Saturday, January 30, 2016

Project Manhattan Session #2 - The Universe Won't Let You Cash In Bad Luck

The universe won't let you cash in your bad luck. You're never due for a win in poker. Every time you sit down your chances of getting any distribution of starting cards or good hands and bad hands during a session is the same. You can't save up your losses for a win. But you can save up your wins for a loss. After all you have the cash in your hand. While this little bit of universal unfairness is comforting when you've been winning, it's really annoying when you've been losing.

I saw down Friday night at the Oaks in a $2/$3/$5 game with $500 in front of me facing a group with two soft spots, 3 players who were solid, but predictable and 4 new faces (which is usually a good sign). The chips were moving and in the first 20 minutes I saw three or four guys get stacked in pots in the $700-$1,000 range.

In one of those pots the guy just to my right who I'll call Mr. Basic got dealt KK, ended up getting it in for about $375 pre-flop against AJ and lost. He bought back in for $500 and maybe 2 hands later got KK again and doubled up through the player to his right who I'll call Mr. Tilty.

"Damn it! Why can't I get KK and get action?" I lamented.

One or two hands later I looked down at KK. Mr. Tilty called $5 and I raised it to $25. Two players called and then the big blind went all in for $65. "Ah ha!" I thought. I wasn't thrilled about a 5 or 6 way pot with KK, but now I would have the chance to pop it again and get it down to 1 or 2 opponents. To my delight Mr. Tilty who was on tilt after losing a few big pots called the $65 (an abysmal call with just about any hand). I decided to go for a healthy raise and made it $200 to go. I figured I'd lose everyone and go heads up with the all in player, but Mr. Tilty being true to his name came along for the $200. The flop came down Q 5 3 which looked beautiful. Mr. Tilty checked, I moved all in for $286 and after some thought he slowly called. At this point I was about 99% sure I was good, but my heart was racing and so was my mind thinking of every possible way I could get fucked in this hand. Happily the turn and river bricked out, I showed my hand and both Mr. Tilty the all in player quietly mucked their cards. Huzzah!

Calling $5 preflop, and then a raise to $65 and then a 4-bet to $200 is just insane. It's a flat out awful play with any hand.

Now I was up $600 sitting on $1,100 which was enough to cover everyone at the table.

About 30 minutes later I was on the button with Q8 of diamonds and called a raise to $25. We took the flop 5 way and the board came out T 3 2 with two diamonds. The player who had been in the big blind - who I'll call Charlie Day because he looked just like the actor Charlie Day - came out firing with a bet of $100 into the $125 pot. I didn't think he'd do that with a set or over pair so that left a T or a flush draw. Everyone else folded to me and I considered my options. Charlie Day had about $500 left in front of him. He seemed like kind of an OK, but not great player. I thought about making it $250 to go as a semi-bluff, but decided it would be better to see the turn and either hit a Q or a diamond or at least get some more information. Unfortunately the turn was a 4. Fortunately Charlie Day checked and I knew I had him. I pushed $220 into the $325 pot. This was too much to call with a draw or a T. Part of the power of this bet is not just the $220, but Charlie Day knowing that if I have a strong hand, I'm going to put him to the test for his last $300 on the river also. After about 30 seconds he folded later saying he had a weak ten.

About an hour later I got dealt AQ, called a raise to $15 (I should have 3-bet here) and took the flop 6 way. The flop came down 8 6 4 with two diamonds and it checked around. The turn was a third diamond, but it was also an ace. Now the preflop raiser came out betting $60. I figured he had an ace, but more often than not my kicker would be good. The river paired the 6 and he bet out $80. Again I just called feeling like I should have the best hand, but any worse hand would likely fold to a raise, and many better hands would call. He proudly rolled over AT and I crushed his hopes and dreams with my Q kicker.

At this point I was up $950 and starting to have dreams of my own about a $2K+ night. Mr. Basic still had about $1,000 in front of him and I had such a good read on him (because he played so straightforwardly) that I figured I'd find some spots to take pots away from him or take him to value town.

Over the next two hours things very slowly went south. I won a few pots and lost a few pots. The game got a little tougher. I started to feel a little tired. Still winning about $750 I decided to play one more round and then pick up.

On my second to last hand I got AQ with the A of spades. Mr. Basic raised to $25 and I just called (again I think this should be a 3-bet, in position, especially against a player I want to target - this was a significant mistake). 3 other players called and the flop came down Q T 4 with two spades. This was a pretty strong flop for me, but Mr. Basic fired out $125 into the $125 pot which looked like a serious bet. There was no way he'd bet so strong without something good. His M.O. was small bets with misses, big bets with good hands. But I didn't think folding AQ there made sense. I called and everyone else folded.

The turn was a really interesting card - the J of spades! Now the flush draw got there, and I picked up 9 outs to the nuts, and 3 more to a straight. Plus I still had top pair working for me. Given that turn card I expected Mr. Basic to check and he did. I also expected him to fold if I bet. Given that the Q and the J (along with the 4) were spades and I had the A of spades, he couldn't have a flush. With those cards accounted for there were just no hands in pre-flop his raising range that made a flush. He couldn't have AK because he wouldn't have bet so much on the flop. In the moment I was thinking if he can't have a flush, and he can't have a straight, and he can't have the A high flush draw because I have it, then he can't call here. He can't put all of his chips at risk to call down two streets when I could easily have a flush. He's Mr. Basic! Get out of there Mr. Basic!

I bet $175 into the $400 pot. This was a little lite, but it's how much I'd probably bet with a flush and it left enough behind that I could put in a big bet on the river as a follow up. To my surprise he called leaving him self about $475 behind. "SPADE, SPADE, SPADE!" I thought. The river was the A of clubs. Huh? Now any king would make a straight. I was trying to decide if my two pair were good or if I should shove for $475. My two pair might be good, but it would be really, really tough to call $475 in this spot without a flush, and certainly if he didn't have a K or a flush, even if for some reason he thought I was up to no good, it would be a sick call. While I was thinking this through and just coming to the conclusion that betting $475 was the way to go as he could easily have a set, he bet out $300! WHAT THE FUCK! HOW THE FUCK CAN THIS GUY BE BETTING INTO ME!? Didn't he clearly put me on a flush? How could he bet here?

