Sunday, January 29, 2006

No Horse Trophy for Me

Sorry I couldn't bring it home for you guys.

I went out of the Ladies' Event after only an hour an a half. Certainly not what I expected. I drove out to Commerce in a great mood, feeling good about my game, and smiling at all the sweet text messages CJ and Pauly had sent me. I bought in and hung out with Ryan on the upstairs terrace soaking in some excellent tournament advice in the afternoon sun.

Only 130 players started. I was expecting at least three times that number. I got a horrible table draw. Four of the ten players were very aggressive, espcecially the woman on my right. It also helped that the deck was hitting her in the face. She showed three sets and two nut flushes in my short time there. I got into one confrontation with her. I had AQ UTG and raised to something like 175 with 25-50 blinds. She called from the BB with A5c. Flop came ace high with two clubs. I bet the pot and she called. Turn the 9c. She bets over half her stack and I lay it down. She shows her nut flush and says "good laydown, honey."

Ryan walked by about 30 seconds after that hand. The growly face I made summed it up.

A raise with 88 in EP gets me the blinds. I lay down TT when the flop comes A K X. I raise with 6d6h in MP and a young British girl calls me from the BB. I flop a set of sixes. She checks, I bet half the pot, she calls. Turn gives me an open-ended straight flush draw to go with the set. She checks again, I bet 500, she checkraises me all in. I only have 700 left. Did she make a straight here? Did the 7 on the turn make her a higher set? Whatever, I'm pot committed and I call. If I win this pot I'll outchip the whole table and be well on my way. She turns over QT, one heart. She popped me in with a flush draw? Sweeeet. The river is a nine of hearts, making her flush. Seriously?? OK, I go home now. I'm profoundly disappointed and on mega-tilt, but I can't fault my decision.

I drove home at sunset, the western sky ablaze in streaky pinks and oranges. After some herbal relaxation with Showcase, I decided to drown my sorrows in some raw fish and sake, and we headed out to Sasabune, perhaps the best sushi on the west side.

Imagine my disappointment when we discover that it's closed! Aii ya. We drive up to Santa Monica Blvd. and find another row of sushi joints. We park the car and decide to check out the menus before making a decision. The first place is too crowded, but the second one looks promising. The menu is handwritten in Japanese and various accolades from the LA Times food section hang in the window. I'm checking to see if they take credit cards, when Showcase notices two guys about our age coming out the front door. As they pass by he asks "Hey! Is the food good here?" Neither of them reply.

So Showcase calls out again, this time, making eye contact with the taller of the two gentlemen. "So is the food better here than the other places on this block?"

It's then that Showcase notices the two huge hearing aids both men are wearing. One pipes up in slow, halting speech that the sushi is fresh and there's a fantastic sake selection before continuing down the road. Showcase's face reddened and he slinked back over to me.

"Oh my God. Those guys were deaf."
"And I kept asking them questions!"
"Uh huh."
"But we should eat here, right?"
"Can't. They don't take American Express."

We found another place down the street. $150 of raw fish later, I was finally off tilt.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Night Before

I'm taking it easy tonight. No poker, no excessive partying, no 3 AM bedtime. Just chillin' and watching LOST and 24 while finishing up a better, longer post. The LA Poker Classic Ladies event begins at 3:30 PM tomorrow afternoon, and thanks to my own version of the fab four, along with some recent bankroll gains, I'll be taking a shot at the title. I really want one of those butch "Final Table" leather jackets Ryan got.

I'm not as cool as Ryan is with his whole live blogging on the Sidekick thing, but I'll do my best to get some updates out there. At least I know ahead of time not to eat the tacos.

Catch ya tomorrow, kids.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Two out of Three

Congratulations (again) to Ryan who made his SECOND cash at the L.A. Poker Classic last night in the $540 NLHE with rebuys. Man is on FIRE and looking to make a serious run at the all-around points title. Fear Colleen!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I saw Jessica Simpson at a stoplight this morning. She was driving a silver Mercedes convertible and looked like she'd taken a bath in self-tanner. She definitely had a case of collagen-lips, but not nearly as bad as in this photo. I guess the swelling has gone down.

The 23rd best poker player in the world may still have a few shares of his LA Poker Classic action still up for grabs. Need I tell you how great an investment this is? That thanks to my fellow Murderer I walked away with a bigger payday from that event than some of the guys who made the final two tables despite the fact that I busted in 400-something place? Go get 'em people, while you can. You won't be sorry.

I didn't play at all last night. Just didn't feel like it. Which, of course means I'm jonesing for action this morning. Instead, I read Aaron Sorkin's new behind-the-scenes-at an SNL type of show pilot. It's fucking fantastic. Sorkin writes dialogue like no one else. Rhythmic, witty, spot-on. He's probably my favorite working screenwriter. Showcase has an audition for it next week and I helped him with his Sorkinese as we ran lines. It's all in the pacing.

Then I decided to open the bundle of mail my mom had sent over to my apartment a couple of days ago. Since I've had four L.A. addresses in six years I usually have the important shit sent to Mom & Dad's in Westwood. DMV, insurance, election ballots, tax documents. And Jury Duty summons. Yep, after dodging it for my entire adult life, the L.A. County Superior Court nailed me. Goddamn it. I groaned and called my attorney father, who told me to act really opinionated during the voir dire and to wear a swag hat from one of the more violent films I'd worked on.

"They hate smart people on juries and they REALLY hate industry people, so you'll probably be excused if you play your cards right. Just bring a book and be prepared to wait around a lot."
"Would it be too much if I told them that being a juror would be excellent research for a Grisham-esque thriller I'm developing?"
"Nah, that's overkill."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Say it aint so, Phil!

The first line of this article broke my heart. I think a couple of Aprils will share my feelings!


Also... check out this list. Look who's #8!

I had a lovely Sunday at Commerce yesterday. I headed over there around 1 PM. That's pretty early for me on a weekend. Showcase called my cell when he woke up and couldn't believe I was already on the freeway. "Have fun, you fuckin' degenerate" he spat into the phone as I merged from the 10 east to the 5 south. I sat 4-8 for a few hours and never swung more than $60 either way. I consider myself lucky not to have experienced a huge swing on that table because the people were NUTS. I mean CRASSSSSSSSZY!! I saw two pots that were capped 5- ways before and on the flop. One old Asian man was so nervous in the hand he started hyperventilating into an empty bag of Lay's.

Later, I had dinner with Ryan, Glyphic, Alan and a couple of their friends. We ate steaks and bar food and watched the end of the Seattle-Carolina game before they went off to play 9-18 and 20-40 and I went back to West L.A. to finish up some work-related reading. I also managed to recoup my $63 loss at Commerce by playing two tables of 3-6 on Full Tilt. I still have $80 of that damn bonus to clear.

Work was really quiet today because the entire industry is at the Sundance Film Festival this week. Apparently that now includes a number of professional poker players with high Q ratings. I guess there's always a celebrity tournament to run. I've never had to go to Sundance and I never want to, seeing as it involves experiencing a whole lot of three of my least favorite things in the universe-- (1) freezing cold weather, (2) crowds, (3) and long lines. Charlie went a couple of years ago and said the most hilarious thing about Sundance is that all of the so-called "exclusive" parties are all held at the same two lame bars. The sign outside just changes every night. William Morris party one night, Motorola the next. Same people, same watery drinks in plastic cups.

In LAPC news, I have ONE share left. Just ONE. First come first serve!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Chunks of Change

OK it's official. I'm playing the Ladies' Event at the LA Poker Classic next Saturday, January 28th. It's a $540 buyin and I'm selling half my action. The Joe Speaker formula seems to be the way to go, so I'll gladly jump on that bandwagon.

I'm selling 5 shares total at $54 apiece. Purchasing 10% of the buyin gets you a 5% payout. And lemme tell you from experience, 5% can be pretty amazing. I'll take Stars or Full Tilt transfers, or cash if you're in the L.A. area. Just email me first before transferring any funds online. I'm really only comfortable selling shares to folks I've met.

Pauly already bought his share, so he's all set. I know CJ and F-Train had expressed interest when I first brought up the idea so I'll hold a share each for you guys unless I hear otherwise.

So really, there's only 2 left. Get 'em while they're hot!!

A Legend is Born

It was a sight to see.

I'll let the champion fill you in on the details, but even 12 hours later, I'm still swollen with pride at the phenomenal accomplishment of my fellow Murderer, Ryan. He made great reads. He made thoughtful decisions. He even dropped the hammer.

