Poker Cats

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OMG Halloween is here (Treats not tricks)

I just busted someone on Bocat with A5s, making an A and a four-flush on the flop.
Turn brings another A. He min raises me. I pot it thinking we're all in but we're not.

On the river, I push all-in with just trip aces. He calls with 2nd pair K.

lol.

Plus, I'm about to play in my first Mookie!

Too many harbls for you

Full Tilt Poker Game #4027551110: Table Old Park - $0.05/$0.10 - Pot Limit Hold'em - 19:53:42 ET - 2007/10/31
Seat 1: Jackielg ($3.95)
Seat 2: kurokitty ($10.15)
Seat 3: Smokin Eddy ($7.60)
Seat 4: betunc ($3.55)
Seat 5: wilberry ($8.35)
Seat 6: Don Fredo ($10)
Seat 7: wowwho ($6.55)
Seat 8: toza75 ($3.35)
Seat 9: montain x ($4.35)
Jackielg posts the small blind of $0.05
kurokitty has 5 seconds left to act
kurokitty posts the big blind of $0.10
5 seconds left to act
Don Fredo posts $0.10
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [8d 8s]
Smokin Eddy raises to $0.45
betunc folds
wilberry folds
Don Fredo folds
wowwho calls $0.45
toza75 folds
montain x calls $0.45
Jackielg folds
kurokitty calls $0.35
*** FLOP *** [Jh 8c 2d]
kurokitty checks
Smokin Eddy bets $1.95
wowwho folds
montain x folds
kurokitty has 15 seconds left to act
kurokitty raises to $4.85
Smokin Eddy has 15 seconds left to act
Smokin Eddy calls $2.90
*** TURN *** [Jh 8c 2d] [9s]
kurokitty bets $4.85, and is all in
Smokin Eddy calls $2.30, and is all in
kurokitty shows [8d 8s]
Smokin Eddy shows [Ad Jc]
Uncalled bet of $2.55 returned to kurokitty
*** RIVER *** [Jh 8c 2d 9s] [9h]
kurokitty shows a full house, Eights full of Nines
Smokin Eddy shows two pair, Jacks and Nines
kurokitty wins the pot ($14.65) with a full house, Eights full of Nines
Smokin Eddy is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $16.25 | Rake $1.60
Board: [Jh 8c 2d 9s 9h]
Seat 1: Jackielg (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: kurokitty (big blind) showed [8d 8s] and won ($14.65) with a full house, Eights full of Nines
Seat 3: Smokin Eddy showed [Ad Jc] and lost with two pair, Jacks and Nines
Seat 4: betunc didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: wilberry didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: Don Fredo folded before the Flop
Seat 7: wowwho folded on the Flop
Seat 8: toza75 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: montain x (button) folded on the Flop

Away game, Middle Tucker

I went to Matt's to play in Middle Tucker last night. Some people decry shorthanded games, but most winning players love them. You see more hands and, better yet, they're fun.

I was down to less than half a buy-in in 4- and 5-handed play when I quadrupled up on threes full of kings with K3 in an Omaha 8 hand. Then I kept on winning pots, one with a str8 with Q9 with a Q99 pineapple hand.

Left up two buy-ins, cashing out three (Hood to Coast 2-0), but it mainly was more fun just to catch up with everyone.

LOTS of poker coming up in the next few days. Can't wait.

Happy Halloween and good hunting at the tables. You know they're going to be good.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bodog's billionth hand

... is approaching, sometime in "mid-late" November, this promo says.

I've never even come remotely close to winning any of the spoils of these milestone promotions (mainly on 'Stars), but who knows.

Bocat is cat's home turf!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Krystal update

Joey Chestnut won, but he broke the 100 mark by eating 103 according to this news story from the Chattanooga paper, so I ended up with only a small profit from my short analysis.

I also won the over of the total of the top three finishers -- the line was 235-1/2. According to the story, the total was 292. I should have bet two player props, one taking Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas against Chip Simpson (58 vs. 49) and Chestnut vs. two players, Crazy Legs Conti and Tim Brown (103 vs. 83).

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POKER CATS NOTEBOOK: Fuel55 is offering 1 percent stakes (for the appropriate amount of $55) for the upcoming BC Poker Championship. Worth considering.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I love first hands at a table

Full Tilt Poker Game #3987111118: Table Hause (6 max) - $0.05/$0.10 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:14:54 ET - 2007/10/27
Seat 1: sotallytober225 ($0.75)
Seat 2: kurokitty ($10)
Seat 3: fulltilt09 ($10.35), is sitting out
Seat 4: Knudsen48 ($1.90)
Seat 5: timmytimtim7 ($6.95)
Seat 6: Deuces Wired ($1.25)
sotallytober225 posts the small blind of $0.05
kurokitty has 5 seconds left to act
kurokitty posts the big blind of $0.10
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Ad Ac]
Knudsen48 calls $0.10
timmytimtim7 raises to $0.20
Deuces Wired calls $0.20
sotallytober225 calls $0.15
kurokitty raises to $1.10
Knudsen48 folds
timmytimtim7 raises to $6.95, and is all in
Deuces Wired calls $1.05, and is all in
sotallytober225 calls $0.55, and is all in
kurokitty calls $5.85
timmytimtim7 shows [Kh Ah]
Deuces Wired shows [Td 6d]
sotallytober225 shows [5d 8s]
kurokitty shows [Ad Ac]
*** FLOP *** [Ts Qh 2s]
*** TURN *** [Ts Qh 2s] [8d]
*** RIVER *** [Ts Qh 2s 8d] [7c]
timmytimtim7 shows Ace King high
kurokitty shows a pair of Aces
fulltilt09 stands up
kurokitty wins side pot #2 ($10.85) with a pair of Aces
Deuces Wired shows a pair of Tens
kurokitty wins side pot #1 ($1.35) with a pair of Aces
sotallytober225 shows a pair of Eights
kurokitty wins the main pot ($2.80) with a pair of Aces
sotallytober225 is sitting out
kurokitty is sitting out
timmytimtim7 is sitting out
Deuces Wired is sitting out
sotallytober225 adds $4
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $16 Main pot $3.10. Side pot 1 $1.50. Side pot 2 $11.40. | Rake $1
Board: [Ts Qh 2s 8d 7c]
Seat 1: sotallytober225 (small blind) showed [5d 8s] and lost with a pair of Eights
Seat 2: kurokitty (big blind) showed [Ad Ac] and won ($15) with a pair of Aces
Seat 3: fulltilt09 is sitting out
Seat 4: Knudsen48 folded before the Flop
Seat 5: timmytimtim7 showed [Kh Ah] and lost with Ace King high
Seat 6: Deuces Wired (button) showed [Td 6d] and lost with a pair of Tens

Analysis- Krystal Square Off

The annual Krystal Square Off (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET) in Chattanooga, Tenn. is one of the "major" events in the competitive eating tour.

My guess is there are a couple good picks here:

1). Who will win the Krystal Square Off IV competitive eating championship?

My guess is Joey "Jaws" Chestnut (6/5), the reigning Nathan's hot dog champion, who came in second to Krystal champ Takeru Kobayashi last year, eating 91 burgers to Kobayashi's 97 last year. But Kobayashi will not compete here this year because of a jaw injury related to wisdom tooth removal.

In a preliminary last week in Birmingham, Chestnut ate 87 Krystals. He'll face stiff competition from Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti (3/1), who bested Chestnut and Kobayashi Oct. 10 in a chicken wing eating contest in Las Vegas. Bertoletti ate 85 burgers last month in a preliminary in the ATL.

But that number was a record for Bertoletti and Chestnut has experience eating far more in the championship. Plus I think Chestnut will work to jump back on top of the competitive eating world.

2). Will a competitor eat 100 or more burgers at the championship?

I have to go with No (-900) here. For Yes (+500) to happen, I think you'd have to have a healthy Kobayashi here in the competition. Both he and Chestnut are the only people in the history of the event to eat more than 90 Krystals and without one of the two to spur the other on, I don't think this will take place.

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POKER CATS NOTEBOOK: Here's 23skidoo's account of the Wednesday game.

Melon'd

The above is a reference to how the Bionic Woman dispatched her last villain. The episode took a strange curve from life, they let Michelle Ryan speak in her British accent, which is a pretty hot to hear (but not as hot as Kate Beckinsale?). Hmmm.

In other news, cat moved the chains in three systems (Bocat, 'Stars and 'Tilt). These games are sooooo terrible. lol

Friday, October 26, 2007

The waiting game

FORSYTH, Ga. -- Sitting in my car right now outside a medium-security state prison for a story. Not really what I expected, looks more like a campus for a community college with lots of razor wire than anything else.