With only $175 left he just didn't have enough left for me to buff him off a K. I considered the possibility that he was on desperate bluff and that maybe I should call, but quickly thew that out as there were no legitimate preflop raising hands, that would bet the flop hard that I could beat on that board. I showed the A of spades and folded. He said when I bet the turn he knew I didn't have the flush because if I had it, I would have checked? What? WHAT!? You don't have a clue what you're talking about you basic bastard!

Looking back I'm almost positive he had KK with the K of spades. Maybe he had KK with no spades or KQ, but I'd bet it was KK with the K of spades.

Looking back I'm not really sure what I should have done on the turn there. Maybe a bigger bet would have worked, or maybe a check was in order. I don't know.

I briefly considered staying, but I was all worked up and decided to just pack it in and book a win. I won $430 on the night over 4 hours which isn't a bad result.

After 8 hours of play I'm up $198 for the project. I'll be back in action next Friday!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Project Manhattan Session #1: Off to a Slow Start

I rolled into the Oaks on Friday with $2,000 in my pocket, full of resolve and looking forward to getting this project underway.

I have to admit that in a few of my late 2015 sessions I walked in the door hoping to get lucky. If that's your plan, you should just stay home. This time my plan was to take my time, think hard about every meaningful decision, pay attention, try to keep to simple, solid plays and take what the table gave me.

There were three $2/$3/$5 games going which is usually a good sign. I recognized about half of the players at my table and unfortunately two of them are among the best players at the Oaks. Happily they both quickly changed tables and were replaced with soft spots.

After folding a lot for 30 minutes I got my first hand of consequence. I got dealt 87 offsuit on the button and we took a flop 7 way for $5 each. The flop came down Q 8 8 giving me trips. My 6 opponents checked to me and I fired out $25. I got two callers. The turn was a K and it got checked to me.

This was a strange spot. There were no draws on the flop (other than 4 out straight draws) and I had a tight image. If someone else had an 8 we were likely going to chop the pot, unless they had Q8, K8 or A8 in which case I was in hot water. The other possibility is they both had QX, in which case they'd almost certainly fold to a bet on the turn given the K, but might check call a small bet on the river if the turn checked through. It felt really strange to check trips last in a small pot, but the logic was clear. I checked it back and the river was a 4. After one check, the other opponent bet $30 into the $80 pot. Again, putting in more action didn't make any sense. All worse hands would fold, and no better hands would fold. I called and ended up beating KQ, which is actually just about the only hand imaginable that I could have made more from. :(

That hand was the sole highlight of the first two hours. I wasn't taking beats, but I wasn't winning any pots of consequence either. Mostly I was folding. At that point I was stuck about $200.

The biggest hand that went against me happened when I called $5 and then called a raise to $20 in the cut off vs a button raise with T9 of hearts. We took the flop 5 way and the preflop raiser bet $60 into the $100 pot on a K 3 4 with two hearts flop. One loose passive player in the field called and I called as well. The turn was a 5 and now the loose passive player bet out $100. There was $380 in the pot and the bettor had about $150 behind. In the moment I was thinking I was getting a little better odds than I actually was and that it was almost certain given my opponent that I'd get the rest of her stack if I hit it. I decided to call. For a minute I was worried about the preflop raiser behind me. But Ms. Loose Passive looked like she made a straight on the turn perhaps so I couldn't see him raising, but I could see him calling which would help my pot odds and implied odds greatly. Sadly, he folded, I missed the heart on the river and folded to an all in from Ms. Loose Passive. Looking back this one is right on the line between fold and call on the turn.

After that hand I was losing about $400 on the night.

On my next hand of note, I got dealt A4 of diamonds. I called $5, we took the flop 7 way and the board ran out T 9 6 with two diamonds. I was in the middle of the field and decided to fire $25. I got one caller. The turn was a black K which was good and bad - It was an overcard to the board which could be scary, but all of the JT, QT, J9 type of hands picked up a gut shot to go with their pair. I decided to keep on firing and bet out $55 into the $80 pot. My opponent called again. The river was a black J which missed my flush draw, but also put a one liner to a straight out there. Normally I'd fire something like $120 or even $140 into the $190 pot as a bluff, but I went for the "make it look like I want a call" size and instead opted for $75. My opponent thought for 20 seconds before making a reluctant fold.

A little later I went for another bluff. I called a raise to $25 with 22 in late position and we ended up seeing the flop 5 way. The flop came down A T 6 missing me completely, the preflop raiser bet $25 into the $125 pot and got one caller. This bet looked like total bullshit to me. There was some small chance it was AA or TT, but more likely this guy just got lost and put $25 out there. I slid $125 into the pot and both players sighed, looked at their cards and mucked them. It's so easy to just toss your deuces and move on to the next hand in a spot like this, but risking $125 to win $175 in this scenario has a huge expected value. I felt really good about that one.

There wasn't much else to report. I got KK and QQ each once and won both preflop uncontested and had one hand where I called $15 with AQ and then folded to a $400 all in, but other than that I was pretty dry preflop all night. I got 12-15 pocket pairs and never hit any sets. It was a slow night.

I put in 4 hours and lost $232. Given that my average win and average loss were both in the $800-$900 range for project 10K (I won twice as often as I lost) this is a pretty inconsequential loss. I'll give it another go next Friday!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Project Manhattan - Preview

After a solid two month break from poker I'm ready to get back at it with a new project - Project Manhattan! The project name generator told me that I should go with Project Maroon Furious Snake, but I decided to go with project Manhattan for 3 reasons: 1) Like the Manhattan project (where they developed the first nuclear bombs) I'm going to pull out all the stops do everything in my power to succeed 2) I'll be drinking Manhattans either in celebration or defeat at the end of this thing 3) I think it sounds cool.

Doing everything in my power to succeed will entail the following:

- Focusing on Fridays when I know the games are always softest
- Getting to sleep early the night before I play
- Eating right and exercising on Thursdays and Fridays
- Limiting both stress and boredom by playing 1 day a week instead of 2-3 (I might violate this one if things are going well)
- Staying when things are good and leaving when things are not so good (this one is harder than it sounds).
- Changing tables if one game is better than another and changing back if I need to
- Attempting to pay attention to the action on every hand even when I'm not involved.
- Having strong discipline when it comes to which hands to play and when to fold

I'm also going to have more cash in reserve so hopefully I can play without sweating the money too much. I'm putting together $15,000 this time around with some money coming from me and some from a group of a half dozen backers. My intention is to win $5,000 over the course of the project.

