Why I quit streaming on Twitch

About a week ago, I decided I would quit streaming on Twitch. I enjoyed some parts of Twitch streaming, while others not so much. In the end, I realized that the cons outweighed the pros and that I, therefore, would be better off putting that project on the shelf, for now. There were a few main points leading me to reach this decision, and I’ll explain the three biggest ones here.

The main reason for quitting was that I simply felt like reaching my full poker potential while streaming, was not gonna be possible. IMO having an active presence on Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and godknowswhat, will definitely hinder your progress in poker. Not do you only have to show up to actually stream, but between the streaming there is editing, uploading, captioning, posting, responding to DMs, answering emails and everything else that goes with it. This is also why you don’t see any real bosses streaming consistently on Twitch (or vice versa)… You’ll have a few of the GOATs popping in to do a stream here and there to promote their product or whatever – but you don’t see any of the LLinusLLoves, OtB_RedBarons or €urop€ans consistently bashing it out in the Twitch streets, and there is a reason for that. We all have limited time and mental capacity. Good luck streaming for 12 hours, and then hitting the Pio-solver streets for a few hours after that… For me, that was a no-go, as my brain often would be completely fried after streaming. In the end, my goal is the become an absolute crusher, and I didn’t see that happening while spending that much time and energy on streaming/social media.

The second reason is that honestly, I don’t think I am/was very good at it. Let me elaborate. To be a good poker streamer, it is not enough to explain your thought process and to educate your viewers, but you also have to be entertaining. I was never the guy who would yell and curse while slamming my keyboard if I got rivered in a key pot deep in a tournament. I was never the guy who would proudly stand up, fist-pump and exclaim that I was the greatest, after shipping a big tournament. I was never the guy who would go on huge rants or show a lot of emotions in either direction. As a poker player, this is a skillset I pride myself on. I keep my emotions in check, and I approach the game in an analytical way. As a streamer, however, this is definitely a leak. What do the majority of people want to see? Lex raging and punching his monitor, after butchering a hand in the Hot $109, or me explaining why I believe that my river call was probably OK in equilibrium, but that it might not be great against the population who tends to underbluff that certain spot? In my opinion, a big % of the Twitch demographic would rather see the former, than the latter.

The third reason is that the thing I enjoy the most about playing poker for a living is the freedom that it gives me. The freedom to set my own schedule, to take a day off if I feel like shit, or to hop on a plane to Barcelona if I miss the sun. Being successful on Twitch is all about consistency. The biggest poker streamers over the past few years have been very different from each other. Different nationalities, ages, personalities, skill levels and so on. The common denominator? They showed up. To be a person who consistently SHOWS UP, you need to push aside personal wants and needs. I decided it was important for me to have the option to go home to see my family in Norway, or visit my friends abroad, or travel to Vegas for the WSOP during the summer, to name some examples. Of course, I could do all of these things while also “streaming on Twitch” – but I would remain a mid-tier streamer, with a viewer count barely breaching the 3 digit mark.

I’ll keep it short and wrap it up here – not to bore you guys to death. As always, I appreciate all feedback and comments from you guys. Good luck to everyone grinding the big online series’ starting today!

Merit Western Poker festival re-cap

I thought I would wrap up my two-week blogging spree from the Merit Western poker festival by doing a re-cap post from the event. Safe to say that poker-wise it was an absolute disaster. I did however, enjoy the facilities a lot, and I met some amazing people. Some who provided some interesting insights, and even managed to change my mindset surrounding certain things.

Poker results (or lack thereof)

So let’s begin with the poker results. In total over the two weeks, I had buy-ins for roughly $25,000, and cashes for roughly $5,000. I did sell 50% of my action in both $5k’s and both $2k’s, which reduced the crash impact slightly. Overall I am quite happy about how I played during the two weeks, despite my results. I believe I punted a bit in a $660 satellite to the $5k main, in the hand described here:

It taught me a lesson to be more aware of table dynamics, and what is going on. It might also have been a pure ICM punt, as it was a very soft field. In very soft satellites you can often just sit back and wait for people to commit ICM suicide, while you as the short stack sit back and enjoy the show. Oh well, experience points gained.

I also believe my bust out hand from the $5,000 main event might have been a pip too loose. As described in the linked post, I got in 99 for 14 bb’s vs utg open and utg+1 13bb re-shove. In a tough online tournament, I think this would have been fine, but in a soft live field like this, I think I should have gone with TT as my bottom. We were approaching the bubble stages of the tournament though (59 left and 35 paid), so I think there is a case to be made for attempting to build a stack to boss people around (instead of being bossed around), as the bubble approaches.