Stupidly, unable to log on to 'Tilt or 'Stars because they're both still on at home. Forgot to log off my home computer before I left.

Can't wait for the weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do you have the chops to play?

Virtually all poker players have a little denial in us. That part of us wants to pretend that only bad luck prevents us from having the results we "deserve." That's why we tell bad beat stories, play in games we can't beat, and complain about luck.

But we can't afford that luxury. Ours is a brutally realistic game. If we play well and select the right games, we win, maybe not today, but certainly over the long term. If we play badly or select the right games, we lose, and we deserve to lose.
-Alan N. Schoonmaker, "The Psychology of Poker."

The above book came out in 2000, well before the Internet boom of poker as we know it. So already then there were questions abound in the poker world of what was going on in the games -- or rather, is it an issue of "it's not you, it's me," or is it me, not you?

The way I see it, there was a nice Golden age on the Internet where poker was a quite nifty recreational sport. You could sign up and win, win, win. It wasn't hard at all. All you had to do was be there.

Last year's UIGEA did influence that, but I imagine it only speeded up the process. What happens at regular cardrooms -- new players come, they may bust out and never come back.

It's been a year since that law was passed and many online systems became inaccessible to U.S. players.

You may not have known it at the time, but that year was a gift. The people who likely will continue to be playing -- and winning -- long after you quit the game used that time to 1). understand their strengths and weaknesses 2). understand the strengths and weaknesses of their competition and 3). adjusted.

Many others just continued to do as they had done in the past, solely showing up as if to pick up a check. Their game never improved and the results of a year of stagnation are showing up today.

I wrote in a prior post that you have to be a razor to play the game, or you will not survive. It's not a game of shooting fish in a barrel. You are playing against others who have the ability to evolve their games. Your dwindling edge only came from what you knew over what they didn't.

Despite the year away from access to many major online poker sites, we've been given another gift. For some inexplicable reason, plenty of fish are in the waters. Me and others have speculated it likely has come from poker's continued popularity on TV and that people want to play because they're either back in school or enjoying hands because of the football season.

So, it's fucking crazy to me to hear that the games are going away. Nightly, Poker Stars puts up more than 100,000 people -- equal to what Party Poker had before the Internet law went into effect.

After a year of reflection, and possibly empty purse strings, it comes down to this: Do you, or do you not, have the chops to play?

Are you looking at this like a business? Are you making sure you are maximizing your profit while minimizing your costs (losses)?

Are you looking for new ways to beat your competition (if you haven't extensively studied CardRunners videos, you're not because that's what your competition is likely beating you with)?

Are you able to walk away from it all if you're not a winner?

It's like taking up basketball. Sure, you may enjoy plunking shots in the net. It's great exercise and recreation. But are you good enough to make a living at it? Heck, no, most people are not.

Yet more people realize their limitations in sports quicker than they do with poker.

And why are the games bad? Why aren't you able to enjoy donking around in poker for fun?

Maybe it's not the games. Maybe it's you.

But that's not such a bad thing either. The quicker you realize your limitations, the quicker you'll have fun in something so many others enjoy.

Good times

The crew donked it up with 23skidoo last night at the Cats' arena.

Once again, he did very well, playing lots of hands in our 4-handed and 5-handed game, especially when I couldn't commit to going all-in on the last O8 hand pre-flop with AQJ2. (Woulda made a Broadway str8).

Be that as it may, I squeaked through with a small profit (Jager shark, 1-0).

We learned a few things afterward, as the game spilled out to the bars of Va-Hi.

--Moe's and Joe's does NOT serve food after 11 p.m.
--Do NOT order two pitchers of PBR without inquiring about the first fact!
--Taco Mac DOES serve food until 2 a.m.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

F*ck presto lol

Full Tilt Poker Game #3955995311: Table Wafer (6 max) - $0.10/$0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:25:58 ET - 2007/10/24
Seat 1: propower64 ($5.05)
Seat 2: elesde ($9.25)
Seat 3: Woodwright ($10.70)
Seat 4: BEARCATS95 ($4.60)
Seat 5: earp243 ($11.60)
Seat 6: kurokitty ($22.95)
kurokitty posts the small blind of $0.10
propower64 posts the big blind of $0.25
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [5s 5d]
elesde folds
Woodwright calls $0.25
BEARCATS95 folds
earp243 calls $0.25
kurokitty calls $0.15
propower64 checks
*** FLOP *** [3s 5h Kd]
kurokitty checks
propower64 checks
Woodwright checks
earp243 checks
*** TURN *** [3s 5h Kd] [8c]
kurokitty checks
propower64 bets $0.25
Woodwright folds
earp243 folds
kurokitty raises to $1
propower64 calls $0.75
*** RIVER *** [3s 5h Kd 8c] [Ks]
kurokitty bets $4
propower64 calls $3.80, and is all in
Uncalled bet of $0.20 returned to kurokitty
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty shows [5s 5d] a full house, Fives full of Kings
propower64 shows [5c Kc] a full house, Kings full of Fives
propower64 wins the pot ($10.10) with a full house, Kings full of Fives
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $10.60 | Rake $0.50
Board: [3s 5h Kd 8c Ks]
Seat 1: propower64 (big blind) showed [5c Kc] and won ($10.10) with a full house, Kings full of Fives
Seat 2: elesde didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: Woodwright folded on the Turn
Seat 4: BEARCATS95 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: earp243 (button) folded on the Turn
Seat 6: kurokitty (small blind) showed [5s 5d] and lost with a full house, Fives full of Kings

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Killing presto

I can't tell you the last time I was the beneficiary of one of these set-over-set battles:

PokerStars Game #12796573661: Hold'em Pot Limit ($0.50/$1.00) - 2007/10/23 - 10:09:54 (ET)
Table 'Pavo III' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: spelv30 ($107.60 in chips)
Seat 2: grethe 13 ($92.45 in chips)
Seat 3: jepetro ($22.15 in chips)
Seat 4: space311 ($20 in chips)
Seat 5: kurokitty ($104 in chips)
Seat 6: mr_almighty1 ($53.60 in chips)
Seat 7: 19sander77 ($44.50 in chips)
Seat 8: Romeokhoi ($19 in chips)
Seat 9: Suncatch ($59 in chips)
jepetro: posts small blind $0.50
space311: posts big blind $1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [9h 9s]
kurokitty: calls $1
mr_almighty1: calls $1
19sander77: folds
Romeokhoi: folds
Suncatch: calls $1
spelv30: folds
grethe 13: folds
jepetro: folds
space311: checks
*** FLOP *** [Td 5c 9c]
19sander77 said, "draken"
space311: bets $1
kurokitty: raises $4 to $5
mr_almighty1: calls $5
Suncatch: folds
space311: raises $4 to $9
kurokitty: raises $18 to $27
mr_almighty1: folds
space311: calls $10 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Td 5c 9c] [Ks]
*** RIVER *** [Td 5c 9c Ks] [Qs]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
space311: shows [5h 5d] (three of a kind, Fives)
kurokitty: shows [9h 9s] (three of a kind, Nines)
kurokitty collected $45.15 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $47.50 | Rake $2.35
Board [Td 5c 9c Ks Qs]
Seat 1: spelv30 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: grethe 13 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: jepetro (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: space311 (big blind) showed [5h 5d] and lost with three of a kind, Fives
Seat 5: kurokitty showed [9h 9s] and won ($45.15) with three of a kind, Nines
Seat 6: mr_almighty1 folded on the Flop
Seat 7: 19sander77 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Romeokhoi folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: Suncatch folded on the Flop

Life's a MTT

I was over at Sherri's last night splitting a bottle of wine when my mom called to tell me that my friend Brent, who is my age or younger and recently suffered a massive stroke, passed away.

It's so strange to know people your age who pass on, especially if it's of natural causes. Life is totally a MTT - there may be no rhyme or reason why people bust out as you go deeper into it. They (or you) could be cold-decked. Or on tilt. Leaks (smoking, alcohol, poor diet or exercise) may send them to the rail early.

I used to worry about passing on, but then I realized that it would be like Jordan worrying that there's only 3:18 left in the 3rd quarter. Instead, you could tell he lived for the moment. That game ultimately would end but there's many more to be played.

In that way, MTTs are like life. Late in the 210-player 5,000 FTP satellite I played in, I found myself crippled to inaction because this donk on my right, likely fearful of being outplayed, would jump all-in at any opportunity. I threw away a pair of 6s at one time not sure whether I wanted the fate of a $1,000 buy-in prize to rest on a coinflip.

But now, after I lost AK to KJ, I wonder if I should have done differently, letting the game come to me rather than looking for it.

But all I know is damn, I loved getting there. I know there will be plenty of times ahead that I will bubble out, of more expensive tourneys, and there will be those sweet few times when I win. Like in BSG "it has happened before, and it will happen again."

