Muckleshoot Spring Classic $750 No Limit Hold’em Main Event (Updates)

March 18, 2018

12:20 PM: About to sit down midway through level 1. I think stacks start at 20k with 45 minute levels and 25/50 blinds today. Super deep structure. Best tournament in Washington state.

I showed up 2+ hours late to the $500 yesterday but still sat down with 70 bigs. Ended fizzling out pretty quickly after a few hours when I lost to a 10bb jam with 77 vs QQ and then busted when I jammed 17 bigs with 88 and lost to AQ. All my flip-winning powers were all used up from the day before.

I started yesterday with the point lead for Player of the Series, which I believe is worth an extra $6000, but if they played down to a winner last night (and didn’t chop points) then someone passed me. Also, a repeat final tablist could feasibly pass me. I will know here shortly.

12:44 PM: Someone did get first place points yesterday so they did take a slight lead in the PotS race. I’m still in second but I probably need to at least cash this event to maintain that spot and I think they only pay two people.

My starting lineup looks pretty decent. I have a Palace semi-reg that final tabled the $300 with me (and played really well, but is beating himself up over some of his FT decisions) and someone else that went deep in the $300 that I recognize. The rest of the table looks kind of soft, but we’ll see.

1:41: Flopped a set of 3s, bluff-raised someone on T63hhdTd with 74dd… nothing too exciting so far.

A player I wrangled into coming out today just busted in a 350bb pot where she has TT on 4457 and all the chips are in vs AK and her opponent rivers an ace. Not sure if they had a flush draw or not, but it hardly matters. I saw her leaving the room and messaged her, “I hope that’s just a bathroom break,” and she responded with a “fuck off” and “I want to murder everyone.” 😮😂

I appreciate the sentiment and the honesty of her emotions. That’s how I blog!

I’m sure there are plenty of notables and friends (and foes) in the field but so far I’ve seen Flexx, Bill W, Solomon Grundy, The Joker, Curious George, and Slimer. Plus a Kitsap County player making a surprise appearance.

Joker was standing in the middle of the room, looking around, and finally spotted me and then gave his best ever Joker cackle. Wish I had video of it. It was a perfect supervillain performance.

2:21 PM: 21k first break

3:35 PM: Just bluffed off 4k trying to get someone to fold what I thought was on a ten on a J52T7 board after he check-called me on flop and donked turn and bet small on river, but he basically snap-called me with AT so… really looking to making any sort of real value hand against him.

Down to 19.7k.

3:58 PM: Called 1100 from SB with T9hh after a limp and a raise. Four of us see J85ddh flop. I check-call 2500, so does big blind, limper jams for ~9k, PFR jams for 16k. I have an easy (but painful) fold and big blind folds also. KJdd vs PFR’s AA and the aces dodge all the redraws. I would have rivered the nuts, but obviously can’t call off 90% of my stack here.

On the bright side, the two players I think were the strongest and most dangerous at my table have busted already.

4:43 PM: No ability to accumulate chips today. Missed a draw in a raised pot and down to 6k, which is about 15 bigs. Almost at my comfort zone!

4:48 PM: Open QJdd (taking a different strategy than my 17bb punt yesterday) and I get called in four spots. 🤦🏻‍♂️. I’m committing on any piece and I get a very favorable Q84 rainbow (one diamond) flop and stick my remaining 5k in. Q9 calls and I double.

15.4k on dinner break

5:35 PM: Cards about to be back in the air.

5:43 PM: Call EP open to 1500 with AJdd and jam over a 2500 flop bet on 732dd and get the fold. Back to around peak chip stack.

5:51 PM: Playing at the same table as the legendary Lee Markholt for the first time ever.

6:30 PM: Flat 2200 with KQss in position. Lee along for the ride from the big. Flop QJTccs. We all check. Turn Q. PFR bets 6k. I am actually not sure that I have the best hand here. However, there aren’t really bad rivers for me, so I call and plan to re-evaluate on river, although it would be really tough to get away from. Lee folds. River Q. I am sure I have the best hand now. He checks, I jam for about 2/3 pot and he thinks for a bit and folds TT face up! Lee says to him, “I think he had a queen; he looked really calm.”

Yeah, okay. Get me the hell off this table.

Sick runout though and I like my line, even though getting it in bad would have been a double up.

Peaking at 27k.

Next table to break. 👍🏻

7:01 PM: Sick, sick spot. I open 2100 TT at 400/800 with about 30k, button calls, big blind makes it 6700. Kind of tough spot. I have almost 40 bigs and I don’t want to put them all in yet. I flat, planning to either set mine or get it in on favorable flops. Button ships it, having us both covered. Big blind tanks for a while and mucks. I do some more tanking and decide I’d rather fold and play a 30bb stack a new table than flip (hopefully) in a 90bb pot. If my table wasn’t breaking I would flip here, but the thought of saving 30bb to play with at a possibly much softer table was too attractive. I muck and he shows AK.

My table broke a couple hands later and now I am sitting on The Joker’s immediate right. Of course I am.

7:23 PM: Open AA utg, two calls, c-bet flop and check-jam turn and double vs AQ.


First time I open button on Joker’s small blind, he stuffs it on me because, what else would he do? Fold?!

8:00 PM: 59k coming back to 600/1200. About 100 players left and 36ish get paid.

8:05 PM: Player of the Series actually pays four spots so I’m drawing really live at a piece of that.

9:15 PM: Chipped down a bit possibly getting involved in a bit of a leveling war (that may have only involved one person) with a friend and blog reader. Ultimately decided to fold a pair against continued aggression. That guy has 3-bet me twice and Joker has jammed on me twice, so with that much recent history, and both of them in the blinds, I was pretty stoked to wake up with AA on the button folded to me. I made a standard raise and they both folded! What timing.Won a pretty decent pot defending Q9hh and check-calling twice on 972cchKh and getting a free showdown vs 66.Close to peak statusat 55k.

9:34 PM: 65 players left. 34 cash. I have around 25 bigs and and a below average stack. Time to activate some run good!

9:39 PM: Sick hand at my table just now. Joker jams under the gun with 10ish bigs, the guy that’s been 3-betting me jams 40k, and the small blind calls it off. Joker has QQ and he’s up against AKo and AKhh. Door card ace of clubs. Ouch. Followed by two hearts. Double ouch. Joker can’t catch the Qh and AKhh is basically freerolling for it all. No waiting. Flush on turn and he busts both of them.

9:50 PM: Lee Markholt, Flexx, Curious George, The Invisible Man (!), two of the guys that final tabled with me, and someone in the top 10 on the points board are all still in making deep runs.

9:55 PM: Dang, as I was typing that Curious George busted. Good run, man!

10:14 PM: Just defended T9dd and lost a smallish, but significant (for me) pot on QQTxx vs AT.

Down to 14 bigs now. Comfort zone! We are jamming, folks!

10:19 PM: Blinds up and going through me after the break. 11.5 bigs that will be 9 bigs if I forfeit bothblinds.

10:33 PM: Player of the Series payouts and points for today:

So I’m tied for 2nd with 140 points and the leader has 145 (but busted). If I don’t cash, whoever wins this automatically passes me. Three other players in the top 12 or so are still in the Main, all with a decent chance to pass me. The bottom guys would need 8th or better, but the guy in 4th is drawing super live.

There is one caveat that could help me, even if I don’t cash this. The qualification that you need to play at least 4 events. I was just told that the current point leader doesn’t qualify but that is not confirmed.

Pretty decent shot!

Meanwhile, I jammed 12ish bigs with AT and outflopped QQ for a double up.

Peaking over 68k 20 spots off the money.

11:06 PM: Doubled again. Raise AK and get check-raised on A92 rainbow. I jam and hold vs AQ.

125k. Above average with less than 54 players left.

11:55 PM: I made a play so devastatingly bad I don’t even want to share it now. I’ll talk about it later when it might not tilt my face off. 8 spots off money.

4th place in points is busted, so that puts me in great position to finish in 1st or 2nd.

12:13 AM: Missed the nut flush draw vs top pair. I have 12 bigs. 6 off the money.

12:42 AM: Cashed it. Puts me 1st in the points race, but a couple guys still in drawing live to pass me. I’ll be coming back to 37k with blinds at 3k/6k tomorrow and I will be all in the first orbit. 😂😬


Cards in the air in three minutes and there’s some good news: there are 9 minutes left in the 2k/4k level so I’m not in as desperate shape as I thought.

9bb UTG+1


5:04 PM: Unreal. Jammed A9cc first hand and get called in three spots. Flop Q42cc. Heads up on the side, two of us all in. One guy bets and other player folds. I’m up against QJ and JJ. Ace on the turn!

More than quadrupled first hand!!!

And suddenly we have 30+ bigs.


5:26 PM: Ugh. Bad, loose player opens 20k. I jam 130k or so with AK, he basically snaps with 44 and wins the race.

Out in 28th for $1300.

Well, that was about the last thing I expected to happen after that sick quadruple up.


Muckleshoot Spring Classic $300 No Limit Hold’em (Updates)

March 16, 2018

As expected, I didn’t get to sleep until super late Wednesday and then, on top of that, I woke up multiple times throughout the night, so I made the prudent decision of skipping the $200 no limit hold’em tournament yesterday and basically took the day off instead, writing my MLB win totals post and watching March Madness games.

I actually did wind up playing a decent slate of online tournaments on Global Poker:

  • $5.50 $5K GTD NLHE Rebuy
  • $33 $8K GTD NLHE 2R/1A
  • $5.50 $750 GTD PLO Rebuy
  • $55 NLHE (deep)
  • $11 $250 GTD Limit Hold’em
  • $22 NLHE 2R/1A
  • $11 $500 GTD PLO 2R/1A

*note: 2R/1A means two rebuys and one add on.

I ended cashing in 3 of my 7 events, final tabling both PLOs, finishing in 5th and 3rd. I also took 11th in the $8K GTD. I was making a decent run in the $5K rebuy but ran KK into AA for 30 bigs each.

All in all, a small little profit for the day while I was relaxing at home watching basketball.

I honestly kind of hate the Muckleshoot Classic series. It is unbelievable that in the 6+ years I’ve been playing in it they have basically made no adjustments. It is still a five day series that has five no limit hold’em events. Ugh. A little variety couldn’t possibly hurt. It’s probably asking too much to expect them to do an 8-Game tournament or a H.O.R.S.E., but not having a PLO event on the schedule in 2018 blows my mind. You’re telling me a $200 PLO with re-entries event wouldn’t be wildly popular?

Of the five events, I think the $750 Main is the only must play and the only one I actually look forward to. I basically never play the whole series and almost always skip the $500 tournament.

There is the $200 limit Omaha 8 or Better tournament, but they treat it like a bad step child they hope no one notices. It doesn’t get its own day of the series. Instead, it’s buried at 7 PM on the first night and they think it’s so prestigious it doesn’t even qualify for points in the Player of the Series competition. In other words, it’s not really part of the series.

Eh. I don’t expect them to make changes at this point. I asked for a PLO tournament a year or two ago and made a good argument but nothing changed and maybe it never will. I’m sure the no limit hold’em specialists love this series, but I’m close to the point where I may start coming out for the Main Event only.

The Leak accompanied me to the Muck today and this will probably be one of maybe three tournaments she’ll play all year. I asked my CPA if we could write her tournament buy ins off as a charitable donation earlier this week and was informed that we cannot.

Cards will be in the air in about 15 minutes. I will be posting stack updates and some hands here and there.

12:06 PM: We appear to have started with 12k in chips, but I’m not entirely sure because I have 10.5k after triple barreling TT28T with J9 and getting picked off by AQ.

12:18 PM: Woah. The Leak just messaged me saying she doubled up already. Crazy! Details to come.