Once again my plan is to play 100 hours, and post about every session. Session 1 will be tomorrow!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Three Bluffs From My Last Session

I have been on my worst run of the year over the past month. Sometime when your results are way below average it's a matter of taking a lot of bad beats or just all around shitty play. I haven't been taking a lot of bad beats and I actually feel like I've been playing pretty well. What it feels like to me is I've just been getting a wave of frozen cards. I'm getting premium starting hands or favorable flops, turns and rivers way below expectation.

Either that or I have selective memory and I have just been running hot for the other 9 months of the year. That is always a possibility.

Anyway, I took matters in to my own hands and ran a few bluffs during my last session, because after all if you're bluffing it don't matter what ya got!

On the first hand I raised to $20 with some hand that is irrelevant. I got 3 callers and the flop came down all hearts. I had no hearts and there wasn't much reason to try to steal it vs 3 opponents out of position on a monochrome board so I checked. It checked through and the turn was a 4th heart. It checked around to the button who bet out $35 into the $75 pot. The bettor is an aggressive player who likes to make plays at pots and I knew there was no way he would have checked the flop with a big heart and I didn't think he'd bet the turn for value with a small heart. A raise here would seem a little weird, but I figured even if it felt off that didn't mean he was going to put me to the big test. I popped it to $125 and he quickly folded. When the flop came down I was done with it, and even on the turn I thought if I bet out it wouldn't look credible since I'd be unlikely to check the flop with a big heart. But I saw an opportunity on the turn, jumped on it and it worked.

The next hand had some similar elements. I called a raise to $25 with 55 and we took the flop 4 way. The board came out K 8 8 with two hearts and a club and it checked around. The turn was a J of clubs putting two flush draws out there and it checked to the last player who fired out $60. This looked really fishy to me. I didn't think he'd check a K or an 8 on the flop since he was last to act. On the other hand he could easily be betting a J or a draw. I raised to $160 and he thought for about 45 seconds before folding. Turn check raises look really strong and come with the added power of your opponent expecting a bet on the river to surely follow when you have it. I had the added bonus here of some showdown value if my opponent, called the turn, missed his draw and it went check, check (not super likely, but worth something).

The third hand didn't go quite as smoothly. I called $25 on the button vs a cutoff raiser with 98 of hearts and we took the flop 5 way. The flop was A J 6 with two spades and one diamond. It checked to the preflop raiser who bet out $35 into a $120 pot. This looked weak as shit to me and I happened to know the bettor was a little intimidated by me. I took a glance down the table at the other three guys in the hand and they were all watching TV or looking at their phones. It was clear they were done with it. So I made it $135 to go, the others quickly folded and to my surprise the main villain thought for a moment and then called.

When he bet $35 I was thinking that he could easily have a weak ace or just be C-betting whatever. When he called, my brain kind of shut down. I was surprised that he called and I got wrapped up in thinking about how I didn't really like my options on the turn rather than trying to sort out what he had in his hand. The turn came out a 7 of diamonds. This was a great card for me as I went from absolute total air to having some equity with a straight draw. He was sitting on about $325 and there was about $400 in the pot so we had less than one post sized bet in play. At this point I was not really sure what to do. I think the right move would be to just sit there for 30 seconds and tried to figure it out.

If I had done that this is what I may have come up with. I have 3 options: check it back, go all in, bet some smaller amount. There are 4 types of hands he could have: big ace, weak ace, flush draw, A6/AJ (AJ is a maybe as that would probably just move in on the flop as would sets - this guy is not tricky at all). How is he going to like facing an all in with those hands? He's going to hate it. Maybe I get called by AK, AJ and A6, but everything else is out the window and even if I do get called I have 8 outs. Can he lay down a good hand? Yes. OK it's shove time!

Here's what I actually thought. "Man, I can't believe he called. That $35 looked really weak. What should I do here? AHHHH! I don't know! AHHHHHHHH! Check and pray? Yes! That's what I'll do, Check and pray!"

My prayers were not answered. A small diamond came out completing the back door flush draw and the villain checked again. I was back to the same 3 options: check it back, go all in, bet some smaller amount. I fired out $200 immediately. If you have absolutely no hope of winning at showdown and your opponent could have also been on a draw, I think it makes sense to put something out there. What I really didn't want to happen was to check it back and lose to a hand like KQ or KT of spades or Jx or something like that. $200 may have been overkill for that scenario. I think something like $100-$125 or going all the way all in are better options in hindsight.

What I was hoping to do was make it look like I'd checked back a good ace on the flop for pot control or to avoid getting stacked against a set, but now after two checks from my opponent I was sure that I was good and betting for value. My opponent was also maybe the type of guy who could worry about me having diamonds even though that made no sense whatsoever with the action. Sadly my story was not bought and I got quickly called by A9 of spades.

There are some guys who would never in a million years fold for a close to pot sized bet on the turn with a weak top pair and a flush draw and other guys who would lament folding it, but would fold it every time with that flop action and an all in on the turn. I think my opponent is more of the latter, and regardless, against all of his other likely hands I really like bombing the turn. Honestly I think if I'd been winning lately or even up a fair amount on the day that's what I would have done, but I talked my self out of it.

I'm hoping to play Friday and Saturday of this weekend to take advantage of those sweet sweet weekend games.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What Day Should I Play and How Long Should I Stay?

I have continued to get drubbed at the tables lately. In the last month I've played 46 hours of $2/$3/$5 over 9 sessions and had 7 losers and only 2 winners. I've dropped $3,685 during that stretch. This undoubtedly sucks. Luckily if I zoom out a bit farther I'm actually $1,644 to the good over 74 hours since the end of Project 10K, but even with that in mind this is still a very disappointing run.

In my record keeping during my poker career I've often noted the date, but I just recently starting making a quick note of the day of the week. It turns out that since the end of Project 10K I've played 5 Fridays and 11 sessions on other days. I'm +$7,808 on Fridays and -$6,164 on the other days. This is a tiny sample size and I'm not going to jump to any conclusions, but holy shit! That is a major disparity!

Another thing I've been tracking is my results by the hour (i.e. how much I'm ahead or behind after every hour). Thus far the data is all of the place, but I'll be writing a future post about that once I can draw some conclusions.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Can I Make the Big Lay Down?

I've been all juiced up to play poker lately after watching a bunch of videos and making a few posts and comments on the forums at so I was excited to go play Wednesday night. I ended up sitting in maybe the worst $2/3/$5 game I've seen at the Oaks and I think if I wasn't so amped to play I might have left early.

