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Golf and a Final Table

by Roy Winston |  Published: Jan 12, '08


I had to get up early for golf. The Crown Casino Poker Department hosted a golf trip to one of the nicest golf clubs in Melbourne, The Capitol Club. When we arrived they had a breakfast for us, then off to play. I was teamed up With Chip Jett, Kenna James, his wife Marsha, and an Aussie from Sidney, Joe. I only had time to play the front nine because I had to get back for the conclusion of the mixed pot limit event. I knew I was in for trouble when we were on the practice green and everyone was putting for money. Kenna said how about $50 per hole with carry overs and press when you want. I said ok. I have played a fair amount of golf over the years and know that golf bets are won or lost before the first ball is hit. So the putting green bet had me somewhat concerned. Luckily enough we only had time to putt at a few holes and we were dead even. I was relieved to move onto the course as the next hole was going to be worth $300. On the 1st tee Kenna said "lets just start small, how about $50 per hole?" I said fine and off we went. The course was really beautiful and the weather perfect for golf. We had a caddy named Kong and I felt good after my warm up.

I played the first hole poorly, doubly bogey, but Kenna tripled it so I had a little cushion. He then went runner, runner, oh wait this is golf, par par on the next two holes to go one up. we both made par followed by bogey, so I was still one down. The next hole, a short par 4, which I sunk a long put for par, while Kenna missed and I was back at all square. The next hole was a long par 3 over water and into a strong wind. I hit a pretty good shot for me ending up with a ten footer for birdie. Kenna underclubbed a little and wound up in the bunker short of the green. He hit a good sand shot and had six feet to save par. I drained my birdie put and told him his par was good. I only had time for one more hole, I had to get back to play in the second day of the pot limit event. This hole was a 465 meter par 5 and I hit a pretty good drive. Kenna was in play but sliced it a little and wound up short with an akward stance. His second shot was good however and he layed up about 120 short of the green which was protected by a rather large creek. The caddie told me hit 150 to leave yourself 100 into the green and safely short of the water. I asked how far to the green, and he replied 210 mate. Now I thought I did come to Australia to gamble so out came the 3 wood and I hit a solid shot which landed just short of the pin and rolled about 20 feet past. Kenna hit a good approach shot and had about 15 feet for birdie. My first put was a tough one, a double breaker over what looked like a buried dinosaur. I had good speed but the line was off and wound up 5 feet for birdie, I wanted the eagle, but still liked my chances. Kenna went on to 3 putt, and I made the cardinal sin of leaving my birdie effort short. Chip Jett ridiculed me for lagging a 5 foot putt, but I collected the $100 from Kenna and went on my way. Next time he is probably going to want shots. The key to enjoying golf for me is to be out with good friends in good weather, and have low expectations for my game.

I rode back to the Crown with Jonno, who is the Tournament Director at the Crown. We talked about various aspects of the events, and some changes and additions that were going to take place next year. He told me he was adding a 10k HORSE event at the end of the week, and a 20k HORSE for next year. I was happy to hear that. Also the way it stands now the heads up and team events are during the main, so you have to bust out to play them. I think next year they will be separate them. I am excited already for next year, as good as this years event is, next years will be even better. In all the places I have played so far I have to say I have not seen better customer service anywhere.

We resumed play with 13 of us left, down from 114 the day before, and I was pretty short with 17,500, average 55k. We began with the pot limit holdem. After a few hands JJ Prodigy raised from the cutoff and in the small blind I looked down at air and re-bluffed him. I say re-bluffed because I'm reasonably sure he had nothing. Next time around he raised the pot again in the cutoff. The good news is I looked down at QQ, and re-raised the pot, which put me all in. He tabled J10 and the flopped missed him as did the turn and river. This now allowed me to play a little and pretty soon we lost 4, and went to the final table.

Notables at the table besides JJ were, Dag Mikkelsen, Michael Pesek, David Bach, and of course Mick "The Hoon." It was an extremly aggressive final table with someone all in preflop on almost every hand. You had to decide to place your tournament life on the line every time you played a hand. The Omaha 8 or better, and PLO preflop play was particulary aggressive with pot, re-pot the norm. I always try to control the pot size in these situations, so you can play after the flop. With the blinds 4000/8000 each pre-flop pot had almost an average chip stack in play. I was able to double through Dag, and then hold on for a while, but went out in 4th place to David Bach who made a good call against me and I finished in 4th place. I really felt I could win this one, but it wasn't to be. I was overall happy with my play, but you know how it goes, finishing 4th when there are 4 players remaining, isn't what I was thinking. The final table concluded very quickly with Michael Pesek hanging on to edge out David Bach.

After dinner a few of us got together to play PLO at one of the PokerPro electronic poker tables. It was really a lot of fun and the user interface was excellent. It was an interesting line up with Anna Wreblewski, Kevin Saul, Nick Binger, Johnathan Murphy, Eric Brewstein, and myself. Lee Watkinson joined us for a little while, and as the PLO event winner from yesterday did try to intimidate us. What was nice is that the Crown let us have it as a private game. We each bought in for $100 with these electronic cards which you swipe into your terminal. It's really a great system. I only played for a little while, didn't sleep well the night before, and am playing the main event the next day. When I left Anna and John were winning but with PLO you never know. I am excited to begin the main event tomorrow.

I have to say it was a great day overall, golf and a final table.

The Oracle

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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