So say cats all.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The rain and raining money

Twice today people asked me about Las Vegas when I was out doing errands -- I was wearing my MGM Grand shirt (0-2) and, because I have so many similar shirts, I never really think about it until someone mentions it.

First instance today was at Publix, the grocery bagger-man mentioned he likes watching Poker After Dark.

"I've learned a lot about poker watching that show," he said.

"Um, me too," I say.

"Do you win money there? If so, I want to go," the cashier chimes in.

The second time today was when I was getting a pair of glasses (finally) -- the optician talked about his parents' trips there "The first time they went, my mother won $400 in a slot machine. But she lost all her money" in other trips.

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It finally rained here. It was strange, after living several years in the Pacific Northwest where it rains all the time, to be so appreciative to be covered by falling water. Not sure it'll make too much of an impact with the drought, but who knows?

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'Stars says it can take about 15 days to get a withdrawal check. I got mine in four days. W00t!

Mad about Mad Men

Do you ever watch the AMC show Mad Men? There's an excellent scene in the season finale where one of the main characters, an advertising executive, is pitching a Kodak wheel-fed slide projector ad to the Kodak people:

Man #1: So, have you figured out a way to work the wheel into it?

Man #2: We know it's hard, because wheels aren't seen as exciting technology, even though they are the original.

Don Draper: Well, technology is the glittering lure, but there is the rare occasion that the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product.

My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, there was this old pro, a copywriter, a Greek named Teddy.

Teddy told me the most important thing in advertising is new, it creates an itch. You simply put your product in there, a kind of calamine lotion.

He also talked about a deeper bond with the product - nostalgia. It's delicate, but potent.

Teddy told me that in Greek, nostalgia literally means the pain from an old wound.

It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.

This device isn't a spaceship. it's a time machine.

It goes backwards, forwards, takes us to a place where we ache to go again.

It's not called the wheel - it's called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Round and around, back home again to a place where we know we are loved.

Bubble cat

Aargh. Played the 5,000 FTP tournament I satellited into yesterday. 210 players, made it to 4th after nearly four hours of play. Got knocked out by a donk with KJ when I had AK. Three places paid $1,000 buy-in seats to the Monday $1K.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Punk Hand of the Day

Full Tilt Poker Game #3927172855: Satellite to $1K Monday (29118001), Table 8 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:12:45 ET - 2007/10/21
Seat 1: 3347969 (5,905)
Seat 2: SleekJoe (1,170), is sitting out
Seat 3: ael1979 (2,780)
Seat 4: Matty70 (945)
Seat 5: melinao (8,540)
Seat 6: kurokitty (2,690)
Seat 7: DB9007 (7,173)
Seat 9: dnkysok (1,695)
ael1979 posts the small blind of 40
Matty70 posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Qs Qd]
melinao folds
kurokitty has 15 seconds left to act
kurokitty raises to 280
DB9007 folds
dnkysok folds
3347969 calls 280
SleekJoe folds
ael1979 raises to 1,040
Matty70 folds
kurokitty raises to 2,690, and is all in
3347969 has 15 seconds left to act
3347969 folds
ael1979 calls 1,650
kurokitty shows [Qs Qd]
ael1979 shows [Kh Kd]
*** FLOP *** [8s 5s 4s]
*** TURN *** [8s 5s 4s] [Ts]
*** RIVER *** [8s 5s 4s Ts] [Ad]
kurokitty shows a flush, Queen high
ael1979 shows a pair of Kings
kurokitty wins the pot (5,740) with a flush, Queen high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 5,740 | Rake 0
Board: [8s 5s 4s Ts Ad]
Seat 1: 3347969 folded before the Flop
Seat 2: SleekJoe (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: ael1979 (small blind) showed [Kh Kd] and lost with a pair of Kings
Seat 4: Matty70 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: melinao didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: kurokitty showed [Qs Qd] and won (5,740) with a flush, Queen high
Seat 7: DB9007 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: dnkysok didn't bet (folded)

One day you'll know why

VangstaCuhz510: u r
VangstaCuhz510: donky
VangstaCuhz510: omg
VangstaCuhz510: how do u call
VangstaCuhz510: all in
VangstaCuhz510: with Aq
VangstaCuhz510: wth
Dealer: kurokitty wins the pot ($0.20)
Dealer: Hand #3926508680
VangstaCuhz510: this game dont even make send
Dealer: ChessExpress has 5 seconds left to act
VangstaCuhz510: sense
kurokitty: um, you limped. plus it's a good 6 max hand
Dealer: ChessExpress has timed out
VangstaCuhz510: are u serpouse
VangstaCuhz510: omg
kurokitty: one day you'll know why
VangstaCuhz510: AQ
VangstaCuhz510: all in
VangstaCuhz510: ?
Dealer: MaDiKicHeE wins the pot ($0.10)
Dealer: Hand #3926512594
VangstaCuhz510: u serouse
VangstaCuhz510: Aq
kurokitty: your limp was weak
VangstaCuhz510: how can
VangstaCuhz510: u have a weak limp
kurokitty: ?
kurokitty: lololololol
Dealer: MaDiKicHeE has 15 seconds left to act
kurokitty: bye bye

Ah, someone who doesn't understand the CR offense

Full Tilt Poker Game #3926499941: Table Stocker (6 max) - $0.05/$0.10 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:07:00 ET - 2007/10/21
Seat 1: VangstaCuhz510 ($1.30)
Seat 2: Cleaner8 ($2.80)
Seat 3: ChessExpress ($1.60)
Seat 4: MaDiKicHeE ($6.15)
Seat 5: cgj5059 ($13.45), is sitting out
Seat 6: kurokitty ($9.95)
MaDiKicHeE posts the small blind of $0.05
kurokitty posts the big blind of $0.10
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [As Qs]
VangstaCuhz510 calls $0.10
Cleaner8 calls $0.10
ChessExpress folds
MaDiKicHeE calls $0.05
kurokitty raises to $0.50
VangstaCuhz510 raises to $1.30, and is all in
Cleaner8 folds
MaDiKicHeE folds
kurokitty calls $0.80
VangstaCuhz510 shows [6h 6d]
kurokitty shows [As Qs]
*** FLOP *** [2c 5s 4h]
*** TURN *** [2c 5s 4h] [Ah]
*** RIVER *** [2c 5s 4h Ah] [8c]
VangstaCuhz510 shows a pair of Sixes
kurokitty shows a pair of Aces
kurokitty wins the pot ($2.55) with a pair of Aces
VangstaCuhz510 is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $2.80 | Rake $0.25
Board: [2c 5s 4h Ah 8c]
Seat 1: VangstaCuhz510 showed [6h 6d] and lost with a pair of Sixes
Seat 2: Cleaner8 folded before the Flop
Seat 3: ChessExpress (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: MaDiKicHeE (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: cgj5059 is sitting out
Seat 6: kurokitty (big blind) showed [As Qs] and won ($2.55) with a pair of Aces

Tokens 2 cash

Used up my two $26 tokens on $24+2 sngs today. Donked one, but placed 3rd in the second one for $66.

Money from nothing! W00t!

A charmed life

After watching Doyle Brunson hit the final put to take down the "Gamblers Rules Scramble" in the first round of the HSE Golf Invitational on ESPN, you have to think what a charmed life he's had.

Skill or luck? Everyone else missed their putt. It's amazing to see him in action.

Bringing it all together

Although I said in the past that I didn't think my CardPlayer subscription was worth anything, I may have to re-evaluate that after reading the recent Todd Brunson article on slowplaying. He basically says that you have to once in a while, contrary to Phil Laak's maxim of always betting your monsters:

If you never slow-play a hand, your opponent can bluff you or value-bet you at will with no fear of a check-raise. Even if you only rarely slow-play, you must do it at least occasionally to keep your opponent in check. He must think in the back of his mind that when you check, you may in fact have a big hand and are slow-playing.
-Todd Brunson, CardPlayer magazine, Oct. 10, 2007

I used this to great effect in yesterday's satellite. It was sort of like alternating pitches in a baseball game. I slowplayed several hands and felt like I didn't get bluffed out of hands I checked later in the game.

Watching the most recent Taylor Caby video also reminded me of another thing I've been doing recently that's from the CR offense, namely raising with unsuited connectors on the button. It adds to the range of hands that you'll raise with, particularly in a shorthanded game. And when used against a tight player, they really can't call any raise without a good hand. Or when you hit, they can't put you, the pre-flop raiser, on that kind of hand.

And this from a recent Two Plus Two magazine article, that king-high flops are really good for bluffs. I tend to use this especially if I've raised with a marginal hand. The king has to be in their estimated range of hands that you'd raise with and it's hard to withstand that kind of heat unless they have a better hand.

