Tuesday, March 30, 2010

check out nxtwrldchmps blog: makin' moves

linked on the left. really good 6max player who has been dominating midstakes games for the last couple of years. he also recently got married. overall seems like one of the nicer guys on the 2p2 forums.

5.5k hands and it's good to be back at the tables

Got in two good sessions. Made just over 1.2k which I felt good about. Kept myself at only 2/4 and 3/6 until I felt comfortable with my game. It's the first time I've taken that much time away from the tables in over a year. I was a little concerned I would be rusty and making a lot of mistakes, but overall I think I was playing pretty good.

If you haven't already check out the link to doublefly's blog on the left sidebar. He writes a really funny and informative blog and updates very regularly. He also has different perspective than most online poker pros given that he's a little older, a little wiser, and has a lot more responsibilities (wife and kids).

I'm also going to be looking for other blogs to link so keep your eyes out for them. I'll try to add a brief description when I add something.

I know that's not much of an update but my brains a little fried right now and I need something to eat.

later

piz

Monday, March 29, 2010

Final Four

good to be back. Hopefully I can get around to writing a comprehensive breakdown of a saturday's and potentially monday's games. Going to be a busy week. After finally recovering from the flu yesterday we spent the evening with friends at a little engagement party. A couple of our closest friends organized the event and we had a fantastic time. It was a really special to have friends from all over Boston and different parts of our lives together at one dinner.

Tomorrow I hit the poker tables for the first time in about 10 days. I'm going to try and get in 5k hands or so and see how I feel. Also I need to wrap up my taxes before I head home on wednesday night for my sisters wedding. If I can get that taken care of I'll feel good about being so unproductive while sick last week.

Time to get some more sleep. I've been sleeping close to 12 hours a day the last few days and still feel tired all the time. The flu really takes a lot out of you.

later

jim

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

good weekend...until I got the flu

was having a great time in cali with my buddies until sunday morning when I woke up feeling like death. We had hit the town fairly hard on saturday, but I had actually come back a lot earlier than the rest and this definitely felt different. A couple of hours later I could tell something wasn't right and I was afraid it might be those dreaded 3 letters, flu.

I kept feeling worse and worse throughout the afternoon and finally texted katy the symptoms and she confirmed my fears. I looked into postponing my flight but the cost would have been absurd. I was able to get a separated seat so that noone had to sit directly beside me, and I took some nyquil directly before the flight so I didn't cough or sneeze the whole flight. I also don't feel that bad as there were at least 6 other people on that flight that were coughing and sneezing without any control for the entire 5 and half hours. At least I took as many precautions as possible to prevent spreading any germs to my fellow fliers.

I felt pretty horrible most of yesterday and as well as this morning when I woke up. But I was able to get a good 5 hours of sleep from 10am to 3pm today and I feel surprisingly better right now. I'm still definitely sick but I at least don't have a fever and the aches are considerably less. My throat is also almost stopped hurting and I'd say I have 1.5 nostrils worth of breathing going on.

anyway this has totally thrown a wrench into my schedule for the month. I'm going to really have to hit the tables hard next week as well as immediately get to work on my taxes. Especially considering katy and I will be out of town for 2 of the next 4 weekends. I'm also really frustrated because this is really going to set me back in terms of getting ready for the baseball season this summer.

hopefully I'll be feeling better in a couple of days and can get to work.

later

jim

Thursday, March 18, 2010

blogging in flight

on board virgin america right now. their wifi is awesome. typing while watching espn. now if I could just find out where the blugs are to plug in my laptop

my thoughts on the devils in the NCAA tourney...

So all of the pundits are saying Duke got a ridiculously soft draw in the south, that the NCAA committee must not have really looked at the bracket, and that it is is totally unbalanced. Well I'm here to tell you...

they are all completely right.

We have by far the easiest bracket, and our most difficult game in the whole region could be our second (against either Cal or Lou though I think Cal is more likely to give us trouble) if things break our way. Our first round game should be a laugher, but I expect either UofL or Cal to give us a little bit of a scare (think in the game with 7 minutes left to go) before our ball control and free throw shooting win the day late. Expect something like a 12 pt win that felt more like a 6 pt win in the second round. We are a much more talented team with more size and experience than either of our potential second round matchups. But our poor shooting and lack of post scoring should keep the game closer than the fans will like. But let's go ahead and jump to the second weeked because that's where things get interesting.

Looking at the top seeds in our region you have a 2 seed in Nova, 3 seed in Baylor, 4 seed in Purdue, and a 5 seed in Texas A&M. Right away we can discount Purdue's chances of making noise because without Hummel they will be fortunate just to make it to the second round. If they happen to make it out of the first weekend I would be ecstatic playing them as we should pound them on the boards and have a significant edge at every guard position.

I am not as concerned with A&M as some, though I do fully expect to play them in the sweet sixteen. The reason they don't scare me is that they don't do anything particularly well or provide us with any difficult matchups. They are a solid above average but unspectacular team in every regard. They shoot and rebound a little better than average, and have an ok defense. They are certainly a solid team, but they don't have one single weapon (player or offensive style etc) that they can exploit to a large advantage. If we play a steady A- game we should be able to take them.