The hotel and its surrounding facilities

As most of the time was spent around the poker table, I did not have as much time as I would have liked to explore the area. It was not until my last day there, that I actually got to sightsee properly around the hotel. The surrounding area was absolutely stunning, and I will for sure try to get back there for one of their events during the summer to enjoy it properly. There was a duck pond, a private beach, a beautiful outdoor pool area and a bunch of recreational activity options. I kind of regret spending as much time at the tables as I did, when I discovered how nice the area was. I’ll post a bunch of pictures at the end of the post.

New friends, new insights and new perspectives

I did end up making quite many new friends and acquaintances during the trip. I believe I was the only Norwegian there, and there was also no-one from Estonia (as far as I know). I had a couple of friends there (Andrew Hedley and Monika “HeyMonia” Zukowicz), but for the most part, I was left to my own and (luckily) forced to make some new friends! Some of these friends I gained some very interesting insights and perspectives from. Especially with regards to relationships, sexuality and spirituality (you know, classic hippie stuff). These insights and perspectives were so profound and interesting, that I will be doing some experimentation and changes in this area of my own life, going forward. As it’s a pretty big topic, I’ll write a separate blog entry about it when I get the time.

All in all

I am glad I made this trip, although the poker results could have been better. I’m not gonna whine about how bad I ran etc, but I am very confident that I was printing Sklansky Bucks (aka theoretical dollars), every time I clicked the register button over in the cash desk. Poker is a game of variance, and it’s important to take the downswings with as much grace as the upswings. I also felt a bit rusty in many spots during these weeks, and I found myself lacking a bit in confidence, based on this. I think for me personally this happens in periods where I have not been studying as much as I know I should be. December was a month filled with travelling (Copenhagen, Tallinn, Steinkjer (Norway), and Berlin), as well as moving to a new apartment in Tallinn. I got to do some study sessions here and there, but overall the volume (and quality) of studying was not up to par. I definitely want to be more prepared (if only for confidence reasons), before I make another trip like this with a lot of live grinding at fairly high stakes.

I just realized that this post became… lengthy. Shoutout to the most patient of you who made it all the way here, and thanks for reading! As I eluded to before, my next post will be more of a personal one, with some thoughts on sexuality, pornography, spirituality, relationships, self development etc. It should definitely be an interesting one, with a lot of oversharing. Anyways, links below if you want to connect. Feedback always much appreciated!

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Oh yeah, here are some pics from the hotel and the surrounding area:

Day 12 – $1,000 mix-max day 2

So the $1,000 mix-max event actually ended up getting huge numbers. I think it was an $80k GTD, but prize pool ended up at $215k, with $50k FTW. At the beginning of day 2, we had 21k, which was even less than what we started with the day before (25k). In other words, we had some work to do. With big blind starting at 800, we had 26bb to begin the day. Within one hour, however, I had more than tripled my stack, getting hit in the face with the deck pretty much. To be fair I did not play that many interesting hands in this one. I do however think I made a sizing error in a couple of big-ish hands, so I’ll go over those at least.

Hand 1:
Splashy but assumed decent reg in the CO opens to 2,5k at bb1,2k. Fish OTB flats and I look down at red jacks in the BB. The opener has about 46,5k to start the hand, and I cover. I squeeze to 11.2k, planning to call it off. The opener calls and the BTN folds. Flop is about as sexy as it gets. J96ssh, giving us top set on a draw heavy board. So the pot is now 26,7k and the opener has 35,3k left. We now have two options. Check to induce, or bet to protect our hand. I think betting by far makes the most sense here, and even tho it’s a board that hits him pretty hard, I feel like it’s a spot where we should be betting quite a bit with our very strong range. Checkjamming a hand like this does not make much sense, and check-calling lets him bet the flop and check back turn with a lot of his medium strength hands/draws. I ended up betting, but I believe I made an error sizing-wise. I ended up betting 7,3k into the pot of 26,7k. I don’t think it makes a huge difference, but I believe around 6k would be better. Oh well.

