Friday, July 31, 2009


Well, not many. I am playing the $34k daily and getting ITM often enough, but ending up somewhere like 88th for $50 bucks. Ugh.

As for live poker, that ramps up again Saturday with league night, followed up with more casino cash games for a couple of weeks.

NFL camps have started and Lions report today. They flipped 8 of 11 starters on Defense. They are functionally an expansion team. I hope this time, there are improvements.

Listening to Ante-up podcast and still not sure my new segment is more interesting than the old one. Maybe as we get deeper in the tournament. I have also done some work with Lee (acumen poker) so I can attest to his skill level as a teacher.

I REALLY, REALLY want to get a regular weeknight game starting in Fall. I have one lined up, but that one will only have about 10 players. I would prefer a LEAGUE type where results are tracked week to week.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Detroit Casinos report, cash vs. tournament, and miscellaneous thoughts

It's been a while since I had played poker at the Detroit casinos, so I made it a point this week to play at least a session at each one. I will admit, frankly, that I avoided the downtown casinos because of the parking situations. Much of the parking in the past had been unattached and this is just not going to work for me. I have zero intention of setting a foot in the city proper with a bankroll. Now, I am happy to report the all 3 casinos (even Greektown) has an attached parking structure. Just to round out the tour, I spent an evening at one of the "charity casinos" that are so popular now, this one at "Doc's sports bar" and now at the Northville Downs.

I started my tour at MGM since it the easiest to get into and out of, it being 5 feet from the off ramp.

MGM Positives:
Poker room is sequestered on another floor, which is quiet and smoke free.
Lower attendance means getting a seat faster.
Call ahead seating that actually works.
Very comfortable chairs (downright the best)
low buy-in game is deeper at 50-300 instead of 50-200.
I found the dealers very competent.
nicest interior of the 3 major casinos, smells nice

MGM negatives:
The regulars are annoying at times
No tournaments
NLHE only
Some VERY amateur players at times.

I had 2 (once 3) callers on multiple occasions put in $50 pre-flop just to try and crack my big pair. They succeeded both times.

Next it was off to MotorCity casino, perhaps the poker room of choice in Detroit.
I think its best to some up my experience with MC by skipping right to the list.

MC positives:
Better players
more tables than the others
mixed games and higher stakes games
free food and drink bar for players

MC negatives:
always seem to have to park on the roof (and return to highway past burned out housing street)
longest wait ever for a seat
evening tournaments only Mon & Thurs
dealer mistakes
big one: EVERY TIME I have been at MC, there has been an altercation. This time was no exception. (shouting/arguments, dealer mistakes, having to review tape to sort out the mess, etc.)
Noisy as hell. (loud music, sounds of the casino very near)
I reek of "casino smell" when I get home.

I am always confused as to why people like to play here. Maybe because its not Greektown casino.

on that segue...
Wednesday, I am sick of cash and decide I want to play in a tournament. Greektown casino is running a 7pm, so I call and inquire. "We get about 70 players. As long as you are here by 6:30 or so". I show up at 6:30 to see a FULL tournament and a wait list of 40+. The "management" of the poker room is horrible. They are more concerned with if the "hard candy" bowl is full than running the room. ("Hey, do you think you could do better?". In about 1 day!) Who the f*ck eats hard candy out of a bowl in a poker room? The poker-room staff is bothered by everyone ("This job would be great if it wasn't for the players.") Not only all this, but they SHRANK the room down to 1/2 its normal size and put in slot machines, losing the 6 limit tables they used to have in the process. The "tournament director" looked lost, as did pretty much everyone working there. (Maybe its because of the maze of corridors as the casino is built into a old indoor mall. Looks cool though.) Cash tables were up to an hour wait.

I cant tell you about the play there because I LEFT. I got in my car and went back down the worlds stupidest parking structure design and proceeded to MGM. I sat down upon arrival and began to play immediately.

Greektown Positives:
Assuming that a badly run tournament is better than no tournament, this is on the positive side.

Greektown Negatives:
Too numerous to list (see rant)

My fourth/fifth trip was to a charity room, Doc's and Northville Downs. At Doc's this consists of 2-4 tables squeezed into a section normally reserved for parties. At Northville Downs, it 5-6 tables in the basement section.

