Thursday, September 17, 2015

Project 10K - Final Thoughts and Stats

I ended up playing 100 hours over 22 sessions and won $6,927 which is an hourly rate of $69.27 per hour. Here are some other facts and stats:

  •  It only took me 62 days to put in those hours which was much less than the 3-4 months I'd planned.
  • I had 15 wins and 7 losses. 
  • My average loss was $825 and my average win was $847 (that's closer than I would have expected!)
  • My biggest loss was $1,660 and my biggest win was $1,846.
  • I bought 21 orders of satay chicken with broccoli and 1 order of french toast with chips, which cost me $220 so technically I won another $220.
  • I got dealt roughly 3,500 hands
  • I'd estimate I won about 400 pots.
  • I tipped about $400 at the table - about $1 per pot on average
  • I tipped another $15 at the cage - $1 each time I had a winning session
  • I tipped the janitors about $10 total
  • I paid about $1,600 in rake to the house and another $400 in rake to the bad beat jackpot
  • If I had not tipped and there was no rake I would have made about $9,350 instead of $6,927.
  • I lost $70 in 0.5 hours of $6/$12 Omaha
  • I lost $225 in 3.25 hours of $6/$12 limit hold'em
  • I lost $285 in 1 hour of $15/$30 limit hold'em
  • I lost $823 in 7.5 hours of $1/$1/$2 (including $460 that was actually $1/$2/$2 at Bay 101)
  • I won $8,330 in 87.75 hours of $2/$3/$5 ($94.92 an hour!) - ZING!
I'm really surprised that I lost at everything else buy $2/$3/$5. I actually lost more than $100 an hour at $1/$1/$2! I know that's a small sample, but that's really running or playing bad.

This was a great result overall. I was thinking I'd be really happy with a $5,000 profit so to land around $7,000 feels great. 

What comes next is I'm going to pound the oaks for a few more months and then start my next project - Project South Bay Destruction!

Project 10K Session #22 - Make a Read and Trust It

I was thinking about taking a full week off after my beat down on Friday, but when Tuesday rolled around I was in the mood to play and close out Project 10K.

I got stuck in $1/$1/$2 for a full hour and got off to a shitty start losing $150 to AJ with A9 on a A J 5 9 8 board along with another $75 to KQ with QJ on a dry Q high board.

I was sitting on a stack of $195 when I got dealt KJ of diamonds. There was a $4 straddle and I raised it to $15 to go. The button called me and the big blind who had me covered made it $35 to go. The flop came down T 9 8 with 1 diamond and the small blind moved all in! Ack! With $105 in the pot and $160 left in my stack I was not getting the right price to call if my only outs were straight outs. I was lamenting this fact when I started to think that maybe a K could be good. And then I thought about the backdoor flush possibilities. And then I looked at the $80 the guy behind me looked like he might put in the pot. I rolled that all into a ball, smushed it down into a bitter pill and swallowed it. By that I mean I called, and so did the guy behind me. The turn was a Q! ZING! The river was a T which made me a little nervous, but I ended up beating AJ in the hand of Mr. $80 call and I don't know what from the other guy.

I dribbled back my profits and left the $1/$1/$2 losing $13.

I was part of the group that sat down to start a new $2/$3/$5 and right away I noticed Mr. Action was back! "I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE!" I cackled silently to myself while I secretly hoped this guy was not my total fucking kryptonite.

I got off to a good start making plays where I made a read and trusted it in semi-dangerous spots.

After we'd played a round or two I got dealt KQ on the button. Both the hijack and cutoff hand limped in for $5 and I made it $25. After the big blind and the hijack called, the cutoff shoved for $160! I stopped to think. There was $235 in the pot and I needed to call another $135 so I was getting pretty good odds. I big pair or AK might call $5 first in, but being the second $5 caller didn't compute with a huge hand. I was 90% sure he had a pair 77-TT or so and if he did I'd be about 45% to win - more than enough when I'm getting a little better than 5 to 3 on my money. If he had a legit limp + all in hand like AK or QQ+ I was totally cooked. I moved all in to blow everyone else out of the pot and the flop came down K high! Bang! And then the board ran out 4 diamonds...but I had the Q of diamonds! BANG BANG! Not sure what my opponent had, but I was a couple hundred to the good. Make a read and trust it.

I had a little win against Mr. Action a few minutes later. He raised to $15 preflop and I called along with a few others. I had 87 of clubs in the big blind and the flop came down 9 9 5 with one club. Mr. Action bet $35 and I was the only caller. The turn was a 5, I bet out $65 and he quickly folded. I'm sure he didn't have anything and it was smallish pot, but just getting one from him with a bluff was good for momentum.

I got KQ again not too long after and again raised to $25. This time I got 2 callers and on a A J 5 board the guy two to my right fired out $25. This was a small bet into $75 and with a gut shot, position and a seemingly unsure opponent I called. The turn was a 4 and he bet $35, another small bet. "This is so weak" I thought. "It sickens me." I didn't think. What I did do was cut out $35, plop it on top of a stack of $100 and push that into the pot. My opponent grunted in dissatisfaction and mucked what I'm sure was a weak ace. Make a read and trust it!

A little later, Mr. Action opened for $15 and I looked down at AK of hearts in the big blind. "Please poker gods let me stick it to him so hard, so very very hard" I thought. I made it $45 to go and as expected he called. The flop came down J 9 3 with two clubs and one diamond. Yuck. What do I do now? There are not many times when checking heads up after 3 betting preflop make sense, but on a draw heavy board against a loose opponent, that is one of the times. I checked and happily he checked back. The turn was the 5 of diamonds and then I made a poor play - I bet $50. $50 is kind of a neither here nor there kind of bet. There is no way that 5 on the turn makes me anything and it looks like a really uncertain bet. If I'm going to bet, I should at least make it $75 and bet enough to get the job done. As I was thinking this exact thing to myself Mr. Action called. The river was the 5 of hearts which paired the 5 and missed the two flush draws.

