Thursday, December 28, 2006

Exciting News!

Hello reader.

While sitting at home on this bleak December 28th, I noticed something while staring at my Golf Statistics from years 2002 through 2006. My putting figures go from 29.2 to 28.8 putts per round directly after it rains (course conditions are noted beside each round on my scorecards - obviously.).

Therefore, I hope it rains more next season!

Come on back and I shall regale you with stories of how the number of dimples on my golf ball can predict how far my draw moves on a windy day.

Matt Toast.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Negreanu Leads At the WPT 5-Diamond

Poker Prof reports Daniel Negreanu is leading the 5-diamond 15k event at Bellagio going into the final table.

As a Canadian, I'm awed by the pool of great poker players we (as Canadians) have out there like Negreanu, Brad Booth, Gavin Smith, Steve Paul-Ambrose @ University Waterloo, Nenad Medic from Niagara Falls, Jason Sagle out of Sudbury... the list goes on and on. I guess we must have nothing better to do than play cards here in the great white north or something.

Here's to hoping DN pulls through!

Monday, December 18, 2006

I Got 1.5 Hours of Online Poker In This Weekend!

That's big news for me -- I'm just way too busy with work right now.

Since i'm just stupidly excited to have played online poker for a short session, here are a few notable hands which may describe my current style a bit (holy crap i'm insanely aggressive right now).

$50NL 6-max:

I'm button, MP opens for $2, MP+1 calls, I make it $6 to go with T8o.

Wait, wait, wait. I just 3-bet with T8o? What the heck? Toasty you so craaazy.

Hand O' the Week Winnnnarrr...

4-handed 6-max $50NL

I've been raising like its my job, guy on my left is aggressive but not nuts and not happy about my opening every pot 4-handed.

I'm button and open for $2 with 4h 4d, SB (Villain) raises to $7.50, I call

Flop is Jd 6s 5d
Villain leads for $8 (into a $15 pot), I make it $20 and he folds.

No, I don't show my cards online unless I really have super-air and want to tilt someone (*ahem*, Matt)

I'm not sure if the Toastmeister will stick with this crazed play (crazed compared to my previous 20/11 TAG style), but it sure is fun and certainly gets the other players all wound up.

/the donk

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm a Donk!

That's what Matty told me tonight, I'm a donk. When I bluff off a stack at our little No-Limit home-game I hear nothing (quiet respect I like to think), but beat him out of his money with the worst hand and I'm a DONK!

Well, Yeah i'm actually kind of a donk at the home game. You see, we play $0.25/0.50 blinds No-Limit hold'em with a $20 per player cap per hand. That is, you cannot lose more than $20 in a hand, period. It's fun, but it's not serious.

As Matt posted on his site, last week we busted Gary's 3-buyins in 15 minutes at this game -- gary was not impressed and has not returned. Needless to say $20 doesn't hurt most of us at the game so it can get wild. I wish we'd play for more but it suffices for my live action cravings.

Anyways, basically I did put my money in with an open-ended straight draw and an overcard against his checkraise with middle pair and the ass-end of a gutshot straight draw. He was a 2:1 favorite with 69s on a 79Tr board against my K8o but my crap hand pulls through. I wouldn't say I got him on tilt, but it was damn close and fun to laugh about him calling me donk.

He said it himself best, "You're a donk, but you're a profitable donk at this game".

Tonight at the home game we had a few newcomers, Brett and Mike. Mike has played with us previously and is quite aggressive and decent. Brett shows some good knowledge of the game and plays almost exclusively good hands. Unfortunately for him, his good hands were no match for our junk this evening while Mike came out the "big winner". Congrats to him.

I was again lucky enough to come out winners by a small margin. I've yet to lose at the home game however given the way I play there I can't see it being far off where I dump a hundo.

On to the topic of Golf. In particular, Matt has recently posted a whole page detailing his statistics for golf this season. If i'm a poker geek, he's certainly a stats geek. Anyways, on the topic of driving distances, Matty clocked his long one at 331 this year. I think Harry puts it best in saying via email:

for some reason I can't leave a comment on your blog. But i just wanted to say, there is no fucking way you hit a drive 331 yards. You know, Toast knows it, and I know it. Even if you picked the ball up on the tee, walked it 331 yards and placed it in the middle of the fairway, I still wouldn't believe it. How are we to believe the rest of those stats aren't fabricated. 331, that really is laughable.


Matt claims to be using PGA standard techniques for detailing his driving distances but we all know he makes a lot of stuff up to make himself feel better about spending $800 on a driver this year -- crazy bastard. He sells a hell of a lot of shit tickets to pay for a driver like that ya know?

Thanks go to Matt for a fun evening at his place (and his lovely wife Jacky who put up with us taking over the dining room for the evening). Welcome to the game to Brett, welcome back to Mike, I hope we have a lively game full of action until next golf season.

Tonight will be the golf-get-together over the river -- pizza and wings. Should be fun!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gin & Juice

Well, I played a lot of Gin Rummy this weekend -- little in the way of poker though. This may become the Golf & Gin blog shortly by the amount i'm playing.

I've got my Uncle Joe addicted to the game again, and Matty's giving it a serious try. He's improved quite a bit from the first times we played and I feel pretty stagnant with my game. I'm going to have to start working on it a bit as I find it very satisfying. Sorta like playing Heads Up poker but with more cards.

I'm also not at the point where i'm gambling yet on it... i'm sure thats not far however.

Oh, and by the way, Matt beat my ass at Gin Rummy this weekend 2 games to 1 (I'll be the first to admit it). He's Goooooood.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Back In Town -- NOT in Vegas

You can put away your hankies, I'm back! I heard enough crying about my lack of postings last night that I had to peel myself away from my work long enough to slip you readers a couple inches of toast's text lovin'. Giggidy.

The Toastmeister was in Orlando last week at a tradeshow for one of the comapanies I whore myself out to. We were "roughing it" at the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel and convention facility. Heh. Sick. Sat in the hottub talking biz, did the tradeshow, yadda yadda yadda. More importantly, we had a fun time.

I played Shingle Creek golf course, and I played a course called Falcons Fire. Both were upscale tracks with good, interesting layouts. Both were in half-assed condition. Must be the time of year but the rough was whispy and the fairways/tees were rough. Thankfully I didn't pay for either else I'd have something to complain about. Worth playing IF THEY ARE IN SHAPE people.

Then we come to the entertainment. See, one of the main dudes at my company treats this annual tradeshow as his personal vacation and he likes to have a good time on vacation... so... very little is done half-assed. We went to Universal, we went to Disney's Pleasure Island, we ate like pigs and drank constantly. It's fun but I can't live like that for long stretches. 5 days was enough. I'd never, ever, ever live in Orlando unless paid through the bloody nose. Holy crap that place takes forever to get anywhere. When one guy said Target (pronounced Tar-Jhet of course as is proper) was right around the corner and it took 25 mins of no-traffic to get there... I decided Orlando was out.

One particular bar of interest (meaning I actually enjoyed it) is The Blue Martini. This place rocked out in an upscale elite I can't afford to drink there sort of way. The service is top-notch, bartenders (chicks of course) are beautiful, the place was packed, bands were good, but I don't have the bank account bling to do that shit on a regular basis.

On the poker front, played the home game last night. We busted Gary in the first 15 mins ($60 bucks or 3-buyins at our NL cap game) and he took off in a huff. Hah! SOOO funny. I was up 2.5 buyins, down 1.5 buyins, and finished up $15 bucks which shall pay for my Sahla Thai lunch today. GOD BLESS SAHLA THAI.

And that's it. I hope you're as satisfied as I am.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Well, At Least There's A Home Game...

These days i've weighed myself down nicely with work. Poker pays relatively well so far, but not on the scale of what people pay me to do programming work for them -- plus that's guaranteed money -- no downswings unless I get screwed/sued which I do my damndest to avoid. Learnt that lesson early and it hurt, never again. Poker's been pretty breakeven when I do get to play though.

On the flip side, that means very little poker. Almost none actually -- depressing for a poker blog huh? I am however going to florida next monday for business and taking the golf clubs for a bit of business golf. Hell, at the end of november / early december mini-putt sounds good to me. Certainly company sponsored drinking and golf in Orlando-temperatures sounds FANTASTIC.

We did start up the poker homegame again through Matt's efforts. It should go again tomorrow night at Gary's place unless something bad happens. Unfortunately, last week I felt was sort of a waste until the last hour. I suppose it's my competitive side, but playing cards where the opponents aren't giving a shit about the game is a total waste of my time. I don't play with these guys for the money (they don't have much gamble) but I do expect a bit of competition. Sort of like the Saturday/Sunday golf games. We play for $2 nassau usually but that's the hardest fought $2 you've ever seen. I honestly think we need to raise the stakes slightly - not to hurt the players but to make it sting a little bit to lose and therefore give people a reason to try and win. Matt and I compete hard against each other but the rest seem relatively uninterested. Might be beating a dead horse on this one.

I'm off, toast out.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gavin Smith Is Cool, Mang.

As evidenced by Matt's post over here at Now On The Tee, he meets, greets, and drinks with poker pro Gavin Smith.

It's a pretty great story from the WPT Event at Niagara Fallsview. GO READ IT!.

Please note that this would never have happened had Matt not had his soon-to-be wife nearby... she gets all the cred.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Happy Sunday Harry Neepers...


On Harry's favorite day of the week, here he is in preparation for the games today...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ivey Is Sick, Sick, Sick In This Hand

I mean, the guy did sort of say "Hey I don't have a J" when he raises but still... Phil has a great read on him here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Poker On The Road

These past two weeks i'm pretty busy travelling on business to some of the more bumfuck nowhere locations in the northeast USA. I won't mention those towns l'est they be caring what a halfwit blogger has to say about them. Needless to say there's never much to do but hang out at the hotel bar and play with my laptop. Thankfully playing with my laptop also means I can play poker on the road -- yes, these nowhere places do have Internet access thank god.

I'm trying to get my coworker Scott hooked on the game, not sure it's working so far but I'm getting to him. Who couldn't love gambling on the turn of a card? Of course poker is a skill game but as evidenced by getting 3-outer rivered last night with AQ on a AQx board by AK, there's a bit of luck still involved.

