In episode #4 of my live poker journey, I head down to the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa. While the original goal was to play $1/$2 for the poker VLOG, I was told that recording at the table was a no-no. So I jumped over to $2/$5 and put in a short session that didn’t go too well.

Push play and let’s review the key hands together.

Losing A Big MW $2/$5 Pot

I open-raise with Q♠9♠ from the CO and promptly get 3-bet by the SB to $40. The BB pretty quickly calls and I call closing action.

The flop is a beautiful Q♥9♥3♦ and there is a $75 bet and raise to $200 in front of me.

My main options are between calling and just shoving over the top, and I opt to jam it for my remaining $510. I didn’t think the BB would be pure bluffing very often, so many marginal/drawing hands that he would raise with would feel obligated to call the remaining $310 more.

And the SB, while I hate to give them a reason to consider folding AA, KK, or AQ-type hands, I think they would look at the big pot brewing and feel committed to seeing it through.

Both players call, and unfortunately, the pot does NOT get shipped our way.

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TPTK Facing A Donk Bet

EP2 open-limps, which seemed to be his way of entering a lot of pots given how loose and fishy this game was and how he did NOT want to get involved in bloated pots with marginal starting hands.

Given that, I still raise to $25 with ATo from the CO and just EP2 calls.

The flop is T♠8♦3♣ and they check/call my $20 c-bet.

On the 5♠ turn, EP2 opts to take the lead and fires $55 into me and I quickly call. We check this against the GTO+ solver, and not shockingly, the solver NEVER donks in this spot. So -6 points to EP2!

Now that we are totally out of solver land, when EP2 fires $125 on the 2♦, it’s an easy call. If he happens to have a random 2 pair or rare set, good for him.

But instead, he quickly mucks and onward we go to the next hand.

Losing With AA At $2/$5

EP2 open-limps and the CO raises to $25 total. EP2 is a fishy player who has been making this game very good, and the CO is a comfortable middle-aged guy.

I wake up with pocket Aces in the SB and 3-bet to $80 total. This gives the fishy player a better opportunity to get involved preflop (even though it’s not the most likely happening), but alas, EP2 folds and the CO quickly calls.

The flop is 5♦3♦2♠ and I opt to check. The solver much prefers betting here, even without the A♦ in our hand, but it does have a small 1.1% checking frequency, so….let’s just claim that I’m mixing here? 

The CO fires for $100 and I check-raise to $215 total. Any check-raise here looks inherently strong, but given the 3.5SPR, this is the only size that could give enough room to a bluff 3-bet on the flop. It also allows worse overpairs, like 77 and 99, to feel more comfortable compared to just going all-in.

Unfortunately, the CO shoves, I call, and he shows me 55. The runout doesn’t help and I’m heading home with a hole in my pocket.

$2/$5 Session Results

  • Location: Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, FL
  • Session length: 2.5hrs (7pm-9:30pm)
  • Session profit: -$1,300
  • Hourly: -$520/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): -416BB/100

Better luck to us next time!