Sunday, November 30, 2008

Get In Here For Some Of The Real Thing

You know how it is. You're playing a long tournament, and your mind is wandering. You have the latest South Park open (hilarious). Every so often, the poker cliet screen flickers to the front and you make a quick decision, based on increasingly limited information. Fold. Fold. Call, fold. Cartman. Do you know who is agressive at your table? Who is tight? What does it matter? You've been here before. If you get a nice size stack, you'll pay attention. But for some reason, you just haven't been getting that big stack lately . . .

That's right. You've lost focus.

I've been trying something lately. It's been helping. The results have been good, but results in MTT are deceptive. No, it's been helping my mindset. Perhaps it will help yours, as well. One can only hope, and, after all, I'm here to help.

I have the recipe for you now. Here's what you do.

[The rest of this post can be read at Poker From The Rail on Full Tilt Poker]

Monday, November 24, 2008

Flogging My Silly Bloggament 002

I'm a man of my word. A new week, a new non-reason to play the Bad Bankroll-Management Tourney on 9:00 PM EST, Sunday, January 4.

This week's reason that signing up for this tournament (password: busto) on Full Tilt would be a -EV decision, and one you'll almost surely regret:

As far as I know, Buddy Dank Radio will not be broadcasting.

That's right. The most enjoyable reason to sling chips around with our virtual crew? Not a factor. So come on down! It may be a bad decision, but at least it will probably be dull!

In other news, Pauly has been kind enough to invite me to guest post from time to time over at the Coventry Music & Phish blog. I'm a true Phish poseur, but I know a good offer when I hear one, and I am honored and happy to be on board. If Phish ain't your thing, well, I am a just and merciful ruler, and I forgive you. But it's some of your favorite writers over there, it's about music, it's fun, so join the party! Bring glow-sticks.

Also, there's plenty of other musical writings over there. Heck, I just laid down my first musical writings ever, on the subject of Frank Zappa's seminal album,
We're Only In It For The Money

This platter dropped in 1968, at the height of the hippy drippy love-in that was radiating out (so the story goes) from the porches of Haight Ashbury and spreading peace throughout the country, Frank Zappa went ahead and put out this album, a poison plum chucked at the collective heads, and Heads, of the sixties. The target was all that was fatuous and empty and dark in society, on all sides. It's shock-and-awe satire, tough love minus the love . . .


Go to the Coventry Blog to read more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heroes 008: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Dumb

This is so much easier now that I don't care anymore.

Let's recap in screeplay format, shall we?

SCENE 1

Enter MOHINDER and INKY SUE

Mohinder: I have a serum that gives powers! I'll use it on myself! Nothing will go wrong!
Inky Sue: You've got powers!
Mohinder: And a boner!
Inky Sue: You're a monster!
Mohinder: YES ARRGLY ARRGLY you are now in a cocoon!
Inky Sue: Let me go!
Mohinder: OK, but only if you leave the show forever.

Exit INKY SUE. Enter PA-TRELLI.

Pa-Trelli: My power is to never have inflection.
Mohinder: Now is the part of the season mein schprockets when I work for the bad guys in a lab coat.
Pa-Trelli: Work for me.
Mohinder: OK, I guess I'm no longer a bug? Just a guy with skin tags glued onto his neck and a man-beehive hairdo?
Pa-Trelli: Sure, whatever. Perform an experiment on this guy.
Mohinder: What? With the serum that turned me into a monster?
Pa-Trelli: Yeah.
Mohinder: That sounds like it would have very predictable and undesirable results. A very stupid idea. I'll do it!

[Mohinder DOES THIS. The guy very predictably turns into a MONSTER, albiet one with no powers.]

Mohinder: "I. Am. So. Sorry.

Guy: BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!!!!