Puget Sound legends Rep Porter and Lee Markholt making appearances. When I call people legends I’m usually joking but these guys are legit superstars. Rep has three WSOP bracelets, Lee has a WPT title, and both of these monsters are in the top 5 of the Washington state all-time money list.

One seat at my table remains open and I recognize two of my eight current opponents. One is a Muck regular that ranks near me on the Washington state money list and the other is someone that plays at Palace that recently hit a massive Royal Flush jackpot and is someone I want at my table in limit hold’em.

12:33 PM: The Leak tells me she had AA and let her opponent bluff of his stack. No info on board texture or his hand though.

12:40 PM: Everyone asks me why I don’t play more no limit hold’em. It’s because I hate it. The pace of the game… all the posturing… Jesus, can we just get on with it? I know there are some spots that require some real thought, but the guys that take 20+ seconds every time they have anything but a standard fold spot are just terrible humans.

1:01 PM: Forgot to mention this but I ended yesterday’s March Madness action in 31st place of 31 entries in the bracket pool I’m in. I don’t know about you but I find that level of sucking quite impressive.

1:30 PM: 9150 on first break coming back to 100/200. The Leak has a ridiculous 36k stack.

Some other notables in the field: The Riddler, Bill W, Flexx, Slimer, Sandman, Solomon Grundy, decent amount of Palace regulars.

2:10 PM: Sick hand at my table not involving me: JJ vs 22 on J6225. 😮

Probably worth mentioning this now. We spent the first 20 minutes of this level talking about Global Poker and one of my tablemates was trying to sell his conspiracy theory that Global’s software “isn’t rigged,” but that “it’s not random,” and “more bad beats happen there than anywhere else” he’s ever played.

Then this JJ vs 22 hand happened and I said, “yup, that sort of thing never happens in real life.”

2:48 PM: Super card dead for first three hours so this was a nice reprieve: I open 500 with AA and button calls. Flop T98 with three diamonds, giving me the nut flush draw with my overpair. I started the hand with about 9k and there’s basically no scenario where I’m ever getting away from it. I bet 1000 and he calls. Turn pairs the 9, I bet 2500 and he calls. Ace on river relieves any concerns of being beat (not that I thought I was) and I stuff it for 5k. He doesn’t think too long before calling with AT and giving me a full double to 18.5k. Peaking!

3:27 PM: I have about 19k and The Leak has 39k on second break and coming back to 300/600 with big blind anteing an additional 600 each hand.

3:55 PM: One limper, SB completes, and I make it 2200 with QQ and the limper calls. Flop is K82 and I let him bluff off 7k with AJ by check-calling all three streets. He didn’t think about his decisions at all and kept the bets small (2k, 2k, 3k) so it was a pretty easy call down.

4:24 PM: Ouch. My table broke and my new table probably has 5-6 guys that are better than anyone else at my last table. Bad beat.

4:46 PM: When the small blind calls and you look down at QJ suited and think, “well, I can’t not raise this” and then they jam and you’re both 25+ bigs deep. 🤢🤢🤢

5:06 PM: The Leak and I are both in the 26k-28k range heading to dinner break. Blinds will be 600/1200 when we resume in 40 minutes.

6:55 PM: Didn’t play a hand forever and then a flurry of action.

I defend Q8ss, flop top pair on a super wet boar, but only get one street of action.

I open AQ and get jammed on by a short stack with KT and bust him.

Super active and hyperLAG opens to 4500, I flat with ATdd. I would have 3-bet jammed this on him a while ago, but I had chips all the sudden and wanted to take a flop with him. I call 7k on T52hhd and then bet 12k when the 2 pairs and gives me the nut flush draw, prepared to call a jam, but he folds.

7:26 PM: Open 4500 with AK and button calls. I c-bet T82 flop for 5k and he calls. Turn is an ace and I check-call 9k. River queen and I check-call 14k and he shows 33.

Peaking at 98k, coming back to 1200/2400. The Leak has 46k. There are seven tables left and less than 63 players. Can’t see how many cash or how many started.

7:52 PM: The Leak has busted. We are down to six tables and apparently 41 players cash. The money bubble is approaching.

Meanwhile… Virginia is in serious jeopardy of becoming the first #1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Obviously, they are my champions.

8:24 PM: Down to 5 tables… four spots off the money.

It took 8.5 hours but someone is finally lighting me up for wearing a Blair Walsh jersey in a Seattle casino.

8:49 PM: Hand-for-hand, I’ll have 12 bigs after posting big blind and ante this next hand.

9:03 PM: Cashed it and then snap-doubled with 55 vs AK. Peaking at 105k.

9:20 PM: Freeroll is on. Under the gun opens and I jam 15 bigs on button when AQ and spike a queen vs AK for the full double.

197k now! 😮😮😮

9:36 PM: Four tables left.

9:48 PM: Open 21k @ 4k/8k and 8k ante with AA and someone flats in position. Flop 754 two hearts, I lead 30k (never folding), he jams, and I dodge his flush draw with AThh.


9:55 PM: Call a 5 BB jam from the big with Qc8. He shows A6ss and turns aces up but I river a four card flush with my Qc to bust him.

389k with 25 left. Average stack is 160k.

10:33 PM: Open 26k with A6cc from cutoff with big blind having 95k behind at 5k/10k. I would actually hate it if the big jams on me because he’s been playing kind of snug, so when that does happen I’m ever-so-slightly unprepared but after doing some shoddy math, I decide I have to go with it. He tables KQo and has a gut shot, flush draw, and two overs on the turn and bricks it all.

519k with 18 left.

The homie Christian is dealing and asked for a shout out and I kind of have to honor that request since he delivered that AQ > AK suck out to set this rush into motion.

A Kitsap County area player (and former softball teammate of mine) is at my table now making a deep run, something he’s done consistently over the past three Classic series. Kudos to him!

11:16 PM: Reshoved over a 10bb jam with AQ and the short stack has KK and doubles through me.

261k. Puts me close to average now with 16 left.

11:25 PM: Defend < 3bb open with A5dd and it checks around on A86hhh flop. I check-call 2.5bb on jack turn and inexplicably get a free showdown on jack river vs… AcKh!

Lost the pot but minimal damage vs his holding.

Down to 180k though.

Players busting all over the place. I think we are down to ten now, on the final table bubble.

Scratch that. 11 left.

11:52 PM: Chipped down in a blind vs blind situation but just made final table with a paltry 116k.


Second final table of the series and third one in the last week? Seems decent for someone that doesn’t really play tournaments. And thank goodness the limit O8 tourney doesn’t count otherwise I’d be in the running for the $6k top prize for Player of the Series. 🤦🏻‍♂️😡

12:01 AM: I’m starting FT with the shortest stack and 2.5 bigs about to go through me. Will definitely be looking to get it in this next orbit.

12:08 AM: Ouch. Blinds went through me and then went up.

But… as I was typing that, I stacked off with ~3.75 bigs with A6cc and doubled through… AT! Christian is my magic dealer! Back up to 200k(10 bigs).

12:39 AM: Sick double with QQ vs AK all in pre with a K66 flop. Queen on turn! Let’s. Go. Back up to around 500k coming back to 15k/30k.

12:55 AM: MP opens to 60k, I flat AJo and we both check on KQ2 all club flop (no club in my hand). Turn is Td and he bets 85k. If he flopped a flush, god bless him but I’m not going to mess around on this board texture. I jam, he snaps. Uh oh. He rolls KJ with Jc and bricks out.

We are chip leading over a milly. Still nine players left.

My opponent mutters something about how trapped I was and I’m thinking “yeah, nice check, buddy.

1:10 AM: One player busts and then I open A9ss and a < 10bb stack jams on me and I double him up when his AQ holds.


1:10 AM: Huge double. Flat AJcc and get it in on J54hh vs 98hh and hold in 1 million pot.

1.7 million

6 left.

1:39 AM: Winner. $20k

2:15 AM: Ended up getting $20k with 5 players left. 1st was $24k so it was an easy deal for me to make. One double up for any of them would have drastically leveled the playing field so very happy to lock up the $20k.

Registered for tomorrow and planning to show up in level 3 or 4.


2018 MLB Win Totals

March 15, 2018

First off, I’m no expert. I might even be a terrible sports bettor. There’s evidence of that. In 2016, I had a year so brutally bad betting on baseball games that it bordered on self-destructive. I could have closed my eyes and picked randomly and my results would have been better. 100%. It was an incredible bad run.

On the other hand, I’ve actually won money betting on sports five of the last seven years. Unfortunately, that epic 2016 wiped out any chance I had at having a career profit in this form of gambling. The reason I have been successful in other years is because I am quite good at fantasy baseball (which I tally as sports betting) and I am quite good at making season long wagers, including betting on team win totals. When I say I am quite good, I just mean my results have been good. It’s not like I’m putting any super in-depth effort into my calculations. I look at the totals and if I find a side I think is more likely than not to come in, based on the superficial evidence that I have, I bet it.

Unless it’s the Seattle Mariners. In that case, I always bet with my heart and I always bet the over and I basically always lose.

With that said, these are the 2018 totals I have played so far this year. I’m posting these because it’s fun and I want to write about them, not because I think I’m a genius and think you should bet them too. But if you want to sweat with me, by all means, let’s gamble! I realize not everyone goes to Vegas as often as I do, but betting the totals in the spring is one of the best parts of going to Vegas at this time of year.

Detroit Tigers under 68 wins – 2.3 units to win 2 units

This is a pretty low total, but the Tigers won 64 games last year and lost Justin Upton, Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Alex Avila, and Justin Wilson since the 2017 trade deadline. I expect Miguel Cabrera to have a bit of a bounce back season, but this roster is undoubtedly worse than last year’s version. Outside of Cabrera, Nicholas Castellanos is the only real impact bat they have left and the rotation behind ace Michael Fulmer is filled out with has beens and never have beens. That doesn’t mean they will win less games, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team lose 100 games in 2018. For what it’s worth, Fangraphs has the Tigers projected for 70 wins and PECOTA has them at 68, so there’s no huge edge here, I just expect them to suck royally.

New York Yankees over 93.5 wins – 2.5 units to win 2 units

I love the Yankees this year. Wait, did I really just type that? Love? The New York Yankees? Ew. But seriously, this roster is stupid good. They won 91 games last year and emerged as legit World Series threats way ahead of schedule. Yes, Luis Severino emerged as an ace and Cy Young candidate, plus Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge have MVP potential already, but the rest of the prized Baby Bombers are still working their way up. This team is primed to be contend for a long stretch of title runs. Oh, and this winter Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins gifted the Yanks with NL MVP winner Giancarlo Stanton. Because that’s what they needed – another MVP threat capable of a 60 homer season. The lineup is absolutely loaded and the additions of Neil Walker and Brandon Drury provide the Yanks with above average depth in the infield while prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar continue their development. I actually think the rotation is underrated behind Severino and I think most pundits agree the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball. The Yankees are the most improved team in baseball since the end of last season and they were already a 91 win team. Fangraphs has them projected for 95 wins and PECOTA has them at 97. This total has already moved up to 94.5 and I would be really surprised to see the Yankees win less than 94 games. A lot would have to go wrong.

Miami Marlins under 65 wins – 1.3 units to win 1 unit

The Marlins did win 77 games last year, but also jettisoned four All-Star level players in Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton this offseason. Those guys combined for 19.5 WAR – or roughly two Mike Trouts. The remaining lineup isn’t the worst. J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour, Cameron Maybin, and Starlin Castro are capable major leaguers, but health is definitely a concern on the Marlins. The rotation is absolutely terrible. Fangraphs has the Marlins as a 64-win team and PECOTA has them at 66. There’s definitely a sweat here, but it’s worth noting the betting line has dropped to 63.5 wins. The Marlins are projected to be the worst team in baseball and it’s not hard to imagine them trading away more of their best players and losing 100+ games. The projection systems typically don’t predict 100 win teams or 100 loss teams, but they obviously happen and the Marlins are primed to lose 100 in 2018.