I thought there was a good chance I had the best hand as Mr. Action would likely have bet any pair on the flop. Maybe he hit running 5's but that wasn't likely. With no reason to bet I checked to him and he grabbed a stack of chips. Then he went back for more. Then he slowly cut them out like he wasn't sure how much to bet, but kept cutting out stacks of $20. When he was done he had 6 little stacks of 4 chips each and said "one twenty." It's easy to think this through and come out on the other side thinking it's probably a bluff, but you feel like a real idiot if you call and lose to one pair of 3s that thought they were bluffing or a full house that was trapping you. "Of course that was a full house you idiot!" You'd think to yourself. But I made a read that it was a bluff and it was time to trust it. I called. "You're good" he said. I waited, thinking "don't show me a pair of 3's you action bastard!" but when he turned over his hand it was K2 of diamonds. Revenge! Trust it!

That was the big hand I got him on, but for the rest of the night I owned him in the small pots. It was like he knew he couldn't bluff me and he just gave up every time I bet. He didn't get a chip from me all night.

I had another big decision come up a little later. Once again I got AK of hearts (this shit is so much easier with good starting cards!) and this time I made it $25 from the cutoff. I was thinking I might end up making $14 on the pot which is what I'd get if everyone folded, but the button, the small blind, the big blind and the one limper all called me! Whoa baby! Now there was $125 out there with three betting rounds left. The flop came down A 8 7 with two clubs and to my surprise the big blind bet out $50. I've played with this guy a few times and I was close to 100% sure he didn't have a set. More likely he had an AT or AJ type of hand and didn't want to give a free card. The limper folded and I decided that I shouldn't mess around on a draw heavy board - I made it $150 to go. The bettor made a small grunt that sounded like unhappy surprise to me. Both the button and the small blind bailed and now the bettor thought for a minute and went all in! It looked like he had about $450 total, and I felt like I'd made it pretty obvious what I had. If I thought he probably had me on AK or AQ I should fold. But I couldn't get past the grunt (there was no way it was a fake grunt to lure me in!). And I also thought this guy might get stubborn with AQ or AJ. At the time I didn't consider 87 which was actually a pretty likely thing for him to have. Pile that all together along with getting roughly 2.5 to 1 on my money and I called fairly quickly. The board ran out brick, brick and I beat K5 of clubs! Get out of there flush draw! Trust that read AK!

All of these $2/$3/$5 hands happened in about an hour and my stack was soon towering over those of my opponents, none of whom had over $500.

I did have one heart breaking hand at about the 2 hour mark. Mr. Action had just tripled up from $135 to $400 after he got it all in against QQ and AK preflop with QT and managed to make a runner, runner straight (I was rooting for him so hard! Take from the others and give to me Mr. Action!). He straddled in middle position, I called $10 with two red fours along with two other players. When it got back to him Mr. Action made it $50 and two of us called, but the third guy went all in for $84 total. Yuck - I did not want to put in $84 preflop with 44! The flop came down 7 5 3 with two diamonds which was a pretty strong flop for 44. The small blind came out betting $75 and Mr. Action mucked. I didn't have any specific read on him (normally a bet of $75 into a pot of $350 is total weakness, but since it was side pot action that made it confusing) and that was a small enough bet that I could call and hope for a 4 or a 6. The turn was another good card the 2 of diamonds and my opponent shoved for about $175. I was all set for him to check and for me to shove so this threw me off.

I guestimated that there was about $600 in the pot by looking at it (there was actually $661) so I was getting a great price, but I had no idea what would make me the best hand. If he didn't have a diamond I was in great shape with 15 outs to a flush or a straight and 2 more maybe outs to a set. If he did have a diamond then I had 6 straight outs and 2 maybe outs which was not the right price. If he had a made flush I was drawing dead. In the end I couldn't get past that last part. I was expecting him to check and I figured that second bet probably meant a made flush. I made an unsure fold and hoped to see a river that didn't help me at all. It was the 8 of hearts which was good. I could breathe easy. Even if I didn't make the right move in theory, in practice I couldn't have won the pot. Then my opponent showed 6 3 off suit both black! "Wait...what?...wait, just wait...what?...Is that 6 3 off suit!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!...and the all in guy can't beat the pair of threes! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
After that I had about an hour of almost nothing happen to me. I just mucked a bunch of garbage mostly and won a $50 pot once or twice.

In the end I booked a win of $734 on the night which brings my total for Project 10K to $6,927 after 100 hours. Be sure to read the final recap post for more final thoughts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Project 10K Session #21 - Getting Owned by Mr Action

I got my ass beat on Friday.

I played about 30 minutes of $6/$12 limit Omaha and lost $70 and then dropped another $50 in 30 minutes of $1/$1/$2 in unspectacular fashion.

When I got to $2/$3/$5 I had two problems: the worst run of preflop cards I've had this year and the worst player in the game totally owning me.

I played 4 hours of $2/$3/$5 and got dealt TT twice, losing one and winning one, but no other pocket pairs above 55. I also only got on hand with an ace with a kicker T or higher, it was AQ and I lost with it. On top of that I didn't get a single hand with two suited cards T and above.

How far off from expectation is that? We'll I should expect to get any given pair about once every 6 hours and any given AX once every 3.5 hours and one other two above T suited (without an ace) about every 1.5 hours. So that means I should expect about 6 pairs and to get AT-AK once each, and about 3 other suited broadway hands.

I guess after doing the math that doesn't seem as epicly bad as I thought, but additionally I made no straights, no flushes, no sets, and no full houses.

An interesting thing about this total lack of anything is that it's hard to lose big pots. There was really only one big one I lost and it was my last hand of the night. What does happen is you have to keep adding $100-$200 to your stack over and over and over again.

When I was in there I got totally owned by this one guy who was destined to lose all of his chips. This guy was in about 75% of hands preflop. Pretty much any face card, any suited, or any connected hand, or any whim was good enough for him and he was often calling all action preflop with a suited hand (he called a three bet to $50 cold with J6 suited). He also fired at the flop seemingly at random and proudly showed a lot of bluffs. He was there to gamble and wasn't shy about letting us all know it.

I had 4 hands where I got into it with him in significant ways.

