Saturday, December 26, 2009

Act Like You've Been There

My favorite football player is, was, and likely always will be, Barry Sanders. No other modern NFL player combined power, grace, durability, and innovation like the Mighty Mite. Also, he played for the Detroit Lions, a team that I used to root for, and which I now simply observe as a pitiable oddity, like a calf born with no legs, or Glenn Beck.

I think the most enduring memory I have of Barry Sanders was of a guy who made sure he did whatever it took to stay on his feet, for as long as he could. He was the master of the 90-second four-yard gain, slipping and sliding, starting and stopping, changing directions three times a second, legs like some kind of steel-rubber hybrid. When he was on his game, you couldn't stop him, you couldn't contain him, you couldn't even hope to contain him. You could only hope to wish to contain him. The man just would Not. Go. Down.

And when he got to the end zone, as he often did, there was never a dance. Never a celebratory jig. He'd just flip the ball to the ref, like he'd been expecting to be in the end zone. No big deal. Expected. He'd been there before, he'd be there again.

Observe him here, in one of his most iconic runs.

As you can see, Barry was absolutely explosive as he broke through the line of scrimmage, and his ability to change directions on a half-penny allows him to make defenders look foolish. Did you see how he just threaded the needle between the two groups that were trying to tackle him? Brilliant. Of course, for Barry, getting through the first wave was the easy part. As you can see from that clip, defenders had little trouble running him down in the open field, leaving him susceptable to a hit from behind. Luckily, Sanders was adept at juking as he ran, forcing his pursuers to make mistakes and misses in their attempts to lay a hand on him.

Now. Here's why I'm telling you this.

Last night, I was the poker version of Barry until the five-yard line. I bubbled the $50+$5 Nightly Seventy Grand over on Stars. My pocket Aces fell to 89 offsuit on a gross QJT flop. On the final table bubble and 9th in chips, I'd limped them UTG hoping (not unreasonably, in my opinion) for a shove from an opportunistic stack. Sadly, I got no action until that rancid flop, and when I got action from the big blind (the other shorty at the table), I simply couldn't fold. Given how weakly I'd played pre, I decided he could have any Queen, Jack, or Ten with a rag, or even a naked King for the open ended. Ace King was not something I could put him on, nor TT, JJ, or QQ.

Etcetera. The point is, I couldn't quite find the fold as much as I hated the flop, he'd flopped third nuts, the King didn't materialize to save me, and that was it for me. I'd be the last one to say I'd played it perfectly there, but I think my thought process was reasonable.

Regardless, I'm still feeling good about it. I feel like a corner has been turned. I'm not the greatest poker player by any stretch, and among the list of poker variants NLHE is still the only one I feel this way about but . . . I feel like I've figured something out. I'm not killing myself this morning about "the one that got away." I don't feel like I've let my one chance slide. There was never a point that I didn't feel like I knew what I was doing, where I felt like I was getting run over by my table or by a specific person. And -- I think this is the key point -- I wasn't ever surprised. This deep run just kind of felt like "yeah." Like something that is possible to do. I feel like in any given tournament, I'm a threat to go Barry Sanders all over everybody.

I got coolered with Aces slow played. That's the risk you take when you try to double up by slow playing them. It happens. But until that moment, I definitely felt that I had a chance to Go. All. The. Way.

Nice feeling. Here's hoping it sticks around. If I'm the guy who has a great season and then just sucks horribly for years? We all know who that would make me.

Scott Mitchell. Shudder.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

LOST Prelude 01: Refresh & Conjecture

There is an Island that lives outside of our time and space. There is an Event within this island, which occurs throughout its unique time and space. This Event is triggered at a specific time in the Island’s chronology, and cause the chronological events of the island to occur again and again and again, with slight permutations.

The island exists in a dimensional parallel to the planet Earth, orbiting the planet like a moon. However, because of its unique dimensional configuration, it is for the most part able to orbit within the earth. It surfaces in Tunisa, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic, as well as many other locations. Because of its unique dimensional configuration, its matter does not interfere with the earth's matter, nor the earth's matter with it's own. Even when traveling on its orbit within the earth, it has access to the sun's light.

It is very hard to reach this island.

It is perhaps impossible to know whether the Island’s unique chronological situation is caused by the Event, or if the Event was made possible by the Island’s unique chronological situation.

Two consciousnesses exist on the Island. One is named Jacob. The other is his Nemesis. They alone are fully aware of how long the island lives, and many times this has happened.

Each time, the island lives for hundreds of thousands of years.

It has lived, for hundreds of thousands of years, millions of times.

These consciousnesses are in contention with one another. They have been in contention for many turns of the time’s wheel.

Jacob can leave the island. He can touch people. He can restore them to life. He can keep them from aging. He can heal them. He can also choose not to heal them. He can allow them to become sick. He can allow them to suffer. He can influence people. He does this through revelation.

He can appear as a man, though he rarely does. He can also appear as an animal, like a horse, or bird. Or a Labrador retriever. It is possible that he can appear in the guise of those who are dead.

Jacob wants to use the island’s unique repeating time loop to perfect the timeline. He does this by making modifications. By bringing people to the island, by influencing them, by leaving them to do what they will. To make different, hopefully better, decisions. He revels in the slow evolution toward perfection. He accepts pain and death as the price paid for this progress.

Yes, he accepts death. Even his own.

The Nemesis is unable to leave the island. He is unable to harm Jacob physically. He can touch others, and, occasionally, chooses to (or is allowed to) harm them. He is very clever. He, too, can influence people. He does so through lies.

He can appear as a man, though he rarely does. He can appear as the dead. He can also appear as smoke.

The Nemeis is maddened by this constant repetition. He tires of the flounderings and failure of these limited creatures, humans. He wants to bring a stasis to the timeline. The only way he can accomplish this is to end Jacob’s experimentation. The only way to end Jacob's experimentation is to end Jacob. If Jacob stops changing things, then every event throughout every iteration of the loop will be exactly the same every time. Which will mean that one will be indistinguishable from the next. Which means it will all finally only happen once. The timeline will only begin once. The timeline will only end once.

Currently, the timeline ends with the destruction of space and time.

The Nemesis craves the kindly slumber of entropy.

This is the story of their struggle.


Next: Timeline

Monday, December 21, 2009

Your Weekly Dose of Crazy

This is actually approaching crawesome, but let's keep it here in Crazy, because of the enormous slabs of crazy.

