Monday, February 15, 2010

The Golf Challenge Starts for 2010

My friend Bill has been troubled by a bad back for the last few months. He has had a series of shots, x-rays, mri's, and even a bone scan to try and figure out what is wrong. Finally they have settled on a diagnosis of arthritis in his Sacro Iliac Joint. Bottom line is that playing golf will not make it worse, so Bill is going to have to figure out a way to manage the pain.

He started doing his physical therapy exercises every day for the last two weeks and it started to feel better. So good in fact that he was ready to get out on the golf course again.

I have been enrolled in the Club's Match Play Championship. It is a handicapped event and I won my first match a couple of weeks ago. My next match was against Zane who happened to knock me out of this very tournament last year.

I played my match with Zane last Saturday. Bill was ready to come out and play as well. I told Bill that I did not want to start our series at the same time as I was playing Zane because that would be too much to think about on the course. Bill felt pretty good on the range and asked me to reconsider. I tried to be nice and give him a practice round, but I figured I might as well take advantage of his rustiness.

We started on the back nine of Phoenix Country Club which is definitely the harder of the two nines. We all played horrible on our first 9 holes. Zane is an 8 handicap, I am a 9, and Bill is a 7. We shot 46, 45, and 44 respectively. I was hitting the ball decently but making silly mental errors and my putting was atrocious.

Somehow I was still one up on Zane making the turn and only one stroke behind Bill. My bad play continued on holes #1,2, and 3 which I played in 3 over par. Somehow Zane did not make up any ground and Bill double bogeyed #3 which now gave me a one stroke lead.

The momentum of the round changed on #4. I hit a solid drive and had a small dilemna on my second shot. The pin was back right and anything over the green makes bogey or worse for sure. I was in between clubs and decided to go with the shorter one. As is usually the case when you go with the short club, you don't hit it pure and my shot barely made it to the front of the green. Now I have a long 45 foot putt over a hill in the middle of the green. Zane is in birdie range, and Bill is in the middle of the green.

I hit my putt on a good line but too firmly and it rolled past the pin and 10 feet by and just off the green. I was still away. I decided to use the putter again and this time I got lucky and made the putt for a miracle par! Zane missed his birdie putt and made par as did Bill.

For the next 5 holes I played great golf and played them in one under par with two birdies. The last birdie came on #9 when I hit the pin from the fairway and the ball stopped 2 feet from the pin. Bill continued to play badly and played the next 5 holes in 5 over par. I closed Zane out 2 up with one to play after I sank a 30 footer on #8 (our 17th hole) for par.

While Bill and I were playing, we trying to decide on what the bet shouuld be over our 10 round challenge. Last year I lost $500. This year we pretty much decided to play for pride with the added wrinkle that we would keep track of our cumulative scores. For every stroke that I win by, he would owe me $5. Vice versa is also true. So our first round was 83 for me and 90 for Bill so I am up $35.

As for poker, I have been on a hot streak of late. The account is up to $5,200 due to a couple of good runs on Full Tilt's Rush Poker and a 5 for 5 set last night on Pokerstars Double or Nothing Sit and Go's.

Today is President's Day and a holiday for me. My Mom and Dad are coming over to watch Jake and I am going to try my luck at the afternoon tournament at Casino Arizona. We'll see how long I can ride this streak.

Friday, February 05, 2010

New Bankroll Management for 2010

I made a new goal for myself in 2010.

In the past I have been trying to win money to move up in stakes. I guess eventually I thought I would get to a level where the income would be useful and I would feel like a bit of a bigshot.

Well I am giving up on that goal for at least a year. I added a couple hundred dollars to the bankroll to top it out at $5,000. For 2010, every month I will add up the bankroll and if it is above $5,000, I will take out the additional money and spend it on fun things.

I came to this decision over a long period of time. It comes down to a few reasons. One is that if I never take money out of the site, I might as well be playing with fake money. Secondly, the $5,000 stake is large enough to comfortably play .50-1 PLO and $1-$2 No Limit. I have some trouble being a profitable player at these levels, let alone anything higher. Until the UIGEA gets over turned, I think the games are going to continue to get more difficult and it will be tough for me to improve my game fast enough to move up in stakes. The third reason is that I would like to update my iron set of golf clubs including my wedges. I bought my Callaway X-16's with my poker winnings from Party Poker in 2004 and I would like to see if I could pull it off again.

January was my first month under the new plan. It did not go well as I ended the month down a little over $200. The majority of the losing came at PLO as I have been playing like ass over the last 2 weeks.

I am reading the new book from William Jockush on PLO and I am really having a hard time implementing the ideas. Plus I keep getting the feeling that I am getting pushed out of my medium strength hands, and every time I pick up the nuts I never seem to get any action.

I may just go back to grinding away at the Double or Nothing SNG's at Poker Stars again to inflate my cash balance.