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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 01-14-2018, 03:00 AM   #1
KoolCaliban
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Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Hey folks, it is time to hit the Sydney live MTT grind time again, this time bigger and better! Also some physical running goals itt!

About me

Three years ago I moved to Sydney to start my PhD in astrophysics. At the time I did not have a bankroll, I used most of it to finance my flights etc. I had $150 left on Stars and found out there is a vibrant pub poker scene here, so I figured I'd try to go play the WSOP in Vegas, but only if I managed to finance the whole trip including buyins from poker winnings. I have a full scholarship but I need every cent for living expenses. Quite soon I realized live poker was a much more fun grind than online, and Australian players are really bad at poker, so I primarily played live games. I actually succeeded in going to Vegas twice by just crushing $25 pub poker games. That journey is documented in my previous PGC:

Small stakes MTT player building up WSOP roll Sydney

After playing pub games for three years and having seen enough of Vegas for the time being, I was struggling for goals in poker. Sure, grinding pub games makes for a nice income on the side and I'm not rich by any means, but it can be hard to motivate oneself poker wise when all your opponents are virtually brain dead. There are some $100-$200 pub games, but not on a weekly basis, and the next regular buy-in level are tournaments at the Star casino here in Sydney. However my bankroll is not big enough to play those regularly. This all changed when I asked a mate if he'd interested to buy 50% of my casino action at face value, and he agreed! I'm finally super excited to play again, so I figured this warrants a proper PGC.


Goal 1: Grind the $330s and $550s at the Star casino and break through $25k in cashes on Hendon Mob

Most of the games I play are obviously not tracked by Hendon Mob, but the casino tournaments are! I'm a sucker for leaderboards and was super psyched when I showed up on Hendon Mob after cashing in Vegas a couple times. Currently my Hendon Mob is at around US$1900 (I shipped one small tournament at Planet Hollywood). I want to play most of the weekly AU$330s and monthly AU$550s at the Star, with at least a 30% ROI, which amounts to roughly US$25k in cashes. Quite a lofty goal and it depends on my backing arrangement holding up and actually cashing regularly enough to avoid going broke. Currently my bankroll is around AU$9k, so yeah...

To manage my ABI and variance a little, I will keep grinding the $55-$120 pub games. I'll post my schedule in a future post.


Goal 2: Finish the 50 km Ultra Trail Australia in the Blue Mountains

In addition to poker and PhD, I also spend a lot of time outside, be it running/climbing/hiking/mountainbiking. I have a history of mountain climbing and adventure racing, but have been struggling with injuries the last few years. I live quite far from the Sydney CBD and the trails are great here, so my focus the last couple years has been trail running. I ran the Jabulani 12 km last year, followed by the 30 km Coastal Classic in the Royal National Park. I finished in the middle of the pack without injuries, and the following week I registered for the UTA 50 in May 2018. Again, this is a lofty goal. 50 km trails with 2500m climb and descent is grueling. My primary goal is to finish and if I can help it in less than 8 hrs. Unfortunately my achilles is bothering me at the moment, I'm gonna see my physio soon to hopefully find a way to fix it asap. I'm currently running 1-1.5 hours three times a week, which obviously will go up in the future. I have a training schedule set up by my physio and I'll update the thread with weekly kilometers.


Live stats so far past 3 years (in AU$):

Pub poker games played: 275
Pub poker ABI: $43
Pub poker cashes: $27403
Pub poker profit: $16336
Pub poker ROI: 148%



Sweet, no? Unfortunately I did not run well when it mattered in Vegas:

Vegas games played: 31
Vegas ABI: $294
Vegas cashes: $2476
Vegas profit: -$6619
Vegas ROI: -73%

If we include that in the graph, this is what it looks like:




Vegas games is only a super small sample size but affects my graph pretty dramatically, so I'm not reading much into it. I did win a tournament, and I did not feel severely outclassed at all during my time in Vegas, so meh. Hopefully we can continue the way upward at the Star. Let's go get them!
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:16 AM   #2
Turningham
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

How could I not say yes to a second PGC bullet!? GLGL
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:20 AM   #3
pure_aggression
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

GL man, cool goals! I'm looking to get more into trail running and completing a 50k this yr too.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:22 AM   #4
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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How could I not say yes to a second PGC bullet!? GLGL
Welcome back!

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Originally Posted by pure_aggression View Post
GL man, cool goals! I'm looking to get more into trail running and completing a 50k this yr too.
Cool, how much running do you do? And do you have a specific race in mind, the UTA was fully booked in no time.

Pretty sweet, my result from the 30 km Coastal Classic (<4 hours) was registered by the ITRA, so now I don't have to start in the slowest UTA start group (#7) but based on my Coastal Classic time I'll actually start in group #3 which will be top 42% with finishing time <8hr12. Sub 8-hr seems like a reasonable goal to work towards.


