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Old 09-17-2019, 05:41 PM   #126
Sheep86
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Hi Shuffle,

I just came across this thread by accident. You managed to suck me in with the first couple of sentences in your OP. So I continued reading and got to this beautiful and equally touching bit:

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Originally Posted by Shuffle View Post
When I went back to her bedroom, she was sleeping comfortably. I sat down on her bed next to her and just admired her quiet beauty. After a moment, I gently started to wake her up, and I'll never forget as her eyes opened and she realized it was me, the smile she had on her face-- it's a scene that will stay with me forever in my mind. Even if I get Alzheimer's one day, it will be very near one of the last memories I ever forget.
So I kept on reading, and after a couple of hours I had devoured the whole thread.

It's wonderful that you took the time to share all of this. Your writing style works very well for me, regardless of the state you're in:

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Sometimes I put thought into these posts and utilize structure in my writing, and sometimes it's just drunk stream-of-consciousness thinking.
The stories about OSG and the other lost loves just seem so full of sadness and pain, but that makes it so much more fascinating to read. I probably don't have to tell you that broken hearts and other hardships in life can lead to beautiful things which the rest of the world can enjoy. Also, I can relate to some of the things you write about, but I'm a personal info nit so I won't go into that any further. I'll just mention that I've played poker for more or less serious money as well, so the WSOP posts were interesting too. Sucks that you ran like elephant ****.

I have seen a few Ozu movies myself. Tōkyō Monogatari is a great film, but my favorite is Bakushū. If you are in need of any movies or subtitles, feel free to send me a PM.

Maybe you were already aware, but I'll just leave this here anyway:

Spoiler:


Subbed and voted 5*.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:38 PM   #127
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Hi Sheep, welcome to the thread and thanks for your kind words! You may want to check out my Ozu and Setsuko Hara thread in The Lounge:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/6...-hara-1709100/

I love Tōkyō Monogatari and Banshun, getting blown away by them was what made me want to watch Ozu and Setsuko Hara films in the first place, so I started that thread. I've been going in order since then so I haven't seen Bakushū yet, but I'm looking forward to it!


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Also, I can relate to some of the things you write about, but I'm a personal info nit so I won't go into that any further.

I can really relate too. Sometimes I'm embarrassed by these posts-- I think to myself the next day, did I really post that? Was I talking about that again? However this has been cathartic. I am generally a very private person; some of these things have been bottled up for years.


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The stories about OSG and the other lost loves just seem so full of sadness and pain, but that makes it so much more fascinating to read. I probably don't have to tell you that broken hearts and other hardships in life can lead to beautiful things which the rest of the world can enjoy.

There is a profound void. It's true that I may be able to channel these emotions into some kind of creative energy, and that hope is all I have left, but even if I'm successful, I'm not sure it will have been worth it.

And unsuccessful? I can't even think about that.


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Maybe you were already aware, but I'll just leave this here anyway:

Yeah I was just about to post that along with some other pictures in my Lounge thread. It's from her 1937 Daughter of the Samurai publicity tour which was a German-Japanese co-production. I don't know how much of a film buff you are, but she toured with the Kawakitas on that trip. Nagamasa Kawakita was responsible for introducing Kurosawa's Rashōmon to the West, and his wife Mrs. Kawakita was extremely well-known at European film festivals after the war. I found a Variety article from later in the trip when they were all here in L.A.

Hara never spoke about her wartime propaganda films, and in that respect she's often compared unfavorably with say, Shirley Yamaguchi, who renounced all of hers, but later in her career Hara did comment on Die Tochter des Samurai and her trip to Nazi Germany. She said she was just 16 and it's like she was a doll back then, she just did what she was told.


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If you are in need of any movies or subtitles, feel free to send me a PM.

I will PM you, thanks for that!
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:44 PM   #128
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Shirley Yamaguchi deserves her own thread, maybe her own forum. She came close to being executed by the Chinese as a traitor until she finally convinced them she was Japanese. When people ask me about my favorite Chinese film stars, I always answer, "Shirley Yamaguchi and, of course, Toshiro Mifune."
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:09 PM   #129
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Several films starring both Setsuko Hara and Shirley Yamaguchi (a.k.a. Ri Kōran), as well as Hara and Mifune. Kurosawa's studio-butchered The Idiot may be the biggest one, which I'm sure is on Criterion Channel, and I've heard more than one person say that's their favorite Hara performance.