Charity room positives:
Play so bad that its funny
CLOSE to a home near you!
better beer list at a bar, where applicable
people are friendly

Charity room negative:
less tables when there is a party in the restaurant/bar (Doc's)
dealers are bad. so very bad.

During this whirlwind tour I did notice a few things about cash games vs tournaments. Tournaments require more "situation reads" where as cash games require more "player reads". I would expound on this, but its stuff I have commented on before and dont feel like re-hashing right now. I made some good players reads and some bad player reads. I also played far more check-call poker than I would in a tournament.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


"Yet Another One Card Flush"

Tilting, Full of HATE!!!

Going to go play cash at MotorCity tonight. Played at MGM last night and the room was too "clicque-ish". Everyone was regulars and the play was all limp and hit/miss stuff. Difficult grind for a very small profit.

Not just that, but I find cash games BORING compared to a tournament. Really!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just one more thing

By the way, I was just listening to the Ray Foley interview on Ante-up and he said something during hand of the week that was both common-knowledge and yet worth repeating.

When you have position and you raise a c-bet post flop and the c-betting CALLS you, he will rarely lead out or try to re-take the lead in the hand.

Then, I get to re-evaluate on the turn, where the OOP player does not.

This is a persuasive argument for raising c-bets with good but not great hands instead of looking for trying to control the size of the pot. (like with a 2-1 draw)

If I were to CALL the c-bet from the button and the c-better fires a second barrel, I would be forced to fold marginal hands now.

I found it interesting to contemplate.

Barry Greenstein said a similar thing in his book. He stated the raising the c-bet was the better move.

Trip to the MGM detroit

The family was camping and I stayed behind to work, so I took to the streets one night and ended up at the MGM. The 2-5 had only 1 table, so I sat down at 1-2 and tilted soon after.

I am playing tight, but not having a lot of luck. I even had to fold a flush to a higher flush. But then, I get dealt AA UtG. I expected some stupid raise, so I limped and sure enough a raise to $8 and then a raise to $20 from a guy with only $55 left. Then the kid (ac/dc muscle shirt) flats the $20. He only has $100 behind. I make it $100 to go and the $8 folder folds right away. The rest of the action is a testament as to why Hold 'em is the game of choice among donks.

Guy who made it $20 says out loud, "I know I am beat, but its my last $30" and pushes it in.

Guy on his right who flatted his call, "thinks" for about 10 seconds and piles in his entire stack.

First guy has KQo (not even a pair). But wait for it...
Second guy has AQo!? with the Ace of diamonds.

The flop is all diamonds and the river a diamond and he makes the one card flush.

I am down like $250 now for the night and he has $280 in front of him.

Fast forward a couple of hours. I won most of my money back, while he lost his entire $280 and another $100 on top of that. Best of all, he liked to bluff the river. Each time he did, someone would call and he would say "good call".

Amazing how hard it is to be a big favorite in a HE hand.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Knew this was a +EV move. But my short time of running good is over... "Alas, I hardly knew yee."

Full Tilt Poker Game #13278858207: $34,000 Guarantee (98235235), Table 14 - 2000/4000 Ante 500 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:35:45 ET - 2009/07/08
Seat 1: dezyr_two (78,850)
Seat 2: Mezosius (242,156)
Seat 3: columbo (132,173)
Seat 4: bberger91 (118,520)
Seat 5: kingshafter (203,527)
Seat 6: --OURAGANT-- (57,278)
Seat 7: Hawkeye1414 (320,707)
Seat 8: Zombo (42,342)
Seat 9: bozobobo (38,636)
dezyr_two antes 500
Mezosius antes 500
columbo antes 500
bberger91 antes 500
kingshafter antes 500
--OURAGANT-- antes 500
Hawkeye1414 antes 500
Zombo antes 500
bozobobo antes 500
columbo posts the small blind of 2,000
bberger91 posts the big blind of 4,000
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [As Kd]
kingshafter folds
--OURAGANT-- folds
Hawkeye1414 folds
Zombo folds
bozobobo has 15 seconds left to act
bozobobo folds
dezyr_two raises to 78,350, and is all in
Mezosius folds
columbo raises to 131,673, and is all in
bberger91 folds
columbo shows [As Kd]
dezyr_two shows [Tc Ad]
Uncalled bet of 53,323 returned to columbo
*** FLOP *** [Ts 6d 5s]
*** TURN *** [Ts 6d 5s] [Ac]
*** RIVER *** [Ts 6d 5s Ac] [Jd]
columbo shows a pair of Aces
dezyr_two shows two pair, Aces and Tens
dezyr_two wins the pot (165,200) with two pair, Aces and Tens

