Sunday, July 31, 2011

Big Brother Recap: “When Rachel Is Not HoH, It’s Like The Victim Pity Party of The Week.”

When we left off on Thursday’s Live Eviction episode, the houseguests were perched on a wall balancing on a swinging pair of skis, while trying to deal with the wall moving, and fake storms in the backyard. Who would emerge as HoH after the season’s first endurance competition? What is the fallout from the House Meeting Blowup? And why is Adam dressed like an Elf?

My Random Thoughts:

- The completion of the HoH competition took the first third of the episode, and there’s not really a lot to talk about, so I’ll just summarize: Danielle made it look effortless, Lawon, Brendon, and Jordan all became Have Nots for the week, Jeff won $10,000, Shelly talked a good game but still lost, Porsche doesn’t know where her shoulder is, Rachel wanted 10K instead of consoling “her man”, and Adam won the Unitard prize of the season…this year in the form of an Elf Suit.
- Why does Lawon always lean in and yell at the camera in the Diary Room? Is anyone else as tired of this as I am? Plus, he went on and on about how much of a competitor he is…and then he only lasts 19 minutes before falling.

- Rachel’s predictable meltdown began even before the HoH competition ended…did anyone else take joy in seeing that? I loved that she had to hand over the key to Daniele. It’s kind of like in a baseball game, when a player makes an amazing catch to end the inning, and then he leads off at bat right away in the next inning…it was karmic justice that Daniele won HoH right after Dominic got evicted. At least Rachel didn’t chuck the key in the yard in a tantrum like she did last season.

- Kalia made a genuine gesture to Rachel after the HoH competition, and she and Brendon responded by calling her: a pscyho, not worth it, a nobody, a loser, a super-floater AND an all-time floater, crazy, a complainer, and a whiner. Wow…why would anyone ever try to be the bigger person with this pair when this is the way they respond? They get nastier with each episode, don’t they?

- Kalia came up with the best line of the episode, which was the obvious choice for the title of my recap: “when Rachel is not HoH, it’s like the victim pity party of the year.” I love how Rachel tried to negative spin Daniele’s win, pointing out that “she can’t even compete next week”, as if it was irresponsible of Daniele to even try to win because she wouldn’t be able to win the following week. By Rachel’s logic, no one should ever try to win HoH, right?

- In the HoH room, Rachel went on about how no one was interested in Daniele’s room, but they were always interested in the past when the HoH room was unveiled. Newsflash: they were just as disinterested in seeing your HoH room as well, watch the first three weeks on your PVR when you get home, Rachel. I have to wonder why we didn’t see who Daniele’s letter was from…maybe Evel Dick? Or at least some mention of him?

- Lawon, Shelly, and Jordan had a Heart-to-Heart in the backyard about Lawon’s sexuality, where he told a really heartwarming story about his grandmother, and as much as I make fun of everyone on this show, that moment really moved me. I really gained a lot of respect and admiration for Lawon after watching that scene.
- Daniele offered a one-week truce deal to Jeff and Jordan, which they accepted. Smart game play on her part…and a good decision for both sides.

- Adam’s Elf Suit was pretty funny, but he got off pretty easy with it essentially only being a hat and shirt. In the past, the Unitard/Hippie-Tard/Banana Costume, Etc… have always been pretty cumbersome and annoying to the houseguest. I think the Elf Suit was a pretty soft punishment…and actually kind of fun. I mean, ever since Will Ferrell donned a green and yellow suit and made one of the greatest Christmas movies of all-time, who doesn’t love an Elf?

- At the unveiling of the Seaweed and Sardines menu for the Have Nots, I couldn’t really appreciate how disgusting the food choices were, because all I noticed was the fact was that Daniele was essentially naked. Did you see that bathing suit? My god, I’ve seen shoelaces with more material!

- Shocker of all Shockers…Brendon and Rachel are on the block. Daniele said “I’m not afraid to get blood on my hands in this game”, and she proved it with her nominations. Rachel responded by calling Daniele's nominations "100% personal" (take a drink!), and said once again that no one can come between her and her man. No one except Daniele, that is. Bring on the fireworks, this should be an exciting week.
Please keep in mind that my recaps will always be based on the TV airings of Big Brother. I do not, and will not, be watching or reading any info from the live feeds. Please keep that in mind as I intend to keep the entire season on my site SPOILER-FREE. After each episode, my recaps should be online and live within an hour (often less) of the show ending on the East Coast.

Big Brother fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. For those of you that I have connected with on Facebook and Twitter, if I see spoilers from the live feeds, I will remove you so that I can attempt to remain spoiler-free. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Brother Recap: “Spineless Jellyfish, A House Meeting From Hell, And The Live Eviction”

Tonight’s Live Eviction episode of Big Brother found Adam and Dominic on the block. Would Dominic get the boot, ensuring that he can no longer grope Dani at every opportunity possible, like in the picture above? Or was it Adam, the bacon-eating, sign-of-the-devil-waving, Metalhead Superfan? But more importantly, would Julie Chen be wearing something ridiculous again? I mean, how do you top a cape?

My Random Thoughts:

- Daniele throws a lot of threats around for someone with no power at all, don’t you think? Independent of her idle Diary Room threats, to walk in the HoH room and say how pissed you’re going to be if Dominic goes home, is just foolish. Looks like someone doesn’t really know how to play the game when Daddy isn’t around to bully everyone else as a form of protection.

- Kalia lied to Jordan in the Have Not room after being asked if she was aware of the backdoor plan that was being discussed earlier in the week. Thank goodness for Big Brother’s handy video recap from 3 days earlier when we were reminded of Kalia’s knowledge and involvement in the plan.

- Jeff then went to Dom and didn’t get the answers he wanted, and even went so far as to say “you’re an accessory to backdooring me”, which may the gayest thing said in the house this season…that wasn’t spoken by Lawon. That line seems more suited for a maximum security prison instead of the Big Brother House.

- Brendon was sitting in the back “trying to enjoy the peace and quiet” (maybe you wouldn’t have to search for peace and quiet if you weren't with Rachel - RACHEL BURN!) when Kalia came out and all hell broke loose, so she went back inside and flipped a water bottle cap obsessively. Clearly, there was only one solution: time for a HOUSE MEETING!
- At this tornado of a House Meeting, Kalia yelled at everyone, Dani called Rachel an idiot, Brendon went into defensive boyfriend mode, Dani owned up to the master plan, Shelly apparently just wanted to get some food out of her teeth, Lawon said he was going to win everything (???), and Rachel cautioned Kalia that Dani would “sell you out under the bus”, making me wonder what the hell that even means. Seriously, how could that happen? Do you actually have to both go under the bus before one of them sells the other out? Logistically speaking, it sounds very awkward.

- Brendon and Rachel have to start realizing that just because someone has decided not to be part of your alliance…that doesn’t make them a floater. From time to time, these alleged “floaters” (and Superfloaters!) team up and band together…forming what can only be described as “an alliance”, which is pretty much the same as you.

- New Big Brother drinking game: take a drink anytime anyone says “100%.” Take two drinks anytime anyone gives a percentage above 100%. Also, take a drink anytime Brendon mentions “rocket science.”

- I know I’ve given Shelly a hard time so far this season about that masculine voice, her tendency to shoot and kill animals, and that lovely scene where she left a bawling 8-year-old in the driveway, but I realized something about her this week. If you took Britney Spears and gave her a rough fifteen or 20 years…you would get the picture below:
- Julie asked Daniele if she was shocked at how confrontational the house had become, which may have been the dumbest question that the Chenbot has ever asked. You’re talking to the woman who played the game for an entire summer with Evel Dick, and grew up with him as her father…and you’re asking if she is shocked by the confrontational aspect??

- Dominic’s “farewell” speech started off sugary but then devolved into talking about the “spineless jellyfish” in this house, talking about the Newbies and their unwillingness to take a stand against the Veteran Alliance of 4. I think it should have 100% (take a drink, bitches) been directed at Daniele, since she’s really the reason he got evicted. Also, did that Bruno Mars wanna-be really try to justify throwing the last POV competition when he was talking to Julie Chen?

- The goodbye messages were actually pretty entertaining, with Jordan doing an impression of Rachel, and Lawon comparing himself to a pimple, and then telling Dominic “we are boys for life!” Does that mean they will both have a penis for the rest of their respective lives? That neither of them will ever have a sex change, or gender reassignment surgery? This needed to be specified? Really? Maybe I need to stop assessing literal meanings to everything the houseguests say…especially Lawon.
- After a nailbiter in the first week in terms of who was going to get evicted, we’ve now had 2 weeks in a row where the outcome was evident long before the episode, and the vote was unanimous or nearly unanimous. Sure, Daniele threw a spite vote Adam’s way, but that made no difference. Now that the game has shifted to everyone playing for themselves again, hopefully we’ll see a little more drama.