Here's one for you Phat Mack. It was a Chinese-Japanese co-production produced in occupied China the same year Yamaguchi starred in China Nights. I'm not sure of the exact translation, but I've seen it called Eastern Trip Diary before.

Yamaguchi was the lead, and she had a beautiful singing voice. Setsuko (I think) had just a minor part playing herself, but you can see her in the credits (second clip). They're both around age 20. The film was long thought destroyed by the Chinese, but it seems to have reappeared in recent years.




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Old 09-19-2019, 06:29 PM   #130
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Hi Sheep, welcome to the thread and thanks for your kind words! You may want to check out my Ozu and Setsuko Hara thread in The Lounge:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/6...-hara-1709100/
I hadn't seen that thread before - I'll probably find some time to go through it this weekend.

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There is a profound void. It's true that I may be able to channel these emotions into some kind of creative energy, and that hope is all I have left, but even if I'm successful, I'm not sure it will have been worth it.

And unsuccessful? I can't even think about that.
Even this thread alone is a product of those emotions which touched me in some way. You're probably not the most talented musician of your generation or the next Vincent van Gogh or whatever, but this blog is already something. Of course it will never be worth it for you, no matter how much success it will bring you - that's what makes life so tragic sometimes.

Sorry, it's getting a bit too melancholic now. There's still a decent chance for you to meet someone who will become just as much of a soulmate as OSG once was. Remember that!

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I will PM you, thanks for that!
Cool, I will get to that later (I live in Europe and sheep need sleep too).

Spoiler:
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:46 AM   #131
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I'm sure this has been asked before, but:

Spoiler:


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Old 09-21-2019, 02:21 PM   #132
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Got a couple phone numbers for guitar lessons with good reviews. Will call them today.

My goal is to reach adequate level of play and songwriting capability in 6 months. No time to waste.
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:31 PM   #133
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

First guitar lesson tomorrow afternoon. I really liked this guy's interview. He asked me if I could have dinner with any guitar player, dead or alive, who would I choose? Harry Chapin, of course. What are my goals? Well...I don't see myself aspiring for expert wizard level, but if I can be a competent player and learn the music and songwriting, that would be great.

He has film scoring and composition degrees, teaches music for a living, both guitar and piano, and excellent reviews. Said he can help me with all of that. Lessons are $60 per hour. Seems promising, hopefully this works out.

Last edited by Shuffle; 09-22-2019 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:03 AM   #134
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Well I had my first guitar lesson yesterday afternoon. I forgot to tell my instructor that I'm left-handed, so when I arrived he gave me a right-handed guitar. Maybe that's all he had, I don't know. Didn't feel right at all, and I struggled mightily with coordination.

He suggested I stick with right-handed, because my dominant hand will be on the frets and strings anyway. Apparently he tells all leftys this and says trust him. But if that were the case, why don't all right-handed people play left-handed guitars? Makes no sense to me.

Today we'll meet at the store (no charge) and he will help me choose a guitar to buy, as well as the rest of the equipment that I need. I'm thinking about telling him I prefer left-handed.
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:26 AM   #135
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Korean Napolean Dynamite here in the Lounge working out while I type up my blog post tonight. This guy has the knee-high socks, headband, everything. Muttering to himself with some kind of intense energy.

He's even slamming weights into the ground. 90% chance it's this guy's one workout session every month.
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Old 09-27-2019, 04:19 AM   #136
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Anyway, I started learning guitar this week. My first lesson was Monday afternoon. I chose a very experienced instructor with film scoring and composition degrees. When I'm better he should be able to help me learn how to write and compose songs, since he's a songwriter himself.

I've already written and composed a few songs on my own, but right now, the music is just in my head.


Monday:
Arrived for my first lesson, and told my teacher that I'm left-handed. He told me to forget about it, just play right-handed. Well, that's the only guitars he had there anyway. He tells all of his lefty students to play right, because we have a natural advantage with our stronger left hand being the fret hand; but that made no sense to me, because if that were such an advantage, then all of the right-handed players would play left-handed guitars...which doesn't happen, of course.

After that I went to the furniture store and ordered my couch, tables, and a rug. Everything arrived today.

