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Chinook Winds PacWest $210 No Limit Hold Em Tournament

February 23, 2018

I arrive at what I believe to be the start of L3 and blinds are 100/200. I start with 12,000 in chips and there is a 10k add-on for $100 after the end of this level.

I let the blinds go through me once and call a raise with 98cc and whiff.

A player opens to 500, I 3-bet to 1300 with AQdd and he calls.

Flop is QT6 with two spades. I bet 1250, he makes it 3000, I’m all in, he snaps with TT.

Game over.

No re-entry.

No, seriously. That’s the end of this blog post. I lasted 16 minutes.

I can’t even check into my hotel for another 2+ hours and there are no cash games going yet, so I’m heading to the local one screen movie theater to watch Phantom Thread. I may or may not play some cash later tonight. I’d rather be well rested for the amazingly structured Main Event tomorrow, which is the reason I’m here.

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I, Tonya (2017)

February 22, 2018

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
Director: Craig Gillespie (Fright Night, Lars and the Real Girl, The Finest Hours)

Bottom Line: Absolutely loved it. This is the story of American Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding (Robbie), her brutal upbringing by her abusive and alcoholic mother (Janney), her struggle for acceptance (despite her enormous talent) in the ice skating world because of her trashy background, her tumultuous relationship with boyfriend Jeff Gillooly (Stan), and the controversy that arose from all of these things, including the infamous Nancy Kerrigan Incident. I love the way this movie is delivered via present day interviews and flashbacks and a knowing wink that everyone involved might be twisting the truth about what actually happened. The use of multiple unreliable narrators allows the story to unfold without presenting everything as 100% factual and adds an extra layer of humor to what is easily the funniest 2017 film I’ve seen to date. I, Tonya manages to tell Harding’s story without really taking anyone’s side. Tonya Harding might be at the center of this biopic, but she’s no hero and even though the film might want you to feel pity for Harding at times, I think it clearly understands that she was an incredibly flawed human being and though she was surrounded by horrible people, she wasn’t merely a victim of circumstance – she didn’t exactly shy away from controversy. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are brilliant in this movie, both delivering tour-de-force performances worthy of their Oscar nominations.

I, Tonya is definitely one of my favorite 2017 films. It’s hilarious and entertaining, ever-so-slightly heartbreaking, with some top notch acting from Robbie and Janney – a must see dark comedy about a troubled former celebrity that will make you laugh out loud and almost feel bad for her.

Replay Value: I would eagerly watch this again and I’m sure my wife will love it.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Nominated for three Oscars: Robbie for Best Actress, Janney for Best Supporting Actress, and Film Editing. I haven’t seen all the movies nominated for Best Costume Design or Best Makeup, but anyone that can make Margot Robbie look even slightly unattractive probably deserves some acclaim. Also, it seems like adding I, Tonya as a tenth nominee for Best Picture wouldn’t be asking too much.

Grade: 8/10 (Must See)

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Marathon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/19/18 (Live Blog)

February 19, 2018

12:43 PM: Just got to Palace and missed the $15/$30 game start. Playing some white chip poker while I wait. I’m first up. Blog opener coming soon.

Somehow forgot to mention this in last night’s closing comments but after posting a +$735 in $30/$60, I played 5 hours of $15/$30 and won an additional +$470. Those two sessions put me squarely in the green for 2018!

I’m back!

One of the downsides of $15/$30 going every day at Palace is that I’m playing so much poker my productivity outside of the poker room has fallen off a cliff.

I was a full time pro in 2017, but I averaged less than 160 casino hours a month for the year. So far, in 2018, I logged 220+ casino hours in January and I’m on pace for 190+ in the shortened month of February. That’s a pretty sick volume increase and it’s definitely affected my quality of life. For instance, I haven’t been able to get out of bed for yoga the last few Mondays. I hit snooze on my phone for 90 minutes this morning and then I missed the game start this morning.

I also have reviews for Black Panther, I, Tonya, and Jumanji that I have no idea when I’m going to write. Plus, it’s almost March and I still haven’t written my 2018 Goals out.

Not to mention the shitty partner I have been to my wife, as far as carrying out my duties around the house.

In other words, my balance between poker and life has been slipping dramatically.

With that said, I’m going to take all of tomorrow off to catch up on life and I think I’m going to skip PLO on Wednesday also.

I definitely had more balance when I had two committed days off every week and I really need to work on finding that again.

1:07 PM: Still locked out of $15/$30. I’ve seen the game start for 4.5 hours before someone got up, but I don’t believe this lineup is capable of that. I expect to be in before 2 PM.

1:25 PM: Not planning to post $4/$8 hands but I feel like this one is worth sharing. I open AQ and get cold-called in four spots. Flop is AKJ, I bet and everyone folds. 😂

2:13 PM: They did lock me out until past 2 PM but I’m in now and just posted and got stair-stepped into a 3-bet pot with K2ss and sucked out on T723K. Good start!

Starting lineup: multiple $8/$16 regs that don’t normally play this game, Radio Mike, 80%, nitty older guy, and very solid Palace reg (but he’s drinking already!

2:36 PM: Forgot to mention I snagged +$133 in my $4/$8 warm-up!

2:54 PM: Come back and buy the button, 80%, drunk lady, and another player limp, I raise with KTdd, drunk lady 3-bets, I cap; four us to flop and I double barrel QJ5ccd6d before giving up on 7c river and 80% and drunk lady chop it up with J2 suited.

3:37 PM: This game is off the chains right now. Small samples and all but there are four players in a row with VPIPs of 79%, 86%, 45%, and 53%. All this dead money is making me play more pots too and so far I have been benefiting, winning multiway pots with a lot of one pair hands and a good-sized pot with a set of deuces.

3:55 PM: Yup. I’m playing pots. 15 people limp in front of me, I limp along from cutoff with T9o, Radio Mike raises on button, one of the 80% maniacs 3-bets it, everyone calls, including Radio Mike (lol, nice hand – this is not the time to exercise restraint, buddy).

Flop is 875 with two hearts and it’s bet, called, and raised in front of me. I 3-bet because GAMBOL and wind up closing the action and getting position. Great success!

We are still 5-handed to Jc turn and they all call me and I get paid off in one spot on As river.

Cha ching!

4:07 PM: One limper, I raise JTdd, 80% and drunk lady are in, four of us to T53 flop. I get called by two of them. They have QJ and Q9, which is two outs combined between them. I know this because I didn’t win this pot.

4:16 PM: Just realized I didn’t say what I had at 2:54. Edited with my holding included.