- Julie Chen then delivered the news to the hamsters that we (and they) already knew: no more Duos, no more Golden Keys...and even though she teased some big news, and a big twist…nothing happened! What the hell?

- The HoH competition was an endurance challenge which found the houseguests standing on a pair of skis…a variation on the surfboard challenge from last season, including the addition of prizes for the first 5 players to be eliminated (Can you say Unitard?). I have to say that the German-themed music would drive me insane long before I would be close to falling off of my skis.
Looks like we won’t find out until Sunday who the new HoH is, and please remember that I do not watch or read the Live Feeds, so please NO SPOILERS in the Comments. (I’m predicting Brendon or Daniele for the win.)

Just a quick note, if there are any poker fans out there, check out my recent post on my trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2011 World Series of Poker. Keep in mind that there’s more than just Reality TV on this site, so check out the sidebar on the left for some of the near-600 posts in the archive.

Please keep in mind that my recaps will always be based on the TV airings of Big Brother. I do not, and will not, be watching or reading any info from the live feeds. Please keep that in mind as I intend to keep the entire season on my site SPOILER-FREE. After each episode, my recaps should be online and live within 15 minutes of the show ending on the East Coast.

Big Brother fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. For those of you that I have connected with on Facebook and Twitter, if I see spoilers from the live feeds, I will remove you so that I can attempt to remain spoiler-free. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Big Brother Recap: "Daniele Plays Both Sides and Jordan Thinks About Farting”

Adam and Dominic are back on the block for the second week in a row, but will The Mama’s Boy (or the Metalhead) be able to save themselves once again by winning the Power of Veto? Why is everyone covered in soap? And why is Jordan thinking about farting?

My Random Thoughts:

- Adam is such a sap. Right after the nomination ceremony, he and Dominic were talking to Rachel in the Have Not room, and he thanked her, saying “you’re giving us a chance to play for our lives." He came across as grateful for being nominated. I know that he’s a superfan, and ruffling feathers in the house is never the way to go, especially when you’re on the block, but thanking the HoH for nominating you? Outrageous.
- Dominic had another flirty conversation with Dani, trying to get her on his side and sway Brenchel into targeting Jeff and Jordan. He told her “I trust you 100% as long as you protect me this week”, which made me laugh. He also later told Brendon and Rachel that he trusts them 100%, and when asked if everything was ok with him being nominated, he answered “100%” So, here’s the lesson: when Dom says something is 100%, it is definitely NOT 100%.

- Dani then talked to Brendon and Rachel about actually making that big move, and it seemed like they were on board. At least I think that’s what they were talking about, but I wasn’t paying attention that closely because I was trying to figure out what they were doing on the bed. It seemed like they were laying out a bunch of glasses and dropping things in each one. What were those? M&M’s? Skittles? By the way, has anyone seen the new Skittles commercial…very very creepy.

- In the tub, Rachel’s breast was blurred, kind of like her reality. RACHEL BURN!
- Did you see Danielle’s ripped jeans? Look, I know that’s what the kids are doing these days, but that was ridiculous…there was more rip than jeans. Maybe the extra draft in those pants caused her to be overly aggressive with her strategy suggestions, but she clearly tipped her hand, and once Brenchel talked with Jeff and Jordan, it became clear to all 4 of them that the only one who could benefit by them turning on each other would be Dani.

- Jeff and Jordan were selected by “random draw” for the POV competition, meaning that Jeff, Jordan, Brendon and Rachel have all participated in every POV competition. Go ahead, people, let your conspiracy theories abound…

- Porsche was selected as the host for the POV, and internally celebrated by thinking “I get to talk this week!”

- The POV competition itself was another spelling competition, just like the last 2 seasons. It was a frenzy that came across like an Ibiza foam party, as the houseguests raced to pull lettered pool noodles out of giant fake legs to try and make the longest word. Jordan contemplated FARTING, Kalia talked about her hair phobia, Adam looked for “P in the pool!”, and Rachel choked on the suds…which was clearly not the first time her gag reflex has ever been activated. RACHEL BURN #2!!!

- Brendon won the POV with a 13-letter-word (UNDERSTANDING), and after not being able to use the word “emasculate” or “explicitly” properly, I have concluded that he just has trouble with words that start with ‘e’.

- 8:41 pm was the first moment I even noticed that Shelly was still in the house. But she made a big splash by talking to the vets about Dominic and Dani’s agenda, which really outed the entire plan, and confirmed their suspicions. As an added bonus for the Veterans (minus Dani), this seemed to solidify them in terms of unity going forward. If they can stick to their allegiance to each other (and avoid any speed bumps caused by Rachel’s insanity), it should be clear sailing for them with the game shifting to an individual game, especially with Shelly and Porsche on the periphery of their alliance.
- After that, it was pretty obvious that Brendon wasn’t going to use the POV, so it’ll either be the Metalhead or the Virgin talking to the Chenbot tomorrow night in the studio. I think it’ll be Dominic voted out unanimously.

Just a quick note, if there are any poker fans out there, check out my recent post on my trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2011 World Series of Poker. Keep in mind that there’s more than just Reality TV on this site, so check out the sidebar on the left for some of the near-600 posts in the archive.

Please keep in mind that my recaps will always be based on the TV airings of Big Brother. I do not, and will not, be watching or reading any info from the live feeds. Please keep that in mind as I intend to keep the entire season on my site SPOILER-FREE. After each episode, my recaps should be online and live within an hour (often less) of the show ending on the East Coast.

Big Brother fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. For those of you that I have connected with on Facebook and Twitter, if I see spoilers from the live feeds, I will remove you so that I can attempt to remain spoiler-free. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Big Brother Recap: "Rachel's Second Reign Of Terror Begins"

The worst possible scenario happened at the end of Thursday night’s Live Eviction show, as Rachel won her second HoH in the first 3 weeks of the game. Now that a few days have passed and we’ve all regained our voices after yelling at our televisions, the houseguests settled in for The Insane One’s Second Reign of Terror in the Big Brother House.

My Random Thoughts:

- First of all, I have to mention that after my last recap, I received an incredible amount of traffic (almost 1000 hits!) from people who were googling some sort of variation on the following two phrases: “Why was Julie Chen wearing a cape”, and “Rachel peeing on Big Brother.” It warms my heart to know that I am writing about what the masses want to hear…even if it involves Rachel’s bladder.
- Rachel started off this episode predictably bragging about her HoH win, stating “I’m on fire”…and millions of viewers everywhere were disappointed to see that she wasn’t actually in flames. Damn you, literal meaning!

- Earlier in the season, Brendon went on and on about how Rachel was De-Un-Masculinizing-tizing-ating him, but in my opinion there is nothing more emasculating than when Brendon said “Rachel is the brains in our operation.” Nothing she could ever do would be as insulting as what you just said.
- Lawon and Kalia were apparently a target this week because they haven’t done anything in the game so far, leading Rachel to brand them on a whole new level. They’re not just floaters, people…they’re SUPER floaters! I have to wonder, if a floater is someone who doesn’t do anything, what on earth do you have to do to be labeled a SUPER floater? Were you even aware that there were different levels of floater? I thought that it was just a concrete sort of thing…like “dead.”

- When Rachel came out and screamed “Who wants to see my HoH room?” only to be bombarded by pillows, I actually thought that was pretty funny.

- I really don’t think I understand anything that Lawon says. Do you?

- Dominic’s snoring was the topic of some hamster aggression, with Dani telling him “you sounded like a small dinosaur”, and Jeff saying “your existence disgusts me.” First of all, how does Dani know the sound differences of dinosaurs based on their size? And Second, Jeff’s comment was sort of harsh, but as we learned, he is a rather light sleeper, and Dom’s snoring keeps him awake, and chucking stuff at him in bed. Maybe that explains this picture.
- There was no Have/Have Not competition, but instead there was a luxury competition featuring a stranger in the backyard. The name of the guy in the backyard was ruined for me since I saw a commercial for the new show Same Name.

The David Hasselhoff Competition was just an extended commercial for the show: Jordan stumbled into the correct answer, KITT showed up in the backyard, Dom said that he “won the ultimate prize…I tucked in David Hasslehoff” (and you wonder why he’s a virgin), and the Hoff then mooched on the prize spread, wolfing down the sushi for the winners.

- Jordan’s choice of Jeff, Shelly, and Kalia to share in the Luxury Prize got Little Miss Entitlement Rachel upset. To be fair, it was a pretty dumb move, even though it made me happy to see her miss out. I mentioned in a post yesterday that there is a scenario that could arise that would force Rachel to nominate Jeff and Jordan, whether she wants to or not, so I’m not sure why you would do something to ruffle her feathers.