Tuesday:
Went back to Hollywood to shop for guitars at the guitar stores. My instructor met me there free of charge. I had decided to tell him that I was thinking about staying lefty, but before I could say anything, he charged into the store and ran me and the workers over. Boom. Boom. Boom. Next thing you know we're playing a Yamaha small-body with steel strings, and a Cordoba nylon A/E. Both right-handed. The nylon strings are easier to play but sound worse. Eventually, I mentioned the left-handed thing again, and he bristled.

My instructor, my dad, the people at the store, everyone strongly suggested that I learn to play right-handed. There are lots of practical reasons-- for one, almost all guitars are right-handed, so it's almost impossible to buy/sell quality left-handed guitars. You also can't just pick up and play anyone else's guitar that's lying around. Finally, even if it feels easier for me to play lefty at present, it doesn't matter, because I suck right now anyway. By the time I learn, it will have been just as easy to learn right-handed as it would be to learn left.

So I decided to buy the steel-stringed Yamaha, but I wanted to sleep on the decision one more night.

Walked over to the Mexican bar and restaurant down the street after that, and had myself a nice gringo lunch and flaming margarita. Kept thinking about how my whole life, people have always told me to do everything right-handed. They are biased; they are square. Besides strumming/picking and keeping the rhythm on my left hand, keeping left/right spatial coordination...for me, it was all about my identity.

Being a left-handed person is who I am. Why the **** would I change that?

Still Tuesday:

Before I could drive home, I discovered my car had been towed off Sunset Blvd. I had put coins in the meter, but apparently all cars have to be off the street 4 p.m.- 7 p.m.

$300 to get my car back + $150 ticket that I may or not pay.

Wednesday

Went back to Hollywood and bought my new guitar.





It's an Ibanez cutaway lefty that only cost a few hundred bucks. They had a much better Martin left-handed $2,100 on sale for $1,699 ... but at this point, I can't tell the difference between the two my playing is that bad.

If I'm still doing this in 6 months and I improve, then I will buy an upgrade.

Wednesday Night

After I bought my guitar and returned home, I walked to the bar down the street from my apartment. I was sitting there having a drink when this very attractive brunette, I'm guessing mid-late 20s, walked up, stood beside me, and ordered a drink. I talked to her and she confided that she was on a horrible date and having a bad night. I told her sit down next to me, I promise I'm better. She didn't do that, but she did give me her number without me asking. Can't complain about that.

So maybe a date this weekend, who knows.

Thursday

First 2-hour practice session on my new guitar today. I can't play even a single chord right.

For those of you who are familiar with guitar, the big problem is that my fingertips aren't strong/hard enough yet. Callouses will need to develop. It's painful to push down hard with soft fingertips onto tight steel strings. Even when I ignore the pain and push down with determination, I can't get the first-finger string to play unless I move down to the bottom of the fret; but then there's no room for my other fingers to finish the chord.

First practice sheet from my first lesson that I'm working on this week:





My second lesson will be Sunday. Then the plan will be two 1-hour lessons each week, with ~2 hours practice each day.

Looking forward to it!

Last edited by Shuffle; 09-27-2019 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:21 PM   #137
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Interesting weekend.

My couch, accent rug, and tables all arrived. I still need to order a television + TV stand, but I can't find a good quality setup for my 57" wall. Just cheap looking wood veneer stuff. Feels like I should have hired an interior decorator after all.

Saturday night I was supposed to go on a date with the girl from the bar, the good looking one who gave me her number without asking. Texted her back, trying to make dinner plans, never received any reply. Finally:

Quote:
Me: I will be at [the bar] tomorrow night at 8. If I see you there, we can pick up where we left off the other night.

Her: not feeling so hot today

Me: I hope you feel better. If you do, I'll see you tomorrow night.

So after wasting the day waiting around on this woman who started to feel like a vortex of negative energy, I went to see the girl I have a huge crush on Saturday night. She's a bartender in her mid-20s at another bar; but she hasn't been there in several weeks. I heard she went on vacation, maybe with some guy she's dating. I don't know.

This was the first time she has seen me since I cleaned up, and I did feel a spark. We chatted intermittently throughout the night. I bought her a drink to share with me, and we got to know each other a little more, and otherwise I just sat there immersed in my thoughts, sometimes secretly admiring her, sometimes letting her know.