Hand 2:
This is a BVB spot, in which my sizing error was based on a population tendency read. We’ll get back to that. So the hand is as follows: We are playing bb1,6k and the BB has 36k ish to start the hand, aka 22,5 bigs. It folds to me in the SB, and I look down at JTdd. I think we have some

Either we can limp-call, limp-jam or just open-jam. I guess we could raise and call a jam aswell, but seems kinda meh. Especially in a soft AF field where we wanna play low variance. Anyways I limp and he checks. Flop is T83hhc. Pretty good for our hand. I bet 2,3k into 4,8k. Slightly less than half pot. I am at Larnaca airport ATM, so this hand has not been Pio-approved with regards to sizings yet, but I will make sure to check it when I get home. Anyways, he calls and the turn is the 6d. It completes the 97 straight, which we both should have 16 combos of. It also makes some two-pairs etc, but overall it’s a fairly good card for our hand. I bet 7,1k into 9,4k. He calls again. River is the Ac, and this is where my sizing error occurs. So the pot is now 23,6k, and villain has 25k ish left. I believe our only play here is to jam for value. It’s not like villain gets to the river with a lot of Ax, so in reality, JT has a lot of equity against villains range. Even though I figured that JT would be best the vast majority of the time here, I thought that population would perhaps overfold to a jam here. I did not know too much about villain, but he was young and reggy-looking, so I regret not just going for it. He told me later he had 8x and was planning to call if I jammed. In game, I ended up block betting for 20% pot-ish, and villian thought for a bit before making the call. Pretty significant mistake on my part here I believe, but that’s how it is!

Now I am about to board my flight to Warsaw, where I will have a few hours at the airport, before getting on my next flight home to Tallinn. In Tallinn, I will have about 19 hours to rest, before the next live tournament starts (MPN Tallinn). Luckily the casino is a 5-minute walk from my apartment, so there is not much hassle involved in getting there and getting in the mix. There will be a €550 main event, and a €1,3k high roller event. I’ll play those two, and skip the rest in favour of online grinding and studying. Anyways, I’m about to miss my flight, so gonna wrap this up. Thanks again to everyone who reads these blogs, and provides me with valuable feedback both on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Much appreciated and much love! <3

Day 11 – $5,000 Main Event Day 3

So after a good last level of day 2, we got to start day 3 with almost 200k, which was just below average stack. I drew a very good table, having direct position on a guy who was playing… very unconventionally! He was basically limping 75%, raising 10% and folding 15%. Postflop he was basically also just clicking buttons. Putting chips into the pot when he felt like it. We did however not have a very fun time at this table. Every time I put chips into the pot being towards the bottom of my range, I got action. Every time I put chips into the pot being towards the top of my range, they folded. So when the bustout hand occurs, my stack has dwindled to 86k from the 200k starting.

Hand 1 ($5,000 main event – day 3):
The hand is maybe not so interesting in itself, being an all-in preflop spot. But I think it’s a very close one, and perhaps one I should have passed up on. So we are 59 players left with 35 getting paid. Min-cash is about $9,3k while the winner takes home $305k. We are playing bb6k, with button ante. UTG (reggy chipleader ish with 3x average) opens UTG to 12k and UTG+1 jams 80k (13bb). I look down at 99 in the LJ with 86k (14bb). Feels like 88s is a clear fold and TT is a clear call to me, but I found myself going back and forth with 99. In the end I made the call, and the openraiser called as well with AK. The rejammer had QQ though, so we were definitely in trouble. Brick city and basically GG. We had 2 bb left after this, but busted when the BB reached us. Interested to hear what you guys think about this hand. Feels like one we should perhaps give up, especially in such a soft field and KINDA getting close to the money. I was also thinking that it would be great getting a stack going though, nearing the bubble play. It’s so much better to be the guy abusing the bubble, than the guy getting abused. Anyways! After this I entered a $1,000 mix-max event, where we also played a pretty interesting hand.

Hand 2 ($1,000 mix-max day 1):
So this hand plays out on level one, I have basically just sat down. HJ (definitely looks like a recreational but you never know) opens to 125 at bb50. Btn calls and I call bb with 84dd. Flop K44r. Checks through. Turn 6h bringing a flush draw. I bet 400 into 425 and the opener calls. River is the Td, missing all the draws. I bet 1,600 into 1,225 for just around 135% pot. He struck me as a guy who never folds a pair here to any sizing really, and with so many draws missing it felt like a good spot to go for some big value. He thinks for a while, before popping it up to 4,6k. Barf. I went a bit back and forth (basically just considering if he could be doing it with KT for value). I concluded that he would not though, and I did not think he was very likely to take this line as a bluff. I folded and he later told me he had KK. Pat on the back! That was about as good as it got for us though. We barely sniffed on the 30k mark a couple of times (25k starting stack), but ended up bagging 21k in the end for day 2. The tournament restarts tomorrow at 16:00, and I think we are coming back to BB800. NOW it’s time to catch up on some sleep… something I have been lacking for the past couple of days.

