Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vegas Recap Part 3

When I last left you (which was a long time ago, thanks to having out of town guests & a music festival to attend), it was Midnight in Vegas on a Saturday and the four of us were nowhere near drunk. Completely unacceptable. Although Mark was riding high after a $1200 day on video poker, I was still feeling the sting of various gambling losses, including a full buy-in loss at $1\$2 at the MGM Grand.

We needed drinks fast and as cheaply as possible. We all know the solution for this.

PAI GOW !!!!

Mark and I had such a good time the Flamingo that we set off to head there but somehow got lured into Bill's (formerly the Barbary Coast). I think it was just a stop for drinks or something, but we ended up finding a $10 Pai Gow table with enough seats for the four of us.

We started off with a friendly dealer, and within 10 hands, he was dealt Pai Gow at least three times. We were all up a couple bucks, and already had drinks in our hand. Sadly, he got replaced soon afterwards by a dealer who I described as a "reign of terror". All I remember was that she was from Venezuela, never cracked a single smile, and tried her hardest to take all our money. Stuff like holding flushes over KK, etc.

Being at a $10 Pai Gow table on a Saturday night in Vegas at Bill's meant that drink service was very sub par. In fact, it made me do one thing I absolutely hate to do in Vegas: pay for my own drinks. Never mind that I'd already blew more money on gambling than the drinks were worth; it's a matter of principle to me. But we were just barely cracking the buzzed level, so it was time to step up the drink frequency.

We grew tired of the Reign Of Terror and, with our intoxication in full effect, decided to head further down the strip. To quell Mark's desire for cheap casinos and
my girlfriend's & my desire for Subway at 2am, we headed down to Casino Royale.

I ordered my usual from Subway: Spicy Italian, toasted, with cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapenos, and mayo. And even though it ended up being a $10 sandwich, at that time of the night, as drunk as I was, it was the best god damn Subway I've ever had. I honestly don't remember much, but I remember sitting down, playing video poker, eating a foot long sub, with lettuce spilling all over me, randomly hitting buttons in between bites of the most glorious sandwich ever. I must have looked like a complete drunken slob but I can tell you that for those 2 minutes, I was in bliss.

We started hitting the wall around 4:30am so we grabbed a cab to head back to the resort.


We woke up around 11am, said our farewells to Mark & Becky as they began the drive home to Arizona. We still had some time to kill before our 9:30pm flight, so we headed to Caesar's. Being the Food Network junkies we are, we wanted to check out Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. But the bad beats just don't stop in Vegas, do they; the place closed for lunch about 10 minutes before we got there. So instead, we had to "settle" for Wolfgang Puck's Spago. I had a pretty fucking delicious pancetta-wrapped meatloaf while my girlfriend went for some pasta dish.

I wanted to get some gambling in on the last day so I settle for some Roulette. I bought in for $60 and worked that down to about $38 when my girlfriend was getting antsy to leave. So I went for gusto on the middle section, putting $20 on the outside and painting the inside with one on each number and a couple corners. I had one chip left so I doubled on 16 since we both have a birthday on the 16th.

Bounce, bounce, bounce, stop. 16

BOOM!!! And just like that, our lunch at Spago was paid for, courtesy of Caesar's.

We headed back to the suite, cleaned up, checked out, and headed to the airport around 7pm. While we were standing in the ticketing line, my girlfriend started feeling ill; cramps, breaking out into sweats, and very nearly fainting. With the help of Southwest Airlines (and in all my life, I never thought I would honestly make that statement), we were able to get checked in while I cared for my girlfriend. We're still not sure what caused that but she rested for an hour and was pretty much back to normal.

But, of course, this is Vegas, and the beats don't end, not even at the airport. Especially not at the airport. First, our flight was delayed an hour. So, to pass the time, we sit down at the slots, where I drop another $60. So much for having that lunch paid for by Caesar's. Please just let me get the fuck out of Vegas soon.

Finally, we got on the plane around 10pm, suffering through a 2.5 flight without an ounce of any good sleep, and made it safe & sound in our bed by 1:30am Monday morning.