4:22 PM: Radio Mike informs me that the drunk lady didn’t raise that hand I made a straight in – 80% did. That’s unfortunate because the lady said “I raise” and then put out three bets (next to act) which means the dealer cost me $90. Booooooo.

4:29 PM: Radio Mike may have possibly ruined our game. He has given half his stack to the lady and she now has over $2500 in front of her and just spoke the dreaded words of “I should leave now. I think I’m even.”

Meanwhile I’m getting rage texts from Radio Mike. Let it out, pal!

And now she’s grabbing empty racks. What the hell, Mike?

5:03 PM: A fortunate seat change. I have direct position on the two 80% players and almost have the Jesus Seat (64% on my direct left, but he’s probably next to leave).

When I changed seats I posted in the cutoff, called with 32hh in a multiway pot, flopped a flush draw and paid three bets, before donking my flush on the turn second-to-last to act and getting raised. Lady calls $60 cold and I just call because it should be fairly obvious I have a flush and I’m still getting raised by the flop 3-bettor. River is a blank, it checks around and my hand is good.

5:30 PM: 80% has felted and he actually tightened up today, finishing with a 71% VPIP for the day, by far his lowest total in a session I’ve played with him.

5:41 PM: New blog nick name: Curious George is in the game. This is an original creation from Blackjack’s blog but he’s used so many of my names that I feel okay taking one of his!

5:51 PM: El Torcho has graced us with his presence and is sitting with $400. This game is stupid right now. Just stupid.

6:05 PM: Couple brutal pots in a row. The Torch’s torchy nature and crazy lines just cost me a lot of chips with a hand I would never even consider sticking around with against someone else.

Then I flop the nut flush draw, turn a straight draw and river a pair vs flopped trips and lost more bets than necessary because someone else wanted to bluff the turn.

Just raised multiple limpers from SB with QJss and got called down by Curious George on a favorable KTxQQ runout.

6:15 PM: The drunk lady is still here and she just open-limped and I iso’d with K7dd and lost to her on KJ5T8 because she had… T5o.

Fomo, Joker, fomo!

6:24 PM: A chop and a raise-and-take-it while the lady is away from the table and someone actually says something about a setup and how slow the game is. Really makes you wonder about some of these people.

They don’t make games much better than this one.

6:53 PM: VPIPs across the table in our “slow” game: 66%, 24%, 37%, 87%, 38%, 61%, 29%, 28%, and 61%.

Funniest thing about those numbers is the player that complained is the one with the 24%. 👏🏻👏🏻

7:00 PM: That lady did not leave after snatching up half of Radio Mike’s stack and she has turned that $2700 stack into $4. But she’s coming back, she says.

I was the recipient of an expert slow play. One limper, Curious George raises, I defend BB with 44 and three of us see J99cc flop. Everybody checks. Turn is 3c, I bet and they both call. River…. 4c. I bet and the limper calls me with A9 (no club).

7:04 PM: Lady is back and says “I had to get my bank to increase my limit. It worked.” Music to everyone’s ears.

“$200 over”… not so much.

7:09 PM: Five minutes later… “$400 over…” – that’s a little better.

Meanwhile I somehow got QQ to hold up on a J9758 runout with three opponents on the river.

7:19 PM: Pot of the day alert! 6-way cap pre and I have TT on the button. Flop is JT3dd and it is either three bets or capped again with at least five of us seeing turn. 6 of hearts on turn and I get check-raised by Curious George and I get three bets in four ways. River is 4 of diamonds and they all check to me. It’s painful to check back here because how do flushes check river? But how the hell does no one have diamonds? I check and win this monster.

7:27 PM: Torch opens and I defend 96hh and flop a flush and we cap but the heart on turn costs me about a million dollars because Torch has 32hh.

7:50 PM: Oh man, the heater is real. We are up HEAPS.

Torch straddles, lady calls, I 3-bet KJo, Curious George calls, and Torch 4-bets (not a cap) and we all call. Flop is QTx with two hearts (I have Kh) and it gets capped again. Turn is 9h and I raise when Torch bets, Curious George calls $60 cold and Torch calls. River is black 4 and Torch donks again. I raise, Curious George calls $60 again and Torch folds. 😂

My hand is good.

8:28 PM: Noooooooo! Chink in the armor. JJ < QT.

9:16 PM: Running good even when I’m running bad: two limps, button raises, lady cold calls SB, I defend 52ss. Five ways to J52 two clubs. Both of us blinds check, but Curious George donks and everybody just calls. I’m in great relative position to check-raise the field on the turn if it’s a good card, so that’s my plan. I’m going to execute on 4s turn but Curious George bets and the next player raises. Lady cold calls the $60 and… I fold… painfully. River is the 4c (yay!) and Curious George donks again and the turn raiser just calls. The lady next to me now shows me J2 (!) in disgust and folds it. George turns over 85 for a pair of 5s and the other player has A3o for a straight.

9:35 PM: The lady to my right has finally called it quits. Her final stats: 216 hands, 84% VPIP (and that doesn’t include the times she checks her big blind in an unraised pot), 13% PFR. She peaked around $2700 and felted that… and then felted an additional $1500 or so. I think most of it is in my stack now.

10:12 PM: My wife, The Leak, is playing in the other $15/$30 game and just sent me this text:

“I have K6hh in BB. 6 players see 952hh flop. I bet, 2 callers, [player x] raises. 5 players see 5 turn. I xc. River 9 and I call [player x] who has 44.”

Nice hand, honey!

10:57 PM: Running pretty good still. My wife’s game is definitely the better one now though. I’ve been eating which is why I haven’t updated, but I just saw a player add on $10… to his $15 remaining… in a $15/$30 game. Good luck, sir.

11:16 PM: Just running pure. Open KQdd, flop JT9, capped three ways, turn Q, and I’m still good for all of it.

Curious George opens, button calls, I call KJo (a hand I would usually fold here but CG is super wide tonight – in fact, two hands later I fold KQ in cutoff to a single raise), and big defends. Flop KQx and it checks around. Turn is another blank and I know CG can’t check again so I go for a delayed check-raise and get both him and the button for two big bets each. River jack and they both fold.

Limp along multiway with A3hh. Flop 654hh. CG bets, call, call, I raise, cold call, all call. Turn 2h. No waiting. George donks again, I raise, and we are heads up. Jh river, he donks again, because I’m running that good tonight. I raise, he calls.