"An Italian singer wrote this song with gibberish to sound like English. If you've ever wondered what other people think Americans sound like, this is it."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Uberpost 002: Mini Uber is Still An Uber If I Say It Is

That's right, I'm going to keep up Iggy's shtick until he takes it back from me. The presumption is staggering. Like a twelve-year old trying to wear Michael Jordan's jersey. Julius_Goat: Shaming little people since 2009. Holla.

Trip reports from WPBT abound, so bound over to them if you ain't already:

Recess Rampage

Others, I have no doubt. Link 'em up in the comments.

This weekend I stayed up watching Mini FTOPS events for Poker at the Rail blog so that Al Can't Hang could go out and create a man-made SoCo shortage. See here and here for some of the hijinx I observed.

Al's favorite quote:
The Full tilt pros got mowed down in Event #7 like extras in Saving Private Ryan and thus there was nothing to report on their actions in that event.

My favorite quote:
BOM had top pair, top kicker and not much else, so after a couple of blanks, he was the bald-headed little girl with no lollypop.

Go, read, comment, and give me five stars, for crying out loud. Let's make me seem more valuable than I actually am, please.

Oh and hey! I even made a tidy score of my own while doing it. My first-ever MTT takedown. As the Buddah once said to the fish, "w00t." I'm even considering a post about some of the key hands, so you can see just how badly you have to play to win in poker.

Oh, and double hey! Speaking of Mini FTOPS and big MTT scores, go congratulate Hoyazo for pulling 27,000 out of the series. He needs your congratulations to stay awake, I promise. I heard that he's cutting his coffee with Red Bull, which is changing his chromosomes but not keeping those eyelids up. Luckily 27 large buys plenty of toothpicks.

Triple ripple hey! In case you didn't know, Astin's the WBPT winner. Which means that a small but growing percentage of bloggers thinks that I am the WPBT Golden Hammer winner. When you are only pixels and never show up IRL, it turns out that wacky theories accrue like wattles on Joe Lieberman's neck. In further Astin news, he took the sickest skyline photo ever from his room atop the Bellagio. Go, observe with wonderment.

It's nice to start up the blogging apparatus again. It was nice to just let this thing lie fallow for a month, but I have too much crazy and too much awesome to share, to say nothing of all those random silly poker thoughts. Time to get weird.

Here's a dose of crazy:

Here's a dose of awesome.

Here's some Kids In The Hall news that a few of you emailed me about. I have been watching for this to come around the corner for a year or so.

That's right, y'all. The Kids Are back. Can you wait? You'll have to. But not for much longer.

Oh yeah. Only 5 more weeks until LOST. Get ready for my ongoing nonsense as we follow the final legs of the greatest TV drama ever.

For those of you who are newbies and want to catch up, here's a little video that may help.

Time to go fire up Xtranormal and interview some famous poker hands. I'll see you around out there. Keep your powder dry.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I think it may be time for my impromptu and unofficial blogging hiatus to end.

Behold: I can no longer claim to have never won a large-field MTT. Respeck.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Exclusive Breaking News: Darvin Moon Reveals Hold Cards In Infamous "Worst Fold Ever" Hand

There are some disadvantages to knowing every member of the November Nine, and I've blogged about my travails extensively before. But, occasionally, there are benefits, too. My position give me access that few others can claim. And so, with the whole poker world buzzing about Darvin Moon's fold to Steven Beglieter's all-in shove while already thoroughly pot-committed.

Let's throw it to the always-stellar Dr. Pauly for the hand coverage:
Moon opened from UTG for 1.3M. Begleiter thee-bet to 3.9M. Moon smooth called. The flop was 4s-3s-2d. Moon checked. Begleiter bet 5.35M. Moon went for the double-fisted check-raise and pulled out 15M in chips. Begleiter tanked for a minute before he announced "All in" for 21M total or 6M more.

Moon mouthed, "Wow."

Then the worst fold in the history of tournament poker ensued. Moon folded.
In the 24 hours or so following that fateful fold, the buzz has reached fever pitch. What was Moon thinking? What could have kept him from calling with nearly 9:1 pot odds? And, most of all, what had he been holding?

Well, now I know. Darvin told me.

He was holding 5s6s
for the nut straight and a shot at a flush or even a straight flush. But before you think that this laydown was some nefarious chip-dump or one of the worst cases of hand-misreading in history, be aware: The fold was a part of Moon's strategy. His strategy to win.

"I had to fold there, man," he told me in a hasty phone conversation this afternoon. "If I had called, I'd have been getting it in way, way, WAY ahead. And that just went against my general strategy."

Moon calls it his "Get it in behind" strategy, and he held to it religiously throughout the grueling seventeen-hour final table.

"I mean, look, man," Moon confided, "I've been playing a lot of online poker these days, and those dudes just seem to win a LOT getting it all in ahead of time, as long as they got the worst hand of the fellow calling him. It just seemed like a foolproof strategy. So I'm going to the deck mainly with Ace Queen, sometimes King Nine or something to mix it up, but I wanna be sure I'm always a substantial underdog, so that I am 90% sure to win the hand."

Moon denies misplaying the hand in question, or displaying a lack of understanding of pot odds. "Look, you have to understand, I had the nut straight," he said. "I mean, it was a lock hand with other cards still comin' that might put me in jeopardy of an even stronger hand. I just can't put any extra money in the pot under those circumstances, no matter how compelling the pot odds. I mean, I was trying to win the hand there by forcing a fold. I figured it was my only way to possibly win was by betting, because obviously holding the nuts I can't continue. It's just not good poker to give your opponent a chance to kick your junk when you can save your chips for a better spot, like when he's got Ace King and you've got Ace Six or something, and you can just wind up and junk-kick him without mercy. Just ask that Cada kid. He's figured out how to get his chips in even worse than I've been able to, and he's got even more chips than I do."

Joe Cada was unavailable for comment.

Image courtesy of Poker From The Rail.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Your Sporadic Dose Of Awesome

Let's be clear, here. The Beastie Boys' classic hit Sabotage makes everything better by a factor of 12.47.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

Give me a tea please, you bastard.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Nine Round Up

In case you missed it, nine of the greatest poker players on the planet Earth are going to duke it out for big bucks and honor, and the right to kill the other eight. I'm going to have to research some of that. Anyway, I know all of these guys very well, and I was kind enough to give you the inside diggity on them a couple months back.

Here they are. Before you watch the ME final table, refresh your memories with the stories you'll find only here.

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey
Kevin Schaffel
Steve Begleiter
Eric Buchman
Joe Cada
Antoine Saout
Jeff Shulman

My pick to win it all? I'm going to go longshot and say it will be James "Oh My" Akenhead.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Vegas Post 03: And They're Getting Custody Of The Ankles

My wife and I left the Luxor around five-thirty and walked to Treasure Island, stopping by nearly every establishment in-between, then crossed the street to the Venetian and strolled around there for awhile. Then we walked the whole way back.