- After the competition, Brendon and Rachel went off to argue, and it was one of the most painful conversations I’ve ever watched 13 seasons of this show. From fake crying to rage in a split second, Rachel is like a toddler that didn’t get her way. And you know it’s 100% fake crying, with that whiny voice. Brendon was really no better, threatening to leave and quit the game. Then Rachel threatened to put Brendon up, and Brendon threatened to put Jeff and Jordan up. They’re both such drama queens…it makes me sick.
Plus, with all the drama that surrounds these two, they are a ticking time bomb. Does anyone think that this relationship will last? Anyone who thinks this “engagement" is about anything other than more fame-whoring, you’re out of your mind. Brendon has already proved that he’s happier flashing his junk on text messages than staying happy at home, and Rachel made it clear in one of her comments tonight that marrying Brendon wasn’t the main reason for her desire to get married…it’s the wedding.

Did you catch that part? In the middle of insulting him, she talked about how important the wedding was to her: “Even though you’re mean to me, I still want my dream wedding.” Not that she wanted to marry Brendon for love, happiness, and maybe a family down the road (Oh GOD, the horror!), she just wants the dream wedding. The most interesting thing about this whole scene was trying to figure out why Brendon has scabs on his knees. (Write your own joke for that one…too easy.)
- Dominic approached Brenchel about an alliance, and Brendon seemingly agreed, telling him: “we have to trust each other indefinitely.” I assume he meant “explicitly” instead of indefinitely, unless he meant that he has to trust Dominic for the rest of his life. I love that this guy is supposedly working on a PhD but consistently butchers the English language.

- Not shocking at all to see that Adam and Dominic were once again nominated for eviction. We’ll see what that really means after the POV competition.

Just a quick note, if there are any poker fans out there, check out my recent post on my trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2011 World Series of Poker. Keep in mind that there’s more than just Reality TV on this site, so check out the sidebar on the left for some of the near-600 posts in the archive.

Please keep in mind that my recaps will always be based on the TV airings of Big Brother. I do not, and will not, be watching or reading any info from the live feeds. Please keep that in mind as I intend to keep the entire season on my site SPOILER-FREE. After each episode, my recaps should be online and live within an hour (often less) of the show ending on the East Coast.

Big Brother fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. For those of you that I have connected with on Facebook and Twitter, if I see spoilers from the live feeds, I will remove you so that I can attempt to remain spoiler-free. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Big Brother: A Potential POV Dilemma

I was thinking about the situation in the Big Brother House, and I came up with what may be a potential problem regarding the POV for this week. Hear me out, and see if this makes sense...and if I'm missing something or I'm wrong, please let me know.

This season started with 7 Duos, and after the elimination of Keith, Dick, and Cassi, we are down to only 4 Duos remaining: Brendon and Rachel, Jeff and Jordan, Adam and Dominic, and Lawon and Kalia.With Rachel as the HoH for this week, she and Brendon are both safe, and Porsche, Daniele, and Shelly are all holders of "The Golden Key", so their nomination must be one of the remaining three Duos. Let's assume just for the sake of argument that they nominate Adam and Dominic for eviction.

Now, in the past, if you won the POV and chose to use it to remove someone from the block, you were not eligible to be named as the replacement nominee. We've heard nothing to the contrary this season, so is it safe to assume that this standard Big Brother rule still applies? (If anyone has heard otherwise, please let me know.)

Here's my question: If you win the POV and choose to remove a Duo from the block (since you presumably can't just remove ONE person from the block), are you and your partner safe as well?  Here's why I ask...

Let's assume still that Adam and Dominic are nominated for eviction. Now let's assume that Lawon (or Kalia) wins the POV....AND chooses to use it to save Adam and Dominic. Well, if that's the case, and Lawon and Kalia are now safe...then Rachel's replacement nominees would have to be...

Jeff and Jordan.

Has anyone else considered this? I know that for this scenario to take place, a number of things have to fall in place: one newbie Duo has to be nominated; the other newbie Duo has to be chosen to participate in the random draw (not that far-fetched since there are only 2 teams to choose from); the 2nd newbie Duo has to win the POV; and then the second newbie Duo has to choose to use the POV.

Which, if my logic is right...would be a pretty smart move to break up the Veteran alliance...don't you think?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big Brother Recap: "Southern Belles On The Block"

With Dominic using the POV on last night’s episode, Shelly and Cassi ended up on the block for tonight's live eviction show. Which Southern Belle will get the boot? Will it be the Deep-Voiced, Talk-Out-Of-The-Side-Of-Her-Mouth, Huntress Shelly? Or will it be the Secret Model, I-Couldn't-Possibly-Look-Any-More-Like-Olivia-Wilde, Rachel Target Cassi? Let’s find out.

My Random Thoughts:

- First and foremost, what the hell was Julie Chen wearing? It looked like some sort of beige pantsuit/skirt/overalls combination…WITH A CAPE??? Was she seriously wearing a cape? I know this is the summer of superhero movies, but please tell me I was seeing that wrong. You’re hosting a summer reality show, Chenbot…you’re not one of the X-Men.

- Rachel is making me physically angry every time I watch her in the Diary Room. That snide little “I always get my way” after the nominations was so anger-inducing. Get back in the bushes, you nasty skank.

- Shelly and Cassi called themselves Thelma and Louise, but I don’t think that was a very appropriate comparison based on their age difference. I would think that the Gilmore Girls might be better. Forgive me, but I don’t know the names of the characters on Gilmore Girls, but I do know that Lauren Graham is smokin’ hot.

- Every time Shelly talks about her 8 year old daughter, I think back to that footage on the premiere, when she left her daughter crying in the driveway while she drove away. Maybe you should be writing lines yourself, Miss Huntress.

- Cassi really gave Rachel the honest truth, calling her catty (true), and an ugly person inside (true), which resulted in Rachel crying that she never did anything to Cassi. “I don’t attack people’s character. I don’t talk bad about people”, Rachel wailed to Jordan. Has she ever seen the way she behaves in this house…FOR TWO SEASONS?? This woman is actually batshit insane.
- Brendon’s conversation with Cassi, where he went off the deep end and insisted that she was lying, made me wish for one thing: that I will one day be in a poker game with Brendon. Man, what a bad read on his part.

- Wow, what a difference with Adam in terms of that weight loss. Newfound respect for the Metalhead, that’s a shocking transformation within one year. Well done, Adam…but I have to think your excessive bacon diet may lead you back down that hefty road eventually.

- Dominic lives at home…blah blah blah…Dominic’s a virgin…blah blah blah…Dominic was home schooled…blah blah blah…wake me when this segment is over.

- Julie is really crossing the line on her questions so far this season, huh? Last week it was trying to get Daniele to say “I love you” to Evel Dick, and now she’s pressing Jordan to find out when she and Jordan are going to “get married and make some babies.” And don’t even try to give me that BS that it was from a viewer. The only positive thing that can come of this new tabloid journalism from the Chenbot, would be if she actually asked Brendon about the wang-texting incident.

- Was it me, or did Daniele drop a “Booyah” in the Diary Booth after she voted?

- Did anyone else notice that while Cassi was getting set up for her interview with Julie, and we were eavesdropping on the houseguests, that you could hear someone peeing?? Brendon headed to the bathroom to try and “take a quick one” before the HoH competition, and then we heard that it was actually Rachel in the bathroom. That’s right, we all just listened to Rachel peeing in the Big Brother house. Hey, CBS Sound Guy…guess who’s fired?
- It’s a shame that the result of tonight’s live vote was so obvious coming into this episode. A little drama is usually in order, and Cassi sure got a raw deal, thanks to Rachel and Brendon. I don’t know if she had the game play to go really far, but to be eliminated because Rachel is clearly threatened by her physical appearance, and willingness to tell the truth, is a pretty lame way to go out.

- Loved seeing the Zingbot 2000 in the audience, holding a “Comic-Con Or Bust” sign. Looking forward to seeing the return of the Zingbot in the house…always a good laugh.

- When the HoH competition started, I said “anyone but Rachel”…so I’m not even talking about it. I’m too pissed off.

- Finally, I would have reversed my stance on Julie’s cape if the show would have ended with her flying off. Seriously…you can’t tell me that wouldn’t have been the greatest moment of the season. Opportunity missed, Big Brother.

Just a quick note, if there are any poker fans out there, check out my recent post on my trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2011 World Series of Poker. Keep in mind that there’s more than just Reality TV on this site, so check out the sidebar on the left for some of the near-600 posts in the archive.

Please keep in mind that my recaps will always be based on the TV airings of Big Brother. I do not, and will not, be watching or reading any info from the live feeds. Please keep that in mind as I intend to keep the entire season on my site SPOILER-FREE. After each episode, my recaps should be online and live within an hour (often less) of the show ending on the East Coast.

Big Brother fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. For those of you that I have connected with on Facebook and Twitter, if I see spoilers from the live feeds, I will remove you so that I can attempt to remain spoiler-free. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Big Brother Recap: "No Wonder America Hates Me"

Tonight's episode of Big Brother feature the weekly POV competition. Will Adam or Dominic be able to save their Duo from the chopping block? Who's causing all the shenanigans? And why is Rachel in the bushes?

