Sunday, March 30, 2008

Deluxe Donkey Does Decent!

I'll take this, thanks very much:

Golly goshdarn it all to heck, I'll just say it: I'm proud of my showing in Big Games. I think this makes the fourth final table, perhaps the fifth, and my second in a row. And this is my best showing yet. The good sized cash is by all means OK in my book, and I have to think I'm one of the most profitable BBT3 players at this point.

At the same time, this one will haunt me. (Brag officially ends now.) I was in prime position to win this and somehow I let it slip away. I had Ladyhater down to six outs on the river and he caught, and then he coolered my 2 pair with a turned straight (the money went in after he'd hit because I was being tricky and hoping to check-raise the flop).

The truth? I sucked out and won races to get there anyway. You know I sucked out and won races, because I was at the final table. So be it.

Probably a full recap in the works. Right now I need to go yawn, then sleep, probably in that order.

Congratulations to Woman-despiser! He played a strong game, and is a worthy entrant into the TOC.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Not Too Late

Tournament: Blogger Big Game
Where/when: Full Tilt, Sunday 21:30 ET
Game: Superstack NLHE
Buyin: $69+6 or Tier II token
Password: donkey

Don't get caught looking. There hasn't been much promotion for this tourny, mainly because it's listed as the first Sunday of the month on the Tilt site.

Not the first Sunday of the month. This Sunday. Tomorrow, like.

Get your tokens, get your T bucks. Do it, you won't regret it. Last Big Game kicked off the BBT3, featured the richest prize pool of any online blogger event ever ever ever, and as an added bonus, put half the bloggers on tilt when Scott Fischman showed up and took it down just screwing around.

Once again, thats:

Tournament: Blogger Big Game
Where/when: Full Tilt, Sunday 21:30 ET
Game: Superstack NLHE
Buyin: $69+6 or Tier II token
Password: donkey

Here's how I got in: $6.60 Double Shootout for the Tier One token. That thing is so easy to beat it's silly. Overpushers and open-shovers galore. Just wait for them to fall on their sword.

Tier One Token gets you into the Tier Two 18 seat Token SNG. Almost silly soft, and the final five get paid. I made it first try, and I recommend this SNG path if you, like me, find the Token Frenzy akin to having your gonads eaten by a Shetland pony.

Go forth! I say to you, go forth! Qualify for the Big Game!

Say it one more time!

Tournament: Blogger Big Game
Where/when: Full Tilt, Sunday 21:30 ET
Game: Superstack NLHE
Buyin: $69+6 or Tier II token
Password: donkey

Good day to you all.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Seven Toppings Of Blogger Pizza

In the beginning, was the internet, flat and doughy and round as an uncooked crust.

And Google said, "Let there be blogs!" and blogs slathered their tangy tomato sauce all over the flatness of the bread, and baby pictures and daily listings of coffee consumed and videos of bike stunts were posted, and commenters said that they were awesome, and trolls said that the babies were ugly, and Google saw that it was good.

And Iggy said, "Oh the humanity!" and blogs about poker began to cover the flatness of the bread and the tang of the sauce, until a blogger pizza was formed.

And verily did Iggy see that, of the toppings on the blogger pizza, there appeared to be seven in number, and they spread about the pizza in various quantities and distributions, with various qualities and textures and Iggy saw that it was very weird.

The first topping is cheese. These are bloggers that seem to cover the whole scene. They've been to Vegas. They've been to Vegoose. They've been to eh-Vegas and Okie Vegas and Fake-as They provide links to new blogs, pimps to great new posts. They stretch and then break, leaving a big saucy soul-patch scalding on your chinny-chin chin.

The second topping is peperoni. Spicy and operating behind the scenes, these are the addictive bloggers that you just want to pick off and consume after you're full. These blogs are the spicy staple of any blogging community, providing tips, tricks, and strategy and the occasional flame rant. Eat too many, though, and you'll wake up with heartburn. Woe unto you!

The third topping are mushrooms. A little bit different, these bloggers. The oddballs of the bunch. Chewy. Clammy. They sometimes leave you cold, but they change the mix with a variety of new looks at the game. Maybe they make crossword puzzles, or Daniel Negraneu paper dolls, or a diorama of poker strategy guides. They bring something new to the table, and often leave their chips there.

The fourth topping is sausage. Sausage is the blogger that hates you, and you hate them, and they look like a little rabbit turd and taste like failure. Their posts are stupid and vainglorious. You know who you are. If you're asking, "Is it me?" . . . yes, it is. It is you.