On the first I had Q9 of clubs in the small blind,  Mr. Action raised to $20, and we took the flop 4 way. The flop came down K Q J giving me middle pair. Mr. Action bet $50 and I called him. I figured I could easily have the best hand and if an A, T or 9 came off, I could likely take the pot down with a bet if he didn't have the key straight card. Unfortunately another guy came along with us. The turn was a A which was a great card for my bluff plan so despite the other guy I fired $125. The other guy hemmed and hawed for a bit and then folded. Sadly Mr. Action insta-shoved on me for $200. I folded and he showed KT.

On the second I called a raise out of the big blind with AQ vs another player who made it $25 to go and Mr. Action. The flop came down T 8 4, I checked and Mr. Action bet out $35 into the raiser. The raiser folded and I took one off. I had no idea what he had, but with overs and some backdoor outs and getting a good price it looked like a calling spot. The turn was a J giving me a double gut shot and two overs. I check called $70 which was about half the pot. The river was a Q and I figured I probably had the best of it, but I checked and Mr. Action checked behind. He had J8 and took it down.

On the next hand of note I took a pause from losing to Mr. Action and lost to someone else. 6 of us saw a flop of K 9 5. I had KJ in the big blind and fired out $25. I got one caller who was a loose, straightforward player. The turn was a 4, I bet out $50 and my opponent went all in for $185. Ugh. Normally a flop call and a turn raise from a straightforward player is a hand that can beat one pair. If it wasn't an all in I would have folded for sure. On the other hand I definitely had this guy pegged as a "If I'm going to call the turn I might as well go all in since I'll probably be all in on the river anyway" type of guy. I didn't think he had a better K as he would have raised with AK and probably KQ, I thought there was a chance he could have some random K hand, and if he had two pair involving the 4 I had a lot of outs. I called and he showed K4. Sadly I bricked the river and lost the pot.

Later on I was back to losing to Mr. Action. I straddled for $10 on the button (the Oaks has a Mississippi Straddle which means you can put out twice the big blind in any position and the action starts to your left - after everyone has acted it's back on you and you have the option to raise if it's still $10 to go) and as the cards were being dealt Mr. Action announced he was going to call another $5 without looking at his cards out of the big blind. I was watching him closely and that's exactly what he did. I got dealt T6, no one else called the $10 and when it got to me I just checked it. The flop came down J T 9 and Mr. Action checked to me. My pair of tens figured to be way ahead against a random two so I bet out $15. At that point Mr. Action looked at his cards and raised to $30. This was a really unusual spot as I was betting the flop against a guy who hadn't looked at his cards and he knew I knew he hadn't looked at his cards until after I bet. I would have bet $15 no matter what, so his raise didn't tell me a lot. I didn't like that it was a min raise, but I couldn't fold. The turn was a small card and he bet $30. I called and he bet $30 again after a small river card. I called again and he showed me Q8 - he flopped a straight! GAH!

Fast forward one more round and I'm back on the button and again straddle for $10. Again Mr. Action announces he's going to call dark out of the big blind and does. This time one other player comes along with us and this time I have a much better hand A4 with the A of hearts. I probably should have raised here, but when things aren't going well I don't like to push small edges. The flop was very good for me - J 7 4 all hearts, giving me a pair and the nut flush draw. Like last time it checked to me, I bet out $25, and Mr. Action looked at his cards. "One twenty five" he announced. I was sitting on about $375 which was the perfect shove stack. Against any normal player I just ship it here and don't think twice. It's really tough to call without a made flush against a big all in 3 bet and no one with a made flush would raise it from $25 to $125. Even if I'm up against that rare hand that looks me up I have 9 outs to the nuts and another 5 to make two pair or trips meaning I'm about 50/50 to improve. But I knew he was going to call me and that was a wrinkle that is normally not such a big part of the equation. With very little dead money in the pot I had to figure I was risking $375 to win $435. If all of my outs were good then I was getting the right price. In fact against a hand like Q of hearts J or clubs I'm 49% to win which is plenty good with the $60 in dead money. After a short delay I just couldn't justify doing anything but moving all in. He quickly called and said "Your flush is good." Sadly, the turn and river were both black and I lost to 77. It turned out that we had exactly the same number of chips to the dollar.

After that hand I didn't buy back in and headed straight for the door. In the end I lost $1,660 on the night. My $10,000 bankroll is at $16,193 after 96 hours. One more session to go!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Project 10K Session #20 - The 12 Shits of Christmas

I rolled into the Oaks on Wednesday coming off 4 wins in a row that netted me about $4,700 knowing that it wouldn't always be so easy and that one of these times I was going to get smushed by the deck no matter how well I played.

There was a long list for the $2/$3/$5 game and I noticed one open seat in a soft looking $15/$30 limit game so I sat down and hoped for some easy decisions.

Mostly that's what I got, but pots didn't end up going my way. I pushed the action with KJ or an Q T X board, missed everything, and got called down against AT. I flopped an A with A8 against AQ. I saw a fair number of flops and just flat out missed.

I did have one hand that stuck out more than those others. I was in the big blind with 97 of hearts and called a raise along with one other player. The flop came down J 5 5 with two hearts, the preflop raiser and I checked, and the other player bet $15 into the $100 pot. I raised to $30, the preflop raiser folded and the other dude 3 bet it to $45. When he bet $15 I was kind of hoping he was just taking a shot at it and I'd be able to win without making my hand, but now I was on to Plan B - making my flush. The turn was a beauty, the 3 of hearts and I check raised him from $30 to $60. To my surprise he 3 bet me to $90! Normally a turn 3 bet in a limit game means the nuts or close to it, but this guy had been in spew mode for about 15 minutes so a good 5 wasn't out of the question. There were no full houses that made any sense and I didn't think he'd three bet me with a flush on a paired board. I thought maybe it was an ace high flush, but it just all seemed fishy and I'd only need to put in another $60 at most to potentially win $370. I paid him off and he had 33! GAH! He three bet bluffed me on the flop and then hit the one card that makes both of us a hand. That turn card might be the sickest shit of Project 10K.

I dropped $550 in about 45 minutes at $15/$30.