So although CardPlayer in its entirety may not be worthwhile to me, I may have to continue to pick it up in case there are little nuggets worth gleaning. The reminder about slowplaying already earned me a token worth $26, equivalent to a year's subscription.

Yay!

Won another $26 token from a 600 FTP sng. This time the dude was playing unbelievably tight, throwing away every small blind he could. I helped him along by raising just about every card I could, throwing in a couple of sb folds for good measure.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cat advances

Won another 600 FTP sng to advance to a 5,000 FTP tourney at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow.

This time around, I whittled a fairly solid/tight player down to nearly zero chips, had him with the lapdance (64) with a board of 486, then 4, but got counterfeited with an 8 on the river.

Since he never 3-bet me pf, I constantly kept pressure on him by raising any good hand and then raising every third junk hand.

He, like so many toasters, resorted to trying to go all-in with Ax, and I finally got him with ATo vs A6.

Yay.

On the sidelines (college)

For some reason early in the week I missed betting on college games entirely, although I managed to fit in my Gore prop and a whole bunch of NFL games.

I had a chance to make some bets late last night, but thought I wouldn't be getting value from betting on the lines so late.

So here I am, twiddling my thumbs. Boo.

A mighty heart

They say time is the fire in which we burn. Right now, captain, my time is running out. We leave so many things unfinished in our lives -- I know you understand.
-Star Trek: Generations

Yesterday after I made my way back home I was greeted with an e-mail from my mom that one of my childhood friends -- the son of a work friend of my dad's -- had developed some kind of clot between his lung and heart that had burst, causing a massive stroke.

The dude is a year or two younger than me.

I cannot imagine how this played out from the beginning, he is so young, but it's a warning to me to not take matters of the heart too likely, no matter how young.

Sham also has a recent post about his mom going in for triple bypass surgery.

I worry about this all the time, particularly because I love burgers from Moe's and Joe's, fries from Manuel's and bacon on my veggie burgers at Mr. Lucky's 24/7 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Maybe it's why I run.

"Aren't you running from something?" my boss asked me once when I was an RA at Carolina.

Now, it's very clear. Hell yeah, I'm running from something -- in the last 365 days, I ran nearly 1,200 miles to run away from the spectre of diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic problems that can quickly put you closer to your maker.

I know it's not infalliable -- everyone knows the story of Jim Fixx -- and if you have plugged up arteries, running may not be the kind of strain on the heart that you're looking for. But like Higdon's article suggests, running may have put years back on Fixx's life, since he had a history of relatively young deaths of relatives with heart disease.

I always think of this while running, especially the Category 1 climbs, hills that put strain on automobiles and seem like forever to run, on my courses. Like with jet engines, they say you'll know all about heart trouble in the first seven minutes of exercise if there's any to be had.

As I trudge up to the top -- Will this be it? What would it be like when the engine room cannot keep up with the demands of the man at the helm. ("We canna take much more o' this, captain!")

I breathe relief when I crest it and trot downward.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yay!

Overcame a more than 3-1 chip lead heads-up in a Tier One 600 FTP sng to come out with a win and a $26 token.

The dude didn't seem to like being 3-bet, I alternated all of my raises pre- and post-flop but leaned towards raising with the more marginal hands.

Yay!

For Kuro

Full Tilt Poker Game #3905620249: Tier One 600 FTP Sit & Go (29723017), Table 1 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:43:25 ET - 2007/10/19
Seat 1: Tinman the 3rd (3,470)
Seat 3: NeilChantry (2,035)
Seat 5: DeCrow the III (2,690)
Seat 6: gettinbopped (1,923)
Seat 7: kurokitty (2,345)
Seat 9: rmarsella (1,037)
Tinman the 3rd posts the small blind of 40
NeilChantry posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [6d 3d]
DeCrow the III folds
gettinbopped folds
kurokitty raises to 240
rmarsella folds
Tinman the 3rd calls 200
NeilChantry folds
*** FLOP *** [As 2d 8c]
Tinman the 3rd checks
kurokitty bets 450
Tinman the 3rd folds
Uncalled bet of 450 returned to kurokitty
kurokitty mucks
kurokitty wins the pot (560)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 560 | Rake 0
Board: [As 2d 8c]
Seat 1: Tinman the 3rd (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 3: NeilChantry (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: DeCrow the III didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: gettinbopped didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: kurokitty collected (560), mucked
Seat 9: rmarsella (button) didn't bet (folded)

Party (Poker) in the Air

Looks like next year may be a good year to fly, as American Airlines is set to introuduce broadband service on their planes.

This will be awesome. The airline announed in August that it would provide the service on Boeing 767-200s for a fee and if successful, could be extended to its entire fleet.

Each aircraft would have three antennas (two on the bottom and one on the top) and would receive the Wi-Fi connection from cell towers.

Can you imagine making the 3:40 flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas and knocking down enough toasters to pay for the entire trip during that time? Or having your Vegas experience continue while playing during an entire red-eye flight.

Or you could brush up your skills along the way by watching CardRunners videos.

It's been a long time coming, and I can't wait. Would be nice, though, if the hometown airline would follow suit.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A great comeback

After the punk hand below, I lost with a lesser 2 pair when the SNG was 4-handed and I was down to 260 chips with blinds at 150/300.

So I started the Hail Marys. I won with 8To vs A3.
Then my A3 won vs A8.

I kept winning until I was back in the chip lead. I ended up placing second. W00t!

Punk Hand of the Day

Posting this to remind myself that even I sometimes reverse-dominate!

Full Tilt Poker Game #3896617605: $2 + $0.25 Sit & Go (29655371), Table 1 - 100/200 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:22:17 ET - 2007/10/18
Seat 1: IowaSaint (1,740)
Seat 2: kurokitty (4,645)
Seat 3: KCbuzz (5,160)
Seat 5: TJR2121 (1,690)
Seat 6: goodhand24 (265)
IowaSaint posts the small blind of 100
kurokitty posts the big blind of 200
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [5s Ad]
KCbuzz folds
TJR2121 folds
goodhand24 raises to 265, and is all in
IowaSaint folds
kurokitty calls 65
goodhand24 shows [7h Ah]
kurokitty shows [5s Ad]
*** FLOP *** [Qd 3c Kh]
*** TURN *** [Qd 3c Kh] [4c]
*** RIVER *** [Qd 3c Kh 4c] [5h]
goodhand24 shows Ace King high
kurokitty shows a pair of Fives
kurokitty wins the pot (630) with a pair of Fives
goodhand24 stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 630 | Rake 0
Board: [Qd 3c Kh 4c 5h]
Seat 1: IowaSaint (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: kurokitty (big blind) showed [5s Ad] and won (630) with a pair of Fives
Seat 3: KCbuzz didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: TJR2121 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: goodhand24 (button) showed [7h Ah] and lost with Ace King high

Breaking the Presto slump

Yay.

PokerStars Game #12708313698: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2007/10/18 - 20:31:33 (ET)
Table 'Crater IV' 6-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: kurokitty ($52.20 in chips)
Seat 2: HoldemCH ($32.30 in chips)
Seat 3: Carhauler30 ($16.85 in chips)
Seat 4: ARECIBO01 ($21.65 in chips)
Seat 5: tercet ($49.25 in chips)
kurokitty: posts small blind $0.25
HoldemCH: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [5d 5c]
Carhauler30: raises $1 to $1.50
ARECIBO01: folds
tercet: folds
kurokitty: calls $1.25
HoldemCH: calls $1
*** FLOP *** [Ah 3s 5s]
kurokitty: checks
HoldemCH: checks
Carhauler30: checks
*** TURN *** [Ah 3s 5s] [8s]
kurokitty: checks
HoldemCH: bets $1.50
Carhauler30: folds
kurokitty: calls $1.50
*** RIVER *** [Ah 3s 5s 8s] [3h]
kurokitty: bets $3
HoldemCH: calls $3
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty: shows [5d 5c] (a full house, Fives full of Threes)
HoldemCH: mucks hand
HoldemCH leaves the table
kurokitty collected $12.85 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $13.50 | Rake $0.65
Board [Ah 3s 5s 8s 3h]
Seat 1: kurokitty (small blind) showed [5d 5c] and won ($12.85) with a full house, Fives full of Threes
Seat 2: HoldemCH (big blind) mucked [Ac 2s]
Seat 3: Carhauler30 folded on the Turn
Seat 4: ARECIBO01 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: tercet (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Browsing books

Yesterday I resumed my old habit of browsing poker books after stopping by one of the Borders bookstores in my area as the midpoint of a 6-mile run.

In the early days, I would flip through the pages of Super/System or Hold'em for Advanced Players and try to glean wisdom out of them.

