Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The silver lining...

I am back to playing well. How can I tell? I have TWO bad beats from last nights two tournaments. BOTH time I caught a set running into a MADE flush or straight, and the board pairing the river. So be it. But in some great early play, I got away from a couple of good hands that would have sent me home vs. a set.

Here is a great hand to follow:

I get A3 in the BB and call a 2x BB range from MP as did the SB.

Flop 245 with 2 hearts. Against 3 opponents, cant play this slow. SB bets out!
I raise. Pot.
Now the MP shoves all-in! What could he have?
and the SB CALLS!!! What could HE have?
I cant fold here, I have to be ahead, right?!

SB has Presto for top SET. He is expecting AK (TPTK) vs. Aces-up.
MP has a BETTER hand then me! He has A3 (flopped straight) with hearts for the nut flush redraw. I am hoping for a split of the sets money.
But the turn and river come A...A...

In the other hand, I call a min-raise from the blind with Jh8h with 17 players left. Its the big stack and I am second, but I MUST defend the BB at lesat to the flop against 2x.

The flop is 832 with 2 hearts. I have top pair and the flush redraw. I bet 1/2 pot and get a min-re-reaise. I HAVE TO CALL HERE EVEN THOUGH I KNOW SUSPECT ACES.
The turn is the Ace of hearts and I have a flush! (I think he now has a set!)
All the money gets in and the river pairs. I dont know about you, but I think the big stack got very lucky playing with fire.

Despite punching my laptop monitor, I was most happy with the results. I escaped when I was behind and got my money in good. Everytime. I needed that a week before my event.

In other news, I have to miss the Mookie tonight for a "function". I play on "twittering" from Vegas, feel free to "follow me". ID "ltcolumbo".

Friday, May 23, 2008

The downside of aggression

I have been much more aggressive lately. The upside is picking up a lot of small pots. The downside is getting in a situation where you dont want to fold and you end up losing a pot with second best hand. Even worse, because of the aggressive tendancies, you find it harder to escape a hand.

NOTE: I did not say that its harder to KNOW when to escape, just that its harder to do it.

Last night may be a bad example because all three big pots I lost, I had what I thought was a great flop and in all three cases my opponent had trips or a set.

But in 1 case, I has getting 5-1 to hit a river flush. But it was half my remaining stack. I reluctantly made the mathmatically correct call, even though I would normally fold here.

In another case, I KNEW I was behind, but called down with second best hand "in case I was wrong and I was being played back at".

I need to take both my new aggression and my houdini skills out at the table. I have got to blend the styles and stop being 100% mathmatical and get back to the strategic metagame aspects. Lots of aggression is certainly better in cash games and shorthanded games IMHO.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I leanred a new game last night!

Here's what we did. We each went down to the busiest street nearby. (We chose the famous 8 mile.) Now, each player ties a blindfold over their eyes and the players shut their mouths and listen. When they think there is no traffic coming, they run across the street. When everyone gets to the other side (or doesn't), you repeat until there is one "runner" left. I came in 13th with only a bruised sternum. What did we call this game?

Omaha H/L No Limit.

I think Omaha Limit and O8B limit are two of my better games. It's where good Houdini skills can take you deep. But with Omaha no limit you need to "run like Astin" to win.
Too bad I run like "Fuel".

Even in the bodonkey last night, my exit was accompanied by a chat window "sorry" from the Ace-Rag army. I even flopped two pair, but as Drizz knows, sometimes the Ace-Rag army will not be denied.

Still, like a fool returns to his folly, I will see you all tonight at the Mookie.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A fistful of chips

Talk about a situation where you dont take your own bloody advice. I always warn players to be very weary of large river bets. Unless your in extenuating circumstances, it is just rarely a bluff when a 3 bullets are fired. Not only did I call a big river bet, but I called it from FUEL! He is not going to run a 3 bullet bluff in level 2. Just not gonna happen. Yet, I called what could only be called, "a fish value bet". And I bit hard.