Coming up next, how I've lost about $1k at the $1\$2 tables over the past week or so!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vegas Recap Part 2


I started Saturday off with a series of coughs that woke up everyone in our suite that wasn't already up. The combination of a week-long cold + stale cigarette air did quite the number on me. I finally got up around 9:30am (again, early by Vegas standards) and drank some beers with Mark until the girls got finished making breakfast.

Drinking beer at 10am while the women slave over breakfast in the kitchen. Livin' the dream.

After breakfast, I headed down to the pool with my girlfriend and her sister. Every time I've been to Vegas before, I've never ever been to the pool where I stayed. But the intent of this trip wasn't to gamble & drink until I collapsed, but to find a better balance of debauchery & degeneration. Hanging out in the pool with my girl was probably one of the better moments of the trip, and not just because it didn't cost me anything either.

We got back to the room around 12:30, and Mark & Becky were already napping. The girls decided this was a good idea, but I had other plans. I could have used a nap myself, and I was slightly worried that no nap would mean I would fade out early again, but I knew this was going to be my only chance to hit up some cash games, so I hopped on the shuttle to head to the MGM.

I got in there around 2pm and got seated at a new table shortly thereafter. I bought in for the max and started sizing up the players. I sat down in the 3 seat, giving me the best view to see everyone. Aside from the husky guy with sunglasses in the 5 seat, I didn't feel like I had to be concerned with anyone else. There were a couple of obvious donks (not including myself) bleeding cash, including one in the 8 seat that flipped up his hand on the river thinking it was checked down, showing KJ on a T high board. He grabbed his cards, then the 10 seat bet out pot, and he STILL CALLED. The 10 seat showed top pair and grabbed an extra $15 with that call. The 8 seat looked thoroughly lost the entire time but sadly got felted without sending any chips my way.

About 45 minutes into the game I finally started raking in some nice pots, including:

- KK on a T high board, getting calls until the turn
- AJ where I bet flop, checked turn, and bet river without a piece of the flop, knowing my opponent was on a missed draw
- 56 where I turned the nut straight & check raised an additional $30 on the river.
- AK against a tight old lady who probably had AQ yet still gave me action on an AKxxx board.

There were a couple other smaller pots in there too, but within about a half hour, I was up from $200 to just over $500. Things were looking pretty sweet.

Then I got caught up in a couple hands against a muscle jock from SoCal and ended up sending most of my profit in his direction:

Hand 1. Raise up with QQ. Bet out on J high board. Check-call bet from muscle jock. Check-call bet when T hits the river. He shows JT for the bad beat. I doubt a check-raise would have forced him off the hand on the turn, but either way I didn't really want a fold and chalked it up to a bad river card. If anything, had I thought it over some more, I probably could have saved $50 on the river if I paid closer attention to how confident he was.

Hand 2: Limped with T9. Flop comes J97 and semi-tight younger lady bets pot for $15. Muscle jock calls and I raise to $50 on the semi-bluff. Muscle jock calls. Turn is an A and I lead out for another $50. Muscle jock calls again but doesn't look comfortable. River is a blank and I bet $85. Here's where I make a mistake. I have about $275 behind me and bet $85 into a $220 pot. I needed to bet more to induce the fold. He very nearly folds, even asking if I flopped the straight. He's gotta be on something like QJ at this point. He takes nearly another minute then says "this is probably a bad call but I think I'm committed". He shows KJ and takes down the pot. I blame myself for this hand for the bad bet sizing as well as thinking I could bluff him out of the hand to begin with.

I dropped down to about $175 when I got the hand that did me in. 3 people limp before it gets to me on the button with KK. I raise it up to $21, expecting at least one limper. Instead, I get all four. Flop comes down a pretty decent KJ9 with two spades, but I already feel like I'm in trouble. EP leads out for $50, MP calls, and I push for $155 more. They both call. Any guesses?