That's the short version. Here's the long version:

L and I are happy and proud parents; our kids are smart, engaged, and just generally fun people to be around, and we love them. However, let me give you the flip side. After five years, we are deeply tired. So now, after this span, for the first time, here we were: together with each other and nobody else.

This meant that, much like Waffles or Donald Rumsfeld, we actually did not need any kind of plan as we headed out. We could just let the night rise to meet us! We could just go find our adventure!

And we had a good time, as I'll elucidate in the coming paragraphs. But here's the thing. The strip is really really really really really really long. Walking from one place to another can seem like walking from the Mall of America to another Mall of America right next to it.

Anyway, drunk on freedom (and free drinks), we walked for a long time along the west side of the Strip and saw the sights there were to see. On foot, one can truly take in Vegas, and I'll tell you this: There's a lot of it. Overall, it strikes me as one enormous bar that is hosted inside of a giant mall, connected by circuses, and visited primarily by clowns in shorts (I was wearing shorts). Here's my impression of each of the spots we stopped, from South to North.

Luxor: This is the place where I stayed, and from whence we started. Carrot Top works here, or at least this is where he is kept freeze-dried between performances. This is also the only building on the strip off of which it is impossible to jump. The poker room is small but friendly.

Excalibur: This place is shaped like a castle. The poker room is in the middle of the casino, and it is full of rocks, and also one guy who I think was a mannequin of Tom Petty. I think Louie Anderson is here, but in writing this sentence I've already thought about Louie Anderson more than I care to.

New York, New York: This place is 100% exactly like New York City, but without that smell. It had a different smell, which was whatever chemical is used to tamp down the smoke fumes coming from the casino. We didn't spend much time inside the place itself, but I did manage to get invited to 7,845 comedy shows in about twenty minutes, so I definitely got that Times Square flavor. This is also the first of the resorts that I have dubbed "Oh My God Are We Still Walking Past This Place?" The poker room exists, according to Wikipedia, but beyond that I can't say.

Monte Carlo. This is the one that has slot machines in it.

Enormous Hole: The enormous hole is the upcoming site of the City Center and The Cosmopolitan, and it was a particularly fun spot for me, because it is the only Vegas location where somebody actually specifically assured me that they would not mug me. They promised and everything. Let me explain.

Next to the hole, the walkway narrows down considerably, and the bottleneck sort of slows everybody down. This naturally, is where the card-slappers flap their floozies, by which I mean, a bunch of guys hang out near the bottle neck, spread out for the first 100 yards or so, each holding a stack of business-card-sized pieces of glossy paper. The stack is approximately as thick as a copy of Dianetics, by L. Ron Hubbard, and the ladies on the cards are as naked as L. Ron Hubbard was the day he was spawned by Xenu, right down to the lacy garters. On the card is a phone number, which you can call to have genital warts delivered right to your room (marketing aside, the warts will not stay in Vegas, unless your genitals do, and this is not recommended.). Service with a dead-eyed smile!

These righteous swains hold the uppermost card in one hand and SLAP it against the rest of the stack to get your attention, then hold it out.

SLAP SLAP SLAP extend hand.

SLAP SLAP SLAP extend hand.

SLAP SLAP SLAP extend hand.

Being Midwesterners, we usually decline this sort of thing like this:

"Uh, thanks but no thanks, no hookers for us this day, kind fellow."

But we'd just walked past New York, New York, which is in all ways like New York City, and thus had learned the art of just breezing past this enterprising and capitalistic card-slappery.

But one enterprising young chappie, perhaps bored with the repetitive and impersonal nature of his job, broke from his script and called out to me.

"Hey man, you have plans tonight?"

I didn't break stride.

"I'll hook you up man, come over here."

"No thanks."

And then he said it.

"I won't mug you, man."

Now . . . I didn't suspect that this guy was going to mug me. Until he insisted he wouldn't.

So naturally, I went with him. Long story short, I woke up the next morning in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys harvested*. "Hey honey," I said. "We should collect these and then try to hand them to the time-share people who accost us." She didn't answer.

*Or not.

Bellagio: What a dump. On the other hand, the poker room looked spacious and inviting.

Caesar's Palace: The thrilla, the foot killa, the rilla dilla. Ceasar's was easily my favorite spot up to this point in our walk, just because everything was so unapologetically huge. Come to think of it, if Vegas wants to change it's marketing tag line, "Unapologetically Huge" would do the trick. Other suggestions?

"All Our Statues Have Boobs."

"Just Carry Your Drink Out Into the Street. It's OK."

"Taxis Are A Really Good Value"

The Mirage:
I really have nothing to report about the Mirage. It was a casino. Seemed nice enough. I think at this point I was casino-saturated.

Treasure Island: We stopped here for a rest and a drink. The casino bar at T.I. doesn't water their drinks down. At least that one guy doesn't. Get that one guy if you are at the T.I. casino bar. No not him. The other one.

The Venetian: This place is definitely in an opulence-off with Bellagio and Caesars. We finally stopped for supper over martinis by the canals, which were in an open courtyard, by which I mean indoors, but the ceiling was painted to look like the sky at dusk. It was beautiful and disorienting in that your peripheral vision kept insisting that you were seeing sky, but when you looked up, you could immediately see the artifice.

Anyway, in the "courtyard" an opera troupe was performing, and though I'm hardly an opera buff, I think I recognized it as Pagaliacci. In any event, there was a clown who was dressed the same way as the clown in the opera from A Night At The Opera, and Wikipedia tells me that that opera was Pagaliacci. So go with me on that.

We sipped martinis and ate delicious Italian-style 4-cheese pizza. We'd probably walked seven thousand miles. My feet, protected by black rubber sandals, felt such a thick, rich hatred for me, you could have spread it on toast. And then, of course, we walked the whole way back, stopping by the Bellagio fountains for a rest and a couple (admittedly impressive) displays of water-spray syncronicity.

The Casino Royale:
This is the one we didn't go in, which begs the question, "Does what doesn't happen in Vegas not stay in Vegas? Which would mean, it would leave Vegas? That's hurting my limited brain.

Anyway, I now have seen the Vegas Strip and have some context for what everybody's talking about on their web log when they mention this place or that. It's an amazing place, and I feel that my words were not up to the challenge of describing the sheer maniac energy and intensity of the place. (In truth, I don't think I half tried. I got daunted. That's right, I admit my daunt.) It is a people-watching Nirvana. It's a street that is infected with some kind of shiny virus. It's energizing and enervating all at once. It is a whole lot of money taken for a makeover and gussied up to look like a whole lot of money, but wearing a vinyl dress.