And he's not kidding about that deer-in-the-headlights thing either. He was barely forming complete sentences as a burly security guard escorted him from the tournament floor to the cashier's cage, with his six figures of winnings in tow.

I can't wrap my head around it either. Neither could his beautiful wife, whom I finally had the pleasure meeting.

Official results from Card Player can be found here. Please note that he's also currently #23 in the 2006 Player of the Year race. We have a lot to live up to, people.

Not bad for his first big live tournament...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Murderer's Row Represent!

Huge congratulations to our very own Ryan, who will be sitting down to the final two tables tonight at 7PM for the conclusion of event #1 at the LA Poker Classic! Way to fuckin' get there!

I know I'll be heading back down to Commerce after work to cheer him on, along with Reigning WPBT Champion Studio Glyphic.

Final 18 out of 1149 entrants? That's pretty damned impressive. Stop by his blog if you can and wish our Murderer well!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Trip Report: LA Poker Classic, $330 NLHE

Seven hours ago I sat down at Table 76, Seat 5 for the first event of the 2006 L.A. Poker Classic, a $330 buy-in NLHE freezeout that drew a record 1149 entrants. That's a $335,000 prize pool. Needless to say, I did not cash, as I'm presently curled up on my couch in my warm west side apartment, clutching a bong and watching The O.C. I think Showcase was shocked and awed at my jovial demeanor as I came through the door, having picked up my bustout voicemail only five minutes prior. No little storm clouds tonight. I played my best game and I'm happy with the decisions I made. The only thing that felt awful was my stomach after those tacos I ate while Ryan and I were on the dinner break. Let's just say I'd be very uncomfortable if I were still playing.

I picked up a voicemail from Ryan just as I got on the freeway. He was already there. "The lines are a mess. You should maybe, I don't know, drive faster" he dryly quipped. Turns out he wasn't kidding. I got there around 2:15 for the scheduled 3:30 start. The place was totally mobbed. After 20 minutes in line to get a Players' ID, I was shuffled into the main registration line which snaked all the way out of the tournament room, through the hallway, past the spa, and down the entire length of the terrace, which was tented and filled with 14 tables in addition to the 70 or so that were set up in the main room. I bought some lammers off a ponytailed hippie who looked like Santa Claus. He'd been playing satellites all morning to the tune of a thousand dollars. We cracked up as we watched literally every single guy who entered the tent exclaim "Holy shit!" as they got their first glimpse of the enormity of the line.

By the time I bought in, 710 players had registered. There were at least 300 more in line and there was still a steady stream of sunglass boys coming up the stairs. My table was inside the tent and the line was directly behind me. I mean like inches. Between the fat dude on my left, the fat dude on my right and the throng of humanity behind me, I couldn't move. I threw my Ipod on shuffle and Phish's First Tube was the first song that came up. Definitely a good one to start the show.

I was completely card dead through the first three levels. I got 4To and 69o so many times I started counting. I stayed afloat with late position steals that I could get away with given that I'd barely played a hand. I won small pots twice with KQ. I hit the first break with about what I started with-- 1500.

My tent table broke right after the first break and I was moved inside. Sitting in the 4s with a WSOP bracelet on her wrist was Barbara Enright. She was witty and talkative and psyched to see another lady at her table. I stole her blinds a couple of times. But I was still looking down at unsuited two gappers and King-rag and 4T and 69 over and over again.

With 75-150 blinds, I was shifted to my third and final table. Jacky Lee, a slight, older Asian man with thinning hair was in the 1s with a big stack. He's a regular in the smaller buyin events in L.A. and has made a number of final tables. The 2s was our table loudmouth, a sandy-haired, blue eyed late thirties guy that I probably would have found attractive if his personality wasn't so damned annoying. On his left was a totally silent Asian guy with bad teeth, and I was parked in the 4s. I only had about 1700 and needed to make a move.

I folded for an orbit and a half before picking up AKs in MP. Jacky Lee made it 3BB from UTG and I pushed in. Jacky tanked for almost a full minute before folding pocket fours faceup. I stacked my chips and a Scissor Sisters song that Pauly put on a mix for me came up in the shuffle. I must have been so fucking happy that I actually picked up a hand that I unconsciously started singing along. Then I saw the silent Asian man giggling. I turned the volume down and popped out one of the ear buds.

