Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday Musings

Well it's another Friday here at hammerplayer, and it's been a long and hectic week for me of working and trying to take care of the kids in the evenings with Hammer Wife sick at the homestead, and I feel on the brink of another "random thoughts" post like I have often found myself wanting to do at the end of the week of late. Sometimes I toy with making this a regular Friday feature here at the blog, which I suppose I still might do at some point, I guess you never know. So for now let me just start with some poker thoughts and then see where this stream of consciousness takes us from there.

So for starters, congratulations to Donkette for winning the latest Riverchasers tournament this Thursday night on full tilt. Ironic that on the very day that I list Lori among clearly the best of the Riverchasers players, she goes and wins that night's private blogger tournament, so great job by her, not that I am surprised to see it. More ironic though is the few comments I received from fellow Riverchasers players yesterday questioning how I could include Lori on that list. Well, hopefully all you clowns learned a little something last night about ever doubting Lori. Donkette has the formula down for winning blonkament poker, and she overcame a very tough field which included among other players Waffles and Surflexus at the final table, both players I specifically discussed in my post yesterday regarding who seems best-suited to play well in the blogger tournaments.

Personally, I played some of the worst, dumbest poker of my life yesterday, and as has been the case scarily often of late in the Riverchasers, I managed to survive all the way to the middle of the last two tables doing just that before finally succumbing. I was pushing allin on huge overbets early and often, getting it allin in I think three of the first five hands of the night for an example. It was fun, pushing in with nothing, with the hammer, with second pair 7 kicker, whatever. RC is a good place to do that I have found, although as you can imagine if you keep that style of play up for a couple of hours straight, you are bound to get burned eventually, which is exactly what happened to me last night. Just a few minutes before the second break, down to 16 players remaining as I recall, I played the hammer for a raise, getting just one call from RiverchasersRich. Now Rich I'm sure is a good guy, and I am equally sure he has not forgotten that recockulous hand a month ago or so when I also went into the RC tournament playing like an aggrodonk, calling the 7th raise preflop with T8s before I went on to river a straight against Rich's pocket Aces and knock him out on the very first hand. So last night, I raised with a shortish stack and Rich called me out of the blinds I think. The flop came paired and raggy, 866 or some shiat like that, and I aggro-pushed allin for about 3 times the size of the pot. Rich thought for a few seconds, and then opted to call me with the obvious monster hand of AQ unimproved. Now as much as I'd love to slam Rich for the play, like I said I was going out of my way to play like an aggromonkey for the past two hours, so I applaud Rich for putting a third of his stack at risk and calling with just AQo unimproved, and even though I felt like the hammer should spike a card and win that pot, it didn't happen and IGH in 16th place. But the fact that I keep running deep in RC despite purposefully setting out to play like a monkey really says something I think. What it says, I'm not so sure. But I pwn the Riverchasers tournament so I figure I can play it however I want at this point. Good times for me and I congratulated Rich on a nice call, which I was sorry to see he could not parlay into a win, although if it can't be Rich winning with my chips, you can't pick a better player than Donkette to take it all down.

So what else is going on? Oh yeah we have the superbowl this weekend. It seems the fashionable pick all this week has been Giants all the way. Most of the major pundits I run into, the ESPN guys and the NFL Today guys and such, all seem to like the Giants and the points, even as the point spread has consistently fallen since the initial line and is now down at what, 11.5 points? So I'm going to go out on a limb here and pick the Cheatriots minus the points. The Cheatriots are far and away the best team in football, the Cheatriots have far and away the best offense in the league, probably in the history of the league (seriously). The Cheatriots have a great defense as well. And the Cheatriots have one of the great mastermind coaches of all time as well as far as I am concerned, though I suppose it is hard to know exactly how much of his success has been due to the cheating and how much is due to his prowess as a strategist, but I do believe Bellicheat is a brilliant strategist despite his despicable and unforgiveable actions over the past five years.

