Monday, March 30, 2009

My biggest WSOP fear

FIRST HAND. 2 limpers. Raise with KK to 1/3 your stack. BUTTON CALLS.

FLOP is ten high, no draws. Perfect place to check and induce a bluff or shove from JJ/QQ.

Shove and easy call. Another overplay of AK. Perfect...

oops, IGHN.

Luckily for this, this was just another blogger event... But even if the stacks are $6k and I had 500 in there... Does even that make folding correct? com'on. You need chips and this is as good as it gets. Dodge 3 outs twice. What more can I ask for? (other than luck?)

Friday, March 27, 2009


ok, so now I hear that the kids last week in school is the second week in June and if I wait until AFTER that weekend, I can send the kids camping. This is harder than I thought...

The “possible” list:

1st week in JUNE: OUT. Not gonna happen. (Went this week last year ironically and played the 6-max.)

2nd week in JUNE: Fly out Wed night and Playi in $1500 NLHE event on Thursday (event # 24) (there is also a SNG shoot-out event on Wed, and additional NL 3-day on SAT and $1500 HORSE on sun) I am supposed to participate in an event this weekend AND it’s the kids last day of school, so Jen is really down on this week.

-kids go camping-

3rd week in June would offer two options, the Thursday $2k event 36 ($500 more) and the NLHE $1500 event 39 on Saturday. But, this would require at least a Sunday stay, with an extended day if you made day 3.

4th week in June has event #51 on sat (same Sunday issue as with week 3)

(And of course July 3rd is the start of the big one.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"I run bad" Hall of fame entry

Move over Fuel, this one is a BEAUT!!!

Full Tilt Poker Game #11329770244: $34,000 Guarantee (84997658), Table 59 - 400/800 Ante 100 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:57:50 ET - 2009/03/25
Seat 1: columbo (10,053) (took one in the cakes earlier 77 vs 88 vs 22, stole my way back from 4k)
Seat 2: Ruthless2010 (47,662)
Seat 3: dlrbills (29,525)
Seat 4: socal_bettie (26,226)
Seat 5: SHIPdaCHIPS (10,848)
Seat 6: Alenkij (29,971)
Seat 7: urbanwarr1or (10,950)
Seat 8: sidknee (9,340)
Seat 9: p4tricio (3,494)
antes 100
dlrbills posts the small blind of 400
socal_bettie posts the big blind of 800
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [Ac Ks]
Alenkij folds
urbanwarr1or folds
sidknee folds
p4tricio raises to 3,394, and is all in
columbo raises to 9,953, and is all in
dlrbills has 15 seconds left to act
dlrbills raises to 29,425, and is all in
socal_bettie has 15 seconds left to act
socal_bettie folds
dlrbills shows [Qh Ah]
p4tricio: gg guys lol
p4tricio shows [Td 9h]
columbo shows [Ac Ks]
Uncalled bet of 19,472 returned to dlrbills

So, even if my AK loses to the 9T by some act of fate, I still have a 13k sidepot to win AK vs AQ!. Either way, profit!

*** FLOP *** [Ad Qd 6d]

OMFG. are you freaking kidding me? Really?

*** TURN *** [Ad Qd 6d] [3c]
*** RIVER *** [Ad Qd 6d 3c] [8h]
dlrbills shows two pair, Aces and Queens
columbo shows a pair of Aces
dlrbills wins the side pot (13,118) with two pair, Aces and Queens
p4tricio shows Ace Queen high
dlrbills wins the main pot (11,782) with two pair, Aces and Queens
p4tricio stands up
columbo stands up
DTaylor1979 sits down
DTaylor1979 adds 27,287

*** SUMMARY ***
Yeah, I got your summary, RIGHT HERE!
Don't even get me started on the AQ CALLING not 1 but 2 all-ins. Does anyone in their right mind put me on AJ or JJ here?!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Anyone know who is going? I am looking again at the second week of June. Here's why:

2nd week in JUNE: Fly out Wed night and Play in $1500 NLHE event on Thursday (event # 24) at noon. (there is also a SNG shoot-out event on Wed, and additional NL 3-day on SAT and $1500 HORSE on sun)

This will be a busy week for Vegas poker and I know another Detroiter going week also.