I don't always make the trip to Borders -- I really have to have my mind set on running that far -- but last night I looked at a few books I'd like to eventually read.

The first is Michael Konik's "The Smart Money: How the world's best sports bettors beat the bookies out of millions."

Also on my list are the Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide and "Bigger Deal," Anthony Holden's sequel to his book "Big Deal."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Free money prop (Thank you Gore)

OK. So at -1500 a max $50 prop is not much money. But it looks like it's free money.

Bocat has a prop whether Al Gore will be running for president of the United States by Nov. 1.

No is -1500 for a max bet of $50, or $50 to win $1.66.

But that's $1.66 free for you, as news outlets reported today that Al Gore says he does not intend to run for president.

I locked up the bet when it was better than -1500. A buck sixty isn't that much money, but it's almost like picking up money in the street.

A Falstaff in Atlanta

Gnome pointed this out, that Falstaff will be here next week for a conference.

We should try to meet up with the dude.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Punk Hand of the Day

I blame this on reading the Ted Forrest section of the Full Tilt strategy guide last night at Borders.

PokerStars Game #12639389171: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2007/10/15 - 09:37:29 (ET)
Table 'Renate II' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 1: rick2419 ($6.95 in chips)
Seat 2: benchaa ($19.50 in chips)
Seat 3: logikus ($42.80 in chips)
Seat 4: kurokitty ($50 in chips)
Seat 6: vdomalip ($24.60 in chips)
Seat 8: Netrom3 ($23.40 in chips)
Seat 9: Mr_Obafemi ($50 in chips)
Netrom3: posts small blind $0.25
Mr_Obafemi: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [4h 5h]
rick2419: folds
benchaa: folds
logikus: calls $0.50
kurokitty: raises $1.50 to $2
vdomalip: folds
Netrom3: calls $1.75
Mr_Obafemi: folds
logikus: folds
*** FLOP *** [6s 3s Jh]
Netrom3: bets $2.50
kurokitty: calls $2.50
*** TURN *** [6s 3s Jh] [5c]
BM-Yalcin has returned
Netrom3: bets $4
kurokitty: calls $4
*** RIVER *** [6s 3s Jh 5c] [5d]
Netrom3: checks
Lindilind joins the table at seat #7
kurokitty: bets $12
Netrom3: raises $2.90 to $14.90 and is all-in
kurokitty: calls $2.90
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Netrom3: shows [Qh Js] (two pair, Jacks and Fives)
kurokitty: shows [4h 5h] (three of a kind, Fives)
kurokitty collected $45.50 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $47.80 | Rake $2.30
Board [6s 3s Jh 5c 5d]
Seat 1: rick2419 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: benchaa folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: logikus folded before Flop
Seat 4: kurokitty showed [4h 5h] and won ($45.50) with three of a kind, Fives
Seat 6: vdomalip (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Netrom3 (small blind) showed [Qh Js] and lost with two pair, Jacks and Fives
Seat 9: Mr_Obafemi (big blind) folded before Flop

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Punk Hand of the Day

Didn't Doyle tell you to play your two pair fast?

PokerStars Game #12632656858: Hold'em No Limit ($0.10/$0.25) - 2007/10/14 - 21:56:18 (ET)
Table 'Georgia' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
Seat 1: BufordDalt ($15.75 in chips)
Seat 2: Tooth ($29.75 in chips)
Seat 3: IM4TENAC ($14.85 in chips)
Seat 4: KCOLE01 ($6.45 in chips)
Seat 5: KIDNIC ($14.25 in chips)
Seat 6: Kleffy ($23.25 in chips)
Seat 7: CrazyAZ ($2.85 in chips)
Seat 8: Mouky ($42.50 in chips)
Seat 9: kurokitty ($28.15 in chips)
kurokitty: posts small blind $0.10
BufordDalt: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Jd Kh]
Tooth: folds
IM4TENAC: calls $0.25
KCOLE01: folds
KIDNIC: calls $0.25
Kleffy: folds
CrazyAZ: calls $0.25
Mouky: calls $0.25
kurokitty: calls $0.15
BufordDalt: checks
*** FLOP *** [8d 3d Js]
kurokitty: bets $1.20
BufordDalt: folds
IM4TENAC: calls $1.20
KIDNIC: folds
CrazyAZ: folds
Mouky: folds
*** TURN *** [8d 3d Js] [3c]
CrazyAZ is sitting out
CrazyAZ has returned
kurokitty: bets $2
IM4TENAC: raises $3 to $5
kurokitty: calls $3 I can't put him on a 3 in early-mid so I call.
*** RIVER *** [8d 3d Js 3c] [Kc]
kurokitty: checks I debated whether to put him all in right on the spot.IM4TENAC: bets $5
kurokitty: raises $5 to $10
IM4TENAC: calls $3.40 and is all-in
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty: shows [Jd Kh] (two pair, Kings and Jacks)
IM4TENAC: mucks hand
kurokitty collected $29.20 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $30.70 | Rake $1.50
Board [8d 3d Js 3c Kc]
Seat 1: BufordDalt (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 2: Tooth folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: IM4TENAC mucked [Jc 8h]
Seat 4: KCOLE01 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: KIDNIC folded on the Flop
Seat 6: Kleffy folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: CrazyAZ folded on the Flop
Seat 8: Mouky (button) folded on the Flop
Seat 9: kurokitty (small blind) showed [Jd Kh] and won ($29.20) with two pair, Kings and Jacks

Well done, Surf!

...for your play in the Poker Stars' bloggers tourney. Twenty-ninth out of 1337 is very impressive!!

Tourney update

Out in 411, after two breaks, after a donk big stack called my all-in with 99 with
AJo. He caught an A on the turn.

Donk, donk.

Blogger tourney

I like how ironically there are "1337" bloggers in today's tourney.

Lots of steals have kept me afloat. I even took a hand down with the obligatory 72o.

lol

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I want my, I want my, I want my KURO TV....

I thought I heard it correctly during a commercial break during the Georgia-Vandy game tonight on ESPN...

Introducing KURO TV!

I mean, I love my AQUOS, but how can I not get one of these?

More pokery goodness

Came home to close out the last 90 or so FPPs needed to complete the 'Stars bonus. Played a bunch of tables, but at one, five way multiway NL$100 raised to $12 preflop.

Cat calls with TT. Flop top set, check it, it gets c/r all in by a toaster with ... 37o.

Pure bluff, which equals pure money in the bank, kitty!

More running good (and always bet your monsters)

First hand on Bocat after coming back from Manny's for the going-away. I get QQ.

I raise it, one caller, flop is 8TQ. I bet it out.

Toaster goes all-in. I call. He shows set of harbls.

Cat doubles up, pretty much covering my college and pro football bets for the week. LOL.

---------------

I love home-court advantage and having Manny's as a traditional send-off place for co-workers (and not having to worry about driving somewhere since I can just go there via running), but sometimes I wonder if work and play really do mesh, especially when your peers start talking about, and talking to wait staff who know you since you're there all the time. On the other hand, we prolly put up a pretty good tab last night.

---------------

BrainMc's account of the recent Tuesday game at the bottom of his post. I'm sure Sham and I will venture OTP again soon...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Comings and goings

Today we had a retirement lunch for a long-time photog and another previously-retired photog came by, so it was an excellent day.

Add to that the evening reception at Manuel's -- home court for cat and crew -- to kick off the start of a good weekend.

I'm also happy that my bankroll, thanks to the CR offense, is on solid footing and I look forward to finding ways to make it grow. I'm happy that the hand histories you see here have been increasing in limits.

But I'm going to take my time. I know I can get there. Half the battle is that -- I don't know if it's still true -- only about 2 percent of all online players are in the winning category.