Day 10 – $5,000 ME (D2)

85k to start day 2

We started day two with 85k, which was just about average. I think we played two or three hands before this one came up:

Hand 1:
I open KQcs to 2.3k utg+2, at bb1k. CO, SB and BB all call. Flop K96r, giving us top pair. I decide to go for a small cbet, and put out 3.5k. CO and SB both call, while BB gets out of the way. Turn is the 6d, pairing the bottom card and bringing a flush draw. SB checks and I check, after considering between betting and checking (which seems close). CO decides to take over the betting lead though, and bets 9,5k into 20,7k. SB folds and I make the call. The river brings the 9s, bricking the flush draw and pairing the mid card. Overall a pretty good card. Reduces his K9s/99 combos, while not really improving any of his hands (I didn’t imagine he would be betting many 9x OTT). I check again and he bets 15,7k into 39,7k. I make what I felt was a pretty easy call, and he turns over AA. Sneaky sneaky! This brings us down to 50k ish immediately.

After this we didn’t really play too many interesting hands. We won some flips and lost some flips. Basically we were grinding it out between 20k and 50k the whole day, until the last level of the day, when this hand comes up:

Hand 2:
So at this point we are playing bb3k, and I have 59k, so close to 20 biebers. I minraise K8ss from lojack, and both CO and BTN calls (both reggy). Flop 985r one spade. I check and CO checks. I think I wanna do a lot of checking with my range here, and this hand fits pretty perfectly. Button bets 6,5k into 25,5. Feels like we have a pretty mandatory continue vs 25% pot here, and I think raising makes very little sense. I call and CO also calls. Turn is the 4s, giving us that magical backdoor flush draw. We check it to the button again, who now bets 18k into 45k. Again, we both call. River is the 3s, completing my backdoor flush. As I didn’t see it as very likely that the BTN was on a pure bluff, and I only had 28,5k left, with the pot being 99k. I decided to lead jam to avoid him checking back some marginal hands. CO folds and BTN calls 67hh for the flopped straight. SometimesLucky runout. So at this point we were up to 155k, and loving life. After this I took down a few small pots without showdown, and we ended the day with 196,5k, right below average going into day 3.

196,500 in the bag heading into day 3. FeelsGoodMan

After finishing up for the day in the main event, we also played a $660 Turbo DeepStack event. I’m not gonna discuss any of the hands from it, but we made our FIRST ITM of the trip, ater 10 days of grinding non-stop. We actually ended up final table-bubbling it, after opening and calling a jam with AK. Villain had 66, which held up. I was making jokes that even winning it outright would not make it a profitable trip, but the $18,5k 1st prize would for sure have helped. Oh well, we’ll save that flip rungood for tomorrows day 3 of the main event! I think we are about 80 people left. 35 gets paid, and winner takes home a whopping $305,000. Let’s. Fkn. GO!

Atleast we made our first ITM in the $660 Turbo DeepStack!

Day 9 – $5,000 Main Event + $770 Turbo

Since I only played a $770 turbo deepstack event today, I’ll rather go over a couple of more hands from the $5,000 main event. The turbo deepstack had literally 1 interesting hand, and that was my bustout hand. I’ll go over that at the end.

Hand 1 (Main Event):
So we are playing BB300, and HJ opens to 800. CO (agro asian reg) calls and I look down at 99 OTB, and we were a bit too deep to 3bet-get it in, so I flat. Flop comes down 356r. HJ checks and button bets 1,2k into 3,1k. I call and HJ folds. Turn is the 3d, pairing the bottom card and bringing a flush draw. Pretty damn good turn card for my hand. He checks, I bet 3.5k into 5,5k and he kinda quickly calls. River is the Kd, which completes the backdoor flush. I ended up betting 5,8k into 12,5k here, which I think is too small. Our hand is not worth THAT much here, but I feel like he does not have very many better hands than us. Most of his range will be made up by 44, 77, 88, 99 and perhaps even TT. Based on how agressive he was, I didn’t really think he would have many of the small suited aces, or pairs better than mine, as all of those hands would get put in a 3-bet range. Anyways he calls my bet and mucks his hand. Perhaps we hit him with the perfect sizing and he hero-called 44, but I believe a bigger bet would be better.