EP: 87 sooted for the flush draw + gutshot
MP: The Mookie for the OESD

MP hits a 7 on turn, EP finds a spade on the river, and my set goes down in flames.

I let out an exasperated "Are you serious? So much for winning a hand with skill." and EP has the gall to say that he was getting pot odds to call. To his credit, if he puts me on AK without spades he's not that far behind, but I refuse to give the man any sort of credit for doing that kind of math when he's calling a 10xBB raise OOP with 3 people on position. I shake hands with the guy to my left who made for good conversation then exited with a snide remark in the vein of "I'd wish you all good luck but I think you just used it all up."

So after all was said and done, I lost $260 thanks to the donkeys at the $1\$2 table. I say this because they put me on such tilt that I couldn't work my Roulette skills to an effective degree and lost another $60 trying to chill out. Luckily, my girlfriend & her sister were en route, so they picked me up and we grabbed what was sadly the worst In N Out I've ever had. The beats just never end, do they.

The next 2-3 hours went as such: taught my girlfriend how to play Pai Gow at NYNY, recouped a bit of my losses via Roulette at Monte Carlo (treating me well once again), did some sightseeing at Bellagio, met up with Mark & Becky at Bally's, where Mark was fresh off a $1k score with a Royal Flush on video poker at the Wynn, then headed to Paris to get my girlfriend's sister a cab since she was leaving early in the morning.

I mentioned last time that I swore never to play at Paris again. This stems from the time I went for Mark's bachelor party where I dropped about $300 on Roulette within 20 minutes. This was after I dropped $150 on one of the least attractive strippers at the Rhino (in my defense, I was drunk and she at least knew how to work it). Hence, the reason why I swore off Paris.

But there I was, waiting for the sister's cab to arrive, and I figured I'd spend my time playing Roulette. By the time my girlfriend found me, I was already down another $60. Paris, you're a beautiful casino, but that will be the last of my money you'll ever see.

It was just after Midnight and we caught back up with Mark & Becky at Bally's, where Mark hit some random hand for another $200 at video poker. But we noticed a problem. We were all walking fairly regular (aside from Mark's sprained knee & my pinky toe blister), we were speaking coherently, and we were not speaking with enough curse words. We realized it was Midnight in Vegas on a Saturday and none of us were anywhere near drunk. We needed to find an opportunity to drink lots but keep the gambling going. And there was only one solution.


To be continued...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Vegas Recap Part 1

I finished my 10th or 11th Vegas trip with cash still in my pocket but down about $600 in total. I can't quite remember exactly how all that cash was spent but I remember how I lost at least half of it, because I still can't think about what might have been. Anyways, if you make it through this whole recap, you'll soon find out that me & my group of friends aren't exactly ballers, but I hope to keep it entertaining nonetheless.


We got into Vegas around 5pm Friday & dropped off the car at the Worldmark Resort. It was about 3 miles south of the strip but it was comped to us courtesy of my girlfriend's parents, so we had no complaints. It was just me & two of my friends from Arizona, Mark & Becky. My girlfriend & her pregnant sister weren't due in until around 10pm.

We started off the trip at one of my favorite casinos, the Monte Carlo. It doesn't have quite the flair of other places but it's always been good to me in the past. Within 10 minutes, the Monte Carlo's reputation of good luck was validated when Becky hit 4 Aces with a deuce on video poker for a score of $500. The casino almost let me down after I lost about $120 on Roulette within 25 minutes, but I nailed a 23 with a $3 bet to recoup most of my losses.

Around this time, the urge for Pai Gow started taking over, so we headed to the north end of the Strip to some of the less expensive casinos in search of some $5 tables. We took our chances with the Imperial Palace first. You'd think, of all places, we would be able to find $5 Pai Gow here, but the cheapest tables were $15. We just left $10 Pai Gow at the Monte Carlo behind, so we weren't about to drop $15 a hand at the IP. So our trek continued up the strip, through Harrah's, Flamingo, O'Sheas, until we finally had enough and stopped for some Roulette at the Venetian, where I said good bye to another $100.