Would have put me 6th in chips with 35 left. Sigh...

Went on to lose to QUAD KINGS of all hands (with 55). Finished 30th.


Full Tilt Poker Game #13278102572: $34,000 Guarantee (98235235), Table 111 - 1000/2000 Ante 250 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:50:55 ET - 2009/07/08
Seat 1: youngman7 (22,587)
Seat 2: columbo (45,184)
Seat 3: billyed (28,920)
Seat 4: firedog0002 (13,960)
Seat 5: mau69 (66,516)
Seat 6: lolli82 (113,095)
Seat 7: jtown5 (28,014)
Seat 8: Albatarrr (52,373)
Seat 9: GUCCEE (43,892)
antes 250

mau69 posts the small blind of 1,000
lolli82 posts the big blind of 2,000
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [5h 5d]
jtown5 folds
Albatarrr folds
GUCCEE folds
youngman7 folds
columbo raises to 5,005
billyed folds
firedog0002 folds
mau69 calls 4,005
lolli82 calls 3,005
*** FLOP *** [9h Js 5c]
mau69 checks
lolli82 checks
columbo bets 12,000
mau69 calls 12,000
lolli82 folds
*** TURN *** [9h Js 5c] [5s]
mau69 checks
columbo checks [so +EV/$$$, he'll think he is goot]
*** RIVER *** [9h Js 5c 5s] [2h]
mau69 bets 16,000
columbo raises to 27,929, and is all in
mau69 calls 11,929
*** SHOW DOWN ***
columbo shows [5h 5d] four of a kind, Fives
mau69 mucks
columbo wins the pot (97,123) with D'EMS (DARE'S) QUADS BITCHES!!!!

Villain had KK !

I ironically, I was just lamenting that when I had my last big hand KK. Utg raised, I raised UTG+1 and everyone folded including the shorty UTG. I only added $4500 to my stack, but then I reminded myself I played it correctly and so be it.

Can't complain now

Full Tilt Poker Game #13277857296: $34,000 Guarantee (98235235), Table 114 - 800/1600 Ante 200 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:36:51 ET - 2009/07/08
Seat 1: schmooof (29,805)
Seat 2: Heke88 (13,821)
Seat 3: UlationControl (13,024)
Seat 4: columbo (25,042)
Seat 5: Swiss I Master (61,581)
Seat 7: jmk 1168 (29,461)
Seat 8: kingshafter (50,889)
Seat 9: redbob14 (130,824)
schmooof antes 200
Heke88 antes 200
UlationControl antes 200
columbo antes 200
Swiss I Master antes 200
jmk 1168 antes 200
kingshafter antes 200
redbob14 antes 200
columbo posts the small blind of 800
Swiss I Master posts the big blind of 1,600
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [8c 8d]
jmk 1168 folds
kingshafter folds
redbob14 raises to 3,900
schmooof has 15 seconds left to act
schmooof folds
Heke88 folds
UlationControl folds
columbo raises to 24,842, and is all in
Swiss I Master folds
redbob14 calls 20,942
columbo shows [8c 8d]
redbob14 shows [Ts Tc]
*** FLOP *** [3d 8s Ks]
*** TURN *** [3d 8s Ks] [Ah]
*** RIVER *** [3d 8s Ks Ah] [6d]
columbo shows three of a kind, Eights
redbob14 shows a pair of Tens
columbo wins the pot (52,884) with three of a kind, Eights

I really thought based on this guys stack, PRF of 38% and last hand calling an all-in with A2, that he would fold or show some marginal A7. TT was WAY bigger than anticipated, but for some reason, today I run good.