About poker, I'll mainly do updates about the Star games, but I'll mention any memorable runs in smaller games too. So far this year I only have one 3rd for $180 in a small pub game, on Friday I bricked hard finishing in 6th place with 5th worth $200 and 1st $1200.

My playing schedule for next 4 weeks looks like this:

Wednesday: $330 at the Star ($10k-$15k up top)
Friday: $55-$75 pub game at Pittwater RSL ($1k-$2k up top)
Sunday: $25 NPL pub game in Willoughby, because I need 6 games for the $605 Quarterly Final (sigh)

And my bigger games will be:
$550 Australia Day game at the Star (26-01)
$150 Petersham Cup, FT-d this 3 times already, win it already (28-01)
$605 NPL Quarterly Final, won a ticket in a $20 raffle (lol) (03-02)
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:08 AM   #5
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

So far I have played two $330s at the Star. The first one I finished around 60th out of 200, the second one I busted in 40 minutes... Some hands:


Blinds 75/150, 10-handed, starting stack 10k
Splashy player with big stack opens UTG+1 to 325, two players call, I call on BTN with KQ, BB calls

Flop QT2, pot 1700. It gets checked to me and I bet 1k. It folds to preflop aggressor UTG+1, who now checkraises to 2500. I call leaving me with 8k.

Turn 3, pot 6700. UTG again bets 2500. A call will commit me on river, and I just don't see this player type take this line without a better hand. QT/TT possibly? Weird line either way. I fold and he shows AQ. OK.


Blinds 75/150, 10-handed
3 limpers ahead of me, I overlimp on BTN with 64, BB checks.

Flop AKQ, pot 825. It gets checked to me and I make a stab at it with my flush draw, I bet 400. UTG (same splashy player as last hand) calls, MP calls.

Turn 8, pot 2025. UTG now leads out 2200. MP tank calls. I make my flush and based on sizing I expect UTG to have two pair he wants to protect here a lot, but MPs call is concerning. I have ~8k behind and I suspect this should be a sigh-fold. I talk myself into a call because of my conclusion that only MP can have a flush there. Thin.

River 8, pot 8625. UTG continues for 4.8k and MP calls off his remaining 4k. I snap fold, as UTG now has a boat if I'm right, and MP clearly has a flush. UTG shows K8 for the limp UTG with ATC, check call with middle pair no kicker, and overbet turn with two pair into two players when the obvious draw comes in. What can I say, it's a classic.


I manage to find a triple up and stick around for a while longer, but finish in 60th when I jam KTo on the BTN for 12.5bb and get snapped by AQ. Still, I was encouraged by the level of play. It may be a bit more aggro/splashy than in the pub, but still lots of bad players.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:25 AM   #6
ramabranch
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Wow, amazing to know that you can make a decent income grinding pub games haha. You think you can live out of those in a city as expensive as Sydney or you'll need another type of income?

I remember my beginnings on Poker back in 2012 playing at a pub in Auckland too haha, free entry for all and the winner got a 5 drink tab prize, but the organizer was a shady f***er and he would offer us to play under the table for real cash ($5 to $10 NZD) without the owners of the pub authorization. He got paid one 5 drinks/meals tab himself for running it everyday and I'm pretty sure that's all he drank/ate on his day, he was a pretty f**** up guy, a kiwi 'bogan' (I think that's how you guys call those?).

Anyway, subbed already, gl on your journey.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:36 AM   #7
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Originally Posted by ramabranch View Post
Wow, amazing to know that you can make a decent income grinding pub games haha. You think you can live out of those in a city as expensive as Sydney or you'll need another type of income?
I actually ran the numbers because my scholarship is about to run out and I'm not finshed with my PhD. The conclusion that it's going to be hard to have enough volume, even assuming a 100% ROI, without the bigger casino games. And it would require playing pub poker 7 nights a week, which would be utterly horrible and demoralizing.

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I remember my beginnings on Poker back in 2012 playing at a pub in Auckland too haha, free entry for all and the winner got a 5 drink tab prize, but the organizer was a shady f***er and he would offer us to play under the table for real cash ($5 to $10 NZD) without the owners of the pub authorization. He got paid one 5 drinks/meals tab himself for running it everyday and I'm pretty sure that's all he drank/ate on his day, he was a pretty f**** up guy, a kiwi 'bogan' (I think that's how you guys call those?).

Anyway, subbed already, gl on your journey.
Haha, that's fantastic. I have a similar experience where I'm from, I used to play these E5 game run illegally in a pub and initially I was so overwhelmed and intimidated by all the "regulars". It got shut down after a visitor of the pub called the cops. Mind you, this only got a E100 prize pool with no money going to the pub owner. Stupid law.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:59 AM   #8
Kyle Saunders
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Really loving your story so far.

I also live in Australia and am the same age.

I read your other thread and you definetely are a favourite in the games you are playing. I am not surprised someone took half your action.

