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Daniel - Poker Journal

An Eye Opening Day at Shadow Creek , Poker, and NHL Playoffs

14 Apr 2009


The SCOOP is over. It was a successful event for PokerStars and I think people thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there were three separate buy in levels. It was hard work for me. I'm just not that used to playing so many hours straight online and because the structures were so deep that meant long days on a consistent basis. Wore my eyes out, I wasn't playing on an ideal screen due to internet issues, but I got them worked out now it seems.

So today was the first day I could enjoy the great weather, and it was truly gorgeous out today. I worked out at 10:30am, been doing that three days a week with a trainer and it's really paying off. The key difference, aside from actual physical strength, is my level of fatigue. I don't get tired as easily, and most importantly, I can recover much quicker from a short night of sleep. That's exactly where I need to be for the WSOP this year. I need that extra push of strength to be at my best on those late nights.

David Benyamine called me and invited me to join him over at Shadow Creek. So I met him there along with my man Christian, and E-DOG joined us also. I'd never played with David, but I'd heard how good he was after just playing for a little over a year, so I had a decent idea what a fair game would look like. E-DOG and I play all the time so matching up is easy.

To make a long story short, David missed exactly zero greens on the front 9 for a smooth 35! His best 9 ever (I bring out the best in my opponents sometimes, lol). I staked Christian against him also, and Christian and I both shot better than expected but lost on the front.

He didn't shoot quite as well on the back 9 and luckily I did. First time back out I was pleased with my play. I made no doubles on the back and was close to hitting the ball well. I chipped and putted well which is encouraging because without that I'm a dead duck.

I get probably the biggest tee spot you can get. There are four tee boxes, and they play the front of the back tee box, while I play the front of the front tee box. David ended up shooting 77, two shots off his career best. I shot much better than expected also. I expected to shoot about 99, but ended up shooting 91. Not a spectacular score, but my swing is a mess right now and I could have easily shot 110!


We played a Nassau and David beat me 6-4-2 on the front, and I came back strong winning 5-3-1 on the back. E-DOG was off and I ended up beating him. After the 18 Mr.Ivey dropped by and we played a quick 3 hole match. His swing still looks really funny to me, but hey, it seems to work for him. We broke even. I'll be golfing everyday this week until the WPT Championship.

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The absolute best and most exciting stretch on the poker calendar begins next week in terms of prestige. The WPT $25,000 Championship is an event you just want to win. Followed closely by the Pokerstars EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Back-to-back deep stacked events with loads of play that suits my style incredibly well. I'm really looking forward to a deep run in both events. I'll be ready.

Then May rolls around and it's prep time for the WSOP. I'll be playing lots of golf, also playing the World Series of Golf again. After that I'm going to Colorado for Christian's wedding (he is golfing on his wedding day! Gotta love his choice I must say). Then after that it's another monster event, the $40,000 NL Hold'em event at the WSOP. I mean, wow, just an amazing stretch of tournaments to lead into the WSOP. E-DOG and I have been talking about the WSOP a lot, and are considering offering a prop bet: Me and E-DOG versus any two players you can name, whoever gets the most player of the year points wins. A great way to motivate us both. You could take anyone from Barry Greenstien and Chris Ferguson to Erik Seidel and John Juanda.

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NHL Playoffs start this week and there are some great match-ups. I am likely going to bet 5 of the 8 series:

NY RANGERS +1.96 vs WASHINGTON: This is mostly a price play as I think it's a much closer series than this. The Rangers have a better goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist and when they are "right" they play better team defense too.

PHILADELPHIA +1.37 vs PITTSBURGH: Philly is pretty deep at forward and can score in many ways, while Pittsburgh is a bit more "two-dimensional" with Crosby and Malkin. They made some key improvements at the deadline acquiring Chris Kunitz, but if Philly can get any goaltending at all, I think they can grind the Pens down in 6 or 7.

NEW JERSEY -1.34 vs CAROLINA: Martin Brodeur. The guy is just sick and they are playing well right now. The key difference between these Devlis and past Devils teams is that they can really put the puck in the net. Carolina probably would not have even made the playoffs if they weren't in a division with Atlanta and Tampa Bay. Carolina has holes, and I think New Jersey should be more like 1.70 favorite in this series.

VANCOUVER -2.15 vs ST.LOUIS: Roberto Luongo is playing like the best goaltender in the world right now and this Vancouver team got a major boost with the addition of Mats Sundin. They no longer have to depend on the Sedin twins to put the puck in the net. The Blues are a great story, and have a young core of players including T.J. Oshie that will make some noise in the future, but this is a horrible match-up for them. Vancouver is my sleeper pick to go all the way. They have all the tools now if they can stay healthy and ride Luongo.

MONTREAL +2.87 vs BOSTON: Boston just ain't that good and Montreal can easily surprise them. The Canadiens underachieved all season long, but this is the playoffs now, and they DO have the firepower necessary for the upset. Missing Markov is a problem, but expect to see guys like Kovalev and the Kostitsyns' turn it around. This team is too talented to be a 2.87-1 dog against the Bruins.


Not betting the following, but here is who I would go with if I had to:

DETROIT -4.57 vs COLUMBUS: I'm not laying that much, especially with the goalie woes the Wings have struggled with this season.

CHICAGO -1.48 vs CALGARY: I really do like Chicago here, but the price is a bit too steep for my liking. Calgary has totally stumbled through the gate, but they have some fire power if Iginla and Jokinen can get hot. I'm staying away.

ANAHEIM +2.59 vs SAN JOSE: This is a dangerous match-up for SJ, I can guarantee you that they aren't happy about it. The Ducks are just two years removed from winning it all, and while there are some missing and aging parts, they can still surprise the Sharks. Strangely, I think the Sharks ARE the favorites to win it all at this point, but I'm not laying 3-1 that they beat the Ducks.

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