Sunday, May 24, 2009

So Tight, Yet Still So Far

I saw one piece of paint over the last 30 hands, and not a single pocket pair, yet managed to take a token fairly deep:

In all honesty, I never thought it was possible to play this tight and yet still make it to about the 9th payout level:

Of course, had I known it at the time, I would have played the hand 31 hands or so before my exit. Sitting on 55 on the button with about 16k (M of about 4), and a player with about 20k goes all in in middle position, and a stack of about 18k calls. I figure I've got to be way behind. So I fold. And it's an AK v AK battle, and my presto would have held on that board. If I'd have only known. Folding 55 there didn't really feel nitty, because I was either racing very slim, or way way behind.

So a few orbits later, when my BB was half my stack and it was raised, I called J9hh. The flop wasn't horrible, even when villian hit his set, when I saw two hearts and a gutshot. But no help came, and I go home. Still, I really needed this, as it was my only cash of the day of about a dozen tourneys, where I went out in a dozen pretty sick ways...and I still haven't hit another set in NLHE going on about 900 tourney hands now.

Oh yeah, the bankroll drops...

Running Stupid Cold

I have flopped one set in my last 500 tournament hands. I can't fathom the odds of that happening. I've had my share of PP to be certain, but ONE flopped set (of kings).

Did win two Tier 1 tokens last night, but already wasted one. Won my way into the Double Deuce for about $8. And final tabled a Bodog.

But still, ONE flopped set in 500 tourney hands? Unfathomable.

GL on the felt, ya'll.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Never Thought I'd See the Day

Okay, so I'm watching the DVR of tonight's American Idol sue me. Wifey's leaving town for a few days tomorrow, so we're hanging out. Anyway, all the final 12 contestants are doing their customary duets with famous folk, and Adam Lambert's doing it with KISS. And...get this...KISS isn't even fucking playing. I mean, they're that sorta lip syncing style. At least the bass.

The bass notes being played were NOT coming from Gene "We won't play it, but we'll license it for a Fistful of Shekels" Simmons. He wasn't playing the same strings and frets the notes were coming from, and it seems obvious that the bass part that you and I heard was coming from Rickey Minor, who's not only the musical director of the American Idol in house band, but also a hell of a bass player in his own right.

Wow. Not that KISS has ever been anything but a cheeseball sorta sometimes hard-ish running joke rock band, but tonight, they were more of a Rock Band, Playstation 3 version. I don't think I'll ever be able to listen to them again. Real bands don't faux-play their instruments on a show when lesser lights are actually performing. Seriously, I don't doubt Ashlee Simpson will put in a cameo on their next album.

Friday, May 15, 2009

And So It Goes

Yeah...all that non-poker stuff.

Well, the Good Doctor Mondo and I are breathing sighs of relief today. Our lil' all star doggie, Yorvie, ended up having a mass of some type, that a biopsy was not able to draw any conclusions from. So a few days ago, the docs shaved his shoulder, cut him open, and yanked it out. He looks a real mess right now with a big incision, but we found out in the last hour that the tumor was benign. He's already got his spunk back, but now we can breathe a lot easier.

New Ben Franklins just keeps on keepin' on. We had our first "get shafted by a club" experience, when we lost the gig we had tomorrow night because the club double booked the venue. 'Tis a real shame, because we were really looking forward to getting to play with bluebelle, one of our favorite bands (any of you Billy Childish fans out there would LOVE bluebelle). And we always dig doin' it with Dario Rosa. And our frontman made such a cool simple poster for the show, too, such a shame to waste it.

Frankly, I can't say I'm surprised, given the debacle that was our last show at that venue. I mean, we were negatively affected, but the bar threw two more bands on the bill at the last minute, and one of the bands that was booked with us didn't get to play. So I'm not shocked that we'd get the short end of it, and we didn't deal directly with the venue on this gig. Oh well. But it's hard to get overly worked up about it when...drumroll...we're booked to play the Bluebird Theater! WOOHOO!

That means absolutely fuckall to a poker blogger, but it's a real bloody venue, capacity about 400 or so, balcony, the works. Heck, in the last year, bands like Daughtry and Vampire Weekend have graced that stage. It won't be the biggest room I've played, but it will certainly be the nicest to date. Here's a few pics of the joint:

What?!?!? I have TWO monitor wedges, just for lil' ol' me?

Nice view from the balcony.

Just a few of our fans. Yeah, right. But one can hope. Maybe someday. But the Bluebird looks pretty cool when it's packed to the gills, no?

Oh yeah, and we've started recording, too....

Bless Me Donkeys, For I Have Sinned

It has been over 500 hours since my last poker-related post.

I've actually been playing a bit more poker lately, but between being really really busy at work, and not having any real poker accomplishments to speak of, ye olde blog's been lagging behind.