Will you be playing the $550 at Star on Australia Day?

Would like to catch up and say hello.

Enjoying your story
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Subbed!
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:55 AM   #10
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Originally Posted by Kyle Saunders View Post
Really loving your story so far.

I also live in Australia and am the same age.

I read your other thread and you definetely are a favourite in the games you are playing. I am not surprised someone took half your action.

Will you be playing the $550 at Star on Australia Day?

Would like to catch up and say hello.

Enjoying your story


And yeah, I'll play the $550 next week, shoot me a pm.

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Subbed!
Welcome back mate and please know that you can grind on the apps while crushing live tournaments! Where are you at?!
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:31 AM   #11
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

The $330 this week at the Star did not go particularly well. It was weird, I felt completely out of the zone and basic decisions took me way too much mental energy. I'm not going to make the $330 a weekly must play, because it should be something I'm excited to play every time I go. Still, I should at least include some less than optimal hands in this thread:


Blinds 100/200-25, 9-handed

UTG+1 opens to 400, I'm UTG+2 with 10k and 89. With 7 players to act and 25bb behind this should just be a fold, but I call. MAWG (=middle aged white guy) in MP raises to 900, UTG+1 folds. There's 2200 in the pot and 500 to call, easy call with my hand I'd say.

Flop Q34 , pot 2700. I check, MP checks.

Turn 2. I now lead 1400, and MP immediately raises to 3k, leaving 5k behind. MP might have slow played a bigger flush, but I think there's a good chance given his mannerisms that he has QQ for value there. Also a bunch of random bluffs. I should just get it in here, I call/lose vs bigger flush on river anyway. If he has other value, there's too many scare cards on river that'll make me lose value. Instead I call.

River 5, pot 8700. Sigh, terrible river card, every fish fears the ace. I check, he checks, and my hand is good. He later complains to neighbor that he lost with QQ. Didn't play this hand well, but FYI I put him on QQ before that convo, so at least my instincts weren't completely shot.


Blinds 200/400-50, 9-handed.

Active player in MP limps in for 400. I'm on BTN with KT with and overlimp with 6700 behind. SB completes and BB checks.

Flop KJ6, pot 2100. Blinds check and MP leads 1k. I should just call here on this dry board, I even block straight draws. But I reason he can't have a bigger king here as he limped in, and I just want the hand over with. Fish logic. I jam and MP calls with KQ. GG


As a bonus one hand from the week before I forgot:

Blinds 75/150, 10-handed.

Two limps ahead of me, I overlimp 75 in LJ. HJ raises to 525, limpers call, I call.

Flop J86, pot 2225. Everyone checks.

Turn J. It checks to me, I bet 850. HJ calls, one limper calls.

River 5, pot 4.8k. Limper check, I bet 1800. HJ tank folds (aces he later claimed), and limper now shoves for 5600

Such a gross spot. I get over 3-1, but it's so hard for limper to have worse. Still, how many value hands does he realistically have? He would lead turn with better flush surely, and doesn't jam it all the time on river either. He doesn't limp behind preflop with JJ/88, maybe with 66. He may play J8s this way. That makes for 3 combos of 66 and 2 combos of J8s. That means he needs 2 more combos that I do beat to make a call profitable. Overplayed AJx and KJx? Random spew? Eventually I call and lose to J8.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:34 PM   #12
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Ship it!

It's always a good sign when the cashier offers an elastic band for the pile of banknotes you just shipped. On Friday I won my regular pub poker $55 game straight up for $1150, from 50 runners. There weren't many particular interesting hands, this is pub poker after all. I managed to run 6bb at 4k/8k up to 25bb without showdown, mainly shipping over limpers preflop. I read a book at the table when playing pub poker and was dubbed "a silent assassin" because I only interrupted my reading to steal blinds+limps


There was one crazy hand with 3 left. Payouts were $1150, $750 and $450. At 15k/30k I have 450k, CL has 1M and this drunk guy 200k.

CL folds, and drunk guy completes his SB. I'm in BB with QT and we're playing <7bb effective. Playable hand of course, but at these stack sizes I just want to pick up 2bb, so I look at SB:

"All in"

SB looks straight at me and doesn't even allow to finish my sentence:

"Call"

I'm confused and look at TD/dealer: "Was that a call?"

TD to drunk guy: "Did you call?" Drunk guy nods.

I table my hand and it's the drunk guy's turn to be confused: "I didn't call! I didn't say anything!"

TD is not amused: "You said call and nodded after I verified. You can't say call and get away with it. Your call stands, I'm not going to discuss this any further, it stands."

Drunk guy: "This is bull****!, why would I want to call with this hand!?" and tables 52.

TD is pretty mad at this point and does not allow him to fold. We run it out and I ship the hand busting the drunk guy in 3rd. I didn't get involved in the discussion, and while it's clear drunk guy didn't really want to call, he did say call and then nodded when asked so I completely agree with TD.