I haven't been playing anything like the 14k hand month i had two months ago. I'm jealous of all you young guns in university on daddy's dime who have nothing better to do than play cards online between classes (8+ hours a day). I'd love to do this as a sideline job but I can't seem to get away from working long enough to make that happen. If I get 5k hands in this month I guess i'm doing pretty well.

I have been playing a bit of $50 Pot Limit Omaha on Full Tilt lately. God bless full tilt poker it's padding my bankroll.

Actually, go sign up at full tilt poker. Use bonus code TOAST if you like, or not... whatever. Harris that means you, and Matt, and all the other wankers who read this and don't have an account there yet.

And finally, as part of my boring-ass poker only post, I'll post my current online poker bankroll for those who are interested in following my progress. Yes, it's tiny, shadup.

My current game is 6-max 100 No-Limit Hold'Em and I dabble at $50 PLO to learn the game.

TOTAL ONLINE POKER BANKROLL: $3235.83

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WPT Niagara, Matty's Wedding & Thanks to CNN

I spent a few more hours at the WPT Niagara Falls event at Fallsview last week/weekend. Mainly spent time checking out the play/players in the first North American Poker Championship and seeing how many tv pros I could spot. The answer is, a LOT! This event was chock full of tv-pro goodness.

Here's some facts you might not have known about your favorite tv players:


  1. Humberto Brenes is not really annoying to play against at all times like the WSOP broadcast may have led you to believe. He seems like a nice dude.

  2. Daniel Negreanu is rail-thin and looks in need of a sammich. He makes post paris hilton Nicole Richie look fat. Maybe it was just his FCP gear or something.

  3. John D'Agostino is short and looks like a street thug. He's still wicked though.

  4. Barry Greenstein is the player I would most like to emulate. The consummate professional even when almost falling asleep at the table.

  5. Freddy Deeb is tiny and always looking for a good time. I hear he got one at the local entertainment establishments.

  6. John Juanda has got to be the scariest guy to play against. He has a stare that can look right through you and moves chips wildly.



That's all i can think up for now. Will report back if I remember anything else.

Saturday i went to Matt's wedding. It was very nicely done and I give thanks to he and Jacky for inviting the girlfriend and I. Very upscale and beautifully done -- and some FANTASTIC cakes from Anna Olson of FoodTV Canada -- can't go wrong there.

I'd like to give a special thanks to CNN for this story they recently posted on how to play poker. It should keep the games going strong for a looong time.

How to win at poker - by CNN.com


Go in big... when you have the highest pair in a game of Texas hold' em. For instance if you're holding 10, Q and the flop produces 10, 5, 2 then grab as much as you can. The chances of somebody holding a pocket pair of Js or greater are unlikely -- or indeed pocket 5s or 2s to make trips. Get rid of your opposition with a big bet, because you don't want to let your rivals get to see the turn card when an ace might show up to scupper you.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Niagara Railbird Report - Canadian Open - Fallsview Casino - Day 2

Who else but a poker geek would drive down to Fallsview after work (admittedly I had nothing to do) just to watch a bunch of guys play down to the money in a poker tournament? That's right, nobody. Oh well. I'm talking about the WPT Canadian Open which featured a whole bunch of 'name' players for a small buyin (yeah, 2500 is small i guess).

These included:
Gavin Smith
Daniel Negreanu
Joe Sebok
Farzad Bonyadi
Isabelle Mercier
Nam Le
David Williams
"The Grinder" Mizrachi
JC Tran
Eli Elezra
Humberto Brenes

So, quite a few high limit players for such a small event... oh well. Of course I didnt realize the event was running until today, and they already busted most of the names but I said screw it and headed down to railbird because, well, i had nothing better to do.

I walk into the room, saddle up to the "rail" which is well placed for spectating, look for a player I can identify and the only ones I know the names of are "Shampoo" and Vince "Hollywood" (I dont know his last name) from my first Degree Poker tournament. Meh. Of course, then I look at the spectators and notice I'm standing right beside Humberto "Spanish for Chark" Brenes. I didn't bother the dude but he was railing Hollywood's table so I assume he had a runner still in the tournament.

I stuck around to watch them play down to 27, saw Joe Sebok in the hall registering for the next event, and generally railed the chipleader's table for an hour or two. He's got a WSOP Bracelet and Ring sitting on top of his chipstack... dudes name is Scott Clements who won an Omaha Hi/Lo bracelet at this past series keeping Phil Hellmuth out of his 10th bracelet. He was playing a big stack relatively well from what I saw, and is clearly a decent player. He leads going into Day 3 tomorrow.

I'll probably head back to Fallsview on Wednesday afternoon/evening for the start of the big one. I wish I was rolled to play the cash games there but its all mid-high for the most part. Something about the tv pro's coming to town has everyone gamboooling high.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Saturday Night Live Poker At Seneca Niagara Casino

You heard me! I actually got to play some live B&M poker. Scary enough it was Harry that suggested we go play some cards, and believe it or not Matt was allowed out of the house to play too. So, around 9:30 on Saturday night we headed over the border to Seneca Niagara in order to play some poker.

I was just planning on playing 'for fun' so I put us all on the limit lists (3/6, 5/10) and 1/2 no limit as the limit games can be slow to bust people compared to 1/2 as those two are generally happier playing limit.

About Seneca's Poker Room

Upon arrival at the place of my first casino poker experiences, I'm shocked to see how they have increased the size of the poker room.

They must have doubled the tables to 30+ and had a 'high' section where those with more colorful chips can play and they can run donkaments. The poker room is separated from the smoky hell of the main casino, has no casino sounds, just shuffling and riffling of chips. Sweet sweet poker sounds.


The Games


Seneca was also running $60 sit-n-go's constantly through the night... that's perdy cool to see regular tournaments, even though I hate tournaments I know a lot of people love them. Our Canadian side casinos don't run these at all except tuesdays and of course the WPT that's on this week.

I called all three local casinos, here's the games they were spreading on Saturday evening:

Casino Niagara:
1/2nl, 2/5nl, 5/5nl, 2/4 limit. Bad players, (mostly) bad dealers, awful awful floor staff. Plus loud as hell... meh.

Fallsview:
2/5nl, 5/5nl, 5/10nl, 10/20nl, 25/50nl, and 100/200 limit. HAH! 100/200. Musta had some tournament player action here because thats way way higher than the normal 10/20 that runs there. I chock it all up to the WPT event this week (mini event started Sunday, big event starts middle this week sometime (10k buyin)). These limits are all way higher than I play, though I'd love to be rolled for it. Fallsview's lists are always way, way, way overbooked and they seem in no hurry to expand the poker room. Meh, if i was rolled for mid/high limits i'da been there.

Seneca:
Wow, what a list.
1/2nl, 2/5nl, 5/10nl, 2/4 limit, 3/6 limit 1/2 kill, 5/10 limit, 3/6 crazy pineapple, 3/6 omaha/8, 15/30 limit, 7stud 1/2 i think it was. Seriously thats a good number of games, though nothing seriously high limit that i could see.

The Dealers

Seneca was always better from a dealer point of view than our Casino Niagara and Fallsview casinos. That's not to say all our dealers are worse on the Canadian side, there are a few bright spots, but most of them are less than good. It has something to do with the fact that dealers in the Canadian casinos rotate their dealers into the poker room and out of it on schedule so dealers can be raking craps one day and pitching hold'em the next. Plus dealers in the Canadian casinos dont keep tips. That sucks for motivation to do your job well. The dealers are Seneca Niagara were professional, excellent. They know their work and can deal all the games as evidenced by a 7stud, omaha8 game running and the dealers having them in their normal lineups. Totally pro and they earned their tips.


My Games


As stated before, I went to the casino with Matt and Harry in order to have some fun with them. On arrival I was seated in a 1/2nl game with the understanding we were to try and get together for some 3/6 fun. Around 45 minutes into an uneventful 1/2 session I was called for 3/6 with a 1/2 kill. This was my first kill-game but had the general gist down.


What's a Kill Game?

A kill game means the poker game is played at a certain limit, in this case 3/6. If a certain qualifier is met (the pot becoming $60 in this case) the next hand is played with an increase in betting structure of 1/2 more, or rounded off to $5/$10 in the case of this game. A full kill would have been $6/$12.


Shortly after sitting, I hear Matt and Harry's names called from the podium for the 3/6 game, but they don't show. WTF? I switch out of no limit, which is definately my best game, and come to play limit with these guys and they didnt come over! So, i hunted them down at a 1/2nl game where both bought in, got stuck, and refused to change tables. Those f'ers! Thankfully my game was sweet with one older east indian gentleman who played every hand to the river it seemed and reloaded twice. Kill pot? No matter. I hit some good hands, played standard tight-aggressive and came out $143 winner.

Unfortunately, Harry and Matt both lost a bit of cash, nothing too bad though.

I bought the traditional McD's milkshakes on the way home, with Harry requesting a double quarter pounder with cheese. Sorta gross, but thats the way he rolls when half-drunk on cheap casino beer i spose.

Hopefully Harry and Matt will want to go back to Seneca once in a while. I still love live poker and would like to play more now that my weekend mornings don't require getting up early.

And finally, breaking news. Matt's not 40 yet, and it wasn't his birthday. He is getting married in a few days though -- that i'm definitely sure about as I'll be attending.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A little birdie whispered in my ear...

(That little birdie was Harry, thank's dude.)

Anyways, I can't let this occasion pass without a tribute to my good friend Matty on the occasion of his 40th birthday.

A little background. Matthew B. was born 14,600 days ago on October the 20th, 1966 to two happy parents. He had a full head of hair at birth which was unexplicably spiky but became his trademark. That trait followed him through his adult life.



Matt was introduced to golf early by his father in a closed-door session, as was usual. He became proficient, getting his handicap as low as 2 -- he was gooood.

He worked in his father's business, wearing a suit daily and becoming known for his preppy style of dress out of the office (see: sweatervest). He also developed into one hell of a sabres fan, posting long, detailed reports daily on his favorite hockey team.

Matt is truly one of the nicest guys I know, and I know as he crosses over the hill of life into his golden years he will continue to be a worthy golf opponent even as his grasp on his fine muscle movements (see: putting yips) and bladder control leave him in the coming years.



So, with all sincerity I can possibly muster on this fine, fine occasion...


