3 Days of $5/$10 in LA

We are actually here to recap a full week that I spent in Los Angeles, one of my favorite locations in all the land. The action at Vegas tends to ebb and flow. Sometimes there’s a lot of action, such as during Super Bowl weekend, during March Madness, obviously during the World Series of Poker– great times to come play poker in Las Vegas.

Other times, it ebbs. When we’re in between events here in Las Vegas, I think that’s a good time to take a look at some other locales. The Los Angeles Poker Classic WPT event. I’m all in.

Oh no. He’s doing it. I’m all in, and look at this. Antonio stands up and shows the two aces.

He’s got the goods, folks. It’s an almost two month long event. It’s drivable.

The Commerce has a bunch of games that could be happening in conjunction with that event. So why not spend a week there? We pick up the action at the tail end of my session on Monday night. Hello. Greetings. It is Monday night.

It’s just after midnight, so technically Tuesday morning. I drove into Los Angeles earlier today, earlier Monday. I’m actually just wrapping up a session. I didn’t want to stay too long because I got minimal sleep, and I’m actually staying here at the Commerce. So I’m going to get a early night’s sleep, start the grind, restart the grind tomorrow, early. That’s the plan.

Hopefully everything comes together, but so far so good because I had an interesting session so far. We were actually put in a tough spot earlier on. I had ace-deuce of spades in the small blind.

I complete after a couple limpers and a big blind checks. Flop comes king, five three with two spades, so nut flush draw plus a gutter ball. I check it.

Big blind checks. Middle position player bets 30. There’s a call on my right. I call, and the player on my left in the big blind raises to $400. It folds back to me.

Pretty tough spot here, pretty weird spot. I don’t want to just fold the nut flush draw. He could have worse flush draws here, and if I fold, and that’s the case, that would be a disaster. We’re live against any hand, of course.

So I go ahead and make the call here. I’m not sure I just want to get it in versus such a strong represented range. The turn is a bad card. It’s another king. I check it, and he checks back. River bricks out, I check it, and he checks it.

I go ahead and show, and he shows bottom two pair. So we could have taken him off the hand there on the river, but I don’t really know that. That’s hindsight, of course.

I figured he’s going to be pretty strong– either two pair or maybe even a set on that flop. That’s OK though, because not too long after that, there was another limp pot. I’m in the big blind with 10-five off suit, and the flop comes 10, five, five.

So we flop a full house here. Small blind checks. I check, having the board pretty much on lock here. Action checks all the way through, though, sadly.

Turn is an eight. Small blind checks. I check it again, begging for a bet here, and a middle position player obliges. He bets $70, overbets the pot. There’s a call, and then it folds back to me. Time to put in some more money here, so I raise it up to $210.

The player who put out that $70 bet thinks for a while before jamming all in. The player in between folds, and we don’t have too much of a decision here. We are going to be losing to pocket eights and pocket 10s sometimes, but we’re never going to fold.

So it’s just going to be a cooler if that’s the case. River is inconsequential. My opponent shows us king-five, king-five of clubs, I believe. So he did have some outs there, but we’re going to go ahead and scoop this pot in. I just reloaded previously before that. So I lost the $400 with that ace-deuce but topped off my stack luckily and coolered him for the maximum.

Get all in for 1,500 each, and the stack is all of a sudden up to $3,000 very early on in this LA trip. Shortly after that, there was one limper, and a player in middle position who had been playing pretty solidly. I hadn’t seen him get out of line at all. He raises it up to $60. I’m in the big blind with pocket jacks, and I just decide to flat here. I’m not sure I want to get all in pre-flop versus this player, who I think had been playing more snug relative to the other players at the table.

So I go ahead and flat call, and I can’t remember if we’re going heads up or three ways. But the flop is what really matters in this hand. Flop comes down– jack, four, four so pretty favorable flop there– flopping back-to-back full houses in this vlog so far. I go ahead and check it, and my opponent puts out a small c-bet. I make the call. The turn is the nine of hearts, backdoor flush draw.

I check it again, and he puts out another bet. This time, sizes up a little bit closer to half pot or maybe a little bit more. I make the call again.

River is a queen. Check it. He’s very likely to have an overpair sometimes, or he’s going to have a hand that he was iso-ing a limper with and is just barreling away, bluffing.

He will have queens sometimes here. That’s not going to matter. That’s just going to be a cooler that we’re going to chalk it up as. He’s going to have kings, he’s going to have aces, and he’s going to have some bluffs, as well. So I’m looking for him to bet all of the above, and sure enough, he jams all in.

