New Poker Strategy Book | SPATS 100 | Tyler Nals

SPATS 100

Several times per week, I receive messages from people who read or listened to The Perfect Range. They always tell me how they have gone from losing players to winning players by following the SPATS strategy within The Perfect Range. It’s a simple strategy based on starting hands. SPATS stands for…

Suited-Connecters

Pairs

Ax-Suited

Ten or Higher

Suited One-Gappers

These are the only starting hands you’re allowed to play. It DOES NOT mean you have to play them! Sorry for the caps, but I really need to make that clear. If someone in early position raises 3x BB (Big Blind) when you have QTo in MP (Middle Position), that’s a fold.

Another rule is that you have freedom to veer off SPATS on the BTN (Button) and in the blinds if it’s an un-raised pot.

When you put all this together, you stay disciplined with your range while still remaining unpredictable. The added advantage is that you will avoid tilt. For instance, if you were to get unlucky on a hand and you weren’t applying SPATS, you might raise 4x BB with 95s on the next hand because you’re pissed off. If you’re sticking to SPATS, you’re folding that hand, remaining calm, and waiting for a better spot.

Based on the feedback I have received and my own experiences, SPATS works! To date, I have received approximately 50-60 positive messages and one negative message. I still can’t figure out what that one person is doing, but she does admit to being highly emotional at the table, which probably provides the answer.

All of this is great news, but there is one twist. Most of that positive feedback I’ve been receiving for SPATS has been for cash games. I have applied SPATS for tourneys and found success, but a lot would depend on my energy and reads. Tournaments are much different. The WSOPC isn’t exactly a soft field. Nor is the WSOP in Las Vegas in the summer—or any other tourney series around town in the summer.

With COVID-19 hitting and being forced to stay home during the first several months of the pandemic, I found online poker options. In the beginning of this online journey, I was playing tournaments and therefore decided to test out SPATS for tourneys. If you didn’t read the blurb, SPATS 100 is 100 poker tournaments to see if I can turn a profit.

Let’s roll!

Hold on. Is that not a cool saying anymore? Did I just make it uncool by asking? These are the things that enter my mind as I write. Brace yourself.

“Brace yourself!” – Now that was cool.

Tournament #1

I would first like to state that Tournament #1 is written in a much different style than the other chapters because I didn’t know how the hell I was going to approach this project. This chapter is more like random notes. The format will be clearer beginning with Tournament #2. We are on this journey together. Hold on tightly. But don’t let go.

That’s hold on loosely, isn’t it? Well I’m telling you to hold on tightly because tight is right (in many aspects of life).

Buy-in: $16
The Weekender

Yes, $16. When I played in these tournaments, I was at one of the lowest financial points of my life. I accumulated debt to build my brand. Hopefully, that is paying off with increased book sales, more invitations to poker rooms (private deals made), and the movie The Dark Side of The Felt (still seeking capital but script now out there). Back to poker.

UPDATE: Things have changed for the better. My risk-taking paid off.

I wish I could have someone over my shoulder in live games taking notes and whispering my VPIP in my ear every few minutes. Only I would be able to see this person. He would be dressed like a casual butler (if that’s a thing), stand upright, speak in King’s English, and he’d be holding a notepad.

The above is a random thought. Yes … this book is about online poker tournaments. I didn’t mean to confuse you. It was just something that crossed my mind. And when something crosses my mind, I write it so you know exactly how my mind is operating.

The same player keeps going up against me and losing. Just mucks after I check. Huh? I’ll take it.

Keith just got caught in a bluff. I respect it though. Also not a bad thing. It lets people know he’s willing to bluff. Based on his style of play, this will get him calls later when he has the goods.

____________

Qd Td.

Call.

Flop: 8d Jc 9s

Keith check-raises me.

Call.

Turn: 9d

Keith bets 25% of my stack.

Tempting, but I know he’s already there. Also possible I’m drawing dead to a full house.

Fold.

____________

Keith just farted. He’s playing in Georgia and I’m in North Carolina. Just a hunch.

I ask Keith the identity of two players at our table. I then ask if any of them know my identity. This how the conversation went…

Keith: “But someone recognized you when you said you was gonna write about it and sent Steph a message. They said, ‘OMG a real live professional is gonna play with us? OMG he is famous.’”

Me: “(laughing emoji). You’re an ass!!!”

Keith: “I’m serious, fucker. Steph showed me the messages. I won’t tell you who she is.”

Me: “Lol. Ok.”

Here is something that people don’t understand. Writers aren’t rich. Do my book sales earn me some income? Of course, but I’m far from wealthy. This is actually the case for 99% of all writers—not just poker writers. There is a misconception amongst people that writers are wealthy. The truth is this shit ain’t easy! We do it because we love it! A true writer does it for the love of it anyway.

What I sometimes fail to realize is that the number of books I sell is pretty high. So, I guess maybe there is ‘fame’ without fortune? I don’t know. And I’m certainly not famous. I’m just a dude that some people know in the poker community. What I want more than anything is for people to enjoy my writing. That is all.

Back to poker…

Me and Keith are battling. And, yes, I wrote ‘Me and Keith’ instead of ‘Keith and I.’ I like it like that, but I won’t add ‘ooh baby’ to the beginning. I mean, he’s sexy and all, but not ‘ooh baby’ material. Not for me anyway. The Hawaiian shirts almost got me though.

Two screens just popped up when I was in the SB, but I didn’t know if I was in the BB because of those two screens. Confusion—I didn’t want to accidentally close out the game while in a hand. Fortunately, I had 63o and folded. Based on that information, I don’t even know why I’m telling you about this hand. Weird.

Folding SB in this tourney like never before!

No Ego!

Ego Destroyed!

I should probably say ‘Ego Conquered!’

But if I write that it comes off as Egotistical, right?

Shit!

This is the world I live in.

____________

Jh Th CO.

Fold top pair due to knowing I’m behind.

____________

I lose three big hands while dealing with business stuff. Dumb.

____________

Keith: “I play every game like it’s my last.”

Me: “Love that.”

Keith: “Tomorrow is not guaranteed.”

Keith (again): “Wow. Q high??? Nice hand.”

Me: “Ty.”

Keith: “Good read on your part.”

Me: “Thanks. Doesn’t always mean a lot. Lol.”

Keith: “I know but calling a bet with air … and winning. I fucking love it. You da man.”

Me: “Need a little run good though.”

Keith: “You might need to get the wrench out.”

Me: “This is 1 of 100. Stick to plan.”

____________

77 UTG +1.

Call.

BB only other player and checks.

Flop: TAA

I bet half pot.

BB calls.

Turn: 4

I bet half pot.

BB jams.

Okay….

Fold.

____________

TT MP1.

UTG +2 calls.

Call.

Don’t want to play for all my chips right now.

4-player pot.

Flop: 85K

UTG +2 bets pot.

She likely has K and protecting top pair. Reason for pot-sized bet.

Fold.

____________

Me: “Haven’t played SPATS in a long time. Miss it.”

Keith: “I don’t remember any other way.”

Me: “Probably why you cash a lot.”

Keith: “$1k starting bankroll. Ran it up to $81k in a year with 100% no rebuys in tournament or cash!!! Then when you told me you didn’t play SPATS I started to venture outside of the range and got my nuts handed to me.”

Me: “Yeah. It will fuck you up! Stick to SPATS. Game gives you what it gives you, but it will give you if you’re patient.”

____________

Qh Th UTG.

I min-raise.

Three callers to Keith, who jams.

Fold.

He gets one caller.

Keith tables JJ.

Opponent tables JT.

Keith wins big pot.

____________

I attempt hero call with second pair after overanalyzing. I was wrong. That one hurt. As hero calls usually do.

____________

14 of 14 remaining.

____________

5c 4d BB.

Two all-ins and limper behind, who I know will call.

My best shot to get back in the game. Don’t like it one bit, but it’s a decent spot.

Call.

4-way all-in.

I’m up against AA, KQ, and QQ.

Yikes!

Flop: Ks Qs Js

Busto!

Did you notice what I did there? It wasn’t anything good. I was in the BB with a non-SPATS hand and called a raise. The other mistake was the hero call with second pair. That’s the thing with tourneys. One mistake will crush you. I guess I shouldn’t have written about Ego before, huh? Ego crushed me!

We shall try again tomorrow.

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$16

Tournament #2

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

First hand…

Kc Qc MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Steph raises 4x my bet.

Three callers, including me.

Dangerous call.

NOTE: I’m typing this five months later and I wouldn’t make this call today. This shows me I’m more on top of my game now than then. My only real shot here is to flush out. Not a good wager.

Flop: 6K3-rainbow

I bet 1/3 pot as a feeler bet.

Steph raises 4x my bet again.

Fold.

I message Keith to tell him about that hand (he’s at a different table).

He said Steph had AK.

Good fold in the end, but bad call to begin with. This situation could have been avoided. I wish today’s version of me—as well as old version of me—could go back to this version of me and smack him upside the head.

____________

I check-raise with top pair against DazzlinDebs.

Effective.

Almost got all my chips back.

____________

TT BB.

Three limpers to me.

Check.

What my gut tells me.

Flop: Js Qs Ks

I bet 3/4 of pot.

NOTE: Another strange bet. Who is this person? This is so weird—and so cool—to see how I was playing back then by typing it five months later. I would never make that bet today in that spot. Stupid. And, to be honest, EGO! I only care about one thing now. Just like pre-Ego days, And that is Profit.

One caller.

Turn: Jd

I bet 3/4 pot and get min-raised.

Call.

NOTE: Why the hell would I call that? How obvious is this shit? I seriously don’t understand what frame of mind I was in at this time. It had to relate to financial stress and Ego. Dangerous combo.

River: Th

I bet 3/4 of pot.

Villain min-raises.

I min-raise back.

Villain calls.

Villain tables As 5s for flush.

Got her with boat on river.

NOTE: You might think I played this hand well, but if you think that, you’re cuckoo! That would be results-oriented. From a decision-making standpoint, it was horribly played. It should have been a fold on the flop. Speaking from today’s mindset, I’m going to point out something else that happened here. Pay attention to the comment that was written in chat immediately after the hand…

Villain: “Figures. These tournaments aren’t for me.”

This person seems nice and cool, but I see this often. People get so down after one hand. Even if a hand gets you down, definitely don’t show it. Just my three cents. I can’t go with two cents because it’s cliché, and I hate cliché. And I’m not using three cents instead of one cent because I think my opinion is more important. It’s just because I want to feel different. I don’t need to be different. Just feeling different is enough.

____________

6 of 23 remaining.

____________

A8o BTN.

Fold to 4x BB raise.

____________

ATo back-to-back hands.

First one: min-raise, check, fold.
Second one: 3-bet, bluff, win.

____________

44 UTG.

I min-raise.

Three callers.

Flop: A47

All checks.

Turn: 5

I have an eerie feeling that someone has 55.

I bet half pot.

Lisa Lindell calls.

River: 7

The logical side of my brain thinks to bet. My gut is telling my something is off. Let’s see how it plays out.

I go logical and bet half pot.

She raises 3x my bet.

Crying call.

She tables 55.

Always go with your gut.

____________

AJo SB.

UTG +2 raises 4x BB.

Call.

NOTE: STOP! There is NO WAY IN HELL I’m calling a 4x BB raise from UTG +2 with AJo out of position today. I mean, what the heck was going on??? So weird to be typing this from a completely different mindset, and it proves that mindset is everything! Well, at least a huge factor.

Flop: 385

Check.

Villain bets half pot.

Call.

Huh?

Turn: K

I bet 3/4 of pot to represent K.

Villain folds.

NOTE: I seriously don’t know this player/this version of me. That might have worked, but if I was playing this way, it’s not +EV. A lot of you might think: I like it! It got the job done. You’re thinking hand-by-hand, not long-term profitability.

____________

7 of 20 remaining.

____________

Keith: “Hey. Just found out I’m a mystery bounty today.”

Me: “Nice. Is that every tourney?”

Keith: “Not just today, but not all the time either.”

____________

KJo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Villain jams for another 5 BBs.

Call.

Villain tables A3o.

Flop: JJA

Turn: T

River: K

Knockout.

____________

AKo BB.

I 3-bet.

Two callers.

Flop: K34

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

5 of 19 remaining.

90 BBs. I should just chill for a while.

____________

9c 9d UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

CO calls.

Flop: 8h 6h 2s

I bet 3/4 pot.

Villain calls.

Turn: 7d

I bet pot.

Villain calls.

River: 8s

I bet pot.

Villain jams, which is almost half my stack.

Fold.

Tough one, but no chance I’m ahead with that action. If I was checking, maybe.

____________

AA BB.

Seven limpers to me, including player I folded to on previous hand.

I bet pot.

Everyone folds to villain from previous hand, who jams.

Call.

Villain tables 99.

My hand holds.

Knockout.

____________

Even though I wasn’t on top of my game at this time, this is why I fold in tough spots. You will often have a better spot in the near future.

____________

5 of 16 remaining.

____________

Jc 9c UTG.

Call.

3-player pot.

Flop: TTJ (one club)

I bet 3/4 pot.

One caller.

I bet half pot.

Villain folds.

____________

22 BTN.

Call.

BB has more chips than me. Not messing around.

Fold to bet on river.

____________

We are in the middle of COVID-19 and nobody is allowed to go anywhere unless it’s a necessity. As I sit here playing poker, I listen to EDM music on YouTube, where I watch huge crowds of people dancing and having fun. This is interesting to me for one reason…

The last time I was in Tunica for the WSOPC, I looked around the Event Center (Bluesville) where all the tournaments were being held and thought to myself: Do these people realize how good they have it? Win or lose, we are all congregating with like-minded people to play a game we love while also having the option of free alcohol. I’m not sure how many people in this room appreciate that kind of freedom.

Two months later, the world shut down.

____________

4 of 16 remaining.

____________

Kd Jd UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: Kh 6h 6d

I get into it with Villain.

Short Version: third heart on river and Villain fires big. Thought strongly about it but my read was that Villain didn’t have flush but did have KQ. She wouldn’t fire that confidently with KT or worse.

Fold.

____________

7 of 14 remaining

Top 3 cash.

4 of 14 remaining (one minute later).

8 of 13 remaining (ummm….).

____________

Now that I think about it, other than the full house vs. flush, I have won the majority of my chips via bluffs. Working hard for my chips in this one.

____________

44 MP.

Didn’t work out well.

____________

66 HJ.

Worked out well.

____________

Butter on the mouse,

Butter on the pen,

Butter for…

Mother Hen?

____________

Shit, I don’t know. Needed to finish the rhyme. Only Mother Hen was embellished. While we’re kind of on the topic, I was once told that you can wipe off butter with a dry napkin. I’m not sold.

____________

9 of 13 remaining.

____________

ATo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Villain in MP jams for 33 BBs.

Fold.

____________

AA CO.

Raise 3x BB.

Looks like every other hand.

One caller.

Flop: 8KK

I bet pot.

Not a time to play games.

Villain tank-folds.

____________

9d 8d UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: JJ9

I bet 3/4 pot.

Two folds.

____________

Miss flush with 85s from BB but small pot.

____________

6 of 13 remaining.

7 of 12 remaining.

____________

Win a pot with min-bet and middle pair.

____________

KK < JJ for half my stack (vs. JulieK925).

Crusher.

____________

12 of 12 remaining.

____________

As 5s.

Call 6x BB raise from JulieK925.

Very light call that doesn’t make sense. That’s fold or jam.

Whiff-fold on flop.

Dumb!

Present-day me is mad at this version of me.

____________

10 BBs.

____________

AK MP.

I jam.

Called by 88.

Busto!

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$32

TOURNAMENT #3

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

A few things going into today…

Scratch that. More than a few things going into today…

1. It was just announced that everything is expected to get back to normal (COVID-19) in 10-12 weeks. Not sure if that’s good news or bad news, but I’ll roll with it.

UPDATE: This was wayyyyy off the mark.

2. I’m wearing my marble-gray zip-up hoodie. I wear this when I want to play good poker, but it usually doesn’t work.

3. The tourney starts in three minutes.

4. When it was 15 minutes to tourney, I texted Brett—Producer for The Dark Side of the Felt—to inquire about our progress with fixing the Curls character. I have shared that conversation below, and it will continue into the tourney…

Me: “We were searching for the reason why Curls would help Tyler. She is basically a sex slave, forced by Shadow because he knows it will bring more players to his venue. It’s one of his dirty ways to gain an advantage. Can you make it work? Shouldn’t require much change. Third Act remains same.”

Me (again): “I think timing is important on business side. If stimulus plan is passed (I think it will be), it will be a Band-Aid but optimism will be there for future months. That’s our window. Also, if script is complete, I’m relatively confident I can get it in front of Amazon. If we went that route. Up to you. Not as big as Netflix, but you know better than me.”

Brett: “I like it but don’t get why she is hustling Tyler and Cotton. And putting herself in harm’s way.”

Me: “She’s conflicted. Feeling secure with Shadow, helping Tyler. She doesn’t know which side to choose. Goes back and forth. Wants to choose winning side. Develops feelings for Tyler along the way but doesn’t want to put her own life at risk.”

Brett: “Not buying that because she’s straight hustling him. Feelings never develop. He just accepts her for who she is because he’s a softy.”

Me: “Could work. Best route. Just need to sell it. That part is all you. I just provided the foundation.”

Brett: “If I’m not buying, how can I sell?”

Me: “Why can’t feelings develop? Conflicted feelings. That’s normal. Realistic.”

Brett: “Show me in script where storyline goes? Every scene she’s in after he steals money she’s working for Shadow.”

Me: “I appreciate this because you want it to be as good as possible.”

Brett: “That’s my only motivation.”

Me: “Cool. My last comment. Workable?”

Brett: “So … she sees Tyler. Offers him help by ripping off Snake. Something she’s done many times. He gets caught. She doesn’t. (Why would she help him again by going to his house?? She’d keep her distance if she was a half-wit.) She encourages the team to start stealing from Shadow. Shit goes down. Then she convinces team to start killing Shadow’s guys. Then she convinces team to go after Shadow. Tyler shows up to kill Shadow and she’s like … surprise! Shadow caught on to our plan and didn’t punish me because I’m his best whore (even though I double-crossed him), but he’s going to kill you and please save me!!! Tyler locks Shadow up, goes back to his wife and partners up with Curls.”

Me: “Lol. I think all of this can be fixed and sellable. If I had time, I would write it in book form. Based on circumstances, easier to figure out solution without that. To me, they’re just tweaks to make it work. I do that all the time. I think I might need to take a day to just think about script and solve this.”

Brett: “Movies are a visual medium and we have to see it. If a friend was like, ‘Yo! I banged four strippers yesterday,’ you’d be like, ‘Cool. Whatever.’ If he just sent you a video but didn’t say any words, you’d be like, ‘Holy shit!!!’

Me: “(laughing emoji). Not a big fan of strippers, but I hear you.”

Brett: “Supermodels.”

Me: “Lol. Do you have any solutions? Meant in brainstorming way, not dickhead way.”

Brett: “One idea. She’s not Shadow’s girl. She’s an opportunist.”

Me: “I like that, but if that’s the case, how did she end up working for Shadow? On purpose?”

Brett: “She doesn’t work for Shadow. Second idea … she is Shadow’s girl but Tyler wants to kill her when he finds out she double-crossed him. He doesn’t have the balls to do it so maybe Purple puts a bullet in her head.”

Me: “That would at least lead into second installment well, but only if Tyler had developed feelings for her (doesn’t need to be acted on). I always assume win. Only win.”

Brett: “Option 2.”

Me: “Yes. It fits entire long-term story I developed. Then Tyler is all fucked up in the head. Developed feelings for her, then wanted to kill her. Then she gets killed. Needs to see someone in second installment to clear his head.”

Brett: “I like it. So maybe that scene where he flips out on her and says, ‘Why do we trust you?’ needs to change.”

Me: “Finally! You are tough as nails with this shit, but I love it. Want to roll with it? You are one writing it. I’m just trying to do everything I can to help right now.”

Waiting for reply. I’m now 1 hour and 15 minutes into the tourney. I have 6,715 in chips (began with 5k). I’m in 8th of 17 (23 entries). Average stack is 6,764. Two big hands led to this spot.

____________

1st Hand…

2h 2s UTG.

Call.

3-player pot.

Flop: 9c 5d 2c

Check.

Keith checks.

Anonymous player bets 1/3 of my stack.

Call.

Keith raises, which will cost about 65% of my stack.

Call.

Anonymous calls.

Turn: Jc

Now there is flush potential.

Check.

Keith puts both of us all-in.

I know Keith, and I know he only plays SPATS. Looking back at that flop, there is no way I have him beat. I know he has 99 or 55. There are a ton of chips out there, but I know it’s a loser, so I fold.

Anonymous calls.

Keith tables 55 and wins the hand.

____________

2nd Hand…

AA BB.

Only 1,765 chips remaining.

Two limpers to SB, who puts me all-in.

Call.

Keith raises.

MP raises all-in.

Everyone calls.

I’m up against AQ, KK, and KTo.

I win the hand.

____________

Notice what happened. By folding on the first hand, it kept me in the game. Some would argue that I was pot-committed, but if you figure out the answer based on player patterns and actions, and you know you have a losing hand, the only correct play is fold. This cannot be argued, and it’s on the big advantages to playing the player.

Brett just texted me back…

Brett: “Scene when Tyler calls her out has to change. Not sure to what but they need to connect and show feelings for each other at same point.”

Me: “Agree on both. They absolutely must show feelings. Need some kind of love connection anyway. One is dying, another is growing.”

Brett: “He turns and shoots Ms. Purple. That would show emotion. All the emotion in one action. A great ‘Oh shit!’ moment.”

Me: “I like that, but he needs Cotton for second installment. Cotton won’t be friend if that happens.”

Brett: “Purple fucked up. You don’t do that to a friend.”

Me: “Curls double-crossed them. Purple is in the right.”

Brett: “Well, then Cotton and Tyler will have to work it out in the sequel.”

Me: “Ok. But can it not be all gunshots please? Something a little more personal.”

Brett: “Neither killing is personal. Bang! Bang! Dead.”

Me: “Not personal, but maybe something a little original? Can we at least have it where Purple presses gun against steamed-up shower door, Curls hears it and wipes off steam, sees tip of shotgun, and Purple blasts her, blood splattering all over shower mixing with water, then lifeline down drain.”

Brett: “Where’s the moment Tyler wants to kill her fit in?”

Me: “We can brainstorm that for 24 hours. For now, are you cool with scene above for Purple vs. Curls?”

Brett: “No because I’m not sure it works.”

Me: “This would be after Tyler wants to kill her and decides against it. His feelings get in the way.”

Brett: “Hmmm. Seems like should be same scene. When/where would that take place?”

Me: “I would have to look at script again, but possibly in hotel room scene (doesn’t need to be). Something a little earlier to Shadow’s house. After he doesn’t do it, he can say to Cotton, ‘I might have made a mistake.’ Cotton will inquire and Tyler will brush it off.”

Brett: “Maybe. But why go ahead with plan at that point if it’s a setup?”

Me: “I guess Tyler would need to see Curls first in Shadow’s house. Maybe he sees her in shower first, is tempted to kill. When he leaves bathroom, audience thinks she escaped death, but when Tyler goes downstairs, Purple comes in and does in anyway. Too complicated?”

Brett: “She tries to seduce him. He’s like, ‘What The Fuck?’ But then starts to give in. She reaches for the gun in his back holster. Purple comes in and stabs her in the neck. Blood sprays all over Tyler. Her eyes go deadpan in his arms. And her life goes down the drain.”

Me: “So Purple lives? You don’t like steamed shower thing, huh? Lol. Has that been done many times or something?”

Brett: “Tyler walks in on steam shower. It’s all been done before.”

Me: “Ok. Then it’s not important. But I can’t think of known movie where that happens. Processing idea you wrote. I think it would be cool if she removed steam on shower door and then gets blown to pieces along with shattering glass noise. But I’ll think about your version as well. I got it! Tyler presses gun against steamed-up shower door. She hears noise and brushes steam away, but at eye level. She sees gun pressed against glass and this is where she seduces him. Then we go with your version.”

Brett: “He think it’s Shadow in the shower?”

Me: “What??? No. Well … maybe. Not what I was thinking, but that’s even better.”

____________

6 of 11 remaining.

6,685 in chips.

Avg Stack: 10,454

____________

QQ BB.

Everyone folds to BTN, who jams for 3,170.

Call.

He tables Q9 and flops open-ended straight draw. I know he’s going to get there. They always get there on PS. But he doesn’t get there. My hand holds.

____________

AQo BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

SB raises 5x my raise.

Fold.

I type in comments: “AQo. I was behind.”

No reply, which means I was behind.

____________

7 of 9 remaining.

____________

I thought it was a Cheez-It, but it wasn’t (snack).

____________

JJ < QQ.

Folded on flop but cost half my stack.

____________

Call all-in with top pair on flop vs. 3-bet jam.

She is open-ended.

I hold.

____________

Dude in BB shows AA when everyone folds to him.

Another players writes: “You didn’t want me to call. You would have been cracked. I had KQs.”

Dear Mr. KQs,

The dude with AA wants that call all day, every day.

Tyler

____________

99 < AQs for half my stack.

____________

I keep battling back and then calling all-in bets with slight edge and losing. Need to win those.

____________

3 of 4 remaining.

____________

Ks Qs MP3.

Tank-call bet from chip leader that puts me all-in.

Call.

I flop two pair but they’re all clubs and he has the Jc Ts.

I somehow fade the flush.

____________

Ac 7c BB.

CO raises 4x BB.

Call.

Flop: 584

Check-check.

Turn: 6

Check-check.

River: T

I bet pot.

She calls.

Nice pot, especially in this spot. And I’m not a bot.

Sorry.

____________

3 remaining.

ITM (In The Money).

____________

Short-stack jams when I have A3o.

Call.

He tables Q5s.

I hold.

____________

Heads-up.

I have slight chip lead and he offers chop.

I accept.

$138 each.

____________

Net: +$122

Overall Net: +$90

Keith just told me it rarely gets to heads-up. Usually a deal made before that.

I played SPATS every single hand until 4-handed. Even then, most of my hands were SPATS.

TOURNAMENT #4

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

Pizza done exactly when tourney starts.

Very brief conversation with Brett on this day.

Me: “Is this a go? Btw, I was playing online tourney while texting yesterday and chopped it heads-up.”

Thought for readers: Yes. I guess this was a brag. I like to share victories as much as anyone else, but I never want to show off. It’s a tricky thing. Back to that brief text conversation.

Me (again): “Option 2 with Tyler thinking it’s Shadow in shower but it’s Curls. That scene you described. Excellent for long-term story. Tyler Meade duo in head and Purple/Cotton still alive.”

That was supposed to say: ‘Tyler messed up in head.’ I never corrected it, but hopefully he knew what I meant.

____________

97d UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Four callers.

Flop: 946-rainbow.

I bet pot.

All folds.

____________

Brett: “Tyler kills Purple.”

Me: “Up to you.”

____________

If you’re wondering why I wrote that, it’s twofold. One, he let me keep the ending I wanted (not discussed above). Need to be a team to succeed. Two, I announced the movie way too early on Facebook. It has been 17 months (two years as I type this) since we decided to do this. I sometimes worry if my fan base thinks I’m lying. I’m not, but it sometimes feels like I am because this is such a freaking long process. And there is a third reason: I like to get things done quickly. It allows me to move on to the next project. More completed projects are important to me because I want to leave at least some kind of mark on the world. Even if it’s just in the poker world.

____________

Brett: “I’ll look at it when I can.”

I thought: Oh … okay. That’s not a great reply.

But Brett must have picked up on it and wrote back with a picture of him in a gas mask (early COVID-19 joke).

Me: “Lol. I need my MadMax outfit too.”

____________

Just received a text from Keith (at a different table)…

Keith: “Good luck today fucker.”

Me: “You too douche. (laughing emoji).”

____________

AQo MP.

I min-raise.

I want action to see how table plays.

Three callers.

Flop: AA8

All checks to me.

I bet half pot.

By betting out, it appears as though I don’t have the A. This is risky because it doesn’t always work, but you need to change your patterns. I won’t always play it this way.

Stephanie calls.

Turn: 6

Check-check.

River: T

Stephanie checks.

I bet pot.

She folds and shows an 8.

Good fold.

____________

A player just showed she flopped a straight, but by doing so, she also showed she called with 43 from CO when MP raised 4.5x BB.

They are arguing about that hand now. Chat a little intense for a $16 tourney. Then again, who knows where we’re heading economically with COVID-19 impact. You can’t rule out the possibility of deflation and $16 becoming a lot of money. What I’m trying to say is that I respect $16.

Now they’re giving hugs to each other in chat.

Keith just told me a long bad beat story. I’ll spare you the drama. I’ll just share my reply…

Me: “K.”

____________

27 players in this tourney, btw.

____________

Fold KQ on this flop: K3T.

Showed my hand.

Villain showed KT.

I knew she had KT because she raised the flop after I raised pre-flop. Simple as that. A raise on the flop is often two-pair in these situations.

By showing my hand, it also accomplishes two things. One it shows my reads have the potential to be dangerous. Two, it led to her showing her cards, which tells me that she will limp with KTo from UTG. For the record, I don’t think that’s a good idea.  

____________

14 of 22 remaining.

____________

One thing about SPATS: You will be folding most of the time. For example, I have seen 16% of flops after 1 hour and 10 minutes. If you’re playing from home, I recommend multi-tasking so it becomes robotic for you. But maybe robotic is the wrong word. Let’s go with rote.

Deleting people who don’t follow back on Instagram as I play. Until Instagram stops me. This is therapeutic for me.

____________

JTo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

That’s a bad raise.

What am I really going to accomplish?

All folds.

I guess that tight reputation helps, but still, with blinds at these low levels, what’s the point? I didn’t collect much. And if someone is stronger, they will raise and I’m likely out of position.

____________

AQo BB.

MP2 raises 2.5x BB.

SB calls.

Call.

Flop: 793

SB checks.

I check.

MP overbets pot.

Fold.

Good bet.

____________

If you’re wondering why I didn’t raises pre-flop there, it’s because I didn’t (and usually don’t) want to balloon the pot. I’d rather control the pot to the best of my ability and base decisions off player patterns. If it’s deeper in the tourney when the blinds are higher and a pre-flop win means more, it’s a raise.

____________

Th 8h CO.

I raise 3.5x BB.

Umm … that didn’t work.

____________

KK UTG.

Limp with intention to raise.

Everyone checks.

Shit.

Three-player pot.

Flop: Qd 8d 6c

I bet half pot.

One caller.

Turn: 4h

I bet half pot.

Villain calls.

River: 7d

I check.

That river gives Villain straight and flush.

Villain jams.

I fold.

That backfired. Sometimes it does. Part of the game.

____________

Qd Qh SB.

Four limpers to me for 120.

I raise to 720.

One caller—same Villain.

Flop: Qc 6c 5d

I bet half pot.

I want to establish the same pattern so it appears weak. On a secondary level, she won the last pot and might anticipate same result.

Villain calls.

Turn: 9c

I bet half pot.

Villain calls.

River: Ah

I bet half pot.

Villain calls and auto-mucks.

Nice pot.

This is why I fold KK when I think I’m beat. You will usually find another spot. If you don’t, it’s not your day and just move on.

____________

15 of 19 remaining.

14 of 17 remaining.

16 of 16 remaining.

15 of 16 remaining.

____________

JJ SB.

BTN raises 5x BB.

Call.

Flop: 478-rainbow

I jam, but I don’t feel good about it. Something feels off.

BTN calls and tables AA.

AA holds.

Busto.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$74

I made one bad call in this tourney and it cost me. Every hand was SPATS, but you still need to make good decisions.

TOURNAMENT #5

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

NOTE: This chapter is written in past tense.

I had a $50 credit on another platform and decided to try some PLO cash last night in an attempt to get better at it. I ran terrible, but I don’t think I got better at it either. At least not yet. The first time I played PLO was in a tourney at The Lodge Poker Club outside of Austin TX (I’m actually heading there again in a few days). You can read A Week At The Lodge on PokerJournal.org for a fast and fun story about my experiences. Anyway, I didn’t cash in that PLO tourney, and I was fortunate to even come close. I played like a maniac and ran good.

Pay careful attention to the last sentence in the paragraph above: ‘and ran good.’

Since I thought playing like a maniac is what led to the deep run, I played uber-aggressive and stupid when I played my second PLO tourney at the RunGood Series at Horseshoe Tunica. I misread my hand twice and lost with a full house to a bigger full house. This was a full house I made out of the BB and there was really little chance for escape. That didn’t matter though. I was playing way too many hands. To be honest, it was embarrassing. Since I was a Guest Bounty in a NL tournament, people knew my identity. I’m sure someone at that table thought: Wow! Tyler is an idiot!

Since I had that $50 credit on a different platform and wanted to gain experience, I played a micro-stakes PLO cash game and bought-in for $20. I ran poorly, but I also played poorly. I lost that $50 in 30 minutes.

I decided to play some micro-stakes NL just to get back in the groove while editing Basic Training: A Beginner’s Guide To Texas Hold’em. After 30 minutes, I was +$0.07. Obviously worth the time.

I went searching for a small NL tourney on this same platform and found one for $10. It was a $10 Express tourney that paid five spots with a little over $100 to the winner if all 30 players showed up. All 30 players showed up.

I folded often for one simple reason: Everyone had the same game plan, which was JAM! JAM! JAM! I’m referring to pre-flop.

It was easy to determine what everyone was thinking: It’s only $10. If I lose, I’ll just play another one. And I need to play for 1st Place anyway.

Based on this information, my plan was simply to apply SPATS, sit back, and watch them knock each other out. If someone jammed on me and I had a marginal SPATS hand, such as KTo or A7s, I would fold. I knew they would keep jamming, so I called with hands like AQs and AJo. I was also fortunate to have AA one hand, but that was a small pot since I was heads-up and knocked out a short-stack. Definitely helped though.

When I was on the Bubble, two interesting things happened. One, I folded KJs UTG at a six-player table (top five cashed). Two, everyone folded to me in the SB when I had Ac Kd. I limped because the BB was the chip leader and I was on the Bubble. Most players would disagree with this move, but my goal is always to get into the money in this situation. To my surprise, BB checked.

____________

Flop: 4d 7d 8d

That gave me a K-high flush draw.

I check.

BB jams (as expected).

I fold.

____________

The most obvious reason I folded is the Bubble. The second reason is because there was another short-stack similar to mine. Two hands later, that short-stack called an all-in and lost. I went into Attack Mode. Unfortunately, I busted four hands later, but at least it was a min-cash.

____________

Net: +$18.50

Overall Net: + $92.50

As you can see, I bought-in for $10 and grossed $28.50 (netted $18.50). We’re not talking about serious money here, but that’s not the point. The point is that every single hand was SPATS, even when down to six players. And it’s another cash. The game plan here wasn’t to outplay my opponents; it was to outwait them and only play SPATS hands in the right spots.

Some readers might be thinking that $10 tourneys aren’t enough, but what if they run all day and the majority of your opponents keep putting themselves in bad spots? That’s a little different and you can grind it—if you have the time.

Keep in mind this was only one Express Tourney. It’s possible I’m getting a little ahead of myself. We’ll soon find out.

TOURNAMENT #6

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

27 players and paying Top 5.

All pre-flop…

____________

Fold 44 to AA.

Fold 88 to AA.

Fold AQo to AKs.

____________

These folds were simply a matter of detecting patterns, and they got me deep into the tourney once again. However, on this occasion, I open-jammed with 88 from CO when short-stacked and was called by BB with AJo. She flopped a J and no help the rest of the way. I finished 7 of 27. Not in the money but good enough to keep going to see what this is all about.

Net: -$10

Overall Net: +$82.50

I know this book includes low buy-in tourneys so far, but I have played all kinds of stakes and that doesn’t matter in tourneys. If you stick to SPATS and make disciplined decisions, you will run deep most of the time.

TOURNAMENT #7

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

1st Hand: Miss double-gutter with JTo.

2nd Hand: Raise with As 9s, bet out after flop middle pair, get min-raised and have to fold (she had top pair).

3rd Hand: Jam with Tc 9c UTG and get all folds.

4th Hand: Call all-in with 77. Another player calls behind me. Up against 88 and A9s. I river a flush.

5th Hand: I raise 3x BB with 77. Chip leader to my left raises 3x my bet. I sense a bigger pair and fold. If it was AK, oh well, but it was either a race or I was behind. Not a good situation.

6th Hand: All-in with TT. All folds.

7th Hand: Fold A8o in four-player game when short-stacked. Would have been up against AKo and T6o. T6o wins this hand. I would have busted.

8th Hand: Fold open-end straight draw on flop for all my chips.

9th Hand: Fold 93o in SB.

10th Hand: I jam with A3o and called by KTo. He turns a straight.

Busto!

12 of 30.

Not that deep of a run.

____________

Net: -$10

Overall Net: +$72.50

At this point, Express Tourneys not profitable, but tiny sampling. I’m just beginning to sense that they might not be for my style of play. I like post-flop street-by-street so I can analyze situations. Maybe I did jump the gun one these.

TOURNAMENT #8

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

Fold KJ to big bet and pre-flop raiser on this flop: 37K.

His interest on the flop told me he likely had AK or better. KQ at worst. These are the kinds of folds you need to make to give yourself a chance. Another big factor here is a third player in the hand. He didn’t fear that third player.

____________

QJo MP.

Raise 3x BB.

Villain raises 2.5x my bet.

Call.

Flop: 67J

I bet half pot.

Villain jams.

Call—primarily due to being pot-committed.

Villain tables KK.

Turn: 9

River: Q

Holy shit! Ok…

____________

AQo.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

ITM but short-stacked.

____________

A3o BTN.

Open-jam.

Lose to KQ.

With SPATS, freedom on BTN and blinds if not raised.

____________

Net: +$18.50

Overall Net: +$91

TOURNAMENT #9

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Talk about edge of your seat. With 30 minutes to go before tourney, I decided to try the internet by the pool, but I needed to change first (still in pajamas), pack a cooler, get my laptop, download PS on my laptop, and register for tourney. I made it with nine minutes to go.

As I type this I wonder about the purpose for the paragraph above. That isn’t exactly edge of your seat. Remember, I’m typing this five months after I wrote the notes in a notebook in real time. I don’t remember every little detail. When I read ‘edge of your seat,’ I expect something along the lines of hitting a turn to fast in my car, being on two wheels, the car landing on four wheels again, and making the tourney with five seconds to go before the end of late reg. I didn’t expect pajamas and laptops. Oh well. I guess I’ve got The Dark Side of the Felt on my brain.

First Hand: 33. Lose small pot.

My son (J) rode his bicycle to the pool and is watching me play right now. In sports, I love this. In poker, not sure. New to me.

____________

J: “Have you even played one hand?”

Me: “I played one.”

J: “And you lost.”

Me: “In poker, whoever is willing to lose the most battles usually wins the war.”

____________

I bet out on flush draw on flop and laptop dies. I plug the charger in and it takes a while. When I log back on, I see that I won a hand because two players folded.

Flop top pair with potential straight draw out there vs. Chris Read. Need to bet big against her to get her out of a hand. Bet pot on turn (a dud). She folds.

Chris Read asks who I am on chat.

____________

Me: “William Nathanson.”

Beth: “Hi William, I’m Beth.”

Me: “Hi. I’m Larry Johnson.”

Chris: “What’s your Facebook name?”

Me: “Tyler.”

Chris: “Thought so. Wasn’t sure.”

____________

Gia28213 has called every one of my raises.

____________

77 UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Gia28213 calls.

Flop: KQ4

I bet half pot.

She calls.

Turn: 7

I bet half pot.

She calls.

River: A

I bet half pot.

She folds.

____________

Keith and I talking about beauty of SPATS and how it is absolutely the path to success in this game. He also has it right: 19% (seeing 19% of flops max) is highly effective (for cashing, not shipping). But if only one strategy on its own, SPATS is more effective.

I just went to piss in the woods and didn’t realize that foliage was thin because we’re just coming out of winter. About 30 yards on the other side of these woods is the greenway. The instant I pulled the top of my swoosh pants down for urinating purposes, a woman looked directly at me from the greenway. Not directly at my face, but directly at my ding dong. No big deal because I’m proud of my ding dong, but I still don’t like awkward moments. When I saw her see me, she looked away. I said aloud (just for me): “Well, that happened.”