No not you. That one, over there. The one by the window.

The fifth topping is onions. No blogosphere is complete without these radicals. They do the stuff that nobody else will do. Sometimes their efforts leave you with a marvelous pepper-water taste sensation. Sometimes they make you cry. Whatever you do, you know this: They'll make your breath stink, and at least half the given population will hate them and pick them off before eating.

The sixth topping is green pepper. Aloof, these bloggers are rarely seen leaving comments and never seen in person. Their moralistic posts about the evils of the game's excesses and the green coloring make you feel like you're eating something healthy.

The seventh topping is waffles. Confusing, I know. There it is, though.

And lo! Upon seeing the seventh topping, Iggy said, "screw it, I'm blogging about politics." And then did Al get schnockered, and the bloggers did weep, and gnash their teeth, and rent their garments, and then they raised the rent, but still refused to paint.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Table Profiles 010: Skepty_Cal

General Profile: Typically well meaning, usually bright and introspective . . . but put Skepty at a poker table and he turns into Walter Winchell, oy so many questions he has! Did you hit the flop? Did you hit it hard? Why did you bet so much? Why did you bet so little? Why did you take so long to bet? Why did you insta-shove there? How many fibers are intertwined on a shredded wheat biscuit? Who killed Laura Palmer? What is the difference between a grape and a hammer?

Basically the story with Skepti_Cal is this: He doesn't believe you, pilgrim, and he's about to play sheriff. You're getting called down.

The thing about Cal is the curiosity. He just has to know. It's not his fault, it's just his nature.

Natural Habitat: Anywhere poker is played.

Strengths: Very difficult to bluff.

Weaknesses: Very easy to value bet. Also, athelete's foot. That's hard to exploit at the poker table though.

Motto: "Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee."

Favorite Hand: AK unimproved.

In the iPod: It Ain't Necessarily So, by Gershwin

Hobbies: Collecting rare postage stamps, beat boxing, investigative journalism.

Care & Feeding: Do NOT bluff Skepty_Cal. Ever. Not never. Here are a few examples of when not to bluff him:

*Do not bluff him in a car.

*Do not bluff him near or far.

*Do not bluff him in a house.

*Do not bluff him with a mouse.

*DO NOT bluff this Skepty_Cal.

*Do not do it! You will fail!

However, DO be sure whenever you play a pot while he's at the table to make it SEEM like you're bluffing. And for reals, bluff other players and then show the bluff. This will be to Skepty like chumming the water is to a shark. He will be all in a froth to play a hand with you, and you to him will seem like Bluff B. "Bluffy" McBlufferson. It'll be like that moment in the Looney Tunes when suddenly Elmer looks at Bugs and he morphs from a rabbit to a turkey leg.

This is the sort of thing that can then happen for you:


Hero posts the small blind of $0.25

Skepty_Cal posts the big blind of $0.50

Hero: Man, everybody is so timid at this table

Skepty_Cal: You're running over us!

Hero raises to $4.00.

Skepty_Cal has 15 seconds to act.

Skepty_Cal: Why so much, Hero?

Hero: That's classified.

Skepty_Cal calls $3.50.

Flop: AdKsTs

Hero bets $48.00 and is all-in.

Hero: Yeah, call THAT

Skepty_Cal has requested TIME.

Skepty_Cal: what do you have?

Hero: Can't talk. Too nervous.

Skepty_Cal: hmmmm

Skepty_Cal: hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm

Skepty Cal calls $48.00

Hero shows KdKc

Skepty_Cal shows Td9c

Turn Th

River Tc

Skepty_Cal has four of a kind, tens.

Hero has a full house, Kings over tens.

Skepti_Cal wins pot [$104.00]

Skepty_Cal: Ow.
Skepty_Cal: Sorry, man.

Hero is dousing himself with gasoline.

Hero has 15 seconds to light himself on fire.

Oh yeah. Skepty_Cal catches up from behind like his name is Don Beebe. I probably should have mentioned that ahead of time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

LOST 015: A Boy Named Suicide


Let's try something a little different. Ten quotes that shaped an episode:

10. "I'm sorry." Michael's intended last words echo Jack's on the bridge during the cold open for the Season 3 finale. They also echo my words to my wife when I forget to empty the dishwasher in the morning. Regardless, it seems that our off-island fellows are finding life not worth the living. Michael's suicide attempt is fueled by horrible guilt. Get the feeling Jack's is fueled by horrible guilt, too? Well, that and a gallon of Scotch. This is Jackoholic we're talking about.