I expect the flight discounts to hit next week, so does anyone know of other bloggers going the second weekend in June?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ups and Downs

Played a blogger tournament yesterday and it was completely anti-climactic. I don't even remember going out! For whatever reason, I signed up for the Double Deuce, which was $20 and like 9000 players.

I only had to race once with QQ vs. his AK and finally won a race. With 2300 left (pays like 1350) I have 22k and the avg is 18k. I figure its about $30k to cash...

I raise from MP with TT and the BB, who has like 17k or so, shoves. It was one of those moments where you have been playing for hours and you feel "in the groove". Its almost like I could see his decision process. It was a re-steal, plain and simple. Its probably Ax and maybe even A-rag. I was so sure...

I called and he had A4. hahahah, well IGHN. lost to two pair. Overall I was happy with the decision, but wow... Cant play for 1300 place though.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spin That Broken Record!

My plans last night were canceled, so I dropped in on the Mookie. Since I have been running bad, I decided to concentrate 100% on nothing but decisions. The outcome was interesting.

I built up my chips slowly and eventually at the half way point, ran into someone's monster.

UtG raises 3x. Based on his range, there are alot of hands I can put him on. But I decide to call from the blind with KQs. The flop is J98. This is a very interesting flop in that is favors the bold I think. If I bet out here, any hand that did not improve or has few options can (and often will) get away. If I bet 3/4 of the pot, I can fold knowing I am beat if the player raises. If they call, I can bet again if a blank falls, assuming a draw. If I check here, I have resigned myself to folding already. Fortune favors the bold, so I make the bet and he shoves. Damn, I am beat.

I easily fold my nothing and he shows the SET of Jacks. What started as a 50/50, quickly turned into an "escape of die" adventure. Escaped instead of going broke, and now my Q is like .6 and I am not going to fold my way to anything. The very next hand I am in the BB with 44 and the same player raises from EP. Folds around to me and I expect it would be another race. But wait, I have enough chips for a steal or a stop-n-go! I opt for the pre-flop fold equity and shove. After tanking, he calls with AQ and it is indeed a race. By the time the river falls, he had Aces and Queens coming out of his ass.

Its hard wining tournaments without races, and its so rare to win more than your fair share of them. But in this case, I dont think I made any truly "bad" decisions. I took some risks, and paid a price. But I'll take that over folding my way to JJ-AA only.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Going Down in Flames

I dont know what it is about spring, but just like with last year I am a Deus ex machina of implosions. Whether its a lost race, a marginal decision, or just plain and simple having winning hands getting no action, I am zero for results as of late.

I am taking the day off from Poker. Maybe see Watchmen.

Friday, March 13, 2009

shot across the bow? (WPBT)

HOYOZA (aka Hammer Player) put the first stake in the ground that I know of...

The weekend of June 27, heading out on Thursday, June 25 sometime in the evening.
and playing in event #51. (Sat, Jun 27th 12:00 PM)

3-Day Event No-Limit Hold’em (Event 51) ($1500) [No Rebuy/Add-ons]

Anyone else want to chime in for dates?!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Skipped Out for RockBand night at Harrah's

From our drummer:

My band played in Windsor tonight. We came in 2nd. Here's my report,
also with a bit of strategy guidance for what to do if you're not a
top-ranked band. Hopefully this will satisfy everyone who was looking
for more info on the contest.

First off, I'd say that they did a great job with the stage setup and
running the competition. Every band got a bag of swag, and there was a
big crowd watching and applauding. But the cal was way way off, and
they wouldn't let us change it. This was a problem for us. More on
that later.

