Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Not a Bad Weekend In Golf & Poker

Well, the weekend is over. The prospect of going back to work is not attractive but what can I do?

Golf went relatively OK, was 78 and 77. Played fairly well off the tee, meh with the irons. Had a lot of 3-putts which was odd... I tend to start pulling the ball left when i'm putting badly so have to strengthen my left wrist firmness to keep it rolling straight sometimes. I think it's just a quirk that's popping up. Nothing special on the course and my index is still hovering at 1.9/2.

I've been putting my new poker setup to some use this week. Between all the other work I do, i've found time to eek out exactly 3500 hands of $25nl and $50nl as I progressed over the bankroll hurdle to move up. I sort of regret not leaving my original cash in the game when I first first cashed out of online poker in January 2006. Admittedly I had a mental hurdle jumping to 200NL and wanted to pay off my car loan, but still, I could be playing 5/10 or 10/20 on a 50k bankroll right now if I did push myself over that spot at the time.

Made a bit over $400 this week playing the super low limits, and I have a few things to note about the games. Yes, they're still good, but they're a sweet hell of a lot tougher than the old partypoker days. I played a hand at 50NL today with a guy which illustrates how much tougher the lower limits have gotten:

I have $58 on the button, opponent in MP has me covered.

He limps, I raise to $2.50 with AK, he calls.

Flop is K T 7 with two diamonds

He leads for $2.50, I think for a second and raise to $7, he calls

Turn is 3 offsuit.

He leads for $6, i raise to $15, he calls

River is an ugly 2 of diamonds, he takes 5 seconds and pushes.

I replay my past hands with this opponent in my head, see that i'm getting 2:1 and call with my top pair top kicker. He shows Jack Nine offsuit. Now that's aggressive folks. He put my to a tough position and made a nice bluff, but fortunately my raises along the way made the final pot too attractive to fold to his bluff.


And for one more piece of poker content... here's me making a play.

I'm playing tight in big blind with $55. MP covers me, Button covers both and is tight and decent.

MP raises to $1.50, Button calls, I call with King Ten of Clubs

Flop is 7 5 2 - two clubs

MP bets $3.50 into the $4.75 pot, Button calls, I raise to $13. MP folds, Button calls.

Turn is a 4 of spades

I consider my options for 10 seconds and check, button bets $21 into a $30ish pot and I fold.

What's going through my head?

Raised the flop as there was a great chance MP had zero and Button was calling him with any two because of it. I had good folding equity against any non-monster hand they held due to my image, which was likely the case. I think I win this right here most of the time.

On the turn, button's call and call again when he's tight and decent makes me think he has a monster hand (QQ+, or a set). Against this range, and given the size of the pot, I doubt my $35 into a $30 pot makes him fold often enough that my push would be good. My King and Ten outs are probably not good leaving me with 9 outs for the flush plus there's always the chance he has AQ of my suit which makes my flush no good. In the past I might have fired this barrel as a semi-bluff, today I think there's too much against me here.

Open to opinions on both hands if we have any poker players reading this :P


Monday, August 20, 2007

This Weekend In Golf & Poker - August 18 and 19, 2007

Well, this weekend was fairly uneventful. I fired rounds of 78 and 75 on the golf course, which is fairly decent. Nothing amazing here, couple birdies, couple 3-putt bogeys. Lost $7 in bets total. Meh.

On the poker side, yes there is one, I've definitely felt the chill in the air lately as my golf season nears a close in terms of every-weekend play. Only a few weeks left of that goodness. So, naturally I turn my eye towards cardplaying, and notably by the name of this blog, poker. I did play 10 or so games of gin rummy this weekend though as well...

In preparation for poker season, I went out and purchased a spanking new 24" LCD for my desk. It's Niiiiice. My bankroll is still a sad little amount, and admittedly I spent more on the monitor than I have in poker -- for the moment.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Record Setting & Tiring Weekend

This weekend was flat-out tiring. In fact, I'm actually slightly sick. Was just non-stop running around after golf in the mornings and I'm feeling run-over.

Saturday I played with Harry and Gary. None of us played particularly well. My driver was OK, irons were not very good and my putting was solid. I couldn't score, so shot 83. Lost a match to Harry (again) and tied Gary. I'm ok with that.

Sunday my alarm went off at 6:45. I felt like a bag of shit. Unfortunately, drinking the night before and early morning golf do not mix well, at least for me. I could feel my drinks are I rolled out of bed and threw on some clothes that weren't dirty or wrinkled. I boot over to the club for a 7:15 tee time with Harry and Mike K. Mike is our former club champion, great player and is playing a match with Harry. Both like to chirp so I asked to be in the group to watch the fireworks.

With about 5 minutes to spare I hit the putting green. We have this one green with the half-sized holes so you have to make putts dead centre. I was making a lot of them. 10 footers, 15 footers, quite a few. Didn't think much of it but the stroke felt good.

I'm going to detail the round a bit for posterity. It was memorable.