Pittsburgh Pirates under 73.5 wins – 1.1 units to win 1 unit

As we near the regular season, this is probably the play that I’m liking the least. I knew I wanted to play the under on the Pirates even before they traded away Andrew McCutchen, but by the time I was able to bet it, the line was much lower than I was hoping for. As 2017 opened, it looked like the Pirates had one of the best outfields in baseball and two of those guys are still with them team. Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte both had down seasons in 2017 – and both could bounce back. Corey Dickerson takes over for McCutchen, but the rest of the lineup is basically the same as last year’s 75 win team. The rotation lists Ivan Nova as the ace – which no team should want – and behind him are capable, but still mostly unproven arms. I don’t think the Pirates will be good this year. They aren’t going to flirt with .500. But if I could go back in time, I probably wouldn’t make this play. It feels like action for the sake of action. Fangraphs has them at 75 wins and PECOTA has them at 78. Even Westgate in Vegas had them at 74.5 wins last time I looked. Still, there’s hope on the horizon as the Pirates managed only 75 wins when they still had McCutchen and ace Gerritt Cole. They are definitely worse in 2018, but if Polanco and Marte have healthy seasons, they could easily finish with 75 or more wins. Not a great play and not really one I’d recommend today.

Washington Nationals over 92 wins – 2.5 units to win 2 units

The Nats are still absolutely loaded. They have potential All-Stars at every position except catcher and center field. Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and Trea Turner will probably all get NL MVP votes – and any one of them could feasibly win it. Daniel Murphy has been on an insane run since the 2015 postseason, also putting up MVP-type numbers, but he’ll open the season with injury question marks. The Nats also have Victor Robles, a top 5 MLB prospect, ready to take over in center, possibly as early as this year. The rotation is anchored by three time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, still one of the two or three best pitchers in all of baseball. #2 Stephen Strasburg has also cemented his status as a top 10 MLB starting pitcher and perennial CYA candidate. Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez are the #3 and #4, a back end that most teams would be jealous of. The Nats could probably use another starter, but their rotation is already very good and primed to win playoff series. The bullpen added Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, and Brandon Kintzler to help out drastically in an area that was a weakness before last year’s trade deadline. The Nats are still in their window of World Series title contention and the NL East doesn’t project to have any other playoff candidates, so 92 wins seems low for a team this loaded that has won 95+ in four of the last six seasons. The projection systems disagree, however, with Fangraphs projecting 90 wins and PECOTA at 89 wins. On the other hand, the betting line is now up to 94.5 wins, so I actually love my bet.

Boston Red Sox over 90.5 wins – 1.15 units to win 1 unit

One of the benefits of the extremely slow hot stove season was that as soon as rumors of an impending signing emerged, I tried to fire a bet before Vegas adjusted their lines. The second J.D. Martinez was rumored to go to the BoSox I locked in at 90.5. Their over/under is now at 92. The Red Sox won 93 games last year even though Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts had relative down season and David Price missed a huge chunk. All three of those guys should be more productive this year and Boston added JDM’s monster bat and get a full season from rising star Rafael Devers. Andrew Benintendi is already an established stud and probably a future superstar. He should be better in 2018 also. Dustin Pedroia will start the year on the DL, but I don’t think that matters much. Eduardo Nunez will open the year as the starting second baseman and he’s actually probably the better player at this point in their careers. Chris Sale anchors the rotation and remains one of the three best pitchers in baseball. This is still a very good baseball team, although I do not think they are as good as the rival Yankees. I would be shocked if the Red Sox didn’t lock up one of the two Wild Card spots this year. Fangraphs has them at 93 wins and PECOTA has them at 89. I don’t expect this bet to be much of a sweat.

Kansas City Royals under 71.5 wins – 1.15 units to win 1 unit

I bet this before the Royals re-signed Mike Moustakas, so I wasn’t thrilled when I saw that take place. It really seemed like the Royals were going to lose all of their important free agents. Still, the Royals lost 5 of their 10 most valuable players – including by far their two best in Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain – and 13.6 WAR total from a team that managed 80 wins last year. The lineup is substantially worse than last year’s version and losing Jorge Bonifacio to an 80-game suspension didn’t help things. The rotation is rounded out with #4 and #5 types after ace Danny Duffy. PECOTA hates the Royals, projecting a paltry 65 wins and Fangraphs much more positive 71 wins still falls below this total. The actual betting line has dropped all the way down to 68.5, so another one I got in when the price was right.

Tampa Bay Rays under 78.5 wins – 1.05 units to win 1 unit

On paper, this team looks absolutely terrible. If you look at their projected starting lineup and ask yourself if you would want any of these guys starting for your favorite team, the answer would be no. Maybe Kevin Kiermaier? His defense is truly amazing, but his bat is just okay. The Rays lost or traded away 6 of their 8 best players from last year’s 80 win team. The Rays are also projected to open the season with a 4-man rotation and a bullpen day, an unprecedented strategy in the modern day as far as I know. There was some excitement surrounding top prospect Brent Honeywell, but he will miss all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. With the Rays moving all their most valuable pieces, it’s a bit of a wonder that Chris Archer is still with them. It’s my hope that the selling process continues and Archer finds his way out of Tampa before the end of the season. The arms behind Archer have potential, but are still mostly unproven at this point. 78.5 wins felt like a gift, but Fangraphs sees the Rays as a 78 win team and PECOTA has them at a ridiculous 83 wins! That is crazy to me. This roster looks like garbage to me right now and it will probably be even worse by the trade deadline. The books seem to agree. The line has dropped all the way down to 74.5 wins and the juice is even higher at -115 for the under. I feel like I crushed this bet and wish I had put more money on it.

Oakland Athletics over 75.5 wins – 2.1 units to win 2 units

I 100% made this bet because of this article. I wasn’t targeting the As as a potential play, but if a sportswriter picks what he thinks is the absolute best over/under play, what am I going to do? Not bet it? Yeah right! I agree the As are underrated, especially since they don’t have anything approaching a star player outside of maybe Khris Davis? But then you look at the projected starting lineup for Oakland and compare it to someone like, say, Tampa Bay that is projected for more wins and Kiermaier in center field would be the only clear upgrade if these teams were to make straight up swaps of their position players. The rotation is also underwhelming but respectable. There’s almost no chance this team will win as many as 80 games, so this could be quite the sweat, but I think it will come through. Fangraphs projects 80 wins (!) and PECOTA has the As at 76. Interestingly, the betting line has dropped to 74.5, which is tempting to pile on, but I’m going to holster my itchy trigger finger on that.

Chicago Cubs over 93.5 wins – 2.2 units to win 2 units

The Cubs had a World Series hangover for most of the first half in 2017 and still managed to finish with 92 wins. They posted 97 and 103 wins the two seasons before that and this roster hasn’t seen much turnover since they became perennial title contenders in 2015. Yu Darvish replacing Jake Arrieta seems like a wash, at worst, and the Cubs now get a full season with Jose Quintana as their #4. Goodness, Quintana might be the ace if he played for the Mariners. Tyler Chatwood, Mike Montgomery, and Eddie Butler provide the Cubs with solid rotation depth if a starter goes down. I’m kind of perplexed by the decision to make Brandon Morrow the closer. I mean, I can see signing the guy, but it’s hard to imagine him closing out games for the Cubs for an entire season. I’m certainly targeting Carl Edwards Jr. in my fantasy leagues with the hopes of picking up 15+ saves to go along with his already sexy ratios. Fangraphs has the Cubs at 94 wins and PECOTA has them at 92, so this total seems like the perfect line, but the Cubs have averaged 97+ wins over the last three years and I see the 2018 version being right on par with that kind of win total. This is a team that feels like they have something to prove this year.

Toronto Blue Jays over 81.5 wins – 1 unit to win 1.05 units

Fangraphs coerced me into this play. They have the Jays projected for an absurd 87 wins. I don’t see that happening, but it hardly needs to for me to win this bet. They just need to be better than .500 and if Fangraphs thinks they will be 12 games above .500, a bet on the over can’t be that bad. PECOTA feels differently; they have the Jays projected for 80 wins and the books have dropped this total to 80.5. A healthy Jays lineup actually looks pretty decent. Randal Grichuk and Curtis Granderson are definitely not sexy additions, but they should be better than what amounted to the least productive corner outfield combo in all of baseball last year. Teoscar Hernandez isn’t currently listed as a starter on the Jays depth chart, but I’ve read fantasy magazines that have projected him for a 20/20 season in 2018, so… seems like they should be aiming to get him some playing time. Justin Smoak will probably regress from last year’s 38 homer season, but whatever the Jays lose from his production should be made up for by having a healthy Josh Donaldson for a full season. The rotation is solid and underrated and Roberto Osuna has emerged as one of the best closers in all of baseball. The biggest obstacles the Jays face is age and injuries. Troy Tulowitski and Devon Travis are always hurt, plus Aaron Sanchez has had some difficulty staying healthy. The Blue Jays did acquire Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte to provide infield depth for their constantly injured starters. The Blue Jays had a massive down year in 2017 and won 76 games. It’s not hard to imagine them improving my six wins if they can stay healthy and get more production from their corner outfielders. If Donaldson gets traded at any point this season, this bet is toast.

Philadelphia Phillies over 76.5 wins – 2.3 units to win 2 units

I’ve been wanting to be the over on the Phillies all offseason but I felt like the line was too high. As soon as I heard rumblings that Jake Arrieta was signing with the Phils, I finally pulled the trigger. Interestingly, the line hasn’t moved at all since the Arrieta signing became official and Fangraphs actually lowered their projection from 76 wins to 75 wins. What? I can’t really make any sense of that. The 2018 Phillies remind me a lot of the 2015 Cubs before that season started, but they don’t have quite the same pedigree. The Phillies don’t have an Anthony Rizzo or a Kris Bryant, but they have good, young players all throughout the 25-man roster and a lineup full of a potential breakout candidates. Even with the Arrieta signing, Aaron Nola is still the best pitcher on this team and Jerad Eickhoff and Vincent Velasquez have shown flashes of brilliance in the past. In all likelihood, the Phils are going to make a massive free agent acquisition during the next offseason and emerge as legit contenders in 2019, but I wouldn’t be all that shocked to see them win 80 games in 2018 and be players for a Wild Card spot deep into the season.

Seattle Mariners over 81.5 wins – 1.15 units to win 1 unit

Ugh. I hate it already. The Mariners were fringe Wild Card contenders last year before they got off to a horrible start and then had an epic amount of injuries and fizzled out on their way to a 76 win season. As a homer, part of me will always think these guys have a chance. I still love the lineup, but it’s getting old and the window of contention is closing rapidly and the Mariners have very little help on the way from their farm system. If everyone was starting the season healthy, I think the 2018 Mariners could contend for the second Wild Card spot this year, but the roster has already been riddled with injuries. Granted, Ben Gamel is the only starter projected to miss more than a few days of the season at this point, but half the roster is dinged up or rehabbing right now. It already looks like more of the same and it’s very difficult to remain optimistic as a Mariners fan. I think Nelson Cruz has one or two All Star level seasons left in him, but I’m less sure about Robinson Cano. He’s always struck me as one of those guys that just doesn’t care that much. James Paxton could be one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, but he’s yet to put together a full season. Felix Hernandez has looked like toast the last couple years. Mike Leake, Erasmo Ramirez, and Marco Gonzales are upgrades over the AAA rotation the Mariners used for most of 2017, but it kind of boggles my mind that the Ms didn’t make a push for Lance Lynn or currently available Alex Cobb. They sure could use another starting pitcher. Fangraphs has the Mariners at 81 wins and PECOTA has them at 82 and their over/under total hasn’t budged since the very first lines were released. Since this team seems to be cursed with never-ending injuries, part of me is tempted to bet the under and eat the juice, but the fan in me is probably just going to ride it out and root for my team like always.