When I returned to game, I continued conversation with Keith…

____________

Me: “Obvious rule. Even though we’re friends, we never talk about current hands in play on here. I always want to win fair. You know this already. Just saying.”

Keith: “Absolutely.”

Keith (again): “Man, I had my weed-eater standing up in the corner of my office and the gas leaked out and now man the gas fumes in my office is just about right killing me.”

Me: “Ouch! Not good. Get out of there.”

I then told him about woman seeing my ding dong.

Keith: “Haha. Well, ya ain’t gotta worry about them pressing charges … lack of evidence (four laughing emojis).”

Me: “(laughing emoji). Awesome! Happy with my ding dong, but that’s a great response! It’s going in book.”

____________

J left to ride around and now he’s back to watch me play. He asks me why I’m not playing 42 and 64. I explain long-term EV. Hope he understands. Then again, I probably don’t want him to play poker when he’s older.

____________

AA UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

Keith: “When the flop came out paired and it was checked to you, why didn’t you stab at it? Just trying to get your perspective.”

Me: “Depends on player. I will usually stab at it, but not every time. I also can’t don’t want to establish any detectable patterns.”

Keith: “Gotcha.”

____________

J just left. While watching me on hand when I had KQ and I was yet to act, J said, “You have to play that hand.”

Me: “You obviously shouldn’t be telling me how to play poker.”

____________

That was a dick thing to say! After that, he said he knew I wanted him to leave. That was not true at all though. I loved that he was there. I just felt stressed with him hovering over me. I never like when someone does that when I’m playing poker. But this is my son and I failed to realize what is truly important in life. Sorry, J! I love you!

NOTE: I can’t believe I even said that above. That is not me at all with J. This makes me feel horrible.

____________

I politely ask a bug to stop flying into my face.

____________

T-high flush draw.

Hit flush on turn.

Villain jams turn.

I tank-call.

She has 3-high flush draw.

I’m 100%, which doesn’t happen very often. No sweat.

____________

Villain: “What took you so long?”

Me: “Not the nuts. All my chips.”

____________

Morgan knocks out Chris Read with a mis-click. Chris open-jammed with 44. Morgan accidentally called with 76. They both wrote ‘gg’ in chat on flop. Morgan rivered a 6.

____________

4 of 5 remaining.

____________

PS lags when I have top pair on flop: AJ. Auto-check. It skips to my action on turn and cursor won’t move. It just hovers over check option. Both of my opponents river straights, one high-end and one low-end. One of them, Morgan, likely would have called anyway, so the lag actually saved me chips.

____________

5 of 5 remaining.

____________

AKo MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Only caller is chip leader.

Bluff at whiffed flop and it gets through. I have no idea how because I was down to 3k and he had 40k.

____________

Mom and kid about 4 years old on playground about 50 yards away. Every two minutes, the kid says, “Mommy, look at me!” This shows you how important your love and attention is to a child. If this book ends up sucking but at least one person gives their child a little more attention because of it, or says one more, “I love you” to their child, then it will be well worth the publication.

____________

QJo BB.

Short stack open-jams with stack slighter shorter than mine.

Fold.

This was either very good decision or very bad decision. I folded because I anticipated he would continue jamming, including against bigger stacks. He did continue jamming. I folded A3o to him on another hand, hoping another player behind me would call, but they didn’t.

____________

ATo.

Fold to 4-bet.

____________

KK MP1.

All-in (short-stack).

All folds.

____________

That same dude who kept jamming is now Former Short-Stack. He keeps jamming against these huge stacks and they keep folding, allowing him to pick up blinds and antes. I’m being as patient as possible.

____________

JTo UTG with 5 BBs left.

Get a walk.

____________

A9s CO.

UTG puts me all-in with his pre-flop raise.

Fold.

Playing very tight here. Keep anticipating others to battle, but it’s not happening. If UTG doesn’t raise, I would have jammed here.

____________

I have 1,553. Other stacks: 40,835; 30,331; 10,108; 10,623. Just a little behind. I might be in trouble here. I’m even too short for a Bubble Save. Unless they’re Super Duper friendly!

Forced to call all-in with 94o due to pot odds. 9 on river. Thought I was good because other two players checked it down, but one of them (chip leader) had KK.

____________

5 of 19.

Busto!

____________

Messaged Keith….

Me: “Busted 5th. Played it wrong toward end. Anticipated action between others as if it was WSOPC event so waited, but they played very close to the vest. Should have attacked way more. Don’t like going out like that, but lesson learned. Still learning these players.”

Translation: Played like a wuss toward the end. Rather go out swinging.

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$75

TOURNAMENT #10

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

Same day as Tournament #9. Here’s what I realized as I play this tourney: waiting for other players to battle against each other is a better approach with this format. But I think that style of play impacted the way I played in the regular tourney.

After registering for this tourney, I checked my Facebook page. By the time I came back, the tourney had already started and I couldn’t find my seat. I searched and searched with no luck. Eventually, I started hitting buttons and shit. That somehow worked. Got in after only missing one hand. Lesson to those who aren’t great with technology: Hit buttons and shit!

____________

QJs UTG.

Call.

MP3 raises 4x BB.

Fold.

MP shows KJs.

No clue why I limped with QJ from UTG in the first place.

____________

When short-stacked (happened fast), I bet ¾ of my stack with air on flop. Needed to do it because it was a heads-up hand. Got it through.

____________

A7o MP1.

Fold.

Would have beat 66 and KJo.

Didn’t like it for all my chips. However, I will play A-rag at final table in live poker tournament. I’m very aggressive with those kinds of hands in live settings that deep. My theory is that if it’s meant to be it will be, but I’m going to be applying pressure. This approach has been effective many times—as well as sometimes ineffective—but it’s the way I play it. It’s funny how live and online influence my decision making. I’m wondering why. Haven’t figured that one out yet. My best guess is that I’m subconsciously picking up a lot of cues in a live game.

____________

AA UTG.

All-in (short-stack).

Two callers.

Flop: 566

Turn: 5

River: 9

Lose to 75.

Busto!

____________

12 of 33.

I’ll go out with AA. No problem.

____________

Net: -$10

Overall Net: +$65

TOURNAMENT #11

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

First hand…

Kc Qc MP2.

BTN jams.

SB calls.

Call.

I’m up against Ac 9s and 88.

Flop a Q and hold.

Thought I had lost the hand when 9 hit river for some reason. Then realized I had won the hand.

____________

Bet nut flush draw on turn vs. chip leader. Get a fold.

____________

Ac Tc MP1.

BB goes all-in for about half my stack.

Call.

Villain tables 88.

Flop: T56

Turn: 7

River: K

Nice pot.

____________

AA UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

MP jams.

Snap-call.

Villain tables QTo.

Flop: TJ7

Turn: 8

River: 3

AA holds.

____________

18 of 63.

Top 10 paid.

____________

KK UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

QTo MP2.

Fold.

____________

14 players remaining.

13 players remaining.

____________

Get bluffed off hand but only had middle pair on flop. No big deal. Just laughed to myself. Kind of an easy bluff for him when he has 27k and I have 3k.

____________

Looks like Bubble Time.

Scratch that!

ITM.

____________

I am in love with SPATS. Why did I leave you for four years?

____________

Tc 4c SB.

Fold to raise despite only 8 BBs.

Would have flopped flush.

____________

Automatically all-in with 8s 5s.

Flop: 976

Villain bets out and gets two other players to fold.

Villain tables TT.

Turn: 8 (ouch!)

River: 5

____________

10 of 63 for min-cash (again).

____________

Net: +$6.75 (so ridiculous)

Overall Net: +71.75

TOURNAMENT #12

Buy-in: $10

Bounty Express Tourney

I just realized something. Some readers are going to read to this point in the book and ask themselves: Why am I reading a poker book about $16 and $10 tourneys?

If you’re one of those readers, I apologize. I can also answer that. The primary reason is COVID-19. I’m still waiting on the movie, APAT North America is on hold, and I don’t want to risk thousands of dollars on poker tournaments where I’m not 100% sure everything is legit. I trust the platform and the person who invited me to this game, but collusion is always possible.  

If (and when) things go back to normal, I will likely be playing in live poker tournaments again—usually for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. My only risk there is that I have one bad tourney in a big buy-in event and it throws everything off and sends the wrong message. It wouldn’t show what SPATS can do. By keeping the buy-ins small, I can play 100 tournaments and hopefully show what SPATS can do. Furthermore, the majority of my readers play small stakes. Therefore, the majority of my readers will appreciate this because they will be able to relate and apply.

____________

First Hand: TT. Loss.

Second Hand: 66. Loss.

____________

AQo UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

UTG +2 jams, putting me all-in.

Call.

He tables AJo.

Flop: 336

Turn: Q

River: 9

Nice dub. 

____________

I just looked at prize pool and the numbers seemed very low. I double-checked buy-in and it was $10. Then I realized it’s a bounty tourney. This is good and bad. It’s good because more people will be trying to collect bounties and play even faster. It’s bad because the prize pool will be smaller.

That was an obvious bad, wasn’t it? Sometimes obvious is good. It makes people feel smarter, and when people feel smarter, they have more confidence, and when they have more confidence, they’re happier. So ready by books and you will be happier.

Bounties are $6.33 each, but I have zero, and zero bounties is not fun in a bounty tournament.

____________

11 of 14.

Top 5 Paid.

____________

Fold A4o. It was that or jam. BB went all-in, so probably a good decision. 

____________

T9o BB.

Walk.

____________

Open-jam with 44 from SB.

BB folds.

Only top five getting paid. Need to increase risk.

____________

Ac 4c MP1.

UTG +2 moves all-in.

Fold.

I’m almost always behind in this spot.

It ends up being AK vs. 88. Player with AK wins the hand.

Glad I folded. These are spots where a lot of people call. Don’t be a lot of people.

____________

73o BB.

Checked to me.

Check.

Flop: 456

I jam.

Only 1.6k and Villain has 20.3k.

Villain tank-calls with 98.

Board runs out clean.

____________

ATo BB.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Fold.

____________

AJo BB.

SB puts me all-in.

Call and hold.

____________

7 of 7.

Only me and one other player have zero knockouts.

____________

Bubble Time.

Scratch that!

ITM.

____________

5 of 5.

I like winning. It is fun.

Translation: SPATS is fun. It might be boring during the game, but it sure is fun when you cash out.

Wait a second! I just looked at the payouts. If I come in 5th, I will lose $0.49. LMAO! That’s what zero knockouts will do in a $10 bounty tourney. Always rather have a + sign after any tourney, regardless of amount, but blinds about to crush me, and at least it’s still a cash (kind of).

____________

Jh 7h.

I jam.

Wish me luck!

Villain tables 44.

Turn flush draw and have two overs but don’t get there.

____________

Net: -$0.49

Overall Net: +$71.26

For the record, this is the most bizarre single tournament Net I have ever recorded.

TOURNAMENT #13

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

JJ UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: QQJ

I open-jam in hopes one of my opponents hit the Q. If they have the Q, they’re going to call. If not, I get no value on this hand anyway.

First opponent folds.

Second opponent calls and tables Q6.

Turn: 8

River: 7

Double-up.

____________

Jc 8c BB.

Two limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: 5c 9c Td

I bet 2/3 pot.

Two folds.

____________

This is craziness. I’m writing these notes while playing on phone and while going back and forth to edit Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em. All while listening to house music videos on YouTube and checking my FB every few minutes because I recently posted twice and there have been more comments than I expected.

____________

AKo MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

BB tank-calls.

Flop: 676

BB bets into me.

Fold.

____________

A few hands later, I limp with Ad 9d from early position.

Three other players limp.

Flop: 6c Ac 9h

I bet 2/3 pot.

Two folds and one player puts me all-in.

Snap-call.

He tables Qc 5c.

Turn: Kc

River: 4s

____________

Net: -$10

Overall Net: +$61.26

TOURNAMENT #14

Buy-in: $10

Bounty Express Tourney

Not a big fan of bounty tourneys but this is the only one available right now. In on Level 2.

____________

As 8s SB.

All folds to me.

Raise 3x BB.

BB folds.

____________

KJo UTG +2.

Call.

MP raises 5x BB.

Fold.

He shows AA.

____________

As Qs SB.

BTN puts me all-in.

Call.

BTN tables A6o.

I turn a flush.

____________

TT MP2.

Chip leader raises to 1.2k on 400 BB.

Another player calls.

Call.

A player behind me calls.

Flop: 778

Chip leader checks.

Second player bets 1.2k.

I jam.

Player after me and chip leader fold.

Aggressor tank-calls and tables A4.

Turn: 5

River: 7

Full house.

Nice double-up.

I guess she really didn’t believe me

____________

1 of 12, but once again, zero knockouts. In this and the last bounty tourney I played, every time I win a big pot heads-up, my opponent has a few chips left. Nothing I can do about that because I’m all-in.

____________

Fold two-pair to a full house. Tough fold but his betting pattern indicated extreme strength.

____________

JJ BB.

Everyone folds to SB, who limps.

Strange for this player. Something is different/off.

Check.

Flop: 875

SB bets half pot.

I min-raise.

He calls.

Turn: Q

Check-check.

River: 9

Check-check.

I know I have a loser, but I don’t know what I’m going to see.

He tables AA.

____________

5 of 6.

Top 5 Paid.

____________

I thought I was in the money when the other two players were in a big battle and one was all-in, but I was rooting for the wrong person.

____________

AJo SB.

Two callers.

Jam.

One caller with 65s.

Board: 9JKA8

Got it.

____________

ITM.

SPATS.

____________

Ac 2c MP3.

Open-jam.

One caller with Qh 9h.

Get the scoop.

____________

4 of 4.

At least I know I won’t be losing $0.49.

____________

AKo BB.

Everyone folds to me.

____________

AJo BTN.

CO goes all-in and has me covered.

I tank-fold, hoping someone else will take care of him and I move up pay ladder.

BB calls and tables KK.

CO tables J9s.

Good spot! Even though I’m not in hand.

But CO rivers a straight.

____________

I open-jam with Ks Ts on next hand and I’m called by player who just won the previous pot with a straight. He tables JTo. I hold.

____________

1 of 4.

Zero bounties though.

____________

66 MP3.

Open-jam.

Called by that same player, who tables AKo.

K on flop.

Decent hit to my stack.

____________

AJo BB.

One player jams and there is a call.

If I win this hand, I probably ship tourney.

Call.

Up against 88 and KQ.

Board: 447TK

____________

Finish 4 of 30.

0 bounties.

____________

Net: +$1.88

Overall Net: +$63.14

This is getting to be a little ridiculous but it’s okay, I’m just going to roll with it. My world (and the world) has changed so much that I always look forward to the big tournament on the weekends, which is a whopping $16.

What the hell is happening? I don’t know, but in a strange way, I like it. I think it’s because I’m adding so much content so fast. I just enjoy writing, and I love that some people enjoy my writing. Simple as that.

TOURNAMENT #15

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

ATo BB.

Two limpers to me.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller.

Flop: T52

I bet 2/3 pot.

He folds.

____________

AQo BTN.

Raise 4x BB.

SB calls.

Flop: 7KK

He jams.

Fold.

____________

QQ UTG.

Raise 4x BB.

One caller.

Flop: 3TT

Villain checks.

I bet 2/3 pot.

He folds.

____________

KJo BB.

UTG +1 raises 4x BB.

Call.

Whiff flop but float and turn a K.

I bet 1/2 pot.

He raises 3x my bet.

With A on flop, I fold.

No Ego.

____________

Jd Tc MP1.

UTG calls.

Call.

Two callers behind me.

Flop: J24

UTG open-jams.

Call.

Other players fold.

Villain tables K4.

I hold.

These kinds of situations are why I like these tourneys. Just be patient and someone will make a bad decision against you. The majority of the field is rushing. This is how you go deep often.

____________

Fold gut-shot to min-bet on flop. Two clubs out there and I have no clubs. Fewer outs hit implied odds.

____________

9 of 9.

____________

Fold KTo and JTo to all-in bets.

Would have lost with KTo and won with JTo but was behind on both hands (confirmed).

____________

8 of 8.

7 of 7.

6 of 6.

Short-stacked.

____________

I’m automatically all-in on next hand with 75o.

Board: A3AK9

Horrible board.

Busto!

At least it was another deep run.

____________

Net: -$10

Overall Net: +$53.14

TOURNAMENT #16

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

Registered for this one 20 minutes prior to chilling with my son for an hour. Either I bust by then or he can watch the end of the tourney. These tourneys only last about 30 minutes.

____________

Dude just bluffed me off river with air when I had bottom pair when a third player was all-in. I would have lost anyway, but what the hell is he doing? This happens way too often.

____________

A lot of quality starting hands early in this one. I either win a small pot or they turn into mush. They usually turn into mush.

____________

Flop two-pair against K-high flush draw and hold. I do not understand. How did this happen?

____________

Fold 44 heads-up to bet on this flop: A68. Easy fold.

____________

As Ts UTG.

Min-raise to 800.

Player to my left goes all-in for 4k.

I have 3,350 and fold.

NOTE: As I type this, I’m surprised I folded this hand in this kind of tourney. There must have been a reason, but I didn’t write it down.

____________

13 of 16.

____________

Ad Td UTG +2.

Open-jam.

Up against A5 and AQ.

A5 wins the hand.

____________

Net: -$10

Overall Net: +$43.14

I might have rushed this tourney a little because I’m about to hang out with my son, but there is something else going on here. I’m working off a small amount in my account, which leads to me playing too conservative toward the end of tourneys. I need to load a little cash while keeping these buy-ins the same. That should lead to me being more fearless when deep in a tourney. This will likely lead to fewer cashes but more 1st-3rd finishes, which is more profitable. At least it works in theory, right?

TOURNAMENT #17

Buy-in: $10

Express Tourney

____________

Playing this tourney eight minutes before start of a tourney in The Weekender. Will multi-table. That tourney will be Tournament #18. As far as this tourney goes, let’s begin with the third hand.

____________

QQ BTN.

Raise 4x BB.

One caller.

Flop: 87K

Villain bets into me.

Call.

Turn: 2

Check-check.

River: 7

Check-check.

He tables AQ.

I scoop.

He only bet into me on that flop because a heads-up opponent usually misses the flop. Once he got resistance, he stopped. Smart play and smart player. That’s as long as he doesn’t try it every time. Every situation is different. There is something else at play here. Some people will say you should three-barrel bluff there. If you add three-barrel bluffs to your repertoire and use it often, I promise that you will soon be begging people for money and asking them to stake you. That’s Ego, and Ego will FUCK YOU UP!

NOTE: There is a big difference between strategic aggression and Ego.

____________

TT CO.

One short stack is all-in and another player with a slightly shorter stack than me calls.

I think about raising, but this is an Express Tourney with 30 players. I want two shots at taking this player out—me and the stack a little shorter than me. If I raise, I might get the stack similar to mine to fold. I don’t want that because the objective is to knock people out.

I flat and end up winning the hand despite a Q and J on the board.

____________

Multi-tabling (The Weekender tourney in next chapter).

____________

9c 9s MP1.

UTG jams for 10% of my stack.

UTG +2 jams for approximately 40% of my stack.

I jam.

Everyone else folds.

Up against JT and AQ.

Jack on flop, but I river a flush. Somehow, neither opponent has a club.

____________

11 of 15.

____________

JJ HJ.

1.3k in pot when it gets to me and I have 3.2k.

I jam.

All folds.

____________

Ac Jc CO.

I jam.

All folds.

____________

ATo SB.

MP1 moves all-in for about 25% of my stack.

I re-raise to isolate on this one. Different type of situation.

Everyone else folds.

Villain tables 33.

I flop an A and hold.

____________

5 of 12.

____________

3-way all-in, but I’m not involved. However, I do care about the result.

It’s QQ, KJ, and 88.

Bad News: Short-stack has QQ and wins the hand.

____________

6 of 9 .

____________

All-in with A4o.

Called by QTo.

He rivers a flush.

____________

Net: -$10

Overall Net: +$34.14

TOURNAMENT #18

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Fold first four hands.

____________

Raise fifth hand with QTo.

Opponent calls flop but checks turn and river.

I bet pot on river with air.

She calls with third pair.

Good call.

____________

99 BTN.

Gia raises 3x BB from UTG +1.

MoneyLisa calls from MP2.

Call.

Flop: KJ9-rainbow

Gia bets pot.

MoneyLisa raises 3x Gia’s bet.

I raise 4x MoneyLisa’s bet.

Both players fold.

With a rainbow flop, some of you might think I played that too aggressively, but there are two reasons I did that. One, when opponents show that much interest, they usually call because it’s often two-pair. Two, there is straight potential out there, and since the pot already ballooned, I’ll take the scoop without that risk.

____________

Just repped straight and flush and called by two players with marginal hands.

____________

AKo 3-bet and called by three players, one of which flatted with AA and lost to 99 (I folded on the flop). This was a strange hand. All those chips out there and the player with AA flatted. With that many chips in the middle, every single chip needs to go in.. Glad I didn’t hit my A. I also knew I was in trouble when that many people called because I assumed at least one was set mining, and it’s difficult to detect when someone hits their set. You can lose all your chips with AK in that spot (if you also hit the flop). AK is a drawing hand, and it has very poor implied odds unless you have your opponent on AQ, AJ, AT.

____________

ATo BB.

SB raises 6x BB.

Call.

A raise like that in that spot is usually JJ.

J hits the flop and SB bets half pot.

Easy fold.

No A or T on flop anyway. Probably a good thing.

____________

13 of 25.

____________

Caught in another bluff.

SMH!

____________

Messaged Keith…

Me: “Caught in two bluffs already. The first one, at earlier table, was by two marginal hands. I must have a reputation, which is an inaccurate reputation. I usually play off the tight image. Lol.”

Keith: “I’m way the fuck over 19% …. kinda hard folding some of the hands I’ve been folding but AQ or better for me.”

Me: “Damn! That’s really tight!”

Before I tell you his reply, I just missed a straight and flush draw for half my stack, then raised 4x BB with AA and everyone folded. These things aren’t fun, but I always put things in perspective—it’s better than someone drugging you, chopping off your ding dong, and you surprisingly waking up without it. Then what do you do??? It could always be worse.

____________

Anyway…

Keith: “There’s a curve in this shit, I’ve got to figure it out. Thought about getting HUD program. So freakin’ hard to read online players. Can’t see their reactions to bets and shit.”

____________

21 of 23.

____________

I’m open-ended on turn and game shuts off. Can’t get it to work. I try everything because I’m still in play but no luck. When I finally get it fixed, I’m at a new table. When moved to a new table, I flop two-pair, go all-in, get called, and get counterfeited on the river. What a freaking mess. But tomorrow is another day.

Btw, that two-pair was Ts 7s, which is outside of SPATS! It’s the only hand I played outside of SPATS in this tourney, and I only jammed it because there were three callers for 300, I only had 875 remaining, and I needed to get back into the game. Obviously, I didn’t get back into the game.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$18.14

It has only been 18 tourneys so far, and one 1st Place can change everything in an instant. At the same time, I never like heading in the wrong direction. At least for now, we’re on the plus side. It’s going to be a wild ride. As long as we end up with a + sign at the end of this journey, we’re good to go. I cannot guarantee that, and it’s funny that three of my busts were when I went outside of SPATS, but I’m playing at least 99% SPATS hands—literally. If live poker starts up again while I’m writing this book, stakes will be much higher.

Continued conversation with Keith…

Keith: “Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug. You can quote that if ya like.”

Me: “Thank you for the offer (laughing emoji). Your more natural shit is better.”

Keith: “Lol. Thought that was pretty natural … been writing a song about it. It’s called Krackin’Aces. Going with a bluesy groove to it … was gonna pitch it to ya for intro music to one of your books but not now (two laughing emojis).”

Me: “It just makes me think of Doyle’s statue/pigeon.”

Keith: “Well it is.”

Me: “I’ll listen to it.”

Keith: “A play off of it without having to give him shit. Naw man, it’s good. Lol. You don’t have to.”

Me: “At least let me listen to it for fun.”

Keith: “So you can pick on me? Lol.”

Me: “No. I only do that when you get manicures and pedicures. I never pick on someone about their craft. And I enjoyed your other stuff.”

Keith: “Oh ok! When I get finished I’ll send it to ya!”

Me: “(cool emoji).”

Keith: “Whenever I walk into a poker room I get this heavy blues guitar riff in my head. That and the statue quote inspired me to start writing it but I’d be damn if I could make anything rhyme with statue and anything to do with poker.”

Me: “Just send me what you got when you’re done. Can I use this conversation? If not, just say no. Using other conversations we’ve had, but those are poker.”

Keith: “Man you can use whatever you want. You don’t have to ask.”

Me: “(thumbs up emoji).”

____________

Getting back to SPATS, I hope I can prove this works. But if it doesn’t, I’ll be 100% honest about it. My die-hard fans know that.

____________

Keith: “Have you ever had a manicure of pedicure?”

Me: “Negative.”

I will not share Keith’s next comment. You will have to ask him.

TOURNAMENT #19

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Wait a second! This is a red pen. Should I roll with it? Red = Loss. But I have so many financial losses in my life that it doesn’t really matter at this point.

Btw, not sure if I will continue with Express Tourneys on other platform. Probably not. But not ruling it out yet.

Keith at my table. Tourney pauses after four hands. After yesterday, you have got to be freaking kidding me. There is just a sign on the screen that reads: ‘Players are now on break. The tournament has been manually paused.’

Keith and I have been communicating about random things while waiting.

Tournament back on after about 10 minutes.

____________

JTo SB.

Open-raise 3x BB.

BB min-raises.

Call.

Flop: 7J9

I bet half pot.

She min-raises.

Call, but this is trouble.

Turn: K

Check-check.

River: 4

Check-check.

She tables QQ.

The K helped me save some chips.

____________

5 quality starting hands in a row.

Raise all five.

Lose all five.

Minimized damage though.

Early losses always best losses.

Read that above statement again. When you’re done reading it, copy it. Then frame the fucking thing, buy a magnet, and put it on your refrigerator.

____________

At 4,505.

Starting stack was 5k.

____________

Keith: “Hey, I’ve learned that these fuckers don’t respect a min-raise or a min re-raise.”

Me: “(laughing emoji). No shit!”

Keith: “Pot-sized or bigger.”

Me: “I do it to control pot. If I whiff, not big deal. Fold.”

Keith: “I’d rather never see a flop. Different style.”

Me: “Yes, which is cool. Otherwise we would all be the same player.”

Keith: “Yep … Steph plays a lot like you. But she tilts like a motherfucker when everyone calls her down and catches. I tell her, ‘Well ya play like a chick!’ Damn that pisses her off (laughing emoji).”

Delay….

Me: “I can imagine it pisses her off. Sorry. Taking notes.”

Keith: “You’re good.”

Two-pair < Set of 5s.

____________

18 of 23.

____________

Shit! If I lose here, I will only be +$2.14.

____________

I’m on Level 2 of Run Bad…

Level 1: You’re being dealt bad starting hands and fold almost every hand. This is the best kind of Run Bad because it’s the least expensive.

Level 2: You’re dealt quality hole cards and whiff everything every time. Your chips dwindle.

Level 3: Second-Best Hands & Coolers. There is no way out.

____________

4h 2h BTN.

CO min-raises.

Raise 3x bet.

Two callers, including CO.

Flop: A35

Two checks to me.

I bet pot to disguise strength of my hand.

CO raises 2.5x my bet.

I jam.

CO calls and tables A3.

Turn: 4

River: A

Busto!

Great spot though. No way anyone puts me on that hand. You get all your chips in good. Whatever happens from there happens. Never be emotional about it. But … FUCK THE RED PEN!

Okay, that was emotional, but it was truly directed at the pen, not the game.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$2.14

I think I might definitely jack this shit up once live poker returns. Did you think that was going to say, ‘I might definitely jack off?’ You’re sick.

Anyway, +$2.14 is not book worthy. I either need to be up a lot or down a lot. By the end of this book, I will do my best to make sure it’s one or the other. SPATS will determine the outcome.

NOTE: I’m typing this after the book is complete. I’ll just say that the final Overall Net is nowhere near $2.14. I won’t tell you in which direction though.

TOURNAMENT #20

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

I hadn’t planned on playing on Sundays, but I wasn’t going to do a lot of things throughout my life—and I ended up doing them. Some were good, some were bad. But I’d rather live life than watch life.

Yesterday we worked on FlopHouse Radio for three hours. It was like a training session. This included signing up for Skype (second time since Finance Writing career), signing up for FlopHouse Radio, learning how to operate RadioKing, and many other things. We had a good time.

The actual radio show was a lot of fun. For a decent amount of time, listeners could only hear me clearly, which wasn’t expected. I did my best as Luis, Raquel, and Starr broke in and out. Based on feedback, regular and new listeners enjoyed. It was like hanging out with friends. None of us were forcing anything. We were just us—never taking ourselves too seriously.

During the show, I was playing poker in an online cash game for the first time. Looking back on this, it’s probably not a good idea to play poker while on your first radio show. I paid 90% of my attention to the radio show and folded often in order to maintain that focus. This was a bad fit for a game with a $1 ante every hand. I even had several friends message me after the game to say they had never seen me play like that before. That pretty much tells you everything, but I did manage to get it in very good with my biggest hand. I try not to tell bad beat stories, so I’ll leave it at that.

Reflecting on it with a clear head, I should have been raising at least $12—despite it being a 1/2—to collect all those antes. If you want to play a game where you can get in for a little and run up your stack if you run good, this is the game for you.

NOTE: This game changed immediately. No more forced $1 antes. I also ended up playing in this game often, which plays a role in this story, but no spoilers.

____________

Poker Tournament…

AA (me) vs. QQ (Chris Read)

Dub.

____________

Qc Js MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Flop nut straight vs. two opponents.

UTG bets out.

I flat.

Player behind me raises.

UTG calls.

I jam.

Both players call.

I fully expect one of them to have a flush draw, but they both have top pair/bottom kicker and a gut-shot.

I’m pleasantly surprised and win the hand.

Massive pot.

____________

44 UTG.

Call.

Three other limpers, including BB.

Flop: 448

Say what???

Checked around.

Turn: 8 (perfect card)

Everyone checks to BB, who bets.

Call.

Everyone else folds.

River: 5

BB bets half pot, which brings pot to 1.1k.

I jam for 3.1k.

He calls and tables J8.

He gone.

____________

This was a much better experience than the last time I flopped Quad 4s. It was at a home game but the pots were relatively juicy. One night, I folded 44 to a 3-bet and slid my cards to someone on the other side of the table so he could see what I folded. He looked at those cards just as the flop came: 44J. He tried to hold his laugh but couldn’t control it and started cracking up. I didn’t react. Needless to say, I would have won the hand.

____________

Just had a rough hand in this game…

Qs Js MP1.

Raise 4x BB.

Two callers, including BB.

Flop: Ks As Kh

I bet pot.

BB calls.

Turn: T

I bet pot.

BB calls.

River: 4

I bet pot.

BB raises 3x my bet.

Call.

She tables K4o.

Rewind that hand. See if you can spot her error. Hint: It was very early in the hand. What can you do? I want that call. They literally pay the bills. I get back on track after this hand.

____________

1 of 11.

____________

5s 5d SB.

MP1 raises 3x BB.

BTN calls.

Call.

BB folds.

Flop: 8c 3c 5h

Check.

MP bets pot.

BTN calls.

I jam, knowing at least one of them has an overpair.

MP1 tank-folds.

BTN calls and tables Jc Jh.

Turn: Tc

Uh-oh.

River: 6h

My hand holds.

I’m at 27k in chips and still 1 of 11 remaining.

____________

KQo MP3.

UTG open-jams for 2.8k.

I call.

He tables JTo.

Flop: K8Q

Turn: 4

River: A

Good call. It just didn’t work out.

____________

1 of 10.

Stack: 24k

Avg. Stack: 9k

____________

1 of 9.

Seeing 30% of flops.

____________

Just got good implied odds to chase gut-shot. I went for it and hit. If she had bet more on flop, I would have folded. When she bet out, I knew a min-raise would look weak in this spot. She jammed with a flopped two-pair (A8). Faded the boat this time.

____________

1 of 8.

____________

Janet Fitzgerald now at my table. Not sure if she knows I’m here. I didn’t ask for any candy, so maybe not. Someone just doubled her up. Bad idea.

We got some scared players out here right now.

Applying pressure.

____________

1 of 7.

____________

87o BB.

MP raises 4x BB.

Call.

Flop: T27

I bet half pot.

She folds.

____________

AJo CO.

MP +1 raises 4x BB.

Call.

I whiff flop, but she only has 3.5k and I have 33k.

She checks.

I bet half pot.

She folds.

____________

Q9o BB.

CO min-raises.

Call.

Whiff flop.

I bet half pot.

He folds.

____________

34k in chips.

____________

Tc 9c CO.

Janet raises to 1k on 200 BB (she is directly to my right).

Call.

BTN calls.

Flop: 945

Janet checks.

I now have her on AK or AQ.

BTN only has 2.8k, so I bet 2.8k.

BTN snap-calls.

Janet folds.

BTN tables JJ.

BTN’s hand holds.

____________

1 of 7.

____________

KQo BTN.

Raise 4x BB.

One caller.

Whiff flop (again).

Bet half pot.

Villain folds.

____________

Call an all-in for 4.3k with A8s.

Villain tables JJ.

Villain holds.

Grind her back up!

____________

Every time I had even entertained playing a hand outside of SPATS, I would have gotten crushed.

Just made a bad call on river, but it was close and it was to knock someone out. A little costly though.

____________

2 of 7.

2 of 6.

____________

AKo UTG.

Raise 4x BB.

Uncontested.

____________

95o BB.

Walk.

____________

T3o SB.

Fold.

____________

3 of 5.

____________

Make very tough call on river with JJ.

____________

1 of 4.

Top 3 Paid.

____________

2 of 3.

ITM.

____________

Heads-up vs. DazzlinDebs.

Internet fail!

Out for 7-8 minutes.

Lose about 6k during this time.

SMH!

____________

Regain lead.

Lose lead with two-pair to flopped flush.

____________

Lose all my chips with KK vs. Ah Th (flush).

____________

Net: +$131

Overall Net: +133.14

A little better.

TOURNAMENT #20 2.0

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

To be totally honest (that’s what I do), there was supposed to be a different Tournament #20, but I went to the pool picnic area so I could play on my laptop and the internet went out in the middle of the tournament and never returned. This lasted until all of my chips were gone. I tried to make a run back home but it was too late. Since there is no way of knowing what would have happened in that tournament, I will not be counting it either way. And I will no longer be playing at the pool. Too frustrating with the internet connection. Today is another day. Let’s see what happens.

Playing on desktop today. Ain’t messin’ around. I’m a little upset about yesterday, but mostly because I had song lyrics for my chip swings. I ripped those papers out from my notebook and chucked them in the recycling. But wait a second!

What would a mini-epiphany be called? A miphany? No. Then it would sound like miffed, which I’m not. I’ll just roll with mini-epiphany.

My mini-epiphany is that I can retrieve these papers and the song lyrics and associate chip swings here. Just keep in mind that this is for yesterday’s tourney, not today’s. I’ll get to today’s tourney soon.

Looks like I tore pages in half down the middle, but I’ll figure it out.

Yesterday…

Nope. Scratch that. Too much of a pain in the ass while playing tourney. I did see something about We Are The World, Movin’ On Up, and Under The Bridge. My apologies if you were excited to read my song lyrics, but like I said, I’m going to be honest about everything: win or lose, good or bad.

____________

Back to today…

____________

Folding often early.

____________

JJ UTG +1.

Raise to 135 on 30 BB.

Four callers.

Ace on flop.

Another player bets.

Fold.

That player ends up winning hand at showdown with A-rag.

Bad pre-flop call by this player, but it worked out, so what do I know.

____________

Ks Qd BB.

UTG min-raises.

Four callers.

Check (I want post-flop play).

Flop: Jd 6d 7d

I bet half pot.

One caller.

Turn: 9d

I bet half pot.

This is a good bet because I’m only being called or raised if I’m beat. There is no need to bet more with four diamonds on the board.

Villain folds.

____________

11 of 22.

Seeing 13% of flops (very low).

____________

22 UTG.

Raise to 175 on 50 BB.

One caller in SB.

Flop: AT7

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

SB folds.

____________

9 of 22.

____________

JJ UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Both blinds call.

Flop: 374-rainbow

SB bets half pot.

BB calls.

I tank-fold.

Why? Because the only way there is a bet into me and a call is I’m in big trouble. I would usually raise in this spot, but not against these two players. I’m at least 85% sure I was behind one of them. I was supposed to lose many chips on that hand, but I trusted my read and saved them.

I would have lost to both players (straight and set).

____________

Ad Jd SB.

Raise to 375 on 60 BB.

Three callers.

Flop: 3d 6c 8d

I bet 680.

All folds.

____________

Knowing your opponent flatted with AK when you have A5s and flop and A = Valuable. Just a thought.

____________

11 of 20.

____________

Jc Th MP +2.

Top pair.

Face huge bets and a descending river bet on this board:  8c Jd 4s 2s 7s.

I call river bet.

Kind of shocked when Villain tables 99, which gives me the winner.

____________

5 of 20.

____________

83o BB.

Defend against min-raise from SB.

Three other callers.

Flop: 567

I bet half pot.

All folds.

____________

7 of 18.

7 of 17.

4 of 17.

5 of 10.

____________

Maddddmexxx just made good fold to me on river. He showed Qh with four heats on the board and I held Ah.

____________

3 of 10.

4 of 9.

____________

Keith just got it all-in with AJ and was called by Maddddmexxx with 72.

J and 7 on flop.

2 on river.

____________

Keith (in chat): “I had a feeling.”

Keith (to me): “I sent him a text message that said gg, hope you choke on your fucking 72.”

Me: “I hope you’re friends.”

Keith: “No we ain’t friends. He knows he’s a cocksucking donkey.”

Okay then. At least now I know how to get Keith on tilt. Play 72. J

____________

3 of 9.

4 of 8.

____________

A5s UTG.

Call.

UTG +1 raises 7x BB.

Fold.

____________

Flopped bottom pair and gut-shot against pre-flop raiser, bet into him, and he went all-in for half my stack. If I had more chips, I would have called. I’m at least 95% sure he had an overpair. Wait for a better spot.

____________

Somehow just won three-way pot with K-high.

____________

AKo MP +1.

Raise 3x BB.

UTG limp-raises for half my stack.

Think about jamming for majority of my stack, but also consider folding.

End up calling.

If A or K on flop, or any kind of draw, jam.

If not, live to fight another day.

I don’t want to bust with AKo with three other short-stacks out there.

Whiff/fold, but one of those short-stacks busts on the next hand as I type this.

____________

The cards are always trying to bust me, but I do my best not to let them.

____________

7d 5d BTN.

Dangerous limp.

Free flop but whiff/fold.

____________

5 of 6.

____________

Short-stack jams with Q9s.

Chip leader calls with AJo.

We are rooting for chip leader.

But … Q9s > AJo.

____________

6 of 6.

5 of 5.

____________

Way low on chips right now: 4.4k

Other stacks…

28.4k

19.5k

26.1k

31.3k

____________

Dodging crazy bullets here. Might be too late, but I’m still going to fight tooth and nail.

Stack: 3.8k

Avg. Stack: 22k

____________

Fold 52s with 6 BBs.

Would have lost.

BTN next hand.

Likely to see better opportunity.

____________

55 BTN.

Jam.

All folds.

Still a long way to go.

____________

73o BB.

Min-raise in order to build pot so another short-stack is more likely to bust.

Two callers.

Whiff/fold.

But someone does bust on this hand.

Could backdoor into the money. Not likely though since the other three players have monster stacks. I have so few chips that I can’t ask for a Bubble Save. 

____________

Kc 8c CO.

Jam.

BB calls and tables JJ.

Board: 52QA3

____________

Bubble.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$117.14

TOURNAMENT #21

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Barely made it to this one on time. You only have 10 minutes after the first hand to register for this tourney, but if you’re one second late, you can’t play until after the first break. I registered just prior to the tourney beginning—I didn’t want to wait an hour.

I made it just in time because I took my dog for a walk and then realized I didn’t have a Bing to drink during tourney. I need my Bing. But then I decided I also wanted bananas, but the bananas were nasty at Harris Teeter (where I get the Bing), so I ventured to Publix.

