Saturday - Our club championship had about 50 guys divided
into 3 flights. Open, Senior, and Super Senior. In the Open division there's
probably 6-8 guys that can win who range from +1 to 4 handicaps. My current
handicap is 0.5 so that had me in the first group at 7:03, sigh. I typically
have not played well before 10am and generally feel like a different golfer
that early in the morning. Anyone else experience this? So the sun isn't even
up as I'm warming up and I'm yawning through the first 3 holes despite ample
sleep. Felt like a dream imo.
1-thin a hybrid, reasonable PW, 2 putt from 35 feet up a big left to right slope. Feel like the 5 footer I made for par there was very important in hindsight.
2-good 5 iron from 195 to 25 feet, 2 putt
3-just miss fairway right with driver, SW just short of green, 2 putt from 30
4-bad drive in trees right on par 5, punch out, 146, good 9 iron yardage and shove it right of green. really happy with the pitch shot(mostly because i've been working hard on my short game and am notorious for getting steep/stabby with chips/pitches but this came off perfect with lots o nerves) dead pull an 8 footer and don't even touch the cup.
5-par 4 ob right, good drive down left rough that 90% has a shot but kicks left under tree. punch 7 iron to front of green, another well executed chip, but to a foot this time
6-6 iron 180 uphill poorly struck short in bunker, nervy, timid swing. ok bunker shot to 12 feet downhill left to right, 1 putt imo
7-330 par 4, ob/bunkers right, trees left, creek at about 130, good short par 4. mostly hit driver in casual rounds as I can get pretty close to green fairly often and left isn't much of a penalty but decide to hit hybrid with tees well back. make one of worst swings of tourney and heel thin hook it right into creek. drop zone 126 in rough, hit good GW to 6 feet, push the put, nice 5 clown
8-480 par 5, best drive of tourney, 166 draw 8 iron left of green, chip to 3 feet, birdie
9- snap hook driver into 1st fairway worrying about ob right, 5 iron top left tier with pin front right, make tough 2 putt, turn +1
10-super tight 380 yard par 4, trees both sides, hit fairway with driver, terrible LW from 80, 2 putt from 40
11-185 par 3, great 6 iron 10 feet, hit it where I wanted, putt didn't berak
12- #1 handicap hole, good par 5, water right on tee shot and pond in front of green. good drive, 230 hole slightly into breeze, thin the hybrid again but clear the pond by a few feet and bounce it up to 18 feet. eagle! one under!
13- layup par 4, 5 iron, GW, burn lip from 12 feet
14-200 yard par 3, wave at 5 iron into right trees and it kicks left short of greenside bunkers in zoysia. tight lie to an uphill tight pin. just hoping to have 10 feet for par. meh, made it :)
15-driver, LW 2 putt
16-fav hole on course, downhill par 5, water right of green. good drive 5 iron pin high just off right. caught a bad lie here in no grass, soft thatchy ****. like trying to chip off mud. flub it, 2 putt par
17-good drive, 9 iron 2 putt 16 feet
18 - bad drive, good break, flyer lie from 160, pure 9iron over stick, 2 putt from 25 feet. 70 in first round.
Sunday - I've got a 4 shot lead going to today playing in a foursome with a 74,75,76. Instead of being the first group off in a threesome on freshly mowed greens, we're the last group off at 9:12 delayed to 9:30 and we play in what couldn't have been in much less than 5 hours.
The range session was mediocre and def not as good as saturday. My trouble shot is a low hook and I hit a few on the range and just generally didn't feel all that great.
1- quack a hybrid left bounces off trees 146 in left rough. Good break and I hook a 9 iron left into the trees which I had a very clear shot around. Luckily it goes through and ends up on the upper tier with the pin down low. Good putt, tap in par. 74 makes birdie, 3 shot lead.
2- good 5 iron 15 feet. Just miss on the right. 74 makes birdie, 2 shot lead
3- drive waaaay left, punch out to 70 yards, fail to get up and down for par. 1 shot lead
4- drive left, punch into a tree but get good break back into fairway. 182 third on par 5, hit a god awful 6 left with a back left pin. on pretty bare lie with no green and trees overhanging. This was one of my prouder moments of the tourney wrt to course management. I can see myself trying to do too much with this in the past but conceded to just try to make bogey even though I figured my lead would be gone. Hit a bump and run just short of green, make the putt from 20 feet thru 1 foot of light rough. 1 shot lead
5- get my legs working finally to stop the lefts and hit a bomb. had 80 downhill to a back pin and landed it 5 feet to far and one hopped over back, easy chip up and down.