I got involved in two tough spots against tough competition.

The villain in the first hand was late 20's slightly hipsterish looking white guy who I hadn't seen before. I didn't know what to make of him because on one hand he looked like he was super high and on the other he seemed like a really strong player. He did a lot of check raising and just by looking at his bet sizing in every spot where he showed a hand I felt like he was a strong player.

In the hand in question, I had A8 of clubs in the big blind and he open raised from earlyish position to $20. I was the lone caller and the flop came down Q 8 3 with two spades. This was a pretty good flop for me and given that I was in the blinds I expected him to bet close to 100% of his range on that board. I was all set to check and call, but he checked behind me.

The turn was a bingo card for me - another 8. It might be right to bet here, but I decided to go for a check raise. Either he checked back a big hand on the flop or had air and I think in either instance I make more with a check raise. I checked, he bet $25, I raised to $70 and he called. At this point I considered that he could have checked back QQ on the flop, but there were plenty of other hands he could have.

The river was the 4 of spades completing the front door flush draw. I decided that I thought there was no way that he'd check a flush draw last on the flop heads up vs the big blind so there was (almost) no way he could have a flush. I bet $100 hoping to get called by a hand like AA, KK, AQ, 98 or 87 or some hand trying to catch a bluff. Then he raised it to $300! GAH! I figured it had to be QQ. That was the only hand that would make any sense at all. Competing with that was the fact that this guy was either a very good player and thus capable of making a legit river bluff, or super high and just running good and thus capable of anything, or both. I called, got shown QQ and kicked myself a little for not folding.

The villain in the second hand was a mid 20's Asian guy who seemed sharp. He was limping a lot of pots and running a lot of bluffs on the turn and river. I know he was running a lot of bluffs because he showed a lot of them and got snapped off on a few as well.

Earlier in the night he bet $30 into $50 on a 6 4 3 flop and when I raised him to $75 he three bet to $210. I called and he check folded to an all in of $270 when an T came on the turn. He said he three bet the flop with air and that's about the only thing that make sense when you consider he check folded the turn rather than moving in when all I had left was half a pot sized bet.

When I say this guy was running a lot of bluffs I mean I've never seen anyone put in so many turn or river raises or $100+ bets as bluffs. But, he was also playing very in control and like I said he was sharp and not just a wild player.

To his right there was a woman who was a total novice. I mean, she didn't know how much the blinds were supposed to be and got mixed up a few times as to the denomination of the chips (there were only two colors - blue =$1, yellow =$5!). She absolutely had no clue.

On the hand in question, Mr. Bluffy limped for $5 and I raised to $25 with QJ of spades. Ms. No Clue called as did Mr. Bluffy. The flop came down Q 8 4 with two clubs, the both checked to me, I bet $50 and Ms. No Clue called. I was trying to sort out how much I could get her to call on the turn when Mr. Bluffy raised to $155.

We both had about $900 to start the hand and this is where a lot of players start to think "Well if I call another $105 here, I'm going to have to call $200 on the turn and $400 on the river and I don't want to basically go all in with one pair with a medium kicker, so I can't call here" and this is exactly why Mr. Bluffy has been bluffing so much and it had generally been working for him.

I decided that given how tricky he was I couldn't fold top pair here. I figured he'd expect me to bet any Q x x flop given the action, and could easily be taking a shot at the pot. So I called. The turn was a red 9 and he bet $250 into the $435 pot. At the time I was thinking that it was a bigger bet, more like 3/4 of the pot, but I guess it was a little less. Still a serious bet though.

I was pretty close to folding here, but four things stopped me: 1) there was a flush draw on the flop so he could be semi-bluffing with that 2) I picked up a gut shot which wasn't much but was something 3) he had run so many naked bluffs that I just couldn't give him full credit for a hand 4) I didn't have to commit the rest of my stack to calling him down - I could see the river and see what he did and then use that information to decide.

I called and the river came out a Q which although it greatly improved my hand, I didn't really think it changed anything. Either I was good with one pair of Q's because he was on a flush draw or total air or he flopped a set, and now had a full house. I didn't think there was much in between. Sometime around the time I was calling the turn bet or as the river came out I was thinking that I would not call an all in for the last $500 or so on the river. But then the Q came, sure enough he went all in for $500 (I actually had $470 left)  and I thought "That doesn't change anything. Either he flopped a set and I've been totally fucked this whole hand or I was good all the way. I should stick with my plan to fold to an all in. Fuck that, I can't fold trips to this guy." I called, he showed me pocket 8's, I did a quick check to make sure he had me covered and I headed for the door.

I ended up losing $665 on the night which is a pretty moderate loss, but I was really kicking myself on the drive home. One of the huge things that separates the 1 in 10,000 top notch players from the 1 in 1,000 and the 1 in 100 very, very good players is the ability to make big lay downs. That has never been one of my key strengths and lately more than anytime in the past 6 or 7 years, I've been walking around dreaming about playing in big games for big money. So I felt discouraged that two of the better players in the game got the best of me on two big hands. I felt like I'm doomed to be a very good, but not great player.

After sleeping on it I felt better about it.

Looking back on the first hand I think there may have been enough uncertainty. And what really were my alternatives? Checking the river would be total paranoia. Once I bet and get raised I have to be up against a full house, an ace or maybe king high flush or a bluff. Against an average player this is an easy fold as they'd never raise the river without the mortal nuts, but against a strong player getting 3 to 1 on my money I think it's an OK call.

Looking back on the second hand, there is something to be said about not being afraid to get it in. I have no doubt that Mr. Bluffy is capable of a three street bluff. That's totally in his range. The fact that a river is a Q actually increases the chances that he'd bluff one more street as it's a scary card if I don't have one.

But seriously, fuck these Q 8 x flops!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Fixing My Leaks

Every poker player has leaks. Leaks are plays you make that are not major errors, but are small mistakes that leak the profits out of your metaphorical money bucket. The more leaks you can fix the better your results will be.