That kind of thing gives me lots of confidence for the days ahead.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More running good

PokerStars Game #12574970607: Hold'em No Limit ($0.50/$1.00) - 2007/10/11 - 21:38:07 (ET)
Table 'Philomela V' 9-max Seat #9 is the button
Seat 1: Goobaggage ($126.15 in chips)
Seat 2: TROZZO ($20 in chips)
Seat 3: snowbord ($24.35 in chips)
Seat 4: MMMbang ($18.90 in chips)
Seat 5: Corp1976 ($10.30 in chips)
Seat 6: leetenkey ($97.75 in chips)
Seat 7: kurokitty ($130.30 in chips)
Seat 8: pockett1 ($98.50 in chips)
Seat 9: T3rminator4 ($22.50 in chips)
Goobaggage: posts small blind $0.50
TROZZO: posts big blind $1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Kh Ad]
snowbord: folds
MMMbang: calls $1
Corp1976: calls $1
leetenkey: folds
kurokitty: raises $3.75 to $4.75
pockett1: folds
T3rminator4: folds
Goobaggage: folds
TROZZO: folds
MMMbang: folds
Corp1976: raises $5.55 to $10.30 and is all-in
kurokitty: calls $5.55
*** FLOP *** [Qd Jc 7d]
*** TURN *** [Qd Jc 7d] [Jh]
*** RIVER *** [Qd Jc 7d Jh] [7h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Corp1976: shows [4h 4d] (two pair, Jacks and Sevens)
kurokitty: shows [Kh Ad] (two pair, Jacks and Sevens - Ace kicker)
kurokitty collected $21.95 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $23.10 | Rake $1.15
Board [Qd Jc 7d Jh 7h]
Seat 1: Goobaggage (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: TROZZO (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: snowbord folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: MMMbang folded before Flop
Seat 5: Corp1976 showed [4h 4d] and lost with two pair, Jacks and Sevens
Seat 6: leetenkey folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: kurokitty showed [Kh Ad] and won ($21.95) with two pair, Jacks and Sevens
Seat 8: pockett1 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: T3rminator4 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)

HOTD- big blind special

PokerStars Game #12574751794: Hold'em Pot Limit ($1/$2) - 2007/10/11 - 21:24:44 (ET)
Table 'Lemaitre II' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 1: oche123bull ($161.15 in chips)
Seat 2: Steve McNair ($200 in chips)
Seat 3: golfgone ($114 in chips)
Seat 4: rllaneza ($120 in chips)
Seat 5: hdelos ($109.50 in chips)
Seat 6: bray1010 ($119.75 in chips)
Seat 7: leetenkey ($198 in chips)
Seat 8: kurokitty ($203 in chips)
Seat 9: frostywl ($58.45 in chips)
leetenkey: posts small blind $1
kurokitty: posts big blind $2
rllaneza: posts big blind $2
hdelos: posts small & big blinds $3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [9c 2c]
frostywl: calls $2
oche123bull: raises $2 to $4
Steve McNair: folds
golfgone: folds
rllaneza: folds
hdelos: calls $2
bray1010: folds
leetenkey: folds
kurokitty: calls $2
frostywl: calls $2
*** FLOP *** [7s 9d 2d]
kurokitty: checks
frostywl: checks
oche123bull: bets $19
hdelos: folds
kurokitty: calls $19
frostywl: folds
*** TURN *** [7s 9d 2d] [9h]
kurokitty: checks
oche123bull: bets $30
kurokitty: raises $30 to $60
oche123bull: raises $78.15 to $138.15 and is all-in
kurokitty: calls $78.15
*** RIVER *** [7s 9d 2d 9h] [Ah]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty: shows [9c 2c] (a full house, Nines full of Deuces)
oche123bull: mucks hand
kurokitty collected $331.30 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $334.30 | Rake $3
Board [7s 9d 2d 9h Ah]
Seat 1: oche123bull mucked [Jh Jc]
Seat 2: Steve McNair folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: golfgone folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: rllaneza folded before Flop
Seat 5: hdelos folded on the Flop
Seat 6: bray1010 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: leetenkey (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: kurokitty (big blind) showed [9c 2c] and won ($331.30) with a full house, Nines full of Deuces
Seat 9: frostywl folded on the Flop

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

HOTD

I know some of my peers make a lot more money than I do, but damn, I'm running good...

PokerStars Game #12551418062: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2007/10/10 - 16:44:26 (ET)
Table 'Interamnia III' 6-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 2: kurokitty ($49.50 in chips)
Seat 3: Barrin12 ($30 in chips)
Seat 4: MrSDaniels88 ($54.60 in chips)
Seat 5: Dube27 ($25 in chips)
Seat 6: Dorf42 ($15.65 in chips)
kurokitty: posts small blind $0.25
Barrin12: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Js Jd]
MrSDaniels88: raises $0.50 to $1
Dube27: folds
softseat joins the table at seat #1
Dorf42: calls $1
kurokitty: raises $2.50 to $3.50
Barrin12: calls $3
MrSDaniels88: calls $2.50
Dorf42: folds
*** FLOP *** [6s 9d 3s]
kurokitty: bets $8.50
Barrin12: raises $18 to $26.50 and is all-in
MrSDaniels88: folds
kurokitty: calls $18
*** TURN *** [6s 9d 3s] [2s]
*** RIVER *** [6s 9d 3s 2s] [5s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty: shows [Js Jd] (a flush, Jack high)
Barrin12: mucks hand
kurokitty collected $62.50 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $64.50 | Rake $2
Board [6s 9d 3s 2s 5s]
Seat 2: kurokitty (small blind) showed [Js Jd] and won ($62.50) with a flush, Jack high
Seat 3: Barrin12 (big blind) mucked [Td Th]
Seat 4: MrSDaniels88 folded on the Flop
Seat 5: Dube27 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Dorf42 (button) folded before Flop

I was just sayin...

PokerStars Game #12545741140: Hold'em No Limit ($0.50/$1.00) - 2007/10/10 - 10:52:08 (ET)
Table 'Pariana II' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: som40 ($172.45 in chips)
Seat 3: smartstart ($17.40 in chips)
Seat 4: cheaty2chuck ($49.35 in chips)
Seat 5: tkoerne ($47.90 in chips)
Seat 6: Makke ($33.70 in chips)
Seat 7: kurokitty ($101.80 in chips)
Seat 8: ccbay ($36.35 in chips)
Seat 9: SOUTHWATER ($40 in chips)
Makke: posts small blind $0.50
kurokitty: posts big blind $1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [As 6s]
ccbay: folds
SOUTHWATER: folds
som40: folds
smartstart: raises $1 to $2
cheaty2chuck: calls $2
tkoerne: folds
Makke: folds
kurokitty: calls $1
*** FLOP *** [3s Ks Js]
kurokitty: checks
Hachem006 has returned
smartstart: bets $2
cheaty2chuck: raises $8 to $10
kurokitty: raises $12 to $22
smartstart: folds
ccbay leaves the table
cheaty2chuck: calls $12
*** TURN *** [3s Ks Js] [Td]
kurokitty: bets $25.35
cheaty2chuck: calls $25.35 and is all-in
*** RIVER *** [3s Ks Js Td] [6d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty: shows [As 6s] (a flush, Ace high)
studboy1 joins the table at seat #8
cheaty2chuck: mucks hand
kurokitty collected $100.20 from pot
cheaty2chuck said, "nh"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $103.20 | Rake $3
Board [3s Ks Js Td 6d]
Seat 1: som40 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: smartstart folded on the Flop
Seat 4: cheaty2chuck mucked [Kc 7d]
Seat 5: tkoerne (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Makke (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 7: kurokitty (big blind) showed [As 6s] and won ($100.20) with a flush, Ace high
Seat 8: ccbay folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: SOUTHWATER folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Why I don't mind donking in the home game

...because people are just giving their money away online.

PokerStars Game #12545581395: Hold'em No Limit ($0.50/$1.00) - 2007/10/10 - 10:38:25 (ET)
Table 'Eros III' 6-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: crackerr87 ($52.85 in chips)
Seat 2: FLAMBO-GER ($73 in chips)
Seat 3: kurokitty ($98.50 in chips)
Seat 4: Viper_ex ($98.45 in chips)
Seat 5: TobidaKing ($37.90 in chips)
Seat 6: INTERSTARS ($56.50 in chips)
Viper_ex: posts small blind $0.50
TobidaKing: posts big blind $1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Ah Qh]
INTERSTARS: folds
crackerr87: calls $1
FLAMBO-GER: folds
kurokitty: raises $3 to $4
Viper_ex: folds
TobidaKing: calls $3
crackerr87: folds
*** FLOP *** [2c 6c Qc]
TobidaKing: bets $3
kurokitty: raises $5.50 to $8.50
TobidaKing: calls $5.50
*** TURN *** [2c 6c Qc] [3s]
TobidaKing: bets $5
kurokitty: raises $10 to $15
TobidaKing: calls $10
*** RIVER *** [2c 6c Qc 3s] [5d]
TobidaKing: bets $10.40 and is all-in
kurokitty: calls $10.40
*** SHOW DOWN ***
TobidaKing: shows [Ts Tc] (a pair of Tens)
kurokitty: shows [Ah Qh] (a pair of Queens)
kurokitty collected $74.30 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $77.30 | Rake $3
Board [2c 6c Qc 3s 5d]
Seat 1: crackerr87 folded before Flop
Seat 2: FLAMBO-GER folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: kurokitty (button) showed [Ah Qh] and won ($74.30) with a pair of Queens
Seat 4: Viper_ex (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: TobidaKing (big blind) showed [Ts Tc] and lost with a pair of Tens
Seat 6: INTERSTARS folded before Flop (didn't bet)

A CR offense kind of hand

Punish weak bets with .... nothing.