6- good 9 iron, 2 putt from 18 feet big right to left downhill putt. 74 makes bogey, 2 shot lead
7- decided on driver after saturdays hybrid blunder and the tees were up a bit. hit a good one 15 yds short of green. good pitch, lip out 5 footer, 74 birdies, 1 shot lead
8- good drive, just missed left with 7 iron into bare patch just off green, mediocre chip to 8 feet. leave it short dead center.
9- ok drive left rough, LW 12 feet downhill right to left swinger, missed low with the feathery stroke. 74 makes bogey, 2 shot lead.
10- good drive, bailed out LW to lower tier with tough back left pin. tough 2 putt up big slope, give it a little extra at the bottom and I'm worried right off the putter, slam it in back off cup, bounces up leave tap in
11- best swing of day, perfect 6 iron from 178 into slight breeze. lag it downhill from 18 feet, falls in on last roll, birdie. 74 3 putts for bogey, 4 shot lead.
12- missed fairway 2 feet left, have to lay up from 220. 2 wedges and 2 putts for par. 74 misses green from 80, chunks two chips and makes 7. 6 shot lead.
13- nerves really starting to get to me now that 'it really is mine to lose' make two nervous swings with a hybrid and a GW but get away with them and miss a tough breaking right to lefter from 12 feet.
14 - 166 par 3, hang back half committed nervous 8 iron hooks left into a a bad spot in a back left bunker with a back center pin. ok bunker shot but was dead, 30 feet 2 putt bogey.
15- 3 hands on the steering wheel driver swing up the right rough with ob left and creek/trees right. SW, 2 putts from 20 feet.
16- thinned driver misses right and hits path which is usually good but without normal distance I had tree overhanging from 194 and decent lie in rough. water/bunker right, big bunker left. well designed green for a reachable par 5. hook 4 iron left of bunker. now pitching over bunker downhill with water over green. couldn't be happier with execution, thought I made it, but rolls down false edge on right side of green, burn edge from 20 feet. 5 shot lead now fwiw.
17- much better driver swing but a bit low and 5 yards too far right. punch 8 from 137, good pitch to tough pin on ridge, leave 6 footer on edge short.
18 - good drive, ob left. set up right of fairway and trap drew one down the middle. 119 pin, slightly uphill, slightly downwind. the tourney is effectively over and I'm all but shaking with nerves. I skull my GW over the green from a perfect lie and almost hit a spectator. Lucky to be in bounds have to drop over by the putting green. Chunk run a wedge off a down slope out of a crappy lie to 40 feet. 2 putt for bogey, 75, win by 4.
Good: Since college, I rarely play competitive stroke play rounds anymore. I forget just how different it is from match play or my regular $20 a hole thursday afternoon group. I didn't miss anything inside 4 feet despite being relatively nervous on some putts that are not really hard. I imagine I would get more comfortable with the short ones with more competitive reps.
The aspect of my game I'm most proud of was the pitching and long chips. I've struggled with these for a long time for no good reason and spent a few hours last week working on technique and just getting a bunch of reps in. The jist of my short game struggles boil down to good enough hand eye coordination that I was always 'ok' around the greens. Okay enough that while I was annoyed I wasn't better, I've never put in much effort to be disciplined about technique or practice.
I felt my course management was at least a B+. I'm really trying hard to think of every golf shot as I do with a poker decision. Simply trying to find a way to maximize long term expectation(lowest avg score) on every swing. I find it liberating and intimidating at the same time. Liberating in that I focus better on the shot at hand and not a potential score for a hole or a round. Intimidating in that I feel more ownership of my decisions than I used to.
I've also struggled with my driver alot in the past mostly for similar reasons I stated with the chipping and I've played most my golf on three courses where you can spray it on most holes. I certainly wish I drove it better and will continue to work hard but most my drives were in play and I hit none OB on a course with alot of OB.
