Monday, August 29, 2005

A Weekend Of Golf And Poker

Saturday, I was lucky enough to play Rattlesnake Point golf clubs Sidewinder course with my bud Harris. This course was pretty sick and is on a HUGE plot of hand. Fairways are gigantic, greens were slick and smooth (well, not too slick, they had some rain), and the bunkers/fescue are omnipresent in landing zones. Fortunately, the fescue wasnt too thick or long so I was lucky enough to find and play my balls from it the whole day. That's called luck folks. Shot a quite reasonable 78 from the back tees (Gold) and putted like I knew how to.

Online poker was going well thursday, as I was up around a buy-in most of the night, when I had an awful hand happen to suck away every cent of profit and put me $20 in the hole. Full House over Full House... and not easy ones like you might expect... I dont think there's any way to get away from that one. Sunday I chased that with a few more rough ones including a set vs a straight, two pair over two pair twice, TPTK vs Aces, and AK v QQ on A7Q board. Ugh. Either I need to learn how to fold in these situations, or I need variance to give me a few hands on the good side of it.

Lost $87.39 total this weekend all-in. NoSkillz seems to be eating shit at NL as well, as his bankroll is almost in the reload stage which is NEVER good. Hmm... It would be easier to believe that I suck at this game if the hits im taking weren't rediculous. Im just not hitting much at the moment to make up for them. Oh well, i'm well bankrolled for the game and will stick with it till further notice :)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Growth

I've been fiddling around with poker for a while now. Perhaps it has been a year or more i'm not really sure and I'm not in the mood to try and open my first PT database (back when it rated me a calling station).

While i've blogged my poker and golf exploits here for the last 6 months or so, I feel like it's time to start going beyond merely journalling my day to day results. I'm really not contributing any knowledge to the world other than how good or bad yesterday was, and that must stop. For all 1 of you reading this humble blog, I promise to do more, hopefully furthering your understanding of both golf and poker play. I do not claim to be good at either, but i've been around golf for the last 16 years of life, and poker for... well... not so long... but I am obsessed with the game and work hard at it so maybe something I say will help you.

I'll keep you up to date with my bankroll and results, but hopefully i'll also impart some knowledge (right or wrong :)).

To start, a tip about life..... Don't eat yellow snow.

Toast.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Bankroll

Well, it's time to find out where I stand with online poker once again. Last night was a $40 win at $50NL over a few hundred hands, so thats ok.

Drumroll...

Party: $1053.78
Stars: $317.92
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TOTAL: $1371.70

Since last update:
18 days of play
(-86.37)

Well, that $400 downswing sucked hard but at least i'm climbing back into the saddle.

Seriously considering going back to the casino again shortly to try and make a bit of quick non-online cash. You know when I carry my watch and over 250 in cash that i'm considering playing b&m again :)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Wow, I went pretty deep in a big multi-table tourney

I have no idea why I don't play these more often. I think it's mainly due to the fact that I can money usually but not deep enough to make profit that justifies the 3-4 hours of play to get there. I suppose I should just open MTT and do other work at the same time to make it less boring. Really its pretty boring until near the money in my opinion.

Anyways, last night I decided to play a $3+0 stars MTT with 1845 other people. Doubled up the first hand with a set against an idiot with a small overpair to the board. I suppose people don't care much about $3. I can see why I guess. Anyways, i cruised along at about average chips the whole tournament. Never made a huge move up, and never scraped the bottom until the end. I placed 16th out of 1846 which isnt too shabby and made a whopping $41.54 back. I suppose that's better than minimum wage for the 4 hours it took but hey, it's fun right?

Near the end, blinds were 3k/6k with 300 ante and I had 20k. Red-zone if I ever saw it. So basically I was pushing or folding of course. I pushed and picked up the huge blinds and antes to make it to T$30k, then doubled through with AT v KJ to T$60k, then again to T$100k or so. This was still below the then 150k average with around 20 people left. In the BB I had the major chipleader to my right with 500k or so. Folded to us in the blinds, he raises to $40k (obviously he's going to pound me with that sort of chiplead) and I pushed in for my $100k with 88. He held ATs so we had ourselves a little coin flip and I came out on the short end.

