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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 05-30-2015, 02:48 PM   #201
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Vegas Day 1

Landed at 1pm, took a taxi to Excalibur and paid $20 for the ride. Had Johnny Rockets for lunch and took a nap. Woke up at 5, worked out for 30 minutes and handed out to the Bellagio. Put my name on the 2/5 and 5/T list. Waited about an hour for a seat at 5/T (lists were 30+ deep)

My table was nitty but softer than the 5/T at Foxwoods. Lost 500 in one hand when I got checked raised on the river by an OMC in my first significant pot. Reloaded for another 500 and pretty much played boring ABC poker for 5 hours.

Ate at Noodle in the Bellagio. Would not recommend to anyone (overpriced and mediocre). I plan to play at the venetian today.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:54 PM   #202
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Waitlist is 47 on 2/5 guess it's time to do some sight seeing
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:52 PM   #203
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

still haven't found a table. Left the poker room at the wrong time now the 2/5 list is 200 deep
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:53 PM   #204
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

saw quite a few foxwoods grinders so far at the venetian
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:59 PM   #205
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Played 3 2k pots in 2 hours unfortunately I am 1/3
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:23 AM   #206
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Vegas Day 2

Walked around the venetian for probably 3-4 hours waiting for my 2/5 seat before giving up. Went to sushisamba and had one of the best sushi meals I've ever had (spent $120 but was worth it).





Ended up playing a few hours of 1/2 at the Excalibur and won like $50. (made back some taxi fares lol)
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:09 AM   #207
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Vegas Day 3

Got the poker room at 6 am and got a 2/5 seat. Learned about the button straddle and decided to just do it every time as long as the stacks were deep enough. Played a 2k pot within 15 minutes of sitting down.

Older Australian guy raises to 20 in MP, I 3-bet to 65 with JTo in MP, AG calls

Flop (130): J75

chk, I bet 75, AG raises to 200 immediately, I call

Turn (530): T

AG bets 500, I go all in (735 total), AG calls

River (2,000): 5

AG has JJ

Soon the game breaks and I get moved to a new table. I stack a guy with AA in a 3-bet pot. Unfortunately I give and all back after flopping a set with 44 but ended up losing to KQ on 4K5KQ board.

I could've folded the river given the action but got stubborn.

Got breakfast at Bouchon



The next few hours were a blurr and really swingy. I would chip up to 1.5-2k then lose 500-700, then go back up.

I do remember one hand with a retired white guy

Pre: RWG raises 15 in MP, I raise to 50 with AA OTB, RWG calls

Flop (100): J75
RWG chks, I bet 75, RWG calls

Turn (250): 7
RWG chks, I bet 175, RWG calls

River (600): 6

RWG goes all in for 325, make a crying all

Spoiler:


I got dinner at Noodle Asia (decent, resembles what pho should taste like)

To my surprise a 2/5-5/T Asian female poker player from Foxwoods sits at my table. The game gets really interesting because she plays a really loose aggressive game and the table comes alive because of her. Big pots are played over and over as her stack fluctuates from 1k-2.5k.

I get in an interesting spot vs. her

Pre: AF has button straddled, folds to me in the BB I call 5 with 99, AF raises to 40, I call

Flop (80): K72 rainbow
I check, AF bets 55, I call

Turn (190): A
I check, AF bets 125, I call

River (440): 4
check, check

Neither of us turns hand over. I ask if last aggressor shows first the dealer informs me that left of the button first. I meekly turn my hand over, AF female mucks and I do not get to see the hand.

Played till 3 am (20 hours of 2/5 lol)

Last edited by BenzY; 06-02-2015 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:50 PM   #208
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Vegas Day 4

My fourth day in Vegas was the best and most memorable. I went to sleep at around 4 or 5 am but was able to get the Venetian at 9 am. I impressed myself with the amount of hours I was able to play this week (a record 39! not really a big deal for most people but it was for me).

I ordered some salad and ate at the table (was actually decent). I also really like how they have coffee for free in the poker room. The eating selections around the casino are also very solid. The Venetian is the best poker room I’ve ever been to (AINEC). I don’t know if I played the button straddle optimally but it created some interesting spots for me.

This hand turned my trip from small loser to winner.

Pre:
I call 5 from EP with 44, Guy from Israel raises 15, we get 3 more callers.