Bad: I was really displeased with my putting. The 75 today was making nothing but the putt on 4 and squandering several good opportunities. It wasn't so much that I didn't make anything that bothers me, it's how I was missing putts. I was so fixated on having tap-ins that my pace was just a bit slow and my stroke generally timid. I'm not necessarily surprised by this fact given I had a lead(was trying to not make dumb mistakes) and I'm not near as comfortable with the 3-5 footers as a guy who holes out on a regular basis is.
Given that one of my goals as a golfer is to become a competitive amateur, at least locally(say a +2 that can travel), I'm thinking I should forgo gimmies all together. It's such a funny irony about gimmies because despite the fact that many golfers claim to give them or not like to putt them for pace of play reasons, the main reason we "give them" or what them given is because we're bonified scared we're going to miss them. And the other irony there is that the fear is kind of silly in the first place. We don't want to miss ANY 2 footer. But the reality is that everyone misses them X% of the time. The goal should be to make X as low as possible, not rarely putt them so we don't have to face the reality that is X.
Ugly: Despite winning, I was genuinely embarrassed with the skulled wedge on 18. The weird part about the shot on 18 is that even though the tournament was effectively over, I wanted to hit a good shot(or maybe not hit a bad shot) more there than I did all day. It's obviously related to having people watching and it's a natural reaction to be nervous. I'm just disappointed that I didn't execute when it mattered most to me. This specific shot speaks well about commitment and club selection.
I know that my gap wedge will carry 115 under normal fairway circumstances. My yardage for this shot was 119, it's slightly uphill maybe adds 2-4 yards, and 5 mph of helping wind out of a good lie in the fairway. The pin is middle left with a ridge right behind it and the green tilts a bit from back to front. My pw carries 133. Let's say it's 105 to the front edge and 130 to the back edge. We have fairly long zoysia fairways which tend to produce more spin.
If we assume the uphill and wind nearly cancel each other out, we're left with 119 effective. If I could carry the ball 115 and stop it, I would def hit gw, but a solid strike will probably produce 15-20 feet of backspin under these conditions leaving my "normal" shot at about 109 or 30 feet short of the hole.
Unless I really suck with taking some off a pw and/or long is dead and/or par is some magical number there, I can't think that I hit the right club. One of the areas I've struggled with most in my game is the 120-125 yard pw. Like most people who try and take something off an iron, I get disconnected, quick, flippy, etc.. and either block it short or hook it long. It's kind of funny because with a 5 shot lead and some real nerves I had a good opportunity to 'practice' a shot I'm not real comfortable with.
So like most people in pressure situations, with my clouded and rushed thought process I decided that 'oh I'm pumped up I'll just hit this gap wedge really hard.' Did I ever.
I also feel pretty dumb for leaving 2 putts short inside 10 feet.
For those of you yearning for me to stop blathering about old balls, the doc, crawfish, wiltontilt, my first born, and golf......this blog is for you.
I think it's best to open with a visual aid.
So I 1 tabled this guy yesterday for almost 2k hands. He bought in for $211 at 3/6 short I think and at one point was up $4735. As you can see, I lost $190 after the ~$400 of rake we paid. I wanted to highlight a couple stats. The bottom right stat 'DBF' is donk bet flop. I have never seen anything like what this guy did. What's even weirder is that almost every time he donk/called a flop raise, he would lead the turn for like 40% pot. To top that, in all these hands, I only saw him bluffing once with that line.
He minraised for most of the match and for the first 1400 hands or so his cbet was 85. You can see his 2barrel was 61. His river cbet was also 61. If we do a litle math, we can see that on the river he was betting with approximately 25% of hands. I CHECK CALLED DOWN 7 TIMES AND WON ONCE and the one I won he was vbetting worse. I think this is another nice example of just how messed up variance can be and how hot/bad one can run in small samples.
Another fairly interesting thing about the stats here is my low 2b and his high f2b. When he didn't donk 73%, he almost always check folded so most of this relationship came from 3bet pots. He would make a habit of floating fairly light and pretty much always giving up when I 2 barreled. He was unique in that he would almost always bet any pair in most situations including raising middle pair to a 3bet cbet. So what ended up happening was that I realized that If he didn't raise the flop he was almost always folding the turn which is how my cbet got to 70 and 2 barrel got very low as I started checking made hands fairly often. Ironically, he never really barreled off but would frequently stab once and occasionally twice.