Los Angeles Angels 20-1 to win the World Series
Milwaukee Brewers 25-1 to win the World Series
Chicago Cubs 9-1 to win the World Series

I don’t realistically expect either the Brewers or the Angels to win the World Series, but they both seem like teams that could make the playoffs and I like to fire off on a couple of long shots every year (I decided to skip the Mariners this year). I got the Rockies at 33-1 and the D’backs at 100-1 last year and having a freeroll into the Division Series was pretty exciting. The Cubs are perfectly capable of winning the World Series though and 9-1 seemed pretty favorable for a perennial contender. In fact, their odds went to 7-1 after signing Yu Darvish. I will probably fire more World Series bets when the postseason starts.

Nolan Arenado 23-1 to lead MLB in homeruns

I was so close to getting an epic bet in here. Venetian had MLB prop sheets dated February 20th that had Rhys Hoskins at 200-1 to lead MLB in homers and these clowns still had these papers available in their sports book last week. Unfortunately, when I tried to place the bet, I was told that Hoskins is now at 20-1 (as he should be) and I had to hold back tears at the missed opportunity. $50 to win $10,000?!? For a guy that hit 18 homers in 50 games last year? That’s a 58-homer pace! He’s 24 and still developing. Man, that would have been special. Still a long shot, but not a 200-1 long shot. Dammit! Arenado, meanwhile, has averaged 40 homers a season for the last three years and I suspect we haven’t seen his best power season yet. This is a tough bet in a world that includes Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, but Stanton has extensive injury history and Judge was spectacular in 2017 but still has less than 800 MLB at bats under his belt.



Muckleshoot Spring Classic $300 NLHE Shootout (Updates)

March 14, 2018

Not going to do my normal live blog thing here but I’ll post updates and the occasional hand.

Starting stacks are 8000 and Shootouts start with 10-handed tables and play down to a single winner. I swear I heard them say we are playing down to two players today though so I’ll have to get some confirmation on that, but it’s pretty irrelevant at this point.

Blinds start at 25/50 with 30 minute levels.

I’m already down to 5300 in chips after getting a free play with A7o from the big blind and getting the A87 flop vs 77. Fortunately, he checked back the river for some silly reason and gave me a free showdown.

I plan to re-enter if I bust early.

12:26 PM: I somehow only recognize one of my seven opponents and I don’t even have real history with him. Two seats remain unoccupied.

12:36 PM: Just lost over half of my remaining stack flopping top pair in a raised pot and losing to a turned gutshot. Re-entry ends after level 2 – which just started – and I won’t be looking to take a 2k stack into level 3, so I will be all in at some point in the next 23 minutes looking to double or bust and start fresh.

12:45 PM: Down to nine here. I open 250 with AT, next player calls, next player 3-bets to 850. I start with 20 bigs and I’m looking to get them in, but I feel like I’d be punting here so I fold. Other guy calls and they end up all in on 7758 with 88 busting the PFR’s KK.

Same guy that flopped the set of 7s vs me. Must be nice!

13 minutes left to get all in.

1:01 PM: There are six open seats remaining and they are extending re-entry until they are filled. So I can be a bit more selective.

1:08 PM: 3-way all in at my table not involving me: AK vs AQ vs AJ. So this is what happened: AK limped, AQ limped, AJ raises, AK 3-bets, AQ jams, and AJ stacks off, and so does AK… for like 40-50 bigs each. I mean, how can you fold AJ there? Impossible!

8 left at my table. I might be locked out of re-entry and I’m sitting here with less than ten bigs and needing to pee so bad I can’t take it anymore.

1:17 PM: While I was in the bathroom someone doubled up with AA… in a hand that I wasn’t dealt into… a hand that should have never existed. Everyone seems cool about it but I’d be pretty heated if I got doubled through there.

1:21 PM: Back in it after back-to-back gifts. Someone opens with 74cc from MP – as you should when someone had less than 8 bigs behind you – and I wake up with AK and hold.

Next hand, someone limps and I jam 2050 with AJ. She calls it off with QJcc and I somehow dodge all the outs on AT3c8c runout.

Then someone busts after that and we are down to 7.

I have 4325 with blinds at 75/150 after being all the way down to 850.

1:42 PM: I just heard someone tell the same bad beat story for the third time while I was on break. I can’t stand the breaks here. Everyone standing around blowing smoke in each other’s faces, telling painful hand histories. Ugh. Nope, not for me. You can find me walking laps around the slot areas.

1:45 PM: Coming back to 100/200/200 with 20 big blinds and about to have my first experience with the big blind posting all the antes. Love the concept. Makes everything faster and easier.

1:56 PM: Someone opens to 800, I jam 3600 with TT and double through her KQ.

She busts on the next hand when her AQ < KJ.

We are down to six and I have 7700 now.

2:20 PM: Down to 5. I’m the shortest stack left. No surprise there since I’ve never had more than the starting stack.

2:25 PM: PEAKING! Someone opens 700, I jam 4800 from SB with AA, big blind snaps with KK and other player folds and I hold to more than double to 10.6K.

2:54 PM: Blind vs blind, he limps and calls my raise and c-bet on J87hh. We both check 5h turn (I have Ah) and I call a smallish bet on ace river and he has T9o. 😴😴

Down to 6100 and back to short stack.

3:03 PM: 3-bet squeeze jam with AJ and no caller to chip back over 9K.

3:07 PM: Four players left as someone flopped a set of aces and slowplayed his way out the door.

I just defended small blind’s raise with 75dd and decided to get it in on J52 two spade flop when he bets 1600 and I have about 7.5K. He ends up calling it off with Q8ss and… whiffs! Another double. Peaking at 18.4k.

3:37 PM: Three left. I’m the shortest but there’s a big stack and I’m basically even with the other player. I have position on the big stack and he’s been applying steady pressure on the other guy for a while now so this is a great spot for me.

3:50 PM: Chipped down. AQ loses and then top pair loses to flush.

Down to 8K and at a massive disadvantage.

4:03 PM: 3-bet jam button open with QQ and he finds a fold with an ace. Bleh. Next hand I jam JTcc on button and BB snaps with A9.

I get the KQx with one club flop, but get no love with the rest of the board and and bust in third.


We did a $100 save so I only lost $100 total.

$200 Limit Omaha 8 or Better at 7 PM next.

Stay tuned here. I will start updating this post again at 7 PM when the O8 tourney starts.

6:58 PM: About to start $200 O8 tournament. Looks like we are starting with 8K in chips with blinds at 25/50 and 20 minute levels.

I just had ATddQ2cc in 6-way raised pot, got the K87dd flop and got none of it, which seems pretty fair.

7:19 PM: Had AAJ9 on J95hhd flop and get scooped by K886 w/out hearts. Yes, I bet the flop.

Def QQJT double suited and get the Q96 flop and none of the pot.

I have slightly more than starting stack but… yeah, this has been comical already.

7:28 PM: Talking trash to a huge Twins fan and finally worked my way into an Indians more runs than Twins bet which I thought was amazing until I saw the Twins scored three less runs than Cleveland last year. Looks like a good sweat!

Also, there’s been a Big Daddy sighting!

7:37 PM: Other notables in the field: Flexx, Bill W, Slimer, The Sandman, and – almost missed him – The Invisible Man.

7:47 PM: AAQ4 suited ace in a 3-handed pot on 65386. None of it.

8:09 PM: The Joker just walked into the tournament area and when I say “walked” I mean it looks like he’s been running. Fast. And by “fast,” I mean as fast as an out-of-shape poker player can move.

He was playing short-handed $15/$30 at Palace but the game broke and he was in a 20 mile race against late registration and now he looks like he just went through a car wash.

8:47 PM: Gift shop! I have AA65 on 4329Q in a 5-way pot that is capped on flop and turn, and I don’t slow down until the river when a running flush gets there and my fellow aggressor still leads. She has 65 also (no clubs) and no one else has the nut low so I get 3/4 of this monster.

Then I have AK43 on A94K. I call flop and raise the turn. A third player in the pot calls two bets cold and the original bettor calls also. River is a nasty 5, not only making a low possible (I don’t have one) but also giving the nut low draw a wheel. We check to the turn cold caller and he bets. We both call. He turns over AJJ4 and the other guy has A9 with a busted flush draw. Neither of them have a low. I scoop. Jesus, what a torch.


9:05 PM: Last hand before break I open AA54 double suited aces, the next player cold calls and scoops me on JT4cdKd5 with QQ92cc. LMFAO.

Down to 19.8K on first break but obviously my table is unbelievably generous.

9:21 PM: It was too good to be true. My table is first to break. 🤢

9:35 PM: Slimer wearing the same UW Husky hoody every single time I see him almost makes me want to disown my alma mater. Can’t you root for the Lakers or something, dude?

9:45 PM: Defend KKQ2 one suit and it checks around on Q82 all spade flop. Turn pairs the 8 and if neither of them can bet the flop it seems like I should have the best hand unless they tripped up with a dangler. I bet, the PFR folds and the other guy calls his last 1400 with AK49 for some reason and bricks his ace and low draw to bust.

The Invisible Man just moved to my new table and he appears to have double starting stack.

I just got pretty lucky after opening button with 8643 one suit and raise-calling A54 flop and rivering a 7 to chop with 32.

Joker disappeared. Dude didn’t even say goodbye or nothing, like he mad that someone else was live and staying in the fight or something. I’m sorry man, I wasn’t trying to steal your blinds with nothing, but you’re a super aggro, tank-tapping guy that’s bluffing.

Oops sorry, got on an old school Eminem tangent there.

10:31 PM: I’ve been scooping or getting a profitable piece of basically every pot I’m playing. Been on cruise control since the break. I currently have about 48k with blinds at 600/1200 and three tables left.

10:45 PM: Sigh. UTG+1 opens AK76 and I 3-bet AK54 double suited and double barrel KQ692 before checking back river and getting scooped. Pretty hard for that hand to go wrong. Every pot is critical now… especially the 3-bet ones!

10:51 PM: Down to two tables. Flexx is taking his sweet time getting out of my new seat and I shoo him away and he laughs and says, “good luck with this table – you’re gonna be shocked.” I reply, “I doubt it.”

32k with 18 left. 8 players cash.

My new table features a Palace regular, Kirby (as in Puckett, as in the guy I made the Twins-Indians bet with earlier), and The Invisible Man. Sandman is still alive on the other table.

11:18 PM: 35K with 14 or 15 left. I’ve gone a little card dead and I won’t be opening to light since the guy on my left is playing way too many hands. I did open AAQ9 double suited from the cutoff and got the 997 flop 3-handed and. I postflop action.

On break for 10 minutes. Sandman appears to have HEAPS.

11:36 PM: The good news is there are 13 left. The bad news is I haven’t been doing any chipping up.

11:43 PM: Open A742 with nut hearts. Two callers. Flop is 977hh. Just a bloody murder of the board. You should usually never slowplay in O8, but it’s hard for this go wrong. You want to bet so someone doesn’t backdoor a low, but I have he nut low draw, so… it checks around. Turn 2. Not the worst. I all but lock up the high and I still have the second best low draw. I bet, cold caller calls and blind folds. River 4. Sigh. I bet and he calls with a naked A3. COME. ON. 🤦🏻‍♂️

12 left now.

11:51 PM: Open button with AQT9 with clubs and big defends. Flop is a terrible 663hh. I plan to c-bet and give up and he does call. Turn is a 9, which is interesting, but I don’t want to bet it. I check back. River pairs the 9 and puts a third heart on board. Note I don’t have a full house so I still lose to a flush. I think it’s quite close on betting here but this guy seems fishy and checking back seems bad against him. I go for value and he calls. Dealer tables my hand and he sort of mucks, releasing his hand face down on the table and the dealer is hesitating like he’s waiting for him to change his mind and I’m thinking “muck his fucking hand, dude.” And he finally does.