Hand 2 (Main Event):
We are playing bb500, and utg+2 opens to 1200. CO flatcalls and I look down at red queens in the BB. I squeeze to 6125, and just the opener calls. He is a reg fwiw. We go HU to a pretty damn sexy flop of Q96ddc. I think both check and bet would be fine here. I ended up checking, as it’s a board that hits his range very well, and I think we would want to do quite a bit of checking here in general. QQ with a diamond seems like a decent hand to put in a checking range, given that we block top pairs (duh) and that we are not as worried about diamond run-outs, since we have Qd. Anyways he checks back and the dealer turns over the 7h. Now I think it’s time to start building the pot. He is going to have quite a bit of 77, 88, TT, JJ, AJs, ATs etc, and all of these hands connect pretty well with this board (and they will pretty much all usually just check behind vs a check). I decide to go big (as it’s very co-ordinated and centered around his range), and bet roughly pot, which is now 15k. He calls. River is the 3h, as bricky as it gets. He has about 35k left, and the pot is 30k. Given how his range looks, I think it’s gonna be hard for him to call a jam with most of it. JJ, TT, 88 are more likely to call a small bet, and if he has 77 he is going to value-jam over a small bet anyways. Especially blocking KQ and AQ, I think jamming here would be to greedy. A small bet might induce bluff jams from ATs, AJs, 88 etc sometimes. I bet 8,5k and he calls. No idea what he had, but I think I am happy with this sizing.

Hand 3 (Turbo Deepstack):
So I think this hand might be a bit punty but I am not sure. We are playing bb800, and the button opens to 1800. I defend T8o and we see a flop of J85hhc. We have the Th. I check, he bets half pot and I call. Turn Jd. I decide to lead for 20%. I’m not 100% sure we are allowed to lead this IN THEORY LAND, but it felt like a spot where we rarely get raised. We can fold out some equity and also get some value from A9, AT, K9, KT, KQ, QT, Q9, 5x,77, 66, 44, 33, 22. Not sure really what I think about the lead though. Need to do some SOLVER WORK when I get back to Tallinn. Anyways he calls and we get to the 7c river. So now the board is J85hhc Jd 7c. I was considering block-betting again but opted to check. He thought for a while before jamming 1.1x pot. I went back and forth for a bit, before a guy called. People are so impatient in these turbos, lol. In the end I made the hero, and was shown KJss for trips. I left the table feeling like a punter, but I am still not sure…

Tomorrow at 13:00 day 2 of the $5,000 main event starts. Given that we woke up at 17.30 today, I am curious how that is gonna turn out. I’m just gonna go to bed now soon (2.30 AM), and try to fall asleep asap. We are starting day 2 with 85k chips, which I believe is just below average. Wish me luck!

These beds are too comfortable…

Day 7+8 – $5k High Roller (D2) + $5k Main Event (D1)

Tuesday was a very GTO day. Or atleast the first half was very GTO. The last half, notsomuch. I slept 9 amazing hours and went straight to the gym upon awakening. There I did some handstand practice, followed by interval sprints. After finishing my workout I went to check out the hotel spa (this was at Merit Royal, the neighbour-hotel of Merit Crystal Cove where I am staying). It’s the same chain obviously, so you can use both facilities, and it’s only a 3-minute walk away. The spa was ridiculously nice:

After pampering myself at the spa for a couple of hours, I headed back to Crystal Cove to play day 2 of the $5,000 high roller. I started with about 245k, which was around double the average stack going into the day. Safe to say we did not have a lucky table draw. The table was basically 1 local funplayer, and the rest were headphone wearing 26-year olds. The funplayer quickly busted and got replaced by another pro. For a good while, we were just reg-battling 7-handed. I was also seated to Andrey Pateychuk’s direct right, and he had chunks. Not the best seat in the house. Anyways we played so many interesting hands this day, that I could write for hours about it. I’ll include a couple of hands from the HR and a couple of hands from the main event.

Hand 1 (High Roller):
The first interesting spot occurs when I open K2ss from the CO to 4,2k at BB2k. BB (reg) defends. Flop QT4ddc. I cbet 2,7k into 11,4k and he calls. Not sure how I feel about my cbet here. I think if I open lojack or earlier, it’s completely fine. It might be too loose from the CO though, as our range is quite a lot wider. Anyways, turn is the Jc. Now it feels like we have a mandatory barreling spot ahead of us. The K is obviously a good blocker card, and we don’t have much going in terms of showdown value. I bet 10,4k into 16,8k. He calls. The river is the 3s, and again I think we have a pretty mandatory bluff. Villain has 34k left, and the pot is 37,6k. First of all, we block K9, but secondly, we also block KQ, KT, KJ, which are all potential bluff-catchers for him. I put him in and he goes deep in the tank. In the end, he ends up calling me with Q9o. NH sir.