When I registered for tourney, I had less than 30 seconds to get in on time. Now I’m listening/watching Burning Man 2018 on my laptop while playing poker on my desktop. And drinking a Bing. This makes me happy (for now).

I have been experiencing some dizziness since playing online (due to quarantine and no live poker). I’m not only playing online poker; I’m also writing and editing, which means a lot of time staring at a screen. I like that I’m looking down at a notebook as I write these notes because it means I’m not staring at the screen.

It has been eight minutes since the tourney began. I have played one hand with four players to the flop. I bet out on a gut-shot and everyone folded. I only bet out because I thought I only had two opponents (wanted folds). This is what happens when you’re not paying full attention. But it was a good mistake, and if you’re not paying full attention, you’re not as dizzy. Plus, I’ve got people dancing in crazy costumes in a desert on my laptop. Distractions are everywhere. But are they blessings in disguise? Is everything in your life a blessing in disguise?

____________

8s 6s UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

MP2 calls.

Flop: As Td 9s

I bet flop, turn, river (no help turn or river), and she calls me the whole way.

She scoops with A7o.

____________

I played one hand outside of SPATS because it’s a friend’s favorite hand and I wanted to see what happened. I flopped two-pair and lost to a straight on the turn. It went check-check on the river because the turn card was a third club on the board, but still … DO NOT PLAY HANDS OUTSIDE OF SPATS UNTIL 4-HANDED! If you want to be a +EV player.

Janet is the one who hit the straight on the turn.

Janet: “Now that went nice.”

Me: “Lol. Flopped two-pair.”

Janet: “I saw. Almost let it go because it’s you.”

____________

Just folded TT on this board: 8848A.

I attacked early, met resistance, and I was attacked late.

After folding….

Me: “I don’t fold many full houses, but I had a loser there. Trying to figure out how you had an 8 with your 3-bet pre-flop. I would guess A8 or 98-suited.”

Brumberland: “Good fold. 98-suited. Good read. Lol.”

____________

Fold top pair to straight when 3.4k in pot and 900 all-in bet. Villain said she was surprised I would fold there due to the size of the pot, but when you know you know. And that keeps you in the game.

____________

Keith chopped the tourney last night and wrote: “100% SPATS!!!” I asked him if he even used SPATS three-handed. He said no, but until three-handed.

Keith only lasted three hands in today’s tourney. He busted at another table. This is how the conversation went down…

Keith: “Get em! Played 3 hands!!!”

Me: “Lol. You got ‘em last night. Just full house to quads.”

Keith: “Wow … that’s what took me out. Had A4o in BB and checked to me. Flop comes out 44T. I bet half the pot. She jams. I call. Guess what the turn was?”

Me: “Considering you lost to quads….”

Keith: “Good guess.”

____________

Took a chance with Ts 9s.

Flop: Js 9c 6h

Check.

Villain bets pot.

Fold.

Already lost more than half my chips in this tourney. It was jam or fold, but not a good spot for a jam.

____________

96o MP2.

Facing all-in on this flop: 685

Tank-fold.

Would have lost.

Only still in this tourney because of folds.

____________

17 of 17.

This is bad, but I should have busted at least twice already, so maybe it’s good.

____________

1,961 in chips and in last, but it’s still 25 BBs.

____________

Fold top pair after being put all-in.

Villain shows AA.

Another big fold, but nothing to show for it. Except these notes I guess.

____________

4h 3h > Kh Qc

Back in game.

Kind of.

____________

Fold middle pair to jam on river.

Another big fold (Villain shows), but lose 70% of my stack.

____________

Tough to fold A9o UTG with a little momentum, but I stick to SPATS.

____________

AJ jam.

All folds.

Pick up some chips.

____________

Bet out on draw and two overs and can’t get there. Villain puts me all-in on river. Yet another expensive hand.

Maybe this is because I’m drinking Raspberry Bing today (gold can) opposed to Apple Crisp Bing (green can), which is what I usually drink during these afternoon poker tournaments.

Another fold in a big spot. I’m not even going to write about it.

____________

Might be rolling with 6c 4c. Getting 5:1.

Flop: Jh 9h Qd

Have to fold and leave myself with 972 in chips. I’ve won this tourney when down to that number before. It is possible.

____________

KK MP 1.

Easy jam.

Called by A7o.

I hold.

2,034 in chips.

A little breathing room.

____________

I just realized something with Burning Man. They blur out some titties but not others. I don’t mean that they blur out a right boob on one woman and a left boob on another. I mean it depends on the person. Is one set of boobs better than another? Wouldn’t that be boob discrimination?

____________

Another big fold.

How many times?

How many times?!

____________

Almost jammed 22 with 11 BBs but decided against it. Good thing. I just don’t want to get to the territory where I go out soft. No way! So…

33.

Jam!

Called by 77 and K8o.

Uh-Oh!

Board: 2T534

Oh!

Well shit!

____________

KQo HJ.

Bet pot vs. four opponents on flop open-ender.

One caller.

I don’t get there.

Give 20% of my stack back.

This is a pattern, but at least I’m giving less back every time.

____________

Ah Jh CO.

Call an all-in from bigger stack.

Wish me luck!

Villain tables 8c 8h.

Board: 5d 7d 2d Jd 9c

____________

11 of 13.

____________

Float/Fold.

Only gave 8% back this time!

Not a good time to be floating!

____________

Call/fold on gut-shot, two overs, and whiff.

It never ends!

____________

Fold two-pair to bigger two-pair.

This is complete insanity. I have never experienced anything like it. In big events, I have made some huge folds, but never this many in one tourney.

____________

10 of 12.

____________

Made a bad call on river with K-high, but with all checks and for very few chips (min bet).

____________

12 of 12.

All things considered, I have no idea how I’m still in this tournament.

____________

AA UTG.

Limp-raise trap effective.

Called by 88 and hold.

____________

9 of 12.

____________

Flop top pair with KJ (pair of Jacks).

Villain bets out.

Raise.

He calls.

Check-check turn so I can snap-check-call river, but river is Q, which could give him bigger pair, two-pair, or Broadway.

I know that card hit him. It’s an overwhelming feeling.

He checks to trap.

I check behind.

He tables Broadway.

____________

10 of 11.

____________

Lose decent pot with straight to bigger straight—a well-disguised straight. Glad I didn’t jam (crossed my mind).

Miss flush draw vs. two opponents with 9s 8s but win the pot at showdown because up against 62 and 64. Okay….

____________

11 of 11.

____________

Flat 3x BB raise with 44.

Not feeling jam.

Re-raised to me.

Call.

Whiff/fold flop.

Turn: 4

That’s why you jam pre with 10 BBs and in last place! You get to see all five cards. Almost certain I was behind on flop, but this was still a missed opportunity. I don’t think I have ever played in a tourney like this, where desperation and potential swings back and forth so many times. It doesn’t happen to me often because it doesn’t fit my style of play.

____________

10 of 10.

____________

Need to make a move soon!

Not with 52o though.

Fold.

____________

I’ll list starting hands here so you see if I jam with it or not. I’ll include the 52o hand…

____________

52o Fold

73o Fold

____________

97o BB.

Two limpers to me. Got to roll!

Jam.

Called by CO, who tables JJ.

Not good.

Flop: T84

Turn: 4

River: A

Busto!

____________

Hell of a fight.

No cash but still feel good when I fight like that.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$101.14

TOURNAMENT #22

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Apple Bing! Yay! I wasn’t sure if it’s Yay or Yeah, and I’m a freaking writer. Turns out it can be spelled either way. Yeah!

____________

Ac Jc BTN.

Raise 3.5x BB.

Two folds.

____________

Attack Mode Today! I can feel it.

Note: I don’t remember how this tourney ends, but Attack Mode usually = Failure.

Update: Not quite. There is a finesse to it.

____________

I took my dog for a walk this morning and brought her to a pond way on the other side of the neighborhood. I sat on a bench and talked to West Virginia Bob on the phone as she looked out over the water. Something in the water seemed to pique her interest.

I walked her down to the water while still on the phone and she stared at a vertical stick that was attached to a log under the water. The top of the stick barely protruded out of the water. Lulu seemed keenly interested, but she just stared.

As Lulu stared at this stick while I talked to Bob, I noticed a log across the pond. On that log were four turtles. They were just chillin’. I mentioned the four turtles on the log to Bob, who explained it was mating season. Fortunately, they were not mating. Maybe it was post-hump. I don’t think I’ve ever seen turtles humping before. Glad today wasn’t the day.

Since the turtles weren’t humping and just chillin’ on the log, I hit the camera button on my phone, turned my phone to horizontal, and zoomed-in to take a picture. I mean, shit, what could be better for Instagram than four turtles sitting on a log, especially post-hump during quarantine?

As I went to hit the snap button for my camera, Lulu darted for the stick (thinking it was a fish), I stumbled forward, the turtles dropped into the water to hide, and I was left with a soaked dog, wet sneakers and socks, and no photo of post-hump turtles on a log.

____________

QTo CO.

Raise 3x BB.

Steph re-raises 5x my bet.

Fold.

____________

QQ BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

Three callers.

Flop: A5J (two hearts)

Tight player and first to act opens for half the pot.

Fold.

____________

Ah Js MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 2d Ad 6c

I bet pot.

One caller.

Turn: 4d

I bet half pot.

Villain calls.

River: 5c

Check-check.

Villain tables AT and I scoop.

Not my best played hand, but I wasn’t sure what was going on here.

____________

I just found out something amazing about this game. Not this specific tournament, but poker in general. Attack unless you’re behind. Fucking Brilliant!

NOTE: Not sure why I thought of that concept at that time. Simplifying the game is effective, but you always need to throw in minor (not major) twists to be +EV.

These are really nice people in The Weekender. I know that because they always write ‘nh’ in the chat box, then the other player, who won the pot, has to write ‘ty.’ If there was a poker game that was modeled after A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, it would be this one.  92% on RottenTomatoes, for the record. I haven’t seen it yet, but with that score, I might.

Got one through! It was a relatively big one. Complete air on river with AT, but all low cards and I knew Villain had AK, AQ, AJ, or KQ.

____________

9c 7c BTN.

MP1 raises to 150 on 50 BB.

Call.

BB re-raises to 1,150.

MP1 calls.

Fold.

Flop: 4c Tc 3c

BB jams.

MP1 folds.

We’ll never know, and that’s fine with me. 97s isn’t a hand I want to bust with unless it’s an emergency. BB made a good 3-bet here and that’s all there is to it. You can’t outplay your opponents every hand. Once you realize and accept that, you’re on the right track.

____________

As Js HJ.

Raise 3x BB.

Steph re-raises 4x my bet.

One caller behind her.

Call.

Flop: 9s Kc 7c

Steph bets 1,650.

Smells like AA.

Fold.

She shows them: two red Aces.

____________

11 of 19.

____________

42o BB.

BTN raises 3x BB.

Call.

Too loose. Not a good hand to defend with.

Flop: 4KJ

I bet half pot.

BTN folds.

Still not a good defend.

____________

KK SB.

Raise 3x BB.

Steph tank-calls.

Flop: 35T

I check to disguise since we’re heads-up.

She doesn’t bite and checks.

Turn: 9

I bet half pot.

She folds.

____________

I lose with trip Aces to full house. Before calling, I wrote in chat box: ‘Think I’m beat but can’t fold it.’ That’s a strange message because I could have folded.

____________

88 HJ.

Raise 3x BB.

Steph re-pops 4x my bet.

She most likely has a bigger pair, but that’s good news. If I hit my set, I double-up.

Call.

Flop: KJ4

Check.

She bets 1k.

Fold.

She shows AA again.

____________

Steph: “I don’t raise you light.”

Me: “Nh. 88.”

Steph: “ty.”

____________

16 of 18.

____________

Moved to new table.

____________

Just folded by accident. Would have hit A on river, but would have lost to two-pair. It’s that blessing in disguise thing again.

____________

AA MP +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Three callers.

Fire big on every street but can’t get any of them off hand.

Villain #2 hits gut-shot on river.

Hit to my stack.

____________

18 of 18.

1,335 in chips.

____________

This isn’t going well. Distractions too. One annoying aspect of online poker. No excuses though. I might have just misplayed AA, even though dude called pre with T6s. I want that call.

Just doubled with QJ against J9 against that same dude. He called my jam bet on the turn with another gut-shot.

____________

13 of 18.

____________

Trying to get one through with QTo after whiffed flop.

Bet half pot on turn.

Get it through.

____________

12 of 18.

3,528 in chips.

____________

8s 6s MP +2.

UTG raises 2.5x BB.

Flop: 5c 4h 4s

UTG bets light.

Call.

Turn: 5d

Check-check.

River: 9

UTG checks.

I bet almost pot on river.

Villain tank-folds.

He played it like he had two high cards.

____________

11 of 18.

4,068.

Was down to 793 at one point.

____________

JJ SB.

Three limpers.

Raise to 490 on 80 BB.

Two callers.

Flop: A72

I bet half pot.

Bogey calls.

Turn: 9

Check.

He jams.

Tank-call.

He tables 77.

His hand holds.

I knew this was bad call. Maybe I was in Ego Mode.

____________

18 of 18.

881.

Might not be my day.

____________

9d 8d UTG.

Open-jam.

Need a double. I’ll shove light.

All folds.

____________

As 7s MP2.

This could be the hand for dub.

Open-jam.

All folds.

Not the hand.

____________

The JJ call is what did me in. Not an Ego call, just a bad call. One bad call in a tourney and you’re toast. Remember that next time you’re not sure. A missed opportunity is always better than a loss.

____________

7c 6c UTG +2.

Jam.

Going to get called from this position and only 677 chips.

Five callers!

Flop: 5d Jc Tc (hope)

Turn: Ad

River: Ah

No hope.

Busto!

____________

Not a good day on the felt. My worst tourney yet in The Weekender arena.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$85.14

TOURNAMENT #23

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I called West Virginia Bob earlier today. He’s 68 and lives with his brother and sister-in-law.

His SIL answered the phone with her usual friendly West Virginia drawl: “Hallohh?”

“Hi,” I said. “Is Bob there?”

“No. He’s outside throwing pinecones into the woods.”

I can’t pinpoint why I found this interesting, but I did.

____________

3c 2c UTG +1.

Min-raise to reduce field and build pot.

I can come out of nowhere or represent a wet board. But….

BTN raises 4x BB.

BB calls.

Call.

Loose call. This is why my concept above is stupid.

NOTE: As I type this, I’m shocked I raised with 32s UTG +1. This is Ego, and what’s the saying? Here it is: “Ego Will Fuck You Up!”

Flop: A65

Checked around.  This is good. Free card.

Turn: 6

Checked around. Another free card.

River: 5

Miss. And I never represented jack shit!

Check.

BTN bets 1/3 pot.

Everyone folds.

Looking back on this hand, it was good to get two free cards, but I didn’t stick to the plan. BTN didn’t like the A on the board. I should have bet and taken it down.

NOTE: This hand is a complete mess. I would say forget it ever happened, but I’m actually glad it happened. This way you can learn from my stupidity.

____________

Stayed up late last night and woke up early this morning to work on Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em. Simple title, right? It ain’t what you think! I promise. Only those who read it will understand.

NOTE: As I type this, I know several people who play in The Weekender that have already read Basic Training. Fortunately, they loved it. This book is doing well (relatively speaking). The ratings/reviews have been strong across the board and sales are consistent. It’s a fun book. Definitely check it out.

____________

14 of 19.

____________

KK BTN.

This is either going to go really well or really bad.

One limper and all folds to me, so I stick with standard 3x BB raise.

Two callers behind me in the blinds.

Flop: T8A

Three checks to me.

I bet half pot.

SB calls.

Turn: J

SB checks.

I bet 1/3 pot. I bet this amount because I don’t like the board but needed confirmation I was behind.

SB calls.

River: 7

SB puts me all-in.

Fold.

SB shows Broadway.

____________

Lost a little with Jc Tc.

Won a little with As Ks.

No time to record hand information. All happened too fast.

____________

15 of 18.

____________

Making too many loose pre-flop calls today. Also not hitting flops. For example….

____________

4-handed with Tc 9c.

Flop: 2s Ts Qs

They firing!

Fold.

____________

Seeing 50% of flops.

No Chance!

____________

3-handed with Qh Th.

Flop: 9s 7s 5s

Fold.

____________

17 of 18.

I guess I haven’t been playing well the past few tourneys.

UPDATE: As I read these notes, I recognize something that is so key and very apparent. Calling to see a lot of hands is an awful idea. Raising whenever you sense weakness and applying pressure until resistance is an excellent idea—in tourneys. Assuming you want one of the top three spots.

____________

7c 5c BB.

Flop: Ts Js Ah

Fold.

____________

My next hands…

Fold. Fold! Fold!! Fold!!! Fold!!!! Fold!!!!! FOLD! FOLD!! FOLD!!! FOLD!!!! FOLD!!!!!

____________

KK CO.

Let’s try this again.

HJ raises to 150 on 50 BB.

Raise to 350.

BB calls.

HJ calls.

Flop: 23A

BB checks.

HJ bets half pot.

Fold.

0-2 with KK.

That’s okay though. Always remember that it’s just another hand, and that a hand like T9s can win an even bigger pot. Find your spot.

____________

17 of 18.

____________

AK UTG.

Raise 4x BB.

One caller.

You’re almost always going to get called in this field.

I win this hand.

____________

Just watched a player call an all-in with Q5o for more than half her stack and knock out player with JJ. Nutso!

____________

Jd Td MP3.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

8s 6s MP2.

Limp.

Four other callers.

Flop: 9h Ah 2h

Fold to bet.

____________

As 2d BB.

Four limpers.

Check.

Don’t like this spot.

Flop: Th 7h 6h

FOLD!

____________

5-way pot with 77.

Flop: TAJ

FOLD!

____________

Not much I can do here.

____________

88 CO.

Call.

BB raises 4x BB.

Call.

Flop: K46

BB bets 3/4 pot.

FOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

____________

15 of 15.

14 of 14.

____________

Two players arguing in chat box because one person chased a draw and hit. It all started with: ‘Nice chase.’ Then it got a little crazy.

____________

3-bet jam with 77.

Called by KK.

We both turn a flush.

Game Over.

____________

This was a rough tourney!

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$69.14

TOURNAMENT #24

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

I’m not going to mention names. I don’t do that. At the same time, I always give readers the real story. Here’s what went down. I agreed to a deal where I would promote for someone and get a 50% cut of revenue. It started out great. I was driving consistent traffic. After two weeks, the person I made the deal with asked me to take a lesser cut because it was too much work for them. Obviously, I stopped driving traffic for this person. I’m now in the process of finding someone else to work with.

UPDATE: I ended up working with in a different club, which we’ll call RoadRunner.  

I’m as friendly as I can possibly be. This leads to some people trying to take advantage of me. I have a big heart but the mind of a villain. I know how bad people think, and I will defeat them the vast majority of the time. From what I’ve been told, my mind has the ability to go deeper and darker than anyone people have ever met. I do everything in my power to stay away from that side of me. I have no interest in being that person whatsoever. That’s not happiness. I just know he’s there if/when I need him. And he is there more often than I would like. I know this all sounds psychotic, but the psychotic part is that it’s true.

This also relates to one of the few positives for COVID. When people are under pressure, it shows their true colors. Some of those colors are not just colors, but dark souls. I hope these dark souls continue to reveal themselves so I can continue to eliminate them from my life. I have a reputation for adding people on Facebook. That’s because I’m always optimistic with people. But I also snap-block/delete. If there is any negativity, I don’t want that person in my life. I recommend the same approach. When you delete all negative people from your life, you’re going to be happier. I promise!

____________

44.

Whiff/fold.

That was abrupt, huh?

____________

Ac 8c MP1.

UTG +2 raises 3x BB.

Call.

6-player pot.

Flop: 3s 7h Qs

Fold to bet.

____________

As 9s UTG.

Call.

4-player pot.

Flop: 4c 9d 6d

I bet pot.

Two callers.

Turn: 6c

I bet pot and say out loud (nobody can hear me): “Go away.”

They both go away.

____________

Qd Jd BB.

Flop middle pair and bet 25% of pot as feeler.

Greenjay raises 4x my bet.

Feeler Bet Failure.

Fold.

____________

Tc 8c BB.

Check.

3-player pot.

Flop middle pair.

Bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

Ah Jd BTN.

Call 3x BB from MP1 but SB jams.

Fold.

____________

Ac Ad UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Three callers, including BB.

Flop: 6s 5s 9d

BB checks.

I bet pot.

BB calls.

Turn: 2d

BB checks.

I bet pot.

BB calls.

Something ain’t right.

River: 8h

Villain bets pot.

Fold.

A couple of things here. One, I need to raise more than 3x BB UTG +1 with AA in this game. Two, once it was too late to go back in time and BB hung around and bet into me, it was time to go. It’s okay to fold AA. It’s just another hand. That board smashes a BB that flats twice and bets into you. He’s not doing that with top pair.

____________

Ac Tc MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

4-player pot.

Gut-shot on flop but fold to pot-sized bet.

Would have lost to K-high flush.

Navigation.

____________

Js 9s CO.

MP min-raises.

Call.

SB jams for 32 BBs.

MP calls.

Fold.

SB tables Ac Kc.

MP tables QTo. WHAT???

Board: QQ78K

So wrong.

MP made a bad call but got away with it. Happy to not be involved.

____________

Getting back to COVID … this virus has revealed who stays calm under pressure and who panics.

____________

82o BB.

CO calls.

Check.

Flop: 8A2

I bet half pot.

CO calls.

Turn: T

I bet half pot.

CO calls.

River: A

Check.

Villain bets pot.

Fold.

These are the kinds of decisions that must be made if you want to be +EV over the long haul. You must throw Ego out the window.

____________

33 UTG +1.

Whiff/fold.

____________

9s 2s BB.

4-way pot.

Flop: 9s Js Kh

I bet half pot.

One caller.

Turn: Ks

Check.

Villain bets half pot.

I jam with 12 BBs left.

Villain calls and tables Ts 5s.

I’m literally 0%.

Game Over.

I didn’t even make it to the first break.

____________

Net: -$31

Overall Net: +$38.14

TOURNAMENT #25

Buy-in: $51

The Weekender

____________

I invited J to watch this one with me.

Rules: He can watch and ask questions, but he’s not allowed to tell me what to do. (Told in a fun way.)

This is a Deesptack tourney with 20k chips. Most Weekender tourneys begin with 5k chips.

I just went for a 5-mile jog after busting in tourney earlier today. I haven’t cashed in a week. Figured I needed to clear my head. I’m also going to focus more on the game than the notes on this one.

As far as the buy-in goes, it’s amazing how things change. You would almost never see a $51 buy-in in the live tourney world. Even a $135 buy-in felt small to me after playing in so many bigger events. At the current time, due to the economic environment, $51 feels like a fortune to me.

____________

Qs Qh MP1.

Raise 4x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 9d 6d Tc

Two checks to me.

I bet pot.

One caller.

Turn: 4d

Check-check.

Playing this a little soft, but I want to gauge his interest by seeing how he will play river after I check.

River: 7s

Check-check.

905 in pot. Not worth risk to bet here (three diamonds on board).

He tables A9.

I scoop.

____________

66 UTG.

Raise 4x BB.

Both blinds call.

Flop: JJT

Two checks to me.

I bet half pot.

SB calls.

Turn: T (bad card)

Check-check.

River: Q (terrible card)

Now he either has a boat or he made a straight.

SB bets half pot.

Easy fold.

____________

KJo vs. two opponents.

Flop middle pair and bet out.

Two folds.

____________

J: “What are the odds of being dealt one Ace?”

Me (embarrassed): “That’s a good question.”

____________

AKo UTG +2.

Raise 4x BB.

Two callers.

Miss flop, turn, river.

Don’t trust wet board.

All checks on every street.

Win with A-high.

____________

J just told me to bet 10k with J9 from BTN on this board: AKJJ. He received a friendly warning. J I won the hand, so he’s off the hook.

____________

AJo CO.

Limp to disguise on this one.

I change speeds sometimes. No patterns.

Nit to my left raises 4x BB.

Call/whiff/fold to bet.

____________

66 UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Second attempt.

Whiff/fold to bet.

I told J what would happen on flop (no 6). I told him that SB would check, I would check (I obviously knew that), that the BB would bet and get two folds. This has happened on almost every hand—me telling him what would happen. I just haven’t written about all of them. My point is that it’s frustrating to predict player actions and still not be able to get toward the top in chip counts.

____________

66 BB.

SB raises 3.5x BB.

Call.

Flop: K8A

SB bets pot.

Fold.

____________

Ad Td CO.

Raise to 100 on 40 BB.

Three callers.

Flop: 2c 6s 8c

Fold to bet.

Villain shows 88.

____________

QJo MP3.

Call.

4-player pot.

Flop: 834-rainbow.

Fold to bet.

____________

6d 4d UTG +1.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Fold.

These are the spots where I fold when I’m on. Hope is never a good strategy.

____________

Q6o BB.

Two limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: Q6A

I bet 3/4 pot.

One caller.

Turn: 8

I bet 3/4 pot.

Villain folds.

____________

JJ CO.

Raise 3.5x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: J4Q

Two checks to me.

I bet half pot.

One caller.

Turn: T

Villain checks.

I check to trap (not afraid of straight).

River: Q

Villain bets half pot.

I hover my finger over Max Bet button and J says, “Do it! Do it!”

I give him a look.

J: “Sorry! Sorry!”

I min-raise instead.

Villain calls and auto-mucks.

Nice pot.

____________

6 of 25.

____________

As Ac UTG.

Raise 4x BB.

BB calls.

Flop: 2s Js 3s

BB checks.

I bet half pot.

BB folds.

____________

Ah Jh CO.

UTG raises 3x BB.

MP2 calls.

Call.

Flop: 9d Jd 5c

Two checks to me.

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

Qs Js MP3.

Call.

5-player pot.

Flop: 4s 7s 2c

Two checks to me.

I bet pot.

Two callers.

Turn: 6c

Check.

Player behind me bets 1k.

Player behind her calls.

Call.

River: Kh

Check.

Player to my left bets 3,200.

Two folds, including me.

____________

J left room to make me a taco—first time ever—and it was good!

____________

99 UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Whiff/fold.

____________

QQ BB.

Two limpers to me.

Raise 4x BB.

Two calls.

Flop: 942

SB checks.

I bet pot.

Two folds.

SB shows AJ.

____________

7 of 24.

____________

6s 4s BB.

CO raises 4x BB.

BTN calls.

Fold.

These are the folds that need to be made. Save your chips. You can open-raise with this hand if the opportunity presents itself, but if you’re calling a raise, you’re behind. And if you keep playing from behind, that’s –EV.

____________

JTo BTN.

Two limpers to me.

Check.

SB limps.

BB checks.

Whiff/fold on the turn.

____________

AA CO.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller.

Flop: J52

Villain checks.

I bet pot.

She calls.

Turn: 9

Villain checks.

I bet pot.

She folds and shows QTo.

____________

9c 8c UTG +1.

Call.

CO min-raises.

Four callers, including me.

Flop: Td 8d 7d

Interesting flop.

Everyone checks to BTN.

BTN bets 750.

Bad spot. No man’s land.

Fold.

____________

J looks at me like he wants me to blow my nose, so I blow my nose.

____________

Kd Td UTG +1.

Call.

Three other callers.

Flop: 684-rainbow

I bet half pot due to image.

All folds.

Very risky and dumb play with that many opponents. Lucky.

____________

Jd Td UTG.

4-bet to me.

Call.

I know 4-better has AA, but getting 3:1 and implied odds are all of his chips. If I whiff, I fold. Excellent risk/reward. But I whiff/folded.

____________

14 of 24.

____________

Qs Js HJ.

BB raises 3.5x BB.

Flop: Ad 9c 4h

Villain bets half pot.

Fold.

____________

I wasn’t in the following hand, but it’s worth writing about.

Aus vs. Lala.

Lala raised 4x BB.

Aus jammed.

Lala called.

Aus tabled Kh Kd.

Lala tabled As Ac.

Flop: Kc 9s 3s

Turn: 5s

River: 8s

Fun!

In case you missed it, Aus flopped a set and Lala went runner-runner for flush.

____________

KTo from BB gets me a decent pot heads-up (two-pair).

____________

12 of 24.

____________

KTo gets more a few more chips.

KQo gets me a few more chips.

____________

J left room and came back with a bowl full of snacks: An Entenmann’s chocolate donut, saltine crackers, and pretzels. He mixes his salt and sugar well.

____________

Bet pot on turn vs. two opponents with open-ender and paired board.

Two folds.

____________

10 of 22.

____________

AA CO.

MP2 raises 3x BB to 300.

Re-raise to 1,150.

Short-stack jams for 3,870.

MP2 folds.

Call.

Short-stack tables 22.

I hold.

Nice pot.

____________

9 of 22.

7 of 21.

____________

Jd Td UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller.

Flop: Ts 7h 6h

Villain checks.

I bet 600 into 850 pot.

She folds and shows 44.

____________

Fold T-high flush on river with paired board and 3-bet from tightest player at table.

____________

44 HJ.

Call.

Three-player pot.

Flop: 233

One check to me.

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

Ad 9d BB.

UTG (Doc) min-raises to 240.

Call.

Flop: 3d 5h 5s

Check and then float Doc’s bet.

Turn: Ks

Check.

Doc bets half pot.

Fold.

Not my best hand.

____________

As Ks MP1.

Raise 3.5x BB.

All folds.

____________

QQ MP3.

UTG min-raises to 240.

Raise to 825.

BB calls.

UTG folds.

Flop: 44A

BB checks.

I bet 3/4 pot.

She calls.

Only way she calls here is if she has A or 4.

Turn: T

BB checks.

I bet 3/4 pot in case I’m wrong, which really makes no sense.

She calls.

River: 7

She bets 3,871.

Fold.

____________

Tc 4c BB.

SB min-raises.

Three callers, including me.

Flop: 5JT

SB bets 10% pot.

Call.

Player behind me calls.

BTN raises 5x bet.

SB calls.

Fold.

SB had AJ and won hand vs. BTN. This is why there is no sense in defending your BB with hands like T4s. The last thing you want is to hit top pair. Over the long haul, you’re going to lose a ton of money in this spot. When you win the hand, you’re scooping very little. When you’re outkicked (or up against something stronger and get attached), you’re losing a lot more. The best loss is an early loss. Get the hell out of there ASAP. I’m writing this present day while typing. I likely called this min-raise due to Ego and/or odds, but Ego is the enemy, and reverse implied odds are what you really need to look at—how much you will lose if you hit your hand.

____________

12 of 21.

____________

J: “Would you ever donate blood?”

Me: “Only if it was an emergency. Or if you needed blood, I’d give it to you.”

J: “I know, but I don’t have that much blood.”

I laughed.

J (again): “Actually, I haven’t bled in a while.”

Me: “Well, that’s good!”

____________

13 of 20.

14 of 20.

13 of 20.

____________

9c 8c CO.

UTG raises 2.5x BB.

Flop flush draw, get two free cards, and chicken out on river after whiffing. I had Villain on A-high, but he might have called due to double-paired board.

____________

14 of 20.

____________

AKo UTG+1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

AQo BB.

BTN raises 5x BB.

Call.

Another caller behind me.

Flop: 83Q

I bet half pot.

Two folds.

____________

QTo SB.

MP raises 4x BB.

Fold.

____________

Ad 6d BTN.

Min-raise.

SB calls.

Flop: 782

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

SB calls.

Turn: J

Check-check.

River: 3

Check-check.

Had her on a pair of 8s or 7s since she showed weakness, but I also felt as though this player would call any bet. But I was wrong. She had K-high. I scoop a small pot with A-high.

____________

Some dude is whining in chat about not being able to hit cards. Dude, nobody cares and it reeks of insecurity. I know that might come off as harsh to some readers, but I’m trying to help. When you whine about not getting cards, it comes off as weakness. I don’t want that to happen to you. If you’re a reader, you’re an ally.

____________

4h 4s SB.

Board: 3d Tc 5d Kc Qs

She tried to bluff me on river after I called flop and turn and then checked river. She was in BB and didn’t raise me pre-flop. If she had the T, she would have raised the flop or bet the turn. If she had a K or Q, she would have raised pre heads-up in the blinds. With two potential draws on the flop and a 3/4 pot bet on river after she sensed weakness, I snap-called. She tabled 9d 7d for a missed flush draw.

This was very different from a Hero Call. I knew exactly where she was at and had no doubt. Well … very limited doubt.

____________

12 of 18.

____________

QJo UTG +1.

Call.

4-player pot.

Flop: 37A

Fold to big bet.

____________

I 3-bet after flopping a pair of Aces with a weak kicker. I did that because I limped from BTN and neither player raised the blinds. I knew I was ahead. One of my opponents called, but I bet again on turn and scooped a small pot.

____________

AA vs. QQ.

Fired big pre and on flop.

Villain folded on this flop: T46

Great fold!

____________

Win decent pot with 9c 8c.

____________

8 of 18.

____________

Ts 9s BB.

CO raises 3x BB.

SB calls.

I call, anticipating three callers behind me, which is what happens, but I whiff flop and have to fold.

____________

Ac Tc SB.

Call a min-raise in five-player pot. Too risky to raise here out of position. Whiff/fold.

____________

9 of 17.

____________

AJo BB.

One limper from MP3.

Raise 3x BB.

Villain calls.

Flop: 355

No fear because Villain is in MP. A player in MP almost never hits that flop.

I bet half pot.

He snap-folds.

____________

11 of 16.

10 of 16.

____________

AA (again) UTG +2.

Raise 4x BB.

All folds.

4-0 with AA in this tourney.

____________

KTo UTG +1.

Flop top pair vs. two opponents.

Bet 1/3 pot (change it up).

Two folds.

____________

Q4o BB.

BTN min-raises.

Call to defend.

Flop a Q and keep firing.

She mucks river at showdown and writes ‘Lol’ in chat box. I write ‘TT, 99, or 88?’ She doesn’t reply because she doesn’t want to give anything away, but by not replying, she gives everything away.

____________

AA (again) UTG +1.

Raise 4x BB.

All folds.

5-0 with AA.

Some might say I’m raising too much, but it sure beats not raising enough.

____________

6 of 16.

____________

As Qd BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

SB calls.

Flop: Kd 2s 9s

SB checks.

Check.

Turn: 5s

SB checks.

I bet pot.

I can win this hand in many ways: A, Q, spade, or fold.

She folds.

____________

AA (this can’t be real but it is) MP1.

Raise 4x BB.

One caller.

Villain calls me all the way to river.

I pick up 20,200.

____________

3 of 15.

____________

As Qs BB.

BTN and SB limp.

I want to change speeds here, so I check.

Flop: 3s 7s Ts

SB checks.

Check.

BTN bets 750.

SB folds.

Call.

Turn: 6d

Check-check.

River: Kh

I bet pot.

BTN tank-calls.

Nice pot (flush).

____________

JTo UTG +1.

Call. This is risky!

Not much point in limping here.

SB calls.

BB checks.

I somehow get away with it. I would have had to fold to any decent raise.

Flop: AJT-rainbow

SB checks.

BB checks.

I bet pot.

They both fold.

____________

ATo CO.

Raise 4x BB.

Everyone folds to HJ, who also folds, but she shows her hand: 99.

Wow. Okay.

____________

3 of 14.

4 of 13.

____________

Fold 75s in CO with no action to me.

Fold QTo UTG.

Playing smart.

____________

Got one through with 8-high heads-up.

____________

3 of 12.

4 of 12.

____________

KTo BB.

BTN min-raises.

Flop: T74

I bet half pot.

BTN folds.

____________

53s CO.

Fold.

Just so you know, you shouldn’t be playing every SPATS hand in every situation.

____________

99 got me in some trouble. Folded turn, but it still cost me some chips.

____________

5 of 11.

6 of 10.

Lost some chips with 65s in BB. Fortunately, I folded to big snap-bet with third diamond on turn when I had middle pair and was open-ended.

____________

AQo UTG.

Raise 4x BB.

All folds.

____________

T6o BB.

Walk.

____________

AA UTG (what???).

Raise 4x BB.

All folds.

Sheer craziness with this hand tonight. A good craziness because there is no crazy, which is crazy. Too much crazy? Welcome to poker.

____________

Down to 10 players.

____________

Weird shit just happened. Debbie tried to bluff her way through vs. two opponents, me being one of those opponents. But she used descending bets, which kept my gut-shot and Q live. I missed and folded on the river, but she lost with A-high to a bigger A-high. Just a strange sequence. But, in a way, she was being wise with chip management.

____________

77 MP2.

Call/whiff/fold.

____________

4h 4s CO.

Accidentally repped a flush and got it through. At first, I didn’t realize third diamond on turn.

____________

77 BTN.

Fold to Villain betting into me on A55 Flop after I raised pre-flop.

____________

Been folding SB for hours, giving BB walks on some occasions. Now I can attack from SB when it’s folded to me. This was set up from the start in case I went deep. I want the bigger blinds/antes.

____________

77 HJ.

Finally get a win with 77, which was up against KQo. 

Average pot.

Villain kept calling until river. Some players like to do that with two overs, even if straight potential on the board. Two pair and a set also possibilities, so this is rarely a good idea.

____________

Still mixing SB walks so I can attack in right spots and get folds as blinds move higher. If I attack every time, BB will be on to me.

____________

4 of 10.

____________

Qs 6s BB.

Walk.

____________

QTo UTG +1.

Raise 2.8x BB.

All folds.

____________

AJo BTN.

Raise 2.8x BB.

All folds.

____________

Ad Jd BB.

Walk.

____________

Been playing 5 hrs & 49 min.

____________

Playing two hands outside of SPATS cost me approximately 10k in chips. I highly recommend reading that last sentence over and over again. I only played those hands because it was five-handed, but SPATS SHOULD BE PLAYED UNTIL 4-HANDED! Now at 40k opposed to 50k. Still enough room to work but could be better. Btw, it’s now down to five players. It’s two tables of five players and they haven’t been combined yet.

____________

4 of 10.

____________

After having time to think, maybe those two hands outside of SPATS needed to happen so I would avoid a bigger bad hand going forward. Stick with SPATS, dumbass! Talking to myself. Sorry.

____________

5 of10.

5 of 9.

9-handed now.

FT.

Now we NO DOUBT go back to SPATS!

____________

44 MP2.

Call min-raise.

3-player pot.

Flop: AAQ

Original raiser bets pot.

Fold.

____________

6 of 9.

6 of 8.

5 of 7.

____________

QQ CO.

Two limpers to me.

Raise 6x BB.

Not a time to play around.

All folds.

____________

QQ SB.

Limp to trap.

Risky but effective.

Decent pot.

____________

QQ BTN.

These three QQ hands weren’t consecutive, but still crazy to get QQ three times at FT.

Min-raise.

Two callers.

Flop a set and do my best to disguise, but turn put some draws out there and need to bet.

Two folds.

____________

4 of 6.

Payouts: 520, 390, 260, 130.

____________

T8o BB.

Walk.

____________

Trap effectively with trip Aces on turn and get a call with a 3-bet on river after boating up.

Get one through with A-high vs. two opponents.

____________

77 BB.

Call 3x BB raise from bigger stack.

Want those chips.

Flop: AK6

Check.

Villain overbets pot.

Fold.

____________

Get one through with A-high again. Heads-up vs. bigger stack this time. Probably a winning hand this time though.

____________

AJo MP2.

Call min-raise from chip leader.

Flop: 2AT

She checks.

I bet half pot.

She folds.

____________

Try to stack short-stack with 66.

Doesn’t work.

____________

AKo UTG +2.

Call.

Effective. All I’m going to say.

It was an intense experience. Buy-in doesn’t matter. My heart was racing a little throughout this hand (very rare) with top pair to the river vs. two opponents and putting more than half my chips on the line.

____________

4 of 6.

3 of 6.

____________

Min-bet to river with second pair/Ace kicker vs. chip leader. Called flop and turn, but she mucks river.

____________

AKo SB.

BTN raises 4x BB.

Fold.

Why? Because she is chip leader and short stack only has 2,971 chips and we’re on the Bubble (I have 94k).

____________

On the very next hand, the short stack busts 33 < Q6.

____________

ITM.

Been a while.

Now let’s make it count.

____________

22 BB.

MP1 Nit raises 5x BB.

Fold.

____________

They are playing very AGGRO, probably because they’re ITM, but there is a huge difference between 1st and 4th.