We get HU with 30bb in play and I have a 650k vs his 1M. He got these chips by waking up with massive hands, but also made some disastrous folds (TT in BB vs 8bb shove) so I'm super comfortable I can just take his chips by grinding out his stack. He's the type of player who is way too tight HU, but you shouldn't let him get out of it by starting shipping and getting a frustration call. Much better to play small ball and pick up pots postflop. I proceed to win the first 6 hands. I make a sizing error at some point, but recover by correctly calling off a double barrel with second pair.

Finally I pick up QQ, complete my SB and villain shoves for 8bb. I snap and find myself on the good side of a cooler when he tables JJ and the board runs out clean. I am super happy with how I played HU, I tend to shove a lot where essentially I'm correct but pub players get frustrated and start calling off with weird hands. Longterm this is fine of course, but I introduce variance while I can also grind them down.

At this venue there is a bounty pool and if you win you get a number of random draws depending on pool size. It now stands at $4.6k and I got to draw for my name from the 50 runners four times. Unfortunately no luck.

Also this obviously isn't tracked by Hendon Mob, so it doesn't count towards the challenge, but it is my 5th biggest live cash! Pretty sweet week after all.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:18 PM   #13
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Also this obviously isn't tracked by Hendon Mob, so it doesn't count towards the challenge, but it is my 5th biggest live cash! Pretty sweet week after all.
Spoke too soon, week wasn't over after all. Yesterday I played a NPL game because I need 6 games played for the Quarterly. It's usually a $25 $1k gtd, but every quarter they have a special $45 $2k gtd game, where you get a discount if you are a regular. I'm not, but with 45 runners it's still good value. Especially if you ship it for $750.


48 hours. Two tournaments. Two wins. $1800 profit.

Easy game.
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:05 AM   #14
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Trip report will follow, but I just cashed my first tournament in the Star: 12th/250 in the $550 for $2.2k. A bit sad to get so close to FT, but really happy to get off the $0 and collect a cash for Hendon Mob.
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:04 AM   #15
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

On Friday I played my first $550 at the Star under my 50% staking agreement. I was well rested and really looking forward to it. I then proceeded to fold for 3 hours, winning a few small pots to stay around starting stack of 20k. Then this happened:

You asked for a triple?

Blinds 200/400-25, 9-handed

UTG limps in and fish in MP jams for 5k. They guy was playing very loose and splashy, and this was the first hand after he lost 80% of his stack due to a bad call and was visibly tilted. He obviously has a super wide range here. The next player in LJ snap-jams for 20k. LJ plays fishy too, clearly not a thinking player, but I assume he has picked up on how tilted MP is, it's hard not to. When I then look at AK with 24k behind it's a trivial decision for me. I jam. MP shows QJ, but LJ is surprisingly strong for a 50bb snap-rejam, with KK

Board runs out: 5A982


Nits everywhere!

And suddenly I am table chipleader with 54k. I pick up some more pots and get moved. I pick up aces and get 4bet shipped on, 85k. I also run well in some other ways:

Blinds 800/1600-100, 9-handed

OMC on BTN opens to 4k with 40k behind. I'm in BB with 88 with 80k behind. I consider 3betting to ~13k but don't really want to flip against a player I think will be straightforward post-flop, so I just call

Flop T53, pot 9.7k. I check call a bet of 5.2k

Turn K, pot 20.1k. Check, check.

River 6. I lead for 7.7k as a blockbet. BTN tank folds.

All good and I just assume villain has AQ/AJ here. To my surprise a couple minutes later he looks at me with a pained expression and says he folded an overpair to the flop. Just crazy, I wasn't targeting JJ/QQ there at all.


Battling LAGs

I then get moved to my last table, after having lost back a bit with a 65k stack. To my right is a super chatty and aggressive reg who opens lots of pots and relentlessly barrels boards. But he clearly has some reading abilities too:

Blinds 1k/2k-200, 10-handed

I have AA UTG and open to 4.5k. Young reggy BTN calls and the LAG in SB 3bets to 13k. I consider my options: if I call I invite BTN in as well and see a flop with a SPR~1. In hindsight that not bad, but at the time I figure getting close to the money I rather keep it HU and after all he did just 3bet an UTG open from the SB, so I don't think he's particularly light. There's not really a 4bet sizing that makes sense after a 6.5bb 3bet, so I jam. BTN folds and SB goes in the tank for ages. Eventually he folds and a little while later tells a friend he folded QQ. Sigh.


To shove or not to shove

Blinds 3k/6k-500, 8-handed

UTG opens to 14k and it folds to me in MP with 105k and AA. I consider 3betting to ~36k but that'd be for a 1/3rd of my stack, which will look strong as hell. I figure a jam looks weaker and we're playing an UTG range, so I think we can expect a call reasonably often. I shove and UTG folds, muttering about my "gigantic" shove. Sure, 18bb is not tiny, but I think it's pretty standard.


