Sunday, March 01, 2009

Home Poker Tournament and Golf Bet

I was invited to a home poker tournament held by one of my clients in Scottsdale. He managed to get two tables full of friends and friends of friends.

The details of the night are a little fuzzy for me because I had just got back from a 5 day vacation in Cabo San Lucas and I was a bit frazzled after traveling with my wife and 2 year old.

My client, Bill was nice enough to just deal and not actually play. I have a feeling after watching the play of the others at the table that he will want to play next time. Most of the players at my table were not very experienced. In fact one time, a player in a hand with me made the nuts on the river. I bet into him ( I obviously did not know he had the nut flush) hoping to get value from my two pair and he just called! I did not want to embarrass him by asking him about it in front of the others, but I was really curious to know what he was thinking.

These types of tables are really a weakness in my game. The type of player that is loose passive and never raises is my krytponite. The problem is that I never know where I am at in the hand. Especially if there are two or three others in the hand. I'm sure the solution is to play tight in early and middle position and play nearly any two cards on the button if it is not raised. Then just sit back and wait to make a strong hand and value bet the hell out of it.

Unfortunately for me, I did not make the adjustment fast enough and never accumulated a decent amount of chips. I went out in 11th place when I turned two pair but ran into a player who had slow played a higher two pair that he had hit on the flop.

It will be interesting to see if Bill manages to put together this game on a regular basis.

As for golf, the carnage continues. I played twice in Cabo San Lucas at a beautiful course on the Ocean called Cabo Real. I shot 87 and 88. I saw some further progress in my swing changes, but the course was hard and it was new to me, which is a bad combination if you are hoping to score well.

I felt confident coming into my match with Bill today even though I was down 3.5 to 2.5. My goal was to fully commit to each shot. That is sometimes hard to do when making a swing change.

The bad news for me was that I started out horribly. I bogeyed the first hole when I airmailed my approach shot and then hit my pitch shot over the green and into the bunker. On the second hole, I hit the lake while Billy birdied it. Right off the bat I was down 3 strokes.

I played better the rest of the round, but lots of little things were not going my way. I missed a couple of easy putts under 5 feet, I hit the big tree in the fairway on 14 and it richocheted all the way across the fairway and behind another tree. In the mean time, on the few occasions that Bill hit some shots off line, he managed to find good lies or clear lines to the green.

The match was basically over by 15th hole. Bill had a six stroke lead and was playing very well. He hit a great sand shot off of a downhill lie on 16 and saved par. He had a small hiccup on 17 when he found the lake with his second shot, but he came back strong and birdied 18 to shoot 77. I shot a back nine of 39 to shoot 82 and he was never threatened.

So now I have to win three in a row to save the $500 bet. I feel like I am improving every time out, but it just has not been fast enough. Luckily there will be a 3 or 4 week break in our series as Bill has some busy weekends coming up. Hopefully this will give me a chance to improve my putting and gain more confidence in my new swing. I just want to make sure that Bill has to play as well as he did today to take my money before it's all over.

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