In further news, Michael told Walt that he killed two ladies! Shot 'em right in the belly, ayep, ayuh. Apparently Walt isn't too cool with that, and Grandma isn't too cool with his non-dead-with-no-story self. Personally, I think Michael's mama's being a little harsh, don't you? This is her son back from the certain dead. Unless she got his sweet bike with ramp included and doesn't want to give it back, or something. But Michael got all the way back to New York! Wow! Ben didn't steer him wrong . . . or did he?

9. "I want a gun, with bullets." Way to go Lost writers, bringing back Jin's watch after all these years! In further news, New York pawn shop owners clearly don't give a partridge in a pear tree. Gun? Bullets? Need it in a hurry? Sure! Guy probably just needs some quick target practi . . . oh he's killing himself in an alley.

8. "Your mission is to kill everyone on board." OK, Michael, let me break this down for you. You're suicidal with guilt over the two people you killed when on a mission from Ben (well, the Others via Ben, but we know by now that Ben was captured on purpose for sure, so you get the drift). The solution is obviously . . . go on a mission from Ben! To kill people! LOTS MORE PEOPLE!

Michael? You're a donkey.

What is interesting about this is that Michael is essentially doing this to save the people on the island, so you can kind of see the motivation in terms of making it right with the people he betrayed, but it never really got across that way. I don't know what they could have done to get this right.

What's really interesting about this is that, even though a lot of people on the boat have died, Michael hasn't killed any of them.

What's really, really interesting on an ironic level is that this is the exact same deal -- work with Ben, kill Widmore-ites, save the island-friends -- that we know Sayid will eventually take. Of course, we also know that Sayid has pushed Michael all-in for working with Ben. Guess it's safe to say he's going to regret that move.

7. "You can now consider yourself one of the good guys." All this underscores what is turning into THE question of the season so far (OK, besides "under what circumstances do the O6 get off the island?"), to wit:

Who sunk Oceanfake 815? Widmore or Ben? Ben or Widmore?

This episode really wasn't about 'What happened to Michael?' At the heart of this hour of TV is this question: Who IS the good guy? And how is that defined?

Sayid we must assume has had second thoughts about Ben in the future, which must mean that he has more than ample reason to suspect Widmore is behind the eeeeevil.

So, score one for Ben.

6. "What does it look like we're doing? Shootin' stuff." Second-funniest line of the night comes from the poor man's Matthew Lillard + steroids. I think his name is Kearny.

Anyway, they have a whole lot of ordinance, which lends credence to the whole "Widmore's group is going to kill everybody on the island" thing that Big Gay Tom is laying down.

Score another for Ben.

5. "I do what I need to to win, but I won't kill innocent people. That's the difference between me and him." Yes, Ben. You don't kill innocent people. Except for your daughter's boyfriend, Hot Karl. And maybe Rousseau. And Goodwin. And Locke, remember when you tried to kill Locke? Oh and you forced Locke to kill his dad. And you killed your own dad. And oh yeah you've killed EVERYBODY ON THE ISLAND AT LEAST ONCE.

We've already seen that you aren't so much into 'love' as 'ownership,' so your ministrations fall somewhat on deaf ears, old sport, old chap, old sock, old bean.

Let's play dictionary, Ben. I would like you to define 'innocent'.

Score one for Widmore.

4. "Don't do it, Michael!" There's Libby! Hey, Libby, how's death? Anyway, Libby was accompanied by a little sound I like to call "Smokemonster in B flat." I don't know what that means, but buddy it was there, and I am here to report the happenings.

Anyway, Libby did NOT seem to want Michael to set off the bomb. Which was not really a bomb but more of a Wile E. Coyote prank. Intended to convince Michaeld that Ben was a good guy. So more of a credibililty scam bomb.

And, one assumes, Libby didn't want him to fall for it.

Score another one for Widmore.

3."Since a week ago you had a gun to his head, and today he's in there eating pound cake, I'd say he's a guy who gets what he wants." Funniest line of the week from the funniest guy all season so far. Miles, we need to spin you off. But seriously, I'm starting to think that Ben is a Jedi or something. He gets Michael to work for him . . . again. He gets Locke to set him free . . . again, and after shooting him in the friggin' kidney-gap.

"Look, leave this camp with a safety perimiter fence."
"Because there are dangerous people all over the place."
"OK. But I don't trust you at ALL."
"Just trust me."
"All right."

Wow, so there goes Karl "Ow ow ow my chest it hurts me." Nice to know ya. Also . . . maybe . . . Rousseau. But I wouldn't count on it. She went down, but she went down ambiguously, unlike Karl who we saw . . .