She's not going to make me forget Ohio State Girl anytime soon, but I like being around her. It's one of the few times these days that I'm happy and in a good mood. Those first nights when I arrived here in L.A. and I was living in my car, she was beautiful and kind, like the sunlight emerging from behind dark clouds. Last night, she looked more beautiful than ever. Her hair was tied up, and so was her top, exposing her midriff in that sexy way I like. Classy, not vulgar. Just like OSU Girl.

I couldn't help but compare them in my mind. This one has a more naturally outgoing and friendly personality; whereas talking to Ohio State Girl was like talking to a delicate but imperial flower opening itself up to me every time. This one has a pretty cute smile, but the register isn't as high, but it has an ameliorative quality. Ohio State Girl could keep going 80-90% of the time, but once she got tired, she could betray signs of being spoiled, maybe even slightly annoyed. This girl, on the other hand, seems like she can just go for hours or days, being jovial with her friends and strangers alike, until her energy level slowly fades out over time.

Most of all, the one thing they both share in common-- they are both incredibly authentic and sincere.

We finished our time together Saturday night, but my fondest memory of the evening won't be any small little moment we had; it won't be the time I called her by the nickname I always call her, or when she bit her lip and remarked that nobody else calls her that. It will be the moment that I felt desire, true burning desire come back into my veins for the first time in a very long time. Desire for the woman that was standing in front of me, facing the other way, dancing and jiving to the music, her hips and the small of her back swaying before me as I drank my whiskey, quietly reflecting, smiling to myself.


Sunday

I had my second guitar lesson Sunday morning. This week I'll learn C-chord and finger picking. My instructor is teaching me C-chord (adding onto G, D, and E-minor chords I learned last week) with Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl".





I absolutely love this song. Apparently it's beginner level, so I'm really looking forward to playing this sometime soon.

After the lesson was over, I drove from West Hollywood down to the OC to meet another woman I matched with via an online dating site. Her pictures were just O.K. and I found out she's divorced, so at first I was going to cancel on her, but there was something so earnest and almost childlike innocent about her texts that I decided to meet up with her after all.

We met for lunch at an outdoor Mediterranean cafe. She's 27, Mexican, with a noticeable accent and unsteady voice that made her English sometimes difficult to understand. She looked a little older than her pictures but, shockingly, she also looked better too. Just a little natural makeup, and perfect, perfect breasts. We sat there dining and conversing. She recently went on a trip to visit her family in Mexico, and when she returned, her husband was gone. Everything in their apartment was gone. Everything in their bank account was gone. Honestly, there was nothing remarkable about this date, except for her story and the text she sent me right before I arrived:

Quote:
hey sorry, i dont have many shoes lol can i show up with tennis?
I said sure of course, why not? It's just a casual lunch date. She was wearing white tennis shoes, except they weren't white, they were dirty gray, probably because she didn't have any other pair. Towards the end of the date, I asked her-- if she could buy anything she wanted right now, what would she buy? She said a nice pair of shoes. We went for a walk around the outdoor mall area, and after I thought about everything some more, I decided to test her. Was this just some BS sob story, and then she was going to beg for money or gifts?

No. I had a good feeling about this one ...

I offered to take her shopping and buy her a nice pair of shoes. We met on a sugar baby site after all and I said she was free to choose anywhere she wanted to go. She pulled out her phone and started looking around. 99% of women in this situation would have tried to hit me up for designer, but this woman picked out a discount retailer that wasn't functionally different than a Payless or TJ Maxx.

Even I was kinda amazed to be standing there looking at $30 and $40 shoes. Affordable! She couldn't decide whether to get new tennis shoes or something nice, so I told her why not get both? We kept shopping and this pretty 27 year old, 5'7 Mexican lady with perfect breasts, her eyes were beaming and her smile never left her face. I bought her an $80 pair of ankle boots and $50 pair of white tennis shoes that were actually white. I've had a pretty **** 14 months, but this time I got to play Santa Claus for one September day.





It took me an hour to drive back to my apartment, stuck in L.A. traffic, listening and singing along to "Brown Eyed Girl". True, I was in a good mood mood because of the date with the Mexican gal, but really I couldn't stop thinking about my crush, and how great I felt being around her the night before. Suddenly, an Ozu story started to emerge. Some ideas that I had been toying with writing for awhile, and some new things that came together yesterday afternoon.