Here's to you Matty B! I hope you can keep trying to play the back tees for a few more years.

Monday, October 16, 2006

This Weekend In... Work

Well, I ended up working most of the weekend. Saturday golf was out due to wetness/cold. I spent the majority of the day working away on my computer on my various projects. At one point, Matt signed on and I asked him to play some poker against me (whatever game he chooses) but he wouldn't. I can't blame him, i'm GOOOOOOD.

Anyhoo, Sunday morning I planned to get out of bed for golf, but when 7:30am rolled around on my alarm clock, I said screw it. I don't regret not playing early morning golf Sunday as it was cold, but the afternoon warmed up so I sort of regret not making it there for at least 9.

Not much pokering this weekend. Played a few hands of 100NL on Full Tilt, couple of $25 Pot Limit Omaha (now THAT's an easy game to slaughter donks at, folks). Just having fun... for now poker's just fun for me and i'm not serious this month at all though i'm by no means throwing money away. There's lots of work to do with my offline businesses and they need to come first since Frist pulled the plug on the tank.

Kudos to PokerStars for staying in business with US players, though how many fish will swim from party over there will be interesting.

Last night I check my email and Party has gifted me a $125 bonus requiring 7x hands or 25x playthrough in the casino. The fact that I have no interest in playing 1200 hands on party anytime in the next 7 days meant I'm taking this to the casino. Went to blackjack, playing $5 a hand ran it up to $180 and down to nothing. Casino games are rigged.

Actually, Party's blackjack dealer had quite a few totally bullshit draws in blackjack. That game is totally rigged and you're an idiot if you think party's not trying to make up the shortfall of losing the US player base (thankfully I was playing with their money). I've also heard they're raking uncalled bets in no limit cash games. Theives.

Party, you were shitty to your playerbase when you had them -- bad karma comes around, biatch.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Protect Thine Bankroll

Well, it's official, I cashed out of Party yesterday. I sort of feel sick about it, but Strassa2 over at 2+2 posted a good article by Barrons on how Party might come up short cash-wise so I didnt want to get the short end of that stick. Besides, there are still quite a few sites accepting US players.

In the end, I moved the cash to Neteller and put $1k in Full Tilt which as you can see is a fine sponsor of this here Poker Blog. They've got a pretty cool 50% up to $500 reload bonus going on so its all good. Played 200 hands or so last night just one-tabling while I worked on other things and made a profit which is cool. Plus i worked off a whopping $6 of my bonus... hehe. I also have rakeback at Full Tilt so that helps too!

Anyways, I didnt play much last week thus the lack of posts. I've been rather depressed about online poker since the USA pulled the plug on the fish tank, and yeah I know not all the water is drained out yet but still... ugh. Hopefully the suckers find their way to Full Tilt and we can loosen them up a bit. I definately gravitate to Semi-LAG play on the site due to the tightass players but I sort of like that so its all good.

Anyways, this month I havent played many hands as I mentioned, but I'm up like $350ish so far. Have been working on some other business related things to keep the income floating.. hopefully they work out.

Shout outs to Matty who setup a sick new Buffalo Sabres Blog to follow his favorite NHL team. I'm no hockey fanatic though so you wont see many hockey updates on this here weblog, sorry y'all.

Thats it, have a good one.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Party Is Over - *sigh*

Well, PartyPoker announced that the new US Legislation will effectively force them to shut out all US players when its made law by GWB. Wow, that's a bad beat for poker. The monsterous amount of money that trickles up the chain from the recreational player who plays and loses a few hundred or couple K to the better players and even casino players is ludicrous and has been pushing the whole poker world for a few years now.

What this also means is the World Series is about to get a hell of a lot smaller again, since there won't be cheap satellites online for US players.

Shed a tear for all the US kids at college who pay tuition with what they fleece out of folks like Harry who play for fun. Shed a tear for Dikshit sitting on his golden throne in PartyGaming HQ who can no longer afford to screw over his players because he'll just go find more americans. Shed a tear for the Toastman here whose preferred recreational pasttime just got a hell of a lot harder to win at.



Thankfully I'm not american in one way, I can still play online poker. Unfortunately, its debatable at this point whether there will be good games to play online. Might have to make the transition to casinos to find the deep ponds if the fearmongerers on the message boards are right... UGH. 30 hands an hour is a bad beat.

As for how my weekend went, not too bad. Saturday golf went 36-41 for 77 (gross), Sunday was 43-41 for 84 (gross again). Just didn't have it Sunday at all... no excuses. It was fun though. I'm just happy we're still playing golf.

Here's to hoping the poker boom survives this loss, I'd hate to have to figure out something productive to do with my spare time.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September Poker Review

Well, it's been an interesting month in poker. I "moved up" to $100NL this month and played every hand of "serious" poker at this limit. I do play a bit of HORSE at stars, but not for stakes that mean anything as I'm still learning the games.

Here are my stats for September 2006.

Hands: 14,103
Amount Won: $569.48
PTBB/100 Hands: 2.02
Total Rake: $1,257.95
Bad Beat Jackpot Drop: $313.50

So, i'd say thats a tough month. You'll notice that Party's Bad Beat Jackpot accounts for about 1 PTBB.

FYI, those who arent poker geeks, PTBB is Poker Tracker Big Blind which is 2x$1 for $100 No Limit.

I played O.K. this month, but had quite a bit of tough suckouts against me. And, I played quite a few stupid hands costing myself considerable amounts of money. Hopefully I can remedy these things in October in order to make more money overall. Hell, if I have a really good october perhaps i'll climb out of $100 (now there's a goal!)

Bad news on the US Legislation front, sounds like those cockmunchers in Washington are going to at least make it HARD for american fish to get money online. That's bad for people like me who were hoping to earn some actual money at poker in the next year ($500/mo is not worth it at all, btw).

Here's my graph of the ups and downs from September (click the image to view the full sized one).

Monday, September 25, 2006

Permissions Revoked

To recap the state of Golf & Poker for this weekend:

Poker: +288 Friday, -- no play Saturday, -388 Sunday. Net: -$100 (ugh)

Golf: only golfed on Saturday as previously written of.

Now, on to a more serious matter...

It has come to my attention that honorary-jew Matt has turned to the dark side. Now, I don't really care what people's religions are, but that silly bastard thought he could double-dip by referring to himself with "stein" or "berg" in his last name in order to gain the benefits of being part of the jew-crew.

In hearing of his recent Saturday spent not on the golf course but instead discussing his marital affairs (see: schtupping) with other similarly old people in a Catholic setting, I am obligated to speak up. He missed GOLF!

You can't have it both ways, Matt. You're a stein or you're not.

NO JEW FOR YOU! Permissions Revoked. Turn in your yamaka.

Note to Jacky, please let Matty out of the house next weekend, we dont have many left.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Anybody Gonna Show?

Well, I knew Matt wasn't showing up this morning. It looked overcast and generally ugly but I still got out of bed, threw together a probably laughable outfit (all my golf clothes dont really fit anymore) and headed to the club at 7:30am. Harry? Where's Harry? He's on the tee sheet... nope didnt show, pussy. That 107 probably put him off his game hahaha.

Anyways, I see Bernie and not another soul. We head off down #1 under grey skies but it didn't seem like it was going to rain so all is well.

I get up and down on #1 from the fringe.
I chip in for birdie on #2.
I get up and down from #3's fringe.
I hit #4 (par 3) green and immediately know i'm 3-putting it for changing it up... yep. I hit the ball against the fence on #5, bang it away, then hit a rediculous hybrid under some branches, over some trees with a monster hook right over the pin and ALMOST drain the putt coming back.
I get up and down from the fringe on #6
My ball does a horseshoe and lips out on my birdie putt on #7
I get up and down from the fringe on #8
I DON't get up and down from the fringe on #9.

Front Nine Total: 38

I almost pitch it in on #10, make birdie.
I almost lob it in from over the right bunker on #11, make par
I double #12
I double #13 (DOH)
I leave my tee shot 20 yards short on par 3 #14 and say "Ah, this looks like another chip-in Bernie" and as I struck the ball there was never a doubt. Very Bernie-esque as it drops in.
Bogey #15 when i don't get up and down from the fringe
Hit a 7i 140 yards on Par-5 #16 into a huge headwind behind the flag 10 feet and it sucks back to 6 inches. Birdie.
Make up and down from the top left bunker on #17
Almost pitch it in from 80 yards on #18 (mark was about 4 inches off) and make my par.

Back Nine Total: 38

Yeah, pretty standard 76 folks. I had a stupid good wedge game today which makes me seriously fear the prospect of replacing it next year.

Oh, and Bernie chipped in on #17 for birdie and made a few bombs.

AND, we did it all in 3 hours. That's a hell of a game of golf and a fun Saturday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Arrgghhhh.... I'm an IDIOT

So, i've found the goldmine of all goldmines in poker tables last night. Bunch of crazy pre-flop passive post-flop players and you drop me in the middle of it. I'm already up $200 on the night and feeling fine about the world and then I do THIS.

We're playing $155 effective stacks at 100NL

Toast raises to $4 with AQ, Guy on button (who was mostly folding to my raises but had done this before) re-raises me to $15, Toast calls it.

Flop is A62 rainbow
Toast checks, guy bets $25, Toast checkraises to $65 (wow, i'm really stupid), guy calls

Turn is a Tx
Toast pushes for the rest

Guy called me with AK and there goes my profit. Wow did I ever go on a self-hate rampage after this one folks. What a f'in donkey to get it all-in with AQ. MY GOD where did my brain go for 30 seconds.

I think i know what the problem was, I was only playing 1 table at the time and I tend to be too tricky when I'm just playing one. Normally I might lay that down pre-flop but certainly when he bets nearly pot on the flop I should be done with it.

Wow, what an idiot I am. No wonder i'm not slaughtering 100NL this month, I play solid for most of the night and then just give it all back with something stupid like this. Needless to say I shut down party and went to chill out for 30 mins. THen i came back and played great and still lost a few more bucks (snapped off a guy's bluff with QQ v AK on a J high board on the turn and he rivered his 6-outer - meh)

So yeah, was definately pissed at myself last night. Whew.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fire And Forget

This weekend was rough on the poker-money-making front, but pretty good in terms of having a good time.