____________

Ah 5h SB.

BTN raises 5x BB.

Fold.

Too early to make a move. That is a hand I would usually be aggressive with, but not calling 5x BB raise with it out of position at this point in tourney.

____________

3 of 4.

Fewer notes. More play. I’ll keep you posted on big spots.

____________

4 of 4.

____________

9h 9d BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

4 of 4.

3 of 4.

4 of 4.

3 of 4.

____________

Fold a flush to a bigger flush.

____________

Ad 2d SB.

BTN and chip leader raises 7x BB.

Fold.

____________

Btw, J went to sleep 2.5 hours ago. That’s how long this has been running.

____________

4 of 4.

____________

7s 5s CO.

Fold.

____________

As Js BB.

Two limpers to me.

Raise 4x BB.

Two folds.

____________

97o BTN.

Fold.

____________

Been talking to myself for a while now. Need to make a move. This is what I just said to myself: My chips are dwindling. We must do something when our chips are dwindling. But we don’t have the cards to do anything. What do we do? This is a dilemma!

Jam light, you say?

Oh! Okay!

____________

22 CO.

Jam!

I love it!

Let’s roll!

Called by Kd Qd.

Flop: AKQ

Turn: T

River: K

Rub it in, why don’t you?

____________

Net: +$79

Overall Net: +$117.14

TOURNAMENT #26

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

First Hand: 55

Call 3x BB raise.

Two callers behind.

Whiff/fold.

____________

Second Hand: K6o

Fold pre-flop.

Three players.

Board: 665KK

Lol. Early in tourney though. Not a big pot.

____________

Defending BB with marginal hands is not a profitable venture. You are behind and out of position. The only times it makes sense is when it’s a multi-way pot and you’re getting good odds, or when it’s a tight player who raised and you know you can move them off a lot of hands by betting into them on the flop.

____________

As Ad UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Three callers.

Should have raised 4x BB.

See?

Lose to flush on river (Qd 2d). Fortunately, I kept pot small.

____________

Miss two nut flush draws.

Call with two- pair on river vs. flush.

Chop a hand after flopping world.

____________

Down to 3,026 before first break (started with 5k).

____________

17 of 18.

15 of 17.

____________

55 UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

MP1 calls.

HJ calls.

Flop: 5A7

I bet half pot to make it look like an A.

MP1 calls.

HJ jams, has both players covered.

Call.

MP1 folds.

HJ tables 75.

My hand holds.

Shoot from 1,960 to 6,028.

____________

Just turned flush vs. short-stack all-in and a third player. Third player wouldn’t go away. He tables top pair/weak kicker at showdown. I don’t get it, but I’ll take it.

____________

3 of 11.

____________

Kh Kc CO.

Raise 4x BB.

SB and BB call.

Flop: Ks 3d 8c

Both players check to me.

I jam in hopes someone has AK.

SB calls and tables Ad Kd.

Good news. I’m 96.04%.

Turn: 7d

River: 4d

I lose to flush. A ton of comments in chat. All shocked.

____________

I jammed next two hands because I was down to 569. Lost the second one. At least I went out swinging.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +101.14

All I can do is do my best to outplay my opponents more than they outplay me. I can’t help what happens after that.

TOURNAMENT #27

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

J watching again.

J: “Is the Holy person in this one again?”

Me: “You mean Ho Li Chit?”

J (laughing): “Yeah.”

Me: “Not sure. Let’s check.”

After checking Tourney Lobby, I confirmed that Ho Li Chit wasn’t playing in this tourney.

____________

Lightbulb!

We are watching YouTube: The Martinez Brothers b2b Locol Dice at Kiesgrube OpenAir 2018. I had the idea of creating my own EDM music on my laptop and putting it over poker sessions I record, then sharing those games on YouTube.

I like this idea very much. With six books and a script to work on, it’s a bit much, but this will actually help me move faster on the books (I can’t control speed of script). If I follow through with this, it will be a lot of fun.

UPDATE: I have no idea what the hell I was thinking. I have no time for this and I have no clue how it would help me move faster on books. However, if I somehow have free time in future, it would be fun to explore.

____________

Win nice pot with QQ vs. two opponents.

____________

AKo vs. two callers.

Whiff/fold on 789T board to the turn.

____________

AA UTG +2.

Raise 3.5x BB.

Three callers.

Flop: 8K3

SB bets half pot into me.

Call.

Other two players fold.

Turn: 6

SB bets 1/4 pot.

I hover my cursor over Max button, look at J, and say, “I think she has a King. Should I do it?”

His face lights up with a smile.

I click the Max button, which puts SB all-in. A little more than half my stack at risk.

SB tanks. I tell J this is a good sign because it means she doesn’t have two-pair.

SB folds.

____________

Th 8h UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 9h 5h 7d

Two checks to me.

I bet half pot.

LAG player calls.

Turn: 8d

LAG player checks.

I bet half pot.

LAG player calls.

River: Jc (ass end of straight)

LAG player checks.

I bet 10% pot.

LAG player folds.

____________

3 of 24.

7 of 23.

____________

JJ SB.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

Promoting tonight’s radio show on FlopHouse Radio while playing.

____________

Chat Drama!

Player A to Player B: “How could I have bet anymore to get you away from that? You were on a hope and a prayer with no shame.”

Player B doesn’t reply.

Well played, Player B.

____________

8 of 23.

____________

Writing questions for two interviews for FlopHouse Radio. I should probably stop doing that and pay attention to tourney.

____________

10 of 23.

14 of 22.

13 of 22.

____________

9c 7c CO.

Raise 3x BB.

Three callers.

Flop: 49K (two diamonds)

UTG jams.

Two callers.

Fold.

AK, KT, A9

AK holds.

____________

It’s an amazing thing. When I play more hands, my stack usually goes down. This is logical because you usually miss in this game, which is why it’s important to pick your spots. When I play fewer hands, my stack usually remains the same or builds.

____________

J5o BB.

Three players limp to me.

Check.

Flop: J9T

I bet half pot.

Two callers.

Turn: 4

Check.

Other two players get it all-in.

Fold.

JT vs. J8.

JT holds.

____________

15 of 19.

____________

Host of radio show might be backing out due to being sick. If this happens, I have a backup plan. Going to be tough to pull off with limited time, but possible.

____________

AQo UTG +1.

Two callers.

SB calls me down to river on wet board.

SB tables AQo for chop.

____________

66 UTG.

Call.

BB keeps coming after me on this board: K5849

I call the whole way and scoop it. He was betting too fast (fear).

BB shows AT.

____________

Lose decent-sized pot with ATo vs. two opponents. Thought I was behind, but Villain rivered backdoor flush.

____________

Win decent pot with QTo.

____________

16 of 17.

____________

55 BB.

BTN (and chip leader) raises 3x BB.

Call.

Whiff flop but low cards I can represent, and betting into the chip leader always looks strong.

She folds and shows an A.

____________

2c 2s HJ.

5-player pot.

Flop: 2A6 (two hearts)

I 3-bet jam, hoping it looks like a draw.

All folds.

____________

Kh Th CO.

Flop: K25

Villain open-jams for about 1/4 of my stack.

Snap-call.

Villain tables A2.

My hand holds.

____________

Jc Tc UTG +1.

Call.

4-way pot.

Flop: T86

Two checks to me.

I bet pot.

All folds.

____________

11 of 16.

____________

Flop nut flush, let two opponents lead the way, check again on river when straight card comes out, but they both check behind.

____________

10 of 16.

____________

KQo UTG +1.

UTG raises 2.5x BB.

Fold.

____________

Player just open-jammed for 62 BBs.

All folds.

Lol.

____________

A different player just open-jammed for 51 BBs.

All folds.

I’m scratching me head (metaphorically).

____________

11 of 16.

____________

QQ BB.

Three limpers to me.

I jam.

One caller.

Villain tables 77.

My hand holds.

____________

3 of 14.

4 of 13.

5 of 12.

____________

AJo UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller.

Flop top pair.

Bet pot.

Villain folds.

____________

AQo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Everyone folds to BB, who jams for half my stack.

I tank and run through all possibilities. It’s a race at best. I’m only beating AJ, and that’s unlikely.

Fold.

____________

QQ BTN.

3-bet jam.

Got a call last time. Worth a shot.

All folds.

____________

Raquel just messaged me to ask if I could get on Skype to go over FlopHouse Radio stuff. Not a good idea when deep in tourney.

____________

Kd Jd BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

Two folds.

____________

6 of 12.

____________

8d 6d UTG +1.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Fold.

____________

TT got me into some trouble.

____________

9 of 12.

____________

Texting with Raquel now. Didn’t understand her first comment so asked if show was green light or no-go.

____________

8h 3h BB.

Walk.

____________

Raquel: ‘There are power outages in Ecuador.”

Okay…

____________

8 of 11.

____________

Good thing I folded Jh Th to 3-bet. Would have busted.

____________

8 of 10.

9 of 9.

FT.

____________

JJ MP2.

Jam.

Blinds high enough.

All folds.

____________

9 of 9.

Not that far behind though.

Me: 6,839

Other stacks (left to right from me)…

10,564

23,566

19,600

9,164

15,592

7,454

15,100

21,571

____________

Player A (to Player B): “Nicely played.”

Player B: “Thanks.”

Player A: “I was being sarcastic.”

____________

99 CO.

J hands me a chocolate chip cookie while I’m thinking.

I 3-bet jam.

Player behind me also jams.

BB calls.

Oh Shit!

Up against AJ and QQ.

QQ holds.

Busto!

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$85.14

At least it was a good cookie. J

TOURNAMENT #28

Buy-In: $16

The Weekender

____________

A lot of drama last night prior to the radio show. Not drama between people, but getting ready in time and pulling it off.

One of the hosts was sick and wasn’t sure if she would be running her game. Then she fell asleep due to being sick. At the same time, the radio show had no power because it’s run from Ecuador and there was a power outage (figured that one out).

We were in a bind, and the radio show and poker game were supposed to start at 9 p.m. EST. It was 6 p.m. EST and I was communicating with Raquel about a plan.

My backup plan was the following: If the power for the radio show came back in time, we would still do the radio show, but we would talk about poker strategy. Pretty simple. My original plan was to cancel, but I decided to wait until 7 p.m. If the host who couldn’t make it still ran her game, then nobody in that game and no one planning on listening to the show would ever know there had been a problem.

The patience paid off (think about that). The host ran her game, and that’s what we covered, even though we didn’t really cover it. Maybe one hand. This is just what happened naturally. It’s difficult to talk about hand-by-hand poker on the radio and for people to remain interested. We covered the following instead…

  • Who could make the best He-Haw sound
  • Solving a mystery music video to see if the singer had a booger or a nose ring
  • Who could do the best ‘Ship It!’ call
  • She Breasted It
  • And much more

As far as She Breasted It, this means a player raised pre-flop and folded on the flop, like playing with a woman’s breasts, getting her all worked up, and then leaving suddenly without saying anything. Of course, it could also be He Breasted It.

I’m 14 minutes into tourney and I’m at 7,310. This is thanks to two nice pots. On the first one, BTN open-raised 3x BB. I was in the SB with ATo. I called and flopped two-pair. He continued to fire on the turn and river, which were both cards lower than T. He then made a big bet on the river. I snap-called. He didn’t play it like he had a monster. I scooped.

____________

On the second one…

Ad Kd BTN.

Min-raise (for balance).

SB calls.

Flop: 4A9-rainbow

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

She calls.

Turn: 4

She checks.

I bet half pot.

She raises 3x my bet.

Call.

River: 7

She checks.

I bet for value.

She calls and auto-mucks.

This was an interesting hand because it’s rare that you bet for value on the river after being check-raised on the turn and it works.

____________

T8o BB.

Three limpers to me.

Flop: T82

Checked around.

Turn: T

I bet min.

Two folds.

Dang it!

____________

2 of 11.

4 of 11.

____________

I asked Keith why such a small turnout today. He said because last night’s tourney didn’t until 4 a.m.

____________

4 of 9.

Fastest FT of my life.

Took 41 minutes.

____________

I like the sound of the toaster dinging.

____________

HUGE POT on first hand after break. I’m not involved.

AA vs. KK.

AA holds.

____________

KJo BTN.

UTG +1 raises 4x BB.

Fold.

____________

5 of 8.

6 of 8.

____________

Good fold on river.

Pizza or turkey?

Pizza.

____________

Went AGGRO with two marginal hands and met resistance from same player on both occasions. I cut my losses early, but dumb.

Had to eat about seven consecutive pre-flop raises. I was behind every time, and I would have missed every flop, but it still hurt.

____________

7 of 8.

____________

Fold Ad 9d in BB after Steph raises 3.5x BB from UTG.

Me: “Respect.”

She shows AJo.

____________

AA UTG.

Limp-trap (hopefully).

Lose to trips.

Lost minimum for limp-raise fail.

Some people don’t like this play. Other people use it too often. The key is to mix it in sometimes. Remember, no patterns.

____________

7 of 7.

____________

Good convo with Keith about AA hand…

Keith: “I wasn’t paying attention. Did you just limp with AA?”

Me: “Yes. UTG. Limp-raise was the plan. I mix it up.”

Keith: “That’s the #1 Commandment. Thou shall not limp with monsters.”

Me: “False.”

Keith: “Ever heard of Poker Hell? That’s where poker sinners are gonna have to spend eternity and they are always going to be short stacked and you will lose set over set forever. Lol.”

Me: “I have made a lot of money limp-raise-jamming. If they commit to big raise pre, they will not fold. It’s a good risk/reward. Just need to be able to fold AA if it fails. Still a favorite.”

Keith: “Ain’t got the balls to limp with them.”

Me: “Grow them.”

Keith: “I ain’t a fucking lizard. Steph’s got them in her purse. Lol.”

Keith (again): “Hey, if you wanna dump your chips, I’ll gladly take them. Ya don’t have to give them to the chip leader. Lol.”

Keith (again): “I was really hoping you hit on the hand you was in the BB. Btw … I done it. I limped with AA, flopped the set, but two spades. Why????”

Me: “Lol. Poker.”

Keith: “My heart was in my throat. If I had been sitting at a live table, I think they would have called the Floor. With my sweat hitting the table and messing up the cards.”

Me: “That’s living!”

Keith: “That’s insanity.”

____________

Down to 8 BBs.

Time to roll!

____________

5c 4c MP2.

Fold.

Or not.

____________

QJ BB.

Everyone folds to SB (Keith), who calls.

Flop: 98Q

He bets 150.

I jam. No fold option here. My only move.

He snap-calls. It is not a good thing when Keith snap-calls your bet.

He tables AQ.

His hand holds.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +69.14

TOURNAMENT #29

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I’m going to explain my first hand in my message to Keith below. For some background, I was exercising outside, rushed to shower, and got to the game with the clock ticking down on my time bank for me to act on the first hand.

Me (to Keith): “Thought I had 55 when rushed to sit down. Flopped straight-flush draw, turned straight, and lost to full house on river with 5c 3c. Only played it because I thought it was 55.”

Keith: “Lol. Like me looking down at K4 in a live event, thinking I got suited Big Slick.”

Me: “Dude … this never happens to me. That was weird.”

Keith: “Until it does. Lol.”

Keith (again): “I don’t feel so bad now. A pro misreading his hand online is way worse than a fish peeking and misreading. Lol.”

____________

Went from 5k to 2,271 on first hand.

____________

On third hand…

6c 4c CO.

UTG +1 3-bets.

Two callers to me.

Call.

Flop: 3h Kc 6c

Everyone remains interested.

I consider jamming but just flat.

Turn: Ac

Three checks to me.

I bet half pot.

UTG +1 calls.

River: 8d

I bet half pot for value.

UTG +1 calls and auto-mucks.

I move from 2,271 to 5,711.

____________

Exactly one hand after that…

Qd Th SB.

One limper to me from early position.

Raise 4x BB.

There are many ways I can win this hand. What I’m really doing is representing a much stronger hand.

Two callers, UTG and BB.

Flop: Kc Tc Td

Check.

BB checks.

UTG bets 1/4 pot.

I raise 3x UTG’s bet.

BB calls.

UTG calls.

Turn: Jd

I bet half pot.

Two calls.

River: 4c

I check.

BB checks

UTG bets 1/3 pot.

At first, I think she’s betting 1,700 because of the two checks and she senses weakness, but then I look at pot and see it’s just over 5k. It’s a value bet.

Fold.

BB calls and auto-mucks as UTG tables nut flush.

____________

The hand above is an example how many people are very wrong on something. Many people say, “Think long, think wrong.”

That’s an incorrect thought for Texas Hold’em, imo. In this game, you need to figure out how the puzzle pieces together. It usually takes at least a few seconds to figure it out.

____________

Caught on river bluff.

Shit!

Still fun though!

____________

After Keith loses to loose player who always plays to the river…

____________

Keith (to me): “This is the one thing I really don’t like about online poker. There are too many rivers seen.”

Me: “You love him!”

Keith: “About as much love as you have for standing in a public bathroom shaking hands.”

That was a reference to something that happened in Felt Hopper: Vegas.

Me: “Nice!!!”

____________

Min-raise loosest player at table with nut flush draw on flop.

Miss turn and bet half pot.

Villain min-raises back.

Call.

Whiff river.

Check-fold to big bet.

____________

QQ MP2.

Raise 4x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: J92-rainbow

Two checks to me.

I jam.

The way the players in this group play, I know I’ll get a call if someone has a J. If not, I’ll take the 715 already in the pot.

First player folds.

Second player calls. I know it’s a J.

Second player tables AJ.

I’m about 75%.

Turn: A

I’m no longer 75%.

River: dud

Busto!

____________

Keith: “Fuck man.”

Me: “Knew I’d get a call from a J. Can’t control that shit.”

Keith: “Nope.”

____________

There is good news on this day, but let’s do the stats first.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$53.13

____________

Now let’s rewind a few hours to the good thing that happened. I messaged Raquel, co-owner of FlopHouse Radio.

Me: “Do you have any interest in making the radio show a Tuesday night thing? Maybe Keith can be a sidekick for this Tuesday and see how it goes? But Starr would have to approve this. Let me know your thoughts. I think we can build an audience.”

Raquel: “I think that’s a great idea. I’ll ask Keith. Everyone still talking about the last show! I have all these software applications. We can do anything.”

Me: “Wait. They’re still talking about the last show? Really?”

Raquel: “Yes. They all said I was right about you, and they had so much fun that they asked when you’re coming back. They wanted to make sure they were here. I told them I would make sure I posted the time.”

Me: “Awesome! Tuesdays at 9 pm EST if that works!”

Raquel: “I only said what was true and you were super fun and great personality on new project for site as well.”

Me: “Cool.”

Raquel: “The program I’m working on lets us all go live together, using that app you all play on.”

Raquel (again): “Anytime Starr can’t get on the air, I can fill in. We can all use poker names in chat.”

Me: “K. Poker is theme and audience but just like books, not the primary focus. Entertainment is #1 priority, correct? Broader audience.”

Raquel: “Yes. That would be awesome. That’s what makes it more fun. I think when it’s unscripted and off-chat it’s funny stuff.”

Me: “I just wrote ideas to talk about. About to head out. Talk soon.”

Raquel: “Great.”

____________

SPOILER ALERT (not for poker): I stuck with radio show for months, and it was a lot of fun up until the end. It became more like a job and I had to let it go. Once something no longer makes me happy, I’m gone. But this had everything to do with me, not the radio show.

TOURNAMENT #30

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I had a thought. Will I have any live poker events in this book by the time it’s complete? That’s 100 tourneys. This all depends on COVID. You will be much more up to date on COVID by the time you read this.

I tried to use yesterday’s bust as a blessing in disguise. I love whoever came up with the phrase ‘blessing in disguise’ because I apply it to my life often. Translation: I fuck up a lot. If you’re a risk-taker, you’re going to fuck up a lot. And I’m relentless.

I’m about to tell you something that’s off-topic, because that’s what I do. I bought a bunch of discount movies at Walmart to watch with my son. Over the past two nights, we watched…

The Mist

Child’s Play

The Mist was entertaining but there was something tasteless about it. I won’t reveal what that was because I don’t do spoilers (movie spoilers). Child’s Play was fun for the most part until it got stupid. At least it was a short movie (1 hr. 30 min.).

____________

Bet gut-shot and got there.

I re-raised in three-handed pot on turn with straight and flush cards out there when I had 2-high. I did that because they would have bet flush draw on flop, and they would have bet two-pair on turn to protect against draws. Two folds. After the hand, original aggressor wrote: “Just testing ya.” If he only knew. Lol.

____________

Me: “I know. Lol.”

OA: “You passed.”

____________

Tonight’s Movie: Warcraft

Update: HORRIBLE MOVIE! Shut it off after 10 minutes.

____________

DDebs (in chat): “Sorry I was late. Liquor store run.”

LW: “I guess the liquor store is one of the necessary businesses.”

DDebs: “Damn straight!”

NutsQ: “My friend is in Philly and all liquor stores are closed.”

DDebs: “Florida would never do that. Too many alcoholics.”

____________

10 of 24.

____________

Chillin’ today. Just started but still moving at a much slower (and calmer) pace than yesterday. I entered yesterday’s tourney with a Steamroll Mentality. That can work, but only if you run hot. I did not…

I did not run hot

I did not

Couldn’t beat a bot or a fish

But I’m still sweet as licorice

____________

Bwahahaha!

____________

Okay, anyway….

____________

Q5o BB.

Walk.

____________

JTo SB.

One limper to BTN, who raises 10x BB.

Fold.

____________

Ad Td BTN.

Min-raise to disguise my hand.

Flop: 9h 2c 4c

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

SB min-raises.

Call.

Turn: Th

SB bets half pot.

Raise 3x her bet.

She calls.

River: 9d

She jams.

Fold.

Bad hand.

Ego shit!

____________

In chat…

NutsQ: “I was hoping you had the ten.”

Me: “I did. AT.”

NutsQ: “Oh shit. Good fold. I probably would have called and been out.”

Me: “I had you on two-pair early, full house on river. Wanted to see how much you liked it.”

No reply.

____________

Jd Js UTG.

Call.

Flop: As 6s 8s

I bet half pot.

Another player raises 5x my bet.

Fold.

____________

17 of 22.

18 of 22.

____________

Going back to smaller bets. It’s amazing how many folds you can get when you bet the minimum. And if they hit their draw, who cares? You weren’t betting with strength anyway.

I’m listening to House Music right now—good beat and they keep saying, “Bachoo! Bachoo! Bachoo! Bachoo! Bachoo!”

Now I’m playing poker and saying out loud, “Bachoo! Bachoo! Bachoo! Bachoo! Bachoo!”

I miss mom-and-pop pizza shops in the mall. Fuckin’ Sbarro. Glad those greedy bastards went broke yet they still exist. Fucking roaches! COVID might kill them for good. Hopefully, some good things come from COVID. Reduced pollution, rebirth of mom-and-pop operations, new business ideas focused on helping others, increased appreciation for people, the realization that time is more important than money, and not taking freedom for granted. I’m sure I missed a bunch of other stuff.

New song on different House Music video. In this song, they keep saying, “Passion … Passion … Passion. There is no fire like passion. Passion … Passion … Passion.”

____________

17 of 22.

____________

AA CO.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

Fuckers.

Just kidding. I’m a nice fellow.

____________

19 of 21

I don’t feel cool right now.

But I just returned with rolled-up sliced turkey and six strawberries, so who the hell knows. Maybe I am cool after all.

I thought Lulu (my dog) wanted to be near me because she loved me, but she only wanted my rolled-up turkey slices.

____________

Don’t fight for small pots with air!

____________

19 of 20.

17 of 19.

17 of 17.

____________

When SB limps after everyone folds and an A comes on flop, bet every single time. In most cases, the SB would have raised in the blinds with an A. I recommend doing the same thing with a K. If you get resistance and have air, fold and minimize your losses. No Ego.

____________

AJo BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Whiff/fold.

Would have lost to 77.

____________

K6o BB.

A min-raise and two callers to me.

Call.

Whiff/fold.

____________

I look forward to the days when I’m not still hanging around in the middle of a tourney with the least chips. But that’s okay! I’m going to pull off some short-stack magic today.

____________

KK MP 1.

Jam.

BTN calls with TT.

Flop: 455

Turn: T

River: J

Every freaking time.

I must bet 50% when I have an 80% advantage.

____________

So much for that short-stack comeback. Sorry!

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$37.14

TOURNAMENT #31

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

This tourney begins in less than three minutes. I registered just in time.

45 minutes ago, I purposely drove to the next town—about 12 minutes away—to fill up my gas tank and buy a few things at their Harris Teeter. I did this because I wanted the rush. I love and crave adventure, and there isn’t much of that with COVID in play.

I’m also wearing a hat for this tourney—so I can feel like I’m at a live poker tourney.

____________

First Hand…

Kd Qc BTN.

CO raises 3x BB.

Call.

Flop: 9s 7s Qd

CO bets half pot.

Call.

Turn: Q

CO checks.

I bet half pot.

CO folds.

____________

Billy Jean mix with House Music. I can’t see House Music dance party because I’m playing on my laptop and have it minimized in background. The laptop is less than one foot from my desktop, but my desktop and I had a confrontation this morning. My desktop wanted to send me a message: The Blue Screen of Death! But I wasn’t having that shit. I unplugged the motherfucker right away.

UPDATE: I’m typing this book on the same desktop five months later. We have had several bouts, but I ain’t quittin’!

____________

I shouldn’t really call my desktop a motherfucker because I wrote every single one of my poker books on this bad boy. So, maybe I’ll call it Bad Boy Motherfucker. More of a positive connotation.

Bad Boy Motherfucker kept freezing on me when I tried to get shit done. I eventually talked nicely to Bad Boy Motherfucker while massaging its tower. And behold! It worked!

Lesson: If I ever seem broken to you, just massage my tower and I’ll be good as new.

I might be dancing with death with Bad Boy Motherfucker, so I needed to transfer a lot of documents quickly. If Bad Boy Motherfucker died this morning, I would have been upset, but I also remind myself that I sent Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart to editors three weeks ago, and I sent Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em to two different editors two days ago.

Making some good decisions in this tourney so far. A lot of focus on pot control.

Getting back to those books, I plan on publishing six books on Amazon this year. Three are working titles. The other three are Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart, Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em, and The Poker Player.

UPDATE: One of those working titles obviously became SPATS 100.

As another side note, this is Tournament #31 and I have handwritten 226 pages with typed pages usually being about half the amount of pages. That means this book will already be 113 pages. This is good.

UPDATE: As I’m typing this, we’re up to 199 pages. I was way off, which probably has to do with the poker-hand format.

Update: I’m now editing and it’s 471 pages. However, that page count can differ tremendously between different digital versions as well as paperback. Many people ask me the page count on a book, but writers go by word count. Currently, the word count for this book is 61,815. It will change by the time I’m done editing.

____________

My Chips: 5.3k

But I have seen 50% of flops. Better slow that down!

____________

Had to fold a straight with four diamonds on the board. Villain bet half the pot on the river. I have learned this player’s patterns. She very likely had a diamond there. I would put it at around 90%.

____________

ATo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

I’ll take it.

____________

12 of 21.

____________

COVID Lunch: Totino’s Pizza

____________

What do you do when you have top pair on a dry board and your heads-up opponent bets 40 into a 160 pot? The correct play is to raise. However, a lot depends on that player’s patterns. Do they usually bet the minimum for value? Or do they usually bet the minimum because they don’t love their hand? In this case, it was the latter (second pair), and I knew that yet I didn’t fire. I’ll chalk it up to an error. These things happen.

I just accidentally hit the Call button on the flop with middle pair, folded on the turn, and would have hit trips on the river. Okay, two errors in one game is not good!

I bet with a made straight on turn with three spades on the board. Got a fold. I was highly confident he didn’t have a flush because he bet big on the flop to protect against it. I called because I could either hit my straight or represent the flush.

____________

9 of 19.

Chips: 5,220

Flops Seen: 38% (still way too high)

____________

9d 7d MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

Just lost decent-sized pot to Brumber but controlled pot to minimize losses. I rivered second pair after betting the whole way. She raised 7.5x my bet on river. She either had two-pair, Broadway, or a flush. Folded to that bet.

One bad decision and you’re in trouble. I have made several in this event.

____________

14 of 18.

14 of 17.

____________

Sorry. I haven’t written any notes here in 22 minutes. That’s because I posted a thinking question on Facebook and got very involved in comments.

Question: Do you choose your path or does your path choose you? That’s up to you.

____________

AA UTG +2.

Raised 3.5x BB.

BTN calls.

Flop: 6JK

I bet pot.

BTN calls.

Turn: 4

I bet pot.

BTN calls (not a good sign).

River: 8

Check.

BTN bets half pot.

Fold.

BTN shows 44.

____________

AQo BB.

BTN raises 3x BB.

I re-raise all-in for 7 more BBs.

BTN tank-calls (good sign) and tables 5s 4s.

Flop: 9s 8s Jh

Turn: 9c

River: Ts

I lose to flush.

This is getting ridiculous.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$6.14

Six dollars and fourteen cents!

Six dollars and fourteen cents?

Six dollars and fourteen cents!

We shall move forward. The following things will NOT stop us: quicksand, large nets, snakes, and angry villagers. I have been beaten down my whole life, but I never bitch about it. I just get back up and keep fighting. It’s rare that I make any progress, but that’s not the point. It’s the spirit inside. Keep fighting with me.

TOURNAMENT #32

Buy-in: $31

Bounties: $10

The Weekender

____________

Aggressive players at my table. This is good for a bounty tourney.

By the way, I have been applying SPATS 100% in every tourney (excluding a few hands in the first tourney).

____________

First Hand…

Ts Tc MP2.

UTG limps.

Raise 3x BB.

MP3 calls.

UTG calls.

Flop: 5c 8s 3s

UTG bets 1/4 pot.

I raise 3x her bet.

MP3 calls.

UTG calls.

Turn: 9s

UTG snap-bets half pot.

Fold.

____________

Similar situation on next hand vs. two different opponents. I have to fold ten-high flush with four hearts on the board and my heads-up opponent firing big. She knew I had a heart. She most likely had Ah. I know some readers won’t agree with me. That’s fine.

____________

Js 4s BB.

MP1 raises 3x BB.

SB calls.

Call.

Flop: Tc Jd 4h

SB checks.

I bet min.

BB raises 5x my bet.

I min-raise for value. I have MP1 on top pair.

MP1 calls.

SB calls.

Turn: Qc

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

MP1 calls.

SB calls.

River: Ac

Checked around.

SB scoops with J4.

I think: Wait! I have the same hand! Computer error!

But then I notice it’s Jc 4c.

____________

75o MP3.

Fold.

Flop: 545

I have not been running good at all.

____________

I do not recall the last time I won a hand, and I’m not just referring to this tournament.

____________

Qh Jd UTG +1.

Call.

Want to slow it down. Seems to be when I do best (at all levels).

My strength is reading ability. Therefore, I want to eliminate as much variance as possible.

4-way pot.

Flop: Th Qc Jc

Checked around.

Enough players to set the trap.

Turn: Kc

Shit. Trapped myself.

SB bets half pot.

I tank-call.

River: Qs

SB bets half the pot (550).

I raise to 3,550.

SB calls and auto-mucks.

____________

7 of 38.

____________

During that hand, I was holding a tissue in my left hand. Not on purpose. I had just attempted to blow my nose even there was no need to attempt this. What? You’ve never Blank Booger Blowed your nose before?

I don’t even know why I attempted to blow my nose. I think it’s because there was a box of tissues right on the floor next to me, which are never there. I must have subconsciously said to myself: Whoa! A box of tissues … I should try to blow my nose.

Whatever the case may be, maybe it’s a lucky tissue. Maybe I can be just like Johnny Chan, but instead of carrying a 30-year-old orange around, I’ll carry a used tissue.

____________

8 of 38.

____________

Kh Kd BTN.

Oh shit! Almost forgot. I’m going to hold my lucky tissue in my left hand.

Raise 3x BB.

BB calls.

Flop: 49A-rainbow

I bet half pot.

BB folds.

Lucky Tissue!

____________

Lucky Tissue, I love you so much that I’m going to write a song about you…

Lucky Tissue

Lucky Tissue

I will miss you

I will miss you

When you’re gone

When you’re gone

All I got so far, but I’m going to add piano to it soon. When I buy a piano.

____________

5 of 38.

____________

I want to lose a small pot so I can put this tissue down, but I just rivered a straight from BB after everyone checked to river and got a value bet and call in there.

____________

Ac Kd BTN.

This should work. This tissue is going to be long gone!

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: Kh 2h Jh

Two checks to me.

I bet half pot.

BB calls.

Turn: 4s

I bet half pot. I don’t bet more because she has very few outs if my read is correct.

Villain calls.

River: Qd

Villain bets half pot into me.

I’m 80% sure I’m beat, but I call.

She tables QJ for two-pair.

____________

My new song…

Fuck you tissue

Fuck you tissue

You’re a bitch

You’re a bitch

That is it

That is it

At least I saved money on a piano.

____________

ATo UTG.

Limped for some reason. I think it’s because I’m writing tissue songs.

4-way pot.

Flop: T56

I bet half pot.

SB min-raises.

BB raises 3x SB’s bet.

Fold.

No way I’m ahead in that spot.

SB rivered a straight.

BB flopped two-pair.

____________

Funny thing about bounty tourneys is that players are in a rush to collect those bounties. But if you take your time and build a stack, you can take out the short stacks later.

I was very tempted to play Qh 9h from MP1 just now. I almost did it, but I reminded myself to stick to the plan—SPATS. Flop: Kd 7d Kh. Good fold.

____________

AQo MP2.

Raise 3.5x BB.

All folds.

Shocked.

____________

8d 7d SB.

Actually made me some chips with a flush on turn despite turn card also pairing the board. I bet out and got two folds, which is just fine in that situation.

____________

15 of 36.

____________

Why do I keep sucking? Is it because I can’t get live reads? Nah. That’s an excuse. We keep battling! Stick to the plan! It will work out.

____________

Chat…

JSP (referring to COVID): “Try to have a Happy Easter everyone, alone.”

Me: “I won’t be alone. I’ll have my Peeps.”

JSP: “Just me and my hubby. It sucks.”

Me: “Sounds like true love.”

JSP: “I meant without my kids.”

Me: “I know. Just playing.”

JSP: “My and my hubby about to have 49th Anniversary.”

Me: “Congrats!”

JSP: “And it’s my 70th birthday in two weeks.”

Me: “A little too early, but I’ll do it anyway. Happy Birthday!”

JSP: “Why thank you.”

____________

23 of 35.

Good music though.

____________

KQo MP1.

Have to fold top pair to resistance from two opponents. One likely had JJ and put a feeler bet out there. The other one raised from SB. Two-pair most likely. Or a set to protect against two diamonds on board. No way I’m ahead there. Extremely unlikely.

____________

27 of 33.

I’m trying not to suck. I really am. It’s just not working. At least not yet.

____________

The people that always write ‘nice chase’ to other players in the chat are kind of annoying. You want them to chase! HELLO!

____________

23 of 30.

11 of 30.

____________

Turned a set of 4s.

____________

ATo CO.

Short-stack jams from MP3.

I have him covered 4:1.

Call.

Loose call though.

Villain tables AJo.

Flop: AT2

Turn: 4

River: 7

Still ridiculous, but at least I’m on the winning side this time. And I collect a bounty.

____________

On chat after flopping a set and rivering a flush against Morgan…

Morg: “Backdoor flush?”

Me: Flopped set.”

Morg: “Dangerous all-in.”

I had put her all-in on flop.

Me: “Nah. Had you on AA, KK, or AQ with pre-flop raise (sizing).”

She didn’t reply.

____________

4 of 28.

____________

Fold 75s in position to 3.5x BB raise from MP2.

Now I’m playing better.

____________

3 of 28.

____________

Ad Jd HJ.

UTG +2 (Morg) jams for 3,252

I call with 23,583.

She tables 88.

Flop: J84

Turn: A

River: 6

She dubs.

____________

6 of 28.

____________

Ah 2h BTN.

Morg jams on me again.

Fold.

____________

7 of 27.

____________

Kc Ks.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

8 of 27.

If they think 3x BB raise is a monster, then let’s stick with it.

____________

Kh Th MP1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

ATo UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

AKo UTG +2.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller.

Flop: 922

I bet half pot.

Villain snap min-raises.

Fold.

____________

Just lost big pot with KQ vs. AK.

Flopped top pair. Hung around with top pair and gut-shot straight draw. Probably never should have been in the hand in the first place. You will lose more money with KQ than any other hand.

That hand sucked, but to be honest, I never should have called pre-flop. It was a huge pre-flop raise, which made me think she had JJ. I also think it can be AK in these spots, but I felt that was less likely since I held a K. I also called because I had her covered and it’s a bounty tourney, but that hand in the SB (out of position) is not good. I threw away too many BBs on that hand. Let’s see if I can recover.

____________

13 of 26.

____________

Called a hand outside of SPATS: Qh 8h because I wanted to bust another player (different player from above), but it didn’t work.

____________

Ac Tc BTN.

Call 3x BB raise.

Whiff/fold.

____________

ATo MP1.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Fold.

Can’t be ahead.

She gets it all-in vs. opponent and tables AK.

Her opponent tables AQ.

Good fold.

Applied logic. That is all. Not many players will raise 3x BB from UTG with a middle or low pocket pair. So it’s likely I’m outkicked or she has a big pair. And she’s not doing that with KJ, QJ, or JT. She might do it with KQ, but not likely.

____________

As Qs UTG.

Min-raise. Mixing it up. Want action. Need shot at big pot.

Two callers.

Flop: Td Jh Qh

I bet half pot.

Two folds.

____________

A4o SB.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Fold.

____________

18 of 21.

____________

KK BB.

River nut flush vs. chip leader.

I knew chip leader has a small flush and wanted the bounty, so I jammed, but she tank-folded.

____________

Next two hands….

AQo

AJo

I raised pre-flop with both hands and got it heads-up both times. Villain put me all-in on both when I had air on the flop. Folded both times (obviously).

____________

18 of 20.

____________

TT UTG (10 BBs).

Open-jam.

All folds.

____________

AQo SB.

All folds to me.

I jam.

BB folds.

____________

16 of 17.

16 of 16.

____________

Decent pot with bottom pair at showdown. Literally bottom pair. Villain bet flop. After I called, she halted her aggression.

____________

13 of 15.

____________

As 4s UTG +1 (12 BBs).

Fold.

Not putting my stack at risk with this hand.

NOTE: I’m surprised. I’d open-jam 12 BBs with this hand in a heartbeat today. I know the reason for the difference in mindset, but I don’t want to write it yet. That will be in another book: The Next Level, which won’t be for everyone.

____________

Ac Tc UTG +2.

Min-raise.

One caller.

She flats me twice and blasts me on river.

I have bottom pair and fold.

____________

Get one through with air.

On next hand, move Villain off top pair when I have flush draw.

____________

14 of 14.

____________

I bust very soon after this. For some reason, I don’t have the notes. It shall forever remain a mystery.

____________

Net: -$21 (-$31 entry/one bounty collected)

Overall Net: -$14.86

Well, here we are. In the red. I should have stuck to SPATS on every single hand, but the real killer in this tourney was the KQ hand in the SB. That cost me almost half my stack. I had climbed from 10k to 23k and then threw half of it away with KQ out of position. If I had folded there, I would have been just fine. Live and learn, but that’s something I should already know.

Where do we go from here? Fade away? Embarrassment? Climb back? Shock the world (or just my readers)?

TOURNAMENT #33

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

Bad Boy Motherfucker is down!

Bad Boy Motherfucker is down!

____________

For the first time in my life, I need to use a different writing program than MS Word, which is called Apache.

Scratch that. It’s many months later and I got Bab Boy Motherfucker running again. J

On the poker side, I might need to reload my account again if I keep playing the way I’m playing. That’s a lock. Let’s see what happens.

32 minutes into tourney already. Not many notes because I ended up in conversation on Messenger about a message someone received from God. I’m not a religious person, so I won’t get into all that. But since I’m on the topic, while I’m not religious, I do believe there is a good energy and a bad energy. Yin/Yang. I have felt these energies before, and I sometimes let them guide me.

____________

9 of 22.

8 of 22.

____________

I wasn’t in this hand, but Keith was at my table and limped UTG.

Me: “Did you have KQ?”

He folded on the flop with three unders.