They had 14 bands signed up on-line, but said that some bands hadn't
ever responded. Watching the registration table, it looked like 6 or 7
bands checked in. Of those, only 4 or 5 played. It was a bit hard to
tell exactly how many bands played because the 4th band was clearly a
top-tier band, they all played on expert and scored slightly over 2M on
Give It Away. At that point, any bands that hadn't played bailed out.
The staff at Caesar's were thrown for a loop by that, but smartly
decided to just covert the contest into an open-mike night, so that
there would be some entertainment going on, rather than just an empty
stage. We took the opportunity to play PDA on expert (except bass on
hard) as an encore and scored ~1.1M, but they weren't recording score at
that point.

For those of you jonesing for score info, here it is:

1st: 2M, Give it Away, everyone on expert (note that this is a talky, so
anyone can score 99% on expert vox with zero effort)
2nd: 900K, Down with the Sickness, expert vox, everyone else hard
3rd: 600K, I'm spacing on the song, maybe American Woman?
4th: ~250K, Livin' on a Prayer

And now some stragegy. In order to win a casino weekly competition, you
need to be smart and lucky. We were fairly smart but somewhat unlucky.
In order to win a casino final or a regional, you probably need to be a
top-ranked band.

First, the smart part. Remember that the contest is judged only on
points. So you need to pick a song with good scoring potential, and
then score as many points as you can. We picked DwtS after seriously
trying out Give It Away, PDA, and Tangled up in Blue. By "seriously
trying" I mean we played each one of those songs probably 20 times at
varying difficulty levels. We eventually chose DwtS because it played
to our strengths. Our vocalist is top-200ish (in RB1 he was top-50) on
the XBL leaderboard. The rest of us are OK, playing hard-to-expert.
I'm maybe ranked about 15,000 on the drum leaderboard. DwtS has a lot
of points on vox, so that's what we went with.

We played it 7-10 times a day for the week prior to the contest, and
could consistently score 98-99% on each of our instruments (on hard)
with our vox generally at 99-100% (expert). Our max score during this
period was 1.94M, and our average was about 1.8M. We deliberately did
not bump to expert because we could only score 94-96% on expert. With
the Rock Band scoring engine, that gave us a lower score than getting
98% on hard. In fact, our bassist was on medium until a couple days
before the contest and we could score about 1.7M that way.

I have a homebrew drum kit (acoustic kit/Alesis D4/MSA-P), so I borrowed
a RB1 kit to use. It would have been smarter to borrow an Ion, because
that's what they had. I had difficulty adjusting to the different
layout of the Ion. In addition I was nervous and stressed about playing
on stage in front of people. Also, the calibration was a big problem. The audio
cal was fine (if you played in time with the music everything was OK)
but the video calibration was way early, so you had to play after the note
passed the note window. This was catastrophic for me. I right away
started missing pads (hitting where they were on the RB1 kit, not on the
Ion). Since the drum is the only instrument playing during the intro,
once I got a handle on where the pads were I couldn't play by sound
(since all the sound I had was rim-shots), and I couldn't play by sight
(since the cal was off). So I was deep in the red by the time the
guitar and bass started. I'm sure my abysmal performance didn't help
them get a good start. We ended up scoring about 1/2 of our typical
score. Our top-tier vocalist had no difficulty adjusting to the cal,
but the rest of us struggled. I had 89%, our guitar and bass were in
the mid-90's, our vox was 99 as usual. For our (un-scored) encore of PDA, we
basically ignored the screen for note windows and just played by sound.
That worked much much better, we were all in the high 90's (99 vox
again) and we hadn't practiced that song seriously for the week before
the show.

Still, our horrible performance was the top score so far. Here is where
luck ran against us. The next band totally nailed Give It Away on
expert. They were unfazed by the cal problems. They totally deserved
to win, but had they waited until next week to show up...
"Note: they literally stuck anyone on vocals, since its a rap type song. The girl just stuttered into the microphone"] -ed.