Hand 2 (High Roller):
At this point, we are done with the table of doom, as described in the beginning, and we actually have a quite decent table going. This hand, however, is the nittiest hand I have played in a very, very long time. So we are playing BB8k, and HJ opens to 18k. He is a funplayer, but not very OOL and fairly straight forward so far. I flat 77 off 30bb in the CO. Already preflop it seems very close. I would probably go for the jam in a tougher field, but in this one, I just want to play low variance and wait for people to gift me stacks. Flop comes down KQ2r. Check, check. So far fairly standard. Turn 6, bringing a flush draw. Again it goes check, check. Still fairly standard. The river is the 7o and now he bombs it, betting 58k into 38k, with 140k or so behind. I had never seen him overbet before, and he didn’t strike me as a player who even had this in his arsenal. My first thought was that he was never bluffing. Second, I didn’t really see many two pair combos he would play like this, except for rivered Q7s maybe, which was 1 combo. I also did not believe he would check twice with 22 or 66, given that there was a flush draw on board and the flop went check, check. In the end, I managed to convince myself that his most likely holding was KK, with the second most likely holding being QQ. Still, in retrospect, it feels very close between jam and call to me, but I ended up calling. He sadly had the 66 for the turned set. Mehhh I dunno. Had a bad gut feeling and followed it. Confirmed nit.

In the end, I squeeze-rejammed AKo from the BB vs EP open and MP flat for 27bb or so. UTG had AA and we did not find the miracle runout. We busted 7 away from the money, and with only 6 hands left of the day, which was doubly frustrating. First of all because… we didn’t make any money, and second of all because we didn’t get to sleep till until 6 AM, which meant that we got only 6 hours of sleep in total before the $5,000 Main Event the next day.

Hand 3 (Main Event):
The first interesting hand we play is when HJ (young hyper-agro Asian reg) opens to 400 at bb200. I flat CO KcQs and we go HU to K76ddh. He bets 400, and I pop it up to 1,4k. He kinda quickly makes it 4,6k. I’m not in love with my life at this point, but naturally, I call. Turn brings the Ah, and he quickly checks. I check back. The river is the Qc, giving us two pairs, while not completing any of the two flush draws. He quickly checks, and at this point, it looked a lot like AdXd from my perspective. I bet 7,6k into 9,9k and he quickly calls. I show my hand and his goes into the muck.

Hand 4 (Main Event):
Reg on the button opens 500 at bb200. I 3-bet 7h7d from the BB to 2.3k (board coverage yo). He calls. Flop 689ssc. I check-call his bet of 2.5k. Turn Th. Bingo. I check and again he bets, this time 5,5k. I call. The river is the Kd, and for the third time, I check-call (11,5k otr). He shows AQo and I scoop. I could consider raising both turn and river of course. On the turn I think it’s important to have some strong hands like this in check-call, to protect the rest of our range. On the river, I think it will be hard to get value from much worse, and he plays all 16 combos of QJ like this.

I have a few more interesting hands from this day in storage, but maybe we’ll bring them in during a future post. Right now it’s super late and my brain is fried. In any case, we ended up bagging 85k in the Main Event, which was kinda disappointing after increasing our 50k starting stack to 100k during the first hour of play. It’s still a good stack though, and the structure is really slow, so we have a lot of room to manoeuvre during day 2.

Day 6 – $800 Cup (D2) + $5,000 High Roller (D1)

Busy busy day, with lots of interesting hands and spots. I’ll go over my bust out hand from the $800 Cup, and a few hands from day 1 of the $5,000 high roller.

Hand 1 (Cup):
I started the day with 65k, which was just above average. I had chipped up a little during the first orbits, and then this hand comes up: I open 98 of diamonds to 3,5k at BB1,6k from UTG+1. Funplayer defends his BB and we go HU to 965r with one diamond. I cbet 4k into 9,4k and he calls. Turn is another 9, giving us trips and bringing a flush draw on board. He checks and I bet 11,5k into 17,4k. Villain thinks for a bit, and makes it 25k… I’m already not loving it, but we obviously have a very easy continue. I don’t think jamming makes any sense tho, as we want to keep his bluffs in, and there are basically no bad rivers. We call and the river is a K, not completing the flushdraw. Villain jams for 31k and we make the call. He turns over 87 for the flopped joint, and we are left with scraps. A while later I rejam QJs for like 10bb and get called by AK. We brick and GG.

