. The pot was over 7,600 chips.

Back into Hold’em at 600/1,200/60 and I had [as 8s]. I started the hand fifth in chips as UTG2 and was the first to call BB. SB raised, BB folded, and SB and I went up to the limit of 2,400, with him only having another 1,100 behind. The flop came out [8c 3c 7c], we went to the limit with SB all-in, and he flipped over [ac ah]. [jc] on the turn sealed my loss.

A couple of hands later with [4h jh] as BB, I managed to outbid the only caller with a post-flop bet on a [7s 7d 7c] board, but I was down to about 1,000 chips. Lost some chips with a weak king on the next hand, but right after that picked up another bad [kd 8h] as BTN. I was all-in for 1,617 (and my 60 ante) pre-flop with two other players fighting over a side pot as well. The board rolled out [7s 6s ah 3d kc]. BB had just [9h 7c] and lost both pots to the [9s 9c] of UTG2. I tripled up with a pot of 5,631 because of the river king.

Omaha Hi-Lo at 80/800/1,600. UTG and [ah as tc 8c]. Three limpers and BB saw the [qc 7s 7d] flop. I lead out with a bet, only BB followed. Turn: [jd]. River [2d]. We both checked it through and my aces were good against [kc kd 3h 5s]. I’d made a bit of a comeback, up over 8,000.

I had straight and flush draw possibilities on BB with [8s 5c td jc]. Four players limped in and we got a flop of [6d qc ac]. I lead into my flush and Broadway draws with a bet of 800. Nobody raised and only one player folded. The turn of [2h] wasn’t helpful to my cause, as I didn’t have anything decent for a low, and I had to call a bet of 1,600 to see the river. The [5s] river busted me and I folded. The winner paired queens and sixes and scooped the low hand, the loser paired queens and twos.

My last hand was [2h 6h jh 4h] and I was all-in after the turn on wing and a prayer on the [3s 2d 4d 6d kc] board. It was the wrong color red for me, though, with flushes winning high hands in four pots where everyone but me took something out.

3.5 hours, 103 hands. Freeroll. Finished 178th of 2717 entries.

98 Tournaments

Played three tournaments yesterday(ish), which brings my total since 1 May to 98, including both live and online games.

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

I haven’t cashed in this tournament over six attempts. But at least I usually make it to the add-on break so that I can donate another $50 to the prize pool. Not last night. I picked up [kx kx] as BB and hit a set on the flop. I was so busy hoping for the board to pair on the river that when a mid-position player who’d been calling my raises shoved, I snap-called and was easily beat by the Broadway straight I missed seeing. I just said “Not tonight” when the dealer asked me if I wanted to rebuy, but what I was thinking on my way out the door was “Not after a stupid call like that.”

Twenty minutes. Didn’t even bother to check the entries or my position but I think I was first out among about 45 players although some likely showed up after I was KOd. -100% ROI.

Encore Club $3,000 Guarantee (10,000 chips)

I thought of variations on the theme of what I should have said as I drove across town to the Encore. I still had enough in my pocket for a buy-in in their Friday night 8pm freezeout, and I even managed to get a spot in their parking lot.

Sometime about three months ago I stopped keeping notes on my live games. It seemed distracting, I wasn’t always finding time to post the results here (I’ve got several games from June and July I never got around to), and I felt I wasn’t able to concentrate on my game as much. On the other hand, I was cashing more often while I was keeping notes, so I decided to do it again for this game. Did it make a difference?

Early on I lost 1,300 chips with [qh jd]. I needed a [9x] for a queen-high straight but folded on the turn bet and the other two players still in the hand chopped my contribution, as they were both holding [ax tx] and made a pair of tens.

Hit a pair of queens with [qx 9x] and took a small pot, then tossed [jx tx] post-flop which would have made a jack-high straight on the turn. By 15 minutes into the game I was down to 8,600 chips.

[jc 7c] lost me 250 when I folded after an unpromising flop. I pushed 1,200 into the pot holding [9x 9x] in position after a limper who called but [ax] on the flop and a bet from the limper made me throw it and he showed his [ax]. Down to 7,575 at 33 minutes.

Called a raise to 425 with [qx 8c] but tossed it after another ungood flop. Three-quarters of an hour in, I was down to 6,950.

Finally, my flushing strategy worked with [ts 8s]. I hit on the turn and pulled in enough to bring me back up over starting level, to 11,825.

Overbet [ax tx] and lost 1,200 when I didn’t connect by the river heads-up and my opponent bet another 1,200. At the first break I was holding just over the starting stack: 10,125 chips; just a little below average with only one player out.

I went card-dead for quite a while and slipped slowly to 9,100 after the return to play, then shoved from BB with [jx jx] (the strong hand of the night) and was called by [ax qx] (which was consistently losing last night). The woman who called me had me covered by only about 600 chips and the loss was crippling. On the other hand, I was up to 17,800 by the two-hour mark.

I called an all-in with [ah 8h] and was outmatched by [ad 9d] but the board gave me a low straight and I knocked out a player, taking me up to 23,200 at 2:15 into the game. By break two that had increased to 25,800.

With the blinds at 400/800/100 after the chip-up, I raised to 2,000 with [qx jx] from UTG and managed to take the blinds down. With [kh 5h], I raised from BTN to 2,400. There weren’t any hearts on the flop and BB won the pot hitting jacks over nines right off the bat.

A player with [9x 9x] went all-in with 14,000 and I called with [kx kx], which held up. A little more than three hours into the game, I was up to 33,800. I promptly slammed down again calling an all-in from a 5,000 chip short stack with [jx tx]. They tripled up.

