Thursday, April 23, 2009

State Team Matches/Random Poker

Well as I stated in my last blog post, my club Baltimore Country Club (BCC), was the only club not to play it's second round match in the MD State Team Matches 2 weeks ago. That meant we had to play the second round match at 8 am last Saturday with the winner playing the third round that afternoon at 2. So off I went to Rolling Road (second round opponent) early Sat morning. I had played Friday but had been rather pedestrian (i.e. I sucked ass) in that round so wasn't sure what to expect. Well I came out and really played well. I actually made 6 birdies in the first 11 holes (haven't gone on a barrage like that in some time) and we just routed our opponents. In fact, the whole team crushed and we won 14-4 or something like that.

So we jumped in the car and high tailed it up to Hunt Valley for the third round match. Again I was very solid and my partner picked me up where I needed it and we won the front nine 1 up for the full point. Our assistant captain came up to me on the 14th hole and said we had to get all 3 points (1 for front, 1 for back and 1 for overall) or we were in trouble. Fortunately my partner had birdied the par 4 13th to put us 1 up on the back and 2 up overall. 15 was a ~550ish par 5 and I laid up to ~125. With a bit of a breeze in the face I decided to punch a 9 iron and hit it about 12 feet. At this point a few people had shown up to watch us finish so that always gets the juices flowing. Both opponents missed birdie putts and I knew if I could make this we would be in very good shape for the three points. Well I stroked it pure and it was in the whole way. Then on 16 (a shortish par 4 ~400 yds). I again hit a punch 9 iron and made about a 15 footer to close out the match and all three points. On the day in 31 holes I made 10 birdies and my partner kicked in 5 more. Haven't had a good run like that since who knows when. Hope it is a sign of things to come this summer. Team ended up winning 10.5-7.5.

Those two wins put us in the quarterfinals on Sunday against Towson GCC. They have picked up a few young players of late and have become a good strong team. Not sure if it was the 36 we had to play on Saturday or what but the team seemed flat. My partner and I actually lost 1 down on the front and 1 down on the back for a 3-0 sweep. Our defending champion and team captain also lost all 3 points. That is a recipe for trouble and we ended up losing 10.5-7.5 in a disappointing upset. My partner and I didn't play poorly we just never really put enough pressure on our opponents and didn't make the putts like the day before. We were actually 1 up early on both sides and just couldn't close the deal.

My tournaments for May are as follows:

May 4 MSGA Am and Open Qualifier (fortunately haven't had to do this qualifier in a while)
May 16-17 Baltimore Two Man

Starting to work on my game to get ready. Also been back in the gym as I have gotten out of shape over the last 3-4 months.

Also been able to put a little time in with poker. In fact, on Wednesday i stayed home in the morning and played a bunch of stuff. Went deep in a $33 Omaha Hi-Low event on Stars before busting 4th (~125 started I think). Key hand was a hand where I had A2K8 with the K suited 4 handed. Blinds were 2.5k-5k and I opened to 14k. Guy on my left 3 bet me for full pot. He only has about 20k behind and I have about 90k to start the hand. He had three bet me a few times before and I had folded each time. This time I decided to stand up and shipped over him. He called and showed a AA-high only hand. Flop came two small and two spades (my k2 were spades). Turn was a blank and river paired the board so I missed. That hand hurt me and left me with ~25k in chips on the short stack. I hung around for a few orbits but ultimately stuck it in on an uncoordinated flop with one pair and a weak low draw. Unfortunately, the BB called and showed a flopped set with a better low draw and I was out.

I also went deep in the Stars 70k guarantee last week ultimately busting 40th (~1300 started). I was somewhat short (probably 8 BB in the BB). Shipped it in with an up and down str8 draw and two overs on the flop but missed.

Been playing some satellites for FTOPS (which starts in early May) and for the WSOP on Stars. I actually have made it to Step 5 in the Stars Step program. In fact, last night I was all in preflop with 66 vs. 55 for a Step 6 ticket (Step 6 is the final Step where the WSOP seats are won). Obviously the other guy spiked a 5 on the river so I didn't get the ticket. But I got a replay ticket for Step 5 and will try again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15

Well the day is finally here. Last 3 weeks or so have been basically a blur. Was a good year business wise but it gets harder and harder to grind it out every year.

Now that the craziness is behind us I have a lot of good stuff to come. For one I actually get to eat a meal with my family, put the kids to bed, etc. My kids are good about it but I'm sure they don't really understand why I am at the office so much this time of year. Luckily the weather here has been hideous so not really a lot to do outside, etc. up until now.

Golf will kick wight into gear this weekend as well. I am playing a guest day on Friday with a buddy of mine. Then Saturday we have our MD State Team Match to make up from last Saturday when it poured all day. Somehow we were the only ones to not play. So we have to play a match at 8 a.m. then the winner of that match will play again that afternoon at 2 p.m. If we win both matches we would play the MD State Quarterfinals on Sunday. Lots of golf potentially this weekend.

Poker will also be taking up a bit more of my time. I am going to take it easy here for the next week or so and just play some tournaments and fun stuff. After that I am going to start grinding high volume sit and go's to try and start really building up my bankroll before the May version of FTOPS and, of course, the WSOP in June. More on this later.

Finally, since my head has been buried I missed one of my favorite bands in concert in DC last week-Death Cab for Cutie. Here is a video of probably my favorite song by them if you are unfamiliar:

And here is another of my favorite songs by these guys:

Finally if this sounds good, the lead singer of the band did a side project called THe Postal Service. This was a one album band and it is more electronic than DC4C. Wish they would do another. Here is the best song from that LP (you've probably heard the intro in a few commercials including, ironically enough, a UPS whiteboard commercial currently running) This song has also been covered by a number of other bands: