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2018 Poker Schedule (LAPC, WSOP)

December 14, 2017

Here’s a look at the series and tournaments I’ll be targeting in the first half of 2018. Any event in bold is a tournament that I will 100% be playing, barring unforeseen circumstances. Any event that has an asterisk (*) in front of it means that it has multiple starting days and I’m not really committed to any particular one. I’m not exactly planning to play the WSOP Main Event this year, but I’m not ruling it out as a possibility either. A lot depends on how things go in the first six months of the year, but I almost certainly will NOT be playing it unless I have up to 80% of my action sold.

As of now, the only trip I have booked is the first of three to Commerce, so there is still plenty up in the air. My wife said I could stay for the whole WSOP this year, but that’s kind of hard to believe. We’ll see how she feels come June – especially since her birthday is smack dab in the middle of the series. I haven’t looked for any side events during the WSOP, but I’m sure Venetian, Aria, and Golden Nugget will have some things I’m interested in adding to my schedule.

LAPC @ Commerce

January 15th – $350 Omaha 8/Better
January 16th – $350 Triple Stud
January 17th – $350 Stud 8/Better
January 18th – $350 Omaha/Stud 8/Better

January 24th – $350 Limit Hold Em
January 25th – $350 HORSE
January 26th – $350 No Limit Hold Em
January 26th – $350 TOE (O8, Stud 8, 2-7 Triple Draw)
January 27th – $350 No Limit Hold Em
January 27th – $350 No Limit Hold Em/Pot Limit Omaha
January 29th – $570 Omaha 8/Better
January 30th – $570 Stud
February 1st – $570 HORSE

February 11th – $1100 Limit Hold Em
February 12th – $1100 Omaha 8/Better
February 13th – $1100 HORSE

PacWest Classic @ Chinook Winds

February 21st – $150 Omaha 8/Better
February 21st – $80 No Limit Hold Em Bounty
February 22nd – $150 Big Omaha 8/Better
February 23rd – $200 No Limit Hold Em
February 24th – $550 No Limit Hold Em Main Event

Summer Poker Classic @ Muckleshoot

March 14th – March 18th
or
March 21st – March 25th

WSOPc @ Planet Hollywood (Vegas)

March 22nd – April 2nd

WSOPc @ Harrahs (New Orleans)

May 10th – May 21st

World Series of Poker @ The Rio

May 31st – $1500 Omaha 8/Better
June 1st – *$365 No Limit Hold Em GIANT
June 2nd – *$565 No Limit Hold Em Colossus
June 3rd – $365 No Limit Hold Em Online
June 3rd – *$365 Pot Limit Omaha GIANT
June 6th – $1500 HORSE
June 8th – $565 Pot Limit Omaha
June 9th – $1500 8-Game
June 11th – $1500 Stud 8/Better
June 14th – $1500 Stud
June 16th – *$1000 No Limit Hold Em Double Stack
June 20th – $1500 Limit Hold Em
June 22nd – $2500 Omaha/Stud 8/Better
June 23rd – *$1500 No Limit Hold Em Monster Stack
June 24th – $1500 Razz
June 30th – *$888 No Limit Hold Em Crazy 8
July 2nd – *$10,000 No Limit Hold Em Main Event
July 9th – $3000 6-Max Limit Hold Em
July 12th – $3000 HORSE

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Coco (2017), Gerald’s Game (2017)

December 13, 2017

Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Director: Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 2)

Bottom Line: I loved it. What a feel good movie about family, passion, music, love, loss, memory, and, of course, death. Coco is a return to form for Pixar, combining absolutely beautiful CG animation with memorable characters and an enriching, funny story that pulls at the heart strings. Bring your Kleenex! This is Pixar’s best original film since Up in 2009.

Replay Value: Pretty close to a must own. I would definitely enjoy watching this multiple times.
Sequel Potential: Hit animated films always have sequel potential, but I think this would work best as a standalone film.
Oscar Potential: Best Animated Film nomination is a lock. There is potential for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Possibly Best Original Song for “Remember Me.”

Grade: 8/10 (Must See)

Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood
Director: Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Hush)

Bottom Line: Gerald’s Game is a taut psychological thriller based on a short, overlooked Stephen King novel about a woman that goes on a remote cabin getaway with her husband in the hopes of rekindling their marriage. He cuffs her to the bed, she hates it, implores him to let her free, but… he has a heart attack and falls off the bed, wounding himself fatally. So she’s stuck there, handcuffed to the bed, with no food, and no company except a hungry, stray dog that wanders into the house and the figments of her deteriorating psychosis. Gerald’s Game is a surprisingly deep and emotional film considering the vast majority of it takes place on a bed with a woman that can barely move. Carla Gugino gives a phenomenal performance. This movie is streaming on Netflix and I definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys psychological thrillers and doesn’t mind the claustrophobic circumstances.

Replay Value: Not a great candidate for multiple viewings, but it’s something you could revisit many years later.
Sequel Potential: Zero.
Oscar Potential: Carla Gugino is fantastic in this. Not sure how a Netflix movie plays into the Oscar races, but I’ll guess she doesn’t get much consideration.

Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)

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Marathon Monday: R.I.P. $15/$30 @ The Palace (LIVE BLOG)

December 11, 2017

10:20 AM: Just got back from yoga. I missed my first class in almost two months last Wednesday and I haven’t meditated since last Monday, but I did do a 10 minute session this morning. The reason I haven’t incorporated it into my routine yet is because I still haven’t done the reading required to create my baseline, but again, I figured some meditation this morning was better than none. I will try to get all my reading done tomorrow since I will likely be taking the day off.

So today is the last day that Palace will be spreading this $15/$30 Limit Hold Em game and it’s honestly a crushing blow for me. I love the Palace. It’s like my Century Link – I have a very distinct home field advantage and when I play elsewhere it takes me a while to assimilate to my new surroundings and a bunch of unknown players. But at Palace, I know everyone and I know their tendencies and it’s no wonder that I post my best results (as in Big Bets/Hour) there.

Unfortunately, the biggest game that Palace offers is $8/$16 and I grew out of that game the day that I got back home from the World Series Of Poker last year. I feel like I had the talent to move up long before that, but now I was grossly overrolled for it as well.

I feel like one of the biggest mistakes I made earlier in my poker career was not pushing myself to move out of the $4/$8 limit – because it was so much easier to drive 10 minutes to the local casino rather than 40+ to play a bigger game – and now I’m having the same problem with $8/$16. Palace is 5 minutes from my house while $20/$40 at Fortune is a good 40 minutes away if there’s no traffic and the average player in that game is substantially better. So I typically make it out to Fortune once a week.

So a local $15/$30 was such a huge thing for me. Even if it only happened on Mondays, there was potential for it to grow and start spreading on weekends also.

And now today is the last day. The alleged reason is because it is hurting the $8/$16 game and I can’t say I agree with that at all.

When this game rolled out Palace was an 8 table room and on Mondays – with the $499 jackpot promo going all day long – all those tables filled up, with massive lists, and multiple $8/$16 games and the $15/$30 went strong into the night.

But then Palace added two tables and those huge lists disappeared. People got in games faster and got their poker fix or busted faster. And the $8/$16 games started breaking earlier and I think the powers that be incorrectly blamed it on the $15/$30 game.

Palace also added $499 jackpots all day on Sundays as well, so players could pick one day or the other to play power sessions – thus decreasing the need to come on Mondays – or they wore out earlier after playing long sessions on both days.

I’m not saying that is exactly what happened, but it’s my theory and I think it’s a better one than what they have.

Finally, the $15/$30 game has gone until at least midnight every time so far, which means it was running at least 13 hours each time – a clear success.

Alas, this is the last day and next week they will be trying to spread a $30/$60 LHE game, which would excite me if I thought it had any real shot at sustainability. There are currently 8 names on the list for next week, which seems promising, but putting your name up on a list and showing up when the game is supposed to start doesn’t always coincide. I will be here to support it though and I hope it gets off the ground.

11:28 AM: Game started full for the first time today and there are multiple names on the waiting list. Perfect time to kill something! Just as it starts growing. 🙄🤔

Meanwhile $8/$16 is going strong with a second game on the verge of starting.

Today’s starting lineup includes Radio Mike, BVR (a friend from Kitsap County that would be a good Joker if he played regularly), and two certified maniacs!

11:39 AM: Running good against one of the maniacs.

Open QQ UTG, he defends SB and leads JT5 flop. I flat to raise turn. 5 on turn, he bets, I raise, he three bets… ends up showing Q5o.

He limps EP, I raise AQ, three ways to A82 flop. They both check-call. Turn is a King; I bet, the blind folds, maniac check-raises me; it’s close to a 3-bet here but I flat.

River pairs the 2 and now I think my hand is too strong not to raise, so I do, and he three bets and shows 82o.

I didn’t really think this river raise through though, as I overlooked the fact that I was chopping with all Ax hands.

I’ve also lost big pots to his J2o and J4s when I wasn’t at the top of my range.

I am down $700 already. My typical $15/$30 start! And the maniac has over $2k and an alleged 40 minute time limit. 🙏🏻🤞🏻

12:39 PM: The maniac just lost a monster pot with KK to BVR’s AA on a 774T9 board where both players were playing like they flopped full houses – with a player trapped between them.

I’m not joking. Cap flop. Cap turn. Cap river. KK vs AA on 774T9. I was asking for “quad sevens one time!” but instead I get to see BVR scoop a massive pot of chips that used to be mine.

And the maniac didn’t take another hand and left with less than $1000 after peaking at $2500. I haven’t won a pot in 90+ minutes and everyone at the table has more chips than they started with except me and one other player.

A total disaster. A hurricane that I was the only victim of and all my surrounding neighbors were able to collect the treasures from my wrecked home.

I’m down about $1100 and about to reload and reset now that the game has completely changed.

12:54 PM: There are now two $8/$16 games going with 5 on the list and $15/$30 is full with 8 on the list. But yeah… these games can’t thrive together.

First hand back from a break I post with KJo in the cutoff. It folds to me, so I raise and a player in the small blind that is capable of having any two cards (at least at $8/$16 – like Q4o against my UTG raise from MP) is my only caller.

Flop is QT7 with two spades. He leads out, I raise (with the J of spades as backup) and he three bets me. I call.

Turn pairs the 7 and he checks to me. I’m pretty happy to take a free card.

River is a King and he leads out. I’m beating QT, or any Q except KQ. Flush draws missed. J9 did get there. I feel like I’m only losing to KQ and J9, so it feels like I should be raising, especially against this player, but I’m running brutal so I just call and he shows A7 of spades which flopped a flush draw and turned trips.

1:38 PM: I just bluffed the turn successfully after it checked through on the flop. It was the first “pot” I’ve won in over 2.5 hours – and there were less than two small bets of profit in it.

I have my chips stacked in a way that I don’t know how much I have so I can focus on something besides how bad I’m running.

1:58 PM: I won my first showdown since the second orbit of the game! But I went right back to whiffing flops and missing my combo draws when I did flop something.

I couldn’t resist. I reorganized my stack: I am down $1840. 😮

It’s pretty hard to lose 3.5 racks in less than three hours but I’ve made it look really, really easy today.

This might be a good time to mention this: the most I’ve ever lost in a live cash game is $2300 – which isn’t that bad at the levels I’ve played and will certainly be topped – and today is looking like a strong candidate to challenge that.

2:40 PM: Finally got a great flop with a hand I opened: J94 with AJ in a 3-handed pot… but I don’t beat KT at showdown.

3 PM: I am down almost $2000.

Radio Mike is crushing it.

BVR is crushing it.

I’ve won one non-micro pot since 11:15, almost four hours ago – one of my all-time coldest stretches.

It’s kind of taken me out of the game so I’m going to really force myself to start paying attention and not succumb to the immense weight of this run bad. Starting…. NOW.

3:09 PM: A breakthrough! I defend my big blind with A8s in a multiway pot. Flop is A75 with two hearts. I check, the PFR bets, two cold callers call, and I call.

Turn pairs the Ace and I check, the PFR bets, one call, one fold, and I check-raise. I would maybe check-call against a solid player here, but this guy is way too loose and reckless, plus I thought I picked up a weakness tell. He 3-bets me though, the other player folds, I throw up in my mouth a little and then call.

River is the 4 of hearts and it checks around. I like that. I table. He shows A3o! I looooove that.

4:06 PM: It’s just all torture today.

I raise AA under the gun. One player cold calls and the big blind defends.

Flop QJ5 with two clubs. I bet and the cold caller raises, big folds, and I flat.

Turn is a 4. I check-raise and get three bet. More vomit. I call.

River 8c. I check-call and he shows KQ of clubs for a flush. Oh, I had the best hand? More vomit.

It is just sickening at this point.

4:12 PM: The player to my right just felted $1500 in a rather short amount of time and I’m stuck $2000 still. Do you know how hard it is to get crushed when the player you have immediate position on is hemorrhaging chips like he’s allergic to them? Very, very hard.

4:30 PM: On another break. I guess my last 1.5 hours have been a bit better than the first four hours. It’s not a straight down arrow… I’ve won some pots. I just got four bets in pre with JJ and lost to AQ. I am now 0-4 with JJ+ – and I think I’m yet to win with AK or AQ. I finally made a straight but I’m still 0% on flush draws.

In other news, $15/$30 is going strong with two on the list and there are two full $8/$16 games with 10 players on the list.

But $15/$30 is killing that game. 🤷🏻‍♂️

4:50 PM: I have asked for a seat change button in honor of The Human Torch being next on the list.

4:57 PM: I raise a couple of limpers with AKcc, button cold calls, small blind calls, and we go six ways to 532 with two clubs. I bet and get three calls.

Turn is an 8 and I bet my draw because I fucking hate money and it seems unlikely I would get raised on this board, but the button does raise and one of the limper three bets. Good read, Mac. Awesome. I can’t wait to put $90 in and whiff the river. I call. Button calls.

River 6h and it checks around because a running heart flush got there. Limper has A4o for a flopped wheel and button shows me 98 of clubs.

Just pure torture.

5:07 PM: I stole the fucking blinds! 💪🏻

5:17 PM: The Torch just sat down with $200. Well that’s not gonna get me even.

6:00 PM: So tilted. Open AQ and only the BB defends.

Flop AT8. He check-raises, I 3-bet.

Turn 8, he check-calls.

River K. FUCK. FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Chop with A9.

Open 99. Flop JJ9. I get two callers pre, The Torch calls my flop bet, and no action on the turn.

Folds to my small blind and I get to chop with KK.

What a bunch of bullshit.

6:14 PM: Holy shit. Momentum? I’ve won a series of pots in a short amount of time and I hit my first flush of the day! I would guess I’m still stuck over $2000, but I’m not sure.

6:25 PM: The Torch is in $600, $200 at a time. Another player just felted and rebought $200. Maybe the poker room manager is right: these people shouldn’t be playing this game. These would be smallish (though a misguided standard) buy-ins at $8/$16, let alone a game twice as big.

6:41 PM: I really wish dealers would stop moving the button before the hand is over. Without a doubt, moving the button twice is the number one mistake I see happen and it’s almost always because of this absolutely stupid practice. Save a few seconds so you can make the same mistake hundreds of times over your career.

7:17 PM: More comedy. I open KQo, two cold callers, Torch 3-bets the big blind. I resist the urge to cap it even though I probably have him smashed.

Flop AQ5 two diamonds. I snap raise him. Button cold calls. Torch three bets. We both call.

Turn pairs the A, which I like. Torch bets, we both call. I feel like I have the button beat – he’s definitely not a solid player – and The Torch could literally have anything. He bets dark.

River is the 2 of diamonds. I call. He has 87dd.

Unreal.

Then a new player I don’t know sits down and asks if that’s my extra water. I say yes and he grabs it and opens it.

YEAH MAN. THAT’S WHAT IT’S FUCKING THERE FOR.

7:39 PM: Here is something that definitely has not happened today: three or four bets went in before the flop and I won the pot.

7:41 PM: Player to my left just called two bets with 98 suited and then showed it to me before folding when it was capped back to him. How is that a real thing?

The Torch is felted again. He snapped me off with that 87 less than 30 minutes ago and, of course, I got none of that back.

A player that limped in earlier and called when it was capped back to him with KQo (and ended up beating my 99) just limped in and folded when a bad player raised and everyone folded back to him.

I seriously hate them all today.

7:48 PM: Another capped pot lost. QQ on the button outflopped by AK, which loses to TT on the river.

7:56 PM: Praise Jesus! I 3-bet QQ, flopped top set, rivered quads, and got paid off, plus won a $499 jackpot!

It’s a miracle!

In other news, they are spreading their third $8/$16 game right now cause, you know, this game is killing that one.

To recap: $15/$30 has been running for 9 hours and they have had two $8/$16 running for at least 8 hours, with a third one going down now.

Now there is no list. So I guess now that all those $8/$16 players are in games gambling… if they wind up going bust in the next few hours it will be because we are playing $15/$30 on a different table?

8:33 PM: I limp after two limpers with A6 of clubs. Couple more limps. BVR raises SB. We all call.

Flop K63. A few of us call.

Turn 6. I raise. Two callers.

River Q. BVR check-raises. Has KK.

I mean… it’s honestly insane.

8:38 PM: Watching the masseuse use an elbow to massage someone while she looks at her phone with her free hand. This has been going on for a while. Totally inexcusable. It’s feeding my tilt monster.

8:53 PM: Under the gun raises. Three people cold call. I call 66 on the button.

Flop 976 with two diamonds. I get it capped with the PFR, one other player tagging along.

Turn Q. He still leads, other player folds, I raise. He calls.

River is a blank. He check-calls.

And shows me 77. FUCKING SEVENS.

This can’t be real. It really can’t be. I’m almost back to where I was before that $500 jackpot.

Unbelievable.

9:06 PM: I’m not even trying to be nice at this point. A new player sat down and asked for an Overs button (I’ve been the only person with one all day) and a couple other players asked for them and threw them back when I said it was $25/$50.

Then they threw a little fuss about it and voted to make it $20/$40 and I said “Yeah, maybe we can get $5/$10 Overs going in the $4/$8 game too.

9:46 PM: I feel like I should mention that I won my first pot with AQ – especially since it was my most significant pot of the day (minus the jackpot addition in that QQ hand).

I three bet a bad player’s open and went at least 5-ways to QJx. Checks to the player on my right and he donks. I raise, two cold call, and he calls.

I’m already envisioning losing this pot when I make top two vs KT.

The turn comes a 5 and they all check-call me again.

River is a 6! I basically have the nuts unless the bad player has something funky like Q6 suited or J6 suited. I bet, two of them call, and the player to my right folds KT face up. What a dodge! And my hand is good vs the two callers.

But then I went right back to losing massive pots with good hands. Including AK twice, which I’m like 0-12 with today.

No progress.

9:59 PM: I feel like I’m up $1000 now! I actually have good news.

The poker manager just came over and said the affect of this game on $8/$16 has been “grossly exaggerated” to him and he will no longer be cancelling it!

I think he’s done an amazing job with this room and getting rid of the $15/$30 was the first move he made that really puzzled me and I was really going to question his reasoning after he watched $8/$16 flourish all day while this game was full.

