Bad fishy/loose player opens utg 7 handedish, next in cc, I call on the button with Q9s (weak and loose players in the pot already and worse players in the blinds likely to come along), sb calls and bb folds.
Flop: Ts 8d 2s (I have flush draw).
UTG bets, 1 call, I raise, sb calls, and everyone else calls.
Turn: Qd (2nd flush draw)
Check, check, I bet, sb calls, utg calls, next guy c/r. Now, I knew this particular player has a ton of bluffs, but just didn't think he could crazy spew in a huge 4 way pot (you'll see I was quite wrong) where no one will ever fold anything, so I just called, everyone else calls.
Check, bet, I call here cuz this guy is spazzy and can still be pure bluffing or have a worse 2 pair, sb calls (now I hate my life).
Spazz rolls Jd4d for the picked up flush draw/gutterball. Sb has 67 spades for the bottom end of the straight (had flush draw on the flop that was dead to me and on the turn had literally 0 outs). UTG said she had Kd9d, so spazz literally has 2 outs to win the pot and c/r the field on the turn.
This post has very little poker content. It's almost entirely for putting in writing some things I've been dealing with lately. My only poker content from my last post in November is that I have just been swinging up and down 20k for several months and I'm ready to go back to winning lots of money.
Now for the down part of the story, my Mom's cancer is back. I'm not an extremely extroverted person, so just putting that down on paper took a lot of willpower. As I've stated before, I don't really expect anyone to really care (as this blog is almost entirely for selfish reasons), but it still feels weird making something so personal very public. During the first round of cancer, I acted very disinterested and generally wasn't exceptionally outwardly concerned. Looking back, I think this was just some sort of denial-like response to the whole situation. I love my mother deeply and truly believe she is one of the most amazing and special people on the planet, but my response to the whole situation was just sort of tepid. I was also a bit younger, still in school and had not faced the mortality of someone close to me for many years. Shortly after my mom was recovering from a masectomy and reconstructive surgery, my Uncle, my dad's twin, passed away from Leukemia.
That really hit me pretty hard, watching my dad deal with everything from his twin brother's death. Outwardly he was strong, resilient and level-headed. On the inside, I was among a handful of people that knew my uncle's death rocked my dad. This was a man who my sister and I only knew as "Uncle Daddy." The story goes that the first time my sister could talk and met my uncle, she came to the door and was confused because the man in the doorway looked so much like her father. So the poor little three year old girl just stood there saying, "Uncle? Daddy? Uncle? Daddy?" And the name sort of stuck. The point of digressing is to say that seeing my father deal with death and having to deal with it myself has fundamentally changed my emotional reaction to close friends and family dying.
So when my I was talking to my sister sometime before Christmas and she said, "Have you heard about the bump on Mom's head," I literally burst into tears. I knew cancer was bad, but I really knew that when cancer comes back it's about the worst news possible. My mom had felt the bump for sometime, but only recently went to see her doctor about it (something that selfishly angers me now). Her doctor literally asked if she was sitting down before giving my mom the news and telling her to see her oncologist immediately.
The bump on her head was the metastasized breast cancer that had moved to the bone, stage IV as it's known. Essentially, the doctors hadn't caught the breast cancer early enough and it had moved from her breast to her lymph nodes (some of which were removed during the masectomy), but the cancer was able to spread before it got cut out. Even a singly cell could theoretically cause a remission. So now she has breast cancer that has moved to her head and pelvis.
As of today, the the cancer responded "well" to the radiation and she is treatment free for the next three months when she will get a checkup from her oncologist.
I have to say that throughout everything my mom has been an amazingly strong person. I have literally never heard her complain about being sick once, literally not once. She has been through multiple rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, and having her breast cut off and a new one sewn back on. When I was home shortly after her surgery, her stitched wound had to be drained 4 times a day and you know what she would say, "It's not so bad, as least I don't have to go into work," with a big smile on her face. I can't really say it enough, but she is so incredibly inspiring. I can't imagine how anyone could make their way through such trials with such a positive resolve for life.