SCENE 2

HIRO and ANDO are in Africa. They just ARE, okay? The TOKEN BLACK GUY gets BEHEADED by PA-TRELLI

Token Black Guy: Whatever.
Pa-Trelli: Hiro, you screwed up this job. Which was to bring the precog to me. Because ostensibly I needed him. Even though I just beheaded him. So I guess I should have sent you to kill him. Or I could have just done it myself. I am kind of hoping nobody remembers that you're here because I sent you.
Hiro: I LIKE CHEESE!
Pa-Treli: OK. Well, you represent easily the biggest threat to me and my plans. So, instead of killing you or taking your powers, both of which I am easily capable of doing, I think I'll just do something needlessly convoluted.

[He reverts HIRO'S mind to the age of TEN. This makes ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE.]

Hiro: I LIKE CHEESE!
Ando: Oh no! Now, having done the needlessly convoluted thing, it appears that Pa-Trelli is really going to kill us! Hiro, teleport!
Hiro: WAFFLES!
Ando: No, just teleport! Here, I'll make you scrunch up your face.

[This ACTUALLY WORKS]

Me: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Ando: Wow, you teleported just because I made your face move?
Hiro: FART!
Ando: Do you stop time every time you take a dump?
Hiro: COMIC BOOK!
Ando: Huh, this comic book is still being drawn, even though the artist got his head sawed off two years back.
Hiro: SANDWICH!

[Hiro prances around like a drugged elf.]


SCENE 3

LAW-TRELLI and NIKKI 3 enter PA-TRELLI's sanctum. It is really easy to do.

Law-Trelli: Dad, you're still alive.
Pa-Trelli: Son, you're a senator.
Law-Trelli: Is that still part of the plot?
Pa-Trelli: You are the key to my plan. You're meant to be president.
Law-Trelli: So . . . that's why you tried to kill me?
Pa-Trelli: You know what? Let's just cut away from this scene.


SCENE 4

PA-TRELLI and SYLAR are walking along.

Pa-Trelli: Son, you can take powers without sawing off heads.
Sylar: What?
Pa-Trelli: Just tap into your empathy.
Sylar: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Wow, that really is funny how you pretended to make it the lamest and most trite thing possible.
Pa-Trelli: . . .
Sylar: No, seriously. How do I do it?
Pa-Trelli: Here, go into this room.
Sylar: OK.
Elle: I HATE YOU YOU KILLED MY FATHER I HATE YOU DIE!!!
Sylar: Ow, my skin!
Elle: YOU ARE A MONSTER I HATE YOU DIE!!!!
Sylar: Ow my whole head chest neck and shirt!
Elle: I WILL KILL YOU!!!
Sylar: I forgive you. Please forgive yourself.
Elle: OMG OMG
Sylar: It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault.
Good Will Hunting: I'm healed!
Elle: BE MY BOYFRIEND, DADDY KILLER!

[They MAKE OUT, while PA-TRELLI watches on closed-circuit.]



SCENE 5

PARKMAN and SPEEDY walk into the WORLD'S MOST DESERTED HOSPITAL and find MA-TRELLI

Parkman: I'm going to go in there.
Speedy: Gross! She's sleeping!
Parkman: No, I mean into her brain. Ew.
Speedy: OK, I'll go get a nurse or something. I'm not going to totally betray you.

She TOTALLY BETRAYS HIM. Meanwhile, PARKMAN enters a David Lynch dream and is STABBED by SPEEDY, representing his SENSE OF OBVIOUSNESS. SPEEDY returns and notices that PARKMAN is bleeding, because YOUR MIND CAN GIVE YOU OPEN WOUNDS. She then enters PARKMAN'S mind by touching his hand. I guess that is how that WORKS.

Parkman: Oooowwwie!!
Speedy: Now I loves you! I loves you with all my heart!
Parkman: I love you too!
Pa-Trelli: You can't love dese hos. She'll betray you! My wife tried to kill me and paralyzed me!
Ma-Trelli: Let me go.
Pa-Trelli: For no reason? Why not?

They ALL WAKE UP

Parkman: Was that you in my brain, Speedy?
Speedy: Yes, and now I still suddenly love you.
Parkman: I love you!
Speedy: Should we kiss?
Parkman: Hey! Where did my TURTLE go?