I tired to put that behind me and bought in for $500 at $2/$3/$5. But unfortunately I had a huge run of hands that one at a time weren't all that bad, but everyone made me want to say "Shit!"

I raised to $25 with J9 of hearts and got one caller. The flop came down J 5 3 and my opponent check raised me from $35 to $75. I called, missed the turn, he bet $140 and I folded. Shit!

A guy with $100 in front of him opened for $45, I put him all in for $100 with AQ and he had 88. No aces or queens showed up. Shit!

I called $20 with QJ on the button vs a cutoff raiser and then on a K J X flop called $30. The turn was a small card and I raised my opponent from $50 to $125. I could make an argument for calling or folding here, but I decided to be aggressive. He moved all in for $250 more and I folded. Shit!

I called $5 and then a raise to $30 with 66. We saw the flop 4 way and it came down Q 6 3 with two clubs. A set! Hooray! When the action got checked to me I considered betting out because the raiser was a super conservative player and I didn't think he'd bet no matter what into 3 opponents. But as the action got to me, I saw him look down at his chips and I knew he was going to bet. So I checked and as planned he bet $65. Everyone else folded and I figured that if he'd check weak and even marginal hands because of his nature and the number of opponents he must really have something. So I put him all in for $225 and he called right away. He had KK, the turn was a Q and the river was a K! SHIT!

Then I get a free look in the big blind with T 6, the flop comes down 6 6 5 with two clubs and everyone folds to my $15 bet. Shit!

A little later I raise to $25 with KJ and get called by a very amateury guy who I can tell thinks he's pretty good. The flop comes out J 9 9 and Mr. Amateur bets $50. At this point I'm about 99% sure he has a J. Amatery guys who think they are good will always check a 9 here, and this guy didn't have it in him to fire a draw into a preflop raiser such as myself. He was strictly check call with draws and I'd seen him raise with AJ in a similar spot preflop so I ruled that out (along with overpairs) as well. I take my time to feigh uncertainty and just call. The turn is a brick, he pauses for a second and goes all in for $200. I snap call his ass, the river is another brick and as I'm ready to drag my pot he shows KJ and we chop it. Shit!

In the next one I raise to $40 with J8 of spades on the button vs an under the gun straddle after everyone folds to me. Only the small blind calls and the flop comes down 7 3 2 all clubs. He checks and I waive the white flag. Things are not going well today and I'm just not going to fire at this one with total air. I check behind and the turn comes the ace of diamonds. Well shit, I can't not take a shot after an ace comes out. I bet $65 and he thinks for a bit before calling. The river is the Q of clubs, I fold to a bet of $100 and he shows me AT of clubs! I try to give up against a guy who has flopped the joint and I can't just get a 7 or a ten or something on the turn, it has to be an ace! Shit!

I get QQ in the big blind and everyone folds preflop. Shit!

Then I get AA in the small blind someone goes to $40 out of nowhere. I consider calling, but when things aren't going well it's best to keep things simple so I reraise to $100. My opponent quickly folds. Shit!

I never fold the small blind if there is not a raise. I've decided that it's always worth it to throw in that $2 when it gives you a chance to win a few hundred. I'm not sure if it's right to call with the very worst of hands like 72 or 82, but 99% of the time I call the $2. But a lot of the value is in being able to spot times when no one can call and having the confidence to fire. Trying to keep things simple I didn't want to hunt for a thin value bluff. So I mucked 92 for $2, the flop promptly came down Q 9 2 and someone hand just called the $5 with AQ! Normally I'm good about not caring about what I could have made when I've folded, but this time I was like "Shit!"

Then I get AA again. Finally pocket aces! I raise to $15 and get called by only the small blind. The flop comes out J 9 5. My opponent checks, I bet $25 and he shoves for $150. Of course I call and the board runs out K Q. I kind of figure I'm going to lose to QJ or K9 or something when my opponent turns over AT! GAH! He shipped it into my pocket aces with total air and made a runner runner straight. I'm 95% to win when the money goes in there. Shit!

I did manage to win a few small pots in between these shitty hands, but none of them were interesting or larger than $100 and it just turned out when I looked back at my notes that these were the ones that I wrote down. At that point I was losing a little over $1,200 on the night including the -$550 at $15/$30 which was really not all that bad considering.

Then I had a couple of major hands come up.

One the first one there is a raise to $20 from Mr. Amateur, one call and I raise to $60 with AK. Mr. AT from the last hand who is in the middle of a nuclear meltdown where he keeps buying in $200 every 10 minutes for I don't know how long calls the $60 out of the small blind and both of the other guys call as well. There is $240 in the pot and the flop comes down K 9 9 with two hearts. Mr. AT immediately goes all in for $78. At that point Mr. Amateur who is sitting on about $800 asks me to move my arms so he can see how much I have left. Turns out I have $478 in front of me which is fucking awful because I've been there for 4 hours buying back up to $500 every time I get below $400 and I can't put anything together. Anyway the point is, I don't think he's got a 9 if he's worried about how much I have in front of me. After a short delay he just calls, the 4th guy in the pot bails and it's on me. I decide to keep it simple - there is almost $400 in the pot, I have $478 left, it's a draw heavy board and I'm all but sure I have the best hand. That means all in time! I shove and Mr. Amateur thinks for a full minute before folding A5 of hearts face up. The board runs out two black cards and Mr. AT shows 74 of hearts! Note that he called $57 more out of the small blind with 74. It doesn't take much more than one guy like that to make a game hugely profitable.

The next had was just absurd. I call a raise from Mr. Amateur to $25 with 98 of diamonds. Mr. AT shoves for $95 and gets called by the guy in the small blind, and Mr. Amateur. At this point I'm sure that the small blind has a big hand and that it's probably AA or KK. You don't cold call $95 without a huge hand. For me $70 more is a lot to put in with a prospecting hand like 98, but I've got some chips in front of me now and I decide to gamble a bit. The first card off the deck is a 6 and I think "Man it would be great to flop a straight here!" The next two cards are a 7 and a T!! I count 6 7 8 9 10 in my head four times in a second just be sure, sure that I actually had my dream flop come in and did in fact make a straight. Just as I finish confirming that to myself many times the small blind shoves all in for $400! I insta-call and the turn looks like the worst card imaginable, the 9 of clubs putting 3 clubs on board. I briefly consider which profanity I'm going to spout if another club comes off, but the river is a red 3 and I see that I'm up against KK with the K of clubs (as expected) and poor Mr AT who is in the middle of his meltdown has 66 and flopped a set!

Those two got me within a couple hundred dollars of even, but the "shit!" hands picked back up for a bit after that. I had three hands where I put out a bet of about $100 either as a raise on the flop or a bet on the turn and got shoved on all three times. In each case I didn't have anything close to call worthy.

In the end I lost $593 on the night after 6 hours of play. Amazingly even with a large number of hands that didn't go well I only lost $43 at $2/$3/$5.

My $10,000 bankroll is at $17,853 after 91 hours of play. I'm back in action Friday night. If things are going well and I'm feeling good I might go for a 9 hour super session to close this thing out. Especially if I have a shot for my elusive $2K+ win which would get me to double up territory for the project. If not I'll have one more session sometime next week and then I'll recap the project as a whole and what my plan is next.

T-Pain thinks I can do it!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Project 10K Session #19 - Hit and Miss

Since I have been crushing mother fuckers left and right I decided to push it and head in to the Oaks for another session on Sunday.

I sat down at $2/$3/$5 and discovered that it was a shockingly tight, passive game for a holiday weekend. It seemed like 45 minutes would pass between pots over $200. I don't really mind this type of game, but one wild player would have made it perfect.

My session boiled down to two big hands, although there was one had that played into the story before those.

On the prologue hand I had A5 of hearts and the flop came down T 4 2 with one heart and two diamonds. I check/called a bet of $20 into a $25 pot against an opponent I'll call Mr. T-Pain (because he was dressed how I imagine T-Pain would be dressed on a casual Sunday).

Bottles of Patron Ooo Ooo Ooo, I bet twenty bucks and now it's on you you you

With a gut shot, an over card, a backdoor flush draw and a plan to fire if a scary card came off I called the $20. The turn was a 5 giving me a little something extra to go with my plan. I check called $30. The river came out the 8 of diamonds completing the obvious flush draw and I decided that was scary enough that I might unload a pair of tens. I bet $75 and got snapped off by Mr. T-Pain's T4 two pair. Drat!

Now on to the main hands! 

In the first there were a couple of callers and then a raise to $35 by a player I'll call Mr. S. Mr. S is a solid player who can make a big laydown and as a result can also get taken off a big hand. One hand in a past session I three bet him preflop, he called and then check folded QQ on a J high flop. On this hand I had 98 of spades and called out of the big blind hoping some of the limpers would come along as well. One of them did and we took the flop 3 way. The cards came out 5 2 2 with two spades and when we checked to Mr. S he made it $75 to go. I could argue for calling here with my flush draw, but I decided to get aggressive and made it $225 to go leaving me another $200 in my stack. If Mr. S had unpaired big cards I'd almost certainly win right there and more of his hand range should be non-pairs than pairs. Also there was always some chance he'd unload a pair when faced with stacking off. I kind of wanted to go all in, but I thought that would scream bluff. After some careful consideration he put me all in, I called and he showed KK. The turn was the T of spades completing my flush and the river was a blank. ZING!

This was by far the biggest hand of the past hour so everyone was watching closely and we talked about it for a couple of minutes after. Mr. S said he'd lost KK three times that day and it was the second time he'd lost to 98.

One round later I was back in the big blind and got dealt Q9 of clubs. Mr. T-Pain came in for a raise to $25 and 4 of us saw the flop. To my delight the flop was three small clubs. No need to draw this time! I quickly checked as did the other players and Mr. T-Pain bet out $75. "This is fucking perfect!" I thought. I'd just check raised a bet of $75 when I was on a draw, I know Mr. T-Pain saw it, and I was pretty sure he wasn't going to forget snapping me off of a bluff earlier. I made it $200 to go and after some careful consideration he went all in for $600! I snap called, the board ran out two red cards and I gobbled up the pot. Yum Yum! He said he had AA with the A of clubs and I believe him.

Making or missing draws can often have a huge effect on your results (like what happened to me in Session #7) and this time I got the double whammy of making my draw and having my opponent miss his in the two huge pots of the night. Also beating KK and AA was pretty sweet too!

In the end I won $1,005 in 2.5 hours. My $10,000 bankroll is at $18,446 after 85 hours.

$99.36 an hour! Take that haters! Oh and just call me T-Pain - Mr. T-pain is my father.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Project 10K Session #18 - 88 Miles Per Hour

I rolled into the Oaks on Friday a little later than usual. Normally I head there straight after work and get there right as the daytime players are leaving and the evening players are rolling in. This time I got there around 6:45 and it seemed that everyone who was playing in the one $2/$3/$5 game was just getting started. I didn't get into the game until 9.

In those 2 hours and 15 minutes I found myself in a bit of poker purgatory. I was at the $1/$1/$2 game, it was a great game, and I couldn't win a pot. It was an hour before I won my first pot and that was the only one I won at that table. If you read my last post and you'll remember I listed out 7 or 8 hands where I raised, bet and won. This time around I had 7 or 8 where I only made it through those first two steps. Raise to $10, bet $25 on the flop and then get forced to fold or check, fold the turn. Or Raise $10, bet $25 on the flop, bet $50 on the turn and get forced to fold or check, fold the river.

I dropped $345 before getting called to the bigger game. Happily shortly after I sat down my good friend E.B. sat down next to me. I don't know if it's coincidence or if the way he plays alters everyone else's play so the conditions are ideal for me, but whatever it is I almost always do well when we play together.

I had $500 in front of me and was in for $1,100 (i.e. losing $600) when things started to turn around.