Obviously as posted previously I dropped $240 at the casino. All my major hands I played properly after my own and 2+2's review so i'm not pissed off about it.

Dropped $250 online on Saturday afternoon, couple tough beats, couple hands I couldn't get away from (not easy). Meh, happens.

Sunday I made back a whopping $60 in a quick session.

Let's talk food.

My buddy Josh is in town from Cyprus so we went for dinner on Saturday. Ended up at a local Niagara Falls sushi restaurant called Shibuki. I had a spicy tuna roll that was amazing (california style, fyi), two tuna sashimi (good), two shrimp, and two yellowfin (awesome). Highly recommended if you're around town though not particularly cheap -- not like sushi is something to cheap out on though.

Sunday I ended up at my Aunt's place. I'm not a bad cook so we whipped up a beef roast with vegetables (the roast was O.K. but not good/great), spinach salad (awesome), tomato/black olive/parmagiano risotto (really, really amazing) and pepper squash with brown sugar/maple syrup (good to very good). I drank a few pints of stella previously and had a 2004 Pelee Island Pinot Noir with the food.

So yeah, pretty good weekend for eating.

Golf I played 9 on Saturday (was too tired from the poker the night before), and 9 on Sunday with a business contact. 41 and 37. Meh.

Oh, and finally when I was at Niagara on Friday night we ALMOST got a 2/4 limit O8 game going. My god how I'd love to play O8 live now that i've picked it up a bit. Had our list up to 7 or 8 but the room won't spread it till like 10 people (bastards). I think we had our dealers sweating a bit... all they deal is hold'em there though they're supposedly trained at all the games. Reading high-low boards is something that takes a bit of getting used to.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Live Casino Poker - 1/2 NL At Casino Niagara

That's right, I took it to the B&M tonight when I had nothin else goin on for the evening. I've been meaning to go play some live poker lately since playing so much online. It really is a bit different game and I want to bolster my live skills as I'm hoping to play the higher limit games at Fallsview eventually.

Grabbed a seat at 1/2NL for $100 and off we go.

I'll go over my bigger hands quickly.

---
I get AcKs and raise to $7 PF from the CutOff, SB re-raises to $20 (no history with him) and I call.

Flop comes 3-middle spades and he leads for $20 into a $40 pot, I raise to $50 with my overcards and second nut flush draw, he pushes and it's only $12 back to me, I call it and he flips AA with the ace of spades, oops stepped in it there and i'm drawing VERY thin.

It's interesting to note that if he did not have the As I would have had 35% pot equity having to put $62 into $164 (2.64:1) which is way +EV. And his range was certainly Kings, QQ, JJ so I had some FE there too. Just a bit of bad luck with it being AA with the Ace of Spades.
---
I get 99 and flop a boat, slowplay the villain into the nut flush and get paid off for the whole stack putting me back to within $50 of even.
---
I make a 4 high flush and keep the pot small against a Q high flush (3 flush cards on board)
---
I raise to $10 with QQ, villain calls. Flop is A high, I bet $15 he raises to $30 and I dump it.
---
I raise to $14 after two limpers with KK ($125 effective stacks), tight passive villain calls on button, BB calls. Flop is J high, I bet $40 - villain calls, BB folds. I get the rest in on the turn and he calls with AA. KK v AA... ouch and I'm busto.

So, lost $240 total tonight. I didn't get mad at all, just sucked it up, tapped the table and took off. Wow, i'm either getting better at this poker thing mentally or i've lost all sense of value in money. Given I'll buy the brand of raisin bran which is $1 cheaper, I think it's the former.

Yeah Harry, i've got the Gamblers Anonymous website address incase you think I need it again. :) Losing is part of the game why make a big deal of it?

Toast

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Mental Side Of Poker - Losing Money

Well, I've matched my worst day of poker losses tonight. Through 1k hands (the majority lost in the first 380 or so) I dropped $350 which is 3.5 buyins at 100NL for the math challenged readers.

The last time this happened to me, I was being watched by someone in the same room, and I was pretty pissed to say the least. Losing a lot of money quickly seems to be much harder to overcome mentally than losing a buyin here and there.

So here's where the mental part comes in...

There was definately a feeling of stress and tightness rising in me as it lurched over the -$300 mark. It's pretty ugly to lose that much in like an hour of play. Fortunately, i've been here before and I remember how it felt. Dropping a buyin by stupidity the other night pissed me off far far more than losing $350 this fast so I'm really getting better. I shut down Party, stood up, went and watched TV and surfed sites for a bit after 400 hands (down $320 of it at that point). After relaxing for a few minutes I found I was ready to get back into it, and played very well for the rest of the evening ending down $30 more through a run of bad luck. KK losing to AJ pre-flop and flopping trips with 89s and having to lay it down to serious heat... just wasnt going my way.

So, I'm pretty happy that the number doesn't bother me too much anymore. I think that means I'll be able to progress up the limits as/if my bankroll grows and I'm sure it means i'm maturing as a poker player to be able to lose, avoid tilt, and re-join the game playing strong poker.

That's it for now. I wish you better luck at the tables than I had this evening. Toast OUT.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tweaked Nipples, Golf & Poker

Friday night was Matty's stag. Not as big a crowd as we had hoped, but it was a good time anyways. I dealt a little $1/$1 blind $50NL game where the cards were generating a tonne of action. QQQ loses to a flopped 97 straight and a flush draw pays off too, AA v KK, Top Two loses to AA when the board comes running 5's, K7s wins against KQ when the board comes 3-flush right away... LOTS of action. One guy who made $120 profit had huge tells that nobody else was paying attention to for the most part... fish!

Nobody was playing craps although I had gone through the effort of hunting down a craps table, so I played a few rolls against Jon P. to get the action going. Very few people who have any gamble in them can turn down a game of dice once the action gets going so once they picked up the game, bada bing we had action. My voice actually went hoarse the next day from yelling out numbers... fun stuff. I ended up the night +$40 after expenses at the door just from my dice playing prowess so its all good. Gambling at its purest that's for sure.

While standing at the dice game, Bernie came by and gave my right nipple a reach around (no idea why)... I think my nipple gave him good luck as he turned out to be one hell of a dice shooter as he ran $20 into $240 pressing all the way. I think he lost most of it when he pressed his $240 but i can't be sure.

All in all, Matt made a few bucks I think (hope) and we definitely had a good time.

Saturday morning i crawled forth to the club where the rain had just stopped. I met Harry and we hooked up with Gary and his visitor from Scotland, Ross for a round. I shot a very straightforward 77 to come out +1 game in the Hollywoods for $2 (I never collected, meh).

Sunday morning I woke up 10 mins before my tee time, actually made it there and shot a dismal 85 -- overtired I think as I stayed up to watch Inside Man the night before. It was either rent a movie at midnight or go to the casino. I was bored what can I say.

On the poker front, I didn't play a lot this weekend but when I did it was mostly positive. My bankroll has grown by about 50% this month meaning i'm now very properly rolled for 100NL. Hopefully I don't catch the negative side of the game and came come out with a nice winning month.

Oh, and I went through Matty's new house. Very sweet. He told me the place next door is for sale but its out of my price range plus I have no want to maintain a house that big (I can't handle the small house I have now because i'm too busy).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wet & Nasty Long Weekend

Yep, it's been ugly this weekend for the most part. Saturday I played a 9 hole morning round with Gary and Matt, shooting a "meh" 38. Nothing special here, just pars.

Fortunately, Saturday afternoon was pretty good in terms of poker, as I was up $465 at one point before taking a beat and losing $180 on a hand. 4-outer... don't need to post it, blah blah blah. I played it well and he sucked out what more is there to say.

I'm playing pretty well so far this month, spending all of my hours to this point at 100NL and showing a small profit. Having moved up for the moment, i'm paying a bit more attention to things like the quality of games i'm in -- moving quickly when a game goes from good to bad.

Sunday golf was a rainout so I spent the day working on the bathroom and playing a bit more poker.

Monday is Labour Day (thats today)... played 18 this morning and was a very smooth 44/37 :). That's stability folks.

Again on the poker issue, i'm starting to play a few of the low limit HORSE games at Stars because they're fun and i'm just learning the games. I'm still mostly a novice at the games, particularly hi-lo games, but i'm learning. I have really taken a liking to Omaha/8 and played with Matt for a bit today. Stud and Stud/8 i'm going to have trouble picking up the methods of counting the discards and generally keeping track of live outs -- short term memory on details like that are not my strong point.

And now, a fun photo.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Glove Cleaning Is Tough

Recovered from a misplaced post on Harry's Blog:

So today, I spent most of my afternoon lounging in my well appointed air conditioned office reading the sports wires to make sure the whole $300 I dedicated to fantasy football for the season doesn't go to waste.

At one point one of my employees, for the purposes of this article we'll call her Juanita, wanted to come in and complain about the conditions in my sweat shop... err... glove cleaning facility. Bad timing -- she interrupted a press conference about the condition of TO's pet dog's surgery which could effect his first week's performance. So of course I fired her making sure to say it in at least 3 languages (I looked them up and stickied them to my monitor) so there's a 70% chance she understood one of them and doesn't come in anymore.

I didn't even look up from my monitor.

Who cares about golf? I'm an armchair quarterback living the dream!

Monday, August 28, 2006

This Weekend In Golf & Poker

This weekend was non-eventful really in regards to my two favorite pasttimes.

My golf was pretty decent, as I turned in rather uneventful rounds of 77 and 77 Saturday and Sunday mornings. Our typical strong Sunday turnout was hampered by most of our players being in a tournament and the others falsely thinking it was raining when in reality it was just a bit foggy after an early morning rain. Saturday was a typical round with Gary -- he shot 70, and Bernie -- 74 while Harry's brain is clearly not on the golf course anymore (see: Fantasy Football). Sunday was Joey B. and Dave G... both rounds were relaxing and fun.

Poker is still being a pig to me as I can't possibly hope to be profitable for more than one day in a row. I win 2-3 buyins one night, I lose it back the next. Just a bunch of bad variance this month coupled with a couple bonehead plays on my part (not too many though) make this month almost exactly breakeven. Actually I think PT shows me down a whopping $36 right now and I've still got a few days to win or lose a bunch. As one of my highest hand count months (I've played over 8k so far) it's really frustrating to be in such a funk. My PT graph looks like a SIN wave ... up, even, down, even, up, even, down, even. Weee...