So we go ahead and snap call, and he gives me the face of the man who has absolutely nothing. I just go ahead and show my hand, and sure enough, that’s the winner. So off to a good start here on Monday evening from the Commerce Casino, Los Angeles, California. The action was aplenty on Monday at the Commerce, and of course, it helps to run good when that action is available.

We got into the game on Monday for $1,900. We cashed out of the game for a little over $5,800. That is a profit of a little over $3,900.

So that was a great start to the week, and on Tuesday, it was right back into the thick of it. The weather, although it was not snowing, still was not exactly on point during my time in LA. That’s perfectly fine because the main reason for going to Los Angeles was to grind. This doesn’t happen all that often where I have this sort of setup. I love to play online casino nz on my smartphone but now I’m staying in a hotel where the casino is, so it would be great to play there tonight. Certainly not like a very high percentage of my sessions am I actually staying in a hotel where I’m grinding.

It’s the little things. It’s nice– just come up here and take a break. Anyway, things are moving along nicely now. The session today started off a little bit slower. I was pretty card-dead. Nothing terrible happened, just a lot of whipping the flop.

Picking up a lot of pocket pairs, small pairs, calling pre-flop, or raising pre-flop. Not flopping at any sets, that’s for sure. Flopping a lot under pairs– hands like queen-jack offsuit where there’s one bet that goes in pre-flop, and that’s all the money that goes in.

So I got stuck a little bit early, added on $400 again– same as yesterday. And if we could finish up with the same result as yesterday, that would be fantastic. I’m just happy to grind it out, and that’s what I’ve been doing thus far. I had one pretty interesting hand. I’m not exactly sure I’m in love with the way I played it.

Open nine-eight of hearts, $35 from under the gun and get three callers. Flop comes three, three, three. Action checks all the way around.

I could make a stab at it, but with three players in there, I expect to get called some decent percentage of the time. The turn is a king. Action checks to me again, and again, I think it’s probably a very reasonable card to take a stab at, but same situation– three players, just playing super straightforward here so far. Action checks all the way through again. The river is an off-suit five, total brick. Action checks to me one more time, and as I’m considering a bet, the big blind goes ahead and mucks his hand.

So only two players to get through now, so I just take a stab, $70, and what do you know? It gets through. So I take that one down nine high.

A little bit later on, we open pocket fives from under the gun plus one to $35. The button puts in a three bet to $135. It folds back to me, and I go ahead and make the call.

Flop comes pretty favorable for these pocket fives– five, four, three with a flush draw. Check it over to him, and he bets $200. I think I’m pretty much always going to have to raise here– very straightforward. Even if he happens to have an ace-king type hand where he has no pairs, he’s still going to have some equity drawing to a straight. So I kick it up to $550. My opponent folds, unfortunately.

So we flop ourselves top set, but no more value aside from the $200, though. I pick up $335. For sure, the most interesting hand that’s happened so far came when it folded around to the button, who raised up to $35.

The small blind puts in a three bet to $140, and we have 10-9 of spades in the big blind. One of those spots where I think all options are on the table here– I think we are about $1,700 effective. Folding– certainly reasonable. Raising to try and put some pressure on him when he could be three-betting as a bluff here– pretty regularly small blind versus button– definitely a viable option. I decide on the third option. I decide to come in with the cold call, the cold flat.

Try and play this suited connector in position, and take advantage of that… positional… advantage… Yeah, button calls as well. So three ways to a flop, which comes eight, seven, three with the eight-seven of spades, so an open-ended straight flush draw. The small blind checks, so I am going to go ahead and put in a bet here. Lots of equity in this hand, but 10 high, so I want to start bluffing now and make it $250.

The button calls, and the small blind folds. So heads up to a turn card, which is an off-suit queen. I think I had 1,300, but I think the button has 1,100, something like that. I have more than him, and yeah, about $1,100. So still having pretty reasonable equity here, and him not showing too much strength. Of course, he did call, facing a $250 bet, but I think he’s going to have some pocket pairs here a decent amount of the time, and the queen shouldn’t have improved him too often unless he has the queen-high flush draw.

Other than that, I feel like we can apply a lot of pressure by just jamming all in, and that’s what I do. I stick it in there for, I think, $1,100 effective, and my opponent thinks for a little bit before folding. So we don’t have to rely on the equity in that hand. We get it done by pushing that equity, pushing our opponent out of the pot, and taking it down there with the 10 high.