10 left. 8 cash.

12:05 AM: Final table. Everyone agreed to give 9th $300 so we are officially in the money.

Kirby, Sandman, and Palace reg all at final table.

Early clash with Sandman. He opens cutoff. I call SB with AQJ3 but clubs and check-raise the T96 rainbow flop. We both check on A and 5 run out and I have all of it somehow.

Also worth noting, The Joker and The Riddler are clashing in the no limit hold’em cash game streets.

12:24 AM: So when the table agreed to pay 9th $300 I made a joke, “so we agreed to give [Sandman] $300?” because he was coming over with heaps.

Uh, he just finished in 9th. 😮

12:38 AM: On another break. I appear to be 5th of 8 remaining.

Everyone is quite short though. I think one player has 10+ bigs.

8th place pays a measly $365 and 7th is $660ish.

Oh, Kirby just busted someone. Down to 7 now.

12:52 AM: Open AAQ2 suited ace in diamonds and Kirby defends. Flop is Q76 one diamond and Kirby check-calls. Turn is a 3 and he tanks for a while before showing Q3 and folding. Have to say I’m pretty happy about that, since I need to improve to scoop.

Up to 96k.

12:59 AM: Sigh. Weird blind vs blind cooler: I complete with T652 double suited and decide to bet KQ2 rainbow flop. Planning to give up when he calls, but I turn a 2 and a flush draw and keep firing. River is Ac, making my flush and I felt like JT was one of his more likely holdings so I bet for value and he calls with… A2 and scoops me.

Very next hand I get the rest of my stack in 3-ways with AJ52 double suited and the shortest stack (in for most of it though) scoops with A874. 🤢. I get 3/4 of the very small side pot vs AQT2.

Down to scraps.

I have half of my stack in with 7722 double suited and the button raises. I mean Jesus. This is about as bad as it gets, but half my stack is in. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I lament for a while and come to the conclusion I can’t fold.

He tables AQ95 and the flop comes JT3 (brutal). But I turn a set! 8 on the river to make his straight. GG.

6th place for $750. Meh.

I won’t be asleep until 3 AM probably so not planning to play the $200 donkament tomorrow. That means I will be taking the day off or playing $15/$30 at Palace.


Minithon Monday: $15/$30 @ Palace 3/12/18 (LIVE BLOG)

March 12, 2018

3:42 PM: Just got to Palace and didn’t have to wait long to get in the $15/$30 game.

Unfortunately I hit snooze on my alarm at 10 AM this morning and next thing I know I’m waking up at 1:15 PM. Ugh.

$15/$30 had already started at that point and I took my sweet time getting there since I was 9th on the list.

When I arrived at 3:30 there were two games going and I was third up for the second game.

I helped them restart the second $8/$16 game and picked up AA under the gun on the first hand and had a $15/$30 seat by the time I was on the button. Starting my day off with $33 sugar!

Starting lineup in $15/$30 feeder: Taz, Part-Time, Elmer and Cobra; a tight-passive lady, a weaker semi-reg, a former reg that hasn’t been coming in much, and a Shelton area player that’s been coming in recently and playing drunk and high.

4:01 PM: Tilting people already. Open QJdd, one cold call, one blind defender. Flop is 982 rainbow with one diamond. I lead, the cold caller raises, blind calls, I 3-bet, he caps, and the SB folds now. I think my hand plays fine as a 3-bet here, even though I’m out of position with queen high. I have multiple weak draws that actually combine to a pretty robust holding that does well against 9x hands or straight draws. Turn pairs the 2 and I check-call. This is actually a great card if he has 98 as queens and jacks make me a winner. So I plan to donk those cards on the river and that’s what I do when I river a queen. He calls and I’m good vs A9.

4:37 PM: Open AQo early, get 3-bet, loose button calls, I call. Flop is AJ7 with two spades. I check-raise flop and get 3-bet, other player is still in. I feel like this is a call down spot, even when the ace pairs on the turn. River is a ten and I check-call and lose to AK.

Open button with KK and only Elmer defends. He donks 873 flop and I call. Turn is a 2, I raise, he calls. River king and he check-calls with JJ. Ugh. Definitely not my optimal line, especially against Elmer since he’s so likely to bet-call flop and still lead turn.

4:58 PM: Lots of movement in the $15/$30 games. I didn’t particularly want to move to the main game but here I am.

New lineup: nitty reg, tight-passive lady from feeder, unknown player, the King of fucking Pop, loud reg with halitosis (obv sitting next to me and obv talks all day long), BVR (!), and the former reg from last table.

Wow. I don’t think I’ll be here long. They keep sitting people I don’t know in the feeder game and people I don’t know are people I want to play with.

Or maybe not. One of those unknowns just got moved to my right and I also have position on the MJ impersonator so probably have to ride this out now.

5:18 PM: One limper, I raise AA on button, both blinds call. Flop is 873 and two players check-call. Dragon Breath donks on queen turn, other player calls, and I’m so confident he’s betting a naked queen that I feel very comfortable raising turn and then betting the 6 river for value when they both check. Both fold river though.

5:50 PM: OMG. Dragon Breath just breathed directly into my face. I don’t mean in my general direction, I mean 12 mph winds straight into my nostrils.

6:00 PM: Feeder game broke so pretty happy with my decision to move. I’ve been winning lots of smaller, uninteresting pots, with some unnecessary assistance from The King of Pop. I’m up a little over $900 already and it feels like I’ve barely done anything. The good life!

6:22 PM: Bad player limps, I raise Q5cc, button calls, four of us to JJ2 one club flop. I bet and two call. Turn is 3c and I barrel. Button calls and other player folds. River ten of clubs and I make my flush. I bet and he raises. Seems like a slowplayed jack to me and I only lose to JT, so I 3-bet, he caps and shows me J3ss. What. Pretty unfortunate because this runout was primed to tilt his shit into oblivion.

Woah. There’s a Joker here. He snuck in very quietly. He’s third up for $15/$30. Hopefully that means ~9 PM.

6:36 PM: Did I say it was smooth sailing? Well, I jinxed it. Open hijack with A5dd and only BVR calls on button. Flop is 654 one diamond. Perfect to check-call and let him bluff off. Unfortunately I don’t improve and he has the 87o for the nuts.

7:04 PM: The bad news is The King of Pop is busted, the good news is he punted his remaining stack to me. I have 87 in the blinds and peel T8x flop. Four of us to turn and I check-raise him when I make trips, he 3-bets and has like 1.5 big bets behind so I help him get the rest of it in, then I make a full house on the river and we’ll never know what he had.

Joker coming into the game now, two hours ahead of schedule, but on my direct right. This dude is carrying six racks of blue to the counter right now. Not even sure if he was in that game for an hour. Jesus.

7:17 PM: Unexpected surprise: haven’t really been paying attention to the list but someone just left and one of the bigger maniacs just sat down. Haven’t played much with him at $15/$30 so no name for him. I have him and Joker on my direct right so…. Jesus Seat.

Maniac wins battle #1: he limps, I raise TT and double barrel A326 and get check-raised. It would be a catastrophe to check back this turn against him, but I also don’t feel like I can call down on this board texture. I suppose I’m ahead of hands like 65, 64, 43, etc. but I’m sure he will provide me with plenty of better spots to take his chips. I fold and I don’t feel that bad about it.

8:02 PM: I went running one card flush with AJo in a 3-bet pot when BVR had AQ and turned a queen.

Maniac started with $1200 and is already down to $300 or so. I just got pretty lucky against him as I was typing this. Turning a straight with K9cc when he had QThh on 875hh board and dodging his redraws.

8:22 PM: The maniac torched off his $1200 stack in just over an hour. Of course, he got a lot of assistance from Joker and myself on his left constantly 3-betting him light (but way stronger than he’s opening) and punishing him.

9:07 PM: Tight-passive lady picks a great time to lose her mind. Maniac limps, I raise AA, she calls SB, big blind defends. Flop is T73, one spade and she’s my only caller. Turn is a 4 and she check-calls. River pairs the 4 and she check-raises. Last thing I ever expected after that amazing runout. I’m never good against this player, but wtf? I also can’t fold. She shows me 42 of spades. WOW! And whyyyyyy?

9:44 PM: Took a really non-standard and potentially dangerous line with AA. 15 players limp in and I raise SB. Flop is 972 or something like that and since I would raise a lot of hands from the SB that can’t c-bet this flop, I go ahead and check one that’s near the top of my range, hoping I can check-raise a bet from late position. That doesn’t happen. In fact, it checks around. Ouch. Turn is a jack. Screw it, let’s try that again. I check, Taz bets, three players call, and I check-raise all of them. No one folds. River is a king. I guess I could bet here? But I’m not folding to a raise and the king improves a lot of hands people are willing to put two bets in on the turn with. It checks around and I’m good.

No, I do not recommend this line. Keep it simple, stupid.

10:23 PM: Wow. No list already. We are 8-handed now. Action Bronson and Joker played an incredibly entertaining hand where Joker button straddles and Action Bronson has declared it will be his last hand prior to action. Board is A42K and when Action Bronson 3-bets it the entire table is laughing at Joker, obviously rooting against him. I’m yelling, “come on, take this pot out of the room, buddy.” But then Joker caps it. Action still leads river and Joker calls, but Action turns up K4 and obviously that’s never winning. Joker has AA. Solid bluff catcher if I’ve ever seen one. Then Action emasculates Joker on his way out the door for just calling on the river and I chime in with “if you’re ever going to slow down with top set it should be because someone might have 53.” Good times! Wish I could have got that hand on video. Not too often you see an entire table laughing hysterically.

Shortly after that, I raise a limper with AK on button, very aggro SB 3-bets and the limper caps it (thanks bud!). Flop is A74 and I raise the small blind and call when he 3-bets. Very unconcerned about being beat here so I’m planning to jack the turn in Overs. He bet-calls and then check-calls river and I’m good.

I am up about $1600 now.

11:35 PM: I don’t know if I’m just card dead or if the game has gotten slow/bad, or maybe it’s a combination of both, but I’m kind of checked out and wondering if I want to go home instead. Pretty rare for me to be thinking like that with a full game before midnight.

I’m getting my taxes done tomorrow, which should be interesting. I already sent the IRS thousands of dollars throughout the year and I’ve been saving all my expense receipts so I’m very curious what kind of damage will be leftover. None? 🤞🏻

Crazy hand against Puss-In-Boots, making a rare $15/$30 appearance. He opens and I defend 55. Flop is T65 and he checks back. Ugh. Turn is an ace and I consider check-raising but he is overly aggressive and very capable of raising a bet. He just calls though. I guess I’ll have to get three big bets the hard way. I check-raise the 4 river and he tanks for over a minute and finally calls. And then the last I ever expect to happen, happens. I lose. He rolls 66. Holy shit! I guess I can take solace in the fact that I lost minimal bets in this mega-cooler, but what a nit/slow roll. My god.

12:24 AM: Was thinking about how cold I’m running after I 3-bet a late position open with K9cc on the button and get the 653K9 runout against 66 that is playing like they have Kx but then I flop a set of 7s in a 3-handed capped pot and get paid off on all streets, so… 🤷🏻‍♂️

1:12 AM: Just took a two orbit break and as soon as I sat back down, two players left, which leaves us 6-handed. Probably not planning to play too much longer.

The Riddler just sat down with $300 so I’m definitely not leaving now.

1:41 AM: One limper, Joker raises, I 3-bet 76dd, and, surprisingly, we go heads up to the flop. It is K65 and Joker check-calls. He usually check-raises or donks his pairs so I feel really good barreling the 2 turn and I’m pretty surprised to get check-raised. This is kind of atypical from him so I’m skeptical and peel river. Hey, it’s a 6! He bets, I raise, and he snaps so… maybe the poor bastard actually had something?