My Random Thoughts:

- Rachel’s sing-song voice in the Diary Room is really getting to me, along with her constant obsession with floaters. 2 seasons now, and every time I hear her, I want to rip my own ears off. And those furry boots she is wearing in the house are ridiculous.

- Everybody was in fight mode this episode: houseguests telling Adam and Dominic to “fight” after nominations, everyone talking about “fighting for the veto”, along with supportive messages to “keep on fighting." I felt like it was an MMA pre-card special.

- Adam’s shirt said “Put Bacon on my Bacon”, which made me laugh, and reminded me of a wonderful sandwich that I once wrote a post about.

- Lawon seems to serve no purpose yet this season other than to wear bright coloured clothing and give us exaggerated Diary Room soundbites. Step your game up, Lawon!
- Watching Dominic’s flirty relationship with Danielle makes me think I’m watching a Bruno Mars video featuring Jason Mraz. Seriously, when did this whole panama hat phase become such a big deal? Seeing Dominic flirting constantly with Dani makes me wish Evel Dick was still in the house…and I just realized that Evel Dick’s initials are ED, which makes me laugh.

- Rachel’s hatred of Cassi amounted to what Cassi astutely described as “jealous petty girl shenanigans”, although I would have called it a “pissy, sorority fight.” Let’s go over what Cassi was called in this episode, shall we? The tally: someone who can’t be trusted, fake, a snake, a liar, shady, and my personal favourite…SUPER shady (which may or may not be Eminem’s little sister.)
- I love that Jeff and Jordan are already tiring of Rachel. I’m only shocked that it took 14 days. Jeff even went so far as to compare Rachel to a gnat and say “I need some “Rachel-off.”

- The Veto competition was a Candyland fantasy that had the competitors needing to walk and chew gum at the same time, which Jordan informed us that she was indeed able to do (although not very quickly.) I liked the added element of the optional 2 weeks of slop if you fall of the beam. It was very similar to Survivor’s “if you want to eat instead, you can drop out of the immunity challenge”, showing those who are feeling complacent in the game and always resulting in bitter feelings. This actually affected Adam more than anyone since he was throwing the challenge, because if he fell off the beam, and didn’t take the Slop-tional penalty, then they would have known he was throwing the challenge.

- Jordan: “I think if I had more balls in my mouth, I probably would have looked like a gerbil or something.” Jordan, please stop stealing Rachel’s sexual innuendo comments during challenges.

- Jordan fell off the beam and immediately went for the Slop Penalty to get back in the game, but Jeff insisted that she stay out. For the record, perceptions aside, it was actually a pretty smart move by Jeff to make sure Jordan didn’t take the Slop Penalty, since she didn’t have a chance to win anyways.
Rachel then went off the deep end, hurling nasty comments at Jordan and Jeff, and then falling off the beam, taking the penalty, and falling off right away again. Be honest…how hard did you laugh when Rachel fell off the second time?

- Dominic won the POV, and then celebrated with what may be the most awkward man-hug I’ve ever seen. Did you see that? When Adam came up to celebrate his victory as Dominic was up on the platform still, Adam’s face was right at Dominic’s crotch, and Dom then put his hand on Adam’s head! Wow…did that really happen?

- After the POV, Jeff called Rachel out on her behavior, and she, in turn, stomped off into the bushes to cry. What an infant. I mentioned in my last post that she just has no idea how to play the social aspect of this game…she’s literally a social moron. There’s no other way to describe it.

- Then she went on to Brendon how Jeff “had no right to yell at me”, but she can apparently say whatever she wants about Jordan. Typical bully behavior…dish it out but never take it.

- Was Shelley even in the house this week? Even in the HoH room meeting with her, Cassi, Jeff and Jordan, did she even say a word?
- So Dominic obviously removed himself and Adam from the chopping block and they were replaced by Cassi and Shelley. I think this was a huge opportunity missed by Jordan and Jeff--and Danielle, for that matter. If they could have ditched Brenchel and replaced them with Cassi and Shelley, they have the same numbers and get Rachel or Brendon out of the game.

Just a quick note, if there are any poker fans out there, check out my recent post on my trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2011 World Series of Poker. Keep in mind that there’s more than just Reality TV on this site, so check out the sidebar on the left for some of the near-600 posts in the archive.

Please keep in mind that my recaps will always be based on the TV airings of Big Brother. I do not, and will not, be watching or reading any info from the live feeds. Please keep that in mind as I intend to keep the entire season on my site SPOILER-FREE. After each episode, my recaps should be online and live within an hour (often less) of the show ending on the East Coast.

Big Brother fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. For those of you that I have connected with on Facebook and Twitter, if I see spoilers from the live feeds, I will remove you so that I can attempt to remain spoiler-free. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Big Brother Recap: "Ants In Your Pants"

Thursday Night’s live eviction episode crowned a new HoH in the Big Brother house, as Jordan won a cartoonish putting contest to keep the Veterans in control. Which Newbie Duo will Jordan put on the block? Which houseguest is giving the silent treatment? And who is Franklin The Turtle?

My Random Thoughts:

- In the aftermath of Keith’s elimination, Kalia talked about why she flipped and voted to keep Porsche, because of Keith’s insane behavior last week, calling out other houseguests for no reason, including her.

- Lawon was furious about Keith’s elimination, saying that he was “like a hot volcano in Hawaii gettin’ ready to erupt.” I’m not so concerned about his volcanic threats as I am confused about his decision to dress like Batman villain Two-Face for the eviction show.

He then went on to say that he was upset because “I stuck my ass out for everybody on that team”, which is a joke that pretty much writes itself. The funniest thing, though, was his declaration at the end of his mini-tirade that “It’s on”, because I don’t find that sentiment very intimidating when you whisper it.

- When the veterans were talking in the HoH room after the live show, there was a shot of Jordan putting her bra on over her pink dress. I said “what the hell is that?” and my girlfriend looked at me like I was crazy for not knowing, and then explained that’s how women get dressed when they’re in front of a group of people, by putting the bra on first and then pulling the clothes out from underneath. How the hell was I supposed to know that? Am I wrong? Is there any male reader out there who knew that, or am I just out of the loop?
- Upon seeing the newbies conferring in the Have Not Room, and talking about Porsche, Rachel told them that “some of us like Porsche, and now she’s here for a month”, before just walking out on them. Rachel is still not very big on the social game, is she? From taunting the houseguests last season with “Floaters grab a life vest!” to yelling “I’m back, bitches!” apparently every time she walks through the door of the house, she really isn’t learning how to endear herself to her housemates. She appears to be adopting the Russell Hantz school of thought that disregards the fact that even if you get to the end of the game, you still need to get these people to vote for you to win!

- Shelley told Adam to go cut a deal with the veterans to protect himself, which should have been a giant indicator that she was one of the two votes that flipped and voted with them.
- Dominic thought that there may be a chance to get Daniele on board with the newbies, which was a plan that made me laugh out loud. Remember that this is the woman who teamed up with her estranged father to get down to the final two in her season. There’s nothing about her that would indicate that she’s not loyal to her alliance-mate(s), so despite Dominic’s boyish flirty charm, I can’t think this is a plan that will work.

- Cassi had an awkward silent moment with Rachel in the kitchen, and then in the Diary Room, told us “I showed her. You messed with the wrong girl.” How exactly did you show her, Cassi? By saying nothing and eating a snack? Come on.
- I had to laugh that the first point in Jordan’s HoH letter from her family was to let her know that the new gas station and BBQ opened, because she would be excited about that.

- Brendon and Dominic’s superhero scene in the backyard was actually pretty funny. A Batman-style cartoon fight, in honour of Franklin the turtle, and not the animated icon, but instead one of those ‘just add water and grow-your-own’ dollar store garbage toys.

- Adam is scrambling, and doesn’t know how to function in this game when he has no power. It was a pathetic scene in the HoH room as he tried to get back in the good graces of the veterans. Both he and Dominic gave them the same essential argument: “I wanted to screw you guys, but since it didn’t work, and now you have control and numbers, I want to be on your side.”
- The Have/Have not competition was an obstacle course with awkward double-costumes. I liked that the Have Not’s were not determined by the team that finished last (as has generally been the case in the past), but instead by the winners of the competition choosing the Have Nots. Bringing the social game into play again...I like it.

We learned that Rachel normally likes being on the bottom, Adam apparently has a lot of back sweat, Shelley likes to cup Cassi’s breats as she pulls her up off the ground, and that Kalia is seemingly prone to random panic attacks. Brenchel won the competition, keeping the Veterans in firm control of the house, and they chose Adam, Dominic, Shelley, and Cassi as the Have Nots for the week.