But he is reasonable! I’m glad he can see what’s going on and adapt. A lot of people would be stubborn after making a decision like that and stick to it just so they wouldn’t have to admit that they/their staff were wrong.

This guy continues to impress me and he really has done wonders with this room. I feel bad about some of the trolling I was doing on this blog earlier, but I’m going to keep it up for authenticity’s sake and fluidity!

10:21 PM: You know you have the M.U.B.S. (Monsters Under the Bed Syndrome) when you have 99 on the 763 flop in a 3-handed pot and know that you’re never gonna win.

Take it KJ.

11:02 PM: Two streaks broken! I just won with 88 on 96595 after getting check-raised on the turn and calling a river bet – the first time I’ve won with a pocket pair less than AA that didn’t make quads today…. in 12 hours!

And I only won with AA once… heads up against the big blind… when I flopped the nut flush draw with my overpair… and he folded on the turn.

I also broke my AK streak. I opened with it, a player I haven’t beat all day cold called, a blind tagged along, and we saw the AJJ flop. I bet (in Overs), and they both called.

Turn 2. I bet and don’t get raised. Heads up now.

River 2. I bet and don’t get raised. Can it be?! I’m good!

I am now down $2000, which is the best shape I’ve been in since that jackpot.

12:02 AM: Open AQ of clubs under the gun, one cold call, big blind defends.

Q42 two club flop. I try for some deception by checking because I’ve been raising and checking the flop a lot today, but it checks through.

Turn 8 of clubs. I bet, they both fold.

Yawn.

Defend K5 suited in a 3-way pot. Check-raise K65 flop and they both fold.

Fucking YAWN.

12:21 AM: Multiple limpers. I raise AKo and everyone calls.

Flop is 743 with two diamonds. I check, BB bets, cutoff calls, and I call with A of diamonds in my hand.

Turn is Q of diamonds. I check, BB bets, cutoff folds, and this seems like a good time to semi-bluff and check-raise since I suspect this player (new to the game) won’t realize that I rarely have a made hand here, plus I think I should have some fold equity against his flop betting range.

He calls though and the river is a non-diamond 8. I go to reach for chips and he’s already trying to call, so I decide not to torch the bet. He checks back? With a jack high flush?

Yeah, that’s more like it.

12:34 AM: Taking my first break in hours. Just raised with QQ and everyone folded. Next hand I open with A9o a littler earlier than I should just because I want to feel the pain when I get multiple callers because I’m holding a piece of shit. All four players left in the pot call. I whiff. YES. MORE OF THAT.

I’m pretty close to quitting. I’m gonna sit back down and if I’m still feeling steamy I’m gonna call it a session.

1:32 AM: Welp, I’m home now. What a nightmare of a day. These last two pots I played did it in for me.

Two people limp and I raise T9 of spades on the button, both blinds defend and the limpers call.

Flop is 883 with two spades. I bet and two players call.

Turn is an Ace and only the small blind check-calls me.

River is a 6 and he checks. I bet thinking he might be on a spade draw that could be bigger than mine or maybe he will fold a 3 or a medium pocket pair. He calls with A7 of spades… and then does that whole get halfway out of his chair and say “what does he have?” spectacle some people do when they catch you bluffing.

I missed the same draw you did, asshole.

Then I raise the button with AK and get the AK6 with two spades flop in a 5-way pot. The big blind donks, one player calls, I raise, and they both call.

The turn is a 9. They both check to me and I bet. The big blind check-raises, the other player calls two bets cold, I three bet it, the big blind caps, and the other player calls again. I call.

The river is a T of spades and they both check to me. I look at them like “yeah fucking right” and check it back. Somehow the in between player doesn’t have spades. He has A9. Somehow the big blind doesn’t have a set of 6s. He has AK also. I take no solace in splitting this pot. Zero happiness that I didn’t lose the whole thing on the river. I flopped top two on the AK6 board and I can’t scoop a pot.

Done with it.

I finished -$2265 for the day which is my second biggest loss in any game EVER. And the only reason I didn’t set a new all-time worse loss today was because I hit a $449 (after $50 tip) jackpot.

I’ve made an effort to keep my blog pretty PG and refrain from any cursing, but today I decided to paint an honest picture of how I was feeling as I was feeling it. I think it’s more authentic. I think it might be funny. I know it’s therapeutic.

I basically played with the physical sensation of tilt for the entire session. Like, I could feel it coursing through my body. Was on my A-game? No way. But I do think I played pretty well under so much distress. I wasn’t spewing chips by playing hands I should be folding or raising with garbage (that A9o hand I mentioned being a possible exception) and I think the bluffs I did execute made a lot of sense, even when they didn’t work. I just ran nightmarishly bad the entire day and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

I have to say I’m very happy about where my C-game is. No one wants to play their C-game, but everyone should work on improving it. I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe one of my biggest edges is how good I am at losing. A lot of players have a Titanic gap between their A-game and their C-game – even players I think are way better than average – and I truly believe that my gap is rather small. Small enough that I think my C-game is better than most of my opponents’ (in the Tacoma area) A-games. There is no doubt I was on visible tilt most of the day and even though I was physically distraught, there wasn’t much deterioration in how I was actually playing. There is a difference. I won’t pretend like there isn’t, but I would guess that most people I play with wouldn’t be able to notice it.

Anyways, I will be happy to put this day behind me and hopefully I won’t be pressing this all-time low threshold again any time soon.

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Marathon Monday: 12/4/2017 (LIVE BLOG)

December 4, 2017

7:15 AM: Alarm goes off.

7:45 AM: Added a new element to my pregame routine: meditation. This weekend I got a meditation bench and a zabuton and this morning I did my first session. I have to admit… my preparation was poor. I basically skimmed through Tommy Angelo‘s Painless Poker and tried to find where he was talking about his routine and tried to hastily apply it. Eventually I want to have it dialed in so well that it becomes habit, but even if I’m not really ready, I figure something is better than nothing.

So far, I feel the same as I did yesterday.

On the other hand, I got a better night’s sleep than usual and I’m hoping I can parlay that rest into my first good $15/$30 session because right now it looks like this:

11/20/2017: +$25 in 16.25 hours
11/27/2017: -$695 in 13 hours

It’s stupid to set financial goals, but I’m going to make one anyway: +$2000.

Let’s get to it.

10:18 AM: Waiting at Starbucks for some coffee.

I did yoga for an hour this morning and can it be possible that I’m actually getting weaker? We did some stuff with legs and my body was like “NO.”

I do enjoy yoga though. I’ve gone to nine consecutive classes without missing one – consistency I’m surprised by.