Poker Stars $3/$6 No Limit Hold'em - 2 players - View hand 1245683
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
Hero (BTN/SB): $1177.50
Pre Flop: ($9.00) Hero is BTN/SB with Q Q
Hero raises to $18, BB calls $12
Flop: ($36.00) 4 6 3(2 players)
BB bets $18, Hero raises to $54, BB raises to $90, Hero calls $36
Turn: ($216.00) 6(2 players)
BB bets $114, Hero calls $114
River: ($444.00) K(2 players)
BB bets $216, Hero calls $216
Final Pot: $876.00
BB shows 8 8 (two pair, Eights and Sixes)
Hero shows Q Q (two pair, Queens and Sixes)
Hero wins $875.50
This is a fairly nice example of his btn clicking ability. I was not very happy calling this river.
Poker Stars $3/$6 No Limit Hold'em - 2 players - View hand 1245685
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
Hero (BTN/SB): $540.00
Pre Flop: ($9.00) Hero is BTN/SB with A T
Hero raises to $12, BB raises to $24, Hero raises to $60, BB calls $36
Flop: ($120.00) 5 3 7(2 players)
BB bets $60, Hero calls $60
Turn: ($240.00) 7(2 players)
BB bets $120, Hero calls $120
River: ($480.00) Q(2 players)
BB bets $198, Hero calls $198
Final Pot: $876.00
BB shows Q Q (a full house, Queens full of Sevens)
Hero mucks A T
BB wins $875.50
This one hurt because it was fairly early and I had already 4bet him 3 times and he called every one and lost all 3 pots so I was almost fist pumping here.
Despite a 9.5 hr session, which I do like never, the day turned out ok as I ran decent at 5/10 and busted a few shorties at 2/4.
Crawfish LA story still coming. Here's a teaser: it involves Doc and I messing with his food.
But first, an Old Balls story. He is holding Brooke at dinner the other night when her binky falls on the floor. A waitress picks it up and hands it back to him. He then attempts to put it back in my daughter's mouth without flinching. Megan(my wife) is able to stop him with a stern, "whoa whoa, etc.." Shortly after, Megan exclaims, "What is wrong with you?!" Old Balls then bursts into laughter while claiming the part that goes in her mouth never actually touched the floor. Ten minutes after this, Old Balls is laughing uncontrollably. When asked why, he says, "I just got it....ya know...what is wrong with you!?" Megan and I decided on the way home that the worst part was not him trying to put germs and dirt directly into our daughters mouth, but just how funny he found the whole thing.
On the evening of Saturday, March 5th Aaron, the Crawfish, and I left Kansas City on our way to LA to meet up with the Doc for a 5 day "business" trip. The original intention of the trip was to play the NAPT Main Event and try to get on Live at the Bike a couple times. I decided not to play the event because I was so tilted about stars pulling their sponsorship and the espn coverage a few days prior. I'm sure it would have been profitable, but the chance to get on TV and parlay some self promotion and potential future sponsorship was really the only reasons we were going to play. Aaron had won a seat so he played and busted in the middle of day 2 when his AK utg open and 23bb stack got 3bet/5bet called by 66 out of the blinds. Yawn, lol donkaments imo.
It was tough for me to be away from Brooke for the first time but my wife was nice enough to send me pictures every day. One of my favorites was
this one where Megan said she was yelling during the photo shoot.
On Tuesday, Aaron played the 3k hu event. Only 23 runners with 64 available spots. However, the field did include this clown.
Sick goggles man. He was completely unfazed by me taking his picture. Maybe he was leveling or lost a bet or something? So despite getting a bye, Aaron busts to former UB Pro Shannon Shore. Aaron said he was a cool dude but ran hotter that the son.