PokerStars Game #12545386137: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2007/10/10 - 10:20:57 (ET)
Table 'Ducrosa II' 6-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: deancarls ($14.90 in chips)
Seat 2: lisandru2a ($30.55 in chips)
Seat 3: kurokitty ($48.75 in chips)
Seat 4: muklzk ($56.05 in chips)
Seat 5: statico ($50.20 in chips)
Seat 6: TommyTalgo ($34.75 in chips)
TommyTalgo: posts small blind $0.25
deancarls: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Kd Qh]
lisandru2a: calls $0.50
kurokitty: raises $1.50 to $2
muklzk: folds
statico: folds
TommyTalgo: calls $1.75
deancarls: folds
lisandru2a: calls $1.50
*** FLOP *** [6h 4s 9h]
TommyTalgo: checks
lisandru2a: checks
kurokitty: bets $3.75
TommyTalgo: folds
lisandru2a: calls $3.75
*** TURN *** [6h 4s 9h] [9c]
lisandru2a: bets $2.50
kurokitty: raises $10 to $12.50
lisandru2a: folds
kurokitty collected $18.10 from pot
kurokitty: doesn't show hand
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $19 | Rake $0.90
Board [6h 4s 9h 9c]
Seat 1: deancarls (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: lisandru2a folded on the Turn
Seat 3: kurokitty collected ($18.10)
Seat 4: muklzk folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: statico (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: TommyTalgo (small blind) folded on the Flop

High variance, low-handed

Just wrapped up a shorthanded session at Poker Cats Arena. I'm glad that some of the crew don't mind playing short anymore, as that helps in times when the tables are short. And just like a "bye" week in Fantasy Football, regulars have off nights from time to time for whatever reason (for me, it's usually when I haven't been running yet or the online games are too good, which they usually are).

No matter, as you get to see a lot more hands and it's only a $5 game anyway. lol. BrainMc did very well, continuing the streak of Atlanta bloggers who mop up the crew's donkedness (my own donkedness included, lol).

I lost a couple buy-ins and then got carried away on the last hand, an O8 hand in which I made a straight with the top and bottom end, but lost to Ben having the nut straight with 9T. Long term, middle cards in O8 just aren't very good.

So I was down 3-1/2 buy-ins for the evening (UNLV 0-1) but my home record is still pretty good (12-7, up 15-1/2 buy-ins).

Monday, October 08, 2007

HOTD

Deuces never lose ... until you're up against a cat.

PokerStars Game #12519505175: Hold'em Limit ($1/$2) - 2007/10/08 - 22:20:32 (ET)
Table 'Stentor' 6-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: terrofab ($46.25 in chips)
Seat 2: kurokitty ($40.75 in chips)
Seat 3: PlayFasterPL ($25 in chips)
Seat 4: cockgolf22 ($99.50 in chips)
Seat 5: g4bri31 ($53.75 in chips)
Seat 6: pokerlino8 ($31.25 in chips)
kurokitty: posts small blind $0.50
PlayFasterPL: posts big blind $1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [8h 7h]
cockgolf22: calls $1
g4bri31: folds
pokerlino8: folds
terrofab: calls $1
kurokitty: calls $0.50
PlayFasterPL: checks
*** FLOP *** [4h 8c Ah]
kurokitty: checks
PlayFasterPL: checks
cockgolf22: bets $1
terrofab: calls $1
kurokitty: raises $1 to $2
PlayFasterPL: folds
cockgolf22: calls $1
terrofab: calls $1
*** TURN *** [4h 8c Ah] [As]
kurokitty: bets $2
cockgolf22: calls $2
terrofab: folds
*** RIVER *** [4h 8c Ah As] [Js]
kurokitty: bets $2
cockgolf22: calls $2
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty: shows [8h 7h] (two pair, Aces and Eights)
cockgolf22: mucks hand
kurokitty collected $17.25 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $18 | Rake $0.75
Board [4h 8c Ah As Js]
Seat 1: terrofab (button) folded on the Turn
Seat 2: kurokitty (small blind) showed [8h 7h] and won ($17.25) with two pair, Aces and Eights
Seat 3: PlayFasterPL (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 4: cockgolf22 mucked [2c 2h]
Seat 5: g4bri31 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: pokerlino8 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Punk Hand of the Day

It's not for very much money, but the satisfaction is all the same.

PokerStars Game #12517940145: Hold'em No Limit ($0.10/$0.25) - 2007/10/08 - 20:52:44 (ET)
Table 'Katharina II' 6-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: mzarkbzark ($5.05 in chips)
Seat 2: jbrbevo ($11 in chips)
Seat 3: kurokitty ($25.55 in chips)
Seat 4: bad man izzy ($1.15 in chips)
Seat 5: bakkok ($18.20 in chips)
Seat 6: GringoSti ($28.45 in chips)
kurokitty: posts small blind $0.10
bad man izzy: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [4c 4d]
bakkok: folds
GringoSti: folds
mzarkbzark: folds
jbrbevo: folds
kurokitty: calls $0.15
bad man izzy: raises $0.90 to $1.15 and is all-in
kurokitty: calls $0.90
*** FLOP *** [Qc Js 6h]
*** TURN *** [Qc Js 6h] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [Qc Js 6h 5h] [4h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
kurokitty: shows [4c 4d] (three of a kind, Fours)
bad man izzy: shows [6d Ks] (a pair of Sixes)
kurokitty collected $2.20 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $2.30 | Rake $0.10
Board [Qc Js 6h 5h 4h]
Seat 1: mzarkbzark folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: jbrbevo (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: kurokitty (small blind) showed [4c 4d] and won ($2.20) with three of a kind, Fours
Seat 4: bad man izzy (big blind) showed [6d Ks] and lost with a pair of Sixes
Seat 5: bakkok folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: GringoSti folded before Flop (didn't bet)

The Kitty-catty film festival

My movie watching comes in waves, but when it comes I tend to watch a lot of 'em. Here's what I've seen since late last week:

Into Bad Healthcare: Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" is fantastic and visually beautiful. Emile Hirsch plays a role that Leonardo DiCaprio should have killed to get (although it's much better that a non-superstar plays Christopher McCandless' almost Forrest Gump-like trek across the country to live in the Alaskan wilderness).

I loved Catherine Keener's million-dollar smile and the way William Hurt is able to communicate great sadness as McCandless' father at the end of the movie. The girl from Panic Room, Kristen Stewart, has come into her own, looking like a young Liz Phair here.

Seeing the movie evoked memories I hadn't thought of in a while - bees stripping meat off of trout being cooked over a fire on the shore of a lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Or solo trail-running/exploring the Ouachita Trail in Arkansas.

Clone Trooper with a conscience: I saw Bourne Ultimatum and I almost missed it in the theaters. I felt physically dizzy from watching the movie, the way I feel when I'm on a roller coaster. I loved the action scenes, the fights and car chases, but didn't feel they were any different from the previous Bourne movies. Loved seeing Scott Glenn but thought he was wayyy underutilized as CIA director. Agreed with the Chicago Tribune's review of the "poker-faced" Julia Stiles and thought she was very cat-like as well. Every time I see Matt Damon, I think of how he was lampooned in Team America.

They're not movies but I liked the second episode of "Bionic Woman" and thought that it was fine without much Katee Sackhoff. I also have become addicted to "Mad Men" on AMC -- I originally thought all of the retro stuff was just lame props for shock value but I love seeing Christina Hendricks, who played the incomparable Saffron on "Firefly," as the voluptuous queen of the office girls and January Jones plays Betty Draper perfectly, almost as a modern woman stuck in the confines of the Barbie doll 1950s. No wonder everyone thinks she's crazy.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A bad run in Vegas (Resident Evil: Extinction)

In Resident Evil: Extinction, a motley band of survivors head down The Strip to see if there's any gasoline for their convoy.

Most of the city is covered in sand in the movie, as the T-virus has changed the face of the land as well as the people.

No gas on The Strip. But then one dude remembers that Paris Las Vegas has gas by the valet parking. As they drive up to the replica Eiffel Tower, sure enough, there's a gas sign pointing away.

LOL. Of course, a crew of crazed zombies (locals?) decide the "tourists" coming through their city are the real fish and charge them. The movie uses part of the sand-covered Eiffel as well as the ramp archiecture of The Venetian, which is really about a half mile down the street, in the same battle scene.

It's funny the liberties Hollywood likes to take with Vegas.

------------

Later, Drew had a game in Middle Tucker. It was the donkage you know and love. Cat was at about half his buy-in for most of the night, yet not really caring because I won some good pots on Bocat and 'Stars at the same time, but then won two pots at the very end (with a boat in Omaha and a 9-7 in Razz) that put me up a little more than half buy-in for the night (Lookouts 6-0).