I was debating how I could write this to make myself look like a genius and make Joker look like an idiot. He predicted I would just leave it out… but there it is… in all its wonderful glory.

Riddler lost half his stack on his post hand with AK vs 55 on K5x board and now he is gone without even tangling with me once.

2:21 AM: Just played a capped pot with Joker and his AQ outflopped my JJ and I ended up paying it off after we both checked flop and if I can’t river three of a kind against this guy every time then I don’t even see any point in playing anymore.

Final Score: +$1600


Little Creek South Sound Championship $340 No Limit Hold’em Main Event – A Final Table Run!

March 11, 2018

This tournament kind of snuck up on me. The South Sound Championship series at Little Creek isn’t exactly on my radar. The preliminary events aren’t that attractive and the weak field sizes don’t really make them worth playing. You typically have to final table to make the money and probably have to finish top 3 to feel really good about it. Well, at least I would.

The Main Event is a little different though. I don’t play it every time it comes around – mostly because I forget about it – but it’s decent enough. I actually took 4th in this event back in spring of 2014 and that was a career high score for me at the time. I think I cashed for a little over $4K. 20K in starting chips for $340, 45 minute levels and the level jumps are tolerable. There’s definitely some play in it. Also, the fields at Little Creek are insanely soft. Overall, the play is surprisingly passive and pretty straight forward. There are some guys that can play and put pressure on you, but they are the Puget Sound rounders, not the locals. Most of the Shelton area players are really easy to play against. That makes this event with a deeper structure attractive even though the field size is kind of ho hum. There were 92 entrants in this one and that paid the final table only.

One annoying feature of the Little Creek tourneys is that they are 10-handed. How is this still a thing in 2018? Just brutal. 10-handed poker sucks period, but feeling crowded the whole time you’re playing makes it so much worse. And this isn’t a temporary thing. You have to suffer all day long, even at the final table.

I only had one player I’m familiar with at my starting table. The highly unorthodox, extremely talky, and slightly obnoxious Puget Sound superstar known as Flex. I actually wrote about Flex in a very unflattering light (I believe I called him “Loudmouth”) in one of my first tournament write-ups back in 2012. Oh hell, I’ll go ahead and link it even though it’s somewhat embarrassing for myself as well: Freddie’s $110 Deep Stack. It’s worth noting this was over six years ago and propping $4/$8 limit hold’em was my only job at the time. So… fair warning! Anyways, having Flex at the table isn’t a great thing. He is capable of making things difficult for you and drastically increasing your variance in a field that otherwise doesn’t require much risk early on. It also means you could double up early, so there’s that!

Levels 1-2

Blinds 25/50, there’s a raise to 150 and I defend T6hh from the big blind. Four of us see the QJ8 with two hearts flop. I end up calling 300 on the flop and all four of us are still in. My draw is pretty big, but this isn’t the board texture I expect to get folds on, so jacking it up here just bloats the pot out of position when I haven’t made anything yet. The turn bricks and I have to call another 600. I think we are heads up at this point and the small blind has been the aggressor the whole time and he checks when the river is a 9 and I make my straight. I bet 1500 and he pays it off.

Blinds 25/50, I call 150 from the cutoff with KQo with multiple players in already. The flop is Q52 with two hearts and one diamond. There are six of us in and Flex leads out for 500 (after PFR checks), player to my right makes it 1000, and I immediately have the instinct that I want to raise. That’s odd because raising seems like the worst of my options in this spot most of the time. I push this thought aside and decide to just call and see what happens. Everyone else folds and Flex calls also. The turn is the 9d and both players check to me. I do not believe this is any sort of trap and I’m not really surprised by this action considering my instincts that neither player seemed strong on the flop. I bet 1700. Flex calls and the player that raised the flop snap folds. Yup. With that said, I don’t expect to get paid off on many rivers, so I will be checking back a lot of cards. The Kd on the river is an interesting one, but before I can think too long about what I’m going to do, Flex fires out a healthy bet of 7500. There is a key piece of missing information that makes this not a snap call. I don’t have the Qd and the Qd was not on the flop. If Flex has a queen, which seems likely, then he has the Qd half of the time and it makes a lot of sense that he just went running diamonds. In fact, it makes so much sense that this might actually be a clear fold. The only other logical hand I lose to is JT of hearts. It’s also hard to come up with hands he could be bluffing with. A4hh? A3hh? 43hh? Other missed heart draws? QJo? QTo? I don’t think so. Sometimes I think I’m taking up too much time in spots that actually probably require a bit more thinking. In retrospect, all things considered – especially the bet sizing – this seems like a pretty easy fold, but in real time, I decided to pay it off even though I called out his hand before he showed it to me: queen high flush.

There was another hand at the 50/100 level where Flex had limped in under the gun, there were two other limps and I made it 600 to go with AK and Flex ends up beating me with J7o on AJ67x, making two pair and getting another healthy river bet from me. As I said, he’s sticky and drastically increases your variance. On the bright side, I decided to pot control turn and check back.

Still, after the first two levels I had 7700, which means I had lost over 60% of my stack already and was wondering if I should punt the rest of it and rebuy if I didn’t chip up early in L3 (the last level to rebuy).

Levels 3-4

Blinds 75/150, I defend J4cc from the big blind for 400. Three of us see the A84 with two club flop. I check, the next guy donks 700 into Flex (the PFR) and he calls. I started the hand with about 10K I think and, again, I don’t expect anyone to fold on the flop and I have too many chips to want to get them all in right now. I call. The turn is a 7 and I check again, the next guy bets 1000 and Flex makes it 4500. I actually give some thought to making a mathematically incorrect call here. If I make my flush on the river, I can’t imagine that Flex will be able to fold with such favorable pot odds, so I could feasibly call here and fold when I brick and probably double up when I make flushes and maybe trips. It’s 100% a bad play, but there is appeal to gambling to double up since I have a half stack and if I miss I’ll be that much closer to rebuying for a fresh stack. I ultimately decide to make the prudent play of laying it down though and so does the other player and Flex shows us both the A7.

Blinds 100/200, I open to 500 with A9 of spades and only the big blind defends. Flop is 762 with two spades and the big blind check-calls 500. The turn pairs the 2 and I decide to keep barreling and bet 1200. He calls again. Sigh. I guess I have to get there. Oh, hello 3 of spades! He checks and I have 5500 and really think if he has anything he’s going to call jam, so I stuff and he does call… with 75o and I double up to 15.5K. We’re healthy again!

Blinds 100/200, someone opens to 600, Flex calls, and I make a very loose defend with 96o. Flop is J65, I check, PFR bets 1200, and Flex folds. I think this is a standard peel. I bink the 9 on the turn, check, he bets 2100 and I make a somewhat hefty raise to 7200, he stuffs it and I snap call. He tables AA and I hold to double up to 37K. Hey, loose preflop call justified! You cooler these people when they have big pairs and they are not folding.

Levels 5-6

Blinds 200/400, someone min-raises to 800 and I call with 33 in position. Flop is 742 and he checks to me. I bet 1300 and he calls. Turn is a jack and he checks again. I already ran this hand by someone else because I ended up hating it. He has done nothing in this hand to make me think he has anything at all, so I feel like betting again here is best. I bet 2200 and he raises me to 7500. And then he proceeds to stare daggers at me. I take my sweet time with this decision and whenever I look at him, he is staring me down, not breaking eye contact. This, plus his two checks and extremely narrow value range (sets? KK, AA?), has me thinking I have the best hand and that he probably wants me to fold. I noted that we were 20K effective and this is basically a decision for his stack size. I ultimately decide this is the kind of high variance spot I’m trying to avoid in this field and make the fold, but I hated it. When I ran this by a friend he suggested checking back turn and possibly calling rivers. I countered that it seems better for me to set my own bet size on the turn while protecting my weak hand and check back rivers than it is to check turn and let him set the bet size on the river and have to play more of a guessing game. Oh well.

Blinds 300/600, I open to 1500 with TT and call a ~9k jam and hold vs AK.

Blinds 300/600, four callers and I check 92o from the big blind. The flop is K92 with two hearts and a diamond and I lead out for 1300 and get two callers. The turn is a very safe 5d and I bet 5000. The next player goes to call with a 5K chip and accidentally drops two of them into the pot, effective min-raising me to 10K. The other player folds and it’s back to me. I do believe it was an accident, but I’m also not in love with the situation. I decide to play it safe and just call. The river is the Qd, which is not a great card for me and I’m pretty happy to see him check back and my two pair holds vs KT.

Blinds 300/600, I open to 1600 with AJhh and only the big blind calls. Flop is T63 with one heart and we both check. The turn is the 2s and I call 2200. River pairs the 6 and he fires out 2600. This is the guy that was staring daggers at me earlier and this spot is much less pressure and I’m getting the same live read and basically snap call this time. He shows A9ss and I win the pot.

I have 68K after six levels on the third break of the day.

Level 7

Blinds 400/800, someone jams 5400 and I call with JJ, but wind up losing to his AJ.

Blinds 400/800, someone opens to 1700, there’s a call, and I make it 4800 with AA. The opener jams for 11K and the other player is pretty deep behind with me and goes into the tank. For the briefest of moments, I actually think he’s going to jam, but he ultimately winds up folding. I snap call and the all in tables… AA. What. The player that folded audibly winces when a ten spikes the river and claims he folded pocket tens. Considering how much time he took and that he looked like he might jam, I believed him. What a dodge! I end up splitting with the other aces.

Another player familiar to me is at my table now, a long time frenemy that I named after Batman villain Solomon Grundy a long time ago because, well, there’s a resemblance. I’ve been crossing paths with Solomon Grundy for years now and he pops into my cash games once in a while but I almost always see him in the bigger local tournaments and even sometimes on the road.

Once upon a time, I sat in a $5/$10 no limit hold’em cash game at Little Creek, thinking it was just a $3/$5 game and ended up selling action to my wife (back when she was my girlfriend and we didn’t share money yet) when I realized I was playing in a bigger game. I was a $4/$8 limit player at the time and didn’t play much no limit and certainly didn’t play it at this level (and never have again), so I was far out of my comfort zone. Anyways, Solomon Grundy was in this game and I will never forget the pain of getting all $800 I had in front of me in the middle with KK and seeing him table AA. It broke my heart and crushed my soul at the time. Losing $800 was a lot to me back then and having it all happen in one hand was stunning.

Well, I bring Solomon up because he opens the button to 3k here with blinds still at 400/800 and I look down at 99 in the small blind. He has about 16K behind and his sizing is quite big, so I decide that I’m just going to have to embrace the variance of this spot and play for stacks. I 3-bet to 10K because the big blind was deep with me, but he folds and Grundy stuffs the rest of his stack in. I snap and he tables 77 and I win a big pot and wish him well.

Blinds 400/800, very next hand and I’m on the button now and open to 2200 with AJo. I have two very capable and aggressive players in the blinds, so I don’t expect to get folds very often and I will be continuing if the SB 3-bets and probably getting it in against the BB’s stack size. Only the big defends and the flop comes down A84 with two diamonds. He check-calls 2700 on the flop and then check-calls 6000 when the 4 pairs on the turn. The river is a queen and he has about 10K behind and checks. I don’t see much upside to betting here since I’m chopping with all the aces I was beating now and it’s hard to imagine him calling with worse. I check back and win and after he makes a comment about “how does he have an ace on the button after winning a big pot?” and I wonder if jamming river actually makes perfect sense because of the metagame dynamics.

87.4K on dinner break.