After the bust I had some time go to the gym, study a bit and eat dinner, before one of the highlights of the trip was starting: the $5,000 high roller. The high roller had a starting stack of 100,000 and started at bb600, so about 165bb deep. It was also 8-max instead of 9-max, which was nice! The structure was very slow, and we only played 5 levels during the first day. I managed to bring my stack from 100k to 244k during those few levels though, and I’ll go over a couple of the hands.

Hand 2 (high roller):
Basically, this was a nicely wrapped gift package from an older gentleman at my table. He opens to 1,4k at bb600. I look down at red aces UTG+2 and pop it up to 6k. Folds around to the opener, who quickly makes it 21,5k. At this point I think he legit has zero bluffs, and he didn’t strike me as the type who would hero fold something big. Against some reg, or anyone with a bluffing range at all, I think flatting aces is by far the better option here. Against this guy I thought it would be better to just get all his money in before the board would discourage him. I jam for 93k and he snaps me off with QQ. We hodl and ez start to the tournament.

Hand 3 (high roller):
Funplayer UTG+1 opens to 1,4k at bb600. I call QJ of diamonds from the LJ. BB also comes along. Flop Td6c5s, so we flop 60% of a royal flush draw (glass half full-thinking). The opener cbets 2k into 5,1k. I think he will be over-cbetting pretty hard here, as most funplayers do, so I decide to pop it up to 6,5k. I imagine this will do a good job of folding out his nonsense-cbets, and we also have good barreling potential on a lot of runouts. He calls though, and we go HU to the Jc on the turn. I decided to go fairly small, betting 7,5k into 18,1k, planning to value bet a lot of rivers. In retrospect I think a bigger bet might be better, as there are a lot of rivers we can’t really value bet. He calls and the rivers comes down 9c, completing both straight and flush draws. He checks and I decide it’s gonna be too hard for him to find calls with worse on this runout, so I check behind. I think we end up valuecutting ourselves too much by betting rivers like this, which I why I might prefer betting bigger OTT instead. Anyways he has ATo and we win.

Hand 4 (high roller):
I open J9 of diamonds to 2k at BB800 from the HJ. CO calls and the SB squeezes to 8,3k. I call and CO calls. We are all >100bb deep. We go 3-way to 9c8s5h flop. SB now checks. FWIW they were both recreationals, with the CO playing especially loose and non-standard, while the SB was more straight forward. I think it’s pretty mandatory to put a bet in here, as there are sooo many bad turn cards for our hand, and it’s a board that hits our range very well overall. I bet 8k into 27,5k. I guess I could have gone a bit bigger, but it definitely seems like a spot where we should be betting small. Anything between 25% and 35% seems fine. Aaaanyways, they both call. At this point I figure the SB should have a lot of overpairs, trying to pot-control, while the CO could have basically anything. Turn is the Qh, bringing a FD on board. This is the most interesting part of the hand IMO. The pot is now 51,5k and they both have like 80-90k, with me covering. We have a very nutted bluff candidate, blocking two pairs, sets and the nut straight. BUT we also have a hand that could win at showdown sometimes. Also it would suck betting turn and getting shoved on (although I think it happens rarely). So option one is betting 24k and bluff jamming a lot of rivers. Option two is checking and evaluating. I decided I would take the lower variance option of checking, as there are so many opportunities to get gifted stacks in this tournament. It checks through and we see the Ts on the river, making us a straight. SB quickly checks again, and now our only question is what sizing we wanna bet. I don’t really see checkraising being that good. I ended up going for slightly more than half pot with 27k. CO calls and SB quickly released what he claimed to be AK. No idea what CO had, but after this we were up to about 240k, which is just about what we bagged.

We are going back for day 2 of the high roller tomorrow at 18:00. The plan is to wake up in time to get gym/spa/meditation/dinner done before that. Feeling good about this tournament, and I am excited to see what tomorrow will bring! Now I’m gonna disconnect for a while with some Black Mirror, and then sleep. GN!

Day 5 – $660 satellite to $5,000 HR

This day… did not begin (or end) to well. I thought I was playing day 2 of the $800 Cup at 15:00. I put an alarm at 12:30, and I rushed at the gym, rushed at the sauna, rushed at breakfast, to make it in time. When I show up to the tournament, I realize that it’s of course day 1B first, and that day 2 is the next day… Doh.