I do have a lot of respect for the Giants defense, which I think should at least be able to hold the Cheatriots powerhouse offense in check to some degree, at least for a while. But I still don't like that matchup for the Giants. And while Eli Manning and the Giants have had a few very solid games in a row on offense, making few to no mistakes, at the end of the day if I have to pick either the Cheatriots defense or the Giants offense, I have to go with the Cheatriots. In fact, I think a lot of this game really comes down to the high-level matchups. I like the Giants offense these past few weeks, but I choose the Cheatriots defense over the Giants offense heads-up. As I said I have a lot of respect for the Giants defense, but again I have to take the Cheatriots incredible and hostoric offense over the Giants defense head-to-head. And while again I think Tom Coughlin is a decent head coach, Bellicheat is simply the best in the league hands-down, both at cheating and at coaching, so again the nod has to go to the Pats. Basically I struggle hard to find one area where the Giants excel over the Cheatriots head-to-head -- I suppose maybe in special teams, but even there I wouldn't go nuts given the Giants' kicking woes among other things. For that reason, I have to go with the Pats to win, even by more than the 11 points. I see this all the time in the NFL -- two teams met up during the season and either had a blowout or played a real close game or something, and then everyone places too much emphasis on that prior matchup when placing their bets for the big game. Yeah I know the Giants played this team close in the last week of the season. But I'm not believing the hype. I say Cheatriots by more than 11 points and I am pretty sure I will be right here, leaving once again most of the commentators in the dust who insist on going with the popular but not smart pick. In the end, this should be one of the biggest mismatches in Superbowl history in terms of overall talent on all sides of the ball and the sidelines, and 11.5 points should not be enough to cover what the Cheatriots should do to the Giants. They are going to devise a way to get to Manning, and as any NFL fan this year knows, that is always trouble for the G-Men.

What else? Well, Lost started up again last night, and let me just say that I have to give that show a straight-up A. I won't quite go to the A+ grade because I didn't fall out of my chair like I did back when the hatch was opened, or that one Desmond episode with all the crazy future shiat, but dam that was a great episode last night, wasn't it? They picked up the story very well right where it left off last season, and the move from flashing back to flashing forward I have got to say could not come at a more perfect time. My view is that after three seasons of all these flashbacks, we already know enough about these people's lives before the plane crash that led them to be stranded on the island to begin with. Even going back and watching the earlier seasons really bugged me in a way to see all those flashbacks, so to see the writers have backed away from that feature for the fourth season was a brilliant move, and of course there's no way any of you fans out there were anything but enthralled about all of the flashing forward that went down.

"The Oceanic 6"? Hmmmmm. Jack we know, and Kate we know as well from the finale last year. Hurley now we know too. But who else? Who was in the coffin Jack went to see last season? Who was the "he" that Jack and Kate were referring to in the finale? Sawyer, presumably? And who was this Oceanic lawyer dude who visited Hurley after their rescue? Great casting right there with him, whoever made the call deserves a promotion in my book. But who do we think was that guy? Individually, who was he, but more than that, who does he work for? Who was he representing? That's the crazy aspect to things. Who keeps trying to figure out what happened to the rest of the Losties? Shit, I'd like to know what happens to the rest of 'em, since it seems like a big portion were left on the island. You can just see it now, these 6 people are going to basically screw over the rest and leave them there while they find a way to escape. This is going to be good, learning how that all happens, hopefully over the next two months instead of two years.

But tell me something -- how the funk are you gonna convince me that all those people would go with frigging Locke of all people right when they were about to be rescued from the island? No way. No frigging way. It would never happen. They've been stranded there for what, 3 or 4 months now, and Locke has systematically destroyed every possible means of them escaping the island at every step of the way. Now the boat has been called and they're on their way, and what? Now they're going with Locke who wants to avoid the boat? Come on guys, you have to be able to do better than that if you want to convince me. So no A+ from me, but I give it a straight-up A and am already looking forward to Episode 2 of Season 4 of the greatest show of this milennium, hands-down.