Ahem. Excuse me. Anyway, Karl's quite dead. So who do we have out there? I think I would be amazed if it were not the rest of the Others, and if this whole deal were not a pre-arranged ambush.

However, it may be Kearny and Co., shooting stuff. After all, Frank left on a mission last episode. He may have been ferrying the Triggerhappy Triplets back to the island for open season.

We'll have to call this one a push for now. But let's give Ben half a point for being seventeen steps ahead of everybody, always.

2. "The Temple isn't for them. It's only for us." I'd love to see this temple, and whatever is in it. Between this and Jacob, Ben is definitely showing signs of being a Jim Jones-level cult leader. Just replace Kool-Aide with gas and you get the idea. The difference is that there are really mystical and mysterious happenings with this island. It would seem that Ben has good reason for being somewhat ooooOOOOOoooooo about his dealings with it. It makes me think that Ben and Widmore are enacting the "Man of Science/Man of Faith" dicotomy, with Locke and Jack's dance in Season 2 being the precurser.

And of course neither Locke nor Jack is truly evil, or truly good. Both are acting out of what they think are the best motives. Locke doesn't want to hurt anybody, but he sure enough will kill a fool if a fool needs killing. Jack wants nothing to do with the mystery, but his good motives and his hero complex make him a crippled soul.

Perhaps Ben and Locke and Jack and Widmore are mirror twins of one another. Of course, Ben and Widmore are smart and resourceful, and Jack and Locke are each as dumb as a half-a-sack of hammers, but there are other parallels. Perhaps between Ben and Widmore we don't have good guys or bad guys, but merely two misguided sides of a twisted coin.

Man of Science . . . Dharma. Widmore.

Man of Faith . . . Others/Mittelos. Linus.

Another push.

And . . . interesting, no?

1. "You can't kill yourself, Michael. The island won't let you." Now THAT is interesting. Cracks the egg open and fries it up a bit.

And it's not just Big Gay Tom saying that either, because we actually see Michael pull the trigger. Click.

The island won't let Michael die.

Or Jack, who just couldn't jump off that bridge.

It wouldn't let Locke die, lying in a hole full of corpses with a nice big exit wound.

Who else won't it let die? Jack's dad? Libby? Rousseau? Tom? Charlie? Boone? Eko? Shannon? Any of them?

. . . whisper whisper whisper . . .

Hurley says that he thinks the island wants them back.

Locke believes that the island is alive. So does Ben, and Ben knows the island pretty well.

The island can heal you.

The island exists outside of time.

The island can reach you wherever you go.

The island is alive.

I have said for awhile that the question isn't where is the island, but WHEN is the island. I think the great big question just changed.

WHAT is the island?


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stupid/System 005: Managing Pot Odds

Here's a common situation in poker, and one you will face often if you play according to this book:

It's about halfway through the second hour of a large-field live tournament. You're in early position with Qd8h and have limped to see a cheap flop with a solid hand. One other player has also limped after you, when a player from the cutoff raises it four times the big blind. The blinds fold to you. What do you do?

A lot of people immediately fold here. If you've been reading this book to this point, you feel nothing but pity for these people. In spots like this, you have to be a courageous, smart poker player, and remember the two most important rules of solid play: (1) Use of the ATC strategy through the guidance of the Gap Principle, and (2) managing your pot odds.

We've already covered the Gap Principle, which states that if you call a raise you have a stronger hand than if you just call the big blind. This is a very basic point, which was made by noted freak and Famous Math Guy Derran Sklansky, but it bears repeating: There is no easier way for you to make your hand strong than to call a big bet.

Remember, what do weak hands do? They fold.

What do strong hands do? They call.

What do bluffers do? They raise.

OK? So now, you should see your situation clearly. You face a raise. Raise = bluff, therefore your opponent is bluffing. If you fold then you have shown weakness and are 100% to lose the hand. If you yourself re-raise, then you are the one bluffing and must be called. But if you call, you have shown strength. The key of poker is to be the one to call, and thus according to that math guy, to have the hand of greatest strength.

So, you must obviously call. The more savvy reader may have noticed that this seems to go counter to earlier instruction. "Hold on a minute, you baffling turkey!" you may be screeching, "If you call, won't you see an out-destroying FLOP???" Very good! But remember, even more important than hitting the outs is making sure you have the strongest hand! You know how good Queen eight is if you've learned to count your preflop outs, and now by calling you can ensure that your hand is the strong one, while your opponent's is an obvious bluff. This is known in poker-pro-speak as 'defining your hand.'