An orbit later:

Blinds 3k/6k-500, 8-handed

LJ (same guy as before) opens to 14k with 120k behind and it folds to me in SB. I have TT and slightly cover villain, so we're playing 22bb effective. We're close to the bubble, out of position with a hand that flops poorly. Instead of a 3bet to 40k/call, I opt to play it safe and jam. Villain is disgusted about my "million blind" shove and folds.

I'm slowly starting to question my sanity getting such intense reactions to my shove sizings. Everything becomes clear it's not me, it's him, when two levels later he limps UTG with KQs (so he claimed) with a 6bb stack and folds to a raise. He is super weak-passive who limp-folds all the time with sub-15bb stacks. Classic pub poker player who wound up in the casino.


Odds is odds

I build up my stack to 200k after I bust a shortie AQ > KQ and the very next hand 3bet the LAG to my right with AQ and he tankfolds. I keep on the pressure nearing the bubble and target weak players in the blinds while keeping into account stack sizings behind me that could shove over my open. In particular I'm targeting our muttering friend from before, since he is pretty short and does not like getting chips in pre. Apparently the last time I open on his BB is one too many:

Blinds 5k/10k-1k, 8-handed

I'm in HJ with 220k and open JT to 22k. Folds to our friend in BB who now jams for 92k total. Of course I take into account the stack size the shorties have, but slightly misjudged BBs stacksize. I gladly call off up to 60k with my hand, but now have to take a second. I need to call 70k to win 127k, so I need 35%. I've been active and villain clearly doesn't like me, so I figure I have enough equity against his range here. I call and villain shows K9

Flop 789

Turn 7

River 6

Villain calls me some more swear-words when he gets up and leaves. Bye bye!


Eventually we make the money with 27 players left. Up top is $30k and I'm one of the bigger stacks in the room. More tomorrow...
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:33 AM   #16
ramabranch
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Nice run so far, ez game. Gl tommorow
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:47 AM   #17
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Nice run so far, ez game. Gl tommorow
Oops, rereading my final paragraph I understand the confusion, but I've already finished the tournament. I ran out of time writing the trip report, hence the "tomorrow". Thanks anyhow and check in tomorrow for the finale!
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:22 PM   #18
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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More tomorrow...
I guess this didn't happen. I had a job interview as a researcher at a major telescope in Hawaii on Wednesday, so didn't get around to finishing up the TR. Let's pick up where we left of:


Christmas comes early

We make the money without any fuss, suddenly players left dropped from 29 to 27 and it's ITM. Mincash is $950, with $30k up top. I keep building up my stack through gifts like these:


Blinds 6k/12k-1k, 8-handed

I'm in MP with ~450k and open to 26k with AK. OMC in BB calls.

Flop AJ2, pot 64k. OMC jams for 110k . I ask for a count just to make sure, and call. People grumble about a slowroll after I table my hand, but it's such a weird line I want a second to stop and consider. I win vs A5 and I'm up to ~600k


I am now one of the big stacks in the room with 20 left. I have pretty good reads on my table mates and target tight-passive players with middling stacks in the blinds. I also pick up good hands, and just love my sizing here:


Blinds 6k/12k-1k, 7-handed

HJ just won two big pots to come back from being super short. He opens to 30k leaving 185k behind. It folds to me in SB with KK. Given his stack size I want to keep a raise small to let him perceive some fold equity, but not so small he gets great odds to peel. I 3bet to 75k, which means there's 170k in the pot if he calls, leaving him with 140k. He tanks for a full 5 minutes before releasing his hand. I think you're doing something really right in poker when you put someone in a position where all their options feel bad, best feeling in poker


But then...

...things take a turn. I have to take responsibility here, while acknowledging I've been playing for almost 12 hours at this point and I'm playing a style which I'm not used to, while there's a massive amount of $$ on the line. It's easy to say "well you played that like an idiot", and to forego that no one is a tireless and emotionless machine.


Blinds 8k/16k-1k, 7-handed

UTG+1, our LAG friend from before, opens to 35k, leaving 200k behind. He stayed active when he could, but I have clearly taken initiative at the table. I have to stress this is very unlike me, I'm a classic TAG, but I realize I have a big stack to leverage on a table full of tight-passive short-to-medium stacks. However, this guy is not afraid to use his stack at all. If I play this guy, chips are going to fly, and I have 13% of chips in play with 18 left. It'd be easy to coast to FT with top 8 giving me my biggest live cash ever.