Saturday, October 06, 2007

$40,000 freeroll

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 4676372

Finally...

....the new season of The Boondocks has arrived. Link here to Adult Swim.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Always bet your monsters (part 4)

PokerStars Game #12441782706: Hold'em No Limit ($0.50/$1.00) - 2007/10/04 - 22:05:03 (ET)
Table 'Sinope II' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: JuantotheC ($104.10 in chips)
Seat 2: ellianaC ($34.70 in chips)
Seat 3: pockett1 ($100 in chips)
Seat 4: hohncon ($101.70 in chips)
Seat 5: GnuSkeptisch ($70.80 in chips)
Seat 6: brillebob ($21.30 in chips)
Seat 7: deadphish03 ($61.55 in chips)
Seat 8: ON EMPTY ($102.25 in chips)
Seat 9: kurokitty ($96.95 in chips)
GnuSkeptisch: posts small blind $0.50
brillebob: posts big blind $1
pockett1: posts big blind $1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [3s 3d]
deadphish03: calls $1
ON EMPTY: folds
kurokitty: calls $1
JuantotheC: calls $1
ellianaC: calls $1
pockett1: checks
hohncon: folds
GnuSkeptisch: calls $0.50
brillebob: checks
*** FLOP *** [3h 4c Qs]
GnuSkeptisch: checks
brillebob: checks
deadphish03: checks
kurokitty: bets $6
JuantotheC: folds
ellianaC: folds
pockett1: folds
GnuSkeptisch: folds
brillebob: raises $14.30 to $20.30 and is all-in
deadphish03: folds
kurokitty: calls $14.30
*** TURN *** [3h 4c Qs] [9h]
*** RIVER *** [3h 4c Qs 9h] [Ts]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
brillebob: shows [7d Qc] (a pair of Queens)
kurokitty: shows [3s 3d] (three of a kind, Threes)
kurokitty collected $45.25 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $47.60 | Rake $2.35
Board [3h 4c Qs 9h Ts]
Seat 1: JuantotheC folded on the Flop
Seat 2: ellianaC folded on the Flop
Seat 3: pockett1 folded on the Flop
Seat 4: hohncon (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: GnuSkeptisch (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 6: brillebob (big blind) showed [7d Qc] and lost with a pair of Queens
Seat 7: deadphish03 folded on the Flop
Seat 8: ON EMPTY folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: kurokitty showed [3s 3d] and won ($45.25) with three of a kind, Threes

I'm goin kick your harbls in the harbls (HOTD)

"I said, 'Party time, excellent, MVP.'"
-Lil' Wayne

PokerStars Game #12435376274: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2007/10/04 - 15:56:08 (ET)
Table 'Repsolda II' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: ozocre ($50 in chips)
Seat 2: Annika 26.5. ($13.05 in chips)
Seat 3: $ky!ight ($49.50 in chips)
Seat 4: cmrosey ($25.55 in chips)
Seat 5: Mandi42704 ($28.45 in chips)
Seat 6: ikbentom ($1.35 in chips)
Seat 7: kurokitty ($49.25 in chips)
Seat 8: Dschungfu ($54.40 in chips)
Seat 9: PimpMySpeed ($18.30 in chips)
$ky!ight: posts small blind $0.25
cmrosey: posts big blind $0.50
ozocre: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Ah Ad]
Mandi42704: raises $0.50 to $1
ikbentom: folds
kurokitty: raises $2.25 to $3.25
Dschungfu: folds
PimpMySpeed: folds
ozocre: folds
Annika 26.5.: folds
$ky!ight: folds
cmrosey: folds
Mandi42704: calls $2.25
*** FLOP *** [4s 9c 6s]
Mandi42704: bets $1
kurokitty: raises $7 to $8
Mandi42704: calls $7
*** TURN *** [4s 9c 6s] [Js]
Mandi42704: bets $17.20 and is all-in
kurokitty: calls $17.20
*** RIVER *** [4s 9c 6s Js] [Qc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Mandi42704: shows [8c 8s] (a pair of Eights)
kurokitty: shows [Ah Ad] (a pair of Aces)
kurokitty collected $55.30 from pot
kurokitty said, "donkey time"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $58.15 | Rake $2.85
Board [4s 9c 6s Js Qc]
Seat 1: ozocre folded before Flop
Seat 2: Annika 26.5. (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: $ky!ight (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: cmrosey (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: Mandi42704 showed [8c 8s] and lost with a pair of Eights
Seat 6: ikbentom folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: kurokitty showed [Ah Ad] and won ($55.30) with a pair of Aces
Seat 8: Dschungfu folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: PimpMySpeed folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Kitty cat razor


"When you can be this -- for as long as you have to be -- then you're a razor. This war is forcing us all to become razors, because if we don't, we don't survive. And then we don't have the luxury of being a simple human again. Do you understand me?
-Battlestar Galactica: Razor preview

It's been a year since the UIGEA bill went into motion and the major systems -- Party, the Cryptos, etc. -- started to fall. It was a lot like the storyline of the cylon attack on Caprica -- I fled with the few brigades I had left.

And largely, I was unprepared for what was to come. I lost huge chunks of my bankroll online and then at the December bloggers, which opened up with me losing a horrible Fuel hand, a boat -- aces full -- to a 1-outer quad deuces held by a fishy guy at Paris Las Vegas.

I faced at that time, with only three weeks left in the year, a losing year for the first time in the 3 years that I had been playing. A nice run on 'Stars before New Year's Eve kept me from that inglorious fate.

The difference was that I retooled -- I was forced to. With a lot of other players on the run, the fishy games were gone. It was tougher, I thought then. At least tighter.

So I turned to Gnome, who told me about Cardrunners. I started watching videos. And learned I could take only a brigade into Vegas and come out with a profit. I became a better player. I reduced my variance. I can tell you (and some of you know, lol) why mistakes are being made in hands because I have a good idea of what to do now.

It's been a year now. The games are coming back, are being better, than a year ago and my bankroll is growing. That's why I'm impatient sometimes when I see horrible hands or bad play -- we've weathered a hard first year and now are being rewarded with people who want to play because they're back in school, or want to see some hands in between college and pro football games.

Should you still be playing? You should know by now. You have no idea whether your success 100,000 hands ago was a fluke, or whether the next 100,000 will be. But you must show up for work every day, as sharp as a blade can be, willing to evade toasters and cut them down, for as long as you have to.

You have either become a razor in this time period, or you will not survive.

In the Valley of Elah

In the Vietnam War, newscameras opened the conflict to the American public. In this war, it's the cameras that belong to the troops themselves that's providing insight into the battles abroad.

That concept that "Crash" director Paul Haggis uses in the movie "In the Valley of Elah" and it's one that is a good concept, worthy of a good pitch but is troubled by poor execution. It's an independent release and I wonder if it suffers from the fact that I'm not sure the mainstream public will follow the ending.

Haggis' movie has a lot of the pieces you'd want in your fantasy movie line-up -- Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon and Jason Patric, and they all show up for major points in the movie, including Jones as the father trying to find his missing soldier son and Theron as the small-town detective who has to put up with sexually harassing co-workers and interference from the large Army base the town is connected to. Sarandon gives a fresh look at the "soldier's mom" role, but she's too good for just a bit part in a movie.

The story is pretty simple -- Jones goes to his son's Army base to look for him after Army officers call him in his rural Tennessee town and tell him he's beem missing. Soon after he's there police find his son's body all chopped up and burned in a field.

Going through his son's belongings, he finds a cell phone that's been badly damaged from the heat in Iraq, a local techie helps him discover there's still "media" on it -- grainy videos of his son's life as a soldier, including running over something that it seems he wished he hadn't and torturing a prisoner.

Despite the novel way to introduce critical character points into the plot, it simply isn't enough to explain the why of this "whodunit." The movie seems to point out the obvious, that time in a war zone is fucked up and will fuck you up, but doesn't do enough to convince you that these soldiers really have been inexplicably altered from the experience.

Just like in "Crash," you're not always going to get all the information you need but it feels like there are pieces missing here. How did those video snapshots really alter the missing soldier's life and the life of his peers?

The title of the movie, explained by Jones in the movie to Theron's son, is also misleading. The Valley of Elah is where David slew Goliath and now I'm not sure what that has to do with the movie. Who is David here? Jones tells the story from David's perspective, but I almost think the appropriate parallel would be for Jones to tell the story of Goliath and his bad-ass army going over to fight David's, and how when they did fight, Goliath got a stone in the head for doing so. And what that did to Goliath's fellow troops.

Seeing this movie won't be a waste of your time. But it won't tell you anything more than what you already know -- spending a lot of time in a war zone may fuck you up and it may be difficult to change when you're back home again.