Also, my feet and my legs are suing my body for divorce.

Next: Worst structure ever, and poker at Mandalay.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

"He is telling me that if we visit him only seven more times, he will show us his tin soldiers collection!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Vegas Post 02: That Exact Color

I lost thirty bucks my first session of $1/$2. There wasn't much else to say, really, so let me go on in detail for the next ten paragraphs. In two hours I saw one playable hand (it was the JackAce), and I raised it up from the cutoff, forgetting what I had already noticed about this table; namely:

1) Most players were limping every hand with any two cards.

2) Having limped, most players would call any additional raise up to about 8 or 10 times the big blind. I believe this was considered "limping with benefits" at the Luxor, though on the North Strip it was called "the gangsta strut." I'm making all of this up. Where was I?

Oh yes! I raised under those circumstances detailed above. Thus, my $12 raise made us five handed to the flop. Now, I forgot the first rule of JackAce, which is to shove with JackAce. I also forgot the second rule of JackAce, which is that JackAce plays best against aces with better kickers and pairs. Since there were no raisers, I could be reasonably sure that I was against only worse hands.

In other words? I was doomed.

The flop came QcTc3c, giving my Ace clubs a worthy flush draw. The big blind led out about $25, and it folded around to me. I made the call. Turn was a 9d, putting up another flush draw but leaving me open ended to boot, to boot. He checked and I checked. The river was a blank. He checked and I bet to steal, and he called and showed me the straight. JackAce can't beat KJ offuit, son. He'd been afraid of the flush and let out a sigh of relief. "You know, I'm actually lucky; I have a buttoned, collared shirt that exact color blue," I told the dealer. "Looks just like the ones all the dealers are wearing. I almost packed it. I could be wearing it now."

"But on the other hand, you might have picked up some of my tips by mistake," he said. "All profit."

Smart-ass. I left him buried in the desert.*

I ground my way up from there a bit (winning most of my chips on a re-raise with Kings that actually garnered a fold from the initial raiser) but never made a full recovery. It was time to go wake up L so we could walk the Strip as planned.

* No, I didn't.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Vegas Post 01: Hammer Time

Yeah so, I spent around 5,760 minutes out in Vegas this month. This is how it happened:

We dropped the kids off with a wonderful aunt and uncle and took the early morning flight in. I saw Hoover Dam from the plane, and it sure was a lot of concrete. Yep. Lots of concrete. Whoo baby. We didn't go out to Hoover Dam during our vacation. That would be a foolish thing to do in my estimation.

Hey, here's another foolish thing to do: Pay to take a shuttle from the airport to the Toyota Sienna (otherwise known as the Luxor), which you can actually, you know, see. I was tired. And also, I expected the shuttle to be free and failed to get out of the "take the shuttle" mode when I found out the sad truth. One must always change gears, and I didn't.

Upon entering the obsidian pyramid, we got shanghaied right away in the lobby by people who were far too excited about us and just thought everything was great. I thought they were from a cult but it turned out to be something far more sinister: time-share salesmen. They wanted to take us to an offsite location to rob us of our precious bodily fluids, and in return they would give us . . . half off tickets to Donny and Marie! Being Midwesterners, we politely declined, but by day three, we had discovered the wonders of the well-timed throat-punch.

Here's something I noticed about Vegas casinos: Slot machines. Quick quiz for those of you who have never been to Las Vegas, Nevada. What percentage of the casino would you guess is given over to slot machines (as opposed to table games, roulette, poker, etc.)?

To get the answer, highlight the space after the word "Answer", below.

Answer: One hundred billion percent.

You guessed lower, didn't you? You were wrong! I enjoyed going into the high stakes slots areas and wondering who was losing 100 grand tonight. The Luxor is an enormous hollow pyramid, with the rooms clinging to the inside like inverted barnacles, and as we walked to our rooms, I noticed the low balconies. Not dangerously, low, but if you were so inclined, you could quickly add another body to the Bodies exhibit. Later, after I had discovered high-stakes slots, I came to question the wisdom of those low balconies. After an hour of running cold with ten betting lines a pull at $100 each, a fellow could really start to crave an twelve-story fall for a nightcap. But I digress.

We walked around the casino and then strolled over to the Excalibur, as hungry as Canadians. Sadly, it was eleven thirty AM and everything was closed, showing a thorough disrespect for our hunger. We finally sat down in Dick's (The Shame 'O The Strip) and got burgers. And insults! And paper hats that said "Trailer Trash Hooker." We were officially mega-tourists.

Back to the room. Cris Angel was on our room key. He's so jammin'. He was holding his arms out, partly up, like a tentative apprentice Christ figure, and was peeking at us in a coy sort of way through his girl-bangs. It totally Mindfreaked me. "Somewhere nearby," I thought, "And I don't know where . . . is Carrot Top." For the first time, I wished I'd brought a gun. If you doubt that nightmares occassionaly escape and walk the waking world, I sumit to you my Exhibit A. Carrot Top. The tatooed mascara I think is what terrifies me. That, and the hair. And the steroids. But the mascara is just the crazy cherry on top of the insane sundae. I wonder if he got the same guy who did Cris Angel.

L was tired ("L" is my wife, whose name begins with "L", as far as you know. "L" also moonlights as the 12th letter in the alphabet.) and craving a nap, and there was a poker room right downstairs. The perfect storm. I walked downstairs and bought in. The dealer had a thick Slavic accent and pet eyebrows that crawled around his forehead like feral stoats. I received my very first hand ever of live Vegas poker.

It was the seven of hearts and the two of spades.

I am a blogger indeed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Set The Controls For The Center Of The Dumb

Cross-posted on FilmChaw

I've seen it now. Extended clips from the upcoming terrible movie, 2012, which is about the end of the world and will make 13 billion dollars. I'm sad to report that John Cusack, who is often awesome, has lent his likeness to this obvious steamer of a movie. I refuse to believe it's him. I'm assuming it is a CGI construct made of leftover Cusack parts, and that's why he looks like he's sort of melted a little. Let's just call him Q-Sack, OK?

Here's the clip:

So, here is the ground is sinking very fast into . . . I don't know, nothing? Something? It's sinking. And it's sinking exactly as fast as a limo can drive. Because they are in a limo. Outrunning the earth collapsing. Which is chasing them. Don't blame me, I didn't do this to you. It's all in the clip there. Then a building collapses in front of them. So they drive the limo through the building. The Q-Sack has rented an airplane, which is still being held for him even though its the end of the world, because let's not pursue that line of reasoning please, and luckily his ex-wife's husband (who will for sure die a Heroic Death® so that Q-Sack can be Reunited With His Family®) knows how to fly. Sort of. He's a flight student.