"Eeees OK! You sing nice!" he said, giggling. My face flushed scarlet and the Ipod went back in my bag. I'd have to wait for the ride home to finish my karaoke version of Take Your Mama Out.

I finally doubled up when I picked up AQ on the button and made a standard raise. The big blind pushed in and I called. He had me covered and showed AT. Weeeeeeeee. I was up to about 2600. The very next hand I got AT and took the blinds. I chopped out some small pots and had a little under 4000 when the ante hit. Then I went card dead again. The 4To count was up to 11. 69o was at 8. 93o went from 2 to 6. I tried to steal the blinds with JTd and got re-popped. Ouch. Picked up KJs on the button, raised, and the BB pushed. If I folded, I'd be back down to 2100. I tanked for about 30 seconds before mucking. The BB flashed the As as he folded and I left for dinner break frustrated with my chip count but relieved that I'd made the right decision on that hand.

Drinking in the cool air and secondhand smoke outside, I took a call from Pauly while Ryan live blogged the action on his Sidekick. My fellow Murderer was doing great, with about 8K in his stack. Facing 200-400 blinds with a 50 ante, I told him I just needed a hand where I could push and pray. I couldn't remember when I'd been so card dead in a tournament (though I suppose it's really just the time-space continuum realigning itself after my spectacular run this last month and a half). I hadn't picked up a pocket pair. AK, AQ, AJ, and AT once each. Just bobbin' & weavin', bobbin' & weavin'.

Ryan and I ate some pretty foul tacos and went back upstairs. We were sitting at adjacent tables by now, though I wouldn't be around for much longer. Down to only 1700, I pushed with A2h from the cutoff and got called by AT from the BB. The turn gave me a flush draw, but the black queen on the river sealed my fate. Doesn't matter, I had to do it. I said my goodbyes and waved over at Ryan, who was still sitting on a healthy stack. He made a little sad face and I wished him luck. At the end of the day, I made it through maybe 2/3 of the field.

I sat out on the terrarce with the smokers for a few minutes. It was cool and windy and the sweet sweet smell of ganja drifted past my nose. Someone was toking right outside the super satellite tent! Goddamn it, sometimes I just love living in Southern California.

As I write this, Ryan is still in. He has about $28K with the blinds up to 500/1000/200. 53 players are left and the average stack is about $33K with 45 places paying. I'm sending my good vibes his way and as much as I love our Friday game, I hope we all have to scrap it tomorrow night to go railbird him on the final table. $113K for first! I sure swapped 5% with the right guy. ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Russian Plumbers and Golden Globes

I gambled all weekend. Unapologetically. I didn't even take any work home over the three-day break. It rained on and off and Sunday afternoon the wind picked up and rattled my windows and blew all of the smog out of the basin. It left me with a stunning view of the mountains, their highest elevations dusted with snow as I hit the I-10 east to Commerce Monday afternoon. The plan was to play a couple of single-table satellites for LA Poker Classic events and maybe hit up a NL cash game before dashing back to the west side in time to sweat my Golden Globe bets. Yes, I bet on awards shows. And heavily.

My outfit was a little more L.A. hippie-girl than I'll usually choose for the poker room, but it was what I had on and I didn't feel like changing. Low-cut tunic top, cashmere cardigan, faded jeans tucked into Ugg boots, long earrings and miles of necklaces with glass beads that rattled when I bet. I chowed down on two mini chicken tacos (only $1 each!) and read Poker Prof's article on Nicky Hilton's New Years' Eve tournament at Caesar's new poker room before heading over to list myself. To my disappointment, the only single-tables that were running were $120 SNGs with a terrible structure. Boo. I'd have to make my buyin in a cash game. I got a $100 NL seat almost immediately.

The room was crowded, but lacking the buzz and clatter of a weekend night. I sat between an off-duty dealer doing the WPT fanboy thing with dark wraparound shades and a fiftyish Russian plumber. He was still wearing his blue work uniform with his name stitched in red cursive lettering on the right chest pocket. His fingernails were dirty and his moustache and greasy charcoal hair made him look like a movie villain straight out of the silent era. He limped into almost every pot and no raise could stop him from seeing a flop.

"I have to see zee flops. Game is meaningless without zee flops," he'd say as he called a $15 raise with 4-6 offsuit. He managed to drop $700 in three hours seeing zee flops. Unfortunately, most of it was shipped over to the 9s, a quiet blue-eyed fellow who looked like Thomas Haden Church. He was on a helluva card run. He snapped off the Russian's K high flush with an A high flush in a huge all-in pot, leading the Russian to stand up and slam the table. Chips went flying as he cursed the dealer.

