Surfing — the poker how to

May 20th, 2009 — Surfing, Trip Reports

I just got back from Nicaragua.  Sunny weather, warm water, big clean waves – everything a surfer could ask for.

Flying out of Miami, my Dad and I arrived in Managua, and took a bumpy, dusty ride to the Surf Sanctuary about 3 hrs to the south.

The friendly American owners greeted us on our arrival.

We ate a delicious fresh-cooked meal and enjoyed the brand-new accomodations with pool table, AC, and internet.

I hoped to play poker during my stay, but the central american internet was good for email and chat but not stable enuogh for poker.

After dinner we took the short ride to the beach to check out the waves.


Dad, while playing pool, befriended a group of cheerful brazilian surfers.  The next morning we all drove north to Popoyo.

Popoyo is a fun, rippable wave, both lefts and rights.  Bigger sets would roll through periodically.


The tide rose and softened up the smaller waves.  We had a blast!


After lunch, the brazilians took us to an un-named surf spot they dubbed “little popoyo.”  The wave broke off a large outcropping of lava rock!  I kept my distance from the rock, but the brazilians would charge waves mere meters from the cliff.


Little popoyo breaks slowly, yielding big open faces for carves and cutbacks.   Lots of fun.


Surfed out, we ate a delicious dinner of locally grown chicken, vegetables, rice and beans at Surf Sanctuary, and crashed for the night.  Stay tuned for part 2!

Traveling the World Surfing and Playing Poker

May 1st, 2009 — General, Hand Analysis, Poker Tips, Surfing, Trip Reports

So after a long hiatus I’m back!


I’ve spent the last 6 months playing poker and traveling the world surfing, most recently to Hawaii.

Poker gives me the perfect combination of flexible schedule and portability – I can play free poker from anywhere that has an internet connection, and when the waves are up I can drop what I’m doing and go!

Hawaii was incredible!   I went with my fianceé Maria, we stayed in Waikiki for 3 days, and then we stayed on the North Shore for 5 days.  We were lucky to get some late-season swell on the north shore, and Maria snapped some awesome photos.


I’ll be recounting both poker adventures and surfing adventures in my posts from now on.

Poker, too!

Poker-wise I’m continuing to play $5/10 NL, and while game conditions have changed they are still quite beatable.

I’ve seen an increase in aggression in recent months, with many players becoming more tenacious about fighting for pots, and more paranoid about being bluffed.

Here’s an example that illustrates the change in the games, and also a counter-strategy.

$5/10 w/ $1400 stacks.
I raise Q♦K♥ on the CO to $35, and an aggressive, tenacious player in the blinds 3bets to $125.  I call.

A few years ago this would be a turbofold, nowadays a call is totally standard, and some argue for reraising!

Flop: K♦ 3♣ 4♥  (Pot: $260)

Villain bets $165 into $260.  This is a standard-sized cbet especially on a dry board.

A year ago I might have called for pot control, and to see what develops on the turn and river.  I wouldn’t want to build a big pot, because if I got the full 140bbs in my opponent would usually have AK, KK, or AA.

Today, however, I make a glorified min-raise to $400.  My opponent has been aggressive with 3bets, and is paranoid about being bluffed.

He also likely assumes(here his suspicions set in) that I would 4bet him preflop if I had a hand like A-K, and that I might be inclined to slowplay 444 or 333 on such a dry flop.

He quickly reraises all-in for  $1275 total, I call.  He shows 77.

While this player is more aggressive than normal, it illustrates an important point – by making my hand look like I’m getting frustrated and fighting back my opponent’s over-aggression and suspicion works to my advantage.

The hardest part about this hand is hitting top pair, haha!

Good luck at the tables!