They fly away from the collapsing earth just as Call-ee-for-nee-ah collapses into the ocean. And there they are, in a little two-prop, flying over the new ocean, which extends for . . . I don't know. Forever?

They breath a sigh of relief. (Phew! We're alive for the next however long this thing can go on however much gas it has!) Your brain eats a sad pie made of pixels and illogic and dies, huddled in the corner like a poisoned labradoodle. You can't expect less, because this is from the "filmmakers" that brought you that turd biscuit "Godzilla" and tried to convince you that an iMac could quickly and easily install a computer virus into an alien spaceship. So now we get to figure out how Q-Sack and family actually survive this planetary cataclysm.

And yes, it's a planetary event. Because in the trailer? The monk who is ringing the gong gets eaten by the Mountain of CGI Water. That would be the Himalayas, which is only the highest point of elevation on earth. If THAT is underwater, then . . . um . . . physics. So really, unless you are capable of flight to another inhabitable planet in that two-prop, who are you fooling, Q-Sack? Who? Who?

This is it, Pollock. It's done it. It's broken through. It's what all the other spectacle movies have been moving toward. It's the apotheosis of The Big Dumb.

It's "Explosion! The Movie", from the makers of "Fart! The Movie" and "Skinny Man Pretends to Be Fat Old Woman! The Movie" and "Punchline You Recognize From Another Movie! The Movie" and "Die Hard on a Die Hard."

Honestly, I don't mind big flashy entertainment, but just try. TRY. Try to make sense, just a little, Hollywood. Just because you can write a movie on an Etch-a-Sketch doesn't mean that you should.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We Are Teh Internets

I think that, in 20 million years, when the aliens land, this is all they will need to fully understand our culture.

And now right into a Vegas recap.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

In Vegas next week, so I'll probably skip a KITH Friday next week.

But I'm making it up to you. I'm leaving you with one of the best skits ever.

AND two clips, from the master of funk . . . and EVIL.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mookie Tonight

Full Tilt
password: vegas1
$10 + $1
10:00 PM EST


Git in there and have some pokery bloggery fun!

No excuses. That means you. Yeah, you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If You Have A Truck, You'd Best Go Truckin'

Bloggers, there's a new edition of Truckin' out. So truck on over there and truck with that.


1. Tangerine Rockets by Paul McGuire
Lennie was an international legend. His father walked away from a plane crash and passed along some of those good luck genes over to Lennie.... More

2. The Red Pill by Sigge S. Amdal
She dropped the face and began to cry, as tensions rose around me. The waiters stopped waiting tables, people stopped talking; they were just exchanging knowing glances and judgmental comments... More

3. Fine Tuning by Milton T. Burton
He looked perplexed. I slipped my hand beneath my coat, came out with the little silenced .22 Magnum auto, and shot him right in the center of the forehead. The hollow-point bullet exited the back of his skull, making a colorful little jet of blood and brains as it went... More

4. On Scoring by Human Head
One look at the eyeliner, eyebrows, gold hoops and herringbone chains, and I knew this was the Angel we were supposed to see. As she drew closer to the door, the tattoo's left little doubt. She didn't say anything. She just looked at me... More

5. The Joys of Gambling by Johnny Hughes
Saratoga Springs, New York in August was the gambling capital of America in the 1920s, with the horses, the spa waters, large and ornate casinos, and America's wealthiest citizens in a gilded age, when money and wine were treated like water... More

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet The Final Table 009: Jeff Shulman

And finally I am done and still alive. I would like to thank my bodyguards for keeping me safe from nefarious forces dedicated to preventing the truth from being known, my family for their love and support, and Dr. Pauly for all the links.

Let's go.


Name: Jeff Shulman

Age: 41

Occupation: Garbage Man.

Nickname: Mary.

Poker Style: Almost unbelievably tight.

Alignment: Lawful Evil.

Card Capper: Oscar the Grouch bobblehead.

Favorite Country Song: Smells Like Teen Spirit, by Pearl Jam

Brief Bio: Jeff isn't your average garbage man. That's a guy who picks up your garbage and throws it in a big truck, which he then drives to the dump. That's not Jeff. No, Jeff runs a specialty garbage man operation. He throws stuff away for you at a reasonable (but still professional) rate. He comes to your place, he scopes it out, and he selects a few key items that you'd really be better without. In the trash they go! He tosses your crap in style, too. He doesn't just heave your refuse over his shoulder, no, no, no, no, no, no. He tosses each piece of trash into a personally-arranged trash can, specially picked to make sure that the junk in question is given its most perfect setting.

You name it, he's thrown it away. Lamps (lava and regular), nuclear reactors, Jimmy Hoffa, old comic books, VHS seasons of ALF and "Small Wonder", Busta Rhymes' career, uncomfortable couches, unlucky pennies, buckets full of nuts without bolts, some coffee grounds and wood, birthday presents you forgot you had, wicker hammocks, missing pages of the Warren Report, a T-bone steak, embarrassing albums you bought in eight grade, Umbro shorts, Michael Jackson zipper pants, and disco.

But he's never thrown away a WSOP bracelet. He hopes to change all that in November. He knows just what a beautiful tinkle that circlet of jewelery would make hitting a hand carved mahoghany dustbin with flared lip and a beveled stand.

It will be his masterpiece of disposal. He'll probably retire afterward, unless he gets the opportunity to chuck the crown jewels of Croatia.

Fun Fact:
Contrary to popular belief, Jeff Shulman is not all that Happy.

Previous Entries

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey
Kevin Schaffel
Steve Begleiter
Eric Buchman
Joe Cada
Antoine Saout

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meet The Final Table 008: Antoine Saout

We're in the home stretch. Once again, these are the real stories of the November Nine, all of whom I know very well.


Name: Antoine Saout

Age: 67

Occupation: Mime.

Nickname: Nunkle.

Poker Style: Calling station. Also an answering station. His draws fill without outs. He once lost to running cards with flopped quads, just to see what it felt like. That's right. He's the Most Interesting Poker Player In The World.

Alignment: Extra good.

Card Capper: His elbow.

Favorite Country Song: I Flushed You From The Toilets Of My Heart , by Jack Clement.

