Wednesday, November 30, 2016

50th Golf Course

Since I've started playing golf, I've been keeping track of all the different courses played.  I've played few courses many times that were near my home or work.  Last week, I played my 50th different course.  It took me 13 years but I finally did it.

The 50th golf course played is called Renditions.  Renditions features replicas of holes from major championship venues giving the average golfer a grand slam like experience.

First three holes are replicas of U.S. Open or PGA Championship courses.  The next two holes come from The Open Championship and then it's the three holes from the Amen Corner at The Masters.

I played with my buddy who was in the area for work.  On the front nine, I didn't shoot well.  But, we were enjoying the warm November day riding around and having beers.

My favorite hole was #13 which is a replica of the TPC Sawgrass #17 also known as the Island Green.  I ended up parring the hole!  It made my day.  I've watched pros play the real hole many times and hit it in the water.  For a moment, it felt like I was in Florida playing the Players Championship on a Sunday.  Here are a few photos from that afternoon. 

Amen Corner #11
Amen Corner #12
Island Green
On the tee box on #13
Safely onto the green!
50 down and 50 to go!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Poker Vlog Burnout

Recently there has been an explosion of poker players starting vlogs (video blogs) on YouTube.  The way I found out about it all was thanks to a post by PPP.  He mentioned that he enjoyed TheTrooper97 vlog.

I went to YouTube and checked it out.  Tim was doing something I hadn't seen before.  He was recording his daily life in Vegas playing poker and publishing it for the world to see.

From there, I slowly found more poker players sharing their stories.  Here is a list of the ones I've been watching when I have free time:

There are many more and the list keeps growing.  I wonder if TBC will ever enter into the poker vlog arena.  There is money to be made if the content is appealing to enough people.

I am getting to a point where I follow too many poker vlogs.  Might be time to start filtering them out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

10,10 and A,K

It's been a while since I posted a poker hand or two.  I found the following two hands in my phone that I can share with the poker audience.

I sit down in seat 7 with $200.  On the third orbit, I get dealt 10,10.  In early position, I lead out for $10.  Seat 8, seat 2, and seat 3 call.  Flop is 10,J,3 rainbow.  I check, seat 8 bets $17.  Two calls before it gets back to me.  Pot is about $90 and I raise to $40.

Would you have played it differently?

Update: November 25, 2016

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this hand.  The table was playing tight.  I bet $10 instead of $12 or $15 due to that.  When the flop gives me a set, I assume I'm way ahead.  First to act, I check and expect one of the other three players that connected (or is in position) to put out a bet.  Seat 8 bets $17.  I was surprised to see the other two guys call.  Maybe they thought seat 8 was just taking a stab at it.  When it gets back to me, I consider the size of the pot and want to make a small raise to bring at least one of the opponents along.  I thought seat 8 would be the most likely caller.  With a raise, worst case scenario, I take it down right there.  To my surprise, they all folded!     

Two orbits later, I get dealt A,K on the button.  Seat 6 bets $10.  I call and so does seat 8 in the SB.  The flop is A,7,6 rainbow.  Seat 8 leads out for $15 and I'm the only caller.  The turn is a 10, he bets $25 and I call.  The river is a 10 and he bets $35.  I'm thinking that he has an ace.  His river bet is kind of small and it gives the strength of his hand away.  I like the 10 on the river a lot.  If he has A,x then some of the time it is A,6 or A,7.  The 10 on the river counterfeits him.  I raise to $90.

How would you have played it?

Update: November 25, 2016

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this hand.  I just called on every street until the river because I wasn't sure A,K was good.  10 pairing the board changed everything.  He bet $35 into $100.  This was the point where I put all the pieces together.  To me, his bet smelled like an ace.  If he had A,x and not A,10 then I was good or we chop.  He called and showed A,7!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

2016 Election Results

There are a lot of upset people going around complaining about the results of the presidential election.  They point out how Hillary got the most votes but not enough electoral votes to beat Donald.

I am registered as an independent.  I've voted for Republicans and I've voted for Democrats in previous elections.  I am not a fan of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  I would have been happier if other individuals faced off this past Tuesday.

Since we can't change history, let's get back to the story.  I went and voted.  If the ballot only had the question about picking the next president, I probably would have stayed home.  Luckily, there were plenty of other questions on the ballot that made me go to the polls.

I'm sure you are eager to find out who got my vote and the privilege to spend the next four years in the White House.  In a way, I was asked to chose my "DMV neighbor" for the next four years.

Drum-roll, please...

I voted for a woman AND my candidate won!  That's right, my candidate will be moving into the White House in 2017!  It feels good to pick a winner.  With no further ado, I present to you a photo of my 2016 VA ballot:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Poker Curse Broken?

I finally got a chance to return to the red felt at MDL.  I exchanged two Benjamin Franklins for two black chips in the line in front of the cage.  As we all know, I've had a superstition that I can't win when playing upstairs.  It was no surprise that they sent me to the second floor with my two chips in hand.  I got situated in seat 9 and prepared for the grind.

Orbit 1: no hands

Orbit 2: I lost $20 total with 8,9 when I caught two pair on the river versus a guy who had 8,10 and caught a straight on the river.

Orbit 3: no hands 

Orbit 4: won four blinds on the flop with top pair top kicker

Orbit 5: no hands

Orbit 6: no hands 

Orbit 7: I had 6,9 and three of us saw the flop with two hearts.  I called a $10 bet and so did the other guy.  Turn was a blank.  We both called a $15 bet.  The river brought the third .  I bet $40 and got one caller who had trips. 