I got dealt KJ off suit in late position and raised a few $5 callers to $30. I got 4 callers meaning there was $150 in the pot. This can be kind of a sticky spot if you flop one pair. I could easily find myself in a spot where the flop comes down J high, I bet $125 and someone puts me all in for another $350 or goes all in for a lesser amount. They might do that with a worse J or a draw, but they'd also do that with most better hands as well. If the pot is smaller and the stack to pot ratio is larger to take more bets and usually more betting rounds to get it all in. With that extra information it's easier to sort out what your opponent has. Luckily in this case the flop came J high, but there were two jacks! I bet $100 on a J J 8 flop and everyone folded. Not a huge hand, but more than $100 in the right direction.

On the next big hand I raised to $45 with AQ of hearts against a straddle and a limper and they both called my raise along with one other player. The flop came down K T 4 all diamonds and they checked to me. I decided to not fire into 3 players with air and checked it back hoping for a black jack on the turn. The turn was the J or clubs! OK, now I have a straight, but it's far from the nuts. The straddle bet out $60 and got raised to $120. Ugh. Normally the min raise is the kiss of death, but there was $360 out there and given that it checked around on the flop the raiser might have a two pair type of hand or even a K with a diamond. I called and the guy who bet $60 folded. The river was a non diamond 9. I was thinking about how big of a bet I could call when my opponent checked! Now I was almost positive I had him. I wanted to bet an amount that a hand like KJ or a hand with a Q could call. I landed on $125, bet it and got called. My opponent didn't show. I picked up about $430 on that pot and was back in black on the night.

A little later I called $5 wit K6 of clubs in the cutoff and we took the flop 6 way. One opponent bet out $20 on a Q J 9 with two clubs board. I considered raising with my flush draw straight draw combo, but decided to just call and there was one more call behind me. The turn was the A of clubs! Bingo bongo! Now I had the nut flush and my goal was to figure out how to get the most money into the pot. The first player checked and as he did I saw the other guy in the pot who was behind me go for his chips. He only had $77 left and he grabbed the whole stack eagerly like he was going to shove them all into the pot. I changed my plan from bet to check in a fraction of a second and quickly checked right after the first guy. Sure enough the $77 went in and the other guy called. I didn't want to lose the other guy and it was possible he was drawing dead or close to it so I made it $200 to go. I could see him thinking "What the fuck!?" as this was a weird way for the turn action to play out. After a short pause he called. The river was a brick and after a check, I bet out $230. I wasn't sure how much my opponent had left as he and the dealer were partially blocking my view of his stacks but I thought he had less than 3 stacks left. I also thought announcing "all in" or asking how much he had left might look too strong and give him a reason to fold so I just guessed when I chose $230. After a long pause he called and didn't show leaving about $10 left in his stack! I netted about $550 on that one.

On the next big hand E.B. called $5 in front of me, I called $5 with 88 and a couple of other players came along. The flop came down K 8 4 with two spades and E.B. bet out $25. I just called with my set hoping the other guys would come along and one of them did. The turn was a small spade completing the flush draw. The other guy checked, E.B. bet $55, I just called again and the other guy went all in for $197. Normally that check raise would mean he had a flush, but this guy was kind of a nut and I thought there was as good chance I still had the best hand. E.B. was sitting on about $700 and I was thinking that if he put in another raise here I'd be forced to fold, but when he just called I called as well. The river was an amazing card - the fourth 8! Quads baby! E.B. made a little motion towards his chips and I started to feel a little guilt about stacking him well up inside me, but then he checked. I grabbed two stacks planning to push $200 out there and he insta-folded. He told me he had AA with the A of spades! He saved himself a lot of money by not raising preflop here. That was another one that was close to +$500 for me.

A little later I got 88 again. And I flopped a set again! And I got action again. I came in for a raise and got one caller. I'd just played a hand with this guy where I called $40 on the flop and $90 the turn with just a pocket pair of 5's and won after a check check river and I figured he might be out for revenge! I also thought that he might be thinking that I was thinking that he was betting lite since I'd just caught him bluffing. That's high level poker people! Don't fuck with me! After the flop came down K 8 3 I bet $40 and he takes it to $110. At this point I have him squarely on one pair of kings. I take my time calling and when the turn comes out a 7, I check. He pushes $175 into the pot leaving $225 in his stack. I consider just calling again, but I don't think I'm going to get another bet from just a bare K on the river and taking into account what I was thinking about what he was thinking I was thinking, I decided to go all in. He pretty quickly called, the river was a blank and I picked up another $500+ net to me winner.

The next big hand of the night was one I didn't win, but was still one of the sweetest. I called $5 with 66 and flopped another set! The board was 9 8 6 with two spades, I bet $25, and got called by two players. The turn was a 9 making me a full house and making me invulnerable to the flush and straight draws which were the likely holdings of my opponents. So I checked and to my sadness it checked around. The river came out and it was awful, an 8. Now anyone with an 8 or a 9 had me beat with a bigger full house. I checked and the next guy to act bet $35. I didn't really like my hand, but I had to call such a small bet. When he showed his hand he had 98! He'd made a full house on the turn too and if he'd bet or the other guy bet any amount on the turn it would have been lights out for me. He had over $400 in his stack on the turn and if he bet, I would have raised and he would have reraised. Instead I only lost $65! This was an amazing dodge.

After I left the $1/$1/$2 I had almost nothing bad happen to me. I racked up my chips a couple of rounds later and left about 11:45. This is what my stack looked like (Disclaimer: this is actually a picture of E.B.'s stack after I left, but that's almost exactly how much I had). Those white chips are $100 chips. I love the other stack in the picture! How hopeless does it look for that guy sitting on $90?

I ended up winning $1,865 on the night! My $10,000 bankroll is at $17,441 after 82.5 hours. Baller Alert!

Friday, September 04, 2015

Project 10K Session #17 - Easy Decisions

I wasn't going to play this week, but on Thursday when my wife said "Are you going to play today?" that was all the prompting I needed.

It ended up being a short session of about 2.5 hours, and it was loaded with easy decisions.

I started off at $1/$1/$2 and on my second hand I got dealt Q9 of clubs in the small blind. After a few calls there was a raise to $19 and a few other callers. Stretching the preflop standards a bit I called as well. We took the flop 5 way and it came down 9 5 2 with one club. We checked to the preflop raiser who pushed $30 into the pot. Betting $30 into a $100 pot looked like desperation to me. He only had about $100 in front of him and I figured if he had the goods he would have shoved. I looked at the other players left in the hand and they didn't look all that happy. So I shoved for $175. The guy who bet $30 called all in which I didn't love, but the board bricked out and when I showed my hand it was good.