[Brief aside: Use poker-pro-speak whenever possible. For example, call your Queen-eight 'the gay snowman' as often as possible, if you want to impress your table with your insider knowledge. If they know they're dealing with a pro, they are more likely to accord your bets with some respect. See the chapter on Table Image for more information.]

The other factor that insists on a call here are the pot odds. Nothing in the great sport of poker is more important than pot odds. Tattoo "Pot Odds" on the insides of your eyelids. Name your first six sons "Pot Odds." Airbrush a valkyrie in chain mail underwear on the side of your van, and name her mystical flaming sword "Pot Odds." Do not forget the pot odds. Dream about the pot odds. Carve your name and "Pot Odds" into a tree. Compare pot odds to a summer's day. Buy a farm, grow wheat, turn the wheat into cereal, box the cereal, distribute it, and name the cereal "Pot Odds". Eat that cereal every single day of your life, with organic milk.

There are two pot odds.

(1) The first pot odd is the amount of money you need to put into the pot to make sure that you have to play the hand. This pot odd is called "pot commitment.' If you aren't committed to playing, you are doomed to failure.

(2) The second pot odd is the odds that you will win a given pot. If you fold, the odds are zero. In this case, there are two of you in the pot, so your odds to win are 50%.

Having called, you see a flop of QsJsTs.

Excellent! This is a very favorable flop for you, and your only question is how to get all your chips into the pot without pooping yourself.

OK. OK. OK. This is totally awesome.

But before you make a move, run through both pot odds.

First, you need to bet enough to be thoroughly committed to the hand. A good rule of thumb here is ten times the size of the pot, or half your chips, whichever comes first.

On to the second odd. You need to consider your chances to win the pot. Since you have hit a straight draw and have top pair also, there's no way you can lose. Your pot odd has leapt from 50% to 100%. Note that your opponent raised, so he was bluffing, and you called, indicating the better hand, so even if the flop had missed you entirely, you'd probably have a pot odd of about 55% to 70%.

You bet half your chips and your opponent thinks for nearly a minute until you call the clock on him. FINALLY he pushes all in.

If you don't call in this spot, I'll personally come to your house to have you eaten by a yak.

You call (obviously), and your opponent tables 9s9h. A couple more cards come and you take the pot.

Your opponent tells you 'nice hand.' He says it in a weird kind of way, but whatever. You have lots of chips! Everybody at your table is laughing pretty hard, which means they've been drinking (This is known as a 'tell.') You should be able to win this thing easily.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

LOST 014: An Officer And A Jin-tleman


We almost got a Jerry Springer moment there, didn't we? Juliet was all, "Sun's going to die", and Jin was all "You can't turn me 'gainst my woman," and so then Juliet was all "I don't know why you trippin', you ain't even that babydaddy," and Jin was all "Who said what in the who now?" and Sun was all "Oh no bitch no you di'int!", and then came the slapping and I was waiting for the bouncers to have to intervene. I just hope that Juliet will be there late at night to fill the baby's sippy cup with Moutain Dew. She owes Sun, man.

Seriously, this was a heart wrencher of an episode. And again, with one of the couples we actually care about! You see, Lost writers? Take a look at Sun and Jin, study that up, and figure out what it is about them that makes us care. Then see if you can apply it to Sawjackate. Right now those are about as interesting as your college roomate, his fifth crazy girlfriend and the punk from the soccer team with whom she's cheating on him.

So now we have the O6 Starting Lineup, or so they claim:

Cue The Final Countdown, please. Let's break this down in the style of the Detroit Pistons' announcer.

At the POINT . . . from the University of Fingernaaaail Pliiiiiars . . . at five-foot-two-and-we're-being-charitable . . . The Scorcherer! The Torturer! It's the khaki Iraqi, he'll hurt you in your throat arms and feet . . . SAAAAAAAAYID!!!

At shooting guard . . . from the College of Total Delusion . . . the tag-along who you want to tag, her storyline can make you gag, she can run all daaaaaaay, please put your hands together for KAAAAAAAAATE!

The power forward from Bilingual University . . . a widow and a widow-makah, she's got the pepper in her shakah, ninety pounds of pregnant worry, she's the Korean Fury . . . in her oven there there's a bun, the FIVE foot ONE . . . SUUUUUUUN!

The SMALL forward and I DO mean small . . . born on the island after the crash, head like a turnip with bad diaper rash . . . he's been prodded by Dharma and he don't know his mama . . . at five inches and three FEET, Kate don't want to share him, people please MEET and GREET . . . AAAAARON!!!!