All in all, i got my money in with the best of it every time I entered a pot, so I'm happy about that. I think I could stand to start playing more LAG in the mid-late stages as everyone's usually tight at that point but totally depends on chipcount. I was pretty happy... too bad I didnt make $1240 for 1st but there's always next time.

I think I might play a few more of these. Lots of dead money in the early stages to build a stack with and the payouts arent too bad given my meagre bankroll of $1200 or so currently.

Actually thought I had a shot at final table if I doubled through the last hand... *sigh*. Yes, definately must play more tournaments. I'm starting to "get" this NL thing.

ONE MORE THING

I made a big laydown at $50NL yesterday as well. Flopped a set of deuces and laid them down to a really tight straightforward player. Still feels weird, even wrong, but hey, its my read. I've never done that before so this is news to me. If I was right, i'm a better player for being able to put that to sleep. If i'm wrong, i'm a weakie... but again, against 99% of low limit players I'd never lay that down. It was weird.

Thats it for today, thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Golf Is Wierd, Dude.

So, this weekend I only had one round of golf scheduled -- my normal Sunday game. I dont know what sort of sissies I'm booked to play with, but only 3 people showed other than me. Oh well at least it was a foursome.

I played like garbage on the front nine. Two early scrambling pars and then bogeys with one double. Awful, crappy, and couldn't swing the club for the life of me. The back nine picked up a bit and shot 37 or something like that. 44/37. Hah.

Anyways, one thing that I did notice and the reason i'm posting this, is that I think I figured out a swing trick that helps me hit the ball better. I've found over the past few months while i've had a ... less than stellar performing swing... that I tend to have a whole lot of different things going on in my golf swing. That is to say, I tend to have different swingplanes depending on the day. My tempo is suspect sometimes too.

So here's the thing... On the driving range, when I hit my short irons (PW-LW), if I want to have dead aim, and I mean right all over the pin, all i've got to do is not finish my swing. I swing through, but up so that my hands finish high, but never wrap around back. My weight still transfers, my body still turns, but I dont finish the swing. I've always had a good ability to be dead on pins if I do this, but there is a cost of distance slightly.

After pissing myself off with my front nine performance, I started swinging a bit better on the back, but was still making sketchy contact with the ball in some cases (yes, I was making pars anyways). There's a big difference in low-handicap golf between "good" and "good enough"... the swing at this point was the latter of the two. So, with 3 to go, I decided to try and hit every shot with that wedge mentality of finish high and don't try and make a pretty follow through. Well, does that ever work well! In my last three holes I hit the ball on the screws and dead straight every shot. It was unreal. It's quite unorthadox to not finish my swing, but if the club is on that swingplane every time, i'll take the weird swing for sweet results.

Moe Norman would have been proud of this swing. The finish very much mimicks his and is likely where I got the idea from. No tricks in a golf swing like this, just back and through without the showboat finish. I honestly prefer a full finish as it feels better, but if I can NUT every ball and hit every ball straight with a slightly different swing, i'll do it 10 times out of 10.

I've still got a putting and chipping game though, which is good. Didnt make any putts today but the greens were shit so thats ok.

------------------------

Poker:

I've been on the 25NL tables again. I'm clawing my way back from where I was before I dropped 400 in a few days. Everything has been positive lately so thats good. Not getting any huge hits, but i'm making money so i'll take it.

I also noted that my Casino Niagara money is dwindling finally. I've been using it as my cash for the last few months (note that's no bank machine visits in months thanks to the people at the poker room at casino niagara). Will have to start going again. Perhaps I can get NoSkillz to go a few times.

--------------------

Other:

I've got a few side projects im working on lately to hopefully make some cash. We'll see how that works out. Heh. No gamble in killing time on my own work though I suppose. Need something to do for the winter.

Toast.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Stress Relief and Tilt

Now, i'm normally the most serene mf'er you'll ever meet. It takes quite a bit to get me upset, and I take this as a good thing though sometimes I let too much slide when I shouldnt.