Her outlook is frankly, grim. From my own research, there is a good chance she will not be here in 2 years and a great chance she won't be here in 5 years. I only wish at this point I could spend more time with her. I should caution that it's not as if cancer is some ultimate death sentence, but I'm a very realistic person and like to prepare for the future, and the reality is she doesn't have a good chance of living a long life with Stage IV breast cancer. We can only hope that she remains strong to fight the cancer for as long as possible.
In order to end this entry on an upbeat note, Celeste and I have been talking for some time about starting a family and with the recent developments to my mom, it has given us motivation to make the plunge, so I am officially attempting to impregnate my wife. There is nothing I want more in this world that to have my mom meet my child. Please don't forget to tell your own mom you love her.
This is probably the most hilarious (on about 7 levels) conversation I've ever heard. Happened at the poker table when an old, practically delusional, regular was talking to the person next to me.
Person 1 (not the regular): You have the toothpick case on your shoulder [referring to the little disposable plastic slip the toothpicks come in].
Regular: Oh ok (brushes it off), thank you. It's bad luck to throw the toothpick case on the ground, you are supposed to throw it over your shoulder. That's why in my country, you never hand someone a toothpick, you place it down on the table and they pick it up.
Person 1: Oh wow, you are very superstitious?
Regular: No. I am a Christian. But I learned about the luck of the toothpick from the Book of Buddha.
First of all, I've decided it's probably not a great idea to post results in this blog. I just don't see a lot of upside to it, so I probably won't.
Last Monday I had my biggest winning day of live poker ever (and probably close to my best day online as well) when I won 10.5K over the course of 10 or so hours. Basically, the synopsis of the story is Barry was in the game and I ran really good. I just kept making top pairs/overpairs/2 pairs/flushes and having them hold up. The next day I sat down and quietly won 6 more racks, which definitely breaks my short term record for bets won in a small number of hands. The graph I have looks ridiculous now. I've also been trying to get in the Commerce 60 more often (at least putting in something like 10 hours a week) and I've been running pretty good in that game as well, so I can stop being a whiny baby about results.
On that note, I've decided that lately I've become far too results oriented and generally being a dumb baby about losing for a month, so I'm going to introduce a prop bet at the table where if I complain about how I'm running or whatever I will instantly owe that person $10 every time. It's only one chip, but I know myself and know it's enough to help curb this behavior.
Yesterday I played 40/80 and really, for lack of a better word, got decimated. I lost 4ish racks (50BBs), but the most frustrating part was how I did it. First of all, Barry was in the game, so really the stakes are more like 80/160 as he literally opens/3bets/caps about 75% of his hands. I ended up folding winners in huge pots a couple of times. The first, one loose passive limps, Barry raises, I decide to coldcall instead of 3 bet with 66 because I almost never get this pot 3 ways with a 3 bet so might as well invite them in. Mike 3 bets next in and we pick up 1 cold caller, everyone calls, Barry caps, everyone calls. Flop is QT7 with a heart draw. Checks around. Turn is a 3. The coldcaller bets, loose passive calls, Barry calls, I fold, Mike folds. River is a 6 and checks through. Barry's 44 scoops the pot against AJ with a flush draw and something that the loose passive doesn't show. Sigh. That's like 2 racks right there.
Crazy LAG opens utg and I 3 bet KQ, BB takes 2 and lag calls. Flop is AQ8 with all diamonds, my KQ is black. BB donks, other guy thinks about folding but calls, I call. Turn is a blank and the BB bets, LAG calls and I decide to fold because even if I'm somehow ahead, I probably need to dodge 12-15 outs and also if I call turn have to payoff on river blank. River is a blank and it goes check/check and 77 with a diamond by the BB wins the pot. Of course his play is just atrocious, but again, pretty frustrating to fold the winner here AGAIN.