What I need to do is work in some strength training. Mondays and Wednesdays are yoga days but I don’t have time after class to workout because those are the only two days I participate in a poker game with a scheduled start time.

11:02 AM: 17 names on the list today. They haven’t even tried to start the game yet. It actually looks like it might start full today though.

A player that berated me last week is on the list. I really hope he plays.

Here’s the hand:

Four players limp, he raises from SB, I defend A2o.

Flop is A high, disconnected but with three clubs. SB checks, I check, EP bets, SB calls, I call. I have 2 of clubs. It’s all very marginal.

Turn is T of clubs and it checks around.

River is a blank. We both check and EP bets. SB calls. I don’t love it, but I overcall.

EP has AJ no club, SB has AT no club. I win.

Dude in small blind is like “how can you call that? Did you see my hand? You think I have nothing?”

Let’s review. He raises from the small blind in a multiway pot and then checks three times when the board runs out four clubs. Yeah, really marking you for a flush, bud.

Then he starts berating the other player in the hand for how he’s holding his cards, saying I can see them. I mean… maybe I could? If I was looking. But I’m not. And I never do.

The other player checked the turn when the four card flush got there. He probably doesn’t have a good flush and if he has a weak one betting the river doesn’t make much sense.

So my call is super easy.

A few hands go by and the guy from the small blind picks up his chips but stops by me, leans over, and says “what did you have again? A2 offsuit? And I raised? You’re no different than me.”

I never said I was! My only interaction with this guy that day was:

“Did you use to work here?”

“Yes.”

So I don’t know where all this anger and craziness came from… but…

He just sat down in $15/$30 and I’ll be looking forward to giving him more hands to cry about today.

11:16 AM: Cards still not in the air. Looks like we are starting 8-handed.

I was hoping to start $25/$50 Overs today but only one other player bought in more than $600.

12:24 PM: I refuse to get off to a good start in this game. I’ve been battling a mega-maniac – trying to isolate him (unsuccessfully) and missing flops with ace highs and calling him down – and when I did make top pair he had two pair.

Plus this stupid hand: one limper, maniac raises HJ, I 3-bet A5o and the SB cold caps it. Limper doesn’t fold and four of us go to the flop. Sigh.

Flop is 743 with two clubs, giving me a double gutter and a backdoor flush draw – a pretty great flop for me in this situation. They all check to me. SB seems to be on a good ace high. I bet, they all call.

Turn pairs the 7 and they all check again and since I can still have all the good hands in my range, I bet again. SB and maniac call.

River is a Q and they both check. My hand is never good here, so I don’t have showdown value. I also feel like the small blind is rarely folding, but I can’t check. I’m getting 14-1 on a bluff so if he folds as little as 7% of the time betting is profitable, even though it feels like I’m lighting $30 on fire most of the time. Another thing working for me here is he has a maniac to act behind him that is folding no pair and capable of bluff-raising the river.

The small blind does call though and he wins with AK high and I’m already down $600.

12:48 PM: An old school All Star Lanes regular, that I’ve never seen at the Palace or in a game bigger than $4/$8, just sat down in $15/$30.

1:05 PM: False alarm! Just had my first real heater in this game, thanks to AA holding w/out a showdown, and these two hands:

I have 3-bet the maniac three of the last four hands, this time with T8dd and the player in the small blind comments: “don’t let him push you around, Mike.”

I get two cold callers and then the small blind caps it. We are five ways to the Q96, one diamond flop. The SB and maniac make sure the flop gets capped and four of us go to the turn.

A beauty! 7 of diamonds. SB leads, maniac raises all in, I 3-bet and the other two call.

K on river and no one has JT and I win a monster.

Then I flop a set of 7s in a multiway pot with multiple bets going in four ways on flop and a raise on the river when I fill up.

Currently up $800, which is the most I’ve been up in this game so far.

1:14 PM: We have seat open and no list. Oh oh. Should be fine, but we have some potential part-timers and at least one person that doesn’t like playing “short.”

1:24: Staff is unprepared for this game today, I guess. They were seating players with green ($25) chips which is whatever, but now people are sitting down with black ($100) chips. No way is that optimal. And it’s not even 1:30 yet.

2:21 PM: We are now 7-handed. Reinforcements please!

I prefer playing short-handed but most people don’t and this game breaking early would be a personal nightmare.

2:29 PM: Pretty uneventful 90 minutes, except these two hands:

Two limpers, I complete Q8o, BB checks.

Flop is Q44, two hearts. I check, BB bets, limpers fold, I raise, he calls.

Turn is a blank. I bet, he calls.

River is an Ace and we both check. I table and he confidently rolls J9o.

Solid misread in my favor.

Next notable hand: there are multiple limpers and a late position player raises. I defend with the 6 of clubs and a black 5.

Flop comes A43 with two clubs. I look at my second card and it’s the 5 of clubs. I have a monster and since the raise came from LP and I want to get as much money in the pot as possible, I lead out. There’s a flat, a raise, a cold call, I 3-bet, call, cap, call.

Turn is a Jc and I lead my flush. The flop aggressor is my only customer.

River Q. I bet and win the showdown.

Currently +$1100.

2:38 PM: Dude that lit me up for that A2o hand I described earlier just asked me if it was hard to shave my beard.

Never fails to amaze me how people think they can oscillate between being a total asshole and friendly to you at the poker table. It seems that if they win a pot or it’s a new day, all past behavior is forgiven.

I don’t really care, but I don’t really like people like this either.

When they do stuff like this, I put up a friendly facade, but what I’m really thinking is “get bent.”

2:46 PM: Sometimes the price is wrong.

I just defended 65 again from the big blind in a multiway pot.

The flop was A98 with two clubs and when the action got back to me I was getting 15 to 1, more than enough to call profitably with a gutshot.

But not all gutshots are created equal.

First off, there’s a flush draw available so maybe I only have three outs.

Secondly, JT is such a common hand for people to play and a 7 gives that hand a better straight.

I think if one decided to fold this flop with my hand it wouldn’t be that bad.

I call though and, of course, I turn my straight and, of course, someone has JT and I wind up losing multiple big bets.

3:29 PM: If you read my post last Monday, I mentioned that I was getting wrecked by a nit.

I guess he’s really comfortable in this game now cause he just showed 65o UTG+1 and 54o UTG the last two hands. Yum yum!

4:01 PM: Not a good 90 minutes. Lost that 65 v JT on A987x board plus some other unfavorable run outs.