Why today? Who can say? I cant get over it. I have to get my money in behind to do well? ok, stop lamenting and play, dammit!

I am free rolling now with 102 left... TABLE BROKE. ALL NOTES WORTHLESS...

What a difference a week makes

Would I have folded this last week????

Full Tilt Poker Game #13277040763: $34,000 Guarantee (98235235), Table 114 - 300/600 Ante 75 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:48:59 ET - 2009/07/08
Seat 1: Slayer_pol (7,829)
Seat 2: SAPP313 (4,270)
Seat 3: UlationControl (17,085)
Seat 4: columbo (23,438)
Seat 5: Swiss I Master (30,593)
Seat 6: wesleyloves (7,044), is sitting out (faking it)
Seat 7: 7Ace7King7 (28,310)
Seat 8: WSOPstar2B (23,095)
Seat 9: Cigoli (21,890)

antes 75

WSOPstar2B (Iron man chip) posts the small blind of 300
Cigoli posts the big blind of 600
The button is in seat #7

Slayer_pol raises to 7,754, and is all in
SAPP313 folds
UlationControl has 15 seconds left to act
UlationControl folds

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [Jc Js]

Don't want to think too long and have others peg me as JJ... So I dont want to call time...
columbo calls 7,754

Swiss I Master folds
wesleyloves folds
7Ace7King7 folds
WSOPstar2B folds
Cigoli folds
Slayer_pol shows [Ad Qh]
columbo shows [Jc Js]
*** FLOP *** [9c Kc 5c]
*** TURN *** [9c Kc 5c] [As]
*** RIVER *** [9c Kc 5c As] [2c]
Slayer_pol shows a pair of Aces
columbo shows a flush, King high
columbo wins the pot (17,083) with a flush, King high

Also of note was that I tried a re-steal from a button raise with A6s and it turned out he really had a hand (77). When he shoved I was forced to call, but the A6 prevailed.

Could I be, cough - cough, running good today?

Two Plus Two Forum

I will freely admit, I have not been a big "forum" guy. But recently I went trolling through the "best of" 2+2 forum links and among the flotsam and jetsam of diatribe I found a wonderful gem (link lost, sorry).

There was an interesting and thought provoking post on stealing. The supposition was that when it comes to the difference between and intermediate player and an advanced player, the intermediate player will steal when the situation is good (later positions, FTA, etc) and he has a hand that has some value such as a suite connector or a small pair. The idea being that its a semi-steal. He would be fine picking up the blinds, but if gets called, he has a hand that has some "hit value". The advanced player, however, is stealing based solely on situation and player profiles, generally with ATC (any two cards). This is further enforced by the "Harrington Bots" because Harrington himself expounds the idea that steals should be with hands that are not "trash hands".

There is a wealth of information to contemplate in these ideas, but what I took from it is, "am I a lame stealer"??? i.e., "will I only steal with non-trash hands?"

I think the answer is yes. I consistently avoid situations where I would have to play post-flop with "air". I think this is because so many players will call c-bets with a naked Ace or a baby pair. In my WSOP event, my c-bet was flatted by a naked Ace FOUR times, THREE of which were rewarded with an ACE on the turn!!! I got away in 2/3 of them, but this is only a good play if the player you are flatting is weak (will always check turn if missed flop) or you have a plan based on reads or tenancies to take the hand away. Otherwise, you are just "floating, hoping for a checked turn". Emphasis on Hope.

So I have been very weary of stealing with air. The terrible downside of this is that since even a decent hand will miss 2/3 of the time, I am not doing myself any favors! Being unwilling to practice playing a hand with air is hurting my ability to rise to the top of the the "pyramid of play".