Brief Bio: Born in Nice and educated in Paris, Antoine is regarded by all in the extensive and influential miming community to be probably the very worst mime in the history of anything. He actually can't even successfully hail a cab. He couldn't walk against the wind in a hurricane. The box he's pretending to be trapped in is visible, and made of cardboard. His face is a painted extravagance of puckish horrowshow whimsy that makes all who view it want to murder him. OK, that last one is pretty much all mimes. But believe me when I tell you, that Antoine Saout is the mime's mime. He's horrid.

"How is he so rich then?" you might ask me, if you knew he was rich. It's simple. Antoine invented the Macarena in the early nineties. He was trying to eat a baguette with le fromage on it at the time, but his total lack of la coordinatione, coupled with his tragic inability to communique with hommes and la femmes of any nationalitez, conspired to make him look like he was having le grande trop tard mal seizure.

Fortunately, there were a bunch of drunk touristes watching this, and le horrifying dance craze was born. Antoine, while pathetique at his craft, was smart enough to get le marque du trade, and cleaned up, netting over 30 million francs, which are like dollars, but with pretty colors and not owned by the Chinese. He got into cards about seven years ago, when he realized that as an incompetent mime, his tells were totally confusing to anyone unfortunate enough to be in a hand with him. All he had to do was try to represent what he actually had, and they'd get it wrong every time.

His debt to humanity will never be repaid, however, not just for inventing the herpes of dances, but also just for being a mime, the most hated of all types of anything ever, including Kanye West. Most of his chips he got through the disqualification of his opponents, as often just sitting next to a player from Texas and wiggling his penciled-on mime eyebrows has been enough to get him throat-punched. Happily, Antoine is well-prepared with a stainless steel throat visor, and has emerged unscathed.

And save your comments. If you don't know that you can turn a word French by adding le or la or les at the front and then tossing some frou-frou letters onto the back, then you never got a C+ in remedial high school French, for four years in a row.

Fun Fact:
As a child, Antoine was the inspiration for Brainy Smurf, Baker Smurf, and Smurfette. (All other Smurfs were, as is generally known, based on Richard Nixon.)

Previous Entries

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey
Kevin Schaffel
Steve Begleiter
Eric Buchman
Joe Cada

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

I think it's time for this madness from the mind of McCullough.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chat Fun 001: The ******ongible

Every so often, I win a hand. Usually this is due to luck of the one-or-two outer variety. When this happens, I will often get told a few things about myself that the victim of my bad play doesn't think I know yet.

Every so often, I decide to play with this person.

This is one of those times.

So this guy was playing every hand and going to the felt with any Ace rag unimproved. Naturally, he had lots of chips. I was playing as many cheap pots as I could with him. I called his 3x button raise from the bb with J8o and got the dream flop JJx. Long story short I milked a big pot out of by letting him fire three bullets with AQ, and it helped that an A hit the river.

The following conversation ensued. Names have not been changed because nobody is innocent.

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "crazy people"

Julius_Goat said, "yeah"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "idiot to"

Julius_Goat said, "probably, yeah" <------ ready to let it go, I've been there before

Julius_Goat said, "nh"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "i dont thing so, J 8 off is a shame" <----------- Julius_Goat decides to have fun

Julius_Goat said, "I hate to break it to you buddy, but you are the mark at this table"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "what marh\k? what it means?\"

Julius_Goat said, "it's kind of like a ******ongle"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "like a what??"

Julius_Goat said, "a ******ongle"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "it dont get it"

Julius_Goat said, "it certainly don't"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "idiot, its not showing"

Julius_Goat said, "what isn't?"

Julius_Goat said, "******ongle?"

Julius_Goat said, "shows for me"

Julius_Goat said, "check your language settings"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "a****ongable"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "i aint no mark,"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "what ever"

Julius_Goat said, "maybe not, but you are for SURE a *******ongle"

Julius_Goat said, "I bet there is video evidence"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "lol, video evidence?"

Julius_Goat said, "5:1 odds there is"

Julius_Goat said, "******ongling is often captured in low quality video"

AlamedaSteve said, "pretty sure I saw it on youtube."

Julius_Goat said, "oh yeah, it was big with the kids back in 2005 and early 2006"

Julius_Goat said, "like mentoes in coke"

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Dr.Fritz4000: shows [7c Tc] (a full house, Tens full of Sevens)
CAPELANEZ $$: shows [2d Th] (three of a kind, Tens)
Dr.Fritz4000 collected 3682 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3682 | Rake 0
Board [4c Td 9c Ts 7s]
Seat 1: Julius_Goat folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: gutterbound folded on the Turn
Seat 3: josrey85 folded on the Flop
Seat 4: malafia folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: Dr.Fritz4000 showed [7c Tc] and won (3682) with a full house, Tens full of Sevens
Seat 6: AlamedaSteve folded on the Flop
Seat 7: All Donk (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: latinpo (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 9: CAPELANEZ $$ (big blind) showed [2d Th] and lost with three of a kind, Tens

Julius_Goat said, "look, Fritz, if I'm going to go to all the trouble of getting the guy tilted, you should be a mencsh and let me have his chips"

Julius_Goat said, "fair's fair"

AlamedaSteve said, "and Cape was wearing a mask, but pretty sure it was him."

Dr.Fritz4000 said, "i think he would give them away regardless"

CAPELANEZ $$: bets 353 and is all-in
Julius_Goat: folds
Uncalled bet (353) returned to CAPELANEZ $$

Julius_Goat said, "see I called that raise as a gift, ******ongle"

Dr.Fritz4000 said, "but thanks for the help"

Julius_Goat said, "now T2 is a GREAT hand"

Julius_Goat said, "unlike J8"

Julius_Goat said, "which is shameful"

Julius_Goat said, "mark mark mark mark mark mark"

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "idiot, spell this f****ogable **** , dont know what means, its not showing"

Julius_Goat said, "I'm telling you I AM spelling it"

Julius_Goat said, "I don't see any ***** whatever it is"

Julius_Goat said, "check your language settings man"

AlamedaSteve said, "shows for me too, he must have the pokerstars filter setup."

CAPELANEZ $$ said, "time twice, the letters stupid"

Julius_Goat said, "right, go to your menu and choose "show unfiltered language""

Julius_Goat said, "I'm typing the letters, not typing any ***"

AlamedaSteve said, "uncheck the box."

Julius_Goat said, "right, just uncheck the box"

Julius_Goat said, "forgot they added a box"

AlamedaSteve said, "its just new yesterday i think."

Julius_Goat said, "huh, right, I'd never noticed it before"

AlamedaSteve said, "Cape, contact the Mod for help."

[And now the punchline]

Moderator78 [Moderator]: When contacting a Moderator please express your concerns clearly and in English. This way we can best help you.