"This bitch she cold-deck me for three days! Two thousand dollar! Jesus fucking Christ!" He mumbled another string of expletives in Russian as he pulled another $100 bill out of his pocket. Before the chips could even get to the table, he had tilted off that stack of yellow by pushing in with pocket sixes on a K Q 8 flop.

Though the Russian's antics and nonstop chatter were entertaining, nothing could quite compare to the stunt the enormous Armenian guy on my right tried to pull. After plopping down in his seat at an odd sideways angle (pretty much the only way he'd fit) and grabbing a spare chair for his tiny, adorable girlfriend (huh?) this dude pulls out his laptop, rests it on the lip of the table and, no joke, fires up Poker Stars. Thomas Haden Church instantly went ballistic.

"Floor! Floor! Do you guys see what he's doing? He can't do that!" At the next table over a couple of the local rocks peeked over at the ruckus through heavy eyelids and then turned back to their cards, disinterestedly. Spend your days in the California cardbarns and I guess you've seen it all.

"So whatcha gonna play?" I queried with a smirk. "I think the $11 rebuy starts in a few minutes."

Unfortunately, the floorman wasn't so into the live-online simulaneous muti-tabling, and the computer ended up in his girlfriend's knockoff Prada tote bag.

I had sort of an uneventful session. I played about four hours and was seriously card dead through most of it. I ground up about $80 before taking off. I promptly lost about $50 of it to Charlie on Golden Globe props. I completely fucked up on all my TV picks (with the exception of Hugh Laurie for "House") before making a late surge on the big film categories. Thank you Gay Cowboys.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I couldn't sleep last night and I'm paying the price this morning. It's 11 AM and I've already injested over twenty four ounces of terrible coffee simply to maintain consciousness. A friend just sent me his novel and I devoured half of it last night in my fit of insomnia. I bet I finish it today. I'm a really fast reader. I feel incredibly lucky when my friends let me read their stuff, especially something as personal and deeply felt as this book is turning out to be. It also kicks me in the ass a little and inspires me to stop being lazy and paranoid and put my own pen to paper. In the seven years I've been in the film industry, the majority of my time and brainpower has been spent reading and critiquing other writers. I've written sets of notes for Academy Award winners and 24-year old stoners straight out of USC. I suppose it was that pressure, that constant focus on the endpoint of things, the costly result that would be up on the screen for millions to see, that made me never want to start thinking about what I wanted to write, IF I wanted to write anything at all. I was giving myself notes before I could even churn out a concept. I've gotta stop thinking like that and take my own advice. It's the same advice I give to every kid who asks me what's the best way to become a writer in Hollywood.

"If you want to be a writer, just fucking write."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Finally, as an homage to blogging great Dr. Pauly, a "Hollyweird" edition of five things:

Showcase's Last 5 Random Celebrity Sightings:

1. Kirsten Dunst (lunching at macrobiotic cafe in West Hollywood)
2. Debra Messing (going into the film "Match Point" at the Grove)
3. JC Chasez (at Mel's Diner on Sunset Blvd.)
4. Britney Spears (in a random bar in Santa Monica)
5. Macaulay Culkin (on a JetBlue flight from LAX to JFK)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Change and the LAPC

Yesterday, I heard covertly that my intern will shortly be getting the boot. Thank you Jesus. He was acting like such a fucking retard yesterday that I seriously almost lost it. And I'm a very patient woman. I don't like yelling at people, especially at work. I take no pleasure in it. It was maybe the fourth time that his cell phone went off with a deafening ringtone courtesy of System of a Down that I told him to shut the fucking thing off because I'm trying to fucking read here and slammed my door with an icy glare. I sat back at my desk and through the wall could hear him say "What's her fuckin' problem? Is it like PMS or something?"

See ya, fucktard. Have fun whacking off in your unfurnished Van Nuys studio. Don't call us, we'll call you.

Moving on...