On a side note, have you ever thought about how horrible a job it would be to work as part of the Big Brother Backyard Cleanup Crew after challenges? What a mess.

- It seems like Keith’s elimination ended “The Regulators”, since we heard no mention of it at all. Thank God!

- When Dominic was trying to work with Jeff and Jordan, Jeff told him "You have to climb the ladder before you get to the roof." Wouldn't a mountain analogy have been better? I don't recall anyone yelling triumphantly "I'm on the Roof!"
- So Adam and Dominic are on the block, which is not really a shocker. I think the smarter move would be to eliminate Dominic since he's the mastermind behind most of what the newbies have been trying to (unsuccessfully) do, and keeping Adam would likely make a new appreciative alliance-mate of the bacon-eating superfan. We'll see what the POV brings.

Just a quick note, if there are any poker fans out there, check out my recent post on my trip to Las Vegas to participate in the 2011 World Series of Poker. Keep in mind that there’s more than just Reality TV on this site, so check out the sidebar on the left for some of the near-600 posts in the archive.

Please keep in mind that my recaps will always be based on the TV airings of Big Brother. I do not, and will not, be watching or reading any info from the live feeds. Please keep that in mind as I intend to keep the entire season on my site SPOILER-FREE. After each episode, my recaps should be online and live within an hour (often less) of the show ending on the East Coast.

Big Brother fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. For those of you that I have connected with on Facebook and Twitter, if I see spoilers from the live feeds, I will remove you so that I can attempt to remain spoiler-free. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Taking My Shot At The 2011 World Series Of Poker

The dream of almost every poker player is to play in the World Series of Poker (WSOP), which takes place every summer in Las Vegas. Due to the ESPN television coverage of the WSOP Main Event each year, many people mistakenly believe that it is just one tournament, but in actuality, it is a series of between 55-60 different events, featuring varying buy-in amounts and different poker games. The series culminates in the Main Event, usually around the first week of July.

The first time I ever played in the WSOP was in 2007 when I played a $1500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em Event. There were over 3,000 people in the tournament, and I missed making the money by under an hour. I played two events in 2009, both $1500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em, both around 3,000 people again. In each of those Events, I made it into Day 2, and cashed in one of them (finishing in 217th place), missing the money in the other one by only half an hour. Three Events, three deep runs, and one WSOP cash.
This year I played in my 4th WSOP Tournament, Event #56, which was once again a $1500 No Limit Hold ‘Em Event, with a record field of 3,389 players. 342 players would make it into the money, with a first-place prize of $777,928 and the coveted WSOP Bracelet. (Look, I know I’m Italian, but the only reason I would ever wear a gold bracelet is from the WSOP!)
I started off in the Pavilion Room, at Table 81, Seat 7. As I was sitting there before the tournament, I ran into a friend from my home casino in Brantford, a player who I have played with there named Marcus, who was also in the same tournament (That story on Jeff X is still coming for you, Marcus. I promise.) My table was right on the rail, so my girlfriend Devena would be able to watch the action from up close, when she wasn’t being accosted by Costa Rican Poker Pro and resident “dirty old man” Humberto Brenes. As I was sitting there preparing for the cards to hit the air, Brenes strolled by and sized up Devena, saying hello as he passed.

I chuckled until I found out that he later approached her in the hallway, asking if she remembered him saying hello to her in the other room, and asking if she would like a picture with him. A lot of players/spectators get star-struck at the WSOP, walking the halls next to Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, and all of the players you would see on TV, and quite often you see people (myself included) asking for a picture. But when have you ever heard of the poker player asking YOU if you want the picture?
Brenes even asked her if he could give her his little shark, and THANK GOD that’s not code for anything, since his trademark is a tiny shark with a light that he uses as his card marker. Devena graciously said no, and suggested that he instead give the shark to a young girl who was nearby waiting for an autograph. But enough of that dirty old Costa Rican, back to my table…

My table started off less than half full, with only 4 of the 9 seats filled when the cards hit the air, and both blinds not at the table. In the first hand, the blinds were 25/25, it was folded to me, and I had pocket 5’s, so I raised to 75. The French guy to my left either took offense to me apparently stealing the empty blinds, or had a real hand, and re-raised to 275. It was folded back to me, and I briefly considered folding (starting stack was 4500), but I didn’t want to advertise that I would fold to a re-raise on the very first hand, so I called. Odds are 55 was the best hand right now, anyways.

We went to the flop heads-up, which was Ace-Ace-5. Flopping a full house on the very first hand? I’m praying now that this French guy has Ace-King or some sort of Ace, so I checked. He checked behind, which still could have meant he had an Ace. The turn was a 7, and I bet 300 into a pot of 625. He thought for a moment and then folded. Unfortunate I couldn’t make a big pot out of that first hand.
The table gradually filled over the next half hour, so let’s go over the players in each seat, so you have some context for the hands I will be detailing. I’m disheartened that the WSOP Photo Site did not include pictures from my table, even though the photographer came to our table and took shots of all of us. It would have been nice to have photos of the other players at my table (as I included in my last WSOP report in 2009). Nonetheless, the players at my table were as follows:

Seat 1 – Tall, lanky kid who looked like he should have been on a Junior Varsity Basketball team, and appeared to have just woken up.
Seat 2 – 30-something guy who looked exactly like my friend Schumy.
Seat 3 – 40-something guy with a sleeveless black T-shirt and a goatee, who looked like he just rolled in from a Bob Seger concert.
Seat 4 – Old Guy who was wearing 2 pairs of glasses: silver mirrored sunglasses underneath his regular prescription glasses.
Seat 5 – Portugese girl who looked like Nelly Furtado and wore WAY too much perfume. Seemed more interested in making sure everyone could see her breasts and Everest Poker badge than actually playing poker.
Seat 6 – If Harold Ramis was from India, this is what he would look like.
Seat 7 – Me.
Seat 8 – New Jersey Kid who looked like he could be Tyler Hansborough’s brother, and was watching The Wire on his iPad.
Seat 9 – French Euro-Donk who looked like a turtle and was wearing man-pris.
Seat 10 – 40-ish guy who looked like Phil Mickelson and was wearing a bright lemon yellow shirt.

On the fourth hand, I found KdTd (King-Ten of diamonds, for those of you not used to poker terminology in text), and raised from Middle Position (MP) to 75. Junior Varsity and Bob Seger Concert both called me and we saw a flop of 4-6-7 with one diamond. Seger Concert’s eyes widened on the flop and he fired a bet of 125. I folded, as did Junior Varsity.

A few hands later, I was under the gun (UTG) and raised to 75 with Ac9c (Ace-Nine of clubs). Junior Varsity re-raised me to 275, and I was contemplating what to do when it got around to me, whether his raise was legit or not…but Indian Harold Ramis re-raised from the Big Blind to 825, so it was an easy fold for me. I ditched my cards and when it got back to Junior Varsity, he folded as well, with a disgusted, embarrassed smirk that made it clear that he was busted.

Only a few hands later, I found pocket Jacks in MP, and raised to 100. Seger Concert called from the small blind, and we saw a flop of KdJc9d. I flopped a set of Jacks on a board that was pretty scary because it could have hit a lot of hands, making a number of different draws. Seger Concert bet 150 into a pot of 225, and I had to figure out what exactly was the right move here.
Trying to figure out what he had, I ruled out KK because I thought he would have re-raised preflop and NOT bet out on the flop. Ten-Queen for a flopped straight was possible, as was 99, AK, KQ, KJ, KT, JT, or TT. I’m beating every one of those hands except Ten-Queen, so I felt the right move was to raise, only because the board was so draw-heavy and contained 2 diamonds. I raised to 350, and he called.

The turn was the 7 of hearts, which didn’t change anything if he had any of the hands I suspected. He checked, and I bet 400 into a pot of 925. If I bet more, I think he would have folded all of his one pair hands, even with a gutshot straight draw, and I was willing to risk it and get that 400 into the pot.

The river was the 8 of clubs, which I didn’t like one bit, because now two of the hands I suspected (KT, JT) have made a straight. But when he checked to me, I was still pretty sure I was good. With 1725 in the pot, I contemplated betting 700-850 in the hopes of getting paid, but now hands like AK or 99, that would have paid me off, may fold because he is suspicious of ME having the straight. Plus, what do I do if he checkraises me? I have to fold. So I felt like checking behind was the right move, which would also allow me to see his hand since he had to show first. I checked, he showed AK, and my JJ took down the pot. Unfortunate river, because I could have gotten more chips from him, but after flopping two sets in the first half hour, I wasn’t going to complain.

The next orbit around the table, Lemon Mickelson in Seat 10 was UTG and raised to 75. It was folded to me on the button and I had a garbage hand, but I raised to 275 to test what a UTG raise meant from him. He folded relatively quickly and I won a small pot, but learned that Lemon Mickelson raising UTG doesn’t always mean strength.