Moderator78 [Moderator]: Thank you.

Moderator78 [Moderator]: Hello again. There is no way to reverse the chat filter. If another player's chat is bothering you, you can always right-click on that player's icon and select the "block chat" option.

Moderator78 [Moderator]: Take care and good luck.

Julius_Goat: Cape, I hope you didn't call the Moderator an ******ongle

I would love to see the message he sent to the mod.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Meet The November Nine 007: Joe Cada

Unbelievably (if you haven't yet heard) I have close personal knowledge of each member of the November Nine for a second straight year. Even more unbelievably, the lawyers at Harrah's Entertainment have contacted me and told me that they are backing down. They're even calling off the hit men, if they can. I don't know who is doing me a favor, or what privileged star decided to shine on me, but I'm making the most of it. I'll be burning off the bios of the final three members of the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main Event this week, before more vindictive minds prevail and I'm once again running for my life.


Name: Joe Cada

Age: 41

Occupation: Cult Leader, Professional Messiah, Meth Dealer

Nickname: Dad.

Poker Style: Strong, reliant on reads and on the power to hypnotize weaker minds.

Alignment: Well beyond your limited morality.

Card Capper: Nothing at all.

Favorite Country Song: He Went To Sleep and The Hogs Ate Him (Now Claude's Gone Forever) , by Nathan Nathan

Brief Bio: Joseph "Joe" Cada first came to local prominence in the late seventies, when everybody who was anybody was running off and joining up with a cult. Joe saw this trend and realized that he was no joiner, he was a leader. Of course, becoming a cult leader wasn't as difficult then as it is now. These days, you have to do something dramatic to capture the public attention, like weep and go bug-eyed while hosting a cable "news" program. Back then, all you needed to become a pretty decent sweaty-toothed cult leader was a van with shag carpeting and a pony keg of cheap domestic beer. At the precocious age of twelve, Joe started recruiting people to his compound in Blanding, Utah. As a general rule, you need some meat on your bones before you can go Full Koresh, but Joe was a boy with fervor in his heart and a glaze in his look that would curdle a honey ham with envy. Before long he had 90% of the people in the Four Corners region under his thrall, and with those 18 men and women, he began his empire.

His cult is known as "The Folks," a homogenous group of like-thinking fellow non-travellers, and when I joined up back in 1983, Joe stilled lived on the compound with us. We all called him "Dad" and each night, he'd play the acoustic guitar and croon to us around the campfire at night, while feeding us S'Mores dipped in psychotropic agents that remove free will and fashion sense. Luckily, one festering summer day I was sent out on an errand to one of the meth barns and forgot my compass. I got lost in the foothills, and wandered for two days until I fell down a gulley and broke my leg. Happily, I was kept alive by friendly coyotes until finally my leg was healed and the indoctrination and programming were out of my system. But I still remember Dad and his accoustic guitar, strummin', strummin', strummin'. . . To this day, I shudder when I hear Peter Paul and Mary tunes. Also, I'm not so sure that those were coyotes. They may have been Red Cross workers. Look, what I'm saying is this: The drugs were pretty strong.

The Folks are an odd sort of cult, with disparate beliefs based on various random utterances of "Dad," who doesn't believe in all this stuff so much as he feels pressure on him as a cult leader to come up with a teaching or two. As a result, his followers hold as unshakable articles of their faith a strict regimen of gluten-free bran muffins, the use of farm equipment as marital aids, silk robes, wool slippers, daily readings from their Scripture (a Book of Mormon variant called "The Seven-Sixteenths Nephi", which claims, among other things, that Tony the Tiger is the devil), daily affirmations, pinky rings, mixed martial arts, five hours minimum of chanting and/or transcendental meditation, and making and selling as much methamphetamine as they possibly can. They sell methamphetamine to all the trailer parks west of the Colorado river, and are personal retailers to Andy Rooney. The FBI figures the cult's net worth at roughly $700 krackazillion dollars, according to Forbes Magazine. The haul from San Bernadino meth sales alone is enough to buy and maintain a fleet of private jets, and still have enough left over to book Carrot Top for your son's bar mitsvah.

Air conditioning is forbidden on the compound, as are all media, such as television and Internet and Oprah's magazine. A hypocrite to the core, Joe will have none of this. He hangs out in his Tempe, AZ apartment, sipping Scotch, playing Wii, and entertaining some of his favorite female cult members, until he feels he absolutely must pay a visit to the compound in order to hypnotize them some more. That guy is a hypnotic genius. Some say his eyes are a spiraling shape of madness. I don't know, I won't look into them anymore.

Fun Fact:
Joe is as careless with money as he is rich. He never meant to play in the World Series. He bought in thinking he was tipping a hat-check girl, and was too embarrassed to admit his mistake. Now, he stands to make over eight million dollars, or, as he calls it, "walking around money." His lack of interest in the money makes him a cool customer, and a solid shot to win it all. His ability to hypnotize his opponents doesn't hurt, either.

Previous Entries

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey
Kevin Schaffel
Steve Begleiter
Eric Buchman

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's Easy Out Here For A Pimp

A few words from non-sponsors.

First, go here to find some awesome LOST-flavored Phish concert tees. Pauly hooked me up with the Bathtub Jin one in the lot before the Camden show, and it is a prized possession.

Second, if you're like me, that would be quite a coincidence. However, it would mean (among other things) that you miss Katitude's Friday Donkament. Well, good news! Good news!

Muchtim is hosting a new $1 Rebuy on Full Tilt at 10:00 PM EST. It's called The Benjover, the password is TalkingGoat, and the play is 100% guaranteed donkeyish.

Go! Go! Go!

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

Objectively speaking, this is probably the greatest Kids In The Hall skit ever. Some day I'll draw up an equation that proves it.

The Buddy Cole monologue after ain't bad either.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meet The November Nine 006: Eric Buchman

I'm back and once again speaking truth to poker. Here's the real story of each of the 2009 November Nine, aka the final table of the WSOP Main Event. Though it is hard to believe, I know each of these men personally.


Name: Eric Buchman

Age: 38

Occupation: Internet poker pro

Nickname: Billy Dee Ass Machine

Poker Style: Aggressive, a whole lot of gamble, loves inside straight draws, loves pocket pairs, which he calls "quad draws."

Alignment: Right justified.

Card Capper: A photograph of Doyle Brunson in a locket, autographed by Dutch Boyd.