Nova also doesn't worry me as much as you would think. Granted they beat us bad in last year's tourney, but that was a very very different Duke team that played its D game against a very different Nova team that played its A+ game. I left that game (which I watched in person) fully believing that nova was a better team than us BUT ALSO they are only a slightly better team and that sweet sixteen game was an aberration. This year given what I know of nova (great offense poor defense struggles to rebound against bigger teams and gets worn down late) I think we actually match up very well with them. And barring all of their guards catching fire (which could happen) I think we take them out in the elite eight.

But I think this scenario is really not that interesting because I really don't see Nova getting past Baylor. Which leads me to the real road block in our bracket and the team that Duke fans should be scared of: Baylor.

First and foremost Baylor is a better team with a better resume than Nova. Add to that the fact that an elite game against them would basically be a home game for them (in Houston) and it is by far our toughest matchup in the region. But the main reason Baylor scares me is because they have the speed and strength in the post to give us difficulties. First an analysis of Duke's strengths in the post:

Against slower post players our post depth will give us a definite advantage, as our guys have more fouls to give, will be fresher off the bench, and are able to play in transition better. We also have an advantage against teams like Nova, Louisville, and A&M that simply don't have the size to matchup with us on the boards. People often mistake our lack of scoring in the post to mean that Duke is weak in the post. But what they are failing to realize is that a more telling statistic is rebounding. We out rebound opponents on both ends of the floor, and while those O rebounds don't always lead to quick scores they very often lead to our favorite weapon the kick out 3pter. Coach K's man-to-man D style also offers a lot of help in the post so guys that can't score quickly tend to find two 6'10"+ guys in their grill. Time and time again you would see big men get the ball down low against Duke and most often their best case scenario was going to the line. Between Zoubs, Thomas, the Plumlees, and Singler we offer a lot of strong and long help that tends to prevent easy points in the paint.

So after all of that why should we be worried about Baylor? Because Baylor has forwards that are big and strong, but also FAST. That can hurt us in a couple of ways. First, quick scorers in the post can get off shots before help defense can arrive. The greatly negates the strength of our smothering overplaying defensive style, and may result in our post guys giving up easy baskets or having to commit a lot of fouls. This is what Georgetown did a great job of exploiting both this year and in 2006. The second way in which speed kills in the post is through negating our rebounding advantage. Our bigs do a fantastic job of boxing out on both ends of the court. Often on defense you'll see Zoubs and Thomas put a body on a guy and the ball will just fall to Scheyer or Smith. However against quick big men it is much harder to put a body on them and many more rebounds become fifty fifty propositions. While I know our hustle and effort won't be lacking, the baylors edge in quickness could definitely result in more of these rebounds going their way. Also in those scenarios we often end up committing stupid fouls. Duke is in big trouble if zoubek and thomas have to sit the bench late in the game with foul trouble. More importantly our offense struggles because we rely so much on second chance points. We're one of the worst shooting teams in the NCAA tourney field this year, and without an O-rebouding advantage our points per possession will definitely drop. It's important to note that the +/- stats on our bigs suggest that the Plumlees are a poor substitue for our experienced seniors (Thomas and Zoubek). Meaning that while it's great to have them for depth we should be concerned if foul trouble results in them being in for crunch time minutes.

So how do we beat Baylor? First and foremost we need to shoot well. As the UNC game attests, when this Duke team shoots well we are nigh unstoppable. Second we need our seniors to play smart disciplined basketball. Zoubek and Thomas are going to get beat some in the post and aren't going to be able to dominate the boards like they did in much of the ACC. But they can't start committing stupid fouls trying to gain an edge or steal a rebound. We have to have them in the game for defense at the end, and it would be better if the Plumlees are coming in protecting leads to give them a breather and not to buy time because of foul trouble. And finally we need Smith and Singler to attack the rim. Our offense is most potent when Duke tries to go at it from the wings and force help defense from their bigs giving us four ways to score: on the initial drive, by going to the foul line, by a big putting back an offensive rebound, or opening up outside shots for other guards. These are all things that we are fully capable of doing, and if we play to potential we are a favorite over every team in our region.

So I see us going to the final four. I've changed my prediction from the other day, as I think we have more like a 35% chance of reaching the final four. If we make it there I'll gladly right another epic post about how we deal with potential matchups.

so that isn't going to help you fill out your bracket but these thoughts might:
- respect UTEP and BYU
- New Mexico is drastically overseeded
- don't buy the hype on WVU going all the way
- Kansas is clearly the best team in the country
- Wisconsin is a sleeping giant
- Murray St should make things interesting
- Siena-Purdue is a pick'em
- Kansas St is not a lock to get out of the weekend

later

Pizz

more hotness

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

san francisco in 2 days

I'm going to be in san francisco on thursday night (before heading to sacramento and then tahoe for the weekend). I've only been in the city for one evening before and didn't really see much. I'm getting in really late (like 11pm west coast time) but I'll have a little time on friday morning before I head north.