Pretty sure I'm going to write this screenplay once I'm settled here in L.A. Plus the screenplay I'm already working on. Plus my songs and learning how to play the guitar.

There's also my $3k to $300k challenge.

Just need to finish buying more furniture first.

Last edited by Shuffle; 09-30-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:38 PM   #138
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

By the way, I went to the bar at 8 p.m. Sunday night and got stood up. Couldn't have cared less.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:59 PM   #139
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I'm glad that you're having a bit more luck with the ladies. I am even willing to overlook the fact that you're speaking about perfect boobs without posting pics.

"Brown Eyed Girl" is a brilliant song, I love it too. I also like brown eyed ewes.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:21 AM   #140
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Ah well, I'm not sure how well she would have received it if I had just started taking pictures right there on the date.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:34 AM   #141
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I've been hiding out the last few days. Didn't leave my apartment or get online.

Saturday morning was my 3rd guitar lesson. Just a little new material, not much, mostly refining some things learned from previous lessons. After that I ran some errands and returned home, took a nap, practiced guitar for awhile, and then got ready to go out Saturday night.

I must have been looking forward to seeing my crush a little too much, because she wasn't there, and that put me in a depressed mood. There wasn't any reason to stay at an overpriced bar and keep drinking, so I decided to go play poker for the first time in 3 months. Played 5/5 at Commerce all night until Sunday morning. My god there was a nice looking woman there in the tightest pants, think I saw her on Live at the Bike once. Anyway I finished up +$1,585 but I was miserable the entire time and hated being there or even playing the game.

Quote:
$3k to $300k Challenge:

Bankroll $4,585
Didn't play well, didn't play bad. Didn't run good, didn't run bad. Probably should have won couple hundred more dollars. Just hated everything about the night. Ordered cocktails as soon as the bar re-opened at 6 a.m. Drank them as fast as I could, then waited a few hours, cashed out, drove myself home. Haven't done anything since.

TV and entertainment stand arrived. Lying on the floor in my apartment. I'll order Cable/WiFi and do that tomorrow I guess.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:19 AM   #142
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I’m only partly into part three. You do realize that Ohio State Girl realized her sailor boy was into men before he did? I hope this ends with realization and that you met the true love of your life Bob and you lived happily ever after.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:35 AM   #143
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Played my second 5/5 session at Commerce tonight. Max buy-in = $500 and I got stuck in the game for $1,900 very early.

AQ < 44 aipf
TT < AQ aipf

I was about one hand from quitting, but got back to even, and then my only 4b bluff of the night:

2 limpers
Hero dealt 53o and raises to $30 in LP
SB calls $30
Fold
Second limper MP 3b to $80

This guy was 3b too wide, can't rep too much, SB should usually be dead money.

Hero 4b to $260
SB calls $260 (danger, danger)
MP folds

Villain starts with ~$1,600 and Hero covers

Flop ($610): QT5
SB checks
Hero checks behind

Turn ($610): 3
SB checks
Hero bets $300
SB c/r all-in
Hero calls all-in

River: 7

SB shows KK (pair of kings)
Hero shows 53o (two pair, 5s and 3s)

Hero wins ~$3,600

Played some more after that and cashed out +$2,025 for the session.


Quote:
$3k to $300k Challenge:

Bankroll $6,610
I will probably go for 5/10 when the bankroll gets above $10k.

Last edited by Shuffle; 10-13-2019 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:06 PM   #144
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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I’m only partly into part three. You do realize that Ohio State Girl realized her sailor boy was into men before he did? I hope this ends with realization and that you met the true love of your life Bob and you lived happily ever after.


A bit harsh on my part, when you look back on relationships from out early 20s it so obvious sometimes what was going on and what we should’ve done. Clearly Ohio State Girl was interested in you and wanted you to make the first move so she could dump her BF and be with you. Oh well that’s life.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:57 PM   #145
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Man, if you had been able to make that 53 play early in the game, there's no telling how much you could have pulled from that table. Hope they remember you.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:33 AM   #146
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Phat Mack, you've been changing your avatar lately more often than women change their hair. I sense a disturbance in The Force.