I have paid Party over $500 in rake this month which must be calculated particularly given I play primarily $50nl.

Gah.

I understand Matty moved into his new house this weekend. There's gotta be a reason he missed Saturday golf, so I assume thats the one. I think Harry and I are officially considered bad influences by Matty & Mrs. Matty (I for poker/golf and Harry for the boss/golf) so I dont think we'll be having any home games there anytime soon :P. Plus, we all know Matty is now officially OWNED. I doubt he'll be allowed to play golf next summer even... will have to spend that time weeding gardens and shopping for fine linens.

Monday, August 21, 2006

No Golf, Minimal Poker

What's going on? Twilight zone stuff here folks. Expensive weekend.

Friday I expected to be a fantabulous day.

In the morning I took my car to the dealership for what I expected to be a brake job, it was indeed a brake job, pads and rotors and something to do with the e-brake, I was $720 lighter after it all finished up.

Then I arrived home where the neighbor had his kid working on our houses (joined townhouses) doing painting, sealing the driveway, that sort of thing. The original 5 hours became 15, and I was another $150 lighter -- at least I didn't have to do this stuff myself so I was happy to pay this.

Friday evening I met at Harry's place with he and Matty, and we went to Yanks in the falls for pizza / wings. Service took FOREVER, and when Harry runs out of fantasy football shit to talk about you know its been too long.

Back to Harry's place for poker-ing, we were joined by one of the golf pros (Ryan), Harry's cousin Jamie, and his bud Shaggy. I bought in to cover and we played $20 cap no limit with 0.25/0.5 blinds... low limit happy poker.

My first big hand, I got it All-In v Shaggy with AA versus his KT on a T high flop. I knew immediately I would get sucked out on, and did. T on the river puts me to sleep.

My second big hand I get all-in v Harry with 89o two pair against his Q9 pair of 9's with a flush draw with one card to come. His Q showed up and I'm down another $20.

My third big hand, I bet a 4-8-Q (2 of a suit) with QT in SB, one caller (harry), Ryan (a loose, but O.K. player) raises to $7. I tank for a bit, and actually went through his holdings to try and figure his raise out. A pure bluff was out, he would not bluff me often as he knows I usually have the goods and there was a caller in the middle. I briefly considered set but figured he would slowplay it so wrote it off early. A better Q was an option definitely (my kicker blew) but i doubted he wanted to play a big pot with me. In the end I decided his raise was likely a semi-bluff with a flush draw. I chose wrong, it was a set after all and i'm basically drawing dead. My mistake was not considering him raising a set to charge the flush draws (of which I could have had one) to draw... if I had considered that I could have called his hand out as it was most obvious in retrospect.

My fourth big hand, I raise AT, Matty re-raises to $6 in position on me (he was a bit tilty) and we take a AQx flop. I check, he checks. If I had not been 3-pints to the wind at this point his check would have given away his hand but I'm an idiot and we got it all in, he had AQ obviously. Mental note, beer and poker = losing money.

I never did win a hand this evening, save one where I bluffed the river with a flush draw against another probable flush draw... I had the A so probably had the best hand. Oh well, -$70 for the poker session.

A fun part of the evening was Harry suckout out a flush with 2h5h against Matty's made straight on the turn, hahahahahahah. TIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLTTTT.

Saturday I had a wedding to attend at white oaks, it was fun. Sunday I went house shopping and didnt find much, meh. Fell asleep at 10pm on the couch ... tiring weekend.

And no, no golf. I sorta woke up Sunday morning after the wedding but was in no shape to play... went downtown for breakfast instead.

Fun huh? Oh, and I'm still virtually breaking even in poker this month. Bloody annoying but its better than dumping huge wads of cash on the donks. I'm not sure if i'm playing bad but my Won $ At Showdown number is abysmal.

Thats it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Golf Overload

Last week I was asked by the owner of my company in the Falls if i want to take Friday afternoon off to play a golf tournament. Hmm, golf v. work... tough one.

Then, last week, a family friend called me up and said "hey what are you doing Saturday?" I said nothing, of course. He said "you want to play a golf tournament?". This one I agreed to as well.

Turns out they were at the same place. So yeah, I played Beechwood back to back days, and let me tell you, it's in tough condition. They've really let the course slip quite a bit and its sad. Greens are pockmarked and ugly, tees have huge scabs of dead grass, fairways have bare spots, it's not what it once was. And I get to play it twice! Wee.

Anyways, outside of the course conditions, I had a super time both days hacking the ball around. I hit a few bad shots and a few good ones, winning no prize for my efforts -- and my efforts didn't deserve one either really. I just wanted to go have a good time and play golf for fun. Thanks to Jim and Marcel for a fun weekend. Won a sidebet for "the drinks afterwards" from Marcel -- he's competitive as hell and I was seriously concerned until I birdied the 17th to put it away. I didn't stick around to drink too much after the round though -- had to drive home.

Sunday I played my home club, first receiving shit from Gary for not showing up Saturday though I don't remember ever saying I was playing or was on the tee sheet. Meh, can't please em all. Then I shot a very mediocre 78 winning $5 in a sidebet and losing $10 in skins when my only birdie got sliced and diced. This weekend was the best weather we've had consistantly all year, and I used it all up on golf courses... no regrets for when the winter comes by. 7 rounds in 10 days is a lot of golf.

On the poker issue, that inevitable downswing came as I mentioned it would. I think I lost $350 last week total mostly at 100NL. Couple bad plays by me, couple good plays by me, this puts me just short ($20) of even this month overall which is no big deal. I haven't got to play as much as I would like honestly. I bloody love poker.

Note to Harry and Matty... Daisy said he wants to play a home poker game if we ever have one :P

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Club Championship Results

I played O.K. on Monday, shooting a 79. It really wouldn't have mattered unless I shot a 71 which would have tied me for first, but 71 and 79 are two seriously different animals as any decent golfer will tell you. Unfortunately, the leader played really well... what can I say :P

Finishing 3rd wasn't too bad. I think I made the right decision to play A rather than Open as I'd have had to play really well to make the cut in Open, and would never have been competitive for the title by any means. I think the winner was +2 for 3 rounds and I haven't had a single round this year at +2 or better at all.

Poker I have not played much of, though I want to. When i get an hour or so i've been logging into Party and either 3-tabling 50NL or one tabling 100NL. It's been a winning month so far but as you now that can change quickly ;)

That's it, boring huh?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Club Championship Update 2006

Your hero, Toast, shot a poopy score of 83 on Saturday to end up middle of the pack in the annual club championship's A-flight. I then followed up with a 75 today, which puts me in 4th place I think and clearly made the cut. Obviously, I suck huge, sweaty monkey testicles at golf since I shot an 83 but the 75 sort of makes up for it especially given the fact that I was 4 over after 5 today and finished 3 over after 18.

Yeah, i'm a grinder, I learned it from Matty.

Unfortunately, my boys Harry and Matty in Open-flight are out of the runnings (like I would be if I played the flight -- I suck, really).

Hopefully I can have another good day tomorrow and put a bit of pressure on the top guys. I really have no clue what the leader is at so I don't know how far behind I am. I'm guessing it wont be much worse than 4 or so but who the hell knows. I'd like to finish ITM (In The Money aka top 3) if not win the whole goddamn thing but since I don't know where i'm at, I can't make any predictions.

Wish me luck. Peace.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The State of the Union

So, here's where i'm at.

Golf is up and down, no pun intended. My swing is half good half bad, my putting is sorta good, and my chipping sucks monkey testicles. I shot 36 (for 9), 83, 76 at the club this weekend. That's solid folks.

Toastman also decided to play the A flight instead of Open at the club championship because I am a gigantic gaping pussy (so said Harry). I'm just not playing well enough to give the best players competition so why kid myself?

I didn't play any poker this weekend -- too much golf and food and drink. Just died last night after not getting enough sleep all weekend... ugh.

Also, too much work to do. Period.

:)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Explaining Variance

Variance as referred to be a poker player means the happenings in the game which are "swingy". If you've ever flipped a coin and had it come up heads 5 times in a row, that's a bit of variance from the expected result of heads, tails, heads, tails. Its a varied result from a mathematical expectation.

Gamblers, particular poker players talk about swings -- especially those crazy shorthanded limit players, jesus i'd tilt off a boatload of money at that game given the suckouts. Back to my point, when I referred to a bit of variance in my last post, it's just meant to say that I did not win my hands as often as I would expect to in the short term. This month has been very swingy for me in poker, and i've played a lot of it since getting back from vacation (a lot for me, not a lot for some of these people). I was down 200, up 300, now i'm up 50. It's basically breakeven poker and my graph of results is really, really depressing. I'm just getting some really good second best hands in the last few days and it hurts the growth into higher limits.

Speaking of higher limits, I played a few more hands of 100NL yesterday and had my KK cracked by a set of 5's where he called my re-raise PF to $16. It blows stacking off a hundo. Being out of position blows too.

I've got some money in bad lately (it happens), but got far more of it in good. I'm just pissed that i've got so much more work to do before moving up again because of this crap. Going to look at my stats at the end of the month to see where i'm oozing money, i'm guessing its in the big pairs KK/AA department.

That's it for now, hope you learned something Harry. :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Touch Of Variance

Well, i f'd up my back on Friday on the 2nd shot of the 2nd hole. Finished the round though shooting a 78 (losing to NoSkillz by one -- he always beats me at golf).

Saturday I woke up at 6am and stretched my back for 45 minutes before heading to the course, we only got 9 holes in before being rained out. At least breakfast was good.

Sunday I woke up for the round at 6am again, stood up and realized I wasn't going to make it. Rolled back into bed and slept till 9am. Then i played a crapload of internet poker as usual.

Today's been weird, I've been playing REALLY well but the results don't show it. I'm actually down close to 2 buyins as i'm in a short streak of suckouts. I got my money in bad once, but it was only because I didn't believe a guy with VPIP 25% had a 5 in his hand in a raised pot when there were two on board vs. my aces in the hole. One maniac is just catching on me (he's 70/41/3) after the money goes in, but hey, that's poker. I've been giant favorites against him so i'm ok with this.