9 hands later, Indian Harold Ramis raised to 75 in LP (Late Position), and I re-raised to 300 immediately after him in the cutoff with pocket Jacks. It was folded back to him, and he called. The flop was 6-8-2 with 2 diamonds, he checked, and I bet 400 into a pot of 675. He thought for a while and then called. The turn was another 6, he checked, and I contemplated betting, but again, I didn’t feel like my hand could withstand a checkraise. Plus, if he was on a draw and missed, checking the turn may induce him to bluff the river. I checked.
The river was another 6, so the board read 6-8-2-6-6, and I was positive I was good, unless he had a 6 for quads. When he checked the river, I knew I was good. If he had 99, 77, or 55, I felt like he would have bet the river, so there’s really nothing that can call me on the river. I decided to check and see his cards since he had to show first. He showed Ad7d for a missed flush draw and I took the pot. I was pretty surprised that he had called 300 out of position preflop vs me with Ace-Seven, especially since no one had seen a bad hand from me. I won the pot, but I don’t really like how I played this hand. I feel like I was too timid on the turn, and possibly even on the river. I definitely should have bet the turn. My stack was now up to $6225.

A while later, the blinds had gone up to 25/50 (levels were one hour long), and I got into a pot with Junior Varsity in Seat 1. He had raised to 150 in EP (Early Position), and I called with 9dTd (Nine-Ten of diamonds) from the button. The flop was 8c8d10s, he made a standard continuation-bet of 200, and I called. The turn was a third 8, and he checked. I checked quickly behind to hopefully make him think I was on a draw so he would bet the river. The river was a 2, he checked, I bet 300 into a pot of 875, and he folded. Some may think I should have bet the turn, but I think it’s worth the risk to check quickly there and hope he bets the river. If an Ace or some other high card hits the river, I’m not sure what I do if he bets. Stack is now $6775.

Next hand I played was KdTh, which I raised to 175 after Double Glasses limped into the pot. Seger Concert called from the big blind, and Double Glasses (who only had 1500 behind after losing a big pot) called as well. The flop was K-6-3, they both checked, I bet 375, and they both folded. Stack is now $7100.

Later in the level, I was in the big blind with King-Jack offsuit (KJo), and Lemon Mickelson raised from EP to 150. It was folded to me and I called to go heads-up with him. The flop was 8d6c2c, and I checked. He checked behind and I assumed that meant he had two big cards that completely missed. The turn was a 3 of hearts, and with me being in the big blind, I figured I could take it down with a bet, so I fired 225 into a pot of 325. He called, which made me think he just didn’t believe me, and was calling with two big cards, or possibly a flush draw.

The river was the 8 of clubs, which paired the board, and completed a flush draw. I thought if I checked, I was resigning to losing the pot since he would bet and win, so I fired again, hoping he thought I made trip 8’s or made a flush, and would fold. I fired 550 into a pot of 775, which made sense for either scenario, and he thought for a long time before calling. I turned over my hand, a total bluff (which was actually leading until the river…little did I know!), and he tabled his cards: Qc9c for a rivered flush. I like my play on this hand, and it would have worked if he didn’t make a flush. I was unhappy that I had to show my hand since this was the first bluff I had to show, and would undoubtedly lose me some credibility with the rest of the table. I had interpreted Lemon Mickelson’s pause on the river as considering folding, but he told me later (and correctly so) that he was never folding, and only deciding whether to call or raise. Lesson learned in this hand that Lemon Mickelson raises in Early Position with weak hands like Q9 suited. Stack is down to $6200.

Nothing eventful happened until the blinds had gone up and we had returned from our first break with blinds at 50/100. I had AcKc in LP and raised to 325. The French Turtle (who had been raising almost every hand to steal blinds) called me, along with Schumy in the Big Blind. The flop was As10c4c, and with top pair, top kicker, and the nut flush draw, I’m thinking to myself “I will happily shove all my chips in this pot with anyone.” Schumy checked to me, and I bet 525 into a pot of 1025. The French Turtle called and Schumy folded.

The turn was the 3 of spades, and I bet 1000 into a pot of 2075. The French Turtle tanked for quite some time after I bet, and I could tell that he was considering shoving all-in (I had him covered), which I would have called instantly. If he had AT, A4, A3, 33, 44, TT, or 25, then I still had plenty of outs (although I had pretty much ruled out A4, A3, and 25 since he called a raise to 325 pre-flop.) Other than that, I was good. He thought so long that I could tell others at the table were getting frustrated and considering calling a clock on him (which would give him one minute to act), but I wasn’t going to call it on him. Finally, he called, and I put him on AQ or a flush draw. I was praying for a club on the river.

The river was the 2 of spades, which made the board As10c4c3h2s. I didn’t like the river, because if he had a flush draw, he may have also had the 5 of clubs, which now made a straight. It was highly unlikely, but still possible. I decided that checking was the best move, because if he missed a flush draw, he may bet to try and steal the pot, and I had already decided to call anything he bet, up to and including an All-In. He checked behind, I tabled my hand, and his jaw dropped. He said “thank god a club didn’t hit.” I never saw his cards, but it was clearly a flush draw, I believed that statement. In retrospect, checking the river was indeed the correct move, in case he decided to try and steal the pot with a bluff. Stack up to $8025.

Nothing more eventful really happened at my table: Hansborough-lookalike bluffed pre-flop, on the flop, and on the turn, to double up with a gutshot on the river on his very first hand vs. Double Glasses; Indian Harold Ramis disappeared for an hour; Smelly Nelly Furtado had her set of aces cracked by the French Turtle’s flush draw; and Schumy built up a big stack. Our table broke partway through Level 3, and I was shipped off to Table 65, Seat 2. My stack was $7850.

My new table was very serious, very quiet. Tobey Maguire was sitting just two tables away, and poker legend Barry Johnson was playing at the next table. A quick survey of the table saw three big stacks immediately to my left. First impressions of my new table (this time with pictures!):
Seat 1 – Nervous French guy, who could barely speak or understand English.
Seat 2 – Me.
Seat 3 – Wanna-be pro with a ponytail, mirrored sunglasses, and huge cans (earphones) over his Flat Cap (aka Old Man Hat). Had seemingly been trying to gather all the green 25 chips since he had a stack nearly to his chin.
Seat 4 – Black guy, grey hoodie, dark sunglasses, sporting 2 WSOP rings.
Seat 5 – Young pro, looked like Howdy Doody.
Seat 6 – Young Indian kid with Starsky and Hutch sunglasses and a popped collar.
Seat 7 – Big guy wearing a Chicago Bears hat and Chicago Cubs shirt. (No Bulls wristband?)
Seat 8 – Shortstacked guy who looked like he had already given up.
Seat 9 – Older guy who looked like Ed Helms in 20 years.
Seat 10 – Quiet kid who looked like my friend Matt.

The dynamic of this table was very different than my first table, so I resigned myself to watch for a full orbit and only play premium hands until I got a sense of the atmosphere. I even went so far as to fold Ace-Queen (unsuited) in a pot that no one had entered yet. Turned out it was the right decision, too, as two players behind me played a big pot with TT and AK. After a few hands, I could tell where the aggression was coming from and how almost everyone was playing.

The first hand I played was against the shortstacked guy in Seat 8, who only had slightly over $2000 left. The blinds were still 50/100, and he raised to 250. I was in the big blind with 4d5d, so I decided to see a flop for 150 more. The flop was Q-2-6 with 1 diamond, and with a gutshot straight draw and a backdoor diamond draw, I checked. He bet 250 again, and I decided to call, knowing that if he missed, and this was just a continuation bet, he would shut it down on the turn with a short stack. However, as soon as I called the 250, he looked crestfallen, so I decided to fire out on any scare card on the turn.

The turn was the 2 of spades, and I asked him how much he had left. He counted and responded “$1700.” I knew he didn’t like me calling the flop, and couldn’t possibly like that turn with me in the blinds, so I counted out 800 in chips and bet it, sending the message that I was not folding if he went all in. He fired his cards into the muck and folded instantly, and I raked in the pot. Stack up to $8175.
Then I took my notebook out and started logging what had happened in the hand (you didn’t think I write this all from memory, did you?), and a couple of people made comments about it, asking what I was doing. “Recipe Ideas”, I answered, which elicited a few laughs. A couple of players kept on me, and I wouldn’t tell them what I was writing. It was a topic of conversation for a few hands, with some good-natured banter back and forth.

About 10 hands later, the blinds had gone up in Level 4 to 75/150, and I was in the small blind. The guy with the two WSOP rings raised to 400 UTG, and when it was folded to me, I found Ace-King. I knew I couldn’t just call here, so I re-raised to 1525. The big blind folded, and the original raiser looked over to see how many chips I had. I moved my hands to show him my stack, which was still over $6000 after my raise was put into the pot. He thought for a few moments before grabbing a stack of yellow chips (worth $1000 each) and dropping them in, enough to put me all in if I called.