I did manage to chop 1st place in a PL Badugi tournament. Ummm, yeah. At $2.20 a buy-in, the 1st place chop was worth about $35, but still, I'm finding PL Badugi to be fun. I've played that event twice since, and aggro'd my way out.

In the past, I've been a pretty tight but standard player, and I must say I've been working really hard at opening up my game. Widening my range in late position, three-betting more often, all that jazz. So far, it hasn't altered my results, and to a small extent I suspect it has made me more trappable. But not really, because I'm not finding myself in situations where I'm three-betting light and then folding to a 4-bet shove, or anything like that. But it has made my game more swongy.

I did catch one break last night when I cracked AA with TT with my very own one outer. I'd made a standard raise from EP, and cutoff (or button, I forget) with a good stack 3-bet. I was relatively short and shoved, duh. Someone else folded case T so I was terribly lucky.

Of course, I was equally unlucky on my Bodog nemesis site when I shoved 4-bet KK into AA, and the K on the flop didn't help one bit, given the A that showed in the door. Even when I bubbled the final table of a Bodog $30+3 $3k the other week, that beat was pretty bad...fortunately, the Bodogbeast at least let me recover my buy-in.

For the most part, I'm still only playing poker online on Thursday nights, so the bloggerments just don't fit my schedule these days. I'm not sweating it, but much as I've never managed to play an FTOPS event, I tend to miss all the good stuff, so my poker horizons could use some broadening. I find myself playing the same events every time I sit down to play, and none of them are really intriguing to me at the moment. I'm not rolled to play stuff like the 50/50, and the $10+1 on Bodog and the $11+1 on Stars...well, I'm just not feelin' it. But given the time I get home, they're the best events available to me.

The other aspects of my life are much more.......more. But a subject for another post, I suppose.

To cleanse your sins, you are to recite four Hail Mary Bad Beats and suffer three one-outers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CD Review - Cocktail Slippers - St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Cocktail Slippers
Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
Wicked Cool Records

It's been said that there is nothing new left to do in rock music. There may or may not be any real truth to that assertion, but in any event, it is a rare event to come across a band that truly sounds original or revolutionary. Indeed, in many cases, bands with a certain amount of success and notoriety still end up wearing their inspirations on their sleeves like so many tattoos. And Norway's Cocktail Slippers squarely fall into this latter category on their newest release, Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.

However, the leading lasses of Cocktail Slippers never allow the derivative nature of their sound stand too much in the way of creating what is ultimately a listenable, if somewhat unmemorable, rock and roll record. The album is essentially a collection of Junior Miss numbers about crushes and unrequited love, and feels as if it were transported from 1963, even if the underlying music owes more to a later time.

Some of the very elements that make Saint Valentine's Day Massacre as derivative as it is, are employed in such a high fashion that these elements end up becoming strengths of a band. As an example, the liberal use of 60s-style girl group harmonies, in a more modern context, such as on "Don't Ever Leave Me" and standout track "You Do Run", is equally reminiscent of The Chiffons as it is the Go-Gos, and are executed near flawlessly. Some of the songs themselves are really no more than first cousins of material The Friggs were doing ten years ago, or that The Runaways were doing thirty years back, but then, those are two pretty kickass bands to draw your stylistic and songwriting lineage from.

That said, some of the songs come off less well, notably the title track, which was penned by erstwhile garage rock aficionado, rock and roll legend, and all around good guy Steven Van Zandt. Yup, that one. "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" really does sound like it could have stepped out directly from the Asbury Park 70s heyday, and could pass for a Southside Johnny track, but for the distaff vocals.

Still, the album does have a few strong tracks that should invite repeated listens. In particular, the aforementioned "You Do Run" pulsates and drives, and on its own, the chorus is the stuff from which top down boulevard cruisin' summer hits emerge, perhaps with the enduring Go-Go's track "Our Lips Our Sealed" as the most direct reference point. "Love Me Back" is a tasty piece of mid-tempo junior prom angst, replete with fuzz bass, hand claps, and a passel of ooh-la-las. The cover of "In the City" is another pleasing slice of 60s girl group nostalgia faithfully executed, and a fun listen, to boot.

Ultimately, the album comes up as a bit of a wash, particularly when listened to in the context of some of the great Scandanavian garage-ish rock bands over the past decade, and doubly so when held up to artists such as Sahara Hotnights. This is mostly attributable to the simple fact that Cocktail Slippers simply don't rock out as hard as some of their brethren. When they sing about wondering whether they're still the girls "penciled in on your calendar", but asking who will be "the last lover standing, come St. Valentine's Day", it's easy to think they're more likely to shed tears about it during a sleepover with the Pink Ladies, than to switchblade the object of their romantic torment. The best parts of Saint Valentine's Day Massacre are really quite enjoyable, even if they are a bit short in quantity.