In a way, I am glad it happened. Here I am going to play in a WSOP event and I obviously needed a reminder of "top ten stupid things fish do".

  1. Call big river bet in early rounds
  2. limp short handed
  3. talk to Waffles in the chat window (always -EV)
  4. call out of position
  5. betting for no reason
  6. folding when you are getting odds to call
  7. being unable to fold aces
  8. over-playing AJ
  9. not watching stack sizes before betting
  10. shoving BFOV* with TP. (*wrongly obviously)
As Elmer Fudd once said to Daffy Duck
"More Briefing?" - Elmer
(sigh) "More Briefing." -Daffy

Friday, May 16, 2008

ONE is the lonliest number...

Back to Back Columbo they'll call me I reckon. Back to back 1 point finishes in the BBT3. ONE freaking point. Last night was O8BLimit, one of my better games until the blinds take over. As true to form, when the blinds were reaonable, I was at one point FIRST in chips. When the blinds get HIGH, I found myself in some tough spots. And not just the classic AA234xx, where x=Fuck-Brick! but some really genuine tough spots.

You have Kh8hAd3c and the flop is Th9h3d. Someone bets out. You are NOT going to hit low, you could hit high but would it be the best? and with the level so high, calling is 10% of your stack here.

Here is another classic. 5678 in the BB and the flop is 578 rainbow. Can you really call a bet here? You already LOST low, and you're not exactly a favorite on high also.

Letting these go got me to 25th, where are following them down would have had me out sooner. But again, with the blinds so high, I feel my play was taken away. I thought I was playing well and I consider O8B-limit to be my second best game after NLHE. (due to the heavy math involved I think).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In this post, I am going to quote Jennifer Tilly!

Really. WPT Ladies Night, post knockout interview. "I just didn't get the cards".

Last night in the Mookie, I started off pretty well, but from just before the break until... ohhh... lets say I threw the laptop at the wall, I got 94o. Pretty much for the complete "the antes have started" levels. 94o.

You can say what you want about stealing and surviving and re-stealing, but in an hour of 94o, you are going down.

I just have to chalk this one up to variance. But I did score a single BBT3 point for folding to 25th.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

running bad or running wild?

I am still running well in the first half of tournaments and falling apart in the 20%-40% fields size range. As I review the process, I am seeing too many turns where I have to let go of the hand in the latter stages of the tournament. Time to either ratchet that down or take down those pots.

WSOP event #9 3 weeks out.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

The wheels come off the bus

In the riverchasers last night, I was playing particularly well. I even recovered and avoided tilt when an A6 made a one card flush on my AT and took 25% of my stack. But with 28 people left, I was 5th and chips and confident that I could win this one. I came in 19th. What the heck happened? Lets look:

We are at 250/500/25. I have about $14k in chips.
For you Harrington players, M is only about 12 even though Q is about 1.75
For you Hansen players: ante ratio is 5:1 and the table is often 7 handed.

My hands are very uneven and I am managing to steal or pick up a hand about once a rotation, which is only treading water. A poor run of cards and I fluctuate between $12.5k and $14k for a few rotations. Meanwhile blinds are 400/800/100 (ante ratio 4:1)
My M (and everyone else's) plummets to 7 despite being 2nd in chips at the table.

Critical hand #1:
Full Tilt Poker Game #6342141040: Riverchasers Online Tour (48006329), Table 8 - 400/800 Ante 100 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:37:50 ET - 2008/05/08
Seat 1: lightning36 (6,293)
Seat 2: OMGitsPokerFool (15,090)
Seat 3: twoblackaces (5,955)
Seat 6: gorilla_rc24 (9,242)
Seat 8: wwonka69 (18,632)
Seat 9: columbo (13,060)
antes 100
OMGitsPokerFool posts the small blind of 400
twoblackaces posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [2c 2h]
gorilla_rc24 folds
wwonka69 folds
columbo raises to 2,400 <= must raise ANY chance you get 6 handed now.
lightning36 folds
OMGitsPokerFool raises to 14,990, and is all in
twoblackaces folds
columbo has 15 seconds left to act

I am getting poor odds here. Its another 12.5k to win 18k. 3:1 pot odds? is it really this close? But 22 is an easily dominated hand by any pair and is 50/50 at best.

columbo folds
Uncalled bet of 12,590 returned to OMGitsPokerFool
OMGitsPokerFool mucks
OMGitsPokerFool wins the pot (6,200)

I now have 10.5k, just a hair above avg.