The DOCTOR is IN . . . Be on your baddest behavior cuz he wants to save ya, he'll slice ya, he'll dice ya, he'll hurt you bad, he's got a drunken dad . . . the CENTAAAAAAAAH! IS! BACK! Say helloooooooooOOOOO to JAAAAAACK!!!!!

Taking up the WHOLE BENCH . . . He's never rude and calls you "Dude", a mind that's squirrely, he's BIG . . . . he's BURLEY . . . MAKE SOME NOISE FOR HUUUUUUURLEY!!!!!!

OK, that was fun. The great thing is that there is even now plenty of wiggle room as to the identity of the O6, mainly because of Aaron. He wasn't technically on the Oceanic 815 manifest, but he was onboard in utero and I suspect that a media created name like "Oceanic Six" wouldn't be cutting the salami quite so fine as to exclude him.

But he may be a secret. Kate certainly seems to to want to keep him under wraps. My point is this: I'm drunk.

So we may have a surprise member of the O6 hitting us sometime later this season, I'm just saying is all. And let's not forget Jack's testimony. Only eight survived the crash, he said, and two of them later died. So we have a couple corpses coming off the bench for the Losties. Let's guess that Jin's one of those, shall we? I didn't notice at the time, but all the other Lost sites did: Jin's gravestone had a date of death that matches the date of the plane crash. This leads to rampant speculation that he's not dead, but is in fact just back on the island with the rest of the Abandon-eers.

I don't buy it. Sun was typically vague: "I miss you," etc., but if Jin weren't dead, there wouldn't be any point in here going to visit his grave. Nor would Hurley have said, "We should go visit Jin." No, I think Jin is dead, and he may have come off the island, but in a body bag. The wrong date on his headstone may just be another side effect of the Big Lie that the O6 have found themselves telling. But I do think Jin is doooooooooooooomed.
By the way . . . whose lie is it? It's not Abbadan's lie, because he tried to get at Hurley. "Are they still alive?" he asked. Abbadan hasn't bought the myth, but he's clearly not behind it. And since Abbadan sent Naomi, and Naomi is behind the freighter expedition, and the freighter expedition is funded by Widmore Corp . . . well, let's just say I think that the lie the O6 are telling is the lie of that lying lying liar, Benjamin LIE-nus.

DON'T TRUST THE CAPTAIN is what the note read. Sayid is taking it to heart, too. Something happens on the boat to convince him not to believe Captain Forthcoming and his black box. Remember, he's sided with Ben in the future. I am starting to suspect that they all have. Imagine a scenario in which eight of the castaways, and Benjamin, manage to get onto the freighter and overpower it. Probably the freighter crew is killed or dies during this time. At any rate, it doesn't look so good for them. They are dying off one per episode, and that bloody Rorsach test on the wall suggests yet another death. We hardly knew ye, Minkowski. See you later, Alison Chains, glub glub glub. She was holding her book upside down, so it seems like there's some severe disorientation happening. Ben tells them how to get off, and he gives them their story. He's the one who knows where they are going, and why, and when. The O8 would have to acquiesce. Then two of them get killed real good, and we have ourselves six. My guess for the two stiffs are Jin and Michael. Just a theory.

Also, I still think that the island is the Garden of Eden, guarded by an angel of smoke and holding the fruit of eternal life. We'll see how that one pans out.

Some random thoughts:

* Who wants to hear what's on the black box? Me too! Me too!

* Who thinks that might be a fake black box? Me too! Me too!

* Where'd the helicopter go? Not back to the island, I'm guessing.

* The janitor on the boat is none other than . . . former Phoenix Suns guard Kevin Johnson! Wow, some ex-ballers get a nice job in broadcasting, and some have to mop up brainspatter out of the roach room. Kevin sure got the fuzzy end of the lollypop considering that he can drive left, drive right, dish with ease and shoot the three. Maybe this is payback from Charles Barkley for his stinking up the joint in 93.

* I don't think Benjamin orchestrated the Oceanic crash; I still think it was Widmore. Both of these are bad brothers, and Widmore may just be worse. That being said, it would be pretty easy to get your hands on 300 plus bodies if you had your own island gassing kit, no?

* The person in the coffin is definitely not a member of the O6, as the funeral was unnattended, with no media. The O6 being apparently more famous than Brangelina, we can safely make this assumption. Starting to seem more and more like Ben in that box, ain't it?

