Saturday, May 26, 2018

A Week to Remember

Three things happened this week that make it a memorable one.  A great achievement on the golf course, the Washington Capitals making it to the Stanley Cup Final, and receiving a surprise from a package that arrived.

I played a round of golf with a buddy at the beautiful Pleasant Valley Golf Club in Virginia.  The course was in great shape.  But that's not all.  I had a heck of a round.  To be more specific, the first 12 holes were the best I've ever put together on a course of this length.

We played from the blue tees which measured 6,500 yards.

Hole 1: I hit a good drive that was five yards left of the fairway and near the cart path.  There were some evergreen trees but the ball cleared them and I was left with an open second shot.  I hit the green and two-putted for a par.

Hole 2: I hit another good drive but my second shot was short.  I hit a great sand wedge close to the hole and one putted for a par.

Hole 3: My drive sailed right and just off the cart path.  Luckily, I had an open second shot.  My second and third shots were decent but I was left with another chip shot.  I two-putted for a bogey.

Hole 4: On this par 3, my tee shot was right and short of the green.  I chipped onto the green and left myself a short par putt.  I made it to save par.

Hole 5: I continued to drive the ball into the fairway from the tee.  My second shot with a three wood was straight.  I pitched onto the green and two putted for par.

Hole 6: This hole was a bit uphill and the wind was going against me.  My drive found the fairway but my second shot was short of the green.  I had my first bad chip of the round and left the ball short of the green again.  From there, I needed three shots and finished with a double bogey.

Hole 7: A very intimidating 170 yard par 3 with the green across a pond.  I swung hard to get the ball through the wind and across the water.  The ball landed pin high near the left edge of the green.  My long putt curled in for a birdie!

Hole 8: Another par 4 and into the wind.  I found the fairway again but left my second shot short of the green.  I chipped on and two-putted for a bogey.

Hole 9: A short 305 yard par 4, I hit a solid drive into the wind.  I found my ball in the fairway and 95 yards from the hole.  I landed my shot 10 feet from the pin.  I almost birdied the hole but settled for an easy par.

And with that, I carded a 39 on a par 36!  My buddy couldn't believe how well I was playing.  I was happily surprised myself.  This was my first time breaking 40 on a par 36.  I was so pumped that I left two clubs next to the green and walked off initially.  We stopped by the clubhouse before starting the back nine.

I started the back nine with a bogey on a par 5 and saved par on a par 3.  On the next hole, I hit one of the best shots.  From 220-230 yards out, I hit my 3 wood onto the green.  I made the putt for birdie.  Here I was two-thirds thru the round and only 3 over. &nbspUnfortunately, I proceeded to bogey, double bogey, and fell apart on the last six holes.  I didn't break 80 but let's not let that get in the way of my accomplishment, a 39 on a par 36!

Let's move on to another sport, hockey.  I didn't follow any MLB or NHL teams while living in Tennessee.  Once I moved here, I started paying attention to the Nationals and the Capitals.  It didn't hurt that both teams were making the playoffs regularly.
Wednesday night I went town to Chinatown, right next to the Capital One Arena, to watch game seven between the Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning.  A group of us met at the Yard House sports bar to watch the game.

One minute into the game the Caps scored!  Everyone went wild.  The good times kept on rolling and a 4-0 victory secured a spot in the Stanley Cup Final.  For the first time in twenty years, a DC NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL team will be playing for a championship.  Afterwards, the fans gathered outside to celebrate.  It was great.

And lastly, I received a pleasant surprise from a package that was delivered this week.  Since this post is getting way too long, I'll write a separate story about it in June.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Update

Today's post is about two rounds of golf and one poker hand.  One round was played before the five straight days of rain we had and the other round was played today.  The poker hand comes from a PokeStars tournament I saw on the PokerStaples YouTube channel.

Few months ago, I found out that a new coworker of mine is a scratch golfer!  Two weeks ago, we finally got a chance to play a round together.  We played at Oak Creek golf club which is about 15 miles from DC.  It is a nice course.  He had not played there before.  He usually plays from the tips (around 7,000 yards) and I usually play from the 6,000 yards tees.  We settled on playing from the blue tees which were 6,500 yards.