I just seat changed because one of the players on my left is playing absurdly loose and I wish to punish him.

+$400 now.

5:19 PM: AQ is a pretty good hand.

First I raise a bunch of limpers with AQcc from the cutoff. Flop is 852 with two clubs. I bet and get two callers.

The turn is the T of clubs and I bet, one call, and the other player check-raises; I double-check my hand and 3-bet, the player in between mucks, and the other guy caps. Yay!

Unfortunately, the river is a J of clubs and I don’t get the two big bets I think I would if it bricked. But I do get called and win a big pot.

Next orbit, I’m on the button with AQo and raise another series of limpers.

Flop is pretty solid: QQ4 rainbow. They check to me and I get three callers, which is amazing because it almost always means I’m getting raised on the turn.

It doesn’t quite go down like that. The turn is a 6 and the big blind leads out. I raise him and he 3-bets me. I consider calling because any reasonable player would realize I have a strong Queen here a lot of the time – but I’m not sure he qualifies, plus he’s in the big blind. So I cap it.

The river is a blank and I’m very happy to see him check-call. My hand is good.

+$900 now.

5:35 PM: Radio Mike is in the game! In his first 20 minutes he has already raised about six hands, got off to a hot start, and just pantomimed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger after his AJ ran into J9 on J9998.

5:49 PM: Is it getting hot in here? I feel like I’m getting sweaty… is my blood sugar low?

No.

THE HUMAN TORCH IS IN THE BUILDING.

6:11 PM: The Torch just sat down with less than $300…

…and Radio Mike just sucked out on him on the river first hand he’s dealt in.

None of these things are good news.

But The Torch is in the game.

6:14 PM: The Torch is all in and felted on his second hand dealt in.

He just reloaded for $200.

Hopefully he has about 10 more of those short buys.

6:41 PM: The Torch has felted three times already, for a total of about $700, and just reloaded for another $140, which I don’t even know is legal – I can’t remember if it was here or Fortune that recently changed their short buy policy.

6:46 PM: The Torch just left Radio Mike in ashes after he ran Mike’s 22 down on 882×3 with pocket threes – despite the fact an 8 was in the hand helping Mike put max pressure on.

But The Torch didn’t come here to make easy folds!

The game is in a precarious situation. We are 7-handed with no list (there are two call ins) and two players (mentioned above) are probably on mega steam and might be itching to snap quit at the next bad beat.

7:20 PM: I’ve been pretty hot which is always nice, but it’s particularly fortunate because this game is on FUMES.

The Torch is felted for the fourth time and done for the night.

Five players have either passed on the game or sat down for an orbit and moved to $8/$16.

And a player has been sitting out for multiple orbits.

There are currently six active players. One has a very short stack and another is so tilted I’m surprised he hasn’t left already.

Hopefully these guys are willing to play short because I sure am!

I normally don’t chop 6-handed but the guy to my right is definitely an always chop no matter how short the game is kind of dude and he’s also the player that’s on super steam… so I’ll bring it up later. Lol

Currently up about $1700!

7:53 PM: Just picked up two new players.

First hand one of them limps in middle position and I raise AK on the button and bet all three streets when it runs out K9258 and he’s in total check-call mode so I’m kind of stunned when he rolls over 95dd.

Welcome to the game, champ.

8:36 PM: Just raised a limper with AThh on the button and both blinds tagged along.

Flop is T42 with one club and one heart. I bet and the small blind check-raises. The other two players fold and I flat to raise the turn, which will be Overs – the first time this game has seen a $50 bet.

He leads out on the 8 of clubs, I raise him, and… he 3-bets me. Gulp.

I don’t have a ton of history with him yet, but he’s played tight in this game and hasn’t been overly aggressive so I expect to be losing this pot. I call though.

River is a 9 and he checks. I still don’t think I can be good but I’m happy about the free showdown.

He shows JT of clubs, which turned a flush draw, and I’m good!

8:44 PM: Open AQss UTG and get multiway action.

Flop is K95. All spades. I don’t win this pot. I put in four bets on the turn when the 9 pairs against a player that can have a hand as bad as trips here and wind up losing to 55. Blech.

A minor hiccup in what has been a flurry of run good for me. Currently up a little over $1800.

8:55 PM: Speaking of Overs… I’ve had a button all day long by myself and someone finally asked about it after sitting down with $300 in a $15/$30 game… and then asked for one… and didn’t add chips.

And now he’s busto.

9:01 PM: And he just reloaded for $200… which is four big bets in Overs.

My blog needs emoticons. 🤦🏻‍♂️

10:04 PM: Nothing much new to report. They beat Radio Mike into submission. The short stack with Overs is unsurprisingly busted. We are currently 7-handed and have a feeling we won’t be picking up many players from now on.

10:22 PM: Shocking development: a $4/$8 regular, that may or may not read my blog, just sat in $15/$30 with $1700. In the 3+ years I’ve been playing here regularly I’ve seen him play $8/$16 once or twice so… kind of a big deal. Good luck!

11:23 PM: I’ve gone stagnant. Except for this hand:

One player limps, I raise 88 from cutoff. Four players to Q86, two heart flop. The limper donks into me, I raise, the BB calls, limper calls.

Turn 5 and they both check-call.

River is a sexy 9 of hearts. So like I’m never winning now. Limper bets, I call, and lose to his 52 of hearts.

I won a couple decent pots while I was typing this. Back to +$1700.

Two players just left though and we are 6-handed now and no longer chopping in the blinds – or what I like to call My Happy Place.

12:17 AM: Updates are going to be hard to come by. We are playing 4-handed now so I can’t really take any breaks and I’m playing basically every hand dealt to me.

12:47 AM: 3-handed now… because a player busted on this hand:

First to act opens, button 3-bets, small blind caps, and I have AQo in the big blind. And I want to fold it. Ludicrous. That’s ludicrous, right?

I just think the button is 3-betting tighter than he should be and I know the small blind is capping a narrow range.

But we’re 4-handed. Folding is ludicrous. It has to be. So I call.

Flop is AJ8 rainbow. SB leads, I raise, UTG folds, the button calls, BB 3-bets, I call, button caps. Goddammit.

The turn is a blank and the BB has one big bet left so he puts it in. Sigh. Can I possibly fold now? Knowing the button will raise here a lot? Ugh. I call, button raises, I CALL.

River is not a Queen. This is swell. Just swell. Now I’m heads up against the only player with an Overs button. And I have the best hand like never. He bets and I still want to fold. For the third time. But then I start looking at the pot size and, I mean, how can I?

I call. Button has A8. Small blind has AK.