(For the record, yes I know that Roulette is a sucker's game. And I know what that makes me. I can live with this.)

Not nearly as intoxicated as we wanted to be, Mark & I finally succumbed to the allure of $15 Pai Gow back at the Flamingo while Becky couldn't escape the siren call of the Roulette table. It was just the two of us, a partly-Asian couple to our left, and an attractive blonde names Maggie to our right.

2 hours & many drinks later, we finally reached a level of intoxication we were satisfied with, and thanks to Pai Gow, we hadn't lost any money (well, that is if we don't could the $250 Mark could have one if he played the bonus when he hit a straight flush). Making things more enjoyable was Maggie, who turned out to be much more friendly & not at all as bitchy as she first appeared to be. It was about 10pm, and even the delight of Maggie's presence wasn't enough to prevent me from missing my girlfriend, so I gave her a call. Turns out her tax accountant sister had to work later and they probably wouldn't be arriving until sometime around 1-2am.

We decided to head somewhere else & somehow decided on Bally's. It was this location where Mark suffered the worst beat of the whole trip, when the walkway to the lobby tricked him into walking down a wall to get back to the sidewalk. When he reached a dead end, he tried to climb over the handrail and somehow got his knee twisted up in the fall, spraining it & nearly knocking him out of commission for the rest of the trip. But he had enough liquor in his body to walk it off, and we headed inside for more drunken times.

We found our way to the Roulette table, where Mark & I each recovered about $100 of our previous losses. Mark was especially hot, hitting numbers twice, including a 20 at the suggestion of the dealer. Mark threw an extra chip on for him right before it hit, giving the dealer a nice $35 tip. I started feeling a bit sluggish as the smoke from the casino was giving me & my attempts at beating my week long cold a nasty sore throat. We cashed out our good fortune, quickly made our way through Paris (which I swore never to play at again, and definitely will uphold that vow after this trip) over to the new Planet Hollywood.

Last time I was in Vegas, this was still the Aladdin. The new version is much more trendier, keeping in line with similar remodels like Treasure Island. But as long as these casino remodels keep adding stripper poles with girls dancing in lingerie, you won't find a complaint from me. Anyways, I scored nearly another $100 in Roulette in a quick sitting when we finally decided, after about 8-12 hours, we needed some food. We hit up a killer sandwich shop, the Earl of Sandwich, for some late night grub. I've been to some amazing sandwich places, and the Turkey Club I got here ranks up with the best.

It was around 2am, early for Vegas standards, when I started losing wind. Additionally, I didn't want to kill myself and make my cold any worse with another day ahead of us, so I talked the other two into heading back to the resort (which we found out was actually a block away from the one we parked at). Finally, at around 3am, we got to the room, where I met up with my girlfriend for the first time in a week, and got some much needed rest.

Coming up next: more Pai Gow adventures, a foray into some cash games at MGM, and the best Subway sandwich I've ever had.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vegas Prefunk

I head for Vegas in less than 3 days. I wanted to get some live action in beforehand so my brother & I went to one of the casinos in town for a tournament. I'd rather have chosen some cash games since that's what I'll most likely play in Vegas but the lowest game was 3-6 and it was just limit. Fuck that.

I started the tournament at a disadvantage. It was 1000 chips with a $10 add-on to double your stack. Easy choice. But I was surrounded for regulars who were cashing in points for an additional 3k on top of the add-on. Before the first hand was dealt, I was already the shortstack.

The table was full of old men with deep pockets and an insatiable urge to call everything, so I just tried to play tight. My first playable hand was a pair of 9s in late position. Down to about 1700, I raised a couple of limpers 5x to 500. The old man next to me calls. Flop comes KQ5 and I can either fold or hope for the best. I push but get no respect & the old man calls with QJo. Rebuy!

I triple up to almost 5k a shortwhile later when I push on some limpers again from late position with KQ. Shortstack in the BB calls with 66, rich old man limp-calls with A7 I think, and I nail a Q on the river.