What I'm looking for is cool suggestions relating to:
a) good place to stay on thursday night. Part of city and a hotel name would be great.
b) where to go for night life, especially considering we'll probably want to have a late night. Looking for a bar or part of town that stays up and parties late night.
c) suggestions for late night food. something we could grab after getting in town late or after drinking on the way back to the hotel.
d) suggestions for good breakfast or lunch option on friday.
c) best place to watch NCAA basketball on friday morning.

thanks for any and all help and please put suggestions in the comments.

later

Friday, March 12, 2010

ok, you can call it a comeback


was feeling really bad about hand 1200 of the session. much better at hand 2550.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

conf tourney bball = sweetness

ACC, Big East, Big 12 all playing right now. I got a feeling this Gtown Cuse game going down right now is going to be a classic and I highly recommend you tune in. Even if it is just following it in the corner of your monitor at work.

you can thank me later.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

'Cuz I'm hella cool, that's why.

just made a late lunch. bacon double turkey burger with cheddar and jack cheese, ketchup, mayo, and dill pickle. washed it down with a peanut butter, chocolate, and banana protein shake. omg heaven...

lots of cool stuff lately. first off saturday night was awesome. I was at Game On with Katy and a friend for the game and these obnoxious UNC bandwagon fans were behind us and before tip off I was worried it was going to get really annoying during the game. but luckily for me the boys put away the tar holes so fast that it never really became an issue. By halftime most of the anti-duke people had quit watching the game and it was a really great atmosphere. The game was so much fun I actually rewatched the whole thing on sunday morning and found myself fist pumping and celebrating anew as if I was watching it for the first time.

Also great was that I was able to get outside for a little BP and long toss on sunday afternoon with my park league team. The weather around here has been fantastic lately and sunday afternoon was 55 and sunny. so we got on the field (a little soggy but nothing bad) and it felt great. My arm felt pretty terrible yesterday, but nothing unusual and I've still got a ways to go to be in game shape.

But the biggest news of the weekend is that my sister is getting married. She and her boyfriend discussed it recently and basically decided they had no reason not to so why the hell not. I think it's great because I really like her future husband and we've enjoyed having him in the family for the last 3-4 years they've been together. My sister is as happy as I've ever seen her since they've been together, and he puts up with my at times wacky and exasperating family (very much myself included there) so I'm really glad they are getting hitched. they're both very casual people and really didn't want a big ceremony or fuss so they are planning on going to the courthouse on april 1st and making it official then having a big reception on saturday in Huntington. Katy and I are going to fly in and it should be a fun time.

last bit of news is that I'm heading to tahoe a week from thursday. going to cali to visit a college buddy and another friend is flying out to join us. We're getting in on thursday night and then driving up to tahoe on friday morning. should be a fun weekend of basketball, food, gambling, etc. I decided to book my flights with virgin america because I've heard nothing of good things about them and they have wifi so I can potentially play poker during my flights. They were cheaper than jetblue but with more perks so it was an easy choice. I also decided that the extra money to get direct flights was definitely worth it since the last few times I've had connections things haven't gone well.

so that's all for now. probably going to play a little session in a few and then grab some dinner and watch Lost with katy. not that I ever have much to complain about but man is life good right now. I really have it about as good as anyone could ask for.

later

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

sometimes things don't go your way

I thought I played well during my session earlier and managed to book a nice #3k loss. yeah so that sucked. And I thought duke played pretty well tonight but we managed to lose by 7. that sucked too, lol.

oh well sometimes you play well and things just don't go your way. no reason to get upset, get them next hand and next game. in that vein:

And I'm feelin' good...like a villain would...if he was doin' bad...kill superman

looking for a productive 3 hours of poker, then hoping the devils can pull off the big win at Maryland. A win tonight locks up the ACC regular season, and a loss probably takes us out of the running for a #1 seed. So yeah, kind of a big game.

You know the terps will be ready as well, as it is pretty much senior night for vasquez. I really dislike playing him, but you have to respect the way he's stepped up for them in a lot of big games. Even in cameron earlier this year when we had successfully shut him down for for going on 2.5 straight games (stretching back to last year) he found a way to break out in the second half and score about 10 straight in order to make the game close. The guy is a competitor and plays with a lot of heart, and even if I think his antics are a little lame you gotta respect the effort.

I've played two session of PLO this month, one where I felt like I played really well, and the other where I played kind of meh. But I ended up losing more in the second session, so I'm down a couple of BI in that game. I put in one long NL session the other night and ended up having a nice win because the poker gods continue to bless me. I had no luck at 2/4 and 3/6, but was able to win most of the big pots I played at 5/10 and 10/20 so I came out ahead.

other than that not a lot going on. Thinking about going to vegas or tahoe in a couple of weeks if I can find a cheap plane ticket.

later