Wednesday, April 23, 2008

La Pura Vida

Costa Rica was good times. Lots of great food, beautiful scenery, tropical animals, swimming at the pool, chilling at the beach, hiking through the forests, zip-lining, seeing volcanoes etc etc. I'll let the pics do most of the talking:

Crocodiles under a bridge we crossed during the drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio

View from the Balcony of my hotel room.

Beach at Manuel Antonio State Park

Me getting ready to go on a huge zip-line over a river in the jungle about 40 minutes outside of Quepos (small town inland less than 5 miles from Manuel Antonio).

Standing under a waterfall we hiked to after zip-lining. I'm a pasty dude.

Sunset at the restaurant (and pool) where we ate dinner at the last night at Manuel Antonio.

Acidic lake in crater of Poas Volcano that we visited on the last morning before heading to the airport.

and the cool bonus: While zip lining our guide offered to take a video of one of the "flights". I had just gone (next to last) and he was brining up the rear as he always did. He took my camera and recorded his ride and I it turned out great. Needless to say that trip was quite a rush, and I pretty much had to share. We were at least 400 feet over the river in that shot, but we might have been more at the highest point.

anyway here it is:

thats all for now. Poker is going great this month. I'm running super hot and killing it at NL400. I'm sure the downswing is on its way ;-) I'll update with poker stuff and some hands later.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

LOL Spring Training-aments

So I had an informal workout with the pitching coaches for Nashua and Worcester of the Can-Am League yesterday. Originally there was going to be a tryout today, but it was cancelled due to bad weather. Instead they had about 20 guys (2 OFs, 3 Cs, and 15 pitchers) workout at the stadium in Worcester informally. I thought I threw so-so, but at the end of the workout they asked me and 3 other pitchers to come back at 9:30AM this morning for a separate workout just for the Worcester coaches. The Nashua coach also seemed interested in me and asked a few questions about where I played last year as well as all of my contact info.

This morning I threw another bullpen to the manager Rich Geddy (sp?) and felt I threw much better. I had a lot better fastball location, my splitter had some good sharp movement, and my change-up was also good. Overall I felt really good about my pen, and after I finished throwing their pitching coach invited me to spring training with their team next month (sweet!!!!!!!!!).

Basically they will be putting me up in a hotel for about 9 days or so and I'll be working out with the rest of the team at spring training. If things go well and I earn a job I'll be playing in the Can-Am League this summer. Obviously I still have another step to go, but making the training camp was an accomplishment and really validated all of the work I have put in the last year and a half.

Another funny thing was that after I finished my pen the pitching coach mentioned that my motion really looks conducive to a slider (I'm currently throwing fastball, splitter, and changeup). The slider was my best pitch (and fairly devastating imo) for all of high school and 3 years in college. It wasn't until my senior year when my coaches were trying to change some of my mechanics that I started struggling with it. I then had a Rick Ankiel like senior year where I just couldn't throw a slider at all (it was really bad). So I picked up the splitty about 12 months ago so I would have something off speed to throw in the Boston Park League last summer, and it has been pretty effective in the last year. I know both teams were interested in the split finger because during my bullpen yesterday the first one I threw woke up all of the coaches from their casual conversation. All of a sudden the Nashua pitching coach was asking me what I was throwing and taking notes.

But Worcester's (pronounced Wuster for you non-Bostonians like myself) pitching coach thinks we could work on it and a get a slider back next month. I'm certainly excited about the prospect.

So baseball is going well, and I'm pumped that I could be playing pro-ball this summer. Also poker is going well this month. I'm mostly playing NL, as I've gotten really comfortable 8-tabling 400NL 6max on Full Tilt. My hourly is so much higher in NL (compared to 10/20 and 15/30 6max LHE) and the variance is so much smaller that I'm having trouble justifying playing LHE. Obviously most smart players made this jump a few years ago, but I wasn't playing pro then so I obviously played what I found to be more fun. And I still love limit, I just need to make more money after last month's lousy run so I'm going to play mostly NL this month. Maybe the limit games will get more juicy this summer and I'll mix more in.

Also going to Costa Rica on wednesday (16th) for 6 days. So that should be exciting. Probably won't be blogging much while I'm gone, but I'm going to take the laptop so I'll likely be playing some poker and might get up a blog while I'm away.

Life is good right now, and I'm going to go have a beer and enjoy my evening. Hope you are having a great saturday too, and thanks for reading.



Saturday, April 5, 2008

still offering coaching

so I ran horribly at the end of last month and honestly just didn't feel like blogging. It was my worst downswing in 12 months, and at one point I had dropped about 9k in about 8,000 hands. I ended up battling back so I was barely made some money last month, but needless to say it was a rough way to end the month. With taxes coming up, and needing to make some cash outs to pay the IRS I am certainly glad that I play well overrolled. I was able to make significant cash outs 5 times in the last three months, take a vacation, run horribly for an entire month, and I'm still more than over-rolled for the games I'm playing. All I can say is if you ever plan on playing poker full time make sure you keep your bills paid ahead of time, and keep more bankroll then you think you'll ever need, because you just might need it some day. That is if you don't want to have to drop stakes and have to grind like a maniac to get back into your usual games.

Poker also started off rough this month. After having a nice couple of session to start the month I had the worst session of my pro career two nights ago. I dropped $5.5k in 950 hands. The good news is that I can honestly say I didn't tilt, and I think I played well for the most part. I would say I made some bad mistakes that probably cost me 5-10BB, but that isn't that bad when you consider I lost 150BB on the less than 1,000 hands!!!!! The frustrating thing is that I had great seats in great games with huge fish on my direct right. I just couldn't pick up or win a hand the whole time. It was just one massive beatdown. Unfortunately that concluded my shot taking at 30/60 for the most part. Until the end of this month I likely just won't have a big enough bankroll to feel comfortable.

But I've battled back, made back some money playing LHE and also played and run well at 2/4NL. I'm now pretty comfortable 8-tabling 6max NL 2/4, and I've had good result over my last 10k hands. So I'm back in the black this month, and I'm on pace to grind out more hands this month than I ever have before.

All of that poker stuff out of the way....I'm really excited that I have tryouts this week. On friday I'm trying out for three teams in the CANAM Independent Professional Baseball League. Originally I had planned on travelling to Bridgeport CT tomorrow to tryout for the Bluefish, but I ran into some scheduling issues. The Bluefish play a 150 game schedule and start at the end of April. Because of my trip to Costa Rica that I am taking in 10 days I wouldn't be able to practice with the team or find an apartment before their season start. Plus I'm not sure how much they were really looking for more players. I decided that I wasn't sure if I really wanted to join up with their club had they shown interest in me, so it just didn't make sense to spend all day tomorrow going down and back and paying the cost to tryout. I'm much more excited to tryout for the teams this week, and I'm really hoping that I have a good showing and someone will have some interest in me.

One final thing. We decided to shutdown the coaching forum over at CT because we simply weren't getting enough interest in order to keep it up. That being said I've had a surprising (in my opinion) amount of interest from people about coaching, and I plan on continuing to coach for those interested. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of my sessions, and I really think my clients have been both great to work with and very good poker players.

So if you have been looking for a NL or LHE cash game coach for mid-small stakes please contact me via email or by posting on this blog. I'll get in touch and we can discuss what I can do to help improve your game. I honestly think that I give more value/$ than most coaches you'll find and I think my clients all agree that I've been able to help their game.


next post to have some more fun poker hands and strategy thoughts. thanks for reading