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  thewh00sel, Jun 02 2016

sorry I forgot to cross-post. There are some links and pictures and stuff in one of them so I'm just going to post the links to each one instead of re-linking each photo. I know I'm lazy. Here you go:

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Whale Tale
  thewh00sel, May 26 2016

I started a blog/website here:

Not sure how often I'll blog, given my history of...not blogging, but I'll cross-post to here when I do. Been getting into writing a bit, despite very little time to do so. In any event, BLOG:

It’s been a long morning, and I’m tired from playing with my youngest daughter all day. The house is a mess, and I’m not really sure how all of the pots from the kitchen ended up in the living room. But here we are. I haven’t thought about poker all day, in fact I haven’t thought about much of anything. The decision between a wooden spoon and a plastic spatula as my drumstick of choice is the toughest one I’ve made all day. I know, not exactly the fantasy life of a high stakes poker player you had in mind.

It’s half past noon and I’m just about finished with the modest meal I’ve prepared for the family. My wife and oldest child arrive home from school, and I’ve been awake since 630, and am teetering on the edge of taking the day off and spending it at home with the family. After the meal I check the phone to see what games are running today. “If there’s nothing above 5/10 running I’m staying home,” I tell the family, secretly hoping that will be the case. To my surprise I see an unfamiliar site on the Bravo app, two 25/50’s running. “Must be a whale in town, I gotta go.” I say to my wife as I kiss everyone and head out the door.

Still tired, but filled with hope, I put the old Honda into gear and back out of the driveway. In twenty minutes I’ll have to be ready to duel with an assortment of characters; some familiar and others not yet known. There’s something about that drive to the casino that always gives me some energy. The Vegas strip quickly comes into view and my heart beats louder with the anticipation of the fight to come. “Welcome to the Bellagio,” says the Valet ready to take my keys and park my car for me. “Thanks” I say as I give him a couple dollars for the trouble.

Walking in, my pace becomes quicker and more electric. I might as well be running at this point as I approach the high limit podium of the poker room. “One seat left” the floor man tells me. Perfect. I head to the cage and place two flags on the counter, a minute later I’m in my seat with $10k in front of me. I survey the table, and to my disappointment the game looks pretty tough. Normally, when a 25/50 breaks out it’s for a reason, and today is no different, I am just a bit late to the party.

The game I sat in is a must-move game, which feeds the main game to keep it full. Normally the must-move game is juicier than the main game because the fish have a hard time making it through to the main game without busting. Not only that, but fish don’t usually play as long as the regulars do. When a whale comes to town, however, things change. The main game is usually 7-8 regs and the whale, and a must-move is filled with other regs waiting to get their shot at the whale who might drop 50k in one sitting. These must-move games are usually low on action as it feels like a waiting game to see who gets up from the main game. I decide that I’ll give the must-move a chance, because you never know who’s tilted and ready to dust it off.

The first hand I play is on the button. A good player opens the pot to 150 and a player in mid position flats, I’m dealt two sixes so I come along as well. Both of my opponents have me covered. The flop comes down 9d 6d 5s. Beautiful, a draw heavy board versus two aggressive opponents who I have some history of playing big pots with small hands against. The opener checks and the flatter bets 350. I raise it up to 1100 as I would with some flush draws and other inferior hands, he quickly calls. The turn is the Ace of clubs. He checks to me and I bet 1600 into the pot of 2,725. He thinks for a bit before sliding in the call. I am trying to imagine the hands he’s calling me down with. The Ace high flush draw (now top pair), 89, 88, 77, TT and JJ are all in his wheel-house. Even the nuts are a good possibility as this player is capable of check-raising all in on the river with his entire range. The river is an off-suit 3 and he checks. I’ve put $2,850 into this $5,900 pot, which leaves me with about 7k on the river. Should have sized my turn bet bigger so I could shove. Oh well. I could still shove, but I decide that even if the chances are low, I’ve seen this player check raise all in with very little fold equity as a bluff, so I had to give him even the tiniest bit of rope. I bet 3800, leaving myself with 3200 behind, probably the size I’d go for if I were bluffing too. He thinks for a few minutes before tossing in the call, followed by his cards quickly into the muck. Good start, I think to myself, as I proceed to cooler another player with AA vs QQ for $15k, and just never lose any significant pot.

An hour into my session, the whale quits before I get a chance to play with him. I look down at my chips and realize I’m up $25,000. Not a bad hourly, and I feel a yawn coming on...I rack up my chips and head to the window. Who needs whales anyways? Shark meat will do in a pinch.

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WSOP recap
  thewh00sel, Jul 16 2014

Spent $64k on MTT buy-ins and buying pieces of people this summer
Sold $28k worth of action in MTTs

Cashed twice for a total of $22,867
Returned $13,428 of total cashes to backers

NET: -$26,561

Pretty shitty results for this WSOP, but one close call in my second to last event (got 21st in the little one drop for 20k) saved me from a really bad summer. I have to say I had a lot of fun playing the series this year despite a lack of results. I think I played 23 events which is probably the most I've ever played. This was completely opposite of my goal of playing LESS events and focusing on cash for the summer. Oh well, I guess I have the MTT itch again, didn't think that would ever come back. I plan on playing more tourneys this year than in years past; some highlights on the schedule are: Borgata WPT $3,500 in September, maybe the $5k 10mill gtd in florida, and hopefully PCA or Aussie millions (I've never been to either).

Haven't blogged in a while, but WSOP kind of kills all other endeavors. Looking forward to normalizing my schedule again now that poker season has ended. I put in 180 hours in June and already 90 hours in July. That will likely return to my average of about 140 hours per month in short order.

Expenses have been quite high as of late, and I expect it to remain that way if I do decide to travel for some poker tournaments and continue to pay down debt. I'm still teetering on the edge of a 10/20NL bankroll thanks to an awful May (-35k) and a breakeven summer (-5k or so net) so I have to be careful in paying off loans. Having a roll for 10/20 is much more important than paying something down that I can't get the cash back for if I downswing (student loans). One big upswing and I can pay everything off in 6 months versus rebuilding at 5/10 and still having minimum payments to worry about. I plan on charting out everything, but I estimate that if everything continues steadily (does it ever?) I'll be rid of student loan debt (~50k) and vehicle debt (~10k) in about 2.5 years and have only a mortgage (~240k) to deal with. Seems insurmountable looking the numbers in the face, but it wasn't long ago that vehicle debt was 20k and student loans were 60k. Progress!

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