Full Tilt Poker Game #6342148677: Riverchasers Online Tour (48006329), Table 8 - 400/800 Ante 100 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:38:27 ET - 2008/05/08
Seat 1: lightning36 (6,193)
Seat 2: OMGitsPokerFool (18,790)
Seat 3: twoblackaces (5,055)
Seat 6: gorilla_rc24 (9,142)
Seat 8: wwonka69 (18,532)
Seat 9: columbo (10,560)
antes 100
twoblackaces posts the small blind of 400
gorilla_rc24 posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [9h As]
wwonka69 folds
columbo raises to 3,200 <= I know its A9o from EP, but we are SIX handed, high blinds, high antes, and its not an awful steal hand.

lightning36 raises to 6,093, and is all in
OMGitsPokerFool folds
twoblackaces folds
gorilla_rc24 folds

This is an EASY call. 3k to win 10k. Unless he has a dominating Ace, I am in a must call situation at these odds.

columbo calls 2,893
lightning36 shows [Qc Ac]
columbo shows [9h As]


*** FLOP *** [8c Qh 9s]
*** TURN *** [8c Qh 9s] [Ah]
*** RIVER *** [8c Qh 9s Ah] [3s]
lightning36 shows two pair, Aces and Queens
columbo shows two pair, Aces and Nines
lightning36 wins the pot (13,986) with two pair, Aces and Queens

I am now the short stack for the tournament at $4.4k
I start shoving, but only get up to $5.1k when I finally get a pair.

Based on M, blinds just went up, and stack size, I will have to shove here regardless of action... (we are now at 18 players)

Full Tilt Poker Game #6342204944: Riverchasers Online Tour (48006329), Table 8 - 500/1000 Ante 125 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:43:05 ET - 2008/05/08
Seat 1: lightning36 (11,586)
Seat 2: OMGitsPokerFool (18,890)
Seat 3: twoblackaces (6,155)
Seat 4: Mattazuma (13,329)
Seat 5: RaisingCayne (25,875)
Seat 6: gorilla_rc24 (9,442)
Seat 7: scottc25 (6,035)
Seat 8: wwonka69 (17,032)
Seat 9: columbo (5,167)
columbo antes 125
columbo posts the small blind of 500
lightning36 posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #8

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [7d 7s]
OMGitsPokerFool folds
twoblackaces folds
Mattazuma folds
RaisingCayne folds
gorilla_rc24 raises to 9,317, and is all in
scottc25 folds
wwonka69 folds
columbo calls 4,542, and is all in
lightning36 calls 8,317 <= huh?

gorilla_rc24 shows [4d Ad]
columbo shows [7d 7s]
lightning36 shows [Qd As] <= HUH?! This makes little sense to me. TWO all-ins and too early to panic, but you call with AQo?

*** FLOP *** [9h 8s 4s]
*** TURN *** [9h 8s 4s] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [9h 8s 4s 5h] [Ac]
gorilla_rc24 shows two pair, Aces and Fours
lightning36 shows a pair of Aces
gorilla_rc24 wins the main pot (16,251) with two pair, Aces and Fours
columbo stands up

And just like that, 5th to 18th.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

You're missing the point

Please read the Astin hand again. If you have to, imagine the tight table and sit down with some chips (like only $1000).

Now, listen carefully. The mistakes are on the turn and the river, not the pre-flop and flop. Did you hear that everyone?!

"so columbo, your defending the min-raise and the check".