A couple of hands later I got into a similar spot. I called a raise to $17 with JT against 4 opponents. The flop came down J 7 4 and the preflop raiser shoved for a little over $100. I was the last one left in the pot when it got to me and riding the high of my last hand I called him. This time I lost to KK. In writing the last paragraph I now realize that I should have stuck with the all in means they have it and the weak stab means they don't most of the time, but oh well.

I took a tidy $45 profit with me as I went over to $2/$3/$5.

There the easiness really hit its stride. On my 4th or 5th hand I got dealt A3 of hearts. I called $5, there was a raise to $30, a call, and I called as well. The flop came down 7 4 2 all hearts! Hey hey! I checked and the preflop raiser bet $55. I was praying he had something and just called. The turn was a black 9 and I checked again. I was hoping he'd put me on a bare big heart and bet big to protect his hand. As desired he bet out $150 into the $200 pot. If he'd bet a little less I may have just called, but he convinced me that he really had it. I thought an overpair with a heart was a possibility, but if he didn't have a heart a 4th heart on the river would kill my action. In the end I decided that $150 looked a like a very good hand so I went all in for $400. He quickly folded.

The very next hand in the big blind I got dealt KK and there was a raise to $20 and a call in front of me. I made it $60 to go and the caller called me. The flop came down J 7 3, I bet $85 and took it down.

A couple of hands later I got dealt AA and again there was a raise and a call in front of me. This time I made it $70 to go and both opponents called. The flop came down 7 7 T which was great for me. If they didn't have 77 or TT I was ahead (I had them folding any other hand with a 7) and way ahead at that. To my delight one of them moved all in for $197. I hemmed and hawed a bit to see if I could lure in the other guy, but he quickly folded once I called. The river bricked out and I won.

After one round I was up about ~$700! Hey this is easy! One of the other players pointed at his chips and said "Should I just give these to you now?" and I said "Sure! My gift to you will be I'll just take them now and then you can have the rest of the night free to do whatever you want!"

At that point I had to go out to my car for a minute and I went to the bathroom. I got back just in time for the big blind and looked down at 97. I flopped two pair on a K 9 7 board, bet the flop and the turn, checked the river, and beat 86.

Mr. Should I Just Give These To You Now said "Man, you walk away from the table, sit back down and get two pair right away. Easy game."

The I had one decision on one insane hand that wasn't hard, but did take some careful consideration. I called $5 with A5 of clubs, a middle position player made it $25 to go the button called him as did the small blind. We took the flop 4 ways and it came down T 8 3 with one club. It checked around. The turn was a great card for me - the 2 of clubs. Now any club would make me the nut flush and any 4 would make me a straight. Also there was no way that 2 helped anyone. The small blind checked and I bet $75 fully expecting a bunch of KQ or AJ type hands to all fold. But then the middle position player made it $150 to go - the min raise indicating a very big hand. Then the button went all in for $625! And the small blind went all in for $225! What the fuck is going on here? You all checked the flop and now you're all going all in?

For me it was math time. There was $100 in the pot preflop. Middle position had his $150 plus another $200 that I figured was going in. I put $75 in the pot already and I had another $550 to call. So I had $100 + $150 + $200 + 75 + $625 + $225 = $1,425 in the pot and $550 to call. I had 12 outs to make a flush or a straight and there were 46 unknown cards left so I had 26% chance to improve meaning I'd need more than $2,115 in the pot to make a call worthwhile.

I can tell you in the moment my analysis was not so impeccable. I ball parked the pot $1,200 and thought I needed to put in about $500. That was clearly off, but there were 6 different piles of chips in varying levels of easy to count and it was a quick count. I also ball parked what I'd need in terms of pot odds at about 3 to 1 in the 1 second I thought about it. After about 5 seconds I knew I was short of what I needed. But I decided to do a second count and be precise about how much everyone had just to be sure. While I was doing that I thought "Duh, you idiot one of them must have a set so the 3 and 8 of clubs are no good meaning you only have 10 outs." I spent another 10 seconds mostly lamenting that I didn't have odds to call and just taking my time to be sure sure and then folded.

Mr. Middle Position called and they all turned up their cards. Middle Position had 33, the button had TT and the small blind had 88! They'd all flopped sets! Even though I knew I'd made the correct fold, I didn't want to see a club on the river. When it came out the river was an 8! A one outter for the small blind. Holy shit! That was a crazy hand.

At that point I started a run of maybe 60-90 minutes where I won every hand that I either raised or called a raise. They weren't all that big, I just won them all.

Called a raise with QTs flopped a Q bet it on the turn and won.

Raised KQ and got 3 callers. Decided to check it and it got checked around. The turn was a ace that also completed a flush draw (the worst card in the deck) and it checked around again. It checked around on the river and I won.

I three bet AK vs a raise and a call and won.

I raised T9 of spades, the flop came down K 9 3 with two spades, I bet and won.

I raised JJ out of the big blind, the flop came down K high, I bet and won.

I raised KJ the flop came down all small, I bet and won.

I raised AQ and the flop came down all small, I checked, it checked behind me. The turn was a J, I bet and won.

7 hands where no one made anything or took a shot at me!

Then I finally got a little resistance. One player straddled for $10 and I made it $40 to go with AK of spades and only the straddle called. The flop came down 9 5 3 with two spades and one club. I bet $40, he called. The turn was the 7 of clubs, I bet $80, he called. The river was the A of clubs. I checked hoping he'd take a shot at it and figuring any worse hand would fold to a bet. He checked back with Q9 and I took it down.

Mr. Should I Just Give These To You Now said "Man, even when you miss the flush draw it's like hey here's an ace."