Here are a few leaks I have:

- I don't pay close enough attention when I am not in a hand
- I don't closely examine my opponents for physical tells
- I don't focus hard enough on not giving off any physical tells
- I act too quickly sometimes
- I sometimes make calls with draws when the pot odds are not there
- I play too many suited connectors and suited gappers in early position (the combo of this one and they previous one is a actually a pretty big problem).
- After I've called $5 pre-flop I'm too willing to call a substantial raise with a hand that doesn't justify it

- I chicken out on some bluffs
- I don't three bet enough pre-flop
- I slow play the turn too often with huge hands hoping to induce bluff or otherwise encourage bets
- I give my opponents too much credit

The main ways I work on fixing my leaks are:

- Doing analysis away from the table (this is one of my major strengths)
- Talking over key hands with other skilled players
- Reading poker books and articles

Recently I've added a new tool - I've joined a subscription poker training website It's $30 a month which feels like a lot for a bunch of web videos and articles (i.e. the kind of stuff we're all used to being free with ads), but I'd read a few dozen articles by the owner/main guy (Bart Hanson) and they're all filled with solid advice.

Equally important is that just about the entire content catalog is geared towards in person no limit cash games and Bart's main experience comes from games in the $3/$5, $5/$10 or $10/$20 games in Southern California which are very similar to the games I'm playing. Many of the training sites are focused on how to beat online 6-max no limit games where the players are much, much tougher across the board or tournaments which doesn't really appeal to me at this point.

I had one pot that I won Friday that I would not have if not for watching the few videos I have thus far. I had AT suited and called a raise to $20 in the cutoff that came from a player just to my right. The big blind called as did the one limper. The flop came down K 8 3 with three different suits and the preflop raiser bet $30. With two players left to act and having missed the flop completely this could easily be a simple muck.

But one of the videos I'd watched touched on how K X X dry boards hit late position preflop raisers range way less often than A X X board because most players are folding anything worst than KT or K9s, but will play any Ax in late or middle late position. This is actually a pretty simple thing. You can explain it in one sentence to anyone who is not a novice. But I don't think it's something that I've explicitly thought through before. I have not been on the lookout for K high dry boards. But in this instance I did have it top of mind. I raised to $75, both other players folded and when it got back to the raiser he thought for a moment and mucked. From his perspective my raise looks really strong - I called raise preflop and then raised the preflop raiser with two other players in the pot. It's hard for him to put me on worse than a strong K.

In the end I picked up $90 I would not have so I figure Bart Hanson is going to get at least three months out of me before I cancel.

I had another big hand where I corrected an error I've made previously. There was one $5 caller from a very loose player and then a raise to $20 from a tight passive player. Mr. Tight had $95 in front of him and Mr. Loose had about $600. Mr. Loose had just called an all in of $140 with Q3 suited after calling $5 preflop and won. I looked down at QQ and raised to $50. Normally I'd probably go to $60 here, but I intentionally made a smaller raise so that if Mr. Tight went all in, which I fully expected him to do given his stack size, I'd be able to hit it again against Mr. Loose who I figured very well might call my raise to $50. In the past I've made the mistake of raising just a little too much vs a short stack, leaving myself in a spot where I couldn't put the heat on a third player because the short stack all in was not a full raise.

Like clockwork, Mr. Loose called, Mr Tight went all in for $95, and I pumped it up to $225. Mr. Loose called and I hoped for a favorable flop. When the board came out I was looked at T 7 4 rainbow and to my surprise Mr. Loose shoved for $375! I really had no idea what kind of hand would limp for $5, call $45 more and then call another $175, but I figured that any hand that could beat me would probably check the flop so  I quickly called. The turn was a K and the river was a 9. When the cards got turned over Mr. Loose showed JJ and Mr. Tight had AK. So I lost the $300 in the main pot, but won the $750 side pot.

In the end I won about $700 on the night over 6 hours and had a lot of fun playing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Friday Night Big Hands against Mr. Tricky

I headed in to the Oaks on Friday and played from about 9 until 3:30 am. The late night Friday crowd is even looser than the folks I see in the 5-9 range every week and I got involved 5-6 pots in the $1,000+ range.

On the biggest one of the night there was a raise to $20 and one call. The caller is a tricky regular player who I've played against many times. Mr. Tricky is loose and aggressive and usually either wins big or implodes catastrophically. I raised to $60 out of the big blind with black AA and both the raiser and Mr. Tricky called. The flop came down K 6 5 with two hearts and I bet out $130. The raiser folded and Mr. Tricky made it $330 to go. He had another $450 behind and I had him covered.

I know what I did, but I'm going to try to sort out what I should have done. At the time I was thinking almost all of his range was K's and draws. I think he could have KQ, KJ, KT, 87 suited, 65 suited, and then Ax or any two connected or one gap (e.g. J9) suited in hearts. That breaks down to 36 combos of one pair of Ks, 3 combos of straight draw, 22 combos of flush draw, 2 combos of two pair and 6 combos of sets. I think with this guy I'd have to throw in 10 combos of total bluffs as well. If that's all correct then I'd expect:

46% of the time I'm against one pair of Ks
28% of the time it's a flush draw
13% of the time it's a bluff
8% of the time it's a set
4% of the time it's a straight draw
3% of the time it's two pair

Looking at it this way I should be ahead close to 90% of the time, and in the middle of working out all this mess I realized that shoving is almost certainly best against both the drawing hands and the K's. I was thinking my opponent might fold his one pair K hands against a shove, but I think most of the time he checks back the turn and folds to a river bet with a bare K so I'd just end up giving him two shots to catch up with no added value.

In the actual hand I did shove after a 30 second pause and got called by 65. Mr. Tricky took about 60 second to call me and the longer it look the more sure I was that I was ahead. The turn and river were both blanks and when I showed my hand that fucker slow rolled me! He hung his head and sighed and then after a few seconds turned over his hand. He said he was relived that I didn't have KK, but whatever the reason it was a dick move.

Later on I had a chance for my revenge. This time I had AK of diamonds on the button and I've forgotten the preflop action. I know the flop came down A T 8 with two diamonds which barring a Q J T board is about as good as it gets for AK suited. I bet and happily Mr. Tricky check called. The turn was 7 of hearts, he checked, I bet about $130 and he raised me to $300. Uh oh. My gut feeling was I was against aces up. There was around $600 in the pot and I only needed to call $170 more to draw to my flush so there was no way I was folding. Plus this guy in tricky and it was a super draw heavy board. The river was a blank and he bet another $300. If I was playing my best I would have folded here, but I was still pissed about the other hand and it was about 2 in the morning so I called. I lost to J9. Son of a bitch!

Luckily I got the best of some other people in the game.