Keith: “Yes I did.”

Me: “Only thing that made sense.”

Keith: “Kd Qd.”

Me: “I can’t guess the suit (laughing emoji).”

Keith: “Lol. Idk if I’d play it that way off-suit out of position. I love Broadway connectors, but I really love suited Broadways.”

____________

8 of 22.

____________

Folded 8h 6h in SB to 4x BB raise from CO.

Folded KQo on BTN to 5x BB raise from HJ.

Done enough of that gambling shit. Didn’t work. Never does. The simpler you make this game, the better you’re going to do.

____________

10 of 20.

10 of 19.

9 of 19.

12 of 19.

____________

I still haven’t been taking as many notes on this one. I’ll give you a quick rundown. I had JJ three times and won 2 of 3. On the loss, I folded on the river to a big re-raise. Based on the board and play, this raise told me she was trying to trap me the whole time. Other than that, it has been a lot of pre-flop folds, three-player and heads-up steals, and scooping a decent pot with a winning hand here and there. The way it should be.

Called an all-in from SB for 15% of my stack with KQo. SB tabled K3o. My hand held.

____________

7 of 18.

____________

Folded QJo in MP with no action to me. Like I said, not gambling today.

____________

9 of 15.

____________

Hanging around by getting small bluffs through. And I’m only getting those small bluffs through because I’m playing tight.

____________

10 of 15.

9 of 14.

____________

Seeing 18% of flops.

Helps image a ton.

____________

77 UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

44 in BB.

Keith raises 3x BB UTG.

I have him covered 3:1 but figure I know him pretty well so call and opt for post-flop play. I know he has two overs (not a monster), but I won’t say why because I know he’s going to read this.

Flop: 4Q4

I check.

He jams.

Call.

He tables ATo.

I feel good about this one.

My hand holds.

Keith is out.

____________

Next hand…

MP3 jams when I have AKo on BTN.

I have her covered 4:1.

Call.

She tables JJ.

Board: Q4J8K

She doubles up through me.

____________

KK BB.

Everyone folds to SB.

SB raises 3x BB.

I jam.

SB tank-folds.

____________

4-player game before tables combine.

____________

5s 4s UTG.

Fold.

These are the spots where you save a lot of chips. In most cases, you will be folding to a re-raise or you will whiff the flop. And if you hit the flop, you might lose all your chips.

____________

66 UTG +2.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

9 of 11.

____________

T8o BB.

Everyone folds to SB.

SB limps.

Check.

Flop: 488

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

Risky bet because I don’t want to scare away my opponent, but if I get a call, it disguises my hand and I can potentially stack the SB.

SB folds.

Didn’t work this time.

____________

33 SB.

Chip leader raises 4x BB from CO.

Fold.

NOTE: Today, I call here. In a tourney. Not even close!

____________

6 of 11.

____________

KK BB.

SB raises 6x BB.

I put SB all-in for 70% of my stack.

SB calls and tables 66.

Flop: 338

Turn: 6 (every time)

River: 7

____________

AA UTG +1.

Open-jam.

MP2 calls and tables 66.

Flop: KK2

Turn: 8

River: J

Helps a little.

____________

10 of 10.

____________

77 SB.

No action to me.

Check.

BB checks.

Flop: KT5

I bet half pot.

BB raises 4x my bet.

Can’t afford that.

Fold.

____________

9 of 9.

FT but doesn’t mean much with 1,818 in chips.

____________

8 of 8.

____________

A7o MP3.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Fold.

Would have lost.

____________

A5o CO.

Everyone folds to me.

Jam.

BTN calls.

BB calls.

Flop: K2A

BB checks.

BTN jams.

I know I’m doomed.

BTN tables AJ.

No help on turn or river.

____________

Two ways to look at this…

1. I finished 8 of 24, but if there were eight players left, then I should have continued playing SPATS.

2. I only had 7 BBs and everyone folded to me in CO. That’s a no-brainer and a potential exception to the rule.

Bottom Line: I lost going outside of SPATS. I was playing the situation and making a standard play, but that’s not what this project is about. This project is about sticking to SPATS until 4-handed no matter what and seeing how it plays out. I failed with that in this tourney. That’s my bad.

Other than going outside of SPATS at the end, this is the best I have played in a while. The KK hand was a crusher. I literally feel like I’m less than 50% when I’m an 80% favorite in all-in situations.

____________

Net: -$31

Overall Net: -$45.86

I need to do something about this.

TOURNAMENT #34

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I don’t know what will happen, but I’m going to build off yesterday and play better this week. I’m going to fold gambling hands and be very aggressive when holding premium hands. I’m taking this approach because the field I’m playing in is relatively splashy. In other words, they will call my big bets when I’m ahead. Eventually, the math will turn in my favor.

Random Thought: When this COVID shit is over, it’s gonna be a hell of a party!

As far as poker goes, there are whispers of six-max tables for cash games and tourneys when the poker rooms open again, with the intention of eventually moving back to full tables. I’m assuming there would be sanitizer stations at the tables if this is the route they’re going to go. But that would also be temporary. This will all come to a screeching halt at some point in the future. Hopefully, the near future, but that I cannot predict. I can predict that poker rooms are highly unlikely to be at full capacity as they were prior to COVID.

I know I keep mentioning Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Holdem, 19%, and Vegas Daily 1: Tyler vs. Stuart, but I should also mention that I will be publishing The Poker Player on Amazon as well.

Note: As it turned out, The Poker Player is only available on paperback because I have the content on PokerJournal and Amazon won’t approve the content since it’s already online. The other books are available on Kindle, paperback, iTunes, and Audible. If you have Amazon Prime, you can read the Kindle books for free.

That was a little advertising, but I need to do that. These books haven’t made me rich. I need to do everything I can just to make some money. The movie version of The Dark Side of the Felt might provide me with some more income, but COVID certainly put a delay on that project, and it might have hit the budget as well. We will eventually get the movie made, but it’s a much longer project than I had anticipated and extremely frustrating. I guess there is a reason it hasn’t happened yet. It’s better not to force things.

I wrote to Brett two nights ago: “I don’t care if it’s low-budget Redbox at this point. I just want to get it done.”

I’ll get to his reply soon. That Redbox statement had truth behind it. It’s embarrassing for me to have announced this movie 19 months ago and the script isn’t even complete yet. I have made $0 from it, and I have invested a ton of time. But I don’t even care about the money at this point. I just want to deliver for the poker community. I hope it all pays off in the end.

As far as advertising my books, it’s not just for me. I know that’s crazy. Those who find them, awesome! And if the movie is even a moderate hit, they will be found. Once they’re found by the masses, this could get a little crazy.

UPDATE: The script is complete, and I now have people asking me to promote for them at least 3x per week. I don’t know what changed so fast. Maybe it’s my track record for driving traffic. However, I need to bounce back at Sahara. That is a big goal for me.

____________

ATo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

CO raises 4x my bet.

Fold.

____________

Ad Td BTN.

CO min-raises.

Call.

Both blinds fold.

Flop: 2c 5c As

CO bets half pot.

Call.

Turn: 6c

CO bets pot.

Now I know I’m in trouble.

Fold.

____________

In chat…

Me: “Ad Td. I was behind.”

Pook: “Jack-high flush.”

Me: “I was going to raise more pre but let you lead the way. Should have raised more but wanted to see where you were at and had position. Nice hand.”

____________

As Js HJ.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Call.

SB calls.

Flop: Kd Qd 2h

UTG checks.

I bet min as feeler.

SB calls.

UTG check-raises 4x my bet.

Fold.

____________

As 6s BB.

CO raises 3x BB.

Call.

Whiff/fold.

____________

Text to Keith…

Me: “Give me your honest opinion on something. No bullshit.”

Me (again): “This year, I will be publishing Basic Training, Vegas Daily, 19% , The Poker Player, Sharks On The Strip, Crushing The End Game, and The Big Book Of Poker Q&A. And maybe a second Vegas Daily. I have only published three books over the past three years. This would be 6-7 books in one year. Do you think this is the year my books break out or just a little bump? No BS. I need an outside opinion.”

Keith: “Depends how aggressive you market your books. I’ve always said that I think they are not bestsellers because you are not aggressive marketing them!!! That’s a no bullshit answer!!! I think you need to flood poker rooms with flyers and advertising in magazines like Ante Up and Card Player. It would cause Amazon’s website to crash!”

Obviously, he was exaggerating on that last point.

Me: “Yeah. That’s just not me. Too much BS. I do it because I love it. Spoke to Brett the other night. I told him: ‘I don’t care if it’s straight to Redbox at this point.’ His reply: ‘We have time. Nobody is making movies anytime soon. I’m just getting my life sorted out since getting on the road for a year, then I’ll get back to script.’ Once movie happens, I’ll be good to go. Also have radio. That was 70 listeners Week One and 101 listeners Week Two. Raquel told me everyone on her site is asking when we will be on again. I think we can hit 1k within three months and 5k by end of year.”

Me (again): “And SPATS 100. Lol. So, 7-8 books this year.”

NOTE: I published four books in 2020.

Keith: “Yeah I know that ain’t you!!! That’s why you need a publisher, someone who will drive traffic to your books!!! I’m telling you man, you got fucking talent. Go BIG!!!”

Me: “Thanks! Doesn’t feel right though. Needs to be organic. I don’t know why, but it’s what universe and gut feeling is telling me. You are going to fucking love Basic Training! Radio audience might be my advertising platform. Not doing radio for that though. By default. If it goes well and builds.”

Keith: “I love the first little bit you posted … can’t wait!!! I still think you need to do the audio yourself since doing the radio show now. You’ve got a face for radio. Do audio books and cash in on it. Couple hundred bucks and you can take your laptop and mic into the bathroom and record just as good as you can in million dollar studio. Sounds fucking great too.”

Me: “Face for radio? Lol. (middle finger emoji).”

____________

6 of 13.

____________

87 BB.

Flopped a boat vs. two opponents.

As hard as I tried, I couldn’t extract any chips.

____________

77 SB.

One limper to me.

Raise 3x BB.

Limper calls.

Flop: 789

I bet for value on every street.

Called on every street.

I scoop.

____________

AJ BTN.

UTG +1 raises 3x BB.

Two callers.

I re-raise 3x original bet.

Everyone calls.

Flop: A4K

Two checks to Keith.

Keith bets 3/4 pot from MP2.

There is no way I’m ahead here. Keith doesn’t make that bet if he’s worse than AJ in that spot.

Fold.

Keith later revealed that he limped with AA, which he almost never does.

____________

ATo BTN.

Three limpers.

I change gears and limp.

Flop: T74

Two checks to Keith, who bets half pot.

I min-raise.

Keith calls me a ‘fucker’ in chat and folds.

____________

55 CO.

One limper to me.

Call.

BB checks.

Flop: 365

Everyone checks to me.

I bet half pot.

BB calls.

I’m pretty sure he’s on a straight draw. I have slight hopes he flopped two-pair, but he would have bet out on that flop if he did.

Turn: T (good card)

BB checks.

I jam just in case he flopped two-pair.

He folds.

____________

5 of 13.

3 of 13.

Nope.

10 of 13 after QJ vs. KQ and this flop: QQT.

____________

9 of 12.

____________

AT < 22.

Busto!

Just like that.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$61.86

This is NOT what I had planned.

Stay calm.

CHILLAXE!

I know I perform better under pressure. I will likely cash more in the second half of this story, but there are no guarantees.

TOURNAMENT #35

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Techno Music (not House Music) in background has one lyric: “Just Delicious.”

I might not last long today. No sense in wasting 2-3 hours to double-up. Since most people in this game call, I might jam early and hope for a call. Either I double-up or save time. Then again, a lot will depend on the cards I’m dealt.

Either way, at least I have this: “Just Delicious.”

Prior to tourney, a conversation with Keith…

Me: “Might be applying new tactic today. Still SPATS but adapting to players in this arena. It’s going to be interesting over the next five tourneys. I’ll either be out quickly or I’ll be chip leader early. It’s an experiment within an experiment.”

Keith: “Cool. Hey, when you get toward the end of a book, wanna do a big tourney with you as a bounty?” Maybe a Saturday midday game? Deepstack type game. 20k chips. 10-20 minute levels?”

Keith (again): “An avenue to sell books or what not. Maybe throw SPATS 100 to 1st place. Or in addition to knocking you out or something along those lines?”

Me: “Yes.”

Keith: “Sweet. I’ll let Steph know.”

NOTE: We completely forgot about this.

____________

AA BTN.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Five callers to me.

Jam.

All folds.

That created some interesting conversation.

QQ. I made exact opposite moves you would make with QQ on every street. Two opponents. One caller on river despite A and K on board. I knew neither player had an A or K because of their actions. Nice scoop.

Almost jammed with 6h 4c on this flop: 6d 2c 4d. I would have gotten called by a flush draw. I know this because the most readable player in this game 3-bet jammed when a third diamond hit the turn. I wasn’t going to call off all my chips with a full house draw.

____________

After I defended with Q3s in BB…

Keith: “I’m confused. Since when is Q3o in the SPATS range to a raise? I might need to go and read The Perfect Range again.”

Me: “Lol. Freedom in the BB. I was defending. And it was Qc 3c.”

Keith: “There is no defending in The Perfect Range. I swear, you need to read it. At least once. Lol.”

Me: “LMAO. Well, I might need to read The Perfect Range one day.”

Keith knows I never read my own books after I publish them.

Keith: “I tried to doctor SPATS last year by adding Kx-suited. I tried it in 30 cash games and 30 tournaments. Works great in cash, not so good in tournaments.”

Me: “I can see that.”

Keith: You pointed it out last year at The Orleans. That I was playing outside of SPATS.”

Me: “I remember that. You played Q8 from BB. Called a raise.”

Keith: “K8 or K9 clubs. I remember it clearly. I don’t like Q anything. Been burned too many times with weak Q. QJ, QT, Q9 are insta-folds out of position. Drama. Well, I hope your plan works out. Ton of action. Wish there was a cash game.”

____________

After I rivered a straight and repped a flush vs. Keith…

Keith (again): “See how Kx will get you in trouble? Not enough balls to ship it on the turn. Not with that hand. I can in cash because by the time I pull out the Kx, I have a nice stack of money and I become a fucking bully from the gates of hell, and at that point, I can recoup that. I play tournaments to win and only to win. I don’t care about the money when playing tournaments. I play a tournament like it’s the last one I’ll ever play so I play the same playing for free or $2k buy-in. Maybe that’s my leak. Idk.”

Me: “Do you know how long it took me to add all that to my notes (laughing emoji). You had Q8 at The Orleans. Guaranteed. I said to you after the hand, ‘Queen Eight?’ You said, ‘I like that hand.’”

Referring to this tourney…

Me (again): “I knew my trip nines was a bad call vs. Big Game but couldn’t put him on 76o from MP. I should have known…”

Keith: “He plays any two cards. I’m always giving him shit because he took $2,400 off me in one hand with 72o. But I won a pickup truck and a trailer that I pull my lawnmower and shit in two hands off him. Lol. Not the same night.”

____________

I just went outside of SPATS for one hand with Ks 9s and it cost me 1k. Not cool on my part. My bad. Trying to make something happen. Usually a bad idea. Forcing the action.

Almost hit Call button when I wanted to fold. Actually, I did hit Call button but it didn’t register because I didn’t hit it hard enough.

Folded QQ to pre-flop 4-bet. Would have been up against KK and ATo. Board: 46Q88. I can do no right.

____________

Me (to Keith): “You’re on chat timeout next tourney. My hand is going to fall off. At least arthritis.”

____________

13 of 13.

476 in chips.

____________

All-in AJ < KQ.

He turned a straight.

I guess I gotta get it in from behind.

WHOA!

Yes, I definitely need to do that.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$77.86

I’m failing thus far. I don’t feel good about this, but I will always be honest with my readers.

TOURNAMENT #36

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

One thing I love about writing these books has nothing to do with poker. I can share my life failures with you. I wouldn’t refer to the following as a failure in a literal sense, but it felt like a failure. At the same time, the only real failure is not trying. Otherwise, it’s learning. I definitely learned something last night.

It was my third radio show. On the first show, I was the only person the listeners could hear clearly and I felt very relaxed. It was no big deal. On the second show, I fell into some kind of zone and had a blast. In order to increase the odds of an even better show for the third show, I wrote pages and pages of ideas for hours prior to the show. I thought this would work, but it didn’t.

The show was still fun, largely because Keith fell into the zone. It’s always good to have a reliable teammate. I did get comfortable and went back to my normal self later in the night, which happened to be when I was done using my notes.

____________

I just had to make a tough river call with AA on a wet board. I was actually surprised I had the winning hand. Love it when that happens.

____________

KTo.

Hit top pair on river and make a bad call.

Villain tables a straight.

I should have known because she bet into me at warp speed.

____________

7 of 15.

____________

Miss flush draw with middle pair on turn.

No good.

____________

AJo BB.

CO raises 6x BB.

Fold.

Bad hand to battle with for big stacks unless short-handed all-in.

____________

KQo MP3.

Two limpers to me.

HJ raises 5x BB.

Two limpers fold.

Fold.

____________

QQ < AA.

All my chips.

I get a premium hand and someone has a more premium hand. I do have good news though. I’ll explain in the next chapter.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$93.86

TOURNAMENT #37

Buy-in: Freeroll

The Weekender

____________

Keith plays in a league online. Everyone pays $200 for 10 tournaments. There are final payouts and weekly payouts. The players make more after a 10-tourney stretch than they would in a one-night tourney. One of the players couldn’t make tonight’s tourney, so he asked if I could fill-in. If I cash, I keep the single-tourney money. This is a better option for the player who can’t make it because if I cash, they accumulate points, which helps them toward the bigger prize money.

____________

Hasn’t started well. Lost with a set of 6s to a set of 9s. However, I did control the pot based on the board texture.

____________

KK BTN.

Open-raise 3x BB.

Two folds.

____________

7h 6h CO.

Min-raise.

All folds.

____________

Tc 9c HJ.

Call.

Three-player unraised pot.

Flop: 2s 9s 4c

SB checks.

BB bets minimum.

I min-raise.

Both players call.

Turn: 8c

SB checks.

BB bets half pot.

I call.

SB folds.

River: Ac (gives me flush)

I bet 1/4 pot.

BB calls.

I win a nice pot.

____________

KK UTG +2.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

WTH???

____________

17 of 37.

____________

Qs Ts.

Flop Royal Flush Draw vs. two opponents.

I bet minimum.

Two folds.

I’m shaking my head in real life.

____________

I had to make a tough call with TT…

Flop: 3J3

BB was aggressive when I was in the CO.

BB checked turn: K

I checked.

BB bet half the pot on river: 4

I called.

BB tabled AQ (air).

____________

Game just froze.

Been about 20 minutes now.

One thing is for sure: This sucks.

They are discussing solutions right now. One option is to restart the game, but that would be a mess because of the differences in the chip counts and some people already being knocked out.

They just decided to cancel the game. How bad can I run? I get a freeroll poker tournament, I have an above average stack, and the game is cancelled. Ha! Kind of funny.  

As far as Tournament #37 goes, we’re gonna have to run it back.

TOURNAMENT #37 (Take Two)

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I just submitted Basic Training to Kindle for publication today. I hope to submit the paperback version tomorrow. The editors love the story, which is a good sign!

____________

Ac Tc.

Whiff/fold.

____________

99.

Whiff/fold.

____________

KTo.

Won this pot on a wet board with top pair by betting 40 into a 560 pot. Top pair doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. The point is that most people are playing their cards. This means you can find out where they stand with the smallest bet possible. When I had 15 final tables in an eight-month stretch (including a bunch of wins) when playing live poker, this is the way I played.

I controlled the pot and reduced variance, which gave my reading ability more power. If I’m inflating pots and jamming, the value of my reading ability is reduced. This might be (and might not be) the day that I come to this re-realization.

I came to another realization last night. With the way these tournaments are played and due to their structure, every pot you get involved in has more importance than I originally anticipated. This means that I need to fold early to minimize losses while waiting for that one big pot every 1-2 hours to chip-up. It’s not an outplay-your-opponent-often kind of game.

____________

6s 5s BTN.

UTG +2 raises 3.5x BB.

Fold.

____________

Tc Ts CO.

MP3 raises 4x BB.

Call.

One caller behind me.

Flop: Ac Qh 9s

MP3 bets pot.

Fold.

____________

10 of 20.

____________

KK BTN.

Five limpers.

I bet pot.

Goal: Take it down uncontested or isolate.

UTG calls.

Flop: 223

UTG checks.

I bet half the pot (already a big pot).

UTG folds.

Simple wins like this are ideal.

____________

8 of 20.

____________

Qc Jc SB.

Three limpers to me.

Call.

BB checks.

Flop: 89T-rainbow

Check.

BB bets 1/3 pot.

Two calls.

I raise 8x his bet.

All folds.

____________

9 of 18.

____________

Fold KT to all-in bet on turn on this board: AKT8

Villain had AK, AT, or QJ.

____________

13 of 15.

____________

Keith: “Had AA cracked again by 7d 3d. Raised 5x BB. UTG +1 limp-jams with 73. I call. FLOP: 456. Lol. Gotta love poker.”

Me: “Ouch! Are you out?”

Checked lobby before he replied. He’s out.

____________

KTo SB.

Top pair on flop vs. two opponents. One of those opponents was chip leader in UTG +1. That chip leader called BB’s bet on a flop with two diamonds. We all played the turn conservatively despite it being a heart. After a club hit the river, BB checked, I checked, and chip leader put us all-in, which was double the amount in the pot. He also had the BB covered 8:1 and me 10:1.

I tanked and thought about it. There was no way he would play any of the hands that were a danger to me from UTG +1, and I didn’t have to worry about premium hands because he didn’t raise from that position. I called and he tabled a Q-high flush draw that missed. Nice double-up.

____________

6 of 11.

____________

KK > KQ (Q on flop).

2 of 11.

____________

Chips in hand.

Pressure applied.

Only at right times.

____________

I called a river bluff vs. Anonymous less than 30 minutes ago. She just tried it again. I called with second pair. She had AK (Ace-high).

Another player just tried to bluff me off the turn. His bluff made no sense based on his position. He slowed down and I scooped with A-high on the river.

____________

1 of 11.

2 of 11.

____________

Folded second set to a 3-bet all-in with straight potential on the board. I think it was a good fold but I’m not sure because he’s an aggressive player.

Just had a weird situation. A player went all-in against me after I flopped a flush draw. I had her covered 4:1 and called. Because I was taking these notes, I didn’t realize the player to my left was still in the hand. I had him covered, but he was only a few thousand chips behind me—a more dangerous stack. He also called and tabled top set. The short stack tabled air (same player that tried to bluff me twice). I missed the flush.

A few hands later, I flopped an open-ended straight draw and got a good price to call on two streets. Missed.

____________

4 of 9.

____________

Another final table, but that doesn’t mean much when only the Top Four get paid.

____________

5 of 9.

____________

AA MP1.

I hit the wrong button to raise the pot when I intended to raise 3 BBs.

Wanted action.

All folds.

____________

4 of 9.

____________

I posted a picture of pull-up bars in a church parking lot on Instagram today. It only has 9 Likes. Are pull-up bars in the back of church parking lots not interesting? Perhaps not.

____________

As Ts BB.

Everyone folds to SB.

SB limps.

Raise 3x BB.

SB folds.

____________

Another player tried to bluff me off river when I had top pair. This player was also all-in. Story didn’t make sense. I took time to think about it, then called. She had K-high. I wonder how many times they’re going to try. How many times?

____________

2 of 8.

____________

I thought I was calling a short-stack all-in for 3,170 with AJo, but she was the freaking chip leader making a massive pre-flop raise. Flopped a gut-shot but had to fold to another massive bet on the flop. This time my error was because I was adding a new title to my bio on Amazon: Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em.

____________

4 of 7.

____________

KK vs two opponents on this flop: 5JJ.

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

BTN calls.

SB jams (has me covered).

Fold.

BTN calls.

They both have a J.

Glad I got away.

____________

4 of 6.

____________

AA > JJ vs. chip leader.

Nice double-up.

____________

4 of 5.

Top 4 Paid.

____________

QQ HJ.

Had to fold to chip leader on turn with A and K on board and one spot from money.

____________

Short-stack goes all-in with 44.

Called by second biggest stack with AA.

AA holds.

ITM.

____________

4 of 4.

____________

9c 8c.

Three-way pot.

Got one through with A and two Ks on board.

____________

AQ < A2 all-in pre-flop.

Min-cash.

____________

Net: +$21.50

Overall Net: -$72.36

TOURNAMENT #38

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

The feedback for Basic Training is excellent! That’s good news. It gives me those good vibrations. Can you feel it?

Looks like Keith and Brumber are both at my table. Going to be fun. But relaxing fun. I’ve got nothing to prove.

Today’s lunch as I begin tourney: turkey slices, apple, banana, cherry tomatoes, strawberry, Bing. Let’s see if healthy food helps.

Keith was moved to another table after a few hands.

____________

Ah 4h UTG +1.

UTG raises 3.5x BB.

Call.

UTG +2 calls.

Everyone else folds.

Flop: Ad Td 7h

UTG checks.

I already know he doesn’t have the A and likely has KK or QQ. And he’s not the kind of player to raise 3.5x from UTG with JJ. If he had AK, he would have bet. And if it was AQ or AJ, it likely would have been a 3x BB raise, not a 3.5x BB raise. He bases his pre-flop raises on the strength of his cards. My real threat is the player to my left.

I bet half pot.

Both players call.

Now I have the player to my left on a flush draw.

Turn: Qd

UTG checks.

I min-bet. I do this because it’s cheaper than checking. If I check and someone senses my weakness, I might have to call a big bet. By showing a little interest, it will sometimes slow down your opponents.

They both call.

That’s fine. As long as they don’t raise. But the player to my left could be trapping with a flush.

River: 7c

UTG checks.

I min-bet again.

The player to my left folds.

UTG calls and tables KK.

I scoop that pot.  

An interesting hand, and a good look into human psychology at the poker table.

____________

Baking chocolate chip cookies. Pillsbury. Is it still baking if they’re bake-and-break? It still has the word ‘bake’ in it, so I would say yes. My real concern is if it will impact my feel-good happy mood. I already know I’m going to eat one.

____________

AQo MP3.

Zee raises 3x BB from MP2.

Zee seems to be a TAG player. He doesn’t raise pre-flop often.

Call.

Player to my left—littlered—raises double the pot.

We both call.

Flop: 9TT

Zee checks.

Check.

littlered bets half pot.

Zee calls.

Fold.

littlered bets out on the turn and Zee folds.

____________

7 of 19.

____________

Chocolate chip cookie time. Good stuff. Got my left hand greasy so I hope I can fold the next hand and hit the sink (soap included). But 7c 6c in BB. Two limpers to me. Whiff/fold.

____________

JTo SB.

BTN (Zee) raises 3x BB.

Fold.

Bad spot out of position. I have learned that every hand is important in these tournaments. I guess that would be any tournament though, wouldn’t it?

____________

Another chocolate chip cookie goes down. Stopping there. For now…

I have listened to my own advice via Keith. I will no longer defend my BB to a raise outside of SPATS. This rule applies for the remainder of this book unless 4-handed or less.

____________

9 of 19.

____________

7s 5s UTG.

Call. Dangerous move.

Everyone checks.

Still stupid because whiff flop and have to fold.

This only cost me 50 chips, but those add up. It should have been a fold. Like I just said, every hand is important.

____________

Kc Jc BB.

BTN raises 2.5x BB.

SB calls.

Call.

Flop: 8s Jd 9c

SB checks.

I min-bet.

Two calls.

I now have BTN on AK or AQ.

Turn: Jh

SB checks.

I min-bet again.

Two calls—I don’t sense a trap here.

River: 3h

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

Two folds.

____________

5 of 19.

7 of 19.

____________

Never show your cards! Only if necessary. I have been watching the people that show their cards and it gives me a lot of information on how they play.

____________

8 of 18.

____________

8c 7c BTN.

One limper to me.

Call.

SB calls.

BB raises 3x BB.

Everyone calls.

Flop: 5c Kd 5s

SB checks.

BB bets half pot.

Everyone folds.

____________

AKo HJ.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Tight player and short-stack.

Fold.

Correct fold.

NOTE: Umm … no! What? I have no idea. Maybe it was the cookie.

____________

77 MP3.

UTG +2 raises 3x BB.

Call.

BTN calls.

Flop: K48

UTG +2 checks.

I know he has an A.

Similar situation to earlier.

I bet half pot because I think I can move UTG +2 off the hand.

Both players call.

Turn: A

UTG +2 bets out.

Fold.

____________

As 2s MP2.

Call.

Two callers behind me.

Flop: 3s Td Tc

I bet half pot.

Both players call.

Turn: 4s

I bet half pot.

One call, one fold.

River: 6s

I bet pot.

Villain folds.

Well, that was interesting. It was interesting because what the hell could Villain have had in late position? It wasn’t a blind-type hand and he didn’t raise pre-flop. The only thing that makes sense is a middle pocket pair.

____________

10 of 18.

____________

We are 1.5 hours into this tourney yet 18 of 20 players are still remaining.

Scratch that. One player just jammed and another player called with AA. The player with AA flopped a set and rivered quads.

____________

10 of 16.

Looks like another one dropped while I was writing that.

____________

88 MP1.

UTG raises 4.5x BB.

Call.

CO calls.

Flop: 565

UTG checks.

I now know he has two high cards.

I bet half pot.

CO folds.

UTG calls.

Turn: 5

UTG checks.

I min-bet.

UTG calls.

River: 4

I min-bet.

UTG calls and auto-mucks.

____________

8 of 15.

____________

Good pre-flop fold with Qc Tc in BB to 5x BB raise and caller. I would have hit top pair and lost to AA.

____________

6 of 15.

7 of 15.

____________

2nd Break.

8 of 13.

____________

Folded AK to TAG player after whiffing, applying pressure on flop and turn, and him betting into me on river.

____________

AA BB.

BTN limps.

SB folds.

Raise 3x BB.

BTN calls.

Flop: Q86-rainbow.

I bet pot.

He folds.

____________

88 SB.

BTN jams for half my stack.

Call.

BB folds.

BTN tables A4o.

Flop: 723

Turn: K

River: 9

My hand holds.

____________

6 of 11.

4 of 11.

____________

AJo BB.

SB (TAG) raises 4x BB from BTN.

Fold.

Bad spot.

____________

5 of 11.

Top 3 paid.

____________

33 BB.

Walk.

____________

As 6s

3-player pot.

Villain jams for half my stack on this flop: 3s 4s 9c

I know he has top pair. If I want to win this tournament, I need to call. Plus, I’m confident my A is live.

Call.

He tables Kc 9s.

Turn: 8h

River: 9d

I lose half my chips, but I don’t regret the call.

____________

11 of 11.

____________

AKo.

Jammed after a min-raise and a caller.

Two folds.

____________

9 of 9.

8 of 8.

____________

Just got feedback from Keith on Basic Training. He loved it. It wasn’t his favorite book of mine, but he thinks it could be other people’s favorite, even if they’re a dedicated fan of mine. He also predicted it would my best book on audio. I had thought the same thing, but I need to land the right narrator. I’m trying to get Adam, a fan favorite who switched to acting. I put a feeler out to him this morning. Waiting for a reply. If I can’t get him, I’ll find a new narrator.

UPDATE: I found an old narrator that improved a great deal and crushed it.

____________

AKo.

Open-jam as short-stack.

All folds.

____________

8 of 8.

____________

AKo. Again.

Open-jam.

All folds.

____________

Ac Tc SB.

Everyone folds to me.

I jam for 7 BBs.

BB tank-folds.

____________

Btw, Flops Seen: 17%.

Not a coincidence that I’m still here.

Reduced variance.

____________

6 of 8.

7 of 8.

____________

Qh Jh UTG +1.

Call (and pray to get away with it).

I get away with it.

Four limpers.

Flop: Qd 6d 8h

SB bets min.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

6 of 8.

____________

KJo CO.

HJ goes all-in.

Fold.

He gets called by BB, who has HJ covered.

HJ tables TT.

BB tables 33.

HJ turns a straight and wins the pot.

____________

7 of 8.

____________

TT BB.

Everyone folds to SB.

SB limps.

I check (risky).

Flop: 32Q

SB bets min. I know this means air.

Call.

Turn: 7

SB checks.

I min-bet. Doesn’t look like air and isn’t air. I knew he didn’t have the Q. He wouldn’t have checked the turn if he did. And he would have bet bigger on the flop with a draw or two pair.

SB folds.

____________

7 of 8.

7 of 7.

6 of 7.

____________

Q7o BB.

Two limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: 723

I min-bet on every street and get called by one opponent on every street.

Villain auto-mucks on river.

____________

AA MP3.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

5 of 7.

____________

Td 8d BTN.

Everyone folds to me.

Fold.

Don’t have the chips.

____________

7 of 7.

____________

T3 BB.

Walk.

____________

TT CO.

UTG raises 3x BB.

I jam (about 3x her raise).

She tanks for over a minute, then folds.

____________

6 of 7.

____________

66 got me in trouble. I was highly confident I was ahead on flop and turn but A on river and Villain bet into me (all-in). I folded. I said to myself prior to getting involved in this hand: A lot needs to go right here.

____________

6 of 7.

____________

KQ < JJ all-in.

Busto!

7th place.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$88.36

TOURNAMENT #39

Buy-in: Freeroll

Charity Tournament

____________

Earlier today, a friend asked me if I wanted to play in a charity tournament because he had been up all night and was too tired to play. This would be a freeroll. I accepted the offer.

____________

Kh Jh UTG +1.

Call.

Three other players limp, including BB.

Flop: Kd 5h 3h

BB bets half pot.

Call.

One player behind me calls.

Turn: 7h

BB bets half pot.

Call.

Player behind me folds.

River: 3c

BB bets half pot.

This street is where I intended to accumulate my chips on this hand, but now I had to consider the possibility that I was beat, especially with the Villain being in the Big Blind on that board.

Call.

Villain tables 53 for a boat.

____________

Two ways to look at that hand. One, you could say I misplayed it by not attacking on the flop or turn. Two, I could have lost all my chips because Villain wasn’t likely to fold in this spot. My only real opportunity to win that hand after limping pre-flop was the turn, but it would have been a dangerous move this early in the tournament. Keep in mind I was being staked as well, which played a role.

____________

59 of 59.

Could this be any worse?

Yes, I guess it could be worse. I could have spilled ketchup on my shirt while being 59 of 59. That would have been worse. But I always look at the bright side.

____________

53 of 59.

____________

Ad 5d UTG +2.

Call.

BTN raises 5x BB.

Call.

Loose call.

Whiff/fold.

Bad pre-flop call.

____________

AQ < A4.

Flop an A, Villain rivers two-pair.

Decent pot.

____________

55 of 58.

____________

This is why I don’t like being staked. Hoping to win at least one hand.

____________

3h 2h BB.

Three limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: 23A

Everyone checks to BTN.

BTN bets pot.

I min-raise.

BTN calls.

Turn: T

I bet half pot.

BTN folds.

____________

Ah 9h CO.

UTG limps.

MP1 raises 3.5x BB.

Call.

Flop: Ad 3h 4c

I bet half pot.

UTG calls.

MP1 folds.

Turn: 6h (nut flush draw)

I bet pot.

UTG calls.

River: Ts

Check.

UTG bets half pot.

Since she didn’t raise pre-flop, I don’t have her on AT or better. At the same time, it feels wrong. But now I’m chasing. I’m only doing this because I feel guilty for losing someone else’s money and want to get back to an even stack.

Call.

Villain tables AJ for the win.

I can’t do much right there. Even my reads are off.

____________

53 of 55.

52 of 52.

I’m in last. Someone stakes me and I’m in freaking last place! This is so embarrassing. So embarrassing that I had to send a message to the guy that put me in the tourney…

____________

Me: “Not off to a good start. Third hand. Nut flush on turn. Lost to a boat on river. Should have lost all my chips. Sensed something was up. Also missed nut flush on another hand with top pair. She made good value bet on river. If I fail, I’ll find a way to make it up to you. But going to keep fighting. They’ll have to drag me off the mat (boxing glove emoji).”

Stu: “Nah. You good. Don’t owe me anything. I’m not in this for $. Did it to help Terry’s son and give you guys an opportunity to make some dough. No pressure at all. Have fun.”

That’s an excellent point. This tourney has nothing to do with money on either end. It’s a freeroll for me and a charity for Alex, which is by far the most important thing here.

____________

9d 9h.

Three diamonds on flop.

Enough said.

Fold.

____________

As 8s BB.

CO raises 3x BB.

SB calls.

Call.

Flop: 8c 9s Tc

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

CO calls.

SB folds.

Turn: Jd

I bet half pot.

CO calls.

River: 8d

I bet half pot.

CO calls and auto-mucks.

Not sure what was going on there. CO raised 3x BB pre-flop. My best guess is AT and she didn’t want to raise flop because of straight potential and flush draw, assuming she would be called. Chip preservation. It’s usually not a good idea to inflate the pot with top pair on a wet board. In fact, top pair is usually not a high-reward proposition in this game.

____________

Trusted my read vs. two opponents with bottom pair and bet 1/3 of my stack vs two opponents on turn. Two folds.

____________

45 of 47.

____________

KJo BTN.

Raise 3.5x BB.

Both blinds call.

Flop: K84

Turn: T

I lead on flop and turn but SB and BB call.

Something isn’t right.

I fold to a large bet on river from SB.

SB shows K4.

____________

77 SB.

Four limpers to BTN.

BTN jams.

Call.

One limper calls.

Board: K3T42

Button tables KT for the W.

Busto!

____________

44 of 59 runners.

One Word: Bad

____________

Net: $0 (missed opportunity)

Overall Net: -$88.36

TOURNAMENT #40

Buy-in: $31

Bounty Tournament — $10/knockout

The Weekender

____________

9c 7c MP1.

UTG calls.

Raise 3x BB.

BTN calls.

Flop: KJ4

UTG bets pot.

Fold.

____________

Qd Jd CO.

UTG raises 2x BB.

Three callers to me.

Call.

SB calls.

BB raises 5x bet.

UTG jams for 10,000 chips.

All folds.

____________

TT UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

Ah Th BB.

Two limpers to me.

I min-raise to build the pot. I’m looking for low risk/big pots at this level. I can isolate at higher blind levels.

Three callers.

Flop: Js 9c 6h

SB checks.

I min-bet (feeler bet).

MP2 calls.

BTN raises, bets pot.

All folds.

____________

Ad 2d.

4-way pot.

Flop: QAA

I let one opponent take the lead and I smooth-call to the river, where I hit the boat and raise. He calls with Queens full of Aces (Queen on river). I win the hand with Aces full of Queens.

____________

Ac 6c MP1.

UTG +2 raises 3x BB.

HJ calls.

Flop: 7c 8c 9s

I keep my bets relatively small to keep them interested. This is a better option than checking because you’re getting some value. I hit the straight on the turn, but the river pairs the board. I’m confident the paired board isn’t a threat and bet for value.

Two folds.

____________

Flopped a set of tens (top set). Got value on the flop, but in this case, the A on the turn hurt me because it scared my opponent. An A is usually the best card in this situation.

____________

8d 2d BB.

Small full house by river.

Not a big pot, but a nice gift since nobody raised pre-flop and it was a 4-way pot.

____________

6 of 34.

7 of 34.

____________

AKo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

HJ calls.

BTN raises 5x bet.

Fold.

I have him on AA or KK.

HJ calls.

Board: 83Q6J

HJ flops nut flush.

BTN shows AA.

____________

Jh Jc BB.

UTG +1 raises 4x BB.

MP3 calls.

Call.

Flop: Jd 6c 3h

Check.

UTG +1 bets pot.

MP3 folds.

I jam because I have UTG +1 on an overpair.

She tank-folds.

____________

2 of 33.

____________

JJ on very next hand. Even though the entire board is unders, I can sense I’m beat. I place a small bet on the river as a feeler. A check would be potentially more expensive because then I have to figure out if she’s only betting because she senses weakness. She raises 10x my bet. That gave me the answer. Easy fold.

____________

7 of 32.

8 of 32.

____________

QTo MP1.

Call.

Two limpers behind me.

Flop: AKJ

Got some value on flop and turn vs. one opponent.

____________

7 of 32.

7 of 31.

____________

Kc Kh UTG +2.

Raise 3x BB.