It looked like there were still bands waiting to play, but none chose to
challenge the juggernaut.

So, to wrap it up (finally, you're thinking, assuming you even made it
this far), with careful preparation you can do well even if you're only
halfway decent. Most of the bands that played were clearly doing it on
a lark. Nobody but us and the scorehero kids that clobbered us bothered
to sync overdrives or could maintain any kind of streak.

To succeed, pick your song carefully and practice it a lot. You need to
be able to maintain a decent streak (hundreds of notes for everyone but
vox) and hit 98%+. Figure out a good overdrive path. Have your drummer
use the Ion kit, so he's used to its layout. Deliberately screw up your
cal (better yet, have somebody else deliberately randomly screw up your
cal many times in different ways) so you can deal with problems.
Playing any song with a single-instrument intro carries the risk that if
that player has a brain fart or a slow start, it's hard to recover.

But most importantly, pick a week where the scorehero zombies stay home.

Post-finally (man won't he just shut up already), I think that Give It
Away (and Testify) should probably not be on the list. They are both
talkies, so you really only need 3 expert players and someone who can
make noise into the mike. I agree with the removal of Teen Age Riot
because its scoring potential is 10% greater than any other song (so
everyone will play it), but the advantage of only needing to make a
3-person band and recruit any random slob off the street (or just put
the mike in front of the speaker...) seems like it will result in the
same effect.

Good luck. You're not doomed (in the weeklies at least), so get a band
together and go.

Thank you Drummer. In poker knewz, I finished frustrated again, making a decision to push limpers off with my 20 BB and getting a call from JQ soooted who hit everything between here and Albuquerque, beating my pocket pair 3 ways to Sunday.

Still no Cigars

A third in my league game and a 10th in Omaha (paid 9) was the best I could muster. The struggle with PLO is this: If you play only playable hands, you are always short on chips. If you play more than that, you go broke. I have yet to understand how to "keep up with the blinds" in PLO.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Longballed into a final table

Last night was Riverchasers and after a recklessly chaotic performance on Sunday (image DOUBLING up on hand 1 with DQB and still going out in the first hour), I decided to play disciplined long ball last night. My reward was with about 18 players left, being #1 in chips. Despite that, I played a hand too weak and allowed Blinders to river me when his AQ hit on the river, chopping my legs out for about 25% of my chips. Then, like all set backs, its followed up by card death. I managed to steal my way to the final table, but then Speaker re-raised me and we both had tight images at the time, so I folded that one.

By the time I made the final table, I was last in chips. Despite some pretty decent decisions, I could not finish better than 9th.

At one point, prior to the final table, our table looked like the whos-who of blogger long-ball. Tough crowd.

despite my recent setbacks, I will continue to play strong and finish this series out with reckless abandon.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Cold Deck Tournament

Here is the scenario:

Its a 3 table MTT and you are not allowed to get a hand better than AQ or TT. How far do you think you can go?

Interestingly, I learned a valuable lesson this night. Premium starting hands a not as important when the table is shorthanded, but a must when 10 handed.

Any counter-opinion?

Friday, March 06, 2009

How do you escape a set?

Its the bubble of a big tournament and you are above avg in chips. Content to fold you garbage for another 10 minutes, you have played AK so far this level. You are dealt KK and make a 3x BB raise. you get a LP caller (who has you covered) and the BB then calls. The flop is 69T rainbow.

Here is my question of the day. The pot is already large at this point. So, if you bet say 1/2 the pot and the LP raises, how often do you put him on a set vs. AT or JJ?

(Because you can't "call" at this point, the money is going in if you continue on the next street)

Am I missing something here?

This is an EASY call, right?