Flop (75): A42
I bet 50, MAWG calls, tilted Asian player raises 125 (with 325 behind), I call, MAWG calls

Turn (450): 9
Tilted Asian player goes all 325, I go all in, MAWG calls (~600)

River (1975 ?): K
MHIG 

I chip up to 3k before making a big bluff on another a dude with U Oregon

Pre: I button straddle with 88, folds to V, V raises to 35 from BB, I call

Flop (70): K72
V bets 45, I call

Turn (160): T
V chks, I bet 105, V calls

River (370) A
V chks, I bet 275, V snap calls with AT

My table gets really interesting as 3 grinders from CT (FW/Mohegan) sits at my table. I was surprised that none of them knew me (everything is probably a blurr when you play poker all the time or maybe I am just not memorable lol). My game is pretty ABC/Nitty (sometimes LAG under certain conditions). They get into some leveling calls and big pots (none of which I was involved in). I would obv prefer playing vs. other players who I know aren’t grinders. Basically solid grinder #1 doubles up Laggy grinder #2 through a 1 outer. Laggy grinder then spews off some chips before busting to tight grinder #3 who had AA.

Had the pleasure of playing with a cool girl from NY. She was also nice, way smarter than me, and a solid poker player. I wish I could play with more people like her because she was great for the game (keeping the table engaged and making everything light in fun, although you prob won’t win money from her)

I consider my first trip to vegas was a moderate success. I am glad to be back in CT with a regular sleep schedule and being healthier (playing 20 hours straight can’t be good for you). I am excited for my next poker experience (maybe MDL or Borgata next month).
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:21 PM   #209
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Played 3 sessions since coming back from Las Vegas and I was able to win them all. I played with the GOAT 2/5 grinder each time and did not feel that scared. I use to avoid this player at all costs (table change or just pick up if I was at his table). Now it isn't a big deal even tho he's probably beating the game for like 15-18BB/hr and crushing everyone.

I played at a very interesting table in my second session
-One really good TAG (better than me)
-Two OK TAGs
-Two grinders who usually play the 5/T at FW but are playing 2/5 today
-Two rec/fish were semi-competent
-me

On paper this seems like a bad table that I should't be playing in. But in reality it was a great table. The 5/T players were super aggro, the rec/fish players kept playing pots (after seeing all sort of weird hands go to showdown), and the TAGs and me usually had pot odds to call. Many MW pots were played and the action was really good. It was surprising to me to see 5/T players make tilt based plays (just imagine isildur1 when he is losing big).
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:37 PM   #210
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Left my house at 5:15 am to go Mohegan. They are doing this high hand promotion ($500 every 20 minutes AND double points). The poker room was near full capacity by noon and it felt like a Saturday in terms of traffic. Played for 7 hours and made a decent profit after playing ABC poker on a nitty table. I hope they keep this up b/c it potentially brings good action on random weekdays.
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Old 06-17-2015, 06:23 PM   #211
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Standing Still---honest self reflection time

Crushed 2/5 for the last 10 months through a combination of patience and run good. But I've hit a plateau in my poker game. You can only get so good when you play with play money, your buddies in home games, or at 1/2 nl. This has also perhaps become true for my 2/5 game. Every loss is met with annoyance and every win leaves me with a feeling of indifference and relief. I use to get really excited about booking +200bb wins but now it feels mundane.

The only thing that excites me now is playing at different venues or playing higher. Unfortunately I've only been able to get most of my enjoyment from poker by playing at different venues. I have tried to play higher than 2/5 and so far I am 0/5 in my 5/T sessions. I was also going to jump into the bellagio T/20 game if I ran well enough on my Vegas trip but I didn't. I have been reluctant to play more 5/T because it is out of my comfort zone and I know it will be a struggle. Most people don't like to stand still, to be in one place too long. We are programmed to want better things than we have now. I am no different from everyone else.

I talked to one of my poker acquaintances recently (we'll call him red). Red has just started playing 5/T and is 7/8 IICRC. He also says that the 5/T regs are nits (which is the complete opposite of what I think). Seeing someone else succeed has given me a feeling of admiration and motivation. I also finally read several of matt moore's posts. He has also inspired me to face my fears of playing higher (GOAT thread IMO).

-Hopefully I won't stay in the same play too long
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:39 PM   #212
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Booked my flight to MDL for next Friday, ready for my next adventure. I should be able to play 2 full days of poker (real life stuff on the other days)

Played 2 more sessions of 5/T since my last update. Feels good to say I finally won one (now 1/7, I'll take it!).