Total disaster.

And to illustrate how hard it is to update playing 3-handed, I started this post at 12:47 am and it’s now 1:24.

So… don’t expect anymore updates until these guys give up.

2:55 AM: Just got home. Wrap up coming soon.

3:22 AM: I’m going to be honest. I just put on a 3-handed clinic. I also ran better than both of my opponents, which didn’t hurt. And I got one hell of a compliment. After absolutely torturing them and sending one of them to the felt, he turned to me and said “you’re a great player, man.” He was sincere, which was surprising because I could see how visibly frustrated he was. That was about the last thing I was expecting.

I was obviously in a pretty good position before we got super short, so it should be no surprise that after running good in that situation I finished in a very good spot… at +$2725.

It’s always nice when you set a goal and exceed it!

My friend BVR is threatening to make an appearance next week in the comments. That should definitely be entertaining if he follows through!

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$20/$40 DISASTER (live blog)

December 1, 2017

Last time I posted about playing in the $20/$40 game at Fortune I mentioned how good I’ve been running and how I’m due for a bad run.

Well, today might be that day. I wasn’t going to blog this session, but now I think I should.

I got off to a good start playing in a short third game that just started, but things quickly took a turn for the worse.

This can sum up how things were going: they are hitting all their draws and I am missing all mine.

And then this happened:

I three bet JJ against two loose players and it gets capped pre.

Flop is J66. The capper bets and I just call hoping the other player will just put his last two small bets in, but he just calls.

Turn is a Q and it gets capped – with the third player all in for half a big bet.

River is a blank and my opponent leads out. Maybe it’s a little steam, maybe it’s a lack of respect for the player, but I punt one more big bet and get raised again before accepting the fact that this guy really does have QQ.

He does have QQ. And the other player shows KQ. Because the two outer was not brutal enough.

And then this happened:

I open AJcc from middle position. The big blind three bets me and I cap it because I’ve had about enough.

We are heads up to the KQT flop and we don’t stop raising each other until the T pairs on the river.

Yes. Cap pre. Cap flop. Cap turn. I call one bet on the river.

He has KK.

That hand sent me out the door for the second time in less than half an hour to collect myself.

And then I came back inside and reloaded $1500.I am now in $3500 and I am down $1500. That might not sound that bad but I’ve been playing only three hours and I was up $500 at one point.

And that’s where we’re at now. I want to blog the good, the bad, and the ugly, so maybe we’re getting a dose of the latter two today.

I’ll be going live from this point!

8:36 PM: Sgt. Rock is officially the first person I’ve ever seen use a computer mouse on a poker table while actually playing in a live game.

8:50 PM: I won four pots in a row that I contested and was making a little bit of a comeback. But I’m back to being super cold. Down $1600 at the moment and losing to the same two players every time I play a pot against them.

Im sitting at a table where two people are always MIA. That’s good because I prefer 7-handed over 9-handed, but it’s bad because I can’t take a break myself! (Due to the third man walking rule).

And on that note, I just rivered a flush after defending the 82cc in a 4-way pot. Things are looking up!

9:03 PM: We are 8-handed! What’s more important? Taking a way overdue break or playing out the orbit I just paid $30 for?

9:19 PM: Player that is beating me in every hand we play (like just now: he opens cutoff; I defend 75hh and check-raise the K53 rainbow flop and lose to Q9) just switched tables and I don’t know if I’m happy or sad about it.

So AirPods are pretty cool. My wife and I are sitting at separate tables but she asked me for one of my ear phones and, surprisingly, it is working for both of us.

And now we are both listening to Taylor Swift‘s new album. Lol.

9:51 PM: Enough of that. Listening to Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. now. These people are in trouble.

9:58PM: King Kendrick just motivated me to pull the trigger on a big bluff.

Early position player that’s been opening A LOT of pots opens and I 3-bet AJo from middle position. A player that is playing NO hands takes three bets cold to the dome. Oh oh. EP calls.

Flop is T53 with two clubs and EP leads, which is weird. I call to see what the nit does and he folds. Okay, I like the way this is developing.

Turn is a King and EP bets. I decide this is a good spot to raise because I have more Kings in my range and him leading here makes even less sense than betting the flop. He calls.

I will check back a club but bluff all other rivers or value bet straights, Aces, and maaaaaybe a Jack.

River is a blank and he check-folds. Boom!

11:03 PM: Running good.

First: KK vs AA.

Then: two big blinds this hand. The second big tries to fold and then realizes she’s the blind. Folds to the cutoff, he raises, I 3-bet A6, he calls.

We are heads up to AJ6. He check-raises me. I raise the turn. He 3-bets. Shows me AJ. Sigh.

11:07 PM: Player in seat one is complaining about how bad he’s running. “It’s been like that all night.” He’s been here an hour. I’m like BRAH.

I’ve bought $1500 in watermelon $25 chips. I like to have them on the table because it makes raising the turn really easy. Grab four chips and toss them out there.

When I use the $25s it’s usually a good thing because it means I have a hand that can raise the turn.

I have $825 now. And the only reason I have that many is because some people sell them back to me after they beat me in the pot. And that’s honestly tilting enough that I’m reconsidering the whole concept.

11:41 PM: Something good happened: I opened 77 from MP, next player 3-bet, and the small blind capped it – with one red chip behind.

Flop is AJ7 with two hearts. She puts her last chip in, i complete the bet and the other player raises. I flat and check-raise the turn. He calls and calls again on river and I win a big pot! -$1100 now.

12:26 AM: Nice back-to-back hands against the same player.

I open button with AQ. Both blinds defend.

AJ9 flop and the big blind, a fun player, check-raises. I flat and we are heads up.

Turn 7, he bets, I raise, he calls.

River blank. Bet, call. I’m good.

Next hand open A9o cutoff, he three bets small blind. I call.

Flop is K99. He leads and I raise. Call.

Turn T. He check-calls.

River A. He check-raises me. Against solid player I would have to give serious consideration to just calling here, but against this guy, I three bet and I’m good.

1:32 AM: Leaving Fortune. Lost about $1300 total.

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Weekly Music Update – 11/29/2017

November 30, 2017

Since I celebrated Thanksgiving three different times last week, I never got around to posting my Weekly Music Update, so this post includes releases from the last two Fridays.

Also, aside from the one album I’ve been listening to heavily that I’ll mention below, most of my music listening lately has been in preparation for my next Rapper Profile (you can read past profiles for Biggie and DMX by clicking their names).

So who is my next profile going to be?