So that’s the most interesting thing so far. I’m going to go back downstairs, play for a little bit longer. It is currently this o’clock.

Whoa. Why is that light flashing like that? What is that? I think that’s like some sort of sensor that only the camera can pick up because I can’t see that with my naked eye. Anyway, it’s 12:25 in the morning. I’ll probably for maybe another hour, depending on how the table looks.

Not as much action as last night, but still a reasonable game. So let’s get back to it. Well guys, things were going pretty swimmingly for a while there. I was probably up about 1,000, maybe even $1,100 or so. Tough hand came up.

There was, I think, an earlier middle position player open, a pretty snug player. A player who had been playing pretty snug, he opens it up for $40 in middle position. I looked down at pocket jacks from the small blind, and just a sight of flat here, just based on who the player was, I didn’t think he was opening too often or too lightly. So I call there, and there is a call out of the big blind, as well.

Flop comes fantastic– it comes jack-high, and I check it. The big blind checks it. Initial raiser puts out a bet– I think he bet $75. It should be pretty easy to stay pretty balanced here with a check raise with some draws available on this board, so I raise it up to, I think, $250.

Big blind gets out of the way, and the initial raiser makes the call. The turn is an off-suit ace. I think this time I bet $325 before my opponent jams all in for a total of 900 and something, $950 or so.

Nothing I can do, nothing I’m going to be able to do get away from this hand. I pretty happily make the call here, even I’m going to be losing some percentage of the time. Turns out, this is, in fact, one of those times. My opponent has pocket aces here in this spot, and yeah, we’re drawn to one out.

Worth noting– if that one out did happen to come in, that’s a jackpot. That’s a bad beat jackpot– aces full of jacks, beaten by quads. But no such luck. Instead, it’s just a bad beat for us. We’re going to get doubled through in his hand, and that wipes out all the profit. So unfortunately, after grinding it out for the majority this session in Profitville, that’s going to take us all the way back down to minus about 500 or so.

It’s tough when you can grind all day, and you feel like you played pretty well for the entire day. Obviously, you’re never going to play perfectly, but I didn’t make any big mistakes, I don’t think, and I just ran into a super tough hand where I think we’re just going to have to lose the maximum there. We get into the game for $2,000, out of the game for $1,451. So we lose $549, I think. Feel free to double check my math. But that’s OK.

I’m still up healthily for the trip so far. There’s always going to be some run bad mixed in with a lot of running well. Power through. I think I’m going to leave the casino property here tomorrow.

I think that’s the plan. Get outside, at least, while driving to another casino, at least. OK, so day three, Wednesday– we didn’t drive to another casino. We did, however, drive to one of my favorite bars in East LA. All right, guys. I’m hanging out one at one of my favorite locations in East Los Angeles, a place called El Prado, which I’m not sure if it’s an Echo Park or Silver Lake, but it is on Sunset Boulevard, and it’s a 10 or 15-minute drive from Commerce Casino.

It’s small, dark. I discovered one of my favorite beers of all time here called St. Bernardus. Mmm, beer. Really cool little joint. Please pardon these ridiculous little hot pixels, these dots here, right there, right there– super annoying.

It’s time for a new camera, I guess. I could send this camera to Canon to have it repaired to the tune of $200, so I’m not too sure what to do. I think I’m just going to get a new camera because this one is a couple of years old now. Yeah, I don’t know.

It’s a struggle. Anyway, to the poker developments today. I just grinded for the most part of the day– no super-big hands until later on. Earlier on, I called a raise from a middle position with pocket 10s, and we go four ways to a flop, a 10-high flop. I flat call a c-bet with two players behind me.

The player on my left folds, and the player out of position puts in a min raise. The initial raiser folds, and I try and get some more value here, expecting him to not fold hardly anything after he puts in a check min raise on the flop here into multiple players. So I raise it up to $450, but unfortunately, my opponent does fold and fold pretty quickly to that min raise. Later on, a pretty interesting hand on a different table. There was a raise from middle position, and I looked down at pocket kings on his direct left.

I put in the three bet to $150 over his $40 open. It folds back to the initial raiser, who puts in a four bet to $450. We’re pretty deep here. I think we are about 300 big blinds deep, maybe a little bit less.