Levels 8-9

Blinds 600/1200, I defend K8hh for 3000. Flop is KQ8 all clubs. Not excited to play a huge pot here, so I check-call 5500 on the flop and then we both check when the turn brings the four card flush in. The river is a blank and he sizes super small at 5200 and I pay it off.

Blinds 600/1200, one limper, button makes it 3100, and I have AKcc in the big blind. Button has been playing rather snug and we are both deep, so I elect to take the lower variance line of just flatting and taking a flop and the other player comes along as well. Flop is A73 with two spades and I check-call 3500 and the other player overcalls. The turn is the 4s and since I expect to be ahead of the button’s range and am now highly vulnerable to spades on the river, I decide to lead out for 8500. I’m a little concerned about the limper, but I also realize my hand can look like a flush here, so I think it’s fine, even though my sizing is quite small. I am happy to see both players fold.

I open to 2800 with 33 and only the big blind defends. The flop is 942 with two diamonds and he donks a hefty 6k. He has about 18k behind and his flop sizing is big, so this is a really weird spot. Still, it seems way too weak-passive to just fold flop. How often is he leading out big with strong hands? Instead of making sure I put a c-bet in first? I flat. The turn pairs the 9, which I love, but he jams for 18k, which I don’t love. This is a tough spot and I spent a long time in the tank thinking about it and came quite close to folding. Ultimately, his line didn’t make much sense to me and he did not seem comfortable at all. I was quite sure he was bluffing. My main dilemma was if he was bluffing with hands I lose to, like 4x of diamonds or 55 maybe. Since losing this pot wasn’t going to cripple me and I thought he was full of crap, I made the call and he tables A8o and bricks the river and I ship a sexy pot, leaving the rest of the table in legit shock.

Blinds 600/1200, I open to 2800 with JJ and the sticky, solid player on my direct left calls. We are heads up to AT8. Here’s the thing, I expect this guy to continue on this board texture a lot of the time and that is going to make things difficult for me if I’m the aggressor. I also expect him to bet worse hands a lot when I check and checking would be my go to line when I have hands like AK or AQ here. We both check the flop. The turn is a 9 and since I’m never bet-folding this card and I showed weakness on the flop, I think check-calling is best here. I check-call 3000. The river pairs the 8 and I am quite happy to check-call 5000, expecting to win this pot almost all the time. I don’t think he has an ace and I’m blocking straights pretty hard. Unfortunately, he shows me the 87o for trips.

I’ve been jotting my hands down all day and after that hand, as I’m typing stuff on my phone, he asks “are you writing down that I’m a donkey” and I say, “no, I wrote that down a long time ago,” which got a solid laugh out of him. We banter a little more and then he says something about “let’s just take their chips” motioning to the other players like we should just stay out of each other’s way and I’m like, “wait, what did you just call me with?”

Blinds 600/1200, I call 3100 with AJ on the button and we are heads up to KT9 flop with two clubs. I have the ace of clubs and peel for another 3100. The turn pairs the ten and he bets another 3100. I’m not sensing strength and I feel like that’s a better card for my range than it is for his, so I eventually pop him to 8500, expecting him to fold a lot. He calls though and the river double pairs the board with a 9 and I decide to give up. He shows K2 of clubs and I feel a little sick. First, that I didn’t consider 3-betting pre and second, because I didn’t put pressure on him on the river. I felt much less sick about this hand when I saw this guy pay off a turn bet and a massive river bet on a 98xQJ board with AJ a short while later (his opponent had 97). I’m pretty sure I saved chips on the river here.

Blinds 600/1200, my notes say I opened to 3500 with QQ here. That seems strange. Maybe there was a limper or I must have had some other reason to increase my sizing. Anyways, I end up getting called in three spots. The flop comes down 873 with two hearts and the big blind just donk-jams 25k. I call, the others fold, and he tables 98o. Just a total overjam spazz with a weak top pair hand. Unfortunately, his suicide attempt gets a safe landing when a 9 spikes the turn and I can’t counterfeit him on the river. The first hand of the tournament that made me truly nauseous.

Blinds 1000/2000, dealer accidentally gives the small blind a third card and the SB has it set to the side, not touching his actual hand and says “it’s this one.” Meanwhile, I’m looking down at KK in middle position, sweating the situation. The dealer calls it a fucking misdeal. Jesus, we know what card is the burn, buddy, wtf are you doing? I’m tempted to say he should call the floor, but I think that reveals my hand strength anyway, so whatever. It’s a misdeal. So gross and unnecessary.

Levels 10-11

Blinds 1200/2400, we have some bad note taking here. It says someone opens to 5000 and I make it 14k with a 60k stack and he calls. Flop is ten high and I c-bet 16k and he folds. What I didn’t list was my actual hand. I believe I had QQ.

Blinds 1200/2400, I open 6k with AA, big blind defends and folds to a c-bet and I am peaking again with 19 players left.

Blinds 1200/2400, I open 6k with AQhh and big blind defends. I bet 8500 on Q62 two spade flop and he check-raises to 28.5k, leaving himself with ~14k behind. I jam and he snaps with Q5 and I hold and bust him. Peaking!

Blinds 1200/2400, it folds to the small blind and he says “5 more” and then tosses out a single 5K chip. Dealer rules it a raise to 7400, which is 5000 more than the big blind. I’m sitting there with K7o and I’m not really liking what’s going on here. I’m not even sure saying “5 more” and throwing in a single oversized chip is a raise, and if it is, it almost certainly is a raise to 6200 and not to 7400. But whatever. I try not to be “that guy” if I can and don’t say anything. I call. The flop is 742 and the small blind hardly even looks at the flop before betting 12k. Since he is giving off such strong physical tells, I think calling and letting him continue to bluff (or folding if his demeanor changes) makes more sense than raising. Turn is a 3 and again he puts zero thought into the situation and bets 16k. Easiest call of my life. The river is a 6 and since I think my hand is good 98% of the time here and that he probably can’t call anything on this run out, I check back and win vs AK.

I now have 190k with 17 players left and average stack is 108k.

Blinds 1500/3000, I open to 7500 with KQo and someone jams to 33.4K. Easy call. He tables QJss and spikes a jack to double through me.

Blinds 1500/3000, someone opens to 7500, there’s a call, and I decide to call with KQo. Four of us see a king high flop and after the opener checks, the first call jams for ~42k total. Can’t really call with KQ pre and fold here, so I make the call and the other players fold. He tables AK and I get super lucky by spiking a queen on the turn, winning a huge pot, and busting a player. I am peaking again at just under 200k.

Blinds 2000/4000, I open to 10k with 99 and the sticky player on my left makes the call. The flop is K72 with two spades. I would pretty much always c-bet this flop texture, so I bet 14.5k and he calls. Turn pairs the king and also brings a third spade. We both check. The river is a 7, which I actually hate because this guy has proven he’s capable of having 7x hands in his range. I check again and he bets 30k. Kind of a tough spot here. What am I really beating with that he can call on the flop with? Small pairs only really. Unfortunately, he would now have to bluff with those hands. But really, it’s a pretty small range: 66-33. He would almost certainly check back with 88. Anything else he can have, I am probably losing to, unless he’s on a weird airball. Again, seems like an easy fold in retrospect, but I called and he shows KJ.

That dips me below average with 12 players left. I have 125k and average is 141k.

Blinds 2000/4000, I open to 11k with AJ and call a 40k jam and bust a player holding KT. Down to 11 and on the money bubble.

Blinds 2000/4000, button opens to 10k and I make it 40k from the small blind with QQ. I am quite surprised to see him call. Flop is 886 with two diamonds. There is 84k plus antes in the pot and he has about 125k behind. The board texture isn’t super wet, so I can probably get away with betting something like 33-40% pot here, but I decide I don’t want to do any guessing if bad turns come. I just put him all in and put max pressure on him. We are on the stone bubble, so I’m actually surprised when he starts thinking about it and when he ends up tanking for a very long time, it dawns on me that he has a real hand. A pair. I want him to call. He does. Tables JJ. Turn blank. River blank! He’s out! And I basically get a full double as we move to the final table and into the money.

In fact, I start the final table with 350k, which is either the chip lead or close to it, and the average stack is 184k.

A look at the prize pool:

10th – $608
9th – $608
8th – $1065
7th – $1220
6th – $1520
5th – $2130
4th – $2890
3rd – $4560
2nd – $6235
1st – $9580

In other words, the payouts are brutally flat. There is a bigger jump from 9th to 8th than from 7th to 6th and all the jumps are pretty insignificant until four players left. At this point, I am going to be disappointed with anything less than 4th place, I think.

Blinds 3000/6000, I open to 16k with AJ and the big blind defends. Flop is AJ9 one spade and he check-calls 18k quite quickly. He checks-calls 40k very fast on the Ts turn also. River is the 6s, which brings in a backdoor flush, but I have the ace of spades and the jack of spades is on the board, so I’m not concerned about a running flush and he has shown such an eagerness to call that I go for it all on the river and put him all in for his remaining 150k. Unfortunately, he mucks it. Still a nice pot for me to start the final table.

Blinds 3000/6000, folds to me in small blind with AJ. Big blind is nitty and has about 12 big blinds. Easy jam. He snaps and rolls QQ. Sigh. He holds and I double him up. 370k with 8 left.

Blinds 3000/6000, I open to 14k and the button calls. Flop is AKJ and I think this is a good board to pot control. I check-call 25k. Turn is a blank and I check-call 25k again. I’m very unconcerned about my hand with his bet sizing. River bricks again, I check, he bets 30k and I snap. He rolls KQ and I’m good.

Blinds 3000/6000, folds to me on the button and I have A5o. The small blind has a decent-sized stack and plays too tight to play for stacks with him, but the big blinds started with 40k and I’ll definitely get it in with him. I open to 16k and only the big blind calls, which is really strange considering his stack size. Flop is 775 and he open-jams. Snap call. He tables AT and I hold and bust him.

I am now peaking near 500k with 7 left and am totally set up to ship this whole thing.

Blinds 3000/6000, one limper, I make it 20k with AJ and he calls. Flop is QJ5 and he donks 50k. Did I say I was set up to win this thing? Hold that thought. Can I possibly fold AJ here? It is atypical to donk good hands into the PFR so the line is toying with me. But the fact that I am thinking about folding it means that my instincts are telling me something is different here. Sigh. I don’t listen to them. I decide my hand is too good to fold on the flop and if I’m not folding on the flop, then it’s hard to imagine folding ever given his stack size, so I jam. He snaps with QT and I dust off an extra 125k to him.

Blinds 4000/8000, and I’m about to make another misstep. I open to 20k with 55 and the nitty player on my left jams for ~100k. If I asked myself before the hand if I was willing to get 100k in pre against this player before I opened the answer would have been “no.” The problem is, this guy is so tight, I feel like he’s folding roughly 85% of the time. Maybe more. Since he’s almost certainly jamming AK and AQ and probably some more unpaired hands, I have to call and I end up doubling him again when his AA holds up. I actually did flop a one card four flush, but nope!

Blinds 4000/8000, I open to 22k with T9 of clubs. I am increasing my opening sizing when the sticky player that was on my left earlier is in the blinds. He calls and the flop is AAK. He checks to me and I size way down at 15k to make it look like I’m itching for a call and he folds 77 face up.

Blinds 4000/8000, I open to 23k with 44 and only the small blind calls. Flop is K76 all spades and we both check. Turn is 4d, giving me a set and he checks to me again. He has somewhere between 70k-80k and with the pot size at around 60k, I just go ahead and put him in. He then flashes me the ace of spades and a 7… and mucks. Wow. What a flop check by me and what a turn.

Blinds 6000/12000, I open to 30k with QT suited and the nit on my left jams for 85k. Goddammit. I call. He has KK and doubles through me for the third time. UGHHHHHHHHHHH.