SB goes all-in.

Snap-call.

SB tables AQo.

Flop: 9T2

Turn: J

River: 7

My hand holds, and I get a knockout.

____________

While folding…

4 of 29

2 of 28

5 of 27

4 of 27

____________

AJo BTN.

Two limpers to me.

Raise 2x BB.

I don’t care what anyone says. I’m not getting into a mess with AJo. I min-raise to get a little value if I hit.

Both blinds call.

Flop: 89T-rainbow

Four checks to me.

I take my time and enter the number 300 manually.

All folds.

____________

Next hand….

Misclicked the Call button when my cursor was hovering over it. I intended to move the cursor to Fold. Cost me 1,750 chips. Stupid! And missed the flop.

____________

8 of 26.

____________

99 SB.

One limper to me (chip leader at my table).

I limp because I don’t want to get into a pissing match with the chip leader at this time.

BB calls.

Flop: 26J

I min-bet.

Two folds.

____________

8 of 25.

9 of 24.

____________

88 UTG +2.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Call.

SB calls.

Flop: QQQ

SB bets 1/3 pot.

UTG jams (3/4 of my stack).

Tank-fold.

SB folds.

We will never know, but UTG showed too much interest and no fear for me to call there.

____________

9 of 24.

____________

Th 9h BB.

Three limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: Td 3c 9d

SB bets half pot.

Min-raise.

Players rarely fold to min-raises, so it’s good long-term value when you know you’re ahead.

SB calls.

Turn: 6s

SB bets half pot.

Now that SB bet into me, I have him on 87.

Call.

River: 9

SB bets shy of pot.

I min-raise.

SB calls and auto-mucks.

____________

9 of 24.

9 of 23.

8 of 23.

____________

QJo CO.

No action to me.

Raise 2x BB.

All folds.

____________

5d 4d MP1.

Call.

BTN raises 5x BB.

Fold.

Would have whiffed flop anyway, but that needs to be a pre-flop fold.

____________

10 of 22.

____________

Ad Qd SB.

Heads-up blind action.

Apply pressure but lose to T5o.

____________

10 of 22.

____________

ATo.

Flop: AAK

Got a little.

____________

12 of 20.

____________

AK < 88 for 5.5k.

QT > AQ for 5.1k.

____________

10 of 19.

____________

KTo.

Top pair in 4-way pot.

Bet big here to take it down.

Effective.

____________

Kc Jc UTG +2.

Raise 2x BB.

All folds.

____________

8 of 18.

____________

Ah Jh MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

MP3 min-raises.

Based on her playing style, I know that means AK. Anything stronger and she would have raised more.

BB calls.

Call.

Flop: 3h Js 9c

BB checks.

I bet 3/4 pot.

MP3 calls.

BB folds.

Turn: 6h

I bet half pot to make it appear as though I didn’t like the hand as much as I did on the flop (I like it more).

MP3 calls.

River: Tc

I bet half pot.

She calls and auto-mucks.

____________

QTo UTG +1.

Raise 2x BB.

All folds.

Hmm…

____________

Fold AQo to all-in on this flop: A92.

Correct fold.

Player who never moves all-in has  AK.

Other player has AQ.

AK wins.

____________

AA SB.

Open-raise 3x BB.

BB calls.

Clean bet and fold on flop.

____________

Fold 22 to 3.5x BB raise.

____________

ATo.

Whiff/bet/raise/fold.

____________

7 of 11.

____________

TT MP2.

Value bets on every street on this board and get called whole way through: 8KK96.

She auto-mucks river.

Strange things happening in this arena tonight. She must have had the 8 and couldn’t let go.

____________

6 of 11.

____________

Ac 2c SB.

Win heads-up blind battle.

JJ.

Call/fold/fuck.

-3k.

____________

10 of 11.

Keith in 1st with a mountain of chips.

____________

A3o BB.

Walk.

Anytime…

____________

Qh Qs HJ.

Call an all-in for 8k when I have 16k+.

Villain tables 7c 7s.

Flop: Kc Jd 2c

Turn: 4c (uh-oh)

River: 8h

My hand holds and I get another knockout.

____________

6 of 9.

____________

AA > Kh Qh.

He flopped flush draw, but board was also paired. I somehow faded the flush.

____________

7 of 7.

Keith just busted with QQ vs. A8o to a flush. That sucks. He is no longer in 1st.

ATo BTN.

CO raises 2.5x BB.

Whiff/fold.

And barf.

Not literal barf. More like queasy.

____________

6 of 6.

____________

K5o BB.

Three limpers to me.

Only get involved with one. Flop bottom pair, call a bet, turn trips, min-raise and get a call, and call a value bet on river. I didn’t raise because of straight and boat potential on the board. I didn’t think my opponent had either, but I didn’t want to take the chance with my stack. I scoop the pot.

____________

Kd Qd BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

Two folds.

This is where tight image I established for hours helps. I don’t mind a call here, but I’m going to get more folds, which are uncontested.

____________

Ah 8h MP2.

UTG min-raises.

Not enough chips to flat. Too many players behind me.

Fold.

____________

84o BB.

Everyone limps to me.

Check.

This hand gets me in trouble because I flop a gut-shot and bet out, then turn a double-gutter and bet out again, but Villain raises 4x my bet and I have to fold.

____________

QQ CO.

Open-jam for 9 BBs.

All folds.

____________

JJ HJ.

Raise 2x BB.

All folds.

____________

K6o BB.

Two limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: KTT-rainbow.

I bet pot.

One caller (UTG).

I instantly assume she has a T.

Turn: 4

Check-check.

River: 6

Check-check.

She auto-mucks.

She must have had QJ.

____________

5 of 6.

4 of 5.

____________

Flops Seen: 19%.

Probably not a coincidence that I’m deep in tourney when at 19%.

____________

5 of 5.

Short stack won an all-in with two-pair vs. straight draw and moved ahead of me.

____________

22 all-in vs. AQo.

Flop: 44J

Turn: J (really?!)

River: 9

Of course. LOL!

Bubble.

In case you didn’t catch it, the board double-paired, which made A the fifth card to play.

____________

5 of 35.

Got two bounties for $10 each, which makes this overall experience -$11.

____________

Net: -$11

Overall Net: -$99.36

TOURNAMENT #41

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Took the day off from poker yesterday for the first time in three weeks. Refreshing. Let’s see if it has any impact on today’s game.

I also finished Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart yesterday. My editors, Nicholas Hodges and Terri-Anne Crawford did a great job. They also had positive things to say about the story. Nicholas will usually tear apart an aspect of the story if he feels something is wrong. In this case, he first wrote: ‘Enjoyed this one!’ and closed with: ‘Good shit, man!!!’

At first, I thought Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em would be my big hit for this year, but maybe I was wrong. Time will tell.

UPDATE: My original thought was correct. Basic Training has been my best-selling book this year. I wouldn’t refer to it as a ‘big hit,’ but it continues to build momentum thanks to positive reviews. Actually, I don’t think it has one negative review. Everyone who read it enjoyed it—as far as I know. While Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart is truly a fun read, most people want to read what can help them in regards to love and money. Basic Training focuses on the latter, and in an entertaining way. The only people that are going to read Vegas Daily are my fans.

____________

In first eight minutes of play…

KK

AK

Ad 8d

Kh Th

____________

I went 2-2 with those hands. +640 in chip count overall. The biggest win was with Kh Th—flush on the turn. The board paired on the river, but I knew Villain didn’t have two-pair or a set by the way it was played. I bet for value on the river and got called by top pair.

____________

KQo.

Hit top pair on flop and bet out strong because the two loosest players in the entire club happen to be at my table. They both call. Rag on the turn. I bet 30% of pot. Not too much to get into trouble. These players are all over the place so it’s tough for me to put them on hands. To my surprise, they both fold.

In addition to everything else going on, I’m now writing YouTube scripts for PokerJournal. I don’t know where this partnership is going, but we’re off to a good start and it’s been a slow and trusting build—a good sign.

____________

Ac 9c UTG.

Call.

UTG +1 raises 3.5x BB.

Call.

Flop: 2s As Ad

Check.

UTG +1 bets half pot.

Tank-call.

Based on the facts that he bet half the pot on that flop, there was only one A remaining, and he raised 3.5x the Big Blind from UTG pre-flop, I knew he had KK … maybe QQ. I actually said out loud to myself: “I know you have Kings.”

The two spades on the flop helped me. By taking some time to make the call, it puts the thought in his mind that I could be on a flush draw.

Turn: 8s

That makes a flush. Despite that, I bet out because I didn’t know if he had the King of spades and I didn’t want him seeing another card in the event he did.

He folded and showed KK (no spade).

____________

7 of 9.

8 of 9.

____________

While playing, I have been writing/editing an email to PokerStars about investing in movie. That’s why I haven’t taken as many notes as usual.

UPDATE: I never heard back from them. I don’t know who ends up investing in The Dark Side of the Felt, but I know whoever is bold enough will win.

UPDATE: I have a feeling I know who will be investing in The Dark Side of the Felt. This person or business (no hints) has a bold reputation. In fact, me and this ‘entity’ have a lot of similarities (okay, one hint).

____________

99 MP2.

Raise 2x BB.

SB calls.

One overcard on flop: K

I bet the whole way.

SB calls the whole way.

I scoop the pot.

She tables AQo for A-high.

____________

6 of 9.

____________

JJ MP1.

Raise 3.3x BB.

All folds.

I’ll take it at these blind levels.

____________

8h 8d CO.

4-way pot.

Flop: As 2s 5c

Three checks to me.

I know I have the best hand, and I want to keep it that way.

I bet pot.

All folds.

____________

6 of 9.

____________

My book cover guy, Joe, had a great idea for the Vegas Daily series. His idea is to use the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign as a backdrop for each book in the series. He thinks it’s cliché, but I like it. It’s simple, it’s cool, and it provides consistency.

I just turned the nut flush vs. a bad player, checked, got her to jam, called, and she tabled a set. She rivered a full house and knocked me out—she had me covered by 480 chips.

I honestly don’t know how many times I can get it in ahead and lose. Is it the platform? Is it just my perception? Am I running bad? I honestly don’t know.

While there were much fewer players in this tourney, I have now made four consecutive final tables in this club yet I lost money over those four final tables. The bottom line is the bottom line. There are no excuses.

And if I look at the big picture, I’m glad I played in this tournament. During this tournament, I contacted PokerStars and finished a YouTube script. That said, I’m still not happy about losing.

On the other hand, I’m glad I didn’t play yesterday. If I didn’t do well, the $51 hit would have added pressure like it did last week, and it would have potentially skewed results. In other words, at least this was only a $16 loss.

Please understand that this isn’t about the money. It’s about finishing on the + side by the end of the book. That’s the goal anyway. All the tournaments are smaller games within one bigger game and goal. Or you could say that this book is a big puzzle and I need to figure out how to make the pieces fit in order to deliver a W. SPATS has definitely allowed me to run deep often. I’m just not delivering. At least not yet.

I do have something in mind if I run into trouble. It’s part of the reason I have been keeping the buy-ins small. This would be a surprise move, so I’m not going to share it now, and I will only use it if necessary.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$115.36

TOURNAMENT #42

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Top pair on flop, turn straight draw. An A on the river helps because it slows me down. Villain bets big on river. I fold and she showed a set of Jacks, which she made on the turn.

On the business side, I have a tough decision to make on the narrator for Basic Training. Since I haven’t heard back from Adam, this is currently between Andy—who has narrated a couple of my books—and a new narrator that is my favorite out of the auditions so far. The new narrator has a great voice, but his strength is commercials and he doesn’t have any poker experience, so it might not be a great fit. The upside is that he will promote the book to a new audience.

UPDATE: I went with Andy, which was the correct call.

As I’m playing this tournament, I’m working on spacing issues for The Big Book Of Poker Q&A. There won’t be a Douchebag Dave in this one, but there will be a Tony. And Tony is the polar opposite of Douchebag Dave. Tony is a true bad guy.

NOTE: The Big Book Of Poker Q&A has been so irrelevant that I forgot I wrote it, and I wrote it this year!I’m guessing I’m one of the few authors that forgets they wrote a book in that same year. Maybe I have a lot more going on than I think.

I’m also waiting to hear back from Joe on the book cover for Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart. And I’m helping organize a free poker tournament on PokerStars during the radio show. I need to make a roster of what real names match the screen names so we know who to mention during the radio show.

____________

AJo BB.

BTN raises 10x BB.

Fold.

No way I’m ahead. Literally 0%.

BTN calls an all-in and tables QQ.

HJ tables AK.

BTN takes it down with QQ.

____________

JTo CO.

Raise 2x BB.

Two callers.

Q on flop but two checks to me.

Check.

Turn: J

Two checks to me again.

I bet my card (not something I always do).

One caller.

River pairs the board.

Villain checks.

I check behind.

I scoop a small pot.

He showed his hand, revealing an open-ended straight draw.

____________

I min-bet with third pair on the river, which leads to a massive raise from one of two opponents. If I had checked, I wouldn’t have as much information and would be in a spot where I might think Villain is bluffing. By betting small and seeing that massive raise, I know I’m no good and it’s an easy fold.

____________

Ac Td UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller—LAG player.

Flop: Ah 2s 4s

Villain calls.

Turn: 4c

I bet half pot.

I will have to call if he makes a move.

Villain tank-folds.

____________

8 of 13.

7 of 13.

____________

AA MP2.

3-bet.

One caller.

Flop: J99

I bet pot.

He folds.

____________

KQo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller to BB.

BB raises 5.5x my bet.

Fold.

____________

10 of 13.

____________

44 HJ.

Raise 3x BB.

BTN calls.

Flop: 2J4-rainbow

I min-bet.

BTN calls.

Turn: K

I min-bet.

BTN calls.

River: 7

I bet half pot.

BTN calls.

Nice pot.

____________

6 of 13.

____________

Ac Kc.

5-way pot.

Flop: AA7

I played this hand light until I have an interested party. I lead her gently to the river and then do my best to find the right value bet, but she folds. Still a nice pot though.

____________

4 of 13.

____________

Ad Ks SB.

BTN raises 3x BB.

Call.

Flop: Ac 3h 6h

SB bets half pot.

Min-raise.

She jams.

I tank and ponder.

She doesn’t have a set. She likely has AQ or AK, possibly with a flush draw. If I want to win the tourney, it’s a call.

Call.

She tables Ah Jh.

Turn: Ts

River: 8h

All the time!

____________

7d 6d.

3-bet jam.

Called by a shorter stack with JJ.

His hand holds.

Down to 1,027 chips.

____________

12 of 12.

Moved to new table.

____________

KK BB.

Call an all-in.

Third player calls.

This likely means I will have to fade an A.

Flop: A3Q39

I lose to AK.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$131.36

TOURNAMENT #43

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Radio show last night. Our fourth one. But this is the first one where we ran a free poker tournament for bragging rights. We expected 10-15 players and had 47. For radio listeners, we hoped for 100 and got 213. The following is the listeners per week from Week 1-Week 4: 75, 101, 47, 213. That’s quite a jump, and now we know that a free poker tournament is the key driver. Who knows where this goes. Only one problem…

I unintentionally stole market share from another game. This wasn’t my intention at all. I’m in the process of fixing it.

UPDATE: I ended up fixing it in a big way by writing Poker With Friends. This drove consistent traffic to the club on Sunday nights and added many new members. You can find that book at PokerJournal.org. I can’t publish it on Amazon because the content is already online.

This is Wednesday, which is tough for notes because the tourney starts at 1 p.m. and I go to sleep around 3 a.m. the night before. That might not sound too bad, but I wake up around 8 a.m. to write and edit books. Still not too bad, huh? I should quite bitching? Okay. But then I need a different excuse for not writing enough notes.

I’m listening to a techno song right now where dude keeps saying, “Touch That Body! Know That Body! Feel That Body!”

Know that one? No? Bad read? If you’re not familiar with it, you can Google it. Just search for: ‘Touch That Body! Know That Body! Feel That Body!’ No caps necessary.

Btw … for free weekly poker tourney on Flop House Radio, going with the name: Pro-Am Tourney Series. (This didn’t stick.) It made sense to me because pros and amateurs had an opportunity to play together. It’s a rare opportunity for amateurs to play with the pros. In fact, I can’t think of any other poker tournament where this is possible for anyone and everyone despite their bankroll/budget. I also went with the name Pro-Am Tourney Series because I remember playing RC Pro-Am as a kid. But don’t tell anyone that.

____________

5 of 8.

____________

As Js MP3.

Whiff-bet.

Villain folds.

____________

Keith busted when all-in with AA.

Villain tabled TT.

Board: J52T6

I know the feeling, dude!

____________

I river a straight on a paired board with light action to me in late position. I put short-stack all-in and she snap-calls. Then the other player calls. I said out loud, “That’s not good.”

It was the short-stack that had the full house. I guess she knew I would make that move. You need to admit when you’re outplayed, and I was outplayed on that hand. The other caller had the same hand as me.

____________

7 of 7.

____________

Deep in tourney and last in chips. Familiar territory.  It’s all good though because I can always rewind the techno party video and listen to: “Touch That Body! Know That Body! Feel That Body!”

____________

AJo MP3.

Jam for 10 BBs.

All folds.

____________

Ah 2h.

3-bet jam.

Villain calls with KQo.

Flop: 2s 8c 9h

Turn: 5h

River: Td

My hand holds.

Dub.

____________

Ah 9h MP1.

Raise 4x BB.

All folds.

____________

Ks 8s BB.

Two limpers.

Check.

I flop middle pair and min-bet. If that doesn’t confuse them with me as the short-stack, I don’t know what will. The short-stack shouldn’t be min-betting in that spot unless holding a monster, which is the point of that bet.

Two folds.

____________

Ad 6d MP3.

UTG raises 4.5x BB.

Fold.

Highly unlikely I’m ahead in that spot.

____________

6 of 7.

6 of 6.

____________

Ac Qd UTG.

Jam.

Two callers.

Villain #1 tables ATo.

Villain #2 tables As 4s.

Flop: 7s 9s 5s

Turn: Jd

River: 6s

Not much drama on that one after the flop.

____________

Net: -$16.

Overall Net: -$147.36

If I fail with this project, I will own it. Just like what happened in one of my other books. I won’t reveal which one in case you haven’t read it yet.

TOURNAMENT #44

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Check this out! I usually drink a green Bing in the afternoon during these tournaments. But not today. Not today! Today I shall drink a red Bing in the afternoon, and it will make a difference! I you can believe it, it might happen. I read that somewhere in a self-help book once.

Joe finished the book cover for Vegas Daily 1: Tyler vs. Stuart  today. I’m going to publish it while playing in this tourney. By the way, I also might play in $40 tourney in a private club on PB on Saturday. That’s in two days. If I play in it, can you believe it? $40!!!

____________

6d 4d MP2.

UTG raises to 80 on 40 BB.

UTG +1 calls.

Raise to 210. They would never see it coming.

HJ calls.

UTG and UTG +1 call.

Flop: 3h Kh Qh

Two checks to me.

I bet 1/4 pot.

HJ and UTG +1 call.

Turn: 5c

UTG +1 checks.

I bet half pot.

Two folds.

____________

I just submitted Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart to Amazon for publication on Kindle. I’m going to work on publication for the paperback now. For the record, we needed to use the number 1 instead of the Roman Numeral I because the spacing on the cover worked much better with the number.

____________

Qs 9s BB. OUTSIDE SPATS!

UTG +2 min-raises.

One caller.

I call, but I feel horrible about it. This is NOT THE PLAN.

PYWWYP = Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan.

Whiff/fold.

____________

14 of 21.

____________

As Ts CO.

How do you miss the river on this board to the turn: 7h 8s 9d 4s? It’s heads-up and he’s playing it soft, so I’m pretty sure my A is also live. Needless to say, dud on the river. He takes it down with top pair.

I have only been using min-raises on pre-flop action for this tourney. So far, it’s not working. Switching to 3x BB raises now. Blinds just moved higher and it will be viewed by others as stronger.

____________

12 of 17.

16 of 17.

16 of 16.

____________

During this tournament, I formatted the book cover for Vegas Daily on Kindle and paperback. I published both versions of the book after checking it for formatting errors, sent payment through a third party for the $40 tourney on Saturday, paid $500 off my credit card debt (debt I accumulated to build my brand), paid Joe for the book cover and design, and read an article I wrote for PokerJournal a few weeks ago and posted it on Facebook.

I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m finally about to focus on the tourney after two hours. I won’t have much to focus on because I only have 12 BBs, but maybe that will change.

____________

66.

3-bet jam against the chip leader.

Chip leader tables 99.

Board: A3964

____________

I jammed there because if I play it post-flop and hit, it’s going to be difficult to extract chips. I hoped she had AK or AQ, but no lock. I’m just happy these are $16 tourneys. I might jack that up down the stretch—if necessary.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$163.36

Based on these buy-ins, this is bad. In the grand scheme of things, it’s miniscule, but the cold hart truth is that I have not adapted to this field. Since they’re $16 tourneys, there is a whole lot of calling! I look at it this way: Bill Belichick is the master of halftime adjustments. Perhaps I can make the correct adjustments after Tourney #50. We’ll see.

TOURNAMENT #45

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Topic: Felt Hopper: West Virginia

Me: “Will you still read it if I write it?”

Keith: “Does a three-legged dog swim in a circle?”

____________

As far as poker goes, FUCK THIS! For the next six tournaments, I’m going all-in with any SPATS hand and either doubling-up or busting early to work on other things. If I double-up, I have a good shot at coming in the money. Even if I only have a 20% chance of winning the hand, if I’m chip leader early 1 out of 5 tournaments, that’s good. And I will be higher than 20% most of the time.

I announced in chat: “Double-up or nothing on this one.” I didn’t reveal details about hand selection.

____________

Second hand…

AQo UTG +2.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

Ac 4c BTN.

3-bet jam vs. Chris Read.

She tank-calls and tables KJo.

Flop: 426

Turn: K (uh-oh)

River: A (cool)

____________

Chris: “Tyler. WTH? Figured you would jam with 64o or something after your double-up or nothing speech.”

Me: “I wouldn’t jam with crap though.”

Chris: “A4s isn’t crap. GL everyone.”

Me: “Lol. Ty.”

____________

2 of 17.

____________

AKo CO.

Jam.

Three folds.

____________

AK < TT.

I slowed down on this one for some reason. Intuition? Not sure. I would have lost half my stack. Lost 1,800 instead.

____________

Qc Tc SB.

CO limps.

Call.

BB checks.

Whiff-check-fold.

____________

AKo CO.

Raise 4x BB.

BTN calls.

Whiff/c-bet/call/whiff/fold.

Got all that?

____________

5 of 13.

____________

I have no idea what just happened. I had AQo and turned two-pair. I had bet top pair on the flop, I bet the turn, and I bet the river despite my opponent only needing a J for a straight. My opponent min-raised me on the river. I figured I was beat, but there was no way I was folding to a min-raise at that point. My opponent tabled A8 for top pair with an 8 kicker. I’ll always accept gifts.

____________

6 of 10.

____________

6s 4s UTG.

Raise 2x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 843-rainbow.

I bet half pot.

Two folds.

____________

I called an all-in with KQo for 25% of my stack.

Villain tables 44.

Flop: 87Q

Turn: 6

River: J

____________

3 of 9.

____________

QJo SB.

BTN jams for 10% of my stack.

Call.

BTN tables Kc 7c.

Flop: KQA

Turn: 9

River: 8

I tried.

____________

4 of 9.

____________

Two draws on turn. Placed big bet after Villain called flop. Villain disconnected. I scooped the pot by default. I guess that’s running good.

____________

QQ MP2.

UTG raises 3x BB.

UTG +1 calls.

Raise 3.2x bet.

All folds.

____________

3 of 9.

Keith: 1 of 9.

2 of 9.

____________

Payouts: $131, $85, $54

____________

3 of 7.

3 of 6.

____________

AKo.

3-way pot on 3x BB raise.

Flop: K54-rainbow

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

Th 9h SB.

Blind battle.

Min-raise.

She calls.

Flop: 478

I min-bet, expecting a call.

She folds.

____________

3 of 5.

____________

99 MP2.

I min-raise.

All folds.

____________

9c 7c UTG.

Raise 2x BB.

All folds.

____________

22 BB.

UTG +1 raises 4x BB.

UTG +2 calls.

Fold.

Flop: 88A

UTG takes it down with a bet on the flop.

____________

AKo < A3o for 22% of my chips.

Bluffed big vs. two opponents on next hand to get half of those chips back.

____________

5 of 5.

____________

ATo.

Walk.

____________

4 of 5.

____________

Ah Qh MP1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

JJ BB.

Walk.

____________

4 of 4.

____________

Everyone agrees to pay $20 to Bubble. Cool beans. Ain’t a lot but at least I can’t lose money. New Payouts: $125, $75, $50, $20.

____________

4th in chips. Chip breakdown…

29,441

28,973

23,172

7,315

____________

66 UTG.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

99 BB.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Jam.

UTG calls and tables 88.

Flop: A77

Turn: 5

River: 8

I have no comment at this point. I have probably played more live poker tournaments than 99.3% of people on the planet, and while crazy things can happen, I have never seen it to this degree. I also play on PB and what happens on there is nothing compared to PS. What can I do??? At least I made $5.

____________

Net: +$5

Overall Net: -$158.36

Keith won this tourney on a three-way all-in. Good game, Keith! Way to Ship It!

I’ll be playing two tourneys tomorrow. Looking forward to it. First PB for $40 at 2 p.m., then Bounty Tourney on PS for $31 at 8 p.m.

TOURNAMENT #46

Buy-in: $40

PB.

____________

I know I’m playing two bullets. This means I will be very aggressive on the first bullet. Prior to playing, I got Keith to play.

To make a long story short, it started out well, but I turned a straight vs. Keith after about 10 minutes and raised his bet. He jammed. The board to the turn: KK9J. I had QT. He had raised pre-flop from UTG. When he bet the flop, I figured he had AK. That’s how he plays. He usually bets for value when ahead. He’s not on the trappy side. When he jammed, I figured my read was wrong. But … since this was my first of two bullets, I called. He tabled JJ. I was drawing dead.

____________

Net: -$40

Overall Net: -$198.36

But there was good news: I had a freeroll on the second bullet for promoting the game. Let’s see what happens on the second bullet.

TOURNAMENT #47

Buy-in: $0

PB

____________

Slowing it down. This tourney is playing more like a Deepstack than I expected. I had associated PB with Turbos, but that is definitely not the case here.

____________

Payouts: $240, $120, $40

____________

Qs Js HJ.

Called with a flush draw vs. early position aggressor and hit a J on the river. He bet the pot. Pretty sure he had an overpair because he fired big on every street. If not, it was a bad fold.

____________

Qh Qc SB.

Three limpers to me.

I raise to 1,231.

Two callers.

Flop: AKQ

I jam, figuring if either player hit the A or K, I would get a call. A jam looks like a draw in this spot.

One player calls and tables K7o.

Say what?

Okay!

My hand obviously holds.

Nice dub.

____________

I tried to move to players off a hand when I had air, but no luck.

The player to my left is tough. When I picked up 7c 6c on BTN and everyone folded to me, I min-raised so he would fold SB, which he did. I knew BB would call, which was fine because he was short-stack and I had position. I flopped a gut-shot, he checked, I bet half pot (about 30% of his stack), and he folded.

That played to my left? He flatted my pre-flop raise when I had AT and turned an A. I jammed when relatively short-stacked on a big pot. He called and tabled AQ. His hand held. And there you have it.

____________

Net: $0 (another missed opportunity)

Overall Net: -$198.36

For tonight’s Bounty Tourney, it’s in The Weekender, but it plays different than the $16 buy-ins during the day. I will be approaching it like a normal poker tournament. I will not be using double-up or bust.

TOURNAMENT #48

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

I got into a poker debate after the last tourney. So annoying. I never start these debates. It’s always with people who think they know everything, play by the book, don’t practice money management, and have much less than me in earnings. There are tons of people with more than me in earnings (I’m at about $85k right now), and they never say a word unless I were to ask their opinion on something. As you might already know, the nearly empties piggy banks usually make the most noise.

____________

JJ SB.

MP2 raises 4x BB.

One caller to me.

Call.

Flop: 9K9

I min-bet to see what’s going on.

I get raised and have to fold.

Villain shows AA.

____________

Ac Jc MP3.

UTG +1 raises 3x BB.

Call.

Two players behind me call.

BTN raises 7x the bet.

UTG +1 folds.

I anticipate at least one caller behind me. One of them is short-stacked in a Bounty Tourney, and these are the kinds of pots you need to win to ship a tourney.

Call.

Short-stack to my left calls.

Other player to my left folds.

Flop: 3c 8c Jh

I ain’t goin’ nowhere!

Pre-flop aggressor checks.

I bet half pot, which puts the short-stack all-in.

Short-stack calls.

Pre-flop aggressor folds (must have been AK).

Short-stack tables 5c 3s.

If you’re wondering about that call, she already invested too much to fold, but I don’t know why she called in the first place.

Turn: 2s

River: 9c

Scooped the pot and got the knockout.

____________

8 of 32.

____________

Katherine Bowen has been tearing through my books. She has read The Dark Side of the Felt, A Darker Side of the Felt, and Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart. She rated those books on Amazon: 5 Stars, 4 Stars, and 5 Starts, respectively, with Vegas Daily I: Tyler vs. Stuart being her favorite of the bunch. She also left very detailed reviews on all three.

I know someone is a true friend when they take their time to leave a review for me. I have stressed on Facebook time and time again how important these reviews are for me to stay afloat, but very few people help out. I appreciate those people more than anyone else. That’s a secret of mine. Until now.

I’m telling you all of this because Katherine Bowen is currently reading Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em and she found an error on Chapter 12. This is greatly appreciated because it saves me from embarrassment down the road. It’s also a great sign she’s on Chapter 12—she just finished Vegas Daily 1: Tyler vs. Stuart this morning.

I just value bet with top pair and got called on every street against pre-flop aggressor and somehow won the hand.

____________

9 of 23.

7 of 23.

____________

J9o BTN.

CO min-raises.

Call.

SB folds.

BB folds.

Flop: 329-rainbow

CO bets.

Min-raise because I’m confident I have the best hand. Even if I don’t, I suspect this raise will slow down my opponent.

She calls and checks the rest of the way on a 5 Turn and K river.

She tables A5 and I scoop the pot.

____________

11 of 13.

13 of 13.

____________

55 MP1.

Short-stack.

UTG (chip leader) raises 2x BB.

Jam.

CO snap-calls.

UTG calls.

Flop: 722

They both check (good sign).

Turn: 8

They both check (hanging in there).

River: A (oh shit!)

CO mucks.

UTG tables JTo.

I triple up.

JTo? Really? Okay….

____________

9c 7d BB.

SB min-raises.

Call.

This is outside of SPATS, but this call made sense because the SB is a bad player and the chip leader. It was also a min-raise.

Flop: 9s 4s 7c

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

SB calls.

Turn: Jh

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

SB calls.

River: Kd

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

SB folds.

I told you it was a bad player.

____________

7 of 11.

____________

7h 5h MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 689-rainbow

I bet half pot.

Please don’t believe me, please don’t believe me.

Two folds.

I’m a dumbass.

____________

6 of 11.

7 of 10.

____________

I could have tripled-up with KTo but a raise and call ahead of me. I knew I was behind. It was 88 vs. AJo (88 won).

____________

AQo HJ.

Heads-up.

Whiff/bet/scoop.

____________

ATo.

Call min-raise in position.

5-way pot.

Flop: ATQ

Four checks to me.

I bet half pot, assuming I’d get at least one call.

All folds.

____________

6 of 9.

____________

A4o BB.

Defend. OUTSIDE OF SPATS!

I knew I would flop the A and be outkicked. Somehow knew it.

STAY IN SPATS!

____________

Kd Kh CO.

UTG +2 raises 3x BB.

Two callers.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

6 of 9.

4 of 8.

2 of 8.

3 of 8.

1 of 8.

2 of 7.

____________

Good song in background. House Music with some kind of 80s vibe. I was jammin’ like Richard Nixon, but only one finger up on each hand. No peace in poker.

____________

2 of 7.

2 of 6.

1 of 6.

____________

Bubble Save offered. I agreed while chip leader. Feels good to be good sometimes. I’ll always agree to Bubble Save offer. I won’t always agree to a chop—depends on situation. I would like to say this though: Based on my experiences in life, being good will end up hurting you.

Singing to myself during break. It’s a new song: “Freeze them balls off, freeze them balls off. What are you gonna do but Freeze them balls off!” Work in progress.

____________

2 of 5.

____________

AKo.

Flop: 4KT

I bet half pot.

Villain jams for 68,257.

I tank-fold.

Based on this player’s patterns, she doesn’t have KQ, which is all I can beat. It’s KT or a set.

____________

AA BB.

SB raises 3x BB.

Jam.

Hoping she has a hand.

She folds.

____________

3 of 5.

2 of 5.

1 of 5.

2 of 4.

____________

When down to four players, outside of SPATS okay at right times.

____________

Ad 3d BTN.

Flop nut flush draw.

Villain jams for a third of my stack.

Call.

Villain tables KK.

Happy to see my A is also live.

I river a flush.

____________

Heads-up now.

____________

55 BB.

SB jams.

Snap-call.

SB tables A6o.

Flop: 687

Turn: Q

River: 9

Ship It!

LOL. Just kidding! I just needed to get that out after all the bad beats.

____________

Two bounties + 1st Place.

____________

Net: +$273

Overall Net: +74.64

It just takes one win to get back in the black in tourney life. Still a long way to go though. Roll with me.

TOURNAMENT #49

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

It’s nice to be back in black. Keith said I should get in my car and pump AC/DC’s Back In Black. I wrote about that in one of my books, but that I wouldn’t do it until I had $100,000. Yes … I once had $100,000. I fucked it up in the stock market. I’m way too aggressive with money to be in stocks. What’s strange is that I’m very good at picking stocks for other people.

I can tell someone that a company is a good five-year investment after doing my due diligence and watching consumer trends. This is actually easy. But I can’t hold on to a stock for five years myself. I’m not patient enough. That being the case, I now invest all my money into myself, my books, and branding in the poker world.

Anyway, I won’t get to $100k by playing in $31 and $16 poker tourneys. That’s a whole different thing. One potential avenue is for the movie to be a success. I haven’t heard from Brett in a few weeks, but he told me he’s not in a rush because of Covid. So, here I am, writing books as if my life depends on it … because it kind of does.

UPDATE: Fortunately, my situation has changed quite a bit. But I’m still not blasting Back In Black yet.

____________

Ac 9c MP3.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 3c 8c Jh

I bet half pot.

One caller.

Turn: 4d

I bet half pot.

Villain folds.

I’ll take it.

____________

8 of 21.

12 of 19.

____________

Answering A LOT of messages during this tourney. That’s because I posted an ad for the radio show earlier today. I need to shut it down and focus. Just logged-off.

____________

10 of 18.

13 of 18.

____________

A short-stack just moved all-in for 1/3 of my stack. I call with 22. I don’t know why I often do this with 22. It’s not a good hand and it’s a race at best. I need to get rid of this habit. Villain tables 88. Villain’s hand holds, as it should.

____________

Villain: “Ty.”

Me: “Yw.”

____________

16 of 17.

____________

As Ks UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Steph calls.

Flop: T83 (no spades)

I think about a c-bet, but she would call. Likes to float.

Check.

She bets pot.

Fold.

____________

Getting toward jammin’ time.

____________

KQo MP1.

Raise 3x BB.

Steph is the only caller again.

I whiff the flop and min-bet.

She folds.

It helped me that I checked the last time because it shows I don’t auto c-bet. It also helped that she likely had complete air.

____________

Whiffing everything. Just need to win the hand that matters most—the all-in hand.

____________

KK BTN.

Open-jam.

SB calls and tables AK.

Flop: 83J

Turn: 2

River: A

Back to the PS nonsense.

____________

Net: -$31

Overall Net: +$43.64

TOURNAMENT #50

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

This is the last tourney before halftime. What makes this tourney unique is that there are seven players. As in 7!

There is an obvious reason why this happened. The club owners took a vote on what players wanted. The players then voted to add $10 tourneys at noon. This has had a massive negative impact on the $16 tourney at 1 p.m.

This goes one of two ways. One, they eliminate the $10 tourney and things go back to normal. Two, so many players moved to the noon tourney that there is no more 1 p.m. tourney. I hope it’s the former, but I fear it will be the latter. Then again, the $16 tourneys only run at 1 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. They are at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday. And they are at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

____________

5 of 7.

____________

I haven’t gone all-in yet. Such a small field that I wouldn’t be wasting much time if I shipped it anyway.

____________

5 of 6.

____________

9h 8h BTN.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Raise 3x her bet.

SB calls.

BB jams for 1,375 (I have 4,470).

UTG folds.

Call.

SB calls.

Flop: 923

SB checks.

I bet pot.

SB folds.

BB tables A5o.

Turn: 2

River: Q

My hand holds.

____________

4 of 5.

4 of 5.

5 of 5.

4 of 5.

____________

Action is too fast to take many notes. 5-handed game. I’m trying to keep up.

____________

3 of 5.

4 of 4.

____________

Outside SPATS now. Different game.

____________

3 of 4.

____________

Turned a small full house vs. Keith, who called my turn bet and the river paired the board again. That meant it was 50/50 I was beat. Keith checked the river. Suspicious, I checked back. He tabled a bigger full house. Nice try, Keith!

I repped AQ with K2o. Got it through heads-up on a whiffed flop.

____________

2 of 4.

3 of 4.

1 of 4.

____________

Lost a monster pot after flopping two-pair, check-raising, getting called by gut-shot, Villain hitting gut-shot on turn, and board not pairing on river. I couldn’t put Villain on a gut-shot because she called a check-raise.

____________

4 of 4.

3 of 4.

____________

Keith just busted: AT < 66.

____________

3 of 3.

Top 2 paid.

____________

Folded KJo to pre-flop raiser on this board: 37K5. She kept firing without hesitation. This told me she had AA or AK.

____________

Not in good shape.

Stack: 2,394

Other stacks: 15,687 and 13,829

____________

Jam/Fold now.

____________

Jh Kh.

Jam.

Called by QJo.

Turn a flush.

Dub.

____________

AQo.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller.

Flop: Q23

Jam.

Villain folds.

____________

Double-up with Q3 vs. same player.

____________

3 of 3.

____________

Ad Kd.

Have to fold to river bet.

Such a battle!

____________

Folded 33 to 4x BB raise from player who hasn’t raised 4x BB since Ferdinand Magellan set sail.

____________

AA.

Raise 3x BB.

One caller.

Flop: 877

Villain value bets.

Call.

I feel like jamming is a bad idea here for some reason.

Turn: 2

Villain value bets.

Call.

River: Q

Villain tables K7.

What are the odds?

____________

Td 8d.

Flop: 3d 9h 2d

Jam.

Probably going to get called.

Villain calls and tables KTo.

Turn: Ks

River: Ts

Bubble.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$27.64

HALFTIME

Let’s cover the Negatives and Positives up until this point. Negatives first since I like to finish on a good note. Doesn’t everyone like to finish on a good note?

Never mind. Back to poker.

NEGATIVES

-Ran horrible.

-Made some loose calls.

-Playing in a couple of bigger events relative to the normal buy-ins when down when I should have been grinding higher.

-Schedule change might be a bad thing because of smaller prize pools.

POSITIVES

-Only 16% of club is on the + side (224 members).

-Up is up.

-Ran horrible but still found a way to finish the first half on the plus side.

-Leaned a lot about player tendencies.

Let’s see how it plays out in the second half. I know these are small events, but it’s not easy to be ahead in tournament poker.

TOURNAMENT #51

Buy-in: $21

The Weekender

____________

10k chips in this one.

Playing it straight up. No double-up or bust.

____________

First hand…

Ad Ah MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: Kc Tc 4s

I bet pot.

Two folds.

I’ll take it.

____________

Folded a pair to a flush.

____________

Folded open-ended straight draw on flop in five-way pot because short-stack placed big bet and I didn’t have enough chips to make it worth the risk.

____________

5c 4c MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 5h 9h 5d

I min-bet in an attempt to disguise.

One caller.

Turn: 2h

I bet 1/3 pot.

Villain raises to new pot size.

I call, but I know I’m behind.

River: Js

Check.

Villain bets 1,090.

Fold.

Tough yet correct fold.