The L.A. Poker Classic is upon us, and I've been getting a lot of questions over the last week or so about which events, if any, I'll be playing. Here's what I'm thinking right now. Of course I say "right now," because I'm a chick and we change our minds a lot. That, and I have a job that often requires drastic last-minute scheduling changes that can put a damper on one's personal life. I'll likely play the $330 NLHE freezeout this Thursday, January 19 with a few of my Murderer's Row comrades. I'm going to try a couple of single-table satellites over the three-day weekend at Commerce for kicks but if I bomb out in those, I'm OK with buying in.

If I get into the $330 cheaply and manage not to dump a lot of money in the cash games, I'm also considering the $540 Ladies NLHE on Saturday, January 28. For that event, if I decide to play, I'll likely sell half my action if anyone out there is interested in backing your favorite west-coast junkgrabber.

No Murderer's Row game tonight, so I'm going to spend a little QT with Showcase. I think he's feeling a little ignored with all the poker I've been playing lately :) He was pretty cross with me last night when I turned down karaoke for two-tabling 3-6.

Days until the Golden Globes: 2 (I should probably give y'all my insider picks...)
Days until Oscar nominations are announced: 18
Days until the release of SNAKES ON A PLANE: 216

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Special Guest Star

I wrote a guest post over at the Tao of Poker today, filling in for Pauly, who is on sabbatical for two weeks, locked in a windowless dungeon in the Bronx with nothing but his laptop and some Dead bootlegs and writes his long-gestating Las Vegas book. I was honestly very flattered to be chosen and penned the resulting story, "Two Inches of Banana" based on a night the two of us had at the Excalibur during my second trip to Vegas last month. Check it out, and consider it part two of that trip report.

And believe me... I know I still have to finish the last part of the WPBT trip report. Dammit I wish I had more time to write! Or that I required fewer hours of sleep.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Fifteen Minute Weekend

I'm going to take a page from, or, rather, entirely rip off (who am I kidding) Pauly's ten minute blog thing. As I was driving back to the office from lunch, I gazed up at Santa's sleigh and its eight accompanying reindeer, which are still inexblicably suspended over the intersection of Wilshire and Beverly, and started freakng out about how incredibly behind I am having only been back at work a week. I hadn't written a blog in six days and I really wanted to, but I knew I had to find a block of time to do it and as I was mentally scrolling through the meetings and reading and assignments I had to get through this afternoon, I knew I'd hit 7:00 before getting anything out on this page. So here's my attempt to do it in 10 minutes. OK, I'll give myself 15 since unlike my east-coast friend, I cannot write at subatomic speed.

Friday night brought the return of the Murderer's Row Homegame. We had a new face (or fuckin' new guy) in High Plains Drifter, who made the trip up from the O.C. Poker Geek called him the L.A. Bad Blood and I think that's apropos. My streak continued in peak form, as I picked up AA in the first level and knocked out the lovely Sofia with my aces full vs. her trip fours (she had the JACKHAMMER). Then I got KK on the button and busted Rini after he moved in on me with AQ from the BB. Ryan busted Geek's 66 with the hammer catching runner runner straight. Three-time cover boy. He also managed to spill an entire beer on his lovely fiance's beautiful tailored black pants, while he remarked that his Eddie Bauer khakis were like, liquid-repellent or something. Kori was not amused. She outlasted Coco in the tourney for the second straight week. In the course of all this madness, including the baptism of a new power poker hand (83o) that will now, forever be immortalized in the blogger vernacular as "Snowman-Taterlegs," I got heads-up with High Plains Drifter with something like a 10-1 chiplead, almost totally blew it in the course of three hands where I couldn't stop doubling him up, and then pulled out the victory when my KJ held against his K8. He got the 8 on the flop, but I rivered an ace to fill my open-ended straight draw. Franklin came in third and Joe Speaker cashed in fourth. I feel kinda bad because I've knocked him out of every Murderer's Row game I've played in.

(This is so going to take longer than 15 minutes. I was just interrupted for four excrutiating minutes by the corn-fed kiss-ass half of my intern duo, trying to feed me his profound ideas for one of the scripts the execs read this weekend. I wish he could see my eyes telling him that I do not care... )

On Saturday I went to a screening, played a little 3-6 on Full Tilt, and went to a late brunch with Showcase at our favorite little retro diner on Pico Blvd. We sat outside and I had eggs and turkey sausage while he had chocolate chip pancakes. There was a woman in a black Miata parked at a meter right in front of where we were sitting. She clearly lived in that car. The passenger seat was piled high with white trash bags full of clothes, books, makeup, hairbrushes, and other personal items. She was struggling to remain inconspicuous, but knew we had seen her. We speculated as to why she was living out of her vehicle and settled on asshole husband whom she left in the middle of the night. She finally gathered herself and took a seat inside at the counter. As she went in, we saw these two emaciated girls in minidresses and boots leaving with a grungy musician-type guy, one on each arm. One was tall, pale and brunette, the other an even taller blonde with a spray on tan. They were clearly wearing last night's clothes at 2 PM on a Saturday and stumbled down the street with him to his black SUV, attempting to light their cigarettes in the middle of a gust of wind.