I played one time in the last few weeks (like a total nit) and lost $2,000. Couldn't have played any better. Just one of those nights.

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$3k to $300k Challenge:

Bankroll $4,610
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:33 AM   #147
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Hey, probably the wrong thread but I finally watched the silent version of Floating Weeds. The first thing I noticed was that I had seen it before. The second thing I noticed was that I hadn't realized the two Weedses were the same story--they seems completely different with completely different characters. Now I have to go back and watch the newer one and figure out why this would be so.

I hate games where I play correctly and lose. Unless something was obviously crazy, I dwell on them for days trying to determine if I missed something.
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:42 AM   #148
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I think I'll re-watch the silent version again this week. Such a good movie. I haven't seen the remake yet, so I can't compare the two, but I've heard the color version has a lighter tone.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:05 PM   #149
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Philosophical post:

Quote:
God does not play dice with the universe.

-Albert Einstein

Life isn't good right now. There were some days this past week when I didn't get out of bed. Just stayed there looking up at the ceiling like a vertigo patient until I fell back asleep. Nothing brings me any joy right now. I would like if the days and nights might pass by faster and faster; but alas, even the clocks turned back Saturday night. Who knew Daylight Savings Time could wield so much spite?

I met a woman since I moved here to L.A. Actually, I met her entire family. They've all been very nice to me, and the mother likes me a lot. Something that started as a crush, I don't know, turned into something more when I realized being around her was the only time I wasn't depressed anymore. We haven't gone on any dates, but we did kinda sorta hang out sometimes, and her mom hosts this underground poker game, which is inconsequential, it plays like $0.25/$0.50. Anyway, I had gone on a few dates with other girls, and they were all nice, but each time I kept thinking about her.

Eventually, I made up my mind ...

One night, she and I were smiling at each other and making lots of eye contact. She started writing notes on little pieces of construction paper, artistically designed, and I asked her what was she writing? Love notes. But they weren't love notes for any lover, she said she didn't have one. They were love notes for people in general. There was a moment when she wasn't looking, and at the last second I decided to take one of the blank ones and secretly place it in my pocket, with the idea to write her and give it to her the next time we met.


How to not write a poem very, very small:

So I returned back to my apartment with this small, mustard colored, circular(?) piece of construction paper tucked away in my pocket, and the idea to write her a poem, since I learned she's really into poetry. Actually, I'm very proud of the poem I wrote, she inspired me, and I'm going to enter it into a few contests and try to get published. There's also a chapbook I've started writing. The one practical problem I had was, once I finished the poem, how could I fit the entire thing on two sides of this little note?

I traced out endless circles(?) on other pieces of paper, identical size, and kept practicing, over and over again. No good. Women can write incredibly small when they have to with that black ink, like they are using the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids ray on their normal handwriting, but I found this task vexing and difficult. It took an entire day before I was confident I could fit one half of the poem on one side of the note, which I did, but no matter how many times I practiced, the other side seemed like a total gamble.

Finally I just had to say **** it, YOLO, here we go.

Spoiler:


So at that point, I cast the note aside, and started cursing at myself, wondering what the hell am I going to do now? I considered just writing the poem on another piece of paper, or making my own (artistically designed) note of appropriate size, but part of the allure of this little stunt of mine was that I snatched one of her notes when she wasn't looking. That had to be part of the ploy. Hastily, I squeezed on the remaining words around the edge in circular fashion. Even then, my handwriting was surely illegible.

It would have to suffice.

The next time I saw her, she looked so radiant and alive, more beautiful than ever before. She actually told me she had a dream about a poem, and the subject matter was the exact same as the one I had written! Like seriously, wtf?! I told her she had a premonition. There was this giddy feeling that overcame my soul, feelings of fate and destiny, like her and I were supposed to meet. That's exactly what I'm looking for right now. My heart isn't searching for some random encounter with a woman I find attractive and something something we both like spaghetti noodles and football and the same shows on Netflix or anything like that.

OK, I would probably date a beautiful woman who likes Ozu as much as I do, but I digress ...


Quote:
It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.

-Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

The point is that I don't believe God plays dice with the universe either. Or rather, I don't want to live in a universe where God plays dice. We have free choice, and to some extent we can deviate from the natural and prescribed order of things, but just as Schrödinger and Heisenberg postulated all those years ago, moments and episodes of unpredictability can always reconcile with fate and destiny over time.