SCENE 6

CLAIRE and PETER un from THING 1 and THING 2

Pete: Blah blah blah blah innocent
Claire: Yadda yadda yadda, run away.
Pete: NO! Oh, Okay.

PETER runs. CLAIRE prepares for a standoff.

Claire: I'm the defensive player of the year!
Thing 1 and Thing 2: What does that even mean?

CLAIRE throws herself out a WINDOW, and right past Peter. This has the effect of LEADING THE BAD GUYS RIGHT TO PETER.

Thing 1 and Thing 2: That's defense? We could have easily thrown you out of a window. In fact, that was kind of our plan.

PETER does something with a gas main that is ALMOST SORT OF INTELLIGENT.

Peter: Now keep in mind that, since being stripped of my powers, I do not have appeared to have absorbed any powers from Claire, Elle, Thing 1 or Thing 2. This would indicated that my power-absorbing power has been removed as well. I am sure that this show will be consistant about that.

EVERYBODY remains politely SILENT.

Claire: So, how long has it been since you abandoned your Irish girlfriend in a hellish future-that-no-longer-is without any comment or qualm?
Peter: Eighty-three whole days!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Going To Be OK

Shake everything you got.


The Month Of December Has Been Brought To You By:

Sky Poker.

Flogging My Silly Bloggament 001

OK, I'm going to do a weekly post about the Bad Bankroll-Management Tournament, a quarterly tournament I'm running with a buy-in that is simply irresponsible relative to the bankrolls of many of us (Example: Me). This is what is known in the "business" of "blogging" as "pimping the tournament", or "annyoing use of quotation marks."

Nothing can stop me. Once a week, I'll be posting an un-reason to play.

This week's reason: Noted poker pro Layne Flack will NOT, as far as I know, be playing. So come on out for absolutely no chance to pick up a pro bounty!

Two further notes:

1) Last week the tournament was advertised as being on January 3. That was a mistake. It is on January 4. Please update your PDAs and personal calendars immediately.

2) I don't know why Pauly's blog has become so popular. Honestly. So much about poker media is about glamorizing the lifestyle, promoting easy money, mind-reading cardsharps, the lights, the glitz, the Milwaukee's Best TV hand. And here's Pauly, giving us the bracing and unflinching reality. Never mind. I guess I see why Pauly's blog is so popular.

You've probably noticed it, but Pauly's been hitting it out of the park with some really pretty writing about some really ugly scenes. It's a merciless look at the luring lie that Vegas is, or really that any promise of something for nothing is. It's a nice reminder to me to keep poker a game and a mental exercise, never a lifestyle.

Take a look. Pauly takes a quarter and rubs the shiny silver off the ticket. There's nothing underneath.

Emissaries from the Land of Indulgence

Existentialist Conversations with Hookers

Monday, November 17, 2008

Heroes 007: No No No No No

Sorry, I promised a Heroes post last week and just didn't get to it. It's pain aversion. I just don't know how much longer I can take this. I have so much hatred in me now. To their credit, the show runners seem to have realized with this nearly hour-long flashback that we've set up so many different threads, we'll need to go back a bit to try to unravel them. Sadly, they completely botched it. Last week's episode was an intriguing, generally well-acted little story about completely different people with the same names, and played by the same actors.

Unless the title card "Villains" (which replaced "Heroes") indicates that we are in an alternate universe having no impact upon the show we've been watching, and in which everybody is slightly different, then we have lost whatever tenuous grasp on chronology and consistency we once had. And, if we are in an alternate dimenison, then it is equally meaningless. Frankly, I'd welcome life in a dimension in which Heroes ended after Season 1. Maybe next week the title will be "Idiots." That would be fun. And accurate.


Just a few of the many, many reasons that I am losing my strength when it comes to this show.


* Eighteen months ago, Bennett was working with Elle. How interesting! Cool pairing! Too bad we already know that Elle wasn't let out of the Company's fortress until she went looking for Pete-reli in Ireland last season. And that Bennett was working with the Haitian. Other than that, though, tight plotting.

