Monday, November 03, 2008

Grrrrrrr I'm frustrated

The golf course has reopened at Phoenix Country Club after overseeding. Bill and I got to play our first round together in a long time along with Bill's dad, Ron. We were playing for a rather pedestrian $25 and currently we are both playing to a 8 handicap.

Bill started fast with a birdie on 1 and I had a par. Bill then faltered on the short par 3 second hole when he hit his shot in the water. I missed my 15 footer for birdie and took a one stroke lead. The missed putt was one of many on the day. I did not 3 putt all day, but I don't think I one putted either. I don't know what is wrong with my putting, but I can't recall a time when I've putted worse. I'm still making the short 4-5 footers, but I'm not even close to making anything inside of 20 feet.

Bill's game was rusty and he was going to be hard pressed to catch me. My game was pretty solid except for the putting. I wasn't hurting myself, but I wasn't helping either. By the 14th hole I had built a 3 shot lead.

I led off with a driver down the middle of the fairway. Bill, who was struggling with his driver, hit 2 iron off the tee. He pulled it way left and it went into the landscaping equipment storage area which is out of bounds. He hit his third shot off the tee and it was also left and looking like it was heading out as well. Bill pulled out a third tee ball as a provisional and finally pushed one out to the right. We went to check on his ball on the left and it was in bounds by maybe an inch. He hit his approach shot into the bunker 20 yards short of the green. From there he skulled his shot over the green and into the back yard of a homeowner. This was also out of bounds.

Needless to say, the match was well in hand. Of course it wouldn't be a golf match with Bill unless we pressed the bet on 18. This time it was my turn to choke. 18 is a par five with wather on the right side of the green. We were both in trouble off the tee, but our lay up shots were both within 5 yards of each other. I had 135 yards to the green. I took my swing and it felt good coming off the club face. I looked up to follow the ball and it was heading frighteningly to the right and into the water.

Bill hit the middle of the green to put a stranglehold on the hole. I could still hope for a miracle chip in to tie. I carefully placed my ball on the steep bank of the lake (dropping the ball would only add to the collection of balls in the water so we skip the dropping and go right to placing). I tried to hit my delicate pitch and managed to double hit the ball ala TC Chen. So much for the miracle. I carded an 85 and called it a day. Even on all the bets.

Today I stopped by the Gila River Casino after work to play some 3-6 limit hold'em with Carlo and Rob. It's been a while since I played limit so my game was a little rusty. What followed was a series of beats so gut wrenching, I have acquired a new found distaste for the game.

It took a while for a seat to open up and by that time, Rob had taken a couple of beats and given up. I took Rob's seat (9) while Carlo remained in seat 5. Next to Carlo was a loud guy named Ron wearing a new Jet's jersey. On my second or third hand, I picked up pocket Kings. I had a few limpers to me and I raised. It was called in a couple of places, including by Ron in the big blind. Then Carlo does something strange and reraises from under the gun. It's called by everyone between us and I cap it. So it's 5 ways for 4 bets a piece before the flop.

The flop is J-6-2. Carlo leads out after Ron checks. It's called in a couple spots and I of course raise. Ron calls 2, Carlo calls, and the other two call as well. The turn is a blank and they all check to me. I bet and Ron and Carlo call. The river is a 5 which looks harmless. Ron blurts out that, "I think I caught you" and bets 6. Carlo finally gives up and I make the crying call into the humongous pot. Ron turns over 5-2 and wins with two pair. Ouch my balls hurt!

Now Ron admits that he is playing crappy cards and mentions that I want him to play that way. I respond by saying that I may buy him a lunch to make sure he doesn't leave with all my money.

A few hands later, Ron does it to me again with the 2-5 and beats me on the river for a medium sized pot.

Now in between, I manage to win a couple of pots, so I am still up $20 in spite of everything.

Then I go and lose when I flop a set of 5's and my opponent had flopped a set of 7's. Followed by rivering a King high flush, to lose to the old man's full house on my right.

I make a quick comeback when I win a big pot with Ace-King. The very next hand, I pick up Ace-King again. This time Carlo is coming along for the ride. I flop an Ace again and Carlo check calls my bet. The turn is an innocuous 8. This time Carlo leads out. My radar is up and I think Carlo may have turned two pair. But I also saw him screwing around by limp-reraising King-Jack offsuit. I can't help myself and I raise. Carlo calls and we see the river. It completes a low 4 card straight. One of the players who folded on the flop makes a gesture of frustration which obviously means he folded the card that would have made the straight. Carlo checks and once again I bet. Carlo is nice to me and just calls and rolls over 8-3 for two pair. This game is so rigged!

So I was ahead for one hand and just lost it all back in the very next hand.

Carlo is up $50 and ready to leave the casino. He starts trying to talk me into playing $50 worth of slots with him. I say no at first, but eventually give in. Carlo leads me to the "Deal or No Deal" slots. We pump in $100 and play as a team. Carlo says the key is to get the briefcase bonus. When you hit that, you get to play Deal or No Deal on the video screen for a grand prize amount determined by your spin.

It took us about 10 spins before we hit the briefcase and got to play. Our first offer was $65. We said no deal and we opened a couple of medium sized cases, but our offer went up to $135. Nowwe had the $500 case and 4 other cases all under $50. Since there was a 1 out of 5 chance that we would select a low case, we declined the deal.

Now I realize that the Expected Value in this game is to add up the remaining cases and divide by the number of cases. However, I was there to gamble and not to explain to Carlo how the math would work. We said, "No Deal" and because I am running so good, the computer picked the $500 case and knocked our deal down to $35. We dejectedly took the deal and moved to a different Deal or No Deal machine.

We put our $90 into the new machine and started again. This time we hit the spin wheels right and won $200! So amazingly enough, after splitting the winnings, I finished the day up $3!

That's right after all those bad breaks and getting beat by 8-3 and 5-2 twice, I still managed leave with $3 of profit. Maybe I run better than I thought?

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