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Since last we spoke Pt.5 2016 10k PLO: 1/2

Whatever that is on my left arm is driving my OCD crazy right now

The 2016 10k PLO is a predominant blur for me up until the money bubble, which was one of a few that I can recall being as fun as a person could hope for. The only thing that I remember prior to that was sending out a "Feel like shit. Think I'm going to have to skip the PLO" text before the FOMO kicked in an hour into late reg.

A day later I'm triple barreling off for my stack 10 from the money. Fortunately the river runs out favorably, bringing a one-liner to a straight, making it an easier fold for the guy I'm firing into. My whole hand flips over when I go to muck, revealing the bluff, but it pays off when I river pot the effective nuts a few hands later and get looked up pretty light. That last pot pushed me close to the table chiplead, and I kept my foot on the gas as players tightened up considerably throughout a lengthy bubble period. I wont lie, I was feeling pretty nasty. By the time we reached the money I had taken the overall tournament chiplead, which is a great cushion, but wouldn’t last long once people are guaranteed a cash and the stacks start flying.

I ended day 2 second in chips with 1.6mm, but those were whittled away throughout the course of day 3 as we neared the final table. With 600k left at 20k/40k I got it in with AcKcTJ vs AAs6s7 and the board ran out TxsxsxT. I busted that same poor soul shortly after when I check-raised a full wrap plus flush draw in a single raised pot vs his naked aces, turning him dead and boosting me back to the same sized stack that I began the day with.

We reached the Final Table and it was a slaughterfest of PLO crushers. It could’ve been wilder had James Obst not lost a massive pot finishing just two places shy of joining us. Those who made it were Tommy Le, Junayed Khan, Dominique Mosely, Harley Stoffmaker, Melad Marji, Matthew Parray, and endboss Loren Klein, who along with Le, deservingly occupy the number 1 and 2 spots for all time money won in PLO tournaments.

Murderer's Row

Mosley, and Khan were eliminated, but not before one of the most memorable hands of poker I’ve ever played. I wish I were able to share it, but for now I've got to keep it to myself, however it was a crucial equity spot, and one of the few moments of my poker career that filled me with euphoria ( the other one that comes to mind is a hand vs Mike Leah during the 2018 10k PLO final table that I will definitely go into ). I held onto this high until play ended for the night, and my brain wouldn’t shut off for the next 24 hours.

Day 3 ended around midnight. By this stage of the Series, I’ve typically abandoned my diet in lieu of morale, so I’ll grab some shitty food as I’ve barely eaten as it is, read over hands, and think about spots. I don’t think I got to bed until close to three in the morning, but I was so filled with adrenaline that sleep wasn’t going to happen. After rolling around for a few hours, I threw in the towel, and decided to just take a bath and watch the 25k PLO Final Table from the previous year. I would make my decisions with the player's cards in every spot, and I really enjoyed listening to Andrew Brown’s commentary; I felt like his logic aligned with my thought process as I followed along. I watched the entire thing sitting in the tub as I didn’t want to disturb my girlfriend, and just hoped that my feeling sharp would mitigate my exhaustion ( and pruniness ), as I got zero minutes of sleep going into the Final Table.

The first thing I remember walking into the Thunderdome on day 4 was trying to cheer up a bummed out Tommy Le who ended day 2 with the chiplead, but was coming in today short. He wasn’t shy about wearing his frustrations, and as an extremely self-critical person, I could easily relate and empathize. He settled in quickly, and put on a show, going from just over a million in chips to taking the chiplead after making a hero call for his life on the river with a 9 high flush, then subsequently running circles around the table. At this point Harley Stoffmaker had busted, and we were five handed. I distinctly remember thinking that if someone didn’t step in and offer Le some resistance while a few of us still had comparable stacks, this was going to be a big problem, and that it would be best if I put up the fight.

A pivotal hand was one where I limped AhJT6ccc in the small blind and he raised the big with KKxx. The board came QhJh2A2 and I check called flop and turn, with a bit over a pot sized bet remaining on the river. He shut down, and beat himself up for not firing the third barrel on the river after I turned my hand up. I was very likely calling with my exact hand barring intangibles, but in his mind he made a mistake, and I could feel the shift of momentum as Le quieted down and I picked up the aggression.

Eventually Parry fell to me, and Marji to Klein. I was in pressure mode and raised Le shortly after from the small blind, he repotted and I was fortunate to outflop his aces and have my hand hold up. Then there were two.


<3 Brandon


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