Sunday, March 29, 2009

G+P - Weekend of March 28th, 2009

Saturday I did both of my favorite hobbies in one day. That's good stuff.

In the morning I met Matt & Harry for breakfast again and we went out for 18 in 11 degree (celsius) weather with the sun shining. I held it together most of the round but had a bad streak of 3 bogeys on 15,16,17 to shoot 76 and lose $5 to Matt on the overall. He played well, and is no longer the butt of our jokes (for now). No complaints as it was my 2nd round out.

In poker, I wasn't going to play but Matt had one of his favorite donkeys online and a seat open for me. Naturally I sat and immediately was happy I did. I opened some more tables and we played for 2.5 hours wherein I won about 3.5 buyins. There's just such a monster difference between Saturday night and a Monday night on full tilt. Really ridiculous that so many bad players come out on the weekend.

My hand of the night - Matt opens in early position and covers me, I re-raise with TT in the cutoff, button (half-stack donkey) calls, SB (half stack biggest donkey in the world) calls, Matt re-raises for half a stack. Hmm. Now, normally I fold when he 4-bets without close to the nuts but I couldn't possibly understand why he would 4-bet a hand that crushes me. We have good old fashioned donkey money in the pot, why chase it out with AA or KK? QQ was a possibility I guess as was JJ but all my senses said AK and frankly I was in a gambling mood so I pushed. Both donkeys call, Matt calls and we have a 4 way all-in for about 300bb in the pot. Matt flips KK, I have TT, donkeys have AK and AQ. Hmm, my mistake. Anyway I flop a boat and suck out which is fine retribution against Matt who sucked out twice earlier on me -- once where I had middle two pair vs. top pair (bad kicker) with one to come, and one where I had AQ on a AAx board and he paired his kicker on the river. No tears from me, but I lament my bad luck until I suck out with TT v KK :)

It was a profitable night and a fun day of golf. Should be a fun year.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

When The Mood Strikes

No, i'm not talking about the funky get down with the girlfriend mood -- this blog is about golf and poker only you silly.

Today I had a scheduled appointment in Niagara Falls with ye olde accountant, a thin "accountant looking" white guy who does my corporate books. Nice guy. I also made a stop to get my hair cut, knowing full well the irony of getting an actual haircut and a figurative one from Revenue Canada on the same day makes that two in a day. Matt caught on to this. He's good.

As I drove down Victoria Avenue in Niagara Falls it struck me... I have very little to accomplish today beyond my appointments, I have $550 in my pimp ass money clip I just got for my birthday, I have a comfortable sweatshirt in my back seat. Victoria Avenue leads to Casino Niagara once you pass the 420 highway, and that was the direction I was heading.

It's 3pm on a weekday afternoon in the off-tourism season, that's bound to make for a short supply of card games but since I was literally 5 minutes away with the sudden urge to shuffle dirty, semen laden redbird chips and fire value bets at degenerates I parked in the free lot, changed my shirt to poker-mode and in I went.

Upon reaching security, he looked me up and down. This was the first time I didn't reach for my ID. "How old are you, boss?" I rolled my eyes back into my skull trying to come up with my age which had suddenly left me. "30" I stated... he gave a little grin and said "you're in then" and off I went.

Past the grey hairs on their idiot slot machines that pay out poorly, past the crippled wheelchair bound guys sitting at electronic tables with a big dice ball in the middle, past all the people too out of it to figure out they're losing at life simply by being in this wretched old casino playing negative expectation games. I left them in my dust as I cruised down the escalator to the dungeon-like poker room level.

Standing on the rail was one unkept fat guy who had somehow turned off his world of warcraft game. He stood there watching one of the tables on the rail as a mid twenties douche pushed his sad little shortstack pre-flop, got 2 callers and proudly slowrolls Jack Six suited and scoops. After slowrolling he made the "cmere chips" motion with his hands as the dealer pushed the pot just to taunt his opponents. You stay classy, Casino Niagara.

3 tables were running, all 1/2 no limit, all $100 max buyins. One late middle age woman in reasonable clothing sat on a $35 stack surrounded by grubby low-stakes players in dark hoodies with unkept hair and clothing. I wondered if she was enjoying her vacation.

I looked around at the guys that played this lowest of stakes poker game on a weekday afternoon, and recognized at least one from when I first played 2/4 limit at Casino Niagara. Here he was at the same casino, in the same basement poker room. Poor guy. Not everyone can be Durrr I guess.

I didn't even put my name on the list, didn't buy a chip or place a bet. I decided that if this was 1/2 live poker on a thursday afternoon in Niagara, i'll go home and play on the Interweb with a cup of tea instead.

Perhaps it's newfound wisdom one achieves when hitting the magical age of 30 -- your life is what you make of it. This 20 minute side trip shook me out of the urge to play low-stakes B&M casino poker again, at least for now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

We Golfed In March

This winter in Canada sucked huge, it was cold, it snowed a bunch, it blew. The best thing to happen this winter was that it ended early. And so, with temperatures nearing the balmy 50's for the first time in forever three golf-starved Canadians crawled from our igloos, strapped a carry bag to our backs, and we played some golf.