A couple of hands later, Mr. Q9 straddles again and I get AK again. At this point I'm fully expecting to lose. I've just gone too long with everything working so well. I make it $40 again and this time instead of calling he shoves all in for $175. Of course I call and the board runs out J 7 6 5 T. I'm thinking that I lose to any pair and most of the aces. I show my AK and he goes to turn over his hand. He picks it up and I see AT, the guy next to me says "Ace ten?" and I think, "well it had to end sometime." But when he pushes it out in the middle of the table I see that it's really A9! Ha ha!

I played about another half hour and mostly got garbage. I did have one small bluff not work, but it was not very expensive. At that point I started thinking that if I left right then I could catch my kids before they were asleep. I latched on to that idea and hit the road earlier than normal.

I walked out the door a $1,446 winner on the night. My $10,000 bankroll is at $15,576! Whoop whoop! 77.5 hours in the books and 22.5 hours left to go. This weekend is a holiday weekend which is traditionally the best time to play so I'm going to put in at least one if not two sessions.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Project 10K Session #16 - How to play when you're tired in a bad game

Don't do it.

On Monday after making 3 good, but not great hands and getting somewhat paid off in a somewhat unspectacular way I looked around at the game I was in. "This game is not great. I'm tired" I thought. So I left after 2 hours with a $358 win.

My $10,000 bankroll is at $14,130 after 75 hours.

Project 10K Session #15 - Tough Decisions

Winning poker is about making better decisions than your opponents. In fact you'll hear many of the best players talk about how as long as they feel like they made the best decisions with the information they had they'll be satisfied with the results. Usually when you crush your opponents you find lots of easy decisions and when you lose you look back and feel like you had a lot of tough ones.

My first tough decision came against a guy who looked like he was probably a college student and looked about 20. Mr. 20 called $5 preflop on the button after one other call. I had AQ in the small blind and made it $35 to go. Only Mr. 20 called. The flop came down 2 2 6 and I bet out $60. At this point I felt pretty sure he had a small or medium pocket pair. When the turn came down a Q I thought "A ha! Even if he called me lite on the flop he's sure to bet here if I check." I checked and he checked behind me. Crap. The river was a 6 which was a shitty card and I checked again. I checked, Mr. 20 bet $90, I called and he showed me J2. "Mother fucker!" is what I thought, but what I said was "Mother fucker!" To be clear this was more of a general exclamation than calling Mr. 20 a mother fucker. Mother fucker.

A little later I got dealt A9 of clubs and called Mr. 20's raise to $25. We took the flop heads up and it came down A Q 5 with one club. He bet $45 and I called. I figured he'd bet here with any raising hand so I really hadn't narrowed down what he had with that bet. The turn was the 8 of clubs making me a flush draw. Now Mr. 20 bet out $120. This was a big bet. If I hadn't picked up the flush draw I think I might have given him credit for a better hand than mine and folded, but given the clubs I decided to call. The river was a 6 and Mr. 20 bet out $200. This is where the tough decision came into play. On the turn I thought AK was a likely holding, but I didn't think he'd bet it again on the river. With AQ, AA, QQ, 55 and 88 (the real monster hands) I didn't think he'd bet so big on the turn. He was a tricky guy and I thought there was a real chance he could be firing off a three barrel bluff on me. It seemed fishy and I was getting 3 to 1 on my call so I called. He showed me 66. Mother fucker! I think the hand plays out the same if no 6 comes.

Later I raised to $25 with AJ and got 3 callers. The flop came down A 5 2 with two diamonds and I bet $65. The both called. This was a dicey spot. My hope was that one had a worse ace and the other had a diamond draw but even in that best case I still had to fade a lot of outs. The turn was a black 3. I didn't think they were likely to have a 4 in their hands, but you never know. One guy had $120 and the other had $200 so I didn't have to risk a ton to get to showdown. Even though I didn't really like it I figured a check would be too weak and I decided I could still have the best of it. I shoved. They both called - yikes! The river was the 9 of clubs and I beat A8 of diamonds and T6 of diamonds - hooray!

I had a few good things happen to me and found myself about $400 to the good when my next tough spot came up. I got dealt black QQ, raised to $35 from the big blind and got 3 callers. The flop came down K 7 3 with two clubs. This is kind of a tough spot with an underpair, a shallow stack to pot ratio and being out of position. This time I went with when in doubt, fire and I fired out $100 into the $140 pot. A guy who is a total nut and would call anything went all in for about $80 of it and another more reasonable player called as well. The turn was the J of clubs. Now I didn't know what the fuck to do. Mr. Reasonable could have a K or a flush or he could have 98 or A7 or who knows what. He also had about $600 in front of him. My indecision led to a check this time and Mr. Reasonable bet out $200. This felt like an "I've got it" bet, but there was about $620 in the pot and I thought there was a good chance that if this was a bluff it was getting checked back on the river. The river was a red 2 - Yuck! I checked and now Mr. Reasonable bet out $100. Ugh. I knew it was either a move of total desperation after a failed turn bluff or trying to squeeze some last bit of value out of a flush. I called and it was the latter - he had 97 of clubs. Grrrrrrr!

On the very next hand I got dealt AK. The guy in Seat 3 made it $25 to go, and got called by Seat 4. When it got to me I made it $70 to go. Seat 3 just called and then Seat 4 looked down at his remaining chips and said "well...I guess I'm all in" and made it $112 to go. What really sucks here is that I couldn't reraise. I'd raised the $25 bet to $70 which is a raise of $45. He reraised it another $42. If he had $3 more or I'd raised to $65 instead of $70 I could have shoved here. I was pissed I hadn't taken a closer look at the short stack and thought it though a little more. With no other choice, Seat 3 and I both called. The flop came down T 7 7. Now what? I fired out $200 with the hope that he didn't have a pocket pair, but he insta-shoved on me for $700! GAH! I folded and the turn was a K! Double GAH! The river was a brick and Seat 3 won with JJ! Triple GAH! I think if Seat 4 has $3 more or I make it $65 we get it all in preflop and I stack him.

After this one I was out of sorts and decided it was time to go. I played to the big blind and picked up. I lost $287 over 4 hours. My $10,000 bankroll is now at $13,772 after 73 hours of play.

My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions

After four and a half years working for StubHub I wrapped up my time there in March. I've been at the poker tables 3-4 days a week since...