I call two all-ins a bit later with AK and split the pot with another AK against QT. I end the break around 5k, take the $20 add-on for 3k more in chips.

I lose a decent amount with AQ against a shorty's JT after he reraised my UTG+1 raise for 1400 more. I couldn't fade the two tens on the flop and drop down to 5k when I get involved in THE sickest beat I've ever had live.

I'm sitting on JJ in the SB. Reckless old rich man pushes & I think he's got me covered so I announce call. UTG who limped decides to call 4200 more. He's getting about 3:1 on his money but against two all-in, he has to figure he's a bigger underdog than that. But that's also assuming that he can think beyond the two cards in his hand. Anyways, I state this only because I don't know if by declaring "all-in" as well would have chased him off even though it was only 200 more than the initial push.

Flop comes 537. I put my 200 in, he calls & flips over 55. Oh well, time to go home.

Turn is a J.

But you know this is a bad beat story so you can figure out what the river was.

Fuck your presto, Fuel.


Word on the bloggers street seems to say that MGM is the softest place for cash games. I won't go any higher that 1-2 NL, so if anyone else has any recommendations for other places to check out, do let me know. I've thrown out the idea of playing any tournaments while I'm there since I won't have much time to devote to poker.

I'm almost salivating at the fact that I'll be in Vegas for the first time in almost 3 years. I miss being able to hop on a plane for $80 and be in Vegas in an hour, or making the drive through the Arizona desert in just under 5. I miss the strippers at the Rhino (except for the Asian one with insanely long nipples) and I miss the drunken roulette rampages (which are much better than Recess Rampages). And in less than 72 hours, it will be all mine again.

This will probably be my last post until after Vegas, so I'll leave you all with this final thought:


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

28K Recap

I wish I could say that my 3rd place finish was solely the result of my superior poker skill & intellect, but as you'll see, I could have done just as well even if I was still in the womb.

Hour 1:

The premium cards started early and never really quit. Within the first hour I saw AK twice, AA once, KK once, in this hand here:

Seat 1: lucky mojo (1,155)
Seat 2: pokerflop (4,465), is sitting out
Seat 3: Fancyface13 (4,770)
Seat 4: generalsteakems (7,335)
Seat 5: ilikedags (3,615)
Seat 6: mclarich (3,425)
Seat 7: StckaD0nk (4,300)
Seat 8: Tha_Hiv (2,770)
Seat 9: Hinks74 (3,160)
mclarich posts the small blind of 30
StckaD0nk posts the big blind of 60
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Kc Kh]
Tha_Hiv folds
Hinks74 has 15 seconds left to act
Hinks74 raises to 180
lucky mojo folds
pokerflop folds
Fancyface13 calls 180
generalsteakems folds
ilikedags folds
mclarich raises to 660
StckaD0nk folds
Hinks74 has 15 seconds left to act
Hinks74 folds
Fancyface13 has 15 seconds left to act
Fancyface13 calls 480
*** FLOP *** [7s 2d 3c]
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act (I go for the delay trick to make it seem like AK in case he has something like A7 or 88+)
mclarich bets 420
Fancyface13 has 15 seconds left to act
Fancyface13 raises to 840 (hopefully I'm not up against 77)
mclarich has 15 seconds left to act
mclarich calls 420
*** TURN *** [7s 2d 3c] [8s]
pokerflop has returned
mclarich checks
Fancyface13 has 15 seconds left to act
Fancyface13 bets 1,200
mclarich raises to 1,925, and is all in
Fancyface13 calls 725
mclarich shows [Kc Kh]
Fancyface13 shows [Th Jh] (brilliant)
*** RIVER *** [7s 2d 3c 8s] [Qh]
mclarich shows a pair of Kings
Fancyface13 shows Queen Jack high
mclarich wins the pot (7,090) with a pair of Kings

Truthfully, I could see someone playing 77 the same way but my instincts told me I was ahead. Good ol' instincts! I finish the first hour around 11k.