Here is a fun hand from last night

4 Handed 2/5 (eff stacks 800)

V1: style varies from lag to maniac depending on his mood. Plays for a living, will make plays if he senses weakness

V2: shot taking asian (only has 400 to start the hand), fit/fold

Pre: I raise to 15 with 98 OTB, V1 calls from SB, V2 calls from BB

Flop (45): Q72
chk, chk, I bet 30, they both call

Turn (135): A
chks to me, I bet 90, V1 raises to 220, V2 folds

something was off to me about his sizing. Why so little? If he had a real hand a larger raise would make more sense because of the flush draw. I hate folding in this spot, I hate calling even more, so I am left with raise.

I raise to 690, V1 folds
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:20 AM   #213
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Maryland Live!

Landed at 3 pm (3 hour plane ride from CT, with one stop) and took the taxi to my hotel (which is like 10 minutes walk to the casino). Took a quick nap before heading over to MDL. The casino has a shopping mall, community college, and a movie theater around it.

Called in ahead for the 2/5-5/T list and learned that they only keep you on the list for 30 minutes!



The inside of the casino was dimly lit and completely packed, I don't know if it was normal or because of the holiday. The poker room itself also has low lighting with relatively close spacing between tables. The room also has two floors and 52 tables (all of them were occupied that day).

I get my 2/5 seat after a 30 min wait and learned that cash doesn't play (annoying but w/e). Was able to win a few hundred w/o a showdown before my name was called for 5/T. My table started off slow initially so I took a dinner break.



decent meal for $20 (after tip)

The action picks up after I got back as two action players sit down. I played ABC/Nitty poker for 4 hours and booked a solid win.



I am now 2/8 in 5/T sessions but more importantly I feel more comfortable and dialed in for this stake. I am still buying in for 1,500 instead of the max b/c I am trying to get more experience rather than maximize value.

Last edited by BenzY; 07-04-2015 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:08 AM   #214
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

No poker, but had a pretty good time on day 2





Love that Fogo De Chao restaurant



Baltimore Harbor
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:17 PM   #215
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

I had some pho in the morning in Ellicott City (pho was decent, pig intestines bad) to start off day 3.

Was able to squeeze out a little more poker. There were plenty of 1/2 and 2/5 games going on throughout the day but not one table of 5/T. I think it was due to the 5/5 PLO game running. Finally one opens after 10pm and I was able to get over to MDL at around 11.

My table was always 7-8 handed and had a bunch of nitty players. I think I actually played even more nitty in terms of preflop hand selection. Eventually the 5/5 PLO breaks (I think?) and a player brings 10K in black chips and tries to put 6k on the table . He obv gets shut down by the dealer so he 2k on the table, 2k in his pocket, and 6k in his cup holder lol.

He was a trying ridiculously hard to hit on the Asian dealer. The whole table gets involved in his light banter. I just sat back silently preparing for the crazy action that is about to ensue. You could say he is your dream player (lots of action, outgoing, capable of tilting other players due to his crazy style). He was raising huge pre and constantly making over bets.

Unfortunately it was not to be as he had to leave the table after 30 minutes. I passed on my chance to get the action whale. Basically I raise 45 with AJ over 1 limp and action player raises to 500 with 1,500 behind. I ended up folding.

I actually ran good this session and booked another solid win after 4 hours. Maybe I'll get 50% by the end of the year haha.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:34 AM   #216
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Did more sight seeing on my last day in MD. Played a little bit of tennis between the heavy rain. I realized how out of shape I was when I was completely exhausted after 20 minutes while my friend seemed perfectly fine. Tried to convince my friend that I wasn't addicted to poker after saying how much I won on this trip. This lead to other questions about losses, taxes, etc. I've decided a long time ago that I would only talk about my poker excursions with my friends. No good could come from talking about poker and gambling with casual acquaintances.

I enjoyed Maryland more than I thought I would. Winning probably had something to do with it but I'd still be happy with the trip even if I didn't win.

I've set another poker goal for the future,

PLAY THE MAIN EVENT. I have a bunch of hurdles I need to clear before achieving this goal but having this goal in the back of my mind will be a good source of motivation.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:13 PM   #217
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Stick to 2-5. More average joes less stress and it shouldn't be a problem for you to make 1000 to 1500 each day, absolutely stress free which is a big factor. That thing stress takes a toll on you with out you noticing.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:04 AM   #218
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

How are you doing OP? Updates?
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:29 AM   #219
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

LiveActionPro
-2/5 will still be my main game for the time being. I would like to play more 5/T but it only runs at FW and only worth playing if there are 2+ tablets running (which is not that often)

L00T
-I've played 1 session of 2/5 since returning from Maryland. Lost -700 in pretty standard spots. Made my first triple barrel bluff in probably ever and was called lol.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:57 AM   #220
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Ouch, let's see some more hands.
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:20 AM   #221
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by L00t View Post
Ouch, let's see some more hands.
there weren't any special hands really, most of of my hands were

call a raise, brick and fold

or

raise, brick, c-bet, and then give up



Quote:
Originally Posted by BenzY View Post
Welcome to the big leagues

I sit down at a 2/5 (800 max) game a hour later. And build a nice stack after getting AA twice. I play a interesting hand with an unknown player (but thought he was capable of making plays). I learned later that he was a good tricky lag.