Unless something goes very, very wrong.

Where are we right now at this point in our lives? If not for a single missed phone call, my ex-girlfriend and I would be engaged or married. I might have snap dated this other woman and been living back in Chicago, except she had just accepted a job in San Francisco the week before we reconnected. There was the Chinese poker player, the only poker gal I've ever dated, who I played all night with one night, and then we had breakfast together, and then one date, and then she was my rail when I won my first big tournament. Fate and destiny? Maybe the start of something special? Nah ... she completely flaked out on me a few months later.

Then there was a year of loneliness and drinking. An entire year wasted, already getting later in life.


Las Vegas Los Angeles and Tokyo Story

So what do you do when you face an existential crisis? At least I was finally able to confront and acknowledge all of these repressed feelings about the woman I've really been in love with most of my adult life, but like a lot of people do, I decided to immerse myself in work. Pack up, travel the road in life, and play the entire World Series. What better way to validate you are the person you were supposed to be, the person you want to be, than to achieve more success in the career of your choice? Yeah, you just need to go back and read the thread to understand how preposterously bad I ran all summer.

But if ever-increasingly absurd amounts of variance hadn't smacked me in the face, maybe I would have stayed in Las Vegas, right? Or I might have been traveling around playing in more poker tournaments, chasing some kind of frivolous glory. Would I be here in Los Angeles right now? Trying to get back to my writing? Trying to meet not just any girl, but a special girl that I wouldn't have met unless we were right here, right now at this point in our lives, exactly where we were supposed to be?

These aren't the thoughts of any man, just happy to have a job and meet any woman he might happen to get along with. These are the thoughts of a man wondering whether he lived the life he was supposed to live or not, longing for the life he might have lived with the girl from his hometown, who he met far away in college, where he didn't know anyone, and she didn't know anyone either, and they were the only two people from back home, who happened to be next-door neighbors out of 40,000 people, and her dad had been in the Navy, and he was an officer-in-training in the Navy, and he was studying to be a scientist, and she was studying to be a scientist, and they were best friends.


The Love Note

So those were the thoughts in my mind when I had that mustard colored, circular(?) note with a poem on it, carefully tucked away in my pocket. Talking with the beautiful woman whose family has kinda-sorta adopted me here, full of desire for her, listening to her tell me about the dream she had the night before, about the very poem I was about to give her. This girl who fancies herself a writer, something I wouldn't be dreaming about if I were a commander or lieutenant on a ship in the Pacific Ocean. Then, at the end of the conversation, I told her I had to leave, and she bolted out of her chair and gave me the biggest hug. I gently placed the note in her hand, smiled, and as she gave me this wondering look, I turned and walked out the door, smug in how smooth I thought my romantic stunt had been.

I expected to hear from her later that night, or maybe the following day. "That was really sweet, Mark" or "I couldn't read it! What does it say?"

But there was nothing. Her mom and brother had already been texting with me weeks before, but we didn't have each other's phone numbers yet. She just had my email address, and I had her Instagram page. Nothing. I thought she could have lost my email, or maybe she would wait and ask me about the poem the next time we saw each other. The days passed and I started to wonder. I looked up her Instagram page for the first time, and discovered she's actually a high-end fashion model who has traveled around the world and worked in some of the biggest shows in Paris. That's not how I knew her, but then she seemed even more unique as far as women go in the course of my life story.

I couldn't stop thinking about her. The next time I went to see her, I got in my car, and there was a little piece of paper on the floorboard. A note that fate left for me:


Quote:
PERSEVERE -- IT'S JUST A BUMP IN THE ROAD.

-Panda Express

I honestly don't remember ever getting this fortune in a fortune cookie, but most likely I own the world record for "bad" fortunes received in fortune cookies over the course of my life. I'm guessing the O/U for most people is 0.5. I've literally had dozens in my life.


Quote:
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Received that one on my birthday dinner three years ago. Typical.

Anyway, this damn fortune paper seemed like a bad omen. Of course it was. When I drove over to see her, suddenly there were no more smiles, just awkward glances, and a shrug of her shoulders. "I'm sorry, I couldn't read your poem at all." She didn't ask about it or mention it again.