11:53 PM: First bad run out in a while: s3 (56/17) opens, s4 calls, I 3-bet QQ, Curious George calls it all, s3 caps. Flop 862, s3 bets, I raise, CG calls, s3 calls. Turn ace, and s3 donks (ugh), I call, and CG folds. River Ace (I like that), he bets I call and I lose to A8cc.

11:58 PM: My game just crumbled and now my wife is at my table. Groan.

12:18 AM: After having no Overs all day, 7 of 8 players now have them at my table and I get the pleasure of firing $50 bets at my wife when we are heads up. 🤦🏻‍♂️

12:41 AM: Second game just broke and I’m letting The Joker have position because I have the good problem of having waaaaay too many chips.

12:54 AM: Joker gets to be The Joker on the first pot we play. He opens, three call, I defend T7hh. Flop 975, I donk, which makes Joker have to play his hand straight up and if he clears the field, oh well. He just calls and everyone else folds. Yummy. Turn Ace of diamonds. Sigh. I can’t really bet this card but he can definitely bluff it. I check-call. River is 8 of diamonds or something. I check-call again and he went running diamonds with KTdd.

Next hand, Curious George limps, button limps, I raise AJo from SB, BB calls, Curious George back-raises, button calls, and I cap. Flop J53, I bet, George raises, button calls, and I call. Turn 4, I check-raise in Overs and they both call. River Queen, I bet, George calls, button folds and I’m good.

1:15 AM: No joke. Player that’s been loud and causing a scene all night finally got the boot…. and actually says the words “I’m being ostracized because I’m a white man” as he’s getting kicked out. Incredible.

1:37 AM: I open J9o from hi-jack and my wife 3-bets me from small blind. I call. We are in $25/$50 Overs now. Flop J95 and she check-raises me (lololololol), I call. My plans to raise the turn are spoiled by an ace and she check-calls. River is a queen and she checks again. This isn’t the greatest runout against her 3-betting range but she did check, so there’s that. I don’t need to squeeze every ounce of value out of my wife, plus there’s some chance I’m beat here, so I check back and I’m good vs KQ.

Leak, leak, leak… 🚰

This after trying to convince the table that she’s up against me lifetime in heads up pots. 😂

1:59 AM: Running super good against Curious George tonight. I open KcQh, Joker 3-bets, George calls from SB, I call. Flop 986 two clubs, George donks, I call, Joker calls. Turn Jc, I call, Joker folds. River 5c, he bets I raise and he calls with7c5x. Yikes.

2:12 AM: Another monster pot my way: raised pre, I have K6dd on T66ss from the blinds and Curious George and Joker help me cap it. I get two more big bets in on turn vs George and dodge his flush draw on river.

I’m honestly having a fantasy session. I’m up ridiculous amounts. I can’t even fathom a guess. I’ll try to take a pic before I cash out.

3:55 AM: Thought my run good might be over when QJ < 95o on JT553 and I got check-called all the way down and slow rolled. And followed that up with AQ vs Curious George’s 66 on A868x for max pain.

But… then I flopped a set of kings in a multiway capped pot and got donked into on flop and river, got raises in on both streets and two callersat showdown.

I don’t normally play this late but I don’t really see how I can leave when the game is this juiced and I’m running so good.

4:16 AM: Lower stakes player just moved into our game because his broke and I wouldn’t try this on someone that actually knows what’s going on but he opens and I 3-bet KQdd and the small blind calls. Flop is 765 and we all check. Turn pairs the 7, the PFR bets, and I call and I’m probably going to call river too because I’ve never played with this guy. Small blind folds. River 9, he bets without thinking. I basically never have a straight here but he doesn’t know that and I’m pretty sure he is weak, so I raise and he snap folds.

5:34 AM: Not really interested in updating at this time, especially since we are 6-handed now. I’m just trying to set records at this point, but this hand is pretty crazy.I open 55, a player calls, Curious George 3-bets button and we both call.Board Q9544 and we cap flop three ways, 3-bets three ways on turn and capped heads up on river vs AA.

6:21 AM: What an epic, surreal session. By far my best win ever in a cash game. I only left because it was 6 AM and I really want to have a productive Tuesday and… also because there was a player in the game that was acting brutally slow and we were playing 6-handed.

Final Score: +$6754

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Super-Sized Sunday: $30/$60 @ Palace – 2/18/2018 (LIVE BLOG)

February 18, 2018

I went to the UW-Colorado game with Radio Mike last night and it was over early enough that playing poker seemed like a reasonable idea. We stopped in Palace and there were two full $15/$30 games going. One of them looked really good and one of them looked really bad. By the time I got in the game, around 9 PM, The Leak (aka my wife) had migrated to the good game and I was in the bad one.

Also in the good game was Palace royalty, The Queen, an elderly woman that has been a staple in the Palace $8/$16 game for at least the past decade and possibly the past two decades. She plays hours that make me look lazy. She’s over 80 and logs 200+ hours every month like clockwork. Anyways, before I started working at Palace, I played tough poker against The Queen and while she would get annoyed with me at times, she seemed to respect it because I was a nice guy. But when I started working at Palace, I formed an unspoken agreement with The Queen to never bet each other heads up. I can’t remember the origins of how or why I thought this would be a good idea. It was illogical. I played way too much poker for it to be worthwhile to sacrifice my potential earn on the table (and the integrity of the game) for whatever I would be making from her in tips off the table. But it was just one of those things where it was understood that if you work at Palace, you don’t bet against The Queen when you are heads up. So I spent the year I worked at Palace and the past 16 months avoiding games that The Queen was in. Her presence in my game changed the way I played too much. How much sense does it make to open wide from the cutoff or button if she’s one of the blinds and I frequently find myself heads up with a marginal hand against a player I don’t bet against? Or maybe I just call with a hand that I would always raise with because she’s the player that lead out and I want money to keep going in the pot? It was bad for me and it was bad for poker.

Somehow it managed not to be a big deal. The Queen would always play in the main $8/$16 game and I would always play in the feeder games, so this conflict would rarely come up. For years, the feeder games at Palace have always been significantly better than the main game. It was an arrangement I could live with.

When $15/$30 started getting spread, I thought The Queen would stay at $8/$16, but she seems to be fancying herself a $15/$30 player now and I just refuse to check a hand down with anyone at that limit. So I’m going to pull her aside and tell her our contract has expired… in respectful terms. Hopefully she understands and if not, oh well. But I hadn’t done that before last night, so the good $15/$30 game had a player I don’t bet against and my wife – who I do bet against, but would strongly prefer not to play at the same table as.