On one hand I raised KQ to $30 before the flop and got 3-4 callers. The flop came down Q T 4, I bet and got one caller. The turn was a K making me top two. I bet, and my opponent shoved with what turned out to be K9. My gut feeling was that he was really strong, but then I realized there was no  way I was folding top 2 so I called. The river was a 9 which looked awful, but was actually inconsequential. I picked up about $600 on that one.

On another I raised to $105 on the flop on an A high board and got called. On the turn I spiked a 5 and bet $210 followed by $315 on the river. I got called down by a man who was very pissed to see my hand.

In the last round I got AA again and stacked someone for about $600. In the end I booked a $150 win which broke my losing streak, but I'm still thinking about those two big hands against Mr. Tricky.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Big Advantage of the Poker Pro - Evaluating Hands and Losses

Every hand of poker you ever play will be unique. There will never be the same set of players with the same cards, stack sizes, and mental states. But situations that are similar to past situations come up constantly. One huge advantage I have over my competition is that I know how to look back at hands and sort out in detail if I made mistakes and how big they were. Anytime I can I find spots where I thought what I did was correct was not or the reverse I learn something new and increase my advantage.

I should spend more time evaluating wins, but it's human nature to look back when things have been going south.

I've put in 68 sessions at $2/$3/$5 this year and through session #62 there was only one instance where I lost two times in a row. #63 was a loser #64 was a loser, then #65 was the mega amazing $5,700 crush everyone for 7 hours win from my last post, which I followed up by promptly losing 3 times in a row.

In my last session I dropped $1,600+ in a good game and I've been thinking a lot about why.

Losing 5 out of 6 times isn't all that improbable. In fact if I win two thirds of the time there is still a 1.5% chance that I'll lose 5 of the next 6 sessions I play. So every 200 sessions I should expect 3 runs like this. Maybe I'm just hitting that bad run of cards that is inevitable. That's one explanation.

The other is that something has changed about my play or the play of my opponents. In fact I think I've narrowed down one contributing factor. I've been far too willing to make high variance plays, or put another way I've been far too willing to gamble.

Here is a perfect example from my last session. I called $10 vs a straddle with 66 and after a few more calls a wild player moved all in for about $200. Everyone else either folded or looked like they were going to fold and I was faced with a decision to risk $190 to win about $240. I called and lost to AJ.

The amateur level analysis is: I got it in when I was a small favorite. I didn't win but I made the correct play.

My in the moment analysis was: If I was up against overcards I'd be somewhere in the range of 48%-55% to win depending on the exact overs and getting better than even money that would be profitable. If my opponent was equally likely to have 22-55 as 77-TT that would be a wash as sometimes I'd be way ahead and others way behind (I discounted JJ+ as those hands would probably not shove). I should be a tiny favorite against his range and I'm getting better than even money.

My post session analysis is: Looking back I'd actually be much more likely to see 77-TT than 22-55 and that's the problem. If I'm up against a range of AT+, KQ, 55, 77-TT then I'm only 42.6% to win when I need better than 44.2%. Couple this with the non zero chance that I'm going to get called by someone behind me and this is a pretty big error.

I had a similar situation where someone with about $250 in his stack made it $150 to go vs a raise to $25 and a call. I called and on an A 8 5 flop I check called $100 and lost to 88.

The amateur level analysis is: I thought I was up against a small to medium pocket pair and I was. I was right.

My in the moment analysis was: This guy was also wild and I'd just seen him do something similar with AJ. I had AQ and decided to call and shove the last $100 on any flop fully expecting to get called, but thinking there was some small chance that I might unload a medium pair on a flop with a couple of overs or lose AK if we both missed. Essentially I knew I was risking $250 to win $300 in a spot where I was very likely to be about 45% to win, but there was some tiny amount of equity in him folding in some very specific spots.

My post sessions analysis is: Turns out if I was against AJ+, and 55+ I'd be 46.5% needing 45.5% for this to be profitable. If he's capable of making this play with worse aces or KQ my equity jumps up a bit, but if someone else calls behind me I'm usually cooked.

These are spots where if you've evaluated the situation accurately and perfectly then you have a small edge. The problem is if you've screwed something up - like maybe either of these guys are frustration shoving AA or KK because they're sick of losing or one of the guys who looks like he's ready to fold actually has a huge hand and comes along - then you've made a horrible miscue.

It's really easy to look at those two hands and think "Shit I lost two flips. I got it in close to 50/50 with some dead money in the pot both times and it's unlucky that I didn't win one of them!" That's what I was thinking on the drive home. But a deeper dive reveals it's either correct to fold or the margins or so razor thin that all you're doing is adding to your swings. If I'd just folded both I would have been out $10.

Two other big hands I had were even more gambly.

On the first I had 66 in the big blind and 6 of us saw a flop for $20. The flop came down 8 7 5 with two clubs giving me an open ended straight draw. It got checked to the raiser who bet $60 into the $120 pot. I called and then a very aggressive player with a big stack made it $300 to go. The raiser folded and it was back to me. I had about $475 left.

What I came up with in the moment is "That's a pretty big bet, this guy loves to push draws, that is probably a flush draw which means I'm actually ahead. If it's not then I should have 8 good straight outs and maybe a 6 is good also." So I shoved.

I ended up risking $475 to win $715. I missed the straight and lost to 87. But does that mean it was a bad play?

The rank amatuer analysis here is: Boo! I lost the pot! I'm stupid and/or the universe hates me.

The solid amatuer analysis here is: I was 34.2% to win and 1.6% to tie. Call it 35% to win which would mean I'd need $830 or more in the pot to make it profitable. This was a clear mistake.

The pro level analysis here is: My opponent's hand range probably any two clubs, 55-99, 87, 86, 76, A8, A6, T9, 96, 64. If I plug that into a simulator and I get that I have 41.65% equity against that range meaning I only need the pot to be $665 to make this a profitable move. But what if I've misread this guy a little bit. If he's only making that play with two pair or better I'm only 26% which is dreadful. The breakeven point on this is I need 39.9% equity so the "What if I fucked up the analysis just a little bit" factor of safety is not there. This is not a big mistake, but I'm really adding to my swings by doing this.

I just learned a lot by doing that analysis!

In my other gambly hand there was a straddle and a very loose, sort of aggressive player who is not good made it $50 to go. I had JT of clubs and we took the flop 6 way. The flop came down Q 8 5 with 1 club giving me a gutshot with a backdoor straight draw. The raiser bet out $100 into the $300 pot, which seemed weak to me. Normally I don't expect people to continuation bet into 5 opponents with air, but I thought this guy might. He had about $400 left behind and I thought about moving all in, but I was sitting on a $1,500 stack and one player left to act had me covered. I decided to make it $300 to go thinking that would be just as effective. The others folded and the raiser went all in. I called another $200 and lost to AQ.

