Friday, September 26, 2008

New League Starting

Want to play with columbo? Here is the online league I will playing in this fall!

The next "CARBIDE" Full Tilt online series is set to start on October 22nd. It will again be the best 12 out of 16 weeks on Wednesdays at 9PM EST.

It will be a $150 buy in up front and $10+1 each week. For those unfamiliar with the system. Points are earned each week & the top point earners for the series are awarded a percentage of the prize pool.

There will be 3 dates that will be available to play, but you will not get points. The first is 11/26 (night before Thanksgiving), the second is 12/24 (Christmas Eve....duh) & the third is 12/31 (New Years Eve). So you can play on those dates for the fun of it, not play whatever, it won't affect your series.

I need to have the $150 by 10/12. That way I can get payouts figured out for sure. This series I had some people joining into the 2nd week, so things kept changing. Money can be sent to carbidex3 on FullTilt (Any question feel free to email me at

Thursday, September 25, 2008

showdown value

I know this year my thought have been more scattered and my posts all over the board. But that's all part of the struggle I guess. I picked up yet another important factor in my studying this week and that is one of "showdown value". If my hand has showdown value, I can work on keeping the pot size manageable to prevent getting blasted off the hand. But if my hand has no showdown value, I am much more in a raise or fold mode.

I am still working with this concept, so my thoughts on it are still incomplete. But it has helped my understand why some run down certain players on certain hands.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Always a bridesmaid,

never a bride. boo-hoo-hoo

Again, a double cash in the daily double. But a flame-out in the $32k.

Full Tilt Poker Tournament #61537095 Daily Double - A NL Hold'em
1123 players

Dear columbo,
You finished the tournament in 125th place.

Full Tilt Poker Tournament #61537299 Daily Double - B NL Hold'em
986 players

Dear columbo,
You finished the tournament in 62nd place.

Interesting to note was that I never achieved 'chip utility' (aka a big stack) because when I took the opportunities to get one (getting my money in as a race or against 1 over), I lost them. Encouraging actually. I think I picked the spots well, despite the results there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why my 2008 results have been so bad

This could have been a very long post, but I dont think it is. I found some major leaks and now I think I understand WHY those links got introduced. My love of small-ball and pot size control.

I am playing alot of MTT both live and online where I do NOT have 50BB or more to start a tournament and therefore its incorrect to play small-bot and instead play SLAG poker. Simple and easy fix.

Back to the grind-stone!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OBFV: Tournament Edition

Over-Bet For Value (or OBFV) is betting way too much on the expectation that once in a while someone will pay you off handsomely because they think you're bluffing.

Full Tilt Poker Game #8127420998: $24,000 Guarantee (61069295), Table 122 - 600/1200 Ante 150 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:55:30 ET - 2008/09/18
Seat 1: Emanrov (23,395)
Seat 2: maknstaks (20,225)
Seat 3: espokeren (41,736)
Seat 4: columbo (25,820)
Seat 5: ill wind (20,332)
Seat 6: bdubs12 (21,664)
Seat 7: Cape_Hook (55,946)
Seat 8: shadymoves (38,774)
Seat 9: Hai-Catcher (23,175)
antes 150
shadymoves posts the small blind of 600
Hai-Catcher posts the big blind of 1,200
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [Ad As]
Emanrov folds
maknstaks folds
espokeren raises to 2,400
columbo raises to 25,670, and is all in

I only expect a desperate Shorty to call this, I assume espokeren will fold and I will win a nice pot.

ill wind folds
bdubs12 folds
Cape_Hook folds
shadymoves folds
Hai-Catcher folds
espokeren calls 23,270
columbo shows [Ad As]
espokeren shows [Qd Qc]
*** FLOP *** [4s Qh Ah]
*** TURN *** [4s Qh Ah] [2d]
*** RIVER *** [4s Qh Ah 2d] [Ts]
columbo shows three of a kind, Aces
espokeren shows three of a kind, Queens
columbo wins the pot (54,490) with three of a kind, Aces

SET OVER SET. WOW. All would have gone in anyways. Oh, did I mention this was the hand-4-hand bubble hand?

UPDATE: I finished 46th out of 1195. getting closer...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hhhhhhhhharmy training, sir!

I played the $24k today and recorded my hands of note. There were a ton since I doubled up early. And then the bleeding began... after an hour thirty, I was already back to average.

So, I took the hands to an expert and friend of the ante-up nation, and we analyzed and reviewed and analyzed.

And we found 2 MAJOR leaks in one afternoon.

The first was calling FTA or skipping a c-bet. I did this WAY more than I suspected.

The second was giving up control of a hand, they trying to take it back. I would do thinks like CALL a raise, then lead out on the next street. Oh sure, I had all these reasons... But as we walked through the hands, I ALWAYS had a reason so I was doing it ALL THE TIME. So bad. Very similar to what Harrington called "dark tunnel bets".

Occasionally I made a cliche mistake, like betting where only a better hand calls, but mostly my bleeding was caused by the above.

What a relieve to see some light.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Official

AKo races are where I lost the MOST T$ in 2008. Poker Tracker shows also that AKo is the hand where I have lost 70% of the time. WOW. What a stat. Now to dig a little deeper...

Texas Hold'em Strategy: Sizing Up the Opposition

If you’re finding you are not as successful as you would like to be in your Texas hold’em game, you can usually pinpoint a number of potential reasons. One reason may be your difficulty in assessing the skill level of the table where you are playing. If you are playing at a table where you are overmatched, you should move to another. If you are playing against particularly weak players, you should play as long as you can and only get up when you are no longer able to play your best game. There are many different poker online sites available, so it should be easy enough to find a good game.

