Gargamel’s back with an update – P.
Last year I had a 22 session winning streak end and this year it was a 22 month winning streak that fell. The month started out with beats including, but not limited to AQ vs Q2 AIPF, QQQ vs AQ on AQ83 all in on the turn, and AA vs KQo in a 4b pot. We’re told to embrace variance. Try being happy with your part-time venture once you’ve hit a 10k downswing. Running well, or at least neutral, is far more vital than studying every 3b video out there once your fundamentals are solid. To quote a friend, it looks like I’ll be eating at the Sklansky Steakhouse for some time.
I certainly tried to preserve the monthly streak, offering dinner for friends in the event I pulled it off. I found myself in what had to be the softest 5/10 game ever assembled at a casino. At one point, I was one double up away although that would’ve required getting all 300 of my bbs in the middle. The sommelier already took off with $11,000, having bought in for 6k. Time was running out. However, several weak players and a whale remained.
There was an early position limp, followed by another limp from a woman (now known as “One Hand”) who may as well play with her cards face up, solitaire style. I raised KQdd to 65 and she was the only caller. The board came down AKQhh, giving me bottom two and a deceptively thin flop value bet, which I did for 75. She check raised to 300. Before any of you starting thinking about GTO and calling here, remember that GTFO is the only strategy after this action from her. I folded and she showed the table JTo. What a catch. There would be a couple more opportunities. One Hand changed her seat and was in the bb. There was an open from the loose UTG player, followed by a flat from the whale who is liable to put that 3k in play at any moment. I had QQ on the button and 3b to 175. Now One Hand 4b to 575. Time to play GTFO optimal and fold. I did and she showed AA. What a catch. Apparently, there are numerous players who send out the special teams and punt to One Hand regularly.
I’ve always liked everything easy. That is, easy women, easy work, easy living, and “easy” poker. While some people are posting on forums about not playing poker for money, but rather the virtue of moving up and taking on the best competition, I’m getting a continual beating from the unskilled in this game. I’ll continue to jam the easy button in poker and elsewhere because it’s so easy to lose and keep on losing (and because, in poker, the real money comes from the “fish”). I’m obsessed with winning and am now in the midst of a 5 figure downswing. The above sessions are merely the cliffs notes on the Beat and Cooler Anthology. Keep this in mind when you read about these extraordinarily high win rates from your forum friends.
One winning streak has remained and that’s winning bunches while out of town. Recent travels took me back to Las Vegas, land of the poker backpackers. I met with Persuadeo at the Golden Nugget, both out of curiosity for their uncapped 1/2 game and also wanting a layup. On this night though, the Nugget had a 5/5/5 game running. 5/5 is certainly a game I regularly play in. I figured this one had a third blind as seen in California. Nope, that third 5 is an ante from everyone at the table, for a cash game!
Interesting, but I decided I’d start at 1/2 and go from there. That game went well, especially after some old guy decided to 4b me with KJo while I had AA. Alright, it was time for this 5/5/5.
I sat in with just over a grand. There were piles of Benjamins on the table giving the appearance of a drug dealer or mobster game. Oh, and a mandatory straddle of 25, putting up to 80 in the pot preflop. There were also three confirmed pros. This was easily the worst game selection by me ever. I figured I’d top off a bit after observing a couple orbits, but there’s no rest for the wicked as I picked up JJ UTG and raised to 100 (the standard for the table somehow). I got 2 callers including an Asian lady on the button. The flop came 667ss. I checked with the intention of crai. The lady fired 300 and I put in all 900+. She called. The turn J really took the edge off and the river was another 7. I fast rolled J’s full then watched her arm extend to reveal her hand. It was a split second of disbelief at being shown another loss somehow, but she only held AA. Whew!
This game also had “bomb pots” in which every half hour, each player puts in $100 preflop, creating a blind $900 9 way pot that plays out normally post flop. I was in late position for the first one I participated in. It was 8 way and the flop came QQ4cc. It checked to me and I looked down at… Ace fucking queen. I bet $300 into 800. “C’mon guys I’m finding out where I’m at with a 4”. They all folded. Back home I would’ve had a decent chance to stack a player with 4x. I won nearly 3k on the night and celebrated at a bar with Persuadeo.
The next day took me to the Wynn and their elegant school cafeteria looking poker room for some matinee 2/5. One player waiting for a game to start was NBA superstar and great dresser, Russell Westbrook. See, the floor had to text and wake up the pros so they could play 100/200 PLO with him. The game began early afternoon and a 20 person waitlist developed. If I were floor manager, I would’ve trolled everyone and announced that “we’re starting a new 100/200 PLO game on table 10. It will be a must move”. Then watch the poker hunger games as players try to kill off each other’s bankrolls while waiting to get to Westbrook.
Our 2/5 table had a guy who decided to tell everyone about how effective pick-up artist (PUA) schools are and that he started one of his own. Soon an attractive French woman would sit down next to him, but he failed to attempt to get her number and show the table how it’s done. As for the poker, this was a soft soft game, probably the softest I’ve ever played in Vegas for these stakes. The primary fish straddled, our alpha PUA limped as did a bunch of others, then I made it 75 with QQ. PUA made it 225 and I decided he had enough 99-JJ and AK so I shoved. He had AK and found the ace on the river. One buy in down. Not long after I shove almost 300 with 33 on a turn 7 with a board of 4567. PUA snap called and fast rolled 55 for a set. No matter, the river brought another 4. I tell the chip runner who brings me my next 500 that I don’t want to see him again. Again I pick up QQ and decide to just call a fish’s raise to 25. It goes 4 way to J74cc and I raise the fish from 50-175. He called. He checked a blank turn and I shoved 300. He tank called then said he got me when a 9c fell on the river. He had…99.
Meanwhile, our pick-up artist took a picture of his 2k stack and picked up and left. A true “pick-up” artist. I’d normally say he did the right thing since he was outclassed, but this was our table:
The good UTG German player opened, got 3b, two players cold called the 60, then the German player 4b to 260, which was actually on the small side given game dynamics. Everyone called creating a four way 4b pot clusterfuck. The flop came JT8r. German shoved and EVERYONE FOLDED. There are no words. I would go on to lose 2k at this game. All skill baby!
So, what to take from this other than the fact that I lose a shit ton with queens? It’s not as much about skill, hard work, or even game selection. Variance rules all.
Later that night I returned with Persuadeo to the Wynn for some 1/2 PLO. I spewed early, got stuck 600 and nearly wiped out all profit from a night ago. Then I buckled down and the game got good. Two Asian guys with suits on sat down and spewed chips everywhere. One potted then another guy 3b blind. I had good Kings and a high variance decision. The table in front of us had something I never saw before: A dog in the poker room. I asked the owner if she was a tilt service dog. He told me to call her over and she’d respond. I got all the money in with the KKxxss, called the pup over and won everything.
I finally found a solution to my tilt!
Incidentally, one of the suit wearing players asked me twice if I wanted to play 50/100 with him and he’d have to go upstairs first to get money. Nah, you’re not in the NBA and I’m not interested. This same player would eventually correctly fold a full house so always be aware when someone is trying to hustle you.