Favorite Country Song: The Next Time You Throw That Fryin' Pan, My Face Ain't Gonna Be There , by Nantilly Huckett

Brief Bio: Eric Buchman confirms a rumor that's been gaining a head of steam for the last year or so; to wit: poker isn't just for casinos anymore. You can actually play it on the World Wide Web, aka the Information Superhighway, aka the Twittersphere. In fact, a couple people actually make their livings this way. I know, it's a magical age we live in now. Just wait for the jet packs.

Anyway, Eric's days and most of his nights are spent basking in the ultraviolets of his seven linked flat-screen monitors, where he plays 20 tables at a time, and "pwns" the "donks" and "n00bs" until he "l"s "ol". Everybody's pretty much on the edge of their seat to see if this can finally be the year that an internet qualifier breaks out of the pack of professional players and finally wins the big one, and Eric is just the cat to do it, too. He's responsible for dozens of innovations in online poker, and is a god to the other pros, who revere him and feed his fish for free when he's out of town. Looking up somebody on Sharkscope who just sucked out on you and telling him that his stats are a total joke? That was Eric. Using TeddyKGB in your screen name? Eric. Out-of-focus baby picture avatar on Pokerstars? Eric. Complaining non-stop about the poor level of play in a $10 tournament? All Eric. He's basically defined the Internet game for the last decade or more.

As you might imagine, Eric has been an extremely successful player, racking up profits of millions . . . well, hundreds of thou-- well, I mean thousands, hundr-- he estimates he's probably broken even, just about. It's hard to beat donkeys. But now he's a guaranteed millionaire, and that's exciting no matter how you look at it, especially to his nearest and dearest loan sharks, who he's never seen without. He's already going to be able to keep his head from being put in a vice, and if he going deeper than 9th, and wins more than a million, he'll be able to pay his backers enough of the vig that he'll keep both his thumbs! Poker is a glamorous lifestyle.

Eric is very spiritual, and a strong believer in mantras to help him center himself during a game. His current one is: "HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD JUST ONE TIME HOLD!!!!"

Fun Fact: In his spare time, Eric renovates vintage cars, collects first generation GI Joe action figures, kills people with a sniper rifle in exchange for money, and plays with Lego blocks. Last year he made a scale model of the Great Wall of China out of Legos! He's really talented.

Previous Entries

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey
Kevin Schaffel
Steve Begleiter

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday is Kids In The Hall Day

True story: I was in line to be the Detroit Kid, but it turns out that Detroit was just a nightmare the upper peninsula had after a bad pasty.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet The November Nine 005: Steven Begleiter

OK, it's safe for me to post about the real story of the November Nine again. I finally found a WiFi connection in this submarine. I'm not sure where it is right now, or how deep, but I did just see a marine dinosaur the size of the Sears Tower swim by my porthole. I'm pretty sure it only eats plankton, but down here in the Mariana Trench, the plankton are the size of german shepherds.

Oh great. I've given away my location. Now I'll need to find a blimp that flies above any known radar.


Name: Steven Begleiter

Age: 8

Occupation: Elementary Student

Nickname: Skeeter

Poker Style: Passive. He wets his pants when he has a boat or better. Dead giveaway, and a bummer of a tell.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil, like all children.

Card Capper: The piece of gum he's chewing.

Favorite Country Song: Billy Broke My Heart at Walgreens and I Cried All the Way to Sears, by Peter Drake

Brief Bio: This kid goes to my kids' school, two grades up. You won't hear about it from the mainstream media sources, but Li'l Stevie Begleiter is causing no small amount of consternation at Harrah's because of his age. It's not that he's a few months too young to be allowed to enter the Main Event -- it's that he's over a decade too young. He's eight. He's a third grader. He's practically a baby.

So yeah, a lot of people are sweating right now, from the cashiers at the cage to the tournament director himself, who stands to lose his job if Steven (who has chips) wins this thing. There are uncomfortable questions being asked, like "where are your brains?" and "what's the matter, don't you have any brains?" and "why is your head full of a non-brain like substance where your brains should be, Mr. Hasn't-Got-Any-Brains?"

The answer is simple. Steven may be (and in fact is) eight, but he's got that Robin Williams disease. No, not the one where he appears in funny movies but then starts to get really played out, until he annoys you so much with his "gay guy" voice and his "funky jive-talkin' black dude" voice and his . . . well, those are actually his only voices . . . that you would like to saw off his legs with razor wire every time he makes another disposable, pointless mawkish . . . where was I? Oh right. It's the other disease. The "Jack" disease. You remember the one, where the kid is only in grade school but he looks like Robin Williams.

That's Li'l Stevie. He's as hairy as an orangutan, and he has to shave twice daily if he wants to avoid having a beard. Since he's a little boy unworried about impressing girls, he in no way wants to avoid having an awesome mountain man beard, which is usually crusted over with the food he eats. I mean, think about it. He's a kid. He eats like a kid. His beard is so full of Bit O Honey he looks like he's sporting chin dreads. Frankly, the tournament organizers who took his buy in (which he got by suing the producers of "Jack") thought he must be a homeless midget.

But now they are stuck, and they know it. There's been so much publicity that they have to seat him and hope that he busts out. Meanwhile, Stevie has become a kind of quasi-celebrity at his school, though as the official "stinky kid" most of his classmates still keep a pretty wide berth. On the other hand, there is a rumor that he'll use part of his winnings to buy everybody an X Box, so things may be looking up for him.

Fun Fact: Stevie likes potato chips. Hey look, some facts are more fun than others. Lay off.

Previous Entries

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey
Kevin Schaffel

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday FilmChaw Roundup

Last week, I issued an open invitation to anybody interested in contributing to my long-dead movie blog. I was pleasantly surprised to get a lot of takers, which means that the Chaw is back in business. It's a zombie website! Hide the kids!

Anyway, the invitation is still open and remains open. See here for details. In the meantime, here's some linkage to last week's reviews and a handful of notable essays:

Batman (1990), by Duey Crim

Tyler Perry is a Douchebag, by The Real Dawn Summers
Spaghetti Westerns, by Riggstad
At the Quinte Hotel, by Astin
The Hustler, by Julius_Goat
Friday the Thirteenth V: A New Beginning, by Duey Crim
Seventeen Again, by The Real Dawn Summers
Pontypool, by Astin
Two Lovers and I Love You, Man, by The Real Dawn Summers
L'Homme Sans Tete, by Astin
Barbie: Mermaidia and Barbie: 12 Dancing Princesses, by jjok
Time Bandits, by Astin
Brain Donors, by Sean D

What I really like about this is that a huge range of tastes and perspectives are now represented. I think we're getting to the point that there will be something for everybody to be found at the site, which is truly encouraging . . . and we haven't even heard from everybody yet.

Thanks to everybody who contributed!