1. What is the PURPOSE of the RAISE?
2. Do I want ZERO callers with AA? (are you kidding me?)
3. Does it really look like I am behind on the flop?
4. What level are we in?

I played the turn and river poorly. Ok, that is an understatement. A big one. That river call is unconscionable. hee-freakin-haw there.

Astin!? (why I outta...)

He gets AA TWICE in 1 rotation, but then *I* get ACES!!!

Full Tilt Poker Game #6328617452: The Mookie (42846026), Table 6 - 20/40 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:16:08 ET - 2008/05/07
Seat 1: columbo (1,645)
Seat 2: VinNay (1,355), is sitting out
Seat 3: AgSweep (1,540)
Seat 4: Astin (3,125)
Seat 5: emptyman (1,365), is sitting out
Seat 6: Tony Eusebio (1,580)
Seat 7: muhctim (1,370)
Seat 8: NYRambler (1,345)
Seat 9: pushmonkey72 (3,090)
emptyman posts the small blind of 20
Tony Eusebio posts the big blind of 40
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [Ad Ac]
muhctim has 15 seconds left to act
muhctim folds
NYRambler folds
pushmonkey72 folds
columbo raises to 80
VinNay folds
AgSweep folds
Astin calls 80
emptyman folds
Tony Eusebio folds

*** FLOP *** [Js 9d 7s]
columbo checks
Astin checks

I decide that I need to let him catch up or he'll just fold. mah-hah-ha-ha-ha

*** TURN *** [Js 9d 7s] [Kd]
columbo bets 120
Astin raises to 440
columbo calls 320

So, Astin has a King? Awesome.
CALL?! What are you columbo, an idiot? Unless he has QT, you just gave him a free river to beat you? WTF?

*** RIVER *** [Js 9d 7s Kd] [3c]
columbo checks
Astin bets 680
columbo calls 680

Um, uh-oh. That is a big river bet considering my stack size. Did he have KJ? K9?

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Astin shows [Ts Qh] a straight, King high
columbo mucks
Astin wins the pot (2,460) with a straight, King high

oh, the pain. My so called mistake on the turn was irrelevant. Only Astin can flop perfect vs. AA and of course, instantly hit his draw.

was that a really bad board to give a free card on or was I just cold decked by the king of deck warmers?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

football quotes on Razz

"When you throw the ball, 3 things can happen. And two of them are bad." Well, the same can be said for Razz. "When you play a hand in Razz, 3 things can happen. And two of them are bad."

1. You brick on 4th
2. You end up with 4 low cards (and often multiple pairs)
3. your opponent folds

I have come to the conclusion that seeing a showdown in Razz is -EV. Either get your opponent to fold or Brace For The Pain.

In WSOP news, I mailed off my check today for event #9, but realized that the weekend of the blogger gathering is ALSO the BBT3 TOC. Oh no!

Friday, May 02, 2008


Freaky Dream Flashback

Surreal. I had that dream where you are late for class and you haven't been there all year because you didn't even know you had the class. And maybe there is a final today? and yada-yada? Well, I had that dream only it was the WSOP. and I missed my event, and all of Las Vegas actually looked like an indoor mall. You know, like the one if Return of the Living Dead.

So what does all this mean? Who cares. But it is interesting that although I haven't spent a minute on thinking about it when Im awake, my subconsciouos is tell me... You are not practicing enough.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rollercoaster... of luv...

Roloercoaster, woo hoo hoo-hoo-hoo. What a ride the Mooke was last night.

I have been frustrated lately by two things. Not winning hands on the flop, and finishing poorly late in the tournament. What I mean by the latter is that many times this month I have been in the top 5 in chips, only to miss the money. Heck, even miss the points (top 25%). How can it go south so quickly?

My first adjustment is to the early game. I have 3 mojitos and decide I will only raise "pot" pre-flop (typically 3.5x BB) and when I decide to proceed post-flop, I will bet POT, and not look for value.

For the second part, my plan was to get some decent freaking cards for once. Both will work out nicely.

Follow along, if you dare!!!

