Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Quick Hits

Lots on my mind today, and not a ton of time to spend blogging, so here we go in the "quick hits" format once again.

First, I was actually interested in watching the Winter Olympics for the first time this week on Wednesday night, even though Hammer Wife basically has the NBC coverage on the tv in the room with me all night every night this week. For whatever reason, I just don't find most of the winter Olympics to be fun to watch. I mean, of course I -- like the rest of the free world outside of the U.S. of A. -- don't take silly hobbies like snowboarding seriously as an Olympic sport, as America only lobbied for these to become Olympic competitions over the past couple of Olympics since we figured we could stuff the ballots with some free gold medals in those hobbies since we are after all the country that spawned the X Games and which otherwise has the money and the free time to pursue such newfangled activities. The figure skating does not particularly interest me, and basically any sport that relies on judges to subjectively decide who wins a medal -- judges who time and time again, mind you, have proven themselves to vote with their eyes closed based on biases wholly unrelated to who the best skaters are on that given day -- are more or less dead to me. I watched an hour or so of the ski jumping earlier in the week, but come on that is about as bad of television as there is. It's basically just a guy skiing motionless down a pre-dug track on a hill, and then pushing off with his legs while he stands, motionless, in the air for maybe five seconds as he floats to the ground. I'm not saying I could or would go and do that myself right now, but if you had to invent a boring, absolutely-no-action tv sport, that would pretty much be it. That, or the luge, which basically amounts to someone lying on their back for 80 seconds and trying to remain as motionless and flat as possible. I also saw some of the mogul freestyle skiing a couple of days back, but how many times can I watch someone break their knees over and over again by just bumping up and down in a way that deliberately impedes their pace and keeps the action slow and boring?

But then came the ladies' downhill skiing on Wednesday night, and I have to admit this was really pretty cool. Not being a skier myself, I am always amazed at how quickly these people move and how sharply they take these turns back and forth. What was cool on Wednesday night was that -- and I don't know if this was due to track conditions or what -- these skiers were completely and totally out of control from the moment they left the gate until their either face-planted or somehow finished the race still upright. Without exception every single one of these downhill skiers had absolutely no control whatsoever, and basically they each experienced the most terrifying minute and a half of their lives as they hurtled at 75 miles per hour back and forth down a track with a hugely steep downhill slope and much sharper cuts and curves than most other downhill tracks in the world, and you could just tell that each and every one of them was just praying to hold on for dear life. It was pretty amazing, and the complete franticness of the pace combined with quite a few entertaining face plants made for the first interesting watch of the entire Olympics in my view.

Oh and while I'm on the topic, I've seen several people mention in blogs or elsewhere how much they enjoy the speed skating. Really? At least in the head-to-head battles on the large course, there are some nice straightaways for the skill people to have the chance to power ahead and maybe even pass somebody due to their incredible leg strength and drive to win. But most of the speed skating they've shown so far is this ridiculous short-track kind, which I cannot understand how people can enjoy. There is no straightaway to speak of at all in this thing, and one lap takes all of maybe 7 seconds, 6.8 of which are all curves as the skaters are by design too busy crossing-over their skates on the curves to even think about actually racing. It's more like WWE skating than actual speed skating in any event, and I don't care if Apollo Ohno wins gold medals at it for America. In fact, I'm sure the silly short-track is just another format pushed into the Olympics by the Americans because we think we can win the gold in it with more regularity than the old, more pure speed skating of days past. At least with the heads-to-head skating races on the large rinks, there is some actual time and opportunity for those with the most actual speed skating skill to come out in front. Short-track speed skating is like the super-turbo version of a classic Winter Olympics sport, just a push-and-pray donkey's dream of someone who grew up watching real speed skating in the real Olympics, back when they used to only come around every four years instead of every two years nowadays. I think of the short-track speed skating as the Rush Poker of the Winter Olympics, which might sound like a compliment to many of you who have extolled the virtues of the Rush on your blogs but who are actually just unknowingly shilling for full tilt as they further bastardize poker in the name of the almighty dollar.

On an unrelated sports note, does anybody know why is Tiger Woods having another "press conference" on Friday at the PGA headquarters in Florida? And why on earth are these jackmonkeys on the radio saying he better say he's sorry so he can move on with his life? He already said he's sorry. About five different times. And I have news for you -- unless you are Elin Woods and happen to be reading this blog (I'm sure she is a big fan), Tiger never owed you any apology for what he did. Period. You're not married to him. He never made any promises to you regarding his off-the-course activities or his fidelity to his wife. And he certainly doesn't owe you five different apologies. So get up off the guy's back please. What Tiger did is despicable to say the least, and if I'm his wife I wouldn't be caught dead anywhere near him, not for any amount of money (even $300 million). But this lemming-like insistence across the media and the country that Tiger had better apologize (again!) on Friday in front of the cameras is just that -- lemming behavior. Newsflash: for the most part, the media in this country are the least intelligent, least integrity-having, and least honest or "good" group of people out there. Mindlessly following what they tell you to think to serve their own selfish agendas makes you closer to a 1930's Nazi than a 2010's American. So wake up and give the guy a god damn break.