Meh, thrilling weekend huh?

Update:

Finally doubled through the maniac when I had almost 2 buyins, that brought me to -$10 for the day when I finally retired for the evening (770 hands).

At one point (this is $50NL) I was sitting on $175, the maniac had $300 and another LAG player had $200. Deep stacked stuff. Soon as the crazy took off, the game broke.

Speaking of crazy, I'm pretty happy that NoSkillz took his first move up in stakes. He's by no means bankrolled for it (actually that's laughingly said, he's not even bankrolled for what he plays daily), but it does show some balls which is good.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pokering Continues...

Monday as predicted I spent the evening at the casino after work soaking up the air conditioned goodness. As usual I got zero cards but did manage to win a pot by bluffing and lost a whopping $2 for the day at 1/2NL (one was a tip). Cheap entertainment I say.

This evening i've played a few hours of 50NL single table which is typically boring but I got nice and stuck early and have been working to grind it back out. Here's my hand o' the night.

BB is 46/24/1.6 through 50 hands -- running a bit hot so the stats are skewed to look maniac'ish -- he's not.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $ BB (6 handed) Hand History Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com (Format: HTML)



Button ($57.74)

SB ($27.85)

BB ($80.95)

UTG ($61.25)

MP ($21.50)

Toast ($77.33)



Preflop: Toast is CO with 9c, 8c. SB posts a blind of $0.25.

2 folds, Toast calls $0.50, Button raises to $1, 1 fold, BB raises to $3, Toast calls $3, Button calls $2.50.



Flop: ($10.75) 6d, Jc, 3c (3 players)

BB bets $7, Toast calls $7, Button folds.



Turn: ($24.75) 3h (2 players)

BB checks, Toast bets $20, (BB says: pkt 6's?) BB calls $20.



River: ($64.75) 5s (2 players)

BB checks, Toast calls $46.83 (All-In), BB folds.



Final Pot: $111.58

Of course I showed and got a few oohs and aahs from the donks.

Oh, and i'll mention that I went to the club to hit some golf balls, and my swing is definately returning. Tempo was better, ballflight more predictable. I just hope it kicks in before club championships so I can try and keep up with Matt -- damn he's good.

G'night.

Monday, July 17, 2006

That Weekend Was Whack, Yo

This weekend was just messed up, really. First, I went out to hit balls and play a few holes friday evening and found that I couldn't control my golf ball worth a damn. I'm hitting freaking fades when I normally hit a draw, that's really really scary. Plus my tempo and stuff is all out of whack. I ended up hitting a crapload of golf balls and still couldn't hit one so I knew Saturday morning was going to suck. I then lost 3 buyins at 50NL on Party (mostly got my money in good and didn't get bothered by it).

Saturday morning I awake to balmy "feels like mid 90's at 7am weather". Of course, it only got hotter so I sweated through my shirt before the 4th. Anyhoo, I could barely play the game and shot a fantabulous 85 doubling the last two holes. Damn i'm good. -$15 in wagers.

Anyways, after that massacre I went to a wedding reception that evening at a local Italian club. Around 150 people, huge meal, great drinks, beautiful. I wouldn't say I drank a lot but I had enough to stay happy. That's wedding #3 of 5 for this season down. Matty "NoSkillz" shindig is in October and i'm very much looking forward to it as they're going very trendy upscale it sounds like. Damn he's good.

Sunday no golf because the Auction Pool tournament was on at the club and we couldn't get on anywhere else... plus it's hotter than hell here right now. I spent the day programming for my Toronto company and 2-tabling 50NL on party where I won back a bit of money. Seems like when I get my money in good i'm doomed, and when I get it in behind I suck out. It's so f'in rigged. Found a couple new "buddies" too which are worth their weight in buy-ins. Played 1200-1300 hands, I think my single day record. I also found that 2-tabling is easy so I can probably play 3 from now on with no problem.

Might end up playing some live poker tonight to avoid the heat, we'll see how it goes.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ola! I'm back.

Just wanted to let all (one) of you know that i'm back in town. I spent a nice relaxing week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and had a great time.

Did I play poker? Yes, but only sorta. Played a few donkfest tourneys for $20 with the wedding party guys a few nights -- got my $$ in good and lost. C'est la vie.

Did I play any golf? Nope. Not a bit though there was a consideration of going to play golf. $140 a round is steep but on vacation I would have done it. Still it's gotta be blooody hot out there on a golf course when I can barely get away from the breeze on the beach to go feed my face.

Did I drink? You bet I did. Tried many new drinks which are cool including a Mama Juana and Coco Loco.

The coco loco recipe is as follows:

Coconut
Milk
Sugar
Rum
Ice

Mix to your liking (thick is better) and drink.

I would also like to note that the beaches are stunningly beautiful and with perfect weather every day.

I'll post some pics when we extract them from the camera.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Well, I'm Off To Punta Cana

For those that care, I'm away for 7 days to the Dominican Republic. Don't ask why I'm going there in the summer I couldn't justify it myself. It's for a wedding for good friends of ours and should be a good time overall.

Poker for June ended on a down note. After losing a 65 or so at Stars, I played during the day Friday and was up 110 or so, then had a major downswing that evening to bring me -15 for the day. Guy pushes PF (again) and I call with AJ, he sucks out a flush with J9s. Guy who i'm bullying gets it in PF with AQ v my KK and he catches his ace on the river for full stacks... you know... that sort of thing.

Anyways, I still made money and the bankroll is just shy of a grand so I'm hoping things will pick up when I get back from Punta Cana. Hopefully i'll get my golf game back too, went 38/46 this morning, ugh.

Back in a week. Later.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Uhh... I uhh... played Party blackjack again

Well, the donks got the best of me early yesterday evening. TT goes down to QQ vs a maniac-ish LAG and i'm down 88 through 400 hands. My Party account balance is $410 and I'd prefer it to be nice round numbers so I take $10 to Party Blackjack.

Why play a -EV game, gambling nerd? Because I feel like it and I'm bored. I don't care about $10. Actually I intended to go play Craps but they dont have it at Party Casino yet. Playing $1/hand blackjack is a good way to waste time and money, fortunately I started getting strings of wins before losses and started doing 1,2,4,8 betting. I ran that huge $10 all the way up to $75 where I was playing for nickels before losing $25 back and cashing out $50.

How bored do I have to be to play $1 blackjack? seriously.

Anyways, I won another couple bucks back at the poker tables and got just short of even for the day. Couple hands of 100NL on a good table helped. Looking forward to moving up and using whole dollar numbers as bet sizes again :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Poker Update

Well, the pond has been good to me and the bankroll is getting respectable again. I've made a few bad plays for all my chips, but hey, if I wasn't an action player I wouldn't get action -- gotta look at the bright side.

Moving back to 100NL if I win just a touch more at 50NL. Weeee its fun to be a degenerate poker player again.

Harry, next time you get a Party bonus, just call me so you can dump it to me instead of $0.50/$1 limit tables k?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Thank God For Mondays

This weekend was the most tiring in history. Here's how it played out.

Friday I join NoSkillz and Harry for a round at the club, I shot 82 but saw some improvements in certain areas... bad score but there's HOPE.

Saturday morning we played same group + Gary and I shot a 79 which is better than I have been lately. This was an early 7:07 tee time and I was tired from playing online poker the night before till 1am. Ugh... lost $85 in that session when I got it All-In Pre-flop with QQ v a guy with AJ (not my normal line but he was a fish)... Damn you ace on the turn. Playing good poker, FYI. Anyways, Saturday afternoon I got all dressed up and went to a wedding for a friend of my girlfriend. I knew nobody there but by dinner I had them all talking about golf and poker. Surprised? Heh. Got home late that evening and woke up for a Sunday tee time of 7:45.

Now, Sunday was weird. I'm having a good round on the course (for me), 2 over on the front with a double bogey, and I'm one over on the back with a double bogey for +3 through 15. On the 16th hole I hit my tee shot and am walking up the fairway when Jeff of the Pro Shop comes driving up. "Anyone want to play the Niagara Cup at Port Colborne?"... they all point to me and I consider my afternoon options (none) so agree to go. I'm whisked off to my car and off I go to join the club's team in a 2-man scramble.

They've already started to play so I meet my bud Gary on the 3rd. He's one down at the time and we battle back to even. We then steal a par on a badly played tee shot on both of our parts on a short par 4 to stay even. The other team was by no means as good as us tee to green, but they were deadly anywhere near one. They steal a birdie on the 8th hole (15 footer) when Gary and I cannot make a 12 footer from a similar spot. We lip out on the 9th for the tie and lose the front.

The back nine we start off hot with birdies but they're keeping up. On the par 3 12th (I think) my ball comes to rest about 9 ft from the pin and they're off the green. Their chips come to rest 10-12 ft away and they MAKE THEIR PUTT for a par. We don't convert (these greens were tough to read for some reason) and we're still even.

On the Par-5 13th, the other team's approach comes up short. Gary lays up and I hit a beautiful rescue from 230 that's dead on the pin. Hop, skip and a jump and it's over the back... should have stuck thats just bad luck. Our chips leave us 8 ft and again we don't make the putt while the other team gets up and down to take the lead.

On the 14th the other team is 15 ft for birdie and make it. Then I make a 12 foot uphill putt for birdie to tie. The 15th we chip in to make the match even after my approach was too long and Gary's too short to make the back nine even. The 16th I hit my rescue straight (NEVER!) and into the water on the right -- was playing my normal draw/hook with that club). Gary leaves us in fine position and we lay up to 110 for our 3rd shots. Then, my wedge again flies too far. Gary's lands perfectly but does not stop at all and we've got 20 feet on a brutal slope for birdie. The other team again gets up and down and we miss our circus-putts to be one down again.

The 17th is a long par 3. I hit too much draw and end up in a bad lie in the trap left. Gary ends up in the middle of the bunker right (DOH) and the other team is on the back of a tough green. I hit a good sand shot to 4 ft, the other team 3-putts and we make ours.

On the 18th the other team both hook their drives into the trees. I throw my driver into prime position (again) and we've got 180 into the pin. The other team magically pulls a shot out of their butt (damn lucky bastards) and end up just short of the green. My approach is long, gary (fighting his hook) ends up way right. We fail to chip-in and the other team chips to gimme position and this match is done. We lose, ugh. Nasty.