Case in point, my recent poker downswing. When I had my troubles with the poker game, I knew when the beats were too much for a day and I quit. The nice thing about poker is you can just stand up and take your money when you take some hits. Golf is another story.

The problem with golf is, its a game of etiquette. It actually is frowned upon to just quit in the middle of a game so therefore you're stuck on tilt until you can get the hell off the 18th green. Now, some golfers handle bad events by swearing, some by internalizing it, and some by freaking out and slaughtering their equipment/nearby stuff. I do a bit of all 3. See the thing is, I can't like golf if I dont care about the game at any given time i'm playing it. So since I care about every hole for the most part... bad events tend to ... upset me. I used to just grin and bear it, but now i'm changing gears if you will to rid myself of that stress physically. In recent weeks i've thrown a few clubs, slammed a club into my golf bag, slammed a club into the ground and so on. Hey, Tiger Woods does it. The thing is, when i slam a club I usually walk away from my group for a minute or two... freak out in my own little world then come back like nothing happened. That's a good thing.

For example, today I had some shitty spell on #16 with a good round going, my hand slipped on my drive, and again on the 2nd shot. It was raining and I suppose this was a normal occurance but for GOD SAKES I had a decent round going and it's been a while since I had done that. I freaked after that double bogey... mostly internally though i did kick a metal thing that I knew wouldnt show the effects. The next hole I hit my tee shot (well struck by the way) in the bunker left, and instead of my bunker shot coming under the ball, the wet sand booted it up and out and I skulled the ball over the green again. From there I failed to get up and down, so went double double in a row. Sorry, that's enough to do me in after 15 holes of solid golf and effort. To have it slip away like that, oh shit was I upset.

So, I tossed my wedge towards my bag after I hit it.. no big deal... after the hole I walked towards the next tee with my bag over my shoulder.. then dropped the bag to the ground (didnt stand it up), kicked it, whacked it with the golf club, walked away slammed the club to the ground and generally internally exploded. I then made a nice smooth par like nothing happened. After the round I could hardly speak to people I was so upset, so went home quickly and made some soup.

Now i'm still pissed off, but feeling a bit better. I need to come up with something golfers can carry and basically wreck to release their stress and move on. I play so much better after I let go of bad happenings and leave them behind me.

The only important hole, or important hand of poker, is the next one I'm playing. History doesn't change. Tilt is tough to handle, and I never feel right showing it outwardly but sometimes theres no way out of that mood without exploding. I deal a lot better with poker than golf in this respect since I realize happenings in poker have an explanation, and in golf, it's all my fault -- tough to handle.

Suggestions are welcome in the comments.

Friday, August 12, 2005

[GOLF] Langley Cup Update

Today I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to play our new club champion, one hell of a golfer, Mike in the continuing saga of our club match play championship. I've always got along quite well with Mike, and he's one hell of a golfer so it was bound to be a good outing.

Today has been rainy and we had some early thunderstorms but it had cleared up this afternoon. The course was slightly wet, though the greens were still rolling nicely. Since a group of fossils were teeing off on #1 we decided to cart our way over to #2 and just skip the formality of playing hole by hole.

He's a scratch player so I was getting 4 strokes. I'll point out any special happenings.

Scores were as follows:
Hole Toast Mike
#2 5 4 (1 up)
#3 5 4 (2 up)
#4 3 3 (2 up)
#5 5(-1) 5 (1 up)
#6 6(-1) 5 (1 up)
#7 4 3 (2 up) - I three putted
#8 5 6 (1 up)
#9 4 3 (2 up)
#10 5 6 (1 up)
#11 4 4 (1 up)
#12 4 3 (2 up)
#13 x OB (1 up) - he hit it OB and gave up since I had a stroke here
#14 3 4 (even) - i made a sandie
#15 6 5 (1 up) - I hit my 3rd in the bunker from 175 and couldnt make my putt
#16 5 5 (1 up)
#17 2 2 (1 up) - I drained a BOMB from around 35 feet, he only had 6 to make his and did no trouble
#18 X X - I hit the trees on my drive left, second shot was towards the right rough and did not find it. Conceded the hole.