Signs that Your Texas Hold’em Poker Table May Be Too Tough

Your Opponents Are Reading You Well

Every time you bluff, it seems like someone has your number, and you’re not getting good action on your big hands. You don’t necessarily have a glaring tell, but you may have patterns of betting or behavior that players who have been around a long time are recognizing. You should definitely analyze your play to see what is making you readable, but in the meantime, get away from this table.

You’re Having Trouble Reading Your Opponents

There should be at least one or two guys at the table whose motives are relatively transparent. If a friend came to sit in, you should be able to tell him, “Seat eight is super tight, if he comes in, he’s got a hand,” or “seat three is a maniac, he’ll bet with any two cards.” If there’s no one at the table you can get a good read on, look for a better seat.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


You are in a cash game and its folded around to you in the SB with KK. If the BB has AA (and for the sake of argument assume no ace is going to hit the board), is there ANY scenario where you get away?

I went broke pre-flop. Really, can you blame me?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Phantom of the Paradise

Brian Da Palma wrote and directed this little known musical film scored by Paul Williams. Sound like a recipe for a train wreck? I enjoyed it. It flowed like a river and calmed my brain. I played the $10 daily double while the band played on...

Like the movie, my finish was not electrifying but satisfying:

This is an automated message sent from Full Tilt Poker.

Full Tilt Poker Tournament #60467234 Daily Double - B NL Hold'em
Buy-In: $10.00 + $2.00
963 players
Total Prize Pool: $9630.00
Start Date: September 12 9:02 PM ET

Dear columbo,
You finished the tournament in 100th place.

Full Tilt Poker Tournament #60467052 Daily Double - A NL Hold'em
Buy-In: $10.00 + $2.00
1184 players
Total Prize Pool: $11840.00
Start Date: September 12 9:00 PM ET

Dear columbo,
You finished the tournament in 110th place.

Hey, Double Prizes!


Certainly if you scan my 08 results, no other conclusion is valid. So what the hack is going on here? As I struggle to move from SnG and small blogger events of 50 or so runners, I am having a TON of difficultly adjusting to larger fields, often finding myself folding and watching my ever shrinking Q.

I continue to work on it, but I need to confirm with Tracker that I lost 10/10 races this week. Yup, 10 out of 10. Seem unbelievable? Me too. So I am going to sit down and take a hard look at DATA.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I make no apologies is always my favorite blog, because like mine, its mostly poker. (Although it was great seeing him stick it to Lehmans). Since being introduced to 'utility', I have been obsessed with it. Why?

Well, because I OFTEN will take any draw or shove on TP with my Q<1. i.e., my stack size is less than average. It never made enough of a difference, just made me feel better when I lost. But I had the right idea, just the wrong strategy.

If 100 Big Blinds is the watermark for 'having the big enough club', then can I make a series of suppositions?

If I have not yet reached 100 BB, then
1. I need to take a race early and be the aggressor?
2. I can play more pre-flop poker?
3. Big draws can be slow played for big pots?
4. I should see more flops?

It gets confusing fast, doesn't it?

Monday, September 08, 2008


My life is in chaos right now, with multiple career items going on. Total chaos. Career TILT. I'd post about it (maybe), but I'm sick. Last time I was sick 18 month ago, the end result was being sliced open. This time, I hope its just a cold.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Study, Study, Study

there has been mucho content lately where pros walk you through hands via video or books. I loved Gus Hansen's book and now I am reading the Pearljammer/Rizen book in the same format. The video schooling is a great idea, but sites continue to charge premium rates for the sites. I will make the supposition that the first site to go bargain pricing is going to win out. (maybe that is more wishful thinking, as a marketing guy would tell me that I was way wrong.)

nevertheless, I am picking apart my game like never before. Hopefully I can break this 2008 bubble curse I am on.

My situation is usually to try and play solid poker. The bigger the field, the bigger the chance I get to the bubble with just about average (or slightly below). Now, I am going to have to win a race somewhere along the way. And I am going to lose 50% of the time. But being unlucky as I am, its more like 66% loss rate. Plus, even if I win one, I may lose the next one. Avoiding races at all is -EV, so what is a solid player to do? I have seen lots of players successful at courting volatility early, and either getting a big stack or going out early. But I just am not good at that. Do I have to stick to 10 table or less MTTs?

Monday, September 01, 2008

A case for the min raise

The min-raise gets a bad rap. Like any move, it has its time and place. To illustrate my point, let me draw an example.

Its late in a tournament but you still have over 60BB left and another big stack from UtG+2 makes it 3x BB to go. The table is eight handed and you are close to the bubble.

Now you are in the LP (one before the cutoff) and you look down at TT.

Now, I dont see re-raising here with TT because the TT is just not strong enough for that move. And if you limp here, you simply invite the Button and the BB in. If you fold here, you let a hand worth playing go.

I just set up a scenario where chances are you disagree with 1 of the 3 situations I described about your TT.

Now consider this. What about the min-raise here? What does making it 6xBB do? It highly discourages the cutoff, button and blinds from getting into this contested pot. It isolates the raiser using the minimal amount of chips. Now, what moves does it leave the original raiser? Sure he could re-re-raise here. But if he does, I can just chuck the TT. But what I EXPECT to happen is that the mental eyebrow of the raiser goes up and he is going to suspect you have a big hand. Unless he has (or know you have this move and decides to rep) a monster, he is going to CALL.

What have we accomplished?
Isolated with pair, have position on the raiser, AND have the initiative in the hand. Now the original raiser is forced to act based on the flop and since he surrendered initiative, in almost all cases he will check and you will c-bet. About 2/3rd of the time he will have missed the flop. Unless he started better than TT, he is probably done. The check-raise will signal he hit the flop and since TT can't chase a draw or stand up to TP, you just fold.

You made all your decisions easy.

so tell me, what is so awful about the min raise?