* By the way, we're going to have to start paying close attention to timelines for hints, especially between the boat and the shore. This from Lostpedia: "Sun claims early in the episode (on the night of Day 97, the scene at night when they are discussing baby names) that it has been 3 days since Sayid and Desmond left the Island, matching the helicopter flight at dusk on day 94. The next morning (Day 98?), Sayid says to Desmond that 3 days ago Ben told Sayid that Ben had a man on the boat. That was the same day that Sayid and Desmond left with Lapidus on the helicopter, suggesting that Sayid and Desmond have lived 3 days since the helicopter transport where the Island population is now in their 4th day. This matches the flight time discrepancy of a 20-40 minute flight taking a day and a half in Island time. "

Got that?

* In other news, Locke is still deeply, profoundly stupid. I'm guessing it's going to take about 5 more minutes of the Locke camp storyline for Ben to firmly take the upper hand.

Join us next time when we hear Michael say:

"Seriously, did anybody NOT know I was Ben's man on the ship?"


Friday, March 14, 2008

There Will Be Goat

No LOST post today, for the same reason that there have been no posts for a week. I was on the road all this time and haven't yet seen the show. I will of course be watching it tonight, so you should be getting my rambling dollop of analysis by Monday at the latest.

A few predictions about this weeks episode, sight unseen:

* Sun and Jin will switch bodies, like Freaky Friday, only with subtitles.
* Jack will do something foolish.
* Locke will do something foolish.
* Over/under on Hurley saying "dude" is set at three.
* Back on the boat, Sayid and Desmond will discover that The Captain is none other than this guy right here.
* Somebody will be a bad father.
* The Losties will discover the existance of the Secondhand Smoke Monster, who is even more dangerous than the Smoke Monster, and kills the people directly next to the person it attacks.

Meanwhile, are you all loving BBT3 like I'm loving it? I bet you are. Here's my experience thus far: Four played (Big Game, MATH, Skills, and Mookie), two final tables (Big Game and Mookie), and I'm pretty much freerolling at this point, so now mein sprockets I am as happy as a little girl. Touch my monkey. TOUCH IT!

I went out of the Big Game playing my A Game, which sadly was not superior to Scott Ficshman's Z-Game. Here's my take on the Fiscman saga: I think it was friggin' awesome. A genuine WSOP bracelet wearing pro sat down at a blogger tournament. So what if he was screwing around? So what if he took it down? My God, he was practically begging us to take his chips. He couldn't help it that he was hitting the board like Bonds hits baseballs and shoplifting on the river like Spitzer shoplifts the pooty.

I went out of the MATH in entirely uninteresting fashion. Lose lose win lose lose win lose crap I'm a shortstack push lose coinflip dang.

I went out of the Skillz like Willy Lump Lump. Simple reason, really. I don't know how to play PLO. I pushed my nut flush draw / inside straight flush draw all the way against a made flush. I also had pocket Aces, but I don't really count those for much in PLO. Either way, I went out the second or third hand playing pushdonkey poker.

I'm available as a poker tutor, by the way. Ask for my hourly rates.

I played a fine game of cards in the Mookie until the final table, where I went out in consecutive hands calling with KJ and AT. With the blinds in the stratosphere and the M's way low I figured there was a good shot I was ahead, but I was behind (though still very live) both times, and seriously those are not hands to go out calling with. Good pushing hands, bad calling hands. I deserved to go out in eighth for forgetting the play that got me that far.

Mondo posts coming soon. Got a Stupid/System and of course a LOST in the works, and a few more idiotic ideas.

Friday, March 7, 2008

LOST 013: Juliet's Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

This didn't have a number on it, did it?


OK, let's get this out of the way first. Locke? If you killed all the chickens, that's probably why you're out of eggs. Just saying, buddy.


Bad Locke! [Hits with rolled-up newspaper.] No! No treat! Bad! Bad!

Sigh. So it turns out Jack might be the smart one, after all.

OK, so the main course last night was a big hearty helping of Juliet, served Goodwin style on a bed of Oh My God The Chemicals They Burn, but the main event as usual was happening in the B story. Ben just schooled Locke once more like Obi Wan vs. the stormtroopers. Curse those Jedi mind tricks.