Is there any doubt that The 40-Year-Old Virgin is the funniest movie of the past decade? Does anyone even try to debate that at this point?

Is Superbad really as funny as everyone says? I will definitely watch it at some point but man everyone I talk to has just nothing but high praise for that shiat.

And speaking of Lost and movies, did anyone out there see Cloverfield, which I believe is produced by JJ Abrams, the same guy who created Lost? What's the deal with that movie, if anyone out there has seen it. I love me a good sci-fi flick, but I have heard very mixed reviews of Cloverfield, with some people (my little brother, with admittedly the single worst taste in movies of all time) claiming it is the greatest movie ever, and many others saying it is boring, or just even too hard to watch with all the moving camera angles used by Abrams. Anyone have an opinion for me?

OK I'ma go ahead and post this thing up now, but I did want to make one more point. There is a very common misuse of a word out there that I am just seeing and hearing more and more and more especially among our little group, and I would like to do my part to clarify and correct this error once and for all. This website,, is my blog. It is made up of a bunch of posts I make, once every weekday or so for the past few years, mostly relating to poker. But those individual things you read every day are posts, not blogs. This whole website is a blog, the individual posts are called posts. Got it, everyone? You know who you are. Good.

Not sure that I will make the donkament tonight as I have a friend in town. But you should, 9pm ET on full tilt, password as always is "donkarama". Have a lucky weekend and maybe I'll run into you on the virtual felt.

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Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Unless I'm mistaken only Hurley and Claire of the main cast went with Locke, and the explanation was that they trusted Charlie. Since they were the closest to Charlie, I'll give them a pass, just barely. Then Rousseau and Ben and the remaining Others went with him too, which shouldn't be such a surprise.

Everybody else stayed with Jack I think. Even Rose, who doesn't want to leave the island, stayed with Jack.

Though later at the wreckage of 815, it was made to seem like Jack and Kate were all alone. I think that was just poor scene setup, though.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Oh yeah, and Sawyer. But Sawyer does dumb stuff on purpose.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

Yep, like I said on Goat's blog:

"It's pretty easy for me to believe that people would go with Locke, actually. Because of Charlie. Whatever people think of Locke, the fact is his views are aligned with Charlie's views. Hurley, Claire, Sawyer, they all believe Charlie (& Desmond), and that means siding with Locke. I think it has nothing to do with Locke and everything to do with Charlie. "

I agree with Goat (Although he forgot Sawyer).

I wonder if Desmond went with Locke. He was the last person to see Charlie, I would think he would go with, but they didn't really show one way or the other.

As far as Cloverfield goes, I enjoyed it. It wasn't an "OMG GREAT" movie, but I thought it was pretty enjoyable. There's definitely a suspension of disbelief you have to have watching the movie, just by the nature of how it's filmed, but if you can do that I would think you could like it.

2:22 AM  
Blogger Gadzooks64 said...

I left off watching Lost about 1/2 through the 2nd season, d'oh. I'm now downloading it all again because I'm dying to know just wtf happened.

Superbad is all that. Friggin hilarious. I watched it the 3rd night of Roccopalooza and promptly downloaded it. Easily on par with 40YOV.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

FWIW, Charile never said and never would have said to go with Locke. He just said it wasn't Penny's boat. But Charlie would not have gone with Locke if he was alive. Nobody would have.

So there.

3:07 AM  
Blogger crushmastac said...

Despite the fact that all my friends (and even my ladyfriend) loved Superbad, I thought it was par at best. It's worth renting, but I'm glad I didn't burn 12$ to go see it in the theaters. What I really don't understand is the people who can watch it over and over again and still find it funny, because the good lines are fairly few and far between, and when you know they're coming.... Ugh. Who knows. Maybe you'll be on of "them". lol

3:08 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

And omg Gadzooks, you stopped off with Season 2 right where it started getting great. You definitely should check that back out as soon as you can.

3:08 AM  
Blogger crushmastac said...