If Gary and I had out putters hot we could have kept this match tighter but as-is the other team beat us moreso than we lost. They were totally solid around the greens leaving no room for errors on our parts although we were always on the fairways and hit most greens.

For my golf game here's whats up:

My driver is great... near perfect.
My long irons are mostly good... bit of room for improvement in consistancy of ball striking
My Short irons are good, going after pins
My chipping is bad... can't get used to weights and my wedge isnt checking anymore. need a new one probably.
My putting is so-so.

So as you can see, its my short game that needs work. I definately didn't play badly with Gary which makes me feel better -- hate to let other people down in a match like this.

I then slept from 8pm Sunday till this morning. Yes, tired. You should see my golf tan!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Putter Testing Trip Report

The last two evenings have been spent at the golf club attempting to catch a whif of what it was like to putt well. My hope was that I would find a putter so perfect that magically I could make putts again. As with all things in golf though, it's not the tool as much as the guy who wields it.

Did these putters make me putt better? Yes. Mainly because it forced me to practice putting.

Off we go.

Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #1


While perusing through a local golf store (not my pro shop) I came upon a putter that had a certain glow to it. There's something about the finish to a Scotty Cameron putter that makes it more attractive than others. Cameron's success comes from his ability to make what is in reality a piece of metal into something beautiful and functional. Unfortunately, the golf shop wasn't keen on the idea of my demo'ing a $350 putter so all i could do was roll a few on their carpets. The putter felt solid and looks stunning, that's about all I could say given the short time we spent together. One big downside to the Circa putter is its finish - you'd hate to mark up a putter this nice looking and their choice of finish is really easy to mark. Gotta love Cameron putters, but I can't give you a true trip report on this one since I never got to really roll it.

Ping G5i Zing


The brilliant folks over at Ping have always made some of my favorite putters. The original Anser and Anser2 have been endlessly copied by other manufacturers because the design works. The Zing models is not really fitting to my eye as much as the Ansers however. Ping's blue face insert is one of its newer toys along with a unique half-golf-ball alignment system with traditional top line from ball to back edge. On the greens this putter had a nice, even feel. Slightly dull from the softness of the insert but very strokeable. I found it's biggest downside for me was the new half-golf-ball cutout which detracted from an otherwise very attractive putter (top down that is). If it's not appealing to my eye, it's out regardless of how nicely the ball feels coming off its face. Yoinks.

TaylorMade Lambeau AGSI


TaylorMade makes really awesome equipment these days. Expensive yes, but nice. Harry and NoSkillz both play TM drivers and rescues, I've got a TM rescue, TM rocks. However, i've never liked them for putters until now. Sticking to the blade putter theme I tested the center-shafted Lambeau AGSI as suggested by Ryan in the pro shop. This putter is very clean, very tight and I really like its looks a lot. To this point i've never owned a center shafted putter but that might change. The AGSI system is a series of grooves in the putter face that are supposed to get the ball rolling end over end faster -- sort of like the Yes ! putter faces. The Yes! putter face does its job for sure, and so does this one. I made a lot of putts with this putter -- a LOT. This thing was just lighting it up for me. The only downside to this putter was the feel/roll on off-center strikes. Struck in the middle the Lambeau provides smooth feedback to the hands and rolls the ball beautifully, struck half an inch off middle and you get "clunk". Oh well. If I had a consistantly better putting stroke I would certainly consider re-testing this.

TaylorMade Monza Corza


The TaylorMade Monza Corza uses the same AGSI system as the Lambeau. I knew before taking this out that the ball would roll nicely off the face, but I was surprised that the off-center probs were gone too. The top line on the Monza Corza is a single black line pointing through your target. As anyone who has seen my ancient Zebra can attest, I'm a big fan of a large parallel top-line. This mallet putter rolls the ball very nicely and was certainly better for me on straight putts. I did have some trouble with weight on distance putts however which could probably be solved with a bit of practice. If i were to choose one of the three I actually was able to roll, this would be it.

So what's the result? As usual all this putter testing has brought my putting back up a notch so I'm still using my old-assed Zebra. I'm so damn picky with putters that I've yet to find one that's quite right though I will keep looking. My Zebra has a slightly dead feel to its face now as well as having a shaft that can be turned in the head (need to glue it) -- it's on its way out basically.

If anyone has any recommendations of putters to test, the Toastman would be happy to try and find one to putt with.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I don't post enough

I know I dont post enough these days. NoSkillz has been harping on me lately about it -- I think he's just bored at work or something. Did I mention how good he is at golf yet?

It was a good weekend in general. Saturday Matty booked us into the East Aurora CC reciprocal with our golf club. We arrived around 12, played one of the most enjoyable golf courses i've ever had the opportunity to play, and had an overall great time. I'll let him post course details since he has pictures and scorecards and all that junk though. I'm hitting my driver and long stuff like a champ but am faltering around the greens these days ... a total transition from the beginning of this year where I couldnt hit a ball but could putt the lights out. I had a whopping 40 putts on Saturday on the slickest, craziest greens ever. At least it was fun!

My crap putting continued at the regular Sunday game where I made a total of 1 one-putt for birdie. Of course that skin got cut up and I ended up -$15 for yet another week shooting 82. Really getting frustrated with my golf as I've now got the swing back in order but the short game went to hell.

I missed the PokerStars tourney this weekend as I was too busy drinking with my girlfriend's sister. We both decided that a family get together was too much to handle so we started early. I drank enough to be happy, not enough to be drunk... a good day.

The Toastman will be heading to the club after work to try and find his putting stroke (probably a new putter too). I'm liking the look of a few different models right now but will have to give them the usual tests. If i buy one, you'll definately see the rolling report up here right afterwards.

Ciao.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Thumbs Up For Golf

This weekend was definately all about golf.

Our journey begins when I sneak away from work at 4:45 on Friday to the club to play 18 with Harry "Thumbs" and Matty "NoSkillz" (aka "The SweaterVest"). Starting to play a touch better, and shot an uninspiring 80 in brutal winds. No great shots to speak of.

Saturday was a round with Gary P for our golf team qualifying. I had a brutal front nine and finished 6 over with two doubles (42). The back opened well and I was even through 15 but went bogey, double, double to shoot 83. That set me on tilt pretty good and I drowned my sorrows watching Lost season 2 episodes and eating coconut fingers purchased on the way home. THAT's how people get fat ladies and gentlemen... depression... YIKES. Funny, golf never bothers me when I'm really struggling with the game. I just go out there knowing i'll shoot a crap score and cant do anything about it. However, when I feel like my game is there and just can't bring it together therefore get mad at the game/myself, that's where I know my golf game is improving.

Little nuggets of gold in this here blog huh?

Sunday I travelled with Matty to Bradford, Pennsylvania to play in a yearly 2-ball tournament at a fantastic little course there. We stopped for breakfast at the Mozie On In where I had eggs benedict (thankfully only one of them) and Matty downed the largest breakfast known to man. We took the very nice 2.5 hour drive to Bradford, the trip winding through Ellicottville, NY among other little towns.

Arriving with much time to kill, we headed to the bottom of the mountain to the ice cream shop which is part of the tradition of this golf tournament. Had a chocolate shake ($2.35 USD) which was quite tasty.

Pine Acres golf course is situated up a bit of a mountain as you might have guessed, lots of trees, terrain that climbs and falls, and greens that are very large and steeply sloped back to front in every situation. The whole trick to the golf course is to leave your ball short of the pin so you have an uphill putt.

Upon arriving at the club again, Joe B from our club asks me "So, have you hit any shanks this year? I've been hitting them something awful." I of course said no, since i've been shank-free. Starting at the 7th hole, with 7i in hand, I proceed to shank my first shot of the day well over the trees on the right into the next fairway. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH how's that for karma?

I actually got around the course relatively well until an unfortunate incident on hole #18. NoSkillz and I both hit the green in 2 on the par 5 with solid rescue club shots from 225 and 235 out respectively. For a green guarded as well as this up front, these were ballsy shots and indicative of our need to get something going after playing par-golf for so long. Unfortunately, landing near the hole with a hybrid to stick it is pretty difficult so our golf balls rolled up and to the back of the green with the pins at the front. Note the previous comment about how the greens slope back to front. I was first up and putted it 8 feet past the pin -- not too bad given these greens. NoSkillz then stuck it 3 feet away with a nice roll. We read my line, I hit my putt and it broke more than we thought... and without thinking i knocked it away. GODDAMNIT. That's a brain fart folks. Now the partner couldnt kill it at the hole which probably would have taken the break out of the putt. He, unfortunately missed then tilted and went on a club whacking swearing rampage. Crazy bugger even yelled at the other team playing in our group over a scoring issue (our mistake not theirs). TILLLLT.

We then proceeded to make bogeys both on a par 3, hit both our shots OB on a stupidly laid out par-5 (I made a 7, our lowest team score), and then Matty made a nice bunker save on our closing hole a par 5 to make a birdie. We shot 74 as a team, 76 for him and 78 for me. I hit my shots great, and was awful around the greens... he was the opposite. I'd say it proves that short game is more important than long game.

I'll probably do it again next year. The tournament is run like they're desperate for money ($70 to play a $30 green fee course with free hotdogs and hamburgers that suck and a single keg of beer and $14 each for a cart). Prizes looked OK but we've never got close to winning one yet. Basically, great course, great day, well worth playing but boo to the food/drinks. Oh, and we had an ice cream sundae on the way out, $2.45 for a large one... f'in great.

And that's it. I fell asleep at 11pm, woke up at 8:30 having to be at work at 9, and here I sit. Hope you all had a good weekend too.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Week-end Update: June 3, 2006

The weekend was OK. The guys bailed on Saturday for whatever reasons to do their various things, plus it rained, so no golf for me.

Sunday I played horribly though I'm convinced my golf swing is close to workable again.

Here's my key right now... My swing this year has been inconsistant in all ways. Hook, cut, thin, fat, never the same strike twice or the same tempo. On the range this week I found that adopting an old Ben Hogan swing key helped quite a bit. That is to turn the right knee in slightly before the swing. This produces a right side which is totally stable and prevents "swaying".

Unfortunately, this still didn't help me produce a score better than 83 on Sunday. I hate golf.