The rank amatuer analysis here is: Boo! I lost the pot! I'm stupid and/or the universe hates me.

The solid amatuer analysis here is: This is good and bad. I made a strong move which is good, but ultimately I got it in there risking $500 to win $800 when I was only 23% to win which is atrocious. At least when I called the last $200 to win $1,100 I was getting the right price.

The pro level analysis here is: In order to sort this out we need to decide what his preflop range is, which hands he's betting on the flop and which hands he's calling our raise with and how often we win when called. I'd put his preflop range on 66+, any two cards T and higher and any Ax suited (this is very loose). There are 197 combinations of two cards that make all those hands and only 60 of them make hands that can call a raise (AA, KK, QQ, 88 and all of the one pair of Q hands). That means 69% of the time I'm going to win the $400 in the pot uncontested, 24% of the time I'll lose $500 and 7% of the time I'll get it all in and win $800.  If you sort all that out my equity in the hand is +$212, meaning if I made this play some huge number of times I'd be better off $212 per instance than if I'd folded. This illustrates the power of bluffing with a draw even a shitty one like a gut shot and back door flush draw.

But there are some major assumptions here. The biggest one of which is that my opponent is going to bet 100% of the time on the flop. Let's say he only bets AA, KK, QQ, 88 and all of the one pair of Q hands. Then I've put myself in a horrible spot of losing $500 77% of the time and winning $800 23% of the time which has an equity of -$201! ACK! 

So where does that leave us? It turns out the key here is more psychological than mathematical. Is this the kind of guy who would bet $100 into $300 with a hand that he's willing to stack off with? I thought he would have bet more if he had a good hand. It also leaves us with the notion that if a player is betting 100% (or close to it) of the flops, putting them to the test is a great idea.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What a Difference a Day Makes - A Record Breaking Cash Game Session

Coming into Thursday night I'd played 5 sessions since my last post booking 3 wins for about $900 in profit.

About 10 minutes after I got to the Oaks Club they started a new $2/$3/$5 no limit hold'em game and I bought in for the $500 maximum.

On the first hand I got dealt AQ in the big blind and when the action got to me there had been a raise to $25 and three callers. I made it $125 to go, the raiser folded, as did the first caller, but the second caller to my surprise went all in for $300. Given the action most of the time I'd expect him to have a pocket pair in the 77-TT range against which I'd be about 45% to win and I only needed to risk another $175 to win the $475 already in the pot. Sadly the board ran out all garbage and I lost to AK.

I pulled out another three hundred dollar bills and bought back up to the max. On the 2nd hand I got dealt a few players called $5 and I threw in another $2 to call out of the small blind with 86. The flop came down 7 6 5 giving me middle pair and an open ended straight draw. I bet out $20, got two callers and then someone moved all in for $175. I had about a 33% chance to make the straight and just over 50% chance to make two pair or better. There was $235 in the pot and I had to call another $155. This was a close decision. If I was up against 98 or even 87 I was totally cooked and even against something like 76 or 55 I wasn't getting the right price. But I decided to go for it. The turn and river were both bricks and I lost to 75. Ugh.

The rest of the night went similarly and after a little less than three hours I left a $1,415 loser. About 1 time in 20 I'll have a loss of that size at $2/$3/$5 and it always sucks. I went home had a glass of wine and went to bed early...

(beep, beep, beep...beep, beep, beep...beep, beep, beep). That's the noise I heard outside my bedroom window at 4 in the morning. It was loud enough to wake me up, but I felt like it could have been going on for a while. (beep...beep...beep) I tried to go back to sleep. I failed. I looked out the window and didn't see anything, but it sounded like it could be far away. (beep...beep...beep). I heard one of my neighbors go outside to investigate and I silently cursed him for the intrusion that was surely his fault. (beep...beep...beep) After 15 minutes I decided there was no way I was getting back to sleep and went out to make sure it wasn't something in my backyard.

Since it was 4 a.m. I strolled out there in my boxer briefs and discovered to my horror that the sound was coming from my garage! We're remodeling the first floor of our house so our garage is packed floor to ceiling with furniture and boxes to go along with the normal random garage junk. In my partially asleep state I struggled to find the light and when I found it I wasn't sure if it was smokey or my eyes were cloudy with sleep. (BEEP BEEP BEEP) The sounds was emanating from deep in the room and panic rose inside me as I realized that I was the dick neighbor producing loud beeps at 4 a.m.

I climbed over my dining room table and cracked my head on the garage door opener. Shit! Could the garage door opener be beeping? I unplugged it and nothing happend. I couldn't quite pinpoint where the noise was coming from and I was staring at a set of boxes that looked similar in size to where the ark ended up at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie. I went back to the other side of the room and cracked my head again on the garage door opener. SHIT! I realised that there was no course of action other than to start opening boxes. 10 minutes later on the bottom of a stack in the center of the room I found a smoke detector that was going off. I have no idea why it was going off. There was no smoke in there and it was in a closed box. I cracked my head on the garage door opener one more time for good measure while climbing out of the room and spent the next hour thinking about carbon monoxide and garage fires before finally falling back asleep.

Thursday was a stinking pile of beaver shit, but Friday dawned a new day!

When I counted my money I discovered an extra hundred meaning I'd only lost $1,315 the night before.

I made my way back to the Oaks Friday night, again they started a new table of $2/$3/$5 shortly after I arrived and again I bought in for $500.

In the first four hours I had 5 hands come up where I flopped a flush draw and every time I ended up playing a $1,000 pot. I love pushing my draws hard and I'm used to taking down a lot of pots in those spots when everyone folds. But this time someone had the goods every time and either shoved on me or called my all in shove. Luckily I made 4 of the 5 draws and found myself about $1,900 ahead!

My regular readers will know that a $2,000 win at $2/$3/$5 has been something like the 4 minute mile for me. I've gotten to +$1,900 a few times this year but couldn't seem to crack $2,000.