____________

Got it all back on next hand after hitting top pair with As 9s and value betting on every street. My opponent was a strong player, but she often calls light against me.

____________

KK BB.

Two limpers to BTN.

BTN raises 5.5x BB.

BTN is also short-stack. She has about 40% of my stack.

Jam.

Two limpers fold.

BTN hesitates (good sign), then calls.

BTN tables AQo.

Flop: TJQ

Turn: 7

River: 8

My hand holds.

____________

9 of 29.

____________

AQ UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

UTG +2 min-raises.

I immediately have him on KK. That’s the only hand this specific player does that with.

Call.

Flop: Q4K

Check.

He overbets pot.

If he were a pro, this would be suspicious, but this player always plays his cards. In other words, he always sizes his bets based on the strength of his hands. My intuition tells me I’m in big trouble if I call.

Fold.

____________

14 of 26.

____________

AQ < QJ.

How this hand played out…

Raise 3x BB from MP3 with AQo.

Bad player calls from SB with QJo.

She is out of position and she has to know she’s behind based on my position and playing style (in this tournament). However, she did come in 2nd in a different tournament earlier today and she is currently chip leader. And as I type this current day, I have changed my style of play in tournaments. I’m all about building stacks now. And that means any two cards at any time. My new problem is keeping those chips. I was always good at changing speeds as TAG. Now I’m learning how to change speeds as AGGRO.

But … I probably shouldn’t be promoting that style of play in a book about SPATS! AGGRO is definitely higher risk and I would only recommend it if you have a lot of experience at the poker table, understand people well, and you have strong reading skills.

Anyway, the player that beat me with QJ gave some of it back two hands later when she called me on the following board when I had AT: 9A99J. She auto-mucked on the river.

____________

AKo MP2.

UTG +2 raises 3x BB.

Call.

One other caller.

Flop: KQ8

She bets half pot.

Min-raise.

She calls.

Turn: 4

She bets half pot.

Raise 2.5x her bet.

She calls.

River: J

She puts me all-in for 5.5k.

She either rivered the straight or had KQ the whole way. She knew I had AK.

Fold.

Poorly played on my part.

____________

22 of 22.

____________

Ac 4c CO.

Dub vs. A9o.

Flop two-pair.

She bets out, so I know she also has an Ace.

Jam.

She calls.

My hand holds.

Now higher than before AK hand.

____________

14 of 22.

____________

I just ran to give J a hug goodnight. He had come downstairs to watch me play before and it was during two bad hands. I think he could tell I was frustrated and I didn’t want him to think it was his fault. I Love You, J!

Moved to new table.

____________

QQ MP1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

15 of 20.

17 of 20.

____________

AK < AA.

Flop: K84.

Villain just jams flop.

I tanked for a long time. I really went through all the possibilities. I was leaning toward fold for a while, but I didn’t fold. Unfortunately. I called because he had only min-raised my pre-flop raise. I figured a player with AA in SB with one player behind him would raise more, knowing I would likely call and he could isolate. But I was wrong. Plain and simple.

Busto!

____________

Not off to a good start for the second half. I never start strong (in anything). I always start slow and build momentum. In everything! I’m just hoping I can close strong here as well. I know you’re on this journey with me, so I’d like to do it for you more than anything else. But if I fail, it will be written.

____________

Net: -$21

Overall Net: +$6.64

The goal with this book isn’t to make money. Actually, there are no royalties on this book. ZERO! It’s to prove that SPATS is effective. I already know the answer—as do those who read The Perfect Range and play cash—but I need to prove it for tournaments.

Side Note: I listened to one of the best mixes of my life today and tonight. It’s 3 hrs., 53 min., and 17 seconds. Search YouTube for ‘Hernan Cattaneo B2B Nick Warren & Sudbeat & the Soundgarden Showcase, Antigua, Fabrica Estrella Damn.’ It’s worth all the typing. Or you can just ask Alexa.

TOURNAMENT #52

Buy-in: $41

Bounty Tourney

The Weekender

____________

We have a radio show tonight. I asked Tana to be our guest and he agreed. For those of you who don’t know, Tana is the owner of RunGood—a popular poker tournament series known for lower buy-ins than the WSOP Circuit and a focus on fun. He will be letting everyone know RunGood’s plans when the pandemic ends.

On a different note, I just received feedback on the writing site I work on. The feedback from clients is almost always excellent. They often can’t understand why someone at my experience level is working for such low rates, but this leads to a lot of repeat business. At the same time, I sometimes loathe the editors on this site. Since they lack creativity to write, they have to nitpick the work of writers to justify their jobs. Below is an example of a line I wrote in one article…

Hey, you never know!

Do you see anything wrong with the line above? I mean, what the hell about that line would turn readers off? This was the editor correction: ‘Please do not use colons to offset text in this way.’

What colon? Do you see a colon? I don’t see a colon. A colon looks like this:. I’m pretty sure the editor meant to use the word ‘comma’ opposed to ‘colon’ but I won’t edit her work because I’d rather spend my time creating.

____________

Kd Kc UTG +2.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: Ah 6h 2c

Figures.

I min-bet (feeler bet).

Two folds.

Shocked.

____________

I was just playing with screen-sizing because I want to play the 2 p.m. for $16—the one I usually play in. I was going to play one on the desktop and one on the laptop, but it asked me if I wanted to transfer my sessions and I don’t think that’s something I want to do. So, after 10 minutes, I have sized my screens so they are the same size on my laptop. This also means I will be taking notes on this tourney and the next one at the same time. A lot going on.

I just raised 3x BB with Ac Qc, got two callers, and folded to a bet on this flop: 9d 9s 8d. That’s a No Ego fold. And No Ego preserves chips.

Flopped middle pair vs. Chris Read when she was short-stacked. I know she is smart, which helps me predict what she will do. She bet the flop, I called. She checked the turn, I blasted. She folded. She wouldn’t have played it tricky with a short-stack; she would have fired again on the turn if she had it, so I knew I was ahead.

____________

KK UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Called by Kobie and Brumber.

Flop: Q8K

Check.

Kobie checks.

Brumber bets half pot.

Call.

Kobie folds.

Turn: 9

Brumber min-bets.

I raise 6.5x her bet.

She calls.

River: A

I bet half pot.

She min-raises.

Jam.

She folds.

____________

3 of 10.

____________

AKo MP2.

Raise 4x BB.

One caller: Kobie.

I whiff flop but bet half pot.

She calls.

Turn: K

I bet half pot.

She folds.

____________

AA.

Fired as big as I could to get Brumber off a diamond draw, but she chased and got there on the river. I folded to her river bet. Big pot. Part of roller coaster ride. Just hang on tight.

____________

5 of 10.

____________

AJo.

I call Chris Read’s all-in. She is short-stacked and it’s a bounty tourney.

She tables AKo (ouch!).

Flop: KK5 (more ouch)

Her hand holds.

____________

7 of 8.

____________

KK UTG +1.

Call.

Hope it works.

Plan is limp-jam to raise since I’m short-stacked now.

Brumber raises 5x BB.

Jam.

She calls and tables AK.

My hand holds.

____________

4 of 8.

6 of 6.

____________

Qs Js UTG +1.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

JT in SB.

BB checks.

Flop top pair and jam.

BB folds.

____________

Td 9d MP3.

Fold.

____________

8s 6s MP1.

Fold.

If I had jammed here, I would have been up against AK and AQ and busted. AK won this hand, knocking out the player with AQ.

____________

5 of 5.

____________

JT.

4-way pot.

Flop top-two and jam.

I don’t want to mess around with a potential straight draw out there.

Three folds.

____________

5 of 5.

____________

9h 8h.

Fold to 3x BB raise.

____________

Ah 2h.

3-bet jam.

Villain calls and tables KK.

Flop: 2J8

Turn: 7

River: A

Whew!

Nice to be on the other side of that.

____________

4 of 5.

4 of 4.

____________

88 UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

UTG calls.

Chris Read raises 4x my bet.

Zero chance I’m ahead.

Tank-fold.

UTG folds.

NOTE: I call this in a heartbeat today.

____________

Short-stack min-bet bluff gets through on flop.

____________

8 BBs.

____________

KQo.

Jam.

Villain calls and tables 66.

Flop: 7AA

Turn: 2

River: 4

Busto!

____________

I usually don’t jam 8 BBs with KQo in that spot because I’m only called if I’m behind. A recent conversation might have influenced that action, and I wanted to try it out. But I learned—for the 1,112th time—that what ain’t me don’t work! I know that might be confusing on the first read, but if you read it a few times, you will get it.

It’s extremely rare that I play out of character these days, but the person I had the conversation with was convincing in a way and I trust them, even though I knew they were wrong. Not wrong objectively, but wrong in regards to what works for me.

Even though I lost this tourney, I hope there is value for you here. Don’t let anyone force their style of play on you. Be you, do you. Being true to yourself is always a better road regardless of the results.

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: -$34.36

Hello, Mr. Red,

Hate to see you again. I don’t plan on staying long. No need to prepare the cheese and crackers.

Tyler

TOURNAMENT #53

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Multi-tabling with Tournament #52. I’m doing a few things right now—including Tournament #52 and setting up for the radio show—that I don’t really know what’s going on in this game. All I know is that I’m in 7th of 8 players remaining.

____________

First hand after first break…

AA MP2.

MP1 raises 4.5x BB.

Jam.

He calls.

Villain tables KJo.

My hand holds.

____________

4 of 7.

____________

9h 8h.

Short-stack jams.

Call.

Villain tables JJ, which holds easily.

____________

Tempted to call or raise with Ks 9s. Outside of SPATS.

Good thing I didn’t call or raise. I avoid A LOT of losses by staying within SPATS. A LOT!

____________

88 UTG.

Call.

CO raises 3x BB.

BTN jams for 12 BBs.

I jam for 12.5 more BBs.

CO tank-calls.

BTN tables TT.

CO tables ATo.

I lose to TT but beat ATo.

No worries.

____________

5 of 6.

5 of 5.

____________

As Ks UTG +1.

Raise 4x BB.

One caller.

Flop: Ah Jd 8h

Jam (again).

Villain calls and tables Qh Jh.

Turn: 2c

River: 4c

My hand holds.

____________

3 of 5.

____________

Kh Jh.

4-way pot.

Flop: Qs 5s 4s

Fold to bet.

Flush draw knocks out top pair, who was short-stacked.

____________

3 of 4.

____________

Kh 2c BB.

Two limpers to me.

Flop: KJ2 (two diamonds)

Jam (in that mode).

Debbie tank-folds and shows K9.

Good fold.

My bet was a huge overbet to pot. I wanted it to look like a flush draw.

____________

A6o BB.

10 BBs left.

UTG min-raises. Looks weak to me.

Jam.

She snap-calls with TT.

Flop: 84T.

And that’s that.

____________

I didn’t play well today. My mood wasn’t good, which relates to a situation I don’t want to write about. Also notice that even though it was 4-handed and SPATS is no longer applied at 4-handed, I busted with a hand outside of SPATS—usually the way it works.

This isn’t exactly the way I wanted to kick off the second half. It’s like coming out of the locker room all pumped up and throwing a pick on the first play. I think I’m a little too hyped up. I need to settle down.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$50.36

TOURNAMENT #54

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

It’s easy to stick with the double-up or bust plan when you’re dealt KK on the first hand and everyone knows your plan because you announced it. This is the ideal spot because you’re more likely to get a call. So….

____________

KK BTN.

Three limpers to me.

Jam.

SB calls and tables 55.

Flop: 567

Turn: 4

River: 5

KK hasn’t treated me well on this platform.

Prior to getting to the numbers, there are some other things to discuss, even though we’re not discussing anything because you’re not here to reply. I just like the way it sounds. Is that cool with you? Cool! J

____________

Last night’s FlopHouse free tourney and listener numbers…

Listeners Last Night: 147.

Listeners by week, starting with Week One: 70, 101, 47, 213, 147.

We might have had fewer listeners last night due to there being a makeup game in another club. We have also decided to move the start to 8 p.m. from 9 p.m. EST.

Our guest last night: Tana, the owner of RunGood. He killed it. He’s always fun to hang out with. Nice job, Tana!

Entries Last Night: 53

Entries Last Week: 47

Once again, we probably lost some players to another tourney taking place on the same night. And moving to 8 p.m. should help these numbers next week.

While I’m sitting here, I’m looking at my books on Amazon and their overall ratings from 1-5 with 5 being best. I’m going to list those numbers below. Then I’m going to list the Overall Ratings on Audible.

____________

Amazon Overall Ratings…

Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em: 5.0

Vegas Daily 1: Tyler vs. Stuart: 5.0

The Perfect Range: 3.8

Felt Hopper: Vegas: 4.5

The Burning Felt: 4.5

The Dark Side of the Felt: 4.1

Poker Blog: 4.7

A Darker Side of the Felt: 4.9

Poker Notes: 4.1

Felt Hopper: Florida: 4.1

Relentless Failure: 4.6

The Poker Office: 4.5

A Fishy Poker Tournament: 4.8

Mindful of Tricks: 5.0

Twisted Sick: 4.7

____________

Some of those numbers are misleading. For instance, The Perfect Range is definitely not my worst book. Since it’s half strategy/half adventure, some readers are going to disagree with the strategy aspect. This is the case if you write any kind of strategy for any game. The people who have applied the strategy have turned their games around. I receive messages about it all the time. All I need to say.

Another note here is that Cove Valley isn’t on the list. I think the rating is in the mid-3s, but it’s much higher quality because I changed the entire second half of the book and the poor ratings are from prior to me doing so. It’s not a poker book, but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading Cove Valley. It’s probably my most entertaining and suspenseful book.

For Basic Training and Vegas Daily 1, they aren’t likely to stay at 5.0. They are only that high because they’re recently published. Based on feedback, I would be disappointed if they didn’t stay between 4.5 and 5.0.

NOTE: It turned out that while Vegas Daily 1 was viewed as a pretty good book, readers have really enjoyed Basic Training.

____________

Audible Overall Ratings…

A Darker Side of the Felt: 4.7

A Fishy Poker Tournament: 4.7

Felt Hopper: Florida: 4.9

Poker Blog: 4.5

Poker Notes: 4.5

Relentless Failure: 4.5

The Burning Felt: 4.5

The Perfect Range: 4.7

The Poker Office: 4.5

Twisted Sick: 5.0

____________

I can’t put Cove Valley on audio because it doesn’t have enough sales to generate interest from a narrator. I would do it myself but amateur narrators always come back saying they didn’t realize how strict ACX was on the technical side and that it’s a lot of work. I don’t know anything about that stuff.

UPDATE: I’m going to do the audio and put it on PokerJournal.org. This will be my first time narrating. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope you enjoy. I think you might.

Back to poker…

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$66.36

TOURNAMENT #55

Buy-in: $21

The Weekender

____________

Unexpected entry. Same day as Tournament #54. Playing in this one because I tried watching Fury with J, but it was too intense. Seems like a good movie and I’ll watch the rest later, but I had to turn it off due to highly disturbing images.

Since this is $21 opposed to $16, I’m going to play it straight up. I could have played for free in a different tournament at the same time as a fill-in, but I declined to watch a movie with J.

____________

Ad Qs MP3.

UTG raises 2.5x BB.

Call.

Three callers behind me.

Flop: 7d 6s Ks

That’s a whiff in a five-player pot.

Everyone checks.

Turn: 2h

BB checks.

UTG +2 bets 3x the pot.

Fold.

____________

As Ks UTG.

Min-raise for pot control so I can use reading ability to my advantage.

BTN min-raises.

Call.

BB calls.

Flop: Qh 3d 4s

BB bets 3/4 pot.

Fold.

BTN folds.

He likely flopped top pair with a weak kicker. Or two-pair.

____________

88 UTG.

Call.

Five players limp behind me.

Flop: 3h 7d 8s

SB checks.

Check.

CO bets half pot.

SB calls.

Call.

Turn: 7h

SB checks.

Check.

CO bets half pot.

SB calls.

Call.

River: Ad

SB checks.

I bet half pot.

CO raises 3x my bet.

SB folds.

Jam.

CO tank-calls and tables A7.

I scoop a big pot.

____________

Jd Js BTN.

Four limpers to CO, who raises 4x BB.

Call.

To my surprise, every player calls.

Flop: 4s Ac 3c

Everyone checks to HJ, who bets half pot.

CO raises 3x his bet.

Fold.

____________

1 of 32.

1 of 31.

3 of 29.

4 of 29.

____________

Ks Kd BTN.

CO raises 3x BB.

Min-raise.

CO calls.

Flop: Jc 2c 4c

CO bets half pot.

From watching him play over the past few weeks, I know this is a feeler bet.

Call.

This is usually the wrong move, but it’s not the wrong move in this spot against this player. Remember, I play the player.

Turn: 2s

CO checks.

Check.

River: 9s

CO checks.

I bet just under half pot because I know he has the J.

He tank-folds and shows a J.

I won this hand despite playing it conservatively. I would usually bet for value earlier in the hand, but I have learned something very important about this game: Intuition > Everything. I used to believer in “Go Big Or Go Home” but that’s bullshit. I believe in something much more valuable now: “Go With Your Intuition Or Go Home.” Phil Ivey says he decisions are rote, not technical, because they’re based off the patterns he has seen from people over millions of hands. Same here.

____________

2 of 24.

____________

4 of 24.

Missed flush draw.

6 of 23.

4 of 23.

7 of 21.

Moved to new table.

____________

Lost a big pot with JTo after flopping top pair and betting big, then having to call a river bet when I knew my opponent rivered two-pair (KJ).

On the very next hand, I flopped two-pair vs. a different opponent, bet big and got called. The turn was irrelevant. When he checked, I jammed, which was a huge overbet to look suspicious. He called and I won the hand. Strangely, I didn’t remember his cards being tabled. That’s not what’s important though.

What’s important is that this is one of those instances where jamming and getting called makes up for all those times where you jam and your opponent folds. It’s a funny thing, but if you look at studies done on going all-in in these types of spots, you actually come out more ahead than you do by value betting. Of course, it’s situational. You don’t want to jam all the time. There are many variables at play, including where you are in the tournament, stack sizes, how confident you are at that table (better to play street by street), and more.

____________

8 of 16.

____________

44 SB.

UTG raises 3x BB.

Call.

BB calls.

Flop: 699

I min-bet.

BB folds.

UTG calls.

Turn: 9

I bet pot: 3,200

I bet that amount because I know she is very likely to have two overs.

She folds.

____________

9 of 15.

____________

Ad Jd MP1.

Raise 2x BB.

Blinds are now high enough for this to be effective.

BB tank-calls.

Flop: 73A-rainbow.

BB checks.

I bet half pot.

BB folds.

____________

7 of 15.

____________

As Qh BTN.

CO raises 3x BB.

Call.

Whiff everything but had gut-shot and what I thought was one over. Villain kept his bets small enough for me to call, but he didn’t get punished for it. Where is the justice in this game? I’m writing a letter, but I don’t know where to send it. Dear Poker Gods?

____________

13 of 13.

11 of 12.

____________

Ah Jh CO.

UTG min-raises.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

10 of 12.

9 of 9.

____________

Another final table where I’m in danger of not making money. As crazy as it sounds, my biggest mistake was calling with AQo on the Button when the Cutoff raised 3x the Big Blind. I knew I already had a drawing hand, that he would fire, and that it would be an expensive pot. If I had listened to my intuition, I would have folded and saved all those chips.

From a technical standpoint, I should at least call in that spot. From a situational standpoint—including anticipating my opponents’ future actions—I should have folded. Based on a dwindling stack, the only way I could win that hand was to hit the flop, and I’m going to miss 67% of the time. The dude in the Cutoff never folds, so no chance of winning it with a c-bet.

____________

7 of 8.

____________

QTo HJ.

6 BBs.

Open-jam.

BTN calls with T6o.

Board: 497K8

I thought I busted on this hand because was taking notes, but the other player was short-stacked. I actually made money from the blinds and antes, but not much.

____________

7 of 7.

____________

A2o BTN.

4.5 BBs.

Open-jam.

Almost never goes well with A-rag.

SB calls and tables A8o.

I turn a gut-shot but don’t get there.

Busto!

Same player who knocked me out earlier today knocks me out again.

____________

Net: -$21

Overall Net: -$87.36

TOURNAMENT #56

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I just received information that we had 167 listeners on Tuesday, not 147. That’s good news, especially since we were competing with a big real-money event.

As first hand is being dealt, I type in chat box: “I’m going all-in on the first three hands. Just giving you a heads-up.”

____________

First Hand: KK

Jam.

All folds.

____________

Second Hand: KK

Jam.

All folds.

____________

Third Hand: KK (totally normal)

Jam.

All folds.

____________

9 of 15.

____________

I’m currently sending DMs with links to my books. I never promote myself like this because I don’t want to bother anyone, but I need to change my policy on that if I want to succeed.

NOTE: I definitely changed my policy on that, but in different ways.

____________

99 BTN.

Four limpers to me for 80.

Raise to 520, knowing I’ll get at least one call due to the nature of the game.

Two callers.

Flop: 752

Two checks to me.

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

Janet: “Good raise. I folded 22.”

____________

6 of 14.

8 of 13.

7 of 13.

____________

Dude just called my all-in with K9 on this board after the turn: TK3J. Fortunately, I had AQ and he was drawing dead.

____________

1 of 12.

2 of 12.

3 of 11.

1 of 10.

____________

77 < AQo.

Tried to knock a player out. Also raised to isolate and scoop dead money.

____________

3 of 10.

1 of 10.

____________

99 < Ks Ts.

Tried to knock another player out. Another fail.

____________

4 of 10.

5 of 9.

____________

44 < KJo.

Tried to knock out yet another player, but he flopped two-pair.

____________

6 of 9.

6 of 8.

7 of 7.

____________

AQo CO.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

99.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

AT BB.

MP min-raises.

Call.

Flop: Q6A-rainbow

Check.

Villain bets half pot.

Jam.

Villain folds.

____________

AJo BTN.

Jam.

Villain calls with A9.

Flop: 86Q

Turn: 6

River: T

I double-up.

____________

4 of 6.

5 of 6.

5 of 5.

5 of 5.

4 of 4.

Bubble Save offered.

Everyone agrees.

____________

AK UTG.

Jam.

Villain calls with KJo.

Villain hits a flush on the river.

____________

Net: +$4

Overall Net: -$83.36

TOURNAMENT #57

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

JTo BB.

Two limpers from late position.

Check.

Flop: AJ2

I bet pot.

Two folds.

I bet because it’s highly unlikely that any player limps from late position with an A.

____________

3-bet Steph with A-high but didn’t let her know until she showed 99. If a good player shows that they made a good fold and they didn’t, I will show my hand for tilt purposes. On the very next hand, I 3-bet jammed with 99 vs. Steph when she was short-stacked. She called and tabled AQo.

Flop: 438

Turn: J

River: T

Got the knockout. Good one to get because Steph has gotten me plenty of times as well. It’s probably about even.

____________

9 of 18.

____________

Heads-up with AJ and Villain min-raises on this flop: AK8.

A third player not in the hand writes in chat (he was pretending to be Villain): “Don’t fold. Be better than me.”

Villain: “Lol.”

I knew I was beat right there.

Villain Added: “I have 88.”

I knew that was reverse psychology because he felt he might have given something away.

I folded.

Villain tabled 88.

Villain (to me): “Did you fold because I told you to?”

Me: “Once you wrote ‘Lol’ I knew I was beat.”

No reply.

____________

I re-published Cove Valley so Keith could read it. It’s my lowest-rated book, but it’s far from my worst. It’s very intense and some people view it as controversial, even though it’s not intended to be. It’s simply an urban thriller—if such a genre exists. If the next few readers like it, I will keep it up for sale.

NOTE: I have kept it up for sale. Very few people have bought it because of the low rating, but those who have read it have loved it. I don’t know what I can possibly do to get a poker-playing audience to read a non-poker-themed book. It’s frustrating because I know they would have a good time reading it.

____________

Jc Tc BB.

CO raises 3x BB.

Min-raise.

She calls.

Flop: A54

I bet half pot.

She folds.

____________

Me (to Keith): “Hope Steph isn’t mad at me. I imagine her walking away and saying, ‘Fuck you, Tyler.’”

Keith: “Great read.”

Me: “Lol.”

5 minutes later…

Keith: “Good game fucker. Gonna go finish Cove Valley.”

1 minute later…

Keith: “Well, I thought I was out.”

Me: “Always a good feeling when you think you’re out and you’re still in.”

____________

Maybe it’s a good sign for his enjoyment level of Cove Valley if he doesn’t know what’s going on in tourney. But that could just be optimism on my part.

____________

Js 9s BTN.

Everyone folds to me.

Raise 3x BB.

SB folds.

BB puts me all-in for 3,630.

Fold.

____________

AA UTG.

Call (aggressive table).

BTN min-raises.

SB calls.

BB calls.

Jam.

All folds.

____________

Ad Jd BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

SB calls.

I flop flush draw.

SB checks.

I bet pot.

SB folds.

____________

55 BTN.

HJ raises 3x BB.

Jam for 10 BBs.

HJ tank-folds and shows an A.

____________

13 of 16.

____________

QQ UTG +1.

Jam.

All folds.

Pick up 575.

____________

13 of 14.

____________

AK > AT.

Dub.

____________

5 of 13.

____________

All-in: Ks Jh < Kh Qc.

Busto!

My analysis for calling his 3-bet jam on this flop: Kc 7d 8d, was the following. He had just lost two big pots to another player so he might have been steaming, he didn’t raise pre-flop, and there was a potential flush draw out there. But the truth is that KJ is rarely ahead vs. a 3-bet in that spot. So, an error on my part. Sometimes I overanalyze.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$99.36

TOURNAMENT #58

Buy-in: $51

The Weekender

____________

Bounty on my head on this one: $50.

Keith happens to be at my table. He announces in chat that I’m a bounty.

____________

Cantex: “Yay! He’s at our table. LOL.”

Janet: “I thought each table had a bounty?”

Cantex: “Tyler is the chosen one.”

Keith: “I don’t know about all that, but he is the bounty.”

Cantex: “Tyler is a famous writer from what I understand. Thanks for playing!”

Me: “Thanks for having me!”

____________

Famous writer? Now that I think about it, within the poker community east of the Mississippi (+ Las Vegas), maybe, but not a wealthy one. I do this from the heart and soul. However, if I made more money from it, I could put so much more into it, which would be amazing.

Flopped top set. Had to fold the turn because there was a four-card straight on the board, my opponent had bet into me twice, and she was in the SB. Those are the kinds of folds that need to be made to win a tournament.

BB nonsense. This happens to me all the time. Checked to me. Flop a gut-shot and call because of implied odds—I can collect a lot of chips if I hit my draw, but I whiff and fold.

____________

7s 6s MP1.

3-bet.

Villain 4-bets.

Call.

Short Version: That didn’t work.

____________

Ah Qc UTG.

Raise 4x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 8h Ad Ks

BB bets into me (half pot).

Call.

UITG +1 folds.

Turn: 3d

BB bets half pot again.

Call.

River: 4d

BB bets half pot yet again.

Call.

BB tables A9.

I scoop the pot.

I have seen AK in that spot too many times to raise.

____________

21 of 41.

____________

T9o BB.

Two limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: 69T

SB bets 1/3 pot.

Call.

MP1 folds.

Turn: 9

SB bets 1/3 pot.

Call.

River: 5

SB bets 2/3 pot.

Raise 4x her bet.

She tank-calls and auto-mucks.

Nice scoop.

____________

8 of 41.

____________

Keith (to someone else): “I folded an unperpair.”

Me: “You didn’t have an underpair, Keith.”

Keith: “Pbull p u s s y.”

Me: “I don’t know what that means and I don’t want to know. I wasn’t talking about the cards, ya douche!”

Keith: “Oh.”

Me: “And what the hell is Pbull p u s s y? Sounds like some freaky shit.”

Keith: “I meant to write ‘Bullshit, p u s s y,’ but it didn’t work.”

Me: “You tried the pussy and it didn’t work? That’s a damn shame.”

____________

11 of 40.

14 of 40.

____________

I’m writing a poker-related YouTube script while playing tourney, which isn’t really fair to you, the reader. I want to get it done because it’s currently Saturday and I want to use that money for the Tuesday night cash game while playing the free tourney.

____________

12 of 36.

13 of 30.

____________

A lot going on! YouTube script, answering questions about Tuesday night poker games, eating dinner, and I guess that’s it. That’s not that much, but I do feel like I’m neglecting this chapter. I’ll change gears and write more about it if I go deeper.

Won a four-way pot with 2h 2s on this board: Kc Qc Ks 9h 7d. How the hell did that happen? I didn’t bet it or anything. That would have been way cooler, but I’m not here to be cooler, I’m here to win—even though I’m not winning. At least not yet.

____________

15 of 27.

____________

TT CO.

Two limpers.

Call.

BTN jams for 1/4 of my stack.

Call.

Villain tables AQo.

Flop: K85

Villain: “Nice hand.”

I say out loud, not in chat, “Shut up!”

I hate when people do that shit before the hand is over. Bad etiquette. I never do that.

Turn: K

River: 6

My hand holds.

____________

11 of 21.

12 of 19.

5 paid.

____________

Top 5 paid spots…

$571

$356

$285

$142

$71

____________

12 of 15.

____________

I guess I’ll start sharing some details. Up until this point, it has taken me an hour just to answer 17 questions for a PokerJournal YouTube script. I get way too involved in my answers. I just keep typing because I’m so passionate about the game.

In the tourney, I’m down to 17,415, which isn’t very good when the average stack is 57k. The good news is that this tournament raised more than $700 for Terry’s son, who is fighting cancer. No matter what happens with me in this tournament, that’s a win!

____________

Ac 6c HJ.

Raise 3x BBs with 12 BBs remaining.

Villain puts me all-in.

I’ve been folding for five orbits and this is a tight player. I hate to give away 3 BBs, but I’m way behind. I choose to save the 8 BBs.

NOTE: As I type this, I see the difference between me then and now. Today, I’m calling. I can’t give away 3 BBs in that spot, and you’re usually not as far behind as you think.

____________

TT CO.

Jam.

BB calls and tables 83s.

Okay….

Flop: 843

Turn: 3

River: 6

No comment.

____________

Net: -$51

Overall Net: -$150.36

TOURNAMENT #59

Buy-in: $11

The Weekender

____________

After 58 tournaments, I’m down $150.36 when trying to prove a strategy that has proven to be effective in cash games—for hundreds of people. As far as tourneys go, at this point in the story, I feel like a douche, but one thing new readers should know about me. I’m always going to tell the truth, win or lose. I think that makes the books more exciting because you never know what will happen. Still plenty of time to get the W though.

I’ll give you a quick report on books. Something interesting and unexpected happened. The people on my Facebook Friends list that I don’t communicate with as much are buying my books more than those I communicate with often. I’m trying to figure out the reason for this. The only thing I can come up with is that they were surprised and happy to hear from me and would like to establish some kind of rapport. The other possibility is coincidence.

Dude just tried to move me off the river with 96 on this board and I had been the aggressor the whole way: J68J9. I had AJ. I called and scooped it. As I write this, I began to wonder if he misread the board.

I have been running good and I’ve been aggressive—always a good combo, but this tourney is young. I have a long way to go, and when you have a long way to go, you need to change speeds. In a 10-player game, applying pressure the entire time is not +EV.

1 of 10.

Steph kept coming after me on this board but checked the river: KTK97. She was in SB and bet out on flop. I knew this meant she very likely had the T. I put that at about 90%. Most people in that spot check the K because they want to disguise it. Simple stuff here. And they aren’t wrong for betting the T because it lets them know where they stand. If they (or you) are called on that flop when you’re holding the T, you should be weary. Most good players will fold a straight draw or flush draw in that spot because it’s a small pot and they could be drawing dead.

NOTE: I forgot to record what I had on that hand. Smh.

I just turned an open-end straight draw with JT and three players showing no interest on two streets. It’s very rare that I semi-bluff against three opponents, but this seemed like the right spot. And it was effective.

____________

Ad Js UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers in blinds.

Flop: 3h Jh 7d

Two checks to me.

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

9c 7c UTG.

Call.

MP2 raises 3x BB.

Call.

Flop: Q52-rainbow

SB checks.

Check.

MP2 bets 2/3 pot.

SB folds.

Fold.

____________

2 of 9.

____________

55 BB.

Chip leader raises 3.5x BB.

I call because if I flop that set and an A hits the board, I take almost all of his chips and probably ship the tourney.

Flop: AJ7

So much for that.

Check.

He bets pot.

Fold.

____________

AA MP2.

UTG raises 4x BB.

Re-raise 4x his raise.

Villain (UTG) calls.

Flop: 5s Th 9h

Villain bets half pot.

Call.

Turn: 6h

Villain bets 1/3 pot.

That shows weakness.

Raise 3x his bet.

He calls.

River: 5c

Villain overbets pot.

This isn’t a great spot based on the runout, but based on his story, I could beat many hands here, especially since it looked like he feared the flush instead of embracing it. I can beat KK, QQ, JJ, AJ.

Call.

Villain tables JT (no hearts).

I scoop a big pot.

____________

2 of 5.

____________

Same dude as above just tried to bluff me on river. It did not work.

____________

KK < Td 9d.

I had raised 4x BB and got and short-stacked gambler jammed. 

Board: JJ899

____________

3 of 3.

ITM.

Payout: 50, 30, 20

____________

Ac Ks BTN.

Jam.

SB calls with 9d 8d.

Flop: 4d 5d Ks

Turn: 8d

River: Jc

Oh well.

____________

Net: +$9

Overall Net: -$141.36

TOURNAMENT #60

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

Bounty Tourney: $10 per knockout

____________

I was making a business deal during first part of this tourney. Went from 5k to 6k in chips during that time (extremely aggressive).

After that nice little run…

____________

AKo BB.

UTG raises to 180 on 50 BB.

One caller to me.

Raise to 600.

Two folds.

____________

AQo BTN.

Raise 3x BB.

BB calls.

Flop: KT8

BB checks.

I bet pot.

BB folds.

____________

T8o BB.

Three limpers to me.

Check.

Flop: 367

I bet half pot.

Two callers.

Turn: 9

Bingo.

I bet half pot.

CO jams.

Snap-call.

CO tables low-end straight.

My hand holds.

Knockout ($10).

____________

2 of 9.

____________

Ts 8s CO.

Raise 4x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: AJT

Two checks to me.

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

4 of 8.

____________

55 UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: K76

I bet pot.

Two folds.

____________

9h 8h SB.

All folds to me.

Min-raise.

BB tank-folds.

____________

AA MP3.

Raise 3x BB.

SB calls.

Flop: J94

SB bets into me, 3/4 pot.

Call.

Turn: 3

SB bets 1/4 pot, which shows fear.

Call.

River: 8

SB checks.

I strongly consider a value bet, but there’s 9k in the pot, which is a lot in this tourney (or any tourney).

Check.

SB tables QQ.

Stronger than I thought, but I still take it down.

____________

On the next hand, I’m open-ended with a paired board, but the villain is a good player. I use that to my advantage by betting 2/3 pot. She knows I would only make this bet if ahead. She tank-folds.

____________

KK UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

MP2 jams.

Call.

MP2 tables AA.

Villain’s hand holds.

I had him covered, but it was a big hit.

____________

AJ SB.

Two limpers to me.

Raise 4x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: J33

I bet pot.

CO min-raises.

Jam.

CO calls and tables 63.

I never would have expected someone to call a 4x BB raise with 63, even if in position.

I bust on this hand. In this tourney, I went from 1st to finishing in the middle of the pack.

____________

Net: -$31 (one bounty)

Overall Net: -$172.36

Keith just told me he is down in Daily tourneys and up in Nightly tourneys. He said it’s due to better quality of play in the Nightly tourneys because the buy-ins are higher. If I’m down after 79 tourneys, I might switch to the Nightly tourneys for the last 20 down the stretch. That’s a large enough sampling to see what I can do.

TOURNAMENT #61

Buy-in: 16

The Weekender

____________

1st hand…

QQ UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

UTG +1 raises 5x my bet.

I think about jamming, but I know he has AA or KK.

Call.

Flop: Q86

Check.

He bets half pot.

Min-raise.

He calls.

Turn: 3

Jam. .

He calls and tables KK.

River: Q

Whoa!

____________

Five hands later…

KK MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: 988

I bet pot.

Two callers.

Turn: Q

Something is off here.

Check.

Two players behind me check.

River: J

I check.

CO bets half pot.

BTN raises 4x her bet.

Fold.

CO calls.

BTN tables 99.

____________

54 BB.

Three checks to me.

Flop: T36

I bet pot—makes it look like top pair.

One caller.

Turn: 7

I bet pot.

Villain calls.

River: T

I bet pot.

Villain folds.

Ten on the river actually hurt me because I was repping a T, but I’m always happy to scoop.

____________

5 of 11.

6 of 10.

4 of 9.

Final Table.

____________

As Ks MP2.

Raise 4x BB.

All folds.

Too much.

Wanted action.

____________

Ad As BTN.

Three folds to me.

Raise 3x BB.

BB calls.

Flop: Jc Ah 8s

BB checks.

Tank-check.

Turn: 7c

BB bets half pot.

Snap-call.

River: 5c

BB bets half pot.

He could have hit a backdoor straight or flush, but I have to go with my gut.

Min-raise.

He snap-folds.

____________

4 of 9.

____________

JTo UTG +2.

Raise 3x BB.

CO calls.

Flop: 395

I bet half pot.

CO folds.

____________

ATo HJ.

I call short-stack all-in on this flop: 985.

He tables 99.

That went well!

I had already committed 1,800 and call was another 1,575. I figured 50/50 he was on a draw, and it was an opportunity to knock out a player.

____________

7 of 9.

____________

5s 4s MP3.

Raise 3x BB.

BTN min-raises.

Call.

Heads-up action.

I hit bottom pair on flop and bet pot.

Villain folds.

____________

5 of 8.

7 of 8.

____________

Flop open-ended straight draw.

Short-stack jams.

Call.

Villain tables top pair/top kicker.

I whiff.

Not a call I usually make, but I wanted a shot at getting back into the game.

____________

T5o BB.

Need to jam.

Already have 200 in there and only have 575 remaining.

Two callers.

Up against: AJo and 98o.

Board: JJ433

Busto!

I didn’t play well in this one.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$188.36

TOURNAMENT #62

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Ah Qh MP1.

UTG raises 2.5x BB.

Raise 3x his bet.

BTN calls.

SB calls.

WTH?

UTG calls.

Flop: 4h 4d 8s

Everyone checks.

Not a good spot to fire. Too many opponents.

Turn: Ks

SB bets out.

UTG calls.

Everyone else folds, including me.

River: 3

SB bets out.

SB scoops with KTo.

SB called monster pre-flop raise with KTo out of position. These are not things I’m used to seeing in live poker. They are good to play against long haul, but it hasn’t been paying off yet, which makes me feel he-haw-ish.

____________

Ac Kh UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

UTG +1 raises 3x my bet.

Call.

Flop: Td 9c As

I bet half pot.

She calls.

By just calling, I know she has KK or QQ and is trying to hit a set.

It’s not a good call on her part for two reasons. One, she has to know I have an A if I’m betting into her after I flatted her big pre-flop raise. Two, if a K or Q happens to come and she gets aggressive, I’m just going to fold anyway.

Turn: 3d

I bet half pot.

She calls.

River: 8

I bet half pot.

She calls and auto-mucks.

____________

Ac 9c CO.

MP3 min-raises.

Min-raise her min-raise, which is a fun thing to do, and it lets you see how strong they are.

BB calls.

MP3 calls (not super strong).

Flop: 9d 3c 2s

BB min-bets.

MP2 calls.

I min-raise.

Both players call.

Turn: Kc

Both players check to me.

I bet pot.

Both players fold.

____________

2 of 13.

____________

QJ BB.

Steph raises 3x BB from CO.

Call.

MP1 calls.

Flop: 8s Js Td

I bet half pot: 250.

MP1 raises to 750.

Steph calls.

Tank-fold.

No way I’m ahead.

Turn: 8c

MP1 bets half pot.

Steph calls.

River: 2

MP1 bets half pot.

Steph calls.

MP1 tables T8 and scoops.

____________

2 of 13.

