Sunday, August 20, 2006

Snakes on a Book Review

So. A couple of nice, random topics for discussion. Seems appropriate for Teh Randomness, no? Snakes, and a book review. Let's hit the book first.

Like many of you, during the WPBT in July I signed up to receive an advanced copy of Phil Gordon's sequel to The Little Green Book, The Little Blue Book. Appropriately, the cover WAS blue, and the book's size (excluding thickness) was, well, little. Phil Gordon is a great poker player, and TLBB is a great poker book. Probably the best part of this book is just the way Phil decided to present the game of poker. He could've made theory the focus, and spent much of the time explaining the mechanics of starting hands, fold equity, pot odds, and so on. As a matter of fact, he does discuss a lot of poker theory, but he does so by using a metric-ass ton of hand histories, including winning and losing plays. More importantly, he goes into great detail to explain his thought processes on how he reads his cards, the other players, stack sizes, and pot size, and how all of those relate to the action he takes. And he's not afraid to show the warts in detail, explaining (as an example) how he can figure out how to violate his rule (one I am adopting immediately) of not going broke with a single pair. As he relates and reviews his thought processes, he explains the theoretical concepts behind his rationale. Pot odds, the rule of 2 and 4, implied tilt odds, when to limp, when to bluff, table image, etc. Just seeing a hand being played without the narrative behind it can certainly show you what might happen, but to figure out why some jackass called your raise with Q8 s0000000ted and cracked your AA with a flush (your bet was small enough to give him correct pot odds) is really something worthwhile. And since they are actual hand histories, you get to have further insight into some of the other pros that Phil has played with, including Devilfish, Scotty Nguyen, Hellmuth, and Matusow, not to mention several Tiltboy stories. Conveniently, he also has the hand histories arranged as to type of game and stage of the game. If you want to see examples of applied theory to the early stages of a tournament, or how you might want to play as you approach the bubble, just find the chapter and start drinking in the hand analyses. Simple version, if you didn't get a copy at the WPBT, go get yourself a copy. With 360+ pages of hand analyses, you're sure to find an example to help you through whatever odd or questionable situation you might come across.

"X-box or Play Station?" - Samuel L. Jackson to the rap star bodyguard who gets tapped to fly the plane, because he has "thousands of hours" in a variety of planes. All on flight simulators. Schweeeeet.

Snakes on a Motherfucking Plane! Was it cheesy? Yup. Were there (in Al's words) holes in the plot large enough to fly a jumbo jet through? Uh huh. Did some of the snakes and CGI work look fake? Sho 'nuff. Did it give us the greatest line in the history of movie going (SLJ - I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane)? Abso-freaking-lutely. And all things being equal, the basic story line was decent. As Mr. Jackson was quoted (either Comic-Con or one of his many print interviews), this is just a mindless, kick-ass action flick. It's not going to be deep, and make you look at social inequality. It's going to be shallow and let you see the exposed boobie of a mile-high club particpant get bit by a big 'ol snake. You get the dark green illumination always shown for Night Vision Goggles, reinvented as snake-o-vision. You get a plane crash joke where the pilot talks about the plane "...going down like a Thai hooker." I had no idea Pauly had any input into the movie! Personally, I don't think you need to get good and trashed before seeing the movie, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. If you can't take a joke and don't enjoy movies like Shaft, Tango & Cash, Detroit Rock City, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, you are better off not seeing Snakes. You likely will not enjoy yourself. As a side note, I've tried to upload pictures into this here post, but Blogger is having its own issues, and isn't letting me attach pics at this time. Oh well. Simple version, go ahead and see it. If you're not happy, so what. Get a refund and move on with life. I'm sure there's an artsy movie theatre nearby where you can watch some spelling bee movie and feel much more fulfilled.

I'm tired now. I'm going to bed. See ya out there.


Raveen said...

nice post im definitely thinking of picking up gordan book as well as seeing snakes on bad ur not an affilate cause u got me sold on both

smokkee said...

Phil's LGB is one of my favorites. his 4-2 rule is awesome and the Tiltboy's are rediculously hilarious. i'll have to pick up a copy of his latest.