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.