Meanwhile, the game I was in was about as bad as I could imagine a game being at Palace. I was looking around the table and I saw one player I would consider someone I’m aiming to play with. Everyone else was either solid or nitty. Sometimes you have to accept the situation and grind it out, but I was sitting there, starting a session at 9 PM, sitting in a crappy game, with no intentions of moving to the good game, and plans to play $30/$60 at 11 AM the next day, and I had to ask myself: what the hell am I doing here?

So I posted in my big blind, defended Q8 against the only loose player at the table and check-called him down on Q4396 and lost to 66, folded for the rest of the orbit, and got the hell out of there.

I’m not sure when the last time $30-$60 went, but it’s been a while. Maybe a month. It’s going to go today though. There are currently 21 names on the list and while half of them could be pretenders or names that have been up there for a month now, I also know about half of them are legit and ready to play today and that means the game is 100% go.

This is a session that could completely turn my year around – or put me right back where I was. Heading into today, I’m solidly green for February now and down about $300 for the year. Time to right this ship. Hopping in the shower and heading to Palace for an 11 AM start.

11:16 AM: Kind of a rough start with The Riddler being expected to count past ten and sell chips to everyone. Amazingly 8 of the 21 names on the list are actually here to start the game and we are in action.

Starting lineup: loose Palace reg, unknown, The Sandman, bad and loose Palace reg, loose-passive Palace reg, The Joker, Dansby Swanson, and myself.

First hand I have AJss on button in a 3-way raised pot. Flop is KsQsTh and Dansby caps with me. Turn 8s and he check-calls down and I start my session off with a nice pot.

We are five hands in now and Sandman has raised or 3-bet pre in four of them.

1:05 PM: Update incoming. Playing stakes this big against some players I don’t have a ton of hours with I think it’s best for me to keep my focus on the game while I’m sitting at the table, so I’ll probably just be posing quick updates on breaks every 90 minutes.

Pretty good start. I was rocking an absurd 14/3 after about 40 hands but I have a more normal 22/10 now. I’ve lost with TT twice but I won a good pot with AA against Sandman.

I also got lucky defending my big with 96ss and getting three bets on flop and three additional big bets from AQ on a Q96T3 run out.

Then I flopped the nut flush draw in a multiway pot and got check-raised by The Joker on the flop before turning the nuts and getting three more big bets from him.

The game is great so far. It’s definitely not tight. Four of my eight opponents currently have VPIPS of 32% or higher.

1:17 PM: Yeah this game is pretty decent. Player open-limps in MP, I limp on button with T7dd, SB calls, BB checks. Flop is JJ3, everyone checks to me and I bet. Only the limper calls. Turn is a 8 or something and he check-tanks, says he has the best hand, and then folds AQcc face up.

Well played, sir.

2:17 PM: Had a gross spot where I’m the PFR with 77 and three people call me on 665cc and then I get check-raised by an unknown on 6653. Can’t really fold 77 there and I wind up paying off his 55.

I open cutoff with K7ss and button 3-bets. We are heads and flop is A43 one spade. I check-raise and he calls. Turn 9s, I bet and he folds. 💪🏻

I open 98o from cutoff and only SB calls. I bet twice on K93K and get check-raised and decide I’m calling down. River is a King, he bets and shows A3. I folded TT to this player on AAxQ a while ago and I no longer feel that great about it.

I’m currently running at 23/10, which is well below my norm, and I still think I’ve been opening too wide for how loose the game is. For instance, I open 55 and three players call and one reraises and I’m like wtf am I doing? No good ending to that hand.

Im up a few hundred currently.

2:32 PM: Worst player in the game just hit and ran it pretty decently. He is being replaced by one of the best regulars at Palace.

2:52 PM: Another bad player left and is replaced by a good Fortune regular. The quality of this game has gone down tremendously.

Meanwhile, I just ran JT into 97 on T86J8 in a blind vs blind, non-chopping situation. Pretty cool.

3:07 PM: The game is 8-handed now with no list and only a couple of key players holding it together.

I had another stupid blind vs blind hand where I raise 72dd from the small blind, bet J62d flop, double barrel the 9d turn and get raised. We both check ten river and I lose to K9.

Another stupid hand: a weak player limps under the gun, I call T9o from SB, BB checks. Flop A96ss and I check-call a bet from UTG. I think a check-raise is reasonable here, but I have seen this player limp AQ suited already. I decide to call and see what happens. We both check on 3 of spade turn. 7 of spades puts a four flush on board and I bet without looking to see if I have one. He tank-calls and I don’t have a spade. He doesn’t either but his 76cc rivered two pair.

Part of what makes Peter such a great Joker is that he often laughs after beating you in a pot. He just did this to someone else and I told him he needs to work on his “post-win laugh,” which made the table laugh because they thought I was calling him out, but what I was really suggesting is that he needs to crank it up to a true Joker-like maniacal cackle.

Speaking of The Joker, we played an epic hand that I will have to share after the session.

3:41 PM: Dear Poker Gods,

The Human Torch is on the list for $30/$60. Please let him last long enough to sit in this game and, if it’s not too much to ask, can he have at least $1500 to play with?

Thank you. 🙏🏻

3:58 PM: A higher limit player that has been really good action in my experience just sat in the game and potentially made it significantly better.

And The Torch is actually taking a seat. I predict $500 buy in.

4:12 PM: I was wrong – he bought in $530.

4:29 PM: Well I can’t afford to take a break with The Torch in the game, so I’ll try to post some hands while I’m playing.

Here are some key recent pots:

I come back from my last break and post with 92o and it’s raised and called in front of me. There are no two cards I’m folding in position for one more bet so I’m in there too. The three of us see T98dd flop and I overcall. Turn is 6d and they both check to me. I might have the best hand anyway but this is a mandatory bet. The PFR calls me and I’m forced to chop with AQss when the river comes a 7. 🤔

The Torch opens and I 3-bet KJc, he caps. Flop is Q87cc and he checks to me. I bet and he calls. Turn is a 5 and he snap-calls when I bet. River is a 6 and it pains me beyond belief, but I check it back because it’s clear to me he has no intentions of folding whatever it is he has. He wins with AK. I’m 100% convinced he’s calling river so I stand by my check.

5:35 PM: I open QhJc and get four callers. Flop is AhTh3, which seems reasonable to keep lying on, but I get raised and someone else cold-calls. Turn is heart and the cold caller leads out. Other player is all in for $50 on turn. River is a heart and I outdraw the all in’s JJ.

I have a blind vs blind battle with The Joker and with a final board of 84476, I can’t get him to lay down AT, which might sound good for me, but I had ten high.