Clubs failed me again with [ac 5c] on BB. There weren’t any black cards on the board by the turn when another player bet out and I folded, losing 1,600 chips. Twenty minutes after being at neatly 34K I was down to 24,600. Another twenty minutes had me cut down to 20,600, just under the average stack.

Two kings on the board by the turn forced me to fold [ax 8x] and forfeit 1,600 more chips. The slide continued, down to 18,800 at the third break.

Four hours into the game and it was an even 14,000. I took the blinds and antes with [kd tyd] but a pre-flop all-in with [qx tx] got called by a big stack with [ax jx]. I had an up-and-down straight draw from the flop, but nothing else materialized and I was gone.

Five hours. Finished eleventh of 44 entries. Six places paid, with $4,400 in the prize pool.

Carbon Poker $150 Guaranteed Pot Limit HO (2,000 chips)

What better to cleanse the palate of five hours of play, only to bust out short of the money, than some mixed-game online action? I joined the game with only four other players at one of two tables, playing Pot Limit Hold’em. I lost a couple of early pots, laid down a [kd js] after missing the flop that would have cleaned up on the fifth hand, then finally turned [ac 8c] into enough to get me back up over starting stack on hand 8.

The very next hand, I paired my ace in [ah 7s] on the flop to win a small pot, then lost a little back. We lost a player on hand 10, then the tables consolidated on hand 14. The sixteenth hand was the beginning of our switch to Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo.

Hand 21 was a turning point. I picked up [ks 9h 3h 2d]. Seemingly not a particularly good hand, but with low possibilities if there’s an ace on the board. I raised to 90 (from 15/30) UTG, was re-raised by UTG3 to 315, and called after BTN called. The [7h jd kh] flop gave me a heart draw and top pair; I bet the pot: 990. UTG3 went all-in and I was all-in to call. He had [7s as kd ah] for two pair as it stood; we were 40/60 with me on the short end. But I made the flush on the [5h] turn and his only hope was to catch[7c], [7d], or [kc] on the river. I went from 2,295 to 4,920 and a more than 1,000 chip lead.

I didn’t win anything through the next round of PLHE, actually managing to lose the 1,000 margin I’d had. By the start of hand 40 I was down to 3,285. That hand, I got [3d 4d ah 7c] in SB and called the 60 chips of the big blind. The [qd th 3h] flop gave me a gut-shot Broadway draw; I had a backdoor nut flush. I checked it and BB checked. [kc] on the turn gave me the nuts: Broadway. I checked, BB bet 225, I pot-raised to 1,425 and he called. A pointless [7c] showed on the river. I checked, BB tossed in his remaining 515 chips and I called. He just had kings and threes. He was KOd, I was up to 5,945.

Hitting trip nines on the next hand (the last of that round of Omaha) put me over 6,000 chips. [as qs] on hand 47 dragged in another nearly 4,000 chips. At nearly 8,500 chips, my nearest competitor was 2K below me. I lost a bit on a few hands, but a split high pot ([2d 2s kd kc] on the board and two of us with aces) on hand 54 (PLHE) got me up to 8,088.

My nearest competitor and I went head-to-head in hand 56 (PLO8) with me taking the low and earning a couple hundred in early bets and calls.

The next hand, I picked up [6c 6d kd ac] in HJ at 75/150. Action folded to me, I raised to 450 and got called by BTN and SB. The flop of [9s 5d 2c] missed me completely and got checked all around. [2s] on the turn didn’t do me any good, either, but when SB checked to me I bet 750 and both the others folded. I was up to 9,288 and I was invincible with a nearly 3,000 chip lead.

I lost 825 speculating with one of those unrecommended hand that I nevertheless enjoy in PLO8: [9c tc 7d 8h]. SO good if you manage to hit a bunch of mid-range cards on the flop for a straight, not so good when it’s [5h 5c jd] and someone bets 1,330. I folded and watched nothing that would have improved my hand show up.

I speculated with a couple of more hands, dropping down to just over 6,000 chips by hand 63. Then I picked up [5d 2s ah 7d] and everything went to hell. A player starting with just under 5,000 raised to 425 from UTG1, and I re-raised to 850 for some reason. SB folded, BB called, then UTG1 raised to 3,475. My hand wasn’t strong—even if a low came along I could be easily counterfeited— but I called anyway. The [kd ks 8d] on the flop gave me nothing, but I still called an all-in bet of 1,450. My opponent flipped over [as ad 6h 4s] for a pretty good two pair. The [kh] on the turn sealed my fate. With no possibility of a low and a full house in his hand, I was drawing dead for a pot of 10,775 chips. I started the first hand of a round of PLHE with just 1,101.

My last hand (at 100/200), I potted pre-flop from UTG to 700 with [jh ts]. BTN re-raised to 1,200, then BB pushed to 4,400. I called with my remaining 401 chips and BTN folded. BB flipped over [ks ah]. He had over cards and both my suits, but I still had about a 35% chance. That dwindled to 22% when we both paired on the [td 9s ac] flop. Neither the turn or river cards improved my lot, and my implosion was complete. Top to bottom in five hands.

67 minutes. 67 hands. Finished seventh of 10 players. Three places paid; $190 prize pool.


You’ve Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em

Carbon Poker Lincoln Omaha Hi-Lo ($0.50/$1.00)

This would have been a good time. The Carbon Poker/Merge client has an optional readout of your made hand—or what your hand would be if you hadn’t folded it. I folded this hand pre-flop, looked down for a second, and when I looked back after the river card, saw it told me I would have had a seven-high straight flush that beat the king-high flush which won the pot. And I would have tied for the low. I didn’t manage to capture a screen shot of the hand in play, but here’s the history.