____________

I like being in 2nd. I feel like I’m a little more under the radar and waiting for my chance to strike. This also feels nice after last night, when I was co-hosting radio show, playing the free tourney and doing play-by-play commentary, playing a 2/4 NL game online, carrying on a few conversations on Messenger, and trying to keep up with the FlopHouse Radio chat room. It’s so much! Right now, I’m not even multi-tabling. I’m just playing one tourney and writing about it.

____________

3 of 13.

I guess I was writing too much.

____________

Danielle just messaged me to say she just got into tourney with one minute left and that she would see me at the FT (Final Table). I told her that she had been giving me more trouble than anyone recently and that I needed to go at her more often, win or lose. I finished by saying, “Buckle up.” She replied to the banter by saying she was buckling up and ready.

NOTE: I did start playing back at her more. She is a good player, and you need to apply more pressure on those kinds of players whenever you hit or can logically represent a hand.

____________

KTo UTG+1.

Raise 3x BB.

UTG +2 calls.

Everyone else folds.

Flop: QT4

I bet pot.

Villain calls.

Turn: 3

I bet pot.

Villain min-raises.

Tank-call.

River: Q

Check.

Villain bets 1/3 pot.

He only flatted flop so I don’t have him on a Q.

Call.

He tables 98 for a missed straight draw.

I scoop.

____________

2 of 13.

____________

Ac Kc BB.

Steph goes all-in from HJ for 1,878.

Raise to isolate.

Everyone else folds.

Steph tables Ah Kd.

Flop: Tc 2x 8h

I like that flop.

Turn: Ts

River: 4d

Chop.

____________

Chat conversation after Keith sat down at my table….

JackAcePP: “Did you just get here Kieth?”

Keith: “It’s Keith, not Kieth.”

Me: “How come nobody is named Keth?”

Keith: “Because it has to have an ‘I’.”

Me: “There is no ‘I’ in Keth. Selfish bastard!”

Keith: “But there is an ‘I’ in win.’

Me: “We don’t care about Keith. Only Keth.”

____________

2 of 16.

____________

Ad 7d BB.

Three limpers to me.

Check.

I don’t like playing marginal hands out of position.

Flop: 8c As 9c

I bet half pot.

UTG +1 folds.

MP1 min-raises.

Fold.

____________

Ad 6d HJ.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

I’ll take it. Every move in the right direction is a good move.

I think that makes sense.

____________

Ac 5d BB.

Five limpers to me.

Flop: 2d 3d 4s

I bet half pot.

Keith min-raises.

Everyone else folds to me.

Min-raise back.

Keith calls.

Turn: 6

I bet pot.

Keith folds and shows TT.

Nice fold.

____________

1 of 16.

____________

KJo UTG.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

____________

Random Thought: If you think all donk bets are bad, I welcome you to the game with open arms.

____________

1 of 15.

2 of 16.

____________

WHAT? Something is wonky with registration in this tourney. They’re talking about it in chat. The system is letting people buy-in one hour late when registration usually closes after ten minutes. But it won’t let players re-buy if they bust. So here I am, coasting, and there is an issue. I’ll just roll with whatever happens.

____________

77 UTG.

Call.

Three limpers behind me.

Flop: T36

SB checks.

BB checks.

I bet pot because now I know the only player I have to worry about holding a T is the player behind me.

All folds.

____________

1 of 16.

____________

Keith just made a good point: SPATS is just like Moneyball. Stick with it and you will do well.

____________

As Kd MP1.

Raise 3x BB.

All folds.

My pre-flop raises are being respected today. Strange.

____________

2 of 16.

6 of 14.

____________

ATo CO.

Raise 3x BB.

SB calls.

BB calls.

Flop: Kh 4h 3d

Two checks to me.

I bet pot (15% of my stack).

SB folds.

BB calls.

Turn: Jd

I bet half pot.

BB calls.

River: 2s

BB checks.

Check.

BB tables A8.

I somehow win this hand.

____________

3 of 12.

____________

QJo SB.

UTG raises 4x BB.

Fold.

____________

4 of 12.

____________

9h 7h BTN.

Morgan raises 4x BB from BTN.

Almost folded but decided to call. Why? Because I was up against chip leader. I know that sounds backwards, but I sometimes like to go for the leader to change the trend.

Flop: 929

Check.

She bets half pot.

Call.

She loves to fire so I’m going to play this as a basic trap.

Turn: 2

Good card. In case you weren’t already aware of that.

Check.

She bets half pot.

Call.

River: A

Check.

She bets half pot.

Jam.

She calls and tables QQ.

I scoop.

____________

In chat…

Morgan: “Calls raises light.”

Morgan (again): “Hits perfect flop.”

Me: “And turn.”

____________

1 of 11.

____________

Tried a tricky thing when flopping a boat with QQ vs. a short-stack. Since I slow-played the entire way last time, I jammed this time. He tank-folded.

If you’re Hebrew.

I know, I know. I meant to write, if you’re heads-up, but it somehow came up as ‘If you’re Hebrew.’ So … if you’re Hebrew, I welcome you. Hebrew is nice. What else am I going to say?

Anyway, if you’re heads-up with a straight draw on a paired board, you’re better off raising on the flop or turn to find out where you stand. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.

____________

A8o MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

CO calls.

Flop: A48

I bet 1/4 pot to look weak and entice a bet since CO is short-stack.

Villain jams.

Snap-call.

Villain tables A5.

Turn: 6

River: 7

There is nothing I can do about these seemingly consistent things on this platform.

I go from 1st to 5th just like that.

____________

In the meantime, the registration issue has led to the club managers considering giving everyone their money back, but we’re down to eight people and I’m currently in second. That would be a big waste of time and wouldn’t seem fair to me. Let’s see how it plays out.

____________

JTo > A9o for knockout.

____________

2 of 6.

2 of 5.

____________

Five players left and one is late registration. I’m the only one who wants to let the late registration player get paid if she cashes. It’s a $16 buy-in, so I don’t get why it’s a big deal. It’s a matter of being friendly. LadyHR is also being supportive now, so that’s cool. Another player doesn’t seem happy about it and just keeps typing ‘IDC.’ A third player hasn’t said a thing, but I know she reads the chat, so I know she’s not in favor of paying the late registration player if she cashes.

I almost jammed on one of the non-friendlies from BB with A9o but chose to see a flop: 587. I bet two streets and checked the river after getting called twice with no help on board. Villain tabled A5 for the scoop.

Suddenly … 5 of 5. This is usually what happens when you try to be friendly in poker.

____________

88 MP2.

Call.

Everyone folds to BB, who checks.

Villain puts me all-in on this board to turn: 5422

Call.

Villain tables KT.

My hand holds.

____________

3 of 5.

____________

I find myself in a three-way all-in with 88 vs. AK and AA.

I get knocked out by the anti-friendly player with AA. Figures.

I could say I wasted 4 hours and 24 minutes but at least I got this content.

How do I pick up 88 in a 5-player game when chip leader has AA?

It might seem like bad luck, but it’s the universe leading me in the direction I need to go, wherever that may be.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$204.36

TOURNAMENT #63

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

____________

I was given a $16 credit from an anonymous source—for the last tourney.

NOTE: The way I had remembered it, I never accepted this offer, but it’s possible that I did, and I always own whatever happens. The bottom line is I will ALWAYS try to do the right thing with money. I like money, but it’s never my priority. I loathe people who make money a priority. It’s $16! Who gives a shit either way?

As I was writing the above, I rivered the nut flush, got it all-in, and lost to a boat. This was the second hand of the tourney. I just wrote a poker article on PokerJournal where I mentioned I was far from crushing it but almost always finished in the top 20%. Yeah…. Well, at least I have more time to hit the gym.

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: -$245.36

TOURNAMENT #64

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Played while exercising in the garage to see if it improved my mood and got my energy level up, which helps thought process. Didn’t take notes on this one.

Short Version: Shipped it. 1 of 11.

____________

Net: +$82.50

Overall Net: -$121.86

$16 credit so no cost (assuming it was applied).

TOURNAMENT #65

Buy-in: $16

Overall Net: -$137.86

____________

I blew the chip lead with light calls in position.

Why do I do these things?

When short-stacked, got distracted.

No excuses.

____________

When short-stacked, I jammed from CO with AJo with 13 BBs. My intuition told me I was doomed, and my intuition is my most reliable source of future events. Villain tabled AK and held.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$137.86

TOURNAMENT #66

Buy-in: $21

The Weekender

____________

Never got anything going in this one either. Finished 40th of 47.

____________

Net: -$21

Overall Net: -$158.86

TOURNAMENT #67

Buy-in: $11

The Weekender

____________

TT < AA.

A8o < KQo.

____________

Net: -$11

Overall Net: -$169.86

I will soon reveal why these chapters are much shorter.

TOURNAMENT #68

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

Multi-tabling with cash game. Not sure if that’s a good idea or a bad idea.

77 < AKo.

All dem chips!

____________

Net: -$31

Overall Net: -$189.86

TOURNAMENT #69

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

____________

Lost with AQ to 65.

Lost with a full house.

All while watching another player not get cards after 23 minutes and then double-up vs. another player with 77 vs. AA.

We are off to an interesting start.

I tried switching from Techno Music in the background to Psychedelic Rock, but it’s just not me anymore. You should never try to force who you used to be on who you are now. I especially didn’t like the Psychedelic Rock after watching Zombieland: Double Tap last night, where we love rock and despise pacifists. Maybe you can figure it out. Awesome movie!

____________

Kh Jh BTN.

UTG +2 raises 3x BB.

Two callers.

Call.

Flop: 8c Kc Qs

Everyone checks to me.

After losing 70% of my stack within 30 minutes, I jam.

UTG +2 tables QQ.

Game Over.

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: -$230.86

TOURNAMENT #70

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I just messaged Keith…

Me: “SPATS 100. After 69 tourneys … -$230.86. We in trouble here! But I like it!”

Keith: “Well, I’m on the plus side since the quarantine and for the year so far.”

Me: “That very much lifts my spirits.”

Keith: “Well maybe the next three Wednesdays will get you back in black since you’re freerolling.”

Me: “It’s about the book more than the money. But I will write a loss if it happens.”

Keith: “No shit, fucker! I promote the fuck out of your books.”

Me: “Yes. Wednesdays can’t hurt.”

Keith: “The book is gonna be a win but I want you to win for SPATS!!!”

Me: “I know. Doing everything I can. I think.”

Keith: “Here may be the problem. We tell ourselves to play our game. Is SPATS YOUR game? It is my game!!!”

Me: “Every time I go outside of SPATS, I regret it.”

Keith: “I’ve heard you say before, ‘I don’t play SPATS.’”

Me: “For years, I didn’t. I would veer off only at right times. But biggest/most important pots in biggest tourneys—ALL SPATS.”

Keith: “You’re gonna have to play your game! Whatever that game may be. If it’s SPATS, GTO, or pure fucking gut. You gotta play your game.”

Me: “Yep. SPATS/Gut.”

Keith: “Before playing, do you do any kind of meditation? I’m being serious. I’ve not done well in the Daily because I’m not getting the three house of deep meditation while listening to The Perfect Range. I always listen to that book before playing a live event. I listened to it yesterday on the derive down here to Gainesville FL and got a 1st and 2nd place finish last night. Now … before playing The Weekender Nightly tournaments, I do get a little bit of time to sit and go through the game in my head before playing and that seems to help! I’m going back and sticking to what I know elevates my game!!!”

Keith (again): “Too fucking bad you didn’t get royalties every time someone listens to The Perfect Range. You would be rich.”

Me: “I know. In regards to meditation and stuff like that, I seem to do best if I exercise first. I think the real problem is simple. I ran horrifically in the first 50 tourneys for this book.”

Keith: “Just do Tyler for the remaining sessions! He’s a winner and knows how to fucking win!”

Me: “(thinking emoji).”

Keith: “Go workout, take a shower, smoke a blunt, chill with your dog, smoke another blunt, and play poker.”

Me: “You know I don’t smoke weed much at all, but will you roll a joint for me when I’m in town? Can’t share because of COVID.”

Keith: “Fuck yeah.”

Keith (again): “It will help you stay extremely patient.”

Me: “Good thing I don’t do speed.”

____________

22 > QQ.

Did something just go my way?

Woah!

____________

4 of 9.

Final Table.

But there were only 11 players in this one.

____________

5 of 8.

____________

Chopped it heads-up.

Key Hand: Called with AT on this board to turn: KA89. Villain had KT. Blank on river.

____________

Net: +$66

Overall Net: -$164.86

TOURNAMENT #71

Buy-in: Freeroll

The Weekender

____________

Filling-in for another player.

Trying to land a small deal with Poker Article Dude right now. This is because I just had a root canal, which was successful, but I also found out that a tooth in my back right needs to be pulled and the one next to it has an infection. That’s a lot of money. I also learned that flossing is 10x more important than brushing your teeth. Flossing gets rid of the plaque that leads to bacteria and infections. Studies have also shown that this bacteria can lead to heart disease and Alzheimer’s. So, start flossing.

____________

AK < 66 on Level 1.

Just a little embarrassing since I was filling-in for someone.

The flop was A86 and I went for it.

____________

Net: 0 (missed opportunity)

Overall Net: -$164.86

TOURNAMENT #72

Buy-in: $21

The Weekender

____________

99 BB.

MP1 raises 5x BB.

SB calls.

This is an excellent spot because I know they both have monsters. I will only flop my set 1 in 7.5 attempts, but the implied odds are out of this world.

Flop: Q98

SB bets half his stack.

Call.

MP1 jams.

SB calls.

Snap-call.

They both table KK.

Turn: 4

River: 5

I triple-up.

____________

1 of 31.

1 of 29.

____________

Got small deal done with Poker Article Dude.

Turned a flush. Board paired on river. I called a pot-sized bet. I lost.

____________

5 of 25.

5 of 18.

____________

Fell down a little in chips but when Bully Chip Leader raised 3x my BB from CO and I had Qs Ts, I was ready for a fight. I made up my mind before the hand that I was winning the hand unless he had the nuts or made a sick call—both unlikely scenarios. How it played out…

I flopped a flush draw and bet.

He called.

I hit top pair on the turn and bet.

He called.

I rivered the flush and bet.

He folded.

I’m still happy with the result.

____________

9h 7h UTG.

Min-raise.

Two callers.

Flop: 729

Got one caller on flop and turn.

Picked up some chips on this hand.

____________

2 of 18.

3 of 17.

5 of 17.

3 of 14.

6 of 14.

____________

Ac Th BB.

CO raises 3x BB—Bully Chip Leader again.

Call.

Flop: 9s Ad 2s

I bet half pot.

He calls.

Turn: 3s

Tank-jam.

I did this because he would have played a big A strong on the flop. I also have him on one spade because he’s aggressive and would have raised me on the flop if four-to-the-flush.

He-tank calls and tables Ah 8s.

River: 5c

____________

PokerhipQ: “Wow.”

raider: “Nice call. Where was the spade? And how did you know I wouldn’t have bigger Ace?”

Me: “You would have played it stronger on the flop. I had you on one spade. And you were too low on chips to fold. And in those big pots in a tourney, the times you’re right make up for the times you’re wrong. You need to finish top three to make real money.”

____________

AJ > KT for knockout.

KK > AK for knockout.

____________

2 of 9.

FT. I’m not going to write the actual words on this one.

Top 4 Paid.

____________

3 of 8.

____________

99 BTN.

Raise 3.5x BB.

CO calls (second-lowest stack with 12,031).

I have 61,235.

Flop: 349

CO bets 11,540.

I put him all-in.

He calls and tables AQ.

A bizarre experience.

____________

WFT just happened?

I received a virtual gift with a bow on it.

Oh! I get it. Someone sent that because the 99 hand above was a gift.

Thank you!

____________

1 of 7.

____________

Kc Js CO.

MP2 limps.

Raise 3x BB.

SB calls.

MP2 calls.

Flop: 7h Kh 2c

SB checks.

MP2 bets minimum.

Min-raise.

SB tank-jams.

I have him covered 6:1.

MP2 folds.

I think about it.

I need to process all the info.

He doesn’t have a big K because he flatted pre. It’s highly unlikely he has two-pair because he’s not calling any two-pair combo that represents that flop during the pre-flop action. There is an outside chance he has a set, but he would have just jammed pre with 77. And most people don’t have the balls to jam pre with 22. I put him on a flush draw.

Call.

What he tables is even better: Tc Ts.

My hand holds.

____________

1 of 7.

1 of 6.

1 of 5.

____________

Had to fold QQ with a K on the board and tight player attacking big pre-flop and flop.

I offer to pay Bubble, even though I’m chip leader. Returning favor for when I’m in those spots. All players accept. ITM.

____________

2 of 4.

2 of 3.

____________

99 > 44.

____________

2 of 2.

____________

Binglebug offers heads-up chop.

I accept.

____________

Net: +$178.50

Overall Net: +$13.64

I received a message the next morning that I wouldn’t be paid for this tourney because I didn’t take a screen shot of the player list. I had taken a screen shot of the player list of the players who finished in the money (and eight other players) because I thought that was the rule. I also thought I was doing something nice by offering so other players wouldn’t have to do it. Fortunately, someone else had left their screen open and had the tourney list sitting there the next morning. Everything was settled.

On this note, no matter whom you are or what field you’re in, you always want to search for an amicable solution. The key to business is repeat business.

On another note, while it ain’t much, it’s nice to be back in black.

TOURNAMENT #73

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Promoting another game while playing. A lot of DM action going on.

____________

7 of 7.

____________

Ks Qs < 88 vs. Keith.

Flop: 877

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$2.36

TOURNAMENT #74

Buy-in: $31

The Weekender

____________

I’m not in great spirits today. A friend of mine did something surprising. My read could be off, but even if that’s the case, it was handled poorly. I feel like I’ve been hit with a left hook. I don’t like being hit with left hooks, which is why my wall is so high and nuclear-resistant. It might seem like I have a big circle because I communicate with a lot of people, but my inner circle is miniscule.

The truth about me is that I was born with an extremely good heart. When I was very young, I thought the world was going to be nice and kind, and I wanted to love everyone I met so much. Slowly but surely, event after event, I began to slowly learn that the world was cold and filled with dark souls. Despite what people said (or wrote), their actions proved that they were out for themselves. Even the people who loved to give did so because it made them feel good. I grew darker and darker. It eventually got to the point where I played the world instead of it letting play me. In a sense, I am the most dangerous person you will ever meet. I don’t mean that in the way you think.

I’ll put it this way. If I let someone into my inner circle, I will really let them in and take them up, up, up, but once they let me down—they always do—I cut the cord and never look back, leaving them in emotional freefall. And I have no feelings about it because I learned they were just like everyone else.

So, do I want to give and receive love? Of course! Is it realistic for me at this point? Hell no! I’m friendly to everyone I meet and love to make new friends. On the other hand, when it comes to deep emotion, I’m the coldest person you know (as a result of life experiences). So, PLEASE don’t get close to me! I’m sick of hurting people. It’s why I keep my distance and don’t let people in. I have no idea what it is about my personality, but people tend to like getting close to me. I think it’s because I’m very genuine and it becomes a very natural bond. This has always been the case—including before my books.

I hope all of that doesn’t come across the wrong way. I NEVER start anything! EVER! Anything that is done by the dark side of my nature is reactionary. The best situations are where I’m friends with someone and I don’t let them in too close. Then we can have a good time without any drama.

I hope I don’t sound like an asshole. That’s not my intention. My intention is to be 100% genuine about who I am. In a perfect world, I just want to be a good person, but the world never allowed that. So, I had to adapt. As Darwin said, “It’s not the strongest or the most intelligent, it’s the most adaptable that will thrive.”

That quote also relates to poker. When someone asks me what kind of player I am, it depends on the table. I will adapt accordingly. If it’s a passive table, I’m AGGRO. If it’s a loose table, I’m TAG.

I’m listening to a great mix right now: TTT X HOR – Ellen ALlient April 4. Type that into YouTube and you will be in for a nice surprise (music only). This isn’t a high-energy mix. It’s perfect zoning music for poker.

NOTE: I now have a YouTube channel with Poker Journal. Just search for Poker Journal.

____________

Played 3 of 51 hands to begin. Probably fewest hands I have ever played to start a tourney. At 9,500 chips and started at 10,000, so it’s no big deal.

At first break, I have played 3 of 57 hands.

____________

23 of 34.

____________

As Qs < ATo (chip leader)

Flop: TAK

No help on turn or river.

____________

Net: -$31

Overall Net: -$33.36

TOURNAMENT #75

Buy-in: $11

The Weekender

Shootout Heads-up Tourney

____________

First time I’ve ever played one of these, and I’m just an average heads-up player. So, maybe not a great idea, but we’ll see.

____________

1st Round: vs. Gia28123

____________

Knocked out first round. Lol.

J4 < J6 on this board: 3JJQ5

We were the longest match though. Everyone had to wait for us to finish. Probably about an hour.

____________

Net: -$11

Overall Net: -$44.36

TOURNAMENT #76

Buy-in: $11

The Weekender

____________

Keith once mentioned that I was always taking notes on my phone during live poker and that I should see what happens if I didn’t. No live poker yet due to COVID, but I remember not taking notes a few tourneys back for this book and shipping it. Going to try it again.

Shipped it!

Small field, but I’ll take it.

____________

Net: $41

Overall Net: -$3.36

TOURNAMENT #77

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

____________

Going to take fewer notes for a few tournaments and see what happens. I seem to do better that way.

____________

I just raised 3x BB with 44.

Flop: J86

Two callers.

I bet pot.

Stephanie folds and shows 55.

I didn’t show my hand.

____________

PS just added things you can throw at people. Even though this tourney is only seven players, it adds an element of fun, and everyone is enjoying themselves, which is what the game should be about.

____________

54s just took me from 1st to 5th. I flopped bottom pair, turned a straight draw, and whiffed the river. That might be a SPATS hand, but it’s also a hand that can get you into a lot of trouble. I had limped from UTG +1 and then called a 3x BB raise from the SB. I know this player, and I knew he had an overpair. Since it’s a knockout tourney, I just wanted to stack him. But I didn’t, which is usually how it plays out with a hand like 54s.

____________

KK BTN.

Four limpers to me.

Raise 2.75x BB.

Two callers.

Flop: A9T

One of them bets into me.

Fold.

Awesome.

____________

Flopped nut flush draw and jammed.

Thought A might also be live with Ad 9d but it wasn’t.

Missed flush.

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: -$44.36

TOURNAMENT #78

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

JJ < KJ

____________

55 MP2.

Jam.

HJ calls and tables AJo.

Flop: 234

I say to myself: There will be a Jack on the turn.

Turn: J

River: 7

Busto!

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$60.36

TOURNAMENT #79

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Blasting on flops with overpairs where I know my opponents have draws—and holding.

____________

1 of 7.

____________

The following is how you win tourneys: Win four flips and you’re chip leader at Final Table. No joke! One well-known pro does this and he has seen great success. He wants those chips in the middle four times. I have even heard him say this out loud: “Win four all-ins and you’re at the Final Table.” And he’s talking about enormous fields on the WSOP Circuit. Big money!

I hate to admit this, but I just played a hand outside of SPATS: Jh 8h. It cost me 3k in chips and the chip lead. This book might not just teach you how SPATS works. It can also teach you how DANGEROUS it is to play hands outside of SPATS!

____________

Folded 7c 6c to 3-bet jam on this board to turn: 8d Ac Tc 5c.

NOTE: Calling in a heartbeat today.

____________

4 of 4.

Top 3 Paid.

____________

44 UTG +1.

Raise 3x BB.

SB calls.

Flop: 4d Ks Ts

I bet pot.

SB min-raises.

Jam.

She tank-calls and tables As Jd.

Turn: 6s

River: Qs

And there it is again.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$76.36

TOURNAMENT #80

Buy-in: Freeroll (second week of Wednesday night fill-in)

The Weekender

____________

QJ > QT.

All downhill after that.

____________

Net: $0

Overall Net: -$76.36

TOURNAMENT #81

Buy-in: $21

The Weekender

____________

Net: -$21

Overall Net: -$97.36

TOURNAMENT #82

Buy-in: 0 (freeroll)

The Weekender

____________

Net: $0

Overall Net: -$97.36

TOURNAMENT #83

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

86o BB.

4-bet.

Why? Because you need to balance your range once in a while. Keeps your opponents off-guard.

One caller.

Flop: A8Q

I bet pot.

Villain calls.

Turn: 8

I bet pot.

Villain folds.

____________

8c 6c > AA

Flop: 6s Kc Jc

Player with AA jammed.

I called.

Turn: 3h

River: 2c

____________

55 > A7 for double-up.

Flop: 678

Turn: 2

River: 2

____________

3 of 3.

ITM.

____________

All-in with JT on this flop: KQ5.

Villain calls and tables K5.

If I win, I’m 1k behind chip leader.

Turn: A

Broadway.

River: 5

I lost to full house.

____________

Net: +$15

Overall Net: -$82.36

TOURNAMENT #84

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

No note-taking.

ITM.

Shipped it.

____________

Net: +$52.50

Overall Net: -$29.86

TOURNAMENT #85

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Some dude keeps trying to bluff me on river. I made two tough calls. Message to all: “Tight Doesn’t Mean Dumb.” Or I can phrase it this way: “Tight Doesn’t Mean Soft.”

A player that is selective with a range of starting hands usually means someone who is more likely to fold in marginal spots. I am not that player.

In this instance, the player bluffing gave away his hand when betting very fast on every street. This relates to psychology (not math) and how someone subconsciously wants to rush to the result because they’re not comfortable with the current situation.

____________

QQ MP3.

Jam.

Villain calls and tables KK.

Flop: J27

Turn: Q

River: 3

____________

Defend BB with K5o.

Not SPATS.

Costs me 200 chips and puts me at 12,970.

Not a big cost, but still stupid.

Lucky I didn’t hit that flop.

____________

AQo MP1.

Raise 3x BB.

CO (and short-stack) jams.

BB calls.

Call.

I can’t see CO’s cards because there is side action.

Flop: Q46-rainbow.

I bet pot.

BB folds.

CO tables QQ.

Okay….

I go from 1st to 3rd.

____________

3 of 8.

2 of 7.

1 of 7.

4 of 6—Got involved in open-ended straight draw situation. Hate those!

5 of 5.

4 of 5.

5 of 5.

____________

AQ > 66 for double-up.

____________

When 4 of 4, I jammed for 4 BBs with QTo and chip leader folded when she had 62 BBs. I don’t know either!

____________

Qs Ts CO.

Jam.

Two callers.

Board: Kc Ac Qd Tc 9c

No chance!

But, as it turns out, nobody has a club.

Triple-up.

Still in distant 4th though.

____________

3 of 3.

Somehow squeezed into the money.

Guy that was massive chip leader finished 4th.

____________

AJo > Qs 2s for double-up.

____________

1 of 2.

____________

AJ > KJ for the W.

Ship another one.

____________

Net: $134

Overall Net: +104.14

TOURNAMENT #86

Buy-in: 16

The Weekender

____________

I went to the bagel store in the next town to compare it to the bagel store in my town. The bagel store in my town wins. You might think this means I have had bad vibes today because I had an inferior bagel (poppy, of course), but that’s not the case. I made sure to eat another poppy bagel at the better bagel store in my town immediately after.

So, do good vibes outweigh bad vibes if the good vibes immediately follow on the same day? Did I force the good vibes, thereby making those good vibes less influential?

Let me back up a minute here. Two big things. I’m going to have to number them. Even though it’s only two numbers, I might get confused.

1. I already ate a toasted Thomas’s Cinnamon Raise Muffin AND a Thomas’s English Muffin for breakfast—both with butter. When you combine those with two bagels, that’s a lot of butter! The reason I’m mentioning this is because my dream is that this book reads like butter. “It’s like butter, baby!” but it’s probably more like margarine, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

Also, I had to write ‘Thomas’s’ so you would know what kind of Cinnamon Raisin Muffin I was talking about. I know that’s not the real name, but that’s what I call them because it makes my life simpler, and simple is happy.

2. I had that Cinnamon Raisin Muffin and English Muffin with scrambled eggs—extremely well done. Unfortunately, these eggs didn’t come out as well as usual, but in today’s case, that was a good thing.

Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have many ‘bad’ things happen to me. So have you because those ‘bad things’ have made you who you are today. Did those ‘bad things’ make you stronger? More resilient? I’m going to guess yes.

Those ‘bad things’ also teach us something very important about life: Be careful what you wish for. If you want something, but you sense that this something (or someone) doesn’t want you back, DO NOT FORCE IT! Whether it’s a job, a business idea, a friendship, a romantic interest, or something else, remember this: FORCE = FAIL.

This applies to new opportunities and current situations. If you force the issue, you are living for that something or that someone. You are NOT living for yourself. And when you’re not living for yourself, you’re not even living—you’re existing.

So … when those ‘bad things’ happen to you, such as business or personal rejections, they aren’t bad. While it might feel hurtful at the time, it’s not a fit, and you need to admit that to yourself. When you start to be immune to rejection, people pick up on it. You become stronger.

____________

7 of 7.

____________

Qd Qh SB.

Raise 3.5x BB with three limpers out there.

MP1 calls.

Flop: 457

I bet half pot.

She calls.

Turn: 2

I bet half pot.

She calls.

Something is wrong here. Radar Up!

River: J (third spade on board)

Check.

She checks and tables a flopped straight.

She didn’t bet the river because of the third spade.

She also called a 3x pre-flop raise with 86s (not spades).

NOTE: When this happened, I would disagree with her call. If it’s a cash game, I 100% disagree with her call. Today, in a tournament, I like her call. Tournaments are about chip accumulation. If you just sit and wait, you’re doing what everyone else is doing and you’re never going to be a dominant force. In tournaments, the money is at the top. If you’re playing cash, it’s all about patience. There is no rush to accumulate chips. And people come and go, so you can play TAG all day and all night and new players will still call your bets. Two different worlds.

____________

Heads-up vs. same player.

J9 BB.

Flop: 78T

Check.

She bets half pot.

Jam.

She calls and tables 88.

Turn: 4

River: 4

Busto.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$88.14

TOURNAMENT #87

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

____________

6 of 6.

35 minutes in.

Haven’t played one hand. Nothing to play.

5 of 5.

____________

9s 9c MP2.

3-bet jam.

Villain calls and tables Ac Jc.

Flop: 7c 8d 6s

Turn: Tc

River: 2c

Lose to flush.

____________

Number of hands won: 0

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: +$47.14

TOURNAMENT #88

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

3 of 5.

Picking my spots.

____________

4 of 4.

____________

KK SB.

Raise 3x BB.

BB calls.

Flop: Q4T

I bet half pot.

He min-raises.

Jam.

He calls and tables Q4.

Turn: J

River: 7

Busto…

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$31.14

TOURNAMENT #89

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

2nd Hand: Misread my hand. Not a good start. I thought I flopped top pair. Bet it whole way. Ended up having high card and losing.

____________

7 of 7.

____________

KK all-in vs. 88.

Flop: AJ4

Turn: 8 (How many times?)

River: 3

Busto!

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: +$15.14

TOURNAMENT #90

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

Bounty Tournament

____________

Villain 3-bet jams on me when I have Kd Qc on this flop: Kh Th 4c. I analyze the situations, especially the player, and call.

Villain tables Ah 5h.

Turn: 7c

River: 7s

My hand holds.

____________

QQ < AA all-in.

____________

Net: -$31 ($10 for one bounty)

Overall Net: -$15.86

TOURNAMENT #91

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: -$56.86

I must admit, I’m a little concerned. Obviously, SPATS keeps you in the game, and since that’s the case, shipping just one big tourney can change your life in the live tourney scene (or online). On the other hand, I’m not crushing it. I’m just as curious as you are to see how this plays out.

TOURNAMENT #92

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

77 > AKo for double-up.

JJ < AA. Lose chip lead.

2 of 3.

____________

Stephanie (accidentally wrote in chat): “Spencer Mills, TN.”

Me: “Fred Jones, AL.”

____________

I have been writing a YouTube poker strategy script throughout this entire tournament—for hours! Still going. They take FOREVER!

UPDATE: I no longer do these. I record videos instead. You can find them at Poker Journal on YouTube.

____________

Finally jammed with Jd Td when short-stacked and ran into AKo, which held.

Bubble.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$72.86

Am I really going to have to write a freaking loss? I only have one other book like that. I hope this isn’t the second.

TOURNAMENT #92B

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

44 BB.

UTG min-raises.

Two callers to me.

Call.

Flop: 364

UTG bets half pot.

Everyone calls.

Raise 3x bet.

UTG only caller.

Turn: T

UTG bets half pot.

Jam.

Villain calls and tables AA.

River: 9

Early double-up (seventh hand).

____________

1 of 9.

Player in 2nd only a few chips behind and directly to my left. Other players way behind.

____________

I call a short-stack all-in with AKo and up against 99.

Flop: AJ4

Turn: 3

River: 9

SMH!

____________

3 of 9.

____________

AQ < KK.

Same short-stack player.

She wins again.

____________

4 of 8.

____________

Folded AQo to big bet on this flop: Q69-rainbow. I really analyzed it. Only three hands made sense: AA, KK, and QQ. It was a 3-bet pre-flop raise followed by an early position pot-sized bet. Villain showed AA after I folded.

____________

5 of 6.

____________

Turned a straight from BB to crack AA. She didn’t raise heads-up from SB pre-flop.

____________

4 of 4.

Top 3 Paid.  

____________

Jammed with 8-high flush on turn. Called by two-pair. My hand held.

____________

4 of 4 (still).

____________

A6 < JJ.

Bubble.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$88.86

TOURNAMENT #93

Buy-in: $11

The Weekender

Turbo Tourney

____________

I jam right away with AA since it’s a Turbo. Called by 22.

Flop: 2JT

Turn: 9

River: 5

____________

Net: -$11

Overall Net: -$99.86

There are no words.

TOURNAMENT #94

Buy-in: $34

PokerBros

____________

Playing while in gym, which recently opened during COVID.

____________

QQ all-in vs. AJ & T9.

About even stacks.

Flop: 472

Turn: 9

River: A

Busto!

____________

Net: -$34

Overall Net: -$133.86

We could be in trouble here. But … I have an idea.

TOURNAMENT #95

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

77 < TT.

Lose when ahead, lose when behind.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$149.86

TOURNAMENT #96

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

____________

AJ MP2.

Raise 3x BB.

CO calls.

Flop: 5J5

I bet pot.

Villain calls.

Turn: 9

I bet pot.

Villain calls.

River: 8

I bet pot.

Villain calls and tables QT.

I have no idea.

____________

An hour later, I 3-bet jam with AQo when short-stacked and get called by KK, which holds.

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: -$190.86

TOURNAMENT #97

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

I just received a message from Keith reminding me that he only plays The Weekender games at night. He said if he was only playing Dailys (like me), he would be down. He says there is too much variance and that the better quality play is at night because it’s higher stakes with bigger prize pools. The starting chips counts are higher and the blind levels are longer, which makes it real poker.

NOTE: I had actually contemplated making this book SPATS 200 and playing in those tourneys for the second half of the book, but live poker was beginning to open up, which led to a different plan.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$206.86

TOURNAMENT #98

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Chopped it heads-up, but not for much.

____________

Net: +$21.50

Overall Net: -$185.36

TOURNAMENT #99

Buy-in: $41

The Weekender

____________

Bubble.

____________

Net: -$41

Overall Net: -$226.36

Umm … yeah!

TOURNAMENT #100

Buy-in: $16

The Weekender

____________

Built stack to 25k in first 2.5 hours, then had AA cracked by gut-shot and caller hit pair on turn and trips on river with 69. After 3.5 hours, I bubbled when I jammed with AT and got called by QQ heads-up in the blinds. Runout: AJ2QA.

____________

Net: -$16

Overall Net: -$242.36

You might view this as a loss, and I get that. However, live poker is opening up as I type this and I just booked my first trip. I don’t like going out like a sucker, and I need to know if my results in live poker will be any different. I’m adding five live tourneys and I promise I won’t go past that. Otherwise, I could just keep writing until I win, which wouldn’t be fair. So, even though this book is titled SPATS 100, not everything is as it seems. Let’s get to Tournament #101.

TOURNAMENT #101

Buy-in: $130

Naples-Fort Myers Poker Room

____________

I met Jim here, who is a reader of my books and a friend. To give you the short version, we chopped it heads-up, which is awesome because he applies SPATS.

We went out for pizza after the tourney. He gave me the wrong directions to the sister property, but I eventually made it. Good pizza too. It’s very rare I go out to eat with people. I hate being locked-in to something, even if it’s just dinner. I love freedom. In fact, I think I’m addicted to it.

____________

Net: +$155.14

Overall Net: -$87.22

Off to a good start in the live arena.

TOURNAMENT #102

Buy-in: $0

PB

____________

Obviously not live, but I’m not going to turn down a freeroll. This was a loyalty freeroll for players that frequented the game. I finished 2nd of 19. ITM.

____________

Net: +$100

Overall Net: +12.78

TOURNAMENT #103

Buy-in: $0

Undisclosed Live Poker Room

____________

I cannot reveal why this is a $0 buy-in. However, I can say that I netted $535 after finishing 3rd, but it could have been much better if I hadn’t jammed with 55 pre-flop when I had been outplaying my competition street by street.

____________

Net: +$535

Overall Net: +$547.78

NOTE: During this time, I also started winning thousands of dollars in an online cash game. That profit dwindled after all the bad players lost their money and the game got tougher, but after adjusting and lowering my VPIP, it started to go back up. However, I left that game due to a friendly disagreement that had nothing to do with  poker itself.

TOURNAMENT #104

Buy-in: $0

Undisclosed Live Poker Room

____________

Net: $0 (missed opportunity)

Overall Net: +$547.78

TOURNAMENT #105

Buy-in: $0

Undisclosed Live Poker Room

____________

Finished 5th for $129

____________

Net: +$129

Overall Net: +676.78

You might be wondering if you would have won applying SPATS if you had to pay these buy-ins. The answer is yes. Not by as much, but yes. Not easy to do in tournament poker!

My approach to the poker world is a little different. My goal isn’t to win a bracelet. It’s to be sustainable in the poker world for the rest of my life. Still won’t be easy! Winning a bracelet is cool, but there is no guarantee that money will last. That said, if you want your best shot at having your poker money lasting, play SPATS!

The bottom line is this: SPATS keeps you in the game over the long haul. I receive messages about it all the time—how it changed people’s games. You can do the same! I highly recommend reading or listening to The Perfect Range for more detailed information. The story and how it relates to my life is dated, but the strategy is not—and it never will be. Other poker strategies come and go. SPATS will be effective as long as the game of Texas Hold’em exists.

I’ll finish on this note: “You can either look cool or you can win.”

That’s a decision you’re going to have to make.

I’m into stack-building in tourneys now, which might look like Ego, but it’s not because I have a Fold button. It’s basically aggression until resistance, but I don’t recommend taking that route because it’s higher risk and takes some experience. Stick with SPATS and you will turn your game around. It has worked for everyone else (except one person). Therefore, it should work for you. If you start slow, just give it time. Think of Moneyball or the MIT Blackjack Team. Give it time and you will win.

UPDATE: I had two decent live cashes while typing this. They were a 13th of 259 and a 4th of 263. The player pools are rough estimates. The finishing spots are right on the money. These weren’t huge cashes, but they were in the thousands.

NOTE: You can send a Facebook Friend request to Tyler Nals. I will accept. If I’m at 5k, you can follow my Fan Page on Facebook. I’m also on Instagram @tylernals, and I post videos on YouTube under PokerJournal. By following on these platforms, you can follow my journey and see where I’ll be next. So, if you want to play poker together, come on down. And please say hello.

I enjoyed writing this book. I hope you enjoyed reading it. The next page will have a list of all my other books. Most of them are available on Amazon: Kindle, most digital platforms, paperback, iTunes, and Audible. Hope you enjoy.

Tyler Nals

Other Books By Tyler Nals Available on Amazon

The Dark Side of the Felt

A Darker Side of the Felt

The Burning Felt

The Perfect Range

Basic Training: Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em

Felt Hopper: Florida

Felt Hoper: Vegas

Vegas Daily 1: Tyler vs. Stuart

A Fishy Poker Tournament

Poker Notes

Poker Blog

The Poker Office

The Poker Player (paperback only)

The Big Book of Poker Q&A

Relentless Failure

Cove Valley

Twisted Sick

Mindful of Tricks

Wilting Steven (unpublished but might release one day)

Subscribe to Poker Journal on YouTube

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