The Torch is hanging in. After being almost all in on his second hand, he rivered a straight with T6hh drawing dead to a flush and hasn’t looked back. His $530 has turned into over $2k, mostly at the expense of one of the Fortune regs, who can’t help but berate him for his torchy play – and yes, a lot of them have been ugly but it’s not something anyone needs to be talking about at the table.

5:47 PM: Game is 5.5-handed now (one player doesn’t really count and I’m surprised he hasn’t quit yet) and entirely built around The Torch. He’s on a heater and it’s all been disgusting! And none of it at my expense. Beautiful.

Short-handed play means I won’t be updating because I’ll be involved too much.

7:10 PM: Welp. That went as expected. The Torch ran his stack up to $2500+ and cashed out when he fell back to $500ish… and we didn’t play another hand. I did throw my big blind out, as a courtesy, because the dude was still in the building, but Dansby said we might as well just quit now since we know no one is going to keep playing.

Final score: +$735

Some key pots from short-handed play:

In case you don’t know why The Torch is The Torch, let me explain: he opens, I 3-bet KK, he caps it. Flop is KQ3 with two clubs and one spade and (I believe) he check-calls. Turn is the ace of spades and he check-raises me but just calls when I 3-bet. River is 4s and he donks out. Against a reasonable player, I would give serious consideration to just calling here. Against The Torch, I just have to put another raise in. Unfortunately, he immediately 3-bets me and I’m expecting to see a queen high flush here but… it’s A9o.

Another clash with The Torch: he opens button and I defend J8. Flop is AQT, flopping me a double-gutter, which I would maybe bluff with against some players, but not this one. I might end up having to put in 3-bets against a hand as bad as T7. I call and check-call again on 6 turn. River is a king and he bets before I do anything and I get to check-raise without acting first. He snap pays it off with QT.

Ugh. I don’t want to share this hand but I do like to keep it real and, well, I played this one like absolute shit and it cost me the whole pot.I open with KQ and the button 3-bets, and it ends up going 4-ways to Q75. The button bets, The Torch check-raises, and… I call?

I CALL?!?

I don’t know what the hell my thought process was here, but this is a clear 3-bet. But I call (ugh) and so does button. Turn card is… an ace! And fast-forward to showdown where I lose to button’s naked AJ. I mean… what in the hell? That was a $600+ pot I basically gifted to the button.

Now the hand with The Joker from earlier. Sometimes you play like shit and it works out. This is one of those times and while I have my reasons for this line, I think it’s way closer to spew than a stroke of genius.

A player posts in the cutoff, The Joker raises from the lo-jack, cutoff defends and I call with 44 on the button, which is already a subpar line in a questionable spot. One of the blinds defends and the flop is AJ3 with two clubs. The Joker bets, cutoff folds, I raise, he 3-bets, and I cap.

What the hell am I doing here, you ask? Losing my mind probably but wait, hear me out.

Joker is a borderline maniac. He’s opening super wide from the LJ with dead money posted behind him (which is why my hand plays better as a 3-bet), so I’m not entirely convinced he has a big hand here and I know my range looks pretty suspect, which means his 3-bet might be suspect. Additionally, I have seen him make reasonable folds when I take very strong lines.So that’s what’s going on. It sort of makes sense but it’s incredibly ambitious. The turn is the 9c and Joker says “I don’t know what I can beat” and folds after flashing an ace and then begs me to show a bluff. I don’t. But you can read about it now, asshole!

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Friday Frenzy: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/16/2018 (Live Blog)

February 16, 2018

4:20 PM: Just walked into Palace and immediately got a seat. Timed it perfectly.

I made seeing Black Panther a priority this afternoon (spoiler: it’s really, really good).

Lots of Overs buttons so I’m gonna sit down with $2500 today.

Current lineup: someone involved in Washington state government – I’ll call him The Mayor (because he’s actually been the mayor), $8/$16 reg, Chief Wiggum, Taz, myself, an old reg that attended WSOP with me last year but has been MIA for months and already has a cool nickname: Cobra, the guy that played last week with the 80% VPIP, Dansby Swanson, and Elmer.

Leggo.

4:37 PM: Standard start. Wiggum limps, I raise with 98ss, 80%, Dansby and Elmer call. I triple barrel Ts6s2KA and shake everyone but 80% who shows down K7o.

Sigh.

5:00 PM: More standard shit. I can’t fade K7o after flopping a combo draw but my AA goes up in smoke vs Taz’ 65 on Q9738. Those two hands sum up my last three weeks in a nutshell.

5:08 PM: Some good luck:

I open JTo and Taz calls on button. Three of us see JT4 rainbow flop and Taz is helping me get all the bets in. He’s a little spazzy (hence the name) and capable of overplaying hands, so I’m still leading king turn even though it definitely favors his range. I’m happy to see him just call. River 9 and I can’t bet it anymore. He checks back with AJhh, which turned a Royal Flush draw that’s currently worth $21,000! Solid dodge.

New player opens from mid-position and I defend T5cc heads up because I have two cards and someone dared to raise my blind. Flop is QJ8 with one club and I check-call. Turn is ace of clubs and I’m picking up some live read weakness and my draw is massive, so I check-raise and I do get it through without having to make a hand.

5:54 PM: Get it capped from SB with QQ with Taz and 80% in. Taz, who has one of itchiest trigger fingers among Palace regs somehow finds a check on Q99 and 80% checks back. Groan. I do get Taz to pay off turn and river though.

6:01 PM: Taz is on full blown throwing cards around the table tilt now, which makes that flop check above utterly sickening.

6:33 PM: Lots of movement in my game: Elmer, Cobra, 80%, and Wiggum are all gone. Picked up Game Genie and some other loose players. 8 of 9 player have Overs now and the one without a button is on the tighter side so pretty much a $25/$50 – and we just chopped three hands in a row. Lol.

6:56 PM: QT < KT on QJJxK; A9 < QJ on T9xTJ; K9cc < AT on KQJcTcK; A7cc < 32o on Q22cc8x; AK < QQ button open vs small blind.

Poker is really hard when you’re on the wrong side of a draw 95% of the time.

Down over $600.

7:09 PM: A little reprieve: KK in the small blind and everyone folds to me. We chop. Sigh.

7:41 PM: Button straddles, nit defends big, I 3-bet A3cc and try to torch it off on QJ24 with both players calling down, but, wait, what is this? A five? A fucking five from the heavens?! I bet, they both call. Table is shocked. Not sure if it’s because of my hand and my line or because I showed a winner on the river.