He had some trouble with hitting it thru the fairway since we didn't know the yardage.  He ended up shooting +4 with two birdies.  I, on the other hand, had trouble with the course length.  I ended up shooting +20 which was not good.  The best part was a stretch of five holes (13th thru 17th) where I shot even par.  I had one birdie, one bogey, and three pars.  If it wasn't for the meltdown on the 18th, I would have carded a 41 on the back nine.  Oh well, the course was nice, the weather was perfect, and we had a good time.

Today's round was a disaster and most of the blame falls on the golf course.  Three of us played in Rockville at the RedGate golf course.  It should be called ShitGate.  It was our first and last time playing there.  The golf course was in terrible shape.  I don't think they have mowed the grass is weeks.  The fairways looked like a typical first cut of rough and the rough was almost unplayable.  The grass was at least six inches tall.  The greens were the slowest I've ever seen.  If a standard green grass length is 0.125 inches, these greens had grass that was three times longer.  I three-putted four times today.

Let's switch to tournament poker.  I saw this on YouTube yesterday and it is a very interesting hand.  It was from a PokerStars $109 online tournament Jaime Staples played in.  They were down to three players.  The payouts were $12,100 for first, $9,070 for second, and $6,800 for third.  Here is the hand:

I find the hand interesting because of the payouts and the strength of Jaime's hand.

If you are focusing on finishing second and getting $2,000 more than the third place, then betting every street versus the chip leader might not be the best move.  But if you are trying to win the tournament and earn $3,000 more than the second place, I would have moved all-in on the turn with a flopped set.

I feel like Mr. Staples wasn't sure which course of action he wanted to take until the river.  On the river, he opted to play it safe and check.  Checking seems like the worst option.  He makes it look like he is giving up.  Betting and folding to a raise appears like a better option.  Although after he checks and the chip leader moves all-in, folding does allow Jaime to still be left with about the same amount of chips as the third player at the table.

I don't mind the fold on the river if he thinks the flush got there.  But only a flush makes sense.  I think J-T would raise on the turn.  I don't think J-T would shove on the river after the third club hits the board.  Maybe the chip leader was pushing with A-x or maybe he was just representing a big hand after Jaime checked the river.

What do you think?  

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Reverse Fold

It's a great time of the year if you are a sports fan (which I am).  We have the NBA playoffs going on.  The Wizards are out as expected after they only managed to secure an 8th seed in the East.  The NHL playoffs are in full swing also.  The Capitals are in a tense battle versus the Penguins.  I don't know much about hockey but I do enjoy watching the playoffs.  The PGA Tour is in Charlotte at the Quail Hollow Club for the Wells Fargo Championship and Tiger is playing as we speak.  For you animal lovers, the Kentucky Derby horses will gallop in Louisville today.  The boxing fans will watch tonight as the unified middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin, steps into the ring, albeit not against the opponent they wanted to see.

Not to forget, the baseball season is underway as well.  Last night I went to the Nationals game against the Phillies.  It was a home run extravaganza.  Five home runs were hit in total!  We had to endure a rain delay but it was worth it as the Nats went on to win 7-3.

I haven't played poker (cash games) in almost two months.  Life got in the way.  I wrote about my last session here but I omitted one small detail because I wanted to write a separate post about it later on.  Here is what happened:

I'm all-in on the turn with A-A and the board runs out Q-9-4-J♠-2.  I turn over my pocket rockets and my opponent slowly folds by pushing his cards across the betting line (this room does not utilize the betting line).  As he reaches for his chips to equal my all-in bet on the turn, the dealer or someone else at the table says to the guy that a diamond wins the pot and asks him if he is sure he doesn't have a diamond.  After he puts out his chips, he reaches out for his cards and flips them over.  Sure enough, he doesn't have a diamond and shows J-K.  I have photos of the whole shenanigans.

Here is the question: what if my opponent did have a diamond but didn't realize it?  He goes on and folds his cards since, in his mind, he didn't hit a J, K, or a 10 for a straight.  Then, after being encouraged to flip over his folded cards, realizes that he has a diamond.  The dealer didn't muck his cards, so was his hand dead?

I would have called the floor for sure but I wonder what would have been the ruling on this reverse fold.