This explains (but doesn't excuse) that when I look at 99 I'm at a loss what to do. I realize UTG+1 has a wider range than usual here. I also know that my image (with 4-5 3bets in the last two hours, none with shown down) is super active. With an effective stack of 15bb (his), a hand that flops poor, and plenty of players left to act, just calling seems bad. I know with my image and his playing style, I can expect a 4bet shove over a 3bet reasonably often. Instead of seeing the benefit of having a wide range jam into my 9s, which is a good thing, I react very poorly to the idea of flipping for 35% of my stack. And I fold...

I know.

And I do it again.


Blinds 8k/16k-1k, 7-handed

A few hands later, the LAG opens to 36k in MP, leaving 240k behind. I'm next to act with AQ. The same reasoning as before applies here, except a call isn't as bad. I should just 3bet given the strength of my hand and my image, but a call isn't the end of the world. I call, so does BB

Flop AJ2, pot 123k. BB checks and the LAG bets 48k, with 190k behind. I call, BB folds.

Turn 5, pot 220k. LAG jams for 190k. A call+lose would leave me with 300k. I take ages, but can't find enough semi bluffs in his range to warrant a call, so I fold. I don't mind this fold, but I do mind the mentality that led me to just call preflop. Live and learn I guess.


And we're done

Blinds 10k/20-2k, 7-handed, 14 left in tournament

I'm in CO and open to 42k with AK. SB jams for 100k and I call. He tables QQ and the board runs out clean. Down to 390k.


Blinds 10k/20-2k, 7-handed, 13 left in tournaments

LJ opens to 50k, and I'm on BTN and look down on AK. I have 350k and jam. LJ calls with JJ and again holds up. I get up to leave, but it turns out I'm left with 70k.


At this point with 3.5bb and 13 left I'm the favourite to bust next, but there a payjump of ~$250 to 12th. I tank all my hands like an *******, but eventually wind up in BB for 1/3 of my stack. BTN jams. I look down at Q7. However, before the hand started I had seen there was an all in on the other table and someone was tanking to call. I hollywood like I'm considering call or fold, and in the mean time see the player at the other table call off. I have no idea who's at risk and what the hands are, but 30 seconds later one player scoots back his chair and gets up!

I wait until he's gotten his slip from the TD, and call. I lose to 99 and finish in 12th for ~$2200


All in all I think I played really well, barring the couple hands at the end there. They weren't terrible decisions though, I was just too timid. I didn't spew, and I don't think I missed out on massive amounts of ev, but I have learned a lesson and gained valuable experience. Hopefully next time even in such big money spots I'll keep pushing my edges and not try to coast to FT. Because you'll never know if you're just two flips away from busting...


In terms of my challenge, I did cash for ~US$1800, which means we're now at: $3600/$25k on Hendon Mob, not bad! Tonight I have a $105 pub game and tomorrow my biggest buy-in ever in Sydney, a $605 Quarterly two-day tournament. I won the ticket in a raffle for $30 (lol) haven't sold any action, so cashing would be fantastic!. There'll be ~$50k up top.
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:52 AM   #19
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Over the weekend I played a lot of poker and there's plenty to catch you up on. I will do it in installments over the week, so stay tuned! Let's start:


Final Table $105 Friday High Roller

On Friday night I played my regular game, which once a month is a "high-roller". I will pick up the action after a 82-player field whittled down to the final table of 10. I have a medium stack and 8 get paid. I'm managing my stack but not much is happening. The big stack is a complete loony bin who calls off all ins super light and gets lucky. In one hand second in chips jams from SB with AQ for 17bb and the maniac calls with J9 leaving him with 3bb, but he binks a jack. Eventually I find a double:


Blinds 25k/50k, 8-handed

We're in the money and a young kid jams in CO for 290k. Folds to me in BB with 330k and I call with AT. He tables 33 and the board runs out:

T5278

And I'm up to 650k.


We get down to 5 players and I win another flip:

Blinds 30k/60k, 5-handed

CO opens to 200k with 500k behind. It folds to me in SB with 650k and JJ. Villains sizing implies there's little fold equity, but I'm not folding here of course. I jam and get called by KQ. Board runs out clean, up to 1.4M


Another bust out leaves us with three players. I have 1.4M, the crazy OMC has 1.2M and there's a shortie with 500k at 30k/60k. I then do something extremely intelligent or super stupid:


Blinds 30k/60k, 3-handed

Maniac is on BTN and open jams for 1.2M. Shortie folds and I'm in BB with TT. This may seem like a trivial call, but this guy is a complete wildcard. He'll have plenty of combinations of overcards here and I do not want to flip here. Although he is wild, I still have an incredible edge over him and by flipping for all the chips in the tournament he'll negate that. Of course he could have a smaller pair, but I tank for ages and fold.

He shows 88

But TD/dealer rabbit hunts the flop (very profi, I know) and it would've come 8-high


Blinds 30k/60k, 3-handed

Shortie on BTN has gained some chips and limps in. I'm in SB with QJ and complete, BB checks.