We started on the back nine, #10.

I started off Birdie, Par, Bogey. Pretty typical for that stretch. Made a nice putt on #10 for birdie otherwise nothing serious.

#13 was a par, #14 I left a 6 foot sidehill right to lefter and made it to go to -1. Then bogey'd #15 after almost hitting it in the water on the approach and having to hit into the green from a steep sidehill lie. Even Par still.

#16 was played in the normal fashion, lay up to the bottom and a wedge into the green. Made a nice putt there for birdie and I'm back to one under. #17 I hit it in the bunker left as usual, and made a nice sand shot leaving a 4 footer which I made to stay there. Sweet. #18 was a nice drive followed by a decent choke down 7i into the wind leaving a 14 footer which just missed.

It was a good start. -1 on the back nine I'll take any day. At this point I'm thinking my swing is pretty smooth and i'm feeling no pressures, just having fun.

I start off #1 with a rescue into the rough left. I chased an easy PW into the green from 120 yards leaving an uphill right to left 10 foot putt. It went down and I'm -2. #2 was a 2 putt par, and so was #3.

I'm now 2-under, 6 holes to go. #4 the pin was tucked middle and tight to the right protected by trees. I opted to try and hit a high fade at the middle which naturally for me became a slight draw so I'm 40+ feet away. However, my putting is good today so I make a nice lag and have an easy 1-foot par putt. #5 is a nice drive down the middle leaving 176. I hit a good 6i slight draw and leave it 12 feet away. Drained that with my trusty putting device and I'm -3 with 4 to go. #6 was a solid drive followed by a great layup. My wedge into the green was a bit disappointing and left a 20 foot putt at least. I was not able to make it but made the Par.

#7's pin was back right. My iron ended around 20 feet away, pin high. Two putts and moving on. #8 was my last real birdie chance. My drive ballooned in the wind slightly and ended up short of the right bunker. I knocked a shot to the bottom and had 115 into the pin. My wedge ended up 15 feet away (tough wind) and I could not make the slider.

Ok, #9. Tough 450 yard par 4 playing slightly downwind. My drive ballooned again right and ended up on the netting of the driving range (ground under repair). I took my drop and my 4i fell just short of the green and left. As I lined up my chip, Harry said "Don't be a f*cking pussy" and Mike also said "Be Aggressive". I was feeling no pressure as my chip jumped up, checked and finished 3 feet past -- a nice chip.

So there I am. Putter in hand, 3 feet to go for a record round. In the past, my thought at this point would be "don't miss, don't miss" but this day it was "I want this, you can make this" and there was never a doubt as my putter struck it true and it fell into the heart of the hole.

MY NEW PERSONAL RECORD: My Home Course - Black Tees - 69
GIR: 15/18 (that might have helped)

Congrats to Harry for beating Mike. Great match from an entertainment point of view and from a golf perspective as well. Very back and forth on both accounts I hope to see you in the Langley finals.

Harry's got a pool going on what Matt will shoot at Riviera. I'm going to say 80 and he will claim to have played well to shoot it. Lucky bastard.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Club Championship Letdown

The yearly Golf Club Championship was this weekend. Going in, I had been playing fairly well with a 79/74 last weekend and was uninjured which is a positive over the last couple years. There's no reason I shouldn't play well...

... But I didnt. That's pretty disappointing. Fortunately, I treat golf as an enjoyable pasttime rather than the reason to live. I think i'd go insane if golf were to decide my happiness every day. Golf is a very tough game and tends to work against you at all times. It's a cruel, heartless bitch when you need it to be kind.

So, I came into the weekend without much pressure. I don't expect to win the Club Championship. Hell yes i'd like to but I'm realistic in knowing that there are multiple golfers who shoot scratch scores and have tournament experience. My best hope is to make the top 8 cut for day, and I stated as such before the championship. It's not pessimism, it's realism. Sure I can go on a sick heater and shoot under par daily, but it's not realistic to expect. So yeah, honestly, no pressure. My swing felt good, game was not bad, and I should have made the cut but I didn't. I just couldn't score and got myself into trouble even though my game was decent. It happens. I shot 85 Saturday with 4 doubles. Ouch. No cut for me.

Sunday was a mediocre 78 with some scrambling par and bogey saves. Fortunately I matched cards with Terry M. for the Langley cup and advanced. He was going to have some scheduling issues for the next little while and wanted it over with. Looks like I might get to play Matty in the semi's. Now that would be a good match if my game is decent (and vice versa for him). I'd hate for it to be a cheesy 'off day' sort of loss on either side.

Harry got cut with me from the Club Championship and Matt advanced with a reasonable 77+77=154 in T6th place. He's playing O.K. by the sound of it and probably deserves to be there. Again, there's the difference. I CAN be there given my game this year, he probably should. That's a big difference though our handicaps are about the same. I'm not sure if anyone not-a-golfer reading this would understand that statement but I think it makes sense in my head.

Anyhoo, that's it for this weekend folks.