My NL25 game is continuing to improve. I'm starting to tighten up slightly and it has been paying, but I've lost a lot of all-ins lately so that has kept my growth from being "HUGE". Otherwise, the growth has been "good" and the bankroll is pretty much allowing me to move up, though I think its still too early so i'll stick it out here for a short bit.
I've found a new attribute to my No Limit game, which I did not have at the Degree poker tournament. That is, I'm absolutely willing to risk every chip I have, and am actually looking for places to push in rather than looking for ways not to. In limit, getting your stack ground down by play after play of losing hands is hard on the mind, but No Limit... its to be expected that you're going to go bust every once in a while. Hopefully not more often than you take other people's stacks though :) My hand reading ability is slowly progressing, and i'm focusing on one table in NL (6-max) not the typical 4-tables of limit. Less hands absolutely, but forcing myself to watch the actual players rather than rely solely on pokertracker data is the way to go. The styles i have come across are so different, but almost every player can be pegged as having a style and not being able to change gears. I guess that's what I get for playing the lowest limit of NL there is at Party.
The handicap is, sadly, dropping again. I'm a pretty solid 4 right now. Fortunately, that means NoSkillz still has to give me 2 strokes - sucker.
Saturday morning got pooched for tee times -- it happens. Sunday I got called up to the big leagues to play on the Niagara Cup team. I teamed up with young whipper snapper Ben to play team best ball matches at Hunters Pointe here in Niagara. Our front nine started off OK. I was hitting the ball well, but had a few bad luck bounces on the first few holes. Ben made up for any trouble I got into and played pretty well. We werent making any putts but neither was the other team. Came back from 1-down to tie the front nine for 1/2 a point. Ben hit some rediculously good low iron shots.
The back nine started off well for us, as we took hole #10 and I took hole #14 ( I think ) a short 130 yard cross wind par 4. Stuck probably my only really good wedge shot today to a foot. Would have been a nice hole-in-one but what can you do. 2-up with 4 to go, Ben hit his tee ball to the right fence (in fescue), somehow knocked that away (he's left handed so it was an ugly straight-upright swing to hit the ball) into more fescue, then out into the fairway. The competition hit one to the edge of the water on the 2nd, and the other was in a poor position right. My tee-shot was right down the centre so the decision of whether to play in from 240 yards or lay up was made. With Ben's ball out of it and the competition in rough shape, I had to lay up and play safe as a ball in the water would have certainly gave over the hole. My wedge into the green was to a pretty solid 12 feet, as were the other team's balls. First player on the other team drains a nice double breaking putt for birdie so it's on me, and I just missed it. Oh well. The next hole I hit it in the left fescue and missed the green right, but Ben was in perfect position in the fairway. Unfortunately, he had second thoughts about half-way through his downswing and pushed his shot out right by me. We pitched on but could not make it down in par and lost this hole to have the match even with 2 to play.
17 is a long par 3 (225 yards playing downwind today). Ben stroked a 5-iron to land 4 inches from the cup but it bounced another 40 feet past. My 4-iron was in the same spot in a bowl in the back left of the green. My lag putt cozied down the hill to a few inches, and Ben's birdie attempt JUST missed. We halved the hole and took it to 18.
The 18th hole was playing short. Tee was up, water all down the left side and a creek running across the fairway at 260 yards. The other team laid up with irons off the tee, as did I. Ben's decision was to lay up as well instead of driving it over (he's got lots of power on the driver). Ben was first to play into the green across the water, and unfortunately his 4-iron from 220 was a few yards short (downwind) and was wet. Doh! My decision was whether to hit 2-hybrid or a 3-iron. I felt the 2-hybrid was way too much club and had a reasonable chance of snapping if it came off the toe. I said I would miss right if I miss with the 3... so I hit the 3. Unfortuantely, it missed right into a bunker by the green. The other team made it safely over the water short, and one long. My bunker shot came out with a bit too much sand so did not have the steam to get to the green (I hate splash shots from that distance). My chip following was to 2 feet uphill. Pretty good. The other team's chips were not that good, but unfortuantely for us, one of them made the putt and we were toast. Nice putt.
So, we blew a 2-up lead with 4 to go. Damn! Oh well, dinner was great! They've really made some huge improvements in staff, atmosphere and food. We lost 0.5 to 2.5.
NoSkillz won his match (2 points to 1 point) and our club ended up slightly down 5.5 to 6.5 in points. Could be worse.
I doubt i'll be playing the next matches in august, as I'm a petty alternate (2nd alternate even) and not on the team but I wish them luck.