Now, a lot of people can’t get their chips in fast enough with Ace-King, and maybe in my regular home game, I ship it in here too. But I felt sick about calling away all my chips with Ace-high here. I struggled with the decision, and once I didn’t instantly call him, he said aggressively, “Oh? You wanted ME to make the decision, did you?” (At this point, I didn’t know that the hooded figure with the sunglasses was Dwyte Pilgrim, 3-time WSOP Circuit winner, and WPT winner, but I don’t think that knowledge at this point changes anything.)

I can’t think that he was shoving with anything that I was beating, and I didn’t want to race for all of my chips, considering I still have 40 Big Blinds left if I fold (plenty to still play comfortably with). After about two minutes, I reluctantly folded and said “nice hand”, as I pulled my notebook out to log the pertinent details. Suddenly, the shortstacked guy in Seat 8 (now down to about $1100) decides to pipe up and say “He’s writing ‘Just folded Queens to a 4-bet’ ”, and snickers. It took all I had not to fire back, “No, but if I go back a page, I’ll read you how I took 1/3 of your stack with 5-high.” Stack was now down to $6175.

I took a walk after that hand over to my friend Gabe’s table (in another section), and saw him a couple of tables away from his own, chatting with NBA Champion Shawn Marion (Suck It LeBron!), who was playing in the same tournament as us. I told Gabe a bit about the hand, and pointed out where my new table was, so he could drop by later.

Back at my table, I was in the big blind once again, and Ponytail Flat Cap to my left raised to 400 UTG. Everyone folded and I found pocket 6’s. I considered re-raising, but decided to just call. The flop was 945, I checked, and he bet 500. I called. The turn was another 5. I checked and he checked, so I knew my 66 was good at this point. The river was a 3, and unless he had Ace-2, 67, or 22, then nothing had changed if my read was that I was good on the turn. I checked with the intention of calling any bet, but he checked behind, I showed my 66, and took in the pot.

The very next hand, I was in the small blind and it was folded to Quiet Matt in Seat 10, who raised to $375 from the cutoff. I looked down and saw pocket tens, and since I hadn’t seen Quiet Matt play a pot yet, I just called. The big blind folded, and we saw the flop heads-up, which was a flop of Jack-Ten-Three. He bet $450 into a pot of $850, I check-raised him to $1400 with my set of 10s, and he folded. Stack up to $8200.

With 66 and 10-10 in back-to-back hands, many people would have re-raised on one or both of those previous two hands. But keep in mind that only one orbit earlier, I had re-raised for the first (and only) time, and then folded to a raise. I didn’t want to risk that again, especially since neither 66 nor 10-10 could have called a re-raise or All-In.
The conversation at the table continued…anyone who plays with me knows that I can be a yappy bitch at the tables (I’m wondering how many dealers at Brantford are laughing at THAT one!)…and Gabe dropped by the table and recognized the guy with the rings as Dwyte Pilgrim. I hadn’t actually looked closely enough since his hood was up most of the time, but now I could clearly see that it was him, and I was pissed at myself for not noticing before, especially since I noticed the rings when I initially sat down. So now, Dwyte and I, and Howdy Doody Pro are all talking quite a bit, and Dwyte says to us: “You two have changed the whole table since you got here. Nobody was talking before.”

That’s what I do.

The next hand I played started with the Shortstacked Wise Guy (who had since doubled up off the Indian Starsky) raising to 375 in EP. I called with QhKh in the cutoff, Ponytail Flat Cap called from the button, Dwyte folded his small blind and Howdy Doody Pro called from the big blind. $1125 in the pot going to the flop.

The flop was Q-J-7 with 2 spades. Howdy Doody Pro checked, Shortstack checked, and I was getting ready to bet, but I saw that Ponytail Flat Cap (who hadn’t won a pot since I sat down) was reaching for chips already, so I decided to check. Sure enough, he bet $725, Howdy Doody and Shortstack folded, and it was up to me. I think this is 100% a button steal, maybe a draw, and I have the best hand here, so I eyed his stack to see that he had just over $4000 back. I cut out the $725 as if I was just calling…then just before putting them in the pot, added $2500 and tossed the chips in.

The message was clear. I’m calling if you go All-in. After about 30 seconds, he took his glasses off, shrugged and said “Good luck, sir” and shoved All-In. I called and he turned over As9s for the nut flush draw. I had him outchipped but I had to dodge a spade or an Ace to win the pot. The turn and river were both blanks and I shook his hand after eliminating him. I looked over at Devena on the rail (we were two tables in from the rail now) and she had a panicked look on her face since she couldn’t see the cards…just that I was in a pot with someone and one of us was all in. I gave her the thumbs-up so she knew I won, and she exhaled. Stack was now $14,700.
We were nearing the second break, and I found pocket 5’s in MP. I raised to $400. A new guy who had replaced Ponytail Flat Cap (older guy with a Super-Bling Diamond Bracelet) called, Dwyte called, and Howdy Doody Pro re-raised. I folded, as did the other two.

Very next hand, I have pocket 9’s. I raise again to $375, and get called by the Senior Ed Helms in Seat 9, who was in the big blind. The flop is Qd8c2d, and I fire $600 into a pot of $975. He calls. The turn is the 5 of diamonds. I check, he bets $1200, and I fold. Stack is now down to $12,475. I fold the last few hands before the break and go into the break with that total.

During the second break, I spoke to Dwyte about the hand we played earlier, and he told me that he had Pocket Queens, so I told him I folded AK to his re-raise. I think we both played that hand right. I went to the Poker Kitchen and had a bite to eat with Devena, Gabe, and Marcus (who had both been eliminated), and tried to get ready for the next levels. They had some food waiting for me, so it was good to be able to get something in my stomach. When we came back from the break at Level 5, the blinds had gone up to 100/200. With a couple minutes to go in the break, I saw the Quiet French guy from seat 1 posing for a picture with Dwyte…now that he knew he was a famous pro, he was starstruck. As we sat down, presumably since I had been talking with Dwyte for the half hour before the break, he asked me “You are a pro, too?”

I’ll wait a moment while you stop laughing at that one.

I didn’t have a playable hand for the entirety of Level 5, and folded for nearly an hour…until the very last hand of the level. I had pocket 5’s and raised to 525. The only caller was Dwyte, who was acting after me, and had lost about half of his stack over the course of Level 5. I could tell he was steaming and wanted chips back. The flop was 2-3-4 rainbow (3 different suits) and I checked to him. He bet $525, and I asked how much he had back. He had only about 4K remaining, so I did the same move he did to me a couple of hours earlier, I grabbed enough yellow chips to put him all-in, and dropped them in the pot. He folded. Stack back up to $13,300.

The blinds had gone up to 100/200 with a $25 ante, so there was $550 out there every hand, and now people were clearly trying to raise regularly to take the blinds and antes. The shortstacked Wise Guy had busted and was replaced by a guy from Wyoming named Josh (I didn’t know his name at the time, but ran into him later in the trip and talked at length). He raised in EP to $450, and I was in the cutoff with Qc9c (the same hand that Lemon Mickelson made his flush with at my first table!) I hadn’t played a hand other than the one with Dwyte for over 90 minutes, and the only time I re-raised preflop was 3 hours ago (when I ended up folding Ace-King), so I thought that this would be a good time to use my tight table image to my advantage.

I popped it to $1300, and it was folded back to Wyoming Josh, who took a long time thinking. I was sure he was going to fold, but he ended up calling the $1300. So much for that table image, huh? The flop was 10-3-3, and he checked. I took some time before firing a bet of $1800 into the $3150 pot. He thought for a while and then folded. I took the pot, and my stack was now $14,650. (Josh told me later that he folded JJ and put me on a higher pair.)
I think it’s important to note here that even though I had been at this table for over 3 hours now, the players at this table had seen only 2 of my hands. I had been relatively active, but in terms of cards they had seen from me, all they had seen so far were the pocket 6’s where I won the pot from Ponytail Flat Cap, and the QhKh when I busted him. They didn’t see the AK I folded, they didn’t see any of the hands I checkraised with, nor the hand that I just 3-bet Wyoming Josh with.

The last hand before the dinner break (after Level 6) was being dealt with just 30 seconds left on the clock, so once people folded, many of them got up to leave. This perceived disinterest in the last hand is something that I remembered from my last WSOP experience, so when it was folded to me in LP, I raised with garbage cards (Queen-2 offsuit), and it was quickly folded to Johnny Chicago in the Big Blind. He smiled and showed me King-Jack offsuit, and said “If it wasn’t the dinner break, I would call you.” Mission accomplished. 6 levels complete, into the dinner break with $14,550 in chips, with only 1380 players remaining from the 3389 that started.