And FWIW (re godzooka) I thought 40YOV was a bust too. Maybe I just need a bigger funny bone.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

Hoy, it's real simple:

Charlie knows it's not Penny's boat. Therefore, whoever's boat it actually is has been lying, and are not to be trusted. Pretty straight forward.

Jack believes Naomi, he believes the boat can rescue them, regardless of what Ben, Locke, or Desmond have to say. Also pretty straightforward.

Locke, like Ben, believes that having people come from the boat to the island is a bad idea. He doesn't really talk much one way or the other about getting rescued, he just says that those people aren't coming with good intentions.

So, Charlie's understanding of the situation before he died is pretty clear. Jack's and Locke's motivations are also pretty clear. If Charlie were to hypothetically pick a side that he related to the most, you're saying he would go with Jack? That makes no sense. Jack's beliefs and motivations go against everything Charlie discovered.

3:14 AM  
Blogger emptyman said...

40-Year-Old Virgin, 5 stars. Steve Carrell is the funniest man on Earth. Period.

Superbad is hilarious too. Can't explain why, but I suspect Michael Cera has a lot to do with it.

Didn't see Cloverfield, but the wife did and she really enjoyed it. Described it as intense, suspenseful, and well done. (i.e. lacking the Blair Witch defects)

3:21 AM  
Blogger lj said...

i thought last night's ep was great. could not agree more on the flash forwards, especially the way they were introduced in last season's finale. pure genius by the producers.

the actor who visited hurley in the mental hospital is lance reddick, and he plays my second favorite character on the wire. so if you didn't think my constant blog nagging was enough of a reason to watch, now you have another!

gadzooks, i thought season 2 sucked, but if you can suck it up until about 1/3 of the way through the third season, the payoff begins.

congrats to lori, maybe she'll start a blog one of these days? i think she and swimmom are my top two non-bloggers whose non-existent blogs i'm dying to read.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

As I've never watched Lost, I am...well...lost.

However, let me intercede and mention that Superbad >>> 40 YO Virgin. Both are hilarious, and both are alos kinda sweetly sentimental in their essential human makeup. Thing is, Superbad kinda stretched both a bit further out.

That said, Knocked Up pwns both of them.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Mondo, I enjoyed knocked up but did not think it was all that. Certainly did not hold a candle IMO to 40YOV.

I guess the consensus is that these guys make some pretty good movies across the board. I'm looking forward to seeing Superbad for myself.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

If anybody who was with Locke on the last expedition (submarine goes boom) went with Locke, I'd find it hard to swallow. Kate and Sayid in particular would be very hard to swallow.

But until very recently, the camp was starting to mistrust Jack. And, Hurley and Claire were feeling a lot of loyalty for Charlie, given his final message.

Sawyer, of course, is trying to get away from Kate now that he knows she's pregnant.

4:22 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Senator Specter wants to get to the bottom of what was found on the destroyed tapes confiscated from the Cheatriots.

5:30 AM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Did I seriously just read 'Lost' being referred to as the "greatest show of this millenium, hands down." ???! Oh my! PUKE!

And here I've been respecting Hoy's opinions for awhile. Lesson learned.

5:55 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Sorry Cayne, forgot about your favorite show Desperate Housewives.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Great blog, man. Nice blog the other day, too. I like all your blogs.

Just funnin'.

Saw Superbad a week ago and have to admit it didn't work for me as well as 40 Yr. Old did. Had the sad feeling about a half-hour in I might actually be getting too old for these. There is some good funny in there, tho'. Excellent music, too.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

Superbad's a more particular type of humour. It really picks up in the final act. I found it freakin' hilarious. But not as good as 40 year-old virgin.

Cloverfield was great. It's really short though. I can see how it frustrates some people. If you're going to see it in the theatre, sit further back if you're prone to motion sickness. Oh, and omit any critical thinking before walking into it. Enjoy the ride, ignore the motivations of the characters.

10:06 PM  

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