That night Aaron played Live at the Bike. For those unfamiliar this is a 3 hour live internet broadcast of a cash game played at the Bicycle Casino. Archives can be found at http://www.pokernetcast.com/ One of the hosts is DCs own Bart Hanson. So while Aaron was playing and Bart was on break, Bart, Doc, and I had a couple beers and shot the shit. When Bart went back in the booth, he invited Doc and I along to see how everything ran. I was genuinely impressed with how technical the whole thing was. There must have been 15+ monitors and 3 or more people doing the background work. Aaron runs well/outplays the other contestants in the 10/25 game for a nice little score.
Since I didn't play any of the tournaments or Live at the Bike, one might wonder what I was doing for the trip. On Sunday, Doc, Crawfish, and I played internet pokers since the Sunday Million was crazy. Most of the rest of the trip was taken up with live poker from 2/3 to 5/10, man time in the pool with Doc, and lots of pretty good food and booze. During one of the 5/5 games, I open for 20 early and get flatted by only the bb who open ships 175 into 40 on KJTr. I crying call with QQ only to hold against Q6o. Needless to say, the games were awfully good. During a 5/10 session, I turn the nut flush on 334T against a stripper's quad 3s. The hands get shown on the turn and dealer forgets to put out the river card before half the table started to berate him. I had one out for the bad beat jackpot but alas it didn't come.
On Wednesday night, Aaron was playing a 10k buy in 25/50 game on latb. Turns out that this game was juicier than the 10/25 mostly due to some tourney "pros." Unfortunately Aaron didn't run so hot/got the shit btn clicked out of him and had a medium loss. While he was playing, Doc, Crawfish, and I were at a fairly decent steakhouse enjoying some fine cabernet. A couple days prior, Aaron made the mistake of telling us that his favorite drink is no longer beer and is now wine. Doc then used this information to create the strangest of voices that is suppose to be Aaron talking about fine cabernet....I think. I got a text during dinner from Aaron about how bad he was running and that he needed something to cheer him up. So we sent him this...
After the 25/50 game was over, we hung out in the Bicycle's Bar/Cafe for a bit so we could get more drunk and Aaron could get some food. There was a gentleman at the table next to ours who had a few too many. I'm pretty sure he wanted me to take a picture with him.
After leaving the Bike, we went to Santa Monica to meet Bart Hanson and his friends Susan and Ron for some late night cocktails. Walking from our car to the bar we saw this billboard and Crawfish had to have his picture taken in front of it.
At the bar, Crawfish quickly engaged Susan in conversation. Despite being 5'6" and the biggest space cadet of all time, women fucking love the Crawfish. Hence his attraction to the billboard. Everyone was having so much fun that Bart invited us all back to his place for a late late night cap and some High Stakes Poker on DVR. A picture Bart put on his twitter shows me having way too much fun for those who'd like to hunt it down.
There's a pretty funny story about Crawfish and Mexican food that I'll save for the next entry. GG
Was having dinner with old balls tonight and after the waitress dropped off the check Old Balls told her, "Thanks for coming in."
10 months ago when my wife told Old Balls she was pregnant his immediate response was, "Does my son know?"
Getting ready to start the home game in a few minutes. There are 3 spots left for the class. Check out the thread for more details.
Playing live poker last night a new player comes to the table. 2 hands later we get a new dealer. The new dealer asks the player if he's "clocked in(got his harrahs card swiped for comps)" and asks how long he's been here. He says it's been half an hour and the other dealer must have forgot. She clocks him in and he asks what she's going to do about the half hour. Dealer says she's sorry that she can't add time but the floor can. A bit later he goes up to the front desk and has a half hour of comps added to his card. I think he scammed them for 40 cents.
Being a daddy isn't all diaper changing and feedings!
I was playing the 2/5 game earlier tonight when the following hand took place. I believe the pot was limped 6 ways. The flop was Ac8c7s. Middle aged dude bets 20/30, young dude calls, old dude c/r to 60, both call. Turn Kd. Old dude checks, middle aged dude bets 150 into 210, young dude folds, Old dude tank c/r all in for 177 more. Middle aged dude taaaaaanks and crying calls. River 9x. Old dude turns over A7o. Middle aged dude stares at his cards for a sec, turns over JcTc and says 'I have the nuts' and gives a 5 min speech to the young dude about why he bet the turn and had to call the shove.
Something this ridiculous or worse happens every single time I've ever played live poker.