Thursday, May 10, 2007

Poker Blahs II and Final Golf Match Saturday

My poker game is horrible right now. My bankroll is approx $800 from a high a year and a half ago of $5500.

I have tried to learn to play No Limit Hold'em by reading books and playing online. I think I have a lot of the basic fundamentals down, but I have some major leaks in my game.

I have a bad habit of winning small pots and losing big ones. When I used to crush the small limit poker games I prided myself on my patience preflop. I was a total nit, because I knew that when I got a good hand, the other players were not paying attention and would pay me off anyways. In 2-4 I used to lose $15-$20 of my initial $100 buy in waiting for the right hand, and then win a monster $50 pot.

In No Limit I am always catching myself trying to "open up" my game by playing suited connectors in late position or defending my blind. It may be a good strategy for the long term, but the players turn over so fast on the 6 player tables that I wonder if I should ever even worry what my image is at the table.

I still have not rid myself of the limit mindset preflop. I still get excited when I draw AA, KK, or AK. After repeated punches in the face, I know in my mind that these hands usually win a small pot with top pair or overpair, or they lose a big one when someone slow plays a set or rivers a flush against me. I try to get excited by JTs or 78s on the button, but I do not seem to flop the monster enough times to keep me from losing money.

I have also been playing bad in the weekly single table tournament games at Greg's. I keep trying to push my opponents off of hands when I have a draw. They keep calling with hands much stronger than I put them on and my draws are not hitting.

Last week I got lucky when Kory, who had 40% of the chips in play with 5 players left, got a call from his wife to go home. We paid him $40 and took his chips out of play. Suddenly after a double up on Kory's last hand when I rivered a straight with my pocket 7's versus his Queens, I was even with the remaining 4 players. I lost some of my stack to Devin, with three players left when my 15 outer did not come in, but then I flopped a set of Jacks against Jason and got all my chips in the middle. Jason had a pair of Aces with a Ten kicker and managed to go runner - runner straight to knock me out on the bubble.

Jeff is running one of his big poker tournaments in a couple of weeks, so maybe I can get my game together and make a big score there.

The final golf match between Bill and I will be this Saturday. Bill owes me $50 from our Masters bet and the renegotiated bet amount on the match is $100. So my worst case is that I lose $50. However in order to add a little more spice, we have agreed that the winner can buy a stick on name plate for our shared locker in the country club. The plate will read "Best Golfer 2007 - Larry Van Quathem" if I win. Since I don't see myself ever winning the Club Championship and getting one of those plates, I'll have to shoot for this one.

I am going to take a chance this weekend by scheduling a golf lesson with my old instructor at Talking Stick at 8:00 AM before our match. My back has felt good so I don't think that will be a problem, I just hope that he makes a minor adjustment and I start hitting the ball really well before the match. In the mean time I plan on practicing my short game today and tomorrow.

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