* Eighteen months ago, Bennett was monitoring Sylar and basically turning him into a serial killer by encouraging him to give into "his hunger" (TM 3 weeks ago). What a reveal! It would be SO compelling . . . except that we have memories. In Season 1, Bennett didn't know who Sylar was, or what he looked like, or what motivated him. We also know that Bennett's view of the Company's policy was to keep tabs on ALL paranormals and to imprison them as soon as they manifested. I will say it's nice that they remembered that Bennett used to be a ruthless company man. Too bad they forgot . . . oh, everything else.

* Eighteen months ago, Elle was very conflicted about what they were doing to Sylar. Except that we know that in Season 2 she was a totally unhinged psychopath who was pretty likely to burn you to death and enjoy it. When did she get all Sarah McLachlan? Where have all the psychopaths gone?

* Dummy McBlueHands: "An invisible guy tackled me." You mean the invisible guy who started helping paranormals escape the Company? Who got caught? Whom Bennett shot and went into hiding and therefore was not working for the Company? That invisible man? ARRRRGH.

* Eighteen months ago, Bennett got into a cab that Mohinder was driving. But we already know that Mohinder doesn't have a brain but rather a complex ganglion of nerve endings in his lower back, and therefore lacks the requisite motor skills to wipe spittle off his chin, much less drive in Manhattan. Oh, actually that sounds like a Manhattan cab driver. Never mind.

* Eighteen months ago, Peter had bangs in his face. Now I want to drown myself whenever I watch this show.


It's not over, I suppose. When we leave off, Pa-trelli is killing Hiro in the African desert, and that's a step in the right direction. Pete-treli is a much more interesting character now that he has limitations besides plot-demanded stupidity. And LOST has shown us that flashbacks can be employed to mind-bending effect. But a flashback should tell us something new, shouldn't it? Couldn't we have gotten something compelling about Pa-trelli's motivations? All we learned is Ma-trelli put Pa-trelli into that coma, that Firebug worked for the Company for about a minute, and also she's the sister of that other guy with the blueflame hands, because everybody in this universe needs to be related. We also learned things we already knew: that Bennett used to be an unquestioning foot soldier, that Linderman worked for Pa-trelli, that Pa-trelli is evil and willing (almost eager) to kill his own sons, that Sylar becomes a demon because of "the hunger", and that it's funny watching a slack-jawed goth guy get thrown into some furniture. Everything else we are shown flatly contradicts key plot and character points. Why am I even surprised by this?

I guess the next flashback will show us that Mohinder is a scientist, Parkman is the long-lost brother of his turtle, Sylar was Claire's violin teacher for a spell, Hiro can teleport and is childlike in his love of comic books, and Ando rarely blinks.

(Oh and for future reference, it's Pa-trelli, Ma-trelli, Pete-trelli, and Law-trelli for Nathan. Long lost Sylar will be referenced as Faux-trelli whenever his connection to the clan is being made explicit. Good? Good.)

Right. And also, "finger gun" is the dumbest power ever. It even beats "paint the future." It would have been better if Sylar had killed him and then just left his power alone, like the crowd at baseball games throwing back an opponent's home run ball. "Finger gun? Um . . . yeah, that's great. No, no . . that's OK. I've, um . . . I've absorbed all the powers I can."

Oh and while I am whining like a mule, are Arthur's only powers the mind control thing? Why is that, if he can steal powers? If he is as power-hungry and evil as he's shown, wouldn't it make sense that he's having the Company gather up super-people to steal their powers? Wouldn't he have snagged a heal power, or an invulnerable power, or a poison-power at some point? It wouldn't have helped as long as the Haitian was around so he'd have still gotten poisoned, but at least then he wouldn't have been bed-ridden for so long. And since I'm here, if Linderman and Ma-trelli had such a problem with Arthur, why are they moving forward with the plot to blow up New York? In a normal show I'd assume these questions would be answered. In a normal show.