That's it! Lost the match 2 & 1. Oh well, i hit the ball OK, but not sharp, and made a few putts and missed a few putts. Was just OK. Guess my round was something around 77 if you factor in the holes with X's. He would have been around 76 if i count correctly. Not his best, not my best. I can't complain much I tried and didnt let the small stuff hurt me too much.

So there it is. Out of the Langley this year. Would have been nice.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Ok... Now I'm Upset...

I'm losing my bankroll VERY quickly right now and I'm starting to have serious trouble with it. I realize variance in cards is normal, but I'm going through buy-ins like they're candy right now. I'm getting decent starting cards, but when the big pots are played i'm on the ass end constantly right now. I'm even purposely playing smaller pots but to no avail. Here's a few from tonight, judge for yourself, dear reader. All 6-max

Two hands almost identical, check it.

25NL
I'm dealt A-7s and limp. Flop is 77K rainbow. Villain bets $0.75, idiot calls, I call. Turn is 4h, villain checks, idiot bets $2, I call $2, Villain raises to $6, Idiot calls, I push, Villain Calls
He shows 44 for the turned boat.

25NL
I'm dealt A7 and limp. Flop is 727. I bet, call, call. Turn is 8, I bet $3, villain pushes, I call. Villain shows 22 for the flopped boat.

50NL
I'm dealt A5s and limp. Flop is 327 rainbow. Villain bets 1, I call, idiot calls. Turn is a beautiful 4. Villain bets $2, I raise to $8, villain calls $5. River is a 7, villain bets $20 (the pot), I call. Of course, he shows 22 for a rivered boat.

I flop a set, he flops a straight. I hit TPTK, he makes a set. I have an overpair, he makes a set. I have aces, he rivers his flush (against odds of course). I make two pair, he makes a set. I have aces, he flops 88x with J8o.

Ugh... sorry just frustrated I know its bad form to talk about beats. I just cant win right now. I'm down $150 for the day, $310 in the past week, and $402 in the last 4 days. That leaves the bankroll rather low, and I'm going to have to grind it out at 25NL until things turn around because 50 will bust the roll entirely.

In the past 4 days, I've played 1500 hands, losing $402 at both limits, VP$IP is 27.16, PFR is 9.29, AF is 3.04, Won $ When Saw Flop is 30.50, Went to SD is 19.96, Won $ At SD is 28.70. That last number tells it all.

I've never lost like this and i'm shaken. I dont feel like i'm misplaying these much but i'll check a few at 2+2 of course. I always feel better to admit or find out where i made a bad play instead of just doubting myself.

Wish me luck at surviving this with a playable roll.

An Interesting Turnaround in Poker & Golf

Well, this weekend was officially weird. Starting with my Friday steep downswing at the NL50 game, I chased that Sunday with a $75 drop again. So, we'll just round off the weekend to be -$250 on the petty bankroll.

Times like these make me step back and consider how I could better have played, and the answer of course is to understand the game better to make less mistakes. So, yesterday evening I sat in a lounge chair in the gf's back yard and polished off Harrington On Hold'em Episode I. A great book. One thing that really stood out that differed between the book and my current game is the concept of building a big pot without enough information on the opponent's holding -- bad news. In my NLHE so far, I tend to bet pot or close to it when I think i'm leading, but the difference between pot and half pot is huge. In theory I should glean as much information from a half pot bet as I do from a pot bet, as a half pot bet will not give a single opponent odds to draw at either straights or flushes against me discounting implied odds. I suppose I tend to be over-aggressive in these situations though. That is to say, my continuation bets are often pot sized and should be cut down to save me money. I'm really enjoying Harrington's conservative style selective aggression , and I think it could be directly usable in the smaller NLHE games online. Obviously moving up you're going to have much better players playing a lot more of the deck and that has to be adapted to with better hand reading, but at the 100 and under it's often been said that playing the nuts most of the time is the way to go.

Anyways, down a bunch in Hold'em land. I'll fight back this week and see where it goes.

---------------------
GOLF is another story.