Flop Q94, pot 180k. It's a wettish board and I must have the strongest queen out there, so I lead 80k. BB folds and BTN raises to 250k, leaving 400k behind. No way he has limped a stronger queen here and if he somehow has 33 or Q9 it's unlucky. I jam and get a call from Q8. My hand holds up and I'm HU against the maniac.


How to play a maniac

It's my 2M vs his 1.2M so all is looking good. However this guy has a very unconventional style, which involves a lot of shoving. This just happens to be what you want to do in a HU match with only 40-50bb in play. Bummer.

I figure I limp in every hand, weak or strong. He'll shove regardless of stack size if he likes his hand. For example first hand he jams for 20bb and shows KJ. If we see a flop it's pretty easy to figure out where we're at, because he'll just jam if he hits a piece. On numerous occasions he just donkjammed 5x pot and shows middle pair. That's why I folded the tens, this guy is not hard to play against.

I think my strat is fine, but it does depend on card distribution a bit. I have to keep folding (correctly, as he likes to show almost all his winning hands) and the roles reverse with him at 2M and me at 1.2M. I finally pick up KK and somehow villain finds his very first open fold of the HU. His second open fold is when I have AJ.

Finally I find a hand and action:


Blinds 40k/80k, HU

I'm on SB/BTN and complete with AT. Villain jams for 1.2M effective, I snap call. Villain shows 22 and I'm mildly disgusted at how much equity he still has. Fortunately the board runs out:

TJ44

And I double to 2.4M vs his 800k.


We continue playing for limped pots a bit longer until:


Blinds 40k/80k, HU

I complete with 96 and villain checks.

Flop T99, pot 160k. Villain instajams for 700k, I call. Villain shows KT.

Turn J

River 7


This makes this my third tournament win this year, this time for $2700, equal to my biggest live score to date! I also get 6 draws for the $6k bounty, but brick all of them.

After a ~month since the start of my PGC and $1500 of buyins I'm now up $4600. This is already about half of my best year to date (2015) in the Sydney pub poker scene. PGC heat is a real thing!

More to come...

Last edited by KoolCaliban; 02-05-2018 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:13 PM   #20
Kyle Saunders
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Awesome run!

Congrats on the ship!

I really don’t like the TT fold though. I understand you have an edge but it’s just just too strong to fold.

Hopefully this run good continues at STAR
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:01 AM   #21
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Saunders View Post
Awesome run!

Congrats on the ship!

I really don’t like the TT fold though. I understand you have an edge but it’s just just too strong to fold.

Hopefully this run good continues at STAR
Thanks! And you're not wrong about the TT hand. If I hadn't won the tournament (and hadn't known he had 8s with the board coming 8-high) I probably would've been way more critical about the hand, which is a super silly excuse. I haven't run the spot in ICMizer, but surely it's a +$ev spot. Passing up on +ev spot because of an edge is a very slippery slope, but this is definitely a player type where it is (somewhat) warranted. Enough to fold TT there? Probably not.


I also played another game in the weekend, with some fun hands. Will post the first instalment later today hopefully.
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:32 AM   #22
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

After winning the tournament on Friday I got home at 3 am. This was one of my concerns about playing that game, that I would get home late and not have enough sleep to play my A-game the next day, for the $605 Quarterly. Fortunately winning $2700 made up for losing my edge a bit, because I definitely did not play particularly well after 5 hours of sleep:


$605 Quarterly Final

I arrive at the venue 15 minutes late because the parking situation was just mayhem. This game is the biggest "pub" game around, but my first impression wasn't very favorable. Like most pub games it was player dealt, we were seated on lawn chairs and there's this lady walking around with a microphone loudly giving us updates on hands nobody cares about at this stage. Also the rake is 20%, with 10% of the field paid and a measly mincash of $750. All around a far cry from the $550 Australia Day tournament at the Star that I FT bubbled two weeks ago.

Still, I won my entry through a $20 raffle, and prize up top generated from a 267-player field got to $43k, so it wasn't all bad. However, my start of the tournament was:


A rough start

Blinds 75/150, 9-handed

UTG limps in and UTG+1 raises to 625. I'm next to act with QQ and I call off a 20k starting stack. We see a flop 5-handed.

Flop T72, pot 3200. UTG+1 continues with a massive 3.5k bet. I call, so does BTN.

Turn 6, pot 13.7k. UTG+1 tanks for a bit and jams for 14k. This is most of my stack and I don't know villain. He seems capable and aggressive, but that doesn't mean he can't have AA/KK/TT/77 here in addition to (combo) draws on this wet flop. I fold, so does BTN.

In the break afterwards, when we've been moved to other tables, I tell villain I folded queens there and he seems genuinely surprised, but acknowledges he had caught up on me on flop.