I think this hand actually happened first. Must straddle is on and I'm straddler. Mike opens utg (3bets) with 6 or 7 people at the table. Barry caps SB, I call with 96o in the straddle. Flop is K63 and Barry bets, I raise, Mike 3 bets, Barry calls I call. Turn is a Q. Barry checks, Mike bets, Barry calls, I call. River is a J, Barry checks, I check, Mike bets, Barry folds, I fold, Mike shows 44. First of all, I still stand by my play as Mike's range is overwhelmingly strong in this spot. Sometimes he will 3bet the flop with AK/AQ/AJ thinking he could have the best hand, but even then, I still don't beat those hands on the river. I think I'm just close to the bottomish point of my range, given how wide I'm calling 2 preflop. I think Mike's play is sub optimal, he should probably just fold the flop with such a weak holding. His flop play is definitely incongruent with his turn/river play. Clearly, he's 3 betting because he thinks I'm isolating Barry wide (I am), but his range contains so many other stronger cards and better bluffs (even something like JT might be a 3 bet on the flop). In other words, if he plays 44 like this, he is basically playing every hand in his range the same way and means his bluffing frequencies will be far too high. I can understand where he's coming from, especially given he saw me raise 38 on this exact flop 20 minutes ago in a similar spot. But, I think he should just fold the flop, given how often he is going to win the pot.
Of course sprinkled between these folding the winner pots are the super standard 2-7 outers that turn 2 rack losses into 4 rack losses. My favorite one was I open AT and get like 5 callers (all of them expert of course). The flop is T85 with a flush draw. I bet, 1 coldcaller and 1 raiser, I 3 bet and drop the caller. I bet the turn and bet the river where I'm raised on the final board of T8578. I should probably just fold against that opponent, but he can be erratic in weird spots (he had 77 in the hand above) and my hand is very strong and an obvious bluff card came. Of course he rolls the A8 and scoops the massive pot.
I've imported all my results in excel and made some simple charts/calculations of hourly etc that I will show next entry.
This weekend was my much anticipated attempt to summit the highest point the
lower 48, Mount Whitney. Originally 6, the group was cut to 4 a couple
months ago, and finally 3 when the one person backed out last minute.
That left me, Chase, and Chase's brother, Grant. On the previous
Wednesday and Thursday, Whitney got hit hard by a snowstorm, making our attempt
significantly more dubious than a summertime ascent.
The whole trip
is 22 miles, with 6500' of elevation gain and 6500' to get back to the
trailhead, starting at approximately 8000'. Besides our normal summer
backpacking gear, we needed extra insulating layers, gloves, hat, long
underwear, gaiters, crampons, and ice axes. This put my total pack weight
with food/water probably around 35-37 pounds at the start of the trip.
Our itinerary had us in lone pine saturday afternoon to get a little
acclimated and some last minute supply runs. We spend the night at around
6500' at a campsite just outside of Lone Pine, CA. Sunday morning we were
planning to hike ~7-8 miles up to Trail Camp at 12,300'. Monday morning
we would wake up before dawn to start our ascent up to 14,500' and another 4
miles trail distance. After summiting Monday, we would try to make it
back to the car before night hit and the possibility of a slick, icy trail.
Sunday ended up going quite nicely. We got packed up by 7:30 and hit
the trail by 8. The trail had residual snow on it starting at the
trailhead. We made very good time to Lone Pine Lake and hit Outpost camp
by about 10:30 AM. After Outpost Camp, we needed our crampons for a
half-mile section of the trail, before we made it to Trail Camp. We set
up our tent/sleeping bags, cut out a hole in the frozen lake near camp and
filtered water for the night and next day. Sunday was the first
summitable day since the storm ended Thursday, but of the 10 or so groups we
talked to, only 1 managed to summit, so we still weren't sure we would make it
to the top the next day.