Won an early hand with 87o when I flopped to pair
Lost around 200 chips checking out flops (including 55) and having to relesae.
so still around start size...

Then I will call an all-in from a shorty with KT only to see AK. I have a measly 799 chips left.

Win the blines twice in a row, which leads into being dealt 77 in UTG+1. Luck truck raises UTG and I re-raise all in. He calls with AQ and misses. I am healthy again.

I lose some small pots seeing flops then get KK in Utg+1, I raise POT and get a call from Fuel. But he folds to my post flop pot bet.

Lost of small pots won and lost...
And then its AK on the button. When its folded around to me I raise and it looks like a steal. cmitch gtes his money in with AQ and I double up.

I lose 700 chips when my QQ sees and Ace flop and folds...
spend some time winning and losing pots under 1000 chips. Lost of AJ and small pairs.

Weird hand where UTG and UTG+1 linp. I raise to 1000 with AQ and when I bet the flop, my caller (Bayne) folds.

Now I go on a TEAR. but a negative one! Losing the next 22 hands that I put money in the pot. 22! blinds are 150/300 and but I have 7000 in chips. I get aggro with 66 and pick up a decent pot.

I now REPEAT my tear, including not 1 but two big pots. The first is with AQ in UtG+1. I make it $1250 (blinds are 200/400) and I call a push for $3600 (2200 more). KK takes half my stack.

The next hand, I GET KK. I push and the SB (LJ?) calls with A9s and make a runner-runner flush.

I have only $1500 chips with I am stuck inthe the 200/400/50 Big blind for a 1/3 of my chips. DESPITE that, I get a walk.

I pick up a few chips with a re-steal with A5. sweet. But I am 19th out of 19th with 18 getting paid.

Folede to me on the button, so I push with KJo. 44 calls, but I flop and K and double up.

I have 5k in chips with I get KK on the button. folded around to me and when I raise, no action.

I push from EP with AQ (short handed) and get a button call from an even shorter stack. THEY have KK and I am back to 2250.

I lose a couple of pots and I have only $1350 left.
This time, AQ comes through and Bayne doubles me up with his AJ call.

I bide my time with about $3500 chips until I get AA in LP. I simply shove and get no action. bummer. Blinds were 400/800 with 100 ante, so what other bet can I make?

I steal with KJ. I 6k (below avg) when I get AJ in the SB. The button makes a move on the blinds and I re-raise all-in. He calls with AT and I double up.

We are nearing the end and steals are covering for the pre-flop folds. and then a monster pot.

We are 6 handed down to the final 2 tables. I have 14k in cutoff. Its foleded to me, and I raise $4400 (1/3 of my stack) with A6o. Drizz shoves for $8800 total and I feel I am stuck calling. Ironically, Drizz had a pair (88) vs. the Ace-Rag army. Which once again, vanquishes him.

AJ on the buttona and a big stack of chips allows me to call a push from the hijack and I have his QJ dominated. One more to the rail.

Few more smaller pots and its off to the final table. I pick off a steal attempt with AK and send 83o to the rail. There are now SIX left, and I am second in chips.

lucko limps and LJ shoves all in for like 20k. I wake up on the button with AA and win a HUGE pots and we are down to 5. Not only that, I am now tied for the chip lead.

About 5 minutes later, the EXACT scenario. Only BiggestRon now pushes raises with KK and I wake up with AA on the button. I re-reaise but he is not folding KK and gets his money in. Board is all numbers and we are down to 4. I am now the chip leader.

We are down to 3 when I try to rail the short stack by calling his shove with A2o. He had QQ. Lame call AND I doubled him up.

After Lucko dispenses with him, we are heads up.

I cant even describe what happened. Every time we see a flop, Lucko hits it. Every time. I get so frustrated that I decide to steal a pot on a 34Q flop. Of course, he has AQ. Even the last hand, I shove with A3, he flips A7. Luckilly for me we both already had a TOC seat. Because I got spanked heads-up. It was tough to watch.

I try to eliminate