Unlike in the past, I am looking for a minor adjustment, not a major one. I am looking to add a bit of this play, not a ton. But it does force me to ask myself this, "am I missing even more re-steal situations?". I fear the answer is YES.
I need to be conscious of this and track situations where I could have re-stole but opted not to...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Thinking Good, Running Bad

It's hard to continually post about how good my decisions are and yet try and justify how I could possibly be running so badly. Well, here's one. I dont play loose enough or enough hands to have a brutal beat just fade into the mix. So when I determine I am way ahead on the flop and a user is willing to play for his stack, I have zero reason to try and control the pot size.

Onto other thoughts. Is there a better way?
A beginner is a player who plays his cards well.

It was said that one graduates to intermediate when "he plays his opponents cards". That is bullsh*t. Its when he (she) becomes "situationaly aware". Understanding the correct move in a diverse number of situations. Harrington's book taught an army of beginners how to be intermediate players with M and Q alone. But the better intermediate players have added a playbook of situations that they draw from. (blind vs. blind, pot control vs. pressure bets, stealing, re-stealing, punishing limpers, when to be a shove monkey, etc).

Then there is the final passage. ADDING individual player tenancies (i.e. READS) to the above two. (If you can read a player, but done understand situational awareness, stick to cash games). It's here were the pro's really shine. Understanding when their opponent absolutely has to have middle pair. Knowing that they are bullying vs. running good, and knowing the optimal defense for that player when one gets into hands with them.

I for one find this last part much harder online. Player tenancies are more erratic and time to think and analyze (and down time) is minimal. But you can make up for some of this with shear volume. And that is some of my obsession with the daily $32k.

Today's missed cash:

Full Tilt Poker Game #13258843800: $34,000 Guarantee (98098435), Table 14 - 250/500 Ante 50 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:27:16 ET - 2009/07/07

Seat 1: DrewGodofPoker (14,050) <= likes to FLAT any raise as he is on my direct left.
Seat 2: Call-kluka (18,082)
Seat 3: SirThomasNichum (24,136)
Seat 4: marcsnick (8,068)
Seat 5: BurmD (9,986)
Seat 6: sonicreducer420 (5,575)
Seat 7: supertonic1989 (7,845)
Seat 8: DonksRock (14,702)
Seat 9: columbo (11,246)
antes 50
Call-kluka posts the small blind of 250
SirThomasNichum posts the big blind of 500
The button is in seat #1

marcsnick folds
BurmD folds
sonicreducer420 folds
supertonic1989 folds
DonksRock folds

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to columbo [Js Qs]
columbo has 15 seconds left to act
columbo raises to 1,250

I decide with it folded around to me in the cutoff, I would raise/steal here.
I had won (without showdowns) 3 of the last 4 hands I played, and I had folded a fair amount of hands without a bet, such that my stack of 10k was that size for a while, while the avg. jumped to nearly 14k.

DrewGodofPoker calls 1,250

again, flatting me from the button this time. No surprise. (pot is 3250)

Call-kluka folds
SirThomasNichum folds

*** FLOP *** [8h Jh 4c]
columbo has 15 seconds left to act
columbo bets 2,500 (into 3250 or 3/4 pot)

One could make an argument for a number of silly plays here, but to me with this hand and this flop, the best strategy was a simple, standard c-bet.

DrewGodofPoker has 15 seconds left to act
DrewGodofPoker raises to 5,465

Considering his starting stack size of 14k AND the fact that this is the 3rd time he has flatted me, I can put significant weight on this being and attempt to take the pot away from me. AK is a reasonable holding for me, I have few enough chips that I would be loath to continue if I missed the board. In my favor is that the flat was unlikely coming from AA or KK, so unless he has QQ or AJ, I am looking pretty good here. But most of all, is my intense feeling that he was going to do this with any hit on the board. I can put him here on A8s or A4s here, but I am crushed if he has 88 or 44 here. Still, a read is a read... And what did I learn from Hoyazo? RAISE!

columbo raises to 9,946, and is all in
DrewGodofPoker calls 4,481 <= note that he INSTA-CALLS!
columbo shows [Js Qs]
DrewGodofPoker shows [As 8s]

He puts me on the AK and I am going to...
*** TURN *** [8h Jh 4c] [8c]
*** RIVER *** [8h Jh 4c 8c] [Kc]

go home now...

But seriously, how do I NOT get my money in on this flop with my read?