Lost was effing awesome this week as any true Lost fan knows. So much left unanswered, but we probably got as much information in this show as in any episode in the series's history. That Flocke is "recruiting". That Jacob touching the six people he touched (Sawyer, Hugo, Jack, Sayid, Locke and either Sun or Jin) allegedly is what set them up to eventually end up at the island, as had been assumed. That strangely the other of Sun / Jin, Claire, Charlie, Rose, Bernard, and especially Kate were not touched by Jacob and were not drawn to the island by him in that way. That the mysterious numbers from the first couple of seasons are somehow connected to the selection of these six people. That Jacob is looking for "candidates" to replace him as guardian of the island. That Ileana scooped up Jacob's ashes and put them into a bag to take with her to the temple presumably for some purpose. That there is some kind of a "referee" in the battle between Jacob and Flocke in the weirdo blond kid who showed up out of nowhere a couple of times in this episode. That Sawyer was able to see the kid, while Richard Alpert of all people was not. How much of what Flocke told and showed Sawyer is actually true though? And is Sawyer really going to fight for Flocke, or as Doc Jensen of EW surprised me with in his column this week, is Sawyer running one final con, against the doer of evil, the Man In Black. Can Sawyer even fool Flocke like that, is that even possible to do? We'll have to wait and see. I'm just glad Kate wasn't featured this week again, for that I am eternally thankful. And WTF is up with the alternate reality storyline? The more they show of that story line, the less likely it seems to become to me that this is actually just a final flash forward to the end of the series when the Losties finally get it right. Although I will still say that it is obvious to me that the writers will find a way to bring the two story lines back together, as there is just no way that they are going to keep these two realities separate without tying the two together in some way.

Ahh, and of course, there is always poker. Lovely, fair, poker. Mother fucking dickshitting poker. Poker is destroying me right now. After all my talk of playing less after a great 2009, I have broken my own rule between double guarantees week and now the FTOPS and am instead playing a lot, which would be great if not for the Sick Ass Beats I take about 10 to 15 times every single night. Last night's standout hands include my KK vs TT on a KTx flop, allin, and then another Ten on the turn (that's not something you see every day!) in the $100 1-rebuy tournament on full tilt, and the flickaflonk in a $220 heads-up nlh sng who called my preflop raise with KK with his K6s, flopped 457 and called an allin from me for twice the pot on the flop, and then of course turned the 3 to bury me. I've been such a dick in the chatbox to these monkeys over the past several weeks of just plain brutal suckouts that it's a wonder my chat hasn't been perma-banned. I know I can play profitably in most of the games I play, but withstanding the kinds of suckout streaks I have seen over the past month-plus is more than any human can take. Rest assured that if most of you had to play my hands for even one night, your heads would fucking explode and we'd be cleaning up your brains off the walls for weeks. Clearly, I need a break from this shitgame right now. When you run like I do, too much poker can definitely be detrimental to my world view.

OK back to the grind. Working for the man sucks almost 1/1000th as much as playing poker does!

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Blogger Mike Maloney said...

Kate was touched by Jacob, on the nose, when she was a kid and got caught stealing the New Kids on the Block lunchbox.

11:22 PM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

"KK with his K6s, flopped 457 and called an allin from me for twice the pot on the flop, and then of course turned the 3 to bury me"

Dude, if you've been avoiding these types of suckouts to date, and all of a sudden they're hitting you, congratulations! Prior to now, you've run EXTREMELY well! I'd love to see your all-in EV graph. However, donk calls of a shove with an OESD are the norm - and suckouts are expected. The set < quads is a bad beat (1 outter), but the rest - meh...

11:33 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Poker Meistie:

If you saw my all-in EV graph (whatever that is), (1) you would throw up your last seven meals, in rapid succession, (2) your body would shrivel up into one-fifth of its normal size in the span of five seconds, and then (3) your head would explode and your shriveled up brains would be being found all over the room you were in for the next three years.

So glad you don't think KK losing to K6s when I raised preflop and put the guy allin for twice the pot on the flop is a bad beat though. That makes me feel so much better.

12:07 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

:-) It sucks. As a cash game grinder, I know. And it must double-suck because you put in time & effort and get nothing for it in a tournament. Getting 8-outted is not a bad beat though. 1-outted, yes... but 8? 32%?

12:30 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I suppose we could debate the meaning of "bad beat" till the cows come home. It's more the way the whole hand happened that I think was really crappy. I mean, it's one thing to be sitting at a full ring table and have someone happen to be holding that 6 when you get the big pair (and where I could have easily folded as a result). But when you're sitting in a heads-up sitngo and it happens, *and* you raise preflop and get called, *and* you overbet the flop and of course get called, it feels about 10 times worse. Not to mention this was at the $220 buyin level. You'd think at some point the players stop acting like complete and utter heehawing brayerbitches.

Apparently not.

2:18 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

I get what you're saying, and I'm not 100% versed on HUSNG strategy, but is it possible V put you on an overpair < KK? Is it standard practice to push overpairs like that? If V is giving himself 3 Kings as an out, then he's giving himself nearly 50% equity in the pot. Nevertheless, it is sh*tty. Suckouts... well... suck...

3:13 AM  

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