Harry and I will be deciding this week who goes to Pennsylvania for a tournament on Sunday. We'll see.

Poker has been fine. Been taking shots at 2/4 6max and playing some 1/2 6-max still. Making $$, it's ok.

Boring post huh? Sorta boring weekend... what can I say?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Swinging Badly At Both Games

So, yeah folks, still can't hit a golf ball consistantly well. I'm learning a lot about the golf swing these days however.

An interesting thing happened this weekend at the club...

Young kid approaches me near the 10th tee this wearing typical golf attire -- he couldn't have been more than 7 years old. He looks up, points in the direction of the tee blocks and says "Is that Tiger Woods?". I looked up to see Matty "NoSkillz" launching one down the fairway. I patted the kid on the head and said, "Yes son, yes it is".

He's that f'in good folks! Go read his blog and be dazzled by how a luckbox rule bending hack can turn the golf world on its head and make a run for the PGA Tour. Well, maybe just the local mens golf circuit but hey thats not bad for a luckbox getting on in years. That luckbox has won $58 off me this month on the tables so i'm not too happy.

Poker's been swinging up and down too. Up to $550, then bam bam bam suckout stream at $50NL and im back to limit for a while. Limit's so damn predictable at these pathetic limits it's almost worth it to avoid the tilt factor. It swings hard for sure (6-max) but not like when you lose 4-5 buyins at NL on a 10-buyin BankRoll.

Anyways, i'm back at a comfortable spot so hopefully i'll get the hell out of these podunk limits in a near future post.

Harry mentioned this weekend that he loves reading my blog posts and has a good laugh due to my goofy style. I salute you Harry, I think you're the only sad sonofabitch that reads this piece of shit and you even admitted it.

Coming soon to Golf + Poker, a world exclusive series:

Sweater Vests: For Secret Handshaking MotherFuckers Only?



As part of our crack reporting team, we will interview the single largest consumer of Sweater Vests in North America, Mr. Matty "NoSkillz".

When I was a kid I used to beat up kids who dressed like Matty does now so it will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

I like tacos.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

PokerStars Blogger Tournament

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476



POKER

Call me The Grinder

No, i'm not Mike Mizrachi (sp?), he wouldn't play limits this low and crappy.

Golf this weekend consisted of a couple of awful rounds at my regular club. There's something fundamental about my golf swing that's wrong right now. I think most of it can be fixed with tempo but my setup and everything feels different every time. Might have to take a lesson or at least bring a camera out and tape it so I can see whats really up. The driver is O.K. but the irons are junky. I'm hitting a lot of balls fat, particularly out of the rough (which is crazy long). My handicap is going up up up and deserves to be.

On the other hand, my poker game has been picking up again. I'm playing 1/2 6-max limit right now trying to build up a bankroll. I'll likely flip back to NL shortly but for the moment the games seem easy enough. Took a shot at 2/4 6-max yesterday though I am far, far under bankrolled for it currently. I didn't feel outclassed but the swings of 6-max scared me back until i've got a bit more cash.

2-tabled 1/2 6m last night for a few hours. After starting well, i went on a downswing that was just nuts. Couple of fish at the table who play a huge number of hands went on a string of catching when I had big cards. At one point I was down 40BB (keep in mind i'm playing with a 220BB b/r right now) but grinded it back to finish down $1 after ~500 hands. That feels like a win after the beats I took and that's motivating to me.

I've GOT to get out of these limits, UGH! It feels crappy to be concerned about being down a hundo because I'm too arrogant to load my account with my own money.

I suppose i've always been of the mind with poker that the bad players should build my bankroll rather than supplying it from my real bank account. I think that keeps me back from what I really should be focusing on -- winning more money.

I will continue to take shots at higher games with smaller bankrolls because frankly I'm playing well below where I should be. Will likely move to NL to lower the variance as I do this -- something like a 10Buy-in bankroll should do. I refuse to play that 25NL game anymore tho... won't change games till i'm playing higher.

Onward and upward, folks.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Not the best weekend in G+P history...

Friday I played 9 holes with Matty and Gerry at the club. It was smooth sailing and a good time in general though I did not hit the ball particularly well. Following that we grabbed a bite to eat, and he decided that he would like to go to the casino. Of course, I never turn down the opportunity to play poker with people I actually know (though i have no interest in taking his money like I do the other schmucks at the tables). We head over to Fallsview which is typically higher limit than i've played before. They're spreading 3/6, 6/12, 5/5nl, 5/10nl, and 10/20nl. Since I wasnt carrying 5k cash on me, I put my name on 3/6, 6/12 and the interest list for 1/2nl. Matty's not a nl cash fan since he's been beaten like a red headed stepchild ever since he started but I tried to convince him to join. Nope. I sat a dealer, lost a whopping $30 and we decided to head over to Niagara since its no fun to go play cards and only have one of us playing.

At Niagara, it was busy as hell -- all 12 tables going and a list. Fortunately, most of the list were callins and we got seated at a 1/2nl table together. I told him he had to play 1/2 because 2/4 wasnt acceptable and they werent spreading 3/6. I guess all the morons like the all-in thing too much and don't appreciate the beauty which is limit hold'em. 2/4 is like hitting yourself in the forehead with a baseball bat repeatedly just for shits and giggles. Anyways, he buys for $80 and i tell him to cut it down to $50 since he's somewhat concerned about losing a buy-in in a single hand. Short stack strategy biatch. He does so, and I take my money from fallsview (all 73 remaining and sit down with it). I proceed to get sweet dandy f**k all for the whole night. Matty flopped a set and had a guy raise him with a J-high FD so he pushed and got a call. The other guy's 7 clean outs didnt come through and he actually made a hundo on the night. I on the other hand lost a whopping 85 bucks.

We leave there at 2:30, I get to sleep at 3:10 and get up Saturday morning for golf at 7am. Hmm, this is not so good an idea in hindsight. I need 7 hours or i'm screwed.

I guess the fact that I hit ONE green in reg (and 3-putted it) tells the story. Shot an 85 with one double. I guess that means I got up and down 6 times around the greens in 18 holes but 85 makes me feel like I should pick a new game to waste my time at.

Oh well, i'm sure i'll work that out. In the meantime i'm still down a whopping 6 buyins at stars and so i'm not doing well in either golf or poker. I guess them's the breaks.

Ciao.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Goofy Weekend Upcoming

Well, mother's day weekend typically cuts short my golf on Sunday as my family tends to get together at the yacht club for brunch after starting the morning with Caesars at my aunt's condo. Oh I feel so rich and famous... oh buffy... so yeah I think Sunday i'll be lucky to squeeze in 9 holes in the AM with the boys.

Today (Friday) and Saturday were supposed to suck weather-wise but it seems fine so far. Let's cross the fingers and hope I can get a bit of golf in.

On the poker front, one of my clients has been in contact with me about getting a private game going. Something like a $50 or $100 tournament, or perhaps some low stakes 'get drunk and have fun' poker. Hopefully I can get a few interested parties for one of those events in the relatively near future.

In the technology arena, yours truly has a brand spanking new Macbook Pro for work purposes. This lets me rededicate my dell notebook to almost exclusively poker playing. That is, unless I drop the rest of my online money shortly which looks relatively likely. Down 6 buyins at 25NL... hmm... i've got to wonder...

Flip flopping these days between 25nl 6-max and 1/2 6-max limit online. Goofy fun either way, but i'm getting tired of playing these piddly limits. Might have to open up the bank account and load some cash back into online poker before the 5-way flops drive me to drink.

If the weather blows, i'll go play some live poker this weekend we'll see.

Monday, May 08, 2006

This Weekend in Golf and Poker - May 6,7 2006

Saturday was dead for golf as there was opening day on at the golf club so the boys and I couldn't have our normal Sat game.

In line with my previous blog post about getting back into poker, I decided to take some cash down to Casino Niagara and try to catch a game around noon. Sat down at a 1/2, whipped out a redbird ($5er) expecting to pay time when I noticed that they STOPPED TAKING TIME at 1/2 and changed it to $2 flop and 10% to max $5. Hmm... this is good. Against the loosies at 1/2NL here I'm usually apt to play the good cards and dump the crap anyways, so not paying rake when I'm not catching cards is seriously a good thing.

Sat there for around 4 hours, raised PF with some good hands, missed the flop, c/b'd and got pushed on a few times and had to fold em. Hmm... good way to burn money but when the cards don't fall your way what the heck can you do? I'm down to $55 of my original $100 and pretty bored to boot. It's raised to $8, two calls, I call in CO with 5c6c and take 5-way flop. Flop is 6-4-6 and show tunes go off in my head as Vince Van Patten would say. The PF raiser leads for $20 into a now $40 pot. Folded to me and I consider flat-calling but figure he can't lay down for another $25 on top of this with any overpair so I jam. He calls and shows QQ and my hand holds up. I'm up $40 and proceed to see cheap flops and pay blinds but can't connect with any other board but that one. I get my victory chocolate milkshake on the way home and am generally happy that i'm back into poker again.

Sunday at the golf course was TOUGH but I kept a good attitude. I could NOT keep the ball in the fairway (or out of trees for that matter) and had a whopping, awful, 5 double bogeys on the front. I kid you not. Could not play worse... It's impossible. Then, of course, I play OK on the back and bogey the last two for 38. 48/38. Yeah, i'm good. 4 handicap my ass.

On the weight-loss front, I'm still sticking to my diet which is getting far easier now. For me, i'm a portion control guy. When i start eating big, i keep eating big. But, now that i've cut down portions considerably I don't get hungry often and it's generally for the right sorts of foods. 11 or 12 lbs in the last 3 weeks is pretty good in my books. The nice thing about being able to eat decent portions is you can technically eat whatever the hell you want without having trouble. This morning my scale says 220-221 (can't tell) and I think it's 5 heavy (its from denver colorado if that makes a difference -- adjustment due to altitude) so i'm likely 215-216. Still too heavy but very much on my way to where I want to be (195-200 sounds about right given my build).

That's it folks. Oh, joke I heard at the tables on Saturday. Old guy to my right tells it to a female Toronto lawyer two to my left.

q. Why do women get belly button rings?
a. So they'll have some place to hang their air freshener.

ba dum bump cheeee.