No, 300– about 300 big blinds deep. So I decide to flat here. I’m not going to have, I don’t think, any sort of bluffing range, a five-bet bluffing range in this spot. So I flat, and we’re off to a flop. Flop comes 10, four, three with two clubs.

He puts in a c-bet. He downbets the flop to $275 or so. I go ahead and flat call. The turn is an off-suit jack, and he puts out another bet to the tune of $850 this time. I’m not exactly sure what’s the best play here.

I’m never going to fold, so it’s a debate between flatting or just jamming it to try and deny equity in this spot. I don’t know how many flush draws he’s going to have, but there will be some percentage of the time he will have flush draws, considering I don’t have the king of clubs in my hand. Ace-queen is a possibility. It would be a disaster to see an ace on the river, and we don’t want to see a queen on the river, either. But then again, I don’t know how worried we should be with only one card to come and not too many cards that we are afraid of. But I don’t really want to see a club.

It could make things a little bit tricky, and obviously, don’t want to see an ace or a queen. So I have about $1,600 behind the $850 bet. Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what’s best– whether it’s just jam it all in there to deny equity or flat call. I decide on the former. I decide to jam at all in. I’m all in.

And the good news is that we fade the snap call. We would hate to hear him say, “I call!” immediately, after sticking all the money in there. Then we’re in bad shape. My opponent asked me if I really have pocket jacks, after he’s thinking for a little bit, and that’s a little bit worrisome because maybe he has aces and is worried that we have turned a set.

He’s deep in the tank thinking about it for a very long time, and he eventually has the clock called on him. So time is ticking down after the floorman comes over. At the Commerce, they put a little clock on the table, so I’m just sort of watching the clock. I’m pretty happy with the fold, although as more time goes on, I’m kind of thinking I wouldn’t mind a call so much because I don’t think he’s thinking this long with pocket aces.

I think this player– very good player, but also very active, puts people in a lot of spots, and I think he knows his image well enough to know that he’s going to have to call it off with pocket aces. So I’m pretty confident we have the best hand here. I’m sort of indifferent either way, whether he folds or calls.

Probably want the call if he’s thinking for that long, but happy to scoop it in and not have to go to showdown… and that is, in fact, what happens after about 30 seconds, 40 seconds. He goes ahead and mucks his hand. He asks if I’ll show. He’s a very friendly guy, very cool guy, and has shown a bunch of his hands, so I go and show him the pocket kings.

And later on, he said that he was wondering what the river was going to be. It seemed like he might have had some sort of a draw. Maybe he had ace-king or ace-queen and wanted to see a river card. Or maybe he had a flush draw and didn’t want to call it off for $1,600. I don’t know exactly, but I do know that we’re scooping it in a pretty good sized pot there, and not too long after that, I decide to call it a day.

I played for somewhere around six or seven hours, maybe. We were into the game for $1,500, never had to add on. I cashed out of the game for $5,127– profit of $3,627. Double check my math, if you so desire. [INSTRUMENTAL HIP HOP] I had one more night in LA, but I did not play 5-10 on Thursday.

Instead, I had a fantastic Lebanese food dinner with my older brother, who lives in Los Angeles. He lives in North Hollywood. Little-known fact– I am actually part Lebanese, 25%, which makes me the whitest Lebanese person in all of planet Earth. After dinner, I made it down to the Bike for a beer. Cheers. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Cheers. Cheers, brother. Oh, look. It’s a camera.

I made an attempt to sneak into the Live at the Bike lineup that night and play Ramsey’s stack, who invited me to do so. However, unfortunately, the floorman– he didn’t seem to be having it whatsoever. Instead, I managed to play a little bit of 5/5 on the main floor. We were into that game for $1,000. Into the game for $1,000, don’t add on, and cash out for $1,528.

I think. $1,528. Nice little short session of 5/5 to top off some good results this week in Los Angeles. Thanks a lot.

So the poker travel, the run good– obviously this is one of, if not the best parts of this poker lifestyle. It’s the fun part, for sure. What we don’t see a lot of in these videos is the study.

Lots of discussions that happen about poker hands, me watching training videos on poker training sites, and of course, many years of struggle that occurred before I even started making these videos. Those are all the years that it takes to develop a strategy that you think is a sound strategy, a winning strategy in live poker. Lately, I’ve been trying to devote a little bit more time to that study. It’s something that I neglected over the first couple of years of making these videos.

I’m trying to prioritize the study a little bit more. Hopefully, the study will continue to pay off. [INSTRUMENTAL HIP HOP]