8:05 PM: A little run good. Posted with A5 and turned aces up in a big pot.

Red AA held up in a 3-bet heads up pot on Q92ccc.

Bill W just walked in and he’s 4th on the list and trying to break games to start a $30/$60 game. Can’t say I have a lot of interest in making that happen.

There are currently two full $15/$30 games with nine on the list! 😮😮

8:29 PM: Just whiffed another nut flush draw, but I did river a pair of aces… which was no good.

8:34 PM: Just whiffed another nut flush draw, but I did river a pair of aces… no this is not a typo. Legit next hand! This time my ace was good and I got a $50 Overs value bet in. That hand seems to have upset The Mayor. I love it. I’ve missed 100% of my flush draws for like three sessions and the guy is practically spitting on my cards in disgust when I show them.

8:48 PM: Heater alert: I switched seats and won like 4 of 5 hands, including AA over The Mayor’s KK, a hand that triggered him so bad I thought he was gonzo.

I imagine I am no longer stuck but I’m not sure.

Game Genie just busted… again. It seems like not that long ago that he was walking on water every single session. He no longer possesses the cheat code necessary to beat this game. I’m considering changing his name to Game Over. But honestly, I feel kind of bad for him.

8:52 PM: Wow. I never thought I was going to be able to use this nickname, but Puss-In-Boots just sat in the same game as me. I came up with that name because the dude just refuses to play poker with me. He must be feeling it tonight (I mean he’s properly imbibed).

Another wow: Palace is about to start a third $15/$30 game. Unreal. And that will still leave 6-7 names on the list. SICK!

9:32 PM: I have what I feel is a pretty big announcement for the blog. I’m done coming up with alliterative nicknames for Pesky Pete. He has become a pretty good poker friend of mine, even popping up in Reno and Los Angeles when I’m there. But let’s be honest about something: he’s a nuisance. It’s not like most of my other poker friends that almost never play hands against me – not because we are friends but because they are tight players. Peter is not tight. It seems like he’s in every pot I play, sometimes putting gross beats on me.

Lots of people have wanted to be my arch enemy over the years. Some were good candidates, but most of them didn’t play enough to really qualify.

My good friend Vince sort of self-proclaimed himself my biggest nemesis and it was hard to argue – the dude seemed to hold over me and walk on water for years. Not to take away from his ability – he’s a great player – but he always seemed to get there when we played our biggest pots together. But Vince has all but disappeared from the live poker scene. We take trips together once in a while but we only play cash games when he hosts a home game once every six months or so.

He’s not my rival anymore.

Peter is. He’s ubiquitous. I can’t escape him. He “follows” me around the west coast, he’s always in my game, always in my pots. He’s friendly but devious. He’s a formidable opponent but a borderline maniac. He’s my friend and my biggest pest. He’s always laughing at the table. He’s quite the clown really.

HE’S THE JOKER.

10:54 PM: Extended blog break while I got a massage for 40 minutes. Something weird has been happening. I’m winning most of the pots I’ve been contesting. Like, the hands I’m supposed to win most of the time have been winning. I’m up $1300. Seems like I have less to talk about when crazy things aren’t happening to me constantly.

This game is pretty great. There are four players with VPIPs between 39% – 60%. Unfortunately all four of them have migrated to my direct left, which has made my current pure run all the more miraculous. I just colored up $2000 to green chips to make my upcoming seat change more manageable.

And The Joker is in the building, but with three games going I might not have to protect Gotham so diligently tonight.

11:15 PM: The Joker is in the third $15/$30 game battling it out with my wife, who has self-deprecatingly suggested given herself the blog nickname The Leak. 😂

Fortunately, that nickname has never been less applicable. She’s on one of her hottest stretches since we first started dating in spring 2012. In fact, she’s crushing this year and we’ve even joked that if she has a better 2018 playing poker than I do then I will have to get a job.

11:21: Massive pot with AK. Capped like six ways pre. No one bets Q75dd flop. Turn pairs the 5 and there’s a bet and I’m the only caller somehow. River is king of diamonds and I get bet into again. This is a spot where I think I’m best a lot but raising doesn’t make a ton of sense. I call and she tables 76. Running hot!

11:51 PM: I flopped a pair and a gutshot in a massive pot, turned the nut flush draw, and *gasp* got there!

I just had a hiccup where my AK lost a massive pot to K8 on KQ88x and KQ ran into KK on Q High board – and the player had the class to tell me “good call” when I paid off on river – but I’m still up around $2000 total.

And The Joker is in my game. He’s always in my game.

12:12 AM: The night I declare Peter The Joker, he sits at my table for 11 hands before switching tables.

I’m like “dude…”

He says, “I saw you were winning tonight and that’s exactly what The Joker would do.”

I’m not so sure, but good riddance.

12:20 AM: Every pot is huge. It’s like 5-6 ways for two bets almost every hand. Just whiffed 65cc on Q33cc4 – let’s not start that again.

12:27 AM: Here’s the kind of hand I’ve been losing for weeks. Cutoff and button open limp, I call T7dd, big blind checks. Flop A77 two clubs and I check-raise the button. We are heads up and I bet-call 9c turn. River is a 6 and he checks back… with 75. My kicker plays and I win the pot.

Let’s. Go.

12:40 AM: Defend 95dd vs button open. Check-raise Q75 one diamond flop. He calls. Bet 6d turn and call raise. WHIFF. He checks back with AQ. Come on.

12:43 AM: I have acquired the Jesus seat though. But the four super loose players on my left are now two super loose players on my right – the other two left. I do have the three tightest players on my left now, so that’s nice, but our game has slowed down considerably. I took the seat of the most active player who switched tables and told The Joker there are “too many $40k a year pros” in this game. 😂

(Although +$40k does sound way better than the -$18k pace I’m on so far this year.)

1:18 AM: Someone raises, SB calls and I defend 64hh. Flop A64 and SB folds after PFR bets. I feel like this is a good board texture to check-raise turn, not the flop. That’s what I do on 5 turn, but he 3-bets me. I don’t love that. I call and he checks back 9 river and my two pair beats his A3.

2:44 AM: Quit a while ago but just got home. My goodness, they let me win some pots tonight.

Final score: +$2334

That wipes out my deficit for February. Working on 2018 next.

Don’t let me get in my zone.”0′

Probably no poker tomorrow because, after going to zero UW basketball games in the first 35.5 years of my life, I will be going to my second UW game in two weeks.

It looks like $30/$60 could be a go on Sunday though.