Hour 2:

Got AA & AK once each. My stack grew mostly from one hand where I raised UTG with JT sooted, flopped an OESD that got there on the turn against 55 but a 4-flush board kept me from getting much else. Ended the level around 20k.

Hour 3:

Not much happened here. Lost some chips when AQ missed the flop, tried to float with connectors & that backfired. Took down a good pot when I put an UTG raiser to test with 99; luckily his raise didn't mean premium pair. Ended hour 3 at 28k, just below average.

Hour 4:

Probably the sickest hour of poker I've ever played. First, took down an 18k pot when 77 held against AQ. Next, I make some magic happen with some non-premium hands:

Seat 1: fuzzy (27,212)
Seat 2: TimT_21 (29,887)
Seat 3: combatmedic528 (33,220)
Seat 4: The Ruzzz (10,544)
Seat 5: DrawingDead19 (57,929)
Seat 6: Professor4Poker (75,370)
Seat 7: Jon 10 (6,177), is sitting out
Seat 8: mclarich (52,016)
Seat 9: HarassB (25,320)
fuzzynutz antes 250
TimT_21 antes 250
combatmedic528 antes 250
The Ruzzz antes 250
DrawingDead19 antes 250
Professor4Poker antes 250
Jon 10 antes 250
mclarich antes 250
HarassB antes 250
Jon 10 posts the small blind of 1,000
mclarich posts the big blind of 2,000
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [3c 9c]
HarassB folds
fuzzynutz folds
TimT_21 has 15 seconds left to act
TimT_21 folds
combatmedic528 folds
The Ruzzz folds
DrawingDead19 raises to 4,000 (obviously he missed Hoy's lesson on bet-sizing)
Professor4Poker folds
Jon 10 folds
mclarich calls 2,000
*** FLOP *** [Ks 9h 3d]
mclarich checks
DrawingDead19 has 15 seconds left to act
DrawingDead19 bets 4,000
mclarich raises to 14,000
DrawingDead19 calls 10,000
*** TURN *** [Ks 9h 3d] [Kc]
mclarich bets 20,000
DrawingDead19 folds
Uncalled bet of 20,000 returned to mclarich
mclarich mucks
mclarich wins the pot (39,250)

He claims he had QQ; good thing he didn't call me down once I got counterfeited.

Then the cards started flowing. Seriously, grab a plastic bag to throw up in before you read this. Ready?

AA twice, AK twice, KK once, QQ twice, AQ twice, JJ twice.

All within the same hour. Need proof? Here's three of the hands, back-to-back-to-back:

Full Tilt Poker Game #6318378080: $28,000 Guarantee (47413555), Table 35 - 1500/3000 Ante 400 - No Limit Hold'em - 1:41:26 ET - 2008/05/07
Seat 1: hellaxela (29,014)
Seat 2: TimT_21 (37,217)
Seat 3: jaguar700 (63,667)
Seat 4: The Ruzzz (32,623)
Seat 6: Professor4Poker (61,220)
Seat 7: Jon 10 (48,246)
Seat 8: mclarich (68,393)
Seat 9: HarassB (48,726)
hellaxela antes 400
TimT_21 antes 400
jaguar700 antes 400
The Ruzzz antes 400
Professor4Poker antes 400
Jon 10 antes 400
mclarich antes 400
HarassB antes 400
mclarich posts the small blind of 1,500
HarassB posts the big blind of 3,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [As Ad]
hellaxela folds
TimT_21 folds
jaguar700 raises to 8,249
The Ruzzz folds
Professor4Poker has 15 seconds left to act
Professor4Poker has requested TIME
Professor4Poker raises to 60,820, and is all in
Jon 10 folds
mclarich raises to 67,993, and is all in
HarassB folds
jaguar700 folds
mclarich shows [As Ad]
Professor4Poker shows [Ah Jh] (lol jackace)
Uncalled bet of 7,173 returned to mclarich
*** FLOP *** [Tc 3d 9d]
jaguar700: idiot
*** TURN *** [Tc 3d 9d] [6d]
*** RIVER *** [Tc 3d 9d 6d] [Th]
mclarich shows two pair, Aces and Tens
Professor4Poker shows a pair of Tens
mclarich wins the pot (136,089) with two pair, Aces and Tens