Atleast this gave me some time to relax and catch up on some studying etc. I spent basically the whole day in bed, drinking coffee and going over different poker study material. FeelsGoodMan. Eventually, the time reaches 21:30, which was when our next tournament would commence: the $660 satellite for the $5,000 high roller. I didn’t really note too many hands in this tournament, as they were all fairly standard and meh. Our final hand was pretty hilarious/painful though.

Busto hand:
So we are 20 players left, with top 17 getting $5,000 and 18th place getting $1700 or so. One guy at my table has 6k chips at BB10k, as he just lost a big all-in. He jams the HJ for his last 6k. CO limps, BTN limps, SB limps and I have JJ in the BB, with 8 BBs to start the hand. At this point, there were a few short stacks, but I reckoned it was my last chance to have any fold equity preflop (vs everyone but the 6k dude obv). If I checked and lost, I would be down to 5,5bbs after the blinds had passed through. The blinds were also about to increase, so after that I would be left with a stack so short that it would have no fold equity. Anyways I decided it was a decent spot, as none of the guys were likely to be trapping here. I jammed all-in, and then this happened:

Anyways GG! Today we play day 2 of the $800 Cup + the $5,000 high roller, which we now have to buy in to directly, FeelsBadMan.

Day 4 – Merit Poker $2,200 ME Day 2 & The $800 Cup

So in the $2,200 ME we started day 2 with about 55k, just above starting stack. The tournament had an amazing structure though, so we still had more than 50 bigs to start. I lose a couple of small pots early, and find myself with 42k when this hand comes up:

Hand 1:
I open TT UTG to 2,3k at BB1k. LJ, HJ, BTN and BB all call. We go 5-ways to 932r, pretty dreamy for TT. An elderly gentleman in the BB decides to lead for 10k, with like 17k behind. I just call, planning to fold if people behind me get crazy. It’s not like there are many draws we need to protect against anyways. They all fold. The turn comes a king, and he puts in his last 17k. I obviously snapcall, and he turns over 94s for a pair of nines. River bricks and we are now playing about 75.

Hand 2:
UTG opens to 2,5k at bb1,2k. I flat fours on the button and the BB comes along as well. 3-way to K43ddc, the dream. He cbets 5k and I pop it up to 15k. He calls without too much hesitation. Turn is the Jc, bringing a second flush draw on board. He checks and I shove for 1,2x pot. He calls AKo and is drawing dead. Up to 140k. After this we are pretty card dead for a couple of levels, and we only played a couple of small pots that we lost. We find ourselves with 93k at BB2k, when the following hand comes up:

Hand 3:
I open A9 of diamonds from the CO to 4,5k. A pretty active Swedish reg in the SB 3-bets to 15,5k. I call. Flop AJ5r one diamond. He cbets 13k, and I call. Turn is the 8s, bringing a flush draw, and this is where it gets weird. He now bets 28k, which is almost half of my 65k stack. There are not THAT many natural bluffs in his range here, as he probably just jams his flushdraws, jams his 9Ts, jams his QTs etc. Most likely bluffs I guess are hands like KQ, KTs, K7s, Q9s etc. Anyways I make the call, getting a great price. River is an offsuit 3, about as blank as it gets. He shuts down with 99 and I take down the pot.

Hand 4:
At this point we are sitting comfortably at 165k or so, slightly above average. We are playing 2,4k BB, and LJ comes in for an open to 5,4k. I look down at AKo in the CO and pop it up to 14,3k. Young reggy looking guy in the SB thinks for a while before 4-betting to 41k and the opener quickly folds. I declare ALL YOU CAN EAT BABY, with a loud obnoxious voice (actually I just say “all-in” and put forward my big chips). He goes into the tank for a minute or two, before calling it off with TT. He holds and GEE GEE main event.

After the bust we took a 30 minute breather, before hopping into the $800 Merit Poker Cup. First bullet went fairly quickly, busting KK vs AA against the table maniac. Second bullet went better, and we bagged 65k, which is just above average for day 2. Day 2 continues tomorrow (Sunday) at 15:00. The plan is to put an alarm at 12:00, and make it to the gym+spa before that. We’ll see how that goes!

Anyways thanks to everyone giving me feedback and comments on both the blogging and instagram-spamming. Much love, greatly appreciated! <3