That night was extremely cold. The forecast was for a low of 17
degrees, but it felt closer to 10 degrees and the wind was probably up to 30mph
gusts. I would say overall we were prepared for the weather, but not over
prepared by any means. None of the three of us got much sleep that night,
as everyone was cold and uncomfortable from the altitude.
Up before sunrise, we hit the trail by 7 and were the second group up the
switchback section just above Trail Camp. The switchbacks were the
section where you decide whether to summit or not. You go up about 1500'
in 2 miles through snow/ice in some very exposed sections. At some points
a slip and fall would be deadly. Luckily, we didn't find too much trouble
going up with crampons/axes. Without the extra traction, we probably would've
turned back. We made good time up to the trail crest and made our last 2
mile push to the summit. The last mile was extremely tough. I was
getting sick from the altitude (pounding headache, some nausea, exhausted), but
we were so close turning back wasn't an option. Luckily, we hit the
window where weather was good enough to summit.
The trip down was one of the tougher hikes I've ever done. After
climbing 2K' in 4 miles, we had to go down 11 miles and drop 6500'. I
won't dwell on the details, but I was in serious exhaustion mode by the time we
got to the car, about an hour after sunset. The night ended taking off my
boots, putting on my sandals, and going to get one the best tasting
cheeseburgers of my life.
Yesterday in an outrageous 20/40 I won a 3.5 rack pot (40BBs almost exactly). Here's how it went down.
Tightest player ever opens UTG, his range is JJ+ and AK, BJ coldcalls next in (fine I think given the table conditions), I think everyone else calls to me on the button and I have KK! I 3 bet, everyone calls.
Flop: Qs 9s Th
Paul leads. At this point, his leading range is sets/KJ if he can somehow have that preflop (which I don't think he can). BJ raises, I think 1 person folds and I coldcall on the button, playing my hand as a draw against the combined ranges of Paul and BJ (BJ knows Paul is super tight). Paul 3 bets and everyone calls.
Everyone checks to the guy to my right who bets, I call, Paul calls, BJ calls, next guy c/r, original bettor 3 bets, all call. For the record 15 BB went in on the turn.
Bink. Paul bets! BJ folds next guy calls, other guy folds, I raise, Paul calls, other guy calls (lol). I scoop against Paul's QQ and the other guy's obvious Jack.
Took me and Sailboats 3 hands to stack up all the chips.
This post is something I've been meaning to write for a while and I can't seem to go to sleep right now, so it might as well happen.
I feel pretty qualified to make this post, after putting something like 700 hours of live poker in during the last few months and 100s of thousands of hands of online poker in the last few years. I was pretty surprised early on in live poker and how some information is much readily apparent, notably mannerism and verbal tells, while other information, in this case predominately hole card information, is so much harder to come by.
In the latter, the difference is obvious. In online poker, you can see mucked hands at showdown. In live poker, with exception to some special asshole cases, you can't see mucked cards at showdown. Simple things like preflop ranges and river calling frequencies are so much harder to pin down when you can only glean information from when hands are shown down. It becomes much harder to understand how light your opponent is calling you on the river until you start making razor thin value bets again and again. It just takes so much longer for your ideas on an opponents wtsd to converge, because you can't see if he's making 100% standard calls and running bad. You just cannot get an accurate scope of your opponents' ranges in different spots until you have played many more hands than against an online opponent. Your big picture views just don't have the same clarity as they do online.
However, in live poker you gain so much more information about WHERE in your opponent's range he might actually be in this particular hand. There are simple things like, pausing before preflop 3 betting that tend to be universally true. Rarely do people briefly pause to contemplate whether to 3 or 4 bet AA preflop. On the big streets, you can also glean a lot of information about a player's hand, since it's not considered good etiquette to hollywood and then raise with the nuts, so a pause before raising often means a more marginal hand. It's not like I can take this information and drastically change my gameplan, but this sort of stuff is almost entirely unheard of in online games and small edges can definitely add up.