Broken Record

GOLF: I shot an episode of the Haney Project with Ray Romano on the Golf Channel and it was one of the best days ever. First of all, to all the random people telling me they can help my golf game, I have a personal full-time coach that is ALWAYS there with me every single time I hit a ball. We just started working again recently after a long lay off. First day back I shot 116 and withing 12 rounds I was back to shooting a 91 from the back tees at TPC Summerlin. All of that, without being able to hit a drive past 200 yards. Laugh all you want, but once I get my distance back I’ll be flirting with low 80’s every round. My short game is good. I from 80 yards and in I think I’d rival most 5 handicappers rather easily. My struggle is distance. So, I played 9 holes with Ray Romano for the show, then after that Christian (my coach) and I headed to the range to have Hank Haney, Tiger Woods golf coach, take a look at my swing. Christian is an excellent teacher, but Hank Haney is a pretty big deal and rather quickly he recognized what I needed to do to hit it farther. He slightly adjusted my posture, got my hands up over my shoulder on the back swing, and told me to swing faster. Not just coming down, but as fast as I can back, and as fast as I can through the ball, while turning my hands over at impact. Within a few swings, I was hitting the ball 30 yards farther. No joke. Accuracy isn’t an issue for me, so it’s worth it for me to attack the ball more, giving up some accuracy so I can hit each club farther. I’m very excited to get back out on the course, but first, I have some poker to play. (episode airs May 31st on the Golf Channel) **************************************************************** SUNGLASSES: It is easier to see marked cards when you wear sunglasses. That’s just true. If everyone in an event was told they were prohibited from wearing sunglasses it’s as fair as allowing anyone to wear them.
In hockey, there is a rule on how much of a curve you can have on your stick. The rule is fair for everyone and is better for the sport as decided by the powers that be.
In baseball, you are not allowed to cork your bat. The league decided that corking your bat isn’t good for the game as a whole.
In golf, you can’t add vaseline to your club head. It takes spin off the ball and allows the ball to go farther. If you allowed every pro to do it, that would be fair, but the PGA deemed that “grease” wasn’t best for the game of golf.
In basketball, there is a 10 second rule that forces a team to advance past half court within 10 seconds or lose possession of the ball. This is better for the game, so the league decided this rule would help prevent teams from slowing the game down when they have a lead.
In football, all players MUST wear a helmet for their own safety. If a kicker felt he could see better without a helmet on, he would still not be allowed to go on the field without one because the league deemed it to be unsafe.
At the Olympics people are tested for performance enhancing drugs because the IOC wants a level playing field without drugs. Sure, it would be totally fair to change that rule and allow all athletes to use steroids, but the committee determined that it was in everyone’s best interest to ban the use of steroids from the sport.
These are random examples from various sports. We have rules in poker too. No string raises, verbal action is binding, no short raises, and in tournaments, no showing cards before the action has completed. The TDA has come up with a list of rules they feel appropriate for the game of poker, and many casinos abide by these rules. My proposal to ban sunglasses from competitive poker does have merit. There are several ancillary benefits to doing so: -Sunglasses make it easier to see marked cards
-Live poker is a human game that is different from online poker, and one of the skill sets is the ability to read your opponents.
-The absence of sunglasses makes for a much better television production. No TV poker producer will argue that. The fans and viewers want to see the emotion that is often covered up by shades.
-Banning the use of sunglasses in competitive poker as well as made for TV events is completely fair for everyone. Not like allowing them isn’t, but no one person can claim that this rule targets them specifically. Hiding your eyes is an advantage. By disallowing sunglasses, that advantage is taken away from every player involved creating a level playing field. As mentioned previously, the majority of the world’s top players do not wear sunglasses. I don’t expect a sweeping rule change for all poker events to ban the use of sunglasses, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with creating a show, or poker tournament, with the explicit rule that sunglasses are not permitted. That’s the case with the The Big Game. If you are too afraid to play live poker without hiding, then you can choose not to play on the show. Any made for TV show has the absolute right to set such parameters
and I would hope that it becomes the norm. **************************************************************** POKERSTARS.NET THE BIG GAME: I’ve played two sessions so far and will be playing one more again tomorrow. I’m having an absolute blast and today I participated in some epically entertaining poker. The lineup was big on chatter and personality, and also tons of action: Myself, Doyle Brunson, Phil Laak, Tony G, Phil Hellmuth, and of course, the Loose Cannon who gets $100,000 to sit down with and gets to keep anything that he wins. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the poker world is going to love this show. I’ve been involved in many, many poker shows and I feel like I have a good idea as to what will work on TV and what won’t. I feel like, especially with the die hard poker players, they are a bit sick of watching made for TV events that ultimately come down to a shove fest with stacks less than 20 big blinds. I know I am. Cash poker is hot, and it creates more interesting poker. It’s not a coincidence that High Stakes Poker gets the most hits on youtube.
Well, with 6 handed poker, a pot limit pre, and no limit post flop structure, with the addition of a “contestant” the Loose Cannon who qualifies for the opportunity to play a cash game against some of the world’s best players, you end up with a very entertaining show.
The set is pretty sick. Many of the players who have appeared on the show have commented on it. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
Amanda Leatherman who you guys know from her days at PokerWire, PokerNews, PokerRoad, and also on the WPT, is always on set. Amanda’s role on the show covers many bases and allows her to show off some of that personality that’s made her a hit with poker fans and players alike. She’s really amazing at what she does and I’m a big fan myself. She’s cute, knows poker, and is very personable. I’ve always enjoyed doing “Dan updates” with her on the WPT and for PokerNews and am really glad that she’s a part of the show. As I’ve mentioned in past blogs I spent a decent amount of time working on my game, specifically 6 max 100-200 no limit hold’em on PokerStars against some of the best players on the internet. Those guys are super tough, but I learned a lot from them. I’m trying my best to do well on The Big Game and feel like I’m playing pretty well. I’ve made some mistakes, but as you’ll see when the show airs, the types of mistakes I’ve made are much different than the mistakes you are used to seeing me make. The average player may not see the mistakes as being a big deal, but I’m certain that I’ve had opportunities to make excellent plays and haven’t made the optimal play. I am trying really hard, though, and I’m hoping that my last session goes well. I do feel really confident playing in this game, especially when comparing it to the tough online games I’d been playing.
Online you just don’t see a ton of limping before the flop, but when you are dealing with loose cannons and various types of live players, you end up seeing a lot of things you just wouldn’t see in a 100-200 game on Stars. Adjusting to those fundamental errors is interesting for me and I’m trying to figure out the best ways to exploit what I deem to be fundamental mistakes based on what I’ve learned online over the last few months. I can’t reveal any results from the show, but I can tell you that the show is scheduled to air sometime in June. The episodes will air late night on FOX, five nights a week, Monday through Friday, one hour episodes. Each week you’ll see one Loose Cannon take his shot. If he happens to go broke before the Friday episode, the show does go on and he’s replaced with a player waiting to sit. I seriously can’t wait to watch this show! Some truly epic hands and table banter. Tony G… and Phil Hellmuth! Does it get any better? I mean really?