Table 1 - 300/600 Ante 75 - No Limit Hold'em
Seat 1: alwon (8,840)
Seat 2: SAdams84 (3,440)
Seat 3: jason jiang (15,979)
Seat 5: agent ungar (31,355)
Seat 6: vod120 (16,730)
Seat 7: Katpee (42,381)
Seat 8: columbo (16,365)
Seat 9: gbohmann (5,570)

The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [Ts Th]
jason jiang folds
agent ungar folds
vod120 has 15 seconds left to act
vod120 folds
Katpee folds
columbo raises to 1,800
gbohmann folds
alwon raises to 8,765, and is all in
SAdams84 folds

[decision time] but it seemed EASY. Even if I SAW his hand, it seemed even more of a good call.

columbo calls 6,965
alwon shows [As 7s]
columbo shows [Ts Th]
*** FLOP *** [Jh 5s 2s]
*** TURN *** [Jh 5s 2s] [3h]
*** RIVER *** [Jh 5s 2s 3h] [Ac]
alwon shows a pair of Aces
columbo shows a pair of Tens
alwon wins the pot (18,730) with a pair of Aces

The reason I am asking is that these type of hands are KILLING ME.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

God's will

Well, this week made me realize why religion is so popular. Its so painful sometimes to be a part of statistical mathematical variance and consider it "just the way things went". Its much easier to resign yourself to a high power's will. God wanted me to get sucked out on all week. Sounds plausible even. Yeah, I like it. How else can I explain the idea that "getting my money in ahead" is just not enough.

Well, we all know it isn't. At the same time, small ball is like Thunderdome and your Max looking for the dog whistle. If you find it, and if you are able to pick it up, and if you are able to blow it, well then you win a big pot. Otherwise you continue to bruise and bleed.

Watch out, I am so going to suckout on you. I have it coming...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Stud 8 is like a hall or mirrors

You know how it all works, but its easy to get lost.

Last night, I put up my best Stud-8 finish ever, coming in 11th of 70+ players. How? Just utilizing a razz like strategy. Never coming into a pot with cheated outs, being ready to muck on 4th if my hand totally gets a rock, and deciding pre-flop to ride trips to the showdown.

And even though its was stud-8, knowing enough to fold 238 rainbow.

Tonight is the premier of Columbo's HA on Tilt. Join me?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Houston, We have a problem...

The BBT launched yesterday. Umm, yeah. ok. Rather that talk about the deck that hit KOD so hard it left a mark in the first 3 rotations, and a brutal suck-out after the money went in on the flop that left my laptop askew after being tossed across the bedroom, I have little to say that would not be colored by disappointment.

So instead, I repeat my mantra. "Eye on the Prize. Eye on the Prize. Eye on the Prize."

for those of you who can not resist. Raise from MP, called by only a blind. Pot is $1k and the flop is Ten high. He takes the lead and bets pot. I think its EASY to put him on a pair of tens here. Second choice is 99-55. But I expect AT. I shove with JJ and he calls with 55. The 5 on the turn launches the laptop across the room. EVEN if he HAD AT here, Mrs. Columbo said the laptop had an Ace on the river when it re-entered the atmosphere. Sometimes its just not your time.

But sometimes it is, and I will be waiting...

Tonight's Premier (and so it begins)

91 days, 51 events, 1 survivor. Its the BBT4 premier and the stakes are large. For what ultimately is a double shootout with 50 chances to get the the second and final round, this is the penultimate blogger/reader series. With little more than hope, their basic skillz and instinct, and assorted box-like luck devices, the harrowing journey to climb to the top of the ladder begins.

If previous incarnations are any prediction of this series, there will be some scwabbling (sic), complaining, highs & lows, not to mention getting past the interloping push-monkeys (cough Fischman cough). But in the end, like in a political election, when its all over we'll rally behind our champion, eager to watch his or her progress in the biggest poker spectacle of the year.

Good Luck everyone. Bring the A game. Fortune favors the Bold. Never eat spinach with a stranger.