About this time I got dealt KK and raised to $25. After a few calls the small blind made it $125 to go. This guy was a tight player who had been pretty conservative and seemed a little inexperienced. I was almost positive he had a big hand. I considered just calling and giving the others a chance to put in another $100, but I decided my best bet would be to hopefully get it all in against Mr. $125. I made it $300 to go, everyone else folded and Mr. $125 called. I silently called for no ace and the flop came out Q 5 4. My opponent checked, I put him all in for another $300 and after about 20 seconds he reluctantly called. The turn was a king! Zing! The river was an 8 and I took down the $1,300 pot.

Now I was $2,500+ to the good. I sent my wife this picture and told her I was about to head home.

That's 540 five dollar chips, 5 hundreds and 22 ones (I was actually in for $570 after a small rebuy in the early stages of the session). When you consider that 5 of those stacks of yellow is the most you're legally allowed to buy in for in this game, it's not easy to end up with 6X that amount in front of you.

She said "Holy smokes! You sure this isn't a day to really milk it?" As I was reading that text I got KK again and stacked someone for $250. I decided maybe I should stay.

Then I really, really, really got put to the test. I was in seat 4 and there was a guy in seat 10 who had close to $2,000 in front of him (I'll call him Mr. Patient). We'd been crushing everyone else all night and had both sent a few people packing.

Mr. Patient likes to talk all the time about how his strategy is to be patient. He is good at waiting for a good hand, but when he gets one he isn't afraid to get it all in, often make huge overbets or calling down no matter what.

On the hand in question seat 3 opened for $25, I called with QJ of clubs, seat 5 called and seat 8 called. The action got around to Mr. Patient who was in the small blind and he made it $125 to go. Mr. Patient I knew would not raise in this spot without a big hand and just about all he could have was the pairs JJ-AA, or AK. That's a hand range that crushes QJ suited, and I would normally never put in another $100 preflop when I knew I was behind. But I thought if I called the guys behind me might also call too and more importantly Mr. Patient still had a huge stack in front of him and if I hit the flop hard getting his whole stack was a possibility. I called as did seat 5 and seat 8.

The flop came down Q 6 5 with two clubs giving me top pair and a flush draw. This was a fantastic flop for me as I maybe could have the best hand and had 14 cards that could come on the turn or the river that would make me two pair or better. To my delight Mr. Patient checked and at that point I put him squarely on AK. I bet out $300 into the $425 pot content to tangle with the other two guys in the pot. Seat 5 went all in for $375 and seat 8 went all in for another $8. Then to my shock and horror Mr. Patient went all in for $1,775!

At that point I figured Mr. Patient had AA, seat 5 could have had 55 or 66, some hand with a Q in it, a flush draw or 87 and seat 8 could have anything. There was about $500 in the main pot that in order to win I'd need to beat all three of them. If I called there would be another $1,100 in the first side pot that would be up for grabs between Mr. Patient, seat 5 and I. And there would be a second side pot with $2,800 - $1,400 from Mr. Patient and the same from me - that would be just between the two of us. This was a really convoluted situation.

In the end I went with the simple analysis - I had to put in another $1,475 with a chance to win ~$2,900 that was already in the pot meaning I was getting about 2 to 1 with a 50% chance I'd make two pair or better. I called.

By this point people from other games had gathered around the table and when I called there was a big "Ohhhhhhhhhhh!" from the small crowd. There was more money in that one pot than in all of the stacks at the three surrounding smaller stakes tables.

When the cards got turned up Mr. Patient had QQ! AHHHHHH! Then seat 5 showed A8 of clubs! AHHHHHHH! Now I was drawing dead for the main pot and the first side pot and only had about a 20% chance of winning the big second side pot. Mr. Patient started saying "pair the board, pair the board" over and over. The turn was the 4 of diamonds. "Pair the board, pair the board." I tried not to think about how much money I'd have left after I lost this pot. The river was...the 2 of clubs! The smallest, most lowly card in the deck! The card that people ask for most on the river when they just want nothing to change so their hand will hold up. I stood up and said "YES!" with a small fist pump. I only won the side pot, but it was big enough that I netted $900 on the hand and that 2 of clubs was worth $2,800 to me. Seat 5 won the $1,600 in the main and first side pot, and Mr. Patient walked off to I'm sure tell everyone who would listen that he lost a $4,400 pot with top set against two flush draws.

The next day my wife and I went out and bought a big ass sectional couch with a big ass ottoman that has big ass storage inside and paid for the insurance against damage and it was almost exactly $2,800. I may or may not call that couch the deuce of clubs.

Now I getting close to $4,000 to the good.

Then I saw a flop with 97, flopped a straight draw on a Q 8 6 flop, check raised the flop, missed on the turn, bet the turn anyway, hit the straight on the river, bet the river and got called. " were drawing the whole time!?" my opponent said. Actually I was semi-bluffing, but I didn't clarify and just said "Yep!"

3 or 4 hands later I got dealt 77 and called a raise to $25 from a guy I'll call Mr. Loose. Mr. Loose was one of the key reasons I was still there. He played a ton of hands and was fairly aggressive, but I had a good read on him and I knew if I could make a big hand against him I'd have a good chance to get his stack. Two other players called the $25 and I thought "If I make a set and win a big pot the whole table is going to go from jealous of my stack to just wanting to flat out punch me in the face."

Sure enough, I flopped a set! The flop came down Q T 7 and as expected Mr. Loose bet out $80. I just called and another player called behind. The turn was another T making me a full house. Now Mr. Loose checked. I decided to bet small and make it look like I was trying to bluff at it. I bet out $100 into the $340 pot. The other guy in the pot had about $250 left and Mr. Loose was sitting on about $600 more. After about 20 seconds the other guy called and Mr. Loose immediately went all in! Part of me wanted to just snap call, stand up and shout "AH HA! I KNEW I'D GET YOU! TASTE DEFEAT AT THE HANDS OF MY MIGHTY FULL HOUSE!" But there was still a chance to pick up an extra $150 from the other guy so I stalled for 30 seconds as if I wasn't sure. After I called the other guy reluctantly put in his last $150. The river was a 6 and Mr. Loose showed KK! BOOM!

After not winning $2,000 in a session all year I won $3,100 in about 90 minutes after already being up $2,600. I played a few more hand but at that point the table was so decimated there wasn't much money left to be won. I packed it in and won $5,748 on the night!

Here's what my chip stacked looked like pretty close to the end.

That's 940 five dollar chips, 15 hundreds and about 15 ones. I've had more money in front of me before (not a lot more), but never so many actual chips. Pretty sweet!

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...