Full Tilt Poker Game #6318384811: $28,000 Guarantee (47413555), Table 35 - 1500/3000 Ante 400 - No Limit Hold'em - 1:42:12 ET - 2008/05/07
Seat 1: hellaxela (28,614)
Seat 2: TimT_21 (36,817)
Seat 3: jaguar700 (55,018)
Seat 4: The Ruzzz (32,223)
Seat 7: Jon 10 (47,846)
Seat 8: mclarich (143,262)
Seat 9: HarassB (45,326)
hellaxela antes 400
TimT_21 antes 400
jaguar700 antes 400
The Ruzzz antes 400
Jon 10 antes 400
mclarich antes 400
HarassB antes 400
HarassB posts the small blind of 1,500
hellaxela posts the big blind of 3,000
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Qs Qh]
TimT_21 folds
jaguar700 folds
The Ruzzz folds
Jon 10 folds
mclarich raises to 12,000
HarassB folds
hellaxela raises to 28,214, and is all in
mclarich calls 16,214
hellaxela shows [6h Ah]
mclarich shows [Qs Qh]
*** FLOP *** [Jc 2h 5c]
*** TURN *** [Jc 2h 5c] [9h] (here it comes)
*** RIVER *** [Jc 2h 5c 9h] [4h] (on cue)
hellaxela shows a flush, Ace high
mclarich shows a pair of Queens
hellaxela wins the pot (60,728) with a flush, Ace high

Full Tilt Poker Game #6318389472: $28,000 Guarantee (47413555), Table 35 - 1500/3000 Ante 400 - No Limit Hold'em - 1:42:44 ET - 2008/05/07
Seat 1: hellaxela (60,728)
Seat 2: TimT_21 (36,417)
Seat 3: jaguar700 (54,618)
Seat 4: The Ruzzz (31,823)
Seat 7: Jon 10 (47,446)
Seat 8: mclarich (114,648)
Seat 9: HarassB (43,426)
hellaxela antes 400
TimT_21 antes 400
jaguar700 antes 400
The Ruzzz antes 400
Jon 10 antes 400
mclarich antes 400
HarassB antes 400
hellaxela posts the small blind of 1,500
TimT_21 posts the big blind of 3,000
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Qh Qc]
jaguar700 folds
mclarich: sick
The Ruzzz raises to 9,000
3427dj sits down
3427dj adds 45,226
Baskethead sits down
Baskethead adds 151,547
Jon 10 folds
mclarich raises to 33,000
HarassB folds
hellaxela folds
TimT_21 folds
The Ruzzz calls 22,423, and is all in
mclarich shows [Qh Qc]
The Ruzzz shows [Kd Kh]
Uncalled bet of 1,577 returned to mclarich
*** FLOP *** [6s 7h Ac]
*** TURN *** [6s 7h Ac] [7c]
*** RIVER *** [6s 7h Ac 7c] [Kc]
mclarich shows two pair, Queens and Sevens
The Ruzzz shows a full house, Kings full of Sevens
The Ruzzz wins the pot (70,146) with a full house, Kings full of Sevens

Despite the QQ hands not working out too well, I still ended the hour at 219k and somewhere in the top 3.

Hour 5:

First another mid pair (88) held up against a shorty's AQ. Then this crucial hand:

Seat 1: Stroszek (208,518)
Seat 3: fishhooks212 (189,819)
Seat 4: BAI2 (195,831)
Seat 5: PoorB4 (107,072)
Seat 6: rlsmith3 (143,293)
Seat 7: mclarich (295,768) (second place)
Seat 8: ROCCOTHEROOK (368,104) (chip leader)
Seat 9: TheDeparted 1 (81,240)
Stroszek antes 1,000
fishhooks212 antes 1,000
BAI2 antes 1,000
PoorB4 antes 1,000
rlsmith3 antes 1,000
mclarich antes 1,000
ROCCOTHEROOK antes 1,000
TheDeparted 1 antes 1,000
ROCCOTHEROOK posts the small blind of 4,000
TheDeparted 1 posts the big blind of 8,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [Ad Ah]
Stroszek folds
fishhooks212 raises to 21,000
BAI2 folds
PoorB4 folds
rlsmith3 folds
mclarich raises to 80,000

So I'm up against EP raiser, sitting on my 5th pocket Aces of the night, when the most glorious thing in the world happens.