I've actually got somewhat of a golf game back now. Hows that for amazing? Was 76 and 77 this weekend with a couple of bad holes in there. Made a few putts, hit a few decent drives, nothing was great, but everything was OK. Too bad I didnt have this last weekend for the club championship. One of our club pros suggested that I go for a session on their preferred clubmaker's launch monitor to reshaft my driver. Since it tends to get a little bit all over the place -- still long though.

Driver is a Cobra SS440.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ouch! At least I can grin about it...

Wow havent had a beat like this in a while. Get's pretty spensive at NL too. Surprising thing is i'm not pissed. BAD BEAT POST AHEAD

Playing $50NL @ Party

Maniac has $43, I have $37

Extreme LAG sits down at the table and proceeds to raise his first 5 hands to 6xBB.

Pocket Aces to me on the button, and I limp to the LAG. LAG raises to $2, one caller, I bump to $8 and just the LAG and I see the flop.

Flop is 8 T K rainbow

Maniac pushes, I insta-call.

Turn is 7

River is 9

Maniac flips over KJs and I lose to a runner runner straight.

I actually had to run that one through cardplayer to see the odds on losing it. I was a 4:1 favorite. Bah.

Oh well, that's poker. Thankfully I'm bankrolled properly for this level. Yeesh.

----------------------

UPDATE

I actually dropped another buy-in a hundred hands after that first one. This time when an Aggressive player played back at my KK on a QTx flop, I called his raise. Turn is a 10, he bets 15, I push he calls with AT. Ugh. Guess i should have pushed the flop if i was going to do that.

Just dropped yet another buy-in at another table (yow) when my set of 6's ran into a set of Kings on the flop. Ugh.

Fortunately, i'm up a little bit on my other table, 35 or so. Cards are rough on me at the moment.

Here's my stats today so far:

6-max NL50
Hands: 392
VP$IP: 28.83%
Pre-Flop Raise: 11.05%
Won $ WSF: 28.91
Went to SD: 17.19
Won $ at SD: 13.64

NOTE THE WON $ AT SD NUMBER. Jesus. It's not like i'm taking too many hands to the river or anything but holy crap. Thankfully i'm in a pretty good mood else this would really put me in a bad mood today.

As of 6:05, i'm down $125

Whew.

-----

UPDATE 7:01pm

Well, its officially the worst day i've ever had at the tables. Flop top set, lose to a straight that never bet. Flop middle set, lose to top set. Holy crap, variance came knocking today and of course it had to be on 50NL instead of the usual 25NL.

I'm calling it quits for the day. In 524 hands (yes, that's it) I dropped $173.27.

I should post a few of these on 2+2 to see where i could improve. Unfortunately my fun mood is gone after the continuous beats. Yikes. Never been here before, and it's not fun to drop that much that quickly.

Toast

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bonus Cleared At Stars, Whew!

Damn that took forever. Played stars 1/2 to clear that 500FPP for my $100 bonus and it just went on and on and on. I didnt pay attention to see what constitutes a FPP hand, but damn it took a lot of them to make $100. Maybe when i'm up to 2/4 or some real limit it wont be so difficult. Anyways, cashed out $700 from stars to move it back to Party as I'm planning to start playing 50NL a bit more, and possibly 1/2 who knows.

The 1/2 game at stars seemed like a grind, though I was not catching much in the way of cards. One time my aces ran into KK with a K on the flop and river. One guy c/rd the river on me, I figured he just didnt have the K since he didnt raise PF but hey, tricky tricky worked for him. Through a very short sample at 1/2 (<1k hands) i'm winning at 1.06BB/100 which basically means NOTHING. Yesterday I was losing most of the day and came back up to only be down around 10BB for 500 hands. Starting to get used to the increased cashflow moving around, and i'm certain I can beat the game but it's just so boring compared to NL these days.

That said, i've been re-reading SS2's NL section and getting through HoH1 (about half way). A lot of stuff makes sense, but I dont think I can quite apply doyle's approach at the NL limits I play.

I think i'm going to start updating my bankroll on here, as it's relevant to anyone caring to follow my progress through poker-land. It started at $100.00 many moons ago.

Current Bankroll: $1458.07