That puts me down to 178k and the sticky, good player has all the chips now and proposes a deal. He offers us all $3500 each and he gets the rest (which is a little over $7k). I have about 15 bigs, which is either the shortest stack or the second shortest, and the second biggest stack probably doesn’t even have 22 bigs. The next player out gets $1220 and we are going to have to finish in at least 3rd to get more than $3500. I don’t particularly want to make a deal, but I have zero leverage, and neither does anyone else really. Still, I stay silent and let everyone else talk it out. I am fine playing. Absolutely fine. But if everyone else agrees, I think I have to take the deal. The reality is, the six of us are all very close to push/fold stacks and I might be the only one that actually realizes that and will play accordingly. Also, the payout structure is so flat that surviving and laddering up isn’t overwhelmingly appealing. They all eventually agree to the deal and I begrudgingly agree as well. Can’t be too upset about a $3500 return on a $340 investment, but the competitor in me was a little sad. The competitor in me also would have been pissed if I was the next person out for $1220, so….

A nice little score that gets me almost even in live tournaments for the year.

I have six more possible events in the Muckleshoot Spring Classic over the next week and after typing 5000+ words in this post, I will definitely not be posting play-by-play blogs for each event! Heck no. But I will keep you guys updated.


Friday Frenzy: $15/$30 @ Palace 3/9/18 (LIVE BLOG)

March 9, 2018

I played 8.5 hours of $15/$30 yesterday and stayed on my extended hot streak with a +$1906 day.

Didn’t have to wait too long to get in the game today (thank goodness).

Not sure how The Joker beat me to the game today, but here he is. I thought the whole day job thing was supposed to prevent me from having to look at his stupid face and listen to his annoying laugh until at least 5 PM.

Rest of starting lineup: Part-Time (back from overseas), Cobra, FBI Guy, an $8/$16 reg playing his first $15/$30 session that I’ve seen, a Muck reg, and a few non-regs.

I got to show The Joker the nut flush on 6th street before I even published this post so that’s a decent start already.

There are rumblings that Palace will be starting a $5/$5 no limit/spread game in the upcoming weeks and I have confirmed that this nasty rumor is actually true. The idea is that it will bring in different players and help fill the room, but hearing multiple players in this game saying they will play it are what my nightmares are made of. Anything that hurts the $15/$30 game is not good for me. I have no plans to play a spread game and greatly prefer limit structure. I will basically never play the spread game if $15/$30 is running. It’s a selfish response but this news makes me slightly nauseous.

3:04 PM: Well, FBI Guy played one orbit and moved to $8/$16, but he was replaced by a major producer. This guy isn’t much of a regular but I played with him last week and it was special.

In fact, we tangled as I was writing this. I open AJdd and both blinds call. He check-calls ATTcc and then donks into me (in Overs) on 3 turn. I call down and he shows me a busted flush draw with Q6cc.

3:24 PM: And the producer takes the lead in today’s war. I open AA under the gun, he calls, Cobra 3-bets, and I cap with six of us seeing the flop. My multiway concerns are diminished when it comes AQ4 rainbow. Only broadway cards are a real threat. I bet flop and get at least three callers. Turn is a 3, I bet and two call. River is one of those dreaded Broadway cards, a king. I bet, the producer raises, the other player folds and I go into the tank. This seems like JT a lot, but this guy would definitely raise me with worse so I just have to pull the trigger on a 3-bet. He snap-caps and shows me the straight. Ughhhh.

He was just complaining about how he can never beat me so, you know, good for him.

5:15 PM: Sorry long time between updates while I ate and let The Joker borrow my phone for a bit to listen to something… something EPIC.

I won a big pot with QQ and felted the producer when he decided to commit his whole $175 stack on 644 in a raised pot. We were in Overs and I had 99 so I was willing to help him get all his chips in the middle. The board ran out 644Q9, relieving any concerns I had about possibly losing the hand.

The Joker is pretty much walking on water so far. He 3-bets the button straddle from the big blind with A2o and outflops KK, my JJ, and A8. Pretty incredible. I’m sure he would want me to note that he was counterfeited on the river but the A2933 board still got him half the pot. Then he 3-bets me with 44 and gets the 442ss3 board when I flop the nut flush draw and two overs. Fortunately, I whiffed but not before we put in multiple bets on flop and turn.

Even though it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster so far, I am up around $500.

5:49 PM: I have no words. The Joker opens UTG+2, I 3-bet AK and two others call. Flop is 866dd and Joker donks. I decide to raise because he is capable of folding weak pairs to continued aggression. We are heads up to 5 turn and I bet in Overs, but I don’t expect him to fold much of his range on that card, so I’m not surprised to see him call. River is the 9d and, well, I can’t really bet that card. It’s obviously way better for his range and if I actually had a big pair here I’m not exactly sure how often I would be betting. I check back and this guy tables 84o.

84o. At a full table. With two folds in front of him. And six players yet to act. I mean… I can’t even comprehend the thought process that goes behind that one.

Edit: My mistake. There was apparently a key element to this hand that I overlooked. The producer had already limped in. There was one committed player and one fold in front of The Joker and then six (SIX!) players yet to act. To recap, one player already put money in the pot. The player least likely to make reasonable folds after the flop. Lol. Yes, Joker, that gives the play so much more merit! 😂😂

Also, I was just in the bathroom and the player to my left was using the stall and walked out without washing his hands. I mean come the fuck on. I’m supposed to sit next to this guy without vomiting? It’s almost as gross as that 84o play.

6:45 PM: Pretty strange hand here: I open KK and it’s 6-way action. Flop is T76, I bet and there’s a raise and reraise behind me. I have a bad feeling already so I just go into showdown mode and call, and it gets capped. s9 bets turn and river on T765T runout and I get a glimmer of hope when he tables JJ, but s2 tables a ridiculously passive 77 (and actually probably accidentally maximizes).

7:04 PM: Kind of struggling vs random variance today. Open KJss and the big blind defends 42o in a 3-handed pot and gets the K644x board.

7:25 PM: OMG. Horrible development. You may recall my description of The Queen and how she is the only person in the world I don’t bet against. Well, that situation resolved itself because the day after I posted that she decided she wasn’t going to play $15/$30 anymore. Well, she starts the second game tonight and then she’s the first player to move into my game. Goddammit. We never had the talk so the current expectation is we still don’t bet each other. So obnoxious.

In other news, the huge producer has won all the chips today. He has almost $3k in front of him now and his chips are more live than anyone and he seems to have zero ability to leave the casino. I would guess he’s an overwhelming favorite to felt all of it.

7:50 PM: Sigh. More turbulence. Multiple limpers, Joker raises SB, I defend J9o, someone back-raises, and 5 or 6 of us see the T7x rainbow flop. Joker checks, I check, someone bets, call, Joker check-raises, I call and five of us see the turn for two bets. Bink. It’s an 8. Joker still leads, I decide to take a high variance line and just call because I think I make more money that way. 3 or 4 players do call and the river pairs the 8. Joker still leads and I call again. Two overcalls and I tell him “I’m pretty sure I have you beat here.” And he says, “oh really? Good read” and tables quads.

Walking on water.

I feel like I’m running like crap today but I’m still up a little bit somehow.

8:51 PM: Hard to complain about this though. Back-to-back hands against the producer: I open KTdd utg, he 3-bets, I call. I check-raise T55 flop and he calls down on T556T. Next hand I check QJo in a multiway pot, bet the J98 flop, he raises and I end up outdrawing his T7 when a ten hits the river, giving me a bigger straight.

And then I just won AA and KK in back-to-back hands as I was typing this. The second one is worth talking about a bit more. I open KK utg, s3 cold calls and Joker defends. Flop is AJ5 and I check because s3 has an itchy trigger finger. He’s about to bet and then the dealer says “Overs” and he suddenly decides not to bet. Since he was coming out with chips, she makes him put the bet out and now Joker is check-raising. I think I’m actually good here so I 3-bet and they both call. There is no more betting and I’m good vs 33 and Joker’s J6. I should probably be betting the turn here since I don’t expect to get raised very often and I want to protect my hand, but all in all, I was pretty happy to get 3-bets in 3-ways on an ace high flop with KK and win the pot.

My session is back in good shape.

9:17 PM: Joker opens, I 3-bet 87cc, button calls it all, one of the blinds defends and Joker calls. Flop is 922 with one club. I bet and button and Joker call. I’m not like this so far, but the 2 on the turn is really good for my story. I bet, button folds and Joker says, “there’s no way you have a pair here” and then makes the expert lay down.

Oh oh. Joker is running bad now. So bad he’s tearing up a little and smearing his clown makeup.

I do have some other regulars at my table now: The Queen, Hit&Run, Joker, and a drunk Taz.

9:39 PM: Just had AA for the third time in two orbits:

#1: stole the blinds

#2: c-bet top set and both players fold

#3: get check-raised on 8542 and they have A3 somehow.


10:12 PM: 42o blind defense in a small pot strikes again. I open KK and it’s 3-handed to 552. The producer waits until we are heads up in Overs to donk the 6 turn. He’s so wide, I have to raise. He calls. River 3. He checks and I bet because I don’t expect straights to check and I get popped. So gross.

10:59 PM: This would be an amazing session if most of my big pairs weren’t getting smashed. Joker opens, I 3-bet QQ, and it’s 4 or 5 of us to the flop. It comes down medium-gross. There’s an ace, there’s a king, but there are three clubs and I have the nut flush draw. Hit&Run donks, Joker raises and I decide to 3-bet, hoping I might be able to check back turn if I miss. This plan backfires horribly as Joker caps it and then we both get check-raised on a blank turn. I whiff the river and Joker pays off Hit&Run’s flopped flush with 42cc. 42! That hand is owning me tonight.

I have dropped from a peak of +$1100 to +$500 as the variance eats me alive. This game is crazy now. It’s like 5+ players for a raise every pot now. Absurd amounts of gambling going on.

Running terrible now. I have T9dd on Q87d4d vs KQ and Q6. Any guesses on which hand wins? Yes, folks. It’s the magic 5 on the river.

Meanwhile, as I’m getting crushed, the producer has somehow lost back $1000.

11:38 PM: Just won a big one with TT. Joker raises and I 3-bet. A third player in the pot takes the maximum torch line: check-3-betting the flop, check-calling turn, and donk-bluffing the river on 93358. It’s hard to imagine what hand can check-3-bet that dry of a flop and bet into two players on the river and not have any showdown value. If someone tells me “you got it” at showdown, I will table if I have a reasonably good hand (i.e. not ace high or bottom pair) until they burn me one time with this move. After that, they table first forever. This guy is not in the club yet, so I didn’t make him show, but I kind of wish I had.

12:01 AM: I mentioned the game conditions, right? Well, I don’t typically limp 55 under the gun, but this game is primed for this kind of play. Multiple limpers behind me and a player that only raises big pairs pops it from the small blind. She leads the 762 rainbow flop and I make the call, expecting others to come along behind me. The price is pretty borderline here but I’m calling because I turn a lot of good cards: 3s, 4s, 5s, and, to a lesser degree, 8s and 9s all improve my winning chances against an overpair. Some players call behind and I catch the second best turn card: a 4. I call again and so does another player. The river is an 8 and I’m pretty shocked to see the small blind bet into two players calling down on this board texture, but she fires, I raise, the other player calls $60 cold, she folds, and I’m good for all of it.

12:58 AM: Playing my last orbit. Since I sold action to all the upcoming tournaments I will painfully leave this amazing game so that I can be well rested when I play the Little Creek Main Event tomorrow. It hurts though. The producer has gotten hot again and has close to $3k and I really don’t think he will leave until he loses all of it. Plus Curious George and The King of Pop are in the feeder game and will probably eventually come over. Ugh.

I also got hot again and unless multiple crazy things happen in the next few hands, I will be booking a decent win. With how many big pairs I lost today a win seems pretty fortunate.

Final Score: +$985