I guess the only thing to do is to sign off with the only thing on video that is now dumber than Heroes. May I present SpeedFit, the moving treadmill? This thing is real, y'all:



Invest now!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drive on the sidewalk until I feel better about all this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Heroes Post Coming

I haven't written the Heroes recap yet, I know. It just hurts so much.

Tomorrow, for sure. In the meantime, here's some super heroes who make a bit more sense.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FTW

Take a look at this and decide if it isn't the funniest poker blog since Poker Champ made his last bloviating proclaimation.

Behold. Poker Blaaargh!

I for one welcome our alien tentacled insectile, chthonic Lovcraftian horror overlord.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Going To Be OK

You've seen this. Unless you haven't.

If you haven't seen this, or if you have, enjoy.

One world, y'all.



Here for much better video quality (yay!) but embedding disallowed (boo!).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Introducing the BB(m)T

"I'll never buy into a cash game or a Sit & Go with more than 5 percent of my total bankroll."
-Chris Ferguson, Full Tilt Poker

I've always wanted to host a blogger tourney, but I was never sure what niche to fill. Now I know. My way is clear, now. Given my clear and total lack of understanding of the fundamentals (I am, after all, the author of Stupid/System), it is my duty and my destiny to bring you a really stupid tournament.

Some of you are very good about your bankrolls. You observe strict limits and never play above your level. Good for you. Now stop being such babies and sign up already. Geez.

Some of you are big winners, and have no concern about putting down the buyin. Good news! The rest of us will be VERY scared money. Sign up!

The rest of you are like me. You just play what it occurs to you to play and muddle along. On the way, you make some really stupid poker decisions. This is your tournament, right here.

Behold. The Bad Bankroll-Management Tourney. (I am thinking we could call it BBT for short.)

A few points of note on some decisions I have made to make this as stupid as possible:

1) I've make this thing Superstacks so there's plenty of play. This means it will take TWO brutal one-outer beats to send you to the rail. Also, you'll be up until 2:00 AM.

2) Because I am deeply lazy, I'm only going to run it on the first Saturday or Sunday of every quarter, so all the losers have time to grind back at the $2.20 SNGs. (That is, I'll run it quarterly if the first one goes well. By "goes well", I mean at least three people show up.)

3) As an added incentive to make it even stupider, there is absolutely no money added to the pool! That's right, you heard right: Full Tilt is not putting up ANY prizes or additional cash.

So come on out, and make a really bad bankroll decision! You'll be out fifty-five smackers if you lose, but hey! You might just win! (You won't. You'll lose.) So hit those wonderful satellites that run around the clock on Full Tilt, or just buy straight in!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The November 9: Regurgitated Corporate Fever-Dreams

I have to say, I am disappointed in the media bias.

No, not politics. I'm talking about the November Nine. In case you've forgotten (and let's face it, you totally have), I was amazed this summer to discover I knew each of the men who made the final table personally. I went through hell and back to secure the right to post what I knew.

It was a hair-raising experience, and not one I entered into lightly. Could America take the truth? But no, I finally decided, it didn't matter if we were ready as a culture, the truth must come out. I pulled the pin on the grenade and chucked it out into the Internet, then hunkered in my bunker, waiting for the cleansing cultural fires of tactical response.

The response? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Instead, my RSS reader is clogged with this bunko corporate nonsense passing as "biography" of the November Nine. Even Pauly has drunk the kool-aide of mendacity, posting a well-written breakdown of each of these individuals that is, for all its clarity of prose, nothing but the regurgitated corporate fever-dreams of Howard Lederer, Chris Moneymaker, and Norman Chad. Lies, lies, and damned lies. Shame on you, Pauly. I expect this crap from CardPlayer, but not from you.

Fine. Here we go again. Before the cards hit the air, I present you with the REAL November Nine.

Dennis Phillips
Craig Marquis
Ylon Schwartz
Scott Montgomery
Darus Suharto
"David" Chino "Rheem"
Ivan Demidov
Kelly Kim
Peter Eastgate

Again, and please believe me as if the future of civilization hung in the balance (for all we know, it does): All of this is completely true.*


*Not completely.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008