What did we see? Widmore, baby. Yeah, it's his boat, or so Ben claims, and this time I think he isn't lying. On tapoe, we see him personally administering an Al Capone level whomping on some guy or other and then looking up and seeing the guy who is taping him, who must have gotten away, because, videotape! We also know that Locke knows who Ben's man on the boat is. Or at least Ben told him somebody that would make him want to sit down. Or maybe he asked Locke to sit down so he could sneak up behind him, shove a 14 inch blade into his ear, flay his body and eat him with fava beans. We don't know, we haven't seen Locke since then. I guess he's busy reading the Widmore file, and for my part I'd rather have spent the episode perusing that than learning that Juliet was getting all "If He Was Your Boyfriend, He Wasn't Last Night" on Shrewy MacMuppetbrows.

But the Man On Boat? It's become fairly clear, right? We have now been promised that next week, we'll see a face "We NEVER expected to see again," which I guess would be true if they hadn't been putting the actor's name in the credits all season. Michael, anybody?

Also in the "stupid as always" category. I nominate . . . Kate. "Hmmm, these untrustworthy boat people are strangely off by themselves and acting untrustworthy. I guess I had better demonstrably show I distrust them, and then crouch down to open this duffel bag. To make sure I really see what's in it, I think I'll put my head in this perfect, pistol-whupping position . . . OW MY POOR CRANIUM!"

Anyway, this episode zipped along, but it really didn't tell us much that we hadn't already surmised. As before, I think this is because the show actually gives lots of information if you are paying close attention, so a 'reveal' like "It's Widmore's boat" doesn't really come as much surprsise. Ben is a creep, and apparently not so smoove with the ladies. Who'd a thunk it?

The big new explanation is just how everybody in Dharma was killed. Apparently Ben has a mass gassing device. How very Chemical Ali of him. This is especially chilling when you consider that it may be why Rousseau thought there was a plague on-island. Maybe they were gassed. Meanwhile, all through the first couple of seasons and right up to this episode, the Losties could have just been gassed and destroyed. Remember, Ben's still got his people out there, and I don't believe for a second that they are done with him.

Ben's like any cult leader. He just doesn't have time for Kool-Aide, or maybe he just doesn't like the stain it leaves on the lips. Poor guy, now he can't instantly kill everybody on the island! What will he do with his Saturday nights? I for one suggest he play the 50/50.

Hey Locke? Do you remember a time in the past when Ben allowed himself to be captured in order to infiltrate? How did that work out? Pretty bad, right? And THAT time, he wasn't even able to fully infiltrate. Do you remember how he got captured this time? Walked right up, didn't he?

Bad Locke! Where's that newspaper?

But there are some new questions. These are them:

4) Charlotte has a working phone and the knowledge that Ben has a mole on the boat. Any reason she wouldn't share that information with the boat?

8) Shaftbrows was sent by Ben to get Juliet to stop the boaties from destroying his beautiful chemicals. How is he still communicating with his people so specifically? Really beefs up that whole "the Others haven't forgotten about Ben" theory, don't it?

15) Wonderbrows appears along with those mysterious whispers. What does this tell us about whispers? My guess is that it's the sound time travel makes.

16) Why isn't . . . . oh, I'm out of ways to make fun of her very disturbing eyebrows. Why isn't she reeeeeeally mad at Ben for slaying her husbad Uriah-style? Three possibilities are, 3) she is mad but still loyal, 1) she didn't care a bit about Goodwin and her concern was just an act in front of Juliet on behalf of Ben, 3) the writers haven't thought of this. I like point 1) the best.

23) How cool is it to get further shades of meaning to what was happening with Goodwin and the tailies some 50 episodes later? I friggin' LOVE that about this show.

42) When will all the Others return? I think they, much like Washing Ton, are coming, they're coming, they're coming. The future beware, the present beware . . . I'm guessing you're going to see some or most of our beloved Losties becoming Others pretty soon. As creepy and socially stunted as Ben is, it's entirely possible that he's the extremely twisted good guy, or at least he's working toward what many characters would consider the good guy side. On the minus side, he looks like Gollum and is perfectly happy to kill everybody if he needs to. All leaders have their down sides.

65) Will Jack choose Juliet or Kate or ssnnnnzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzz

Seriously, Lost writers? We do not care about Jack's love life.

Join us next time, when we hear Sawyer say:

"Hoss? Sweetheart Bruce Lee freckles, hoss. Baby Huey!"


Monday, March 3, 2008

Graphic: How Scott Fischman Sees The World

In all seriousness, welcome to new blogger Scott Fischman for his big win in the big game last night. (Scott, let me know your blog and I'll link you up.)

Scott played aggressively and clearly got hit in the face with the deck, but a win is a win, and I'm sure it feels good. I always love to see new faces make their biggest scores ever!

Dance a boogie, dance a boogie,
Dance a boogie, dance a boogie.