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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

February 15, 2018

Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Director: Tom Ford (A Single Man)

Bottom Line: I can see how Nocturnal Animals has divided audiences and I’m actually surprise the audience score is as high as it is on Rotten Tomatoes (72%). This is likely not a movie for the casual filmgoer or really anyone that doesn’t want to think too much while watching films. I loved it though. It’s beautifully shot, extremely well acted, and the multiple narratives seem complex but are actually pretty simple and intertwine extremely well.

Here’s the gist: Amy Adams plays a woman deep into her second marriage and things seem to be falling apart between them. While her husband is away in NYC (cheating on her) she receives a manuscript from her previous husband (Gyllenhaal) that she begins reading. The story is about a man (Gyllenhaal again), and his wife and daughter, driving along a deserted Texas highway and being forced off the road by some hooligans that torment the family and eventually take off with the two women. The man teams up with a local sheriff (Shannon) to locate the two women. While reading the manuscript, Adams’ character finds herself reflecting on her own life and wondering about the choices she’s made.

I tried to type that synopsis up with as few spoilers as possible. I highly recommend watching Nocturnal Animals knowing absolutely nothing about it… like I did.

Michael Shannon gives a terrific (and Oscar nominated) performance as the Texan sheriff and the rest of the cast is great as well. Jake Gyllenhaal always seems to be solid, if not quite amazing, in any role he takes on and this film isn’t any different for him. Amy Adams’ character is quite a bit more interesting. In flashbacks, she seems genuine, somewhat optimistic, and perhaps quite a bit naive and in the present she says very little but exudes sadness and a palpable coldness. It’s a nuanced performance that will probably be appreciated more over multiple viewings. Also, it’s a bit of casting genius to have Isla Fisher in the role of the wife in the manuscript as Fisher and Adams have long been linked as doppelgangers of one another.

Nocturnal Animals is a brilliant film. If you found yourself unsatisfied when the credits started rolling, work a little harder. Do some research and figure it out. If you don’t want to do that, then Nocturnal Animals definitely wasn’t for you. This movie fires on all cylinders, while combining Western thriller with psychological warfare and a classic revenge tale. I still haven’t seen some critically acclaimed films from 2016, but right now I feel comfortable ranking Nocturnal Animals as high as #3 on my list and I won’t be surprised if ten years from now I look back on 2016 and it’s the film I remember most. I highly recommend it, but be warned: you’re going to have to use your brain because it’s not all spelled out for you.

Replay Value: This is the kind of film that if you liked it, you’ll surely want to watch it again. Probably immediately.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Michael Shannon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and, in what I felt was a rather weak year for films, was probably robbed of multiple other nominations. Nocturnal Animals stuck with me way more than La La Land and Fences, for instance, and it seems criminal that the film received zero technical nods.

Grade: 8 (Must See)

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Marathon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace – 2/12/2018 (LIVE BLOG)

February 12, 2018

I swear one of these times I’m going to blog a session and post one of the signature wins that have defined my poker career the last several years. Hopefully today is the day. To say I’m overdue is a bit of an understatement. I’ve certainly had faster and more violent downswings and I think I’ve even had longer stretches of losing, but it has to be getting close now. We are on day 43 of 2018 and I’m still solidly in the red for the year.

I did some research and since the beginning of 2011, I’ve had back-to-back losing months four times total and half of them were during my worst stretch ever – from August of 2013 through October 2013 – when I lost between $1200 and $1550 three months in a row – the only time that’s ever happened. So yeah, I’ve been through worst months and worst overall stretches and I got through them and crushed like I always do. That’s something I’m able to keep in mind when I’m not playing, but it’s been harder and harder lately to remember that while I’m actually at the poker table. The accumulated tilt is real. For instance, I feel fine right now – excited even. I can’t wait to play. But I’m fragile. Not letting rough starts and bad sessions affect me emotionally has been harder and harder. It’s definitely made me realize that working on my mental game again needs to be more of a priority.

I took my wife to see “Hamilton” last night and we double-dated with The Man (Palace poker room manager) and his wife. It was a blast! I’ll put a bigger review of “Hamilton” on my list of things I may or may not ever do, along with every T.V. show I’ve seen in the last six months. But I’ll say this now: “Hamilton” is an absolute masterpiece in the field of creative writing. Yes, it’s all based on actual history and adapted from someone else’s book, but as someone that used to write rap lyrics, I can’t stress enough how monumental Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s achievement is. To take a biography about one of America’s founding fathers and turn it into an elite hip-hop musical is truly mind-boggling. It’s not just fun… it’s not just surprisingly good and palatable… it’s ELITE song-writing from top to bottom and, from my perspective, one of the greatest works of writing in modern history. Yes, the prices are outrageous, but that wasn’t going to stop me from seeing this masterpiece. A true can’t miss.

Yoga in 25 minutes. Poker in 90. See you then.

11:15 AM: When I said poker in 90, what I really meant was 2.5 hours my bad.

Slow start here. Six names on list but two of them backed out of starting the game because they just don’t understand how you build a poker game. Looks like we are going to start 4-handed though.

Starting lineup: Radio Mike, Chief Wiggum, the unknown player that rocked the 80% VPIP on Friday in a full game (yum yum) and myself.

11:21 AM: So I didn’t really play poker on Saturday. I showed up at Palace around 4 PM, hoping to play $15/$30 but no one was willing to start a short game and after losing $160 in 14 minutes of a bad, short-handed $6/$12 O8 game I just decided to go home and fire at some online tournaments. I bricked out in six events and final tabled the last one to basically break even.

11:25 AM: Cards will be in the air shortly. We picked up two players, both of them loose and borderline maniacal. Marlo is one of them. So six-handed with three players that play 50% of hands in full games.

Leggo.

11:26 AM: Marlo sitting down with $300 but has lost over $3k last two times I’ve played $15/$30 with him.

12:08 PM: Decent start. I’ve won a lot of small pots with little resistance. No real clashes. Atlanta Braves SS Dansby Swanson makes us 8-handed so I’m going to fire up my stat tracker after I finish eating.

12:37 PM: Game Genie makes us full. I’m done eating and firing up my stat tracker. Game on!

12:38 PM: Marlo actually cashed out his last few chips from that initial $300 buy-in and… left. That’s unfortunate.

12:44 PM: First big clash: s3 opens, 80% calls, I 3-bet 99 from small blind, big blind and other two call. Flop 853 two hearts and it gets capped. Turn 8h and it checks around. River pairs the 5 and it checks to s3 the original preflop opener and he bets, 80% calls, and I’m very happy to overcall, expecting to win this pot the vast majority of the time against two super wide players. I don’t though – s3 has the J8 of diamonds.