ROCCOTHEROOK raises to 367,104, and is all in

Are you fucking kidding me?

TheDeparted 1 folds
fishhooks212 has 15 seconds left to act
fishhooks212 folds
mclarich calls 214,768, and is all in
mclarich shows [Ad Ah]
fishhooks212: wow
Uncalled bet of 72,336 returned to ROCCOTHEROOK
*** FLOP *** [6h Js 8c]
fishhooks212: 88
*** TURN *** [6h Js 8c] [2d]
fishhooks212: damn
*** RIVER *** [6h Js 8c 2d] [9d]
ROCCOTHEROOK shows Ace King high
mclarich shows a pair of Aces
mclarich wins the pot (626,536) with a pair of Aces

Unfortunately that huge stack didn't last too long when my AK < JJ and A9 < TT. The fact that I was in both of those hands is questionable, and I'll probably do a separate post for that AK hand.

By the time I got to the final table, I'd already seen the AA hand plus AK three times. Here's how the FT looked:

Seat 1: Stroszek (286,018)
Seat 2: PhilZone (159,066)
Seat 3: fishhooks212 (523,044)
Seat 4: DMAN824 (473,522)
Seat 5: Chip_StackEn (229,670)
Seat 6: rlsmith3 (415,752)
Seat 7: mclarich (238,831)
Seat 8: repoman21 (334,079)
Seat 9: neaker (415,018)

Dropped down to 175k then doubled up with another premium pair, KK, vs 88. Made a somewhat bad call shortly thereafter with AT vs JJ; it was button vs SB battle but SB was fairly tight & should have know that I probably only had one live card.

I built my stack back up when I push from the SB with K5. End up against KQ but river a 9-high straight, then win a race on the next hand with KQ vs 77 to jump up to 568k. End break at 530k, 4th place out of 5. For those keeping count, Hour 5 had AA once, KK once & AK three times.

Hour 6:

I couldn't get anything going in the final hour. By the time we got down to three, the stack sizes were:

Seat 1: Stroszek (715,042)
Seat 4: DMAN824 (1,965,996)
Seat 7: mclarich (393,962)

I made the most of what I could with what I was dealt, but couldn't get anything working and ultimately went home pushing QJ into A8. Ace on the flop and I was pretty much drawing dead.


Needless to say, this was a huge win for me. The money itself is great, but what's even better is that I can finally say this:

My bankroll challenge is over!

I didn't expect to do it all in two strokes, but I'm not complaining either. It's such a relief to know that I don't have to mess around in the smaller stakes anymore. I'm glad I took the time to grind out at the lower levels because it's taught me the importance of having & maintaining a bankroll; I can safely say that I won't blow this score away like I did my last one.

Even with the abundance of premium hands, I feel like this "victory" is also due to improved focus in my poker game. The key that I noticed in this score as well as my last one is that I played much more patiently & thought out my actions a lot more. I feel like I'm on a pretty good roll right now. Not a Lucko-sized roll, but with those two scores, plus another one today:

I'm definitely making progress one way or another.

So another goal ($2k bankroll) is not only accomplished but crushed. Now, I need to complete another goal; break this habit of these runner-up finishes and finally take one of these bitches down.

Thanks for all the comments & all those still keeping up with my blog. I know I was MIA for a time there but let it be known; I'm back.

Brag Post Time

I really felt that I should have taken this thing down, but I'll settle for my second biggest score ever:

Recap may come later. Time for sleep.