After our 90-minute dinner break, we came back at Level 7, with blinds at 150/300 and a $25 ante. Nothing eventful happened during Level 7, I stole the blinds and antes ($700) 3 times, with QQ, TJs, and pocket 2’s, but other than that, I didn’t play a hand. Quiet Matt in Seat 10 got busted, and was replaced by a guy that looked like a young John Juanda. Super-Bling Bracelet beside me got busted, replaced by a tall Euro-Donk who looked like Where’s Waldo (complete with striped sweater), Indian Starsky busted after losing twice with Pocket Kings, Dwyte bluffed his chips away to Senior Ed Helms in Seat 9 and was replaced by a tall guy who was gone for almost an hour because he was feeling sick to his stomach, and Howdy Doody Pro took over the table, stealing blinds and antes at will and building a huge stack.

Level 8 had blinds of 200/400 and an ante of $50. Early in the level, it was folded to me in the cutoff, and I raised Howdy Doody’s big blind to $1025 with Ace-Ten offsuit. Euro-Waldo was on the button on my left, and re-raised to $3100. It was folded back to me and I folded as well.

Later in the level, Wyoming Josh raised to $1000 preflop. I was in the big blind with Ace-Queen (a hand I hate re-raising with, especially playing out of position), so I just called. The flop was A-Q-6 rainbow, and I checked with the intention of checkraising. Wyoming Josh checked as well. The turn was a 3 (there were now 4 suits on the board), and I bet out $1400 into a $2450 pot. Josh called. The river was a 7, so the board was AQ637. I’m sure I’m good, but I want him to pay me off, so I can’t bet big. Even though the pot was $4250 at this point, I only bet $1500, slightly higher than my turn bet. He looked disgusted because it was so small, thought for a while, then called. I showed my hand (only the third hand this table had seen) and raked in the pot. Stack is now $17,000 even. (When I ran into Josh later in the week, watching the Final Table of the $50,000 Player’s Championship, he told me that he had KK on that hand, and probably wouldn’t have paid off a bigger bet on the river.)

Then I saw one of the oddest things I’ve seen at a poker table. Mini-Juanda had been at our table for almost 2 hours now, and had yet to play a hand. Not one single hand. Like I had mentioned, Howdy Doody Pro was raising almost every hand, stealing the blinds and antes ($1100 to steal each hand now), and the mood of the table was that we all wanted someone to stand up to him. Personally, I never had a hand to make a stand, but any time someone did, and 3-bet him, he would almost always fold. But he had the stack to take the risk.

Anyway, Mini-Juanda had been folding and folding…he had come to the table with about $6000 I think, but it had whittled away to $3200. He was in the big blind for $400, and when Howdy Doody Pro raised to $975, he shoved his whole stack. Howdy Doody had over $30K at the time, so he called the extra $2400 with Queen-Ten. The whole table expected to see a big hand from Mini-Juanda, but he turned over 3-4 of diamonds. Really? You fold for 2 hours, losing half your stack, then make your stand against the big stack with 4 high? What the hell? (No help came, he was eliminated.)

I played a hand with Howdy Doody Pro later in Level 8. I had raised to $1025 with Ace-Eight of spades in MP and he called me in position. The flop was 3s-10d-10c, and I checked to him, he checked behind. The turn was a King of clubs, which I thought was a good card for me to bet, since AK made sense for me to raise preflop, check the flop, and bet the turn. I fired $1550 into the pot of $3150, and he called. I didn’t like that one bit. The river was a blank, and I checked to him.

He bet $4000, which screamed bluff to me, but I didn’t have anything to call him with. I can’t really call him down with Ace-high for $4000, especially when I only have $13,000 left. I tried to think of hands that could have made sense, and a club draw, or JQ missing the straight both made sense, but it also made sense that he could have a ten…checking a harmless flop for me to catch up, and just calling the turn hoping I go nuts with one pair. He might have had a king, but I don’t think he bets that much on the river with just a K. My gut tells me it was a ten, or a missed draw…but I still couldn’t call. Down to $13,000 after this hand.

Level 8 ended with my stack at $12,550 and under 700 players remaining. Just under half of the players remaining would make the money, and almost 2700 had been eliminated. I had some work to do, I was well below average stack (about $22,000), and had some big stacks at my table. Wyoming Josh busted shortly after my AQ hand vs. him, and was replaced by a young guy with a massive stack of chips…when he sat down, he was the big stack at the table. I was rapidly becoming one of the short stacks, even though I had over 20 big blinds. With the blinds in Level 9 going to $300/$600 with a $75 ante, it would cost me $1650 each orbit, so I didn’t have long to turn it around. If I let myself get too low, I would have no fold equity, and with the sizes of the stacks at my table, any all-in for a small amount was sure to get called.

I remembered how exhausted I felt in the final two levels of Day One the last time I was at the WSOP. It was so mentally exhausting, and I was starting to feel it again, so in the break between Level 8 and 9, I had a banana and a fruit smoothie to try and revitalize my brain, instead of just pounding back another Red Bull.

If I was going to have a chance, I had to pick my spots and steal some blinds. I stole $1650 raising with 10-8 and taking it down, and then a few hands later, found pocket 8’s UTG. I raised to $1325 and it was quickly folded to the Quiet French Guy in Seat 1, who had recently won 2 big pots and was accumulating a rather nice stack. He and I had been very friendly (despite the language barrier), and I knew he respected my game. He was in the big blind, and was the last hurdle for me to get past. At first he looked like he was going to raise, but then he just called.

The flop was 10-6-6, and he went all in for over $20K. With him considering re-raising preflop and now shoving, I had to think he had a pair higher than the board. I thought for a minute, then shrugged and showed him my pocket 8’s, and folded. He nodded and showed me his pocket Jacks. Bullet dodged.

I folded for another half hour, never able to pick up a hand vs. Howdy Doody, who was still constantly raising, and now had a mountain of black and green chips ($100s and $25s) that he had formed into a giant pyramid. Every time he raised, I prayed for a hand to shove all-in on him, but all I kept seeing were hands like 9-4, and 7-3, and 6-2. It was painful, and it was getting very frustrating. That’s when the hood goes up.
By now there were four big stacks at the table (Howdy Doody, Euro-Waldo, Johnny Chicago, and The New Guy), and the other 6 players all below average stack. What this resulted in, was that now instead of raising to $1300-$2000 pre-flop, everyone was just shoving all-in for 10-13K in chips. It had been happening for about 30 minutes now. Plus, the tall guy in Seat 4 had returned, talking about how upset his stomach was, and how he wasn’t sure he would make it to the end of the night without another extended trip to the restroom. (I know, nice image.)

With $10,550 remaining in my stack, over halfway through Level 9, I looked down and found AcTs. I couldn’t make a standard raise with my stack, and the New Guy with the giant stack was in the Big Blind. With only 5 trips around the table left in my stack, I felt like I had to shove with Ace-Ten, which I did. Mr. Weak Stomach in Seat 4 then went all-in for a similar stack to mine, and the New Guy in the Big Blind called both of us.

Me – AcTs
Weak Stomach – AsQd
Big Stack – AdKh

Not a really good time to shove, apparently. The board came Queen high, and eventually filled with 4 spades, so that Weak Stomach made a flush and tripled up. He had about $1000 more than me, so I was eliminated in the mid-600’s. The last update on the tournament screen had 680 players remaining, and the next update—10 minutes later—had 620 remaining, so I’m guessing it was somewhere around 640. That means I had outlasted 2750 players, or 81% of the field. But it still didn’t pay anything.

I suppose I could have made a standard raise on the last hand, and folded to an all-in, but I can’t be raising 20% of my stack at that point, at that table, and still envisioning folding as an option. I’m still confident that the shove was the right move there. What frustrates me was that Mr. Weak Stomach could have logically folded Ace-Queen in that position with an all-in in front (although if I was him, I may have shoved too), and if I play it heads-up with Ace-King, I make a 10-high flush and double up to average stack. Maybe if his stomach acted up a bit more, he's not at the table to call my all-in...who knows?

That last hand was the first time I had been All-In and at risk for the entire tournament.

I feel like I played the best I could, dodged some bullets, and made the best out of most of my strong hands. Perhaps I could have extracted more in spots, but I’m very happy with how I played, including laying down that AK to Dwyte Pilgrim pre-flop. It was great having Devena there cheering me on for the whole day, Gabe on the rail at the beginning of the day, and my friend Chris, who showed up partway through the day and stayed with Devena for the last few hours cheering me on. Thanks to all of you for the support, as well as those of you who texted or tweeted your support during the tournament. It meant a lot.

It’s a frustrating game, and I was extremely disappointed after being eliminated so deep in Day 1…and the salt in the wounds of my elimination came only moments after as I walked out in the hallway with Devena…and heard Rush playing in the halls. What a nasty way to go out.

It wasn’t to be this year…maybe next year.

Las Vegas, Nevada
July 5, 2011