This guy:

That’s Eminem – in honor of his new album Revival which has been officially announced as coming out on December 15th.

New Releases

CyHi The PrynceNo Dope On Sundays (hip-hop/rap) – This album is fire. I made a preliminary Top 5 of 2017 list last night and this is a strong contender. Great lyrics, great beats… just great rap music.

Fabolous & JadakissFriday On Elm Street (hip-hop/rap) – Both these guys are rappers I’ve always thought of as overrated. I really like Jada’s verse on the opening track when he raps from the perspective of Jason Vorhees (I guess Fab missed the memo – his verse has almost nothing to do with Freddy Krueger), plus the beat is horror movie awesome. The rest of the album is the slightly above average material I’ve grown accustomed to from these guys.

Kodak BlackProject Baby 2: All Grown Up (hip-hop/rap) – Kodak had a release last year or earlier this year that I was expecting to hate, but actually kind of liked. I have given this zero listens so far though.

NasIn My Ghetto – EP (hip-hop/rap) – I’m not sure what this is supposed to be or who released it but more than half of these songs were on Lost Tapes, which was released 15 years ago. Nas fans would be better off adding that album to their collection, especially since the mixing on this is really subpar at times. This has already been deleted from my playlist.

Bob SegerI Knew You When (rock) – Another attempt at branching out with an artist I’ve never listened to. So far I’ve listened to zero songs. LOL.

Jaden SmithSYRE (hip-hop/rap) – I was going to skip this, but someone recommended it to me. I listened to the first several tracks and while the rapping is solid and the music is fine, I can’t say it really grabbed me. I have not revisited it again.

Talib KweliRadio Silence (hip-hop/rap) – There was a time in the early 2000s when I considered Talib a top 20 emcee. His star has faded quite a bit since then. I haven’t listened to this album yet and I was shocked when Talib spent the first weekend of its release arguing nonstop with poker players on Twitter. POKER PLAYERS. Not really sure how or why that happened, but I don’t get how someone that just released a new album could waste so much time and energy arguing and telling people to take showers on a social media app.

Other Notable Releases

BjorkUtopiar (electronic)

Lil Uzi VertLuv Is Rage 2 (hip-hop/rap) – Nope.

T-PainOblivion (hip-hop/rap)

Ratings

KamaiyahBefore I Wake (hip-hop/rap) – RECOMMENDED

Wu-TangThe Saga Continues (hip-hop/rap) – TOP NOTCH

Sam SmithThe Thrill of it All (pop) – RECOMMNENDED

JidennaBoomerang – EP (hip-hop/rap) – RECOMMENDED

LE$The Catalina Wine Mixer (hip-hop/rap) – RECOMMENDED

Brent FaiyazSonder Son (r&b/soul) – VERY GOOD

Dame D.O.L.L.A.CONFIRMED (hip-hop/rap) – RECOMMENDED

Other Recent Releases

Cam’ronThe Program (hip-hop/rap) – Haven’t listened yet… but I did hear Ma$e destroy Cam’ron last week.

KalelaTake Me Apart (R&B/soul) – Haven’t really listened to yet.

ELHAEAURA II (R&B/soul) – Haven’t listened at all.

dvsnMorning After (r&b/soul) – Pretty close to having a rating for this.

Big K.R.I.T.4eva Is a Mighty Long Time (hip-hop/rap) – Can’t really get into this.

YelawolfTrial By Fire (hip-hop/rap) – Close to having a rating for this also.

Best of 2017 Playlist Additions

“No Dope On Sundays” featuring Pusha T – CyHi The Prynce, No Dope On Sundays

“Murda” featuring Estelle – CyHi The Prynce, No Dope On Sundays

“Closer” – CyHi The Prynce, No Dope On Sundays

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December 2017 – Most Anticipated Movies & Shows

November 30, 2017

Top December Movies

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 15th) – No explanation needed here, right? As far as Star Wars fanboys go, I’m not much of one, but I would say I enjoy the series. I own about 300 movies, but not one film related to the Star Wars franchise. Still, nothing quite defines the experience of going to the movies like a new Star Wars film and I’ll be there opening weekend like everyone else. I was very happy with JJ Abrams’ reboot in 2015 and this should be another fun installment.

2. The Shape Of Water (December 8th, limited) – Guilleremo del Toro (Pan’s Laybrinth directs a stellar cast that features Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, and Octavia Spencer in this period piece about a mute woman that works as a cleaning lady in a top secret government building that houses a creature that she becomes fond of. del Toro and top notch actors and a creature is always a winning formula.

3. I, Tonya (December 8th, limited) – Margot Robbie plays notorious ice skating star Tonya Harding, the woman that was responsible for bashing in rival Nancy Kerrigan’s knee. The tone of this movie seems fun and Robbie and Allison Janey look like they could be giving great performances.

4. Molly’s Game (December 25th, limited) – I read the book this movie was adapted from and I thought it was interesting, but not really something that would translate well to the big screen. If anyone can make it work though, it’s Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter responsible for The Social Network and Moneyball. Also, Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba bring serious acting chops. For those that don’t know, this is a movie about a woman who hosted some of the biggest underground poker games in Los Angeles and New York, some of which were attended by celebrities like Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Alex Rodriguez.

5. The Post (December 22nd, limited) – Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in a newspaper drama set in the early 1970s.

6. Phantom Thread (December 25th, limited) – Director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) and Daniel Day-Lewis team up again for what is supposed to be DDL’s last role of his acting career. The film is set in the 1950s and centers around London fashion, which definitely doesn’t excite me. Day-Lewis is one of the best actors of all time though and Paul Thomas Anderson has proven himself a very capable writer/director, so I will be anxious to see how they can make this material enthralling.

7. Downsizing (December 22nd) – Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig play a married couple that decide to shrink themselves in order to escape their stress filled lives and take advantage of this newfound technology that will help the world’s overpopulation issue. Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) directs this comedy.

Netflix Additions

Immediate Watch

Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 (Dec. 5th)
Judd Apatow: The Return (Dec. 12th)
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity (Dec. 31st)

Eventually Watch

The Crown, Season 2 (Dec. 8th)
Peaky Blinders, Season 4 (Dec. 21st)

Might Watch

Diana: In Her Own Words (Dec. 1st)
Easy, Season 2 (Dec. 1st)
Trollhunters Part 2 (Dec. 15th)
Bright (Dec. 22nd)
Creep 2 (Dec. 23rd)

Other Notables

8 Mile (Dec. 1st)
Full Metal Jacket (Dec. 1st)
V For Vendetta (Dec. 1st)