Pre: lag raises 25 OTB, I call 99 in SB (~1100 eff i cover), BB calls

Flop (75): J92
I bet 60, BB folds, lag calls

Turn (195): T
I bet 125, lag raises to 330 (with 700 behind)

my first instinct was KQ or maybe KQ. He could also have JT. But then I started giving him semi-bluffs in his range AK, QJ/QJ all picked up equity on this turn. I decided that I needed to jam


lag tanks and says he has a set of 22s and folds
just found out this player,
-has 1.5 million $ in tournament cashes including two top 200 ME finishes
-graduated from Harvard
-played with matt kirk at 100/200 PLO

Yea he's pretty good
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:54 AM   #222
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

I wonder why someone studies at Harvard, just to end up playing poker?
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:48 PM   #223
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

It's not that crazy,

i.e. Scott Seiver, Isaac Haxton, Vanessa Selbst all went to ivy league schools. They found poker to be more appealing than the traditional route for one reason or another.

Does this count as run good?

Raise to 20 UTG with 88, EP calls, MP calls, BTN 3-bets to 90

Our Effective stacks are 800, I decide to fold because it was my last hand (although probably a +EV call)

EP folds, MP 4-bets to 290, BTN goes all in

MP has AA, BTN has QQ

Flop is 8A4
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:44 AM   #224
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenzY View Post
It's not that crazy,

i.e. Scott Seiver, Isaac Haxton, Vanessa Selbst all went to ivy league schools. They found poker to be more appealing than the traditional route for one reason or another.

Does this count as run good?

Raise to 20 UTG with 88, EP calls, MP calls, BTN 3-bets to 90

Our Effective stacks are 800, I decide to fold because it was my last hand (although probably a +EV call)

EP folds, MP 4-bets to 290, BTN goes all in

MP has AA, BTN has QQ

Flop is 8A4
I play poker and believe that it is purely statistics. You can run good or run bad but that is just variance and overtime that it all evens out. When I get sucked out on, I know that I'll be on the other side of that soon enough.

But, I have become a bit superstitious as well. If I'm running good, I'll keep playing at the same casino (Vegas based) or I'll have the same breakfast or I'll wear the same clothes (obviously washing them between sessions.) I don't go out of my way or anything but if it's something easy to do, I'll do it. Or I'll take the same route to the casino.

I also have started going with my gut a lot. Your example is a perfect case of that. I decide to pack it in and fold in an 'on the fence' spot where I could have just as easily called and I avoid a monster loss. It happens and really makes you think how much variance there is in this profession.

Definitely running good! Keep it up!
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:58 PM   #225
BenzY
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Re: From Rec 1/2 Player to Crushing the Bigger Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrducks View Post
I play poker and believe that it is purely statistics. You can run good or run bad but that is just variance and overtime that it all evens out. When I get sucked out on, I know that I'll be on the other side of that soon enough.

But, I have become a bit superstitious as well. If I'm running good, I'll keep playing at the same casino (Vegas based) or I'll have the same breakfast or I'll wear the same clothes (obviously washing them between sessions.) I don't go out of my way or anything but if it's something easy to do, I'll do it. Or I'll take the same route to the casino.

I also have started going with my gut a lot. Your example is a perfect case of that. I decide to pack it in and fold in an 'on the fence' spot where I could have just as easily called and I avoid a monster loss. It happens and really makes you think how much variance there is in this profession.

Definitely running good! Keep it up!
thanks Mrducks,

My thoughts are very similar to yours regarding the massive amount of variance in poker. The fact that we have no control over the crazy runs of cards that occur over time (good and bad) can be incredibly tough on you mentally. I believe the players that last long term don't necessarily have the best poker game at the table (i.e. always take advantage of +EV spots). They always have a strong mental game (not let negative or positive variance affect their life) and are good poker managers (seeking out easier tables and not letting pride corner them into a harder game just to look cool).
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