I played a lot online through the rest of the weekend, clearing a bunch of my Full Tilt bonus by playing 3-6 limit. Yes, I'm playing limit again. I'll have to explain that another time. I also bombed out in six straight 180's on Stars. I played the sixth last night with CJ and we swapped 10%. I went out in the first hour, but the Luckbox hung on all the way to fourth place. It was a sight to see. The suckouts were unreal. My favorite was the all in with K9 vs. KT and he fucking flops two pair. Never underestimate the power of the Luckbox.

OK I have to stop now. I've already taken 38 minutes.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


My intern is sorting two weeks of mail backlog outside my office. He keeps trying to engage me in conversation, but I really don't need to hear about all the tattoos he got and the goth chicks from MySpace he fucked with his pierced penis over break. In fact it was the image of his pale, acne-covered face, eyes squinted as he played air drums to some shit neo-punk anthem that triggered a wave of malaise and light panic in me last night as I began the process of mentally preparing to return to work and begin my seventh year in Hollywood. I did laundry, played SNGs, and cleaned my room until 2 AM, attempting to postpone the inevitable, and when I finally did settle down and try to drift off to sleep, I could tell within 15 minutes that it wasn't going to happen easily. I lay awake for most of the night, just thinking. Even a terrible chicklit manuscript couldn't get my eyes to close.

I thought about Hollywood and why I was still here. I thought about what I still wanted to accomplish in this business. I thought about my projects at work and if any of them would be in shape enough to go this year. I thought about how I'd be celebrating the last birthday of my twenties this summer and where the fuck all the time went. I thought about Showcase and his agent situation, and how if he could book just one Taco Bell commercial we'd be in fat city. I listened to the rain that had been pattering the concrete outside my window for four days now and thought about how utterly relaxed and happy I had been for the last 2 1/2 weeks just playing poker, writing, seeing friends, and driving back and forth to Las Vegas.

In Hollywood, like in space travel, re-entering the atmosphere is often the trickiest part.

I don't make resolutions. I think they're crap and I never end up following through on the important ones anyway, like promising I'll exercise more or giving up fast food. If there is anything I'd like to accomplish this year, it's really just to keep my head screwed on straight and play the best game I can-- in life, in work, in poker. And to write more, because I spent too many years NOT writing because I was worried about what I would DO with what I wrote. Now I just write. And I don't give a shit what happens to any of it. I just accept the small miracle that it's coming out of my head and landing on paper and smile at the fact that some of it is actually half-decent.

In winning streak news, Pauly saw me crack aces with quad tens on a $100 NL table last night only to crack them again with KQd about 15 minutes later. Fear the junkgrabber. Another Stars 180 may be in the cards for me tonight while all of you people are having fun dropping hammers on each other in Wil's tournament. I'm going to do my best to get home by 7 for the Thursday one.

I leave you with the following...

Overheard at a random Hollywood New Year's party:

"I'd totally do him. He's repped by UTA."

"I've only been out here for a month and a half and I already wrote a first draft and got an agent. Can you fucking believe that? I love this place. I know I should get a waitering job for cash to tide me over, but now I'm really afraid of what it might do to my image."

"I'm going to J-Date my way through pilot season."
"To distract me from all those auditions I won't get."

Monday, January 02, 2006

I'm on Fire

Crazy shit happens when CJ decides to rail me in a tournament. It's as if, by mere online proximity to him, I am imbued with the extraordinary powers of the luckbox across thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable. I also tuned my Ipod to what I am now convinced is my lucky Widespread Panic album, with one song in particular on repeat throughout the entire final table.

I think I made some killer reads too. Reading is definitely becoming a key strength in my tournament game. Hollywood gave me a good bullshit meter.

Do I really have to go back to work on Tuesday?