Finally, later in the evening, I asked if I could text the poem to her so she could read it. She said sure, then gave me her number. Great. I sent the texts, line by line, and then without any emotion whatsoever, she said she would look at it later. All bad signs.

Well I already knew where this was going, and she didn't reply for an entire day. I went to my guitar lesson the next morning, but my spirit wasn't there anymore. I took a few shots and walked into my instructor's studio drunk. He asked me what was wrong. I gave him a look and said don't worry about it. There's something painful about giving a part of yourself to other people as a writer, only to get rejected. It's much worse than just asking a random girl out and getting turned down. Now I know what Ozu felt like after the perceived failure of Tokyo Twilight.




Anyway, I finished the guitar lesson and sat in my car outside until I sobered up. I was in complete shock. Wondering what in the hell is going on in my life? Would she really just ignore my texts and never reply? Of course not. There's always some sadistic twist.

The next night, I was drinking and eating dinner at the bar next to my apartment, and this Ronette's song Be My Baby started playing. Finally, she texted me back. "Waaaa that was really sweet!" I was sitting there, thinking about her and listening to the music, texted her back simply, "glad you liked it"...but that was the end of our conversation. Hours went by, but she never replied or attempted to further communicate again.

Well, I knew what would happen, but I needed some kind of punctuation to end this failed romantic adventure, so I went to see her one more time and asked her out on a date. To my complete surprise, she said yes-- but again, sadistically-- two seconds later, after I perked up and looked her in the eye, she added:

Quote:
Wait, you mean just as friends. Right?
Oh no. Friend-zoned. Da fuq?

Well, I'm smooth enough that I nonchalantly replied "of course" without missing a beat, but I haven't seen her or attempted to contact her since.


Quote:
I'll make you happy baby. Just wait and see.
For every kiss you give me. I'll give you three.
Oh since the day I saw you. I have been waiting for you.

So won't you please be my baby.
My one and only baby.
Be my baby now.

I haven't really ventured out of my apartment or done anything since then, except twice. Once was last night, drinking and eating dinner at the bar again, and this song was playing. Great. Just like the end of an Ozu movie, when some bright and optimistic music plays in the background, juxtaposed against the images of a main character, usually an old man or woman, looking back with longing or regret or immense sadness on life.

The other time I went out was Saturday night, this past weekend, when I took the 19 year old Japanese girl out on another date. The one with the same unusual name as Ohio State Girl. The second Su Li-zhen. We went to Margot, a very nice restaurant in Culver City, near Santa Monica. The tab was a little pricey, but it was a nice place. Great atmosphere. We were going to go on a walk at the beach, but the weather turned cold, so I drove her back to her apartment, and we walked around her neighborhood before calling it a night. I was really struck by the generation gap this time. For one, she's a trained hip-hop dancer, and she was wearing a tight dress, and despite being very short, she does have a sexy body. But as we talked, the most telling part of the conversation centered around the word "fu**". As far as I'm concerned, this is good word to involuntarily blurt out during sex, or when you bump your knee on a table and it hurts like hell. But she's 19, and just learning English, so she thinks it's a useful adjective to add in front of words like "cool". As in "****ing cool". And "**** yeah" all the time.

Well, I have one more romantic idea that might work with my crush. But otherwise I'm left wondering about ideas of fate and destiny, condemned, loyal to the nightmare of my choice, growing restless again, wondering if I might just spend my remaining days here in L.A. having fun with a girl with that name.

At least "Spring Forward!" and disappearing into the woods is only a few months away.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:43 PM   #150
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Wow, what a post. I was wondering why you posted so little the last couple of weeks. I guess I've got my answer now.

Once again, it's very well written and it makes me a bit sad. Still, I really believe that you will meet a girl someday who deserves you and with whom you can make that connection you are longing for. In the meantime, it might be best to try to take your mind off of teh wimmenz for a while and focus on playing the guitar, Japanese classic movies and other things that interest you. The fashion model seems to be a dead end and I think you should stop seeing her, but maybe that's just me.

On a positive note: "Be My Baby" is a lovely song. In fact, I was listening to a few 60s songs myself while reading your post, such as "I Get Around" (The Beach Boys) and "The Young Ones" (Cliff Richard & The Shadows). What a decade for music!
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