Orbit 8: no hands 

Orbit 9: I got dealt 2,10 in the BB and we saw 2,4,4 on the flop.  I called $7 and the turn was 2.  It was checked around.  The river was 10 and he bet $10.  I raised to $20, he called and then mucked.

Orbit 10: no hands 

Orbit 11: I reconnected with my two old friends, A and A.  I thought what would TPM and Rob do and bet $12.  Only the short stacked SB called.  The flop was 8,8,4 and he went all-in for $45.  I called and asked if he had an 8.  He shook his head.  I flip over the pocket rockets, he mucked after the river and then left.

Orbit 12: I lost $15 after calling a straddle and then a raise to $15 in a multi-way pot.  Flop was no good.

Orbit 13:

This brings us to the hand of the night.  I'm in the BB, about $300 behind, with 4,6.  I see a flop with the SB and the button.  Flop is 7,6,7 and it's checked to the button who is $200 behind.  He bets $10 and we both call.  The turn is 5.  I lead out for $20 and the button makes it $60.  The SB gets out of the way.

I took some time to make my decision.  At this point, I am thinking he has 7,x or a straight.  I have two outs to the nuts and seven more to a flush (he might be blocking one of them if he has 7,x that would give him a full house).  Also, there was a high hand promo going on worth $500.  I decided to call the raise and then check the river.  The river was a beautiful 3!  Time to reevaluate my options.

First to act, I had to decide how much to bet.  I decide to not to put him all-in and bet $100.  He called and folded saying he had a full house.

The dealer called the floor to verify the high hand.  There were 12 minutes left but my hand didn't stand for two minutes! Someone else got a 10 high straight flush and the $500.

I cashed out $450 few orbits later.  I got very lucky to win the hand but unlucky on the promo.  Which leaves me wondering if the second floor curse is broken.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Golf Trip: Part 2

In the last post, we left off as the sun was setting on Roanoke.  The group chose Fortunato, an Italian restaurant in downtown, for dinner.  The atmosphere was enjoyable and the food was decent.

Next, it was time to pay-up the lost golf bet and have some drinks.  The first bar had plenty of TVs for sports watching and it also had a live band that played sporadically.  The drinks on the chalkboard above the bar were cheap (compared to DC) and we tried many of them.  My brother and I were at the bar, having drinks, catching up, and watching the Cubs wrap-up the NLCS.  Goose and Maverick were at the other end of the bar conversing with a couple of local females.

After the baseball game ended, the six of us headed down the street to a more lively drinking establishment.  It was a country bar with a live band and a dance floor full of cowboy/cowgirl boots, hats, and plaid shirts.  A round of beers was in order after a line dance performance to the Cupid Shuffle song.  It was a fun night but let's fast-forward to Sunday and another golf battle.

As the dew was lifting from the fairways and greens, the foursome was on the first tee box at the Blue Hills golf club.  The greens were in excellent condition and the two teams managed three birdies through 8 holes.

The scenery was great (see photos below) and the temperature reached 70 degrees on a clear sunny day.  Team Tennessee pulled away on the back nine and secured the win.  Afterwards, we all went for lunch and watched the ending of the one o'clock NFL games.  The boys weekend was coming to an end.  A rematch was in store; but for now, we headed in the opposite directions on I-81.

Overall, it was an enjoyable weekend and it was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. 


Spectacular Greens

A Green "Carpet"

Blue Ridge Mountains from Afar

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Golf Trip: Part 1

The days are getting shorter and the cold nights are on the doorstep.  For the past six months, the leafs on the trees looked down on us with superiority.  But, as they descend down to the ground, it is our turn to feel tall and mighty.  All is not lost yet. The sun still graces us with enough warmth to draw us outside for few hours on the weekends.

It won’t be long before we’ll be sitting indoors staring out the window wishing the fall lasted a little longer or for the winter to pass quickly.  With that in mind, two young gentlemen in Tennessee headed northeast towards Roanoke to the valley beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains.  At the same time, the opposing team from DC headed west to I-66 and from there, down I-81.

At high noon on Saturday, they arrived at the Hanging Rock golf club.  The four gentlemen greeted each other and spent an hour in the clubhouse catching up.  With the carts packed with as many beers as golf balls, it was time to get down to business.  The sun was out but the wind was strong and in charge.  It didn’t stop the lads from enjoying the day.

The name of the game was Two-Man Scramble.   Team Tennessee got out to a fast start and through six holes was up 5.  They finished the front 9 with a commanding lead, up 4.  The highlight of the day came on hole 14 which has two separate (but equal) greens.  The tee shot is down the hill into the fairway. From the fairway you can either play a second shot up the hill and onto a green OR play a shot across a pond and onto another green.  On the tee box, the teams agreed to play the more challenging green across the water. Team DC got a par and won the hole!

It was a close fight and the lead was down to 2 with three holes to play.  But, the Tennessee boys managed to eke out ties on holes 16 and 17.  They wrapped up the win with a long putt on 18.

Team Tennessee was ecstatic to win a round of drinks and a meal. They were quiet rowdy in the lobby of the hotel during the check-in after the round.  After a two hour break, it was time to head to dinner and check out the bars in downtown Roanoke.

Par 3 Green Way Down the Hill

Hole 14 Water Green
The Crew