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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

November 20, 2005

Sweet Stroke

by G-Rob

I'm working on another really fun story. In the world of TV news we have 4 months out of the year when our work actually counts. Real journalists actually believe in the importance of thier work all year long, but the type of people who run TV stations only care about those four months, a quarterly dance of overpromotion and hype that we call "ratings." My next big story is a special for the November ratings sweep.

The star of the story is one of the best golfers in the country, the two-time defending state champion with one of the sweetest strokes you'll ever see. I interviewed him on his home course, his home is across the street from the 10th green, while he played a few rounds with his dad.


This month it's much easier to write about golf than poker. This has been an unusual autumn in G-Vegas. The warm weather, gulf coast spring to the skin, delayed the end of summer green. The best colors exploded mid-November. The fairways feel like an early summer evening, except for the crispness of the wind. I could spend all day, just watching a superb golfer.

Meanwhile, the digital air of the online casinos has grown stale and foul. Until recently, I had deluded myself into beliving I was a superb card player. After a long string of horrible beats, I realized they all had one thing in common, just me. I haven't JUST been unlucky, I've been playing poorly... consistently bad, and the swaggering arrogance that helped me play the right way has evaporated in the too dry November breeze.

I was having an incredible rush this year. I can pinpoint the night it ended. A few weeks ago, a single hand, a horrible beat. I recovered that night, but I think I've been playing tilted ever since. I can't get the last losing session, or the last losing week out of my head.

My bankroll is OK. I've stepped WAY down in limits. Last night I spend 3 hours donking away, and actually winning, at the .05/.10 NL game on Stars.


This golfer, the subject of my TV Special, knows very little about extended strings of futility. He won the State Championship last year, his first time in actual competition. He was 4.

The next year, he won again. At 5.

So, while he's quite the golfing phenom, I expected there was very little to learn from someone who still plays with the oversized Duplo blocks. As usual, especially this month, I was wrong.

G-Rob: So what's the one thing your father taught that helps you play the best?

Cody the Golfer: Keep a cool head. You can't get excited and you can't get upset.

Ding! Good morning Poker Dope! The prodigy has an insight.

Later, I asked Cody's father why golf means so much to him.

Cody's dad Billy: "Golf is like life. You've got to keep a level head. The last shot doesn't matter. If you hit the best shot in the world or the worst, when you line up for the next one IT DOES NOT MATTER" (emphasis mine)

Sometimes, on a personal level, these stories mean more to me than a few extra dollars for my boss. (We already run at a profit margin of 50%.) Even at my advanced age, I still have a lot to learn.


I'll be taking some time off from online poker. At least 10 days of so. Thanksgiving is this week and I'm traveling to Cincinnati and Louisville. Of course, there are boats nearby... but that's different.

I hope to have found my bearings by the time we get to Vegas. It's safe to say I can't play much worse. Hopefully, I'll arrive with a poker sense just as blank as my stone cold expression. Which also needs work.

On a final self-aggrandizing note: Just like the last Ratings Spectacular (the one about the moonshiner) I'll post the golfer story after it airs.

In 10 days.

| G-Rob's Thoughts