First off, this past Wednesday our course opened the practice facility sending out an email to proudly announce it. Matt and I made the trek after work, and we played a little par-3 course the pros had setup. 52-58 yard pitch and putt golf is better than no golf at all so of course Matt and I had to gamble on it a bit. We decided to play a game I may indeed be the creator of - golf curling. Basically, if Matt hits one balls close than my closest ball, he gets 1 points. If he hits two balls closer than my closest ball, he gets 2 point. If he hits 3 balls closer than mine, we made it a whammy so he gets 5 points. Points are given a dollar value (in our case, $1 -- ballers I say) and that's the game. Actually, it's a great game and I'll play it again. I beat him by 2 points. More importantly, I got a 'closest to the pin' to put my name on, and won myself a fine box of Noodle golf balls. Matt refused to put his name closest to the pin when he hit a great shot claiming it was wrong to take a prize from a 12 year old kid... he's so nice. Want a sleeve of Noodle's Matty? I'll share. A beer replaced actual payout of our huge wager, and home we went happy to have sort of golfed.

Saturday morning was one like no other in recent memory. The sun was somewhat visible, the ground was dry, and the golf course was open. We arrived at 9:30 for breakfast, a meal fit for kings though Harris believes the omelettes are becoming smaller daily -- my eggs over easy were fine. Afterward the frost cleared and we played some golf. I actually made reasonable contact with the ball all day and though the greens weren't exactly in super shape it was golf, and golf is good. Wager wise Matt and I started out by playing a 5 and 5 -- $5 for the front, $5 for the back in stroke play. Nobody wagers with Harris since he doesn't pay his bets off :) I beat Matt by 3 strokes on the front shooting a very fine 39 so he asked to add some incentive to him shooting 35 on the back to beat me so we made a $5 overall game bet as well. It was clear as his 10th hole tee shot sailed into the houses that this was a poor choice on his part. Matt staggered around the back nine like a guy who hadn't played golf in 6 months, and it was clear on 17 he would lose all bets this day. I, the consummate gentleman said "Want to play 18 double or nothing?". His immediate response was "NO I DONT WANT TO LOSE $30 ON THE GOLF COURSE" but later changed his mind. The idea of shipping me any money at all on full tilt where we pay our bets off was gutwrenching. I stepped up to the 18th tee feeling no pressure playing for the huge money and let one sail down the left side, a perfect shot. Matt climbed onto the tee, swung a gargantuan effort and the ball sailed into the trees left, hitting one. Harry broke out laughing and I couldn't help myself to laugh at him laughing. That ball eventually was lost, I came up 20 yards short of the green on my approach but got a nice wedge up and down with the power of the checkspin. I offered to let Matt out of the double or nothing but he'd have none of it.

And that's it. 2009 is underway. Go check out Harry's site since he decided that he can blog AND clean gloves at the same time - Sports, Entertainment & Smack and Matt's site at Now On The Tee.

Golf Wagers 2009:
+1 Beer

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I know... I know... I'm neglecting G+P lately

Got a comment in that last post about how little i've been updating G+P lately... totally valid criticism I've been neglecting my baby.

Honestly, the amount of golf i've played is nil. None since the end of last season. I have been playing a bit of cards though...

Matt has finally learned to win at poker a bit, only took him 4 years to do it but finally he can crush donks at the microlimits. Naturally I went on a downswing playing NLHE Heads Up online so I did what I do every year it seems, I cashed most of the bankroll out leaving myself but $1,000 with which to play. This provides 2 functions for me... the first is I can say I'm actually making and taking profits from online poker to those who might think I have a gambooling problem (family)... the second is it reduces greatly the limits I can play obviously so I fall back down to the micro/low stakes where I know I'll win money on a somewhat consistent basis. I then went on a downswing at the low limits... it's arguable whether there was bad play in there -- I'm not immune to being a donkey here or there -- I don't think I was playing too badly but ran into a lot of 2nd best hands so took the sad little roll into sadder territory. My great fear was that Matt would run his 'roll up to higher than I've got my 'roll. I came within about a hundred bucks before I turned it around and shot back up. Meanwhile, i don't play all that much these days, maybe 1500 hands a week.

Recently I had a conversation with myself where I'm starting to hate the fact that I keep cashing out my poker money. I've never made a LOT of money at the game but I certainly could stand to play higher stakes than I have. Maybe that's a good thing that I keep it recreational and pay my golf membership with poker money -- it's not the worst thing in the world that your hobbies pay for each other. Still, I feel like i've left some vehicles, vacations, 60" pioneer plasma tv's and associated toys on the table by not playing higher earlier. Obviously the online NLHE games now are far more difficult than they were a few years ago so I probably should have went digging for poker gold back then if I really wanted to make any. That said, I have to believe the B&M games are still soft, they're just awfully slow compared to my 4-tabling online.

I'm debating either getting serious about another poker variant like Pot Limit Omaha or some of the limit games like 2-7 triple draw, stud, stud8, and so on online or starting to play B&M sessions of NLHE cash to see how they run. I can't bring myself to play tournaments seriously for whatever reason... I spose if the buyin were something I cared about I would?

Comments welcome. Stay classy.