Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bluffin at Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu played in the $10 buy-in Negreanu Open last night and was seated at my table. I played one hand against Danny and played like a complete donkey.
I raise from middle position as the short stack and he called from the big blind. I know that A8o isn't a good hand, but I figured this would be my one chance to bluff a big name poker star. Flop comes down JKx. He checks, and dumbass me, I go all in, HOPING he didn't have a king. Alas he held KTo and instantly called. I failed to improve and finished 70th out of 120.
So much for trying to bluff one of the best players in the world.
In retrospect it was a stupid stupid play from a stupid stupid man.
I am hoping to play in next weeks tourney and hopefully I will have a chance to play him again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Poker Brat



One of my ex-co-workers recently wrote an insightful article about the "poker brat" himself, Phil Hellmuth. Check it out in the Palo Alto Weekly.

Here's an eye-opening, but not-so-surprising excerpt from the article:
By the time he qualified to play in the World Series of Poker, which Hellmuth refers to as the "Holy Grail" of poker tournaments, he was 24 and had paid off all his student loans. Hellmuth's resolve to win was so strong he pledged celibacy.

"I hadn't had sex with a woman for like four years because I told myself, 'You're not going to do it. If you don't, you're going to win the 1989 World Series of Poker,'" he said. "Somehow I convinced myself if I could just wait ... I would win."


MmHm, Sure Phil, you PLEDGED celibacy for FOUR YEARS.... sure you did.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Weather Underground



Since my GF referred me to this site for my weather information needs, it's been in constant use.

Weatherunderground.com provides up to the minute weather analysis. So far it has been very accurate.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A History of Violence

A History of Violence


I finally got to see A History of Violence from Netflix last night, and I have to say, I loved it. The plot isn't complicated. This film is not pretentious. There's no twist. It isn't remotely intellectual. It's gritty, brutally violent and yet somehow maintains a sense of humor. The film is about family. About skeletons. About coming to terms with one's past and getting closure for our past deeds.
A History of Violence explores the violence which is within all of us. Even when we don't expect we can be capable of it. Human nature is in fact violent.
The movie did seem a bit short. It left me with questions. I suppose all good movies do, but somehow I felt it was incomplete. The villains were indeed villainous, but there is a lack of depth to their character development. I wanted to know more about who they were, what they did, and why they wanted Stall/Cusack dead.
All-in-all, I enjoyed the film immensely. I expect this film to be my all-time favorite Cronenberg films.

When all is said and done David Cronenberg has made a movie I would love to have made.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Fight Night



The fighting sports represent the most primal human competition. Since my first kung fu movie, through my first Tae Kwon Do lesson in 2nd grade, Kenpo lessons in sixth grade, watching my first Mike Tyson knockout, I have always loved fight sports. When The Ultimate Fighting Championship One appeared, It blew me away.
Mixed-martial arts represents fighting as a sport requiring the highest level of athleticism. Until recently California Athletic Commission had never legally sanctioned an MMA event. Last Friday night I went to the first one to be held in California. It also was the best attended MMA event ever in the nation. More than 18,000 people watched Cung Le fight in his first MMA event, defeating Brian Ebersol. Frank Shamrock beat down a Gracie legend Cesar Gracie in a 20 second knockout.
The crowd was pretty crazy. The HP Pavilion was packed. Every dude there looked like a fighter: Shaved head, thick neck. That would've been a bad night to go out looking for a fight.
Afterward, we got the VIP treatment at Studio 8, where the fighters were going to party. We crammed into their upstairs VIP section with a bunch of meat-heads and tried our best to mooch from the Red Bull and Ketel One at the booths. Soon the balcony was closed dude to meat-head overflow.
Sprinkle these drinks into my accout above: One double shot of J├ągermeister, One pale ale, Three $8 Bud Lights, One single shot of J├ągermeister, One Ketel One-Red Bull, and possibly another beer/cocktail?
In the end, fun was had by all.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Poker

I played in a three table $10 sit-n-go last night at Fullcontactpoker.com.
After playing pretty good poker and getting really lucky once, I won the damn thing.
$116 take home.
After that win, and and some positive results in this weekend's online games, I doubled my money at Fullcontactpoker.com.

Last weekend played in a $5 re-buy tourney, 200+ players, I finished 5th place and cashed $119.
I won a qualifying sit-n-go for a $100 buy-in tourney online. The winner got $12,000! With 450 players, paying out to 40th place, my odds weren't very good. I finished 202nd, $0.

Considering my buddies who've been playing online have all long since lost their initial deposits, I feel pretty good that I've only made one initial deposit, and otherwise only made withdrawals. Which means I've been a winning online player.
My bankroll took a couple dips last week due to live play losses. One huge losing session in Tahoe, and one losing session at Garden City. But otherwise I think my poker game is improving. I am gaining confidence, trying to minimize brain-farts, and generally trying to make better decisions at the table.
I will be gradually moving up in limits so I can properly compete at the casinos without putting my whole bankroll on the line each session.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Walk the Line



Netflixed Walk the Line starring Walkeen Phoenix, aka, Leaf.
I wonder what the reason behind changing his name was. I mean, Leaf is kind of a funky name, but it didn't take anything away from his performance in Parenthood, which he was excellent in. Even back then you could see some real talent and inevitable stardom in his future.
Despite looking nothing like Johnny Cash, I think it was a good performance. NOT an Oscar worthy performance, but good. Convincing.
Overall, the movie wasn't quite as good as Lou Diamond Phillip's portrayal of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba, one of the best biographical movies made or Oliver Stone's The Doors with Val Kilmer. But it held my interest. My overall enthusiasm for Walk the Line waned at the end, when the film abruptly ends.
Reese Witherspoon was good. I'm not entirely conviced that she deserved an Oscar or her performance, but what can you expect from the Academy?

This film is worth a rental not much more than that.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mezzanine




I recently purchased Massive Attack's Mezzanine (1998) for my GF who heard the song 'Teardrop' on the TV show House.
This album fills a huge hole in my Ipod lineup. I desperately needed some mellow electronica to round out the selection, and Mezzanine is perfect match.
This is my first voluntary exposure to Massive Attack's music. After buying the album, I realized I surely have heard their music in the past. It seems the entertainment industry LOVES Massive Attack. Their songs are featured on many films, television programs and commercials.
They've heavily influenced modern musicians from Madonna to Mos Def to Sinead O'Connor. I can understand why.
Mezzanine is haunting, infectious and moody. It's simultaneously electronic, reggae, hip-hop, blues, rock and roll.
Plus, I tripled my buy-in at a no-limit table on fullcontactpoker.com while listening to it, so it must be good.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Flightpoo

Flightplan

I caught Jodie Foster's latest movie Flightplan from Netflix this past weekend and was quite disappointed.
The movie started out interesting enough. A woman walks onto a plane with her child. After a nap, she discovers her daughter has disappeared. Somehow nobody remembers seeing the kid at all, and suddenly she's being accused of being crazy. That her child was never on the manifest. That she was delusional the entire time.
OR WAS SHE?!
The plot makes a drastic turn for the worst. It devolves into a ridiculous action plot complete with computerized 'Brucksplosions,' bullshit chase scene, idiotic conspiracy theory crap.

This movie sucked. Started out with potential and declined into typical Hollywood garbage.

This film is worthless and will ultimately be doomed to movie oblivion.