12:51 PM: Radio Mike opens, 80% calls, I defend Q7. Flop is 653, I donk, Mike raises, other player cold calls, I call. Turn is a 9 and Mike bets, the other guy folds and I really consider raising, but go with call instead. River is a 7 and I lead out and Mike goes into the tank and asks me “how do my aces look?” and I’m thinking “they look like shit! Muck em!” But he knows I’m capable of bluffing here and maybe he’s just never folding big hands against me anymore. He calls. Nice hand.

I did 3-bet the 80% player with 87hh and got the 86539 run out and a call on every street so it’s not all bad.

1:18 PM: Picked up AA vs QQ to chip back up.

1:33 PM: TT < AA.

Dansby runs so good against me: I raise a limper on button with QQ and lose to his AT from SB on KJxxA.

1:49 PM: Just won a big pot flopping quad fives and made everyone pay, and got a $499 jackpot. Hopefully that’s not my entire MO for the day.

2:15 PM: I open KT and Radio Mike defends and check-calls T739 before check-raising queen river. I expect to never be good here but I’m curious and he shows 33.

2:23 PM: Heater! AA, AA, ATcc, QTdd all win showdowns four hands in a row. Radio Mike takes a trappy, confusing line with JJ against my first aces and I suck out vs Wiggum’s KT on KQTJx the next hand.

3:03 PM: By God it’s a sexy start. I’m up over $1300. I’ve had AA four times and won with all of them.

Happy Hour Hand is AcKc for $1700 from 3 PM to 6 PM. Someone is gonna hit that.

The 80% player is rocking a 67/11 today. There’s another player over 50% VPIP. There are only two players with a PFR > 11% – one at 14% and me at 26%. 😂😂

3:11 PM: 11 minutes for that $1700 Happy Hour Hand to get hit.

3:14 PM: Humpty Dumpty in the game. Let’s see if we get the hard-boiled version or the cracked, spewy one.

3:47 PM: Palace just started a second $15/$30 game, 7-handed. And we are 8-handed. Eh. They are better off starting another smaller game and using them as feeder’s for this one. It’s not like the demand was overwhelming.

3:54 PM: Dansby limps UTG, another limp, SB raises, I defend K2ss, Dansby 3-bets, other limper folds and SB calls. I call too. Flop AKx with two spades. I flopped the nut flush draw and a pair, but this isn’t the kind of board I’m looking to pound against two preflop raisers. I’m drawing to the nuts but hitting a king or a deuce is questionable. I check-call. Turn is a 2 and I consider raising because I have outs no matter what, but I go check-call again. Heads up with Dansby now and the river is a queen, which is a definite check-call card. He has basically the only hand I beat: AJ suited.

4:17 PM: Well I’m still crushing this game, but this is pretty familiar: guy with a 13%/4% opens, someone calls, I think this is iffy but I 3-bet 99 (small sample and all) and we are five ways to 983 and the PFR bet/3-bets me. I flat to raise turn and three of us see the 8 pair. He leads, I raise and we are heads up. River jack, and he check-raises. A player this nitty just has JJ 100% of the time so I just call and lose this monster pot to the 2-outer.

Ugh. Hopefully this is a blip and not a sign of things to come. Still up $1300 but that $600 pot would have looked sexy in my stack.

4:33 PM: 14 big bets in the pot on the turn; I have KQdd on AK3d2d in a 4-way pot. Whiff. AJ and A7 are in there.

5:35 PM: Might need to stop making thin value bets against Radio Mike. He opens hi-jack, I defend QTss and check-raise J86 one spade. He calls. Turn ten, I bet he calls. River 2. I bet and he raises. The dude is just never bluff-raising here (he doesn’t have the gall!) but I just want to see what hand he played this way. Hey, it’s another set!

Humpty Dumpty limps early, I raise AQ… he beats me on A8563 by taking a check-call, check-call, donk line. I guess it could be worse.

5:55 PM: Humpty Dumpty opens (4% PFR), s4 3-bets (11% PFR) and I cap it with TT. They both call. Flop KQT. I bet they fold. What.

6:11 PM: Missed another backdoor flush draw in a substantial pot.

I’m up a little over $1100 and my momentum seems to have halted for a bit.

7:15 PM: I wasn’t paying attention to the action on this hand but the board is 984ccT6 and Radio Mike tables 75cc and his opponent tables JJ. Dealer pushes Mike the pot and then… Mike pushes the pot into the other player’s stack. Not sure I’ve ever seen that before. Everyone else is like wtf are you doing? Finally he realizes that he did, in fact, have the best hand and the game stops for an hour while everyone tries to figure out how much was in the pot! Well played, Mike! Your Uber is on its way.

In other news, the reciprocality of hitting draws has been severely lopsided lately. For a while actually. The trend is continuing today. My hot start has turned into like +$900 as I consistently lose to draws while never hitting my own.

7:40 PM: Sick hand vs Dansby Swanson: I open AJo middle position, he calls next to act, no one else joins. Flop is 962ddh, I bet he calls. Turn is 9h. I feel like Dansby is heavy in pocket pairs and suited Broadways, so I bet and… he raises me. I think he would fold a lot of the small/medium pairs that aren’t boats if I reraise and if he has a draw then I have the best hand. I 3-bet, he calls. River 2d. We both check and I’m good vs KJhh.

8:32 PM: Here’s a hand that really makes you wonder: Punty Pete opens cutoff and I defend AQ. Flop K55 and I check-raise in Overs. Turn 2, I bet and he tank-calls. River 4, I check, he checks. I didn’t think he would fold a pair here so I didn’t see much point in betting. I table and he tables 32 like he’s some kind of genius.

Eh. I don’t get it.

8:58 PM: I open cutoff with Q5dd. Flop A95dd. 3-handed pot and Peter wins with 52o. Sometimes the variance is just comical. I am so close to even now I can’t even believe it. It’s so disgusting.

9:06 PM: I picked off a double barrel bluff with 55 when they 3-bet me but checked back QQ2 flop.

But then I get 3-bets in three ways pre with QQ and on the JTx8 board I find myself check-folding because I’m in last place (TT and J8).

I’m racked up and I’m leaving on my big blind. I’ve already played 8+ hours today and I’m not about to get stuck after being up $1500. Plus I’m beyond annoyed now. I’m going to leave with less profit than I won from the jackpot.

Final score: +$236 and it might be the worst $236 I’ve ever won.

GODDAMMIT.