Blinds 75/150, 9-handed

UTG opens to 350, UTG+1 calls. Folds to me on BTN and I raise to 1200 with TT. It folds to BB who quickly raises to 3500. I have 15k behind and BB is your typical pub poker Middle Aged White Guy (MAWG) who is alwys super nutted here. I fold and he shows Kings with the classic "didn't want to see an ace on the flop" speech.


Blinds 75/150, 9-handed

I'm UTG with KK and open to 500. MP and LJ call.

Flop KJ9, pot 1725. I cbet 1k, villain in LJ calls. He has a big stack, but seems really straightforward.

Turn 6, pot 3725. It's a wet board, so I size up to 2.5k. Villain raises to 5k . No way he does this with a draw, so I'm not worried about the flush coming in. This just screams strength, either QTs or JJ/99. I get 4-1 on a call with 10 outs to the nuts if necessary, so I call.

River A, pot 13.7k. Seems like a filthy river but I'd super suprised if he shows up with a flush here. I check, he jams for 4.7k and I'm getting 4-1. I sigh call and he tables QT. Super ****ty call pre against an UTG open.


I am now down to 4.5k from a 20k starting stack. I open TT and get to river 3-handed on 7J2KQ where my handed magically is good and I chip up a bit. I battle some more and when our table breaks I'm back up to 15k.


Too tired to take the fish for a ride

My new table is full of pub poker fish with maybe one exception. My first table must have been the reggiest table out there! However, by now I'm really tired and this always makes it difficult to control the spew, especially when I consider myself the best player at the table. Charming, no?


Blinds 300/600, 9-handed

I've chipped up a bit thanks to aces and flopping trips. I'm UTG+1 with 25k and 74. I open to 1300 because all players are idiots and I'm the best player in the room after all! **** yeah!! Bend to my will!!

MP calls and CO jams for 3100... It folds to me and I call, while MP apparently has a call-2bb-fold-to-5bb range. CO shows 88, and miraculously I don't win. I do get lots of funny looks and some poorly concealed mirth.


Blinds 300/600, 9-handed

Unfazed from the previous hand I find myself overlimping in UTG+1 after UTG limps in with 64. Fortunately nobody likes to raise on this table so we see a flop 5-handed.

Flop 854, pot 3000. UTG bets 2100 and I call, after all if we play this hand and flop a pair+gutshot+backdoor fd I can't fold here right? Right?!

Turn K, pot 7.2k. UTG checks. Bingo, let's go to town. I bet 3.8k, he calls.

River A, pot 14.8k. UTG checks and there are now two scary cards out there! So I bet 7.5k and get tank called by A8...


New table, new image, new chance

I get moved to a new table and this one is even fishier than the previous table, I've calmed down a bit but I'm left with 15k at 500/1k. Literally the last hand before dinner I double AJ all in pre vs KK. I manage to chip up a bit more and pick up on reads. To be perfectly honest, that's not particularly difficult. There's this lady who either limps in, or open jams regardless of stack size. Without exception after jamming she shows her hand, always QQ, KK or AA. She goes through a dozen such big pairs before actually making any chips of 'm, when someone has KK vs her AA. I also get involved:

Blinds 1500/3000, 8-handed

The lady limps in in LJ and I'm on BTN with AA with a 40k stack. I raise to 9k and she calls.

Flop T94, pot 22.5k. She donk leads out 6k, which is a thing of beauty because she only bets if she has something. I jam for 30k and she calls with KT. My hand holds up and I double to 83k.


A special kind of player

A few orbits later I get another (almost) double when I bust someone with KK vs A9, to 150k. There's this kid at the table who's very vocal that he wants to make day 2, with any stack. He's playing super passive and is dreaming making day 2 with 25k. This means he'll come back to 3bb . It's a pretty big tell I have to say, so when in the final hand he is the BB I decide I'll open any but the poorest hands, because that'll be the easiest chips in the tournament. I open UTG+1 with a min-raise holding T7, and our friend in BB sigh-folds an ace, leaving himself with 22k coming back to 4/8k...


Day 1 finished around 11 pm after 12 hours of play. I decide to drive back home for >1hr to get up at 8 am the next day for another 11 am start for day 2. I have 165k or 20bb, and I'm 14/44 coming back. Only 27 spots get paid, so I have zero guarantee to cash. Fortunately I couldn't find anyone to buy a %, so I have 100% of my action.

Day 2 trip report will follow later this week!
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:57 PM   #23
Turningham
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoolCaliban View Post


Final Table $105 Friday High Roller

On Friday night I played my regular game, which once a month is a "high-roller".
This isn't a certain game in the northern beaches is it?

Sick job crushing so far btw!
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:15 PM   #24
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Originally Posted by Turningham View Post
This isn't a certain game in the northern beaches is it?
Yup, Pittwater.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:58 PM   #25
Turningham
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Ahhh bummer - I was super close to going. I played a game there last week and it was a super cool crowd.

Will definitely have to go to the next one and try and dethrone the current champ!
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